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Friday, August 8, 2014

Vitamin D is sometimes known as the "sunshine vitamin"

Link between vitamin D and dementia risk confirmed

Vitamin D deficiency is associated with a substantially increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in older people, according to the most robust study of its kind ever conducted.
An international team, led by Dr David Llewellyn at the University of Exeter Medical School, found that study participants who were severely Vitamin D deficient were more than twice as likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
The team studied elderly Americans who took part in the Cardiovascular Health Study. They discovered that adults in the study who were moderately deficient in vitamin D had a 53 per cent increased risk of developing dementia of any kind, and the risk increased to 125 per cent in those who were severely deficient.
Similar results were recorded for Alzheimer’s disease, with the moderately deficient group 69 per cent more likely to develop this type of dementia, jumping to a 122 per cent increased risk for those severely deficient.
The study was part-funded by the Alzheimer’s Association, and is published in August 6 2014 online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. It looked at 1,658 adults aged 65 and over, who were able to walk unaided and were free from dementia, cardiovascular disease and stroke at the start of the study. The participants were then followed for six years to investigate who went on to develop Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
Dr Llewellyn said: “We expected to find an association between low Vitamin D levels and the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, but the results were surprising – we actually found that the association was twice as strong as we anticipated.
“Clinical trials are now needed to establish whether eating foods such as oily fish or taking vitamin D supplements can delay or even prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. We need to be cautious at this early stage and our latest results do not demonstrate that low vitamin D levels cause dementia. That said, our findings are very encouraging, and even if a small number of people could benefit, this would have enormous public health implications given the devastating and costly nature of dementia.”
Research collaborators included experts from Angers University Hospital, Florida International University, Columbia University, the University of Washington, the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Michigan. The study was supported by the Alzheimer’s Association, the Mary Kinross Charitable Trust, the James Tudor Foundation, the Halpin Trust, the Age Related Diseases and Health Trust, the Norman Family Charitable Trust, and the National Institute for Health Research Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Research and Care South West Peninsula (NIHR PenCLAHRC).
Dementia is one of the greatest challenges of our time, with 44 million cases worldwide – a number expected to triple by 2050 as a result of rapid population ageing. A billion people worldwide are thought to have low vitamin D levels and many older adults may experience poorer health as a result.
The research is the first large study to investigate the relationship between vitamin D and dementia risk where the diagnosis was made by an expert multidisciplinary team, using a wide range of information including neuroimaging. Previous research established that people with low vitamin D levels are more likely to go on to experience cognitive problems, but this study confirms that this translates into a substantial increase in the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Vitamin D comes from three main sources – exposure of skin to sunlight, foods such as oily fish, and supplements. Older people’s skin can be less efficient at converting sunlight into Vitamin D, making them more likely to be deficient and reliant on other sources. In many countries the amount of UVB radiation in winter is too low to allow vitamin D production.
The study also found evidence that there is a threshold level of Vitamin D circulating in the bloodstream below which the risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease increases.  The team had previously hypothesized that this might lie in the region of 25-50 nmol/L, and their new findings confirm that vitamin D levels above 50 nmol/L are most strongly associated with good brain health.
Commenting on the study, Dr Doug Brown, Director of Research and Development at Alzheimer’s Society said: “Shedding light on risk factors for dementia is one of the most important tasks facing today’s health researchers. While earlier studies have suggested that a lack of the sunshine vitamin is linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease, this study found that people with very low vitamin D levels were more than twice as likely to develop any kind of dementia.
“During this hottest of summers, hitting the beach for just 15 minutes of sunshine is enough to boost your vitamin D levels. However, we’re not quite ready to say that sunlight or vitamin D supplements will reduce your risk of dementia. Large scale clinical trials are needed to determine whether increasing vitamin D levels in those with deficiencies can help prevent the dementia from developing.”
Date: 6 August 2014

by: MyHealth-Store
Monday, July 28, 2014

Science Update Forum

Is there a correlation between red meat consumption and cardiovascular health?

