About Us

About Dr. Urban

Dr. Urban has been practicing Chiropractic for over 22 years now. Dr. Urban is a graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa (1991). He has built and maintained successful Chiropractic practices in Nebraska, Colorado and now in Hawaii on the beautiful island of Maui in Kahului.

Dr. Urban is proficient in the “GONSTEAD” art form of adjusting the spine.The Gonstead Method of Chiropractic care was developed by Dr. Clarence S. Gonstead of Mt Horeb, Wisconsin beginning in 1923. He refined his unique system over a 55 year period. The Gonstead Method focuses on being as specific as possible with the examination and treatment of the patient. Every patient is a unique case with specific subluxations and must not be given the same course of manipulation. The Gonstead practitioner believes that chiropractic care is not scientific unless the adjustment is specific.

“Look well to the spine for the cause of disease.”
- Hippocrates

Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic is a powerful, effective and natural way to get and keep yourself  healthy. Chiropractic recognizes the body’s innate ability to heal and it’s my position to help support this.

It is through “specific” spinal adjustments that subluxations (misalignments) can be corrected so that normal movement/positioning and function can help to improve upon the sensitive communication (nervous system function) that is so vital to your body’s potential to heal. When the spine is in alignment and the nervous system is functioning properly, your body knows how to heal, regulate and adapt appropriately to the many external stressors of everyday life.

Dr. Urban prefers to work with what is right within you (the intelligence of the body) then to focus on what is wrong with you (your symptoms). As you grow older, you should grow healthier…a realization that is often overlooked given our current medical mainstreams disposition on health!

Dr. Urban takes great pride in delivering a “specific” spinal adjustment to his clients. His approach does   NOT treat everyone with the same twisting of the neck and lower back from both the right and left and the middle back from top to bottom. This approach could potentially harm inpiduals with an inappropriate impact to the joints of the spinal column that can result in “neurological insult”. Dr. Urban prefers to access each of his clients inpidually so to skillfully perform an appropriate “specific” spinal adjustment with the least amount of force that is carefully delivered to adequately address his client’s structural and neurological needs.

It is amazing what one adjustment can do if applied right.
Clarence Gonstead, D.C.

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James P. Urban D.C.
444 Hana Highway. Suite #213
Kahului, HI 96732

Office Hours:
(Mon,Wed. & Thu.)
9am to 1pm and 3pm to 6pm.
(Tues & Fri)
9am to noon.

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Each patient carries his own doctor inside him. They come to us not knowing that truth. We are at our best when we give the doctor who resides within each patient a chance to work.
Albert Schweitzer, M.D.


Debbie D.

Dr. Urban is a wonderful kind chiropractor who is knowledgeable and very skilled. He also does a wonderful energy technique that is very relaxing. He has helped me very much with my frozen joints due to R. A.  Blessings, Dr. Urban.

Anson P.

I’ve been receiving chiropractic care from Dr. James Urban for about a year now, and have been very happy with the results from his care, i have seen other doctors, and have very little relief from pain in my back and neck, Dr. Urban has help me to get some of my strength back in my arms and also relieved some of my discomfort, in my back, by opening up some of the nerves that seem to be blocked, i’am very happy to have found someone like Dr. Urban to give me back the quality of life i have now, thanks again.

Cynthia C.

I was referred to Dr. Urban by a friend and have been very happy with the results. I had seen a couple other chiropractors on Maui, but was never satisfied with the results. Dr. Urban offers compassionate, personalized service and he makes himself available after hours to address emergency situations. I highly recommend Dr. Urban to help you get back to feeling good again.

Eileen B.

As a part-time Maui resident, I was seeking a chiropractic doctor who had been trained in the Gonstead method. At home in New Mexico, I had been undergoing regular chiropractic treatment for chronic pain in my neck and left shoulder. Continuing this treatment was important in alleviating the problem while I was on Maui. So happy to find Dr. James Urban…upon reviewing my X-ray, he began adjustments which have resulted in huge gains in the mobility of my neck, along with significant pain reduction. Dr. Urban clearly explained what was going on in my hip, spine, and neck, along with his plan of action and adjustments necessary to achieve better alignment. I highly recommend Dr. James Urban for your chiropractic wellness choice on Maui.

Anjelika K.

