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Stomach acid problems, causes and solution
November 04, 2013 05:16 AM
What is Heart Burn
Heart burn or is one of the most common health problems that create burning sensation in chest and pain may also start in chest area that can go up to neck, throat and jaw as well. This sensation may increase if patient bend over or lies down and this is very common after eating and this issue basically occur due to Stomach acid problems.
How to Stop Heart Burn
Because of Stomach acid problems this issue is commonly known as acidity as well and if this problem occurs due to change in lifestyle of affected person or some over eating then patient need not to worry about the same and they can try HCL with pepsin to get the instant relief from Stomach acid problems. However, if you get this issue frequently or on daily basis, then you need to take it seriously else it can lead you to serious health problems including stomach ulcer as well as internal scaring and bleeding and if you can do some changes in your diet you can easily control this problem in best possible manner.
Foods and Drinks to Avoid Heart Burn
If we talk about the cause of heart burn or Stomach acid problems, there are a number of foods or drinks that can increase the stomach acid and can cause Stomach acid problems. Some of these food and drinks include alcohol, caffeine, carbonate drinks, acidic juices and fruits, and a variety of anti inflammatory or analgesic medicines. Other than this smoking, pregnancy, obesity, and some other diseases can also cause the heart burn situation.
How to Use HCL
If we talk about the use of HCL in heart burn, HCL dilute the stomach acid and as a result of that you get quick relive from heart burn after taking HCL, that’s why all the expert and doctors suggest you to take the HCL to get relief from Stomach acid problems.
Health benefits of Bromelain and its mechanism of fighting inflammation
April 20, 2013 09:54 AM
Bromelain is a blend of enzymes found in the juice and the stems of pineapples and is often used as a health supplement to assist in various disorders and enhance overall health. Here are the health benefits of Bromelain.
Improved Heart health
Bromelain functions as a blood thinner by breaking down the fibrins thus helps prevent blood clotting. It allows blood to move more freely throughout the circulatory system. Thinner blood is linked with lower possibilities of stroke, cardiac arrest and other heart problems.
Improved Breathing conditions
Bromelain is linked to improved breathing conditions that occur as a result of thicker mucus like asthma. It has similar effects on mucus as it has on blood thus making mucus thinner and thus does not clog the bronchial tubes.
It serves as an immunity booster and helps certain immunity boosting receptors within the body. As a result it fortifies the immune response by improving the response of body's front-line immune defense called the T-cells.
If the pancreas is not very active, it may produce insufficient quantities of enzymes, making the food we eat just getting digested partially. Consuming a bromelain supplement might help to cure any resulting digestive complaints like stomach upset, Heartburn, diarrhea or indigestion. It is especially effective when used in in conjunction with other enzymes such as amylase and lipase because of its protease functions.
An external application of bromelain might help getting rid of undesirable skin tissues in the third-degree burns. Bromelain could also reduce inflammation due to insect bites and their stings.
Bromelain helps decreasing congestion and the cough that comes with sinusitis. Its anti-microbial attributes may wipe out viruses and bacteria associated with sinus infections.
Relieves varicose veins and Hemorrhoids
Bromelain is used as a complementary medicine in treating chronic venous insufficiency, hemorrhoids and varicose veins.
Enhanced Acid-alkaline balance
Bromelain can help in balancing the acidity and also the alkalinity in the small intestine. The anti-bacterial effects of bromelain helps relieving bacteria-related diarrhea connected with E. coli attacks and inflammatory bowel disease.
Bromelain and Inflammation
While inflammation aids mending the entire body during an injury, excessive swelling can result in health complications and speed up aging. Bromelain is beneficial in treating inflammation. The mechanism of how bromelain fights inflammation involves the inhibition of many bio-chemical responses and reactions that induce inflammation. Treatment with bromelain manages and regulates the activity of various bio-chemical messengers referred to as cytokines in our body. These cytokines are the chemical substances that trigger inflammation. By inhibiting the activity of cytokines, bromelain reduces the impulses that induce an inflammatory reaction.
Bromelain also decreases the deposition of kinins, a by-product of inflammation and also prostaglandins, the hormone-like compounds found through the entire body Thus Bromelain assists fighting the majority of inflammation occurring after having a sports injury or after surgery, or from minor sprains and tendonitis. Certain kinds of arthritis which involve inflammation also benefits from bromelain, particularly in combination with some other typical anti-inflammatory medications.
Do you take bromelain daily? If not, why not?
The Ox Bile Extracts Guide - Why You Need it and Top 5 Health Benefits
December 22, 2012 11:38 AM
No matter how healthy your diet is or how fit you are, if you are have digestion problems that are wrecking your health and disrupting your regular activities, then you might be in urgent need of some ox bile extracts.
Ox Bile Extracts or Beef Bile Supplements are a combination of bile salts and bile acids that enhance or intensify the production of bile in the digestive system. It is produced from a source of cattle and dried in the freezer at high vacuum or 'lyophilized'.
The next step is powdering it and packaging it into pills which are easily available online and in supplement shops. The bile from oxen resembles the bile which is produced in our bodies naturally in its chemical structure. That is why ox bile has been successfully proven to replicate and augment the production of bile in the human liver for faster and better food breakdown and nutrient absorption.
Now, you might be forced to ask - why do we need Ox Bile supplements at all?
Bile helps the body beak down fats!
First off - bile is a very important constituent of our digestive system. The liver excretes it; after which the gall bladder stores it till we eat food. Then, the bile does its vital job of breaking down the food particles (bile salts attack the cholesterol and other fatty food constituents to break them down) and aiding in the absorption of lipids or fats.
What happens when your gall bladder is removed surgically?
Or why is animal-derived bile needed, anyway?
Aging causes our digestive processes to slow down. The secretion of bile is affected as well.
You might believe you're healthy as a horse but if you are prone to symptoms like :
You are very likely to be suffering from a lack of digestive enzymes in your body and you need artificial ones to help you get your digestive system in order again.
And if have had a gall bladder removed by surgery, then you must know just
HOW crucial these digestive enzymes are to your natural digestive system.
Top 5 Benefits of Ox Bile Extracts
A warning here - some people using the ox bile extracts have had certain allergic reactions to it like nausea, diarrhea and an upset stomach. This usually happens as a result of increasing the dosage.
For the most part, 99% of the people who consume digestive enzymes do not experience any negative side effects.
Papaya Enzymes and Food
December 05, 2012 03:42 PM
A healthy digestive system is a plus to everyone, and we would stop at nothing to feel at ease. The food we consume only works well with proper digestion. Anyone determined to get rid of Heartburn, bloating and even constipation must think of the digestive system. Generally good digestion ensures toxic wastes are expelled and you remain light and active. Healthy nutrition and digestion go hand in hand, therefore choose what you ingest well. Papaya has been proven to enhance digestive health and purify your intestines.
Reasons why papaya is good for digestion
It is enriched with powerful proteolytic enzymes
These are enzymes act as chemical reaction stimulant in the body. They help turn proteins into amino acids which in turn aid in digesting scar tissues on the dermis and epidermis. Papaya enzymes help destroy intestinal parasites The intestines are a key component of the digestive process, and when damaged digestion cannot be completed. Papaya helps kill parasites that invade the intense hence making the whole digestion procedure smooth. As such eating papaya guarantees that only friendly bacterium remains in the intestines.
Papaya is loaded with fiber
Fiber is essential for efficient digestion, whether soluble or insoluble its role in this process cannot be underestimated. First it keeps the digestive system healthy and helps in removing toxins from the body. Fiber in itself contains beneficial bacterial which softens waste products and bulky hence quick digestion. In addition the fiber in papaya prevents constipation; this makes it easy for stool to pass out hence preventing excess waste accumulation.
Papaya has vitamin C and Carotene's
These are also important components of these delicious succulent tropical fruit. Vitamin C and carotene are antioxidants; they help in the absorption of iron needed for digestion. Vitamin C maintains healthy gums and teeth necessary for digestion since the entire operation begins in the mouth. Carotene's on the other hand carotene's are easily absorbed by the intestines.
It's no doubt that papaya is not just tasty but has more to it. A cup of papaya juice or a few papaya enzymes pills a day will surely help keep your digestive system healthy. Therefore go for it and exude confidence all day long.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Shatavari Extract?
November 08, 2012 07:43 PM
In the United States, over 130,000 people are diagnosed with colon cancer each year. Cancer attacks the regeneration of cells as well as existing cells. And this is why Shatavari extract is an excellent healthy choice.
Shatavari is a Ayurvedic Rasayanas. That means it has rejuvenative abilities in our cells. This means it should not only be thought of as an herb for cure but also one for better health and longevity. It is settled in science that Shatavari helps in cell rejuvenation. Shatavari Extract because it is taken internally for the benefits of organs
What makes Shatavari extract good for both men and women is that it can help rejuvenate an inflamed liver, treat Heartburn, acidity, ulcers, diarrhea, and irritable bowel syndrome.
Rejuvenation is the key to what makes the Ayurvedic herb Shatavari Extract so beneficial. This wonderful ancient term rasayanas literally means to bring juvenation to our cells.
Experience the rejuvenating powers of shataviri today!
Detox your Body with Aloe Vera Juice
August 08, 2012 08:23 AM
Aloe Vera is popularly known as Miracle plant, a natural healer and is easily available in most gardens. This cactus type plant is native to North Africa. This short stemmed juicy plant grows around 80 cm tall. But, why is this plant so popular in recent times? The sap which comes out of its leaves when cut has numerous medicinal properties. This herbal plants medicinal benefit has been acknowledged hundreds of years ago. Aloe Vera is available commercially in the form of supplements, capsules, juice etc in various stores across the world.
Why is it so special?
Aloe Vera leaf is filled with 99% water and the remaining one percent is full of nutrients, minerals, enzymes and phytonutrients. All these minerals and nutrients are very essential for a strong and healthy body.
Benefits of Aloe Vera
The most important part of the aloe vera plant is its gel which is a thick sticky liquid found in the interiors of the leaves. Twenty three peptide found in this gel improves the metabolism and helps purify the body from harmful toxins. Aloe Vera gel has a lot of antiseptic properties, as well as works as a good disinfectant. The juice of aloe Vera helps in digestion which is one of the most important steps towards absorbing nutrients from the foods we eat. It also helps soothe Heartburn and cure various digestive issues. Aloe Vera assists in reducing inflammation without causing any serious side effects. Drinking the juice of aloe Vera helps maintain a healthy skin. It also helps combat the effects of ageing. Antiseptic properties of aloe Vera help soothing burns, cuts and minor skin irritations.
