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Posts from the ‘natural treatment’ Category

Healthy lifestyle habits that put you at risk for undesirable side effects

We live in a global environment: any news flies around the planet in seconds and that includes fake promises, expectations and lies about healing miracles. It is quite difficult to distinguish between scientifically proven truth and assumptions on which many potential cures are based.

Why does that happen? We have to understand that in nowadays profit-taking world it is not consumers’ health that always comes first. While many companies which intend to manufacture health promoting products start out honestly, there are also very many companies that use the consumers’ trust in miracles in their favor. TV and media advertising do not promote only good and well-tested products: they will advertise anything that looks like it might be true and brings in money.

Considering the epidemic obesity rates, which include early childhood and young age obesity, abnormally high numbers of patients with cardiovascular and cerebrovascular, as well as heart diseases, not to mention cancer epidemics, people need something promising. TV, phone, laptop and computer screens scream to us: vitamins and supplements are the answer!

This era is also characterized by extreme efforts trying to maintain youthful look and energy, as well as live and stay active longer. There was no long-term research present when the first statements about the beneficial use of synthetic vitamins and supplements as our daily routine were made publicly available. Since the naturally occurring vitamins, amino acids and minerals played such an important role in functioning of our body and mind, it was simply believed that more of these nutrients are better. It was believed that the source of these nutrients was not the most important aspect.

adjustment-and-vitamins-017

For how many decades now have you heard from your doctor: just take some multivitamins, use omega-3 or fish oils, don’t forget vitamin C and E; obviously we all suffer from lack of vitamin D and calcium, so these should not be forgotten either? That has become such an indisputable healthy life-style feature that you will find hardly any person in the developed countries who hasn’t been on lots of vitamins and supplements at some moment of their life.

The CONCERN ABOUT OVERUSE OF SYNTHETIC VITAMINS and SUPPLEMENTS is growing with every new clinical trial that has been carried out to observe whether there are any significant benefits from such synthetic supplement use. The findings are shocking at some point. While almost everybody knows by now that multivitamin use did not result in any health benefits, not everybody is still aware that over-the-counter supplements do not do what they are supposed to, as well.

Millions of people reach every day for their calcium or vitamin D3 pill, or combination thereof.  Here is a quote from Science Daily (summary of a clinical trial): “Taking calcium in the form of supplements may raise the risk of plaque buildup in arteries and heart damage, although a diet high in calcium-rich foods appears be protective, say researchers at conclusion of their study that analyzed 10 years of medical tests on more than 2,700 people.”

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/10/161011182621.htm

Almost everybody over 50 believes that taking calcium supplements will aid in avoiding bone fractures and loss of bone mass and its mineral density: osteoporosis. That is not the only review; there are quite a few clinical trial conclusions that state the same: calcium in the form of a synthetic supplement does not provide with the same effects as consumption of dietary calcium, calcium naturally occurring in food products.

Meticulous testing showed that most of calcium taken as supplements did not even get to the bones: it was partially excreted with urine (hypercalciuria was quite common among calcium supplement users) and also calcium spikes were observed which does not happen with calcium-rich food intake. Judging by tests which showed no improvement with bone density, researchers believe that the other part of synthetic calcium dose is absorbed by soft tissue which explains arterial plagues and calcification of arteries. Calcium spikes were also responsible for heart conditions. Strokes and coronary artery blockages occurred much more frequently in those taking high doses of synthetic calcium supplements. Moreover, there was not observed decrease in fractures or osteoporosis.

Journal of the American Heart Association  https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/10/161011182621.htm

Quote: “Because of the widespread awareness and treatment of osteoporosis with calcium supplements among older adults, this population would appear to be at greater risk of developing the adverse consequences of positive calcium balance, including vascular calcification.”

 “Calcium may be involved in pathogenesis of CVD (cardiovascular diseases) through multiple pathways, including through influences in lipid metabolism, insulin secretion and sensitivity, inflammation, thrombosis, regulation of body weight, and vascular calcification.”

