War on Average

encouraging each other not to be satisfied with mediocre


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24 Hours on a Treadmill

 

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Prevention. Awareness.

These are two things we have always stood behind as we strive to educate people about health. We have chosen to partner with our friend Eric O’Connor to help create healthier lives, particularly in creating awareness and prevention of blood clots.

Because improving this health issue relies initially and primarily on prevention and awareness it often does not get the funding and attention other health issues do! You and I can help!

So why blood clots? On average, 274 Americans die from a blood clot every day. 900,000 blood clots occur annually and of those there are 100,000 deaths each year. More people die from blood clots each year than the total number of people who lose their lives each year to AIDS, breast cancer, and motor vehicle crashes combined.

Why Eric? After running three marathons in 2010 (intending to run three more in 2011), he tore his meniscus playing soccer with his son. A week after his surgery, while standing in the garage with the boys he says “I felt like I had just done a 10 mile workout. I was short of breath, my heart was racing and I was sweating. Sue, my wife rushed home from the ER where she is a nurse and took me in.” After surviving his own blood clot (read more here), he is taking on this amazing feat to raise awareness for what could save your life or the life of someone close to you.

The goal: 100 miles in 24 hours.
Start: April 10th at 12 pm

Finish: April 11th 12 pm
Where: Run Today in Glen Ellyn

 

 

HOW CAN YOU HELP?

Your Shaklee order placed at www.harperguerra.myshaklee.com during the run will send a percentage of proceeds to the cause! (April 10 noon to April 11 noon)

Join us at the event, April 10-11 at Run Today in Glen Ellyn, IL. Ryan and I will have a table on Saturday morning and I’ll be joining the run from 11-11:30 a.m.

Donate any time

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Essentials for Making Your Body a Power-House of Immunity

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I get to share these absolute essentials often as a speaker on nation-wide coaching and education webinars as well as during informal settings like play dates at the park or fitness center. I have seen the impact that paying attention to these can make so I wanted to provide them in a more widely available format. Many are no-brainers, but difficult disciplines to create. Others may require a more in-depth look at what deficiencies may exist that contribute to a weakened immune system. Either way, I am glad to provide a way to launch into pursuit of better health!

To improve and/or maintain health there are four essential recommendations: For in-depth information for the first three, check out Michelle’s great post.

  1. Nutrition:
    This is KEY. Decrease sugar (which includes grains) and increase vegetables. Sugar decreases immunity and vegetables increase immunity. This seems simple but it takes effort to have a nutritious diet. However, the effort you make to pursue nutrition and prepare healthy options will replace effort you may currently be putting forth in other areas. Consider time spent at doctor’s offices, home from work or school or even funds spent to meet deductibles or pay co-pays for office visits or prescriptions. (We offer help with nutrition plans for all our Shaklee members). You may have heard “abs are made in the kitchen” and so it goes for immunity as well.Planning ahead to make the best nutrition choices as often as possible is very important. When you know you will be attending an event that will involve less than healthy options, be sure you consume protein and vegetables earlier in the day. You can also learn more about how to off-set the effects of an evening of poor nutrition or even a few alcoholic beverages with supplements. A quality, proper supplement will help your body process the occasional cheat meal or beverage and ensure you are not left deficient due to the stress that the less healthy choices may put on your body.
  1. Sleep & Stress:
    Our bodies need sleep to repair and rest. Not getting enough quality sleep leads to a weaker immune system. Never underestimate the impact stress creates on the body. Often the symptoms of stress or lack of sleep will not show up until it is too late. This is why it is so important to design a sleep schedule and stress management routine (it can be very brief, especially if your body is equipped with the appropriate raw materials to internally regulate stress.) Stress will greatly hinder your immune system. (Shaklee members can contact us to help with these areas).
  2. Habits:
    Habits are the small actions that yield potentially enormous benefits. Make the simple steps to stay healthy part of your routine: wash hands, have your children change out of their school clothes before their naps. If you want to learn even more then get educated about food sanitation and how germs can spread through food (My friend Monica has some great professional advice!)
  3. Supplements:
    Many people already feel like they have a good handle on the first three essentials, but are looking for even more ways to stay healthy. It seems to be getting more and more difficult, especially for those exposed regularly to schools, gyms and public workplaces. Because of this, I often get asked which supplements are best to boost immunity. These are just BASIC suggestions. Talk to your Shaklee consultant to determine a more customized and most cost effective plan for you. If you’re wondering why we choose Shaklee, watch this little video or ASK US! We are passionate about the Shaklee Difference!

