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Free (or Cheap) and Easy "Health Hacks"

Written by Wellness Club on November 23, 2015 – 4:10 pm -

By Dr. Dana Myatt

 

Here are a half-dozen of my favorite free (or really cheap) “Health Hacks” – How you can stay healthy without spending a lot o’ bucks…

1.) Deodorant. Aluminum and other unsavory ingredients in most deodorants pose a potential health concern. What to do instead? Diaper rash cream. Or more specifically, zinc oxide ointment which is not just used on babies bottoms but also on wounds and infections.

Just dab a pea-sized amount under each arm after bathing. The effect lasts many people for several days.

Why does this work? Because zinc — an essential mineral for humans — is toxic to bacteria. It is bacteria that cause under arm odors.

We like the simplest cream, zinc and nothing else. No fragrances. Creams seem to rub in easier than ointments. Here is one that we like:  https://www.emersonecologics.com/Products/EmersonMain/PID-W96652.aspx that can be purchased directly from our distributor, Emerson Ecologics. (You will need to create an account, and use the password ‘ health ‘ to access these doctor-grade products.)

Or check your local pharmacy. Zinc ointment is cheap, cheap, cheap and highly effective.

2.) Free Vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential for immunity, bone health, cancer prevention, diabetes prevention, strokes prevention and reduced risk of all cause mortality! To get the full story, visit our medical white paper on Vitamin D here.

The good news? Vitamin D is a "freebie." Scientists have found that the skin produces approximately 10,000 IU of Vitamin D in response to as little as 30 minutes of unprotected summer sun exposure.

But what if you live in Minnesota and its winter? Vitamin D supplements are inexpensive insurance. Get the good stuff since vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin and stores in the tissues. (I always recommend getting "the good stuff" anyway). You can take 5,000IU per day for many months without getting anywhere near "too much." Obese people need even more, around 10,000IU. Go read the vitamin D paper at the link above for exact doing guidelines. But whatever you do, get enough vitamin D!

3.) Donate blood. Give up some red, lower your risk of heart disease. Ferritin is the storage form of iron. High (even "high normal”) iron levels increase free radical production and is highly associated with increased risk of atherosclerosis and peripheral vascular disease. Serum ferritin is one of the strongest risk predictors of overall progression of atherosclerosis. Healthy levels are between 25-80; around 50 may be optimal. These levels are well below the "normal reference range" of conventional medicine.

To see my references and learn more about how and why this works, visit this our Longevity Lab Test page.

The easy way to lower ferritin is to donate blood 3-4 times per year. Blood donors have a significantly lower risk of cardiovascular events, making this simple hack a "win-win."

4.) Get enough sleep. Your body produces the powerful antioxidant hormone melatonin during sleep. Melatonin is one of the only antioxidants that crosses and protects the brain. Other antioxidants are helpful but do not cross the "blood-brain barrier" and so do not help protect the nervous system.

So, set yourself a regular, reasonably early bedtime and stick with it – no late-night TV or other distractions. Aim for a good solid 8 hours of sleep each night – sleep deprivation results in hormonal imbalances which can lead to weight gain, mood disorders, higher risk of cancer and increased risk of neurological disease to name just a few. “Sleep aids” (drugs) like Lunesta, Ambien, and others are dangerous. How dangerous? Try double the risk of death.

We have written extensively on the dangers of these drugs, and your alternatives to achieve a good, drug-free sleep. Learn more at HealthBeat News.

5.) Drink some Joe! In a recent study published in The American Heart Association’s medical journal Circulation, researchers found that people who drank three to five cups of coffee per day had about a 15 percent lower risk of premature death compared to people who didn’t drink coffee.
Earlier research has shown that coffee helps prevent stroke and some types of cancer, reduces the risk of Type II Diabetes, improves cognition and mood, enhances physical performance, lowers risk of neurological disease (Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s), and helps burn fat. What’s not to love?

