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November 24, 2012 10:28 AM
History of Green Tea.
Green tea originated in China and it has been used as a beverage and for medicinal reasons in China and most of Asia. In Asia besides China, green tea is common in Japan, Korea, Vietnam and Thailand. The book written by 'Lu Yu' from the Tang Dynasty in China is to date considered as the most important book in the history of Green tea. The book is called the " Cha Jing" or "Tea Classic". It was written between 600 and 900 AD.
The book details the medicinal qualities of green tea which include, Easing effects on alcohol, curing blotchiness, acting as a stimulant, quenching thirst, curing the beriberi disease, eliminating indigestion, improving the brain and urinary functions and also preventing fatigue. Green tea was used in Asia to help in almost everything, that is from, helping to heal wounds and bleeding to regulating the body temperatures and blood sugars. It was even used to promote digestion.
Recently, green tea has become popular in the west where Black tea was mainly consumed. Green tea today is being used as a raw material for extracts mostly used in beverages, dietary supplements, healthy foods and even in cosmetic items. Green tea varies in varieties depending on the country its grown, the growing conditions, the desired type of green tea, the production process and the harvesting time.
How its made.
The general process of making a cup of green tea entails, using 2 grams of green tea leaves for 100ml of water or rather, a teaspoon of green tea leaves per a 5 ounce cup of water. When making green tea, the hottest temperature for the water should be between 81 degrees and 87 degrees and the lowest temperature should be between 61 degrees and 69 degrees. Low quality green leaves will mostly require more heating or steeping time than high quality tea leaves, however if you steep or heat for too long it may result in a bitter taste regardless of the quality of the tea leaves.
Benefits Of Green Tea.
Green tea contains a variety of amino acids, carbohydrates, enzymes, vitamins, sterols, lipids,carotenoids, polyphenols, tecopherols and caffeine among others. In a 2012 scientific study, it was concluded that green tea actually does help in reducing certain types of cancer like prostate cancer, breast cancer, ovarian cancer and endometrial cancer. the study concluded that a compound contained in green tea not only inhibits the growth of cancer cells but also kills then without causing harm to the healthy body cells. A study in the university of Geneva in Switzerland found out that people who drank caffeinated green tea lost more calories than those who drank regular tea which means it can be of great help to dieters.
Drinking green tea also helps lower the Total levels of cholesterol and improve the ratio of HDL cholesterol (Good) to the LDL cholesterol (Bad). A Dutch study has shown that the more one consumes green tea the less severe the clogging of the heart's blood vessels especially in women. The green tea antioxidants help improve the flexibility of the blood vessels thus making them less vulnerable to clogging. Other studies have shown that green tea can also help prevent tooth decay since it has the ability to destroy bacteria.
Herbs that Support Healthy Vision
May 21, 2012 08:02 AM
The overall health of the eyes is essential to help retain a healthy vision and vision is considered to be one of the greatest assets of the Total body health. Healthy vision is important to lead a good life. As the whole body needs exercise, eyes also need exercise regularly. To maintain optimum vision health it is necessary to provide proper nutrients to the eyes. Natural herbs help prevent vision loss and antioxidants are good for aging eyes.
Here are a few herbs that support a healthy vision:
Eyebright (Euphrasia Officinalis)
Eyebright grows wild throughout Bulgaria, Hungary and the Balkans. This herb is grown in Europe for commercial purposes. Eyebright is rich in vitamins A, B, C, D and E, iridoid glycosides, flavonoids and tannins. This herb is used to fro relieving eye problems such as eye strain, pink eye and inflamed, sore and irritated eyes. The common name, "Eyebright," is derived from its use as a nutritional support to the eyes. Eyebright is used in making external poultices, teas, tinctures, fluid extracts and the whole herb is used for dietary use.
Bilberry is a close cousin to blueberry and has been widely used in Europe for eye health. Bilberry is the world's most famous herb that supports healthy vision. Bilberry helps blood to flow easily to the eye nerves. It has an antioxidant called anthocyanins, which protects the delicate eye tissues and protects the eye from the harmful UV rays from the sun. The other nutrients present in bilberry nourish the eye for a clear vision and light adjustment.
Goji berries contain anthocyanins, the antioxidants which help prevent age related damage and improves blood flow in the eyes.
Wolfberry is a Chinese herb with potent medicinal properties to strengthen the eyesight. Wolfberry has been in use in China, for centuries, to protect the eye and to promote good vision.
Red Raspberry is a native European herb that is used to treat sore eyes. Their leaves are rich in vitamin C and are high in tannin content. This herb is used as eyewash for discharge.
Grape seed is an important source of nature's most potent antioxidants - proanthocyanidins that are anti-inflammatory, antihistamine and antiallergenic, and they also act as free radical scavengers. Grape seeds helps vitamin C enter the body cells.
Chrysanthemum flowers help reduce pressure build-up in the eye. Steep chrysanthemum flowers in hot water, drink the beverage or use it to wash eyes in eye-wash cups.
Peppermint is an antioxidant which can clear vision.
Ginkgo Biloba improves blood flow in the eyes. People with diabetes will have blood circulation problems and increased blood clotting tendencies. The small clots in the retinal area of the eye leads to poor vision. Ginkgo Biloba reduces the blood clots, increases blood flow and makes the red blood cells more flexible. The flexible red blood cells squeeze through the tiny blood vessels and help to carry more oxygen to tissues and cells.
Herbal treatment for a healthy vision is the best natural way to improve eyesight.
What Is Glutathione Good For?
April 14, 2012 08:03 AM
What is Glutathione?
Glutathione (GSH)is a tripeptide derived from non-proteinaceous amino acids. Contains apeptide bond between the group unusual amino of the cysteine group and the carboxylside chain of glutamate. Glutathione, an antioxidant, helps protect cells from reactive species of oxygen such as free radicals and peroxides. Glutathione is nucleophilic at sulfuracceptors and conjugated electrophilic attack poisonous. Groups thiolare maintained in a reduced state to a concentration of about ~ 5 mM in animal cells. Indeed, glutathione reduces any link disulfideformed with in proteins cytoplasmic cysteines by acting as a donor of electrons.In the process, glutathione is converted to its oxidized form glutathione disulfide (GSSG). Glutathione is found almost exclusively in its reduced form, since the enzyme that turns its oxidized form, glutathione reductase,is constitutively active and inducible to oxidative stress.In fact, the ratio of reduced glutathione to oxidized glutathione in cells is often used scientifically as a measure of cellular toxicity. H2O2+ GSSG + 2 ------- 2GSH H2O.
Advantages of the Glutathione
Before discussing the benefits of L-Glutathione, let's first talk a little about the nutrient. Glutathione is an antioxidant enzyme dominant which is soluble in water.It is absorbed mainly in the liver.It helps fight against free radical damage.The free radical damage is harmful relatives. Glutathione is involved in a variety of other functions in the body.
The function of Glutathione - Benefits of Glutathione
Glutathione works in DNA synthesis and repair, protein and prostaglandin synthesis, and amino acid transport.It helps in the metabolism of carcinogens and toxins.Immune system is improved through the use of Glutathione, and contributes to the prevention of cellular oxidative damage, and activation of enzymes. Glutathione also helps and maintains the functions of other antioxidants.
There is the possibility of a deficiency of glutathione. It usually occurs during aging.For example, it is seen in macular degeneration related to age, diabetes, and lung and gastrointestinal diseases. It may be the cause of pre-eclampsia, Parkinson's, AIDS and other neurodegenerative diseases.
Where to get Glutathione
Some sources of glutathione include fruits such as tomatoes, watermelon, grapefruit, oranges, peaches and cantaloupe.It is found in vegetables such as avocados, potatoes, spinach, okra, acorn squash, and asparagus.It is found in most meats as well. Other sources of vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, parsley, and not only provide GSH - glutathione peroxidase, but it also stimulates the body to make more BA.Since cooking destroys much of glutathione, you will get more to eat raw or steamed vegetables for the best benefits of Glutathione.
Reduced glutathione is in a supplementation that we personally use a company called source naturals a Natural Product meeting the above requirements.The nutrient content in their signature product - Total Balance.
What Makes Neptune Krill Oil So Good For Your Health?
March 24, 2012 05:32 PM
Neptune Krill Oil
Neptune Krill Oil is a dietary supplement that is made from the a species of Krill, a small crustacean that is quite similar to a shrimp. Neptune krill oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These krills are supposed to be the largest biomass in the world and are found in the Antartic and North Pacific Oceans. While these shrimp like creatures are small in size, there is an estimate of 500mn tons of krill in the ocean. Neptune Technology has the patent for krill oil extraction and hence the krill oil that is found as supplement comes from Neptune Technologies only. As Krill form important part of the food chain, especially in the Antartic region, there have been many krill farms being setup for harvesting of krill.
