Coz Being Ageless Is Priceless

Posts tagged ‘Cholesterol’

The Good Bugs: Why You Absolutely Need Them

Lactobacillus acidophilus

Image by AJC1 via Flickr

Probiotics, we hear all about them now. TV, radio and print ads! It’s great, considering that just a few years ago, most people didn’t know what they were. Probiotics, otherwise known as “good germs”, are part of the normal flora of our intestinal tract. They begin to inhabit our intestinal tract as soon as we’re born (by vaginal delivery, rather than caesarian delivery). They are nourished by eating healthy foods from infancy, starting by drinking mother’s milk (rather than cow’s milk or soy milk). As we age and are exposed to poor diet, antibiotics, chlorinated water, steroids and environmental pollutants (xenoestrogens), their numbers begin to decline. When their numbers decline, pathogenic yeast begin to overgrow (as well as bacteria), causing symptoms in both men and (more obviously in) women (such as vaginal discharge). Known functions of probiotics include: 1. the manufacture of B vitamins (such as folic acid, biotin, B3 and B6); 2. the manufacture of the enzyme “lactase”; 3. produce antibacterial substances; 4. produce anti-carcinogenic compounds; 5. help reduce high cholesterol levels; 6. improve the efficiency of the digestive tract; 7. help recycle hormones such as estrogen; 8. protect against radiation;  and 9. deactivate certain toxins, among many others. The primary bacteria inhabiting the small intestine is Lactobacillus acidophilus while that of the colon is Bifidobacterium bifidum. It is essential that these organisms be replaced when taking antibiotics of any kind. In today’s world, it’s a good idea to incorporate probiotics in a wellness program because of the antibiotics that we’re unknowingly exposed to (from food and perhaps, our water supply). There are different brands available. Some need to refrigerated while others do not. They come in various forms such as powders, liquid, capsules or “pearls”. To find out which brands are better, check out a study done by Consumer Labs. In the study, they found out that claims made by some companies such as number of viable organisms in their product somehow vary from the actual live cells. Factors such as improper storage and handling as well as shelf life affect these numbers. Therefore, it’s always important to do your own research.

Cholesterol: Optimal Levels For A Healthy Life

Pastries at Bubo

Image by su-lin via Flickr

It’s always good to remind ourselves about cholesterol because of the flurry of information you get from the news on tv or the net. It seems that everybody has a strong opinion about it. Anyway, cholesterol is not all bad. In fact, it is essential for life. It’s part of our cell membranes besides being the parent molecule for all the steroid hormones in the body including cortisol, aldosterone and sex hormones. 90% of the cholesterol molecule is made in the liver from carbs (de novo synthesis) while only 10% comes pre-formed from our food. Therefore, the first step in curbing unhealthy cholesterol numbers is to cut down simple carb intake. That includes your white bread, white rice and pastries. Anyway, what’s also important is your bad cholesterol or oxidized cholesterol. What causes this is the ingestion of trans-fats or hydrogenated oils from fried foods primarily. One more thing to consider is the actual size of your cholesterol particles. The smaller the size, the more dangerous it is. Fortunately, there are labs that would actually do a more comprehensive lipid panel. One  lab also includes the following in their panel namely; C-reactive protein, homocysteine, lipoprotein-a, fibrinogen and ferritin levels. Anyway, there are a host of natural remedies that help balance cholesterol levels. These include the use of essential fatty acids, plant sterols, guggulipids, red yeast rice extract and garlic. For those people who “have to ” be on statins, I highly recommend the use of coenzyme Q 10 just to prevent the common side effects of statins such as memory loss (by interfering with pregnenolone synthesis), fatigue, and muscle aches. An integrative approach to lipid management always yields better results than just taking the medication route alone.

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: