September is National Prostate Health Month

Did you know that approximately half of all men over age 60 have an enlarged prostate or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). And, according to the Mayo Clinic, 95 percent of men who reach age 85 has BPH. Prostate exams for men should be performed annually but many men still don’t visit their doctors to get this test due to fear and embarrassment.

The Prostate Health Council of the American Foundation for Urologic Disease (AFUD) launched Prostate Health Month in September to educate about prostate disease, treatment and maintaining prostate health.

Prostate issues including enlarged prostate (BPH) and prostatitis are extremely common. Approximately eight in 10 men will eventually develop an enlarged prostate and one in 10 men will develop prostate cancer. And some men have both BPH and prostate cancer, as they are two different conditions. Having BPH does not mean it will transform into prostate cancer.

According to Tom Bruckman, executive director, AFUD, many men believe that most prostate issues are cancerous or lead to cancer, and that prostate issues only affect older men. Typically compared to the size of a walnut, the prostate gland often grows larger through simple aging. It normally wraps around the urethra. BPH is not cancerous, and it is the most common prostate issue. Its symptoms include difficulty urinating, weak urinary stream, and constant need during the night urinate.

BPH is often addressed by prescriptions and in some cases, surgery.

Prostatitis, meanwhile signifies that the prostate is inflamed; this is not a condition that is contagious. Although medical science still has not identified exact causes of prostatitis, it is believed that it is caused by bacteria that migrates to the prostate from the urethra. And this is commonly treated with antibiotics.

Men can support their prostate health by foods and dietary supplements, such as Fucosea, which is rich in numerous vitamins, minerals omega-3 EFAs and other nutraceuticals that help bolster immunity (and therefore prostate support).

According to the editors at Healthline.com, there are several key nutrients that prostate needs to function in a healthy and strong manner.

Zinc: Studies have shown that men who have BPH have lower zinc levels than men whose prostates are in a normal size range. Zinc is found in sesame seed, almonds, and pumpkin seeds.

Lycopene: This is a carotenoid found in tomato sauce and other tomato products has also been found to lower the risk of developing prostate problems, such as BPH. One study showed that men who took lycopene exhibited slower progression of BPH. Lycopene also helps lower the prostate specific antigen (PSA) connected to prostate inflammation. Other foods that contain lycopene watermelon, apricot, pink grapefruit and papaya.

Beta-sitosterol: This is a plant sterol that has been shown in some studies to reduce symptoms associated with BPH. There have been some reports that men who have supplemented with beta sitosterol have reduced BPH symptoms, and more normalized urinary flow. Foods abundant in beta sitosterol include avocados, pumpkin seeds, wheat germ, soybeans and pecans.

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Brain Stem Cells May Control How We Age

Scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine have discovered specific stem cells in the brain’s hypothalamus which govern the pace of aging that occurs in the body; this research was published in the August edition of the journal Nature.

The hypothalamus is the part of the brain that regulates growth, development, reproduction and metabolism. In a 2013 Nature paper, Einstein researchers found that the hypothalamus also regulates aging throughout the body. Building upon that study, the scientists have identified the cells (in mice) in the hypothalamus that control aging: a group of adult neural stem cells, which have been known to be responsible for forming new brain neurons.

“Our research shows that the number of hypothalamic neural stem cells naturally declines over the life of the animal, and this decline accelerates aging,” says senior author Dongsheng Cai, MD, PhD, (professor of molecular pharmacology at Einstein). “But we also found that the effects of this loss are not irreversible. By replenishing these stem cells or the molecules they produce, it’s possible to slow and even reverse various aspects of aging throughout the body.”

In studying whether the hypothalamic stem cells are responsible for accelerated aging, the researchers first looked at the fate of those cells during aging of healthy mice. The team noted that the number of hypothalamic stem cells began to diminish when the animals reached about 10 months, which is several months before the usual signs of aging start appearing. Old age in mice is about two years, and most of those specialized cells were gone in those mice considered elderly.

The next question was to differentiate if the progressive loss of the stem cells were a cause or consequence of aging. The researchers then selectively disrupted the hypothalamic stem cells in mice considered to be in their middle age, and found that the disruption significantly accelerated signs associated with aging compared to the control mice; further, the mice with the disruption in hypothalamic stem cells expired earlier in the typical life cycle than the control mice.

