Thursday, August 31, 2006

Easing Arthritis Pain with Glucosamine & Chondroitin Supplements

If you suffer from arthritis pain, chances are you’ve heard of a relatively new over-the-counter remedy called Glucosamine. But what is Glucosamine, and how does it work to relieve arthritis? In this article, I’ll introduce you to this new treatment and provide you with the pros and cons of its use. By the time you’ve finished reading this article, you’ll be able to make an informed decision on whether or not Glucosamine is right for you.

What is Glucosamine?

Glucosamine, together with a related ingredient called Chondroitin, are substances which exist naturally in your body. It is believed that glucosamine helps to build and repair cartilage (the soft, spongy material between your joints), while chondroitin lends to the elasticity and flexibility of joints. A deficiency of either one can lead to increased wear and tear on the joint, and cause redness, swelling and stiffness as a result. When used together, glucosamine and chondroitin act as a tag-team of arthritis fighters, improving flexibility, soothing inflammation and reducing swelling caused by achy joints.

Where Can I Buy Glucosamine and Chondroitin Supplements?

You can find these products in virtually any pharmacy or health goods store. The downside to this is, like other herbal and alternative medicines, supplements are not regulated by any governing body. That’s why you’ll need to do a little bit of research to find the best, most potent brand for your needs. Here’s what you need to know when comparison shopping for a glucosamine supplement:

· You should expect to pay anywhere from $1-3 per pill when taking glucosamine daily. Since insurance companies rarely cover supplements of any kind, you’ll most likely be paying for them out of pocket.

· Read the ingredients label on the bottle to determine the dosage. Approximately 1500mg of glucosamine and 1200mg of chondroitin have been safely used in clinical trials. Depending on your individual medication tolerances and the severity of your arthritis, you should consult your physician or rheumatologist to find the right dose for your individual needs.

· Select supplements manufactured by a well-known, reputable company. Recommended brands include: Osteo Bi-Flex, WholeHealth, Flex-A-Min, MoveFree and individual pharmacy brands.

Are There Any Side Effects I Should Know About?

As with any medication or supplements, there are a few warnings you should know:

· If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, do not use glucosamine/chondroitin supplements, as no long-term studies have been done to gage what materials (if any) are passed on to the baby either internally or through breast milk.

· If you are diabetic, chondroitin (a form of sugar) may cause your blood sugar to rise.

· Chondroitin also acts as a mild blood thinner. Therefore, if you are taking any heart medication or are taking an aspirin regimen, have your blood clotting time checked more frequently by your doctor.

· Glucosamine/Chondroitin supplements should not be taken by children since no studies have been done to determine their effect (if any) on the child’s development.

(Please note: The information contained within this article is not intended to replace or substitute for that of an experienced physician. Remember to check with your doctor or rheumatologist before starting daily glucosamine/chondroitin supplements, and don’t stop or reduce any of your current medications (whether they’re for arthritis or not) without first talking with your doctor).

Until next time...Good Health and Well-being!

Dave Kettner

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Little Known Facts About Changes In Our Diet

To say that Americans are obsessed with dieting is an understatement! Pick up any magazine, tune-in or turn-on any source of advertising and you're bombarded with the latest diet schemes and food fads. More often than not, they are endorsed by some familiar Hollywood celebrity, or promoted using some other cleaver technique.

It's no mystery that the weight-loss industry has built a thriving empire. In America, for example, we spend about 35 billion dollars every year on an assortment of weight loss products and plans. In addition, we spend another 79 billion dollars for medication, hospitalization, and doctors to treat obesity-related problems. Even with this, the obesity epidemic continues to spread. Sadly, we have become the heaviest generation in our Nation's history.

The National Center for Health Statistics reports that we have some very good reasons to be concerned about our weight-gain. Americans, for example are packing-on the pounds faster than ever before and weight-related medical problems are taking center stage. Diseases like heart disease, diabetes and yes...even certain forms of cancer have all been linked to obesity.