6.) Grow a healthy "gut garden." Supercharge your immunity with a plentiful garden of good bacteria. Gut flora is essential to a healthy immune system. Conventional medicine has finally recognized what holistic docs have known for years: a healthy population of good bacteria in the gut is a powerful immune modulator. Learn more about that here in our previous HealthBeat News article.

A general immune-enhancing dose (especially important over the Winter months) would be 1-2 caps of 35 Billion Probiotics taken with meals.

 

References:

vit D

1. Melamed ML, et al. 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Levels and the Risk of Mortality in the General Population. Arch Intern Med 2008; 168: 1629-1637.

2.Saliba W, Barnett O, Rennert HS, Rennert G. The risk of all-cause mortality is inversely related to serum 25(OH)D levels. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2012 Aug;97(8):2792-8. doi: 10.1210/jc.2012-1747. Epub 2012 May 30.

3. Durup D, Jørgensen HL, Christensen J, Schwarz P, Heegaard AM, Lind B. A reverse J-shaped association of all-cause mortality with serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D in general practice: the CopD study. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2012 Aug;97(8):2644-52. doi: 10.1210/jc.2012-1176. Epub 2012 May 9.

Ferritin

1 Alissa EM, Ahmed WH, Al-Ama N, Ferns GA. Relationship between indices of iron status and coronary risk factors including diabetes and the metabolic syndrome in Saudi subjects without overt coronary disease. J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2007;21(4):242-54. Epub 2007 Aug 7

2. Ahluwalia N, Genoux A, Ferrieres J, Perret B, Carayol M, Drouet L, Ruidavets JB. Iron status is associated with carotid atherosclerotic plaques in middle-aged adults. J Nutr. 2010 Apr;140(4):812-6. Epub 2010 Feb 24.

3.de Godoy MF, Takakura IT, Machado RD, Grassi LV, Nogueira PR. Serum ferritin and obstructive coronary artery disease: angiographic correlation. Arq Bras Cardiol. 2007 Apr;88(4):430-3.

4. Depalma RG, Hayes VW, Chow BK, Shamayeva G, May PE, Zacharski LR. Ferritin levels, inflammatory biomarkers, and mortality in peripheral arterial disease: a substudy of the Iron (Fe) and Atherosclerosis Study (FeAST) Trial. J Vasc Surg. 2010 Jun;51(6):1498-503. Epub 2010 Mar 20

5. Kiechl S, Willeit J, Egger G, Poewe W, Oberhollenzer F.Body iron stores and the risk of carotid atherosclerosis: prospective results from the Bruneck study.Circulation. 1997 Nov 18;96(10):3300-7.

6. Lee KR, Sweeney G, Kim WY, Kim KK. Serum ferritin is linked with aortic stiffness in apparently healthy Korean women. Crit Pathw Cardiol. 2010 Sep;9(3):160-3

7. Mainous AG 3rd, Diaz VA. Relation of serum ferritin level to cardiovascular fitness among young men. Am J Cardiol. 2009 Jan 1;103(1):115-8. Epub 2008 Oct 17.

8. Menke A, Fernández-Real JM, Muntner P, Guallar E. The association of biomarkers of iron status with peripheral arterial disease in US adults. BMC Cardiovasc Disord. 2009 Aug 3;9:34.

9. Valenti L, Swinkels DW, Burdick L, Dongiovanni P, Tjalsma H, Motta BM, Bertelli C, Fatta E, Bignamini D, Rametta R, Fargion S, Fracanzani AL. Serum ferritin levels are associated with vascular damage in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2011 Aug;21(8):568-75. Epub 2010 Apr 13.

10. Zacharski LR, Shamayeva G, Chow BK. Effect of controlled reduction of body iron stores on clinical outcomes in peripheral arterial disease. Am Heart J. 2011 Nov;162(5):949-957.

