Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Pyroluria & Minimizing Zinc Loss

Pyroluria/Kryptopyrrole disorder causes a serious deficiency of nutrients such as Zinc and Vitamin B6.

In part treatment of this disorder involves minimizing Zinc and overall nutrient loss. In this article im going to talk about some of the common factors which cause Zinc loss.

Stress

 

Stress is a major factor in depletion of nutrients, let alone in someone who suffers from Pyrrole disorder. Research shows that stress significantly raises levels of Pyrroles in the blood, which in turn causes more loss of these nutrients such as Zinc and Vitamin B6.

Reducing stress is an integral part to managing Pyrrole disorder, examples of helpful techniques include meditation, deep breathing exercises, partaking in activities you enjoy, laughing and any activity which stimulates the para-sympathetic branch of the nervous system.

Alcohol & Recreational Drugs

 

Secondary to stress, alcohol and recreational drug use are two of the most common factors in further depleting zinc and other nutrients. Alcoholism and recreational drug use is very common in those who suffer from Pyroluria and is a self-medication response.

However alcohol use in particular causes a severe loss of Zinc and other nutrients heavily involved in the function of the nervous system and adrenal glands such as Magnesium and the B Complex Vitamins. Which is why many with Pyroluria typically feel a worsening of symptoms 24-48 hours after alcohol and/or recreational drug use.

As such both of the above should be completely avoided with Pyrrole disorder. Alcoholics and drug users with Pyroluria should seek professional assistance to ensure a safe detox.

Masturbation & Sexual Fluid Loss

 

Excessive masturbation can cause severe nutrient deficiencies from sexual fluid loss. Studies have shown that males can lose up to 3mg of zinc in semen loss.  

Men typically lose more Zinc in there sexual fluid than females, which is often why males with Pyroluria are often first to exhibit symptoms, such as during puberty when the body requires more Zinc. Reduce masturbation, sex and sexual fluid loss to help retain Zinc, Selenium and other vital nutrients which are hard to replace via diet.

Excessive sexual activity, fantasy and viewing pornography should be reduced and/or eliminated from lifestyle.  

Vegan & Vegetarian Diets


Vegetarian and in particular Vegan diets, typically tend to be low in dietary Zinc. The problem can be further exacerbated by an excessive Copper intake, which many plant foods are rich in. Many individuals with Pyroluria tend to naturally gravitate towards a Vegetarian or Vegan diet, due to low stomach acid and an inability to tolerate and digest protein rich animal foods.

The answer however is not to eliminate animal foods as this only further worsens the issue here. Pyrolurics need significantly more Zinc than the average individual does. Raw vegan diets which have become popular in the past few years are even worse, because they typically tend to be even lower in Zinc due to elimination of beans, legumes and grains.

Long term Vegetarians and Vegans with Pyrrole disorder may find that they are completely intolerant to animal foods due to the rich Zinc content displacing Copper. In such case it is best to increase your intake of animal foods slowly.

Increase Stomach Acid

 

Individuals with pyroluria often suffer from digestive issues and a common problem in particular is low stomach acid levels. This is another factor which significantly worsens the issue with Pyrrole disorder, because vital minerals such as Zinc are highly acid dependent for absorption. Its a catch 22 situation because Zinc and nutrients such as the B Vitamins are involved in the production of hydrochloric acid themselves.

Symptoms of low stomach acid include inability to digest protein/animal foods, burping, belching, acid reflux/feeling of acidity, gas and indigestion. 

One of the best methods for increasing stomach acid and supporting digestion overall is with the use of digestive bitters. Bitters are any food or herb with a bitter taste, this stimulates the back of the tongue(where the bitter receptors are located), which in turn stimulates the vagus nerve to release stomach acid, pancreatic digestive enzymes and bile, all of which aid the overall digestive process.

Supporting digestion is vital in those with Pyroluria, so another area of focus should be healthy gut flora balance, which can be aided by a diet rich prebiotic fibers to stimulate the activity and feed the good bacteria. Probiotics are also helpful to repopulate the gut flora.