When I first came to see Dr. Urban I was suffering with chronic discomfort due to a nerve impingement in my cervical spine. After exploring many alternative modalities I found Dr. Urban’s approach very effective, and I feel improvement after each visit with him. Dr. Urban has an exceptional insight into this medicine, his touch is very therapeutic, and most importantly he cares about our long-term health and not just fixing the problem in the moment. Thank you for your care Dr. Urban.

Renee T.

I just moved to Maui this year and needed to find a good chiropractor. I have been getting chiropractic care since 2005, so I was already familiar with what my body needed. I searched google and found Dr. Urban. What a god-sent. He is awesome! He really listened to my concerns and addressed them head on. He has helped me so much that now I have my husband seeing him too! And the best thing is that he’s very flexible with scheduling an appointment. I can call him the same day and get in! And he has this new appointment reminder that texts me a reminder 30 min before my appointment so I don’t forget. Very convenient. I highly recommend Dr. Urban!



7 Reasons Chocolate may Be the Most Healthful Candy Around

7 Reasons Chocolate may Be the Most Healthful Candy Around

Many of us hold chocolate in high regard, if for no other reason than the taste—the decadent flavor and texture that makes you feel a rush of endorphins. But chocolate isn’t only good because of its taste. On the contrary, some of the best qualities of chocolate are actually health-related.

To be clear, when we talk about the health benefits of chocolate, we are largely talking about dark chocolate, that processed with the least amount of added sugar. Ideally, to get the health benefits from your chocolate treat, you should seek out cocoa concentrations as high as you can handle. Because most people don’t like their chocolate bitter, around 80% seems to be a reasonable compromise for many.

The earliest use of chocolate reportedly comes from the Olmec civilization in what is now Central America. It was then that the popularity of chocolate spread across the globe—into Europe and elsewhere. Now, chocolate can be found virtually anywhere, though it’s often stirred into the most otherwise unhealthy of dishes.

By itself, chocolate offers a wealth of healthy benefits. It’s loaded with antioxidants which can help fight oxidative stress and inflammation. But the benefits certainly don’t stop there.

One study, published in The Journal of Nutrition found that chocolate containing plant sterols and cocoa flavanols were able to lower cholesterol and reduce blood pressure.

Further research, from researchers with Harvard Medical School, recommends drinking two cups of hot chocolate each day to ward off cognitive decline associated with aging. Lead author of this study, Farzaneh A. Sorond, says, “As different areas of the brain need more energy to complete their tasks, they also need greater blood flow. This relationship, called neurovascular coupling, may play an important role in diseases such as Alzheimer’s.”

Other studies have linked chocolate consumption with the decreased risk of cardiovascular disease including strokes. Researchers with the University of Cambridge in England reported:

“Based on observational evidence, levels of chocolate consumption seem to be associated with a substantial reduction in the risk of cardiometabolic disorders. Further experimental studies are required to confirm a potentially beneficial effect of chocolate consumption,” reports the BMJ.

Researchers in Canada found that those people who regularly ate chocolate were 22% less likely to suffer a stroke than others who didn’t. further, those who suffered a stroke and ate chocolate were 46 percent less likely to die as a result, according to Medical News Today.

So is chocolate good for you? It certainly can be! But rather than eating it with all sorts of added sugars, oils, and other additives as found in candy bars and conventional ice creams, seek out organic dark chocolate bars to indulge your sweet tooth while doing something good for your health.


Chocolate can be great for:

1. Fighting oxidative stress
2. Combating inflammation
3. Lowering cholesterol
4. Reducing blood pressure
5. Warding off cognitive decline
6. Improving cardiovascular health
7. Reducing the risk of stroke


SOURCE: NaturalSociety

Why Butter Isn’t All that Bad

Why Butter Isn’t All that Bad

Is butter bad for you, or might this vilified food actually have some value? If you’re comparing butter to margarine or the butter-like spreads in your grocer’s cooler, then yes, butter is far better. It skips the trans fats and is high in many nutrients. But even when NOT comparing it to unhealthful options, butter can still be a health-boosting food. While butter has gotten a bad rap over the ages, we are now stuck trying to sort out the truth from the hype, and as many people are doing, enjoying the buttery goodness in the process.

