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Overwhelming evidence of the need for nutritional supplementation

US Senate Document #264 documents severe mineral depletion going back to the 1930’s. The United Nations 1992 Earth Summit Report notes an average of 85% mineral depletion over the past 100 years for North American farm and range soils.

Our fruits and vegetables, as well as the grasses and vegetation that farm animals eat, are deficient in minerals and vitamins. Refining foods further reduces nutrients (such as white bread, sugar and corn syrup).

Fruits and vegetables are cultivated using chemical fertilizers, pesticides and waste contaminants Harvested prematurely and artificially ripened, produce is then sprayed, processed, radiated and coated with toxic chemicals to improve appearance and prolong shelf life—all of which significantly reduces nutritional values.

Frightening livestock production practices Beef, poultry and pork are loaded with antibiotics, hormones, steroids, drugs and toxic chemicals to reduce the risk of disease in overcrowded pens and to increase yield. These substances accumulate in our bodies, interfere with normal cell functions, trigger abnormal immune responses, stimulate premature puberty, and are often known carcinogens. As well, the transfer of antibiotics from animals to humans is resulting in bacteria and viruses that have adapted to antibiotics, thus reducing the effectiveness of
antibiotics taken by humans.

Alarming increase in immune system disorders Over the past 5 years, the incidence of immune system disorders has increased more than 200%.

Auto-immune disorders are rapidly increasing with more than 8 million cases confirmed and 30 million additional cases suspected in the US (The Autoimmune
Diseases, Third Edition, Rose and Mackay, 1998).

Fatigue and lack of energy

Doctors report that a primary health complaint is extreme fatigue and lack of energy. Hectic lifestyles, Pressure-filled jobs and commutes, financial struggles, information overload, eating on the run, depression, anxiety, coping with health issues—all rob us of vital energy and essential nutrients. According to studies by the National Institutes of Health and the National Center for Health Statistics, lifestyle related diseases, such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes are the leading causes of death in the US.

Overweight

Fast food diets laden with salt, sugar, corn syrup, refined flours, bad oils and toxic additives exacerbate health problems. A Call to Action by the US Surgeon General (2001) noted that 61% of adults in the US are overweight and that the incidence of overweight among adolescents has tripled in the past 20 years.

Environmental pollution

The air we breathe and the water we drink are contaminated with a wide variety of pollutants.

Bowel irregularities

Stagnating waste and chronic constipation can poison the entire body.

Substance Abuse

Alcohol, tobacco and drugs (including many prescription drugs) all have significant side effects and long-term health implications.

What to Look for in a Dietary Supplement

Whole food is the key

The body recognizes whole foods and can readily assimilate and utilize them. Synthetic nutrients formulated in a lab lack the full spectrum of naturally occurring phytonutrients, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, bioflavonoids and other micronutrients. The lack of these co-factors limits absorption, increases the risk of toxicity and can even cause secondary nutrient deficiencies.

Liquid form

When a whole food dietary supplement is in a liquid, ionic solution, up to 98% of the nutrients are available for absorption and utilization by the body. Vitamins and minerals in pill form may be only 10% to 20% absorbable (1996 Physicians Desk Ref., pg 1542).

Natural and complete

Sea vegetables are the most mineral-rich plants on earth. They contain more vitamins and minerals than any form of land vegetation. Sea water contains mineral ratios that are remarkably similar to blood plasma. Sea plants pre-digest and concentrate this balanced source of minerals into a highly bioavailable ionic state.

Whole food dietary supplements are safe

They supplement the vegetables and fruits in your diet—a vital part of healthy eating and a good food budget. Whole food products are excellent prenatal supplements. Supplements in liquid whole food form may also increase the efficiency of diets, medicines and herbs, while reducing the time required to achieve the desired results.

Organic minerals

Minerals exist in two forms, organic and inorganic. Organic minerals are far easier for the body to use. Inorganic minerals can be used, but must be converted to organic form through chelation. Chelation attaches an organic carrier so that minerals can be transported through cell walls. Excellent chelating agents include
organic acids such as amino acids and orotic acid.

