TriVita’s Weekly Wellness Report With Brazos Minshew, TriVita’s Chief Science Officer

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The Physical Side of Stress

According to health experts, we need about 30 minutes of aerobic exercise most days of the week. The benefits of this are too numerous to list but include:

  • Heart health
  • Increased energy
  • Decreased obesityÂ
  • Improved mood

Exercise has been called “the best thing we can do for our body.”

We also need resistance training to build lean body tissue and strong bones. Resistance training increases the ability of our individual cells to accept sugar and insulin. Indeed, resistance training is seen by some as the antidote to insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome and osteoporosis.

Stress in – stress out!
Despite all the benefits of exercise, it must be recognized that exercise is stressful. Exercise is work; it is a struggle against gravity and in the end, gravity always wins! That said, there are nutrients that can help us succeed in the struggle against gravity and help us meet our desired objectives of fitness and wellness.

First, we need energy to exercise (and then exercise gives us energy). Energy comes from metabolism, and the sensation of being energetic is “stored” in the nerves.

  • Our polyphenol product Energy Now! helps convert about 200 calories of energy from stored reserves per serving. This is the amount of energy we need to walk about two miles.
  • Sublingual B-12 adds to our energy delivery system by nourishing the nerves. Have you ever had a day when you felt light as a feather? Conversely, have you ever had a day when you felt like you were weighted down with lead weight?  Most of us have that experience from time to time. Much of the sensation of feeling energetic is related to the potential of our nerves to conduct energy. Vitamin B-12 facilitates that energy delivery so we have more “light as a feather” days.

Sublingual B-12 also helps in another way. When we exercise we contract one group of muscles and stretch an opposite group of muscles. Vitamin B-12 facilitates muscle stretching – so muscles can stretch with ease.

When muscles ache after exercise it is because we have exceeded the limits of the muscle group at that moment. As we learn to listen to our body we really have only two choices: either don’t exercise so we will never feel that pain or take discomfort as a signal that we need to increase our nutrient reserves. Adaptogens are a group of nutrients from specific plants known to help us resist the stress of exercise while speeding a return to “normal” after exercise. Adaptogens are non-toxic by nature. So, if you find yourself sore after exercise, take more adaptogens!

Of course, pain is one of the cardinal signs of inflammation (pain, swelling, redness and heat accompanied by loss of function). Nopalea contains anti-inflammatory bioflavonoids called Betalains. Reducing inflammation quickly can help our body repair and return to normal function more quickly.

My routine
I am often asked about my exercise routine and the supplements I take. The answer really depends on what goal I am working on at the moment. If I am preparing for an event (like a bicycle race or triathlon) I will train every day, but I will only work out with weights twice a week. On the other hand, if I am preparing to hike the Grand Canyon, I may run a few miles a day but increase my weight training to five days a week. However, I always begin my workout routines with four ounces of Adaptogen 10 Plus and four ounces of Nopalea.

I use Healthy Aging supplements and add Energy Now! just before performing – it really gives me a boost!

I don’t like to exercise but I really do like to play! As an adult my “play” is more structured and organized than when I was a kid. It is also much less frequent. Still, I know that the more I move, the more I will be able to move and the more I will enjoy activity. Conversely, the less I move, the less I will be able to move and the less I will want to move.

Happiness and self-esteem come from setting and achieving worthwhile goals.  One worthwhile goal is to enjoy activity daily and use nutrients and nurturing to combat our inevitable opponent: stress!

Take Control of Your Health

  • Start slowly, warm up, stretch
  • Pick several activities to avoid burnout
  • Use Energy Now! to raise metabolism
  • Use Sublingual B-12 to aid muscles and nerves
  • Use Adaptogen 10 Plus to help with recovery
  • Use Nopalea to help break the cycle of inflammation
  • Set and achieve worthwhile activity goals

Learn More!

Weight-bearing exercise
Exercise after 50
Stretching


Please note that Weekly Wellness Report topics will be chosen at the discretion of Brazos Minshew and based on general relevance.

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA, and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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The link between diet and your energy level

How is your energy level?
The World Health Organization (WHO) states that “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. It is the ability to lead a socially and economically productive life.”

