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      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.

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    • 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.

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    • 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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BFF – Your Liver!

Filed in Cleansing, Environmental Toxins, Gut Solutions, Liver, Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease - NAFLD | Posted by Brenda Watson on 03/18/2016


In terms of your health, one of your very best friends is your liver. It works tirelessly for you, performing myriad critical functions, keeping your body pure of toxins and harmful substances. It supports nearly every other organ in the body in some way.

We are all besieged daily by various substances that are foreign to normal body function. Pesticides, petrochemicals, plastics – and I’ve just mentioned a few that begin with “p”. Sadly, there are certainly toxins that begin with all of the other letters of the alphabet as well.

I was reading an article discussing a paper published in the European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. It stated that more than 10 percent of the world’s population suffers from some form of liver disease. It also mentioned that many of these people choose natural remedies instead of pharmaceuticals as their therapy. Glad to hear that.

Liver cleansing is near and dear to my heart and I’ve been using herbal formulations for decades to support healthy liver function. What’s really remarkable about these herbs is that they are time and tradition tested across our globe, and found to be safe and effective, without the harmful side effects that we regularly encounter with man-made chemical medications.

So now let’s celebrate some natural herbs that can provide you with protection against liver cancer and various other forms of liver damage. Yes, there is a lot you can do to safeguard this essential ally of your health.

  • Turmeric, whose active ingredient is curcumin, has been extensively used in traditional Asian medicine to treat gut issues, arthritis, and low-energy or fatigue. It demonstrates anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-cancer properties. No wonder it gets such great press as one of the world’s healthiest foods!
  • Skullcap, active ingredient wogonin, has shown positive results in studies relating to Hepatitis B and C, as well as various forms of alcoholic and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Interestingly, it has also been used in the treatment of a wide variety of nervous conditions, including epilepsy, insomnia, and anxiety.
  • Licorice Root, active ingredient glycyrrhizin, exhibits powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties. In Chinese medicine licorice root has long been used to protect liver function and also to combat tumors, and is widely recognized as a go-to support in cases of chronic hepatitis.
  • Resveratrol is known widely for it’s anti-aging properties. It’s not surprising that it also protects the liver, helping to guard against the damage caused by free radicals and inflammatory processes. Resveratrol elevates levels of glutathione and promotes antioxidants in the body. It shines as a great liver-supporting herb.
  • Milk Thistle, active compound silymarin, is probably the most well researched supportive herb for the liver. Used medicinally for over 2,000 years and appreciated as a strong “liver tonic” worldwide, it is used extensively in preventing and even reversing liver toxicity caused by toxins and drugs. And if you heard that milk thistle should be avoided due to its possible effect on estrogen, disregard that information. Although some parts of the plant contain phytoestrogens, clinical evidence shows no significant effects on estrogen levels, and in fact is potentially beneficial for estrogen dominant conditions such as breast cancer.

There are many excellent liver cleanse formulas that contain most if not all of these fine herbs. As I discuss in my book, Gut Solutions, a liver cleanse is recommended for everyone. Always remember – Good Liver, Great Life!

Toxic Heart, Toxic Body

Filed in Cleansing, Cleansing & Detox, Diet, Environmental Toxins, Exercise, Heart Disease, Heart of Perfect Health, High blood pressure, Inflammation, Skin, Stroke | Posted by Brenda Watson on 02/26/2016


As American Heart Month 2016 winds down, I’d like to shift my focus to an area that we don’t always associate with heart issues – toxins. Toxins are everywhere; there is no doubt about it. In the air we breathe, in the water we drink, in the food we eat, in our homes, in most products we use—even in the most pristine places on earth—toxins are there. Truth is, toxin accumulation can directly impact our cardiovascular system, and many times will manifest as high blood pressure, increased atherosclerosis, and ultimately heart issues.

Toxins are chemicals that interfere with normal functions in the body, and most have been associated with adverse health effects. At this point, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) regularly measure over 200 toxic compounds, tracking the levels in different aspects of our population. However there are 80,000 chemicals currently in use! Although the CDC adds new chemicals to track annually, it’s simple to see that we will never be able to really understand the full impact of the substances we’re all exposed to. The sad fact is many chemicals contribute to cardiovascular disease – either directly, or indirectly – through an increase in oxidative stress and general systemic inflammation.

