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The Truth About Sugar: How It's Digested, Metabolized, and Why Too Much Can Be Dangerous
June 25, 2022 10:13 AM
What is glycation and what does it do to the body?
Glycation is a process that occurs when glucose binds to proteins, lipids, or nucleic acids. This can damage tissues and lead to the formation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs). AGEs are toxic compounds that contribute to the development of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, atherosclerosis, and Alzheimer’s disease. The body has mechanisms to prevent glycation, but these become less effective with age. Additionally, certain lifestyle choices, such as smoking and a high-sugar diet, can increase the risk of glycation. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the risks and take steps to protect the body from this damaging process.
How does sugar cause glycation?
Sugar causes glycation in several ways. First, when sugar is present in the bloodstream, it can attach to proteins and lipids, forming new molecules called advanced glycation end products (AGEs). Once formed, AGEs can accumulate in tissues and cause damage. Second, sugar can also indirectly cause glycation by promoting inflammation. Inflammation triggers a release of immune system chemicals that can damage tissues. Third, sugar can also impair the body's ability to regenerate tissues. This is because glycation damages DNA, making it difficult for cells to divide and multiply properly. over time, this leads to a decrease in the body's ability to heal wounds and repair damaged tissues. As a result, sugar plays a significant role in the development of conditions such as diabetes and Alzheimer's disease.
How can you prevent glycation from happening?
There are several ways to help prevent glycation from occurring. First, it is important to control blood sugar levels by eating a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight. Exercise can also help to regulate blood sugar levels and prevent glycation. In addition, antioxidants may help to protect against glycation by scavenging sugar molecules before they can attach to other molecules. By taking these steps, you can help to prevent glycation and the age-related conditions that are associated with it.
Should we be worried about sugar intake?
Sugar is a complex topic, and there is still a lot of scientific research to be done in order to understand all of its implications. However, based on the current evidence, it seems that we should be at least somewhat concerned about our sugar intake. Numerous studies have linked sugar consumption to an increased risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer. And while sugar itself is not necessarily bad for you, the truth is that most of us consume far more sugar than we need. The average American consumes over 150 pounds of sugar every year, which is well above the recommended limit. So, while you don't need to eliminating sugar entirely from your diet, it is important to be aware of how much sugar you're consuming and to make sure that you're not overdoing it.
What are some healthy alternatives to sugar?
Sugar is a common ingredient in many processed foods, and it can be difficult to avoid. However, consuming too much sugar can lead to weight gain, cavities, and other health problems. Thankfully, there are a few healthy alternatives that can be used in place of sugar. Stevia is a popular choice, as it is derived from a plant, has no calories, and does not elevate blood sugar levels. Xylitol and erythritol are both sugar alcohols that have a lower calorie content than sugar and do not cause cavities. These substitutes can be found in most supermarkets, and they can help to make healthier choices when it comes to sweetening food and drink.
So, while you don't need to eliminating sugar entirely from your diet, it is important to be aware of how much sugar you're consuming and to make sure that you're not overdoing it. There are a few healthy alternatives that can be used in place of sugar. Stevia is a popular choice, as it is derived from a plant, has no calories, and does not elevate blood sugar levels. Xylitol and erythritol are both sugar alcohols that have a lower calorie content than sugar and do not cause cavities. Try a sugar alternative in your next recipe and see how it tastes! You might be surprised at how good it can be.
Fiber doesn't just do wonders for your gut: It also can also keepbreast cancer at bay
April 23, 2019 03:29 PM
We're all well aware of the digestive benefits associated with high amounts of fiber in out diets, but research is now showing that increasing your fiber can actually reduce one's vulnerability to breast cancer. Problems with insulin and glucose levels are often a primary culprit in the development in breast cancer, and fiber actually has the ability to regulate glucose levels. Since glucose levels remain more stable after regularly taking in fiber, the odds of developing breast cancer can be reduced.
"On its way out, insoluble fiber brushes the insides of the colon. This helps eliminate harmful substances so that they don’t accumulate in the body."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-02-28-fiber-keeps-breast-cancer-at-bay.html
What's The Difference Between Niacin And Niacinamide
December 19, 2018 08:31 AM
When it comes to Vitamin B3, not all forms of Niacin are created equally. Aside from the risk of allergens and impurities, there are also separate forms with critical distinctions. The pure form is made solely of nicotinic acid which causes the flushing effect when it is taken by humans. The flushing effect is a redness that starts in the face and expands outwards through the rest of the body. It can make the skin feel warm, dry, and itchy for half an hour. The flushing effect is associated with vascular dilation that helps open up the tiny capillaries and blood vessels to clean out all the toxic junk they may have accumulated.
Nicotinic Acid Lowers Cholesterol
Nicotinic acid is also associated with increasing HDL levels in the body to prevent heart disease and plaques from accumulating on the interior walls of arteries. Nicotinic acid is also known to lower the LDL and VLDL bad cholesterols that clog up arteries and lead to heart attacks and strokes.
Other Benefits of Vitamin B3
Vitamin B3 plays a critical role in building enzymes that help us carry out over 200 physical functions in the body. It is not produced naturally but is absorbed from foods such as yeast, green vegetables, milk, eggs, legumes, and fish. Aside from cardiovascular health, it plays a critical role in nervous health and sex hormone production.
How Does Niacinamide Differ?
Niacinamide is a water-soluble form of Niacin that is used to treat deficiencies or for therapies when patients need to take higher doses regularly to treat pellegra and the deficiencies that lead to it. When an excess of Niacin is built up in the body, your body may store it in this form. The chief distinction between this water-soluable hybrid and nicotinic acid is the effect on cholesterol and vascular dilation. Although flushing can be reduced by taking nicotinic acid daily and building up a tolerance to the effects, it is harder on the liver and more burdensome on the body to metabolize it in the high doses used for therapy of many illnesses: ADHD, Schizophrenia, nervous problems, migraines, and arthritis, among others. It is the preferred choice for maintaining a consistent and steady level of Vitamin B3 in the body and loaded into many beauty and skin products for women.
What Other Forms Can I Take?
You can take any form of the vitamin on a daily basis or supplement it with nicotinic acid when you need some additional flushing effect. You will notice that Niacinamide causes some symptoms of drying and itching that are similar to flushing when you take it in high doses. The no-flush formulation is called inositol hexanicotinate and made up from Vitamins B3 and Inositol Vitamin B8. The inositol acts as an additional buffer that makes inositol hexanicotinate easy to digest and take 1600 mg without side-effects: nausea, itching, flushing, dizziness, gout, liver damage, diabetes. Although multi-vitamin formulas and even fortified foods like breakfast shakes and cereals suggest that you are getting a full dose of B3 in each serving, this is very unlikely. The better choice is to take specifically formulated capsules rather than multivitamins if you are using it for therapeutic reasons.
Prevent the number one cause of premature death by simply takingvitamin C
November 16, 2018 09:51 AM
According to the data, it's been estimated that as many as half of all premature deaths are preventable, moreover that poor nutritional intake is at the core of the problem. One such nutritional deficit that could lower the number of premature deaths is the deficit of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a well-known immune system booster. However, it also has an important role to fulfill when it comes to cardiovascular health. The journal of the American College of Nutrition recently attests to this fact. The journal reported findings that agreed that the use of vitamin C reduced the incidence of cardiac disease. The findings were based on a study of over 100 men, many of whom were smokers. Those given the highest dosage of vitamin C slashed their risk for cardiac complications by more than half. Danish research further augments this aspect of vitamin C. Data pools acquired from 100,000+ Danes showed high vitamin C concentrations among those who regularly consumed a large array of fruits and vegetables. This higher level was auspiciously linked with a lowered risk of cardiovascular disease and premature death.
"The reality is that an inexpensive vitamin supplement could reduce the rate of coronary heart disease but mainstream medicine is so deeply entrenched in pharmaceutical dogma, the idea that nutrients can prevent disease is downright blasphemous."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-11-12-prevent-number-one-cause-of-premature-death-vitamin-c.html
Why your brain fails as you age, what you can do now
August 24, 2018 09:53 AM
It is the mitochondria inside your organelles that produce adenosine triphosphate, and if it does not function now then that is bad news for you. It means that your risk of developing a degenerative disease rises dramatically. No organ in your body is more dependent on energy than your brain, and older people who have their energy impaired open themselves up to such diseases. Additionally, as one ages, their mitochondria is decreased in functions and numbers.
"If your mitochondria are not functioning well, your risk for chronic degenerative diseases will radically increase."
Read more: https://www.healthnutnews.com/why-your-brain-fails-as-you-age-what-you-can-do-now/
This Natural Recipe Will Help You To Cleanse Your Lungs, Prevent Colds And Flu!!
May 29, 2017 12:14 PM
Cold and flu season is the time of the year where everyone is stocking up on vitamin C and zinc in the hopes of dodging this bullet. Unfortunately, the changing of the seasons makes it difficult to avoid the occasional bout of sickness. If you want another weapon in your cold-fighting arsenal then watch this video to get information on a drink that helps cleanse the lungs and prevent colds. This natural drink is inexpensive and has been long been used to cleanse and protect the lungs.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGLdRfqcY3E&rel=0
"Drinking a citrus juice in the morning is an excellent way to help remove toxins, mucus and fat accumulated in the body."
How To Balance Crystals In Your Ear
May 16, 2017 11:44 AM
Calcium crystals in your ear can travel between the inner ear and the semi-circular canals, causing fluid imbalance and vertigo, a sudden dizzy sensation. If you get suddenly dizzy from abrupt head position changes or wake up dizzy, you probably have them. You should see your doctor who will try to reproduce the vertigo in their office. If crystals are the cause, there are some non-invasive maneuvers that can safely be fine at home to balance the crystals in your ear, preventing vertigo.
"When crystals accumulate in one of the ear canals they interfere with the normal fluid movement that these canals use to sense head motion"
Read more: http://www.thealternativedaily.com/how-to-balance-crystals-in-your-ear/
TWO CUPS OF THIS DRINK DAILY AND THESE 9 EXERCISES IS ALL YOU NEED TO GET A FLAT STOMACH!!
April 29, 2017 02:14 PM
So many people want to flatten their stomach, but soon find that it is harder than they ever imagined it could be. It is true that it is difficult to lose fat from the stomach, but it is not impossible. If you know the right remedy, you can get a flat stomach that you love in no time. This drink and exercises are all that you need to make great strides in your desire for a flat stomach.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=665qdTOzvgg&rel=0
"A flat stomach is everyone’s desire, and it is not simple to achieve, as you need to exercise regularly, but you should also change the food you consume. Today, we are going to reveal the recipe of a remedy which will burn the abdominal fat accumulated in the abdominal area, and prevent gain weight again. It cleanses the body from all harmful toxins and waste, removes retained fluids, and boosts the function of the brain."
Selenium Benefits: A Unique Trace Mineral That Provides Powerful Cancer Prevention
April 05, 2017 08:44 AM
For those who keep a keen eye on their health, the toxic chemical mercury is a growing concern. Mercury can be lethal in high concentrations. It weakens the kidneys, liver and brain and competes with other, healthy minerals at key cellular binding sites. This is concerning, given that mercury is a potent biological toxin that is present in the environment around us and can accumulate in our bodies and contaminate our cells over time. The good news? The mineral selenium can help detoxify mercury from the body.
"Research has been shown that selenium can contribute to natural antioxidant pathways which stimulate apoptosis (cell death) in human cancer cells."
