26 Scientific Studies on Avocado

avocados

Avocados

Native to South America and the Caribbean, the avocado tree produces a fruit that is actually a large egg-shaped berry with a sizable seed at its center. Its use among pre-Incan and other ancient Mesoamerican cultures has been dated to about ten thousand years ago by archaeologists. The Aztecs considered avocado to be a fertility booster.

Though dozens of avocado cultivars are harvested, the Hass cultivar accounts for three-fourths of all avocados consumed. Mexico remains by far the biggest producer. Avocados contain much more potassium than bananas, are high in monounsaturated fats and B vitamins, and have a high fiber content. They have proven health benefits in many areas, particularly in lowering levels of harmful LDL and triglycerides and raising levels of beneficial HDL.

Anti-Inflammatory

AV119, a Natural Sugar from Avocado gratissims, Modulates the LPS-Induced Proinflammatory Response in Human Keratinocytes. Donnarumma G, Paoletti I, Buommino E, Et al. Inflammation. 2010 Oct 9 (Epub ahead of print). Key Finding: “Our data show that AV119, a patented blend of avocado sugars, is able to modulate significantly the proinflammatory response in human keratinocytes, blocking the NF-kB activation in human keratinocytes.”

Atherosclerosis

Hypoglycemia and hypocholesterolemic potential of Persea Americana leaf extracts. Brai BI, Odetola AA, Agomo PU. J Med Food. 2007 Jun;10(2):356-60. Key Finding: “These results suggest that aqueous and methanolic leaf extracts of P. Americana (avocado) lower plasma glucose and influence lipid metabolism in hypercholesterolemic rats with consequent lowering of T-CHOL and LDL-CHOL, and a restoration of HDL-CHOL levels. This could represent a protective mechanism against the development of atherosclerosis.

Cancer (oral; prostate)

Selective induction of apoptosis of human oral cancer cell lines by avocado extracts via a ROS-mediated mechanism. Ding H, Han C, Guo D, Chin YW, Ding Y, Kinghorn AD, D’Ambrosio SM. Nutr Cancer. 2009;61(3):348-56. Key Finding: “Avocados have a high content of phytochemicals with potential chemo preventive activity. Previously we reported that phytochemicals extracted from avocado meat selectively induced apoptosis in cancer but not normal, human oral epithelial cell lines. In the present study, we observed that treatment of human oral cancer cell lines containing high levels of reactive oxygen (ROS) with D003 increased ROS levels twofold to threefold and induced apoptosis. These data suggest that perturbing the ROS levels in human oral cancer cell lines may be a key factor in selective apoptosis and molecular targeting for chemoprevention by photochemical.”

Chemoproventive characteristics of avocado fruit. Ding H, Chin YW, Kinghorn AD, D’Ambrosio SM. Semin Cancer Biol. 2007 Oct;17(5):386-94. Key Finding: “Our recent studies indicate that phytochemicals extracted with chloroform from avocado fruits target multiple signaling pathways and increase intracellular reactive oxygen leading to apoptosis. This review summarizes the reported phytochemicals in avocado fruit and discusses their molecular mechanisms and targets. These studies suggest that individual and combinations of phytochemicals from the avocado fruit may offer an advantageous dietary strategy in cancer prevention.”

Inhibition of prostate cancer cell growth by an avocado extract: role of lipid-soluble bioactive substances. Lu QY, Arteaga JR, Zhang Q, Huerta S, Go VL, Heber D. J Nutr Biochem. 2005 Jan;16(1):23-30. Key Finding: “Avocado contains numerous bioactive carotenoids. Because the avocado also contains a significant amount of monounsaturated fat, these bioactive carotenoids are likely to be absorbed into the bloodstream, where in combination with other diet-derived phytochemicals they may contribute to the significant cancer risk reduction associated with a diet of fruits and vegetables.”

An avocado constituent, persenone A, suppresses expression of inducible forms of nitric oxide synthase and cyclooxygenase in macrophages, and hydrogen peroxide generation in mouse skin. Kim OK, Murakami A, Takahashi D, Nakamura Y, Torikai K, Kim HW, Ohigashi H. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2000 Nov;64(11):2504-7. Key Finding: “This study suggests that persenone A, an avocado constituent, is a possible agent to prevent inflammation-associated diseases including cancer.”

Cholesterol (and Hypercholesterolemia)

High-density lipoproteins (HDL) size and composition are modified in the rat by a diet supplemented with “Hass” avocado (Persea Americana Miller). Perez-Mendez O, Garcia Hernandez L. Arch Cardiol Mex. (Spanish). 2007 Jan-Mar;77(1):17-24. Key Finding: “The inclusion of avocado in the diet decreased plasma triglycerides increased HDL-cholesterol plasma levels and modified HDL structure. The latter effect may enhance the antiatherogenic properties of HDL.”

