Tag Archive | Health & Wellness

Drugs Don’t Cause Addiction: This Brilliant Animated Video Will Change Your View on Drugs Forever

Drugs Don’t Cause Addiction: This Brilliant Animated Video Will Change Your View on Drugs Forever

BY SOFO ARCHON

Most people think that the reason why people become addicted to drugs is solely because of the drugs themselves. This, however, is far from the truth, as shown repeatedly by scientific studies on drug addiction. The brilliant short animated video below will explain to you why drugs don’t actually cause addiction, changing your view on drugs forever.

 

Thank You to SOFO ARCHON and his blog The Unbounded Spirit for bringing such an important and scientifically verifiable perspective to our attention.

Disconnection is the DIS-EASE of today. It is fostered in so many ways.Technology allows interaction without real connection. Devices have replaced social interaction and participation. TVs, phones, games, personal dramas ……..are just some of the addictions that waste time and potential.

Every one is too busy……..doing many useless time devouring things that keep them from beneficial face to face interaction, me included.

Progress has brought us here.

Humankind are social animals. For mental, emotional, spiritual and physical health, participation in social activities is crucial.

For yourself and everyone else, get social and participate in peoples lives including your own. If you can’t get out, have actual telephone conversations to connect.  Be interested and interesting. Care and be caring. The rewards are stupendous for mankind individually and as a whole as this video demonstrates.

So for all of us…………….truly CONNECT, create new connections, reinvigorate existing connections and help others to do the same. It is the true solution to all addiction.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Bananas – A Super-food Superstar

Bananas – A Super-food Superstar

This is interesting. After reading this, you’ll never look at a banana in the same way again.

Bananas contain three natural sugars – sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fiber. A banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy.

Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout. No wonder the banana is the number one fruit with the world’s leading athletes.

But energy isn’t the only way a banana can help us keep fit. It can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions, making it a must to add to our daily diet.

DEPRESSION:
According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.

PMS:
Forget the pills – eat a banana. The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.

ANEMIA:
High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.

BLOOD PRESSURE:
This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it perfect to beat blood pressure So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit’s ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.

BRAIN POWER:
200 students at a Twickenham school ( England ) were helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break, and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.

CONSTIPATION:
High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.

HANGOVERS:
One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey. The banana calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.

HEARTBURN:
Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.

MORNING SICKNESS:
Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.

MOSQUITO BITES:
Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.

NERVES:
Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system..

Overweight and at work? Studies at the Institute of Psychology in Austria found pressure at work leads to gorging on comfort food like chocolate and chips. Looking at 5,000 hospital patients, researchers found the most obese were more likely to be in high-pressure jobs. The report concluded that, to avoid panic-induced food cravings, we need to control our blood sugar levels by snacking on high carbohydrate foods every two hours to keep levels steady.

ULCERS:
The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronicle ulcer cases. It also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.

TEMPERATURE CONTROL:
Many other cultures see bananas as a ‘cooling’ fruit that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers. In Thailand , for example, pregnant women eat bananas to ensure their baby is born with a cool temperature.

So, a banana really is a natural remedy for many ills. When you compare it to an apple, it has FOUR TIMES the protein, TWICE the carbohydrate, THREE TIMES the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals.. It is also rich in potassium and is one of the best value foods around So maybe its time to change that well-known phrase so that we say, ‘A BANANA a day keeps the doctor away!’

*****Reposters Note

I have come across this article before but can not seem to find who the original author is to Thank them for a job well done. Bananas are definitely a favorite in our home – hopefully yours too.****

Pneumonia Cured in 3 Hours Using Natural Medicine – Vitamin C

by JONATHAN LANDSMAN
The numbers are staggering. The eighth leading cause of death, in the United States, is pneumonia and influenza – killing over 50,000 people per year. Conventional medicine, in all its years of ‘wisdom’, advise people to get a flu shot for ‘prevention’. There’s only one problem – it doesn’t work!

Flu shots only weaken the immune system – especially when you consider that flu vaccines are loaded with unwanted (toxic) ingredients like, mercury, aluminum and formaldehyde. Adding insult to injury, the most deadly cases of ‘viral pneumonia’ are treated with antibiotics – which are completely ineffective against viruses. Fortunately, once again, the natural health world has a solution – which has been systematically ignored by western medicine for decades.

One vitamin kills pneumonia on contact

Since the 1940’s, proven by Frederick Klenner, M.D. plus many other medical doctors, over 30 diseases (including pneumonia) have been easily cured by taking adequate amounts of vitamin C. In truth, the benefits of vitamin c have been well documented throughout history – in the scientific literature – and NaturalHealth365 has made it a point to highlight its healing powers – for some time now.

Ask any (honest) physician and they’ll tell you that antibiotics will not help you – if you suffer from a viral infection. But, even if your health troubles stem from an ‘unfriendly’ bacterial overload – vitamin C can do wonders without damaging your intestinal flora, which (eventually) compromises your immune system. Still not convinced that vitamin C can cure pneumonia?

Listen [above] – to a portion of my exclusive interview with Dr. Andrew Saul. His personal story of recovery from pneumonia – in just 3 hours – is remarkable to say the least. In addition, after a number of failed attempts by conventional medicine, you’ll learn how one child fully recovered from serious upper respiratory dis-ease, naturally.

What are my vitamin C options?

Keep in mind, not all vitamin C supplements are created equal. If your vitamin C supplement is derived from corn – be sure it’s a non-GMO variety. Simply ask the manufacturer – you may be surprised to discover what they admit on the telephone.

If you should decide to take vitamin C orally in powder, capsule or liquid form – just remember that you may experience bowel intolerance (loose stool) – once you reach your threshold. Everyone is different – depending on health history and current state of health. Liposomal or IV vitamin C will help to avoid this issue plus increase your cellular absorption rate.