describe the imageRed meat often gets a bad reputation, but a growing body of evidence shows that eating lean beef can reduce risk factors associated with heart disease. Recent research at Penn State demonstrated that lean beef may play a role in helping to reduce blood pressure.
"This research adds to the significant evidence, including work previously done in our lab, that supports lean beef's role in a heart-healthy diet," said Penny M. Kris-Etherton, Distinguished Professor of Nutrition, Penn State.
According to the research, which was published in the Journal of Human Hypertension, lean beef can be part of the predominant protein source in a diet – along with fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy – to effectively lower blood pressure in healthy individuals. Researchers tested four diets to determine the effects on vascular health. The diets included the Healthy American Diet (the control), the BOLD+ diet, the BOLD diet, and the DASH diet.
The control diet consisted of 0.7 ounces of lean beef per day, while the DASH diet included 1.0 ounce. The BOLD diet had 4.0 ounces and the BOLD+ diet included 5.4 ounces of lean beef.
These four diets were tested on 36 participants with ages ranging from 30 and 65. All participants followed each diet at different times throughout the study period. Participants were randomly assigned to follow each of the four diet plans for five weeks each (in a particular order), with a break of one week in between each new plan. Blood pressure was taken at the beginning and end of each diet period.
The results showed that the BOLD+ diet was more effective at lowering blood pressure compared to the other diets.
According to the researchers, "This evidence suggests that it is the total protein intake - not the type of protein - that is instrumental in reducing blood pressure, as part of a DASH-like dietary pattern."

by: MyHealth-Store
Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Cosmetics-Giant Avon Removing Hormone-Disrupting Triclosan from Ingredients

Submitted by  on April 13, 2014 – 11:50 pmNo Comment

Cosmetics-giant Avon announced recently they would be removing the chemical triclosan from their products in coming months. The proven hormone-disruptor is commonly found in cosmetics and products labeled as anti-bacterial, but a growing consumer awareness is leading companies to seek alternatives.
“We are not going to use it in new products and the process is underway for identifying alternatives or changing formulations for the small number of existing products that had included triclosan among their ingredients,” said Jennifer Vargas, Avon spokeswoman, to the Guardian.
Avon cites consumer concern for their change of tune. They join other companies like Procter & Gamble, Jonson & Johnson, and Colgate-Palmolive in phasing out the chemical.
Triclosan is a known hormone and thyroid disruptor. But it’s also been linked to increased allergic reactions and compromised immunity – just some of triclosan dangers.
Because studies have found it to “amplify the effects of sex hormones”, it’s believed the compound could increase your risk of breast and prostate tumors, which is particularly interesting considering Avon’s highly-visible ties to pink-ribbon marketing and vocal breast-cancer awareness campaigning.
The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics says that Avon needs to quit playing “catch-up” to other companies in regards to unsafe chemicals in their products.
“The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics congratulates Avon for finally giving triclosan the boot,” said co-founder Janet Nudelman in a statement. “It’s a hormonally active chemical that has no business being in cosmetics and personal care products.”
“But triclosan is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to unsafe chemicals in cosmetics. We want Avon to adopt a comprehensive policy that declares chemicals linked to cancer, birth defects, and other adverse health effects to be off limits in cosmetics and to support stricter regulation of the $71bn cosmetics industry so that everyone is protected.”
Phasing out triclosan is relatively easy, but instead many cosmetic companies are turning to quaternary ammonia compounds, or quats, which can be listed under a variety of names and have been linked to other adverse health effects. The evidence on the dangers of quats are said to be “even more conclusive than the evidence on triclosan,” having been linked to respiratory distress and irritation.
In other words, what appears to be a step forward could result in a step to the side or even a step backwards, but let’s hope not.

      by: MyHealth-Store
      Wednesday, March 19, 2014

      Does Chlorine Affect Your Vision?


      You’ve spent the summer swimming and diving in the pool, but did all that splashing around in chemically treated water harm your eyes? Optometrist Glenda Secor, chairwoman of the American Optometric Association’s contact lens and cornea section, takes a closer look.