Effects of a vegetarian diet vs. a vegetarian diet enriched with avocado in hypercholesterolemic patients. Carrznza-Madrigal J, Herrera-Abarca JE, Alvizouri-Munoz M, Alvarado-Jimenez MR, Chavez-Carbajal F. Arch Med Res. 1997 Winter;28(4):537-41. Key Finding: “All three diets reduced HDL levels. To obtain beneficial effects on lipid profile with avocado, lower amounts of carbohydrates and polyunsaturated fatty acids are probably needed.”

Monounsaturated fatty acid (avocado) rich diet for mild hypercholesterolemia. Lopez LR, Frati Munari AC, Hernandez Dominguez BC, Cervantes MS, Hernandez Luna MH, Juarez C, Moran LS. Arch Med Res. 1996 Winter;27(4):519-23. Key Finding: “High lipid, high MFA-avocado enriched diet can improve lipid profile in healthy and especially in mild hypercholesterolemic patients, even if hypertriglyceridemia (combined hyperlipidemia) is present.”

Effects of avocado on the level of blood lipids in patients with phenotype II and IV dyslipidemias. Carranza J, Alvizouri M, Alvarado MR, Chavez F, Gomez M, Herrera JE. Arch Inst Cardio Mex. (Spanish). 1995 Jul-Aug;65(4):342-8. Key Finding: “Avocado is an excellent source of monounsaturated fatty acids in diets designed to treat hypercholesterolemia with some advantages over low-fat diets with a greater amount of carbohydrates.”

Carotenoid absorption from salad and salsa by humans is enhanced by the addition of avocado or avocado oil. Unlu NZ, Bohn T, Clinton SK, Schwartz SJ. J Nutr. 2005 Mar;135(3):431-6. Key Finding: “Adding avocado fruit can significantly enhance carotenoid absorption from salad and salsa, which is attributed primarily to the lipids present in avocado.”

Hypertension

Cardiovascular effects of Persea Americana Mill (Lauraceae) (avocado) aqueous leaf extract in experimental animals. Ojewole JA, Kamadyaapa DR, Gondwe MM, Moodley K, Musabayane CT. Cardiovasc J Afr. 2007 Mar-Apr;18(2):69-76. Key Finding: “The findings of this study tend to suggest that P. Americana leaf could be used as a natural supplementary remedy in essential hypertension and certain cases of cardiac dysfunctions.”

Effect of an avocado oil-rich diet over an angiotensin II-induced blood pressure response. Salazar MJ, El Hafidi M, Pastelin G, Ramirez-Ortega MC, Sanchez-Mendoza MA. J Ethnopharmacol. 2005 Apr 26;98(3):335-8. Key Finding: “Avocado oil-rich diet modifies the fatty acid content in cardiac and renal membranes in a tissue-specific manner. Diet content can be a key factor in vascular responses.”

Osteoarthritis

A potential role for avocado and soybean based nutritional supplements in the management of osteoarthritis: a review. Dinubile NA. Phys Sportsmed. 2010 Jun;38(2):71-81. Key Finding: “Basic scientific research studies and a systematic review and meta-analysis of the available high-quality randomized clinical trials indicate that 300 mg of avocado and soybean unsaponifiables per day (with or without glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate) appears to be beneficial for patients with hip or knee osteoarthritis.”

Symptomatic efficacy of avocado-soybean unsaponifiables (ASU) in osteoarthritis (OA) patients: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Christensen R, Bartels EM, Astrup A, Bliddal H. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2008 Apr;16(4):399-408. Key Finding: “Based on the available evidence, patients may be recommended to give avocado/soybean unsaponifiables a chance for e.g., 3 months. Meta-analysis data support better chances of success in patients with knee OA than in those with hip OA.”

Avocado/soybean unsaponifiables in the treatment of knee and hip osteoarthritis. Angermann P. Ugeskr Laeger (Danish). 2005 Aug 15;167(33):3023-5. Key Finding: “These studies indicate that ASU has an effect on the symptoms of knee and hip osteoarthritis but not on the structural changes caused by osteoarthritis.”

Avocado-soybean unsaponifiables (ASU) for osteoarthritis—a systematic review. Ernst E. Clin Rheumatol. 2003 Oct;22(4-5):285-8. Key Finding: “The majority of rigorous trial data available to date suggest that avocado/soybean unsaponifiables is effective for the symptomatic treatment of osteoarthritis.”

