Search Term: " Food Source "
Why you should consider eating these insects this holiday season
February 15, 2017 10:59 AM
In many places around the globe insects are part of people's regular diet. This is called Entomophagy. It has many benefits for the environment and for the individuals who practice it, including a high protein content compared to other Food Sources. Find out the unbelievable in this absolutely amazing and crazy article!
"Different ants have different flavors -- from sweet to savory - but for Lemann they are a nice way to introduce skeptics to a bug meal."
Top 5 Selenium Foods to Fight Selenium Deficiency
February 07, 2017 02:59 PM
You may have never heard of the mineral Selenium, but did you know it does wonders for our body? Selenium can be used for making electronic devices and some glass products but a small amount of this mineral can help keep our bodies healthy. Some people may have deficiency to the mineral which can cause many problems. You can find out more about selenium and how is works for us in this article
"It is important to include selenium in an appropriate amount in the diet."
Health Benefits Associated With Vitamin E
December 29, 2016 10:59 AM
There are many vitamins that the body needs. Many people do not get the nutrients they need, one that most people miss out on is Vitamin E. Vitamin E is great for the skin, and is used in many cosmetic treatments. It can also prevent tissue damage and heart disease. Add this supplement today.
"Vitamin E is a micro-nutrient needed by the body to sustain health and well-being. Since the body cannot make this nutrient on its own, our diets must include a healthy dose of Vitamin E through natural Food Sources and/or supplementation."
Honeybee memories: Another piece of the Alzheimer's puzzle?
December 14, 2016 12:59 PM
A recent study at the University of Queensland has set out to research how Alzheimer’s can affect memory by studying how honeybees create and forget memories. They found that honeybees have an amazing memory. Not only can they remember where a Food Source was once found, but they also can orient themselves based on landmarks and remember how good the source was. The theory was that methylation of DNA is a molecular change in the brain that causes memories to be formed. By preventing some bees from being able to methylate, they were able to prevent them from forming memories.
"Scientists know that when a memory is formed, molecular changes can trigger physical changes to the brain, including new or altered neural connections and activity."
Vitamin B Complex Health Benefits, Deficiency Symptoms of Vitamin B Complex
November 24, 2016 02:59 PM
Everyone knows that it's bad to have a deficiency in just about anything, and that especially includes vitamins. if your nutrition is off, that affects your entire body, and you're in for a really bad time -- but how do you know what you're deficient in and what that vitamin does for you? "Vitamin B Complex Health Benefits, Deficiency Symptoms of Vitamin B Complex" explores the symptoms of Vitamin B deficiency and the benefits of the vitamin itself.
"The vitamins from the B complex are useful in the treatment of diabetes because they reduce the cholesterol and blood fat and they should be administered at all times."
What Is Allium Cepa Good For?
July 01, 2014 08:50 PM
What is allium cepa?
Allium Cepa was originally native to central Asia; however, nowadays it has a global geographic range. It made its way to Egypt through trade, where it became an important food crop in the ancient world. Because the Allium cepa was a cheap Food Source, Egyptian slave workers, those who built the pyramids, ate them on a daily basis. Additionally, it was illustrated in the funerary images in tombs. Ancient Sumerians commonly cultivate and cooked Allium cepa 4,000 years ago.
Benefits of allium cepa
Allium Cepa is extremely valued for its healing qualities. It has been utilized as a food cure from time immemorial. Research illustrates that Allium Cepa may help protect against several chronic diseases. That is possible because the plant contains generous quantities of the flavonoid quercetin. Research has also shown that quercetin guards against cardiovascular disease, cancer and cataracts. Additionally, Allium Cepa contains various other naturally occurring chemicals called organic sulfur compounds, which have been associated with lowering cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Even though the plant is seldom used specifically as a medicinal herb, it has a wide variety of helpful actions on the body and when regularly consumed (particularly raw), it will help the body’s health.When consumed frequently in the diet, Allium Cepa offsets tendencies towards arteriosclerosis, heart attack and angina. This is used mostly in the healing of individuals whose symptoms include running nose and eyes. Allium cepa’s ability to ease congestions particularly in the bronchial tract and lungs is hard to accept until you have truly seen the results. The drawing of congestion, infection and colds is also remarkable. The Allium Cepa will ease stomach upset as well as other gastrointestinal ailments and it will improve the appetite. The plant is found in every household and therefore is easily accessible. The purple-skinned plant tastes great. In addition, it has numerous health gains and is part of several beauty solutions and home remedies.
Arginine and Ornithine Supplementation for Enhanced Athletic Performance
January 19, 2014 07:41 AM
Arginine and ornithine
Arginine and ornithine are two amino acids that are incorporated in protein that is found in many dietary sources, such as meat, egg whites, soy or fish. Although these two amino acids can be supplied to your muscles from Food Sources, several research studies have examined the benefits of arginine and ornithine supplements. Fitness researchers found positive and promising results in terms of muscular growth, endurance and fatigue prevention. These supplements are especially known and popular among bodybuilders and other types of strength athletes, as it has been clearly demonstrated that they improve athletic ability on a biochemical level.
VITAMIN - D3:A reservoiur of benefits to sheenful life
January 03, 2014 05:29 PM
Vitamin D3 Sources
A handful of sunshine everyday is what our body requires to retain its sheen and keep our health problems at bay. Human skin when exposed to ultraviolet rays of the sun manufactures vitamin D-3 orcholecalciferol for its consumption. It is recommended that lighter skin individuals receive 10 to 15 minutes of sunlight daily. Darker individuals, on the other hand, should receive almost double the amount of sunlight, up to 25 to 30 minutes daily. Other best natural Food Source for vitamin- D3 is fish products, such as: cod liver oil, tuna, salmon and sardines.
Apart from the tablets or liquid vitamin D-3 supplements, fortified milk, breads, cereals and eggs are lesser vitamin D3 sources.
Lists of health benefits for Vitamin D-3:
Omega Oils-What Are They For?
January 02, 2014 09:22 PM
What is all the hype about with these omega fatty acids?
Curious why they have become a huge talk of the nation, and such an important part of our diets all of a sudden? Some omega oils are essential for the growth of human tissue and proper body function, but our body don't produce enough of them on its own.
What is the difference between Omega 3's-6's-8's-9's?
Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid that is not produced by the body naturally. They're obtained from Food Sources, such as fatty fish, and flax-seed oil. They contain a number of health benefits for the body, such as reduced inflammation throughout the body, and have benefits for the heart. Studies have shown the reduced inflammation has a huge impact on heart health, and is highly recommended to incorporate into your daily diet.
Omega 6: is also an essential fatty acid that is not produced naturally by the body. These omega oils obtained from different types of vegetable oils, and through dietary supplements. Many claims made about Omega-6 fatty acids, however the only substantial proof is for heart health. They lower bad cholesterol levels, while raising healthy cholesterol levels. While essential, they are not to be overused, or they start being unhelpful by adding too much fat to the diet.
Omega 7's: are monounsaturated fatty acids, palmitoleic acid and vaccenic acid. Palmitoleic acids are commonly found in fat tissue of the human body, and in the liver. Animal oils, macadamia nut oil, vegetable oils, and marine oils are good sources of omega 7's. They're considered a beneficial fatty acid by increasing insulin sensitivity by lowering inflammation. They also aid in the destruction in of insulin beta cells in the pancreas. This action has been proven to reduce insulin levels, which have claims that omega 7's are helpful in weight loss. Other uses include support of healthy skin, and soothing the gastrointestinal tract.
Omega 9: fatty acids are not considered essential fatty acids since they're produced by the body. They're obtained from olive oil, and other monounsaturated fats. They contain the same heart healthy benefits as omega 3's and 6's helping lower cholesterol, our body makes them as needed.
Omega oils are important for our overall health, especially heart health. Omega 7s are important to control insulin levels, and may aid with weight loss. Supplementing omega 3, 6, and 7 can lead to better cholesterol levels, and healthier skin.
What Is Beta Glucan 1.3/1.6 And How Does It Improve Your Health?
December 16, 2013 11:58 PM
What is Beta Glucan
Beta glucan, precisely 1-3, 1-6-beta-glucan or Beta 1, 3/1, 6 Glucan is defined as sugar (glucose) or a naturally occurring polysaccharide that is extracted from bacteria, fungi, yeast and mushroom cell walls, the fiber of oats, rye, wheat as well as barley and cellulose from plants. It can well be described as an immunostimulant or immunomodulator agent which stimulates the body microphages to produce cytokines and fight disease causing pathogens in order to boost the immune system of the body.
Beta Gluan Source
Since beta glucan is got from natural Food Sources such as shiitake mushrooms, it is a natural way to enhance the performance of the white blood cells in fighting diseases. It helps in the reduction of the cholesterol level from the body and it is the key to a Low Density Lipoprotein, which is essential in boosting the immune system of the body. For individuals whose immune systems have been greatly lowered by HIV/AIDS, stress or other conditions, this supplement is the way to go in restoration of their immune systems
In addition, beta glucan acts as an anti-carcinogenic substance which reduces the risk of suffering from the much dreaded cancer disease. It is also essential in keeping diabetes, hepatitis and cardiovascular diseases at bay. Beta glucan also inhibits tumor growth and proliferation and Lyme disease
What are some Benefits of Beta Glucan
Broadly speaking, beta glucan improves the overall ability of the body to resist various infections such as burns, common cold, asthma, allergies, ear infections and multiple sclerosis, to mention but a few. It is also an effective weight loss dietary supplement, and given that weight loss is the current health and fitness mantra, the use for beta glucan has is rampant in the contemporary world. To add color to the already good package, it is has mild or no side effects depending on the user.
Why Would You Want A Time Released Chromium Supplement?
January 03, 2013 04:34 PM
Chromium is an important trace mineral for carbohydrates and fats processing by the human body. With the recent eating habits of refined foods, it's generally naturally deficient to many people. It's recommended to consume at least 50 micrograms of it each day. Similarly, the eating habits of today expose majority of people to diabetes. Chromium plays a major role in helping the body cells respond to insulin.
In addition, a sufficient level of the mineral availability to the body leads to lower insulin necessity. On the other hand, its deficiency in the body has been associated with diabetes. It helps prevent diabetes by aiding insulin in glucose metabolism as well as preventing insulin resistance for victims already using insulin shots. It's generally low in the blood but it plays a major role of enhancing insulin efficiency thereby helps control blood sugar levels.
You can get chromium from foods like broccoli, green beans, grape juice, potatoes, bananas, beef, orange juice and apples. There are also supplements that come in various forms and strengths. For instance, there are chromium picolinate, chromium chloride, chromium polynicotinate, chromium GTF and many others. These supplements differ in their absorption rates but have been proven in several studies to lower blood sugar as well as cholesterol. Some supplements are also safe to take alongside other medications. However, such a decision should always be taken with the consent of a medical doctor.
Victims of type 2 diabetes have usually been found to have low levels of chromium in their bodies. Due to this reason, supplements have greatly assisted such individuals tackle diabetes. Similarly, women suffering from gestational diabetes have had their blood sugar levels drop after using chromium picolinate. The dosage to use varies but many doctors prescribe 1000 mcg every day for victims already suffering from diabetes. Vitamin C has been found to hinder the uptake of chromium. It's, therefore, essential to watch out what you are consuming if you will be taking the supplements.
Sustained release chromium will help keep blood levels high with this important mineral and help one manage their blood sugar better.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Inositol Crystals?
December 28, 2012 10:39 AM
The first isolation of inositol was made by Scherer in the year 1849 who was a renowned Biochemist at the time. Since its discovery, wide spread research has been conducted with successful isolation of inositol and its derivatives in both plants and animals. The physiological functions have been confirmed to differ with respect to the structural form of the inositol, with cis-inositol, myo-inositol, neo-inositol and allo-inositol being some of the inositol's stereoisomers commonly isolated.
Our Need for Inositol
The human body particularly requires inositol and its derivatives in many physiological processes. It is a major messenger molecule that is used in calcium mediated cell signaling which affects motor function, action of hormones such aldosterone and affects the functioning of some of the neurotransmitters in the brain such as serotonin. Inositol derivatives are also involved in lipid metabolism which helps control the amount of LDP (Bad cholesterol) in the body.
Additionally, some of the researches indicate that inositol derivatives are actively involved in suppressing oncogenesis which significantly reduces the risk of suffering from breast and prostate cancers. The human body can produce some of the inositol variants from glucose metabolism but obtaining plant derived inositols is also worthwhile.
Food Sources Of Inositol
Plant products such as red beans, bran and other cereals contain good levels of inositol although the chelating effect of the inositol by calcium and magnesium ions limits its uptake in the gut. For this reason, use of supplement Crystal Inositols is regarded as the best way to obtain dietary inositol. A majority of the crystal inositols available in the market are chemically combined with other compounds such as Niacin which highly increase their absorption in the intestines. Dissolving these crystals in juices is also highly recommended as it is a better way of taking the supplements since a wide range of other drinks especially the ones that contain caffeine affects the uptake of inositol negatively.
Coconut Oil for Memory Enhancement
December 27, 2012 12:53 PM
Coconut oil has been widely used for centuries for various purposes. Mainly, it is a cooking ingredient, used for frying and for adding flavor to meals. Aside from this, many nations have different ways of using it as treatment for various illnesses. Countries like Jamaica, Panama, and India believe that ingesting the oil helps prevent contracting any disease and helps in the speedy recovery when sick.
People from the Philippines and Thailand use the oil for massaging to provide relief from painful muscles and joints. Other topical uses are for moisturizing of the skin and for the healthy growth of hair.
Since 2008, new studies have been conducted to test the effects of coconut oil in enhancing the memory and to cure Alzheimer's disease.
MCT (Medium Chain Triglycerides) Benefit:
The most astounding find is the presence of MCT or medium chain triglycerides in coconut oil in high concentration. This MCT creates a string of processes that ultimately helps in curing neurodegenerative diseases.
MCT against Amyloid-Beta
Amyloid-beta is a protein that forms into plaques in the brains. They decrease the efficient functioning of the nerve cells that then causes the decline in memory.
Most drugs prescribed to Alzheimer patients target these plaques, to dissolve them and consequently see an improvement. Studies done on dogs by incorporating MCT in their diets showed that the levels of amyloid-beta has declined, which is a very positive effect. Likewise, energy levels in the brain have gone up among the test subjects.
MCT to Promote Ketone
One cause of Alzheimer's disease is the inability of the brain to metabolize glucose and transform it to energy. As you all know, glucose is the main energy source of the body that provides it the energy it needs to function. This glucose comes from the carbohydrate that comes from Food Sources. Without this fuel, the brain cells could degenerate. Fortunately, glucose is not the only source of energy for the brain. It can also come from ketones, which are produced from fats in the liver.
However, the liver does not continually produce this. The human body, being smart as it is, only produces ketones when the glucose level drops in order to compensate for the loss of energy source. This is why people who have cognitive disorders often go on a fat and protein diet to trigger the production of ketones, by lowering their intake of carbohydrates. Still, maintaining such a diet for long periods is hard. The good thing is studies have shown that ingesting MCT has increased the level of ketones in the body, regardless of the amount of glucose present in the system. It is believed that MCT is converted to ketone, thus, providing the brain the energy it needs.
MCT and Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Another study done on dogs showed an increased level of omega-3 fatty acids in their brain. Omega-3 fatty acids have many benefits to the body, including improvement of brain function. They support the effective transmission of energy from one neuron to another through the synapses. This consequently makes learning easier, promotes faster reactions, and heightens memory.
Unfortunately, this fatty acid is not produced in the body and people have to rely on Food Sources, such as fish and nuts. Studies have shown that MCT from coconut oil induces the production of omega-3 from fats that are already present in the body.
VITAMIN B COMPLEX AND ITS HEALTH BENEFITS
December 27, 2012 11:52 AM
Vitamin B complex is food a supplement that is soluble in water and fundamental in growth, development and cell metabolism. B complex is a group of the B vitamin compounds including thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, B12 (cobalamins), biotin (B7) and folic acid (B9). The distinction of the B complex into numbers arose because initially it was thought to be a single nutrient existing in specific food types only but further research discovered the existence of different compounds in the nutrient. All compounds of the B complex have distinct structures and perform different roles in the body. They play an important role in enzyme activities more so in chemical reactions that lead to production of energy in the body. They are mostly found in plant and animal Food Sources and also as supplement tablets.
Vitamin B compounds have numerous health benefits each one with a different function.
The different individual health benefits of the compounds are as follows:
It is due to these benefits that medical practitioners encourage use of diets rich in vitamin b compounds or intake of the compounds in dietary supplement form as tablets
Calcium and magnesium - vital to health
December 20, 2012 02:06 PM
Calcium and magnesium are two essential minerals for the body, bringing serious damage if there is a deficiency. Calcium is essential for maintaining bone strength in the body, but also for the functioning of nerve and muscle cells.
Bones perform several roles in the body, but most of us are interested in the preservation of acid-base balance (pH). When the pH of the blood is too acidic , bone alkaline elements released (alkali salts) to neutralize acids. This leads to loss of bone mass (and calcium), while rapidly releasing toxins and heavy metals stored in bone if there are metals and toxins present.
Most of us know that calcium is found in dairy products. True, but the information is not complete. You should know that of all dairy products, yogurt offers the most calcium, about 200 mg in a cup. But if you want the most bioavailable calcium, ie one that is most easily absorbed and can be used fully by the body, then you need to take calcium citrate.
If the food based calcium intake is not optimal and extremely diverse, then you need calcium-based vitamin supplement products. Calcium supplements may be consumed with meals for maximum digestion and absorption. But even if you take dietary supplements, diet should not remain poor, continue to get adequate amounts of calcium from Food Sources.
