Bottled water – Do you know what you’re drinking?

Where is the bottled water you’re drinking come from?

Has it been tested for contaminants, and has it been purified?

Has it purified?

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) decided to find the answers to the above basic questions. According to the EWG, nine out of the top ten best-selling brands of bottled water fail to provide answers to all three. Only one of the 173 bottled water products surveyed, Nestlé’s Pure Life Purified Water, discloses this information right on the label, and provides information for requesting a water quality test report. 18 percent of bottled waters do not tell you where their water comes from, and 32 percent do not disclose anything about the treatment or the purity of the water.

In all, only three bottled water products received a good rating for transparency from the EWG:
*Nestlé’s Pure Life Purified Water
*Gerber Pure Purified Water
*Penta Ultra-Purified Water

Why are these companies so secretive about the water their selling? Could it be the ridiculous price they charge for what many brands of bottled water amount to, tap water?

To see the full report go HERE.

Hydroxyl Methylbutyrate (HMB) for strength and getting lean

HMB has been widely publicized and has been one of the more popular supplements for over a decade. HMB is a metabolite of the branch chained amino acid leucine. With claims like increased strength, muscle size, recovery and fat oxidation, it sounds too good to be true. In fact, a publisher of a very successful magazine referred to using HMB akin to using the anabolic steroid deca durabolin. Unfortunately, the claims made about HMB don’t seem to hold up in the research.

A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning, performed a met-analysis of 9 studies. The analysis was comprised of 394 subjects between the ages of 21 and 25. Some of the subjects had training experience and some didn’t.

The major findings of this meta-analysis are that HMB supplementation results in a small, beneficial increase to overall strength in untrained lifters but has a negligible effect on trained lifters. Furthermore, in untrained lifters, HMB results in a small to possibly moderate increase in lower-body strength, but it has only a negligible effect on upper-body strength. In contrast, all strength outcomes are insignificant in trained lifters. In both trained and untrained lifters, the effect of HMB supplementation on body composition is negligible.

In my view HMB is a waste of money. The only gains made were small strength gains in untrained individuals? Why would any researchers analyzing a supplement, looking for strength or lean body mass gains, use untrained individuals? They are going to make gains, especially in the first few months, just by working out. I’m amazed at how so many studies are poorly performed and yet, are still published.

Is keeping your hair worth it?

Pharmaceuticals used to treat male pattern baldness (MPB) like Proscar (finasteride), work by decreasing serum levels dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT has been called the most potent of all androgens (male sex hormones), and is the major factor in MPB.

The current theory is that DHT binds to the hair follicle and prevents ribonucleic acid (RNA) from functioning. RNA is responsible for protein synthesis. In a nut shell, if the RNA doesn’t function, the follicle cannot create protein and stunts hair growth. Decreasing DHT levels will prevent baldness, but is it worth the side effects?

A Study reported in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, conducted standardized interviews with 71 healthy men taking finasteride to prevent baldness. 94% of the participants developed low libido, 92% developed erectile dysfunction, 92% developed decreased arousal, and 69% developed problems with orgasm. So, if you’re willing to give up your sex life to have a full head of hair, go ahead and take Proscar.

Glutathione, the antiaging secret

Have you ever heard of glutathione (pronounced; gloota-thigh-own)? Neither has almost anyone else. Many researchers say it’s probably the most important substance we require to stay healthy. Many go as far to say it’s the secret to prevent aging. So where’s Oprah, and the rest of the media? A quick search of the term “glutathione” on PubMed.gov reveals 94,117 scholarly articles, reviews and abstracts.

Present in every cell of our body, glutathione levels just might be one of the best biochemical markers there is; the higher your glutathione levels are the healthier you will be. Glutathione deficiency is found in almost all patients with extreme illnesses, e.g., cancer, heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, liver disease, diabetes and more. In fact, researchers are concluding glutathione deficiency may play a role in patients with schizophrenia. In cerebrospinal fluid of drug-free schizophrenic patients, a significant decrease in the level of total glutathione was observed as compared to controls. EJN

Glutathione’s importance to a properly functioning immune system has been shown in many studies. According to Dr. Gustavo Bounous, “The limiting factor for the proper activity and multiplication of our lymphocytes (white blood cells) is the availability of glutathione”.

