Monthly Archives: May 2017

Company Profiles – Grifols

Grifols is a producer of biotechnological products and services for the healthcare sector.

The website starts with strong statement: “What matters most: People.” More difficult it is to evaluate the site and the annual report on this statement.

Their vision: to assist professionals in securing the health and well-being of humanity through dedicated service and innovative products.

Grifols is a group of companies, which serves healthcare professionals and patients in over 90 countries around the world. They research, develop, manufacture and market plasma derivatives, IV therapy, enteral nutrition, diagnostic systems and medical materials.

The mission statement is divided in five areas:

– Health. Our services and products help you improve the health and well-being of humanity.

– Innovation. New products and services from Grifols enable major advances in patient health and medical capability.

– Experience. Grifols: a proven, trusted plasma pioneer since 1940.

– Resources. As part of the global Grifols family of companies, Grifols gives you access to world-class resources and worldwide service.

– Commitment. A heritage of more than sixty years of innovation, safety and service.

The organization of Grifols is divided roughly into

Industrial area, dedicated to developing, research and manufacturing of products and services (diagnostic, laboratories, engineering, biomat, plasmacare and biologicals) and a commercial area (marketing, distribution and customer service) which is setup regionally (America, Asia and Europe) a third branch “Others” covers “grifols Viajes” (travel)

A family business: the company was founded in 1940 by Dr.Grifols i Roig founds Grifols (Laboratories) together with his sons.

Interesting facts on the timeline starts as soon as 1943 when “The first single donor lyophilized plasma in Europe and the first penicillin in Spain are produced.” In 1945 the first private blood bank is opened in Spain and in 2006 the company Grifols is listed on the Spanish Stock exchange.

There are three divisions:

Bioscience Division. Specializes in the research, development, production and commercialization of high quality plasma derivates. Grifols’ original product line.

Diagnostic Division. Focuses on researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing diagnostics products for laboratory analysis, including products for Hospital Blood Banks and Transfusion Centers.

Hospital Division. Provides a wide range of non-biological products used in hospital pharmacies, surgery, nutritional support, fluid therapy and for other therapeutic uses.

Interesting about the annual report is its design, simple but the statistical and financial figures are represented with test-tubes stressing the laboratorial business.

In 2007 Grifols recorded total revenue of 703 million euros and total profit of 87.8 million euros.

We have a low level of debt (net financial debt is 1.9 times EBITDA), which gives us a comfortable margin for carrying out the next stage of our business expansion plan. (An ambitious, 400 million euro investment plan to fund its growth in the next five years, which it began implementing in 2008)

Benefits of Engaging in Physical Education and Sport Activities

Engaging in natural health remedies such as physical education and sport activites are encouraged by health and nutrition experts today. The increasing number of health risks and conditions that are experienced by most people today, young or old, create concern about the impact of lifestyle and diet factors to increasing those risk factors. If you wanted to adapt a change in lifestyle, make sure to learn how you can incorporate those activities in your daily life and experience their benefits.

What is Physical Education?

Physical education is a form of instruction that focus on promoting activities that involve physical development and enhance an individual’s overall well being. This is one reason why physical education is an integral part in a school’s curriculum, especially for grade school to high school students. This is the time wherein the physical body is undergoing development and engaging in activities such as dance, sports, gymnastics, and calisthenics, among other PE classes are highly encouraged.

Aside from those physical activities, games can also become part of physical education and sport classes. The idea is to stimulate play behavior to develop physical fitness and skills. Although physical education has been largely associated with the modern society, it actually has a long history that dates back to the times of ancient Greece.

Teaching Physical Education

The ability for children to benefit from physical education and sport classes depend largely on the teaching methods employed. This is why PE teachers need a certain level of qualification before they are allowed to teach this subject. A baccalaureate degree is the most basic requirement for PE teachers and some could even have concentration studies in the area of human behavior and biology.

Aside from teaching physical education and sport in schools, there is also a large demand for PE instructors in other sectors. This is partly due to the recent surge in health and fitness awareness with the need to stay active being considered as one of the healthy yet natural alternatives to combating common diseases and health risks.

Sport Activities

Although sports is viewed today as a competitive activity, it can also be practiced for leisure and fitness purposes. There are various level of sports activities that one can engage in such as amateur, leisure, and professional sports.

