Biomarkers for navigating autoimmune health challenges - DAO, LPS and Zonulin

3 Bio-markers are Potential Game Changers for Autoimmune Sufferers

This year has already flown by, I can’t believe we are in the third month already! I have many things in the works to share with you and have been eager for reliable internet service to share these fascinating diagnostic testing options with you.  Especially for those on that auto-immunity journey and those on that health journey roller coaster which seems to have wheels spinning in circles…

I’ll cut to the chase – DAO, LPS and Zonulin – Have you heard of them?  Do you know their significance?  Let me give a brief, and I mean brief, overview of what they are and why they are significant.

What are they?

DAO – Diamine Oxidase is primarily secreted in the digestive tract and helps set the stage for a healthy environment in the digestive tract.   Do you have any guesses as to one of the things which happens when someone has low DAO?  If you guessed an adverse environment with an unhealthy microbiome you guessed correct!

LPS – Lipopolysaccharide is also primarily located in the gut.  It is an endotoxin which comes about as your body is fighting bacteria. When we find this in the blood that tells us it is no longer confined in the digestive tract, rather has made its way into our system!

Zonulin – (this is one you may have heard about!) Dr. Alessio Fasano, from Italy, is responsible for discovering the role of this fascinating protein.  Simply put – Zonulin is responsible for opening the tight junctions thereby allowing ‘stuff’ to pass between the cells lining the digestive tract. (If you want to dig deeper and connect some dots on your health journey take a minute and do a quick search at Pubmed: “Fasano Zonulin” and see what turns up 🙂

zonulin illustration

What is the significance?

First, if you haven’t read about the microbiome you may want to check out this post. When our digestive tract has an unhealthy environment that sets the stage for unhealthy flora to take up residence.  In addition what is typically healthy flora can get out of balance and become overpopulated, thereby rendering this once helpful bacteria unhelpful.  Furthermore, this loops back to causing an imbalance so we are left with having an imbalance due to bad environment and a bad environment due to an imbalance – quite the ‘catch 22’ situation!

Next have you heard of antibodies?  Are you familiar with how they come about?  Again, a brief snapshot.  Antibodies are part of the second line of defense in our immune system.  SIgA is the first line involved in the elimination of ‘invaders’.  When these invaders make their way through the lining of the digestive tract(such as when Zonulin opens the door) antibodies come into the scene.  Can you see where this is headed and how this is tied to autoimmunity?

So, we have antibodies getting made and foreign invaders attaching to things where they shouldn’t and our body decides to do what it can to eliminate the offender despite the collateral damage!  It is rather fascinating how we are made!

In addition to all of this histamines and allergies come on the scene…  I said I was going to keep this brief so will leave it at that… Things start to go downhill and the circling domino effect magnifies… Autoimmunity takes hold…

zonulin related disease illustration

What can we do about abnormal findings?

Ah, the million dollar question!!!  I wish I had the answer you are looking for, the fact is there isn’t a one size fits all solution.  This is why those of us with autoimmune conditions often find ourselves spinning in circles trying this protocol and that protocol.  For instance, overall those with MS find Wahls protocol effective, others may find Autoimmune Paleo effective or perhaps SCD(Specific Carbohydrate Diet).  Some may need to tweak and eliminate FodMAPs, Histamines or Nightshades…

We find relief in one area and think we are on the road to healing then have another ‘episode’. What you do for your T1 Diabetic condition may be different than what needs to happen for my T1D son.  This is where these three tests can be very valuable! We know ‘leaky gut’ is associated with autoimmune diseases, so the challenge is to find the breach and fix it.  Is it due to low DAO?  Perhaps its an abundance of Zonulin?  What about a combination of the two?  This is where partnering with a functional practitioner is invaluable. We can help you identify patterns and nuances specific to your situation.   We have to look at all the clues given us, these three markers are just three of the many clues to your ‘health mystery’.

I would love to be able to tell you to take this probiotic, that combination of supplements and you go on your happy way to healing. But, one thing I am 10,000% certain of is we are individuals and a restoration of health must be customized!   Are there similarities and common components to the solutions?  Absolutely!!!