Here are a few of the surprising statistics about our weight:

  • A whopping 64 percent of U.S. adults are either overweight or obese. That's up approximately 8 percent from overweight estimates obtained in a 1988 report.
  • The percent of children who are overweight is also continuing to increase. Among children and teens ages 6-19, 15 percent or almost 9 million are overweight. That's triple what the rate was in 1980!
  • Nearly one-third of all adults are now classified as obese. At present, 31 percent of adults 20 years of age and over or nearly 59 million people have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater, compared with 23 percent in 1994.

(The BMI is a number that shows body weight adjusted for height. For adults, a BMI of 18.5 - 24.9 is considered normal. A BMI of 25.0 - 29.9 is overweight and 30.0 or above, is considered obese.)

Modern life both at home and at work has come to revolve around moving from one "seated" position to another: whether it's television, computers, remote controls, or automobiles, we seem to be broadening the scope of our inactive endeavors.

At times, life seems to have gotten almost too easy! For entertainment, we can now just sit-down, dial-up our favorite TV program or DVD movie and enjoy hours of uninterrupted entertainment...

And all those simple calorie burning activities that were once a normal part of our daily routine not so long ago? Long gone! You know the ones I'm talking about...activities like climbing stairs instead of using escalators and elevators. Or, pushing a lawn mower instead of riding around on a garden tractor. And what about that daily walk to school? Now, our kids complain when the school bus happens to be a few minutes late getting to the bus stop!

Along with the convenience of our affluent lifestyle and reduction in energy expenditure, have come changes in our diet. We are now consuming more calorie rich and nutrient deficient foods than ever before.

Here are a few examples of what we were eating in the 1970's compared to our diet today (information is taken from a recent U.S. Department of Agriculture survey):

  • We are currently eating more grain products, but almost all of them are refined grains (white bread, etc.). Grain consumption has jumped 45 percent since the 1970s, from 138 pounds of grains per person per year to 200 pounds! Only 2 percent of the wheat flour is consumed as whole wheat.
  • Our consumption of fruits and vegetables has increased, but only because the U.S.D.A. includes French fries and potato chips as a vegetable. Potato products account for almost a third of our "produce" choices.
  • We're drinking less milk, but we've more than doubled our cheese intake. Cheese now outranks meat as the number one source of saturated fat in our diets. -
  • We've cut back on red meat, but have more than made up for the loss by increasing our intake of chicken (battered and fried), so that overall, we're eating 13 pounds more meat today than we did back in the 1970s.
  • We're drinking three times more carbonated soft drinks than milk, compared to the 1970's, when milk consumption was twice that of pop.
  • We use 25 percent less butter, but pour twice as much vegetable oil on our food and salads, so our total added fat intake has increased 32 percent.
  • Sugar consumption has been another cause of our expanding waistlines. Sugar intake is simply off the charts. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, people are consuming roughly twice the amount of sugar they need each day, about 20 teaspoons on a 2000 calorie/day diet. The added sugar is found mostly in junk foods, such as pop, cake, and cookies.
  • In 1978, the government found that sugars constituted only 11 percent of the average person's calories. Now, this number has ballooned to 16 percent for the average American adult and as much as 20 percent for American teenagers.

The days of the wholesome family dinners so near and dear to our hearts, where we all sat around the kitchen table to discuss events of the day, are now a part of our sentimental past. They have been replaced by our cravings for take-out and fast-food. We have gradually come to accept that it's "OK" to sacrifice healthy foods for the sake of convenience and that larger serving portions mean better value.

And, since I have been throwing-out statistics, here's one more: Americans are consuming about 300 more calories each day than we did twenty years ago. We should actually be eating less because of our decreased activity level, but instead are doing the opposite!

Decide TODAY that healthy eating and exercise habits will become a permanent part of your life!

Begin to explore your values and thoughts and other areas of your life where change may be required, and then take action. Begin slowly, but deliberately to make improvements in the areas you identify. And remember, it has taken a very long time to develop your habits, and it will take some time to undo them…so be patient!

Until next time...Good Health and Well-being!