Sports classes are also held in schools to encourage students to participate actively for physical stimulation. After all, sports is not only fun and competitive, but it also teaches one the importance of taking care of your body and well being in terms of physical self-discipline. There are several sports activities that one can choose from such that it is easier to commit yourself into this activity, depending on what you enjoy doing most. Some of the most popular sports today include basketball, football, soccer, volleyball, tennis, swimming, to name a few.

Benefits

To encourage your kids to engage in physical education and sport activities, here are some of the rewards for doing so:

• Depending on the type of sport, it can encourage social behaviors and improve one’s ability to work with a team.

• It boosts your endurance and fitness level such that you stay healthier for longer.

• It teaches one self-discipline to adapt a healthy lifestyle and take good care of one’s body.

• It promotes physical development and acquire essential physical skills.

7 Supplements and Herbs For Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and Hypothyroidism

Many people with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and other types of hypothyroidism look to take nutritional supplements and herbs to help manage their symptoms naturally. Taking the right supplements and herbs can really do wonders with someone who has a hypothyroid condition. In fact, when incorporating other lifestyle factors as well, many people with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and other types of hypothyroidism can completely restore their health. So it’s important to understand that while nutritional supplements and herbs can do wonders for one’s health, taking them alone won’t restore your health back to normal, and they might not even do a good job of managing one’s symptoms.

As result, before you decide to take any of the following supplements or herbs, it’s a good idea to speak with a holistic doctor who focuses on endocrine disorders. They will evaluate your condition to determine which of the following supplements and/or herbs you might need, what dosage is appropriate to take, etc. Plus, a good holistic doctor won’t only try to manage your symptoms naturally, but if at all possible will try to cure your condition. While conventional endocrinologists and medical doctors simply tell their patients to take synthetic or natural thyroid hormone for the rest of their life, a good natural endocrine doctor will try to find the underlying cause of the condition.

After all, most thyroid conditions don’t simply develop “out of the blue”. In other words, there usually is an underlying cause which in turn causes problems with the thyroid gland. So while taking synthetic or natural thyroid hormone may do a good job of managing the symptoms (although not always), it will do absolutely nothing for the actual cause of the hypothyroid condition. On the other hand, following a natural thyroid treatment protocol can help to correct the underlying cause. And the following seven supplements/herbs can play a big role in the recovery process:

1. Eleuthero. Most people with hypothyroidism, including those with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, have adrenal problems. Eleuthero, also known as Siberian Ginseng, is an excellent herb that can help people do a better job of adapting to stressful situations. For people who have weakened adrenal glands, this herb will help them to recover and become strong again. This herb also helps with the immune system, which of course will benefit those people with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. When I was diagnosed with an autoimmune thyroid condition I took Eleuthero, as I had abnormally low cortisol levels and this herb, along with other factors, helped to restore my adrenal health back to normal.

2. Echinacea. Many people are familiar with this herb, which has a primary focus of improving immunity. This once again will be helpful for someone who has Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, as well as with other autoimmune conditions. It is important to understand that the quality of this herb is important. While this is true with any other herb or nutritional supplements you take, the reason I bring this up with Echinacea is because this is a very popular herb that is sold in most nutrition stores, health food stores, pharmacies, and many other places. So it’s important to take a high quality supplement in order to receive optimal results.

3. Iodine. Most people with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and other hypothyroid conditions are deficient in iodine. However, while people with primary hypothyroidism can take iodine without a problem, those people with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis can’t take iodine until the autoimmune response has been addressed. If they do take iodine, there is a good chance their symptoms will become worse. So if you have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, you need to first see a natural endocrine doctor who will address the immune system component. Once this is under control then the iodine deficiency can be addressed.

But how can someone tell if they have an iodine deficiency? The best method is through an iodine loading test, which is a urine test that involves taking a 50mg tablet of iodine, and then seeing how much iodine you excrete over a 24 hour period. Once it has been determined that you have an iodine deficiency, you will want to take a high quality iodine supplement, and gradually increase the dosage to address this deficiency. I’ve written separate articles on iodine deficiency, and in addition to reading these, there’s an excellent book entitled “Iodine, Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It.” I highly recommend anyone with a thyroid condition to read this book.

4. Bladderwrack. This is yet another great herb for people with hypothyroidism, including Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Bladderwrack is a multipurpose herb, which means that it has many different benefits. This actually describes most herbs, as most of them do more than one thing. In any case, this herb directly impacts the thyroid gland, and also helps to increase the metabolic rate.