Krill oil has many health benefits and is used as a dietary supplement as it contains important nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids similar to those found in fish oil, omega-3 fatty acids conjugated to phospholipids and astaxanthin. Lets us see what benefits of Neptune krill oil are:
Blood Sugar and Hyperlipidemia: Recent studies have shown the beneficial effects of krill oil in lowering blood sugar levels and Totalcholesterol. Neptune Krill oil helps in lowering bad cholesterol (LDL), blood sugar, triglycerides and Total cholesterol:HDL ratio. Hence it keeps your heart healthy and fit.
Premenstrual Syndrome: Neptune Krill oil is an effective and natural way to manage the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. It not just gives relief from the physical symptoms such as bloating, breast tenderness and fatigue, but also helps in controlling the emotional symptoms (irritability, stress and depression) experienced by many women during their menses.
Inflammation relief: Studies have indicated that daily intake of krill oil helps in improving the joint health and thus helps in reducing inflammation and pain of arthritis.
Reduces risk of Cancer: Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-carcinogenic properties. Consumption of Neptune krill oil could reduce the risk of cancer. Studies have even shown that krill oil helps slowing down the growth of cancerous tumors.
Fish oil versus Krill oil: Which one is better?
Fish oil vs Krill oil is the most common debate that is becoming popular among health enthusiasts. This is because both Fish oil and Krill oil are the daily nutritious supplements that are loaded with potential health benefits. In essence, both of these oils share same characteristics in terms of their composition and their properties but still the comparisons between these two healthy oils continue. Let us discuss the pros and cons of fish oil vs krill oil and compare different parameters to decide it by ourselves, which one is better?
1. Krill oil contains higher amounts of anti-oxidants (astaxanthin) that are quite beneficial for health while many manufacturers add anti-oxidants from outside in fish oil.
2. Both the oils are rich source of omega 3 fatty acids, but fish oil contains high concentration of harmful metals that can cause unwanted side-effects if consumed.
3. Fish oil is made commercially from farm raised fish, which lacks useful nutrients, whereas krill oil is made from the pristine waters of Antarctica.
Krill oil is nature's rich source of important nutrients. Neptune krill oil is a vital supplement that has many health benefits.
The Benefits of the Amazing Duo of CoQ10 and Red Yeast Rice
March 11, 2012 03:08 PM
What Is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a substance produced by the liver that provides a number of benefits to the body. A problem occurs when the level of blood LDL or bad cholesterol goes beyond a normal level. High level of bad cholesterol in the body can inflict damage to the arteries during the process of oxidation which can lead to the heavy accumulation of stiffened fats and deposits in the walls of the arteries. This can constrict the arteries that eventually lead to a minimal flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart and brain. Inadequate supply of blood to the heart and brain can trigger heart attack and stroke. When the kidney perceives an inadequacy in the supply of blood to the brain and heart, it produces substances that help in increasing the supply of blood to these organs. However, in effect, it also increases blood pressure.
Many serious health complications emanate from abnormally high levels of bad cholesterol or low density lipoprotein (LDL) in the body. As people get older, their awareness about maintaining an optimum level of cholesterol should increase significantly. Undeniably, cardiovascular diseases that are triggered by high levels of cholesterol in the body have been one of the major causes of death worldwide.
Red Yeast Rice
Intake of red yeast rice is considered to be one of the most effective alternative ways to lower the level of cholesterol in the body. It is produced by fermenting a certain type of red yeast that is poured over the rice. Researchers believed that red yeast rice contains high levels of substance lovastatin that inhibits the production of enzyme HMG-CoA reductase which is responsible in regulating the production of cholesterol in the body. Red yeast rice actually contains sufficient amount of monacolin K and 8 more monacolin substances that are work like statin drugs in reducing the level of cholesterol. Basically, the substances prevent the liver from producing alarming level of bad cholesterol.
Lowering Effects of LDL
Red yeast rice is a great alternative choice for patients who are searching for non-prescription ways of lowering their cholesterol. A clinical study shows that red yeast rice can significantly lower the level of cholesterol in the body by as much as 20% without exposing the victim to the risk of suffering from muscle pain. Another study reveals that after taking 1800mg of RYR daily for 12 weeks, the users' bad cholesterol level have significantly drop by 27%.
Red yeast rice is actually an FDA-recognized dietary supplement. It is renowned for its capacity to work similar to a statin drug that effectively drives the body to achieve an optimum level of cholesterol. A number of scientific studies revealed that intake of red yeast rice can significantly lower the levels of bad cholesterol and triglycerides in the body. Furthermore, studies show that continuous intake of red yeast rice can contribute a lot in improving the amount of Total cholesterol.
Together with red yeast rice, CoQ10 make an amazing duo in lowering the level of bad cholesterol in the body and promote overall cardiovascular health. Intake of CoQ10 is highly recommended to people who take red yeast rice because CoQ10 provides energy and strength to the heart when pumping blood to other organs. When used together, CoQ10 and red yeast rice can increase the transfer of oxygen and energy between the cells and the blood which leads to a significant reduction in the level of cholesterol produced.
Why Involving Lutein In Your Diet Is Important
February 29, 2012 07:39 AM
Why Involving Lutein In Your Diet Is Important
The sense ofsight is very important because it allows us to see things and appreciate its beauty and we have our eyes to thank for that. Our eyes are being used every waking second of our lives so that we can see the world around us and be able to do things that we want to do. But the sad thing is that our eyes just like any other organ in our bodies get damaged if we do not take care of it properly. There are a lot of people who have regret their terrible sense of sight because of not taking care of it properly while others regret Totally losing their sight. There are plenty of ways to take care of your eyesight and one of the most important things to do is to eat food that has the nutrient lutein.
Where is lutein found?
Lutein is a carotenoid that is normally found in fruits, vegetables or anything that comes from plants. It is normally seen as a yellow discoloration but there are times when a vegetable has so much lutein that it ends up having the color orange. Xantophyll where lutein is found was first thought to be a side effect of plants not having enough chlorophyll but further studies suggests that xantophyll has its own purpose and it is used to protect plants from the harsh blue light that comes from the sun. The sun releases a spectrum of light and among this entire light spectrum, the blue light has the most energy and it can damage the plants and it is the job of the xantophyll to absorb the blue light to prevent damage.
What Does Lutein Do?
When lutein is taken is ingested by a person, the lutein makes its way to the macula lutea of the eye. This is the main reason why the color of the macula is yellowish. The job of the macula is to absorb the blue and ultraviolet light that comes from the sun to prevent eye damage. When there is a lack of lutein, the macula is not able to absorb as much blue light which allows the blue light to reach the retina. This leads to damage on the retina which can lead to having impaired vision.
Food Sources Of Lutein
Lutein can be found in the most common fruits and vegetables that you find in the market today. One of the best sources of lutein is carrots which can only that what your parents said about carrots being good for your eyes are true. Other vegetables where lutein can be found include spinach, squash, corn, broccoli and other green vegetables. In fruits, lutein can be found from the citrus family and this includes oranges, grapefruit, lemons and some fruits from different families like peaches and papaya. There is one animal source of lutein and they are found in egg yolks. The only down side of egg yolks is the fact that it contains a lot of cholesterol which is bad for the body. Make sure you have enough lutein to protect the condition of your eyes.
Guggul: An effective remedy to lower cholesterol levels in the body
February 22, 2012 11:34 PM
Guggul is a popular herb in Indian Ayurvedic medicine that is used to treat several ailments. Due to its miraculous healing properties, it has been used for centuries in India to treat a range of health conditions. Recently many clinical studies have been carried out to find out the potential health benefits of herb guggul. Research has shown that guggul helps in lowering Total body cholesterol, especially the bad ones-LDL and triglycerides. Before we move on to find the positive effects of guggul on heart and cholesterol levels, let us find out the more about this wonder herb.
Botanically known as Commiphora mukul, guggul is a small shrub reaching up to a height of 4-6 ft. It is found in Central Asia, more common in India. It possess red colored flowers, thorns on branches and oval pulpy fruits. Guggul is prepared from the gum resin that is excreted by the bark of the plant. It contains phytosterols named guggusterones, aromatic acids, steroids, sterols, lignans, fatty acids, organic acids and diterpenes. According to Indian traditional system of medicine, Ayurveda, guggul contains hot potency which helps in treating diseases caused by vata dosha prominence. It treats coating and obstruction of channels that helps in treating and preventing atherosclerosis and other medical conditions caused due to high levels of lipids in the body. Raw guggul exudate is not safe and it is always used after purification in milk.
