Health Benefits You Can Reap From Maca Powder

What is it?

Maca powder is derived from a root that was discovered in Peru and has been part of ancient healing remedies for centuries. Today, it is a very common food supplement, offering a variety of health benefits that are very good for you. This supplement can be powerful so you only need a small amount of it to gain those benefits.

How much to Use?

The health benefits from maca powder can be found in as little as ½ a teaspoon per day. You shouldn’t take more than a teaspoon of it per 24 hour period. It is recommended to take it for 3 days in a row, then 2 days off, and to repeat. You can add it to smoothies, salads, and more. Avoid adding it to hot foods though because that will actually destroy the health benefits.

Vitamins and Nutrients

The volume of vitamins and nutrients found in maca powder is going to blow you away. This is a great way to naturally supplement your diet. Of course you shouldn’t be replacing foods that are good for you with this root. Yet it can be a simple way to help you get more of what your body needs.

Improve Mood

There can be many reasons why you feel stressed or anxious. You may feel depressed for no evident reason. Maca powder may help to provide the missing elements for your mood to be where you want it. This can be worth trying before you move into the area of antidepressants as there aren’t any adverse side effects to contend with.

Increase Energy

A lack of energy isn’t something you just have to deal with. Perhaps you blame it on getting olde or your busy schedule. However, it can be the result of your body not getting what it needs. This supplement can naturally help you to boost your energy without feeling shaky or being too stimulated.

What that additional energy, you may be able to finish work tasks in less time. You may find you are motivated to workout more often or to increase the amount of time you spend working out. You may discover this boost is what you need to get back to enjoying an active social life rather than being a couch potato after work.

Skin Care

This can be a natural way to help fight acne and blemishes from the inside out. It may work to open up pores. At the same time, it is flushing toxins from the body that can result in a chemical imbalance. Too much oil can result in acne being triggered. It may assist with other skin problems too such as dryness and being sensitive to the heat or the cold.

Women’s Health

Women often have an array of issues to contend with at various stages of life. This can reduce cramping and other symptoms relating to the menstrual cycle. Many women find this supplement helps them get through the various stages of menopause. It can help to reduce mood swings and hot flashes.

Sexual Well Being

Some studies indicate maca powder can help increasing libido for both men and women. It can also reduce the symptoms of erectile dysfunction for males. Some men report it helps them to keep an erection for a longer duration. It may assist with balancing out hormone levels. For those struggling with infertility, it is certainly worth a try!

However, women who are pregnant or who are nursing shouldn’t use this supplement. If you use it to help with fertility, make sure you take a pregnancy test regularly. You don’t want to continue taking it if you think you could be pregnant.

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How to Protect Women and Girls From HIV/Aids

HIV and AIDS remain a persistent problem faced by almost all over the world, especially by the United States. In many countries, women have been worst affected by this disease since the beginning of the global HIV epidemic. Since March 10 is National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, it is right time to make people know the basic facts about HIV/AIDS.

Know about the Disease:

HIV is a human immunodeficiency virus that attacks our immune system and destroys the T cells, a type of white blood cells, completely. This will develop into AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) due to which the immune system is too weak, thus by making people susceptible to infections and diseases. Is this disease a curable one? Even though there is currently no permanent cure, with early diagnosis and the right treatments like antiretroviral, people with HIV can live long and healthy lives. If left untreated, this will lead to death. How is HIV transmitted? This virus is found in semen, blood, rectal, vaginal fluids. Transmitted through sexual behaviors, sharing of needles and syringes, breastfeeding if the mother is living with HIV, and also blood transfusion. Why are women and girls particularly at higher risk? Mainly because of lack of access to health care services, gender inequality, cultural, social and economic status and violence faced by women and adolescent girls in the society. Poverty is also one of the reasons for trafficking and sexual exploitation of young women and adolescent girls who may be less educated and no knowledge about the risks of HIV.

Ways to Protect Women and Girls:

  • Firstly, learn about HIV/AIDS and share your knowledge with family, friends and the community;
  • If you are planning to have a baby, it is better to get an HIV test done before pregnancy for both you and your partner. This will help you to give birth an HIV-free and a healthy baby;
  • Always use condoms during sex – best way to prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted infections;
  • Before having sex, discuss with your partner about HIV testing and get it done to avoid risk;
  • Limit your number of sexual partners;
  • Never share equipment like the syringe, needles. Always use clean, fresh needles to inject;
  • If you are an HIV affected mother, do not breastfeed your baby;

Increase Awareness:

It is all the more important to create awareness about the impact of HIV/AIDS to prevent and protect women and young girls. There are many ways you can do this.

  • In this awareness day of March 10, organize an awareness campaign in your community in coordination with the healthcare professionals to make the public aware of HIV/AIDS, its impact, prevention methods and ways to protect young girls and women to save their lives from this disease. Distributing giveaway gifts, like customized wristbands in your awareness campaign is the best choice to create awareness. People love to wear this fashion accessory not only because of its attractive colors and stylish nature, but also the reach they have among people.
  • In many regions, girls are denied education due to poverty and many more reasons. Educating them is the added advantage to increase their earning ability and to prevent an early marriage that can reduce their vulnerability to HIV. Educated women have the knowledge to access health care services for themselves and their family.
  • Most of the women face gender violence like sexual abuse, trafficking, beaten by partners and otherwise abused in their lifetime. Creating awareness among them can prevent and end this gender violence once and for all.
  • It is important to educate young boys and men to respect women and to make them involve in family activities to avoid negative attitudes such as gender violence.
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Minerals and Hormone Balance: What Women Need

It’s no secret that minerals are required for every bodily process, but did you know that hormone imbalances can be blamed on mineral imbalances too? That’s right – essential nutrients affect how our hormones work and that can have a huge impact on life in general. Hormonal imbalances can cause weight gain, decreased sex drive, weight gain, fatigue and PMS, to name a few.

