• 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).

  • About Brenda
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    • Pet Health

      Our dog’s health is precious! They provide us with unconditional love and companionship. A daily probiotic formula is a great way to ensure good health. Make sure you choose one that delivers the recommended potency level and strain count. There is nothing quite like a healthy and happy dog. Happy Dog. Happy Life!

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Early Menopause and Early Menstruation—Possible Causes

Filed in Environmental Toxins, Menopause, Sugar, Teens | Posted by Brenda Watson on 02/23/2015


The average age of a girl’s first menstruation has been decreasing in recent years. While there are a number of potentiation causes, consumption of the contributing of sugary drinks is the topic of a recent study published in the journal Human Reproduction. Researchers followed over 5,500 girls aged nine to 14 years and found that those who drank more than 1.5 servings of sugary drinks per day had their first period 2.7 months earlier, on average, than those who consumed two or fewer drinks per week.

“Our findings suggest that frequent consumption of sugar sweetened beverages may be associated with earlier menarche [onset of menstruation],” noted the authors. “A one-year decrease in age at menarche is estimated to increase the risk of breast cancer by five percent … thus, a 2.7-month decrease in age at menarche likely has a modest impact on breast cancer risk.”

In another study published in the Public Library of Science ONE journal that included over 1,400 women aged, on average, 61, researchers found that those women who were exposed to high levels of chemicals found in everyday household and personal care items experienced menopause two to four years earlier than those women with lower levels of these chemicals.

“Chemicals linked to earlier menopause may lead to an early decline in ovarian function, and our results suggest we as a society should be concerned,” noted Amber Cooper, lead researcher. “Many of these chemical exposures are beyond our control because they are in the soil, water, and air, but we can educate ourselves about our day-to-day chemical exposures and become more aware of the plastics and other household products we use.”

The researchers tested the women’s blood and urine for 111 chemicals from the following categories: dioxins/furans, phthalates, phytoestrogens, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), phenols, organophosphate pesticides, surfactants, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

Both of these studies are cause for concern. Although they do not prove causation, they suggest that reducing sugar intake in young girls, and reducing chemical exposure in women is a priority.

Lead Exposure Linked to Early Menopause

Filed in Adults, Environmental Toxins, General, Menopause | Posted by Brenda Watson on 02/14/2014


Women exposed to low levels of lead are more likely to enter menopause early, according to a recent study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives. The study involved 401 women from Boston and the surrounding area. Those women with the highest level of lead in their shinbone (lead is known to accumulate in bone) were five times more likely to enter menopause before age 45 when compared to women with the lowest levels, say Harvard researchers.

“Given the relation between earlier menopause and many subsequent health problems, these results suggest a pathway by which lead may contribute to the burden of chronic disease in older women.” They found that the average age of menopause for women with the highest levels was 1.21 years younger than those with lowest levels. Most interesting was the fact that the lead levels were not off-the-chart high. They were comparable to lead levels measured in older U.S. women, which shows us that even low-level lead exposure is a risk.

Although maximum acceptable lead levels in food and water have lowered over the years, many researchers question whether they should be lowered further. I have blogged on the health hazards of lead many times because I know that it can have major health consequences. Lead is a heavy metal that, once it gets inside the body, can be difficult to remove. It settles in tissues and bones, and can remain there for years and years. Minimizing your exposure to lead should be a priority.

Sugary Beverage Consumption Linked to Endometrial Cancer

Filed in Menopause, Obesity, Preventable Issues, Sugar | Posted by Brenda Watson on 01/15/2014


Postmenopausal women who have a high intake of sugar-sweetened beverages may be at increased risk of developing the most common type of endometrial cancer compared to women who do not drink sugar-sweetened beverages, according to a recent study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. The women who drank the most sugary beverages had a 78 percent increased risk of developing estrogen-dependent type I endometrial cancer when compared to women who drank none.

“Although ours is the first study to show this relationship, it is not surprising to see that women who drank more sugar-sweetened beverages had a higher risk of estrogen-dependent type I endometrial cancer but not estrogen-independent type II endometrial cancer,” stated Maki Inoue-Choi, PhD, MS, RD. “Obese women tend to have higher levels of estrogens and insulin than women of normal weight. Increased levels of estrogens and insulin are established risk factors for endometrial cancer.”

For the study, over 23,000 women filled out detailed questionnaires about lifestyle, medical history, and diet. The group was followed for 24 years, at which point 595 women had developed endometrial cancer. “I don’t want anyone to change their behavior based on these findings,” said Inoue-Choi. “We need to do more study to confirm the association. But I would advise people to follow dietary guidelines and avoid sugar-sweetened beverages.”

I agree. Our sugar consumption is through the roof, and sugary beverages make up a large portion of this consumption. Fortunately, there are many great beverages that do not contain sugar. Make the switch if you haven’t already!