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Agent Tips

Melatonin is Magical For More Than Just Sleep!

***THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN APPROVED OR REGULATED BY THE FDA.  WE ARE NOT DOCTORS, THEREFORE ALWAYS CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR FIRST.

By: Ashuri

By now most people have heard of melatonin and perhaps use or have used a supplement form to help them with sleep. While it is most commonly associated with sleep, what many people don’t know is that melatonin also has a myriad of other health benefits ranging from alleviating depression to strengthening the immune system to protecting against cancer and heart disease. 

What is melatonin? For those who are new to the information, melatonin is a chemical hormone produced by the pineal gland. It plays an important role in the regulation of sleep cycles. Melatonin is released at night in response to the change of light. As the sun goes down, light receptors in the eyes detect the darkness and send signals to the brain telling the pineal gland to begin producing melatonin which is what makes us begin to get sleepy and feel ready for bed. Throughout the night melatonin continues to be released in increments to keep us asleep. This may seem like no big deal, but did you know that melatonin also plays a huge role in the body’s physiological functions? That means that when you are not getting proper sleep, not only are you crabby in the morning, but many of your organs and other bodily functions are suffering on a chemical level. 

So what’s the problem? Even though our bodies naturally produce melatonin, modern day factors are damaging that process if we are not mindful. We are living in a time where it is “normal” to work 8-12 hour days in an office underneath fluorescent lighting, staring at computers and then going home to spend a good majority of the rest of our days staring at smartphones, flat screen televisions, and more computers. The artificial lights from these devices are greatly responsible for the decrease in our natural melatonin production because the unnatural blue and white lights that come from these devices trick our brains into believing that it is daytime and therefore cause our pineal glands to stop producing melatonin. In addition to the artificial light damaging our body’s natural cycles, stress, medication, EMF’s, nutrition-less diets, lack of physical activity, and poor bedtime routines are also largely responsible. For a short time a lack of sleep doesn’t seem like a big deal, but the problem is that this easily becomes a habit and long term the effects of not producing enough melatonin are detrimental to your health. The short term effects begin with anxiety, depression, fatigue, brain fog, inflammation, inability to focus, insomnia, restlessness, poor digestion, poor circulation, breakouts and the list goes on. Long term, the effects can turn into severe depression and anxiety, ADHD, poor immune function, blood pressure and blood sugar instability, major digestive disorders such as leaky gut, reproductive diseases, plague and degeneration of brain tissues, Alzheimer’s disease, nervous system diseases, heart disease, and accelerated cancer cell growth. 

Why should I consider taking melatonin? In addition to regular exercise, a good bedtime routine, and a nutrition rich diet, studies have shown that melatonin supplementation may effectively restore balance to your body and its natural cycles. Melatonin is an incredible antioxidant. It travels throughout the body scavenging free radicals while protecting and repairing damaged cells. Melatonin diffuses easily into all cells and is even able to cross the blood brain barrier meaning that it is able to get into the brain and spinal cord, which is what has lead researchers to believe in its ability to protect against Alzheimer’s disease. Studies have shown that people with diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and who have suffered a stroke have low levels of melatonin. Adding a melatonin supplement in these cases was shown to reduce brain inflammation and repair and protect the neurons from deterioration. 

There’s more! If what you’ve read so far about the benefits of melatonin has peaked your interest here are some of the other amazing ways that melatonin can improve your health…

- Melatonin receptors are found all over the body, especially in the ovaries, intestines, blood vessels, and brain. Adding melatonin supplementation to your routine can help protect all of these functions from damage and repair damage that has already been done.

- Reduces inflammation in the body, especially in the brain and may help regrow new neurons. 

- Slows down the division of cancer and tumor cells throughout the body, especially in sex hormone cancers by cutting down estrogen’s inclination to increase cell growth. (Studies have shown that melatonin has a balancing effect on reproductive hormones explaining why it seems to protect against cancers of the reproductive organs such as ovarian, endometrial, prostate, testicular and breast). 

- Balances ALL hormones in the body. (Hormones are not limited to reproductive organs. They’re responsible for a majority of the body’s major functions including kidney function, digestion, immune etc.). 

-  Strengthens the immune system and increases the production of immune system substances.  

-  Helps counteract the toxic effects of chemotherapy. (In a study of patients undergoing chemotherapy the results showed that the patients given a 20mg dose of melatonin at night showed a higher rate of survival than those who were not. In addition the patients given melatonin showed a significant reduction in side effects of chemotherapy including heart damage, mouth sores, fatigue, anxiety, decreased blood platelets, and neuotoxicity). 

- Helps with symptoms and effects  of drug withdrawal.

- Reduction and prevention of migraine headaches.

- Increased mental clarity and focus.

- Improved quality of sleep 

And the list goes on …

All things considered, remember that supplementation of any kind is not intended to replace a nutrient rich diet, exercise, good self-care and healthy living habits, but instead it is meant to supplement what is lacking from your current routine until you can get to where you need to be. Keep in mind that every single person’s body is unique and requires different things for their own perfect health. Don’t take anything you read at face value. Do your research, find alternate sources of information, and try many different avenues until you find the one that works for you. That applies to not only to your physical health, but also to your mind and soul. Well wishes on your journey of being your best you… 

Additional sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4334454/

https://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2007/6/nu_melatonin/Page-01

https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/10/10/melatonin.aspx

https://www.drwhitaker.com/beyond-sleep-other-benefits-of-melatonin 

Lissoni P, Barni S, Mandala M, et al. Decreased toxicity and increased efficacy of cancer chemotherapy using the pineal hormone melatonin in metastatic solid tumour patients with poor clinical status. Eur J Cancer. 1999 Nov;35(12):1688-92.

