Berries Truly are Nature’s Candy

Wednesday, March 2, 2011 by Kimberly Day
Forget chocolate and jellybeans. Berries are the only candy you’ll ever need.  berries truly are Nature's candy

Not only are they sweet and delicious, but can also help prevent or relieve a wide variety of health complaints. From antioxidants that fight cancer and heart disease, to bioflavonoids and minerals essential for energy and good bones, the nutrients in berries benefit your whole body—and come in a sweet, attractive, richly-textured package.

For example, a 1996 study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine reported that the flavonoids found in purple-colored berries, such as raspberries and blueberries, could actually reduce the risk of death from heart attack in middle-aged men with coronary artery disease.

And don’t even get me started on the fact that they are low glycemic and fit into virtually every natural weight loss plan on the market!

Whether you choose blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, or blackberries, just choose organic and choose often!

For even more great nutrition tips, visit Dr. Lark’s Web site.

Potent Pomegranates

Wednesday, March 2, 2011 by Kimberly Day
In honor of National Nutrition Month, I thought I’d highlight some foods that are not only potent pomegranatesdelicious, but fantastic for your health. Let’s start with the pomegranate.

Pomegranates seem to be all the rage here in the United States, but this funny little fruit has been used medicinally in the Middle East, Iran, India, Egypt, and Greece for thousands of years.

High in antioxidants (especially polyphenols) and ellagic acid, pomegranates have been found to help repair free radical damage. Specifically, research indicates that pomegranates may play a role in preventing and treating cancer and heart disease.

According to the May 2000 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, pomegranate juice consumption decreased the accumulation of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol in the arteries of healthy, nonsmoking men by 20 percent. In mice, pomegranate juice reduced oxidation of LDL by 90 percent, and shrank plaque-ridden lesions in the mice by 44 percent.

Similar studies at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology found that healthy subjects who drank 2–3 ounces of pomegranate juice a day for two weeks reduced the cholesterol oxidation process by as much as 40 percent. This is critical, as this process often creates plaque build up that narrows arteries and results in heart disease.

Meanwhile, the ellagic acid in pomegranates helps protect you from many types of cancer. A research study at the University of South Carolina’s Hollings Cancer Institute found that “ellagic acid stops cancer cells from dividing in 48 hours, prevents the destruction of the p53 gene that leads to cancer, and causes normal cell death within 72 hours in cases of breast, pancreas, esophageal, skin, colon, and prostate cancers.”

Similarly, researchers in Japan showed that pomegranate extracts will cause leukemia cells to revert back to their normal non-cancerous identities.

For even more great nutrition tips, visit Dr. Lark's Web site.

Is It Menopause?

Monday, February 28, 2011 by Susan Lark
Do you ever wonder if what you think are menopause symptoms really are menopause symptoms? Well, by answering the following questions, you may be able to know for sure. If you answer yes to most or all of these questions, then you are likely entering the menopausal phase of your life.

  • My last period was 6 months or longer ago (real menopause)

  • My periods are lighter, less frequent, and of shorter duration (late perimenopause)

  • I'm 46 or older

  • I'm having hot flashes

  • Intercourse is painful

  • My desire for sex has faded

  • I have difficulty achieving orgasm

  • I have frequent vaginal infections

  • I leak urine when I laugh, cough, sneeze, exercise, or wait too long to void

  • I've lost my zest for life

  • I have difficulty sleeping through the night

  • I'm frequently tired

  • I'm anxious and irritable

  • I forget small details

  • My skin is drier, thinner, and more wrinkled

  • My muscles are losing their tone

  • I'm gaining weight

  • My joints and/or muscles ache

  • I have itchy, crawly skin

  • I sometimes feel as if electric shocks were going through my body

Visit my Web site for all natural solutions to help calm and alleviate the unpleasant effects of menopause.

Suffer from Urinary Incontinence? Check Your Meds!

Saturday, February 26, 2011 by Susan Lark

Did you know that certain medications are notorious for promoting urinary incontinence--an effect of menopause that effects millions of women?

Talk to your physician or pharmacist to find out if any of your medications may be contributing to this troublesome menopause symptom. If so, find out whether there are alternatives.

A few incontinence-promoting drugs include antidepressants such as amitriptyline (Elavil) and venlafaxine (Effexor); antihistamines such as Benadryl; antipsychotics such as haloperidol (Haldol); and calcium channel blockers such as verapamil (Calan) and nifedipine (Procardia).

