New Study: Diet Affects Colon Health

The very idea of dealing with colon cancer (or any other type) is, of course, scary. Diet and lifestyle both have a significant impact on risk of developing colon cancer, a recent study showed. In fact, the team from the American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund concluded that approximately 47 percent of colorectal cancers in the US could be prevented each year with moderate and sustained changes to diet and lifestyle.

This meta-analysis (study of studies) evaluated globally performed research investigating how diet, weight and physical activity affected development of colon cancer risk; the team analyzed 99 studies, including data on 29 million people – of those, approximately 250,000 developed colorectal cancer.

This study represents the first time that the AICR and WCRF connected whole grains as an independent factor that lowers colon cancer risk. Researchers believe that eating about 90 grams of whole grains every day can reduce risk of colorectal cancer by 17 percent.

Meanwhile, on the other side, foods were found to increase risk of colorectal cancer. These include red meat and processed meats, such as hot dogs, sausages, bacon, beef and pork. Also, consuming more than two alcoholic drinks daily can increase risk as well.

Other factors that play roles in increased risk of colorectal cancer include overweight/obesity (diet and exercise can change this), and lack of exercise. People who are more physically active have shown lower risk of colon cancer compared to those who do very little, according to the new study.

The study found other dietary constituents that may have some positive influence as well, notably fish and foods containing vitamin C — but these would need to be studied more as the links were not as clear.

“Colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancers, yet this report demonstrates there is a lot people can do to dramatically lower their risk,” said Edward L. Giovannucci, MD, ScD, lead author of the report and professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health. “The findings from this comprehensive report are robust and clear: Diet and lifestyle have a major role in colorectal cancer.”

At Herbsea, we wholly believe in healthy diet, exercise as well as balance. Plus, a high-quality dietary supplement that is plant-based (Fucosea) and that offers a host of healthy micronutrients to help your body remain in good health.

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Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

November is national Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, at we at Herbsea wholeheartedly support awareness months, education and activities – if we can all help just one person change his or her lifestyle for the better we have given the gift of health.

According to several sources such as the World Cancer Research Fund International (www.wcrf.org), there are several risk factors for men to develop prostate cancer. Family history, being overweight or obese, and age. Men 40 and under rarely develop this type of cancer, but the risk rises after about age 50. Diet is a key factor as well – men whose diets are abundant in red meat and high-fat dairy, and low in fruits, vegetables and low grains tend to have higher risk of developing prostate cancer. One study examined prostate cancer development risk and consumption of fried foods, finding that men who tended to eat fried foods once or more a week had up to 37 percent more chance of developing prostate cancer than those who only ate a fried food once a month.

The authors of the WCRF’s “Prostate Cancer Report 2014” explain, “Early prostate cancer usually has no symptoms but can be detected by screening – although it may remain latent in the body without ever causing harm. With more advanced cases of the disease, men may experience weak or interrupted urine flow; the inability to urinate or difficulty starting or stopping urine flow; the need to urinate frequently, especially at night; blood in the urine; or pain or burning with urination. However, these symptoms are not specific to prostate cancer and can also be due to benign conditions such as prostatic hyperplasia.”

Foods that have been shown via studies to protect prostate function and structure include pumpkin seeds, tomato products (such as sauces) and fish such as salmon; foods that contain zinc, selenium, lycopene and omega-3 EFAs help protect prostate health.

We also recommend our Fucosea, as its strong concentration of marine plant nutrients provide an excellent platform for men, as it is rich in micronutrients and minerals, as well as omega-3 EFAs.

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Cranberries: Traditional and Medicinal

Thanksgiving, this Thursday, is a time of gathering with loved ones to feast and feel grateful. The traditional feast – turkey, stuffing, yams and cranberries – has been part of the USA’s history for generations. In fact, approximately 20 percent of the estimated 400 million pounds of cranberries Americans consume annually is on Thanksgiving.

