Critical Health News

Inulin & FOS: Benefits of Prebiotics


If you’re a label reader, you’ve probably run across the terms inulin and oligofructose (also known as fructooligosaccharides or FOS) on various processed food ingredient decks including those on soups, yogurt, cereals, breads, snack and energy bars, cookies and cakes. Although naturally found in various plants and veggies, like onions and grains and bananas, asparagus and Jerusalem artichoke, and chicory root, inulin and oligofructose are also industrially prized for their ability to provide a non-caloric sweetening benefit and are most often found in the standard American diet in the form of processed food additives. In addition to their inclusion in processed foods, these ingredients can be found as stand-alone products marketed as diabetic friendly sweeteners, with names like Fruta-Fit, Frutalose or simply Inulin/FOS.

Technically inulins and FOS are “fructans”, which are long molecular chains of the fruit sugar known as fructose. By linking many fructose molecules together, the characteristic sweetness of the fruit sugar is dampened and its spiking effects on blood sugar are mitigated. From a chemical structure standpoint, the only difference between inulin and FOS involves the sizes (lengths) of FOS molecules, basically being little inulin chunks or short chains of fructose that are formed by the breakdown of the parent inulin element.

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Everyone knows you can take melatonin to help you sleep but it’s actually involved in much more than brain health. In addition to being an important digestive hormone, melatonin is involved in supporting the body’s defense system, it has anti-inflammatory properties, it can help lower blood pressure, stabilize blood sugar and it’s been used medically for anti-fibrosis properties. And that’s not all. Savvy practitioners have used it to treat tinnitus and fibromyalgia as well. It can help build bone. And it’s a powerful anti-aging molecule that helps prevent cancer too; that’s a lot of benefits for a non-toxic supplement that will cost you less 2 cents a dose!

Levels of melatonin and the alertness hormone serotonin cycle back and forth, with dark of night and light of day. Serotonin, the hormone which promotes vigilance and awareness of the environment, is secreted in response to the sun as perceived by the pineal gland, while it’s production hormonal partner melatonin predominates at night. This back and forth dance of hormones with day-night cycles is part of what biologists call a circadian (daily) rhythm.

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Importance of Sleep


One of the key weapons in the so-called “War on Terrorism” is what the George W. Bush administration officials called Enhanced Interrogation Techniques. Featuring nebulous or mildly discomforting names like “waterboarding”, “the attention grab” and “long time standing”, that inspire confusing or perhaps mildly uncomfortable images, EITs are either lauded as wonderful tools for saving American lives or illegal government-sanctioned torture.

One of the most dramatic apparently is too severe to make the list of officially approved EITs. While no one officially owns up to it, according to at least one released prisoner, a British national, “one guard had told him that he was following orders by making as much noise as possible while detainees …tried to sleep”.

So what’s wrong with a little sleep deprivation? Can’t be that big a deal right? Wrong! Sleep deprivation is a big deal, a very big deal. Aside from the obvious grumpiness and irritability associated with a lack of shut eye, sleep deprivation can have serious consequences for overall health and wellness.

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Importance of the Pancreas


One of the best movies I’ve ever seen was the Rob Marshall adaptation of the Broadway musical Chicago. Not only was the historical depiction of the Windy City in 1920’s fascinatingly presented but watching funnyman John C. Reilly put out an Oscar worthy, if not Oscar winning performance, and listening to him belt out a tune was a pleasant surprise as well.

My favorite song in the film was Reilly’s character Amos Hart’s rendition of “Mr. Cellophane” a plaintive plea for recognition from an oblivious love interest that many of us can find familiar. "Mr. Cellophane" tells the story of the trials of an under-appreciated and misunderstood man in love. And, who among us can say that they never felt unrequited love from a guy or girl we simply wanted to acknowledge our affections.

When I think of unrequited love, sometimes I think of our human body and its parts. Like Chicago’s Amos Hart, our heart, and spleen and thymus and thyroid among other structures faithfully love us but remain unrecognized and unappreciated. And no organ in the body is more unrecognized and unappreciated than the pancreas. While everyone knows about the heart and the brain and the stomach and the skin hardly anyone ever give this little 2 or 3 ounce organ its due.

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Ginseng Supplements Linked to Less Cancer Fatigue


NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Cancer patients and survivors who felt tired or sluggish reported feeling noticeably better after taking ginseng supplements for two months, in a new study.

"Nearly all patients with cancer can suffer from fatigue at some point; either at diagnosis, during treatment and even after treatment, and (fatigue) can linger for several years," said lead author Debra Barton, from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

"The issue with cancer-related fatigue is that it can be a profound fatigue that is not relieved by sleep or rest and that it can significantly impact the ability of people to accomplish the things they are used to doing every day," Barton told Reuters Health by email.

Ginseng had shown promise for fatigue in earlier studies as well, researchers said.

Tired cancer patients and survivors often turn to that and other dietary supplements such as Coenzyme Q-10, L-Carnitine and guarana, but not all are supported by evidence.

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Diabetes Diet


For over a thousand years diabetes was recognized as a deadly disease that caused those afflicted to waste away and die a painful death, but it took until the 7th century BC for the development of the disease to be linked to sugar. Doctors in ancient India were the first to make the connection, diagnosing the disease by observing whether ants were attracted to a patient’s urine.