Often, it is very desirable to understand how something works – the mechanism of action (MOA), and in this study, Dr. Cai and his colleagues discovered that the hypothalamic stem cells release molecules known as microRNAs (miRNAs) that are involved in protein synthesis and assist in regulating gene expression. miRNAs are embedded in micro-particles called exosomes, which are released by hypothalamic stem cells into the cerebrospinal fluid.

The researchers extracted miRNA-containing exosomes from hypothalamic stem cells and injected them into the cerebrospinal fluid of two groups of mice: middle-aged mice whose hypothalamic stem cells had been destroyed and normal middle-aged mice. The researchers found that the results of these injections significantly slowed aging in both groups.

FucoSea Family is a dietary supplement composed of several key extracts that are formulated expressly for healthy stem cell support. We believe that our supplement, which took years of research and development, is a perfect foundation of a healthy lifestyle that may promote healthier longevity.

Reference:

  1. Yalin Zhang, et al “Hypothalamic stem cells control ageing speed partly through exosomal miRNAs.” Nature, 2017; DOI: 1038/nature23282

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Less Sleep, More Weight?

At HerbSea, we believe in healthy routines to keep us in a healthy weight range, and in good, glowing health. Supplements such as our Fucosea Family are a significant part of that process.

But there are other factors at work that you may have to pay attention to. Sleep is one. We all need about six to eight hours of sleep, as it allows for the body to repair itself. A recent study (PLOS ONE) showed that individuals who did not obtain enough sleep every night were more prone to be overweight and have larger waistlines (abdominal fat) – and the study also showed that in this population, there was no relationship between disrupted, sub-par sleep quality and diet quality (health vs. non-healthy).

The study of 1,615 adults whose normal diet and sleep were recorded and their cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure, thyroid and waist measurements were monitored; the researchers sought to understand how sleep amount affected those general health indicators.

The researchers found that for those who slept a little under six hours per night had an average waist measurement of 37.4 inches, BMI of 28.6, while those who got almost 8.5 hours exhibited an average waist measurement of 35.8 inches and average BMI of 27.1. In addition, shorter sleep duration was linked to lower HDL levels (high-density lipoprotein, the “good” cholesterol).

The authors of this study also referred to a 2016 study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition showing that individuals who achieved 5.5 hours or less ate nearly 400 calories more per day than those who slept seven or more hours per night.

The National Sleep Foundation recommends getting seven to nine hours of sleep each night, which is beneficial for overall health and well-being. The researchers concluded that people who get between seven and nine hours of sleep per night were less likely to be overweight than those who slept less.

If you find that you cannot sleep for seven to nine hours, ensure that supplements containing vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and iodine (for thyroid support) are part of your daily regimen. HerbSea’s Fucosea Family contains all the nutrients to help promote a healthy metabolism and for stress support, and in conjunction with a healthy diet and moderate exercise, should keep you in a good weight range.

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Cranberry Is Your Urinary Tract’s Best Friend!

Although not pleasant to talk about – or experience – urinary tract infections are common.

Urinary tract infections (UTI) are responsible for approximately 10 million doctor visits a year. Although UTIs can be treated in the short term with antibiotics, prevention is key since antibiotics are not a long-term solution and if left untreated, UTIs can lead to infection of the kidneys or worse.

Although more women will develop a UTI at some point in their lifetime, men are not immune. UTI symptoms include pain while urinating, blood in the urine and pelvic pain. What’s worse is that once an individual has had a UTI, the likelihood of having another one escalates. More alarming stats:

  • Over $1 billion dollars are spent per year on UTIs.
  • One in five women will have at least one UTI in her lifetime.
  • Total number of cases involving UTIs are approximately 40 million per year, of which 30 million are unreported.
  • UTIs are the second leading cause of lost work days for women.

There are certain common circumstances that can cause a UTI. Chicken and meat that are not handled properly can be one. A study in the Journal of Emerging Infectious Diseases found a genetic match between the E. coli bacteria that causes UTIs in humans and the E. coli in chicken coops. And about 17 percent of the E. coli found in raw chicken is the type that can cause UTIs.

Another bacteria can cause UTIs, too. A 2015 study in Clinical Infectious Disease discussed the increased incidence of Klebsiella pneumoniae found on retail meats — K. pneumoniae is also a cause of UTIs.

Cold, flu and allergy medications can also be a cause, as they tend to make the bladder hold onto urine longer; the longer urine is retained in the bladder, the more time that the bacteria has to grow, which can increase risk of UTI infection.