    Start with a healthy base:
    I recommend everyone (young and old) to be on a QUALITY multivitamin with research that backs it’s effectiveness. Why supplement? Despite even the best efforts to eat organic and all natural, our food supply does not contain the vitamins and minerals it once did. Even organic produce is grown for yield and not for nutritional value This means the choice is ours whether to supplement in an educated way that eliminates deficiencies and allows our bodies to function the way God designed them.
    For seasonal immunity and those who require additional immune support:
    Optiflora probiotics: Over 70% of the immune system is in the gut. Probiotics help to maintain a healthy digestive system. Shaklee has a patented triple-encapsulated delivery system that guarantees delivery of the full dose of probiotics at the right point in the digestive system. This is especially important for those who have Candida issues, have recently been on antibiotics, steroids, or those who experience digestive issues.

    Vitamin C: Shaklee makes a chewable Vitamin C for children (better than Flinstone’s in every way, including that it is all natural and has no toxic fillers or ingredients like most over the counter kid’s vitamins have). Shaklee also has a sustained release Vitamin C supplement for adults. Ask me why sustained release is key for certain supplements. There are good reasons, but from a cost stand-point it ensures your body is getting it’s money’s worth of the supplement you ingest.

    Vitamin D: Bioavailability matters and ensuring that the Vitamin D you are taking is absorbed into your body is key. Vitamin D is chocked full of benefits for year round health and immunity, but especially important during the colder, cloudier winter days as well as if you work indoors most of the day.

    That extra boost:
    These supplements are great for when you feel like you or someone in your family is coming down with something or even once you are undoubtedly sick. Either way, taken regularly, they will help you avoid getting sick or at the very least assist your recovery and cut the time significantly that it takes you to get back to feeling human again. In our family we have avoided sickness countless times in the last several years simply by keeping these on hand and using them at the right time. Not only do we rarely get sick now, even with very young children, we have more time in our lives because of the down-time and effort being sick requires.

    Vitalized Immunity: Is a tasty (alka-seltzer-like) orange flavored tab that dissolves in water and boosts your immune system with a variety of vitamins. Has the equivalent of sixteen orange’s worth of vitamin C in addition to other immune boosting ingredients. (For kids under ten I usually give ½ of a tab.)

    NutriFeron: Scientists and medical communities have identified interferon as being crucial to healthy immune function. NutriFeron is an exclusive, patented formula, which provides a proprietary blend of four plant extracts designed to naturally increase levels of interferon in the body and provide immune support at the cellular level. When symptoms of sickness begin to become evident this is what our family begins to supplement with immediately and are close to a perfect record of fighting off the sickness before it takes hold.

    Defend & Resist: Defend & Resist Complex strengthens your body to respond to environmental challenges by giving your immune system what it needs to stay strong. Key ingredients in Defend & Resist have been shown in laboratory studies to help to stimulate the body’s natural resistance with Echinacea purpurea, help to maintain a healthy immune response with black elderberry and enhances immune support with larch tree. Who knew such little-known natural sources could be part of supporting your body, which was designed to be strong, to fight off sickness and germs?!

    The first two of these were staples in our home daily leading up to Christmas when everyone we talked to seemed to be sick and when nutrition and sleep were at a low. We managed to stay completely healthy despite regular contact with sick family and friends over the holidays. Yes!!

 

These are simple guidelines to begin a roadmap to a stronger immune system. Your Shaklee consultant will be able to help you customize a plan to your specific needs and even taking budget into consideration.

 


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Can your New Year’s Resolution be to save money AND be healthier? YES!

I have heard many people comment that being healthy is just too expensive. I have read many great comparisons that show that eating healthy is not more expensive than eating unhealthy. And beginning or further investing in your health proves to pay great dividends not only financially but in quality and length of life. Like my friend Rick Seymour always says, “I want to die young…at a very old age.”

