Clean Up Your Drinking Water

By Dr. Roy M. Speiser, V.P. of CWR Environmental

We live in a toxic world, where daily exposure to dangerous contaminants in our air and water creates an accumulative affect on our health. Many disorders our society experiences originate early in life and may be triggered by these pollutants. For example, when pregnant women ingest contaminated water and food, the toxicity negatively affects the health of the fetus and forms an early basis for future health issues.

A recent analysis of government statistics by researchers at the British charity “Children with Cancer UK”, found that the cancer rate in young people has risen 40% over the past 16 years. Dr. Denis Henshaw, a professor at Bristol University, stated, “If one looks at cancers, such as childhood leukemia, there is no doubt that environmental factors are playing a big role.”

For decades, toxic waste sites and irresponsible industries have discharged chemicals and heavy metals, which are seeping into our drinking water supply. Additionally, agricultural runoff of pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizer, plus pharmaceutical dumping by hospitals and drug companies have contributed to hundreds of toxic contaminants that continually permeate our drinking water supply. An ongoing Associated Press investigation researching pharmaceuticals in drinking water, detected 46 different medications in the US drinking water.  This affects over 41 million people that are drinking water contaminated with small quantities of pharmaceuticals—including antibiotics, anticonvulsant, mood stabilizers, sex hormones, sunscreen agents, and other medications. Even though they are present in trace amounts, scientists are concerned that ingestion over decades will have significant health consequences, especially in high-risk individuals.

Many other scientific studies have documented the negative health impacts associated with consuming toxic contaminants, such as chlorine and chloramine by-products, fluoride, and lead. Chlorine by-products, such as THMs are listed as Cancer Group B carcinogens by the EPA. In addition, human studies have reported associations between THMs and bladder and colon cancer, miscarriage, birth defects, and low birth weight.

Flint, Michigan was the tip of the iceberg that focused attention on lead, which is commonly found in drinking water. According to a recent National Resource Defense Council study, elevated lead levels have been found in over 5,000 water systems, affecting 18 million people in the US. Over 3.9 million of these people are drinking water containing very high levels of lead, over 15 parts per billion, which is in violation of the Federal Lead Rule.

Lead is a neurotoxin and millions of children have been drinking water containing lead for years. Chronic lead ingestion can cause loss of memory, elevated blood pressure, reduction of fertility levels, and has been determined to be a probable cancer-causing agent.

Unfortunately, when you turn on your tap, the water you are drinking is not clean, healthy water; it contains a blend of toxic contaminants that have tainted our drinking water sources. Plus, chemicals that are added at the water treatment plants, including aluminum, chlorine, and fluoride; the unpleasant result is tap water that can only be described as a “toxic soup”.

In an attempt to drink clean water, millions of consumers are buying filters that are entry-level or minimally beneficial. These devices simply don’t have the capability to remove the whole range of toxic contaminants found in drinking water. At best, low level filters reduce small amounts of chlorine and lead, but they don’t remove fluoride, chloramine, pharmaceuticals, parasites, and heavy metals commonly found in drinking water. Also, these filters do not last very long. Most small filters are only tested for 100 gallons-or-less of water use and an average family consumes two to three gallons of water a day. That means that these small filters do not supply enough filtered water to last more than a few weeks. The best way to combat the consumption of “toxic soup” is by relying on larger, more powerful filters. A prime example is a new generation of filters, called MetalGonTM developed by CWR Environmental.

The new MetalGonTM filters are highly effective in removing a wide range of contaminants from drinking water. The filter has been tested to ANSI/NSF standards 42, 53, and 401—verifying that the MetalGonTM filter removes 99% of chloramine for up to 700 gallons and chlorine by 99% for up to 1,000 gallons of water.

Additionally, 92% of all forms of fluoride are removed for up to 300 gallons of water. Pharmaceuticals have also been tested under the new NSF standard 401 and the MetalGonTM filter reduced greater than 95% of 15 different pharmaceuticals, including acetaminophen, progesterone, ibuprofen, and common pharmaceuticals found in many water systems.

The new MetalGonTM filters are significantly better at reducing toxic contaminants than most because of the wide range of contaminants it is able to remove and the large volume of clean, safe water it produces. Anyone that already has a filter should obtain the new filter with MetalGonTM, which you are able to use in your current filtration system. If you don’t have a sink filter, you should definitely purchase the new AIO ULTRA Ceramic with MetalgonTM Filter Unit—now being offered at a special introductory price.

As a Water Quality Specialist and health practitioner for over 35 years, I would highly recommend that you upgrade to a safer, more effective water filtration system. Let CWR help you protect your health, improve the quality of your life, and make your water as pure as nature intended!

