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What Are The Health Benefits Of Inositol Crystals?
December 28, 2012 10:39 AM
The first isolation of inositol was made by Scherer in the year 1849 who was a renowned Biochemist at the time. Since its discovery, wide spread research has been conducted with successful isolation of inositol and its derivatives in both plants and animals. The physiological functions have been confirmed to differ with respect to the structural form of the inositol, with cis-inositol, myo-inositol, neo-inositol and allo-inositol being some of the inositol's stereoisomers commonly isolated.
Our Need for Inositol
The human body particularly requires inositol and its derivatives in many physiological processes. It is a major messenger molecule that is used in calcium mediated cell signaling which affects motor function, action of hormones such aldosterone and affects the functioning of some of the neurotransmitters in the brain such as Serotonin. Inositol derivatives are also involved in lipid metabolism which helps control the amount of LDP (Bad cholesterol) in the body.
Additionally, some of the researches indicate that inositol derivatives are actively involved in suppressing oncogenesis which significantly reduces the risk of suffering from breast and prostate cancers. The human body can produce some of the inositol variants from glucose metabolism but obtaining plant derived inositols is also worthwhile.
Food Sources Of Inositol
Plant products such as red beans, bran and other cereals contain good levels of inositol although the chelating effect of the inositol by calcium and magnesium ions limits its uptake in the gut. For this reason, use of supplement Crystal Inositols is regarded as the best way to obtain dietary inositol. A majority of the crystal inositols available in the market are chemically combined with other compounds such as Niacin which highly increase their absorption in the intestines. Dissolving these crystals in juices is also highly recommended as it is a better way of taking the supplements since a wide range of other drinks especially the ones that contain caffeine affects the uptake of inositol negatively.
Dangers of Rhodiola Rosea? First Lets Look at The Benefits
December 20, 2012 08:02 PM
Rhodiola rosea also referred to as golden root or roseroot grows in the extremely cold parts of the world. Although there are over 200 different species of roseroot rhodiola rosea is the popularly specie due to its health benefits. It is currently widely used in Asia and Europe to treat several health conditions.
Improves Depression and Mood
According to a study in the Nordic Journal of Psychiatry Rhodiola rosea extracts helps improve mood as well as lifts depression. It is also known to help improve sleep, lower moodiness as well as lift mild to moderate depression. It is known to help relieve fatigue on the patients suffering from stress associated fatigue. It not only decreases fatigue it increases mental performance particularly concentration and reduces cortisol production in people suffering from fatigue syndrome. It is therefore important to note that supplementation with rhodiola rosea robustly cancels out physiological and behavioral changes induced by persistent exposure to gentle stressors.
Functions as an Adaptogen
It is also a known adaptogen meaning that it helps in strengthening your endocrine and immune nervous system, thus improves your ability to defend against internal and external stress. It works a little different from other adaptogens such as ginseng, it works on neurotransmitters such as Serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine which are associated with several illnesses such as seasonal affective disorders and fibromyalgia. It helps you to withstand stress as well as stress related diseases such as lowered immunity and hypertension. It has also been noted to increase the ability to exercise, reduces lactate levels as well as skeletal muscle damage mainly after vigorous exercise.
It is advisable that you consult your doctor before you start taking any rhodiola rosea supplement. Despite its numerous health benefits it has several negative side effects especially if high doses are consumed. The dangers include irritability, insomnia, dry mouth and dizziness. Pregnant women, breast feeding mothers and people suffering from manic depressive and bipolar disorders should not take rhodiola.
This Herb is considered generally safe for most individuals with many mood boosting properties.
Migraine Headaches and Feverfew
November 27, 2012 08:03 AM
Feverfew, the white flowered traditional herb, has been commonly used as an anti inflammatory to combat ailments like fever as well as the pain of arthritis and headaches. It belongs to the chrysanthemum family. This severe headache can have a debilitating effect on the sufferer's productivity. Feverfew has the compounds parthenolides and tanetin.
How it works:
It works by controlling the constriction of blood vessels that is so characteristic of migraine headaches. The constriction of blood vessels is affected by the levels of Serotonin. On the other hand, feverfew helps to dilate blood vessels, thereby helping to reduce the pain of migraines. As the blood vessels regain normal tone, the severity of migraine as well as the frequency of incidents is considerably reduced. Migraines have also been linked with platelet disorders and feverfew is said to produce changes in platelet behavior and the general advice is that it should not be taken with other blood thinning drugs. The effect of this natural occurring herb has been studied extensively since it was first reported as an effective remedy for headaches. Results begin to show only after about a month's use. You should have it every day and not wait for your migraine to start as then it may not be as effective.
It is better consumed as a tincture or a capsule. Though generally it is safe to use one should not have feverfew during pregnancy or lactation. In addition to this, you should stop consuming it before any surgery as it has blood thinning properties.
Health benefits of Black Cherry Tonic
November 21, 2012 03:48 PM
The black cherry has for long been used for culinary purposes for instance addition of flavors into liqueurs, foods and many other beverages. However, studies are now showing that the cherry has even greater benefit to the health of man. A person consuming this plant in juice form will be greeted by the ‘bitter sweet' taste from the cherry. Nonetheless, behind this bitter taste, lie a whole lot of nutrients which are crucial for the body.
What is the benefit of black cherry juice ?
? Gout treatment
Gout is a disease that is caused by high uric acid in the body. Health experts say that intake of black cherry tonic could go a long way in alleviating the problem. It is however advisable to consult a physician on this matter before making an adjustment to your daily diet
? Muscle improvement and recovery
Those who undertake sporting activities will find this supplement essential because it helps recover after strenuous exercises. This is due to the fact that it contains anti-oxidants which help replenish energy to the muscles faster.
? Better sleep
Fortunately for those who normally have sleepless nights, there are reports suggesting that intake of black cherry juice could boost your ability to sleep. It does contain a compound known as Serotonin which has been known to induce sleep. Instead of taking sleeping pills, try this supplement which is natural unlike pills which could have side effects overtime on your body.
? Inflammation treatment
Inflammation is among the main symptoms of arthritis and its related infections. Luckily, cherries and their juices can help reduce inflammation. By doing this, the possibility of being affected by arthritic infections is reduced by a great margin.
? Nutritional advantage
Generally, the black cherry contains large amounts of Vitamins. Therefore, whenever your body lacks these vitamins, your physician will most probably recommend black cherries for you. In addition, these cherries are beneficial for Kidney support and joint health of the body.
st johns wort and depression
October 10, 2012 12:10 PM
St. John's Wort
St. John's Wort, also scientifically known as hypericum perforatum, or Klamath Weed, is a herb with yellow flowers. It has numerous composition of strong compounds like hypericin and hyperforin thathave shown evidence of antibacterial, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and antioxidant properties.
St John Wort can be used to treat mild session of anxiety depression and mood swings, the hyperforin chemical found in it, elevates the level of the neurotransmitters (dopamine, Serotonin) that relay information in between cell and play a vital role in the nervous system. The herb has the ability to inhibit chemical associated with anxiety and depression and thus induce a sense of wellbeing and help moderate depression, anxiety, mood swings, chronic fatigue and low energy level.
Other benefit of the St John Wort is that it can help treat hangover and alcoholism; it also helps prevent the risk of getting Parkinson disease. It antibiotic and anti-viral properties can help treat congested sinus or a chronic cough its antibacterial and analgesic propertied help to treat wounds and burn.
Ginger And Its Use To Help In Stomach Upset
June 29, 2012 01:39 PM
Ginger is the root of an herbal plant that is usually consumed as medicine or used in food as a spice to help in digestion system in your stomach. The rhizomes are usually very juicy, fleshy and with mild taste when young. These can be pickled in vinegar as a snack or sometimes be cooked as an ingredient in a variety of food. It can also be added to boiling water to come up with ginger flavored tea. The same is also used to make candy. When it matures, it appears dry and its juice is extremely potent. It is still used as a spice in most foods. The uses are unlimited but in this article, we are going to discuss how it helps with stomach upset.
History of Ginger
Throughout history, ginger has been used for stomach upset in many places around the world. After a very heavy feast, ancient Romans would consume it to help soothe their full stomachs. Chinese and other ancient mariners used it to sustain seasickness. Indians used it as a universal medicine as they believed it treated everything.
Current Uses of the herb
Currently, research has shown that ginger truly does help ease an upset stomach. There are many ways through which it can be used to relieve an upset stomach. A good example is by taking it before meals. It enhances a good environment for digestion before the food gets to the stomach. This will ensure that digestion kicks off immediately after the food is consumed and hence prevents stomach upset. People with motion sickness can take ginger to help suppress the symptoms.
How it works
Ginger has two component; gingerol and shogaol. These are the components that enhance the function of digestive juices like saliva, bile and other gastric secretions. When these juices are stimulated to work efficiently, they enhance digestion in an individual starting from as early as when the food is still in the mouth. This ensures that all digestion steps are undergone effectively without skipping. When whole and dry food get to the stomach, it becomes hard to digest as the stomach has no teeth to help break it down and lubricate it for swift movement. Ginger is also known to help the stomach muscles in effective movement of food. If the tract muscles do not give enough room for movement, indigestion may occur. That is what leads to nausea in an individual. The herb curbs the Serotonin receptors to ensure there is no vomit message sent to the brain. Ginger also helps in the immediate emptying of the stomach contents to the small intestine.
Ginger works to help reduce stomach upset which can arise as a result of operation, overeating, sea and motion sickness. The effectiveness of this medicinal herb should not be undermined as it has helped many to get the desired relief from the uncomfortable feeling of stomach upset. Use it when you feel nauseas or even to help relieve you of gas from the stomach.
How does 5-HTP Help the Brain?
May 28, 2012 08:17 AM
5-HTP is the abbreviation of 5-Hydroxytryptophan, an amino acid that converts tryptophan into Serotonin and melatonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps with the regulation of sleep, mood and appetite, and it is found in the stomach or the CNS. 5-HTP is mainly obtained from animal products especially red meats and eggs. Fish and dairy products are also rich in this amino acid. Vegetarians get this compound from pumpkin seeds, oats, potatoes, peanuts and dried dates. Due to its ability to regulate the amount of Serotonin and melatonin in your body, 5-HTP regulates the functioning of your brain.
The following are the health benefits of this compound:
It fixes anxiety
Anxiety and panic disorders are some of the most popular mental disorders that can be cured using 5-HTP. These two illnesses occur when your body experiences a deficiency of Serotonin. Therefore, taking supplements of this amino acid reduces your chances of developing any or both of these conditions.
It treats insomnia
Insomnia is a problem that affects the quality of your sleep. Sleep is normally regulated by your brain. Every night, your brain releases receptors that lead to the five stages of a sleep cycle. If your brain fails to release the appropriate receptors, you cannot enjoy a complete sleep cycle. In addition, Melatonin is the hormone that induces sleep and therefore its absence leads to poor sleep quality. The production of sufficient melatonin therefore boosts the quality of your sleep and helps with the treatment of insomnia.
It helps relieve the symptoms of depression
Your mood is controlled by the neurotransmitter Serotonin. The absence of this neurotransmitter leads to the development of a depressed mood. However, the availability of 5-HTP in your body leads to the production of sufficient Serotonin thus restoring your happiness.
It also treats eating disorders especially among young children Your brain controls your levels of appetite. Serotonin is specifically in charge of this function, and therefore its deficiency in your body leads to a disruption in your appetite mechanism. Most people who have this problem often tend to eat lots of sweet foods that are rich in empty calories, high carb and junk food. This often leads to obesity and overweight. However, taking 5-HTP supplements restores your appetite mechanism thus protecting you from eating disorders and subsequent complications such as obesity.
It is a natural pain killer
5-HTP enhances the production of endorphins, thus helping your body overcome pain and migraines. Chronic headache is often associated with low levels of Serotonin, and this can be reversed by taking sufficient 5-HTP. Serotonin has a calming and soothing effect on the central nervous system, and therefore the sufficient release of this neurotransmitter helps ease pain on the head.
