How to NOT gain weight on vacation

snuba photo

Before I get into today’s blog I am pleased to announce that I am working on my next book, “Want to lose weight? Stop dieting!”  I will pass along more details as the time gets closer to publication.

And speaking of weight that is the subject of today’s email!

How to NOT gain weight on vacation!
I’ve just returned from an amazing week-long vacation in Aruba–one of my favorite places in the whole world.

There’s nothing like snuba diving and snorkeling in the gorgeous blue-green waters of the Caribbean Sea.

Shopping at Aruba’s quaint local merchants is always a unique experience.

We ate in some outstanding restaurants including El Gauchos, The Driftwood and Sea Breeze.
And of course, we enjoyed fruity frozen cocktails while lounging by the pool!

But the best part of all is this–I didn’t gain a single ounce!

That’s right.  I returned home at the exact same weight as when I left.  And I even had dessert on four of the seven days!

Yes indeed.  It can be done.  And if I can do it, so can YOU.

Here are the 3 keys to NOT gaining weight on vacation:

1- Work in some exercise every day
There is definitely no room for excuses when it comes to exercising on vacation!

You have 1,440 minutes each day to lounge by the pool, eat delicious foods, enjoy the nightlife and get quality sleep.  Take 60 of those minutes and walk, run, play tennis, swim or whatever you like to do.

I’m training for a marathon right now, but I didn’t let being 2,146 miles away in Aruba stop me from my training—and I even banged out a 12-mile run on the hotel treadmill.

Then flopped by the pool for the rest of the day!

2- Indulge, but keep it real  
There’s nothing wrong with enjoying exotic foods or desserts, but make sure that at least 75-80 percent of what you’re eating is real food–fresh fruits, vegetables, meats and poultry, fish, whole grains and healthy fats.

On my trip I allowed myself to indulge in some pretty rich foods–I just made sure to buffer them with enough salads, veggies, fruits, meats and fish.

Simple.

3- Pamper your gut
This is by far the most important point of all.

When you’re away on vacation, you are very susceptible to bacterial contamination of food or water, as well as constipation, gas and bloating from eating foods that you might not be used to.

Since a healthy gut and regular bowel movements are essential to maintaining your weight, it’s crucial to make sure you continue to pamper your gut on vacation with a much-needed dose of friendly bacteria with Super Shield multi-strain probiotic formula.

In addition to encouraging strong gut health, Super Shield also supports sound immune function…which in turn, can help prevent you from getting sick from germ-loaded airplanes, airports and hotel rooms!

Remember, maintaining your weight on vacation AND all year round isn’t rocket science.

If you abide by these few simple principles and treat your body right 12 months a year, it will return the favor with health, energy, and forgiveness for your indulgences.

Start now.  You’ll love the results and you’ll never look back…well, except maybe to glance in a mirror and see how great your bathing suit looks on you.

And yes, that’s me in in the picture snuba diving and waving hello to you.

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How to have a great smile… Plus 5 fun tooth facts!

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You may recall there was a commercial in the 1970s for Ultra Brite toothpaste featuring the beautiful late actress Farrah Fawcett flashing her pearly whites at the camera.

Of course, the makers of Ultra Brite wanted you to buy their toothpaste, thinking you’d have a gorgeous smile like Farrah.

But there’s a lot more to healthy teeth and gums than just toothpaste!
Here are some common mouth-related problems you might be facing, and ways you can truly have a beautifully healthy smile.

Open wide!

The most common (and feared) mouth-related problem is halitosis (bad breath).

Although halitosis can be caused by poor dental hygiene, tooth infection, sinus problems, gum problems or tonsillitis, bad breath can also start in your gut!

That’s right—bad breath can also be caused by:

  • H. Pylori infection in the stomach
  • Low stomach acid production
  • Imbalanced intestinal flora
  • Pancreatic insufficiency
  • Even constipation! (I’ll let you form your own visual on that)

Other mouth challenges include gingivitis (gum inflammation) and periodontal disease (inflammation of the bone around your teeth).

Poor tooth health is frequently the result of nutrient deficiencies.  Your teeth are bones just like the rest of your skeleton—and since your bones need 19 specific nutrients to remineralize, the same applies to your choppers.