Does that describe you? Or, like many people in North America, are you just too tired to think about being socially and economically productive?

The scope of the problem
If you feel too tired to do much more than read this article, thank you very much. I appreciate your time and I will hopefully give you a few good ideas on how to increase your energy. You don’t have to feel alone. Up to 85% of the people who visit a doctor for any reason also complain of being chronically tired. It seems that we are in the middle of an energy crisis that has nothing to do with petroleum production!

When we talk about energy we need to distinguish between the ability to survive and the feeling of being energetic. We must admit that even the sickest person is converting nutrients to energy in order to survive. Yet, we want to do more than survive – we want to feel energetic. We want to thrive! We want to have the energy to dream and then have the energy to live those dreams. We want to feel our best every day.

Food and energy
As I mentioned, energy comes from the way our body burns nutrients; nutrients such as fats, protein and carbohydrates must be metabolized. The word metabolism is from a Greek word that describes the process of burning wood to create heat. It also describes creating energy from food. So, an energetic life is possible with a healthy diet and healthy metabolism.

This description outlines the two-steps needed to create and sustain an energetic feeling: Improve our “burn” rate (metabolism) and improve our “fuel” source (diet).

Polyphenols increase metabolism. Polyphenols are extremely rare nutrients found in certain foods and concentrated in Energy Now!®. Energy Now! increases the burn-rate of the food we eat. A balanced diet must include:

  • 7 to 9 servings of fruit and vegetables (for adults)
  • 30+ grams of high quality protein
  • 20 to 35 grams of fiber daily

However, when it comes to providing energy, fat is the undisputed champion.

Sugar from the foods we eat provides us with ready energy, but it doesn’t last very long. Proteins are converted to energy at a much slower pace and provide us with a more stable supply of energy – five times as much energy per gram as sugar. Fats provide us with stamina. Healthy fats burn slowly and steadily up to eight times longer than sugar. So, for stamina that lasts all day and into the evening hours, select foods high in “good” fats and take an EFA supplement.

Many experts say that we should get as much as 30% of our total calories per day from fat. This may mean more than 70 grams of fat for a 2,200 calorie per day diet. That’s a lot of fat! But don’t reach for the French fries just yet. You see, all foods contain fat. Fat is as important for plants as it is for humans. So, select fats from foods that are known for high energy, such as vegetables, seeds, nuts, legumes and certain types of fish.A note on metabolism
Metabolism occurs inside the cell in a tiny energy factory called mitochondria. Other cell functions are dependent on DNA, with half of the DNA coming from your mother and half from your father. Mitochondria have their own DNA, inherited only from your mother’s side of the family. (Your energy level will likely be similar to your mother’s energy level.)

The mitochondria DNA is very easily damaged and very slowly repaired. The antioxidant ECGC is shown to repair mitochondria DNA damaged by stress, deficiency or toxins. Energy Now! is a concentrated source of ECGC.

With the proper nutrients, you can help restore both the energy of metabolism and the feeling of being energetic!

Take Control of Your Health
  • Eat a diet high in “good” fats
  • Eat high quality proteins daily
    • Supplement LPA (L-Phenylalanine) and Tyrosine
  • Eat a diet low in refined sugar
  • Reduce your stress
  • Reduce exposure to toxins
  • Load up on antioxidants and polyphenols

Learn More…

Upcoming Weekly Wellness Reports…

  • Nopalea
  • Stress


Please note that Weekly Wellness Report topics will be chosen at the discretion of Brazos Minshew and based on general relevance.

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA, and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

TriVita’s Weekly Wellness Report With Brazos Minshew, TriVita’s Chief Science Officer

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Test Yourself for “D”eficiency

With your thumb, press on your sternum (breastbone). Is it tender or painful? Now, press on the tibia (shin bone) of both your legs. Is it sore or tender? If the answer is “yes” to both of these tests then you have a 93% chance of being Vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D may be the most prevalent vitamin deficiency in our culture. What is Vitamin D and what does it do for us?

Function of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is both a vitamin (vital amine) and a hormone. It acts as a vitamin when it binds with calcium for proper absorption. Humans cannot digest calcium without adequate amounts of Vitamin D.