Detox effects of Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is a natural product which assists in detoxifying. Due to the heavy stress and increased pollution around us it has become very obligatory to cleanse our body frequently. Aloe Vera juice is a good supplement which provides our body with necessary minerals, and nutrients which are essential for our body to deal with day to day stress and improve energy levels. The beginning of most of ailments is due to improper digestion. A spoon full of Aloe Vera juice along with regular juice or water early mornings is a good start towards detoxification. This mixture solves the issues related to viruses, and parasites thereby improving the immune system.
Some of the other well known benefits of Aloe Vera are:It is a good anti-oxidant and helps fight cancer.Hydrates the skin cells and repairs the tissues.Heals digestion related issues like irritable bowel syndrome, and constipation.Improves overall metabolism of the body.Helps stabilize blood pressure levels.Used in cosmetics like face creams, anti-ageing lotions, and shampoos.Excellent natural skin moisturizer.Helps strengthen the immune system.A natural product with anti-fungal and anti-viral properties.Proven to help patients with type 2 diabetes by lowering their blood sugar.A natural laxative.
Aloe Vera plants can be found in any plant nurseries. It is not very difficult to grow them indoors or in gardens. It is one of the most powerful anti-oxidants. Growing your own aloe vera garden will ensure you of natural as well as organic plants free from chemical pesticides.
How Does Curcumin Reduce Inlammation In The Body?
March 15, 2012 07:53 AM
Curcumin Health Benefits
Curcumin is an active component in turmeric plant (Curcuma Longa) and it is the component that gives yellow color in turmeric plant. The concentration of this component in turmeric plant is around 2-5%. Turmeric plant is a rather tall plant and it is mainly grown in India and other Asian countries.
For centuries, Curcumin has been used for Ayurveda, Chinese herbal medicine, and other Asian traditional medicine due to its various healing properties and low side effects. Besides being used for traditional medicine, this natural component is also used to increase energy, aid digestion, and reduce inflammation in the body.
The modern medical research of curcumin started in 1910. Since then, this turmeric's component is researched extensively by scientists worldwide to find its various health benefits. The followings are some of the benefits of curcumin and an explanation on how this natural component can help to reduce inflammation in the body.
Benefits of Curcumin
Many medical studies have shown that Curcumin has many benefits for human health. The first benefit is to cure digestive disorders. This natural component improves digestion by stimulating bile production in the gallbladder. Naturally, an increase in bile production can worsen stomach ulcers symptoms but many studies show that when the curcumin increases the bile production, it also reduce so stomach ulcers symptoms.
The second benefit of Curcumin is to cure heart disease. Heart attack occurs because there is atherosclerosis, the buildup of plaque that can block arteries. Curcumin helps people with heart disease by preventing the development of atherosclerosis. Many studies also show that this natural component is also helpful to lower cholesterol level in the body.
Another important benefit of this natural component is to cure cancer. This natural component has anti-cancer properties and many studies have shown that it can cure various types of cancers such as colon, skin, breast, and prostate cancer. It is able to limit the number of blood flow to the malignant tumors so the growth of cancer can be stopped.
How Curcumin reduces inflammation in the body
There are many ongoing studies that analyze the benefits of Curcumin to reduce inflammation. However in a 2006, a study has shown that this natural component is able to prevent joint inflammation in arthritis. The study shows that to reduce inflammation in the body, curcumin stops platelets from coagulating into blood clots and lowers the amount of two inflammatory enzymes, LOX and COX-2. Unfortunately, the study recommends consuming turmeric and not just the curcumin extract because turmeric has other properties that are helpful to reduce inflammation.
Curcumin can easily be found in market as a spice but today it is also available in dietary supplement. Although it is safe to be consumed, there are several side effects that might occur after consuming this natural component such as diarrhea, nausea, upset stomach and Heartburn. People who have gallbladder problems are recommended to avoid it because this natural component can induce gallbladder contraction. Pregnant women are also not recommended to consume it because it is a mild uterine stimulant. curcumin can be found under names like curamin, or turmeric at your local vitamin store.
Red Yeast Rice for Reducing Cholesterol
February 16, 2012 08:06 AM
How does Red Yeast Rice Reduce Cholesterol?
Maybe you have heard about it that some people said that red yeast rice is very effective for decreasing the cholesterol level on our body. Some people have tried putting it on their diet program to see how it works, while some others just stick to the medicines. But mostly, people does not even know what cholesterol is and why should they control the amount of it on their body.
Cholesterol is a fat substance produced by the liver and is important to allow your body to work properly. It helps the conversion process of vitamin D. It creates and controls cell membranes. It is also essential for many productions of hormones. And there are still much more benefits your body can get from cholesterol.
As long as the amount is perfect, cholesterol is a beneficial substance for your body. But having too much of it on your body is really not healthy. It can stick to your arteries and narrow it down. Therefore, your blood could not flow smoothly. It can lead you to a heart attack, coronary heart, stroke and other life-endangering diseases. That is why it is important to control the amount of cholesterol inside your body.
Red yeast rice is a kind of rice that was fermented by red yeast. Since about a thousand years ago, red yeast has been commonly used in Chine as a natural food colorant and the main ingredients of rice wines. They also used it as a traditional medication for improving blood circulation and helping many kinds of digestion problems.
Red Yeast Rice
Even so, there are still many scientist and doctors who does not believe if red yeast rice is safe enough for human to consume. Therefore, they did some trials. Firstly, they tried it to animal. They fed it the several kinds of animal continuously. The result shows that no damage is shown on the lungs, livers, kidneys, or any other organs. After that, they tried it to human where some people are volunteering. He result shows almost the same. There were some side effect such as Heartburn and indigestions, but the number is very negligible and level is low.
Some other researches had been done to measure how effective is it in reducing cholesterol level. The results show that red yeast rice contains Cholestin that is effective to remove bad cholesterol (LDL) but not affecting good cholesterol (HDL) at all. The results also show that people who consume 1.8 grams of it per day can lower their cholesterol for about 27% in twelve weeks only.
Although it is effective in lowering the cholesterol, pregnant or breastfeeding women are not recommended to consume it. It is also not recommended for people who have a severe heart disease or high cholesterol. Those people are usually consuming statin given by their doctor. Statin is a lot better in reducing cholesterol and it is not wise to replace it with any other supplement.
Controlling your cholesterol level is very important in order to live a healthy life for as long as possible. Besides putting red yeast rice on your diet program, you also need to have a healthy lifestyle by consuming nutritional foods, avoiding alcohols, and doing exercise regularly.
What Is The Difference Between DGL Licorice and Regular Licorice?
February 13, 2012 07:35 AM
Manypeople these days have heard of the name “Licorice” because of the various chewy rope-like flavored confectionaries or candies that are widely available these days and taste amazingly sweet. However, most of these people have never paid attention to what these candies are made of. The fact is that these candies contain the extract from Licorice roots. The Licorice roots are yielded from the Licorice or the Glycyrrhiza glabra plant. The extract from these roots has been used from quite a long time, both as a food ingredient and as an herbal remedy.
However, the Licorice root also has a derivative form known as deglycyrrhizinated or DGL Licorice. Both of these products offer numerous benefits and when taken under medical supervision they can effectively help in treating a variety of medical ailments.
Licorice plants originate from the Middle East, where harvesters peel the root out of the plant, dry them, cut them and eventually the Licorice roots arrive in other countries. Glycyrrhetic acid, cumestan derivatives, hydroxycoumarins, isoflavonoids, triterpene saponins, etc. are some of the active constituents contained in regular Licorice roots. One problem with using Licorice roots was that it was generally recommended that people use the extract from the root only under medical supervision. This was mostly because of the Glycyrrhetic acid contained in the root.
Thus, while DGL Licorice is indeed derived from Licorice root, however, glycyrrhetic acid is removed during the preparation of DGL. Therefore, this form of Licorice can be consumed much more safely without any worries. Furthermore, ulcers the esophagus, in the mouth and the stomach lining in the small intestine are more effectively treated with this derivative form of Licorice. DGL Licorice is presently widely available as chewable tablets, mouthwashes and even teas; therefore, people have a few choices as to how they want to take the derivative extract that comes from the root of the Licorice herb.
DGL is actually an effective treatment for digestive problems like Heartburn and GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease, ulcer, etc. What makes this derivative extract so beneficial is that the protective factors of the digestive system are accelerated and/or stimulated by its mechanism as a result of which the internal lining of the intestines in the stomach are protected against the formation of ulcer. Unlike typical antacids and anti-inflammatory drugs that basically neutralize or suppress gastric acid, the DGL extract functions quite differently.
Apart from helping treat the mentioned digestive problems, even minor skin conditions such as carbuncles, eczema, minor cuts and wounds can also be effectively treated by applying ointments that contain DGL. Apart from being better than the regular extract obtained from the Licorice root, the DGL derivative is also far more effective anti-ulcer compound in comparison to the typical medications that are available these days. It is usually advised that DGL should be taken at least twenty minutes before meals. And usually 2 to 4, 400 mg tablets are the standard dose of DGL that can be taken for chronic cases of ulcer. Therefore, those who are considering using Licorice root extract should instead go for DGL Licorice.
How Does The White Kidney Bean Block Carbohydrates?
February 08, 2012 08:23 PM
The White Kidney Bean is referred scientifically as Phaseolus vulgar. It is bean plant that is native to the Indies, Europe and Peru. The major advantage of using this bean plant is because it has been proven scientifically proven as a good inhibitor of the digestion of some selected dietary carbohydrates. Its carbohydrate blocking ability has seen it being adopted in the manufacture of most weight loss and diet pills.
When you consume starch, normally referred to as the complex carbohydrates, the body then has the responsibility of breaking these food substances into smaller digestible units that are referred to as dextrins. This is usually done through a chemical process catalyzed by the enzyme amylase. The dextrins are later broken down to form glucose. This is then the product that is useful to the body. Glucose is required for body energy requirements. The glucose before being used by the body system is first stored in the muscle tissue or the liver in the form of glycogen.
The settling of glycogen in the liver is used for conversion to lipids and later their storage in fat form. White Kidney Bean is essentially used to block the digestive ability of alpha-amylase which is used in the breakdown of carbohydrates into dextrins and later into glucose which is then used up by the body system. The result of this means that all the carbohydrates pass through the digestive tract undigested. This therefore translates to a lower intake of energy and. This subsequently lowers the amount of body fat that is usually introduced into the body by the consumption of such foods. This is why this bean is an essential element for those seeking to lose weight.
The White Kidney Bean can be able to block the digestion of carbohydrates but is not capable of inhibiting the digestion of fats and simple sugars. This therefore calls for more adoption of dietary controls because the bean might not achieve the level of effect required. Even through the bean is able to inhibit the functioning of alpha-amylase, there still is another starch digestive enzyme called glucoamylase that can still be digesting the starch during the inhibition of the other enzyme. The White Kidney Bean is a good option for weight loss and weight management. The users are however still advised to ensure that they properly limit their intake of carbohydrates so as to get better results.
