Ounce of Prevention | Cheers to a healthier 2017 by Dr Tony Vendryes

 Tuesday | January 10, 2017

Regular exercise is now associated with more health benefits than at anything else in man’s history.
Regular exercise is now associated with more health benefits than at anything else in man’s history.
On average, smokers try about four times before they quit for good.
Charity, a great unselfish New Year’s resolution, can take many forms. You can choose to spend time mentoring a child, or visiting a home for the elderly.
Regular exercise is now associated with more health benefits than at anything else in man’s history.
Charity, a great unselfish New Year’s resolution, can take many forms. You can choose to spend time mentoring a child, or visiting a home for the elderly.

January is a great month for making changes. More people start changing for the better in early January than at any other time of the year. Making a positive step or two in the right direction is a wonderful way to begin the year. Some of us are fortunate enough to have our resolutions develop into lasting and even permanent change. Unfortunately, for the majority of individuals, new year’s resolutions do not last, or they may never even get started.

Right now, write a comprehensive plan. Most successful businesses start with a business plan that describes their mission and specifies on how they will achieve it. Write your own personal plan and you’ll be more likely to succeed as well.


Action often precedes motivation, not the other way around. People often think that they should wait until they are motivated to start doing something good for themselves. They’ll say, ‘I’ll start that diet or fitness programme when I’m really well rested and have a lot of energy’.

But it may not work that way. Instead of waiting for inspiration to act on your goals, you need to take action first and inspiration will follow. Your initial action doesn’t have to be anything big. Just by putting on your sneakers and walking for 10 minutes, you will make that energy you are ‘waiting’ for materialise.

Once you initiate an action – the smallest of actions – you pick up momentum, and it will be a lot easier to keep moving forward and stay motivated.


Set realistic goals that are attainable and then take small steps that are likely to succeed, toward those goals. Don’t decide that you must lose 10 pounds in a week or that you have to quit smoking without help. Instead, join a weight-loss programme and aim to lose a pound or two a week, or seek professional help with smoking cessation.


Because we are body, mind and spirit, it is important to add a spiritual dimension to your goals. This includes recognising the availability of a higher power that can strengthen and support us in our efforts. This is the first step in the highly successful 12-step programmes used to overcome addictions.

Identify a spiritual support system that works for you and tap into it. Prayer, faith and affirmations are powerful tools.


Conquer the bulge – The World Health Organization has described obesity as the world’s major epidemic. As over 60 per cent of adult Jamaicans are overweight or obese, it is not surprising that weight loss is one of the most popular new year’s resolutions. Using a sensible programme, setting reasonable goals and staying focused are the most important factors in succeeding with weight loss.

To aid and support all those who want to lose excess weight, and /or improve their nutrition, our team of weight-loss consultants are available all over the island.

Get fit – The medical proof for fitness is everywhere. Regular exercise is now associated with more health benefits than during any other period in man’s history. Studies show that improved fitness reduces the risk of some cancers, increases longevity, helps achieve and maintain weight loss, enhances mood, lowers blood pressure, and even improves arthritis. In short, exercise keeps you healthy and makes you look and feel better.

Spend more time with family and friends – Recent polls in the United States show that more than 50 per cent of people vow to appreciate loved ones more and to spend more time with family and friends in the coming year. I believe that a renewed commitment to the family and the community by of all of us is an important factor in solving the problem of crime and violence in our country.

Quit smoking – Make this the year that you decide to stamp out your smoking habit. It is the leading preventable cause of premature death. Even if you’ve tried to quit before and failed, don’t let it get you down.

On average, smokers try about four times before they quit for good. Start enjoying the rest of your smoke-free life. I will be offering smoking cessation classes to help you kick the smoking habit.

Don’t abuse alcohol – While many people use the new year as an incentive to finally stop drinking, most are not equipped to make such a drastic lifestyle change all at once. Many heavy drinkers fail to quit cold turkey, but do much better when they have group support.

If you have decided that you want to stop drinking, there is a world of help and support available. Alcoholics Anonymous offers meetings around Jamaica.

Seek financial freedom – Was money a big source of stress in your life last year? Join the host of people who have resolved to spend this coming year getting a handle on their finances. It’s a promise that will repay itself many times over in the years ahead. My team offers monthly success training seminars (STSs) that teach a simple plan to financial success.

Learn something new – Have you ever decided to learn something new? Perhaps you are considering a career change, want to learn a new language, or just how to use your computer?

Whether you take a course or read a book, you’ll find education to be one of the easiest, most motivating. It is never too late to be a student. Many local schools, colleges and universities offer evening, distance and adult-education programmes.

Help others – Charity, a great unselfish new year’s resolution, can take many forms. You can choose to spend time mentoring a child, or visiting a home for the elderly.

There are many non-profit volunteer organisations that could really use your help. Or if your time is really in short supply, maybe you can at least find it in you to give away the furniture, clothing and other household items that you no longer need, rather than dump them in the garbage.

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An Ounce Of Prevention | Know Your Immune System by Dr Tony Vendryes

(Jamaica Gleaner) Wednesday, 30 November 2016




The immune system is a complex network of cells, tissues, organs and chemicals that work together to protect the body. It’s the body’s security force, and normally coexists peacefully with the other organs and cells of the body. When functioning well, the immune system does an amazing job to distinguish between the bodies own healthy cells and damaged abnormal cells, germs and other harmful substances.

