Archive for the ‘immune system’ Category

Happy (Tea)totalers

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

smallgreentea

Depression can sneak up on even the happiest among us.  But some groups seem to be more susceptible than others.  A recent study involving a group of older Japanese men and women who live in communities discovered that drinking green tea several times a day can significantly decrease incidence of depression in the group.  Green tea is also heavy on antioxidant properties and light on caffeine and is thought to be very good for overall health.  And now it can add “natural anti-depressant” to its roster of good attributes.

Of course choosing to live a healthy lifestyle can also make you happy, just as experiencing health problems can precipitate depression in many people.  Exercise can help release endorphins into your body, causing feelings of wellbeing and calm.  And seeking out feel good foods can also contribute to feeling happy (and healthy too).  Foods like wild salmon (rich in omega-3’s and vitamin D), lowfat or nonfat milk, (high in vitamin D and B12), blueberries and strawberries (high in antioxidants/great source of vitamin C) can all help fight free radicals that can cause cell damage and in turn compromise health.

Ideally we’d all eat healthy, vitamin and antioxidant rich food every day of our lives.  We’d train for marathons regularly, bicycle to and from work, and enjoy the requisite eight hours of sleep a night.  But most of us don’t live in this kind of world.  So do the best you can.  Take a walk after dinner.  Eat organically whenever possible.  And take your vitamins and supplements that help to fill in the nutritional gaps from your less-than-ideal-lifestyle.

And at the end of a particularly stressful or bad day, unwrap a little bit of dark chocolate (full of antioxidants), make yourself a cup of green tea, and end your day on a happy note.

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Learn health tips including how to achieve better cardiovascular health.  Read our health articles here.  We also carry natural stress relief solutions.

Reference: http://www.vitasearch.com/get-clp-summary/38595, “Green tea consumption is associated with depressive symptoms in the elderly,” Niu K, Hozawa A, et al, Am J Clin Nutr, 2009 Oct 14; [Epub ahead of print]. (Address: Division of Biomedical Engineering for Health and Welfare, Tohoku University Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering, Sendai, Japan).

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Veggie Might!

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

womanwithsalad

Do you love cruciferous vegetables?  Are you only truly satisfied when you have a heaping plate of broccoli or bok choy in front of you?  Do you dream of a field full of cauliflower?  Apparently you’re not alone.  It seems that vegetarians may have a leg up on the rest of us as far as overall health.

A recent study conducted on adolescents suggests that those who ate a vegetarian diet were far more likely than non-vegetarians to meet the Healthy People 2010 dietary objectives. They tended to eat less overall fat and saturated fats and, not surprisingly, consumed far more servings of vegetables and fruits compared with their carnivorous counterparts.  The adolescent vegetarians were also less likely to eat fast foods and to indulge in sodas and fruit drinks.

So what does this mean for the rest of us?  Even if you aren’t a vegetarian (or a teenager), you can still adopt some of these healthy habits.  Aim for 3 to 4 servings of vegetables a day.  It’s not as hard as it sounds.  Have a side salad with that sandwich at lunch, and at dinnertime, fill your plate three-quarters full with a variety of veggies, i.e. carrots, salad, squash, peas, asparagus, green beans, or whatever strikes your fancy.  Fill the other quarter of the plate with your protein source.  You will be surprised at how easy it is to embrace good eating patterns as long as you stick to a variety.  Aside from the health benefits, you should also discover a smaller waistline.

Grab a fistful of radishes and that sauté pan.  You are on your way to a healthier you.  And who knows? You might end up liking veggies as much as chocolate.  Okay-maybe almost as much!

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Having problems stomaching certain foods?  Take a look at our dynamic, digestive duo with probiotics.  And try our Omega-Gel® for a healthier immune system.

Reference: http://www.vitasearch.com/get-clp-summary/30680, “Adolescent Vegetarians: How Well Do Their Dietary Patterns Meet the Healthy People 2010 Objectives?” Perry CL, McGuire MT, et al, Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med, May 2002;156:431-437.

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I Want Candy!

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Pick supplements and not sugar for better health

“The sugar rush.”  Sometimes nothing else will do.  When I’m face to face with a box of candy, or a malted milk, I am truly powerless to resist.  And with a certain chocolate-centric holiday just around the corner, I have to tread lightly, or else I will fall into a different category, “the sugar coma.”

