Archive for October, 2011

Lopid Used to Lower Cholesterol by Raising HDL

Lopid Used to Lower Cholesterol by Raising HDL
Lower cholesterol can be approached in different ways. One way is to raise the High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) or good cholesterol. Another is to reduce triglycerides. Lopid is a drug designed to do both in an effort to reduce the risk of heart disease. It is used in combination with popular cholesterol-lowering drugs.

Lopid, generically known as gemfibrozil, inhibits the release of triglycerides from fat tissue. It also raises HDL which is the body’s internal cleansing agent. HDL clears excess bad cholesterol, called Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL), as the blood passes through the arteries.

Most often Lopid is prescribed along with statin drugs which are intended to lower LDL cholesterol in the blood. This combination, however, was seen in one large study to actually increase one of the most dangerous side effects of statin drugs. Together, the drug combination can increase the occurrence of rhabdomyolysis which is a condition where the muscles breakdown, ultimately causing damage to the kidneys. This side effect is manifest by muscle soreness due to chemical by products of the breakdown. An inflamed pancreas is another side effect of Lopid that needs to be monitored.

The primary objective in prescribing Lopid is to reduce the incidence of heart attack in individuals who are at the greatest risk. Those with high triglycerides and low levels of HDL cholesterol are the most susceptible.

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Are You In The Dark About Lower Cholesterol?
© 2005 – Frank Mangano
A common drug used to lower cholesterol may have you in the dark both figuratively and literally. Zocor, (generic name, Simvastatin) is often prescribed to lower cholesterol, but has the side effect of making skin highly sensitive to sun light exposure. You might be spending your summers indoors instead of enjoying the many healthy activities you could be doing outside.

Zocor lowers cholesterol effectively when combined with a low cholesterol diet. It reduces fats in the blood that become dangerously high and clog arteries by making the fatty substance stick to the artery walls. This is a condition known as atherosclerosis, and is dangerous because oxygen to organs throughout the body is limited.

However, skin becomes sensitive to sunlight when a patient takes this particular statin drug. In order to enjoy the outdoors, be sure to use extra sunscreen and wear sunglasses and a hat to protect skin from harmful overexposure. You must also inform your doctor if you are taking any type of blood thinners, antacids, or even which vitamins you are taking so that more serious side effects do not occur.

You can often lower cholesterol without the use of prescription medications and without having to deal with unwanted side effects. Natural methods have been proven to be effective even in individuals with a family history of high cholesterol.

Following a diet high in selenium, chromium, and calcium are part of an overall diet plan that can lower cholesterol. The objective in lowering cholesterol is to lower the LDL cholesterol and raise the HDL cholesterol. Selenium has that ability to balance out the cholesterol levels of both types of cholesterol. You can learn how to accomplish lower cholesterol in two short months in the top selling book, The 60 Day Prescription Free Cholesterol Cure.

http://www.60daystolowercholesterol.com/statin-drugs/zocor.html

The fish-doctor cures skin diseases

The fish-doctor cures skin diseases
So many years people who suffer from psoriasis and other skin diseases, come to a small spa resort of Kangal in Turkey where the little fish can help them get rid of their ailments.
First, human skin, bathing in natural springs resort, is softened and warmed up, helped by a stable water temperature is 36-37 degrees at least effect, and a Jacuzzi. Due to such therapeutic mineral water fish can easily handle the affected areas of skin. At the local swimming pool are two kinds of fish – the first form removes dead skin cells, and the second sterilizes the skin and accelerates the healing process, due to abnormal processing of the skin of his saliva.

1. Fish – Doctor (Gara Rufa) is a rare species of fish living in the rich natural sources of useful substances. During treatment, they eat dead skin flakes damaged patient. They are now widely used to treat people who have psoriasis and other skin diseases.

2. Psoriasis ailing 26 – year-old native of Poland Michal Lisyak bathed in a pool filled with mineral water.

3. The photo shows the fish that eat dead skin particles sick person. 62 – year-old Gangor Aslan came to be treated in Kangal from Germany. Doctor fish is sometimes called the kissing fish or Asian, it multiplies the source of hot water near Kangal, a small town, located a hundred kilometers from a major Turkish city of Sivas.