Cos S, Gonzalez A, Martinez-Campa C, et al. Estrogen-signaling pathway: a link between breast cancer and melatonin oncostatic actions. Cancer Detect Prev. 2006;30(2):118-28.

Sanchez-Barcelo EJ, Cos S, Mediavilla D, et al. Melatonin-estrogen interactions in breast cancer. J Pineal Res. 2005 May;38(4):217-22.

Lissoni P, Barni S, Meregalli S, et al. Modulation of cancer endocrine therapy by melatonin: a phase II study of tamoxifen plus melatonin in metastatic breast cancer patients progressing under tamoxifen alone. Br J Cancer.1995 Apr;71(4):854-6.

Reiter RJ, Tan DX, Leon J, Kilic U, Kilic E. When melatonin gets on your nerves: its beneficial actions in experimental models of stroke. Exp Biol Med (Maywood.). 2005 Feb;230(2):104-17.

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WHY WE AVOID SOY

                                                                                                                                   By Chris Merritt and Catherine Hilley

 

***THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN APPROVED OR REGULATED BY THE FDA.  WE ARE NOT DOCTORS, THEREFORE ALWAYS CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR FIRST.

Until recently, soy has been a common ingredient in many popular foods. Particularly hot in the vegan market, soy propaganda has labeled it heart healthy and beneficial to humans. Men who have diets high in soy are at risk for potential hormone imbalance, gynecomastia (breast enlargement), reduction of libido, infertility, and increased risk in cancer. For women, early puberty, linked to estrogen dominance (can lead to endometriosis), infertility, menstrual troubles, and cancer (although soy propaganda claims it can reduce the risk of breast cancer).

Many vegans or individuals who substitute soy for meat aren’t actually aware of the risk of mineral deficiencies for vitamin B12, vitamin D, zinc, iron, calcium, and magnesium (which much of the American population is already deficient in) due to the high amount of phytic acid present in the soybean. The soybean contains high quantities of natural toxins, also known as antinutrients. Soybeans also contain a potent enzyme inhibitor called trypsin; even though soy is used by many athletes for protein intake, the enzyme trypsin actually inhibits correct protein digestion and is acts as a growth inhibitor. The enzymes are not deactivated when cooked or fermented. A common argument is that the soybean contains all amino acids making it a healthy protein but it can also produce gastric distress, reduce protein digestion, and lead to a deficiency in amino acid uptake. Goitrogens are present in soy, placing it in the category of foods that promote the formation of goiter, an enlarged thyroid. Soy can also cause endocrine disruption. Soy contains lectins and oxalates, causing kidney stones and the clumping of red blood cells which causes inflammation. Soy also prevents the intestines from healing even when gluten is removed.

When studied in animals, a high intake of soy had detrimental effects to their health such as pathological conditions of the pancreas including cancer. Soy is 99% GMO, which means the soy you’re eating is highly contaminated with pesticides and most likely sprayed with Monsanto’s weed killer, glyphosate. GMO soy also contains a gene that can mutate and produce natural toxins in your body. The recent demand of soy is actually depleting our crops and making us sick, the soy crop strips the soil of beneficial nutrients. It contains high levels of aluminum and nitrates because they are acid washed and processed at high temperatures. Much livestock is fed GMO soy that makes them sick as it would humans, and of course, we end up eating their meat, passing on the harmful properties.

A good idea is to stay away from all forms of soy, even supplemental, such as soy isoflavones (genistein- the main isoflavone in soy, is linked to numerous health effects such as infertility, altered reproduction, and abnormal embryo development), or soy protein isolate which can cause adverse effects to your body the same way as eating the whole soybean may. The same way it could harm a small mouse who is fed soy (according to several small animal studies), would be just as detrimental for a developing child, which is why you should keep soy far away from infants.

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WHY YOU SHOULD USE OUR VITAMIN C ALSO KNOWN AS HOLI C- AN AWESOME ACNE BANISHER

 

holi c is a stable form of Vitamin C powder and a French patented calcium that you activate by mixing a dime size amount with equal parts water and your favorite toner, moisturizer, SPF or serum.

 Today we are going to talk about the stable form of Vitamin C that w use to formulate holi c.

 First and foremost, nearly all L Ascorbic Acid is derived from GMO corn. We source our non-GMO Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate that I will refer to as SAP from Japan and France, both of which have the highest safety regulations for cosmetics in the world.  Most cosmetic companies only add 1-5% of Vitamin C to their product.  One bottle of holi c could formulate up to 100 bottles serum at this rate.

 Sodium ascorbyl phosphate aka SAP is a stable, water-soluble form of Vitamin C that functions as an antioxidant and is potentially effective for brightening an uneven skin tone.

There is also research showing amounts of 1% and 5% concentrations of sodium ascorbyl phosphate can influence factors linked to breakouts.

 It's an acne fighter.

Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate is a naturally occurring water-soluble derivative of Vitamin C.

