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Introducing another great product to the Now Foods Family: Balance Facial Oil
September 10, 2022 09:54 AM
We are so excited to introduce another Now Foods product: Balance Facial Oil. This perfectly blended facial oil leaves the complexion soft, smooth, and hydrated while diminishing the appearance of fine lines through a natural fusion of soothing skin care oils (featuring pure plant botanicals, essential oils, and fatty acids). Keep reading to learn more about this amazing new product!
How Balance Facial Oil Works
Balance Facial Oil is packed with nutrients that your skin needs to look its best. Shea Butter Ethyl Esters and Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Oil work together to deeply moisturize the skin while simultaneously reducing redness and inflammation. Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil* hydrates and balances the skin, Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil (tree nut)* protects against free radicals, and Vegetable Squalene keeps the skin looking plump and youthful. Rosa Damascena (Rose) Absolute, Calophyllum Inophyllum (Tamanu) Seed Oil (tree nut)*, Jasminum Grandiflorum (Jasmine) Oil, and Tocopherol (Vitamin E) (non-GMO soy) work together to create a radiant, healthy glow. Finally, Rosa Moschata/Rubiginosa (Rose Hip) Seed Oil* helps to diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Why You Need Balance Facial Oil in Your Life
If you are looking for a product that will deeply moisturize your skin without feeling heavy or greasy, then Balance Facial Oil is perfect for you! This light-yet-powerful facial oil is quickly absorbed by the skin, leaving you with a hydrated, balanced complexion. In addition to providing long-lasting moisture, Balance Facial Oil also diminishes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles for a youthful look.
We are so excited to introduce our newest product: Balance Facial Oil. This perfectly blended facial oil leaves the complexion soft, smooth, and hydrated while diminishing the appearance of fine lines through a natural fusion of soothing skin care oils (featuring pure plant botanicals, essential oils, and fatty acids). If you are looking for a product that will deeply moisturize your skin without feeling heavy or greasy, then Balance Facial Oil is perfect for you! Order now and see the difference for yourself!
Best Vitamins and Minerals for Hair Growth
December 09, 2016 08:59 AM
For healthy hair growth, be sure you are getting enough Vitamin C, B Vitamins such as Biotin (also known as Vitamin B7 or Vitamin H) and Niacin (Vitamin B3). Foods such as sweet red peppers, guavas and dark green leafy kale contain very high amounts of Vitamin C. Foods such as the dark leafy green Swiss chard, carrots, and nuts including almonds and walnuts, are all naturally high in Vitamin B7. Niacin (Vitamin B3) is found in fish such as tuna and salmon, poultry (chicken and turkey), roasted peanuts and mushrooms.
"Everything your body does is fueled by nutrition. Without enough Vitamin B-12, your energy levels will suffer; bone health can be negatively affected if calcium levels are inadequate;"
Support Healthy Circulation and Arterial Function with Benfotiamine!
Benfotiamine is a derivative nutrient of thiamine (Vitamin B1). Usually, many people suffering from peripheral neuropathy lack this crucial nutrient. Thiamine, Vitamin B1, is highly required for the nervous system to keep functioning properly. Maintaining adequate levels of Thiamine through diet alone is hard. Benfotiamine works to nourish the nerves and reverse the effects of peripheral neuropathy. It helps to support blood circulation, enhance arterial function and healthy blood vessels.
Increases blood circulation and vessel health
Benfotiamine helps to increase the rate of blood flow, especially for those patients suffering from low blood circulation. It is also required for the health of the nervous system and is required for the biosynthesis of a number of cell constituents, including certain neurotransmitters. Just like Vitamin B1, Benfotiamine demonstrated itself as a miracle worker when somebody suffering severely from beriberi got on his feet within hours after being injected with the nutrient. Since then, it has been performing the same "miracle" without fail.Benfotiamine also assists mental health, particularly warding off depression while facilitating memory functions and learning. It's deficiency will no doubt bring back the dreaded beriberi, while minor deficiencies will be manifested in the human body as extreme fatigue, irritability, constipation, edema and an enlarged liver. Forgetfulness, gastrointestinal disturbances, heart changes, irritability, and breathing difficulties are also common symptoms.
Promotes arterial functionBenfotiamine has been proven to improve the structural integrity of the veins and the entire circulatory system. Usually, people with varicose veins have an increased tendency to develop fibrin deposits in the tissue surrounding the affected veins. This causes the skin to become hard and lumpy. There is a decreased ability to break down fibrin, a compound involved in clot formation, thus an increased risk of the formation of a thrombus which may potentially cause life-threatening complications. Benfotiamine nutrient helps to promote fibrin breakdown hence promote the functioning of the arteries while enhancing the flood of blood.
Anemia Causes, Prevention And Supplements.
August 07, 2014 05:22 PM
What is an anemia?
Causes of anemia
Causes include loss blood, unreasonable destruction of red platelets or inadequate creation of red platelets.
Insufficient creation of red platelets is the most widely recognized class of pallor, and poor sustenance is the most well-known reason. The most successive sorts of supplement inadequate sickness are those identified with an insufficiency of iron, folic corrosive (Vitamin B9), copper or Vitamin B12.
Iron insufficiency pallor is frequently seen in babies more youthful than two years of age, adolescent young ladies, pregnant ladies and the elderly. This kind of weakness incorporate elements connected with poor dietary admission of iron, an expanded requirement for iron, diminished iron assimilation, blood misfortune or a consolidation of these circumstances.
Folic corrosive is the most as often as possible discovered Vitamin lack on earth. The gatherings of individuals well on the way to have folic corrosive insufficiency are dipsomaniacs, individuals with mal-ingestion conditions or perpetual loose bowels and pregnant ladies. A folic corrosive insufficiency can likewise cause despondency, the runs and a swollen, red tongue.
Copper inadequacy is exceptional, be that as it may, it can happen in individuals who take a zinc supplement without expanding their copper admission in light of the fact that zinc can meddle with copper ingestion.
How to prevent anemia?
To avoid you have to consume overall adjusted dinners including iron rich nourishment. In the event that you have weakness, keep away from refreshments and sustenance holding juice, it meddles with the body's capacity to ingest iron. Maintain a strategic distance from tannins, they additionally hinder iron ingestion and nourishment high in oxalic acids; which incorporate almonds, asparagus, beans, beets, cashews, chocolate, kale and rhubarb.
While most instances of pallor are created by straightforward nourishment lacks, it can additionally be an indication of a more genuine restorative issue. The best way to get a clear judgment of sickness is to get a blood test. In the event that you think you have iron deficiency, don't start a supplement program until you have a finding from your doctor.
Iron - helps avert iron insufficiency weakness. Take 30 milligrams fumarate, gluconate or succinate press twice a day between dinners. In the event that this reasons stomach trouble, switch to 30 milligrams with suppers three times each day.
Folic corrosive (Vitamin B9) - aides anticipate iron deficiency brought about by folic corrosive inadequacy. Take 800 to 1,200 micrograms three times every day.
Vitamin B12 - aides anticipate Vitamin B12 inadequacy pallor. Take 2,000 micrograms sublingual (set under the tongue) three times every day for 30 days, then 1,000 micrograms methylcobalamin (the dynamic type of B12) once a day, in addition to folic corrosive.
Vitamin C - helps the body assimilate iron. Studies have demonstrated that you can almost twofold your ingestion of iron from plant sources by devouring Vitamin C with the iron. Take 1,000 milligrams 3 times each day with dinners.
Vitamin B5 (pantothenic corrosive) - assists with the creation of red platelets. Take 100 milligrams every day.
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) - assists with the creation of red platelets. Take 50 milligrams 3 times each day.
Impacts of pantethine
January 09, 2014 04:53 PM
What is Pantethine
Pantethine (bis-pantethine or co-chemical pantethine) is a dimeric type of pantothenic harsh corrosive (Vitamin B5). It is made out of two particles of pantothenic harsh corrosive connected by cysteamine crossing over aggregations. The monomer of this compound is regarded as pantetheine and is a halfway in the generation of Coenzyme A by the form. Pantethine is acknowledged the all the more naturally animated type of Vitamin B5, yet it is less stable, disintegrating over the long haul in the event that it is not kept refrigerated most Vitamins B5 supplements are subsequently as calcium pantothenate, a salt of pantothenic harsh corrosive.
Pantethine is accessible as a dietary supplement due to proof of its health profits. In different clinical trials of patients with hoisted cholesterol and triglycerides, absolute and LDL cholesterol were diminished by 12%, triglycerides diminished by 18%, and HDL cholesterol was expanded by 9%. These clinical trials were directed with day by day admissions running from 600 to 1200 mg/day. Inside this measurement go there is no proof of a measurements impact relationship, i.e. changes in lipid focuses covered over the reach of measurements. Immediate measurements reaction proof is not accessible in light of the fact that no trial tried more than one measurement. A couple of trials tried 300 mg/day with additional unobtrusive yet factually noteworthy effects.
Further deliberately regulated trials of 600 and 900 mg/d dosages have indicated factually huge bringing down of LDL cholesterol in people with extraordinarily or reasonably raised levels of blood lipids.
Two instruments of activity are proposed for pantethine. In the in the first place, pantethine serves as the forerunner for amalgamation of coenzyme A. In the second, pantethine is changed over to two pantetheine particles which are thusly metabolized to structure two pantethenic harsh corrosive and two cysteamine atoms. Cysteamine is conjectured to tie to and therefore inactivate sulfur-holding amino acids in liver catalysts included in the generation of cholesterol and triglycerides.
Can Royal Jelly Really Boost Energy?
April 18, 2011 02:25 PM
Royal Jelly as an Energy Boost
Royal jelly is an all-natural animal product entirely derived from the secretions of honey bees. It is commercially touted as an energy booster because of its unique combination of compounds that help produce energy in cells and promote mental clarity. It contains an abundance of monosaccharides, amino acids, fatty acids, trace minerals, and enzymes, all of which have bioactive properties.
Inside a honeycomb, royal jelly is obtained from queen cells. These secretions are actually fed to all larvae, but only queen larvae are fed with royal jelly in amounts that can be harvested. This is the reason why royal jelly is considered rare. That being said, recent innovations in the manufacture of honey and the overall beekeeping process have contributed to increasing productions of royal jelly.
Contains Vitamins and Minerals
Royal jelly is available as a dietary supplement noted for its high Vitamin and mineral content. It is a natural source of Vitamin B complex, notably pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5) and pyridoxine (Vitamin B6). It has relatively high amounts of simple sugars and fatty acids, both groups are biological precursors of cellular energy. In general, it contains up to 15 per cent carbohydrates and 5 per cent healthy fats.
In addition to Vitamins, it is also rich in enzymes that are believed to aid the fast absorption of its bioactive compounds in the small intestine. In addition, it contains trace amounts of dietary minerals. Royal jelly is often marketed as a fast-acting energy booster because its components are believed to work synergistically in the prompt release of energy within cells right after absorption.
Improves Energy Metabolism
Coenzyme A is an organic compound produced in the human body to aid the metabolism of cellular energy. Its synthesis, however, requires the presence of pantothenic acid, a Vitamin obtained largely from the diet. It is postulated that royal jelly helps increase the production of energy in that it contains pantothenic acid in amounts sufficient to affect the biosynthesis of coenzyme A.
Royal jelly is also noted for its pyridoxine content. Pyridoxal phosphate, or pyridoxine, is the active form of Vitamin B5. It is necessary for the metabolism of protein, glucose, and lipids. It is of special significance in yielding energy from glycogen, which it converts to glucose. The combination of fatty acids, simple sugars, and B Vitamin in royal jelly enables it to bring about a noticeable energy boost.
Creates Feelings of Well-being
Royal jelly has been linked to an increase in the release of major neurotransmitters, especially serotonin, dopamine, and glutamate. Serotonin is dubbed the happiness hormone. Dopamine is linked to rewards-seeking behavior and keeps interest in repetitive tasks. And glutamate is a major excitatory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. Together they sustain mental focus.
The roles of its components and their metabolites in the production of energy and release of brain chemicals are the reason why royal jelly creates feelings of physical and mental well-being.
Royal Jelly Use It
As you can see, royal jelly is rich in many nutrients to support a health brain and metabolism. If you are seeking more energy, give royal jelly a try!
Colostrum, Vitamin C, Echinacea, Goldenseal, Pau D'arco, Garlic, Astragalus
June 19, 2009 11:05 AM
There are many supplements and herbs that compliment the supplementation of colostrum. Among these are Echinacea, Vitamin C, garlic, goldenseal, pau d’arco, astragalus, and beta carotene (Vitamin A).
Echinacea is one of the most well-known and respected herbal supplements when it comes to the maintenance and strengthening of the immune system. Various Echinacea species have yielded an impressive variety of chemical constituents which possess pharmacological properties. This suggests that there is some form of synergistic action that occurs between the compounds in order to achieve therapeutic benefits. The main therapeutic properties are found in polysaccharides, flavonoids, caffeic acid derivatives, essential oils, polyacetylenes, and alkylamides. These constituents are responsible for a large number of immuno-stimulatory, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, and anticancer properties.
Echinacea has several effects on the immune system, including the alternate complement pathway, which enhances the movement of white blood cells into the areas of infection. Echinacea also affects many of the immune system’s cells that are responsible for slowing viral and bacterial infection. The aerial portion of Echinacea is known to be effective in warding off viruses such as influenza, herpes, and vesicular stomatitis, by blocking virus receptors on the cell surface. Echinacea is also able to indirectly kill viruses by encouraging the production and release of interferon, which is a substance that is capable of blocking viral RNA.
Vitamin C is one of the most well-known nutrients for promoting basic immune functions, with its benefits being known for many years. It is effective in reducing the severity and duration of colds and flu. Also, it has the ability to act as an immuno-stimulant by enhancing white blood cell production, increasing interferon levels and antibody responses, promoting the secretion of thymic hormones, and improving connective tissue. Vitamin C can be found abundantly in various fruits in vegetables, which means that it can often be consumed in acceptable amounts without supplementation through broccoli, sweet peppers, collards, cabbage, spinach, kale, parsley, melons, potatoes, tangerines, and Brussels sprouts, just to name a few.
Garlic is one of the most commonly used medicinal herbs, as it is found throughout the world and has been employed for various therapeutic purposes for thousands of years. Commonly used in Chinese herbal medicine and ayurvedic medicine, it has recently received much attention in the US media as well as other Western countries. Recent research has found that garlic possesses some powerful capabilities when it comes to the immune system and the body’s ability to fight infection. Garlic produces antiviral and antibacterial capabilities that stimulate and improve performance by the body’s immune systems. Additionally, garlic kills viruses and protects the body from invading virus cells by enhancing the body’s immune functions.
Goldenseal is native to North America, where it helps with a wider variety of ailments, including infection. Goldenseal is effective in combating invasion of colds and flu by stimulating the immune system and the activity of macrophages, which are one of the body’s defense mechanisms against viruses, bacteria, cancer cells, and other invaders.
Pau d’arco is also known for its powerful antiviral, antibiotic, and immune system enhancing capabilities. It has been shown to actively inhibit the activity of several viruses such as: both herpes viruses, the influenza viruses, polioviruses, and vesicular stomatitis virus.
Astragalus, which is extremely popular in Chinese herbal medicine, is an immune system enhancer. It has the ability to reduce the severity and length of the common cold through its application. Vitamin A, which has long been known to be effective in fighting infectious diseases, has antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Vitamin A deficiencies can manifest themselves through increased infection by cold and flu viruses.
Along with the above, it is also important to eat healthful foods (fruits and vegetables), drink plenty of fluids, exercise, avoid smoking, avoid consuming alcohol, get plenty of rest, and reduce stress in order to increase the benefits that colostrum supplementation provides. Natural supplements can help boost the immune system and help one live a healthier longer life.
B Vitamin Complex
June 23, 2008 03:19 PM
The Vitamin B supplement you take is a mixture of nutrients that, although they share the same Vitamin letter, are in fact distinctly different chemical entities. The reason that they share the same reference letter of the alphabet is that they are all essential water soluble Vitamins (Vitamin C being the only other), they frequently work in synergy with each other and they often come from common sources and have similar properties in the body. They were therefore at one time believed to be just the one chemical entity.
They are essential in that they must form part of our diet because our bodies cannot manufacture these substances from others, and although most share common biochemical and health functions, there is no health function that requires all of them, and none of them can be totally replaced by another.
The B-Vitamin complex that you take can consist of as many as eight different B Vitamins, each of which is essential for a healthy body and at one time it was believed that this mixture was only one single Vitamin. That is why they are collectively known as Vitamin B and were subsequently allocated numbers: it was only later that the individual components were discovered.
These eight are Vitamin B-1 (thiamine), Vitamin B-2 (riboflavin), Vitamin B-3 (niacin), Vitamin B-5 (pantothenic acid), Vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), Vitamin B-12 (cobalamins), biotin and folic acid (folate). They are found in yeast, liver, tuna, bananas and rice among other sources, and, as with all Vitamins, without them life would not be possible. Not all Vitamins are found in each of these food sources, and Vitamin B-12, for example, is available in nutritional quantities only from animal sources.
Knowing what they are is all very well, but what does your body do with the B Vitamin supplement that you take? Before considering that, the reason that a regular supply is important is because of their water solubility. This is a useful property for a Vitamin to possess, because it means that they can easily be transported by the body fluids to the tissues where they are needed. The downside, however, is that they are consequently also easily flushed from the body, and your body cannot store any of the B Vitamins.
You therefore must have a regular dietary source that can be augmented through supplementation. This is particularly desirable in alcoholics, those on diets to lose weight and vegans who are advised to take a regular Vitamin B-12 supplement.
A lack of Vitamin B will make you feel tired and lack energy because they play a big part in your body’s metabolism of blood glucose into energy. They also help to maintain a healthy immune system, keep your nervous system in tip-top condition and maintain good healthy skin, hair and muscles. The B complex is also very important in maintaining healthy blood and liver, and each and every component of the mixture has a specific part to play, both on individually and by interaction with others in the B complex.
Rather than examining what your body does with the supplement as a whole, let’s have a look at each component, and what your body does with that. Taking them one at a time, thiamine (B1) helps you to burn carbohydrates to generate energy. It is highly water soluble and must be taken daily. In the form of thiamine pyrophosphate it plays a key part in the metabolism of carbohydrates to energy, and also in the metabolism of certain amino acids. If you rely heavily on a high carbohydrate diet, you will need a good regular supplement of thiamine to be able to convert them to energy.
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) also plays a part in fat and carbohydrate metabolism and the formation of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the molecule of energy. It plays a significant part in the health of your skin and a deficiency is associated with mouth ulcers, cracked lips, flaky skin and bloodshot watery eyes. It also activates Vitamin B6 and folic acid, one of the cases where the B Vitamins work together synergistically.
Vitamin B3, or niacin, is well known to women as a component of some shampoos, and helps to promote health hair. However, this Vitamin also takes part in the process of energy creation within your body, and helps to maintain a good muscle tone within the digestive tract. It is also used as a supplement for the treatment of diseases related to high levels of LDL cholesterol and is useful for the treatment of atherosclerosis.
