Role of Vitamins and minerals in the body

Thursday Sep 29, 2011 | Dr. Said | Comments Off on Role of Vitamins and minerals in the body

Vitamins control the chemical reactions within the body that convert food into energy and living tissue. Regulating the metabolism and assisting the biochemical process that releases energy from digested food. Vitamins help the body use the energy in nutrients, maintain normal body tissue, and act as a regulator.

Minerals are chemical elements needed for several body functions including building strong bones, transmitting nerve signals, maintaining a normal heart beat, and are used by the body to produce necessary hormones.

There are 13 vitamins and 22 minerals we have to get from our food supply. While only needed in small amounts, vitamins and minerals are nonetheless important because you cannot function biologically without them. According to a recent study, North Americans are lacking 72% of the nutrients they need daily. This is one of the reasons we need supplementation.

Do we need supplements?

A multiple vitamin-mineral supplement should not replace good eating habits, like the name suggests it is a supplement to the foods we eat. They  might not be for everyone, depending on your lifestyle factors and biochemical individuality, but most can benefit from taking a good quality and balanced supplement at the right dosage.

Many people take supplements that are not appropriate for  their needs because they randomly choose a product they heard about in the news or through a friend, or just picked something from their supermarket shelf. Remember, just as your diet is best customized to your unique needs, so should your supplements be tailored to your body type and blood work. Consult with your doctor, after blood work has been done.

Note: One basic problem with the health system in the U.S. is our doctors’ lack of knowledge about supplements and other nutrients. It is understandable why patients rely on other sources, so that much of what they believe is shaped by what they see, read, and hear, often from unreliable sources.

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10 dangerous Food Additives to avoid

Tuesday Sep 20, 2011 | Dr. Said | Comments Off on 10 dangerous Food Additives to avoid

Food additives are substances intentionally added to food during manufacturing to increase the the desirability of the finished product. Additives can alter the color, texture and stability of the food or reduce the spoilage time. There are approximately 2000 different types of additives. The standard American diet includes 3-5 pounds of those additives per year. Additives can be toxic chemicals that can give rise to a number of symptoms. The most common are psychological or neurological such as depression, headaches, mental dysfunction,mental illness or abnormal nerve reflexes. Preservatives accumulate in body fat. The most common allergic reaction experienced is hives.

Additives;

BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) / BHT (butylated hyroxloluene);

BHA and BHT are antioxidants. Oxygen reacts preferentially with BHA or BHT rather than oxidizing fats or oils, thereby protecting them from spoilage. In addition to being oxidizable, BHA and BHT are fat-soluble. Both molecules are incompatible with ferric salts. In addition to preserving foods, BHA and BHT are also used to preserve fats and oils in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.

Sodium Benzoates;

it is a widely used food preservative, with E number E211. It is the sodium salt of benzoic acid and exists in this form when dissolved in water. It can be produced by reacting sodium hydroxide with benzoic acid.  Benzoic acid and benzoates are widely used and are commonly found in shrimp and farm raised fish is extremely high amounts.

There is much more concern over the issue of sodium benzoate in Britain. Professor Piper of Sheffield University says that his studies of sodium benzoate in laboratory tests suggest that it can create free radicals and damage cells. While it is already linked with leukemia, new research suggests is may lead to cirrhosis of the liver and Parkinson’s disease.

In 2000 the World Health Organization reported that there are many studies showing that sodium benzoate can cause hives, asthma and anaphylactic shock in sensitive people.

Sulfites:

Sulfites are a group of sulfur-based compounds that may occur naturally or may be added to food as an enhancer and preservative. The FDA estimates that one out of 100 people is sensitive to the compounds. Typically used to prevent browning, color changes, or microbial spoilage. Commonly sprayed on fresh fruits, vegetable, and fresh shrimp.The average person in U.S consumes 2-3 mg per day. If restaurants are the main source of meals, then an average of 150 mg per day is consumed.

