Emotional Stress Directly Predicts Heart Attack… 10 Ways To Prevent It

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Finally, a medical study explains why there is a direct correlation between stress and heart attack.

It turns out, increased brain activity in the area of emotional processing (the amygdala) directly increases the risk of cardiovascular events.

 

This study is the first to show that increased amygdala activity in humans strongly predicts cardiovascular events such as stroke, heart attack and angina.

The amygdala is responsible for processing emotions, survival instincts and memory.

That about sums up how stress feels: it’s an increased emotional load, a feeling of being overwhelmed when trying to navigate the situation, and traumatic memories from the past get linked up with traumatic present experiences — which all serve to increase the metabolic activity in your amygdala.

 

The Study (published Jan 11, 2017 in Lancet):

  • 293 patients underwent full body PET/CT scans at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, MA
  • Resting metabolic activity in the amygdala, bone marrow and arterial walls were measured
  • Increased resting metabolic activity in the amygdala was strongly correlated with increased bone marrow activity, increased arterial inflammation, and increased risk of cardiovascular events (stroke, MT, or angina) during an average follow up period of 3 1/2 years.

 

In a follow up study, researchers examined 13 patients with PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) who underwent PET scans and filled out a Stress Scale Questionnaire (PSS-10)

They found that high levels of self rated stress correlated with increase in amygdala activity, higher levels of arterial inflammation, and higher levels of the blood inflammatory marker: C-reactive protein.

The bottom line:

 

Based on these studies, researchers now believe that it is actually the brain activity of the amygdala (and emotional stress in particular) that links stressful events with cardiovascular disease — causing increased hemopoietic tissue activity (in the bone marrow, where blood is made) and increased vascular inflammation, both which directly increase cardiovascular disease and up the risk of stroke, heart attack and angina.  They believe that it is this increased activation of the amgydala area of the brain that raises the risk for heart disease and stroke.

Chronic emotional stress raises the baseline metabolic rate of this particular area of the brain, and strongly and directly raises the risk factor for cardiovascular events.

 

The link between stress and heart attack, stroke, and angina is so pronounced that researchers are advocating stress levels to be considered an independent risk factor for heart disease, along with other cardiac risk factors such as age, smoking history, and family history of heart disease.

Further proof:

 

A study published just last year (April 5, 2016 in Circulation) shows that this idea has real world applications.
Researchers followed over 150 patients who were assigned to have cardiac rehab care following a cardiac event, and found that by adding stress management skills into their cardiac rehab program they were able to slash the rate of future cardiac events in a 5 year follow up period IN HALF!

So if addressing stress reduces the risk of subsequent heart attack by 50%, now we know why: stressful brain activity is directly correlated with cardiovascular events.

Reduce the stress response in the brain, reduce heart disease in the body.

 

So today, here are 10 actions can you take today to decrease stress even on the most stressful day of your life:

 

1. Reconnect with nature.

 

All you have to do here is walk out your front door, step out of your office, or stop driving and step out of your car.

To reconnect with nature is to reconnect with wonder.

 

Whether it’s just a few deep breaths as you sit on a patch of grass, simply taking a walk through a local park, or full on spending a night under the stars… reconnecting with the wonder of being a human being standing on a rock that spirals through space and seeing the earth for the vast support network it is can’t help but lift your spirits for the better.

The health benefits of grounded — simply touching the earth — are immediate.  Brain activity on EEG immediately responds and becomes less stressful, C-reactive protein levels drop over time, and sleep becomes deeper and more restorative.

 

The power of nature can hold even your worst of days

and remain an immovable source of strength.

 

 

Don’t believe me?

The next time you are having a panic attack, or a pounding headache, or a knot of worry grow in your stomach, just go outside.  Get out there.  Don’t force anything, just start walking and let nature work its magic.

And consider sleeping grounded all night long to help you recover from the stress of the day.

If you have a high stress job and are interested in protecting yourself from stress in the work place you absolutely can ground your body there too.

Resting your hands on a grounding mat while you use your computer, wearing grounding socks under your shoes, or putting a grounding patch anywhere on your body will help decrease inflammation and offset the effects of prolonged stress on your health.

 

Hop over here to see more options to be grounded both indoors and out!

 

Want to find out more about why grounding to the earth heals your body?

Watch this award winning film short “Down To Earth” (featuring Dr. Sinatra, Dr. Mercola, and Dr. Laura Koniver — that’s me!) right here.

It’s only 15 minutes long and has already won IndieFest awards, the California International Shorts Festival and more!

 

2. Focus on Spirit.

 

This is something shown over and over again in the medical literature — the power of prayer to affect clinical outcome is a beautiful fact.

The surest way I know to alleviate stress and suffering is to find meaning in it.

 

Whether it’s through mediation, personal prayer, asking friends and family to pray for you, cultivating your own sense of spirit surrounding and supporting you — these are all such important ways to alleviate stress.

 

The divine support system is around you, surrounding you, whether you are able to feel it or not.

Never fear that. Nothing is required of you.

 

But calling on the power of prayer and connecting with that reservoir of love is an instant boost that strengthens you and changes outcome, no doubt about it.

Need some more inspiration?

Man's Search For MeaningRead Man’s Search For Meaning, by Viktor E. Frankl.

