Tag Archives: Health

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Lutein and Zeaxanthin are Good for Your Eyes

You’ve probably heard that lutein and zeaxanthin are good for the eyes. These two major carotenoids found in the macula and retina are sometimes called xanthophylls or macular pigment. They function as antioxidants and also help protect tissues from phototoxic damage by filtering out some of the blue light.

eyes photo

Photo by K Conkling

The eye, and particularly the macula and retina, are almost constantly subjected to free radical generation and oxidative damage. Just as exposure to too much sunlight can damage the skin, so too can light damage the eyes. It is, thus, critical that you maintain your basic nutrients and especially antioxidants in the eye.

A study of macaque monkeys (with eyes similar to humans) showed that there was more zeaxanthin than lutein in the central fovea where vision is most clear. But, the concentration of zeaxanthin is reduced the further you get from the fovea and lutein dominates.

The macula has a yellow tint due to the presence of lutein, zeaxanthin and another xanthophyll called meso-zeaxanthin. It’s these pigments that help filter out or absorb some of the more damaging blue light to help protect the eye.

What the Studies Show

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Treating Metabolic Syndrome Naturally

Metabolic syndrome is a group of symptoms that have been associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. About 35% of the US adult population has metabolic syndrome. For those aged 60 or more, the rate is close to 50%.

Women are more likely to suffer with metabolic syndrome than men, and Hispanics have a higher rate than non-Hispanics.

Just What is Metabolic Syndrome?

Metabolic syndrome is a group of 5 symptoms. If you have 3 or more of these symptoms you are said to have metabolic syndrome. These symptoms are:
obese photo

  1. Elevated blood pressure of 130/85 or more.
  2. High triglycerides of 150 mg/dl or more
  3. Low HDL cholesterol, less than or equal to 40mg/dl for men and 50mg/dl in women
  4. Elevated fasting blood glucose levels of 100 mg/dl or more
  5. Central obesity generally associated with a BMI of 30 or more

A study reported in the the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reported that metabolic syndrome is increasing long term in the United States. In 2003-2004 the rate was 32.9% but increased to 34.7% in 2011-2012, a 5% increase. Some short term studies indicate that in recent years the rate have leveled out.

The prevalence of metabolic syndrome means that many people are suffering from increased risks for a number of diseases including heart disease, stroke and diabetes. And often the symptoms and diseases result in limitations of lifestyle options. In addition, a study of members of 3 health care plans indicated that those with 3 symptoms had 60% higher costs for health care than those without symptoms. And, the costs increased by a further 24% when a fourth or or fifth symptom was added.

These individual symptoms are pretty common among Americans. About a third of Americans have high blood pressure. About a third of American have high triglycerides. A fifth of American adults have low HDL cholesterol. Slightly under 10% of the population has elevated fasting blood glucose levels. And, a third of the population is obese.

Next, let’s look at how doctors treat metabolic syndrome. Continue reading

Holistic Medicine: Physical Health, Peace of Mind, and Clarity of Consciousness

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Learn About Holistic Health Care and Why it is Beneficial

Learn About Holistic Health Care and Why it is Beneficial

Holistic health care is a phrase we hear a lot, but most of us would probably be hard pressed to come up with a definition. Indeed, even if we could, holistic health care means different things to different people, so definitions can change from one source to another.

Holistic Health photo

Photo by Bods

The term holistic means approaching an entity as whole, because all of its parts are interdependent. As it relates to health care, a holistic approach addresses the whole person, paying attention to all of the interdependent parts, to achieve overall health and well being.

A holistic approach is aimed at maintaining a healthy body, mind and spirit. The understanding is, if there is a problem in any one area, it can affect the others, so we need to look after the whole person, mental and physical, to achieve maximum health.

Contrary to popular belief, holistic health care does not necessarily exclude symptom-based medical treatment. In cases of chronic conditions, diseases or temporary disabilities, especially those involving pain or quality of life issues, a holistic approach can include medicines, support for the body’s own healing ability and care for the patient’s emotional and spiritual well-being.

elderly photo

Photo by Patrick Doheny

Especially with elderly patients, the impact of a debilitating physical ailment, coupled with the issues surrounding aging, can lead to mental and emotional issues, like anxiety, depression and isolation. Even a patient’s surroundings, like an unfamiliar hospital room or health care facility, can affect the patient’s ability to deal with an affliction in the best possible way.

In such cases, a holistic health care practitioner can work in partnership with the patient to provide care for the whole person, considering all the factors affecting the patient’s situation.

stress photoFor example, if it is determined that a patient’s surroundings are adding to emotional stress or loneliness, simply moving to a more familiar setting could vastly improve the patient’s overall well-being and speed-up recovery.

Very often, a holistic health care provider becomes an elderly patient’s close friend and advisor, acting as an understanding intermediary between the patient, doctors and family.

Many studies show that lifestyle, our physical and mental activities, has the greatest impact on our overall health. A holistic approach to treatment of an ailing elderly patient makes sure their lifestyle constantly moves them towards better health.