How does the herb guggul help maintain good cholesterol levels?
The exact mechanism by which guggul lowers cholesterol levels is still not understood, but many theories have been proposed.
1. Guggul works by blocking the synthesis of cholesterol in the liver. Hence liver does not release excess LDL or bad cholesterol in the blood, thereby reducing the risk of many heart diseases.
2. According to studies, guggul has an impact on the functioning of throid gland and production of bile acids in the body, both of which play an important role in the metabolism of cholesterol.
3. Studies have indicated the role of guggul in preventing oxidation of cholesterol. Oxidation of LDL cholesterol leads to formation of plaques in blood vessels and causes Atherogenesis. The antioxidant action of guggul inhibits cholesterol oxidation and reduces the risk of Atherosclerosis.
The cholesterol lowering properties and antioxidant action make guggul a beneficial Anti-Atherogenesis agent. It can lower cholesterol levels by 14-17 percent and reduce triglycerides by 22-30 percent.
Guggul and heart benefits:
Guggul helps in promoting overall cardiovascular health. It reduces the adhesion of platelets and this reduces the rick of cardiovascular diseases. Studies have shown that Guggul when taken along with Inula racemosa helps in reducing chest pain and dyspnea associated with angina. It has potential cardi-protective benefits that keep your heart health. It helps in lowering blood sugar level and treating any inflammatory heart condition.
Health supplements are prepared from the extract of this highly beneficial plant. Consult your health provider before you start taking guggul supplements. When taken in recommended doses, guggul helps you keep your heart healthy and fit so that you can live a healthy life.
What Liver Blend Does For You
November 26, 2011 03:43 PM
Liver blend is a powerful combination of herbs that help maintain the health of your liver, help to restore it when it has been damaged by alcohols and pharmaceuticals such as acetominophen (paracetamol and Tylenol) and also detox your body, purifying the blood before it reaches the liver. Your liver is an extremely important major organ, being responsible not only for metabolizing toxins and drugs, but is also your body's chemical processing plant, manufacturing enzymes and the bile needed for effective digestion.
Liver Blend not only supports your liver, but also your gall bladder that is used to store bile and release it into the duodenum as part of your digestive process when necessary. By maintaining a healthy liver and gall bladder, and restoring the liver when damaged, Liver Blend helps you maintain a healthy digestive system and remain healthy yourself.
It is also a diuretic that promotes the urination that washes away many of the toxins that pass through the kidneys, and in so doing helps to keep your kidneys healthy. A useful side-effect is its support for your endocrine system, so in Total, Liver Blends supports the liver, gall bladder and kidneys and also helps to maintain a healthy hormone system - in Total, an amazing combination of healthful properties for an amazing mixture of natural herbs.
Liver Blend as a Powerful Diuretic
In addition to offering a powerful synergistic blend of substances that help detoxify your liver and protect is from damage caused by pharmaceuticals and alcohol, Liver Blend can also help your liver to regenerate and build new cells to replace those damaged by toxins. It is therefore both protective to your liver and regenerative. However, it also possesses powerful diuretic properties, largely through its flavonoid content, such as those present in the bitter oils contained in dandelion.
Burdock, too, is highly diuretic, and dandelion and burdock are frequently used together to help promote the urination that flushes toxins from your body and purifies your blood and your liver. Not only that, but dandelion contains large quantities of potassium, a mineral that can be depleted in the kidneys as they rid your body of toxins. This is restored by the dandelion in Liver Blend. Diuretics are important components of any detox program, and also essential in maintaining liver health, and Liver Blend provides a powerful mix of diuretics in the dandelion and burdock it contains.
What does GABA Do in the Brain?
November 02, 2011 07:41 AM
GABA or Gamma Amino Butyric Acid is a neurotransmitter of the brain. It is considered to be the main inhibitory brain chemical among mammals. In ordinary terms, it significantly regulates the firing of impulses by the neurons. This chemical is naturally produced by the brain and generally acts as a balancer together with other neurotransmitters. This neurotransmitter has a key role in the regulation of nerve excitability all throughout the nervous system. It effectively maintains the equilibrium of the body and the brain in excitation status. Chemically speaking, GABA is classified as an amino acid. However, GABA is not a building block of protein like the other amino acids. This is the reason why in the medical field, GABA is rarely considered as an amino acid.
Moreover, GABA is the prime brain chemical responsible for the regulation of muscle tone among humans. In a disorder called Spastic Diplegia, the absorption of GABA into the muscles is weakened because of damage nervous tissues and cells. This would significantly lead to hypertonic muscles in which the muscles will experience spasms and can not anymore recognize and process the neurotransmitter GABA. On the other hand, GABA in insects acts as both inhibitory and excitatory neurotransmitter.
As mentioned above, GABA is an inhibitory neurochemical. It functions at the inhibitory synapses of the brain by attaching to receptor sites in the plasma membrane of both pre – and post – synaptic nerves. Once GABA has bind with the receptor sites, it will cause the ion channels to open and permit either the entry of chloride ion which has a negative charge or exit of potassium ion which has a positive charge. Potassium is the main electrolyte inside the cell. This opening of ion channels will then cause the cell to be either hyperpolarized or re – polarized.
During brain development, GABA also plays a significant role. It significantly controls the proliferation of brain progenitor cells and development of synapses as well as the differentiation and maturation of neurites. Furthermore, GABA is also responsible for the growth and development of embryonic and nerve stem cells. It also activates GABA receptors which lead to the halting of cell cycling in the S – phase. As a result, this will limit the growth of cell thus preventing abnormal growth and even malignancies.
If GABA is in inadequate level, muscle tone is disturbed making it always tensed and the mind will keep on working and working because there is no brain chemical to stop it. Therefore, GABA must be importantly maintained within normal limits.
GABA is naturally produced by nerve cells. However, GABA supplement is now available so that adequate amount of such brain chemical will be administered to the body as needed. GABA supplements can enhance the sleep onset and quality. It can also provide a relaxing feeling and reduce stress and muscle over – activity. Other theories also state that it can regulate mood and behavior thus promoting the Total well – being of the person. Ongoing studies are being conducted to show more evidence on GABA’s effect with Human Growth Hormones.
Coconut Oil Help Sugar Cravings?
October 05, 2011 01:00 PM
Craving for sugary foods is a form of refined sugar addiction. For you to Totally end your addiction towards sugar, you need to eat healthy foods to keep you well nourished hence, you will no longer feel the necessity of the stimulating effect of refined sugar. Engaging in to various ways and means to cut your cravings for refined sugar is very necessary to protect yourself from various disease conditions that are associated with too much intake of glucose like diabetes mellitus. Diabetes mellitus is one condition that affects many people across the globe. Since this condition can lead to more serious health ailments there is a great need for us to stop the root cause of diabetes which is too much intake of sugar-rich foods. Here are some useful ways that you may consider that can help you put an end your cravings for foods that are excessively sweet hence, will make you more vigorous and healthy.
Fats that are considered healthy like unrefined coconut oil is very beneficial in helping you regulate your blood sugar levels. The essential fats that unrefined coconut oil contains can enhance vitamin and mineral absorption and at the same time decrease the rate of carbohydrate absorption. Several studies can already prove the capacity of unrefined coconut oil as a remedy for hypoglycemia and sugar addiction. Coconut oil is also vital for those people who often encounter problems with regards to fat digestion.
Eat as much fruit as you can
Eating fresh fruits as well as consuming fruit derivatives (dried fruits, smoothies, and fruit juices) on a regular basis is very helpful in keeping you healthy. Compared to refined sugar, fresh fruits contains abundant amount of vitamins and minerals that would guard your body from incurring diseases that will impede you from doing the things that you like to do. What makes fruit and natural fruit products even better is the fact that it does not contain any addictive properties that are present in refined sugar.
Prevent blood sugar fluctuations
If you want to cut down your cravings for foods that have high sugar content, you should learn how to control your blood sugar levels within normal boundaries. When the blood sugar level of your body is too low (hypoglycemia) the body tends to compensate by increasing cravings for sugar. If you do not want to experience such feeling, then you have to make sure that you do not skip any meals. Small frequent meals are also very helpful so as regular exercise.