5-HTP helps relieve the symptoms of fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is often accompanied by chronic pains and aches that can be relieved by taking sufficient supply of 5-HTP. This is because this amino acid helps with the secretion of Serotonin, which helps ease such pains and aches.
It is therefore important for you to ensure that you have sufficient supply of 5-HTP in order to enhance the functioning of your brain.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Saffron Extract?
March 26, 2012 08:01 AM
HEALTH BENEFITS OF SAFFRON EXTRACT
Saffron is one of the rarest and exotic spices found on the earth. Golden spice is the other name given to saffron, attributing to its reddish-golden color. It is the most common spice used in many Indian,Mediterranean and Italian cuisine. This culinary and exotic spice grows on a flowering plant- Crocus Sativa. It is grown in various countries around the world including many Asian and European countries. Areas with hot dry summers and wet springs are the most suitable areas for growing Saffron. While saffron is popular for its flavor, color and fragrance, this rare spice also, has many medicinal and health benefits. Saffron is a very expensive spice and this is mainly because of the fact, that for making 1gram of Saffron strands 150 flowers are required.
Mineral present in Saffron extract -
Saffron extract contains high amounts of copper, magnesium, calcium, zinc, potassium, iron, and selenium. It is also a rich source of various vitamins like- vitamin A, B2 and C, niacin and folic acid. Apart from these Saffron also contains carotenoid compounds - crocetin, lycopeneand, safranel and crocin.
The various health benefits of Saffron are -
1) Cancer Treatment- Because of the presence of crocetin and carotenoid in Saffron, it has anti-mutagenic and anti-tumor properties. Several studies on Saffron extract have proved that Saffron extract delays papilloma carcinogenisis and tumor growth. Because of all these properties, Saffron extract can be used for treating and preventing skin cancer, liver cancer and sarcoma.
2) Anti-inflammatory properties- Saffron have anti-inflammatory properties and therefore it can be used in treatment of arthritis and other inflammatory diseases. It is capable of controlling inflammation and healing cuts and burns faster.
3) Potent aphrodisiac- For last many centuries, Saffron has been used as a “POTENT APHRODISIAC” inPersiaand many other Arabian countries. It can increase libido and improve erectile dysfunction by increasing the flow of blood in the pelvic region.
4) Eye Care- Several studies have proved that Saffron extract can treat certain eye problems like- macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa. Saffron also protects the eyes from the harmful effects UV rays.
5) Anti-Depressants- Saffron extract can also be used in the treatment of patients suffering from depression. Researches have shown that Saffron gives equal results as given by therapeutic drugs like imipramine and fluoxetine.
6) Painkiller- Saffron extract can be used for treating many severe painful conditions like- stomach pain, menstrual pain, and kidney pain.
7) Weight loss- Researches have shown that Saffron can suppress the feeling of hunger, by controlling the percentage of Serotonin content in the blood. Therefore, Saffron is used in many weight loss programs, as it can reduce the compulsion to eat and feelings of hunger.
8) Skin- Saffron contains antioxidants, and therefore it is used in many beauty and anti-aging treatments.
9) Saffron during Pregnancy- During pregnancy, women are advised to drink Saffron milk, in order to enhance their pelvic blood flow. Also, due to its Carminative properties it helps in suppressing cramps.
Gas and bloating are very common problems during pregnancy and just one glass of Saffron milk can reduce flatulence and ease digestion.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Saffron Extract?
February 23, 2012 07:08 AM
Saffron is an expensive spice that is commonly used to add color and flavor to food. It is used in many cuisine especially Mediterraean, Italian and Indian. The high cost of saffron is due to the fact that 150 flowers are required to make 1 g of saffron strands. This culinary spice grows on aflowering plant, Crocus Sativa. It is grown in Southwest Asia, especially in areas with wet springs and hot dry summers.It contains high amounts of minerals such as copper, calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron and selenium. It is a rich source of vitamins such as vitamins A, C and B2, folic acid and niacin. Saffron contains carotenoidcompounds- crocin, crocetin, lycopeneand safranel, which are known to possess many health benefits. This expensive herb not only adds flavor to food but also offers variety of health benefits.
Spices have been used as medicines for centuries because of their anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and anti-oxidant properties. Therapeutic usage of saffron is 3000 years ago when it was used as an natural aphrodisiac. Some of the health benefits of saffron extract are:
1. Saffron contains anti-tumour and anti-mutagenicproperties due to the presence of carotenoid, crocetin. Studies on mice indicated that saffron extract delays tumor growth and delays papilloma carcinogenisis and inhibits squamous cell carcinoma. It helps in treating and preventing certain types of cancer such as skin cancer, sarcoma and liver cancer.
2. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, saffron can control inflammation in the body and speed up the healing of burns and cuts. It helps in treating arthritis and other inflammatory joint diseases.
3. For thousands of years in Persian and other Arabian countries, saffron was used as a potent aphrodisiac. It was used to increase libido and erectile dysfuntionby improving the blood flow to the pelvic region. It was also used to treat many female health conditions.
4. Studies have shown the effects of saffron on several eye conditions. Saffron extract helps to slow down retinitis pigmentosa and macular degenration. It alsoprotects the eye from direct effect of bright light.
5. Saffron has been proved to be effective in treating mild to moderate depression. According to studies, saffron has shown equivalent results as given by therapeutic doses of fluoxetine and imipramine., anti-depressants.
6. Saffron acts as a painkiller in treating many painful conditions such as kidney pain, stomach pain and menstrual pain.
7. According to French researchers, saffron extract can reduce the hunger in between meals. It does that by controlling the levels of Serotonin in the blood, which is responsible for signaling hunger pangs. Studies have found the effects of saffron on weight loss by reducing feelings of hunger and compulsion to eat between meals.
8. Some animal studies on saffron indicate cognitive enhancement and improved memory . However human trials are still to be conducted to find out the potential effects of saffron on memory. It is believed that regular use of saffron can delay demetia and prevent Alzheimer's disease.
9. It is used in many cosmetics such as skin lightening agents.
A sprinkle of Saffron extract not just adds spice to your food, but also prevents many health conditions.
Grape Seed or Pine Bark Extract, Which Is Best?
October 27, 2011 07:26 AM
Pine Bark Vs Grape Seed Extract
Pine Bark Extract and Grape Seed Extract are two well known products that are effectual in combating ADD. Pycnogenol however, is more expensive since it is a patented form of pine bark extract that is being sold in many health stores world-wide. The potent properties of both Pycnogenol and Grape Seed Extract are their proanthocyanidins or flavan-3-ols contents that are normally found in fruits and vegetables. The reason why these chemicals are beneficial is their capacity in aiding vitamin C to work better for the brain. Vitamin C is essential for the production of norepinephrine, Serotonin, and dopamine (neurotransmitters involved in ADD). Vitamin C is also useful in providing the body with antioxidants that can help fight free radicals that are very injurious for your health and may lead to a dreadful disease such as cancer. In addition, another role of vitamin C in the body is its capacity to aid the body in chelating detrimental toxic heavy metals by flushing them out from the body.
Pine Bark Extract and Grape Seed Extract are also effective natural anti-histamines anti-inflammatory agents and immune boosters. Both extracts are also proven to be influential in terms of regulating enzymes that have significant effects in metabolism. Since the extracts are able to inhibit the breakdown of dopamine and norepinephrine, then it will also lead to a faster reuptake of dopamine.
Proanthocyanidins has been the subject of interest by many researchers in the scientific investigations that they have conducted because of its promising effects that could treat various venous conditions. The compound has been proven to be effectual in strengthening the walls of your capillaries, arteries and veins hence, is very useful in protecting you from ailments that involves the mentioned vital body parts.
The benefits of Pine Bark and Grape Seed are already published in many health magazines worldwide as well as in many TV shows like the 60 minutes. The antioxidant content of the extracts derived from Pine Bark and Grape Fruit contains liberal amounts of antioxidants that also acts as an antimugenic agent hence, could prevent DNA mutation. Since the extracts have such innate capability of inhibiting the mutation of DNA, it can be a cure to many chronic degenerative diseases that are caused by environmental mutagens.
Another benefit of OPCs is its relevant effects on peripheral venous insufficiency. This specific problem in the legs causes so much pain and discomfort which could also lead to disability. With OPC, relevant improvement in the condition could be noted as evidenced by a decrease in the pain felt, edema and cramps.
Comparing both extracts in terms of efficacy is so difficult to determine because Pine Bark Extract and Grape Seed Extract has similar components that are all beneficial to one’s health. The compounds that both extracts have are very useful to one’s health therefore comparing the two would be rootless considering all the health benefits that both extracts could offer.
Does Lysine Help with Herpes Breakouts?
September 30, 2011 02:22 PM
Herpes and Lysine Relationship
For proteins to be utilized by body cells, they are broken down and metabolized into amino acids. Amino acids are the simple building blocks of protein which can be readily used by the cells of the body. There are 20 amino acids in which the human body uses. Eight of these are considered "essential" amino acids which mean that they are not produced by the body in natural ways but must be supplied through the diet or from the food we eat. One of the essential amino acids is Lysine.
Amino Acid Lysine
Lysine is has been long studied with its benefits on herpes simplex infections. Preliminary results showed that lysine supplementation on a regular basis can effectively inhibit the occurrence of genital herpes and sores related to herpes simplex virus.
Scientifically, there are two amino acids which have been discovered to have significant effects on herpes simplex virus, namely lysine and arginine. Lysine is effective in minimizing viral outbreaks and in improving the healing process of such infection. On the other hand, arginine can trigger occurrence of symptoms of the viral infection. The mechanism of action is said to be that lysine greatly inhibit the metabolism of Arginine. Clinical studies on tissues have revealed that arginine is the amino acid which is required by the herpes simplex virus to increase in number and become active.
Another use of lysine is that it can be employed as a mild anxiolytic. It has been found to have an effect on Serotonin receptor sites on the digestive tract. Also, lysine plays a significant role in the proper growth of the individual and in the production of the chemical compound called carnitine which is a substance responsible for the metabolism of fatty acids into energy form. Carnitine in the blood also greatly helps in lowering blood cholesterol levels. Therefore, the risk of cardiovascular diseases associated with high cholesterol levels will be lessened. Another health benefit of lysine is that it can positively influence the absorption of the mineral calcium. As we know for a fact, calcium plays an important role in bone mineralization and maintaining its health and strength. Calcium is also required in the contraction of muscles such as that of the heart. Lastly, lysine is also required in the production of collagen. This chemical substance is necessary for bone and tissue growth and repair.
Deficiency of this amino acid will provide a feeling of nausea, dizziness, appetite loss, fatigue and stunted growth. Lysine can be obtained from the food we eat. Fish, especially sardines and cod, chicken, beef, lamb, eggs, milk and milk products like cheese and dairy and several fruits and vegetables contain high concentration of Lysine. The fruits rich in lysine include avocados, mangos, apples, papaya, pears and tomatoes. On the other hand, vegetables which have an abundant amount of lysine include legumes such as peas and beans.
While some people needs more amount of lysine supply, health experts have formulated concentrated levels of lysine in the form of supplements. Lysine supplements are available in the form of tablets, capsules, creams and suspensions.
Also, Red marine algae may help relieve the outbreak as well.
Can Royal Jelly boost Metabolism?
September 21, 2011 12:08 PM
The metabolism is becoming more and more well known in any community all across America as something to look at when we are talking about health and wellness as this is the source of all calorie burning and at the end of the day will help you lose weight. This is, in so many ways the bottom line, losing weight will make you and keep you healthy. In these times of a fast paced life where anyone and everyone is so busy to even worry about how much calories they eat versus how much they need, a need for alternative solutions aside from just working out and making sure that more calories are burnt than eaten is needed and the scientific community acknowledges that need as proven by the tons of research done regarding weight loss and embraced by the manufacturers as they are more than willing to provide us with what we need. So through all these studies, the logic of looking at the metabolism and how to boost it all seems natural and this is why.