The Western Diet shifted several decades ago, eventually leading to the low-fat craze and the belief that fats caused disease. But as we are now finding out, this isn’t necessarily true. Saturated fats like those in butter don’t necessarily contribute to heart disease. As a matter of fact, it’s the highly processed carbohydrates that we need to be wary of instead.

Sweden recently became the first country to formally reject the low-fat idea, by developing national dietary guidelines that favor lower carbohydrate consumption and higher fats. This followed the results of a study from the Swedish Council on Health Technology Assessment which found that health markers could be dramatically improved with a lower carbohydrate lifestyle.

The Swedes, and others, know that fat isn’t the enemy here, and things like butter can be part of a healthful diet.

For decades, butter was shoved to the side while margarine took over, but as this article presents, butter is actually much better for you. Butter is a source of many beneficial nutrients—things like vitamins A, D, E, and K2—all fat-soluble vitamins which are best absorbed by the body when included in a high fat package like butter.

Butter also contains trace minerals like copper, zinc, chromium, iodine, selenium, and manganese. It is rich in healthy cholesterol that protects the brain, intestines, and nervous system.

But not all butter is created equal. Butter from grass-fed cows, for instance, will have higher amounts of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) which protects the body against cancer and aids in the building of muscle. Raw butter, or that which hasn’t been pasteurized, contains something known as the Wulzen factor, a hormone-like substance that may be effective at preventing arthritis.

All of these benefits are starting to reach consumers as the American Butter Institute says butter consumption is at a 40-year per capital high.


SOURCE: NaturalSociety

Chlorophyll prevents infections and blood disorders

Chlorophyll prevents infections and blood disorders

Are you consuming nature’s perfect superfood? Found in barley grass, wheat grass, alfalfa, leafy greens, algae and blue-green algae, chlorophyll was found – in a groundbreaking study by Oregon State researchers – to significantly reduce infection from aflatoxin, a fungus associated with causing liver cancer and hepatitis.

“We showed that aflatoxin is absorbed quite rapidly and that chlorophyll and chlorophyllin have an ameliorating effect, preventing the toxin from getting into the bloodstream,” – John Mata, second author of the study.

Chlorophyll helps crush cancer: Just ask study volunteers

Chlorophyll is nature’s sunshine-producing superfood. The phytochemical responsible for giving plants their vibrant green hue, chlorophyll helps oxygenate and detoxify blood, assist in building strong bones, improve digestion, elicits anti-carcinogenic activity and helps improve blood pressure.

Aflatoxin – found in food sources such as corn, soybeans and peanuts – can be fatal when over-consumed. This fungus has been associated with causing liver cancer and playing a part in the development of hepatitis. When exposed to chlorophyll in live human subjects – aflatoxin was devastated.

Researchers at Oregon State University were excited to publish their findings in the journal Cancer Preventive Findings. This was a particularly noteworthy study to support the efficacy of chlorophyll given its “phase 0″ approach.

Phase 0 refers to human volunteers subjecting themselves to conditions where small doses of therapeutic agents are used to draw measurable results. Because this type of study directly tests human subjects, the method increases study integrity.

Chlorophyll is a dynamic digestive aid

It’s no secret that an unbalanced diet can lead to poor digestive motility. Refined foods, those low in fiber and high in fat are difficult to metabolize often leaving us feeling fatigued and bloated.

In small amounts taken daily, chlorophyll can help break down these stubborn foods to mobilize their waste products more easily from the colon and may mildly reduce constipation. Once properly metabolized, chlorophyll can help “liberate” helpful nutrients from foods such as fats for absorption.

Are you reducing your exposure to heavy metals?

Chlorophyll behaves like a sponge, absorbing environmental toxins from the body such as PCBs, dioxin, mercury and other heavy metals. Chlorophyll helps eliminate these toxins from the body as well.

Words of caution: Avoid buying pond scum.

Before choosing a chlorophyll supplement, be sure to verify the source’s quality. Plants that are commercially prepared often contain pesticides and other harmful soil, water and environmental contaminants. Be sure your chlorophyll meets these guidelines:

  • Grown in sunlight.
  • Grown in human-made conditions outdoors, not “naturally occurring” ponds or bodies of water.
  • Pools of water should be sheltered from potential outside environmental toxins such as rainfall and other pollution.

If you derive your chlorophyll supplementation from chlorella a form of algae, be sure to select broken cell wall and USDA organic.


