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.

Most people suffer from D-ficiency

Did you know that doctors prescribe Vitamin D?

The reason is that it is such an important vitamin in terms of calcium absorbtion and bone health, but in our later years our ability to produce the Vitamin D decreases. It also thought to help fight major diseases and can help with the pain of arthritis, muscle strength and coordination. Not to mention it ptobably keeps you thinking clearly in later life too.

However, different people need different amounts of Vitamin D (though most of us don’t get enough of the vitamin in the first place). So, it’s important to see a doctor about taking the right amount in the first place.

You can get Vitamin D from the sun, but the fact that so many doctors are prescribing it shows that our Vitmain D intake really does need supplementing.

The respected supplement company, Pharma Nord, produce Vitamin D capsules in various strengths. Once you have established how much you need and have started on a course, your Vitamin D levels could well return to normal.

Also, ask your doctor about which type of Vitamin D to take, because it come as both Vitamin D2 and Vitamin D3.

 

Keep zinc and magnesium levels up to avoid hair loss

Do you know which minerals you need for your health? Take this test to see how much you know…

Everyone knows calcium is important for healthy bones, but did you know that zinc and magnesium are too? They are especially important if you are pregnant or breastfeeding; also, growing children, menopausal women and the elderly need extra calcium, zinc and magnesium for changing bodies too.

Hair loss
Hair loss is one of the results of magnesium deficiency

One of the well known problems if you’re lacking these minerals is hair loss. It’s easy to keep topped up in zinc and magnesium by munching pumpkin seeds and the like. Alternatively, you can enjoy the ease of a daily dose of Floradix Saludynam which provides the right balance of magnesium, zinc and calcium plus Vitamin D in a fruity liquid form. There’s no additives, preservatives or colourings, no gluten, just a perfect formula for strong bones, teeth and hair.

One last word of advice. because the balance of these vitamins in your body can be so vital, it is worth having a chat with your doctor before using a zinc/magnesium supplement.

Cod liver oil makes a come back

There was a time when cod liver oil was feared by children the world over. Forced to gulp down horrid spoonfuls of the vile tasting liquid, they would do anything to avoid it, and all in the name of health.

Healthy oils for body and mind
Healthy oils for body and mind

But life has changed a lot since then. Most importantly it was realised that the Omega Fats in fish oil are excellent for strengthening the brain and heart and decreasing blood pressure. Add to this the benefit of being able to swallow doses in small capsules (thus helping with the taste) and children everywhere began to breathe a smile of relief.

Now Seven Seas are taking the revolution one step further combining a range of healthy oils, vitamins and minerals renowned for their beneficial properties. They’ve got some snazzy names too:

Radiant You
– Fish Oil blended with Biotin and Zinc for healthy hair, skin and nails.
Perfect Harmony
– Fish Oil with Primrose and Starflower Oils for hormonal balance.
Healthy Heart
– Fish Oil with Garlic and Vitamin B1 for the cardiovascular system.
Energetic You
– Fish Oil with B vitamins and CoQ10 for daily health and vitality.
Immune Defence
– Fish Oil with Vitamin C and Zinc keeps you fighting fit.
Flexible You
– Fish Oil with Calcium and Vitamins D & K for healthy bones, muscles and joints.
Active Mind
– Fish Oil blended with Ginkgo and Zinc for mental performance.

With advances like these, once tormented children can say hello to a daily dose of health without fear.

Why do you need Prebiotics? And other musings…

Why do you need Prebiotics?

They cultivate good bacteria in your gut and kill off the bad ones. A healthy balance of good bacteria means you’ll have a better immune system, absorb nutrients more efficiently (especially calcium), and improve your bowel health.

Why do we need Calcium?

We all know that calcium is good for the bones. It is also essential for your metabolism and muscles, it protects your heart and improves premenstrual moods. Too little calcium and your body can soon be in a mess, but if you overdose on it you won’t absorb nutrients properly.

Why do we need Cranberries?

Cranberries inhibit bacteria at work in your body and helps reduce inflammation. The knock on effect has been linked to heart health, kidney stones, urinary health, gum disease and cancer.

Why do you need Flaxseed?

For Omega 3 apart from anything else. It has been found to have an impact on the symptoms of arthritis, colitis, cancer, heart disease and even acne. Flaxseed helps your hormone levels and is a natural way to normalize the menstrual cycle, manage menopause, and lower the risk of osteoporosis, cancer and heart disease.

How can you get them?

