This blog post is sponsored by Natural Vitality.#text>
Looking for ways to de-stress? You can "Feel the Calm" with Natural Vitality!#text>
Magnesium provides many mental and physical health benefits.#text>
The human body is a complicated organism that relies on a variety of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to run correctly. Unfortunately, the modern diet is lacking many of these essential nutrients. Magnesium is often ignored by people promoting nutritional supplements, but it is actually incredibly important to overall health.#text>
Though it is not talked about often, magnesium is one of the most common minerals in existence. In nature, magnesium often exists as magnesium chloride salts in the ocean or pure magnesium in plant chlorophyll. It is the second most abundant element that is found within human cells, and magnesium is responsible for managing hundreds of biochemical reactions in the human body. As a positive ion, magnesium regulates enzyme systems throughout the human body. This means that magnesium is involved in most of the bodily functions necessary for life.#text>
Magnesium's main role in the human body is to regulate the enzymes that send chemical signals throughout the body. As an enzyme cofactor, magnesium switches enzymes on and tells them to do their work. It is required for the proper function of the ATP molecules that fuel the human body. The presence of magnesium is directly responsible for metabolizing sugar and fat into energy, creating DNA, contracting muscle fibers, building new cells, regulating mineral absorption, and controlling cholesterol storage. Due to its essential role, every organ, bone, and muscle in the human body requires magnesium for proper function, and magnesium levels affect many aspects of health.#text>
One of magnesium's most important jobs is its effect on muscle contractions. Throughout the body, magnesium is responsible for relaxing muscle fibers after they contract. This makes it possible for you to move in certain ways, and it prevents cramps...
Protect yourself from daily toxins, environmental hazards, and even radiation exposure with this antioxidant-based health regimen#text>
…There’s no question that potassium iodide is indicated when someone is exposed to significant amounts of nuclear radiation…[However although] potassium iodide prevents radioactive iodine from accumulating in the thyroid gland, it won’t protect against the damaging effects of other radioactive particles.#text>
…[More] common is daily exposure to various forms of low-level radiation. From microwave ovens to airport security scanners, there are radiation sources all around us. And that’s why it makes sense to take a proactive, “whole body armor” approach to protect against the cumulative effects of low-to-moderate radiation exposure.#text>
In addition to the basic healthy regimen that most everyone should follow—a high-potency multivitamin/multimineral; a high-quality greens drink; and a pharmaceutical-grade fish oil—I recommend some specific foods and a few supplements to help protect against background radiation. Useful foods include:#text>
- Good sources of water-soluble fiber such as pears, oat bran, apples, and legumes.
- Garlic, onions, eggs, whey protein, and other sulfur-rich foods.
- Flavonoid-packed fruits including blueberries, blackberries, cherries, and raspberries.
- Soy foods and sea vegetables.
- Root vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, and yams that are bursting with beta-carotene.
- Cruciferous vegetables, especially broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage.
- Artichokes, beets, spinach, dandelion greens, and herbs and spices such as turmeric, cinnamon, and mustard.
What to take as for supplements, I recommend taking a flavonoid-rich extract such as green tea, grape seed, Pycnogenol, or Ginkgo biloba at a dosage of at least 100 mg daily, but ideally 300 mg. Flavonoids appear to reduce the formation of clastogenic factors that...
Understanding your genetic clock and how to slow it down
For many years, it was thought that cells were immortal if provided an ideal environment. That belief was discarded in the early 1960s when Leonard Hayflick, PhD, observed that human fibroblasts in tissue culture wouldn’t divide more than about 50 times. Hayflick found that if he froze the cells after 20 divisions, they would “remember” that they had 30 doublings left after they thawed.
Researchers also noted that fibroblasts begin looking old as they approach 50 cell divisions. They become larger and accumulate an increased amount of lipofuscin, the pigment responsible for “age spots.” Based on Hayflick’s findings, experts theorized that there is a genetic clock within each cell that determines when old age sets in.
Currently, many researchers in the field are working with what’s known as the “telomere shortening” theory of aging. Telomeres are the end-cap segments of DNA. Each time a cell replicates, a small piece of DNA is removed from the telomere—and the shorter the telomere gets, the more gene expression is affected. The result is cellular aging.
