The Mind-Stomach Connection

 

Mind-Stomach-Connection

Many claim to operate on their gut instinct, meaning they rely less on facts and standard procedure and more on certain mysterious feelings that emanate from the midsection, twinges of instinct or suspicion for example.  Although gut-trusting results may vary from gut-owner to gut-owner, there does seem to be a definite connection between the brain and the gut. And several recent studies have illuminated this connection.

A Healthy Gut May Reduce Depression 

You’ve probably heard that depression may be caused in part by and/or worsened by inflammation.  New evidence published in Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics found a link between inflammation that’s related to an unhealthy gut flora and depression.

In other, bigger words: From the Press Release

Persistent low-grade immune-inflammatory processes, oxidative and nitrosative stress, and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activation are integral to the pathophysiology of major depressive disorder.

Researchers believe that if the inflammation damage were mitigated then it might reduce depression. It should be noted that inflammation, in general, is also bad.

A Healthy Gut May Stave Off Alzheimer’s Disease

A study out of Sweden found that an unhealthy gut may hasten the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers injected gut bacteria from mice with Alzheimer’s into bacteria-free mice, and those mice developed a significant number of beta-amyloid plaques, a marker of the disease.  When the bacteria-free mice where injected with bacteria from Alzheimer’s-free mice, fewer markers appeared, leading researchers to believe that a healthy gut might reduce the appearance of those plaques.  The study was published in Nature.

A Healthy Gut May Improve Your Memory and Lessen Anxiety

Researchers in Ireland ran tests on mice to see if probiotics had any effect on memory and anxiety. They saw positive results in the probiotics-fed mice and decided to test on humans. The test subjects (who  weren’t in the placebo group) reported a drop in their daily stress and had measurably lower levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) in their bodies. Additionally,  volunteers scored higher on memory tests when compared to the placebo group.

Trust Your Gut, Try FloraFood 

If you’re looking for a top-notch, easy-to-stomach probiotic, try AIM’s FloraFood.  This triple-blend probiotic can help get your gut shipshape, relieve inflammation and possibly give you some peace of mind.

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Note: The AIM Companies is a wholefood juice concentrate company that was established in 1982. AIM FloraFood is sold through their network marketing distributors.

Celebrate a Healthy Cell Environment with AIM

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AIM’s Mission and Promise to You 

In April, we celebrate our planet and the diverse and abundant organisms (like us) that are living well thanks to the goodness and bounty of the natural world. So when selecting wholefood nutritional supplements, the first thing you want to do is to make sure that whatever you choose comes direct from nature and doesn’t contain harmful chemicals that can pollute your body. The AIM Companies knows this. That’s why we only use plants that are tested for the absence of over 300 pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and other harmful chemicals. The USDA reports that 50% of foods that are labeled “organically certified” still contain chemical residues. Our Quality Assurance Department will reject any ingredients that test positive. The AIM Companies goes above and beyond to ensure that you receive the highest-quality, healthiest wholefood products and nutritional supplements.

Cleansing 

If you’re feeling worn out or if you’re walking around all day in a haze, if you feel bloated, constipated or congested, if you get sick more often than normal or have worsening allergies, it could be due to a toxin buildup. Your body works hard at removing toxins through organs like the liver, lungs and kidneys, but if you’re eating too much fat, sugar and meat, toxins can begin to accumulate rapidly and may be a real nuisance to your wellbeing. Luckily, there are quite a few nutritional strategies for detoxifying.

Fiber

Fiber is one of the best nutritional tools for cleansing. Sometimes toxins and other gunk can accumulate inside the walls of your intestines which can prevent you from absorbing valuable nutrients. A healthy dose of deep-cleansing fit ‘n fiber or Herbal Fiberblend may be able to help keep your digestive system running smoothly and your intestine walls gunk- and toxin-free.

Lymphatic Cleanse

The lymphatic system is an often overlooked but highly essential part of the immune system. It acts as a filter for the body’s ubiquitous interstitial fluid, and it also transports fats and vitamins. Herbal Release is the pinnacle of lymphatic cleanses.

Probiotics 

The gut does more than digest food. It’s also home to a wild environment unlike any other on the planet, the gut microbiome. And it is estimated that 70% of our immune system is housed in our midsections. All those unpleasant, aforementioned toxin-bringers (sugar, fats, meat, etc.) and things like stress and illness can wreak havoc on your internal environment. That’s why a probiotic like FloraFood is so important. It restores balance to your body by promoting the growth of healthy, natural gut bacteria.

