5 Reasons you should be taking the Holy Grail of Anti Aging – Vitamin

It is estimated that a whopping 1 Billion people in the world are deficient in Vitamin-D.

Vitamin D!  The sunshine vitamin, the vitamin that is touted as the “Holy Grail” of cancer prevention, the vitamin responsible for:

strong bones and teeth

good eyesight

prevention of osteoporosis

And the vitamin, that according to Dennis Mangan, Ph.D from the National Institute of Health has proven more powerful in preventing cancer than quitting smoking.

  how can that be that we are all deficient! 

Surely we are not all living in igloos and devoid of sunlight 365 days a year!

No, turns out that is not the case. 

So what is going on? 

What do you need to know about Vitamin D, and should you be supplementing?

What does Vitamin-D do?     

Vitamin D is perhaps one of the most important vitamins, it is strongly linked to:

  • Skin health,
  • Anti aging,
  • Brain health,
  • Bone health.

It is attributed to a beautiful tanned glow, rosy cheeks, clear skin, and has been proven as one of the best tools in treating psoriasis and some cases of eczema.

Vitamin-D also provides us with essential antioxidants which slow the signs of aging and protect our cells from free radical damage.

It is a bit of a warrior in your arsenal for health. 

Why is there such a high deficiency rate?

Up to 80% of the population in the united states is thought to be deficient in Vitamin D – and yes that includes Hawaii State residents.  Even the sunniest state is not immune to this epidemic. 

But why?

To start with Vitamin-D is a funny thing because it isn’t something we consume, it is something that our bodies make.  Foods can be fortified with Vitamin D, but that is not the ideal way to get it. 

The ideal way is to make it.   

In simple terms, when our bodies are exposed to sunshine, the oil in our skin (sebum) takes sunlight and sends it to the bacteria in our gut, which turns it into Vitamin-D. 

Essentially the bacteria in our gut poops out little Vitamin-D pills for us. 

That’s an elementary explanation, but for now, it will suffice.

So what in this process is broken and causing deficiency?  Well, it there are a few things …

1) Too many showers & harsh soaps

The oil in your skin is there for a reason.   It lubricates your skin, protects it from harmful bacteria, makes you waterproof, and is a natural sunscreen. 

Regularly washing with harsh soaps (and soaps that are not PH balanced) strips your skin of its “acid mantle.” 

* If you have ever felt tight dry skin after washing it means your acid mantle is gone and your body will go into overdrive to produce more oil for the next half an hour.  This is why stripping all the oil from your skin is not an effective way to treat acne, your body will actually fight to produce more. 

2) Foods with preservatives & antibiotics.

Vitamin-D is, in part, synthesized by healthy bacteria in our guts.  Antibiotics and preservatives are designed to kill these friendly little guys.

When we want food to have a long shelf life, we do it by making sure bacteria can’t survive on it.  Therefore when you eat these preservatives, you kill the very things that are trying to help you. 

Taking a probiotic can be a wonderful way to combat this, but you really need to avoid processed food. 

3) Not getting enough calcium or K2

Vitamin-D (as with most things) plays better with friends.  Calcium and K2 help you absorb and use vitamin-D. 

But when you hear calcium, please don’t think of milk. 

America currently has one of the highest consumption rates of dairy products and one of the highest rates of Osteoporosis.  Hmm, it seems milk doesn’t make your bones stronger … 

A much better source of calcium is dark green leafy vegetables gently cooked.

** Note: Do not trust blood tests for calcium levels.  If you take a blood test and it says your levels of calcium are fine, then it may not have be the whole truth.

Calcium is a mineral used to alkalize the body.  When your body becomes too acidic, from things like stress or dairy products, your body will create a process that leaches calcium from your bones to bring you to a more alkaline state.  This means that your blood test may show a normal level of calcium but your bones are telling a different story.  A bone density test is far more efficient and truthful. 

Do you have signs of Vitamin D deficiency?

There are many signs of Vitamin-D deficiency which include:

  • tiredness,
  • aches and pains
  • weak bones
  • brittle hair
  • skin rashes
  • psoriasis
  • type II Diabetes
  • or
  • No symptoms at all. 