Dave Kettner

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Herbs & Homeopathic Remedies May Alleviate Menopausal Symptoms

Does hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for your menopause make your blood run cold? Many women are faced with the potential risks associated with HRT. First, let’s take a quick look at the three stages of menopause.

Menopause begins in your early 40s as your ovaries gradually produce less and less of the hormone estrogen. Your periods become erratic sometimes skipping a month or alternating between light and heavy.

The next period of time is the transitioning to actual menopause. During this time you may continue to have erratic periods and the “fun stuff” begins to settle in for a long visit. Yes, fun stuff like hot flashes, vaginal dryness, mood swings and insomnia are some of the symptoms.

The final and actual onset of menopause usually occurs in your early 50s and is represented by the absence of your period for a full 12 months. It’s those in between years that can wreak havoc in your life.

Are there natural alternatives for chemical HRT? The good news is yes! It’s a sad fact that less than two percent of doctors even mention alternative therapies and that most of them feel there is no benefit. Thousands of women would disagree. Here are just a few of the many natural alternatives:

Try adjusting your diet to include vegetables and fish that are high in Omega-3 as they contain nutrients that can help your body deal with menopause naturally. Conversely, there are foods that can make your menopausal symptoms worse. Caffeine, sugar, fatty dairy products, salt, alcohol and saturated oils can aggravate the symptoms.

Be sure and take a daily multivitamin making certain that the vitamin contains 100% of the daily allowance for nutrients. Just be aware that vitamins are no substitute for following a healthy diet.

If menopause causes mood swings, it only makes sense that it’s possible to experience extreme responses for stress. Try using deep breathing techniques, meditation or some other methods of relaxation that works for you and practice the technique for 10 to 20 minutes per day. You will be left feeling calmer, more able to cope and more in control.

Exercising regularly can also help alleviate menopausal symptoms. Scheduling at least 30 minutes of exercise three times a week will relieve hot flashes. You will be able to think more clearly and reduce your risk of osteoporosis and heart disease.

Some women have found relief through yoga and acupressure. Both are mainstays of practitioners of eastern medicine.

Last, but not least, we come to herbal treatments. Beans and certain other plants have a mild estrogenic activity in their makeup thanks to "phytoestrogens." These are compounds that include isoflavins, lignans, phytoseterols and saponins. In additional to helping your body through menopause, animal experiments show they are significantly effective in preventing tumors of the breast tissue.

Without sending you off for a medical dictionary to understand the compounds listed above, here are some of the foods and herbs that contain healthy compounds: Soy, black cohosh, licorice, alfalfa, chasteberry, Chinese angelica, red clover, strawberry, celery stalks, dates, elder, false unicorn root, fennel, Honduran sarsaparilla, lady’s slipper, liferoot, Mexican wild yams, passion flower, pomegranates and sassafras.

The foods, of course, are available from your local grocery. Visit your local health food store where you should be able to find the herbs and methods to include them in your daily diet.

Until next time, good health and well-being!

Dave Kettner

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Whey Protein - Nature's Amazing Muscle Builder

Are you concerned about taking care of your body before and after strenuous activities or workouts? Do you try to avoid supplements that contain additives and possible side effects?

If you are interested in better health and improved physical fitness you have surely heard that bodybuilders and other athletes are turning to a simple, natural supplement called whey protein.


Protein levels are depleted through exercise. Muscles require amino acids to prevent deterioration, give endurance and build mass. Proteins supply these amino acids to the muscles which is why athletes use whey protein.


Commercial whey protein comes from cow's milk. Whey is the by-product of making cheese and was usually thrown away as a waste product. Now researchers know that whey protein is high quality, natural protein that is rich with amino acids essential for good health and muscle building. It is naturally found in mother's milk and also used in baby formula. It is being considered for use as a fortifier of grain products because of its considerable health benefits and bland flavor.

Although protein is also found in other foods such as meat, soy and vegetables, whey protein is proven to have the highest absorption (digestion) levels in comparison to all others.


Whey protein has many health benefits including immune support, bone health, sports health, weight management and overall well being.