This bean is safe to take and does not have any health complications associated with it. The use of this bean is of much importance in losing that extra pound. The White Kidney Bean is especially helpful to those people who cannot get the proper time for preparing healthy meals. It is always important to keep in mind the fact that this bean is only useful in inhibiting the digestion of carbohydrates. This is why people are always advised to try as much as possible to limit their carb consumption. Some side effects like Heartburn might be witnessed but in most cases they might not be very much pronounced.
Natural Remedies for Arthritis
February 08, 2012 08:15 AM
Arthritis is a kind inflammation on one or more joint. There are many kinds of arthritis. Each kind has different causes. Most common causes are injury, metabolism problem, immunity disorder, infections, hereditary factors, and much more. The symptoms are various too. But generally, it includes joint pain, swelling, redness, warmth, and stiffness. When the arthritis goes more serious, it could lead to fever, weight loss, and fatigue.
There are many ways to cure arthritis. If the illness is quite serious, you need to go to a doctor. You can undergo a physical treatment. You can orthopedic bracing. Or, you could even need a joint replacement surgery. And if it is not so serious, you can just go to drug store to buy some analgesic, corticosteroid, acetaminophen or some anti-inflammatory medications. But, you need to remember that every drug has side effects. Analgesic could lead you to nausea and stomach upset. Corticosteroid can give make you bruise easily. It can also weaken your bones.
The best recommendation to avoid side effects is to go naturally. Natural remedies have negligible side effects. Those have been used by our predecessors to cure many illnesses effectively. And for arthritis, there are also some ingredients that could be useful. Here are some examples:
Curcumin is derived from the root of tumeric plant. Tumeric is commonly used for Indian cooking and Chinese medication. Curcumin can be an effective anti-inflammatory. It can also cure stiffness and pain. For a better result, combine curcumin with bromelain. Curcumin might be not good for a pregnant woman to consume.
Boswelia acid can also be an active anti-inflamatory. Commonly, it is used to cure several inflammatory problems such as asthma and some digestive ailments. Boswelia supplements sometimes are sold in capsule form.
3. Holy Basil
Holy basil is also known as Tulsi in India. In Ayurveda, tulsi is very sacred herb. That is why it is called as Holy Basil. In India, many houses have it planted on their yard and often use it to cure headache, influenza, and some digestive disorders. Many researches have found that holy basil also contains high anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. But it is not recommended for pregnant women.
Ginger has an active compound called gingerol. Gingerol is very effective to cure inflammatory. You can consume ginger in many ways. You can take it as a supplement. You can easily brew the ginger root at home and drink it when it is warm. You can also just eat it. But if you want to eat it, it would be better to eat it with other foods or you might get Heartburn.
Glucosamine is the main element that forms cartilage and synovial fluids. It is formed by glycoaminoglycans and protein inside a human's body. Glucosamine sometimes are formed as glusosamine sulphate. It then is made as supplement and can be bought in a drug store. It is effective for many kinds of injuries and joint disorders.
6. Hyaluronic Acid
Hyaluronic acid is a compound can be found in synovial fluids, along with glucosamine. It is very important to keep the volume of synovial fluids and frictionless movement. When a human's body lacked of hyaluronic acid, they will experience an inflammatory conditions such as stiffness, joint pain, and arthritis.
How Does Pancreatin Help With Digestion?
August 23, 2011 12:33 PM
Pancreas and Pancreatin
The pancreas is an organ in the abdomen that lies just below the stomach and is a vital part of the endocrine system. Its main responsibility is to produce enzymes needed for the digestion and absorption of food. It is both an endocrine gland making several important hormones, including insulin, glucagon, somatostatin, as well as an exocrine gland. Most relative to our topic though is the function of secreting pancreatic juice containing digestive enzymes. These enzymes aid to further break down carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids. Enzymes(Pancreatin) secreted include amylases which digest starch molecules, for fat its lipases, and proteases for digesting proteins.
Having a nice healthy digestive tract is more than just being free of discomforts, Heartburn, gas, or constipation. We have to look at it at different perspective, like from “what happens to the food?” kind of perspective. When foods are not digested properly, its nutrients cannot and will not get to our body’s cells. Nutrients are captured within the food processing stages in our digestive system. The body requires a constant flow of nutrients to essentially for what it is suppose to do which is to grow, generate energy, and to repair tissue. A lack of digestive enzymes like pancreatin in the stomach and intestines may cause Heartburn, bloating, indigestion and constipation. Sometimes without giving much thought to digestion, we think it’s as simple as food is placed in the mouth, chew, swallow, and digest. However nutrients are vital to every cell in the body, and even digestion requires the right balance of nutrients to signal the nerves to start gathering nutrients again.
Digestion processes all occurs in the gastrointestinal tracts. Whatever you eat flows through this system, but until absorption through the intestinal tract, the nutrients from your food are still physically outside of your body. Because the gastrointestinal tract functions like an internal skin and provides a barrier between whatever you ingest from the outside (external) and your internal bloodstream. Part of this process of digesting food is the selective transport of nutrients through the cell wall linings in your intestinal tract.
Once transported across the intestinal barrier to the inside of your body, that’s when the nutrients becomes part of our bloodstream and is rationed to all of your tissues via blood circulation to maintain organ function, aid in the need for energy, and mobilize growth and repair of new cells and tissues. Now for any mobilization of the nutrients to take place, food must first be broken down and this is where Pancreatin comes in along with other enzymes. On the other hand if pancreatin is insufficient it can lead to symptoms of malabsorption(abnormality in absorption of food nutrients), malnutrition(a state of lack of nutrition, vitamin deficiencies, and weight loss (or an inability to gain weight in children) and is often associated with steatorrhea (loose, fatty, foul-smelling stools), and is some select cases the lack of these enzymes can lead to type one diabetes.
Is Cod Liver Oil Good For My Health? The Answe Is Yes!
July 20, 2011 12:26 PM
Cod liver oil can be obtained from the liver of cod fish. Cod fish is a cold water migratory fish with dark spots, five fins and a barbell on the chin area. This fish commonly dwells in the lower regions of deep waters. This kind of fish is ravenous, feeding on smaller fishes and other sea animals. Generally, the maximum weight of cod fish caught is approximately 12 kilograms. However, the largest cod fish ever caught is about six feet in length and 91 kilograms in weight. Cod fish is popular because of its pleasant tasting flesh and liver oil.
Cod liver oil is very beneficial to the human system. It contains high concentrations of essential omega – 3fatty acids such as Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA). EPA is responsible for the maintenance of cardiovascular health. It also has anti – inflammatory property thus effective as a relief treatment for arthritis. DHA, on the other hand, is the fatty acid which is responsible for the health and normal functioning of the brain and eyes. These fatty acids are especially important for pregnant women. Fatty acids are important for the development of the fetus’s nervous system. With its effects on brain functioning, fatty acids can also prevent depression.
Cod liver oil is also very rich with vitamins A and D. Vitamin A is significant for good eyesight and healthy skin and strong shiny hair. Vitamin D is also important because it improves calcium absorption thus helping you to have strong bones and teeth. Vitamin D also plays a significant role in immune system health and the regulation of blood glucose levels thus reducing the risk of Diabetes Mellitus Type 2.
Today, cod liver oil can already be acquired by taking supplements. Cod liver oil supplements are relatively safe. In rare cases, cod liver oil can have little unwanted effects such as gastric upset, Heartburn and belching. Experts highly recommend that you take cod liver oil with meals to prevent adverse effects. Indeed, cod liver oil has many health benefits but this does not ensure that supplementing in higher doses than recommended is alright. Cod liver oil is a potent blood – thinning agent thus increasing the risk of bleeding when taken in higher dosages. Excessive amounts of vitamin A and D may also bring about nausea and loose bowel movement.
The recommended dosing of cod liver oil varies depending on the purpose. To decrease triglyceride levels and lower blood pressure, scientific research recommends 20 milliliters of cod liver oil daily. For individuals with high cholesterol levels, consume 30 milliliters of cod liver oil daily.
To be safe, experts recommend that you should consult your doctor before beginning cod liver oil supplementation. It is important that you should discuss your health status and any other medications taken whether prescribed or not. Those who are taking antihypertensive, anti - platelet and anticoagulant medications must take cod liver oil supplement cautiously. Cod liver oil might further slow blood clotting thus increasing the risk of bleeding or may cause your blood pressure to be very low.
Digestive Enzymes, Acid Reflux, Cholesterol, Heartburn, IBS, Diabetes, And Blood Pressure
June 13, 2011 02:24 PM
Digestive Enzymes - Can Enzymes Help Me Feel Better?
Irregular bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic disease many people suffer from and basically causes your bowels to move irregularly leaving you bloated and in pain. This is mainly due to the average diet of today (too little fiber) but is also caused by genetic reasons and an unhealthy diet. A great way to treat this problem healthily is by taking digestive enzymes supplements.
The first question we should probably ask is what are digestive enzymes? Shortly put – digestive enzymes are live proteins present in all living organisms. Digestive enzymes are secreted along your digestive track and it extracts nutrients from the food and your body passes the rest as waste. The reason why some foods are hard on your digestive system is because we eat most of our food cooked and this process of cooking kills all the live enzymes in the food, leaving it to your digestive system to digest the whole portion, whilst uncooked food breaks 40% – 60% down itself.
Your body isn’t designed to digest mostly cooked food, and this causes almost every digestive problem you might have. A great way to get rid of this problem is drinking digestive enzymes supplements. Before your food moves from your stomach to the next process of digesting the extra digestive enzymes can help to completely digest all the food as so making it much easier on your body to break down.
Making sure your body has enough digestive enzymes is crucial – not only for your digestive health. If your body produces less digestive enzymes than it uses, it may cause damage to your pancreas because you’re overworking it. Remember that it is the pancreas that produces your body’s digestive enzymes. Eventually damage to your pancreas will also lower your immune system and also lower metabolic enzymes and having a constantly depleted level of digestive enzymes will eventually catch up with you. So get yourself some supplements – even if you are a vegetarian Yogi!
Not having enough digestive enzymes, your body can be in deathly dangers. Some of the problems due to a lack of enzymes include acid reflux, high cholesterol, Heartburn, IBS, diabetes, high blood pressure and circulatory problems. If you are prone to any of these problems you should consider talking to your doctor about taking some digestive enzymes, they are readily available, not too expensive and they may lengthen your life another decade or two.
To avoid any of these health problems you should look after your body because, evidently, it will make you feel better for longer. Exercise regularly, eat as much raw food as possible, and try to drink digestive enzymes supplements when you eat cooked food and to visit your doctor for a check-up once a year. With the right balance, diet and digestive enzymes you can go a long way to assure yourself a long, healthy life.