SOURCE: NaturalHealth365

Green Tea Compound Halts Cancer by Disrupting Cancer Cell Metabolism

Green Tea Compound Halts Cancer by Disrupting Cancer Cell Metabolism

When it comes to cancer treatments and research, scientists are typically looking for solutions at a molecular level. But a new study suggests investigating cancer cell metabolism could be even more effective. Specifically, this study demonstrated how green tea compounds work to fight cancer by interrupting the cancer cells’ ability to grow and flourish.

Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is the most frequently cited beneficial agent in green tea. For this study, published in Metabolomics, the researchers looked at the effects of the compound on pancreatic cancer cells.

According to the study, the EGCG works to change the metabolism of the cancer cells by suppressing the expression of LDHA (lactate dehydrogenase A), an enzyme critical for cancer metabolism and survival. While previous studies have linked green tea and EGCG to cancer treatments and prevention, none prior to this one had demonstrated how it worked.

MedicalNewsToday reports:

“Using state-of-the-art metabolic profiling techniques, Dr. Lee and colleagues found EGCG disrupts the rate of turnover of molecules – known as “flux” – through a metabolic pathway in pancreatic cancer cells. They found EGCG disrupts metabolic flux in cancer cells in a similar way to oxamate, a known inhibitor of LDHA. They concluded that both EGCG and oxamate reduced the risk of cancer by suppressing the activity of LDHA, which in turn disrupts metabolic functions in cancer cells.”

As lead researcher Dr. Wai-Nang Lee of the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute explains, this research is notable because it approaches cancer treatment from a whole new angle. Though of course this isn’t the only study to showcase the connection between green tea and cancer prevention. Another study, among many others, demonstrates how green tea can fight cancer cell growth by significantly reducing the number of lymphocytes

“By explaining how green tea’s active component could prevent cancer, this study will open the door to a whole new area of cancer research and help us understand how other foods can prevent cancer or slow the growth of cancerous cells.”

Cancer metabolism, he says, is no longer an issue of simple “glucose goes in and energy goes out,” but a mechanism for potential cancer treatment and preventions.

Other work has found EGCG delivered intravenously was able to shrink or eliminate two-thirds of tumors tested. Previous research has connected green tea consumption to the reduced risk of digestive cancers in women as well.



SOURCE: NaturalSociety

How gluten can damage digestion and immune function

How gluten can damage digestion and immune function

Once considered an ‘unusual’ way of eating by a small group of people with celiac disease, gluten-free diets have become mainstream and quite popular throughout the United States. In the past, avoiding gluten was considered a ‘sacrifice’ – but, now, with so many choices people are taking a second look at its potential health benefits.

What’s the importance of a gluten-free diet?

For the 3 million plus people suffering with celiac disease, a serious autoimmune condition, it’s very important to completely avoid gluten. But, does that mean everyone should be this strict?

Why have gluten-free diets become the hottest food trend in recent years?

According to NPD, a leading global information company, “a third of U.S. adults say they want to cut down or be free of gluten in their diets.” In terms of financial growth, according to Mintel – a market research company, the sale of gluten-free products is expected to bring in over $15 billion annually by 2016. The popularity of gluten-free diets has been fueled by the growing need to improve digestive health, brain function, immune deficiencies and emotional well-being. With millions of people suffering with celiac disease plus many other immune-related health problems, it’s no wonder that gluten has become ‘public enemy’ #1 in the minds of many Americans. For individuals sensitive to gluten, symptoms can include gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, headaches, trouble concentrating and fatigue. But, the most troublesome effect of gluten intolerance is the damage done to the intestinal walls – which make it difficult to absorb essential nutrients from the food we eat. Are you suffering from gluten intolerance?

The connection between gluten and chronic disease

Even if you’re not ‘officially’ diagnosed with celiac disease, which can only be done by a biopsy and certain blood test, gluten sensitivity can cause inflammation of the digestive system and, eventually, a condition called leaky gut syndrome. A damaged digestive system can allow undigested food particles to enter the bloodstream creating health problems like brain fog, memory loss, chronic fatigue, depression and an increased risk of cancer. Simply put, gluten intolerance can compromise the function of every cell in the body. Keep in mind, if you’re symptoms don’t go away by eating a gluten-free diet – then other health issues must be considered. The main point here is to NOT accept poor health as a ‘normal’ way of life. Obviously, if you’ve been struggling with unresolved chronic health issues, you may want to test for vitamin D deficiencies, heavy metal toxicity, thyroid dysfunction plus food allergies.