I personally really like Digestive Grape Bitters by Planetary Herbals, which i purchase from iherb.com at - Digestive Grape Bitters by Planetary Herbals

If this is your first time ordering from iHerb, you will get $10.00 off your first order by ordering through my link above.

 

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Rest & Adrenal Fatigue

Often with adrenal fatigue, i found from my own experience that i became so obsessed about diet, herbs, supplements etc, that i was over-looking one of the most important aspects of recovery, which is REST.


Rest is different from sleep and can be defined as a period of bodily inactivity i.e when your just lying still. Even an extra 20 minutes rest here and there during the day, can make a massive difference.

One of the easiest ways to incorporate more rest periods into your day is by meditating. Meditation activates the para-sympathetic branch of the nervous system, which is known as the rest and digest system. Individuals with adrenal fatigue often have dysfunctions and imbalances of the autonomic nervous system, involving the sympathetic or fight or flight system.

Meditation is one of the most powerful tools for supporting healthy autonomic balance. The body must be in a rested para-sympathetic state in order to recover, regenerate and heal. This is why some individuals never recover from adrenal fatigue, autonomic nervous system function should be one of the first factors to be evaluated once adrenal fatigue is diagnosed.

With adrenal fatigue the individual has pushed well past the stage of exhaustion and is now in a state of burnout. I have found personally that many have a feeling of guilt when they take an extra period of rest during the day. Let go of this guilt and realize that without sufficient rest, you likely won't recover from adrenal fatigue.

So instead of reaching for the stimulants and pushing your adrenal glands further, take a well earned rest instead.

Recommended Adrenal Support


One of the best natural supplements for supporting the adrenal glands is called Adrenal Health by Gaia Herbs.


Adrenal Health contains a variety of powerful adaptogenic herbs such as Rhodiola, Ashwagandha, Schizandra Berry and Holy Basil. I purchase Adrenal Health from iherbs.com, you can check them at - Adrenal Health By Gaia Herbs

If this is your first time ordering from iHerb, you will get $10.00 off your first order by ordering through my link above. 

Friday, 16 August 2013

Bitter Herbs Health Benefits

Bitter herbs have been a popular medicinal remedy for thousands of years, used to support vitality and specifically the digestive system. Of all the tastes in the modern diet(sour, salty, sweet), the one that tends to be missing is the bitter sensation. Traditional medicine highly prizes the role that the bitter taste has to play in overall health.

The simple definition of a bitter herb is any herb with a bitter taste. Ranging from mild to strong, bitter herbs can be as light as chamomile or as strong as andrographis, which is often referred to as the King Of Bitters.

Examples of bitter herbs include artichoke leaf, andrographis, chamomile, dandelion, gentian root, picrorhiza, yarrow and wormwood.

Bitters must come in contact with the back of the tongue in order to work, this is where the bitter receptors are located. From there the bitter sensation stimulates the vagus nerve, which triggers a number of reflexes, that stimulate the release of stomach acid, pancreatic digestive enzymes and bile, all of which aid the overall digestive process.


Bitter herbs are not just a great tool for supporting the digestive system, they also are one of the most effective methods for cleansing the liver and improving the bile flow. Because bitter herbs are such a powerful remedy for supporting healthy liver and gallbladder function, it makes them a popular choice for herbalists treating a number of conditions.

Traditional Chinese Medicine recommends bitter herbs as a digestive tonic, for supporting overall vitality, detoxification, hormonal/woman's conditions, preventing liver and gallbladder stagnation.

Bitter Herbs Health Benefits

 

  • Digestive Aid(Stimulates release of stomach acid, digestive enzymes and bile, to aid the digestive process)

  • Cleanses The Liver & Promotes Detoxification

  • Increases Bile Flow(Aids Toxin Elimination, Fat Absorption, Peristalsis etc)

  • Stimulate The Appetite

  • May Improve Mood(Natural Anti-Depressant)

  • Aids Weight Loss

  • Support Healthy Blood Sugar Levels


Digestive Bitter Recommendations


As discussed above to achieve the benefits that bitter herbs have to offer, they must come in contact with the back of the tongue, so capsules or pills should be avoided. Bitters are best taken pre-meal because they help to stimulate the digestive process and increase appetite.

