Earlier research demonstrated that a big part of our emotions is influenced by the nerves in our gut. A newly discovered connection between the immune system, the brain, and social behavior furthers the association between the gut and mental health.
Lymphatic vessels (a ‘highway’ of vessels that are part of the immune system and serve as a connection between cells and blood) have been discovered in the brain. Previously it was thought there was no lymphatic system in the brain and, therefore, no physical connection between the immune system and the brain. Moreover, it has been discovered that this connection allows the immune system (much of which is in the gut) to influence social behavior.
This research may help in finding treatments for a variety of diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, autism, migraines, brain and spinal cord injuries, and even multiple sclerosis.
The relationship between the gut and the brain suggests we should pay more attention to gut health, including what we (and are pets) eat, the importance of pre- and probiotics, and avoidance of unnecessary antibiotics and other pharmaceuticals and environmental exposures that affect gut health. The impact of the gut on mental health also explains why people and pets with chronic gastrointestinal conditions may be more prone to mental health issues.
For more information on this topic, visit these links.
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Energy Hacks for a Supercharged Body: Step 1 – ‘Structured’ Water
Who isn’t tired? Good news – there are 7 easy strategies available to supercharge your body through something called ‘energy hacking’. Energy hacking is optimizing your performance, health, and wellbeing with the help of technology and biological tools.
In a previous blog post we discussed things that drain our energy and 7 easy energy hacks to allow for abundant free-flowing energy required for optimal health and performance (http://abbeyrosefoundation.org/7-easy-energy-hacks-supercharged-body/). The first energy hack we’ll discuss is structured water.
We all learned that water or H2O is available as ice, liquid, or vapor. New research from Gerald Pollack, PhD, Professor of Bioengineering at the University of Washington shows that there is a fourth phase of water – a gel, which is referred to as EZ or structured water. In the lab, with increasing temperature, water moves from ice, to EZ, to liquid, to vapor. In the body, EZ water gel forms where water touches the surface of cells. EZ water lines all the cells of the body, turning them into batteries that fuel mitochondria (the cell’s energy generator) and turning the body into an energy grid. EZ water also stores and transmits information, much like a computer chip.
There are several easy ways to ‘charge’ water and supercharge the body.
- Consider the source – The earth naturally produces structured water through melting of ice and underground flow. Glacial, spring, volcanic, artesian, mineral, and sparkling waters are excellent sources of structured water. Water stored in glass retains it purity, but water stored in plastic does not.
- Drink chilled water – Water at about 39 degrees is closer to the EZ phase – the phase between ice and liquid,
- Create a vortex – the mechanical action of stirring creates a vortex and increases the formation of EZ water.
- Juice – Juicing puts pressure on plant cells, extracting their EZ water.
- Soak up the sun – Light increases water’s structure. Exposing the body to sunlight or infrared light increases the amount of structured water in the body. Exposing drinking water to sunlight increases the structure in the exposed water.
- Go negative – Structured water has a negative charge and exposure to negative charges enhances the amount of structured water in the body. The body is exposed to negative charges via the consumption of antioxidants (including antioxidant-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables) and grounding (e.g., by walking barefoot on the earth).
- Add precise energetic information to water – NES infoceuticals (http://v2.neshealth.com/nes-products/infoceuticals.aspx ) deliver precise energetic information to cells to improve their performance.
To learn more about research on the fourth phase of water and its importance to your health, view Dr. Pollack’s YouTube video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-T7tCMUDXU . Skeptics might find the following essay of interest https://charleseisenstein.net/essays/the-waters-of-heterodoxy-g-pollacks-the-fourth-phase-of-water/ . For all the scientific details, Gerald Pollacks research is presented in his book The Fourth Phase of Water: Beyond Solid, Liquid, and Vapor ( https://www.amazon.com/Fourth-Phase-Water-Beyond-Liquid-ebook/dp/B00N2ASKF2 ).
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Healthy Dog Conference 2016 in Ohio.
A healthy dog conference will be held May 21-22 in Delaware Ohio at K9 Ponderosa. This is a great opportunity for Midwesterners to meet and hear world-renowned animal holistic health expert Wendy Volhard speak on dog nutrition, kinesiology (muscle testing), and the use of holistic approaches (Chinese Medicine, acupuncture, homeopathy) to keep your dog healthy.