Because amino acids are 'building blocks' for the human body it is sometimes used by patients to speed up the healing of wounds or burns.

The high quality protein that comes from whey makes it a recommended choice for those who need optimal benefits from restricted diets including diabetics, those on weight management diets and even ill patients not able to consume enough protein in their diet to assist with healing.


Whey protein is a food and so it does not have have the risks associated with other supplements. That said, too much of anything carries risks. Extremely high use of whey protein can overload the liver which can cause serious problems. Moderation is always recommended.

If you are lactose intolerant you might try whey protein isolate which has less than 1% lactose and should be tolerable for most users.

Whey protein is a natural and healthy way to bring protein into your diet and increase well being.

Until next time, Good Health and Well-Being!

Dave Kettner

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Natural Vitamin Supplements

Here are some facts that will stun you. It has been found that less than even 10% of all Americans have healthy eating habits. This means that the food intake of as much as 90% of all Americans is lacking in the necessary nutrition levels that are needed to lead a healthy life. Most people are dangerously low on their vitamin levels as well. No wonder then that both the online and offline stores are so stacked with vitamin supplements. But how do they perform? Are they any good? The fact is, most of these supplements are synthetic in nature and end up doing more harm than good. But most people will still need vitamin supplements to meet the deficiencies in their body. That is why they should opt for natural vitamin supplements.

Vitamin Supplements and Genital Warts

Surprisingly it has been observed that genital wart symptoms can be cured by using natural vitamin supplements. The fact is that, genital warts cannot be ever cured permanently, but the symptoms can be cured and its spread checked by using these supplements. Now how is this possible? Vitamin supplements, as the name suggests, supplement the vitamin deficiency in the human body. And when that happens, the natural immunity of the body is enhanced. Researchers are of the opinion that the virus that causes genital warts resurfaces only when the immunity has been broken by some attack. So when the immune system has been strengthened, the chances of an attack of genital warts also go down. And in this way, vitamin supplements are able to prevent genital warts.

What are Natural Vitamin Supplements?

Vitamins are carbon-comprised organic chemical compounds the body needs for growth, repair, metabolism and to maintain overall health. Vitamins actually work with minerals make up the various enzymes and hormones that create the blood cells, convert food into energy and do other important functions. Vitamins in the natural form are found in fruits and vegetables that have been grown organically. So when you are selecting a natural vitamin supplement, try to stay as close to them as possible – go for products that are using the least preservatives and artificial colors and flavors. Natural vitamin supplements should contain a natural blend of vitamins and nutrients from Brewer’s yeast, maize, liver, alfalfa, sprouted foods, spirulina, chlorella, and others like this.

Natural vitamin supplements can be costly but when you take into consideration the medical bills that you can avoid, then it makes a lot of sense.

Natural Vitamins Vs. Synthetic Vitamins

When you are selecting your natural vitamin supplements, be very careful. The fact is, there are many supplements that make tall claims, but never deliver. So verify before buying whether actually it falls under the ‘natural’ category or not. Many even want to pass their products off as ‘natural’ whereas they are not. Even they know that natural vitamin supplements are better.

Synthetic supplements have been conceived and made in laboratories to copy the molecular structure of natural vitamins. But the fact remains that the human body still cannot absorb these nutrients, though the synthetic supplements try to trick the body and make it accept. Synthetic vitamins are rejected by the body at the cellular level. Chemical additives like binders, fillers and preservatives have also been known to negatively affect the digestion process.

Humans are part of nature and thus our body structure has been naturally devised to accept natural ingredients, including natural vitamins and not something that has been made in laboratories.


Natural vitamin supplements are so much better than their synthetic varieties. Dietary imbalances that are so common among all of us today can only be supplemented by using natural products. They also heal many health problems such as genital warts.

Until next time, Good Health and Well-Being!

Dave Kettner

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Hoodia Taking The Diet World

By StormBy: Ken Black

Hoodia is THE newest catch phrase in the weight loss industry today. Everyone wants to be in on the secret, and still more are wondering about this miraculous plant. What does it do, how can it help you lose weight, and why wasn't it heard of before? Well, answers to these questions and more can be found in the following paragraphs. Read on and discover Hoodia's amazing abilities for yourself.