The organs of the immune system are called lymphoid organs because they house special white blood cells called lymphocytes, important components of the immune system. These organs include the bone marrow, the thymus gland, the spleen and the lymph nodes.

Masses of lymphoid tissue are found around the digestive and respiratory tracts – major passages that connect the inside of the body to the outside environment. Other lymphoid tissues include the tonsils, adenoids, and the appendix.

Anything that triggers the immune system to response is called an antigen. An antigen can be a germ such as a virus, a cancer cell or just an alien chemical. On the other hand, the immune system produces special substances to neutralise or destroy offending antigens. These are called antibodies.

Immune System Disorders

Underactive immune system

When a person’s immune system is underactive, his defences are low and he becomes prone to diseases like various kinds of infections and cancers. HIV/AIDS is a classic example of what happens with an underactive immune system.

Overactive immune system:

Usually, allergic disorders occur when the immune system responds to a false alarm. In an allergic person, normally harmless material such as grass pollen, some foods, mould, or house dust mites is mistaken for a threat and is attacked. Here, the immune system creates antibodies to these relatively benign substances, and special cells release a substance called histamine that produces the symptoms of an allergy are often used. That is why drugs called antihistamines are often used to treat allergies.

The crazy immune system

When the immune system goes berserk and launches an attack against the body’s own healthy cells or tissues, a special group of illnesses called auto-immune diseases occur. Here, the immune system’s recognition apparatus breaks down, and the body begins to damage and destroy its own tissues and organs. As a result, diseases like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disorders, type 1 diabetes or several skin disorders like scleroderma or vitiligo, to name just a few, are created.


These conditions can be very challenging for doctors to treat, but fortunately there are many things that we can do to prevent them and keep the immune system healthy and functional.

Avoid toxins

Mankind today is exposed to an alarming array of unhealthy substances in the food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe and the various things we apply to our skin and hair. Thousands and thousands of harmful chemicals now pollute our environment. They stress the immune system and can cause it to malfunction.

Particularly common toxins include the chemicals added to some processed foods and drinks, cigarette smoke, excess alcohol, prescription and nonprescription drugs, and industrial chemicals.

We need to avoid these toxins as much as possible. It is also an important preventative measure to do a cleansing or detoxification programme a few times each year.

Practise good nutrition

A properly functioning immune system is dependent on good balanced nutrition. Doctors have long recognised that malnutrition leads to immunodeficiency, but it is now clear that overnutrition is now an even bigger factor adversely affecting immune function. Even moderate nutritional imbalance, involving the lack of specific trace minerals and nutrients, can massively compromise the immune response.

For example, a deficiency of the mineral selenium greatly increases one’s risk of infections like HIV and some cancers. And specific foods like fresh fruits and vegetables rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants, and foods high in healthy essential fatty acids will foster a healthy immune system.

Use natural immune boosters

The antioxidants are important immune enhancers. The ACES – vitamins A, C, E and selenium – are prime examples. Adequate vitamin D3 from sunshine or supplements provides enormous benefits to the immune system. In complementary medicine, several herbs such as echinacea, goldenseal, schizandra, rosemary, green tea, licorice, ginseng, astragalus, aloe vera, sage, garlic, as well as honey are known to enhance the immune system.

Medicinal mushrooms like shiitake, and maitake strengthen immune system function. Research suggests that a particular compound in the mushrooms called beta-glucans is responsible. These mushrooms are available in a popular supplement called cell activator.

Control stress

The immune system and the nervous system are closely linked. Interestingly, the body produces its own immune system suppressant, a steroid hormone called cortisone that is produced in large amounts by the adrenal glands during severe stress. Sustained high levels of cortisone depress the immune system and this is one big reason why stressed individuals are more prone to infections and cancer. Adequate restful sleep is also critical for a balanced immune system.

Paradoxically, chronic stress can also contribute to the immune system malfunctioning and cause allergies and autoimmune disease.

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An Ounce of Prevention | Sea vegetables are good for you by Dr Tony Vendryes

(Jamaica Gleaner) Wednesday | November 23, 2016 | 12:00 AM

Irish moss growing on a shell, found off the coast of Old Pera, St Thomas.

Seaweed, also known as sea vegetables, is a general name for several species of algae and marine plants that grow in water bodies like rivers, lakes, seas and oceans. They vary in size from minute to gigantic, with colours like red, brown, and green, and are easily found on seashores or coastlines.

Seaweeds play an extremely vital role for marine ecology. They are the base for the food chains and are home to many sea creatures. And in addition, seaweed has properties that offer health benefits to humans.

A 25-year study of the world’s longest living population, the Okinawans of Japan, showed that sea vegetables were a big part of the seven to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables they eat daily.

Seaweed composition

UK research published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food confirms that many sea vegetables are quite low in calories and fat, while high in minerals like calcium, iron, copper and iodine. Seaweed is extremely high in protein (nearly 50 per cent of their weight), particularly proteins called bioactive peptides that may offer extraordinary benefits to our health.

They also contain other substances called polysaccharides that may help in the prevention of degenerative diseases and slow the ageing process.

Popular forms of seaweed

-Nori is the dried, usually toasted sheets of seaweed used as the wrapping in sushi dishes. The sheets can be cut into strips and eaten like noodles or added to stir-fry.