Sound like everyone you know? Or maybe yourself? 

So, what is the best thing to do?  Get tested. 

You can ask for a 25-hydroxy vitamin D blood test – 25 OH D. 

Don’t worry if you don’t know what that is your Doctor will (and if they don’t you should find a new one!)

Should you supplement?

In short, yes. However, Vitamin-D is something that you can get too much of. 

Toxicity can occur if taken in excess of 1000-1,500 IU daily for a month or longer so make sure to check your levels with your Doctor to see where you’re starting from and how much you need to supplement with. 

Not only will testing help you determine how much you need, but it will also prevent you wasting money on excessive supplementation. 

What are some good food sources of Vitamin D? 

Vitamin-D can come from plant or animal foods.  It is found in:

  • Hemp
  • Mushrooms (if they have been exposed to sunlight)    
  • Cod liver oil
  • Sardines
  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Eggs,
  • Liver.
  • And of course the sunshine. 

Vitamin D should be obtained through direct (but gentle) sunshine. 

This does not permit you to go to a tanning bed, but the average caucasian person needs 10 minutes of direct sunlight all over the body to synthesize enough Vitamin D.  The darker your skin, the more sunshine you will need. 

The healthiest time for sunshine is between sunrise, and 10 am.   

Bonus points:  Direct sun exposure first thing in the morning followed by a cold shower has been shown to boost weight loss dramatically.   

Conclusion

The bottom line is that you should probably be supplementing with vitamin-D, calcium, and K2.  It is a great idea to get your levels tested, and this is a certainly a vitamin to pay attention to! 

Remember, food, sunshine, and supplement. 

The Six supplements that will make you more beautiful

Could the solution to your biggest beauty complaints be right on your doctor’s shelf?

Yes.

It’s a funny thing.  We often look to treat the skin from the outside, but beautiful skin comes from the inside.  Taking the perfect combination of vitamins, minerals, and hormones to “grow your glow” has much further reaching benefits than just a gorgeous complexion.

1) Krill Oil

I’m sure you have heard of fish oil, but have you heard of krill? 

It’s a super food very low in toxins and heavy metals unlike fish oil.  Consider this, it provides enough energy for a massive whale, so it can defiantly power away some wrinkles!  Now don’t worry you won’t turn into a whale from taking it, in fact, other than your hydrated, beautiful plump skin there will be nothing blubbery about you. 

Krill oil is high in DHEA – the hormone responsible for creating lean muscles.    

Krill oil is high on our list for a more beautiful complexion and toned body. 

2) Vitamin-C

Topically and internally vitamin-C is a powerhouse for the skin.  As one of the most potent, and inexpensive supplements out there it should be included in your medicine cabinet.

But please do not be fooled by vitamin-C products that contain high levels of food coloring and sugars.  Sugar blocks vitamin-C receptors in the body rendering your carefully marketed Airborne practically useless (although placebo is a powerful thing). 

In topical form, vitamin-C can be a little unstable, and therefore the good stuff can cost more (but still not an arm and a leg).  A nightly vitamin-C serum is a fantastic choice for preventative aging.  It has been shown to protect the DNA of the cell, increase cell turn over, and stop free radical damage which creates a glowing and clear complexion. 

To get vitamin-C in the diet eat the rainbow.  The more colorful the food, the more vitamin-C it will have.  Oranges are often looked to for vitamin-C, however, there are a few more heavy hitters that are forgotten:

  • Broccoli
  • Peppers
  • Chili Peppers
  • Papaya
  • Cauliflower
  • Pineapple
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Kiwis (including the skin if they are organic)
  • Mango

3) Magnesium

Magnesium calms you down, increases energy, builds electrical impulses and is a powerhouse for strong bones, teeth, nails, and hair.  It is actually responsible for over 3000 functions in your body.    

Magnesium can dramatically affect hair, skin and nails.  If you have dry flakey or brittle nails, this supplement is a must.  Magnesium is also wonderful for a condition called Keratosis Pilaris which shows up as rough, bumpy patches on the back of the arms, legs, and buttocks. 

** If you have this condition you may also be suffering from gluten or lactose allergy (or both, as they are very commonly found together).

