Manuka Honey and Cider Vinegar – a winning combination

manuka honey and cider vinegar
Healing combination

Some people would swear by cider vinegar for treating weight loss, rheumatism, blood pressure and more.

Others will tell you that manuka honey is the elixir of life, its antibacterial and antioxidant properties can be used to treat complaints internally and externally.

So, why not combine them together?

The wonderfully named Picklecoombe House are doing just that with an active 5+ Manuka Honey & Cider Vinegar.

I’m looking forward to hearing what folk are going to say about this!

You’ll be surprised how much health-power is packed into a drink of Dr Oats

Dr Oats
Heart power in a smoothie

I was dubious at first.

But where other recipes had failed, this version of the drink was a roaring success?

The key ingredient?

Oats.

It is reckoned that just 3g of oat beta-glucan will lower cholesterol – the key factor in heart disease. So I’ve seen several drinks companies to try mix oats into their drinks to make them healthier.

In myopinion Dr Oats smoothies succeed where others have failed because their drinks aren’t gloopy, and they don’t taste like you’ve swallowed a foreign object. Instead they are made simply with fruits and oats. No added sugar, no fruit concentrate or anything else artificial. The taste is fruity and refreshing and it counts as 2 of your five a day.

They boldly claim that a small drink has the same cholesterol lowering power as a bowl of porridge. Can’t be bad, especially if you don’t get on with porridge.

You can try Dr Oats in 3 flavours.
Dr Oats Apple, Berry & Oat Drink
Dr Oats Orange, Passion Fruit & Oat Drink
Dr Oats Mango, Pineapple & Oat Drink

How to make Fenugreek tea

fenugreek seeds
Healing tea from ancient seeds

Fenugreek seed has long been used by civilisations to treat ailments and has recently been thought of as useful for diabetes.

It has a taste like maple syrup or licorice, and is a popular ingredient for curries, soups and stews.

However it can also be brewed to make a tea for medicinal purposes. Some people make it to control blood pressure, others for the common cold, but researchers are still speculating about whether it helps the body produce insulin. (Always talk to your doctor before regularly consuming fenugreek tea.)

It’s easy to make the tea. Steep 1 teaspoon of organic whole fenugreek seeds in a cup of boiled water for 5 minutes. Pour the water through a strainer to remove the seeds. You won’t have to sweeten it because the tea will naturally be very sweet.

Garlic + CoQ10 = Cardiovascular Protection for Stressed Men

After one year of aged garlic extract plus CoQ10, the vascular elasticity in firefighters improved significantly, reports Maureen Williams, ND

A study has found that men at high risk for heart attack had better blood vessel function after one year of taking a combination of aged garlic extract and coenzyme Q10, two supplements that have been found separately to have cardiovascular benefits.

Blood vessels are specially designed to respond to the ever-changing blood flow needs in different parts of the body. Healthy blood vessels are elastic, flexible, and strong, but many people unknowingly have low-level chronic inflammation in their blood vessel walls, causing the walls to become thicker and less flexible, and increasing heart attack risk. Supplements with anti-inflammatory properties, like aged garlic and CoQ10, are thought to help.

Signs of vessel disease in men with stressful work

Stress is well known to play a role in heart disease. The study, published in Nutrition, included 65 male urban firefighters. Firefighting is stressful work and firefighters have a much higher risk of heart attack and sudden cardiac death than the overall population. Participants were assigned to receive either 1,200 mg of aged garlic extract plus 120 mg of CoQ10 per day or placebo for one year. Tests that reflect the degree of thickening and loss of elasticity in blood vessels, which may be signs of atherosclerosis, were done at the beginning of the study and every three months.

Supplements support blood vessels

Based on these test results, the blood vessels of the firefighters who took garlic and CoQ10 had more elasticity and better responsiveness at the end of the study than at the beginning. These improvements were significant when compared to the slight worsening of blood vessel function seen in the firefighters in the placebo group.

In addition, blood levels of CRP (C-reactive protein) dropped in the garlic plus CoQ10 group but increased in the placebo group. CRP is a marker of inflammation in the cardiovascular system and high levels are associated with increased cardiac risk.

The link between blood vessel function and heart health

Although these results don’t tell us for sure whether aged garlic extract plus CoQ10 can prevent heart attacks, improvement in blood vessel function is a good sign that vessel damage from atherosclerosis—a known risk factor for heart attack—is being repaired.

“This is the first study to demonstrate a benefit with a combination of aged garlic extract and CoQ10 on atherosclerotic progression in intermediate-risk firefighters with high occupational stress,” the study’s authors said. “The present study demonstrates that, after one year of aged garlic extract plus CoQ10, the vascular elasticity and endothelial function in firefighters improved significantly.”

Other ways to improve vascular health

Taking an aged garlic extract plus CoQ10 supplement might be a good idea if you have or are at high risk for developing atherosclerosis. Here are some other things you can do to protect your blood vessels:

  • Learn to relax. Blood vessels are especially sensitive to stress, and studies show that having a daily relaxation practice can reduce your cardiac risk.
  • Exercise. Your blood vessels need a healthy workout every day. Make aerobic physical activity part of your regular routine.
  • Eat fruits and vegetables. The antioxidants in fruits and vegetables are essential for preventing inflammation that leads to damage and dysfunction in blood vessel walls.