The word metabolism is taken from the greek language and basically means change or transformation. In simple terms metabolism is defined as the amount of energy or calories your body burns at a given period of time. Whatever we are doing, no matter if we are active or at rest we are burning energy and if compared to a car, it’s like burning fuel and the car can be turned off but us on the other hand could not. Even when sleeping we are still essentially burning up fuel, just the very fact our brain still works and we are breathing while we are asleep is already a sign that we are burning energy.
Now where it will interest us in terms of energy and overall strength is that metabolism is based on a person’s body composition and fat tends to need less energy to maintain itself as it is not an active tissue compared to having lean muscle because it continually needs more and more calories to maintain itself therefore more muscle means faster metabolic rate. Now this is where we go back to the fact that we need help when it comes boosting metabolism aside from just increasing muscle, because that is so much harder than supplementing with something all natural like Royal Jelly.
Royal Jelly and Energy Boost
Royal jelly is an animal product and derived solely from honey bees secretions. Its main function in terms of affecting the metabolism comes from its unique combination of compounds that will aid the enhancement of energy production in the cells. This combination is composed of amino acids, trace minerals, monosaccharides and enzymes that have bioactive properties. Among the vitamins that it will provide naturally is the vitamin b-complex. This family of vitamins is well known for its muscle tissue building and energy boosting attributes. Another way that researches feel is a way it increases energy is through promoting overall well being since royal jelly has been related to increased production of several neurotransmitters in the body like Serotonin and dopamine.
What Vitamins And Minerals Are For Mental Alertness?
August 29, 2011 10:33 AM
There are many vitamins and minerals which can help improve the health and functioning of the nervous system. Vitamins and minerals are significantly involved in many biological processes of the body. It influences the activities of the organs of the body including the brain. In fact, deficiencies on vitamins and minerals may result to psychological or even psychiatric symptoms in certain individuals. People with psychiatric problems are also prescribed with vitamin and mineral supplements which serve as one of its conventional treatment.
The vitamins and minerals which are good for the improvement of brain function and improvement of mental alertness are the following:
1. THIAMINE OR VITAMIN B1. Generally, insufficient amount of this enzyme may result to mild psychiatric symptoms. Studies revealed that people with inadequate amount of this vitamin has the symptoms of fearfulness, anxiety, depression, agitation and behavioral instability. This vitamin is necessary for the activity the body’s enzyme called pyruvate dehydrogenase. This enzyme is required for the conversion of pyruvate to acetyl – coenzyme A. If pyruvate is not catalyzed into acetyl – coenzyme A, the excess pyruvate in the body might be converted into lactate which can cause muscle pains and also psychiatric symptoms such as anxiety. Deficiency of this vitamin must be suspected when the person is alcoholic or malnourished.
2. RIBOFLAVIN OR VITAMIN B2. This vitamin is closely associated with major depression in relation to oxidative stress. Riboflavin is required for the metabolism of protein, fats and carbohydrates. The building blocks of these macronutrients are important for the maintenance of brain health and proper functioning of the nervous system. It can improve the energy levels and functioning of the brain, thus improving an individual’s mental alertness.
3. PYRIDOXINE OR VITAMIN B6. Studies show that low level of vitamin B6 is directly related to depression. Inside the body, pyridoxine is converted into its biochemical active form called pyridoxal phosphate which is important for mental alertness and brain functioning. Pyridoxine acts as a coenzyme involved in the synthesis of brain chemicals such as Serotonin, dopamine and gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA). This vitamin is also involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates and amino acids which are essential for boosting energy levels.
4. COBALAMIN OR VITAMIN B12. Deficiency of this vitamin is closely related to decrease mental functioning. Vitamin B12 is a cofactor of the enzyme methionine synthase which is important in the conversion of homocysteine to methionine. This is required for the production of energy in fatty acids and proteins which is important for the methylation reactions of brain chemicals.
5. VITAMIN C. This vitamin is considered to be a cofactor of the neurotransmitter dopamine and is involved in the conversion of dopamine to norepinephrine. These brain chemicals are important for the maintenance of proper mental alertness.
6. FOLATE. Decreased mental alertness and depression is a common symptom of low levels of folate in the body. This mineral is involved in the methylation and synthesis of DNA. It is important for the development of brain function and improvement of mental alertness.
7. MAGNESIUM. This mineral is involved in many reactions of the body. Individuals with decreased mental alertness are found to have low levels of magnesium in their cerebrospinal fluids.
8. ZINC. This is a mineral which is important in the catalyses of many enzyme sin the body. It is found in high amount in the brain which is important for nervous activities.
What are the Essential Amino Acids we must get from our Diet to Survive?
August 17, 2011 12:13 PM
Amino acids or the building blocks of protein are very important in overall functioning of the body. Proteins, to mention, are responsible for the build up of most of our body parts specifically our muscles, ligaments, tendons, organs, tissues, glands, nails and hair. Moreover, the repair and preservation of those parts still rely on proteins. Amino acids can be of two different forms which are the non-essential and essential. On this selection, we will be focusing more on the latter.
Essential amino acids are those which cannot be produced by the body therefore it has to be supplied through our diet. This category of amino acids includes tryptophan, lysine, methionine, valine, leucine, isoleucine, threonine and phenylalanine.
Tryptophan, which is a precursor to Serotonin and melatonin, can be acquired from peanuts, meat, turkey, fish, milk, dried dates, cottage cheese, banana, oats and chocolates. A deficiency of this can bring up serious neurological problems, depression, anxiety and sleeping difficulties.
Another essential amino acid is methionine. The production of sulfur and other compound needed for a healthy growth and metabolism depends on the presence of this amino acid. Fish, whole grains and dairy are its sources.
Lysine, which is effective in the treatment and prevention of herpes, is present in soybeans, green beans, lentils, spinach and amaranth. Low levels of lysine can also compromise the levels of niacin and this leads to pellagra.
Tissue healing, muscle metabolism and keeping the equilibrium of nitrogen levels in our body are the functions of valine. It has proven to be efficient in the treatment of liver and gallbladder disorders. Deficiencies that results from drug addiction are can also be reversed by this amino acid. Its sources are peanuts, soy proteins, dietary products, grains, meat and mushrooms.
Leucine can be obtained from chicken, fish, cottage cheese, lentils, peanuts and sesame seeds. It functions in muscle protein build up and is the main medium in tissue building process. Inability to acquire such makes a person prone to protein wasting since leucine, together with valine and isoleucine, serves as energy and protein reservoirs.
In boosting energy levels, blood sugar regulation, muscle build - up and repair as well as hemoglobin development, isoleucine has shown its relevance. Its dietary sources are fish, poultry, beef, dairy, eggs, lentils, seeds, soy, almonds and wheat. Isoleucine deficiencies may result into neurological disturbances such as confusion, depression, irritability, fatigue, headache and dizziness.
Threonine is significant in synthesis of antibodies. Beans, nuts, seeds, dairy, poultry, eggs and beef are rich in threonine. A low level of this amino acid causes disorders of the skin and weakness.
Adrenaline and noradrenalin which are stimulates the central and peripheral nervous system requires phenylalanine to perform their function. Phenylalanine can be acquired from peanuts, seeds, almonds, lima beans and dairy. Liver damage, weakness, skin lesions, lethargy and slowed growth are results of its deficiencies.
In summary, our body needs networks of essential amino acids for its proper functioning. Eating healthy foods and living a healthy lifestyle is the secret towards maintaining your optimum general health.
How Does Lithium Help with Memory and Mental Disorders?
July 04, 2011 08:42 AM
Lithium And The Brain
Lithium is a chemical element whose ions have been observed to display pharmacological effects. It is best known as a treatment for mania and remains to this day an approved drug for mood disorders in several countries, including the US. It has been associated with countless scientific studies since the latter half of the 19th century. It is one of the most extensively studied of all drugs that alter mood.
Depression is an ancient disease of the mind that was referred to as melancholia in the ancient world. It has been noted in religious writings over the centuries. High energy levels and mental hyperactivity characteristic of bipolar disorder were once associated with supernatural causes. Religious beliefs have historically considered mental disorders as the work of the devil, and melancholia is not an exception.
Melancholia and mania were two separate mental conditions. The former was always tied to evil forces whereas the latter were thought to be triggered by other supernatural causes. Early Greek and Roman physicians noted that active behavior deemed to be pathological could be cured by drinking spring waters. Research have studied and reported that these spring waters actually contained lithium salts.
Manic depression was first posited in the 1950s to be a mental illness distinct from both melancholia and mania. It was in France when two psychiatrists independently observed the type of insanity that oscillates from between bouts of depression and mania. It was later categorized as a specific type of psychosis in that the condition was acute, and thus the patient functions normally after recovery.
Lithium was introduced as a treatment for manic depressive disorder in the form of lithium carbonate in the first half of the 20th century. Its use was discovered when lithium urate produced tranquilizing effects on animal subjects. Lithium salts were used as tranquilizers shortly after. Human experiments have proven to be effective in controlling patients chronically suffering from bouts of manic disorders.
Bipolar disorder is now the widely used term in psychiatry, though manic depression is still preferred by many medical professionals. It was first used in the 1950s to describe oscillations between two polar behaviors: mania and depression. It is a subtype of depression, the other one being major depression or unipolar depression. Lithium remains a drug for mania amid its changing descriptions.
Medicinal concentrations of lithium are generally considered safe in that they produce no apparent psychoactive effects. Instead, they work as a therapeutic treatment. It has been widely established that lithium possesses properties that stabilize mood, though its mechanism of action is still a matter of controversy. It is believed that lithium rebalances brain chemicals and alters gene expression.
Lithium appears to have an impact on several neurotransmitters present in the central nervous system, such as glutamate and Serotonin Inasmuch as these neurotransmitters are noted for their role in mood and memory, some sources have ascribed nootropic effects to regular intake of lithium supplements.
Lithium is a wonderful supplement available over the counter. Try some Lithium today and feel the difference!
What is the Difference between 5-HTP and Tryptophan And How Does It Help Sleep Patterns?
June 22, 2011 11:00 AM
5-Htp and Tryptophan to Sleep Better, Feel Better
5-HTP, short for 5-hydroxytryptophan, is an organic compound that naturally occurs in the human body. It is a metabolite of tryptophan, and as such it serves as a chemical intermediate in the synthesis of the neurotransmitters Serotonin and melatonin. It is sold over the counter in many countries primarily as a dietary supplement. In addition, it is used as an antidepressant, appetite suppressant, and sleep aid.
Tryptophan to 5-HTP
Tryptophan is best known as an essential amino acid that must be obtained from the diet. Popular sources of this amino acid are eggs, cheese, pork, turkey, chicken, beef, salmon, and white flour. In one metabolic pathway, tryptophan is processed into vitamin B3, or niacin. In a completely different pathway, it is metabolized into Serotonin and then melatonin, both of which are processed from 5-HTP.
Also known as oxitriptan, 5-HTP has been the subject of numerous studies in the past few decades. Being the immediate precursor of Serotonin, regular intake has been observed to specifically increase the production of Serotonin, the reason why it has been a very important amino acid widely utilized in the treatment of depression. On the other hand, tryptophan is utilized by the body in many ways.
5-HTP to Serotonin
Supplementation of tryptophan has also been used as a therapeutic treatment for depression. It is an alternative to antidepressants and stimulants, especially for patients deemed unresponsive to conventional treatments. Regular intake of this amino acid is recommended for the sole purpose of raising the levels of Serotonin. But in order to do so, tryptophan must be metabolized into 5-HTP first.
Serotonin is often referred to as the happiness hormone, inasmuch as this neurotransmitter is implicated in several chemical reactions that contribute to physical well-being. For example, the perception of hunger is triggered by low Serotonin levels. Not surprisingly, Serotonin is the target of many drugs, such as antidepressant, anxiolytic, antiemetic, anti-migraine, and antipsychotic drugs.