All joking aside, sugar is delicious and wonderful to enjoy, especially on holidays and birthdays.  But it is also full of empty calories.  For example, the average soda these days contains up to 10 teaspoons of sugar.  10!  Even though I’m a sugar fanatic, I can’t bring myself to drink much soda anymore.  And that’s a great thing.  Instead I substitute milk, mineral water with a little lime, or even a small glass of wine and I save myself 100’s of calories a day.

Diabetes is on the rise.  It’s sad but true.  Some hypothesize that everything we eat nowadays is laden with sugar, and perhaps these ideas are not far off.  Be sure to check your food labels for hidden sugars, even in items like crackers, soups, and tomato sauces.  Awareness can make the difference in your health and also in your waistline.

Reward yourself properly.  As a society, we tend to reward a promotion, good grades, or any other success or special occasion with a big meal and lots of treats.  Choose wisely.  Now I love cake as much as the next person, but maybe it’s a better (and certainly healthier) idea to splurge on a massage, a night at the theater, or even a new outfit.  You will ultimately feel better, weigh less, and perhaps even spend a little quality time appreciating something you wouldn’t normally do.

Keep up the exercise, and work in lots of vegetables and fruits into your diet.  Take vitamins and supplements like Calcium, CoQ10, and Omega-3.  Get a proper night’s sleep as much as possible, and then, if all else fails, have that chocolate chip cookie with extra walnuts.  But just a couple.  Wash them down with a nice, cold glass of nonfat milk.  You’ve earned it!

Happy Valentine’s Day

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Vive the french!

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

Solanova nutritional supplements with Resveratrol

The popular antioxidant Resveratrol can counteract the effects of a fatty diet?  Mais Oui!

Flaxy, buttery croissants, decadent sauces, crepe Suzette, and steak au poivre may all come to mind when we think about French cuisine.  The French have a reputation for eating what they want, smoking (which we do not condone), and drinking wine oftentimes with lunch and dinner.  So why is there a plethora of research stating that the French experience fewer instances of cardiovascular disease than say, we Americans?  It just doesn’t seem fair.

There have been many theories over the years as to why the French have been somewhat spared the unwanted effects of heart disease.  Perhaps part of the protection comes from wine, as has been suggested by countless research studies.  A powerful antioxidant found in red wine, Resveratrol, seems to have protective health properties.  Also worth noting is that the French tend to eat less than Americans.  They seem to choose quality over quantity, whereas we Americans (in truly American fashion) choose both!

A recent study explored supplementation with Resveratrol along with a high fat diet in mice and discovered that the mice that were fed a high fat diet and Resveratrol were just as healthy as mice fed a healthier/low fat diet without the Resveratrol.  A third group of mice that were simply fed a high fat/high calorie diet without Resveratrol experienced many more health problems overall than the other two groups.  And other research studies have concluded that high doses of Resveratrol can mimic some of the health benefits of caloric restriction in mice.

So there seems to be compelling evidence that this wonder antioxidant, Resveratrol, has all kinds of protective properties.  However, scientists are hypothesizing that it would take many, many glasses (or bottles!) of wine to truly reap the significant benefits of Resveratrol.  We carry a superb supplement called Rubi QNol® CoQ10 that is an amalgam of our highly absorbable Ubiquinol (the reduced form of CoQ10) plus 50 mgs of the antioxidant powerhouse Resveratrol (the equivalent of 100 glasses of wine).  Together they form a great team that fight free radical damage, boost the immune system, and can help protect the heart.

Yep, we’ll drink to that!

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Here is some more information about the power of antioxidants in our health archives. Enjoy and be healthy!

http://www.vitasearch.com/get-clp-summary/35927,

Reference: “Resveratrol improves health and survival of mice on a high-calorie diet,” Baur JA, Pearson KJ, et al, Nature, 2006; 444(7117): 337-42. (Address: Department of Pathology, Paul F. Glenn Laboratories for the Biological Mechanisms of Aging, Harvard Medical School, 77 Avenue Louis Pasteur, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA. E-mail: D.S. at david_sinclair@hms.harvard.edu or R.deC at deCaboRa@grc.nia.nih.gov ).