Prescription medicines contain mind-altering pharmaceuticals that can disturb your natural hormonal balance and cause unwanted side-effects. Some people who use anti-depressants may experience increased suicidal tendencies, while lacking sexual desire and weight gain. Evidence has shown time and again that many conditions that are treated with pharmaceuticals could be avoided with proper nutrition.

Let’s take a look at some of the hormones, and how you can address them using mineral supplements. A hair mineralysis is a great way to assess any imbalances and deficiencies that will help address symptoms.

Serotonin boosts excitement and enthusiasm. People who lack serotonin often experience sadness, poor sleep, lethargy, irritable bowel syndrome, PMS and sugar or carbohydrate cravings. Magnesium is essential for hormone development and nerve communication.

Dopamine functions in improving energy, self-confidence and self-discipline. Dopamine deficiency is evident when symptoms such as addiction, depression, hyperactivity and obesity are present. Selenium helps improve dopamine and research has shown that a low selenium intake is linked to depression.

Women in particular need essential minerals for optimum health. During her reproductive years, a woman is more likely to lack iron, while a menopausal woman will have to avoid iron supplementation. Here are some more reasons why women should consider mineral supplements:

Iodine assists hormone regulation, detoxification an nerve activation.

Selenium has powerful antioxidant properties for immune health and it helps to regulate thyroid hormone activity. There is a strong relationship between selenium and hormone regulation, particularly of hormones such as follicle-stimulating hormone, estrogen, luteotropic hormone, thyroid hormone and progesterone.

Zinc is often depleted by birth control, poor dietary habits, HRT, medications and alcohol consumption. Low levels of zinc have been linked to PMS, infertility and increased estrogen activity, as well as increased effects of ageing and an inability to handle stress.

Magnesium has been found to fight the effects of ageing in women, as it helps with muscle cramps and spasms, migraines and blood pressure, as well as PMS.

If you think that your hormones are out of balance, or that you might be mineral deficient, it’s a good idea to consider a hair mineral analysis. This quick, accurate and painless procedure will show you exactly what your body needs to become healthy, energetic and performing at optimum level.

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Do’s and Don’ts Of A Prolapsed Uterus Women Should Know

A Prolapsed Uterus is one of the most common Vaginal Prolapse a woman ever faces in their lifetime. This is a condition, in which their uterus slips down from its actual position into the vagina because of the weakening of the pelvic muscles. Majorly women of old age face this condition because of the loss of estrogen level after the menopause, however, it also occurs in younger girls due to a number of reasons like Vaginal Delivery, Obesity, Straining, etc. It is very important to cure the condition on time because it is not only embarrassing but also very painful to handle. If you don’t know anything about the condition, so, here we share the guide of Do’s and Don’ts of A Prolapsed Uterus that a woman should know to manage its symptoms. So, what are we waiting for? Let’s take a look.

Do:

  • Kegel Exercise: In an order to reverse the Prolapsed Uterus without any surgery, it is important that you start doing Kegel exercise with your health care approval. Make sure you perform the right exercise and in the right manner and if you don’t have enough knowledge consult your expert. The exercise is very simple and helps to strengthen your pelvic muscles naturally that further cure the condition permanently.
  • Take Medicines On Time: In non surgical treatment your health care provider will surely prescribe you the herbal medicines that are free from any side-effects and in an order to see quick and effective results, you should take them on time.
  • Manage Your Weight: If you are dealing with the Prolapsed Uterus, so, it is important for you to manage your weight because obesity or being overweight is one of the reasons that cause the condition. Ask your health care provider and if necessary, lose some healthy weight.

Don’ts:

  • Avoid Weight Lifting: If you are suffering from the Prolapsed Uterus, so, it is recommended to avoid weight lifting as it puts a strain on your pelvic muscles and prevents them from repairing. It is important to follow protection strategies and avoid inappropriate strength exercise to see quick results.
  • Avoid Unsafe Abdominal Exercises: If you want to cure the condition of a prolapsed uterus permanently, so, you should avoid unsafe abdominal exercise. Make sure you know the right techniques of performing the Kegel exercise as it helps you to see the right results in no time.

These are a few things a woman should keep in mind if she is suffering from the prolapsed uterus as it helps them to recover faster.

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Urogenital Probiotics For Women

Probiotics are useful for more than just gastrointestinal health. In fact, there are specific probiotic products that can help prevent and treat female urogenital conditions like bacterial vaginosis, vulvovaginal candidiasis, urinary tract infections and related complications of all three.

This should not come as a huge surprise. The amount of good research being conducted on gastrointestinal probiotics continues to increase every year. And although the vaginal tract is not internally connected to the alimentary canal the two are intimately related. Bacteria that pass through the digestive system can ascend via the perineum to the vagina. So it’s almost a no-brainer to expect what promotes gastrointestinal health to have relevance for urogenital health. However, they are not the same. Even though the intestinal microbiota has similarities to the vaginal microbiota, simply taking care of the intestinal microbiota may not be enough to ensure urogenital health.