Structural effect of avocado/soybean unsaponifiables on joint space loss in osteoarthritis of the hip. Lequesne M, Maheu E, Cadet C, Dreiser RL. Arthritis Rheum. 2002 Feb;47(1):50-8. Key Finding: “Avocado/soybean unsaponifiables significantly reduced the progression of joint space loss as compared with placebo in the subgroup of patients with advanced joint space narrowing.”

Symptoms modifying effect of avocado/soybean unsaponifiables (ASU) in knee osteoarthritis. A double-blind, prospective, placebo-controlled study. Appelboom T, Schuermans J, Verbruggen G, Henrotin Y, Reginster JY. Scand J Rheumatol. 2001;30(4):242-7. Key Finding: “The efficacy of ASU at a dosage of 300mg/day and 600mg/day was consistently superior to that of placebo at all endpoints, with no differences observed between the two doses.”

Modification of articular cartilage and subchondral bone pathology in an ovine meniscetomy model of osteoarthritis by avocado and soya unsaponifiables (ASU). Cake MA, Read RA, Guillou B, Ghosh P. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2000 Nov;8(6):404-11. Key Finding: “These findings support other studies which have proposed that avocado and soya unsaponifiables may exhibit disease-modifying anti-osteoarthritis activity.”

The possible ‘chondroprotective’ effect of the unsaponifiable constituents of avocado and soya in vivo. Khayyal MT, el-Ghazaly MA. Drugs Exp Clin Res. 1998;24(1):41-50. Key Finding: “An experimental in vivo model for studying cartilage destruction has been used to study the possible chondroprotective effect of the unsaponifiable constituents of avocado, soya and their combination. The unsaponifiables of both avocado and soya significantly reduced the degenerative changes induced by the granuloma tissue on the implanted cartilage in control animals. The effect was even more marked when animals were treated with the combination of the two unsaponifiables at a 1:2 ratio.”

Efficacy and safety of avocado/soybean unsaponifiables in the treatment of symptomatic osteoarthritis of the knee and hip. A prospective, multicenter, three-month, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Blotman F, Maheu E, Wulwik A, Caspard H, Lopez A. Rev Rhum Engl Ed. 1997 Dec;64(12):825-34. Key Finding: “One of the objectives of symptomatic slow-acting drugs for osteoarthritis is to reduce the need for drugs with a less favorable safety profile, mainly analgesics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Avocado/soybean unsaponifiables reduced the need for these drugs in patients with primary femorotibial or hip osteoarthritis. The functional index showed a significantly greater improvement in the active (avocado/soybean) group.”

Psoriasis

Vitamin B(12) cream containing avocado oil in the therapy of plaque psoriasis. Stucker M, Memmel U, Hoffmann M, Hartung J, Altmeyer P. Dermatology. 2001;203(2):141-7. Key Finding: “The results of this clinical trial provide evidence that the recently developed vitamin B (12) cream containing avocado oil has considerable potential as a well-tolerated, long-term topical therapy of psoriasis.”

The effect of various avocado oils on skin collagen metabolism. Werman MJ, Mokady S, Nimni ME, Neeman I. Connect Tissue Res. 1991;26(1-2):1-10. Key Finding: “The effects of various avocado oils on collagen metabolism in skin were studied in growing rats. Rats fed the unrefined avocado oil extracted with hexane from the intact fruit, its unsaponifiables or the avocado seed oil, showed significant increases in soluble collagen content in skin.”

Schleroderma

Natural remedies for schleroderma. Gaby AR. Altern Med Rev. 2006 Sep;11(3):188-95. Key Finding: Avocado/soybean extract is a promising natural treatment for scleroderma, an autoimmune disease of the connective tissue characterized by fibrosis and thickening of various tissues.

Wounds

Wound healing activity of Persea Americana (avocado) fruit: a preclinical study on rats. Nayak BS, Raju SS, Chalapathia Rao AV. J Wound Care. 2008 Mar;17(3):123-6. Key Finding: “Avocado oil is rich in nutrient waxes, proteins and minerals, as well as vitamins A, D and E. It is an excellent source of enrichment for dry, damaged or chapped skin. This study aimed to evaluate the wound-healing activity of fruit extract of Persea Americana in rats. Rate of wound contraction, epithelialization time, together with the hydroxyproline content and histological observations, supports the use of Persea Americana in the management of wound healing.”

source: Lindsay Johnson, Hippocrates Health Institute

Insects To Welcome In Your Garden

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Gardeners often clump insects together, viewing them all as pests. Yet there are plenty of beneficial insects that can help crops thrive and turn any garden into a well functioning ecosystem.

Plant health depends on beneficial insects that are often mistaken for pests. Be sure not to spray harmful insecticides, or you will be doing more harm than good. Not only are these beneficial insects good for your garden, but they also help take care of pest problems for you.