Pantothenic acid is also found as a component of shampoos, so no prizes for guessing one of its functions. Vitamin B-5 plays a significant part in the energy-producing Krebs Cycle, or Citric Acid Cycle, that is used by every cell in your body to generate energy just where it is needed. It is also needed to synthesize acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter needed for good brain function and it helps to reduce stress. Pantothenic acid is also closely involved in the production of cholesterol in your liver: cholesterol is not all bad, and is needed by your body to produce some of the steroid hormones and also Vitamin D.
Amino acids are the small units that are used to biosynthesize proteins and ultimately the genes and DNA that determine who you are. The major factor involved in processing these amino acids is Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), one of the lesser known of the Vitamin B complex. It synthesizes and breaks up different amino acids to produce a variety of other compounds, such as the hormones serotonin, melatonin and dopamine.
Deficiencies in these hormones can be very serious, Parkinson’s disease believed to be connected with a dopamine deficiency for example, and other disorders include kidney stones, anemia and many skin complaints. Although deficiency of Vitamin B6 is rare, it can occur in alcoholics and those with chronic kidney problems. It is believed that many diets are deficient, however, and a good Vitamin B supplement would ensure that this did not occur.
Vitamin B-12 is one where deficiency can occur, particularly in alcoholics and vegans. It is available in sufficient quantities only from meat sources, and a supplement is indicated in anyone with a low meat intake in their diet. It is used by your body for the replication of DNA and to allow the normal activity of your body cells. It also helps to control homocysteine levels in conjunction with Vitamin B6 and folic acid: homocysteine is a high-risk amino acid associated with atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease that can lead to Alzheimer’s disease, heart attacks and strokes.
The seventh, biotin (sometimes referred to as Vitamin B7) also takes part in the metabolism of energy, but deficiencies have not been known, and the final known member of the B Vitamin complex is folic acid. This is essential for cell growth and the synthesis of RNA and DNA in the body. RNA (Ribonucleic acid) is responsible for the synthesis of proteins in your body, and the well known Deoxy-ribonucleic acid (DNA) holds the genetic information of your body. Folic acid is therefore essential in the growing fetus, and any other cellular system that rapidly regenerates such as blood cells and the various cells of the immune system.
Without folic acid your body would be more susceptible to bacterial and viral attack, and less able to protect you from foreign invaders into your body tissues. Although deficiency is not common, folic acid is present in fresh food only and degrades when stored at room temperature and when cooked. A supplement is therefore advisable during pregnancy to help to prevent neural tube defects.
It is evident that the Vitamin B complex plays many parts in the chemistry of your body, and that a supplement can be of benefit in assuring that there are no deficiencies. A good B complex can be found at your local or internet health food store.
B Vitamin Supplements
May 07, 2008 03:18 PM
The fact that B Vitamins have had to be coenzymated before they can be used by your body has been known for some time, but it is only over the past few years that they have been made commercially available in that form. Before we discuss the B Vitamins in their coenzyme form it might be appropriate to discuss what coenzymes are and how they differ from ordinary enzymes.
An enzyme is like an organic catalyst: it takes part in biochemical reactions by allowing such reactions to take place, but itself remaining unchanged. All enzymes are proteins formed in your body from amino acids and other protein material. A coenzyme, on the other hand, is somewhat like an enzyme for the enzymes, in that it is needed for the enzyme to do its job. Without a coenzyme, many enzymes could not promote the biochemical reaction it is responsible for.
The B Vitamins are all water soluble, which means that they are readily excreted and it is not impossible that if you take a B Vitamin supplement, the whole lot will be immediately excreted in your urine if not used by your body. Whether they are or not it is a fact that your body can quickly become depleted of the B Vitamin group, especially if you drink a lot. Alcoholics in particular are frequently Vitamin B deficient. Although the liver can store unused Vitamin B, they are only very small quantities and insufficient to prevent a deficiency.
A deficiency in the B Vitamins can cause a wide range of unpleasant conditions that are rapidly remedied with supplements. Pellagra is due largely to a deficiency in Vitamin B3, and causes hair loss, horrible skin lesions and many other side effects that you don’t want to know about. Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause loss of memory, and is common in alcoholics and some vegetarians (Vitamin B12 is animal derived). Other symptoms of a general B Vitamin deficiency include exhaustion, heart palpitations, fibrillation, anxiety, restlessness, attention deficit disorder and many, many more.
It is not pleasant so you make sure that take enough Vitamin B in your diet: dietary sources are far superior to pills although supplements will help you get over the symptoms of the deficiency until your diet takes over. Supplementation is also a good way to maintain a regular supply of Vitamin B complex irrespective of your diet. The effects of a deficiency are so bad that a regular supplement is well worth taking.
However, back to coenzymes and why they are needed for the metabolism of B Vitamins in your body. Most B Vitamins are, in fact, coenzymes themselves. Keep in mind that the definition of a Vitamin is an organic substance that is essential for the normal health of your body. If you lack even one Vitamin, your health with suffer and eventually you will be likely to die. That describes all of the B Vitamins perfectly, and they also just happen to be coenzymes. This is not coincidence, of course, and their biochemistry must have been recognized before the concept of coenzymes was formulated.
The B Vitamins proper consist of eight distinct proteins: B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B6 (pyridoxine), B9 (folic acid), B12 (cyanocobalamin), and biotin and pantothenic acid. They are all essential components in human and animal metabolism, and most are also coenzymes.
Every cell in your body depends on B Vitamins for its existence, which is why pregnant women should include a good supply of them in their diet, especially folic acid (B9). They are essential for the cellular development of the fetus. Folic acid is necessary for the synthesis of nucleic acids that allow cell growth and the production of red blood cells. However, not one can be placed in importance above any other since they are all essential.
With respect to the coenzyme factor, the Vitamin B coenzymes are responsible for many of the biochemical reactions upon which life depends. Coenzyme B-12 for example is essential for two types of reaction that it catalyzes, one being a hydrogen atom exchange with alcohol and amine functional groups, the other being connected with methyl group transfer between molecules.
In humans, the first of these is responsible for an essential step that results in energy being metabolized from fats and proteins in the mitochondria and the second for DNA production in cells that is indirectly responsible for growth. Each of these is why a Vitamin B-12 deficiency leads to excessive fatigue and also a lack of fetal growth (although folic acid can make up for the latter deficiency).
Thiamine (Vitamin B1) is a coenzyme for the metabolism of carbohydrates to energy. In the body it is present in the form of thiamine diphosphate, a coenzyme that assists in the decarboxylation of pyruvate as part of the citric acid cycle, otherwise known as the Krebs Cycle, that takes place in the mitochondria and is responsible for the generation of energy through aerobic respiration.
Another coenzyme that is involved in the Krebs Cycle is formed in the body from Vitamin B3, or niacin. This coenzyme, nicotinamine adenine dinucleotide, has a redox potential and can store energy for use later on. Vitamin B5 can be converted in the body to Coenzyme A that not only breaks proteins down into individual amino acids, but also takes part in the first part of the Krebs Cycle. There is a common pattern emerging here where the B Vitamins have an important part to play in the generation of energy from fats and carbohydrates.
Similarly, Vitamin B6 is present in the body as the coenzyme Pyridoxal 5'-phosphate that helps to break down the body’s emergency energy store, glycogen, into energy when needed.
In these ways, and more, the coenzymes created in the body from the B Vitamins help many of the reactions of life to take place, and without these coenzymes life could not exist. Hence the importance of the B Vitamins themselves, and any deficiency could be disastrous to the metabolic processes that generate energy and keep you alive. It is not just the energy needed for exercise and normal human activity that will be compromised, but also that which keeps the heart beating and your diaphragm moving to allow you to breath.
Without a doubt, a Vitamin B supplement is one of the most valuable of all the Vitamin supplements, and they are available in many forms. You might also find some of the B Vitamins in their coenzyme form, though some of them may be unstable. However, whatever form they are taken in, Vitamin B complex should be one of the first on your Vitamin supplement shopping list.
Supports Healthy Blood Pressure
April 18, 2008 03:59 PM
3 tablets contain:
Suggested Use: 3 tablets mid-morning and 2 tabs mid-afternoon between meals on an empty stomach.
Chronic Illness and eating healthy
November 09, 2007 12:43 PM
Chronic illness which exhibits itself as a recurring disease, with lingering and lasting symptoms is a growing pandemic amongst people today. The question is how much of this is due to neglect on the basics of healthy living? Today’s fast paced life style could be a factor for these reoccurring problems. For example, we pride ourselves on keeping five things in the air at the same time; this has caused us to slip from eating three healthy meals per day to drinking a slim fast or popping a diet pill to keep going. Moving away from proper diet and nutrition may be the reason our bodies are breaking down today resulting in chronic illnesses.
Whether you are free from or burdened by illness it is time to take charge of your health! The first thing one can do is basic research. Studies on dietary supplements in scientific and medical research are an ongoing process both in the United States and internationally. If you are interested in finding citations on a particular chronic illness or research that is available I recommend looking at government agencies such as (i) The Office of Dietary Supplements, (ii) The National Institutes of Health (NIH), (iii) The National Agricultural Library (NAL), and (iv) United States Department of agriculture (USDA). It is also possible to obtain research abstracts from different major databases such as MEDLINE for biomedical related articles and AGRICOLA for botanical and agricultural science. To find these different databases and governmental agencies, search google using the respective agency/database name.
Research shows that stress reduction can help to improve energy levels, improve sleep quality, and reduce high blood pressure. The following are some suggestions for reducing stress:
1. Weight lifting is not just about barbells and muscle-building but about stressing the body as a means for relieving stress.
2. Cardiovascular exercises such as jogging and bicycling.
3. Exercise is helpful by increasing blood flow to the brain, release of hormones, stimulates the nervous system and produces a feeling of well being.
Eating healthy including supplementation
1. Vitamin C or ascorbic acid has the ability to boost the immune system. Vitamin C also helps to produce neurotransmitters by converting L-Tyrosine into dopamine. Along with dopamine, ascorbic acid also synthesizes norepinephrine and serotonin which have been found to be directly related to control anxiety and depression.
2. B-Vitamins are also the important for reducing stress. For example, Niacin (Vitamin B3) helps the body fight stress in three ways, (i) controls blood sugars, (ii) improves blood flow and (iii) regulates the release of energy from carbohydrates.
Stress is a state of bodily or mental tension resulting from factors which are an unavoidable effect of living. Stress has been linked to coronary heart disease, psychosomatic disorders and various other mental and physical problems. Reducing stress is essential and can be done through diet and exercise. Nutritional science studies the relationship between diet and states of health and disease. Nutritional science has found human nutrition is very complex and varies widely and proper nutrition cannot be obtained by simply eating three meals a day because quite simply the average person just does not eat well. If you eat less than five servings of fruits and vegetables daily it is impossible to obtain all of the Vitamins and minerals your body needs. In order to seek assurance that you are getting all your body needs I suggest you take a good multiple Vitamins which supplies at least 100 percent of the daily value for various Vitamins and minerals. It is a good idea however to discuss with your doctor the best choices as he or she knows your history and specific health needs best.
Prevent Disease With Discount Vitamins
October 24, 2007 09:33 AM
You can prevent disease with discount Vitamin just as easy as with those you pay top dollar for on the High Street. Vitamins are Vitamins, and they do not lose quality for price as long as you know what to look for and stick with name brands. They are the most purchased supplement in the western world, and there are ways of getting them for less than the normal price.
First, though, a definition of what a Vitamin is since an astounding number of people have no idea of what actually constitutes a Vitamin even though they can recite all the letters. In fact, a Vitamin is a molecule, obtained from an organic animal or vegetable source that is essential for life. Without it there can be no animal life and Vitamins generally catalyze or act as coenzymes in the biochemistry that makes up all of the chemical reactions of the body. A catalyst allows a reaction to occur without changing itself, and a coenzyme allows enzymes to do their jobs.
Let’s have a look at one or two Vitamins to provide examples of these statements. In bygone days when sailors used sail to cross the oceans in open boats powered only by sail and oar, a trip that takes us a week in a cruise liner these days could take sailors several months. It was not only the fact that they relied on favorable winds, but also that they did not always know where they were going, and were frequently unable to store up for a whole voyage. They depended on landing at islands on the way to replenish supplies. Disease due to lack of nutrition was common and one of these was scurvy.
This condition is not strictly a disease and is due to a lack of Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid. In fact the name ‘ascorbic’ comes from the Latin for ‘without scurvy’. The symptoms are liverish spots over the body, spongy gums that cause the teeth to fall out and bleeding from the mucus membranes. Healed scars will open up, and cured and knitted bone fractures will separate. Ultimately it causes death. The first person is used since scurvy still exists.
It is due to a breakdown in the synthesis of collagen which heals scars, keeps joints held together, and forms the outside part of cells, and also some inner cell structures. Collagen synthesis is dependent on the amino acids proline and lysine that are hydroxylated by the enzymes lysyl and prolyl hydroxylase. The problem is that these enzymes need ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) to do their work. Without it, collagen cannot be made.
Although the chemistry was unknown, early sailors soon found that citrus fruits such as lemons and limes prevented this horrible condition. The English used to stock up their ships with fresh limes at any port of call that had them, and this is why the English are frequently referred to a ‘Limeys’. It got them a nickname, but it saved their lives. Scurvy is now rare, but it is not a disease as such that can be eradicated. It occurs now and again in teenagers with poor diets that do not include fresh fruit and vegetables.
Vitamin C supplements are now available, and it is one of the most common of the discount Vitamins on the market. The same is true of Vitamin A that is essential for good eyesight. It has many other uses, as has Vitamin C, but without it we could not survive. Without it we will eventually become blind, although the first symptom is night blindness. However, an excess can lead to hypoVitaminosis A, a condition common in the developed world. Its absence can kill us, and Vitamin A deficiency is one of the more common conditions of the developing world. Vitamins are contrary creatures, and can do us harm as well as good.
How about Vitamin D, the sunlight Vitamin? We don’t think of it, yet it is responsible for the strength of your skeleton and the regulation of calcium and phosphorus levels in the blood. Without it our bones become soft, our children get rickets and we eventually die – frequently through cancer.
1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol is the chemical name for calcitriol, which is the form of Vitamin D found in the body, known as Vitamin D3. This has been found to kill some cancer cells in the laboratory, and it is thought that supplements of Vitamin D might help to prevent some types of cancer. The reults of a four year cancer study were released in June, 2007, that showed a reduction of 60% in cancers where patients were given a aupplement of 1100 inernational units daily. This rose to 77% where the cancers had been diagnosed in their first year.
The effect of Vitamin D was emphasized by the reults of a study of more than 4 million cancer patients that showed a marked difference in the risk of cancer according to whether they lived in sunny or less sunny climates.
So these are the benefits of some discount Vitamin supplements. How, then, do you find Vitamins at discount prices? The easiest way is to purchase in bulk. There are those that form online clubs for Vitamins and pay a weekly or monthly fee to join. When offers come online for specific supplements at low prices, they are purchased by the groups and distributed. You could do the same yourself with some friends, since it is generally cheaper to purchase 5 Kg of a Vitamin that 500g. Your local health food store could also help you out since they are likely to be able to procure discount bulk prices from their supplier.
Another way is to wait until your local store makes special offers, or seek offers in the press. These can often be found, but if you are concerned mainly with the common Vitamins A, B complex, C, D and E then a large proportion of the population are interested in these and you should not find it difficult to sell several kilos of these. You will not only get yours free, but will a sizeable profit into the bargain.
Anything between that and the normal price is an advantage for chemicals that are essential for life. One thing to always remember, buy reputable name brand Vitamins because if the Vitamins seem to cheap than you’re probably right. Name brand Vitamins have quality and can be purchased at discount prices if you look long enough.
April 09, 2007 05:02 PM
EpiCor® is a unique and novel dietary supplement used for support of immune health, with a fascinating history of discovery. In 1943, a company in
Interestingly, when the company became self-insured, they became aware of unusually low rates of illness in employees that worked in the manufacturing plant for this animal product. This led to very low increases in their insurance premiums over the years compared to other companies, saving them quite a lot of money. Hence they began to investigate what might be the cause of the “healthfulness” of the employees at the fermentation plant. This investigation and subsequent research studies led to the formation of a new company called Embria Health Sciences, which now produces EpiCor® as a supplement for humans to support immune system health.1 Doctor’s Best® is proud to now offer the benefits of EpiCor® to its customers.
Beneficial Support of the Immune System and Activation of Natural Killer (NK) Cells in vitro*
A comparison study was performed on blood from 10 fermentation plant workers compared to that from 10 age and gender matched controls. The fermentation plant workers had several immune cell parameters that appeared superior to the control group. These included decreased levels of CD8 cells resulting in significantly increased CD4 to CD8 ratios, significantly improved cytotoxic natural killer (NK) cell activity even though total NK cells were decreased in number, higher killing efficiency of NK cells, significantly increased levels of secretory IgA, increased numbers of EpiCor™ specific antibodies, higher levels of red blood cell intracellular glutathione, and significantly lower levels of immune complexes. These results represent benefits on various cellular players of both the specific and innate parts of the immune system.1,3,4
NK cells are one of the first lines of defense used by the immune system. An in vitro study performed on human cells showed that NK cells were activated after incubation with EpiCor®, as evaluated by expression of the CD69 activation marker. The CD25 marker (IL-2 receptor) was also induced in the NK cells, although to a lesser degree.1,2 B cell activation was also noted through increased expression of CD80 and CD86 markers.2 Immediate increases in calcium levels were evident in peripheral blood mononuclear cells after exposure to EpiCor®, suggesting increased activation through calcium regulation.2
High Metabolite Immunogen*: Nutrient Make-up
Production of EpiCor® utilizes the common and harmless bakers or brewers yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae in a patented process called MetaGen4™, a multi-stage fermentation and drying process. It differs from other yeast products in that it contains both the yeast itself as well as the metabolites or “nutrilites” formed by the fermentation process, which are present in the media.1 Together the media containing the metabolites and the yeast are dried to form EpiCor®. Analysis of EpiCor® reveals that it contains a mixture of natural polyphenols, phytosterols, beta-glucans, mannan oligosaccharides, fiber, trace amounts of B Vitamins and minerals, as well as a host of other nutritional compounds.1,2
Beneficial Antioxidant Activity*
EpiCor® was tested for antioxidant activity in an in vitro assay called the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity assay (ORAC). In this assay, EpiCor® was shown to have a total ORAC antioxidant level of 610 micromol TE (tocopherol (Vitamin E) equivalents) units (ORAC units) per gram dry weight, which soared above other high antioxidant level foods such as cranberries (93 ORAC units per gram dry weight) and blueberries (62 ORAC units per gram dry weight).1,3,5
In another study, freshly isolated human neutrophils were treated with EpiCor® followed by the free radical generator hydrogen peroxide. Cells were treated with a dye that fluoresces when attacked by free radicals. Those cells treated with EpiCor® showed decreased fluorescence intensity compared to control cells not treated with EpiCor®, verifying antioxidant activity in vitro.2
Numerous safety tests have been conducted on EpiCor®, revealing an extremely safe profile. Animal studies performed by a leading toxicology laboratory showed no indication of any toxic effects of EpiCor®. An acute oral toxicity study on 20 rats showed that the product was safe when given to rats at a single oral dose of 2000 milligrams per kilogram of body weight (equivalent to a human ingesting 280 capsules at once). After 2 weeks the rats showed no clinical symptoms, no deaths, no abnormalities in body weight, and no gross pathological changes. The same safety results were found in a subchronic toxicity study where rats were given up to 1500 milligrams daily for 90 days (equivalent to a human ingesting up to 210 capsules daily for 1.5 years). Again, absolutely no signs or symptoms of toxicity were noted in these animals.1,3
In addition, a standard bacterial reverse mutagenicity test (AMES test) as well as a mammalian cell mutation assay using mouse lymphoma cells revealed no evidence of any increase in mutation rates after exposure to EpiCor®. EpiCor® also showed no evidence of mitogenicity (inducing increased cell division) in a human lymphocyte proliferation assay. This suggests that EpiCor® does not cause over-reactivity of cells1,3.
