Using probiotics to cure lactose intolerance

probioticLactose intolerance is a result of the body’s inability to digest lactose, a sugar primarily found in milk that is broken down into glucose and galactose by an enzyme called lactase. The body’s inability to absorb lactose is caused by a deficiency of this enzyme.

Lactose intolerance can affect some ethnic populations more than others. For example, this condition only affects 5 to 20 percent of Caucasian Americans or Northern Europeans. However, 60 to 80 percent of people of African descent are lactose intolerant, and within Asian populations, lactose intolerance is the rule rather than the exception, with 95 to 100 percent of people of Asian descent affected by this condition.

Fortunately, all is not lost for those with lactose intolerance who still want to consume dairy products. According to dietitian and nutritionist Annie Jolicoeur, the quality and quantity of your intestinal bacteria can play an important role in your ability to tolerate dairy products. By taking certain kinds of probiotics and consuming fermented dairy on a regular basis, you can improve, if not eliminate, many of the symptoms of lactose intolerance that come with eating dairy.

“According to several studies, some probiotic strains, such as Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus, found, for example, in all Probaclac probiotic supplements, are known to help lactose digestion. These probiotics help to improve lactase synthesis in order to allow better lactose absorption,” explains Jolicoeur.

Jolicoeur recommends Probaclac as the ideal solution since it provides probiotic complexes that are designed specifically for every age group: children up to the age of 15; adults (can be taken from the age of 15); and older adults (age 50 and up).

More information and advice on probiotics is available at probaclac.ca.

 

Food Usual Serving Lactose Content (g)

Butter 1 tsp (5 ml) Trace

Fresh cream 1 tbs (15 ml) 0.4-0.6 g

Ice cream 1/2 cup (125 ml) 5 g

Cheeses:

Camembert 1 ounce (28 g) Trace

Cheddar 1 ounce (28 g) Trace

Cream cheese 1 tbs (15 mL) 0.2 g

Cottage 1/2 cup (125 ml) 2.5-4.0 g

(2% fat)

Grated Parmesan 1 tbs (15 ml) Trace

Milk 1 cup (250 ml) 12 g

Yogurt 1/2 cup (125 ml) 6 g

How to protect yourself against stomach ulcers

stomachulcersDid you know that a bacterium called Helicobacter pylori is the main cause of 60 to 80 percent of gastric ulcers, and of 80 to 85 percent of duodenal ulcers? The duodenum is the upper end of the small intestine.

Normally, a layer of mucous protects the stomach and the intestine from the acidity of the gastric juice, a liquid secreted by the stomach glands during digestion. Helicobacter pylori weakens this protective layer by penetrating the mucus lining and creating open sores, or ulcers, in the gastrointestinal tract.

In industrialized countries, close to 20 percent of people aged 40 and under are infected with this bacterium, and if affects close to 50 percent of people over the age of 60. Studies show that 20 percent of these people will develop an ulcer during their lifetime.

Clinical studies have shown that probiotics can be useful in treating infections caused by Helicobacter pylori. Antibiotics are usually prescribed to eliminate Helicobacter pylori, but unfortunately, the success rate is only 74.8 percent. When a multi-strain probiotic supplement, such as Probaclac, is added, the treatment’s efficiency increases to 83.6 percent.

The fact that antibiotics cause several side effects is important to mention. These adverse effects, experienced by 38.5 percent of patients treated, include diarrhea, stomach pain, nausea and taste changes. When a multi-strain probiotic supplement is given along with the antibiotics, side effects are reduced and reported by only 24.7 percent of patients.

Jolicoeur recommends Probaclac as the ideal solution since it provides probiotic complexes that are designed specifically for every age group: children up to the age of 15; adults (can be taken from the age of 15); and older adults (age 50 and up).

“Adding a multi-strain probiotic supplement to the medication given to treat ulcers caused by Helicobacter pylori significantly increases its efficiency and tolerance,” she said.

