Curt Hendrix Category

Puracol Feverfew for Migraines – A Real Plus!

June 20th, 2017

The herb Feverfew (Tanacetum Parthenium) has been recorded as a medicinal remedy for millennia.  One can find references to the Latin “febrefugia” from which Feverfew gets its name in Old Saxon records. Hildegard of Bingen, a great 12th century abbess and healer made mention of it in her herbal tomes. Febrefugia literally means “Fever flies,” and has always been used as a fever reducer among other purposes. In even more ancient times, the Greeks used Feverfew to treat melancholy which was characterized as much by debilitating headaches as it was by long-term depression.

Historically Feverfew has also been used as a dietary supplement for headaches, constipation, diarrhea, and dizziness.   But one of the greatest boons in the modern era is the discovery of Feverfew as an aid for migraine headaches.

FEVERFEW & MIGRAINES

Commonly recommended for its ability to support cerebrovascular tone, Feverfew is rich in compounds known as sesquiterpene lactones.  One of the more important of these compounds is parthenolide, which represents 85% of the sesquiterpene lactone content in Feverfew. Some scientific studies indicate that while parthenolide may be important there may very well be other phytochemicals in Feverfew that are as of yet unidentified and play a role in its effectiveness.

PURACOL FEVERFEW
Some studies of extracts of feverfew containing parthenolide yielded no significant benefits. This led researchers to believe that some of the unidentified phytochemicals may have been left behind during the extraction process. The ideal solution would be a non-extracted feverfew product that naturally contained high levels of parthenolide AND kept all of the other naturally occurring phytochemicals as well. For this reason Puracol Feverfew (AKESO HEALTH SCIENCE’S proprietary non extracted plant source for feverfew with high levels of naturally occurring parthenolide) was developed. Puracol Feverfew is just one of the reasons for the superior efficacy of MigreLief, which delivers optimal dosages of parthenolide. Scientific studies have found parthenolide inhibits platelet aggregation and the release of serotonin from platelets and polymorphonuclear leukocyte granules.* It has also been shown to inhibit pro-inflammatory prostaglandin synthesis and the release of arachadonic acid. Each of these phenomena is associated with migraines. European studies have shown the benefits of feverfew on long-term cerebrovasular tone in multiple human studies.

INHIBITING BLOOD PLATELET AGGREGATION
Feverfew can help to prevent the clumping together of platelets in the blood – part of the sequence of events leading to the formation of a clot)

Over aggregating of platelets in the blood appear just before a migraine forcing a release of serotonin. Serotonin causes the blood vessel to constrict.  Scientific studies have found parthenolide inhibits platelet aggregation and the release of serotonin from platelets and polymorphonuclear leukocyte granules, thus keeping the blood vessel normal resulting in less painful, less frequent or cessation of migraines.

Feverfew has also been shown to inhibit pro-inflammatory prostaglandin synthesis and the release of arachadonic acid. Each of these phenomena is associated with migraines. European studies have shown the benefits of Feverfew on long-term cerebrovasular tone in multiple human studies.

ACTIVATING DYSFUNCTIONAL BRAIN PROCESSES
Though the exact cause of migraines is not known, certain triggers like tyramine in aged cheeses, chocolate, scents/perfumes, bright lights, changes in weather/temperature/humidity/altitude, over-use of headache medications, stress, hormonal fluctuations and many more, can activate certain processes that increase the risk of migraines occurring.

The dysfunctional processes that these triggers can activate are:

*  Excessive platelet aggregation which can result in changes in blood vessels associated with migraines.

*  Decrease in the cellular energy reserves in the brain that are common to migraine sufferers.

NUTRITIONAL APPROACH – When Migraine Sufferers Get These 3 Factors Under Control – The Results Can Be Life Changing

1.  Maintain normal platelet aggregation
2.  Reduce or eliminate vasospasms
3.  Maintain normal mitochondrial energy reserve in the brain.
A Nutritional Approach to Migraine Control:  Riboflavin, Magnesium and Feverfew for maintaining normal cerebrovascular function.
All 3 of these ingredients are listed in the American Academy of Neurology’s Guidelines for Migraine Prevention.

Magnesium:  Research studies show that almost half of all migraine sufferers have low blood levels of Magnesium, which is critical in controlling vasospasms (the contraction and dilation of blood vessels in the brain which occurs during migraines).

Riboflavin:  Migraine sufferers also suffer mitochondrial energy deficiencies, which Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) can improve when given in high dosages.

