The “COME HITHER”, call of sugar…

There is a massive “love affair”, sweeping our country!  I believe the harlot’s name is called “sugar.”

Once you’ve tasted her, it only makes ya want more.  Yet for years, the concept of sugar addiction was dismissed by most scientists and doctors.  Research, however, is forcing this concept to be reconsidered.

Experts used to explain “sugar cravings” as the result of spikes & crashes in blood sugar levels.  Now of course this contributes, hence sugar and refined carbohydrates, which are easily reduced to sugar, are calorie dense and are rapidly absorbed by the body.  These foods 1st elevate the blood sugar levels, but are processed fast, leaving you feel unsatisfied and still hungry for more sugar.  This hunger is NOT driven by a need for caloric energy, but by a need for a stable blood glucose level.  Foods that are high in protein and fiber have a slower absorption rate and keep one satisfied longer.  All carbohydrates do eventually convert into sugar once inside the body, but more complex carbs do so at a much slower rate than simple carbs.

The word “addiction” has many connotations.  People laugh about all sorts of vices they consider themselves to be addicted too: sex, coffee, tobacco, alcohol, gambling, internet, video games, shopping….. Yet, there truly is no definitive test for addiction.  You cannot go to your doctor and have him swab your throat and come back and tell you that, yes, you have tested positive for addiction.  Mental health professionals usually diagnose addiction, and the definition is somewhat subjective.  A person’s quality of life, rather than their biochemical state is assessed.  Most agree, however, that a loss of control, along with the presence of tolerance and withdrawal, are the most notable features of addiction.

The”Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV”, the manual used by professionals to formally diagnose mental disorders, lists the criteria for diagnosis of addiction as meeting three or more of these factors:

  1. tolerance; the need for increased amounts of the substance to achieve the desired effect, or a diminished effect when the same amount is consumed.
  2. withdrawal symptoms when the substance is not taken
  3. a greater use of the substance than intended
  4. unsuccessful efforts to control the use of the substance
  5. a great deal of time spent using the substance or recovering from use
  6. a reduction of social, occupational, or recreational activities because of the substance
  7. continued use of the substance despite knowing that it causes social and physical problems.

When you base the above criteria alone, there is no doubts that sugar, as well as any other substance or action, can be considered addictive.  But can a person be addicted to sugar in the same fashion that someone can be addicted to drugs or alcohol?  For some, sugar does seem to have tangible effects in the brain, leaving them in a neurochemical state similar to drug addiction.  Although sugar does not exactly mimic the brain activity of addictive drugs, alcohol or nicotine, some similarities have been discovered.  If you’ve ever known someone who was recovering from alcoholism or drug additions, most of those folks are reaching for “chocolate, coffee, even cigarettes.”  Why might that be?  Well the endogenous opioid system is the brains mechanism for controlling pain.  Normally, pain is adaptive, letting us know that a part of our body needs attention & rest.  Persistent or excruciating pain, however, is maladaptive.  To manage pain, the body produces brain chemicals called endorphins.  Endorphins, also called opioids, work by binding to special receptors on our brain cells, called opioid receptors, and blocking a complex cascade of reactions, leading to the perception of pain. So when you hurt your back, and the doctor prescribes pain medicine, that medicine is blocking the brains pain receptor signal so you can’t quite “FEEL” the pain.

Research has suggested that SUGAR has a similar effect on the endogenous opioid system.  Of course “rats” were used for the study, but the study was to determine if excessive sugar intake could lead to tolerance and withdrawal, so the rats were placed on a cycle of bingeing on a glucose solution in addition to eating regular rat food.  After 8 days, the rats had increased their intake of glucose solution from 30mL to 79mL per day, and were eating more food.  At this point some of the rats were administered a drug called Naloxone which is used on folks who have overdosed on an opiate, because it blocks the opiate molecules from binding to the opioid receptors, and, by the same blocking, can induce withdrawal symptoms in an addict.  So they precipitated a withdrawal in some rats and the others were taken off the glucose solution and given saline injections.  Both rats experienced similar withdrawal symptoms.  If sugar did not have an opiate like effect on the brain, the naloxone group would not have displayed withdrawal symptoms.  In addition, further analysis of the rats brains found that the naloxone group had decreased levels of brain chemical dopamine and increased levels of the brain chemical acetylcholine.  This dopamine/acetylcholine imbalance is characteristic of morphine and nicotine withdrawal.

This same study determined that both sugar and morphine had a similar effect on dopamine levels in the brain, first increasing the amount of dopamine and then causing the dopamine to be down regulated, so that the absence of sugar and/or morphine left the rats lacking adequate dopamine.  Dopamine imbalances are found in schizophrenic and cocaine abusers.  Now with this being said; not everyone who consumes sugar will have an addictive effect  because not everyone experiences the same neurochemical effect, just like not everyone who drinks alcohol will become an alcoholic.