Is gluten threatening your health?

Eating gluten, found in many grains like wheat, spelt, rye and barley, can trigger a negative immune response; body aches and pain; irritable bowel syndrome; brain disorders and food cravings. Gain greater control over your health through education.


SOURCE: NaturalHealth365

Mustard seeds can fight cancer, treat inflammatory conditions and more

Mustard seeds can fight cancer, treat inflammatory conditions and more

The seeds of the mustard plant have enjoyed a close connection with human civilizations since time immemorial. The Ancient Greeks and Romans would regularly use them for cooking, and they have been a staple in Indian cuisine for centuries. These robust, spicy-smelling seeds were even mentioned in the New Testament of the Bible in the “Parable of the Mustard Seed,” in which Jesus emphasized that the Kingdom of Heaven could grow from humble beginnings.

Sadly, the mustard seed’s reputation has dwindled in recent times due to its connection to mustard, which in turn is connected to fast food such as burgers and hot dogs. This is unfortunate, since both mustard seeds and the popular condiment they produce contain many significant health benefits.
Rich in cancer-fighting compounds

Mustard seeds are surprisingly rich in phytonutrients called isothiocyanates, which have been extensively studied for their anti-cancer benefits. For example, a study published in the International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research in 2002 found that isothiocyanates can inhibit mitosis and stimulate apoptosis (cell death) in human tumor cells. (1) Another study published in Carcinogenesis in 2010 discovered that mustard seed powder, which is rich in a particularly beneficial group of isothiocyanates called allyl isothiocyanates (AITC), can significantly inhibit the growth of bladder cancer. (2) These impressive results suggest that adding more mustard seeds to our diets can prevent, and possibly even treat, the development of cancer.

Packed with thyroid-regulating selenium

One tablespoon of mustard seeds contains approximately 21 percent of our recommended daily allowance of the essential trace mineral selenium. (3) Aside from being an antioxidant that helps scavenge disease-causing free radicals, selenium is also responsible for transforming the sluggish thyroid hormone T4 into the more active T3. Indeed, selenium actually works alongside iodine to help maintain thyroid function. (4) Since a malfunctioning thyroid can wreak havoc in the body (including preventing us from losing weight), it’s always important to consume foods rich in selenium as well as iodine.

Contain the anti-inflammatory compound curcumin

Ever wondered why mustard and the seeds from which it is made are usually yellow? That’s because they’re bursting with curcuminoids, a group of fat-soluble pigments that are also found in turmeric, ginger and other yellow-colored herbs and spices. Curcuminoids, of which the best-known is curcumin, are antioxidants that possess notable anti-cancer benefits. However, they’re also potent anti-inflammatories. For example, a report published in Alternative Medicine Review in 2009 found that curcumin can ease the pain associated with inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome. (5)

Good source of vitamins and minerals

Like most seeds, mustard seeds are a good source of varied nutrients including calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and manganese. Two tablespoons of them also supply us with 6 percent of our recommended daily allowance of omega-3 fatty acids, the beneficial polyunsaturated acids required to build cell membranes in the brain.

Good-quality mustard and mustard seeds are easily purchased online or in stores. While mustard seeds can be eaten raw as a snack, their robust taste makes them especially suited to rich, cooked meals such as curries and rice dishes.



SOURCE: NaturalNews

Top 5 health benefits of green tea

Top 5 health benefits of green tea

Get the most health benefits out of your cup by filling it with green tea. People have been enjoying the benefits of green tea for centuries. Scientists are just now discovering what people all over the world have known for centuries — drinking green tea has many health benefits. Now you can learn the top 5 health benefits of green tea too.

#1 Reduces the risk for hypertension
A Chinese study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine (1) shows that regular consumption of green tea lowers blood pressure. In that study, participants who drank 120 milliliters per day (mL/d) of green tea, or more, for at least one year decreased their risk for high blood pressure by 46 percent. Drinking more than 600 mL/d reduced their risk by as much as 65 percent.

