Migraines may double the possibility of stroke

Twenty-one international studies conducted from 1975 through 2007, which involved over 622,000 adults, have resulted in finding a link between migraines and higher rates of ischemic stroke (the most common type of stroke).

People who suffer with migraines once or more per month were at twice the risk of having a stroke, even after factoring in variations like age, weight, blood pressure, diabetes and smoking.

The results of these findings are not fully understood. Some researchers like Dr. Saman Nazarian (an assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore) said “It’s likely, however, that a common underlying process contributes to both migraines and stroke risk.”

One theory is that migraines may be an indication of a dysfunctional vascular system.

That theory aligns with a comment from Dr. Saman Nazarian (a senior researcher and an assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore) who said it’s likely that a common underlying process contributes to both migraines and stroke risk. Dr. Nazarian went on to recommend that migraine sufferers should be vigilant in controlling any modifiable risk factors that they may have which would include diabetes, high blood pressure and smoking.

Read the entire article from Reuters here.

C-reactive proteins are inflammation markers which predict cardiovascular risk. A clinical study found regular use of drinkable Isotonix OPC-3® reduced C-reactive proteins by 52.1% in subjects with metabolic syndrome after just two months.

For additional information on products which address common underlying nutritional deficiencies that contribute to migraines, please see my posts on:

“Combat Migraines with Isotonic Antioxidants”
“Which is better? Isotonic or tablet OPC-3?”

Curcumin shows Results in Rebuilding & Protecting Brain Cells after Stroke

The benefits of curcumin just never seem to end. This amazing plant compound (the active ingredient in turmeric) offers a wide array of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits as well as stifling growth of abnormal cells. Curcumin has been shown to be safe when consumed in high amounts (like 12 grams) per day, however benefit is seen in just 100 mgs daily. Curcumin has been shown to improve:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Diabetes & Depression
  • Arthritis & Inflammation
  • Several forms of Cancer
  • Neurological Disorders
  • Crohns and other Digestive Problems

A new curcumin hybrid compound called CBN-001 has demonstrated it could protect and restore brain cells after stroke in laboratory models. In tests, CBN-001 administered up to one hour after stroke effectively reduced motor control movement problems. This hybrid compound protected and nourished neurons (brain cells) while repairing stroke damage on a molecular level.

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Which is better: Isotonic or tablet OPC-3?

Millions of people enjoy the benefits of drinking a proprietary isotonic antioxidant called Isotonix OPC-3®. A tablet form of OPC-3® is not commercially available. However, for the purpose of testing, European researchers created a tablet version of OPC-3® to compare its assimilation (consumed with the equivalent amount of water) to the isotonic version. Phytotherapy Research e-published the compelling study results.

Both formulations of OPC-3® delivered antioxidant benefits by markedly reducing oxygen free radicals in blood plasma. However, the drinkable isotonic version of Isotonix OPC-3® measured 6 times higher than the tablet version within 10 minutes of consumption. After 20 minutes the isotonic formulation was approximately 4 times more bioavailable than the tablet. In fact, throughout the 4 hour investigation the isotonic formulation displayed a consistently superior level of performance.

As the chart indicates there was a much higher nutrient absorption and delivery in the drinkable isotonic formulation known as Isotonix OPC-3®.

Another clinical study found Isotonix OPC-3® dramatically reduced major cardiovascular risk factors in 61 individuals with metabolic syndrome over two months. Improvement occurred in blood pressure, total cholesterol, and fasting blood glucose. Supplementation with Isotonix OPC-3® resulted in a 52.1% drop in C-reactive proteins. C-reactive proteins are inflammation markers which predict cardiovascular risk. Comparatively, testing has shown that statin drugs produce 13-14% reductions in C-reactive proteins and often carry troubling side effects.

Naturally Improve Blood Pressure & Congestive Heart Failure

Results published from a 2010 clinical study in Italy found that using Pycnogenol®, along with CoenzymeQ10, significantly improved blood pressure and cardiovascular performance in participating subjects.

