3 Keys to Gut Harmony

The Link between Fats, Fiber and Flora

A healthy gut is one of the foundations to strong overall health and longevity. Though people are finally beginning to understand this fact, most are still unaware of how to attain it. This is mostly because having a healthy gut is all about treating it holistically. There is a whole ecosystem called the microbiome in your gut and each part of it needs tending to. Simply popping probiotics won’t correct all the intricate mechanisms of your gut. The two main variables involved with having perfect gut health are your fiber intake and the amount of short chain fatty acids in your gut. If you maintain a proper diet and supplementation regimen, you will be able to keep both of these things in check, thus allowing your internal ecosystem to thrive and be in a position to truly benefit from probiotics for peak gut health.

It’s no secret that your diet is one of the biggest factors in keeping you healthy. What you put into your gut clearly will affect how it functions, but there are certain elements to foods that are more important than others. Two of the most important are fiber and butyrate. The two, as you’ll see, are tied together inseparably in how they function. Fiber has the reputation of being beneficial to the body because of its “scrubbing” effect on the gut. Even though this is helpful, it pales in comparison to the most underrated positive thing fiber can do for you: create butyric acid. It is part of a symbiotic cycle that serves to keep the gut healthy. Fiber creates butyric acid that bacteria in your gut turn into butyrate, a salt which nourishes the colon cells and produce other factors that encourage the balance of beneficial flora. Knock out one part of the cycle and the whole thing stops working. We all know what fiber is and the role it plays but what exactly is the butyric acid it creates and its overwhelming importance?

The Power of Butyrate

Although most health consumers are aware of the benefits of so-called essential fatty acids (EFAs) and the conditionally essential fatty acids (such as the omega-3s), few are aware of the tremendous importance of short chain fatty acids (SCFAs). Unlike the EFAs which are long chains of over twenty hydrocarbons, SCFAs are much smaller, often only having three or four hydrocarbons. Because of their small size SCFAs are easily made by bacteria as byproducts of fermentation in their life process.

The two principal SCFAs with biological activity are propionic acid and butyric acid. Propionic acid (PA) is commonly found on the skin, where it can be produced by bacteria. PA inhibits the growth of mold and some bacteria and is a common preservative for both animal feed and food for human consumption. The other SCFA is the aforementioned butyric acid.

Named after butter, the substance it was first discovered in, butyric acid is something mammals have a long-running relationship with. It has been in our gut for so long that the lining of our colon has evolved to use it as its primary source of energy. Without butyrate for energy, our colon cells undergo a self-destruction cycle and eventually die. With butyrate, the colon cells can grow and develop normally, better control the permeability of the gut, and regulate inflammation. Butyrate also effects gene regulation and may play an important role in sugar regulation.

How to Get It?

Butyrate can be a tricky thing to include in your diet though. As we mentioned, dietary fiber is one source of this important chemical. While none exists in the fiber itself, the chemical reaction within your gut when breaking down the fiber produces butyric acid through the process. Butyrate does exist in foods independently as well. Butter, its namesake, contains 3-4%. The healthiest way to consume butter is by turning it into ghee, a process that clarifies it and removes the milk solids. This is one of the most natural ways to consume butyrate. It’s also found in some of the most pungent cheeses, such as parmesan. Although butyrate is available in supplement form, its use is not widespread and consumer awareness of their great health benefits is quite low. In many situations, dietary sources will not be sufficient to correct an imbalance, but are often adequate to help maintain a healthy ecosystem.

If you plan to use a butyrate supplement, it may be helpful to know that I have developed one for use in my clinical practice that is also available for retail purchase. It is called Intrinsa and includes the synergistic factors caprylic acid and larch arabinogalactan. Caprylic acid is a naturally occurring fatty acid that helps yeast overgrowth, while the larch arabinogalactan serves as a source of soluble fiber. Intrinsa works especially well when combined with the blood type specific diets and a blood type specific probiotic.

The Whole Picture

By putting together a good diet rich in fibers, probiotics specific to your blood type and the proper amount of butyrate, your gut will have all it needs to naturally balance. Just as a garden needs the soil, the seeds and the weather to all harmonize, your gut needs these elements to work together. The human body is an amazing thing, capable of running these complex internal reactions to maintain health. Treat your body right and give it the ingredients it needs to keep this symbiotic cycle running strong for years to come.

Seaweeds: A Gift from the Sea

There are many kelp or bladderwrack supplements on the market, but only Fucus Plus uses the exclusive “Fucus vesiculosus” species of seaweed harvested by trained marine botanists. This particular variety is of the highest quality and immediately freeze-dried to preserve its well-researched ability to naturally maintain healthy metabolic activity, particularly in blood type O individuals.

Fucus Plus (60 caps) available online at liveblood.org or call(250.575.3772)  or email Lorraine today (prohealth4u@gmail.com) to order your supply.