#2 Lowers cholesterol
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2) shows that green tea consumption causes significant reductions in total blood cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels, which are associated with higher risk for heart disease. The study also showed that green tea consumption does not affect levels of HDL cholesterol, which doctors consider to be “good” cholesterol because of the way it lowers LDL cholesterol.

#3 Reduces risk for heart attacks
Green tea lowers your risk for a heart attack, according to a study published in the April 2014 issue of Angiology. In that study (3), people who drank green tea regularly had a significantly reduced risk of heart attacks compared to those who did not drink the beverage. In fact, the amount of tea consumed was directly related to the protection from heart attack — the protective value of green tea increases with consumption. The researchers found that the cardiovascular protection from green tea was greater for female consumers.

#4 Decreases cancer risk
The University of Maryland Medical Center (4) cites several studies which show that drinking green tea may help protect you from cancer. Population-based studies show that cancer rates are low in countries where people regularly drink green tea, such as Japan. Scientists are not exactly sure how green tea protects against cancer, but many researchers think that the polyphenols in tea help kill cancerous cells and prevent them from growing.

The U of M discusses several studies investigating the relationship between drinking green tea and specific types of cancer. One group of researchers looked at bladder cancer and found that women who drink powdered green tea were less likely to develop the disease. A follow-up study by the same group of researchers found that people with bladder cancer who drank green tea — especially men — had a better 5-year survival rate than those who did not consume the beverage.

The polyphenols in green tea may protect against breast cancer too. One study of 472 women with breast cancer in various stages found that cancer spread the least in women who drank the most green tea. This was especially true for premenopausal women whose breast cancer was in the early stages. Additionally, women with early-stage breast cancer who drank more than five cups of tea every day before receiving their diagnosis were less likely to have the cancer return after the women finished treatment.

Green tea may protect against other cancers as well. One clinical study in China showed that female tea drinkers with ovarian cancer lived longer than those who did not consume the beverage. Some studies suggest that green tea may reduce the risk for colorectal, skin and pancreatic cancer. Studies show that green tea can stop the growth of many types of cancers in a test tubes or laboratory animals, and researchers are working toward understanding the benefits of green tea among people with cancer of the lung, stomach, esophagus and prostate.

#5 Weight loss
Clinical studies show that drinking green tea can help consumers lose weight. Some researchers believe that catechins in green tea help the body burn fat. Combining green tea and caffeine enhances the fat-burning and weight-loss effects of green tea.

Drink at least one cup of green tea each day and reap all the health benefits of this powerful little herb. The more you drink, the better you can feel!

SOURCE: NaturalNews

New study: Lavado cocoa may prevent Alzheimer’s disease

New study: Lavado cocoa may prevent Alzheimer’s disease

Researchers have long known that cocoa and dark chocolate have substantial health benefits, due to their sky-high content of polyphenols. In the past, studies have focused mainly on the general health-promoting and protective aspects of cocoa’s various antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents. Now, a new animal study conducted at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and published in the June 2014 issue of Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease explores ways in which cocoa works at the molecular and cellular level to reduce damage to nerve pathways in Alzheimer’s disease. As nerve pathway damage can be seen long before patients even develop symptoms, there is hope that cocoa polyphenols may be able to help prevent the disease’s onset.

What is the main ‘trigger’ of Alzheimer’s disease?

In healthy nerve pathways, nerve cells send messages – in the form of electric pulses – to synapses, the gaps between nerve cells. This action triggers neurotransmitters to float across the gaps, causing nerve cells further down the pathway to “fire” and deliver the message. Problems with the system can begin when amyloid A (beta) oligomers, groups of molecules that are attracted to each other, accumulate around the synapses, interfering with their action and disrupting memory circuits. The effects of this can be very significant; in fact, scientists believe that loss of proper synaptic functioning may damage memory more than the actual loss of nerve cells. These toxic clumps of molecules also cause trouble in another way: their existence can trigger immune inflammatory responses, attracting cells and chemicals that are designed to repel invaders. But, with no real enemy to fight, normal cells are damaged instead.