 

Syrphid or Hover Flies

HOver Flies_tnThese little insects are often mistaken for bees, but they are actually flies. The easiest way to tell the difference is by looking at their wings. Syrphid flies only have 2. The adults can often be seen hovering in mid-air, before darting off. The larvae of these creatures feast on aphids, while the adults spend their time darting from flower to flower, aiding in pollination.

 

 

Lady Beetles or Ladybugs

ladyBug_tnThese beetles and their larvae thoroughly enjoy feasting on aphids, mealy bugs, and spider mites. Ladybugs are attracted to fennel, dill, cilantro, caraway, angelica, tansy, wild carrot, yarrow, and dandelion. The ladybug in the photo is a Spotted Pink Lady Beetle. They can often be found munching on pest larvae such as Colorado potato beetle eggs.

 

 

Parasitic Wasps

ParasiticWasps_tnThere are several species of parasitic wasps, and although their name may sound scary, they have no interest in hurt humans. The amount of pests that can be controlled by parasitic wasps is nothing short of amazing. They can effectively control aphids, scale, whiteflies, sawfly larvae, ants, leaf miners, and many types of caterpillars. This bugs also parasitize the larvae of several pests, including tomato hornworms, codling moths, cabbage loopers, and cabbageworms.

These pest eating wasps are attracted to dill, cilantro, fennel, and many more flowering plants and shrubs.

Green Lacewing

GreenLacewing_tnThis is one of the prettiest beneficial insects you will find in your garden. This delicate little insect has large translucent wings and it can devour a deceptively large amount of soft bodied pests, like aphids, scale, and thrips. The larvae of these insects can also help keep caterpillar populations down in your garden.

 

 

Ground Beetles

Ground Beatle_tnGround beetles are wonderful for any garden! They generally come out at night and forage through the soil, eating cutworms, caterpillars, maggots, and slug eggs. These beetles will patrol your soil and keep your plants safe.


 

 

 

Source: via health freedoms alliance

How Processed Foods Wreak Havoc on Your Health

spam_meat

It’s safe to say that most American consumers probably can’t recall the last time they ate a meal prepared entirely from wholesome, garden-to-table ingredients, without any canned or prepackaged products. That’s because most Americans today consume mostly processed foods—foods produced with pesticides, GMOs and synthetic chemicals, routinely laced with too much sugar, salt and unhealthy fats.

In fact, processed foods make up as much as 70 percent of people’s diets– meaning only 30 percent of what they consume consists of wholesome, natural, or organic foods!

But here’s the truth about processed foods: Long-term consumption of these “food products” spell bad news for your health.

Processed vs. ultra-processed: What’s the difference?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) defines “processed food” as any raw agricultural commodity that has been subjected to processing methods, including canning, cooking, dehydration, freezing or milling. This means that the only time a food can be classified as “fresh” is when you’ve taken it straight from the source (washing it is okay, and would not be classified as a form of processing) and eaten it. By this definition, most foods would be considered processed.

However, in layman’s terms, processed foods can refer to sodas, potato chips, candy, baked pastries with extended shelf life–basically, “convenient,” easy-to-eat products that have been altered through the addition of artificial or ingredients, synthetic flavorings, fillers and chemical or genetically engineered additives. But this type of description actually refers to “ultra-processed food.” Researchers from the University of São Paulo and Tufts University define “ultra-processed” as:

Formulations of several ingredients which, besides salt, sugar, oils, and fats, include food substances not used in culinary preparations, in particular, flavors, colors, sweeteners, emulsifiers and other additives used to imitate sensory qualities of unprocessed or minimally processed foods and their culinary preparations or to disguise undesirable qualities of the final product.

But most people use the term “processed food” and “ultra-processed food” interchangeably when talking about these consumer products. Conventional processed foods today come in a variety of forms. These include:

• Canned and frozen fruits and vegetables
• Canned meats (luncheon meat and sausage, corned beef, and meatloaf)
• Breakfast foods, including cereals, oatmeal, energy bars
• Canned, bottled, or tetra-packed fruit juices, energy drinks, and soda
• Jarred baby foods and infant cereals
• Foods “fortified” with nutrients
• Ready to eat meals, microwave dinners
• Ramen noodles
• Pastries, including cookies, breads, frozen pizza, and pies
• Condiments, seasonings and marinades, salad dressing, and jams
• Yogurt and other commercially made fermented foods

The simplest way to determine if a food is processed is by looking at the ingredient list at the back of its packaging. The longer the ingredient list, the more processed a food is likely to be.

