In case you missed the CBS 60 Minutes special on sugar, here is the transcript and a link to see the presentation….and how wonderful that some mainstream scientists were able to pull off the technical studies that actually prove what alternative folks have been saying for decades: Sugar Is Toxic.
Autumn is in full swing and winter is around the corner. With these changes, vitamin D levels among the population on the North American continent north of the Mexico border drop. The fact is above the 45th parallel it is reported that from November to February/March, even on a sunny blue-sky day, the angle of the sun is such that vitamin D production when bare skin is exposed is dramatically diminished.
Many of us experience shifts in mood during the winter months. To offset winter mood imbalances, alternative health practitioners recommend that folks have their vitamin D 25 OH levels measured. The range is 20-100 for most laboratories. Yet, falling within the range does not necessarily mean you are good to go. For many, a target blood level of at least 55, for a 25 OH vitamin D blood test is considered beneficial. Of course the target blood range is different for everyone, and one’s health care provider can best determine what the best range is for a given individual. Also, it’s very important to take the blood test now through December, as Vitamin D declines in fall and winter if one isn’t taking any supplemental D.
From GreenMedInfo comes this great compilation of natural substances to take to increase immunity, or to hit a cold or the flu at the first signs:
While there are a broad spectrum of natural substanceswhich have been studied for their anti-influenza properties, vitamin D deserves special consideration due to the fact that it is indispensable to produce antiviral peptides (e.g. cathelicidin) within the immune system, and can be supported for pennies a day.
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2010, revealed that children receiving 1200 IUs of vitamin D a day were at 59% reduced risk for contracting seasonal Influenza A infection. Moreover as a secondary outcome, only 2 children in the treatment group versus 12 for the control group, experienced an asthma attack.
There are actually a broad range of preventive strategies that are evidence-based, and available without prescription.
1) Echinacea Tea: J Altern Complement Med. 2000 Aug;6(4):327-34
2) Elderberry: J Altern Complement Med. 1995 Winter;1(4):361-9.
3) American Ginseng: J Altern Complement Med. 2006 Mar;12(2):153-7.
4) Green Tea: J Nutr. 2011 Oct ;141(10):1862-70. Epub 2011 Aug 10.
5) Probiotics: Pediatrics. 2009 Aug;124(2):e172-9.
6) Vitamin D: PLoS One. 2010;5(6):e11088. Epub 2010 Jun 14.
And be sure to take Vitamin D3, which is the natural, assimilable form. Vitamin D2 is synthetic, and does not work as well.
The Internet is an incredible place for information…and as most of us have realized, not all info found here is accurate, factual, useful, understandable, or relevent. Many of the most popular health info sites on the Web are dominated by Big Pharma, the AMA, The Gates Foundation, and others allied to the current “sick-care” industry mis-named health care.
Since the mid-70’s, when I helped start a rural natural food buying club in southwestern Virginia, I have been studying many aspects of alternative health and lifestyles. The truth that consistently arises is: prevention is less time-consuming and less expensive than treatment. And way easier said than done! Also, many strategies for becoming and staying healthy have been marginalized, vilified, or ignored in the mainstream press. This is not to say that the alternative movement is perfect! We have our fair share of folks whose reach exceeds their grasp.
So here are six helpful sites I use, and my opinion (and me just say up front that it is an opnion, not absolute truth, whatever that might be) about each one. Notice that one is well served by an open mind and a sense of humor concerning the diversity of those who self-define as being “alternative.” AlterNet is a great source for news; their health info is both semi-main stream and many shades of alternative. Often excellent investigative reporting is presented about related health subjects (like food and water) to give one the “back story” or help explain why what is, is. For a good recent example click here to read about whistleblowers and food safety. Also at AlterNet (this was a good day for big picture info) is a story about our food growing system (the political aspect of farming). To read about it, click here.
Prevention may be key, but most of us are already dealing with “issues.” This next site addresses both. The GreenMed Info newsletter is always thought-provoking, and iconoclastic, as well as one of the most densely researched on the web. Click here for the issue on wheat, which will open a veritable Pandora’s box. GreenMed Info hosts the largest study-based, peer-reviewed alternative health data base on the internet, and it is free. With over 10,000 useful entries, this database has already helped a client of mine find the best supplement to take for his situation (and it is helping).
The Organic Consumer Association puts out a newsletter called Organic Bytes. This issue focuses on GMO, and what you can do to participate in campaigns to confront, halt, label, and educate. In case you are wondering what genetically modified food could have to do with health….well, check out this site, or the next two for way more info than you really want, but do need.
The next 2 sites are the most well-known, have the most advertising, and reflect the values of their authors. Both of these men do their homework, say what their opinion is up front, and cite their research. I may still quibble a bit here and there (both are prone to hyperbole), and you can find out a tremendous amount of info on a very wide range of health issues including healthy food (from the vegetarian and vegan point of view as well as the organic and free-range meat eaters), exercise protocols, supplements, herbs and healthy sleeping habits, as well as the more controversial and political issues like GMO, vaccines, pesticides, cell phone radiation problems, etc.
Last but not least is Byron J. Richard’s Wellness Resources. He always seems to come up with fascinating research (that he quotes and sites) often from mainstream sources. Click here for how the bacteria in our guts affects our brains. He also has a full range of info on his site. Like the other 2 men above, he is trying to sell you supplements.
OK, now for my 2 second infomercial! I have a supplement buying club that has a few openings. At some point later in blogdom I’ll elaborate. However, if you have read this far, take supplements, and would like a free 15 minute consult, call me toll-free @ 877-286-2970,