Lavado cocoa successfully shown to prevent, even reverse nerve damage

To conduct the study, researchers used mice that had been genetically engineered to mimic Alzheimer’s disease, and administered extracts from Dutched, Natural and Lavado cocoa, all with differing levels of polyphenols. To measure the extracts’ effects on synaptic function, the team used photo-induced cross-linking techniques, as well as studying hippocampal slices. Lavado cocoa has the highest antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capability of the three, so researchers weren’t surprised when it yielded the best results in inhibiting A(beta) oligomers and countering synaptic damage. By contrast, Dutched cocoa, which is washed with potassium to neutralize acidity, loses polyphenols in the process. The team noted that Lavado cocoa extracts present a promising route for both prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, and expressed hope that dietary supplements made from Lavado cocoa could provide a safe, inexpensive and readily obtainable method of preventing Alzheimer’s disease early on. They also called for further studies to identify other metabolites of Lavado cocoa extract that may benefit the brain.

Earlier research reveals that cocoa can prevent brain damage

Other studies have supported the ability of the polyphenols in cocoa to prevent degenerative brain diseases. A 2013 study conducted at Sbarro Health Research Organization Center for Biotechnology at Temple University and published in Journal of Cellular Biochemistry showed that cocoa polyphenols caused neuroprotection by activating a “survival pathway” on A(beta) oligomer-treated cells, helping to counteract neurite dysfunction. And, the Life Extension Foundation cites a study published in Hypertension that reports people who ate high or moderate levels of cocoa flavonols for two months showed significant improvement in cognitive assessment tests.

Remember: with cocoa, the darker, the better.

You can obtain Lavado cocoa extracts in health food stores or online. In general, you should opt for minimally processed dark chocolate with a cacao content of over 70 percent. You can also buy dark cocoa in the form of powder, for baking or mixing into your own beverages. The bottom line: polyphenols in cocoa have the potential to prevent cognitive decline by counteracting damage to vital nerve pathways even before Alzheimer symptoms show up, and may even play a key role in stopping the disease in its tracks. So, to keep your brain functioning – at its best – enjoy the delicious flavor of cocoa. – See mo


SOURCE: NaturalHealth365

7 Herbs to Greatly Enhance Happiness

7 Herbs to Greatly Enhance Happiness

Harvard scientists, along with many others have suggested that being happier can also make you healthier, but they say fleeting positive emotions aren’t enough. We need to lower our stress levels and find healthful ways to mitigate depression, anxiety, and worry. Aside from pursuing activities that engage us fully (as suggested by the influential research by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi) such as doing good for others and counting our blessings daily, there are some great herbs that can help to lessen insomnia, reduce nervousness, and essentially calm the nervous system – helping to increase the chance of feeling happiness.

Here are 7 herbs that may help you feel better:

1. Lemon Balm (Melissa Officinalis) – This is a great, non-habit forming herb that is high in volatile oils (especially citronella) that have mild sedative effects and can reduce nervousness, including nervous headaches, depression, and insomnia. It can also help wounds heal faster and protect against insect bites. It has anti-viral properties, too, so it’s a great herb to keep in stock to boost the immune system.

2. Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica) – An antiseptic, antispasmodic, peripheral vasodilator, and nerving and relaxant, this herb is known for calming depressive episodes, strengthening cognitive function, and helping one deal with both mental and physical stress.

3. Brahmi (Bacopa Monnieri) – An Ayurvedic herb used for centuries, brahmi is known as a natural brain tonic and booster of well-being. It can enhance intellect and significantly increase memory, and in doses of 10 to 20 ml daily, one can enjoy its stress-relieving benefits.

4. St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) – This herb is often used to treat mild to moderate depression. It is especially helpful to patients who do not respond well to SSRI medication (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors). This herb can limit the effectiveness of some prescription medications, though, so double check with your doctor before taking it. A 2009 systematic review of 29 international studies suggested that St. John’s Wort may be better than a placebo (an inactive substance that appears identical to the study substance) and as effective as standard prescription antidepressants for major depression of mild to moderate severity.

5. Oat Straw (Avena sativa) – Not only can this herb effectively treat anxiety, it is also used to treat migraines, shingles, fatigue, and even epilepsy. This herb can be especially helpful in calming the nerves of those who are detoxing from drug or alcohol addiction, and can even help curb nicotine cravings.

6. Siberian Ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus) – This herb is a great replacement for those who have a coffee or caffeine addiction. It offers energy without the letdown that accompanies a caffeine cycle. Further, it’s an adaptogenic herb, so it ‘adapts’ to give your body what it needs the most. It can boost concentration and help manage environmental stress as well.