Sea vegetables

With the passage of untold millennium, vast amounts of life-sustaining minerals have washed into the sea. In the process of converting sunlight to energy, sea vegetables reabsorb these nutrients and organically bind them in an ionic state. In contrast, modern farming practices have depleted our soils of essential nutrients —thus sea vegetables are far superior nutritionally to land vegetables. Additionally, minerals that are toxic in their natural state, such as iodine, arsenic and aluminum, are neutralized by the sea vegetables—this makes them harmless and even beneficial. For example, iodine in its pure form is poisonous—however, in its ionic form it is an essential nutrient for health.

Sea vegetable harvesting

Sea vegetables should be harvested only when fully ripened and from pristine waters. These arctic regeneration zones are biologically active areas that are free from herbicides, pesticides and heavy metal contamination. Tides and intense sunlight provide a constant state of nutrient-enriched plants and a rich feeding ground for many species. Harvesting the tender new growth of these plants increases their rate of growth.

Blending with Aloe Vera

Blending sea vegetables with Aloe vera juice adds to the nutritional value of the dietary supplement. Aloe varies widely in quality. Look for whole-leaf, cold processed juice that is certified by the International Aloe Science Council.

Aloe vera has been one of the most popular remedies throughout human history. A vast body of research confirms that Aloe vera has powerful healing and soothing properties. In addition, it contains large-chain sugar molecules that are ideal transporters of nutrients.

Although there are over 200 species of aloe, one of the best is Aloe Barbadensis, which contains over 75 nutritional compounds including vitamins, minerals and 18 amino acids. It has long been used for ailments ranging from cuts, burns and bruises to digestive and intestinal irregularities.

Black cherry and honey

Black cherry has been shown to reduce uric acid levels in the body, while bee honey is an excellent source of B complex vitamins, royal jelly, propolis and pollen.

Benefits of Sea Plants Blended with Aloe Vera

Contains every essential nutrient in perfect balance

  • Vitamins
  • Macro minerals
  • Trace minerals
  • Amino acids
  • Essential fatty acids
  • Enzymes

Cleanses the colon and normalizes pH levels

  • Facilitates elimination
  • Enhances assimilation
  • Improves absorption

Supports the circulatory and lymphatic systems

  • Detoxifies
  • Nourishes
  • Promotes Healing

Supports the immune system and Fortifies the body with essential nutrients needed to fight disease

Supports the nervous system

  • Fights the effects of stress
  • Improves vitality
  • Promotes a feeling of well-being

Supports metabolic processes

  • Facilitates digestion
  • Reduces cravings
  • Nourishes the glandular system

Increases oxygen at the cellular level

  • Promotes energy
  • Combats aging
  • Promotes stamina
  • Supports memory

Excellent source of antioxidants

Contains free radical scavengers known to reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease and strokes

Anti-inflammatory properties

  • Helps relieve inflammatory diseases
  • Helps reduce inflammation in arthritis
  • Helps reduce inflammation in sports injuries

Combats side effects of harmful substances

  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco
  • Drugs
  • Environmental Pollutants

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CONTAMINATED SUPPLEMENTS

Dr. Peter Cohen, writing last October in the New England Journal of Medicine, reported that the FDA in August of 2009 discovered that many products labeled as dietary supplements contained numerous undeclared active pharmaceutical ingredients.  Dr. Cohen wrote, “ Now, more than 140 contaminated products have been identified, but these represent only a fraction of the contaminated supplements on the marketplace…This trend is particularly alarming given that about 114 million people ~ more than half the adult population of the U.S. ~ consume dietary supplements.”

In episode #11 (season 2) of CSI, a woman poisons her husband with the chemical sodium selenite. Strange as it may sound, this exotic murder weapon and its close cousin, sodium selenate, are listed as “nutrients” on the labels of most mass-marketed vitamins.

Even though both sodium selenite and selenate are classified as dangerous and toxic to the environment by the EPA and the EU, they are the primary forms of selenium sold on the mass market today.

In fact, most mass marketed vitamins contain chemicals that the EPA does not allow in our public drinking water at levels above 50 parts per billion. This is the equivalent to a tablespoon of water in an Olympic-size swimming pool.

How can a vitamin manufacturer advertise something as being a “nutrient” when the EPA –  out of concern for our health –  has BARRED it from our drinking water at all but exceedingly minute levels?

Both sodium selenite and selenate have been shown to be toxic in reports from the Hazardous Substances Databank ( www.toxnet.nlm.nih.gov ) and PUBMED. These reports show that both forms can be carcinogenic and genotoxic and may contribute to reproductive and developmental problems in humans.

