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    • 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 .

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Cigarettes Loaded with Harmful Bacteria

Filed in General | Posted by Brenda Watson on 02/26/2010


As if smoking isn’t bad enough for your health, researchers recently discovered that cigarettes are “widely contaminated” with hundreds of species of infectious bacteria… yuck! Not only that, but they think those bacteria are somehow able to survive the smoking process, which means it’s not just smokers who are affected, but people exposed to secondhand smoke may be at risk too.

Talk about an eye-opener! When I heard the story I can’t say I was shocked, but it was interesting to learn that even though scientists knew they were going to find bacteria in cigarettes, even they were surprised that most of those bacteria are infectious to humans—like clostridium, klebsiella, and pseudomonas aeruginosa, which can cause damage the lungs, urinary tract and kidneys… holy smokes!

More research is planned to find out just how these bacteria affect human health, so it will be interesting to see what they learn. And in the meantime, do you really need any more reason to quit smoking???

Gluten-free Diet Affects Gut Bacteria

Filed in General | Posted by Brenda Watson on 02/25/2010


Notable News – A few months back a study came out that found that the two most common (not to mention the most important!) types of healthy gut bacteria—Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli—were decreased in people on a gluten-free diet. My first thought was, “Oh great, now everyone is going to think the gluten-free diet is bad for you.” Not true!

The main difference between the gluten-free diet and the ‘normal’ diet in this study was the polysaccharide content (polysaccharides are just complex carbohydrates made of long chains of simple sugars). The gluten-free diet was lower in polysaccharides, which makes sense since polysaccharides often have a prebiotic effect. That means they nourish the good bacteria, or probiotics, and help them multiply, so a diet lower in polysaccharides might mean a decrease in the good bacteria that rely on them for food. But… THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT YOU SHOULD AVOID THE GLUTEN-FREE DIET! 

The gluten-free diet is essential for people who are gluten-sensitive or have a gluten allergy. And today more and more people are discovering that they’re sensitive to gluten and feel better on a gluten-free diet. So what should you do if you’re on a gluten-free diet but worried about a change in your gut bacteria? That’s easy—probiotics!

I can’t say enough about how important probiotics are. Not only do they help balance the good and bad bacteria in our intestines to help with digestion and immunity, but they also help to strengthen the protective intestinal lining, which can become damaged due to inflammation in people who are gluten-sensitive (including those with celiac disease).

The decrease in polysaccharides found in this study might also mean that those following a gluten-free diet were not eating enough gluten-free grains, which means they weren’t eating enough fiber. Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Here she goes again, talking about fiber,” but this is important! On top of playing a vital role in overall health and weight loss, fiber has a beneficial effect on our gut bacteria, so it’s essential that people on a gluten-free diet eat enough fiber.

So as the old saying goes, don’t throw the baby out with the bath water! The gluten-free diet has helped so many people—the key is simply staying informed about the best ways to maximize your health when avoiding gluten.

Wednesday, 2/24/10 on the Poop Scoop – The H.O.P.E. Formula: The Ultimate Health Secret

Filed in General | Posted by Brenda Watson on 02/23/2010


Are there days when you feel sluggish and tired, and you just don’t have the energy to do the things you enjoy? Do digestive problems like constipation, diarrhea or even gas and bloating seem to weigh you down? Or do you sometimes feel more scatterbrained and forgetful than usual and wish there was a way to feel like yourself again? It’s time to discover the natural solution that will bring back the vibrant health and energy you deserve.

I’ll share with you the secret to better digestion and a clearer mind and body, and it all begins with High fiber, Omega oils, Probiotics and Enzymes. These four nutritional supplements are the key to my H.O.P.E. Formula, and they have helped millions of people just like you live healthier every day. But where should you start? And how much do you need every day to get the most benefit? Join me and learn everything you need to know!

Log on and listen to Brenda’s Poop Scoop LIVE every Wednesday from 4-5 pm (EST) right from your computer. Missed an episode? Visit the Episode Directory on my website and listen to past shows from the archive.

Learn Something Healthy

Filed in General | Posted by Brenda Watson on 02/22/2010


‘Renew You’ Challenge – Being as passionate as I am about healthy living, I love it when I see people making positive changes to improve their well being. And one of the most impressive things I’ve noticed in these folks is that they’re constantly seeking information about how to live better. Knowledge truly is power, and taking charge of your health through education is so empowering – believe me, I know from experience!

This week, I want you to devote some time to improving your health by learning about what’s going on in your body, especially if something’s been bothering you. Start by taking a trip to the library or the bookstore, or get on the Internet and start searching (just be sure your sources are reliable). That way, when it comes to making informed decisions about your health, you’ll be prepared. And remember – the more you know, the better!

The Fattening of America

Filed in General | Posted by Brenda Watson on 02/18/2010


I don’t know about you, but sometimes I think seeing really is believing, like when I found this link recently from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control). It’s an animated map that shows the increase in obesity rates across America from 1985 all the way to 2008.

It’s one thing to hear about our obesity problem on the news or read about it in the paper, but it’s a pretty big eye-opener to see it come to life right in front of you!

So how obese is your state? Well, unless you live in Colorado the obesity rate of your state is at least 20%—that might make me think twice about not sticking to my weight loss plan!

