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John Crider

John Crider was a fit, healthy, energetic 57-year-old chemist who was living as if nothing could ever take him down. He was an avid skier, hiker, biker, and loved his daily walks on the beautiful Colorado trails across the street from his house. He generally did anything he wanted, whenever he wanted. He was the guy who never looked or acted his age, and he was fitter than most 40-year-olds. He thought it would always be that way—until one day when he was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in his feet, and his life changed literally overnight. Not willing to take it lying down, he did everything necessary to battle back and walk normally again. Now, he’s a strong, fit 60-year-old who is back to doing most everything he likes—except now, he doesn’t take a single step for granted.

I’ve always worked out and enjoyed being able to do whatever I wanted. Several things I enjoyed the most were bike riding, walking or hiking. I walked every day if I was able, and most days I was. To go to bed seemingly perfectly healthy one night and not be able to walk the next morning was a huge shock. From the time I felt the pain to when I couldn’t walk was overnight, but there were signs. I would get these occasional “pings” throughout my torso—my upper and lower quadrants. They were painful, but not so much that they made me jolt, and they were in different areas at different times, which seemed odd. But, I didn’t think much of it. I figured it was just part of getting older.

Looking back, the pings were an obvious a sign that something was going on with my body. I went to bed one night feeling fine, and the next morning, I couldn’t put any weight on my right foot and couldn’t put a shoe on and felt like I was walking on hot knives. My life from that point changed overnight. I didn’t really know what was going on, and since this happened on the weekend, I had to wait until Monday to see my doc. When I got in to see the doc, he diagnosed me with gout (even though he knew I have a family history of RA and autoimmune diseases), which normally lasts 10-14 days and then it’s over. But, mine continued. With my family history of the disease, I was suspicious that it could be what I had, so I started doing all kinds of online research and found everything I could about gout and RA. The more I educated myself, I realized it that it most likely wasn’t gout, and I was even more suspicious of RA. So, I saw a rheumatologist, had a blood test, and he confirmed the diagnosis of RA.

When I was diagnosed, I was pretty stunned. I went from doing anything I wanted to realizing that life is precious. Stuff can happen and your life can change overnight. That’s what happened to me. My biggest concern was whether I was ever going to walk again. I couldn’t even stand in the kitchen to make dinner. I live across the street from open space and trails that I love walking, and to think that I might not ever do that again was really eye opening. I was determined to not let it beat me.

Going through the initial treatments took about three months, and I had very little success with the treatments. It was helping with limited success, but I still couldn’t walk far at all, and every step I took was painful. Most of it was in my right foot, but some in my left foot, too. Once I got on a biologic drug for RA, it brought things under control quickly. It’s an amazing drug, and I’m grateful it worked for me because it doesn’t work for everyone. I felt the difference overnight, and within a week or two, I was able to start walking much farther.

It took about six months before I could start walking the trails again, and nearly a year before I could walk to Stearn’s Lake, which is 3.2 miles. I felt so good the first time I got to the lake and back—that was a big celebration. I took every step for granted before getting diagnosed, and now I was finally able to have it back again. One of the things I could always do with very little pain was ride my bike. I was fortunate that I could still ride without too much pain—and that gave me hope throughout the time I couldn’t walk. I really focused heavily on that—at least I could ride.

To stay fit, I keep an active, healthy lifestyle: I work out, eat right, take vitamin D and eat mostly organic foods. I believe that pesticides and herbicides in our food system get into our bodies and affect us negatively. It’s a cumulative effect, and it may take many years to show the effects, but it will show up eventually. My motto has always been everything in moderation. We only live once, so I figure I’ll eat foods I enjoy as long as they don’t cause harm to me. It’s all part of living every day with gusto. I took out some unhealthy habits that were doing more harm than good, and now I’m much healthier than I was before the diagnosis.

Even though I have to take daily meds, I can still do things that I want to do and not let RA control me. I’ll always have this disease, but it doesn’t define me. I just do the best I can to live my life the way I want. RA brought me down to my knees, temporarily, but I wasn’t going to let it beat me—and it didn’t beat me. While there is no cure for RA, I fought it head on. I will continue to stay physically and mentally fit, and appreciate every walk on the trail.

