Most people are unaware of the significant role that magnesium plays in the body. It activates over 300 biochemical reactions necessary for our bodies to function.
Millions suffer from magnesium deficiency without knowing. Or, at least they don't realize that their health problems may be due to a lack of magnesium. Symptoms associated with and/or directly related to PMS, leg/muscle cramps, Osteoporosis, headaches, fatigue, insomnia, high blood pressure, kidney stones, and irregular heartbeat may be due to low levels of magnesium in the body.
Calcium intake may be one reason many people are magnesium deficient. Calcium needs magnesium in order to assimilate into the body. If too much calcium is consumed, the body will pull magnesium out of body parts creating a deficiency. Many Americans drink pasteurized milk as a way of obtaining calcium. Unfortunately, milk is about 8 parts calcium to about 1 part magnesium - much more calcium than the 2:1 ratio needed for proper assimilation. All the extra calcium can result in calcium deposits such as kidney stones, gallstones, and arthritic conditions.
Calcium and magnesium also work together in the muscles. Calcium causes the muscles to contract and magnesium causes them to relax. Therefore, insufficient magnesium can cause cramping and muscle stiffness. PMS is mostly due to a magnesium deficiency. Besides cramps, a common symptom of PMS is a craving for chocolate.
Chocolate happens to contain magnesium, and a sudden craving may be a sign more magnesium is needed. Besides chocolate, magnesium is also found in foods such as spinach, avocados, nuts, beans, bran, oatmeal, rice and tofu. Due to modern farming practices, many foods are lacking the minerals that foods once had, because they are no longer grown in mineral rich soil. Therefore, magnesium supplementation is recommended.
Many heart attacks are the result of insufficient magnesium. The heart is a muscle and without magnesium it cannot properly function and will stop beating. Racing or an unusual change in beats, angina pain, or collapsing from heavy physical exercise could be early signs of this type of heart attack.
Other factors that may deplete the body of magnesium are stress, coffee, sugar, alcohol, soda, tobacco, diuretics, diabetes, low thyroid, medical drugs, and high perspiration. Many products are now fortified with calcium in an effort to combat Osteoporosis and other health related problems. But, without the proper balance of calcium and magnesium, the problem will likely worsen.
It's important to understand that many of the mineral supplements and mineral-fortified foods on the market contain powdered rocks and metals. These rocks and metals (mineral compounds) are mined from the earth and pulverized into powder and added to supplements and foods.
The human body cannot adequately digest these compounds - and with increasing difficulty with age. In fact, even plants rely on soil microbes to pre-digest mineral compounds so that they can then assimilate them.
To realize how ill-informed the public is about minerals, consider the questions that are often asked about mineral supplements. For example: "What type of calcium or magnesium should I take." The fact is there is only one type of calcium and one type of magnesium on the planet: the actual elements calcium and magnesium.
Magnesium citrate, magnesium sulfate, magnesium oxide, and even magnesium chelate are compounds, not the pure, actual elemental magnesium.
Magnesium, calcium, and other minerals are available in pure, crystalloid, ionic, water-soluble, non-compound, elemental form.
Those who are experiencing the symptoms of magnesium deficiency will greatly benefit from supplementing with elemental magnesium.
[ Copyright © 2005 World Image Naturals, Inc. www.worldimagenaturals.com ]
The Importance of Nutritional Supplements
The human body is made up of nutrients, not drugs or man-made chemicals. Without minerals, vitamins, amino acids, and other important nutritional building blocks, life as we know it would be impossible.
Scientists have concluded that every disease can be linked to a mineral or nutritional deficiency. Cultures with people who enjoy youthful, disease-free lives and live to be over 100 years of age are getting a diet rich in vitamins and minerals. When our bodies become nutrient-deficient, disease is the inevitable result.
It was once believed that all we had to do to maintain adequate levels of nutrients was to eat a variety of foods - including fruits and vegetables. However, times have changed and food is not what it used to be.
Our farmlands are seriously over-farmed and their soils are nutrient depleted. At best, farmers will replace a narrow spectrum of minerals back into the soil. These minerals do little to enhance the nutritional quality of the crop and merely affect appearance (marketability). Many farmers make an effort to replace nutrients by growing a crop that is not harvested but tilled back into the soil. However, if the minerals are not in the soil to begin with, they won't be in the crop that is being worked back into the soil.
Furthermore, plants rely on soil organisms to pre-digest minerals for them. These helpful microbes are often absent, due to the condition of the soil and the destructive chemicals used in farming.
Beside the harsh chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and insecticides that our foods are contaminated with, there is a wide range of processing techniques that further alter their value as safe, healthy foods. They are subjected to high heat which destroys essential vitamins and enzymes, additives are used to help change their otherwise suspect appearance, and preservatives are added to embalm them for their long transport and potentially lengthy stay on store shelves.
A tomato grown in organic, nutrient-rich soil has a deep red to burgundy appearance on the inside, and it has a delightfully strong and pleasing flavor. A farmed, store-bought tomato often has a pink to clear appearance when cut open and lacks the rich flavor of the homegrown tomato. Even farmers understand this, and avoid foods from their fields and opt for those grown in their own personal, organic garden.