You can find a much more complete list in a book called 20 Common Problems in Women’s Health Care by Mindy Smith, M.D. and Leslie A. Shimp, Pharm. D.

For more information on menopause symptoms and how to find natural menopause relief, visit my Web site.

Overactive Bladder: A Treatable Menopause Symptom

Thursday, February 24, 2011 by Susan Lark
I came across an article about overactive bladder/urinary incontinence--another effect of menopause that's not only difficult to discuss with others (like your doctor), but quite debilitating. While I like a lot of the treatment recommendations the author lays out in her article, including biofeedback, dietary changes, weight loss, and Kegel exercises, I am opposed to using medication and hormone replacement therapy for this menopause symptom, especially since relief can be found using the solutions mentioned earlier, as well as the following supplements:
  • Pumpkin seed extract has been found to be powerful in the treatment of the hypersensitive bladder in menopausal women suffering from urge incontinence. I like Enzymatic Therapy’s pumpkin seed extract product Better Bladder for Women.
  • Varuna is tailor-made for the treatment of urge incontinence. The bark of this medium-size tree, which grows along streams and river banks in India, is known for its ability to soothe bladder pain and neurogenically normalize bladder hypersensitivity. This herb is difficult to find on its own in reputable North American outlets, but I have included a high quality form in my bladder support product called Confident Control.
  • Magnesium supplementation has been shown to significantly cut down the frequency and severity of urge incontinence episodes, reduce the number of urinations per day, and decrease nighttime urination. In one study, the women in the treatment group saw significant improvement within a month of taking 350 mg magnesium hydroxide orally (that’s one teaspoon of Milk of Magnesia) twice a day. If your doctor approves, that’s the dose I’d recommend.

Healthy Eating Made Easy: Thai Turbot

Tuesday, February 22, 2011 by Kimberly Day
I just got a call from my husband…his parents are coming over for dinner. Tonight.healthy eating made easy: thai turbot

I adore my in-laws, so that isn’t the problem. The issue is, well, it’s Friday. The day before I usually go to the store. So I headed to the kitchen to see what I had on hand.

I have wild turbot (a healthier version of tilapia, which is always farmed), coconut milk, several spices, and quinoa. Voila! Thai Turbot!

The coconut milk will give us all an immune boost. Paired with the inflammation-fighter curry, we’ll have a “one pot” meal that's healthy AND delicious.

Note: You can use any wild white fish for this recipe and swap the quinoa for brown rice.


Thai Turbot
Serves 4

2 teaspoons sesame oil, divided
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons ginger, minced
1 cup red pepper, chopped
1 cup red onions, chopped
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 teaspoons curry paste
½ teaspoon ground cumin
4 teaspoons tamari sauce
1 tablespoon xylitol
22 ounces coconut milk, divided
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
4 6-ounce turbot fillets
olive oil
3 teaspoons sesame seeds
2 cups cooked quinoa
  1. Preheat broiler.
  2. Heat 1 teaspoon of sesame oil over medium high heat.
  3. Add garlic and ginger and cook for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.
  4. Add pepper and onion and cook 2 minutes.
  5. Stir in curry powder, paste, and cumin and cook 1 minute.
  6. Add tamari, xylitol, and coconut milk and bring to a simmer.
  7. Add cilantro and immediately remove from heat.
  8. Brush fish with remaining teaspoon of sesame oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  9. Place on broiler pan brushed with olive oil and broil for 8 minutes (or until fish flakes easily).
  10. Place fish on top of quinoa and top with sauce.
  11. Serve hot.
  12. Serves 4 (each serving ½ cup quinoa, one fillet, ½ cup sauce).
Nutritional Info (per serving): Calories 302, Total fat 24 g, Cholesterol 21 mg, Sodium 488 mg, Carbs 16 g, Fiber 4 g, Protein 11 g

For even more delicious recipes, visit Dr. Lark’s Web site.

Healthy Eating Made Easy: Chicken Piccata

Tuesday, February 22, 2011 by Kimberly Day
Wednesday. Hump day. That mid-week day that signals the coming weekend. For me, it’s also healthy eating made easy: chicken piccataone of the busiest days. It’s the day that everything I didn’t get done earlier in the week seems to pile up on as I try to clear my to-do list for the weekend.