Hoodia has actually been around for quite some time, but was only recently discovered to be an appetite suppressant. With no unnatural stimulants, Hoodia is 100% safe and effective for those who want to lose a little weight, or a lot. With Hoodia, you can feel full faster and stay full longer because of its amazing ability to stave off hunger. You can lose weight safely, with no side effects that come with most weight loss supplements. Best of all, it's a PROVEN appetite suppressant, and that's not false advertising talking.

The Bushmen of the Kalahari deserts have been eating Hoodia for quite some time now, and have been familiar with it's thirst and hunger quenching abilities. That's why, when using hoodia it is important to have adequate hydration on top of a healthy diet. Even though hoodia is natural and will work on its own to help safely curb your appetite, it is essential that you incorporate it into a healthy lifestyle. Allowing hoodia to starve you is not healthy, so remember that!

Speaking with your doctor is essential in assuring you do not get in over your head. As with any weight loss product, your doctor should know what you are taking and how you plan to use Hoodia in your life. While it is not known to cause any unpleasant side effects, it's not for certain how it will react with any prescription medications you could be taking. For safety reasons, let your doctor know you plan on taking Hoodia and he or she will help devise a diet and exercise plan that will work with the supplement to ensure maximum weight loss potential.

Hoodia is being toted the world over as the newest miracle weight loss drug, but do not let the hype get to you. It is unrealistic to expect a diet pill to do all the work for you and put simply, it will not. It's true that Hoodia can work wonders for your weight loss goals, but you must be willing to work for it.

Hoodia can definitely play an important role in your weight-loss goals, but ensure that you are totally committed to exercising and eating right.

For more great ideas on how you can lead a healthier lifestyle, and for more reviews on Hoodia and its abilities, visit our website at You'll discover all sorts of ways to lose weight, and tips on eating healthy and exercising right. You will find yourself pleasantly surprised at what Hoodia, diet and exercise can do for you.

About The Author

Ken Black is the owner of, a website dedicated to helping you lose weight.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Boosting Immune System is One Step Toward Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease

by: Frank Mangano

Drugs have been used to ease the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and give people a better quality of life. Many such therapies are designed to fight the effects of the build up of amyloid proteins that form a plaque around brain neurons. If only this plaque could be prevented from forming in the first place, people would have a much lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Recent research out of Canada suggests that the bone marrow holds the key to cleansing amyloid plaque from the brain. Microglia derived from the bone marrow is able to attack the most toxic forms of this plaque. The key then is to increase this natural scavenger and get it to release from the bone marrow so it can do its job. This natural defense mechanism is now thought to be triggered by boosting the immune system, according to the trials conducted on laboratory mice.

What are the best ways to boost the immune system and cleanse potentially harmful plaques that could be building up in your brain? A diet that is balanced and full of antioxidants is the primary way. Here are some other tips to getting the best immune system building nutrition and reducing the factors that weaken it.

1. Get Your Essential Fatty Acids. This is the number one immune system builder. Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids are necessary to optimal health. A fish oil supplement is the best source of fatty acids since American diets don’t normally contain enough fish to provide these nutrients.

2. Take Care of Your Lymphatic System. This is the system of organs, nodes, and vessels that help cleanse the body continuously. Using the Chinese herb, Ligustrum (nu zhen zi) increases bone marrow production of lymphocytes and benefits the thymus.

3. Get Enough Exercise. Exercise increases the production of T lymphocyte and reduces stress, both of which support a strong immune system.

4. Look at Your Lifestyle. Drinking alcohol and caffeine and smoking cigarettes all weaken the immune system. Also, excessive stress for long periods of time or not getting enough sleep makes you more susceptible to all kinds of disease.

5. Look at Your Environment. Household cleaners, pesticides, and food additives all suppress the immune system. If there is an abundance of these types of factors in your life, all the good nutrition may not be enough to counteract their impact.