Read more: http://www.healthnutnews.com/selenium-benefits-unique-trace-mineral-provides-powerful-cancer-prevention/
3-Ingredient Celery Juice To Quickly DETOX YOUR KIDNEYS, PROTECT YOUR HEART AND HEAL YOUR JOINTS!!
April 05, 2017 04:44 AM
Detoxing is way of cleansing your body and getting rid of all the toxins in your system. Some people buy a detox where they have to go on diets or drink a certain drink. However, most people would prefer to detox naturally by just putting lemon, cucumbers or parsley in water. Those three ingredients are great for detoxing because, they help get rid of toxins. Another way to detox according to the video, is by drinking a 3 ingredient celery juice. Celery is really good for cleaning out your liver.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DunXc--rxBU&rel=0
"The detoxification of the entire organism does not end in the liver, as you need to cleanse the tissues that accumulate acid buildup and heavy metals as well."
Stress Can Make the Pounds Accumulate
March 02, 2017 05:59 AM
Stress can actually make you a lot bigger. There is evidence that stress leads to higher weight, because people turn to comfort food in times of stress. There has been a link shown between long term stress and obesity. There were a lot of variables taken into account during the study.
All you need to know about fatty liver
February 17, 2017 12:59 PM
A fatty liver does not sound to healthy. Well having ones can cause sever health complications. It is important to make sure you do not develop this condition. If you are overweight, you are already at a higher risk for fatty liver disease. Having diabetes or high cholesterol are just another example of risks for fatty liver.
"Fatty liver typically has no associated symptoms. You may experience fatigue or vague abdominal discomfort. Your liver may become slightly enlarged, and your doctor can detect this during a physical exam."
Want to be smarter and have a better memory? Eat foods rich in this
December 30, 2016 12:59 PM
According to a study by the University of Illinois, eating foods rich in lutein like many leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables, for example, will help promote a healthy aging brain. The study did not specify the amount of lutein that is needed for ultimate brain protection and only concluded that more levels of the vitamin meant a better chance at brain health preservation. If your brain health is poor, Collingridge says it could lead to other serious neurological conditions like developmental disorders right through to dementia.
"Smoking can cause illnesses that contribute to memory loss, including stroke and hypertension. Smoking also constricts the blood vessels to the brain, depriving it of oxygen and possibly harming neurons."
How Vitamins Help Keep Calcium in the Bones
Your arteries and heart work full time. They require nutrients that would assist and maintain blood vessels firm and flexible. If you are worried about stroke or blood pressure, you want to read about the important vitamins which can create a great difference. Vitamins A, D3, and K2 are the most important vitamins for the cardiovascular system. These fat soluble vitamins make sure the heart and the sixty thousand miles of blood vessels perform at the optimum. Still most of the people do not understand how essential it is to obtain sufficient of these three. These three vitamins function as partners to avoid dangerous blood clots, high blood pressure and heart attacks, maintain calcium in the bones, assist keep arteries strong and flexible and decrease inflammatory triggers in the bloodstream.
Calcium has some negative sides also. If not effectively used in the tissues and blood, it can accumulate in the body when we age, a method known as calcification. Few calcifications are not dangerous. Half of the female over 50 will reveal certain benign calcification in breast tissue at the time of mammogram. But this build up may be a sign of calcium accumulation in other parts of the body such as the heart and arteries. This makes arteries inflexible and stiff, resulting to higher risk of strokes, blood clots and heart attacks. The necessary thing to keep in mind is that the body does not avail nutrients such as calcium, separately. To ensure the body is availing calcium properly, you want to ensure you are also obtaining sufficiently of the vitamins which regulate calcium.
Vitamin K is available in two types, Vitamin K1 is responsible for making clots and avoiding extra bleeding if there is any wound. Vitamin K2 boosts proteins which assist transport calcium to the place where it is required. The lower you consume vitamin K2, the higher the danger of heart attack and heart disease. The sunshine vitamin is necessary to heart and bone health. But most of the people still do not receive sufficiently of it. Vitamin D is also utilized by several cells in the cardiovascular system like cells which line the blood vessels and heart muscle cells. Lower levels of this vitamin have been connected to a higher danger of dying from stroke or heart disease.
Vitamin D assist avoid calcium accumulation in the blood vessels. It raises the expression of the vitamin K based proteins that adjust calcium. Without these, calcium cannot be received by the bones, rather stores up in the artery walls and blood vessels. The right amount of vitamin D is needed to boost proteins. Researchers have proven that vitamin K and D function better when they are at good levels. Most of the people aware that vitamin A is vital for eyes. It also influences a variety of body processes like controlling different proteins that adjust the kinds of cells the body creates. This involves the cells which line blood vessels. This vitamin falls down when inflammation is seen, identifying its important part in fighting injury and disease.
Probiotics for Oral Health
Bacteria usually makes people think of organisms that cause disease. The truth is that there are countless types of bacteria and while some of them do cause disease, there are millions of bacteria that are beneficial to the body. For optimum health, the body should consist of about 85% healthy bacteria.
These healthy bacteria help with;
Sourcing Healthy Bacteria
The information that the human body is dependent on good bacteria for healthy functionality only recently came out and with it came a plethora of food products designed to promote the growth of healthy bacteria such as Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG.
Food that are good for the production of healthy bacteria in the body are called probiotics. Fermented foods such as yogurt, miso and sauerkraut are great probiotics however these food have to be unpasteurized as the pasteurization process kills all of the bacteria in food, both good and bad.
While most bacteria is present inside people's guts, there are some that occur both in the intestinal tract and the mouth. Streptococcus salivarius is a major member of the microbes that make up the healthy bacteria inside of a person's mouth.
The Colonization of S. Salivarius in the Mouth
Oral Streptococci are one of the first bacteria to colonize the mouths of newborn humans. For bacteria to colonize the mouth, it must first avoid the body's natural defenses against colonization from foreign microbes and resist the forces of saliva. To resist these forces, streptococci have developed adhesives that interact with the exposed areas of the mouth to keep them securely fastened to the area that they wish to colonize.
There are two main types of surfaces in the mouth. These are the hard and non-shedding surfaces of the teeth, and soft tissues whose surfaces have cells that are constantly being replaced such as the tongue and cheeks. S. mutans and S. Sangunins have tropisms that enable them to stick to the surfaces of the teeth while S. Salivarius has adapted tropisms that enable it to adhere onto the soft tissues.
All of these areas of the mouth are constantly coated with saliva. Saliva provides a variety of molecules that are ideal for streptococcal bacteria to interact with and adhere to. The thin films of saliva within the mouth vary in thickness and chemical composition at different points. Therefore different locations in the mouth consist of saliva that has more or less favorable receptors to the adherance properties of streptococci. For example, streptococci located on chips in teeth exhibit varied properties in their ability to bind to salivary proteins in those locations.
Streptococcus and Healthy Mouths
Streptococci's process of colonization makes it difficult for pathogenic bacteria to stick to the host. With the emergence of the knowledge that bacteria in the mouth promotes health, new strains of S. Salivarius such as K12 and K18 have been developed to help fight oral health problems that people deal with every day. These probiotics are designed as mouth washes that a person gargles for direct application. Once there, these probiotics create bacteriocin-like inhibitory substances called Salivaricin A and Salivaricin B that have the ability to fight infection.
Maladies Treated by S. Salivarius
Tonsil Stones: Tonsil stones are produced by the unchecked accumulation of bacteria that produce sulfur. The debris created by this bacteria then accumulates in the tonsils. Oral probiotics break down these unwanted globs.
Bad Breath: When the body sleeps the brain sends signals to the mouth to reduce its production of saliva. The reduction of saliva turns the mouth into an environment that is more favorable to the growth of bacteria that thrives in dry and anaerobic conditions. The proteins produced by S. Salivarius K12 inhibit the growth of this bad-breathe causing bacteria.
Ear infections: The misinformed believe that ear infections start from outside the ear. The truth is that they are caused by bacteria that originates inside the throat and then travels up to the ear canal through the Eustachian tube. Beneficial bacteria such as that found in probiotics prevent this from happening by forming a protective bio-film in the throat that prevents harmful bacteria from progressing.
When it was discovered that bacteria is essential for healthy gut activity, the doctor who made the discovery suggested that if a person is suffering from certain maladies of the stomach or gut or whose healthy gut bacteria has been eviscerated by steroids or antibiotics, said person can get a transplant of bacteria from a healthy donor.
This idea was also applied to a man who came into his doctor complaining of an ear infection. The doctor simply took a sample of ear wax from the person's healthy ear, transferred it into the infected ear and the infection passed.
If You No Energy It May Be Because Of Poor Absorption
The human body is a miracle designed differently. At conception, our cells are encoded with a genetic blueprint and if kept clean with all nutrients provided, the cells will perform perfectly. Current research shows that our bodies are engineered for up to 120 years but our lifespan nowadays wind up to 60's to 70's only. This is a result of poor maintenance of the body. When one starts to get older, the more damage accumulates in the cells and speeds the aging process. But we can never escape aging.
Aging is controlled by two factors which are heredity and the internal and external elements that results to our way of living. These external and internal factors can be the kind of food we eat, quality of air we breathe and also the amount of stress that accumulate in our bodies. Consumption of excess alcohol, smoking, oxidized fats and chemicals in food speeds the aging process.
Oil is one of the causes of absorption issues in the colon. Example, cooking meat creates a substance called hetero cyclic amines which cause colon cancer. Poor elimination and toxic buildup are said to be a result of premature aging. Poor digestion and absorption drives the aging bodies to nutrients they need. The solution to slow down aging is to eat food that are nutrients-dense and low-calories.
The absorption of food by the colon is determined with what we eat. The best diet for the colon is a natural diet which is easily digested by our bodies. The more you take man-made ingredients, the more you make it difficult for food to digest. This means when the food will be passed to the colon from the small intestine what will remain to the colon will not be digested hence making it difficult for the colon.
Diatomaceous Earth suggests that the best diet for a healthy colon in the absorption of food is fiber and water. Fiber means adding more plant based food on the diet. These include eating more vegetables, whole grains, fruits and nuts. Fiber helps retain water and roughage in the body making your stool softer for easy passage to the colon. Another way is that you can conduct a colon cleanse. This removes old fecal matter and helps the colon to function more. Diatomaceous Earth is good for lowering blood pressure, cholesterol, and good for the skin hair and bones. When taking diatomaceous earth make sure you take a lot of water because it dries you off. Drinking water not only provides moisture to your body but also helps to remove out toxins. Avoid drinking drinks with sugar especially those that got high fructose corn syrup. The colon is the most important part of the waste treatment. The more we take care of our bodies the more energy we will have. To restore our health we need good diet and a good colon that will help our bodies function.
Can Low Selenium Affect Thyroid Functions?
August 08, 2014 10:01 PM
What is thyroid glands
Human thyroid glands are small glands with a very important function. The major function of thyroid glands is to regulate body metabolism.
There are two main hormones produced by thyroid glands; thyroxin (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). The secretion of these 2 hormones is based on the feedback mechanism of hypothalamus and pituitary glands. These hormones influence every body cells- they control the rate at which your body accumulates and uses fat, help to regulate body temperature and also heart rate. In addition, thyroid glands produce calcitonin, a very important hormone that regulates the amount of calcium in the body. There are the major types of thyroid diseases, Thyroid cancer, Hyperthyroidism, Hypothyroidism and Benign disease. But what is the role of selenium in thyroid functions?
Selenium deficiency is not common in healthy adults, but it is common in people with digestive disorders causing low absorption, or those with severe inflammation arising from chronic infection. Research shows that low selenium does not cause illness by itself, but due to its role in immune functions, it makes a body susceptible to biochemical, nutritional and infectious diseases.
But this does not mean that selenium has no direct influence on thyroid functions. Adequate selenium supports the production of thyroid hormones, protects thyroid glands from the adverse effects of excess iodine in the body, and will also improve body metabolism.
Importance of selenium
Selenium is very important and it is always healthy to ensure your normal selenium level. For example, selenium supplements are used to treat autoimmune thyroid condition. Studies have found that selenium supplementation lowers thyroid inflammation. These findings are backed by the fact that selenium increases thioredoxin reductase and glutathione peroxidase activity, and also lowers the toxic concentration of lipid hydro peroxides and hydrogen peroxides which results from the production of thyroid hormones.
Selenium prevents thyroid tissue damage. Selenium is very important because it lowers the level of thyroid peroxides in the blood. In addition, selenium is vital for conversion of T4 to T3. T3 is the active form of thyroid hormones. Low T3 causes hypothyroidism.
How to obtain selenium?
If you think your body is deficient of selenium, it is good to seek medical care immediately. Thyroid glands are very important for the body functions. Selenium supplement is a good solution to thyroid function. But long term use of selenium supplement would cause other complications such as white blotchy nails, hair loss, gastrointestinal upsets, fatigue, irritability, garlic breath odor, and mild nerve damage. In addition, very high selenium in the body may cause hyperthyroidism. In addition, clinical test for use of selenium supplements has found that it predisposes users to the risk of prostate cancer. Though this has not yet been proven. This makes selenium rich foods the best way to increase the level of selenium in the body. Some of the food rich in selenium includes; crimini mushrooms, shrimp, tuna, cod, scallops, chicken, halibut, salmon, shiitake mushrooms, brazil nuts, lamb eggs, and turkey. Brazil nut is particularly very rich in selenium, taking one or two in a day will significantly improve the selenium level and also boost your immune system.
Is selenium important for thyroid function?
Yes, selenium level is very important and low selenium.
Can Chitosan Really Absorb Fat?
June 06, 2014 05:11 AM
What is a chitosan
Chitosan is a naturally produced supplement that is recommended by nutrition experts and doctors as a great remedy for weight loss and high cholesterol, which results in a lower risk to develop bothersome cardiovascular problems and facilitates a better looking physique. Chitosan is made from the outer shell of crustaceans, such as shrimp or lobster. The outer shell is processed and a special form of "sugar", also known as a polysaccharide, is obtained. Unlike other types of artificially created sugars, Chitosan possesses unique properties that make it a great addition to a healthy diet for individuals who want to manage their weight and prevent obesity.
What Is Paraben and Why We Should Avoid It?
February 10, 2014 01:53 PM
What is paraben
Parabens are artificial preservatives used in many domestic manufacturing industries especially for cosmetics, food and drugs industries. Most manufactures prefer Parabens because they are cost effective and are also efficient in protection against micro-organisms for long time.
Common types of paraben
The most common type of Parabens are methyl, propyl and butylParaben. There are many harmful effects of Parabens, some of the most notorious side effects are;
Disrupts Endocrine System
When absorbed into the body system, Parabens disrupts endocrine system by increasing production of hormone notably estrogen and at times they may act as estrogen. The body is triggered to produce excessive estrogen which has variety of adverse effects. For example, increased production of estrogen can lead to ovarian cysts, unstable emotions and mood swing.
The most notable effect of increased estrogen in the body resulting from use of Parabens is breast cancer. Research shows that Parabens accumulate in breast and are major contributors to breast cancer.
Leads to sudden weight gain.
Parabens are known to contribute to excessive weight, though actual gain depends on individual and the amount of Parabens in the body, they interfere with thyroid glands which leads to excessive weight gain since body cannot regulate the amount of Parabens in the body. Excessive weight may also be caused by high amount of estrogen produced.
Negative Affects to Reproductive Health
Parabens have negative effects to reproductive health, for instance, they leads to low level of testosterone. This leads to low libido in men and in worst case it may cause infertility.
Although cosmetics aims at enhancing your beauty by making you look young, use of Parabens can actually hastens skin aging process. This alters your look and at times may completely change your skin complexion.
It is clear that Parabens are very dangerous to the body, though Food and Drug Administration has no illegalized use of this product for preservation, there is clear reason why they should be avoided.
Deer Antler Velvet
February 02, 2014 07:56 AM
Deer antler velvet
Deer antler is also referred to as insulin like growth factor or simply IGF 1. They are designed to help improve the performance of an athlete and also aid in building of muscles. Deer antler is the outer layer that is found on the antler of a male deer which is extracted just before they reach a fully calcified state. Then they are concentrated and sold as deer antler sprays.
What it does
IGF 1 plays a very important role in growth of cells and their replication, protein synthesis, helps stop overproduction of insulin, helps metabolize carbohydrates, regulates growth and development of the bones and also helps regulate circulation. Recent study shows that Deer antler velvet also supplements helps in improving cartilage damage joints due to cases of repetitive trauma. It affects how the process through which the body repairs itself. The hormone aids in building up a base that is essentially a building block of protein that is needed for the growth of cells. Then this substance helps increase the total number of new cells that accumulate on the base which in turn helps in healing the injury.
Health benefits of deer antler
Focusing on the health benefits of this supplement, the user can trust the fact that he or she will have to go through increase in the levels of their energy, endurance as well as stamina. If you happen to be training then this is the best supplement that you ought to be using. You will discover that you find yourself able to execute all kinds of physical efforts. In addition to this you will feel more relaxed and rested after the effort and will enjoy a good night sleep. Also, deer antler is known to improve your mood and helps you maintain a younger look for longer periods of time. Also it helps eliminate the pains that result from exercise and heightens your sense in order to help you think more clearly. Besides these benefits, this supplement it is used to improve the way in which the immune system works, it counters the effects of stress and also promotes the rapid recovery from illness. Other uses include treatment of high blood pressure, asthma, high cholesterol, indigestion, headache, weak bones, muscle aches and pains chronic skin ulcers and liver as well as kidney disorders.
Why it is popular
Ancient medicines have proclaimed that deer antler is the best regenerative supplements found in nature. This hormone has produced what is the best antler extract that is available on the market. With many similar products in the market Deer antler is the only supplement that gives an antler extract of 100mg per dose. Also what is exciting about this product is that it contains a stimulant for the nerve growth which is very essential for the body since nerves do not degenerate. These are the unique properties of this product and that’s what makes it stand out of the other products.
Deer antler supplements is referred as the best body booster is the market and will give you that body shape you always desired while keeping it healthy and young therefore be sure to spend your hard earned cash on the real deal in order to get the tremendous health benefits.
Why Zinc is Important for the Body
December 21, 2013 01:39 AM
Zinc is an important trace mineral found in our bodies. Its importance cannot be underestimated for its lack would cause vital body functions to come to a stop.The amount of zinc found in our bodies is about 3 to 4 grams. Zinc is also known to help people escape dangerous diseases like acne, Alzheimer's and many others. Below is a brief account of the various vital functions of zinc:
Zinc enables vital body functions to occur.This is because it stimulates over a 100 enzymes in the body. Enzymes are known to aid in body processes including such activities as making vital body components or helping break down chemicals that the body does not need or would rather harm it, if left to accumulate. Still in enzymatic functions, zinc plays a role in the formation of DNA, bones and breakdown of the proteins we eat.
Zinc is very vital when it comes to protecting our bodies against infections. It achieves this function in a multiplicity of ways, the very first being the pivotal role it plays in the healing of wounds. Zinc is also found in body secretions that kill bacteria and viruses which may find their way into our bodies. This is made possible by the fact that it has anti-microbial effects.
Zinc is also known to assist in protecting our cell membranes from the harmful effects of metals such as copper and iron. Another similar function of zinc is its ability to assist the liver form an antioxidant known as super-peroxide that assists in elimination of harmful toxins that would otherwise harm the body. Zinc will also help reduce poor night vision for it will slow ocular degeneration.
How Does Artemisinin Boost Your Health?
November 22, 2013 10:15 PM
What is Artemisinin?
Artemisinin also known as Ching hao su is a herbal medicine that is extracted from wormwood herb. Asians have been using this leaf for many years to treat simple ailment such as parasitic infections and cold. However, it has recently become very useful for its effect on malaria. The herb has been used to treat parasitic infections, mainly worms and flukes that strain our body not only on feeding them but also in excreting their waste & by-products. Malaria is caused by such a parasite and artemisinin has proved to be effective solution.
Artemisinin and Malaria
The plant contains a chemical known as Endoperoxide Bridge that reacts with iron to form free radical which is unwelcomed in our body. Nevertheless, malaria parasites have high level of iron that reacts with artemisinin to form free radicals that kill off the parasite. This has become the best cure for malaria since the parasites that cause it have developed mutant to many cures and they are not resistant to the endoperoxide.
What are Other Benefits of Artemisinin?
For other application is in the fight against cancer. Different cancers such as colon cancer and leukemia that involve iron rich cells can be destroyed by artemisinin by the same mechanism that kills off malaria parasites. Cancer cells are known to accumulate iron because they need it in cell division process. However, if you’re using artemisinin for treatment of cancer cells, it is important not to eat antioxidant containing supplements or foods because this drug work by creating free radicals that destroy cancer cells, antioxidant activity is known to counter these free radicals.
If you are suffering from intestinal parasites, then taking a gram or two each day will keep them off. This supplement is also effective when you are dealing with cough, cold and other general conditions but is more effective in the ones that cause fever. The Chinese have been using it as a form of “cure all” when specific remedies fail.
What Are The Magnesium Malate Benefits?
May 17, 2013 10:59 AM
A combo Mineral:
Magnesium Malate is a combination of Malic acid and magnesium. Both compounds come together to form a powerful supplement that is crucial for the body. Magnesium is used in more than 300 processes in the body making it one of the most needed minerals in the body. It is also found in the bones mostly and is synthesized from the locations to aid in optimizing many bodily functions.
Malic acid is an organic ingredient mostly found in the fruits. The compound combines with compounds forming salts known as Malates. The combination of Malic acid and magnesium forms magnesium Malate which is an important compound when it comes to the generation cellular energy. It is also important when it comes to a variety of physical and muscular conditions. The compound also comes in handy to treat a number of conditions in the body when used as a supplement.
If you are suffering from constipation, this is one to go. It is commonly used to loosen stools and induce laxative actions to clean the system. It is a perfect detox agent and is famously used in colonoscopy and bowel surgery. The Malic part of the compound is ideal for the laxative action giving relief to anyone suffering from constipation. The combination of the two compounds enhances these effects making them more potent in effectiveness.
Fibromyalgia Pain Relief
This compound is used to induce relief on patients suffering fro fibromyalgia. This condition will often cause muscle stiffness, muscoskeletal pain and chronic severe pains. These supplements are used to exponentially reduce the effects that come with the disorder. A study was done and published in the Journal of Nutritional Medicine where 15 patients were placed under observation with the treatment. All patients reported increased comfort when using the supplements in relation to fibromyalgia symptoms.
Solving Syndromes of chronic fatigue
Magnesium Malate enhances the production of energy at a cellular level increasing the condition of the individual using it. The process eliminates the chronic Fatigue syndrome and its effects allowing the individual to enjoy a wholesome life. This also deals with any accumulated stress and distraction factors that come with a tired out body. A rejuvenated body enhances performance in all aspects of life making this product one major energy and performance booster in the long run.