Every day our bodies are exposed to stress, pollution, infection, drugs (illicit or licit) and alcohol, poor diet, infections and injury, which drain our bodies of glutathione; this depletion leaves our bodies susceptible to high levels of oxidative stress, which leads to aging, disease and eventual death. I predict that concern about glutathione levels will eventually be on par with other preventative health issues.

Weight Loss Transformation of Fabulous Fit Mother

Laura London burst onto the fitness scene a little more than a year ago and has been on fire ever since. This spicy and super sexy 5’ 2” 45 year old wife of 20 years and mother of three shows us that age has no barrier on fitness. What Laura has accomplished in the past year is just short of amazing. Check out her story below and check out her Facebook page with her amazing photos!

Laura went from an out of shape, stay at home mom to a national level figure competitor, internationally published fitness model, has been cast in infomercials, movie trailers and exercise DVD’s. She has started her own fitness web site and was also voted “2010 Over 40 Transformation of the Year” by BodyBuilding.com and that is just the beginning for this highly driven fitness role model, wife and mother.

We managed to book her for a rare and exclusive interview to find out all her secrets and tips on getting ripped, staying young forever and having amazing six pack abs in the fitness industry. Not only has Laura transformed her life, but now she is helping millions of other moms do the same.

Laura wasn’t always in shape, and actually working out and even being physically fit was extremely shunned. Growing up Laura was not even allowed to play sports, because of the rare condition her brother suffered from. He is a hemophiliac so sports were something that was not done in her family. She had to learn from scratch what is was like living a physically active and fit lifestyle after becoming a mom of three in her late thirties. It was not until her mid thirties and three kids later that she decided to take charge of her life and the direction of her health.

Laura lost over 20 lbs all by making simple yet powerful lifestyle changes, such as making the time to exercise, setting goals and staying motivated. Her new found fitness fire propelled Laura to become a nationally certified personal trainer with the NSCA, the only personal training certification to be accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. She is also one of the first Master Certified JNL Fusion trainers in the world. But that was not the end, she went on to become an award winning national level figure competitor and fitness icon. Laura is a fitness role model for women in there 40’s, showing that with passion and determination there are no excuses. You can “Exercise Your Right to be Sexy” at any age.

Read the full article.

Anti depressants treat symptoms not cause

Researchers from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine shared two major findings:

1. Antidepressant drugs were not developed for depression. Researchers used certain drugs to manipulate the behavior of stressed animals, and then concluded (erroneously) that the drugs would be “good antidepressants.” But chronic stress does not cause the same molecular changes that depression does, making the hypothesis incorrect.

So, antidepressants were actually designed to treat stress, rather than depression — which is one reason they are so ineffective.

2. An imbalance of neurotransmitters in your brain may not trigger depressive symptoms as has long been thought. Instead, the biochemical events that lead to depression appear to start in the development and functioning of neurons. This means antidepressants focus on the effect of depression and completely miss the cause… yet another reason why they are so ineffective for most people.

Unfortunately, the lead researcher is hoping the research will “open up new routes to develop new antidepressants,” when in reality a drug solution is not the answer.

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-10/nu-wad102309.php

Depression: placebo vs prescription drugs

Those who study depression and the drugs that treat it are concluding that antidepressants are no different than a placebo or “sugar pill”.

Placebos are widely used when studying pharmaceuticals. E.g., in a controlled clinical trial, one group will be given the real medication while another group is given a placebo in order to observe if the effects of the drug are due to the medication or to the power of suggestion.

Research has found that patients do improve on SSRIs, tricyclics, and even MAO inhibitors. This conclusion is the basis for blindly prescribing antidepressants to anyone who complains of being depressed.
When researchers compare the improvement in patients taking medication, however, with the improvement in those taking a placebo, they find that the difference is minuscule.

The magnitude of benefit of antidepressant medication compared with placebo increases with severity of depression symptoms and may be minimal or nonexistent, on average, in patients with mild or moderate symptoms. For patients with very severe depression, the benefit of medications over placebo is substantial.

