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The Fat That Boosts Brain Function (In Just One Dose!)

By: Kelley Herring, Healing GourmetCoconuts

For years, mainstream nutritional advice was that we needed carbohydrates (in the form of glucose) to fuel our brain. This advice seemed to make sense, because the brain can run on sugar… but sugar is not your brain’s preferred fuel.

The same is true for your car. While it can run on dragster fuel, this is not what makes the engine in your car run best. In fact, the same fuel that sends a dragster screaming down the race track will quickly burn up the engine in your car.

So, what is the preferred fuel for your brain?

Fat.

In fact, the brain works much more efficiently on fat, which provides more units of energy per gram than glucose… and which produces fewer waste byproducts in the process.

And while all healthy fats provide this supercharged fuel for the brain, there is one kind of fat that has been found to have especially beneficial effects on brain function…

Coconut Oil: The Healthy Fat That Boosts Brain Function

Coconut oil is rich in a unique kind of fat molecule, called medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). The primary benefit of MCTs is that they are highly absorbable, they boost metabolism, and they are converted quickly to energy by the liver.

But that’s not all…

MCTs also produce molecules called ketones. And recent research shows that ketones are nothing short of miraculous when it comes to brain health.

A pioneering study published in the journal, Neurobiology of Aging, reported that cognitive function in older adults with memory disorders almost immediately improved with just one 40 ml dose of MCTs!

The study evaluated 20 patients with either mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s disease. On separate days, the patients were either given MCTs or a placebo. Within just 90 minutes of taking the “shot” of MCTs, researchers found significant increases in ketones in their blood.

So, how did this relate to brain function?

The researchers administered the “gold standard” test for memory and cognition - the Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale – Cognitive Subscale (ADAS-cog).

What they found is that patients who were given a SINGLE dose of MCTs had greater improvements in recall compared to those not getting the brain-booster. And these results were seen in all of the patients!

What’s more, the researchers reported significant overall improvements in the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease after 45 and 90 days of treatment with MCTs.

How Medium Chain Triglycerides Beat “Brain Diabetes”

While it has long been known that many foods provide functional and medicinal benefits, how could it be possible to achieve such profound effects after ingesting such a relatively small amount of MCTs?

The answer lies in the unique structure of these fats and how they are metabolized in the brain.

When the brain is accustomed to using glucose as fuel, insulin resistance and a low metabolic state develop. You can think of this unhealthy state as “brain diabetes.” In fact, many researchers are even calling Alzheimer’s disease Type 3 Diabetes.

This is the same thing that happens in the rest of the body when it runs on sugar. But the brain is extremely sensitive. When its function and ability are compromised, it is much more easily noticed and felt.

As the brain switches over from using glucose to using ketones, brain metabolism and insulin sensitivity increase. This results in clearer thinking and a recharged ability to recall information.

But that’s not all. In the process, ketones help clean up metabolic debris – or “cobwebs” – in neuronal structures of the brain. These cobwebs are partly made up of beta-amyloid protein – a substance that is correlated with Alzheimer’s disease and damages the ability of neurons to generate energy in brain cells.

How to Get the Benefits

Big Pharma has jumped on board with MCTs for Alzheimer’s. In fact, the FDA-approved 'medical food' caprylidene (trade name Axona) is now available by prescription.

But you can get all of the benefits (and none of the potential risks) by enjoying organic virgin coconut oil and other all-natural coconut products. Coconut oil contains approximately two-thirds (66%) MCTs by volume. For coconut milk, approximately 25% of its volume is fat, again, with roughly two-thirds being MCTs.

In addition to enjoying organic virgin coconut oil, protect your brain by following the healthy fat-rich, low-carbohydrate diet of our ancestors. Along with enjoying grass-fed beef and lamb, pastured poultry and wild seafood, add more body-and-brain-protecting fats to your diet with tallow, lard, duck fat and bone marrow.

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ED NOTE: Kelley Herring is author of more than a dozen books on nutrition and natural healing. She is also the co-founder of Wellness Bakeries, which has just released their newest product – Better Bread – a 100% Paleo bread mix you can whip up in 5 minutes flat.

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REFERENCES
1.    Reger M, Henderson S, Hale C, et al.  Effects of beta-hydroxybutyrate on cognition in memory-impaired adults. Neurobiol Aging. 2004 Mar;25(3):311-4. PMID: 15123336
2.    Anonymous: Medium chain triglycerides.  Alt Med Rev 2002, 7:418-420.
3.    Lauren C Costantini, Linda J Barr, Janet L Vogel, Samuel T Henderson. Hypometabolism as a therapeutic target in Alzheimer's disease. BMC Neurosci. 2008 ;9 Suppl 2:S16. Epub 2008 Dec 3. PMID: 1909098
4.    Nafar F, Mearow KM. Coconut oil attenuates the effects of amyloid-β on cortical neurons in vitro. J Alzheimers Dis. 2014;39(2):233-7. doi: 10.3233/JAD-131436.




Beat Stress With US Marine Mind Trick

By: Dr. Al Sears, MDMarines

“I’m at my wits end,” Todd B. told me as soon as I closed the exam room door.

“I’ve seen eight different people. Two diet experts, a nutrition specialist and five different doctors. I’m taking four prescription medications and spending a lot of money on other natural healthcare products. But none of it’s working.”

He said, “I love being an entrepreneur, but I have to run these companies and I’m working 80 hours a week. I only sleep about 5 hours… I don’t even have time to cook for myself. I eat out. I barely have a few minutes to run on the treadmill in my basement.”

I teach my physician assistants what to look for, but I can often feel it when I walk into the room with a patient. People with severe stress and adrenal overload have a “pressured” kind of speech. They have an uneasiness you can feel if you’re receptive to it.

Todd was overweight, with low energy, anxiety, depression, and an almost non-existent sex drive. My tests showed he had high blood pressure, low testosterone, and high triglyceride levels. He was also deficient in a few key vitamins and nutrients.

I said, “I can help you reverse all of these conditions, but we need to cure the underlying cause.”

I call this kind of long-term stress “adrenal burnout.” It’s a commonly missed diagnosis, and doctors often treat the symptoms instead of the cause.

One of the main physical responses stress sets off is hormonal. Your adrenal glands start to work overtime, and one of the things they do is pump too much cortisol into your bloodstream. This can be devastating to your health over time. Just a few of the effects are:

    Mental Breakdown: Chronic high levels of cortisol put you at greater risk for a host of psychiatric problems, including depression, anxiety or worse. Studies show that people who suffer from personality and mood disorders have abnormally high cortisol levels.(1,2)

    Diabetes: High cortisol levels increase your insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes. One study shows that insulin resistance increases in step with amount of cortisol in the blood, regardless of your fitness level or body fat.(3)

    Hormonal Hunger and Obesity: Cortisol can strongly influence what you eat. One of the latest studies found that the kind of “daily hassles” Todd B. dealt with stimulates your desire for snack foods even when you are not physically hungry.(4)

I’ve treated dozens of patients with this common issue, so I gave Todd my solution.

“You need to set aside more time to relax.” I gave him a mindfulness exercise that I use and that’s proven to work.

“It’s all because of stress? It can’t be that simple.”