So what is oxidative stress, also known as oxidation anyhow? It is one of the main drivers of inflammation in the body. Inflammation is at the root cause of heart disease, and for that matter, all other chronic disease as well.

Consider this analogy illustrating the destructive properties of oxidation: Oxidation is like a punch thrown from a bully (the oxidant), and it can easily lead to a full-blown fight if enough molecules get involved. Destruction results. Oxidation occurs when there are not enough antioxidants (the peacekeepers) around.

Oxidative stress triggers inflammation and regarding cardiovascular issues, it initiates the destruction of the lining of the blood vessels, called endothelial dysfunction.

Atherosclerosis involves endothelial dysfunction and chronic inflammation in the artery walls, progressing to the buildup of plaque and eventual cardiac complications such as heart attack and stroke. So I’m sure you can clearly see how toxins that increase oxidative stress are definitely the enemy. And antioxidants are our friends.

It is a myth that nothing can be done about toxin exposure. The fact of the matter is that supporting the body’s seven channels of elimination – colon, liver, lungs, lymph, kidneys, skin, and blood – through diet and cleansing will help improve the body’s natural detoxification abilities. A healthy eating plan and cleansing routine will fortify your heart right along with every other part of your body.

In addition to the antioxidants your body naturally produces, you also obtain antioxidants from your diet. A diet high in antioxidants includes plenty of deeply colored fruits and vegetables. This important step helps decrease oxidative stress and general systemic inflammation.

Regular exercise stimulates sweating and the release of toxins from your skin. Different herbal formulas help support the organs of elimination. Next month I plan to discuss cleansing in more detail.

In my book, Heart of Perfect Health, I offer information and targeted programs designed to protect your heart for the rest of your life. Toxins may be all around us, but we have ways to release them – and renew our health.

Do Pets Need to Detox Just Like People?

Filed in Cleansing, Diabetes, Dogs - Pets, Heart Disease, Metabolic Syndrome, Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease - NAFLD, Obesity | Posted by Brenda Watson on 04/09/2015


In recent years we have seen a drastic increase in the number of people in this country who are overweight and obese. This has led to a scary increase in many chronic health conditions ranging from diabetes and metabolic syndrome to heart disease. We are also seeing a rise in NAFLD (nonalcoholic fatty liver disease) in humans. I’ve written many blogs on this topic. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is a term used to describe the accumulation of fat in the liver of people who drink little or no alcohol. People usually don’t have symptoms, or if they do, the symptoms are mild—most commonly, episodes of fatigue. But we now know that the increase in NAFLD is due in part to obesity. It is no secret that weight loss is an important factor in improving a fatty liver.

As a big proponent of supporting liver function in people by using detoxing programs, I have always suggested the use of herbs, amino acids, and nutraceuticals in a combination formula. I have seen this formula help countless people over the years as they work on improving their health and losing weight.

Veterinarians are also finding that, just like people, dogs and cats that carry extra weight place additional demands on their organs too, especially on their livers.

So the question is: how do we help our furry friends who are overweight? We can’t exactly offer our pets suggestions like “Push away your plate before you are full,” or “Stop opening the refrigerator after 7 PM for that extra snack!” I sometimes joke about our dogs with my husband Stan, “I’ll bet they wish they had thumbs so they could open the refrigerator.” You see, I am also trying to control the weight in my dogs at this time, yet they have learned so many ways to control me and devour more food! I often read articles that claim overweight pets habitually hang around during mealtimes and while food is being prepared. Well, where else would they be?

Hepatic lipidosis (commonly known as fatty liver) is one of the most common feline liver diseases in cats. But dogs can also suffer from fatty liver, which results in a decrease in liver function and leads to myriad other health conditions. Once again, we share the same problems with our health as our pets when it comes to both weight and liver disease.