He is a concentration camp survivor who writes beautifully about how the people who survived these horrific conditions were not the strongest, or youngest, or even the healthiest… they were the ones who found meaning in what they were going through.

Finding a deeper, spiritual meaning in what you are going through is — in and of itself — enough to decrease the stress of the experience you are going through.

 

 

3. Music.

 

My kids will tell you that if I am really grumpy, all we have to do is hop in the car and turn on the radio and within a few songs, all of a sudden I don’t feel so stressed out.

In fact, I feel optimistic and grateful and filled with the same sense of wonder and possibility that I feel when I spend time in nature.

The power of music to wash through you and lift you is amazing.

 

If you are feeling stressed or depressed, especially if you can not leave your current surroundings (perhaps you are in the hospital or your office or your car…) slip on some music and allow it to sweep through your soul and lift you higher.

Music is universal and can meet you wherever you are.

 

 

4. Reach out to your support system.

 

There IS a support system around you, even if you don’t think you have a friend in the world.

I know I didn’t fully realize how many people I had, providing back up support in my life, until I went through a personal crisis.

Some of my most meaningful sources of support were from people I had never ever met before — like the manager at my local bank and the complete stranger who came to pick up some furniture I got rid of as we downsized our belongings.

Both of these people forever changed my life.

Both of these people are angels living on earth.

And don’t even get me started on the unbelievably generous neighbors, friends and family that I actively leaned on for support.

I hold so many people in my heart and I am so full of gratitude to them all that I know I’ll never be able to properly return the favor… instead I yearn to pay it forward in service and in gratitude for them for the rest of my days.

If you are having a stressful crisis, ask for help.

 

Ask your neighbor, ask your family, ask your friends.

 

If you have none of the above, go out into the world asking for help to show up — go to the park, go to your bank, go to the grocery store, go to the thrift shop.

Angels are out there waiting to embrace and help you.

 

5. Move.

 

A symbolic fresh start during times of stress can help you move on towards healing and help usher in new, positive and hopeful energy instead of feeling stuck.

 

This might mean it feels right to literally move, relocate, and start a fresh chapter of your life.  A new living space, a new job, a new healthier environment, new resources to surround you, a move to a more walkable community, a living arrangement that takes financial stress off of you… lots of options when redesigning a fresh start.

But even if it is impossible to move, you can go through your current living space with the idea of bringing in fresh energy — freshening up the plants in each room, rearranging whatever furniture you can, adding a mirror or two and burning candles of light in the evenings to help create a new flow of light through old, dark and depressing spaces.

Even if you can’t do anything to change your physical surroundings, creating a symbolic gesture in order to usher in a new start is so very important.

From going outside to take a deep breath of air, to lighting a smudge stick, to ringing a bell and setting a new intention for the space you are in, do something to break the illusion that you are stuck.

You are not stuck.

You are a new person every single day and every moment within that day.

 

When our physical surroundings don’t change, especially in the midst of great stress, you can get caught up in the illusion that your situation is permanent and hopeless.

 

This is not so… there is always an ebb and a flow of energy through every situation no matter how unchanging it appears on the surface.

 

candle1

 

The illusion that things never change can mentally hold you in a place of worry.

Release this by making small changes to your living space

changing the energy of the room you are in

physically leaving the space you are in for a breath or two

lighting candles/incense/sage smudging

ringing  bells and chimes

bring in new lighting

adding a mirror

bringing in a new plant…

…whatever it takes to feel the energy shift in your space and remind you that nothing…

…NOTHING…

…stays the same forever.

 

 

6. Gratitude and compassion

.
This is a no-brainer — one of the gifts of going through suffering is that you can witness and hold other people’s suffering so much more fully.

 

Compassion and gratitude for the journey and knowing that others have made it through ordeals much much MUCH worse can really help instill hope to your own journey.

 

Knowing the darker side, leaning into it, persevering through it, witnessing with compassion what others have gone through… all of these things make traveling your own dark night feel less lonely and more optimistic in the sense that you KNOW you will reach the other side.

You WILL reach the other side.

Focus on witnessing suffering in others around you and holding compassion for the entire yin and yang of it all, the darkness and light of the world… the richness here is a different twist on helping to find meaning in suffering and the gift here is being able to open your heart even wider then you thought possible before.

 

 

7. Sleep.

 

Studies have shown that sleep deprivation is even harder to bear on folks with anxiety or stress.  If you are going through a time of great stress, it is more important than ever before in your entire life that you sleep well.

 

You MUST SLEEP in order to recover from the stress of the day and the stress of the situation.

 

It is possible to treat anxiety solely through increasing the quality of your sleep.

Read this blog post for more ideas on increasing sleep quality!

 

8. Body work.

 

The feeling of worry and stress and anxiety is often the stress of energy that is accumulating in the body without release.

I know I personally feel this as a ball of pressure right in my solar plexus, but it’s different for everyone.

Irritability, crying, headaches, diarrhea, nausea, tension, muscle stiffness, decreased or increased appetite, weight loss or gain, insomnia… often these all represent energy that just needs to be released to make room for the natural healing process and health/hope to return.

 

If you are feeling stuck and in need of physical release, do any or ALL of the following to help assist your body in letting go of old traumas:

  • deep stretches

  • yoga

  • long walks

  • massage

  • heat (hot water bottles are the best!)