December 20, 2016 at 3:48 pm Leave a comment

Hintonia Latiflora—Herbal Rescue for High Blood Sugar

Submitted by Terry Naturally

Known as “copalchi” and sold in many marketplaces in Mexico and Central America, Hintonia latiflora is a tree that grows in the desert and has to withstand an intense climate to survive. Toughing out monsoon-like rainy seasons and scorching dry spells has created a powerful defense mechanism within the plant itself. The beneficial features of Hintonia are made stronger by its ability to survive and thrive in a difficult environment. While Hintonia has been traditionally recommended for diabetes and gastrointestinal complaints, it has shown some exciting clinical results on type 2 diabetes as well.

Impressive Clinical Results

In Europe, Hintonia latiflora has been clinically studied for over 60 years in relation to type 2 diabetes and has shown some impressive results. Early clinical work with the herb found that it was equal to or better than insulin in mild to moderate cases of diabetes. In later work, patients using insulin and taking Hintonia latiflora were able to dispense with using insulin altogether or switch from insulin to glibenclamide—a common drug that boosts the level of insulin produced by the pancreas. Ideally, nobody would have to be on a prescription drug, but over the years studies of Hintonia latiflora have shown that it can either replace medications or at the very least, make them much more effective.

Studies have shown Hintonia latiflora combined with key nutrients for blood sugar control can:

  • Lower A1C levels by 10%
  • Improve fasting and postprandial blood sugar by 23% and 24%, respectively
  • Balance total cholesterol and reduce triglyceride levels
  • Prevent hypoglycemia— undesirable drops in blood sugar
  • Reduce medication use—39% of patients reduced medication and some didn’t need it at all!

Why Does Hintonia Work?

Plants and plant extracts are complex and the reasons behind their benefits can be a challenge to unlock. However, scientists have been working diligently to discover the keys to Hintonia latiflora’s success. Hintonia bark contains compounds that help keep blood sugar levels stable. Clinical work with the ingredient has shown that it was so effective that individuals could reduce or entirely dispense with their insulin medication for type 2 diabetes. Hintonia is also an inhibitor of alpha-glucosidase, which is an enzyme that releases sugar from foods, particularly carbohydrates. Coutareagenin, a polyphenol found in the bark extracts, appears to be responsible for other blood sugar-controlling benefits. For the best results, look for an extract standardized for this compound. Hintonia is able to slow sugar metabolism, delaying the release of sugar in the bloodstream and keeping glucose levels down, rather than allowing them to spike as often seen in cases of type 2 diabetes.

What You Can Do

Aside from that, research on Hintonia shows that compounds from its leaves may help stop gastrointestinal damage and gastric ulcers. Considering the harsh effects of some drugs used for type 2 diabetes on the digestive system, this is yet another reason to consider adding Hintonia latiflora to a diabetes-fighting regimen, along with a low carb, paleo diet, or a ketogenic diet. These diets provide sufficient daily fats and proteins, but very few carbs, which means the body’s energy comes from using body fat and fats from the diet. These fats provide ketones, which are used for energy rather than glucose. When you essentially “train” your body to stop using glucose as its primary source of energy, you help break the addiction to sugars, carbs, and reduce your risk of diabetes. If you have diabetes or gastrointestinal issues and are looking for an alternative to help manage your condition, try adding a clinically studied Hintonia latiflora to your daily regimen and see what this remarkable herb can do for you.

 These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

December 8, 2016 at 5:49 pm Leave a comment

Is Vitamin D Related to Thyroid Disorders?

By Jen Morganti, ND, NEEDS Education Director

 One of the most common nutrient deficiencies associated with a poorly functioning thyroid is iodine. But other nutrients are also critical for a healthy thyroid. A form of thyroid disease called Hashimoto’s disease, is an autoimmune disease in which antibodies attack important enzymes involved in thyroid hormone production. The end result is hypothyroid symptoms, such as fatigue, depression, joint stiffness, or unexplainable weight gain.

Autoimmune diseases are typically triggered by excessive inflammation which can be caused by factors, such as food sensitivities or leaky gut problems. Nutrient deficiencies may occur and in the case of Hashimoto’s, vitamin D deficiency is common. This deficiency is acknowledged by mainstream medicine, but what is not understood is if D deficiency is the cause or result of the disease.

A study done in Greece, a region known for abundant sunshine and presumably plenty of vitamin D (via synthesis in the skin) explored the connection between vitamin D and Hashimoto’s disease. Researchers set out to investigate the number of Hashimoto’s patients who were deficient in vitamin D and to determine the outcome of replenishing the nutrient in the cases of deficiency.

