Compiling a Medical Family History

After 18 years of working as a family researcher and genealogist, I have come to realize the (pardon my pun) “grave” importance of knowing your own family history, as it relates to those who have walked before you, and how it lays a potentially life-saving foundation for generations that may follow.

A medical history provides insight into the conditions that are common amongst family members throughout your lineage. This can offer clues to your own risk of disease, or that of your primary family. Once you know what your genetics may hold, it may be possible, in some cases, to take preventative measures.

For example, if you find that a number of family members have dealt with diabetes, you might choose to see a nutritionist and get advice about lifestyle and food choices, in order to prevent early onset of such a disease. You may discover that your family line has some hereditary genetic disorders.  If so, you may wish to get some genetic testing done to see if you carry the genes connected with this particular disorder. Did you know that the tendencies to develop certain preventable health conditions ARE hereditary?  Knowing this vital medical information can be useful not only to you, but can greatly help other family members who may be called on to assist physicians in caring for your health.

The AMA (American Medical Association) recommends that you include three generations (besides yourself) in your family medical history. Include as much information as possible about your parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, cousins, nieces, nephews, children and grandchildren.

What should be included in a family medical history?

1)     Sex

2)    Date of Birth

3)    Ethnicity

4)    Medical Conditions

5)    Mental health conditions, including alcoholism or other substance abuse

6)    Pregnancy complications, miscarriage, stillbirth, birth defects or infertility

7)    Age when each condition was diagnosed

8)    Lifestyle habits, including diet, exercise and tobacco use

9)    For deceased relatives, age at the time of death and cause of death

Always pay SPECIAL ATTENTION to conditions that may have developed earlier than usual in life (such as heart disease early in life, etc), or conditions that affect multiple relatives.

So, now that you know what information to collect, and who to collect it from, how do you go about obtaining it?  Working together as a family, you may wish to kick off the project at a family holiday gathering or reunion. Always keep in mind that some relatives may be uncomfortable disclosing personal medical information out of shame, guilt or perhaps painful memories that are conjured up.

If you encounter reluctance, try some of these strategies. First, be sure so clearly explain your purpose. Make it clear you are doing this for the benefit of everyone in your family to benefit by knowing this information.  Let them know that this information will be made available to them also, to share with their doctors.  Make several ways available for sharing the information. Some might prefer to share it in a person to person meeting, while others might prefer doing it by phone or email, or simply mailing you the information.  Keep your questions short and to the point and word them carefully. And, as you collect information, always respect their right to privacy and confidentiality.

There may be other sources available for securing this information also. You might wish to go through family documents such as compiled family histories; baby books; family bibles; old letters; obituaries; or even records from employers or places of worship. (Example:  My paternal grandfather died when I was just 7 years old. I recall him mostly from old family photographs, in which he was always sitting in a wheelchair. I knew he was sick for many years, but not much more as a young child, did I recall. It wasn’t until I began researching my own family medical history, and I obtained a copy of his Railroad Retirement Board records, that I discovered he had been sick for years with tuberculosis. This was an amazing find for me as this had never been talked about when I was growing up, and I had no idea.) So past records, particularly death certificates, can give great clues to the medical state or condition of a family member who is deceased. Public records such as birth, death or marriage licenses, are usually available in county record offices.

If you are adopted, ask your adoptive parents if they received past medical information about your biological parents. The adoption agency might also have some valuable medical information on file.  If your adoption was an “open” adoption, you might be able to simply discuss these issues and the medical history with your biological parents.

Once you’ve gathered the information about your family medical history, create a diagram that visually depicts relationships – typically called a “family tree”. Try to record significant medical information about each individual you have compiled, next to that person on your tree.  Don’t worry if some information is missing, and do not guess at missing information. This could allow for a poor misinterpretation of your overall medical history in the future.

Always provide this information to your physician and give him a copy. He may go over it with you for clarification and discussion and help you determine the relevance of various patterns that emerge, including the need for intervention, screening or preventative measures. It is always a good idea to update this history every couple of years.

In conclusion, you may not feel this is of any benefit or consequence to your own personal health, but think about the potential risks and/or health consequences, you could be helping a member of a future generation prevent, by your diligent and caring efforts.

To help individuals collect and organize their family history and information on its medical conditions, the CDC’s Office of Public Health Genomics collaborated with the U.S. Surgeon General and other federal agencies to develop a Web-based tool called “My Family Health Portrait”. You may wish to check it out as a starting place for your own valuable work.





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Top 10 Food Additives to Avoid and Their Health Implications

by Laurentine ten Bosch, Producer – ‘Food Matters

Food additives have been used for centuries to enhance the appearance and flavor of food and prolong shelf life. But do these food additives really “add” any value to your food?

Food additives find their way into our foods to help ease processing, packaging and storage. But how do we know what food additives is in that box of macaroni and cheese and why does it have such a long shelf life?

A typical American household spends about 90 percent of their food budget on processed foods, and are in doing so exposed to a plethora of artificial food additives, many of which can cause dire consequences to your health.

Some food additives are worse than others. Here’s a list of the top food additives to avoid:

1. Artificial Sweeteners

Aspartame, (E951) more popularly known as Nutrasweet and Equal, is found in foods labeled “diet” or “sugar free”. Aspartame is believed to be carcinogenic and accounts for more reports of adverse reactions than all other foods and food additives combined. Aspartame is not your friend. Aspartame is a neurotoxin and carcinogen. Known to erode intelligence and affect short-term memory, the components of this toxic sweetener may lead to a wide variety of ailments including brain tumor, diseases like lymphoma, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue, emotional disorders like depression and anxiety attacks, dizziness, headaches, nausea, mental confusion, migraines and seizures. Acesulfame-K, a relatively new artificial sweetener found in baking goods, gum and gelatin, has not been thoroughly tested and has been linked to kidney tumors. Read more about the dangers of Aspartame here.

