GREEN TEA

Experts believe that powerful antioxidants in Green Tea help to disarm free radicals which are believed to contribute to many degenerative diseases, including heart disease and cancer.

The American Journal of Epidemiology has reported that a study of 35,369 women and their incidence of cancer during an eight ear period, linked regular Green Tea-drinking with a lower risk of cancers of the upper digestive tract, colon and rectum.

In Britain, positive results have been attributed to using Green Tea to combat tumors of the colon, pancreas and breast.

It is interesting to note that the amounts of Green Tea used were not mega-doses, but only about four cups daily.

Cancer researchers have concluded that some cancers are the consequence of the accumulation of cell damage caused by free radicals, it has been particularly important to discover the antioxidants that can fight these damaging free radicals.

Green Tea is loaded with powerful antioxidants called polyphenols, the most powerful has the ability to block an enzyme that helps tumors grow.

Polyphenols’ antioxidant ability helps cell DNA to reproduce itself accurately, rather than in a mutated form, and Chinese medicines from green polyphenols have long been used to treat nephritis, hepatitis and even leukemia.

British researchers have discovered that four to five cups of Green Tea a day might help reduce high cholesterol and high blood pressure.   Green Tea seems to work not only in reducing LDL cholesterol oxidation but also in lowering overall blood cholesterol levels.

Another benefit is its ability to promote healthy teeth and gums, by blocking the growth of Streptococcus Mutans, a leading cause of cavities and gingivitis.

New research is supporting the use of Green Tea as a weight loss aid, in a double blind study using Green Tea, caffeine and a placebo, only the Green Tea extract increased metabolism and energy use.

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WHICH FAT IS BEST?

Dietary fat is made of Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen atoms and are broadly classified as SATURATED or UNSATURATED.  There are two main forms of unsaturated fats  – POLYUNSATURATED [PUFA] and MONO-UNSATURATED [MUFA].   The classification of fats depends on the number of Hydrogen atoms attached to the Carbon atoms that make up the fatty acid chain.

1   SAFA – the Carbon chain is saturated with Hydrogen and no more can be added, these are mostly of animal origin except palm and coconut oils.

2   MUFA – there is only one position on the Carbon chain where Hydrogen can be added, main food sources are olive oil, avocado, peanut oil, canola oil, hazelnuts, almonds, and chicken, lean meat, sardines and olives also contain MUFA.

3   PUFA – there are two or more positions on the Carbon chain where Hydrogen can be added, these are mainly from vegetable oils [called Omega 6 fatty acids] and fish oils [called Omega 3 fatty acids].

Saturated fatty acids increase the level of cholesterol in the blood.

Polyunsaturated oils with two or more vacant arms capable of forming chemical bonds, are the most reactive type of oils, possibly picking up dangerous, randomly roaming molecules called FREE RADICALS which are implicated in cancer, cardio-vascular disease and ageing.  Most margarines are made from liquid polyunsaturated oils which have Hydrogen ions blown through them, attaching to vacant arms and saturating the Carbon chains, so forming a solid style, saturated margarine.  Cooking at high temperatures further destabilizes and makes chemically reactive the polyunsaturated oils, for safer cooking use fresh oil, low to medium temperatures and shorter frying times.

Linoleic acid found in PUFA has been found to reduce incidence of heart disease.

Vitamins A, C and E protect against and neutralize free radicals which are electrically charged molecules of waste product that are formed during the process of fat decomposition.

Do not avoid fats, we need them for maintenance of all cell membranes, hormone production, insulation of nerves and production of bile.

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THE NATUROPATHIC APPROACH TO LOWERING CHOLESTEROL LEVELS

The body needs cholesterol to form bile, insulate nerve fibres, form sex and steroid hormones and for the formation of cell membranes.   Many types of body cell are able to make cholesterol, the liver produces the most, about 1 gram per day, in comparison we ingest about .3 gram per day.

If we eat less cholesterol the liver will increase its own production, sometimes to an excessive degree.