In addition to serving as a clock for aging, the telomere is involved in protecting the end of the chromosome from damage, controlling gene expression, and aiding in the organization of the chromosome. The telomere not only determines the aging of the cell, but also its risk for cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and other degenerative diseases.
Slowing Down the Clock
The key to extending human lifespan will ultimately involve preserving or restoring telomere length to the DNA. But that technology is decades away. Luckily, there are low-tech ways to help slow down
our genetic clocks right now, including:
- Managing stress
- Exercising regularly
- Sleeping at least 8 hours per night
- Maintaining ideal body weight
- Consuming a diet rich in vegetables and fruits
- Eating mostly low-glycemic foods
- Taking a daily multivitamin/multimineral
- Getting an optimal amount of omega-3 fatty acids from fish and fish oil supplements
- Taking additional vitamin D, polyphenols, flavonoids, and other key nutrients
A Closer Look
Research has shown that many nutrients help fight telomere shortening, especially B vitamins such as folic acid, vitamin B12, and niacin; zinc; magnesium; and vitamins C and E. The best way to insure adequate intake of these and other nutrients is to take a quality multivitamin/multimineral supplement. Should you take iron in your multi? Unless you have a significant need for iron or are a menstruating woman, do your best to avoid iron supplements. Taking iron has been associated with shorter telomeres. Excess iron can also act to increase free radical activity.
Taking extra vitamin D is a good idea, as well—most experts now recommend at least 2,000 IU daily. In one study, scientists examined the effects of vitamin D on the length of telomeres in the white blood cells of 2,160 women aged 18—79 years. The higher their vitamin D levels, the longer the telomere length.
In terms of aging, there was a five-year difference in telomere length in those with the highest levels of vitamin D compared to those with the lowest levels. Obesity, smoking, and lack of physical activity can shorten telomere length, but researchers found that increasing vitamin D levels overcame these effects. What this five-year difference means is that a 70-year-old woman with higher vitamin D levels would have a biological age of 65 years.
Fish oils are also important to slowing the genetic clock. Higher levels of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA have been shown to reduce telomere shortening in a long-term study. The recommended dosage of fish oils is based upon providing a daily intake of 1,000 mg EPA and DHA.
Lastly, the flavonoids and polyphenols in grape seed, pine bark (Pycnogenol), and green tea are associated not only with reducing markers of inflammation, but also with preventing telomere shortening in experimental studies. The dosage recommendation for extracts providing at least 90 percent polyphenols is 150—300 mg daily.
The Insulin Angle
But perhaps the biggest cause of premature telomere shortening in North America is resistance to the hormone insulin that occurs in obesity, prediabetes, and type 2 diabetes, as recent studies have documented that insulin resistance is associated with shorter telomeres. Achieving ideal body weight and utilizing strategies to increase the sensitivity of the body cells to insulin is a critical goal to preventing telomere shortening.
Check out this video on healthy eating by vlogger Miss Liz Heart for recipe ideas and tips!#text>
Eating healthier doesn't have to be a drastic change. Small changes like switching out certain ingredients in a dish can make a difference in your healthy eating journey.#text>
Mentioned Products and Recipes:#text>
Other iHerb Favorites:#text>
BREAKFAST RECIPE: Peanut Butters Foster#text>
- Sesame bread#text>
- coconut oil#text>
- peanut butter#text>
SNACK RECIPE: Sundried Tomato & Pine Nut Hummus#text>
- 2T sun-dried tomato#text>
- 3T extra virgin olive oil#text>
- 1/2 large or 1 small garlic clove#text>
- 2-3T pine nuts#text>
- 1 large lemon juice#text>
- 1 8oz can of chickpea#text>
- 2.5T of tahini#text>
- sea salt to taste#text>
* Blend garlic, sundried tomato and olive oil until a paste is created. Then add lemon juice, chickpeas, tahini, salt and pine nuts. Blend on high until creamy. If it's too thick add water or some of the chickpea juice. Serve and garnish with lemon, olive oil, sundried tomato and pine nuts. Enjoy!#text>
DINNER: Healthy Homemade Ramen#text>
- 1 rice ramen noodle packet#text>
- 1t better than bouillon paste#text>
- salt to taste#text>
- 1/2 onion#text>
- 2 cloves of garlic#text>
- green onion#text>
- nitrate free turkey dog (or sub for any protein of choice)#text>
- soy sauce (optional)#text>
- 1T avocado oil#text>
- 1 egg (optional)#text>
- desired amount of water#text>
* Saute onion, chive, garlic, mushrooms and turkey dog in oil on medium high until onion is translucent. Add desired amount of water, beef paste and bring to a boil. Add noodles and cook for 2 minutes then turn stove off. Add egg and let sit on stove for 3-4 minutes while the egg and noodles continue to cook. Serve and top with remaining chives!