So, can I help you?  Most likely, but it would take looking at your health journey with a fine tooth comb! In the meantime I can recommend a few things which will encourage your body to seek homeostasis:

  • Lifestyle changes which support synchrony with circadian rhythms
  • Plenty of water
  • Real foods
  • Elimination of stress
  • Quality rest
  • Exercise
  • Laughter

The simplest way to come up with a customized plan will take one of two things:

Find a functional practitioner who is passionate about YOUR health challenges. (For instance my  primary interest is in autoimmune challenges, another practitioner may focus on cardiovascular or hormone challenges)  Many do not ‘specialize’ and that is ok, they can still help you formulate a plan!

or

Enroll in functional medicine training and put the pieces of your health back together.

Feel free to contact me with any questions or comments 🙂 And of course you can also take advantage of my free 15 min consult! Best wishes on your journey!

A few references:

Polyamine Oxidase and Diamine Oxidase Activities in Human Milk during the First Month of Lactation.
Bjelakovic L, Kocic G, Bjelakovic B, Najman S, Stojanović D, Jonovic M, Pop-Trajkovic Z.
Iran J Pediatr. 2012 Jun;22(2):218-22.
PMID: 23056889 Free PMC Article

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3446060/

 

Zonulin, a regulator of epithelial and endothelial barrier functions, and its involvement in chronic inflammatory diseases.
Sturgeon C, Fasano A.
Tissue Barriers. 2016 Oct 21;4(4):e1251384. doi: 10.1080/21688370.2016.1251384. Review.
PMID: 28123927

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/21688370.2016.1251384?journalCode=ktib20

 

Abnormal intestinal permeability and microbiota in patients with autoimmune hepatitis.
Lin R, Zhou L, Zhang J, Wang B.
Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2015 May 1;8(5):5153-60.
PMID: 26191211 Free PMC Article

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26191211

 

Chronic Kidney Disease Induced Intestinal Mucosal Barrier Damage Associated with Intestinal Oxidative Stress Injury.
Yu C, Wang Z, Tan S, Wang Q, Zhou C, Kang X, Zhao S, Liu S, Fu H, Yu Z, Peng A.
Gastroenterol Res Pract. 2016;2016:6720575. doi: 10.1155/2016/6720575.
PMID: 27493661 Free PMC Article

https://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/6720575

 

Concomitant Prevalence of Low Serum Diamine Oxidase Activity and Carbohydrate Malabsorption.
Enko D, Meinitzer A, Mangge H, Kriegshäuser G, Halwachs-Baumann G, Reininghaus EZ, Bengesser SA, Schnedl WJ.
Can J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2016;2016:4893501. doi: 10.1155/2016/4893501.
PMID: 28042564 Free PMC Article

https://www.hindawi.com/journals/cjgh/2016/4893501/

 

Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Middle Ear Inflammation Disrupts the cochlear Intra-Strial Fluid–Blood Barrier through Down-Regulation of Tight Junction Proteins
Jinhui Zhang, Songlin Chen, Zhiqiang Hou, Jing Cai, Mingmin Dong, Xiaorui Shi
PLoS One. 2015; 10(3): e0122572. Published online 2015 Mar 27. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0122572
PMCID: PMC4376743

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4376743/?report=reader

 

Analysis of the human monocyte-derived macrophage transcriptome and response to lipopolysaccharide provides new insights into genetic aetiology of inflammatory bowel disease.
Baillie JK, Arner E, Daub C, De Hoon M, Itoh M, Kawaji H, Lassmann T, Carninci P, Forrest AR, Hayashizaki Y; FANTOM Consortium., Faulkner GJ, Wells CA, Rehli M, Pavli P, Summers KM, Hume DA.
PLoS Genet. 2017 Mar 6;13(3):e1006641. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1006641. [Epub ahead of print]
PMID: 28263993 Free Article

http://journals.plos.org/plosgenetics/article?id=10.1371/journal.pgen.1006641

 

Systemic lipopolysaccharide induces cochlear inflammation and exacerbates the synergistic ototoxicity of kanamycin and furosemide.
Hirose K, Li SZ, Ohlemiller KK, Ransohoff RM. J Assoc Res Otolaryngol. 2014; 15:555–70. doi: 10.1007/s10162-014-0458-8 PMID: 24845404