5. Ashwagandha. This is another wonderful herb for hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Some of its functions include helping the body better cope with stress, as well as help with immunity. It also helps with the conversion of T4 to T3. There are numerous other benefits of this herb as well.

6. Selenium. Selenium is an extremely important mineral, as it is involved in the production of thyroid hormone. It is involved in the enzymatic reaction which converts T4 to T3, and so a deficiency in selenium may lead to the development of a hypothyroid condition. Many people have a selenium deficiency, but this can easily be addressed through supplementation, or by simply eating a handful of raw Brazil nuts each day.

7. Magnesium. Many people are also deficient in magnesium, which also is important in people with hypothyroidism, including Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. It is especially important for the proper utilization of iodine. So anyone who is iodine deficient should definitely make sure they aren’t also magnesium deficient. There are numerous foods one can eat to address such a deficiency, such as green leafy vegetables, nuts, and unrefined grains. Or you can choose to take magnesium supplements instead.

So these are some of the nutritional supplements and herbs that people with hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis should consider taking. This of course isn’t to suggest that everyone with these conditions needs to take all of these supplements and herbs, as this is why it is advised to consult with a competent holistic doctor. This way they could determine which nutritional deficiencies you have, see what herbs you can benefit from taking, and come up with a natural treatment plan to help restore your health back to normal.

Don’t Buy Cell Tech Creatine! 2 Reasons Why You Should Not Buy Cell Tech Creatine

Creatine is likely the best, most proven muscle building supplement outside of food products like protein powder. However, there are many overpriced, overhyped products which you would do well to avoid. The foremost of these snake oil products is cell tech creatine.

This article will explain the 2 most important reasons why you should save your hard earned money and avoid cell tech creatine. You can use these tips to avoid other bad products and focus on the ones that are really worthwhile. At the end of the article, follow the link to find a comprehensive muscle building guide, one that will do far more than any bogus supplement to help you gain mass.

1. You’re Paying Top Dollar For Sugar!

The main appeal of cell tech creatine is its outrageous advertising. The company uses massive bodybuilders to promote the product as if it is the next best thing for building muscle. They make crazy claims, like “Cell Tech Creatine can make you gain 25 times more mass,” and other thins along those lines.

If you peel away this marketing veil, however, you’ll see that the only big difference between cell tech creatine and other, much cheaper creatine products, is sugar. That’s it! You’re paying 10, 20, even 30 times as much for some sugar! Adding glucose to creatine can certainly be useful, but you should never pay that kind of price for it.

2. Creatine Monohydrate Works Just As Well

As with many things in life, the simplest is the best in this case. Plain old creatine monohydrate, the supplement that has been tested and proven to work for years, will give you the same muscle building benefit as cell tech creatine for pennies per serving.

Creatine works by helping your muscle cells to produce more ATP, or cellular energy, from the food you eat. No “magical” formula is going to accomplish that goal any better. If you want to take creatine with sugar to increase its uptake into your muscles, buy some dextrose (also dirt cheap), and mix them yourself.

How to Lose 50 Pounds in 11 Weeks – 5 Things You Must Do

Trying to lose 50 pounds in 11 weeks can seem like a formidable task, but I assure you it can be done.

I’m assuming you’re not interested in using weight loss pills, appetite suppressants, surgery or any of that other junk to lose 50 pounds in 11 weeks, which is good…’cos I hate those things. Don’t get me wrong, they have their place in certain situations, but in most cases, are an unnecessarily extreme measure.

When you consider that a gastric bypass operation can cost anywhere between $25,000 to $35,000 US dollars, you have to question whether the advice given to some folks to go through with it is in their best interests or that of the surgeon and his pocket.

Trying to lose 50 pounds in 11 weeks may be a tough challenge but there are a few things you can do to make your life easier.

Here are 5 top tips you should follow when trying to lose 50 pounds in 11 weeks.

1) Believe in yourself / set goals

The first and most important thing is getting in the right frame of mind. This may sound strange since you already know you want to lose 50 pounds in 11 weeks…so what do I mean?

Well, don’t worry, I’m not gonna go all Tony Robbins on you and get you jumping up and down in a euphoric state (although there is some truth to that). Rather, I’m saying that you need a clear picture of where you want to be, and focus on it. You need to feel like you’ve already managed to lose 50 pounds in 11 weeks…think about it…how does it really feel. Are your work colleagues inspired and envious of your new body and transformation? Do you have the confidence that you were lacking to ask out that hot guy or gal you’ve had your eye on for like forever?