Biologist Sarah Tanksley believes that a “lack of serotonin is a factor in many mental disorders, including clinical depression.  Sugar and other refined carbs increase the level of serotonin in the brain.  Serotonin plays a key role in the pathway of pain management by inducing their release of opioids.  It would seem reasonable to conclude that a person with depression may resort to bingeing on sweet foods to increase serotonin, release opioids and feel the addiction process.”

Sarah went on to say: ” Perhaps a better understanding of the effects of sugar on our brains can lead to treatments for eating disorders such as binge eating and bulimia.  Many therapists treat eating disorders as addictions, and the endogenous opioid system may be the mechanism at work.  The binge eater will consume hugs amounts of food in a short amount of time, seemingly without limits.  A bulimic will eat large amounts of typically sugary, starchy foods, and once the desired opiate like effect is obtained, will purge the food to avoid weight gain.  Since bingeing on sweets, prolonged starvation and vigorous exercise all activate the endogenous opioid system, it is easy to see how a person could become stuck in an addictive cycle of starving, bingeing, and purging, through vomiting and/or exercise.”

These findings also make sense when you consider smokers who will gain weight after they quit smoking, and heroin addicts who suffer a loss of appetite when using the drug, then crave sugary candy during detoxification from the drug.  Eating disorders, bulimia in particular, have a high co-morbidity with alcoholism and other drug additions, according to Sarah Tanksley Biologist.

What makes it difficult to refrain from sugar is the fact that it is so readily available.  You don’t have to go to a bar or a special store to buy candy like you do other addictive elements.  It’s NOT illegal either.  In fact, eating sugar is often encouraged, we give candy as gifts, as rewards and treats to our children, sugary treats are elevated as gifts of acknowledgement and as expressions of love and kindness. Heart shaped boxes filled with chocolates are given for Valentines Days, Christmas, Easter etc.

There is a whole host of physical issues that also accompany a sugar addiction:

weight gain

candida/yeast over-growth

immune system weakness

brain-fog

insulin imbalances (hypoglycemia & diabetes)

digestive issues

Constipation

inflammation

Cancer: ( sugar creates a very acidic pH internal environment which is like fertilizer to cancer cells)

I get clients who when I’m working nutritionally with them and their children, I cannot tell you how many mothers “ask”, when can they have sugar again?  We get emotionally attached to what we offer through our foods, meaning, cooking a nice meal for someone has become a way of exhibiting “love” for another, especially when its their “favorite.”

Folks, food and eating is meant to FEED and NOURISH the body, there are other ways to show your love for someone.  Don’t make food a reward, it is a basic need.  One example that drives that point home to me is how many have ever watched any of those shows where folks are dropped off in the middle of no where to survive.. like ” Naked and afraid”,  the people participating in those do or die situations, when they run across something that can be eaten, they are not elaborating in their minds about how it LOOKS, what kind of plate its served on, what side dish will they serve with it.  The truth is they are hungry!  When you can change and adapt your mental connection as to what role food is meant to play, I believe you can begin the healing process of being able to abstain from all the overly processed foods that create these addictive cycles that are destroying our health, and especially the health of our children.

The amount of sugars and carbohydrate overload that our youth are consuming on a daily basis is and should be totally SHOCKING!  Yet those foods (which I hate even categorizing them as), are easy to serve, they are quick convenient. Although, grabbing an apple is quick and convenient, how about a handful of grapes, or strawberries, a banana, are NOT all of those quick and convenient too?

I believe there is a PRICE to pay for the simplicity of quick and convenient. We are developing a generation of over-weight, underactive people who struggle to stay emotionally balanced, cannot cope with even simple stressors, even technology is jumping on board to fill in the anti-social gap, even though we refer to it as “social media”, “text messaging”, and all the other communication “apps”, sure we are able to connect with people all across the globe now, but think about something,  those connections are emotionally unattached, and impersonal.  Try calling a teen-ager or young adult on their phone today and most will let it go to voice mail.  But text message them and it’s answered within seconds, look at groups of people in social gatherings and  how many are physically making eye contact with the folks they are with?  Most have their heads down buried in their cell phones.  Lack of serotonin production, dopamine levels that are off, all the neurotransmitters that allow us to FEEL our emotional connections are off and just spend some time people watching and tell me I’m wrong.

We need to also realize we have been conditioned over the years by commercials/advertising.  Ever notice that all the junk foods tend to cost “less” than wholesome fresh foods?  Well that is because those junk foods can grace the store shelves for 3+ years, I don’t think an apple/orange or banana would pass that test. But you are wasting your money on those junk food items because they offer the body ZERO in the nutritional elements, so you are eating empty food items. So why waste your money?

So for any of my readers who may still be wondering: “Is my body addicted to sugar?”  if you find yourself asking the very question, your answer probably needs to gravitate to a yes!!!  Is there a way to navigate yourself away from that addiction?  Yes there is, but it will be a process, the body needs to be built up nutritionally for balance.