Magnesium has an important role in the efficient functioning of the nervous system, muscular system and enzyme processes in the body. It is necessary for calcium absorption. The ratio of the two minerals is especially important. An adult daily needs for bone health by around 1,500 mg of calcium and 1000 mg of magnesium. Bones are living tissues that rebuild constantly. A healthy diet, exercise, enough sleep (at least 8 hours) and keeping well hydrated with water helps strengthen bones. Calcium and magnesium, combined doubles benefits to our body, especially if they are of citrate in origin.
Cal-Mag Citrate Why?
Studies have shown that calcium and magnesium citrate is the easiest form to digest with minimal stomach acids. This make it work great for older individuals who have low stomach acids or who are on proton pump inhibitors.
Can Melatonin Help Me Sleep?
December 20, 2012 12:22 PM
What is melatonin?
Melatonin can be described as a hormone generated in the pineal gland found in the brain. It controls the body circadian rhythms such as sleep-wake cycle. The levels of melatonin in the blood increase before you fall asleep due to darkness (Lack of sunshine).
Where to find melatonin
Melatonin occurs naturally in humans and plants. Natural melatonin quantity produced decrease with age. Older people produce very little quantities of it.
It is a synthetic medication that is produced in the laboratories. It is available in pill or liquid forms. The pills can be put in the cheek, underneath the tongue or swallowed. This permits direct absorption in the body. Melatonin supplements are available in health food shops.
It is also found in foods, in small quantities, such as milk, chicken meat, turkey, and peanuts but in small quantities.
Melatonin and sleep
Melatonin does not work for every kind of insomnia or sleeping disorders. Your body needs to be ready for sleep for melatonin to be effective. It is safe to use melatonin supplements in low doses long term.
Melatonin treats insomnia, autism in children, and as a sleep reliever after withdrawal from benzodiazepine drugs use. It is also very significant for changing sleep/wake patterns for people who work schedules changes regularly. It can also be used to calm individuals before anesthesia is administered for surgery purposes.
The body has an internal clock that regulates sleeping cycle and waking hours. The body clock regulates the amount of melatonin produced each day. Melatonin production is affected by light.
For effective treatment of cycle sleep, make sure you take the supplements at the appropriate time of the day (Night time).
Use the right method and dosage for it to be helpful.
Consuming the sleep supplement at the inappropriate time of the day can lead to biological clock reset. It is essential to understand the right quantity, time of taking and its effectiveness. Taking 1-10mg of melatonin every day restores the pace in people experiencing insomnia synchronizing them to duration of 1day.
Melatonin helps enhance sleep.
It enhances sleepiness feeling and can intensify the duration of sleep. This supplement has been applied successfully for improving sleep in healthy people and also decreasing jet lag feeling during travels. Remember to consult a physician if you are experiencing sleep issues. Give melatonin a try start with lower doses like 1 mg before bed time and gradually increase till it becomes effective.
Can our health benefit from supplmenting choline?
November 18, 2012 11:01 AM
Choline, discovered in 1864 by the German chemist, Adolph Strecker, is an essential nutrient, usually grouped under the vitamin B family. While the human body does synthesize small amounts of choline, dietary consumption is a must in order to maintain a healthy body. Deficiency of choline can lead to a number of serious health issues including neurological problems, insomnia, accumulation of fat in the liver, damage to the kidneys and also cardiovascular disease. There are a range of important functions that choline performs in the body.
Some of the key health benefits of choline are:
Maintenance of brain health: The neurotransmitter or the messenger molecule, acetylcholine, that transmits signals from the brain to the muscles and various organs in the body such as the liver, heart, lungs etc, is synthesized using choline. Thus, it plays a very important role in memory and muscle control. Research also suggests that choline has a calming effect on the brain and helps reduce panic and anxiety attacks.
Maintenance of cell membranes: The integrity and flexibility of cell membranes depends on the presence of satisfactory amounts of choline thus making it a prerequisite for appropriate cell metabolism.
Maintenance of Liver health: Choline is responsible for preventing the accumulation of cholesterol and fat deposits in the liver hence preventing hepatosteatosis, a condition more commonly known as fatty liver.
Anti inflammatory benefits: Studies have revealed that inflammatory markers such as Interleukin-6, C-reactive protein, Homocysteine, etc., which are associated with various illnesses such as Diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, Cardiovascular disease, Osteoporosis and also various cancers, show reduced levels if adequate amounts of choline are consumed in the diet.
Apart from those stated above there are many more health benefits of choline and hence it is very important to consume foods that are rich in this nutrient. In addition to seafood and meat, foods that have high choline content include, Dairy and poultry products like Skim milk and Egg yolk, peanut butter; Vegetables such as Cauliflower, broccoli, tomatoes, Asparagus, Green beans and Fruits like Bananas and Oranges. Soybeans, due to their high lecithin content, are also a fantastic source of choline. Seeds like flax seed, sesame seeds and grains like corn, barley and oats are also rich in choline content.
Maintenance of adequate levels of choline is imperative in order to maintain optimal health. It is therefore very important to have periodic health checkups so that any deficiencies are identified and addressed as soon as possible.
Molybdenum Trace Mineral
November 16, 2012 08:20 AM
Molybdenum is one of the important trace mineral found in plant and animal tissues. This mineral was discovered by Carl Welhelm in 1778. Many chemical processes of the body are governed by this mineral in an excellent way. This is a significant mineral being needed for the enzyme reaction of the body.
This mineral element is rich in many vegetables such as green leafy vegetables, peas and legumes, beans and cereal grains, black beans have this element in good form. Walnuts and Lentils are also good sources of Molybdenum. Milk, almonds, peanuts, chestnuts, eggs, and tomatoes have this trace mineral in abundance. Potato and cauliflower have this trace element in good form. Yogurt, liver and carrots are other rich sources of Molybdenum. These Food Sources are needed for the human life to meet the basic needs of the life activities.
Molybdenum is an important mineral for protein synthesis of body. The iron mobilization is also carried by this mineral in the body. The metabolic activities of the body are not possible without this mineral. The persons who have anemia are advised to consume the Food Sources rich in Molybdenum. The fat and carbohydrate metabolism is also governed by this mineral.
Sufficient amount of the mineral prevents pre mature aging. It is believed that this mineral prevents cancer in humans. Gastroesophageal cancer is prevented by this mineral in an exact way and hence it is necessary to maintain the health. The problem of asthma is also controlled by molybdenum. The asthma condition is improved by this mineral if taken in enough quantities. Gum problems, mouth problems, especially vtooth decay issue is prevented by this mineral. Even sexual impotence issue among humans is largely controlled by molybdenum. This trace element has abundant detoxifying effects on the body by the formation of aldehyde oxidase.
One in eight people are deficient in trace minerals. Make sure you are getting trace minerals daily to sustain and maintain good health.
DHA Food Sources?
October 31, 2012 11:58 AM
DHA, or Docosahexaenoic acid, plays an important role in the structure of the retina, cerebral cortex, sperm, and testicles. When levels of this substance decline, it has negative effects on cognitive function. Low levels are also suspect in the onset of Alzheimer's disease.
The best ways to get this omega-3 fatty acid are from natural sources. Babies can get their needs taken care of through breast milk and enriched formula. Adults need to find Food Sources for their needs.
Food Sources Of DHA
Cold-water varieties of fish are often excellent sources. These include salmon, bluefin tuna, albacore tuna, swordfish, anchovies, herring, sardines, caviar, and fish roe. Other types of seafood are also good sources for DHA, including crab, shrimp, lobster, clams, mussel, octopus, and scallops. Eggs and some organ meats are other sources for this essential fatty acid. For most vegetarians, eating seafood is not an option. An alternative vegetarian source is algae and seaweed. Supplements are another way to get DHA when fish, seafood, seaweed, and algae are not an option.
Biotin's Role in Nail and Hair Growth
July 25, 2012 08:32 AM
Many people want to improve the health of their nails and hair, but knowing the best solution can be difficult. Scientists have discovered that biotin works to promote increased growth of the nails and hair.
Biotin is a member of the B-vitamins and is a water-soluble vitamin. Also known as the H vitamin, it has an important role in the metabolism of protein, fats, and carbohydrates. One of the major benefits of this vitamin is that it works to strengthen hair and nails. It is recommended that anyone who wants to increase hair and nail growth should include biotin in their diet.
Since biotin is important for normal functioning, a deficiency is uncommon. This vitamin is found in many foods including meat, dairy, and vegetables. Any food that is high in protein will also contain biotin. Those at risk for a biotin deficiency are vegetarians and vegans, although it is possible in individuals who do not eat meat or dairy often. The most common sign of a biotin deficiency is hair loss. While uncommon, this is the best indicator that biotin intake is not sufficient. If worried about not getting adequate intake, it is possible to take a supplement. Usually biotin supplements are available as a B-complex supplement, and can be found at most vitamin and health stores.
Hair Growth And Biotin
The recommended amount of biotin for adults is 300 - 5000 mcg per day. However, if interested in increasing hair and nail growth, individuals should try to take 1000 mcg or more. This amount is a safe level of biotin but will also promote increased growth. Before taking a multivitamin, it is recommended to talk to a doctor. Some of the supplements available may have high levels of biotin never take more than 5000mcg per day. Be sure to take the right amount without overdosing on this vitamin.
So, can biotin improve my hair and nail growth? Yes, it can, but there are many products available today that promise to promote hair and nail growth, but don't actually work. Shampoo and conditioner that contain biotin are poor sources of the vitamin since it is not absorbed easily through the skin. Biotin works inside the body at the follicles and nail beds to increase growth. It must be taken internally to work. Other supplements that claim to increase nail and hair growth should be studied carefully as they may not be effective. The only way to increase growth is to maintain an adequate intake of this essential B-vitamin.
The best way to increase hair and nail growth is to eat biotin-rich foods. By eating dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and eggs, it's easy to get the needed amount. If vegetarian or vegan, green peas, legumes, soybeans, and cruciferous vegetables are also rich in Biotin. Other good sources are whole grains such as rice, oats, and bulgar. Eating a whole-grain cereal is a great way to easily get Biotin. Biotin is one of the known vitamins that increases nail and hair growth and eating foods rich in this vitamin will ensure fast-growing and healthy hair and nails.
The Health benefits of P-5-P
July 20, 2012 07:51 AM
P-5-P or Pyridoxal-5-phosphate
P-5-P or the most commonly called Pyridoxal-5-phosphate is known to be the most active form of the Vitamin B6. This is known to be converted from organic compounds pyridoxal, pyridoxine and pyridoxamine. The Vitamin P-5-P is a coenzyme which support several other enzymes in the body which play a important role in biosynthesis. This also makes optimum use of the vitamin B6 by improving the body metabolism and many other biological process as well. The vitamin B6 traditionally comes in the form of pyridoxine hydrochloride which the body finds difficult to synthesize in its existing state. Hence, this pyridoxine hydrochloride is processed and is formed as Pyridoxal-5-phosphate to help the body to use the vitamin B6 effectively.
There are a lot of benefits of the vitamin P-5-P
Let us have a look at some of them.
Pyridoxal-5-phosphate uses the information from the genes ad helps to produce proteins.P-5-P is also helpful in the formation of hemoglobin, histamine and neurotransmitters and is also helpful in the metabolism of amino acids, fats and glucose.Pyridoxal-5-phosphate also helps in the conversion of dopa which is a useful substance used in the treatment of Parkinson's disease. Dopa is converted to dopamine which is a neurotransmitter which is produced in the brain and is released by the hypothalamus.
The P5P is also helpful in the utilization of the Food Sources for the formation of energy and also helps in the easy release of glycogen which is the stored energy.P5P also converts glutamate into GABA which is gamma amino butyric acid which is again a neurotransmitter which is known to be found in the mammals. This is found in their central nervous system.The Pyridoxal-5-phosphate also helpful in the process of decarboxylation which is the conversion of histidine to histamine.
This also converts SAM-e to propylamine which is known to be a precursor of polyamines.The Vitamin P5P is also responsible to lower the homocystenie levels which are caused by the intake of high amounts of methionine.The Vitamin Pyridoxal-5-phosphate helps in the treatment of irregular heartbeat , which is a condition termed as arrhythmia.This plays a important role in the treatment of myocardial infections. This prevents the blood platelets from sticking to each other which usually causes blood clots.The enzymes produced by the Pyridoxal-5-phosphate also helps in the formation of different kinds of amino acid reactions which keeps the carbon ions stable. This process is very important in the metabolism of the cells.The P5P also helps in the metabolism of the amino acids.
Here it helps in converting methionine to cysteine and also converts tryptophan to niacin.Pyridoxal-5-phosphate also plays a vital role in the formation of glucose. This process is known as gluconeogenesis.This also acts a important co-enzyme in the process of glycogenolysis which happens in the liver and muscles and this is known to be a reaction which occurs due to presence of glycogen.The P5P also helps in the formation of antibodies and also assists in the process of hemoglobin synthesis as well.
To keep it simpler, the vitamin P5P performs many functions which is very beneficial to the whole human body. The P5P deficiency can also happen in many individuals and even such symptoms are hard to identify. Any person suffering from the P5P deficiency will have symptoms like muscle weakness, irritability or depression. Consulting a physician and taking necessary supplements will help to overcome the P5P deficiency.
The Health benefits of L-Arginine
June 08, 2012 08:10 AM
What is L-Arginine?
L-Arginine, also referred to as Arginine, is a non-essential amino acid-it's produced naturally in the body-and it is vital for the normal functioning of pituitary gland. This substance comes from natural sources such as nuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, popcorn, chocolate, brown rice, raisins, carob, oatmeal, gelatin desserts, protein rich foods, and whole wheat bread. Men, whose seminal fluids consist of up to 80 percent of this amino acid, especially need L-Arginine as a deficiency could cause infertility. L-Arginine is not only obtained from Food Sources but through supplementation as well. As we age, the production of this amino acid decreases in the body and this is thought to cause many degenerative processes associated with aging. Thus, Arginine is vital for maintaining your overall health as well as sexual health.
Deficiency of L-Arginine can delay sexual maturity, impair insulin production, cause liver lipid metabolism and glucose tolerance.
Functions of L-Arginine
L-Arginine amino acid performs various functions in the body, including:
It is a component of collagen, enzymes, ejaculate, hormones, connective tissues, and skin. It plays an important role in the manufacture of protein molecules such as insulin and creatine. It's a precursor of nitric oxide as well as other metabolites.
Health benefits of L-Arginine
Although the benefits of Arginine supplements are debated, proponents state that Arginine converts into nitric oxide inside the body and enlarges or dilates the blood vessels. This helps better circulation and it's one of the reasons it is used to cure erectile dysfunction. This amino acid produces positive results as it enhances blood circulation, especially to the genitalia. Arginine is also a key component in sperm and seminal fluid production, so it's used to treat sterility in men. Other health benefits of L-Arginine include:
Aids in muscle-building
Helps maintain blood-sugar levels
Increases immune function
Increase fertility in females
Improves blood flow and decreases clogged arteries
Increases sperm count
Helps in liver detoxification
Maintains nitrogen balance
Promotes body fat burning
Promotes better bone density
Provides anti-oxidant properties
Reduces effects of alcohol toxicity
Reduces blood pressure
Reduces heart and vascular disease, cholesterol risk and stroke
Helps reduce body fat
Helps remove excess ammonia
Aids faster healing of wounds
L-Arginine anti-aging properties
One last benefit to note about L-Arginine is the fact that it simulates the production of human growth hormone (HGH), IGF, and testosterone. As your body ages, it produces less and less of these hormones which directly affects the aging process. These hormones are responsible for reducing body fat, keeping the skin elastic, and increasing sexual stamina. While your body won't turn into that of a teenager, taking L-Arginine supplements can make you feel and look younger.
Just as other forms of supplementation, you should take caution while using L-Arginine. This means that you have to get a doctor's approval before you take this drug. You should carefully follow the drug's instructions on dosage and frequency. As long as you take L-Arginine with care, you can greatly enhance your overall health and wellbeing.
Why Involving Lutein In Your Diet Is Important
February 29, 2012 07:39 AM
Why Involving Lutein In Your Diet Is Important
The sense ofsight is very important because it allows us to see things and appreciate its beauty and we have our eyes to thank for that. Our eyes are being used every waking second of our lives so that we can see the world around us and be able to do things that we want to do. But the sad thing is that our eyes just like any other organ in our bodies get damaged if we do not take care of it properly. There are a lot of people who have regret their terrible sense of sight because of not taking care of it properly while others regret totally losing their sight. There are plenty of ways to take care of your eyesight and one of the most important things to do is to eat food that has the nutrient lutein.
Where is lutein found?
Lutein is a carotenoid that is normally found in fruits, vegetables or anything that comes from plants. It is normally seen as a yellow discoloration but there are times when a vegetable has so much lutein that it ends up having the color orange. Xantophyll where lutein is found was first thought to be a side effect of plants not having enough chlorophyll but further studies suggests that xantophyll has its own purpose and it is used to protect plants from the harsh blue light that comes from the sun. The sun releases a spectrum of light and among this entire light spectrum, the blue light has the most energy and it can damage the plants and it is the job of the xantophyll to absorb the blue light to prevent damage.
What Does Lutein Do?
When lutein is taken is ingested by a person, the lutein makes its way to the macula lutea of the eye. This is the main reason why the color of the macula is yellowish. The job of the macula is to absorb the blue and ultraviolet light that comes from the sun to prevent eye damage. When there is a lack of lutein, the macula is not able to absorb as much blue light which allows the blue light to reach the retina. This leads to damage on the retina which can lead to having impaired vision.