Only by picturing it in your mind will you be able to set goals for your success and believe that you can and will lose 50 pounds in 11 weeks. The goals will be the checkpoints on your journey, the self-belief will be the fuel that keeps you going.

2) Find a good trainer and surround yourself with good like-minded people

This is an essential and often overlooked part of trying to lose 50 pounds in 11 weeks. A lot of people don’t realise that who they surround themselves with plays a huge part in their self-belief, attitude, and overall motivation and determination. It has been said that a person is the average of the 5 or 10 people they hang around with the most, and this regards health, wealth, ambition, aspiration, relationships, family etc. This is not a hard and fast rule, but I feel there is some truth to it.

Trying to lose a lot of weight quickly will be demanding and therefore you want to surround yourself with positive folks who are rooting for you, and not people who are waiting for you to fail, so they can say “I told you so!”

Now, I’m not saying you should just give up and avoid your family and friends, but rather to seek out folks who have similar goals, and understand your situation. Finding people who have been where you are now and achieved your goals can give you a real push to do the same. Why do you think things like Weight Watchers clubs are so successful? It’s because they bring all these people together and they help each other out.

Where can you find these people? There are loads of forums online where you can find people who are trying to lose weight. Just going to Google or Yahoo and typing something like “weight loss + forum” (without the quotes) will yield all sorts of great things. There are also loads of weight loss and fitness programs online that you can follow to lose 50 pounds in 11 weeks.

The same applies to your trainer, coach, or workout program that you choose to follow. Are they supportive yet ambitious, pushing you on when things get tough? If not, find one that is.

3) Eat a healthy diet

Obviously, diet and nutrition is fundamentally important when trying to lose 50 pounds in 11 weeks. Taking on too many calories will mean you always put on weight, period. Therefore, you will need to create a caloric deficit, by taking on fewer calories than you burn, forcing your body to burn up the fat deposits and use it as energy.

Finding the right diet is important, and many folks go about it the wrong way. Starving yourself is a big no-no. You may lose a few pounds in the first few days, but it won’t last, as your body will transition into starvation mode and slow down your metabolism to burn less fat (it’s your in-built survival mechanism), making it even harder to lose 50 pounds in 11 weeks.

So what can you do? Eat more! Yes, by eating smaller meals more regularly you will maintain your metabolism at a higher rate, and this, combined with exercise, will help you lose the pounds faster.

Green fibrous vegetables like broccoli, green beans, asparagus and lettuce are great healthy foods that can actually help you to burn fat, and it’s almost impossible to overeat on them. Eating more of them in the later part of the day along with a good lean protein like chicken breast is one of the best methods of getting lean as quickly as possible, and losing 50 pounds in 11 weeks.

4) Follow a good exercise plan

Without exercise, even the best diet plan in the world will struggle to help you lose 50 pounds in 11 weeks. You need to exercise in order to get the full benefit of the caloric deficit we mentioned earlier. It will create the furnace where you burn off those unwanted pounds.

Regular exercise also aids the mind, confidence and overall health. By tightening up, toning and growing your muscle, you also help your body to burn fat faster. Did you know that muscle can actually help you burn fat? So the more muscle you have the more fat you can burn, because your metabolism will work faster with more muscle.

Find a good training and exercise plan, with a good variety of cardiovascular work for your overall fitness, endurance and toning exercises like pushups and sit-ups, and some light weight training.

5) Stick to it!

This is the most important and often the hardest thing when trying to lose 50 pounds in 11 weeks. The best diet, exercise routine, trainer, and goals, mean nothing without the small action of going and actually doing it. Things may get tough over the next 11 weeks, but sticking to it and following through will show results, and you’ll be amazed at what you achieve. Once you see a little success you’ll be hungry for more and then it’ll be so hard to stop the momentum you build up, that 50 pounds in 11 weeks will seem like a piece of cake!

Vocal Health Daily Regimen

Having a healthy voice should be a part of your every day routine. Just by taking better care of your voice you can greatly improve your vocal health. If you are having vocal problems and are experiencing fatigue and hoarseness regularly, please see a professional voice doctor right away. Catching problems early is the key to turning them around quickly.

1. Humidity is a singer’s best friend. The ideal humidity level for singers is 60%. Boiling one pot of water in a 600 sq. ft. apartment will usually reach 60% in 1 hour. For frequent travelers, run the shower in your hotel room every morning and evening for 20 minutes with the bathroom door open. You can also use a humidifier, but it must be on all the time (be sure to clean humidifiers every other day with water and vinegar as mold spores develop quickly). Get a humidity thermometer to read your levels.

