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The low down of hot flushes

07/03/2015

What many people don’t realise is that up to 80% of women end up suffering from hot flushes associated with the menopause but I bet many more will be unaware that this may last for 7 years or more. Interestingly, a recent study analysed data from 1449 women suffering from 6 days or more of hot flushes over a previous 2 week time period and discovered that the symptoms were also dependent on race. The study revealed that black women experienced the longest total hot flush duration (around 10 years) with Japanese and Chinese women reporting the shortest duration of hot flushing in the region of 4.8 and 5.4 years respectively. However, hot flushes and their reported duration complex and influenced by many factors. For example, we know that the severity and duration of hot flushing can be adversely influenced by a history of smoking, emotional stress and anxiety, depression and even a great sensitivity to more minor symptoms. In other words, there may be powerful psychological and cultural influences at play. Despite this when we look a little deeper into the dietary habits of the women with the lowest reported hot flushing and shortest duration of symptoms the influence of complex compounds known as isoflavones derived from soya may also play an important part.

For many years conflicting data has been quoted connecting a diet high in soya isoflavones with improved control on hot flushes in women seeking a natural remedy for managing this distressing problem. According to clinical studies and observations some isoflavones can relieve hot flushes over the transition from menopause to post-menopause. In women who respond well to isoflavones additional improvements in emotional and mood states along with improved sleep and menopausal brain fog have also been reported. It would appear that the key to success is in the selection of a natural remedy that can deliver a high isoflavone content (in the region of 40%) or one that can state the concentration of a specific isoflavone known as diadzine. From a dietary perspective the key isoflavone compounds are found in a variety of specialist foods such as Tofu, Okara, and Natto, as well as better-known foods like chick peas, broad beans, green tea, peanuts and Mung beans, albeit in very low quantities. However, the greatest concentration of isoflavones are found in Soybeans and the foods based in soy such as Soy protein concentrates and isolates, Soy flour and Soybean sprouts. To help get the dietary contribution of isoflavones into perspective, an analysis of Soybeans shows that the total isoflavone content to be in the region of 128mg per 100g of Soybeans, which equates to just 0.13% isoflavone. One would have to eat a lot of Soyabeans to get a meaningful intake of diadzine, which only accounts for 46mg (0.05%) per 100g of whole Soyabeans. But, we may be looking at this in the wrong way. May be it’s a life time exposure to a low but steady intake of dietary isoflavones that may explain the Japanese and Chinese observations or is it more to do with a culture? Do these cultures talk about, complain about or manage the menopause differently? This may be beyond this article but its an interesting area to ponder.

Knowing that isoflavones can be of help in managing menopause symptoms and by the time they appear simply increasing the food sources may be inadequate we have to turn to supplements such as Phytogen Forte, a triple ingredient food supplement that delivers the 40% isoflavone content blended with sage and flax lignans.  A good proportion of the soy isoflavone is made up of diadzein which is, in turn, converted into a compound called S-equol by the guts intestinal bacteria. S-equol has a structure very similar to estradiol, the main sex hormone that is deficient after the menopause and the most likely cause for the hot flushing and other menopause related symptoms that are commonly treated medically by HRT.

Finally, not all women appear to respond to isoflavone therapy as well as others do. This was put down to simple fact that not all people do well on the same therapy but recent research has highlighted the fact that those women who consume a vegetarian diet appear to do much better on isoflavone supplements in regards to the reduction in flushing symptoms. The key difference may lie in the different gut flora and microbiota of a vegetarian compared to a meat eater. We know that diadzein is converted into S-eqoul within the gut and this appeared to be very dependent on the bacteria that live within the gut of that individual. It may be that by boosting the gut’s population of lactobacillus bacteria either by the use of a probiotic (such as Acidophilus Pearls) or by a radical diet change could amplify he effects of an isoflavone supplement. 