Then throw in the need for a healthy dinner and Wednesday quickly becomes “we need dinner” day.

Thankfully I have this go-to recipe in my back pocket. I almost always have chicken on hand, as well as broth and lemon juice. If you don’t have shallots, onions work just as well. Add some brown rice and steamed broccoli and you have a fantastic, healthy meal in minutes!


Chicken Piccata
Serves 4

1 tablespoon olive oil
4 4-ounce chicken breasts
¼ cup shallot, chopped
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon parsley
1 tablespoon capers
1 teaspoon lemon zest
¼ teaspoon black pepper
  1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat.
  2. Add chicken breasts and cook for 8 minutes on each side, until chicken is cooked thoroughly. Remove chicken from skillet and set aside.
  3. Add shallots to skillet and cook for one minute.
  4. Add broth and lemon juice and deglaze the skillet.
  5. Stir in parsley, capers, lemon zest, and pepper. Simmer for 1-2 minutes.
  6. Add chicken back to skillet and cook for 3-5 minutes, until chicken is reheat.
  7. Serve warm.
Nutritional Info (per serving): Calories 152, Total fat 5 g, Cholesterol 53 mg, Sodium 210 mg, Carbs 3 g, Fiber trace, Protein 24 g

For even more delicious recipes, visit Dr. Lark’s Web site.

Get Nutty!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011 by Kimberly Day
Nuts are one of my favorite snacks. They are quick and healthy, not to mention a delicious get nuttysource of EFAs.

While EFAs in general provide a whole host of health benefits, there is quite a bit of research focused specifically on nuts.

One study from Preventive Medicine found that people who ate nuts more than four times a week had a 37 percent lower risk of coronary heart disease than people who ate nuts rarely, if at all.

Another study, this time from Circulation, found that people who ate eight to 13 walnuts a day had enhanced dilation of their arteries. This is great news for women with high blood pressure!

Lastly, a study from the British Journal of Nutrition found that people who ate nut butters up to four times a week enjoyed a significant reduction in death from cardiovascular disease.

I strongly recommend that you make nuts a regular part of your diet, but do so in moderation. Because they can be high in calories, I recommend eating no more than 10–15 raw nuts per day three or four days a week. (Stick with raw versus roasted or salted nuts.)

Allergy note: Peanuts are one of the most common food allergens in the United States. However, they are not technically nuts—they are legumes. Still, if you are unsure that you have a nut allergy of any kind, schedule yourself for an IgG food antibody test just to be sure.

For more great health and natural weightloss advice, visit Dr. Lark’s Web site.

A Loving Visualization

Friday, February 18, 2011 by Kimberly Day
As you go into the weekend, I wanted to give you one more shot of love.a loving visualization

The following is a “love” visualization from Hormone Revolution. It’s perfect for those times when you feel too rushed, too busy, and too overwhelmed with your day-to-day tasks and responsibilities.

It is meant to enhance and support your health and well being by giving you a few minutes to turn inward and get back in touch with yourself through self nurturance, healing any upsets you may have accumulated throughout the day. It will also help you reconnect with the healing power of love.

To do this visualization, find a quiet spot where you can sit or lie comfortably. As you take a deep breath, focus on the area of your heart (located just to the left of the center of your chest).
  1. As you inhale and exhale slowly and deeply, close your eyes and envision your heart as a luminous, emerald-green jewel glowing with love and sending out brilliant light from behind your breastbone, where your heart resides.
  2. Imagine you’re filling your heart with love. Feel the area surrounding your heart soften and expand as you fill it with loving and peaceful energy.
  3. As you continue to breathe in and out slowly and deeply, send love and appreciation to all of your family, friends, city, country, and entire Planet Earth.
  4. Now gently open your eyes and slowly begin to move around again. Enjoy the feelings of love, peace, and gratitude you have created.
For more information on emotional health, visit Dr. Lark’s Web site.

Acupressure to Boost Your Sex Drive

Thursday, February 17, 2011 by Susan Lark
This acupressure exercise helps to stimulate sexual desire, which often wanes as a result of menopause and menopause symptoms. The exercise uses a knotted hand towel to put pressure on hard-to-reach areas of the back. Place the knotted towel on these points while your two hands are on the other points I am going to describe.

