Get the oestrogen needed to help you through changing times

Everyone knows that oestrogen is important to a woman’s health.

At the time of menopause a woman’s wellbeing can be maintained by eating a diet high in isoflavone phytoestrogens (plant oestrogens).

Unfortunately the Western diet is not high in the kind of foods that deliver these nutrients. In contrast, eastern diets are rich in legumes, which have a high amount of phytoestrogens.

Promensil (previously known as Novogen Redclover) can be taken daily to provide women of menopausal age with the same amount of isoflavones as would be found in an Eastern pulse-based diet.

Promensil comes in a variety of strengths designed to help women through the menopausal experience.

Health Researchers Gather to Talk about Tea

There’s a growing body of evidence suggesting a role for tea in preventing and treating many chronic diseases, writes Maureen Williams ND.

Researchers recently gathered in Washington, DC, for the Fifth Annual Scientific Symposium on Tea and Human Health, an event that showcased results from the most recent and not-yet-published studies on the health benefits of tea.

A range of reported benefits

Here are some highlights from the new research presented at the symposium:

  • Tea may lower risk of stroke. A meta-analysis of studies looking at tea consumption and cardiovascular disease conducted by a pair of researchers from UCLA determined that drinking tea was associated with stroke prevention.
  • Tea may improve alertness and focus. A researcher from the Netherlands presented a review of studies looking at the effect of tea on mood and mental functioning. In total, she reported, the evidence suggests that taking tea can improve alertness, attention, and mood.
  • Tea extract may keep blood vessels healthy. This preliminary trial demonstrated that taking tea flavonols (antioxidant compounds) could reduce blood pressure and improve results on tests of blood vessel function in people with mild high blood pressure. It also found that people who had taken the tea flavonols for one week were protected against the deterioration in blood vessel function and blood flow that occurs after eating a very high-fat meal.
  • Tea may assist weight loss. A presentation reviewing the research on tea and weight loss included data showing that tea increases metabolic rate, fat breakdown, and weight loss and may help prevent rebound weight gain.
  • Green tea may prevent some cancers. Two papers reviewing the effects of tea on cancer risk were presented. They suggested that green tea and its antioxidants may have general anticancer effects and reviewed the findings from trials looking at green tea and specific types of cancer. One of the papers noted in particular the promising results from studies looking at green tea and cancers of the gastrointestinal tract: mouth, oesophagus, stomach, liver, and colon.
  • Tea may prevent bone loss. A researcher from Texas reviewed the data on tea’s impact on bone turnover, suggesting that tea, and especially green tea, may improve bone health and prevent fractures.

Specific tea antioxidants—how they work and what they might do for health—were the subject of other studies and reports.

Putting it in perspective

At conferences, researchers always want to present their most exciting new findings, but it is important to keep in mind that none of the papers presented at the symposium have yet been reviewed by third-party experts or published in credible journals. Still, they do show an impressive and growing body of evidence suggesting a role for tea in preventing and treating many chronic diseases.

“As the second most consumed drink in the world next to water, tea accounts for a significant amount of the flavanol intake worldwide,” states Joe Simrany, President of the Tea Council of the USA, which has been a leading force behind the International Tea and Human Health Symposium since 1991. “This gathering of renowned global nutrition scientists is the world’s leading platform to release new research on tea, and acts as a catalyst for continuing research on tea in areas as diverse and novel as cognitive function, bone growth, weight management, cancer, and vascular function.”

Abstracts from the symposium are posted at the Tea Association of the USA’s website, http://www.teausa.org.

(Fifth Intl Scientific Symposium Health Abstracts 2012, The Tea Association of the USA, accessed September 27, 2012; http://www.teausa.org/index.cfm/14748/fifth-intl-scientific-symposium-health-abstracts)

Maureen Williams, ND, completed her doctorate in naturopathic medicine at Bastyr University in Seattle and has been in private practice since 1995. With an abiding commitment to access to care, she has worked in free clinics in the US and Canada, and in rural clinics in Guatemala and Honduras where she has studied traditional herbal medicine. She currently lives and practices in Victoria, BC, and lectures and writes extensively for both professional and community audiences on topics including family nutrition, menopause, anxiety and depression, heart disease, cancer, and easing stress. Dr. Williams is a regular contributor to Healthnotes Newswire.

Green Coffee Extract Found to Help with Weight Loss

Tests with green coffee saw people lose an average of almost 18 pounds and 4.4% of their body fat. Kimberly Beauchamp ND, comments on the  new findings.

