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The Health Benefits of Saffron

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from the desk of Dr Gail Wasserman

Crocus Sativus or Saffron is a prized spice known for its color, flavor and recently its extensive medicinal properties. The part of the plant that is used is the dried stigma or threads of the flower. Saffron belongs to Iridaceae (familyCrocus (genus) and known botanically as Crocus Sativus.

Most of us only know the culinary benefits of Saffron, but this spice has some amazing health benefits according to scientific studies.

7 Health Benefits of Saffron

Lowers Depression

19 million Americans have depression issues. There are too many medications that are treating this issue and we are still depressed. Studies say crocin and safranal, some of the important bioactive compounds in saffron, help modulate mood neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine.

Supports Healthy Weight Loss

Clinical studies have shown that higher levels of serotonin shown a direct influence on binges and cravings of unhealthy food. Saffron Extract has been shown in French studies to decrease hunger feelings between meals dramatically and modulate the appetite with only 88.25mg just twice a day. For those us that do some stress eating this could be the answer!

Soothes Upset Stomach

Eastern medicine has always used Saffron to help eliminate burning pain, heartburn and indigestion. Animal studies show that the crocin and safranal have strong antioxidant properties that help to prevent damage to the stomach inner lining or the gastric mucosa. If you have stomach issues or an ulcer what do you have to lose by supporting yourself with Saffron.

Supports Eyesight Preservation

The leading cause of blindness in the developed world today is AMD or Age-related Macular Degeneration. Studies have shown long term improvement in retinal function and cell death in those with AMD. The bioactive compounds from Saffron that are responsible for protecting the light sensitive cell and regulating the cell death are crocin (WOW) and crocetin.

Lowered Insulin Resistance

Crocetin a major bioactive component in Saffron is responsible for this health benefit that supports aging bodies or those folks with sugar issues. Animal studies support antioxidant and anti-inflammatory issues associated with the negative impact of insulin resistance on the body.

Supports the Heart and Cardiovascular System

Antioxidant and ant-inflammatory properties found in crocetin may promote healthy arteries and lower cholesterol according to studies. This may be the reason for the lower rates of cardiovascular disease in the Mediterranean countries according to researchers.

Improves Some PMS Symptoms

Premenstrual support right from your spice rack? Yes, saffron research has shown significant reduction in mood, behavior and pain during PMS. Saffron also supports the happy neurotransmitter Serotonin which seems to decrease during PMS.

There are so many benefits of Saffron that I could not write them all. Seems a Pure Saffron Standardized Extract  twice a day is an easy way to protect and support our bodies and even more importantly our minds!

References upon request

The Magic of the Ketogenic Diet and how Phase 2® Carb Controller® Can Help You Succeed

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Written by Dr Gail Wasserman

 New Year means new resolutions. Most of would like to do better with our diet and exercise plan for 2018. The hard part is knowing exactly how to improve and how to follow through, not just today but forever. Please give me a healthy way to eat that improves your numbers on a blood test and your numbers on the scale. That’s what we all want, right?

So what is a Ketogenic Diet?

Ketones are a byproduct of fat breakdown in the liver. When you limit the carbohydrates in your diet, body fat breakdown becomes the source of fuel for your body. This process makes ketones. Sugar doesn’t collect in the bloodstream and make deadly triglycerides and stored body fat. We all what to avoid that excess body fat and all those nasty artery clogging triglycerides, right?

What do you eat on a proper Ketogenic Diet?

  • Meat, including beef, lamb, poultry, turkey, fish, eggs etc.
  • Leafy veggies like lettuce, kale, spinach etc.
  • Vegetables that grow above the ground.  What I like to call the smelly veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage etc.
  • Dairy but only the full fat. No skim or low fat dairy products they are higher in carbs. Cream and whole fat cheeses are permitted.
  • Seeds and Nuts like pecans, macadamia, walnuts etc.
  • Berries are permitted like blackberries, and raspberry within reason.
  • Fats like Coconut oil, Olive Oil, high fat salad dressings avocado etc.

Sounds easy right?

Now for what you have to avoid. This is the HARD part sorry.

  • Grains of all kinds, even the “good” ones. Avoid corn, rice, oatmeal, cereal, pasta etc.
  • All fruit and fruit juices with the exception of whole berries. No bananas, oranges, peaches, watermelon etc.
  • No Sugars including agave, honey, syrup and raw sugar
  • Starchy veggies like the tubers, potato, yams winter squashes etc.