1. Lie on the floor with your knees bent. Place the knotted towel under your right shoulder blade. Then place your left foot on your right knee.
2. Make a fist with your left hand and place it under your back, under the right part of your waist.
3. With your right hand, hold your inner left thigh.
4. Hold this position for one to three minutes.

For more information on natural menopause relief, visit my Web site.

Acupressure for Menopause Relief

Tuesday, February 15, 2011 by Susan Lark
I hear from my patients time and time again how much acupressure helps to relieve their menopause symptoms. So this week I'd like to share a few more acupressure exercises for menopause relief--targeting problems like lack of sex drive and vaginal dryness/atrophy.

Vaginal dryness is a common menopause complaint. It can lead to painful sex and loss of sex drive. Try this acupressure exercise to help alleviate vaginal dryness/atrophy.

1. Sit on the floor with your knees bent.
2. Extend your right leg out in front of you. 
3. With your right hand, place your pointer and middle fingers in the middle of the sole of your foot. Hold this point for one to three minutes.
4. Do this same exercise with your left leg/foot. 

For more information on natural options for menopause relief, visit my Web site.

Love Meditations

Monday, February 14, 2011 by Kimberly Day
Staying with the love theme this Valentine’s week, I’d like to share with you several amazing love meditationslove meditations from Hormone Revolution, the book I co-authored with Dr. Lark.

These heart-felt, warm, loving meditations came to Dr. Lark from an angel whose love touched Dr. Lark deeply.

When you do these or any meditations, find a safe, quiet place where you can sit comfortably. Close your eyes, and let your arms rest easily at your side. As you take a deep breath, focus on your heart.

At One With Life

No matter where love comes from or how it manifests, dear one, it is important for you to remember who you are. You are the sweet aspect of God, in human form, in a human life.  You are interconnected with all life. The trees send you their love by cleaning your air, you send them your love by breathing in their air. There is sweetness for you and the trees in every breath.

You send the flowers your love by noticing them through sight, through smell, through touch, and even incorporating them into your physical being. Your love comes from life, life comes from your love. Send your love to every blade of grass, every bird, every tree, and every raindrop, and you will truly know God.

True Meaning of Love

You know when you have loved and when it has always been “I totally love you.” You have loved your dearest friend this way, a beautiful garden, or your favorite pair of shoes.  You have also loved other people this way as well. But true “love” is not about thinking; love is a sense of being. Love is who you are.

When you are being love, all your organs sing to you, all your organs love being part of you. This is the place where healing takes place. There is always in every molecule of love a piece of God, and there is no thinking or conditions or demands from and with God. There is only love.

Accepting Love

For most of your lifetime, dear one, the giving of love has been easier than the accepting of love.  In human thought, love can be tied to vulnerability. And, in this sense, oh what a scary place it can be. Love itself cannot harm you. If it comes attached with conditions, requirements, demands, then it is not true love. Those are the human wanderings. Love is intention, it is opening up. It is relaxing into your own life, your relationships, and your world.

For more information on emotional health, visit Dr. Lark’s Web site.

Love Lessons

Monday, February 14, 2011 by Kimberly Day
I got engaged today…Valentine’s Day. I love that I share my special day with so many others love lessonswho are also celebrating the amazing power of love.

Love has tremendous healing power. It is an emotion you should strive to feel within yourself and express to those around you as often as possible. There is no other emotion that is more immensely self-nurturing and self-healing.

Today, as you take the time to express your love to those around you, don’t forget to include yourself. Tell yourself how much you love YOU, how much you appreciate yourself, and how loving and lovable YOU are.

And use this day to remind yourself to follow your heart in everything you do. It is important to make all of your choices out of love, kindness, and joy.

These heartfelt emotions are just as important in making decisions about your life as the logical arguments and rationalizations generated by your mind. It is the love that is centered in your heart that responds to the deepest yearnings of your soul—enabling you to create a happy and meaningful life.

For more information on how emotions affect your health, visit Dr. Lark’s Web site.

Beneficial Bioidentical DHEA

Friday, February 11, 2011 by Kimberly Day
There are various preparations of DHEA on the market, as well as yam extracts, which are beneficial bioidentical DHEAsometimes purported to be a substitute for DHEA. It is important to understand the differences between these products.

The conversion of the extract to DHEA can be achieved only in the laboratory, not in the human body. Therefore, natural yam extract, while it does have some of its own health benefits, does not increase blood levels of DHEA. This was confirmed in a study published in Life Science.