Not all bitters are created equal, the most common digestive bitter supplements on the market are traditional Swedish Bitters. I don't particularly care for Swedish Bitters because the recipe typically contains stimulant-laxative herbs such as Senna and Rhubarb, which can weaken bowel function with long term use.

There are many different digestive bitters such as Chinese, Grape, Ginger Bitters etc. I prefer Chinese or Grape bitters as Ginger has potent ant-acid properties, which can neutralize stomach acid levels. Those with serious liver, digestive and gallbladder disease, should consult a medical professional before using herbal bitters.

Personally really like Digestive Grape Bitters by Planetary Herbals, which can be purchased from Amazon below at - Digestive Grape Bitters by Planetary Herbals

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Pine Pollen Health Benefits

I have been taking Pine Pollen for several years now and thought i would do a blog post on this wonderful superfood. 

As a past sufferer of adrenal fatigue, i first came across the wonderful healing benefits that pollen's have to offer about a decade ago. Around this time i was researching for healthy natural foods which could help to nourish the adrenal glands and overall endocrine system.


During my research i uncovered plant pollens such as Pine Pollen and Bee Pollen, which are nutrient-dense superfoods that have been used medicinally for thousands of years. Pine Pollen contains over 200 bio-active nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, anti-oxidants, nucleic acids(RNA/DNA), enzymes and much more.

Traditional Chinese medicine recommends Pine Pollen for strengthening the immune system, heart and GI tract, relieving fatigue, moistening the lungs, prostate health, weight loss, increasing endurance, stamina and vitality.


Pine Pollen i like to include as part of my natural gym stack, which includes many endocrine balancing and hormone optimizing herbs such as tribulus, nettle root, korean red ginseng and of course Pine Pollen.

I find that Pine Pollen increases my energy, drive and aggression in the gym. Pine Pollen has improved my body composition considerably and increased muscle fullness, which i suspect is due to its hormonal-optimizing benefits. I have also seen a significant increase in libido since consuming Pine Pollen.

Another gym-related benefit has been the significant increase in strength that Pine Pollen has given me. Pollen's are amongst the richest plant sources of B vitamin's, which makes them great for increasing energy and supporting the adrenal glands.

Pine Pollen Health Benefits

  • Strengthen The Immune System
  • Restore Hormone Levels In Andropause & Menopause
  • Stimulate Liver Regeneration & Detoxification
  • Lower Cholesterol
  • Balance Hormones
  • Relieve Joint Pain
  • Nutrient Dense Superfood(Amino Acids, Vitamins, Minerals, Fatty Acids & Other Phyto-Nutrients)
  • Improve Metabolism & Regulate Weight
  • Nourish The Brain, Nervous & Endocrine System
  • Prostate Health
  • Increase Libido
  • Weight Loss
  • Phyto-Androgen

Pine Pollen Contraindications


A small number of individuals may be allergic to Pine Pollen and as such should probably avoid consuming this particular food.

Pine Pollen is thought to be a potent natural phyto-androgen, as such those with DHT or hormone sensitive conditions should avoid intake prior to consulting with a medical professional.

Surthrival Pine Pollen Powder & Supplements can be purchased from Amazon below.
 

The Best Anti-Candida Foods & Herbs(Candida Cure Tips)

Candidiasis is a fungal infection caused by yeasts that belong to the genus Candida.

Candida Albicans are a perfectly natural part of the body when in its yeast form, the problem occurs when our natural flora balance is disturbed, this causes Candida to morph into its opportunistic fungal-tissue penetrating form.


Candida and other intestinal microbes are largely kept in check by the gut flora.  

There are a number of factors which can disturb healthy gut flora balance, some of these include antibiotic use, poor diet(lack of prebiotic fibers, excessive sugar intake), heavy metal toxicity, alcohol, drugs, medications and even emotional stress.

(Video for The Best Anti-Candida Foods & Herbs is at the bottom of the article).