Learn more about this amazing product:

by Peter D’Adamo & Gregory Kelly

Folklore

The recorded use of Fucus vesiculosus, also called “bladderwrack” or “sea wrack” dates back to at least the time period of the Eclectic Physicians of the 19th century. Historically these physicians used this seaweed for goiter (swelling of the tissue or cells of the thyroid) and for obesity. Published commentary by a turn of the century physician (Dr. J. Herbert Knapp) indicated that he had found this plant to be a specific remedy for both exophthalmic and uncomplicated goiter. In his experience bladderwrack worked best in individuals under age 30, a population for which he claimed a 100% success rate, and was less dependable for normalizing thyroid function in people beyond this age.

Pharmacology

Fucus vesiculosus contains a wide spectrum of polysaccharides including fucoidans and fucans. In general, fucoidans are a family of high molecular weight sulfated polysaccharides, widely dispersed in the cell walls of brown seaweed. The core region (or backbone) of fucoidan is composed primarily of a repeating chain of fucose sugars. Fucose is also attached to this backbone, forming branch points at every 2-3 fucose residues within the chain. So, as you can readily deduce, bladderwrack is a rich food source of fucose.

Similar to most plants grown in the ocean, this plant is also very high in iodine and other trace minerals. While iodine is critical for proper health, like most other trace minerals, too much good can be no good. In other words more is not always better. So bladderwrack in an appropriate dose is safe to take long-term; however, you would not want to consume ridiculously large amounts of this plant for indefinate periods of time (even if you are an O).

Fucus vesiculosus and Blood Type O: Metabolic and Anti-adhesion Food

In ER4YT, Dr. D’Adamo mentions Fucus vesiculosus as being particularly beneficial for blood type O’s. He states, in reference to blood type O individuals, that “bladderwrack seems to help normalize the sluggish metabolic rate and produce weight loss.” He also alludes to its utility in helping to keep thyroid function normal in blood type O’s, and discusses the potential usefulness of this plant for preventing the adherence of some unwanted microorganisms (H. pylori in his book’s example) to the cells lining the digestive tract in blood type O’s.

There is actually a good reason for his deference to this plant with regards to blood type O. As you might recall form ER4YT, blood type O is characterized by the presence of a terminal fucose sugar on its antigen. Things in nature (like lectins, bacteria, Candida, etc) with a preference for or a “sweet tooth” for fucose, will always have an affinity for and a greater impact on blood type O’s. Since bladderwrack is such excellent food source of fucose and fucose containing sugar chains, it can actually bind many of the more problematic blood type O lectins, bacteria, and microorganisms.

One of the emerging fields of research with regards to microorganisms (and lectins) centers about an idea of adherence and anti-adherence. Basically, an unwanted organism can only produce a problem for you to the degree it can attach to or anchor itself to your cells. Lectin damage follows a similar pattern. Recognizing this simple concept of adhesion, you will readily recognize the usefulness of the concept of anti-adhesion, or blocking strategies. The question then becomes what foods might provide an anti-adhesion advantage for your blood type. One of the answers for blood type O is bladderwrack (Note: kelp also has a high amount of fucose sugars so is another answer). Basically, the fucose in bladderwrack can act as a false decoy, binding the unwanted blood type O environmental debris and sweeping it away before it can bind to or irritate the tissue.

Because A’s, B’s and AB’s also usually contain some anchoring sites (but proportionately substantially less than an O) for fucose specific lectins and microorganisms, bladderwrack can also act as a form of anti-adhesion food for these blood types as well. However, they also have additional specific blocking sugars they can place at their disposal.

Fucus vesiculosus: Anti-microbial Activity

The fucoidan found in bladderwrack inhibits the growth of many unfriendly bacteria and viruses. Some of the viruses this compound is antagonistic to include herpes simplex virus, human cytomegalovirus, and human immunodeficiency virus. Bladderwrack has been found to agglutinate the cells of several strains of Candida. Bladderwrack also has a toxic effect on some strains of E. coli and all strains tested of Neisseria meningitidis.

Let’s look at a few specific examples of bladderwrack research in the microbial world. The complex sugar structures and other compounds found in bladderwrack have anti-HIV activity. Some of the mechanisms of its activity fall back into the world of our new friend “anti-adhesion”. Researchers have suggested that, since adhesion is the initial step in HIV infection, blocking adhesion might prevent HIV-1 transmission. In vitro evidence supports this suggestion with the complex fucose structures found in bladderwrack showing a capability to block HIV adhesion to cells. These same blocking strategies with fucose sugars have also been used in studies of malaria to prevent its spread to additional red blood cells. In essence these sugars inhibit invasion of your red blood cells by the malaria parasite. Dr. D’Adamo has written that Fucus vesiculosus is a specific for blocking attachment of H. pylori—an organism responsible for inducing ulcers and gastritis—in individuals with blood group O.