Feverfew:  Research studies show Feverfew inhibits blood platelet aggregation and is anti-inflammatory.

For adults and children over the age of 2 who suffer migraines chronically, this combination is a great place to start and is a good alternative to the chronic use of NSAIDs like aspirin, and ibuprofen without the negative side-effects.  You can find these formulas at MIGRELIEF.com

 

To the Best of Health,
Curt Hendrix, M.S., C.C.N., C.N.S.

MIGRELIEF.com

 

The Truth About Eggs and Cholesterol

June 20th, 2017

How many times have you heard (perhaps even from your physician) to limit the consumption of eggs because they contain a lot of cholesterol and that by eating too many eggs, you will negatively affect your cholesterol levels?

Well, for those of you who love eggs but feel guilty eating them, there is some really good news.  All of those warnings about egg consumption were JUST PLAIN WRONG!

First of all, for about 70% of people, consuming cholesterol in your diet (from any source) has absolutely no meaningful effect on your cholesterol levels! There are several studies proving this and NOT one study showing that dietary cholesterol causes heart disease.

Secondly, it has been shown in the 30% of people whose cholesterol levels rise modestly when consuming eggs, that their LDL cholesterol particle size gets bigger….AND THIS IS A GOOD THING.

Dr. Maria Luz Fernandez of the University of Connecticut’s Department of Nutritional Sciences summarized the results of egg consumption on blood cholesterol levels. In children aged 10-12, in men aged 20-50, in premenopausal and postmenopausal women, in whites and Hispanics:  two or three eggs per day has little or no effect on the blood cholesterol levels of over two thirds of the population. (1)

But there was even good news in the less than 1/3 of the population whose cholesterol did go up with egg consumption.  Their good and bad cholesterol went up equally and there was no change in their ratio of LDL to HDL or even the ratio of LDL to total cholesterol both of which are considered much more important than total cholesterol levels.

But the good news continued. It turns out that the LDL in egg eaters actually became safer. When LDL particles are small and dense, they can more easily penetrate into the lining of your arteries and cause plaque. The LDL in egg eaters got larger and fluffier making it safer and less susceptible to damage from oxidation and less susceptible to causing plaque in the arteries.

In addition, other health benefits of eggs are:

1- Eye health – May help prevent macular degeneration and cataracts because of lutein and zeaxanthin levels they contain
2- Provide high quality protein and essential amino acids
3- Contains Vitamin D
4- Possible breast cancer prevention – in one study, 6 eggs per week reduced risk by 44%
5- Healthy hair and nail due to high sulfur content

 

Click here to listen to my radio segment about cholesterol, discussed on the Dr. Tony O’Donnell Show!

 

To the Best of Health,

Curt Hendrix,  M.S., C.C.N., C.N.S.

 

(1)-Fernandez ML. Dietary cholesterol provided by eggs and plasma lipoproteins in healthy populations. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2006;9:8-12.

Life Extension Smoothie – Powerful & Important Health Benefits

May 29th, 2017

I created the Life Extension Smoothie to provide some of nature’s most protective, healing and perfect nutrients to protect against those factors that cause aging and disease.  There are numerous benefits to combining ground organic flax-seed, omega 3 & 6 essential fatty acids and blueberries in a delicious protein smoothie.  These benefits are described below following the recipe.

LIFE EXTENSION SMOOTHIE

  • 8 oz. (227 gm) Frozen Blueberries
  • 2 Tbs (30 gm) Ground Flax Seed Powder
  • 1 Tbs (15 ml) Barlean’s Omega Twin (Organic Flax & Borage oils)
    • May substitute another brand or just flax oil)
  • 1 scoop  MRM Natural Whey Protein Powder (low carb and no sugar or artificial sweeteners)
    • May substitute with any nutritious  low/no sugar whey protein powder.  A vanilla protein powder will add to it’s delicious taste.
  • 16 oz. Water (474 ml)
  • 1 tsp (5 gm) Cinnamon Powder
  • 4 Ice cubes (adjust to preferred thickness)

Blending Instructions

Add the ice, blue berries, flax-seed powder first, then add the oil and cool water.  Blend on low for about 10 seconds, then on high for a minute or more.  Drink first glass.  Re-blend for 20-30 seconds, drink balance.