Coffee with America – Dr. V.

Click to below to watch! Famous TV Host Dr. Yael Varnado-Rhodes, RD, Shares Her Amazing Strategy for Improving Your Health & Wellness

ASK DR ‘V’ HOW TO KICK START YOUR HEALTH & WELLNESS THIS SUMMER

As a trusted health and lifestyle expert, Dr. Yael Varnado, affectionately called Dr. V, has garnered the respect of her peers, patients, and the public with her blend of passion-driven clinical knowledge and compassion. She has a passion for PREVENTION especially for young adults and a focus on women’s health and is known for her ability to deliver relatable, usable and relevant information. She is committed to educating the masses about how important it is to live healthy early on in life, so you can enjoy great health in the golden years.
In this interview, Dr. V will explain why Women’s Health Week (May 14-20) and other celebrations during the month of May can be a spring board for inspire women to make health changes. The US Department of Health and Human Services points out that heart disease, breast cancer, osteoporosis, depression and autoimmune diseases are the top five health issues facing women.

SOME OF THE HEALTH CHECKS DR. V DISCUSSES INCLUDE:
The importance of antioxidants and a healthy diet
Understanding problems and sexual issues facing women as they age
How effective are vitamins and supplements and for young and older women
Important information about a serious problem that affects one in three women

SPOKESPERSON BACKGROUND: Dr. Varnado has made frequent guest appearances as a medical contributor on The Today Show, CNN, Dr. Oz, The Bethenny Show, Fox News, CBS, The Huffington Post, Cosmopolitan, Women’s Health, Refinery 29, Hot 97, Perez Hilton, and The Steve Harvey Show to name a few, weighing in on breaking news issues and hot health topics. For almost three years she co-hosted the medical health segment on Reverend Al Sharpton’s syndicated radio show “Keeping it Real.” She is the founder of Get Checked 4 Life, Inc., getchecked4life.org a 501(c)(3) non-profit grassroots organization that provides at-risk and underserved communities across the nation with access to health services.

L-Theanine: Catch Some Zs

By Sara Lovelady

Have you ever wondered why drinking a cup of hot tea seems to have a calming effect, even though tea contains caffeine? The answer is L-theanine, an amino acid and a component of black and green tea that helps calm the brain.* If the wheels of your mind can’t stop spinning at night—and that keeps you from falling asleep—L-theanine can be part of the solution.*

More time sleeping, less time tossing and turning

In 2011, a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial studied the effect of L-theanine on boys aged 8 to 12 who were taking stimulating medications. It found that 400 mg of L-theanine daily for six weeks significantly improved their sleep efficiency (the time spent awake versus asleep while in bed).* There was also a small decrease in the boys’ movements while asleep.* However, it did not improve their sleep latency (the time it takes to fall asleep.)

L-theanine promotes a calm mood—which is exactly what you want when you hit the hay.* A 2007 double-blind, placebo-controlled study tested volunteers’ ability to perform math problems in their heads. It found that the people who took L-theanine were less stressed by the task than those who took the placebo pills.* Their heart rates and the level of immunoglobin (a marker of stress) in their saliva were lower than in the folks who took a placebo.*

How does L-theanine work?

L-theanine works by increasing the production of relaxing alpha brain waves, which help ease the transition to sleep.* It also increases levels of GABA, a calming neurotransmitter.* Lastly, L-theanine blocks L-glutamic acid from binding to receptors that cause brain cells to become overexcited.*

The effect of L-theanine on alpha brain waves has been demonstrated in several studies. In one small 1998 trial, female university students took a single dose of 200 mg of L-theanine, and researchers then measured their brain waves. The results showed L-theanine generated alpha waves in the occipital and parietal lobes of the volunteers’ brains.* One interesting thing about this study is that L-theanine worked best for the people who needed it the most—the effect was more pronounced in the students who were experiencing more stress at the time of the test.* A 2003 study found this same effect: an increase in alpha brain waves in stressed but not in non-stressed young men.*

A 2008 study found a relatively low single dose of L-theanine (50 mg) also increased alpha waves. Researchers gave 35 healthy young people L-theanine or a placebo. They then measured their brain waves while the participants relaxed with their eyes closed or engaged in a passive activity. The result was a significant increase in alpha waves in those taking the L-theanine.*

Your cup of tea?