Pycnogenol® is a patented form of French maritime pine bark extract and has been part of hundreds of clinical studies due to its enormous range of health benefits. CoenzymeQ10 (CoQ10) is is a critically important vitamin-like substance, produced within the human body, that is essential for cellular activity.

The 53 subjects had stable congestive heart failure, mild to moderately high blood pressure and 75% were using three or more medications to manage their heart failure. The subjects given 12 weeks of Pycnogenol® and CoQ10 supplementation obtained the following results:

  • Significantly lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure
  • More than three-fold increase in treadmill walking distances
  • Substantial reduction in distal edema (edema of the extremities)
  • Improved heart rates and respiratory rates

In conclusion, researchers found: “The association of Pycnogenol and CoQ10 may offer an important therapeutic option with a very good tolerability that improves heart failure management without side effects.”

Isotonix OPC-3® is a synergistic blend of potent plant-based antioxidants and contains the only isotonic-capable Pycnogenol® on the market. This drinkable isotonic formula delivers up to 95% nutrient absorption within minutes of ingestion.  A separate clinical study conducted on subjects supplemented with Isotonix OPC-3® had significant cardiovascular performance improvements after 8 weeks.

Isotonix® CoQ10 offers similar bioavailability advantages and can even be mixed together with the OPC-3® and drank at the same time.

Yikes! No Bull! This popular energy drink may increase risk of Sudden Heart Attack

The National Heart Foundation of Australia sponsored a study on the effects of Red Bull energy drink, on cardiovascular performance. The surprising results were recently published in the American Journal of Medicine.

Fifty healthy male and female volunteers (between 20-24 years old) participated in the study. One hour after consuming a sugar-free Red Bull energy drink, several negative physiological changes were observed in the participants:

Sticky clotting blood, vascular malfunction and unnatural elevation of  blood pressure are not conditions anyone should try to frequently induce in their body. Watch this 2 minute video from About.com on what happens during a heart attack.

Reducing free radicals has been found to improve endothelial function. Obviously, drinking Red Bull in this study impaired endothelial function. More research will be be done to determine exactly why these changes were observed in those young, healthy volunteers.  However, it seems reasonable to speculate that Red Bull increased free radical production which causes cellular oxidization. Cellular oxidation contributes to a vast array of inflammation, disease, and accelerated aging. Just consuming caffeinated drinks (like coffee) does not produce these type of troubling results.

If you are looking for a caffeine-free energy drink loaded with antioxidants that supports heart health and tastes amazing, try Awake™ Energy Drinks.  If you’d like some caffeine combined with vitamins and antioxidants that also supports cardiovascular health , check out Isotonix® Acai Advanced Energy & Antioxidant, MochaTonix®, or for easy portability at a very affordable price intenseFX Quick Release Energy Tablets.

Drinkable solutions that are truly isotonic have the correct ratios of solids to liquids that enable them to be absorbed very rapidly and easily. Isotonix® products deliver up to 95% of their nutrients into the blood stream in minutes when taken as directed.

Identify, target and kill cancer with the help of Omega 3 fish oil even during chemotherapy

Most people know of the many benefits which omega 3 fatty acids in fish oil can provide. Improved cardiovascular health, blood pressure, cognitive performance, skin, and joint health are just a few. However, omega 3 fish oil also offers significant benefits if a health crisis like cancer emerges.

Studies noting the benefit of omega 3 fatty acids in fish oil in relation to cancer have been going on for many years. Several human trial studies have found that omega 3 oils are not only anti-inflammatory, they also discourage the proliferation of cancer by inhibiting its cellular development and ability to capture blood supply. In short, omega 3 fatty acids act as anti-cancer agents in humans.

