Saw Palmetto Extract: Nature’s Answer to Prostate Enlargement

The prostate is a single, doughnut-shaped gland about the size of walnut that lies below the bladder and surrounds the urethra. The prostate secretes a thin, milky, alkaline fluid which lubricates the urethra to prevent infection and increases sperm motility. Prostate...

Black Cohosh – Is There Really A Concern?

Black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa) is without question the most popular natural approach to menopausal symptoms. Its popularity has been increasing in part because of all of the negative press on Hormone Replacement Therapy. Specifically, last year the National...

The Healing Power of Proteolytic Enzymes

Proteolytic enzymes (or proteases) refer to the various enzymes that digest (break down into smaller units) protein. These enzymes include the pancreatic proteases chymotrypsin and trypsin, bromelain (pineapple enzyme), papain (papaya enzyme), fungal proteases, and...

Enzymes: Key to Powerful Anti-Inflammatory & Immune Support

Enzyme preparations are one of the most useful nutritional supplements available. Enzymes are molecules that speed up chemical reactions – they either help build new molecules or they split the bonds that join molecules together to break them into smaller units.In the...

OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS: Pharmaceutical Grade Marine Lipids

While most Americans eat way too much of the omega-6 oils found in meats and most vegetable oils, they suffer a relative deficiency of the omega-3 oils — a situation that is associated with an increase risk for heart disease and about 60 other conditions including...

Prenatal Nutrition:Optimal Nutrition Support During Pregnancy

Pregnancy obviously results in an increased need for vitamins and minerals. Deficiency or excess of any of a number of nutrients can lead to birth defects and/or complications during pregnancy for the mother. What is a mother-to-be to do? Here are some key...

Almonds

Almonds are a relative to the peach, apricot, and cherry. Classified into two categories, sweet and bitter, sweet almonds are the variety that is…

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Apricots

A member of the plum and cherry family, apricots are classified as a drupe, or a fleshy, one-seeded fruit enclosed as a pit. Apricots are thought to…

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Artichokes

Long considered a delicacy around the globe, artichokes are actually the unopened flower of a thistle like plant. Artichokes are one of the oldest…

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Arugula

Arugula has grown in popularity in recent years, becoming a frequent addition to salads. Its peppery and woodsy flavors provide this green with a…

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Asparagus

As a member of the lily family and originally cultivated in ancient Egypt, asparagus is a superfood rich in nutrition. Nutritional…

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Avocado

The avocado, also referred to as the alligator pear, can be divided into three main categories, West Indian, Guatemalan, and Mexican. In the United…

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Bananas

Bananas are the second leading fruit crop in the world. Although traditionally thought of as yellow, bananas can also be red, pink, purple, and…

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Beets

Beets are a unique vegetable as both the root and leaves are typically consumed. They originated in North Africa, and along Asian and European…

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Blueberries

Native to North America and Europe, there are over thirty different species of blueberries worldwide. Consumed by man since prehistoric times,…

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Broccoli

Developed from a European wild cabbage, broccoli is a member of the cruciferous family of vegetables. Ancient Romans and Italians have cultivated…

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Cabbage

Cabbage is a relative of broccoli, brussel sprouts, and radishes as a member of the cruciferous family of vegetables. Modern cabbage has developed…

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Cantaloupe

Cantaloupes are one of my favorites. Muskmelon, incorrectly referred to as cantaloupe, is one the five most frequently purchased fruits in the U.S. A…

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Carrots

Scientifically known as daucus carota, carrots originated in the Middle East and Asia. With over 100 varieties, they can vary in both size and color.…

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Cashews

One of the most beloved nuts is by far the cashew. This kidney-shaped nut is a relative of the mango and pistachio as a member of the anacardiaceae…

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Celery

Celery is a biennial vegetable, meaning it grows in a cycle of once every two years. While commonly thought of as light green, in Europe celery is…

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Chocolate

At the center of chocolate’s health benefits are flavonoids. These plant pigments are responsible for many of the health benefits of many fruits…

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Healing Facts - Corn

Corn

Corn has become the quintessential symbol of the harvest season. Almost everyone grew up hearing the story of Native Americans sharing their…