7. Golden Root (Rhodiola rosea) – Also called Arctic Root or Roseroot, golden root is considered a queen of adaptogenic herbs. As one blogger puts it, “[Golden root] allows us to regulate our immune, physiological and neurological responses to stress, allowing us to survive not only rough environmental/weather challenges, but also to adapt and adjust our often neurotic mental habits and crazy social/political climates as well.” The Russians use it to improve physical stamina and adapt to environmental stress. In Siberia, people still say, “Those who drink Rhodiola tea will live more than 100 years old.” The extract possesses positive mood enhancing and anti-stress properties with no detectable levels of toxicity. Golden root works by enhancing the body’s ability to make serotonin, dopamine, and other neurotransmitters that aid in happiness and stress-reduction.


SOURCE: NaturalSociety

Natural compounds to improve thyroid function

Natural compounds to improve thyroid function

One of the fastest rising health conditions in the US is hypothyroidism. The most common symptoms experienced are lethargy, depression and weight gain. Some of the newest reports are estimating that 15 to 30 percent of the population may have thyroid problems. Natural compounds can help improve your thyroid function.

Eighty percent of hypothyroid conditions in the US are thought to be auto-immune conditions. Few doctors test for thyroid anti-bodies and so most do not ever get the proper diagnosis. In the medical system, an auto-immune condition and a sluggish thyroid are treated the same, with synthetic T4.

Because the treatment is the same, most doctors do not concern themselves with testing for thyroid anti-bodies. From a natural health perspective it is especially important to understand if it is a sluggish thyroid, a sluggish liver or pituitary gland, elevated sex hormones or if it is an auto-immune condition.

There are many different compounds that can help the thyroid to function better. Some of these include the proteolytic enzyme bromelain, the adaptogenic herb ashwagandha, vitamin A, selenium, zinc and manganese.

Thyroid disorders are characterized by increased inflammation in the body and in the case of auto-immune thyroid disorders there is a tremendous amount of inflammation around the thyroid tissue itself. Bromelain is a key proteolytic plant-based (pineapple) enzyme that helps reduce inflammatory stress in the body.(1)

Proteolytic enzymes work to modulate or coordinate the activity of inflammatory immune complexes and have no major adverse reactions. They work as a lock and key mechanism and have an affinity for pro-inflammatory cytokines such as Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) and C Reactive Protein (CRP).(2)


This adaptogenic herb contains compounds that have been shown to have a stimulatory effect on both T3 and T4 hormone synthesis.(3) It has also been shown to improve liver function and boost intracellular anti-oxidants such as superoxide dismutase.(4) Oxidative stress and sluggish liver function are known to alter thyroid metabolism.

Ashwagandha also helps to balance blood sugar and stabilize cortisol. Elevated cortisol negatively effects the pituitary gland, suppresses T4-T3 conversion in the body and increases the inactive rT3. By stabilizing cortisol, ashwagandha has been shown to improve TSH, T4 and T3 levels and modulate blood sugar and inflammation.(5)

Vitamin A

The thyroid hormone binds to thyroid receptors and undergoes a process called intercellular transduction.(6) This carries the message of binding to the nuclear receptors. Thyroid hormone nuclear transcription is dependent upon vitamin A in order to be activated.(7)


This is the major cofactor for the key thyroid enzyme 5′deiodinase which is what converts T4 into T3. 5′deoidinase also degrades the inactive rT3. Studies have indicated that individuals with lower selenium levels are at higher risk for low T3.(8) Selenium has been shown to reduce rT3 levels and improve active T3 status.(9) It also reduces anti-thyroid anti-body formation.(10)


Low zinc status has been shown to compromise T3 production. Zinc plays an important role in immune modulation which may reduce thyroid anti-bodies.(11) Additionally, it is a key player in 5′deiodinase activity.


Manganese is involved in the function of numerous enzymes and is important for normal thyroid function. Manganese superoxide dismutase is a key anti-oxidant enzyme that is responsible for neutralizing the damaging effects of reactive oxygen species. This is especially important for individuals with thyroid problems as they are known to have higher levels of oxidative stress.(12)



SOURCE: NaturalNews