Copyright 2006 Frank Mangano

About The Author

Frank Mangano is an active member of his community who works diligently providing assistance to senior citizens and probing as a health advocate to discover new and innovative ways to promote well being. Find out how you can maintain good mental health at:

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Anti-Aging: The Essentials For A Healthy Younger You

Wrinkles and aging skin are for many the greatest unavoidable enemies they will face during their lifetime. Skin starts it's aging process from the moment of you're birth, because of this if your serious about having more control over the aging process and wrinkling in general, it is best to start taking preventive measure early on in life. Even though there is only so much one can do to prevent the natural signs of aging, there are many ways to slow the onset and delay their appearance.

What are the causes of skin aging and wrinkles?

As time passes, many of the important components of our skin such as collagen and elastin begin to break down which then causes our skin to start to lose it's natural elasticity. The effect of this is our skins normal structure and it's inherent ability to spring back into form are diminished. Our cell reproduction levels start to slow as we get older with age. This in turn causes fat cells and our oil glands to begin to atrophy. When this occurs,the production of emulsions which are designed to help keep the skin moist begin to slow; this results in the skin becoming dry. To add to the fact, the effects of gravity are an unavoidable contributor to the process and soon our arms, jowls and eyelids start to sag as well.

We also can not forget the other environmental factors that add to the onset of aging and wrinkling. Things such as cigarette smoking, laughing, air pollution, and frowning, as well as being in the sun unprotected for long periods can all play a role in adding additional stresses to our skin. The important thing to note about these different environmental factors is that they are within most peoples ability to control if they are willing to put the effort in. As of now there is no way to completely stop the aging process, but we sure can control some of the factors that contribute to its acceleration.

Smoking cigarettes helps to promote the release of oxidants. Oxidants cause our body to slow down the production of new elastin and collagen. Oxidants are more commonly known as free radicals. Our best defense against them is to protect ourselves of their negative effects by making sure our diet is rich in anti oxidants, and high in minerals and vitamins. Smoking also causes restrictions in the blood flow of the epidermis layer of our skin. This can cause us not to get the necessary quantity of nutrients we need for it to stay healthy.

Cigarette smoking also has a natural repetitive motion that contributes to the formation of wrinkles. Specifically with the contraction of the muscles around the mouth area. This routine stress helps to accelerate wrinkling and skin aging as you are causing the same muscle contractions that occur when frowning and laughing. Air pollution is another factor that causes us to wrinkle by depriving our skin of the much needed Vitamin E which is a very important antioxidant in preventing aging.

Another sure fire way to slow down wrinkling and aging is to always protect your skin from the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays. These rays have the potential to penetrate any unprotected layers of our skin. The sun's ray's can produce a form of radiation that can seriously and potentially cause permanent damage to the cells that form our skins tissue. It is believed that UVA rays are capable of releasing oxidants (free radicals), which are unstable particles known to cause extensive cell damage.

Basic Skin care for anti-aging and wrinkle prevention.

First and foremost don't over look the obvious, like keeping your skin clean and moist. This is one of the best and simplest skin care regimes for preventing aging and wrinkling. Many times this is a better solution than those high priced products that make big promise to end your wrinkle worries forever. Simply wash with warm (not hot) water and use a gentle quality cleanser. When finished, towel pat your skin dry to make sure some of the moisture still remains. Using hot water and harsh soaps or detergents cause depletion of the skins essential oils thus creating additional dryness. It is probably also wise to avoid products with commercial dyes or perfumes since they may cause skin irritation. When removing any eye makeup from the skin surrounding the eyes, be gentle as this is a very delicate area and is very prone to wrinkling on the whole. So there it is - an inexpensive and simple skin care regimen to reduce wrinkles and slow down aging.

Getting old is something we all must go through and aging is one of those unstoppable processes we will all have to deal with, and as such so is the development of wrinkles. But we can help to protect ourselves and our skin by living an overall healthy lifestyle. So eat right, make sure you get adequate exercise, and avoid smoking and excess alcohol.

For more information on general skin care and topics including rosacea, eczema and psoriasis visit us at

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