Try super foods
Super foods are foods that contain liberal amounts of vitamins and minerals that are all necessary in keeping your body lean and healthy. These kinds of foods are also necessary in controlling unreasonable cravings. Here is a list of the most common super foods that you can readily avail in the market today: mangosteen, wheatgrass juice, seaweed, and acai.
Controlling your cravings for unrefined sugar is very important to prevent yourself from developing disease conditions brought about by too much consumption of sugary foods. So live healthily and enjoy life to the fullest!
What Are Some Interesting Calcium Facts?
October 01, 2011 11:13 AM
Do you know what contains your teeth and bones?
Have you ever wondered what makes your muscles move, your body respond to stimulus and your heart beat?
If yes, then you might need to explore some of these wonders of the body. As we know for a fact, the body is composed of thousand of cells that need substances such as nutrients for its biological processes and survival. One of these nutrients is the mineral called Calcium which is one of the main chemical substances that make those mentioned above possible.
Calcium is considered to be the most in terms of quantity among all the other minerals inside the body. It is needed for the contraction of muscles so that movement will be achievable. It also influences the constriction and dilation of blood vessels thus helping in the regulation of blood pressure. Aside from its effect on the muscles and blood vessels, calcium also affects the nerves and plays a significant role in the transmission of nerve impulses so that appropriate response to external stimulus will be possible.
Moreover, as an ion, calcium is also required in the process of intracellular signaling and is an important chemical for hormone secretion. Physiologically, the calcium level in the blood to support these functions is only less than 1 % of the Total calcium inside the body. Almost 99 % of the body’s calcium is stored in the bones and teeth for structural and functional support, as well as calcium reservoir. If the blood level of calcium decreases, the bones will be demineralized and calcium will be released into the blood stream, thus, normalizing serum calcium level.
Even if the body has reached its maximum growth, the bones will continually undertake remodeling. This process involves regular resorption and deposition of calcium minerals into the new bone. Bone remodeling varies from person to person depending on the individual’s age. Bone mineralization or formation exceeds bone demineralization during the growing years of puberty and adolescence.
On the other hand, during early and middle adulthood bone deposition and resorption are usually balanced. Furthermore, women on their post menopausal age exceed bone mineralization or formation. Their bodies constantly extract calcium from bones to compensate blood levels of calcium. This is one of the reasons why post menopausal women have a higher risk of osteoporosis. Therefore, recommended dosage for calcium is higher for women at 50 years and older and men at 70 years and older.
Another interesting fact about Calcium is that it requires Vitamin D which is also a nutrient that can be naturally produced by the body and can also be supplied by the diet. On the other hand, foods which can lessen the absorption rate of calcium are the foods which are high in oxalic acid and phytic acid. Examples of foods rich in oxalic acid are spinach, sweet potatoes and beans, while those that contains high phytic acid are wheat bran (not wheat products), seeds, nuts and soy. Caffeine, alcoholic beverages, phosphorus, sodium and proteins can decrease the absorption of calcium, thus increasing elimination through the urine, feces and sweat.
What Causes Glycine Malabsorption?
September 09, 2011 04:33 PM
Glycine is known to be the smallest amino acid in the human body and it is present in both water and fatty based environments. This has been one of the most researched amino acid to date and most results indicate that it has an important role in normal bodily function maintenance. It has the ability to supply collagen to the human body as one of its main functions. Studies have also found that glycine is also used to build both fibrous and muscle tissues which is why it has been used as a treatment for degenerative diseases. Aside from this main function glycine also plays such a wide range of roles in other bodily functions as it is playing a part in numerous system processes, from aiding in blood sugar conversion to affecting the nervous system it truly has made itself essential to the body.
That is why any malabsorption or lowering of glycine levels in the body can cause harmful and detrimental effects in any person’s well being. Furthermore, it also has been proven in many studies that glycine has an antioxidant effect which aids in the body’s war against free radicals. In recent years there has been an increase in the popularity of glycine, so much so that some food products have been fortified with it just to up their value in the consumer’s eyes as they know that America is getting more and more health conscious as the days go by. Since the body is capable of producing this substance it is considered as a non essential amino acid. It is seldom that the body will Totally run out of this substance however lowered levels due to various reasons are absolutely possible. Which brings me back to how is malabsorption of Glycine caused.
Glucose and Galactose Presence
Studies have been done to show how glycine absorption can be impaired and what they were able to find out is that there is a competition between forms of sugar like glucose and galactose and glycine for intestinal transport. The results show that there was a decrease in absorption of both substances whenever the other is present. For glycine the drop in absorption was over 50 percent and for the sugars there was also significant decrease in uptake and absorption. What this entails in the real world is that regions with high carbohydrate diets maybe affected and may have cases of Glycine absorption impairment more so than other regions with lower carbohydrate diets however this is not taking into account any gastrointestinal damage that may also affect glycine absorption.
In cases that a person has gone through surgery they may suffer from Glycine malabsorption, this is not something to be that worried about as anesthesia is not consistently present in the body and realistically very few individuals have surgery often and surgery that requires anesthesia I might add. Studies have shown that local anesthesia is the one that is more harmful to glycine absorption compared to general anesthesia.
If you have a glycine malabsorption problem, supplementing with the amino acid will help restore these low levels. Grab some glycine and feel the difference it can make in your energy.
What Makes a Good Probiotic Supplement?
August 09, 2011 01:27 PM
Probiotics refer to a group of microorganisms that help maintain homeostasis in the digestive tract and even produce vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Nutrition experts have long recommended the consumptions of friendly bacteria as they curb the populations of harmful pathogens in the gut. More importantly, studies have shown that they contribute to the prevention of gastrointestinal disorders.
Scientists have identified a diverse variety of bacteria and yeasts that work as microbes. Bacteria that manufacture lactic acid are the most commonly used probiotics in the food and drug industries. They comprise a large number of Gram positive and acid tolerant bacteria that are generally recognized as safe. Most of the species are utilized in the production of yogurt in addition to nutritional supplements.
Multi-strain probiotic supplements are deemed better, though most products contain only one strain of bacteria. Nonetheless, they all work on the same principle. Apart from the fact that they produce lactic acid, almost all strains available in the market possess the enzymes responsible for the synthesis of lactase. Hence, probiotics give special benefits to individuals suffering from lactose intolerance.
Lactobacillus is the genus of bacteria best known as probiotics. They are the most extensively studied of all microorganisms identified to be beneficial for human beings. It is an established fact that they provide a steady supply of nutrients. Their fermentation activity in the gut enables them to synthesize vitamin K and other organic compounds that promote healthy metabolism and lower blood lipid levels.
Some strains prevent constipation, diarrhea, indigestion, and many other disorders of the digestive tract. For one, probiotics are capable of digesting complex carbohydrates that usually pass the small intestines largely unchanged. These compounds are beneficial for blood sugar. The by-products add bulk to stool, speed up the passage of fecal matter in the colon, and promote regular bowel movement.
There are strains that release natural antibiotics called bacteriocin. These compounds either directly kill pathogenic microbes present in the gut or suppress protein synthesis necessary for their survival. By so doing, probiotics curtail population growth of harmful bacteria that are often incriminated in the disease activity of ulcerations in the alimentary canal and complications of inflammatory illnesses.
Due to the fact that each strain provides unique benefits to health, it is best to choose a probiotic supplement that contains several strains of friendly bacteria. It is also important to read on the Total bacterial count the product promises to deliver. Medical professionals caution the supplementation of probiotics with very high amounts of bacteria as they may disrupt the natural pH in the digestive tract.
Probiotic supplements that require refrigeration are usually not shelf-stable, and thus its quality is likely to get compromised during shipment. There are products that use sustained release technology and formulated to withstand the acidic environment of the stomach. Experts believe that releasing probiotics in the intestines helps as friendly bacteria take up residence in the gut.
Using SAMe for Depression
June 04, 2011 10:15 AM
SAMe, or S-adenosyl-L-methionine, has been promoted for the treatment of depression and various physical conditions. It is believed to help improve the feeling of well-being and mood, and its use in treating depression is likely connected with that. Several studies have been carried out, administering SAMe both orally and parenterally with promising results. Some that use it believe it more effective than the more common antidepressants, and unlike most of these it has very few side effects and a very quick onset of action: around 2 weeks in comparison to a month for most others.
A typical study of the many carried out involved 30 subjects taking regular antidepressants but still suffering depression. They were given 0.8 grams SAMe for 2 weeks and then 1.6 grams for 4 weeks. Improvement was obtained in 50% cases and complete remission of symptoms in a Total of 43% of the subjects. In another test on 28 subjects, the improvement equaled that of prescription antidepressant drugs.