Vaginal Microbiota: What Is It?

The microbiota typically found in the vaginal consists of large numbers of lactobacilli (gram-positive rods) and small numbers of gram-negative rods and gram-positive coccobacilli. A milliliter of vaginal fluid contains, on average, around 100 million microorganisms from 5-10 species, 95% of which are from the genus Lactobacillus (Anukam, 2006).

The bacteria that live in the vagina are substantially similar in all women around the globe. This is indicative of a relationship that was established long ago and which has remained robust over time. From an evolutionary perspective, such a trend suggests an adaptive advantage for both bacteria and humans. But why? A simple answer is that certain bacteria get a warm, moist place to live and in exchange, protect the vagina and help inhibit the growth of pathogens.

Health From The Few

It has been a long held belief that lactobacilli, in bulk, promote vaginal health by helping to maintain an acidic pH in the vagina. The logic seems sound: increased vaginal pH and decreased numbers of lactobacilli are symptomatic of various infections ergo lactic acid producing lactobacilli likely prevent infection by maintaining a low vaginal pH. This rationale has led to recommending the consumption of yogurt with the expectation that the lactobacilli, particularly L. acidophilus, and other “active cultures” should promote vaginal health.

Poking under the hood of this theory led to some interesting observations. Researchers discovered that the interaction of microorganisms in the vagina is more complex than simple pH modulation. The watershed: finding healthy women who appeared to lack colonization by lactobacilli. If large numbers of lactobacilli were necessary to regulate vaginal pH in most women, how could these exceptions be reconciled? It turns out that these women did not lack lactobacilli, they were merely present as an extremely small minority. But the fact that they existed in such small quantities suggested that there were mechanisms of vaginal health more potent than simple lactic acid production.

Lactic acid production was not found to be unimportant; rather something akin to a urogenital 90:10 rule had been identified. Most lactobacillus strains produce lactic acid, but only some strains produce bacteriocins and other specific regulating factors that inhibit the adhesion, colonization, growth and survival of undesirable species. Such specific factors can have prominent effects even at very low concentrations. And the strains that produce them can be present in minuscule amounts, but still have a large effect on urogenital health. Those healthy women with very few lactobacilli helped elucidate this.

Bacterial Vaginosis: Under the Radar

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is the most common vaginal infection and is believed to be a problem for roughly 10-29% of the female population at any given time (Allsworth, 2007; Reid and Heinemenn, 1998). It is important to be aware that lactobacilli levels tend to track estrogen levels. This means that even for women that feel healthy, there can be an increased risk of infection when estrogen levels are low, like at the beginning and end of the menstrual cycle, or after undergoing menopause. BV is estimated to burden the health care system to the tune of more than 4 million office visits per year in the U.S. alone (Van Kessel, 2003). Yet despite these numbers, it is believed that many cases of BV still go untreated or mistreated.

BV can be one problem that arises when the vaginal microbiota becomes unbalanced. BV is characterized by a shift in the vaginal microbiota from predominantly commensal microorganisms like lactobacilli, to others such as species in the genera Gardnerella, Atopobium and Prevotella. Some of these organisms produce amines that raise the pH in the vagina and cause a “fishy” smell. Clinically, the Amsel criteria or Nugent scoring is used to diagnose BV.

The symptoms of BV are somewhat similar to those of a yeast infection, of which more women are aware. Since these symptoms tend to be a sensitive topic and because over-the-counter anti-fungal treatments are readily available, many women attempt to treat BV with anti-yeast remedies. Unfortunately, anti-fungal treatments do not help treat BV and can even make it worse.

Ounce of Prevention

Although not internally connected, bacteria that pass through the alimentary canal can ascend to the vagina over the short external distance of the perineum. This is entirely normal and not an issue of poor hygiene. In fact, this is the typical route to the vagina for most inhabitants. Knowing this, it stands to reason that a healthy urogenital environment can begin with a healthy digestive tract.

Beneficial intestinal microbiota, are more apt to flourish when exposed to a diet high in fiber (especially prebiotic fibers) and low in simple sugars and refined carbohydrates. Pathogenic bacteria tend to proliferate at a greater rate than probiotic bacteria when exposed to these hallmarks of a diet high in processed foods. The healthier the intestinal microbiota is, the lower the concentration of disruptive organisms that pass from the digestive tract to the vagina. Eating yogurt with live active cultures may help, although the clinical evidence to support this is somewhat equivocal. Digestive health may be better served by taking a probiotic product or supplement that contains multiple strains which are clinically documented to support health.

Women can also act preventatively against BV with probiotic products that have been specifically evaluated for vaginal health and found to promote healthy vaginal microbiota. An ideal choice would be a strain that was originally isolated from a healthy woman and is well characterized to act against vaginal offenders. There are very few products on the market made with probiotic strains that actually meet this standard. Two strains that do are Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14. Used together, L. rhamnosus GR-1 and L. reuteri RC-14 have been shown to promote healthy vaginal microbiota which is important in helping prevent BV (see “Research Review”).