Found in: diet or sugar free sodas, diet coke, coke zero, jello (and over gelatins), desserts, sugar free gum, drink mixes, baking goods, table top sweeteners, cereal, breathmints, pudding, kool-aid, ice tea, chewable vitamins, toothpaste

2. High Fructose Corn Syrup

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a highly-refined artificial sweetener which has become the number one source of calories in America. It is found in almost all processed foods. HFCS packs on the pounds faster than any other ingredient, increases your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels, and contributes to the development of diabetes and tissue damage, among other harmful effects.

Found in: most processed foods, breads, candy, flavored yogurts, salad dressings, canned vegetables, cereals

3. Monosodium Glutamate (MSG / E621)

MSG is an amino acid used as a flavor enhancer in soups, salad dressings, chips, frozen entrees, and many restaurant foods. MSG is known as an excitotoxin, a substance which overexcites cells to the point of damage or death. Studies show that regular consumption of MSG may result in adverse side effects which include depression, disorientation, eye damage, fatigue, headaches, and obesity. MSG effects the neurological pathways of the brain and disengaged the “I’m full” function which explains the effects of weight gain.

Found in: Chinese food (Chinese Restaurant Syndrome ) many snacks, chips, cookies, seasonings, most Campbell Soup products, frozen dinners, lunch meats

4. Trans Fat

Trans fat is used to enhance and extend the shelf life of food products and is among the most dangerous substances that you can consume. Found in deep-fried fast foods and certain processed foods made with margarine or partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, trans fats are formed by a process called hydrogenation. Numerous studies show that trans fat increases LDL cholesterol levels while decreasing HDL (“good”) cholesterol, increases the risk of heart attacks, heart disease and strokes, and contributes to increased inflammation, diabetes and other health problems. Oils and fat are now forbidden on the Danish market if they contain trans fatty acids exceeding 2 per cent, a move that effectively bans partially hydrogenated oils.

Found in: margarine, chips and crackers, baked goods, fast foods

5. Common Food Dyes

Studies show that artificial colorings which are found in soda, fruit juices and salad dressings, may contribute to behavioral problems in children and lead to a significant reduction in IQ. Animal studies have linked other food colorings to cancer. Watch out for these ones:

Blue #1 and Blue #2 (E133)

Banned in Norway, Finland and France. May cause chromosomal damage

Found in: candy, cereal, soft drinks, sports drinks and pet foods

Red dye # 3 (also Red #40 – a more current dye) (E124)

Banned in 1990 after 8 years of debate from use in many foods and cosmetics. This dye continues to be on the market until supplies run out! Has been proven to cause thyroid cancer and chromosomal damage in laboratory animals, may also interfere with brain-nerve transmission

Found in: fruit cocktail, maraschino cherries, cherry pie mix, ice cream, candy, bakery products and more!

Yellow #6 (E110) and Yellow Tartrazine (E102)

Banned in Norway and Sweden. Increases the number of kidney and adrenal gland tumors in laboratory animals, may cause chromosomal damage.

Found in: American cheese, macaroni and cheese, candy and carbonated beverages, lemonade and more!

6. Sodium Sulfite (E221)

Preservative used in wine-making and other processed foods. According to the FDA, approximately one in 100 people is sensitive to sulfites in food. The majority of these individuals are asthmatic, suggesting a link between asthma and sulfites. Individuals who are sulfite sensitive may experience headaches, breathing problems, and rashes. In severe cases, sulfites can actually cause death by closing down the airway altogether, leading to cardiac arrest.

Found in: Wine and dried fruit

7. Sodium Nitrate/Sodium Nitrite

Sodium nitrate (or sodium nitrite) is used as a preservative, coloring and flavoring in bacon, ham, hot dogs, luncheon meats, corned beef, smoked fish and other processed meats. This ingredient, which sounds harmless, is actually highly carcinogenic once it enters the human digestive system. There, it forms a variety of nitrosamine compounds that enter the bloodstream and wreak havoc with a number of internal organs: the liver and pancreas in particular. Sodium nitrite is widely regarded as a toxic ingredient, and the USDA actually tried to ban this additive in the 1970’s but was vetoed by food manufacturers who complained they had no alternative for preserving packaged meat products. Why does the industry still use it? Simple: this chemical just happens to turn meats bright red. It’s actually a color fixer, and it makes old, dead meats appear fresh and vibrant.

Found in: hotdogs, bacon, ham, luncheon meat, cured meats, corned beef, smoked fish or any other type of processed meat

8. BHA and BHT (E320)

Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydrozyttoluene (BHT) are preservatives found in cereals, chewing gum, potato chips, and vegetable oils. This common preservative keeps foods from changing color, changing flavor or becoming rancid. Effects the neurological system of the brain, alters behavior and has potential to cause cancer. BHA and BHT are oxidants which form cancer-causing reactive compounds in your body.

Found in: Potato chips, gum, cereal, frozen sausages, enriched rice, lard, shortening, candy, jello

9. Sulfur Dioxide (E220)

Sulfur additives are toxic and in the United States of America, the Federal Drugs Administration have prohibited their use on raw fruit and vegetables. Adverse reactions include: bronchial problems particularly in those prone to asthma, hypotension (low blood pressure), flushing tingling sensations or anaphylactic shock. It also destroys vitamins B1 and E. Not recommended for consumption by children. The International Labour Organization says to avoid E220 if you suffer from conjunctivitis, bronchitis, emphysema, bronchial asthma, or cardiovascular disease.

Found in: beer, soft drinks, dried fruit, juices, cordials, wine, vinegar, and potato products.

10. Potassium Bromate

An additive used to increase volume in some white flour, breads, and rolls, potassium bromate is known to cause cancer in animals. Even small amounts in bread can create problems for humans.

Found in: breads

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Barley Beta-Glucan Shows Potential Prebiotic Activity

Beta-glucan from barley may boost levels of beneficial bacteria in the gut, particularly in people over 50, according to a new study from Greece.