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Tummy Trouble

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

Stomach health and exercise for energy and health

Digestive disorders can be debilitating.  If you have problems with your stomach, it’s very difficult to enjoy life and to attend to your various work and personal responsibilities.  Taking probiotics can help.  Probiotics are those friendly little “good”  bacteria in our intestines that help to fight off infection, reduce the risk of some diseases, and can soothe digestive disorders.

Whether or not you have IBS, other health conditions, or overall tummy trouble, supplementing with quality Probiotics can be invaluable to your digestive and your overall health.  Don’t stomach tummy-trouble anymore!

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Want to stop the belly-aching?  Read more about good digestive health and probiotics in our health archives. We have a dynamic duo of supplements for better digestive health that will help the digestive process, reduce gas and bloating, and allow for better absorption of the vitamins and minerals that are consumed.

http://www.vitasearch.com/get-clp-summary/37371,

Reference: “An open-label randomized controlled trial of lactulose and probiotics in the treatment of minimal hepatic encephalopathy,” Sharma P, Sharma BC, et al, Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol, 2008; 20(6): 506-11. (Address: Departments of Gastroenterology and Neurology, G.B. Pant Hospital, New Delhi, India).

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Bring on the (good) Fats!

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

omega_gel_spoon

Before you slather another piece of toast or a baked potato with loads of butter, think about what that added fat may do to your body and to your overall health.  Now that’s not to say that you can’t ever indulge in a dollop or two, but it has been discovered that it’s better to fill your life-and your plate-with “good fats” like olive oil, found most prevalently in heart healthy Mediterranean diets.  There has been myriad research indicating that a diet rich in good fats, vegetables, fish, fruits, and yes red wine, can be very good for you, your immune system and your heart.

In a study involving 3,042 men and women aged 18-89 years from the Attica region of Greece, adherence to a Mediterranean diet was found to be associated with increased levels of total antioxidant capacity (TAC), and decreased levels of oxidized LDL cholesterol. Participants, who had no clinical evidence of cardiovascular disease, completed validated food frequency questionnaires from which a ‘diet score’ was determined, which assessed the level of adherence to a Mediterranean diet. After adjustment for confounding factors, TAC was found to be 11% higher and oxidized LDL-cholesterol concentrations were found to be 19% lower among those in the highest tertile of diet score, compared with the lowest tertile. While consumption of red meat was found to be inversely associated with TAC, consumption of olive oil and fruits and vegetables, on the other hand, were found to be positively associated with TAC. This study suggests that adherence to a Mediterranean diet, through its positive effects on TAC and oxidized LDL levels, may be of benefit in maintaining cardiovascular health.

So fill your plate high with rich, antioxidant foods and reap the rewards of a healthier, happier lifestyle.

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Ensure that you are getting the best possible antioxidant protection.  And don’t settle for subpar Omega-3 supplements.  For better health choose highly potent and absorbable Omega-Gel®. And read more about other antioxidants like Resveratrol and Ubiquinol, that both play an important part in fortifying the immune system.

Reference: http://www.vitasearch.com/get-clp-summary/34703, “Adherence to the Mediterranean diet is associated with total antioxidant capacity in healthy adults: the ATTICA study,” Pitsavos C, Panagiotakos DB, et al, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2005; 82(3): 694-9. (Address: First Cardiology Clinic, School of Medicine, University of Athens, Athens, Greece, and the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Harokopio University, Athens, Greece).

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Health…matters!

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

Solanova good eating habit are healthy

I was just recently patting myself on the back because I hadn’t gotten sick at all during this flu season.  Even though I was completely surrounded by sniffling, sneezing, and hacking co-workers and/or relatives, I experienced nary a cough.  Well done, I thought.  I must really be impervious to-well-everything!  Hurray for me!

But then, inevitably, I woke up with a cold.  Normally there are warning signs; a feeling of dopiness, a vague headache, unexplained fatigue.  However this time, I simply woke up feeling stuffy, headachy, and just a little bit out of it.  This cold is annoying, and is making me just a tad crazy as I try to search for just the right-um-uh-you know-phrase to convey its unpleasantness.

Colds really do make me feel hazy and tired.  But here’s what I realized.  The colds I used to get oftentimes turned into something much worse (like Bronchitis) and tended to be of longer, agonizing duration.  Now when I am unlucky enough to get sick, the cold or flu isn’t that bad and is over in a few days tops.

What is the difference between then and now, you may ask?  Eating right, exercising, and yes, faithfully taking my vitamins and supplements.

