SAMe and Migraines
While scientists do not yet fully understand the mechanism by which this happens, supplementation with SAMe is an effective pain-reliever for migraine headaches. The pain relief appears over a period of weeks and sometimes months and remains as long as SAMe supplementation is used. It has been theorized that SAMe’s impact on the liver might be the basis for this migraine pain relief since in many people migraines are triggered by food allergies and/or tyramines found in such foods as chocolate and cheeses.
SAMe and Arthritis
A disorder that afflicts roughly 12% of the American population, osteoarthritis causes joint pain. In clinical trials SAMe has provided relief equivalent to supplementation with glucosamine.
Rheumatoid arthritis, which appears to be an autoimmune disease, involves inflammation of not only the joints, but the connective tissues throughout the body. Affecting about 3% of the population, rheumatoid arthritis causes the body to mistakenly attack its own tissues, resulting in painful, swollen joints and chronic, system-wide inflammation.
SAMe has been shown in animal trials to increase cartilage formation. Additionally, SAMe offers mild, yet beneficial pain reduction in both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. SAMe also enhances the function of glucosamine and chondrointin. Benefits of SAMe supplementation appear in as little as two weeks. Recommended supplementation is that one begin with 400 mg. three times a day. This dosage may eventually be reduced to a maintenance dosage of 200 mg. twice a day.
Cartilage formation is dependent on adequate supplies of Vitamin C and the mineral Manganese, so both need to accompany SAMe supplementation for maximum benefit in osteoarthritis. Boron is also recommended.
SAMe and Chemical Sensitivity, Weight Loss and Liver Health
Chemical sensitivity stems from liver impairment in which the liver cannot effectively detoxify foreign chemicals. Foreign chemicals include man-made chemicals as well as natural chemicals. The liver’s health (or lack of health) affects every other part of the human body. SAMe is a key element in the liver’s production of lipotrophic complexes, which are used in processing fats and in eliminating toxins. Symptoms that are often linked to poor liver function include: fatigue, digestive problems (indigestion, esophageal reflux, and poor metabolism that results in vitamin, amino acid and mineral deficiencies), and elevated responses to environmental toxins.
One of the most important things that the liver does is to secrete bile into the gall bladder. Bile goes from there into the small intestine, where it breaks down fat globules into smaller substances that can either be used or are transported out of the body via its elimination system. Without an effective and fully functioning process for fat removal, fat gets deposited in various areas of the body. An underfunctioning liver can be a reason for unexplained weight gain. It can also cause fatty deposits to be lodged in the liver, further impairing its function.
The liver is responsible for transforming proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals into substances that are usable by the body. While detoxification to some extent is carried out by every cell in the body, the liver also has the job of detoxifying and/or inactivating the many of the substances produced by the body or encountered in the environment. These include:
– ammonia that is caused by the metabolism of proteins
– the toxic aftereffects of the production by the body of hormones such as estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone that are known to impair liver function
– supplemental hormones (both natural and synthetic) and oral contraceptives
– the toxins produced by bacteria, fungi and viruses that are in the body
– natural toxins such as the aflatoxins found in most all peanut products
– synthetic environmental toxins such as pesticides, synthetic fragrances, and the estrogenic compounds found in many halogenated products such as plastics
In fact, anything foreign to our bodies that enters our bodies must be detoxified and rendered harmless by our liver. What a major task that is! SAMe assists the liver with doing these jobs by intervening in the detoxification process. SAMe donates its methyl group to be fused to these toxins so they can safely be eliminated. SAMe also encourages the production of bile, which is the major transport system for getting rid of toxins from the body. A number of clinical trials have shown that SAMe is successful in protecting the liver and maintaining good liver function when excess estrogen is present in the body. Based on these trials, SAMe is probably also effective at protecting the body when it is confronted with the endocrine disruptors found in some pesticides and halogenated products such as plastics. In animal trials, SAME has also been found to protect against the deleterious effects of alcoholism.
Toxic hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver caused by chemicals such as drugs, industrial solvents and pollutants. Toxins can occasionally cause chronic liver disease and even cirrhosis. Toxins that can damage the liver have been divided into two groups:
– Predictable toxins, those that are known to cause toxic hepatitis and liver damage with sufficient exposure to one or more of these chemicals, examples being cleaning solvents, carbon tetrachloride, and the pain reliever acetaminophen.
– Unpredictable toxins, which are toxins that damage the liver in a small proportion of individuals exposed to the chemical.
Unpredictable injury produced by most toxins is very poorly understood, but recent research suggests that a toxic response to a drug or foreign chemical probably depends on the kind, status, and amount of specific enzymes a person has for metabolizing the toxin. Some forms of chemical liver injury will occur within hours of exposure to a chemical while other liver injury can take from days to weeks of the exposure to many months of regular ingestion of a drug before liver injury becomes apparent. Each toxin the liver encounters that overwhelms it detoxification process causes specific changes in the liver. These changes range from impairment of liver function to death of parts of the liver.
What starts out as toxic hepatitis or liver inflammation may quickly progress to cirrhosis. During cirrhosis, the liver ceases to perform much of its detoxification duties. It produces interlacing strands of fibrous tissues that constrict and bind the liver, thus reducing its functional capacity. Even in the most extreme cases of cirrhosis, SAMe has been shown to help the liver function better. Thus, it is reasonable to assume that SAMe can also help persons with chemical sensitivity in reducing their sensitivity to chemicals by assisting the liver with its detoxification processes.
SAMe is a key ingredient in liver health as well as in restoring liver health.
Our kidneys are one facet of our body that we generally ignore unless we have problems with them. Kidney stones, chronic kidney disease, gout and kidney failure are all issues that can creep up on us as we age, but there are ways to avoid these maladies.
What your kidneys do
Located below your rib cage in the rear on both sides of your spine, your kidneys are a specialized filtration system. They remove waste products and impurities from your blood as well as filtering out excess water. They store these products in your bladder. Every day your hard-working kidneys remove waste products from up to 150 quarts of blood, sending them to your urine.
Your kidneys are hard workers. They regulate your body’s pH balance to keep invading bacteria and illnesses at bay. They regulate salt and potassium and they create hormones to both keep your blood pressure normal and govern the production of your red blood cells.
Another one of their many jobs is that of activating a type of Vitamin D to help your body in the absorption of calcium so your bones remain strong and your muscle function is regulated.
Keeping your kidneys healthy keeps you healthy.
Ways to help your kidneys function at peak performance
- Maintain healthy activity – regular exercise lowers the risk of kidney problems, reduces blood pressure, and is good for your heart as well as your kidneys.
- Lower blood sugar levels – diabetics especially need to reduce the levels of glucose in their bodies as when the kidneys have to work harder to filter the blood, this overexertion can lead to kidney damage. Ways of lowering blood sugar levels include eating less sugar and fewer carbs, increasing fiber in our diets, staying hydrated, controlling our weight and stress levels, and getting enough sleep.
- Stop smoking – smoking causes damage to your blood vessels leading to slower blood flow to your kidneys.
- Reduce your use of OTC pain meds – regular use of NSAIDS such as ibuprofen and naproxen can damage your kidneys.
Supplements that help your kidneys function
Used with a healthy diet, the following supplements suggested by the National Kidney Foundation will help your kidneys stay healthy:
- Alpha Lipoic Acid is an antioxidant that has been shown to help one of the side effects of kidney issues, cardiovascular disease.
- Andrographis, an herb, shows potential for reducing alcohol toxicity to the kidneys.
- Moringa, in animal studies, helps to protect against the harmful properties of acetaminophen.
- NAC, or N-acetylcysteine, glutathione’s precursor, reduces oxidative stress.
- Potassium is a supplement in which most of us are deficient.
- Probiotics, specifically human-strain ones, help the body process foods, thus causing fewer toxins to be eliminated via the kidneys.
- Resveratrol protects the kidneys from injury caused by drugs, diabetic neuropathy and elevated levels of uric acid that may lead to gout.
You can find all of these supplements at a 15% discount at our Wellevate Dispensary.
Maltodextrin is on the ingredient list of many of the prepared and packaged foods we love to eat. Found in packaged pastries, most candies and many soft drinks, maltodextrin is a food additive that is supposed to improve the flavor, standardize the texture, thicken foods, and extend the shelf life.
How is maltodextrin created?
Made from starches such as wheat, rice, corn or potato starch, maltodextrin is a polysaccharide created by partial hydrolysis using acids or enzymes. (A polysaccharide is many carbohydrates that are linked together in a long-chain molecule.) The end result is a white, relatively tasteless powder with no nutritional value, but one that can provide quick energy.