  • water (in the form of showers or baths, as well as increasing hydration by drinking lots of water!)

  • acupuncture

  • qigong

  • tai chi

  • reiki

9.  Add supplements to reduce stress and protect heart health:

1.  fish oil — omega 3 fatty acids offer a calming effect on the brain

2.  probiotics — the link between the body and mind starts in our gut

3.  resveratrol for long term heart health

4.  and trace mineral drops to support heart function (including the very important mineral magnesium!)

 

 

10.  Learn more about how to support the health of your heart from an energetic perspective.

 

What can you do to protect the longevity of your heart medically, spiritually, emotionally, energetically?  If you can only do one thing to reduce stress on your heart, it’s simply to understand your heart better.

In this blog post I tell you everything you you need to know about how your heart functions both medically and emotionally, and give you a wonderful list of everything you can do protect the strength of your heart and deeply support its function on all levels.

 

I hope this list of 10 things you can do to decrease stress and improve your state of health… even in the middle of great personal turmoil… is helpful to you and a blessing of some ideas to consider.

Offered with much love…

xoxox, Laura

 

P.S. — want more ideas?

 

Watch this video I created right in the middle of the hardest year of my life (i.e. I look like crap but that is OKAY with me because I survived!  Then thrived!!)

I filled it with the very techniques I used to make it through….

I found 5 things really helped to center me again and again and again, whenever I needed the strength…

And I share them with you right here.

 

 

Fat Shaming Causes Disease… But It Doesn’t Have To

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weight

Fat shaming (not obesity itself!) directly increases a person’s risk for metabolic syndrome and subsequent health issues, a new study finds.

 

And why is there fat shaming in the first place?

As I will go over below, there is an incredible wealth of medical research showing that having a higher BMI is actually advantageous to longevity, so there really is no need for our society to have an obesity bias to start with!

Certainly dropping this attitude and reducing the internalized stress associated with weight will decrease diabetes risk, heart disease risk and the rate of metabolic disease in general, as shown in this study published Jan 26, 2017 in Obesity.

 

The Study:

  • 159 patients with an average BMI of 41.1 kg/m2 were clinically assessed through blood pressure, waist circumference, fasting glucose, trigycerides, HDL cholesterol at baseline, and treatment for hypertension, dyslipdemia and prediabetes.
  • 32% of study participants were found to have metabolic syndrome
  • Patients were assessed using the Weight Bias Internalization Scale and Patient Health Quesstionnaires to determine how much each patient internalized weight related stigma.

 

The Results:

  • Researchers found that participants who internalized stress from weight-related stigma were over 40% more likely to have metabolic syndrome than participants who did not internalize stigma.
  • These results were independent of the actual degree of obesity and other confounding issues such as depression.
  • Weight stigma was found to cause a direct physiological stress response in the body, elevating blood pressure and increasing the body’s inflammation.
  • Researchers conclude that weight stigma alone is a form of chronic stress that creates physical disease when internalized.

 

These results show it is not the weight itself, but rather the stress that our society places on larger sized individuals and their internalization of that stress, that increases the risk of metabolic syndrome and puts them at higher cardiovascular risk than they would otherwise have.

This is totally unnecessary.

If the stress of being overweight was reduced, so would the disease burden.  

 

And not only that, but having a larger Body Mass Index (BMI) has been shown to actually be advantageous to longevity, allowing folks to survive everything from life threatening infections to some forms of cancer better than counterparts with a lower BMI.

And now an even more recent study reveals that older people in excellent physical health — called the “well-derly” — actually have higher smoking rates and higher BMI’s than expected.

 

That’s right — a study (presented March 3, 2017 at the 10th Future of Genomic Medicine Conference) focusing specifically on people 80 years old and older who are free of all common chronic diseases and in excellent health…

…found that they smoked more than the general public and that many had higher BMIs as well!

 

 

Hallelujah — finally a medical study trying to figure out what people do *right* to preserve excellent health for a lifetime, instead of looking at what they are doing wrong.

When you turn it around to look at survival and why some folks are disease free well into their ninth decade of life and beyond, you get some very interesting and important answers.

Part of an ongoing study called the Healthspan Project (which I will absolutely keep you updated on because I am all about positive, uplifting health guidance!) researchers looked at healthy elders and analyzed them for genetic markers of disease.

What they found is that the elderly who were healthy had the exact same rates of genetic markers that would predict disease as the rest of the population.

 

In other words, it’s not that the “well-derly” didn’t have BRCA mutations and other genetic markers of disease, but in fact, they have the same genetic mutations at the same rate as the general population are just are not actually manifesting disease expression.

 

Studies like these are so important, because it’s not just longevity but actually healthspan — how long someone lives in optimal health — that give us the most important clues on how to support our innate health potential.

This study showed that healthy elderly participants had the same rates of genetic risk factors for diabetes, cancers and stroke as the general population, yet remained disease free.

And when looking at why, the results were just as surprising, because when compared with the general population, the smoking rates were actually higher for men (61% smokers as opposed to 54% in general population) and equivalent for women (42% vs 43%.)

 

 

The well-derly did exercise more (67% exercised compared to 44% of the general population) but their BMI was not uniformly lower — there were many wellderly with a BMI of 30 kg/m2 or higher.

Why?