These significant findings render this over the counter supplement (in the USA) worth taking for anybody that has either no effective help from their regular treatment, or would prefer to try a natural biochemical than a synthetic drug for their condition. You are recommended to refer to your doctor, however, if you intend changing your treatment.
What is Myrrh and How Does it Boost My Health
April 25, 2011 04:22 PM
Myrrh And Your Health
Myrrh is one of the oldest herbal remedies in the East and the West. It had a strong presence in many religious traditions of the ancient world. It was even compared to gold in value at some time in history. Early physicians noted its antibacterial properties and added it to poultices and health tonics. Modern medicine has started to look into its medicinal potential in lowering cholesterol and blood sugar.
Inhibits Pain Chemicals
Myrrh is obtained from the plant species Commiphora myrrha, though there are other related species that produce the same resinous gum. It is native to the Levant and the surrounding regions. As its use were quite common during the ancient times, it spread to eastern countries, eventually reaching India and China, where it remains an important part of folk medicine practices to this day.
In addition to its pleasant aroma, myrrh was prized for its antiseptic and analgesic properties in the old days. It was one of the ingredients used by ancient Egyptians in the mummification of their dead. Throughout the centuries, myrrh has been used primarily as a perfume or wound salve. It has a soothing effect on lesions of body surfaces that seem to remove the perception of pain.
Improves Insulin Resistance
Earlier studies have noted the benefits of myrrh to patients suffering from diabetes, drawing on its uses in Ayurvedic and Unani medicine. In India, physicians that practice both conventional and Ayurvedic medicine have ascribed certain species of myrrh with properties that remove disorders of the circulatory system, notably high blood sugar. Myrrh decoctions are the usual herbal preparations, but it is also available as liniments, balms, salves, tinctures, and incense.
In one laboratory study, myrrh extracts appear to lower serum glucose levels. It is postulated that it ameliorates symptoms of metabolic syndrome by enhancing the effects of the hormone insulin. It increases the sensitivity of cells to insulin, even promoting faster glucose metabolism. In the Middle East, it is one of the mainstays of treatment for diabetes type 2.
Reduces Total Lipid Levels
Myrrh has been the subject of decades-long research on its role in the management of cholesterol. In the latter half of the 20th century, it was discovered that low-density lipoproteins play a major role in many cardiovascular diseases, such as atherosclerosis. The dichotomy of bad and good cholesterol hit the mainstream media to promote awareness of the lifestyle factors tied to cardiovascular diseases.
High-density lipoproteins are dubbed good cholesterol in contrast to low-density lipoproteins, or bad cholesterol. Low-density lipoproteins are actually involved in the formation of plaques within the blood vessel walls that leads to many complications. It has been observed that myrrh reduces Total lipid levels in the blood by raising high-density lipoproteins and lowering low-density lipoproteins.
Give myrrh a try and experience its health beneficial properties for yourself!
The Amino Acid Glycine Is A Component Of Collagen And Essential For Good Health?
March 23, 2011 03:45 PM
What Is The Amino Acid Glycine And How does it Work In the Body
Glycine is the smallest amino acid found in the human body. It is present not only in water-based environments but also in fatty tissues. Being one of the earliest amino acids to be discovered, it has been a subject of numerous studies in the last century. The abundance of data points to its indispensable role in maintaining the overall health of the body since it is quite ubiquitous at the cellular level.
Supplies Amino Acid Requirement of Proteins in Cells
It is a widely accepted fact that glycine is an amino acid necessitated for the production of proteins that the human body uses and accounts for more than 30 per cent of the protein group called collagen. Human cells in particular utilize glycine in manufacturing fibrous and muscle tissues, the reason why it has been in use in treatment of degenerative diseases. The Total absence of glycine in the human body is impossible, given the role it plays in protein synthesis, but low levels of glycine can be harmful.
Converts into Glucose and Helps Regulate Blood Sugar
Glucogenic amino acids are a number of amino acids that can be converted into glucose. First on the list is glycine, which does not only aid against a sudden drop in blood sugar but also provides the body with enough glucose to support cellular functions. Feelings of weakness characteristic of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue are often attributable to an impaired capacity to produce enough energy. The process of gluconeogenesis converts non-carbohydrate compounds into glucose as a response.
Displays Inhibitory and Excitatory Neuronal Activities
While GABA is the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter in human beings, glycine is also known to display inhibitory activities in the central nervous system. The spinal cord, brainstem, and the forebrain have all been identified to employ this amino acid in gylcinergic neurotransmission, which may be inhibitory or excitatory. It is postulated that glycine plays a major role in various mental disorders, and several studies concerning its psychoactive potential are well underway.
Scavenges Free Radicals and Reactive Oxygen Species
Although it is not considered an essential amino acid, which means the body produces quantities adequate to support physiological functions, depleting levels of glycine is not uncommon especially in individuals suffering from malnutrition and malabsorption. Glycine supplements have seen a surge in popularity in the latter half of the century as they are also known for their antioxidant activities. Enzymes responsible for antioxidant defenses necessitate glycine, which is an antioxidant in itself.
Supplementation of glycine has risen in the past few years especially when studies associating this amino acid to degenerative diseases have started to surface. A number of scientists believed that age-related and other degenerative diseases such as arthritis and osteoporosis may be classified as deficiency diseases in that these diseases can easily be prevented or reversed with diet modifications. The incorporation of glycine in food products has also been reported to contribute to the upkeep of protein complexes needed by joints, muscles, and other parts of the body.
I Am a Vegetarian, Should I be Taking a B-12 Vitamin Supplement?
February 28, 2011 12:52 PM
Vitamin B12 And Your Health
Vegetarians are especially in risk of deficiency in vitamin B12 in that there are no plant sources known to contain significant levels of this essential nutrient. While the body is capable of storing this vitamin in the liver enough to meet the daily needs for several years, those who are following a strict vegan diet for long periods of time are in danger of developing many different medical conditions, including heart diseases, neural impairment, and anemia. Most vegetarians do not realize the seriousness of vitamin B12 deficiency as its symptoms often materialize in later life when the damage may no longer be reversible. Fortunately, Total vegetarians do have options without renouncing their beliefs, inasmuch as Vitamin B12 supplements have shown to meet the nutritional needs of the body.
Removes Neurological Problems
One of the mishaps of long-term vegetarianism is the incidence of neural tube defects in babies, inasmuch as developments in the nervous system in the first periods of pregnancy is compromised in women who have very low levels of vitamin B12 does not have enough even with excessive quantities of folate. Nerve cells in particular are very sensitive to the absence of this vitamin. Many vegetarians are under the impression that plants contain every nutrient that the human body needs, which is completely misleading. Only bacteria have the enzymes required to manufacture vitamin B12, and these bacteria are present in the gut of animals. The good news is that vitamin B12 supplements that are available in the market today are good source of the active forms of this vitamin, and has stood the test of time in reversing the deficiencies brought on by malnutrition.
Prevents Cardiovascular Diseases
High levels of homocysteine are another consequence of low levels of vitamin B12 in the blood. A rise in homocysteine concentrations in the blood serum is a very important risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, and may come to an extent that is no longer reversible. Atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease are among the disorders tied to elevated homocysteine in the bloodstream, the reason why supplementation vitamin B12 has been used to treat certain medical conditions involving the heart and the blood vessels. The availability of vitamin B12 is in fact inversely proportional to the quantities of homocysteine produced by the body, and supplementation starting in the early years has shown to remove all the dangers related to homocysteine.
Supplies the Body with Energy
It is a known fact that vitamin B12 supplements affect chemical processes implicated in the production of energy. They are now widely accepted to be good for individuals involved in endurance sports and for the regular guy who usually relies on caffeine. Vitamin B12 stimulates the conversion of fatty acids into cellular energy, and influences the production of red blood cells, producing the vitality we need minus the jittery effects of coffee. For athletes, it does not only provide energy but also ensures cardiovascular health as homocysteine levels are directly proportional to exercise duration.
If you do not eat much red meat and do not take a supplement, you might be deficient or boarder line at best in vitamin B12. Taking a supplement is the easy way to boost B12 and improve your health.
Can N-Acetyl Cysteine Boost Liver Health And Function?
February 10, 2011 12:31 PM
N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) And The Liver
N-Acetyl Cysteine or NAC is an antidote for poisonous effects of paracetamol overdose. It targets the cells in the liver, raising their capacity to deal with harmful metabolites. There are a number of researches well underway that scrutinizes a variety of medical conditions for which this compound could be of use. It is a known precursor of antioxidants and in itself a scavenger of peroxides and free radicals.