“All it takes is a few minutes a day,” I said. “The U.S. Marines even use this to knock out stress.”

In a recent study, they divided 48 male Marines into two groups before they deployed to war. Thirty-one took a mindfulness meditation course, while the other 17 Marines did nothing out of the ordinary. After only 8 weeks, Marines meditating for about 12 minutes a day scored better on mood evaluations, and had improved working memories.(5)

Another study done by the Mind Fitness Training Institute and the University of Pennsylvania looked at 30 Marines preparing to deploy to Iraq. The high-practice meditation group scored significantly better on test assessing reducing stress and anxiety. The control group that did nothing scored significantly worse.(6)

And in one recent study that is still underway, Marines took a “mindfulness fitness” course at the University of California at San Diego. I read about it in Pacific Standard magazine.(7) After their mindfulness training, Navy researchers took blood and saliva samples from the service members, and also gave them MRIs.

Meditation helped the troops recover better from stressful training. And their brain scans showed similarities to those taken of elite Special Forces soldiers and Olympic athletes in their ability to handle stressful situations.

One of the reasons meditation works so well is that is has a positive effect on your telomeres. Long healthy telomeres help protect your cells from damage and aging. A recent study looked at family caregivers in their very stressful jobs. They found that after only 8 weeks, those who meditated had their bodies’ telomere protection enzymes skyrocket by 43%.(8)

Here’s the technique I gave Todd that the Marines and Special Forces use, and you can use too. One thing to remember is that the benefits come from being mindful and focusing your concentration.

  • Sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes.
  • Let your awareness settle on the movement of your breath.
  • Follow the in-breath and out-breath, perhaps by saying “breathing in, breathing out” quietly to yourself.
  • Sit upright, with spine straightened and chin tucked in, while you calmly observe your breath.
  • Do this for ten to fifteen minutes a day.

That’s it. Try to do this practice every day. It helps to lower blood pressure, slow down your thoughts, refresh body and mind, and reverse the stress that can shorten your telomeres and cause disease.


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Resources:

1. Yilmaz et al. “Increased Levels of Nitric Oxide, Cortisol and Adrenomedullin in Patients with Chronic Schizophrenia.” Medical Principles and Practice. 2007;16(2):137-141.
2. Wingenfeld et. al. “Overnight urinary cortisol release in women with borderline personality disorder depends on comorbid PTSD and depressive psychopathology.” European Psychiatry. 2007;22(5):309-312.
3. Holt et. al. “Cortisol clearance and associations with insulin sensitivity, body fat and fatty liver in middle-aged men.” Diabetologia 2007;50(5):1024-1032.
4. Newman et. al. “Daily hassles and eating behaviour: The role of cortisol reactivity status.” Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2007;32(2):125-132
5.Jha A, Stanley E, Kiyonaga A, Wong L, Gelfand L. “Examining the protective effects of mindfulness training on working memory capacity and affective experience. ” Emotion, 2010;Vol 10(1), 54-64.
6. Stanley E, Schaldach J, Kiyonaga A, Jha A. “Mindfulness-based Mind Fitness Training: A Case Study of a High-Stress Predeployment Military Cohort.” Cognitive and Behavioral Practice 2011;18, 566–576.
7. Mockenhaupt B. “A State of Military Mind” Pacific Standard. www.psmag.com. June 18, 2012. Retrieved Jan 21, 2013.
8. Lavretsky H, Blackburn E, Irwin M, et. al. “A pilot study of yogic meditation … effects on mental health, cognition, and telomerase activity.” Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2013;28(1):57-65.

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Stress Free And 10 Years Younger

By: Dr. Al Sears, MDStress

You know stress hurts. You worry, you feel anxious… you lose sleep. That’s old news. But now, we can actually measure the effects of stress. And the wear and tear is more distressing than we even imagined. It goes all the way to your DNA.

Researchers at the University of California discovered that stress makes your cells die before their time – and produces all the terrible effects we think of as aging.

They compared women who felt a lot of stress to women under little stress. Using certain cellular markers, they discovered the high-stress women were up to 10 years “older” than women with low stress levels!(1)

The cellular markers they used are “telomeres.” Telomeres are the “time keepers” attached to every strand of DNA. As they get shorter, you get older and your body breaks down.

What’s more, the effects of stress on telomeres get worse with age. A North Carolina study found that stressed women over 55 had significantly shorter telomeres.(2) Therefore, the older we get, the more important it is to control the stress in our lives.

It’s not just women. An Ohio State University study linked shorter telomeres to high-stress occupations such as long-term caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients. The Alzheimer’s caregivers showed a four to eight year shortening of life span.(3)

That’s why it’s so important for you to get rid of stress. “Toughing it out” could be the biggest mistake you ever make. But stopping stress in its tracks can help you make your body 10 years younger.

Today I’ll give you the supplements you can take to help your body overcome stress. Plus, I’ll give you a way to repair the damage that stress has already done to your cells.

Slow Telomere Shortening with Antioxidants

When you’re under stress, your body needs more antioxidants.

Researchers in France studied the lifestyles of a wide range of men and women. They were looking to see which behaviors affected their ability to fight off free radicals. Not surprisingly, behaviors such as smoking and drinking lowered their bodies’ antioxidant ability. But the researchers found that psychological stress had the same effect.(4)

Scientists at Tokyo Medical and Dental University got similar results when they tested three groups of workers at a drug company. When the men were subjected to stress – making a speech in front of company executives – their bodies produced higher levels of a certain free radical.(5)

Perhaps more importantly, the French researchers also linked lower antioxidant capacity to a higher risk of cancer and heart problems. So building up your antioxidants when you’re stressed is particularly important.

A natural multivitamin and mineral supplement is a good place to start. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that those who took a multivitamin daily had 5.1 percent longer telomeres than non-users.(6)

Specifically, the study pointed to vitamins B12, C, and E for maintaining telomere length.

Vitamin B12 – I recommend taking at least 100 mcg per day. Although, I have advised my patients to take as much as 500 mcg per day or more for improving things like brain function and energy levels.

Vitamin C – based on my own experience, taking up to 3,000 mg per day is a good amount if you’re currently in good health. I always recommend pregnant women get at least 6,000 mg per day. And in times of stress or sickness, you can take up to 20,000 mg.

You also want to make sure that you get the natural form of vitamin C and not the synthetic form. In one particular study, natural vitamin C was 148% more effective than the synthetic form. And it stayed in the test participants’ systems longer.(7)

Vitamin E – There are actually eight forms of vitamin E, divided up into two groups: four tocopherols and four tocotrienols. Studies show the tocotrienols and the alpha tocopherol protects telomeres.8 But in a multivitamin, you want “mixed tocopherols and tocotrienols” because the alpha tocopherol is more absorbable and bioavailable when it’s in this natural mixed form.(9)

I recommend 200 to 400 IU of mixed tocopherols a day and 15 mg of mixed tocotrienols a day. Unlike vitamins B12 and C, vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means it needs fat to get absorbed in your body. So be sure to take it with food.

Besides fighting off the effects of stress with antioxidants, you can also help your body adapt to stress. That’s where herbs come in.

Adaptogens: Your Secret Weapon against Stress

In my experience, natural alternatives are usually superior to drugs. And my patients tend to agree. Herbs and other natural supplements are usually more effective and more economical than prescription drugs. And they rarely have the dangerous side effects.