Serotonin to Melatonin
It is a widely accepted fact that Serotonin produced and released outside the central nervous system does not cross the blood-brain barrier, and thus it does not have the effect of Serotonin found in the brain. That being said, its precursors, tryptophan and 5-HTP, can. For this reason, tryptophan and 5-HTP makes a viable candidate in increasing the levels of Serotonin in the central nervous system.
Melatonin is synthesized from Serotonin by a short metabolic pathway that stems from the synthesis of 5-HTP. Proponents argue that 5-HTP supplements work better than tryptophan due to the fact that the former is the immediate precursor of the neurotransmitters of concern. Furthermore, 5-HTP readily crosses the blood-brain barrier whereas tryptophan is subject to different metabolic pathways.
5-HTP works as an appetite suppressant since it makes Serotonin more available outside the nervous system, especially in the digestive tract. By so doing, it promotes the synthesis of melatonin, which induces sleep. It also makes a reliable antidepressant as it increases Serotonin levels in the central nervous system.
Grab Some Tryptophan or 5-HTP today and feel better, sleep better right now!
Control Cholesterol, Loose Weight, Regulate Blood Sugar, And More With Inositol
June 02, 2011 12:10 PM
What Does the B Vitamin Inositol Do for the Body?
Inositol is an organic compound that functions within the human body in the same way as nutrients. Its vitamin-like activities are believed to be similar to other B vitamins. It plays an important role in the upkeep of cells, breakdown of fats, effects of insulin, activities of Serotonin, and regulation of cholesterol, among others. It is usually obtained from plant-based food products that contain lecithin.
Myo-inositol is the form most widespread in nature. It is also the form most active within the body as it has been associated with many physiological functions. It is no longer classified as an essential nutrient in that our body is capable of synthesizing it in adequate amounts. That being said, its vitamin-like activities and desirable health benefits have contributed to its popularity as a supplement.
Reduces Cholesterol Levels
One of the biological roles of inositol is to help regulate cholesterol levels in the systemic circulation. This nutrient even reduces overall lipid levels. It limits the conversion of very-low-density lipoproteins to low-density lipoproteins, or bad cholesterol. In addition, it promotes the releases of high-density lipoproteins, or good cholesterol, which contains lower amounts of lipids. By so doing, it lowers free fatty acids and other lipids in the blood and protects the blood vessels from lipid peroxidation.
Modulates Serotonin Activities
Inositol is directly involved in the activities of what we refer to as the happiness hormone, which is the neurotransmitter Serotonin. In fact, this nutrient has very visible impact on the effects of Serotonin on mood, appetite, sleep, and muscle contraction. Healthy levels of inositol increases the overall tolerance of the human body to risk factors and creates a general feeling of physical well being.
Induces Weight Loss
Fat metabolism relies on the presence of inositol, the reason why this B-vitamin-like compound is commercially touted to aid weight loss. Inositol participates in the chemical reactions that lead to the breakdown of fats. Consumptions of foods rich in inositol have shown to increase effective utilization of fat reserves found in adipose tissues, such as the unwanted subcutaneous body fat. Proponents of supplementation believe that inositol induces breakdown of fats even while sleeping.
Regulates Blood Sugar
The hormone insulin is responsible for regulating blood sugar levels throughout the day. It sends signals to individual cells that promote the uptake of glucose from the blood. Glucose is of course what fuels cellular activities, and thus contributes to the metabolism of compounds utilized by cells. Inositol enables insulin to initiate signal transduction and communicate effectively with cells in the process.
Improves Mental Disorders
Inositol has long been linked to the improvement of mental disorders. It has been observed that individuals diagnosed with clinical depression have low levels of inositol in their cerebrospinal fluid. Supplementation appears to rebalance brain chemicals, enhance mood, and improve mental illnesses, such as bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety disorder, panic attacks, major depression, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Improve Your Health with Inositol.
Grab some inositol today and improve your cardiovascular health naturally!
Boost Brain Chemistry, Lower Bad Cholesterol, And More
May 12, 2011 01:27 PM
What is Inositol Good for?
Inositol is an organic compound present in many plant-based foods. Popular nutritional sources of inositol include brown rice, wheat bran, whole grains, beans, nuts, and other foods rich in fiber. It is a polyphosphorylated carbohydrate that was once classified as an essential nutrient together with B-complex group of vitamins. It is an important component of signal transduction of cells, amplifying the strength of signals from the receptors on the cell surface to target molecules within the cytoplasm.
Cancer research on inositol is one of the most publicized. Fruits and vegetables that are known for their high fiber content also contain large amounts of inositol, which is believed to prevent the inactivation of DNA repair gene and protect the cells from mutation that lead to carcinogenesis. In laboratory studies it has shown great medicinal potential as a therapeutic remedy for various cancers. In addition, it has been extensively utilized in the treatment of psychiatric disorders.
Rebalances Brain Chemicals
Supplementation of high dose inositol has been observed to be beneficial to sufferers of mental illnesses. There have been numerous clinical trials focused on its effects on the chemical compounds found in the central nervous system, and early studies recorded that its mechanisms of action are similar to a class of antidepressants called selective Serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs.
A growing body of scientific literature is devoted to its purported role in the amelioration of anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, clinical depression, and bipolar disorder. It has been favored over some SSRIs because of its desirable results and absence of side effects. It has particularly benefited individuals diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder, with testimonies being largely positive. Also, it has been reported to also reduce frequency of panic attacks.
Lowers Bad Cholesterol
High-fiber diet has always been recommended to manage high cholesterol levels. It emphasizes the intake of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. The same group of foods is rich in the carbohydrate inositol. In the latter half of the 20th century, it was discovered that inositol in fact contributes to the breakdown of fatty molecules, such as triglycerides, in the gastrointestinal tract and interferes with their absorption. More importantly, regular consumptions of inositol appear to reduce overall lipid levels in the blood. It is postulated that it blocks the metabolic pathway that integrates triglycerides in very-low-density lipoproteins, the immediate precursors of low-density lipoproteins, also known as bad cholesterol. By so doing, it not only lowers cholesterol and free fatty acids found in systemic circulation but also prevents cardiovascular diseases, such as atherosclerosis.
Many nutraceutical products that contain inositol are commercially touted to aid weight loss. Inositol has also been associated with the alleviation of digestive problems, most notably constipation. It is believed to soften the stool by attracting water as it works its way into the alimentary canal, and regular intake promotes regularity. Furthermore, it has been linked to hair growth as low levels of inositol have often been tied to hair loss.
Taking a inositol supplement can help you obtain all the inositol you need for your daily needs!
Can Royal Jelly Really Boost Energy?
April 18, 2011 02:25 PM
Royal Jelly as an Energy Boost
Royal jelly is an all-natural animal product entirely derived from the secretions of honey bees. It is commercially touted as an energy booster because of its unique combination of compounds that help produce energy in cells and promote mental clarity. It contains an abundance of monosaccharides, amino acids, fatty acids, trace minerals, and enzymes, all of which have bioactive properties.
Inside a honeycomb, royal jelly is obtained from queen cells. These secretions are actually fed to all larvae, but only queen larvae are fed with royal jelly in amounts that can be harvested. This is the reason why royal jelly is considered rare. That being said, recent innovations in the manufacture of honey and the overall beekeeping process have contributed to increasing productions of royal jelly.
Contains Vitamins and Minerals
Royal jelly is available as a dietary supplement noted for its high vitamin and mineral content. It is a natural source of vitamin B complex, notably pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) and pyridoxine (vitamin B6). It has relatively high amounts of simple sugars and fatty acids, both groups are biological precursors of cellular energy. In general, it contains up to 15 per cent carbohydrates and 5 per cent healthy fats.
In addition to vitamins, it is also rich in enzymes that are believed to aid the fast absorption of its bioactive compounds in the small intestine. In addition, it contains trace amounts of dietary minerals. Royal jelly is often marketed as a fast-acting energy booster because its components are believed to work synergistically in the prompt release of energy within cells right after absorption.
Improves Energy Metabolism
Coenzyme A is an organic compound produced in the human body to aid the metabolism of cellular energy. Its synthesis, however, requires the presence of pantothenic acid, a vitamin obtained largely from the diet. It is postulated that royal jelly helps increase the production of energy in that it contains pantothenic acid in amounts sufficient to affect the biosynthesis of coenzyme A.
Royal jelly is also noted for its pyridoxine content. Pyridoxal phosphate, or pyridoxine, is the active form of vitamin B5. It is necessary for the metabolism of protein, glucose, and lipids. It is of special significance in yielding energy from glycogen, which it converts to glucose. The combination of fatty acids, simple sugars, and B vitamin in royal jelly enables it to bring about a noticeable energy boost.
Creates Feelings of Well-being
Royal jelly has been linked to an increase in the release of major neurotransmitters, especially Serotonin, dopamine, and glutamate. Serotonin is dubbed the happiness hormone. Dopamine is linked to rewards-seeking behavior and keeps interest in repetitive tasks. And glutamate is a major excitatory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. Together they sustain mental focus.
The roles of its components and their metabolites in the production of energy and release of brain chemicals are the reason why royal jelly creates feelings of physical and mental well-being.
Royal Jelly Use It
As you can see, royal jelly is rich in many nutrients to support a health brain and metabolism. If you are seeking more energy, give royal jelly a try!
What is Vinpocetine and How Does it Help with Memory?
March 24, 2011 02:18 PM
Vinpocetine And Brain Health
Vinpocetine is a derivative of an organic compound found in the plant species Vinca minor, or common periwinkle. It is best known for its neuroprotective effects and used in Europe and Japan in treatment of age-related cognitive decline. More often than not, its activities inside the human body are described as vasodilator, which means it increases blood flow. It has also seen a growing presence in the North American market as a dietary supplement.
Vinpocetine is available as a prescription drug in certain European countries and Japan and has shown to be speed up prognosis of patients who suffered cerebrovascular accident, or CVA, which is commonly referred to as stroke. Most cases of cerebrovascular accident are brought on by ischemia, or very poor circulation of blood to certain parts of the brain. This is exactly what vinpocetine is beneficial for, and recommended dosages have so far yielded very encouraging results.
Improves Blood Circulation in the Brain
It has long been postulated that one of the mechanisms of action of vinpocetine is limiting the effects of Na+ channels that are sensitive to voltage. This creates a neuroprotective effect believed to contribute to mental clarity and sustained attention. Striatal nerve endings produce extracellular Ca+ ions that induce neuronal damage through a phenomenon called excitotocity. High levels of Ca+ ions are now alleged to be correlated with voltage-sensitive Na+ channels. Striatal nerve endings see a decline in Ca+ ions when Na+ channels are influenced by vinpocetine, and in the process lessen excitotoxicity.
Attenuates Ischemic Neuronal Damage
In addition to limiting neuronal damage induced by excitotoxicity, which in turn results from cerebral ischemia, vinpocetine plays an active role in the upkeep of brain cells after being subjected to ischemic damage. As a vasodilator, it not only counters the effects of ischemia but also significantly increases the brain’s access to bioactive molecules like oxygen and other nutrients exclusively distributed by the circulatory system.
It also inhibits the enzyme phosphodiesterase, which is specialized for the breakdown of cyclic adenosine monophosphate, or cAMP, and cyclic guanosine monophosphate, or cGMP. By so doing, vinpocetine contributes to glucose metabolism and energy production in the brain, and at the same time, improves the distribution of bioactive compounds in the central nervous system.
Displays Neuroprotective Activities
Vinpocetine and its precursor belong to a group of indole alkaloids known as tryptomines, which are present in the human brain and the rest of the central nervous system in minute quantities. These organic compounds make up several psychoactive drugs and in the human body act as neuromodulators and neurotransmitters in the form of melatonin and Serotonin.
Vinpocetine in particular displays activities that are primarily anti-inflammatory in nature. Several studies point to its effects on the enzyme complex called IkB kinase, which regulates cellular responses to inflammation, by preventing the translocation of a protein complex called responsible for the process of inflammation within cells.
In a Nutshell, vinpocetine can help you think clearer and protect the brain from inflammation and free radical damage. Give vinpocetine a try today!