Vitamin D is a hormone (a messenger inside your body) because it directs cells, organs, muscle and bone in daily activity. It is a hormone because your body creates it in response to sunlight on your skin. It participates in weight loss, the function of your immune system, blood sugar regulation and basic human metabolism.

Humans mobilize essential fatty acids, such as Omega-3, with Vitamin D. In order to properly use calcium and Omega-3 you simply must have enough Vitamin D. Yet, many people don’t.

Signs of deficiency
The test above is one way of checking for low levels of Vitamin D. You see, calcium and other minerals are delivered to an area in your bones that is like a gelatin matrix. This gelatin matrix hardens into sturdy bone. Calcium can only arrive in this matrix if it is escorted by Vitamin D. If you are deficient in Vitamin D, this matrix will revert back to gelatin near the surface of the bone. Tenderness and bone pain will result.

This kind of bone pain can be seen in cases of osteomalacia (softening of the bones), as well as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and even the pain associated with chronic depression.

Further, Vitamin D deficiency can result in:

  • Obesity
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
  • Psoriasis

Eventually, Vitamin D deficiency may lead to cancer (especially breast cancer, prostate cancer and colon cancer), osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s disease.Reasons for deficiency
The primary reasons people become deficient in Vitamin D are cultural. For instance, women that wear veils in certain cultures are almost universally deficient in Vitamin D, as are submariners who spend extended time submerged. Neither group spends much time with their skin exposed to direct sunlight. The most common reasons for Vitamin D deficiency in North America also relate to lack of exposure to sunlight and infrequent consumption of cold-water fish. Cold-water fish such as wild salmon, mackerel and sardines are good food sources of Vitamin D – as well as good sources of calcium and Omega-3 fatty acids.

Many foods have been supplemented with Vitamin D, but this has not resulted in an overall increase in Vitamin D levels. This is likely because food and supplement manufacturers rely on an inexpensive form of synthetic Vitamin D called “ergocalciferol” – a form of Vitamin D-2. Food sources of Vitamin D and supplements such as TriVita’s Bone Growth Factor, VitaCal-Mag D and Leanology Capsules use Vitamin D-3 (cholecalciferol), which is the same form that your body makes from sunshine.

What to do?
If your bones are tender or if you have a low blood level of Vitamin D the solution may be as simple as increasing your sun exposure (see the Weekly Wellness Report, “Is the Sun our Enemy?“). Spend 20 minutes daily in the sunshine with 40% of your skin surface exposed. Morning and evening sunshine is best; afternoon sun is acceptable. Never allow yourself to sunburn.

When supplementing with Vitamin D always choose D-3. It is also good to remember that this is a “fat soluble” vitamin. That means that you can store the nutrient for many days.

I will often suggest two capsules of TriVita’s Bone Growth Factor or two tablets of VitaCal-Mag D to be taken at every meal. Test the tenderness in your sternum and shin bones every 6 months. Reduce your supplements to one capsule or tablet per meal when the tenderness has disappeared from the sternum and shin bones.

If Leanology Capsules are a more appropriate source of Vitamin D for you (if you are overweight and otherwise in a low-risk category for osteoporosis), taking two capsules at each meal is a good strategy. However, since most overeating occurs in the evening and since Vitamin D reduces appetite, it may be best to take three to six Leanology capsules all in the evening.

It is good to get a blood test for appropriate blood levels of Vitamin D twice a year and a DEXA scan of your bones at least every two years to help you structure a supplement program.

Eventually, health comes down to healthy habits practiced every day. Every day we should nourish our body and nurture our spirit for sustained health.

Take Control of Your Health
  • Spend time in the sun daily
    • 20 minutes in the morning or evening sun
    • 10 minutes morning and evening work also
    • Expose 40% of your skin surface to sunshine
    • Never allow yourself to sunburn!
  • Eat foods high in Vitamin D
    • Cod liver oil
    • Fortified milk
    • Salmon, mackerel and sardines
    • Egg yolks
    • Beef liver
  • Take Vitamin D supplements
  • Take Vitamin D supplements with food – especially foods high in Vitamin D

Learn More…

Upcoming Weekly Wellness Reports…

  • Energy
  • Nopalea

Send us your topic suggestions!
If you have specific health topics you’d like Brazos Minshew to discuss in upcoming reports,
click here to submit your suggestions.