Daily intake of 0.75 grams significantly increased levels of bifidobacteria, suggesting prebiotic potential but only in people over the age of 50, according to findings published in Food Research International.

The study, led by Adamantini Kyriacou from Karokopia University in Athens, is said to be the first report of a potential prebiotic effect of beta-glucan in vivo.

Prebiotics are defined as “non-digestible (by the host) food ingredients that have a beneficial effect through their selective metabolism in the intestinal tract.”

The study looked at beta-glucan from barley. The Greek scientists recruited 52 healthy people aged between 39 and 70 and randomly assigned them to receive a cake containing either 0.75 grams of barley beta-glucan or no additional beta-glucan for 30 days.

At the end of the study, results showed that a strong bifidogenic effect was observed in the volunteers over the age of 50. Kyriacou and his co-workers also noted a “concurrent significant increase in bacterioides” in these people. A trend for a beneficial effect on lactobacillus levels was also recorded, but these did not reach a level of statistical significance, said the researchers.

“Data demonstrated a possible prebiotic role of barley beta-glucan supplementation especially in older subjects. Moreover, in this age group, ingestion of experimental foodstuff was well-tolerated, with no severe gastrointestinal side effects,” wrote the researchers.

“Further research is crucial for the elucidation of dose-response in vivo effects of barley beta-glucan on human microbiota and the potential food-processing-related changes in its prebiotic functionality,” they concluded.

Food Research International 43(4):1086-1092, 2010

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AIM BarleyLife offers not only beta-glucan, but the widest spectrum of dense nutrition available from a single green plant source. Read the datasheet for more information or order TODAY!
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Shrinking Brains and ‘Silent Strokes’ Studied

December 30th, 2011

New findings in Alzheimer’s disease support longstanding notions of what doctors have preached for years. The studies look at associations, not causes, but they further scientists’ pursuit of preventing the fatal brain disease.

It’s no secret that a healthy diet high in omega-3 fatty acids and rich in vitamins found in fruits and vegetables is good for your overall health and longevity.

In a study released this week in the journal Neurology, scientists associate these fish-rich diets and foods with high levels of vitamins B, C, D, and E nutrients with increased cognitive performance and decreased risk of Alzheimer’s disease, or “brain shrinkage.”

People who consume diets high in trans fats, primarily found in fast foods, fried and frozen foods, were more likely to have brain shrinkage and lower scores on the thinking and memory tests than people with diets low in trans fats, the study found.

This is the first study using nutrient biomarkers in the blood to look at the effect of diet on memory, thinking skills and brain volume, researchers said. Similar diet studies in the past primarily depended on participants’ memory recall and questionnaires.

“These results need to be confirmed, but obviously it is very exciting to think that people could potentially stop their brains from shrinking and keep them sharp by adjusting their diet,” said study author Gene Bowman, assistant professor of neurology at the Oregon Health and Science University, in a news release from the American Academy of Neurology.

Researchers say diet is just one of many factors that must be taken into consideration when talking about memory loss. People have different genetic tendencies for disease risk, therefore more multigenerational and multicultural studies need to be conducted.

“The assumption is that when you lead a healthy lifestyle, which includes proper nutrition, exercise, and social engagement, you’re maximizing your chance of reduced cardiovascular risk factors, which then maximize your opportunities for delaying Alzheimer’s or dementia,” said Maria Carrillo, senior director of medical and scientific relations at the Alzheimer’s Association.

“Whether that translates into delaying Alzheimer’s, we actually don’t know,” added Carrillo.

In a different study, supported by the National Institutes of Health, new research links “silent strokes,” or small spots of dead brain cells, to memory loss in the elderly.

The study found silent strokes in roughly one out of four older adults. The affected adults scored somewhat worse on memory tests than those without silent strokes.

Researchers found this was true whether or not people had a small hippocampus, which is the main memory center of the brain.

“Given that conditions like Alzheimer’s disease are defined mainly by memory problems, our results may lead to further insight into what causes symptoms and the development of new interventions for prevention,” study author Adam M. Brickman said in a statement. Brickman works for the Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer’s Disease and the Aging Brain at Columbia University Medical Center in New York.

Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. It is the only cause of death in the top 10 in America without a way to prevent, cure, or even slow its progression.

“Since silent strokes and the volume of the hippocampus appeared to be associated with memory loss separately in our study, our results also support stroke prevention as a means for staving off memory problems,” said Brickman.

The study will be published in the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology next week.

CNN’s Azadeh Ansari wrote this article as part of the MetLife Foundation Journalists in Aging Fellowship, a project of New America Media and the Gerontological Society of America.

  Post by: Azadeh Ansari – CNN


NOTE:  AIM BarleyLife and AIMega can enhance your  health balance by providing the vitamins and omegas necessary for well rounded, and cell-utilized nutrition. The Omega 3, 6 and 9’s in AIMega are provided by healthy flaxseed oils and not potentially dangerous fish oils.

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AIM Peak Endurance – Lighting the fire within

From: AIM Article Archives

March 2007

AIM Peak Endurance®, which has been very popular since the 14-ounce canisters were officially introduced in January, is now available in single servings in a 30-count package. The single servings contain the exact same ingredients as the canister with the added convenience of portability. The recommended serving size is two of the packets per day so put a couple in your pocket or in a purse in the morning and you are ready for the day ahead.

Mountain climber Martin Benning, an AIM-sponsored athlete, will not hit the mountain without his AIM products – AIM BarleyLife®, AIM Herbal Fiberblend®, AIM CellSparc 360®, AIM GinkgoSense™, AIMega®, and now – AIM Peak Endurance®. “Whether I am climbing at high altitudes or training at sea level, AIM Peak Endurance® is a key element in my success at 14,411 feet. Roughly one-half the elevation of Mt. Everest, Mt. Rainier (in Washington state) is the fifth highest peak in the continental United States. On two separate training climbs – one with AIM products and one without – I was able to see measurable differences in both my SpO2 saturation, which is the amount of oxygen absorbed in the blood, and in overall performance. Using a combination of AIM products including AIM Peak Endurance®, I was able to measure a 3 percent increase in the blood oxygen saturation at the summit, a more efficient heart rate, and an overall increase in energy,” says Benning.