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4141430/?report=classic

 

Lipopolysaccharide alters the blood-brain barrier transport of amyloid beta protein: a mechanism for inflammation in the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
Jaeger LB, Dohgu S, Sultana R, Lynch JL, Owen JB, Erickson MA, et al.  Brain Behav Immun. 2009; 23:507–17. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2009.01.017 PMID: 19486646

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2783557/

 

Restoration of impaired intestinal barrier function by the hydrolysed casein diet contributes to the prevention of type 1 diabetes in the diabetes-prone BioBreeding rat.
Visser JT, Lammers K, Hoogendijk A, Boer MW, Brugman S, Beijer-Liefers S, Zandvoort A, Harmsen H, Welling G, Stellaard F, Bos NA, Fasano A, Rozing J.
Diabetologia. 2010 Dec;53(12):2621-8. doi: 10.1007/s00125-010-1903-9.
PMID: 20853098 Free PMC Article

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/pmid/20853098/

Top 3 Brain-Boosting Foods Fish: Wild Caught Salmon (Omega-3s – DHA & EPA) Berries: Blueberries, Blackberries (antioxidants) Greens: Bok Choy, Spinach, Collard Greens (folate)

Top 3 Brain Boosting Foods!

One of the common complaints about health is having brain-fog.  We often think this is just a part of aging which we have no control over.  Is that the case? What happens when we look at our brain from a functional perspective?

The simple fact is food affects our brain, for better or worse. Choosing foods which support proper brain function is vital to our overall wellness. Growth of healthy cells, healthy connections in the brain and efficient operation of our brain, and in turn our entire body, are affected by the foods we choose to consume. One of my favorite sayings about brain health comes from Dr. William Sears:

“Forget low-carb and low-fat diets. Eat a ‘right-carb’ and a ‘right-fat’ diet for optimal brain health!”

I couldn’t agree more! The quality of what we eat is of greater importance than the quantity. Let’s take a quick look at our brain health and food choices.top-3-brain-boosting-foods

When our brain is provided with healthy nourishment it can make healthy connections, process information, create memories and signal muscles and hormones to react and move. Next time you think about healthy eating, don’t just think about the benefits it will have on your waistline. Rather, think of all the positive benefits your brain receives from getting the right brain-boosting nutrition!

So what is the fuel which is vital to the brain?

For optimal function our brains need:
Omega-3 fats, Folate, Antioxidants and Carbohydrates.

  • Omega-3s are important building blocks in the brain – they are vital to the proper function of impulses which take place.
  • Folate is a nutrient needed for neurotransmitter function.
  • Antioxidants keep the blood brain barrier healthy, protecting cells from wear and tear and improve blood flow by decreasing excessive blood clotting.
  • Carbohydrates are needed because your brain uses them for energy.

What are quality sources of these brain fuels?

Top 3 Brain-Boosting Foods

Fish: Wild Caught Salmon (Omega-3s – DHA & EPA)
Berries: Blueberries, Blackberries (antioxidants)
Greens: Bok Choy, Spinach, Collard Greens (folate)

One of my family’s favorite meal is grilled salmon with a side of steamed veggies and large bowl of mixed greens topped with a bit of olive oil and berries. Even my child who isn’t fond of fish loves this meal! I have a super simple salmon recipe here. As well as more information on Omega-3s and essential fats here.

So the next time you go shopping remember to stop by the produce and seafood departments to get a special brain-boosting treat 🙂

[Resources:

Soares AA, et al (2017)  A double- blind, randomized, and placebo-controlled clinical trial with omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (OPFA ɷ-3) for the prevention of migraine in chronic migraine patients using amitriptyline.  Nutr Neurosci. doi: 10.1080/1028415X.2016.1266133.

Pu H, Jiang X, Wei Z, Hong D, Hassan S, Zhang W, Shi Y, Chen L, Chen J.(2016) Repetitive and prolonged omega-3 fatty acid treatment after traumatic brain injury enhances long-term tissue restoration and cognitive recovery.
Cell Transplant. doi: 10.3727/096368916X693842. PMID: 27938482

Pu H, Jiang X, Hu X, Xia J, Hong D, Zhang W, Gao Y, Chen J, Shi Y. (2016) Delayed Docosahexaenoic Acid Treatment Combined with Dietary Supplementation of Omega-3 Fatty Acids Promotes Long-Term Neurovascular Restoration After Ischemic Stroke.
Transl Stroke Res. 2016 Dec;7(6):521-534.