Hepatocytes are the cells that take on most of the functions of the liver and account for more than 70 per cent of the liver’s Total mass. These cells are responsible for the presystematic metabolism of drugs, also known as the first-pass effect, rendering most drugs innocuous before they are released into the bloodstream. The Total amounts of bioactive substances that are distributed to the rest of the body are also largely regulated by hepatocytes, notably carbohydrates. In addition, they are involved in the biosynthesis of protein, cholesterol, phospholipids, and bile salts as well as the functional reserves for protein.
Hepatocytes and Toxins
Certain drugs produce toxins when broken down by hepatocytes. A classic example is the metabolism of ethanol into acetaldehyde, which is a toxic compound, a probable carcinogen, and an air pollutant emitted by combustion of cars and tobacco smoking. While hepatocytes are known for their detoxifying responses to toxic substances entering the body, the metabolism of toxins actually takes up a great deal of time, resulting in certain toxins getting released into the bloodstream prior to first-pass effect.
That being said, continued exposure to toxins wears down hepatocytes, and high concentrations of what we refer to as poisons is certain to bring damage to the liver. This is what happens during overdose of paracetamol, or acetaminophen. In an effort to metabolized excessive amounts of the drug, the liver cells produce by-products that are essentially poisons, which under normal circumstances can be contained well.
NAC and Glutathione Production
The major antioxidant synthesized by the human body called glutathione comes to the liver’s defense when toxic by-products are produced. Hepatocytes in particular are so dependent on glutathione in the quenching of toxins that it has been observed that any challenge to the manufacture of this endogenous antioxidant will ultimately result in liver failure.
Glutathione is released by hepatocytes in large amounts especially during the metabolism of alcohol and drugs, but during overdose the ravaging activities of ethanol or drug metabolites overwhelm the detoxifying effects of antioxidant reserves in the body. Simply put, the defense mechanisms in the employ of the body have limits. NAC resolves this problem.
The presence of NAC in the body augments the liver’s ability to produce the needed amounts of glutathione to effectively counter the harmful properties of invasive substances. In fact, the liver completely recuperates in a matter of weeks even after life-threatening conditions given that NAC is introduced in the human body in time to avoid subsequent damages to other vital organs. Indeed its application has proven to save lives in fatal cases of paracetamol poisoning.
N-Acetyl Cysteine is available at your local or internet vitamin store in capsule or tablet forms. Always choose name brands like Source Naturals to ensure quality and purity of the product you buy for better liver health.
Have you had your NAC today?
Lycopene is More than Just a Tomato Extract!
February 08, 2011 04:38 PM
Lycopene is a naturally occurring antioxidant, and a very powerful one at that. Like beta-carotene, it is a carotenoid, a phytochemical that gives certain plants their orange or bright red pigmentation. While lycopene belongs to a group of carotenoids called carotene, known precursors of vitamin A, it does not get converted into vitamin A inside the human body, which is not a bad thing, inasmuch as lycopene in itself exhibits antioxidant properties that surpass the effects of vitamins.
Tomatoes are very rich in lycopene, and indeed consumptions of tomatoes have been reported to show the antioxidant properties of lycopene. Papayas, pink guavas, and watermelons are also good sources of this compound, but the plant source identified to have the highest concentrations of lycopene is Gac, in English also known as Sweet Gourd, a bright red fruit native to Southeast Asia and largely unknown to the rest of the world. With that, a significant fraction of the Total lycopene consumption worldwide is derived from tomatoes.
Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS)
Chemical reactions in the human body that respond to the presence of oxygen are part of a process called oxidation, which takes place everywhere else in nature. These reactions entail a change in the oxidation number of atoms or molecules involved in the movement of electrons between molecules inside the body, giving rise to toxic by-products collectively known as reactive oxygen species.
When cells produce the energy that they use to power their physiological functions, they also produce reactive oxygen species, or ROS, which is now believed to be a key factor in the progression of physical infirmities associated with the aging process of human beings and other mammals. That being said, ROS are actually in the employ of the immune system, and particularly effective against pathogens, which may be invasive extracellular matter or harmful microorganisms.
Every single cell make use of enzymes that change the chemical makeup of unnecessary ROS, which must always be kept in check as they damage cells even at low amounts. These enzymes outmaneuver the damaging activities of ROS, thereby protecting the cells. In spite of that, the human body is known to produce more ROS as we age or during long-standing exposure to stress.
Lycopene versus ROS
One type of ROS is singlet oxygen, a form of oxygen that is highly reactive to free radicals. In fact, singlet oxygen is a known catalyst of free radicals especially when it gets excited at the molecular level. Lycopene is the best known carotenoid to counter the damaging effects of singlet oxygen in the human body, and reported to have antioxidant properties far superior to vitamin E and glutathione.
The good thing about lycopene is that its bioavailability compounds when exposed to heat, so cooking tomatoes actually brings out the goodness of this chemical compound. Lycopene acts against the proliferation of cancer cells in a number of mechanisms, and, to date, there have been innumerable reports in support of the role of lycopene against most known types of cancer.
Have you had your Lycopene today?
Constipated? Herbs can Help With Constipation!
January 28, 2011 11:58 AM
Sometimes feeling constipated can get in the way of our activities. It can easily be prevented, but our day-to-day routine may not allow us to do so, inasmuch as diet and inactivity both contribute to the common incidence of constipation. Its chronicity could damage our productivity apart from the fact that bowel movement characteristic of constipation can be a real pain. Herbal laxatives that alleviate the unwanted sensation of recurring constipation have been available since time immemorial.
Over a tenth of the worldwide population has been afflicted with constipation, and one may experience it at least once in a lifetime. In the US alone it is the most common reason for digestion-related visits to the doctor, accounting for up to 3 per cent of the Total pediatric complaints. Chronic constipation is more widespread among women and children, and becomes a more frequent health problem as we age. While it is not a disease in itself, it may be a symptom of another gastrointestinal ailment, and thus knowing its underlying causes helps in doing away with it for good.
Many different factors give rise to primary constipation, the type most prevalent among adults. Symptoms ongoing for over 6 months is in general associated with lifestyle factors such as diet high in protein but essentially devoid of fiber. High consumptions of meat products translate to increased workload for your digestive tract, and countless patients have reported elevated levels of protein in their diets while constipated.
Dietary fiber has been identified as a substance that aid digestion in that it readily changes into watery slurry, resulting in the formation of stools that induce easy defecation. In fact, fiber is directly involved in preventing constipation by promoting the health of the gastrointestinal tract. The absence of fiber in the diet for long periods of time leads to the slow passage of foods in the alimentary canal.
If you are constipated at very short intervals such as to feel irregularity of bowel movement in a week, then you should act on it as soon as possible. Holding off defecation does lead to constipation. Your gut signals your brain when to release the fecal matter, and if you don’t respond to what your body tells you, the fecal matter turns into an impacted mass that may obstruct defecation.
The use of herbal laxatives eases defecation. One of the functions of the colon is to absorb water from waste products, but certain herbs like aloe lax, rhubarb, and senna display osmotic properties, that is, they attract water present in the alimentary canal down to the colon. The resulting watery environment softens the hardened stool trapped in the colon and promotes motility inside the bowels.
Also, herbal laxatives contain chemical compounds that stimulate the intestinal walls to move the fecal matter, resulting in the evacuation of fecal matter. That being said, it is imperative that you read what the label says on over-the-counter laxatives and strictly follow the recommended dosages to avoid undesirable effects that these compounds may bring.
If you want to avoid herbs, a double serving of magnesium could do the trick as well. if you get enough fiber in the diet and still experience constipation, you should increase your water intake. Lack or water is also the reason for constipation. Your alternative is a good herbal laxative.
Remember to never stay on herbal laxatives long term, short term use of not more than 2 weeks to prevent dependency.
The Krebs Cycle - Our Lifes Blood!
January 13, 2011 05:00 PM
The Krebs Cycle, also known as the Citric Acid Cycle, is an important series of biochemical reactions that are intrinsic to cellular respiration and the generation of energy from oxygen and glucose in aerobic organisms. Although humans can generate energy anaerobically, they cannot do so for long periods and oxygen is essential for life because it fuels the Krebs Cycle. Without this cycle, there would be no available energy to maintain our vital processes.
What is The Krebs Cycle
We shall first discuss exactly what the Krebs Cycle is and then its importance in the body. The process takes place within the mitochondria of the body cells.