– Kelp is the common brown seaweed often found washed up on beaches. It is available in powder form for use as seasoning or a salt substitute, or as a tablet supplement.

– Dulse is available as a powder or dried leaves and is used in salads and stews. The leaves, when lightly pan-fried, become crispy like potato chips.

– Irish moss, also known as sea moss, is found as different species on the shorelines of the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. The Irish, during their severe famine in the 19th century, relied heavily on Irish moss as their main source of nutrition.

Irish moss is very mucilaginous when soaked in water and has a tough and rubbery texture that is rather inedible. It is traditionally boiled in water and consumed as a liquid broth, to which flavours and sweeteners are usually added.

Modern recipes often mix the raw gel into various foods and drinks as a nutritious thickening agent. It is often used as a vegetarian substitute for gelatin as it provides a similar consistency.

– Arame is black when it is dried, the form in which it is usually sold. It is usually soaked in water before adding it to food being cooked.

– Kombu, sold as dried strips, can be used as a seasoning agent in many dishes.

Blood pressure benefits

Investigators have found that the special proteins (bioactive peptides) in seaweed have effects similar to a commonly prescribed group of drugs used to treat high blood pressure. They are called ACE inhibitors. They work, but the problem is they can also cause headaches, dizziness, inflammation, fatigue, nausea, kidney failure, and increased potassium in the blood that can cause heart problems.

Sea vegetables are the first natural substances discovered that can have the same health effects without these harmful side effects.

Digestive health

Scientists at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne have found a substance in brown seaweed that strengthens the gut mucus, which forms a protective lining for the intestines. It also causes food to release its energy more slowly and reduce blood sugar imbalance.

Research on Japanese women showed that high seaweed intake increases the good bacteria in the gut. The enzymes in some seaweed also help to digest beans and peas, and reduce problems with gas.

Metabolism and weight control

Seaweed could be a useful addition to your weight-loss diet. They are high in fibre, have very few calories and provide a good balance of essential minerals and vitamins.

The high content of organic iodine makes sea vegetables very useful in optimising thyroid function and improving the metabolism of excess fat.

An enlarged thyroid gland (goiter) as well as the underactive or overactive thyroid seems to benefit from regular seaweed consumption.


Seaweed is very high in lignans, which help to block the chemical oestrogen that can predispose people to cancers such as breast cancer. Research even suggests that kelp consumption might be a factor in the lower rates of breast cancer in Japan and that seaweed may act as a natural female hormone balancer.

All-round tonic food

In Ireland and the Caribbean, seaweed-based drinks and soups are drunk as a regular pick-me-up, or after an illness.

It goes well with sushi, tofu, miso soup, salads, vegetable stews and stir-fries, and greens.

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The Power Of Oxygen by Dr Tony Vendryes

(Jamaica Gleaner) Wednesday 19 October 2016



Humans are oxygen dependent. We get this nutrient from the air we breathe which ideally contains about 21 per cent oxygen. A person can survive for weeks without food, days without water, but will die within a few minutes without oxygen. Yet this is the one nutrient that most people don’t think of as being associated with many health problems. Nothing could be further from the truth.

One problem is that oxygen concentration of the air in major cities and industrial areas has been found to be significantly below normal. That results in a decreased oxygen intake for each breath taken. Cigarette smoking or too much time spent indoors in poorly ventilated areas further lower our oxygen intake.

In addition to that, most people have developed poor breathing habits that further restricts oxygen uptake. This chronic oxygen deficiency has a negative impact on our health and our overall performance. Of course, many illnesses like circulatory and lung diseases will lower our oxygen levels. In fact, oxygen deprivation can be associated with all kinds of chronic diseases, including cancer.


Cancer is the number two killer in the world today. Cancer cells are radically different to normal cells. A German, Dr Otto Warburg, won the Nobel Prize in 1931 for his research that proved that cancer cells do not use oxygen to grow and survive.

They create energy to live and multiply in another way. Normal cells love and need oxygen but cancer cells do not – they prefer sugar (glucose). Oxygen provides very little fuel for cancer cells, only two energy molecules compared with 36 energy units from sugar. Optimal oxygenation of your body is therefore a smart and safe method to help prevent and fight cancer.

Heart Attacks And Strokes

These cardiovascular diseases are also among the major modern killers. They result from a diminished oxygen carrying blood supply to the heart or brain. Though doctors are now debating the pros and cons of using oxygen after these events, optimal oxygen before these disasters may help prevent them.

Low Energy

Inside the cells of your body, there are special structures designed to produce the energy needed for the cells to live, thrive and do their work. These structures are called mitochondria and they require oxygen for energy production. Low energy levels, fatigue, difficulty in concentration and poor mental focus are common features of low oxygen levels or hypoxia.


Many pathogenic germs are anaerobic, that is, they do not thrive in an environment high in oxygen. Increased oxygenation is a powerful aid in fighting infections of many kinds. On the other hand, low oxygen levels encourage infection.

There are several ways to optimise our oxygen levels both in health and disease.

Breathing Exercises

Most of us use only a small part of the capacity of our lungs. We usually breathe unconsciously and take short shallow breaths. We can learn to breathe consciously, taking longer, slower deeper breaths. This immediately increases oxygen intake while lowering levels of another less desirable gas, carbon dioxide. In addition, deep breathing provides many, many other benefits, and the commonest advice I have given to my patients over the years in many different situation is simply, ‘take a deep breath’. All the major eastern philosophies (e.g. yoga) teach specific breathing techniques for their physical, mental and spiritual benefits.