4. Swimming in Cangallo filled with hot water from a nearby source, which floats Michal Lisyak. Such water is also very useful for patients with rheumatic diseases, neurological disorders, but often come here just to treat skin diseases.
5. Suffering from psoriasis from all over the world come to be treated in Kangal. Fish living in local sources, quickly eat a dead human body affected tissue without damaging healthy skin at the same time.

6. Healthy people also visit this resort to your own eyes to behold these wonderful fish. Healthy people in resort Cangallo procedure will be useful for getting rid of old dead skin cells and skin.

7. Treatment fish slowly swimming in the water surrounded by people starting to lick and nibble the skin softened in water, thermal spring, plaques, caused by psoriasis or other skin diseases.

8. Small bites of fish help your skin clear of dead small particles that can cause some bleeding. After that, clean the skin affected by water and sunlight.

8. Small bites of fish help your skin clear of dead small particles that can cause some bleeding. After that, clean the skin affected by water and sunlight.

10. Doctor fish, along with selenium-rich water have a therapeutic effect on the skin and mucous membranes.

11. The most useful 8-hour daily water treatments, with a total duration of treatment is three weeks. When all the necessary instructions highest performance is guaranteed by the treatment of psoriasis.

How a Doctor Reversed Her Husband’s Alzheimer’s Disease in 37 Days

How a Doctor Reversed Her Husband’s Alzheimer’s Disease in 37 Days

New breakthrough improves memory… restores lost brain function … and even revives dying cells!

by Frank Shallenberger, MD
If you’ve ever known anyone with Alzheimer’s disease, you know how heart-breaking it can be. Not only does it destroy a person’s mental abilities and dignity … but it wipes out the person’s very personality, leaving behind a mere shell of a human being. The body is there for you to see, but the person you know and love no longer exists.
That’s exactly what happened to my colleague Dr. Mary Newport and her husband Steve. As Mary describes it, “I was watching my husband of 36 years fade away.”
Things didn’t start out that way, of course. For most of Steve’s life, he was known for his quick wit and sharp mind. He could do complicated math in his head … take apart computers and repair them … fix practically anything else without instruction. If he didn’t have a tool to do something he would “invent” one and make a usable prototype. He was also a voracious reader. And he loved kayaking, cooking, landscaping, and caring for his two daughters.
Indeed, on the day the couples’ first daughter was born, Steve left his corporate job as an accountant so he could work from home. He took over as manager of Mary’s medical practice, handing all the accounting and administrative tasks. The practice grew by leaps and bounds.
Tragedy Strikes
But then Steve’s memory started failing him. At first, it was little things, like misplacing his keys and forgetting appointments. But then the lapses became more serious. He started making errors with the accounting and payroll. Forgetting whether had had made the bank deposits. Missing tax deadlines.
A psychiatrist diagnosed him as having depression, and put him on antidepressant drugs and psychological counseling. But of course, that didn’t help. Steve’s memory continued to get worse. He started getting lost while trying to drive home. He couldn’t even remember how to turn on the car’s windshield wiper.
By now it was clear that Steve had dementia. Mary wrote in her journal: “It has been a nightmare to watch his decline. Every night, we hold each other before we go to sleep and I wonder how many more times we will get to do this.”
Mary took Steve to a neurologist, who put him on the drugs Aricept, Namenda, and Exelon. But still, Steve continued to worsen. He’d spend his days walking around the house confused, wearing only one shoe. He couldn’t remember how to use a spoon or how to get water out of the refrigerator. At a family reunion, he no longer recognized close relatives. He even forgot that he had fathered his oldest daughter.
Mary did everything she could for Steve. She cooked for him, gave him his medications, helped him get dressed.
She also tried to enroll him in studies on new experimental drugs. But Steve scored so low on the mental exam that he didn’t qualify for the studies.
When Steve took the Mini Mental Status Exam (MMSR), he scored a 14 out of 30, which indicates severe dementia. And when he took a test where he was asked to draw a clock from memory, this is what he drew:
And that’s not all. When Steve took a genetic test for Alzheimer’s, he tested positive for the leading Alzheimer’s gene. And when he had an MRI of his brain, the MRI found a shrinking of the hippocampus and damage to his frontal and parietal lobes.
Still, there were brief moments when the old Steve would make a brief appearance. Sometimes he’d be able to hold a coherent conversation. Sometimes, he would even say something clever or crack a joke. One day, Mary asked if a certain phone call came and he said “no.” Two days later, he remembered the call and what the caller said.
In Mary’s words, it was “Strange to have no short-term memory and yet the information was filed somewhere in his brain. I knew he was locked up in there somewhere, if only there was a key to open up the areas of his brain that he didn’t have access to.”