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Cranberries

In the days leading up to the Holidays, lets focus on traditional foods served at the year’s biggest meal. Cranberry sauce, weather the canned…

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Cucumbers

Although over 70% of them are made into pickles, cucumbers are nutritious and yummy in their own right. Cucumbers are a tropical plant that…

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Eggplant

Eggplants are a member of the nightshade family with potatoes and tomatoes. Although commonly thought of in a deep purple shade, eggplants also come…

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Endive - Healing Food Facts

Endive – Healing Food Facts

Endive is a chicory green that is today, much more popular in Europe than in the United States. Although its recognition is growing, it is still…

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Fennel

With its bulb and stalks, fennel is a member of the Umbelliferae family along with carrots and celery. Fennel has a distinct taste often compared to…

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Figs

There are over 150 different varieties of figs, varying dramatically in color from green and purple, to black. Because figs are extremely perishable,…

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Garbonzo Beans

Garbanzo beans go by many names, from chickpeas and Bengal grams to Egyptian peas. This unique legume has a nut like buttery taste and is a common…

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Garlic

Although garlic is extremely popular, few know that it is actually a member of the lily family. Garlic is a native to Central Asia, and as one of the…

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Ginger

Did you know that ginger is considered an erect perennial herb? Native to Asia, India, and China, ginger has been popular in these regions for…

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Glycemic Load of Foods Table

See my Glycemic Load of Foods Table here (opens new…

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Grapefruit

Named the “grapefruit” because it grows in clusters similar to grapes, nothing says summer quite like this citrus fruit. In fact, its Latin name,…

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Grapes

Having been consumed since prehistoric times as far back as 5,000 B.C.E., grapes were highly valued in ancient Greek and Roman civilizations for…

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Honeydew Melons

As a member of the curbitaceae family, honeydew melons are a relative of cucumbers and squash. It is thought that honeydews originated in Persia.…

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Kiwi

Kiwifruit is perhaps one of the most unique fruits. With its brown fuzzy skin, and bright green meat, there isn’t another comparable fruit. Kiwi is…

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Leeks

Leeks are a relative to the onion and garlic family, but are different as people consume their leaves rather than the bulb. They are a native to…

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Lemons

Although often thought of as sour, lemons actually are available in sweet varieties such as the Meyer lemon. Lemon trees are unique as they flower…

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Limes

Limes are a popular citrus fruit that can be either sour or sweet, depending on the variety. Originating in South-east Asia, limes were carried by…

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Maple Syrup

As the months grow cooler, a whole new flavor pallet is in season. One of many people’s fall favorites is maple syrup. Made by tapping the bark…

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Nutmeg

Nutmeg is the seed of a fruit similar to an apricot, grown on a tropical evergreen called the Moluccas. Native to the central Spice Islands of…

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Olives

Although most consider the olive a vegetable, its actually a fruit. Many consume green and black olives, the only difference between the two being…

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Onions

Did you know that the onion is a member of the lily family? Onions come in a wide variety of flavors, colors, and shape, which can be broken up into…

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Oranges

As one of the most popular fruits in the world, the history of the oranges dates back to ancient times. The first reference of oranges was found in…

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Papaya

As a native to Central America, the papaya is a tropical fruit with a soft consistency and sweet taste. The papaya became a favorite of Spanish and…

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Peaches

Did you know, that a nectarine is considered a smooth skinned peach? Native to China, peaches and nectarines were spread to the Middle East and…

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Pears

With Autumn officially upon us, the season of harvest is in full swing. One of the many new fruits in season are pears. Historic record of the pear…

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Peas

Peas come in three different varieties: garden, snow, and snap. The history of the pea is unknown, although it is believed that they originated in…

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Pecans

North American native to the Mississippi River valley, the pecan grows on a type of hickory tree that grows to a height of about 150 feet. Each tree…

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Pineapples

Pineapples were named for its resemblance of a large green pinecone, and its flavor profile, which is often compared to a mixture of apples,…

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Plums

Plums are a relative both the peach and almond. There are over 200 different varieties of plums, coming in a rainbow of colors from blue and purple…