 Sodium nitrites and Sodium nitrits:

Nitrit-nitrate toxicity is due to its affinity for the oxygen carrying molecule in the blood, hemoglobin. Nitrates convert hemoglobin to methemeglobin which causes problems with oxygen transport. Heating nitrites or their coming into contact with stomach acids converts nitrites to nitromines a substances known to cause stomach cancer. Adding nitrite to meat is only part of the curing process. ordinary table salt (sodium chloride) is added because of its effect on flavor. Sugar is added to reduce the harshness of salt. Spices and other flavorings often added to achieve a characteristic brand flavor. Most, but not all, cured meat products are smoked often the curing process to import a smoked meat flavor. Sodium nitrite, rather than sodium nitrate, is most commonly used for curing (although in some product, such as country ham, sodium nitrate is used because of the long period. In a series of normal reactions, nitrite is converted to nitric oxide. Nitric oxide combines with myoglobin, the pigment responsible for the natural red color of uncured meat. Combined they form nitric oxide myoglobin, which is a deep red color (as in uncooked dry sausage) that change to the characteristic bright pink normally associated with cured and smoked meat (such as wieners and ham) when heated during the smoking process. Potassium nitrite is a type of nitrite that is commonly employed as food preservative, while potassium nitrate is commonly employed as a synthetic food preservative and color fixative. It is also the active ingredient in most toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth.

Monosodium glutamate:

It enhances the flavor of protein by exciting the taste buds. It can overexcite the nerve ending and cause symptoms referred as “Chinese restaurant syndrome”. Symptoms are reported as a burning sensation in back of neck, headaches, chest tightness, diarrhea and flushing of face.

 

Salicylates:

These are aspirin like compounds used to increase or enhance  the flavor foods. Those allergic to aspirin can experience reaction from eating food high in salicylates such as curry powder, paprika, thyme,  dill, oregano, and turmeric. It is also found in the following prepared foods: Cake mixes, pudding, Ice cream, gum, soft drinks and most dried fruits and berries.

Food coloring:

Artificial dyes are widely used in foods, beverages and drugs. The most common coloring agents used are called AZO dyes (dyes impregnated with nitrate). Most are petroleum products derived from coal tar. Certain tissues in the body are more susceptible to dyes, especially those that have a quick turnover such as the cornea of the eye, tissue in the mouth, tissue lining the stomach and small intestine, and blood and lymph tissue. Out of 33 know coloring agents, the following are the most commonly used.

Blue No. 2: Found in high amounts in cat food and soda pop, it is implicated in causing brain cancer.

Citrus red: Found in Florida oranges

Green No. 3: Implicated in Thyroid cancer. Found in lime drink and soda.

Yellow No. 6: Implicated in Kidney cancer. Found in soda pop and candy.

Yellow No. 5: Tartrazine- high in allergic responses and ADD (attention deficit disorder). Those allergic to aspirin might be allergic to tartrazine. Tartrazine sensitivity is common in individuals (around 20-50%). It is a known inducer of asthma medications (aminophyline) and in some sedatives, steroids, antihistamines and antibiotics. Some vitamins can also contain tartrazine.

Other food containing tartrazine are: Orange drinks, Gelatin desserts, Italian dressing, Cake mixes and icing, Seasoning salt and Macaroni and cheese.

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Potassium Nitrate / Sodium Nitrite

Monday Aug 29, 2011 | Dr. Said | Comments Off on Potassium Nitrate / Sodium Nitrite

Adding nitrite to meat is only part of the curing process. ordinary table salt (sodium chloride) is added because of its effect on flavor. Sugar is added to reduce the harshness of salt. Spices and other flavorings often added to achieve a characteristic brand flavor. Most, but not all, cured meat products are smoked often the curing process to import a smoked meat flavor. Sodium nitrite, rather than sodium nitrate, is most commonly used for curing (although in some product, such as country ham, sodium nitrate is used because of the long period. In a series of normal reactions, nitrite is converted to nitric oxide. Nitric oxide combines with myoglobin, the pigment responsible for the natural red color of uncured meat. Combined they form nitric oxide myoglobin, which is a deep red color (as in uncooked dry sausage) that change to the characteristic bright pink normally associated with cured and smoked meat (such as wieners and ham) when heated during the smoking process. Potassium nitrite is a type of nitrite that is commonly employed as food preservative, while potassium nitrate is commonly employed as a synthetic food preservative and color fixative. It is also the active ingredient in most toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth.

