Archive for September, 2010

Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

bigstockphoto_Glory_4502621 September is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, and numerous groups have been working to promote prostate cancer awareness and offer free screenings.

The prostate is a gland found only in men that is located beneath the bladder, in front of the rectum, and wraps around part of the urethra (the tube that empties the bladder).  It is a part of the male reproductive system that helps regulate bladder control and normal sexual functioning. The prostate produces and stores seminal fluid, the slightly alkaline milky substance that nourishes and protects sperm.

Men’s Health is Intimately Linked to Prostate Health

Men’s health is intimately linked to prostate health, and more so as we age.  Prostatitis, or inflammation of the prostate is usually acute and results from infection of the gland.  Enlargement of the prostate or BPH (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia) is caused by hormonal changes that take place in our late forties and fifties.  Left unchecked, these hormone changes can lead to prostate cancer.

According to the National Cancer Institute, cancer of the prostate is the second most common form of cancer in men in the U.S. (behind skin cancer), with 186,000 new cases diagnosed each year.  Statistics show that by the age of 70, nine out of ten men develop prostate problems, so if you plan on enjoying a good quality of life in retirement, take care of your prostate gland.

Symptoms of Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is often a stealth disease; symptoms may not appear until the disease has spread beyond the prostate gland. Early detection is important to managing the disease and preventing its spread to other tissues.  As prostate cancer advances, the prostate enlarges and constricts the urethra, causing difficulties in urinating — a common symptom.

Prostate cancer symptoms include:

  • Frequent urination, especially at night
  • Incomplete emptying of the bladder
  • Burning or pain during urination
  • Blood in urine or semen
  • Weak urine stream
  • Lower back pain
  • Painful ejaculation

Symptoms related to urinary function are sometimes present with prostate cancer, but may also be related to other prostate conditions like an enlarged prostate.

So What is a Guy to Do?

Early detection is key, so guys who are  fifty need to have a prostate exam done  each year and have a PSA test run to assess prostate health.  Eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise have been shown to lower the risk of prostate cancer.

Prevention is the Best Medicine!

The good news is there is a safe, natural and effective way for long term support of better prostate health, improved urinary flow and control, and greater sexual stamina. Adam’s Vitality from Logos Nutritionals is a prostate support formula that promotes prostate health with proven prostate support nutrients that prevent the hormonal changes that lead to enlarged prostate and prostate cancer, as well as improving urinary function and better sexual performance.

Diabetes and Insulin Resistance Linked to Gut Flora in Study of Obese Patients

redbacteria2 Diabetes and insulin resistance were linked to gut flora in a rather unusual study recently reported on at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes Meeting in Stockholm, Sweden. In the study, insulin sensitivity in obese patients with a set of symptoms known as metabolic syndrome (prediabetes) was improved with a fecal transplant from thin donors.

Yes, you read that correctly… I said a fecal transplant from thin donors!

According to Anne Vrieze MD and colleagues of the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam, after six weeks, peripheral insulin sensitivity significantly improved in 18 patients who received feces from lean donors compared with those who received an autologous (self-provided) transplant (P<o.o5).

“This confirms the potential role of gut microbiota in the disturbance of glucose and lipid metabolism in obesity,” Vrieze said during the presentation. “The challenge is to use this knowledge to develop therapies.”

Umm, May I make a suggestion?  PROBIOTICS… especially broad spectrum, high potency probiotics like Essential Flora.  This is not the first study to link diabetes, insulin resistance and obesity to inadequate levels of beneficial bacteria in the GI tract.

Digestive health and immune system integrity depend in large measure on the balance of power in the gut.  We know that the gut plays a major role in immunity (it is said that 80% of our immune cells are found in the gut) and in regulating hormones that impact both obesity and diabetes that is linked to obesity.

While fecal transplantation programs are certainly not common, the idea is being investigated in the U.S. based upon reports of successful treatments with chronic GI tract infections involving the bacteria Clostridium difficile.

Studies in animals have also demonstrated a link between gut flora and obesity, “…as animals given bacteria from the feces of obese mice had a significantly greater increase in total body fat than those colonized with a “lean” microbiota”, Vrieze said.

The researchers saw increased inflammation in both groups following transplant, and cytokines are currently being analyzed. Bacteria from the jejunum are also in the process of being assessed to determine specific changes to the gut flora.

From this research, it appears that there is a significant difference in the gut flora of thin and obese individuals. It is not yet clearly understood how certain bacteria seem to be able to trigger genes that influence insulin metabolism and obesity, but there is certainly a growing mountain of evidence for the importance of probiotics in the diet and as a foundational natural health supplement.