Naturally, if you suffer with any serious health condition, it would be best to find a physician that understands the power of vitamin C. How do you know? Just ask and don’t be intimidated – after all, it’s your good health that matters most.

Source: Natural Health 365………………Where The Experts Speak Out

Read more at http://www.realfarmacy.com/pneumonia-cured-in-3-hours-using-natural-medicine/#fDroXirBF2PhXBAF.99

***REPOSTERS NOTE***

Thank You to Natural Health 365 for this excellent article.

So when you get a virus or think you may be getting something – Get lots of Vitamin C in you!.

Personally we keep fresh lemons in our home and at the first sign of colds or flu we start drinking hot lemon with natural unpasteurized honey and a bit of cayenne pepper as our drink of choice for the day. We find that stops most everything.

A hot drink of Lemon, Ginger Root and Turmeric  has been found to be very effective also.

The Lemon Rind has significantly more Vitamin C so you can wash it very thoroughly, shred it very finely or use the food processor . Take this and add warm (not hot) Honey and a sprinkle of Himalayan Sea Salt.  Eat 1 tablespoon full with each glass of hot lemon you drink. This allows you to get much more fresh Vitamin C out of every lemon. The lemon paste also makes a great stand alone adult cough syrup. Honey has been found to be an even better cough suppressant for children over 1-year-old than any prescription or over the counter solution that you can get .

http://consumer.healthday.com/alternative-medicine-information-3/mis-alternative-medicine-news-19/honey-a-sweet-treatment-for-kids-night-time-cough-667352.html

http://www.medpagetoday.com/Pulmonology/URIstheFlu/34065

Coconut Oil Chocolate Candy – to Curb Sugar & Chocolate Cravings – 2 Recipes

Coconut Oil Chocolate Candy – to Curb Sugar & Chocolate Cravings –  2 Recipes

Coconut Oil Chocolate Candy

 

  • Coconut Fat Bomb Candies

These coconut oil ‘candies’ or ‘fat bombs’ as some people call them, are incredibly useful for evening sugar cravings. They can be made extremely low carb with your alternative sweetener of choice (I prefer xylitol/stevia mix for these), and they are great to have in the fridge for when you are in the throes of a craving, or just great as an evening snack. It’s hard to explain but these seem to satisfy something in my body and I can just feel myself going ‘ahhhhhh… I’m better now’. Maybe it’s the combination of the cocoa powder and coconut together working it’s magic. Whatever it is, I’ll take it!

 

Tips for making Coconut Oil Candies

  • These are yummy but they’re hard to overeat since they are only lightly sweetened and mostly coconut oil, so are extremely satisfying.
  • Cover these candies with dessicated coconut or even crushed almonds to make them fancier “truffles”.
  • Put the mixture in a silcone mold so the finished product is in neat shapes!

Coconut Oil “Candies”

Recipie #1

Yield:

Makes about 18 candies

Ingredients:

Preparation:

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl or food processor until mixture is smooth. Drop by the tablespoon onto waxed or parchment paper, or into the dessicated coconut. Refrigerate until the candies are solid, then store in a covered container in the fridge.

Recipe # 2

Try this recipe for a nutritious high protein, gluten and dairy free coconut treat.

1 teaspoon of Cold Pressed Coconut Oil (I get mine from Costco)

1 cup of almonds or walnuts

1 cup of organic dates

3-4 tablespoons of raw cocoa powder

Shredded coconut (check it contains no preservatives)

Place all ingredients in a food processor. Roll into small bite size balls and roll into shredded coconut. Place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to set. 

****REPOSTERS NOTE*** I would use monk fruit as my sweetener of choice for recipe #1 – For recipe #2 – if it seems a bit dry , increase the amount of Coconut Oil.

Last year  Lo Han Kuo was brought to my attention. It is in a product I use daily and I am very pleased with it. Unlike most sweeteners, natural or artificial, It leaves no after taste.  It is actually good for your health as it provides minute amounts of 18 of the 22 basic amino acids our bodies need. 

Lo Han Kuo (or monk fruit) is an ancient Chinese fruit about 200 times sweeter than sugar; 

The only sweetener out there that actually uses Monk fruit that I am aware of is known by the Brand name: Nectresse (actually a blend of monk fruit, erythritol, sugar, and molasses). We have an evening sweet tooth in out house, so I will be making these using Nectresse.

These treats would also be good for the lunch box as a satisfying afternoon snack to beat that afternoon energy slump without the sugar rush of a high sugar snack. They are quick and easy to make which makes them an even more attractive option.

 

Thank You to  Eat Fat Lose Fat Blog.com. for recipe #1, Thank You to Michele Chevalley Hedge of A Healthy View.com.au for recipe #2

CLEAN YOUR KIDNEYS

CLEAN YOUR KIDNEYS
 CLEAN YOUR KIDNEYS

Years pass by and our kidneys are filtering the blood by removing salt, poisons and many other unwanted substances that enter our body. With time, the salt accumulates and excess minerals. Plaque also builds, clogging the filtering ability.

As the kidneys are pouches of blood vessels that are part of the filtering system. Like any filter, the kidneys can benefit greatly from a good cleaning.  Below is a recipe that can help clean that filtration system. – For the cleaning the blood vessels, check out the link in the reposters note at the end of this post.

It is very easy. First take a bunch of parsley or Cilantro ( Coriander Leaves ) and wash it clean. Cut it into small pieces and put it in a pot, add clean water and boil for ten minutes. Let it cool down, then filter it and pour into a clean bottle. Store it inside refrigerator to keep it cool.

Drink one glass daily and you will notice all salt and other accumulated poison coming out of your kidney by urination. As the kidneys are cleansed,  you will be able to notice the difference and leave you feeling cleaner, more refreshed and rejuvenated!

