Good Nutrition Starts at a Cellular Level

If the cells lose even the smallest amount of ability to produce energy for the body, the result is a decline in our general health and the emergence of sometime multiple degenerative conditions.Healthy cells produce our “vitality” – the body’s healthy energy level and natural resistance to stress.The big question becomes, how do we make sure our cells are working at full throttle on the energy front? Fortunately, maintaining healthy cells is fairly simple as scientific research shows that good nutrition is the key.Cells and energyWhat we eat can affect our cells and their efficiency in producing energy. The mitochondria or the “power plants” of the cell each contains a unique pattern of DNA, and their job is to facilitate cellular respiration, a process through which they transform oxygen and nutrients into energy and water.The finger-like folds in the mitochondrial inner membrane contain the respiratory “chains” where this process takes place.Unfortunately, oxygen, which is needed for this process to occur, is toxic to biological molecules and cells. That means that all processes involving oxygen, including cellular respiration, creates free radicals as a by-product.It’s just a consequence of normal metabolism, but these free radicals tend to oxidize biological molecules, just like iron oxidizes when it rusts. Over time, this oxidation can damage the cells, and halt cellular respiration, leading to the death of the cell.The body’s defense against this toxicity is to use antioxidant molecules against the free radicals.The body however, does not always get it right, and sometimes it is not able to produce enough antioxidants for the job. The result is that free radicals move around freely, ravaging the body’s proteins, fats, and DNA/RNA. The body will remove and repair some damaged macromolecules, but often the sheer overwhelming number of free radicals brings the repair system to its knees.Oxidative stressIn 1956, Professor Denham Harman came up with a theory that postulates that as we age and the oxidative damage the body has sustained over the years takes its toll, the level of oxidative stress rises.This means that oxidative damage increases over the course of a lifetime and accelerates in old age. At that point, we tend to see the occurrence of degenerative diseases, and obvious signs of ageing.Oxidative stress and chronic degenerative diseasesToday, scientists and doctors widely agree that oxidative stress figures prominently in eye problems such as cataracts and macular degeneration, atherosclerosis and heart disease, cell mutation and cancer, all kinds of inflammatory conditions, as well as brain and nervous system conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.Neutralizing free radicals and disease preventionSo how do we reduce or prevent free radical damage to the cells?If oxidative stress increases when antioxidant defenses are compromised and free radical levels rise, surely we can decrease oxidative stress by improving the body’s antioxidant defenses and reducing the number of free radicals floating around the blood and tissues.Optimal cellular nutritionThe experts agree: Optimal cellular nutrition is the best way to boost the body’s natural defenses.This involves providing ALL nutrients to the cell at optimal levels, and allowing the cell to decide what it does and does not need.This way, we can ensure that there aren’t any nutritional deficiencies – because nutrient levels will automatically be corrected within a few months of regaining optimal cell nutrition.This seems easy enough, but one question still unanswered is: Which nutrients are needed for optimal cellular nutrition?Basically, it means giving your body all the antioxidants in addition to the supporting B vitamins and antioxidant minerals.It has been noted by some researchers that the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of each nutrient may in fact not be enough for our cells to prevent many health conditions. The RDAs are old, determined during the WW years, and apply to minimum nutrient intake to ward off deficiency diseases common back then. As a result, they don’t take into account conditions such as chronic degenerative diseases, which occur more frequently today.Optimal levels to prevent degenerative diseaseToday, the optimal levels of nutrients known to provide health benefits are much greater than the recommended daily allowances: eg: some studies show that the optimal level of vitamin C is approximately 1200 to 2000 mg daily, the RDA is only 60 mg.Because the enormous amount of fresh vegetables and fruit we would have to eat to obtain these new levels of nutrition is unmanageable for humans, the best, and most logical way to get optimum levels of vitamins,minerals and other nutrients is to take a good quality supplement.Think of cellular nutrition as a very wise way of using the supplement and your food as “preventative medicine” to stop the disease process before it even begins.It is a Myth that If I have a healthy diet, I do not need to take any supplementation.In fact, it is proven that if a large group of people were to follow the exact same dietary lifestyle & exercise program, a percentage would still suffer from high or low blood pressure, high or low blood sugar, or high or low stomach acid, while others could develop arthritis, cardiovascular disease, cancer, mental illness, or other medical conditions.Most nutrition-related health issues in Western society are not caused by nutritional deficiencies, but rather nutritional imbalances, which will negatively affect cellular nutrition and are responsible for many common medical problems in older people, while metabolic disorders can cause nutritional deficiencies following the malabsorption of certain nutrients.When we analyze people living to a ripe old age in reasonable health without the need of supplementation, we find that they had a lot of odds in their favor: good genes and a lack of factors that tend to upset the biochemical balance necessary to maintain good health. Anything upsetting the cellular nutrition balance will do one of three things: shorten someone’s life, worsen its quality, or require compensation through extra nutritional support or drug intervention.The difference between people who take nutritional supplements (that match cellular nutrition requirements), and those who do not can always be detected in the way the body handles a crisis/trauma. If you look at younger people in a crisis situation, they simply tend to handle various medical situations better, or recover faster than older ones. This would suggest that by ingesting the correct nutritional supplementation we could in fact be lowering our biological age