Out of 218 Greek Hashimoto’s patients, the rate of vitamin D deficiency (set at <20ng/mL) was a remarkable 86%. Most of these patients were found to get plenty of daily sun exposure and shouldn’t have been deficient. So it’s plausible that their ability to convert sun exposure to vitamin D was impaired for some reason. The goal of the study was to increase vitamin D levels in the deficient patients to at least 20ng/mL. They took 1200 IU – 4000 IU vitamin D3 daily to achieve this goal.

To determine the effect of increasing vitamin D levels on the disease, anti- TPO levels were measured before and after the study. Anti-TPO antibodies are the marker for this particular autoimmune disease and higher levels indicate a more severe case of Hashimoto’s disease.

When the four month study was complete, anti-TPO antibodies decreased significantly—on average about 20%. Based on this limited study, it seems that vitamin D deficiency was at least partly the cause of Hashimoto’s. Because of their initial success, it would have been interesting to extend the study and see if continuing vitamin D supplementation dropped anti-TPO antibodies further over the course of the following year.

Vitamin D is surely not the only factor to cause Hashimoto’s disease, but it appears that being deficient in the nutrient can be one of the triggers for this autoimmune disease for those whom are predisposed. If you suffer from Hashimoto’s or have a family history of it be sure to check your D levels, but also investigate food allergies, especially gluten sensitivity, and take a good multivitamin to get the necessary co-factors for thyroid hormone production.

November 10, 2016 at 11:54 am Leave a comment

NEW RESEARCH: Healing After a Heart Attack

By Jen Morganti, ND, NEEDS Education Director

About 735,000 Americans suffer a heart attack annually, equal to about 1 every 43 seconds. About one-third of those heart attacks are not the first incident. Surviving and recovering from a heart attack (myocardial infarction or “MI”) is a major relief, but it’s not the end of the story. A heart attack can cause damage to the heart and if it doesn’t heal properly, there is risk of progressing to heart failure.

The structure and function of the heart ventricles, the two lower chambers of the heart that collect and pump out circulating blood, can be damaged from a MI. Standard pharmaceutical medications do not offer options to improve ventricle healing.

A recent study explored the possibility of fish oil being used to help the heart heal. In this double-blind, placebo-controlled study, MI patients took either 4 grams of omega-3 fatty acids or 4 grams of corn oil as placebo. This study lasted 6 months. At the beginning and end of the study, scientists tested the patient’s “left ventricular end-systolic volume”, which basically means the amount of blood left in the ventricle after pumping it out. A strong, healthy heart will pump out all of the blood, but residual blood in the chamber is the sign of a weaker heart.

At the end of the 6-month study, the people taking omega-3 fatty acids had a significant improvement in their heart ventricle performance as compared to those taking the placebo. The fish oil group also had a significant increase in omega-3 fatty acids in their blood. The researchers also noted a trend that suggested that those with the highest levels of omega-3 had the best rate of improvement in ventricle function.

Previous studies have confirmed that fish oil can be helpful for preventing cardiovascular disease in patients who have it or are at risk, but this is the first study to look specifically at how omega-3 fats can heal the heart tissue after a MI. A longer term study with ongoing fish oil supplementation would be helpful to determine if the healing prevents progression to heart failure.

REFERENCES:
Effect of Omega-3 Acid Ethyl Esters on Left Ventricular Remodeling After Acute Myocardial Infarction, Bobak Heydari, et. al. Circulation. 2016; 134:378-391, published online before print August 1, 2016.
Artham SM, Lavie CJ, Milani RV, Anand RG, O’Keefe JH, Ventura HO. Fish Oil in Primary and Secondary Cardiovascular Prevention. The Ochsner Journal. 2008; 8(2):49-60.

October 28, 2016 at 2:53 pm Leave a comment

Choline: The New Essential Nutrient

By Jennifer Morganti, ND, NEEDS Director of Education

A beneficial but lesser-known nutrient making its way onto nutrition facts labels is choline, an essential nutrient associated with heart health, improved liver function, maternal and fetal health, child development, cognition, and sports performance. In the first update to the nutrition facts label in 20 years, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) called for manufacturers to voluntarily label choline, paving the way to help Americans look for and include this essential nutrient as part of a balanced, healthy lifestyle.

In addition, for the first time, the FDA established a reference daily intake (RDI) for choline of 550 mg per day, which was the adequate intake (AI) amount set in 1998 by the Institute of Medicine—now the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine’s Health, and Medicine Division. Despite choline’s recognized and well-established health benefits, almost 90% of Americans are not getting enough choline every day.