Best of all, these natural alternatives don’t just mask symptoms the way most drugs do. Instead, they strengthen your body’s own natural defenses. And that means you’re dealing directly with the problem, not just covering it up.

This is the situation with some herbs called “adaptogens.” These herbs help your body adjust to stress – including psychological stress. And two of the best adaptogens are panax (Asian) ginseng, and Ginkgo biloba.

Both are approved for use by Commission E, the German government’s official natural medicine committee. And with good reason, too. They are effective in fighting stress. Better yet, this helps protect your telomeres.

For example, an animal study in India compared the effects of Ginkgo biloba and panax ginseng. The study found that both herbs show powerful stress-fighting properties. And ginseng was particularly effective against chronic stress – the kind of relentless pressure that’s so common in our society.(10)

In one study the treated a type of endothelial cell with ginkgo. The ginkgo prevented the cells from dying due to stress by protecting the telomeres and keeping them from shortening.(11)

What all this means to you is that you can get relief from stress, even if you can’t avoid it.

I advise my patients to take 120 mg of Ginkgo biloba and 200 mg to 500 mg of Panax ginseng daily if they are feeling stressed.

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Editors Note:  Dr. Al Sears, M.D. is a board-certified clinical nutrition specialist. His practice, Dr. Sears' Health & Wellness Center in Royal Palm Beach, Fla., specializes in alternative medicine. He is the author of seven books in the fields of alternative medicine, anti-aging, and nutritional supplementation, including The Doctor's Heart Cure. To get his free special report on the proven anti-aging strategies for building a vibrant, disease-free life, go here now. You'll learn how to stop Father Time without giving up the foods you love.

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1. Epel E, Blackburn E, Lin J, Dhabhar F, Adler N, Morrow J, Cawthon R. “Accelerated telomere shortening in response to life stress.” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2004;101(49):17312-5.
2. Parks C, et. al. “Telomere length, current perceived stress, and urinary stress hormones in women.” Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2009;18(2):551-60.
3. Damjanovic A, et. al. “Accelerated Telomere Erosion Is Associated with a Declining Immune Function of Caregivers of Alzheimer’s Disease Patients,” The Journal of Immunology. 2007. 179, 4249 -4254.
4. Lesgards J, et. al. “Assessment of lifestyle effects on the overall antioxidant capacity of healthy subjects.” Environ Health Perspect. 2002;110(5):479-86.
5. Yamaguchi T, et al. Psychological stress increases bilirubin metabolites in human urine. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. 2002;Volume 293, Issue 1, 26, Pages 517-520.
6. Xu Q, Parks C, DeRoo L, Cawthon R, Sandler D, Chen H. “Multivitamin use and telomere length in women.” Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Jun;89(6):1857-63.
7. Vinson J, Bose P. “Comparative Bioavailability of Synthetic and Natural Vitamin C in Guinea Pigs.” Nutrition Reports International, 1983;27, no. 4.
8. Tanaka Y, Moritoh Y, Miwa N. “Age-dependent telomere-shortening is repressed by phosphorylated alpha-tocopherol….” J Cell Biochem. 2007;102(3):689-703.
9. Burton G, et. Al. “Human plasma and tissue alpha-tocopherol concentrations in response to supplementation…” Amer J of Clin Nutr, Vol 67, 669-684
10. The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines, M. Blumenthal, et al., eds. (Austin, TX: American Botanical Council, 1998) pp 124, 136, 138.
11. Dong X, Hui Z, Xiang W, Rong Z, Jian S, Zhu C. “Ginkgo biloba extract reduces endothelial progenitor-cell senescence through augmentation of telomerase activity.” J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 2007;49(2):111-5.

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CoQ10 Supplements… Eat Your Heart Out!

By: Kelley Herring, Healing GourmetFish Oil

Today, I’d like to tell you about a nutrient that is absolutely vital to your health. Unfortunately, most of us don’t get enough, because it’s found in so few foods. Of course, you could take it as a supplement… if you don’t mind paying up to $120 a month.

But here’s the good news. I’ll also show you the unique and delicious food that contains more of this nutrient than any other, plus how you can consume as much as your body needs for just a few dollars per month.

The nutrient that I’m talking about is Coenzyme Q10. There’s a good chance you’ve heard of CoQ10. You might even be taking it as a supplement. But you might not know why this essential nutrient is so beneficial.

CoQ10 is a molecule that is found in the greatest concentration in the mitochondria of cells. This is the powerhouse of each cell, where energy is produced. And CoQ10 is vital for this process.

This is one reason why CoQ10 levels are closely related to athletic endurance and time to exhaustion. It is also why high levels promote a strong heart beat. In fact, CoQ10 is crucial for the heart because of the constant energy that is required to be produced.

Supplementing with CoQ10 has been shown to reduce blood pressure, improve arterial health, and dramatically cut the risk of heart failure. In fact, many hospitals use this nutrient specifically to treat congestive heart failure.

CoQ10 is also a powerful antioxidant and immune booster that guards against disease-promoting damage to proteins, lipids, and DNA. CoQ10 is vital to the health of virtually all human tissues and organs, including the brain as well.

Unfortunately, CoQ10 levels in the brain begin declining at the age of 20 and sharply decline after the age of 35. However, age is not the only culprit when it comes to declining CoQ10. This vital compound can also be depleted by:

•    Pharmaceutical drugs (Statin medications, in particular, decrease the body's internal production of Coenzyme Q10 by as much as 40%)
•    Long duration exercise
•    Consuming a vegan diet or avoiding red meat

And the depletion of CoQ10 – whether it is the natural result of aging or other factors – is bad news for your health. Scientific studies have linked CoQ10 deficiency with a wide variety of health conditions, including:

•    Cardiovascular disease and hypertension
•    Cancer
•    Gum disease
•    Mitochondrial disorders and chronic fatigue
•    Obesity and diabetes
•    Parkinson's disease
•    Gastric ulcers
•    Allergies
•    Migraine headaches
•    Muscular dystrophy

If you have a forward-thinking holistic doctor, he or she may have recommended that you take a high quality CoQ10 supplement (in the most bio-available form: ubiquinol).

This is certainly a beneficial step and it can make a world of difference in your health and energy levels. But it can also be very expensive. For example, Dr. Julian Whitaker recommends that most adults take 100 – 200 mg of CoQ10 daily. For those with existing health conditions – particularly heart trouble and diabetes – he recommends 300 – 600 mg daily.

Depending on the brand of supplement you buy, this could run upwards of $100 per month. That’s certainly worth it if your life depends on it… but the good news is that there is an even more effective and much less expensive way to get youth-promoting, disease-fighting CoQ10 into your cells…

Eat Your Heart Out: Introducing the SUPERIOR Source of CoQ10

CoQ10 was first identified in the mitochondria (the tiny powerhouse of each cell) of beef heart in 1957.

Why the heart?

Because CoQ10 is most abundant in the organs with the highest rates of cellular metabolism –first and foremost – the heart. In fact, CoQ10 levels in the heart are roughly THREE times that found in the liver and FOUR times higher than levels found in muscle meats.