The effect of EpiCor® on specific liver enzymes CYP1A2 and CYP3A4 (enzymes involved in metabolizing certain drugs and other compounds) was assessed. Immortalized hepatocytes (liver cells) were treated with various concentrations of EpiCor® and compared to both positive and negative controls. EpiCor® did not increase the expression or activity of the liver enzymes, suggesting that it may not affect the metabolism of other substances or medications metabolized by these enzymes if they are taken simultaneously. It also did not appear to be toxic to the cells as measured by lactate dehydrogenase assays and microscopic analysis.1
Lastly, EpiCor® was tested for safety in humans in an open label study on 15 adult men and women given a single 500 milligram dose for 30 days. On various days throughout the study vital signs were monitored, and blood and urine samples were analyzed. No clinically relevant abnormal effects on the participants were found1.
EpiCor® also currently has received self-affirmed Generally Regarded as Safe (GRAS) status by an expert panel that included eminent toxicologists1.
EpiCor® is a novel compound with an incredibly unique composition that has been shown to enhance immune system function.*
Suggested Adult Use: Take one capsule daily with or without food.
*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
1. Embria Health Sciences
2. Hart et al. A new Saccharomyces cerevisiae based product has anti-inflammatory effects while specifically activating human NK and B lymphocyte subsets. Unpublished study, personal communication.
3. Schauss AG, Jensen G, Vojdani A, Financsek I. After decades of ingestion by farm animals, the discovery of a yeast fermentate with unexpected significant immune modulatory activity when consumed by humans. [abstract] Journal of the
4. Schauss AG, Vodjani A. Discovery of an edible fermentation product with unusual immune enhancing properties in humans. [abstract] FASEB J, 2006; 20(4):A143.
5. Wu X, Beecher GR, Holden JM, Haytowitz DB, Gebhardt SE, Prior RL. Lipophilic and hydrophilic antioxidant capacities of common foods in the
Supplements good for reducing stress and boosting energy!
March 26, 2007 02:05 PM
More and more Americans are feeling overworked, overtired, and overcome by life’s demands. We just do not have the energy we need to meet our responsibilities to the people we care about. More importantly, we don’t even have the energy to have fun! It seems that a constant feeling of fatigue has become part of the American way of life.
Research has shown that the same processes that cause lack of energy can rob us of sleep, saddle us with excess weight, disrupt our hormonal balance, and create significant amounts of stress in our daily lives. Chronic stress can dramatically contribute to fatigue, sleep disorders, irritability, and anxiety. The research simply confirms what most of us already know – uncomfortable stress can really wear us out mentally and physically! It can take away the satisfaction of a job well done. It can take away our ability to believe in ourselves. And, sadly and maybe most importantly, continual stress can take the fun and joy out of life.
In a separate issue of Ask the Doctor, we discuss the energy and sleeping needs of people suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. In this issue, I discuss the 3-step process I call “Vitality 101.” People do not have to accept pain, insomnia, or fatigue. It’s time for everyone to feel great and have a life they love!
Step 1 – Nutrition
Good overall nutrition is important for everyone! As a foundation product to support energy levels, a powdered drink mix is a pleasant, easy way to ensure that you are taking all of the necessary Vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that you need to have great energy all through your day.
The following chart lists the most critical ingredients. You can see that almost all of the Vitamins and minerals work together to help improve energy levels and overall health.
In addition to the powdered energy drink mix, it is important that you also take a high potency Vitamin B-complex supplement. This should include niacinamide, thiamin, riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, and choline, which are especially important to restore the energy production needs of your body. It is also critical to get enough water, as most Americans are chronically dehydrated.
Step 2 – Rest Your Body
Having trouble sleeping is one of the most troubling symptoms of stress. While the stress is wearing us down and making us tired, it’s also keeping us tense and unable tot relax. The result? That easy drift into sleep becomes harder and harder. And if we are lucky enough to actually get some shut-eye, stress will often wake us up, sometimes several times a night.
This occurs because excess stress suppresses the sleep center in the brain. It is important to break the “stress/insomnia cycle” early, before it results in pain and hormonal and immune dysfunction!
Because good quality sleep is how the body repairs and re-energizes itself, it may be helpful to use herbal products to promote good quality sleep. There are many natural supplements that are marketed as sleep formulas. To get the best results, it is very important that the right ingredients are in the sleep formula you buy. Look for a supplement that has a blend of herbs that promote deep sleep, such as valerian, L-theanine, hops, passionflower,
Step 3 – Manage Excess Stress Levels
In this fast paced world, it is important to learn to manage the stressor in our lives. Glandular extracts, such as raw adrenal extract, can offer natural support to help our bodies deal with the effects of stress and, in turn, can boost your energy levels. Exercise is another stress buster. Using your body physically is important for good health. Find something that is fun for you, however, or you are unlikely to stick with it!
Q. Does stress zap my energy in any other ways besides making me lay awake at night and causing me to be a zombie the next morning?
A. Most people are familiar with the body’s dramatic response to an emergency. The heart pounds, the muscles constrict, and the lungs expand – and while this is happening, we are capable of greater than normal strength and speed. This response is the body’s way of rescuing itself when faced with an emergency. We don’t have to think about it to make it happen. It’s automatic.
The same can be said of a chronic stress response. Whether we’re late for a business meeting because we’re stuck in traffic, or worrying about how we are going to pay for our children’s college tuition, our response to stress happens automatically. The difference between the two is that the body’s response in an emergency starts and resolves itself quickly. The response to being stuck in traffic may not.
The body makes the “stress hormone”, cortisol, to handle the normal stresses of day-to-day living. But in an emergency situation, the adrenal glands, located above the kidneys, secrete increased amounts of this hormone until the emergency passes. Then the body returns to its normal function. Unfortunately, however, chronic stress is more complex. When our body is subjected to increased amounts of the hormone, cortisol, for an extended time, it can lead to a condition known as “adrenal burnout” or “adrenal fatigue.” While it’s true that very large amounts of cortisol can have damaging effects on our hormones, too little cortisol doesn’t allow us to respond to stress properly. It’s really a matter of balance.
Q. How can I control the stress in my life and re-energize?
A. Many people who are under constant stress may have adrenal burnout. Adrenal burnout occurs when the adrenal glands are constantly producing cortisol in response to chronic stress. Over time, this exhausts the adrenal reserve, meaning the adrenal gland can no longer increase cortisol production in response to stress.
The good news is that changes in our hormone levels can return to normal when stress is decreased. The key in learning how to deal with daily stress is to allow the body to return to its normal state. I discuss additional techniques for coping with stress in my recent book Three Steps to Happiness! Healing Through Joy (see my website, www. jacobeitelbaum .com, for more information). In addition to stress control, it is important to supplement your adrenals with a glandular therapy regimen to ensure healthy cortisol levels and adrenal function. Glandular therapy, which uses the concentrated forms of bovine (cow) or porcine (pig) glands, can improve the health of our glands. Pioneers in the field of endocrinology (the study of hormones) hypothesized that glandular extracts work by providing nutrients the body lacked and thus repaired the malfunctioning gland.
If you are one of the unlucky folks with stressed-out adrenal glands, you should see great results from taking raw adrenal supplements. Be sure to buy adrenal extract supplement that contains both whole adrenal and cortex adrenal.
The best adrenal supplement should also contain Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, pantothenic acid and licorice. Licorice contains glycyrrhizin, which is broken down into glycyrrhizic or glycyrrhetinic acid. This compound inhibits the activity of an enzyme that turns active cortisol into inactive cortisol. While in high amounts (greater than 100 mg of glycyrrhizic acid/day), licorice administration causes hypertension, no such effects have been observed at lower doses. Experts have speculated that inhibition of the cortisol-converting enzyme may reduce cortisol-related symptoms associated with adrenal insufficiency. The adrenal glands use these nutrients to manufacture cortisone and other compounds. It just makes sense to purchase an adrenal supplement with these supportive ingredients.
Did your grandmother ever tell you to eat your liver so that you didn’t get “tired blood?” Well, it turns out that she was right. Liver extract is another glandular extract that can help improve energy levels.
Liver extract is an excellent source of highly bioavailable nutrients including iron, B Vitamins (especially B12), and other minerals. The stamina and energy-enhancing benefits of liver are widely touted. Liver extract has been shown to support healthy function of the liver and increase the energy levels inside our body.
Because heat will destroy the key components in the liver, a high quality liver extract supplement should be cold-processed and encapsulated to enhance speed and absorption of nutrients from liver. A high quality aqueous liver extract supplement should also contain Vitamin B12 to support healthy blood iron and oxygen levels to energize.
Q. It will be great to get a good night’s sleep. Are there also any other natural alternatives that could help promote relaxation and increase my energy levels during the day?
A. Yes, there are. Rhodiola rosea is an all-natural herb that has long been used to help relieve stress and increase energy. Rhodiola has also been used to lift our moods, improve sexual satisfaction, and even help in certain nervous system disorders. First used in Siberia and
In clinical trials, the most effective Rhodiola rosea extract was found to contain 3% rosavins and 1% salidroside. While there are many Rhodiola supplements in health food stores, only those containing these specific amounts can provide the best results.
Altered digestion, food intolerances, decreased energy, fatigue, cognitive problems, and sleeplessness create the need for changes in daily living routines. These can include alterations in diet; exercise modifications; alterations in activities of daily living according to one’s energy level; and sleep/rest management. All may require the assistance of a professional clinician, such as a chiropractor, nutrition specialist, physical and/or occupational therapist, mental health professional, or sleep therapist.
Super busy lives demand super strength nutrition. Begin each day with a powdered nutritional supplement after getting at least 8 hours of sleep each night. In addition to the nutritional beverage mix, a Vitamin B complex supplement should be taken every morning. The nutritional drink mix and the Vitamin B complex supplement will ensure that your body has all the Vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and other nutrients to combat your fatigue. Taking a daily adrenal supplement, like the one discussed earlier, will provide the much needed (and often depleted) nutrients your body may be lacking, and help you recover lost energy. Rhodiola rosea, and ginseng can offer additional natural nutritional support in your busy life to boost your energy levels. These nutritional supplements can be used daily and you will feel energized to get through each day’s challenges and opportunities!
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia
February 28, 2007 12:02 PM
This is a fast paced world. We are all busy; living our full lives, burning the candle at both ends. We all get tired. We all get sick from time to time and maybe even depressed. But the illness called chronic fatigue syndrome is not like the normal ups and downs that we experience in everyday life. People with chronic fatigue syndrome feel overwhelming fatigue, and often pain as well. This is an illness that does not go away with a few good nights’ sleep. It drags on and on and doesn’t resolve itself. It steals vigor and energy over months, and sometimes even years.
In this issue of Ask the Doctor, we will talk about powerful Vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and herbs combined in scientifically validated formulas that people with chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia can use every day. These nutrients help address some root problems of chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia by restoring energy and health to sufferers.
Q. What is chronic fatigue syndrome?
A. Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) also known as chronic fatigue and immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS), or myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), is a group of symptoms associated with unrelenting and debilitating fatigue. The profound weakness of CFS causes a persistent and substantial reduction in activity level. You feel too tired to do normal activities or are easily exhausted for no apparent reason.
Besides extreme fatigue, symptoms of CFS include general pain, mental fogginess, flu-like symptoms, and gastrointestinal problems. A list of symptoms includes:
The number of symptoms and the severity of these symptoms can vary among people. The symptoms of CFS hand on or reoccur frequently for more than six months.
Q. Are chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia considered being the same illness?
A. Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a painful shortening of muscles throughout the body. FMS is basically a sleep disorder characterized by many tender knots in the muscles. These tender knots, called tender or trigger points, are a major cause of the achiness that people with fibromyalgia and CFS feel.
Approximately 80 percent of chronic fatigue syndrome patients have received and overlapping diagnosis of fibromyalgia syndrome. For most people, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome are the same illness.
Q. What causes chronic fatigue syndrome?
A. There are many causes that can trigger CFS. Current research is looking at the roles of neuroendocrine dysfunction, viruses, environmental toxins, genetic predisposition, food sensitivities, yeast overgrowth, faulty digestion, or a combination of these factors.
For many people, CFS is triggered by a bout with a viral illness (like a cold or the flu), or even a stressful event. CFS is usually a mix of underlying causes. It is like a domino effect in that each problem can trigger another problem, and so on. For example, fatigue and poor sleep can trigger a weakened immune system, which can, in turn, trigger yeast or bacterial infections.
Q. Who gets chronic fatigue syndrome?
A. CFS is more common than you might expect. It strikes people of all ages, racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. Approximately 800,000 people nationwide have CFS and over six million have fibromyalgia at any given time.
It is important to stress that CFS is a real illness; it is not “just in your head.” Unfortunately, sufferers of CFS may find that many healthcare practitioners discount the symptoms of this illness or misdiagnose it as another disease. This can lead to additional emotional suffering.
Q. How long does chronic fatigue syndrome last?
A. The illness varies greatly in its duration. Some people recover after a year or two. More often, those who recover are more likely to do so three to five years after onset. Yet for some people, the illness seems to simply persist. There are rare cases of spontaneous improvement after five years without undergoing any treatment. However, this is very unusual.
Q. What are the complications of chronic fatigue syndrome?
A. The patterns of CFS vary from individual to individual. However, many common patterns of symptoms are seen in CFS sufferers. These symptoms and problems interact and create new symptoms and problems. For example, infections and disrupted sleep can lead to digestive, hormone, and immune problems.
The most notorious pattern seen in CFS is the one in which a person suddenly comes down with a flu-like illness that doesn’t go away. These viral or bacterial infections can suppress the body’s master gland, the hypothalamus. Since the hypothalamus controls the other glands, including the adrenals, ovaries, testes, and thyroid, suppression of this gland will lead to a subtle but debilitating decrease in the functioning of all glands and their hormones. Suppressed hypothalamic function from chronic infections can then trigger sleep dysfunction.
The suppression of the hypothalamus gland can lead to poor sleep because the body confuses its day/night cycles. Because of this, people with CFS have trouble staying in the deep, restorative stages of sleep that “recharge their batteries.”
Poor sleep can cause immune suppression, which may lead to secondary bowel infections. The bowel infections seen in people with CFS can cause decreased absorption of nutrients, which can lead to chronic Vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
Q. Is there a cure for chronic fatigue syndrome?
A. Treating chronic fatigue syndrome presents a significant challenge to people with CFS and their healthcare practitioners. Recently, a published placebo-controlled study ( of which I was the lead investigator) showed that when using an integrated treatment approach, over 85 percent of CFS and fibromyalgia patients can improve, often dramatically. The full text of this study can be seen at ‘www.endfatigue.com’. An editorial in the April 2002 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Pain Management noted that this treatment, which I developed, is now a highly effective and excellent part of the standard of practice for treatment of fibromyalgia. Since this treatment addresses many different problems associated with CFS/FMS, it needs to be individualized to each patient.
Medications that provide symptom relief are frequently the first line of treatment chosen by healthcare practitioners for the person with CFS. These include medications for pain, sleep disturbances; digestive problems such as nausea, depression and anxiety, and flu-like symptoms.
However, medications have not been universally successful because they tent to put a bandage on symptoms instead of addressing the root problems. Because of this, medications may need to be supplemented by the other supportive therapies that can address the root problems.
People with CFS/FMS may be depressed, given the catastrophic lifestyle disruption these diseases may cause. They may also feel guilt and frustration because their symptoms were not taken seriously for such a long time. Fear can be a factor as employment and family relationships may be jeopardized by this illness.
Therapies that help people to relax and improve coping skills may be helpful and include counseling for emotional and mental health, cognitive behavioral therapy, sleep management therapy, and massage.
Daily Nutritional Supplementation for Energy
Good overall nutrition is important for everyone, of course. However, there are several Vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that can have powerful nutritional effects for a person with CFS. All of the Vitamins and minerals in a chronic fatigue/fibromyalgia formula should work together synergistically to help improve energy levels and overall health. Here are some key nutrients to look for in an energy formula:
Vitamins, Minerals & Other Key Ingredients
Vitamin A: Essential for healthy skin and mucous membrane integrity, healthy immune system responses and healthy bone growth and healthy reproductive processes. Vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene is an antioxidant and free radical fighter. Vitamin E: Helps to relieve pain in CFS patients. Can also improve night leg cramps, which interferes with sleep.
Vitamin C: Enhances immune function by increasing natural killer cells, B and T cells. Can prevent chronic bladder infections by acidifying urine.
Vitamin D: Regulates immune functions of monocytes and neutrophils. Neutraphils are white blood cells that ingest invasive bacteria, and act as the first line of defense once bacteria makes it past the skin barrier.
Magnesium: Involved with immune support. Working with malic acid, enhances immune function by increasing natural killer cells. Magnesium is also critical for the relief of muscle pain.
Inositol: Enhances immune function by increasing natural killer cells.
Malic Acid: Working with magnesium, improves energy levels by improving cellular functions. Especially important in muscle metabolism.
Betaine: Works with B Vitamins to synthesize amino acids, and acts as a precursor to SAM-e. SAM-e (S-adenosylmethionine) is a naturally-occurring molecule in the body, and may have an effect on overall mood elevation.
Amino Acids: Glycine, Serine, Taurine, Tyrosine are essential for the production of energy in the body. Also essential for brain function.
Zinc: Supports the immune system by enhancing neutrophils activity and supporting healthy antigen-antibody binding.
Selenium: Supports immune function by enhancing antibody production.
Fructooligosaccharides: Provides nutrition for good bacteria in the intestinal tract, improving digestion and healthy microflora.
All of the Vitamins, minerals, and other nutritional supplements on the list are important to ensure recovery from chronic fatigue syndrome. To ensure that your nutritional supplement regimen contains all of these ingredients, look for a powdered supplement formulated specifically for CFS/FMS sufferers that can be reconstituted in a beverage of your choice. A powdered drink mix is a pleasant, easy way to ensure that you are taking all of the needed Vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that will give you the needed energy to recover from your illness.
B Vitamin Complex for Energy
In addition to the powdered energy drink mix, it is important that you also take a Vitamin B-complex supplement specifically formulated for people with CFS/FMS. The B Vitamin formula, which should include niacinamide, thiamin, riboflavin, Vitamin B6, folic acid, Vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, and choline, is especially important to restore the energy production needs of your body, as well as for mental function. It is also important to make sure that the dosages are high enough CFS/FMS needs. The chart in the next column lists the B Vitamins that are critical for people suffering from CFS/FMS.
B Vitamins Effect on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Studies have demonstrated that people with CFS/FMS are often deficient in many of the B Vitamins, which tends to worsen their symptoms of fatigue and mental “fogginess” and ultimately lead to a weakened immune system.