With obesity on the rise, it’s no surprise that people turn to fad diets, meal replacements, supplements, drugs, and even surgery in an effort to lose weight. Most of these solutions are riddled with problems, though, and weight lost is often easily gained back. So weight-loss strategies that are safe and long-lasting always make welcome news. Enter the green coffee bean, which a study in Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity claims will help overweight people safely shed some extra pounds.

What’s in the bean?

Recent studies suggest that drinking coffee could protect against type 2 diabetes and obesity, which led researchers to look for the constituents in coffee that might be responsible for these effects. They discovered that coffee contains something called chlorogenic acid, a substance that seems to influence glucose and fat metabolism. Unroasted—or green—coffee beans contain substantially more chlorogenic acid than roasted beans do.

To test the effects of a standardised green coffee extract on weight loss, 16 overweight people (average age 33 years) took high dose (1,050 mg per day) green coffee extract, low dose (700 mg per day) green coffee extract, and placebo, each separately for six weeks, with a two-week break between phases. The participants didn’t change their diets during the trial. Body weight, BMI (body mass index), and percent body fat were measured before, during, and after each period of the study.

Both dosages of green coffee extract led to significant reductions in percent body fat, body weight, and BMI. Percent body fat also decreased significantly with placebo, but body weight and BMI remained unchanged. While taking green coffee bean extract, the people lost an average of almost 18 pounds and 4.4% of their body fat. What’s more, 88% of the people maintained their weight loss four months later. No side effects related to the treatment were reported.

“The results suggest that green coffee extract may be an effective nutraceutical in reducing weight in preobese adults, and may be an inexpensive means of preventing obesity in overweight adults,” concluded the researchers.

Weight loss 101

The results of this small study were impressive but need to be reproduced in larger trials before solid recommendations can be made about taking green coffee bean extract for weight loss. Doctors who specialise in weight loss agree that lasting results can only be achieved when you make permanent lifestyle changes that include eating less and moving more. Each positive step that you take adds up to help you meet and maintain your weight loss goals.

  • Be active. Exercise does double duty for weight loss—by burning calories while you’re working out and by increasing your resting metabolic rate.
  • Make your calories count. “Empty” calories from processed foods (like chips, pastries, and white bread and pasta) add inches to your waistline. Eating whole grains, fruits, vegetables, pulses, fish, and low-fat dairy and lean meats help fill you up without filling you out.

(Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes 2012;5:21–7)

Kimberly Beauchamp, ND, received her doctoral degree from Bastyr University, the nation’s premier academic institution for science-based natural medicine. She co-founded South County Naturopaths in Wakefield, RI, where she practiced whole family care with an emphasis on nutritional counselling, herbal medicine, detoxification, and food allergy identification and treatment. Her blog, Eat Happy, helps take the drama out of healthy eating with real food recipes and nutrition news that you can use. Dr. Beauchamp is a regular contributor to Healthnotes Newswire.

Nutritious dairy free milk drinks

Italy is notable in its production of free from foods.

One such example is Isola Bio, makers of organic drinks: milks made from grains, nuts and soya. As such they are dairy free and gluten free.

Organic coconut and rice drink
The refreshing taste of milk and coconut

They boast that their method of making grain and nut milks maintains all the flavour and nutritional value of the original ingredients.

Recently they started combining their rice milks  with other non-dairy milks to create new refreshing flavours. The coconut and rice milk works particularly well in this way, while the almond and rice has a smoother flavour and the hazelnut and rice offers a deeper more mellow beverage.

But finally, for the chocolate lovers, there’s also a rice and chocolate drink, which comes in lunch box cartons for a sweeter experience.

Cranberry or Redcrrant sauce, which is better?

I’d like to imagine there’s a rivalry between recurrants from Europe and cranberries from North America.

Both are harvested around this time of year, both make great condiments for meat dishes and both should have pride of place at our family meals, but cranberry sauce has all the fame, especially at Christmas time.

Redcurrant sauce tends to be sweeter than cranberry sauce, so it really depends on the flavour of the meat you cook with, but in my opinion stronger the meat the tarter the sauce. Sweeter sauces like redcurrant compliment less intense palates like chicken; but turkey, which carries more flavour, is more suited by a slightly more sour dressing like cranberry.

But then turkey was never the native food for British tables was it?

Whichever you prefer, Meridian offers you both an Organic Cranberry Sauce and an Organic Redcurrant Jelly – whichever suits your taste.

Faithfully healthy hair

After thirty years experience in natural hair and skin careFaith in Nature have gained a lot of experience and know-how as to what makes a good product.

Put faith back in your hair
Put faith back in your hair

Their newest range of twin-pack shampoos and conditioners is no exception to the rule! The shampoos are packed with high levels of essential oils and herbal extracts to care for your hair, while the complementary conditioners gently coat and lubricate each strand of hair, leaving it soft and manageable.