The combination can also be used to target heart related disease reducing the risk of experiencing closed valves and blood vessels. It is used to treat heart related diseases in the hospitals. Magnesium is also ideal when it comes to dealing with skin breakouts ranging from boils to skin ulcers. The compound will target many functions of the body through a domino effect. No matter how minute the effect may be on a general sense, it is important for the running of the boy functions such as the heart, nervous system and the epidermal system. The compound is one of the most widely used supplements from a varied number of conditions producing great results.
Can Butcher's Broom Help Fight Varicose Veins?
January 11, 2013 12:36 PM
Varicose Veins are abnormally thick veins that are twisted and enlarged. This problem occurs mostly in the leg and thigh veins. The thickened and twisted veins are called varicose veins. They can occur anywhere, but they mostly form in the legs because the legs work against gravity. Standing all day can increase the pressure on leg veins and cause varicose veins.
The normal function of veins is to carry blood from the outer body parts to the heart and lungs. The veins are provided with one-way valves, which prevent the blood from flowing backward within the vein. Defective or damaged valves are the main reason for varicose veins, as they allow the blood to flow backward, when it should be actually flowing up towards the heart. As the muscles contract to empty the veins, pressure builds up and this causes in the flow of more blood in the wrong way. Thus the pressure on the veins is increased and this causes varicose veins.
Factors that Aggravate Varicose Veins
There are different types of treatments available to shrink varicose veins and to improve circulation, from simple home remedies to surgeries or medications for severe cases. Natural supplements like Butcher's broom are considered to be a very effective treatment for varicosities.
Butcher's broom is a small, clump-forming evergreen shrub with tiny green flowers. It is an aromatic, diuretic and mildly laxative herb that helps reduce inflammation, increase perspiration and constrict the veins. The whole plant, young shoots and roots are used medically. Young shoots can be eaten like asparagus. It grows commonly in woodlands and hedgerows, and also on coastal cliffs. It is widely grown from Iran to the Mediterranean and the United States.
Its scientific name is Ruscus aculeatus, but it is commonly known as butcher's broom because butcher's used the stiff twigs to clean their cutting boards. The herb has been used for nearly 2000 years, but its medicinal uses have become common only from the last century. Investigations conducted in the 1950s indicated that butcher's broom can induce vasoconstriction and thus might be useful in treating circulatory diseases.
How It Works?
The two primary chemicals in butcher's broom, ruscogenin and neoruscogenin, can cause the blood vessels to narrow or constrict. Their anti-inflammatory properties help improve blood circulation in legs by preventing pooling of blood and reduce swelling.
Butcher's broom is used internally to treat venous problems that vary from varicose veins to hemorrhoids. It is also used to strengthen the veins and capillaries. Butcher's broom may be the best natural solution for varicose vein treatment, because it helps with blood flow and circulation.
Serrapeptidase: Natural NSAID
March 27, 2012 03:26 PM
Serrapeptase, also known as Serratia peptidase is a proteolytic (protein-splitting) bioactive enzyme found in the intestines of the silk worm. This silk-worm enzyme is widely used in Europe and Japan in clinical therapy for relieving pain and inflammation. When the silk worm leaves the cocoon, it regurgitates the serrapeptase in to create a hole in the cocoon for its escape. It was soon discovered that serrapeptase enzyme has a unique property to dissolve dead material consisting protein without even harming the living tissue. This property of dissolving dead tissue can be used in treating many health conditions.
How Serrapeptase work?
Protein is the main component of most of the fibrous materials in the body. Once these fibrous materials out-live their purpose or are over-grown, they start causing serious disease conditions involving fibrosis. Fibrosis is an abnormal thickening and scarring of connective tissue caused by infection, injury, surgery or lack of oxygen. Serrapeptase works as an anti-fibrotic and helps in relieving the conditions in connective tissue scarring and thickening has occurred.
Health Benefits of Serrapeptase:
This proteolytic enzyme is considered an alternative to NSAIDS (Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) that are used to treat osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. Serrapeptase has been used to treat fibromyalgia, colitis, Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, varicose veins, ovarian cysts, ear and throat infections, enlarged prostate and postoperative inflammation. Studies have shown its effective results in prevention and removal of arterial plaque.
Serrapeptase in relieving Pain:
Pain and Inflammation Reduction:
Serrapeptase is a great anti-inflammatory and analgesic agent. It reduces the inflammation and gives relief from the pain. It works by blocking the release of pain inducing amines from the inflamed tissues. Due to its pain relieving and anti-inflammatory properties, serrapeptase is used in treatment as an alternative to NSAIDS. This enzyme gives relief from mild to moderate pain like headache and backaches. Hence it is used all the inflammatory conditions such as colitis, sinusitis, arthritis and many more.
Serrapeptidase has an anti-fibrotic and fibrinolytic action that prevents and treats the accumulation of plaque in the arteries. Plaque is the accumulated deposits of cholesterol, fatty substances, cellular waste products, fibrin and calcium. Excessive plaque formation impairs the normal blood flow and cause partial or complete blockage, which also results in arteriosclerosis. Serrapeptidase helps to prevent build-up of plaque in the body. Due to its fibrinolytic action, it also helps in dissolving of proteins and breaking down atherosclerotic plaques. The dissolved deposits are eliminated from the body.
Hence, serrapeptidase prevents coronary artery diseases and improves cardiovascular health.
Due to its anti-inflammatory and mucus dissolving properties, Serrapeptidase is very beneficial for chronic sinusitis sufferers. Serrapeptidase helps in thinning and expelling the thickened mucus secretion present in nasal cavities of sinusitis sufferer.
Serrapeptidase helps in reducing the recovery time in any injuries, wounds or surgery. It promotes healing in post-operative wounds by reducing the inflammation and pain.
Serrapeptidase is available in the form of supplements. If you are taking NSAIDS for any healthy condition, substitute it with serrapeptidase supplement
Can You Eat Too Much Bran?
October 11, 2011 11:51 AM
Bran is the hard external covering of a grain which serves as a structure protecting the germ inside the grain. The bran was once considered as a disposable product of a milling process for the production of whole and refined grains. However, nowadays, because of the knowledge that the bran has high fiber content, it is sold as dietary fiber source. Studies reveal that when bran is removed from the grain, the grain dropped a significant portion of its nutritional value. Bran may be produced from milling grains such as rice, corn, wheat, oats, barley and millet. Bran is very high in fiber and certain nutrients such as minerals and antioxidants.
Indeed, there are many health benefits of consuming bran in the diet. However, it is not a surprise that many people nowadays inquire on the effect of consuming too much bran because more and more people are becoming more health - conscious. Clinical studies and intensive research on bran consumption have revealed that there is no life - threatening side effects of eating too much bran everyday. However, hardly than ever, certain individuals may experience intestinal obstruction because of the high fiber content of grain bran. But health experts state that there is nothing to worry a lot because the health benefits of such fiber content of bran outweigh the unwanted effects. Many doctors are also highly recommending that individuals must set limits on how much bran to consume.
One study has revealed that the primary problem of eating too much bran is that is consists of the chemical substance known as phytobezoars. These are large fiber molecules which are considered to be very useful among animals but indigestible on the digestive system of man. Though this is indigestible, it is not harmful once consumed in sufficient amounts and in moderation. If taken excessively, it may accumulate and build inside the digestive tract thereby increasing the chance of intestinal obstruction. Initial studies are also being conducted whether a high fiber diet can negatively cause effect of the normal levels of cholesterol and lipid in the blood. Dietary fiber significantly lowers the absorption rate of cholesterol from the diet. The mechanism of this effect is that bile acids which are required for the emulsification, digestion and absorption of fats and cholesterol are influenced by fiber. Bile acids are attracted by dietary fiber which is then attached to each other. If bile acids are attached to fiber, it cannot perform its task on breaking down fat molecules so that it can be absorbed by the body.
But instead, it will be readily eliminated together with the fiber. As a result this can cause decreased cholesterol level. Indeed, this is a positive effect. However, if dietary fiber is excessively consumed, possibility might also be extremely low levels of cholesterol and lipids in the blood. These substances are required by the body in normal amount for proper growth and development and maintenance of health. The levels must be regulated since excessively high might lead to diseases that might be life – threatening such as atherosclerosis and heart attack.
How Does Serrapeptidase Support A Healthy Immune System, Regulate Inflammation, And More?
September 01, 2011 02:25 PM
What Does Serrapeptidase Do In The Body?
Serrapeptidase is an enzyme which is protein - digesting by nature. It is considered to be one of the types of proteolytic enzymes which consist of the chemical substance protease. This chemical is derived from a non - genetically engineered fungus of the family of Aspergillus. Serrapeptidase is a dietary supplement which may be isolated from Serrapeptidase oryzae and Serrapeptidase melleus. Studies have claimed that this dietary supplement is effective as an anti - inflammatory, respiratory aid, cardiovascular or immune support. Other names of Serrapeptidase include serration - peptidase and serrapeptase.
During the early 1990’s, Serrapeptidase was isolated from the microorganism Serratia marcescens which is a known human pathogen found in the digestive tract of the Japanese silkworm. Many studies have been conducted to uncover the medicinal purposes of this bacterial enzyme. In fact, it has been widely used clinically in specific areas of Asia and Europe primarily as an inflammation relief agent.
These are some of the uses of the enzyme Serrapeptidase:
1. ANTI – THROMBIC AND FIBRINOLYTIC. Serrapeptidase can significantly prevent the build – up of blood clots. These clots must not be accumulated to prevent thromboembolism which can cause life threatening health conditions such as heart attack and stroke. Aside from its ability to prevent clot formation, Serrapeptidase also has a good fibrinolytic ability. It can lyse or dissolve already – formed blood clots.
2. PH REGULATOR. This proteolytic enzyme is considered to be an alkaline metalloprotease enzyme. It can selectively act on specific biological systems and prevent the activation of immunoglobulin G and immunoglobulin A. These body chemicals are immune system factors which helps the body prevent from infections and illnesses.
3. GOOD PROTEIN DIGESTER. Clinical studies have revealed that Serrapeptidase has a very good ability to digest protein molecules and its substrates. This is the reason behind why Serrapeptidase can effectively dissolve protein – based tissues such as fibrins, blood clots, cysts and certain inflammations. The advantage of this enzyme is that it can dissolve unnecessary tissues without harming the normal living tissues.
4. PROFOUND ANTI – INFLAMMATIORY AGENT. Serrapeptidase can effectively prevent and reduce inflammation, thus reducing swelling and pain sensation. The mechanism of action is said to be that Serrapeptidase blocks the synthesis of pain – inducing amines. Another mechanism is that it can effectively inactivate pro – inflammatory chemicals known as cytokines. In fact, this chemical is one of the components of analgesic drugs in Europe. The positive effect of this enzyme is that it does not have any digestive side effects.
5. RESPIRATORY AID. This enzyme is also helpful in improving the health of the respiratory system. It effectively alters the elasticity and viscosity of the dense mucus in people with respiratory problem such as sinusitis, bronchitis, asthma, and pulmonary diseases. People who are taking this enzyme supplement have shown improved liquefaction and expectoration of the mucus, thus Serrapeptidase is considered to be an effective mucolytic agent widely used all over the world.
Serrapeptidase is generally safe. Clinical studies have revealed that the sources of this enzyme are non – pathogenic except of one strain known as Serratia marcesens. This strain is pathogenic to human body. It may cause hypersensitivity or any untoward signs and symptoms. Therefore, it is best to consult a doctor before starting such supplementation.
