Heart Health

Staying Strong For Men

When women age, we can talk about it freely because women are allowed to be concerned about their hormonal changes, their faces, and figures.  For men, the problems of aging may be just as concerning, but not so easily discussed.

Just like women, men have a need for hormone balance. The adrenal glands (those tiny but mighty glands sitting above the kidneys) make the steroid hormones that allow us to run faster in danger, monitor libido, and determine energy levels. Men and women both make hormones out of cholesterol. Then the cascade of hormones proceeds into progesterone, DHEA, testosterone and estrogen. Estrogen is lowest on the hormone chain, and estrogen is formed from testosterone.

An enzyme called aromatase causes the conversion of testosterone to estrogen. Aromatase can surge when too much sugar, alcohol or refined carbohydrate is consumed, spiking blood sugar. As more fat accumulates around breasts (man boobs) and belly, the fat can also produce estrogen, adding to the problem. http://blogs.christianpost.com/health/is-your-testosterone-turning-into-estrogen-5890/

All cells in the body have hormone receptors on them. For men, testosterone should be more dominantly parked in the cells. If there is too much estrogen, then the male sexual characteristics diminish. Muscles turn to fat and the prostate can enlarge. Too much circulating estrogen is a risk for prostate cancer. http://e.hormone.tulane.edu/learning/docking-receptor-binding.html

Higher amounts of circulating estrogen increase risk of stroke.  Estrogen dominance, which is the ratio of estrogen to testosterone, is a risk for heart attack and thicker arteries. Low testosterone levels can be associated with depression and anxiety. http://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/low-testosterone-8/default.htm

Statin drugs decrease cholesterol, which in turn can decrease testosterone levels. This may lead to Erectile Dysfunction caused by low testosterone. Statin drugs have also been associated with higher risk of Diabetes Type II. Sufficient healthy fats in the blood keep blood sugar levels more balanced.

You can monitor your testosterone levels through blood or Salvia hormone testing. Another simple way is to have a zinc taste test. Adequate zinc is needed for testosterone. We offer all of these tests at Well Body Clinic.

We also have herbal DHEA and testosterone boosters, in cream and tablet form that will encourage the body to make more testosterone. A detox program for weight loss, or a Blood Sugar balance program, will help you kick the carb habit, stop the snack cravings, drop weight and lose the excess belly fat.

Lifestyle choices may influence your testosterone levels. Avoid excess alcohol, sugar and grains. Eat sufficient protein, but make sure it is digested well; so digestive enzymes can be used. Get plenty of cruciferous vegetables like kale, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels Sprouts to help the liver metabolize excess estrogen. Get moderate exercise and sufficient sleep. (Maybe Mom was right all along.)

No matter what kind of a job you have, life itself is an Olympic event and those who train for it usually come out ahead of the crowd. Breaking old habits is never easy until the new habits have replaced them.

For Father’s Day, and every day, stay strong and ready for the next event. Healthy guys are sexier. And out-running your kids is always satisfying.

Happy Father’s Day to all the great men in our lives.














Are You Coffee Conflicted?

 Procaffinator-someone who has a tendency not start anything without a cup of coffee.

Devil or Angel-coffee is one of the most controversial beverages for health-minded people. Hard core purists scoff that coffee could have any benefits, citing the fact it dehydrates the body and is loaded with caffeine. But there is a tendency for a few to contend any food that is pleasurable cannot be good for you.

As a Nutritionist/Naturopath who comes from the “Real food is yummy food and the more organic butter the better” school of food science (note the strong French influence!) I like to look at the facts. All foods from natural sources have to be evaluated on an individual basis.

Coffee can be considered a herb. It is hot water extracted from the berries of the Cofea plant. All plants that are not poisonous to humans have medicinal benefits because that is just how Nature rolls. Coffee contains small amounts of potassium, Riboflavin (B2), pantothenic acid (B5) and manganese. Manganese is vital for pituitary health, for example. And potassium helps to hydrate the body, so Nature may have provided a degree of balance to the dehydration issue.

How much caffeine is in coffee? The average for an 8 oz. cup is 95 mg, unless you got your cup at Starbucks, which logs in at twice the average amount. Green tea contains about 44 mg caffeine, and espresso has about 60 mg.

On average most people can benefit from a couple of cups of coffee a day. Pregnant women should keep caffeine levels below 200 mg. What are the benefits?

Coffee contains powerful antioxidants, which help the body to combat oxidative stress. Think of oxidative stress as too much of a good thing. While we need oxygen for cellular activity, too much is damaging to cells. Anti-oxidants balance out the damage of the potentially corrosive actions of high amounts of oxygen, otherwise known as free-radical damage. Some free-radical damage is normal, and merely stimulates repair by the immune system. But too much overwhelms the body, and may be a pre-condition that allows cancer and other metabolic diseases to develop. http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA400537/Stumped-by-Oxidative-Stress.html

Coffee is associated with lower mortality from all heart-related issues, such as stroke or heart-failure. It is also associated with lowered risk for neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s and dementia, and mice studies show that coffee is helpful against memory impairment. Research indicates that it is the caffeine in coffee that has the brain benefits, so decaf does not help. http://draxe.com/coffee-nutrition-facts/

Coffee seems to improve athletic performance, test performance and alertness. However, coffee is not as effective for test performance and alertness as certain wave-lengths of light from the blue band spectrum.