It’s little wonder their range of natural beauty products has won so many awards!All of Faith in Nature’s products are developed with aromatherapy oils to nourish the hair and scalp using only natural ingredients which care for the environment.

So here’s the latest range:

Seaweed Shampoo and Conditioner – Seaweed is full of minerals and proteins that are highly beneficial to your hair and it is also a strong antioxident, meaning that it will reduce cellular damage.

Faith in Nature Aloe Vera Shampoo and Conditioner – Organic Aloe Vera contains many enzymes and amino acids which have been proven to benefit your hair and particularly dry scalps.

Lavender & Geranium Shampoo and Conditioner –  Blended for normal to dry hair to restore and soothe your hair and scalp with natural antiseptic and antibacterial qualities. It also strengthens the hair and balances over secretion of oils from the scalp.

Rosemary Shampoo and Conditioner – Rosemary is reputed for promoting hair growth and colour while also improving scalp condition. It is particularly effective after illnesses which can cause scurf or dandruff.

CoQ10 Helps Headaches in Women with Fibromyalgia

Women with fibromyalgia can have significantly lower levels of CoQ10 and the antioxidant catalase than healthy women, reports Kimberly Beauchamp, ND

Fibromyalgia is a complex condition characterised by widespread pain, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, headaches, numbness or tingling in the hands and feet, irritable bowel syndrome, unrefreshing sleep, reduced exercise tolerance, anxiety, depression, and sensitivity to light, noise, and odours. This condition is not well understood, and is difficult to treat, so a study finding that taking a co-enzyme Q10 supplement may help reduce headaches in women with fibromyalgia is welcome news.

Searching for fibromyalgia relief

No single cause for fibromyalgia has been discovered, but it’s thought that the condition could stem from a combination of stress, trauma, genetics, hormones, and certain infections. Antidepressants like duloxetine (Cymbalta) and venlafaxine (Effexor) are commonly used to help reduce pain, sleep issues, and anxiety associated with fibromyalgia. But while these drugs might help relieve some fibromyalgia symptoms, they don’t really seem to address the root of the problem.

Some studies have suggested that free radical–damage might be behind some of the symptoms of fibromyalgia, including headaches. Free radicals are unstable compounds that can damage tissues in the body and lead to inflammation.

Trying CoQ10

Spanish researchers studied the effect of CoQ10—a potent antioxidant and cellular energy source—in women with fibromyalgia who experienced headaches. Ten women (average age 47 years) were given 300 mg of CoQ10 per day for three months. Ten other women with fibromyalgia served as the control group. All of the women were compared with 15 healthy women. CoQ10 levels and measures of other antioxidants, oxidative stress (caused by free radicals), and cellular energy stores were assessed in all of the women.

Women with fibromyalgia had significantly lower levels of CoQ10 and another important antioxidant (catalase) than the healthy women. They also had significantly higher markers of free radical–damage and 70% less cellular energy stored than the healthy women.

After taking CoQ10, the women with fibromyalgia had

  • significantly higher CoQ10, catalase, and cellular energy stores,
  • significantly lower levels of free radical damage markers, and
  • marked improvement in headaches compared with pretreatment.

“Detection of CoQ10 deficiency and subsequent CoQ10 supplementation may result in clinical improvement in fibromyalgia,” said the researchers, recommending that future double-blind, placebo-controlled studies are needed to confirm their results.

Fibro help

There is no simple solution to healing fibromyalgia, but these tips may help keep your body in balance:

  • Exercise, even if you don’t want to. A few studies have shown that people with fibromyalgia can benefit from getting regular exercise. Start slow, with a walk around the block, and gradually build up as you gain more stamina.
  • Eat to beat fibro. Some studies have suggested that eating a vegetarian or vegan diet can help reduce fibromyalgia symptoms in some people.
  • Sleep well. If poor sleep is one of your main fibro symptoms, consider sipping a cup of warm milk with a sprinkle of nutmeg at bedtime. Melatonin may also be useful as a sleep aid in people with fibromyalgia. Talk with your doctor about how much melatonin might be right for you.

(Plos One 2012;doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0035677)

Kimberly Beauchamp, ND, received her doctoral degree from Bastyr University, the nation’s premier academic institution for science-based natural medicine. She co-founded South County Naturopaths in Wakefield, RI, where she practiced whole family care with an emphasis on nutritional counselling, herbal medicine, detoxification, and food allergy identification and treatment. Her blog, Eat Happy, helps take the drama out of healthy eating with real food recipes and nutrition news that you can use. Dr. Beauchamp is a regular contributor to Healthnotes Newswire.