Mouth sores also affect a fair number of people, including mouth ulcers, canker sores, and cold sores.  These can be the result of imbalanced intestinal flora, food sensitivities, and nutrient deficiencies.

Smart measures for a healthy smile & mouth
If you want a healthy smile and mouth, you need to look at what may be causing whatever challenges you may have, and help turn it around!

In addition to brushing and flossing daily and seeing your dentist once a year, here are some smart measures to consider:

Eat real foods and supplement with a good multi
The health of ALL of your body parts (including your teeth!) depends on you getting a consistent supply of vitamins and minerals.

There’s no way around it—you cannot exist on processed junk, fast food, and soda and expect to have any measure of health (or a normal bodyweight for that matter).

The best way to ensure that your body has what it needs is to eat real food—stay away from the crap in boxes, packages, and cans and drive by the drive-thru.

Also take a top-shelf multi-vitamin and mineral formula to fill in the blanks where you may be running short with your diet.

Get tested
Food sensitivities, H. pylori infection, low stomach acid and pancreatic insufficiency can cause bad breath and other mouth problems.

If you suspect any of these may be an issue for you, see your doctor and get the appropriate tests.

And if you are running short on stomach acid or pancreatic enzymes digestive enzyme supplements may be a big help to pinch hit where your body may be lacking.

Help balance your intestinal flora
An unhealthy gut flora balance is a common culprit behind mouth problems…and a good number of digestive problems too!

Plus your friendly flora helps keep your gut wall healthy—which is essential for proper nutrient absorption.

In addition to eating nourishing real foods, it’s important to help maintain a healthy population of beneficial bacteria through probiotic supplementation.

Consider replacing amalgam fillings
Contrary to what people believe, “silver” amalgam fillings are only silver in color—they actually contain 50 percent mercury.

Mercury is a deadly neurotoxin which not only can cause brain damage but also make you more susceptible to periodontal disease.

One study showed that when amalgam fillings were removed, 86 percent of the 125 oral cavity symptoms being examined in the study subjects were eliminated or vastly improved!

Five fun tooth facts
To wrap up this article on teeth, here are five fun tooth facts:

1. Some babies are born with teeth
About one in every 2,000 babies is born with teeth!  But they usually have weak roots and are often removed to prevent problems with breastfeeding.

2. Not everyone loses all their baby teeth
Children start losing teeth around age five or six and finish in their teens. But if a tooth does not have a replacement permanent tooth, that baby tooth will stay put.

3. Some people have extras
Some people have extra (supernumerary) teeth. They usually remain below the gumline, but sometimes they’ll erupt and crowd the other teeth. If extra teeth cause a problem, a dentist can remove them, or an orthodontist can attempt to straighten them all out.

4. Humans are evolving beyond wisdom teeth
A third set of molars helped our larger-jawed ancestors grind up their food. But now we have smaller jaws and if those extra molars do emerge, they frequently cause major problems.  But we’re evolving–currently, 35 percent of us are born without wisdom teeth, and scientists have predicted that this will continue and future generations will have none.

5. A sweet tooth
Not all candies are equally bad for your teeth. If you want to indulge occasionally, avoid sweets that stick to your teeth (such as fruit snacks, gummy bears, and taffy) and opt for those that dissolve quickly (like chocolate and jelly beans).

8 Common Causes of Poor Digestion

Nausea or Menstruation

According to Johns Hopkins Health, about 70 million people in the US suffer from some type of digestive problem.

That’s about one out of every five of us!

Digestive medications continue to be among the top-selling prescription drugs too.  Nexium sales were a whopping $3.7 billion in 2014.

So why are we so gassy, blocked up, belching, and bloated, and the leaders of the free world in heartburn?

Well, here are eight of the most common causes of poor digestion.  See how many of them apply to you and then help turn it around—it’s easier than you think!

8 Common Causes of Poor Digestion

1- Medications
Digestive problems are a side effect of many commonly used drugs.

For example, antibiotics destroy your friendly gut flora and cause gas and bloating, antidepressants trigger nausea and other digestive problems, blood pressure drugs can lead to constipation and anti-inflammatories cause ulcers and GI bleeding.

Even digestive drugs cause digestive problems!  Common side effects of acid reducers like Nexium are bloating, constipation and indigestion.

If you are on any medications that are causing you to suffer from digestive problems, it’s time to talk to your doctor about alternatives, lowering doses, or possibly even getting off them altogether.