Where is maltodextrin used?
- Chocolate and other candies
- Snacks such as barbecued potato chips, popcorn, and crackers
- Canned foods with sauces such as spaghetti sauce
- Canned foods with syrups in them such as canned fruits
- Commercially baked items such as cakes, pies, cookies, and breads
- Granola and other breakfast foods
- Salad dressings
- Puddings and pie fillings
- Some supplements
- Sugar substitutes such as Splenda
- Coffee, sports drinks, and nutritional drinks.
What are the drawbacks to eating maltodextrin?
The majority of the maltodextrin produced in the United States is made from corn. According to the Center for Food Safety, up to 92% of the corn produced in the US derives from genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
In GMO corn, biotech companies have removed the genetic material from one organism and inserted it into the genetic code of corn to create a crop that can withstand huge amounts of pesticides. Unfortunately those pesticide residues remain in the crops, and show up in our food ingredients such as maltodextrin.
Another issue with maltodextrin is that its’ glycemic index is higher than table sugar, which poses challenges for diabetics and persons trying to avoid weight gain.
Common problems that some people have experienced after eating maltodextrin include
- Allergic reactions such as hives, rashes, or itching in the mouth
- Flatulence, an uncomfortable feeling of fullness, or bloating because gut bacteria become very active in an attempt to digest artificially created complex carbohydrates
- Possible digestive system inflammation for people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Read the labels before eating prepared foods, and if maltodextrin is an ingredient, proceed with caution if you have any of these issues.
These Metagenics supplements offer help with any distress you experience after eating maltodextrin-laden foods:
Metagenics UltraFlora varieties
This gallery contains 12 photos.
by Suzanne Fisher
Being owned by a cat takes some getting used to. You have probably heard the saying, “You own a dog, but you feed a cat.” Roughly speaking, this means the ownership part of a relationship with a cat always resides with the cat. Here are some ways you can adjust to your new cat-owned status.
Learn to understand Cat Talk
Acquiring a thorough understanding of Cat Talk requires studying a cat’s body language, as demonstrated by its tail, and becoming familiar with the cat’s facial expressions.
Here are some important things to learn about tail talk:
- When the tip of the tail is moving, it means that the cat is aware of what you are saying and is relaxed with the fact that it can ignore you for as long as you can talk.
- When the cat’s tail movement has taken over one half of the tail, it means that you have just said something disagreeable to the cat.
- If this is followed by the whole tail moving back and forth, it means you would do well to shut up soon.
- If the tail switches back and forth fast, bumping against things with a loud thump, it means it is time for you to not only shut up, but to think about leaving fast.
- When the tail thrashes around and the eyes turn to glare at you, you may as well get your Nikes on and run for your life as you have just offended your feline friend.
Cats have a wide range of facial expressions.
- Mouth open and neck extended means a hair ball is imminent.
- Mouth open and teeth bared often means something stinks and the cat is trying to determine the origin of the stench – better hope it isn’t you.
- The intent stare is a pre-pounce mechanism to mesmerize and disarm prey. This is often seen when your toes move under the bed covers.
- Forehead furrowed means you have said something not quite believable to the cat.
- Once in a great while, the sides of the mouth curve upward in a smile.
Teaching your cat to play Fetch
First, find the cat. Then get you, your cat, and your cat’s favorite wand toy into the same room. Tell the cat that you want it to learn to play Fetch. Ignore comments from the cat such as “Are you possessed?”
Engage your cat in active play with the wand toy. Then throw the toy across the room. Your cat will look at you and then at the toy.
Encourage your cat to go get the toy and bring it to you. Tell the cat that play time is over unless it gets the toy. Direct the cat’s attention to the toy by pointing to it and saying things like, “Go get the toy. Fetch the toy.” Ignore the cat’s unsettling stare which, roughly translated, means “You silly human, what IS your problem?”
Continue to encourage your cat to fetch the toy. Promise your cat treats for getting the toy and bringing it to you. Promise to scratch or rub a favorite spot on the cat if the cat complies. Then go get the toy yourself.
How to Give a Cat a Pill
Successfully giving a cat a pill requires determination and a little advance preparation.
- Fill an eye dropper with water.