Although it has been long assumed that once insulin producing cells die they can longer regenerate. However, according to the website, there is growing evidence that these cells actually can regenerate themselves. This is great news for type 1 diabetics who until now been told their disease is incurable.

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The skin care business is, like many other businesses, steeped in and dependent on consumerism and marketing. Rather than having real effects, products have come to rely much more on sizzle; many purchases are the result of nothing more than hype and buying decisions are often functions of ignorance and ads. The world of cosmetic products as we know it today was birthed in the late 19th and early 20th century, at the same time that business enterprises were beginning to understand Freudian psychological theories of human motivations and buying behaviors and how to use them to exploit and manipulate consumer minds and emotions. No business has leveraged human desires and vulnerabilities via sales and advertising more than the business of beauty. We are endlessly manipulated and contorted into spending our hard earned cash via celebrity sales pitches, advertising slogans and the recommendations of dubious department store “advisers”.

But that all changed with the active ingredients dubbed “cosma-ceuticals” which worked as powerfully as prescriptions but were only regulated as cosmetics. The father of the cosmaceutical, Dr. Albert Kligman coined the term to distinguish inactive and superficial ingredients from those that went “…beyond mere camouflage…” and could achieve real and often long-term results. While it’s true that everything including water will inevitably alter the skin in some way, only true cosmaceuticals can provide the kind of performance most consumers expect and are (mis-)led to believe they’ll get when they purchase and apply their cream, lotion, toner and treatment skin care preparations and products.

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Brain Waves


The brain is an electrical generator endlessly producing and emitting streams of energy. And no mere random chaotic emanations of energy are these.

Rather, they are more akin to the organized flow of water on the on the surface of the ocean. Scientists actually refer to the movements as waves. They measure their motion and patterns on a device called an EEG (electroencephalogram).

Like all waves, the ones produced by the brain ebb and flow. Electrical bursts “fire” and then cease firing, essentially blinking on and off. The amount of times a burst of brain electricity and its subsequent cessation, turn on and off in every second is called a “cycle” and is measured as “cycles-per-second” (CPS). The number of cycles-per-second is referred to as the “frequency”. One that fires and stops firing, or cycles once a second, is said to have a frequency of one. If flow and ebb occur twice a second the frequency would be 2, three flows and ebbs, or “cycles-per-second” would have a frequency of 3 and so on.

The energy emitted by the brain ebbs and flows at various frequencies throughout the day and ranges from a slumberous 1 to a frenzied 100 CPS. Researchers divide this range into five categories, each associated with its own characteristic subjective qualities.

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Beta Blockers


There are a lot of bad drugs out there. Calcium channel blockers can prevent cells from using calcium, an important nerve conducting mineral. Not good! Steroid drugs, like prednisone, suppress the immune system, making the body more susceptible to infections. They also suppress growth, repair and can accelerate the development of degenerative disease. Antibiotics impair gut health, diuretics induce the loss of precious minerals, like zinc, selenium and magnesium. Anti-osteoporosis drugs like Fosamax and Boniva can cause a horrible jaw affliction called osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ), which is basically a rapid decay and death of the jawbone. According to lawyers for ONJ victims, the potential connection of incidences of the jawbone disease to the use of these types of drugs was not unknown to manufacturers of the medications, who are currently being targeted by a class action investigation, as well as multiple individual injury lawsuits.

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Brain Peptides


Human beings love to be stoned. Despite police and prison and pecuniary penalties, the human intoxication impulse is apparently insatiable. And, as it turns out, there’s a biochemical basis to our brain’s desires for deliriousness.

In many ways human neurology is literally hardwired to be high. For example, our brains make chemicals called peptides that activate the same cells that marijuana does. Essentially, we make our own pot. We’re all literally pot heads.

And that’s not all. Our brains make peptides that activate the same cells as amphetamine and cocaine too. In other word, in addition to making our own marijuana we make our coke and speed. We make our own valium and Vicodin too. Endogenous human peptides it seems are also behind lots of drug effects and drug addictions.

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This past November’s issue of the highly regarded publication ”Nutritional Journal” has a cool article about avocados. It quotes a study (entitled, somewhat awkwardly, “A Randomized Crossover Study to Evaluate the Effect of Hass Avocado Intake on Post-Ingestive Satiety and Insulin Levels and Subsequent Energy Intake in Overweight Adults“!) that compared the effects of adding a fresh avocado to a lunchtime meal to the effects of eating a standard non-avocado-including lunch.

Did you know you can prevent avocados from browning by sprinkling the flesh with a little lime or lemon juice?

Use lots of Celtic Sea Salt on raw, fresh avocados. The salt and avocado fats will act synergistic-ally to amplify the distinctive tastes and subtle flavors of the rich, buttery fruit.

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Avoid Cancer With Proper Nutrition

Healthy Food

Cancer is a sign of a body, tissues and cells that have been exposed, malnourished and abused for decades. Because cancer cells are OUR very own cells (dysfunctional as they may be) anything that "kills" cancer cells is in essence suicide medicine that ultimately kills the very body it is supposedly healing! That's why chemotherapy is such a miserable experience and is rarely if ever effective.

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