4) Vitamin-D

Vitamin-D comes from sunshine and food can definitely “grow your glow.”  Of course, you have heard about the harmful effects of sunshine, but quite honestly it is an essential element to our survival, happiness, and beauty.  Without sunshine, you become depressed, overweight, anxious and suffer a myriad of skin conditions such as psoriasis or eczema.

It is estimated that up to 1 billion people in the world are deficient in this vitamin – could we potentially have 1 billion more glowing, beautiful people if we were to consider supplementing? 

There are many reasons we are all becoming vitamin-D deficient but this is a supplement you should consider taking, and it should also be taken in conjunction with vitamin-K2 and calcium (they are like the three musketeers for bone health).

For daily sun exposure, 10-20 minutes in morning sunlight is best. 

5) B-Vitamins

You have most likely heard of taking biotin for stronger fingernails and longer hair but a B-vitamin complex is a more well-rounded approach than just Biotin.

There are eight B-vitamins – and all of them have B for beautiful. 

B is also for bacteria.  There is a misconception that you need to get B-vitamins from meat sources.  This is wrong.  B-vitamins (as with many other vitamins) are synthesized in the gut by our friendly bacteria.  So we don’t actually get B-vitamins from meat products, we get them from the bacteria we consume when eating meat products. 

So taking a B-complex is a wonderful idea, but so is helping out your gut bacteria, which brings us to our last supplement.

6) Probiotics

Your gut is where it all starts, and when treating any skin issue, this is the true place to look at what is causing everything.  If your gut isn’t doing its jobs:

  • eliminating toxins
  • absorbing nutrients
  • stimulating hormone creation and balance
  • acting as an immune defense
  • producing vitamins

then your skin will suffer. 

You will see dark circles, puffy eyes, acne, melasma and premature aging from dehydration …

Unfortunately, in this day and age, our guts are under attack.  Antibiotics, preservatives and highly refined foods wreak havoc on this essential and fascinating part of our bodies. 

A probiotic acts as a fantastic insurance policy and helping hand to your gut.  Beware, many probiotics are formulated poorly and unable to make it through the stomach acid to the gut. 

A probiotic is worth the extra money, and when used consistently for three months (in combination with a proper diet) there should be no need to constantly take it.  A short course every now and again (especially after antibiotics or a period of bad eating) will do the job for a re-boot. 

So stop looking in the beauty isle for a solution to your skin troubles.  Instead look to where it all starts – your guts and your insides. 

10 Tips To Eat Better & Save Money

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Pick one or two of these tips each week and practice them until they become habits.

Do not try to institute all of these changes at once. Pick one or two each week and practice them until they become habits then add more. Go easy on yourself when you slip up, we all do, the key is to just move on and get back on track. You haven’t failed until you’ve quit.
1.  Modify your environment – place healthy foods on shelves at eye level, put unhealthy foods in the back of your lowest shelves. This is the same strategy that stores use to get you to buy certain products. You are much more likely to reach for the product that is within reach and easy to find.

2.  Don’t count calories, just avoid 6 things – If you do your best to avoid high carbohydrate, nutrient sparse foods then you really don’t need to count calories. Avoid to the greatest extent possible sugar, pasta, rice, potatoes, bread and other processed carbohydrates such as tortillas.

3.  Plan your meals for the week – sit down on a chosen day (I do this on Wednesday evening because I grocery shop on Thursday) and plan what you will be eating for breakfast, lunch and even dinner for the week. It will help you eat healthier and help you avoid decision fatigue during the week. I often leave weekends more open because I don’t know what the family will be up to. When you plan ahead, its 3 less decisions that you have to make each day. You will also spend much less time and money at the grocery store because you know exactly what you need for the week.

4.  Make your mornings easy – If you don’t plan your meals for the week at least take 5 minutes the night before to plan your meals for the next day. Planning ahead again limits decisions and helps you eat better. Buy a lunch box and Tupperware (some people prefer glass to avoid heating their food in plastic containers). Pack your lunch and snacks the night before. When you plan your calories for the day you stop just bringing in calories throughout the day mindlessly.