Can Herbs and Prunes Help with Constipation
March 30, 2011 02:41 PM
Herbs and Prunes as a natural laxative
Herbs and Prunes must be the best digestive formula out there. It contains a select combination of herbs whose laxative properties are tried and tested for decades, namely: senna leaf, Chinese rhubarb root, Chinese asparagus, beet leaf, buckthorn bark, cabbage leaf, cascara sagrada bark, celery leaf, cranberry fruit, Culver’s root, parsley leaf, spinach leaf, and prune fruit. In addition to their long-standing association with alternative medicine, medical research has pointed to their active ingredients that are purgative in nature. These herbs not only relieve digestive problems such as constipation and indigestion but also cleanse the gastrointestinal tract, effectively disposing of toxins.
Induces Bowel Movement
There are several factors that may give rise to constipation, but in most cases it results from withholding bowel movement far longer than what is considered normal. In general, a healthy individual is expected to discharge fecal matter from the bowels at least once a day although it may vary from person to person. The rectum sends messages to the brain every time the final phase of digestion is about to take place, and not responding to these messages leads to reversing the direction of the feces, which are temporarily stored in the colon. However, the colon is not able to reduce the pressure the feces produce for long periods of time, leading to constipation. The unique formulation of Herbs and Prunes relaxes the intestinal walls and softens the stools, making it much easier to evacuate the bowels.
Alleviates Abdominal Pains
The phytochemicals that are considered the active ingredients of Herbs and Prunes include anthraquinones, such as senna glycosides, sorbitol, and isatin, such as dihydrophenylisatin, among others. These organic compounds are reputed for their laxative properties that soothe the muscles tissues within the intestinal walls and influence the releases of chemicals that sensitive the digestive tract to pain. Irregular bowel movement causes what we refer to as stomach pains, and more often than not the foods that we eat influences regularity. A balanced diet is named so because it promotes digestion as well as gives us the nutrients our body needs in right amounts. Herbs and Prunes works on the principle of supplying our body with all-natural, plant-based dietary fiber and phytochemicals that restores normal digestion.
Detoxifies the Digestive Tract
Herbs and Prunes comprises a significant fraction of both soluble and insoluble fiber that are guaranteed to wash away toxins when ingested with ample amounts of liquids. As diet significantly influences human health, it is not surprising that the digestive system may be rendered susceptible to unhealthy foods. The alimentary canal is our first line of defense against toxins that the foods we eat produce. Plant-based foods that contain fiber remove by-products of digestion that otherwise accumulate in the bowels. In conjunction with phytochemicals, fiber is known to reach parts of the alimentary canal that play host to harmful microorganisms, the reason why plant-derived medications are often the cure to many diseases of the digestive system.
Herbs and Prunes
It is always recommended to keep a herbs and prunes formula on hand when irregularity hits. Grab yourself a bottle today!
How to detoxify from heavy metal aluminum toxitity
November 09, 2010 06:04 PM
Although aluminum is not a heavy metal, it can be toxic if present in excessive amounts or small amounts if it is deposited in the brain. Many of the symptoms of aluminum toxicity are similar to those of Alzheimer’s disease and osteoporosis. Aluminum toxicity can often lead to colic, rickets, gastrointestinal disturbances, poor calcium metabolism, extreme nervousness, anemia, headaches, decreased liver and kidney function, forgetfulness, speech disturbances, memory loss, softening of the bones, and weak, aching muscles. Since aluminum is excreted through the kidneys, toxic amounts of aluminum can often impair kidney function.
When aluminum salts accumulate in the brain, seizures and reduced mental function can often result. In order to reach the brain, aluminum must pass the blood-brain barrier, which is an elaborate structure that filters the blood before it reaches the vital organ. Although elemental aluminum does not ordinarily pass through this barrier, certain aluminum compounds, such as aluminum fluoride, will. Many municipal water supplies are treated with aluminum sulfate and fluoride. These two chemicals readily combine with each other in the blood and are poorly excreted in the urine. The absorption of high levels of aluminum and silicon in the intestines can result in the formation of compounds that accumulate in the cerebral cortex and prevent nerve impulses from being carried to and from the brain in the proper manner. This situation can be aggravated by a chronic calcium deficiency.
People who have spent their career in aluminum smelting plants for long periods have been known to experience dizziness, impaired coordination, and a loss of balance and energy. When aluminum accumulates in the brain, the above symptoms are often caused. Perhaps the most alarming thing to note it that there is evidence to suggest that long-term accumulation of aluminum in the brain may contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. It has been estimated that an ordinary person ingests about 3 and 10 milligrams of aluminum a day. Aluminum, being the most abundant metallic element in the earth’s crust, is primarily absorbed in the body through the digestive tract, but can also be absorbed through the lungs and skin. Additionally, aluminum can be absorbed by and accumulate in the body tissues. Since aluminum permeates our air, water, and soil, it can be found naturally in varying amounts in almost all food and water. Aluminum is also used to make cookware, cooking utensils, and foil, along with being present in many other everyday products including over-the-counter painkillers, anti-inflammatories, douche preparations, antacids, baking powder, food processing, antiperspirants, toothpaste, dental amalgams, bleached flour, grated cheese, table salt, beer, and municipal water supplies.
The following nutrients are very helpful when dealing with aluminum toxicity: apple pectin, calcium, magnesium, coenzyme A, garlic, kelp, lecithin capsules or granules, l-glutathione, a multivitamin and mineral complex, SAMe, vitamin B complex, N-Acetyl Cysteine, and vitamin E. Additionally, the following herbs are great for blocking damage to the body from toxic heavy metals and radiation when taken regularly: burdock root, Echinacea, ginseng, ginkgo biloba, and fiber. Other recommendations to help prevent aluminum toxicity include maintaining a diet that is high in fiber and includes apple pectin; using only stainless steel, glass, or iron cookware, with stainless steel being the best; and being aware of the products that contain aluminum by reading labels and avoiding those that contain aluminum. Sulfur container foods like N-Acetyl Cysteine can help find up heavy metals and eliminate them from the body. If you suspect you have heavy metal toxicity, consult your health care provider immediately.
Skin Infections - Abscess
April 26, 2010 03:21 PM
When puss accumulates in a tissue, organ, or confined space in the body due to infection, an abscess can be formed. Abscesses may be located either externally or internally, and can often result from an injury or a lowered resistance to infection. An abscess can form in the brain, lungs, teeth, gums, underarms, abdominal wall, gastrointestinal tract, ears, tonsils, sinuses, bones, breasts, kidneys, prostate gland, rectum, scrotum, or almost any other body part. Infections are the most common disorders found in humans and they can be produced by bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi. A boil is an external abscess.
The affected area can become swollen, inflamed, hot, red, and tender. The individual may also experience fatigue, loss of appetite, weight loss, and alternating bouts of fever and chills. In some severe cases, blood infection and/or rupture of the abscess can occur. The material that is found inside of an abscess consists of living and dead white blood cells, dead tissue, bacteria, and/or toxins. All of which must be discarded from the body. An abscess that suddenly appears is often referred to as acute, while those that are present for a period of days or weeks is often termed to be chronic. A chronic abscess is more resistant to treatment because of the damage being more severe and widespread. On the other hand, acute abscesses are less extensive and generally respond to treatment within a matter of days.
An abscess that is treated should usually begin to heal in a few days, with complete healing resulting in a week or two. An abscess that does not show any signs of healing within this amount of time can be an indication of problems in the immune system. Although complications are rare, they can include bleeding or recurrence of the abscess. An abscess is basically a sign that the body is trying to rid itself of impurities. These impurities can consist of cells that are deficient in nutrients, which often stems from poor diet and exposure to environmental pollutants, chemicals, and other harmful substances. Eating junk food cluters the system with foods that lack nutrients and prevents cellular wastes from being eliminated efficiently, as it causes problems like constipation and sluggish liver, spleen, and kidney function.
The following herbs are beneficial for healing abscesses and cleansing the blood: burdock root, cayenne, dandelion root, red clover, and yellow dock root. Chamomile tea is also good for treating dental abscesses and consuming distilled water with fresh lemon juice along with three cups of Echinacea, goldenseal, and astragalus or suma tea is also helpful. An Echinacea tea of extract in warm water can be used as a mouthwash for dental abscesses. Also, a poultice that combines lobelia and slippery elm bark is a great soothing way to fight infections. Milk thistle, when taken in the capsule form, is good for the liver and aids in the cleansing of the bloodstream. Also, tea tree oil, applied externally, is a potent natural antiseptic that kills infectious organisms without harming healthy cells. This solution will destroy the bacteria, hasten healing, and prevent the infection from spreading.
Herbs like the above mentioned ones are available at your local or internet health food store. Always choose name brands to ensure quality and purity of the herbal supplement you purchase for consumption.
The Good and Bad of an iron supplement
April 25, 2010 06:04 PM
Iron holds a crucial role in the physiology of the body. It is a central part of the haemoglobin and myoglobin molecules. Iron is indispensable to the body’s ability to transport gases into and out of the cell. It is necessary in many important enzymes that are involved in energy production, metabolism, and DNA synthesis. Some iron is lost when red blood cells are broken down and excreted in the bile. However, because of iron’s importance, the body is able to conserve iron at all costs, as the kidneys do not eliminate the metal.
The dark side of iron supplementation comes when iron is consumed in amounts that are excessive to the body’s needs. Although unbound iron is more likely to cause oxidative challenges through the generation of free radicals, excessive iron supplementation in any form can cause huge problems for the cell. The overload of iron can cause deterioration of the gut lining, vomiting and diarrhea, abdominal and joint pain, liver damage, loss of weight, and intense fatigue. In children, acute doses as low as 3 grams can cause death.
About one out of every 250 North Americans suffer from haemochromatosis, which is a genetic defect that is common in a lot of those people of northern European descent. This disorder causes the body to accumulate and abnormally store high levels of iron. Those people with haemochromatosis store twice as much iron as others, which places them at increased risk for iron-related diseases. Symptoms of these diseases generally occur after fifty years of age and often include things ranging from fatigue, abdominal pain, achy joints, impotence, and symptoms that mimic diabetes.
Several studies have produced evidence which suggests that high levels of iron contribute to noticeable increases in the risk for cardiovascular disease. This is likely due to non-haeme iron’s aggressive pro-oxidant nature. Iron levels are one of the strongest biochemical markers for the progression of atherosclerosis, which results from increased oxidation of LDL cholesterol. A study in 1995 conducted on Finnish men found that those who had high body stores of iron also had a substantially increased risk of heart attack. Those men who posses the highest levels of stored iron often showed a levels of risk that was up to three times that of men who possessed the lowest levels of stored iron.
Disorders in iron accumulation contribute to a whole host of other disease states, all of which are degenerative in nature. Studies have shown that chronic iron overload contributes to increased infections, cancer, arthritis, osteoporosis, diabetes, and various congenitive dysfunctions. The only way to remove excess iron is through blood letting, unless you are a woman with regular menses. That is why, for men, iron overload can provide quite a problematic issue. Recent research has found that long-term supplementation with iron at doses less than 5 mg/day can lead to iron-overload toxicity. Because of this, it is recommended that the upper limit of iron intake be at 5 mg/day when considering a product’s rating. Any product that contains iron at a daily dose greater than this limit is penalized with this rating criterion.