When looking more closely at how the cranberry dish is served, what comes to mind is the gelatinous oblong roll of cranberry (this log form was launched in 1941). More American tables are featuring cranberry, but in a delicious variety of forms as they are healthier and more appealing.

Cranberries are native to the Northeast, where they have grown abundantly in bogs; Native Americans used the berries not only for food but also to obtain a rich hot-pink dye. Nutritionally, cranberries are power-packed with antioxidants known as anthocyanins and flavonols. These tiny berries are also rich in manganese, vitamins C, E and K, copper, panthothenic acid and fiber.

According to World’s Healthiest Foods (www.whfoods.com), an educational project of the George Mateljan Foundation, cranberries have been studied and found to be useful in several health conditions.

Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a collection of conditions such as increased belly fat/large waist circumference, high cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure that can lead to development of heart disease and diabetes. Some studies investigating cranberry intake via drinking cranberry juice daily in those with MetS have shown some improvement in factors such as lowered blood triglycerides and fasting blood sugar levels. Further, some studies have revealed that cranberry likely encourage the production of a hormone, adiponectin, found in fat cells that regulate triglycerides and blood glucose.

One of the most widely known uses for cranberry is to support urinary tract health, by bolstering protection against pathogenic bacteria (eg, E. coli) from adhering and causing a urinary tract infection. Several studies have shown that cranberry supplements (which concentrate the active compounds) can exert this protection. For those individuals who are susceptible to bouts of UTIs, cranberry dishes, juice and supplements such as Oysrelax are highly recommended.

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Maintaining Microbiota – Healthy Aging

You’ve heard by now about the “microbiota” and the “microbiome.” There’s a difference: microbiota refers to the colony of bacteria residing in the human organism in total – while the microbiome refers to the genes contained within the bacteria, or within the microbiota.

One of the largest microbiota studies just completed in humans occurred at the Western University, Lawson Health Research Institute and Tianyi Health Science Institute in Zhenjiang, Jiangsu, China. Researchers of this study have shown a potential link between healthy aging and a healthy gut. The scientists investigated the gut bacteria in more than 1,000 Chinese individuals ranging in age from 3 to older than 100, who were self-selected as considerably healthy with no known ill health conditions and no family history of disease. The results showed a direct relationship between health and the microbes that reside in the intestine. In fact, the overall microbiota composition of the healthy elderly in the study was on part of that in people decades younger; and the microbiota between the healthy elderly did not differ much than that in those much younger.

Gregor Reid, professor at Western’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry and Scientist at Lawson Health Research Institute, commented that the team’s goal “is to bring novel microbiome diagnostic systems to populations, then use food and probiotics to try and improve biomarkers of health. The study conclusions, he noted, raises a significant question: “If you can stay active and eat well, will you age better, or is healthy ageing predicated by the bacteria in your gut?”

“The main conclusion is that if you are ridiculously healthy and 90 years old, your gut microbiota is not that different from a healthy 30 year old in the same population,” said Greg Gloor, principal investigator on the study and also a professor at Western’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry and Scientist at Lawson Health Research Institute. “This demonstrates that maintaining diversity of your gut as you age is a biomarker of healthy aging, just like low-cholesterol is a biomarker of a healthy circulatory system.”

At Herbsea, we believe in the power of a wholesome diet and supplementation. Our flagship supplements were specifically formulated to be of relevant and effective use for everyone.

  1. Gaorui Bian, Gregory B. Gloor, Aihua Gong, Changsheng Jia, Wei Zhang, Jun Hu, Hong Zhang, Yumei Zhang, Zhenqing Zhou, Jiangao Zhang, Jeremy P. Burton, Gregor Reid, Yongliang Xiao, Qiang Zeng, Kaiping Yang, Jiangang Li. The Gut Microbiota of Healthy Aged Chinese Is Similar to That of the Healthy YoungmSphere, 2017; 2 (5): e00327-17 DOI: 1128/mSphere.00327-17

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November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month

At Herbsea, we wholeheartedly support specific health awareness months. In November, you will see many purple ribbons – this signifies National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, as designated in 1983 by President Ronald Reagan. At that time in the US, a little fewer than 2 million people were living with this disease, but that has spiked dramatically to approximately 5.4 million.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association (www.alz.org), Alheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, and accounts for approximately 60 to 80 percent of cases.