It’s the most stable form of Vitamin C, meaning it won’t oxidize and go bad in a couple months, making it a preferable choice for cosmetic formulations. It’s more stable and bioavailable than Ascorbic Acid

Unlike Ascorbic Acid, it doesn’t like acidic environments. It’s an antioxidant that reduces oxidative stress by neutralizing free radicals, effectively slowing down the aging process and formation of fine lines and wrinkles.

SAP has the ability to penetrate the epidermis.

THE BENEFITS:

ANTI AGING

UVA and UVB radiation from sun exposure causes degenerative effects that speeds the aging process.

SAP protects against UV damage, and enhances the photoprotective properties of sunscreen.

It prevents sunburn and makes sunscreens stronger, both of which are anti-aging necessities.

HYPERPIGMENTATION

SAP has skin-lightening properties by inhibiting melanin production (melanin being the skin pigment responsible for hyperpigmentation)

 ACNE

In a vitro study, a group of researches were able to show that SAP has strong antimicrobial effects against acne.

The same researchers also found that SAP used for 12 weeks produced excellent results in 76.9% of patients, which is considerably higher than other prescribed acne treatments. It treats acne with no side harmful effects that most doctors prescribe for acne treatment.

For decades scientists have known that lipid peroxidation (the oxidation of sebum) plays a major role in the development of acne. There is evidence that “lipid peroxidation is the driving force behind the progression of comedogenesis and inflammation in acne.

Research has shown that SAP reduces sebum oxidation by up to 40%

Not only for the prevention of acne, but also as a very useful tool against aging and the damaging effects that pollution causes on our skin.

 How does Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (SAP) Work?

 Ascorbic acid is not easily absorbed through the skin’s lipid barrier so a high concentration of L-ascorbic acid is needed. It slowly absorbs and causes irritation and acne outbreaks for those with sensitive or acne prone skin.

SAP is derived from a salt molecule, allowing it to easily penetrate the skin’s lipid barrier. Because this form of Vitamin C is easily absorbed and utilized by the skin, it is not associated with the irritation often experienced with L-ascorbic acid.

 HOW TO USE HOLI C:

You must activate holi c with equal parts water.  Use in the AM and/or PM after cleansing the face. Mix a dime size amount with equal parts water along with your favorite toner, serum or moisturizer.  

***THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN APPROVED OR REGULATED BY THE FDA.  WE ARE NOT DOCTORS, THEREFORE ALWAYS CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR FIRST.

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The Dirty Dozen and The Clean Fifteen Shopping Guide

By Jena Covello and Alexa Ouaknine

Did you know that last year the Environmental Working Group found strawberries to be the “dirtiest” produce source, with spinach coming in second? Even after some conventional fruits and vegetables are washed and peeled, pesticide residue often remains. It’s clear that consumers prefer eating fruits and vegetables that are grown free of synthetic pesticides. It’s also clear that an all-organic diet is becoming an option for everyone, with online stores like Thrive Market offering discounts.  If just 16% of Americans only ate organic, we would put Monsanto out of business. The more we continue to only eat organic, the cheaper the prices will become. Here is a list of the 12 most contaminated fruits and veggies we MUST buy organic, as well as the clean 15- which hardly test for any pesticides and don’t require an organic sticker.  

 “The Dirty Dozen”: The top twelve fruits and veggies that are recommend you purchase organic.

Dirty Dozen:

  • Apples
  • Celery
  • Tomatoes
  • Cherries
  • Pears
  • Grapes
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Potatoes
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
Note: Green beans and kale are moving up on the most sprayed list as well.

 

“The Clean Fifteen”: The fruits and veggies that you can eat conventionally because pesticides wash off so easily and are not absorbed.

 Clean Fifteen:

  • Avocado
  • Sweet Corn
  • Pineapple
  • Cabbage
  • Onions
  • Sweet Peas
  • Papayas
  • Asparagus
  • Mangoes
  • Eggplant
  • Honeydew
  • Kiwis
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli

                                           

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Healing With Celery Juice

By Alexa Ouaknine

***THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN APPROVED OR REGULATED BY THE FDA.  WE ARE NOT DOCTORS, THEREFORE ALWAYS CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR FIRST.

***After 10 days of celery juice every morning on an empty stomach, the dry, flakey skin on my legs is completely gone and the intense itching sensation that ive experienced every day for my whole life has significantly decreased. Blemishes on my face are healing much quicker and the internal moisture I’m getting from the celery juice has moisturized my skin from the inside out. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I have a glow and softness to my skin that I’ve never had before. This is with no other dietary or product changes besides drinking celery juice every morning.

It’s safe to say it is pretty likely that anyone reading Medical Medium by Anthony Williams has incorporated fresh celery juice into their morning routine after reading all about its many benefits. Its healing properties are profound and those who have tried it swear by its effects. Anthony Williams says that celery juice is one of the most powerful and healing juices we can drink and even claims that the transformations can happen in as little as a week. I know celery on its own sounds pretty bland and boring, but its nutritional and healing benefits far outweigh any cons. Celery juice offers enzymes and coenzymes and raises hydrochloric acid in the stomach so that food is easily digested and does not putrefy during the process. This helps prevent a multitude of gastrointestinal disorders. The benefits range far and wide, but one we are most impressed with in particular is the effect it has on pain-related inflammation. This just may be one of the simplest things you can do to make a big difference in how you feel.