If you want to take advantage of L-theanine’s ability to promote restful sleep, tea before bedtime is probably not the best idea because of the caffeine. It makes more sense to take it as a supplement. L-theanine is available in capsules, tablets, gummies and powders. It may also be combined in formulas with other sleep-promoting ingredients such as GABA, nutrients, and sedative herbs that address other aspects of the sleep cycle, such as sleep latency.

* This statement has not been reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22214254

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16930802

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/273220751_Effects_of_L-Theanine_on_the_Release_of_ALPHA-Brain_Waves_in_Human_Volunteers

https://koreamed.org/SearchBasic.php?RID=0124KJN/2003.36.9.918&DT=1

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18296328

7 Kids and Us – Vitanova Adds 4 New Supplements including Keep Calm and Sleep Well

May 2017 – 7 Kids and Us – Vitanova Adds 4 New Supplements including Keep Calm and Sleep Well

I find it really amazing that so many different things we put in our body can do so many things. I mean, if we drink a lavender tea, we feel relaxed, and if we eat sunflowers, it can boost our brain power. I love that Vitanova has packaged each of these things for me, in one convenient tablet.

Vitanova has recently added to this line of distinctive supplements four new products designed to support daily living and wellness.
Read more

Vitanova Makes Music with Health and Wellness Vitamins

May 2017 – Vitanova Makes Music with Health and Wellness Vitamins

SAN FRANCISCO, May 4, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Vitanova introduces Stella Heath, one of the nine Vitanova Brand Ambassadors featured on their Women’s Multivitamin box. Vitanova has developed a unique multivitamin product line made with probiotic-cultured nutrients, certified organic botanicals, and non-GMO ingredients sustainably sourced from around the globe.
Read more

Do Flowers Hold the Secret to Universal Intelligence?

Since modern man and woman walked the earth with the capability to question and comprehend the world and its universal laws, flowers have been the topic of much philosophizing. They are the epitome of beauty, the most celebrated of gifts, the subject of great poems and works of art, and metaphors for revealing our natural inner essence.

Consider this: Have you ever seen an ugly flower? Even a simple daisy is beautiful, and somehow perfect, in its design.

So, what is it that makes flowers universally pleasing to the human eye? Mathematicians, botanists, artists, astronomers, architects and even our own intuition may hold the answers.

In 1202, Italian mathematician Leonardo Pisano, better known by the name Fibonacci, wrote about a sequence of numbers that occurs when a number is equal to the addition of the two numbers prior––for instance, 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, and so on.

The Fibonacci sequence correlates to the discovery of this pattern and similar patterns throughout history, dating back to about 300 B.C. It has been called by many names: The Golden Mean, The Golden Ratio, The Divine Proportion and, in more recent centuries, by the mathematically divided ratios of these sequential numbers that equals 1.618, named phi, after the 21st letter of the Greek alphabet.

This sequence and this number are said to have the proportions that human beings consider to be aesthetically pleasing. Science has found phi more than anywhere in nature––in pinecones and pineapples, in cacti and conifers, in hurricanes and galaxies, in the branching of trees, in the spiral of nautilus seashells and, yes, in many flowers.

Botanists determine that a flower opens its petals to absorb the greatest amount of sunlight—and quite often the number of petals follows the Fibonacci sequence, having 3, 5 or 8 petals, for instance. Oftentimes, the head of a sunflower has this divine pattern in its number of seeds and the proportional formation in which the seeds spiral. The Golden Ratio can be found throughout nature, including in many of our fruits and vegetables––in the spiraling head of a cauliflower, in the pattern of an apple cut in half.