After more than 20 years of struggle by consumer activists and public interest groups such as the Organic Consumers Association, major food manufacturers are finally being forced to label GMO ingredients in processed foods sold in grocery stores. Because of this, many of them are starting to remove GMOs from their products, along with other artificial chemicals and additives.

The history of ‘processing’

Humans have been “processing” food through traditional methods for thousands of years. Egyptians have used salt for 4,000 years to extend the shelf life of food. In ancient sites in Italy, Russia and the Czech Republic, there was evidence that early humans pounded cattails and ferns into flour and mixed it with water to bake bread.

Other methods of food preservation, including fermentation, pickling and curing, have also been used for thousands of years, in different cultures. The food was used to help survive long winters and voyages, and also as rations when soldiers went to war. This led to the production of foods like beer, wine, cheeses, yogurt and butter.

The 19th century saw the rise of modern food processing methods. Canning and bottling began mainly to serve military needs, although the initial cans used were hazardous, as they were contaminated with lead.

Pasteurization, a method that prolongs the shelf life of dairy and wine to allow increased production and distribution, was discovered and patented by Louis Pasteur in the mid-1800s.

In the 20th century, the rising consumer society in the U.S. contributed to the growth of food processing. Advances such as freeze drying, spray drying and juice concentrates were developed. At the same time, coloring agents, preservatives and artificial sweeteners were introduced. Self-cooking meals, “TV dinners,” reconstituted fruits and juices and other “instant” foods like coffee and noodles became popular. These were mostly marketed to working wives and mothers who were tired of preparing foods from scratch.

To convince people that processed foods were as good, or even better, than wholesome foods, they were marketed as a means for people to save time and money–hence the term “convenience foods.”

But do the time and money you save by choosing these processed goods make up for the havoc that they wreak with your health?

Not what the human body needs, or wants

The human body is not designed to thrive on processed foods. And foods are not meant to be altered. The more altered they are, the worse they are for your health.

Processed foods are actually lacking in nutritional content compared to natural foods. For example, processed bread and other snacks use refined grains that have the bran and germ removed and, along with it, important nutrients like fiber, iron and B-vitamins.

Dried processed foods not only have reduced amounts of vitamin C and fiber, but they also become more energy dense, which causes them to contribute to weight gain. When these foods are constituted and cooked with water, even more nutrients leach out.

Processed foods are also loaded with sugar, unhealthy fats and sodium, all of which your body is not designed to handle in high amounts, and all of which can endanger health. Particularly damaging are refined sugars, like high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which convert into fat in your body. This wreaks havoc on your insulin and leptin levels, and leads to chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes and cancer. Meanwhile, synthetic trans fats, in the form of partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, have been linked to heart disease.

And of course processed foods are routinely laced with hazardous genetically engineered and pesticide-drenched ingredients derived from GMO corn, soybeans, canola, sugar beets and cotton (cottonseed oil is common in low-grade vegetable oils). According to the Grocery Manufacturers of America, 80 percent of all (non-organic) supermarket processed foods contain GMOs. Only now are those ingredients being labeled, as food manufacturers are being forced to comply with Vermont’s GMO labeling law.

Loaded with health-harming synthetic additives

Close to 5,000 additives are now allowed to be used in food products. And this number keeps growing. If you factor in the additives found in the packaging (which can also leach into your food), that number of additives can rise to 10,000!

What’s worse, most of these food additives have not undergone any safety testing, and very few have been tested according to the way that they are ingested–meaning in combination with other additives. Some of these additives are downright dangerous. For example:

Diacetyl and 2,3-pentanedione (PD), both of which are added to microwave popcorn to give it a buttery aroma, are linked to brain health, Alzheimer’s disease and respiratory toxicity.

• Monosodium glutamate (MSG), which is found in chips, processed meats and a wide array of other foods, is an excitotoxin that can lead to cell damage, triggering brain dysfunction and leading to learning disabilities, Lou Gehrig’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and more.

• Artificial food dyes like Red #40, Yellow 5, and Blue #2 are linked to brain tumors, hyperactivity, hypersensitivity and other behavioral effects in children.

• Preservatives like butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxyl toluene (BHT) can mess with your brain’s neurological system, causing behavioral problems and even cancer. Another preservative, tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ), is also deadly. In fact, just five grams can kill you, according to the FDA.

Giving up processed foods—easier said than done

If you think you can simply shake off your processed food cravings, you’re wrong. These foods are intentionally addictive. They stimulate dopamine, a “feel-good” neurotransmitter that affects your brain similarly to how drugs affect you. Manufacturers are fully aware of this, and actually engineer their products to produce this “delicious” yet dangerous effect. (Michael Moss details this in his book, “Salt, Sugar, Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us.”)