 Inflammation is at the heart of all disease. Chronic inflammation is part of the body’s immune response and can be linked to autoimmune disorders, skin problems like acne, psoriasis, and eczema, chronic joint pain, arthritis, fatigue, bloating, and even brain fog and depression. Celery’s anti-inflammatory compounds, luteolin and polyacetylenes, inhibit the enzymes responsible for inflammation and work to lower inflammatory prostaglandins. Luteolin and polyacetylene provide relief for all inflammation in the body. Celery is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory foods because it starves the bad bacteria, yeast, mold, funguses and viruses that are present in the body, while allowing the good bacteria to thrive. It is hydrating on a cellular level, helping to flush toxins and debris out of the intestinal tract and liver and making it the perfect drink for repairing the gut lining. In doing so, pathogens, which are often the underlying cause of inflammation, are killed off, giving our body the break it needs to be able to handle more without inflaming.

 How you do it

 Start with 16 ounces of celery (about one full head of celery) juice every morning upon waking. Make sure you are drinking the juice on an empty stomach in order to raise hydrochloric acid levels and set you up for easy digestion for the rest of the day. If you do not have a juicer, you can chop up the celery and blend it in a high power blender with a splash of filtered water, and then strain in a nut milk bag or sieve. Try to buy organic celery whenever possible.

 Other benefits of 100% celery juice

 It is an important alkalizing food

  • Celery rids the body of acids and toxins while cleansing the liver and blood stream.

 Natural diuretic

  • Effective in flushing toxins out of the body and reducing stomach bloat.

 Reduces cravings

  • In restoring adrenals and providing essential nutrients, cravings reduce. When our body’s nutritional needs are being met, cravings are much less an issue.

 Reduces brain fog

  • The mineral salts in celery juice feed electrical impulse activity and support neuron function, which is key if you suffer with ADHD, brain fog, or memory loss. When it comes to celery, think electrolytes. It hydrates on a deep cellular level, lessening your chances of suffering from migraines.

 Reduces cancer risk

  • The high amount of antioxidants help combat free radicals, which in turn betters general health and lowers chances of developing cancer.

 Boosts recovery

  • High in antioxidants.
  • Rehydrates you and replenishes important electrolytes like sodium and potassium.
  • Contains coumarins that are known to reduce the stress hormone cortisol and enhance the activity of white blood cells.

 Great for skin

  • High in minerals, which support glowing skin and anti-aging.
  • Good source of Vitamin K, which is beneficial for skin firmness and elasticity.
  • Contains Vitamin C.
  • Extremely hydrating.

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ELIMINATING ESTROGEN DOMINANCE

 

 If you suffer from fibroids, endometriosis, adenomyosis or PCOS, you’re most likely producing too much estrogen.  In addition to these diseases, estrogen dominance overstimulates both the brain and body. All of these symptoms are exacerbated by stress. Many women in their thirties and early forties find that they experience moderate to severe symptoms of estrogen dominance as they approach perimenopause.  Additional symptoms are:

  • Decreased sex drive
  • Irregular or otherwise abnormal or painful menstrual periods
  • Bloating (water retention)
  • Breast swelling and tenderness
  • Fibrocystic breasts
  • Headaches
  • Mood swings (most often irritability and depression)
  • Weight and/or fat gain (particularly around the abdomen and hips)
  • Cold hands and feet (a symptom of thyroid dysfunction)
  • Hair loss
  • Thyroid dysfunction
  • Sluggish metabolism
  • Foggy thinking, memory loss
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble sleeping/insomnia
  • PMS
  • Leaky Gut

 Estrogen dominance has been linked to weight gain, leaky gut, allergies, autoimmune disorders, breast and uterine cancer, infertility, ovarian cysts, and increased blood clotting, and is also associated with acceleration of the aging process.

 What Causes Estrogen Dominance:

 When a woman’s menstrual cycle is normal, estrogen is the dominant hormone for the first two weeks leading up to ovulation. Estrogen is balanced by progesterone during the last two weeks. In industrialized countries such as the United States, there can be many other causes, including:

  • Excess body fat (greater than 28%)
  • Too much stress, resulting in excess amounts of cortisol, insulin, and norepinephrine, which can lead to adrenal exhaustion and can also adversely affect overall hormonal balance
  • A low-fiber diet with excess refined carbohydrates, soy and guar that is deficient in nutrients and high quality fats
  • Impaired immune function (MTHFR)
  • Leaky Gut
  • Environmental agents
  • Constipation
  • A diet high in soy, refined sugar and wheat
  • Using skincare and makeup that contain endocrine disruptors
  • Drinking from plastic water bottles (plastic contains xenoestrogens)
  • Heavy metal toxicity
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Low levels of progesterone
  • Inability to ovulate

 Ways to Decrease Estrogen Dominance:

***THIS IS THE WAY WE PERSONALLY DECREASED ESTROGEN DOMINANCE.  WE ARE NOT DOCTORS, THEREFORE ALWAYS CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR FIRST AND THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN REGULATED BY THE FDA.