Guess what? The answer to this problem is the same for both humans and pets: lose the extra pounds. When we—and our pets—lose weight, the liver then loses fat. And by detoxing the liver, it will naturally become healthier.

Many pet owners have been detoxing their own livers for years. We now know that liver detox is important for our beloved pets as well. A very important point to remember is to choose a gentle daily detox for our pets (just as we do for ourselves) that will not cause them to feel poorly as their livers detox. You’ll want to find a formula that includes milk thistle, turmeric, and MSM. These gentle ingredients support and assist in liver detoxification in animals just as they do in humans. Look for a product that includes the above ingredients. Make sure that it’s specifically formulated for pets.

Now to address the issue of helping our furry friends lose weight; the responsibility is ours. We must make sure to not overfeed them or give them too many treats. I have one important rule with my dogs: I never feed them from the table!

Admittedly, it’s not easy to refuse those pitiful eyes when they look up at me asking for a treat. But I know that their health depends on it.

 

The Lowdown on How the Guts of our Pets Mimic their Human Owners!!!

Filed in Adults, Antibiotics, Cleansing, Diabetes, Dogs - Pets, Environmental Toxins, General, Human Microbiome, Immune System, Mental Health, Probiotics & Gut Flora, Supplements | Posted by Brenda Watson on 04/02/2015


For many years I have written about the benefit of probiotics on our health. In my early years, working in a Natural Health Clinic that offered total health solutions, I experienced first hand the great effects probiotics have on people. I worked one on one with many who were trying to reverse health conditions naturally or in conjunction with traditional medicine. In my own practice as well as throughout the clinic our goal was to assist people in detoxification of their bodies. These cleansing practices were found effective in prevention of disease, as well as in supporting the healing of many conditions that traditional medicine had not been able to solve.

In our Clinic this was accomplished with modalities like massage, sauna, herbs, colon hydrotherapy, juice fasting and nutrition. During this period of time probiotics were a vital part of my practice. My specialty was the digestive system (I’ll bet you might have guessed!) and I was performing colonics as well as suggesting herbal remedies and teaching good nutrition. So in this way very early on, through practical application, I observed over and over how probiotics could greatly improve people’s health.

Now let’s fast forward to today – many years later! We have entered the age of the study of the Human Microbiome (fancy name for gut population) and its effects on human health and disease. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has supported this so scientists can have the funding to study all aspects of bacteria, both in and on our bodies. Almost daily we can read more research studies touting the benefits of probiotics on everything from GI problems to anxiety and depression. As new studies have come forth, we have even offered many of them to you on this blog.

Since we have trillions of bacteria and over 180 different strains of bacteria in our guts, we now fully realize two important things – how critical it is to replenish our good bacteria if we want to be healthy, and also just what type of probiotic supplement our bodies need most – one that is high potency (meaning a high culture count) and that also contains many different good bacterial strains.

BUT – have we forgotten about the digestive systems of our babies? Those wonderful animals that keep us company, are always excited to see us and never criticize us for our shortcomings? Gosh I hope not.

Come to find out these guys (dogs and cats) need probiotics just like we do. In fact their digestive systems take a beating from antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs and toxins just like ours do. Actually they are finding that the gut bacteria of the animals we live with actually mimic ours, having many of the same bacteria – even though there are certain strains that are specific to animals.

I interviewed Dr. Rob Knight who is a scientist studying the gut microbiome and founded The American Gut Project. These scientists actually analyze stool samples (for a fee) from anyone, and they will accept your animal’s sample as well. Dr. Knight explained to me that he can take samples from humans and match them to their dog by simply comparing their bacterial composition, without knowing anything else about them. He can literally match owners with their dogs through their similarities of bacteria!

Even though “official” research is beginning to demonstrate that dogs and cats derive many health benefits from probiotics, Stan and I and countless other dog owners and vets have already experienced that high dose, multi-strain probiotics can help pets with digestive upsets like vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation, skin issues – the list goes on. For cats and dogs, a healthy population of gut bacteria is vital for gut health, and just like with their humans, plays a critical role in removing toxins, enhancing digestion and out-competing many strains of disease causing microorganisms.