Sadly, many people still consume GMO and pesticide-tainted, highly processed foods because of their affordability, convenience and “delicious” flavor. But what you save in terms of money and convenience will ultimately put a double whammy on your health.

source: Elaine Catherine R. Ferrer via Organic Consumers Association

Analysis of more than 1.5 million people finds meat consumption raises mortality rates

Death rates higher when red and processed meats are eaten daily, according to Mayo Clinic reviewers

American Osteopathic Association

A review of large-scale studies involving more than 1.5 million people found all-cause mortality is higher for those who eat meat, particularly red or processed meat, on a daily basis. Conducted by physicians from Mayo Clinic in Arizona, “Is Meat Killing Us?” was published today in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.

The authors analyzed six studies that evaluated the effects of meat and vegetarian diets on mortality with a goal of giving primary care physicians evidence-based guidance about whether they should discourage patients from eating meat. Their recommendation: physicians should advise patients to limit animal products when possible and consume more plants than meat.

“This data reinforces what we have known for so long – your diet has great potential to harm or heal,” said Brookshield Laurent, DO, assistant professor of family medicine and clinical sciences at New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine. “This clinical-based evidence can assist physicians in counseling patients about the important role diet plays, leading to improved preventive care, a key consideration in the osteopathic philosophy of medicine.”

While findings for U.S. and European populations differed somewhat, the data found the steepest rise in mortality at the smallest increases of intake of total red meat. That 2014 study followed more than one million people over 5.5 to 28 years and considered the association of processed meat (such as bacon, sausage, salami, hot dogs and ham), as well as unprocessed red meat (including uncured, unsalted beef, pork, lamb or game).

A 2014 meta-analysis examined associations with mortality from cardiovascular disease and ischemic heart disease. In that study of more than 1.5 million people, researchers found only processed meat significantly increase the risk for all-cause mortality.

Combined, the findings of these studies are statistically significant in their similarity, the reviewers noted. Further, a 2003 review of more than 500,000 participants found a decreased risk of 25 percent to nearly 50 percent of all-cause mortality for very low meat intake compared with higher meat intake.

They also found a 3.6-year increase in life expectancy for those on a vegetarian diet for more than 17 years, as compared to short-term vegetarians.

Open access to the full review is available until July 1, 2016: http://jaoa.org/article.aspx?articleid=2517494

About The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association

The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association (JAOA) is the official scientific publication of the American Osteopathic Association. Edited by Robert Orenstein, DO, it is the premier scholarly peer-reviewed publication of the osteopathic medical profession. The JAOA’s mission is to advance medicine through the publication of peer-reviewed osteopathic research.

Caffeine Consumption & Miscarriage

pregnantwoman_drinkingcoffee

A woman is more likely to miscarry if she and her partner drink more than two caffeinated beverages a day during the weeks leading up to conception, according to a new study from researchers at the National Institutes of Health and Ohio State University, Columbus. Similarly, women who drank more than two daily caffeinated beverages during the first seven weeks of pregnancy were also more likely to miscarry.


However, women who took a daily multivitamin before conception and through early pregnancy were less likely to miscarry than women who did not. The study was published online in Fertility and Sterility.

“Our findings provide useful information for couples who are planning a pregnancy and who would like to minimize their risk for early pregnancy loss,” said the study’s first author, Germaine Buck Louis, Ph.D., director of the Division of Intramural Population Health Research at NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

The researchers analyzed data from the Longitudinal Investigation of Fertility and the Environment (LIFE) Study, which was established to examine the relationship between fertility, lifestyle and exposure to environmental chemicals. The LIFE Study enrolled 501 couples from four counties in Michigan and 12 counties in Texas, from 2005 to 2009.

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For the current study, researchers compared such lifestyle factors as cigarette use, caffeinated beverage consumption and multivitamin use among 344 couples with a singleton pregnancy from the weeks before they conceived through the seventh week of pregnancy.

The researchers reported their results using a statistical concept known as a hazard ratio, which estimates the chances of a particular health outcome occurring during the study time frame. For example, the researchers evaluated caffeinated beverage consumption in terms of the daily likelihood of pregnancy loss over a given time period. A score greater than 1 indicates an increased risk for pregnancy loss each day following conception, and a score less than 1 indicates a reduced daily risk.

Of the 344 pregnancies, 98 ended in miscarriage, or 28 percent. For the preconception period, miscarriage was associated with female age of 35 or above, for a hazard ratio of 1.96 (nearly twice the miscarriage risk of younger women). The study was not designed to conclusively prove cause and effect. The study authors cited possible explanations for the higher risk, including advanced age of sperm and egg in older couples or cumulative exposure to substances in the environment, which could be expected to increase as people age.

