Why Should You Reduce Your Sugar Intake?

sugar cake or appleYou have heard that our diets have too much sugar. What does this mean? How does sugar affect our health, short-term and long-term? A large body of research shows the detrimental effects of excessive sugar, from tooth decay to diabetes. High-fructose corn syrup is especially villainized. And sugar is even blamed for hurting immunity. Continue reading “Why Should You Reduce Your Sugar Intake?”

Exercise and Immunity

Exercise, a Key Element to Robust Immune System

Researchers have repeatedly found that regular exercise improves health and immunity. They see reduced risk of cardiovascular, respiratory, and digestive problems, vision conditions, weight management issues, hormonal imbalances, and those who get regular moderate exercise have stronger immune system. Depending on our personal likes and dislikes, this exercise can be moderate or intense, but regular modest exercise has been shown again and again to have a beneficial effect on the immune system.

The balance between duration and intensity of such exercise is a factor in the resulting effect on the immune system. “Exercise has a profound effect on the normal functioning of the immune system. It is generally accepted that prolonged periods of intensive exercise training can depress immunity, while regular moderate intensity exercise is beneficial.”1

How much exercise?

Moderate exercise – for example, a daily brisk 20-30 minute walk, dancing, aerobics, yoga that gets your heart pumping a bit – anything that gets your heart rate up. This means that you achieve 55% to 85% of your maximum heart rate (MHR) for at least 20 to 30 minutes.

Calculating MHR.

You can calculate MHR as 220 minus your age to be the upper limit and you want 55-85% of that number.

For example a 60 year old’s MHR would be 160; 55% of 160 is 88 and 85% of 160 is 136. So a 60 year-old’s target would be 88 to 136 beats per minute. A 40 year-old’s target would be 99 to 153 beats per minute. The talk test is an easy way to judge your HR. If you can talk but can’t sing you are getting moderate exercise; if you can’t talk you are getting too much exercise; and if you can sing while you exercise you are not doing it briskly enough.2

Exercise and your immune system

Moderate-intensity exercise is considered “immuno-enhancing,” and may result from lowered inflammation, immune cell integrity, the ability of the immune system to look for and recognize unfriendly visitors, and relief of psychological stress.3 This immuno-enhancing exercise also effectively improves vaccine responses in otherwise at-risk patients.4

This is not so true of isolated single instances of moderate exercise. In fact isolated bouts of vigorous exercise have a detrimental effect on immunity, while regular, frequent exercise delays aging of the immune system.5

There has not been a lot of research about exercise and viruses. In patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) routine physical activity is helpful.6 Patients with herpes-type immunodeficiency, and their response to vaccination, also may benefit from regular exercise.7

Update: COVID-19

While we’re confined to our home during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic it’s tempting to enjoy snacks and all those great movies we’ve missed. However, exercise is even more essential now. It is the regular, every day, moderate exercise such as a good, brisk walk, or even a lot jog (not a strenuous run) that stimulates our immune system, cardiovascular system, respiratory system, and actually, every other part of your body including visual system and the brain.

So get outside, or if you can’t go outside, perform exercise inside your home: dance, do yoga, martial arts, pilates, or anything else that gets your heart rate up to that 55-85% of your MHR. If you have internet access there is a huge variety of workout routines online which you can vary to protect yourself from boredom, and if you don’t have internet access, then dance!

Also, to help boost your immune system you could try one of our discount packages of immunity-friendly nutrients, Immune Boosting Package 1, or Immune Boosting Package 2.  Ideally, you should include in your 365-day diet fresh fruits and vegetables, with berries, leafy greens, and sources of vitamins and minerals to help keep your immune system strong and healthy.

Dark Chocolate for Fatigue

Chronic Fatigue

box of xhocolates
image via FDA.gov

When you’re feeling low, some chocolate can often perk you up.

If you are someone who suffers from chronic fatigue syndrome, the flavonoids in chocolate may actually help alleviate your symptoms.