Medical doctors are now catching up with science and understanding the need to supplement with dietary supplements, due to nutritional deficiencies. A recent article in the Journal of American Medicine (JAMA) announced that a vitamin supplement should be taken to help prevent chronic disease.
If nutritional deficiencies did not exist, neither would the problems associated with them. Nutritional supplements are an excellent way to ensure that you are getting the nutrients that are necessary for your health and longevity. [ Copyright � 2005 World Image Naturals, Inc. www.worldimagenaturals.com ]
Dangers of Chlorine in Drinking and Shower Water
Chlorine is a toxic chemical that has been used to disinfect drinking water supplies for nearly 100 years. It is economical and kills many bacteria including those which cause typhoid, cholera, and dysentery.
Unfortunately, it is also a poison that has many adverse affects on the human body. Chlorine reacts with naturally occurring substances, such as decomposing plant and animal materials, normally present in the water to create trihalomethanes (THMs). These THMs trigger free radical production in the body, are highly carcinogenic, and cause cellular damage.
Drinking chlorinated tap water may cause scarring of the arteries. Once the arteries are scared, LDL cholesterol can attach itself to the artery walls leading to arteriosclerosis and heart disease.
Cancer of the kidney, bladder, and urinary tract are more common in certain cities, because chlorine in excess of government standards is added due to the water supplies are so polluted.
For instance, Mississippi drinking water (taken from the highly polluted Mississippi River) contains approximately 63 carcinogenic compounds that are created when chlorine combines with pollutants such as methanol and carbon disulphide present in the water.
It is not uncommon for municipal water supplies to have chlorine levels higher than those recommended as safe for a swimming pool.
Drinking chlorinated tap water is only part of the problem. More chlorine is absorbed through the skin, and inhaled in the steam from one bath or shower than is taken in from drinking five glasses of tap water. The heat and steam from the shower opens the pores allowing a high rate of absorption of chlorine and other chemicals. Steam from a hot shower can contain up to 20 times the concentration of chlorine as tap water.
The inhalation of chlorine and other chemical vapors are a suspected cause of bronchitis and asthma. A report in the American Journal of Public Health links chlorine to increases in certain types of cancer, skin irritations and asthma and stated that "up to 2/3 of the harmful exposure was due to skin absorption and inhalation of chlorine in shower water."
The U.S. EPA recently stated, "Due to chlorine and showering, virtually every home in America has a detectable level of chloroform gas in the air". Chloroform is strong respiratory irritant.
Chlorine strips the natural protective oils from hair and skin, casing drying and aging. Skin can dry out and become itchy and flaky. Chlorine is also the biggest trigger of eczema - a group of skin conditions that vary from mild forms characterized by dry, hot, itchy skin to more severe forms where the skin becomes broken, raw and bleeds.
Other forms of water disinfection such as ozone and UV radiation are considered too costly for most large municipal water supplies. The good news is that just because chlorine is in the water coming from your tap, you don't have to drink it or bath in it! Affordable, high quality drinking water and shower filters are available.
Using quality water filters to remove the chlorine from your drinking and shower water makes good sense, and will protect you from potential health problems. [ Copyright © 2005 World Image Naturals™, Inc. www.worldimagenaturals.com ]
The Truth About Calcium
Calcium is among the most talked about and commercially available nutrients in North America. It (or something posing as it) is added to many processed foods and beverages. It's even in our toothpaste. There are many Calcium products on the market and a sea of information concerning the need for dietary Calcium intake.
So, why are there so many problems (e.g. Osteoporosis) that are purported to be associated with a Calcium deficiency? Are we not getting enough? Yes, in a way. Though, it's more likely we are not getting enough of the right form of Calcium: true elemental Calcium in an readily assimilable form. And, perhaps we may be getting too much of the wrong kind of Calcium.
Most of the so-called Calcium on the market is not elemental Calcium that is found in healthy plants and fresh, natural sources of water. Most Calcium products and Calcium-containing processed foods use a hard-to-digest Calcium compound.
Calcium compounds are identified by the term Calcium with another word immediately following it. For example, both Calcium Carbonate and Calcium Citrate are Calcium-containing compounds. Compounds can be difficult or nearly impossible for the body to breakdown for use to any significant degree. Among the worst are Calcium Carbonate and the recently popular Coral Calcium. Calcium Carbonate is used as chalk and for making concrete, and is more suitable for lawncare than healthcare. Are we supposed to eat rocks, metals, or coral? Not likely.
Some manufacturers and medical professionals must believe that we are meant to consume metals and rocks in the exact form in which they are mined from the earth. However, even plants rely on microbes in the soil to pre-digest (breakdown mineral compounds) before they uptake them. Does it seem logical for us to eat rock dust, metal powder, or ground coral (Coral Calcium)?
Nutrients need to be in a size and form that can easily move in and out of our cells. Many popular mineral-compound supplements contain rock and metal powders in which any given particle can be thousands of times larger than a human cell, and difficult to breakdown to be of any significant use. Could these large particles buildup and cause health problems? Perhaps. This is cleary demonstrated in heavy metal toxicity.