Seven men and women, aged 65 to 82, were given yam extract for three weeks with no change in their DHEA level. In contrast, when the same group received 85 mg of DHEA a day, their blood levels of DHEA doubled.

Supplementing With DHEA

DHEA is most often taken in the form of capsules, which come in 5 mg, 10 mg, 25 mg, and 50 mg dosages. Once absorbed, the DHEA travels to the liver, where much of it is converted into androgens and estrogen. Because of this, not all the DHEA ingested enters the general circulation.

Micronized DHEA (the hormone broken into tiny particles) is more efficiently absorbed by the body because the small size of the particles allows them to enter first the lymphatic system and then the general circulation, initially bypassing the liver. Since DHEA is a fat-soluble hormone, it is better absorbed when taken with food. DHEA taken orally is quickly absorbed, and blood levels rise within one hour.

However, much still needs to be learned about optimal dosage, timing, and how the hormone is best administered. There is a question of whether it is appropriate to raise DHEA to youthful levels or simply to a level that is adequate, given a person’s age. Clinical trials are under way; in the meantime, clinicians who regularly prescribe DHEA generally agree on a certain range of starting dosages and recommend a gradual increase if needed.

Dr. Lark has found that DHEA supplementation may be most beneficial for women after menopause. Beginning dosages should range from 5–15 mg a day, then be increased by 5–10 mg a day, as needed. DHEA dosages in women should not exceed 25 mg per day.

Conversely, there is no reason for women who have not reached menopause or perimenopause to consider taking DHEA replacement therapy. Women with normal menstrual cycles have no need for supplementing with DHEA, since their bodies are making sufficient amounts of this hormone.

Some physicians recommend taking DHEA in the morning to reflect the body’s own production of the hormone by the adrenal glands. Taken later in the day, DHEA can have a stimulating effect and sometimes causes insomnia; however, for a person suffering from a condition such as chronic-fatigue syndrome, this energizing effect could be of benefit.

Note: Women should have a mammogram and Pap smear test done before beginning DHEA supplementation to avoid the risk of stimulating a preexisting cancer of the reproductive tract, since DHEA will increase the levels of the major sex hormones.

If you elect to use DHEA without a physician’s guidance, buy the lowest-dose products available in your health food store or pharmacy, begin to use it cautiously, and do not go above 25 mg on your own. Let your physician recommend dosages at higher levels, and be sure to carefully monitor the effects on your body.

Note: DHEA is generally considered safe when taken in recommended dosages of 25 mg or less. While some sensitive people may experience side effects with dosages as low as 5 mg, side effects usually occur only when DHEA is taken in much higher amounts.

Anyone taking over 50 mg a day of DHEA should be under a physician’s supervision. Elevated doses of DHEA can actually prevent the adrenal glands from making the quantity of DHEA they normally produce.

For more information on all female hormones, visit Dr. Lark’s Web site.

Hormone Replacement Therapy Settlement

Thursday, February 10, 2011 by Susan Lark
A while ago, I wrote about and linked to an article that discussed tactics Wyeth (a division of the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer) used to market its conventional hormone replacement therapy drug Prempro, even though executives were aware of the risks associated with hormone replacement, like breast cancer.

To follow up on this, yesterday, a report came out saying that Pfizer is paying $330 million to settle 2,200 claims from women who blamed Prempro for their breast cancer. This amounts to about $150,000 per person--WAY less than the costs they incurred during their cancer treatments, I'm sure.

I cannot reiterate enough the dangers associated with conventional hormone replacement. Protect your heart, protect your breasts, and protect your overall health by exploring the many natural therapies for hot flashes, night sweats, and other menopause symptoms that I discuss throughout my blog.

And for more information about natural menopause relief, visit my Web site.

Are You DHEA Deficient?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011 by Kimberly Day
Of all the female hormones in your body, DHEA is the most prevalent and circulates in the Are You DHEA Deficient?bloodstream in the highest concentrations. Women produce about 1–2 mg of DHEA-S per day. This production declines with age.

A fetus has relatively high amounts of DHEA, which functions to ease the birth process. However, by the time an infant is six months old, DHEA production all but ceases, and only revives at age six to eight in preparation for puberty. Peak DHEA production is between the ages of 25 and 30; after this, production declines by as much as 10 percent per year. A person may feel the effects of this by their mid-40s. At age 80, you make only about 15 percent of what you produced in your 20s.