Cranberries are known to be very effective with UTIs as they inhibit bacteria from attaching to the bladder wall, thereby preventing the spread of the infection. Remember that typical cranberry juices have a lot of sugar to make them palatable, as cranberries themselves are quite sour. Supplements such as our Oysrelax cranberry flavor drink will help support a healthy urinary tract.

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American Ginseng Supports Healthy Lifestyles

When we think of supplements for health, we typically think of vitamins and minerals. But American ginseng has been a reliable botanical supplement for decades, naturally supporting balance and well-being without side effects.

American ginseng – also called Panax quinquefolius – contains active ingredients called ginsenosides. This ginseng is related closely to its cousins Asian/Korean ginseng (Panax ginseng). However, it is not related to Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus), an entirely different plant.

Native Americans used the American ginseng root as a stimulant and as a remedy for indigestion, headaches and fever. Ginseng is considered an “adaptogen,” a substance that helps the body to help the body adapt to stress and to exert a normalizing effect upon bodily processes.

According to research at the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC), overall, some studies have shown that American ginseng may support healthy immune function, and improve mental performance and overall well-being. Some studies have shown that it can boost activity of specific immune cells that help keep the body healthy.

Studies have also investigated the viability of American ginseng in several health conditions. According to the UMMC, several human studies show that American ginseng lowered blood sugar levels in people with high blood sugar levels. The effect was seen both on fasting blood sugar and on postprandial (after eating) glucose levels.

A few studies have also suggested that American ginseng may improve cognition. One study suggests that American ginseng, in combination with ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba), can help improve focus and concentration and lessen distractibility.

Considering this plus the adaptogenic and immune-support activity, it makes sense that American ginseng helps create a solid foundation of your personalized supplement regimen.

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Summertime Delicacy: Seaweeds

The New Jersey coastline – as one example – is abundant with beautiful, emerald-green sheets of seaweed called sea lettuce. One can also find a lot of bladderwrack. And, as foraging becomes more popular among natural health enthusiasts, those living near the shore take full advantage of seaweeds, using them in a variety of dishes.

Edible seaweeds, such as those found in the unique dietary supplement Fucosea Family, are bursting with body-benevolent vitamins, minerals and other nutraceuticals. Seaweeds are typically more wholesome in nutrient profiles and nutrient-dense than land counterparts. They are outstanding sources of micronutrients such as zinc, selenium, iron, calcium, folate and magnesium – and very important – one of the best sources of iodine, a mineral necessary for healthy functioning of the thyroid gland, which regulates metabolism, among other governing activities.

However, when it comes to iodine, too much can cause thyroid issues, so you need to ensure your thyroid levels are within healthy ranges. One study showed that women who regularly ate a popular seaweed called kombu had high TSH and low T3 and T4; when they reduced their intake, their thyroid levels balanced out.

Seaweeds also contain omega-3 essential fatty acids DHA and EPA, as well as carotenoids (such as fucuoidan and fucoxanthin) and other anxioxidants. And some seaweeds can help promote healthy weight management.

Eating kelp, one of the most available types of seaweed, has been shown in one study to help people lose weight. Research published in Food Chemistry showed that people who ate the common seaweed showed a reduction in fat absorption by as much as 75%; the team showed that the alginate’s ability to block a significant amount of activity of the digestive enzyme pancreatic lipase was responsible for accelerating fat and weight loss.

Further, a meta-analysis (review of studies) of 100 studies investigating seaweeds’ benefits on human health (published in the American Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry) found that seaweeds may benefit cardiovascular function by supporting healthy blood pressure levels.

Depending upon the type of seaweed, you can use them in salads, in grain sides such as quinoa, in sauces, as part of dry rubs for barbeque, and in smoothies. A key aspect that seaweeds bring to the table, so to speak, is its primarily umami taste.

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Get Smart! Eat More Chocolate

At Herbsea, we believe fully in the healthy, longevity-promoting practice of eating a healthy diet plus taking nutrient-dense, wholesome supplements, such as our Fucosea Family, and natural remedies such as Dong Quai, when needed.

Every now and then we get excited when a positive study is published that validates eating a food most of us enjoy, and in this case, it’s chocolate!

A research team reviewed and analyzed published studies about the effects of chocolate constituents, such as cocoa flavanols, and how they impacted human health. Specifically, they honed in on how cocoa flavanols affected cognitive function, and how eating chocolate (cocoa) regularly for a long period of time affected brain health. Their scientific review was published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition.