Sleep

1. Jie Liu, Fang Huang, and Hong-Wen He. Melatonin Effects on Hard Tissues: Bone and Tooth. Int J Mol Sci. May 2013; 14(5): 10063–10074.
Suzen S. Recent developments of melatonin related antioxidant compounds. Comb Chem High Throughput Screen. 2006 Jul;9(6):409-19.

2. Cardinali DP, Furio AM, Reyes MP. Clinical perspectives for the use of melatonin as a chronobiotic and cytoprotective agent. Ann NY Acad Sci. 2005 Dec;1057:327-36.

3. Srinivasan V, Pandi-Perumal S, Cardinali D, Poeggeler B, Hardeland R. Melatonin in Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. Behav Brain Funct. 2006;2(1):15.

4. Reiter RJ, Tan DX, Leon J, Kilic U, Kilic E. When melatonin gets on your nerves: its beneficial actions in experimental models of stroke. Exp Biol Med (Maywood.). 2005 Feb;230(2):104-17.

5. Scheer FA, Van Montfrans GA, van Someren EJ, Mairuhu G, Buijs RM. Daily nighttime melatonin reduces blood pressure in male patients with essential hypertension. Hypertension. 2004 Feb;43(2):192-7.

6. Cagnacci A, Cannoletta M, Renzi A, et al. Prolonged melatonin administration decreases nocturnal blood pressure in women. Am J Hypertens. 2005 Dec;18(12 Pt 1):1614-8.

Coffee

1. Chrysant SG1. Coffee Consumption and Cardiovascular Health. Am J Cardiol. 2015 Sep 1;116(5):818-21.

2. Loftfield E1, Freedman ND2, Graubard BI2, Hollenbeck AR2, Shebl FM2, Mayne ST2, Sinha R2. Coffee drinking and cutaneous melanoma risk in the NIH-AARP diet and health study. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2015 Jan 20;107(2).

3. Crippa A, Discacciati A, Larsson SC, Wolk A, Orsini N. Coffee consumption and mortality from all causes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer: a dose-response meta-analysis. Am J Epidemiol. 2014 Oct 15;180(8):763-75Higdon JV, Frei B. Coffee and its consumption: benefits and risks. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2011 Apr;51(4):363-73.

4. O’Keefe JH1, Bhatti SK, Patil HR, DiNicolantonio JJ, Lucan SC, Lavie CJ.Effects of habitual coffee consumption on cardiometabolic disease, cardiovascular health, and all-cause mortality. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2013 Sep 17;62(12):1043-51.

5. Whayne TF Jr1. Coffee: A Selected Overview of Beneficial or Harmful Effects on the Cardiovascular System? Curr Vasc Pharmacol. 2015;13(5):637-48.

6. Cano-Marquina A1, Tarín JJ, Cano A. The impact of coffee on health. Maturitas. 2013 May;75(1):7-21.

Probiotics

1.) Man AL, Bertelli E, Rentini S, Regoli M, Briars G, Marini M, Watson AJ, Nicoletti C. Age-associated modifications of intestinal permeability and innate immunity in human small intestine. Clin Sci (Lond). 2015 Oct;129(7):515-27. doi: 10.1042/CS20150046. Epub 2015 May 7.

2.) Sassone-Corsi M., Raffatellu M. No vacancy: how beneficial microbes cooperate with immunity to provide colonization resistance to pathogens. J Immunol. 2015 May 1;194(9):4081-7. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1403169.

3.) Bermon S, Petriz B, Kajeniene A, Prestes J, Castell L, Franco OL. The microbiota: an exercise immunology perspective.Exerc Immunol Rev. 2015;21:70-9.

4.) Yoon MY, Lee K, Yoon SS. Protective role of gut commensal microbes against intestinal infections. J Microbiol. 2014 Dec;52(12):983-9. doi: 10.1007/s12275-014-4655-2. Epub 2014 Nov 29.

5.) Bermudez-Brito M., Plaza-Díaz J, Muñoz-Quezada S., Gómez-Llorente C., Gil A. Probiotic Mechanisms of Action. Ann Nutr Metab 2012;61:160–174.

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