Coffee appears to be protective against fatty liver disease and promote healthy liver function. A study showed that coffee plus exercise helped prevent skin cancer in mice. (Now you will know what to think if you see a couple of mice with their little laptops at Starbucks.)

And coffee can help with a weight loss program by boosting your metabolism.

Who shouldn’t drink coffee? If you are caffeine sensitive, suffer from stomach issues, have insomnia, heart palpitations or anxiety coffee and black or green teas may not be good choices for you. Insomnia, digestive discomfort, anxiety and palpitations can be addressed with natural and nutritional medicine, so you don’t have to suffer or worry about these conditions. Call us for help.

Don’t medicate with coffee. If you are burning your candle at both ends, get some sleep and exercise and increase your nutrition. Too much coffee will only put more stress on your adrenals and immune system.

Why do some people get a headache when they are deprived of coffee? As expected, the more coffee consumed daily the more likely you are to experience a headache during coffee withdrawal. Scientists have measured the changes in blood flow to the brain, and deprivation of coffee seems to increase cerebral blood flow, triggering the classic withdrawal headache. http://draxe.com/coffee-nutrition-facts/

The remedy may be to cut back a bit at a time if you are consuming so much coffee that it makes you jittery or interferes with sleep. Try using a herbal coffee like Teecino to mix with your coffee, to cut back, but still enjoy a rich coffee drink.

Bottom line is that coffee in moderation appears to have health benefits for most people. Note that this article is about natural coffee, not caffeine. I will blog about synthetic caffeine in another article.

So, if you tolerate coffee well, don’t feel guilty about the indulgence. Try using Stevia to sweeten and flavored Stevia can help you skip those Frappuccino’s, which are loaded with chemicals and artificial flavors. I carry Peppermint and Toffee Stevia in my purse. Try bullet-proof coffee, made with organic butter or raw coconut oil, instead of milk, if you are avoiding dairy and trying to increase healthy fats.

A little coffee humor: Latte is French for “You just paid too much for your coffee”.

“Mothers are those wonderful people who can get up in the morning before the smell of coffee.”  “Deja Brew-the feeling you’ve had this coffee before.”
Source : http://www.coolnsmart.com/coffee_quotes/

Lastly, “May your cup runneth over with Joy, love and really fabulous coffee!”










Matters of the Heart


The human heart is magnificent in many ways. It is no wonder that the heart has always been associated with human emotion.

Panic and fear often manifests as a wildly beating heart. Grief and sadness feels like a burden on the chest. Joy feels like the heart is soaring. Excitement causes the heart to beat faster. Seeing a loved one can feel like the heart is fluttering or experiencing a leap. We sometimes feel that we store special knowledge in our hearts.

Physically, your heart works very hard. It pumps approximately 2000 gallons (7571 liters) of blood every day.  That’s about 1 Million barrels of blood during the average lifetime. To achieve this, the heart beats more than 100,000 times a day.

The heart is really an electrical pump and can continue to beat when separated from the body, if there is a supply of oxygen. The thump-thump sound of the heartbeat is caused by the four valves of the four chambers closing.

The heart has the job of pumping blood to all 75 trillion cells of the body. Only the corneas of the eyes do not receive blood. A woman’s heart beats faster than a man’s, typically. (Is that any surprise?)

Blood travels in a matter of seconds; six seconds to the lungs and back, eight seconds to the brain and back, and sixteen seconds to the toes and back. http://www.mercola.com/infographics/human-heart-facts.htm

Studies show there is a correlation between education and lowered risk of heart disease. Happiness and emotional vitality also correlate to lowered risk.

The Blue Whale has the largest heart, weighing in at 1,500 pounds. The invention of the stethoscope was invented in 1816 by Rene Laennec, a young French doctor who was embarrassed to put his ear to the chest of a female patient to listen to her heart.  http://health.clevelandclinic.org/2015/07/21-amazing-facts-about-your-heart-infographic/

Because the heart is a muscle, as well as an electrical instrument, it needs to be nurtured with certain nutrients. There are specific B vitamins that are not commonly available in standard B complex that nourish the muscle of the heart. The electrical conductivity is also supported by whole food B vitamins, as well as nerve- supporting nutrients.

So, when I treat heart issues, I look for very different things than your cardiologist, because I am looking for healthy function, rather than disease. Hearts respond beautifully to the correct nutrients, even after the heart has been damaged or functions poorly.

Sometimes sleep difficulties are a sign that the heart needs nutrition, particularly if you feel your heart beating when you lie down at night.

Of course, you should seek immediate medical attention if you suspect a heart attack, because quick intervention saves lives. What it does mean is that you can have the health of your heart evaluated early to prevent heart disease from developing. The heart function is also dependent on the strength of the adrenals, so healthy adrenals are vital. This explains why stress is a risk factor for heart disease.

In addition to wholefood B vitamins, the heart loves magnesium and the herb Hawthorn. Important factors also include balanced blood sugar and normal weight, with waist smaller than hips, to keep the heart strong and healthy.

My heart leaps for joy when I can help someone have a healthy heart. You probably know in your heart if your lifestyle is the best for the health of your heart. Yes, broken-down hearts can be mended, but why let it get to that point? If you have any symptoms that concern you, or hinder your life, come in for a heart check and let natural medicine help your heart last a lifetime. Cross my heart.