 

I’ve blogged in the past about several important studies that show that having a larger Body Mass Index (BMI) can actually be advantageous to longevity…

…allowing folks to survive everything from life threatening infections to some forms of cancer… better than counterparts with a lower BMI.

Researchers looked at two very large databases, examining body mass (Body Mass Index — BMI) and metastatic renal (kidney) cancer survival rates. (published Oct 2016 in the Journal Of Clinical Oncology)

They found that obesity actually predicted improved survival in metastatic cancer… improving both the progression free survival rate and the over all survival rate!

Researchers looked at over 1,900 patients from the International Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma Database Consortium and another 4,600 + patients from kidney cancer clinical trials over a ten year period… from 2003 to 2013 (over 6,500 patients total!) Patients in the higher BMI category survived approximately 38% longer and had longer remissions than those with lower BMIs.  Surviving almost 40% longer, especially with metastatic cancer, is a very big deal.  Stage 4 (metastatic) renal cancer carries a 5 year survival rate of only 8%.  Extending survival by up to 40% is more than any single chemotheraputic agent has ever been able to do with this disease.

 

The Bottom Line:

Higher BMI patients have markedly better survival rates for metastatic renal cancer than lower BMI patients.

 

 

The fact that obese patients have better outcomes in metastatic cancer is a real thing — these studies have large patient numbers, are reproducible in different cohorts, and are statistically significant.

Of course, anything that shows there is a WIDE diversity to what is considered a “healthy weight” is totally hidden by the media.

That makes sense, as the weight loss industry is a 20 BILLION dollar industry IN THE UNITED STATES ALONE!!!  So, of course the media wouldn’t want you to actually feel good about your current weight or feel there was any advantage in the slightest to having a higher BMI.

But the truth is, this isn’t the only medical study to show survival advantages in having a higher body mass index.

 

Published in August 2014 in Critical Care Medicine, an important medical study proves mildly obese patients have yet another survival advantage:  surviving lift threatening infections.

 

The researchers looked at the date of over 1,400 elderly people hospitalized with severe sepsis (requiring ICU care) and compared their body mass index (BMI) with clinical outcome 1 year after discharge.

The results revealed a 25% improved mortality rate in severely obese, obese and overweight patients compared to normal weight patients… proving that heavier weight allows the body to survive overwhelming bacterial infections, even at advanced age.

 

The bottom line:

Obesity seems to have a survival advantage in advanced age, trauma, and serious illness…

…and even in metastatic cancer.

 

Researchers further acknowledge that “small excess amounts of adipose tissue may provide needed energy reserves during acute catabolic illnesses, have beneficial mechanical effects with some types of traumatic injuries, and convey other salutary effects that need to be investigated.”

Effects like surviving cancer, surviving infections… and surviving in general.

Because here is another medical study you are unlikely to have heard about, but it is true.

 

Published January 2, 2013 in JAMA:  

After looking at data on almost 3 MILLION people, researchers found that if you are overweight you actually have LESS over all risk for dying then someone in the “normal” weight category.

 

And even if you are mildly obese, up to BMI of 35%, you have a death rate that is exactly the same as people in the “ideal weight” category (check out the chart below to figure out where you fall.)  Only severe obesity was associated with an increased risk for death.

This study was a meta-analysis of 97 different published studies that included more than 2.88 million participants. 

Compared to ideal weight individuals, overweight individuals had LOWER mortality rates than ideal weight participants, and those with Grade 1 obesity had no increased risk (having roughly identical death rates as the ideal weight participants.)

Only participants who had a BMI of 35 kg/m2 or HIGHER (significantly into the pink zone on the chart below) had significantly higher mortality rates:

 

BMI Chart created by Vertex42.com. Used with permission.

 

So… if losing those last 10 pounds isn’t actually going to help you live longer… what defines your “ideal weight”?

What defines your ideal weight is how you *feel* wearing the body you wear each day:

your energy level,

your flexibility,

your capacity to get around,

to get outside,

and to enjoy the things you want to enjoy each day.

 

When you are in balance energetically your body will choose the weight range that is ideal for you, so purposefully trying to gain weight into the overweight range or lose weight into the underweight range doesn’t support your energetic health best, unless this range is your natural balance.

 

The take home message here is that if you are told you are overweight, this does not mean you should be focusing on losing weight.

 

The real focus should ALWAYS BE on feeling as healthy and vibrant as possible.

 

This means focusing on muscle tone.

On heart strength.

On endurance.

On lung capacity. 

On bone mass. 

On energy levels. 

On restorative sleep at night. 

On happiness. 

On quality time with loved ones. 

On meaningful relationships. 

On spiritual strength.

 

 

This is what the Wellderly are focusing on and what we should be focusing on too.

 So my recommendation is NO ONE should be focusing exclusively on weight…

…and now you have the science to back that up.

xoxox, Laura

 

 

Sleep: An Easy Way To Prevent Asthma

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A new medical study revealed that there is a huge association between insomnia and asthma…

…which is good news, because that means there are tons of holistic, simple, supportive things you can do today to decrease your risk of asthma.

The Study:

(published Feb 1, 2017 in the European Respiratory Journal.)

 

  • Researchers followed over 17,000 patients in a long term study over the span of 11 years.
  • Patients were ages 20 – 65 years old
  • Patients had data collected to analyze sleep quality, patterns of sleep, difficulty with going to sleep or staying asleep, and asthma symptoms including severity and frequency of asthma attacks.