  1. Increase nutrients in the diet: Take a high potency multivitamin/mineral combination. The following supplements are imperative to cut estrogen: DIM, a multi vitamin B, and D3 combined with K2.
  2. Follow a hormone-balancing, anti inflammatory diet such as AIP or Keto:
  • Eat lots of fresh and vegetables (6-9 cups per day, particularly cruciferous vegetables)
  • Adequate protein from organic sources
  • Cut all refined sugar, gluten and soy
  • Moderate amounts of healthy fat
  • Minimize the amount of fruit you are eating
  • Minimize your intake of eggs, nuts, seeds and dairy
  • Eliminate coffee and chocolate
  • Avoid flax, it is estrogenic 
  1. Remember to get enough fiber. Estrogen is excreted by the bowel; if stool remains in the bowel, estrogen is reabsorbed. Monthly colonics and probiotics help significantly.  Eating 6-9 cups of vegetables per day will also help.
  2. Use transdermal bioidentical progesterone cream ( If you have adenomyosis, natural progesterone usually makes the symtoms worse. Consult with your doctor first.
  3. Lose excess body fat and get regular exercise
  4. Detox your liver: The liver’s capacity to cleanse the blood of estrogen is compromised when it is overloaded with xenoestrogens and heavy metals. You can detox the liver by:
  • Starting your day with a glass of hot water and lemon
  • Eating cilantro daily
  • Take an organic sulfur supplement every day
  • Take a multi vitamin B supplement
  • Take a DIM supplement
  • Take a high dose of vitamin C
  • Avoid canola oil
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Consistently using castor oil packs on the liver and stomach will not only detox the liver, it will also shrink fibroids and adenomyosis.  They must be used consistently and results are only shown after 6-9 months of daily use aside from the week you are menstruating
  1. Only purchase natural household cleaning supplies, makeup and skincare products
  2. Avoid aluminum antiperspirant and stop cooking with aluminum pots, pans and foil. Aluminum is an endocrine disruptor that wreaks havoc on hormones and contributes to estrogen dominance.
  3. Decrease stress: When you are stressed, the body makes more estrogen. It is so important to meditate, stay calm and practice yoga or another relaxing exercise.
  4. Sweat!  Preferable in a steam room.  Sweating detoxes the body.
  5. Avoid the following xenoestrogens:
  • Commercially raised meat and dairy such as beef, pork, chicken, milk, butter, cheese and ice cream
  • Food that is not organic, which contains pesticides
  • Tap water
  • Parabans in skincare products
  • Plastic water bottles
  • Phthalates aka soft plastics used in wrapping foods. Avoid drinking hot liquids in Styrofoam cups and only store food in glass containers
  • Artificial sweeteners and MSG
  • Dryer Sheets
  • Birth Control Pills and HRT
  • Menstrual products that are not organic
  1. Lastly, if you’re estrogen dominant, it means you aren’t producing enough progesterone. You can boost your progesterone levels with the following supplements:
  • Vitamin B6 is proven to increase progesterone production and reduce blood estrogen levels, leading to improvements in PMS symptoms, as well as fertility. It’s considered one of the best vitamins to boost progesterone.
  • Vitamin C is an ascorbic acid that assists the ovaries in the ovulation process. At a dose of 750 mg/day, vitamin C has been shown to raise progesterone levels in women with both low progesterone and a luteal phase deficiency (when the second half of the menstrual cycle is 10 days or less, or if progesterone level is low on day 21 of the cycle, or both).
  • Vitamin E is an important antioxidant to help protect sperm and egg DNA integrity. A study conducted at John Hopkins University showed that vitamin E (at a dose of 800 IU/day for 10 weeks) corrects the progesterone-estrogen ratio, increases a woman’s libido, and normalizes her menstrual cycle.
  • Magnesium influences the pituitary gland, which releases FSH (follicular stimulating hormone), LH (luteinizing hormone) and TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone). These hormones, in turn, regulate the production of estrogen and progesterone.
  • Zinc is another mineral that supports fertility. It stimulates the pituitary gland to release FSH, which triggers the production of estrogen and promote ovulation. And ovulation will, in turn, signal the increase of progesterone.
  • L-arginine is an amino acid that helps widen and relax arteries and blood vessels, increasing blood flow in the body. At a dose of 6 grams per day, it’s been shown to improve the blood supply to the corpus luteum (the egg follicle that releases progesterone

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THE BENEFITS OF UNSULPHURED BLACKSTRAP MOLASSES

***THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN APPROVED OR REGULATED BY THE FDA.  WE ARE NOT DOCTORS, THEREFORE ALWAYS CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR FIRST.
Blackstrap molasses, which is a thick, dark syrup is made when sugar cane plants are processed to make sugar. Even though the refined sugar is largely considered unhealthy, the thick, syrup of molasses holds minerals and nutrients that are absorbed by the plant. These minerals and nutrients include: Iron, Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Manganese, Vitamin B6, Copper and Selenium. Molasses also has no fat, cholesterol and barely any sodium. Therefore, it can be consumed by a diabetic person. It is important to consume this product in moderation, so therefore no more than one tablespoon per day.
 Here are the top health benefits:
  1. Prevents Anemia: Blackstrap molasses is a great source of iron and therefore can be essential to someone who has iron-deficiency anemia. Since it is a good source of iron, it helps the body to create more red blood cells, which carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body.
  1. Reduces Menstrual Problems: Blackstrap molasses contains certain minerals, such as Magnesium and Calcium, that can help relieve menstrual cramps. It can also help the body to maintain healthy muscles in your uterus.
  1. Cures Constipation and Improves Other Digestive Problems: Blackstrap molasses is a natural laxative which can soften the stool. It can help to relieve constipation and make the bowels more regular. This is due to the high Magnesium content in the molasses that helps to relax muscles and bring water into the stool, which makes it naturally easier to pass.
  1. Improves Heart Health: Blackstrap molasses can help to control heart related issues, such as palpitations, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and more. This is because the molasses is high in Potassium, Iron, Calcium and Magnesium. All of these nutrients help to prevent the body from experiencing deficiencies that can cause heart palpitations.
  1. Combats Stress: A common vitamin that is recommended by health experts to improve your mood and ease the effects of stress is Vitamin B.  This vitamin is found in blackstrap molasses and therefore can help the brain and nervous system to function properly. It can also help you to feel relaxed, fight stress and fight fatigue.
  1. Prevents Cancer: It is also believed that blackstrap molasses can also be used to prevent and treat certain types of cancer. This is because the molasses contains Selenium, which helps the cells to defend themselves against cancerous cells.
  1. Increases Stamina and Energy: Blackstrap molasses can also help to give you more stamina and energy. Since it is made from sugar, it offers a temporary energy boost when it provides your body with carbohydrates that are converted into energy in your body.
  1. Maintains Strong Muscles and Bones Blackstrap molasses also is high in Calcium, which helps the body to strengthen bones. One tablespoon of the molasses can provide your body with over ten percent of your daily value of Calcium.
  1. Improves Sleep Blackstrap molasses can even help to cure insomnia, since it is high in Calcium. Calcium can help the body to produce melatonin, which helps your body to feel tired. The Magnesium in the molasses is also a natural nutrient that helps your body to feel tired.
  1. Maintains Hair Health: Consuming blackstrap molasses on a daily basis can even improve your hair health, growth and color.
 