BV Treatment & Probiotics

Standard treatment for bacterial vaginosis involves antibiotic therapy, either orally administered or locally applied. The oral route typically involves daily ingestion of metronidazole or clindamycin for one week. Locally, a metronidazole gel or 2% clindamycin cream may also be prescribed for a similar duration. Some reports find that using clindamycin leads to a greater rate of recurrence than metronidazole. In addition, local use of clindamycin is contraindicated for pregnant women because of a possible connection to birth defects. Regardless of which antibiotic option is used, statistics show that roughly 30% of BV infections recur within one month and approximately 80% within 9 months.

Increasing numbers of physicians are recommending that their patients follow a regimen of antibiotics with a course of probiotics for gastrointestinal health, to bolster beneficial bacteria that have been killed off. The same advice applies to urogenital probiotics. The vaginal microbiota is just as susceptible to broad-spectrum antibiotics as the intestinal microbiota. And although there is not any solid evidence to suggest probiotics alone are effective as treatment for an existing infection, probiotic supplementation can provide dividends before, during and after antibiotic treatment. As summarized in the “Research Review,” some probiotic strains can even improve the effectiveness of BV treatment with antibiotics.

Secondary Effects of BV: Preterm Labor & STI Acquisition Risk

Awareness about BV is particularly important because it can cause health concerns that are more serious than the immediate symptoms that women tend to notice: irritation, decreased well-being, and diminished sexual health. BV can lead to local inflammation, increased susceptibility to sexually transmitted infections and a heightened risk of preterm labor in pregnant women.

In the U.S. 7-10% of all babies are delivered preterm, while it is estimated that women threatening preterm labor cost the U.S. healthcare system $360 M annually. The total number of preterm deliveries has actually risen in the U.S. over the past ten years, as well. This is a bit troubling, although not incredible. Pregnant women are increasingly being given antibiotics to fend off group B streptococci found in their vaginas and also as a precautionary measure when the amniotic sac ruptures prematurely. Increased antibiotic use on average means more frequent assaults on the vaginal microbiota of pregnant women leading to a greater overall risk of BV.

Despite medical science not having a good grasp of what causes preterm labor, it has been known for some time that there is a correlation between the incidence of BV in an expectant mother and preterm delivery (Chaim, 1997; Hillier, 1992; Purwar, 2001). As mentioned above, antibiotics used to treat BV or other conditions can cause complications during pregnancy and disrupt the microbiota of the mother. Disruption of the microbiota is a concern because transmission of endogenous bacteria from mother to newborn occurs during birth and shortly thereafter, helping to establish the newborns own microbiota and immune system. Because of this association, the use of antibiotics to treat pregnant women has drawbacks. It has previously been hypothesized that probiotic therapy could help eliminate the conditions that cause preterm labor and hence avoid preterm labor itself (Reid, AJOG, 2003). Some preliminary research suggests that urogenital probiotics can help diminish the risk of preterm labor (see “Research Review”).

Sexually Transmitted Infections

The incidence of BV has also been associated with a greater occurrence of sexually transmitted infections like HIV (Anukam, Sex Transm Dis, 2006; Sewankambo, 1997), cytomegalovirus (Ross, 2005), chlamydia (Nilsson, 1997; Joesoef, 1996), gonorrhea (Joesoef, 1996) and pelvic inflammatory disease (Brotman, 2007). For the most part, the connection between BV and increased risk of STI remains a question of causation or correlation. Research continues into understanding the mechanisms of BV and STI acquisition and the connection between the two.

Vulvovaginal Candidiasis: Bacteria v. Yeast

More commonly known as yeast vaginitis or colloquially as a “yeast infection,” about 75% of women have an occurrence of vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC) in their lifetime. Recurring problems of the bacterial microbiota, like BV, can make VVC more common, recurrences more likely, and outbreaks more difficult to treat. Standard prescription treatment includes oral antimycotics like fluconazole used daily for two weeks. Local antifungal creams and pessaries are common by prescription or available over-the-counter. Topical treatments have a tendency to eliminate superficial parts without reaching embedded parts of the causative organisms. VVC treatment can also inhibit the growth of endogenous lactobacilli present in the vagina.

VVC results from an over proliferation of Candida species (Candida albicans accounts for 85-90% of infections), a group of organisms that are commonly present in the vagina at low levels. A Candida bloom often causes increased inflammation of the vaginal mucosa and can lead to vaginal discharge and irritation. VVC is often characterized by a thick, whitish and non-uniform discharge that does not typically possess a “fishy” odor. Irritation during sexual intercourse and itchiness/inflammation of the vagina and surrounding area is common. Clinically, microscopic examination of a vaginal smear after treatment with 10% KOH can allow visualization of Candida hyphae.

A healthy urogenital microbiota decreases the risk of VVC. As discussed previously, there are some steps women can take to promote a healthy urogenital microbiota including taking targeted probiotic strains. Prophylactic probiotic use is one way to support a healthy microbiota and inhibit the uncontrolled growth of Candida yeasts (Reid, 2003, FEMS). No probiotic studies to date have shown efficacy in treating an existing infection alone, but there have been some preliminary results that suggest standard antifungal treatment in combination with a L. rhamnosus GR-1/L. reuteri RC-14 probiotic resulted in significantly less symptoms of yeast infection as compared to standard treatment alone (see “Research Review”).