2-Stress
Digestion is a parasympathetic process, so your body must be in a relaxed, non-stressed state for it to be carried out.

Eating when you’re relaxed also encourages you to eat slower, which means that your body will recognize satiety before you overeat.

But if you instead eat when your sympathetic nervous system is in gear (such as when you’re working, driving, emotionally upset, rushing, etc.) that can have a huge negative impact on your digestion.

Be sure that your meal times are as relaxing and stress-free as possible, and strive to keep your overall stress level low.

3-Glutamine deficiency
Glutamine is a nutrient that is known for maintaining the health of your intestinal tract, supporting a healthy pH in your body, and helping your body produce glutathione, a key antioxidant.

Glutamine is found in foods like cabbage, beets, beef, chicken, fish, beans and dairy products.

4-Vitamin B6 deficiency
Vitamin B6 is crucial for your body to properly break down sugars and starches…and poor digestion of these can lead to gas, bloating and harmful bacteria overgrowth.

Food sources of B6 include spinach, bell peppers, garlic, tuna, cauliflower, bananas, broccoli, celery, asparagus, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and leafy greens.

If you wish to supplement, a top-quality multi-vitamin and mineral formula like Super Core can help ensure your body maintains proper levels of B6 and a wide variety of other essential nutrients.

5-Omega-3 EFA deficiency
Bowel conditions such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease are characterized by marked inflammation.

But many sufferers have gotten relief by helping to reduce inflammation with Nature’s anti-inflammatory–Omega-3 essential fatty acids.

6-Imbalanced intestinal flora
The friendly flora in your gut help to break down starches and fiber—and without their help, you are more prone to gas and bloating!

Unfortunately, many people’s gut bacteria populations have taken a hit from things like lacking sleep, medications, stress, and diets high in refined carbs and soda.

But probiotic supplementation with a multi-strain formula like Super Shield can be remarkably helpful to repopulate your supply of these crucial microbes.

7-Enzyme deficiency
Because of our typical modern hard-to-digest diets (high concentrations of fast food, processed food, and complex meals), many people have diminished their body’s ability to produce adequate enzymes for digestion.

Plus our enzyme making capacity decreases as we age.

If you feel you may be lacking in enzymes, a supplement like Digestizol Max can pinch-hit where your body might need a little help.

8-A poor diet
Nothing can ruin your digestion (and undo the effects of supplements you take too!) faster and easier than a poor diet.

If you ever want hopes of being free of GI problems you MUST eat real foods that are natural sources of nutrients and fiber.

Also, structure your meals so that they are easier for your body to break down using these two simple but powerful rules:

  • Eat fruit alone on an empty stomach.
  • Don’t eat proteins and starches together in the same meal.  Instead, choose whether your main dish will be protein OR starch, then pair your main dish with vegetables (other than potatoes or corn).

It’s that easy!

When you look at what might be causing your poor digestion and turn it around, you can start to feel better—fast!

Do it now!

Is your healthy diet really healthy?

Eating cereal

Never in the history of mankind has there been a group of five words that has such a tremendously vast variety of meanings as…

“I have a healthy diet.”

I’ve been in the health and nutrition field for 34 years and I’ve seen it ALL when it comes to what people think is a healthy diet!

Here are several traps to watch out for:

A _______ -free diet
Sometimes eliminating a food from your diet is necessary (such as if you’re gluten sensitive and on a gluten-free diet).

But there are two concerns when it comes to most other “ _______ -free” diets:

  1. What you may be missing by not eating the food and
  2. What you are eating in its place instead

In the first case, if you omit a food from your diet, you are also omitting the unique nutrients found in that food…and that can have serious health consequences.  When you’re lacking in ANY nutrient, your body will suffer.

As far as what you are eating instead:  If you’re on a fat-free diet, for example, you are taking in boatloads of sugar because food companies replace the missing fat in fat-free foods with sugar—otherwise you’d probably spit it out.

In addition to weight gain, sugar creates inflammation, feeds cancer, disrupts your gut flora balance, and increases your risk of Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.

Sugar-free is no better.  Sugar-free products contain artificial sweeteners…which can be as harmful to your health as the sugar!