Take a look at the foods that contain the greatest CoQ10 levels per gram:

Food CoQ10 (mcg/g)
Beef Heart 113
Sardines 64
Mackerel 43
Beef Liver 39
Beef 31-37
Pork 24-41
Pork Liver 23
Chicken 14-21
Tuna 16
Lard 10
Butter 7
Eggs 1-4

There are small levels of CoQ10 in certain fruits and vegetables. For example, spinach and broccoli contain about 10 micrograms per gram. But most plant foods have only about 1 microgram per gram – not nearly enough to provide the benefits you need.

As you can see, animal foods clearly top the list. And it is the organs – namely the heart – that contain the most of all. According Dr. Al Sears, M.D. and author of The Doctor’s Heart Cure, the organs of wild, grass-fed animals have up to ten times more CoQ10 than the organs of grain-fed animals. He says:

"Unless you regularly consume wild game or eat internal organs of grass-fed animals, it is difficult to maintain good blood levels of CoQ10 from dietary sources alone."

So, how much beef heart would you need to consume to get the upper limit of CoQ10 recommended by Dr. Whitaker for those with heart trouble?

I’ll save you the calculations. You would need to eat about 1.8 ounces of beef heart to consume 600 mg of CoQ10 daily. On the other hand, you would need to eat only one third of an ounce daily to consume the amount he recommends for “most people.”

How does that compare to supplements in terms of price?

If you were to purchase a 30-count bottle of 200 mg soft gels of CoQ10 (ubiquinol) from the Puritan’s Pride website, it would cost you $39.59. If you were to take the upper limit recommended by Dr. Whitaker, your monthly expenditure would be around $120.

At today’s price on the U.S. Wellness Meats website, the same amount of CoQ10 in the form of beef heart would cost you just $19 a month. And keep in mind – this comes in the form of a healthy and delicious food, not just a supplement. If your goal was to consume the lower end of the recommended daily dose, it would cost you just over $3 a month!

That is a very small price to pay for one of the most beneficial and necessary nutrients your body requires.

If you’re new to eating organ meats, you may wonder: What’s the best way to enjoy heart?  

Your Recipe for Bountiful Energy, Cellular Health and Longevity

As a muscle, beef heart is the mildest member of the offal family. In fact, it tastes a lot like steak or brisket. And while you can certainly grill or sauté it, or grind it into any recipe that calls for ground meat, a good amount of CoQ10 will be lost during cooking.

In fact, studies show that CoQ10 begins to degrade around 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit) and nutrient loss will vary with the cooking method.

A great way to preserve the nutritional benefits and maximize those precious grams of CoQ10 is to enjoy beef heart as the Europeans have for centuries: tartare.

Steak tartare, popular in Parisian bistros, is simply “highly seasoned ground beef eaten raw”. Using beef heart, we can create this same delicious and elegant appetizer, but with a hefty 250 mg of CoQ10 per 1-ounce serving.

Grass-Fed Beef Heart Tartare Recipe

Ingredients
•    3 pounds raw grass-fed beef heart*, trimmed
•    2 tsp. capers, rinsed
•    2 Tbsp. red onion, finely diced
•    2 organic Serrano peppers, sliced thin
•    10 organic Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
•    2 tsp. organic lemon zest, finely grated
•    1 organic fire-roasted red pepper, sliced into ½ inch strips
•    Extra-virgin olive oil
•    1 Tbsp. organic red wine vinegar
•    4 tsp. fresh basil, julienned
•    4 tsp. fresh mint, julienned
•    2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
•    ½ tsp. mineral-rich sea salt or Maldon salt
•    Bunch of fresh parsley, for garnish
•    Grain free bread, sliced and toasted
Preparation
1.    First, prepare the heart. Trim off any sinew and gristle and cut into pieces small enough to fit through a meat grinder on medium dice. Alternately, cut the beef heart into ¼-inch pieces.
2.     In a medium, non-reactive bowl, combine the heart with the capers, red onion, Serrano and fire roasted peppers, Kalamata olives and lemon zest.
3.    Gently mix with your hands, taking care to not over-mix the ingredients.
4.    Sprinkle with salt, olive oil, vinegar, oil and herbs and mix gently.
5.    Place tartare over a bed of fresh parsley and serve with sliced and toasted grain-free bread.

*Consuming raw meat can increase the risk for foodborne illness. Always be sure to purchase grass-fed meat from a purveyor you trust.


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ED NOTE: Kelley Herring is author of more than a dozen books on nutrition and natural healing. She is also the co-founder of Wellness Bakeries, which has just released their newest product – Better Bread – a 100% Paleo bread mix you can whip up in 5 minutes flat.

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REFERENCES:
1.    Pinar Ercan, Sedef Nehir. Changes in content of coenzyme Q10 in beef muscle, beef liver and beef heart with cooking and in vitro digestion. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis. Volume 24, Issue 8, December 2011, Pages 1136–1140
2.    G. De Pinieux, M. Ammi-Sai, et al. Lipid-lowering drugs and mitochondrial function: effects of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors on serum ubiquinone and blood lactate/pyruvate ratio. Br J Clin Pharmacol 1996; 42: 333–337
3.    Kamei et al., “The distribution and content of ubiquinone in foods,” Internat. J. Vit. Nutr. Res. 56 (1986) 57-63.
4.    Mattila, et al., “Coenzymes Q9 and Q10: contents in foods and dietary intake,” Journal of Food Composition and Analysis 14 (2001) 409-417.
5.    Ghirlanda, et al., "Evidence of plasma CoQ10-lowering effect of HMG-COA reductase inhibitors: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study," Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. 1993 Mar; 33(3):226-229.
6.    Linus Pauling IN stitute's Micronutrient InformationCenter. CoQ10
7.    Sears, Al, MD, The Doctor's Heart Cure: Discover the Simple, Easy, Enjoyable and Above-All PROVEN Plan to Lose Weight and Achieve a Shock-Proof, Disease-Resistance Heart — with Delicious, Natural Foods and Just a Few Minutes of Exercise a Day, St. Paul: Dragon Door, 2004, 133-146.
8.    Weber et al., "The coenzyme Q10 content of the average Danish diet," Int J Vitam Nutr Res. Vol. 67 No. 2 (1997) 123-129.

Paleo Autoimmune Protocol Foods at US Wellness

By: Eileen Laird

The Prevalence of Autoimmune Disease

According to the NIH, autoimmune disease affects 23 million Americans, and the AARDA puts that number closer to 50 million. The standard course of treatment is a lifetime of medication which can cost as much as $2,000 month, and comes with potentially dangerous side effects. Many people are looking elsewhere for answers, and finding the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol. Originally developed by Dr. Loren Cordain, it was popularized by Robb Wolf in his book, The Paleo Solution, and expanded by Dr. Sarah Ballantyne, author of the upcoming book, The Paleo Approach.  

What is the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol (AIP)?

The AIP is an elimination diet. You stop eating certain foods for 30 days (or longer), and then slowly reintroduce them to test your body for food intolerance. If your body reacts positively, you can happily reintegrate that food into your diet. If your body reacts negatively, you know that food is an inflammation trigger for you, and best to avoid. This communication has allowed many people with autoimmune disease to reduce their symptoms dramatically, some even going into remission.

