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

Quebra Pedra (Stone) Breaking News…

New research at the University of Modena in Italy has confirmed some of the positive benefits of the herb Phyllanthus niruri, known in Brazil as Quebra Pedra ‘the stone breaker’ – and also widely known under its Spanish name of Chanca Piedra.
Used by generations of South Americans to treat renal calculi – Kidney and Gall stones, this wonderful herb is free from side effects and interactions, and can be safely used alongside other therapies.

Kidney and Gall stones are estimated to effect around 5% of the UK population, with recurrences common among patients (50-80%). It is widely believed that a diet high in animal fats is part of the explanation for this, but dietary changes alone, although certainly helpful, are not the whole answer.

The conventional approach to removal of stones usually involves shattering the stone using ESWL (Extracorporeal Shockwave Lithotripsy) – but this often leaves residual fragments which often require the treatment to be repeated.

The new research, published in the medical journal ‘European Urology Supplements’ earlier this year, assessed the benefit of taking an extract of Quebra Pedra following ESWL treatment. After six months the stone free rate in those treated with just ESWL was 80% – but for the patients taking Quebra Pedra during their recovery, the stone free rate was 97%. Concerning lower caliceal stones the stone free rate of those using the herb was 94.1% versus 64.28% among those who just had ESWL.

The conclusion of the researchers was simple – the use of the Quebra Pedra extract results in an increased stone free rate and in a lower percentage of re-treatment. They concluded that its efficacy “together with the absolute lacking of side effects make this therapy suitable to improve overall outcomes of ureteral stones shock wave lithotripsy.”

Recent research has also confirmed the liver protective potential of the herb, and its antispasmodic activity has also been documented.3 In Brazil, where much of the research has taken place – the Quebra Pedra infusions are used for the removal and prevention of stones as an alternative to the use of ESWL – and it is also widely used for Urinary tract infections.

Rio Health

Got a Kidney Stone?

New research at the University of Modena in Italy has confirmed some of the positive benefits of the herb Phyllanthus niruri, known in Brazil as Quebra Pedra ‘the stone breaker’ – and also widely known under its Spanish name of Chanca Piedra.

Used by generations of South Americans to treat Kidney and Gall stones, this wonderful herb is free from side effects and interactions, and can be safely used alongside other therapies. The herb can also be used to help prevent recurrences which can affect up to 80% of cases. Of course, avoiding animal fats can help both prevent and treat kidney stones, but dietary changes alone are not the whole answer.

The conventional approach to removal of stones usually involves shattering the stone using ESWL (Extracorporeal Shockwave Lithotripsy) – but this often leaves residual fragments which often require the treatment to be repeated. The new research, published in the medical journal ‘European Urology Supplements’ in March 2005, assessed the benefit of taking an extract of Quebra Pedra following ESWL treatment. After six months the stone free rate in those treated with just ESWL was 80% – but for the patients taking Quebra Pedra during their recovery, the stone free rate was 97%.

A little herb improves the stone free rate

The conclusion is simple, use of this little herb extract results in an increased stone free rate and a lower percentage of re-treatment. What’s more, some alternative practitioners think that taking the Quebra alone may get rid of the stone and there are no side effects at all.Research on Quebra Pedra continues and it has now been confirmed that it has liver protective potential, anti-spasmodic properties and is helpful in urinary tract infections. Quebra Pedra is available as unbleached teabags and should be taken as 3 infusions a day for treatment and one infusion a day for prevention. It is best sweetened with a little honey.

Fluid Assets

Dr John Briffa’s healthy eating and drinking plan to keep your kidneys clean.

10 tips for healthy kidneys and how to avoid stones.

1. Drink water

Drinking water helps dilute the urine, reducing the risk of stones crystallising in it. Drink enough to ensure that urine remains pale yellow.

2. Drink coffee and tea

Drinking coffee and tea has also been associated with reduced kidney stone risk. It seems it’s not only water, but other fluids too, that confer some protection for those with a history of kidney stones.

3. Reduce oxalate in the diet

The vast majority of kidney stones are made of calcium oxalate. Reducing oxalate intake from the diet reduces the level of this substance in the urine, thereby reducing risk of stone formation. Oxalate-rich foods to avoid include spinach, rhubarb, chocolate, nuts and strawberries.

4. Increase calcium in the diet

Individuals with a history of kidney stones are often advised to cut down on calcium. However, calcium can bind to oxalate in the gut, and this appears to reduce the risk of stone formation. Calcium-rich foods include plain yoghurt, tinned fish, sesame seeds, figs and beans.

5. Keep the diet plant-based

Animal protein can increase calcium levels in the urine, which appears to be associated with an increase in kidney stone risk. For the best protection from kidney stones, the diet should be rich in plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, beans, lentils, nuts and seeds.

6. Eat plenty of fruit and veg

Fruit and vegetables are believed to be particularly beneficial: these are rich in potassium which has been linked with reduced kidney stone risk.

7. Cut back on salt

Salt increases calcium excretion in the urine, which can increase the risk of stone formation. In general, most of the salt we consume is not added during cooking or at the table, but comes from processed foods such as bread, cheese, savoury snacks, breakfast cereals and ready-meals.

8. Supplement with magnesium

Magnesium helps transform oxalate into other substances in the body, and is believed to help reduce the risk of stone formation. Take 300mg per day.

9. Supplement with vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 also participates in the metabolism of oxalate, and may also help to keep kidney stones at bay. This should be taken at a dose of 25-50mg per day, preferably as part of a general B-complex supplement.

10. Take quebra pedra

This South American herb is traditionally used to dissolve kidney stones. In practice, I have found it helpful for individuals who have stones lodged around their kidneys or in the bladder. Quebra pedra is available in tea form from Goodness Direct.

Dr John Briffa © The Observer Magazine, Sunday October 9, 2005