 

What to Expect from Supplements

07/03/2015

Do you know what it means to be truly healthy – mind, body and spirit? I meet hundreds of people all across the county every year and I would guess that only a small percentage of them could honestly say “yes” to this question. Most Americans have some chronic health concern or nutrient deficiency, but are so deep in their unhealthy lifestyle they have lost hope that things could be better.

There is no need to be tired all the time, or get every cold that passes through the office, or suffer from chronic indigestion, sinus problems, arthritic aches and pains, or any of the other problems most people experience. The right supplements can correct nutrients deficiencies as well as treat many common problems as effectively as drugs, resulting in true, vibrant, rewarding health. But what to expect from supplementation can still be a mystery to many people, so I’d like to explore it here.

 Why You Need to Supplement

Most of our foods are woefully short of nutrients. Even if you try to make healthy choices, you’re still not getting what you need, because depleted soils have lost much of their mineral content, and many of the fruits and vegetables that are commercially available at the grocery stores are developed and cultivated for eye-appeal , shelf-life, and shipping – not nutrient value.

Along with that, many supplements simply provide the recommended daily intake (RDI) of nutrients. But what most consumers do not realize is that the RDI is the minimum set to prevent actual deficiencies – not the optimal level to provide vibrant health.

Iodine is a case in point. Most people don’t get the iodine they really need for thyroid function and cancer prevention, only the base amount needed to prevent goiter. And even though there is iodine added to some table salt, the fact that many people have cut down on salt at home means or switched to healthier natural salts means that their iodine intake is even lower. Last but not least, there are many toxic compounds that compete with iodine—things like fluoride, chlorine and bromine.

Plus, we have to consider that many people aren’t getting even two servings of fruits and vegetables into their daily regimen, much less their “daily 5”. With our drive-thru food culture, it’s very unlikely that most people are even getting close to the required nutrients we need for good health.

So the idea that you’ll get the vitamins, minerals, and enzymes you need for a healthy heart, a sound mind, proper digestion, or pain relief from diet alone has become sadly outdated. That’s why – in addition to a healthy diet – you need to supplement.

What to Expect from Supplementation:

First, I’d like to point out something that will probably sound obvious, but needs to be stated anyway. Supplements are supplemental to your diet and exercise regimen. They are not replacements for them.

They won’t make up for a lifetime of bad habits, nor are they going to make you suddenly thin if you keep eating doughnuts for breakfast and avoiding exercise. You can’t undo the damage of decades in a week to 10 days. You won’t lose 30 lbs. in 30 days with no effort.

A mistake some folks make is adopting a “pharmaceutical mentality” about supplements. Unfortunately, when people take prescription drugs, they expect same-day results. Also, they often think that the new drug will be enough to cure or control their disease. So they continue to eat poorly and gain weight or have heartburn, or they keep eating refined sugar and flour and have problems with blood sugar, for example.

In contrast, most supplements take time to work. I would say the average, in most studies, is about 8 weeks, but it can be more or less depending on the health problem, the study design, and the potency of the extract or ingredient. Also, the longer you use it, often the better the results. Natural interventions work with your body, so that means you need to reduce some of your bad habits and turn your course in the direction of health, not further disease.

There are some supplements – concentrated, bio-typed oils for sinus congestion and pain-relieving ingredients like high-absorption curcumin and boswellia that can provide immediately noticeable effects, but these are in the minority. Many health concerns will simply take a little longer to heal. Some examples include hair and skin problems, mood, anxiety, depression, ligament and tendon damage, bone density improvements, and yeast or other chronic infections.

I have to point out, though, that some people notice a lift in their mood almost immediately after using a high-quality multivitamin. That’s because they have been so deficient in their nutrient intake that their body and mind are practically leaping for joy at receiving the very ingredients they have been waiting for.

But again, in many cases, the results from herbal extracts and other nutrients weren’t noted by researchers until at least a month into a given study. It takes time for natural ingredients to turn around some of the damage that has occurred over a lifetime.

So expect results from quality supplements – but not always immediately. One of the biggest mistakes I see with people trying natural medicines is stopping too soon!