Parsley and cilantro (coriander) are known as the best natural cleaning treatment for kidneys. Both have similar impact but Parsley is preferred choice. Difference between Parsley and Cilantro. Parsley doesn’t have the smell whereas Cilantro (Dhaniya Leaves) do. Parsley is used in Salads. Both leaves look similar to each other but by close observation, you can notice both are different.
Parsley is an amazingly nutrient packed green and is a stand alone health powerhouse that has not received the acknowledgment it deserves as a dietary dynamo.

Our kidneys are such an important organ, keeping them functioning well is crucial to good overall health.  Our kidneys  are meant to last us a lifetime, with a little care, you can make this happen.

PLEASE SHARE and SAVE this recipe.

Reduce the Stress on Your Kidneys

Give your kidneys a bit of a break by using the tips below:

  • Drink lots of water to flush out wastes. Drinking water also helps lower the chances of kidney stones and infections.
  • Keep your blood pressure in the target range. Weight control, exercise, and drugs can control blood pressure—and prevent or slow the risk of kidney failure. Also, blood pressure drugs in the ACE-inhibitor and ARB class help slow down a loss of protein in the urine and protect the kidneys. Blood pressure puts a lot of stress on your kidneys. If you have high blood pressure and any other kidney problem, treating your blood pressure will help protect your kidneys.
  • If you have diabetes, keep your blood sugar in the target range. Weight control, exercise, medication, and tight control of blood sugar can prevent or slow the risk of kidney failure.
  • Have blockages (e.g., narrowed arteries) treated. Sometimes blockages can be opened to help save function in a blocked kidney. If you think you have a blockage, ask your doctor what can be done about it.
  • Take steps to prevent kidney stones if you are prone to them.
  • Take steps to prevent infections if you are prone to them.
  • Check with your doctor to see if there is a special diet you should be on, such as low protein, low salt (sodium), and low phosphorus.
***REPOSTERS NOTE
Thank You too Green Yatra  and Kidney Trust for some of the information in this post.
For those of you who already are adding to your day with green smoothies, I would use this juice as the base to that smoothie. That would be a great way to provide your kidneys and your overall health a long term benefit. Our kidneys are crucial and keeping them healthy allows the rest of our body to function better.
If green smoothies or this juice are not appealing, another option would be one I have suggested before in  previous posts. This supplement cleans all of your organs and has been so effective, people on dialysis are able to reduce the amount of dialysis they need and some have even been able to repair their kidneys so that dialysis is no longer needed. One of the main benefits is :
 22. It may improve renal function and slow the progression of renal disease and age-related chronic renal failure.  Arginine`s protective effect on the kidneys may also benefit those with diabetes.

Here is that previous post :https://allaboutwellnesssolutions.wordpress.com/2013/04/26/high-desert-heart-institute-clinical-trial-of-the-1-all-natural-solution-to-cardiovascular-cardiopulmonary-disease-and-so-much-more/

For more excellent information on Parsley: http://greenyatrablog.com/47-amazing-benefits-parsley-skin-hair-health/

6 Reasons You Should Keep Doing One of the Easiest, Sexiest, Most Enjoyable Things In the World

15 Feb 2014 by Pragito Dove

We all like a good laugh, don’t we? It releases stress, puts us in a good mood, and generally makes us feel better about life.

Laughter
Were you taught in your childhood, as I was, to put a lid on your laughter and keep it down? I remember giggling in church, at school, on solemn occasions and getting frowned at by adults. This often made me laugh even more, as I tried to stuff down the irrepressible gales of guffaws welling up from deep inside me. Or maybe there wasn’t much to laugh about in your childhood.

Whatever the case, laughter has many dimensions of benefits for us. I have been practicing the *Laughter Meditation for over twenty-five years. My life has transformed and the same can happen for you. Laughter, and meditation, are good for us: physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

Here are 6 amazing benefits of laughter:

1. Nourishes Relationships

Laughter draws people together, doesn’t it? Many couples who do the Laughter Meditation together tell me they find a tremendous improvement in their relating. They discover another side of each other, the playful, humorous side which gives a relief to the more serious part of life concerned with work, money, housework, the kids, etc. Remember the old adage: “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”? Well, it doesn’t do much for Jill either!

Laughter improves relating with our children. They are our teachers in this regard. They laugh easily, and often. Children remind us of the magical qualities of wonder, imagination, spontaneity, playfulness, being fun and funny, which we all need to balance the stresses of life.

Relating with family members, colleagues at work, neighbors, people in the grocery store, commuters in traffic jams, for example, can be enhanced with laughter and smiles. Camaraderie is created, and a longing we all have for connection is fulfilled. Laughter heals feelings of isolation and separation and reminds us that we are all humans, living together on this earth. We all make mistakes and have flaws and laughter eases the wounds and reminds us that we are all loved and connected.(And I mean,of course, laughing with people, not at them.)

2. It’s Sexy

Laughter is a positive energy vibration and helps attract people to you that are good for you. It is beneficial for anyone who is sexually blocked. It releases inhibitions and opens up the energetic channels, bringing us directly in touch with our energy. The Law of Attraction states that you get what you vibrate. Laughter helps keep your energy at a highly positive vibrational level so you attract good things. And who isn’t sexy when they laugh?

3. It Opens Our Hearts

Laughter creates an opening to the love, compassion, courage, trust and intuitive wisdom that vibrates within us all. It’s difficult to hate a person you are laughing with. It’s difficult to be afraid of a person you are laughing with.

When we laugh we become more vulnerable, and approachable. We fall into trust and drop our defenses, becoming more willing to be flexible, and accepting. This helps towards preventing conflicts. Tensions are eased and we see one another’s points of view with more objectivity. As we become more relaxed, the world around us changes and becomes more relaxed.

Laughter brings a healing quality to our relationships and reminds us that, at the root, we all want the same things: to love, to be loved, and to be at peace.