More information and advice on probiotics is available at probaclac.ca.

Good health starts with the skin

goodhealthYour skin is the largest organ of your body. It protects you from harmful bacteria and viruses that can cause infections. It also helps your body sense the outside world and regulate your body temperature.

Therefore, it should come as no surprise that billions of dollars are spent each year on skin care products, and billions more are spent on medical costs to treat damaged skin. From powders and lotions to sunscreens and firming creams, caring for your skin is a necessity throughout your lifetime. From infancy to adulthood, proper skin care can help ensure healthy skin throughout your life.

As we grow older, our bodies produce less moisture, drying out the skin, which then begins to lose its elasticity and its ability to protect the rest of the body. For many people, looking after the skin is not only a question of aesthetics, but it is also essential for one’s health and well-being. Conditions that stress, clog or inflame your skin can cause symptoms such as redness, swelling, burning, and itching. Allergies, irritants, genetic makeup, certain diseases, and immune system disorders can cause dermatitis, hives and other skin conditions.

Columbia Healing Cream has been developed by dermatologists to help people of all ages naturally maintain the proper balance of moisture in their skin. Blending nature’s best emollients with the latest technology, Columbia Healing Cream comforts and softens the skin while helping to alleviate cracking, dryness and itching. The unique combination of botanicals, vitamins and minerals in this product protect and soothe the skin, while stimulating the growth of new cells to bring back younger looking skin.

Manufactured in the United States by a 140-plus year old skin care products company, Columbia Healing Cream is suitable for treating the most sensitive skin, including that of people who suffer from diabetes, eczema or psoriasis. If you want to make your skin smile, simply use Columbia Healing Cream as directed.

More information on this product and Columbia Antiseptic Powder is available by writing to: The F.C. Sturtevant Company, P.O. Box 607, Bronxville, N.Y. 10708, or calling toll free (888)-871-5661. Log onto the Web at: www.fcsturtevant.com, www.columbiahealingcream.com, or on Facebook.

Go Toe to Toe With Nail Fungus

ToeToToeMost people will walk the equivalent of three times around the earth in their lifetime. That’s a huge amount of wear and tear on your foot’s many bones, joints, tendons, ligaments and muscles — and, more to the point, it increases the potential that you’ll develop a very painful and/or unsightly case of toenail infection.

Specifically, we’re talking onychomycosis, the medical term for fungal infection of nails. An estimated 35 million Americans have it, and you can understand why — despite having spent more than $350 million in 2010 alone trying to get rid of it — they don’t much like discussing it: Toenails turn embarrassingly yellow and crumbly from fungi that squeeze under them and then hide out.

And, oh, yes, for reasons not clearly understood, the fungi dig in even deeper as we age.

“Feet are the most neglected body part until there is a problem,” says Dr. Krista Archer, a Manhattan foot specialist and podiatric surgeon.

Those Most At-Risk

While some people are genetically prone to onychomycosis, others — including swimmers and athletes — unintentionally leave themselves open to it because of certain behavioral patterns.

Maybe they go barefoot in public areas. Or maybe their feet are often damp — just the environment, experts say, that fungi thrive in.

Treatment Options

As a recent article in Podiatry Management makes clear, there are a few drugs that tackle the problem. However, their use “must be balanced against the risk of unpleasant side effects that include gastrointestinal disorders, headaches and minor skin rashes.”

That’s one reason many experts are so excited by what they describe as a “breakthrough” topical treatment called Kerasal Nail (www.kerasalnail.com), now available in most drug stores. The colorless liquid restores the appearance of damaged nails by increasing nail hydration and exfoliating the nail plate — and in so doing, clinical studies have found, creates an environment that discourages fungal growth.

You should start seeing visual signs of improvement after about two weeks. Depending on the initial severity and the extent of the nail’s damage, though, continued treatment is recommended for three to six months.

One caveat for hedonists: Nail polish is verboten while using Kerasal Nail because it prevents its absorption.