Healthfully yours,

Jodi Barnett N.D.

Harvested Health LLC

Resources:

Wellbeing journal Vol,. 14, NO.2

Sarah Tanksley, Biologist.

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Cholesterol: It’s Essential Role….

good-and-bad-cholesterol

(www.cavemancollege.com)

 

CHOLESTEROL: Americans have become so conditioned to avoid all foods containing cholesterol.  This is a grave mistake as it places a much bigger burden on the body….

I am concerned at the alarming rate of clients that are on Statin medications because they have been told their cholesterol levels are out of control.  Yet I dig into the Statin industry and realize they have enjoyed at least a 30 yr. run of steadily increasing profits, as it finds ever more ways to justify expanding the definition of the segment of the population that qualifies for statin therapy.

Now in DEFENSE of these wonder drugs: Large, placebo-controlled studies have provided evidence that statins can substantially reduce the incidence of heart attack.  High serum cholesterol is indeed correlated with heart disease, and statins, by interfering with the body’s ability to synthesize cholesterol, are extremely effective in lowering the numbers.  Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the U.S. and, increasingly, worldwide.  What’s not to like about statin drugs?

Realizing I am not alone as I begin to question how beneficial reducing one’s cholesterol using drugs can be to a persons health, being that the body actually produces LDL, it serves a purpose!  Then I stumble upon Stephanie Seneff, Ph.D. who writes: “I have spent much of my time in the last few years combing the research literature on metabolism, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and statin drugs.  Thus far, in addition to posting essays on the web, I have, together with collaborators published two journal articles related to metabolism, diabetes and heart disease (Seneffl et al., 2011) and Alzheimer’s disease (Seneff2 et al., 2011).  Two more articles, concerning a crucial role for cholesterol sulfate in metabolism, are currently under review (Seneff3 et al., Seneff 4 et.al.).  I have been driven by the need to understand how a drug that interferes with the synthesis of cholesterol, a nutrient that is essential to human life, could possibly have a positive impact on health.  I have finally been rewarded with an explanation for an apparent positive benefit of statins that I can believe, but one that soundly refutes the idea that statins are protective.  I will, in fact, make the bold claim that nobody qualifies for statin therapy, and that statin drugs can be best described as toxins.”

She started to examine the claims that statins would cut the incidence of heart attacks by a 3rd.  What does that mean?  Well according to Seneff a meta-study reviewing seven drug trials, involving 42,848 patients, ranging over a three to five year period, showed a 29% decreased risk of a major cardiac event, this was recorded (Thavendiranathan et al, 2006).  But the thing is, heart attacks were rare among this group, so what this then translates to in absolute terms is that 60 patients would need to be treated for an average of 4.3 years to protect one of them from a single heart attack.  However, essentially all of them would experience increased frailty and mental decline.

Seneff states that the impact of the damage due to the statin anti-cholesterol mythology extends far beyond those who actually consume the statin pills.  Because Cholesterol has been demonized by the statin industry, and as a consequence American have become conditioned to avoid all foods containing cholesterol.  Which is a huge MISTAKE, because it places a bigger burden on the body to synthesize sufficient cholesterol to support the body’s needs, and it deprives the body of several essential nutrients.

Does anyone remember the “attack” against eating EGGS, eat only the whites, toss out the yolks because it will raise your cholesterol!  When in fact eggs ARE very healthy and it’s the YOLK that contains all the important nutrients.  It’s the yolk that allows the chick embryo to mature and grow into what we call a “chicken”.

Many of my clients will bring copies of current lab work with them to our consultation.  I am beginning to believe that this issue is becoming wide-spread, so many are struggling with being deficient in crucial nutrients:
*choline
*zinc
*niacin
*Vitamin A
*Vitamin D
Funny thing is that from a food perspective all the foods that naturally contain these crucial nutrients are ones that they have been advised to avoid consuming because they contain cholesterol.

Let me hit you with some EDUCATION about the roll cholesterol plays in the history of what you call your HEALTH:

Cholesterol is NOT the enemy, it is truly a remarkable element that truth be told without it, the human body can’t live!  There are some distinguishing factors that us mammals have as an advantage over plants:
1. A nervous system
2. mobility
3. cholesterol

Cholesterol, absent from plants, is the key molecule that allows humans and animals to have mobility and a nervous system.  Cholesterol has chemical properties that are very unique, these are exploited in the lipid bilayers that surround all animal cells:  as cholesterol concentrations are increased, membrane fluidity is decreased, up to a certain critical concentration, after which cholesterol start to increase fluidity (Haines, 2001)( I’m tossing in these references lest you think I’m pulling this stuff out of thin air).

The Cells exploit this property to a wonderful advantage for ion transport, which is essential for both mobility and nerve signal transport. (If the nerves cannot send a signal, guess what NOTHING is able to be mobile, meaning US!)