“AIM Peak Endurance® elevates the adenosine triphosphate (ATP) levels in the blood, cells, and tissue. ATP is at the core of human energy and is critical for every function in our cells. AIM Peak Endurance® also enhances the delivery of glucose, nutrients, electrolytes, B vitamins, and oxygen, which I need to perform. Typical energy drinks are loaded with sugar and unnecessary calories. AIM Peak Endurance® provides the ATP, complex carbohydrates, potassium, magnesium, and B vitamins with almost none of the sugar,” concludes Benning.

Benning obviously is a fan of AIM Peak Endurance® because of the boost it gives him as an athlete. The key ingredient in the product is ATP, the energizer for the cells. Think of AIM BarleyLife® as the wood in a fire and AIM Peak Endurance® as the igniter. ATP begins diminishing at age 30 and by the time a person reaches age 70, the body is producing one-half of what it did at the younger age. AIM Peak Endurance® replaces the ATP lost through age, stress, daily life, and exercise.

While ATP is the major component of the product, AIM Peak Endurance® is a unique combination that does a body a whole lot of good – Peak ATP®, B vitamins, electrolytes, vitamin C, and phosphorus. All of them contribute mightily to the health and wellness as measured by the percentage of Daily Value (DV) in a 2,000-calorie diet.

ATP: It is the primary source of energy for every function that occurs within each cell of the body. When ATP is depleted, cells cease to function properly. Without ATP, says researcher Dr. Eliezer Rapaport, there is no life. ATP increases energy levels without boosting the heart rate, contrary to what occurs with caffeine, ginseng, or ephedra.

B vitamins: These vitamins are necessary for deriving energy from carbohydrates and for building muscle. Each of the vitamins – B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and B12 – in the two recommended daily servings of AIM Peak Endurance® supplies 100 percent of the DV.

: The AIM product contains five electrolytes. Most sports drinks, by comparison, contain only three and are loaded with sugar, normally 10-35 grams. AIM Peak Endurance® has only a single gram of sugar. Electrolytes conduct electrical currents, or nerve impulses, in our body. They are reduced through exercise and sweat. The electrolytes and their DV per two servings: Calcium, 20 percent; sodium 18 percent; magnesium, 12 percent; chloride, 12 percent; and potassium, 6 percent.

Vitamin C
: Two servings of AIM Peak Endurance® supplies 100 percent of the DV. Vitamin C, the sunshine vitamin, helps maintain connective tissue, collagen, and bone health. It aids in healing wounds, supports the immune system, counters free radicals, recycles the body’s vitamin E, and can reduce allergy symptoms.

: The DV is 40 percent with two servings. Often referred to as the forgotten but necessary nutrient, it is essential for growth, maintenance, and repair of body tissue. It also plays a role in the proper growth of bones. The body uses phosphorus in protein synthesis, carbohydrate metabolism, enzyme activation, and as a component of nucleotides and nucleic acids (DNA and RNA).
AIM Peak Endurance® is one great product, whatever your need. As an athlete or someone who enjoys being physically active, it functions as an immediate and effective energy booster during exercise (rapid absorption or isotonic) or as a replenisher (re-hydration or hypotonic) after exercise. For AIM Members 30 years and older, the product’s ATP content serves as a replacement for the ATP lost as a normal outcome of aging. What your body loses daily, AIM Peak Endurance® replaces with the ease of two servings per day.

A common question with all the variety and applications of the AIM products is if AIM Peak Endurance® can be taken with other AIM products. The short answer is yes. Because of the product’s ability to enhance blood flow, it is logical to conclude that it will help distribute other AIM products throughout the body. However, in the case of AIM BarleyLife® products, combining the two products could result in the loss of some of the enzymatic benefits of the barley powder. It is recommended that AIM Peak Endurance® and AIM BarleyLife® servings be taken one hour apart.

How a product or the ingredients in a product impact a person varies. Judy Taylor is the wife of Dave Taylor, AIM’s vice president of finance and international operations. Judy was involved in an auto accident several years ago resulting in her having to leave her job due to the pain. She tried everything, but nothing worked as promised or hoped. Then along came AIM Peak Endurance®. She is now back at work, and her quality of life has been restored.

Says Judy: “Ten years ago I developed fibromyalgia as a result of a severe whiplash injury. Being both a type A personality and a registered nurse, I had every confidence that I could quickly overcome this challenge. My arrogance quickly evaporated in the face of chronic pain and fatigue, when limited to no treatment options. Despite my strong will, and a fabulous team of my medical doctor, my chiropractor, my acupuncturist, my Chinese herbalist, my massage therapist, and my loving family, I never got significantly better.

“This background explains why I view AIM Peak Endurance® as my own personal miracle! Within days of taking the product twice a day, I had a vast decrease in the amount of my daily pain. I still have challenges related to my fibromyalgia, as it is a multi-faceted disease, but with my pain under control, everything else seems easy. In my case, the cost of the product is more than paid for in real dollars by the decrease in visits to both my chiropractor and massage therapist. In ‘soft’ dollars, the increase in my quality of life is beyond value. Thank you AIM for your investment in bringing this product to market.”

All articles and information are for educational purposes only. They are  not to be regarded or relied upon as medical advice.  The articles and  information have not been evaluated by the FDA. AIM products are not intended to cure, treat, heal, mitigate, or prevent a disease or illness. Results may vary per person. Consult your  health practitioner if you have health problems.

Copyright © AIM International, Inc. Used with permission


Could parasites be making you fat and feeling tired?