I hate to be so darn elementary about it, but in my case it seems to be absolutely true.  I was once a person who, when faced with an illness, would try to consume fistfuls of vitamin C and other vitamins on the off chance it would stop my misery mid-cold.  It didn’t.  I was also the kind of person who would only wander near a gym, a produce market, or a vitamin store sporadically, and usually just to peek in the window.

A few years ago I decided to make a change.  I started eating things like broccoli, Swiss chard, carrots, and salads at least once every single day.  I joined a gym and I went to it, usually three times a week.  And finally, I did a little research and started taking some vitamins and supplements on a regular basis.  Now none of these things is rash by any means, but I changed what I felt I could really commit to and it worked.  I feel healthier, stronger, more well rested, and better overall than I did just a few years ago.

I decided to make a series of small changes that over time made a big impact on my life and my health.  You can do it too.  Good luck.

Happy New Year!

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To be or not to be…an ice cream sundae.

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

woman with salad and antioxidants

You are what you eat.  Yes, a hackneyed expression, but nevertheless true.  I always feel better if I eat in a healthy way, and usually feel vaguely guilty if I’ve indulged in too much fat, sugar, or alcohol-and usually it’s a combination of all three-especially around the holidays.

If you’re anything like me, it can be very difficult to stay motivated.  For example, I like the gym, but I like sleeping more.  I enjoy sautéed Swiss chard, but I’d much rather have an oversized ice cream sundae dripping with chocolate sauce.  It’s very easy and tempting to stray off the healthy, antioxidant path.  There are cookie-laden forests and lakes of freshly whipped cream to explore instead!  But these empty calorie treats-as good as they may be-are nutrition traps.  What’s more, they aren’t doing anything to fortify my immune system.  I want to feel strong, healthy, and in control of my health destiny as much as possible.

So I recommit.  Every day to a healthy way of life.  For me, putting my continued good health at the top of my “to do” list empowers me to carry on with my eating-right-and-exercising-routine.  The fact that I will look better in my clothes is a nice byproduct, but not the main reason that I try very hard to take care of myself.  I cram as many antioxidant-enriched foods as I can possibly stand into my daily routine.  My body then has the tools it needs to fortify my immune system and defend against free radical damage and hopefully against various diseases and health conditions too.

In fact, there was a recent study conducted tracking midlife eating habits of Swedish twins.  It was hypothesized that those who fortified their diets with plenty of fruits and vegetables mid life seemed to lessen their risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, compared with twins who did not eat as many antioxidant enriched foods.

I decided long ago to hedge my bets and eat a healthy, well-balanced diet replete with plenty of antioxidants.  I am also sure to take Omega-3 fatty acids and highly absorbable multivitamins and vitamin D supplements every day for better health.  By committing to good health habits on a regular basis, I can still have my sundae and eat it too-and that makes me very, very happy.

Be healthy and enjoy all of the holiday festivities!

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To read more about powerful antioxidant support, check out our health archives. Happy holidays from all of us at Solanova!

Reference: http://www.vitasearch.com/get-clp-summary/38666“Midlife Fruit and Vegetable Consumption and Risk of Dementia in Later Life in Swedish Twins,” Hughes TF, Andel R, et al, Am J Geriatr Psychiatry, 2009 Nov 10; [Epub ahead of print]. (Address: Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Pittsburgh, PA, USA).

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In vitamin D we trust

Friday, December 18th, 2009

couple happy with Solanova supplements

There has been a lot of discussion lately about the positive effects of getting enough vitamin D, and equally much lamenting that most Americans aren’t getting as much as they need of the important vitamin to live an optimally healthy life.  Through numerous research, it has been shown that people with low levels of vitamin D seem to have a higher risk of disease overall.  Vitamin D is traditionally known for its supporting role, helping calcium build up strong bones.  But it also can help to regulate and fortify the immune system.  In a very recent study, vitamin D deficiency was linked to a greater risk of developing dementia, Alzheimer disease, and stroke.