A study published in Nutrition Journal describes how dark chocolate that is rich in polyphenols was more effective in helping subjects manage their chronic fatigue symptoms over eight week periods than those taking “regular” chocolate.1

Update: A systematic review of effective interventions for chronic fatigue symptoms included not only dark chocolate, but nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide hydride (NADH, a cofator essential for metabolism, and found in all cells), probiotics, and a combination of NADH and coenzyme Q10.2

Stroke Recovery

Epicatechin is another compound that is found in dark chocolate. Catechins are natural antioxidants found in a number of foods.

Scientists have determined that epicatechin may protect the brain after one has suffered a stroke. It may do so by stimulating the signals given by cells to protect nerve cells from damage. 3

Editor’s Note: Antioxidants are essential for maintaining healthy vision and overall health.

Lactulose & Stroke Recovery

Based on a new research study done on mice, a simple drink of water laced with hydrogen gas–lactulose–might help prevent brain damage due to a stroke. The gas appears to protect cells from the after effects of oxygen starvation possibly by reacting with and disabling the post stroke toxic oxygen effects.

In the West, stroke is the second leading cause of death (heart disease is #1). During an ischemic stroke, a blockage chokes off blood flow to the brain. Part of the brain dies, and if the damage is serious enough, the individual dies. The sooner the stroke is mitigated, the less damage to the brain. Stroke victims can have long-term difficulty with cognition, using parts of their body, eating, doing daily tasks, and caring for themselves.

Risk factors for stroke that are not easily controlled include age, gender, race, and family history. Controllable risk factors include high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation, high cholesterol, diabetes, atherosclerosis, circulation problems, tobacco, alcohol, lack of exercise, and obesity. Preventing a first stroke helps prevent future strokes, since having a stroke in the past also increases the risk — if the first stroke is survived.

To detect whether someone may be having a stroke, the “FAST” method is recommended.

  • F = Face (Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?)
  • A = Arms (Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?)
  • S = Speech (Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Does the speech sound slurred or strange?)
  • T = Time (If you observe any of these signs (independently or together), call 9-1-1 immediately)

A new study examined whether mixing hydrogen gas with water — to create lactulose — and drinking it immediately after an stroke reduced brain damage. They found in animal studies that the lactulose had an anti-oxidant effect and reduced neurological damage from ischemic stroke. The hydrogen gas seemed to protect cells from the after-effects of oxygen deprivation.

The scientists called for more research into whether lactulose could have a preventative effect, to avoid strokes in the future. Also, they hypothesized that hydrogen gas in water could act as a powerful antioxidant to prevent or treat cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative disease, etc. Currently, there are no signs of hydrogen gas being toxic to humans.

Significant research supports the value of antioxidants in maintaining good health and mitigating disease. Learn more about antioxidants for good health.4

Preventive Eye Care for Aging Eyes

senior walkerMaintaining a healthy lifestyle is instrumental in preventing or even putting a stop to a loss of vision due to age. Especially when senior citizens are presented with debilitating eye conditions. They may suffer from depression, anxiety and fear. They notice that they no longer have a sense of balance and face the possibility of falling. Many are unaware that they can circumvent these conditions.

Following the tips will help pave the way toward a better quality of life: Continue reading “Preventive Eye Care for Aging Eyes”

How to Fight Viruses During Flu Season

SARS-CoV-2_49531042877During flu season, what are the best ways to avoid catching a virus?

The Centers for Disease Control tell us to wash our hands frequently and thoroughly. Wash for 20 seconds with soap and running water. Avoid touching your face, eyes , nose or mouth with unwashed hands. If your doctor recommends a flu shot, listen to their advice, particularly relevant for elders and people with immunity concerns

Eat a healthy diet, rich in fruits and vegetables. Various nutrients in food help your immune system fight off pathogens.

Limit junk foods and fatty foods, avoid all sugar and reduce your intake of refined carbohydrates which lowers the immune system’s ability to fight pathogens. Continue reading “How to Fight Viruses During Flu Season”

Exercise & the Immune System

Exercise, a Key Element to Robust Immune System

Walking for Health

Researchers have repeatedly found that regular exercise improves health and immunity.  They see reduced risk of cardiovascular, respiratory, and digestive problems, vision conditions, weight management issues, hormonal imbalances, and those who get regular moderate exercise have stronger immune system.  Depending on our personal likes and dislikes, this exercise can be moderate or intense, but regular modest exercise has been shown again and again to have a beneficial effect on the immune system.