In addition to the role of ion transportation, cholesterol is also the precursor to vitamin D3; the sex hormones, estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone; and the steroid hormones such as cortisol.  So let me ask you, how many folks who have been taking statin meds for any extended length of time find that they cannot keep their vitamin D3 levels elevated to where it should be? Or how many find their sexual urges seem to have packed their bags and headed to unknown lands?  Who finds that their muscle and joint inflammatory issues seem to climb onto the scene because there is now an imbalance in their cortisol production which then begins to affect their blood sugar levels as well as blood pressure and I can continue to pinpoint more in the domino decline.

You see Cholesterol is ABSOLUTELY essential to the cell membranes of all of our cells, where it protects the cell not only from ion leaks, but also from oxidation damage to membrane fats.  While the brain contains only 2% of the body’s weight, it houses 25% of the body’s cholesterol.  As a matter of fact; cholesterol is VITAL to the brain for nerve signal transport at synapses and through the long axons that communicate from one side of the brain to the other.  Cholesterol sulfate plays an important role in the metabolism of fats via bile acids, as well as in immune defenses against invasion by pathogenic organisms.

I know I’m tossing a whole bunch of technical stuff at you, however, I think many folks need to be able to understand the vital role cholesterol actually plans in the total scope of “health.”

Statins inhibit the action of an enzyme, HMG coenzyme A reductase, that is needed as a catalyst in an early step in the 25-step process that produces cholesterol.  This step is an early step in the synthesis of a whole bunch of other powerful biological substances that are involved in cellular regulation and antioxidant effects.  One of these which you have heard and seen me talk about on frequent posts, “coenzyme Q10”, which is present in the greatest concentration in the heart, which plays a huge role in mitochondrial energy production and acts as a powerhouse antioxidant (Gottlieb et al, 2000)

LETS TALK ABOUT LDL, HDL

Most folks have to taught to focus and worry about elevated serum levels of low density lipoproteins (LDL), with respect to heart disease.  LDL is not a type of cholesterol, but rather can be viewed as a container that transports fats, cholesterol, vitamin D, and fat soluble antioxidants to all the tissues in the body.  These are NOT water soluble nutrients so they must be packaged up and transported inside the LDL particles in the blood stream.  If you interfere with the production of LDL, you then reduce the bioavailability of all these nutrients to your body’s cells.

LDL particles also contain a special protein called “apoB: that enables LDL to deliver it’s goods to the cells that are in need.  ApoB is vulnerable to attack by glucose and other blood sugars, especially fructose.  Diabetes results in an increased concentration of sugar in the blood, which further compromises the LDL particles by gumming up apoB.  Oxidized and glycated LDL particles become less efficient in delivering their contents to the cells.  So they stick around longer in the bloodstream, and the measured serum LDL level goes UP.

Once the LDL particles have delivered their contents, they become small dense LDL particles, remnants that would normally be returned to the liver to be broken down and recycled. (the body process is so AMAZING)  But once the LDL particles have finally delivered their contents, they then become small dense LDL particles, remnants that would ordinarily be returned to the liver to be broken down and recycled.  But the attached sugars interfere with this process as well, so the task of breaking them down is now assumed by macrophages in the artery wall and elsewhere in the body, thru a scavenger operation.  The macrophages are especially skilled to extract cholesterol from damaged LDL particles and insert it into HDL particles.  Small dense LDL particles become trapped in the artery wall so that the macrophages can salvage and recycle their contents and this is the basic source of atherosclerosis.

HDL particles are referred to as the “good” cholesterol, and the amount of cholesterol in HDL particles is the lipid metric with the strongest correlation with heart disease, where less cholesterol is associated with increased risk.  So the macrophages in the plaque are actually performing a very useful role in increasing the amount of HDL cholesterol and reducing the amount of small dense LDL.

LDL particles which are produced by the liver, synthesizes cholesterol to insert into their shells, as well as into their contents.  The liver is responsible for breaking down fructose and converting it into fat (Collison et al, 2009).  Fructose is 10X more active than glucose at glycating proteins, and is therefore very dangerous in the blood serum (Seneff1et al., 2011).  When you eat a lot of fructose (like high fructose corn syrup present in lots of processed foods and carbonated drinks), the liver is burdened with getting the fructose out of the blood and converting it to fat, and it can not keep up with cholesterol supply.  Like Stated before, fats can not be safely transported if there is not enough cholesterol.  the liver has to ship out all that fat produced from the fructose, so it produces low quality LDL particles, containing insufficient protective cholesterol.  So you end up with a really bad situation where the LDL particles are vulnerable to attack, and attacking sugars are readily available to do damage.

COCONUT WATER AS EFFECTIVE AS STATIN DRUG:
A recent study indicated that coconut water contains many nutritional and therapeutic properties.  a natural acid and sterile solution that contains several biologically active components:
* L-arginine
*ascorbic acid
*minerals like calcium, magnesium and potassium
all of which have beneficial effects on lipid levels.