Calcium is best when it is acquired from mineral rich plants and natural water sources. However, due to over-farming, excessive food processing, polution, and other demineralization and environmental problems and conditions, it's difficult to be certain that adequate amounts of Calcium and other minerals can be obtained in the modern diet. Therefore, supplementation with elemental, ionic mineral supplements may be necessary.
Calcium is important. Though, more importantly, one should be sure to supplement with true, elemental Calcium.
[ Copyright © 2005 World Image Naturals™, Inc. www.worldimagenaturals.com ]
How to Avoid Sickness When Traveling
Have you ever experienced a cold or the flu shortly after returning from a vacation or business trip? If so, you're not alone; it's a very common occurrence. Why do you get sick after traveling? It could be that you picked up a "bug" from those you visited, or (if you flew) perhaps you got sick from the poor quality of the air circulating in the plane. Furthermore, a change in your eating, exercise, and sleep routine may have lowered your resistance to illness.
You greatly increase your exposure to germs when you go on a trip. Consider the air that you breathe when you are confined with other sneezing and coughing travelers. Also, you're more likely to visit public restrooms when traveling which can expose you to a host of bacteria and viruses. Think of all those people with whom you shake hands or hug.
It's important to keep healthy habits intact, and to exercise added precautions when going on vacation or a business trip.
How to protect yourself from "bugs" when traveling.
Be sure to wash your hands frequently, and to avoid putting them in or near your mouth, nose, and eyes.
Bring your vitamins with you on your trip and take them daily. You may wish to consider taking Cat's Claw, to boost your immune system, a couple of weeks before you leave and up to a couple of weeks after you've returned. Increasing your normal intake of Vitamin C may also be a good idea.
Maintain your diet and exercise routine. Don't eat too much fast food. Consider what you will eat and how you will exercise, before leaving.
Air travelers may be especially vulnerable to germs, due to the close quarters and recycled air. Wearing a mask may make you feel somewhat uncomfortable; however, it's a good idea if your immune system has been recently weakened by an illness. Drink plenty of water before and during your flight. The air in the plane can be very dry, and it's easy to become dehydrated. If you must consume alcohol, be sure to drink extra water. The side-effects from alcohol are intensified at 30,000 feet, so headaches, bloating, and other maladies are not uncommon.
If you're traveling outside of the country, drink bottled water only - avoid ice. Don't forget to have extra bottled water on hand to use when brushing your teeth. Eat foods that have been well-cooked, and avoid street vendors if possible. Though the food may look good, the sanitary conditions may be less than desirable.
The next time you take a trip, take along this healthy advice so that all you bring back are happy memories.
Have a healthy trip!
Colostrum and Autoimmune Disease
Colostrum is the fluid secreted by the mammary glands of all mammals at the time of birth. It promotes growth and jump-starts the immune system.
Supplementing with Colostrum has many health benefits ranging from anti-aging to fat burning, but for those suffering from an autoimmune disease it is its ability to regulate the immune system that may be of greatest importance. Colostrum contains a Proline-rich Polypeptide (PRP), a hormone that regulates the thymus gland. PRP can help stimulate an under active immune system or calm an overactive system. An overactive immune system attacks healthy tissue and can cause serious and debilitating damage as seen in autoimmune diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), Lupus, Scleroderma, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).
Colostrum is not a drug, rather a food designed by nature. It's a safe and natural substance with no known side effects. Research has shown that most of the important immune and growth factors for humans can be provided by bovine (cow) Colostrum. It is the only Colostrum that is not species specific. Bovine Colostrum provides health benefits for adults, children, and other mammals such as dogs, cats and horses.
Colostrum is best when it comes from certified dairies in the northern United States of America (USA). Inferior forms of Colostrum come from pasture fed cows in warmer climates such as New Zealand. Cows from the northern USA are fed vitamin, mineral, and other nutritional supplements, and they develop robust immune systems due to the extremely cold winters. Cows from New Zealand are left to graze on vegetation from nutrient depleted soils, and are more likely to have weak immune systems.
[ Copyright � 2005 World Image Naturals�, Inc. www.worldimagenaturals.com ]
Smoking Moms & Vitamin C
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - If an expectant mother can't quit cigarettes, she might counter some of the bad effects by taking extra vitamin C if an animal experiment is anything to go by.
The findings from a monkey study suggest that vitamin C supplementation may help limit the damaging effects that exposing pregnant animals to nicotine has on the lung development of their fetuses.
Previously, Dr. Eliot R. Spindel, from the Oregon Health & Science University in Beaverton, and colleagues had shown that nicotine can cause fetal lung damage.
To see if vitamin C might be protective, the researchers evaluated the lung function of newborn monkeys born to nicotine-exposed mothers that were give vitamin C during pregnancy and those that were not.
Vitamin C did indeed prevent the significant decrease in lung function seen with nicotine exposure, the investigators report in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
"These findings suggest that vitamin C supplementation may potentially be clinically useful to limit the deleterious effects of maternal smoking during pregnancy on offspring's lung function," Spindel's team concludes.