Food Sources Of Lutein
Lutein can be found in the most common fruits and vegetables that you find in the market today. One of the best sources of lutein is carrots which can only that what your parents said about carrots being good for your eyes are true. Other vegetables where lutein can be found include spinach, squash, corn, broccoli and other green vegetables. In fruits, lutein can be found from the citrus family and this includes oranges, grapefruit, lemons and some fruits from different families like peaches and papaya. There is one animal source of lutein and they are found in egg yolks. The only down side of egg yolks is the fact that it contains a lot of cholesterol which is bad for the body. Make sure you have enough lutein to protect the condition of your eyes.
Benefits Of Zeaxanthin
February 07, 2012 08:14 AM
With aging, our eyes and the associated muscles weaken. They can degenerate and lose our ability to see properly. Eyes enable us with vision to see the world, and losing the eyesight will halt affect our daily activities and movements. People are frequently worried about losing their sight, and try to find supplements that can prevent the loss of vision. However, this debility can be prevented.
Supplements should be ideally be all natural, healthy, and with no side effects. Zeaxanthin is an important nutrient for eye health. This is found in found in green leafy vegetables, and also in other foods like eggs. Zeaxanthin fulfills most of the requirements that most people look in a supplement.
WHAT IS ZEAXANTHIN
Zeaxanthin and lutein are carotenoids that filter out the harmful high-energy wavelengths of light, and also act as antioxidants in the eye. This helps to maintain and protect healthy eye cells. Out of the six hundred carotenoids found in nature, only these two, Zeaxanthin and Lutein are deposited in high quantities in the retina (macula) of the eye. Unfortunately, our body does not synthesize the zeaxanthin and lutein it requires.
This is the reason why green vegetables, eggs and other sources of these carotenoids are essential to proper nutrition. Daily intake of zeaxanthin and lutein through diet, beverages, fortified foods or nutritional supplements and is very important for the protection and continuation of good eye health.
Studies have indicated that zeaxanthin and lutein can help to lessen the chance of chronic eye illnesses, including cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Zeaxanthin, is also a bioflavonoid, that besides its benefits to ocular health, has been linked to providing many health benefits, including its anti-inflammatory property. Because of zeaxanthin being a carotenoid category bioflavonoid, its main action is over the blood vessels; it works by supporting the blood vessels around the retina area with their proper function.
Zeaxanthin is both an anti-inflammatory phytochemical and an antioxidant; hence this has been used as a preventative measure for macular degeneration and cataracts. Its antioxidant properties keep eyes from being damaged from the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sunlight. Overall, zeaxanthin keeps the eye healthier, and looking younger.
ZEAXANTHIN AGAINST CATARACT: Our natural eye collects and focuses light on the retina, and to properly provide this function continuously, the lens must remain clear throughout life. A major cause of cataracts is oxidation of the lens, which clouds it. Antioxidant nutrients, like zeaxanthin and lutein neutralize the free radicals or the unstable molecules associated with this oxidative stress associated with retinal damage. Thus, these phytochemicals play a role in cataract prevention. Higher dietary intakes of vitamin E, zeaxanthin and lutein can considerably reduce the risk of cataract formation.
ZEAXANTHIN AGAINST AGE-RELATED MACULAR DEGENERATION (AMD): Zeaxanthin and lutein reduces the risk of AMD. In fact, studies like AREDS2 (Age-Related Eye Disease Study) are being conducted with supplements containing ten mg lutein along with two mg zeaxanthin each day, how it affects or lowers the chance of developing this degeneration.
Food SourceS OF ZEAXANTHIN
Zeaxanthin is naturally found in some green leafy vegetables like kale and spinach. Other sources of zeaxanthin include egg yolk, yellow squash and bell-peppers. This makes zeaxanthin available as a completely natural nutrient, with no side effects.
Can Iodine And Potassium Be Used For Thyroid Health?
September 15, 2011 02:11 PM
Thyroid Hormone Production
The thyroid gland basically is the part of the body that produces thyroid hormones as the its name suggests. It could be found in the neck right around the front area, somewhere around the thyroid cartilage which is more familiar to us as the adam’s apple. The primary function of the thyroid hormone is to regulate and maintain proper metabolism. I addition it also extends its purpose to processes like energy conversion for the body and the body’s processing of other hormones and vitamins to stimulate proper growth and maturation. Commonly when we refer to thyroid disorders, we refer to thyroid production being out of balance. It could either be too high or too low. In the case of overproduction of these hormones an overactive thyroid is usually the culprit and this is called hyperthyroidism. In the case of underproduction caused by an underactive thyroid the disorder is called hypothyroidism.
Thyroid issues also have been noted to be more prevalent in women than in men. The production of these hormones although done actually by the thyroid the process does not start there. The hormone synthesis process which will eventually produce thyroid hormones begin in the part of the brain called the hypothalamus. This is where the TSH or thyroid stimulating hormone is being released from and it then is transported to the thyroid gland via the blood. Then the two thyroid hormones, L-thyroxine or T4, and triidothyronine or T3 are produced. In this process, it is important that regulation occurs and when any disruption happens this is where the imbalances start, either overproduction or underproduction of the hormones occur. A gland known as the pituitary is the key to all this, also located in the brain it can sense how much hormones are in the blood and adjust accordingly to maintain this delicate balance.
Iodine and the Thyroid
Worldwide the most common cause of any thyroid disorder is iodine deficiency. Ample amounts of dietary iodine are needed to produce the thyroid hormones. It is important that we get the correct amount of iodine from our diets, it is so essential that in the US many food products are fortified with iodine and the reason being is that iodine in natural Food Sources alone are not enough since our food whether it be crops or meat gets its iodine from the soil and our soil is low in iodine content thus the fortification of many of our food products to avoid any thyroid disorders.
Potassium and the Thyroid
Potassium is a very important mineral in the body to maintain good health. It is an important electrolyte and help conduct electricity in the body. In terms of its link with thyroid health, numerous studies have shown that there is an association between low potassium levels and thyroid issues especially hyperthyroidism and in more severe cases it even has been found to be the cause of an overactive thyroid and as such potassium supplementation has been commonly used as treatment to provide relief.
What Can Chromium Picolinate Do In The Body?
July 23, 2011 03:15 PM
It is inevitable that health awareness and protection are very vital. It is also very crucial for us to take necessary measures and precautions to boost our guards from elements that could pose harm and threat to our very delicate body. If we just take these things for granted, for sure, we will be paying for the consequences of our own actions. Fortunately, we are living in this generation where in many have already been discovered that we could utilize to help us achieve a health state that we have always wanted. Chromium Picolinate is one useful element that could help us control the blood sugar levels in our body. Therefore, it is deemed necessary especially for those that are suffering from diabetes mellitus.
Many experts would claim that Chromium is beneficial in reducing body fat as well as in improving muscle tone. With the array of benefits it is capable of offering the human body; its discovery could be considered as a miracle breakthrough in the field of medical science. However, there are still questions that lurk in the minds of many about chromium. Questions like “could chromium be the answer of our predicament with the very common diabetes mellitus?” Such question is surely expected because not all are fully aware about its importance therefore; its discovery is not yet wholly appreciated. Because of this, there is a great need to educate the populace about its benefits.
Chromium is an important trace mineral that is useful in the metabolism of carbohydrates hence; it could play a vital role in the regulation and metabolism of blood sugar. Other benefits of chromium would also include management of cholesterol, and hypertension. Chromium can be grasped from many Food Sources. But it is most abundant in true brewer’s yeast. The more common nutritional yeast though has chromium content but is not as high compared to that of a true brewer’s yeast. Chromium can also be found in grains and cereals. However, at the course of the refining process, most of the said mineral is depleted and lost. Beers also contain small amounts of chromium.
Many individuals who have good knowledge about chromium would really agree about the above mentioned benefits. As a matter of fact, a lot of dieters and health conscious individuals could really testify about the benefits of chromium picolanate especially in improving muscle tone, fat metabolism, and blood glucose level control. At present, there are a growing number of people who are already enticed to take chromium picolinate because of the irrefutable benefits it offers. Needless to say, we are the culprits of our own actions. Whatever health state we would grasp is surely the result of the things that we have sow and invested for our health. If you do not want to suffer from dreadful consequences of your own doing then you have to give yourself the protection that you truly deserve.
Grab Some Chromium and fee the difference!
What is Fenugreek Seed and How Does It Boost Your Health?
July 07, 2011 11:16 AM
Fenugreek seed and your health
Fenugreek seed is a spice often added to curries and other Indian dishes. It is a good source of protein and nutrients. In folk medicine, it has been used in the treatment of pain and irritation characteristic of inflammation. It is historically utilized to promote lactation. More recent studies have shown that it displays antiviral properties. In particular, it has been tested in allaying symptoms of cold infections.
Trigonella foenum-graecum is a plant species that belongs to the legume family. As such, it has been cultivated as a vegetable even before the ancient times. It is believed to be an indigenous species of the Fertile Crescent, a historic region that comprises the modern countries Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Syria. To this day, it remains an important crop, herb, and Food Source in these countries.
Combats Diabetes Mellitus
Fenugreek seed has been the subject of scientific research in the past few years. Drawing on its use in traditional medicine, it has been employed in the management of blood sugar. It improves the effect of the hormone insulin in regulating glucose levels. In fact, it has shown great potential in treating both type I insulin dependent diabetes mellitus and type II noninsulin dependent diabetes mellitus.
Alters Blood Lipid Profile
The phytochemical content of fenugreek seed enables it to effectively lower cholesterol levels in the blood. Clinical trials have recorded changes in lipids present in the systemic circulation after intake of fenugreek seed products. It is now postulated that it blocks the metabolic pathway for the synthesis of low density lipoproteins or bad cholesterol. Some sources say that it raises good cholesterol levels.
Increases Milk Production
Fenugreek seed is rich in organic compounds that promote the secretion of milk products within the mammary glands of lactating women by as much as 900 per cent. Traditionally, the seeds are ground into powder and consumed in large quantities by pregnant women. Today they are made into capsules, which have been reported to display the same benefits and remain popular in the Indian subcontinent.
Relieves Viral Infections
There is a growing body of literature devoted to the putative antiviral properties of fenugreek seed. A number of researchers have attested that the seed displays biochemical activity that interferes with the replication of viruses. For instance, topical applications of fenugreek extracts have shown desirable results in removing viral skin conditions, and oral intake has been effective in easing the common cold.
Promotes Skin Health
Fenugreek seed is a natural conditioner and moisturizer. It promotes retention of moisture in the skin and protects the outer layer of the skin from irritants. It has been used as salves to wounds, rashes, boils, bruises, allergies, and insect bites. It is made into a syrupy mixture that is directly applied to the hair. It regulates the production of sebum in the hair follicles and helps control dandruff.
Grab some fenugreek seed and feel the difference!
What is Dandelion Tea Good for?
March 08, 2011 02:38 PM
Dandelion tea must be best known as a detoxifying beverage that has been associated with improving liver and kidney functions. In the old days the plant is often considered a pesky weed, but today health organizations, such as the European Scientific Cooperative on Phytotherapy, have endorsed its efficacy in relieving liver problems among others. The tea produces a pronounced bitter taste and is often sweetened, but it also packs large quantities of micronutrients.
Peoples from the Old World are no stranger to dandelion tea, but the plant species are native to both Europe and North America. What we refer to as dandelion comprises a large group of flowering plants. The two most notable species are Taraxacum officinale and Taraxacum erythrospermum, both of which are used to make dandelion tea. The fact that it can be found right in your yard is the reason why health magazines regard this herb as one of the readily available nutritional powerhouses.
Maintains Intake of Nutrients during Weight Loss
Dandelion tea has been noted to contain significant levels of vitamins and minerals, the reason why it is popular among individuals who are following a weight-loss program. Many people seem to overlook the fact that depriving themselves of important Food Sources, such as whole grains, compromises their daily intake of dietary nutrients. Chronic dieting is particularly dangerous in the long run even for those who used to be physically healthy. Dandelion tea offers a solution to people on a diet by meeting the RDA for vitamin A and K and providing up to 30 per cent of vitamin C and vitamin B7. It is also rich in minerals like calcium, potassium, and iron.
Promotes Excretion of Toxins through Diuresis
Not surprisingly, dandelions have been used to aid a long list of symptoms and diseases, and it has been reputed as a natural diuretic for centuries. Due to its worldwide distribution, it is one of the few herbs that have earned visible presence in traditional medicine of the East and the West, and its use has always had something to do with the proper functioning of the liver and the kidneys. The bioflavonoids found in dandelion remove toxins from the liver, like ethanol metabolites, and facilitate their excretion through the urine.
Facilitates Absorption of Bioactive Compounds
Health professionals often point to the nutritional content of dandelion tea and other products from the herb. Most species of dandelions have been documented to be completely edible, and the quantities of bioactive compounds present in them have been compared with vegetables like spinach and broccoli. Consumptions of dandelions have even been considered tantamount to intake of dietary supplements as they are rich in phytochemicals that display the activities of many known polyphenolic substances found in black and green teas and other foods rich in antioxidants. While the plant contains high quantities of protein, carbohydrates, and fiber, the tea has been tied to more effective absorption of these bioactive compounds, making it an ideal beverage to match with any Food Source.
Why Do We Need Essential Fatty Acids (EFA's) And What Source Is Best?
February 15, 2011 05:03 PM
EFA's can boost Your Health
Essential fatty acids are organic compounds that the human body necessitates to support healthy functions of organs and tissues but lack the ability to synthesize. Two fatty acids make up this group: (1) alpha linolenic acid, or ALA, and (2) linoleic acid, LA. Also referred to as EFAs, they are ubiquitous at the cellular level, but known to play an active role in neuronal and vascular tissues as well as in inflammation.
Maintains Cellular Health
One of the most recent advancements in cellular science is the discovery of lipid rafts, which are a part of the bilipid layer of cell membranes specialized for trafficking of cellular molecules, such as proteins and receptors. Also, these lipid rafts have an effect on the viscosity of cell membranes, thereby influencing fluidity that governs membrane-dependent functions of cells such as cellular signaling and phagocytosis, the mechanism by which cells swallow extracellular debris including pathogenic stimuli. Due to its being less stiff and more fluid, essential fatty acids make up cell membranes.
Modulates Neuronal Activities
It has long been postulated that learning and memory is influenced by the availability of intracellular substances known as endocannabinoids in a process called retrograde signaling. Unlike other neurotransmitters, endocannabinoids act on presynaptic cells while produced in postsynaptic cells, and by so doing enhances the signal transmission between nerve cells. Essential fatty acids are converted into endocannabinoids, which are produced on demand, and thus daily intake of EFA is a must. In addition, EFA has for years been in use as a treatment for depression and in the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases.
Regulates Inflammatory Responses
The right amounts of essential fatty acids present inside the human body significantly contribute to the inflammatory responses of the immune system. There are chemical compounds that are produced by the body only in the presence of essential fatty acids, and a number of these compounds are essential to the process of healing and other processes implicated during inflammation. This is the reason why intake of EFA is highly regarded as a therapeutic remedy for reducing inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and autoimmune illnesses.
Promotes Cardiovascular Health
There is high risk of heart attack and related cardiovascular diseases in populations with low levels of essential fatty acids. Especially for individuals who are dependent on drugs that are known to cause oxidative stress in vascular tissues, susceptibility to damages of the blood vessel linings sets the stage for the buildup of macrophages and bad cholesterol in the form of arterial plaques. These plaques contribute to the thinning of the vascular passageways characteristic of atherosclerosis.
There is a reason why alpha linolenic acid and linoleic acid are considered essential fatty acids. They are a vital component of a healthy body with well-functioning organs and tissues. Good thing we have a wide list of Food Sources rich in EFA, which includes the oils of hemp, soya, canola, and wheat germ. EFA is also abundant in seeds of sunflower, chia, pumpkin, and flax.
EFA's should be an essential part of everyone's diet, have you had your EFA's today?
Why Should I Be Taking A Vitamin B-Complex?
February 03, 2011 12:18 PM
Vitamins are vital to life. They are essential organic nutrients that are required in very small amounts. Each vitamin is responsible for a certain metabolic function. Vitamins, except for Vitamin D, are not synthesized by the human body and thus are essential nutrients that must be provided through diet or supplements. Vitamins have two categories based on their solubility, the water – soluble and the fat – soluble. Water – soluble vitamins comprise of the B – complex vitamins, vitamin C and choline. On the other hand, the fat – soluble ones are vitamins A, D, E and K. In this article, we will focus on vitamin B – complex which are water soluble.
Vitamin B – complex include thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pyridoxine, folate, cobalamin, biotin and pantothenic acid. These vitamins are crucial to many biologic processes:
Vitamin B-1 or thiamine is plays a role in energy metabolism and nerve functioning that is associated with muscular movement.
Vitamin B-2 or riboflavin also acts as a coenzyme in the release of energy from nutrients just like thiamine.
Vitamin B 3 or niacin is also very important in energy metabolism, specifically in glycolysis and tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle.
Vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid is involved in the normal growth and development of cells.
Vitamin B6 or pyridoxine acts as a catalyst in protein metabolism. This is essential in the development of nerve cells and normal functioning of the nervous system.
Vitamin B7 or biotin aids the transfer of carbon dioxide from one compound to another. It also assists the body to make hormones.
Vitamin B9 or folic acid helps maintain a healthy DNA and is required in the production of red blood cells (RBC).
Vitamin B12 or cobalamin is important in the growth and development of tissues and organs. It is also needed in the production of RBCs and nervous system functioning.