Alzheimer’s and Coconut Oil

How worried should drug companies be about supplements eating into their monopoly profits? A lot—as this story will show. Please share it with anyone you know who is suffering from Alzheimer’s or is worried about it. Of course, just about everyone worries about Alzheimer’s. It currently afflicts 5.2 million people in the US and is the seventh leading cause of death. The cost of treating it is estimated at $148 billion.Mary Newport, MD, has been medical director of the neonatal intensive care unit at Spring Hill Regional Hospital in Florida since it opened in 2003. About the same time the unit opened, her husband Steve, then 53, began showing signs of progressive dementia, later diagnosed as Alzheimer’s Disease. “Many days, often for several days in a row, he was in a fog; couldn’t find a spoon or remember how to get water out of the refrigerator,” she said.They started him on Alzheimer’s drugs—Aricept, Namenda, Exelon—but his disease worsened steadily. (It should be noted that the latest research shows that the various Alzheimer’s drugs, like Aricept, have proven disappointing, with little real benefit and often distressing side effects.) When Dr. Newport couldn’t get her husband into a drug trial for a new Alzheimer’s medication, she started researching the mechanism behind Alzheimer’s.She discovered that with Alzheimer’s disease, certain brain cells may have difficulty utilizing glucose (made from the carbohydrates we eat), the brain’s principal source of energy. Without fuel, these precious neurons may begin to die. There is an alternative energy source for brain cells—fats known as ketones. If deprived of carbohydrates, the body produces ketones naturally.But this is the hard way to do it—who wants to cut carbohydrates out of the diet completely? Another way to produce ketones is by consuming oils that have medium-chain triglycerides. When MCT oil is digested, the liver converts it into ketones. In the first few weeks of life, ketones provide about 2and in the first sixty days, Dr. Newport saw remarkable changes in him: every morning he was alert and happy, talkative, making jokes. His gait was “still a little weird,” but his tremor was no longer very noticeable. He was able to conce5 percent of the energy newborn babies need to survive.Dr. Newport learned that the ingredient in the drug trial which was showing so much promise was simply MCT oil derived from coconut oil or palm kernel oil, and that a dose of 20 grams (about 20 ml or 4 teaspoons) was used to produce these results. When MCT oil is metabolized, the ketones which the body creates may, according to the latest research, not only protect against the incidence of Alzheimer’s, but may actually reverse it. Moreover, this is also a potential treatment for Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease), drug-resistant epilepsy, brittle type I diabetes, and type II (insulin-resistant) diabetes.So Mr. Newport, not being able to get into the drug trial, started taking the coconut oil twice a day. At this point, he could barely remember how to draw a clock. Two weeks after adding coconut oil to his diet, his drawing improved. After 37 days, Steve’s drawing gained even more clarity. The oil seemed to “lift the fog,” ntrate on things that he wanted to do around the house and in the yard and stay on task, whereas before coconut oil he was easily distractible and rarely accomplished anything unless he was directly supervised.Over the next year, the dementia continued to reverse itself: he is able to run again, his reading weeks earlier and relays telephone conversations with accurate detail. A recent MRI shows that the brain atrophy has been ccomprehension has improved dramatically, and his short-term memory is improving—he often brings up events that happened days to completely halted. Let’s take a moment to consider what actually happened here. Synthetic (patentable) Alzheimer’s drugs have failed. A drug company reluctantly decides to put a non-patentable natural substance (medium-chain triglycerides derived from coconut or palm) through an FDA trial. It works. But, darn it, a smart doctor figures out that a natural food can be substituted for the super-expensive drug. Not only that, the ketones from natural coconut oil last in the body longer than the drug version—eight hours instead of three hours. This is enough to make a drug company start worrying about its future. What if this natural health idea really catches on? Goodbye to monopoly profits!Coconut oil can be found in many health food stores and even some grocery stores. One large chain sells a non-hydrogenated (no trans-fat) brand of coconut oil in a one-liter size (nearly 32 ounces) for about $7. It can be purchased in quantities as small as a pint and up to five gallons online. It is important to use coconut oil that is non-hydrogenated and contains no trans-fat. We would also strongly encourage the use of virgin oil (chemicals used to extract non-virgin oil are potentially dangerous, and better still, virgin organic, still quite reasonably priced.)For more information, see Dr. Newport’s website. Sadly, you will not find any information on ketones, or the use of coconut oil or MCT oil, on the Alzheimer’s Association website.Coconut oil is not the only natural product that has the potential to turn Alzheimer’s around. We will cover some other ones, and drug industry efforts to steal some of them, in a future issue.Source : alliance for Natural Health LINK TO SOURCE Also please read “What If There Was A Cure For Alzheimers and Nobody Knew – Dr. Mary Newport – A very interesting report by Dr. Mary Newport, her husband was in the throes of Alzheimer’s disease at the young age of 58. She did lots of research into Alzheimer’s, and came across two scientific articles regarding the therapeutic implications of medium chain triglycerides (MCT Oil) also known as Ketone Bodies or ketoacids. Our bodies use Ketoacids as a form of fuel when there is no glucose available. Neurons in brain cells are very particular about what fuel they use, normally they use glucose but they can use Ketoacids. Normally Ketoacids are not circulating in the body except if the body has gone without food for days or if a person is consuming a low carbohydrate diet e.g. Atkins Diet. In Alzheimer’s certain areas of the brain, the neurons are unable to take up glucose due to insulin resistence and so the neurons slowly die. In the body MCT oil is digested differently, it does not get stored as fat, in the liver it produces ketoacids which can be used as fuel by the body. Coconut oil is 96% Medium Chain Fatty Acids, it contains Omega 6 Fatty Acid, and other short and long chain fatty acids and it contains no cholesterol. Mary started giving her husband 7 teaspoons of coconut oil a day and the improvement in his condition was amazing.