Some studies combined omega 3 fish oil with Vitamin D3 and observed interesting cancer-fighting benefits. Other studies found that omega 3 fish oil assists chemotherapy treatments by increasing the sensitivity of chemo-resistant cancer cells and triggering apoptosis (natural cell death) in the cancerous cells.

Dr. Elaine Hardman and Dr. Ivan Cameron conducted research for the American Institute of Cancer Research (AICR) from the University of Texas Health Science Center. They explain this ability of omega 3 fish oil to target chemoresistant cancer cells as follows:

“The polyunsaturated fatty acids found in fish oil are used by both normal cells and cancerous cells in making up their cell membranes,” says Dr. Hardman, the study’s principal investigator. “Studies suggest that the more types of these fatty acids the cancer cells incorporate, the more sensitive they become to damage by certain chemotherapeutic drugs. Left unchecked, this damage can initiate a chain reaction that ultimately kills the cancer cell.”

The AICR trials noted that normal healthy cells were unaffected by the omega 3 fatty acids while the cancerous cells regressed and died.

AICR Vice President, Ritva Butrum stated:

“These findings are very promising. It may soon be possible for cancer patients to dramatically increase the effectiveness of their chemotherapy simply by making a few dietary adjustments. Such a direct and non-invasive way to augment current treatment is sorely needed, and would represent a great leap forward.”

In addition, high quality omega 3 fish oil fatty acids were found to reduce side effects related to chemotherapy like dry mouth, sore throat, fatigue, nausea, vomiting and weight loss.  Participants using omega 3 fish oil had lower side effects plus improved appetite and energy levels. “Increasing the amount of fish oil in a patient’s diet may delay or eliminate such side-effects,” says Dr. Hardman, “allowing effective doses of chemotherapeutic drugs to be administered with a greater margin of safety than ever before.”

When selecting an omega 3 fish oil there are some important factors to consider. First, small body fish are preferable because they have shorter lives and harbor much lower heavy metal and/or mercury levels. Sardine and anchovy are better sources of high quality omega 3 oil than large fish like cod or krill (which are tiny but lower in omega 3 fatty acids) . An omega 3 fish oil should also have independent laboratory analysis that verifies its content, purity, and potency. Finally, a therapeutic amount of daily omega 3 fish oil is 3 grams (not milligrams). Heart Health™ Essential Omega III Fish Oil with Vitamin E possesses all of these attributes. If you’d prefer a non-capsule omega3, the Might-A-Mins® Spectrum Omega 3 is a delicious, cream,y orange-vanilla, whipped pudding-like option.

Curcumin looks like a Winner against Diabetes and Breast Cancer

Curcumin is the active ingredient in the tumeric herb and has been used medicinally for thousands of years. Today studies continue to confirm the benefits of this amazing compound.

Researchers in the United States and Korea recently published a study which found  curcumin lowered blood glucose levels, cholesterol and triglycerides in diabetic mice after being supplemented with curcumin for just six weeks. No changes were observed in the the healthy non-diabetic mice. The researchers concluded: “These results suggest that curcumin seemed to be a potential glucose-lowering agent and antioxidant in type 2 diabetic db/db mice”.

A 2009 study released by the Department of Internal Medicine and Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Michigan observed that curcumin enhanced with piperine decreased the number of cancerous cells in breast tissue. Once again no changes or toxicity were observed in normal healthy cells.

“This shows that these compounds are not toxic to normal breast tissue,” researcher, Kakarala says. “Women at high risk of breast cancer right now can choose to take the drugs tamoxifen or raloxifene for prevention, but most women won’t take these drugs because there is too much toxicity. The concept that dietary compounds can help is attractive, and curcumin and piperine appear to have very low toxicity.”

Some products add piperine to boost the absorption of curcumin because curcumin typically has low bioavailability. Bioavailability is the extent to which a substance can be absorbed. How much you consume of a supplement is less important than how much you absorb.

Curcumin Extreme™ is a unique product formula containing a patented form of enhanced bioavailable and 100% natural curcumin called BCM-95® . BCM-95® is six times more readily absorbed than standard curcumin.