Bromelain Supplements why?
November 06, 2010 10:32 AM
Bromelain enzyme may not be as familiar as other digestive supplements to most people but this helpful catalyst offers a wide range of benefits not only to the digestive system but also to other systems of the body.
Bromelain Enzyme Supplement
Bromelain enzyme is a proteolytic digestive catalyst that contains sulfur. From the word “proteolytic”, this substance aids in the digestion of proteins especially when taken with meals. On the other hand, when taken without meals, it is deemed to act as an anti-inflammatory supplement. Ananas comosus or the pineapple plant is the best source of this beneficial enzyme. However, fresh pineapple extract does not contain doses high enough to have a medicinal effect. Hence, a preparation to meet the body’s demand is produced. Bromelain supplements now come in the form of tablets and topical creams. They are now widely available and affordable to counterweigh the several uses it offers.
In the Digestive System, bromelain enzyme does not only help in digesting proteins but may also relieve gastric upset and Heartburn especially when used together with other digestive enzymes like amylase, a catalyst responsbile for carbohydrate digestion, and lipase which is for the digestion of fats. Diarrhea conditions associated with deficiency in the proteolytic enzymes can also be alleviated with the use of this supplement.
In the Immune System, bromelain has been widely considered as an effective relief for pain and swelling caused by both injury and certain infections. Studies frequently show the bromelain’s ability in facilitating the body to restore health more quickly. The mechanism is said to be a reduction of fibrin and leukotriene accumulation, thus regulating the inflammation process. Researchers have demonstrated evidences that a daily intake of 1,200 to 1,800 mg of bromelain may help alleviate painful inflammation just like in rheumatoid arthritis.
In the Cardiovascular System, bromelain supplement is theorized to play a role in the prevention of heart disease caused by atherosclerosis or thickening of the arterial wall due to plaque deposits. It slows down the clumping of platelets thus preventing a possible heart attack.
Bromelain May Also Relieve Pain
Lastly, bromelain may also relieve pain associated premenstrual syndrome and menstraul cramps. Studies reveal that they act as prostaglandin inhibitors. However, bromelain can also increase the bleeding during menstruation.
Bromelain supplement has no Recommended Dietary Allowance but doses of up to 1 gram taken 3 times a day showed no toxic effects. Experts also advise to take bromelain on an empty stomach supplemented with magnesium to increase the bromelain’s effects.
Just like any other drug or food supplement, bromelain also has side effects, nonlife-threatening to be exact. It may have drug interactions such as increasing the absorption of some medications like antibiotics, chemotherapeutic drugs and specific antihypertensive agents. In addition, it may also bolster the effects of blood thinners such as warfarin (Coumadin), anti-inflammatory drugs and antiplatelet agents such as clopidogrel (Plavix). Since bromelain supplement can cause certain drug interactions, it is important to take this enzyme cautiously or under the supervision of a qualified health care provider.
To find quality bromelain supplements, look to your local or internet vitamin store.
November 25, 2009 03:40 PM
Fenugreek is one of the oldest herbal remedies, used for both a cooking spice and a medicinal remedy. Fenugreek is a plant that can be found in the family Fabaceae. This plant is used both as an herb and as a spice. The leaves of the plant are used as an herb, while the seeds of the plant are used as a spice. Fenugreek is cultivated worldwide as a semi-arid crop. Frequently, fenugreek can be found as a main ingredient in curry. Originally native to southwestern Asia, this herb was used for inflamed bowels and stomach problems because of its bowel-lubricating abilities. Fenugreek was used by the Greeks for respiratory problems. Additionally, fenugreek was used in both the East and West and thought of as one of the most effective medicinal herbs. Often, fenugreek plants were fed to sick animals to improve their health.
This herb has a reputation of being able to dissolve hardened masses of accumulated mucus in the body. Fenugreek helps to rid the lungs of mucus and the bronchial tubes of phlegm. Often, it is combined with lemon juice and honey to help expel waste through the lymphatic system. Fenugreek is known for the antiseptic properties that it contains, which help kill infections in the lungs. Additionally, this herb is recommended for treating an inflamed gastrointestinal system. This herb contains thirty percent mucilage, which may be used as a poultice on wounds, inflammations, boils, and skin ailments. Formulas containing fenugreek are often touted as the miracle medicine for all gynecological problems. Some studies have found that fenugreek simulates the uterus and contains diosgenin, a constituent similar to estrogen. Research on diabetic animals has found that Fenugreek seeds are able to reduce urinary glucose levels. The active ingredient seems to be the defatted portion of the seed, which possesses the alkaloid trogonelline, nicotinic acid, and coumarin. When the defatted seeds were added to insulin treatment of diabetic dogs, it was noted that insulin dose was decreased. Fenugreek contains choline and liptropic, which aid in dissolving cholesterol and lowering cholesterol levels. Animal studies have shown beneficial results in lowering serum cholesterol levels. Fenugreek helps reduce mucus in cases of asthma and sinus and bronchial congestion. Evidence of anti-inflammatory activity has been show in some studies, which may explain why some individuals with arthritis have been helped by fenugreek.
The seeds of the fenugreek plant are used to provide alterative, anti-catarrhal, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, aphrodisiac, astringent, bitter, demulcent, emollient, expectorant, febrifuge, galactagogue, mucilant, and vulnerary properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are choline, iron, lecithin, minerals, protein, and vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, and D. Primarily, fenugreek is extremely beneficial in treating allergies, loss of appetite, bronchial catarrh, high cholesterol, diabetic retinopathy, gas, gastric disorders, lung infections, excessive mucus, and sore throat.
Additionally, the herb is very helpful in dealing with abscesses, anemia, asthma, body odor, boils, bronchitis, cancer, swollen eyes, fevers, gallbladder problems, Heartburn, inflammation, sinus problems, ulcers, uterine problems, and water retention. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by fenugreek, please feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store with questions.
October 30, 2009 12:45 PM
Peppermint was used by both the Romans and Greeks in some of their sacred rites. It was highly regarded for its medicinal purposes. The Romans used mint as a stomach aid and also to promote digestion. The Greeks also used this herb for a variety of different ailments. Mint can be found all throughout stories in Greek mythology. The leaf of peppermint was used by Native Americans in a tea form as a carminative, in order to prevent vomiting, nausea, and fevers. The peppermint plant is native to Europe. There are many different varieties of peppermint. The plant is actually believed to be a hybrid between spearmint and water mint.
Peppermint leaf is believed to be one of the great herbal remedies and is very useful to have around the house. It is very easy to grow, either in the garden or the home. The herb contains warming oil that is effective as a nerve stimulant. The oil is helpful in increasing oxygen in the blood and working to clean and strengthen the entire body. Peppermint is a great sedative for the stomach. It has been found to contain properties that stimulate the flow of bile and help to settle the stomach after vomiting. The herb is beneficial in dealing with nausea, chills, colic, fevers, gas, and diarrhea. It is able to cleanse, soothe, and relax the body. Peppermint has long been recommended by herbalists for digestive problems. Additionally, it is used for convulsions in infants, to increase respiration, for colds, and to strengthen the entire body.
The menthol that is found in peppermint is believed to be the major component responsible for the medicinal value that it provides. Peppermint plants contain somewhere between fifty and seventy-eight percent menthol. Studies have determined that there are numerous volatile oils in peppermint, which possess antibacterial activity in vitro. It is yet to be determined just how effective peppermint will be in clinical studies. It is also believed that the oil of peppermint is able to sooth gastrointestinal contractions and help to relieve gas. Peppermint’s volatile oils produce relaxation on the smooth muscles. This may be beneficial in conditions such as irritable bowel, abdominal pain, and other gastrointestinal complaints. Research done in 1979 found that peppermint oil capsules were very effective in treating irritable bowel syndrome. A study that was done using laboratory mice found that peppermint leaf extract produces a mild sedative effect. Additionally, animal studies have found that the azulene in peppermint oil contains anti-inflammatory properties.
The leaves and oil of the peppermint plant are used to provide antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, aromatic, carminative, diaphoretic, rubefacient, and stimulant properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are copper, iodine, inositol, iron, magnesium, niacin, potassium, silicon, sulfur, and vitamins A and C. Primarily, peppermint is extremely beneficial in dealing with appetite loss, colds, colic, digestion, fever, gas, headaches, Heartburn, nausea, nerves, shock, bowel spasms, and vomiting.
Additionally, the herb is very helpful in treating chills, cholera, constipation, convulsions, stomach cramps, uterine cramps, depression, dizziness, flu, heart problems, insomnia, menstrual problems, morning sickness, motion sickness, neuralgia, shingles, mouth sores, stomach spasms, and sore throat. In order to obtain the best results when supplementing with this make sure the peppermint supplement is enteric coated. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by pennyroyal, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
October 23, 2009 11:10 AM
Since the beginning of civilization, flax has been around. The early Swiss used the fibers for weaving, while Egyptians decorated their tombs with carvings of the flax plant and wrapped mummies in linen due to the high esteem they had for this plant. The fibers of the flax plant were a main source of clothing in biblical times, with even Christ being believed to have been buried in linen. The use of flaxseed oil was recommended by Hippocrates for inflammations of the mucous membranes. Charlemagne required his subjects to eat the seeds to remain healthy during the early eighth century in France.
Flaxseed has many medicinal properties, as the oil has been used as a remedy for colds, coughs, sore throats, mucus, congestion, lung conditions, and as an expectorant. The herb is soothing to the mucous membranes and has been used to treat asthmatic conditions.
Additionally, this herb is a mild, natural laxative, providing roughage to aid the body when constipation is a problem. It is also healing on the stomach and intestines. Flaxseed oil can be very beneficial for gastritis, ulcers, and Heartburn, while the tea can be used to help detoxify the liver and purify the blood. This herb is also believed to aid in reducing the clotting tendency of blood, potentially lowering the risk of heart attacks and reducing cholesterol levels in blood. It is also used for reducing inflammation and for urinary tract irritations. Crushed flaxseed, made into a poultice, is often used to treat sprains or bruises.
Unrefined, cold-pressed flax oil is considered to be the richest vegetable source of omega-3 and 6 oils, which are essential fatty acids. These oils are useful for balancing the hormones in the body and helping in the weight-loss process. Essential fatty acids help to improve the function of the glands, which in turn helps weight loss. Those individuals on low or no-fat diets often experience symptoms of fatigue and no weight loss which is partly due to the absence of essential fatty acids in the diet. A small amount of essential fatty acids actually helps one to lose weight. This herb also contains lignans, which are a type of fiber that has anti-estrogenic activity. A study done at the National Cancer Institute followed vegetarian women. The study indicated a correlation between a high amount of lignans in the blood and a lower risk for breast cancer. It has also been discovered that people living in countries where flaxseed is consumed in high amounts have a lower risk for developing both breast and colon cancer. It should be noted that stabilized flaxseed has a higher content of lignans than any other food.