While no one is suggesting that bladderwrack should be thought of as a solution for HIV or other infectious diseases, one might ponder the question of how the shape of medicine might change if we could use blood type strategies to block HIV and other microorganism from attaching to your cells in the first place. Or, ponder the question of how could we employ blood type anti-adhesion strategies in support of conventional use of antibacerial and anti-microbial drugs. If you are a blood type O, the preliminary answer to these questions begins with pondering what health benefits might accrue with the consumption of this common edible seaweed.

Fucus vesiculosus: Immunomodulating Activity and Anti-inflammatory Activity

The fucose sugars in bladderwrack can beneficially impact immune system health by stimulating immunoreactions of the humoral and cellular types, and by enhancing the phagocytosis (or consumption of invaders) by your macrophages. These same complex fucose sugars also offer several advantages that counter the blood type O tendency to inflammation. Essentially they block the recruitment or inhibit an overly aggressive inflammatory immune response at sites of inflammation.

Fucus vesiculosus: Normalizing Metabolism and Thyroid Function

The historical uses of Fucus vesiculosus were primarily as an agent to enhance thyroid function in cases of goiter and as an aid in weight loss for obesity. This remains the primary use of this plant today in natural medicine.

Typically, the credit for its activity in thyroid conditions has been given to its high content of iodine; however, the high fucose content of this plant, because of its immune and inflammatory balancing effects, appears to be responsible for some of the observed benefits on optimizing thyroid function in blood type O’s.

If you are a blood type O and plan on consuming bladderwrack as an aid to metabolism and thyroid health, this plant generally works very slowly. A minimum of 3 months is probably warranted, but in many instances best results are produced when bladderwrack is consumed regularly at a low dose for about 1 year.