A. The cycle begins with the ten-step pathway of glycolysis, during which glucose is converted to two molecules of pyruvate: no oxygen is required for this step. Basically:
Glucose + 2NAD+ + 2P + 2ADP = 2Pyruvate + 2NADH + 2H+ + 2ATP
The pyruvate can then undergo aerobic or anaerobic respiration to generate energy. The Krebs Cycle is the aerobic route, and significantly more efficient that the alternative fermentation.
B. The two pyruvate molecules are then oxidized to two of Acetyl CoA with the release of carbon dioxide. The two acetyl groups of the Acetyl CoA are donated to Oxaloacetate in the presence of water to form Citrate.
C. Citrate then undergoes a number of chemical reactions to arrive back at Oxaloacetate again and the cycle starts all over again by reacting with more Acetyl CoA from Pyruvate and oxygen to form Citrate again. During the cycle more ATP is produced and electrons and other species are sent into the Electron Transfer Chain where most energy is generated.
During this cycle three major events occur:
1. During the various transformations of Citrate, specifically when Succinyl-CoA is converted to Succinate, one Guanosine Triphosphate group (GTP) is generated, which then donates a phosphate to Adenosine Diphosphate (ADP) to create the energy molecule Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP).
2. Over the whole cycle, three molecules of Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD) are reduced to NADH that donates its electrons to the electron transport chain that is responsible for the generation of large quantities of ATP.
3. A molecule of Flavine Adenosine Dinucleotide (FAD) is reduced to FADH2, again donating its electrons to the electron transport system and the generation of energy.
Factor 2 and 3 are of more significance to energy generation than factor 1, and are the major means by which the Krebs Cycle generates energy.
Electron Transport Chain
The Krebs Cycle takes place within the mitochondria, structures that are contained in each of your body cells. Also within these mitochondria are a series of membranes that are very important in the generation of energy.
The major energy produced in your body cells comes from the Electron Transport Chain, a series of chemical reactions between an electron donor and an electron acceptor. Such reactions drive the transport of hydrogen ions (H+) across the membranes in the mitochondria.
The electron donors are species such as NADH, FADH2 and succinate and the electron acceptors are oxygen molecules. Hence the importance of oxygen in the process of aerobic respiration. The H+ ions are driven across the membranes and result in the conversion of ADP to ATP energy. In essence, the hydrogen atoms and electrons take part in a progressive chain of redox reactions, and at the end react with oxygen molecules and change it to water.
The Ultimate Products
Ultimately, through the whole chain and cycles of:
Glucose to pyruvate (glycolysis) Pyruvate to Acetyl CoA + CO2 (oxidation) Acetyl CoA to Citrate and the entire Krebs Cycle (reduction and oxidation) Krebs Cycle products to the Electron Transfer Chain Electron Transfer Chain to Water and ATP (redox) Final oxidation of hydrogen atoms to water
Basically: Glucose + Oxygen + 30ADP = Carbon Dioxide + Water + 30ATP
This is not balanced of course, and the ATP could be anything from 29 to 38, though 29.85 is the most accurate calculation to date. The entire process of glycolysis, oxidation, Krebs Cycle and Electron Transport Chain is powered by a series of enzymes and a small amount of ATP energy.
Glucose and oxygen are used up as the raw materials and ATP energy molecules are the product. It has been calculated that the Total ATP yield obtained from one molecule of glucose lies between 29.5 and 30 molecules of ATP.
The Importance of the Krebs Cycle to Your Body
Were it not for the Krebs Cycle you would not be able to generate energy efficiently from your food. In particular, the carbohydrate content of your food. Carbohydrates are available in your diet from two sources: simple and complex carbohydrate foodstuffs such as cereals and grains, and fats and oils from animal and vegetable sources. They are also available from proteins, which are composed of amino acids at the head of the molecule with a carbohydrate tail.
Carbohydrates by definition contain only carbon, hydrogen and oxygen molecules, and can be converted to glucose within your body. Proteins can be deaminated and then the carbohydrate portion again converted to glucose. In fact, your body will initially use the carbohydrates in your diet as a source of glucose for its glycolysis to pyruvate, then the fatty tissue in your body, then the proteins will be deaminated so your body can get to the carbohydrate they contain.
Were it not for the Krebs Cycle, your body could not use the glucose as described above to generate energy. The only option open to it would be anaerobic respiration, or energy production in the absence of oxygen. ATP is still generated, but much less efficiently.
Anaerobic respiration is basically respiration without oxygen. If there was no Krebs Cycle, then this is the only way your body would have to create energy.
Because no oxygen is actually needed for glycolysis or the Krebs Cycle, anaerobic respiration can proceed right to the end of the Electron Transport Chain. Then instead of oxygen being used as the terminal electron donor, it has to be another species such as nitrate or sulfate. Because the Reduction Potential of these species is much lower than that of oxygen, the amount of ATP energy produced is also much lower.
Your body tries to compensate by producing even more pyruvate and the excess is removed through lactic acid fermentation. Although this also generates ATP energy enough for short-term use, it leads ultimately to lactic acidosis and a reduction in pH, causing pain and vomiting.
Ultimately, if oxygen is not forthcoming, the brain runs short of the energy needed for it to work and you die. There is insufficient ATP generated from anaerobic respiration to maintain human life.
The Krebs Cycle is of critical importance for the production of energy: not just the energy to enable you to run fast, but to enable your metabolic processes to continue. It is needed for both aerobic and anaerobic respiration, and while lactic acid fermentation can be used by your muscle cells as a brief but effective means of generating short-term energy, it is insufficient to maintain the needs of your metabolism.
Without the Krebs Cycle, mammalian and most other animal life would not be viable and the world would be populated by anaerobic bacteria.
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
Turmeric, Curcumin, And Good Health
November 11, 2010 03:48 PM
Turmeric and its historyTurmeric is not just an ancient Asian spice but also an effective traditional alternative medicine used worldwide. Turmeric is a spice that originates in India and has been long used in both Ayurvedic and Chinese traditional medicine. This spice comes from the herb Curcuma longa L. which is a member of the Curcuma botanical group, a part of the ginger family of herbs called Zingiberaceae. The root and rhizome (underground stem) of this plant is crushed and powdered into ground Turmeric. Ground Turmeric is used worldwide as a seasoning and the main ingredient in curry powders. Ground Turmeric is also the source of Curcumin, an extracted potent substance also used as alternative medicine nowadays.
Turmeric, because of its Curcumin content, has many health benefits to humans. Firstly, Turmeric has an anti-inflammatory property. Its active ingredient, Curcumin, has been proven to help reduce inflammation. Decade to decade, Turmeric has been used as an anti-inflammatory agent to treat inflammations of the skin and muscles. Experiments done by researchers also revealed that this herb has been effective in decreasing post-surgical inflammation. This important health benefit of Turmeric is considered to be a result of the herb’s ability to slow down, if not to Totally stop, Eicosanoid Biosynthesis, one of the processes the immune system undergoes during an inflammatory response.
Secondly, as a result of its anti-inflammatory characteristic, Turmeric also has an anti-arthritic property. It is widely used as an alternative medicine for rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune disorders. In addition, this herb also has a natural painkiller effect. Studies show that it has similar actions to the commonly used medications such as COX-2 inhibitor and Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs.
Thirdly, several studies have shown that Turmeric is also helpful in lowering the level of bad cholesterol in the blood known as the Low Density Lipoprotein or LDL and in increasing the body’s good cholesterol, High Density Lipoprotein or HDL. An increased level of LDL promotes cholesterol plaque deposits to the walls of blood vessels, most commonly in the arteries of heart. These plaques narrow the arterial diameter hence resulting to high blood pressure and even circulation blockage. An arterial block may cause poor circulation and oxygenation to heart muscles leading to cardiac injury then infarction. This is oftentimes the cause of heart attacks. It has also been discovered that Turmeric can promote excretion of dietary fats. Thus, controlling the intestinal uptake of fats, especially cholesterol.
Turmeric - Powerful AntioxidantLastly, Turmeric is also widely used because of its anti-oxidant property. Studies demonstrate that Turmeric is effective in eliminating free radicals in the body. These free radicals are harmful. It may cause cell mutations which can lead to tumor formation and, worse, cancer.
This herbal plant can be prepared in the household by pounding and pressing its roots to be able to extract the juice out. It is then mixed with water and may be used topically or by nasal inhalation. The root can also be lightly cooked and eaten. Turmeric is also helpful in earaches and to clear clogged sinuses thus easing breathing. This herb can also be purchased in bulk powder or standardized forms to ensure its beneficial properties are intact.
