FROM HERE TO LONGEVITY E-NEWSLETTER
In This Issue:
We hope that you enjoy this issue of From Here to Longevity, as we look into the “hot” topic of inflammation and your health.
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Mitra Ray, Ph.D.
You don’t concern yourself about getting Alzheimer’s just because you cut your finger. You wouldn’t normally worry about having a heart attack or being stricken with cancer just because you got a splinter. After all, what could such small, everyday events have to do with these long-term illnesses? The one word answer is “inflammation.”
This “first line of defense” from the immune system is normally a lifesaver, allowing the body to fend off bacteria, viruses, and parasites; but, when inflammation goes awry, it can lead to cancer, hypertension, diabetes, dementia, arthritis, and metabolic syndrome.
How can this be? Scientists don’t know the exact mechanism by which this occurs. Certainly lifestyle, body fat, and oxidative stress are factors that increase the chances of chronic inflammation.
As we live longer and longer lives, there is more of a chance for the immune system to slip up and prolong this normal and protective inflammatory response, to the point of triggering chronic disease. When we take a diet high in sugar and fat, and typically lacking in fruits and vegetables, and then combine it with a sedentary lifestyle, we can significantly increase these odds.
Heart Disease Not so long ago, cardiologists regarded heart disease as nothing more than a plumbing problem. They thought that fat accumulated inside the major coronary arteries until the blood supply was simply cut off. Today, inflammatory factors such as C-reactive protein are considered to be a more telling marker of heart disease than LDL or cholesterol. When smaller LDL molecules seep into the lining of the coronary arteries, they get stuck there. The immune system then sends macrophages to go clean up the mess. However, if the cell-signaling molecules known as “cytokines” begin to ramp up the inflammatory response, it increases the chances of rupturing the plaque that has formed.
Cancer As early as 1860, Rudolf Virchow, who was a renowned pathologist in his day, put forth the idea that cancerous tumors are developed at the site of chronic inflammation. Today, we know that the free radicals generated at the site of inflammation increase the odds of genetic mutation — including mutations that cause cells to grow and divide out of control. This in itself is not cancer, but the immune system sees this inflammation as a wounded site and keeps attempting to heal it. Instead of the desired outcome, the cycle of free-radical generation, mutation, and growth can feed forward toward full-blown cancer.
Diabetes Fat cells secrete cytokines — those cell-signaling molecules that behave much like immune cells — and as a person gains body fat, their inflammatory response increases. How this affects the insulin response is not exactly clear. But, there may be a clue in the fact that scientists have seen a loss of insulin response in mice that have been bred to create excess inflammatory factors.
Alzheimer’s In the brain, it is the job of the surrounding glial cells to help nourish and protect neurons. Scientists suspect that these glial cells, which are also capable of secreting cytokines, can become overprotective to the point of destroying the same neurons that they are trying to protect.
It seems that the common theme I talk about in my book — the importance of having a lifestyle that matches our genetic makeup — is also coming to play in this latest hot topic in medical research: the management of chronic inflammation. Remember the “thrifty” genes that allow us to store body fat for periods of famine? In doing so, these genes have helped us survive for most of our history on the planet. But today, these same genes have become our enemy, as we now have plenty of access to food, especially junk food. These thrifty genes are responsible for our increasing waistlines in a world of plenty. We have become victims of our own success.
Similarly, “We evolved as a species because of our ability to fight off microbial invaders,” says Dr. Peter Libby, chief of cardiovascular medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. “The strategies our bodies used for survival were important in a time when we didn’t have processing plants to purify water, when we didn’t have sewers to protect us.”
So, what can you do to help “reset your thermostat”?
- Exercise to reduce body fat.
- Reduce oxidative stress by managing your stress level and by eating a diet rich in fresh, raw fruits and vegetables.
- Now, aren’t you glad you eat Juice Plus+®?
“Fruit and vegetables are important components of a healthy diet, and their sufficient daily consumption could help prevent major diseases such as cardiovascular diseases and certain cancers. Overall it is estimated that up to 2.7 million lives could potentially be saved each year if fruit and vegetable consumption were sufficiently increased.”
Taken from the World Health Organization’s “Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health.” Click here to read the full report.
In our home, we enjoy eating a fresh salad nearly every day. This coconut oil based salad dressing is not only healthy and tasty, but is simple to prepare.