The same goes for so much widely popularized omega-3 or healthy fatty acids. The evidence from many clinical trials exploring different conditions, such as omega-3 effects on cardiovascular and heart diseases, strokes and heart attacks, impact on brain function and delays of age-related dementia, rheumatoid arthritis and quite a few others, is very unconvincing. The widespread assumption that fatty acids may help delaying onset of some heart conditions, eye degeneration, brain malfunction and prevent cancers has no strong scientific evidence. It was noted that people who lived far north and consumed mostly fish suffered less from the above mentioned conditions. It wasn’t taken into account that their physical loads may be way different or their environment might be almost pollution-free. Therefore, it was soon assumed (and that was based on the facts that human body does not produce omega-3 fatty acids, therefore they have to be consumed) that synthetically processed omega-3 might contribute to higher levels of absorbed omega-3 fatty acids. We know by now that more is not better. MORE SUPPLEMENTS that exceed the daily allowance for such doses can cause significant health risks. Omega-3 fatty acids interact with medications, as well. If you are taking fish oil, especially fish liver oil, vitamin D and vitamin E, you are at significantly higher risk for bleeding. When all these supplements are combined with blood thinning medications (anticoagulants) that many people take to prevent thrombosis or heart attacks, the outcome might be seriously bad because the blood clotting will be significantly affected.

None of the previously carried out clinical trials about benefits of supplemented omega-3 use has provided with statistically significant proof that such use is beneficial for any of these conditions, but healthy life style and consumption of omega-3 fatty acids from clean food sources is. Therefore, it is much more advisable to eat good food and stay away from supplements, unless your doctor has prescribed them. That might be a drug form that is different from the over-the-counter form and, therefore, it might work for you. Uncontrolled use of any kind of supplements when somebody is already on prescription medications can be DANGEROUS  and it CAN AFFECT THE WAY YOUR PRESCRIPTION MEDICATION WORKS. Always consult a doctor, assuming your doctor is aware of the newest scientific discoveries and follows up on developments in the area of synthetic vitamins and synthetic supplements.

US National Institute of Health publication https://nccih.nih.gov/health/omega3/introduction.htm

The truth is that synthetic supplements have a different chemical composition; it is not the same respective vitamin or mineral which we are absorbing from food. Therefore, the metabolism pathways and the way this supplement or vitamin act and behave in the body are not completely known. It is also believed that vitamins and minerals from natural sources work the way they do because food usually contains a set or combination of minerals, amino acids and vitamins in their natural form which is recognized by the body; and this recognition is due to the program which is set by our very individual DNA.

Next articles will review the problems with synthetic antioxidants, vitamin E (the only synthetic form which is available at pharmacies: alpha-tocopherol), vitamin C and some other supplements. If you do not know where to look for supplement and vitamin recalls (there are quite a lot of them), google Health Canada and FDA websites. Such lists are publicly available.

 

 

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Food for brain: feed your happiness, not depression

Do you sometimes think that everything you eat can make you happy, full of energy and joy, or upset, depressed and exhausted? The truth is, feeding our brain the right way will provide us with more power to overcome bad days, allow to have much fewer bad days and to feel better and less stressed out or anxious.

We are aware by now that we can successfully teach and exercise our emotions and feelings provided the chemical reactions and levels of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters are in balance. However, we rarely think, that food we consume and nutrients we provide our body with have an extremely huge impact on our mental state, emotions, feelings and ability to determine whether we are having more bad or good days. Among the most important brain chemicals are serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, melatonin, insulin and prostaglandins.

Due to external and internal stresses, many people might complain about very long-lasting mild depression. I have heard recently many saying they experience a seasonal affective disorder. Well, we all do to some extent if any nutrients are lacking in our diet and we don’t give an appropriate boost of those.

I used to have extremely bad intolerance to winter darkness and was upset most of the time when the weather was cold and I couldn’t get enough air and sunlight. I had sort of no energy to deal with any issues. I refused jobs just because I didn’t feel I could handle them. As many of you know, I’ve devoted many years to medical research, writing and analysis of patient data and symptoms; therefore, I have come to conclusions that everything which is within us affects everything from our physical condition to our mental states.