Calciflax is a new food supplement from Lifestream which is 100% natural and has Calcium, Flaxseed, Prebiotics and Cranberries in it. It is ethically made and can easily be added to cereals or smoothies, yoghurts and salads.

If you’re interested, take a look

Are you getting enough minerals? – Quiz

Our bodies can’t make minerals. We get them from what we eat and drink. You don’t need loads but they are as vital as vitamins are. They are needed for structural strength, fluid control and energy conversion.

So here’s a test: Count up the foods in each category (A,B,C etc.) that you eat on a regular basis (several times a week). Then compare your score with the guide at the bottom.

A Apples, Kale, Broccoli, Live yoghurt, Cottage cheese, Cheddar cheese, Sesame seeds, Whitebait, Sardines, Salmon (tinned)
B Tomatoes, Broccoli, Onions (raw), Liver, Chicken, Turkey, Oysters, Mussels
C Avocados, Asparagus, Chickpeas, Barley, Hazelnuts, Macadamia nuts, Pecans, Sunflower seeds, Brazil nuts, Cashews, Pistachios, Sesame seeds, Walnuts
D Spinach, Apricots (dried), Chickpeas, Kidney beans, Lentils, Soya beans, Tofu, Liver, Beef, Lamb, Venison, Prawns, Anchovies
E Pumpkin, Lettuce, Spinach, Brown rice, Spelt, Whole wheat, Hazelnuts, Macadamia nuts, Pecans, Sunflower seeds, Almonds, Brazil nuts, Cashews, Pumpkin seeds, Scallops, Salmon
F Pumpkin, Seaweed, Peas, Beef, Lamb, Poultry, Game, Liver, Cheese, Yoghurt, Eggs, Pecans, Pine nuts
G Cabbage, Onions, Brussel sprouts, Peas, Red meat, Poultry, Eggs
H Potatoes, Avocados, Tomatoes, Sun dried tomatoes, Dried fruits, Squash, Sweet potatoes, Cucumber, Peppers, Bananas, Celery, Lettuce (dark), Herring
I Pineapples, Sweet potatoes, Spinach, Peas, Leeks, Chickpeas, Kidney beans, Lentils, Soya beans, Tofu, Barley, Brown rice, Oat, Wild rice, Hazelnuts, Macadamia nuts, Pecans, Sunflower seeds, Almonds, Sesame seeds, Walnuts


Results

A = Calcium levels. You are: 1-3 probably deficient, 4-6 possibly deficient, 7-10 adequate
Maintains strong and healthy bones and teeth. Also aids blood clotting, muscle and nerve function, lowering blood pressure.

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Vitamin K2, of osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s fame, discovered in Spirulina

There is a  growing body of research showing benefits for Vitamin K2. Among other benefits Vitamin K2 is believed to:

* Support blood health
* Support cardiovascular health and circulation
* Support bone health and benefit people with osteoporosis

These are very significant areas of health and in addition to this list, exciting new research is showing that Vitamin K2 may be beneficial for Alzheimer’s disease, a variety of cancers, varicose veins, and skin aging.  That is some line up indeed.

In general one of Vitamin K’s job in our bodies is to put the calcium in the right places and keep it from being deposited in the wrong places so helping to avoid bone spurs and calcification of soft tissues. It also helps prevent calcification of arteries which contributes to ageing.

It is only relatively recently that the role of Vitamin K in the balance of calcium within our bodies has been appreciated, whereas the other balancing nutrients of Vitamin D3  and Magnesium have been recognised for much longer.

Vitamin K is a fat soluble compound which is important for blood coagulation generally found in plants and in the ‘good bacteria’ of our bodies. In normal situations our bodies have no trouble storing Vitamin K, but antibiotics and other drugs can hinder it’s production.  This is a very brief summary of a complex issue which can be read more fully here or here.  However the good news I have for you is that  Hawaiian Spirulina Pacifica provides approximately 15 mcg / 3gm daily serving or 19% of the Daily Recommended Value of Vitamin K2, and 75 mcg / 3gm daily serving of Vitamin K (including all forms) or 94% of the Daily Recommended Value of Vitamin K based on analytical results from an independent laboratory.

Hawaiian Pacifica Spirulina is already recognised as one of the world’s most nutrient rich foods. To hear, in addition to this, that Spirulina is also a good source of Vitamin K2 is indeed a bonus.  The manufacturers have told us : ‘ We have long known that Hawaiian Spirulina Pacifica is an excellent source of Vitamin K, with 94% of the recommended Daily Value; but until now no Spirulina product has been shown to specifically contain Vitamin K2. We are delighted.’

See the full range of Hawaiian Spirulina