Curcumin Extreme™ promotes liver detoxification, healthy glutathione levels and normal cell regeneration. In addition, Curcumin Extreme™ contains broccoli seed extract known as another antioxidant that supports immune system function and selenium, which is an essential mineral that reduces oxidative stress and supports healthy thyroid function.

Wonderful – Terrible – Prednisone

Prednisone is a synthetic form of corticosteroid that can be administered in topical, injectable, or oral form. Corticosteroids are a class of steroid’s which act like hormones that are produced by the adrenal gland.

Prednisone is prescribed to very effectively suppress immune system response when treating a variety of inflammatory diseases and disorders. This includes arthritis, eczema, some cancers, irritable bowel symptoms, asthma, allergic reactions, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, chronic pain conditions and many others.

When our bodies are under stress, a natural steroid hormone called cortisol is a released. Cortisol is part of the “fight or flight” response which causes changes to blood pressure, blood sugar, immune and inflammatory response. These changes are not harmful when the body has a chance to recover from the stress inducing event. Stress responses can become very problematic if triggered too frequently.

The immune system cannot operate properly under the influence of excessive cortisol. Impaired immunity leaves the door open to illness and disease. Because prednisone is a synthetic corticosteroid it should be used cautiously, infrequently, and sparingly to reduce the likelihood of complications. When used judiciously, it can be a wonderful drug.

However, when prednisone is taken for more than a few weeks, it causes the adrenal gland to shrink, producing fewer natural steroid hormones. That is why discontinuing prednisone and other corticosteroids much be done slowly so that the adrenal gland can return to normal production. Sudden drug withdrawal can trigger dangerous side effects. There are also some terrible possible side effects and complications which can occur when using prednisone:

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Is your medication robbing you of essential nutrients?

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Studies show that up to 65% of the elderly hospitalized in America are MALNOURISHED. Sadly being overfed and under-nourished impacts hundreds of thousands in the United States. When you combine poor nutrition along with the consumption of medications that exacerbate nutrient loss, supplementation becomes even more vital to support general health.

The Physician’s Desk Reference along with the “Drug-Induced Nutrient Depletion Handbook” are the sources for the following  information on nutrients that are blocked or reduced by common medications.

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Pycnogenol protects passengers from leg swelling, blood clots and jetlag

Two clinical studies (2004 and 2005)  observed the beneficial effects of the patented French pine bark extract known as Pycnogenol® in preventing and reducing thrombosis (the clotting of blood within veins) on roughly 200 subjects traveling on long-distance flights (over eight hours).

The studies demonstrated that passengers using Pycnogenol® had no instances of thrombosis or, in a few cases, less than 6% variation in their ankle circumference (far less than the control group).

In addition to promoting circulation, the highly potent antioxidant properties of Pycnogenol® make blood platelets more slippery, reducing the incident of blood clots and supporting cardiovascular health.

Jetlag was also reduced by 50% with Pycnogenol®. This 2008 study found that jetlag symptoms including fatigue, irritability, insomnia, edema and cognitive impairments were half of those found in both healthy and hypertensive individuals when Pycnogenol® was taken.

These studies observed the effects of supplementing with Pycnogenol® in capsule form. Isotonix OPC-3® is an exclusive blend of high potency antioxidants that include Pycnogenol® in a drinkable isotonic form. In fact, Isotonix OPC-3® is the only product on the market which provides Pycnogenol® in an isotonic form.

Isotonic solutions do not have to be digested like tablets, capsules or even liquids do. Instead Isotonix OPC-3® delivers Pycnogenol® in an ideal isotonic state that is ready to go directly into the small intestine for absorption. This extreme bioavailability provides up to 95% nutrient absorption into the bloodstream in approximately 5 minutes. Capsules and tablets can take 1-4 hours to digest, which reduces their nutrient value to 10-20%.

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