These vitamins are found almost in all foods, yet no one food is a perfect source of all these essential vitamins. Fruits and vegetables, cereals, meat and dairy products are great sources. Experts suggest that it is always best to consume vitamins from Food Sources. However, deficiencies may be rampant if you would just depend on dietary sources. These vitamins work hand in hand that an insufficiency in any B vitamin may result to poor functioning of any or all of the other B vitamins even if they are in good supply. Good thing, vitamin B – complex is made available to supplement the diet. These supplements come in capsule or tablet preparations. Inadequate levels of B vitamins may cause a feeling of weakness, tingling sensation and numbness in both upper and lower extremities, muscle cramps, hair loss, nail brittling, abdominal pain, depression, anemia, poor growth and development in children, and birth defects. As mentioned above, B vitamins are water – soluble. This means that the body cannot store this kind of vitamin except for vitamin B12 and any excess will be readily excreted in the urine. That’s why for those who are taking vitamin B – complex, it is safe and normal to have a bright to dark yellow – colored urine.
Beef Liver Is Nutritous For You
September 03, 2010 12:51 PM
Beef Liver Health Benefits
Beef liver is packed full of nutrients, including significant quantities of several B vitamins: B1 thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B6 (pyridoxine), B12 (cobalamin) and folate. It also contains large amounts of Vitamin A - in fact the liver of the polar bear contains so much Vitamin A that it is toxic to humans and eating its liver can be fatal. Vitamin C is another vitamin, and beef liver also offers a number of useful minerals, such as phosphorus, iron, zinc and copper.
However, liver is available in a number of forms: raw, cooked or as desiccated raw beef liver granules. The Argentineans often eat their beef liver raw or only slightly cooked, and they get the best deal as far as nutrition is concerned. That is because cooking destroys Vitamin C and thiamin and so, if you do not like eating raw liver, Argentinean Beef Liver granules are likely the best form in which to take this very nutritious Food Source.
Beef Liver Supplements
April 08, 2010 04:31 PM
Comments by Craig Gerbore, CEO of Madhava:
Reading through the attack articles and blogs that have surfaced recently one could think that using agave is bad for one's health. These claims are utterly false and misleading. They are extreme views drawn from extreme examples and applied way out of context. They are propagandizing and clearly designed to frighten, not educate. All of the fears and concerns associated with the overconsumption of sugars and calories in general have been unfairly cast on agave.
What is a "healthy" sweetener? One that you use moderately and sensibly.
Health concerns related to fructose and caloric sweeteners are all dependant on the overconsumption of them. All foods have calories and it is the overall consumption of calories that lead to obesity and related issues, not any one Food Source.
Agave's caloric value is comparable to the other sweeteners in the category. Due to its greater sweetness though, less agave is used compared to the others, so agave actually can reduce caloric consumption per serving. This is due to a higher fructose content. The higher content does not mean higher consumption though, due to the smaller portion used. But, it is not the single serving that matters, it is the number of servings which lead to the overconsumption issues which may result in health concerns.
As a reference point, 9-10 teaspoon servings of agave would be the approximate caloric equivalent of one 16 oz soft drink. With this perspective, is agave really being overconsumed as a choice of sweetener for home use?
Every single health issue which the attackers have tried to associate with agave is really the result of a caloric overconsumption issue. There are no documented issues with normal, moderate consumption of agave or sweeteners in general as part of our everyday diet. For reasons unknown, some have attempted to isolate agave from the real world and real world conditions with the goal of inhibiting agave's use. They play on people's fears, reference false information and fail to address health issues in any meaningful way.
The purpose of this article is to debunk the controversial misinformation surrounding agave. All information debunking the myths and misinformation is based on current science and facts. It is our goal to provide you with useful information so that you can make your personal nutritional choices in a well-informed, science-based manner.
The Agave Controversy: Exposing the fraudulent article by Rami Nagel
By Dr. Susan Kleiner, PhD, RD, FACN, CNS, FISSN
And Craig Gerbore, CEO Madhava
The controversy about agave syrup was manufactured by the publication of a single article on the internet, which has been reproduced and adapted for virtually every other article produced on the internet and other media venues. That article, written by Rami Nagel and published on Naturalnews.com, was highly biased and full of inaccuracies, half-truths and misinformation about agave. Since the Naturalnews.com article has been the sole source of nearly all other popular articles in public media, we want to set the record straight with science-based, reliable information to offer a more balanced resource to those interested in learning more about agave syrup. Who is the author, Rami Nagel?
According to the description on the Naturalnews.com website, Rami Nagel is a "citizen journalist". This means that Mr. Nagel is self-employed, and not employed as an in-house journalist by the website. He wrote and published the article without any editorial or content oversight, and the editor of the website, Mike Adams, makes it clear that the article was not checked for incorrect or inaccurate information or facts. The introduction to the article, written by Mr. Adams, states that readers had written to comment that Mr. Nagel's resources were biased with conflicts of interest due to their financial interests in competing sweeteners, such as brown rice syrup. So even the website editor himself states that the article is not fact-checked, and it is biased and unbalanced.
Who is Russ Bianchi?
The sole resource interviewed for the article is Russ Bianchi, identified by the author as Managing Director and CEO of Adept Solutions, Inc. Mr. Bianchi has clear conflict of interest ties to the sweetener industry. We have documentation of the fact that Mr Bianchi had plans to market a product named Replace. It was to be touted as a low calorie alternative sweetener composed of natural and artificial ingredients! Mr Bianchi was prevented from marketing this sweetener as the result of a lawsuit against him by the owner of the formula.
Mr Bianchi is quoted by Nagel extensively and exclusively. Many, if not all, of his statements are blatantly false or misrepresentations of fact. He is clearly propagandizing against agave nectar.
Was anyone else interviewed for this article?
Yes. Craig Gerbore, president and owner of Madhava Agave Syrup, was extensively interviewed by the author but no parts of that interview were included in the article.
It is important to note that neither Mr Nagel or Mr Bianchi have not made themselves available for questions on their statements since the articles appearance. They remain out of sight and have entirely avoided the controversy their statements created.
What is agave nectar?
The opening line of this paragraph in the article by Mr. Nagel states:
"The principal constituent of the agave is starch, such as what is found in corn or rice."
This is absolutely false. There is no starch in agave. The source of carbohydrate in agave syrup is inulin, a polysaccharide made up primarily of strings of fructose units. Starch is a polysaccharide made up of strings of glucose molecules. They are significantly different, and this difference is why agave syrup is naturally sweet.
The very basis of the argument presented by Mr. Nagel is false.
The agave plant is a succulent, similar to a cactus. The agave sweetener comes from both the Salmiana agave plant and the agave Tequilana (Blue Agave) which are both organically farmed in Mexico and certified organic by USDA approved certifiers. As the salmiana plant grows it produces a stalk called the "quiote" and when this is removed, a natural liquid called "aquamiel". The liquid is collected from the plant, while Blue agave pinons are harvested and shredded to remove the similar juice. Either can be naturally processed thermally or by enzymes into agave nectar.
The juice of the plant is not naturally sweet. The string of connected fructose units that makes up the major proportion of inulin does not have a sweet taste, but when the fructose units are separated (the process is called hydrolysis) by the addition of an enzyme, similar to digestion, or thermally for most blue agave, the syrup becomes quite sweet. That is the entire processing chain for agave nectar. There are no additives, other ingredients or chemicals in Madhava agave nectar. It is absolutely pure and organic and GMO free.
? Mr. Nagel claims that agave syrup is a "refined corn fructose" similar to high fructose corn syrup. This is absolutely false. There is no relationship between agave syrup and high fructose corn syrup in any way, including the source of the product, or the manufacturing process.
? Mr. Nagel refers to a "confidential FDA letter" from Mr. Martin Stutsman, claiming that agave is fraudulently labeled. We contacted Mr. Stutsman at the United States Food and Drug Administration, and his response made it clear that there was never a "confidential FDA letter". He did publish a public letter referenced in an FDA document as "FDA letter from Martin Stutsman to Dr. Eric
Wilhelmsen (Wilhelmsen Consulting), May 8, 2000", regarding evaporated cane juice, a topic wholly unrelated to agave syrup.
? He continued in his response to us that the paragraph in Mr. Nagel's article inaccurately reflected the substance of his comments in the document.
This link will take you to the original document in which the letter was referenced (reference #2):
In fact, Mr. Nagel fabricated the entire story of the letter. Mr. Stutsman is a lawyer, not a doctor. The quotes were completely taken out of context from the document, and the quotes never referred to agave syrup at any time. Nagel goes on to further misrepresent Mr. Stutsman's intent in the published document by weaving in other inaccurate information that is thoroughly unrelated to the original document. Mr Bianchi's subsequent statements on labeling issues are false and without merit.
Mr. Nagel is clearly caught red-handed. He has misrepresented the words of a government official, lied about the facts, and twisted the information to achieve his own agenda. This strategy is repeated throughout the article.
? Mr. Nagel continues his deceptive writing by referring to a quote by the late Dr. Varro Tyler in his book, The Honest Herbal. The first line of the paragraph is a direct quote from the book. Nothing else in that paragraph remotely resembles anything else found in Dr. Tyler's book. Mr. Nagel is trying to claim that agave syrup contains large quantities of saponins, and that they can be harmful to health. Here is the debunking of that paragraph:
1. Dr. Tyler does not include the variety of agave plant used for agave syrup.
2. The entire discussion is about the use of the sword-shaped leaves and the stem. Agave syrup is produced from the natural liquid in the plant. The saponins are isolated from the leaves of the plant.
3. There is no documented evidence to suggest agave syrup contains worrisome levels of saponins and the entire rest of the discussion about health dangers is fabricated and false.
People are going to continue to consume sweet food and drink. There are only three categories of choice to sweeten food. Those are artificial sweeteners, stevia, or caloric sweeteners from natural sources, sugars.
Most people will not choose artificial. Many will not choose stevia. That only leaves the category of sugars. In this group, agave is a good choice due to its organic quality, ease of
use, neutral flavor, low glycemic index and the fact that less is used to equal the sweetness of the others in the category.
The sweeteners in this category are composed of three primary sugars used to sweeten foods: glucose, fructose and sucrose. These sugars belong to a class of compounds known as carbohydrates. "Saccharide" is a term that denotes sugar, or substances derived from sugar. Monosaccharides are simple or single sugars; disaccharides are derived from two joined monosaccharides and when they are hydrolyzed, or separated, they yield two molecules of simple sugar. Strings of more than two sugar molecules are called polysaccharides. This category includes compounds such as starches, cellulose and inulin.
Glucose and fructose are monosaccharides. Glucose and fructose are found abundantly in nature in fruits and plants. Sucrose is the disaccharide formed by the joining of glucose and fructose, also known as table sugar. When comparing their relative sweetness, glucose is the least sweet tasting, sucrose is next, and fructose is the sweetest of the three sugars, measured as 1.4 times sweeter than table sugar. Because it is so sweet, people typically use less fructose when sweetening foods compared to sucrose.
? In the article by Mr. Nagel he states , "fructose is not what is found in fruit. Commonly, fructose is compared with its opposite and truly naturally occurring sweetener, known as ‘levulose' (made by nature)..."
Another fabrication. In fact, levulose is just another name for fructose. There are various nomenclatures used in the scientific naming of compounds. Fructose and levulose are exactly the same thing; the names are interchangeable. It is no different than if you called your father, "dad", and your sibling called your father, "father". He would still be the exact same person. Fructose and levulose are different names for the exact same thing: a sugar found in nature.
Mr. Bianchi also is quoted to say that the body does not recognize the fructose in agave. This is another false piece of propaganda which demonstrates just how far he is reaching. If this were true, it would have no impact on us. He immediately contradicts himself with the claims of detrimental effects caused by the overconsumption of fructose.
Sugars can be compared to each other in their ability to raise blood sugar levels by using the Glycemic Index. The scale is set from zero to 100, where low numbers do not have much impact on blood sugar levels, and high numbers raise blood sugar levels quickly. Fructose is very low on the scale. Because agave syrup is high in fructose, it has a rating of 32 or lower. Honey, which has a higher proportion of glucose to fructose, has a Glycemic Index of 58. Sucrose has a Glycemic Index of 68, and glucose, serving as the index standard, is 100.
All sugars, whether fructose, glucose, sucrose or others, contribute 4 calories per gram to our total diet. 1 teaspoon of sugar = 4 grams = 16 calories
In addition to calories, sugars sweeten our foods offering a desirable taste and adding enjoyment and pleasure to our dining. During cooking and baking, sugars allow for browning and the unique consistencies of syrups, candies, frostings and frozen desserts. The varieties of sugars, such as crystallized table sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, molasses, honey and agave nectar, among others, contribute different properties and flavors to foods.
When you add your own sugar to foods you are in control of how much sugar you use. Most people would never add as much sugar as do the food manufacturers. Moderate amounts of sugar can certainly be enjoyed as part of a healthy diet for an active individual. Natural sugars are easily metabolized and utilized by the body, offering a very efficient source of fuel for physical and mental activity.
Of course, sugars should be used in moderation in the diet. This can control calories and help create a diet that is dense in nutrients.
Impact of sugar on health and disease
? The remainder of Mr. Nagel's article works to link agave syrup with the increased incidence of obesity, diabetes, metabolic disease, and the general rise of morbidity and mortality in the population. This is an overconsumption issue involving far more than the occasional use of agave. Here are the facts:
• Rats that are fed a high fructose diet become obese and will develop the chronic diseases associated with obesity: insulin resistance, diabetes and metabolic disease.
• No one should eat a diet that reflects this type of experimental diet.
• Too much sugar in the diet, whether from fructose, glucose or sucrose, can be unhealthy. Diets high in sugar promote tooth decay and periodontal disease; create an overabundance of calories and a deficit of nutrients. This scenario typically leads to weight gain and the development of chronic disease.
• Active individuals can include a moderate amount of added sugar in their diet without negative health consequences. When calorie intake is balanced with physical activity, sugar serves as an efficient source of fuel for muscles, the brain and the central nervous system.
• According to the World Health Organization (2003), individuals can healthfully include 10% of their daily calories from added sugars. This translates into 200 calories for a 2000 calorie diet, or 12½ teaspoons of added sugar daily. Clearly, one can safely add a couple of teaspoons of sweetener to a cup of tea or coffee, or have a little sweetened food without worrying about their risk of developing disease.
• Agave syrup, which is sweeter than other sugars and low on the Glycemic Index scale, is a good choice to include as one of the added sugars in your diet because you will use less sugar (and therefore fewer calories) and minimally raise blood sugar levels.
Just a teaspoon of agave: the healthy use of sweeteners in your diet
We all want to live healthier and longer lives. Diet and nutrition plays a key role, impacting our health and our ability to perform physically and mentally now and into the future. Food offers us not only sustenance, but also pleasure and enjoyment. Food is present in so many parts of our lives: at celebrations, business events, family events, religious and spiritual occasions, sports outings, the focus of our family meals, intimate dinners, and sometimes just the excuse to socialize.
Sweet foods make us feel good. Sugar allows for the elevation of serotonin in our brains, the "feel good" neurotransmitter that elevates mood, helps us focus, and in the evening, helps us relax and sleep.
Sugar is a source of energy for our muscles, brain and central nervous system. Without sugar our bodies will not function at peak capacity.
Too much sugar, however, is not good. In small amounts sugar energizes us, but in large doses, repeated throughout the day, day in and day out, sugar puts stress on the body. The extra calories can lead to weight gain and obesity, which in time can lead to chronic disease. In the short term, high sugar intakes can lead to a nutritionally deficient diet and a sense of being on an emotional roller coaster.
So be selective about your use of sugars and use them in moderation in your diet. Just like all foods, a variety will enhance the nutritional content of your diet and the flavor and tastes that you can enjoy. Since sugars come in different forms and have different flavors, they can be used most effectively in specific foods and beverages. For instance, agave syrup is liquid and less viscous than honey, making it easy to mix into cold liquids like iced tea and coffee, and is great to add to cold unsweetened cereals for a little sweet taste. Agave's mild flavor allows chefs and bakers to sweeten foods lightly, without overpowering the taste of the dish.
Pay attention to how much sugar is added to your diet every day. Read labels so that you know when sugar is added to manufactured foods. Keep the consumption of added sugars in your diet to no more than 10% of your total daily calorie intake so that you have plenty of room for nutrient dense foods like fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, protein-rich foods, nuts, seeds and healthy oils.
Remember that nutrition is a science based on facts. We are making great advances in our understanding of the science of foods and nutrition. Beware of people with hidden agendas using fear tactics to influence your choices. Don't take their opinion at face value. What are their credentials? What conflicts of interest do they have? If they do not disclose conflicts, then assume that they are manipulating the truth.
Most of all enjoy food. Think about what you need to eat to promote whole health. Don't overindulge, but don't deprive yourself of the bounty of wonderful tastes, either. Use celebrations as occasions to enjoy your favorite foods and try new ones. A teaspoon or two of sugar easily fits into the diet of an active, healthy person. Agave syrup offers an organic low-glycemic choice for those looking for that option.
Resources for this article:
Charley H. Food Science, 2nd Edition. John Wiley & Sons, New York, NY, 1982.
Figlewicz DP et al. Effect of moderate intake of sweeteners on metabolic health in the rat. Physiology and Behavior 98:618-624, 2009
Johnson RK et al. Dietary sugars intake and cardiovascular health: A scientific statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, 2009
Tyler VE. The Honest Herbal, Third Edition. Pharmaceutical Products Press, New York, NY, 1993.
Myth: Agave Nectar is refined fructose and unrecognized (digested) in the body.