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.
April 08, 2010 04:15 PM
There are only 3 categories to choose from when sweetening: sugar sweeteners from plant sources, artificial sweeteners, and stevia.
Most people will not use artificial sweeteners and many will not use stevia. This only leaves the sugar sweeteners category, and among these, agave has some advantages and is a good choice.
All sweeteners in this category also have some similar characteristics and all add to the overall Total consumption that can have an impact on health. Moderation in the overall consumption of sweeteners in ones diet is the important point.
People may not realize that sugars are essential to our body and are an important part of one’s diet. The problem being that affinity for sweets leads to overconsumption.
What is overconsumption?
It is based on caloric intake and includes all caloric foods and is also related to the level of physical activity. The USDA recommends an average diet consumption of 2000 calories. As a portion of this overall consumption, added sweeteners should constitute approx 10% of that intake, 200-250 calories daily.
Agave has 20 calories per teaspoon. The caloric value is similar to other sweeteners, but less agave is required to reach the same sweetness level, so relatively fewer calories are consumed per serving.
Myth: Industry insiders are currently using less, toxic agave plants due to shortage of Bl
April 08, 2010 04:12 PM
This is a Total fabrication. Madhava staff have personally travelled to Mexico this year and witnessed the SURPLUS of agave plants. This has been well documented in newspapers in Mexico and the U.S.A. The surplus is so great that some of the fields in which 8 years were invested, have been let go to seed and will not be harvested. Toxic plants are certainly not being used or substituted for agave syrup. It is a wild and crazy suggestion, a cheap shot again designed to propagandize against agave.
Myth: Fructose is a harmful sugar that creates obesity.
April 08, 2010 04:10 PM
Fructose is a simple sugar found in many foods. Fructose recently has been mis-linked as a harmful sugar, but the issue really lies in general with consumption or overconsumption to be exact. Certainly consuming large amounts of sweeteners of any kind will be detrimental to one's health. Suggesting fructose could cause health issues when concentrated amounts are eaten is a statement which should really apply to the overconsumption issue. Anti-sweetener advocates fail to realize the issue regarding fructose or really any sugar is the overconsumption. Used in moderation, sugars serve a purpose, to provide fuel for energy and to make other foods and beverages more palatable. While we respect the choice to not consume sweeteners and elect for an apple or piece of fruit for those sweet cravings you might have, the moderate use of Agave Nectar or really any natural sweetener will not create issues such as obesity, liver inflammation, etc. As always moderation and a balance diet are keys to one's health. It is a misconception that fructose sweeteners have given rise to increased consumption of Total calories. The line graph below shows that Total per capita energy intake increased 24% in the U.S. between 1970 and 2005. Over the same period of time, the graph also shows that flour/cereal products and fats increased 3-5% of Total caloric intake, and caloric intake of added sugars, vegetables, fruit, dairy and meat/eggs/nuts declined. The increase in Total caloric intake in the U.S. was not caused by added sugars; rather, we are eating more of everything! - The Journal of Nutrition (2009). Supplement: The State of Science on Dietary Sweeteners Containing Fructose.
Lactase Enzymes and Acidophilus
February 10, 2010 11:16 AM
Lactose intolerance is what is known as the inability to digest lactose. It is cause by a lack or deficiency of lactase. Lactase is an enzyme that is manufactured in the small intestine. It is responsible for splitting lactose into glucose and galactose. When a person who has lactose intolerance consumes milk or other dairy products, some or all of the lactose they contain remains undigested, retains fluid, and ferments in the colon. This results in abdominal cramps, bloating, diarrhea, and gas. Symptoms of lactose intolerance usually result between thirty minutes and two hours after consumption of dairy foods.
The degree of lactose intolerance varies from person to person. For most adults, lactose intolerance is actually a normal condition. Only Caucasians of northern European origin generally retain the ability to digest lactose after childhood. In the United States, somewhere between 30 and 50 million people are lactose intolerance. Lactase deficiency can also occur due to gastrointestinal disorders, which damage the digestive tract like celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, regional enteritis, or ulcerative colitis. Lactase deficiency can even develop on its own, with no known way to prevent it.
Lactose intolerance can occur in children as well as adults, even though it is far less common. In infants, lactose intolerance can occur after a severe case of gastroenteritis, which damages the intestinal lining. Symptoms of lactose intolerance in an infant can include foamy diarrhea with diaper rash, slow weight gain and development, and vomiting. Lactose intolerance can cause discomfort and digestive disruption, although it is not a serious threat to health and it can be easily managed through dietary adjustments. The following nutrients are recommended for dealing with lactose intolerance. The dosages specified are for adults unless otherwise specified. For a child between the ages of twelve and seventeen, the dose should be reduced to three-quarters of the recommended amount. A child between the ages of six and twelve should use half the recommended dosage.
One teaspoon of acidophilus in distilled water, taken twice daily on an empty stomach, can help to replace lost friendly bacteria and promote healthy digestion. It is recommended that a nondairy formula is used. Charcoal tablets are helpful in absorbing toxins and relieving diarrhea. Four tablets taken every hour with water until symptoms subside can help combat an acute attack. 1,000 mg of magnesium should be taken daily, as it is need for calcium uptake and promotes pH balance.
A multivitamin and mineral complex should be taken as directed on the label because all nutrients are needed for optimal health. 400 IU of vitamin D3 is also needed for calcium uptake, while 200 IU of vitamin E daily protects the cell membranes that line the colon wall. It should be noted that the d-alpha-tocopherol form of vitamin E should be taken. 30 mg of zinc should be taken three times daily. A Total of 100 mg daily from all supplements should not be exceeded. This nutrient is needed to maintain immune system and proper mineral balance. For best absorption, zinc gluconate lozenges should be used. Additionally, 3 mg of copper is needed to balance with zinc.
Most of all, a good lactase enzyme supplement can help ease painful gas and bloating when taken before dairy products are consumed.
September 21, 2009 11:12 AM
Horehound has been around for thousands of years. The Romans used this herb in a combination as an antidote for poison. The horehound plant is a bushy plant that produces numerous annual branching stems. The plant is a foot or more in height and has whitish flowers. The leaves are much wrinkled, opposite, petiolate, and about an inch long. They are covered with white, felted hairs that give them a wooly appearance. The leaves have a strange, musky smell that can be diminished by drying the plant. Horehound is known to flower between June and September.
An ancient Greek physician by the name of Galen first recommended horehound for use in treating respiratory conditions. Early European physicians also used horehound to treat respiratory ailments. Early settlers in North America brought horehound with them to treat coughs, colds, and tuberculosis. The herb was also used to treat hepatitis, malaria, and intestinal worms. Horehound was also used to promote menstruation and sweating. Most commonly, the herb is used to treat colds and coughs, to soothe the throat and loosen mucus in the chest. Horehound is a well-known lung and throat remedy.
Warm infusions of horehound are able to relieve congestion and hyperemic conditions of the lungs. They do this by promoting an outward flow of blood. In large doses, horehound will work as a mild laxative. Applying the dried herb topically is a great way to treat herpes simplex, eruptions, eczema, and shingles.
The Romans praised horehound because of its medicinal purposes. Its Latin name Marrubium is derived from the word Maria urbs, which is an ancient town of Italy. The plant was called the ‘Seed of Horus” or the ‘Bull’s Blood,’ and the ‘Eye of the Star’ by the Egyptian Priests. Horehound was a main ingredient in Caesar’s antidote for vegetable poisons. It was recommended, in addition to its uses in coughs and colds, for those that had drunk poison or had been bitten by serpents. Horehound was once thought of as an anti-magical herb. Additionally, horehound is a serviceable remedy against cankerworm in trees. Some believed that if it is put into new milk and set in a place where there are a lot of flies, it will quickly kill all of them.
The marrubiin content of horehound is believed to be the responsible component, giving it its ability to stimulate bronchial mucosa secretions. This information was obtained by German research done in 1959. Horehound can be used as a safe and effective expectorant.
The entire horehound plant should be used to provide alterative, anti-inflammatory, antitussive, aromatic, bitter, diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant, mild purgative, stimulant, and stomachic properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are iron, potassium, sulfur, and vitamins A, B-complex, C, E, and F. Primarily, horehound is extremely helpful in dealing with asthma, colds, coughs, croup, lung ailments, excessive mucus, phlegm, and respiratory problems.
Additionally, this herb is beneficial in treating bronchitis, infectious diseases, earaches, external eczema, fevers, glandular problems, jaundice, absent menstruation, and external shingles. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by horehound, please feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store.