The New Wave of Medical Tests That Could Save Your Life

The New Wave of Medical Tests That Could Save Your Life
By Melanie Haiken, Caring.com senior editor

We’ve all heard the scary stories. Someone in his 40s, seemingly in perfect health, suddenly drops dead during his morning run. Or someone we love discovers too late that she has cancer that’s already beyond treatment. And we wonder: Is there anything we can do to make sure this doesn’t happen to us? Yes, there is. Here, five medical tests designed to catch killers like cancer and heart disease before they can do deadly damage.

1. Early CDT-lung test for lung cancer
What it does: Measures autoantibodies the immune system produces in response to lung cancer proteins, known as antigens. These autoantibodies show up early in the cancer process, which gives this test the advantage of being able to detect lung cancer before symptoms appear.
Why it’s important: With an accuracy of greater than 90 percent, this brand-new test is a significant tool for assessing lung cancer risk at an early stage, says pulmonologist Keith Kelly of Paducah, Kentucky, who offers the test to his patients. Lung cancer kills more than 160,000 people a year in the U.S. — and the reason it’s so deadly is that it’s rarely caught early, when tumors are operable. Currently lung cancer still has only a 16 percent five-year survival rate. “With this test as a supplement to CT scan, we can diagnose people earlier and, hopefully, finally begin to improve the survival rate,” says Kelly.
How it works: A sample of your blood is sent to a laboratory, and results are sent to your doctor about a week later. A positive result means the test detected signs your immune system’s been activated in response to the presence of cancer cells. In that case, your doctor will arrange for you to have an imaging scan to search for the presence of tumors. A negative test can’t guarantee that you’re cancer free, but it does mean your body isn’t reacting visibly to the presence of protein-producing tumors.
Cost: $475