Study participants showed, among others, enhancements in working memory performance and improved visual information processing after having had cocoa flavanols. And for women, eating cocoa after a night of total sleep deprivation actually counteracted the cognitive impairment (i.e. less accuracy in performing tasks) caused by insomnia. This may be promising for people who have sleep insufficiency.

Quite a few studies have concentrated on the effects of relatively long-term ingestion of cocoa flavanols (ranging from 5 days up to 3 months) in elderly people; the study authors found that in this population group, their cognitive performance showed improvements from consuming cocoa flavonols. Specifically, improvements were seen in areas of attention, processing speed, working memory, and verbal fluency. These effects were, noted the study review authors, most pronounced in older adults with a starting memory decline or other mild cognitive impairments.

Study authors Valentina Socci and Michele Ferrara from the University of L’Aquila in Italy, concluded, “This result suggests the potential of cocoa flavanols to protect cognition in vulnerable populations over time by improving cognitive performance. If you look at the underlying mechanism, the cocoa flavanols have beneficial effects for cardiovascular health and can increase cerebral blood volume in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus. This structure is particularly affected by aging and therefore the potential source of age-related memory decline in humans.”

We would like to add that dark chocolate – and cocoa without added sugar – will benefit you best; it also has cardiovascular support function (as shown in other studies). You can blend dark chocolate or unsweetened cocoa powder with soft tofu for a healthy pudding, or sprinkle it onto a variety of healthy foods.

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Fucosea & Qigong: Glowing Combination for 40-somethings!

Move over yoga and tai-chi – the ancient Chinese exercise-art known a Qigong is making inroads and many people are loving it. According to Zen Master Anthony Korahais (board member of the National Qigong Association), there are many reasons why you may want to consider practicing this dynamic art that will simultaneously relax and energize you (balance).

Those in their 40s are starting to feel the symptoms of middle -age – some weight gain, stubborn pounds clinging, energy loss, sleep disturbances, loss of libido, and worries about development of age-related diseases. During this time, many men and women look seriously at what they can do to change – starting usually with diet and exercise. But sometimes that just isn’t enough. Supplements such as Fucosea and Qigong can help dramatically!

Qigong is one of the best stress management tools and can enhance overall well-being. And Korahais says it is easier than tai chi and doesn’t require as much time or athleticism as yoga. For more than 3,000 years, Chinese people have performed Qigong regularly to build mental and emotional clarity and strength, increase vitality, reduce stress symptoms, and increase overall wellness and resistance to health issues. Translated, qigong means “vital energy cultivation.”  

Qigong combines gentle breathing methods, flowing movements, and mindfulness meditation, and just about anyone in their 40s, regardless of weight, shape or size can do it and gain benefit. Korahais emphasizes that 15 minutes a day of Qigong will reap benefits. “And if you practice 15 minutes twice daily, then you’ll see remarkable results,” he declared.

There are several reasons why people in their 40s, entering middle age, may want to start qigong: you don’t need to memorize long, complicated routines; you can immediately engage in the meditative and energetic aspects that bring results; it doesn’t require strength or flexibility like yoga does; it is challenging so anyone at any level or shape can gain benefit; and it is complementary with any other therapy such as acupuncture, reiki, chiropractic and more.

Also, qigong is a branch of Traditional Chinese Medicine, along with acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. And, Fucosea is a supplement that is based on traditional Chinese medicine, with potent ingredients from a blend of sea plants, such as proteins, omega 3 EFAs, antioxidants, minerals, vitamins and more. Fucosea helps restore balance, fight stress and promote well-being.

www.flowingzen.com/free

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Magnesium to the Mood Rescue!

So many people deal with mood instability, and long periods of low mood – “the blues.” And, this can be despite the fact that they have reasonably healthy lifestyles. Consider that 350 million people globally actually have depression (a disease), and adding people who have mood fluctuations without depression is many millions more than that.

The good news is that a common mineral – magnesium – has been found to be effective for addressing symptoms of low mood and even depression.

Researchers at the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont conducted a clinical trial of over-the-counter oral magnesium tablets for mild-to-moderate depression. Their results showed that magnesium is safe and effective and comparable to prescription SSRI treatments in effectiveness. According to the study authors, magnesium is critical for heart rhythm, blood pressure, bone strength and inflammation control; and although it has been shown to have an impact on depression, only a few clinical trials have explored its efficacy.

The researchers conducted an open-label, blocked, randomized cross-over trial involving 126 adults in outpatient primary care clinics. The study participants reported that they were currently experiencing mild-to-moderate depression; the group had a mean age of 52, with 38% male, and 62% female.