(Nutrition 2012;doi:10.1016/j.nut.2012.03.016)

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.

Get the right nutrient mix for a power boost for your body

I don’t know if you’re a pill-type person…

My confession is that I am.

I don’t mind taking a vitamin or some other little tablet to boost my health, and the strength of the supplement industry shows I’m not alone.

Bioglan deliver unique mixes of nutrients for your health
Bioglan deliver unique mixes of nutrients for your health

Bioglan are a company who sell themselves on the basis of being “serious about health”. As I get older, their newest products are beginning to look more attractive.

For me their best selling points are the unique mixes of nutrients designed to help the body and the transparent information on their packaging.

Consider…

Super Fish Oil 30s 
Capsules designed to be high in EPA and DHA Omega 3 fatty acids and deliberately coated for release in the intestines where they can be more easily absorbed. Also preventing a fishy after taste.

Red Krill Oil
Again designed to be better absorbed, krill oil is 10 times more powerful than a standard fish oil capsule.

Joint-Aid Triple Action
Combines three important and powerful nutrients help maintain healthy joints: glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM (methyl sulfonyl methane)

Probiotic Gastrohealth
Contains 4 strains of probiotic that can help sustain a healthy level of friendly bacteria.

Stat-Guard
Uses CoQ10, vitamin E and zinc to support cardiovascular health and  metabolism which can be affected by statins.

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.

Selenium and Co-enzyme Q10 May Lower Risk of Death

News on the benefits of Selenium and Co-enzyme Q10 from Jane Hart, MD…

Eating a healthy diet plays a key role in lowering a person’s risk of death from heart disease, but are there specific nutrients that may be especially important for heart health? A study in the International Journal of Cardiology tackles this issue, and finds that supplementing with selenium and co-enzyme Q10 may lower a person’s risk of death from heart disease by 53%.

Supplements linked to lower cardiovascular death rate

In this study, 443 Swedish participants (70 to 88 years old) were randomly assigned to receive 200 mcg of selenium and 200 mg of co-enzyme Q10, or placebo, once daily for four years. The participants were followed over five years with measurements of blood markers for heart disease and for cardiovascular mortality. Cardiac function was monitored by a test that shows how well the heart is working (echocardiography).

Results showed that the supplement group had a 53% lower rate of death from cardiovascular disease compared with the placebo group. The supplement group also had better heart function as determined by blood levels of N-terminal prohormone brain natriuretic peptide and echocardiography results compared with the placebo group at the end of the study.

The study authors comment that people with suboptimal levels of selenium, co-enzyme Q10, or both, may have a higher risk of experiencing cardiovascular events, and point out that “the combination of selenium and co-enzyme Q10 supplementation shows a highly significant risk reduction” in this study.

One limitation of these findings is that 215 people did not complete the study. Reasons for dropping out included too many pills to take (many participants took a lot of medication in addition to the prescribed supplements), age and inconvenience of participation, illness, and diarrhoea. The authors would like to see a larger study with younger participants to clarify the role of selenium and co-enzyme Q10 supplements in heart disease.

Nutrients and heart disease

What we eat matters. Many people around the globe do not get enough of the nutrients they need to maintain excellent health and prevent disease. Prior research has linked low levels of selenium and co-enzyme Q10 to a higher risk of heart disease, and poor dietary habits have also been strongly linked to heart disease. Clearly, what we eat matters when it comes to heart health. For optimal heart health, eat a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals and avoid excess saturated fat, sugar, and refined carbohydrates, and follow your doctor’s recommendations regarding other dietary restrictions.

Why selenium and co-enzyme Q10 may help. Selenium is a mineral found in many foods including Brazil nuts, tuna, and poultry. Selenium’s heart-protecting effects include antioxidant activity that helps protect cells from damage. The study authors point out that selenium supplementation may be especially important in parts of the world where the soil is low in selenium such as Scandinavia. It is not clear if the study findings presented here would be the same with other populations. Co-enzyme Q10 is also important as an antioxidant and while it is found in all cells in the body it is found in abundance in heart muscle. Medications, aging, and various health conditions can lower the body’s co-enzyme Q10 levels.

When to take supplements. Talk with a knowledgeable doctor about what supplements may be important for you based on your age and health conditions, and about the potential risks and benefits.

(Int J Cardiol 2012 doi:10.1016/j.ijcard.2012.04.156)

Jane Hart, MD, board-certified in internal medicine, serves in a variety of professional roles including consultant, journalist, and educator. Dr. Hart, a Clinical Instructor at Case Medical School in Cleveland, Ohio, writes extensively about health and wellness and a variety of other topics for nationally recognised organizations, websites, and print publications. Sought out for her expertise in the areas of integrative and preventive medicine, she is frequently quoted by national and local media. Dr. Hart is a professional lecturer for healthcare professionals, consumers, and youth and is a regular corporate speaker.