Please note that Weekly Wellness Report topics will be chosen at the discretion of Brazos Minshew and based on general relevance.

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA, and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

TriVita’s Weekly Wellness Report With Brazos Minshew, TriVita’s Chief Science Officer

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Inflammation Hot Spots

The process of inflammation starts with injury, toxicity, deficiency or emotional distress. One particular deficiency that causes inflammation is a genetic deficiency called MTHFR. This deficiency is relatively common – perhaps the most common genetic deficiency in North America. It is related to the way we manufacture proteins. A sign that we have MTHFR deficiency is elevated homocysteine.

MTHFR deficiency creates pools of homocysteine that ignite inflammation like bonfires in specific tissues of your body. The strategies for reducing this inflammation depend greatly on where the bonfire starts. And, like many forest fires, inflammation often features multiple fronts that require different strategies for quelling its flames.

Burning brain
The delicate tissues of the brain are common victims of inflammation from an MTHFR deficiency. Elevated homocysteine feeds the fire that melts fragile neurons. Movement disorders like Parkinson’s disease and dementias such as Alzheimer’s disease are associated with elevated homocysteine.  Further, inflammation in the brain associated with MTHFR and elevated homocysteine are also implicated in autism, ADD/ADHD, bipolar depression and schizophrenia.

MTHFR deficiency is addressed by increasing folates in the diet. Folates describe a B vitamin from foliage – leafy green vegetables. Actually, all fruits and vegetables contain some folate. Eating the optimum amount of folate can go a long way to filling the deficiency associated with MTHFR and elevated homocysteine. Remember, the optimum number of servings for fruits and vegetables is:

  • 5 servings for children
  • 7 servings for women
  • 9 servings for men

Make sure you eat vegetables of every color – eat a rainbow!

Supplements such as HCY Guard® provide nutrients that help “re-methylate” homocysteine in the presence of this MTHFR deficiency. Inflammation is normalized by the anti-inflammatory Betalains found in Nopalea™. Essential fatty acids and EFA supplements such as OmegaPrime® serve as primary building blocks for a healthy brain. Also, Omega-3 EFA, Betalains and ECGC polyphenols in Energy Now!® serve to help the body protect DNA strands and create stem cells that are needed to repair delicate, fragile brain tissues.

Burning bones
Bones are living tissue. Osteoblast cells lay down a matrix of collagen proteins and build minerals around it. Collagen provides tensile strength for the bones and minerals provide compression strength for the bones. Homocysteine shatters this matrix and melts the collagen in your bones (and elsewhere), resulting in brittle bones. Further, without collagen, minerals cannot form and the bones become porous. The end result is often osteoporosis.

Folates and plant hormones such as Vitamin K found in leafy green vegetables help reduce the impact of MTHFR deficiency and increase the opportunity for osteoblasts to make healthy bone. Healthy bones also require significant amounts of Vitamin D. Sunshine is the best source of Vitamin D; however, in North America it is not always possible to get enough healthy sun exposure to meet our Vitamin D needs. Supplements such as Bone Growth Factor and VitaCal-Mag D can help give us the nutrients we need for healthy bones. HCY Guard can help the body reduce inflammatory homocysteine and Betalains from Nopalea can help reduce the impact of inflammation.

Burning blood
MTHFR deficiency was discovered when scientists began searching for the reasons why heart disease and stroke seemed to cluster in certain families. It was discovered that these families shared a genetic deficiency that required far more folate than their diet provided. Folate deficiency depletes Vitamin B-12 and compounds the homocysteine problem. Homocysteine ignites LDL (“bad”) cholesterol in the bloodstream and creates the inflammation at the root of cardiovascular disease, heart attacks and stroke.

A high folate diet focusing on leafy green vegetables can fill this deficiency. Supplements such as HCY Guard, Nopalea and OmegaPrime can help the body ease’ the fire in the delicate tissues lining the blood vessels. According to the VISP study (Vitamin Intervention for Stroke Prevention) this comprehensive strategy can fill the deficiency created by MTHFR, put out the fire fueled by homocysteine, and reduce the likelihood of heart attack and stroke.

Conclusion
Inflammation hot spots build fires around your body in places like your brain, your bones and your heart.

