It looks like it's
going to be a delightful summer. I hope you are enjoying it
or have plans in the very near future to enjoy it. I'm trying
to get my summer going, so I was happy to get out of the city
for a 4th of July barbeque. (besides, it was on my summer
fun list) My friend has the quintessential country home -
not only is it exactly how one would dream it up, with the
perfect country colors, prints and furniture but they also
have farm animals, a tree house and flower and vegetable gardens.
With two kids don't ask me how they do it
. It was lovely
until I slipped and stubbed/broke my toe in the brook. But
some ice and a couple of glasses of wine took care of that!
And although we didn't have fireworks (they happened the night
before, and the single guy they invited was not for me) it
was a great way to begin the summer.
This month, we'll give you the 411 on the
latest women's health news and we'll take a look at the other
type of digestion issue that many women suffer from
irritable bowl and gastritis. Finally we'll investigate the
nutritional value of lemons - as it is the season to support
those young entrepreneurs!
I had to look back on this one as I thought we had reported
on this last year. It turns out the study last year was specific
to estrogen combined with progesterone. This latest study
out the week of June 22nd 2004 in JAMA examined estrogen alone.
The reason researchers have speculated that HRT improves cognitive
function is that estrogen has been shown to increase blood
flow the brain. 3000 Women between the ages of 65 and 79 were
included in this study and it was found that women taking
estrogen alone versus placebo experienced a 49% greater risk
of dementia. Last year, for women taking the combined therapy,
the risk was 105%. While the actual risk to an individual
seems low at 12 cases of dementia in 10,000 women, the results
are disappointing as they clearly show no benefit as previously
believed. Doctors caution that this does not mean that women
who are perimenopausal and take HRT will experience the same
risk and continue to speculate that HRT for a few years during
menopause may still have a positive cognitive effect later
on in life.
Last month we took a look a the role of fiber in our diet.
There are, however many women who suffer from the opposite
problem in that they experience an irritable bowel or other
digestive issues. This is especially true as we age. There
is growing evidence that the role of probiotics can be very
helpful in the prevention and treatment of a wide range of
conditions. Probiotics are supplements that are comprised
of "friendly" gut flora and are known to restore
normal intestinal function. They have traditionally been used
following a course of antibiotics or to prevent "travelers
diarrhea". They also have a role in the management of
a number of chronic disorders that are not immediately related
like chronic fatigue, vaginitis and urinary tract infections.
If you consider that the digestive tract has the second largest
concentration of nerve endings, and 95% of all serotonin in
the body, it makes sense that poor digestion can lead to the
above mentioned issues as well as disruptive sleep and poor
The thing with probiotics is that they are
a bit complicated to buy and understand. And like most natural
therapies, they take a couple months of continuous use before
an effect is felt. However, once you've bought the right product
and are taking the correct dose (usually high at first) they
are very safe and can truly solve a lot of issues that have
plagued people for years. So in my opinion, it's worth the
effort. Here are a few key ideas to guide you - as for actual
brands you should be safe with Natren of California or Pharmax.
- THERE ARE A LOT OF STRAINS WITH BIG
NAMES SO GET A PEN
For digestive health, the most researched
are Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, Bifidobacterium lactus BB12,
L. acidophilus NAS, L. bulgaricus LB-51, B. bifidum Malyoth
strain and L. acidophilus DDS1. Vaginal issues are better
handled with L. rhamnosus GRI or L. fermentum RC14. Now
the important point here is that the product must name the
genus, species and strain. Just Lactobacillus is not specific
enough. Don't buy it -- you must be very selective as it's
been reported that 70-80 percent of the products do not
contain their claimed amount of live probiotic microorganisms.
- YOU WANT A PROBIOTIC PRODUCT THAT
This usually translates that you should look for a product
that has been freeze dried (freeze drying preserves the
supernatant)- the supernatant is the fluid growth medium
which contains the nutrients for the probiotic organisms
- it provides a natural buffer to help the beneficial bacteria
survive the gastric juices.