Breathing Oxygen

We can also enrich the air we breathe with oxygen. Patients with a variety of illnesses benefit from breathing oxygen through a face mask or nasal tube. Professional sportsmen and women use oxygen during games to improve their recovery and performance. The hotels in Las Vegas pipe extra oxygen into the gaming rooms to keep patrons energised and ‘oxygen bars’ are enjoying popularity in the US.

Doctors have demonstrated impressive benefits from a technique called ‘exercising with oxygen’. Individuals breathe oxygen while riding a stationary bike or running on a treadmill. Cardiovascular and immune function and performance levels soar. Oxygen delivery systems for home use are now readily available.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Another way to enhance oxygenation of our tissues is by use of hydrogen peroxide. This is a well-known liquid antiseptic that readily breaks down into water and oxygen. Soaking in a warm water bath with hydrogen peroxide added is a simple way to oxygenate your body.

Tiny quantities of pharmaceutical grade hydrogen peroxide can also be added to your drinking water as another oxygenation technique. Holistic doctors sometimes even administer hydrogen peroxide intravenously.


A particularly powerful oxygenating agent is ozone. Ozone chemical formula is O3 compared to that of oxygen O2. Pure medical ozone can be administered in many ways to hyper oxygenate tissues of the body. This includes ozonated water baths, intravenous, rectal, vaginal administration or by drinking ozonated water, applying ozonated olive oil to the skin or bagging infected limbs. Cuban doctors use ozone extensively to treat a variety of health problems.

Hyperbaric Oxygen

At the upper end of the scale of oxygen therapies is the use of oxygen delivered at above atmospheric pressure in special chambers. This allows for an even more powerful use of oxygen therapy. Well known for its use to treat deep-sea divers with decompression sickness, it also has many powerful medical applications and all the major hospitals in Cuba have hyperbaric oxygen departments.

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An Ounce of Prevention | Keeping Healthy Joints by Dr Tony Vendryes

(Jamaica Gleaner) Wednesday 10 August 2016

Most people over 40 will have suffered from joint pain at some time in their life. For some, it is an occasional problem that readily settles on its own or only needs a simple temporary pain reliever. For others, it is a chronic burden that creates a dependency on increasing doses of potentially dangerous drugs. Painful joints can also severely impact a person’s ability to function normally, and in the elderly is the number one cause of loss of mobility and independent living.

By definition, arthritis is an inflammation of a joint, and a joint is a structure where the ends of two or more bones meet and move. Joint pain is a common result of arthritis or inflammation of the joints. The classical signs of inflammation include pain, swelling, heat and loss of function. The most common causes of arthritis are joint injury (traumatic arthritis), joint degeneration (osteoarthritis) or autoimmune disease (rheumatoid arthritis). Gout leads to a special form of arthritis due to excess of a substance called uric acid in the body.

Two special tissues called ligaments and cartilage provide joints with both the stability and cushioning they require for their function. These tissues are made up of special proteins like collagen and elastin, plus a protein complex called proteoglycans. Suffice it to say that in arthritis, the joint structures (cartilage and ligaments) are damaged and inflamed and these special proteins destroyed.

A vast array of anti-inflammatory drugs are commonly used to simply suppress the symptoms of arthritis. These drugs (called NSAIDs) may be effective in easing the pain or reducing the swelling, but they do not deal with the underlying problem, they only control the symptoms. What is worse, they have major side effects, especially when taken for prolonged periods – your stomach might develop bleeding ulcers, your kidneys may be damaged, or you may end up with diabetes and high blood pressure. To top it all, when these NSAIDs are taken for long periods they actually accelerate the damage to joints.

The good news is that you can assist your body to control, reverse and even prevent inflammation of the joints.




Some foods promote inflammation while others relieve and discourse it. The following foods should be avoided: unhealthy fats as in red meat, hydrogenated oils and fried foods. Organ meats like liver and kidney, and dairy products. Processed carbohydrates like white rice, pasta, and refined flour products like dumplings, crackers, white bread, sugar, very sweet fruits, fruit juices, food flavourings, preservatives and artificial food colourings.

Emphasise these foods: fatty, cold water fish like sardines, mackerel, salmon and tuna. Healthy oils like virgin olive oil and coconut oil, olives, flaxseed, flaxseed oil, ackees and avocados. Fresh vegetables and fruit like berries, melons, pineapple and papaya, plus nuts, seeds and whole grain.

It is essential to correct obesity as it promotes inflammation and aggravates the damage to weight bearing joints. It is estimated that an extra 10lb of body fat exerts over 48,000 extra pounds of pressure on the knees when walking one mile.




Infection promotes inflammation. Look out for and clear up any sites of chronic infection in the body. Pay particular attention to the mouth (teeth and gums), the sinuses, the nails (fungal infections) and the skin. Treating a chronic infection may need the assistance of your medical practitioner. Natural detoxification programmes using herbs, colonic irrigation, saunas, massage and liquid fasts are very useful and may be used at regular intervals.




Some supplements have good anti-inflammatory, pain relieving effects. These include the omega-3 fatty acids at dosages of three to six grammes per day.