How does Malic Acid help with Fibromyalgia?
February 09, 2011 01:18 PM
Malic Acid And Fibromyalgia
If you feel sensitized to pain by otherwise harmless stimuli, then you may be experiencing symptoms of fibromyalgia, which has been recorded to affect up to 4 per cent of the population worldwide. It is characterized by a feeling of weakness in the muscles of the limbs, conscious awareness of abnormal heartbeat, problems concerning bowel movement, and disturbances to sleep patterns. All of these are complaints reported to have been addressed by supplementation of malic acid.
The medical community remains inconclusive as to what causes fibromyalgia, some claiming it’s not a disease at all. While symptoms may not be necessarily medical signs, there are innumerable cases that describe complaints we collectively refer to as fibromyalgia. Throughout the past few decades, medical professionals around the world have considered these symptoms as one musculoskeletal disease whereas most neurologists have contended that fibromyalgia is attributable to the abnormalities within the nervous system. Today the American College of Rheumatology has charted nine paired tender points in an effort to describe the symptoms for this condition better.
Known Causes in Scrutiny
The most common symptoms of fibromyalgia more often than not appear simultaneously with stress-induced medical conditions such as chronic fatigue, anxiety disorders, and depression, but they are known to develop independently. A tissue in the brain responsible for long-term memory and spatial navigation called hippocampus have shown abnormalities among patients of fibromyalgia, thereby affecting sleep patterns, perception of pain, and related cognitive functions.
In the latter half of the 20th century it is postulated that Serotonin leads to fibromyalgia. Serotonin being a neurotransmitter that governs mood, attention, and pain were found to be significantly decreased in the blood plasma and cerebrospinal fluid among patients who reported to experience this condition. That being said, the introduction of Serotonin inhibitors used in treatment of depression has also shown alleviations of pain-related symptoms across the tender point index.
Malic Acid and Prognosis
Malic acid was discovered as a constituent of apple juice as early as the 18th century. Reduced levels of malic acid contribute to the maturity of fruits. In human beings it plays a fundamental role as an intermediate in a metabolic pathway that influences the chemical conversion of bioactive compounds like carbohydrates, fats, and proteins into carbon dioxide and water, which in turn convert the molecules contained in the cytoplasmic fluid of cells into energy generated in the mitochondria.
The availability of malic acid inside the human body modulates functional activities at the cellular level by speeding up the metabolism of bioactive compounds and consequently the production of energy in use by the cells. That being said, malic acid provides vitality to muscle cells, raising their endurance against stress. In addition, there have been reports that intake of malic acid help elevate levels of Serotonin, leading to improved response to pain and better management of fibromyalgia.
For now, the tender point index is the primary diagnostic tool for evaluating fibromyalgia, and the use of malic acid has been recorded to reduce pain in these points.
Have you had your Malic Acid today?
A Good Vitamin Plan Is Essential To a Health Child To Help Fight ADHD
December 21, 2010 06:19 PM
Have you known any child who is having difficulty staying focused and paying attention, difficulty controlling behavior, and hyperactivity or over-activity? This child is probably experiencing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD. ADHD is a common childhood disorders and can continue through adolescence and adulthood. Researchers are not sure what causes ADHD, although many studies suggest that genes play a large role.
Like many other health conditions, ADHD probably is a result of a combination of factors. There has been no cure for ADHD yet palliative management is promising in reducing symptoms of ADHD and improving the child’s well being and optimal functioning. These include medications, psychotherapy, training and education or a combination of these managements. In this article, we will be focusing on the natural vitamins that can help fight the exacerbation of ADHD symptoms which include:
1. Choline: Choline is a vital precursor to the production of neurotransmitters such as Dopamine and Acetylcholine. These nervous system chemicals are helpful in supporting concentration, alertness, and memory.
2. Zinc: Studies show that children in ADHD categories have lower levels of zinc and clincal studies reveal that those children who supplemented with extra zinc along with traditional ADHD medications have reported improvement of signs and symptoms most especially hyperactivity and impulsivity. Foods high in zinc include Seafood, oysters, salmon, crabmeat, and, red meat like beef, lamb and pork, poultry such as turkey and chicken, dairy products, nuts, beans, fortified cereals, and whole grains.
3. Fish oil: Most Oily Fish contain omega-3 fatty acids With DHA. These chemicals can improve mental skills and enhance the child’s ability to organize activities. Possible cause for the low fish oil status of the ADHD children may be impaired conversion of the fatty acid precursors namely Linolenic Acid and alpha-linolenic acid to their longer and more highly unsaturated products, EPA and DHA, which are fish oil fats. Fish high in omega 3 fatty acids include salmon, albacore tuna, herring, mackerel, trout, sardines, flax seeds, walnuts, butternuts and soybeans.
4. Magnesium: Magnesium can have a calming effect. The best thing about magnesium is that it is abundantly found in many foods. Low dietary magnesium levels could lead to anxiety, irritability, and/or restlessness. This mineral can also play a role in sugar metabolism, which is important when wanting to stabilizing moods and concentration. Magnesium, a calming mineral, can be found in foods like nuts, black beans, peas, seeds and ready-to-eat whole grain cereals.
5. Vitamin B-6: Vitamin B-6 is needed for normal mental development and is important in the synthesis of brain chemicals including dopamine , Serotonin, and norepinephrine. A B-6 deficiency has symptoms of inability to concentrate, irritability, and short-term memory loss. Regular consumption of vitamin B-6 could help reduce behavioral issues in a ADHD child. Good sources of B vitamins are milk, fish, eggs, yeast, green-leafy vegetables and cereals. Oranges are a great source of vitamin C and can improve our mood.
These are some of the natural vitamins that we find in our food. A good multiple vitamin supplements with iron can be safe and effective.
If you Suspect your child has ADHD, whats stopping you from getting him or her on a supplement plan today?
Fight Anxiety Disorders Naturally
December 14, 2010 04:27 PM
Do you suffer from an Anxiety Disorder?
Before considering how to test for anxiety disorders and discussing natural supplements that can help we should first discuss what anxiety disorders are - what the term means and if there are degrees of anxiety disorders as there are of depression and stress. First, what is anxiety?
Anxiety is a natural reaction to stress and it is anxiety that makes you worry about the consequences of not studying for an exam - so you study. It focuses you on problems so that you will be more likely to solve them, and helps you to perform better whatever you are doing. However, it can get out of hand and these positive mental processes become negative anxiety disorders.
With some people, anxiety becomes a dread of situations that were once everyday occurrences and can make your life a misery. Here are some forms of anxiety disorder.
Typical Anxiety Disorders
General Anxiety Disorder
Its symptoms include excessive sweating, worry, headaches, irritability, difficulty in sleeping, tiredness and tension in your muscles. It can lead to substance abuse and deep depression if left untreated.
These are three typical forms of anxiety, but how do you test for anxieties? Here are some tests that are used, beginning with the easiest - doing it yourself!
Testing for Anxiety Disorders
Many that believe they may have an anxiety disorder either tend to panic or go into a depression. It is far better to carry out a self-test. This anxiety test is very simple: simply tick which of the symptoms below you have experienced in the past six months:
I can't relax
I am always worried about something.
I get headaches for no apparent reason
I frequently sweat a lot and get hot flashes
I have no time for anybody and am easily annoyed
I find it hard to sleep and I often wake up during the night
My attention keeps wandering and I can't focus on anything
I sometimes get so worried I want to be sick or have a lump in my throat
If you have ticked more than three then perhaps you should pay your doctor a visit, or try some of the recommendations below.
b) Doctors' Tests
If you feel you might be suffering some form of anxiety disorder you should consult your doctor, particularly if you have tried the self test above and it indicates that you might be. Your doctor might carry out various tests for your general health, and if it is felt necessary you may be asked about your family history: is there any history of mental problems in the family, particularly with your mother or father.
Other questions may appertain to your own physical and mental background, such as have you been stressed for any reason lately, have you suffered anxiety or panic attacks in the past and what is your normal use of prescription and non-prescription medications and drugs. Do you smoke, drink or take any social drugs.
It is important that you are totally honest: the doctor is not judging you, simply trying to find the cause of your problem. Under the terms of their oath they cannot divulge anything you tell them to anyone else, so be honest and let them help you. Among the tests you will be given will be to declare all your history of anxiety-related symptoms. To achieve that, you will be asked a series of questions while the doctor assesses your mental condition.
Finally, you may be referred to a psychiatrist who will be able to help you more than your doctor. Psychiatrists have a good record in resolving anxiety disorders, but once you are diagnosed positively, what then? Chemical drugs? Or perhaps you would prefer something more natural such as herbal remedies.
Herbal Remedies for Anxiety
There are a number of herbs that can be used to treat anxiety disorders. Here are the more commonly used of these:
Passion flower contains the active substances maltol and ethylmaltol that your body's biochemistry uses to increase the concentration of GABA (gamma-butyric acid) in your brain. GABA is a neurotransmitter that calms you and helps you to relax and forget anything that is making you anxious. It relieves muscle tension, can lower your blood pressure and some equate its effect to that of Valium: although it is totally different chemically it is similar in its effect. It offers a sedative effect and helps you sleep.
Kava Kava root
Kava kava. Generally just referred to as kava, comes from the Pacific and the kavalactones it contains increase the concentration of neurotransmitters in your vascular system, particularly Serotonin, the feel-good substance. Its sedative effects have been likened to that of alcohol, and it can certainly give you a lift and certainly helps you worry less as it reduces the negative symptoms of stress and depression.
St. John's Wort
St. John's wort is a well-known anti-depressant and it can also help reduce the symptom of anxiety. The hyperforin the plant contains helps to improve the brain's content of the neurotransmitters Serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine that make you feel good, and St. John's wort certainly washes away your anxiety. Not only that, but the napththodianthrone in another of its important components, hypericin, promotes a reduction in depression through the inhibition of monoamine oxidase, a pro-depressive enzyme.
An extract of valerian root can help you to relax and sleep well, and this can often be enough to prevent your anxiety attacks. A lot depends on their cause, but if the attacks are mild and don't require extensive medical or psychiatric intervention, then valerian can help, particularly in treating stress-related anxiety. Make sure you stick to the recommended dose because valerian can be dangerous if taken to excess.
The four herbal remedies above should between them be all you need to treat your anxiety. One major problem is that, just like any chemical drugs, they only treat the symptoms and not the underlying cause which is something you and your physician will have to work on yourselves.
However, until then, the above herbal remedies for anxiety disorders are generally safer to use than prescription drugs and each has a well proven effect, both on the symptoms of anxiety and on depression.
Herbs For Depression
December 13, 2010 12:34 PM
Fight Depression with Natural Herbs
Before discussing treating depression with natural herbs we should first consider depression itself: what is it and what causes people to become depressed? Psychiatrists and psychologists will suggest a number of definitions although most experts agree that there are two forms of depression.
Causes of Depression
Exogenous depression comes about as a result of external factors such as bereavement, heavy debt, job loss, etc, while endogenous depression comes from within and is believed to be due to biochemical problems, including food allergies, hormonal changes, thyroid problems, nutritional deficiencies, particularly Vitamin B deficiency, and addictions. There are many other reasons for people becoming depressed, some of which can be established by the particular symptoms of the individual.
In many cases of depression the external factors are often easier to treat than those due to internal factors. Many exogenous causes of depression such as bereavement are alleviated through time, while causes such as job loss and debt can be resolved once the cause has been rectified: thus, if the patient is no longer in debt or is re-employed, the depression tends to disappear with the cause.
Symptoms of Depression
Depression is not diagnosed from a single symptom, but from a number of symptoms that can point to a person being clinically depressed and requiring treatment. Among the symptoms of depression are:
Prolonged periods of sadness or despair
Forms of Depression
Many normal people can suffer one or two of the above systems, and would not be diagnosed as depressed because of it. We can all get mood swings, feel a bit worthless now and again or be unable to concentrate or focus at times, but that does not mean we are clinically depressed.