Participants in the active arm of the study received 248 milligrams of elemental magnesium per day over six weeks, while those in the control group consumed placebo. Depression symptom assessments were conducted on all participants on a bi-weekly basis.

The study team found that in 112 participants with analyzable data, consumption of magnesium chloride for six weeks resulted in a clinically significant improvement in measures of depression and anxiety symptoms. In addition, these positive effects were shown quickly, at two weeks, and the supplements were well tolerated and similarly effective regardless of age, sex, or use of antidepressants, among other factors.

“This is the first randomized clinical trial looking at the effect of magnesium supplementation on symptoms of depression in U.S. adults,” says lead author Emily Tarleton, MS. “The results are very encouraging, given the great need for additional treatment options for depression, and our finding that magnesium supplementation provides a safe, fast and inexpensive approach to controlling depressive symptoms.”

Tarleton added that the conclusion of this study is that over-the-counter magnesium appears safe and effective to treat mild to moderate depression, and the next step is to see if their promising results can be replicated in a larger, more diverse population. The study by Tarleton, et al was published in PLoS One.

But there’s more that you can do if you or someone you love finds that low mood is becoming an issue. Take Fucosea daily along with magnesium to support memory, energy recovery and enhance physical endurance. Consider that low mood directly affects physical energy by draining it, as well as affects rapid retrieval of memory, Fucosea makes great sense as a companion to magnesium to support increased pleasant mood and sustaining pleasant, healthy mood.

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Summertime Tips for Heat Management

It’s no secret that July and August – often called the “dog days” of summer – can be dangerous for many people, especially when heat waves arise.

We at Herbsea encourage our customers and readers to follow some tips to remain more comfortable and prevent possible heat stroke.

Dietary Supplementation: Very first thing to ensure you do is to take a nutrient-dense dietary supplement such as Fucosea, which provides your body with minerals, antioxidants, omega 3 EFAs, vitamins and specialized nutrients to nourish your bodily systems, organs and cells, making you much stronger to withstand high heat and humidity.

Fucosea contains the goodness from seven nutritious marine plants: kelp, bladderwrack, wakame, mozuku, schizochytrium, Haematococcus pluvialis, and spirulina, and we use a patent-pending extraction method to provide the most potent active ingredients contained within them for FucoseaTM. Take Fucosea by itself or in addition to a multivitamin, should you desire.

Hydration: We need water to survive, and especially in summer when we tend to lose a lot of water via perspiration. Dehydration – not enough water for a period of time – can be damaging and is also one of a key cause of many health problems or conditions. It’s not enough to be simply surrounded by water (frolicking in the pool, lake or ocean), but you must drink purified water to nourish and hydrate all your cells. Did you know, too that before you feel “thirsty,” which is a signal your body needs water – it actually needs water before it sends out that SOS?

Avoid the Power Hours: Heat is most intense between the hours of 10:00 am and 4:00 pm, when the sun is at its apex during the earth’s daily revolution. Staying indoors during heat wave days and during this time frame will help avoid heat-related issues, which can include vomiting and fainting.

Get into the Cool Zone: Sometimes, window units and fans are just not enough to become comfortable. But there’s good news – your local libraries, malls, theatres, coffee cafes and museums typically are very cool. Supermarkets with cafes are also welcoming – go and have a sweet tea and salad!

It’s Not the Heat, It’s the Humidity! This famous line is actually very true. High humidity – where the air feels heavy as though you are walking through a bowl of hot soup is extremely uncomfortable, especially for those with breathing problems such as asthma. The combination of high heat and humidity impairs the ability to cool off via our cooling system – perspiration through sweat glands. Of course, you can just open the door and feel the humidity factor, but now, weather apps and reports can give you accurate “feels like” index readings.

Eat Light: Did you notice that when it’s really hot, you don’t want hot meals or heavy casseroles? Listen to your body – it wants lighter fare with fruits and vegetables high in water content, NOT heavy meals laden with carbs. During heat waves, your body is in constant need of hydration, and when it comes to mealtimes, there are tons of recipes using in-season and fresh produce that not only give you nutrition, they give you extra hydration that your digestive system needs during this time.

Be Mindful: When heat-related health issues arise, there are symptoms to look out for. Dizziness, nausea, lightheadedness, disorientation, are all warning signs to get into a cool zone quickly. Also, sudden face redness that is not sunburn.

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