April 08, 2010 04:11 PM
Fructose or levulose is a simple sugar, sugar does not lack or contain nutrients; if it did, it would no longer be a sugar. Sugar exists as a single substance or nutrient, just as amino acids and fats exist as a single substance or nutrients. Digestion is the process of breaking down structurally complex food into smaller, absorbable units by the enzymes produced within the digestive system. Since fructose is already in a form that is small, it can be absorbed without digestion. Not only is fructose recognized as a Food Source by the body (hence the increase in body fat when over consumed), the body naturally makes fructose as it is the main energy source of sperm cells.
New from Now foods
September 28, 2009 02:28 PM
Fruit And Greens PhytoFoods Alkalizing Food Sources & Gluten Free
It is well understood that nutrients from wholesome, natural Food Sources are the most beneficial and healthy.
Sadly, most people simply do not have the time, energy, or even resources to consume five or more servings of fruits and vegetables every day. When you factor in professional responsibilities, social obligations, and travel, consuming the amount of fresh foods needed to thrive can become even more challenging. We at NOW understand the obstacles that face today’s health enthusiasts, and are constantly exploring new ways to provide superior health products at the best possible prices.
Fruit & Greens™ PhytoFoods is a celebration of everything that nature has blessed us with. From the berries and fruit bursting with cell-protecting antioxidants, to the vegetables and supergreen foods that provide vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, and enzymes; nature remains our most popular and unblemished source of perfect nourishment. Now, more than ever, the need for wholesome, unadulterated nutrition is of the utmost importance. NOW® Fruit & Greens™ PhytoFoods Powder was meticulously formulated to do exactly that.
Fruit & Greens PhytoFoods™ is an advanced, gluten-free Superfood blend that makes it almost effortless to reap the benefits of nature’s most nutritious offerings. Using ingredients provided by Mother Nature herself, we incorporated the very best into this innovative, full-spectrum formula. We invite you to compare the ingredients and potencies in Fruit & Greens PhytoFoods to similar Supergreen and Berry-containing products. Side-by-side, it’s clear that NOW offers the best value and a superior nutrition profile.
• Mixes Easily in Water with a Great Berry Taste
• Alkalizing Food Sources to Help Naturally Support Healthy pH Levels*
• Antioxidant Rich Super Fruits
• With 2 Billion Guaranteed Live Probiotics
• Save 25-60% Off Competitive Products - Everyday!
Cold And Flue Remedies
March 16, 2009 03:42 PM
Echinacea, zinc, vitamin C, and garlic are all the most well-known and respected supplements concerning the maintenance and strengthening of the immune system. Echinacea contains polysaccharides, flavonoids, caffeic acid derivatives, essential oils, polyacetylenes, and alkylamides, which contribute to the herb’s therapeutic benefits. These constituents are responsible for a variety of immuno-stimulatory, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, and anticancer properties.
Echinacea possesses the ability to enhance the movement of white blood cells into infected areas of the body. Echinacea also affects many of the immune system’s cells that are responsible for slowing viral and bacterial infection. Additionally, this herb enhances the performance of macrophages in the immune system, which are responsible for engulfing foreign material like bacteria, viruses, and dead cellular matter. Echinacea also has the ability to kill viruses that indirectly encourage the production and release of interferon, which is a substance that potentially blocks the transcription of viral RNA.
Zinc has been recognized for an extended amount of time as a protection against colds. It is well known that zinc deficiencies are linked to immune system-related disorders as well as the increased susceptibility to infectious diseases. Zinc throat lozenges have become very popular in treating colds over the last few years. One recent study found that zinc is not only beneficial to the immune system, but also necessary for its optimal function.
Vitamin C is one of the most well-known nutrients for battling the effects of colds and flu. Its benefits have been known for years, with a large body of research indicating its effectiveness in reducing the severity and duration of colds an flu. Additionally, vitamin C acts as an immunostimulant by enhancing white blood cell production, increasing interferon levels and antibody responses, promotes secretion of thymic hormones, and improves connective tissue.
There is conflicting information on how much vitamin C one should take, but most experts agree that the FDA’s recommended dietary intake is not sufficient. Many doctors suggest taking large doses, as much as 10,000 mg when suffering from a cold or flu. One of the great things about vitamin C is that it can be found abundantly in many fruits and vegetables. The best Food Sources include broccoli, sweet peppers, collards, cabbage, spinach, kale, parsley, melons, potatoes, tangerines, and Brussels sprouts.
Garlic, which is extremely well known as a culinary additive, is actually one of the most commonly used medicinal herbs as it is found throughout the world and employed for various therapeutic purposes for thousands of years. It is common in Chinese herbal medicine and has recently received a great deal of attention in the U.S. and other Western countries. Recent research has found that garlic possesses powerful capabilities relating the immune system and the body’s ability to fight infection. Garlic possesses antiviral and antibacterial capabilities and has been shown repeatedly to simulate and improve performance by the body’s immune systems. Studies on garlic have shown that it has the ability to actually kill flu and cold viruses. Garlic also can protect the body from invading virus cells by enhancing the body’s immune functions.
Additional herbs and natural supplements that are useful in fighting cold and flu viruses include goldenseal, pau d’arco, astragalus, licorice, peppermint, and beta carotene. No matter what you choose to do by way of a doctor or natural alternative, supplements such as these discussed have zero side effects if taken as recommended on the bottles label. Natural vitamins and herbs can be found at your local or internet health food store.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Vitamins and herbs are not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.
Flax Seed Oil Supplement
December 29, 2008 01:13 PM
The majority of Americans know to some extent that there is a an association between a high-fat diet and serious health problems including heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes complications, and cancer. However, what a lot of people are unaware of is that the kind of fat that we take into our bodies is as important as regulating the amount.
This notion was first observed by researchers in the early 1950s and is made particularly clear when observing the Eskimo diet versus the standard American diet. Because Eskimos routinely eat a diet that is full of animal fat, it is a wonder why they do not suffer from the cardiovascular disease that is associated with these foods as Americans do.
The explanation of this is because Eskimos eat a great deal of fish, which is a food that is high in unsaturated fats, which work to prohibit the harmful effects that saturated fats produce. Saturated fat is often associated with harmful disease, and comes from animals, while unsaturated fat comes from vegetables and can actually work to inhibit the effects of saturated fats. Put simply, it is safe to say that the two types of fats work to cancel each other out. Saturated fats found in foods such as margarine, shortening, and most prepared foods negatively affect the way that the body uses unsaturated fats, while the reverse is also true.
A diet that is low in levels of saturated fats ad high in levels of unsaturated ones can help to protect the body against heart disease and cancer. This counteractive effect works because of the presence of two specific fats which function as essential fatty acids, which are needed in the body in order to properly function. However, the body cannot produce these essential fatty acids on its own and without them, deficiency symptoms develop and growth ceases. Because the body can not produce its own essential fatty acids, it relies on Food Sources that supply them. The problems result because the typical American diet does not provide a sufficient amount of essential fatty acids.
There are two primary types of essential fatty acids: linoleic and alpha-linolenic acid, the body needs both of these acids in order for it to function properly and have normal cellular structure. The main difference between the two is basically a structural one, leading two the identification of two different oils: omega-3 and omega-6. A balance of these two oils is needed by the body in order for it to function at an optimal level.
Linoleic acid is responsible for transportation of water across the skin and the proper functioning of the pituitary gland. It is beneficial in the treatment of many skin conditions and in growth and development therapies. Alpha-linolenic acid, on the other hand, offers protective effects against coronary heart disease and stroke and benefits those who are suffering from migraines, arthritis, and high cholesterol levels.
There are two main sources of fatty acids: fish oil and flaxseed oil. Fish oil has many benefits, while flaxseed oil may have greater benefits at a more economical price. If one doesn’t like the smell of fish then the flaxseed oil alternative is more appealing and has very little smell while still retaining the health benefits that omega supplements provide.
October 11, 2008 10:26 AM
The non-essential amino acid glycine is needed to generate muscle tissue and also for the conversion of blood glucose into energy. It is referred to as being ‘non-essential’ because the body can manufacture its own glycine, and is therefore not an essential component of your diet. Other uses to which glycine is put by the body includes the maintenance of a healthy nervous system, and is necessary for the proper functioning of the digestive system.
Amino acids play three essential roles in the human body:
1. They are the building blocks of proteins: proteins comprise about half of the dry weight of the majority of your body cells, and without them there would be no life. They are produced using monomers known as amino acids, and there are about 20 different amino acids used to make the vast variety of proteins that make up the human body. Proteins are needed to form enzymes, the catalysts that permit the majority of chemical reactions within our bodies, and also genes, the building blocks of DNA.
2. More relevant here, amino acids play an important role in the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) from ADP (adenosine diphosphate) by phosphorylation with creatine phosphate. The more creatine phosphate available, the more ATP can be produced. Since ATP is the molecule responsible for the generation of energy, then the more ATP available the more energy is generated. Although creatine is available from many Food Sources, it is destroyed by cooking, and over half of what you use is made from the three amino acids, glycine, arginine and methionine. The energy produced in this way is very short-lived, and last only a few seconds - more on that later.
3. Glycine is heavily involved in the production of collagen, which is the substance that maintains the flexibility of your skin and other connective tissues while still maintaining their strength and firmness. Without glycine your skin would become slack due to the degrading effect of sunlight, free radicals and oxidation.
The non essential amino acid, glycine, is believed to offer other benefits to the human body, but it is the second of those above, the production of ATP, which interests us here. ATP is an extremely important nanomolecule, second in importance to the body only to DNA, and possibly also RNA since the two are linked. RNA makes copies of your DNA structure for use in cell division and growth.
When a cell expends energy for whatever reason, such as when I am typing this, or when your heart beats, or even when your liver synthesizes a protein, one of the phosphate groups is removed from the adenosine triphosphate molecule, and converts it to adenosine diphosphate (ADP). The ATP is then said to be 'spent', just as your energy is spent when you are tired and can exercise no more.
The ADP is then immediately reconverted to ATP in the mitochondria, a part of every cell in your body. A cell can contain hundreds, or even thousands, of mitochondria, the number depending upon that particular cell's need for energy. Hence, cells in your muscles, or in your liver where most of the body's chemistry takes place, contain thousands of mitochondria whereas those in your scalp contain a lot less. Once changed to ATP, a phosphate is again lost when energy is expended, and so the cycle continues.
Glucose is needed allow the ADP to be converted to ATP, hence the need for sugars, or the carbohydrates from which they are manufactured in your body. Each cell can contain up to a billion molecules of ATP, although the couch potatoes among you probably have a lot less! Your store of ATP molecules last about 2 to 5 seconds before being changed to ADP although more rapidly for athletes that expend a lot of energy. Then the energy stored in the form of glycogen in the liver kicks in for another 4 - 6 seconds.
Additionally, you cannot expend more energy that the (eventual) sugars that you take in your diet, which can be in the form of ordinary 'sugar' (sucrose), fruit (fructose), glucose, carbohydrates that are metabolized into sugars, or any other member of the sugar family (e.g. lactose, maltose, etc.).
Glycine is one of what are called glucogenic amino acids, which refers to their ability to provide glucose to the blood. Because it helps to maintain proper blood glucose levels, it is often prescribed for conditions that are caused by low glucose levels, such as hypoglycemia that shows symptoms of fatigue and tiredness, and also anemia and what is known as CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome).
The one activity of the human body, in fact that of any mammal, for which ATP is essential, is the heartbeat. Without that no mammal could survive, or any other creature that relies on a circulation system for life. The only reason you heart has to beat is to pump your blood around your body, and it is your blood that contains the oxygen and nutrients needed to sustain life. Your cardiovascular health relies on lots of ATP being available to power each and every heartbeat.
Analysis of the heart during the final stages of heart failure has revealed that there is a general decrease in the myocardial arginine: glycine amidinotraferase (AGAT) gene expression, which is indicative of the necessity of this enzyme for proper heart function. The enzyme is responsible for the first stage in the biosynthesis of creatine from glycine.
Creatine is well known to athletes, and while it is available naturally from some Food Sources, it can be destroyed during cooking, and at least 50% of the creatine needed by the body is produced in the liver, pancreas and kidneys. It is creatine phosphate that is broken down into creatine and phosphate, the latter of which is used by the mitochondria to regenerate ATP from ADP.
The study carried out on the reduced AGAT levels found in heart failure patients indicates the importance of glycine to heart health. Without a good supply of glycine, there will insufficient creatine produced biochemically to generate the phosphate needed to for the ATP to produce the energy required to keep the heart pumping with the required strength. The energy provided by the mitochondria is used locally by the cells in which it is produced, and within a few seconds of that production. As explained earlier, ATP stores are used up within 2 - 5 seconds, and glycogen stores within another 4 - 6 seconds.
That is why sprinters cannot keep running at maximum speed for more than around 10 seconds or so, because the immediate availability of glycine, and hence creatine, are insufficient to last longer than that. That is one reason why they have to finish those 100 meters as fast as possible, because otherwise they would run out of energy. Other than trying to win, of course!
However, when it comes to the heart, ATP stores are essential, and the cells in your heart require a constant supply of ATP from creatine, which itself depends upon your intake or biosynthesis of glycine. Since dietary sources are insufficient to meet all your needs, and destroyed by cooking, a glycine supplement is the only way to ensure a sufficient intake. You cannot undernourish your heart and remain healthy.
ATP biosynthesis is essential if that of glycine theoretically is not, but the fact that 50% of your glycine requirement has to be produced by your body and the other 50% is sensitive to heat during cooking, a supplement of glycine could be essential to many people.
NOW® Introduces Genuine Whole Food™ Labeling
September 27, 2008 01:23 PM
NOW is excited to highlight our line of Genuine Whole Food products with a new icon. These existing products include a wide range of items, including NOW® Flax, Alfalfa Juice, Blue Green Algae, Kelp, Spirulina, Aloe, Hoodia, Colostrum, and Chlorella. One of the most exciting to join this new product category is an Organic Red Yeast Rice that is sourced right here in the United States.
In order to provide you and your customers with the finest possible product, these items undergo a delicate process that helps retain the highest concentrations of nutrients and other beneficial extracts. They are minimally processed without adding or creating new isolates, and we do not spike our active ingredients. This results in safe ingredients that provide nutrients in their original form. NOW® Genuine Whole Foods are concentrated using only deionized water; no harsh chemical solvents are used at any stage during the process.
When it comes to the products that enter your body, natural is always better. Not only are natural products free of potentially dangerous chemicals, they also contain a wide range of nutrient compounds that cannot be recreated in a laboratory. All NOW Genuine Whole Food supplements are 100% natural and free of artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, and preservatives. Our new Genuine Whole Foods icon identifies this commitment made to product quality. Each product delivers a ratio of nutrients similar to that found in natural Food Sources. This results in greater nutrition that your body can use in the most effective manner possible.
Unlike other companies that offer only a small selection of Whole Food-based products and ingredients, or none at all, NOW has a diverse selection of 68 SKUs that encompasses a wide range of health and wellness needs.
DHA - Fish Oil
July 31, 2008 03:03 PM
A lot of research has been preformed over the past twenty years which has concluded that fats and cholesterol play a huge role in the development of heart disease, which happens to be the number one killer in the United States. It has been found that certain types of cholesterol in our blood can eventually lead to a buildup of plaque in the arteries, which restricts the blood supply to the heart and sets us up for a potential heart attack.
These researchers found it ironic when looking at the Greenland Eskimo, whose diet is rich in animal fat, but who is almost entirely free from coronary artery disease. Studies have proved that high levels of DHA and EPA that are found in the fish, seal, and whale diet of the Eskimo is what protects them from the heart disease that many people in the United States battle.
In order to improve cardiovascular health, DHA must performs many tasks. Increased DHA and EPA levels have been shown to lower total serum cholesterol. It has also been shown to selectively lower LDL cholesterol while elevating protective HDL cholesterol. Additionally, DHA and EPA supplementation lowers triglycerides. In terms of heart health, these omega-3s also reduce the tendency of platelets to clump and adhere to blood vessels and the blood vessels themselves to constrict.
Although diets that are high in fat content are believed to be potential risk factors for the development of certain types of cancer, especially breast cancer, the rates for some common cancers are relatively low among the Eskimos of Greenland and Alaska even though they have a high fat intake. Studies preformed to look into this fact concluded that the type of fat consumed may be important in determining cancer incidence, rather than just the overall fat intake.
DHA and EPA consumption suppresses the formation of a lot of leukotrienes, which are compounds that affect many different body systems. These leukotrienes stimulate bronchial contraction and are strongly associated with asthma, as they stimulate the production of mucus, affect cerebral circulation, and are powerful pro-inflammatory agents. To sum it up, leukotrienes can contribute too several severe health conditions, so consuming DHA and other fatty acids, have shown to reduce the production of leukotrienes by as much as seventy-five percent. Also, supplementation causes immune and inflammatory responses to be greatly diminished, which is especially important for immune response disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disorder.
Unless people are eating a good amount of fatty fish and other sea foods daily, it is likely that both adults and children are deficient in DHA. To ensure the proper amount of DHA in the most effective way, one should take DHA in supplement form. Research has shown that consuming DHA exclusively from fish oil may have some drawbacks, specifically the taste of fish.
Fish oils that contain both DHA and EPA are now available in capsule form, which allows one to avoid the issue of taste. For those who prefer to have their supplements from a plant source, microalgae, the Food Source of fish, is a great source of DHA. This source can be used by both vegetarians and individuals on low-fat diets, both of whom are extremely vulnerable to having a lower dietary DHA level.
Also, if you are having trouble with fish oil softgels give vectomega dry fish oil a try. vectomega is a tablet form of fish oil you can take once daily to get your needed DHA and EPA to enhance your health.