The research authors stated, “recent studies in our lab showed that both tender and mature coconut water feeding significantly reduced hyperlipidemia in cholesterol fed rats.”,  The current study evaluated the hypolipidemic effect of coconut water compared to the lipid lowering drug lovastatin in rats fed a fat cholesterol enriched diet ad libitum for 45 days.  the authors state in their summary of the study.  “Coconut water has had lowering effect similar to the drug lovastatin in rats fed the fat cholesterol enriched diet.”  You can view the full report: Sandhya, V.G, Rajamohan, T., 2006 “beneficial effects of coconut water feeding on lipid metabolism in cholesterol fed rats.” J. Med. Food 9, 400-407. See study reference online at http://www.greenmedinfo.com

I know this is long, and I plan on continuing tomorrow on how Statins affect the muscles … so tune in tomorrow.

If you’d like some help and assistance with navigating your nutritional battle plan,   everything in the body function serves a particular purpose.
you can go to http://www.harvestedhealth.wordpress.com and schedule a consult which we can do in person, via the phone, or email.

Healthfully yours,
Jodi Barnett N.D.
Harvested Health LLC
219-713-4789

Resources:

Stephanie Seneff.Ph.D. (wellbeing journal)

http://www.Greenmedinfo.com

 

 


Understand What High Blood Pressure is and why it’s a problem….

This post is a bit lengthy, however…. so many people are walking around with high blood pressure, I felt this was a topic that really needed to dig beneath the surface in hopes of empowering more people to realize they have options and elements of control over the quality of their health.  So please read thru this article I think you will find some helpful & useful suggestions and information.

Many people today find themselves on prescriptions to control the aspects of their blood pressure when it continues to float in the “too high” zone.  Talking to client’s many actually state this fact like it’s as common as breathing.  Going thru their health history most don’t skip a beat, “oh yeah, I’ve got high blood pressure been on meds for years”… and they float right onto the next topic.  So I wanted to address this…

What is High Blood Pressure.. well it is a symptom that tells us that other areas are imbalanced within,  so in reality High blood pressure is not a disease in it’s own category.  What contributes to hypertension (High Blood pressure)?

Here’s how it usually goes…. When there is lots of arterial tension, the heart (a.k.a blood pumper) has to work harder to pump the blood to reach our extremities, fingers/toes….This actually results in the blood pressure reading coming in “high” and is when most end up on medications.  My real question is how many people feel their high blood pressure issues truly are cured because they take those medications?  “High blood pressure medication is not caused by a lack of high blood pressure medications and… the medication prescribed isn’t designed to cure it either” so stated .. (Tree of light publishing, Steven Horne, Registered Herbalis (AHG)

It’s meant to artificially “control” the issue but certainly not to fix the problem.  Many just take the medications and don’t question, or  change a whole bunch of anything in their daily lives or health routine.  It’s like a “fix it & forget it syndrome”, I take this pill so I’m doing my part routine.  It is symptom MANAGEMENT, but isn’t addressing much else.

What I’m about to say next is probably gonna rub some people the wrong way, but hey it is what it is… High blood pressure is a direct result of ‘LIFESTYLE”. Living in/on the fast lane, as in fast food, lack of sleep (over stimulate with caffeine), smoking, alcohol consumption, over processed “fake” foods, high stress environments.   In other countries especially the un-developed ones, high blood pressure is pretty much unheard of, why.. well, they are eating their native/traditional diets, and their lifestyles tend to less stressful.  Yet in America more than 60 million suffer with High blood pressure.

Now, when you have high blood pressure other diseases can become an issue, like we know having high blood pressure can increase your chances of heart attack, stroke, kidney issues even failure.  Most people believe that all they can change to try to get this under control is to just monitor their sodium intake.  That’s not true…. it’s helpful, but it’s not the only thing that needs to change.

There is a pretty high percentage of high blood pressure cases which classify in mild to moderate category which can really benefit with dietary & lifestyle changes.  Incorporating some herbs & dietary supplements can also be helpful.

Here are some tips I’d strongly recommend:

  1. 1.  start to drink 1/2 your body weight in ounces each day in the form of pure, clean water.
  2.  make sure you are increasing the amount of dietary fiber which helps to sweep toxins & debris out of the body.
  3. If you are over weight, start to take measures to get that extra weight off with diet & exercise.
  4. If you smoke… quit!!!
  5. the body was designed to move, which is why we have hinged joints, so give up some TV time, or computer game time and move it or lose it….
  6. give up using table salt, and change it up for sea salt and this gets easier to monitor when you stop eating pre-cooked foods, like canned soups and boxed instant & frozen dinners which tend to be loaded with salt.  I think the average Campbells soup contains like 900 mg. of sodium per serving. Yikes…
  7. get rid of caffeine (stimulants can raise blood pressure)
  8. over indulgence in the alcohol category doesn’t improve blood pressure either.
  9. lean on those essential fatty acids especially Omega -3 (helps keep blood cells from being too sticky, and thins blood plasma for smoother circulation)
  10. make sure you are getting enough calcium & magnesium, many think calcium but leave out magnesium, well you need the magnesium for the body to properly absorb the calcium.