Symptoms become progressively worse. Early clinical symptoms include difficulty remembering recent conversations, names or events, apathy and depression. Later symptoms include impaired communication, poor judgment, disorientation, confusion, behavior changes and difficulty speaking, swallowing and walking.

In 2011, guidelines for diagnosing Alzheimer’s were revised to encourage physicians to consider that this is a slowly progressive brain disease whose origins start well before the emergence of its symptoms.

Alzheimer’s is characterized by abnormal deposits of the protein fragment beta-amyloid (plaques) and twisted strands of the protein tau (tangles); there is also evidence of nerve cell damage and death in the brain.

The Alzheimer’s Association (via its website) asserts that there are three key things to know about Alzheimer’s:

  • “Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of aging. The greatest known risk factor is increasing age, and the majority of people with Alzheimer’s are 65 and older. But Alzheimer’s is not just a disease of old age. Approximately 200,000 Americans under the age of 65 have younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease (also known as early-onset Alzheimer’s).
  • “Alzheimer’s worsens over time. Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, where dementia symptoms gradually worsen over a number of years. In its early stages, memory loss is mild, but with late-stage Alzheimer’s, individuals lose the ability to carry on a conversation and respond to their environment. Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Those with Alzheimer’s live an average of eight years after their symptoms become noticeable to others, but survival can range from four to 20 years, depending on age and other health conditions.
    Learn more:
  • “Alzheimer’s has no current cure, but treatments for symptoms are available and research continues. Although current Alzheimer’s treatments cannot stop Alzheimer’s from progressing, they can temporarily slow the worsening of dementia symptoms and improve quality of life for those with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers. Today, there is a worldwide effort under way to find better ways to treat the disease, delay its onset, and prevent it from developing.”

You and your loved ones can lower your risk of developing brain diseases – by eating seaweeds or taking Fucosea – which contains powerful amounts of DHA (the omega-3 EFAs) and antioxidants which are necessary for the brain to sustain its healthy activities and preservation.

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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

At Herbsea, we “celebrate” all months devoted to awareness of preventable diseases, and urge our loyal family of customers to support the foundations that raise money for cures and care. October is the month when the medical community has urged caregivers, organizations, businesses and “just plain folks” to be proactive for the women in their lives to be conscious of preventing their risk of breast cancer.

The following updated breast cancer statistics are from http://www.breastcancer.org.

  • About 1 in 8 U.S. women (about 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer.
  • In 2017, an estimated 252,710 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 63,410 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer.
  • About 2,470 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in men in 2017. A man’s lifetime risk of breast cancer is about 1 in 1,000.
  • Besides skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women. In 2017, it’s estimated that about 30% of newly diagnosed cancers in women will be breast cancers.
  • As of March 2017, there are more than 3.1 million women with a history of breast cancer in the U.S. This includes women currently being treated and women who have finished treatment

Breast cancer is characterized by abnormally growing cells in breast tissue that divide much more rapidly than normal cells. This causes an accumulation that becomes a lump. Frequently, doctors have found that breast cancer tends to start in the milk-producing ducts but can begin anywhere in the breast.

Mammograms performed annually will go a long way to helping to save lives should cancerous growths be occurring in their breasts. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), the increase in screenings and awareness has also increased early detection.

It is now possible to find out if you carry the BRCA1 and/or BRCA2 gene mutation that increases the lifetime risk of developing breast cancer as much as 80 percent. If you have had female relatives with breast cancer, it is recommended to get this test.

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Raise a Glass!

We all like to celebrate! And many of us enjoy sipping a glass of wine or a cocktail after work to relax. Did you know that, according to new research, light-to-moderate drinking can lower the risk of development of cardiovascular disease, while heavy drinking can significantly increase the risk of premature mortality from cancer, according to a study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Fewer than 14 drinks a week for men and seven for women “clearly outweigh” possible cancer risk, suggests the study.