- DOSING AND POTENCY ARE DIFFERENT
First, you want to look for guaranteed potency through an
expiration date printed on the label - and true potency
is cited in colony-forming units or (CFU) at the time of
manufacturing and at the expiration date. It is also how
you should figure out how much to take. Generally speaking,
recolonization of the GI tract requires about 109 CFUs per
day. Treatment for irritable bowel about 1011 per day. Less
can be taken for bacterial vaginitis at 108 per day. Anything
lower is not likely to be effective. Once your gut is recolonized,
you can take this amount 2 to 3 times a week for maintenance.
- STORAGE IS IMPORTANT
The bottles should not be exposed to direct sunlight and
many believe that opaque glass is what is best. The bottle
shouldn't heat up to kill the bacteria. Second the bottles
should be moisture-free and stored in refrigeration. The
only acception is L.spirogenes which is good for "travelers
diarrhea" as it does not require refrigeration.
- YOU'LL NEED MORE THAN ONE STRAIN
FOR INTESTINAL USE
Make sure the strains are actually capable of colonizing
both the upper and lower intestines. As an example L. acidophilus
works well in the small intestine while Bifidobactieria
works well in the large intestine. It's best to colonize
- IF YOU'RE DIARY INTOLERANT CHECK
A lot of probiotics use lactose as an excipient as it can
buffer stomach acid and dissolve at the correct time.
- PASS, FOR NOW, ON THE "PREBIOTIC"
it's really not been proven. Basically a prebiotic is suppose
to provide nutrients for the probiotic organisms as they
move through the gut. The idea is they are never separated
from the food they were created on so they survive harsh
stomach conditions and don't need refrigeration. My suggestion
is to wait on that one. In other words, don't use a new
probiotic supplement unless it has documented prior safe
use in humans and has undergone toxicological tests.
of a fruit - so I'm not sure how "dud" cars got
that phrase. They are so incredibly useful and who doesn't
like lemonade? They have such a wide range of uses - besides
all the uses in foods, it is used as a bleach, removes odors
and prevents other fruits from turning brown after being cut
(oxidation). The oil is used in perfume, medicines and cleaning
products. We even like it on our wooden tables! (lemon Pledge)
It has a long list of disease fighting properties.
The monoterpenes in their skin help protect cells from becoming
cancerous and although it's only studied in mice, there is
reason to believe that it's helpful in humans as well. Lemons
have also been shown to help high blood pressure, insect bites,
migraine headaches, inflammation, influenza, sore throat,
asthma, heartburn, gout, diabetes, fevers, and dissolve gallstones.
It is also known for its cleansing and detoxifying abilityies.
It balances pH levels and promotes healing.
For all it's God given talents, little is
known about its origin and subsequent spread - although it
is believed to originate in northwestern India and brought
to this country by Columbus. Most of the lemons in the world
are grown in California, they produce fruit all year long
and one tree can bear as many as 3,000 annually.
The best way to get more juice out of a
lemon in to put them in hot water for 15 minutes and they
will yield nearly twoice as much juice! If you don't have
the time for that roll them back and forth on the counter
a few times for easier juicing. The best ones to chose are
those that have smooth brightly colored thinner skin with
no tinge of green. Medium to large sized lemons are generally
As for their nutritional value, while they
are very high in all sorts of phytochemicals their main benefit
is Vitamin C and a little A. They are also high in essential
- Calories 22
- Total Fat 0 grams
- Carbohydrates 12 grams
- Vitamin A 32.4 IU
- Vitamin C 83.2 mg
- Calcium 65.9 mg
- Fiber 5.1 grams
- Iron .8 mg
- Potassium 157 mg.
- Copper .3 mg.
That's it for this month! As always,
check out our website for lots more information at www.oonahealth.com.
In Good Health,
The Oöna Team
Questions or comments? Write firstname.lastname@example.org