Flaxseed can also be helpful in preventing heart disease and lowering cholesterol. One study found that ground flaxseed, when added to the diet, can reduce the incidence of heart disease.
The seeds of the flaxseed plant are used to provide anti-neoplastic, demulcent, emollient, expectorant, mucilant, mild purgative, and vulnerary properties. Primarily, flaxseed is extremely beneficial in dealing with arthritis, cardiovascular health, high cholesterol, constipation, immune disorders, multiple sclerosis, and skin disorders.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in treating bronchitis, cancer, colds, gallstones, weak heart, jaundice, liver, lung disorders, muscular rheumatism, and tumors. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by flaxseed, please contact a representative from your local health food store.
Milk Thistle And Silymarin
August 12, 2009 12:44 PM
In Europe, milk thistle was used as a well-known remedy for liver problems and also as a digestive aid. Pliny the Elder, the early Roman writer, explained how the juice of milk thistle mixed with honey was used for carrying off bile. Gerard, an herbalist, said in 1597 that milk thistle was one of the best remedies for liver-related diseases. Milk thistle was also given to nursing mothers to improve milk production.
The liver is an extremely important organ that is found in the body. It is responsible for filtering toxic material from the body, which prevents accumulation that can lead to disease and death. Often, the vital functions of the liver are overlooked. Nevertheless, they are extremely important. It is essential to keep the liver working properly. Milk thistle has been proven to be very beneficial for liver function. Milk thistle extract has been shown in observations to help reverse both acute and chronic liver problems, including cirrhosis and viral hepatitis. The antioxidant properties may be due to the bioflavonoid content. Milk thistle has also been found to help heal the liver from damage that occurs from alcohol toxicity. It has been used to treat many different liver ailments. Among these are fatty liver disorders, chronic hepatitis, inflammation of the bile duct, hardening of the liver, and cirrhosis. Milk thistle is also thought to actually help liver regeneration when part of the liver is removed.
Milk thistle possesses a variety of compounds which are known as Silymarin. This includes silybin, silydianin, and silychristin. All of these substances are known to protect the liver against some toxins, which helps to increase the function of this important organ. Silybin is used as an antidote to the deathcape mushroom, which is known to destroy liver cells. The deathcap species is one of the most toxic of liver poisons and has a death rate of up to fifty percent. A study with sixty patients suffering from deathcap poisoning treated with silybin produced incredible results. None of the participants died. Silymarin is an effective remedy if it is administered within forty-eight hours of ingestion. This compound seems to occupy the receptor sites to protect the cell membranes. Not only does it work to treat serious liver conditions, but it also prevents damage from occurring. Silymarin contains amines which are known to help stimulate the production and flow of bile. This compound has been found in studies to work exclusively on the kidneys and liver. Milk thistle has also been shown to stimulate the synthesis of protein.
The seeds of the milk thistle plant are used to provide alterative, antioxidant, galactagogue, hepatic, and stimulant properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are bioflavonoids. Primarily, milk thistle is extremely beneficial in treating cirrhosis, hepatitis, jaundice, kidney problems, and liver disorders. Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with alcoholism, appetite loss, high blood pressure, boils, chemotherapy, depression, epilepsy, fatty deposits, gas, Heartburn, heart problems, hemorrhages, hypoglycemia, indigestion, absent lactation, menstrual symptoms, effects of radiation, skin diseases, varicose veins, and the effects of toxins.
July 28, 2009 11:32 AM
Saffron was used by the Greeks and Chinese as a royal dye because of its yellow color. Wealthy Romans used this herb to perfume their homes. In Europe, it was used medicinally between the fourth and eighteenth centuries. It was also being used in the kitchen to cook with.
In the book The Complete Herbal, Nicholas Culpeper recommended using saffron for the heart, brain, and lungs. The herb was also suggested for acute diseases like smallpox and measles. It was also recommended for hysteric depression. Dr. David Culbreth characterized the herb as a pain reliever and was said to promote perspiration and gas explosion and ease painful menstruation in the book Materia Medica and Pharmacology. Saffron was also said to relieve eye infections and encourage sore eruptions.
This herb is soothing to both the stomach and colon. It is responsible for acting as a blood purifier. Saffron helps stimulate circulation and regulate the spleen, heart, and liver. It is also helpful in reducing inflammation; treating arthritis, gout, bursitis, kidney stones, hypoglycemia, and chest congestion; improving circulation; and promoting energy. Small doses should be taken internally for coughs, gas, and colic and to stimulate appetite. The herb can also be applied externally in a salve for gout.
It has been shown that saffron may even help to reduce cholesterol levels. It neutralizes uric acid buildup in the system. Recent research determined that rabbits, which were fed crocetin, which is a component of saffron, had a significant reduction in cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Saffron is eaten daily in Valencia and Spain, resulting in little heart disease occurring among inhabitants. The evidence has shown that saffron increases oxygen diffusion from the red blood cells. Not only does it discourage uric acid buildup, it also inhibits the accumulation of lactic acid. Therefore, it may help prevent heart disease.
Other research done on saffron suggests that the crocetin ingredient may have the potential to act as an anticancer agent in studies done both in vitro and in animals. On study that was done using saffron extract in vitro found that tumor colony cell growth was limited by inhibiting the cellular nucleic acid synthesis. Additional research on cancer has found that saffron that was given orally helped in increasing the life span of mice with variety of laboratory-induced cancers.
The flowers of the saffron plant are used to provide alterative, anodyne, antineoplastic, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, blood purifier, carminative, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, sedative, and stimulant. The primary nutrients found in this herb are calcium, lactic acid, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and vitamins A and B12. Primarily, saffron is extremely beneficial in treating fevers, gout, indigestion, liver disorders, measles, excessive perspiration, phlegm, psoriasis, rheumatism, scarlet fever, and stomach acid. Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with appetite loss, arthritis, blood impurities, bronchitis, cancer, colds, conjunctivitis, coughs, fatigue, gas, headaches, Heartburn, uterine hemorrhages, hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia, insomnia, jaundice, kidney stones, menstrual symptoms, skin disease, tuberculosis, ulcers, water retention, and whooping cough.
In order to obtain the best results when supplementing with this, or any herb, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by saffron, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions. Saffron is available at your local or internet health food store. Note: Saffron should not be consumed internally.
June 11, 2009 06:16 PM
The boswellia family of trees are specifically known for their fragrant, gummy sap, which possesses many medicinal uses. Among these, especially, if the use as an anti-inflammatory. It is believed that the frankincense of the bible was actually an extract from the resin of the Boswellia tree. Boswellia, which is also known as boswellin, has a long history of use in Ayurvedic healing. The resin is called salai guggal and has been used to treat asthma, arthritis, various inflammatory conditions, and to relieve joint pain and pain that results from sports injuries. The resin of the boswellia tree is also though to be helpful for treating back pain as well as some other chronic intestinal disorders.
The boswellia plant is a genus of trees that are known mainly for their fragrant resin. This resin has many pharmacological uses, particularly as anti-inflammatories. There are four main species of boswellia, producing true frankincense. Each type of resin is available in various grades. These grades depend upon the time of harvesting. The resin of the boswellia plant is hand sorted for quality. Anyone who is interested in frankincense is advised to obtain a small sample from each reputable dealer to determine the difference between each resin.
Boswellic acids are the main compounds that are believed to be at the source of boswellia’s anti-inflammatory properties. These acids have the ability to inhibit the enzymes that induce pain and inflammation in the body.
A few studies have been conducted on boswellia’s effect on sports injuries and arthritis. Among these, some have shown that boswellic acids may contain anti-inflammatory benefits that are extremely powerful. These benefits are similar to those found in ibuprofen and aspirin. One study done on rheumatoid arthritis patients found that pain and swelling were reduced after three months of treatment with boswellia. Those who used boswellia occasionally reported mild gastrointestinal distress, like Heartburn and nausea, but there were no other reports of serious side-effects.
Boswellia has a long tradition of safe and effective use as a mild anti-inflammatory to alleviate pain and stiffness. It is also used to enhance mobility without serious side effects. However, further research is needed to confirm the long-term safety and effectiveness of this extract. Boswellia seems to be best taken as needed in order to reduce pain and stiffness, as opposed to being taken regularly as a maintenance herb.
The resin of boswellia is used in many herbal formulas because of its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. Primarily, this extract is most useful in dealing with arthritis, asthma, inflammatory conditions, joint pain, and sports injuries.
A boswellia standardized extract is recommended by many doctors. When dealing with rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis, 150 mg of boswellic acids are taken three times per day. For example, if an extract contains 37.5% boswellic acids, 400 mg of the extract would be taken three times daily. Treatment with boswellia should generally last between eight and twelve weeks. Generally, boswellia is safe when used as directed. Rare side effects include diarrhea, skin rash, and nausea. Any inflammatory joint condition should be closely monitored by a health care professional. To date, there are no well-known drug interactions with boswellia.
Boswellia comes in capsule form at your local or internet health food store. When making a purchase always read the label to ensure that the product is standardized to its active acids to ensure quality and purity and to ensure that the herb when taken regularly will function as intended.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Boswellia is 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.
May 13, 2009 12:39 PM
The barberry plant is a shrub that has gray, thorny branches. This shrub can grow up to nine feet tall. The flower of the barberry plant are bright yellow and bloom between the months of April and June. These flowers then become dark, drooping bunches of red berries in the fall.
The use of barberry dates back approximately three thousand years, originating in China in India where it was used for the treatment of diarrhea and intestinal infections. The barberry plant was used by Native Americans for treating liver conditions like jaundice. Additionally, Egyptians mixed the berries of the plant with fennel seed to protect themselves from the plague. Barberry is made up of an alkaloid known as berberine, which can also be found in other medicinal herbs such as goldenseal and Orgeon grape. The therapeutic effects of barberry can be attributed to its berberine content.
Studies have concluded that berberine contains properties that are effective against a wide variety of bacteria, viruses, and fungi. These studies also found that berberine was much more effective in treating some bacteria than even a strong antibiotic. Other studies have found that barberry has the potential to kill microorganisms including staphylococci, streptococci, salmonella, Giardia lamblia, Escherichia coli, shigella, and Candida albicans. The berberine in barberry has been noted to contain antidarrheal properties. This alkaloid is also recommended for stimulating the immune system.
