Whether people are just starting down the path to optimizing their health or have been following the path for some time, everyone has the same questions: “What supplements and foods should I be consuming? Which ones should I stay away from? What does my body need? and What nutrients do I need to further improve my health?” With all the information out there, it can be impossible for a layperson to navigate this confusing territory. This is where functional testing comes in: to help us determine each person’s exact needs in regards to which foods and supplements they should take and avoid in order to optimize their health. (more…)
In Part 5 of this series, we introduced you to the Orange and Yellow Phytonutrients, many of which have been shown to help improve vision and eye health. Many of the foods that contain green phytonutrients also help improve eye health. In addition, the green phytonutrients convey a wide variety of unique health benefits.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are green phytonutrients that have been shown to maintain good vision while reducing the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. While these two nutrients are widely found in various supplemental formulas, they are also plentiful in foods, including kale, spinach, leafy greens (turnip, collard, and mustard), romaine lettuce, broccoli, green peas, kiwifruit, and honeydew melon.
Cancer Risk Reduction
Another key group of green phytonutrients are the indoles, which includes indole-3-carbinol and diindolylmethane. These compounds are not only potent antioxidants, they have also been shown to convey significant protection against a variety of cancers. In fact, these indoles have been shown to significantly reduce the risk of breast and prostate cancers while reducing the risk of tumor growth in most types of cancer, including melanoma.
Indoles seem to exhibit their cancer-protection by altering estrogen metabolism to produce less-carcinogenic metabolites. It also seems to directly inhibit the growth of reproductive cancer cells. Indoles are readily found in a variety of vegetables, including broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, bok choy, arugula, Swiss chard, turnips, rutabaga, watercress, cauliflower and kale.
Chlorophyll is another potent antioxidant that is found in all green vegetables. Chlorophyll has also been shown to have anti-cancer properties. Research has shown that chlorophyll can bind to potential carcinogens and interfere with how they are absorbed in the human gastrointestinal tract; these studies suggest that these effects help lower the risk for certain types of cancers, including liver and colon cancer.
Another group of antioxidants that have been found to reduce the risk of cancer are the Blue & Purple Phytonutrients; these will be the subject of our next post.
- Hsu, J; Dev, A; Wing, A; Brew, C; Bjeldanes, L; Firestone, G (2006). “Indole-3-carbinol mediated cell cycle arrest of LNCaP human prostate cancer cells requires the induced production of activated p53 tumor suppressor protein”.
- Kima DS, Jeong YM, Moon SI, Kwon SB, Park KC (2011).” Indole-3-carbinol and ultraviolet B induce apoptosis of human melanoma cells via down-regulation of MITF” Pharmazie.Dec;66(12):982-7.
- Kundu A, Quirit JG, Khouri MG, Firestone GL (2017). Inhibition of oncogenic BRAF activity by indole-3-carbinol disrupts microphthalmia-associated transcription factor expression and arrests melanoma cell proliferation. Mol Carcinog.;56(1):49-61.
- Kundu A,Aronchik I,Quirit JG, Firestone GL (2014). The antiproliferative response of indole-3-carbinol in human melanoma cells is triggered by an interaction with NEDD4-1 and disruption of wild-type PTEN degradation. Mol Cancer Res.;12(11):1621-1634.
Biotin is used as a dietary supplement by many people, especially those trying to improve the look of their hair, skin and/or nails. However, recent research has shown that biotin can interfere with laboratory testing for thyroid function, which could lead to misdiagnosis and unnecessary treatments. (more…)
Most everyone is familiar with the term ‘menopause’, which refers to the end of a woman’s reproductive years. What some people don’t know is that men also go through a similar transition, known as ‘andropause’ or ‘male menopause’, during their later years. In both cases, the transition is often associated with hormone imbalances and tends to coincide with other age‐related declines. Fortunately, rebalancing hormones naturally generally provides symptom relief and also tends to delay other age‐related illnesses and conditions.
The most important groups of hormones for women are estrogens (especially ß‐estradiol) and progesterone. In a healthy female body they balance each other so phases of the menstrual cycle occur regularly. When one is going down, the other is going up. Their synchronized cycle repeats about every month (25 to 35 days). When the balance between estrogen and progesterone is lost, your body may act in unpredictable ways.
When most people think of weight loss, or more specifically the inability to lose weight, they usually don’t think about the sex hormones. However, the sex hormones – including estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and DHEA – can play a major role in weight loss and have a significant effect on a person’s weight and ability to maintain or lose weight. Read more…