Visit http://www.k9ponderosa.com/Wendy%20Volhard_May_2016.htm or https://www.facebook.com/events/1731019637127971/ for more information.
Research in dogs and cats with cancer may also aid in understanding human cancers.
The Morris Animal Foundation announced the launch of its Golden Retriever Lifetime Study in which 3000 dogs have been enrolled. They will be followed for at least 15 years in an attempt to identify risk factors for cancer and other diseases. Cancer is estimated to affect 60% of Golden Retrievers, but there is little good information on why and how it occurs. Owners and veterinarians of participating dogs will complete periodic questionnaires about the diet, activity, and health of the dog and provide blood samples. This and other research in cats and dogs will be used in an attempt to better understand cancer in humans. To read more about this research, go to http://caninelifetimehealth.org/ and http://www.fierceanimalhealth.com/story/vets-and-pharma-execs-gather-dc-trade-notes-pets-cancer-research/2015-06-17?utm_medium=nl&utm_source=internal
Most dogs develop upset stomach or vomiting and less often diarrhea, from time to time.
Pets with vomiting or diarrhea should be fasted for 12 to 24 hours because food can cause stomach irritation and prolong the condition. That means absolutely no food and no treats! Water consumption should be controlled in dogs with vomiting, but offered freely to dogs with diarrhea.
When food is re-introduced, a bland diet should be fed for several days. The bland diet consists of 50% canned 100% pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) plus 50% boiled fat-free ground turkey or turkey breast. The turkey is boiled to remove as much fat as possible and then rinsed to remove any surface fat. The reason we are concerned about the fat content of the meal is because fat can exacerbate pancreatitis and gastrointestinal symptoms. We use pumpkin instead of white rice in our bland diet because the pumpkin is rich in soluble fiber, which coats the gastrointestinal tract and slows gastric emptying time. Pumpkin is also more species appropriate than rice. The bland diet should be fed in 2 to 3 small meals a day for about 72 hours, and then the dog gradually weaned off of the bland diet and onto the regular diet.
We generally add a bit of slippery elm powder to the bland diet, as well as to the regular meal for a few days after coming off the bland diet. Slippery elm is an herb prepared from the inner bark of the slippery or red elm tree and is well known for its ability to protect and lubricate the gastrointestinal tract. Slippery elm is a very safe herb that can be used in dogs of all ages. The usual dose is ½ teaspoonful per 10 pounds of weight, added directly to the food.
The causes of diarrhea in dogs are varied, but can include dietary indiscretion, intestinal parasites, and a variety of other conditions. Diarrhea can also be a side effect of some medications. Vomiting is often benign in dogs and can result from eating indigestible substances, overeating, eating too fast, exercising immediately after eating, motion sickness, stress, and parasites, as well as a variety illnesses, some serious. If these conditions last more than 24 hours or your dog shows signs of pain or severe lethargy or has repeated bouts of diarrhea or vomiting, you may want to seek the advice of your veterinarian. Of course, if you know your dog has consumed a toxic substance, do not delay in getting him to the vet. Blood in the stool or vomit also suggests a trip to the vet. The combination of vomiting and diarrhea can be a sign of intestinal obstruction, which is a medical emergency.
Gnawing on a raw meaty bone is a good source of nutrients for your dog and a wonderful way to keep his teeth clean and shinny, not to mention a great recreational activity!
We addressed the recreational feeding of bones in our January 2014 Step by Step post (http://abbeyrosefoundation.org/january-2014-tip-give-your-dog-a-bone/) The topic came up again in a recent article in Dogs Naturally, where they provided additional helpful information about types of bones, potential complications from feeding raw bones, and selecting the correct type of bone based on the size of the dog and how aggressive a chewer he is. If you want to feed your dog recreational bones we suggest you take a look at this link to their full post. (http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/recreational-bones-for-dogs/)
It should be noted that the entire bone is not intended to be consumed when fed for recreational chewing, as the bone is in addition to a full and complete diet. It is for that reason bones such as deer ribs are not recommended for large dogs – a large dog is likely to consume the entire deer rib.