Depression would not be diagnosed in a patient with just one of these symptoms but five or more likely would be. In fact, the American Psychiatric Association in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders deem the patient suffering clinical depression if displaying 5 or more of the bottom 8 symptoms above for a month or more. This is believed to be the case with around 17 million Americans so it is a significant problem.
Manic depression is otherwise known as bipolar disorder, where patients have large mood swings from high and extreme hyperactivity and excitability to very low deeply depressive moods and is a clinical condition generally treated using drugs.
Treatment of Depression With Natural Herbs
The usual treatments are drugs that often have undesirable side effects; so many people are trying natural remedies instead. There are a number of herbs that can be used to treat depression, one of the most familiar being St. John's Wort. However, there are others, and here is a synopsis of each.
St. John's Wort
St. John's wort (hypericum perforatum) is likely the best known herbal treatment for depression. In fact, in Germany it is prescribed by doctors to children and adolescents for the treatment of mild depression and is available over the counter in many countries.
However, it can also be used in cases of severe depression, and a report in the Cochrane Database Review[8(4)] by K. Linde, M.M. Berner and L. Kriston in 2008 stated that of 29 separate tests carried out on a total of over 5,000 patients, the conclusion was that St. John's wort extracts were at least as good in treating severe depression with 5 times lower side-effects as tricyclic antidepressants and twice lower than the new selective Serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI).
It should be stated, however, that one trial on 340 subjects indicated no improvement over a placebo. However, the anti-depressive drug sertraline (Zoloft) was also shown to be no better than the placebo in this test, so some doubts must lie regarding its accuracy. Of all the herbal treatments, St. John's wort has had most testing carried out and it seems to be effective in treating mild to severe depression although not all experts are yet agreed.
Kava Kava Root
Kava kava can be used to treat depression and anxiety, largely due its content of kavalactones that are believed to increase the amount of a number of neurotransmitters in the blood, including the feel-good neurotransmitter Serotonin. Kava kava root is mildly intoxicating, having much the same effect as alcohol, and can also reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
However, it is doubtful if its effects are permanent and so it may be less of a depression cure as a short-medium term treatment. Its effects are also variable on different people, some describing it as making them feel relaxed and 'dreamy', while others find it therapeutic and making them feel better in themselves.
Kava kava should not be taken without your doctor knowing about because there have been concerns about its effect on the liver if taken in excess. A European-wide ban was lifted about two years ago after testing found the risks of taking it to be very low. It has been used for centuries as an intoxicating drink on islands such as Fiji.
Passion flower has been used for centuries to treat anxiety, stress and depression, its active ingredients believed to be maltol and ethylmaltol that help to increase the level of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. GABA is one of the brain's key neurotransmitters and has been described by some as the brain's own 'Valium' supply.
Through the intervention of GABA, passion flower extract helps in reducing anxiety levels and makes you feel a lot calmer. If you suffer forms of depression that make you hyper or excitable, passion flower will help to reduce this and also helps to cure insomnia. It is a component of many natural sleeping pills.
These are just three natural substances that can be used to treat depression. However, you must inform your doctor or physician if you decide to take them since they may interfere with or change the effect of any antidepressant drug you are currently taking.
Call today for natural remedies for depression
April 08, 2010 04:31 PM
Comments by Craig Gerbore, CEO of Madhava:
Reading through the attack articles and blogs that have surfaced recently one could think that using agave is bad for one's health. These claims are utterly false and misleading. They are extreme views drawn from extreme examples and applied way out of context. They are propagandizing and clearly designed to frighten, not educate. All of the fears and concerns associated with the overconsumption of sugars and calories in general have been unfairly cast on agave.
What is a "healthy" sweetener? One that you use moderately and sensibly.
Health concerns related to fructose and caloric sweeteners are all dependant on the overconsumption of them. All foods have calories and it is the overall consumption of calories that lead to obesity and related issues, not any one food source.
Agave's caloric value is comparable to the other sweeteners in the category. Due to its greater sweetness though, less agave is used compared to the others, so agave actually can reduce caloric consumption per serving. This is due to a higher fructose content. The higher content does not mean higher consumption though, due to the smaller portion used. But, it is not the single serving that matters, it is the number of servings which lead to the overconsumption issues which may result in health concerns.
As a reference point, 9-10 teaspoon servings of agave would be the approximate caloric equivalent of one 16 oz soft drink. With this perspective, is agave really being overconsumed as a choice of sweetener for home use?
Every single health issue which the attackers have tried to associate with agave is really the result of a caloric overconsumption issue. There are no documented issues with normal, moderate consumption of agave or sweeteners in general as part of our everyday diet. For reasons unknown, some have attempted to isolate agave from the real world and real world conditions with the goal of inhibiting agave's use. They play on people's fears, reference false information and fail to address health issues in any meaningful way.
The purpose of this article is to debunk the controversial misinformation surrounding agave. All information debunking the myths and misinformation is based on current science and facts. It is our goal to provide you with useful information so that you can make your personal nutritional choices in a well-informed, science-based manner.
The Agave Controversy: Exposing the fraudulent article by Rami Nagel
By Dr. Susan Kleiner, PhD, RD, FACN, CNS, FISSN
And Craig Gerbore, CEO Madhava
The controversy about agave syrup was manufactured by the publication of a single article on the internet, which has been reproduced and adapted for virtually every other article produced on the internet and other media venues. That article, written by Rami Nagel and published on Naturalnews.com, was highly biased and full of inaccuracies, half-truths and misinformation about agave. Since the Naturalnews.com article has been the sole source of nearly all other popular articles in public media, we want to set the record straight with science-based, reliable information to offer a more balanced resource to those interested in learning more about agave syrup. Who is the author, Rami Nagel?
According to the description on the Naturalnews.com website, Rami Nagel is a "citizen journalist". This means that Mr. Nagel is self-employed, and not employed as an in-house journalist by the website. He wrote and published the article without any editorial or content oversight, and the editor of the website, Mike Adams, makes it clear that the article was not checked for incorrect or inaccurate information or facts. The introduction to the article, written by Mr. Adams, states that readers had written to comment that Mr. Nagel's resources were biased with conflicts of interest due to their financial interests in competing sweeteners, such as brown rice syrup. So even the website editor himself states that the article is not fact-checked, and it is biased and unbalanced.
Who is Russ Bianchi?
The sole resource interviewed for the article is Russ Bianchi, identified by the author as Managing Director and CEO of Adept Solutions, Inc. Mr. Bianchi has clear conflict of interest ties to the sweetener industry. We have documentation of the fact that Mr Bianchi had plans to market a product named Replace. It was to be touted as a low calorie alternative sweetener composed of natural and artificial ingredients! Mr Bianchi was prevented from marketing this sweetener as the result of a lawsuit against him by the owner of the formula.
Mr Bianchi is quoted by Nagel extensively and exclusively. Many, if not all, of his statements are blatantly false or misrepresentations of fact. He is clearly propagandizing against agave nectar.
Was anyone else interviewed for this article?
Yes. Craig Gerbore, president and owner of Madhava Agave Syrup, was extensively interviewed by the author but no parts of that interview were included in the article.
It is important to note that neither Mr Nagel or Mr Bianchi have not made themselves available for questions on their statements since the articles appearance. They remain out of sight and have entirely avoided the controversy their statements created.
What is agave nectar?
The opening line of this paragraph in the article by Mr. Nagel states:
"The principal constituent of the agave is starch, such as what is found in corn or rice."
This is absolutely false. There is no starch in agave. The source of carbohydrate in agave syrup is inulin, a polysaccharide made up primarily of strings of fructose units. Starch is a polysaccharide made up of strings of glucose molecules. They are significantly different, and this difference is why agave syrup is naturally sweet.
The very basis of the argument presented by Mr. Nagel is false.
The agave plant is a succulent, similar to a cactus. The agave sweetener comes from both the Salmiana agave plant and the agave Tequilana (Blue Agave) which are both organically farmed in Mexico and certified organic by USDA approved certifiers. As the salmiana plant grows it produces a stalk called the "quiote" and when this is removed, a natural liquid called "aquamiel". The liquid is collected from the plant, while Blue agave pinons are harvested and shredded to remove the similar juice. Either can be naturally processed thermally or by enzymes into agave nectar.
The juice of the plant is not naturally sweet. The string of connected fructose units that makes up the major proportion of inulin does not have a sweet taste, but when the fructose units are separated (the process is called hydrolysis) by the addition of an enzyme, similar to digestion, or thermally for most blue agave, the syrup becomes quite sweet. That is the entire processing chain for agave nectar. There are no additives, other ingredients or chemicals in Madhava agave nectar. It is absolutely pure and organic and GMO free.
? Mr. Nagel claims that agave syrup is a "refined corn fructose" similar to high fructose corn syrup. This is absolutely false. There is no relationship between agave syrup and high fructose corn syrup in any way, including the source of the product, or the manufacturing process.
? Mr. Nagel refers to a "confidential FDA letter" from Mr. Martin Stutsman, claiming that agave is fraudulently labeled. We contacted Mr. Stutsman at the United States Food and Drug Administration, and his response made it clear that there was never a "confidential FDA letter". He did publish a public letter referenced in an FDA document as "FDA letter from Martin Stutsman to Dr. Eric
Wilhelmsen (Wilhelmsen Consulting), May 8, 2000", regarding evaporated cane juice, a topic wholly unrelated to agave syrup.
? He continued in his response to us that the paragraph in Mr. Nagel's article inaccurately reflected the substance of his comments in the document.
This link will take you to the original document in which the letter was referenced (reference #2):
In fact, Mr. Nagel fabricated the entire story of the letter. Mr. Stutsman is a lawyer, not a doctor. The quotes were completely taken out of context from the document, and the quotes never referred to agave syrup at any time. Nagel goes on to further misrepresent Mr. Stutsman's intent in the published document by weaving in other inaccurate information that is thoroughly unrelated to the original document. Mr Bianchi's subsequent statements on labeling issues are false and without merit.
Mr. Nagel is clearly caught red-handed. He has misrepresented the words of a government official, lied about the facts, and twisted the information to achieve his own agenda. This strategy is repeated throughout the article.
? Mr. Nagel continues his deceptive writing by referring to a quote by the late Dr. Varro Tyler in his book, The Honest Herbal. The first line of the paragraph is a direct quote from the book. Nothing else in that paragraph remotely resembles anything else found in Dr. Tyler's book. Mr. Nagel is trying to claim that agave syrup contains large quantities of saponins, and that they can be harmful to health. Here is the debunking of that paragraph:
1. Dr. Tyler does not include the variety of agave plant used for agave syrup.
2. The entire discussion is about the use of the sword-shaped leaves and the stem. Agave syrup is produced from the natural liquid in the plant. The saponins are isolated from the leaves of the plant.
3. There is no documented evidence to suggest agave syrup contains worrisome levels of saponins and the entire rest of the discussion about health dangers is fabricated and false.
People are going to continue to consume sweet food and drink. There are only three categories of choice to sweeten food. Those are artificial sweeteners, stevia, or caloric sweeteners from natural sources, sugars.
Most people will not choose artificial. Many will not choose stevia. That only leaves the category of sugars. In this group, agave is a good choice due to its organic quality, ease of
use, neutral flavor, low glycemic index and the fact that less is used to equal the sweetness of the others in the category.
The sweeteners in this category are composed of three primary sugars used to sweeten foods: glucose, fructose and sucrose. These sugars belong to a class of compounds known as carbohydrates. "Saccharide" is a term that denotes sugar, or substances derived from sugar. Monosaccharides are simple or single sugars; disaccharides are derived from two joined monosaccharides and when they are hydrolyzed, or separated, they yield two molecules of simple sugar. Strings of more than two sugar molecules are called polysaccharides. This category includes compounds such as starches, cellulose and inulin.