Get Microdermabrasion Treatment at Home

SkinCareHomeWe tend to forget that skin is the largest organ in the human body. But oftentimes, the vitamins and nutrients that replenish our skin are used up by other organs, which leaves dry skin vulnerable to wrinkles, sun damage, scars and blemishes.

If you neglect your skin, you could wind up regretting it as you lose that youthful glow. But, there are ways to replenish skin cells without resorting to lasers and harsh chemicals, such as microdermabrasion.

Microdermabrasion is a natural exfoliation alternative to chemical peels, dermal fillers and laser therapy. There are two main types of microdermabrasion: crystal microdermabrasion uses tiny crystals to remove old skin, while diamond microdermabrasion exfoliates with a diamond-encrusted applicator.

Microdermabrasion rejuvenates the skin by clearing away dead skin and producing more collagen and elastin. As new layers of skin replace dead cells, skin appears brighter, healthier and smoother.

Although microdermabrasion is a non-surgical procedure, it has only been available in spas and salons to date. But now, the Sylvan Company (www.sylvancompany.com), which provides spa equipment, designed a home diamond microdermabrasion machine that is simple to use yet highly effective.

The home microdermabrasion machine uses the same technology as commercial equipment, so the results are comparable to getting a professional treatment. The machine also costs roughly the same as one microdermabrasion session in a salon, except you can reuse it as often as you like.

Considering how profitable the beauty industry is becoming, it feels good to save some money on occasion. According to American Salon magazine, day spas are one of the most popular — and fastest-growing — divisions of the beauty and cosmetic industry.

That might explain why Sylvan chose to boost their stock appeal and get revenue help in one fell swoop with a TIGRcub security structure. TIGRcub, part of the entrepreneurial exchange company Entrex, is a capital market system that benefits both private and public companies.

Entrex CEO Stephen H. Watkins has made it a personal and professional mission to provide capital solutions to businesses that need it. Learn more at www.entrex.net.

Ladies, Are Sun Spots Betraying Your Age?

SunSpotsWomen ages 30 and older are growing increasingly aware of new wrinkles with each passing year. Yet, evidence suggests that sun spots may have as much of an impact on age-related appearance as wrinkles.

Nearly 63 percent of women older than age 35 experience age or sun spots, discolorations and uneven skin tone. The dark side? The problem reflects your apparent age.

“Getting a clear, even skin tone without discoloration is just as important as wrinkle-fighting to achieving a rejuvenated, youthful appearance,” says Dr. Ellen Marmur, prominent New York City dermatologist and author of “Simple Skin Beauty.” “To some patients, it’s even more important.”

Dermatologists like Marmur call it hyperpigmentation, but its various types are commonly known as age spots, sun spots, liver spots, freckles and melasma, brown patches of skin triggered by a hormone imbalance. Age spots, sun spots and liver spots are all the same ailment — pouches of melanin where the skin pigment has overproduced and dumped uneven amounts, the majority of which are a result of sun damage.

According to Marmur, the two most used topical treatments for discoloration are hydroquinone and retinoids, which both may have irritating side effects and require a prescription. However, a new alternative, StriVectin-EV Get Even Brightening Serum, is an over-the-counter solution that’s clinically proven to work quickly without the same risky side effects.

“StriVectin-EV Get Even products, both the serum and new Get Even Spot Repair, combine natural ingredients like willow bark, vitamin C and licorice with our unique, patented form of niacin for the most even supply of pigment, skin repair and anti-aging effects,” explains chief scientist and professor of Medicinal Chemistry Myron Jacobson. “Studies reveal 85 percent of women see reduced sun spots and more even skin color after eight weeks of use.”

But to treat the long-term problem, sufferers of dark spots should also heed the following sun advice:

* Wear sunscreen year-round with an SPF of 30.

* For prolonged sun exposure, get a wide-brimmed hat to wear outdoors.