The antioxidants, vitamins A, C, E and selenium, and the herbs, ginger, turmeric, nettle leaf extract, and boswellia. In addition to using ginger as a tea or spice, it can also be applied directly as a compress to a painful joint

Other supplements specifically provide the body with building material to repair damaged cartilage and ligaments. These include glucosamine sulphate, chondroitin sulphate, SAMe, high doses of vitamin C and the minerals copper, zinc, manganese and boron. These need to be taken in adequate doses for at least 12 weeks for significant benefit.

Vitamin D is vital for bone and joint health, so have regular sunbaths and supplement generously with vitamin D3.

Healthy joints need to be both strong and supple, and regular exercise is a key to achieving both. Also, by specifically strengthening the muscles that move a joint, you improve the stability of the joint and reduces further injury to the cartilage of that joint.

Resistance exercises (strength training) seem to be the best form of physical activity to stimulate new growth and correctly align the collagen fibres in the newly forming tissue (ligaments and cartilages) of the recovering joint.

These exercises should be started slowly and when the joint is almost free of pain. A programme supervised by a physiotherapist can be very helpful in this regard and may in addition to specific exercises include heat or cold, massage and stretching. Some yoga postures are excellent for arthritic joints, as this type of exercise does not require movement of the joint. Other useful non-weight bearing exercises include bicycling, swimming and water aerobics.




Chronic stress, poorly managed produces chemical imbalances in the body that promote inflammation. Learning to identify the stressors in one’s life and developing effective stress management techniques are important aspects of a programme for controlling joint inflammation.

Emotional and spiritual support systems like healthy relationships, prayer, meditation and other practices can greatly facilitate the healing process.

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Ounce Of Prevention – Healing Power Of Cinnamon, By Dr Tony Vendryes


(Jamaica Gleaner, Tuesday 2 August 2016)

Cinnamon is a popular spice made from the Cinnamomum tree. Its history dates back to ancient Egypt where it was regarded as rare and valuable and reserved for royalty. Today, cinnamon is readily available and is used in a variety of foods and recipes. Cinnamon is made by cutting the stems of the Cinnamomum tree and extracting the inner bark.

The dried bark forms strips that curl into rolls, called cinnamon sticks. The sticks can be ground to form cinnamon powder. The smell and flavour of cinnamon comes from the oils in the bark, which contain a special compound called Cinnamaldehyde. An impressive body of medical research has uncovered the many health benefits of using cinnamon.

Cinnamon And Diabetes

Cinnamon is well known for its ability to lower blood sugar. Studies show that it does so by several mechanisms.

First, cinnamon has properties that help reduce insulin resistance, a common cause of diabetes. Also, cinnamon has been shown to decrease the amount of glucose that enters the bloodstream after a meal by slowing the breakdown of carbohydrates.

Research has confirmed that cinnamon can lower fasting blood sugar levels by up to 10-29 per cent. The effective dose is around half to two teaspoons (1- 6 grams) of cinnamon per day.

Cinnamon and inflammation

Inflammation in the body normally helps fight infections and repair tissue damage but uncontrolled inflammation underlies many of our health problems. It becomes a problem when it is chronic (long-term) and directed against the body’s own tissues.

Cinnamon is anti-inflammatory because it is loaded with powerful antioxidants, such as polyphenols. These protect the body from damage caused by free radicals.

In a study that compared the antioxidant activity of 26 spices, including ‘superfoods’ like garlic and oregano, cinnamon was found to be the most powerful. In fact, this makes cinnamon a strong natural food preservative.

Cinnamon For Infections

Both cinnamon oil and cinnamon bark have powerful anti-bacterial activity. One study out of France found Cinnamon bark oil effective against 65 strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

You can dilute cinnamon oil in water to disinfect kitchen countertops, sinks, refrigerators, doorknobs, toys and other things. If you want to avoid harsh cancer-causing chemicals, use cinnamon oil. Cinnamon sticks are also useful but you need to use a lot of it to make a difference. If you want a mild disinfectant, a couple of cinnamon sticks boiled in hot water might prove useful.

Cinnamon has the ability to stop drug- resistant yeast infections and the oil is useful against candida. Drinking cinnamon tea with cinnamon bark oil added is a great way to fight internal candida infections and boost your immune system.

For toenail fungus or athlete’s foot, cinnamon leaf oil is a powerful anti-fungal far superior to many commercial treatments. You can use cinnamon sticks, tea or powder for internal treatment and a few drops of cinnamon leaf oil and soak your feet to treat the toenail fungus or athlete’s foot.

A great remedy for a stomach bug is cinnamon. Research has shown cinnamon is most effective against E-coli, and Salmonella. Use cinnamon tea infused with cinnamon bark oil that has high levels of cinnamaldehyde.

Colds, sore throat and cough

At the first sign of sniffles or an itch in your throat, take some cinnamon tea. It often stops an impending illness in its tracks. Again, this is related to the anti-bacterial properties and warming properties of cinnamon and its ability to increase blood flow and thereby improve blood oxygen levels to fight illness. Traditional Chinese medicine commonly recommends cinnamon for coughs.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

(IBS)As a digestive, cinnamon dramatically reduces the uncomfortable feelings associated with IBS especially the bloating. It does this by killing bacteria and healing infections, allowing the gastric juices to work normally. If you have stomach cramps or upsets, a cup of cinnamon tea, two to three times per day may dramatically reduce the pain.

