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?”

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.

Tinnitus symptoms can improve with Pycnogenol antioxidant therapy

Tinnitus is the medical term for an aggravating condition where sound is heard that’s produced from within the ear canal rather than from outside of it. Over 44 million Americans suffer with this disorder.

This internal sound is often described as ringing, buzzing, humming, swishing or whistling. The sound may be continuous or intermittent.

While tinnitus is not completely understood, it is frequently correlated to some type of injury to the ear. Common culprits are loud or prolonged noise exposure or ear infections. Meniere’s disease is a more serious condition which has tinnitus symptoms accompanied with extreme vertigo.

Antihistamines or antibiotics often relieve tinnitus or Meniere’s symptoms. However, millions of people have not experienced relief from those treatments.

Several studies using antioxidants have shown promise for tinnitus symptoms:

  • A 2007 study found idiopathic tinnitus significantly improved after 18 weeks of using a mix of oral antioxidants (including Vitamin E, Vitamin C, and beta-carotene).
  • A pilot study observed that tinnitus suffers with low levels of CoQ10 had reduced symptoms after supplementing with CoQ10 for 16 weeks.
  • In 2003 a study of 25 volunteers with Meniere’s found 91% had fewer vertigo episodes & 44% experienced improved hearing after 2 months of antioxidant use.
  • A 2010 study of 92 people with mild to moderate tinnitus noted significant improvement after 4 weeks of consuming 150 mg. of Pycnogenol® daily. Pycnogenol was observed to enhance blood flow to the cochlear. Higher amounts of Pycnogenol produced greater results.

Inadequate amounts of antioxidants can prevent or impede healing. Use of oral antioxidants can improve cellular function and enhance overall health. Antioxidants and nutrients are much easier to absorb if they are in an isotonic state because they don’t require lengthy digestion. Isotonic supplements provide up to 95% of their value in minutes versus the average 10-20% nutritive value which makes it to the bloodstream by the time tablets or capsules are digested.

Isotonix® has the only form of isotonic capable trademarked Pycnogenol® on the market. As an antioxidant Pycnogenol® is 50 times more potent than Vitamin E and 20 times more potent than Vitamin C. Isotonix OPC-3® is a synergistic blend of Pycnogenol®, Grape Seed, Bilberry, and Citrus Bioflavonoids.

All of the Isotonix® products are powders that, when mixed with the appropriate amount of water, become delicious drinkable isotonic solutions.

Some excellent products for improving auditory health and reducing the stress of tinnitus would include:

Try this simple test at home to see if your Antioxidant works

Antioxidants are all the rage because they are critical for good health. Antioxidants strengthen cellular function, fight disease and slow aging by inhibiting oxidizing free radical damage. Demand has manufacturers adding antioxidants to sport drinks, pet food, cosmetics, coffee, you-name-it.

Ads splash around enticements like “live longer”, “feel better”, “fight illness”. Antioxidants really can help achieve all these benefits if they actually work by resisting free radical oxidation.

Antioxidants come in the form of certain vitamins, minerals, enzymes and phytonutrients. Our bodies also produce natural antioxidants in the form of glutathione and CoQ10 to support cellular health. Inadequate antioxidant levels are found in virtually every type of disease and are primary contributors to aging.

Sorting through hundreds of antioxidant compounds for what will address your needs can be overwhelming and confusing. If you purchase an antioxidant and start using it, how long will it be before you notice a difference? A few weeks or a few months? Do you need more time or a larger dosage? Is your antioxidant even working? Is it adequately blocking cellular oxidation and cleaning up free radicals?

Oxidation occurs when oxygen molecules react to a substance that they encounter. The amount of oxygen present and the type of material encountered affect the result. Often oxidation is visible to the naked eye. Browning fruit and rusting metal are prime examples of oxidation.

Lemon juice is very high in the antioxidant vitamin C. That’s why sliced fruit dipped in lemon juice neutralizes oxygen molecules in the air and slows down the browning of the fruit. Wax on a car acts like an antioxidant by creating a barrier from the oxidizing air, which maintains the luster of the finish.

Our bodies are assaulted by much more than oxygen air molecules. Bacteria, viruses, free radicals, injuries, disease and aging all damage our cells continuously. Inadequate antioxidant levels leave us vulnerable, or worse, in a state of disease. Antioxidants are the internal cavalry fighting for our health.

Use this simple test to verify a base level of activity in your antioxidant.

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The scent of a dog…

A few weeks ago I stepped into the world of pet ownership for the very first time. Our son has a friend who got a puppy that he couldn’t keep and we ended up adopting him. The puppy is a chocolate lab mix and we named him Jackson.

Being the researcher-type, Jackson has provided a ton of new search criteria for me. Canine behavior, obedience training, dog food, best dog toys, etc. It’s amazing how big the pet paraphernalia world is!