A high- ________ diet
This is when you have a high concentration of a certain food in your diet, such as high-protein or high-carb.
The dangers here are:

  1. What aren’t you getting in your diet because you’re eating so much of XYZ food and
  2. Eating too much of a food can be harmful

For example, some very high-protein diets restrict carbohydrate intake SO much that they can cause nutritional deficiencies or insufficient fiber intake—which can lead to chronic constipation and diverticulitis.

On the flip side, a high-carb diet can turn you into a pasta/bread/rice-eating machine, which all turn to sugar upon digestion.

What the TV says is healthy
Food companies have huge advertising budgets to create commercials that convince you that their products are good for you.  This is especially true when it comes to foods like yogurt, breakfast cereals, and margarine.

Words like “all natural,” “trans-fat-free,” and “high fiber” are used to conjure up healthy images in your mind, but don’t be fooled.

Yogurt may be all natural, but when it’s laced with sugars and sweetened fruits, it’s basically a dessert.

Margarine may be trans-fat-free, but they are made with heated polyunsaturated oils, which form compounds that are just as harmful as trans-fats.

And although breakfast cereals may contain (small) amounts of fiber, they’re also loaded with sugar and are anything but healthy.

REAL healthy foods need no advertising.  That’s why you’ll never see a commercial for romaine lettuce, organic chicken, extra virgin olive oil, roasted beets or fresh strawberries.

When you want to know what is healthy, don’t listen to the TV—listen to experts like me.

Counting calories
So many people are constantly “doing the math” to see if they’ve stayed within their calorie limits today.

But all calories are not created equal!  What matters FAR more is the nutrition value of what you’re eating.

For example, you can eat 300 calories of chocolate or 300 calories of chicken.  The chicken will nourish you and help you stay full.

The chocolate?  It will add to your blubber pile, and since it does not nourish you, you will be hungry again in a little while and looking for something else to eat.

You can count calories until the cows come home, but if you’re not getting nourished, it’s just a useless number—and you’re likely walking around hungry 24/7.

It’s healthy if it will help me lose weight
It depends on what you’re talking about.

If you’re referring to real foods like meats, vegetables, fresh fruits and healthy fats, then you’re correct.  Eating real foods means you inherently take in fewer calories and are better nourished, and that usually means weight loss.

But if you’re attempting to call weight loss crap like SlimFast or Weight Watcher’s Dark Chocolate Red Velvet Bites healthy, don’t even go there with me.

So what IS a healthy diet?
Simply put, at least 80 percent of what you eat should be real foods.

Real foods include fresh fruits and vegetables, meats and poultry (preferably organic), fish (wild-caught), whole grains, dairy, eggs and good fats (like olive oil and real butter).

When you eat real foods, your body gets better nourished, and when you’re properly nourished, these things can be your reality:

  • You’ll naturally get full faster, eat less overall, and stay full longer (which can make weight problems a thing of the past).
  • You’ll have more consistent energy throughout the day and won’t be tempted to indulge in unhealthy pick-me-ups like soda, chips or candy.
  • All of your body’s systems will be able to work the way they’re supposed to, which makes you a much less likely home for a disease to flourish.

Now that’s what I call healthy.

Recover from unhealthy diet abuse!
If you’ve fallen for any of the diet traps I mentioned above, it’s also essential to help your body recover from “unhealthy diet abuse”—especially in the area of your gut flora!

Sugars, preservatives, and artificial ingredients all take a toll on your microbiome, and without a strong population of these good guys, you are lacking in immune protection (and also likely loaded with gas, bloating and constipation).

But a top-shelf multi-strain probiotic supplement like Super Shield can help turn that around for you and restore a healthier flora balance.

Start reaping the health benefits of a truly healthy diet (and gut) today.

Are e-cigarettes safe?

Stylish blond woman smoking an e-cigarette exhaling a cloud of smoke with her eyes closed in enjoyment, profile view on a dark background

As I walked along the streets while visiting New York City last weekend it seemed everywhere I turned I saw someone puffing on an e-cigarette.

That should be no surprise because these devices have literally EXPLODED in popularity.  Sales of e-cigarettes went from $5 million in 2007 to a whopping $500 million in 2012 and $795 million in 2014.

While these contraptions initially appeared to be an option for quitting smoking that was safe—or at least less harmful than traditional cigarette smoke—well, the smoke is starting to clear on the issue (pardon the pun) and the facts are stating otherwise.