Naturopathic physicians who are presented with a patient with diabetes or metabolic syndrome will always start with probiotics because they are so fundamental to digestive and immune health.  Enhancing insulin sensitivity and controlling inflammation are helpful to all of us, but especially to those who are predisposed to diabetes.

Primary source: European Association for the Study of Diabetes
Source reference:
Vrieze A, et al “Metabolic effects of transplanting gut microbiota from lean donors to subjects with metabolic syndrome” EASD 2010; Abstract 90.

Flu Vaccine Season is Here… Not!

Every year we get a lot of inquiries at Logos Nutritionals from customers about whether or not they should take the flu shot. We cannot and do not dispense medical advice, but we can help educate the public as to the known relative risks and benefits of flu vaccines so they can make informed decisions. I am also free to disclose that I would not personally take a flu shot under any circumstances… nor would I allow any of my family members to.

Flu Shot Risks and Rewards

Taking a look at the potential risks and rewards of flu vaccines, lets review what we know about them:
Flu vaccines are made by growing known strains of flu virus in various embryonic animal or human tissues (monkey kidney tissue, guinea pig, calf serum or human diploid cells from aborted fetuses are commonly used)and then combining small amounts of dead or weakened viruses with a concoction of toxic chemical preservatives and antibiotics that are intended to discourage the growth of unwanted microbes in the medium. The supposed shortage of flu vaccines in recent years has been blamed on vast numbers of tainted dosages having to be destroyed. The concoction is then injected into the body, producing a subclinical infection that causes the immune system to mount an antibody response to, presumably conferring the host protection from those particular strains in the event of subsequent exposure.

Dealing with the ongoing flu challenge with vaccines is a daunting task. There are countless known active influenza strains in the world, and each of them is quite capable of mutating into a new and different superstrain that could wreak havoc on entire populations. A group of international researchers convenes each year to make an “educated guess” about which three strains are most likely to proliferate in the coming year, and those strains are included in this year’s batch.

Do Flu Shots Save Lives?

Given the massive number of doses administered each year and the generous financial and marketing support given to flu vaccines by the government, you might expect that a large body of solid research would back up these products… however, according to vaccine researcher and educator Dr. Sherry Tenpenney, that is not the case.
For years, flu shot advocates have claimed that flu shots are most effective in saving the lives of seniors, because they are more susceptible to serious complications when they contract the flu. But a recent study highlighted in The Lancet Medical Journal stated that it is not true that elderly lives are actually being saved: “No studies have conclusively proven that influenza shots prevent flu-related deaths in people over the age of 65, and some of the arguments that have been used to support this idea are based on faulty data.” (Reuters, September 27, 2007)

Flu Shot Safety

Opponents of flu shots question the need for special protection that the government gives vaccine manufacturers which shields them from liability when their products inflict irreparable harm on a trusting and naive public. When entire countries move to protect their citizens by banning a flu vaccine like Australia did earlier this year, there are obviously serious concerns about safety.

Ironically, according to flu vaccine opponents, it is not the viral components of the vaccines that pose the major threat, but the adjuvants or additives that are included to enhance the body’s immune response. The adjuvants were blamed for the many cases of seizures and convulsions in children that prompted Australia’s ban. Among other things, flu vaccines are known to contain the following harmful ingredients:

1. Thymerosol – A mercury derived preservative that has been linked to brain damage and autoimmune disease.
2. Phenol – Or carbolic acid, a common component of dyes and disinfectants.
3. Ethylene Glycol– Otherwise known as anti-freeze.
4. Formaldehyde – Yep, that’s the stuff they pickled the frog you dissected in Biology class with.
5. Aluminum – added to promote antibody response, it is associated with Alzheimers and seizures and has been known to cause cancer in lab mice.
6. Neomycin and Streptomycin – antibiotics to retard growth of contaminating bacteria, responsible for allergic reactions in some patients.

Even the most avid supporters of flu vaccines readily admit that taking the shot is no guarantee of avoiding the flu, and although consumers never see them, the vaccines are supposed to be accompanied by an information sheet that presents the many known side effects that are associated with them.

Natural Alternatives to Prevent or Treat Flu

There are many natural alternatives to prevent or even treat the flu, but suffice it to say that building up natural immunity with whole foods and supplements, managing stress and getting adequate rest and exercise is a great place to start. The Burgstiner Wellness Protocol offers comprehensive nutritional support to every organ system and every aspect of human metabolism, including those most critical nutrients to helping you avoid or endure the flu – vitamin C, vitamin D, omega fats and thymus gland support.

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