References

  • 1. Nishino T, Nishioka C, Ura H, Nagumo T. Isolation and partial characterization of a novel amino sugar-containing fucan sulfate from commercial Fucus vesiculosus fucoidan. Carbohydr Res 1994;255:213-224.
  • 2. Patankar MS, Oehninger S, Barnett T, et al. A revised structure for fucoidan may explain some of its biological activities. J Biol Chem 1993;268:21770-21776.
  • 3. Nishino T, Nishioka C, Ura H, Nagumo T. Isolation and partial characterization of a novel amino sugar-containing fucan sulfate from commercial Fucus vesiculosus fucoidan. Carbohydr Res 1994;255:213-224.
  • 4. Wagner M, Wagner B. [Agglutinins in marine brown algae. Dedicated to Professor Dr. H. Knoll on his 65th birthday]. Z Allg Mikrobiol 1978;18:355-360. [Article in German]
  • 5. Ferreiros CM, Criado MT. Purification and partial characterization of a Fucus Vesiculosus agglutinin. Rev Esp Fisiol 1983;39:51-59.
  • 6. Rozkin MIa, Levina MN, Efimov VS, Usov AI. Comparative study of the anticoagulant activity of sulfated polysaccharides from marine brown algae. Farmakol Toksikol 1988;51:63-68. [Article in Russian]
  • 7. Durig J, Bruhn T, Zurborn KH, et al. Anticoagulant fucoidan fractions from Fucus vesiculosus induce platelet activation in vitro. Thromb Res 1997;85:479-491.
  • 8. Soeda S, Sakaguchi S, Shimeno H, Nagamatsu A. Fibrinolytic and anticoagulant activities of highly sulfated fucoidan. Biochem Pharmacol 1992;43:1853-1858.
  • 9. Roberts DD, Ginsburg V. Sulfated glycolipids and cell adhesion. Arch Biochem Biophys 1988;267:405-415.
  • 10. Soeda S, Ishida S, Shimeno H, Nagamatsu A. Inhibitory effect of oversulfated fucoidan on invasion through reconstituted basement membrane by murine Lewis lung carcinoma. Jpn J Cancer Res 1994;85:1144-1150.
  • 11. Zhuang C, Itoh H, Mizuno T, Ito H. Antitumor active fucoidan from the brown seaweed, umitoranoo (Sargassum thunbergii). Biosci Biotechnol Biochem 1995;59:563-567.
  • 12. Zapopozhets TS, Besednova NN, Loenko IuN. Antibacterial and immunomodulating activity of fucoidan. Antibiot Khimioter 1995;40:9-13. [Article in Russian]
  • 13. Baba M, Snoeck R, Pauwels R, de Clercq E. Sulfated polysaccharides are potent and selective inhibitors of various enveloped viruses, including herpes simplex virus, cytomegalovirus, vesicular stomatitis virus, and human immunodeficiency virus. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 1988;32:1742-1745.
  • 14. Criado MT, Ferreiros CM. Selective interaction of a Fucus vesiculosus lectin-like mucopolysaccharide with several Candida species. Ann Microbiol (Paris) 1983;134A:149-154.
  • 15. Criado MT, Ferreiros CM. Toxicity of an algal mucopolysaccharide for Escherichia coli and Neisseria meningitidis strains. Rev Esp Fisiol 1984;40:227-230.
  • 16. Zapopozhets TS, Besednova NN, Loenko IuN. Antibacterial and immunomodulating activity of fucoidan. Antibiot Khimioter 1995;40:9-13. [Article in Russian]
  • 17. Itoh H, Noda H, Amano H, et al. Antitumor activity and immunological properties of marine algal polysaccharides, especially fucoidan, prepared from Sargassum thunbergii of Phaeophyceae. Anticancer Res 1993;13:2045-2052.
  • 18. Teixeira MM, Hellewell PG. The effect of the selectin binding polysaccharide fucoidin on eosinophil recruitment in vivo. Br J Pharmacol 1997;120:1059-1066.
  • 19. Patankar MS, Oehninger S, Barnett T, et al. A revised structure for fucoidan may explain some of its biological activities. J Biol Chem 1993;268:21770-21776.
  • 20. Hajela K, Kayestha R, Sumati. Carbohydrate induced modulation of cell membrane. IV: Interaction with mucin and fucoidan totally immobilizes the human platelet membrane. Indian J Biochem Biophys 1996;33:308-310.
  • 21. Lynch G, Low L, Li S, et al. Sulfated polyanions prevent HIV infection of lymphocytes by disruption of the CD4-gp120 interaction, but do not inhibit monocyte infection. J Leukoc Biol 1994;56:266-272.
  • 22. Beress A, Wassermann O, Tahhan S, et al. A new procedure for the isolation of anti-HIV compounds (polysaccharides and polyphenols) from the marine alga Fucus vesiculosus. J Nat Prod 1993;56:478-488. [published erratum appears in J Nat Prod 1996 May;59(5):552]
  • 23. Pearce-Pratt R, Phillips DM. Sulfated polysaccharides inhibit lymphocyte-to-epithelial transmission of human immunodeficiency virus-1. Biol Reprod 1996;54:173-182.
  • 24. Zaretzky FR, Pearce-Pratt R, Phillips DM Sulfated polyanions block Chlamydia trachomatis infection of cervix-derived human epithelia. Infect Immun 1995;63:3520-3526.
  • 25. D’Adamo P. Eat Right 4 Your Type. Putnam: 1997.
  • 26. Boren T, Falk P, Roth KA, et al. Attachment of Helicobacter pylori to human gastric epithelium mediated by blood group antigens. Science 1993;262:1892-1895.
  • 27. Stromqvist M, Falk P, Bergstrom S, et al. Human milk kappa-casein and inhibition of Helicobacter pylori adhesion to human gastric mucosa. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 1995;21:288-296.
  • 28. Magner JA, Kane J, Chou ET. Intravenous thyrotropin (TSH)-releasing hormone releases human TSH that is structurally different from basal TSH. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1992;74:1306-1311.
  • 29. Overton K, Serif GS. Synthesis of L-fucose in thyroid tissue. Biochim Biophys Acta 1981;675:281-284.
  • 30. Hotta T, Ishii I, Ishihara H, et al. Comparative study of the oligosaccharides of human thyroglobulins obtained from normal subjects and patients with various diseases. J Appl Biochem 1985;7:98-103.
  • 31. Rowe A, Berendt AR, Marsh K, Newbold CI. Plasmodium falciparum: a family of sulphated glycoconjugates disrupts erythrocyte rosettes. Exp Parasitol 1994;79:506-516.
  • 32. Clark DL, Su S, Davidson EA. Saccharide anions as inhibitors of the malaria parasite. Glycoconj J 1997;14:473-479.
  • 33. Granert C, Raud J, Xie X, et al. Inhibition of leukocyte rolling with polysaccharide fucoidin prevents pleocytosis in experimental meningitis in the rabbit. J Clin Invest 1994;93:929-936.
  • 34. Angstwurm K, Weber JR, Segert A, et al. Fucoidin, a polysaccharide inhibiting leukocyte rolling, attenuates inflammatory responses in experimental pneumococcal meningitis in rats. Neurosci Lett 1995;191:1-4.

New at The Clinic – Maca Powder

Maca Powder

It is claimed to give stamina, maintain hormonal balance, to treat loss of interest in sex and menopause symptoms, general health and well being, Unlike other energy boosters it does not have any side effects. It has a nutty butterscotch flavor. Beware of very low prices, unscupulous suppliers sometimes cut with other powders.

Dried at low temperature and Certified Organic from Peru.

Maca ~ History & Info

 Maca root has been used by native Indians in Peru as a vital ingredient to health for thousands of years. Maca’s use goes back to around 3800 B.C., when Peruvian Indians cultivated and ate it for both its nutritional and medicinal value. Centuries later in 1549 A.D., records indicate that, during his time in Peru, the Spanish explorer Captain de Soto received Maca from the Indians as a gift in return for his help in improving methods of animal husbandry in the Peruvian Castille region. By 1572, as Maca’s health-giving properties gained notoriety, the Chinchayochas Indians had begun using Maca root for barter. It was not until 1843 that this plant was studied by scientists and given the botanical name of Lepidium meyenii, Walpers. after German Botanist Gerhard Walpers

Maca root grows in the mountains of Peru at high altitudes of 7,000 to 11,000 feet, making it the highest altitude growing plant in the world. Maca is a radish-like root vegetable that is related to the potato family, and is tuberous and spherical in form. The root itself is about three to six centimeters across and 4.7 centimeters in length. There are four recognized types of Maca Root based on the color of the root. Root color varies from creamy yellow or light pink to dark purple or black.