JAMA 2010

These trials comprised 10030 depressed patients who participated in 52 antidepressant clinical trials evaluating 93 treatment arms of a new or established antidepressant. Fewer than half (48%, 45/93) of the antidepressant treatment arms showed superiority to placebo.

Int Jour of Neuropsychopharmacology

Despite the failure of prescription drugs when compared to a placebo for mild to moderate depression, the number of Americans taking antidepressants doubled in a decade, from 13.3 million in 1996 to 27 million in 2005. Is this increase due to an increase in the prevalence of severe depression? Of course not. Walk into a doctor’s office and complain about being depressed; most will prescribe an anti-depressant on the spot. This is mainly due to western medicines lack of a holistic approach to the body, and big pharma’s hold on our medical community and society in general.

Never doubt the power of the mind. In many cases, a person’s beliefs are as or more effective than drugs when it comes to achieving health.

Product review: M5 Extreme

M5 Extreme,just another expensive product that can’t deliver what it promises.

There are so many ingredients in this product; some of them are worthless and some are not. Most of the evidence concerning the efficacy of the ingredients in M5 Extreme is anecdotal, which is completely unreliable. A few ingredients have been studied using the double blind method, which is very reliable, but there are too few subjects and they were not young healthy adolescence or athletes. I have a huge problem with this, because these companies extrapolate data and draw conclusions about something unknown.

Some of the main ingredients:
The names of the proprietary blends are hilarious.

Vasodynamic Force – These ingredients are worthless. Are they harmful? No. They’ve been around since the eighties, and shortly died out because they didn’t work. Now they’re being marketed for completely different purpose. Any company with any type of integrity would not use such products.
For more info: Peddling nitric oxide products with voodoo science

Catechotropic Surge – Although products like Bacopa Monnieri Extract has been shown to improve cognition, (Calabrese , Gregory, Leo, Kreamer, & Oken), how do we know it’s pure, the right dose, or if will work for young healthy athletes.

Myosmotic Infusion – Many companies market magnesium creatine chelate (MCC) as being the best creatine product out there for gaining size, strength, speed, etc. because of its absorption ability. But when it comes down to it, good old reliable creatine monohydrate (CM), one of the most studied supplements on the planet, is still king. A study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found plain CM and MCC were similar in performance tests, suggesting that the proposed mechanism of entry (absorption) of MCC is no better than CM when 2.5 g of CM is administered and performance is measured as work. Another ingredient in this infusion, Betaine HCL, is a naturally occurring substance can be recommended by doctors as a supplemental source of hydrochloric acid, especially for those that may suffer from hypochlorhydria, a deficiency of stomach acid production. Betain HCL should always be taken at the start of a meal containing protein! If taken without food, stomach burning may result. I don’t see this anywhere on the product label. If you don’t have a low acid output in your stomach, why take this product?

Coconut oil for optimum health

Taken from the fruit portion of the seed off the coconut palm tree, coconut oil is one the most beneficial foods you can consume. In tropical regions where coconut oil or fat is a large portion of their caloric intake, people are much healthier and experience a much lower incidence of the modern diseases we do in the U.S. [1, 2]

There is an array of positive research published in the last few years showing the significance of coconut oil. [3] Coconut oil is classified as a “functional food” because of its health benefits that go far beyond its nutritional content. In fact, the coconut palm is so highly valued by Pacific Islanders as a source of food and medicine that it is called “The Tree of Life.” [4]

Coconut oil is the most saturated of all fats. Saturated fat has three subcategories: short chain, medium chain and long chain. Coconut oil contains approximately 65% medium chain fatty acids (MCFA). Although recognized for its health benefits many centuries ago, it wasn’t until 40 years ago that modern medicine found the source to be MCFA. Remarkably, mother’s milk contains the same healing powers of coconut oil. [5]