But for those who need iron, it can easily be obtained through a vitamin supplement at your local or internet health food store. Men should avoid iron supplements and products containing iron, but women on the other hand due to monthly blood loss should supplement with iron regularly.
November 25, 2009 03:40 PM
Fenugreek is one of the oldest herbal remedies, used for both a cooking spice and a medicinal remedy. Fenugreek is a plant that can be found in the family Fabaceae. This plant is used both as an herb and as a spice. The leaves of the plant are used as an herb, while the seeds of the plant are used as a spice. Fenugreek is cultivated worldwide as a semi-arid crop. Frequently, fenugreek can be found as a main ingredient in curry. Originally native to southwestern Asia, this herb was used for inflamed bowels and stomach problems because of its bowel-lubricating abilities. Fenugreek was used by the Greeks for respiratory problems. Additionally, fenugreek was used in both the East and West and thought of as one of the most effective medicinal herbs. Often, fenugreek plants were fed to sick animals to improve their health.
This herb has a reputation of being able to dissolve hardened masses of accumulated mucus in the body. Fenugreek helps to rid the lungs of mucus and the bronchial tubes of phlegm. Often, it is combined with lemon juice and honey to help expel waste through the lymphatic system. Fenugreek is known for the antiseptic properties that it contains, which help kill infections in the lungs. Additionally, this herb is recommended for treating an inflamed gastrointestinal system. This herb contains thirty percent mucilage, which may be used as a poultice on wounds, inflammations, boils, and skin ailments. Formulas containing fenugreek are often touted as the miracle medicine for all gynecological problems. Some studies have found that fenugreek simulates the uterus and contains diosgenin, a constituent similar to estrogen. Research on diabetic animals has found that Fenugreek seeds are able to reduce urinary glucose levels. The active ingredient seems to be the defatted portion of the seed, which possesses the alkaloid trogonelline, nicotinic acid, and coumarin. When the defatted seeds were added to insulin treatment of diabetic dogs, it was noted that insulin dose was decreased. Fenugreek contains choline and liptropic, which aid in dissolving cholesterol and lowering cholesterol levels. Animal studies have shown beneficial results in lowering serum cholesterol levels. Fenugreek helps reduce mucus in cases of asthma and sinus and bronchial congestion. Evidence of anti-inflammatory activity has been show in some studies, which may explain why some individuals with arthritis have been helped by fenugreek.
The seeds of the fenugreek plant are used to provide alterative, anti-catarrhal, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, aphrodisiac, astringent, bitter, demulcent, emollient, expectorant, febrifuge, galactagogue, mucilant, and vulnerary properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are choline, iron, lecithin, minerals, protein, and vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, and D. Primarily, fenugreek is extremely beneficial in treating allergies, loss of appetite, bronchial catarrh, high cholesterol, diabetic retinopathy, gas, gastric disorders, lung infections, excessive mucus, and sore throat.
Additionally, the herb is very helpful in dealing with abscesses, anemia, asthma, body odor, boils, bronchitis, cancer, swollen eyes, fevers, gallbladder problems, heartburn, inflammation, sinus problems, ulcers, uterine problems, and water retention. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by fenugreek, please feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store with questions.
October 02, 2008 09:36 AM
Cartilage has several roles to play in your body, an example of which is to form curved body parts that would otherwise be unsupported, such as the external contours of your ears or a large part of your nose. Without cartilage you ears and nose would flop around a lot, and it is also contained in the spine, to prevent your discs from grinding against each other.
However, the part that we are interested in is as a shock absorber between the bones of your joints. It allows bones to slide over one another without damage, either through friction or shock, and is also nature’s shock absorber, helping to support your weight while you are active. Thus, your cartilage protects from impact damage when you are running or jumping down from a height. This type of cartilage, known as articular cartilage, is bathed in a lubricating fluid known as synovial fluid, which introduces its own problems when your cartilage becomes damaged.
This damage can occur in several ways: as the result of a fall, for example, or direct contact with the joint when playing a physical contact sport such as football or soccer. It can also become damaged through wear and tear over a period of time, such with long distance runners or soccer players (again), and is also associated with age. Many years of continual use, especially amongst those with active rather than sedentary occupations, eventually lead to wear and damage.
Problems with the joint structure itself, known as osteoarthritis, can also damage the cartilage, as can being overweight for a lengthy period. You can also experience cartilage damage if you are bedridden or other wise immobile for long periods, because the cartilage needs regular movement to function correctly. This is connected with the blood supply, which will be discussed shortly.
Cartilage is constructed of cells known as chondrocytes that generate a fibrous matrix known as collagen, a mixture of amino acids known as elastin that allows the cartilage to return to its original shape after deformation, and non-collagenous matrix tissue containing proteins, water and proteoglycans that contain sulfated glycosaminoglycan chains. That last mixture is often referred to as ‘ground substance.’
One of the problems with cartilage is its lack of a direct blood supply, and it relies on the compression and decompression of the articular cartilage, or on the flexing of elastic cartilage, to create a pumping action that drives blood to the chondrocytes. This is why inactivity can cause cartilage damage, due to a lack of blood supply, and why it is repaired more slowly than other body components.
Once an injury or wear and tear damages a joint, the body’s natural defense, the immune system, is activated, and the major part of that involved in cartilage damage is the inflammatory response. The joint becomes inflamed, the quantity of synovial fluid is increased to provide more protection and swells the joint, and enzymes (hyaluronidase) are produced which, although part of the natural defense system, actually degrade the synovial fluid and the cartilage.
This increases the amount of inflammation and the process becomes self-perpetuating, leading to the condition known as degenerative joint disease (DJD) because the body is unable to produce enough glucosamine to generate the proteoglycan needed for repair.
This is where glucosamine sulfate enters the scene. Glucosamine is a precursor for glycosaminoglycans (GAG), which as mentioned as above are components of proteoglycans in the cartilage matrix ground tissue. It has been shown to stimulate the biosynthesis of proteoglycan, and analysis has shown its presence within articular cartilage after administering it orally to patients with cartilage disease. It therefore makes its way to the right place.
Glucosamine is administered in the form of glucosamine sulfate, the highly electrically charged sulfate groups believed to aid in the compression properties of cartilage. It is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream, although only about a quarter of the oral dose is eventually available to the body, and high concentrations accumulate in the liver, kidneys and in articular cartilage where it is used in the biosynthesis of GAG.
When in solution, glucosamine sulfate separates into ions: sulfate and glucosamine. Glucosamine ions are involved in the synthesis of GAG, that then combine with proteins to form proteoglycans, a component of the non-collagenous matrix of the cartilage. Although glucosamine is the major active component, there is evidence that the sulfate group contributes the stability of the matrix of the connective tissue since the uptake of sulfate ions increases with the amount of glucosamine sulfate used.
Another consideration here is that sulfate is an important part of proteoglycans, and glucosamine sulfate promotes not only the synthesis of glycosaminoglycans, but also of proteoglycans in general. Glucosamine is also active in regenerating the lubricating properties of the synovial fluid, and in hindering the activity of hyaluronidase, the enzyme that breaks down the hyaluronic acid in the synovial fluid.
Some people find that glucosamine, taken either alone or in conjunction with chondroitin sulfate and/or methyl sulfonyl methane (MSM), is more effective than the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) used to reduce inflammation (e.g. Aspirin and Ibuprofen) and without the side effects of these substances. MSM contains dietary sulfur, which is necessary for cell structure and healthy cell repair. Methyl sulfone methane is know to be beneficial for painful conditions such as arthritis, and also improves the blood circulation. It might also play a part in helping glucosamine sulfate get to the site of the cartilage damage.
Glucosamine is a large molecule, however, and finds it difficult to make its way to the area around the joint due to the lack of a direct blood supply. It is therefore taken in relatively large doses to ensure that sufficient amounts get to where it is needed. Many people insist that glucosamine sulfate is very effective in reducing, or even eliminating, their pain, and it is finding increasing popularity in the treatment of arthritis and other conditions involving cartilage damage.
August 12, 2008 01:37 PM
Vitamin C is the most widely taken nutritional supplement on the market and is available in a variety of forms, including tablets, drink mixes, crystals in capsules or bulk powdered crystals. Vitamin C is present in mother's milk and, in lower amounts, in raw cow's milk, with pasteurized milk containing only trace amounts. This vitamin is most present in the liver and least present in the muscle but needed through out the body.
Vitamin C is required for the synthesis of collagen, an important structural component of blood vessels, tendons, ligaments, skin, and bone. Vitamin C can regenerate other antioxidants such as vitamin E; in the body vitamin E can regenerate C as well. This vitamin is required for the growth and repair of tissues in all parts of your body. Relatively large doses of vitamin C may cause indigestion, particularly when taken on an empty stomach.
It has been shown that smokers who have diets poor in vitamin C are at a higher risk of lung-borne diseases than those smokers who have higher concentrations of Vitamin C in the blood. Biological tissues that accumulate over 100 times the level in blood plasma of vitamin C are the adrenal glands, pituitary, thymus, corpus luteum, and retina.
Studies suggest the presence of large quantities of sugar either in the intestines or in the blood can slow absorption of this vitamin. Several studies have demonstrated a blood pressure lowering effect of vitamin C supplementation. Also, when consumed in high doses it appears to interfere with the blood thinning effects of warfarin by lowering prothrombin time, as noted in case reports in the 1970s so consult your doctor if on medications..
In one Study, researchers instructed patients with documented coronary artery disease to take a single oral dose of either 2 g vitamin C or a placebo. Results, the researchers discovered that high doses of vitamin C can help prevent blood platelet sticking and fight cholesterol oxidation. Also, researchers discovered this vitamin can reduce the formation of potentially carcinogenic nitrogen-containing compounds in the stomach, offering protection from stomach cancer, researchers have reported.
French and German researchers found that vitamin C appeared to keep cells in the blood vessel wall from dying. The researchers, who studied immune indicators, such as serum immunoglobulin and neutrophil phagocytosis (how well your white blood cells can engulf and digest foreign bodies), concluded that vitamin C exerts a remarkable immuno-modulating action, in other words, improved immune function in all those who consumed vitamin C on a regular basis.
What are deficiency symptoms for vitamin C?
Scurvy is a disease resulting from lack of vitamin C, since without this vitamin, the synthesized collagen is too unstable to perform its function. Scurvy was common among those with poor access to fresh fruit and vegetables, such as remote, isolated sailors and soldiers. The amount of vitamin C required to prevent “chronic disease” appears to be more than that required for prevention of scurvy which is 30 – 60 milligrams per day. Based on scientific research, vitamin C also appears to improve oral absorption of iron, which is good news for those that are anemic.
Half of us in the United States will die from heart disease. The foundation of heart disease is atherosclerosis, the narrowing of our arteries with plaque. Treatment with vitamin C has consistently resulted in improved dilation of blood vessels in individuals with atherosclerosis as well as those with angina pectoris, congestive heart failure, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. Researchers believe this protection from cell death could explain previous study findings which suggest that vitamin C benefits blood vessel function in people with congestive heart failure.
Vitamin C supplements are also generally regarded as safe in most individuals in recommended amounts, although there are rarely reported side effects including nausea, vomiting, heartburn, abdominal cramps, and headache. In addition, this vitamin is required for the synthesis of l-Carnitine, a small amino acid that is essential for the transport of fat to cellular organelles called mitochondria, for conversion to energy. If you have chronic fatigue syndrome, vitamin C may help by boosting energy production through the mitochondria.