Covered by insurance? The CDT-lung cancer test is now covered by the majority of major medical insurers and is also covered by Medicare Part B. The testing company will bill your insurance provider for you.
Who should get it: Long-term smokers and former smokers are at high risk for lung cancer and qualify for this test. Exposure to radon, asbestos, or significant secondhand smoke also puts you in the high-risk category. Oncimmune, the test maker, hopes to have a breast cancer blood test based on the same science available within the next year.
Tests for heart disease and colorectal cancer

2. Corus CAD
What it does: Evaluates your risk for narrowing or blockage in your coronary arteries.
Why it’s important: “To my knowledge, this is the only test that can tell you what’s going on in your arteries at the cellular and molecular level,” says physician Alan Grossman, medical director of the Nuclear Cardiology and Echocardiography Laboratories at the Heart and Vascular Center of Arizona, which this year introduced the Corus CAD test. “Using this test, we’ve found people with severe multivessel coronary artery disease whom we would not have considered at high risk otherwise.”
How it works: A small sample of your blood is sent to the laboratory of the test’s maker, where it’s screened for the presence of 23 genes that have been found to be associated with narrowing or blocked arteries.
Cost: $1,195
Covered by insurance? Some insurance companies cover this test, but many don’t yet. However, the company that makes the test is committed to helping people get coverage, and it provides a patient advocate to help you through the process. And with Time magazine having picked Corus CAD as one of the top-ten medical breakthroughs of 2010, wider adoption and coverage are sure to come quickly.
Who should get it: The most definitive risk factor for a coronary artery blockage is chest pain, particularly chest pain or discomfort that comes on or increases when you exercise. Other risk factors: a family history of heart disease or heart attack.
The company that makes the test, CardioDX, currently offers the test in nine states: Kentucky, Maryland, Illinois, Washington, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Carolina, Texas, and Arizona. If you don’t live in one of these states, you may have to travel to get the test, or wait a few months. Additional availability is expected in 2011.

3. Virtual colonoscopy
What it does: Uses a computed tomography (CT) scan to image the colon.
Why it’s important: Colorectal cancer, which is cancer of the lower part of the intestines, is the second-leading cause of cancer death in the U.S., yet it’s curable in 90 percent of all cases if caught early. Unfortunately, this still isn’t happening as often as it should; currently almost 40 percent of cases are already stage III or IV when discovered.
Virtual colonoscopies are not only much more comfortable than traditional colonoscopies but eliminate the risk of anesthesia and prevent puncture of the colon. According to Judy Yee, professor and vice chair of radiology at U.C. San Francisco, only 30 percent of people who should be getting colonoscopies actually get them, and increased use of virtual colonoscopy could up that percentage and save lives.
How it works: A computed tomography scanner uses sophisticated software to generate a 3D image of your colon, looking for polyps and cancerous tumors. It takes just 10 to 15 minutes, and the dose of radiation is quite low — about the equivalent of having conventional X-rays taken of the pelvis and abdomen. Because virtual colonoscopy scans the entire abdomen and pelvis, recent studies have shown that it also increases the detection rate for other pelvic diseases affecting the ovaries in women and the prostate in men.
Cost: $500-$1,000
Covered by insurance? Virtual colonoscopy is gaining popularity at major medical centers, but many insurers still consider it experimental and don’t cover it. Medicare doesn’t yet cover virtual colonoscopy but does cover traditional colonoscopy.
Many experts expect this to change, however, now that the American Cancer Society and many other organizations recommend virtual colonoscopy. And some states, including Kentucky, Maryland, and Virginia, now require private insurers to cover the procedure. (That’s also the case in Washington, D.C., where President Obama got his virtual colonoscopy.)
Who should get it: Like colonoscopy, virtual colonoscopy is recommended for anyone over age 50. However, if you have a first-degree family member who’s had colon cancer before the age of 50, it’s recommended that you begin screening when you’re ten years younger than the age at which your family member was diagnosed. If a family member was diagnosed at age 45, for example, you should have your first screening at age 35. Indicators such as blood in the stool are also a reason to have a virtual colonoscopy.
New heart disease test and genetic testing