B Vitamins - Effect on Energy
Thiamine (B1) - Essential in the process of energy production. This Vitamin also removes lactic acid from muscles, which causes them to be sore in fibromyalgia patients.
Riboflavin (B2) - Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) is crucial in the production of body energy. Supports healthy gluthathione reductase activity, which helps maintain gluthathione, a major protector against free radical damage. Vitamin B2 itself also has antioxidant qualities.
Niacinamide(B3) - Essential Vitamin that is a component of the body’s energy furnace, helping to improve fatigue and “brain fog”.
Pantothenic Acid (B5) - This Vitamin improves adrenal gland function, which will boost energy levels. It can also aid in weight loss by decreasing appetite.
Vitamin B6 - Working along with thiamine, this Vitamin is critical in the process of energy production.
Vitamin B12 - Important for brain function and nerve repair. Aids in relieving fatigue symptoms in CFS patients. Folic Acid - Aids in strengthening the immune system, and aids in mental clarity and concentration.
Q. What other supplements can help me with CFS?
A. Many people with CFS/FMS are suffering from adrenal burnout. Adrenal burnout occurs when the adrenal glands are constantly producing cortisol in response to chronic stress like that seen in cases of CFS. Over time, this exhausts the adrenal reserve, meaning the adrenal gland can no longer increase cortisol production in response to stress.
The good news is that changes in our hormone levels can return to normal when stress is decreased. However, in cases of CFS that return to normal can be made much simpler by using a glandular therapy regimen to ensure healthy cortisol levels and adrenal function.
Glandular therapy uses the concentrated forms of bovine (cow) or porcine (pig) glands to improve the health of our glands. Pioneers in the field of endocrinology (the study of hormones) hypothesized that glandular extracts work by providing nutrients the body lacks and thus repairing the malfunctioning gland.
If CFS has left your adrenal glands in a stressed-out state, you should see great results by taking adrenal supplements. Be sure to buy an adrenal extract supplement that contains both whole adrenal and adrenal cortex extracts.
The best adrenal supplement should also contain Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, L-tyrosine, betaine, pantothenic acid and licorice. Licorice contains glycyrrhizin, which is broken down into glycyrrhizic or glycyrrhetinic acid. This compound inhibits the activity of an enzyme that turns active cortisol into inactive cortisol. While in high amounts (greater than 100 mg of glycyrrhizic acid/day), licorice administration causes hypertension, no such effects have been observed at lower doses. Experts have speculated that inhibition of the cortisol-converting enzyme may reduce cortisol-related symptoms associated with adrenal insufficiency. The adrenal glands use these nutrients to manufacture cortisone and other compounds. It just makes sense to purchase an adrenal supplement with these supportive ingredients.
The Road to Recovery-Adequate Sleep
Disordered sleep is the underlying process that drives many of the symptoms of CFS/FMS. The most effective way to eliminate pain in CFS/FMS is to get seven to nine hours of deep sleep each night.
However, getting adequate sleep is easier said than done for CFS sufferers with underlying fibromyalgia symptoms. The muscle knots of fibromyalgia make it uncomfortable to lie in one position for an extended time, causing difficulty in returning to deep sleep. Because of this, people with CFS/FMS do not stay in deep stages of sleep to recharge their “batteries.” In addition, poor sleep can cause and be caused by the suppression of the hypothalamus gland, which causes the brain to think it is daytime instead of night time.
It may be helpful to use herbal products to promote good quality sleep. There are many natural supplements that are marketed as sleep formulas. To get the best results, it is very important that the right ingredients are in the sleep formula you buy. Therefore, it is important to look for an herbal sleep formula that is especially formulated for people with CFS/FMS. The combination of herbs is important as each herb addresses a different aspect of sleeplessness and muscle tension.
Ingredients - Effect on Sleep
Wild Lettuce - Has been found to have sedative effects.
Hops - Acts as mild sedative and has a sleep-inducing effect. Jamaica Dogwood Has been found to be mildly sedative and is often used for anxiousness.
L-Theanine - Causes significant increases of neurotransimitter concentrations in the brain, which promotes muscle relaxion and improves sleep.
Valerian - This herb has been clinically studied for its ability to improve sleep quality.
Passionflower - This herb eases nervousness and insomnia.
Putting It All Together
After a good night’s rest, a powdered energy drink mix formulated for people with CFS/FMS should be drunk along with a well-balanced breakfast as discussed earlier. In addition to the nutritional beverage mix, a Vitamin B complex supplement designed specifically for CFS sufferers, also discussed earlier, containing niacinamide, thiamin, riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, and choline, should be taken every morning. The nutritional drink mix and the Vitamin B complex supplement will ensure that your body has all the Vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and other nutrients, to combat your overwhelming fatigue, pain, and “brain fog.” Taking a daily adrenal supplement, like the one discussed earlier, will provide the much-needed (and often depleted) nutrients your body may be lacking, and help you recover lost energy.
Together, these four interventions: sleep formula; morning energy drink; energy B complex supplement; and an adrenal complex- can make an incredible difference that you should begin to notice within 2-3 weeks of starting this program.
Chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia are complex physical diseases with physical causes. The unrelenting symptoms of fatigue, pain, and mental fogginess can be overwhelming and frightening. Partnering with a healthcare practitioner specializing in CFS and utilizing different medical treatments, supportive therapies, and lifestyle changes are healthy ways to combat chronic fatigue syndrome. And taking nutritional supplements formulated specifically for people with CMS/FMS that help boost energy or help you get a good night’s sleep can give you critical control over the outcome of your illness and set you on the road to recovery.
Vitamin B 6 - Two Stage Timed Release single supplement - NEW
August 07, 2006 12:29 PM
It’s About Time
Solaray has enhanced the value of single dose products through its Two-Stage, Timed-Release process, which is designed to release Vitamins to the body over a long period of time.
How are the ingredients designed to release over an extended period?
The active ingredients (Vitamin B 6) are encapsulated in a small sphere, which helps to prevent the actives from being released until the sphere walls are broken down over a period of time in the digestive system. The time of release is dependent on the thichness of the sphere walls. This helps the ingredients (Vitamin B 6) to be slowly released over a period of time. These walls are very thin, allowing them to be broken down easily and also requiring as much as 30% - 50% of the formula to be the timed-release agents. Solaray two-stage, timed-release products are intended to provide a higher level of actives with a lower level of timed-release agents.
First Stage: Half of the active ingredients (Vitamin B 6) are intended to be released immediately.
Second Stage: The remaining active ingredients (Vitamin B 6) are intended to be gradually released over an extended period of time. The goal is to lead to more balanced and sustained levels of nutrients in the blood and ultimately, better cell utilization and overall benefit.
Available in 50mg 60ct, 100mg – 30ct, 60ct, and 120ct.
Instant Energy B-12 2000mcg per serving 75 packets/Box
February 16, 2006 03:46 PM
Of all the Vitamins, minerals, herbs and specialized dietary supplements at the disposal of the health-conscious public, not a single one can mirror the biological complexity of Vitamin B-12. It is involved in thousands upon thousands of chemical reactions throughout the body, and its presence has a direct influence on energy, red blood cell production, metabolism, central nervous system function, cardiovascular health, cognitive function, emotion, DNA repair and digestion, just to scratch the surface.*
Our researchers and product formulators had one goal in mind – to develop a Vitamin B-12 formula that was superior to anything to precede it – a potent, fast-acting B-12 complex capable of expediting delivery while maximizing uptake. After months of research and development, this was accomplished by uniting cyanocobalamin (the primary form of B-12) with the Vitamin’s two co-enzyme forms (methylcobalamin and dibencozide) in perfect balance. But we didn’t stop there. To further enhance the activity of this one-of-a-kind formula, we merged the three with a group of proven synergists that includes Chromium Picolinate, Creatine Monohydrate, and a optimally balanced arrangement of 6 additional B Vitamins.
NOW® Instant Energy B-12 makes it simple to get the B-12 they need to function at their absolute best. NOW’s unique collaboration of all three B-12 forms goes to work quickly to effectively boost energy, support cognitive health, promote normal homocysteine conversion and support healthy red blood cell production. Our convenient packets can be taken throughout the day, and are perfect for the office, the car or when traveling.*
Serving Size 1 Packet
Vitamin C FAQ's
December 27, 2005 05:11 PM
Vitamin C FAQ's
What is Calcium Ascorbate?
Calcium Ascorbate is a buffered salt (mineral) form of the water-soluble antioxidant Vitamin C (ascorbic acid). Calcium is reacted with ascorbic acid to buffer the acidic nature of this Vitamin, making it more gentle for the special needs of those who may have a sensitive gastrointestinal tract. The pH of this buffered mineral Ascorbate is approximately 6.8—7.4 as compared to ascorbic acid that is about a pH of 2.5. Calcium Ascorbate provides approximately 10% elemental calcium.
What does Calcium Ascorbate do?
Ascorbate (Vitamin C) is a reducing sugar (has a reactive ene-diol structure) that is involved in biochemical processes such as hydroxylation of proline and lysine utilized in the formation of collagen and healthy connective tissue. A deficiency in Ascorbate results in a disease called scurvy which manifests as weakened collagen fibers, rotting teeth, delayed healing and open sores on the skin. Ascorbate is involved in many other vital functions such as the mobilization of iron, stimulation of immune system and as an anti-oxidant for scavenging of reactive free radicals.
Is this a necessary Vitamin or can our bodies make enough to satisfy our needs?
Many plants and animals do not need to consume foods high in ascorbic acid to meet their need for Vitamin C because they are genetically programmed to produce enzymes that convert glucose into ascorbic acid. Unfortunately humans have only 3 of the 4 enzymes necessary for internal production of ascorbic acid, therefore we must satisfy our physical needs for this important Vitamin through our intake of foods rich in Vitamin C and/or take a good supplement.
What is the function of the Citrus Bioflavonoids?
Bioflavonoids are biologically active Flavonoid compounds found throughout the entire plant kingdom. Since the discovery of Flavonoids in 1936 when they were first isolated from lemons and called citrin and Vitamin P over 4,000 different types have been characterized. Though there are several forms of Bioflavonoids in the complex the predominant form is Hesperidin. These Flavonoids exhibit beneficial effects on capillary permeability and therefore support blood flow. They are antioxidants that work synergistically with Vitamin C as well as exhibiting anti-inflammatory activity.
Why are there color variations in your different Vitamin C products, and are they safe to take?
Most natural Vitamin C products vary in color from batch to batch and bottle to bottle. There are normally variations in the color of the raw material used during manufacturing, which is a normal occurrence. This is due to natural color variations in the source of the Vitamin C – generally, you will find C supplements to range in color from a light tan color to a light gray color.
Over the course of the shelf-life of a Vitamin C supplement, oxidation can cause a slight change in color, so you may find the light tan C-1000 you bought has changed to a darker tan six months later. This is a normal occurrence, and the product is safe to use up until the expiration date, and even beyond. NOW® is generally conservative with expiration dates, so a Vitamin C product is still safe after the date, it just may not be as effective due to oxidation.
Why does your Ester-C Complex say 625mg on the front of the label but list 500mg on the Supplement Facts panel? The key word is “complex”. Ester-C Complex is a combination of ascorbic acid (natural Vitamin C) and Calcium Ascorbate, which ultimately yields 500 total mg of Vitamin C. It is complexed with Calcium Ascorbate and other metabolites for greater absorption and faster utilization by your body. So the total complex is 625mg of Ester-C Complex, which yields 500mg of natural Vitamin C as ascorbic acid.
NOW Ester-C Pure Powder states the serving size is ½ teaspoon. How much Vitamin C am I getting with this serving size? ½ teaspoon of Ester-C Pure Powder is equivalent to 2000mg of natural Vitamin C and 250mg of Calcium.
Can I pour the powder in NOW® Vitamin C capsules into a liquid instead of swallowing the capsule? Many people do not want to or cannot swallow capsules, tablets or softgels, for various reasons. Encapsulated Vitamin C products from NOW® can be opened and dumped into a liquid for consumption. Juice or water is recommended if you choose this method. However, taking Vitamin C with water on an empty stomach is the recommended method of ingestion. We do not recommend trying this method with Vitamin C in tablet form, although you can grind or smash a tablet into powder form and add to water or juice. If you choose to do this, use a mortar and pestle for best results and minimal loss of product. Why go through the trouble when NOW® carries Vitamin C in a powdered form already. Save yourself time and trouble by ordering this form instead. Disclaimer: This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Vitaberry Plus + Super Fruit Antioxidant
December 07, 2005 05:43 PM
Vitaberry Plus +™ Super Fruit AntioxidantBy Nilesh Patel, NOW Quality Assurance, April 20, 2005 Why are FRUITS AND VEGETABLES important? “Diets rich in FRUITS AND VEGETABLES may reduce the risk of some types of cancer and other chronic diseases.”- National Cancer Institute. OXYGEN AND ANTIOXIDANTS As we all know, “Oxygen is critical to life,” but is itself a double-edged sword. While oxygen is necessary to sustain life and for natural defense against microbes, too much oxygen in our cells can lead to the production of “free radicals” (mitochondrial respiratory chain) or ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species). Free radicals come in many forms - singlet oxygen, hydrogen peroxide, superoxideperoxynitrite, to name a few - but all have one commonality. Each has an unpaired (unbalanced) electron, a situation it remedies by stealing an electron from a stable molecule. This sets off a domino effect of oxidation, a chain reaction that usually ends up damaging cellular integrity and compromising overall health. Nature has a defense system in place to protect these processes in the form of antioxidants. Whether endogenous (produced by the body, such as liver enzymes, SOD, coenzymes and sulfur-containing compounds) or exogenous (obtained through the diet, such as Vitamins C & E, bioflavonoids, carotenes, etc.), antioxidants “quench” free radicals by donating an electron to stabilize a molecule, thus controling the chain reaction and stopping the oxidation “domino effect”. ANTIOXIDANT-RICH FOODS Research suggests that eating plenty of foods high in antioxidants helps to slow the processes associated with aging and protect against many chronic diseases. Maximizing one’s antioxidant power will enhance overall health. Fruit and vegetables contain both nutritive and non-nutritive factors that can affect oxidative damage and enzymatic defense and might contribute to redox (antioxidant and prooxidant) actions. A new “6-a-day” study looked into the effects of fruits and vegetables on markers of oxidative stress and antioxidative defense in healthy nonsmokers by The Danish Institute for Food and Veterinary Research in Denmark. The study found that fruits and vegetables increase erythrocyte glutathione peroxidase activity and resistance of plasma lipoproteins to oxidation more efficiently than do the nutritive factors (Vitamins and minerals) that the fruits and vegetables are also known to contain. Certain berries, such as blackberries, also contain salicylates, which are also linked to heart health and prevention of atherosclerosis. The protective effects of fruits and vegetables intake on both heart disease death and deaths in general have previously been demonstrated but researchers at the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, Boston. Quercetin is an anti-oxidizing flavonoid found in many berries (such as cranberries, bilberries, blueberries, strawberries, etc.) and can prevent CVDs (coronary vascular diseases), according to a recent Finnish study. All these natural plant polyphenols are responsible for the colors of many red and purple berries, fruits, vegetables and flowers. GOVERNMENT GUIDELINES The new federal guidelines released earlier this year by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommend eating more fruits and vegetables, combined, than any other food group -- five cups or about 10 servings a day for most adults. The amount of fruits and vegetables recommended has increased for men and women of every age. “Fruits and vegetables are the "good news" story of the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans for food-loving consumers, the industry and America's public health”, stated the Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH). Eating a variety of colorful phytochemical-rich fruits and vegetables has been associated with lower risk of some chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Many authoritative organizations such as the National Cancer Institute and The American Heart Association recommend getting phytochemicals from whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables, rather than from individual component supplements. The Scottish government is promoting healthy eating through a scheme designed to increase purchasing of fruit and nutritional foods. Scottish health minister Andy Kerr said, "This initiative shows that healthy eating can be good for customers and good for business." Scottish women are said to have the highest rates of death from lung cancer in the world as well as the highest rates in Europe for coronary heart disease. They also have low consumption of fruits and vegetables, shown in studies to help protect against some cancers and benefit heart health. ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species) Free radicals and oxygen free radicals play an important role in the development and progression of many brain disorders such as brain injury, neurodegenerative disease, and Down syndrome. Oxidative stress is an important factor in the etiology and pathogenesis of diabetes & is also linked to other host of degenerative health conditions. Fortunately, antioxidants are available to support the body’s defense and fight disease and aging. Examples of “Fast acting antioxidants” in the body (serum) are: uric acid (polyphenols), ascorbate, bilirubin, Vitamin E (the later two are lipid soluble). Examples of “Slow acting antioxidants” are glucose, urea nitrogen etc. In short, free radicals, reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS) are generated as by-products of normal cellular metabolism. Their deleterious effects are minimized in vivo (in the body) by the presence of antioxidant systems. How do Antioxidants work? Antioxidants are substances in plants that help maintain health. Antioxidants protect against damage to cells caused by too many “free oxygen radicals,” which form because of the effects of oxidation. Smoking, sunlight, heavy exercise, and pollution all increase oxidation in the body. Most people would benefit by eating more (five to nine or more servings) fruits and vegetables & colorful plant foods, such as purple, dark green, yellow, orange, blue, and red ones, each day. These have healthful pigments along with antioxidant nutrients such as Vitamin C, carotenoids, beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin, Vitamin E, selenium, flavonoids, and other beneficial substances. There are numerous ways in which these antioxidants affect, but can be explained in two groups: Alpha (a) Effects: This refers to the scavenging or neutralizing of free radicals. These effects do not change the way humans (or animals) feel. There are also no noticeable health, psychological or emotional benefits. While there are no obvious changes, increased total antioxidant intakes are associated with decreased tumor rates, prevention of heart attacks and increased longevity. Beta (ß) Effects: These are the changes on health, psychological or emotional state that you or others will notice. In this case, the antioxidant is affecting metabolic processes (enzymes) with consequent changes in the physical (improvement in joint movements, improved skin condition, tissue damage recovery), emotional (better ability to cope with stress) or psychological state (increased alertness). The ORAC value Because most of the active nutritional components in fruits and vegetables are antioxidants, accurate measurement of antioxidant activity serves as a good indicator of potential health benefit. Scientific opinion runs high that ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity) will eventually become a government standard of reference for overall daily fruits and vegetables intake. ORAC units are a measurement of the ability of food to stop oxidation. It is most generally expressed in terms of Trolox equivalent per gram (µmole Trolox equivalents (TE)/g). POPULATION DATA A survey done by the National Research Council indicates that only 10% of the US population consumes the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables per day. The equivalent to eating 5 mixed servings of fruits and vegetables per day is about 1,670 ORAC units. Based on scientific evidence it is suggested that daily antioxidant intake should be increased to between 3,000 and 5,000 ORAC units per day, per human subject, in order to reach a significant antioxidant capacity in blood plasma and other tissues. WHAT IS NOW DOING TO HELP? In accord with our mission, “To provide value in products and services that empower people to lead healthier lives,” NOW® Foods is introducing an ALL-FRUIT-DERIVED antioxidant product called VitaBerry Plus +™ Super Fruit Antioxidant Vcaps (vegetarian capsules) (product number #3336). At time of manufacture this product provides an ORAC value of at least 2,500 units per serving from a full-spectrum antioxidant blend of fruits containing phytochemicals and phenolic compounds such as anthocyanins, proanthocyanins, chlorogenic acid, ellagic acid, quinic acid, resveratrol , many organic acids, resveratrol and Vitamin C. VitaBerry Plus +™ is formulated with VitaBerry™ Hi-ORAC Fruit Blend [a proprietary blend of fruit extracts & concentrated powders containing Wild Blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium) extract, Grape (Vitis vinifera) & Grape seed extract, Raspberry (Rubus idaeus) & Raspberry seed extract, Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon), Prune (Prunus domestica), Tart Cherry (Prunus cerasus), Wild Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) extract & Strawberry (Fragaria virginia)], Hi-Active™ Orange (Citrus sinensis) and Pomegranate (Punica granatum) min. 40% ellagic acid fruit extract. One gram of VitaBerry™ Hi-ORAC Fruit Blend provides at least 6,000 ORAC units (i.e., µmole Trolox equivalents (TE)/g). (Also watch for an upcoming antioxidant product from NOW called Enzogenol® (Pinus radiata bark extract from New Zealand) with Rutin (a flavonoid from South American fruit of Dimorphandra mollis) and Grapeseed extract. IS IT EFFECTIVE? Total ORAC value includes both lipophilic and hydrophilic components. VitaBerry Plus +™ contains only water/hydroethanol based extracts and concentrated (100:1 to 125:1) freeze-dried fresh fruit blends, so the lipophilic ORAC value is mere 2-4% of the total ORAC value. Glutathione peroxidase is a selenium-containing enzyme that decreases cell death from brain injuries. It also acts as a critical first-line antioxidant defense on the airway (respiratory) epithelial surface against ROS and RNS (reactive nitrogen species. Genetics research has found that the glutathione S-transferase gene controls the onset of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease etc. Taking glutathione (GSH) itself as a supplement does not boost cellular glutathione levels, since it breaks down in the digestive tract before it reaches the cells. So glutathione precursor dietary supplements (such as NAC and GliSODin), along with fruits and vegetables, are effective in boosting intracellular levels of GSH. The lungs have a defense system against the ROS oxidants consisting of low molecular weight antioxidants such as GSH and intracellular enzymes such as SOD, catalase and glutathione peroxidase to protect against the toxic effects of oxidants generated within the cells. Some of the primary effects of VitaBerry Plus +™ against the common reactive free-radical species or ROS are as follows: - Superoxide dismutase-SOD (destroys Superoxide radicals),
- Catalase (neutralizes peroxides),
- Functions similar to reduced Glutathione (GSH),
- Glutathione peroxidase enzyme (detoxifies peroxides, using GSH as a reducing agent),
- Functions similar to Glutathione S-transferase (GST),
- Nullifies Superoxide-generating NADH/NADPH oxidase system In conclusion More concentrated than fresh berries, with over 6000 ORAC units per gram, VitaBerry Plus +™ provides consumers with the antioxidant power of almost 15 servings per day of FRUITS AND VEGETABLES ina convenient vegetarian capsule form! VitaBerry™ PLUS +™ (# 3336) provides a powerful, convenient way to supplement diets that do not include sufficient fruit and vegetable antioxidants Selected References: USDA/HHS guidelines report at: etaryguidelines/dga2005/document/
ls.com/proprietary/pdf/VitaberryBrochure.pdf g Kaplan M., Hayek T. , Raz A., Coleman R. and Aviram M. Pomegranate juice supplementation to apolipoprotein E deficient mice with extensive atherosclerosis reduces macrophages lipid peroxidation, cellular cholesterol accumulation and development of atherosclerosis. J. Nutr. 131: 2082-2089 (2001) Lars O Dragsted et. al., The 6-a-day study:effects if fruit and vegetables on markers of oxidative stress and antioxidative defense in healthy nonsmokers. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 79, No. 6, 1060-1072, June 2004 Fuhrman B. and Aviram M. Polyphenols and flavaonoids protects LDL against atherogenic modifications.In: Handbook of Antioxidants Biochemical, Nutritional and Clinical Aspects, 2nd Edition. Cadenas E & Packer L (Eds.) Marcel Dekker, NY(Pub.). 16:303-336 (2001) Wood, Jacqueline, et al. Antioxidant activity of procyanidin-containing plant extracts at different pHs. Food Chemistry 77 (2002) 155-161 Aviram M. Pomegranate juice as a major source for polyphenolic flavonoids and it is most potent antioxidant against LDL oxidation and atherosclerosis. Free Radical Research 36 (Supplement 1): 71-72 (2002) Jennifer Schraag, Antioxidants: Nature’s Way of Balancing Life. HSR Health Supplement Retailer, Vol. 11, No. 2, 24-27, February 2005 com/news/printNewsBis.asp?id=58665 com/news/printNewsBis.asp?id=58697
Benefits of Total Daily Formula
October 13, 2005 04:45 PM
Benefits of Total Daily Formula
All fruits and vegetables contain carotenes, the plant pigments responsible for the rich variety of colors we enjoy in the natural world. Beta carotene is the most familiar member of the carotene family. But beta carotene never exists by itself; it is always found with other carotenes in foods. We need more than just beta carotene alone. Carotenes are powerful antioxidants, which means they help reduce the body's free radical burden. Research suggests that carotenes work as a team to keep us healthy.5 Total Daily Formula provides beta carotene, alpha carotene, lutein, lycopene, zeaxanthin and cryptoxanthin from natural sources such as algal extracts, carrot oil, marigold and tomatoes (Caromix®).