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Here are a few stories to help put the reality of the health investment in perspective:

At a recent trip to my accountant (who also used to be a customer, but never really got how and why Shaklee – my fault, not hers) Deb recounted a story of a customer of hers, Sally. Sally’s father had done her taxes for years, but after her divorce she Is earning $25,500 per year and has 4 kids. How is she surviving, I asked. Deb was extremely proud that she was able to get Sally $8000 back in her taxes. Later in our conversation, Deb told me she is taking 13 medications. “How do you feel about that?” I asked. She stated “Not good. Shaklee has great products, but not everyone can afford them”. I replied, “There is a difference between value and cost. By comparison, if you look at cost, not everyone can afford an accountant. Sally is one of those people, but when Deb got her $8,000 back on her taxes, the value of an accountant is quite clear. That’s how it works with Shaklee. You buy a $1 worth of nutrition, you get $10 back in quality of life, no doctor’s visits, no illnesses and no side effects from meds. The look on her face was – PRICELESS. She ordered Gold Vitalizer and we are going to work on reclaiming her health. Sometimes we need to wait for the truth of what we do and why we do it to come in a single, crystal clear moment.
Annie

Six years ago my wife Linda was on 17 prescriptions a day that cost us over $800.00 per month. After finding Shaklee she is now on 0, none, no medications and for a whole lot less than we were paying. That $800 a month now covers supplements for both of us, plus all of our cleaning supplies, plus breakfast everyday for both of us.
Steve

 

My friend Amber has an amazing story (you may have seen our Shaklee Effect Video where we were flown to New York to meet on camera) but she also talks about the amount of money they are saving by using preventative health. (She also documents how much she saves in cleaners even as a former couponer).

 

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So is Shaklee worth the investment?
From Beth ”A friend mentioned GNC vitamins, and I was interested in seeing the price difference between Shaklee and GNC. For a multivitamin, probiotic, fish oil and protein Shaklee is actually LESS money (GNC was $4.86 a day and Shaklee was $4.43)! And GNC brands do not have the science, the purity, the testing behind their products like Shaklee does. Shaklee goes BEYOND organic (go ahead and ask me how) and ensures their products are safe AND effective.”
Want to know more about why Shaklee is worth the cost?
The most expensive vitamins are the ones that don’t work.

Watch this video and try it with your supplements
Read this blog about Children’s Vitamins
Rest this testimony of Why Shaklee?
Watch this video about the Shaklee Difference
Listen to this audio file about the standard Shaklee sets in the industry.

 

And if your goals are to be healthy and MAKE money, contact me about joining me in this amazing business of giving people access to choices to create healthier lives!

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America’s Heart Disease Burden

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February is Heart Health Month and there is a lot to know about Heart Health!

Did you know?
About 600,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year–that’s 1 in every 4 deaths.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. More than half of the deaths due to heart disease in 2009 were in men.

Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease, killing more than 385,000 people annually.

For many the first sign of heart disease is sudden death.

Every year about 715,000 Americans have a heart attack. Of these, 525,000 are a first heart attack and 190,000 happen in people who have already had a heart attack.

Coronary heart disease alone costs the United States$108.9 billion each year. This total includes the cost of health care services, medications, and lost productivity.

What else?
High blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, and smoking are key risk factors for heart disease. About half of Americans (49%) have at least one of these three risk factors.

What can we do?
Work on lowering your blood pressure and cholesterol. If you are on medications, follow the instructions from your physician for sure. Eat a healthy diet that is low in salt, total fat and cholesterol. Enjoy the richness of fresh fruits and veggies throughout your day. Exercise. Even if it’s just a brisk walk for 10 minutes a couple times a day, 5 days a week—that is important.

And of course if you smoke, stop. Extra B-Complex can really help with cravings and energy during that quitting time. I can also provide other testimonies of supplements that have aided in quitting smoking.

coQ

Every cell in the body requires the energy provided from this nutrient, CoQ10. New Triple Strength CoQHeart® with Q-Trol™ delivers a powerful 100 mg of CoQ10 plus resveratrol in a bioavailable softgel. CoQ10 is vital for energy production in the heart and promotes and protects healthy arteries, while resveratrol helps relax blood vessels to promote healthy blood flow. For those on cholesterol lower medications, it is imperative to take CoQ 10 and those meds do impede the product of CoQ 10 in the body.CoQ Heart is improved in that it now contains 3X more coQ10 and Resveratrol than before. If you put it on an Autoship order, you will receive an additional 10% discount each time you order.

omega 90Omega Guard: Healthy Omega 3 Fish Oil. Omega Guard™ delivers a full spectrum of ultra-pure, pharmaceutical-grade omega-3 fatty acids to support healthy heart, joint and brain function. It is made with a proprietary multistep molecular distillation process for the utmost purity and potency of omega-3s fatty acids, including EPA and DHA. Shaklee Omega Guard is triple distilled to guarantee purity and potency.