The Gut Flora, Prebiotics & Probiotics 


Imbalances or lack of beneficial gut flora is the most common cause of opportunistic pathogens such as Candida and bad bacteria taking over. It is the beneficial bacteria which keep the bad bugs in check, by releasing natural anti-microbial compounds and acids.

Fermented foods such as kefir, raw sauerkraut, kombucha and yogurt are a rich source of beneficial bacteria, which help to repopulate the gut flora.There are literally thousands of strains of gut bacteria and we can only repopulate so many with probiotics.

Prescript-Assist is a soil based organism probiotic/prebiotic supplement, which has double-blind clinical studies showing its effectiveness at restoring the gut microflora.

So what makes sense is to provide the specific type of food, that the good bacteria favor in order to grow, which happens to be indigestible prebiotic fibers. Prebiotic fibers stimulate the growth and activity of the beneficial gut bacteria. Good sources of prebiotics incude rice bran, onions, garlic, bananas, sea vegetabes and for an over the counter product Bimuno is my recommended choice.

Got Stomach Acid ?


The stomach acid is our first defense mechanism against food-borne pathogens and opportunistic microbes. Contrary to popular belief it is actually intestinal alkalinity which promotes opportunistic bugs to take over. Symptoms of low stomach acid(hypochlorhdria) include indigestion, heart burn/acid reflux, feeling full quickly, burping and gas. 

Many physicians are exacerbating this problem by prescribing stomach acid inhibitor medications, without first determining if hyperchlorhydria(excessive stomach acid levels) is actually occurring. Low stomach acid(hypochlorhydria) and hyperchlorhydria share similar symptoms. With how much stomach acid inhibitor drugs are prescribed each year, you would be led to believe that excess stomach acid is a common condition, yet medical literature doesn't support this.

Stomach acid levels decline as we age, fortunately there are a number of natural methods we can use to support healthy stomach acid levels. Ant-acids and strong alkalizing supplements should be avoided as they will also neutralize stomach acid levels. Absorption of minerals and protein is also reliant on proper stomach acid levels, which activate protein digestive enzymes such as pepsin to be released.

Bitter herbs are one of the best methods for stimulating the release of stomach acid, digestive enzymes and bile, which aids the overall digestive process. Bitters must come in contact with the back of the tongue, this is where the bitter receptors are located.

Zinc Deficiency, Copper Imbalances, Adrenal Fatigue & Weak Immune System

 

Often Candida overgrowth is the result of a weak immune system and i feel Zinc deficiency plays a major role in this. As we talked above about the need for adequate stomach acid levels to control opportunistic intestinal pathogens, it would be silly not to mention Zincs role in the production of gastric acid, along with the B Vitamins.

Copper toxicity has long been associated with yeast or candida overgrowth and it is actually a self defense mechanism protecting the body. Copper imbalances can be caused by a lack of Zinc intake and sub-optimal adrenal gland function, amongst other causes such as the birth control pill, which tends to raise Copper in the body. Copper transport proteins such as ceruloplasmin are dependent on healthy adrenal gland function, for proper utilization of Copper.

This is where adrenal gland support must come into play, as adrenal function is improved and bio-chemical mineral balance is restored, often the candida and other infections disappear on there own.

Zinc and Copper share a unique relationship and bio-chemical imbalances involving Copper and other toxic metals are a major factor in causing a weak immune system and many other common health problems such as anxiety, adrenal fatigue, depression, behavioral and mental health disorders.

Colostrum For Superior Intestinal Support


One food i forgot to mention in the video was Bovine Colostrum, which is a wonderful supplement for supporting intestinal health. In particular Colostrum is very helpful for preventing leaky gut syndrome(increased intestinal permeability) which can be caused by Candida overgrowth. Colostrum is a rich source of growth and immune factors, which boost the immune system, support the gut lining and reduce food allergies.

There are a number of natural foods which can help to support healthy gut flora balance and intestinal health. Here are some of our favorite anti-candida foods and herbs below.

Symbiotics is a good brand of Colostrum and can be purchased from Amazon below.