SPDN: An Inexpensive Way To Profit When The S&P 500 Falls

Summary
SPDN is not the largest or oldest way to short the S&P 500, but it’s a solid choice.
This ETF uses a variety of financial instruments to target a return opposite that of the S&P 500 Index.
SPDN’s 0.49% Expense Ratio is nearly half that of the larger, longer-tenured -1x Inverse S&P 500 ETF.
Details aside, the potential continuation of the equity bear market makes single-inverse ETFs an investment segment investor should be familiar with.
We rate SPDN a Strong Buy because we believe the risks of a continued bear market greatly outweigh the possibility of a quick return to a bull market.
Put a gear stick into R position, (Reverse).
Birdlkportfolio

By Rob Isbitts

Summary
The S&P 500 is in a bear market, and we don’t see a quick-fix. Many investors assume the only way to navigate a potentially long-term bear market is to hide in cash, day-trade or “just hang in there” while the bear takes their retirement nest egg.

The Direxion Daily S&P 500® Bear 1X ETF (NYSEARCA:SPDN) is one of a class of single-inverse ETFs that allow investors to profit from down moves in the stock market.

SPDN is an unleveraged, liquid, low-cost way to either try to hedge an equity portfolio, profit from a decline in the S&P 500, or both. We rate it a Strong Buy, given our concern about the intermediate-term outlook for the global equity market.

Strategy
SPDN keeps it simple. If the S&P 500 goes up by X%, it should go down by X%. The opposite is also expected.

Proprietary ETF Grades
Offense/Defense: Defense

Segment: Inverse Equity

Sub-Segment: Inverse S&P 500

Correlation (vs. S&P 500): Very High (inverse)

Expected Volatility (vs. S&P 500): Similar (but opposite)

Holding Analysis
SPDN does not rely on shorting individual stocks in the S&P 500. Instead, the managers typically use a combination of futures, swaps and other derivative instruments to create a portfolio that consistently aims to deliver the opposite of what the S&P 500 does.

Strengths
SPDN is a fairly “no-frills” way to do what many investors probably wished they could do during the first 9 months of 2022 and in past bear markets: find something that goes up when the “market” goes down. After all, bonds are not the answer they used to be, commodities like gold have, shall we say, lost their luster. And moving to cash creates the issue of making two correct timing decisions, when to get in and when to get out. SPDN and its single-inverse ETF brethren offer a liquid tool to use in a variety of ways, depending on what a particular investor wants to achieve.

Weaknesses
The weakness of any inverse ETF is that it does the opposite of what the market does, when the market goes up. So, even in bear markets when the broader market trend is down, sharp bear market rallies (or any rallies for that matter) in the S&P 500 will cause SPDN to drop as much as the market goes up.

Opportunities
While inverse ETFs have a reputation in some circles as nothing more than day-trading vehicles, our own experience with them is, pardon the pun, exactly the opposite! We encourage investors to try to better-understand single inverse ETFs like SPDN. While traders tend to gravitate to leveraged inverse ETFs (which actually are day-trading tools), we believe that in an extended bear market, SPDN and its ilk could be a game-saver for many portfolios.

Threats
SPDN and most other single inverse ETFs are vulnerable to a sustained rise in the price of the index it aims to deliver the inverse of. But that threat of loss in a rising market means that when an investor considers SPDN, they should also have a game plan for how and when they will deploy this unique portfolio weapon.

Proprietary Technical Ratings
Short-Term Rating (next 3 months): Strong Buy

Long-Term Rating (next 12 months): Buy

Conclusions
ETF Quality Opinion
SPDN does what it aims to do, and has done so for over 6 years now. For a while, it was largely-ignored, given the existence of a similar ETF that has been around much longer. But the more tenured SPDN has become, the more attractive it looks as an alternative.

ETF Investment Opinion

SPDN is rated Strong Buy because the S&P 500 continues to look as vulnerable to further decline. And, while the market bottomed in mid-June, rallied, then waffled since that time, our proprietary macro market indicators all point to much greater risk of a major decline from this level than a fast return to bull market glory. Thus, SPDN is at best a way to exploit and attack the bear, and at worst a hedge on an otherwise equity-laden portfolio.