Jiraungkoorskul W. Review of neuro-nutrition used as anti-alzheimer plant, spinach Spinacia oleracea. Phcog Rev [serial online] 2016 [cited 2017 Jan 17];10:105-8. Available from: http://www.phcogrev.com/text.asp?2016/10/20/105/194040

Cardiovasular Disease & Diabetes: What is the connection?

The primary health concerns of the late 19th and early 20th centuries were infections diseases.  A shift in adverse health came about after the fortification and enrichment of foods.  Chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancer and stroke became the prevailing ailments.  These diseases continue to rise, some at alarming rates.  Let’s take a quick look between two prevalent diseases today: Heart Disease and Diabetes. I am going to especially look at the incidents in Nacogdoches County in the State of Texas.  [PDF of this post here]

Some quick stats:

nacogdoches-statistics-cvd-and-diabetes

Is this a sign of malfunction in the bodies of the population?

Maintaining a healthy status requires a homeostasis of the bodily systems. Having healthy levels of glucose in our blood is vital for proper balance. When we eat, signals are sent in our body to aid in the metabolizing of the food we just ate.  Insulin is secreted as a result of some of those signals.  It is the “key” which allows glucose to enter the cells.  Without proper signaling of insulin, glucose cannot enter the cells.  This results in glucose going to other parts of the body.  For our body to function properly it is important to keep glucose levels stable.

When our glucose levels are outside a healthy range it attaches to proteins resulting in diabetes-1724617_1920Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs).  Excessive AGEs leads to plaque forming in the blood vessels.  One consequence is an impairment of the endothelium which lines the blood vessels.  It is hindered in releasing nitric oxide into the blood stream.  With this compromised cardiovascular system, the body has a difficult time repairing daily wear and tear.  Thus an increase in inflammation.  Heart disease often ensues.

In fact…. Studies have shown an increased incidence of heart disease in the presence of diabetes! 

With a high prevalence of heart disease and diabetes there is a need to understand the role of a proper functioning body. In regards to diabetes and cardiovascular disease the role of glucose balance is of marked importance.  Maintaining proper levels eliminates an exacerbating risk factor for both diabetes and cardiovascular disease.  A body which is in homeostasis is free of disease contrasted with a body where malfunction is present, disease emanates.

What can you do today to ensure a proper functioning body?

Begin practicing the 5 Pillars to Healthy Function!!!

Eat Quality Foods

Get Adequate Sleep

Be Active

Promote Healthy Digestion

Embrace Peace & a Spiritual Connection (Eliminate Stress)

push-ups-888024_1280

Related Research:

A.G.E. Foundation. What are AGEs http://agefoundation.com/age/

CDC Interactive Atlas of Heart Disease and Stroke TablesGeographic Area 2010-2012.

Davis, C., and E. Saltos. (May 1999) “Dietary Recommendations and How They Have Changed Over Time,” America’s Eating Habits: Changes and Consequences, Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 750, USDA, ERS. Chapter 2.

Texas Department of State Health Services. (2012). 2012 Texas Heart Disease and Stroke

Fact Sheets, (2013). Diabetes Prevalence Among Adults BRFSS data Tables

Yamagishi, S-i., Nakamura, N., and Matsui, T. (2016) Glycation and cardiovascular disease in diabetes: A perspective on the concept of metabolic memory. J Diabetes, doi: 10.1111/1753-0407.12475.

Got Cravings? What to eat instead…

Anyone who has made changes to their diet has probably experienced cravings! I came across a similar chart a few years ago and it has been a huge help when I go through times of craving foods I know are not a healthy choice!!!  Here is my rendition and hope it is beneficial to you in your health journey 🙂

cravings-what-to-eat-instead

Super easy - Steam pears for about 10-15 min top with Ceylon Cinnamon!