Toxic effects of potassium and sodium nitrite and nitrate when combined with amino acids within the stomach to form nitrosamines, are extremely potent carcinogens capable of causing cancer in many part of the body.

Potassium nitrite can cause stomach cancer.

Sodium nitrite can trigger migraines.

Sodium nitrate interferes with the absorption of vitamin A.

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Vitamin D – Is It Really a Vitamin?

Friday Aug 19, 2011 | Jeff Sherman | Comments Off on Vitamin D – Is It Really a Vitamin?

Discovered in 1920, Vitamin-D is actually a secosteroid, and is considered a fat-soluble pro-hormone, is technically not a vitamin at all! A true vitamin must be obtained by either dietary or supplemental sources; vitamin D, on the other hand, is produced in the human body. Also, Vitamin-D is only present in very few food sources (fatty fish, egg yolks, beef liver). Finally, vitamin D only woks on the body after it has been transformed by the body.

Vitamin-D is one of 13 vitamins linked to nutritional deficiency in studies by numerous doctors in the early 20th century;  search for a cure for the painful childhood bone disease, rickets, led to its discovery. Over time, links have been made between Vitamin-D and:

  • Bone Strength (Calcium Absorption)
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Cardiovascular System
  • Neuromuscular System
  • Weight Loss
  • Autoimmune Diseases (Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, Arthritis) Treatment
How Does the Body Make Vitamin-D?

The primary source of Vitamin-D is through synthesis in the skin from UV rays from the sun as follows:

  1. 7-dehydrocholesterol – a cholesterol derivative in the skin, is photolyzed by UV from the sun. The electrocyclic reaction produces pre-Vitamin D3.
  2. Pre-Vitamin D3 – is isomerized to cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3) in a spontaneous reaction in the body. The isomerization of pre-vitamin D3 to Vitamin D3 takes about 12 days at room temperature.
  3. Calcidiol (25(OH)D) – is formed when cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3) is hydroxylated in the liver by the catalyst Vitamin D25-hydroxlyase (produced in hepatocytes). 
  4. Plasma Binding – the calcidiol is released into the plasma where it is bound to an α-globulin, which is the  Vitamin D-Binding Protein (VDBP).
  5. Calcitriol (1,25(OH)2D) – formed in the kidneys as the calcidiol is hydroxylated in the proximal tubules. This reaction is catalyzed by the 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 1-alpha-hydroxylase. The catalyst levels are increased as parathyroid hormone increase and as calcium or phosphate levels decrease.
  6. Alternate Production Mechanism of Calcitriol – monocyte-macrophages in the immune system can also act as a catalyst in the calcidiol-to-calcitriol conversion. In this process, calcitriol acts as a cytokine at the spot of production, as the body’s defense against microbial infections.
  7. Vitamin-D-Receptor (VDR) – mediates the action of calcitriol
Vitamin-D-Receptor (VDR)

As a nuclear receptor, the Vitamin D Receptor (VDR) are present in most organs, including:

  • Brain
  • Heart
  • Skin
  • Gonads
  • Prostate
  • Breasts
Calcium and phosphorous levels are maintained in the blood as VDR is activated in the cells of the:
  • Intestines
  • Bones
  • Kidneys
  • Parathyroid Gland
This VDR activation is also responsible for maintaining bone content. Also involved in cell proliferation and differentiation, VDRs are expressed in some white blood cells (monocytes and activated T & B cells).
Foods with Vitamin-D

There are a number of foods that provide Vitamin-D naturally in International Units (IU):