Health Benefits:

Flax Seed Powder – Flax is a blue flowering plant that has attracted the attention of medical researchers around the world.  Not only is it a source of two different kinds of dietary fiber (soluble & insoluble, each with different health benefits), it is also a source of powerful, health promoting Omega-3 essential fatty acids.  Flax seed is the single highest source of”LIGNANS” which protect our body against cellular damage and unhealthy cellular changes.  Flax seed has been studied for the following conditions: heart disease, prostate cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, esophageal cancer, oral cancer, menopause, PMS, kidney disease, constipation, Irritable Bowel syndrome, diabetes, peptic ulcer, hemorrhoids, weight loss and mineral absorption.

Flax Seed Oil – Flax oil contains Omega 3 essential fatty acids or EFA’s.  These are the “anti-fat” fats that make foods like flaxseed and certain cold water fishes like salmon, herring and mackerel so healthy. The EFAs are the good fats that fight the bad fats we get in our diet from junk food and processed foods that are almost impossible to avoid.  The highest quantities of Omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is present in flax-seed.  ALA is the parent from which EFA and DHA (the healthy fish oils) are derived.  ALA converts to compounds called prostaglandins. These compounds can be either inflammatory and anti-inflammatory. ALA converts to anti-inflammatory types of prostaglandins and since most degenerative disease all have inflammatory components, ALA is a welcome ally.  In fact studies have shown that ALA prevented platelets (red blood cells) from clumping together which can be a factor in heart attack. It has been known to increase the elasticity of heart arteries, and lowers risk of heart attack and stroke. A study also showed that women who have breast cancer had very low levels of ALA in their breast tissue compared to women with healthy tissue.

Borage Oil – Borage is a plant whose flowers and leaves as well as the oil from its seeds are used as medicine.  Borage seed oil contains a high content of the essential fatty acid known as gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). GLA is part of the inflammatory mediation process and therefore the oil might be expected to have an impact on a variety of diseases and inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, and atopic eczema.  Combined with fish oil, borage seed oil has shown improvement in bone density in a study of elderly osteoporotic women.  A study also concluded that GLA may hold promise for treatment of diabetic neuropathy.

Every cell in our body is enclosed by a cell membrane which plays a role in determining many cell functions, including what healthy or unhealthy things get in or out of our cells. Almost 25% of the cell membrane is conmposed of what should be healthy “phospholipids” (good fats).  Unfortunately because you get so very little of the good fats from sources like flax oil and borage oil, and so many of the bad fasts from the typical western diet, that the body uses what it has (the bad fats, disease-causing trans and saturated fats) and incorporates the bad fats into these very critical cell membranes.  The very nature, integrity and function of the cell membrane worsens, and a critical mechanism that we rely on to stay healthy and stay alive is seriously changed and compromised.

THE GOOD NEW IS... By switching to a combination of flax-seed oil and borage oil (such as Barlean’s Omega Twin or various brands of the individual oils combined), the body will begin to incorporate the “good fats” back into your cell membranes and re-establish cell membrane integrity and give you back the powerful protection that healthy cell membranes provide to our bodies. Matter of fact, the very process of AGING is associated with organic and biological changes in things like cell membranes.  These EFA’s by protecting cell membrane integrity are combatting some of the cumulative negative effects of aging and poor dietary habits.

Blueberries – All fruits and vegetables contain varying amounts of some powerfully protective and health promoting compounds called phytochemicals.  One class of phytochemicals, “flavonoids” has an impressive range of heath benefits.  Blueberries seem to have the most impressive combination of phytochemicals, especially flavonoids compared to other fruits and vegetables.  A 2017 double-blind, placebo-controlled trial has shown that blueberries can improve some aspects of cognition in older adults. Studies also suggest blueberries can inhibit the growth of liver cancer growth, and can help preserve cognitive function in post-menopausal women and decrease their risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.   Blueberries also have amazing anti-oxidant powers that can protect you and your loved ones from most of the illnesses and diseases we all worry about.

We all know that we need oxygen to stay alive.  But one of the byproducts resulting from the burning of oxygen is the production of potentially dangerous and unstable molecules called “FREE RADICALS”  These free radicals are missing an electron and want to get that missing electron from somewhere in our bodies.  They do this by attacking a healthy cell. This attack can cause the cell to die or to mutate… Neither option is a good choice!  Fortunately both our bodies and certain foods can provide us with antioxidants that can neutralize these dangerous free radicals before they attack our cells.  Because there are many different types of free radicals the real trick is to know which of the many antioxidants can neutralize as many of the different types of free radicals as possible.  This is where the simple blueberry shines. The United States, National Institutes of Health found that blueberries containing antioxidants may act to protect the body against damage from oxidative stress, one of several biological processes implicated in aging and in the development of a number of neurodegenerative diseases.  Compared to 40 other fruits and vegetables measured for their anti-oxidant activity, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has ranked blueberries, by far and away the best.

