January 2010 Newsletter

Let's start the year with good intentions.

A healthy body and a healthy mind is THE prescription for a happy new decade. 

What Type of Diarrhea Do You Have?
Diarrhea is defined as abnormally frequent intestinal evacuations, with liquid or loose stools. It is commonly considered that diarrhea is due to gastrointestinal infection, and while that is a common cause, many other factors can lead to diarrhea. Chronic or recurrent diarrhea can not only uncomfortably disrupt an individual's lifestyle, but also result in nutritional and physiologic imbalances over time.

Diarrhea following the ingestion of dairy may signal an inability to digest the milk sugar, lactase. The perfect test is an easy breath test to evaluate lactose intolerance.

Chronic or recurrent diarrhea may indicate intestinal imbalances that are accompanied by 'leaky gut' and translocation of toxins. There is an intestinal permeability test to verify that origin.

Intestinal irritation from excessive bacteria in the small bowel can cause diarrhea in some individuals. There is a simple breath test to check that out.

Sometimes there are imbalances in absorption or dysbiosis (including Clostridia), that are both possible causes of diarrhea. The Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis can help investigate this further.

How to Boost Energy & Feel Younger

Woodson C. Merrell, MD., of the Beth Israel Medical Center says that exhaustion is an underrecognized epidemic in the US. Up to 75 million Americans report feeling "extreme" fatigue at work. Fatigue is among the top five complaints that people discuss with their doctors -- even though it's estimated that two-thirds of people with chronic exhaustion never mention it to their doctors.

Every physical activity, from the beating of the heart to running to catch a train, depends on adenosine triphosphate (ATP), chemical energy produced inside cells. Nearly everyone can significantly increase daily energy by �increasing the cellular production of ATP and reducing unnecessary consumption of ATP. Most people know that exercise boosts energy -- but you also can boost your ATP in other ways:

Stress activates the sympathetic nervous system, which triggers thousands of chemical reactions that consume tremendous amounts of energy -- energy that is then unavailable to the body. People who experience chronic stress may have insufficient energy even for normal body repairs. It is estimated that up to 80% of all illnesses are due in part to stress.

Try keeping a stress log. Every day, write down the events or situations that put you over the edge. These might include rush-hour traffic or dealing with a difficult boss. Once you recognize your flash points, try to eliminate them -- by taking a different route to work, for example, or avoiding unnecessary encounters with difficult people.

Harvard mind-body researcher Herbert Benson, MD., suggests frequent breath breaks. He found that the body's energy expenditure dropped by as much as 17% during meditation. A less formal approach, when you notice signs of stress, is to take a "breath break." How to do it: Inhale slowly to the count of four, pause for one second, then exhale slowly and completely to the count of six. Pause for one second, then repeat four more times.

People who take a breath break every one to two hours usually notice that they have more energy throughout the day. They also have a slower pulse, lower blood pressure and lower levels of cortisol (the primary stress hormone).

High-Energy foods. A Harvard study found that the -- majority of American adults are -- deficient in vitamins and minerals. These deficiencies usually aren't severe enough to cause diseases, but they can impair the body's ability to manufacture usable forms of energy.

Choose a "rainbow diet" -- including blueberries, broccoli, carrots, spinach, tomatoes and even dark chocolate. A variety of colors is important because different plant pigments, such as carotenes and flavonoids, help prevent metabolic by-products from damaging the mitochondria (energy-producing machinery) within cells.

Eat fish two to three times a week.
The omega-3 fatty acids in cold-water fish reduce inflammation -- saving the energy that is normally needed to fight it. To avoid the risk of excessive mercury, eat small fish, such as sardines, anchovies or trout. Large, predatory fish, such as tuna and sea bass, tend to have the most mercury.

Avoid refined carbs. White bread, sweets and other refined carbohydrates are rapidly converted to blood sugar. This causes an energy surge that is followed by a longer-lasting energy decline. Spikes in blood sugar also cause glycation, a process that prevents cells from working efficiently.

What preferable is: Whole grains, lentils, beans and other foods high in complex carbohydrates. These are digested more slowly and provide the materials for longer-lasting energy.

Drink water - at least six glasses a day. Many people are dehydrated. Water supports the body's ability to eliminate free radicals (cell-damaging molecules) and other toxins that impair energy production.

The Juice Cleanse
Juice fasts allow the digestive tract to rest while promoting detoxification, reducing inflammation and dramatically increasing energy. One study even found that people who fasted once a month were 39% more likely to have healthy hearts than nonfasters.

Once a month, consume nothing but juice for an entire day. Use a juicer to combine a variety of organic vegetables, such as spinach, carrots and broccoli. Add a small amount of apples, cherries or other fruits as a natural sweetener.

It's normal to feel a little worse during the day of the fast. That's when the body is shedding the most toxins. Most people feel much more energized and clear-headed on the day after the fast.

Be careful if you have a severe chronic disease, diabetes or are pregnant. Consult your physician before fasting.
Supplements Can Help
Woodson C. Merrell, MD., recommend supplements to patients who don't notice significant energy improvements within a few weeks of eating a healthier diet or making other lifestyle changes.

Probiotics that include acidophilus and bifidophilus. People who take probiotic supplements have improvements in immunity and digestive function. Standard dose: One to two daily supplements containing at least 10 billion organisms per dose.

Multinutrient that includes at least 400 international units (IU) of vitamin D. People who have been diagnosed with low vitamin D need 1,000 IU to 2,000 IU daily. Vitamin D is very important for immune strength and cardiovascular health -- and is crucial for maintaining healthy circulation and energy.

Did You Know???
  • Cold weather raises blood pressure.

    Archives of Internal Medicine
    reports on a study of 8,801 people, age 65 and older, by researchers in 3 metropolitan areas in France,
    systolic and diastolic numbers rise about five millimeters for every 25-degree drop in temperature. Cold temperatures have the greatest effect on people age 80 and older.

  • Broccoli sprouts may help fight allergies.

    Marc A. Reidl, MD.,
    a researcher at UCLA's Department of Medicine -- Clinical Immunology and Allergy and co-author of a study published in Clinical Immunology,  reports that people who ate seven ounces of broccoli sprouts daily for three days had up to a 200% increase in the production of antioxidant enzymes in the nasal passages. The antioxidants help fight the inflammation that contributes to allergy symptoms. Broccoli sprouts are very high in sulforaphane, which starts a process that leads to the antioxidant increase.

  • Americans consume more than 22 teaspoons of sugar a day.

    Rachel Johnson, PhD., RD., Associate Provost and Professor of Nutrition, University of Vermont Berlington, reports that soft drinks make up one-third of the added sugar. One 12-ounce can of regular cola has about eight teaspoons of sugar. Sweetened dairy products, fruit drinks, alcoholic beverages and and candy account for 16%.  Cakes, cookies and pies acocunt for 13%.

    The new American Heart Association guidelines states: Men should have no more than 150 calories of added sugar per day -- about nine teaspoons.  Women should have no more than 100 calories -- about six teaspoons.

    Dr. Rachel Johnson is also a lead author of the American Heart Association Scientific Statement on Dietry Sugars and Cardiovascular Health, published in Circulation.
  In this Issue:
Types of Diarrhea
Boost Energy and Feel Younger

The Juice Cleanse

Supplements Can Help

Did You Know???
Everything You Need to Know and More!
Start the New Year with a Clean Colon

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