4. High-sensitivity C-reactive protein test
What it does: Measures even very low blood levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), which is produced by the liver in response to inflammation. CRP is an indicator for cardiovascular disease — among other conditions — because chronic inflammation damages the interior of artery walls. Because hs-CRP, also called ultra-sensitive CRP or cardio CRP, is sensitive enough to detect lower concentrations of the protein, it can detect inflammation in a healthy person, indicating the early onset of cardiovascular disease.
Why it’s important: This is the first new general screening test for heart disease to be recommended by the American Heart Association in 20 years. The reason: The hs-CRP takes the traditional heart checkup a step further, more accurately predicting who’s at risk for heart attack, stroke, and diabetes. People whose hs-CRP results are in the high end of the normal range have 1.5 to 4 times the risk of having a heart attack than those whose hs-CRP values are at the low end of the normal range. In addition, recent studies demonstrated an association between elevated CRP levels and colon cancer.
How it works: The hs-CRP is a blood test used in concert with other tests, such as a blood pressure check and a lipid profile to check cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Cost: $40-$70
Covered by insurance? If your doctor recommends the hs-CRP test because you have a family history of heart disease or other risk factors, most insurers, including Medicare, will cover it.
Who should get it: Currently the hs-CRP test is recommended for anyone considered to be at moderate or intermediate risk of developing cardiovascular disease in the next ten years. While hs-CRP isn’t yet considered a screening tool for the general population, an important recent study called the JUPITER study found that hs-CRP predicted heart disease even in people with no risk factors, and some experts now believe everyone in their late 50s and older should have it, even if they have minimal risk factors. The test is simple and inexpensive, and your doctor can order it based on his or her recommendation. So discuss your concerns with your doctor, mention any relatives who had an early heart attack, and you should be covered.
Unfortunately, certain conditions such as arthritis, autoimmune conditions, and chronic infection also cause inflammatory response, so if you have one of these conditions, the hs-CRP test can’t be used.

5. Genetic analysis
What it does: Tests you for approximately a hundred traits, providing a genetic blueprint known as a comprehensive genotype that predicts your risk of developing a variety of conditions and diseases. Genotyping also offers information on how you respond to certain key medications such as blood thinners, and it lets you know if you’re a carrier for certain genetic traits.
Why it’s important: Based on the genetic information you receive, you could find out you’re at risk for certain cancers, Alzheimer’s, macular degeneration, and other conditions. Knowing what may lie in your future makes you more alert for warning signs. In the case of lung cancer, diabetes, and other conditions strongly affected by lifestyle, finding out you’re at risk might increase your motivation to make important changes, such as losing weight or quitting smoking — or to take specific tests to detect a condition early enough to treat it. In this case, knowledge really is power: Knowing you’re at risk empowers you to take steps to protect yourself.
How it works: Personalized genotyping is done by saliva testing. Your saliva sample is collected in a tube and shipped off to a sophisticated genetic testing laboratory that analyzes your DNA. The results are ready in two to three weeks, at which point you’re given access to a comprehensive report and interactive genetic counseling via a secure online account. The testing kits are provided by private companies, which include 23andme, Navigenics, and Pathway Genomics; each company then provides its own ongoing health management service.
Cost: Varies, depending on the company and the extent of the services provided. You can pay for the initial testing only, then be billed for regular monthly reports and genetic counseling; or you can pay upfront for the comprehensive service. Range is $99 plus a $5-per-month subscription access fee with a 12-month commitment, or $399-$499 for full-service access.
Covered by insurance? Insurance doesn’t cover this type of comprehensive genetic analysis. However, if you have a health savings account or a flexible spending account for healthcare, you’ll likely be able to use those dollars to purchase a genotyping service and submit it for reimbursement. Check with the administrator or benefits specialist to find out.
Who should get it: Anyone concerned about their genetic risk for health conditions such as cancer, macular degeneration, heart disease, and diabetes, particularly those already at risk due to family history or from other risk factors. If you smoke, for example, knowing your genetic risk of lung, breast, and colorectal cancer could be extremely useful. And if you carry a lot of extra weight, you might want genetic information to better evaluate your risk of diabetes and heart disease.