 

The Results:

  • Patients who had any difficulty falling asleep had an average of a 65% significantly higher risk of subsequently developing asthma as an adult.
  • Patients who experienced difficulty falling asleep routinely had an even higher risk.  The risk rose to 95% if they had difficulty falling asleep once a week.
  • The risk rose even more if the patients had difficulty falling asleep on most nights…. a 108% significantly higher risk of developing asthma as an adult.
  • The longer the insomnia, the higher the risk.  Patients that had 10 years of struggling with insomnia had a 3 TIMES the risk of developing asthma as an adult.

 

The Bottom Line:

Long term insomnia TRIPLED asthma risk.

Turns out high quality sleep is crucial to long term respiratory health.

 

 

So why is this good news?

Because on top of seeking medical care for asthma, there are tons of things you can do on your own to prevent asthma, and one way is as easy as getting a good night’s sleep.

Advice you are not likely to hear at your conventional medical office… but one that is based on sound medical literature.

And there are other ways too!  No longer do you need to approach asthma with only a Rx and nothing else to guide you.  Here are six very effective ways to approach supporting your lungs from all angles:

 

6 Holistic Ways to Decrease Your Asthma Risk:

  1.  Banish insomnia by sleeping grounded.

  2. Treat insomnia with this holistic insomnia relief kit, developed directly from the medical literature proven to help you naturally fall asleep!

  3. For other holistic ways to treat insomnia — watch this video I created for you

  4. Take this supplement, that is medically proven to decrease asthma flares.

  5. Adopt a pet.  Did you know pets actually decrease asthma risk?  Here’s a medical study that proves it.

  6. Get inspired through positive imagery.  The painting I painted to support lung health.

 

xoxoxo, Laura

 

Teens Who Eat Fruit Lower Their Breast Cancer Risk

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A new study reveals that teens who eat 3 servings of fruit a day have a 25% decreased risk of breast cancer as an adult, compared to teens who eat less than one serving of fruit a day.

 

Published in the BMJ on May 11, 2016, this study shows that fruit has a preventive effect in preventing breast cancer and that specifically consuming fruit as an adolescent is even more important than consuming them as an adult.

The Study:

 

  • Researchers examined date from over 90,000 premenopausal female patients (ages 27 – 44 years old)
  • Over 44,000 patients reported their dietary intake of fruit and vegetables as teens in 1991 as well as 1998, and over 3,200 women went on to develop invasive breast cancer, diagnosed by pathology.
  • Patients were followed for over 22 years, and invasive cancer rates were examined in relation to their reported fruit and vegetable consumption as teens.

 

The Results:

  • Patients who consumed the highest amount of fruits as a teen (roughly 3 servings a day) had a 25% drop in risk for developing breast cancer as an adult than those who consumed the lowest amount of fruit (less than one serving a day.)
  • Adult consumption of fruit did not reduce risk, indicating that the timing of fruit consumption as a teen is important.
  • 25% less cases of invasive breast cancer simply from consuming fruit in adolescence represents a HUGE amount of breast cancers that can be prevented, as it is the most common female cancer worldwide.  With approximately 1.7 million new cases reported annually, this is a potential reduction of 425,000 cancer cases prevented each year.

 

fruit

Which fruits had the highest impact in preventing breast cancer?

 

 

Apples, bananas, grapes, oranges (and the vegetable kale!) were among the most beneficial.

 

And what if your teen doesn’t like fruit?

 

Adding a handful of berries to a smoothie, over ice cream, or into yogurt is an easy way to get fresh fruit into your teen’s diet.  Or, consider adding a blueberry extract supplement to their daily diet.

 

Other nutrients that have been shown to help prevent cancer are Vitamin D (as I blog about here) so request to have your teen’s Vit D levels tested and consider a bioavailable fat emulsified Vit D supplement.

 

Or… you could drink your cancer prevention.  If you have a teen that likes tea, drinking green tea daily, as I blog about here, is effective at preventing several different types of cancer, including breast cancer.  And if your teen doesn’t like drinking green tea, consider a green tea supplement if you have a strong family history of breast cancer and are concerned about your daughter’s risk.

 

What non-dietary actions can help prevent breast cancer?

 

and

 

This study is really important to be aware of, because a ton of research has been poured into studying adult diets and cancer prevention or recovery…

…but this is one of very few studies that prove that dietary intake as a teen has a major, dramatic effect on cancer prevention and that it is specific to consumption during adolescence, not as an adult.

To your child’s long term, vibrant health!

xoxoxo, Laura

 

xoxo

 

P.S. — looking for more ways to support your teen?

Check out these other articles I have written for more inspiration!

  • Mood Support:  Medical research shows that teens moods impact their lifespan — here’s how to support a good mood for your child.

  • High Quality Sleep:  Poor sleep actually makes children gain weight abnormally — here’s what you need to know to support a good night’s sleep for your child.

  • Stop Bullying:  Bullying causes psychological harm well into adulthood — here are three ways to protect your child from trauma.