Natural Ethnic Skin Care: What You Need to Know

Long known, is the fact that there are very few natural ethnic skin care products in the mainstream cosmetics industry to address skin of color properly. Seems almost everything formulated for our skin in the ethnic market is either too drying, too irritating, too greasy, or just plain too ineffective.What makes some formulators of these products think these type of products are going to help our skin? One would wonder what they were thinking. Is there any hope?It is extremely pleasing to say ‘indeed yes’, there is. Start using natural ethnic skin care products. Stop using toxic products. We know just how sensitive our skin is, so the first thing we need to do is avoid chemical-laden skin care and personal care products like the plague.These types of products can prove to be devastating to our skin in many ways. Unfortunately, these products were saturating and even dominating the cosmetics industry for quite some time.In both the ethnic personal care market as well as the mainstream personal care market, there’s a lot left to be desired. By now, you probably have a good idea why it is not recommended to use most mainstream personal care products for sensitive skin of color. Not to worry, natural personal care products are the answer.Natural Skin Care: Herbs Make the Difference for Ethnic SkinWhen it comes to natural skin care, herbs contained in products can have a very positive impact on ethnic skin. There is a fundamental difference in the way herbal skin care and conventional skin care works.Herbs themselves, contain not only single active constituents, but many active constituents that provide necessary nutrients to the skin. These multiple compounds acting together, can more effectively address skin problems from every angle.Remember, plant cells and human cells are very compatible. What does all this mean? It means that herbals treat not just the symptoms, but the underlying cause of any existing skin or health condition more effectively.It is well-known that herbs are more gentle in nature, on not only the skin, but the body as a whole. This can be attributed to the fact that herbs have been extracted as naturally occurring substances. Herbs are gentle and do not produce any major, toxic side effects on skin.This is especially beneficial for skin of color, as it is more reactive by nature than most other skin types and needs both the gentlest, and most effective treatment. Make no mistake about it, herbal skin care may be gentler, but this does not mean it is less effective. You’ll be pleasantly surprised!Remember, 60-70% of what you put on your skin has the ability to penetrate your pores and eventually end up in your blood stream. If you are going to use products to address your skin condition, why not use something naturally healthy as well?Natural products either purchased or home-made from natural ingredients, should be the preferred choice before conventional personal care products are sought after from the mainstream cosmetics industry.Herbals vs. Modern Drugs in the Skin Care IndustryModern drugs contained in mainstream or conventional skin care products (including benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, kojic acid, etc.) are manufactured in laboratories and then produced in mass quantities in factories.Before reaching the general public, these drugs are tested on a large number of users. The knowledge that forms the basis of the conventional or mainstream skin care industry is based on experimental findings and observations.To that extent, herbal treatments are also supported through years of fact-based evidence that has accumulated over generations and across cultures, thus their value is well-known.The unfortunate fact is that the approach to testing herbal beauty remedies has not been as thorough and rigorous as the testing that is seen in the mainstream beauty industry.So much money has been put into funding the analysis of modern drugs (also contained in many skin care products) that they should be able to produce evidence for the benefits of herbal treatments. In the modern drug and personal care markets, it’s all about the money.It is much less cost-effective for mainstream cosmetic and skin care makers to produce active, natural and organic skin care products than to produce unnatural and even unsafe ones.Remember that herbal treatments are different in that they are a complex mixture of a variety of active compounds. These active compounds work together to heal skin more effectively and are difficult to separate making duplication and measurement a difficult task for the mainstream formulator.One Word of CautionWhen selecting herbal ethnic skin care products for our dark skin, we must still be cautious for our skin’s sake. Beware of companies who tout themselves as offering you so-called ‘natural’, ‘herbal’ and ‘organic’ skin or hair care products and they really are not!When it comes down to it, there may be tiny amounts of only one, two or maybe even three organic and/or natural ingredients in the entire product followed or preceded by a host of chemical ingredients such as coloring agents, preservatives, stabilizers, thickeners, PH balancers, fragrance and such. Please read labels carefully. Avoid these products. Your skin will thank you.The Bottom LineDark skin types should be treated with the thorough understanding of our skin’s characteristics, strengths, and weaknesses. Once we understand this, we can treat it more effectively with natural herbs and avoid the recurrence of excessive skin problems. We can start by becoming more educated about our beautiful dark skin (you are because you’re reading this article).First, avoid unhealthy and unnatural skin care products, incorporate more fresh, nutrient rich foods in our diets, and use natural ethnic skin care products designed for ‘us’ (even if you have to make your own). You’re on your way!