  • Catfish:  3 ounces = 425 IU
  • Salmon:  3.5 ounces = 360 IU
  • Mackerel:  3.5 ounces = 345 IU
  • Tuna:  3.5 ounces = 235 IU (canned in oil)
  • Egg:  60grams = 20 IU
  • Beef Liver:  3.5 ounces = 15 IU
  • Cod Liver Oil:  1 Tablespoon = 1360 IU

Vitamin-D Supplements

For the dreary months, when your body does not absorb as much sun, your Vitamin-D levels may tend to drop below optimum levels. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), USA discovered that 7.6 million US children is Vitamin-D deficient. The same survey found that an additional 50.8 million children were Vitamin-D insufficient. Lead author of this study, Juhi Kumar, M.D., M.P.H (fellow in pediatrics at Children’s Hospital at Montefiore Medical Center, The University Hospital and Academic Medical Center for Albert Einstein College of Medicine) stated:

We expected the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency would be high, but the magnitude of the problem nationwide was shocking.       (http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/159668.php)

Although you can try to maintain your body’s Vitamin-D levels through dietary consumption, many  doctors recommend using high-grade Vitamin-D supplements. A simple blood test can determine the serum levels of Vitamin-D in your body. It is strongly recommended that you seek advice from your physician concerning the quantity of Vitamin-D supplements necessary for your specific needs.


 

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7- Keto and Weight Loss?

Thursday Aug 18, 2011 | Jeff Sherman | Comments Off on 7- Keto and Weight Loss?

7-Keto is a weight loss supplement that is a metabolite of Dihydroepiandrosterone (DHEA).

DHEA (noun): 1. DiHydroEpinAndrosterone; 2. an endogenous steroid that has been implicated in a broad range of biological effects in humans and other mammals. DHEA is produced by the adrenal glands, gonads and the brain. (Wikipedia)

DHEA is naturally occurring in the human body and has been associated with treatment of:

  • Depression – DHEA antagonizes the production of cortisol
  • Memory – effective in treatment of short-term memory in healthy young males
  • Fertility – has been used in conjunction with fertility medications to increase the chromosomal integrity of eggs
  • Cardiovascular Disease – some studies have reported a lower risk of cardiovascular disease with increased levels
  • Diabetes – restores the oxidative balance in diabetic patients, which reduces tissue levels of pentosidine
  • Weight Loss – used as a weight loss supplement
7-Keto and Weight Loss

As DHEA breaks down (metabolizes) in the body, one of the products is 3-acety.-7-oxo-dehydroepiandrosterone (7-Keto-DHEA). For healthy adults with decreased DHEA serum levels, generally have low 7-Keto levels as well. Because the metabolite (7-Keto) does not convert into either testosterone or estrogen, the supplements are much safer than DHEA. The primary benefits of 7-Keto-DHEA are as follows:

  • Thermogenesis – 7-Keto is a fat burning compound. The heat supplied by your body during metabolism: as thermogenesis increases, so does fat burning and ultimately metabolism. This effective increase in metabolism will burn calories more quickly. A double-blind study published in “Current Therapeutic Research” revealed that overweight adults, consuming 1,800 calories/day, exercising 45 minutes three times a week,  and taking 7-Keto supplements lost an average of 4.24 pounds more than the control group (not taking 7-Keto). Body fat loss in the 7-Keto group averaged 1.8% as opposed to 0.57% in the control group. There was an increase in T3 levels in the 7-Keto patients, although the rates remained within normal limits.
  • Immune System Modulation – in addition to a Czech study that indicated 7-Keto’s reduction of cortisol in the system, the Minnesota Applied Research Center and Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center in Minneapolis (2004) report that the immune system in men and women over 65 are improved with 7-Keto. The four-week study included 22 women and 20 men; each taking either 7-Keto or a placebo twice daily. The 7-Keto group showed significant increases in immune helper cells and significant decrease in immune suppressor cells. An increase in neutrophils (white blood cells) was also indicated.
Side Effects

With virtually no side effects, 7-Keto is a safe weight loss supplement. No increase in testosterone or estrogen levels is indicated when taking as much as 200 mg/day for eight weeks. Be advised that there are no long term studies to demonstrate the effects of 7-Keto on humans.