 

 

crcCholesterol Reduction Complex: Naturally lower your cholesterol. This product contains a powerful blend of plant sterols and stanols that along with a healthy diet and exercise have been clinically proven to cholesterol. Ask you doctor ask them. They know about the sterol and stanols. All good, all natural and no harmful side effects. This delivers 2000mg of sterols and stanol, 100% of the National Institutes for Health recommendations. It is Gluten free as well as Star K Kosher certified.
All three supplements are also offered in our Heart Health Package.

I hope this information is helpful in your journey to a healthier heart! Please contact me for additional information or a personal consultation.

Thank you to Moyra Gorski for compiling this information and allowing us to post it here! 


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Five Ways to Offset the Sugar Overload

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So, of course, last week was Halloween and we let our child partake in the trick-or-treating and the festivities. So not only did we get a house full of candy from her two costumed gathering excursions, and have the leftovers from our own house—but we also hosted a baby shower on Saturday.

And even though Halloween is over, we are only just entering the sugar overload season. Thanksgiving and Christmas and all the parties and gatherings and activities are full of high sugar sweets and high carb foods.

Now if you know me personally, you know that we are not the kind of “healthy” people who give out pencils at Halloween and have children that can’t identify a Reeses. We let our children learn moderation, as we hopefully show by example and let them enjoy the same festivities and special treats that we do.

All that to say, the REALITY is that SUGAR EFFECTS US. I plan to write more extensively on this topic, but you can read many resources to prove that “Consuming too much sugar suppresses immune system cells responsible for attacking bacteria. Even consuming just 75 to 100 grams of a sugar solution (about the same as in two 12-ounce sodas) reduces the ability of white blood cells to overpower and destroy bacteria.” (WebMD)  Quotes aside, I clearly see the effects of sugar in my daughter’s behavior and her health. So what do we do?

Here are five ideas to help offset the sugar overload in your children (or you)

1.  Planning and Moderation: Consider all the opportunities over the week where sugar will be consumed. Plan and set expectations beforehand so everyone is prepared. Limit the sugar and look at the whole picture of the week or weekend.

2. Protein Balance: Before they have all the sugar—make sure to give them healthy proteins so help combat the effects of the sugar. Protein shakes, eggs, meats, and nuts are great ways.

3. Vegetable Balance: Don’t forget to give your children the nutrients they need to keep their bodies healthy. Their bodies have the power to fight illness but need the fuel to do so. Giving them plenty of vegetables will help keep them healthy so they can have a few treats over the holidays.

4. Probiotics: Sugar feeds the bad bacteria in your gut. And since 80% of your immune system is in your gut and 40% of your brain receptors are in your gut—it’s health is quite important and that’s why these sugar clearly effect behavior and health. You can help heal the gut and revive the good bacteria with a quality probiotic.

5. The Vitamin Milkshake: We like to make the Vitamin Milkshake for our kids which includes: almond milk, peanut butter, banana, frozen spinach, protein, Vitamin D, Nutriferon (half), and alfalfa. Paired with the above it helps boost their immunity when the sugar brings it down.

What else do you do to offset the sugar overload?


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Prepare Now for Cold and Flu Season: Developing and Maintaining a Healthy Immune System

It’s cold and flu season. It’s already snowed here in the Midwest and colds and flu’s are going around among my friends. Here are some great ideas and products that can help you boost your immune system

 

Shaklee-10NutriFeron – One of the most powerful formulas ever developed for strengthening the immune system. Its unique, synergistic blend of plant extracts including pumpkin seeds, plantago seeds, safflower flowers and Japanese honeysuckle flower buds, can be taken daily preventatively.  But if you feel   you are starting to come down with a virus up to 6 per day has been shown to be very  effective at heading off an infection.