The saturated medium chain lipid lauric acid, which comprises more than 50 percent of coconut oil, is the anti-bacterial, anti-viral fatty acid found in mother’s milk. [6] The body converts lauric acid into the fatty acid derivative monolaurin, which is the substance that protects adults as well as infants from viral, bacterial or protozoal infections. This was recognized and reported as early as 1966. [7]

Since the first half of the 19th century, infection has been implicated as a cause of cardiovascular disease (CVD). [8] Researchers have been studying what causes the changes in the arterial wall. Professors Russell Ross and John Glomset formulated a hypothesis in 1973 about what causes CVD, concluding that CVD occurs in response to localized injury to the lining of the artery wall, which has been brought about by a number of things including viruses. [9, 10] The injury, in turn causes inflammation/infection. The plaque that develops is a result of the body trying to heal itself. It has been very well established that pathogens play an integral role in cardiovascular disease.

What is interesting about the role of viruses that have been found to initiate cardiovascular disease is they can be inhibited by the medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil. One could say that consuming coconut oil decreases one’s risk of cardiovascular disease.

Sources of Coconut oil:
Only use organic virgin coconut oil. I am currently using Tropical Traditions Virgin Coconut Oil. This oil is truly unrefined and made from organic coconuts. It contains a very high lauric acid content between 50 and 57 percent. I use between two and four tablespoons per day, which is what is recommended.

references:
1. Enig, Mary. “A New Look at Coconut Oil.” westonaprice.org. http://www.westonaprice.org/knowyourfats/coconut_oil.html

2. Rethinam, P. Muhatoyo. “The Plain Truth About Coconut Oil.” http://www.apccsec.org/truth.html

3. Enig, Mary. “Latest studies on coconut oil.” Wise Traditions in Food, Farming, and the Healing Arts. Spring,2006;7(1).

4. “Coconut.” Coconut Research Center. http://www.coconutresearchcenter.org/

5. Kabara, Jon J. “Health Oils From The Tree of Life – Nutritional and Health Aspects of Coconut Oil.” http://www.coconutoil.com/John%20Kabara.pdf

6. Enig,Mary. Know Your Fats. Silver Spring: Bethesda Press, 2000

7. Lee, Lita. “Coconut Oil: Why is it Good for you.” Dec. 2001. coconut.com http://www.coconutoil.com/litalee.htm

8. Epstein, Stephen, et al. “Infection and Atherosclerosis.” Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology. 2000;20:1417 http://atvb.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/full/20/6/1417

9. “Getting to the Heart of Atherosclerosis.” The UW Office of Research. http://www.washington.edu/research/pathbreakers/1973b.html

10. Furci, Michael. “Fats, Cholesterol and the Lipid Hypothesis.” www.bullz-eye.com.

Buyer Beware: fragrances contain endocrine disrupting and cancer causing compounds

Abercrombie & Fitch, Calvin Klein Eternity, and Britney Spears? Curious, to name a few, contain a dozen or more chemicals not listed on their labels that have not been assessed for safety by the beauty industries self policing review panel. Many of these chemicals cause allergic reactions, disrupt hormones, and could play a role in developing cancer.

A recent study found that out of the 91 ingredients identified, a scant 19 have been reviewed by the beauty industry, and only 27 have been assessed by the international Fragrance association and the Research institute for Fragrance Materials.

For this study, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a national coalition of health and environmental groups, commissioned tests of 17 fragranced products at an independent laboratory. Campaign partner Environmental Working Group assessed data from the tests and the product labels. The analysis reveals that the 17 products contained, on average:
? Fourteen secret chemicals not listed on labels due to a loophole in federal law that allows companies to claim fragrances as trade secrets. American Eagle Seventy Seven contained 24 hidden chemicals, the highest number of any product in the study.
? Ten sensitizing chemicals associated with allergic reactions such as asthma, wheezing, headaches and contact dermatitis. Giorgio Armani Acqua Di Gio contained 19 different sensitizing chemicals, more than any other product in the study
? Four hormone-disrupting chemicals linked to a range of health effects including sperm damage, thyroid disruption and cancer. Halle by Halle Berry, Quicksilver and Jennifer Lopez J. Lo Glow each contained seven different chemicals with the potential to disrupt the hormone system.

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