One Easy Answer for Some Big Health Questions Heart Health, Cellular Immune, Digestion and More!
Many people—and you may be one of them—know that their lives could be much improved with natural medicines, but they are overwhelmed by the thousands of products on the shelves. Should they take that heart product? Or the cholesterol reducer? Or focus on improving blood pressure? How about the one that improves bone density—that’s important, too. Digestion is vitally important, as well as ongoing detoxification. And don’t forget the importance of cancer prevention. Oh, and hormone balance can affect everything from mood to energy to facial aging, in both women and men. How on earth do you decide? You may be on a budget, and can only afford two or three products. However, even if you aren’t, it can be confusing and time consuming to try to cobble together a group of supplements that address all these issues in a meaningful manner. Recently, during my travels in Europe, I found a clinically studied powder that mixes easily with food or beverages. This blend of natural nutrients is effective for top health concerns like cancer prevention, bone density, blood pressure lowering, cholesterol improvements, heart disease prevention, hormonal balance, digestive concerns, and ongoing daily detoxification. Does this sound too good to be true? Read on, because today’s issue of Terry Talks Nutrition is about one easy answer to life’s hard health questions!
Nutrients That Matter
A simple way to address a lot of concerns all at once. That’s what I found when I discovered a clinically-studied nutrient blend that provides plant sterols, potassium, and calcium, all in a lignan-rich, crushed Nordic flaxseed powder. It’s an exciting combination that delivers multiple benefits for the heart, digestion, bone health, and breast and prostate tissue. And while the focus of the research on this amazing mixture has been on cholesterol health and blood pressure, the truth is, it’s a perfect match for anyone who wants an easy way to address multiple health issues.
Heart Health – Cholesterol Balance and More
Cholesterol isn’t our enemy. It is a vitally important building block for everything from vitamin D to our sex hormones. That’s why I love plant sterols. They help with cholesterol balance without disrupting liver function the way that statin drugs do, nor do they dramatically drop the cholesterol we need in our bodies. They help us to balance the LDL to HDL ratio, which is an important part of cardiovascular health. Plant sterols, also known as “phytosterols,” actually work on a very simple principal – they move in and take over the sites in the intestines where cholesterol would be absorbed. The reason they can do this is that they are shaped so much like cholesterol that they fit perfectly into the “parking places” that cholesterol would normally absorb through. Because the cholesterol has nowhere to go to be absorbed, it continues through the digestive system. Fiber, from crushed flaxseed, for example, picks up this cholesterol and it is excreted. Clinical results of the double-blind, placebo-controlled study were impressive with this blend regarding cholesterol. By the end of the 15-week study which featured a controlled diet in addition to the nutrient regimen (or placebo), total cholesterol levels dropped by 8% in the nutrient blend group versus 3% for the placebo, and LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, considered “bad” cholesterol because it is prone to oxidation, dropped 13% compared to 5% in the placebo group – all achieved without the life-threatening complications of statin drugs. And remember, only 20% of your cholesterol is from your diet—about 80% is made by your own body. Even vegetarians can benefit from plant sterols.
Additional Nutrients for Heart Support High Level of Potassium
Potassium is one of the best minerals for heart health. It helps prevent free-radical damage to the walls of blood vessels and arteries, which in turn can prevent inflammation and LDL cholesterol oxidation. Luckily, the body is very good at absorbing potassium. However, because of its alkaline nature, tablet and capsule forms of potassium can damage the stomach lining because the tablet or capsule can “sit” on the stomach lining for prolonged periods of time. Therefore, by law, potassium in capsules or tablets is only available in 100 mg per dose strength. If you look at the labels for most multivitamins, you’ll notice that there’s very little potassium in there. One of the things that I like about this nutrient blend is that because the beneficial ingredients are part of a food matrix of ground Nordic flaxseed, the contents don’t simply “sit” in the stomach. That means the level of potassium can be much more significant – 500 mg! That’s 5 times the amount you’ll see in the very strongest stand-alone supplement form. Results of a recent study have confirmed the importance of potassium as a balancing agent for excessive sodium [Yang Q, Liu T, Kuklina EV et al. Sodium and potassium intake and mortality among US adults. Prospective data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Arch Intern Med 2011; 171:1183-1191.] In this study that examined the relationship of potassium to sodium levels in the body, it was found that a ratio of higher potassium to lower sodium levels was associated with a significant reduction in any cause of mortality, and was especially significant for preventing cardiovascular deaths. Individuals with high sodium/low potassium levels had double the risk of death from cardiovascular issues. Even more problematic is that food processing can reduce the potassium levels in food, while sodium is used as a preservative in many foods, so the Standard American Diet contributes enormously to this imbalance! Finding a way to get significant levels of potassium into the body on a regular basis is one way to help offset this risk—though avoiding foods with excessive sodium preservatives is a very important first step.
Crushed flaxseed does more than help the body excrete surplus cholesterol via the absorption powers of its fiber component. Flax is a source of clinically studied lignans. The main flax lignan is called secoisolariciresinol diglucoside, or SDG. In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, SDG lignans lowered the total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol levels for individuals in SDG group by 22% and 24%, respectively. As a source of omega-3 fatty acids, flaxseed provides alpha-linoleic acid, which the body converts to eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) in the body. Omega-3s help keep the cellular structures of arteries and blood vessels healthy and flexible, which helps reduce blood pressure. Omega-3 fatty acids also reduce blood platelet aggregation that can lead to ‘clogged’ arteries by reducing the output of prostaglandin thromboxane A(2), an inflammatory signaling molecule in the body.
Calcium is also included with this nutrient blend, and while we usually think of calcium for its role in bone-building, there is new research that suggests that calcium may help keep cholesterol balanced, by binding with bile acids, and keeping cholesterol from completing a circuit from the liver, through the digestive system, and back to the liver again to recirculate. Calcium appears to lower systolic blood pressure for individuals with high blood pressure. (“Systolic” blood pressure measures the force of blood as it is pumped from the heart. It is represented by the “top” or first number in a blood pressure reading.)
Your Easy Answer
Remember, nutrients usually work together for multiple benefits throughout the body, so in a blend like this, they are more likely to exert effects across a wide spectrum of health issues. Here are even more health benefits:
Keep bones strong and protect against osteoporosis: Calcium is one of the best known nutrients for keeping bones strong. And while calcium alone reduces your fracture risk, potassium plays a part in bone-building too – especially for women past menopause. By adding more potassium to your regimen, you can slow down the body’s excretion of calcium. Flax lignans also play a role in osteoporosis prevention by preventing bone loss and increasing bone density.
Make This Mix of Nutrients Part of Your Routine – It’s Easy!
When taking a natural, holistic approach to health, one of the important things to remember is that nutrients work best in combination with each other, and with the right diet and exercise regimen. I think that this well-researched, nutrient-rich Nordic flaxseed powder, rich in plant sterols, potassium, and calcium, helps provide an answer to some of the biggest health questions you can face. Just mix it with yogurt, smoothies, milk or fresh juice each day, and you’ll be improving virtually ALL the major health concerns in your body in one easy step!
|Terry recommends a blood pressure and cholesterol product with these ingredients. Look for one at your local health food store.|
|Amount Per Serving||%DV|
|Calories from fat||11|
|Total Fat||1 g||2%|
|Total Carbohydrate||<1 g||0%|
|Dietary Fiber||2 g||8%|
|Calcium (citrate)||250 mg||25%|
|Potassium (citrate)||500 mg||15%|
|Plant Sterols blended with (6 g) crushed Nordic flax seed powder and standardized to a minimum of 40 mg of flax lignans ** Daily Value (DV) not established||1.8 g||**|