Chemically Maca root contains significant amounts of amino acids, carbohydrates, and minerals including calcium, phosphorous, zinc, magnesium, iron, as well as vitamins B1, B2, B12, C and E. Peruvian Maca also includes a number of glycosides.

As a nutritional supplement, Peruvian Maca has generalized tonic effects on the biochemical functioning of the human body. Chief among these effects is the enhancement of endocrine function. The endocrine system includes all of the glands, and the hormones they secrete, that exist in the body and that control such conditions as fertility, sexual function, digestion, brain and nervous system physiology, and energy levels. Hormonal regulation is responsible for all of the physiological attributes that enable us to enjoy the myriad sensations of being vibrantly alive, including those related to sexual arousal, physical activity and mental-emotional states of being. Maca root has also been called an adaptogen, which means that it increases the body’s ability to defend itself against both physical and mental weakening, hence potential illness. It is believed it achieves this by supporting adrenal and pituitary gland health, both of which underlie proper endocrine function.

Maca Power is cultivated in the Junin plateau of Peru’s central highlands at 4,100 meters above sea level, on ancient terraces. It is a Certified Organically grown and processed product, which is non-irradiated and chemical-free. The Maca root is dried at a specific low temperature and is milled to our specifications, ensuring maximum preservation of nutrient and ingredient content. The result is the optimal light-colored and non-oxidized sweet taste of a high quality product.

 

Known Modern Applications:

Traditionally, Maca has been used for a variety purposes, which can differ for men and women. For example, women have found it helps relieve the symptoms of PMS and menopause. Women tend to notice a dramtic decline in hot flashes and night sweats. Men have used it to enhance fertility and sexual function. Users of Maca root tend to derive a variety of benefits in accordance with their individual needs. However, both men and women have found that it significantly boosts libido and sex drive, increases energy, stamina and the feeling of general well-being. In fact, recently Maca has been used as an excellent alternative to anabolic steroids among athletes seeking muscle hypertrophy. Unlike many other energy- and muscle-boosting substances, such as anabolic steroids, Maca contains no chemicals that interfere with or over-activate normal endocrine function.

How Can Maca Benefit You?:

Male:

  • Increases energy (Chronic Fatigue)
  • Treat sexual dysfunction (Loss of Libido)
  • Increases stamina & athletic performance
  • Nourishes glandular system
  • Fertility enhancement
  • Improves physical and emotional well being
  • Promotes mental clarity
  • Balance hormones

 

  • Female:
  • Treat PMS (Mood Swings)
  • Menopause symptom relief (Hot Flashes)
  • Sexual stimulation
  • Nourishes glandular system
  • HRT alternative(Hormone Replacement Therapy)
  • Increases stamina & athletic performance
  • Increases energy (Chronic Fatigue)
  • Balance hormones

Menopause? No Problem – Symptom Free Menopause:

Menopause is a natural progression in a woman’s life – it is the cessation of menses generally accompanied by symptoms. This transition is unique for every woman yet there are ways to prevent and diminish the symptoms that typically accompany menopause.

Symptoms:

  • Diminished libido
  • Insomnia
  • Mood swing (blues & depression)
  • Migraines, memory problems
  • Lower energy levels
  • Palpitations
  • Acceleration of the aging process
  • Joint aches and pains
  • Bone pain
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Benefits of Maca Power: Energy – Balance – Vitality!
  • Increases libido
  • Deeper sleep
  • Balances moods
  • Enhances memory and brain function
  • Increases energy levels
  • Helps adapt to stress
  • Slows the aging process
  • Lessens aches and pain, more endurance and stamina
  • Prevents osteoporosis, high calcium and vegetable protein
  • Reverses vaginal dryness

Menopause doesn’t have to be unbearable – implementing Maca Power into a sensible diet & lifestyle regime can produce positive effects.

How does Maca Root aid in the relief?

First and foremost it balances the hormonal system. It works on the pituitary gland – the master gland – which regulates all hormone production in the body. Hot flashes are diminished; sleep is normalized while stress levels are reduced when incorporating Maca Power into a daily wellness routine. Peruvian Maca root encourages the body to produce its own hormones to restore balance, instead of introducing hormones to the body. It’s the simple, natural approach that brings a world of difference to women suffering from the sometimes debilitating symptoms.

Maca root is a superfood naturally high in vitamins and minerals the body needs for nourishment. Its adaptogenic qualities make it a multi-faceted herb useful for a wide variety of conditions, women of all ages can benefit from.