5.  Slow down and focus – It takes about 20 minutes for satiety signals from your stomach to reach your brain so eat more slowly and you will feel full from less. Do not watch TV when eating. Studies show that distracted eating leads to increased calorie consumption. Distracted people have also been shown to be more likely to give into temptation. Be mindful of your eating and your feeling of fullness. Pay attention to these signals and stop when you feel satisfied, not gorged.

6.  Don’t go hungry – eat before you go to the grocery store. When you’re nice and full at the store you will be much less likely to make impulsive buying decisions.  Make a list and stick to it. When you’re full and following a list you will be less likely to bring things into your home that will tempt you later. Make your home a relaxing place that is free from temptation. You face enough pressure and temptation everywhere else in your life.

7.  You’re not at a buffet – people will always eat more at a buffet because the food is there for you too look at and to tempt you. Do not serve your meals buffet style at home. Dish up in the kitchen and then put the food into containers and then into the refrigerator. You’ll be able to relax after dinner and you won’t be tempted to grab seconds. If you immediately pack the leftovers into small individual containers, you’ll already have your lunch ready for the next day.

8.  Use smaller plates – studies show that people given larger plates will serve themselves larger portions. It might sound like a psychological trick you’re pulling on yourself but using smaller plates will lead you to eat smaller, more reasonable portions.

9.  Hydrate – drink a full glass of water before you dish yourself up. If you’re having a salad, eat it before you serve yourself as well. Then drink a full glass of water with your meal as well. You’ll serve yourself more reasonable portions and you will feel much more satisfied.

10.  Make your dentist smile – brush your teeth immediately after dinner. Once you’ve made this effort, you will be much less likely to eat again because you know you’ll have to brush your teeth again. Also, not many things taste as good when you’ve just brushed your teeth.

Fraudulent Supplements At Major Retailers

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The New York Attorney General’s office targets retailers selling fraudulent and potentially dangerous herbal supplements.

In early 2015, an important news story broke in the New York Times. The New York Attorney General’s office accused multiple very popular stores including Walmart, Target and Walgreens as well as the supplement store GNC of selling herbal supplements that were both potentially dangerous and fraudulent.

Authorities conducted DNA testing on 78 bottles of the most commonly sold supplements at these major retailers and found that 80% of them did not containany of the herbs listed on the labels. Sadly, they contained little more than cheap fillers like powdered rice, asparagus, houseplants and other substances that could be dangerous to people with allergies. This is a gross example of how companies sometimes behave with a lack of government over sight. Many unsuspecting consumers assume that because these products are sold in reputable stores that they must be safe and contain what they say they contain. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth.

Their findings were shocking:

  • A popular brand of Ginseng at Walgreens contained only powdered garlic and rice.
  • Ginko biloba sold at WalMart contained powdered radish, houseplants, and wheat, despite its label claim of being wheat and gluten free.
  • Three out of six herbal products at Target– ginko biloba, St. John’s wort, and valerian root tested negative for these herbs, but contained instead powdered rice, beans, peas, and wild carrots.
  • GNC sold products with unlisted fillers like powdered legumes, which includes peanuts and soybeans, which are hazardous to people with those allergies.

At Elite Health Hawaii, we ensure that our nutraceuticals meet the highest clinical standards. There is a vast difference in quality between our pharmacy grade nutraceuticals and typical products sold over the counter, as cited above by the New York Attorney General’s office. In 1994, the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act was passed, removing third-party oversight from nutraceutical manufacturing. Unfortunately, this has led to an increase in fraudulent active ingredient label claims and dangerous non-disclosure of actual compounds being used.

The reasons are very clear as to why patients should use Elite Health pharmaceutical grade supplements over “similar” low-cost products found at many local health food stores. Our manufacturers are uncompromising in the following areas:

  • Quality of raw material sourcing
  • Testing for identity, purity and contamination
  • Unique formulations with synergistic blends

All Elite Health supplements are manufactured in the U.S. and undergo extensive testing to ensure they are of the highest quality. Raw materials are sourced from around the world and are carefully analyzed for potency and purity before ever being accepted for production. Each nutritional supplement in our formulary is manufactured according to the latest FDA-certified standards and undergoes independent third-party analysis to ensure its safety and efficacy. Elite Health Hawaii works with manufacturers who hold certifications from accredited, independent third-party organizations that test and certify products to verify they meet public health and safety standards.