Possible Benefits of Deer Placenta

Possible Benefits of Deer Placenta

Finer skin texture and improved complexion
Smoother, softer and velvety skin
Hydrated skin and help reduce lines
Enhances skin renewal process
Helps to reduce sebum production and less open pores
Improvement in blood circulation
Assists in burning of excess body fats and firm up body
Improved energy and stamina

Placentophagia: Benefits of Eating the Placenta
This Age-old Tradition Has Some Surprising Benefits
by Amy Weekley

Placentophagia — the pratice of eating the placenta — has been observed throughout history in many parts of the world. In Western cultures, eating the placenta is often viewed as barbaric, but thanks to new information about the surprising benefits, there has been a recent push among young mothers to eat the placenta after giving birth. While many Western doctors discourage placentophagia with the claim that it carries no inherent benefits, studies have shown that eating the placenta can curb postpartum depression, replenish nutrients, increase milk production, and slow postpartum hemmorrhage.

Placentophagia may deter the onset of postpartum depression

The placenta contains high levels of various vitamins, such as B6, which can help curb postpartum depression. Eating the placenta enables the mother to “reclaim” these vitamins and put them to use in her own body. Placentophagia may also increase a mother’s blood levels of a hormone known as CRH (corticotropin-releasing hormone), a known stress-reducer. This hormone is normally secreted by the hypothalamus. According to a study performed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), “During the last trimester of pregnancy, the placenta secretes so much CRH that the levels in the bloodstream increase threefold. However, it was also discovered that postpartum women have lower than average levels of CRH, triggering depressive symptoms. They concluded that the placenta secreted so much CRH that the hypothalamus stopped producing it (http://placentabenefits.info/medicinal.asp).” After childbirth, the hypothalamus doesn’t immediately receive the signal to begin producing CRH again, which can lead to postpartum depression. Eating the placenta can raise a mother’s CRH levels, reducing symptoms of postpartum depression.

Placentophagia may help replenish nutrients lost during childbirth

Human placenta is rich in various essential nutrients such as iron and protein. Placentophagia can help replenish these nutrients, which are often depleted during childbirth due to blood loss. This benefit of placentophagia may be especially important for vegetarian or vegan mothers, who may have slightly lower blood iron levels to begin with. (Many animals also practice placentophagia, presumably for this reason.)

Placentophagia can increase breastmilk production, especially in women at risk for low milk supply

For centuries, the Chinese have consumed the placenta as a way to increase insufficient milk production. In 1954, a study was conducted in which 210 women, expected to have low milk supply, were administered dried placenta. 86% of the mothers noticed a significant increase in milk production (http://placentabenefits.info/medicinal.asp). It follows, therefore, that placentophagia can be beneficial in stimulating breastmilk production, even for mothers who are not at risk for low supply.

Placentophagia can stimulate uterine contractions and slow postpartum hemmorhage

Oxytocin is a naturally-occurring chemical in the brain that stimulates uterine contractions that lead to the onset of labor. This same chemical also enables the uterus to contract and quickly return to its pre-pregnancy size, as well as slowing postpartum bleeding. Studies have shown that eating the placenta triggers the release of oxytocin into the bloodstream, enabling the uterus to quickly heal and tone itself after childbirth.

Many doctors, especially in Western culture, have expressed some concern that eating the placenta may spread disease such as HIV, hepatitis, and other blood-borne illness. However, placentophagia is traditionally practiced only by the mother and not by other parties, so there is no risk of spreading disease. If she has a disease, she cannot reinfect herself, and if she is not currently ill, she cannot become ill from eating her own placenta.