Diet induced high cholesterol levels lead to changes in the structure of blood vessel walls as cholesterol adheres to the walls, stimulating the formation of fibrous plaques, the end result being hardening of the arteries.

To effectively reduce cholesterol readings and prevent further deterioration of blood vessel walls:-

1   Increase the intake of fibre thereby increasing the excretion of cholesterol through the bowel.  ie fruit, vegetables, Psyllium and wholegrains.

2   Avoid organ meats, red meats, marbled meats, fatty chicken and processed meats, deep fried foods, cheeses, cream, butter, margarine, icecream and reduce egg intake.  Choose reduced fat milk and yoghurt.

3   Eat fish at least 5x weekly, especially sardines in oil.

4   Choose polyunsaturated oils, cold pressed, ie linseed, sunflower, safflower, do not use hydrogenated oils ie commercial margarines.

5   Embrace a low sugar diet, avoid smoking, coffee, alcohol, soft drinks and lollies.  All sugars, carbs, not used up as fuel, are converted to fats and stored.

Therapeutic agents commonly prescribed by a Naturopath that may lower cholesterol levels are:-   Policosanol, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Nicotinic acid, Speedwell, Lecithin, Omega 3 fatty acids ie fish and marine mammal fats, garlic and onion.

CAUTION:-   your personal dosages need to be assessed by a professional.

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ANTI-OXIDANTS COMBAT AGEING PROCESSES

“Free radicals” are atoms or molecules with an unpaired electron in their external orbit, this makes them electro-chemically incomplete, hence unbalanced and completely unstable, extremely reactive, seeking to combine with a great variety of atoms and in so doing causing serious damage to cell structures, readily promoting mutations, formation of carcinogens and enhancing cross-linking which promotes ageing in elastic and collagenous tissues.

Oxygen molecules have two unpaired electrons in their outermost orbit so they are particularly involved in destructive activities.

The environment generates free radicals via toxic pesticides and preservatives in foods, ingredients in cosmetics and shampoos and general cleaning agents, radiation from ultra-violet light and X-Rays, rancid foods, as well as smoking and excessive drinking of alcohol.

Natural anti-oxidants available in food are Vitamins A, C and E, one molecule of any of these nutrients will combine with one free radical, deactivating its damaging potential.

New sources of more powerful anti-oxidants have been discovered in the bark of certain pine trees and in grape-seed extracts, named Proanthocyanadins, it is the only anti-oxidant capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier, is estimated to be fifty times stronger than vitamin E and twenty times stronger than Vitamin C, and it is more effective because it remains in the body for approximately three days, whereas Vitamin C remains in the blood stream for  around three hours.

Proanthocyanadins do not differ in strength within different sources, they are all the same, however, grape-seed extract yields a higher percentage of product volume than does pine bark.

Due to intense free radical scavenging, the extract strengthens the cardio-vascular system, reduces arthritic pain and swelling, sporting injuries repair rapidly, allergy responses are lessened, energy levels are increased and the ageing process is effectively slowed.

 

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WINNING WAYS BY NATURE’S WAY

No matter what your sporting pursuit or fitness activity might be, carbohydrates are the most necessary food to supply fuel for hard working muscles.

A ranking of all foods called The Glycaemic Index or GI, indicates the effect a particular food has on blood sugar levels, allowing those exercising to choose carbohydrate foods most efficient for before, during and after a workout.   The quicker a food releases glucose into the bloodstream, the higher the Glycaemic Index, slow absorbing foods have a low GI.

Athletes apply the principles as follows:-

1   Pre-event meal – low GI to delay fatigue in endurance events

2  During exercise – high GI foods to quickly top-up blood sugar levels

3   After exercise – high GI to rapidly replace muscle glycogen stores

4   A high carbohydrate/low GI diet may help regulate ideal body weight with least fat deposition

Athletes who train heavily have a greater requirement of protein than the recreational exerciser whose needs will be met by the rule .75 gram protein per kilo of body weight.

Prior to exercise one should ensure adequate hydration, dehydration causes fatigue, headache, nausea and cramp and all of those surely affect performance.