Therefore, as in many studies of vitamin C intake and cardiovascular disease risk, it is difficult to separate the effects of vitamin C on stroke risk from the effects of other components such as diet and the consumption of fruits and vegetables. As with all dietitians an emphasis on the benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is important to maintain a healthy cardiovascular system. If one can not consume fruits and vegetables on a daily basis then supplementation of vitamin C is need in either capsule of tablet to fight the risk of disease.
Can the Fatty Acid CLA Help me Lose Weight ?
July 14, 2008 03:28 PM
CLA is conjugated linoleic acid, a compound known as a trans fatty acid due to its stereochemistry, and while trans fatty acids are generally regarded as harmful, CLA is not because it is conjugated. This means that it has alternate single and double bonds in the backbone carbon chain, and the overall energy of the molecule is therefore reduced.
Linoleic acid itself is one of the omega-6 fatty acids, the 6 referring to the double bond at the sixth carbon from the omega and of the carbon backbone chain. It is believed to be the cause of heart disease and obesity due to its increasing use in the diet at the expense of omega-3 fatty acids. When the molecule is conjugated, however, the fatty acid has different chemical properties to the standard isomer, and natural CLA is mainly found in cattle products, such as beef and dairy products.
Conjugated linoleic acid is present in cattle because it is formed when linoleic acid is converted to oleic acid by rumen bacteria, that are responsible for the microbial fermentation of the feed of ruminant animals such as sheep and cattle. When oleic acid is formed, so too is CLA. However, the form used in supplements is manufactured from vegetable oils, and therefore suitable for use by vegetarians. The usual vegetable oils used are safflower oil and sunflower oil.
It is believed to possess several beneficial properties, including antioxidant and anti-cancer properties, but it is for its ability to reduce body fat that it is best known to most people. A growing amount of information is being collected on the use of CLA as a supplement in the weight loss industry, although there are as yet no definitive mechanisms that explain its action. However, recent studies have indicated it possess properties that can help to reduce the levels of low density lipoproteins in the blood, and reduce the possibility of atherosclerosis due to LDL oxidation by free radicals.
It is also theorized that CLA in some way regulates the prostaglandin biosynthesis that controls the level of hormones in the body that can regulate growth. An increase in growth hormones is one way in which athletes promote an increase in muscle bulk, while reducing their fatty tissue mass. CLA is also purported to increase thermogenesis, and so promote the loss of body fat and overall weight.
Although most studies on the effect of conjugated linoleic acid in reducing body weight have been carried out on animals, recent animal studies have indicated that might not so much reduce weight, as to increase muscle bulk while reducing that of body fat. The end result, therefore, is not a loss of weight, but a leaner body that has more muscle and less fat. All it needs is the results on animals to be transferred to humans, and this, of course, is frequently the case. However, initial studies on the use of CLA in the human diet have been very positive, so the signs are good.
Most scientific progress in human biochemistry has been obtained by virtue of prior studies on animals. These studies, of course, have been beneficial to the animals, making them leaner and much fitter than they otherwise would have been. It is believed that the same will be true of humans taking CLA as a supplement. In fact, recent studies are split about 50/50 with regard to the effects on humans.
While some studies have shown no benefit, about an equal number have shown a positive benefit in the reduction in the mass of fat in the body. Some of the negative studies may have been flawed in measuring total body weight, and not the relative amounts of muscle and fat, and also basing their results on people already with a low level of fat in their body. In that respect, then, the results look very favorable, and taking CLA as a supplement is likely to help you to reduce fat and increase muscle, if not altogether lose total body weight. However, is that not the end result that most people want? They might not want to be lighter in weight, just to have more muscle mass and less fat tissue.
In a study shown at a 2002 Experimental Biology meeting, it was shown that is was possible to substantially reduce body fat mass by taking CLA alone, and when it was taken in association with guarana, both the size and the number of fats cells in the body were reduced by 50%. However it has also been shown that CLA can be oxidized by free radicals shortly after ingestion, and that sesame lignans help to prevent this. Since sesame lignans can also be used in conjunction with CLA to reduce fat by increasing the level of fatty acid oxidation in the liver, than the benefit of CLA seems obvious.
The antioxidant effect of CLA is one possible explanation for its anti-cancer properties, though there are others. Its antioxidant properties also have an anti-catabolic effect, in that it can help to prevent the wastage of muscle tissue. The FDA has published studies that attest to these anti-cancer properties. Diabetics, however, should consult with their physician before taking CLA as a supplement, since there is a body of thought that it reduces sensitivity to insulin. Others believe the opposite, so more studies might be needed in this aspect of the substance before it can be said to be safe for use by diabetics.
Over recent years, the American diet has increased significantly in its content of the undesirable linoleic acid, due to its ubiquitous presence in margarines, and has reduced in CLA due to modern farming methods. Cattle feeding techniques have resulting in a reduction of CLA in meat products and milk, although eggs are still a rich source, and the CLA in eggs can resist temperatures used in normal cooking methods such as frying, boiling, etc.
It is this CLA deficiency in the diet that has been proposed as one of the reasons for the current obesity problem in the USA. The European diet contains more beneficial fatty acids in general than the American diet.
However, there is an increasing body of evidence being accumulated that collectively that suggests almost unequivocally that CLA can help you lose body fat. Unless you are diabetic, there are few if any contra-indications and an increasing number of people are finding it effective not only to lose body fat, but to replace it with hard lean muscle.
L-Carnitine For Health And Wellness
April 16, 2008 03:25 PM
Research continues to mount evidence that l-carnitine can help boost energy and quality of life. Carnitine comes from the Latin word for flesh: caro or carnis. L-carnitine was discovered and isolated from meat in the early 1900s. At that time, scientists thought that l-carnitine played a role in muscle function; this was many years before technology would advance so that this theory could be proved. Today, we know that this amino acid is found mostly in tissue of the body that requires lots of energy such as the heart, skeletal muscles, and liver.
L-carnitine is considered a non-essential amino acid since the body manufactures it from l-methionine and l-lysine. Depending on one’s diet, the body manufactures most of, not all, the l-carnitine it needs every day. There are circumstances where a rare genetic disease can cause the body to not manufacture its own l-carnitine resulting in a deficiency which can cause secondary diseases such as cirrhosis of the liver, chronic renal failure, diabetes, heart failure or Alzheimer’s disease. Some medications can cause a deficiency as well, check with your doctor about prescriptions.
The primary energy source for the body is long-chain fatty acids. L-carnitine plays an essential role in energy production process. This amino acid transports long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondria, where it is used to produce energy for each cell in the body. l-carnitine then removes the “acyl” group by products out of the mitochondria as they accumulate. Both the transporting in and out of the cells mitochondria is vital for continued muscle function to occur.
Researchers suggest that the limiting factor in high intensity exercise is from the availability of l-carnitine in the muscle tissue. Studies conducted with this amino acid suggest that athletes experience improved performance when supplementing with l-carnitine by reducing post exercise lactate acid levels and improving recovery from exercise stress.
Some research suggests that l-carnitine can help chronic fatigue individuals by shuttling long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondria where the body manufactures energy. The bulk of this research was done on chronic fatigue patients who consumed 2 grams per day of l-carnitine. Additional research was performed on individuals over 100 years of age and the results were these individuals experiences increase physical endurance and improved cognitive activity.
L-carnitine can help cardiovascular conditions including angina, congestive heart failure, and peripheral artery disease. Recent studies showed male fertility improvement when l-carnitine was consumed on a regular basis. Men participating had better sperm motility which increases the changes of one reaching an egg and improving the odds of fertilization.
Research also demonstrated that 1 gram of this amino acid daily over three months can help one reduce weight by improving fat metabolism. This holds consistent with the findings that l-carnitine transports long-chain fatty acids (fat) into cellular mitochondria so it can be burned as energy. With a good diet and exercise plan, reports suggest that even more weight loss can be achieved.
Safety is of particular concern when adding extra supplements to one’s diet such as l-carnitine. Good news, l-carnitine is very safe at 1 – 3 grams each day, even higher doses are safe with no side effects. With the mounting evidence on the benefits of l-carnitine consumption, what is stopping you from adding l-carnitine today to your supplement diet to improve health and wellness?
Fat Controls our hunger centers in the brain!
April 04, 2008 11:28 AM
The main cause of any chronic disease of aging including Type II diabetes, CV disease, obesity, osteoporosis, and cancer are all caused by miss communication between signals that tell your body how to turn energy into life and the brain. The two most important signals that we know of today are given by the hormones insulin and leptin.
Leptin is an extremely powerful and influential hormone that is produced by fat cells. It has totally changed the way scientific researchers look at fat, nutrition, and metabolism in general. Before leptin’s discovery in 1994, fat was regarded as strictly an ugly energy store that most everyone was trying to get rid of. However, after it was discovered that leptin is actually produced by fat, fat became an endocrine organ similar to the ovaries, pancreas, and pituitary, as it influences the rest of the body, especially the brain.
Leptin is the most powerful regulator known to date of eating and reproduction. Your fat tells your brain whether you should be hungry or eat and make more fat, whether you should reproduce and make babies, or whether to maintain and repair yourself. It can then be stated that instead of your brain being in control of your body, your body, especially its fat and leptin, controls your brain.
Throughout history, it has been in ones best interest to store some fat to call upon during times of famine. However, it is also just as bad to be too fat. For most of our history, it was necessary to run, hunt, and avoid being prey. Therefore, fat storage had to be highly regulated and it still is. When a person typically tries to lose weight, the body tries to gain it back, resulting in what is commonly known as yo-yo dieting. Because of this, it has long been theorized that there is a “set point” and there must be a hormone that determines this.
Science now believes that leptin is that hormone. So in order to break the yo-yo cycle, one must control leptin. If a person is getting too fat, the extra fat produces more leptin that is suppose to tell the brain there is too much fat stored and the excess should be burned. Signals are then sent to the hypothalamus to stop being hungry, stop eating, stop storing fat, and start burning off some extra fat. Controlling hunger is a major way that leptin controls energy storage. Hunger is a very powerful drive that will make you do all you can to eat if it is stimulated long enough.
The only way to eat less in the long-term is to not be hungry and the only way to do this is to control the hormones that regulate hunger. The primary hormone that does this is leptin. It has recently been found that leptin not only changes brain chemistry, but can also rewire the neurons in areas of the brain that control hunger and metabolism to do its bidding. The inability of the body to hear leptin’s signals plays significant and even primary roles in heart disease, obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis, autoimmune diseases, reproductive disorders, cancer, and even the rate of aging itself.
In a process called glycation, glucose reacts with protein which results in sticky, sugar-damaged proteins called advanced glycated end products, or AGEs for short. When protein is damaged, it can’t function or communicate properly. AGEs promote excessive inflammation and free radical damage. AGEs and free radicals from oxidation are two of the major molecular mechanisms that cause damage which leads to aging. AGEs cause skin and the lining of arteries to wrinkle and inflame, which contributes to plaque and heart attacks. They can also promote the formation of cataracts and macular degeneration leading eventually to blindness.
The glycation process has also been connected with the destruction of proteins and nerve cells that may lead to Alzheimer’s disease, memory loss, and a variety of neuropathies. Glycation and oxidation are two of the major molecular mechanisms where damage accrues, disease occurs, and death results. High blood sugar can suppress your immune system, making you more vulnerable to infection and cancer. Highly aggressive cancers outpace the availability of oxygen and therefore must use an anaerobic fuel, in the form of glucose. By consuming glucose (sugar), we feed cancer. Lastly, high blood levels of sugar form non-fiber carbohydrates and excess protein send leptin and insulin levels upward.