2. Drink 8 -10 glasses of water per day to stay adequately hydrated (the equivalent of four 1 liter bottles).

3. Do not talk over loud music and try not to “glottal” (strike the vocal cords). Do not whisper as it strains the voice.

4. Do yoga (or stretches) and breathing exercises daily. Vocal problems come from deep contractions in the muscles of the neck, tongue, jaw, back, and diaphragm. A loose and limber body helps avoid injury.

5. I recommend going for massage 1 or 2x a week for the next month – have the masseuse focus on your stomach, ribs, abs and neck/ shoulders/upper back/jaw/throat as well as all over body. With my students, I provide vocal massage sessions to release the jaw, tongue, throat/vocal muscles and neck and upper back and diaphragm – and teach singers self massage to help them stay free of tension as much as possible.

6. Acupuncture for the voice reaps great results. Acupuncture works on the central nervous system and energy centers of the body to get your natural healing energy flowing. Once or twice a week treatments are very helpful in restoring vocal health.

7. Do speaking exercises to find your optimal voice placement. And be sure to warm up and cool down before and after performances every time to avoid vocal wear and tear.

8. Stay away from smoky environments and use Vocal Eze Throat Spray 3-4x per day (endorsed by tons of rock stars). Spray 5-6 times at the back of the throat, tip head back and let it stay for a few moments before swallowing.

9. Gargle with warm salt water daily; use Neil Med saline rinse every day as well (available at most drug stores); and drink Throat Coat tea (available at health food stores).

10. Steam 3x a day – breathe in hot water/steam for 10min

11. Consume foods with a high water content:

a. Fruits and Veggies: Watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, papaya, strawberries/ blueberries (all berries), romaine lettuce, celery, water chestnuts, bok-choy, carrot/celery juice, etc., b. Salads are your new BF. Salads should be your main meal twice a day. Fresh foods have living enzymes and high nutritional content. Great for staying healthy and avoiding acid reflux and digestive disorders. c. Soups with broth base (no tomato or cream). d. Stop eating all fried foods (for at least one month), no citrus, no peppermint, chocolate or marinara sauce.

12. Take whole food supplements daily – Take:

a. A daily vitamin ~ most important! b. Favorite Flora will help reverse acid reflux c. Perilla Sinus is the best supplement on the market for folks with allergies.

13. Natural medicine:

a. Homeopathy ~ Take Sore Throat/Hoarseness (homeopathic name is Roxalia) – by Boiron. This remedy reduces inflammation at the vocal folds. Take 3 days on 5 days off until symptoms subside. b. Herbs & Supplements c. Take Crystalline, non-acidic Vitamin C Powder daily. Take one heaping teaspoon in a 1/2 glass of juice daily. d. Stay healthy with Thieves lozenges and mouthwash and by using Oscillicoccinum and Coldcalm at the first sign of infection.

14. Get 8-9 hours of sleep every night. Sleep is the way your body and mind recharge and rejuvenate. Without sleep, a singer’s voice is always tired which is a sure thing for vocal problems. If you have trouble sleeping, I do not recommend a pharmaceutical solution. Try melatonin right before bed. Usually does the trick. For a milder approach try a cup of chamomile tea or 10-15 drops of valerian root (herbal tincture) in water. A bath before bedtime and/or breathing exercises for 10 minutes will also help you drift off to sleep more easily.

15. Stay Away From:

a. Sugar

b. All fried foods

c. Citrus

d. Caffeine

e. Carbonated beverages ~ all soda and sparkling water

f. Ibuprofen

g. Peppermint

h. Cooked tomato sauce (marinara)

i. White flour (including white rice and pasta, pastries etc.)

j. Alcohol

k. Smoke

A note about pharmaceutical medicine:

Personally I do NOT take pharmaceutical medicine of any kind unless it is an emergency. For those of you who need medication, I don’t recommend immediately going off your medication. I do however recommend getting into health by reading books and educating yourself. Supplement your daily nutrition with whole food supplements and use products without chemicals to get your body back in balance. Natural medicines like homeopathy and herbs are extremely effective along with eating more naturally. It may take longer than popping a pill, but will not create the toxicity/chemical overload you get from pharmaceutical meds. This does not suggest you stop taking medicine prescribed to you. Discuss alternative treatments with your doctor first and visit a qualified nutritionist or naturopath to get off medication long term.