AND…here is a one for you…Sodium Selenate is in Centrum and One A Day Men’s, Women’s and teen formula, but is mysteriously missing from the One A Day Women’s PRE-NATAL formula…hummmmm I wonder why that is????

In the case of stannous chloride (tin), ferrous fumarate (iron) and manganese sulfate, there are significantly higher doses in CENTRUM than are considered safe for human consumption in a liter of water. Although the others listed are at levels well under the EPA’s allowable limit, it is simply amazing that they are found in a product for human consumption at any quantity, given their toxicity.

Here are the list of “ingredients”, their amounts present in Centrum and the limits set by the EPA


Sodium Selenate: 55 mcg, 50 mcg

Nickelous Sulfate: 5 mcg, 100 mcg

Stannous Chloride (Tin): 10 mcg, 4 mcg

Ferrous Fumarate (iron): 18 mg, 0.3 mg

Cupric Sulfate: 0.5 mg, 1.3 mg

Manganese Sulfate: 2.3 mg, 0.5 mg

Ultimately, we need to use common sense in our purchasing decisions and realize that some companies will intentionally mislead the public with the complicity of regulatory bodies like the FDA.

The irony is that BILLIONS of dollars in health care costs – and the suffering these costs represent – could be saved every year if Americans took the simple step of taking a good multi-vitamin every day. Look for manufactures that use whole foods, organic if possible. These vitamin supplements are easier for our bodies to absorb and to utilize and therefore contribute more significantly to filling the voids in our diet.

So, daily whole food vitamin supplements can help reduce health care costs…does anyone have the phone number to the White House?

Body Balance ~ Whole food nutrition as Mother Nature intended!

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When you were a child, your mother probably told you: “Drink your milk. You need the calcium for healthy bones and teeth.”

Well, mom was right. Calcium does help keep bones and teeth strong, and it also plays a key role in other vital bodily functions. But what your mother couldn’t have predicted are the recent headlines heralding calcium as a possible player in the fight against many ailments.

Now the bad news: nearly half of all Americans don’t get enough of this essential mineral.

Here’s how calcium can help protect your health—and how to be sure you’re getting enough.

Lowering Blood Pressure

More than 50 million Americans have high blood pressure (hypertension). What’s so frightening about this so-called silent killer is that it often does not produce symptoms for years, secretly damaging arteries and organs throughout the body until it erupts in the form of stroke, heart attack, congestive heart failure or kidney disease. If left untreated, even mild hypertension can reduce the life expectancy of a 35- year-old by several years. (Readings of 140 to 159 over 90 to 99 are mildly high; about 120/80 is normal.)

That’s why high blood pressure is commonly treated with antihypertensive drugs. But studies suggest that in some people an increase in calcium consumption can help control blood pressure without medication.

Calcium also seems to help prevent high blood pressure. Evaluating the results of a 13-year survey undertaken by the National Center for Health Statistics, James H. Dwyer, associate professor of preventive medicine at the University of Southern California School of Medicine, found that people who consumed 1300 milligrams (mg) of calcium a day were 12 percent less likely to develop hypertension than those consuming only 300 mg a day. In people under age 40, risk was reduced by up to 25 percent.

Soon doctors may urge some hypertension patients to increase their calcium intake, much the way they now advise sodium restriction. “It’s easier to add food or supplements than to go on a low-sodium diet,” asserts Dr. David McCarron, professor of medicine at Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland. “Our studies show that people who try the low-sodium approach don’t stay with it very long.”

Preventing Heart Disease

Several studies suggest that there’s another way calcium may shield the heart from harm: it may help lower blood cholesterol. In a study led by Dr. Margo A. Denke, associate professor of internal medicine at the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, 13 men with moderately high cholesterol levels were given a low-calcium diet (410 mg of calcium daily) for ten days, and had their cholesterol levels checked.

Then, over another ten days, the men were on a fortified diet that supplied 2200 mg of calcium daily. End result: the high-calcium regimen reduced their levels of total cholesterol by six percent and slashed “bad” LDL cholesterol by 11 percent.

What’s more, “good” HDL cholesterol levels stayed the same. Denke and her colleagues report that getting plenty of calcium may be an effective adjunct to traditional cholesterol-lowering diet therapies.

McCarron agrees: “If you increase your calcium intake—whether with diet or supplements—your cholesterol gets better.”