      Long-Term Exposure

      People have been in contact with chlorinated water for generations—in fact, the water flowing from the taps in many communities is chlorinated. Yet there has never been documented evidence that continuous exposure to the diluted chemical can cause permanent harm to the eyes, says Dr. Secor.

      “The purpose of pool chlorine is to reduce the bug count to what you could withstand without much harm,” says the Huntington, Calif., optometrist. “But there are so many factors affecting the effectiveness of the chlorine—how recently it was added to the water; the volume in proportion to the amount of water; the amount of contaminant in the water; how often the pool is used; [and] how many people are in it at a time.” So assume there’s a high bug count anyway, she says.

      In the Short Term

      Exposure to chemically treated water of any kind can temporarily affect the eyes, says Dr. Secor, because when the cornea is submerged in water, its protective tear film is washed away. That leaves eyes vulnerable to bacteria lingering in chlorine-treated water, since some contaminants aren’t killed by the trace levels of chlorine often used in pools.

      The tear film “is our natural-defense mechanism,” she says. “Tear proteins help reduce infection rates from bugs still floating in the water, and when that is gone, the cornea is vulnerable to anything.”

      She notes swimmers can get eye infections from bacteria in chlorinated water. Bacterial or viral conjunctivitis, also called pink eye, is the most common infection that can spread through pools. “Pool chemicals don’t address everything that lives in the water,” she says.

      A typical response to being submerged in chlorinated water is red eyes and irritation, as well as blurriness, resulting from dehydration of the cornea, which may temporarily distort vision. These symptoms can go away in a few minutes, as the tear film returns to normal, Dr. Secor says, though the process may take a few hours for older people. “Lubricating drops are helpful to flush away any residual treated water in the eye and will bulk up the tear film faster,” she says.

      Focus on Lenses

      Contact-lens wearers face other issues, the least of which is losing a lens. A serious eye infection called acanthamoebic keratitis, caused by a certain genus of amoeba, “has been reported with people who swim with contact lenses, which may absorb water or trap it beneath the lens,” says Dr. Secor. Acanthamoebic keratitis can lead to ulcers on the cornea or even blindness. “I always tell my patients to take their contact lenses out and rinse them, and don’t sleep in them, even if they’re allowed to, if they’ve been swimming in any body of water.”

      Goggle It

      A pool’s chlorine level dissipates over time—day 1 is stronger than day 7—but there is no way to know how strong the chemicals are, shy of carrying a personal test kit. A tried-and-true preventative measure is to wear well-fitting goggles. “Swimming with goggles will keep the tear film from washing away in the first place,” says Dr. Secor, who lives near a beach but doesn’t swim in the ocean. “But if I did, I’d wear goggles then, too,” she says. Salt water also is “pretty full of contaminants.”
      From Natural health Alliance

      by: MyHealth-Store
      Friday, March 22, 2013
      Logo of jcbnLink to Publisher's site

      J Clin Biochem Nutr. 2012 September; 51(2): 102–107.
      Published online 2012 March 30. doi:  10.3164/jcbn.11-00017
      PMCID: PMC3432818

      Effects of astaxanthin-rich Haematococcus pluvialis extract on cognitive function: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study



      In this study we tried to confirm the effect of an astaxanthin-rich Haematococcus pluvialis extract on cognitive function in 96 subjects by a randomised double-blind placebo-controlled study. Healthy middle-aged and elderly subjects who complained of age-related forgetfulness were recruited. Ninety-six subjects were selected from the initial screen, and ingested a capsule containing astaxanthin-rich Haematococcus pluvialis extract, or a placebo capsule for 12 weeks. Somatometry, haematology, urine screens, and CogHealth and Groton Maze Learning Test were performed before and after every 4 weeks of administration. Changes in cognitive performance and the safety of astaxanthin-rich Haematococcus pluvialis extract administration were evaluated. CogHealth battery scores improved in the high-dosage group (12 mg astaxanthin/day) after 12 weeks. Groton Maze Learning Test scores improved earlier in the low-dosage (6 mg astaxanthin/day) and high-dosage groups than in the placebo group. The sample size, however, was small to show a significant difference in cognitive function between the astaxanthin-rich Haematococcus pluvialis extract and placebo groups. No adverse effect on the subjects was observed throughout this study. In conclusion, the results suggested that astaxanthin-rich Haematococcus pluvialis extract improves cognitive function in the healthy aged individuals.
      Keywords: Astaxanthin, Haematococcus pluvialis, cognitive function, aging, clinical efficacy

      by: MyHealth-Store
      Thursday, February 28, 2013
      As seen in Whole Health Insider:

      Aspirin is one of the most widely used over-the-counter medications, with an estimated 120 billion tablets taken each year.1 Not only can it be an effective remedy for headaches, body aches and fever, but millions of people at high risk of heart attack due to atherosclerosis use daily aspirin therapy as a preventative measure, thanks to aspirin’s anticoagulant properties.

      Because it’s so commonly used, many people assume that aspirin is pretty safe. And they’re right—aspirin does have a relatively good safety profile, especially when compared to other drugs on the market that have a myriad of toxic side effects, like statins. But that doesn’t mean aspirin use is completely free of risk.

      The side effects most people associate with regular aspirin use include gastrointestinal bleeding, tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and hemorrhagic stroke caused by a burst blood vessel. And now recent research has uncovered a lesser known, but very eye-opening risk to long-term aspirin use—macular degeneration.

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      Eye-Opening Concerns

      In a study published in December 2012, researchers followed nearly 5,000 participants (aged 43 to 86 years) for more than 20 years. These participants, part of the Beaver Dam Eye Study, received eye examinations every five years. Results showed 512 cases of early age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and 117 cases of late AMD over the course of the study.

      Additionally, at each exam, participants were asked if they had regularly used aspirin at least twice a week for more than three months. Researchers found that regular aspirin use 10 years prior to eye examination was associated with late AMD, with estimated incidence of 1.76 percent, compared to 1.03 percent in non-aspirin users. Researchers concluded that these associations, though small, were statistically significant.2

      Interestingly, regular aspirin use 10 years prior to eye examination was significantly associated with the “wet” form of AMD, which accounts for 10 percent of all AMD cases, but is responsible for the majority of functional blindness attributed to the disease.

      An even more recent study published in January 2013 confirmed this aspirin/AMD link. In this study, researchers analyzed data from a 15-year Australian population-based cohort.

      At the beginning of the study, 2,389 participants completed a detailed questionnaire that assessed aspirin use, heart disease status and AMD risk factors. In addition, they received four eye examinations during the 15-year study period.

      After analyzing data, 63 (out of 257) regular aspirin users developed wet AMD—an astounding 24.5 percent. Even after adjusting for other risk factors like age, sex, smoking, history of heart disease and body mass index, regular aspirin users still had a higher risk of developing wet AMD. Researchers concluded, “Regular aspirin use is associated with increased risk of incident neovascular [wet] AMD, independent of history of cardiovascular disease and smoking.”3

      Alternatives to Aspirin

      If you’re a regular aspirin user, you should get a thorough eye exam as soon as possible to determine your AMD status. This is extremely important because AMD often doesn’t show any symptoms until well after the condition has taken hold.

      Even if your exam determines that your eyes are healthy and free of disease, we recommend discussing the cessation of regular aspirin therapy with your doctor. Fortunately, there are plenty of natural pain-relief and blood-thinning nutrients you can take that will not affect your eyes—or your gastrointestinal tract or ears for that matter.

      One effective pain relief solution that you can find in most health food stores is white willow bark. In fact, aspirin was originally derived from the bark of this tree.

      Its active ingredient, salicin, has been used for centuries to relieve all sorts of pain, including arthritis and headache pain. In the late 1800s, scientists developed a synthetic form of salicin called salicylic acid, and aspirin was born.