“Choline is perhaps one of the most underrated nutrients, yet a large body of evidence supports a range of benefits at all life stages, from maternal health and infant nutrition to healthy aging,” said Marie Caudill, PhD, RD and professor in nutritional sciences at Cornell University. “By using the Nutrition Facts label to check choline amounts in foods, Americans will soon be able to look for this essential nutrient and better meet their daily goals.”

Food sources of choline include eggs, beef, chicken, fish, certain seafood, toasted wheat germ, brussel sprouts, and broccoli. Some multivitamins and prenatal vitamins contain choline and certain packaged foods, such as infant formula, may be fortified with choline to boost intake. Foods with at least 55 mg of choline per serving are considered a “good source” of the nutrient.

 

REFERENCES:

Excerpted from the Choline Information Council website: http://cholinecouncil.com/ latest_information/cholinelabel.

September 9, 2016 at 11:57 am Leave a comment

NEW RESEARCH: Decelerate the Aging Process with Vitamin B

By Jen Morganti, ND, NEEDS Education Director

They say you can’t stop time, but you can slow the aging process to help you look and feel your best! Part of the secret is to protect mitochondria, those pint-size powerhouses that make energy (ATP) for our cells, tissues, and organs. Mitochondria slow down with age and cause some of the physical manifestations of aging, such as fatigue, weaker muscles, declining brain cell communication, and slower organ regeneration.

Scientists have recently discovered another role that mitochondria play beyond ATP production—they contribute to the activity of stem cells. You probably have heard about stem cells in the context of stem cell treatments, which uses stem cells from other sources to treat various conditions, such as heart disease, joint disease, and neurodegenerative conditions. But in this case, we are talking about the stem cells that naturally exist in our body. They are essential for restoration of organs and muscles; however, as we age they tend to slow down and become less effective with their regenerative powers.

One way to restore the capacity of mitochondria and consequentially stem cells may be through nutrients. A new study found that a type of B vitamin, called nicotinamide riboside, may provide rejuvenation to stem cells and help with muscle regeneration in older people, based on test results in mice. If the effect is similar in humans, it means there is potential for improving muscle and cell regeneration as we age, which equates to improved energy for more activities and potentially less muscle stiffness and pain.

Nicotinamide riboside is a nutrient that boosts NAD production, a vitamin B-like compound found in all living cells, which is used in the mitochondrial production of energy (ATP). It’s through this NAD/ATP production pathway that nicotinamide riboside boosts mitochondria and therefore boosts stem cell function. This study on mice has shown how nicotinamide riboside can help activate muscle stem cells, but it also theorizes that this benefit may extend to nerve and skin cells—meaning better cognitive function, less wrinkles, and slower aging.

Nicotinamide riboside isn’t a magic bullet for anti-aging because there are many other facets to the aging process, such as hormone decline, including thyroid, progesterone, or testosterone, as well as free radical damage that must be addressed. But, this form of B vitamin is a good addition to any comprehensive plan for healthy aging and could help combat some of the visible signs of aging.

August 12, 2016 at 2:04 pm Leave a comment

New Research: Yoga and Cholesterol

By Jennifer Morganti, ND, NEEDS Director of Education

If you have ever tried yoga, you already know how wonderfully de-stressing and energizing it can be. But what you may not have realized is that it can also help lower cholesterol! A recent small study was conducted in India to determine if a consistent yoga program could help address high cholesterol. Twenty-two women who took thyroid medication for hypothyroidism participated in this study. All had high cholesterol—a common symptom related to low thyroid—high TSH, low thyroid, and all took prescription thyroid medication.

In this study, the women participated in intense yoga practice for one hour daily for six months. The yoga sessions included sun salutations, meditation, breathing practices, and a variety of yoga postures. After practicing for six months, it was shown that their total cholesterol and triglycerides decreased significantly, and their HDL (beneficial cholesterol) increased significantly. There were only slight improvements in thyroid issues; TSH levels decreased slightly, but not significantly, and seven of the twenty-two women were able to lower their thyroid medication doses.

High cholesterol can lead to atherosclerosis or “clogged arteries,” putting a person at risk for coronary artery disease, stroke, and heart attack. Statin drugs are commonly prescribed to reduce cholesterol levels, but they come with risk for other side effects, such as muscle pain, liver damage, and neurological effects. So it makes sense to try alternative, natural treatments to lower cholesterol as an initial trial. It would be wise to take red yeast rice, fish oil, and milk thistle to lower cholesterol levels, along with healthy eating and a consistent yoga practice.

This small but interesting study indicates that long term yoga practice may be part of an effective plan for reducing stress, balancing thyroid hormones, and reducing risk of cardiovascular disease.

July 27, 2016 at 5:13 pm Leave a comment

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