 

Benefits of a Ketogenic Diet

  • Weight loss. This new way of eating forces the body to be in metabolic mode. This means your body needs to use the fat for fuel as soon as the sugar and triglycerides get lower.
  • Blood Sugar Control. Science supports the use of this type of diet in pre-diabetes and type two diabetes with physician support.
  • Mental Focus. The brain LOVES ketones they increase mental focus and remove the fog.
  • Increased Energy. Using fat for energy is a more reliable and more stable energy source.
  • Cholesterol and Blood Pressure Benefits. Dramatic increases in HDL (good cholesterol) and decrease in triglycerides make for excellent cardiovascular benefits. (see the end of this article for actual cholesterol readings directly from my own blood tests)
  • Supports those with Epilepsy. Science shows they use less medication than those on traditional diets.
  • Reverses Insulin Resistance. Lots of research shows that insulin levels can be reduced to healthy levels.
  • Reduces Hunger. The food you are eating allows for less spikes in sugar and insulin so less cravings. Fat is much more satiating than carbohydrates so you stay full longer too.

 How do you know you are in Ketosis?

When you first start you will miss your “old friends” carbohydrates. You may feel tired in the beginning too. This will pass. If you stay on track you will first lose a lot the fluid in your body that comes with the carbs. All that bloat will be gone……and then if you stay consistent and the fat will follow. You will definitely urinate more. You can buy ketosis strips in the Health Food Store to be sure but if you stick to the diet you will know.

Supplement That May Help

Our clients find it helps especially in the beginning of the life change to use a CARB BLOCKER. White Kidney Bean Extract is an all-natural product that is clinically proven to delay the digestion and absorption of simple carbohydrates. Phase 2® Carb Controller®  is the extract from the white kidney bean clinically shown to reduce the digestion and absorption of starches by up to 66%.  Most studies show taking 1000mg or 2 caps before a meal can be beneficial to your goals.

Personal Testimonial for Ketogenic Diet

I have personally been eating a Ketogenic diet for about 10 years now. I have a family history of serious heart disease in both parents and my father has diabetes type two. Both paternal grandparents died prematurely of MI. I consider this type of diet a necessity in my life. Now I promised you all some numbers from my last lipid panel. (I should mention that I take medication for my thyroid and some bioidentical hormones. No other medication.)

Cholesterol, Total 181 mg/dL

Triglycerides 40 mg/dL

HDL Cholesterol 100 mg/dL

LDL Cholesterol 73 mg/dL

LDL/ HDL Ratio .7

Glucose 78 ng/dL

If you need extra help the Beyond Biology Doctors can also be your private ketogenic diet coaches. We can help you get started and make sure you are successful. Private phone consults are available with Dr Gail and Dr Stacey online we are happy to help!

 

Importance of Vitamin D Especially in the Winter

Vitamin D is a vital nutrient found in the body. The foods you will find it in are the fatty fish species like tuna, herring, sardines and mackerel. Not my favorites, how about you? The sun provides slightly above 80% of all the vitamin D in many people, but is that enough today? In the days of 50 SPF as standard to protect us from skin cancer, can you be absorbing enough? Vitamin D supplements are the best way to ensure everyone gets the optimal dose of Vitamin D for optimal health.

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There are so many important vitamin D benefits it is hard to list them all. Vitamin D inhibits inflammation markers and regulates antimicrobial peptides to support your immune system. Deficiency can cause common bone diseases such as osteomalacia, osteoporosis or osteopenia which is softening, weakening of bones, or bone loss. People experiencing bone disorders can experience pain and their limbs can easily break even in minor accidents. Vitamin D also boosts calcium absorption levels in the body thus protecting patients of kidney dysfunctions from bone loss.

Adequate intake of Vitamin D through frequent exposure to the morning sunlight and clinically proven supplement support ensures that you are guarded against diabetes, high blood pressure, rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, asthma, obesity, premenstrual syndrome, multiple sclerosis, bronchitis and other respiratory conditions. Low Vitamin D levels also may be linked to critically ill children according to studies from children’s hospitals in Canada.

Studies have pointed to the ability of Vitamin D to fight against cancer causing organisms and skin ailments such as lupus. Breast, prostate and colon cancer are among many cancers being studied for Vitamin D benefits. Some supplements are directly applied to the skin in case of conditions such as psoriasis. Vitamin D is essential in boosting the general immunity of the body which may be of vital importance in this bitter cold we are having all over the country. Who could not use this type of support for themselves and their family?