Bacteria Out of Place

It is estimated that 25-30% of women between the ages of 20 and 40 have had at least one urinary tract infection (UTI). In 85% of cases, the bacteria responsible for a UTI originate in one’s own intestine or vagina. Recurrent infections are common. Nearly 20% of women who have one UTI will have another.

UTI can be another casualty of an unhealthy urogenital microbiota. A UTI is a bacterial infection of the urinary system including the kidneys, ureter, bladder, and urethra. Urinary tract infections are one of the most common causes of doctor visits for women. UTI usually presents with a frequent need to urinate along with a burning sensation upon urination. Urine can appear cloudy or off-smelling. Pain, tenderness and pressure near the bladder are also common. Typical clinical evaluation involves urinanalysis to detect nitrites, leukocytes and leukocyte esterase.

Standard treatment for UTI involves a regimen of oral antibiotics for 7 days, typically trimethoprim or co-trimoxazole. Recurrences may be an indication of cystitis, where bacteria invade the umbrella cells making innate immune factors and antibiotics less effective. A healthy urogenital microbiota decreases the risk of urinary tract infections. A urogenital probiotic can be used while undergoing treatment with antibiotics to hasten recovery, to decrease side effects, and to begin establishing beneficial vaginal microbiota that will help guard against recurrence.

Overall, the message that needs to be reiterated to patients is that urogenital health is not about the absence of bacteria, but rather the proper balance. Probiotic strains that have been clinically tested for their efficacy in supporting urogenital health are an excellent option for promoting a balanced urogenital microbiota and preventing infection. Prevention deserves serious consideration as the treatment options for vaginal infections can sometimes be of limited efficacy, especially for recurring infections. Urogenital probiotic strains can also be a helpful adjuvant to standard treatment in many cases, helping mitigate side effects and in some cases bolstering treatment efficacy. Urogenital problems plague many women and cause much concern; women are often very relieved to learn that there is more they could be doing. Tell them.

Urogenital Probiotics: A Research Review

Effects on Urogenital Microbiota

Forty-two clinically healthy women were randomized into three treatment groups and one control group. The treatment groups received various oral dosage regimens of a L. rhamnosus GR-1/L. reuteri RC-14 (GR-1/RC-14) probiotic supplement and the control group received L. rhamnosus GG every day for twenty-eight days. All three treatment groups saw a significant increase in healthy vaginal microbiota, while the control group remained the same. The twice-daily treatment group accrued the most beneficial effects with 90% of patients retaining a normal vaginal microbiota two weeks after treatment. The study suggests that a daily dosage of about 1 billion (109) live GR-1/RC-14 organisms is adequate as a preventative regimen (Reid, 2001, FEMS).

Lactobacilli, Yeasts & Coliforms

Sixty-four clinically healthy women were randomized into two groups. The treatment group received a once-daily oral GR-1/RC-14 supplement while the control group received a capsule containing calcium carbonate for sixty days. Microscopy analysis on day 28 found that the treatment group had an almost 10-fold increase in lactobacilli over baseline and a significantly smaller increase of yeast and coliforms compared to placebo. In contrast, the placebo group showed decreased counts of lactobacilli and larger increases in yeast and coliforms (Reid, 2003, FEMS).

Bacterial Vaginosis Prevention

In the previous study, Nugent scoring by a blinded technician was used to assess the prevention of BV. The GR-1/RC-14 group fared much better than did the control group. Of those possessing a healthy vaginal microbiota at the outset, 24% (6/25) of the women in the placebo group developed BV by day thirty-five of the study compared to 0% (0/23) in the treatment group (Reid, 2003, FEMS).

BV Treatment in Combination with Antibiotics

Following BV infection, combination treatment using GR-1/RC-14 (1 capsule, 10 billion CFUs, b.i.d.) with metronidazole (500 mg, oral, b.i.d.) more than doubled (88%) the effectiveness of metronidazole alone (40%) in returning the vaginal microbiota to a healthy state. Of the remaining 12% of patients in the treatment group whose microbiota were not judged to be healthy at follow-up, all were found to have an intermediate status with zero cases of BV (Anukam, 2006).

Preterm Labor

Thirty pregnant women, who were diagnosed with BV and identified clinically as being at high risk of preterm delivery, were randomized into two groups. The treatment group was given a once-daily oral GR-1/RC-14 capsule for 15 days. The control group was not given any type of lactobacilli, but was monitored according to the clinical standard. Upon follow-up one month later, the treatment group showed much better vaginal health with decreased indicators of BV. But more importantly, 100% of the mothers in the treatment group, as opposed to 67% of the control group, delivered at term. No adverse events were reported (Dobrokhotova, 2007).

Vulvovaginal Candidiasis

Sixty-eight women who were positive for VVC were randomized into two groups and blinded. The treatment group received fluconazole (150 mg) plus 2 gelatin capsules of GR-1/RC-14 (10 billion organisms) once-daily for 28 days. The control group received fluconazole (150 mg) plus a placebo at the same schedule. After 28 days, the treatment group showed more than a three-fold decrease in both yeast levels and vaginal discharge compared to the control group (Martinez, 2009).