 

Wednesday, 2/17/10 on the Poop Scoop – Integrative Medicine: Combining the Best of Both Worlds

Filed in General | Posted by Brenda Watson on 02/16/2010


Is your doctor missing important clues about your health status? Do you have certain health issues that always seem to come back no matter what you try? Integrative medicine may be the answer. Integrative doctors combine the best parts of modern and alternative medicine to get the whole scoop about what’s really going on with your body—kind of like filling in the blanks so you can finally see the complete picture!

I’ll be talking with Dr. Erika Bradshaw, an integrative doctor who uses both traditional therapies and alternative healing methods to provide her patients with a comprehensive health plan to help them look and feel their best every day. We’ll talk about the difference between traditional and integrative medicine, how to choose an integrative doctor, and what you can expect upon your first visit. Together Erika and I have helped people just like you discover the path to vibrant health and energy, so be sure to tune in!

Log on and listen to Brenda’s Poop Scoop LIVE every Wednesday from 4-5 pm (EST) right from your computer. Missed an episode? Visit the Episode Directory on my website and listen to past shows from the archive!

Poo Bacteria in Your Soda Pop?!

Filed in General | Posted by Brenda Watson on 02/15/2010


As if you need another reason to not drink soda, now scientists tell us there’s poop bacteria in those fizzy beverages Americans love so much! I thought this story was just plain gross, but it’s definitely one that a lot of readers need to hear (you know who you are, soda drinkers!)

A recent study found fecal bacteria in 48 percent of fountain beverages tested.  Think about those machines, with their plastic tubing lines that run from a box of concentrated soda to the actual fountain—how often do you think they even clean those lines? Apparently not often enough!

Among the types of bacteria they found were E. coli, C. meningosepticum, klebsiella, staphylococcus, stenotrophomonas, candida and serratia, and according to researchers, “These findings suggest that soda fountain machines may harbor persistent communities of potentially pathogenic microorganisms which may contribute to episodic gastric distress in the general population and could pose a more significant health risk to immune-compromised individuals.” Translation? There’s really bad stuff in your soda pop!

Do you want fries with that? I don’t think so!

Kick the Sugar Habit!

Filed in General | Posted by Brenda Watson on 02/12/2010


Notable News – In August the American Heart Association presented new recommendations about how much added sugar Americans should be eating, and all I can say is it’s about time!

For decades we’ve consumed way too much sugar, resulting in higher rates of obesity and related conditions like high blood pressure, high triglycerides, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, and that’s just naming a few! Excess sugar consumption also feeds harmful yeast like Candida in the gut, so when I heard the news, I knew we were finally taking a step in the right direction.

The AHA now recommends no more than 100 calories daily of added sugar for women, and no more than 150 for men. If you think about it, this means that if a woman drinks only one soda, she’s already over that limit!

On average, Americans consume almost three times the new recommended amounts, and it has to stop—for our health and for the health of our kids—so let’s start today! Look at how much added sugar you consume in your diet, and I bet the amount will surprise you. Start reading labels too, and soon you’ll be making better choices about what you put in your body.

Continued use of antacid drugs could ruin long-term health. Stop the cycle!

Filed in General | Posted by Brenda Watson on 02/11/2010


It seems like every other person I meet is taking medication for acid reflux. Well, it just makes my blood boil. All most docs do is write a prescription without really getting to the underlying cause. The poor patient is stuck in this vicious cycle of always needing the meds. It’s a very common problem with people who have been on proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) for a long time.

PPIs are only supposed to be used for 8-12 weeks depending on the type you are on, and they are not meant for long-term use. What happens when you are on these meds is that your stomach stops producing hydrochloric acid. So when you suddenly stop taking the meds, your body goes into what is called a “rebound” reaction. This means your body realizes it can now make the hydrochloric acid (which by the way you need for healthy digestion!), and now it overproduces it. Ironically, most people who are prescribed PPIs in the first place actually have too little stomach acid, not too much! Hence, the vicious cycle.

To break the cycle you need to wean yourself off these types of meds while at the same time taking hydrochloric acid supplements with your meals. Trust me, it’s well worth it. You’ll be in control of your body, and no more co-pays!

To learn more, listen to the informative and eye-opening archived internet radio show Brenda’s Poop Scoop that aired Wednesday February 1oth, Acid Reflux: What Your Doctor May Not Be Telling You.

Wed 2/10 on the Poop Scoop: Acid Reflux & What Your Doctor May Not Be Telling You

Filed in General | Posted by Brenda Watson on 02/09/2010


Heartburn, indigestion, acid reflux—we’ve all felt that awful burning sensation at one time or another, but chances are we blamed it on something we ate and reached for the nearest antacid. Why? Because for years mainstream doctors have been telling us that symptoms like these are the result of too much stomach acid—when in fact 90 percent of the time they’re wrong! And when was the last time your doctor actually tested you to be sure? Probably never!

This week on the Poop Scoop I’ll be talking with CEO Harry Simmons of Heidelberg Medical, whose work with the Heidelberg pH Diagnostic System has revolutionized the way we look at digestive disorders. Imagine a capsule you can swallow that will travel through your digestive tract and help doctors actually see where the problem is coming from! Today, pH diagnostic testing has become essential to the successful treatment of many digestive disorders, including low stomach acid, gastric ulcers and GERD. I can’t wait to hear all about it from the expert!

Log on and listen to Brenda’s Poop Scoop LIVE every Wednesday from 4-5 pm (EST) right from your computer. Missed an episode? Visit the Episode Directory on my website and listen to past shows from the archive!