Glucose and fructose are monosaccharides. Glucose and fructose are found abundantly in nature in fruits and plants. Sucrose is the disaccharide formed by the joining of glucose and fructose, also known as table sugar. When comparing their relative sweetness, glucose is the least sweet tasting, sucrose is next, and fructose is the sweetest of the three sugars, measured as 1.4 times sweeter than table sugar. Because it is so sweet, people typically use less fructose when sweetening foods compared to sucrose.
? In the article by Mr. Nagel he states , "fructose is not what is found in fruit. Commonly, fructose is compared with its opposite and truly naturally occurring sweetener, known as ‘levulose' (made by nature)..."
Another fabrication. In fact, levulose is just another name for fructose. There are various nomenclatures used in the scientific naming of compounds. Fructose and levulose are exactly the same thing; the names are interchangeable. It is no different than if you called your father, "dad", and your sibling called your father, "father". He would still be the exact same person. Fructose and levulose are different names for the exact same thing: a sugar found in nature.
Mr. Bianchi also is quoted to say that the body does not recognize the fructose in agave. This is another false piece of propaganda which demonstrates just how far he is reaching. If this were true, it would have no impact on us. He immediately contradicts himself with the claims of detrimental effects caused by the overconsumption of fructose.
Sugars can be compared to each other in their ability to raise blood sugar levels by using the Glycemic Index. The scale is set from zero to 100, where low numbers do not have much impact on blood sugar levels, and high numbers raise blood sugar levels quickly. Fructose is very low on the scale. Because agave syrup is high in fructose, it has a rating of 32 or lower. Honey, which has a higher proportion of glucose to fructose, has a Glycemic Index of 58. Sucrose has a Glycemic Index of 68, and glucose, serving as the index standard, is 100.
All sugars, whether fructose, glucose, sucrose or others, contribute 4 calories per gram to our total diet. 1 teaspoon of sugar = 4 grams = 16 calories
In addition to calories, sugars sweeten our foods offering a desirable taste and adding enjoyment and pleasure to our dining. During cooking and baking, sugars allow for browning and the unique consistencies of syrups, candies, frostings and frozen desserts. The varieties of sugars, such as crystallized table sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, molasses, honey and agave nectar, among others, contribute different properties and flavors to foods.
When you add your own sugar to foods you are in control of how much sugar you use. Most people would never add as much sugar as do the food manufacturers. Moderate amounts of sugar can certainly be enjoyed as part of a healthy diet for an active individual. Natural sugars are easily metabolized and utilized by the body, offering a very efficient source of fuel for physical and mental activity.
Of course, sugars should be used in moderation in the diet. This can control calories and help create a diet that is dense in nutrients.
Impact of sugar on health and disease
? The remainder of Mr. Nagel's article works to link agave syrup with the increased incidence of obesity, diabetes, metabolic disease, and the general rise of morbidity and mortality in the population. This is an overconsumption issue involving far more than the occasional use of agave. Here are the facts:
• Rats that are fed a high fructose diet become obese and will develop the chronic diseases associated with obesity: insulin resistance, diabetes and metabolic disease.
• No one should eat a diet that reflects this type of experimental diet.
• Too much sugar in the diet, whether from fructose, glucose or sucrose, can be unhealthy. Diets high in sugar promote tooth decay and periodontal disease; create an overabundance of calories and a deficit of nutrients. This scenario typically leads to weight gain and the development of chronic disease.
• Active individuals can include a moderate amount of added sugar in their diet without negative health consequences. When calorie intake is balanced with physical activity, sugar serves as an efficient source of fuel for muscles, the brain and the central nervous system.
• According to the World Health Organization (2003), individuals can healthfully include 10% of their daily calories from added sugars. This translates into 200 calories for a 2000 calorie diet, or 12½ teaspoons of added sugar daily. Clearly, one can safely add a couple of teaspoons of sweetener to a cup of tea or coffee, or have a little sweetened food without worrying about their risk of developing disease.
• Agave syrup, which is sweeter than other sugars and low on the Glycemic Index scale, is a good choice to include as one of the added sugars in your diet because you will use less sugar (and therefore fewer calories) and minimally raise blood sugar levels.
Just a teaspoon of agave: the healthy use of sweeteners in your diet
We all want to live healthier and longer lives. Diet and nutrition plays a key role, impacting our health and our ability to perform physically and mentally now and into the future. Food offers us not only sustenance, but also pleasure and enjoyment. Food is present in so many parts of our lives: at celebrations, business events, family events, religious and spiritual occasions, sports outings, the focus of our family meals, intimate dinners, and sometimes just the excuse to socialize.
Sweet foods make us feel good. Sugar allows for the elevation of Serotonin in our brains, the "feel good" neurotransmitter that elevates mood, helps us focus, and in the evening, helps us relax and sleep.
Sugar is a source of energy for our muscles, brain and central nervous system. Without sugar our bodies will not function at peak capacity.
Too much sugar, however, is not good. In small amounts sugar energizes us, but in large doses, repeated throughout the day, day in and day out, sugar puts stress on the body. The extra calories can lead to weight gain and obesity, which in time can lead to chronic disease. In the short term, high sugar intakes can lead to a nutritionally deficient diet and a sense of being on an emotional roller coaster.
So be selective about your use of sugars and use them in moderation in your diet. Just like all foods, a variety will enhance the nutritional content of your diet and the flavor and tastes that you can enjoy. Since sugars come in different forms and have different flavors, they can be used most effectively in specific foods and beverages. For instance, agave syrup is liquid and less viscous than honey, making it easy to mix into cold liquids like iced tea and coffee, and is great to add to cold unsweetened cereals for a little sweet taste. Agave's mild flavor allows chefs and bakers to sweeten foods lightly, without overpowering the taste of the dish.
Pay attention to how much sugar is added to your diet every day. Read labels so that you know when sugar is added to manufactured foods. Keep the consumption of added sugars in your diet to no more than 10% of your total daily calorie intake so that you have plenty of room for nutrient dense foods like fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, protein-rich foods, nuts, seeds and healthy oils.
Remember that nutrition is a science based on facts. We are making great advances in our understanding of the science of foods and nutrition. Beware of people with hidden agendas using fear tactics to influence your choices. Don't take their opinion at face value. What are their credentials? What conflicts of interest do they have? If they do not disclose conflicts, then assume that they are manipulating the truth.
Most of all enjoy food. Think about what you need to eat to promote whole health. Don't overindulge, but don't deprive yourself of the bounty of wonderful tastes, either. Use celebrations as occasions to enjoy your favorite foods and try new ones. A teaspoon or two of sugar easily fits into the diet of an active, healthy person. Agave syrup offers an organic low-glycemic choice for those looking for that option.
Resources for this article:
Charley H. Food Science, 2nd Edition. John Wiley & Sons, New York, NY, 1982.
Figlewicz DP et al. Effect of moderate intake of sweeteners on metabolic health in the rat. Physiology and Behavior 98:618-624, 2009
Johnson RK et al. Dietary sugars intake and cardiovascular health: A scientific statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, 2009
Tyler VE. The Honest Herbal, Third Edition. Pharmaceutical Products Press, New York, NY, 1993.
Control Depression And Appetite With 5-HTP
March 05, 2010 12:21 PM
It has become a national obsession to find a quick fix for obesity. In the long run, prescription drugs have not proven to be safe or effective. Additionally, just about all diets fail. There have been some natural supplements that have been found to be both beneficial and safe. One of the most promising of these supplements is griffonia, which is extremely high in 5-hydroxytryptophan, which is also referred to as 5-HTP.
Considerable research has been done on 5-HTP as to its safety and use in weight loss and depression. 5-HTP is made from tryptophan, which is a natural amino acid that is found in foods. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid, meaning that it cannot be produced within the body. Therefore, it must be obtained from food, specifically, proteins. 5-HTP is convereted to an important monomine neurotransmitter called Serotonin within the liver and brain. Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that transmit signals between neurons in the brain. Serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that closes the gap between neurons, is essential for many bodily functions.
It is believed to play a role in both depression and obesity. Unlike Serotonin alone, it can cross the blood-brain barrier. This makes it possible for the brain to manufacture more Serotonin. 5-HTP may actually help to promote the production of Serotonin, which makes more available in the body. Research has determined that increasing amounts of 5-HTP can help deal with weight loss and depression. 5-HTP is made from tryptophan, which is a natural amino acid that is found in foods.
5-HTP may be able to revolutionize the treatment of emotional and physical problems that are related to the lack of Serotonin. This amino acid has been used effectively in Europe for decades. Recent clinical studies that therapeutically administered 5-HTP confirmed that this supplement is effective in treating depression, fibromyalgia, binge eating, chronic headaches, and insomnia.
Recent research determined that a group of women given 5-HTP ate less than those women who were given a placebo. Weight loss through appetite control was linked to the intake of 5-HTP. Women who took 5-HTP over a five week period lost an average of three to four pounds. Other studies on humans have produced the same results. It seems that 5-HTP provides a feeling of fullness, causing women to eat less.
Depression has been linked to low levels of Serotonin. 5-HTP has been shown to improve mood swings and depression by elevating Serotonin levels in the body. One study compared 5-HTP supplementation with the use of Prozac, which works by increasing Serotonin levels in the brain. In both cases, there was fifty percent improvement in depression. However, those who were taking 5-HTP showed a higher tolerance for the treatment and had a lower failure rate.
Those suffering from obesity and depression may be helped by the use of 5-HTP. This natural supplement may be able to help reduce the appetite and improve moods. 5-HTP acts as an alternative to prescription drug therapy, which is well-known for the adverse side effects that it provides. It is important to consult your health care provider before using this, or any other supplement. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by 5-HTP, please feel free to contact a representative from your local or internet health food store.
October 20, 2009 12:02 PM
For thousands of years feverfew has been used for the treatment of various ailments. History is full of references to feverfew. Dioscorides, an ancient Greek herbalist, recommended the use of feverfew almost two thousand years ago, as he valued the herb for childbirth, fevers, melancholy, and congestion of the lungs. It was also suggested for arthritis. In 1772, feverfew was suggested to be used to treat painful headaches. Many people believe that feverfew obtained its name from its use as a remedy for bringing down fevers, but this has been determined to be incorrect. Instead, the name came from the traditional Old English name for feverfew, featherfew. Featherfew came from the feather-shaped leaves of the feverfew plant.
Feverfew has been used for a long time as a natural remedy for pain relief, as it is considered an excellent remedy for migraines. This herb was used to treat any kind of pain and helped with chills and fever. Additionally, it helps in relieving colds, dizziness, tinnitus, and inflammation from arthritis. The herb works gradually and with a gentle action that allows the body to heal itself.
The most popular use of feverfew is in the prevention and relief of migraine headaches. In a study, those given the placebo had an increase in frequency and severity of headaches, nausea, and vomiting. On the other hand, those given the feverfew capsules had no increase in frequency or severity of migraines. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study was done on seventy-two volunteers. One group received capsule dried feverfew leaves, while the other received a placebo. The group taking feverfew showed less severity of attacks and a reduction in symptoms that were associated with migraines, including vomiting. There was a definite improvement in the group using feverfew and no serious side effects resulted. Because some forms of migraines are believed to be associated with abnormal platelet behavior, feverfew may be beneficial as it has been found to help restrain the release of Serotonin from platelets. This prevents a migraine from occurring.
It is thought that feverfew may also be a useful treatment in cases of rheumatoid arthritis. This is because of its ability to inhibit the formation of inflammation-promoting compounds like prostaglandins and leukotriene. This herb seems to have similar properties to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDs), like aspirin. Feverfew may actually be even more effective with a lot fewer potential complications. Some of the studies involving feverfew and migraines have shown that feverfew may also lower blood pressure.
The leaves and flowers of the feverfew plant are used to provide alterative, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, aromatic, bitter, carminative, emmenagogue, febrifuge, nervine, parasiticide, mild purgative, stimulant, and vasodilator properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are iron, niacin, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, silicon, sodium, vitamins A and C, and zinc. Primarily, feverfew is extremely helpful in dealing with chills, colds, fever, headaches, sinus headaches, and inflammation.