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Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are a holiday classic. As a member of the nightshade family, potatoes are relatives of the tomato, eggplant and bell pepper.…

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Prunes

Prunes, or dried plums, originated near the Caspian Sea – the same area where European plums originated. As people migrated, so did prunes…

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Pumpkin Seeds

Continuing with our pumpkin theme, pumpkin seeds are another great fall favorite. Although sometimes discarded after carving pumpkins, many use them…

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Pumpkins

With Halloween just a few weeks away, pumpkins are in high demand. As a member of the winter squash family, pumpkins share similar nutritional…

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Raisins

Raisins are a common American snack made from dehydrated grapes. Ancient Phoenicians and Armenians worked to prefect the process of making raisins.…

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Raspberries

Did you know that raspberries are not just limited to the color red, but also come in a wide range of colors from black and orange to yellow and…

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Rye

One of the heartiest of the grains, rye is more nutritious than its cousin, wheat. Rye was originally a wild grass found in Central Asia.…

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Scallops

Scallops are a type of mollusk that has a wavy, scalloped, shell. When consumed, you are actually eating the ‘nut’, or the muscle used to open…

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Spinach

Spinach originated as a wild plant in Persia and East Asia and has been cultivated in China for over 2,000 years. Catherine de Médici brought…

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Sweet Potato

Sweet potato pie, casserole and other dishes, are frequently served at Thanksgiving dinner. A favorite of many, the sweet potato is not a member…

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Thyme

Thyme is a small evergreen shrub and member of the mint family. Native to the western Mediterranean, thyme has been utilized since ancient times for…

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Tofu

Behind soy sauce, tofu is the best-selling soy product in the United States. Tofu is made from soymilk by coagulating the soy proteins with calcium…

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Tomatoes

Did you know that there are over one thousand different varieties of tomatoes? Originating in central and South America, tomatoes were introduced to…

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Turnips

Turnips, as well as cabbage and broccoli, are a member of the cruciferous vegetable family. Cultivated over 4,000 years ago in Asia, turnips…

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Watermelon

Did you know that a watermelon can weigh upwards of 90 pounds? Watermelons are native to the Kalahari Desert of southern Africa. Depicted in…

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Zucchini

Considered a summer squash, zucchini are a member of the melon family. Other summer squash include crookneck, straightneck, and pattypan squash.…

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Welcome

On the Dr Oz show

DrOz-Sho569

On the show I discussed the failure of conventional medicine to address the underlying issues in many health conditions offering little more than drugs as biochemical “band aids.”

January is National GLAUCOMA Awareness Month

Glaucoma most often refers to the vision loss caused by increased intraocular pressure (IOP) as a result of greater production than outflow of the fluid of the eye (the aqueous humor). The normal intraocular pressure is about 10 to 21 mm Hg. In chronic glaucoma, the intraocular pressure is usually mildly to moderately elevated (22 to 40 mm Hg). In acute glaucoma, the intraocular pressure is greater than 40 mm Hg. Acute glaucoma is a medical emergency, fortunately it is the rarest form of glaucoma.

Chronic open-angle type glaucoma is by far the most common form. It accounts for about 70-75% of the approximately 3 million people in the United States who have glaucoma.

In some cases glaucoma develops in people with normal IOP. Referred to as low-tension glaucoma or normotensive glaucoma (NTG), this form accounts for approximately 25 to 30 percent of all glaucoma cases in the United States. NTG is more common in women than in men and affects adults averaging 60 years old. A common risk factor for NTG is low blood pressure.

Since many patients with glaucoma have no symptoms, it is important that regular eye exams be included in their annual checkup after the age of sixty. Glaucoma is a serious condition that requires strict attention.

What are the signs and symptoms of GLAUCOMA?

Since patients with the early stages of chronic glaucoma rarely have symptoms, it is important that regular eye exams be included in their annual checkup after the age of sixty. Chronic glaucoma can result in the gradual loss of peripheral vision resulting in tunnel vision.

Typical signs and symptoms of acute glaucoma include extreme pain, blurring of vision, reddened eyes, and a fixed and dilated pupil. Acute glaucoma is a medical emergency. If you are showing any signs of glaucoma, consult an ophthalmologist immediately. Unless adequately treated within twelve to forty-eight hours, an individual with acute glaucoma will become permanently blind within two to five days.