- First find the cat. Since cats read our minds, they usually evaporate before we convert the ‘give the cat a pill’ thought to action.
- Place the cat on a chair or bed. Open the cat’s mouth and pop the pill in, getting it on the back of the throat. Ignore the growl coming from the cat.
- Empty the eyedropper filled with water into the cat’s mouth. Ignore the louder growl coming from the cat.
- Hold the cat’s mouth closed and massage the throat until you feel a swallow. Ignore the thrashing around by the cat and the louder growl.
- Pick up the pill from the bed, mash it together and try again, beginning with finding the cat.
- When the pill is ptuied a second time, take the pill yourself. If the pill is an antibiotic, you probably need it at this point to counteract all the cat scratches you have gotten giving your cat a pill.
These simple suggestions will hopefully make your life with your feline friend go more smoothly.
People with allergies or sensitivities often have trouble redecorating their homes with products that do not trigger their health issues. The good news is that when it comes to redecorating or rehabbing a home, there are many newer options for people with allergies or sensitivities to formaldehyde, petroleum, and other volatile organic chemicals (VOCs).
Suggestions for healthy building materials
The building industry, recognizing that many people have problems being around formaldehyde, VOC’s, and petroleum products, has created wonderful solutions for people with allergies or sensitivities:
- Carpets and carpet padding
People with allergies or sensitivities have for years been advised to avoid carpets in their homes. Carpets used to have a very toxic mixture of 4_PfCH (4-phenylcyclohexene), as well as formaldehyde and a host of the toxins. Now you can find carpets made from wool, jute and natural latex that are well tolerated by people with allergies and sensitivities. Some chemical-free brands of carpeting include: Earth Weave, Bloomsburg Carpet, Woolshire and Helios.
Carpet padding has always contained urethane (a possible carcinogen), rubber (a sensitizer for many people), or a recycled content mix. But now there are brands of non-toxic padding made by DeciBLOK, Nova, U. S. Floors, Nature’s Carpet, and Earth Weave.
Paints have traditionally contained a wide array of VOC’s that offer negative short-term and long-term health effects, and cause many problems for persons with allergies or sensitivities. Now there are paints with low VOCs and even paints with no VOCs. There is a great list of these paints in Apartment Therapy. Not included on the list, but one of the first to put out non-toxic paints, is AFM Safecoat of California.
- Building materials
Plywood is often used to create kitchen islands, cabinets, closet systems, furniture and space-altering areas while redecorating. PureBond is a hardwood plywood made by Columbia Forest Products that has no formaldehyde, and whose glues are soy based.
Air purifiers make a difference in the air in your home
The wonderful air purifiers available today can help you avoid problems from even the greenest redecorating materials. From the little workhorse made by Aireox to the HEPA and carbon air purifiers made by Austin Air and Airpura, having an air purifier can give you clean air to breathe. Check out our fun YouTube video on air purifiers!
From now through the end of the year, use these coupons with your Aireox Air Purifier orders. Just type the coupon in your shopping cart as you are checking out:
- Aireox Room units – to get $20 off, type in Aireox45Savings
- Aireox Car units – to get $20 off, type in Aireox22Savings
There are many ways adding exterior lighting to your home can increase its value. It can offer a measure of security, make walkways easier to see in the dark, and it can allow you to enjoy your back yard when the sun goes down.
Some localities have implemented certain building codes regarding outdoor lighting, so be sure to check with your locality or homeowners association before beginning outdoor lighting projects.
Adding exterior lighting to your home can enhance its appearance
Whether you hire someone to install your outdoor lighting or you do it yourself, there are many ways you can use outdoor lighting to increase the value of your property:
- When your front entrance is well lighted, it offers a warm, welcoming ‘hello’ to your guests. Wall lanterns hung on both sides of the front door are a great addition to any home. You may want to use the yellow or blue bug lights in them to keep the moths out of your home if you use your front door a lot.
- Rear outside entrances can have matching wall lantern lighting. Motion sensor lighting is great for back and side doors. If you also have a garage, you might want to invest in matching wall lantern lighting with motion sensors for it.
- When you have a front porch, recessed lighting or a chain-hung exterior light offers a wonderful look. If you sit on your porch often, you may even want to install a dimmer switch for the lighting.