Additionally, this herb is very beneficial in treating aches, ague, allergies, anxiety, arthritis, insect bites, poor circulation, dizziness, gastric disorders, nervous headaches, hot flashes, indigestion, and menopausal symptoms, absent menstruation, nervousness, tinnitus, and vertigo. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by feverfew, please contact a representative from your local health food store.
L Tryptophan by Now Foods
August 05, 2009 06:30 PM
L tryptophan is an essential amino acid that plays a number of important roles in human health and nutrition. Its most important function, however, involves the production of Serotonin, a key neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood, energy, and emotions. L tryptophan is also a direct precursor to the production of melatonin, a hormone that is produced in the pituitary gland to help regulate the body’s wake and sleep cycle. Considering that L tryptophan can not be manufactured by the body, it must be obtained through food or dietary supplementation. It is most commonly found in protein-rich foods, including meats, poultry, whole grains, rice, legumes, and dairy products. To help your customers better understand how natural and effective tryptophan is, simply remind them that it’s the same compound in turkey that makes them sleepy after a big thanksgiving meal.
Now 1000mg L tryptophan is a USP pharmaceutical-grade dietary supplement and has been developed to ensure the highest levels of efficacy. Each lot is tested to be free of Peak E, as well as potency and microbial testing. L tryptophan has been used and consumed by millions of individuals throughout the years. It has been shown in numerous studies, including clinical studies, to improve mood and emotional stability, as well as appetite and sleep patterns. Aside from its role in supporting normal cognitive functions, L tryptophan also provides many of the building blocks needed for protein synthesis, and is currently being studied for its role in supporting healthy immune system response.
This product is:
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Inositol And Choline
December 11, 2008 12:19 PM
Inositol is a member of the vitamin B complex family, being referred to as vitamin B8, but is not strictly a vitamin because it is biosynthesized in your body. Vitamins are essential substances that are not manufactured by your natural biochemistry, and must be taken in your diet. However, to all intents and purposes it works like a member of the vitamin B family.
The main function of myo-inositol (the commonest isomer of inositol) is in the health of cell membranes, particularly those that comprise the marrow, eyes, intestines and the brain. Without proper regulation of the cell membrane, the cell cannot function effectively. Some of its effects include healthy hair and controlling estrogen levels. It is also believed to help to reduce cholesterol levels in the blood.
A deficiency will result in hair loss, eczema, increased blood cholesterol levels and eye abnormalities. You might also suffer constipation, although this is not as serious a condition as those preceding. It is present at highest levels in the heart and brain, which indicates where it is mostly used, although it also helps the liver to break down fats and enables the nerves and muscles to operate as they should.
Those that are depressed are frequently found to have low inositol levels in their spinal fluid, so it is believed to play a part in that condition. It is known that the substance takes part in the function of the neurotransmitter Serotonin, which is known to play a part in depression, and initial signs are that its use in the treatment of depression could be effective. Neurotransmitters are responsible for passing messages across the gap (synapses) between nerve cells, their messages being decoded by the neuroreceptors. A healthy nervous system depends on healthy neurotransmitters.
For these reasons, inositol has also been tried on other conditions of the nervous system. These include bipolar disorder, bulimia, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and attention deficit disorder. So far, results have been inconclusive as to its effectiveness, but it is early days yet and field tests are continuing.
A test carried out in Beersheva, Israel, in 1997, found that treatment with inositol produced significant improvement in the depression of 28 patients after four weeks on the Hamilton Depression Scale1, and 21 patients tested with panic disorder (with and without agoraphobia) showed significant improvements in their condition, including agoraphobia. Results on 13 patients with obsessive compulsive disorder also showed significant improvement. These were all double-blind tests.
However, not all tests have been so conclusive, and a study on 42 people with sever depression who did not respond to conventional antidepressant, also failed to respond when inositol was added to their medication.2 Results are therefore not conclusive.
Four hundred people took part in a double-blind test that indicated a possible improvement in the symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome when treated with inositol 3,4 and another that inositol treatment on patients taking lithium could help reduce the symptoms of psoriasis, a skin condition believed to be caused by a reaction of the immune system and nerves.5
The supplement has also been found to be just as effective as Luvox (fluvoxamine – similar to Prozac) after four weeks treatment. Although these results are good, they are inconclusive, and more data is need before any indisputable conclusions can be drawn. However, treatment with inositol might be worth considering if conventional treatment for these conditions has been unsuccessful.
The most common natural form of inositol is myo-inositol, an isomer of cyclohehexanehexol, a carbocyclic polyol that form the structural basis for secondary messengers in the cells of eukaryotes.
A secondary messenger system is one whereby a signaling molecule is released in response to a signal from a primary messenger such as a neuroreceptor, which then activates certain intracellular proteins known as effector proteins that exert a response from the cell. An example is cAMP (cyclic adenosine monophosphate) that is a secondary messenger that activates protein kinases and allows them to phosphorylated proteins.
Eukaryotes are organisms that contain cells composed of complex components contained within a cellular membrane, and that also contain a nucleus. Examples are fungi, plants and all animals. Examples of non eukaryotes include the bacteria family.
It is frequently recommended that inositol is most effective when taken with an equal amount of choline, although this might be due to the fact that when inositol deficiency is detected, choline is also frequently deficient. Both are vitamin B family like, and both are lipotropic, in that they aid the breakdown of fats in the body. It is not clear whether this is true or not, but taking both would certainly not harm you, and might be of great benefit.
Inositol is not essential, because it can be obtained from beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains, cantaloupe, brewer’s yeast, liver and vegetables. Bacteria in the gut also act on the phytic acid (inositol hexaphosphate) contained in citrus fruits to form inositol.
However, be careful if you drink a lot of coffee. It destroys inositol, and if you are taking the supplement medicinally, steer clear of coffee during your period of treatment because it will lose its effect. Excessive coffee drinking can also result in a general depletion of inositol from your diet, and hence a deficiency. In such a case you are advised to take a supplement, preferably along with choline that might also be deficient.
Although there have been no adverse side effects reported, no specific longer term safety studies have been carried out on inositol. Because of the way it works, inositol should be avoided by people with liver or kidney disease, and also by expectant or nursing women. It should be avoided by young children until safety tests have been carried out, and it is believed that it can cause manic effects in those suffering bipolar disorder.
Other than for these specific cases, trials with many times the average daily intake of the substance, it currently appears safe to take inositol as a long-term supplement. However, as with all such supplements intended for specific disorders, you should seek the advice of your physician.
References: 1. Levine J: Ministry of Health Mental Health Center, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben Gurion University of the Negev,Beersheva, Israel ur Neuropsychopharmacol, 1997 May, 7:2, 147-55
2. Nemets B, Mishory A, Levine J, et al. Inositol addition does not improve depression in SSRI treatment failures. J Neural Transm. 1999;106:795-798.
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December 10, 2008 10:48 AM
Hoodia Gordonii is a South African succulent plant of the family Apocynaceae. They are remarkable similar in appearance to cacti, although they are totally unrelated to them and grow predominantly in the region of Central Namibia in the south west of Africa, up to the southern regions of Angola. They are most commonly found in rocky ground and on the plains.
There are several species of hoodia, some of them grown domestically, and it is Hoodia gordonii that is used as an appetite suppressant in hoodia weight loss pills. Although the plant has historically found use in the treatment of infections and gastric problems, most interest is displayed in its use by the bushmen of the Kalahari Desert to suppress their appetite during long hunting trips when food and water are scarce.
The active ingredient was isolated in 1977, and given the name P57: the product is therefore often referred to as Hoodia P57. It was patented by its discoverers, the CSIR (South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research) and a license granted to UK company Phytopram, who worked together with Pfizer to isolate the active ingredients and manufacture them synthetically. This was found to be very difficult, if not impossible, since any synthetic form of the extract failed to display any hunger-suppressant properties.
Finally, the rights to the main ingredient were released by Pfizer in 2002, thus indicating that it was of no commercial benefit to them. The main problem they admitted with synthesizing P57 was not only the difficulty in doing so, but also that there were side effects of the extract on the liver caused by other components that could not be removed. No synthetic form of hoodia is therefore available, and only the natural plant is used in current Hoodia 57 preparations.
The rights of the San Bushmen to the plant were recognized by the CSIR in 2002, and not only do they receive a proportion of the profits of marketing hoodia, but also the plant is protected with wild-harvesting licenses provided to only certain individuals and companies. Due to the rising popularity of the hoodia weight loss industry, the plant has been named as an endangered species in the wild.
It is believed that the active ingredients are steroidal saponins that can fool the body into believing it is full. This theory is based upon the effect on appetite of glucose concentrations in the blood. Your appetite is controlled by the amount of unconverted glucose in your blood, and glycogen in the liver. When you eat carbohydrates, they are digested and converted into glucose which is absorbed into the bloodstream.
Under normal conditions your blood glucose levels increase to a level where a signal from hypothalamus stops you feeling hungry. Insulin is then secreted from the pancreas to prepare your cells to use that glucose in the mitochondria to create energy by means of the Kreb's Cycle, or Citric Acid Cycle as it is also known. This reduces the concentration of glucose in the blood, and once it reaches a certain level the body begins to use its emergency energy supply, glycogen, that is stored in the liver.
A signal then informs the brain that more glucose is needed. You then feel hungry again, and this cycle is repeated several times a day in a normally healthy person. This cycle is controlled by certain hormones in the brain, specifically in the ventromedial center of the hypothalamus, where it is believed that the ATP (adenosine triphosphate) availability controls the release of the hormones involved.
ATP is the molecule of energy, and as the concentration of blood glucose and of glycogen drop, then the amount of ATP produced also drops and this is detected in the hypothalamus, which reacts by releasing ghrelin. Increased leptin increases the feeling of satiety and ghrelin increases the feeling of hunger. Serotonin acts on the brain to increase the effect of leptin in the hypothalamus, and therefore make us feel less hungry, or more satiated.
It is believed that hoodia gordonii, or the Hoodia P57 component of it, fools the brain into believing that your blood glucose or glycogen levels have reached the point at which it should trigger a satiated response, so that you stop eating even though your ATP levels might be low. The steroidal saponins that it contains is believed to be ten thousand times more effective than glucose in stimulated the secretion of Serotonin.
Hoodia has also been found to contain a number of glycosides, including pregnane glycosides that some studies have indicated to help control appetite of the subjects tested. Most of these tests have been carried out on animals, although Hoodia weight loss preparations are offered in a form standardized on both steroidal saponins and pregnane glycosides.
Hoodia gordonii is becoming so popular as a weight loss product that its export is being monitored by the South African government. It has become so endangered that, since 2005, only hoodia grown on commercial farms is permitted an export license, and exporters must obtain a license from the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Importers also require a permit from the US department of Agriculture, and a CITES certificate is also needed to re-export the finished product.
Because of this, more hoodia weight loss pills are being sold than there is hoodia gordonii to produce them. It is not uncommon for cacti such as the prickly pear cactus from Mexico, to be used, or for low concentrations of hoodia to be bulked up with fillers. Neither of these is of any use as an appetite suppressant, the former having no active ingredients whatsoever and the latter containing only traces.
If you are purchasing hoodia, therefore, be aware of this. Request sight of the CITES certificate and USDA permit, and also the analysis results by an authorized laboratory to confirm that the product is what it purports to be. Otherwise, there is some evidence that Hoodia gordonii can help you reduce weight, although to date there are only four recognized analytical laboratories registered to analyze the active content of hoodia weight loss products.
Finally, check for the analysis certificates. All Hoodia weight loss products should be analyzed by each of three methods: Microscopy, High Performance Thin Layer Chromatography (HPTLC) and High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) - all there are needed. The four authorized laboratories are: the University of Mississippi, Chromadex labs in Irvine California, Alkemist Pharmaceuticals and Advanced Laboratories, Smithfield, NC.
No others will do, so if your Hoodia weight loss preparation has not been analyzed using the three methods by one of these laboratories, don't buy it, even if it can show the CITES and USDA documentation.