Here is the unsettling truth about e-cigarettes.

The mechanics
E-cigarettes work by heating a liquid called “e-juice”—usually a mixture of flavorings, propylene glycol (a substance used in the manufacturing of polyester and anti-freeze), glycerin (a by-product of the soap making process) and often nicotine—until it vaporizes.

And if you’re suspecting that sucking this stuff into your lungs might not be so good, you’re right on.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released data showing that the number of calls about nicotine e-juice to poison centers jumped from a mere one call per month in 2010 to 215 calls per month in 2014.

Some of the flavors currently marketed contain a chemical called diacetyl that has been associated with popcorn lung.
And a San Diego Veterans Affairs lab investigation found that two e-cigarette products damaged cells in ways that could lead to cancer, even when nicotine-free.

In addition, several lawsuits have been filed against e-cigarette manufacturers from injuries sustained by users when the devices have exploded, causing lost teeth, facial burns and even near blindness.

The latest study—a major nail in the coffin
According to a study published in the Journal of Molecular Medicine, e-cigarettes expose the lungs to toxicity, reduce immune function and encourage harmful bacterial activity, potentially making superbugs more deadly.

Researchers at the University of California-San Diego (UCSD) carried out mouse studies to examine the effects of e-juices from seven different manufacturers.  The scientists exposed the mice to e-cigarette vapors for 1 hour a day, 5 days a week for 4 weeks.

Results showed that inflammatory markers in the airways and blood of mice after inhaling e-vapors were 10 percent higher than those in unexposed mice—and remember that’s after just 4 weeks.

In addition, when unexposed mice were infected with Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)—the antibiotic-resistant “superbug”—they survived, but 25 percent of the e-cigarette mice infected with MRSA died.

So in other words, MRSA becomes stronger and more lethal when exposed to e-cigarette vapor!

Moreover, some of the changes observed in the mice are similar to those seen in the airways and blood of conventional cigarette smokers, and others resemble human cancers or inflammatory lung disease.

They’re BOTH bad!
So the moral of the story here is ALL cigarettes are bad—whether they are conventional tobacco or vapor butts is irrelevant.

Cigarettes in all forms destroy your friendly gut bacteria, reduce your immune functioning, impair your absorption of nutrients and of course, set the stage for early aging, disease, and death.

Plus remember you’re not the only one affected here.  Even if you don’t smoke around your loved ones, they will most assuredly be impacted when you get sick and die.

I’ve been without a Dad since age 15 (38 long years) because of smoking, and nothing in my life has been as devastating as losing him as a kid.

Do yourself a favor
Please, do yourself and your loved ones a favor and quit smoking.  There are a lot of great programs and aids to help you—do whatever works for you.

Note that I heavily caution you about taking the medication route.  Both antidepressants and Chantix present several frightening side effects (including suicide), so aim to do it without opening yourself up to even more dangers from drugs.  Millions have done it before you so it’s not impossible.

Keep in mind that many successful quitters have to try several times before they actually quit for good, so if you fall off the wagon, try again.

If you don’t already do so, this is the time to start EXERCISING!  Not only will regular exercise help curb the jitters and anxiety from smoking cessation, but it will also help prevent any post-smoking weight gain if you substitute food for cigarettes.

So get your doctor’s OK and start getting fit now!

And most importantly, help your body recover from smoking’s harmful effects.  If you’ve been a smoker for a while, chances are excellent that you have one or more serious nutrient deficiencies and your friendly gut flora has taken a major hit.

In addition to having a healthy diet of nutritious real foods (wait until you SEE how great food tastes once you quit smoking!) a complete multi-vitamin formula like Super Core can help make sure your nutrient levels are where they should be, and an outstanding probiotic formula like Super Shield can help your population of getting bacteria get back to a healthier level, supporting sound immune function and nutrient absorption.

Get on the wagon to spending the rest of YOUR life as a healthy non-smoker.

Smart tips to prevent food-borne illness

Nausea or Menstruation

Summer is upon is and backyard parties, barbecues, and picnics are in full swing.
Unfortunately, so are foodborne illnesses.

According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), each year about 1 in 6 Americans gets hit with a foodborne illness like E. coli, campylobacter or salmonella.