Easing Menstrual Woes

There’s no cure yet for pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS)—those unpleasant physical and mental complaints some women endure every month prior to menstruation. But several studies suggest that calcium can help tame PMS.

Researchers led by psychologist James G. Penland at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Human Nutrition Research Center in Grand Forks, N.D., studied ten women suffering common menstrual and premenstrual symptoms. All the women spent half the study period on a diet containing 600 mg of calcium daily, and half on a diet containing 1300 mg daily.

While on the high-calcium diet, 70 percent reported less pain, such as backaches and cramping, during the menstrual phase, and 80 percent had less water retention during the premenstrual phase. Ninety percent experienced less crying, irritability and depression throughout their monthly cycles.

Avoiding Kidney Stones

For years doctors have told patients who suffer from kidney stones to limit calcium. The reason: calcium is a major component in about 80 percent of all stones.

But controversial new research suggests that the way to reduce the risk of kidney stones may be to increase calcium intake. (personal note here: I have been taking a liquid calcium supplement for over 5 years daily…no stones…no hypertension etc.)

In a Harvard School of Public Health study, Dr. Gary C. Curhan and colleagues followed 45,510 men with no history of kidney stones for four years. Those on diets high in calcium (a daily average of 1326 mg) were found to cut their risk of developing stones by one-third, compared with men who consumed the least calcium (516 mg per day).

Skeptics stress the difficulty of establishing calcium as the factor in this reduction of risk. They caution kidney-stone patients to consult with their physicians before changing their dietary habits.

Fighting Osteoporosis

Characterized by a gradual thinning and weakening of the bones, osteoporosis affects more than seven million Americans—most of them women—with another 17 million at serious risk. In the disease’s advanced stages, vertebrae can become so fragile that they easily collapse, often leading to a debilitating curving of the
spine. Increasing fragility can also mean greater risk of fractures, especially crippling fractures of the hip.

Dozens of studies show that increasing calcium intake can be vital in slowing bone loss and reducing fracture rates brought on by osteoporosis. This is especially true when calcium is taken with vitamin D, which increases the ability of the body to absorb the mineral.

In a 1992 French study of 1765 women over age 69, those who were given supplements containing 1200 mg of calcium and 20 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin D had an average 2.7-percent increase in bone mass in the hips and thighs after 18 months. Women taking only a placebo suffered a 4.6-percent loss in bone mass.

Over the same period, the women taking calcium and vitamin D had 43-percent fewer hip fractures than the control group. Many experts think that the time to start increasing calcium intake is in adolescence, when most adult bone mass is being formed.

According to Dr. Robert P. Heaney, professor of medicine at Omaha’s Creighton University, “There’s very good evidence that at least the last two generations of American women have consumed an inadequate amount of calcium beginning
in puberty.” As baby boomers grow older, says Heaney, osteoporosis could become an epidemic. Luckily it’s never too late to start getting plenty of this vital mineral.
Do You Get Enough Calcium?

The current recommended dietary allowances (RDAs) of calcium are 400 mg for children under six months; 600 mg for children six months to a year; 800 mg for children one to ten and men and women over 25; 1200 mg for people 11 to 24 and pregnant or lactating women.

In light of recent findings, however, experts are reevaluating the amount of calcium needed to maintain good health. Scientists assembled by the National Institutes of Health in 1994 found that the RDA may be too low for many people. And, on average, Americans get considerably less than the RDA.

The committee has recommended raising the RDAs to these levels: 1000 mg for women 25 to 50, women 51 to 65 taking hormone replacement therapy and men 25 to 65; 1200 to 1500 mg for people 11 to 24, and pregnant and lactating women; 1500 mg for women 51 to 65 not taking HRT and for people over 65.

Pregnant women need extra calcium to help the fetal skeleton form and, several studies suggest, to help prevent pregnancy-related hypertensive disorders, a major cause of premature, underweight births. The elderly need more calcium to make up for a decline in the body’s ability to absorb the mineral.

One of the best sources of calcium is dairy products (one cup of skim milk equals 96.3 mg of calcium; 8 oz. of nonfat yogurt equal 96 mg). Other calcium-rich fare includes: tofu with calcium (1/2 cup equals 80 mg); pink, canned salmon with bones (3 oz. equal 58 mg); Chinese cabbage (1/2 cup equals 42.5 mg); kale (1/2 cup equals 27.6 mg); sardines (1 oz. equals 29 mg); rutabaga (1/2 cup equals 22.1 mg); white beans (1/2 cup equals 19.2 mg); and broccoli (1/2 cup equals 18.4 mg).