The Best Anti-Candida Foods & Herbs

 

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Chlorella Health Benefits

Chlorella is a fresh water single-celled green algae, which has become a firm favorite amongst health enthusiasts.

Chlorella is a superfood packed with health promoting nutrients such as Vitamins, Minerals, Fatty Acids, Anti-Oxidants and other beneficial Phyto-Nutrients.


Chlorella contains about 50% of amino acids by weight and in a very easily digestible form. Which makes it the ideal food for vegetarian diets looking to supplement there protein intake.

One of the most exciting benefits of Chlorella, is its ability to "chelate" or bind to toxic heavy metals and other toxins such as dioxins. Environmental toxicity is a leading factor in many serious illnesses such as cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome and many other health conditions, so to have a simple food such as Chlorella that can safely prevent environmental toxins from accumulating in the body is amazing.

Unlike many other chelators, Chlorella doesn't bind to beneficial minerals such as magnesium, zinc or calcium in the process.

Chlorella truly deserves its title as a superfood.

Chlorella Health Benefits

 

  • Nutrient Packed Superfood(Amino Acids, Vitamins, Minerals, Fatty Acids, Antioxidants & Other Phyto-Nutrients)
  • Anti-viral
  • Chelates & Binds To Toxic Heavy Metals & Other Toxins such as Dioxins
  • Boosts The Immune System
  • Protects The Liver
  • Increase Energy
  • Supports Gut Flora Growth & Balance
  • Digestive Aid
  • Alkalizing & Balance PH
  • Speeds Up Wound Healing
  • Normalizing Blood Sugar & Increasing Insulin Sensitivity
  • Promotes Detoxification
  • Reduce Cancer Risk(Largely through preventing Environmental Toxicity)

Recommended Products


I prefer to take Chlorella in tablet form as it is a convenient way to consume this superfood. The tablets from Natu Health are 100% pure with no binders or fillers, containing only organic broken-cell wall Chlorella powder compressed into a tablet.

As with all super-algaes, there is a mild "fishy" taste. Always make sure the Chlorella is both Organic and Broken Cell Wall.

I purchase my Organic Chlorella Tablets & Powder from Natu Health at - Organic Superfoods



Monday, 12 August 2013

Is Adrenal Fatigue Real ?

The great alernative medicine debate - Is Adrenal Fatigue a real condition ?.

As someone who suffered with the debilitating effects of adrenal insufficiency and hypo-cortisolism for over a decade, i can say i more than believe that adrenal fatigue is a real and very commonly overlooked condition.


The adrenal glands play a major role in a variety of physiological functions in the human body, ignoring there existence and function is a sheer kick in the teeth to there vital role in maintaining health. It could be said that the adrenal glands play a role in pretty much every health condition.

The adrenal glands are a major component of the immune system, regulating inflammation, blood pressure and electrolyte balance, producing sex hormones and much more. Without our adrenal glands put it simply, we would be dead, so to ignore that these glands don't play a role in many health conditions is ridiculous.

To western medicine other glands in the body such as the thyroid can have varying degrees of function or mal-function. Yet the adrenal glands from a western medicine perspective can only be healthy or diseased(Addisons). This we know to not be true and i will display some examples of this.

Asthma for example is a common condition which heavily involves dysfunctional adrenal glands, yet there role is completely over-looked by physicians. What medication is commonly prescribed for treatment of asthma ?, Corticosteroids which are simply to supply what the adrenal glands should be outputting naturally.

Long term use of corticosteroids can actually cause atrophy of the adrenal glands, further worsening this condition and causing dependency on oral steroids. The health of the adrenal glands should be assessed with any inflammatory disorder such as asthma, as it is the adrenals which produce the bodies own natural anti-inflammatory steroid hormones such as cortisol and anti-histamine epinephrine.

Millions of people are visiting there general practitioners complaining of symptoms caused by sub-optimal adrenal function and are being prescribed anti-depressants, which don't treat the root problems here, which is adrenal insufficiency. Anti-depressants are not an effective remedy for treating burnout.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is another "phantom" condition which many physicians still consider to be a psychosomatic illness, despite many individuals having recordable physical factors such as decreased adrenal gland function, endocrine/hormone disturbances, genetic defects, toxic metal accumulation and bio-chemical imbalances, viruses and other pathogens, which are some of the other common causes of CFS.