Foodborne illnesses are responsible for at least 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths in the US annually, although experts believe those estimates are very low because of unreported cases.

They’re everywhere!
Illness-causing pathogens are now appearing more and more on fresh produce due in part to the global import network–there are now more “middle men” and a wide range of handling practices in the mix which opens up the door to more contamination.

But far and away the biggest culprit continues to be meat, especially poultry. Experts estimate that nearly 75 percent of all commercial poultry purchased has some form of contamination!

Getting intimate with your toilet
Symptoms of foodborne illness usually start within 48 hours and include nausea, vomiting, cramping and diarrhea. Fever and chills, bloody stools, dehydration and nervous system damage may also follow.

Foodborne illness is tricky because you can’t see the bacteria on the food, nor can you taste it most times…your first sign that something is wrong is when you’re rocketing to the bathroom.

Take precautions
In addition to the obvious making sure that all meats and poultry are cooked thoroughly, here are some ways that you can help prevent foodborne illness:

1) Wash thoroughly
It’s essential to wash all fresh produce thoroughly, no matter where it’s from.
For greens, soak them in a cold water bath, then drain and hold them under running water for a moment.

For other fruits and vegetables the following general rules apply:

  • Berries: Rinse in cold water in a strainer.
  • Fruits and vegetables where you’re eating the skin (like grapes, green and yellow squash and tomatoes): Wash and rinse thoroughly. Produce washes are helpful, but mild dish soap works fine.
  • Fruits and vegetables that you peel (including carrots and parsnips): Peel then rinse quickly.
  • Fruits and vegetables that you trim (like green beans, asparagus, and broccoli): Rinse thoroughly in cold water in a strainer before trimming AND after.
  • Fruits and vegetables that you cut (like melons, citrus fruit or avocados): Wash and rinse thoroughly BEFORE cutting. Bacteria can adhere to the skin and be transferred to the flesh when you cut it open.

2) Check dates
Check expiration dates on meats and eggs before purchasing–just because an item is on the store shelf does NOT mean it’s fresh!

3) Watch juices
Don’t let juices or drippings from raw meat, poultry, shellfish or eggs come into contact with other foods.

Wash cutting boards, knives and other utensils in hot soapy water after handling raw meat, poultry, seafood or eggs.

4) Keep food hot or cold
Keep hot food hot (temperatures between 160 degrees to 212 degrees Fahrenheit destroy most bacteria) and cold food cold (40 degrees Fahrenheit).

Promptly refrigerate leftovers.  Leftovers should not stay out of the refrigerator for longer than two hours.

5) Grab a clean towel
Wash dishcloths and kitchen towels regularly and grab a fresh one as soon as the one you’re using starts to feel damp.  Dirty, damp cloths are the perfect place for bacteria to breed.

6) This one should be obvious but…
Proper hand-washing can eliminate as many as half of all cases of food poisoning, and can even significantly reduce the spread of the common cold and flu.

Your body’s two defenses
Your body was also designed with two natural defenses against food poisoning built right in:

1. The acid in your stomach destroys many disease-causing pathogens before they can wreak havoc with you and

2. The friendly flora in your intestines can inhibit the growth of many food borne pathogens, including Salmonella, Shigella, Enterococcus faecalis and E. coli.

The problem is many people are lacking the protection of their stomach acid because they take acid reducers, and still others have practically obliterated their friendly gut flora with medications, sugars and refined carbs and sodas!

So to ensure your body’s defenses can protect you, you need to make sure they are able to work like they should.

Here’s how:

1- Make the stomach’s job easier
To help naturally curb heartburn and acid reflux, make your meals simpler and easier for your body to digest in the first place.

Avoid eating proteins and starches together in the same meal.  Instead pair meats OR starches with vegetables and salads.  These combinations are much easier for your body to tackle, and make it far less likely that you will suffer heartburn and need acid reducers, to begin with.

Plus you’ll likely experience much less gas, bloating and constipation too.

2- Support your friendly gut flora
The best way to ensure a healthy, robust population of protective beneficial bacteria in your gut is to take a probiotic supplement like Super Shield multi-strain probiotic formula.

Even if you have a stellar diet, many other factors like stress, lacking sleep, medications, tap water and toxins in the environment can harm your intestinal flora…so probiotic supplementation is truly the only way to support a consistent, healthy flora balance.