It can be difficult to get enough calcium from food alone—especially if you don’t like or are allergic to milk.

Two possibilities for those who need to boost calcium intake are calcium-enriched products (such as fortified cereals, juices or breads) and supplements.

The safety of calcium supplements, however, has been controversial. Some types—particularly those made from bone meal—may contain lead, which at high levels can stunt young children’s growth and I.Q.

The most commonly recommended calcium supplement is calcium citrate. However calcium citrate contains low levels of elemental calcium and therefore would require that you take more than the daily amount listed on the bottle. Plus the majority of this type of supplement is in  a hard to absorb pill form.

Some people recommend  antacids that contain calcium carbonate. MY PERSONAL OPINION IS THIS IS  A WASTE OF TIME, MONEY AND THE OTHER INGREDIENTS IN THE ANTACID ARE UNNEEDED.

PLUS, calcium carbonate is the hardest type of calcium to absorb…UNLESS IT IS COMBINED WITH AN ACID SUCH AS OROTIC ACID.

Calcium carbonate contain the HIGHEST amount of elemental calcium available and when chelated with orotic acid you come up with CALCIUM OROTATE; WHICH IS THE HIGHEST ABSORBABLE  FORM FOR A CALCIUM SUPPLEMENT.

“Taking 500 to 1000 mg of calcium in supplement form can be an insurance policy,” says Dr. McCarron, “especially for older people and pregnant women.”

Getting enough of this “miracle” mineral every day may require a small effort. If you consider the payoff—good health—it’s worth it.


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There are literally thousands of scientific research papers and data on the powerful health benefits relating to Aloe Vera and wild ocean sea vegetables. While current laws are very specific about what substances can be said to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent a disease, it is crystal clear from the following medical references that many of the compounds/ingredients contained in Aloe Vera and Sea Vegetables have very powerful health supporting benefits.

It should not take too long a leap of faith to come to the logical conclusion that any product in the marketplace that contains Aloe Vera and Sea Vegetables like Body Balance, should be an essential part of your personal health/wellness program.

Pub Med is a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine that includes over 18 million citations from MEDLINE and other life science journals for biomedical articles back to the 1950s. PubMed includes links to full text articles and other related resources.

PubMed is on the NCBI…National Center for Biotechnology Information webpage.

NCBI was Established in 1988 as a national resource for molecular biology information, NCBI creates public databases, conducts research in computational biology, develops software tools for analyzing genome data, and disseminates biomedical information – all for the better understanding of molecular processes affecting human health and disease.

Fucoidan

1. Research has shown that Fucoidan is a natural anti-coagulant that helps prevent thickening of arterial walls. Fucoidan was researched as a natural alternative to the anti-coagulant drug Heparin for post-angioplasty intimal hyperplasia (thickening of blood vessel walls after reconstructive surgeries and the main reason for late bypass graft failures)

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1315533

2. PubMED has over 130 medical articles on the anti-tumor properties of Fucoidan

One anti-cancer research report summarized its findings on Fucoidan saying, ” These results suggest that the anti-tumor activity of fucoidan is related to the enhancement of immune responses. The present results indicate that fucoidan may open new perspectives in cancer chemotherapy. Antitumor activity and immunological properties of marine algal polysaccharides, especially fucoidan, prepared from Sargassum thunbergii of Phaeophyceae

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8297113

3. Carrageenans…have antibacterial and antiviral properties. Medical research has shown that Carrageenans can kill both the bacteria Streptococcus and the Herpes Virus. http://www.bryantlabs.com/redmarinealgae-treatments.htm

4. Antitumor active fucoidan from the brown seaweed.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7772818

Palmaria palmate and Porphyra or Nori

Extracts from dulse (Palmaria palmate) are effective antioxidants and inhibitors of cell proliferation in vitro.

School of Nutrition, Faculty of Community Services, Ryerson University, 350 Victoria Street, Toronto, ON, Canada M5B 2K3. yyuan@ryerson.ca

Antioxidant and antiproliferative activities of extracts from a variety of edible seaweeds.