Green Vs Conventional Cleaning Products

If you are anything like me, cleaning is not your favorite hobby, but the results are worth the time spent. Cleanliness is needed for ensuring better health and beauty, whether you are getting rid of dust, dirt, germs, garbage or odors. What if you were told that the products you were using are actually even more hazardous to your health than the germs you are trying to get rid of? There are two options for you when choosing which products to use when you clean your house; conventional or green products.

The conventional cleaning products are definitely effective at getting rid of germs, but are they doing more harm than good? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of our traditional way of cleaning with conventional products. The number one thing that people look for in their cleaning products is to make sure that it is non-toxic. Parents don’t want to put toxins in the air and on the surfaces that their little ones play in or on. Many conventional products are in fact toxic-free, but it is always important to double-check. It is also important to check to see if the container is made with toxins. Many of the cleaning product containers are not easily recycled, so people just throw them in the trash. If the containers are made with toxins, that means we are polluting our environment with hazardous materials. The containers are surely not bio-degradable, so they are just filling up landfills. Due to the chemicals and additives that are used in conventional products, they need to be tested to see if they will be harmful to a human, so they are tested on animals. Do you really want to contribute to animal testing?

Now-a-days, the term eco-friendly is extremely popular. With more people “going green” one of the first things they consider switching is their cleaning product brands. Parents get an added peace of mind knowing that their cleaning cupboard is filled with natural products, rather than harsh chemicals, heaven forbid a little one gets into that cupboard. Green products typically have no or minute health limitations, which allows for a much broader customer base.

There are currently many types of green products on the market, but one of the best is EnvirOx. The EnvirOx product line ensures a toxic-free home environment. These EnvirOx products are made from natural substances, but still maintain maximum cleaning strength. That means that they will decompose in soil quickly and naturally without creating any toxicity. EnvirOx is extremely effective at killing germs and bacteria and other micro-organisms present in your home, work place, automotive, etc.

The EnvirOx products are usable on various surfaces including glass, marble, ceramic, tile, carpet, grout, wood floors, walls, whiteboards, steel and many more. Each and every case ensures 100% satisfaction. EnvirOx has various products for all the jobs around the home including disinfecting, grout cleaning and renovation, multi-purpose cleaning and more. The key advantages of EnvirOx cleaning products are their improved cleaning ability, they are non-fuming, hypoallergenic, petroleum free and they are easy to handle with no corrosive effect.

EnvirOx’s Multi-Purpose Cleaners allow for 95% of the daily cleaning tasks to be done effectively with just two dilutions of one product!! “In the Spring of 2003, EnvirOx’s H2Orange2 became the first hydrogen peroxide-based multi-purpose cleaner to obtain Green Seal certification.” Since that time, the H2Orange2 formula has been imitated, but its effectiveness has never been replicated.

Iodine Supplements Vs Iodized Salt

Is the use of iodized salt enough to provide our bodies with the iodide it needs for optimal health or must we use an iodine supplement?

Let’s look at a little history and some basic chemistry.

Morton added iodide to their salt in 1924 to prevent an epidemic of enlarged thyroid glands (goiter) due to an iodide deficiency. Even though the result of including iodide in salt was successful science has yet to establish what amount of iodide human beings require for optimal health. Our MDR (minimum daily requirement) of 150 mcg is enough to prevent goiter and cretinism but not nearly enough to maximize thyroid hormone production or to protect us from other disease conditions related to iodine and iodide deficiencies.

Many studies (WHO & National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) have shown that the general population of both the U.S. and worldwide are suffering from an insufficiency of these two essential trace elements. So the first question is can we rely on iodized salt to provide us with our daily needs for maximum health?

Iodized Salt

A teaspoon of iodized salt contains the following:

  • 2,300 mg of sodium (Our U.S. Department of Health and Human Sciences recommends that a healthy adult should not consume more than 2,300 mg of sodium. If they have high blood pressure, kidney disease, diabetes, are black, or if they are middle-aged or older they should not consume more than 1,500 mg. The ‘Surgeon General’s Report on Health Promotion and Disease Prevention’ of 1979 even condemned salt.
  • 2,700 mg of chloride
  • 300 mcg of iodide (0.3 mg)

From this information and taking into consideration our intake of salt added to prepared and restaurant foods iodized salt may not be the best and healthiest source of iodide.