Water is the best choice, however if an event is to last over 2 hours, sports drinks containing small amounts of carbohydrate and electrolytes are suggested.   These drinks accelerate fluid absorption from the stomach because of their sodium and sugar content, [approximately  4 teaspoons sugar per 500 ml].   Considering their acidity it is wise to rinse the mouth and teeth with water after drinking and perhaps drink them via a straw, thereby delivering the fluid directly to the back of the mouth.

Take a pre-sport meal about 2 hours before the event, if you feel uncomfortable with solid foods before sport, try a low-fat milk and fruit smoothie.

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URINARY TRACT INFECTIONS

Urinary tract infections can occur in the urethra, bladder, ureters [the tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder] and the kidneys.  Confined to the bladder or urethra, the infection is usually easily treated, however, infection of the ureter or kidney requires careful attention, because of the possible obstruction by kidney stone or a developmental abnormality.

In most cases the infections are caused by harmful organisms entering the urinary tract via the urethra ie urinary outlet.  Women and girls are particularly susceptible due to the shorter length of the urethra.   To avoid infection, wipe with sanitary paper from the front to the back, shower in preference to bathing, don’t use soap with chemical ingredients around the pubic region, avoid using bubble bath and urinate shortly after intercourse.

Other physiological reasons why an infection can develop are:-   stones in the bladder, diverticuli of the bowel altering the shape of the bladder and interfering with thorough drainage, pregnancy, prolapsed uterus, abnormal growth and enlarged prostate.

Symptoms include pain on urination, frequency, tenderness in the region of the pubis and in the urethra and intense desire to urinate even when the bladder is empty.

At menopause there occurs a thinning of urethral tissues, making them more liable to trauma and infection – herbs containing estrogen can help ease the discomfort.  Sometimes this condition is mistaken for urinary tract infection, until urine testing reveals there is no infection.

Repeated infections in childhood can lead to kidney scarring, hypertension, and/or kidney failure or septicemia.

There are available an abundance of herbs and vitamins and minerals that can be prescribed to combat urinary tract infections and prevent the formation of kidney stones.  As always, dietary considerations play a major part in good health and any healing process, as does drinking lots of fresh water.

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TOXICITY OF THE BLOOD AND LYMPH SYSTEM

If by chance you injure yourself and the resultant wound becomes infected easily, the odds are that your blood and lymph system are too laden with toxins and metabolic wastes to be able to efficiently counteract the obvious invasion by a virus or bacteria.   Other symptoms of this disease are pussy pimples and sores arising of their own volition, boils, abscesses, general tiredness and lack of energy, bad breath and body odor or chronic tonsillitis.

The pussy exudate is a sure indication that your immune system is waging war against a bacterial invader, the pus is the resultant refuse comprised of dead blood cells, leukocytes, bacteria, flesh cells and decaying matter.   At times, when the lymph tubules become infected you may see a red streak leading from the wound site towards a lymph gland, this will cause redness, pain and swelling.   Prompt treatment is necessary in such cases.

 

Factors which contribute to this disease are:-

Poor diet lacking in fresh, raw fruit an vegetables, seeds and nuts, which are healing and protective foods with their high composition of Vit C and other vitamins and minerals ie Zinc

Imbalance in bowel bacterial flora, caused by long-term constipation and formation of diverticuli [faeces pockets], or prolonged usage of antibiotics.

Poor digestive processes which leave partially digested food putrefying in the bowel, producing all sorts of toxins.

General over-indulgence of harmful substances ie marijuana, alcohol and tobacco, cigarettes contain over 200 noxious poisons.

Stress – constricts lymph and blood vessel tubules and therefore slows cleansing.

Shift work interferes with the immune system.

 

Optimum treatment would include a Detoxification/Elimination Diet, under Naturopathic supervision, Vit C, lots of Garlic, Zinc and specific herbs which cleanse the lymph system and the blood and boost natural immunity.  For further advice phone 0427 239 676

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THE BENEFITS OF SELENIUM

Selenium is a trace element, found to be of dubious availability in most soils.   Dietary Selenium deficiency has now been linked to diseases such as cancer, arthritis, AIDS and heart disease, here is an update.