This mathematical equation can also be found in much of art and architecture, as it creates a sense of beautiful proportion and balance in the design. Another Leonardo––namely, da Vinci––is the artist most known for using this proportional ratio in his works and may have even intentionally incorporated it when creating “The Last Supper” and the famous “Mona Lisa.” Whether he intended it or intuited it, the Divine Proportion is there.

But its appearance throughout nature is what has scientists pondering its universal intelligence, its cosmic wisdom. You can even see the patterns in the human body. We have five fingers on each hand, three sections to our arms, and if you divide the length of the forearm by the length of a hand, it equals––you guessed it––about 1.618. Recent discoveries have gynecologists amazed that the most fertile uterus is one that has proportions correlating to 1.618.

Clearly, this mathematical intelligence is a part of our natural world. Though not all things in nature follow this pattern, there are enough examples of it that mankind has taken notice and has been contemplating it for millennia.

A fascinating question: Is there something within us as human beings that resonates with nature, in that we recognize its beauty, balance and cosmic intelligence? Those in the fields of science, math and art will continue to ponder this naturally occurring mystery.

And we will, too.

When we at Vitanova were deciding on the symbol that would best represent our company, we unanimously selected an eight-petaled flower, one that just happened to follow the Fibonacci sequence. We did not choose to incorporate the Golden Ratio into our logo, but that particular flower resonated with us because of its beauty and harmony. We also recognized that a flower is a metaphor for the blossoming of the human essence, a symbol of awakening and rebirth.

It wasn’t until later that we discovered its multi-faceted perfection: the balance, the beauty, the science, the botanical wisdom, and the power of those elements combined. Behold, the flower—that speaks to us of its universal secrets.

Sources:

http://science.howstuffworks.com/math-concepts/fibonacci-nature1.htm

http://rsos.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/3/5/160091

http://scienceline.ucsb.edu/getkey.php?key=111

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3578919

http://jwilson.coe.uga.edu/emat6680/parveen/fib_nature.htm

http://www.livescience.com/37470-fibonacci-sequence.html

http://www.maths.surrey.ac.uk/hosted-sites/R.Knott/Fibonacci/fibnat.html

http://www.medicaldaily.com/golden-ratio-womans-uterus-linked-her-fertility-241942

Ashwagandha: Keep calm and be awesome

 

If you ever feel overwhelmed by the never-ending to-do list of modern life, there’s one herb you should know about: ashwagandha. The root of this well-studied herb has a long history of use in Ayurveda—the ancient Indian system of medicine—for restoring vigor and strength after the body has been depleted by stress.*

 

A premier adaptogenic herb

Ashwagandha is an adaptogen. This remarkable class of herbs actually increases an individual’s ability to maintain homeostasis, even when under physical, mental, or emotional stress.*

Unlike most herbs, which work in one direction, adaptogens work in all directions. Ephedra, for example, is a stimulant. No matter who takes ephedra, the herb will have a stimulating effect similar to caffeine. Its direction, in other words, is always up.

Adaptogens, however, can turn the dial up or down as needed. Like a thermostat that heats or cools the air to maintain a consistent temperature, adaptogens increase or decrease bodily activity to maintain homeostasis.* Their direction changes depending on the person.*

As an adaptogen, ashwagandha reads what your body needs and then fine tunes your system in response. If you feel fatigued, it will energize you.* If you are stressed out, it will calm you down.* If you need to concentrate, it will help you focus.* If you need to rest, it will relax you.* Sound too good to be true? Check out the research!

 

Researched benefits of ashwagandha

Several human clinical trials published over the past two decades provide scientific evidence that ashwagandha is effective for the relief of occasional stress.*

In 2000, a double-blind, placebo-controlled study found that after six weeks of treatment with 500mg of ashwagandha per day, 88.2 percent of participants felt relief from occasional stress, while only 50 percent of those taking the placebo did.* (In other words, it was almost twice as effective!)