Both male and female consumption of more than two caffeinated beverages a day also was associated with an increased hazard ratio: 1.74 for females and 1.73 for males. Earlier studies, the authors noted, have documented increased pregnancy loss associated with caffeine consumption in early pregnancy. However, those studies could not rule out whether caffeine consumption contributed to pregnancy loss or was a sign of an unhealthy pregnancy. It’s possible, the authors wrote, that these earlier findings could have been the result of a healthy pregnancy, rather than caffeine consumption interfering with pregnancy. For example, the increase in food aversions and vomiting associated with a healthy pregnancy led the women to give up caffeinated beverages.

Because their study found caffeine consumption before pregnancy was associated with a higher risk of miscarriage, it’s more likely that caffeinated beverage consumption during this time directly contributes to pregnancy loss.


“Our findings also indicate that the male partner matters, too,” Dr. Buck Louis said. “Male preconception consumption of caffeinated beverages was just as strongly associated with pregnancy loss as females’.”


Finally, the researchers saw a reduction in miscarriage risk for women who took a daily multivitamin. During the preconception period, researchers found a hazard ratio of 0.45 — a 55-percent reduction in risk for pregnancy loss. Women who continued to take the vitamins through early pregnancy had a hazard ratio of 0.21, or a risk reduction of 79 percent. The authors cited other studies that found that vitamin B6 and folic acid — included in preconception and pregnancy vitamin formulations — can reduce miscarriage risk. Folic acid supplements are recommended for women of childbearing age, as their use in the weeks leading up to and following conception reduces the risk for having a child with a neural tube defect.


Source(s): http://www.healthfreedoms.org; nih.gov; dailysabah.com

 

 

Zucchini Rolls – Recipe Week!

Zucchini Rolls

zucchini_rolls_recipe

10 Medium zucchinis make 25 rolls. Cut 30 slices of zucchini with a mandolin, rub with salt to draw out the water, pat dry and set aside.  Lay 3 strips of zucchini side by side and overlapping, place a scoop of garden pate, roll and top with red pepper sauce.

PATE:

Blend (smooth) or place in food processor (crunchy)

– 1 ½ cups Almonds or cashews

– ½ cup Sunflower Seeds

– ¼ cup Lemon Juice

– ¼ cup Olive Oil

Fold in:

– 1 bunch Fresh Basil

– 2 cups Mixed Vegetables (small chunks) like broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, jicama, red bell pepper etc… (Fold into the mix).

– 3 Tbsp Fresh Dill

– 1 tsp Salt (Either: Sea,Pink,Himalayan,Raw,Grey)

– ½ tsp Pepper

 

PEPPER SAUCE: Blend all ingredients in a blender until sauce like consistency is achieved.

-2 Red, Orange or Yellow Bell Peppers

-½ cup Lemon Juice

-2 cups Coconut Flakes

-1 Tbsp Smoked Paprika

-¼ tsp Cayenne

-1 tsp White Pepper

-1 tsp Salt

Stevia (optional for sweeter sauce)

-¼ cup Olive Oil

-Enough water to create sauce like consistency. Approx:  ½ a cup.

Source: Tree of Live Rejuvenation Center

Homegrown Superfood-Super Cheap!

Grow Your Own Broccoli

broccoli

Broccoli is very high in the master antioxidant glutathione and other important nutrients. Like all amino acids glutathione is very heat sensitive and on average is seventy-five percent destroyed by the cooking process. Therefore, broccoli is best eaten raw.

Broccoli is a cool weather plant and does best in zones 3-7. Plant in the early spring, late summer or, in warmer climates, over the winter. Here is how to grow broccoli right in your own yard:

  • Start your spring crop indoors 7 to 9 weeks before the last expected frost. Fill 4” round Fertile pots with 100% organic potting mix and place in a drain pan. Plant two seeds per pot. Water and keep the soil moist but not wet. Seeds should germinate in 4 to 5 days. After the seeds germinate, place pots in a sunny area or under lights
  • Once the seedlings are about 6 inches tall, with 2 to 4 true leaves it is time to harden the plants. Harden by putting the young plants outdoors in a protected area (out of direct sun and wind) for one hour the first day adding two hours to the time spent outside each subsequent day for a week. Keep well-watered.
  • Choose a place in the yard that receives full sun. If you live in a warmer climate partial shade can help prevent the plants from bolting (going to seed.) Prepare a bed of rich, well-drained soil, with plenty of compost.
  • Set the young plants 1 to 2 inches deeper in the garden than they grew in the pots or flats. Space them 2 feet apart in rows 3 feet apart. Firm the soil and water well.
  • Water regularly. At least once every three days if it is not raining.
  • Two weeks after planting fertilize with compost tea or side dress with compost. Repeat once a month.
  • Spray once a week alternating between insecticidal soap and home-made plant pepper spray.
  • It is time to harvest before the florets start to open and turn yellow. Cut just below the point where the stems begin to separate. Once you’ve harvested the main head, tender side shoots will form in the leaf axial all along the lower stalk. Keep cutting, and broccoli will keep producing until the weather turns too hot or too cold.