4. It Enhances Our Creativity

The highest form of creativity is relationships. How many times have you been in a tense situation with your spouse, teenager, 2 year old, for example, where someone is reaching boiling point? A drama where saying the wrong thing can elicit an explosive reaction and create hurt feelings, resentment, and maybe revenge. When we are in a reactive state we unconsciously say things we don’t really mean(although we do in the moment we say it) and often regret later. We need our creativity at these moments to turn events in a positive direction.

After a long-time practice of laughter meditation I have noticed that as our energetic systems open up we are flooded with more creative energy. As old conditionings are released the unconscious opens and insights come. The relaxation of body and mind provides a gateway for creativity to come forward into expression. Spontaneously, in a tense situation, our creativity is available with just the right words to calm everyone down and find a solution. Our sense of humor, which is never far away, returns and love resurfaces to bring it’s healing powers to bear on everyone involved.

We all have a deep well of creativity inside us. If we repress and numb out our feelings, our creativity is also suppressed. Unused creativity gets metastasized into grief, anger and resentment. Laughter, playfulness, song, and dance help us cultivate our creativity, letting go of numbing and powerlessness, shame, fear, and comparison,and bringing our natural, spontaneous, creative self into expression. Anxiety and the insidious quiet messages we marinate in from abuse and neglect in childhood, dissolve as our natural joy, sense of humor, our imagination and dreams resurface. Our natural state of love, peace, creativity will always shine through any negative conditioning when we encourage it’s return.

5. It’s Rejuvenating and Keeps Us Young

When we laugh and smile we loosen up and generally feel better. The face collects a lot of our stress and when we laugh a tremendous amount of tension from the face, neck and
head is released. This gives us a more youthful appearance. It reminds us about having fun. Maybe today, do something just for the sheer fun of it. And think of the money you save on cosmetic procedures to make you look “younger”! Laughter radiates your youthful spirit through your eyes and whole being.

6. It Stimulates Physical Healing

*Scientific research has now proven that laughter does indeed, improve our health and well-being. If you can laugh when you are stressed, anxious, worried, even if you are ill, you feel better sooner. Laughter lowers blood pressure, boosts immune function, decreases stress hormones, relaxes muscles, assists in pain reduction (you can “forget” about the pain for a few moments),and is good cardiac exercise. Laughter brings energy from within you to heal, soothe, and inspire.

How Can Laughter Be A Meditation?

For those moments when you are totally laughing, you are free of the mind. All your problems disappear for a few moments, don’t they? In those seconds of hilarity you are brought from worry to joy, from tension to relaxation, from fear to trust, from timidity to courage. In other words, from the mind to the heart. You cannot think and laugh at the same time. You cannot be worried and laughing at the same time. In those moments when you are out of the mind you are in meditation. In those seconds the mind is not and you are, in the present moment. Laughter serves as a bridge to take us deeper into meditation, into peace, stillness, wisdom and joy.

Meditation is being in the present moment, aware and alert. Isn’t this the same experience when we laugh? When someone tells a joke, for example, and we suddenly burst into laughter, in those moments the mind,with all it’s “problems”, disappears and we just ARE, in the present moment, alert and aware. Have you noticed, when someone starts telling a joke, everyone is listening with undivided attention. We love to laugh, enjoy ourselves and have fun. It is a natural part of our nature.

Meditation is being in the present moment, fully aware of what the present moment contains.

The laughter meditation is powerful in its simple ability to transform and heal our relationships with ourselves, and with others. It an expressive technique, and has two stages, as described below. The first stage, laughter takes us deeper inside, paradoxically, as it’s an extrovert activity. The energy of laughter is a strong force that can dig through our conditionings, which are the blocks that prevent us connecting to our true, authentic self. Just try it now: “Ha,Ha,Ha” and experience how the energy is forging a path within you.

Laughter Meditation Exercise

Do this as often, and for as long as, you like. And remember to laugh, a lot, every day!

Step One: (One Minute)

Start laughing. You can shout out “Yahoo” three times and raise your arms up in the air, or use a funny Youtube video, or any idea you have to start yourself laughing. It’s easier, especially at the beginning, to do this with at least one other person. Do not speak in any language you understand. Just laugh.

Step Two: (One Minute)

Sit in silence with your eyes closed. If there is still laughter bubbling up, allow it. Do not repress your laughter. Eventually your laughter transforms into a joy-filled silence.

Experience Your Moments Of Joy

This might sound obvious, but a lot of us have a pattern of expecting the other shoe to drop when life is going well. We have been programmed with a mindset of fear, lack and scarcity, from our families, cultures, religions. This creates an unconscious fear of joy, laughter,and playfulness. We become afraid that, if we laugh too much, we maybe look silly, awkward, or “uncool”, make a fool of ourselves, or invite ridicule. You might even find it difficult to laugh for too long, if your energetic channels have been closed. You might even get angry when you are near people who are laughing a lot. “Why are they laughing so much? Life is not that great.” Maybe you were programmed with a “doom and gloom” attitude to life as I was, always expecting the worst to happen when you are enjoying yourself or when life is going really well. Thoughts like: “don’t enjoy yourself too much because soon everything will be difficult again”, “My life is going really well which means a disaster is waiting around the corner”. “There’s no point in enjoying this because all good things end and bad things return”. We cannot enjoy our joyful moments because these thoughts of imminent disaster ruin our present moment. We feel afraid of joy, and are threatened by too much laughter and playfulness.

Joy can be a terrifying emotion for some of you and is the most vulnerable of emotions. Can you EXPERIENCE your joy? Use it as a reminder to practice gratitude. Say to yourself; “What’s next?” And answer yourself: “ I don’t know but right now I’m grateful for this moment (rather than imagining a disaster).”