Insect repellent

The anti-microbial qualities of cinnamon leaf oil is often used for head lice treatment, and the control of black ants, bed bugs, dust mites and roaches. It is a good defense against mosquitoes. A Taiwanese study found that it not only kills mosquito larvae but also acts as a bug repellent.

Odour Neutraliser

Cinnamon oil is an effective odour neutraliser as it kills bacteria that create bad odours, instead of only masking odours. Two to five drops of cinnamon oil mixed with water in a diffuser or spraying diluted cinnamon oil will, within minutes, neutralise bad odours. Alternatively, you can wipe down toilets, floors, garbage cans and the interior of vehicles to rapidly remove foul odours. The cinnamon smell also has the effect of improving your mood and lifting your spirit.

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Is Your Heartbeat Normal? by Dr Tony Vendryes

humanheart (1)
Blockage due to heart disease

Sustained rates at the high end (above 85 beats per minute) can be due to problems in the heart itself or may suggest other processes such as dehydration, thyroid disorders, infections, and anxiety.

There is a strong relationship between the heartbeat and one’s emotional state. A condition of severe anxiety, called a panic attack, is often associated with a fast and sometimes irregular heartbeat.

Through all this, the heart must maintain its essential function: to pump blood throughout the body. If the heart beats too slow or too fast, or is irregular or otherwise ‘out-of-sync’, it may struggle to do its job. When the heart’s blood output diminishes, we can become light-headed, breathless, and even lose consciousness. In the worst case, particularly if the heart is significantly abnormal, some arrhythmias can be fatal. Heart rates that are less than or greater than the normal range of 50-99 beats per minute are clearly abnormal and should be addressed by a physician.

Helping the heartbeat naturally

If your pulse is normal or you have checked with your doctor to exclude heart disease or other medical disorders, there are natural supplements that help promote a healthy heartbeat.

Omega-3 fatty acids

Inexpensive, safe and effective, the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil are the closest things we have to an ideal anti-arrhythmia drug specifically, the

omega-3 fatty acids, known technically as EPA and DHA. They not only sharply reduce the frequency of irregular beats, but also diminishes the likelihood of death from dangerous arrhythmias. They achieve all this without significant side effects, an advantage lacking in all the prescription anti-arrhythmia drugs.

A secondary source of omega-3 fatty acids called ALA, found in flaxseed, walnuts, and canola oil. When humans ingest ALA, however, only 10 per cent of it is converted into active EPA or DHA that helps the heart.


Magnesium is a crucial nutrient that helps the proper functioning of the human body. Unfortunately, on average, we ingest far less than the daily recommended dietary allowance. Low magnesium levels promote abnormal heart rhythms.

Moreover, research has demonstrated that our average magnesium intake is dropping precipitously as we consume greater amounts of magnesium-depleted processed foods. Soft drinks are manufactured using water that is essentially devoid of magnesium. Sodas contain phosphates that prevent magnesium being absorbed in the intestinal tract. To make matters worse, more of us are drinking bottled water, and many retail brands contain little or no magnesium.

Because low magnesium tissue levels are so common, everyone with an irregular heart beat should supplement with magnesium. They should also eat lots of magnesium rich foods nuts, beans and green leafy vegetables.

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a natural substance found in the mitochondria (energy generators) of the body’s cells, especially the heart cells. Arrhythmias commonly occur when there is abnormal weakness of the heart muscle often associated with CoQ10 deficiency. Research has shown that CoQ10 supplementation can benefit people with weakened heart muscle. A safe, effective nutritional agent that is virtually free of side effects, CoQ10 may help lessen the long-term risk of arrhythmias.

Hawthornr y

Hawthorn (Crataegus oxyacantha) is a small, native European tree whose berries, flowers and leaves have been used therapeutically since the Middle Ages as an aid in treating heart failure. Modern research suggests that it helps to reduce irregular heartbeat.

Finally, poorly managed stress is a common cause of irregular heartbeat. Practise relaxation techniques, get counselling and learn to manage stress in a healthy way.

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Dr Tony Vendryes – Eat Less, Live Longer


Breaking News


Jamaica Gleaner / Most people eat too much. Researchers who study the ageing process (gerontologists) have observed that eating less extends the lifespan of animals as long as they are provided with all the essential nutrients they need.

This technique is called caloric restriction and experts believe it can do the same thing for human beings. Food supplies us with two main elements: energy and nutrients. Calories measure the amount of energy in foods.

Caloric restriction is not a near-starvation diet, but a lifestyle plan for optimal nutrition while limiting calories. It is meant to give you many health benefits without hunger. The US-based Life Extension Foundation calls this technique ‘Caloric Restriction with Optimal Nutrition’ or CRON.

CRON involves reducing daily caloric intake by up to 30 per cent by limiting the consumption of high-calorie, low-nutrient foods such as white flour, refined sugar, and unhealthy fats. Vitamins and minerals supplements are added to the programme so that only calories, not nutrients are restricted.

Live longer: Scientists have doubled the lifespan of all kinds of animals – mammals, fish, birds, insects, etc. Research on humans are currently under way, but this, of course, has to be continued for decades to provide conclusive results. However, the many health benefits of CRON become very obvious after a few months.

Diabetes: Diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, elevated blood glucose, high cholesterol and triglycerides rapidly improve once you are placed on CRON. As people age, their cells become resistant to the hormone insulin.