 

 

 

 

 

Increase Bone Density, Drop Body Fat With Yogurt

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Glass of milk with sliced fruit on plate sitting next to a wooden spoon on place mat and fruit salad in the background, close-up, tilt, selective focus

 

A new study, presented at the American Society of Bone and Mineral Research’s Annual Meeting (September 18, 201) showed that all it takes is consuming yogurt to make an impact on bone density and body mass index.

 

The Study:

  • Researchers looked at over 700 post-menopausal women who underwent bone density assessment at baseline and again 3 years later
  • Food intake and physical activity were also assessed
  • Yogurt consumption was categorized as never consumed, consumed less than once a day, or consumed once a day or more.

 

The Results:

  • Patients who consume yogurt had greater bone density and less cortical bone loss over time than patients who never ate yogurt.
  • On top of this, the percentage of body fat and the body mass index of patients who consumed yogurt were lower than patients who did not consume yogurt.
  • These results were completely independent of dietary calcium intake and physical activity… the bone strength and BMI differences were statistically significant just from the yogurt alone.

 

 

Man flexing bicep, skeleton visible, close-up (Digital Composite)

 

Patients consuming yogurt had 6.5% leaner bodies, 4.4% greater bone density and about at 10% less fracture rate over time.

And this boost helped protect against bone loss over time.

At the three year bone mineral density follow up, the patients who never consumed yogurt had an average bone mineral density loss of 0.1% each year, whereas the patients who consumed yogurt increased their bone strength…

…up to a 0.6% increase in bone density each year

 

So the fermented dairy product, rich with probiotics, helped increase bone strength, protect bones over time, keep body fat lower and lower BMI measurements totally independently of any other factor that could account for these differences, such as exercise or total calcium intake.

This study comes on another study which revealed that consuming dairy actually helps decrease diabetes risk!

 

Screen Shot 2017-02-15 at 9.31.47 AM

Want more tips on preventing and even reversing osteoporosis?

Hop over here to watch a quick video that I recorded moments after attending an annual symposium on osteoporosis…

…in it, I tell you how to holistically protect your bones for a lifetime.

 

To your body’s inner strength and resilience…

xoxoxox, Laura

 

Light Therapy Quickly Improves Libido

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boyfriend

 

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, so today’s medical study reveals a simple tip for boosting libido!

Woot!

 

New research (presented at the 29th European College of Neuropsychopharmacology Congress on September 19, 2016) shows that the same light therapy recommendation to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) can significantly improve sexual satisfaction in people with low desire after only 2 weeks of treatment!

While this study was on men, because light therapy is incredibly effective for females too, I truly believe that this would work for women with low sex drive and should be first line therapy for anyone with sexual dysfunction or low sex drive.

The Study:

  • Researchers studied 38 patients with a diagnosis of primary hypoactive sexual desire or sexual arousal disorder.
  • Patients were randomly assigned to receive either active light treatment or placebo light treatment.
  • Active treatment was a daily 30 minute exposure to a light box with UV filter upon waking each morning.
  • Placebo light treatment was the same exposure but with a neutral density filter to reduce the light exposure to .01% strength of the active therapy.
  • Patients were assessed clinically at baseline and after 2 weeks of daily AM light exposure, as well as through self assessments and blood samples to test any hormone response to light therapy.

 

The Results:

  • After only two weeks of light therapy, patients with the active light treatment had hugely significant improvements in sexual satisfaction compared to placebo.
  • After just two weeks, sexual satisfaction for active light therapy patients increased more than 3X over baseline (from a rating of 2 out of 10 to 6.7 out of 10)
  • Placebo light therapy users had no statistically significant improvement at all (from baseline of 2 out of 10 to 2.7 out of 10)
  • In addition, the testosterone levels of the patients receiving active light therapy rose by over 50% in just two weeks (from an average testosterone level of 2.1 ng/mL to an average of 3.6 ng/mL!)
  • In contrast, there was no change at all to testosterone levels in the placebo group.

 

sunshine

Why?

The lightbox is really just

mimicking mother nature.

 

Testosterone levels naturally decrease in the Northern Hemisphere from November through April, when they begin to rise again throughout the summer.   Pregnancy rates reflect that, with the highest conception in the summer months (peaking in June.)
  • In fact, as I recently blogged about here, getting some extra Vitamin D from sun exposure actually boosts fertility — doubling the rate of implantation of an embryo and boosting the pregnancy rate from 20% up to 31%.

 

I feel convinced that light therapy should be first line of treatment, before using Rx medications, in the treatment of all forms of depressive disorders and sexual dysfunction.

 

Light therapy can be used safely in conjunction with medical treatments (including Rx medications) so if you are on an anti-depressant or a drug to treat sexual dysfunction, augment your treatment with light therapy and it’s possible you can work with your physician to decrease the dose!

 

morningsun

Why mimic mother nature when you can

just go outside and join her?

 

As I recently reported to you, exposure to light outdoors actually lengthens life span and is one of the healthiest things you can do each day

— in fact, did you know that avoiding the sun has been medically proven to actually be more deadly than heavy smoking?  It’s true!

And that is not even counting the health benefits if you are actually grounded outside and touching the earth, which is  the other healthiest thing you can do!

 

DSC_0152

 

Want to learn more about that?

 

This week is the last week to sign up for my Earth Rx Online Healing Class, where I will answer every single thing you’ve ever wanted to know about grounding to the earth outside, and how you can use it to precisely address your specific health issue.