Bring awareness to these fear-based thoughts, and realize that they are a part of the fear,lack and scarcity mindset you have been programmed with. Don’t fight them. Instead, focus on bringing more laughter, playfulness, dancing, singing, fun activities into your life.

Love, joy and happiness are our natural state. Give yourself permission to enjoy your moments of joy fully, and they will grow.

*See research by Dr.Lee Berk and Dr. Stanley Tan of Loma Linda University in California 

Pragito Dove is a master trainer, international speaker, and meditation expert who teaches people how to transform pain and fear into joy and inner peace in order to achieve real world success. A best-selling author and thought leader on visionary thinking, she is dedicated to re-igniting passion and vision in people’s lives, and making abundance accessible to all. As a featured columnist on The Huffington Post, Pragito urges her readers to step into the greatest creative expression of who they are.

View all posts by

***REPOSTER’S NOTE

Thank You to Finer Minds and Pragito Dove for this wonderful post. Laughter has been proven to be excellent medicine and a terrific life enhancer. Now go out and spread laughter, watch your world become a more joyful, healthier place to be right before your eyes.

Sweet As Sugar: Health Benefits Of Stevia And Xylitol

Sweet As Sugar: Health Benefits Of Stevia And Xylitol

By Robert Iafelice
***SEE REPOSTERS Note after References if sugar/carbs are causing deterioration in your health***

In 1991, reacting to an anonymous trade complaint, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) deemed the sweetener stevia unsafe and issued an Import Alert, banning all stevia from entering the United States.1-3 While the FDA cited inadequate toxicological evidence of its safety, the ban was not based on any consumer complaints or reported adverse effects.2

Extracts of the South American stevia plant, called steviol glycosides , are up to 300 times sweeter than sugar and have little aftertaste, zero calories, and no effect on blood sugar.3 At the time of the FDA ban, supporters of stevia argued without success that stevia, with its long history of food use, should qualify as having GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) status in the same manner as coffee, tea, sugar, fruit, etc. A history of safe use is one condition that must be met to qualify for GRAS, and this was actually acknowledged in the FDA’s Import Alert for stevia!4 The FDA not only banned a safe and natural sweetener in stevia, but one that appears to provide health benefits as well, most notably for regulating blood sugar and blood pressure.3,5

The controversial ban on the importation of stevia in the US continued until 1995 when the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 forced the FDA to allow stevia to be imported and marketed as a dietary supplement, but not as a sweetener or other food additive purpose.1 The FDA’s policy to classify stevia to be safe for consumption as a “supplement,” but potentially harmful as a sweetener just added to the controversy and confusion.

In 2008, after a rigorous review of the scientific evidence, the FDA granted stevia sweeteners GRAS status.6 It was also approved by the European Union in 2011.7

Today, hundreds of foods and beverages throughout the world are sweetened with stevia sweeteners. Among these are Vitamin Water®, Coke Zero®, Sprite Green®, Gatorade’s G2® and Crystal Light®. Coca-Cola® and Pepsi Cola® have both disclosed their intentions to use rebaudioside A, the sweetest stevia extract, as a zero-calorie soft-drink sweetener in the US.3

Stevia May Help Control Blood Sugar And Insulin Levels

Health Benefits

While stevia has been documented to have medical purposes as an antimicrobial, anti-diarrheal, anti-tumor, diuretic, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory actions, the scientific evidence is strongest, and its use is most promising for two indications: (1) high blood sugar/insulin resistance and (2) high blood pressure.3,5,8

Stevia May Help Control Blood Sugar And Insulin Levels

Extracts from stevia leaves have been used for centuries as a medicinal herb in the traditional treatment of diabetes in South America.5,9 Today, scientific evidence on stevia supports its historic precedent in the regulation of blood sugar and insulin.

Avoiding excess elevation of blood sugar and insulin after meals is perhaps the most important dietary measure you can take to reduce your risk for heart disease, cancer, and other age-related disorders. In a recent study in type II diabetic subjects, stevioside, one of the stevia extracts, reduced after-meal blood glucose levels by an average of 18%.10

When compared to sugar, stevia consumption before meals results in far lower after-meal glucose and insulin levels.11 Even when compared to aspartame, stevia resulted in lower post-prandial insulin levels.11 The comparison with aspartame is more impressive because the change in glucose and insulin levels cannot be due to a difference in calories, as with sugar. A key finding from this study was that participants eating stevia felt satisfied with fewer calories and did not eat more food throughout the day to compensate.11 This is an indication of stable blood sugar and insulin levels.

At the root of many cases of chronically elevated glucose and insulin levels is insulin resistance. In rats fed a fructose-rich diet for four weeks to induce insulin resistance, stevioside lowered high blood glucose levels in a dose-dependent manner and delayed the development of insulin resistance.12

Studies have evaluated the effects of stevioside on animal models of both type I and type II diabetes: elevated blood glucose levels were lowered, and less insulin medication was needed for the same effect. This research clearly demonstrates that stevia has the ability to increase cellular insulin sensitivity and help reverse insulin resistance.12,13

Interestingly, the mechanism for stevioside’s hypoglycemic effect in the latter group of rats with insulin dependent type I diabetes was determined to be slowing down gluconeogenesis (the synthesis of glucose in the liver from non-carbohydrate sources).13 Another plant compound very familiar to readers of Life Extension magazine®, chlorogenic acid from coffee beans, also down-regulates gluconeogenesis. Coffee sweetened with stevia may pack quite a one-two punch for blood sugar control!

The effect of stevia on blood sugar has only been observed when plasma glucose levels are elevated. It does not lower normal blood sugar levels in healthy individuals.5

Stevia is not just a safe sugar substitute, but a natural insulin sensitizer that may help maintain normal sugar and insulin levels in diabetics and nondiabetics alike. Since stevia extract also decreases oxidized LDL cholesterol14 and triglycerides,15 and lowers high blood pressure3,5—all metabolic risk factors—it has great potential for the treatment of metabolic syndrome.