Things to Look For:

Many times, “you get what you pay for” is very true when it comes to purchasing supplements. There are plenty of cheaply produced formulas out there, and many of them simply don’t work because the quality of their material is either not very high, or it simply isn’t provided in the therapeutic and clinically-studied amounts that can do any real good. Or, sometimes it’s a combination of both.

But it’s also important not be taken in by faddish statements about supplements, either.

Some companies market their products to be superior because they do not contain "fillers and binders." These substances are more correctly called "excipients." Excipients are those ingredients in a product that do not play a therapeutic role. Excipients are used to either protect the key ingredients, or help them work better. Some protect key nutrients from light exposure and degradation, or antioxidants that help to resist oxidative reactions. Others help the product resist moisture, or other stressors that might reduce the product's efficacy. Some are included to make the products easier to swallow, so they do not stick in the throat. Still others assure that the tablet or capsule disintegrates after ingestion in an optimal time span. Therefore, excipients are tools to be used judiciously to create effective products.

 

That said, there are problematic excipients. There are excipients that are synthetic chemicals, derived from petrochemicals, etc. that responsible companies do not include in any of their products because they have concerns regarding these materials’ impact on health. The best products are created not only to contain a specific amount of nutrients, but to ensure that these nutrients are delivered in full potency to the person ingesting them.

 

So you’ll need to educate yourself, and ask questions at your health food store. It’s a much better source for supplements than generic “big box” stores, because health food stores have a mission in mind: to help people live better naturally. Many of the products you’re likely to find at discount stores were created with the idea of making money – not providing the real ingredients you need at levels that matter.

 

Take a look at St. John’s wort, for example. Although the herb had been studied for quite some time, it exploded in popularity in the 1990s, so much so, that it looked like the marketplace might actually run out of it.

 

Bear in mind that only extracts from the aerial parts of the plant are effective. However, this didn’t stop some manufacturers from making powder from the roots or stems, filling capsules, and selling it as “St. John’s wort.”

Factually, they were being honest. It was St. John’s wort.  That is legal. It just wasn’t the part of the plant that had compounds to relieve depression!

Now imagine being the person who starts using such a supplement that doesn’t really work. You’re probably not likely to give supplements another chance, which could mean missing out on something truly life-saving.  In that case, the most expensive supplement is the one that doesn’t work.

Don’t be afraid to contact the companies that make these supplements. Talk to someone there who can answer your questions about their ingredients, interactions, and clinical research. The best supplement companies will be happy to form a relationship with their customers. In my own experience – both working behind the counter at a health food store and formulating products – I can tell you that these conversations mean a lot. It’s great to talk with people whose lives have truly been changed for the better by following a path to vibrant, natural health.

Make Wise Choices and You’ll Feel Great!

I firmly believe that supplementing with the right ingredients can make a huge difference in your life. I also know that supplementation needs to be a part of an overall healthy lifestyle that includes a diet rich in proteins, fruits, and vegetables, and regular, effective, and enjoyable exercise. With just a little research on your own, and building a relationship with your favorite health food store or a natural health practitioner, you’ll find the best nutrient formulations that will help you live the way you’ve always wanted.

We have a limited range of Terry's EuroPharma products available on suppersupps.com.

 

About Terry Lemerond
Terry Lemerond is a natural health pioneer with over 40 years of experience. He has owned health food stores, founded dietary supplement companies, formulated over 400 products, and was the first to introduce glucosamine sulfate, IP-6, standardized Ginkgo biloba, and other award-winning products to the U.S. natural products market. Terry is a published author and appears on radio, television, and is a frequent guest speaker nationwide. This energy and zeal are simply part of Terry’s mission — as it has been since the beginning of his career—to improve the health of America.



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Terry Lemerond is a natural health pioneer with over 40 years of experience. He has owned health food stores, founded dietary supplement companies, formulated over 400 products, and was the first to introduce glucosamine sulfate, IP-6, standardized Ginkgo biloba, and other award-winning products to the U.S. natural products market. Terry is a published author and appears on radio, television, and is a frequent guest speaker nationwide. This energy and zeal are simply part of Terry’s mission — as it has been since the beginning of his career—to improve the health of America.