It seems ironic that drinking a lot of alcoholic beverages has been linked to many health issues but drinking alcohol in moderation is recommended by medical experts. And there has been some studies that seem to negate one another. For example, one study that looked at the link between alcohol consumption and development of diabetes concluded that “Our findings suggest that alcohol drinking frequency is associated with the risk of diabetes and that consumption of alcohol over 3-4 weekdays is associated with the lowest risks of diabetes, even after taking average weekly alcohol consumption into account.” (Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes)

Meanwhile, a July 2017 report, “Diet, Nutrition, Physical Activity and Breast Cancer,” by the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) and the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) concluded that women who consume just one glass of wine or other alcoholic beverage per day increases the risk of developing breast cancer.

However, this latest study reviewed data from approximately 333,200 individuals who participated in National Health Interview Surveys (1997 to 2009), to determine mortality risk from all causes (cancers and cardiovascular disease).

According to the report, men who were heavy drinkers had a 25 percent increased risk of death due to all causes and a 67 percent increase in death from cancer. Oddly, these increases were not as significant in women who drink heavily, nor was there any significant association between heavy drinking and cardiovascular disease mortality in women.

Meanwhile, the report authors found that light and moderate alcohol consumption in both men and women were associated with a 13 percent decrease in all-cause mortality risk and a 21 percent decreased risk of cardiovascular disease mortality in men; and in women, respectively, a 25 percent and 34 percent decrease.

Lead author Bo Xi, Associate Professor at the Shandong University School of Public Health in China, noted that the results showed that light to moderate alcohol consumption may confer some protective benefits for the cardiovascular system while heavy drinking, unsurprisingly, influenced earlier mortality.

We all need to relax, and at Herbsea, we like deep-breathing, yoga and other techniques, and we feel that light alcohol consumption is fine as well. Taking dietary supplements such as Fucosea, which nourishes the whole body, restoring balance and resistance to stress reactions. Cheers!

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Study: Knee OA More Common Than Ever

Being able to move without pain when one gets older – remaining active through middle-age and elderly years – is the goal of many (if not all) health-minded people. But a condition that affects knees – osteoarthritis – can take that away, and with decreased mobility, create weight gain and situational depression.

A new study showed that osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee affects twice as many Americans as it did in the late 1940s. The researcher published these findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (July 12, 2017). The study, which took place at six major institutions worldwide, compared prehistoric skeletons and those from the present, concluding that OA existed in North America (particularly in the US) for centuries, however, the researchers found, that dramatic doubling of cases in the mid to latter 20th century is not due to the growth of obesity and overweight in the population.

Natural health expert and board-certified internist Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, author of of Real Cause, Real Cure and the Beat Sugar Addiction NOW! series of books, explains, “Key factors have changed in our diet, which contribute strongly to arthritis, heart attack, diabetes, and a host of other conditions.” According to Dr. Teitelbaum these factors include:

  • 18 percent of our calories now come from sugar added to the diet in food processing
  • Another approximately 18 percent come from white flour
  • Fully half of the vitamins and minerals that should be in our diet are lost in food processing
  • Fiber intake has decreased dramatically
  • Intake of Omega-3 oils has decreased, dramatically increasing the tendency to inflammation in both joints and blood vessels

At HerbSea, we highly recommend addressing potential chronic inflammation, which contributes to joint degradation, especially in the knees. One culprit is a dramatic dietary imbalance of omega 6: omega 3 EFAs, which in the current Western diet tends to be as high as 30:1; the goal is to get to 2:1. Also, exercise moderately but regularly, and take supplements that nourish your body with macronutrients and micronutrients, such as our Fucosea.

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Celebrate National Women’s Health & Fitness Day!

At Herbsea, we love it when communities and foundations promote good health and well-being. National Women’s Health and Fitness Day, September 27 (Wednesday), is one such day we support because it is inspiring.