From: AIM Article Archives, Jan 2007


     Recently one of our employees at AIM’s US corporate office brought in a women’s magazine with an article about how parasites can make you fat. She had looked up the cost to order the suggested program and shared the cost with us. I told her that in AIM’ s product line, there are products that are very effective at removing parasites for a fraction of the cost of the program that was offered in the article, and left it at that.
     Although we don’t think of ourselves as parasite hosts, millions of North Americans are infected with some kind of parasite. There are more than 130 different species of parasites that can be lurking in our food, water, air, and soil.
     Most of us don’t see how we could have parasites but they can reach us from the foods we eat, through water systems, daycare centers, pets, farm animals, and each other.
      Many of us do not recognize the signs and symptoms of a parasite infestation because they can occur weeks or even years after the initial contact, and because a parasitic infestation often mimics other similar conditions. You may be part of the parasite epidemic if:
      • Constipation, diarrhea, gas, and bloating come and go for no apparent reason.
      • You have developed allergic-like reactions and don’t know why.
      • You cannot gain or lose weight no matter what you do.
      • You feel tired, anxious, and depressed and don’t know why.
      • You have joint or muscle pain and don’t know why.
      • You have immune dysfunction, including reoccurring yeast infections and colds.
      • You have trouble sleeping and grind your teeth. 

 To have the best results, avoid simple carbohydrates such as white flour and sugar during this 30-90 day cleansing period. Plan your meals around fresh fruits, raw and steamed vegetables, high-fiber grain products, cultured dairy products, and good sources of protein.
      Most importantly, you must drink 8-10 glasses of water daily. Squeezing the juice from a fresh lemon in a few of your waters is refreshing and has added benefits.
      AIM BarleyLife® helps maintain a healthy immune system. It contains vitamins, minerals, amino acids, protein, enzymes,  phytochemicals  and chlorophyll to help maintain whole body health.
      AIM Herbal Fiberblend® contains herbs that are known to have anti-parasitical properties. Fiber can greatly improve the effectiveness of a parasite treatment plan since it helps remove the pest’s eggs from the body before they can colonize.

      AIM Para 90® combines several time-tested herbs with cleansing properties plus bromelain, a digestive enzyme to provide a very effective anti-parasitic formula. (No Canadian rights.)

AIM FloraFood® contains friendly bacteria that helps balance intestinal pH and restore and promote healthy and beneficial flora, contribute to the destruction of mold, viruses, and parasites, and alleviate gas.

AIM Composure® (optional) helps to calm the body, including the digestive system. (Canada has a different formula.) 

     • Pumpkin seeds – Found in AIM Herbal Fiberblend®.
     • Garlic – Found in AIM Bear Paw Garlic® and AIM PrepZymes®. Garlic contains Allicin, a natural sulfur compound that kills GI tract invaders.
     • Citrus – Found in AIM BarleyLife® Xtra.
     • Carrots – AIM Just Carrots® contains immune-boosting carotenoids that can boost the activity of parasite-fighting white blood cells. One half-pound of carrots is equal to one tablespoon of AIM Just Carrots®.
NOTE: Consult a health practitioner if you have ulcers, colitis, have had a colostomy, or have severe health problems before using AIM’s Para 90®. Not all AIM products recommended are available in all countries. For more detailed information on these or any AIM products, please see individual product data sheets and AIM’s detoxification data sheet. 

All articles and information are for educational purposes only. They are  not to be regarded or relied upon as medical advice.  The articles and  information have not been evaluated by the FDA. AIM products are not intended to cure, treat, heal, mitigate, or prevent a disease or illness. Results may vary per person. Consult your  health practitioner if you have health problems.

Copyright © AIM International, Inc. Used with permission


Natural Supplements to help Irritable Bowel Syndrome

From: AIM Article Archives

February 2011

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is the most common digestive disorder seen by physicians.  For reasons unknown, IBS is most common in women between the ages of twenty and thirty, and it occurs five to six times more often among people of Jewish ancestry than among people of other ethnic backgrounds.  This disorder is also sometimes called intestinal neurosis, mucous colitis, spastic colitis, or spastic colon.

In IBS, the normally rhythmic muscular contractions of the digestive tract become irregular and uncoordinated.  This interferes with the normal movement of food and waste material, and leads to the accumulation of mucus and toxins in the intestine.  This accumulated material sets up a partial obstruction of the digestive tract, trapping gas and stools, which in turn causes bloating, distention, and constipation.  IBS may affect the entire gastrointestinal tract, from the mouth through the colon.

Symptoms of IBS may include diarrhea alternating with constipation, lasting for six months or more; intermittent abdominal tenderness; bloating and abdominal distention; gas; nausea and vomiting; and loss of appetite, anorexia, and intolerances to certain foods.  Pain is often triggered by eating, and may be relieved by a bowel movement.  Because of the pain, diarrhea, nausea, and sometimes severe headaches and even vomiting, a person with IBS may dread eating.  Whether or not an individual with IBS eats normally, malnutrition may result, as nutrients often are not absorbed properly.  As a result, people with IBS require as much as 30% more protein than normal, as well as an increased intake of minerals and trace elements, which can quickly be depleted by diarrhea.  Although the physical cause of IBS is not known, predisposing factors may include a low-fiber diet, emotional stress, and the use of laxatives.  People with IBS are often “bowel conscious” – they are more sensitive than other people to motion and sensations within the digestive tract.

Many other diseases can be related to IBS, including candidiasis, colon cancer, diabetes mellitus, gallbladder disease, malabsorption disorders, pancreatic insufficiency, ulcers, and the parasitic infections amebiasis and giardiasis.  Over 100 different disorders may be linked to the systemic effects of IBS.  Diagnosis of IBS requires ruling out disorders that can cause similar symptoms, such as Crohn’s disease, diverticulitis, lactose intolerance, and ulcerative colitis.  A physician may recommend one or more of a variety of procedures to do this, including barium enema, colonoscopy, and rectal biopsy, sigmoidoscopy, and stool examination to check for the presence of bacteria, blood, and/or parasites.

IBS is painful, but not serious and most people who have it can lead active, productive lives if they change their diets, get regular exercise, and replace needed nutrients.