Adaptogens increase the body’s ability to cope with physical, chemical and biological stress. Characteristics of an adaptogenic herb are non-toxic, while increasing resistance to stress, fatigue & distress – helping the body regain balance. Ginseng, is another (perhaps more familiar) adaptogen, that has been used in Asia for thousands of years for strength and vitality and it’s reputed aphrodisiac effects. Maca root falls into this same category, yet it is relatively new to North America although it’s been used in Peru for thousands of years.

Take your health into your hands, and experience the wonders of this ancient Peruvian herb – Maca Power the Inca Superfood.

How do I take Maca Power?

Maca Power is a 100% Certified Organic Powder that can be added to a breakfast fruit smoothie – blend fresh fruit, 1 tsp. of Maca powder with soy/rice milk or yogurt. It is naturally sweet flavored and blends in well. OR sprinkle it on top of your cereal or mix in with muesli.
If you prefer capsules, Maca Power comes in vegi-caps, non gelatin capsules that are easy to take – wherever you are, great for people on the go with busy schedules.

How soon will I see results?

Each individual is different, some women experience decreased hot flashes within days of taking Peruvian Maca root while others may take weeks to fine tune the hormonal system – it depends on the condition of your body. But be patient! The results are worth it.

Maca Root Active Ingredients:

  • Alkaloids
  • Trypterphene
  • Phenolic compounds
  • Flavonoids and/or coimarins
  • Tannins
  • Glycosides
  • Saponins
  • Free amino acids
  • Secondary aliphatic amines
  • Tertiary amines
  • 2 groups of novel compounds — the macamides, and the macaenes (these agents are believed to be directly responsible for maca’s sex-boosting powers)
  • Maca Root Powder Nutrition – 10% protein, 60% carbohydrates and fatty acids.

Note: Maca Power contains 14.6% protein. This is because the amino acid proteins have not been denatured at any stage of the processing.

Maca Q & A

  1. WHAT CAN MACA ROOT DO FOR YOU? Maca root has a wide range of benefits all aimed at enhancing the endocrine system’s ability to act in the most efficient manner it is capable of so as to avoid breakdowns that wreak havoc on the body. Hormonal regulation is responsible for many positive attributes that allow our systems to enjoy a variety of sensations including energy, libido, sexual arousal, fertility, athletic performance, and so much more. Maca is an adaptogen, which means that it raises the body’s response to defend itself against disease both physically and emotionally. It functions to support an area that might be deficient such as exhausted adrenal or pituitary glands that are so integral to proper endocrine function. Many people derive a variety of benefits from taking Maca Power honoring the individual’s specific needs or deficiencies. See More Maca Information
  2. WHY DOES MACA ROOT HAVE DIFFERENT NAMES? Maca root was originally identified in the 1800’s by a German botanist who named it “Lepidium Meyenii, Walpers” (after himself) – still the ONLY name officially recognized by the Peruvian government today. From the 1960’s, a research worker investigating Maca’s constituents attempted to rename Maca after herself, hence “Lepidium peruvianum, Chacon”. Some suppliers use this confusion as a clever marketing ploy to claim an ‘exclusive therapeutic’ species. DON’T BE FOOLED!! See More Maca History
  3. SO ARE THERE DIFFERENT SPECIES OF MACA ROOT? There is only one species that is grown commercially for harvest. Like many other everyday foods, there is a plant that grows wild, but it has no dollar value. Remember, many of our common foods have ‘wild cousins’; for example, bush lemons and wild strawberries.
  4. HOW DO I KNOW WHICH MACA BRAND IS THE BEST QUALITY? CERTIFIED ORGANIC Maca Root is your only guarantee. Read the label – high protein count is a great indicator of optimal growing conditions and careful processing. Maca is a carbohydrate root vegetable, so a light color and sweet taste means that the aminos, vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids and other nutrients have been better preserved.
  5. HOW MUCH MACA ROOT POWDER SHOULD I TAKE? Maca root is a food and therefore should not be used in extremely small quantities. For it to be effective and to achieve results, proper dosages should be followed. In keeping with original ancestral Peruvian dosages, you should mix 3/4 to 1 teaspoon of Maca into smoothies, yogurt, herbal teas, fruit juices, etc. Or if you are using our MACA POWER& Vegetarian Capsules take 2 to 6 500mg Capsules per day or as directed by your health practitioner.
  6. HOW DO I STORE MACA ROOT POWDER? It is best store Maca Root Powder in dark dry cupboard. Some people store it in the refridgerator but this is not necessary but some feel it keeps the powder fresh and the consistency lighter.
  7. IS MACA ROOT SAFE? Yes. There are no reports that Maca has any level of toxicity.
  8. ARE THERE ANY WARNINGS DISSEMINATED ABOUT MACA ROOT USAGE? No, there are none.
  9. ARE THERE ANY SPECIFIC MEDICAL RECOMMENDATIONS TO BE AWARE OF WITH MACA ROOT USAGE? Given the high potassium content in Maca, it is not recommended for people with renal insufficiencies.
  10. ARE THERE ANY OTHER NAMES THAT MACA ROOT IS KNOWN? Maca, Maka, Maca-Maca, Peruvian Ginseng, Maino Ayak, Chichira, Ayak Willku

 

Have You Had a Hug Today?