Every major advance in nutritional medicine generally starts out as an unknown entity. That is certainly true for PQQ (short for pyrroloquinoline quinone). Although PQQ is a relatively new dietary supplement on the market, its potential is absolutely enormous. The potential benefits are nearly limitless as it has shown a wide range of enhancements to brain and body function. It is especially powerful in its ability to boost brain function, including memory.
A new study with BioPQQ™ – a safe form of PQQ produced through a natural fermentation process – indicates that it can lower LDL cholesterol levels in subjects with initial levels greater than 140 mg/dl. PQQ is known to activate the enzyme AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPk) that helps to regulate blood lipid levels.
Although PQQ is not currently viewed as a vitamin, it is likely to be considered an essential nutrient in the future. PQQ serves as a cofactor for a special class of enzymes involved in cellular function including cellular growth, development, differentiation, and survival. Without PQQ, our cells would cease to function properly. PQQ has been found in all plant foods analyzed to date. PPQ-rich foods include parsley, green peppers, kiwi fruit, papaya and tofu. These foods contain about 2-3 mcg per 100 grams. Studies with PQQ generally use dosage levels of 10 to 20 mg, which are levels much higher than the typical dietary intake of about 100 mcg.
One key action of PQQ involves a direct action on major enzymes involved in the energy producing compartments in our cells of the mitochondria. As a result, PQQ improves energy production; current research has primarily focused on its ability to protect memory and cognition in both aging animals and humans. Here are some of the effects noted:
- PQQ reverses cognitive impairment caused by chronic oxidative stress and improve performance on memory tests in animal models.
- PQQ prevents the development of osteoarthritis in an animal model.
- PQQ protects nerve cells from the damaging effects of the beta-amyloid-protein linked with Alzheimer’s disease.
- The combination of PQQ and CoQ10 (respectively, 20 mg and 300 mg) improved mental function in a human double-blind study.
- PQQ (0.2 mg PQQ/kg body weight) increased the antioxidant potential and energy metabolism while decreasing inflammation in another double-blind study.
In this new study, the effects of PQQ (as BioPQQ™) on serum triglyceride and cholesterol levels were examined in humans after 6 and 12 weeks of supplementation at an oral dosage of 20 mg per day. A total of 29 healthy adults, ranging from 40 to 57 years old, with normal to moderately high triglyceride levels (110-300 mg/dL) were included in the study. While the average serum triglyceride levels did not change; in those subjects with LDL-cholesterol levels ≥140 mg/dl), at 6 weeks PQQ supplementation produced a statistically significant decrease in total cholesterol (from an average of 247 to 216 mg/dl) and LDL-cholesterol (from an average of 156 to 132 mg/dl). Results persisted at 12 weeks.
These results show that PQQ supplementation may produce meaningful reductions in LDL-cholesterol presumably as a result of AMPk activation. It adds to a growing body of clinical data on the benefits of this important compound.
PQQ activates AMPk, an enzyme that is found inside every cell that serves as a “master regulating switch” in energy metabolism. Low levels of AMPk activity is associated with:
- Accelerated aging
- Chronic inflammation
- High blood cholesterol and triglycerides
- Increased visceral “belly” fat
- Insulin resistance
- Mitochondrial insufficiency and dysfunction
- Poor blood sugar control
Since PQQ activates AMPk it is only a matter of time before clinical data is produced showing PQQ is helpful for a long list of health challenges.
Consumers need to be aware of different forms of PQQ on the marketplace. BioPQQ™ is the only form that I know of that is produced naturally. Other forms are produced through a chemical synthesis and involve the use of fairly toxic compounds. Read labels closely and use only BioPQQ™.
Nakano M, Kawasaki Y, Suzuki N, Takara T. Effects of Pyrroloquinoline Quinone Disodium Salt Intake on the Serum Cholesterol Levels of Healthy Japanese Adults.