*It is important to undertake the 25 OH (hydroxy) Vitamin D blood test to gauge the levels of vitamin D in your body. This type of test differs from the 1,25(OH)₂D test. This can be done at any certified institution that provides laboratory services. *

According to the Vitamin D Council, you are considered to have a deficiency if your results return 0-39ng/ml. The optimal levels are put at 40-80ng/ml.

The council advises that you take supplements of about 2,000 IU/day-10000 IU/day in order to maintain an above 40ng/ml level. Levels above 150ng/ml are considered too high, which means you have to reduce your intake. You should consult your doctor before beginning on supplements because there are health conditions that do not allow. Doctors also advise most people to use Vitamin D3 supplements in olive oil for better absorption and to take on a regular basis for more vitamin D benefits. For more information on high quality Vitamin D3 for you and your family please call us at 888-908-0804.

Probiotics for Immune, Brain and Digestive Health

The human body has almost 100 trillion bacteria carried in its gut. That is at least 10 times the cells in your whole body! So there are a lot….now let me explain why they are so important. Research has shown that certain gut bacteria influence the immune system. About 50% of the body’s immune response comes from immune cells in the gut. Probiotics are the good bacteria that keep your gut healthy and happy; supporting digestion, immune functions and absorption of your nutrients.

 

Probiotics enhance the naturally occurring intestinal flora and maintain the balance of the microbiota. Studies on the gut flora have shown support of organs that seem far out of the influence of the gut, like the brain health. People should be actively seeking source of good bacteria to support many aspects of digestive, immune and brain support.

 

To Spore or Not to Spore

Common or popular probiotics are the non-spore formers, lactobacillus, bifidobacteria these common forms are found in common yogurt…..along with all the sugar or artificial sweeteners. Spore forming bacteria are the resilient ones. These are the tough guys or tough girls of the probiotic world. They can survive the high temperatures and the low acid of our digestive system. Bacillus Subtilus (DE111) is a normal spore former is a normal inhabitant of the gut that doesn’t need refrigeration, survives stomach acid, crowds out the unfriendly bacteria in the gut, supports normal immune reaction in the intestines, supports and maintains the gut barrier and supports the normal breakdown of your fats and complex carbs for supporting cholesterol and triglyceride numbers on your blood test results. Beyond Biology insists its patient’s support their body’s with good probiotics! Not the ones that get burned in the stomach acid.  Please call us if you need help with products and information that may help with these important decisions. 1-888-908-0804

 

Health Benefits of Natural Soy Free Phosphatidylcholine (PC)

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Phosphatidylcholine is a fatty acid or phospholipid compound found in ALL cell membranes. It is a major player in biological functions. It control what comes in and out of all cells, maintains the surface tension of your cells and most importantly supplies the Acetylcholine neurotransmitter that is essential for brain and nerve function in all of us! Sounds vital right? IT IS! Research for PC is showing benefits in supporting conditions like Alzheimer’s, MS and other neurological diseases which are on the rise with  the rising “Statin” use we are seeing today.

We believe plants seem to be best source for PC and we feel non-GMO Sunflower Lecithin is a superior choice for supplying the PC that we need for support. Too much of the population has issues with soy based PC and have been told to avoid PC made of soy.

So Doc Why Should I take this?

  • Memory Support

According to the studies PC with and without Vitamin B 12 has been beneficial to memory. Who could not benefit from that?

  • Inflammation Support in Stress Conditions

We all wish life was less stressful. Studies have shown PC enhanced recovery from inflammation and stress.

  • Gastrointestinal (GI) Support with Ibuprofen and NSAID Drug Use

As a tennis player in a large women’s tennis league I cannot tell you how much Ibuprofen (Advil), Naproxen (Aleve) use is out there. How can we not take advantage of a natural ingredient that has improved intestinal safety in actual patients in a study?

  • Liver Support and Reduction of Hyperlipid Issues

Hyperlipidemia (Elevated Blood Lipids) are a problem for so many. PC has been studied in patients with elevated blood lipids (ldl cholesterol and triglycerides) fatty and alcoholic liver, and Hepatitis B  liver damage and has showed support and in some cases reversal.

  • Exercise Support

Most exercise will deplete some of the choline storage in your body, especially endurance exercise; PC helps to restore your supply of choline.

 Therapeutic Dosage

Dosages for PC range from 630mg-2,400mg for most people. Optimal time to take PC is 20-30 minutes before a meal with 6-8 oz of water.

Caution

Please check with your Doctor before taking PC with acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitors like; donepezil (Aricept), tacrine (Cognex), and rivastigmine (Exelon). Also ask your Doctor before taking PC with anticholinergic drugs such as atropine and cholinergic drugs such as succinylcholine.