 

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Addressing Oral Contraceptives, the Liver and Ways to Detox

By Jena Covello and Alexa Ouaknine

***THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN APPROVED OR REGULATED BY THE FDA.  WE ARE NOT DOCTORS, THEREFORE ALWAYS CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR FIRST.

 The liver is our primary organ of detoxification and works to remove toxins and waste from the blood, while filtering and sorting nutrients that our bodies need for daily functioning. It is almost as if the liver receives a small package, determines what is inside the package, and reacts accordingly. Our health and wellbeing is a reflection of our body’s ability or inability to remove and purge toxins, and the liver is a great place to begin when addressing any health concerns. We need to understand the liver, support it, and repair it so that it can perform optimally. Both the benefits of a healthy liver, and the consequences of an overburdened one are plenty.

 The liver uses a two-step detoxification process to filter hormones and toxins into the bloodstream. In phase one, the liver repackages harmful chemicals into less harmful ones, and gets them ready for elimination. These chemicals are converted to water-soluble substances that are secreted through bile, urine, or feces in phase two. Both detox pathways must be properly nourished and act in conjunction with one another for the elimination of waste to occur. If one is failing to operate sufficiently, toxic free radicals build up, causing a number of problems.

 Any digestive issues can tax the estrogen-detoxification process that takes place in the liver. Because the liver is the main organ involved in detoxification in our bodies, any impedance of the detoxification process in our liver resulting from poor diet, alcohol, drugs or toxins can lead to estrogen dominance. Harmful estrogens are difficult to detoxify and are stored in fat. Estrogen dominance in women can lead to an increase in PMS symptoms, uterine fibroids, and endometriosis, as well as symptoms including sluggish metabolism, bloating, thyroid dysfunction decreased libido, foggy thinking/memory loss, fibrocystic breasts, irritability, and weight gain around abdomen and hips. Even further, birth control pills and synthetic hormones stress the liver and cause benign cysts. The biochemical effects of the sex hormones on the liver are prolific. When women take birth control pills, a woman’s natural rhythmic cycles of rising and falling levels of estrogen and progesterone turn into constant high levels of estrogen. This creates an imbalanced hormonal environment, which leads to nutrient deficiencies, benign liver tumors, liver diseases, and countless other negative side effects.

 It is known by doctors that long term use of the Oral Contraceptive Pill can increase the incidence of liver tumors such as adenomas and hemangiomas. Hemangiomas are tumors made from blood vessels and adenomas are round shaped tumors. These are usually benign.

 Let’s be honest, sometimes women need synthetic hormones to manage PCOS and pain caused from fibroids, endometriosis and painful cycles. You can detox the liver and shrink liver tumors and keep your liver in check by taking selenium in the form of Selenomune which contains three forms of selenium that have been shown to exert anti-cancer effects. It also contains Vitamin C, Folic Acid, Vitamin B-12, Iodine, Zinc, Manganese, Chromium, Molybdenum, Boron and Brewer’s Yeast. This is a powerful formula to boost the strength of the immune system and increase energy levels.

 So many women take the oral contraceptive pill for years without having checks on their liver such as a blood test for liver function or an ultrasound scan of their liver. This is because no one warns them that prolonged use of the oral contraceptive pill can cause liver problems.

 Estrogens and oral contraceptives are associated with several liver problems including sluggish bile flow, dilatation of spaces in the liver, liver adenomas, liver cancer, clotting of the veins in the liver and an increased risk of gallstones.  These side effects are more common with higher doses of estrogens, as were used in the early high dose estrogen formulation of oral contraceptives, but they have also been described with use of more modern birth control pills and with low dose, estrogen hormonal replacement therapy.