Pollution

The World Health Organization estimates that over 1 million people die each year from the effects of air pollution. Most of those deaths and many related health problems can be tied back to oxidative stress.

Antioxidants 

High levels of oxidative stress means that your body is out of balance. When pollution is high, the body becomes inundated with free radicals and cannot produce enough antioxidants to fend them off. That’s why it’s important to reach for an antioxidant supplement like Proancynol 2000 or a wholefood product with a high ORAC score like BarleyLife. Each contains the building blocks of free-radical protection that your body can use to defend itself.

Dietary Nitrate 

Air pollution has also been linked to endothelial dysfunction dysfunction (aka dysfunction of the veins), and pollution caused by heavy traffic has been shown to increase blood pressure and decrease blood flow. Scientists tested beet juice to see if it would help to mitigate this phenomenon. When people drank beet juice, their blood flows were unhampered and improved. You can obtain your daily dose of dietary nitrate from Red Rush or RediBeets.

Vitamin C

A study published in Epidemiology looked at subjects who suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). On days when the air pollution levels were highest, their symptoms were the worst and many were admitted to the hospital. However, if they had low levels of vitamin C, the chances of a COPD sufferer ending up in the hospital was 1.2 times greater, leading researchers to believe that vitamin C’s antioxidant properties offered some protection against the pollution. And you can find vitamin C in Peak Endurance and BarleyLife Xtra.

Sun Damage 

Although humans, animals and all the plants need sunlight to survive, too much of a good thing can be a bit dangerous and unpleasant. That’s why it’s important to be responsible about soaking up those vitamin D-filled rays. One nutritional tip for keeping your skin healthy and young in the sun is through the use of omega-3 fatty acids. Sun damage can cause wrinkles, and omega-3s may help reduce inflammatory compounds that speed up the wrinkling process. Get your essential fatty acids from AIMega.

 

 

CoCoa LeafGreens and FloraFood: A Winning Combination

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Cocoa and probiotics seem like an unlikely pair, but if you think about it, there was probably a time when peanut butter didn’t know jelly’s sweet embrace or when bacon was eggless. But a new study from the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry suggests that the gut microbiome interacts with cocoa flavanols and their confluence may help stave off metabolic syndrome.

Here is how it supposedly works.  According to the study, when somebody eats cocoa, it gets concentrated in the intestines. Cocoa, as you probably know, is chock-full of flavanols and antioxidants. Those flavanols interacted with the gut flora and improved gut barrier function, reducing the amount of toxins absorbed, specifically circulating endotoxins and insulin signalers. And that sort of thing doesn’t do pesky, old metabolic syndrome any favors.

Source: Nutraingredients

Seventy percent of your immune system is in your stomach. That’s why maintaining that gut flora is so important. Try AIM’s FloraFood, a high-quality blend of powerful friendly bacteria to keep it running smoothly.

For Cocoa, we offer CoCoa LeafGreens. Get all the antioxidant power of cocoa alongside a heaping serving of  greens like spinach and broccoli in every scoop of CoCoa LeafGreens. It’s nutritious and delicious.

3 Things You May Not Know About Your Gut

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Your intestines and stomach, these often overlooked, workaday organs that thanklessly digest your food, may house unique forms of life, never before discovered by science. While not yet proven, researchers in Paris believe that hidden among our mostly uncatalogued gut flora are microbes with highly unusual DNA that may actually be a whole new category of life form. That’s like discovering a brand-new mammal in your backyard.

So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that scientists around the world keep making discoveries about the microscopic dramas unfolding in our bellies and how important a healthy gut biome is to whole-body health.  Here are three recent discoveries.

Gut Flora Plays a Huge Role in Antioxidant Activities

Your gut flora regulates glutathione, an antioxidant found in every cell of the body. Glutathione also governs nitric oxide, plays a role in DNA synthesis and repair and is critical for metabolizing iron. Some believe it is the most powerful antioxidant in the body, definitely important for warding off oxidative stress.

Source: Chalmers University of Technology

Your Gut Microbiome Can Make Weight Loss Easier or Harder

Another study out of Sweden found that gut-flora balance may contribute to the regulation of blood sugar.  And that this might be the key to why some weight loss treatments are effective for some people but not others. In the future, weight loss programs may be tailored to individuals based on their gut biome.