July 22, 2008 01:51 PM
DHA is a fatty acid that is essential for many body processes and structures. Fatty acids are the building blocks that create lipids, which are important nutrients that make up 25 to 45 percent of total body energy for most of those who are living in industrialized countries. The majority of dietary fatty acids are made from dairy products, meat, margarine, and vegetable oils.
Lipids are important because they store and transport energy from one part of the body to another and they also insulate and mechanically protect certain parts of the body. Any fat that is eaten is converted by the body into fatty acids, where it is then burned for energy, stored, or synthesized into other acids which are called prostaglandins. Some fatty acids are also vital structural components of cell membranes. DHA is part of a special class of highly concentrated, long-chained, polyunsaturated fatty acids called omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are looked at as one of the most fundamental molecules in the structure and activity of the membranes of all cells. They have a huge influence on the production of cellular regulatory compounds which are known as eicosanoids. They also are highly specialized in their function in neurological tissues, especially the retina of the eye. It is also very likely that omega-3s have specific and beneficial effects on the heart muscle, while they also influence the production of substances that control immune responses.
Fatty acids are short-chained, medium-chained, or long chained. Short-chain fatty acids are water-soluble and absorbed directly from the intestine into the bloodstream. They are generally used for immediate energy and can be found most abundantly in dairy products. Long-chained fatty acids are more emphasized when it comes to health concerns as they are stored in cell membranes and have a huge affect on membrane protein function. Their behavior in tissue membrane is what makes them greatly influential in health.
Besides the length of the chain, fatty acids are also described by their saturation. Saturation means how many hydrogen atoms the fatty acid carries. Fatty acids that carry as many hydrogen atoms as they can are called saturated fatty acids, while those that lose a pair of hydrogen atoms become unsaturated. This loss of hydrogen atoms creates a double bond between the two carbon atoms on either side of the missing hydrogen atoms. Those fatty acids that have one double bond are called monounsaturated fatty acids, while those with two or more double bonds are called polyunsaturated fatty acids. Most omega-3 fatty acids are highly unsaturated and have five or more double bonds.
EPA and alpha-linolenic acid are most commonly found in plant sources. DHA and EPA are made in phytoplankton, which is consumed by fish, mollusks, and crustaceans. The above reason is why these two essential fatty acids are found mainly in the aquatic food chain. LNA and EPA cannot substitute for DHA in all metabolic functions, even though DHA and EPA are more able to cover for each other in certain metabolic functions. It has been found that LNA is less effective than EPA which is less effective than DHA in enriching tissues, meaning that Food Sources such as vegetables and seed oils are not as good of sources than sea foods or other foods that are enriched with DHA and EPA. DHA in itself provides most of the health benefits displayed in research, to take essential oils that contain no DHA would limit the health benefits discussed above and from other sources. Have you had your DHA today?
B Vitamin Complex
June 23, 2008 03:19 PM
The vitamin B supplement you take is a mixture of nutrients that, although they share the same vitamin letter, are in fact distinctly different chemical entities. The reason that they share the same reference letter of the alphabet is that they are all essential water soluble vitamins (Vitamin C being the only other), they frequently work in synergy with each other and they often come from common sources and have similar properties in the body. They were therefore at one time believed to be just the one chemical entity.
They are essential in that they must form part of our diet because our bodies cannot manufacture these substances from others, and although most share common biochemical and health functions, there is no health function that requires all of them, and none of them can be totally replaced by another.
The B-Vitamin complex that you take can consist of as many as eight different B vitamins, each of which is essential for a healthy body and at one time it was believed that this mixture was only one single vitamin. That is why they are collectively known as vitamin B and were subsequently allocated numbers: it was only later that the individual components were discovered.
These eight are vitamin B-1 (thiamine), vitamin B-2 (riboflavin), vitamin B-3 (niacin), vitamin B-5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B-12 (cobalamins), biotin and folic acid (folate). They are found in yeast, liver, tuna, bananas and rice among other sources, and, as with all vitamins, without them life would not be possible. Not all vitamins are found in each of these Food Sources, and vitamin B-12, for example, is available in nutritional quantities only from animal sources.
Knowing what they are is all very well, but what does your body do with the B vitamin supplement that you take? Before considering that, the reason that a regular supply is important is because of their water solubility. This is a useful property for a vitamin to possess, because it means that they can easily be transported by the body fluids to the tissues where they are needed. The downside, however, is that they are consequently also easily flushed from the body, and your body cannot store any of the B vitamins.
You therefore must have a regular dietary source that can be augmented through supplementation. This is particularly desirable in alcoholics, those on diets to lose weight and vegans who are advised to take a regular vitamin B-12 supplement.
A lack of vitamin B will make you feel tired and lack energy because they play a big part in your body’s metabolism of blood glucose into energy. They also help to maintain a healthy immune system, keep your nervous system in tip-top condition and maintain good healthy skin, hair and muscles. The B complex is also very important in maintaining healthy blood and liver, and each and every component of the mixture has a specific part to play, both on individually and by interaction with others in the B complex.
Rather than examining what your body does with the supplement as a whole, let’s have a look at each component, and what your body does with that. Taking them one at a time, thiamine (B1) helps you to burn carbohydrates to generate energy. It is highly water soluble and must be taken daily. In the form of thiamine pyrophosphate it plays a key part in the metabolism of carbohydrates to energy, and also in the metabolism of certain amino acids. If you rely heavily on a high carbohydrate diet, you will need a good regular supplement of thiamine to be able to convert them to energy.
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) also plays a part in fat and carbohydrate metabolism and the formation of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the molecule of energy. It plays a significant part in the health of your skin and a deficiency is associated with mouth ulcers, cracked lips, flaky skin and bloodshot watery eyes. It also activates vitamin B6 and folic acid, one of the cases where the B vitamins work together synergistically.
Vitamin B3, or niacin, is well known to women as a component of some shampoos, and helps to promote health hair. However, this vitamin also takes part in the process of energy creation within your body, and helps to maintain a good muscle tone within the digestive tract. It is also used as a supplement for the treatment of diseases related to high levels of LDL cholesterol and is useful for the treatment of atherosclerosis.
Pantothenic acid is also found as a component of shampoos, so no prizes for guessing one of its functions. Vitamin B-5 plays a significant part in the energy-producing Krebs Cycle, or Citric Acid Cycle, that is used by every cell in your body to generate energy just where it is needed. It is also needed to synthesize acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter needed for good brain function and it helps to reduce stress. Pantothenic acid is also closely involved in the production of cholesterol in your liver: cholesterol is not all bad, and is needed by your body to produce some of the steroid hormones and also vitamin D.
Amino acids are the small units that are used to biosynthesize proteins and ultimately the genes and DNA that determine who you are. The major factor involved in processing these amino acids is Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), one of the lesser known of the vitamin B complex. It synthesizes and breaks up different amino acids to produce a variety of other compounds, such as the hormones serotonin, melatonin and dopamine.
Deficiencies in these hormones can be very serious, Parkinson’s disease believed to be connected with a dopamine deficiency for example, and other disorders include kidney stones, anemia and many skin complaints. Although deficiency of vitamin B6 is rare, it can occur in alcoholics and those with chronic kidney problems. It is believed that many diets are deficient, however, and a good vitamin B supplement would ensure that this did not occur.
Vitamin B-12 is one where deficiency can occur, particularly in alcoholics and vegans. It is available in sufficient quantities only from meat sources, and a supplement is indicated in anyone with a low meat intake in their diet. It is used by your body for the replication of DNA and to allow the normal activity of your body cells. It also helps to control homocysteine levels in conjunction with vitamin B6 and folic acid: homocysteine is a high-risk amino acid associated with atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease that can lead to Alzheimer’s disease, heart attacks and strokes.
The seventh, biotin (sometimes referred to as vitamin B7) also takes part in the metabolism of energy, but deficiencies have not been known, and the final known member of the B vitamin complex is folic acid. This is essential for cell growth and the synthesis of RNA and DNA in the body. RNA (Ribonucleic acid) is responsible for the synthesis of proteins in your body, and the well known Deoxy-ribonucleic acid (DNA) holds the genetic information of your body. Folic acid is therefore essential in the growing fetus, and any other cellular system that rapidly regenerates such as blood cells and the various cells of the immune system.
Without folic acid your body would be more susceptible to bacterial and viral attack, and less able to protect you from foreign invaders into your body tissues. Although deficiency is not common, folic acid is present in fresh food only and degrades when stored at room temperature and when cooked. A supplement is therefore advisable during pregnancy to help to prevent neural tube defects.
It is evident that the Vitamin B complex plays many parts in the chemistry of your body, and that a supplement can be of benefit in assuring that there are no deficiencies. A good B complex can be found at your local or internet health food store.
June 07, 2008 09:40 AM
Vitamin E is a known natural supplement and antioxidant that helps support the immune and cardiovascular systems. It is created by a natural process so that you can receive the purest form available. It is formed when natural d-alpha tocopherol is combined with a phosphate molecule. This combination protects the potency of Vitamin E until your body needs it the most.
Ester E is processed so that its natural benefits are preserved to give the body the most optimal benefit possible. This is why Ester E is the best form of Vitamin E available. Vitamin E is known to aid in the following actions:
* Preventing Alzheimer’s disease
Vitamin E Food Sources:
How Vitamin E Works:
Manufacturers suggest that Ester E be taken along with a meal that includes some form of fat. This is because when fat is combined with Vitamin E, it is more readily absorbed. Since the supplement is fat soluble, this aids in delivery to the cells of the body.
Vitamin E is an essential nutrient because the body cannot produce it on its own. If you are not ingesting the proper amounts of it in your daily diet, you need to take a supplement. It is important to remember that improper preparation, cooking and storage can result in the loss of Vitamin E from the food.
Vitamin E is actually a combination of antioxidants, tocopherols and tocotrienols. Unfortunately, only alpha-tocopherol is actively maintained in the body. Therefore a supplement is needed to be sure the body is getting enough of the other ingredients that make up the complete Vitamin E.
Why do we need Vitamin E?
Part of its job is to protect Vitamin A and essential fatty acids from oxidation. When oxidation occurs in the cells, it breaks down body tissues.
Vitamin E Benefits:
Vitamin E has been found to aid in the prevention of heart disease. The oxidation of LDL cholesterol causes blockages in the coronary arteries. This often leads to atherosclerosis and heart attack. Vitamin E helps to prevent or at least delay these effects by limiting this oxidation. This has reduced the mortality rate due to coronary disease.
In its complete form, Vitamin E may be effective in reducing the risk of breast cancer in women who are genetically predisposed. It is being tested for its effectiveness in not only reducing the incidence of breast cancer, but also in inhibiting breast cancer cell growth.
Vitamin E is thought to protect the body against many forms of cancer due to its ability to increase immune system function. As an antioxidant, Vitamin E protects the body against the damaging effects of free radicals. These are believed to contribute to cancer cell production and the development of other chronic diseases. Vitamin E may also block formation of nitrosamines. These are carcinogens that form in the stomach from nitrites consumed through diet.
Another possible benefit to optimal amounts of Vitamin E in the diet is the prevention of cataracts. The clarity of the lens of the eye contributes to the formation of cataracts, blindness and eye disease. Vitamin E is being found to aid in the prevention of eye problems in people of all ages.
Vitamin E Warnings:
Vitamin E can produce harmful side effects if it is combined with certain medications. Consult your doctor before taking any dietary supplement to be sure it is safe for your use.
When taken as a supplement in its complete form, Vitamin E is nutritive and helpful in maintaining good health. Be sure when purchasing Vitamin E supplements that you are using Ester E for optimal benefits.
May 12, 2008 11:10 AM
All female mammals, including humans, produce colostrum soon after giving birth, and before proper milk is produced. It is a milk-like substance that provides newly born infants with a boost to their immune system and gives immediate protection against the germs with which they are about to come into contact.
It also, incidentally, promotes the child’s first bowel movement to rid it of the large amount of dead blood cells created when it’s blood supply was drastically reduced after the severing of the umbilical supply.
It is now believed that colostrum will help not only newly born infants, but also grown adults. If your immune system is weak or you are suffering from a condition that could be helped by a boost to your immune system, colostrum might be what you need to help you fight off what is ailing you. This has become clear after the way that colostrum works has been established.
Transfer factors were discovered in 1949 by Dr. H. Sherwood Lawrence of the New York University School of Medicine. He found that when he injected an extract of the leukocytes of somebody that had previously been infected with tuberculosis, the natural immunity was transferred from the donor to the recipient. He called this extract the ‘transfer factor’, and a means of transferring immune response factors between people was born.
However, the sharing of transfer factors between people suffering from serious conditions such as the HIV virus or hepatitis is a high risk action, and fifty years later, in 1999, bovine colostrum was discussed at a transfer factor conference in Mexico. Bovine colostrum contains large quantities of transfer factors such as IgG type immunoglobulins and hydrogen peroxide. The latter is commonly produced by our body cells to fight off invading pathogens, and immunoglobulins are very effective in fighting some diseases that can be fatal to AIDs patients. Take Cryptosporidium parvum, for instance. This microorganism causes a form of diarrhea that AIDs patients have no defense against but that colostrum can be particularly effective against, and it is also effective against rotavirus that is the main cause of diarrhea in young children.
Before discussing this further, let’s go back a step and examine how bovine milk came to be included in the equation. At one time it was believed that a baby received its immunity from the mother while in the womb and that this was extended via the mother’s milk. However, it was discovered that the milk contained no antibodies as such, only the colostrum, and these antibodies had somehow been transferred to the baby.
This was explained by the concept of the transfer factor. It is not the antibodies that are being transferred from mother to child, but the transfer factor. This modulates the immune system of the recipient and teaches it how to create antibodies against the specific antigens that the donor’s antibodies protect against and to inform the recipient’s immune system when these antigens are present.
The next step was to test the theory that the transfer factor should be able to be passed between species, and the cow was the obvious initial choice since not only are cattle exposed to many of the same antigens as humans, but we already use cow’s milk as a Food Source – particularly for babies and children. It worked! It was found that when humans were fed cow’s colostrum the specific antibodies were later found in the blood of the person given the treatment.
The next step was to determine the form in which this substance could be used, and injections of various types were tried without success. It was established that the only means of administering colostrum was by drinking it, or supplying it in capsule form. It can be drunk fresh or freeze dried to kill of living organisms and then fats and sugars removed and the resultant dried product encapsulated. It is even possible to remove all large molecules, antibodies, proteins, etc, and still retain the transfer factor. It is absorbed by the gut, and the resultant message passed to the recipient.
It is important to understand that it is not the immunoglobulins from the cow that are passed on, because these are species specific, and are in fact the source of most cow’s milk allergies. There is no transfer of antibodies or any other specific parts of the immune system. What are passed on are the messengers, particularly the transfer factors that are not species specific. A cow’s transfer factors would work just as well in a cat as in humans, only cats don’t get the same diseases as cows and people.
The types of disease that colostrum can help to protect us from include viral and bacterial diseases, fungal diseases and parasites, and neurological and autoimmune diseases. If you have cancer, colostrum can help significantly since cancer and immune deficiency are related. Cancer cells are being formed all the time in your body, but your immune system generally disposes of them. However, if it fails to do this, then the cells can proliferate and lead to cancer as we know it. Colostrum can help your body to prevent cancer occurring, and if you have it, can help to reduce its spread.
Freelance journalist Sam Wainaina studied the effects of Ebola virus in Uganda after the 2002 outbreak, and concluded that had transfer factors been available during the outbreak to transfer immunity it might perhaps have been contained sooner than it was, and saved many, many lives. Although transfer factors have been known of for 60 years, there is still a lot to be done in their application and studies on colostrum could help to accelerate this. Transfer factors alert immune cells to danger, train the system to generate the right type of immunoglobulins and boost NK cell activity to defeat the invaders. They can also moderate an over-active immune system that can be as much a danger to the body as an invading pathogen.
Colostrum can also be used to burn fat and create muscle tissue, and is popular with bodybuilders but it is for its healing and immunity-boosting properties that it is most used. Biotechnology companies are now boosting the colostrum’s transfer factors by injecting cows with vaccines that create pathogens. Known as Ultra Colostrum this is an advance on the natural material.
Pinolenic Acid - Appetite Control
April 25, 2008 02:50 PM
Mention "pine nuts" and peoples’ mouths are apt to start watering for a taste of garlicky pesto or fragrant pilaf. Ironically, the same ingredient that is so irresistible in gourmet cooking may help curb our out-of-control appetites. But only a particular variety of pine nut—Pinus koraiensis from Korea—will do.
Source Naturals PineSlim is a Korean pine nut oil (PinnoThin™). A small-scale study suggests that PineSlim may reduce feelings of hunger by increasing concentrations of appetite-suppressing hormones. The study also suggests that a feeling of fullness is experienced 30-60 minutes after taking PineSlim. For best results, PineSlim should be taken while following the Maximum Metabolism Weight Loss Plan™ enclosed in every bottle.
Enjoying good food is part of a healthy lifestyle, but too often we don’t know when to stop. PineSlim can help by addressing one of the most basic of the dozen deep metabolic systems identified by Source Naturals as critical to your optimal health: Hormones/Metabolism.
Less Calories for Improved Health
According to a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, an estimated 66% of U.S. adults are overweight. A normal body fat level is one of the factors associated with many markers of good health, including insulin efficiency, healthy inflammation response, good circulation, and normal cell regeneration. One of the best ways to achieve healthy weight is by curbing the amount of calories we take in—but that’s not always easy to do. Now an ancient Asian Food Source may help.