The event is always held on the last Wednesday of September and is billed by its organizers as a unique national program, as it calls for participation by local organizations through the US to focus attention on the health-promoting aspects of engaging in regular exercise. Women do tend to put their needs behind those of their families and jobs and work out intermittently. But, taking some time out every day to exercise gives tremendous benefits, mentally and emotionally as well as physically.

Not all exercise is the same for every woman. Some women enjoy gym work, others enjoy exercising outdoors. Some like endurance exercise, and others like power. Whether it’s bodybuilding, marathon training, tennis or golf, National Women’s Health and Fitness Day is meant to inspire and motivate women to just “move it” on a regular basis, in order to achieve optimal fitness and well-being. The word “enjoy” is used because it is important to enjoy how you work out – if you don’t, you won’t.

More than 500 groups nationwide will host events at health clubs, park and recreation districts, local health and service organizations, hospitals and other community locations. An estimated 50,000 to 75,000 women are expected to participate, according to a press release. Visit www.fitnessday.com/women for more information and how to get involved.

We encourage you to add regular exercise/fitness into your daily routine. It’s not always or all about weight loss/maintenance, regular exercise keeps you cardiovascularly fit, strengthens bone and muscle, and keeps you physically and mentally energized; it also helps promote sound sleep.

Doing our part to support and celebrate women’s health and women’s fitness, we offer Dong Quai, an exceptional botanical that promotes female balance, especially during the luteal phase (pre-menstrual).

According to the University of Maryland School of Medicine, the root of dong quai (Angelica sinensis) has been used traditionally throughout Asia as a spice, tonic and remedy for female complaints. It is frequently combined with other herbs current Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) therapies. TCM practitioners and many Western naturopaths and herbalist like to recommend dong quai for women who have painful menstruation and to improve blood flow of menstruation, as well as to regulate the cycle, and lessen premenstrual syndromes. Additionally, some older women who take dong quai report easement of peri-menopause symptoms. This is why dong quai is often referred to as “female ginseng.”

If you are on hormone medications, talk to your doctor when deciding to add dong quai – it may act like an estrogen in the body. In addition, watch your dosage; too much can make you more sensitive to sunlight.

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All About Wakame

Our Fucosea Family supplement is a unique, powerful blend of the world’s most nutritious – and sustainable – seaweeds. Here, we focus on Wakame.

Wakame seaweed has high nutritional value, containing rich amounts of active ingredients including protein, vitamins, minerals, alginic acid, mannitol, fucoidin, unsaturated fatty acid, dietary fiber fucoxanthin, and iodine. Research has suggested that wakame seaweed can manage blood fat, blood pressure, and support immunity.

The experts at the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (www.fao.org), have supplied a detailed explanation of wakame (Undaria pinnatifida). Wakame is a brown seaweed that grows abundantly on rocky shores and bays in China, Korea and Japan, and is also found in New Zealand and Australia. It likes to adhere and grow on rocks and reefs down to seven meters. It thrives in temperatures between 5 and 15 degrees Celsius.

Wakame is abundant in dietary fiber, more so than that contained in other popular seaweeds such as nori and kombu. It is also lower in fat. Dried wakame is high in B vitamins, especially niacin; it also has essential minerals such as copper, iron, iodine, magnesium, calcium, manganese and zinc.

Wakame has several health benefits. Its iodine content promotes healthy cell metabolism, which regulates the conversion of food into energy. Iodine is also needed by the thyroid gland to produce thyroid hormones. Iron helps prevent anemia, as it is essential for red blood cell production. Magnesium is necessary for muscle contraction and relaxation.

Vitamins included in this nutrient-packed sea delicacy include A, C and E, known for outstanding antioxidant abilities, vitamin K, the key vitamin that helps promote healthy blood coagulation, vitamin D, which helps support healthy bone turnover with calcium, and folate, which is necessary for development of healthy babies. And, wakame has lignans, a nutraceutical that research has shown may lessen risk of cancer development.

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