 

Fresh-picked garden broccoli tastes much better and is more nutritious than store bought. Enjoy!

Source: HHI Hippocrates Health Institute

Getting in Shape – Beyond food

HHI teamed up with local vegan fitness coach and internet celebrity Jordan David of @Consciousmuscle to bring you six simple exercises that everyone can incorporate into their workout routine. Each exercise can be great for seasoned athletes to those looking to start their fitness program for the first time. Jordan came to HHI to demonstrate and tell us about how to execute each move for optimal results.

 

The “it’s OK to be basic” Squat

 

Your basic squat can incorporate several equipment variations including barbell, dumbbell, or kettlebells. You can also vary this squat as a back or front squat (depending on where the weight is held). Here we are demonstrating a front squat with a dumbbell.

Tips for Form: Make sure to keep knees in line with your toes and emphasize keeping a straight back through the motion. Remember the primary purpose of this exercise is to engage your quads, however, it is a full body compound movement.

 

The Stiff Leg Dead Lift

 

For creating a tight and toned mid to lower portion of the body, try The Stiff Leg Dead Lift. This compound movement is primarily designed to engage your hamstrings, lower back, and core.

Tip for Form:  Keep your feet flat, and make sure your back is straight with shoulders back and chest out.

 

 

The First Lady Triceps Extension

 

Achieving those perfect “wing free” arms can be a challenge, especially for those who have gained and lost weight or have only concentrated their efforts on other muscles of the arm such as the bicep. This movement is designed to engage triceps which are the largest portion of your arm.  Because the triceps account for so much muscle it should not be neglected in terms of performance or aesthetics.

Tips for Form: Keep your back straight to stabilize you’re core, and while completing the range of motion make sure not to lock out your elbows, as it will take tension off the muscle/fiber.

 

The All-Around-Tone Bent Rows

 

Generally when trying to achieve a slimmer or more toned physique individuals may focus on the muscles they can easily view in the mirror and often neglect ones not as easily seen. Bent rows are designed to engage your upper back, while also strengthening your lower back and core.

Tips for Form: Make sure to use manageable weight as form is essential. As with the squat and stiff leg dead lift, keep the lower back straight and core engaged.

 

The Perfect Pecs Flat Bench Press

 

Try saying that name three times fast, and then try this simple press with either dumbbells, barbells, cables, or a fitness machine. This motion is used primarily to engage your chest and secondarily your triceps.

Tips for Form: Keep your feet flat, and make sure to keep chest contracted through the range of motion. When concluding the motion bring the dumbbells down to the starting point just prior to locking elbows out, as this takes tension of the pectorals.

 

 

The Vanishing Gut – Hanging Knee Raises

 

This motion can be completed either hanging as demonstrated or lying (back side down) on a flat surface. This exercise will engage the core with emphasis on the lower portion of abdomen.

Tips for Form: Bring knees up in a controlled manor to emphasize contraction on the core. On the way down make sure to keep your movement slow and controlled for optimal time under tension.

 

Jordan David is a certified ISSA trainer who for the past 7 years has been helping individuals achieve their desired physique through a vegan diet and personal training.

~ Source: HHI Hippocrates Health Institute

Raw Vegan Biscotti -Recipe Week!

Raw-Vegan-Biscotti-Recipe

It’s recipe week here at Upaya Naturals and being the food lovers we are, here is a delicious (and nutritious) recipe for Biscotti – raw vegan style! The recipe here is separated into phases of glycemic-index with Phase 1 being the lowest glycemic level.

  • 3 cups of nut/seed pulp
  • 1/2 cup Chia* Porridge
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil*
  • 1/4 cup Sweet-E Powder*
  • 1/2 cup walnuts* or pecans*, chopped
  • 8 drops Vanilla Stevia*
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon*
  • pinch of sea salt* or pink salt*

Roll into a flattened loaf and slice 1-inch thick. Dehydrate* at 115° F for 24 hours or until totally dry.

Optional: Chocolate Dip

  • 1 cup melted coconut oil*
  • 2-3 Tbsp Cacao* (or to taste)
  • 1 dropper Stevia* (or to taste)

*available at Upaya Naturals

~Recipe courtesy of The Tree of Life Café in AZ