Urinary Tract Infections

One study sought to compare the recurrence rate of UTI in women treated with either standard 3-day antibiotic therapy alone or along with a GR-1 combination probiotic. First, either norfloxacin or co-trimoxazole was prescribed to the 41 women in this study. The norfloxacin group had a recurrence rate of 29% while the co-trimoxazole group recurred at a rate of 41%. Afterward all women were then randomized into two groups and administered a GR-1 combination product or sterilized skim milk as a pessary. These vaginal suppositories were given twice a week for two weeks, with two additional instillations at 4 weeks and 8 weeks. The GR-1 group had a recurrence rate of 21% over the ensuing 6 months, while the skim milk group showed a 47% incidence of recurrence (Reid, 1992).

In another randomized, double-blind study, recurrence rates of UTI were again the primary endpoint. A weekly GR-1 combination probiotic (10 billion CFUs) was given as a pessary for one year. This resulted in a decreased UTI occurrence rate from 6 per year, for these patients in the year prior to the study, to only 1.6 per year during the study (Reid, 1995).

References

Allsworth JE, Peipert JF. (2007) Prevalence of bacterial vaginosis: 2001-2004 national health and nutrition examination survey data. Obstetrics and Gynecology 109: 114-120.

Anukam KC et al. (2006) Augmentation of antimicrobial metronidazole therapy of bacterial vaginosis with oral probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14: randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled trial. Microbes and Infection, 8: 1450-1454.

Anukam KC et al. (2006) Lactobacillus vaginal microbiota of women attending a reproductive health care service in Benin city, Nigeria. Sex Transm Dis. Jan;33(1):59-62.

Brotman RM et al. (2007) Findings associated with recurrence of bacterial vaginosis among adolescents attending sexually transmitted diseases clinics. J Pediatr Adolesc Gynecol. Aug;20(4):225-31.

Chaim et al. (1997) The relationship between bacterial vaginosis and preterm birth. A review. Arch Gynecol Obstet. 259:51-58.

Dobrokhotova YE and Sci M. (2007) Modern approaches to the treatment of vaginal dysbiosis in pregnant of high risk groups. All-Russian Scientific Forum: Mother and Baby. October 2, 2007.

Hillier SL et al. (1992) The relationship of hydrogen peroxide-producing lactobacilli to bacterial vaginosis and genital microflora in pregnant women. Obstet Gynecol. Mar;79(3):369-73.

Joesoef MR et al. (1996) Coinfection with chlamydia and gonorrhoea among pregnant women and bacterial vaginosis. Int J STD AIDS. Jan-Feb;7(1):61-4.

Martinez RC et al. (2009). Improved treatment of vulvovaginal candidiasis with fluconazole plus probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14. Lett Appl Microbiol Mar;48(3):269-74.

Nilsson U et al. (1997) Sexual behavior risk factors associated with bacterial vaginosis and Chlamydia trachomatis infection. Sex Transm Dis. May;24(5):241-6.

Purwar M, et al. (2001) Bacterial vaginosis in early pregnancy and adverse pregnancy outcome. J Obstet Gynaecol Res. Aug;27(4):175-81.

Reid G, et al. (2003) Oral use of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and L. fermentum RC-14 significantly alters vaginal flora: randomized, placebo-controlled trial in 64 healthy women. FEMS Immunology and Medical Microbiology 35: 131-134.

Reid G and Bocking A. (2003) The potential for probiotics to prevent bacterial vaginosis and preterm labor. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 189:1202-8.

Reid G, et al. (2001) Probiotic Lactobacillus dose required to restore and maintain a normal vaginal flora. FEMS Immunology and Medical Microbiology 32: 37-41.

Reid G, Heinemann C: The role of the microflora in bacterial vaginosis. In: Medical Importance of the Normal Microflora (Tannock GW, ed.), Kluwer, London, 1998, pp. 477-486.

Reid G, Bruce AW, Taylor M. (1995) Instillation of Lactobacillus and stimulation of indigenous organisms to prevent recurrence of urinary tract infections. Microecology Therapy;23:32-45.

Reid G et al. (1992) Influence of three-day antimicrobial therapy and Lactobacillus vaginal suppositories on recurrence of urinary tract infections. Clin Ther; 14 (1): 11-16.

Ross SA, et al. (2005) Association between genital tract cytomegalovirus infection and bacterial vaginosis. J Infect Dis. Nov 15;192(10):1727-30.

Sewankambo N et al. (1997) HIV-1 infection associated with abnormal vaginal flora morphology and bacterial vaginosis. Lancet 350:546-550.

Van Kessel K, Assefi N, Marrazzo J, Eckert L (2003) Common complementary and alternative therapies for yeast vaginitis and bacterial vaginosis: a systematic review. Obstet Gynecol Surv 58:351-358.

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The First Wealth is Health – Calcium Deficiency in Women

“Society is beautified by the women of good health.” (Anonymous)

Women are of course the most beautiful creation. But beauty is not a small word. It is the other name of health, peace and satisfaction. The biggest problem what women are facing in current age is calcium deficiency that results in Oestomalicia. It is a disease that is the outcome of poor calcium intake or calcium deficiency in the body due to any reason. Milk, dairy products and eggs are the biggest source of calcium.

Life is very fast nowadays; most women are employed some where. Their job constraints and shortage of time sometimes keep them away from foods having rich calcium content, the result is calcium deficiency. Another sad notion about milk and its products is that it increases obesity; it is a false notion as milk is a complete food. It does not enhance the chances of obesity if the person is drinking skimmed/cream free milk.