Cinnamon – Proven health benefits of cinnamon are:  high source of antioxidants, contains anti-inflammtory properties, protects heart heath, fights diabetes, helps defend against cognitive decline and protects brain function, may help lower cancer risk, fights infections and viruses, while protecting dental health and freshening breath naturally.

Whey Protein – Whey protein is considered a complete protein and contains all 9 essential amino acids and is low in lactose content. People commonly use it as supplementation, alongside resistance exercise, to help improve muscle protein synthesis and promote the growth of lean tissue mass. Whey protein enhances immune function, may lower blood pressure, treat type-2 diabetes, reduce inflammation, may be beneficial for inflammatory bowel disease, and enhance the body’s antioxidant defenses as well.

The “Life Extension Smoothie” makes it easy for people to incorporate these incredibly healthy ingredients and nutritional treasures into their diet effortlessly. Enjoy.

To the Best of Health,

Curt Hendrix, M.S., C.C.N., C.N.S.

 

Do You Really Want to Put Your Child on Drugs for ADHD?

May 28th, 2017

ADHD HelpThe diagnosis of ADD and ADHD has risen by close to 50% over the last decade or two and this is in part due to the fact that more drugs are being pushed so more physicians are diagnosing the condition. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a brain disorder marked by an ongoing pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or developement.  ADHD represents one of the most common disorders of childhood. The condition often persists through adolescence and can continue to adulthood.

It is normal to have some inattention, unfocused motor activity and impulsivity, but for people with ADHD, these behaviors:  are more severe, occur more often and interfere with or reduce the quality of how they functions socially, at school, or in a job.  Other conditions, such as learning disabilities, anxiety disorder, conduct disorder, depression, and substance abuse, are common in people with ADHD.   Some people may have only one of these behaviors, for example inattention without being hyperactive.  Children however often have both.

Anybody who follows my research, articles or radio broadcasts knows that except for life-threatening emergencies, I am generally against taking drugs before implementing lifestyle modifications and exploring the possible use of nutritional supplements that have been proven to be safe and possibly effective.  Patients and physicians are often misled to believe that drugs are generally safe and effective and the passage of time often proves this to be incorrect.

It is my opinion that we are “drug crazy” in the United States and when it comes to kids with ADHD, parents are often pressured or at least not offered options other than treating their child’s symptoms of ADHD with medication.  For example, in the UK it is recommended that physicians NOT put children with mild to moderate ADHD on medications, yet in the U.S., the American Academy of Pediatric guidelines are the opposite, with drugs being recommended as first line therapy.

I read an analysis done by MedPage about a study done on children diagnosed with ADHD who were put on medications to treat the condition. When you read just how kids with ADHD who were given drugs fared, you will wonder who besides the drug companies are benefitting from these drugs recommended as a first-line therapy?

Before discussing the results found in this most recent study, it is crucial to know that a previous study  funded by the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health and published  in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry found that ADHD treatments are not working for most young children and that symptoms continued over a six year period despite being on medication.  90 percent of the children continued to experience symptoms.  Symptoms were just as severe for kids on the drugs as those who were not taking any drugs. Of participants, 62 percent of the children taking anti-ADHD drugs had significant hyperactivity and impulsivity, compared with 58 percent of children not taking medication. Moreover, 65 percent of children on medication also had serious inattention, compared with 62 percent of children not taking drugs to treat ADHD.

The information reported in a new study, is just as alarming and upsetting.  Recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association-Pediatric, this study was conducted by researchers/scientists at the University of Glasgow in Scotland.  It was not surprising to learn that children diagnosed with ADHD performed worse in school, and were more likely to be hospitalized for any reason including injuries than children without ADHD.

The authors followed children who were not only diagnosed with ADHD but were specifically put on medications to treat the condition.  Almost 800,000 children from ages 4-19 were followed for a four-year period and the following results were reported…

These medicated children:

1- Were 5-6 times more likely to be excluded from school

2- Were significantly more likely to have special needs (mental health, learning disability, autism)

3- Were 42% more likely to be unemployed and 3X more likely to experience lower academic achievement.