Image Source: Hungry Hound
We often are asked what specific types of bones are appropriate for recreational chewing. Dogs Naturally posted a quick reference list of bones that might be appropriate for dogs of different sizes. We’ve summarized their list below. Keep in mind, this list might need to be modified for some dogs. Bones should ALWAYS be fed RAW!
We are interested in canine nutrition at arf.
In a recent blog post Dr. Jean Dodds reported the results of an informal survey she conducted of the diets fed to dogs (http://drjeandoddspethealthresource.tumblr.com/post/75711542571/is-a-grain-free-diet-truly-grain-free#.UvK1w9uF-2F). She found that about an equal percentage of dogs were fed kibble (38%) and raw diets (40%). The remainder were fed dehydrated food, freeze dried food, canned food, or a homemade cooked diet.
So, we started wondering the kinds of diets our readers feed their canine family members. Please let us know by completing our brief survey. Thanks in advance for your participation. We’ll publish the results soon!
Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world’s leading questionnaire tool.
It takes more than good genes for good health. This point is dramatically demonstrated in this short video showing two mice from the same mother, but different litters. The two mice are genetically identical, have eaten the same diet since birth, and were raised in exactly the same environment. The only difference is the diet the mother ate during her pregnancy! Not only do these mice look different, but along with being obese, the yellow one is at higher risk of developing diabetes and cancer. In contrast, the brown mouse is leaner and less likely to develop these diseases.
The effect of environment on gene expression is called epigenetics. Genes can be likened to computer hardware and epigenetics to the software. Put another way, DNA has the instructions; epigenetics is how those instructions are read.
The importance of epigenetics goes beyond diet. Chemicals from our environment as well as chemicals produced by our bodies bind to our DNA every second of every day and affect how our genes are read. These chemicals determine if the gene is turned on or off – they even determine how much it is turned on. This is why we at arf think that good nutrition, minimizing exposure to potential toxins (including vaccines, medications, and environmental toxins) and joyful living are so important to achieving and maintaining good health.
“Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food.”
Hippocrates, 400 BC
While food has long been recognized as a powerful factor in health and wellness, most of us ignore Hippocrates’ advice when it comes to feeding ourselves and our pets. We opt for highly processed fast food, all the while promising ourselves that tomorrow will be different, that the food we’ve selected isn’t really all that bad, and that we just don’t have the time or money to do things any differently. Many of us won’t seriously consider adjusting our diet or that of our pet until a health issue crops up. However, by the time a health issue is evident, it may have been developing for months, years, or even decades. A healthful diet now can reduce the risk of disease in the future.
When it comes to feeding our pets, the use of fast food has been taken to the extreme and kibble has become the predominant food source. If you have any doubt about the power of food in achieving health and wellness, take a look at our cases studies. Read Wendy Volhard’s case describing how switching to a raw food diet, as part of a multidisciplinary approach, helped an 8-year-old Westie regain her health. Wendy is one of the earliest proponents of holistic dog care. She developed her natural diet in 1973 when her 6-year-old Landseer Newfoundland Heidi was given only 6 months to live. After switching her to a raw diet, Heidi flourished, living until the age of 12! Also review the case describing how diet helped transform Mad Max into Mellow Max.
There is good scientific evidence that diet has a profound impact on human health and wellness too. Let’s take heart disease as an example. In a study of Korean battlefield casualties, 77% of young men (average age 22 years) had visual evidence of atherosclerosis! Atherosclerosis has even been demonstrated in kids 10 years old and younger. These changes were taking place years before symptoms would develop! Unfortunately, by the time symptoms become evident, treatment is far more challenging than addressing the cause of the problem at a younger age. The extent of these atherosclerotic changes was directly related to cholesterol levels and cholesterol levels directly related to diet. There is clear evidence that a more healthful diet can reduce the risk of heart disease. (For more information see Heart Disease Starts in Childhood at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlubvTMLrLM)
“Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food,” is an ancient truth that has stood the test of time. Begin taking small steps now to improve your nutrition and that of your pet – you’ll both increase your odds of living a healthier, happier, longer life!