  • Eat a high-fiber diet including plenty of fruits and vegetables, plus whole grains (especially brown rice) and legumes.
  • Use supplemental fiber (Herbal Fiberblend!)  Psyllium powder regulates bowel movements and should be used daily.  Also use oat bran and ground flaxseeds daily, on an alternating basis.
  • Avoid animal fats, butter, all carbonated beverages, coffee and all other substances containing caffeine, candy, chocolate, all dairy products, fried foods, ice cream, all junk foods, the additives mannitol and sorbitol, margarine, nuts, orange & grapefruit juices, pastries, all processed foods, seeds, spicy foods, sugar, sugar-free chewing gum, and wheat bran and wheat products.  These foods encourage the secretion of mucus by the membranes and prevent the uptake of nutrients.
  • Avoid alcohol and tobacco; these irritate the linings of the stomach and colon.
  • When an intestinal upset occurs, switch to a bland diet.  Put vegetables and non-acidic fruits through a food processor or blender.  If you are on a soft diet, take come type of fiber and a protein supplement.  (Herbal Fiberblend & Pro Peas)
  • For excessive gas and bloating that lingers, take some Florafood – this will replace the “friendly” bacteria very quickly and resolve the problem.  Exercise, such as stretching exercises, swimming, or walking, is also important.
  • Check to see if you have food allergies; they are important factors in this disorder.  Eliminating allergenic foods from the diet relieves symptoms in many cases.
  • Chew your food well.  Do not overeat or eat in a hurry.
  • Practice deep breathing exercises.  Shallow breathing reduces the oxygen available for proper bowel function.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing.  Do not wear anything that is tight around the waist.
  • Do not eat right before going to bed.  Wait one or two hours after eating before lying down.
  • Test your pH as significant acidosis may occur with IBS.  You can buy AIM’s pH Tester and test your urine first thing in the morning.  If you are very acidic, increase your alkaline forming foods in your diet until balance is restored (BarleyLife/ Garden Trio).



  • Eating the correct diet, using supplemental fiber, and drinking plenty of quality water are very important in controlling IBS.  Early recognition of the disease, good nutrition, and a positive outlook help minimize complications.
  • Certain foods irritate the wall of the intestinal tract.  Lactose (milk sugar) is a common culprit, as are all dairy products.
  • IBS should not be confused with the more serious bowel disorders, such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.  These are also inflammatory bowel diseases but, unlike IBS, they result in demonstrable lesions in the digestive tract.  Crohn’s disease affects the entire length and thickness of the wall of the large and/or small intestine; ulcerative colitis affects the lining of the large intestine, the last five to seven feet of the digestive tract.
  • People with IBS should receive regular physical examinations.  This disorder has been linked to a higher than normal incidence of colon cancer and diverticulitis.
  • If IBS causes chronic diarrhea, electrolyte and trace mineral deficiencies are likely (Peak Endurance to the rescue!)
  • Certain drugs can aggravate the malabsorption problems often present with IBS.  These include antibiotics, corticosteroids, cholestyramine, and sulfasalazine, among others.  These drugs increase the need for nutritional supplements.
  • Research and testing have found not only that breathing exercises can control IBS, but that people who practice stress management have fewer and less severe attacks.  Stress management also relieves symptoms.  (Composure for stress – very important in IBS patients!)
  • The symptoms of IBS are similar to those of many other disorders, including cancer.  If dietary modification and natural remedies yield no relief, it is wise to consult a physician to rule out some other underlying problem. 


  1. Herbal Fiberblend – use as prescribed, for every year struggling with digestive trouble, stay on HFB for a month, e.g. 10 years trouble, at least 10 – 12 months consistently every day!
  2. Composure – excellent supplement to help with stress management, as well as that the herbs are feeding/aiding the adrenal glands.  To be taken daily, whether client thinks they need it or not; consistent use will aid greatly in general wellbeing & managing of daily stress.
  3. Florafood – you cannot be without this product.  The bacteria balance in the colon & digestive tract is directly responsible for your health.  Please take 1-2 capsules daily.  If a severe attack is experienced, up your intake of Florafood to 6 a day until relief is experienced for 5 days, before cutting back down to a daily maintenance dosage.
  4. BarleyLife & LeafGreens – this is foundational food for your body, especially when you are battling with IBS.  The LeafGreens is high in protein, and your body struggles with protein absorption when you have IBS.  The BarleyLife & LeafGreens are high in all the minerals & vitamins, your body will be fed at cellular level & best of all, it gives your digestive system a rest from digestion!!  Win-Win all the way!!!!
  5. ProPeas – a most wonderful vegetable protein supplement.  Use as suggested on the container.  Helps assist the body with protein absorption as well.
  6. Cell Wellness Restorer – a daily soak in the bathtub with this product is just what the doctor should order.  It replaces the magnesium through your skin, helps you to relax, and aids in a good night’s rest.  When you are struggling with IBS, you are always tense, waiting for the next painful spasm.  CWR is a wonderful aid to help relax, so that when you sleep, the body can recover, restore, & rejuvenate properly.

Once the IBS is under control, I would strongly suggest the client do a parasite-cleanse, using AIM’s Para90.  Parasites are dangerous, and they cause more harm than most in the medical fraternity acknowledge.  You have nothing to loose, just parasites!!  I would also recommend a course of Herbal Release to aid the lymph in cleansing the blood, thereby assisting the liver, which will in turn assist the digestive system to get healthy & strong. 

Get your digestive system strong, clean, & healthy, and you will experience abundant life on a whole new level.

Ananda Russ, Royal Emerald Director


Greens and their Role in Cancer Prevention

FROM:  AIM Article Archive, April 2011

 By Lezaan Vermeulen – AIM Nutritionist

 Cancer, the malignant growth or tumor that results from uncontrolled and abnormal cell division, ranks just below cardiovascular disease in the United States as a leading cause of death. Today cancers prognosis is far brighter than it has been in the past and the identification of the risk factors, innovative therapies and new detection techniques offer people encouragement and hope.