In conclusion, I know I am going to make sure my animals have the benefit of quality probiotics – ones made especially for cats and dogs – with at least 20 billion cultures per capsule and 10 different probiotic strains.

In this simple way we can provide our animals a much better chance of keeping their health on the right track — so that we have them around longer to love!!! YEA!!!

Watch My Segment On ColonicsTV

Filed in Cleansing | Posted by Brenda Watson on 12/23/2013


ColonicTV

Over the years we realize more and more how many toxins our bodies are exposed to on a daily basis. Before you become depressed or overwhelmed by that thought, here’s the good news—it seems that in most cases our bodies, through regular bowel movements, can eliminate lots of toxins, and we can continue living our lives in a happy and healthy way. By regular, I mean at least one, if not two, healthy bowel movements daily. Read more here.

If you’re not removing your waste properly you become a walking toxic dump. The natural result over time is all sorts of chronic, and sometimes acute, health conditions. No kidding.

That’s why I’ve spent years and years both practicing and educating about colon health, and also colon hydrotherapy. Colon hydrotherapy gently helps remove accumulated waste from the colon using an infusion of filtered water.

In addition to running colon hydrotherapy clinics across Florida, I also developed and taught the Florida Colon Hydrotherapy Curriculum for licensure and collaborated with various doctors who adapted my services for patients with cancer and cardiovascular issues as well as gastrointestinal conditions. Through the years, I’ve also been very active with I-ACT, the International Association for Colon Hydrotherapy. As you can see, this has been my passion!

Recently I was asked by ColonicsTV producer Julie Tyler to appear in their very first online episode, which is now live at: http://colonicstv.com. Julie is dedicated to increasing awareness about colon hydrotherapy and helping practitioners become licensed and/or legally protected through Safe Harbor laws and statutes in ALL 50 states—and to get colonic treatments covered by insurance.

This may not be your idea of a sexy topic, or fun party conversation, but I have a feeling you’ll agree that when your gut is happy, you’re a much happier (and sexier) person. If you haven’t yet tried colon hydrotherapy, at least check out ColonicsTV to expand your health possibilities. I promise, you’ll be glad you did. It’s actually a terrific holiday gift to yourself.

My wish for you is peace and vitality through this glorious season and beyond.

Aerotoxic Syndrome

Filed in Cleansing, Digestive Health Care Books by Brenda Watson, General, Supplements, The Detox Strategy | Posted by Brenda Watson on 07/28/2009


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Summary:
In this video blog I discuss a recent lawsuit by Terry Williams against Boeing and McDonnell Douglas. In her lawsuit Ms. Williams states that she suffers from Aerotoxic Syndrome. What is Aerotoxic Syndrome? Where do you get it? What does it do to your body? Tune in and find out…

Full Script:

Have you ever felt just completely sick after lengthy airplane travel? Headache, nausea respiratory distress and muscle aches? Well airline attendant Terry Williams has, and she is suing both Boeing and McDonnell Douglas. It seems Ms. Williams has fallen victim to Aerotoxic Syndrome, brought on by the toxic chemical laden air that can be circulating in air cabins.

You see, since the early 1960’s, cabin air has typically combined the re-circulated existing cabin air with air coming off the engines. The air pulled into the engines is cooled and compressed and then pumped into the cabin.

A very toxic chemical called tricresyl phosphate is commonly used to prevent wear inside the engines.

Does this chemical really get into the cabin? Well, a secret analysis of 31 airplane cabins from different airlines was done at the University of British Columbia. 28 of them tested positive for High levels of Tricresyl phosphate.

According to a University College of London neruopsychologist, up to 200,000 airline passengers a year may suffer illness from this contaminated air.

From now on, when I fly, I’m bringing along some Renew Life’s Liver Detox. This will help the body to detoxify this harmful chemical more efficiently and quicker.

And don’t forget to visit DetoxStrategy.com, the website of my book, The Detox Strategy: Vibrant Health in 5 Easy Steps.