Digestive and metabolism disorders heavily affect the balance of brain chemicals. For instance, most of serotonin is produced in our gut and during the sleep. It’s extremely simple: people who have good metabolism and no noticeable lack of nutrients and who take their time to rest and pay attention to long enough and good sleep, shouldn’t be having too many bad days either.

How about external stressors which do not depend on us? Like the angry voice of your boss or piles of work that needs to be done, but you’re stuck in a traffic jam, or kids insisting you do one thing, husband being grumpy about something else while you’d rather do nothing of that, but something totally different you believe you need at the moment? That’s exactly the same story: we have built in coping mechanisms, and when our brain chemicals are in good balance, when we do have our thyroid and adrenal glands not working in hypo-or hiper- regimen, these coping mechanisms can work properly, too. That is why you will see in the same situation one person laughing, the other person ignoring this situation completely, but the third one will be crying or going crazy. It’s not exactly their personality that causes these reactions; it’s how well they are prepared for dealing with any issues.

Happiness starts in the gut

Everything starts in the gut. When we are treating a mood disorder or mild depression with strong medicines, alcohol, drugs and comfort food, we are aiming for side effects and reactions which we actually want to avoid. The New Year is almost at our door step and holiday season is in full swing, so alcohol consumption is high. Your liver does not care how beautiful the cocktail looks or how expensive the drink is: once the processing starts, a big label “toxins” is assigned to the contents of the decorated drink. Many pre-processed foods, soft drinks and food with high content of artificial ingredients get assigned the same label: “toxins”. When we add to this some damage which over years has happened to parts of our body that take care of removing any toxins and leftovers, the picture becomes quite clear: these toxins are going nowhere, but accumulating straight within us, poisoning our mood, destroying our chemical balance and making levels of brain chemicals significantly off. Therefore, it should be very easy to understand: treating bad mood with a pill, drug, alcohol or sweets is absolutely wrong. This means relieving symptoms for a short-term while, in fact, we need a long-term adjustment and correction to the cause of all these disorders and imbalances. That’s how we get caught in a roller coaster of sweets and sugars that we decorate with a glass of wine or champagne.

Happiness starts with food 5

Artificial supplements and drug store vitamins might not always get absorbed as good as the ones which come from the real sources, just because your ancient DNA and your body recognizes them much better.

If you love engaging in writing New Year’s resolutions, the first and the most important item should address the BALANCE: balanced activities, balanced sleep-awake periods, balanced intake of nutrients, balanced body processes, balanced reactions due to balanced metabolism. Everything else is secondary.

Happiness starts with food 6

I love not only eating vegetables, but I’m extremely happy to take their pictures, as well. This activity alone lifts my mood. I paint these things quite often also: beautiful shapes, colors, it’s pleasure for eyes, as well.

Therapeutic horticulture for realistic optimists: one step closer to good life

I would like to suggest implementing a few positive activities in our daily routine.

We can certainly find happiness within ourselves, but since we are also very social creatures, our happiness, feeling of fulfillment, pride, love, satisfaction with life and desire to embrace life as is will quite often depend on relationships, appreciation of other people and interactions with them whether in a small family circle, in a larger social group or even global context. Therefore, we need a strong support. A strong something to hold on, or somebody who is always up to the challenge, who we can always rely on, who we can trust completely.

There is a person who we can always count on. This person is us. It can be extremely hard to make somebody else feel happy and satisfied with the current life settings if the situation is far from brilliant. However, it is practically always possible to make ourselves satisfied with life.

In order to avoid disappointments, I’d say we should

rely on ourselves whenever possible;

ask for support and advice people who we trust when we feel lost, and

always treat the situation realistically and appropriately.

horticulture find happiness in your backyard

Plenty of people suffer from pain, severe disorders, stress, nervousness, anxiety, sleeplessness, mental disorders, obesity, diabetes, liver or kidney diseases, cardiac and vascular illnesses, post-disease traumas and simply fear from life once they have experienced unpleasant treatment from somebody, bad situations and accidents or loss and detachment from people who they cared a lot about.