Story at-a-glance

  • From birth to death, touch is an important part of your emotional and physical health as it triggers the release of hormones such as dopamine and oxytocin, and reduces the amount of cortisol in your body
  • Health benefits that result from hugs include a reduction in feelings of sadness, lower blood pressure, slowed heart rate, reduced anxiety and increased compassion
  • You may be able to increase the number of hugs and touch you get each day by staying tuned in to others who want hugs, giving hugs and engaging in therapeutic touch activities

By Dr. Mercola

From the time you were born until the day you die, touch is an important part of your emotional and physical health. Infants deprived of touch grow up with developmental and cognitive delays, attachment disorders and higher risk of serious infections.1 On the other hand, premature infants who are held skin-to-skin exhibit better cognitive skills, are more resilient to stress and have more organized sleep patterns, even 10 years later.2

These early touch-based interventions demonstrate the need for touch in psychological regulation. The benefits of touch don’t diminish with age. The late Virginia Satir, psychotherapist and generally acknowledged as a pioneer in family therapy,3 spoke about the importance of touch and hugs as it relates to a person’s emotional health, saying:4

“We need [four] hugs a day for survival. We need [eight] hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.”

This may represent the minimum and optimum thresholds to generate sufficient oxytocin, a hormone released by your pituitary gland in response to physical touch. The simple act of hugging may not only increase your bond with others, but may also boost your physical and emotional health.

The Importance of Touch

In the absence of touch, children become almost unrecognizable, developing personality disorders and other conditions that make it difficult for them to live in society.5 Historical reports of children who grew up “feral,” or in the wild without the benefit of touch, show they often have difficulty assimilating into a group.

Touch is the primary language to communicate compassion and is fundamental to communication, bonding and health.6 It supports the immune system, reduces stress, encourages sleep and has no side effects. It doesn’t drain your batteries, but recharges you instead.

Western cultures often experience a deficiency in touch. Before he passed in 1974, psychologist Sidney Jourard completed a study in which he measured touch between friends in the U.S., England, France and Puerto Rico.7 In England, people didn’t touch at all. In the U.S. friends touched up to two times an hour.

This is in deep contrast to friends in France who touched up to 110 times in an hour, or in Puerto Rico where they touched up to 180 times in an hour.

Health Benefits of Oxytocin

Humans are wired so that hugs make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Whether it’s a mother-child embrace, a hug from a friend or a squeeze from your significant other, research suggests these touches deliver some real emotional and physical health benefits.8

The basis for several of the benefits psychologists associate with hugging is the result of release of oxytocin. Also called the “love hormone” or “cuddle hormone,” it is released from your pituitary gland, triggering a flood of emotions depending upon the environment in which you associate the hormone.9

In other words, in cases where the hormone was released during situations that were not pleasant, such as during poor relationships, it can make you less accepting of people. The hormone was first recognized for the role it played in bonding mother and child during pregnancy and nursing.

While oxytocin appears to be related to the bond a mother feels to her infant, those interactions also increase the amount oxytocin secreted by the infant.10 The bonding experience of oxytocin is not limited to infancy, but also translates into adulthood, triggering feelings of trust and support between people who hug.

These reactions are the result of actions as a neurotransmitter on the emotional center of the brain. It promotes feelings of contentment and may even promote monogamous behavior,11 especially in men who are already bonded to a woman.12

The release of oxytocin with hugging triggers feelings of compassion for the other person, a necessary form of connection and support during times of psychological stress or grief. Feelings of intimacy and closeness give you an optimistic sense of where you fit socially and a positive sense of well-being.13

Relationship Between Hugs and Cortisol

The release of oxytocin reduces your levels of stress hormone, or cortisol. This reduction in stress, combined with a sense of emotional support, appears to support your immune system and make you less susceptible to the common cold.14

Research has found your perceived social support and the number of hugs you give and get could predict your susceptibility to developing a cold, finding that hugs could explain 32 percent of the beneficial effect.15 Even those who got a cold had less severe symptoms when they had more frequent hugs.

The pressure of a hug may stimulate your thymus gland, responsible for the regulation and balance of your white blood cells,16another way in which hugging may support your immune system. This reduction in cortisol and perceived stress may also help you stay calm during a stressful event, such as a presentation at work or medical test. The reduction in stress also lowers your heart rate17 and blood pressure,18 which may reduce your potential risk for heart disease.

The reduction of stress may also have a direct response on the prevention of other diseases. The Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine has carried out multiple studies on the significance of touch and found a reduction in pain, lowered glucose levels in children with diabetes and improved immune system in people with cancer.19

Hugs Each Day May Help Keep Depression at Bay

A hug is also one of the easiest ways to demonstrate appreciation and acknowledges the person you are hugging as important to you. Nearly 55 percent of all communication is nonverbal,20 so a single gesture of hugging is an excellent method of communicating love and care.