Like I stated earlier; hIgh blood pressure is a symptom not a disease all by itself.  Yet many think the heart is defective when they are told they have high blood pressure.  The heart is a pump and it’s job is to do just that, pump the blood everywhere.  So when the heart is beating harder, the blood pressure goes up, I tell people these symptoms are like your dash board lights in your car alerting you to an internal problem that needs to be addressed.  When the heart has to work harder that means something is causing some sort of a restriction to how smoothly the blood is flowing.

So in my opinion, when you are going to rely on the medication alone to reduce the pressure, that is not fixing or getting rid of any obstructions that are interfering with the blood flow.  The end result is yes you’ve decreased the bloods pressure but you still have restricted circulation especially going to the hands & feet.  Many on high blood pressure have cold feet/hands.  Basically you have now just traded one health issue to take on board another one.

So basically we have determined that the heart is having to pump too hard to do it’s job of circulating the blood all over the body, so fix the cause and the heart will stop having to work overtime.  If you simply make it easier for the blood to flow, the blood pressure is going to respond by going down.

What are some of the things that contribute to high blood pressure coming from within ?

1.  Good ole hardening of the Arteries. – this is like getting the hard water deposit build up in your pipes, the deposits are going to make the size of the blood vessels smaller inside and restricts how the blood flows thru them.  So if you have been told you have hardening of the Arteries, understand that years of over eating starches & refined sugars have contributed, as the body pH has retained more of an acidic state, so getting the starches & refined sugars out of your daily routine is a plus all the way around.  You can also incorporate some herbal assistance with Mega-Chel which works like oral chelation.

Benefits:

  • Provides a powerhouse of nutritional support for the circulatory system.
  • Provides 100% or more of the Daily Value for 10 essential vitamins and minerals.
  • Promotes healthy circulation through maintaining circulatory passageways.
  • Promotes healthy circulation through maintaining arteries, veins and capillaries.
  • Balances the glandular system.
  • http://www.naturessunshine.com/us/product/mega-chel-120-tabs/4201/

Now lets address Vaso-constriction:  This is all about the muscular strength in the vascular walls.  Your blood vessels have muscular walls they squeeze & release which is what helps to move the blood thru them.  When they stay squeezed (tense), there is what is referred to as vaso-constriction.  The same sort of concept occurs when someone is having an asthma attack, their bronchial tubes begin to restrict the amount of air flowing thru them and they can’t breathe, this is the same concept when it comes to vaso-constriction in  the arteries.  What contributes to vaso-constriction?  I’m so glad you asked….

  1. Stress is a big contributor – Our body has built in stress responders, the adrenal glands….when you walk up on a spider (if you’re afraid of them), almost without thinking about it you can jump back, scream and in my case I’m doing an Irish jig, couple of things happen though, the heart starts to pound, you may even sweat, get light headed, skin can get tingly, why?  Well, the body releases some hormones and a neurotransmitter called epinephrine (or many know it as adrenaline rush). The body has nerve receptors that are designed to obviously react to the epinephrine.  There are really two types of reactors, the alpha & beta.  When the beta receptors are stimulated by the hormone, they cause blood vessels to contract and the heart beats harder.  Those who have been prescribed Beta-blockers take them to help lower their blood pressure, by blocking these beta adrenergic receptor sites from registering the hormone stimulation.
  2. caffeine can over stimulate the nervous system (sympathethic deals with the adrenals) which encourages high amounts of epinephrine to be turned loose.  So if your consume large amounts of caffeine during the day, some start with coffee, then graduate to caffeinated pops or energy drinks and drink very little water.  Some of the foods that jump on board with triggering this response: alcohol, tobacco, chocolate (yes I know, I’m sorry), cheese, refined sugars, your cured meats like pork, lunch meats which majority contain MSG, which contributes as an excito-neuro-toxin…
  3. Magnesium depleted – we are bombarded with advertising that shoves calcium intake down our throats, however I believe the top most mineral deficiency suffered is in fact magnesium depletion.  When a muscles contracts, calcium ions flow into that muscles cells; as the muscle seeks to relax there is an exchange of magnesium for calcium.  Calcium is what causes the contraction and magnesium causes the relaxation of the muscle.  Many who are depleted in magnesium suffer from lots of leg & toe cramps, or those twitches under the bottle eye lid.   There is also some prescriptions used here called calcium channel blockers can be given to lower ones blood pressure.  What these drugs do is block calcium from entering the muscle tissue, which causes them to be more relaxed.  But I have found that you can also take extra magnesium and create same result.
  4. Syndrome X – This can also contribute to high blood pressure,  What in the world is Syndrome X-  hIgh insulin levels in the blood.  When someones diet has been high in the carbohydrate & sugar zone, it causes the blood vessels to become inflamed which for obvious reasons is going tor restrict flow.  When the diet is high in refined sugars or simple sugars those sugars tend to react with proteins and this reduces how elastic the blood vessels are and they lose flexibility.  Many will see results of this long before its a problem in the form of spider veins in calves & ankles.  So reducing or even eliminating simple carohydrates can be super helpful.

Some of these herbal suggestions  can be incorporated to help if you have been told you have vaso-constriction issues:

Magnesium Complex can be used in conjunction with vaso-dilative herbs to dilate blood vessels & reduce blood pressure.Magnesium is an essential mineral. It is present in more than 300 enzymatic systems where it is crucial for energy production and other metabolic functions. The heart, brain and kidneys cannot function without adequate levels of this nutrient. Magnesium is used in reaction to form Tri Carboxylic Acid (TCA), which aids in the cells’ energy-producing cycle. It is also involved in smooth muscle contractions, affecting the heart, gastrointestinal, urinary and female reproductive tracts. http://www.naturessunshine.com/us/product/magnesium-complex-100-caps/1859/

Hawthorn & ginkgo have both been found to dilate peripheral blood vessels and improve flow. Ginkgo biloba leaf is one of the most popular and well-studied herbs in the world. Its ability to increase circulation has been documented in numerous clinical trials. Ginkgo is a powerful free radical scavenger. It helps protect blood vessels and optimizes the amount of oxygen supplied to brain cells. It may also help support blood flow to the extremities. Hawthorn berries contain flavonoids and other compounds that may benefit the circulatory system, especially the heart. They also contain volatile oils, saponins, alkaloids, vitamins and minerals.http://www.naturessunshine.com/us/product/ginkgo–hawthorn-combination-100-caps/909/

Garlic can reduce blood pressure. If you take garlic on a regular basis many have reduced blood pressure by 10-15 points.  Not to mention an added benefit of the garlic is it kicks butt on blood cholesterol & triglycerides too.  http://www.naturessunshine.com/us/product/garlic-oil-60-softgel-caps/1694/

Blood Pressurex which contains l-arginine, which is an amino acid that acts on a chemical messenger called nitric oxide which dilates blood vessels.  The main ingredients in Blood Pressurex are the powerful herbs Coleus forskohlii, olive leaf extract, hawthorn berries extract and goldenrod; the amino acid arginine; and the antioxidants vitamin E and a powerful, proprietary grape seed extract. These combine to help protect blood vessels, promote blood flow in the peripheral arteries and inhibit cell damage. Grape seed extract contains an array of bioflavonoids, antioxidants and polyphenols. Studies suggest that grape seed extract may be beneficial for maintaining blood pressure levels and may contribute to overall cardiovascular health. http://www.naturessunshine.com/us/product/blood-pressurex-60-caps/554/

Lobelia – which has lobeline that acts as a natural beta blocker.  It goes together well with capiscum and a small amount of black cohost to reduce cardiac stress and angian.  improves circulation to the heart, and lower blood pressure caused by stress/tention.

Benefits:

Then there are also Adaptagens which can also assist in reducing blood pressure issues.  Like

Eleuthero Root – American & Korean ginseng, schizandra these are found in Nutri-calm

Benefits:

Also Nervous Fatigue Formula:  his TCM concentrate contains the same herbs found in Nervous Fatigue formula but in a highly concentrated blend. Traditional Chinese Medicine would consider this a fire-enhancing formula. Its Chinese name yang xin translates to “nurture the heart.” Weakness in the fire element usually manifests itself in the digestive, cardiovascular or reproductive systems. Biota seed contains aromatic compounds that have a sedative effect. These compounds also have a mild laxative effect. Jujuba seed contains bitter compounds that help promote relaxation. Schizandra fruit, a supporting herb in this formula, allows the body to respond quickly to stress, thus increasing the body’s capacity to work. Its bitter compounds also support circulation. Ginseng acts as an adaptogen to help maintain balance in the body and help the body adapt to stress.http://www.naturessunshine.com/us/product/nervous-fatigue-tcm-conc-30-caps/1017/

Suma Combination – SUMA Combination supplies nutrients that support the body’s regenerative functions. It is a blend of six powerful adaptogenic herbs that bolster the immune system and provide energy and emotional support. Suma root is referred to as para todo in South America, meaning “for everything.” Suma is not a true ginseng, but it shares many of ginseng’s properties. Astragalus root is a Chinese herb that also shares many properties of ginseng and is known as an energy-booster.http://www.naturessunshine.com/us/product/suma-combination-100-caps/1088/

Next aspect that can contribute towards the high blood pressure problem is  “WATER RETENTION & KIDNEY FUNCTION”…..