Which foods are eliminated? The AIP permanently eliminates non-paleo foods: processed foods, refined oils, refined sugars, grains, legumes and soy. The AIP temporarily eliminates the following foods for 30 days, before they are reintroduced one at a time: dairy, eggs, nightshades, nuts and seeds.

AIP-Friendly Shopping at US Wellness Meats

As you can imagine, this diet is a challenge, but the rewards make it very worthwhile. Autoimmune disease brings with it some of the most debilitating symptoms of any illness. US Wellness believes passionately in the nutritious power of real food, and it’s inspiring to see people applying nutrition to successfully reverse autoimmune disease. To help, we have a list of AIP-Friendly foods that we offer. These include convenience foods (all nightshade-free). We’ve also linked to some nutrient-dense foods recommended for healing, such as bones for broth, and organ meats. Enjoy!

Food
Sugar Free Pork Bacon
Sugar Free Beef Bacon
Plain Beef Jerky Sticks
Plain Turkey Jerky
Beef Polish Sausage Sliders
Polish Kielbasa Sausages
Plain Beef Pemmican Bar
Beef Pemmican with Cherries and Honey
Salt & Pepper Pork Rinds
Cooked Sockeye Salmon Packs (Shelf-Stable)
Canned Wild Red Salmon
Canned Albacore Tuna
Bone Broth Ingredients
Beef Organ Meat
Lamb Organ Meat
Poultry Organ Meat

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EileenLaird

 

Eileen Laird, author of the blog, Phoenix Helix, used the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol to reduce her rheumatoid arthritis symptoms by 95%. She reached out to US Wellness to help them identify their AIP-friendly offerings. Through her blog, she also hosts a weekly Recipe Roundtable, where people share AIP-friendly recipes.

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Your New Year’s Resolution

By: Dr. Al Sears, MDProtein

Happy New Year to You & Your Family,

As the New Year begins, you may be thinking of making the same resolution I make each year. I want to get a little leaner and stay that way.

I seem to be able to accomplish most of my financial goals every year. As far as my social goals go – reaching out to my family and getting back in touch with people from my younger days – I seldom seem to get around to those. But I’m still going to resolve to try.

It’s keeping those few extra pounds off after I lose them that seems to be a big challenge. At least, it is for me.

I stay pretty fit, and I can get lean playing tennis and doing P.A.C.E. But then between traveling, working, writing, seeing patients… a few pounds always seem to creep back on. If I don’t do anything about it, extra fat will settle in around my waist.

So this year, I’m going to stick to one simple principle: eat extra protein.

Protein helps you build muscle and lose fat. But it may surprise you that eating extra protein helps you keep the fat from coming back.

It’s all about satiety – that feeling of being full. Protein gives you the feeling that the meal is done and you’ve had enough. Much more so than carbs or fat.

A study from doctors in the Netherlands proves this point. After the test subjects lost fifteen pounds each, they were divided into two groups. One group ate a regular diet. The other ate the same, but added an extra thirty grams of protein.

The group that didn’t have the protein gained back 350% more weight than the group with the protein supplement.(1) And the few pounds the protein group gained back was muscle – not fat.

To top it off, the protein group was thinner around the waist. That little fact reminded me of my PACE Study Group and got me motivated again. In the PACE Study Group, people who followed the high-protein eating plan I include in my PACE Express DVD program had an average:

- loss of 24.7 total inches

- 10% drop in body fat

- fat loss of 25.4 pounds

- overall loss of 23.8 pounds

These numbers started to go down right away as soon as they started PACE, and people kept losing the fat through the entire study.

Some of the people got a much more dramatic drop than the average. Randy R. lost 45 pounds and more than 41 total inches. Shawna B. lost 31 pounds and 41 total inches off her waist, thighs and arms. Karen W. lost 45 pounds… and there are dozens more like her.

Also, the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine found that eating more protein helps keep off pounds you’ve shed and continue dropping extra. That study looked at the added effect of combining more protein with a low-glycemic eating plan, like the one I show you in PACE Express.

Of the 1200 people in the NEJM study, only those who ate more protein and low-glycemic foods didn’t put back on the pounds. Even better, those who ate high protein with a low glycemic index continued to lose weight after the initial weight loss.(2)

As clear as this proof seems, you’d expect mainstream medicine to catch on, right? Wrong. If you visit the website for the American Heart Association, you’ll notice they have a “warning” against high-protein diets.

They claim that most Americans already eat more protein than their bodies need. Don’t ask me where they get this information. I can only guess. Most Americans barely get enough protein to survive let alone enough to build strong, resilient bodies.

They also suggest that high-protein diets restrict people from eating things like fruits and vegetables. As if we ate nothing but slabs of meat and raw eggs.

What modern medicine seems to forget is that your body is intelligent. It has the ability to adapt to change. By eating more protein than you need on any given day, you’re reminding your body that times are good. Life is abundant.

Protein boosts your sensitivity to the hormone leptin, which tells your brain that you’re full. As a result, you begin to feel the satisfaction that comes from having a good meal and you eat less. Then your body responds further by burning off fat. If you don’t need it, there’s no reason to keep it around.

So you don’t have to live the life of a monk, or eat bird food and grass. If you really want to drop a few stubborn extra pounds this year, here’s what I’m doing, and I recommend you do too:

  • At every meal, remember to have a pure source of protein. This means eating grass-fed beef and/or wild seafood whenever possible.
  • To add extra protein, instead of sticking with the standard recommendation of 50-60 grams a day, try eating one gram of protein for every pound of lean muscle. If you weigh 180 and have 20 percent body fat, you have 144 pounds of lean muscle mass. So shoot for 144 grams of protein a day. If you don’t know your body fat percentage, the average man is between 15 and 18 percent, and the average woman is between 18 and 22 percent. To get that protein boost, you can use a scoop of protein powder mixed into your favorite beverage.
  • Also, you want to eat sources of protein that are as complete as possible. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, so you want foods with an amino acid score at or higher than 100. Some fruits and vegetables have this… like the avocado with a score of 129. Beans, soy, and flax are not good sources. They are lower than 100.
  • Always balance your diet with a healthy portion of fruits and vegetables. These give you the antioxidants and many of the minerals you need to keep your metabolism going and burn off fat. Plus, they are much lower on the glycemic index than grains.

To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD
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Resources:
1. Kovacs, EM, et. al. “High protein intake sustains weight maintenance after body weight loss in humans.” International Journal of Obesity, 2003; 28, 57–64.
2. Larson, T, et. al. “Diets with High or Low Protein Content and Glycemic Index for Weight-Loss Maintenance.” N Engl J Med, 2010; 363:2102-2113.

This Mineral Mends Your DNA

By: Dr. Al Sears, MDDNA

Every hour of the day, your cells are under attack. Normally, this is ok because your cells have a built-in DNA repair system that fixes any damage. But when your cells are undernourished, they can lose the ability to repair themselves. And that’s bad news.

Part of the reason for the explosion of cancer in modern times is because we’re not repairing our DNA. Our bodies aren’t getting enough of the nutrients we need to make this process work.

But you can help protect yourself with a simple mineral. I’m talking about zinc.