Because of the increased levels of T3, both the heart and bone mass could, theoretically be adversely affected. It is strongly recommended that you seek permission from your physician before taking 7-Keto (or any dietary supplement). This is especially important in patients with thyroid disorders or who are taking any thyroid hormones.

The only side effect reported is feeling jittery. This could be an indication of an underlying thyroid disorder. If you do experience a jittery feeling when taking 7-Keto, seek the advice of a physician immediately. To date, there have been no reports of drug interactions with 7-Keto, however, it is strongly advised that you seek permission from your physician before taking.

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The History of Fish Oil as a Beneficial Health Supplement

Sunday Jul 31, 2011 | Jeff Sherman | Comments Off on The History of Fish Oil as a Beneficial Health Supplement

Fish oil has been used throughout history within fishing communities. Specifically, 16th century English fishermen used fish oil to treat a variety of health issues:

  • Wounds
  • Colds
  • Skin Diseases
  • Body Aches
Today we understand that fish oil contains Omega-3 fatty acids that are beneficial in treatment and prevention of numerous diseases.

Research

Studies conducted on Greenland Eskimos by Dutch scientists in the 1970s revealed that a diet including high-fat fish is extremely beneficial. The study indicated an extremely low incidence of cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks, was due to the Greenland Eskimo’s daily consumption of fish. Fish skin, which provides the Omega-3 fatty acids, is also high in the anti-inflammatories Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA).

Benefits of Fish Oil

In addition to the initial observance that fish oil is effective for treating cardiovascular disease, it has proven an effective for:

  1. Treating Depression/Bi-Polar Disorder, including Post-Partum Depression
  2. Reducing Cholesterol Levels
  3. Reducing Triglyceride Levels
  4. Reducing Inflammation
  5. Treatment of Skin Diseases
  6. Weight Loss
  7. Improving Brain Function
  8. Increasing Focus
  9. Improving Vision
  10. Treatment of Muscle Aches
  11. Relieving Symptoms of Chron’s Disease and Colitis
  12. Treatment of Ulcers
Fish oil is thought to be effective for:
  1. Slowing Breast Tumor Growth
  2. Easing Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease
If that isn’t enough, Iam’s Dog Food research states that fish oil, especially during the first month’s of a pup’s life provides many benefits to development and health including: brain development; improves vision; increases trainability.

Fish With Highest Levels of Omega-3s

The best fish to include in your regular diet that provide the highest levels of Omega-3 Fatty Acids are:

  • Wild Alaskan Salmon – farmed salmon negatively impacts natural sources
  • Arctic Char (Iwana) – wild or farmed
  • Atlantic Mackerel – not Spanish or King because mercury content is extremely high
  • Sardines – wild or canned (wild sardines do not contain high levels of mercury due to size)
  • Sablefish (Black Cod) – wild caught only off Alaska or British Columbia to prevent capture of other species
  • Anchovies – any species; small enough that contamination is not a concern
  • Oysters (Kaki) – wild or farmed
  • Rainbow Trout – only farmed, as wild sources (Great Lakes) have been overfished; children should limit to 2-3 servings per month because of high levels of PCB’s 
  • Albacore Tuna – only from U.S. or Canada that practice safe methods to avoid catching other species; moderate mercury contamination should limit children to 3-meals/month.
  • Mussels (Murugai) – since farmed mussels are raised with no impact on environment, this is the best choice
  • Pacific Halibut
Unless you are prepared to eat a minimum of 3-4 ounces of fish (as listed) every day, you will likely not maintain therapeutic levels of fish oil in your system. To sustain optimum level of Omega-3s in your body, fish oil supplements are a great source. Be certain that the supplements you choose are pharmaceutical grade, like Dr. S’s EPA/DHA FISH OIL supplements, to assure reaping the full benefits of the Omega-3s.