Enjoy the rest of the summer barbecue season—safely and free of food borne illness!

The studies are proving it – Statins are useless!

Education Blog 01-08-15

All I can say is, it’s about time!

I’ve been long beating the drum about the fact that the benefits of statin treatment have been grossly exaggerated, while the harmful side effects have been severely downplayed and brushed under the rug.

Well, now the studies are finally starting to prove it.

A group of international researchers published a study recently in the BMJ Open journal that found no link between “bad” (LDL) cholesterol and death as a result of heart disease in individuals over 60 years of age.

As a matter of fact, the results showed that 92 percent of the people with higher cholesterol actually lived longer!

Professor Sherif Sultan, vascular and endovascular surgery expert at the University of Ireland stated, “Lowering cholesterol with medications for primary cardiovascular prevention in those aged over 60 is a total waste of time and resources, whereas altering your lifestyle is the single most important way to achieve a good quality of life.”

Amen!

In addition, study co-author Dr. Malcolm Kendrick said their findings show “that older people with high LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol levels lived longer and had less heart disease.”

Why in the world?
Why in the world would this study basically say that cholesterol is OK when all we’ve heard over the last few decades is that cholesterol means heart disease?

Because cholesterol’s role in the development of heart disease has been extensively overstated and twisted so that drug companies can make money on drugs, that’s why.

Pfizer’s prize statin Lipitor is the most profitable drug of all time, with sales of over $140 billion.  They are very happy that millions of people have been frightened into thinking all cholesterol is bad, thank you very much.

And drug companies have an extremely strong influence (aka deep pockets) over medical school curriculums, the physician community, medical associations and the prescribing parameters they create.

The real truth about cholesterol and heart disease
Cholesterol is a substance your body NEEDS.

It functions as an antioxidant, protects you against cancer, it repairs wounds and tears in your arteries, it’s vital for your brain and nervous system, it’s needed for your body to make hormones and vitamin D, and it helps your body use serotonin, which protects against depression.

The true instigator behind heart disease is inflammation in your arteries, and that is very commonly the result of these four things:

  • Too much glucose coursing through your blood (because of a diet high in sugar and refined carbs)
  • A buildup of homocysteine in your bloodstream (due to lacking B vitamins)
  • Lacking the natural anti-inflammatory omega-3 essential fatty acids your body needs to control inflammation
  • High blood pressure (which is commonly the result of diet and lacking exercise)

Once inflammation occurs in your arteries then yes, cholesterol is summoned to the scene to do its repair work—but it’s certainly NOT the guilty party here.

They NOT safe!
Although statins are ridiculously touted as “safe” nothing could be farther from the truth.

Statins can and do cause many serious side effects including muscle pain and weakness, incapacitation, kidney failure, death, type 2 diabetes, memory loss, depression, pancreatic inflammation, sexual dysfunction, gallstones, poor digestion, low energy and abnormal heart rhythm, to name a few.

Sorry, but that doesn’t sound very “safe” to me.

A smarter, safer approach
A smarter, safer approach here is to naturally support your body in its efforts to control inflammation and maintain a healthy cholesterol level!
Here are some measures that can help:

Start with your diet.  Eat wholesome REAL foods and ditch the refined carbs and sodas.  And don’t buy into the “all saturated fat is bad” BS either—that was created by vegetable oil companies who make a lot of money selling you their rancid creations and margarines.  Your body needs saturated fats, so go ahead and have a 3-4 oz. serving of meat (preferably organic) or butter on your vegetables.

Make sure you have adequate levels of omega-3 essential fatty acids by supplementing with a fish oil formula like VitalMega-3.  (Be sure to talk to your doctor first if you’re on a blood thinner like Warfarin.)

Get regular exercise.  Nothing is more effective to help control your blood pressure and your weight than working up a sweat at least 3-4 times a week.  Just be sure to get your doctor’s OK—trust me, he or she will be thrilled.

Supplement with probiotics.  Your liver naturally controls your cholesterol level by eliminating old, worn-out cholesterol through the intestinal tract, but in order for it to effectively do so, a healthy intestinal environment and regular bowel movements are crucial.  Supplementing with probiotics like Super Shield can help support your body’s efforts by encouraging healthy BMs and repopulating your supply of helpful intestinal bacteria.