The effects of barberry include helping against cancer, liver problems, kidney problems, coughs, cholera, diarrhea, fever, inflammation, hypertension, and tumors. Barberry has also been recommended to increase bile secretions and stimulate the appetite. This herb may also help in cases of anemia and malnutrition. Barberry stimulates bile production for liver problems and also dilates blood vessels to lower blood pressure.
Barberry is used in easing inflammation and infection of the urinary, gastrointestinal, and respiratory tracts, as well as candida infections of the both the skin and vagina. Barberry extract has also been shown to improve symptoms that are associated with certain skin conditions, such as psoriasis. However, more research is still needed on determining the reliability of these findings. Barberry is shown to be an extremely effective treatment for diarrhea. A few studies have found that barberry is able to improve symptoms faster than antibiotics. This is possibly because of its astringent properties. However antibiotics are still thought to be more effective at killing bacteria in the intestines. For this reason, it is best to use barberry to ease symptoms, along with a standard antibiotic, as bacterial diarrhea can have extremely serious consequences.
The bark, root, and berries of the barberry plant are used to provide alterative, antibacterial, antineoplastic, antiseptic, aromatic, astringent, blood purifier, cholagogue, diuretic, hepatic, hypotensive, purgative, and stomachic properties. The primary nutrients provided by this herb include iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamin C. Primarily, barberry can be beneficial in dealing with loss of appetite, high blood pressure, impurities in the blood, candidiasis, constipation, diarrhea, dysentery, fevers, indigestion, infections, jaundice, liver disorders, pyorrhea, and sore throat. However, this herb is also extremely helpful in dealing with anemia, arthritis, boils, breath odor, cholera, gallstones, heart problems, Heartburn, hemorrhages, itching, kidney problems, migraines, rheumatisms, ringworm, and skin conditions. For more information on barberry or to make a purchase, along with its many beneficial effects, feel free to contact a representative at your local health food store.
April 08, 2009 07:59 PM
There have been few herbs throughout history that have been valued as highly as the aloe vera plant. Aloe vera has been used for thousands of years because of its medicinal value and therapeutic benefits. Today, it is widely used and cultivated all over the world. The aloe vera plant is a member of the lily family. However, it looks much more like a cactus plant. This perennial produces yellow flowers and has tough, stiff, spiny, and triangular leaves. This plant may grow up to twenty inches long and five inches across, while the leaves grow in a rosette with three layers.
Historically, aloe has been used by many people. This includes the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Hebrews, Chinese, Indians, Algerians, Moroccans, Tunisians, and Arabians. Records of folklore have indicated many medicinal uses of aloe, with recent research adding validity to the many beneficial uses of the aloe plant.
Traditionally, aloe vera has been used to treat wounds, frostbite, burns, radiation burns, and external pain. This herb also aids in digestion and combats constipation, inflammation, ulcers, kidney stones, and tissue damage from X-ray exposure and other forms of radiation. Aloe vera can prevent scarring and heal minor scars because it contains enzymes, saponins, hormones, and amino acids that can be absorbed into the skin. Aloe vera can also promote the growth of living cells. Aloe contains many substances that are referred to as uronic acids. These uronic acids are natural detoxicants which take part in the healing process by stripping toxic materials of their harmful effects.
Aloe vera is best known for its soothing and external healing effect on burns, wounds, and rashes. According to modern research, when aloe is applied externally, it can help speed healing and restore skin tissue. This is primarily because of the plant’s moisturizing effects. Aloe is easily absorbed into the skin, preventing the air from drying damaged skin tissue and helping to relieve the pain that is associated with both burns and wounds.
Many studies have found the positive effects that are linked to the use of aloe juice in the digestive process. Used in the digestive process, this herb can treat stomach disorders, ulcers, colitis, constipation, and other colon-related problems. Aloe can also help to soothe, reduce inflammation, and heal the digestive tract. One study found that ulcer patients can be completely healed with the use of aloe juice just as effectively as anti-ulcer drugs and without the chance of toxic side effects.
Aloe gel is made up of acemannan, which is a complex carbohydrate that possesses immune-stimulating and antiviral properties. The acemannan in aloe has shown antiviral activity against HIV-1, as it inhibits the reproduction of HIV-1. Aloe gel has also been found to be effective in fighting the spread of some viruses, like herpes, measles, and rhinotracheitis.
The primary applications of aloe vera are to treat insect bites, burns and scalds, hemorrhoids, body odor, gastric disorders, and scar tissues. However, aloe vera has also been shown to be extremely beneficial in dealing with abrasions, acne, anemia, constipation, Heartburn, poison ivy/oak, psoriasis, ringworm, sores, sunburn, tapeworm, tuberculosis, wrinkles, leg ulcers, and peptic ulcers.
Aloe vera is available in capsule, tablet, liquid and powder forms. Always purchase a liquid form to ensure freshness. When looking to purchase this product, always stick to name brands that you can find in your local or internet health food store.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Aloe vera is 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.
Digestive Essentail Enzymes
January 04, 2009 10:29 AM
Years of researching various health-promoting herbs, vitamins, minerals, and other dietary supplements has led to the conclusion that enzyme therapy is one of the most valuable ways to maintain and promote good health. Not very many of us actually understand the enormous role that enzymes play in health maintenance, with many of us actually being enzyme depleted due to the over-consumption of cooked enzyme-less foods and the under-consumption of raw whole foods. The human digestive system was designed for a diet that is full of raw plants and fruits, but many foods today are processed, refined, heated, and fragmented.
By eating foods that have lost their own natural enzymes, the pancreas and other organs that supply digestive enzymes are over-worked. This results in enzymatic function in other areas of the body to become compromised, which leads to disastrous health implications. Replenishing enzymes through diet and supplementation is an easy way to make up for the typical diet that is full of mostly dead foods.
The human digestive system is one of the most perfectly designed systems in the body, typically functioning without problems. This means that if we are eating the right foods in the right way, then we should not have to rely on antacids, H2 antagonists, proton-pump inhibitors, and laxatives. Burping, belching, and bloating, no matter how often they occur, are actually not normal. It is ironic that the human body has a system that is far more impressive than any other machine built by humans, but we suffer from breakdowns all the time such as abdominal cramps after eating, inordinate amounts of gas, sluggish colons, and an overall lousy feeling after eating.
Statistics prove that we are not eating the right foods, and even if we were, many of us are not properly absorbing all of their nutrients because we consume huge amounts of sugar, drugs, caffeine, alcohol, and highly processed refined foods that prevent normal digestive processes. Being under constant stress and eating on the run, along with our unhealthy food choices, creates an environment inside our body that causes common cases of Heartburn and indigestion, possibly leading to ulcers and colon disease.
Enzymes are protein molecules that are responsible for thousands of physiological reactions that take place in the human body. They initiate and control almost every biochemical process that occurs in the body, with nearly three thousand individual enzymes being identified to date. Enzymes help our body to digest food, repair tissue, and eliminate dangerous toxins. Digestive enzymes break down food particles, which allows them to pass through the intestinal wall and enter the bloodstream. The enzymes that are found in the blood transform nutrient particles into tissue that is found in muscles, nerves, organs, and glands.
Enzymes also contribute to the process that stores sugar in the liver and muscle tissue and preserves fatty tissue. Additionally, digestive enzymes are part of the chemical reaction that creates urea. Some enzymes even help to detoxify our blood and tissue by allowing our immune system to attack foreign material. Lastly, metabolic enzymes help create energy in our body on a cellular level by converting foot to energy, which then fuels nearly every mechanism in the body. Do you get enough enzymes on a daily basis?
August 22, 2008 05:50 PM
Fructooligosaccharides, which shall henceforth be referred to as FOS for obvious reasons, are sugars with chemical linkages known as osidic covalent bonds that resist enzymic hydrolysisis, and so are broken down by neither the salivary nor the digestive enzymes. In other words, they are indigestible.
However, before discussing the biochemistry further, let's have a look at what they can be used for. Your body depends upon certain bacteria for its health. These are essential to help break down and digest certain foods, and also to provide a resistance to disease and infection. FOS is what is known as a prebiotic, which used to feed these friendly bacteria. Just like any other living organism, bacteria require nourishment and while they get plenty of food from our own diet, especially from the fiber content, they find FOS particularly appetizing.
Because fructooligosaccharides cannot be digested, it passes unchanged into the colon, where these bacteria live. As they break down the FOS and live on it, they multiply, and create an environment in your lower intestine that is hostile to many harmful bacteria such as Clostridia and E. coli. However, it is not only these harmful bacteria that cause problems with your digestion since there many other agents that can interfere with the smooth functioning of your gastrointestinal tract.
People all over the world are continually suffering from both minor and very serious digestive problems, ranging from Heartburn and upset stomachs to severe diarrhea, Crohn's disease, irritable bowel syndrome and even bowel cancers. There is a multitude of reasons for that such as the effects of aging, poor diet and bacteria from contaminated food. Organic foodstuffs do not last long in many warm countries, and while spices can be used to hide the taste, they are not always successful in killing off the bacteria.
Your health depends on a healthy digestive system, and when that is wrong then you will feel ill. If your digestive system is running below par, then you will not feel good, and could suffer from a wide range of symptoms, including tiredness, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, fevers and depression. The health of your intestinal tract in particular is often neglected, and most people need to do something to give it a boost and improve its, and their, overall health.
That is what FOS can do. And it can do more than just feed friendly bacteria: it can help you maintain regular bowel movements, maintain healthy blood sugar levels, maintain a healthy immune system, break down hormones and rebuild them again (it is useful for the relief of the symptoms of PMS) and to keep down the cholesterol and fatty acid levels in your blood. It is used to feed beneficial bacteria, not to replace them, and if you are on a probiotic supplement, you can take FOS along with it.
Fructooligosaccharides are also used as artificial sweeteners, and alternative names for them oligofructan and oligofructose. There are two classes of FOS, the first of which is produced commercially by the chemical or enzymic degradation of inulin, a polymer of D-fructose linkages terminated with D-glucose. This is produced commercially predominantly in Belgium and Holland, and it also occurs naturally in chicory and Jerusalem artichoke, and in lesser amounts in bananas, garlic, tomatoes and onions. The second class of FOS is produced mainly in Japan. This is produced by a process known as the transfructosylation of a B-fructosidase from saccharose or aspergillus niger, a black mould found on onions and grapes. This is basically the same as the first class, although the chemical bonds are in different places.
While they resist breakdown by enzymes, they are fermented in the colon by anaerobic bacteria, bacteria that work in the absence of oxygen. Because they are fairly soluble, they can be added to dairy products such as yoghurt and used to feed the bacteria contained in the yoghurt. In fact many supplements containing acidophilus bacteria are fortified with FOS: you drink the bacteria along with its food.
