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. 

Magnesium:  Nature’s Elixir for Good Health

Magnesium is responsible for over 3000 functions in the body.  It is safe to say that magnesium is the miracle mineral that makes everything communicate in the body, work, and fire correctly.

Let us explain it like this.  Our bodies need five things to survive, the macro-nutrients.  They are:

  • Proteins,
  • Fats
  • Carbohydrates
  • Water
  • & Air

(the last two are often overlooked, but they are in fact the most important nutrients and the ones you would die the quickest without).

Part of the problem today is that we focus more on getting the right amount of protein, limiting carbs and upping fats, than our minerals.  Fats, proteins and carbs don’t do us any good if we haven’t focused on our micronutrients – our minerals. 

Yes, it is true that for muscle growth you need to reach your daily protein requirements, but if you don’t have sufficient minerals, you will be unable to use proteins, carbs, and fats. 

Micronutrients are what enable us to use our macronutrients. 

In other words, if you are deficient in a mineral like magnesium (which up to 80% of the population is) then you will be unable to create energy, build muscle, or use sugars effectively and efficiently. 

What are signs of Magnesium Deficiency

Anxiety

Depression

Anorexia

High Cholesterol

High Blood Pressure

Obesity

Insulin Resistance

Hypoglycemia

Diabetes

PCOS

Infertility

What causes a magnesium deficiency and what can you do about it?

1) Make sure you are eating enough Magnesium.

Magnesium is found in the soil so if your diet is lacking in plant based foods it is likely that you will not be getting enough magnesium.

Living in Hawaii means that the majority of our fruits and vegetables are shipped in.  Time on a boat, time out of the soil, and time sitting on a shelf all make your food lose nutrients. 

To make sure you are getting the most nutrient rich food

Buy local first, and organic whenever possible. 

Buy frozen organic vegetables as they are picked at their most ripe and their nutrients do not deplete as they are shipped

Make sure 60% of your diet comes from vegetables

Don’t overcook your food.  Low temperatures are best.

2) Reduce stress.

When the body is under stress, it burns through minerals to alleviate the physical symptoms and biological response. 

Remember, your body does not know the difference between stress from paying bills, versus stress from running from a tiger.  Your hormones react the same way no matter what the kind of pressure. 

To reduce stress implement

  • a regular exercise routine
  • a mindfulness practice of some kind
  • time in nature
  • normal sleeping patterns

3) Avoid refined sugars. 

Sugar in small amounts (the natural kind) is necessary for the body; however, today we are bombarded with sugar. 

The average American consumes 150 lbs of added sugar a year, our bodies were not made to handle even close to this amount.  Because of this the incidence of insulin resistance and diabetes is on the rise. Adult-onset Diabetes has even been re-named as type II because younger and younger children are getting this preventable disease.

Sugar consumption is undoubtedly a factor in the decline of our health. However, mineral deficiencies, especially in magnesium are contributing. 

Magnesium allows our cells to be sensitive and responsive to glucose and as an added benefit it can help to curb sugar cravings.  If you suffer from any form of magnesium deficiency, it will be hard for you to use sugar property which can lead to hormone issues, muscle weakness, headaches, and unstable energy levels. 

4) Consider supplementing

Magnesium is perhaps the one supplement you should be taking.

This supplement is relatively inexpensive and safe to take daily.  While food sources of magnesium are essential, it seems that in this day and age with soil quality the way it is, it is practically impossible to get enough magnesium just through diet alone. 

Magnesium Citrate is the best form to be taking.  A nightly supplement will also help you sleep better, aid in muscle recovery, and can stave off headaches. 

If you take only one supplement for your health, magnesium should be it. 

So, what is the conclusion?  Eat lots of plants, play in the soil and get outside.

And take a nightly supplement of magnesium.  Magnesium will help you sleep like a baby and you can relax even more knowing all the benefits it has for your body. 

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.

6 Tips For Eating Better While Out

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Tips to keeping weight down even when eating at restaurants.

1.  Hydrate – when dining in a restaurant, drink a full glass of water and eat a side salad before you order your meal.  You will be much less likely to order that huge bowl of pasta or to overeat.

2.  Share – split an entree with your spouse.  Most restaurant portions are about twice a normal serving size.  Starting with a salad will make it more filling.

3.  Alcohol – Keep in mind that if your liver is metabolizing alcohol, it’s not working on anything else, like fat.  Be mindful of the effect you’re having on your efforts to attain your goals when you make the choice to drink.  I still enjoy wine but I’m much more mindful of how much I’m taking in because I know I’ll have to work it off later.  If you are going to drink alcohol, consider drinks without sugar or wheat such as vodka soda with lime instead of beer or a margarita.  Try drinking dry red wines instead of sweet reds or whites.

4.  Substitutions – Don’t be afraid to ask for an extra side of vegetables instead of rice or potatoes.  You’ll have much less of a blood sugar spike and you’ll actually be getting important vitamins, minerals and fiber as well instead of just empty calories.

5.  Plan your attack – before you get to the restaurant and face the onslaught of smells and appealing pictures, start thinking about what healthy menu items you could order or how you could modify things to make them healthier when you order.  I start thinking about how much I like the chicken salad when I am on my way to the restaurant or how I’m going to have a steak and make sure I get extra veggies instead of that baked potato.

6.  Skip dessert – don’t even look at the dessert menu.  It’s designed specifically to tempt you and the designers are very good at what they do.  If you can’t resist, then at least split the dessert between everybody at the table so you just get a couple bites instead of your own 500 calorie dessert.  Think of the calories in terms of how much you’ll have to exercise to work it off.  I think of a 500 calorie dessert as 5 miles of running.  Studies show that people tend to eat less when they think of calories in terms of how much they’ll have to work to burn them off.  100 calories takes a mile of running.