Stevia May Lower Blood Pressure

A double-blind, placebo-controlled study demonstrated that oral stevioside taken at doses of 250 mg, three times a day for one year resulted in significant, lasting decreases in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in patients with mild to moderate hypertension.16 A longer, subsequent study by the same research team that lasted two years and with an increased dose of stevioside ( 1,500 mg) replicated the decreases in blood pressure found in the initial study.17

The stevioside treatment was well-tolerated and no side effects were reported or detected. Moreover, the stevioside treatment group reported significantly higher quality of life scores than the placebo group.17 On the other hand, it was noted that more patients in the placebo group developed left ventricular hypertrophy,17 an abnormal thickening of the heart muscle often caused by high blood pressure.

Though the effect of stevioside was not better than drugs, it appears comparable and nearly everyone taking stevioside had significant lowering of blood pressure. As in the case of blood sugar, stevioside lowers elevated blood pressure, but not normal blood pressure.5

As a natural plant compound with no demonstrated side effects, stevia may offer an alternative or supplementary therapy for high blood pressure, and with possibly better compliance.

Xylitol: A Sweetener That’s Good For Your Teeth

Another sugar substitute with beneficial health properties that is growing in popularity is xylitol. While xylitol is a natural substance found in fruits and vegetables, it is also naturally produced in our bodies during normal carbohydrate metabolism. An average-size adult makes up to 15 grams of xylitol daily.18,19

Xylitol is classified as a sugar alcohol (like sorbitol, mannitol, erythritol, etc) because its chemical structure partially resembles sugar and partially resembles alcohol.20 It is actually a carbohydrate that looks and tastes remarkably like table sugar with 40% fewer calories and practically no aftertaste.21 It is used as a sweetener in chewing gums, mints, beverages, sweets, toothpaste and in tabletop granular form. It has been approved for use in foods, pharmaceuticals and oral health products in more than 35 countries worldwide, including the US.21

History Of Stevia

Stevia is a perennial shrub with over 200 species belonging to the Aster (sunflower) family and indigenous to South America.46 For centuries, the Guarani tribes of Paraguay and Brazil used the leaves of stevia, which they called ka’a he’e (“sweet herb”) to sweeten yerba mate tea and various foods. It was also used medicinally as a treatment for diabetes,47 hypertension, and obesity.5

Stevia has been used in Europe and Asia since the sixteenth century when it was discovered by the Spanish Conquistadors.48 The particular species used as a sweetener, Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni, was named after botanist Moises Santiago Bertoni, who “rediscovered” stevia and scientifically classified the plant in 1899, describing its sweet taste in detail. The compounds in the stevia leaf that give the plant its sweet taste, stevioside and rebaudioside A, were isolated in 1931 by French chemists.2

During World War II, England began to investigate stevia as an alternative to sugar, which was in short supply.49 In the 1970s, the Japanese began to use stevia to replace the banned artificial sweetener, saccharin. It became their chosen sugar alternative to sweeten food and beverages, so much so that Japan is now the largest consumer of stevia.2 Today, stevia can be found growing in China, South America, India, South Korea, Taiwan, and Israel, and is used in many countries around the globe.

Xylitol Fights Cavities

Though largely preventable, tooth decay (cavities) is one of the most prevalent chronic diseases among both adults and children, with 1 in 5 Americans reported to have untreated cavities according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).22 In 2010, roughly $108 billion dollars were spent on dental services in the US.23

By providing fuel for acid-forming bacteria in the mouth, sugar consumption sets up an ideal acidic condition that promotes decay and demineralization of teeth. Xylitol, conversely, is non-fermentable and does not feed acid-forming oral bacteria. Regular use of xylitol causes cavity-forming bacteria, most notably Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans ), to starve and die off by as much as 73%, decreasing the level of acidic byproducts formed when bacteria ferment sugars.24 Xylitol also increases salivary flow which helps to buffer these acids.25 A more alkaline environment is created, leading to less tooth decay and plaque, and enhanced tooth remineralization. Untreated cavities, especially small decay spots, can harden and become less sensitive from exposure to xylitol.26

Considerable research conducted since the early 1970s has established that consuming xylitol products results in reduction in tooth decay rates ranging from 30% up to levels in excess of 80%.27 What’s more, the protective effects of xylitol are long-lasting. In a study of nearly 300 children who chewed xylitol gum habitually for over two years and then stopped, some experienced a reduction in their tooth decay rate over the next five years.28 Xylitol-sweetened gum even reduces transmission of cavity-causing bacteria from mother to child.29

According to newer research, the number of exposures to xylitol throughout the day is more important than the quantity of xylitol.30 Consider chewing xylitol gum after each meal, sweetening your tea or coffee with xylitol granules and using xylitol toothpaste once or twice a day. Several dental associations, including the American Dental Association31 and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry,32 support the use of xylitol in caries control and prevention.

Xylitol Benefits Diabetes And Metabolic Syndrome

Because xylitol is slowly emptied from the stomach, and only about 50% of it is absorbed, it has neglible effects on blood sugar and insulin secretion.33,34 Xylitol has a considerably lower glycemic index (13) when compared with sucrose (65) and glucose (100).33 It even compares favorably with foods such as legumes and milk.35

In a recent animal study examining the antidiabetic potential of xylitol, animals fed xylitol had significantly better glucose tolerance (more stable blood sugar levels), less weight gain and significantly lower food intake (suppressed appetite) than both the sugar and control groups.36 Data from this study and others confirm that xylitol is an ideal low-calorie sweetener for people with diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity, and other metabolic disorders.34,36,37

Of course, like stevia, xylitol can be used by anyone to help maintain low blood sugar and insulin levels, thereby reducing risk of age-related disease.