Yuan YV, Walsh NA.

School of Nutrition, Faculty of Community Services, Ryerson University, 350 Victoria St., Toronto, Ont., Canada M5B 2K3. yyuan@ryerson.ca

Dietary Laminaria and Porphyra sp. have been reported to reduce the risk of intestinal or mammary cancer in animal studies.

Aloe Vera

1. Identification of five phytosterols from Aloe vera gel as anti-diabetic compounds.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16819181?ordinalpos=4&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

2. The inner gel component of Aloe vera suppresses bacterial-induced pro-inflammatory cytokines from human immune cells.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17560326?ordinalpos=6&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

3. The in vitro immunomodulatory effects of glyconutrients on peripheral blood mononuclear cells of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9829439?ordinalpos=4&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

MINERAL DEPLETION TIED TO HEALTH ISSUES

1. IANA (International Academy Nutrition & Aging) task force on nutrition and cognitive decline with aging.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17435956?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

2. The role of diet in cognitive decline.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12541015?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_Discovery_RA&linkpos=1&log$=relatedarticles&logdbfrom=pubmed

3. Metabolic and functional defects in selenium deficiency.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6118889?ordinalpos=8&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

4. Selected vitamins and trace elements support immune function by strengthening epithelial barriers and cellular and humoral immune responses.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17922955?ordinalpos=18&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

5. Nutrient intakes in women and congenital diaphragmatic hernia in their offspring. March of Dimes, California Research Division, Oakland, California 94609, USA. WYang@marchofdimes.com

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18181217?ordinalpos=14&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

PubMed PMID 7022654…says, “nutrient depletion in soil is leading to a continual decline of nutrients in foods”…”Humans need essential trace elements…they are indispensable for life”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7022654

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You may be more familiar with the term seaweeds (and the first thought following that may be ugh!), yet the history of these beautiful ocean plants tells a different tale.

Incredibly mineral-rich, they have been harvested for centuries and used as an important part of daily food and ceremony in many cultures around the world. In fact, at one time sea vegetable gardens were maintained in Hawaii specifically for royalty, and in Japan, kombu and nori were available to nobility only!

Because they use the sun’s energy for photosynthesis, sea vegetables are considered plants. However, they do not have a land-plant’s conducting tissues or root system; instead they absorb everything they need directly from the ocean around them.

Probably the most ancient of foods, the composition of sea vegetables is like a mirror of the blood and body fluids of a person in good health. Our blood contains all one hundred or so minerals and trace elements that exist in the ocean. Seaweeds contain these in the most assimilable form because their minerals and elements are integrated into living plant tissue.

As a result of chemical usage and depletion of our soil by modern agricultural methods, food grown today contains fewer minerals and nutrients. Seaweeds can supply many of these missing nutrients. In fact, as a group they contain the greatest amount and broadest range of minerals of any organism and hence make superb mineral-rich foods.

On account of this unusual mineral content, they are effective in relatively small, supplementary amounts. Normally, the ideal way to use seaweed is regularly as an ingredient in meals. They have a remarkable ability to combine with other vegetables, grains and legumes to provide better utilization of protein and all other nutrients. In addition to a wealth of minerals, vitamins and amino acids, seaweeds are especially excellent sources of iodine, calcium and iron. So… Still not so sure you’re ready to try them?

Take a look at just a few of the incredible benefits you can expect to get from these gifts from the sea. When compared to plants that grow on land, sea vegetables are 10 to 20 times higher in vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Hijiki (also known as hiziki), arame and wakame contain 10 times the calcium of milk; when compared to the iron available in beef, sea lettuce has 25 times more, hijiki 8 times more, wakame and other kelps four times more. Nori, familiar to most as the dark green sea vegetable sheet used at sushi bars, can pack a walloping protein content as high as 25-50% of its dry weight-the highest of any ocean vegetable, and it is also high in vitamin A.

Dulse (so commonly eaten in the Canadian coastal area that you can find it next to the fruits and vegetables of any grocery store!) is also rich in vitamin A, as well as iron.

This should get your attention: After the explosion of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Russia, sea vegetable companies’ sales shot up. Why? Studies have proven that the sodium alginate found in sea plants in the kelp family (kombu, sea palm, wakame, and others) can bind with radioactive strontium to pass it out of our intestinal tracts with the stool.