A study appearing in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences documents this. Sixty-four volunteers, between the ages of 20 and 40, had four times the levels of DHEA-S as 138 volunteers over age 85. Patients with major diseases such as atherosclerosis, cancer, and Alzheimer’s also have significant deficiencies.

The physical and psychological well-being enjoyed in youth may well depend in part on having sufficient levels of DHEA. For many years, little attention was given to the effect of DHEA on humans, especially in terms of aging and the decline of performance functions. Most of the research on DHEA had been done on rodents and focused on disease.

Then a study by Morales et al. investigating the effects of DHEA in older individuals was published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. Volunteers in the study described a list of benefits that made DHEA seem like a fountain of youth. They reported increased energy, improved mood, better sleep quality, and a greater ability to remain calm and handle stress.

Poor lifestyle habits—especially excess stress and a lack of exercise—can also affect DHEA levels. In addition to producing DHEA, your adrenal glands manufacture other hormones, including cortisol. Cortisol is released during times of extreme stress, be it physical, emotional, or mental. When you produce too much cortisol and not enough DHEA, you can throw your adrenal glands out of balance, and eventually strain them to the point of exhaustion. Because DHEA levels are already naturally decreasing as you get older, this imbalance can aggravate both perimenopause symptoms and menopause symptoms.

Additionally, too little exercise may be linked to decreased DHEA levels. Fortunately, a study from Age and Ageing found that regular, moderate aerobic exercise such as walking, swimming, or biking increased DHEA production in older people. This is another one of the many health benefits that regular exercise provides for women (and men) of all ages.

Are You DHEA Deficient?

To begin to determine whether your body’s supply of this hormone has lessened enough to affect your ability to perform at your best and maintain optimal health, Dr. Lark created the following checklist. If you answer yes to four or more of these questions, you very likely need to increase your DHEA levels.
  • I am over the age of 50.
  • I experience menopause symptoms such as hot flashes.
  • I have low libido.
  • I suffer from insomnia.
  • I am unable to handle stress.
  • I am easily upset.
  • I have a negative outlook on life.
  • I am often unable to recall details of recent events.
  • I have a history of osteoporosis or osteopenia (low bone mass).
  • I have a history of cardiovascular disease.
  • I have significant excess body fat.
  • I am at risk for diabetes.
  • I have a history of autoimmune disease, including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, ulcerative colitis, and/or AIDS.
  • I have a weak immune system and am prone to colds and flu.
  • I am at high risk for cancer, especially bladder cancer.
  • I suffer from asthma.
  • I lack muscle mass and strength.
  • I tend to tire easily; my level of stamina is low.

If your responses suggest that your DHEA level is low, then your next step is to get your hormone levels tested.

The DHEA in the blood is a combination of DHEA sulfate (DHEA-S) and unbound, or free, DHEA. It is generally thought that unbound DHEA is most active and that DHEA-S is not fully metabolically active. Therefore, it is important that any lab assessment distinguish between the two.

This can be done using a 24-hour urine test. Some practitioners also think it is important to monitor DHEA levels if an individual has a significant illness, and that at age 40, all people should obtain a baseline reading.
  • Range of DHEA blood levels in adult men: 180 to 250 ng/dl
  • Range of DHEA blood levels in adult women: 130 to 980 ng/dl
  • Ranges of DHEA-S blood levels in adult women:
    • Aged 31–50: 2 to 379 µg/dl
    • Postmenopausal: 30 to 260 µg/dl
  • Range of DHEA salivary levels in women:     40 to 140 pg/ml

If your results indicate that you are deficient in DHEA (or if you scored high on the questionnaire), you may want to consider using bioidentical DHEA. I’ll tell you more about this on Friday.

For more information on all female hormones, visit Dr. Lark’s Web site.

DHEA: The Unsung Hormone Hero

Tuesday, February 8, 2011 by Kimberly Day
DHEA is the abbreviation for a long and complicated-sounding hormoneDHEA: The Unsung Hormone Hero—dehydroepiandrosterone. DHEA is very important to your health, since it is one of the primary steroid female hormones from which your body produces testosterone and estrogen.

Until about 10 years ago, scientists thought that DHEA had little use beyond its role as a precursor for other hormones. Only recently have studies begun to reveal its many physiological activities that benefit both performance and health.