4- Were more likely to have poorer health outcomes.

Clearly parents should consider non-pharmaceutical options.

So what should  a parent of a child diagnosed with ADD or ADHD do before considering placing a child on these questionable drugs?

Get your child off of processed foods (sugary cereals, processed meats, fast foods, sugary drinks like soda and significantly reduce sugar intake in general and no artificial sweeteners.  It is best to eat unprocessed, whole foods.  Additives including artificial sweeteners, preservatives and colorings may be especially problematic for those with ADD or ADHD.  Have him or her do the following:

  • Eat a couple of eggs for breakfast, more salads and vegetables, fish and free range chicken breast
  • Eat a fish oil product that provides a total of 1500 mg/day of EPA and DHA
  • Take a daily B complex vitamin (50 mg) and zinc (15 mg/day).  B Vitamins help maintain a healthy nervous system.
  • Take at least 250 mg/day of magnesium
  • Take a daily probiotic from a well-known company or eat some greek yogurt (low sugar) or even a spoonful of sauerkraut a day if they like the taste.

I think you and your child will see considerable improvement in his/her symptoms and you may be able to avoid the risks associated with prescription drugs.

To the Best of Health,

Curt Hendrix, M.S., C.C.N., C.N.S.

 

 

Paying Attention to Your Gut Pays Off!

May 26th, 2017

Gut Health & ProbioticsMany people might be surprised and intrigued to learn that we have what could be considered a second brain or additional nervous system located in our gut. Our gastrointestinal tract works hard to keep us healthy and happy but we can face major health consequences when our gut health is compromised.

Our gut is an entire ecosystem of bacteria and yeast, some are beneficial while others are toxic. The human body contains about 100 billion bacteria cells. Only 10% of the cells in our body are human, the rest are microbial. Keeping this system healthy and balanced is crucial to our short and long-term health and even our longevity.

The Role of Probiotics in Gut Health
A probiotic is any food or substance that maintains or restores the balance of healthy and unhealthy microorganisms like bacteria and yeasts in our gut.  Since the number of microorganisms in our gut outnumber the human cells in our body, you can begin to imagine why maintaining a healthy balance or correcting dysbiosis (an unhealthy balance of pathogenic organisms to healthy ones) is very important.  Other than our skin, our gut is our primary contact with the outside world and a major entry point for pathogenic organisms.  A very large percentage of our immune response is based upon phenomenon that occur in our gut (lymph tissue, white blood cells etc).

Dysbiosis has been associated with: heart issues, diabetes, obesity, chronic fatigue and cancer.  It can also lead to depression, autism, obsessive-compulsive disorder, autoimmune diseases, and Alzheimer’s just to name a few.  This link may be due to intestinal bacteria’s ability to make small molecules (called metabolites) that can reach the brain and impact how it works.

The plethora of microorganisms in our gut communicate with our brains via chemicals, hormoness, enzymes and specific nerve connections between this gut-brain axis which is referred to as the enteric nervous system or second brain.  This could explain such expressions as: having a gut feeling, or doing a gut check.

Some evidence suggests that it is not the presence or absence of one bacteria that makes up a healthy gut, but rather the diversity of bacteria.  Because there are dozens or more of good microorganisms in our guts, I feel that food sources of probiotics are far favorable to taking probiotics supplements because they have multiple strains of the different probiotics which are naturally occurring and much more likely to provide over-all balance.

The best sources of probiotics are from fermented foods.  Originally fermentation was used to naturally preserve foods so they would last longer but the process also significantly enhanced the concentration of healthy probiotic microorganisms as well.

Probiotic Food sourcesFermented foods which are EXCELLENT SOURCES of multiple types of probiotics are:

·         Kefir – Kevita is a brand I am not associated with, but really like.  It is a sparkling, low sugar, high probiotic drink that comes in many flavors.

·         Sauerkraut – Tastes great and comes prepackaged or in jars carried by supermarkets and health-food stores.

·         Red Miso Paste – If you like miso soup you will enjoy its taste as well.  You can eat the paste by itself or mix it with something.  I like mixing it with sauerkraut.

·         Organic Yogurt – I prefer yogurt that is low in sugar and organic or made from goat’s milk.  You can sweeten the yogurt with natural non-caloric sweeteners like stevia or erythritol or a combination of the two.

Beware of Antibiotics
When pathogens enter our body, they can sometimes cause infections, which are often treated with antibiotics.  Unfortunately, antibiotics kill off both good and bad gut microorganisms thus creating an imbalance/dysbiosis.  Poor diet and especially too much sugar can have the same effect.

Paying attention to your gut pays off!  Our food choices greatly influence our bacteria population.   Supplementing with probiotics or adding probiotics foods daily to your diet while trying your best to eat more plant-based foods and to reduce sugar consumption can lead to large and noticeable improvements in your over-all health, extend your life and increase your sense of physical and cognitive wellbeing.

To the best of health,
Curt Hendrix, M.S., C.C.N., C.N.S.

 

 

Children’s Headaches Rarely Linked to Vision Problems – Ophthalmologists Agree

May 10th, 2017

A common assumption is that headaches in children might be related to poor vision. Often times, children who complain of headaches (as well as visual issues) are referred to pediatric ophthalmologists.  It is estimated that 25% of pediatric patients who see an ophthalmologist for headaches meet the diagnostic criteria for migraine. The percentages were the same for male and female patients.

In addition to head pain, during a migraine attack, some children may experience blurred vision, perception of jagged lines, or partial loss of vision. Ophthalmologists should remain cognizant of the prevalence of pediatric migraine and consider it in pediatric patients complaining of migraine symptoms.

Opthalmic migraines much more commonly (but incorrectly) called “ocular migraines” by laypeople are painless, temporary visual disturbances that can affect one or both eyes and may last only 20 – 30 minutes. If the visual disturbance is followed by a throbbing one-sided headache, it is referred to as “migraine with aura” (classic migraine) and the visual disturbance is called an aura rather than an ocular migraine. A migraine without a visual disturbance is called a migraine without aura (common migraine). ocular/opthalmic migraines are believed to have the same causes as migraine headaches.  Unfortunately a visit to the eye doctor may not help much in terms of how to treat or prevent ocular migraines as the vision symptoms that accompany ocular migraines are not related directly to the eyes but rather to the migraine activity in the brain.

Children’s Headaches Rarely Linked to Vision Problems
Regarding headaches… In a study conducted by pediatric ophthalmologists at Albany Medical Center in New York State, researchers reviewed medical records of children under age 18 who were seen at the clinic between 2002 – 2011 and all had received complete eye examinations. The findings showed there was no significant correlation between children’s frequent headaches and a need for vision correction.  “We hope our study will reassure parents that in most cases, their children’s headaches are not related to vision or eye problems…” said Zachary Roth, MD, an ophthalmologist who led the research team.

What to Do if a Migraine Diagnosis is Made
If a diagnosis of migraine is made, before referring out to a pediatric neurologist, ophthalmologists may want to place pediatric patients on a combination of nutritional supplements that many pediatric neurologists recommend to maintain normal cerebrovascular function. These ingredients are:

  1.  High dose Riboflavin (Vit-B2)
  2.  Magnesium
  3.  Feverfew

    All 3 ingredients are listed in the American Academy of Neurology’s Guidelines for Migraine Prophylaxis.

To the Best of Health,

Curt Hendrix, M.S., C.C.N., C.N.S.
Chief Scientific Officer, Akeso Health Sciences
(800) 758-8746

The Costly American Healthcare System

April 13th, 2017

The power of huge corporations and politics adds up to Americans paying the most in the world for healthcare yet two years ago we were ranked dead last for the fifth time in the developed world and last year the World Health Organization listed the U.S as 37th in overall efficiency.  A few of the 36 countries that rate higher than the U.S. are France, Italy, Singapore, Spain, Israel, Austria, Portugal, Greece, Ireland, Columbia, Germany, the UK, Sweden, Canada, Chile…  The list goes on and on and it is a disgrace.

Furthermore, the United States health statistics seem to be getting worse. Last year, America was the only developed country in the world that experienced a decrease in life expectancy.

American’s pay 2-4 times more for the same pharmaceutical drugs purchased by citizens of other major countries. Pharmaceutical companies donate hundreds of millions of dollars to politicians in order to influence the price our American healthcare system pays for their drugs.  In fact, a study by Harvard researchers published in the Journal of the American Medical Association stated that the nature of the American drug market as designed and regulated by our government is to blame.  Other countries negotiate much harder to keep the drug prices down and are willing to say “No” to over priced drugs.

As a percentage of our gross domestic product, the U.S. cost of healthcare was 50% higher than France and almost double that of the United Kingdom yet we rank dead last. The profits of the huge healthcare and pharmaceutical companies are thriving but the American citizens are not.