What causes GLAUCOMA?

The cause of glaucoma appears to be an abnormality in the composition of the supportive structures of the eye. Specifically, structural changes reflecting poor collagen integrity and function are the hallmark features of glaucoma. These changes lead to blockage in the flow of the aqueous humor and result in elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) readings.

What dietary factors are important in GLAUCOMA?

For chronic glaucoma, a generally healthful diet is recommended, with a focus on foods high in vitamin C and flavonoids, such as fresh fruits and vegetables. In addition, regular consumption of cold-water fish (e.g., salmon, mackerel, herring, and halibut) is also encouraged due to their high content of omega-3 fatty acids. Animal studies have shown that an increased consumption of omega-3 fatty acids can lower IOP.

Chronic glaucoma has been successfully treated by eliminating allergies. In one study, of the 113 patients exposed to a food or environmental allergen demonstrated an immediate rise in IOP of up to 20 mm, in addition to other typical allergic symptoms. To treat glaucoma by eliminating food allergens, follow the guidelines given in FOOD ALLERGIES.

What nutritional supplements should I take for GLAUCOMA?

Foundation Supplements. High potency multiple vitamin and mineral formula; Vitamin D3 2,000-5,000 IU/day; Fish oil, EPA+DHA 1,000 to 3,000 mg/day.

Vitamin C is necessary for proper collagen integrity. Vitamin C supplementation has been shown to lower IOP levels of glaucoma patients in many clinical studies. Although some people respond to as little as 2 grams per day, others may respond only to extremely high doses (35 grams per day). Abdominal discomfort is common when using high doses, but usually tapers off after three to four days. The ability of vitamin C to reduce the IOP lasts only as long as supplementation is continued.

Grapeseed extract contains flavonoids that enhance the effects of vitamin C and stabilize the collagen matrix. The citrus bioflavonoid rutin has also been demonstrated to lower IOP when used as an adjunct in patients who are unresponsive to glaucoma medications alone. Grapeseed extract is a better choice.

Magnesium supplementation lowers IOP in a fashion similar to that of popular drugs used in the treatment of glaucoma.  Magnesium works just like the drugs by blocking the entry of calcium to produce relaxation of the arteries. In fact, magnesium has been referred to as “nature’s calcium-channel blocker.” Magnesium supplementation improves the peripheral circulation and seems to have a beneficial effect on the visual field in patients with glaucoma.

Ginkgo biloba extract shows promise in the treatment of glaucoma. In one study of patients with severe chronic glaucoma, although the improvements in IOP were mild, given the poor prognosis for these patients the results were deemed relevant. The recommended dosage of ginkgo extract (24% ginkgo flavonglycosides) is 160 to 240 mg daily.

How Do I Know if the Recommendations are Working?

Periodic re-examination by your physician to measure intraocular pressure is important. If the recommendations above are working there should be a gradual improvement in visual function and a normalization of IOP.

 

For more information, please see the completely revised and updated 3rd edition of The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine.

Weekly Health Tip

Mind Your Ps and Qs

PQQ may be the perfect answer to preventing or reversing age-related mental decline.

kiwiPQQ (short for pyrroloquinoline quinone) is a vitamin-like compound found in plant foods that shows a wide range of benefits for brain function and energy production. Learn more about PQQ with the following Q&A.
What Exactly Does PQQ Do?

PQQ is an extremely potent antioxidant that is able to carry out the role of an antioxidant in the body more than 20,000 times—which is a rare thing. For example, other antioxidants, such as vitamin C, are only able to accomplish this “cycling” process about four times.
Are There Any Food Sources of PQQ?

PQQ has been found in all plant foods analyzed to date. Particularly PPQ-rich foods include parsley, green peppers, kiwi, papaya, and tofu. These foods contain 2–3 mcg of PQQ per 100 grams. Green tea provides about the same amount per 4-oz. serving. While these amounts appear to be sufficient in helping our cells carry out their basic functions, research indicates that boosting PQQ through supplementation can produce some amazing effects.

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