When our body is retaining excessive fluid, it will also put pressure on our blood vessels restricting the flow issue.  Kidneys have an influence on the heart, So I believe the kidneys to be a major contributor to maintenance of our blood pressure.  Many times when someone is retaining extra fluid, they will be prescribed a diuretic to try to reduce the blood pressure.  There are some more natural versions that will act like a diuretic without the side-effects.  like the Chinese Kidney Activator –

Benefits:

We talked earlier about reducing your intake of salt, I’d again recommend trading regular table salt in favor of sea salt which can also help reduce fluid retention.  I have to say that kidney issues are usually not the 1st go to place of addressing high blood pressure, but when I have a client who says they have high blood pressure, I always encourage them to support their kidneys while making diet & exercise changes.

So there ya have it, if you are interested in scheduling a more detailed consultation based specifically on what your body says it needs, then please schedule a 1 hr. consultation (we can do these either by skype (no video) only audio, and or phone consult or in my office.  QFA Analysis is in office only, (urine & saliva).  go to. http://mkt.com/harvested-health-llc and sign up for your desired services.

As always,

Healthfully yours,

Jodi Barnett N.D.

QFA Clinician, Orthomolecular Nutritionist,

Raw Food Coach

Harvested Health LLC

http://www.harvestedhealth.wordpress.com

http://www.harvestedhealth.mynsp.com (High quality herbs & supplements)

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subscribe to me on you tube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCW9rAc7tMZNM66au36754zA


I NEED ENERGY!!!!!!!!

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Does this feel like YOU most of the time?

Working with my clients, the chief complaint seems to be “no energy”, most feel like they are just pulling themselves thru their day and/or using caffeine or energy drinks to force what doesn’t seem to naturally be within them.

It is true that our bodies need natural sugar that it uses as a source of energy. Typically most lean towards starchy foods like the breads, pasta and potatoes, the digestive enzymes break down complex sugar (starch) into simpler sugars. So it’s a longer transition process for actual energy conversion and much stores in the fat cells due to incomplete digestion from the diet being overloaded with these starches, and these foods are void of needed vitamins/nutrients due to over cooking. Gums up the inner piping if you will.

Yet When fruits are eaten, the body uses the simple sugars (fructose) directly, without needing to break it down further. This differs from eating refined sugar, in which case the food is devoid of nutrients and fiber (which fruits contain).

Refined sugar enters the blood quickly, as it lacks fiber that would normally slow it down. White table sugar typically is refined from cane sugar and/or sugar beets, during which the natural nutrients and fiber end up being taken out. The calories found in sugar are “empty.” There are no vitamins or minerals, which means the body has to rob from “storage” – if there is storage – to aid and abet breaking down the processed sugar. So.. since foods contain calories and calories equal energy, when you are eating something that is void of vitamins/minerals and the body has to rob from storage, guess what doesn’t happen, no NEW energy is created to put some pep in your step, instead it is depleted even further, which is why when you eat something made with refined sugar as the body processes it you can feel like taking a nap, or mentally you cannot focus (brain fog).

When I conduct a QFA Analysis (Urine & Saliva), I find many of my clients are deficient in essential minerals which are critical for other processes in the body. Friends, you cannot borrow from an empty account. On the other hand, fruit is nutrient-dense. This means for every calorie it provides, it also contributes micro-nutrients in the form of vitamins and minerals. Yet many are told because fruits have sugar, they will make you fat, raise your Glycemic index, rot your teeth. NOT true!!! I have many diabetics that I encourage to consume lots of fresh fruits in the morning hours and they find not only does it energize them, it aids and assists in elimination as well. Fruits are the body “cleaners”, Veggies are the body builders. We NEED them both!

If you cut out most fruits, and most or all complex carbohydrates (which are different from simple carbohydrates) you will need to get your calories from other sources – proteins or fats. Which many people who are trying to lose weight seem to lean towards. It is difficult to gain sufficient calories from protein; and high-protein diets are generally recognized as harmful for health, and places lots of extra burden on one’s kidneys.  The high protein intake usually comes in the form of eating lots of animal meats which also makes the body pH overly acidic without a balance. Yes people lose weight on these high protein diets but at what price?

Many who jumped into the high-protein diets that were super popular in the 1990’s account for a huge climb in those suffering from kidney stones. There was no allotment that included enough fruits or vegetables. Also, the mentality behind those diets is strictly to lose weight. Yes, the weight loss was obtained, many relapse to their previous eating habits, making any changes temporary. Again, what is called for is a true change of lifestyle that can be reasonably sustained. Balance is the key.

For those interested in help/assistance in weight-loss, coupled with incorporating a more complete and balance eating plan. I’d be thrilled to work with you towards success. Simply go to https://mkt.com/harvested-health-llc and pre-register for your 1 hr. consult which can take place via phone or in person. Once you’ve registered/paid for your consultation, you will receive my schedule and we can get you on track with an appointment.

As always,
Healthfully yours,
The Health Nut,
Jodi Barnett N.H.C.
QFA Clinician, Orthomolecular Nutrition Coach,
Raw Food Coach, Student:Doctor of Naturopathy

Harvested Health LLC
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