Source: University of Gothenburg

A Link to Type 2 Diabetes 

Scientists in Russia have found that certain bacteria in the gut may be associated with the development of type 2 diabetes.  Three types of microbiota were named as possible signs of diabetes: Blautia, Serratia and Akkermansia. Although healthy people’s guts contain these bacteria, folks who suffer from either diabetes or pre-diabetes have a significantly larger quantity of them.

Source: Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology

FloraFood, The Building Blocks of a Healthier Gut 

Let AIM’s FloraFood provide you with the building blocks of a healthier gut. It contains a special blend of three powerful friendly bacteria – L. gasseri, B. bifidum and B. longum. These bacteria promote the production of B vitamins, break down and rebuild hormones, protect the body from environmental toxins and help to maintain healthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels. AIM’s special formula requires no refrigeration.

5 Nutritional Strategies for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

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Irritable bowel syndrome affects a significant segment of the population (around 15%).  The underlying cause or causes of IBS is unknown, but it often manifests in a variety of symptoms like cramps, diarrhea, gas, bloating and constipation.  To complicate matters further, each sufferer’s symptoms can be triggered by any number of factors specific to the individual.  That means a nutritional strategy has to be self-tailored, possibly under the watch of a healthcare professional.  We will examine what experts are saying about nutrition for IBS as well as some of the latest research.

Fiber Supplements

The International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders calls fiber a double-edged sword because some IBS sufferers may experience gas or bloating after use. However, they also add that almost every IBS sufferer would likely benefit from a moderate fiber increase. The IFFGD recommends gradually increasing fiber intake until reaching 20-35 grams per day (based on the individual’s recommended dietary allowance).

Probiotics

There is evidence that probiotics which contain Bifodacteria may alleviate or reduce some symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. There is a caveat to this, however.  In terms of IBS, it is less about just taking a probiotic and more about gut-flora manipulation. Some people found relief from IBS by taking antibiotics which kills gut flora, and others have benefited by gradually changing the landscape of their gut biome over time.

Digestive Enzymes

Digestive enzymes like amylase, lactase, protease and lipase help break down food, making digestion easier. There have only been two small studies on digestive enzymes and IBS. Both have been positive. One study found that enzymes improved post-meal IBS symptoms. The other showed that enzymes helped relieve gas and bloating.

Magnesium 

Dr. Carolyn Dean wrote The Magnesium Miracle. She also, conveniently, wrote IBS for Dummies. In her works,  she explains that magnesium taken orally can have a laxative effect, helpful for people whose IBS has made them constipated.  However, if a person suffers from IBS-related diarrhea, he or she can use a topical magnesium on the skin to reap magnesium’s benefits without upsetting the stomach.

A Low-FODMAP Diet

There is evidence that short-chain carbohydrates (aka fermentable oligo-saccharides, si-saccharides, mono-saccharides and polyols) can aggravate IBS because they tend to ferment in the gut and cause gas. That is why many IBS sufferers choose to follow a low-FODMAP diet. You can find a complete list of low- and high-FODMAP foods here. Spicy foods, sugary foods and caffeine can be problematic as well.

AIM offers nutritional supplements that can fit into a low-FODMAP diet as well as digestive enzymes, probiotics, fiber and topical magnesium. But in the case of IBS, you should consult a medical practitioner before making any drastic dietary changes. This post is for education purposes only.

7 Nutritional Strategies for Headaches

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If you suffer from headaches, migraine or otherwise, finding dietary strategies may prove difficult. Take the banana as an example.  The banana has a lot of good stuff in it: potassium, magnesium, vitamin B 6 and vitamin C. A lot of these nutrients and minerals appear on this list of headache fighters. However, bananas also find themselves on the list of possible migraine trigger foods. That means, finding a nutritional strategy is really an individual journey, one that should possibly be even undertaken with the aid of a health care professional.  With that said, here’s a list of vitamins and minerals that have shown promise for headache prevention and elimination.