Hugs stimulate your brain to release several other chemicals that affect your mood and emotions. The first, dopamine, is a hormone that evokes pleasure in the brain. Endorphins and serotonin are also released, helping to reduce pain and feelings of sadness.21According to Debra Castaldo, Ph.D., relationship expert and couples and family therapist:22

“We also know that hugging our loved ones promotes healthy emotional attachment and intimacy, which is the foundation of a happy, healthy long-term relationship.”

Unfortunately, with age, the number of touches and hugs received often goes down. Seniors who live alone may not experience a touch on a daily basis.23 Affection may make a big difference in the emotional and physical health of seniors. Sharon Farber, Ph.D., commented in Psychology Today:24

“Being touched and touching someone else are fundamental modes of human interaction, and increasingly, many people are seeking out their own professional touchers and body arts teachers — chiropractors, physical therapists, Gestalt therapists, Rolfers, the Alexander-technique and Feldenkrais people, massage therapists, martial arts and T’ai Chi Ch’uan instructors.

And some even wait in physicians’ offices for a physical examination for ailments with no organic cause — they wait to be touched.”

Hug Evolution: Mindful Hugging

Yogi masters also recognize the health benefits associated with physical touch, and specifically with hugging.25 Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, who made hugging meditation famous, is a global leader whose key teaching is that through mindfulness people can learn to live in the present moment.26 He believes that a good hug may have life-changing effects on the individual. He writes about his pursuit of hugging meditation:27

“When we hug, our hearts connect and we know that we are not separate beings. Hugging with mindfulness and concentration can bring reconciliation, healing, understanding and much happiness.”

Hugging meditation can be practiced with your mother, father, sibling, spouse or even a tree, according to Hanh. The practice begins with the recognition of each other’s presence and then an embrace that encompasses three deep breaths. The first breath is designed to help you acknowledge your presence in the present moment.

With the second breath you become aware of the presence of the other and with your third breath you celebrate with gratitude your presence with the other person. Hanh believes that hugging in such a way brings reality into the present moment, and possibly reconciliation. At the same time, this practice releases the other health benefits mentioned above.

Fun Facts About Hugging

Hugs are healthy for your emotional and physical well-being. Even a 10-second hug may give you most of the benefits listed above. Based on one study, those health benefits may include reduced fatigue, improved heart health and reduced depression.28

Cuddling, a longer form of hugging, with your partner, releases more dopamine and may increase your sexual desire.29 Hugging may also reduce fear of, and worry about, mortality. One study found that even hugging an inanimate object, like a teddy bear, may reduce these fears.30

The release of oxytocin from hugging may also help reduce social anxiety.31 Getting a hug right before going to a party where you don’t know anyone may help you feel more confident and social. Researchers found marriages where couples hugged frequently lasted longer than those where they rarely hugged.32

A national holiday was founded in 1986 to encourage hugging.33 It has been recognized by the U.S. Copyright Office but is not a public holiday. The purpose is to help people show more emotion in public in a country where this type of display is not common.

Founder Rev. Kevin Zaborney from Michigan encourages people to hug in public and post to social media on January 21 with #NationalHuggingDay. The person who is giving the hug gets as much benefit as the person being hugged, although you may experience greater benefit from hugging someone you trust.

5 Ways to Get Your Hug On

In this short video Cordero Roman does an inexact social experiment on hugging. Watching the video you may be able to “feel” the difference between the hugs just from the individuals experience on film.
It may be difficult to get hugs each day living in a country where physical touch is not encouraged, or if you live alone. If you put your mind to the task, there may be ways to get healthy touch. These suggestions may feel like they are out of your comfort zone, but you won’t enjoy the results unless you take the first step.

  • Teddy bear

While not as satisfying as hugging another person, hugging an inanimate object may help reduce fear and anxiety.

  • Greetings

While it may feel strange at first, make it a habit to greet your friends with a hug. Ask before you hug. This may be more difficult between two men. However, unless you step out of your comfort zone and ask, you won’t find the friends who are looking for the same nonsexual touch contact.

  • Therapeutic touch

Chiropractors, massage therapists and reiki masters all must touch you in order to practice their craft and most understand the health benefits associated with touch. You’ll likely not get a massage daily, but it may be something you can work into your monthly schedule.

  • Give one

You may not get one unless you give one. If you usually do not hug your children, siblings, parents or friends, then it may be up to you to take the first step and initiate a hug.

  • Be mindful

Some people don’t want to hug fearing cold viruses. Others don’t want to hug or may be afraid of how another person may interpret the hug. Be mindful of how the other person feels and seek out others who may also want a hug that day. Remind yourself as you meet people, others do need hugs each day. As you look for opportunities, more will appear.

Sources and References