The facts speak for themselves. Don’t jeopardize your health by taking a supplement with undisclosed and potentially harmful ingredients. It is critical that you spend a little extra to get much higher quality ingredients that actually work and improve your health!

Read the original article by clicking on this link.

Glucose Levels And Risk Of Dementia

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An examination of the relation between glucose levels and dementia.

I recently read a thought provoking article recently with some very interesting findings. It was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2013. It’s a little thick with medical terminology but made some very interesting discoveries. There are a lot of experts who are starting to refer to dementia (such as Alzheimer’s disease) as type 3 diabetes based on findings similar to the findings in this study. Bottom line of the article: even low levels of blood glucose elevation over time, will severely increase risk for early dementia. So those levels that most doctors consider normal, may be more dangerous than we realized.

It is the central adiposity or “belly fat” that causes insulin resistance and leads to chronically elevated glucose levels. This is one of the leading causes of heart disease, stroke and now we realize, dementia. It is very unfortunate that so many people suffer from disease that can be prevented. Although our programs lead people to have more energy and look better than they have in years, the part I like as a physician is the prevention of these deadly diseases.

Sadly though, most people do not address the root causes of their difficulties and so wind up carrying around a bunch of extra weight and suffering from insulin resistance, chronic inflammation and disease. It’s also the “belly fat” that is pro-inflammatory. Until patients address the root causes, which are very often hormone and metabolic imbalances, they will most likely never succeed in losing the weight they desperately need to lose and in fact, continue to decline.

I hope that you’re considering joining one of our programs so that we can halt these processes that may already be at work inside of you. Whenever you are ready to make the commitment to your health that will allow you to feel terrific, look great and prevent chronic disease/disability, contact us immediately.

Read the original article by clicking on this link.

Testosterone Therapy and Cardiovascular Risk

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Many of our patients are initially concerned regarding the safety of testosterone replacement therapy.

 

Many of our patients are initially concerned regarding the safety of testosterone replacement therapy. I want all of my patients to always be able to share any concerns with me and this is probably the most frequent question I hear.

A lot people have questions given what has been in the media recently. Unfortunately, the media tends to hype whatever will sell more papers rather than good science. Here is an excellent article from a very reputable source, the Mayo Clinic, that is very in depth. It reviews many scientific articles regarding the safety of testosterone replacement therapy.

It is quite long and full of a lot of medical jargon but bottom line up front – testosterone replacement therapy is safe and in fact actually beneficial to patients’ cardiovascular health. Like any medication, you must select the proper patient population and then provide monitoring after administration. This is no different from how I would treat any other prescribed medication.

 

Here is a little synopsis:

“Only 4 articles were identified that suggested increased CV risks with T prescriptions: 2 retrospective analyses with serious methodological limitations, 1 placebo-controlled trial with few major adverse cardiac events, and 1 meta-analysis that included questionable studies and events. ”

All of the studies that they found that suggested any risks with testosterone therapy were significantly flawed studies. This is something the media will never tell you. They do not analyze the studies for quality, they only cover them if it makes an interesting headline.

“In contrast, several dozen studies have reported a beneficial effect of normal T levels on CV (cardiovascular) risks and mortality. Mortality and incident coronary artery disease are inversely associated with serum T concentrations (LOE IIa), as is severity of coronary artery disease (LOE IIa). Testosterone therapy is associated with reduced obesity, fat mass, and waist circumference (LOE Ib) and also improves glycemic control (LOE IIa). Mortality was reduced with T therapy in 2 retrospective studies.”

Inversely associated means that as testosterone levels increased, mortality and incident coronary artery disease decreased. Other studies showed multiple other benefits including the biggest of all – decreased mortality.

 

“Several RCTs in men with coronary artery disease or heart failure reported improved function in men who received T compared with placebo. The largest meta-analysis to date revealed no increase in CV risks in men who received T and reduced CV risk among those with metabolic disease.”