IMPROVED THYROID FUNCTION – Selenium has been found to be the second most essential trace element after Iodine, required for thyroid hormone synthesis, activation and metabolism.

REDUCED PROSTATE CANCER RISK – Research reveals that higher intakes of Selenium may reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

IMPROVED SPERM MOTILITY – The selenoprotein in sperm is vital to the energy which enables sperm to swim vigorously.

REDUCED LIVER CANCER RISK – In Taiwan, researchers have found that there is a link between low dietary intake of Selenium and liver cell cancer among men with chronic hepatitis, this is particularly so among smokers.

BOWEL CANCER SYMPTOM IMPROVEMENT – Patients with primary colorectal cancer given Selenium, reported an improvement in quality of life and a decrease in physical complaints.

REDUCED KIDNEY FAILURE IN INFLAMMATORY RESPONSE SYNDROME – Selenium replacement in patients with systemic inflammation appears to improve clinical outcome and to reduce the incidence of acute renal failure requiring dialysis.

IMPROVED CARDIAC FUNCTION – Selenium may prevent heart muscle failure and supplementation may reduce hypertension.

It is possible to take too much Selenium and suffer side effects of over-dosage and toxicity, hence the importance of seeking advice from a health professional.

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MOUTH ULCERS

Mouth ulcers, also known as canker sores or aphthous ulcers, are very common and seem to be associated with poor immunity, wheat sensitivity, Coeliac Disease, Chron’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.

Usually the ulcers are shallow with a yellowish base and pale edges, they last from two days to a couple of weeks.

The events which result in the formation of aphthous ulceration are complex, current evidence suggests that in response to stimulation by a variety of oral antigens [ bacteria, fungus, chemicals, mercury amalgams, flouride toothpaste], an inappropriate immune response is produced.

 

TREATMENT

Check for food sensitivity, most common – coffee, nuts, chocolate, citrus fruit, wheat,dairy.

Gargle with glycerine in water prior to meals.

Increase Iron, Folic acid and Vit B12 rich foods, 12% of patients with recurrent mouth ulcers are deficient in these nutrients.

Emotional and stress factors play a role in recurrent ulcers, relaxation and meditation might be of value.

Replace mercury amalgams if necessary, do not use flouride toothpaste.

Reports of prevention of mouth ulcers by taking 20 – 25 mg elemental Zinc daily.

Clinic results with topical application of vegemite and supplement of Calcium ascorbate,  L-Lysine, Dandelion, Vitamin A and cell salt Kali Mur.

Professional advice from a Naturopath regards strength of dosage for some of the above supplements is essential.   I can be contacted on 0427 239 676.

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HOMOCYSTINE AND INCREASED RISK OF HEART DISEASE

HOMOCYSTINE has built a reputation as a dangerous metabolite when blood levels exceed certain levels.   Overwhelming evidence points to a correlation between elevated Homocystine and the increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

All hope is not lost, nutritional approaches, in particular Folic acid, Vitamins B12, B6, B2 and betaine and Serine have significant roles in reducing Homocystine levels.   Those at risk of not accessing enough of these nutrients are those who refuse to eat green leafy vegetables [Folic acid], and vegans and vegetarians[B12] and the elderly [poor nutrition and digestion].

Homocystine can cause vascular disease by damaging the inner walls of arteries, by promoting blood clotting, and it may cause bad cholesterol [LDL] to be taken into the lining of arteries, causing damage and coagulation.

Elevated Homocystine can contribute to osteoporosis, kidney stone formation, depression, Multiple sclerosis, hormonal disturbances and miscarriage during pregnancy.

Those who exercise least, drink alcohol heavily, smoke tobacco, drink coffee, experience lots of stress and have a poor diet, are most at risk.

General Practitioners are able to order and obtain blood test results regards your Homocystine levels.

Naturopaths are able to prescribe a formula containing the most readily utilised form of Folic acid, plus the other Homocystine lowering vitamins and nutrients mentioned earlier in this article.

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