Supports and stimulates the immune system, by increasing the activity of macrophages and inducing natural interferon production and optimizes immune response against environmental irritants and airborne substances (as with allergies, asthma)

Even helped reduce Hepatitis C virus in clinical trials

Shaklee-15Sustained Release Vita-C®, 500 mg.– Only all natural sustained release C with no shellac.  Your body is capable of many things, but it can’t make vitamin C. Shaklee Sustained Release Vita-C 500 mg offers sustained-release protection hour after hour, using a proprietary sustained release system. Only all natural sustained release C with no shellac. Antioxidant property protects the body against free radicals. Boosts the immune system, infection fighter, natural antihistamine, increases the resistance to ligament and tendon injury. Vitamin C is depleted by stress such as infections, illness, fatigue, surgery, anxiety, pollution and extremes in temperature. As we age, there is a greater need to regenerate collagen, which requires more vitamin C. (And Chewable C for kids)

 

Defend & Resist Complex (Echinacea) – Keep in medicine chest and take when you feel you are coming down with something.  Has become the most prominent herb used in the United States and Europe.  Activates the immune system, promotes production of white blood cells, enhances resistance to infection, viral and bacterial, especially flu and herpes; reduces mucus.  Works best when started at the onset of cold or flu symptoms.   Can be used effectively for up to 10 days at a time.  In addition, larch tree extract and elderberry surround viruses and prevent them from reproducing.


Garlic Complex– Natural decongestant and natural antibiotic.  Shaklee’s Garlic Complex has a two-way odor control with a gentle, temperature-controlled drying process and a pleasant blend of spearmint and rosemary extracts to maintain high potency.  Historically, has been used for congestion, asthma, sinusitis and allergies, colds, flu and pneumonia, sore throat and bronchitis.  Has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties and is effective against yeast infections (Candida).  Nature’s strongest natural antibiotic.

Helps with cholesterol and blood pressure also

Shaklee-9There are others including
Optiflora Probiotics
Vitamin D
and Zinc as well!

What else can you do to increase immunity?
Reduce carbs and sugars
Increase vegetables (ideal is 6-9 servings/day)
Take a regular multi-vitamin
Exercise regularly

WebMD (from a compilation of doctors) gives these as three immune system busters:
1. Lack of exercise:
2. Being overweight
3. Eating foods high in sugar and fat
4. Experiencing constant stress
5. Being socially isolated
Read about it here

Natural News researchers agree that our diets and sugar intake cause colds. Read about their studies here.

Stay warm and stay healthy!


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Five School Survival Supplies You Can’t Find at Target

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Nostalgia wells up in me every year when the “get back to school” season hits.  I’m excited that next August I’ll get to take my own daughter for the first time to grab up all the fun back to school necessities!

Even if you have all the right notebooks and pencils…and for the teachers, all the right bulletin board materials and grading pens, you still don’t have everything you need for a truly successful year.

Every year during the first months of school my Facebook feed is full of teachers or parents commenting on the current illness and ailments of their own, their kids or their classrooms.  It doesn’t have to be that way! Your fall and winter season as a family or as a teacher can be a healthy one, unencumbered by lost days and weeks recovering from illness or nursing your loved ones back to health.

Here are five school survival supplies to make it a more cold and flu free year.

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1. Multi-Vitamin: Because of the quality of our food supply, it is very difficult (pretty much impossible) to all thenutrients our bodies need from what we eat. Adding a multivitamin (Incredivites for get children before they can chew, Vita-Lea with iron for women, Vita-Lea without iron for men) makes a big difference in your immunity’s first line of defense. The children’s vitamin in particular is the first children’s vitamin with lactoferrin—the immune boosting protein found in breast milk. (And no, you can’t get this at Target. My friend, Kylie Hinkle gives an amazing explanation of this on her blog in her post “What You Need to Know about Children’s Vitamins.”  In addition you can take a look at the Shaklee difference and this video for one example).

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2. Optiflora probiotics:
80% of our immune system is in our digestive tract, which effects not only how healthy we are, but how the rest of our body functions. Even our moods and emotions. You can learn more about the importance of a healthy gut in this great explanation by former science teacher and business partner of mine, Katie Odom. She also covers in more detail what makes Shaklee’s probiotics significantly more effective. In summary, because the microflora in probiotics is delicate, they often are destroyed by the acid in our mouths and stomachs.  Studies have shown that as little as 5% of what is included in the typical store bought probiotic actually makes it into your gut. Shaklee’s triple-encapsulated system guarantees that all of the microflora listed will actually make it to your intestines where probiotics live and do their work. This is why people often see completely different results when using Shaklee’s probiotic. AND the tiny pearl is easily swallowed by even the smallest children (my daughter started swallowing it in applesauce before she was a year old).