‘Pearfectly’ Steamed Cinnamon Pears

Yet one more delicious item from my Azure Standard order… We have two cases and my darling husband came up with this recipe!

Super easy - Steam pears for about 10-15 min top with Ceylon Cinnamon!

'Pearfectly' Steamed Cinnamon Pears

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 10-15 min
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

'Pearfect' blend of cinnamon with delectable pears.


Ingredients

  • 4 small pears
  • freshly ground Ceylon cinnamon

Directions

  1. Rinse and peel pears(can leave peel on if preferred)
  2. Steam pears for about 10 minutes
  3. Sprinkle with Cinnamon
  4. Enjoy!

Essential Fat- A Quick Overview

Among one of the hot topics in regards to health today is essential fats. In particular omega-3 and omega-6. You may have noticed Omega-3 is making its way into the things we eat.  Products are boasting about how much Omega-3’s they provide.  When we start talking with others almost invariably Omega-3s will come up in the discussion.

As with most trends there is usually some confusion. To compound that, unfortunately many companies look to the easiest way they can use the latest buzzword in marketing  their products.  Claims made on products can be misleading and not live up to their crafty hype.  With our fast paced lifestyle we often put off digging into the nitty-gritty of reasons behind these latest trends.  It is very easy to get drawn into the hype when much of the hype is truth!  So, I am going to share a few tidbits to help you on your journey to gain knowledge beneficial to your health path, hopefully equipping you to decipher fact from hype…

First – what are these ‘Omegas’?  They are fatty acids which our bodies need.  Some fatty acids such as Omega 5, 7 or 9 our bodies can make.  Omega 3 and Omega 6 are ones our bodies cannot make, therefore they are labeled ‘essential’.  For the most part this post will be about these two although I will touch on Omega-9’s.

Where do they come from? or How do we get them?  The simple answer is from real food!  Both plants and animal sources provide Omega-3 & Omega-6.  But – this is where confusion, and often misleading marketing comes in. Let’s look at Omega-3’s.

    • Alpha-linolenic acid or ALA is found in plants, plant oils, nuts and in fat of grass-fed beef.  One thing to note about ALA is our body must convert it into DHA and EPA.  The conversion rate is rather poor though, only about 4%.  Our body primarily uses ALA for energy.
    • Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) come primarily from fish, hence they are often referred to as marine Omega-3’s.  DHA & EPA are the Omega-3’s which have been attributed to various health benefits. For instance DHA is the primary component of brain structure.  EPA is typically associated with reduction of inflammation.

Where one needs to be careful is reading supplement packages carefully.  Reading the ingredient list to see what is the source of the Omega-3, how much ALA, DHA and EPA.  Remembering ALA is primarily used for energy where as DHA & EPA appear to be used for proper function and repair.

One other interesting tidbit is regarding Omega-3’s in grass-fed meat.  Again, the latest buzz is the Omega-3 benefit from grass-fed beef.  WELL, in researching this post I found out the Omega-3 content found in grass-fed beef is ALA. This was a surprise to me with grass-fed beef compared to fish in many health circles.  While grass-fed meet has a much better ratio than grain-fed, it’s the type of Omega-3 that is important in my health journey. So this is something I will be digging deeper into…

Do we need ALA?  Absolutely! It is an essential fatty acid, the caution is what our body uses it for and what is the reason we are wanting to increase our Omega-3’s.  Many claims are made on labels of plant-based Omega-3 supplements referring to the scientific evidence of DHA or EPA benefiting various aspects of health. While the claims are most often Difference in Omega-3's ALA, DHA and EPA theFunctionalPerspective.comcertainly true, the problem is a plant based Omega-3 does not directly provide DHA or EPA rather ALA which must be converted into DHA & EPA at a 4% conversion rate(or less!). And your body primarily uses ALA for energy.  So the labels can be very misleading.

The other essential fatty acid Omega-6.  This fatty acid is another necessary nutrient our bodies need.  The problem comes when there is an excess or an imbalance compared to Omega-3.  Studies have shown a correlation with excess Omega-6 with a variety of ailments.   So while we need Omega-6, once again we must look at keeping things in balance.