  1. Vitamin B-2 (Riboflavin) 
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50% RDI of B-2, B-6, B-12

According to current lines of scientific thought, migraine sufferers are believed to have an impaired ability to metabolize oxygen due to mitochondrial dysfunction. Since riboflavin plays such an important role in metabolism, it could therefore improve mitochondrial functioning and overall oxygen metabolism. The majority of test subjects in a Belgian study saw a significant reduction in migraine attacks after consuming 400 mg of vitamin B-2 daily.

2. Magnesium

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High concentration topical magnesium

Of all the nutrients on this list, magnesium probably has the best scientific evidence backing it for migraine prevention, migraine reduction and headache relief in general.

  • First, people who suffer from migraines are believed to have magnesium deficiencies in their brains.
  •  Secondly, serotonin deficiency can cause migraines. Guess what nutrient balances serotonin levels? It’s magnesium.
  • Thirdly, it’s shown promise as a way to relieve PMS-related headaches.
  • Magnesium may also be able to stop small, calcium-related blood clots from forming and causing headaches.
  • For general headaches, magnesium may relieve tension and spasms in the head and neck muscles.

3. CoQ10

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60 mg of CoQ10, balanced EFAs

A 2002 study found that migraine sufferers who took CoQ10 for periods of three months or more reduced their frequency of attacks by half.

Sources (1-3): Migraine Trust, The Magnesium Miracle

4. Omega 3 Fatty Acids

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Balanced omega fatty acids

In a small study published in Pain, researchers found that balanced omega fatty acids reduced headache pain and frequency and improved quality of life. A 2002 study on adolescents found that omega 3’s may be beneficial for recurring migraines.

5. Folate, B6, and B12

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10% RDI folate and other B Vitamins

A study released in early 2015 linked a diet high in the B vitamins folate (B-9), B-6 and B-12 to a reduction in migraine frequencies.

6. Probiotics

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Friendly bacteria

Some headaches are associated with a stomach bug known as helicobacter pylori.  Eliminating that stomach bug with antibiotics cleared up the headaches. However, if those people followed up the antibiotics with probiotics, they only had a 20% chance of relapse. Those who took the antibiotics alone were 50% likely to relapse.  Source: CBS News

Counter-intuitively, irritable bowel syndrome can cause headaches. Probiotics may relieve IBS and would then reduce headaches in that way.

7. Vitamin B-3, Calcium and Vitamin D

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38% RDI Calcium, 70% RDI Vitamin D, 26% RDI Magnesium

Vitamin B-3, calcium and vitamin D have all shown promise as a way to reduce premenstrual headaches.

Healthy Digestive System Equals Weight Loss

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AIM FloraFood® contains three essential, friendly bacteria that support a healthy intestinal tract and a well-functioning digestive system.

Did you know friendly bacteria can also benefit weight loss?

It’s almost too good to be true. Not only do the friendly bacteria in FloraFood carry the benefits of a well-balanced digestive tract, they also may have positive influences on weight loss, according to a Japanese research team.

In their novel study, the Japanese group of researchers focused on the anti-obesity effects of lactobacillus gasseri, one of the three friendly bacteria—along with Bifidobacterium bifidum and Bifidobacterium longum—found in FloraFood. The results, published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, were striking.

Eighty-seven individuals with high Body Mass Index (BMI) scores and increased abdominal fat were split into two groups. One received milk fortified with the probiotic, lactobacillus gasseri and the other received milk with no probiotic fortification. After twelve weeks, the probiotic group showed a decrease in abdominal fat and subcutaneous fat by an average of 4.6 percent and 3.3 percent, respectively. In addition, the probiotic group showed decreases in weight, waist circumference, and hip circumference.

Among the group that did not receive the probiotic, no significant differences were noted.

The metabolic effect of lactobacillus gasseri was clearly evident in this study. Researchers believe that lactobacillus gasseri’s impact on weight loss may be due to its intestinal anti-inflammatory properties and its maintenance of a healthy digestive system, two factors that can contribute to preventing body fat.

Digestive health has always been a calling card for FloraFood. The combination of lactobacilli and bifidobacteria counteracts the unfriendly bacteria in the gut, aids in the digestion of lactose and protein, cleans the intestinal tract, and purifies the colon. The benefits of friendly bacteria extend even to immune response, vitamin production, healthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and protection against toxins.

You can add weight loss to the list also.

Consider adding FloraFood to your healthy weight regimen, and get the most from your friendly bacteria. With one billion friendly bacteria in each capsule, FloraFood has you covered for digestive health, weight loss, and so much more.