After the Nagasaki bombing occurred, people who ate a strict macrobiotic diet—including brown rice and miso soup with sea vegetables—did not suffer from radiation poisoning, even though some were within a mile of the explosion!

The high iodine content was helpful here as well: If proper amounts of natural iodine already exist in the thyroid gland, then it cannot absorb any other forms of iodine, such as radioactive iodine, a toxic pollutant. The natural iodine in seaweeds is an easy, nontoxic way to meet the requirement of iodine in your diet.

The symptoms of iodine deficiency include: chronic fatigue, apathy, dry skin, intolerance to cold, weight gain and enlargement of the thyroid (goiter). These symptoms are the same as those of thyroid hormone deficiency. Just two tablespoons of a kelp seaweed taken daily (kombu and digitata kelp are especially high in this nutrient), or a few kelp tablets, can supply all the iodine you need. And while iodine supplements can be toxic if taken in excess, there is no need to be concerned when eating your sea vegetables. Have as much as you like!

Truthfully though, bringing sea vegetables into your diet can be a bit daunting at first. The newness of texture, taste and smell even stopped a few of us veteran ocean plant chompers in the beginning! Don’t be afraid to start with the one to which you are the most attracted. We veterans can tell you from experience that some of the “sea-weeds” we initially found the most difficult to make friends with, we now find the most delicious!

No matter how you choose to bring these wonderful plants into your diet, you will be glad you did… and your body will certainly be blessed with the addition of this ancient, nutritious food.

The Body Balance supplement I write about is a blend of 9 wild harvested sea vegetables in organic Aloe Vera juice. This is the easiest way to enjoy the nutritional power of these wonderful sea plants. Just take 4- 8 ounces of Body Balance a day and your body will thank you for the rest of your life.

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We have been given a wonderful gift called life. Our responsibility is to honor this in the best way possible by doing whatever we can to take care of ourselves in a healthy way. Basically, our modern lifestyles have gotten us somewhat off the track, with fast foods, a polluted environment, high-tech stress, chemical dependencies, etc. Nature’s intention is to fuel our inner healing force with the right natural resources to enable us to function to our fullest potential. However, as most of us have a profound lack of knowledge as to what we need to do that, we find ourselves out of balance.

I believe that we all need to take an active part in the maintenance of our health. The following suggestions are simple things that most of us can accomplish in some form or another.

EXERCISE: Get regular exercise. It improves digestion and elimination, increases endurance and energy levels, burns fat, and promotes lean muscle mass. In addition, studies have shown that regular exercise increases feelings of well-being and reduces stress. There are many different forms of exercise including walking, bicycling, swimming, jogging and even regular gardening. Choose activities that
you enjoy. Don’t look at exercise as a chore. Select things that you look forward to doing. Try doing things with a friend. Whatever you choose, start out slowly, listen to your body, and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workout.

According to a 1996 report published in the Journal of the American Medical
Association, low fitness may pose as great a risk to health as smoking, and a greater risk than high cholesterol, high blood pressure or obesity. Interestingly, regular exercise has been shown to significantly impact those particular health issues.

REST AND RELAXATION-All too often these days, people think that taking time to
rest means wasting time, or is not productive, or certainly is not on top of the priority list. Rest is nature’s curative process, and our most perfect rest comes during sleep.
Healing, restoration, rejuvenation and revitalization take place most efficiently when the body is allowed to rest. Adequate rest is essential for good health. Nothing can take the place of rest.
It is during sleep that our sympathetic nervous system takes over complete control. It is during this time that our body’s healing energy is allowed to carry on the work of cleansing, healing, regulating and restoring the body and mind. It’s interesting to note that the hours before midnight are much more beneficial for resting and revitalization than the hours after midnight. Relaxation is something most of us need to learn to do, and there are many techniques and ways of relaxing.

Meditation is a wonderful example when done regularly. And meditation doesn’t have to have spiritual or religious connotations. For example, you can meditate on a word such as “calm” or “peace,” or you can meditate on a beautiful place in nature. And you can draw on these words or thoughts any time you want to, especially if you are feeling stressed. Each of us has favorite things we love to do that are relaxing. Find what works for you and do it regularly!