Total Daily Formula uses only corn-free Vitamin C (ascorbic acid). The full daily intake of 6 tablets provides an exceptionally generous 800 mg of Vitamin C.
Total Daily Formula supplies ample amounts of all essential B Vitamins. Vitamin B3 is given as niacin plus an extra helping of niacinamide, the non-flush form of this important Vitamin. The body uses pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5) to deal with stress, so the formula provides 150 mg, which is 15 times the RDA. Vitamin B6 is another B Vitamin people may run short of, so 60 mg -- 30 times the RDA -- is supplied. The formula contains 800 mcg of folic acid, the Vitamin now recognized by the FDA as essential for prevention of neural tube defects in unborn babies. Folic acid also helps prevent accumulation in the body of homocysteine, a metabolite of the amino acid methionine.6 A high blood homocysteine level is now considered to be a risk factor for heart disease.7
Flavonoids, also known as "bioflavonoids." are plant pigments widely distributed throughout the plant kingdom.8 Previously known as "Vitamin P," because they help reduce capillary permeability (leakiness) flavonoids are now regarded as "semi-essential" non-Vitamin nutrients that benefit health in a variety of ways.9 In addition to maintaining the structure of blood vessels, flavonoids function as versatile antioxidants. Flavonoids protect Vitamin C from destruction by free-radicals, helping to preserve the body's Vitamin C supply.10 Total Daily Formula provides 100 mg of pure flavonoids from 112 mg of citrus extract.
Three superior sources of Calcium
Total Daily Formula contains three of the best absorbed and most effective forms of calcium available. MCHC (microcrystalline hydroxyapatite concentrate) is a naturally-derived compound composed of calcium, plus all the minerals and organic factors in living bone tissue. MCHC has been clinically shown to benefit bone health.11 Calcium citrate malate is a very well-absorbed form of supplemental calcium shown in recent research to be helpful for postmenopausal women.12,13 Calcium glycinate is chelated with the amino acid glycine, one of the most efficient mineral carriers for effective absorption.14,15
Magnesium is essential for strong bones and healthy hearts. This versatile mineral also regulates nerve function, keeps muscles relaxed and coordinates activity of over 300 enzymes in the body.16 Total Daily Formula contains 100 percent magnesium glycinate for exceptional absorption and gentleness on the intestinal tract.17 Magnesium glycinate has been clinically tested on people with severe malabsorption with excellent results.18
Total Daily Formula provides - in addition to zinc, chromium, selenium and iodine - vanadium and molybdenum. Vanadium helps maintain normal blood sugar.19 Molybdenum works as a co-factor for enzymes that help detoxify and eliminate foreign substances from the body.20
Bioperine® for Enhanced Absorption
Bioperine® is a natural extract derived from black pepper that enhances nutrient absorption. Preliminary trials on humans have shown significant increases in the absorption of nutrients consumed along with Bioperine®. 21 Betaine HCL - supplies HCL (hydrochloric acid) to assist digestion. All natural tablet coating made of vegetable concentrate and beta carotene.
2. Morgan, K.J. et. al. Magnesium and calcium dietary intakes of the U.S. population. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 1985;4:195-206.
3. Lakschmanan, F.L., Rao, R.B., Kim, W.W., Kelsay, J.L. Magnesium intakes, balances and blood levels of adults consuming self-selected diets. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1984;40:1380-89.
4. Mertz, W. The Essential Trace Elements. Fed. Proc. 1970;29:1482.
5. Perry, G. Byers, T. Dietary carotenes, Vitamin C and Vitamin E as protective antioxidants in human cancers. Annu. Rev. Nutr. 1992;12:139-59.
6. Landgren, F., et. al. Plasma homocysteine in acute myocardial infarction: Homocysteine-lowering effect of folic acid. J Int Med 1995;237:381-88.
7. Clarke, R., et. al. Hyperhomocysteinemia: an independent risk factor for vascular disease. New Eng J Med 1991;324:1149-55. 8. Havsteen, B. Flavonoids, a class of natural compounds of high pharmacological potency. Biochemical Pharmacology 32(7):1141-48.
9. Middleton, E. The flavonoids. TIPS 1984; 5:335-38.
10. Roger, C.R. The nutritional incidence of flavonoids: some physiological and metabolic considerations. Experientia 44(9):725-804.
11. Dixon, A. St. J. Non-hormonal treatment of osteoporosis. British Medical Journal 1983;286(6370):999-1000.
12. Smith, K.T. et. al. Calcium Absorption from a new calcium delivery system (CCM). Calcif Tissue Int 1987;41:351-352.
13. Dawson-Hughes, B. et. al. A controlled trial of the effect of calcium supplementation on bone density in postmenopausal women. New England Journal of Medicine 1990 Sep 27;323(13):878-883.
14. Albion Research Notes Vol. 4, No. 1, ©Albion Laboratories Jan,1995.
15. Ashmead, H.D. Intestinal Absorption of Metal Ions and Chelate, Springfield: Charles C Thomas, ©1985.
16. Wester, P.O., Dyckner, T. The importance of the magnesium ion. Magnesium deficiency-symptomatology and occurrence. Acta Med Scand 1992; (Suppl) 661:3-4.
17. Albion Research Notes Vol. 3, No. 1, ©Albion Laboratories, Feb 1994.
18. Schutte, S., et. al. Bioavailability of Mg diglycinate vs MgO in patients with ileal resections. Abstract 115, AJCN 1992;56(4).
19. Cohen, N. et. al. Oral vanadyl sulfate improves hepatic and peripheral insulin sensitivity in patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. J. Clin Invest 1995; 95:2501-09.
20. Sardesi, V.M. Molybdenum: An essential trace mineral element. Nutr Clin Pract 1993; 8:277-81.
21. Bioperine® - Nature's Bioavailability Enhancing Thermo-nutrient. Executive Summary' 1996; Sabinsa Corporation, Piscataway, N.J.
Benfotiamine raises the blood level of thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP)
August 02, 2005 03:52 PM
Benfotiamine raises the blood level of thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP), the biologically active co-enzyme of thiamine.4
Thiamine and its Co-enzyme, TPP
Thiamine (Vitamin B1) plays an essential part in the metabolism of glucose, through actions of it co-enzyme TPP (thiamine pyrophosphate). TPP is formed by the enzymatically-catalyzed addition of two phosphate groups donated by ATP to thiamine. TPP also goes by the name "thiamine diphosphate." In the cytoplasm of the cell, glucose, a 6-carbon sugar, is metabolized to pyruvic acid, which is converted into acetyl-CoA, otherwise known as "active acetate." Acetyl CoA enters the mitochondrion, where it serves as the starting substrate in the Kreb’s cycle (citric acid cycle). The Krebs cycle is the primary source of cellular metabolic energy. TPP, along with other co-enzymes, is essential for the removal of CO2 from pyruvic acid, which in turn is a key step in the conversion of pyruvic acid to acetyl CoA. CO2 removal from pyruvic acid is called "oxidative decarboxylation," and for this reason, TPP was originally referred to as "cocarboxylase." TPP is thus vital to the cell’s energy supply. Benfotiamine helps maintain healthy cells in the presence of blood glucose. Acting as a biochemical "super-thiamin," it does this through several different cellular mechanisms, as discussed below.
Benfotiamine and Glucose Metabolism Benfotiamine normalizes cellular processes fueled by glucose metabolites.
As long as glucose remains at normal levels, excess glucose metabolites do not accumulate within the cell. The bulk of the cell’s glucose supply is converted to pyruvic acid, which serves as substrate for production of acetyl CoA, the primary fuel for the Krebs cycle. Of the total amount of metabolic energy (in the form of ATP) released from food, the Krebs cycle generates about 90 percent.5 In the presence of elevated glucose levels, the electron transport chain, the final ATP-generating system in the mitochondrion, produces larger than normal amounts of the oxygen free radical "superoxide." This excess superoxide inhibits glyceraldehyde phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), as key enzyme in the conversion of glucose to pyruvic acid, resulting in an excess of intermediate metabolites known as "triosephosphates." Increase triosephophate levels trigger several cellular mechanisms that result in potential damage to vascular tissue. Cells particularly vulnerable to this biochemical dysfunction are found in the retina, kidneys and nerves.
Benfotiamine has been shown to block three of these mechanisms: the hexosamine pathway, the diaglycerol-protein kinease C pathway and the formation of Advanced Glycation End-poducts. As discussed below, benfotiamine does this by activating transketolase, a key thiamin-dependent enzyme.6 Benfotiamine stimulates tranketolase, a cellular enzyme essential for maintenance of normal glucose metabolic pathways.* Transketolase diverts the excess fructose-6-phosphate and glyceraldehydes-3-phosphate, (formed by the inhibition of GAPDH, as mentioned above), into production of pentose-5-phosphates and erythrose-4-phosphate and away from the damaging pathways. Benfotiamine activates transketolase activity in bovine aortic endothelial cells incubated in glucose.6 To test benfotiamine’s ability to counteract these metabolic abnormalities caused by elevated blood glucose, studies have been done in diabetic rats. Benfotiamine increases transketolase activity in the retinas of diabetic rats, while concomitantly decreasing hexosamine pathway activity, protein kinase C activity and AGE formation.6
Benfotiamine and Protein glycation Benfotiamine controls formation of Advanced Glycation End-products (AGEs).
AGEs have an affinity for proteins such as collagen, the major structural protein in connective tissue. AGEs are formed through abnormal linkages between proteins and glucose. This occurs via a non-enzymatic glycosylation reaction similar to the "browning reaction" that takes place in stored food.7 At high glucose concentrations, glucose attaches to lysine, forming a Schiff base, which in turn forms "early glycosylation products." Once blood glucose levels return to normal levels, the amount of these early glycosylation products decreases, and they are not particularly harmful to most tissue proteins. On long-lived proteins such as collagen, however, early glycosylation products are chemically rearranged into the damaging Advanced Glycation End-products. AGE formation on the collagen in coronary arteries causes increased vascular permeability. This vessel "leakiness" allows for abnormal cross-linking between plasma proteins and other proteins in the vessel wall, comprising vascular function and potentially occluding the vessel lumen. A number of other potentially harmful events may also occur, including production of cytokines that further increase vascular permeability. Endothelin-1, a strong vasoconstrictor, is over produced, increasing the possibility of thrombosis and generation of oxygen free radicals is stimulated.8 It is vitally important to support normal glucose metabolic pathways so that formation of AGEs is minimized. Benfotiamine, in the test tube (in vitro) prevents AGE formation in endothelial cells cultured in high glucose by decreasing the glucose metabolites that produce AGEs.9 Endothelial cells make up the membranes that line the inner walls of organs and blood vessels. In a rat study comparing the effects of Benfotiamine with water-soluble thiamin, Benfotiamine inhibited AGE formation in diabetic rats while completely preventing formation of "glycooxidation products," which are toxic by products of chronic elevated blood glucose. AGE levels were not significantly altered by thiamin.10 Benfotiamine also normalized nerve function in the animals. After three months of administration, "nerve conduction velocity (NCV)," a measure of nerve function, was increased by both benfotiamine and thiamin; at six months, NCV was normalized by benfotiamine, whereas thiamin produced no further increases in this parameter.
Dysfunctional glucose metabolic pathways leading to AGE formation occurs in endothelial cells of the kidneys. In a recent animal study, benfotiamine was administered to rats with elevated glucose levels. Benfotiamine increased transketolase activity in the kidney filtration system of these rats, while at the same time shifting triosephophates into the pentose pathway and preventing protein leakage.11
Benfotiamine has an excellent tolerability profile and can be taken for long periods without adverse effects.3,12 The statements in this fact sheet have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
1. Bitsch R, Wolf M, Möller J. Bioavailability assessment of the lipophilic benfotiamine as compared to a water-soluble thiamin derivative. Ann Nutr Metab 1991;35(2):292-6.
2. Schreeb KH, Freudenthaler S, Vormfelde SV, et al. Comparative bioavailability of two Vitamin B1 preparations: benfotiamine and thiamine mononitrate. Eur J Clin Pharmacol 1997; 52(4):319-20.
3. Loew D. Pharmacokinetics of thiamine derivatives especially of benfotiamine. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther 1996;34(2):47-50.
4. Frank T, Bitsch R, Maiwald J, Stein G. High thiamine diphosphate concentrations in erythrocytes can be achieved in dialysis patients by oral administration of benfontiamine. Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 2000;56(3):251-7.
5. Pike RL, Brown ML. Nutrition, An Integrated Approach, 3rd Ed. New York:MacMillan; 1986:467.
6. Hammes H-P, Du X, Edlestein D, et al. Benfotiamine blocks three major pathways of hyperglycemic damage and prevents experimental diabetic neuropathy. Nat Med 2003;9(3):294-99.
7. Monnier VM, Kohn RR, Cerami A. Accelerated age-related browning of human collagen in diabetes mellitus. Proc Natl Acad Sci 1984;81(2):583-7.
8. Brownlee M. The pathological implications of protein glycation. Clin Invest Med 1995;18(4):275-81.
9. Pomero F, Molinar Min A, La Selva M, et al. Benfotiamine is similar to thiamine in correcting endothelial cell defects induced by high glucose. Acta Diabetol 2001;38(3):135-8.
10. Stracke H, Hammes HP, Werkman D, et al. Efficacy of benfotiamine versus thiamine on function and glycation products of peripheral nerves in diabetic rats. Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes 2001;109(6):300-6.
11. Babaei-Jadidi R, Karachalias N, Ahmed N, et al. Prevention of incipient diabetic nephropathy by high-dose thiamine and benfotiamine. Diabetes 2003;52(8):2110-20.
12. Bergfeld R, MatsumaraT, Du X, Brownlee M. Benfotiamin prevents the consequences of hyperglycemia induced mitochondrial overproduction of reactive oxygen specifies and experimental diabetic neuropathy (Abstract) Diabetologia 2001; 44(Suppl1):A39.