 Signs you could be suffering from an impaired liver:

  • Bloating and gas
  • Endometriosis/Adenomyosis
  • Rashes
  • PCOS
  • Uterine Fibroids
  • Painful Periods
  • Acid reflux and heartburn
  • Constipation
  • Jaundice
  • Inability to lose weight
  • High blood pressure
  • Moodiness, anxiety or depression
  • Dark urine
  • Rosacea
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Bruise easily
  • Poor appetite

 Liver-boosting supplements and herbs:

 Organic Sulfur/MSM

  • Your liver requires high levels of sulfur in order to carry out phase 2 detoxification.  Sulfur is found in foods like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, onion and garlic.  Many people do not consume adequate sulfur.  This mineral also has an anti-inflammatory effect in the body and is excellent for painful, inflamed joints. MSM is a natural form of sulfur; it stands for methyl sulfonyl methane.  MSM works most efficiently when combined with vitamin C.

 Glutathione

  • Neutralizes free radicals, enhances the immune system and detoxifies the liver

 Holy Basil

  • Contains essential oils that help combat bacteria and heavy metals.

Milk thistle

  • This “king” of detoxifying herbs helps eliminate the buildup of heavy metals, endocrine disruptors, prescription drugs and alcohol from the liver.

Dandelion Root

  • Natural detox flush.

Castor Oil Packs

  • Relieves constipation, improves immune function, and aids in detoxification.

Vitamin E

  • Powerful antioxidant that helps to reduce free radical damage and balance hormones.

Vitamin B12

  • helps keep the nervous system and red blood cells healthy and is important for protein metabolism.

Vitamin C

  • High in antioxidants and has protects the liver from oxidative damage, particularly when used in combination with vitamin E.

Selenium

  • Protects the liver from free radical damage and preserve its elasticity and detoxifying capabilities.

 Alpha lipoic acid.

  • Removes toxins and byproducts of fat metabolism and fends off the toxic effects of alcohol. Alpha lipoic acid is a powerful antioxidant that also protects other antioxidants, including glutathione and CoQ10. No other nutrient does this. Lipoic acid may be even more effective when taken in combination with milk thistle and selenium

 Liver Detox:

 A great guide to liver detox here https://draxe.com/liver-cleanse/

 Liver detox - detoxing is such a good way to invest in your health. It is the way the body heals and repairs itself, but be careful to never detoxify without addressing foundational issues. In order to detox, all elimination pathways must be open.

 Therapeutic foods for the liver:

 Warm water with lemon first thing in the morning

  • This is extremely important. Warm water with lemon first thing in the morning helps to flush the digestive system and rehydrate the body.

Leafy Greens

  • The abundant fiber found in leafy greens, and their inflammatory and antioxidant properties help nourish the liver.

Liver

  • One of nature’s most powerful foods; the liver contains high amount of vitamin B and helps with detoxification and supporting liver function.

Aloe Vera

  • Digestive tonic and pain reliever.

Green Tea, especially matcha green tea

  • High in catechins that act as antioxidants in the body, combatting free radicals within the blood, and supporting liver function.

Peppermint

  • Stimulates bile flow and relaxes bile ducts, helping break down fats. It calms the stomach for optimal digestion.

Ginger

  • Promotes elimination of intestinal gas and stimulates digestion.

Bone broth

  • Sooths the digestive tract and supports the integrity of the gut lining.

Artichoke

  • Increases bile production and flow, which helps to carry toxins from the liver out of your body.

Beet Juice

  • Natural blood cleaner that helps the body detox and cleanse the blood of heavy metals, toxins and waste.

 

More tips:

  • Drink half your weight in ounces of clean, filtered water (i.e. 150 lbs. = 75 oz. of water) this keeps the body flushing appropriately. Water keeps the blood fluid so that toxic material may be delivered to the lymph and liver.
  • Eat organic whenever possible to avoid pesticides, herbicides, and heavy metals.
  • Eliminate refined carbohydrates and sugar from the diet.
  • Avoid endocrine disruptors – phthalates in plastics like BPAs, herbicides, heavy metals, etc.
  • Be aware of chemicals in our foods, unfiltered drinking water, cosmetics, and household cleaning products.
  • Avoid alcohol, drugs and cigarettes.
  • Minimize stress – it raises cortisol and reduces progesterone.
  • Sweat therapies – infrared sauna.
  • Enemas/Colonics
  • Probiotics to ensure you are having regular bowel movements
  • Frequent amount of movement and/or exercise is important.

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THE GOOD AND THE BAD: OILS YOU SHOULD AND SHOULD NEVER COOK WITH

 

By Jena Covello and Alexa Ouaknine

***THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN APPROVED OR REGULATED BY THE FDA.  WE ARE NOT DOCTORS, THEREFORE ALWAYS CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR FIRST.

 

DEGREE OF SATURATION

SATURATED

MONOUNSATURATED

POLYUNSATURATED

Highly stable

Relatively stable

Relatively unstable

Do not go rancid easily

Do not go rancid easily

Go rancid easily

Solid or semi-solid at room temperature

Liquid at room temperature

Always liquid

Non-essential because the body can make these on its own

Non-essential because the body can make these on its own

Two are essential

·       Linoleic Acid

·       Alpha-linolenic Acid

Found in animal fats and tropical oils – coconut oil, palm oil, grass-fed meat and dairy

Found in olive oil, avocados, and various nuts

Found in wild caught fish, flax, nuts, and seeds

Safe at higher heat

Safe at low heat

Never heat or use in cooking

 

 

SAFEST OILS FOR COOKING/ HEAT

(Frying, baking, broiling, grilling and roasting)

SAFE AT LOW TEMPERATURES

(Quick stir-frying, light sautéing, and slow/low simmering)

NEVER HEAT OR USE IN COOKING

COMPLETELY AVOID

Organic virgin coconut oil, ghee, grass-fed butter, animal fats- lard, beef and lamb tallow, organic virgin red palm oil.