Oestomalicia sometimes causes joints problems which are owing to weak bones. Proper calcium content is highly valuable for women because they are its acute sufferer, especially during pregnancy and child birth. Medical science has proved this fact that during pregnancy if mother is calcium deficient, the baby will fulfill his calcium needs by extracting calcium from mother’s bones, causing her bones to be weak and fragile. Even if he does not get sufficient content from her bones, he will extract the required amount from her teeth and nails which are made of calcium. The final outcome is chaotic calcium deficiency. It means that there is a natural mechanism of calcium attainment for the baby, but mothers need some external source. It is because of these reasons that women are the top most sufferer of oestomalicia.

Women must remember that their health is their first and foremost priority and as Emerson said the first wealth is health.

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4 Health Check-Ups for Every Woman

Over the years, lives of women have changes dramatically. It is said that a woman’s well-being is directly proportional to the health of the family. In today’s busy world, women must not only be proactive in respect to maintaining their health but also get regular health checkups done as early detection of any problem can help early prevention and better treatment. Now a days, several compact heath check-up packages are offered by hospitals and diagnostic centres that help in keeping a track of healthy life.

There are numerous health check-up packages especially designed for the women of today. Some of them are as follows:-

Breasts Heath Check-up Packages: The test in the package particularly focuses on examining the breasts for the presence of any lumps or masses, loss of weight / appetite and more. The breast health check-up packages include: Mammography Bilateral test, USG- Bilateral test and Ultrasound of both the Breasts.

Why: Stress and lifestyle changes have put women at a higher risk of developing fatal illnesses. A disease like breast cancer is rising at an alarming rate. Therefore, it is remarkably important that every woman above the age of 40 years in the post menopause stage must undergo the tests. The prime reason being – the early the diagnosis of breast cancer or any other related problem can help get an early treatment and prevent the disease from increasing.

Complete Blood Count (CBC) package: A test for Anaemia, Blood cell count Haemoglobin. The package is very helpful and affordable as the tests give inputs on various counts relating to blood, including red blood cells count, white blood cells count and platelets count, haemoglobin level, etc.

Why: If one feels fatigue and weak even after performing petty activities, chances are higher that the haemoglobin count has gone down. If one is suffering from constant attack by viruses’ thereby falling sick, chances are there that the WBCs which fight germs have gone down in numbers. Therefore, in order to stay fit and active, it is essential to get routine check-ups done. Low blood cells count can result in anaemia while high blood cells can cause disease such as bone marrow disease or low blood oxygen levels.

While there is no such suggested time period or age to get the test done, one can get a complete blood count test done anytime. It is highly beneficial in all respects.

Ultrasound packages include examining stomach, the whole abdominal and pelvic region.

Why: During pregnancy, an ultrasonography proves to be highly beneficial. It helps in mapping the shape of the uterus, and checks for abnormalities as well as fibroid growth. It also helps in assessing abdominal pain and diagnosing growth of tumours in the entire pelvic region. Additionally, an ultrasound test helps get a clear picture of many other essential parts of the body such as the breast, joints, etc. A variety of ultrasound health check-up packages are available at affordable prices.

Heart check-up packages contain cardiac stress analysis, pulmonary function tests, ECG, diet counselling, Echocardiogram, Apolipoprotein, Lipoprotein, cardiac consultation, 320 slice heart scan, stress tests etc.

Why: These tests are very useful that reflect the underlying heart conditions by placing electrical sensing devices on the body in certain specific locations that measure the activities of the heart. A stress test helps in assessing the effectiveness of the heart medications to control various problems, helps in detecting the presence of coronary diseases and identifying abnormal heart rhythms. ECG, on the other hand, helps in the early detection of the occurrence of heart attack that may be in the evolving stage. It further helps in analysing smooth flow of blood in the heart, blood pressure level, presence of any blood clots and also maps inflammation in the heart.

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How Can Menocet Help With Menopause?

Most women are not ready to deal with menopause. While they all know it’s coming for them, no one can really prepare for its arrival. It’s a force of nature that can take a serious toll on the mental, emotional, and physical health of a woman. They’ll never know how long it’s going to last or what age they will be when they reach menopause. So how do they cope when it comes? How do women handle the list of ongoing tormenting side effects that characterize menopause? The best thing they can do is find something to help balance the internal changes and relieve the discomforts. Menocet is a daily supplement that can help soothe and support women’s health during these changes.

Menocet is created by a company called Heaven Sent and was brought to life to help improve the lives of women going through menopause. It is a daily supplement that is made from a natural herb blend. Mainly the product addresses symptoms like mood swings, hot flashes, night sweats, and irritability. Black cohosh is one of the main ingredients used and is known for its ability to help reduce hot flashes.

Users should note that Menocet does not contain estrogen. During menopause and the entire climacteric stage the levels of estrogen are dropping. Estrogen is the main female sex hormone. When these levels are dropping the body experiences many changes. For one, this is when a woman’s body stops being able to reproduce. Of even more concern, lower levels of estrogen mean less calcium as well. Estrogen is what promotes healthy bones and their ability to produce and hold onto calcium. This is why osteoporosis is a main concern for women going through menopause.

If Menocet doesn’t contain estrogen, what is it doing to help promote strong bone health? The supplement does not have to actually contain estrogen in order to help restore balance. Instead, Menocet takes advantage of ingredients like soy isoflavones. Soy isoflavones is used to help the body produce estrogen on its own. In turn, the body can then also improve bone health.