Zinc helps prevent – and reverse – this damage to your DNA. Studies show that zinc and zinc-containing proteins are some of the most important factors in repairing DNA breaks.(1,2)

And a study by the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University shows that supplementing with zinc reverses cell damage.(3)

Add this latest finding to zinc’s list of health benefits:

  • Heart-health booster
  • Essential to your prostate and sexual performance
  • Can prevent pneumonia and speed the recovery from colds
  • Promotes wound healing

I see patients that have dangerously low levels of zinc all the time. As many as 40 percent of older people in the U.S. are deficient.(4)

That’s a shame because it’s easy to get the zinc you need for healthy cells. Zinc is in many foods we eat. Some good food sources of zinc(5) are:

Food Source of Zinc Mg per Serving % of DV
Oysters, raw, 6 medium 33.07 300
Beef Chuck, lean, cooked, 3 oz 8.73 79
Crab, Alaska King, cooked, 3 oz 6.5 59
Lamb Shoulder, cooked, 3 oz 6.21 56
Turkey, cooked, 1 cup 4.32 39
Pork Shoulder, cooked, 3 oz 4.2 38
Unsweetened Chocolate, 1 square 2.73 24
Yogurt, plain skim milk, 8 oz 2.2 20
Cashews, dry roasted, 1 oz 1.6 14

 

Your body absorbs about 40% of the zinc in your food. But you still want to eat foods with zinc because it will enter your body in its natural form. And that means it will bring with it all the trace minerals, enzymes, and co-factors that make it work so well in nature.

How much zinc do you need every day? If you go by the U.S. government’s recommended daily intake (RDI), you would only get a tiny amount: 8 mg a day for women and 11 mg per day for men. Even the most of the popular multivitamins you can buy only have 15 mg of zinc in them.

The problem with going by the RDI is that those amounts were established to make sure people got the bare minimum of a nutrient to prevent a dietary deficiency. The RDI has nothing to do with how much of something you should get for optimum health.

At the very least, you need three times the RDI, and twice as much as the average store-bought multivitamin gives you.

I recommend 30 mg a day of zinc if you’re currently healthy. You might need a little more depending on your activities and health. For example for athletes, pregnant women and prostate protection, I recommend 100 mg a day.

Also, it’s very important to stay away from high fructose corn syrup. Ingesting a lot of this sugar causes deficiencies in almost all of your important minerals including iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc.

 

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Editors Note:  Dr. Al Sears, M.D. is a board-certified clinical nutrition specialist. His practice, Dr. Sears' Health & Wellness Center in Royal Palm Beach, Fla., specializes in alternative medicine. He is the author of seven books in the fields of alternative medicine, anti-aging, and nutritional supplementation, including The Doctor's Heart Cure. To get his free special report on the proven anti-aging strategies for building a vibrant, disease-free life, go here now. You'll learn how to stop Father Time without giving up the foods you love.

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Resources:

1. Fenton A, Shirodkar P, Macrae C, Meng L, Koch C. “The PARP3- and ATM-dependent phosphorylation of APLF facilitates DNA double-strand break repair.’ Nucleic Acids Res. 2013;41(7):4080-92.
2. Sharif R, Thomas P, Zalewski P, Fenech M. “The role of zinc in genomic stability.” Mutat Res. 2012;733(1-2):111-21.
3. Song, et. al. “Dietary zinc restriction and repletion affects DNA integrity in healthy men.” Am J Clin Nut. 2009; Vol.90, No.2, 321-328.
4. “Zinc Deficiences A Global Concern.” Oregon State University. Sept.17, 2009.
5. National Institute of Health – Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: zinc. www.nih.gov

Bungling Buffoons Bad Advice

By: Dr. Al Sears, MDVitamins

“The evidence for supplementing with any vitamin … is just not there.”(1) — Dr. Benjamin Caballero, director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

“Based on existing evidence, we see little justification for the general and widespread use of dietary supplements.”(2) — Jaakko Mursu, Ph.D. and colleagues on the Iowa Women’s Health Study

“The concept of multivitamins was sold to Americans by an eager nutraceutical industry to generate profits. There was never any scientific data supporting their usage.”(3) — Steven Nissen, chairman of cardiology at the Cleveland Clinic

With all the evidence we have that none of us are getting enough of the right nutrients, this persists.

It’s part of the issue I deal with every day in trying to help people who come to my Wellness Center. They’re on medications, they don’t understand why they’re taking the drugs, and their doctor has told them no matter what’s wrong it can’t possibly be nutrition. Sometimes the doctor takes their supplements and throws them in the garbage.

But the truth is that even young people…who have a higher metabolism and can eat more food that the average 50 or 70-year-old…with all the extra food they can eat, only 1% of them are getting the nutrients they need.(4)

I found that little tidbit as I was doing some research to keep up with what the American Heart Association (AHA) thinks is “heart – healthy” for kids.

The AHA published a paper in their journal Circulation. According to their research, less than 1% of kids get enough nutrients.(5)

Now, I don’t agree with what the AHA thinks is “heart-healthy.” They advise a low-fat diet high in grains, and eating very little animal protein. But over 99% of kids aren’t even getting enough of THAT. For adults, this is an even tougher nut to crack.

And that study is just another piece of evidence that we’ve gotten ever farther from our natural way of eating. It’s more proof that you have very likely been on an unnatural diet since the day you were born – without realizing it.

I am defining the word “diet” as “the food naturally consumed by an individual or a population.”

The food you’ve been consuming isn’t natural. It bears little resemblance to the native diet our ancestors enjoyed for hundreds of thousands of years. Deviating from your natural eating pattern is “dieting.”

Eating processed foods that are high in starch and sugar and low in healthy fats is dieting because it’s the opposite of thousands of years of human eating.

To overcome this unnatural diet, and put yourself back on track for optimal nutrition and health, here are my two simple recommendations:

1) Eat real, clean protein at every meal – Protein provides the building blocks for your muscles. Foods that are high in protein are the most delicious, too. Meat and eggs are your best sources. If possible, eat grass-fed beef. The flavor is great, and it’s far better for you because it has the right kinds of fats.

Eggs are the perfect food. I eat them every day. They are the “gold standard” by which we rate all other protein. This means that all of the amino acids are there in the ratios you need in one place. For best results, eat eggs that come from free-range chickens.

2) Cross starchy foods and carbohydrates off your shopping list – Dietary fat doesn’t make you fat. Foods with excess carbohydrates make you fat. They spike your blood sugar, and blood sugar that your body can’t or won’t process gets stored as fat.

The idea I teach my patients at the Wellness Center is to eat foods that don’t spike your blood sugar. Also, you want to let your blood sugar come back down after eating so that your insulin doesn’t stay elevated for too long.

This means eating foods with a low Glycemic Load (GL). The GL is simply a number you get when you multiply a food’s Glycemic Index (GI) rating by the total amount of carbohydrate in each serving you eat.

That makes it much more practical for your everyday life because the GL tells you how fattening a food is. It’s a fresh way to look at everyday foods. Some GL ratings may surprise you – especially if you’ve been eating cereal and potatoes.

I consider foods with a Glycemic Load under 10 as good choices. They are a green light. Foods that fall between 10 and 20 on the GL scale are more like a yellow light: not bad, but proceed with caution.

