In 2012 I was a mess. Same with the year before. And the year before that. Truth be told, my body has been a mess in multiple ways for most of my life.
I am asthmatic, and have suffered a lifetime of severe allergies and sensitivities. During an annual physical, I watched my doctor's alarm when I told him I was using my asthma inhaler five to six times daily without getting relief. I soon found myself on a somewhat helpful but horribly dehydrating daily cocktail of two Benadryl, one 24-hour Claritin D, 10 mg of Singulair, and my asthma inhaler as needed. On one of my trips to the E.R. with an especially severe asthma attack, I was stunned to learn that I had developed a life-threatening allergy to steroids. What followed that E.R. trip was three and a half weeks missed from work, as my asthma attack blossomed into severe bronchitis, and I could no longer take steroids to reduce bronchial inflammation.
Presently, it is widely estimated that between 60 and >90 percent of most staples (corn, rice, soybeans, sugar beets, and so forth and so on) in the American food supply are genetically modified. For instance, 80 to 90 percent of all corn grown in the US is “Roundup Ready,” meaning that it is genetically modified to be resistant to the Monsanto weed killer Roundup. Moreover, many GMOs contain more than one implanted gene; corn can and is modified to be resistant to Roundup along with, say, the corn bore. Non-staple foods, such as cucumber, peas and tomatoes, increasingly are modified, as well. With GMOs having such an extensive presence in the American food chain, most of us would assume that over the years there have been detailed independent tests confirming the safety of GMOs for both those consuming these foods and the environment. Unfortunately, anyone making this assumption would be wrong. As one recent literature review notes, “the risk assessment of GM foods in general, and crops in particular for human nutrition and health, has not been systematically performed as indicated in the scientific literature.”1
Gut Feelings of a Gut Microbiologist
We have always been confused about the ideal meaning of the word ‘Health’. It is generally considered that if a person is not diseased and disable, he is healthy. But thanks to the World Health Organization for recently concluding the debate about this term, and coming out with the refined definition that “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity". When we talk about being healthy, it obviously includes good health of each and every part or organ of our body; and of all these mechanistic parts, the most important and most fragile ones are our brain, heart and gut, the elements of the delicate triangle of health. I tag these three together as a triangle because they are indeed very strongly connected to each other, and if there is any problem, major or minor, with any one of these, the other two too get immediately affected.
Cold, influenza (flu) and sinusitis are three common upper respiratory conditions that affect a great many people. Besides being upper respiratory infections, they also have in common that three herbs (Andrographis, Eleuthero and Echinacea) have been shown to be effective in their treatment. This article will discuss the research associated with these herbs on the aforementioned conditions. First, however, let's have a brief review of the conditions.
Many physicians routinely prescribe hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to postmenopausal or even perimenopausal women. As a matter of fact, about 17.5 million American women were taking HRT in 1998, according to a national survey. HRT, however, is not without its health risks. Before discussing HRT risks and alternatives, let's first examine the rationale for HRT in association with menopause.
It’s the New Year and time to take stock of where we have been, where we are going, and to resolve to do better, right? Unfortunately, for many of us our New Year’s resolutions will include the promise to lose those extra pounds picked up since last summer. If done properly, fulfilling this resolution can pay off with big dividends in terms of increased energy and improved health, not just with a better reflection in the mirror. One or more of the latest weight loss products can help in this “battle of the bulge,” and several of these are reviewed below. However, to make certain that those lost pounds don’t come back again, this year the diet blueprint for weight loss should also include strategic planning regarding food and exercise.
Well, you’ve made it through another year and if you’re like most of us, you have probably already made a pact with that New Years resolution. You know the one I’m talking about. The same one hundreds of thousands of people—just like you—make each and every year around this time, the “I’m gonna diet away all these extra pounds” one!
This months article is dedicated to all those who actually believe that this year’s diet is going to be different from any of the other years.
An antibiotic might be described as an antibacterial agent that inhibits bacterial growth or kills bacteria. However, colds and many other upper respiratory infections, as well as some ear infections, are caused by viruses, not bacteria. If antibiotics are used too often for things they can’t treat—like colds or other viral infections—they can stop working effectively against bacterial infections. This phenomenon is known as antibiotic resistance, and is a direct result of antibiotic overuse.1 As it currently stands, antibiotic overuse represents a significant health risk to modern society. This article will examine antibiotic overuse, as well as the use of herbal medicines that may present a viable alternative to the use of antibiotics or when antibiotics are not indicated.
The U.S. government spends about one fifth of its budget on defense. In the same way, your body “spends” a lot of its resources to protect you from outside invaders—using your military-like immune system.
Yes, you can think of your immune system as a kind of military organization. And its mission is to protect you from outside invaders called antigens. Antigens include not only infections, but can include any protein that looks foreign to your immune system, including toxins, allergens, and even (and especially!) incompletely digested food.
Those who have long paid attention to nutrition, and the benefits of nutrition-based medicine, know the importance of that blue-green pigment present in marine microalgae—elevating foods like spirulina and chlorella to super-food status. That said, many do not know of or give appropriate credit to, another microalgae Haematococcus pluvialis—commonly known as a dark red pigment that is the richest known source of the carotenoid2 Astaxanthin. This unique substance has been present in trace amounts in aquatic ecosystems for over a billion years.