Menocet can help with menopause by attempting to restore order in the body. This is done so with its natural formula. The supplement comes as a capsule and is meant to be taken once daily and with a full glass of water. Not only will daily consumption help relieve side effects but it will help balance hormones and calcium levels.

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Financial Assistances For Pregnant Women

It is an utmost necessity for pregnant women to eat right and stay healthy for the better development of their babies. However, lack of funds may create adversities in maintaining a good health during the pregnancy phase of the women from low-income or no-income households. This is because of the soaring costs associated with the medical treatment and food. However, pregnant women need not to worry anymore as the federal government organizes various grant programs for them to help with food, health care, baby supplies and many more. If you are pregnant and have difficulties arranging necessary funds, some financial assistance from grants for pregnant women can help you to the great extent.

During your pregnancy, you can benefit from the financial assistance through grants such as Medicaid, CHIP, and WIC.

Medicaid is the U. S Department of Health and Human Services funded health insurance program that enables mothers to access to the low-cost health insurance facilities. Healthcare facilities for children can also be available from this program. However, this insurance facility is provided only to financially unstable pregnant women.

Medicaid enables you to receive prenatal and postnatal care to keep you and your baby in a good condition. Under this program, you can exercise the benefit for 60 days postpartum. Besides, with Medicaid health insurance, you can ensure frequent checkups at the doctor’s clinic and free medicines. Contact your local action community agency to know more about the eligibility criteria for Medicaid.

Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP offers financial assistance with a diagnosis of diseases, routine checkups, X-rays, medicines, dental care and not to mention- mental care for the children up to five years. Hence, it is a great scope for you to seek help from these heath grant programs to pay for medical care for you and your baby.

Whereas the nutritional health of pregnant women and children is concerned, Women, Infant, and Children, or WIC aims at offering financial assistance with nutritional food. By accomplishing your nutritional needs, WIC ensures that you deliver a healthy baby. WIC offers postnatal facilities for pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers. If infants or children are found to be at health risk due to nutritional deficiency, WIC lends its support to improve their health. You can seek support from this grant program too. To know your eligibility, the local grant-making agencies authorized by the federal government can provide you with the necessary information.

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Body Calling: The Healthiest Women in the World

In September 2004 Orange County, California published an article

“OC Women are the Healthiest Women in the world.” Location. Location. Location pretty much is the case for these women. Well not everyone is so fortunate to be raised in or live by a resort town, but no matter where you live you can mimic these important factors.

First and Foremost Vital Secret: is to focus on exercise. Then of course your multi-daily vitamins, nutritional supplements, pleasure and relaxation. Always walk first, ride your bike second and then if you must thirdly drive your car. It might seem crazy but these women ride their bikes to work to family functions with or without baby in tow. These women are all on sports teams; play volleyball in the sand; softball in the park; rollerblading to lunch. What made this become a reality in California was non other than the “Boardwalk” a 100 mile stretch the pretty much entire coast of the state from Northern to Southern Cal. The Boardwalk is also a favorite spot on the Monopoly game board, our culture’s game of excitement, and true in fact. What we are seeing across the board, or nation, is a need to help all women reach these awesome health ratings.

If your not so lucky to have a boardwalk, river walk or bike trails close by check out the massive new homebuilder locations, communities and websites. These builder’s are going the extra mile and adding or letting The Homeowner’s Association add (vote) on country clubs, swimming pools, running tracks, walk paths, bike trails. They are a growing trend, a very healthy trend. These homebuilder’s actually set aside 5 to 15 acres for this very reason. Everyone needs to get out daily get some sunny Vitamin D (even 5-15 minutes with out sunscreen). It’s time to get your positive endorphins pumping- they are key to that healthy glow and smile! Exercise is their secret and every woman should make it a conscious effort to go to the lake or recreation areas in your town every week! Play Ball!

Second Vital Secret: Nutrition, especially in some of our toxic environments. Organic fresh fruits and vegetables. Our bodies need to replace what the food supply has come up short, and many nutrients have been depleted, due to many factors such as pesticides and travel time to market. You can find good deals at you local supermarket on organic foods, by looking for their specials. Also visit your local farmers market’s popping up everywhere! Start growing your own garden and eat your fresh sweet homegrown tomato’s! Multi-vitamins are a number one must also to do. They must become a part of your every day life, period. Water, water, water, yes it’s still one of the best thing for you. We all need to take a look at ourselves inside and out. All natural organic products are the main targets. Another great tip comes from the Pacific Islanders’ who live off of coconuts; coconut meat; coconut juice; coconut oil and do not experience as much disease as our western diets have caused. You can by extra virgin coconut oil online, by the tub or in supplements, at your favorite natural foods market and even in your regular super market (for less money) in the baking aisle. Replace coconut oil when cooking, instead of butter. Olive oil is also important as well as a daily glass of wine after a brisk walk, like they do in Italy and live longer. Vitalize and energize your body on a daily basis is a very key secret to a happy, healthy and fulfilling lifestyle.

Third Vital Secret: Pleasure and relaxation is a must! Spoil yourself. Basically invest in yourself. Go on a weekend getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city, and internet. Hit the spa and the tanning salon for a breather. Or just grab a blanket, hit the sand or grass, bring a picnic and most important invite your family and friends!

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