According to the American Dietetic Association, a review published Journal refers to the types of fruit or vegetables that largely often appear to be protective against cancer are raw vegetables, followed by green vegetables, cruciferous vegetables, allium vegetables, carrots, and tomatoes.

How leafy green vegetables might prevent cancer

One reason why the debate among scientists about vegetables and cancer risk continues: no means of explaining possible cancer prevention has yet been found.  One study showed that people who added more leafy green vegetables to their diet have a lesser amount of risky DNA and when DNA is less risky it has less methylation in certain genes. The proposed model works in the following way:

·        More vegetables → Less DNA Methylation → Lower Risk of Lung Cancer

According to studies an opposite model can also be expressed

  • Less Vegetables → More DNA Methylation → Higher Risk of Lung Cancer

The significance of methylation

 The addition of a simple four atom molecule to a substance is known to be methylation, and in this case it would be a gene in a person’s DNA.  Thus a gene changes how it works when it is methylated; therefore an association occurs between “higher” methylation and an increased risk of cancer.  It appears that the methylation interferes with the control of normal cell division, hence allowing some cells to grow wildly and the result is cancer. 

Potentially reduced lung cancer risk

In a study which used over 1,000 subjects and sputum was coughed up from deep inside their lungs, these samples contained a number of lung tissue cells.  In eight key genes the lung cells were analyzed for methylation, specific genes were selected since they were known to have been associated with the risk of cancer. Smokers and ex-smokers were chosen as subjects because they are of higher risk of lung cancer.  Researchers specifically looked at the subjects’ diets; they found that those who ate more leafy green vegetables were at a lower risk of developing cancer.  It also showed that the risk decrease in subjects who took multivitamins.

Vegetables may be epigenetic

 According to experts they believe there are two major causes of cancer.  Firstly genetic, which is a change in one or more genes in the DNA; this usually occurs through damage or mutation.  Secondly epigenetic, this refers to a factor outside the genes that changes the normal control of a gene or genes, therefore making them function differently.

A well known substance in vegetables, a photochemical, might be epigenetic.  Epigenetic changes are gradual, accumulation may occur until there are sufficient changes to overcome the normal control mechanisms of the cells.  It might be possible to stop these changes before it reaches the dangerous stage, when caught in time.

The vegetable – cancer controversy

 While studies have shown that an association exists between vegetable consumption and less cancer risk, others have not.  The famous ATBC study, showed an elevation in lung cancer risk in smokers who consumed supplementation of beta-carotene (a form of vitamin A).

More than 29,000 male smokers participated in this clinical trial; they were randomly assigned to take supplementation of beta carotene, vitamin E, both or the placebo.  ATBC researchers reported that after the average follow-up period of six years, the

participants who took the supplements had a 16 percent higher incidence of lung cancer than among those who took a placebo.  The death rate from all the causes was 8 percent higher in those participants who received beta-carotene supplementation.

Phytochemicals do prevent against cancer (in this case in non-smokers), but like the ATBC study it clearly shows that individuals who smokes does not really make a big difference in prevention but definitely in progression.

Phytochemicals and cancer prevention. What are phytochemicals (also known as phytonutrients)?

Phytochemicals are found in plants and acts as a chemical defense, protecting plants against bacteria, fungi and viruses.  The consumption of large amounts of brightly colour fruits and vegetables (blue, green, orange, purple, red, yellow and white), beans, and whole grains/cereals, containing phytochemicals could reduce the developing of diabetes, certain cancers, heart disease and hypertension.  The function of phytochemicals varies by the type and colour of the fruit and vegetables, while they also function as nutrient protectors or antioxidants, preventing the formation of carcinogens (cancer causing agents).

A phytochemical – indoles-, are found in broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, mustard greens, etc. (also known as cruciferous vegetables).  They contain active agents and sulphur that destroys cancer-causing chemicals.  Indoles could stimulate enzymes in women that produce estrogen not that effective and detoxify toxins in food, therefore protecting against the development of breast cancer.

Lignans are found in fatty fish, flaxseed, walnuts and whole grain products. It is suggested that they also block hormones that can cause the spreading of cancer, such as prostaglandins and estrogen.  Parsley contains polyacetylene which destroys a powerful cancer-causer benzopyrene.  Rosemary, a well known herb, is graced with quinines, a biological antioxidant that is non-enzymatic and is reported to obstruct carcinogens and co-carcinogens.  Sterols are found in the skin of a cucumber and is said to lower cholesterol and in licorice, triterpenoids slows the growth of fast growing cells, such as cancer cells.

Lutein is found in leafy green vegetables.  Cataracts and macular degeneration might be prevented by lutein, as well as breast cancer and reducing the risk of heart disease.  Research showed that lutein also helps in the prevention of colon and skin cancer.

A number of 83,234 healthy women participated in a long-term study and evaluated the association between carotenoid intake and breast cancer.  The intake of food and supplements containing lutein and zeaxanthin might reduce the risk of breast cancer in premenopausal women, according to researchers.  A strong association occurred among women with a higher risk of breast cancer, as established by a family history of the disease, as well as through vegetable consumption (drinking at least one alcoholic beverage per day).  Another study of 540 women indicated that an increased risk of breast cancer was found in women with very low intakes of lutein, due to the lack of supplementation or a poor diet.

The most dangerous type of skin cancer is known as malignant melanoma, and there is a rapid increase in its prevalence.  Sun exposure and having a fair complexion that burns easily is a crucial risk factor.  According to one of the largest case-controlled studies, an association was reported between diet and melanoma and found that a high intake of fruit and vegetables (containing lutein), reduces the risk of melanoma drastically.  There is also believed that xanthopyll carotenoid protects the skin against sun damage through the prevention of melanoma.  Xanthophylls provides protection on tissue level, rather than plasma level, hence eating lutein-containing foods wont necessarily be protective on the day of sun exposure, but daily consumption of lutein rich foods will be beneficial.