Shaklee-103. Nutriferon: When it comes to immunity, Nutriferon is the most amazing product in my arsenal. World-renowned immunologist Dr. Yasuhiko Kojima first discovered interferon in 1954, while he was conducting research at Tokyo University. After 40 years of painstaking research, testing hundreds of natural compounds, he developed a unique blend of four powerful plant extracts that boost the body’s natural production of interferon. Scientists and medical communities have identified interferon as critical to healthy immune function. NutriFeron is the only dietary supplement in the U.S. created by the discoverer of interferon that naturally increases the production of interferon in the body. This product has been life-changing for us as we protect ourselves during the flu season and prevent ourselves from catching something our children may have picked up. During cold season, when someone I know we’ve been around has the flu, when my children’s diets have compromised their immune system, I always add this (crushed and added to a shake or applesauce) to my children’s vitamin regimen. With small children I crush a half, but older children can have a whole tablet.

4. Vitamin C: Simple, yes, but effective. Children can add a simple chewable Vitamin C (of the highest quality) and adults can use the very effective Sustained Release Vita-C for all day immune boosting.

Shaklee-145. Shaklee 180 shakes and barsFor both teachers and students, starting your day with a quality source of protein and nutrients will give you energy and focus to make the most of your day. Many students see a distinct difference in their attention in class when getting enough protein, which helps stabilize blood sugar and appetite. The bars also make great after-school snacks or for before sports and extracurricular activities. (These shakes and bars are safe and HEALTHY for children of ALL ages).  They’re priced at a great value for what they contain and beat out the store bought meal bars all day long.

If you’d like to hear more about making this year your best health year yet, check out our these webinars on helping children and teachers have a healthy and successful school year filled with great testimonies:

How To Help Our Kids Have Their Best Year Ever
Teachers Nutritional Survival Kit … How to Stay Healthy and Sane This School Year.
Raising Our Kids in an Increasingly Unhealthy World
Why We Trust Our Kids to Shaklee


Shaklee-7Bonus item for the best year ever: Omegas!  Mighty Smarts for children can help greatly with mental focus and brain development. Not only for those struggling with attention disorders, but for all kids.

 

 

 

Vitamin photo credit: Maggie Fortson Photography


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A response to the New Report on Omegas

If you read about health in the news, you probably have read the reports of a study which concluded that taking Omega-3 fish oil supplements increases risk of prostate cancer. Before you walk away from all the amazing health benefits of an Omega-3 supplement, please read what Dr. Stephen Chaney has to say about the findings.

Dr. Stephen Chaney has a BS in Chemistry from Duke University and a PhD in Biochemistry from UCLA. He has been Professor of Biochemistry & Medical Biophysics & Nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Medical School for more than 30 years and has won several awards for teaching excellence. Dr. Stephen Chaney has published over 100 scientific articles and reviews in peer-reviewed scientific journals. He has also written two chapters on nutrition for a popular medical biochemistry textbook. Dr. Chaney also runs Chaney Lab at UNC a top Cancer research lab.

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My phone has been ringing off the hook. My email in-box is full. It seems that everyone wants to know if the headlines about omega-3 fatty acids and prostate cancer are true.

In case you have just gotten back from a vacation on some deserted island with no newspapers and no internet, let me bring you up to date. The headlines are saying things like “Fish Oils May Increase Your Risk of Prostate Cancer” and “Latest Study Links Fish Oils to Prostate Cancer”.

Once again, it seems like just when you’ve figured out which foods that are good for you, someone tells you they could actually kill you. It’s no wonder so many of you have been asking me to cut through the hype and put this latest study in perspective.

As usual, let me start with the study itself (Brasky et al., Journal of the National Cancer Institute, doi: 10.1093/jnci/djt174). On the surface, it appears to be a reasonably well designed study, and the conclusions were dramatic. They reported that subjects with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood were 43% more likely to develop prostate cancer, 44% more likely to develop low grade prostate cancer, and 71% more likely to develop high grade prostate cancer compared to those with low levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood.

Case closed you might be tempted to say. However, once you dig a little deeper, the study does have two important weaknesses.
1) It used data from another study that was designed for a totally different purpose. They went back and analyzed blood samples from a previous study that was actually designed to measure the association between vitamin E and selenium intake and prostate cancer. That’s a scientific no-no.  Let me explain why.

If they had designed a study to investigate the association between omega-3 fatty acids and prostate cancer, they probably would have selected participants with a wide range of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood at the beginning of the study. The subjects in this study actually had a very narrow range of omega-3 fatty acids in their bloodstream.