- If your house has areas that are completely in the dark, it is wise to install motion sensor lighting in those areas. While the motion-sensor lighting may be triggered by the occasional animal, it will also be triggered by anyone who needs to see in those areas, and it will discourage burglars. Motion sensor spotlights that you install under the eaves of your house or ground lights pointing upwards do a great job at highlighting dark areas and accenting your home’s exterior.
- Stairs, driveways, and paths are also areas that need exterior lighting to ensure that your family and guests are safe at all times. Path lights brighten walkways and can also be used to highlight flower beds and other decorative lawn areas like shrubbery or ground cover areas. Post lanterns and lights that you attach to the side of your house and point to the decorative areas are also ways to show their beauty.
- Low-voltage mini lighting can be used to make patios, decks, and porches into lovely outdoor retreat areas. Place them under railings, steps, or benches or drape them artistically over furniture or shrubbery.
- Spotlights in trees are another nice touch.
- Lighting in pools, fountains, and rock-garden ponds can be quite dramatic and beautiful. Use low-voltage LED lights for ambient lighting around a pool and fiber-optic lighting on the floor of the pool for a stunning effect. For even more excitement in your swimming pool, use solar-powered floating lights.
- For your grill area, be sure to install a recessed spotlight that is pointed at your grill so you can easily see what you are cooking at night.
For the do-it-yourselfers who are not electricians, there are wonderful solar choices for post lanterns and pathway lights as well as other fixtures for adding exterior lighting.
by Suzanne Fisher
Most of us live anywhere but in the moment. We make lists for the future, we relive the past, we daydream about what we want, and we plan our lives out. Thus we often fail to take note of what is happening in this very moment in time, so when it comes time to remember what happened, we sometimes find it tough to do.
In today’s busy, busy world, we are confronted with an overload of sights, sounds, ideas, work, play, and everything in between, making it hard to grab hold of concepts and keep them firmly affixed in our minds. Translation: we forget things, sometimes important things. That is where a few tricks can come in handy to help you enhance your memory:
- Paying attention in the moment can be as simple as noting the sound of a bird’s song, the color of a friend’s eyes, the way someone looked at us, the license plate on the vehicle in front of us, or the sign we are passing on the interstate. When we daydream, we fail to attach ourselves to the Now, so we forget what is happening around us. So connect with the Now and record at least five things that are happening in this very moment in time. There is an interesting 12-step maxim that says when we have one foot in the past and one foot in the future, we are messing all over today. Learn to live today as if you own it and want all the goodness from it.
- Word association can help – associate whatever you want to remember with a specific word and repeat it over and over to yourself. So can making lists and notes to yourself. Busy people use whatever tricks work to help them remember important things, events and people.
- Too much of a good thing is just that – too much. Alcohol, drugs and even food can cause memory problems. Moderation is the key here.
- Conversely, too little of a good thing can also cause memory problems. Skipping meals creates havoc with your memory. Hunger slows down memory and other brain functions.
- Too little sleep can also affect memory and, strangely enough, too much sleep can impair it also. Get a recommended 8 hours a night to enhance your memory powers.
- Drink at least 8 eight-ounce glasses of water a day. Your brain is 75% water. When you are dehydrated (and most of us are to a degree), water is pulled from the brain to help other systems like the circulatory system. This impairs the brain’s functioning including the ability to remember things.
- Find something that challenges your brain to do every day. Your brain is like a muscle in that the more you exercise it, the more flexible it gets.
- You might want to try yoga and meditation. A recent study showed that yoga and meditation enhanced the memory of pre-Alzheimer’s patients more than crossword puzzles and other brain challenges.
You can retain a good memory for years to come with a little effort using these memory tips. A world renowned chemist, Charles Harold Fisher, had a sharp mind right up until his death at 104 because he did chemical formularies, drank enough water to hydrate his brain, and ate a healthy diet every day of his life.
by Suzanne Fisher
The life cycle of the flea
Adult fleas live about three to four months. During that time they steadily lay little white eggs in your carpets and on your pet. These eggs look like dandruff or salt crystals. The larvae that hatch from these eggs feed on tiny bits of dried blood (flea Dirt) that fall off when your pet grooms itself or is combed.
by Suzanne Fisher
The pictures are the first thing we women look at (yes, looks DO matter, but not the way you might think). Pictures are your first line of connection on a dating site. Please put your best face (and body) forward. These ten suggestions are guaranteed to help you meet more women!