Though dietary supplements were not shown by the CDC (Center for Disease Control) to have caused one death last year while prescriptions drugs were shown to have caused hundreds of thousands of deaths, district attorneys of some states, in my opinion, to further their own political careers and aspirations have attacked the supplement industry and conspicuously for the most part, have left big pharma alone.  This is politics at its worst.  These are attempts by politically motivated entities and individuals to divert our attention away from the very real and serious problems by worrying about what… Vitamins?

Obvioiusly, this is all very upsetting and we as American citizens are getting the raw end of the deal. I don’t know how to curtail the power that the money of huge corporations can buy politically but I do know what you can do to rely less on this broken American healthcare system.

You’ve heard this before but you need to stay healthy:

  • Exercise, even if its just walking for10-15 minutes a day 4-5 times a week.
  • Cut back on sugar… Read labels and try to consume less than 50 grams a day of sugar, and cutting back on soda and deserts is a good place to start.
  • Take a multi-vitamin every day from one of the well known dietary supplement companies.
  • Get at least 7 hours a day of sleep.
  • Try to eat fish like salmon at least once a week, don’t worry about mercury, the issue is way over-stated and not of concern.

To the Best of Health,

Curt Hendrix, M.S., C.C.N., C.N.S.

Are You Taking 500-1,000 Mg of Vitamin C Daily?

April 12th, 2017

When we are run down, stressed or actually sick, our bodies burn through vitamin C at an alarming rate.  Once your vitamin C levels drop, your immune system becomes more compromised which could lead to other health issues.

This explains why we are able to tolerate much larger than normal doses of vitamin C than we would normally require when we have a cold or flu or other infections.

Interestingly, in healthy people who regularly consume vegetable and some fruits and/or supplement with vitamin C, recommended vitamin C levels are around 70 micromoles per liter yet these levels drop precipitously when we have a health problem.  For examples these levels drop to:

42 in diabetics

31 during pneumonia

<24 in cancer patients

27 in arthritic patients

Oxidative stress and systemic inflammation will also deplete vitamin C levels.

As these levels drop our immune function will also suffer.

The recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin C at 90 mg. is enough to prevent scurvy, a vitamin C deficiency but woefully too low to provide optimal levels of this vitamin.

I recommend 500-1000 mg/day of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) which is 5-11 times the recommended RDA.  Regular, inexpensive ascorbic acid is all that is necessary and don’t get caught up in all of the advertising hype about fancy and much more expensive forms of vitamin C being better or more bioavailable.

Vitamin C is protective on so many levels.  In addition to strongly supporting immune function, other proven benefits are:

1-      Protects against CVD (Cardiovascular Disease)

2-      Reduces the risk of stroke

3-      Protects our cells against radiation damage

4-      Protects against damage to our DNA

5-      Beneficial adjunctive cancer therapy (intravenous Vitamin C is often given to cancer patients).

6-     Beneficial anti-inflammatory

7-      Powerful antioxidant that also protects and restores other antioxidants

8-      Protects connective tissue, bones, arteries and skin

9-      Crucially beneficial to wound healing

10-   May reduce the duration and severity of the common cold and in higher doses may reduce flu symptoms

Vitamin C is one of the most important supplements to include in your diet to keep your body functioning properly. Whether you eat lots of fruits and vegetables or take it in caplet or powdered form, make sure to get at least 500-1,000 mg. double that if you are a smoker or drinker and don’t be afraid to really increase your intake when you are sick.

 

Click here to listen to my radio segment as we discuss Vitamin C on the Dr. Tony O’Donnell Show!

 

To the Best of Health,

Curt Hendrix, M.S., C.C.N., C.N.S.

 

Statin Drugs for Healthy People?

April 9th, 2017

Healthy People

So you’re pretty healthy and your doctor wants you to take a statin drug to lower your cholesterol… Should you take it?

If you are healthy, meaning you do not have uncontrolled high blood pressure,  type 1 or type 2 diabetes, and you have not been diagnosed with heart disease or have a family history of parents or siblings dying at relatively young ages of heart attacks, you should probably say NO to taking statin drugs.  This applies even if you are overweight as studies show that at least half of obese people are medically healthy.