They also would probably have done a diet analysis and found out whether the subject’s omega-3 fatty acids were coming from fish or fish oil supplements. They might have even asked whether the omega-3 fatty acids were from farm-raised fish or inexpensive fish oil supplements known to be contaminated with PCBs. This study collected none of these data.

2) This is a single study, and individual studies often provide misleading results. For example, if you examine their data closely, it looks like heavy drinkers and smokers might have a decreased risk of prostate cancer. I think that’s unlikely, but weird associations like that often pop up in individual studies.

That’s why expert scientists aren’t swayed by individual studies. We prefer to look at the “big picture” that emerges when you combine the results of many studies. For example, a meta-analysis of 24 studies with 461,402 subjects (Symanski et al, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 92: 1223-1233, 2010) found no association etween fish consumption and prostate cancer risk.

Individual studies ranged from a 61% decrease in risk to a 77% increase in risk, but the overall effect was zero! Even more importantly, fish consumption decreased prostate cancer deaths by 63%.

So what is the bottom line for you?

1) Don’t panic. Don’t change what you are doing based on the latest sensational headlines. This study has been way overblown. We have come to expect sensational headlines and hype from journalists and bloggers because that’s how they get people to read what they write.

However, I find the comment from the senior author that “We’ve shown once again that use of nutritional supplements may be harmful” to be very irresponsible, especially since they have no data showing that anyone
in their study actually used fish oil supplements.

2) The authors make a big deal out of the fact that this study replicates the results they obtained in a previous study (Brasky et al, British American Journal of Epidemiology, 173: 1429-1439, 2011). However, they neglect to mention that 4 previous studies showed decreased risk, and the totality of all published studies shows no effect of fish or fish oil on prostate cancer risk (Symanski et al, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 92: 1223-1233, 2010).

3) The benefits of assuring optimal omega-3 fatty acid intake clearly overshadow the risks. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to lower triglycerides and blood pressure, reduce inflammation and depression, and may even help prevent dementia.

4) This study does raise a caution flag, but I would not recommend reducing your omega-3 fatty acid intake on the basis of these data alone – especially since most published studies show no increased risk of prostate cancer. There are much better designed studies underway that should clearly show an increase in prostate cancer risk if it is a real effect. I will monitor those studies closely and keep you abreast of any new developments.

To Your Health!
Dr. Stephen G Chaney

To read more from Dr. Chaney, see his website: www.socialmarketingconnection.com.
This article used with permission.


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Five Ideas to Prevent and Relieve Eczema Naturally

eczema

Eczema is one of the most common issues I come across when having health related discussions with people.  It ranges from parents trying to find a way to ease and heal their children’s eczema to adults who have been dealing with the problem for many years with no success.

Eczema is a superficial skin inflammation, characterized by redness, edema, oozing, crusting, scaling and usually itching.

Here are the top five most important adjustments someone can make quickly to address the issue of eczema:

1.      Diet
The foods we eat greatly effects our health—and yes, our skin! A diet high in sugar and carbohydrates can create an unhealthy gut which then weakens the immune system, creating symptoms like eczema. Sugars also are inflammatory and eczema is an inflammatory condition. Remember that sugar is not just in the form of treats but bread, cereal, pasta, etc. Also avoid dairy (acidic & inflammatory), acidic foods (oranges, tomatoes, pineapple etc.), and peanut butter (inflammatory), French fries, margarine, donuts, and hydrogenated oils. If you can’t avoid them, just try to really limit them. Increase protein and vegetables. Vegetables strengthen the immune system and reduce inflammation. This blog is full of ideas to do this including great breakfast muffins. Drinking plenty of water is also important.

2.       Non-Toxic Laundry Detergent:
The simplest change to make is laundry detergent. Most store bought detergents are FULL of nasty chemicals* and fragrances. Most detergents do not rinse out of your clothes completely. When your laundry smells like Mountain Fresh Air when you put it on, it’s a clear sign that the Mountain Fresh Air chemical fragrance is still in your clothes—and in contact with your SKIN the whole time you’re wearing that clothing. Then at night you likely spend hours sleeping on sheets also washed in the same detergents. I’ve had numerous customers whose children’s eczema has been cleared up JUST by changing laundry detergent.

