• Gut Health
  • Heart Health
    • Heart Health

      The stats tell it all: The number one cause of death in the United States is heart disease. That’s right, more than any other disease – even cancer (a close second) – heart disease is the most likely to kill you. The United States is currently facing a “diabesity” epidemic, or a substantial increase in the prevalence of metabolic syndrome leading to diabetes and obesity, all serious risk factors for heart disease.

      According to the American Heart Association, every 34 seconds someone in the US dies of a heart attack. By the time you finish reading this paragraph, another person will have lost their life. Sadly, many people do not even know they have heart disease until they experience a heart attack. These facts alone make Heart Health a critical topic to understand.

  • Skin Health
    • Skin Health

      The gut-skin connection is very significant. Inflammatory processes present in the gut may manifest on the skin. Toxins are expelled with sweat, and can cause the skin to react. Like the inside of the digestive tract, the skin is covered in microbes which can be neutral, protective or pathogenic. Skin reaction may reflect what is going on inside the body. Therefore treating skin conditions only from the outside will often be ineffective and lead to other chronic issues.

  • Brain Health
    • Brain Health

      The gut-brain connection occurs in two directions—from the brain to the gut, and from the gut to the brain. When a person has a “gut feeling,” or an emotional upset causes a stomachache or loss of appetite, they experience examples of the first, most familiar direction. When the gut is out of balance, inflammation results leading to a condition commonly known as leaky gut. A leaky gut will allow undigested food particles and toxins to enter into the bloodstream. Some may cross into the brain, setting the stage for diseases like Alzheimers and dementia. Recognizing the underlying contributing factors that created the gut imbalance in the first place is the first step to achieving optimal brain function .

  • Diet & Health
    • Diet & Health

      Healthy pH levels, whether in the colon or systemic, are found when you eat a high-fiber diet, high in vegetables and fruits, healthy proteins, and healthy fats. Complement this with foods and supplements high in beneficial bacteria, omega-3 fatty acids, and digestive enzymes, and you will be supporting optimal health (which begins in the digestive system).

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Chronic Disease and the Balance of Good and Bad Bacteria in the Gut

Filed in Digestive Health, General, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Leaky Gut, Probiotics & Gut Flora | Posted by Brenda Watson on 04/27/2009


For many years now scientists have been studying how the balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut can contribute to, or influence all kinds of chronic diseases. Diseases such as IBS, Chron’s, colitis, even diabetes, asthma and liver disease. But recently coming into the limelight is research showing that your gut bacteria, specifically the type you have, may be making you fat.

Recent research performed by Cornell University microbiologist Ruth Ley has shown that obese people have a different mix of bacteria in the gut than skinny people. When she fed gut bacteria from obese mice to sterile mice, they got fat, but when the sterile mice consumed the gut bacteria from skinny mice, they gained very little.

The theory behind this is that certain microbial populations allow the body to harvest more calories from food. Over time this could contribute to weight gain. The bacteria found in obese individuals and the one believed to cause this effect belonged to a particular microbial subgroup, hydrogen-producing bacteria known as prevotellaceae.

This research is still in the early stages, but some studies suggest that altering or modifying the gut bacteria may result in weight loss. One way to do just that would be to take a high potency probiotic supplement like Renew Life’s Ultimate Flora 50 Billion that could crowd out this unwanted obesity bacteria. This is not to say that this bacteria is the only factor by any means in obesity.

Adding a good probiotic supplement to your weight loss regime could prove helpful.

Invest in Your Children's Future; Give Them Healthy Food Choices

Filed in Children, Dietary Fiber, Digestive Health, General | Posted by Brenda Watson on 04/13/2009


On my recent trip to Canada I was reading Newsweek and came across a small article about getting kids to pick healthier foods in school cafeterias. One suggestion was to get rid of all the junk food choices available in most schools. This would be highly unlikely to happen and most kids, depending on their age may starve until they reach the 7-Eleven after school. Another suggestion in the article was to rename foods for the younger crowd. “X-ray vision carrots, bulk-up broccoli, groovy green beans…could this get kids to eat more vegetables? According to a Cornell researcher kindergarten kids ate the renamed vegetables 50% more than “plain” vegetables.

I don’t see this being as successful on the older kids.

How do we really get our kids to make better food choices, not only at school but at home? We educate them on nutrition starting at a very early age. This means nutritional education in school as well as at home. Very few schools include any kind of nutritional courses, and most that do start them at the teenage years which may be too late to teach the value of foods. Most children will mimic what they learn in the home environment. If at home you are serving mostly processed foods, high starches and sugar, that is what your kids will learn. And those are the types of foods they will choose when given the opportunity.

In most cases it is a matter of educating the parents as well.