Xylitol Helps Prevent Ear And Upper Respiratory Infections

Xyitol not only suppresses S. mutans, the cavity-promoting bacterium, but it also inhibits the growth of Streptococcus pneumoniae (S. pneumoniae), a major cause of middle ear infections and sinusitis.38,39 Owing to its unique structure, xylitol also has the ability to interfere with S. pneumoniae’s ability to stick to tissues and form colonies of bacteria called biofilms, making the germ more vulnerable to treatment.40

In clinical trials, xylitol given in the form of chewing gum or syrup reduced middle ear infections in daycare children by 30-40%.38,41,42 This safe and great-tasting sweetener offers the possibility of preventing ear infections in children and thus lessening the need for antibiotics.

Xylitol Strengthens Bone

Since xylitol appears to induce remineralization of tooth enamel, researchers are also now investigating its ability to remineralize bone tissue. Several animal studies show that xylitol increases bone density,43-45 suggesting that xylitol shows promise in the treatment or prevention of osteoporosis. Clinical trials are needed to confirm these potential benefits.

Summary

Stevia and xylitol are not only safe and tasty sugar alternatives, but also potent natural compounds that provide multiple health benefits.3,5,8,27,34,36-38,43-45 While both sweeteners improve glucose tolerance and reduce insulin needs, stevia can also lower elevated blood pressure while xylitol can help prevent cavities and ear infections, and possibly strengthen bones.3,5,8,27,34,36-38,43-45

Add some stevia to your favorite beverage and chew xylitol gum after meals. Enjoy the sweet taste and gain important health dividends as well.

If you have any questions on the scientific content of this article, please call a Life Extension® Health Advisor at 1-866-864-3027.