Iodine & Iodide

The next logical question then is how much of these two trace elements do we require for health, not just to sustain life, but for vital health.

There’s a general consensus about vitamin and mineral requirements yet with iodine and iodide there’s a huge gap between physicians when considering a safe and effective dose. And both sides have very convincing research to support their point of view.

The conservatives believe that all the nutrients we need can be found in our food. This theory may have been true 60 years ago but our consumption of foods grown in nutrient depleted soils and manufactured foods has greatly reduced the essential nutrients we require. The conservative view also does not take into account people’s reluctance to use table salt.

Then there is the other extreme, physicians prescribing upwards of 50 mg of iodine and iodide per day. That’s 50,000 mcg compared with 150 mcg, 300 times the MDR. There may be some initial benefits to flooding the body with this much iodine and iodide but taken long-term there will be consequences.

Words of Caution

I used to be one of those high-dose prescribers until I repeated lab tests focusing on thyroid hormones. I was horrified by the results. I immediately stopped prescribing iodine and iodide and dove into the research myself.

The endocrine system’s reaction to high doses is a little too deep for this article but the primary result of high dosing is inflammation of the thyroid and over years the increased risk of a condition called Hashimoto’s.

One patient, before starting her on high-dose iodine and iodide, tested negative for Hashimoto’s but within 6 months her Hashimoto’s test turned positive.

Research

I was surprised to find so much research on these two trace elements coming up with over 100 articles on their use in the prevention and treatment of numerous diseases.

Some of the research indicated a safe and effective dose while many articles agreed that people around the world, and not in just the less developed countries, are not getting anywhere near what they require.

Several articles pointed to between 3 and 6 mg a day as being safe. I tend to stand on the conservative side, recommending 3mg of iodine and iodide per day. This moderate dose slowly saturates the tissues and because it’s not the ‘flood-the-system’ high-dose approach the body will easily excrete what it does not need.

Which Iodine Supplement?

In products from the sea nature provides the combination of both iodine and iodide. With supplements you’ll find the ingredient is often only iodine. It will also be the elemental form and not made from food.

This means that most iodine supplements do not include iodide which is absolutely necessary for our thyroid to make its hormones. So to me supplements with iodine alone are out.

Iodine and Iodide Supplements

The most popular combination supplements (Iodoral & IodinePlus-2) fall into the category of the high-dose, usually 12.5 mg (12,500 mcg), and I recommend avoiding them even if your physician is doing lab tests. You can’t predict when you’ll reach that saturation threshold and start having thyroid inflammation.

Kelp Tablets

Kelp contains both iodine and iodide. There have been a number of survey studies showing how the cultures consuming higher amounts of seafood and sea vegetation have a much lower incidence of various illnesses including cancer. Yet these studies are from the 60’s and 70’s.

In the last 40 to 50 years our oceans have become our industrial waste sewage system with kelp, chlorella, plankton and reef life our only means of preserving the purity of our waters.

I recently approached a very large and well-known herbal supplement manufacturing company (Gaia Herbs) to have them formulate a kelp concentrate to deliver 3 mg of iodine and iodide. After a week of their research they informed me that they would be unable to make this product because the concentration of arsenic in the 3 mg dose would exceed California’s limit of acceptable levels.

Besides, these articles of the 60’s and 70’s studied the ‘nutritional’ intake of various cultures and even though they cite iodine and iodide being the primary variable for improving health we need to take into consideration all the nutrients in their diet, selenium being second in line.

My Recommendation

Obviously, some attention needs focus on iodine and iodide supplementation to secure the health of you and your loved ones. Here are a few suggestions.

  1. Use sea salt for cooking and for flavor. It contains many trace minerals which we no longer find in our produce. Sea salt does not contain nearly enough iodide. In fact the concentration of iodide in iodized salt is about 45 times that of sea salt.
  2. Use the combination of iodine and iodide at 3 mg a day for an adult, about half this for a child. The ratio is about 1.25 mg of iodine and 1.75 mg of potassium iodide.
  3. Always, always take selenium when taking any iodine product. I suggest between 200 and 400 mcg in the methionine form. Selenium plays hundreds of important roles in health and especially with thyroid hormones.

You’ll find more information on the safe uses of iodine and iodide on my blog while I continue to contribute to the ezine platform.

All the best,

Dr. Alexander Haskell, N.D.