Foods above 20 are a red light. They will not only make you gain weight but keep you from dropping weight. Eat those foods sparingly and try to eat protein instead. Protein has a GL of zero.

3) Take a quality multi-nutrient – I say this because there are a lot of bad multivitamins out there. The most popular one in the world – I won’t mention the name – is the worst one I’ve ever found. It’s pure junk. It’s just chemicals and minimal doses.

Some even have token amounts of herbs in them. But you wouldn’t want to put herbs in a multivitamin anyway. Herbs alter physiology and that’s not the point of a good multi-nutrient.

Also, unless you have iron deficiency, choose a multivitamin without iron. You probably don’t need the additional iron. Extra iron can interfere with the absorption of other minerals, give you constipation, and leave a foul taste in your mouth.

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Editors Note:  Dr. Al Sears, M.D. is a board-certified clinical nutrition specialist. His practice, Dr. Sears' Health & Wellness Center in Royal Palm Beach, Fla., specializes in alternative medicine. He is the author of seven books in the fields of alternative medicine, anti-aging, and nutritional supplementation, including The Doctor's Heart Cure. To get his free special report on the proven anti-aging strategies for building a vibrant, disease-free life, go here now. You'll learn how to stop Father Time without giving up the foods you love.

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References:

1. Caballero B. "Should healthy people take a multivitamin?' Clev Clin J Med. 2010;77(10):656-7.
2. Mursu J, Robien K, Harnack L, Park K, Jacobs D, "Dietary Supplements and Mortality Rate in Older Women." Arch Intern Med. 2011;171(18):1625-1633.
3. Klein E, et. al. "Vitamin E and the risk of prostate cancer: the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT)." JAMA. 2011;306(14):1549-56.
4. Shay C, et. al. "Status of Cardiovascular Health in US Adolescents: Prevalence Estimates From the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) 2005–2010.” Circulation. 2013; 127: 1369-1376
5. Shay C, et. al. "Status of Cardiovascular Health in US Adolescents: Prevalence Estimates From the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) 2005–2010.” Circulation. 2013; 127: 1369-1376

Not Your Mother’s Menopause

By: Dr. Al Sears, MDWoman

Most doctors treat low estrogen as the sole cause of menopause. But looking at declining estrogen only gives you half the picture.

At the onset of menopause, your body’s progesterone production falls to almost zero. Many women I measure have progesterone below the lowest detectable limit of the blood test.

Having a healthy amount of progesterone can help keep you feeling happy and energized.

Why does this matter to you? Because progesterone maintains healthy features you may not want to give up like:

  • Using fat better
  • Assisting thyroid hormone action
  • Elevating your mood
  • Keeping your blood sugar normal
  • Boosting your sex drive
  • Keeping blood clotting at normal levels
  • Protecting against some cancers
  • Stimulating bone building(1)

It’s no wonder when your body’s progesterone falls during menopause you gain weight, feel depressed, and lose interest in sex. But that doesn’t have to be the case for you…

You can replace lost progesterone with a number of therapies including foods, nutrients, herbal supplements, and even real hormone replacement.

But don’t confuse natural progesterone replacement with the dangerous “HRT.”

The basic problem with HRT, or Hormone Replacement Therapy, is that it’s none of the above.

What do I mean by that?

The pharmaceutical products billed as HRT aren’t hormones at all. And taking them is not replacement therapy.

Big Pharma’s Big Fallacy

Take the prescription drug Provera as an example. It’s billed as “progesterone replacement.” In truth, years of research and hundreds of millions of dollars were spent to find a drug that was different enough from progesterone to be patentable – even though progesterone was already inexpensive and available.

Graph
Before perimenopause you have plenty of progesterone, but shortly after, it can drop to nearly undetectable levels. Fortunately, you don’t have to take a drug to restore lost progesterone. There are several effective and natural ways.

Upjohn won the race with the development of medroxyprogesterone acetate, which they call Provera. And they won big. Provera became one of the most profitable drugs of all time.

But medroxyprogesterone acetate is not a hormone and has never been in your body. I, for one, say we shouldn’t call taking something you’ve never had before “replacement.”

So, what should we call these pharmaceutical concoctions? We already have a word. It’s honest, accurate, simple… and everyone knows what it means. The word is “drug.”

I do not recommend these drugs for any woman. They are toxic and dangerous experiments. They’re not hormones and don’t work like natural hormones. And they cause a number of health risks and side effects.

Doctors Missed the Point… But You Don’t Have to

At first, HRT drugs included only conjugated estrogens. Doctors and drug companies ignored the role of progesterone. Research soon showed that women taking these drugs had a greater risk of breast, cervical, and endometrial cancers.(2)

To offset the risk of cancer, drug companies created drugs that would mimic progesterone – progestins. They added progestins to the existing HRT drugs. But there are side effects and other health risks. Health risks of these combination HRT drugs include:

  • A 24% increase in heart disease risk
  • A 31% increase in the chance you will have a stroke
  • Twice the risk of blood clots in the lungs and legs
  • A 24% increase in breast cancer risk
  • A 76% increase in the risk of dementia(3)

When doctors began prescribing synthetic progestin, they completely missed the point.

You need progesterone for more than just reducing your risk of cancer. In clinical trials, natural progesterone proved effective against bone loss.(4) Natural progesterone also proved to help reduce menopause symptoms without adding to breast cancer risks like progestins do.(5)

Research shows that natural progesterone replacement in aging females helps to improve insulin sensitivity thereby reducing the risk of diabetes.(6)

What’s worse is that conventional medicine has insisted that you don’t need to have your hormones measured. Their position is that you can take the one-size-fits-all drugs or not.

But hormone levels vary widely and are impossible to guess. Deciphering what to do about declines is complex and different in every woman.

No woman should take a hormone without first having her hormone levels tested. If you have problematic deficiencies, take the real hormone, not a drug substitute.

Restore Your Good Mood, Your Youthful Energy, and Your HealthHRT

When I see women during their first visit to my clinic, they often tell me of weight gain, lack of sex drive, and poor sleep. Many are even on antidepressant drugs.

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) uses drugs, not real hormones. These drugs increase the incidence of breast cancer.

After measuring hormone levels and discovering low progesterone, I often prescribe natural progesterone replacement. (I also see low testosterone levels. Testosterone is essential for women, too, which I will talk about in a future issue.) Within two weeks, they usually are back to normal.

But there are several ways to naturally restore your progesterone so you can get back your sex drive, good mood, and keep a lean, trim body.

1) Try to eat progesterone-boosting foods. Walnuts, cherries, chicken, red meat, wild yams, and spices like turmeric, oregano, and thyme all help your body with the process of making progesterone.

2) Make sure you get the right nutrients. Women who have low progesterone often have low levels of zinc, magnesium, vitamin B-6, and vitamin C. I recommend you get your nutrients through food, but if you need to supplement, get at least 500 mg of vitamin C, 40 mg of B-6, 30 mg of zinc, and 400 mg of magnesium per day.

3) Herbal secret to boost progesterone. One of my favorite herbal supplements that I recommend to women is Chaste Berry. It’s effective for many menopausal symptoms. It works by regulating pituitary hormones, which regulate estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.