Korean Pine Nuts—Traditional Asian Food
The Korean pine nut (Pinus koraiensis) has been used as a Food Source for centuries and is often served as a snack at social events in China. Korean pine nuts grow on evergreen trees that produce seeds (commonly referred to as nuts) that are rich in oil, particularly oleic, linoleic, and pinolenic acids.
Pinolenic acid is a fatty acid, which may influence healthy blood pressure. According to recent research, pinolenic acid also may increase concentrations of the satiety hormones glucogon-like peptide-1 (GLP- 1) and cholecystokinin (CCK).
Both GLP-1 and CCK are hormones that have been found to increase satiety and suppress appetite in normal-weight humans. They are believed to work by delaying gastric emptying. Retaining food in the stomach for a longer period of time may prolong a feeling of fullness.
In a randomized, double-blind trial, 18 overweight women received 3.00 grams of Korean pine nut oil (PinnoThin™)—the same amount as one daily dose of Pine Slim—or an olive oil placebo before a carbohydrate meal. Hormone measures of CCK and GLP-1 were taken from blood samples, and subjective measures of appetite were recorded. The study demonstrated a significant increase in appetite-suppressing CCK and GLP-1 hormones at 30-60 minutes after supplementation.
Your Source for Advanced Nutrition
The plant world offers an abundance of health promoting compounds. Today exciting discoveries are emerging from research into the health benefits of botanicals. The development of PineSlim reflects Source Naturals’ commitment to manufacturing supplements on the cutting edge of nutritional science. We are glad to partner with your local health food store in bringing you nutritional resources that help you take charge of your health.
Causey JL (3/28/06) Korean Pine Nut Fatty Acids Induce Satiety-producing Hormone Release in Overweight Human Volunteers, American Chemical Society Abstract, “Health Benefits of Lipids” Symposium. ABSTRACT 0117: TECH-3.
Fontana L. (2006) Excessive Adiposity, Calorie Restriction, and Aging. JAMA. 295(13): 1577-1578. Masoro EJ. (2005) Overview of caloric restriction and ageing. Mech Ageing Dev. 126: 913-922. Sugano M, Ikeda I, Wakamatse K, Oka T. (1994)
Influence of Korean pine (Pinus koraiensis)-seed oil containing cis-5,cis-9,cis-12-octadecatrienoic acid on polyunsaturated fatty acid metabolism, eicosanoid production and blood pressure of rats. British Journal of Nutrition. 72:775-783.
Blue Green Algae a Super Food that is Foods Packed With Nutrients. Vegetarian Friendly
April 11, 2008 11:24 AM
In the USA it is harvested in Oregon, in the upper regions of the Upper Klamath Lake, although it is also available in many other parts of the world. Blue green algae are about the best source of vegetable protein and amino acids available to the human diet, although are now generally used as a supplement rather than as a primary Food Source.
However, in spite of its name, it is not an alga at all: it is a bacterium: Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA), known as cyanobacteria, after the Greek for blue. Nevertheless, bacteria or not, blue green algae offer exceptional nutritional benefits and also health benefits to people suffering from certain conditions. Here are the best of its benefits:
1. It is natural and therefore easily assimilated and digested. You get a very high useful yield from its nutrient content, unlike other foods where a large proportion can be passed through the gut unchanged. In fact a large proportion of the food you eat passes through your body unchanged, although that is mainly due to a lack of chewing!
2. It is very high in protein, and helps to maintain healthy hair, nails and skin. If you are on a vegetation diet this is an ideal source of non-animal protein (unless you class bacteria as animals!). If you want numbers, at least 60% of the solid content of this material is vegetable protein human-ready for use.
3. It is packed full of enzymes that aid digestion, and so ensures that not only is it itself fully digested, but also that you get the most nutritional benefit from any other foods you eat. A lack of enzymes is very common in the western diet, especially the North American diet, and if you take a regular supply of blue green algae, then you need not also take enzyme capsules.
4. It possesses cleansing and detoxifying properties, and so helps to reduce the incidence of headaches and allow you better and more restful sleep. Toxins can act on your body to cause pain, and is associated with the free radicals discussed below.
5. It is very high in antioxidants that destroy the free radicals in your blood and tissues. Free radicals destroy body cells and can seriously damage your health. Among the health benefits that blue green algae provide due to its antioxidant properties are:
a) It supports the immune system and helps to prevent inflammation in your joints. It also enables you to fight off bacterial and viral infections quicker. b) It maintains the integrity of your body and skin cells, and reduces cell damage by free radicals. This has an anti-aging effect and preserves the youthful appearance of your skin, resisting wrinkling and maintaining its firmness. c) Blue green algae help to prevent the free radical oxidation of the LDL lipids that transport cholesterol that cause the atherosclerosis that can lead to heart attacks and strokes.
6. It provides you with energy through its effect on your body’s metabolic conversion of blood glucose to energy within the mitochondria. This is partially due to its antioxidant effect and partially to the nutritional content of the bacteria. The bacteria are also a rich source of glycogen that is your body’s store of emergency energy. Your liver can use the bacteria to biosynthesize its own store of glycogen that your body can use if called upon for a sudden burst of energy.
7. The amino acids it contains are of low molecular size, and can cross the blood-brain barrier. It provides nutrition to the brain, and its high chlorophyll content helps to purify the blood. Its high content of trace minerals and naturally chelated minerals renders them extremely bioavailable, and able to provide a high degree of nutrition to the brain and other organs of the body. Blue green algae contain rhamnose that helps nutrients to cross from the blood to the brain, and then to the brain cells that need it.
8. Blue green algae have been shown to help memory and mood. This is likely due at least in part to its fatty acid content, and its effect on serotonin levels.
These eight benefits are more than any other individual Food Source can provide, and in themselves justify the claim that blue green algae is the best individual Food Source there is. However, when we have a look at the active ingredients, and nutritional content of the bacteria, then it seems even more impressive. There is more to blue green algae than just a few vitamins and minerals. You can get these in any multivitamin supplement: this stuff is completely natural and all of its ingredients are completely compatible with the human digestive system.
Many of the synthetic vitamins you find in boxes and tubs are only partially absorbed due to the form they are in. Either that or they need the presence of other substances before they can be assimilated. An example is calcium, which is next to useless without magnesium and vitamin C also being present to allow it to be incorporated in the structure of the bones and teeth. With blue green algae, every combination of substances that nature needs for them to work properly is there. Everything gets used and everything has a role to play.
The amino acids and proteins have already been mentioned, and these unusual bacteria contain all of the trace minerals that are necessary for the amino acids and proteins to be properly used. It also contains a large quantity of beta-carotene (a natural Vitamin A precursor and strong anti-oxidant), and is also rich in Vitamin B-12 that most vegetarians are deficient in. It is therefore the perfect food for vegetarians and vegans.
If you understand the health benefits of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, which blue green algae are also rich in, then you will understand how a foodstuff containing these fatty acids and all of the other nutritional substances listed above could be regarded as a ‘Superfood’.
Blue green algae is probably the richest food available commercially to humans, but before you use it you should ensure that the content of blue algae in the supplement you purchase is clear and that you are purchasing a standardized amount in what you are purchasing.
Otherwise, it is difficult to see how anybody could go wrong with blue green algae, since it is indisputably an excellent source of protein, amino acids, vitamins and much, much more.
Alpha Lipoic Acid is a Powerful Antioxidant
February 15, 2008 02:55 PM
The discovery of alpha lipoic acid at the University Of Texas Chemistry Department in 1951 was not heralded with trumpets of joy at the revelation of such a powerful antioxidant, but was instead largely ignored. This is largely due to the biochemistry involved not being fully understood at that time, but by the 1980s it was a commonly used supplement, recommended for several medical conditions.
Chemically, the substance is a 5-membered cyclic disulphide with a carboxylic acid grouping. Biochemically, it’s extremely powerful antioxidant properties are largely due to the fact that it one of those rare active molecules that are soluble in both water and fats, and in fact is the only such antioxidant currently know. One of the properties that this ability enables it to possess is to cross the blood-brain barrier, and apply antioxidant propertied to the brain.
Antioxidants are essential to human life in that they destroy free radicals. These are compounds with free unpaired electrons that destroy human body cells in their hunt for electrons to pair with. Electrons come in pairs in organic animal tissue, just as they do in organic compounds. However, under certain circumstances this pairing can become destroyed, leaving a molecule with one of its electrons without a partner.
The factors that lead to this situation are many and varied, and our own biochemistry can produce free radicals during the normal chemical processes of life. However, pollution can also lead to the oxidation processes that create free radicals, common such pollutants being cigarette smoke, vehicle exhaust fumes, pesticides and the like. Excessive exposure to the UV content of sunlight can also create free radicals as can eating barbecued and smoked foods, and exposure to carbon monoxide and peroxides. Even the biochemical conversion of glucose to energy in our bodies creates free radicals.
These free radicals can destroy body cells, including DNA, and can create conditions such as premature aging due to destruction of skin cells, destruction of brain cells, strokes, cancers, diabetes, atherosclerosis due to oxidation of LDL cholesterol that deposits in the main arteries of the body, stiffening of the joints and many other undesirable conditions.
Free radicals are destroyed rapidly by antioxidants: the reaction is very rapid and most are destroyed immediately they are formed before they can do harm. Fortunately, if your diet is well maintained, the body possesses many antioxidants such as vitamins A, C and E, and other substances such as Coenzyme Q10, flavanoids, xanthenes, polyphenols and carotenoids. Many of these are found in highly colored foods, and if your food is brightly colored, it should contain a good supply of antioxidants.
However, the problem with all of these is that they are either fat and oil soluble or water soluble, which means that they can either be freely carried round the body by the blood or have to be emulsified by the bile and transported via the lymphatic system that places restrictions on their effectiveness in certain organs of the body. The fact that alpha lipoic acid is soluble in both water and fats enables it to be carried to all parts of the body and to every organ, and can cross water/fat barriers that other antioxidants cannot do.
It can therefore be carried via the blood to the brain and carry out an essential antioxidant function within our brains. It took a long time for this property of ALA to be recognized and its consequent health benefits understood. It is, in fact, the ideal antioxidant. The substance provides many known benefits to the body due to its antioxidant properties and also helps the body to generate the maximum possible amount of energy from the blood glucose and thus improve the energy balance of your body.
However, it is with its antioxidant properties that we are most concerned here. One of the benefits of these properties is its effect in holding back the visible effects of aging on your body. Because it is both water and fat soluble, alpha lipoic acid can help destroy free radicals in every part of your skin; the areas served by the blood and the fatty and oily secretions are protected simultaneously by the same strong antioxidant. The end result is a reduction in the destruction of the cells through the dermis and epidermis and a reduction in the degree of wrinkling with age.
Its antioxidant effect in the brain renders ALA in great demand for reducing cognitive impairment with age. In fact studies have indicated that alpha lipoic acid can improve memory and brain function in the aging and the elderly. This effect appears to be increased by the synergistic combination of alpha lipoic acid and acetyl-L-carnitine that work together to prevent cognitive decline in the brain through the effect of free radicals.
There is evidence that during a stroke, ALA works synergistically with vitamin E to reduce the effect of free radical damage on the vulnerable brain cells, and so reduce the longer term effects of the stroke. Together with ALC, it also reduces oxidative stress on the mitochondria of cells and in so doing helps once again to reduce the effects of aging, and maintain the body’s capacity to generate energy from blood glucose.
Cardiovascular disease is the main killer of the western world, largely due to our diets, and this is especially true of the USA. Although Americans appear unable to change their unhealthy diet, alpha lipoic acid and acetyl-L-carnitine can be used to offset much of the damage done. ALA reduces the development of atherosclerosis through its antioxidant properties and the reduction of the adhesion of monocytes to the artery walls.
LDL trapped in the wall of the artery can be oxidized and enable monocytes to also enter under the surface of the arterial wall, where it changes into macrophages and ingests the oxidised LDL, causing the plaque that forms atherosclerosis. As the plaque thickens, the artery becomes increasingly restricted until the blood flow is significantly reduced or even stopped, causing cardiac failure or a stroke.
Alpha lipoic acid can prevent this free radical oxidation from occurring by destroying them before they act on the low density lipoprotein (LDL). Acetyl-L-carnitine works with the ALA to achieve this, as does another substance known as carnosine. Between them, these three musketeers work to keep your arteries clear and your brain functioning as it should, though it is the ALA that is most powerful due to its oil and water solubility properties.
Although alpha lipoic acid is available as a supplement, either alone or in combination with acetyl-l-carnitine, it is also available from natural Food Sources. It is particularly rich in offal such as heart and kidney, and also in broccoli, spinach and brewer’s yeast. It is also available in beef, and it is here that burgers can perhaps repay some of the damage that it causes. However, it is not a recommended source since burgers still cause more damage to your health than any of their constituent nutrients can allay.
Like any other supplement, you should seek medical advice before taking any substance if you have a health condition. Nevertheless, the benefits of alpha lipoic acid are such that it is difficult to see it doing anything but good. However, please consult your physician if are taking other drugs.
Passing on the Peptides: The Rise of Gluten-Free Diet And Fiber
January 02, 2008 03:22 PM
When going down the isles of any health food store, you'll find more and more cereals, breads, crackers, desserts, and supplements that claim to be gluten-free. Gluten refers to the peptides in wheat, rye, and barley that are problematic for gluten-sensitive individuals and cause great amounts of damage to the small intestine of those with celiac disease. About two million people in the US have celiac disease, and possibly more that have yet to be diagnosed. Gluten-free foods can help people with celiac disease, as well as many other conditions, feel better. There is currently no FDA regulation that defines the term "gluten-free" in labeling of foods, as long as the claim is not misleading.
Many companies currently provide an extensive selection of gluten-free supplements so that they can meet the needs of gluten-free living. For those consumers desiring a daily multivitamin/mineral supplement, there are large varieties available from many different manufacturers. Many manufacturers are trying to create a product that is able to support the digestion of gluten. They want the peptide to be broken down so that its individual amino acid will no longer damage the gut or create food sensitivities.
Supplemental digestive enzymes have been shown to give an increased advantaged to those who use a gluten-free diet along with enzymes. The Salba seed was recently introduced to those suffering from any level of gluten intolerance as a good source of fiber. It is the perfect solution because it is extremely high in fiber content for every serving and is a whole Food Source of fiber, which makes it better for you than a supplement that is manufactured solely to deliver fiber. Salba can be purchased as a seed and ground and pure cold-pressed oil. Because the vast majority of gluten-free foods that are available today are manufactured for great taste instead of nutrition, Salba is a great solution because it can be incorporated into gluten-free foods. Therefore, adding all the nutrition that is lacking in the products themselves, without adding any taste. Salba is also assimilated into the body easily because it is a whole food.
By not labeling the absence or presence of gluten on products, retailers and consumers are greatly challenged. Although wheat is one of the major gluten-containing grains, it’s important to remember that rye, barley, and other grains are also a source of gluten. Retailers are able to help consumers determine which supplements are gluten-free by being more knowledgeable about ingredients containing gluten that are included in dietary supplements. For example, grains are used in the processing of many ingredients, so it is often necessary to seek out the hidden gluten. Among those ingredients that should be avoided by consumers seeking gluten-free products are modified starch, vegetable gum, and caramel. Gluten-intolerant consumers often deal with the issue of managing their own health while being around those who do not have to handle gluten-intolerant issues. Due to Salba’s neutral taste and ease of use, it is the perfect solution of gluten-free and non gluten-free members who are found in the same household and eating the same foods. Salba can help the whole family to improve their health dramatically.
Protein And Its Role In Bodily Functions
November 09, 2007 05:00 PM
Protein is an essential organic compound composed of 20 or more amino acids which are joined by peptide bonds. Proteins serve as structural material such as connective tissue, and hair (i.e. collagen and keratin) can function as enzymes and hormones, as transporters of essential substances such as oxygen, antibodies, or regulators of gene expression. The importance of protein cannot be overstated in its effects on overall health regardless of age. Dieters using the low-protein diet can be seriously lacking in many essential nutrients including minerals such as zinc, iron, manganese, chromium, copper, etc. These deficiencies can lead to chronic illness, fatigue and make mental function more difficult.
In order to fight sickness and disease, our immune systems need to be in optimum performance. Something you may not have realized but our immune system are almost all protein based. Providing the body with the correct proteins is like providing the proper building blocks of the immune system and can help to fight the common cold and infections better. Proteins are also used to repair muscles during exercise.
There are eight essential amino acids which the body cannot manufacture and which we must derived from our diet each day. The essential amino acids are (i) isoleucine, (ii) leucine, (iii) lysine, (iv) methionine, (v) phenylalanine, (vi) theronine, (vii) tryptophan, and (viii) valine. With this list of proteins it is possible to determine where we can find these amino acids and incorporate them into our diet. We need protein in our diet on a daily basis, especially for muscle function which requires a particular mix of amino acids which are not found in many Food Sources. For example, to increase muscle mass, you need glutamine, carnitine, taurine, and arginine amino acids.
Now that we know we need protein daily in our diet and that protein is essential to life. So the next question you may have is what kind of proteins are the best? Quality proteins found in your local grocery store can be found in meat, nuts, eggs, and other foods. If you turn to your local health food store, look at soy, casein, whey and egg proteins. The type of protein you take will depend upon what you are capable of eating, i.e. taste. Some people have trouble eating whey protein, while others cannot pallet egg protein.
