Friday, April 22, 2011

Healthy Help for Elimination

A daily dose of dried plums (prunes) is more effective for constipation relief than the soluble fiber psyllium, say results from a randomized clinical trial. The study showed that daily prune consumption significantly improved spontaneous bowel movements per week, compared with psyllium.

For effective support, try  PaleoFiber™, a combination of natural fibers derived from fruits, vegetables, roots, seeds, and tree extracts with added friendly bacteria and prebiotics, available through Health & Nutrition at AHC. 

SOURCE: Randomised clinical trial: dried plums (prunes) vs. psyllium for constipation

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Mind/Body Medicine

What is Mind/Body Medicine?

Mind/body medicine is an approach to healing that uses the power of thoughts and emotions to influence physical health. As Hippocrates once wrote, "The natural healing force within each one of us is the greatest force in getting well." This is the essence of mind/body medicine.

Does Mind/Body Medicine work?
While phrases such as "mind over matter" have been around for years, only recently have scientists found solid evidence that mind-body techniques actually do combat disease and promote health. In 1989, a landmark study by David Spiegel, M.D. at Stanford University School of Medicine dramatically demonstrated the power of the mind to heal. Of 86 women with late-stage breast cancer, half received standard medical care while the other half received the standard care plus weekly support sessions in which the women were able to share both their grief and their triumphs. Spiegel discovered that the women who participated in the social support group lived twice as long as the women who did not.

What are Mind/Body Techniques?
The key to any mind/body technique is to "train" the mind to focus on the body without distraction. It is in this state of "focused concentration" that an individual may be able to change his or her health. The following are some of the most commonly practiced techniques.

Biofeedback: Biofeedback is a technique in which people are trained to improve their health by learning to control certain internal bodily processes that normally occur involuntarily, such as heart rate or blood pressure. These activities can be measured with electrodes and displayed on a monitor that both the participant and his or her practitioner can see. The monitor thereby provides feedback to the participant about the internal workings of his or her body. This person can then be taught to use this information to gain control over these "involuntary" activities. Biofeedback is an effective therapy for many conditions, but it is primarily used to treat tension headache, migraine headache, and chronic pain.

Relaxation Techniques: There are three major types of relaxation techniques:
  • Autogenic training. This technique uses both visual imagery and body awareness to move a person into a deep state of relaxation. The person imagines a peaceful place and then focuses on different physical sensations, moving from the feet to the head. For example, one might focus on warmth and heaviness in the limbs, easy, natural breathing, a calm heartbeat, and a cool forehead.
  • Progressive muscle relaxation. This technique involves slowly tensing and then releasing each muscle group individually, starting with the muscles in the toes and finishing with those in the head.
  • Meditation. The two most popular forms of meditation in the U.S. include Transcendental Meditation (students repeat a mantra [a single word or phrase], maintaining an "oh well" attitude if other thoughts arise) and mindfulness meditation (students focus their attention on their moment-by-moment thoughts and sensations).
Hypnosis: During hypnosis (taken from the Greek term hypnos, meaning "sleep") a person's body relaxes while his or her thoughts become more focused and attentive. It is in this state of deep concentration that people are highly responsive to a hypnotherapist's suggestions. There are three layers of hypnosis: the first is absorption (becoming deeply engaged in the words or images presented by a hypnotherapist); the second is dissociation (letting go of critical thoughts); and the third is responsiveness (complying whole-heartedly to a hypnotherapist's suggestions). Today, many mental health professionals use hypnosis to treat people with addictions, pain, anxiety disorders, and phobias.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Omega-3 Fatty Acids have Anti-Inflammatory Action

While inflammation is in fact a protective and restorative response to injury, excessive or prolonged inflammation can cause many chronic health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. The classic signs of inflammation -local redness, swelling, heat, pain, and loss of function - are caused and regulated by the activity of a large number of chemical mediators called eicosanoids.

Eicosanoids consist of different hormones that are responsible for numerous cellular functions within the body. There are pro-inflammatory eicosanoids (i.e., those that encourage inflammation) and anti-inflammatory eicosanoids (i.e., those that discourage inflammation).

The production of pro- and anti-inflammatory eicosanoids depends on the type and amount of fatty acids that we consume. Because the standard American diet is rich in fatty acids that heavily promote the production pro-inflammatory eicosanoids, numerous health challenges can arise.

Fortunately, many substances - including the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) found in cold-water fish?have been shown to simultaneously inhibit the production of pro-inflammatory eicosanoids and promote the production of anti-inflammatory eicosanoids. For this reason, supplementation with EPA and DHA may provide a safe and natural way to reduce inflammation and promote overall health.

This year, Advanced Health & Nutrition is partnering with Metagenics and Vitamin Angels by sponsoring  Operation 20/20 - an outreach program dedicated to reducing child mortality worldwide by connecting essential nutrients, especially Vit A, with infants and children under 5. Many children go blind, simply because of poor nutrition. We can now do something to make a difference in helping these children!

Every 2 bottles of EPA and/or DHA supplements you purchase through us will fund nutritional support for 1 yr for a child in need. Help us help a child!

SOURCE: Am J Clin Nutr 2000;71(Suppl):S343-S48.

Advanced Nutrition Publications ©2002

Friday, April 1, 2011

Is There Something "Fishy" About Your Fish Oil?

Is There Something "Fishy" About Your Fish Oil?

What you need to know isn’t on the label. Purity and quality of fish oil supplements (omega-3s, EPA, DHA) is a growing public concern. High quality supplements have the potential to offer wonderful health support. But lesser quality products may contain potentially harmful levels of compounds that negatively impact health—or not work or taste as well as they should.
  • Contamination. Some fish oil products may contain excessive levels of harmful toxins.
  • Country of origin. Some products are manufactured in countries with less consistent quality standards.
  • Rancidity. Fish oil is unstable and can quickly become spoiled and oxidized, which can be bad for your health.
  • Low potency. Some products may contain lower levels of omega-3s than promised on labels.
  • Fishy aftertaste. Fish oil supplements don’t have to taste (or smell) like fish to work well.
You see why it’s important to know what’s behind the label. Is it a preferred source (location, type of fish, responsible fishing methods)? What are the purity standards? Who does the testing? Where is it made? Is it protected against rancidity? How does it taste?

The hard investigative work has already been done for you. Schedule a visit to discuss personalized recommendations for great-tasting, quality fish oils without the worry—and the strength to give the support you need.


Join us in saving lives. With every 2 bottles of fish oil you purchase from us, you help a child in need. In partnership with Metagenics and Vitamin Angels, we are engaged in Operation 20/20 - an outreach program aimed at reducing child mortality and eradicating childhood blindness. Every 2 bottles you purchase of any of our high quality fish oil supplements from Metagenics will fund nutritional support for 1 year for a child in need.