* Neutralize stubborn spots with peach-toned concealer while using StriVectin-EV Get Even products to slow down melanin production.

* Beware of products that bleach skin, as this can cause white spots, another form of discoloration.

StriVectin is available at select Macy’s stores nationwide and www.strivectin.com. Get information at www.strivectin.com/promo/get_even.

Sleep and Happiness: How Parents Can Have Both

GerberSleepHelping your baby sleep through the night is one of the great milestones of parenthood. Establishing good sleep habits and patterns early can help babies learn how to sleep, which is a key component in a baby’s happiness, and makes for less exhausted (sort of) parents.

Gerber Good Start Gentle’s sleep consultant Christina Gantcher advises parents to focus on the Three E’s: Eating, Environment, and Education.

* Eating: Poor feeding can impact your baby’s ability to sleep well. If your baby doesn’t seem to be eating at regular intervals or gaining weight at an appropriate pace, talk to your lactation consultant or pediatrician.

* Environment: You can facilitate better sleep for your new baby by creating a quiet, dark environment in a dedicated area. Remember, babies should always be put to sleep on their backs; supervised tummy time should occur during the day when baby is awake. Always put your baby on his or her back to sleep with no loose blankets, pillows or toys nearby. Try to follow a bedtime routine to help baby recognize cues to associate with going to sleep, such as a bath or book.

* Education: Learn about your baby and you’ll soon recognize his or her cues about being ready to sleep, such as eye rubbing. Don’t neglect naptime. Remember that infants are typically only awake for short periods, and daytime naps can aid nighttime sleep. When you feel your baby is ready, try placing him or her in the crib when they are drowsy but still awake, so they can start learning and remembering how and where they fell asleep.

Gantcher also advises parents to be as consistent as possible with a sleep routine, but be patient as you learn the habits of your individual child. Sleep helps give babies energy and puts them in the mood to learn and explore the world, and a rested baby often means a happier family, too.

As part of their desire to help support parents through their journey and provide them with the confidence they need to help their baby sleep through the night, Gerber Good Start Gentle has sponsored Christina Gantcher as their sleep consultant on Gerber’s panel of experts. Gantcher will be available to provide free, personalized, one-on-one phone consultations five days per week.

To sign up for a consultation with Gerber Good Start Gentle’s sleep consultant, please visit Gerber.com/experts or call the Gerber Parents Resource Center 24/7 at 1-800-284-9488 for help in scheduling an appointment.

How to Display Proper Hygiene in Public

SpittoonHygieneYou would think that public hygiene protocol would be a standard, taught in kindergarten, reviewed in middle school, and essential for your college diploma. Yet, more often than we care to admit, both knowing and remembering social “dos” and “don’ts” proves a challenge for even the best of us.

Stay classy and clean with a few simple tips on how to display good public hygiene.

Cover your mouth

This one is so simple we feel it deserves the first spot on the list. Hearing you sneeze or hearing you cough is one thing. Asking someone to feel you sneeze or feel you cough is entirely another. Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing. Keep your hands clean by using your upper arm as your shield.

One tissue does not conquer all

Feeling under the weather? Looking and feeling your best can be truly difficult when your sinuses are working against you. Do your best to show your care for public hygiene by following the little guidelines you can still muster doing, like washing your hands regularly, using hand sanitizer, and refusing to reuse and reuse the same tissue while public.

Watch for bad habits

Unfortunate habits, like biting your nails, playing with your hair, or picking at your face can work against that clean, sophisticated image you desire. These habits are also a way that unwanted grime, oils and bacteria can spread from different areas on your body and eventually onto any object you touch. Do your best to keep your hands away from the top half of your body whenever possible.

Launder

Laundry is no fun, but there are few public hygiene no-nos worse than dirty clothes. Pick one day of the week to be laundry day and stick to it. Invest in a dependable iron and ironing board, and carry a stain remover in your purse or bag.