 

A healthy body needs a healthy mind

07/03/2015

Most people become pretty used to well-meaning advice from others who we feel really don’t understand. It’s human nature to eventually ‘shut our ears’ to such advice. However, there is basis for some of the well-meaning advice as we will explore in this short article.

It is true that the actions we take can affect our personal well-being, positively or negatively. Therefore, it makes sense to try and ensure wherever possible we are sending the brain and body the right messages in order to enhance our well-being.

A UK study measuring well-being estimated that only 14% of the population has a high level of well-being. While a range of factors determine an individuals level of well-being, evidence is mounting to indicate that the things we do and the way we think can have a huge impact on our health and well-being.

Keep Connected

We all know deep down that we need support from others. Some accept this fact graciously while others plough on independently but possibly make things tougher than they need to be. Being told we need help, and having well-wishers taking over our health and ‘telling’ us what we need to do is definitely not what we need, so it’s down to selecting the ‘right’ support and help.

We can influence this ourselves. We can take a back-seat and let others take over, and while some individuals are perfectly fine with this, others are not. For our own feeling of self-worth and therefore well-being it’s important to feel we have an input. Most people need to feel some control over their well-being in order to feel they have some influence over treatment. Furthermore,  if we understand how treatment is supposed to be helping and we are in agreement with the treatment suggestions, it will be more effective.

The relationships we have with others can be wide and varied, but especially when we feel unwell and vulnerable we sometimes choose the types of friendships we have unwisely. Feeling close and valued by others is a fundamental basic human need and our individual relationship with others is a unique dynamic. Sometimes, especially if we feel well, we choose a broad social network which is less close and more superficial. These relationships are important in order to feel connected and help our feelings of self-worth. But, often, in times when we require extra support our relationships tend to be deeper, more intense and fewer. It is important, especially when we feel vulnerable, to ensure that our relationships are positive, that those around us promote our autonomy, encourage us and enhance our mood positively when we feel tired, in pain and ‘down’ or depressed. We need people around us to motivate us to try and do tasks for ourselves, rather than simply do everything for us. We need them to influence us positively, tell us we can do it, recognise when we are able to do something we haven’t been able to do for a while. And importantly keep our spirits high and make us laugh.

It’s good and important to our well-being to encourage a mixture of people in our lives; younger, older, deep relationships as well as more superficial ones – a wide variety in other words.

Exercise

There will be few people who have never been nagged to do more exercise at some point in their lives. Encouragingly, evidence is indicating that single bouts of exercise less than ten minutes a day is enough to positively affect mood and well-being. While regular physical exercise is associated with a greater sense of well-being and lower rates of depression across all age ranges, you must be mindful to achieve an optimal level of exercise for you as an individual. What suits one isn’t necessarily appropriate for all.

If you have difficulty moving around, then there is little point forcing a session at a gym, maybe for you a little walk around the garden will be more effective. Keeping a log of what you do each day, and how it makes you feel can help you increase the amount of exercise over time. It maybe that on cold, damp days, you don’t do so well. You can prepare for this by selecting indoor exercise activities, even if a walk up and downstairs is what you can manage on that day, make a note. Over the course of time, you can chart any improvements. The key is variety. Once an exercise becomes routine it can become dull and boring and become a ‘sense of duty’. This, in the long term will not achieve much apart from excuses not to do the exercise. Exercise can be any physical activity, a walk one day, maybe some stretching or yoga exercises another. As long as you are able to do some movement every day and hopefully gradually increase the amount you do (not overdoing it) then according to research you should enjoy a sense of well-being, increase your coping abilities and block out negative thoughts.