Smoking and Brain Damage

Filed in Cleansing, General, Preventable Issues, Smoking, Supplements | Posted by Brenda Watson on 07/06/2009


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Summary:
In this video blog I discuss how smoking can lead to brain damage. The National Brain Research Center has found that a chemical in tobacco called NNK provokes an exaggerated response from microglial cells in the brain. What is NNK? How does this create brain damage? Tune and in find out…

Full Script:
Need one more reason to quite those nasty cigarettes? As if lung cancer wasn’t bad enough, how about brain damage?

The National Brain Research Center recently released it’s findings that a chemical in tobacco known as NNK provokes an exaggerated response from the brain’s immune cells called microglia. What does this mean?

Well normally these microglia cells act as the destroyers for unhealthy or damaged brain cells. But when provoked by this NNK chemical in tobacco smoke these immune cells start to attack your healthy brain cells. This, over time, can lead to significant damage within the brain tissue.

I don’t know about you, but at this point in my life I’m trying to do everything possible to keep all those brain cells healthy. Unfortunately smoking is one of the most addictive habits you could have.

If you need help quitting smoking, Renew Life can help. My product called Smoker’s Cleanse has had great success. This product is a combination of three formulas. The first will help cleanse the lungs and body from the toxicity of smoking. The second is a tasty chewable tablet designed with ingredients that have an effect on the brain in reducing the cravings for cigarettes. And the third formulation is to reduce the symptoms associated with quitting, such as irritability and insomnia. Many people have used this formula to not only help cleanse their body from the effects of smoking but to help ease the difficulty associated with quitting.

I hope, for your brain’s sake, it helps you too!

Mercury in the Diet: How Does it Get There and What Do We Do About It?

Filed in Cleansing, General | Posted by Brenda Watson on 05/11/2009


We all know that mercury is found in higher concentrations in fatty fish, right? But do we know how it gets there? And do we know how to avoid it without having to avoid the health benefits of the healthy omega-3 oils that are found in some fatty fish? What’s more, do we know how to help rid the body of the mercury that we may have already unknowingly consumed? These are all important questions that I will address here.

A recent study from the United States Geological Survey looked at mercury contamination from a different point of view. Instead of studying atmospheric pollution emissions, they looked at how ocean currents carry pollution. They discovered that algae at the surface, which carried mercury, would sink to greater depths as it died. At these depths, bacteria in the water decomposed the algae, and in the process methylmercury was formed (this is a particularly dangerous form of mercury). From there, the methlymercury moves up the food chain from tiny phytoplankton that are eaten by small fish who then store the mercury in their fat. The small fish are then eaten by bigger fish who further concentrate the mercury, and so on up to the largest fattiest fish, which contain the highest amounts of mercury.

In fact, one of the authors mentioned that up to 40 percent of all human exposure to mercury is from tuna harvested in the Pacific Ocean (where the study took place). Through this modeling of ocean currents, it was discovered that the mercury had traveled very far distances from the coast of Asia.

So now we have an idea of the far reaching effects of pollution. What can we do to avoid the ill health effects of mercury, but still be able to get the beneficial marine omega-3s EPA and DHA? Well, look for fish oil supplements that are highly purified. The purification process removes mercury and other pollutants. The best standards out there are the International Fish Oil Standards (IFOS). IFOS standards are even higher than Norwegian Standards! Make sure the fish oils you take are IFOS certified. Renew Life’s Norwegian Gold Ultimate Fish Oils are IFOS certified and provide concentrated amounts of EPA and DHA.

But what can you do if you suspect that you may have eaten one too many sushi rolls or tuna fish sandwiches? Cleansing and natural detox formulas that target the seven channels of elimination can help support the body’s natural detoxification process. But first, it is important that you are having regular elimination (2-3 bowel movements per day!). A total body cleanse that addresses constipation is the first step to detox your body and eliminate toxins. Renew Life’s First Cleanse and Total Body Rapid Cleanse are great body cleansing formulas. After this cleanse, you can target the mercury with a detox that is specific for heavy metals. Heavy Metal Cleanse was formulated for just this purpose.

Always remember that they more you know, the more you can empower yourself to take better care of your health.