  1. A high folate diet can fill the deficiency that causes these body bonfires.
  2. Safe daily sun exposure along with exercise and peaceful sleep can help build a solid foundation for wellness.
  3. Appropriate supplementation can help satisfy the needs created by MTHFR while putting out the fires of inflammation and creating vigorous cells for health today and a healthier tomorrow.
Take Control of Your Health
  • Eat 5, 7 or 9 servings of fruit and vegetables
    • Eat a rainbow – include leafy green vegetables (see “Dietary Sources of Folate” below)
  • Supplement appropriately:
  • Sleep peacefully every night and enjoy activity every day

Learn More…

Upcoming Weekly Wellness Reports…

  • Vitamin D
  • Energy


Please note that Weekly Wellness Report topics will be chosen at the discretion of Brazos Minshew and based on general relevance.

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA, and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Alzheimer’s Disease − Separating Facts From Myths

My own family has been touched by Alzheimer’s so it’s very important for me to help you separate the myths from the truth about AD. By having the facts you can better protect yourself against the onset of Alzheimer’s or help your loved ones who are already suffering from the disease.Myth: We see more people with Alzheimer’s disease because of media attention

Truth: The number of people with AD is increasing every year and the percentage of people with AD in North America is increasing, though the lifespan is getting shorter. The number of people with Alzheimer’s disease is increasing at an alarming rate. There is no cure. Currently, over 500 clinical trials are being conducted just to find a way to slow down the runaway epidemic of AD. But trying to reversethe damage of AD once the disease has progressed is like trying to hold back the tide with your bare hands: there is little hope of success. Prevention and slowing the progress of AD are the only hopes we currently have. Year after year we watch as this disease steals the people we love. The irony of this disease is so disheartening: AD strikes when we are at the richest point in life in terms of experience and wisdom.

Myth: Alzheimer’s disease is genetic; there is nothing we can do about it.

Truth: AD is the accumulation of many years of damage to your brain, causing plaque to build up and nerves to tangle. There are prevention strategies that work to help reduce the damage to our brain and to reduce the chances of AD. The chances of being diagnosed with AD increase as we age. AD affects about half of people age 85 and older. However, this is more a product of biological age than chronological age. In other words, AD has more to do with how well we are aging rather than how many days we cross off our calendar! AD is a disease of accumulation: every trauma to our head, every toxin that poisons our brain, every stressful day and every moment we are nutrient-defi cient add to the accumulated damage to our brain. This is biological aging and it has little to do with the calendar. Genetics absolutely plays a role in AD development. We can often get a glimpse into our genetics by looking at our homocysteine (HCY) levels. The higher the blood levels of HCY, the greater the likelihood we will develop AD. A gene defect that predisposes a person to AD is called the MTHFR defect. It is common in about 40% of people. This gene pumps out HCY in very high amounts. What is the solution for elevated HCY? Foods and food supplements rich in B vitamins. (A published clinical trial of HCY Guard demonstrated that it reduced elevated HCY levels by 35% in just 42 days!) So, while there are definite genetic markers to help us determine our AD risk, there are also proven strategies to help us protect against the damage that may lead to AD. Reduce your risk by reducing toxic, inflammatory, brain-destroying levels of homocysteine.

Myth: Only drugs are powerful enough to stop Alzheimer’s disease

Truth: AD prevention depends to a large extent on the choices we make every day.

According to the National Institutes of Health, the majority of AD prevention strategies rest in our own hands. And, while experimental drugs and vaccines offer some hope of prevention, proven strategies exist that you can use today:

* Reduce toxins, including toxic levels of HCY * Meticulously manage your blood pressure, blood sugar and LDL (“bad” cholesterol) levels * Increase antioxidants and nutrient-dense foods * Supplement your diet with proven nutrients for healthy aging * Reduce inflammation with Omega-3 essential fatty acids * Protect your head from injury * Exercise every day and get your rest every night * Stay socially engaged * Commit yourself to lifelong learning.

During National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, let’s use this opportunity to learn all we can about AD prevention strategies and implement them daily.

To protect yourself from dangerous levels of HCY and to implement AD prevention visit:http://www.trivita.com/13170419


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