Sign up here and save your seat today!

 

When you get morning light exposure daily, your pineal gland benefits from exposure to natural light even when that light is cloudy or dim outside.

Make a habit of going out every morning immediately after waking up and grabbing a few minutes of daylight.

Better yet, take a warm cup of tea, hot water with lemon, or your AM coffee and sit on the earth grounded for 30 minutes (or take a nice AM walk!) and you will do more to prevent or treat mood disorders than taking drugs each day.

And now you know!

Light isn’t just for treating the winter blues — it’s our natural rhythm and something our body craves to help us feel our best (and our most romantic!) no matter what the season.

 

Forward this article to your lover and have a happy happy Valentines Day…

xoxxo, Laura

xoxo

 

 

ADHD Raises Suicide Risk More Than Depression Does

Posted

child

 

A new study (published Sept 19, 2016 in Pediatrics) found that children who die by suicide are more likely to have been diagnosed with ADHD than with depression.

 

The Study:

  • A national database tracked violent deaths from 2003 to 2012 in 17 different states
  • During the study period, there were 693 early childhood suicides

 

The results:

  • Children aged 5 to 11 years old who died by suicide were more likely to have been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD than with depression.
  • Almost 60% of suicide victims were diagnosed with ADHD, compared to only 33% having been diagnosed with depression.
  • Researchers feel that it’s possible that although suicide in early childhood is rare, those with ADD or ADHD may be more vulnerable to reacting impulsively (in this case, following through on suicidal thoughts) during interpersonal challenges.

 

While there has been a large drive to promote awareness about the link between suicide and depression, there so far has been no real push to illuminate awareness around an even bigger risk, and that is the link between suicide and ADHD.

So that’s why I bring it up here.  Knowledge is power.

Even though I generally only review medical literature topics that are uplifting, this is an important study for me to highlight.

 

And here’s why I’m discussing it: because there are lots of holistic ways to treat ADHD, which means there are lots of ways we can be preventing childhood suicide if we are brave enough to talk about it.

 

And I’m not talking about ADHD prescription medications.  In truth, there is very little data left that actually supports the use of these prescriptions, especially in light of the serious side effects they can cause.
pill
After looking at over 185 randomized control trials that evaluated the use of ADHD meds in over 12,000 children in the USA, Canada and Europe, the resounding answer was that the side effects are too severe and too common, and the benefits too minimal, to warrant prescribing these medications in childhood.

 

In fact, children on the ADHD medications had a 60% higher risk of trouble sleeping and a 266% greater risk for decreased appetite.

 

Even more alarming, another study published in the British Medical Journal (May 31, 2016) found that the stimulant methylphenidate (commonly prescribed for children to treat ADHD: Ritalin, Daytrana, Concerta) increases the risk of cardiac arrhythmias.

The increased risk for cardiac arrhythmia remained statistically significant no matter how long the child was on the medication… rising steeply to a 100% increased risk during the first 1 – 3 days after the start of the Rx.

 

There was also an increased risk of hypertension during the first week of being on the Rx and an increased risk of heart attack (myocardial infarction) starting a week after introduction of the Rx.

 

Bottom line: 

 

The minimal benefits were so incredibly inadequate to risk the very high rate of side effects that physicians are now being urged to curb use of these medications — a very surprising admission from the world of conventional medicine that maybe drugs are not the answer here!

So are there are other answers?  Things you can do holistically to support your child instead of medication?

Plenty:

 

1.  Good sleep helps with ADHD:

 

sleepingchild

Sleep problems have long been considered a hallmark of ADHD…

…leading to reduced quality of life, reduced level of functioning and reduced school attendance.

A study published on January 20, 2015 in the British Medical Journal, has found that even a simple, brief sleep intervention with ADHD children provides lasting benefits that lead to improved sleep and decreased ADHD symptoms.

 

The Details:

    244 families of children (aged 5 – 12 years old) with ADHD were given sleep hygiene counseling (setting a routine bedtime, removing electronics from the bedroom, avoiding caffeine, etc…) during two different consultations.
    The control group had the same aged children and the same diagnosis but control families received only routine clinical care and no sleep counseling.
    After only two sessions focused on supporting sleep, not only did the sleep problems improve, but the actual ADHD symptoms, quality of life, and even memory improved as well!
    There was a significant decrease in sleep problems, an increased average sleep duration time, a marked and significant decrease in ADHD symptoms, improved assessed working memory and recall, and parents and teachers both reporting improved behavior and improved daily functioning.

These improvements were sustained at both the 3 month assessment AND the 6 month assessment, showing that addressing sleep problems can lead to substantial and sustained benefits for children with ADHD, over and above the effects of any medical interventions or medications.

Want help getting your child deep restorative sleep tonight and every night?

sleeping baby

The answer is to sleep grounded.

Every single child (especially children with ADD, ADHD, or any sleep disturbances at all) should sleep grounded all night long to help prepare them to be resilient to whatever they may face the next day.

Here is the absolute best way to ensure your child sleeps grounded all night long, even through bed sheets and pajamas.

No other way even comes close.

Click here to find out more.

2.  Allow room for spontaneous activity in your children!

 

children

Wondering if sitting still at a school desk all day long is actually healthy for your child?

It’s not.

Wondering why this is still the mold we are trying to fit children into?

Me too.