 

 

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What is a Limey? The History of Vitamin-C

Wednesday Jul 27, 2011 | Jeff Sherman | Comments Off on What is a Limey? The History of Vitamin-C

As early as 1512, Spanish explorer, Ponce de Leon was introduced to the healing qualities of ascorbic acid. When Native Americans shared sassafras tea with scurvy-ridden sailors, within 6-days, all symptoms had cleared. It was not until the 17th century that British Naval Surgeon, tested the effects of citrus on scurvy. He found that sailors given 1 lemon or orange per day resisted the disease, while those not receiving citrus fell victim to scurvy. As a result, concentrated lemon syrup became a staple in every Naval Surgeon’s medical kit. The Brits called the concoction ‘lime’, and British sailors were coined as ‘Limeys’.

It was not until 1928 that Vitamin-C was isolated and named by biochemist, Albert Szent-Gyorgyi. Gyorgyi isolated Vitamin-C in Hungarian paprika. Even then, it was not until the 1940s-1950s that Vitamin-C was manufactured in large doses; used to treat polio and other viral diseases.

Emergence of Vitamin-C in the Health Industry

The controversial  publication “Vitamin C, the Common Cold & the Flu”, written in 1970 by Linus Pauling, was the first to indicate that Vitamin-C is beneficial in larger quantities than current medical practitioners believed. Prior to Pauling’s publication, it was believed that only small quantities were needed. Pauling co-wrote a paper with Ewan Cameron (a Scottish surgeon) about Vitamin-C with regards to cancer. Cameron had anecdotal evidence that large quantities (up to 10 g) of the vitamin shrank some tumors. The paper was published by Oncology magazine after being rejected by the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences.

Through the 1980s, Robert F. Cathcart III, M.D. studied the effects of Vitamin-C on treatment of infections, immune disorders, arthritis and even AIDS. He developed the method to determine the correct amount of Vitamin-C required for treatment of any illness or disease. After numerous studies regarding Vitamin-C, the Recommended Daily Allowance was established as 60 mg/day in 1989. Studies through the late-1980s included areas including (but not limited to):

  • Neurochemistry
  • Epidemiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
All of these studies were released through the New York Academy of Sciences Third Conference. Released at the same time were studies conducted with safety issues concerning Vitamin-C and on the following diseases:
  • Diabetes
  • Cataracts (other eye diseases as well)
  • Free Radicals
  • Metabolic Requirements

Natural Sources of Vitamin-C

Vitamin-C can be found in many fruits and vegetables:

> Citrus Fruits (lemons, limes, oranges, etc.)

> Melons (watermelon, cantaloupe, casaba, etc.)

> Berries (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, rasberries, etc.)

> Other Fruits (kiwi, papaya, black currants, etc.)

> Leafy Green Vegetables (spinach, collard greens, etc.)

> Raw Vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, etc.)

Although it is not difficult to sustain the RDA of 60 mg/day through your diet, to maintain the optimum suggested level of 500 mg/day could be difficult. As such, premium Vitamin-C supplements are strongly recommended by physicians to maintain levels.

A better way to take vitamin C:

Ascorbyl Palmitate is an ester formed from ascorbic acid and palmitic acid creating a fat-soluble form of vitaminC. Unlike ascorbic acid , which is water-soluble, ascorbyl Palmitate is not. Consequently ascorbyl Palmitate can be stored in cell membranes until it is required by the body. Many people think vitamin C (ascorbyl Palmitate) is only used for immune support, but it has many other important functions. A major role of vitamin C is in manufacturing collagen, a protein that forms the basis of connective tissue – the most abundant tisse in the body yes including (your face). Ascorbyl Palmitate is an effective free radical scavenging antioxidant which promotes skin health and vitality. Ascorbyl Palmitate, working at the cell membrane, has been shown to provide antioxidant action comparable or even greater than, that of vitamin E. It also acts synergistically with vitamin E, helping to regenerate the vitamin E radical on a constant basis.  My Book

 

 

 

 

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3 Most Important Benefits of Yoga

Friday Jul 22, 2011 | Jeff Sherman | Comments Off on 3 Most Important Benefits of Yoga

In Western culture, we often think of seemingly impossible poses when Yoga is mentioned. The fact of the matter is that the poses practiced in Yoga is but 1-branch of this ancient Indian philosophy. Yoga is dedicated to achieving a union of the practitioner’s body, mind and spirit.