I love and recommend Shaklee’s Fresh Laundry which is non-toxic, washes out completely (which means it’s safe for cloth diapers too), and is very effective. I use it as a pre-treat (but it also comes in powder) and have a gallery of before and after pictures if you don’t want to try it for yourself.

banner_GetCleanLaundryHere is one testimony: “I just realized that, for the first time, the kids did not have any eczema this year. In the past, they’ve had it bad all winter, despite constant lotioning and prescription creams. I know it’s not scientific, but I doubt it’s coincidence that this year we switched from our mainstream-brand “dye-free, perfume-free” laundry stuff – which I learned contains just as many toxic chemicals as the “regular” versions – to the Shaklee laundry products.”

3.       Toxins in the Home:
Laundry detergent isn’t the only toxin in the home that has negative effects on our health. Most everyday cleaners contain harmful chemicals that irritate the skin. For example, if you use a floor cleaner that contains bleach and the child is playing on that floor the residue from the cleaner will end up on his skin. Spraying a cleaner on your furniture and then sitting down on it gets chemicals on your skin. Cleaning your dishes with a toxic cleaner can make you ingest chemicals. Consider what you wash your bathtub and toilet with and then put bare skin on. Inhaling the fumes of toxic cleaners can weaken your immune system (which can effect skin, the body’s largest living organ). Switching to non-toxic cleaners for the home can improve not only skin, but also allergies and asthma symptoms. There are effective, safe, and cost saving cleaners available. My personal favorite is the Get Clean line by Shaklee. Not only will it remove some of the toxins from your home but it can also save you an average of $200/year.

4.       Non-Toxic Skin Care:
Avoid lotions and creams with Lanolin.  Even moms and dads should avoid lanolin if they hold and come in contact with the child.  Being very careful about lotions, creams, soaps, etc. Use a cleanser in the bath that is perfect PH. Avoid toxics and heavy fragrances. If you are looking for body soaps, we recommend ShakleeBaby Wash and Lotion as well as our MeadowBlend bar for kids and adults.

5.       Supplements
Because eczema is usually (like most issues we see on the outside of our bodies) a symptom of what is going on inside the body, supplements are often a major help.

Many supplements are helpful, but there are two to always start with as it relates to healthy skin:

Probiotics: Causes of eczema can be allergies, toxins, chemical sensitivity, toxicity, post-viral reactions. Probiotics help build the immune system (80% of your immune system is in the gut). Probiotics also heal the gut of candida. Candida often leads to inflammation and skin issues including eczema. My own personal healing and my daughter’s healing center around probiotics in dealing with eczema. Probiotics are healthy bacteria that we need to help keep our digestive track healthy. Shaklee’s probiotic is different because of it’s triple encapsulation, which means that all the micro flora is guaranteed to end up in your gut and not get eaten along the way.

Omegas: Someone with eczema is likely having a problem with the conversion of EPA, DHA, and GLA (these are the good fats) into prostaglandins. For a child, I would recommend Mighty Smarts and for an adult either OmegaGuard or GLA (or both if severe.) Omegas reduce inflammation and help skin health in general and prevent dryness.

In addition I would suggest a multivitamin for a child or adult, but the above two would be the most important. Alfalfa is also an effective supplement to reduce inflammation throughout the body, which contributes to eczema. The child pictured consumed all of the above and her eczema was cleared up in three days.

The multi-vitamin made a major difference forthis little boyas well, because his eczema was also connected with a vitamin b & zinc deficiency.

And here is another success story:
Our 2-year-old son had eczema on his legs and bottom for about a year when we first heard about Shaklee. We had been trying lotions, creams, essential oils, probiotics, and elimination diets to help but nothing worked. His eczema was progressively getting worse and we needed to start using cloth diapers to reduce the irritation of his eczema. A friend of mine shared with me that Shaklee’s laundry soap was great for cloth diapers. We also switched our household cleaners to Shaklee and started to see a difference in how much he would scratch his eczema. We heard about all that Shaklee had to offer and decided to try the Incredivites and Optiflora. Within one week of him taking these supplements, his eczema was completely gone! He’s only had one flare up since then (3.5years) and we were able to clear it up in 4 days.

I only share Shaklee products because I’ve seen such great success in our own home as well as many people I’ve been able to help. Shaklee has incredible integrity amidst a marketplace where most companies attempt to hide what their products are made with and how they are made. They provide everyday products that I trust to use with my family and also to share with my friends.  They save a family a lot of money too. Their standards are higher than any other company in their industry. Click on the link above to learn about why Shaklee products are different and why they work!

These are suggestions that will create generally positive changes for anyone’s health, but also have been shown to help relieve and prevent eczema naturally.