I have several clients with pets who swear by the PetHealth™ product brand, so I ordered some for Jackson. Jackson is only 12 weeks old so he has no joint pain or age related problems which many dogs take the PetHealth™ OPC antioxidant for. However, Jackson was having some eye secretions which were kind-of yucky so I started giving him a quarter teaspoon of PetHealth™ OPC in each of his meals. His eyes cleared up in a couple days.

Another aspect of doggy ownership that surprised me was shampoo scents. What is up with all the fruit scented shampoos? Green apple, papaya, mango, strawberry-vanilla? It just seemed weird for a dog to smell like fruit. So I tried a few different “herbal” scents. One of them left Jackson still smelling “doggy”. Another cut the dog smell but left Jackson smelling very medicinal – too much like tea tree oil.

After contacting a couple of my clients I got the PetHealth™ Hypoallergenic Shampoo and used it on Jackson after he came in smelling nasty from digging in the dirt. Wow! What an improvement! The scent is hard to describe, kind-of a clean woodsy-lavender. Very nice, not overpowering and definitely not fruity to too floral and his coat was soft and shiny. I even put some PetHealth Paw Balm on him just to complete his salon experience.

Now if only I could find a no-peeing-in-the-house tonic….

Lap band? Gastric bypass? You’re going to love drinking Isotonix vitamins

Thousands of people have had lap band or gastric bypass surgery in an effort to reclaim their health and deal with excess weight. While effective, these procedures can also make it challenging to get adequate nutrition. Those who’ve had gastric bypass are especially at risk for malnourishment, making supplementation critically important.

When it comes to vitamins, “what you take” is of less importance than “what you absorb”. Bio-availability refers to the ability of the body to utilize a substance. Quality, potency, bio-availability, dosage standardization and efficacy are essential when choosing a supplement. Additional obstacles to efficient digestion (whether through surgical procedures, illness, antacids, medications, or age) elevates the importance of absorption.

It’s fairly well known that pills and tablets are only 10-20% absorbed and can take from 1-8 hours to digest. Digestion is affected by a wide variety of factors, not least of which is what you’re attempting to digest. The longer a vitamin takes to digest the less potent it becomes. Compromised digestion and inadequate absorption is largely why people sometimes feel like their vitamin supplements are not working.

Capsules and pills can be troublesome for those who have had lap band or gastric bypass because they can get stuck in the stomach “pouch“. The process of a pill dissolving in the stomach pouch can sometimes be quite painful and even cause tissue damage. Liquid vitamins can be an improvement. However many liquid vitamins taste awful, have dyes and preservatives, are costly per serving (most of what you’re paying for is water), have inadequate or low-quality nutrients and may still be difficult to digest.

After a serious procedure like lap band or gastric bypass, it’s lamentable that some people turn to inexpensive or mass marketed vitamins to assist them on their journey towards health. Vitamins like Centrum have binding agents, preservatives, dyes, talc and even hydrogenated oils. Not exactly ingredients that are associated with good health.

Fortunately there is a better option.

Isotonic is a scientific term that refers to a liquid that has the “same concentration” or osmotic pressure as another liquid. Isotonic solutions contain the correct amount of dissolved particles so the body can utilize them immediately. Intravenous solutions are isotonic.

Isotonix® is an exclusive brand of natural drinkable isotonic nutrients. Isotonix® are powders that mix quickly and easily into a specific amount of water (one serving is approximately 1 teaspoon mixed into 2 ounces of water). A serving of an Isotonix® nutraceutical is up to 95% absorbed in about 5 minutes. Isotonix® do not need to be digested like pills, capsules, or non-isotonic liquids do. A clinical study found that the Isotonix® product delivered more nutrients into the bloodstream in less time than tablets containing the same ingredients.

Isotonix® Multivitamins are drinkable, gentle, delicious, natural and are very cost effective. Most people need a broad spectrum antioxidant and calcium supplement along with a multivitamin for basic nutritional support. Isotonix OPC-3® is an exceptional antioxidant with anti-inflammatory and pain reducing benefits and Isotonix® Calcium Plus is an outstanding calcium and mineral supplement.

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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… and that’s why your vitamins aren’t working!

The human body is comprised of roughly 10 trillion cells. Every cell is basically a highly sophisticated bio-chemical machine. Vitamins are small molecules that the cells need to perform specific functions. Our bodies can’t manufacture these vitamin and mineral molecules. Instead they must be provided via food or supplementation.

There are about 15 different essential vitamins and minerals that our bodies need. Some fat-soluble vitamins (like Vitamin A) can be stored in the body for long periods of time. Others, especially water-soluble vitamins, must be replenished frequently.

So, vitamins and minerals are essential. Our cells depend on them. Then why do so many people who take supplements regularly still feel lousy and continue to struggle with symptoms of poor cellular health?

The likely culprit? Poor absorption. The cells can’t get enough of the active compounds from the type of vitamin being taken.

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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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