Although FOS is only now assuming increasingly popularity in the West, it has been used as a dietary supplement in Japan for many years. Some of the specific health benefits that FOS coveys by promoting the health of essential bacteria, are:
Calcium and Magnesium Absorption
There have been several studies that have concluded that FOS and inulin improve the absorption of calcium in the intestine of both animals and humans. The fermentation of the FOS by bacteria reduces the pH of the gut, which increases the solubility of these minerals and hence extracts more of them from food. The increased solubility also helps them to be more easily absorbed through the intestinal wall into the bloodstream. FOS can therefore help to maintain bone density and prevent osteoporosis.
Strengthened Immune System
By taking a supplement of FOS, you can increase the density of friendly bacteria in your gut fivefold in a matter of weeks. This crowds out harmful bacteria, and so the level of toxins in your body is reduced. Your immune system is allowed to work properly to fight of infection and disease without having to work hard on keeping down the harmful bacteria in your gut.
Apart from being a food for bacteria, since it is not digestible FOS is also a soluble fiber that draws water into your colon, and so promotes easy transport of feces by the peristaltic pumping action of the intestinal muscles. It also absorbs excess water in the chyme and feces and so helps to prevent diarrhea. Furthermore, improving the health of the friendly bacteria also improves your digestive health that also promotes regularity.
The fermentation of FOS by bacteria produces gases and acids. These acids help the body to produce energy, and although not a massive energy boost, when allied to the improved digestion it is significant.
All of these benefits and more suggest that FOS is highly recommended in the event of sporadic and chronic gastrointestinal problems. It is a natural substance that does not have a direct influence on your body's biochemistry, but promotes the health and reproduction of those bacteria that do have a significant influence on intestinal health. Add that to the added benefits discussed above, and FOS is one of these supplements that could almost be called essential.
August 12, 2008 01:37 PM
Vitamin C is the most widely taken nutritional supplement on the market and is available in a variety of forms, including tablets, drink mixes, crystals in capsules or bulk powdered crystals. Vitamin C is present in mother's milk and, in lower amounts, in raw cow's milk, with pasteurized milk containing only trace amounts. This vitamin is most present in the liver and least present in the muscle but needed through out the body.
Vitamin C is required for the synthesis of collagen, an important structural component of blood vessels, tendons, ligaments, skin, and bone. Vitamin C can regenerate other antioxidants such as vitamin E; in the body vitamin E can regenerate C as well. This vitamin is required for the growth and repair of tissues in all parts of your body. Relatively large doses of vitamin C may cause indigestion, particularly when taken on an empty stomach.
It has been shown that smokers who have diets poor in vitamin C are at a higher risk of lung-borne diseases than those smokers who have higher concentrations of Vitamin C in the blood. Biological tissues that accumulate over 100 times the level in blood plasma of vitamin C are the adrenal glands, pituitary, thymus, corpus luteum, and retina.
Studies suggest the presence of large quantities of sugar either in the intestines or in the blood can slow absorption of this vitamin. Several studies have demonstrated a blood pressure lowering effect of vitamin C supplementation. Also, when consumed in high doses it appears to interfere with the blood thinning effects of warfarin by lowering prothrombin time, as noted in case reports in the 1970s so consult your doctor if on medications..
In one Study, researchers instructed patients with documented coronary artery disease to take a single oral dose of either 2 g vitamin C or a placebo. Results, the researchers discovered that high doses of vitamin C can help prevent blood platelet sticking and fight cholesterol oxidation. Also, researchers discovered this vitamin can reduce the formation of potentially carcinogenic nitrogen-containing compounds in the stomach, offering protection from stomach cancer, researchers have reported.
French and German researchers found that vitamin C appeared to keep cells in the blood vessel wall from dying. The researchers, who studied immune indicators, such as serum immunoglobulin and neutrophil phagocytosis (how well your white blood cells can engulf and digest foreign bodies), concluded that vitamin C exerts a remarkable immuno-modulating action, in other words, improved immune function in all those who consumed vitamin C on a regular basis.
What are deficiency symptoms for vitamin C?
Scurvy is a disease resulting from lack of vitamin C, since without this vitamin, the synthesized collagen is too unstable to perform its function. Scurvy was common among those with poor access to fresh fruit and vegetables, such as remote, isolated sailors and soldiers. The amount of vitamin C required to prevent “chronic disease” appears to be more than that required for prevention of scurvy which is 30 – 60 milligrams per day. Based on scientific research, vitamin C also appears to improve oral absorption of iron, which is good news for those that are anemic.
Half of us in the United States will die from heart disease. The foundation of heart disease is atherosclerosis, the narrowing of our arteries with plaque. Treatment with vitamin C has consistently resulted in improved dilation of blood vessels in individuals with atherosclerosis as well as those with angina pectoris, congestive heart failure, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. Researchers believe this protection from cell death could explain previous study findings which suggest that vitamin C benefits blood vessel function in people with congestive heart failure.
Vitamin C supplements are also generally regarded as safe in most individuals in recommended amounts, although there are rarely reported side effects including nausea, vomiting, Heartburn, abdominal cramps, and headache. In addition, this vitamin is required for the synthesis of l-Carnitine, a small amino acid that is essential for the transport of fat to cellular organelles called mitochondria, for conversion to energy. If you have chronic fatigue syndrome, vitamin C may help by boosting energy production through the mitochondria.
Therefore, as in many studies of vitamin C intake and cardiovascular disease risk, it is difficult to separate the effects of vitamin C on stroke risk from the effects of other components such as diet and the consumption of fruits and vegetables. As with all dietitians an emphasis on the benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is important to maintain a healthy cardiovascular system. If one can not consume fruits and vegetables on a daily basis then supplementation of vitamin C is need in either capsule of tablet to fight the risk of disease.
May 23, 2008 11:53 AM
Medical professionals, especially in Europe and Japan, have been using licorice more and more in medicine. The Chinese consider licorice to be a superior balancing and harmonizing agent, so it is added to many herbal formulas. It is reputed in many countries, including the United States, to be a treatment for stomach, intestinal and many other problems. What is it used for?
Licorice is being studied for its effects against oxidation of LDL cholesterol, which is a major component in atherosclerosis. Approximately 300 different phytonutrient compounds found in natural licorice are considered possible antioxidants.
Licorice is being tested for its ability to help prevent certain viruses from replicating themselves in body cells. It appears to stimulate the immune system into producing interferon, which is known for its anti-viral effects. It is an effective aid in treating herpes and hepatitis. Promising results are also being reported in tests using licorice to combat SARS, influenza and HIV.
Stomach and Intestinal Problems
Licorice is a natural home remedy for Heartburn, gastritis and acid reflux. It helps to promote new cell growth in the lining of the stomach. It also enhances the stomach's self-protecting abilities. Licorice has been used to treat peptic ulcers and aid in healing other types of ulcers.
Throat and Respiratory Problems
Licorice is widely known in the world of alternative medicine as an expectorant and cough suppressant. Colds and flu have been treated with licorice since the days of the Romans. Many over-the-counter cough medicines contain licorice extract because it soothes the mucous membranes.
Other Medicinal Properties
Is Licorice Safe?
Licorice is not recommended for use by people who suffer from diabetes mellitus, heart disease, hypertension or kidney disease. It is also not recommended for use by women who are pregnant or breast-feeding.
Licorice, although not thought to suppress the immune system like pharmaceutical cortisones, may cause similar side effects in high doses. Some of these include weight gain, fluid retention and high blood pressure.
Description and Cultivation
The licorice plant stands up to five feet tall. It has spikes of lilac-colored flowers that have bean-like pods containing three or four seeds apiece. The root, which is used most frequently, reaches underground about three feet and branches into networks of rhizomes.
After three to five years, the roots and rhizomes are cleaned, pulped, boiled and then concentrated by evaporation. The root, if kept dry, will keep for an indefinite amount of time. If the licorice is powdered, it should be stored in an airtight container.
Licorice has been used for centuries in conjunction with established medicine, as an alternative herbal medicine, and as an herbal confection in many parts of the world. It is noted for its medicinal value in treating stomach, intestinal and other ailments, including helping to stimulate the immune system. Studies are ongoing to discover more potential uses for this naturally sweet herb.
May 01, 2008 02:45 PM
Bromelain consists of two enzymes that digest proteins, otherwise known as proteases or proteolytic enzymes. These enzymes are obtained from different parts of the plant, one from the stem and the other from the fruit. It also includes protease inhibitors, acid phosphatase, peroxidase and calcium.
First used as a supplement in 1959, bromelain is particularly popular in Germany, where a lot of the recent research has been carried out. Because the stem enzyme is in the greatest amount, eating pineapple will not give a great deal of bromelain, and you will have to take the supplement which is extracted from the stem in order to get the greatest benefits.
Bromelain has several therapeutic effects on the body, and is a good aid to digestion. The enzyme can boost the digestive processes and so reduce the incidence of problems such as Heartburn, acid reflux and any other condition caused by the incomplete digestion of foods. It does this by breaking down proteins so they are more easily digested.
In fact its potency is sometimes measured in GDUs (Gelatin Digesting Units), gelatin being a common protein that is easily used for the measurement of bromelain activity. It is also measured in MCU (Milk Clotting Units), since bromelain can also be used to clot milk, and a standardized dose should contain 2 MCU per milligram. The dosage to use depends a great deal on the condition being treated, but a good general average for digestive problems is 500 mg three times daily.
Bromelain works best at an optimum pH of 4.5 – 5.5 and can therefore help to balance the pH in its environment. It is extremely important to the immune system that the pH of the body is balanced and controlled to within certain limits, and bromelain can help to achieve that. In helping to reduce the excessive acidity caused by poor digestion, a balanced pH of the stomach is also maintained, helping to reduce the feeling of nausea, common with some digestive defects. The overall result of bromelain supplement is to help to maintain a better digestive system and ease the discomfort of many people for whom a meal is frequently not the pleasure it should be.
Bromelain is also an anti-inflammatory, and used for temporary relief of the inflammation caused by surgical procedures, arthritis and various injuries and forms of disease It is commonly used for the treatment of sports injuries and also immediately after surgery to reduce the risk of inflammation. It appears to have an inhibiting effect of the production of pro-inflammatory metabolites in the body, although the mechanism by which it works is not yet fully understood.
In fact many of the therapeutic benefits of bromelain have been show to be only partially due to its proteolytic activity, and it is now believed that there are also as yet unidentified non-protein factors present in bromelain that contribute to these forms of health benefit. The biochemistry of bromelain has yet to be fully characterized.
Notwithstanding that, the substance has been recommended for the treatment of a wide range of connected conditions, such as gout, arthritis, hemorrhoids, ulcerative colitis, autoimmune disorders, hay fever and sinusitis. It is particularly useful where there is pain, where tissues have become swollen and when tissue repair is needed. It appears to inhibit pain-inducing prostaglandins and is also believed in some way to induce the biochemical production of other prostaglandins that have an anti-inflammatory effect.