Olive oil, avocado oil.

Fish oil, flax oil, hemp oil, pumpkin oil, macadamia nut oil, sesame seed, and peanut oils.

Soybean oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil, canola oil, rapeseed oil, sunflower oil, sesame oil, grape seed oil, safflower oil, rice bran oil.

 

***Make sure to buy oil that is stored in dark glass bottles. Light and oxygen putrefies oils, making them damaged fats that are not fit to consume.  Living fats and oils are extremely sensitive to light, heat, and oxygen and therefore become rancid easily. The more unsaturated the fat, the more unstable it is.

 SAFEST OILS FOR COOKING/ HEAT:

 Coconut oil:  Coconut oil should be organic and unrefined in nature. Coconut oil is almost fully saturated, making it the best option for cooking and frying at higher temperatures. Coconut oil contains medium chain triglycerides, or MCTs, which don’t require pancreatic enzymes to be digested, making them available in our body for immediate energy use.

 Ghee (Indian Clarified Butter): Ghee is a stable, saturated butterfat with the milk solids (casein proteins) removed, which is why many people who are intolerant to dairy and/or butter can often tolerate ghee. It is safe for cooking and light frying. Ghee should be made from organic, grass-fed butter.

 Animal fats: Animal fats in this category should be from organically raised, grass-fed pastured animals. Cooking with these fats give us access to nutrients such as fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.

 Red palm oil: Red palm oil should be organic and unrefined in nature. Its paprika-like flavor makes it a great option for roasting vegetables with.

 SAFE AT LOW TEMPERATURES:

 Olive oil: Olive oil should always be extracted via expeller pressing. It contains 75 percent monounsaturated fatty acids, making it relatively stable for cooking. Lightly cooking with olive oil over a medium heat (less than 400 degrees) is safe.

 Avocado oil: Avocado oil is extracted from the fatty pulp, which is high in monounsaturated fatty acids, making it similar to olive oil and its rules for cooking.

 NEVER HEAT OR USE IN COOKING:

 The polyunsaturated fatty acids in this category should never be used for cooking. If at all, these oils should be consumed in moderation and should never be refined or processed. Use these oils sparingly in salad dressings, added in small amounts to condiments or smoothies, or consumed in limited quantities from a spoon as a dietary supplement. These oils are highly unstable and highly reactive, and cannot be heated or exposed to light.

 COMPLETELY AVOID:

 Because of their genetically modified status and heavy pesticide levels, corn and soybean oil should be avoided. These oils are highly processed they have many chances to be exposed to heat and light often, they become damaged fats, which are not fit for us to consume.

 Canola oil: Canola oil is extracted from the genetically modified crop, rapeseed, and is highly processed. Before reaching its final product, canola oil must move through damaging extraction processes to be harvested and deodorized. This oil does not even belong in the human body, yet it is the current oil of choice for prepared foods at Whole Foods Market.

 Video of how canola is made here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omjWmLG0EAs

Did you know cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death globally and in the United States? The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends canola and soybean oils as heart healthy oils in the place of “bad fats” like coconut oil. It is also recommended to replace butter with reduced fat, whipped, or liquid spread butters, which are almost always made with soybeans and canola oil, and oftentimes have trans fats, called partially hydrogenated oils. Trans fats are manmade fats, do not occur anywhere in nature, and are heavily linked to cardiovascular disease. Trans fats, hydrogenated fats, and highly processed vegetable oils are toxic to consume and interfere with the critical role healthy fatty acids play within the body. While saturated fat is very stable, polyunsaturated fats are unstable and oxidize when exposed to heat, light, and air. These fats go rancid and produce free radicals in the body, putting us in a pro-inflammatory state. Inflammation is the driver of all disease, especially cardiovascular. For these reasons, polyunsaturated fats should never be used for cooking due to their reactivity and instability

Stability and reactivity are important when considering good and bad cooking oils. When we hear good fat versus bad fat, the average American consumer, including plenty of trained experts and educators, think that bad fat means saturated fat. Despite what this popular misconception states, saturated fats are the best for cooking, as they are highly stable and hold up well to heat. Coconut oil, palm oil, ghee, and reserved animal fats are all excellent and stable options for cooking at high temperatures. Monounsaturated fats like olive oil and avocado oil are relatively stable and require very little processing, making them also safe to use in cooking, but at lower temperatures. The difference between good fat and bad fat is determined by the way they are processed, not in the inherent nature of their source, with the exception of canola, soy, and cottonseed oils, which should be avoided completely.

So why does the AHA publish this misinformation? There are a couple of things to keep in mind here. First is where they get their money, and second, where they get their information data from. The AHA is a nonprofit, so they need to make money on their research. These things come from the USDA, whose two key missions’ completely contradict one another. The first is to serve the health of the public, and the second is to maximize the economic growth and profit for the agricultural sector for the U.S. economy. The words “profit” and “growth” should not be listed next to the concern for the general health of the public. The support and research is in favor of big foods, instead of smaller companies who are doing the right thing. Because of these money driven guidelines, factory created fats and oils have become superior to the healthy fats we have been using forever.

 

 

 

 

 

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