DHEA works at many levels in your body, supporting physical as well as mental and emotional functions. It has been shown to lessen menopause symptoms; increase stamina, improve mood, mental outlook, and your ability to handle stress; reduce body fat; and treat diabetes. It also enhances mental clarity and acuity, promotes confidence and assertiveness, and may even improve libido!

Plus, DHEA may help to decrease your risk of heart disease and cancer; promote healthy bones; strengthen your immune system; ease autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and ulcerative colitis; and treat conditions as varied as multiple sclerosis, asthma, and burns.

That's quite a long and positive list of benefits that this awesome hormone provides!

For more information on female hormones, visit Dr. Lark’s Web site.

Three Supplements to Erase Age Spots

Friday, February 4, 2011 by Kimberly Day
While there aren’t many natural, topical skin care options for treating age spots, there are a few three supplements to erase age spotsnutrients that have been shown to help reduce their appearance.

First is vitamin A. Research has shown that high vitamin A intake can significantly reduce the appearance of age spots. Dr. Lark suggests 2–4 heaping teaspoons of spirulina (a greens food) a day. (One heaping teaspoon provides 10,000 IU of vitamin A.)

Next, vitamin E has been shown to help with hyperpigmentation, such as age spots. Dr. Lark recommends taking 400–1,600 IU of vitamin E as d-alpha tocopherol per day. If you have hypertension or are taking insulin, start at 100 IU.

Lastly, boosting your collagen production is always the best natural skin care tip out there…and age spots are no different. You can increase your intake of collagen-building vitamin C (mineral-buffered) either with supplements (500–1,000 mg one to three times a day), or by eating foods such as cantaloupe, oranges, mangoes, blackberries, broccoli, and cauliflower.

For more great advice on natural anti aging skin care, visit Dr. Lark’s Web site.

Your Natural Weight Loss Plan: Remember that Waist Size Matters

Thursday, February 3, 2011 by Susan Lark

Researchers have recently reported that waist circumference is associated with higher risk of mortality among all women—but interestingly, mortality rates were especially high in those women who had a normal body mass index, or BMI (and therefore, were not considered overweight or obese). 

BMI is not always a clear indicator of whether or not your weight is in the healthy range. For instance, many athletes who have a great deal of muscle mass (and therefore weigh more because of that muscle mass) would be considered overweight by BMI standards. Therefore, I do believe that BMI is only one tool to assess health risk. Waist circumference is a great indicator of health because women with thicker waistlines (usually more than 35 inches around) have a higher risk of metabolic syndrome, diabetes, heart disease, and many other conditions.

Eating a healthy diet (which includes natural appetite control measures) and exercising regularly are the best ways to whittle down your waistline and achieve natural weightloss. Try walking, cycling, jogging, tennis, yoga, dancing, or any other exercise that appeals to you and keeps you motivated. In time, your waistline—and your weight overall—will decrease and you’ll be in much better health.

For more great tips on achieving your weight loss goals, visit my Web site.

Just Say “No” to Age Spot Treatments

Wednesday, February 2, 2011 by Kimberly Day
When it comes to treating age spots, it’s difficult to find a natural anti aging skin care plan. Casejust say "no" to age spot treatments in point: most physicians recommend a cosmetic bleaching cream for treating age spots, but many of these creams contain either monobenzone, an agent that inhibits melanin, or hydroquinone, a white crystalline substance that is also used in film-developing chemicals.

While these substances may be effective at bleaching the surface of the skin, they actually can damage deeper layers of skin and even cause white spots.

There are a few vitamin creams on the market that do change the appearance of the surface of the skin to some degree. However, they have not been shown to have an effect on the deeper layers of skin.

Other medical approaches include laser surgery, burning with electricity, freezing, or Retin A-induced peeling—none of which are great options. Rather, your best bet is to treat age spots from the inside and work out.

Try these natural remedies:
  • Combat free radical damage that can lead to age spots by eating a diet high in the antioxidants that scavenge free radicals, especially foods rich in beta-carotene, such as kale, spinach, squash, sweet potatoes, mangoes, cantaloupe, apricots, carrots, and cabbage.
  • Stop smoking. It hastens the aging of your skin and contributes to free-radical damage throughout your body.
  • Use sunscreen, at least SPF 15, whenever you go outside.

For more great advice on natural anti aging skin care, visit Dr. Lark’s Web site.