All of this knowledge has come as a result of studies carried out on the biochemical activity of bromelain, but have not yet been proved and is indicative of the lack of biochemical knowledge on this substance and the chemicals it contains. What have been demonstrated, however, are its effects on platelets and blood clots in arteries.
It appears to do this by the inhibition of the formation of high levels of fibrinogen from which clots are made, and also inhibits the aggregation of blood platelets and their ability to stick to the endothelial cells of blood vessels, particularly the arteries. The fibrin that is produced from fibrinogen not only promotes blood clotting but is also associated wit the retention of fluid. It is a protein, and the proteolytic effect of bromelain also breaks this down.
Bromelain therefore works in a number ways to reduce fluid retention, prevent blood clotting and inhibit the aggregation of blood platelets on artery walls. The measurable effect of this is the thinning of the blood that such activity promotes. It is logical that if fibrin contributes to the viscosity of blood, then its destruction will result in thinner blood, and hence lower blood pressure.
It is also used in the treatment of burns, where it helps to remove the dead skin that can delay recovery after third degree burns. It also appears to promote the absorption of many antibiotics, which again helps in recovery.
Bromelain is relatively safe to use with few side effects, although, curiously, among the side effects are some conditions it is also used to treat. Among these are nausea and allergic reactions, along with diarrhea and excessive menstrual flow. One of its successes has been in the control of menstrual pain.
Bromelain has been proposed for cancer therapy, its potential use being recommended due to its effect of the adhesion of cells, its regulation of the immune function and its effect on the immunosuppressive cytokine TGF-beta that is involved in several types of cancer and their metastasis (spread to other parts of the body). However, a lot more work is needed on this for definite conclusions to be drawn.
On a more practical note, the effect of bromelain on proteins is put to use as a steak tenderizer. If the product is sprinkled in powdered form onto meat, and then forked into the tissue, the enzymes will break down the protein of the meat and make it tender when cooked. However, don’t overdo it or you will end up eating a meaty mush more akin to a soft meatloaf than a good steak!
All in all, bromelain is a useful supplement for many medical conditions, and does to food in your stomach what it does to steak on the plate. It is generally used in supplement form because the active enzyme is not in a high enough concentration in the fruit itself, but in the stem from which it is extracted after the fruit has been harvested. It is also easier to standardize a supplement than a fruit.
Fight Heart Burn
April 18, 2008 11:38 AM
In a search to promote a long and healthy life, a lot of Americans forget about their stomachs, which results in things ranging from simple Heartburn to ulcers and even cancer. The effects of alcohol, smoking, and stress added to the rate of infection create the perfect conditions for stomach distress and disease. A combination of four nutrients: zinc, carnosine, licorice extract, and cranberry, work together to protect stomach function from the environment. These nutrients not only relieve distress, but they also support the body’s natural defense mechanisms against inflammation and the changes that can lead to cancer. A fifth nutrient, picrorhiza, protects the mucosa and can now be included as part of a natural gastric health remedy.
The human stomach, with its extreme acidity, provides a primary defense against infection and also helps in the first stages of digestion. A thick coating of protective mucus is steadily secreted by the surface mucous cells in the stomachs lining to continually protect its self from Hydrochloric acid. Almost everyone has experienced some kind of “upset stomach”, which we associate with overindulgence foods and stress. Although these are only thought of as mild annoyances, each episode causes a bit more lasting damage, which eventually results in cellular injury, which in turn causes inflammation. This inflammation then produces free radicals, which go on to create more tissue destruction and eventually damage DNA, thus potentially leading to cancers of the stomach worst case.
Many natural substances have been used around the world for thousands of years to promote stomach health. Modern science is finding that some of these “folk remedies” actually have potent effects on boosting immunity, reducing inflammation, and simply improving physical protection of the stomach lining. Zinc, a micronutrient that has multiple functions in human biology, mainly functions as a defender against free radical damage. It has been found that the more severe the inflammation in people is directly related to lower levels of zinc in individuals.
Zinc also helps to stabilize the membranes of cells that release burst of inflammatory cytokines when they are stimulated by injury or allergy. This mineral is also a well known immune modulator, which can reduce the recurrence rate of certain inflammation-sensitive cancers. There’s no doubt that zinc is a potent anti-inflammatory, and gastroprotective nutrient, but when it is added to amino acid carnosine, these effects can be boosted even further.
Certain fruits, cranberries particularly, are rich in anthocyanins, which have extreme antioxidant abilities. Other compounds that are found in cranberries also prevent bacteria from settling in the urinary tract. A review by nutritional experts found that regular intake of cranberry juice and other dietary products may be an alternative solution for those people who are at risk for H. pylori colonization. It also seems as though cranberries and there extracts can be placed alongside zinc-carnosine as an important component of an effective stomach health regimen.
Licorice extracts have also been shown to help fight stomach infection. Various studies have found that these extracts have potent anti-inflammatory activies, as they reduce cytokine production and increase the protection of the protective stomach mucus. These characteristics, when placed alongside those of zinc-carnosine and cranberry extracts, provide hope that a basis for an alternative therapeutic agent fighting H. pylori can form.
Picrorhiza, which is already used to speed healing in other infections such as hepatitis A, demonstrates unique wound-healing properties, stimulating tissue growth, nerve cell recovery, and blood vessel formation. Even though the multi-armed approach to gastric protection and improved stomach health seems to be complete with zinc-carnosine, cranberry, and licorice extract, picrorhiza extract brings together the infection-fighting, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and tissue-healing capabilities of multiple compounds, which all have complementary actions.
If you’re looking for a alternative approach to boost stomach health, the vitamins and herbs listed above are a great starting point. Please do not discontinued prescription medication from your doctor, some cases of stomach issues must be consulted with your doctor before discontinuing use.
Boost digestion with Bifidus Longum and Acidophilus Probiotics
March 21, 2008 12:19 PM
Prior to discussing how you can boost digestion with bifidus longum probiotics, let's first have a look at probiotics in general and why they are so beneficial to us.
Probiotics are also known as microflora, and are beneficial organisms that live in your digestive tract. Not all microorganisms are bad news, and many are essential for good health. Included in these organisms are various types of bacteria and yeasts, each of which has a specific part to play in the proper functioning of your body. Because of this they are found in foods all over the world, including yoghurt and fermented vegetables such as German sauerkraut and Korean kimchi.
Among their major benefits to health are that they help to support your immune system, they aid the digestion and absorption of food, they provide increased energy by improving the metabolic conversion of blood glucose to energy, and they can also help to delay aging. However, you should be aware that not all probiotics are the same, and when used properly some can have the same effect as antibiotics.
They are used to cure many digestive problems such as irritable bowel syndrome and diarrhea, and can also help to relieve Heartburn and acid reflux. In fact your lower intestine should contain a minimum of 85% friendly bacteria, and 15% at most of unfriendly bacteria that can cause disease if they over-colonize your colon. It might surprise you to learn that you have around twenty times more bacteria in your body than body cells.
One of the best known of the probiotics are members of the lactobacillus family that are contained in yoghurt and curds and whey, so Little Miss Muffet had the right idea. However, you might not have the right idea in eating commercial yoghurt because, while raw yoghurt does contain these helpful bacteria, the type that you buy in pots in the supermarkets has likely been pasteurized - a process that kills off the bacteria. Unless the product has been seeded with live bacteria after pasteurization, then there will likely be none in your yoghurt! Make your own!
So what are the probiotics that do you most good, and in what form should you consume them? The common friendly bacteria are the already mentioned lactobaccilus, and then lactococcus, streptococcus thermophilus, enterococcus, bifidobacterium and others. Bacteria are easily killed off by the acidic conditions in your stomach, and since they must be taken live they should be consumed in a form that can resist the stomach acid.
There are many ways in which they benefit you, the main ones that are currently understood being:
Lactic acid production: the presence of lactic acid in the gut prevents stops or slows the growth of harmful bacteria by increasing the acidity. Some probiotics, known as lactic acid bacteria (LAB) can do this. Most bacteria do not like acidic conditions.
Supporting the immune system: LAB bacteria have been shown to increase the production of cytokines that stimulate the activity of the macrophages that attack foreign viruses and pathogenic bacteria. The LAB also promotes the formation of NK-cells (natural killer cells) that destroy cells that have been infected by viruses.
Adhesion site blockage: bacteria attach themselves to your intestinal walls at specific adhesion sites. Friendly bacteria can colonize these sites and so prevent the pathogens from adhering.
Effect on the Intestinal wall: the intestinal wall has a natural mucous barrier that helps to prevent the passage of allergens and pathogens into the bloodstream through the intestine. Probiotics can strengthen this barrier, and also alter the nature of the mucous to render it less liable to penetration by these unwelcome visitors.
So where does bifidobacteria come into this? There is a number of strains of this bacterium living in the human body, but Bifidus longum is the most common or most abundant of these. Although it is the most common bacterium found in commercially available probiotic products, high numbers have to be consumed for the proper health benefits. However, commercial yoghurts contain very little of this bacterium, or even none at all. This is largely due to the pasteurization previously discussed, that kills the bacteria at high temperatures. Unfortunately this process is not selective, and in ridding the products of bacteria that could make you seriously ill, the beneficial bacteria are also destroyed.
This is a shame because Bifidus longum has been shown to inhibit E.Coli that can cause serious conditions of the digestive system. Among these are severe diarrhea and an inflammatory condition in the colon as the immune system tries to expel these nasty bacteria. This bacterium is particularly dangerous to the weak, such as the aged, children and people already weakened by illness.
It also helps to counteract yeast and other vaginal infections and when taken with other probiotics is believed to help in colon cancer cases. Among its other benefits are its part in the biosynthesis of thiamine, riboflavin and other vitamin B forms in your intestine, and also the absorption and assimilation of these vitamins by your body. It is also believed that it might help to reduce the cholesterol level in your body through its uptake of bile salts from the colon.
The major destructive elements of Bifidus longus are antibiotics of any kind, whether they be penicillin variants or tetracycline, and although the latter is used mainly for infections of the respiratory tract, it is ingested by the gut and effectively reduces the population of the bacteria that are needed for optimum health. That is one of the reasons why antibiotic use should be restricted to only what is necessary, and not use indiscriminately for all infections. Unless administered intravenously or site targeted, antibiotics kill off the good with the bad!
The other activities of Bifidus longus, such as removing the by-products of our metabolism that could be toxic if left to roam our bodies, render this bacterium as useful to your body as any vitamin or mineral supplement you could take. It is a supplement that many either overlook or are not even aware of, yet one that can make a significant difference, not only to your digestive and intestinal health, but also to you general overall wellbeing.