Which leads me to a member of the unsaturated family,  Omega-9.  These fatty acids are not essential because our bodies can make them.  Something to note is, some vegetable oils can be high in Omega-9 content which can potentially cause an imbalance in your body.  Some studies suggest benefits and some suggest potential adverse effects. All to say be cautious and watch for signs of how your body reacts. Another aspect worthy of noting is these same vegetable oils are also typically high in Omega-6 which can cause problems when out of balance with Omega-3’s.

Non-essential fatty acids are rarely something we need to be concerned with supplementing. Be on the look out for claims of a balanced Omega supplement, it isn’t that a problem exists perse, rather not always an efficient use of our money to purchase something our bodies already make and our body knows exactly how much we need 😉  My philosophy is let my body function as intended and let me get out of the way of that proper function..

Eating a balance diet of real foods paying attention to our balance of essential fats and non-essential fats can make our journey to good health a little easier to navigate. One tool I will frequently use is a nutrient tracker at  SELF Nutrition .  It is free to use and you can sign-up to track daily food intake.  What I like best is the extended nutrient profile. Once you have looked up your food you can click on “more details” for a very detailed nutrition analysis. {We used this alot when we were tracking glucose and fructose consumption} This “more details” tab is under the different nutrient categories, such as more info on the fat breakdown.  If you would like to see what the omega make up is of your foods here is a list of the corresponding numbers for ALA DHA and EPA as well as some Omega-9’s.

ALA – 18:3 -n3

EPA – 20:5 n3

DHA – 22:6 n3

Omega 9’s

18:1 (n-9) – Oleic acid

18:1 (n-9) – Elaidic acid

20:1 (n-9) – Gonoic acid

20:3 (n-9) – Mead acid

22:1 (n-9) – Erucic acid

24:1 (n-9) – Nervonic acid

Well, that was as quick as I could make it!  There is so much more that can be said in regards to these fatty acids but I hate to spoil your opportunity to discover them on you own  🙂    Thanks for stopping by and as always I enjoy your comments!

(Some of the sources I used:

http://www.berkeleywellness.com/healthy-eating/food/nutrition/article/grass-fed-beef-omega-3s

https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/omega-3-fats/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omega-9_fatty_acid

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10545672

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7737644https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7737644

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2901759/)

How much glyphosate does your food have? Food Testing Results Database

All I can say is these results make my stomach churn….

Source: Food Testing Results

Food Testing Report (PDF) Food testing results and scientific evidence for concern…

fdn_glyphosatereportalarminglevels2

5 Pillars to Healthy Function - Diet - Rest - Stress Management - Exercise - Proper Digestion

5 Pillars of Healthy Function

One of the challenges in functional health is figuring out where to start.  With the approach being different than the symptom management model it can be overwhelming as one attempts to uncover the root causes of the malfunctioning of our body.  Another challenge is looking at our health challenges from the perspective of a healthy body that is no longer in a state of homeostasis.  When our presupposition is our body was designed to function in that state and when it is not functioning as intended then we focus on what factors disrupt the natural balance and which factors promote balance.  So what are some of those things?  And, which of those things take priority?

The top five areas which impact our health the greatest are:

  • Diet
  • Rest
  • Stress
  • Exercise
  • Digestion

How many of us have worked really hard at one or two, maybe even three, of these and we still come up against roadblocks in our journey to good health?  In recent months our physician and I have been looking at the things which are working for my son, what’s not and where can we improve.  Out of these top five we have two of them down pat – knock out of the park grand-slams!  One of these we do ok with, better than the average American and two of them we struggle with – BIG TIME!

So what makes these five things the most important?  Well, they work in harmony. When we take one of these out of the equation things begin to malfunction.  Each of them by themselves directly impact our health. Let’s take a brief look at each one:

Diet

This one is probably the most understood and the one we embrace the most.  What we eat. In every facet of life whether food, vehicles, electronics -the quality of the building blocks have a direct impact on the final product.  When we eat things which are food-like and not real food we are providing low quality building materials for our body to work with.   At some point we will get what we pay for.  Just as we get what we put into our retirement accounts, our health in latter years will be a return on what we invested earlier in life.