That is painful, devastating and overwhelming; and although, we tell ourselves to forget and live our life as if nothing ever happened, it takes time and huge effort to either start everything from new, or correct whatever we are able to correct, change and adjust.

horticulture flower therapy

After a very bad accident about 2 decades ago, I can hardly recall any single day when there was no pain. It can be extremely bad or just irritating, but pain is always with me; my nasty companion, never leaving me alone.

Multiple surgeries and long treatments were the reason I became type I diabetic. Quite honestly, it’s not a pleasure, even though nobody would notice any visible changes in me. It is tough because there is no such a thing anymore for me: do whatever you want since there will be sequences. I cannot skip any step of my strict schedule: not even one day, not even one hour.

However, I love life even with all its troubles, will all its restrictions and limitations. There are many.

I am writing in my other blog how art can be an extremely useful tool for maximizing our potential and doing something valuable which brings a lot of good things in our life. There are many people who attend my classes, I would not have met them without my love to art.

horticulture treatment for mental health

Many people do gardening, love flowers, plants and nature, and that is fantastic!

Gardening can mean many different things: gardening for profit, gardening to provide oneself or family with clean and nutrition-rich produce, gardening for fun and as a hobby and gardening as therapeutic horticulture. You probably have not heard that much about the latter before, but this means using your garden, balcony, backyard or any natural space for growing plants, vegetables, herbs, flowers, herbal teas and similar, and do this all for therapeutic purposes. “Hortus” means “garden” in Latin, and that’s why we call it horticulture (cultivation of a garden). Horticulture has extremely long history and it deals with multiple food growing, exploring and enriching, and non-food aspects, including psychology, design and even treatment.

One does not have to be a scientist to see how many beneficial effects gardening has on the person who loves it.

How could gardening for therapeutic purposes help somebody who is not a gardener and doesn’t want to be one, but would love to still enjoy being out in the nature?

horticulture grow your own nutritious vegetables

Beautiful and delicious

horticulture and health

We are spending enormous time indoors: in buildings and in vehicles nowadays. That is a huge part of our life. We have lost the connection with natural processes and we have forgotten that nature has and always had a cure for everything. The truth is, we simply walked away from it being sure that chemicals will replace anything we need and technology will make our life a dream. That did not quite happen, and the easy life came at a very high price: epidemic numbers of incurable and difficult curable diseases, damaged DNA and inherited conditions from which children suffer all life.

Most people have forgotten or have never known how that feels: to touch the soil.

Well, they should try that because the Earth has incredible powers, and it can do both: cleansing and re-energizing. Therefore, people who would benefit most from growing something or participating in outdoor gardening activities are first of all small children, kids, adolescents, elderly and sick people or those who suffer from mental conditions.

horticulture healthy herbs

Contact with soil, plants and flowers can be not only of huge aesthetic value, but it also contributes to everything we so badly want emotionally and physically: get rid of stress, sleep well without pills, become more confident, happy and satisfied with life by watching the growing and life cycle in the garden.

Here is what clinical research has found: therapeutic horticulture can help with

reduction of pain and stress, improvement of attention and focusing ability, decrease in agitation and anxiety, improvement of the quality of life;

gaining new skills and regaining the lost ones, improvement of memory, sense of responsibility and social interaction and many more depending on the person who needs some relief.

horticulture use it to be healthy

My beautiful garden: there is always only good news

horticulture flowers for mental health

How does the therapeutic horticulture work for me?

I do it mostly for pleasure and I simply must have a garden. I have always had one and have made numerous new gardens anywhere I lived, always from scratch. I take care about my flowers, plants and herbs every day and every moment when I can afford to be outdoors.

If I cannot walk or something else is wrong on that day, I can sit there and simply adore all shapes, colors and the natural perfection. The morning dew or afternoon heat, the mystic colors through foliage at sunset, the first berries or tomatoes: that is a source of endless calm, happiness and satisfaction. Being out in the garden re-energizes, takes away pain and cheers me up even in the worst days. I am drawing and painting my garden, flowers and vegetables, and garden becomes my art and inspiration. Well, it is an integral part of my life. It can replace so many things which I cannot do, attend or go to. I will return to this theme some time because it is essential for me to share with others how much such simple pleasure can give us.

horticulture beauty and health

Beauty and health plus energy

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