Vitamin D – We Can’t Say It Enough

We’ve told you before how sufficient levels of Vitamin D can help reduce your risk of many chronic diseases, including cancer, heart disease, depression and diabetes.

While these are all very serious conditions that deserve your attention, there’s another ailment that’s dominating the headlines right now. You’ve heard it blasted in big letters — the FLU. And guess what? Study after study is showing that Vitamin D can help you battle that cold-weather illness too. Continue reading “Vitamin D – We Can’t Say It Enough”

Amazing Drug to Reduce Heart Disease Risk!

Imagine the billions in profits that would be earned if a company developed a drug that could to the following things for diabetic patients:

  • significantly lower blood glucose
  • significantly lower total cholesterol
  • significantly lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol
  • significantly lower CRP, an important risk factor for heart disease
  • significantly lower triglycerides
  • significantly lower VLDL (another type of “bad” cholesterol)
  • Significantly raise HDL (“good” cholesterol)
If a pharmaceutical could solidly claim even two or three of these benefits, it would be the top-selling drug in the world.
Well, of course, there is something that has been found to do all of these things, but it isn’t a drug. Continue reading “Amazing Drug to Reduce Heart Disease Risk!”

Vitamin D Levels and Metabolic Syndrome

Do we still need reasons to supplement with vitamin D? A recent study
published in the European Journal of Endocrinology found that subjects
with the highest blood vitamin D levels had an astounding 73% reduced
risk of metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is the name given to a
collection of signs and symptoms that together indicate an increased
risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The syndrome includes
elevated blood sugar and triglycerides, abdominal obesity, high blood
pressure and low HDL (“good”) cholesterol.

Another study, just published in the Archives of Internal Medicine,
found that men with the lowest blood levels of vitamin D had *2.5 times
the risk* of a heart attack as men with the highest levels of vitamin D.

Oh, vitamin D, is there no disease you can’t protect against?

Plant Sterols, Fish Oil and Cardiovascular Disease

A combination of two supplements can significantly improve total
cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL and LDL. Published in the Journal of
Nutrition, this study looked at 60 individuals with elevated lipids.
Those individuals who were given a combination of plant sterols and
omega-3 oils experienced a significant improvement in their lipid
profiles. Specifically, their total cholesterol dropped by over 13%,
their triglycerides fell by 25%, their LDL (“bad”) cholesterol fell by
over 12% and their HDL (“good”) cholesterol rose by over 8%.

These are precisely the changes that physicians want to see for
lowering an individual’s risk of cardiovascular disease.

Vitamin D and Vascular Disease

Low levels of vitamin D have already been associated with everything from cancer to depression. A new study has found that low vitamin D levels lead to a significantly increased risk of peripheral vascular disease (PVD).

PVD covers a wide range of conditions, from atherosclerosis to embolisms. While only a small portion of individuals with PVD have been diagnosed, the complications of PVD include heart disease, stroke and many other serious medical problems.

It has already been shown that vitamin D could cut in half the risk of both colon and breast cancer. By adding PVD to the list, vitamin D alone has the potential to save millions of lives and billions of dollars each year in medical expenses.

Olive Oil and Heart Disease

Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States and around the world. One in three adults in the US, it is estimated, has some degree of cardiovascular disease (CVD).

A recent study found that individuals who consumed the most olive oil in their diets had the least amount of thickening of their arteries. More specifically, the highest consumption of olive oil had far less than half the risk of artery thickening.

In everyday terms, this means that olive oil consumption dramatically lowers the risk of atherosclerosis, which is a leading cause of CVD and death.

This one change in the US diet – a substantial increase in the use of olive oil – rather than less healthy corn or soybean oil, for example – could save billions of dollars currently spent to treat heart disease.

The Most Important Vitamin?

We’ve written before about the increasing amount of research on vitamin D. There are few nutrients that can claim the health benefits of this single vitamin.A study recently published in the Archives of Internal Medicine adds even more weight to the importance of this vitamin. Low blood levels of vitamin D have been correlated with everything from depression and diabetes to osteoporosis and allergies.

When 18 studies involving over 57,000 people were analyzed, those individuals who took vitamin D supplements had a significantly lower mortality rate than those who did not take vitamin D. Continue reading “The Most Important Vitamin?”

Sitting in Traffic Raises Heart Attack Risk

A new study published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine identifies another way in which modern life is hazardous to our health. After speaking to nearly 700 heart attack survivors, it was found that the longer an individual spends sitting in traffic, the greater the risk of a heart attack.

Surprisingly, the risk applied not only to individuals riding in cars, but also those who sat in traffic while riding bicycles or buses. The highest risk was found in women and in all individuals over 60 years old.Sitting in traffic increases two very important risk factors for experiencing a heart attack or many other diseases: elevated stress and exposure to air pollution. Both traffic congestion and pollution levels are highest during the morning rush hour, so this is the time of greatest exposure to both of these risks.

While it may not be possible to eliminate your commute to and from work, there are certainly things you can do to minimize the toll that it takes on your health. Continue reading “Sitting in Traffic Raises Heart Attack Risk”

Diet and Exercise for Menopausal Women

A recent government study found that nearly 400,000 of the 2 million deaths in the United States annually can be attributed to poor diet and lack of exercise. A more recent article in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology has added even more evidence to the importance of a healthy diet and regular exercise.

In this study, the thickness of the blood vessels feeding the heart were measured over the course of at least 4.5 years in several hundred premenopausal, perimenopausal and postmenopausal women. The women engaged in regular exercise and dietary changes to optimize their health. Continue reading “Diet and Exercise for Menopausal Women”

A Better Way to Lower Blood Pressure

The standard therapy for the tens of millions of Americans diagnosed with high blood pressure is medication. Of the many types of anti-hypertensive medications available, diuretics are the oldest and the most effective.

A team of researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has “discovered” what naturopathic physicians have been counseling their patients about for decades: mild-to-moderate endurance exercise is as effective as diuretics at lowering high blood pressure. Unlike the individuals taking the diuretics in this study, those subjects who engaged in exercise got the benefit of their overall health improving.

While medications can often make a particular symptom lessen, there is no medication that can enhance vitality and general health like regular exercise. The physicians at Nature Cures Clinic work to develop treatment plans that incorporate regular exercise, in addition to appropriate diet and nutritional therapies to optimize health. Call the clinic at 503-287-4970 or email to schedule your health consultation.

Hydrotherapy Benefits Heart Failure

The latest edition of the American Heart Journal (October 2003) finally acknowledges one of the most basic naturopathic therapies: hydrotherapy. A study involving patients with chronic heart failure had them apply alternating hot and cold water three times a day to their arms and legs.

As the press release reported: “After hydrotherapy, patients reported improvements in their symptoms, and in quality-of-life measures like mood and physical capacity. And on average, they had a lower heart rate at rest and during exercise tests. ”

Hydrotherapy has been used by naturopathic physicians for over 100 years. Recovery from virtually every illness and disease can be enhanced through specific types of hydrotherapy applications.

Nature Cures Clinic offers hydrotherapy sessions to our patients. Those interested in finding out more about hydrotherapy to to schedule a visit to try it out for themselves should contact our office.