The best protein found in nature however is derived from egg whites. Egg proteins are not only complete in its supply of what the body needs, the egg is rich in chlorine, niacin, potassium, magnesium, riboflavin, selenium, vitamin K, sulphur, and omega-3. An added bonus to eating egg whites is the lack of cholesterol and sodium in the yoke. Eggs are also one of the most tolerable proteins in the human body where over 90 percent of the proteins derived from eggs is digested into the individual amino acids our bodies need. By eating egg derived protein you are essentially supplying the body with the raw materials it needs for proper function. So, if you have been troubled by fatigue, poor hair and nails the answer may be to increase your protein intake or try an all natural egg white protein for three to four weeks and see what a difference it will make in your health and appearance
Reduce Your Cholesterol With Natural Vitamins
July 12, 2007 08:58 AM
Thanks to the excellent efforts of health education organizations like the American Heart Association, we’ve learned a lot about cholesterol and how it affects our health.
We know: high cholesterol levels increase our risk for heart attacks and strokes: lowering our cholesterol levels will reduce this risk and keep our hearts and blood vessels healthy; and that diet, weight loss, and exercise will all help us in our quest to lower our cholesterol levels. We also know at times, despite these good efforts, some people’s cholesterol levels are still too high.
Prescription drugs to lower cholesterol are now available and they are heavily advertised by the pharmaceutical companies that make them. What the commercials neglect to say is these medications, collectively called statin drugs, have some serious side effects. Statin drugs can cause elevations in liver enzymes, an indication of liver irritation. They are associated with myopathy, a painful disorder of muscle inflammation and muscle degeneration. Ironically, statin drugs significantly reduce CoQ10 levels in the body, a deficit that can lead to heart disease.
Statin drugs have also been linked to a rare and at times, fatal condition called rhabdomyolysis. Because of this alarming link, the makers of cerivistatin, a popular stain drug, recalled this medication from the market on August 8, 2001. The Food and Drug Administration a greed with the recall and supported the decision.
Thankfully, there is a safe solution to the dangers of high cholesterol levels. A natural dietary supplement is now available that can lower cholesterol very effectively without any harmful side effects. Backed by many years of scientific research and clinical study, pantethine and plant sterols, also known as phytosterols, are nature’s answer to dangerous prescription cholesterol lowering medications.
To understand how pantethine and plant sterols work to lower cholesterol levels, we need to first review what we know about cholesterol and heart disease.
Q. What exactly is cholesterol?
A. Cholesterol is a soft, waxy, fat-like substance found in every cell of the body. We need cholesterol to help digest fats, strengthen cell membranes, insulate nerves, and make hormones. Cholesterol is made primarily in the liver but also by cells lining the small intestine and by individual cells in the body. While our body makes all of the cholesterol we actually need (about 1,000 milligrams a day), we also get additional cholesterol from foods we eat.
The highest source of cholesterol are egg yolks and organ meats such a liver and kidney. No plant-derived food contains cholesterol, not even peanut butter or avocado, even though these foods are high in fat. However, all foods from animal sources such as meats, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products contain cholesterol.
Q. How does cholesterol cause heart disease?
A. Although cholesterol serves many important functions in the body, too much cholesterol in the bloodstream can be dangerous. When blood cholesterol reaches high levels, it builds up on artery walls, increasing the risk of blood clots, heart attack, and stroke.
The heart is a muscle, and like all muscles, needs a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients. The bloodstream transports these nutrients to the heart through the coronary arteries. If the coronary arteries became narrowed or clogged by cholesterol and fat deposits (artherosclerosis) and cannot supply enough blood to the heart, the result is coronary heart disease (CHD). IF not enough oxygen-carrying blood reaches the heart muscle, a sharp, sudden chest pain (angina) may occur. If the blood supply to a portion of the heart is completely cut off by total blockage of a coronary artery, the result is a heart attack. This is most often caused from a blood clot forming on top of an already narrowed artery.
Q. What is LDL and HDL cholesterol?
A. Cholesterol and other fats can’t dissolve in the blood and, therefore, can’t travel on their own. They have to be transported to and from the cells by special carriers called lipoproteins. The two major lipoproteins are low density lipoproteins (LDL) and high density lipoproteins (HDL). LDL is most often referred to as the “bad” cholesterol whereas HDL is known as the “good” cholesterol.
LDLs carry cholesterol throughout the body to the cells. LDLs cause artherosclerosis by clogging up our arteries with the continual buildup of fat. HDL, on the other hand, prevents this fat buildup within arterial walls, by carrying it away from the arteries, to the liver where it is eventually processed and eliminated.
Q. What are triglycerides?
A. Triglycerides are fats used as fuel by the body and as an energy source for metabolism. Triglyceride levels fluctuate easily, changing after every meal. Increased levels are almost always a sign of too much carbohydrate and sugar intake. Triglycerides in high amounts make the blood more sluggish and less capable of transporting oxygen, particularly through the small blood vessels. High triglycerides, along with high LDL “bad” cholesterol, are considered strong and independent risk factors for cardiovascular disease, leading to a heart attack or stroke.
There are several medications physicians can prescribe for people with elevated triglyceride levels. Some of the most effective (as well as the most harmful) are the statins. The powerful, all-natural combination of pantethine and plant sterols can safely and, just as effectively, lower both triglycerides and LDL “bad” cholesterol and increase HDL “good” cholesterol.
Q. What is pantethine and how does it lower cholesterol?
A. Pantethine, a form of pantothenic acid (also known as vitamin B5) is found in foods such as liver, salmon, and yeast. Pantethine lowers cholesterol by blocking its production.
Cholesterol synthesis, or the production of cholesterol in the human body, is an incredibly complex process. It involves many biochemical reactions and enzymes activity requiring several steps.
Studies have shown that pantethine inhibits several of these enzymes and coenzymes. It blocks the activity of one coenzyme involved in cholesterol synthesis, HMG-CoA, by about 50%. This results in significantly lower cholesterol production. But, that’s not all. To compensate for the lowered cholesterol production, the liver pulls LDL out of the bloodstream. The end results? Studies have shown that on average, pantethine can lower total cholesterol levels by 16%, LDL cholesterol levels by 14%, serum triglycerides by 38%, and can raise HDL cholesterol by 10%.
Q. What are plant sterols and how do they lower cholesterol levels?
A. Plant sterols are the fats of plants. They are found in nuts, vegetable oils, corn, and rice. Plant sterols are structurally similar to cholesterol and are able to act as a stand-in for cholesterol and block its absorption.
The liver receives about 800 mg of cholesterol every day from intestinal absorption. Cholesterol is absorbed from the intestines through receptor sites – special channels that are shaped exactly like cholesterol molecules. The cholesterol enters these channels and is then absorbed into the bloodstream. Because plant sterols look like cholesterol, they fit perfectly into these channels. The cholesterol, being blocked from absorption, remains in our intestines where it is eventually excreted.
If we eat enough plant sterols, the amount of cholesterol transported from the intestinal tract to the liver is greatly reduced. And, just like pantethine’s effect on the liver, this cholesterol reduction causes the liver to pull LDL cholesterol out of the blood, reducing both total and LDL cholesterol levels.
Q. Can’t we get the benefit of plant sterols and pantethine just by eating those foods that contain them?
A. These amounts of plant sterol and pantethine found in food just aren’t enough to have much of an effect on our health. In order to lower cholesterol levels, we need to take a concentrated combination of pantethine and plant sterols in just the right ratio.
Plant sterols are bound in fibers in the plants. Even if we ate lots of raw fruits and vegetables, we wouldn’t be getting many of these beneficial plant fats. There are also several forms of plant sterols. Some ratios of these plant sterols are more beneficial than others. On the average, we eat 160 to 360 mg of plant sterols a day.
While pantethine is found in several Food Sources, it is difficult to get beneficial amounts from our food. There are about 12 mg of pantethine in 3 ounces of brewer’s yeast and 8 mg in an average serving of liver.
Q. How much pantethine and plant sterol combination should I take?
A. Many studies have examined the effects of pantethine and plant sterols on cholesterol levels resulting in the determination of the most effective amounts to take of these heart healthy nutrients.
Manufacturers of high quality nutritional supplements offer pantethine combined with plant sterols in the most beneficial ratio as determined by the research. The best results are obtained by taking a combination of 400 mg of plant sterols and 200 mg of pantethine three times a day.
Q. Should only people with actual heart disease or those with high cholesterol levels be concerned about cholesterol?
A. No, recent studies have shown that cholesterol lowering in people without heart disease greatly reduces their risk for ever developing CHD, including heart attacks and artherosclerosis. This is true for those with high cholesterol levels and for those with average cholesterol levels.
Most physicians would never consider prescribing statin drugs to people without actual heart disease or high cholesterol levels because of the many health risks of the drugs. But the combination of pantethine and plant sterols can naturally and very effectively help those people with heart disease, high cholesterol levels, high triglyceride levels (or all three!) as well as those of us just wanting added “health insurance” for our hearts.
Q. Are pantethine and plant sterols safe?
A. Yes, both pantethine and plant sterols are very safe. Some people may experience some mild stomach upset when they first take pantethine. Taking the combination of pantethine and plant sterols with meals generally solves this problem.
Americans have listened, learned, and most importantly, taken to heart the vast and vital information on the need to keep our cholesterol levels under control. The result? More and more Americans are lucky enough to die of old age. The Centers for Disease Control recently released a report stating that the average American life expectancy has reached a new high of 76.9 years, thanks in no small measure to fewer people who are dying from heart disease,
The authors of this report stated that we could push our life expectancy even higher. We can attain healthy, old age by eating right, exercising regularly, and taking other simple steps to promote good health and prevent serious illness and heart disease. Taking the all-natural combination of pantethine and plant sterols is one simple, yet powerful step, to keep our hearts and blood vessels healthy for a long, long time.
Exotic Herbs From The Amazon Basin
June 22, 2007 05:07 PM
Although many traditional herbal medicines have yet to find complete scientific corroboration in the West, it follows logically that people wouldn't use an herbal product for centuries if it didn't work.
Many of the popular herbs we all recognize as having great health benefits were only recently considered pretty exotic. Even green tea - a staple in China for centuries -has only lately gone main stream.
So it will likely be with herbs from the Amazon basin and its environs. The Amazon basin is one of the most bountiful environments on the planet. Explorers and botanists from the West have looked to this region for generations for the "next big thing." Of course, in many cases, the "next big thing" has already been in use for centuries.
In this issue of Ask the Medicine Hunter, we're going to look at some energizing and life- stimulating herbs that also happen to have great antioxidant properties, too. Best yet, many of them are available to us here from companies that practice fair trade policies.
Let's take a look at some of the herbal powerhouses coming out of the Amazon (and its nearby neighborhoods):
Maca (Lepidium meyenii) has been cultivated for a long time at least 2000 years. Related to brassica family plants like radishes, mustard and cabbage, its foliage does actually look somewhat radish-like, but grows close to the ground.
Maca is cultivated by the Andean people in Peru's central highlands, and contains a plethora of beneficial compounds that enhance overall health and vitality. The tradition of cultivating maca is an old one some strains have been found in Incan sites that date from 1600 B.C. During early European colonization, maca was used by the local native culture as a form of currency, much of the way cocoa was used by the Aztecs, further north in pre-Columbian Mexico.
Maca thrives in high altitudes - between 10,000 and 16,000 feet. The harsher the conditions, the better it grows, or so it seems. In fact, efforts to grow the plant in Central Europe haven't been as successful - maca seems to enjoy its home turf the best. In Peru, maca is a popular and beloved nutrient-packed superfood, and is commonly powdered and mixed into drinks at roadside stands throughout the Andes.
Q. I've heard of maca being used for healthy libido - are there any other benefits?
A. Maca is a natural energizer, and although it is recognized for it's libido enhancing abilities, it has other uses, too, acting as an adaptogen - similar to rhodiola or ginseng. In fact, in South America, maca is known as "Peruvian Ginseng." Though maca is not ginseng at all, some of the benefits of both plants are similar.
In any event, maca is recommended for boosting the immune system, menopause support, and hormonal balance in general. For daily use, maca is most recognized as a great source of energy and all-day endurance. Alkaloids from maca root may be partially responsible for both maca's energizing and libido boost. Research shows that maca affects the hypothalamic-pituitary (HPA) axis - boosting energy and overall aphrodisiac prowess in men and women. Maca contains novel compounds called macamides and macaenes, which have been proven in animal studies to significantly enhance energy, stamina and sexual function reasons people have been so consuming maca for 2000 years.
There are other serious reasons why maca is such an excellent plant. One group of compounds in maca is the isothiocyanates-aromatics constituents that are responsible for the "hotness" of mustards and radishes - fellow members of the brassica family. Isothiocyanates from other members of the brassica family may reduce the risk of breast and stomach cancer. Although the same constituents specifically from maca haven't beentested, it's plausible that they could have the same effects.
Q. I've heard a little about guarana extracts - is it just caffeine?
A. Guarana is widely loved for its mild stimulating effect, which is due to caffeine. But this is by no means this Amazonian herb's sole beneficial compound. Guarana (Paullinia cupana) is so logically ingrained in the culture of Brazil that it's practically a rival (actually out-sells) Coca-Cola in its soft-drink form. Like many other indigenous herbs, guarana was in use locally well before European settlement. Its Latin name comes fromthe German botanist C.F. Paullini, who first encountered the herb in the 1700s. This evergreen vine typically climbs fairly far up the Brazilian forest trees. The seed is the part that gets used. In one clinical study, guarana boosted the memory alertness of participants, even when the caffeine level per dose was a low 9 mg., as compared with approximately 100 mg for a cup of coffee. This effect suggests that other agents than caffeine contribute to a feeling of well being.
Guarana also contains powerful antioxidants including catechin, epicatechin and proanthocyanidins, which protect cells against destruction from free radicals, and impart benefits to the body's tissues and blood. The small seed of this plant is powerful in its health benefits.
Catuaba (Erythroxylum catuaba) is a common tree found in South America from Brazil to Peru, in the same genus as the coca plant. Catuaba contains components known as alkaloids. These alkaloids (called catuabine A, B, and C) are probably responsible for themental boost most people get when they take catuabe-based supplements or mixes.
There may be little confusion regarding catuaba, because various species and genus typesuse the common name. As a result, "catuaba" gets bandied around a lot, and one person'scatuaba may not be the next. Read labels carefully. The catuaba I've had the best luck with is Erythroxylum catuaba.
One of my favorite drinks in the world is coffee, and I'm sure at many people reading thisconsider it the essential part of their morning, too.
The part of coffee that we use the most is the seed of the coffee fruit - which appears as a bright, red berry. Most of the time, this fruit is sloughed off and left behind in the process of making coffee - it's really too delicate to last long in hot conditions.
But advances in technology have tapped a previously discarded resource. Though the fruit of coffee is available in any coffee-growing economy, a high antioxidant commercial extract of "coffee cherry" is now available from the fruits of coffee plants in Mexico.
Coffee fruit has many of the attributes of other dark-colored, anthcyanin-rich fruits. Coffee fruit (also referred to as "coffee cherry") appears not to be just another antioxidant, however. Current research on this once-forgotten, former castoff shows impressive abilities to decrease tumor size, and possibly even prevent their formation in the first place. It seems that the elements in coffee berry activate T-lymphocytes in such a way that mammary tumors are shrunk or simply put on hold. It will be fascinating to see how this science plays out.
Muira Puama Bark:
Muira puama (Ptychopetalum olacoides) grows between 15 to 45 feet high. Native to theAmazon basin of Brazil, the dried bark has been used for centuries as a traditional energysupport. Components include beta-sitosterol, campesterol and lupeol.
Muira puama, like other central nervous stimulants has been researched lately for its ability to boost memory retrieval and protect neural (brain) tissue. Who knows? Maybe this traditional ingredient could someday be on the cutting edge of natural medicines fighting Alzheimer's, much the way green tea and turmeric are currently. In one unpublished French study of 262 men with low libido and poor erectile function, 62% experienced significant improvement after taking an extract of Muira puama for two weeks.
Acai (Euterpe acai) berry is a traditional favorite (and readily available) Food Source for people in the Amazon. The tree is a tall-growing palm with berries that provide - a rich source of anthocyanins, potent purple pigments with extraordinary high antioxidant activity.
Once harvested, acai fruits decay rapidly. As with coffee fruits, special processing is the surest way to make certain the nutrients of acai berry make it to those of us outside the Amazon basin.
However, these wonderful fruits not only fight against free radical damage, but help our natural digestive enzymes and boost natural immune defenses, too. In fact, current research is investigating whether compounds in acai may have a fighting effect on leukemia, too. So far, the results have been very positive.
Look for supplements made using organically-grown, fair trade acai berry. The best companies ensure that the local people harvesting acai and the communities where they live gather more than just short-term benefits. The best companies work not just to provide jobs, but better lives for generations to come.
Q. What is sustainability and fair trade, anyway?
A. Sustainability refers to a set of naturally occurring circumstances, or intentionally designed practices and principles, which ensure that all parts or members of a situation are adequately nourished to promote their healthy continuance. In current parlance, sustainability often refers to practices and programs designed and implemented to keep natural systems healthy and flourishing. Many such programs focus on environmental protection and preservation of traditional cultures. In the world of medicinal plants, sustainable practices include organic agriculture, species management, fair trade, and benefit-sharing programs.
In other words, sustainability pays people fair wages, puts resources back into their communities, and ensures that the resources that benefit us all are going to be around for a long time. It is an earth-friendly, people-friendly concept of commerce that happily, is taking root around the world.
The traditional cultures that use - and have used - these ingredients for generations wouldn't have done so if they hadn't been effective. Fortunately we live in an era when formerly locally-used herbs are now available far beyond their previous range. We are also fortunate to have companies and individuals working hard to make sure that the people who tend and care for these precious resources are paid fairly for their efforts, andthat their families and communities benefit from this commerce as well.
The great thing about using traditional herbs and ingredients that have been gathered in this manner is that you know they'll be around for a long time.