Live in the moment

Research from the University of Liverpool has shown that rumination, or going over negative past experiences can have a detrimental effect on our mental health.  They found that brooding too much on negative events is the biggest predictor of depression and anxiety and determines the level of stress people experience. Along with positive self-talk and concentrating on the positive aspects of life, a technique known as Mindfulness has recently been increasing in popularity albeit a very ‘old’ method and essential element in Buddhist practice. Simply put, mindfulness helps you change the way you think, feel and act by concentrating on the ‘here and now’ used in combination with breathing and meditation techniques. Recent research has highlighted that being aware of sensations, thoughts and feelings for 8-12 weeks has been shown to enhance well-being for several years.

Nutrition

Food forms the cornerstone of health and wellbeing. Not only does it deliver the key building blocks in the form of amino acids, vitamins and minerals needed to keep our bodily framework functioning, it should also form an important social aspect in our life. Sadly, all-too-often meals are eaten on the run, in isolation or sitting slumped in front of the TV. This is not good for our physical or emotional health because the act of eating tends to be reduced to a mere mechanical process that has been termed ‘mindless eating’. Simply taking some time to plan meals so that they are balanced and deliver a good protein level with plenty fresh vegetables is easily achievable and in fact more cost-effective than relying on ready-meals. When it comes to eating to support a balanced emotional outlook, take care not to fall into the trap of ‘self-medicating’ with food in the form of carbohydrates! It’s all too common to hear how carbohydrate based comfort foods start to become the norm in those with low mood. The reason for this is complex and revolves around the generation of serotonin following a carbohydrate based meal but the reality can have adverse effects on body weight, self-image and eventually a compounding of depression. While there is nothing wrong with the occasional comfort meal, take care not to become reliant on them. To help ease anxiety and low mood, the non-drug based remedy known as Zen-Time combines Lactium with vitamin B6 and magnesium. Using Zen-Time in conjunction with a revised dietary plan that is less reliant on high carbohydrates and sugary foods may have profound effects on your emotional balance and will have no adverse effects; well worth a try!



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Maria Webb

Psychology | Stress | Nutrition

 

Go Gluten Free with Anne’s Mushroom Stroganoff recipe idea

02/03/2015

We have had a long relationship with the Vegetarian Society and are happy to promote their ideals and themes. The Vegetarian Society exists to influence, inspire and support people to embrace and maintain a vegetarian lifestyle. We work constructively with businesses, government agencies, policy makers and professionals, whilst always remaining independent. We rely on membership subscriptions and donations to carry out this vital work. Established in 1847, we are the oldest vegetarian organisation in the world. Our headquarters, housing the Cordon Vert cookery school as well as our small staff team, are in Altrincham, Greater Manchester. (www.vegsoc.org)

Anne’s Mushroom Stroganoff


This recipe is egg free This recipe is dairy free This recipe is gluten free This recipe is wheat free Suitable for vegans Nut free

Preparation notes

Serves 4
Preparation time 10 minutes
Cooking time 15-20 minutes

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil
250g mushrooms, sliced
2 shallots, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
250ml vegetable stock
½ tsp dried, crushed chillies 
110g basmati rice
200ml soya single cream
Ground black pepper, to taste 



Method

1. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and then add the mushrooms, shallots and red pepper. Cook until they soften and most of the liquid has disappeared. Add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. 
 
2. Add the vegetable stock and chillies to the frying pan. Cook for 7 minutes, until about half of the liquid has reduced. 
 
3. Whilst the stroganoff is cooking, begin to cook the rice according to packet instructions.
 
4. Add the cream and a generous amount of pepper to the stroganoff, then simmer for approximately 5 minutes, stirring frequently. 
 
5. Once cooked, spoon out the rice onto plates and spoon the stroganoff on top.
 
6. Enjoy with garlic bread (use gluten/wheat free bread if required)
 
 
Recipe created by Anne Clark from Brentwood for the Vegetarian Society’s ‘Surprisingly simple’ member recipe competition, part of National Vegetarian Week 2013 (www.nationalvegetarianweek.org).
Image © The Vegetarian Society 2013

 Anne’s Mushroom Stroganoff



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This months recipe idea from our friends at the Vegetarian Society (UK)

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