Other than that, there is little risk involved in placentophagia. As with any meat, the placenta must be properly cared for before consumption. Fresh placenta may be eaten raw, but if the placenta is to be stored and used at a later time, it should be frozen or otherwise prepared to prevent bacterial infection.

It is important to note that with some birth practices, such as lotus birth (in which the umbilical cord is left uncut until it dries and detaches naturally days after birth), eating the placenta is not possible due to the treatment of the placenta. However, in instances such as this, the placenta may be used for other purposes, such as placenta art, or the ritual of burial.

If you enjoyed this article and would like to read more by this author, please click on the picture of the baby’s bottom at the top of the article, next to the author’s name.

RESOURCES:

http://pregnancy.about.com/cs/placentas/a/placenta.htm

http://placentabenefits.info/medicinal.asp

http://melissabaker.com/placentophagia/

Body Cream vs. Lotion

Body Cream vs. Lotion

Body cream and lotion are both forms of emollients that put more moisture back into the skin. The choice of whether you should use a body cream or a body lotion has to do with how dry your skin is, whether or not your skin is so dry that it is flaking or scaling, and finally, what part of your body you will be applying the moisturizer to.

For example, your elbows and knees have a tendency to be drier than your legs or arms.
The season of the year might play a role as well. Your hands tend to be drier in winter than in summer due to the cold temperatures and lack of humidity in the air.

Body Lotions

Lotions are mixtures of water and oil and they tend to be light and non-greasy. Lotions are quickly, and easily, absorbed into the skin after they are applied and they often have a cooling effect on the skin, which makes them excellent choices for the warmer months of the year.

Lotions are the best choice for individuals who suffer from weeping eczema, or those who have dry skin that is on the mild side. Lotions are very effective for parts of the body where there is more hair, such as the chest for men.
Body Creams

Body creams are similar to lotions in that they, too, are a combination of oil and water. However, creams are thicker in their consistency than are lotions.

Like lotions, most creams are non-greasy, however, some do have greasier elements than others. Body creams, in general, are very good at absorbing into the skin and tend to be the best moisturizer choice in the winter when harsh winds blow.
Is one better than the other?

Lotions and body creams are both excellent choices for the skin and there is no one moisturizer that is the best choice for everyone. Often, finding out which one suits you better is a matter of trial and error. Try one and if it does not appeal to you, then try something all together different.

Sometimes your skin type plays a role, whether it be oily, dry, or a combination. It may also be possible to have dry patches of skin on one part of your body and oily spots on another.

It is recommended that you use a combination of different moisturizing products to optimize the benefits of each. For example, you might want to try one of the new body washes that helps add moisture to the skin and then go with a moisturizing oil, or lotion and/or cream, after you finish your bath or shower.

In order to get the most benefit from your after bath moisturizer, apply it when your skin is still damp and then pat your skin dry, as opposed to rubbing it.

You also might find that a light lotion or cream is fine for the daytime hours, but you may require a thicker cream at night before you go to bed.

http://www.mamashealth.com/skincare/bclotion.asp

This Is Your Brain on Exercise

This Is Your Brain on Exercise

by Markham Heid August 2, 2011
“A strong body makes the mind strong,” Thomas Jefferson once said.

Apparently TJ was on to something: Aerobic exercise and weight training improve brain function in a variety of ways, according to a review of more than 100 recent studies by University of Illinois exercise scientists.

Several of the studies found that exercise spurs your body’s production of a protein called insulin-like growth factor-1. IGF-1 has been shown to stimulate the growth of neurons and enhance cognitive performance, the Champaign-Urbana-based team writes. (We hear Einstein was a real gym rat.)

You don’t need to log endless treadmill hours to boost brainpower, either: Most of the studies found that exercising three days a week for 30 minutes was enough to observe an effect.

http://news.menshealth.com/this-is-your-brain-on-exercise/2011/08/02/