New* Improved formula - Cholest-Response Lower Cholesterol
July 08, 2005 09:27 AM
New & Improved Formula!
4 tablets contain:
Suggested Use: Take 4 tablets each night or as recommended by your health care professional.
We offer Source Naturals at 46% OFF Man. Suggested Retail
NEW PRODUCT ANNOUNCEMENT
July 05, 2005 06:29 PM
The Most Comprehensive Antioxidant Formula Available!
Four tablets contain: Vitamin A (as beta-carotene 8,500 IU & palmitate 4,000 IU) 12,500 IU
gamma-Vitamin E Complex 500 mg
Quercetin 100 mg
LIFE FORCE MULTIPLE - Essential Nutrients to Support Your Low Carb Lifestyle..
June 29, 2005 10:39 AM
Taking care of your body is an especially important challenge in today’s stressful and hectic world. Choosing a low carb lifestyle is an increasingly popular way to seek better health. In fact, there are approximately 30 million U.S. adults counting their carbs right now. While effective for weight control and therefore having positive health effects, low carb approaches can also result in serious nutrient imbalances. Thus, adding the right multiple to your low carb approach is an enormously important next step for your good health. LIFE FORCE MULTIPLE, the top-ranked and award–winning multiple from Source Naturals, replenishes these nutrients and provides compounds that will help your body process the increased proteins and fats better while you are restricting carbs.
Low Carb Benefits
Restricting carbs can have many health benefits. And lowering your intake of refined simple carbs, such as sugar and white flour, can help you promote healthy blood sugar and insulin levels, which is critical for your good health. Insulin is used to move the glucose from carbs into your cells for energy. Ingesting too many refined carbs can greatly reduce your body’s ability to use insulin well, which can lead to short and long-term health concerns.
Replenish Nutrients with LIFE FORCE
LIFE FORCE contains optimal levels of many nutrients that might be deficient in low carb meals. Counting carbs can lead to restrictions of nutrient dense foods such as dairy products, grains, fruits and vegetables. LIFE FORCE contains many of the same protective antioxidants, Vitamins and minerals as fruits and vegetables, including beta-carotene, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, flavinols, magnesium and selenium. It also contains high levels of the same Vitamins found in grains, including all of the B Vitamins, to support your body’s healthy energy metabolism. And it contains nutrients found in dairy products such as calcium, potassium, Vitamin A and Vitamin D.
Support Healthy Fat and Protein Consumption with Life Force
Low carb lifestyles mean higher consumption of proteins and fats. Unfortunately, there are artery, heart, colon and many other health concerns associated with meals that are high in fat and protein and low in fiber and produce. However, the nutrients in LIFE FORCE can help you better process eating this way. LIFE FORCE contains high levels of protective fat-soluble antioxidants such as alpha lipoic acid, ascorbyl palmitate (Vitamin C ester) and Vitamin E to protect your body from the free radicals generated by consuming more fats. It also contains many nutrients for liver health, such as silymarin, CoQ10, N-Acetyl Cysteine and turmeric to help support the fat metabolism your liver is responsible for. LIFE FORCE also contains a high level of the B Vitamin biotin, which aids in fat, protein and energy metabolism.
Restricting simple carbs can do much more than help you maintain a healthy weight; it can also be the foundation for maintaining good health throughout your long life. But you need to develop a thoughtful holistic strategy for success. When you integrate LIFE FORCE MULTIPLE into your wellness plan, then you can benefit from decades of clinical research about the nutrients your body needs to support optimal health and a low carb lifestyle, long before this information becomes part of mainstream health recommendations. Join this wellness revolution by adding LIFE FORCE to your strategies for health and allow yourself to start feeling energized today!
Life Force - The Energy Activator
June 29, 2005 10:35 AM
Don’t Be Confused About Multiples – Get the Top-Ranked Multiple That Scores 100%
We can help you decide how to pick the most advanced daily multiple for your wellness. Listen to the experts. Source Naturals LIFE FORCE MULTIPLE was honored as a leading formula in an independent scientific analysis of 500 multiples, ranking higher than any other national brand. Lyle MacWilliam, author of the Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements (ide.com) ranked multiples based on criteria developed from the published recommendations of the most renowned nutritional authorities: Phyllis Balch, C.N.C.; Michael Colgan, Ph.D.; Earl Mindell, Ph.D.; Michael Murray, N.D.; Richard Passwater, Ph.D.; Ray Strand, M.D.; and Julian Whitaker, M.D. Source Naturals’ success in this rigorous scientific analysis reflects our Bio-Aligned™ formulation method. LIFE FORCE goes deep to the underlying cause of health imbalances by supporting multiple body systems. And now, based on the latest scientific research, we have improved the formula by adding even more antioxidants and other cutting-edge ingredients. According to Lyle MacWilliam, “Source Naturals made a top ranked multiple even better!” And based on Lyle’s analysis of the new formula, LIFE FORCE is now the highest rated multiple of any evaluated in the current edition of this guide, scoring a 100% rating.
Bio-Align™ Yourself with Life Force
LIFE FORCE MULTIPLE was chosen as one of America’s most elite and comprehensive multiples, as reported in the Comparative Guide to Dietary Supplements by Lyle MacWilliam, 3rd ed. LIFE FORCE received this acknowledgement by nutrition experts because it is uniquely effective. This Bio-Aligned Formula™ goes beyond ordinary multiples that simply replace nutrients missing from the diet. LIFE FORCE provides key organ-specific nutrients to support your body’s energy generation, heart, brain, immune system, musculoskeletal system, skin, liver, eyes, and more. When all your body systems function in harmony, everything in life comes together. Your mood is positive, your mind is clear, you’ve got energy in your step—that’s your LIFE FORCE working for you.
Get Ahead with Activated Energy and a Healthy Metabolism
Your metabolism determines how much you weigh, how energetic you feel, and the effective functioning of all your systems. LIFE FORCE is a rarity – a unique multiple containing an incredible number of nutrients at the potency levels that truly support your healthy metabolic function. For example, it contains coenzyme Q10, which plays a crucial role in cellular energy production. CoQ10 is a vital intermediate in the electron transport chain, one of the body’s energy production cycles, which converts glucose, or blood sugar, into ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate), a high energy molecule that is the body’s “energy currency.” LIFE FORCE also supplies alpha-lipoic acid and the potent R-lipoic acid form of lipoic acid, which are both referred to as the universal antioxidants and important intermediaries in the Krebs cycle, another energy production cycle.
LIFE FORCE also contains tyrosine and iodine, both precursors to thyroid hormones. These hormones regulate key metabolic functions like heart rate, digestive function, weight management and energy levels. No discussion of metabolism would be complete without mentioning the B Vitamins and their coenzymated forms, such as thiamin cocarboxylase, riboflavin mononucleotide, and the methylcobalamin form of Vitamin B- 12. These critical Vitamins and their immediately bioavailable coenzymated forms are formulated to play critical roles in thousands of enzyme reactions that promote carbohydrate metabolism, energy production, and the mental functions that invigorate and activate you as you move through your busy days. And now green tea extract with EGCG (Epigallocatechin Gallate) has been added to the formula for added metabolic support.
Protect Your Heart and Circulatory System
The amazing muscular organ that is your heart beats more than 100,000 times a day, 365 days a year, promoting vitality and alertness by constantly oxygenating our tissues. LIFE FORCE supports your cardiovascular system with antioxidant coenzyme Q10, which helps support heart muscle metabolism. LIFE FORCE also contains the minerals potassium and magnesium, electrolytes vital for healthy heartbeat and heart function, and the herb hawthorn, a rich source of antioxidant flavonoids, which has traditionally been used as a heart tonic. LIFE FORCE also supplies Vitamins B-6, B-12 and folic acid to help maintain healthy homocysteine levels and Vitamin K to support healthy circulation. Unlike common multiples, it supports cholesterol wellness, circulatory health and antioxidant cardiovascular protection, with both the typical d-alpha form of Vitamin E but and the more potent and effective gamma-tocopherol and similarly structured tocotrienols.
Skin and Musculoskeletal Support
LIFE FORCE furnishes nutrients to build healthy bones, muscles and skin. We all know that calcium and magnesium are crucial for bone health, but many people don't know that there are a variety of nutritional cofactors that help build bone, such as Vitamin D (which enhances calcium absorption and utilization), boron, manganese and copper. LIFE FORCE also supplies Vitamin C and copper, necessary nutrients for collagen production (collagen is a key constituent of connective tissue in joints, skin and other areas), and the cutting-edge nutrient methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), an assimilable form of the mineral sulfur, used by the body to build and maintain connective tissues, including joint cartilage, hair, skin and nails. Additional nutraceuticals to support healthy skin include DMAE bitartrate, CoQ10, and alpha lipoic acid. LIFE FORCE also now includes rutin, quercetin, green tea extract and 65% more turmeric extract for your joint comfort.
Brain and Nerves Nutrition
The hectic pace and constant demands of life can keep our pulse racing, our nerves jangling and our temples throbbing. Our nervous systems are crying out, “Help!” LIFE FORCE provides that help. LIFE FORCE supplies the most highly bioavailable and bioactive forms of the amino acid tyrosine – the N-acetyl form and the acetyl-L form. Tyrosine is an important precursor to epinephrine and norepinephrine (collectively known as the catecholamines), which helps you respond to stress. It also contains high doses of Vitamins C and B-6, required by the adrenal glands to produce the catecholamines. In addition, LIFE FORCE delivers the full spectrum of B Vitamins, all important for healthy nervous system function. Now LIFE FORCE also contains a more bio-available form of tyrosine, acetyl-L-Tyrosine. And LIFE FORCE contains Neuroceutical® nutrients that support healthy brain function by furnishing DMAE and choline. Both are precursors to the important neurotransmitter acetylcholine and are important for memory focus and muscular movement. Choline is also a precursor to phosphatidylcholine, an important constituent of the cellular membranes that surround and protect our brain cells. In addition, LIFE FORCE contains the renowned herb Ginkgo biloba and now even more grape seed extract, both effective antioxidants that can prevent lipid peroxidation, which is critically important for the high amounts of fatty tissue in the brain. LIFE FORCE—good food for the brain.
LIFE FORCE MULTIPLE supports your immune system, so you can feel your best through the seasons. LIFE FORCE contains the immunosupportive nutrient Vitamin A, which fosters cell-mediated immunity and protects the epithelial linings of the respiratory and digestive tracts. Two forms of Vitamin A are supplied: preformed Vitamin A and its precursor, the potent antioxidant betacarotene. Other immuno-supportive nutrients in LIFE FORCE include Vitamin B-6, Vitamin C and zinc, which is fundamental for proper functioning of our T-cells, the “seek and destroy” cells of our immune system. LIFE FORCE also now includes 40% more lipoic acid, including the highly bioavailable alpha and R-isomer forms. Lipoic acid along with the B Vitamins and CoQ10 promote building the energy reserves needed when the immune system needs to kick into high gear.
Powerful Liver Support
Your liver is responsible for converting many nutrients into their metabolically active forms before your body can use them. After activation, these nutrients travel through the blood stream to target organs where they perform their metabolic functions. Not only does the liver activate nutrients, but it also plays a crucial role in a variety of other metabolic functions, from fat digestion and cholesterol production to blood sugar regulation to the processing and elimination of toxins, an important role in today’s increasingly polluted world. For all these reasons, nourishing the liver is crucial. And LIFE FORCE does just that. LIFE FORCE contains alpha-lipoic acid, turmeric, silymarin and N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) – all potent antioxidants that support healthy liver function. NAC and alpha-lipoic acid both help produce glutathione, one of the liver’s primary detoxifying molecules. Silymarin, the active flavonoid complex of the herb milk thistle, as well as coenzyme Q10, have been shown in vitro to inhibit lipid peroxidation of cell membranes. Turmeric extract promotes bile flow and is a rich source of the antioxidant, curcumin. LIFE FORCE also contains choline and inositol, Vitamin- like molecules which act as lipotropics, unique substances that prevent the deposition of fat in the liver. Since the liver is naturally high in fats, LIFE FORCE is one of the only multiples that contains the fat-soluble form of Vitamin C, ascorbyl palmitate, for antioxidant protection.
Complete Antioxidant Defense
Oxidative stress is the primary cause of accelerated aging. This and other forms of free radical damage are constantly threatening your body. Whether it is from pollution, ultraviolet light, food additives, or from other sources, it is more critical than ever to protect your body with antioxidants. LIFE FORCE contains 24 of the most powerful antioxidants known to science, including eight new antioxidants based on the latest research. It contains antioxidants that are water soluble, such as quercetin and rutin, and ones that are fat soluble, such as alpha-lipoic acid and lycopene. There are antioxidants that are especially protective of specific body systems, such as lutein to protect the macula in your eye, lycopene to protect your prostate gland, and tocotrienols to protect your arteries.
Cutting-Edge Vision Nutrition
The structure and functions of your eyes are very complex. LIFE FORCE contains nutrients to help support and maintain healthy eye tissue, which is particularly susceptible to oxidative stress from free radicals. To support your healthy macula, aqueous tissue and optical nerve signals, LIFE FORCE includes ingredients such as lutein, astaxanthin, beta carotene, bilberry, zinc, lipoic acid and quercetin.
Life Force Replenishes Essential Nutrients to Support Your Low Carb Lifestyle
LIFE FORCE contains optimal levels of many nutrients that might be deficient in low carb meals. Counting carbs can lead to restrictions of nutrient-dense foods, such as dairy products, grains, fruits and vegetables. LIFE FORCE contains many of the same protective antioxidants, Vitamins and minerals as fruits and vegetables, including betacarotene, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, flavinols, magnesium and selenium. It also contains high levels of the same Vitamins found in grains, including all of the B Vitamins, to support your body’s healthy energy metabolism. And it contains nutrients found in dairy products, such as calcium, potassium, Vitamin A and Vitamin D.
Support Healthy Fat and Protein Consumption with Life Force
Low carb lifestyles mean higher consumption of proteins and fats. Unfortunately, there are artery, heart, colon and many other health concerns associated with meals that are high in fat and protein and low in fiber and produce. However, the nutrients in LIFE FORCE can help you better process these foods when eating this way. LIFE FORCE contains high levels of protective fat-soluble antioxidants such as alpha lipoic acid, ascorbyl palmitate (Vitamin C ester) and Vitamin E to protect your body from the free radicals generated by consuming more fats. It also contains many nutrients for liver health, such as silymarin, CoQ10, NAcetyl Cysteine and turmeric to help support the fat metabolism your liver is responsible for. LIFE FORCE also contains a high level of the B Vitamin biotin, which aids in fat, protein and energy metabolism.
Complete Energizing Nutrition
LIFE FORCE is the only multiple to target organ systems with specific nutrients and bio-botanicals, antioxidants and Neuroceuticals® for total body harmony and energy activation, system by system. Only this dedication to going deep to the cellular root of system imbalances can produce a multiple so effective that it is acknowledged in a prestigious scientific review, the Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements. A nutritional program with LIFE FORCE at its center can be an easy first step in joining the Wellness Revolution. The goal of this revolution is a long, healthy and fulfilling life. Allow yourself to feel your best, to achieve mental and physical harmony, to radiate energy and vitality. Feel your LIFE FORCE!
June 23, 2005 10:49 AM
How many of us give the red hot chile pepper the respect it d e s e rves? Mo re often than not, most of us re g a rd red pepper or Capsicum as nothing more than the spice added to give Cajun and Mexican cuisine its piquant kick. Technically speaking, caye n n e pepper is the strongest red pepper variety of the Capsicum family, with paprika being the mildest.
Throughout this discussion, the terms capsicum and cayenne pepper will be used interchangeably. For our purposes, it’s important to know that herbalists have designated both of these terms for the same botanical agent. Health practitioners have known for centuries that Capsicum is much more than a culinary spice. Because they considered it a “ h o t” plant, Chinese physicians utilized it for physiologic conditions that needed stimulation. Capsicum or Cayenne Pepper is one of the few herbs that can be measured by its BTU or thermal units. In other words, it is a hot and stimulating pepper plant that can generate heat.
Recently, new and very valuable medicinal uses for Capsicum h a ve emerged through scientific inquiry. The red chile pepper is experiencing a rediscovery among health care practitioners, who have only just begun to uncover its marvelous therapeutic actions. It has been referred to as the purest and most effective natural stimulating botanical in the herbal medicine chest. The most recent clinical findings re g a rding Capsicum will be explored in our discussion with special emphasis on Capsicum’s ability to heal ulcers, protect stomach mucosa and alleviate peripheral pain. Unquestionably, Capsicum exe rts potent physiological and pharmacological effects without the side-effects commonly associated with powerful medicinal drugs. Ironically, in the past, Capsicum’s classification as a hot and spicy substance has done it a disservice. Because Capsicum is fiery and pungent, it is frequently regarded as dangerous and unpalatable. To the contrary, if it is used properly, Capsicum can be perfectly safe and impressively effective against a wide variety of physical disorders ranging from indigestion to ulcers to migraines. It s ability to lower blood cholesterol, boost circulation and even step up metabolism are worth serious consideration. In addition, its value for mental afflictions like depression must also be assessed. In a time when the notion of treating disease after the fact is more the rule than the exception, Capsicum offers protection from infectious invaders by boosting the effectiveness of the immune system. Today, amidst the over prescription of antibiotic drugs, Capsicum emerges as a potent immune fortifier, antioxidant and infection fighter.
A powerful compound called capsaicin is what gives Capsicum its bite and is also responsible for most of its beneficial effects on human physiology.1 The hotter the pepper, the higher its content of capsaicin.2 The re m a rkable pro p e rties of capsaicin will be discussed and documented clinical evidence supporting the use of capsaicin will be delineated. It is important to realize in evaluating this herb that while it can be used alone, Capsicum is frequently added to herbal combinations to potentiate their overall action. This fact alone attests to the powerful but safe stimulant action of Capsicum. Stimulation is thought to be one of the keys to swift and complete healing. Capsicum is ascending in prestige and is regarded as a modernday botanical which is accruing new and impressive credentials. The fruit of this particular pepper plant is a valuable herbal treasure. It is vital to our health that we inform ourselves about its many medicinal uses.