The following recipe is adapted from The Coconut Oil Miracle, by Bruce Fife, C.N., N.D. To start, let’s combine:
- 1/3 cup extra virgin coconut oil
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Taking this as a base (although we increased the coconut oil a little bit,) we then added a handful of toasted mustard seeds and tossed in some of our favorite herbs. Feel free to experiment using a variety of herbs, depending on what you have on hand. If the herbs are fresh, that’s all the better. It’s also good with just the mustard seeds. And, my daughters Leela and Nira seem to like it, so that’s a bonus.
Coconut oil has been in the media quite a bit lately, and delivers several healthy benefits. Make yourself a large bowl of salad and google “coconut oil” — you’ll find a world of reasons to add a little taste of the islands to your favorite salad.
Thank you to Toni Olson and Elaine Journey for suggesting this month’s recipe.
Several readers wrote in over the Holidays to inquire about pregnancy and Juice Plus+®. The questions ranged from, “Can I take Juice Plus+® and my prenatal vitamin?” to “What else do you recommend for a healthy, happy baby and a healthy, happy mother?”
Having had two healthy pregnancies, I speak from first-hand experience. I have every reason to believe through the research and my own experience that Juice Plus+® is the “Mercedes Benz” of prenatals. In 10 years, I predict that every OBGYN will be recommending Juice Plus+® over prenatal supplementation.
I have also had many friends with healthy “Juice Plus+® babies.” Nutrition is so important for a healthy, happy baby — not to mention a healthy, happy mother. We need to focus on getting sufficient amounts of the following:
- nutrients from fresh fruits and veggies
- essential fats
- filtered water
- lean, hormone-free protein
- salts (not table salt)
Here is the regimen that I followed both times during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Don’t be overwhelmed. It took a long time for me to develop this level of daily nutritional intake. Start slow and don’t feel guilty about what you can’t do.
1. Juice Plus+® capsules are a must. Take at least the recommended two fruits and two veggies. This was also the dosage that Doug Odom, M.D., OB/GYN used in his research, which is now being continued by the University of Mississippi in a formalized research program. I took three fruits and three veggies. When I travel or feel more stress, I have taken as many as six and six. If you are in the United States and can purchase the new Juice Plus+ Vineyard Blend®, do that as well. The Vineyard Blend was not available when I was pregnant, but I wish it had been.
Pregnancy is a highly vascular process and the Vineyard Blend will further enhance the results seen with just the fruits and veggies blends.
2. I took no pre-natal vitamins or minerals. That part was easy. Although, the research from Dr. Odom, showing that taking Juice Plus+® reduces risk of preeclampsia, low birth weight and respiratory disorders, did include prenatal supplements (since it was the standard care at his clinic). If you feel that you want to take them as well, go ahead. I was satisfied that 2 capsules of each of just the fruits and veggies provided sufficient folic acid as well as thousands of nutrients that prenatal supplements do not have. But, as an expectant mother you should support your own psychology of feeling well. Even if it is a placebo effect, I think it is still important.
3. Drink a minimum of two liters of filtered water a day.
4. I take two fish-oil supplements at least every other day. Brands that are good are Spectrum and Nordic Naturals.
5. At least 4-5 times a week, I make a shake that has:
- 1 serving of Juice Plus+ Complete®
- 1 serving of protein powder (I use a variety of sources for protein powders like high-quality, triple-filtered whey, rice protein, and egg protein)
- ½ tsp. of organic golden flaxseeds
- ½ tsp. of soy-lecithin (I keep a bag in the freezer with soy-lecithin and organic golden flax seeds pre-combined in 1:1 parts)
- 2-3 servings of fruit (1/2 cup blueberries, pineapple with core, etc.)
- 1 tablespoon of organic, cold high-lignan flaxseed oil
- Add filtered water to desired consistency
- Mix thoroughly in a blender or Vita-mixer
6. Eat at least 5 vegetables a day, preferably raw, in a salad.
7. Generously use whole, living seasalt, as opposed to processed table salt, to enhance the flavor of your food and to replenish body salts and minerals.