In a cross-sectional study involving 318 elders (mean age = 73.5 years) receiving home care, results indicate that vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency may be associated with increased risks for all-cause dementia, Alzheimer disease and stroke. 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations were deficient (<10 ng/mL) in 14.5% and insufficient (10-20 ng/mL) in 44.3% of the participants. Mean 25(OH)D concentrations were found to be lower in subjects with dementia. Additionally, a significantly higher prevalence of dementia was observed in vitamin D insufficient subjects. After adjusting for confounding factors, vitamin D insufficiency was associated with more than a two-fold increased risk of dementia, Alzheimer disease and stroke (with and without dementia symptoms). Lastly, vitamin D deficiency was associated with increased white matter hyperintensity volume, grade, and prevalence of large vessel infarcts. Thus, the authors of this study conclude, “Vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency was associated with all-cause dementia, Alzheimer disease, stroke (with and without dementia symptoms), and MRI indicators of cerebrovascular disease. These findings suggest a potential vasculoprotective role of vitamin D.”

Vitamin D is turning out to be an incredibly important element for overall health.  Spending (a little) time in the sun, eating a balanced diet replete with calcium rich foods, and taking a quality vitamin D supplement can all contribute to continued good health and vitality.

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There is more information about enhancing the immune system and vitamin deficiency in our health concerns archives. And for superb antioxidant protection try our powerful Omega-Gel® supplements and our Liqui-Calcium for superior vitamin D support.

http://www.vitasearch.com/get-clp-summary/38665


Reference: “25-Hydroxyvitamin D, dementia, and cerebrovascular pathology in elders receiving home services,” Buell JS, Tucker KL, et al, Neurology, 2009 Nov 25; [Epub ahead of print]. (Address: Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University, Boston, MA, USA).

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Healthy is always helpful!

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

solanova blood sugar support supplements

Ever notice that when you’re really tired, rushed or stressed out that you also seem sluggish, fuzzy, and unmotivated?  I can only speak for myself, but I’ve noticed a pattern that I have to assume is fairly common.

Perhaps I have a particularly taxing week at work, and then the car breaks down, then I’m late for a flight that I already had to reschedule once before, and now the presentation won’t be done on time.  Stress then rears its ugly head, which in turn makes me count cracks in the ceiling all night, which leads to me feeling less than svelte as I go about my daily routine.

And then this domino effect continues.  It pervades my eating, drinking and exercising habits in an insidious way.  I start to make excuses why I absolutely have to have that maple doughnut bar oozing with sugary goodness, or that double cheeseburger-with fries of course, otherwise the burger is lonely.  Top all that off with a triple fat full mocha with extra whip and candied orange peels.  Here’s the troubling thing; all this actually makes me feel better!  I have more energy and I’m sated.  I can focus on my work, on driving, on saving that little kitten in the big Oak tree.  I feel like superman!

Until I don’t.  Then the crash comes, oh how I resent you sugar crash!  Just when I thought everything was going so well.  But I was simply fooling myself, masking what my body really needed with my out of control crazy cravings for sugar, caffeine, and lots o’ fat.  That’s not to say that there isn’t a time and place for indulgence.  But I was using this sustenance as a kind of super fat-sugar-coffee inflated life raft, rigged to help me handle my stressful, insomniac existence.  However, my little plan failed me miserably, so much so that I slogged home and blended myself an extra thick margarita for good measure.

At the risk of sounding like a 90’s fitness icon, it was time for me to “stop the insanity.”  I knew better.  I knew that the stress hormone cortisol was working against me and making me eat things I knew I shouldn’t.  And the fact that I wasn’t getting enough sleep made it all the worse.  My body craved instant (but not sustainable) energy to make it through the day and I ate it in abundance.  What I really should’ve done was take my vitamins, had one cup of coffee (which is my usual, sane practice), eaten my bran cereal, gone to work, drank plenty of water, had a very sensible and fuel-laden lunch of salad, a low fat turkey sandwich, and maybe some fruit which is my usual custom.  I then would’ve had enough sustained energy and patience to deal with the missed flight and the broken down car and maybe, just maybe, I still would’ve gone to the gym, just to blow off a little steam lifting weights.

Now I know better.  And you should too.  This is my cautionary tale.  It’s fine to have treats, but don’t rely on them to keep you going.  They will let you down every, single time.

Happy holidays.  And by the way.  Who moved my eggnog latte??

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Want to read more about enhanced energy and daily health?  Check out our health concerns archives.  And even if you overdo it at the dinner table, there is digestive help.  We also have powerful  probiotics to promote a healthy digestive tract and help synthesize vitamins and nutrients.

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