Thus, both insulin and glucose in the blood tend to rise when excess calories are consumed and the risk of type 2 diabetes increases. Within just one month of calorie restriction, glucose and insulin levels fall.

Cancers and growths: CRON increases the body’s defences against free-radical damage, considered to be a major cause of many diseases like cancer as well as the ageing process itself. Experiments show that older animals on CRON have a greater resistance to cellular damage when compared to younger animals eating a regular diet. The anti-cancer effects of caloric restriction are now well known. Even non-cancerous growths like uterine fibroids diminish with CRON.


CRON strategy Keeping your caloric intake low over the long term can be very demanding, especially in a culture surrounded by an abundance of inexpensive, calorie-dense, nutrient-poor food. To live long healthy lives, we need a simple way to restrict calories without being hungry. Here are some guidelines.

Sweet, starchy, and fatty foods are calorie-rich foods. Avoid most of the modern ‘fast foods’. These should only be occasional treats. Focus on healthy protein and high-fibre, water-rich foods that include fresh vegetables and not-so-sweet fruits.

Replace one or more regular meals with nutritional shakes. Modern food technology has created delicious meal-replacement protein shakes. High-quality shakes are designed to be very rich in nutrients and very low in calories.

Although there are now many shakes on the market and many people try to use their own recipes, few shakes are guanine meal-replacement shakes.

The FDA is very demanding in its requirements for a shake to be labelled meal replacement. Read the label on the shake you select. The meal-replacement shakes I use and recommend contain less than 200 calories each, while providing more nutrients than a 2,000-calorie regular meal. They are ideal anti-ageing meals and provide critically important dietary protein.

Supplement your meals and shakes with a high-quality multivitamin and mineral tablet and omega 3 fat capsules. Fibre supplements with water are helpful to increase your feeling of fullness and reduce your absorption of fats in your food.

Make water your standard beverage as water contains zero calories, helping to make your stomach feel full.

Other beverages should be herbal teas, vegetable juices, or coconut water.

Restricting your food consumption while improving your nutrition can lengthen your life and improve your health.

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Dr Tony Vendryes: Drink More Green Tea

(Jamaica Gleaner) Tuesday | April 12, 2016 | 12:00 AM

Green tea

Tea is the most consumed beverage in the world, besides water, and has been used by man for millennia. Medical research highlights the many health benefits of a specific tea – green tea, a drink made from the leaves of the tea plant (Camellia sinensis). The same plant that produces green-tea also makes other teas like black tea and oolong tea. But green tea is truly unique because of a special process the Chinese had developed thousands of years ago.

Scientists today continue to find more health benefits from this beverage. These had been attributed to potent antioxidants found in the tea leaves called polyphenols. These substances are also found in much smaller amounts in other beverages like cocoa and coffee.

Recently, however, researchers have identified another substance that is found exclusively in the tea plant. It is a special amino acid called theanine that accounts for the ability of tea to create relaxation while energising the drinker. Theanine is the predominant amino acid in green tea leaves and gives tea its characteristic taste while contributing many other benefits.

Theanine combats stress

When someone suggests that you have a cup of tea and relax, they are really asking you to have a cup of theanine. Green tea contains small quantities of natural caffeine, and the calming effect of the theanine balances the stimulating effects of caffeine on the nervous system. This theanine-created sense of relaxation occurs about half an hour after ingestion by two separate actions.

First, it acts on the brain to produce both relaxation and mental alertness. Second, theanine increases the levels of the brain chemicals dopamine and serotonin that produce feelings of well-being and relaxation. Theanine helps relieve stress without producing sedation or drowsiness.

Theanine promotes learning

Theanine enhances your ability to learn, remember and concentrate, a reason why monks and scholars have historically used drinking green tea as an aid to meditation and study. It particularly helps with multi-tasking, allowing you to focus better.

Researchers found that it even synergises with caffeine to boost the activity of brain cells. They found that 100 milligrams of theanine and 60 milligrams of caffeine found in about four cups of green tea enabled subjects to perform better on complicated tasks.

Theanine and cancer

A study published by Sadzuka et al in 2002 found that theanine might help cancer patients by improving the efficacy of chemotherapy. Theanine increased the concentration of anti-cancer drugs in tumours while decreasing the levels of the drugs in the healthy tissues where they are not wanted. This made the therapy work better while decreasing side effects. In addition, theanine itself also inhibited the growth of cancer cells.

In Japan, where green tea is very popular, surveys showed that regular green tea drinkers had a much lower incidence of breast, prostate, liver, pancreatic, lung, oesophageal and stomach cancers.

Blood pressure and cholesterol

Japanese researchers report that theanine lowers high blood pressure but has no effect on normal blood pressure. Studies have shown that theanine is particularly useful in ‘spontaneous hypertension’, which is high blood pressure resulting from stress, excitement, or shock. The soothing, calming effects of theanine appear to offset this dangerous condition.

Theanine was also found to reduce total cholesterol levels in humans, while preventing good cholesterol from becoming dangerous by oxidation.

Theanine improves immune function

Studies demonstrated that theanine increased the body’s immunity against colds and flu and promotes a strong immune response to infections. It also aids in preventing allergies and autoimmune diseases.