References

  1. Available at: http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/cms_ia/importalert_119.html. Accessed October 27, 2013.
  2. Available at: http://www.ianrpubs.unl.edu/epublic/pages/publicationD.jsp?publicationId=609. AccessedOctober 27, 2013.
  3. Ulbricht C, Isaac R, Milkin, et al. An evidence-based systematic review of stevia by the Natural Standard Research Collaboration. Cardiovasc Hematol Agents Med Chem. 2010;8(2):113–27.
  4. Available at: http://owndoc.com/pdf/Stevia.pdf. Accessed October 19 , 2013.
  5. Chatsudthipong V, Muanprasat C. Stevioside and related compounds: therapeutic benefits beyond sweetness. Pharmaco Ther. 2009;121(1):41-54.
  6. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/food/ingredientspackaginglabeling/gras/noticeinventory/ucm171539.htm. Accessed October 21, 2013.
  7. Available at: http://eurlex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2011:295:0205:0211:EN:PDF. Accessed October 22, 2013.
  8. Goyal SK, Samsher, Goyal RK. Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) a bio-sweetener: a review. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2010 Feb;61(1):1-10.
  9. Available at: http://healthfree.com/stevlife.html. Accessed October 30 , 2013.
  10. Gregersen S, Jeppesen PB, Holst J. Antihyperglycemic effects of stevioside in type 2 diabetic subjects. Metabolism. 2004;53(1):73-6.
  11. Anton SD, Martin CK, Han H, et al. Effects of stevia, aspartame, and sucrose on food intake, satiety, and postprandial glucose and insulin levels. Appetite. 2010;55(1):37–43.
  12. Chang JC, Wu MC, Liu IM, et al. Increase of insulin sensitivity by stevioside in fructose-rich chow-fed rats. Horm Metab Res. 2005;37(10):610-6.
  13. Chen TH, Chen SC, Chan P, et al. Mechanism of the hypoglycemic effect of stevioside, a glycoside of Stevia rebaudiana. Planta Med. 2005;71(2):108-13.
  14. Geeraert B, Crombe F, Hulsmans M, et al. Stevioside inhibits atherosclerosis by improving insulin signaling and antioxidant defense in obese insulin-resistant mice. Int J Obes (Lond). 2010 Mar;34(3):569-77.
  15. Park JE, Cha YS. Stevia rebaudianaBertoni extract supplementation improves lipid and carnitine profiles in C57BL/6J mice fed a high-fat diet. J Sci Food Agric. 2010 May;90(7):1099-105.
  16. Chan P, Tomlinson B, Chen YJ, et al. A double-blind placebo-controlled study of the effectiveness and tolerability of oral stevioside in human hypertension. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2000;50(3):215-20.
  17. Hsieh MH, Chan P, Sue Y.M, et al.Efficacy and tolerability of oral stevioside in patients with mild essential hypertension, a two-year, randomized, placebo-controlled study. Clin Ther. 2003;25(11):2797-808.
  18. Available at: http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-996-XYLITOL.aspx?activeIngredientId=996&activeIngredientName=XYLITOL. Accessed November 21, 2013.
  19. Available at: http://www.xylitol.org/questions-about-xylitol. AccessedNovember 21, 2013.
  20. Natah SS, Hussien KR, et al. Metabolic response to lactitol and xylitol in healthy men. Am J Clin Nutr. 1997;65:947-50.
  21. Available at: http://www.caloriecontrol.org/sweeteners-and-lite/polyols/xylitol. Accessed October 30, 2013.
  22. Available at: http://health.usnews.com/health-news/news/articles/2012/05/31/1-in-5-americans-has-untreated-cavities-cdc. Accessed October 29, 2013.
  23. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/publications/aag/doh.htm. Accessed October 29, 2013.
  24. Bahador A, Lesan S, Kashi N. Effect of xylitol on cariogenic and beneficial oral streptococci: a randomized, double-blind crossover trial. Iran J Microbiol. 2012 Jun;4(2):75-81.
  25. Soderling E. Controversies around xylitol. Eur J Dent. 2009 April 3(2):81-2.
  26. Mäkinen KK, Mäkinen PL, Pape HR Jr, et al. Stabilisation of rampant caries: polyol gums and arrest of dentine caries in two long-term cohort studies in young subjects. Int Dent J. 1995 Feb;45(1 Suppl 1):93-107.
  27. Makinen KK. The rocky road of xylitol to its clinical application. J Dent Res. 2000 Jun; 79(6):1352-5.
  28. Hujoel PP, Makinen KK, Bennett CA, et al. The optimum time to initiate habitual xylitol gum-chewing for obtaining long-term caries prevention. J Dent Res. 1999;78(3):797-803.
  29. Isokangas P, Soderling E, Pienihakkinen K, et al. Occurrence of dental decay in children after maternal consumption of xylitol chewing gum, a follow-up from 0 to5 years of age. J Dent Res. 2000 Nov;79(11):1885-9.
  30. Milgrom P, Ly KA, Roberts MC, et al. Mutans streptococci dose response to xylitol chewing gum. J Dent Res. 2006 Feb;85(2):177-81.
  31. Available at: http://www.ada.org/6206.aspx. Accessed October 30, 2013.
  32. Available at: http://www.aapd.org/media/Policies_Guidelines/P_Xylitol.pdf.Accessed October 30 , 2013.
  33. Livesey G. Health potential of polyols as sugar replacers, with emphasis on low glycaemic properties. Nutr Res Rev. 2003 Dec;16(2):163-91.
  34. Salminen S, Salminen E, Marks V. The effects of xylitol on the secretion of insulin and gastric inhibitory polypeptide in man and rats. Diabetologia. 1982;22(6):480-2.
  35. Available at: http://www.xylitol.org/xylitol-nutritional-info-professional.Accessed October 31 , 2013.
  36. Islam MS. Effects of xylitol as a sugar substitute on diabetes-related parameters in nondiabetic rats. J Med Foods. 2011 May;14(5):505-11.
  37. Hassinger W, Sauer G, Cordes U, et al. The effects of equal caloric amounts of xylitol, sucrose and starch on insulin requirements and blood glucose levels in insulin-dependent diabetics. Diabetologia. 1981;21:37-40.
  38. Uhari M, Tapiainen T, Kontiokari T. Xylitol in preventing acute otitis media. Vaccine. 2000;19:S144-7.
  39. McEllistrem MC, Adams J, Mason EO, Wald ER. Epidemiology of acute otitis media caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae before and after licensure of the 7-valent pneumococcal protein conjugate vaccine. J Infect Dis. 2003 Dec 1;188(11):1679-84.
  40. Available at: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/eccmid20/abstract.asp?id=84998. Accessed November 21, 2013.
  41. Uhari M, Kontiokari T, Koskela M, et al. Xylitol chewing gum in prevention of acute otitis media: double blind randomized trial. Br Med J. 1996;313:1180–3.
  42. Uhari M, Kontiokari T, Niemela M. A novel use of xylitol sugar in preventing acute otitis media. Pediatrics. 1998;102:879–84.
  43. Sato H, Ide Y, Nasu M, et al. The effects of oral xylitol administration on bone density in rat femur. Odontology. 2011 Jan;99(1):28-33.
  44. Mattila PT, Svanberg MJ, Pokka P, et al. Dietary xylitol protects against weakening of bone biomechanical properties in ovariectomized rats . J Nutr. 1998 Oct;128(10):1811-4.
  45. Mattila PT, Svanberg MJ, Knuuttila ML. Increased bone volume and bone mineral content in xylitol-fed aged rats. Gerontology. 2001 Nov-Dec;47(6):300-5.
  46. Available at: http://www.parc.gov.pk/articles/sugar_leaf.htm. AccessedNovember 22, 2013,
  47. Abudula R, Jeppesen PB, Rolfsen SE, et al. Rebaudioside A potently stimulates insulin secretion from isolated mouse islets: studies on the dose-, glucose-, and calcium-dependency. Metabolism. 2004 Oct;53(10):1378-81.
  48. Available at: http://www.holisticmed.com/sweet/stv-faq.txt. Accessed October 28, 2013.
  49. Available at: http://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/hn-2169001#hn-2169001-uses. Accessed October 27, 2013.

*****REPOSTER’S NOTE

Thank You to  Life Extension Magazine February 2014    for this article – Well Done

Dietary Intake of  refined sugars and starches has increased dramatically during a time when physical activity has reduced significantly. We are seeing the North American population in particular.

This in combination with other lifestyle changes over the past 100 years of progress is leading to an overall reduction in health and wellness. Obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, Cardiovascular and Cardiopulmonary Disease are now very common detractors to what should be more enjoyable lifestyles.

Our societal sweet tooth is doing more to shorten lifespans and quality of life than anyone could have anticipated 100 years ago. Natural substances such as Stevia, Xylitol and Monk Fruit are gaining popularity as healthy natural sugar replacements.

They are a step in the right direction. Real progress will need us to move away from our high calorie, sedentary, sleep deprived  behaviors we as a majority are currently engaged in.

To combat the effects of the typical North American Lifestyle, we have chosen to add a nutritional supplement to our daily routine that employs Stevia, Xylitol and Monk fruit.  On  their own they provide healthy benefits but when combined with other needed and beneficial nutrients They Can Literally Save  Lives. Consistent use reverses damage caused by the typical North American lifestyle.

Take a look at this link only if you are interested actively pursuing a path to better health. It just requires a few moments a day consistently. This solution is just one part of the equation for far better health and wellness but to us, a very important one. So important that I chose to become a sales rep so I could help friends and family.

Should you decide that this is also for you, my name is Deb St Jean and my ID number is 1309426. Please contact me through comments for consumption guidelines.

You don’t have to be perfect to be healthy – and you don’t have to be deprived. A few good choices can change every outcome.