More than stretching and meditation, yoga is the philosophy of “right living”; the foundations of which were recorded circa 200 A.D. by Patanjali in The Yoga Sutra. Considered a sacred text, the writings of Patanjali explores the mind and its inner workings, providing the 8-step (limb) process for achieving peace:

  1. Yama = Universal Morality
  2. Niyama = Personal Observances
  3. Asanas = Body Postures
  4. Pranayama = Breathing Exercises & Control of  Energy (Prana)
  5. Pratyahara = Control of Senses
  6. Dharana = Concentration & Cultivation of Inner Perception
  7. Dhyana = Devotion & Meditation on the Divine
  8. Samadhi = Union with the Divine
The true practice of yoga does not consider any 1-limb more important than the others. Generally, the intricacies of the 8-limbs are limited to those who have adopted yoga as a way of life. For purposes of this discussion, focus will be limited to limbs 3 (postures) & 4 (breathing).
Westernized Yoga
Most yoga practiced in the Western hemisphere is focused on learning poses, breathing and in some cases meditation. As yoga classes can be designed purely to promote relaxation, there are many classes designed to teach new body movements. With a variety of styles available to the novice and accomplished practitioner, it is important that you choose the right class for you.
Always remember: yoga is not a competition! Just because your _____ (fill in the blank) can bend their body into a pretzel, that need not be your goal. You may actually find that the ‘best’ instructor for one person does not suit your needs. Try out several classes before deciding which style is best for you. Once you have found the perfect style (for you!), there are numerous benefits to be reaped!
1.  Flexibility
Regardless your age, improving your flexibility is never a bad thing! Quash the fears that you are too old – yoga poses (asana) provide safe, gentle stretching of muscles. Lactic acid, released with stretching, built-up in the muscles can cause:
  • Stiffness
  • Tension
  • Pain
  • Fatigue
Releasing the lactic acid can relieve each of the conditions associated with excessive build-up. Furthermore, asanas are thought to increase joint lubrication, resulting in a overall increase in fluidity and ease of motion.
All soft tissues in your body are gently stretched while practicing yoga including:
  • Ligaments
  • Tendons
  • Fascia Sheath (surrounding muscles)
Regardless the level of yoga you practice, you can see dramatic improvement within 8-weeks! Studies have shown an improvement of 35% in flexibility after 8-weeks, with greatest improvement in the shoulder and trunk areas.
2.  Strength
Every style of yoga shows improvement in core strength. While the more vigorous styles (ashtanga, power, etc) will assist with muscle tone improvement, even lower impact styles (lyengar, hatha, etc.) also improve strength and endurance. Each pose provides benefits for the body, for example:
  • Upper Body Strength – upward dog, downward dog, plank
  • Lower Back Strength – upward dog, chair
  • Hamstrings, Quadriceps, Abdominal Strength – most standing poses
This is merely an example of poses and their respective benefits. As we age, improving core strength is strongly recommended to support the body’s more fragile frame.
3.  Posture
Posture improves as flexibility and strength increase. Increased core strength, from most sitting and standing poses, definitely improve posture. As your abdominal and back muscles strengthen, you will not fatigue when standing ‘tall’, eliminating the slump in your posture.
Results
By improving your strength, flexibility and posture, you will not only look and feel better, other benefits will become evident as well. Circulation will improve as cortisol levels are decreased from:
  • Deep Breathing Exercises
  • Meditation
  • Relaxation
  • Concentration
This reduction of cortisol will both improve circulation and decrease stress!