It’s a gentle hormone balancer. I use Chaste Berry to relieve depression, insomnia, and hot flashes associated with estrogen and progesterone decline. I use 300 mg in tablet form once a day.

4) Try a high-quality progesterone cream. I encourage women with signs of low progesterone to use a natural progesterone cream. It works its way through your skin into your bloodstream and gently lifts your progesterone levels.

The good news is I’m developing my own exclusive progesterone cream formula, and it will be available to you within a few weeks.

5) Safe use of bioidenticals. For more serious cases, you can get a blend of natural hormones, identical to your own, called bioidentical hormones. I recommend you have a complete hormone panel to determine which of your hormones are low. Then your doctor can prescribe bioidenticals.

Bioidentical hormones are exact replicas of your body’s missing hormones. They’re not synthetic imposters. Your body naturally and easily responds to them.

I’ve treated hundred of patients with bioidenticals. I’ve never seen anything but positive results. It’s hands down the best treatment I’ve found. My patients tell me they feel better instantly.

The great thing about them is that they are custom made for you. Your doctor will measure your hormone levels. And you get the exact right fit for your body. A compounding pharmacy creates your unique blend.

That’s why bioidenticals are only available through a doctor. My website’s health directory has a list of doctors in your area who may prescribe them.

If you are in South Florida – or can travel to here – you can make an appointment for a consultation by calling my clinic at 561-784-7852.*

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Editors Note:  Dr. Al Sears, M.D. is a board-certified clinical nutrition specialist. His practice, Dr. Sears' Health & Wellness Center in Royal Palm Beach, Fla., specializes in alternative medicine. He is the author of seven books in the fields of alternative medicine, anti-aging, and nutritional supplementation, including The Doctor's Heart Cure. To get his free special report on the proven anti-aging strategies for building a vibrant, disease-free life, go here now. You'll learn how to stop Father Time without giving up the foods you love.

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References:

1. “Progesterone: Frequently Asked Questions,” Association of Women for the Advancement of Research and Education. project-aware.org. April, 2006. Retrieved Feb 28, 2012.
2. Crosbie E, Zwahlen M, Kitchener H, Egger M, Renehan A. “Body mass index, hormone replacement therapy, and endometrial cancer risk: a meta-analysis.” Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2010 Dec;19(12):3119-30.
3. Zoler, Mitchel L. “Risks of Hormone Therapy Dwarfed Benefits in WHI,” Family Practice News. March, 2006. Retrieved Feb 28, 2012.
4. Lee J. “Is natural progesterone the missing link in osteoporosis prevention and treatment?” Med Hypothese 1991; 35(4): 316-18.
5. Campagnoli C, et al. “Progestins and progesterone in hormone replacement therapy and the risk of breast cancer.” J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol 2005; 96(2): 95-108.
6. Moorthy K, et al. “Effect of estradiol and progesterone treatment on carbohydrate metabolizing enzymes in tissues of aging female rats.” Biogerontology 2004; 5(4): 249-59.

Power Boost That Could Save Your Life

By: Dr. Al Sears, MDWeightlifting

You probably know someone who’s fallen and broken a hip. You may not know that it’s not just the elderly who fall, or break their hips. All seniors are at risk.

The risk doubles every five years after you turn 50. Nine out of 10 hip fractures happen to people over 60. And more than 25 percent of those people will develop complications and die within a year.(1)

No matter what your age or level of fitness, you can take a few simple steps – right away – to keep this from happening to you.

A new study tells a revealing story. Turns out, the signals to your muscles start to slow down as you get older, making it harder for your muscles to respond.

Researchers at the University of Delaware looked at how muscles respond when the cells that activate them, called neurons, send out electrical signals for the muscles to move.

They found that in the elderly, not only do muscles respond more slowly, but neurons actually fire less frequently. At first glance this seems to confirm the conventional wisdom that slowing down physically is an inevitable consequence of aging but there’s more…

The researchers discovered that strength training significantly improves both neuron and muscle response.(2) In other words, you can “turn back the clock” on this particular feature of aging to help keep your mobility as you age.

Strength training builds up the so-called “fast-twitch” muscles, the kind that gave our ancestors the sudden, explosive power they needed to capture prey or escape from danger.

These same muscles – and the neurons that activate them – are responsible not only for power, but for coordination, balance, and sudden response. Someone going up the stairs with a lot of this kind of muscle is simply less likely to fall. And here’s what the Delaware study proved: This is true no matter how old you are!

Other studies show that leg strength is the number-one predictor of how active, healthy and mobile you’ll stay as you get older.(3) So here’s something you can do starting right now to boost the power in your legs and hips. It’s my favorite leg workout, and the only one I do every day.

They’re called “Hindu squats:”

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Extend your arms out in front of you, parallel to the ground with your hands open and palms facing down.
  • Inhale briskly and pull your hands straight back toward you as if you’re rowing.
  • As you pull back, turn the wrists up and make a fist.
  • At the end of the inhalation, your elbows should be behind you with both hands in a fist, palm side up.
  • From this position, exhale, bend your knees and squat.
  • Let your arms fall to your sides and touch the ground with the tips of your fingers.
  • Continue exhaling and let your arms swing up as you stand back up to the starting position

Repeat at the pace of one repetition every four seconds. Once you are comfortable with the form, you can increase your speed to one squat per second. Repeat until you feel winded. Rest, recover and do two more sets.

It’s important to keep in mind that increasing your strength – not doing “aerobics” or other endurance exercise – is what makes the difference. In fact, many long-duration exercises, like jogging or running, produce wear and tear, making your body more vulnerable to injury.

With more strength, you’ll do a lot more for yourself than avoid injury. You’ll also boost your immune system, elevate your mood, be more active, melt more fat, and even prevent chronic aches (like back pain).

One final note: If you think you’re too old to get these benefits, think again. Researchers at Tufts University’s Human Nutritional Research Center studied the effects of strength training on a group between the ages of 63 and 98. Most needed hearing aids or wheelchairs.

After just ten weeks, these “elders” saw an increase in muscle strength, stamina and stability. Many were able to walk unaided by the end of the study.(4)

The fact is falling down the stairs (or anywhere else) doesn’t have to be a part of aging. You have to decide that you’re not going to take it lying down.

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Editors Note:  Dr. Al Sears, M.D. is a board-certified clinical nutrition specialist. His practice, Dr. Sears' Health & Wellness Center in Royal Palm Beach, Fla., specializes in alternative medicine. He is the author of seven books in the fields of alternative medicine, anti-aging, and nutritional supplementation, including The Doctor's Heart Cure. To get his free special report on the proven anti-aging strategies for building a vibrant, disease-free life, go here now. You'll learn how to stop Father Time without giving up the foods you love.
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Resources:
1 “Hip Fractures In The Elderly,” A Place For Mom www.aplaceformom.com
2 Knight, Cristopher A. and Kamen, Gary,“Modulation of motor unit firing rates during a complex sinusoidal force task in young and older adults,” Journal of Applied Physiology 2007;102:122-129
3 Swallow, Elisabeth B., et al, “Quadriceps strength predicts mortality in patients with moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease,” Thorax 2007;62:115-120
4 Klatz, R., Hormones of Youth, American Academy of Anti-Aging, Chicago 1999;47–48

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