Calculate Your Due Date and Factors That Influence Delivery Date

When you go to the doctor and you ask about the possibility to calculate your due date, you are going to be told that there is no formula that is 100% accurate. Even if this stands out as the first question that most couples ask, technology still did not evolve enough.

In most cases a full term is going to be of around 40 weeks but variations do appear because of many different factors. Before we talk about them, we should focus on how you can calculate your due date when signs of pregnancy appear.

Online And Offline Pregnancy Calculators

The great news for all couples is the fact that there are both online and offline pregnancy calculators. The offline ones are going to be available in pharmacies and the offices of the gynecologist. Online ones are available on many different websites. Both use the same way to calculate your due date and will take into account:

1. The date when your last menstrual period started.

2. The conception date – which is optional as not many people are aware of it.

3. The length of the regular period cycle that the woman has. Most women will have one of 28 days but there are differences that can appear.

What can trigger the birth before the due date?

Although you can nowadays calculate the due date and get pretty close to it, there are some factors that are going to have a negative impact on your signs of pregnancy and end up with a premature delivery. The full term of a pregnancy is of 37 weeks and if the baby is born too soon then you are faced with a premature birth. A doctor will tell you that various factors can cause this like:

  • Unhealthy eating habits
  • Cervical incompetence
  • Nutrition

What causes a late birth?

Most of the women will give birth after 37 weeks. In most cases the childbirth occurs between 38 and 42 weeks but this is not always the case. In most situations the first time mother will have the baby born after calculated due date. The problem is that a pregnancy that goes over 42 weeks is dangerous. In this case you can end up with perinatal death. A doctor will monitor this and will offer solutions if the pregnancy goes over this period.

Due dates are very important for any woman. This is because they allow them to do a couple of things. For starters, they can plan everything accordingly and be prepared for when the moment comes. Secondly, the expecting mom will always know when she needs to go to the doctor for an ultrasound. Unfortunately, there are some women that are not taking this into account. You should not be one of them.

Make sure that you are going to use a pregnancy due date calculator. We recommend that you use online calculators because of the fact that the can be used in the comfort of your own home and are not going to cost you a thing. This is very useful for many expecting mothers.

Natural Hair Products – Advantages and Disadvantages For the Average Consumer

For many years, shoppers could only find natural hair products at health food stores and natural food markets. However, the consumer has become more aware of chemicals, synthetics, and products that are safe, not only for the environment, but for the hair follicles and the body.

One of the advantages of using a natural hair product is its availability at grocery stores, pharmacies, supercenters, and almost any place that sells hair products. Most herbal products are safe for the environment, are not tested on animals, and are better for your skin and hair.

The safest and best natural hair products, however, have a low sudsing factor, which for the average consumer may appear to be a disadvantage, because tons of frothy soap does not accompany the application onto wet hair. However, looking at a label of a natural hair product, you’ll notice that the harmful ingredients used by many commercial hair product companies are not utilized in natural hair products.

Another advantage is that they do not cost as much money and they are even less expensive when you mix the ingredients at home or when you buy natural hair products in bulk. Regardless of which type of hair you have, you can be sure to find a natural product for everyday use.

What can a natural product do for you? By using a natural herbal shampoo, you will not be putting chemicals onto your scalp or on your hair, and the natural ingredients are pure, which insures that your hair will go through a deep cleansing. There will be no filmy residue left on the hair either. In addition, your hair will look shinier and will retain its natural moisture.

Some people are under the misconception that baby shampoo is gentle for any person or for any type of hair. This is a false belief. Baby shampoo is one of the harshest shampoos for anyone’s hair. Why? Because although it is appealing to the consumer to have a product that will not cause a baby or child to cry, the consumer does not know or understand that the ingredients in the product contain a very harsh chemical that basically numbs the eyelids and the tear ducts. Yes, it’s great that babies don’t cry when the soap gets into their eyes. However, have you ever considered what that numbing agent does to a child’s eyes? So, be careful and be aware when a manufacturer or advertiser says that a product is gentle; that doesn’t mean that the product is made from natural and gentle ingredients.

There are a lot of people who are allergic to certain ingredients in a standard non-herbal product that contains chemicals, and some people are prone to losing their hair or having a similar reaction to hair products that are not pure and natural.

If you care about yourself, your body, your hair, and your environment, then environmentally friendly products such as natural hair products are definitely designed for you. In addition, remember that natural products are generally less expensive, and they will provide better results than synthetic and harsh shampoos that contain detergents.