  • In artichokes and green tea polyphenob are found, this phytochemical may also offer some protection from cancer.  Data from Case Western Reserve University suggests that green tea contains an important chemopreventive effect against all of the stages of carcinogenesis; and it also may be helpful against inflammatory reactions that are associated with exposure to solar radiation and chemical tumour-promoters.

Dark green leafy vegetables are listed under the “Foods that fight cancer” in accordance with The American Institute for cancer research:

Chicory, collard greens, mustard greens, kale, leaf lettuce, romaine lettuce, spinach and Swiss chard are great sources of folate, fibre and carotenoids such as flavonoids and saponins, as well as lutein and zeaxanthin.

According to AICR’s second expert report Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: carotenoids found in food possibly protects against the risk of cancer of the mouth, larynx and pharynx.

Researchers found that carotenoids found in food seem to prevent cancer by functioning as antioxidants, basically scouring possibly dangerous free radicals from the body before they cause any harmful effects.  Laboratory research discovered that carotenoids in dark leafy green vegetables can decrease the growth of certain types of cancer cells, including those in the breast, lung, skin and stomach. 

Foods containing folate, according to The Second Expert Report, noted that it lowers the risk of pancreatic cancer and foods rich in dietary fibre most likely decreases the risk of developing colorectal cancer. 

Much research has been done on fruits and vegetables (especially leafy green vegetables) containing vitamins, provitamins, dietary minerals, fibre and a variety of phytochemicals, which have been claimed to have antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, antioxidant and anticarcinogenic properties etc.  Research has shown that all of these significant factors play an important role in cancer prevention, decreasing the risk in developing cancer.

By eating many fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes and also reducing the intake of saturated and trans fats, people obtain the best possible nutrition at the smallest possible risk.  Maintaining a healthy weight through regular physical activity and a healthy diet is also beneficial.

Fix your diet first, then take supplements

AIM offers products such as AIM BarleyLife and LeafGreens that are rich in amino acids, antioxidants, vitamins, chlorophyll, folic acid, live enzymes, containing minimal fibre as well.  When your diet does not meet all the daily needs for a healthy functioning body, these products can be considered to achieve whole body health.  AIM BarleyLife and LeafGreens could be taken at the same time; these two products are complementary and will ensure that your daily needs are met.  Just remember to eat vegetables every day as well.



 It is no surprising if you have high cholesterol levels in the blood. It could happen even with the people with good health. However, in case of the high cholesterol levels, it is good to take come corrective steps to thwart the problem. You need to take some important herbs for the management of cholesterol.

To manage your cholesterol with the help of some herbs or medications with zero side effects is called the cholesterol management. It is good to follow the cholesterol management pattern in an appropriate manner. This will give you freedom from various heart ailments. It is therefore advised to eat the low fat diets irrespective of them containing the saturated fat or the total fat.

The cholesterol management can be done with the help of the herb called the garlic bulb. The garlic has the tremendous healing properties and is used to treat a host of diseases. The garlic has a high content of the organosulphur substances which are also found in the cauliflower, onion and broccoli. The sulfur concentration in garlic is four times higher than other vegetables. This sulfur lowers the serum cholesterol levels or the LDL and increases the HDL or the good cholesterol.

The sulfur has the property to reduce the effect of clots in the vascular system thus reducing the formation of plaques in blood vessels and the arteries. This leads to the prevention of cardiac arrests or strokes. The other prime advantage of the garlic is that it provides an effective and healthy blood circulation. Among other herbs one needs to eat to reduce the levels of cholesterol, is the alpha herb.

According to the research, the Saponons in the alfalfa seeds reduce the plaque formation. These seeds attack the LDL cholesterol levels and remove it from the blood and mingle them with the HDL. This is a good development for the human body as far as the cholesterol levels are concerned.


The third one is the capsicum fruit which is very beneficial to reduce the LDL levels.  



 According to the National Cholesterol Education Program, about 25 percent of the U.S. population has mild hypercholestrolemia, or elevated LDL levels. LDL cholesterol, or low-density lipoprotein, is also known as the bad cholesterol in our bodies. LDL cholesterol promotes the formation of atherosclerotic plaque within artery walls, giving rise to cardiovascular disease. Thirty percent of cholesterol comes from what we eat; the body manufactures the other 70 percent. Dietary factors that help to reduce LDL cholesterol include foods low in cholesterol and low in saturated and trans fats, and foods high in soluble fiber, soy protein, omega-3 fatty acids and plant sterols.

Ground Flax

Flax is a source of many nutrients, including fiber and omega-3 fats. Alpha-linolenic acid, the omega-3 fat in flax, and the soluble fiber content both help to lower cholesterol levels. Flaxseeds come in brown and golden varieties, and are equally nutritious. Occasionally, brown flaxseeds contain a slightly higher omega-3 content. When you eat whole flaxseeds, you obtain only the insoluble fiber benefit from the seed. Therefore, you should consume ground flaxseeds, so that you can benefit from both the soluble fiber and the fatty acid content and hence the cholesterol-lowering capabilities.

Heart-Healthy Oils

Nonhydrogenated margarine, i.e. soft margarine, is the best spread for lowering LDL levels. Margarine made from olive, canola, soybean or flaxseed are the best choices due to the higher content of omega-3 fat. Margarines fortified with plant sterols are even a notch better. According to Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, plant sterols can help reduce LDL cholesterol by as much as 10 percent when consumed in small amounts daily as part of a nutritious diet. Try 2 tsp. of plant sterol margarines such as Becel Pro.activ to help reduce cholesterol by 40 percent. To add even more omega-3 to your diet, eat nuts and fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring, char and trout more often.


Legumes include beans, peas, nuts and lentils and are full of soluble fiber. Dietitians of Canada state that intakes of 7 to 10 g of soluble fiber daily can lower LDL cholesterol by about 7 percent. Pinto beans and green peas each contain 2 g of soluble fiber in a half cup cooked serving.