RCT stands for randomized controlled trial. It is the gold standard for design in a medical study. So the best type of scientific study that there is found improved heart function. A meta-analysis is when we take a bunch of studies and combine them and look at their aggregate findings. When done properly, this is a very powerful method because it gathers data from many patients. This well done meta-analysis shows reduced CV (cardiovascular) risk.

After looking at the evidence, I believe that testosterone therapy it is truly safe and actually quite beneficial. Like all medical therapies, it must be done correctly and with close monitoring. This is why I believe that all of these “low T” clinics that you see popping up all over the place are unsafe. I do not believe that they do a thorough enough evaluation of their patients and they do not provide close monitoring. They also only evaluate one hormone (we evaluate almost a dozen). Optimized hormones are only one aspect of healthy aging. Our program is founded on the most thorough evaluation available, a fully individualized plan and very close monitoring by your physician, exercise counselor and nutritionist.

Read the original article by clicking on this link.

Health Care vs. Sick Care

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Preventative action makes all the difference.

Too much of modern medicine has become about waiting for disease to develop then trying to do something about it after it is too late.At Elite Health Hawaii, we take a truly proactive approach to preventing diseases such as heart disease, strokes, dementia and cancer from ever developing in the first place. Our in depth, comprehensive executive health evaluation allows us to see signs of disease 5 to 10 years before it develops then to take action to prevent the manifestation. We recognize the little red flags and take action before they become issues.

Waiting for patients to develop high blood pressure or high cholesterol or obesity or diabetes and then giving medications to try to address these issues is not prevention. We address the underlying disease processes rather than giving people medications to cover up what are actually symptoms of the true underlying disease process. For example, many of our patients come to us and report they’ve been told that they have normal blood sugar levels so they are not diabetic or pre-diabetic.

If you are even 20-30 pounds overweight, it is highly likely that you are already experiencing insulin resistance and that you have elevated insulin levels. Even mildly elevated blood glucose levels, levels considered normal by most primary care providers, are associated with increased risk for the early development of dementia. We actually evaluate the insulin levels themselves, not just the blood glucose levels. This is one way we are able to spot impending disease before it develops and take action to prevent the development of diabetes.

Do not sit back and wait around for disease to develop, join on of  our comprehenseive proactive health programs and take control of your health.

The Silent Killer

Chronic Inflammation is an asymptomatic problem that we should all look out for.

Chronic inflammation is killing millions and almost nobody is talking about it. I recently read an article regarding chronic inflammation that I think does a very good job of summarizing the effects of chronic low grade inflammation. Chronic inflammation is often asymptomatic, you have no idea that it is at work inside you until you develop disease unless you get checked. More and more studies are coming out linking chronic inflammation with heart disease, diabetes, cancer and early onset dementia. Here’s a quick summary in case you don’t have time to read the article.

Half of all heart attacks happen in people with normal cholesterol levels. It is chronic inflammation which destabilizes plaques in the blood vessels and leads to heart attacks. This is also a likely mechanism leading to strokes.

Higher levels of inflammation increase your risk for developing diabetes. Central adiposity or “Belly Fat” releases inflammatory molecules which increase your risk for diabetes as well as many other diseases. We used to think that fat was inactive but we now understand that it is quite active and is like a sack of poison hanging around your mid-section. Elite Health Hawaii can help you get rid of as much of this belly fat as possible not only to help you look better but to decrease your risk for heart disease, cancer, strokes and dementia.

Chronic inflammation has been associated with cellular damage which can lead to cancer. It has also been linked to the development of precancerous colon polyps as well as esophageal cancer.

Alzheimer’s disease is associated with chronic activation of brain cells that lead to inflammation. Research suggests that aspirin and fish oil, both anti-inflammatory substances, may be useful in preventing dementia.

At Elite Health Hawaii, we not only assess your level of inflammation but we also give you the means to reduce the inflammation. Chronic low grade inflammation is the common thread among multiple diseases and the importance of reducing this inflammation can not be overstated.

Here’s a link to the article: http://www.inflammationresearchfoundation.org/inflammation-science/inflammation-details/time-cellular-inflammation-article.