Rest

There are several blogs which I follow that have some amazing posts which reflect on our childhood years.  Do you ever remember asking why you needed to take a nap? Why did you have to go to bed so early?  The answer I always received was – that was the time my body repairs, the more I rest the more I will grow.  Of course I couldn’t wait to grow up so that usually motivated me to take that nap or head to bed!

Our bodies need time to rest.  We have a lot of demands for our time and energy.  Just as we don’t leave our vehicles running all the time we shouldn’t keep our bodies running all the time.  They need time to repair from the daily toils from our day to day life.  If we continually ‘burn the candle at both ends’, the wick is going to burn out.  If we keep our engine going without down time it is going to overheat. The same with our bodies – it will start to malfunction.

Stress

This one is HUGE!  I don’t know about you, but I have heard this many times “stress affects your health”.  Yeah, yeah and I shrug it off going about my stressful life… Well, I am not sure I am able to articulate how vital eliminating and reducing stress are to a healthy functioning body.

The best illustration I have is our vehicles again -if we drove it off-road continuously putting stress on the suspension the suspension system is going to fail.   If we ran into curbs every time we park our vehicle it will cause damage.   The kicker is our body has a way to deal with these repairs on a daily basis – the problem is those ‘internal bandages’ can cause more malfunction when we have everything bandaged up!

This is one of those two areas my family, especially myself, struggles with.  The only answer I have found to effectively handle stress is a connection with our Creator.  My spiritual life has impacted my stress where nothing else would help.  Finding the peace from our Creator can do amazing things for our health!

Exercise

This is the second most accepted concept to good health.  Diet and exercise, right?  Isn’t that what everyone says?  Well – it is true!! Well, partially – its those PLUS the other ones listed.  But, lets look at exercise.

Did you know when you exercise your endothelium(lining of the blood vessels) releases nitric oxide?  In 1998 Robert F. Furchgott, Louis J. Ignarro and Ferid Murad were awarded the Nobel Peace prize “for their discoveries concerning nitric oxide as a signalling molecule in the cardiovascular system”.  What does nitric oxide do?  It helps to maintain healthy blood pressure, cholesterol levels, regulating clotting and blood flow, to name a few.  Basically it helps to promote healthy cardiovascular function.  Sort of like having a built in fuel system cleaner in a vehicle – wouldn’t that be neat!!

What happens with our fuel system in our vehicles when it gets dirty?  The engine starts running rough, right?  Sometimes it causes other problems as well.  Our bodies are very similar, if our cardiovascular system is not working as designed, it starts to malfunction.  Exercise promotes a smooth running system.

Digestion

So what if we are eating great foods, amazing sleep, no stress and we exercise regularly – we should be all set to a healthy body right?  Ah there is still another piece of the puzzle which needs to be in place – digestion!  If we are not assimilating the wonderful foods our bodies are not going to have access to the building blocks needed for repairing from daily life.

Again I like the illustration of our vehicles.  If our fuel system has a clog and the gas is unable to get to the spark plugs, the engine is not going to work.  Or if the gas that is getting through but its not flowing at the proper rate, the engine is going to run rough.

Having a properly functioning digestive system is another vital part in achieving that highly sought after homeostasis, referred to as good health.  This one is perhaps one of the most difficult to correct since many processes are intertwined with others.  When our system is disrupted it often seems like trying to get untangled from a spiderweb.  Which often loops back to stress as we attempt to untangle our digestive mess.

So what do we do now? How do we return these areas to a balance which promotes healthy function?

Support.  Surround yourself with others who are supportive in your journey. It is amazing what can be accomplished when you have others to help carry your burdens.  Just remember, we have to share that we have a need for folks to have the opportunity to help  😉

Your comments and questions are always welcome! I hope this is beneficial to you or someone you love! Thanks for stopping by!

 

Azure Launches New Brand of Bulk, Natural and Organic Food

AzureStandard is one of my favorite places for organic and non-GMO foods – Their prices are usually fantastic and amazing quality!  They offer just about everything you could possibly need from fresh food to household items.

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Azure Market foods are all natural with organic options, come in bulk and convenient sizes, with minimal packaging, and delivered direct from the producer to you.

Source: Azure Launches New Brand of Bulk, Natural and Organic Food