The most common cause of chronic fatigue and burnout though in my opinion is sub-optimal adrenal gland function or adrenal fatigue as it is known in the alternative health circles. Adrenal fatigue is a condition heavily influenced by poor lifestyle habits and it may truly be a condition caused by 21st century living.

What i mean by 21st century living is the high stimulation and stressful lifestyles that many individuals are exposing themselves too, for example stimulant(caffeine) and drug overuse, alcohol, processed junk foods, video games, adrenaline pumping movies/tv/music, sex, job stress and even the internet can be highly stimulating.

These activities are just some of the common areas where one can experience repeated stimulation of there sympathetic nervous system in there daily routines. The adrenal glands are designed as a self-defense mechanism, meant to be used infrequently in times of stress and fear to prepare the body.

The adrenal glands and sympathetic nervous system are not designed for the constant level of activation that many individuals are living in the current day and age. At some point the adrenal glands will not be able to keep up with the constant demand for these adrenal hormones and levels will drop resulting in fatigue, burnout and other adrenal-endocrine related disturbances.

by The Natural Health Blogger

Part 2 - Coming Soon.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Korean Red Ginseng Candy Renesse

One of my favorite overall herbs for supporting health is a type of Ginseng known as Korean Red. As with the ginseng species of herbs - Korean Red is a potent adaptogen, which increases the bodies resistance to stress.


The Korean Ginseng Corp produce a great range of authentic 6 year aged Korean Red Ginseng products. I take the extract or powder capsules mainly, but i wanted to blog about the awesome ginseng infused candies that they also make.

The candies are individually wrapped and great to have on hand, when you need an extra natural energy boost to keep you going. They taste brilliant also, when you first put them in your mouth you get a brief taste of the woody tones of Ginseng, but the candy starts to release its beautiful array of flavors, whilst providing you the tonic benefits that Korean Red Ginseng has to offer.

One of the main reasons i love Ginseng and other adaptogen herbs, is there ability to support healthy adrenal gland function. I have actually experimented in the past with making adrenal supportive candies with herbs such as astragalus, schizandra and licorice root for example. So its great to have an effective format to take Korean Red Ginseng when im out and about.

I purchase my Korean Red Ginseng from a UK health food store called Natu Health, check them at - Korean Red Ginseng

Friday, 2 August 2013

Bronchial Wellness Herbal Syrup Review

One of my favorite herbal remedies for supporting respiratory tract health is a product called Bronchial Wellness Herbal Syrup by Gaia Herbs.


This great tasting herbal syrup contains a combination of natural ingredients, all of which help to support healthy mucous membranes and respiratory health. Soothes occasional bronchial irritation.

Bronchial Wellness is a unique 100% natural herbal syrup that promotes well-being of the respiratory tract by supporting bronchial health during the winter season. It also supports healthy throat tissue. This formula synergistically combines freeze-dried organic extracts of Grindelia floral buds, Plantain Leaf, and Helichrysum that are naturally processed to ensure the highest concentration and maximum absorption.

Bronchial Wellness Herbal Syrup also contains a proprietary blend of Honey and essential oils of Eucalyptus, Star Anise, and Lemon to enhance the soothing benefits of this syrup while providing a pleasant taste.

Experience the beneficial effects of this unique formula... Grindelia, also called Gumweed due to the nature of the medicinal balsamic resin exuded from the buds, helps soothe and support the smooth muscles of the bronchial membrane.

The emollient properties of Plantain naturally support healthy bronchial passages and soften the bronchial membranes Soothing Helichrysum promotes healthy respiratory tract function

100% Natural, No Chemicals, No Preservatives Rapid Relief Immune Support Soothing Support for Respiratory Well-Being Made with Organic Herbs.

For more information or to purchase, check out Natu Health at - Bronchial Wellness Herbal Syrup