STRESS MANAGEMENT-It is estimated that stress contributes to about 80% of all major illnesses. Stress is a part of life. However, how we respond to it, and how much of it we have in our lives are things we can totally control. How we manage stress can be the difference between having a life or just having an existence.
Some things I have found useful are, first of all, to identify the sources of stress in your life. This helps you understand where the stress is coming from. When you have identified them, either eliminate them from your life or prepare yourself to deal with them as easily and healthily as possible.

For example, if rush-hour traffic is a stressor, then use that time to listen to a tape or a favorite piece of music that will calm you, or join a carpool. Work on creating a stress-free home environment. For example, keep the noise level down as much as possible as this contributes to stress. Also use as much natural lighting in your home as possible. Unnatural florescent lighting can be especially aggravating.

Certain colors in a home are more calming and soothing than others.
Monitor your internal conversations. The way we talk to ourselves has SO MUCH to do with how we see our lives and situations, and how we feel about ourselves and our environment. For example, telling yourself that you should be able to do something or you should be able to handle a situation better, only adds to the stress. Take a day off or take regular time just for yourself. Do something that is relaxing and fun, and don’t think about whatever is causing the stress.

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The New England Journal of Medicine dropped  a bombshell Monday when it reported  that a study has revealed that less is more when it comes to certain drugs used to lower cholesterol. The study finds niacin, an inexpensive vitamin is more effective in helping to unclog arteries in people already taking statins than the widely prescribed drugs Zetia and Vytorin. These drugs are much more expensive than niacin and were prescribed more than 29 million times in the U.S. last year.

I became a believer in natural supplementation through whole food a few years ago when I had an eye opening health response from just such a whole food supplement. I began consuming a liquid whole food vitamin/mineral supplement made from organic aloe vera and sea vegetables after 4 back surgeries left me with a fused lumbar and severe chronic pain. After suffering for over 2 years without any improvement from physical therapy and numerous pain medications which made me very unpleasant to be around, I was referred to this whole food supplement by a friend. 3 months later, the pain/inflammation in my back had been reduced over 70 percent. It was then I started looking into the power of whole food nutrition.

I took a look at the Asian diet, which appears to contain a wealth of protective health-promoting compounds. An examination of the Asian diet reveals that it is rich in sea vegetables. It surprised me that the recognized traditional health benefits of certain sea vegetables long known in Asian cultures, which are being confirmed by modern scientific research today, where not known by my Western trained medical doctor. I began to wonder what other health benefits these sea vegetables held that my doctors did not know about.

In the West, seaweed is largely regarded as a health food and, although there has been an upsurge of interest in the last 20 years, it is unlikely that sea vegetable consumption will ever be more than a fraction of what it is in Japan.

Sea Vegetables and Cholesterol
The Japanese have believed for many years that eating seaweed prolongs life. Since many deaths are due to heart disease, which may be linked with high plasma cholesterol levels and hypertension, the effect of seaweed on these physiological values have been investigated. Again, sea vegetables such as Ascophyllum, (Cystoseira and Fucus have been shown to lower significantly plasma cholesterol levels (Krotkiewski M., European Patent #90850263.6) and the active compounds have been identified: Fucosterol/Fucoidan and the unsaturated fatty acids show hypocholesterolemic activity. This ability to reduce plasma cholesterol levels and to increase serum lipolytic activity may explain their use in the prevention of atherosclerosis. An antihypertensive activity of substances with sodium-binding properties, e.g. a polysaccharide, is obtained from brown seaweed fibers.

OK…in English…sea vegetable consumption helps the body reduce cholesterol levels naturally.

Sea Vegetables and Cancer
Certain sea vegetables have long been used in traditional Japanese and Chinese medicine in the treatment of cancer. Oxidative processes are involved in both the initiation of carcinogenesis and the promotion of tumor development(Pryor, 1987)
Research of recent years provides strong evidence that the sea vegetables Ascophyllum, Cystoseira and Fucus showed antitumoral activity against leukemia
Based on epidemiological and biological data, consumption of sea vegetables are proposed as an important factor contributing to the relatively low breast cancer rates reported in Japan.

The New England Journal of Medicine report earlier this week stated that Niacin, Vitamin B3, reduced cholesterol better than the statin drugs mentioned in the report. Since sea vegetables contain one of the highest  NATURAL plant sources of B vitamins, including Vitamin B12, it would be logical to draw the conclusion that a diet rich in these sea plant based B vitamins, is a very healthy lifestyle choice indeed.

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