CAPSICUM (CAPSICUM ANNUUM)
Common Names: Cayenne Pepper, Red Pepper, African Bird Pepper, Bird Pepper, Spanish Pepper, American Red Pepper Plant Parts: Fruit Active Compounds: alkaloids (capsaicin), fatty acids, flavonoids, volatile oil, carotene pigment Nutritional Components: Capsicum is rich in Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and Zinc, two nutrients which are vital for a strong and healthy immune system. It is also high in Vitamins, A, C, rutin (a bioflavonoid), beta carotene, iron, calcium and potassium. Capsicum also contains magnesium, phosphorus, sulphur, B-complex Vitamins, sodium and selenium. The nutritional breakdown of Capsicum is as follows:
Pharmacology : Capsaicin (active component) contains over 100 distinct volatile compounds.3 It also contains capsacutin, capsaicin, capsantine, and capsico. Character: analgesic, antibacterial, antioxidant, antipyretic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, aromatic, astringent, blood thinner, cardiovascular tonic, carminative, circulatory stimulant, diaphoretic, hemostatic, herbal accentuator, nerve stimulant, stomachic and tonic (general) Body Systems Targeted : cardiovascular, circulatory, gastrointestinal, nervous, integumentary, skeletal, metabolic Herbal Forms: loose dried powder, capsulized, tincture, infused oil, ointment or cream Usage : Capsicum can be used liberally in a variety of forms. Capsulized dried Capsicum is probably the easiest and most practical way to take the herb. Commercial ointments can be purchased which contain from 0.025 to 0.075 percent capsaicin for the treatment of pain and psoriasis. Dried Capsicum can be mixed in hot water or can be used in tincture form, which can be added to water or juice. Safety: Capsicum is generally recognized as safe in the United Sates and has been approved as an over-the-counter drug. A four week feeding study of Capsicum concluded, “It appears that red chile is relatively non-toxic at the doses tested in male mice.”4 The seeds of the fresh Capsicum plant should not be ingested. Doses of Capsicum should be followed precisely as prescribed to avoid gast rointestinal upset. Pregnant women or breast feeding mothers should avoid using Capsicum. Initial use of topical Capsicum can result in some skin irritation or burning; howe ve r, clinical tests have found that this diminishes with continued application. Avoid direct contact with eyes or other mucous membranes in general.
How Does CLA Work?
June 22, 2005 09:46 PM
How Does CLA Work?
How could CLA hinder the growth and development of certain cancers in animals? Scientists have developed some intriguing possibilities, and many of them are related to the theory of antioxidants.
WHAT IS AN ANTIOXIDANT?
Well, one of the ironies of life is that oxygen, so essential to human life, also causes decay. Look at the parts of your car where paint may have pealed away, and you will notice rust, what scientists call oxidation. Molecules of oxygen combine with the iron or chromium on your car and change its chemical alignment to iron oxide or chromium oxide—rust. In a very real sense, the same thing happens to you as you age. Inside your cells, thousands of chemical reactions take place each moment. These reactions break apart the long chains of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen that make up body tissues and combines them in new ways. Some of those combinations cause decay. One example is when a free radical—a single atom of roaming oxygen—attaches itself to something useful, rendering it useless or even dangerous. If a free radical were to change DNA, for example, that could mutate a cell. This free radical process is one way this oxidation occurs, and antioxidants, often called free radical scavengers, attach themselves to the free radicals, blocking their damage. This can help improve life and help to cut the problems of oxidation. Indeed, many see antioxidants as a way of lessening the risks of cancer.
Many people know about important antioxidants, such as ascorbigen (Vitamin C), selenium or alpha tocopherol (Vitamin E), but nature provides numerous antioxidants. Many exciting ones are emerging, such as proanthocyanidins (often known as pycnogenol), quercetin (common in many fruits) and selenium (a mineral). C LA may be another antioxidant emerging from the research. Dr. Pariza and others found in a 1991 experiment that in the test tube, CLA was effective in battling free radicals. 28 It helped prevent damage to the DNA inside the cells. Pariza says in another paper, “Our hypothesis is that the antioxidant activity of CLA may at least in part explain its anticarcinogenic effect.”29 That would mean that one way CLA prevents cancer is because it blocks these dangerous free radicals. (Other theories about how it fights cancer include breaking down the chemicals that cause cancer into others that don’t .30 All the theories may be true in specific situations, and none might.) But like many other emerging, exciting areas of scientific inquiry, this idea that CLA is an antioxidant has doubters. Researchers J.J. van den Berg, N.E. Cook and D.L. Tribble wanted to see if CLA protected fatty membranes comprised of a substance called palmitoyl-2-linoleoyl phosphatidylcholine (PLPC) from the damage of biologic oxidation. In research published in 1995, they compared CLA’s effect to the wellknown antioxidant Vitamin E. While Vitamin E protected well, CLA did relatively little. They also found that CLA did not become a mineral chelator, an agent that helps natural minerals become available biologically. They bluntly said, “On the basis of our observations, a role for CLA as an antioxidant does not seem plausible.”31
Another study in 1995, however, showed that CLA can break down into other substances, called feran derivatives, that do act as antioxidants.32 As in all emerging sciences, debates ensue among honest, dedicated researchers. CLA may not, itself, be a antioxidant. Perhaps it acts as antioxidant in only certain situations. Perhaps things that come from CLA act like antioxidants. That is the state of the research today. (Indeed, Dr. Pariza says such debates are common in the field of antioxidants. 33)
What is important to remember is that in numerous animal models, CLA protected against the dangers of many different kinds of cancer in animals, and that, according to scientists, it is one of the most potent cancer-preventing substances of its kind known to science. Whether the cause of this effect was because of CLA or because of some other reason really isn’t that important.
Another thing to remember is that CLA is not a cancer drug. It is something that would be useful in addition to other cancer treatments. It is something to consider to lower your risks and, perhaps, lessen the effects of treatment. It should not be considered a treatment option on its own.
June 11, 2005 05:24 PM
Better Bones by Deborah Daniels Energy Times, March 13, 2004
As America ages, osteoporosis, a weakening of the bones, grows into an ever-expanding problem. Currently, it affects more than 44 million Americans.
Women are in special danger; of those who suffer weak bones, about 35 million are women. This problem causes a huge amount of damage-physical, emotional and financial. The national bill for hospital and nursing care for osteoporosis victims tops $17 billion a year, about $47 million a day.
Odds are, your bones need help. According to the National Institutes of Health, the bones of more than half of all Americans over age 50 are weak enough to put them at risk of osteoporosis. Weak bones linked to osteoporosis continue to present a serious risk to health. A study published in the British Medical Journal shows that fractures in older people are just as life-threatening today as they were two decades ago (2003; 327:771-5).
When researchers looked at broken legs among more than 30,000 people over the age of 65, they found that just as many people die today after these kinds of bone breaks as they did during the 1980s.
Their findings emphasize how important strong bones are to survival. This study showed that breaking your leg at age 65 or older increases your risk of death more than 12 times. And these high death rates, according to the researchers, reinforce the fact that preventing osteoporosis saves lives.
Blowing Smoke Through Bones
While many bone experts blame the high rate of osteoporosis on sedentary lifestyles and foods low in calcium, Australian research has turned up another bone-weakening villain: smoking. According to these scientists, smoking may be the most destructive lifestyle habit that destroys bone in older women. While other studies have pointed to smoking as a factor in bone loss, this most recent study purports to show that smoking may be one of the most important influences on weak bones (J Bone Min Res 9/03). " This will be an important step forward in the management of osteoporosis, since the results of this study can be used to improve current approaches to preventing bone loss," says researcher John Wark, PhD.
Dr. Wark's study found that older smokers are particularly prone to weak bones. While smoking is always bad for bone strength, after menopause tobacco smoke seems to exert an even deadlier affect on your skeletal support.
" [T]he damaging effects of cigarette smoking may well have been underestimated in the past," says Dr. Wark. When you inhale cigarette smoke, your lungs are exposed to about 500 harmful gases, including carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, benzene, hydrogen cyanide and ammonia. The infusion of these gases cuts back on the available oxygen used for building bone and other tissues.
Along with these gases, small particles containing chemicals like anatabine, anabase, nicotine, monicotine and other carcinogens also filter into the lungs. Studies (Acad Ortho Surg 2001; 9:9) indicate that bathing the body in these chemicals results in:
While it's never too late to build more bone, the best time for laying down a dependable musculoskeletal foundation is before age 30. That way, as you get older, your strong bones can better resist the weakening effects of aging. Ipriflavone is a natural chemical that has been found to help protect bone. Researchers believe that this supplement can help bones strengthen by absorbing more calcium (Calc Tissue Int 2000; 67:225)
Other ways to make bones stronger include:
Weak bones can put a severe crimp in your lifestyle and put your life at risk. How can you tell what shape your bones are in? Health practitioners can help you get the appropriate bone density test. But the tone of your muscles are also a good indicator: Exercise to tone those muscles and chances are you're building your bones, too. All you have to do is get moving!
The Joints Are Jumping
June 11, 2005 04:56 PM
The Joints Are Jumping by Rachel Alexander Energy Times, October 8, 2003
It usually starts with a twinge in your back or an ache in your knees: Knee stiffness, back pain and joint inflammation can signal the beginning of arthritis.
According to the US Food and Drug Administration, arthritis affects over 42 million Americans-that's 1 in every 3 adults-and costs the economy nearly $65 billion annually. But as common as arthritis is, it doesn't have to extract a high cost from your joints.
Who's At Risk?
Arthritis literally means an "inflammation of the joints" and can affect anyone-from small children to 80-year-olds. Some groups are more prone to certain types of arthritis; for instance, those over 40 are at greater risk for developing osteoarthritis, a degenerative condition of the joints.
According to Johns Hopkins Medical Institute, more than 50% of all individuals over the age of 40 have x-ray signs of osteoarthritis in weight-bearing joints (such as those in the knees and hips), and nearly half of those over 65 have measurable symptoms of arthritis. Osteoarthritis is often caused by overuse, age, excess weight or genetics, or by a combination of these factors.
Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, is a disease of the immune system that affects the joints, which can make it harder to diagnose because early symptoms-fatigue, weakness, loss of appetite and low-grade fever-can mimic other chronic conditions.
Stiffness and pain may or may not accompany the initial symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. However, joints eventually become inflamed and swollen. Although less common that osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis affects more than 2 million Americans.
Covering Up the Signs
Treating arthritis can involve the use of both conventional and non-conventional therapies.
"In osteoarthritis specifically, conventional medicine has just been focused on covering up the symptoms," says Jason Theodosakis, MD, author of The Arthritis Cure (St. Martin's Press). "In the history of medicine, this approach has been considered primitive."
But Dr. Theodosakis points out that treatment often depends on the type of arthritis involved: "Rheumatoid arthritis patients should be taking prescription drugs that are known to prevent the disease from progressing. [Use] alternative medicine as an adjunct..."
Conventional therapies often involve the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medicines, such as ibuprofen and naproxen. The chief drawback of NSAIDs is the toll these treatments extort from the gastrointestinal system.
In fact, a 2002 study conducted by researchers at the University of South Florida, Tampa, found that more than 15% of patients developed digestive problems after a five-week course of ibuprofen. In addition, ibuprofen may increase blood pressure.
Newer prescription NSAIDs called COX-2 inhibitors, which work by suppressing the body's inflammatory response, also carry risks of side effects ranging from diarrhea and fluid retention to liver damage and kidney problems. In addition, people with asthma or chronic allergies (including to aspirin) should not take these medicines.
Corticosteroids-another treatment option that has been used to lessen inflammation-can cause side effects such as increased appetite, mood changes and even immune system breakdown.
A growing body of evidence shows that nutrients such as glucosamine and MSM, coupled with lifestyle changes, can help decrease or eliminate some of the aches and pains of arthritis. Glucosamine is a natural chemical that helps build joints. When the cartilage in joints deteriorates due to age or other factors, studies indicate that glucosamine provides the necessary building blocks for rebuilding and repairing this tissue.
In one investigation (Archives of Internal Medicine 2002; 162:2113-23), scientists discovered that glucosamine slowed the progression of osteoarthritis and improved symptoms for over 200 patients. Another study, conducted by researchers in the Netherlands, demonstrated that a combination of glucosamine and chondroitin holds promise for conditions such as spinal disc degeneration.
To date, several studies have confirmed glucosamine's ability to help the symptoms of arthritis, and the National Institutes of Health is currently supporting research to further study the benefits of glucosamine.
Other Joint Aids
MSM is often an adjunct therapy as it does not work directly on joints, but provides the raw materials, in this case sulfur, to help rebuild cartilage in the joint matrix. Studies indicate that sulfur has a protective effect and may interact with magnesium, an essential bone nutrient.
Traditionally, the herb horsetail (Equisetum arvense) has been used to supply silica, a mineral component of nails, bones and joints. Its support of these structures can help in the fight against arthritis.
As the body ages, it may lose much of its silica reserves. Resupplying much of this mineral may help support joints. In addition, experts believe, silica can help the body use calcium more effectively and support bone health.
Since rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic affliction, you should work with a trained health professional in treating it. Complementary care practitioners often use antioxidant nutrients, such as Vitamins C and E, to reduce free radical damage, along with pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5) to lessen morning stiffness.
A Joint Project
According to Dr. Theodosakis, exercise is the key to dealing with arthritis: "[Start with] an individualized exercise program that strengthens the joints without causing more damage...and an eating program to control your weight if you are currently overweight." To limit the effects of arthritis, you should quit smoking, since smoking generates free radicals that can harm the tissues which make up joints. In addition, a strict vegan diet may help alleviate some of the pains of rheumatoid arthritis.
Dr. Theodosakis also recommends looking for hidden causes of symptoms, such as food allergies, that may contribute to arthritis.
Heat helps ease arthritis pain and encourages both blood flow and tissue repair. A plain, old-fashioned hot water bottle works quite well. Or you can use one of the newer heat-generating wraps, which are thin enough to be worn under clothing and don't have to be constantly reheated.
You can't always avoid arthritis, especially as you get older. But you don't have to let it get the better of you.
Thanks for the Memory
June 11, 2005 03:49 PM
Thanks for the Memory by Estelle Sobel , February 6, 2002
Thanks for the Memory By Estelle Sobel
"I feel like every day, I lose my memory more and more. It started when I couldn't find my car keys, sometimes I forget directions. My mother has Alzheimer's so I'm concerned," says Jerry Solowitz, a 63 year old man.
Ellen Lerner, 37, sometimes worries that she can't keep track of everything in her job as a public relations executive. "I feel like stress can get to me easily, and I worry because I forget simple things like where I put a file."
Should these people be concerned?
"Yes," says Lynda Toth, Ph.D., co-author with Pavel Yutsis, M.D., of Why Can't I Remember? Reversing Memory Loss (Avery, 1999).
Jerry should start a specific program with a health practitioner who specializes in memory loss, due to lots of unsuspected new causes for memory dysfunction. Ellen needs to make lifestyle changes, as stress can definitely lead to memory loss.
"Cortisol, which is one of the stress hormones, can be harmful because it keeps calcium in the memory pathway too long and destroys the neurons, which is very damaging to the brain," notes Toth.
Why Does Memory Fail?
Memory fails for several reasons, says Augustine DiGiovanna, M.D., author of Human Aging: Biological Perspectives, (McGraw-Hill 2000), and Professor of Biology at Salisbury State University in Salisbury, MD.
Normal Aging: Much of diminished memory as we age is due to reduced blood flow to the brain from atherosclerosis, which is hardening and narrowing of the arteries. Decreased blood flow causes neurons to shrink and function less effectively.
Also, as we age we lose neurons and neuron connections that can lead to memory loss. So the way people think, how much they remember, and the mental activities they do determine how many brain cells survive through the years.
Finally, as people live longer, the chance is greater that the body's immune system and other defense mechanisms won't be able to protect against certain diseases that affect the brain and memory (Parkinson's, strokes, Alzheimers, atherosclerosis).
A Starving Brain: The brain is not getting fed the nutrients it needs (Vitamins, minerals, amino acids, glucose). Without the right "food" the brain's energy levels become lowered and stop powering the memory cells. Then, free radicals can do more dirty work and continue to rust memory cells.
Drink And Sink: Alcohol passes through the blood-brain barrier and slows down the processing of information between memory neurons. Memory loss increases over time, as memory tissues shrink.
Sad Stories: Depression can imbalance the neurotransmitters and electrical charges of neurons.
Tense and Tight: High blood pressure can constrict and narrow blood vessels, limiting blood and oxygen flow to the brain.
One way to boost brain power is to take the right supplements.
Ginkgo biloba: The powerful medicinal herb ginkgo biloba increases blood flow and circulation to the head by dilating blood vessels in the brain, allowing more oxygenated blood to get to the neurons. It also protects against free radical damage.
Research: Ginkgo biloba extract displayed a significant effect on helping the mental abilities of people 50-59 years old (Phytotherapy Research 13, 1999: 408-415).
Pregnenolone: This powerful hormone regulates the balance between excitation and inhibition in the nervous system and helps enhance memory and brain function, possibly by repairing a fatty substance that is part of the myelin sheath that surrounds nerve cells. Research: A St. Louis University School of Medicine study on mice showed that pregnenolone enhanced memory and helped mice to navigate mazes better.
Huperzine A: This herbal supplement is derived from club moss found in China; in purified form it inhibits the enzyme that breaks down acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter produced in the brain that you need for memory.
Research: Studies conducted by Alan Mazurek, M.D., found that huperzine A in purified form improves memory, enhances focus and concentration and has been used to improve memory loss in Alzheimer's patients (Alt. Ther. in Health Med. 5 , March 1999: 97-98).
Another study in The Journal of Neuroscience Research showed that huperzine A is a potent inhibitor of cholinesterase, which penetrates the brain and produces a dose-dependent increase of the neurotransmitters acetylcholine, norepinephrine and dopamine in rat cortex (41, 1995: 828-835).
Phosphatidylserine (PS): This substance, which occurs naturally in nerve cell membranes, helps keep fatty substances soluble and cell membranes fluid and helps reduce levels of cortisone which are damaging to tissues.
Research: Phosphatidylserine encourages a sense of calm by raising the levels of alpha brain waves and increasing the production of acetylcholine (Neuropsychobiology 24, 1990-1991: 42-48).
Vitamin E: This potent antioxidant attaches to bad cholesterol and helps prevent free radical damage to cells.
Research: Age-related processes like memory function and problem solving can be affected by free radical damage. Several studies show that Vitamin E might slow the effects of Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease (JAMA 282, August 18, 1999: 621). Acetyl-l-carnitine: Increases cognitive performance because it rejuvenates cellular membranes of mitochondria, the storehouses of energy contained in every living cell.
Alpha-Lipoic Acid: Preserves memory tissue by increasing glutathione levels, which protect fat stores in neurons from being damaged.
Nine Ways to Remember
Dr. Lynda Toth suggests the following ways to make the most of what you've now got.
1) Power Up Your Smile. Remove dental fillings and replace them with porcelain or ceramic ones. The mercury in metal fillings may be harmful (some believe) and can affect the brain and nervous system, inflaming memory tissue and preventing the entry of nutrients into the cells.
2) Don't Be a Tin Man/Woman Avoid exposure to aluminum. Don't use aluminum pots to cook in. Aluminum accumulates in memory tissue, damaging cells. In fact, autopsies of Alzheimers patients show they have unusually huge amounts of aluminum in the brain. But no one knows where this aluminum comes from.
3) Eat Right. Eat organic and pesticide-free foods. Pesticides get into the cells and can damage DNA.
4) A Matter of Taste. Avoid foods with artificial coloring, monosodium glutamate (MSG, often called "natural flavors" or "natural seasoning"). Also avoid processed foods with taste enhancers called exito toxins such as l-cysteine and aspartic acid.
5) In the Raw. Make sure that your diet consists of enzyme-rich 50% raw foods (fruits and vegetables) to feed the brain. Eat less animal fats.
* Drink green juices to support levels of the brain's clean-up enzymes.
*Eat lots of fiber, which helps remove toxins from the body. Pick up psyllium fiber.
*Limit intake of processed sugar, caffeine and alcohol to lessen the load on the liver and pancreas.