Use FLASR

For smokeless tobacco users, a small, spill-proof portable spittoon is an essential and the ultimate display of good public hygiene. Fortunately, for these individuals, there’s FLASR, an Atlanta-based company that specializes in exactly that. The FLASR spittoon has a chic design that is pocket-size and features a secure locking mechanism to avoid messy mishaps.

For more information about FLASR, visit www.flasr.com.

Could Egg Freezing Be Right for You?

EggFreezingThese days it’s popular to talk about 40 being the new 30. Unfortunately, this does not apply to a woman’s fertility, which peaks in her 20s, then declines in her 30s.

One option for fertility preservation that has been getting a lot of attention recently is egg freezing. Historically, egg freezing was an option for young women with medical problems. Now, women who do not have major health problems but are considering delaying having a family are wondering if egg preservation could be a potential option for them.

Human oocyte cryopreservation (egg freezing) is a novel technology done in conjunction with in vitro fertilization (IVF), in which a woman’s eggs are extracted, frozen and stored. Later, when she is ready to try and become pregnant, the eggs may be able to be thawed, fertilized and transferred to the uterus as embryos.

Pei Lin Kim decided to freeze her eggs at the age of 34. She says, “After consulting with my physician, I decided to freeze my eggs so that if I experience infertility issues when I decide that the time is right for me to have children, I may have another option that could help me start a family.”

Success rates of IVF with thawed eggs depend on many factors, such as the woman’s age and fertility potential at the time of freezing, successful thawing and a successful IVF procedure. There is no guarantee that the process results in being able to have a healthy baby.

Pei Lin’s doctor, David Ryley, MD of Boston notes, “While egg preservation is not guaranteed to lead to childbirth, just as no infertility treatment is guaranteed a positive outcome, more women are considering the procedure. Women must weigh pros and cons based on personal circumstances and should consult with their doctor to learn about their fertility potential, risks of delayed childbirth, risks associated with the procedure — including medications — and facts associated with elective egg freezing.”

The American Society of Reproductive Medicine does not currently recommend egg freezing for patients who wish to delay childbirth due to insufficient data on the efficacy and safety of this procedure for these patients.

For more information see www.MyEggFreezing.com.

Climb Stairs Without Hurting Yourself

PainFreeStairsFour years after the first set of baby boomers hit the retirement age of 65, this segment of America continues to grow at record numbers. In fact, over the next 18 years, boomers will be turning 65 at a rate of about 10,000 a day.

As this important pocket of America’s population grows older, it is redefining the institutions of aging in a number of ways. For starters, the once-traditional retirement age of 65 doesn’t necessarily mean retirement anymore.

Adjusting aging attitudes notwithstanding, one fact remains: Father Time, will take its toll on the health of this aging populace. For many, that might mean more minor aches and pains that come with growing older. For others, it means more serious matters.

That’s why millions of baby boomers have traditionally moved to warmer Sun Belt locations where sunshine and active lifestyles prolong one’s health and outlook on life. Interestingly, while many northern snowbirds are still making the traditional migratory retirement path to places like Florida, a number of retirees are reluctant to abandon their roots, and remaining in their lifelong homes year-round.

Whatever the case might be, aging Americans are downsizing toward more convenient and maintenance-free homes. And one of the most visible trends being adopted are modifications being made to a home’s troubling set of stairs.

Whether it’s gimpy ankles, worn-out knees or just the simple fragility of getting older, walking up and down a set of stairs has never been more dangerous. Sure, one can be vigilant in always holding onto the railings when going up and down a flight of stairs, or taking slow, measured steps.

The reality is, however, even young, healthy people frequently trip. When this happens to our aging loved ones, these accidents can be catastrophic.

That’s why installing motorized stairlifts are increasingly becoming popular, allowing people to comfortably navigate their tiresome steps. One of the largest providers of these life-saving items is Florida-based Acorn Stairlifts.

Founded in 1992, www.acornstairlifts.com