Theanine for weight loss

Green tea is well known to help with weight loss, and theanine contributes to this fat-burning effect. Research using animals found theanine lowered body weight, body fat and triglycerides (blood fat) levels. Tea contains zero calories, and helps to curb food cravings. The social habit of ‘afternoon tea’ was supposedly started by the seventh Duchess of Bedford in England to quiet her hunger pangs between lunch and dinner.

Side effects

Theanine is safe and non-toxic and drinking green tea is associated with very few side problems. Staining of the teeth is probably the commonest issue, and using a toothpaste containing bicarbonate and hydrogen peroxide can prevent this. By the way, green tea prevents bad breath (halitosis) as the polyphenols in tea inhibit bacteria in the mouth that can cause this unpleasant odour. For people who are caffeine-sensitive, you can overcome this by starting with small amounts of green tea while supplementing with magnesium and the B vitamins.

Benefit from green tea

In order to get all the benefits from green tea, one would need to drink several cups of green tea daily. Modern technology has creating a patented organic green tea concentrate in powder form. Half of a teaspoonful of the powder (herbal tea concentrate) makes a cup of tea (hot or cold) that provides the benefits of several cups of regular green tea leaves. I use this green tea concentrate myself and recommend it to all my patients. It is an ideal healthy breakfast beverage.


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Ounce of Prevention: The Yeast Syndrome by Dr Tony Vendryes


(Jamaica Gleaner) Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Mildew, mould, and mushrooms are examples of plant forms known as fungi. Yeasts are microscopic fungi, and one very common type of yeast is a germ called Candida. It normally lives on the skin, in the digestive tract and the vagina of healthy individuals without causing any apparent problem.

However, yeast can cause trouble when excessive numbers of this germ multiply in the body. As the level of Candida increases, the immune system is put under heightened stress. Under certain conditions, the organism gets out of control and invades the membranes of the mouth or vagina, involves the skin, nails and deeper tissues or even enters the bloodstream. This kind of infection is called candidiasis by doctors and is usually treated with various antifungal drugs. The problem often becomes recurrent and chronic, despite repeated treatments.

The yeast syndrome

The book, The Yeast Connection, by Dr W Crook, describes a condition which features fatigue, digestive disturbance, chronic infections, allergies, skin problems, poor concentration, depression, irritability, hormonal imbalance, recurrent vaginal, prostate or urinary symptoms and cravings for sweets or other carbohydrates. This he attributed to an overgrowth of Candida in the body and called it the yeast syndrome.

He explained that an overabundance of yeast multiplying in the intestines produces toxins that severely disturb immune system function. Because of insufficient research, conventional doctors question the existence of this syndrome. However, there is substantial practical evidence that it exists, often in association with the overuse and abuse of antibiotics. Many patients who have suffered for a long time with these symptoms get better when they follow the kind of programme outlined below.

Are you at risk?

Yeast overgrowth is most common in individuals exposed to one or more of the following conditions: A diet high in sugar and refined carbohydrates, diabetes, repeated courses of antibiotics (more than 20 weeks in your lifetime, or more than four times in one year), birth-control tablets or other hormone therapies, use of prednisone and other steroids, chronic and excessive emotional stress, any immune suppression condition. e.g., HIV infection.


Treating the Yeast Syndrome


Diet: The importance of the removal of sugar from the diet cannot be overemphasised. The yeast organism thrives and multiplies in an environment high in sugar. Many patients suffering from this problem have serious sugar and carbohydrate cravings and failure to change the diet will result in failure to recover from the problem. If you have food allergies, those foods also need to be avoided during the recovery period.

A higher-protein (mainly plant protein and fish), lower carbohydrate and healthy fat programme is ideal. Even usually healthy carbohydrates like honey, sweet fruits and fruit juices are best avoided during the recover phase. They can be slowly reintroduced in small quantities later. Eat mostly protein and vegetables initially.

Dairy products, preservatives, chemical additives and yeast containing foods should also be avoided. I recommend a programme of supplements called the Cellular Nutrition Programme to ensure optimal nutritional support.

Probiotics: Healthy bacteria are beneficial in the prevention and treatment of yeast infections. These bacteria are called probiotics and their antifungal effect makes them particularly useful in treating the yeast syndrome. The most popular of these are the Lactobacillus acidophilus bacteria. They are available as tablets that combine the healthy bacteria with fibre to restore balance in the toxic colon.

Antifungal herbs: Garlic has a direct yeast-killing effect and should be used liberally in cooking. It may also be eaten raw or used as a vaginal insert. Aloe vera, ginger, golden seal and oregano oil are other herbs with potent antifungal properties.

Immune support: A weak immune system is a major contributor to the yeast syndrome, and strengthening the immune system is a vital part of the programme. Supplementing generously with antioxidant vitamins A, C, E, selenium, the herbs rosemary and schizandra, and the omega-3 fatty acids is strongly recommended. Sometimes, very high dosages of vitamin C given intravenously by a doctor may be useful.

Getting adequate restful sleep, daily relaxation and exercise and healthy stress management is critical for the healing of a weak immune system. Avoidance of environmental pollutants, fumes and fragrances will also reduce stress on the immune system.

Antifungal drugs: Prescrip-tion antifungal medication may be very useful in severe cases but are not magic bullets. They will provide only temporary relief if the other issues discussed are not addressed. The full programme must be followed for at least 12 weeks (and often much longer) to allow the body to recover from this debilitating condition.

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