6) Cut Bait. Watch the fish that you eat. Lots of ocean and inland-caught fish are contaminated with mercury. Go for deep, cold water fish such as cod. Avoid shark and swordfish.
7). Oil Up. Supplement your diet with omega-3 fatty acids, such as cod liver oil or flaxseed oil. These fats lubricate memory cells.
8) Work That Body. Stay fit and exercise. Exercise helps oxygenate the body, reduces cholesterol, and builds and energizes new memory cells which reduces wear and tear on the brain function.
9) Do Mind Games. Read, listen to music. Tune into different radio stations than the ones you normally listen to. Do crossword puzzles and a wide selection of word games which can stretch your brain and give it a tough workout.
Student of Life
You need to keep learning your whole life to keep your brain and memory in tip top shape. The brain is adaptable, and you are always building new neurons, says Dr. Toth, which means that there is no limit to how long it can develop. Anything that stimulates the brain will help it to grow. That's why as you get older it's even more important to take classes, start a new hobby, travel. In fact, the challenge of learning and doing new things (without stopping in a fit of frustration) causes your brain to grow, says Dr. Mazurek.
The Good News
As people get older, their brains may actually improve and repair themselves through a complicated process that is designed to eliminate faulty neurons that are prone to making mistakes. At the same time, brain activity goes on that results in the development of new and improved connections with neighboring neurons.
Research also shows that memory improves if you train people to have faith in themselves. (The brain helps those who help themselves.) Apparently, a confident perspective can encourage the brain to actually improve to the point where its new-found abilities may increase to the point where it fulfills expectations.
So keep your chin up and stay away from the artery-clogging saturated fat that can cut off the brain's blood supply. It's all in the attitude, says Dr. DiGiovanna. And, of course, the key to a long and happy life with your brain is also on the end of your fork and in that bottle of supplements.
Estelle Sobel, is the co-author of Beautiful Skin: Every Woman's Guide to Looking Her Best at Any Age (Adams Media, May 2000).
Skin Eternal - Replenish Your Skin
June 06, 2005 08:45 AM
Source Naturals is proud to introduce our new SKIN ETERNAL Cosmetic Line. Our advanced skin care products recharge and revitalize your skin. Each product features scientifically advanced nutraceuticals: nutrients and botanicals with an inborn affinity for skin. You can nourish your skin with Source Naturals’ richly emollient SKIN ETERNAL CREAM smoothed under your eyes or on your neck. Or use our light, aqueous SKIN ETERNAL SERUM. Both products gently addresses imbalances and infuse skin with visible radiance. For a luxuriant, moisturizing bath, simply add SKIN ETERNAL BATH OIL under warm running water. Whatever your individual preference, Source Naturals has a SKIN ETERNAL product that will leave your skin looking refreshed and energized.
Now available from Source Naturals®: a variety of elegant cosmetics to moisturize, smooth and tone your skin.
Your skin is a reflection of your health and well-being. To attain skin that looks truly alive, energized and refreshed, we believe a holistic approach is necessary. This includes nourishing your body with fresh, organic foods, exercising every day to motivate your mind and spirit, and eliminating unhealthy lifestyle choices. As part of this holistic approach, the Skin Eternal™ cosmetic line feeds your skin cells with scientifically advanced nutraceuticals: nutrients and botanicals with an inborn affinity for skin.
SKIN ETERNAL™ CREAM
Apply this rich and luxurious blend under and around your eyes or massage it with upward strokes onto your neck—your skin will immediately feel the difference! SKIN ETERNAL CREAM features nutrients, natural oils and plant extracts. Included are alpha lipoic acid, biotin, CoQ10, DMAE, jojoba oil, MSM, squalane, tocotrienols, and Vitamin C-ester, as well as extracts of grape seed, ginkgo, ginseng, green tea, sage, marigold, and grapefruit seed.
SKIN ETERNAL™ SERUM
SKIN ETERNAL SERUM is an aqueous moisturizing serum that contains a rich blend of nutrients and plant extracts. It is easily absorbed, and immediately makes skin feel softer and replenished. SKIN ETERNAL SERUM is lightly scented with pure lavender and lemon oils, and contains nutrients and herbs unavailable in other topical preparations. These include aloe vera, alpha lipoic acid, biotin, CoQ10, DMAE, MSM, Vitamins A, C-ester, D-3 and E, and chamomile. Source Naturals also offers SKIN ETERNAL DMAE SERUM.
SKIN ETERNAL™ BATH OIL
OUR NEW SKIN ETERNAL BATH OIL adds to your skin’s hydrolipic film, lightly coating your skin with nutrients. It holds moisture inside and protects your skin. Its unique formula is rich in alpha lipoic acid, DMAE, essential fatty acids, Vitamins C-ester and E, plus other nutrients and plant extracts. SKIN ETERNAL BATH OIL is lightly scented with pure lavender and lemon oils. And it is hypoallergenic and contains no alpha hydroxy acids—so it can be used even on delicate, sensitive skin.
Lifestyle Tips for Healthy Skin: A Strategy for WellnessSM
Eat a Healthy Diet Low-nutrient foods, such as sugar and refined carbohydrates, will not provide the Vitamins and minerals your skin needs. Choose unprocessed organic foods, high in antioxidants such as beta carotene (carrots, apricots, and squash), Vitamin C (oranges and peppers), Vitamin E (cold-pressed oils, nuts and seeds), selenium (tuna, garlic, onions and broccoli) and zinc (whole grains, most seafood, and onions). Essential fatty acids, such as those in oily fish, flaxseed and olive oil, are important for skin repair. Eat high-fiber fruits, vegetables, whole grain bread and cereals, and brown rice. Restrict excess sodium intake.
Key nutraceuticals can help radiate beauty from within, by supporting body systems involved with healthy, radiant skin. These nutraceuticals include alpha lipoic acid, DMAE, ascorbyl palmitate (Vitamin C-ester), Vitamin E and grapeseed extract. Source Naturals offers you SKIN ETERNAL™ tablets with these five ingredients, to protect against free radical damage and provide cofactors for healthy skin tissue. Source Naturals SKIN ETERNAL PLUS is a Bio-Aligned Formula™, which includes these key nutraceuticals plus 30 more! It is designed to support multiple body systems: antioxidant defense, connective tissue, cell membranes, cell renewal, blood and liver cleansing, muscle and nerve function, and stress response. It is also useful to supplement with essential fatty acids, such as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, flaxseed and primrose oil.
Our bodies are made up of 50-70% water, so it’s important to drink at least 1.5 liters daily. Water flushes out wastes, and acts as an internal moisturizer, keeping skin hydrated and supple. Spring water is beneficial since it contains trace minerals vital to healthy skin.
Protect Your Skin from the Sun
Avoid direct sun from 10 am to 4 pm, when ultraviolet radiation is strongest. Use sunscreen even during winter and on cloudy days. Wear a broad-brimmed hat and sunglasses with full UV protection.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Research has shown that skin regenerates itself between 1-3 am; lack of sleep during those hours can cause skin to look dull or puffy. Taking a melatonin supplement can be helpful in supporting your body’s normal sleep cycle.
Exercise increases circulation, which delivers nutrients necessary for a clear, glowing complexion. It also burns off fat, helps eliminate toxins, and is a great stress reliever. Exercise three to five times a week until you are perspiring freely and breathing deeply.
Avoid Excessive Alcohol and Coffee
Alcohol weakens the immune system and depletes nutrients. It causes dehydration, depriving skin of moisture, and overtaxes the liver, which helps keep impurities from reaching other organs. Alcohol consumption can lead to broken or distended capillaries, especially over the nose and cheeks. Caffeine-rich beverages like coffee promote dehydration, leaving skin flaky and dry. Substitute herbal or green tea for coffee.
Smoking slows healing and regeneration, causes carbon monoxide to increase in blood, and induces free radical formation. Nicotine constricts blood vessels and reduces blood flow to skin. The benzopyrene in cigarette smoke inhibits absorption of Vitamin C, which is important for collagen synthesis.
Ester E - Natural E for Cardiovascular and Antioxidant Support
June 02, 2005 09:38 AM
We’ve all heard of Vitamin E but did you know there are many different forms of this essential nutrient? Ester-E® is a unique form of Vitamin E that occurs when natural d-alpha tocopherol combines with a phosphate molecule. Vitamin E is one of the body’s chief antioxidants and the phosphate form, Ester-E®, offers advanced antioxidant protection to body cells. Vitamin E also helps maintain cardiovascular health, protects the liver from toxins, enhances circulation and supports healthy immune system function. Source Naturals ESTER-E® is a patent-protected, body-ready form of Vitamin E. Make Ester-E® part of your health plan for more complete nutrition.
Vitamin E was named tocopherol, from Greek tocos meaning “offspring” and phero meaning “to bring forth,” because it was originally discovered as a nutrient essential for reproduction. Vitamin E became the name given to a group of eight fat-soluble compounds–four tocopherols (alpha, beta, gamma, and delta) and four tocotrienols (alpha, beta, gamma, and delta). It is an essential fat-soluble Vitamin that naturally occurs in many foods–especially vegetable oils. In 2003, the first report of naturally occurring Vitamin E phosphate was published. ESTER-E® (Vitamin E phosphate) occurs when a phosphate molecule combines with a natural tocopherol resulting in a unique form of Vitamin E.
Vitamin E Deficiency
Researchers previously thought that deficiencies of Vitamin E were rare but a large population- based study showed that sub-optimal levels might be quite common. According to this study, African-Americans feel most of the impact, with 41% having sub-optimal levels of Vitamin E in their blood, compared with 28% of Mexican Americans and 26% of whites. Optimal level refers to levels in research studies associated with cardiovascular benefits. Many people, especially African- Americans, may benefit from the extra cardiovascular support offered by Vitamin E.
Antioxidant and Cardiovascular Support
Vitamin E is referred to as an antioxidant even though some forms can change into celldamaging free radicals, creating a “pro-oxidant.” Free radicals are unpaired electrons that can damage living cells and compromise the proper function of tissues and organs. Vitamin E phosphate may be the previously unrecognized form of Vitamin E that allows alpha-tocopherol to be stored and transported without generating free radicals. The phosphate form of Vitamin E appears to have a detergent action within the cell membrane, which creates a barrier that may keep free radicals from transferring from one polyunsaturated fatty acid to another. Until its discovery, researchers wondered how Vitamin E could be both an antioxidant and an oxidizer. Antioxidants neutralize destructive free radicals and support cardiovascular health by preventing the oxidation of cholesterol. Oxidized cholesterol is an unstable molecule that damages the integrity of arteries. Preliminary studies show that Vitamin E phosphate may inhibit foam cell formation in in-vitro cell cultures. Foam cells are macrophages that pick up oxidized lipids and form fatty streaks in the artery walls, contributing to plaque formation.
Nutrition for Wellness
Taking personal responsibility for your health is at the heart of the wellness revolution. At Source Naturals we are committed to bringing you the finest nutrients modern research has to offer. ESTER-E® is the newest addition to our superior line of Vitamin E products designed to help you live a longer, healthier life.
Under-Reported (and Underappreciated) Cholesterol control.
May 12, 2005 10:00 AM
Under-Reported (and Underappreciated) Solutions for Cholesterol and Triglyceride Controlby Richard Conant, L.Ac., C.N.
Fat and human existence are inseparable. Setting aside the fear and loathing over fat in the body that pervades our culture, we understand that fat is our friend. We cannot live without fat.
The human body contains many different kinds of fats and fat-like molecules. Collectively known as "lipids" these fatty substances include fatty acids, lipoproteins, phospholipids, glycolipids, triglycerides, steroid hormones and the infamous, dreaded cholesterol.
Lipids (fats) are found everywhere in the body, performing a variety of vital functions. The brain is a fat-rich organ. Brain neurons and all other nerve cells are protected by a myelin sheath, made largely out of fatty material. Cell membranes consist almost entirely of phospholipids (lipids that contain phosphorus) arranged in a sandwich-like double layer embedded with proteins. Sex hormones are lipids, belonging to the group of complex lipid molecules known as "steroids." Vitamin D is a lipid.
The body stores and transports fatty acids in the form of triglycerides. A triglyceride contains three fatty acid molecules, which have a chain-like structure, linked to glycerol. (There are also mono- and di-glycerides, which have one and two fatty acid chains, respectively, attached to glycerol.)
Like many other things necessary to life, fat is a two-edged sword. Fat insulates us from the cold, cushions and protects our vital organs and serves as a storehouse for energy. Yet, when present in excess to the point of obesity, fat threatens health, happiness, self-esteem, social standing and longevity. The same is true of other lipids, most notably triglycerides and cholesterol. Transported throughout the body in the bloodstream, these essential lipids become a health liability when the blood contains too much of them.
Keeping fat in it its proper place, not eliminating or drastically reducing it, is the goal we should seek. In the blood, lipids must be maintained at healthy levels and ratios. When they are, an important foundation of good health is established.
How do we keep the blood lipids we need——triglycerides and the various forms of cholesterol——balanced at healthy levels? Diet and exercise are indispensable, these basics must come first. Along with the recommended dietary practices, a number of nutritional approaches offer help for maintaining healthy blood lipids. We will now give several of these a closer look.
In 1990, an herb used for centuries in the Far East was introduced to U.S. consumers. This herb, called "gum guggul," is proving to be one of the most effective natural cholesterol-lowering agents ever discovered. It also brings triglycerides down and raises HDL, the "good" cholesterol. The changes are substantial; gum guggul single-handedly normalizes the entire blood lipid profile, even in people with high starting levels of cholesterol and triglycerides.
Gum guggul, also called simply "guggul," is a gummy resin tapped from the Commiphora tree. A cousin of myrrh gum, guggul has been used by Ayurvedic herbalists of India for at least 3,000 years; texts dating from around 1,000 B.C. mention the herb. Guggul was traditionally given for rheumatism and poor health caused by excess consumption of fatty foods. One ancient Sanskrit text describes in detail what happens in the body when blood fats are out of balance, due to sedentary lifestyle and overeating. The name of this condition has been translated as "coating and obstruction of channels."
Intrigued by the obvious similarity between "coating and obstruction of channels" and arteries clogged by fatty plaque, Indian researchers initiated a series of experimental and clinical studies in the 1960's to see if gum guggul would lower excess blood lipids.1 Both human and animal studies consistently showed cholesterol and triglyceride reductions.
Detailed pharmacological studies showed that guggul's lipid-lowering effects are produced by compounds in the resin called "guggulsterones."2 An Indian pharmaceutical firm then patented a standardized extract of gum guggul under the trade name "Gugulipid." The product contains a uniform 2.5 percent guggulsterones, which is higher than guggul resin in its natural state.
Because Gugulipid guarantees the necessary intake of guggulsterones needed for blood fat reduction, it has become the product used in clinical research. Phase I efficacy safety trials and Phase II efficacy trials have yielded more positive data.3,4,5 Most of the studies on gum guggul have used relatively small numbers of subjects; this tends to make mainstream medical scientists reluctant about natural remedies. A large, well-publicized double-blind Gugulipid trial on 400 to 500 people would go a long way toward giving this herb the credibility it deserves.
Another effective natural solution for blood fat control that should be better known is a relative of pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5). Pantethine is the active form of pantothenic acid in the body. Pantethine forms CoA, an essential co-enzyme for utilization of fat. CoA transports "active acetate," an important byproduct of fat metabolism that provides fuel for generating cellular energy. By promoting the burning of fats for energy, pantethine helps keep triglyceride levels down.6 Pantethine also helps regulate cholesterol production, by facilitating the conversion of fat into other lipid-based molecules needed in the body.6
Japanese researchers began studying the effect of pantethine on blood fats nearly twenty years ago. They reported their promising results at the Seventh International Symposium on Drugs Affecting Lipid Metabolism, held in Milan, Italy in 1980.7 Few in the medical or scientific communities took notice. Italian researchers followed up with several small clinical trials that confirmed the preliminary reports.6,8,9 An excellent cholesterol and triglyceride lowering agent that is safe and free of side-effects, pantethine remains, for the most part, ignored by mainstream science, although its usage is growing in alternative medicine circles. Pantethine it will no doubt prove to be one of the most important supplements for maintaining healthy blood fat levels.
When taken in high enough doses, niacin (Vitamin B3) substantially lowers cholesterol. This has been known to medical science for many years.10 studies on niacin as a cholesterol-lowering agent go back to the 1950's. There was a fair amount of initial enthusiasm for niacin because it improves, unlike most lipid-lowering drugs, all parameters of the blood lipid profile. Niacin reduces total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. It also raises HDL cholesterol quite well. Interest in niacin has faded, in part because the necessary dose, 1200 milligrams a day or more, can cause flushing and gastrointestinal disturbances. Very high doses may be harmful to the liver if taken for too long.
There is a solution to the side-effect problem with niacin which, again, has failed to gain widespread attention. Inositol hexanicotinate is a flush-free form of niacin composed of six niacin molecules bonded to one molecule of inositol, another B-complex nutrient. Absorbed as an intact structure, inositol hexanicotinate is metabolized slowly, releasing free niacin into the bloodstream over a period of hours following ingestion.11 Inositol hexanicotinate has all the benefits of niacin for controlling blood fats. The flushing effect of ordinary niacin, which metabolizes much more rapidly, does not occur. Taking as much as four grams per day has not been reported to raise liver enzymes or cause other side-effects, but prudence dictates that people with liver problems should avoid very high doses of inositol hexanicotinate, or any form of niacin.12
We often think of Vitamin E as synonymous with d-alpha tocopherol. Vitamin E is actually a whole family of compounds that includes various tocopherols and a group of lesser known but highly beneficial substances called "tocotrienols." All have Vitamin E activity. Tocotrienols are similar in chemical structure to tocopherols, but they have important differences which give them unique and highly beneficial properties for human health.
Vitamin E is one of the most recognized antioxidants, nutrients that deactivate potentially toxic byproducts of oxygen metabolism known as free radicals. Vitamin E neutralizes peroxides, which result from the free radical oxidation of lipids, making it a key antioxidant in cell membranes. While d-alpha tocopherol has generally been regarded as the form of Vitamin E with the strongest antioxidant activity, tocotrienols are even stronger.
The tocotrienol story is another example of a natural product slow to gain recognition. A Univeristy of California research team discovered that d-alpha tocotrienol is over six times more effective than d-alpha tocopherol at protecting cell membranes against free radical damage.13 In the presence of Vitamin C, which recycles Vitamin E-like compounds, its antioxidant activity is 40 to 60 times higher than d-alpha tocopherol. This study was published in 1991. Its safe to say few cardiac physicians know about tocotrienols, and we have yet to see 60 Minutes do a piece on "the powerful new form of Vitamin E."
It would be a tremendous service to public health if they did, because the benefits of tocotrienols go far beyond their stellar antioxidant ability. Tocotrienols also lower total cholesterol and LDL, by impressive percentages. In one double-blind controlled study, tocotrienols reduced total cholesterol by 16 percent and LDL by 21 percent after twelve weeks. Another study recorded drops of 15 to 22 percent in total cholesterol along with 10 to 20 percent decreases in LDL levels.14 Now appearing on health food store shelves, tocotrienols are a health-protecting nutrients whose long overdue time has come. Derived from food oils such as palm oil and rice bran oil, tocotrienols have the same lack of toxicity as ordinary Vitamin E.
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