Another double-blind study published in 2009 and lasting 12 weeks compared two different protocols for occasional stress. One group of participants received counseling about diet, learned deep-breathing exercises, and took a multivitamin plus 600 mg of ashwagandha per day. The other group received psychotherapy, learned the same breathing exercises, and took a placebo. At the end of the study, the ashwagandha group experienced a 56.5 percent reduction in stress, while the psychotherapy group experienced just a 30.5 percent decline.* (Again, ashwagandha was nearly two times as effective!) The folks taking ashwagandha also experienced more marked improvements in concentration, energy, social functioning, and overall quality of life.*

 

How ashwagandha works

The active constituents of ashwagandha are called withanolides. They work by decreasing levels of cortisol, a hormone released during stress, and increasing levels of DHEA, a hormone that supports a positive mood.*

These mechanisms of action were illustrated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in 2008 that compared stress symptoms and hormone levels among people taking either 125, 250, or 500 mg of Sensoril® (a standardized extract of ashwagandha) or a placebo. Sensoril® not only helped reduce feelings of occasional stress—as well as sleeplessness, forgetfulness, and irritability—it also reduced cortisol while increasing DHEA.*

Ashwagandha root extract is sold in capsules or tablets, or as a powder or tincture. The withanolide content is often standardized and indicated on the label and can vary from 1.5 percent to 10 percent.

 

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2958355/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19718255

https://blog.priceplow.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/withania_review.pdf

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3573577/

Collagen: Bring firmness back to your skin

By Sara Lovelady

One hallmark of youthful skin is firmness. When you’re young, your skin is naturally taut. As your skin ages, though, it loses its firmness and starts to sag. Ideally, you want to take steps to prevent your skin from sagging in the first place. But if you’re past that point, is there anything you can do? The answer is yes, in the form of collagen.

Beauty from the inside out

Collagen is a structural protein and the main component of connective tissue. It makes up 30 percent of the protein in your body and an amazing 70 percent of the protein in your skin.

Think of collagen as the scaffolding of a building. It provides the structure that supports and binds the other tissues of your body, including your tendons, muscles, cartilage, skin, and bones.* Unfortunately, several factors—including chronological aging, sun exposure, pollution, and smoke—break down the collagen in your skin, causing it to droop and wrinkle.

The good news is that collagen supplementation can help. In fact, a human clinical study found that when 26 women took 1 gram daily of a combination of type II collagen, chondroitin sulfate, and hyaluronic acid for 6 weeks, the collagen content of their skin increased significantly.* At the end of the 12-week study, the participants experienced visible skin health benefits, too, including significant reductions in facial lines and wrinkles, dryness, and skin scaling.*

How does collagen work?

Collagen appears to work in a number of different ways to support youthful skin.* First, test-tube research has shown that collagen stimulates chondrocytes (cartilage cells) to produce type II collagen and proteoglycans—both important components of connective tissue.* Second, human research has documented that collagen supplementation may help the body synthesize hyaluronic acid (HA).* Because HA holds water molecules in the skin, it contributes to skin firmness.* And third, animal research has found that collagen ingestion enhances the number of fibroblasts (cells that produce collagen) in the body and protects against UV damage to the skin.*

All collagen is not the same

Importantly, there are several different kinds of collagen:

  • Type I collagen is present in the skin, tendons, blood vessels, organs, and bone
  • Type II collagen is present in the cartilage
  • Type III collagen is present in the reticular fibers of connective tissue
  • Type IV collagen is present in the basal lamina, a layer of the extracellular matrix
  • Type V collagen is present in the cell surfaces, hair, and placenta

A combination of various types of collagen may be more effective for supporting youthful skin than one type alone.*

* This statement has not been reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3426261/

Vitanova Expands Their Supplement Line with Four Unique Products

April 2017 – Vitanova Expands Their Supplement Line with Four Unique Products

SAN FRANCISCO, April 13, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Vitanova has developed a unique multivitamin product line made with probiotic-cultured nutrients, certified organic botanicals, and non-GMO ingredients sustainably sourced from around the globe.

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