Maybe some of you have seen a show that was running on The Learning Channel called “Honey, we’re killing the kids”. In this show the nutrition expert goes to a typical family’s home with children who may be overweight, unhealthy or just eating all kinds of junk food. Using computer images she shows the parents what their children will look like as adults if they continue the diet and lifestyle path they are currently on. She then goes through their kitchen and teaches the parents and the children about good nutritious food choices verses what they may be eating. She teaches not only about a healthy diet but about a more active lifestyle. She then challenges them within a three week course to use these changes and suggestions. The difference at the end of just three weeks in how these families feel and look are amazing. She then shows the parents again by computer imaging and statistics how their children may look as adults on this healthier, more active lifestyle.

Getting back to the point of where do we start, what do we do NOW to start helping our children eat better? Even if your children are older, it is never too late to start setting a good example. Try starting a program like my Fiber 35 healthy eating plan. The foods suggested, although healthy, are still delicious and allows the kids to have healthy tasty snacks. Although I target weight loss with my Fiber 35 Diet, it is a great, healthy way of eating for your whole family. The recipes are terrific and so are the eating-out tips.

Check out my fiber35diet.com website for more fiber recipes and snack ideas for your whole family. Do you have some tasty healthy treats? Share your ideas and thoughts here.

Can Daily Probiotics Help Ease Anxiety? New Study Shows Promising Results

Filed in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome | Posted by Brenda Watson on 04/11/2009


Science has only just begun to unravel the complexities of the human digestive tract, but a recent University of Toronto study may bring us one step closer to understanding its role in optimum health—and not just physical health, but mental health as well.

Led by Venket Rao, the pilot study tracked a group of 39 patients diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) to determine whether or not daily supplementation with probiotics could help ease symptoms of anxiety. CFS is a debilitating condition with a wide range of symptoms that occasionally includes psychological problems such as anxiety, panic attacks, irritability and depression.

During a period of two months, each participant received at random a daily supplement of either 24 billion active cultures of the strain Lactobacillus casei or a placebo. Upon analysis of the results, it was discovered that not only did those in the Lactobacillus group show a significant decrease in anxiety symptoms compared with those taking the placebo, but that stool samples revealed noticeably higher levels of both Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria.

Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria are among the most prevalent beneficial bacteria found in the human digestive tract, where trillions of microscopic organisms make up the majority of the body’s immune defences. These healthy bacteria or probiotics (literally meaning “for life”) play a vital role in overall digestive and immune health by helping to crowd out disease-causing microbes that can jeopardize good health.

The University of Toronto study, published in the March 2009 issue of the journal Gut Pathogens, was among the first designed to confirm a link between the vast bacterial environment in the gut and its effect on psychological and emotional well being, and researchers are hoping that the promising results prompt further exploration into the gut-brain relationship.

Click here to view the complete findings

*1998-2009. Mayo Foundation for Medical Health and Research.

Staying Healthy in an Unhealthy Economy Part 1

Filed in General | Posted by Brenda Watson on 04/10/2009


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During these tough economic times every penny counts. That is why I am doing a new series on “Staying Healthy in an Unhealthy Economy.” With so many losing their jobs and health care, how can you stay healthy? In this video, part 1 of the series, I discuss easy natural choices to invest in your health and well being.

And You Thought YOU Had Gas Problems…

Filed in Digestive Health, Omega-3 & Fish Oil | Posted by Brenda Watson on 04/06/2009


“Ah, it wasn’t me!   The goat did it”
“Ah, it wasn’t me! The goat did it”

Anyone who has read my most recent book, “The Detox Strategy” or has ever seen Al Gore’s movie “An Inconvenient Truth,” realizes the devastating effect that greenhouse gas emissions is having on our planet.  But who knew… it’s been the cow’s fault!

Seriously though, methane produced from the flatulence of livestock including cattle, sheep and goats accounts for more than one third of all the methane emissions.  Methane is apparently 20 times more powerful at trapping the solar energy than carbon dioxide, making it one of the most potent greenhouse gasses we humans deal with.

A new study released last week by the Society of General Microbiology showed that adding 2% fish oil into the feed of cattle achieved a reduction in the amount of methane released by the animals.  It seems according to Dr. Lorraine Lillis, one of the researchers, that “The fish oil affects the methane-producing bacteria in the rumen part of the cow’s gut, leading to reduced emissions.”

For those of you not understanding what emissions she’s speaking of – she means cow farts.

Wow, if adding a little bit of fish oil to the feed of cattle can help save our planet, that’s a thumbs up in my book.  Going a bit further, if fish oil can do this for cattle, imagine what it can do for your gassy significant other.  Especially my concentrated, enteric coated, Norwegian Gold Critical Omega fish oil.

We need to add this to the list of all the wonderful health benefits of Omega 3 oils.