The balance between duration and intensity of such exercise is a factor in the resulting effect on the immune system. “Exercise has a profound effect on the normal functioning of the immune system. It is generally accepted that prolonged periods of intensive exercise training can depress immunity, while regular moderate intensity exercise is beneficial.”1

How much exercise?

Moderate exercise – for example, a daily brisk 20-30 minute walk, dancing, aerobics, yoga that gets your heart pumping a bit – anything that gets your heart rate up.  This means that you achieve 55% to 85% of your maximum heart rate (MHR) for at least 20 to 30 minutes.

Calculating MHR.

You can calculate MHR as 220 minus your age to be the upper limit and you want 55-85% of that number.

For example a 60 year old’s MHR would be 160; 55% of 160 is 88 and 85% of 160 is 136.  So a 60 year-old’s target would be 88 to 136 beats per minute.  A 40 year-old’s target would be 99 to 153 beats per minute. The talk test is an easy way to judge your HR.  If you can talk but can’t sing you are getting moderate exercise; if you can’t talk you are getting too much exercise; and if you can sing while you exercise you are not doing it briskly enough.2

Exercise and your immune system

Moderate-intensity exercise is considered “immuno-enhancing,” and may result from lowered inflammation, immune cell integrity, the ability of the immune system to look for and recognize unfriendly visitors, and relief of psychological stress.3  This immuno-enhancing exercise also effectively improves vaccine responses in otherwise at-risk patients.4

This is not so true of isolated single instances of moderate exercise. In fact isolated bouts of vigorous exercise have a detrimental effect on immunity, while regular, frequent exercise delays aging of the immune system.5

There has not been a lot of research about exercise and viruses.  In patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) routine physical activity is helpful.6  Patients with herpes-type immunodeficiency, and their response to vaccination, also may benefit from regular exercise.7

Update: COVID-19

While we’re confined to our home during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic it’s tempting to enjoy snacks and all those great movies we’ve missed.  However, exercise is even more essential now.  It is the regular, every day, moderate exercise such as a good, brisk walk, or even a lot jog (not a strenuous run) that stimulates our immune system, cardiovascular system, respiratory system, and actually, every other part of your body including visual system and the brain.

So get outside, or if you can’t go outside, perform exercise inside your home: dance, do yoga, martial arts, pilates, or anything else that gets your heart rate up to that 55-85% of your MHR.  If you have internet access there is a huge variety of workout routines online which you can vary to protect yourself from boredom, and if you don’t have internet access, then dance!

The Eye Exam: A New Look by Dr. Grossman – 2020 Vision

eye exam of a senior citizenGetting a thorough eye exam has always been about more than reading letters off an eye chart. That is even truer today. One reason: We are harder on our eyes than ever before. Many of us spend hours each day staring and squinting at screens, developing digital eyestrain, and exposing our eyes to potentially damaging blue light.

But the typical tests offered during a standard eye exam may not go far enough to find problems as early as possible. Even a basic dilated eye exam may not be enough. Continue reading “The Eye Exam: A New Look by Dr. Grossman – 2020 Vision”

Patch with Microneedles Could Replace Eye Injections

microneedles patch instead of injectionsInstead of getting eye injections, patients with serious eye diseases may in the near future be eligible for a contact lens-type patch.1 Injections are often recommended for eye diseases such as Wet (advanced) Age-Related Macular Degeneration, macular edema, and diabetic retinopathy. The new patch is inserted painlessly like a contact lens. It delivers tiny microneedles containing medication. The microneedles are made from natural materials and dissolve over time, gradually releasing medicine. Patients would be more likely to stick with a regimen that does not involve eye injections.

Eye Injections: Stick a Needle in My Eye

Patients generally dread eye injections. Injections must be performed in a doctor’s office. Eye injections are not typically painful but can have some negative side effects such as occasionally pain after the injection. Continue reading “Patch with Microneedles Could Replace Eye Injections”