8. Walk briskly 3-5 times a week for 30-60 minutes.
9. Practice pre-natal yoga 3-5 times a week (I prefer Kundalini yoga during pregnancy and Hatha yoga for recovery).
I have had two very healthy natural childbirths. My children, Leela and Nira, are now almost six and four years old. They have had no ear infections or other, now common symptoms of childhood. If they catch a cold, it does not last for more than a day at most. I started introducing Juice Plus+® into their diet once they started solid food. I simply opened one capsule and sprinkled part of it into their meals (1/3 capsule per 10 lbs. of body weight).
Teaching them to drink water is a constant activity and very important so that the dry powders do not add to the common problem kids have with staying hydrated once they stop drinking mostly breast milk as their main source of nutrition. I also started adding goat milk, flaxseed oil, and fish oils to their diet once they stopped breastfeeding.
For a more in-depth look at raising healthy, happy children, I recommend my book, From Here to Longevity. You can purchase a copy here.
Here’s to a healthy, happy pregnancy and beyond.
Here are some of the dozens of testimonials and comments we have received from our eNewsletter subscribers.
Hi Dr. Ray, Rick Ercolano forwarded your newsletter to us. It is great! Would you please add us to your list? Thanks.
Erv and Donna Lauffer
I very much enjoy your NSA tapes and CD’s as well as your e-newsletters. I’ve learned so much from these wonderful resources and sincerely thank you for sharing your knowledge and expertise with all of us. Merry Christmas to you and your family.
Phyllis Holsonback, Goldsboro, NC
Thank you for providing such a readable and informative book. I am truly touched, moved, and inspired by what is possible in my diet and my life.
Marc Boucher, Victoria BC, Canada
Dear Doug, Mitra and family, Seasons Greetings from down under…!!! We wish you a loving, joyful, happy, healthy Christmas. Enjoy your time with family and loved ones. May the New Year be full of every thing you wish for. With Love from Al and Nicole Sylvester p.s Thanks for the great newsletter.
I have seen Dr. Ray speak on a number of occasions and I have read her book — it is quite reassuring to know that there are people out there like Mitra that are spreading the Prevention word!!
I use your CD’s everyday and love them. They make my Juice Plus+® business much more effective and I thank you for sharing with all of us. Happy holidays to you and your family. I will look forward to reading your future newsletters. Blessings
Thank you so much Dr. Mitra Ray, family, and publishing support team. This is a brilliant newsletter filled with knowledge shared with an abundance of love and light!
Mitra! I have known you for almost 3 years now. After reading your book “From Here to Longevity” and taking your advice on health and wellness, I have to tell you that I am addicted. Health to me is now the single most important factor in my day to day living, and I am contagious to the people around me. I will be a Registered Holistic Nutritionist by the fall of 2005. Thank you for opening my eyes and ears to what really works, the effectiveness of simple things.
Mark Schwan, Collingwood, Ontario
About 1 year ago, my wife and I saw you speak in Teaneck, NJ. You were excellent. We found your talk very informative and we really enjoyed the evening. That evening we purchased your book and our family is now much better (and healthier) because of it.
Dr. Ray, Greeting from Orlando Florida. I am a new distributor with Juice Plus+® and your message very much reflects my passion for the nutritional strength and value of eating fruits and vegetables. Preparing for the business is much easier with the information provided by individuals such as your self. Thank you. Your CD/Video on Longevity is great and I intend to utilize it a great deal. I will get your work book and book and hope to find your book on audio.
Harry T. Taylor
Thanks. You’re one of my heroines. I’ll take advantage of your Holiday “buy two, get one free” offer, too. FHTL is my handbook and resource. (In another political environment I’d refer to it as my “Bible,” but there’s some risk to that these days.) (A little humor there.) To Your Good Health…
Dear Mitra: First of all, I want to compliment you on an excellent piece of writing. I have done a little professional writing and appreciate your clear and decisive style, especially since you were dealing with some very technical and complex matters. It’s impossible to have gleaned it all in one reading but it will make an excellent reference. I know that I will be going back to it repeatedly. I also appreciate your entire, and I think, comprehensive approach to developing a healthy and lasting life. Approaching my 80th year this next June, I am acquiring an increasing desire for such a thing! At least in some respects I seem, according to “From Here to Longevity,” to be doing some things right. I am now taking two capsules daily each of the Juice Plus+® Garden, Orchard and Vineyard Blends and exercising several times a week, tennis being my favorite.
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