Hop over here to read more about why prolonged sitting is so deadly and how to prolong your life (and your child’s life!) by getting up, moving about more and allowing them to get up and fidget more too!

 

3.  Use Omega 3 supplements instead of the Rx meds.

 

Close-up of sushi on plate

We’ve known for quite a while that Omega 3 fatty acids are absolutely fabulous for the body… especially the brain.

Fish oil (specifically Omega 3 fatty acids) literally calms the body from head to toe.

Everything, and I mean everything, works more smoothly in our bodies with fish oil… skin is calmer, hair is shiner and softer, our cardiovascular system is more resilient, our joints are more protected, our muscles get less sore and recover from stress and injury faster, our chances of senile dementia lessen… incidences of stroke and heart attack decrease… it’s just fabulous, whole-body-anti-inflammatory stuff.

The Journal of the Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry recently published the results that Omega 3’s were effective in treating ADHD.

 

The details:

Researchers studied over 700 children on Omega 3 supplementation and found a significant improvement in both measured inattentiveness and hyperactivity… as measured by clinicians and as reported by the parents of the children in the studies.

Previous research has shown that there is a difference in Omega 3’s in both plasma membranes and erythrocyte membranes of ADHD patients as compared with their healthy peers.   So supplementation would make sense, based on the fact that it would help rebalance and stabilize those membrane imbalances… as well as act as a general anti-inflammatory to the central nervous system at large.

Not only is this large meta-analysis study great news for families who have failed “conventional” medical approaches (meaning medicating them with Rx hasn’t worked) but also to families who are hesitant to risk the crazy toxic side effects offered from prescription meds.

And the side effect profile is a nice bonus:  Side effects like decreasing your child’s lifetime risk of heart attack and stroke… side effects like softer skin and hair and less inflammation throughout the entire body, including the brain. Possibly softer stools and burping, depending on dose.   If your child experiences softer stools from fish oil, you can just cut back on the dose.   For some of us more constipated souls, more regular, normal stools from fish oil are just another welcome side effect.

The prescription meds used to treat ADHD, both the stimulant drugs and non-stimulant drugs, have side effect profiles like hypotension, bradycardia, heart block, syncope, sedation, and somnolence.

These results are so exciting, because the effects seen from Omega 3 supplementation (and in particular, eicosapentaenoic acid) were seen to be effective in studies that were as short as 7 weeks long, which means Omega 3 supplements work quite quickly in helping treat ADHD.

You may notice a supportive difference as early as two months on fish oil supplements!

 

Good children’s Omega 3 supplements I recommend include:

 

bodyboost-omega-3-gummy-60-count-by-natures-dynamicsNature’s Dynamics Whole Food Gummy Omega 3s

or

nordic-omega3-gummy-worms-30-gummies-by-nordic-naturalsNordic Natural’s Omega 3 Gummy Worms

or

proomega-lemon-180-soft-gels-by-nordic-naturalsProOmega Junior Soft Gels

 

 

4.  Serve broccoli.

 

A small but important study showed that a component of broccoli and broccoli sprouts (sulforaphane) can help give autistic patients a significant boost to social skills and verbal communication… naturally!

Published Oct 13, 2014, researchers studied 40 males between the ages of 13 and 27… all who had moderate to severe autism.  26 received broccoli sprout extract (50 to 150 umol daily) and 14 received placebo and measured the results after 18 weeks.

 

The results were impressive — almost half showed measurable improvement in several different areas including social and verbal skills.

 

46 % of participants had measurably improved social and verbal skills after taking broccoli-sprout extract for over 4 months, compared to only 3% of the placebo group.  Benefits included: improved social interactions, improved eye contact, improved verbal communication, decreased repetitive movements, decreased irritability and decreased hyperactivity

Dietary sulforaphane (found in both broccoli and broccoli sprouts) is healthy and has a recognized low toxicity profile, so it appears to be very safe to recommend a broccoli rich diet to patients with Autism.  Hopefully this positive and encouraging but small study will be repeated on a larger scale, for a longer period of time, and with female autistic patients as well!

 

5.  Or… for adults, consider broccoli sprout supplements.

 

If you can’t routinely get broccoli into your diet but you want to increase your intake of sulforaphane, consider broccoli sprout supplements like these.  Ask your doctor before use in children.

 

 

To naturally supporting your child’s amazingly VIBRANT energy flow, and helping them navigate ADHD in childhood with loving support.

xoxoxox, Laura

 

reading

P.S.  Another great all natural treatment idea includes homeschooling!!!

 

I’m personally a big fan of homeschooling in general… and in particular, for children diagnosed with ADHD.

Boxing these bright and multi-focused children into a square isn’t the answer.  Removing the child from the square would remove the need to “medicate” in the first place.

Learning to live with and even thrive with each child’s own learning style and see it as a strength in the long run will help these unique children thrive in life.

Not all kids can learn sitting down.

Not all kids can learn straight from a textbook.

For years, my son ate most of his meals standing up.

Would I medicate him so he would sit to eat?

That would be insane.

Would I likewise medicate him so he would sit to learn?

Equal insanity.

My recommendation for ADHD children is to homeschool them, supplement with a child formulation of fish oil or other Omega 3 supplement, have them sleep grounded for the absolute highest quality sleep, and lots of healthy physical activity daily.