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Important of protein in your breakfast

Wednesday Jul 13, 2011 | Dr. Said | Comments Off on Important of protein in your breakfast

Protein is one of the necessary components for human body growth and repair. Protein is also essential in making and maintaining enzymes, antibodies, and blood. The human body needs 22 amino acid. Of the 22 necessary, nine cannot be made by the body and are called essential amino acid. The body manufactures the 13 non-essential amino acid. Foods containing all of the nine essential amino acid are called complete proteins. Protein is the building block for our muscles, ligaments, tendons, teeth, nails and skin. By eating a breakfast high in protein, not only does one increase satiety and reduce hunger throughout the day, but it reduces the brain signals controlling food motivation and reward-driven eating behavior. Heather J. Leidy, from University of Missouri (Missouri, USA), and colleagues assessed physiological hunger and satiety by measuring perceived appetite sensations and hormonal markers in combination with psychological reward-driven motivation to eat, using functional MRI imaging (fMRI) to identify brain activation in specific regions related to food motivation and reward. The researchers focused on teenagers, who often skip breakfast:  breakfast skipping has been strongly associated with unhealthy snacking, overeating (especially at night), weight gain and obesity.  For three weeks, the teens either continued to skip breakfast or consumed 500-calorie breakfast meals containing cereal and milk (which contained normal quantities of protein) or higher protein meals prepared as Belgium waffles, syrup and yogurt. At the end of each week, the volunteers completed appetite and satiety questionnaires. Right before lunch, the volunteers completed a brain scan, using fMRI, to identify brain activation responses. Compared to breakfast skipping, both breakfast meals led to increased fullness and reductions in hunger throughout morning. fMRI results showed that brain activation in regions controlling food motivation and reward was reduced prior to lunch time when breakfast was consumed in the morning.  Additionally, the higher protein breakfast led to even greater changes in appetite, satiety and reward-driven eating behavior compared to the normal protein breakfast.   The team concludes that: “The addition of breakfast led to alterations in brain activation in regions previously associated with food motivation and reward with additional alterations following the higher-protein breakfast.”

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Why detoxification so critical to your health

Thursday Jun 2, 2011 | Dr. Said | Comments Off on Why detoxification so critical to your health

Everyday toxins invade our bodies from food we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink and the cell-phone we use . With more than 80,000 chemicals used in the United States and 2,000 new compounds being introduced every year, the average American is exposed to a cocktail of chemicals. These toxins usually build up to unhealthy levels and weaken our immune system, causing us to be more susceptible to illness and disease.

If you regularly experience three or more of the symptoms on this list “It’s time to detox.”

Overweight
Tired or sluggish
Depression or mood swings
Gas,bloating,indigestion or constipation
Less than one bowel movement per day
Brittle or weak fingernails
Concentration difficulties
Sleeping disorders
Persistent colds and /or flu

IF you were perfectly healthy, your body would detox itself every day. If the body becomes overwhelmed and cannot detox itself naturally, then the process of cell reproduction is comprised and that spells big trouble. Over saturation means the body cannot detox fast enough, and it starts to make choices about what it needs to take care of first. Let’s say you are fighting a cold. Your body will fight the cold and leave toxins alone in other parts of the body. Let’s say you ate too much at a turkey dinner and you have too much to digest. Some of what you are will stay with you longer than it should. I tell my patients that they need to detox their bodies two times a year, much like see their dentist for a cleaning. Even though you brush and floss every day, you still make that extra effort. Your body needs the same type of maintenance.

Why detox?

  • More than one-third of individuals born in the U.S. in the year 2000 are expected to develop diabetes.
  • In 2008, 64.5% of Americans were overweight and 30.5% were obese.
  • Prevalence of depression and age-adjusted prevalence of osteoporosis are increasing.
  • Congestive heart failure increased by 118% from 1979 to 1992.
  • Migraine prevalence increased from 1980 to 1989.
  • Asthma increased 75% from 1980 to 1999.

And if you don’t think these statistics are affecting you personally, think again

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Tags: , Adrenal, Antioxidant, cardiovascular Health, Diabetic, Digestive, General Health, Immune System, Organ, Thyroid