Even in people with moderate levels of coronary artery calcium (hardening of the arteries), only 1 heart attack in 94 would be prevented by taking statins.  93 would have received no benefit but run the increased risks of developing liver damage, diabetes, dementia, peripheral neuropathy etc. In fact a study published in the Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology found that statin drugs may increase the risk of developing hardening of the arteries (coronary calcium) and the lead author stated –“I cannot find any good evidence to support people taking statin drugs!” One of the co-authors stated – “I don’t think statin drugs should have ever been approved.”

There is absolutely no quality evidence demonstrating that healthy people who take statin drugs to lower their cholesterol live longer, and in fact a fairly recent study in the BMJ (British Medical Journal)  stated that people over the age of 60 with high cholesterol live longer than people of the same age with lower cholesterol levels. The study reviewed the results of 19 published studies covering close to 70,000 patients.  (Gee, I wonder why that study was never mentioned by my local news channel? Anything to do with the billions of dollars of lost revenue if people stopped taking statins?)

Let me sum things up by quoting Dr. Rita Redberg, professor of medicine at University of California at San Francisco and director of Women’s Cardiovascular Services who stated in a published article – “ For most healthy people the data shows that statins do not prevent heart disease nor extend life or quality of life and they come with considerable side-effects. That’s why I don’t recommend giving statins to healthy people, even those with higher cholesterol… I can’t in good conscience recommend them.”

If you are healthy, do not worry about your cholesterol.  Instead focus on keeping your weight under control, eating vegetables daily, avoiding sugar and getting plenty of exercise.

To the Best of Health,

Curt Hendrix, M.S., C.C.N., C.N.S.

 

RELATED ARTICLE:  Do Not Take Another Statin Drug for Lowering Cholesterol Until You Read This!

What Do Weight-Gain, Poor Memory and Depression Have in Common?

April 8th, 2017

Stress and Forgetfulness WMany of you already know that stress is one of the most common migraine triggers.

STRESS CAN ALSO AFFECT HORMONES THAT CAUSE INCREASES IN ABDOMINAL FAT LEADING TO WEIGHT  GAIN, COMPROMISED MEMORY AND DEPRESSION.

HERE’S WHAT TO DO!

The stress hormone “Cortisol,” which is released by our adrenal glands, can protect us in dangerous or trying times but if the stress is constant, then it can lower your immune system and add dangerous life threatening fat to your abdomen.

Cortisol is important for maintaining blood pressure and providing energy for the body.  Cortisol stimulates fat and carbohydrate metabolism for fast energy, stimulates the release of insulin and maintains blood sugar levels. The end result of these actions can be an increase in appetite.

Research has consistently shown that stress can and does, in some people result in over-eating and weight gain.  Even if you usually eat well and exercise, chronic high stress can prevent you from losing weight—or add pounds.

Luckily, research is also showing that controlling stress can prevent weight gain.
Research published in the Journal of Obesity found that even without going on a formal diet, people who controlled their stress and just thought about what they were eating, prevented weight gain.

The question is, “How can I control my stress levels?”  Saying it is a lot easier than actually doing it  So what are some stress busting techniques that work?

1-    Certain B vitamins found in a B complex available in any health food store can help with the effects of stress on your body and hormones

2-    Regular exercise at least 3 times a week, for just 15 minutes,  if done in intervals (see 9XTrim Pulsed Interval Training explanation at 9XTrim.com) can be a major stress buster.

3-    An herbal extract of  Ashwagandha (one of the most powerful herbs in Ayurvedic herbal medicine) can really center you while decreasing the feelings of nervousness and anxiety caused by chronic stress.

4-    Meditation is a proven stress reducer.  Spending even a few minutes meditating can restore your calm and inner peace.  You can practice meditation wherever you are, whether you are walking, waiting for an appointment, or sitting at your desk.

5-    Structured breathing is very calming.  Breath in through your nose for 10 seconds, hold it for 30 seconds and then slowly release the breath through your mouth for 15 seconds.  Done once or twice every hour or two, can do wonders to keep you calm.

6-    Certain foods help reduce the effects of stress.  They are:

·         Oatmeal

·         Avocados

·         Walnuts, almonds, pistachios

·         Oranges

·         Salmon,Tuna

·         Spinach

 

In addition, consider using an Anti-Stress and Memory Enhancing nutritional supplement – Calm & Clever

Click here to listen to my radio segment about the effects of stress on the body, discussed on the Dr. Tony O’Donnell Show!

Now that you have a game plan, there’s no time like the present to improve your memory while getting calm, slim and happy!

 

To the Best of Health,

Curt Hendrix M.S. C.C.N.  C.N.S.

  • Categories
  • Recent Posts