      Fortunately, white willow bark suppresses pain without the risks associated with synthetic aspirin. In one study, researchers found that patients who took either 240 mg or 120 mg of salicin experienced significant relief from chronic lower back pain, compared to the placebo group.4

      If you use aspirin as a blood thinner to prevent heart attack, you have natural alternatives, as well. Some of those options include nattokinase,5 garlic (in either food or supplement form), ginger (in either food, supplement form or consumed as a tea), fish oil and vitamin E.6

      As always, consult your physician before discontinuing the use of prescribed medication—even if the prescribed drug is an over-the-counter one like aspirin. Then express your desire to try a more natural approach to heart attack prevention or pain relief.


      1. Warner TD, et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2002 Oct 15;99(21):13371-3.
      2. Klein BE, et al. JAMA. 2012 Dec 19;308(23):2469-78.
      3. Liew G, et al. JAMA Intern Med. 2013;1-7.
      4. Chrubasik S, et al. Am J Med. 2000 Jul;109(1):9-14.
      5. Sumi H, et al. Acta Haematol. 1990;84(3):139-43.
      6. Stanger MJ, et al. Nutr Rev. 2012 Feb;70(2):107-17.

      by: MyHealth-Store
      Tuesday, February 19, 2013
      Xenoestrogens: Why children reach puberty much earlier

             Recent studies show that both girls and boys are entering puberty much earlier than before. Boys are reaching puberty up to 2 years early at age 9 or 10. Girls, on the other hand, are reaching physical maturity even much faster, up to 6 years earlier, with physical changes often seen before 8 years old.

             This disturbing trend has been linked to exposure to environmental hormones or xenoestrogens in plastics, clouding agents, phthalates and cosmetics. Children are so easily susceptible to exposure because these xenoestrogens are found everywhere. Clouding agents are used in juices, sports drinks and fruit jams, among others. Babies are even more susceptible. For example, babies come in contact with adults wearing cosmetics, which contain lead and other xenoestrogens. These substances are then transferred to babies who have more sensitive systems and are therefore more vulnerable to the effects of xenoestrogens. Not only do these xenoestrogens promote the production of sex hormones that causes early maturity but also causes faster bone growth, both of which are irreversible.

             Adults are not safe from the harmful effects of xenoestrogens either. Xenoestrogens also include phytoestrogens and pharmacological estrogens (e.g., synthetic estrogens found in hormone replacement therapy or birth control pills). While supplementing with these estrogens is necessary for those who are deficient, accumulation of excess estrogen is always a risk. Among women, excess estrogen can lead to ovarian cysts, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, fibrocystic breasts, etc. Among men, xenoestrogens can lead to reduced sperm count, feminizing qualities, increased testicular and prostate cancer risk and more. In both men and women, xenoestrogens can lead to belly fat, insulin resistance and cardiovascular risk.

             Once exposure to xenoestrogens is stoppped, further effects can also be halted. Steps must also be taken to reduce the effects of xenoestrogens already in the body.


      Myomin: Effective formula for Xenoestrogens and more

      MyominMyomin's mechanism against xenoestrogens is two-fold:

      • It competes with xenoestrogens at estrogen receptors and binds with estrogen receptors to reduce the harmful effects of endocrine disrupters.
      • It helps correct excess estrogen by reducing the expression of the aromatase enzyme. 

             H. Rodier, MD from Utah, always recommends Myomin to patients who have been exposed to xenoestrogens. Myomin's effect on estrogen is evident in the following new case reports: 

             G. Depke, ND from California, has a 52-year-old male patient taking Myomin. He initially had high levels of estrone and estradiol, both potents forms of estrogen. After 4 months on Myomin, both his estrone and estradiol levels reduced to within normal range.

             Dr. Depke has another patient, a 47-year-old female, who was taking progesterone and DHEA for adrenal fatigue (progesterone and DHEA can eventually be converted into estrogen). Not surprisingly, her progesterone to estradiol (Pg/E2) ratio was low at 50.29, indicating estrogen dominance. After taking Myomin, her estradiol and progesterone levels reduced. Her Pg/E2 ratio increased to a normal 242.44, signifying that she is no longer estrogen dominant.

      by: MyHealth-Store