If there is a known marker for long life, it is low insulin levels. Insulin’s purpose is not only to regulate blood sugar, but to store excess energy for future times of need. Insulin also lowers blood glucose levels as a side effect from storing it away, not regulating it. Today, high glucose is quite normal, as our insulin levels are typically much higher than they were among our ancestors. When you are constantly bombarding your cells with insulin, they become insulin resistant. This causes insulin levels to rise, creating a hormonal derangement that has a catastrophic effect on the metabolism.
High insulin contributes to making you fat because it tells your cells to store nutrients as fat rather than to burn it. Repeated high levels of insulin cause insulin resistance. The more fat the body accumulates the more leptin the body can produce so fat works against to slow down insulin production causing insulin resistance..
High insulin causes the retention of sodium, fluid retention, excretion of magnesium, elevated blood pressure, cognitive heart failure, blood clotting, and arterial plaque formation. Heart attacks are much more likely to happen after a meal that is high in carbohydrates than after one that is high in fat. This triggers a stress response which can cause arterial spasm, constriction of arteries, elevated blood pressure, irregular heartbeat and sudden death. Insulin resistance along with low magnesium keeps you from metabolizing important fatty acids that are vital to your heart health in general.
As critical as insulin is in your health, leptin may even be more so. Leptin plays a significant role in obesity, heart disease, osteoporosis, autoimmune diseases, inflammatory diseases, and cancer. But there are clues as to how to live a long and healthy life which brings us back to fat and leptin and our need to control it. One can control their insulin production and fat by dietary changes and blood sugar supplements.
Artemisinin For Better Health And Wellness
October 25, 2007 02:09 PM
Artemisinin, also called Ching-hao-su is a herbal medicine extracted from the sweet wormwood herb, also known as the Artemisia annua. Asians have been using the leaf for centuries to cure simple ailments such as colds and parasitic infections, but it has recently become big business for its effect on malaria.
Sweet wormwood is predominantly a Chinese herb, used for over a thousand years for treatment of a large variety of conditions including malaria. It has also been used to treat wound and skin diseases, and has been recorded as far back as 200 BC as a component of Chinese prescriptions for specific illnesses.
Although the origins of sweet wormwood are in Asia however, it is now grown throughout the temperate regions of the world, and reaches its best in midsummer. Although best known today for its use in treating malaria, its medical uses include treating bronchitis, fevers and general feelings of malaise. It is primarily grown now for the supplement industry and as a non-prescriptive natural cure for malaria. It is a common and favorite herb for Chinese herbalists and sold both in the herbal form and as the extracted artemisinin.
Although there is a wide variation in the artemisinin content of sweet wormwood according to where it is grown, and under different agricultural conditions, it is the main active ingredient. Chemically, it is a sesquiterpene lactone containing an endoperoxide bridge that will be discussed later.
In order to attain the optimum yield of active artemisinin, the plant has to be grown in the right site for cultivation and fed with the correct fertilizers, the proper strain of the herb must be selected and the method of extracting the active chemicals is also critical. These are secrets that have been used for centuries by the Chinese herbalists who are masters of their craft and are now known to the west and being applied to scientific production of the extract.
There are benefits of artemisinin other than its effect on malaria, but that is the best known of its uses, so let’s have a look at that first. The herb has been used for a long time to treat parasitic infections, mainly flukes and worms that place great strains on the body having not only to feed these unwanted creatures, but also to excrete their waste and by-products. Malaria is caused by such a parasite, any one of four types in fact, and artemisinin appears to be just as effective on them.
The chemical contains what is known as an endoperoxide bridge that reacts with iron. The product of this reaction is a free radical, normally unwelcome in the body. However, malaria parasites contain high levels of iron, and the artemisinin reacts with that iron, forming free radicals that then go on to kill off the parasite. The free radicals that we take supplements to destroy, actually work for us in the destruction of the parasite that cause malaria. There is a silver lining in every cloud!
The reason that the medical world is so excited with this material is that malaria is second only to tuberculosis in its impact on world health. The problem is that the parasites that cause it have become largely resistant to the normal cures. They are not, however, resistant to the endoperoxide chemistry contained by artemisinin. It is now the major hope of world leaders in the fight to stop the inexorable increase in deaths due to malaria.
Now for the other applications. Another major use of the chemical is in the fight against cancer. Those cancers that involve iron rich cells can be disrupted by artemisinin by the same mechanism that kills off malaria bacteria. It is not only parasites that are susceptible to free radical action, but also human cells, and if these can be selectively destroyed, then it is a step forward towards a cure for cancer. Such a cure does not yet exist, but mechanisms such as the endoperoxide bridge provide a means of controlling at least some cancers, the best results being obtained with leukemia and colon cancer. That is not to say, however, that cures for these cancers are currently available since tests are still under way. However, it would do no harm to use sweet wormwood or the artemisinin extract as a supplement.
Cancer cells tend to accumulate iron because it is needed in the cell division process that cancer takes advantage of. However, if cancer cells could be persuaded to accumulate more surface iron, or were artificially exposed to it, then perhaps the endoperoxide mechanism would be more effective. Studies on this mechanism of controlling cancer are currently under way.
At a more mundane level, if you suffer from intestinal parasites, then one or two milligrams each day should see them off. It has also been effectively used to deal with colds, coughs and other general conditions, but most effectively against those that cause fever of one kind or another. It has been used in Chinese medicine as a form of ‘cure-all’ to be used when specific remedies failed. Its greatest current uses are, however, in cancer and especially malarial treatments.
You have to be careful with artemisinin since it can be toxic if taken in the wrong form. The least toxic, and most active, is the water soluble form known as artesunate. However, it lasts the least time in the body and has to get to work quickly. The oil soluble form, artemether, is the most toxic, but can cross from the blood to the brain. However, the parent form, artemisinin is the very safe itself, and can also cross the blood-brain barrier and while some tend to use a combination of the three, others prefer just the parent form.
If you take too high a dose you can suffer neurotoxicity which makes you wobble when you walk, and makes you impervious to certain levels of pain. However, such doses are next to impossible accidentally, and there have been very few reports of adverse effects in humans. It should not be used for at least a month after you have had radiation therapy because that tends to release iron that can be attacked to form free radicals. The recommended dose is 200 – 100 mg daily though the doses should be spread throughout the day. It should also never be taken within 2 hours of any other antioxidant such as vitamins A, C and E. Otherwise artemisinin can be safely used for better health and wellness in the way that the Chinese have been using it for centuries. Artemisinin is available at your local or internet vitamin store.
Natural Calm Magnesium – The Anti-Stress Drink
June 01, 2007 10:16 AM
VitaNet, LLC is pleased to offer you Natural Calm – one of the most valuable mineral supplements you can take to support stress relief by restoring and balancing healthy magnesium and calcium levels. Developed by pioneering nutritional researcher Peter Gillham, Natural Calm is the best-selling magnesium supplement on the market, according to health food supermarket scanner reports. It features a proprietary process that provides absorbably, effective and fast acting magnesium.
Natural Calm handles excess calcium in the body and can gradually reduce accumulated calcium whether you take a calcium supplement or get your calcium from dairy products of green leafy vegetables; you should take Natural Calm to properly balance it.
Millions have experienced the stress relief and health benefits Natural Calm provides—now customers can drink stress away naturally with The Anti-Stress Drink.
Resveratrol - Easing the Ails of age
May 28, 2007 11:35 AM
Resveratrol’s antioxidant actions at least partially explain its ability to battle both cardiovascular disease and cancer, two disorders linked with the kind of damage that accumulates as people age. For example, cholesterol becomes a heart hazard only after bombardment by free radicals causes it to adhere to artery walls; in lab studies Resveratrol has been found to reduce this effect. Resveratrol also makes blood less “sticky,” and thus less inclined to forming dangerous clots, while simultaneously coaxing blood vessels into a relaxed, open state that leads to enhanced circulation. No wonder one Taiwanese study found that rats given Resveratrol enjoyed 30% increase in blood flow within their brains, which reduces the risk of stroke (Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 4/19/06).
Cancer development and the body’s anti-cancer defenses—depend on an elaborate interplay of enzymes and proteins, a system that Resveratrol has modified in several investigations. As a result, this compound shows great promise in helping to both stop cancer before it gets started and slow tumors down once they do become established. Resveratrol has also induced apoptosis—a kind of cellular suicide—in tests done on various cancer cell cultures.
If you’re having a party, open a bottle of wine. But if you want access to wine’s heartful advantages in concentrated form, open a Resveratrol supplement body instead. –Lisa James.
Turmeric and Alzheimer’s Disease
May 10, 2007 12:38 PM
Turmeric and Alzheimer’s Disease
Compare these findings to people over the age of 65 living in the
So what are people who are living in
Q. How can curry prevent these changes in the brain? Isn’t that a lot to expect from a spice?
A. Evidently, it’s not too much to expect from this spice. Curry comes from the turmeric plant – Curcuma longa is the plant’s official name. Curcumin, a plant compound in turmeric, is the source of curry’s instantly recognizable bright yellow pigment. When it comes to the scientific research of Curcuma longa, the terms curcumin and turmeric are both used. Both refer to the same thing- tumeric extract.
There have been more than 1300 studies on tumeric and its health benefits for humans. Research has shown tumeric is able to help the body get rid of cancer-causing toxins. Turmeric also blocks estrogen receptors and enzymes that promote cancer. And it’s been found to stop the growth of new blood vessels in cancerous tumors – an important factor in keeping cancer from getting larger and spreading throughout the body.
But one of turmeric’s most exciting health benefits is its ability to reduce, prevent, and stop inflammation. While inflammation is a normal and needed response to injury or disease, chronic inflammation can cause damage to tissues. And researchers are now finding inflammation plays a huge role in Alzheimer’s disease.
Q. I’ve always heard that Alzheimer’s disease was caused by complex growths in the brain called plaques and tangles. How can simple inflammation cause such a devastating disease?
A. You are right. Plaques and tangles are indeed the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease. But researchers looking at the brain damage caused by Alzheimer’s have always noted the presence of inflammation wherever plaques and tangles form. In the past, this inflammation was thought to be simply a consequence of Alzheimer’s disease. Now scientists believe the inflammation itself starts a chain reaction ultimately contributing to the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
` When cells in the brain are disrupted by inflammation, amyloid, and a protein normally found in the brain, beings to act chaotically. This chaos results in the creation of beta-amyloid, protein that is toxic to cells in the brain. Sticky deposits of beta0amyloid build up and collect around the cells, making dense clumps or plaques. Because the brain can’t break the plaques down and get rid of them, they stay right where they are and slowly accumulate.
Tangles result when long protein fibers that act like scaffolding for brain cells begin to twist and tangle. The cell is damaged and eventually dies. But the tangled proteins remain in the brain even after the dead neuron has been cleared away. And inflammation might be the culprit causing the long protein fibers to start tangling.
The consequence of these abnormalities of protein in the brain is more than the cell death they cause. They also act as roadblocks interfering with electrochemical messengers being shot from cell to cell. Therefore, the remaining healthy cells’ activity is diminished as well.
Research of identical twins has repeatedly shown that if one twin has Alzheimer’s disease, the other has a 60% chance of developing the disease, too. Scientists from the Karolinska Institute in
In fact, the inflammatory process might occur years before the onset of Alzheimer’s, and be the result of any number of infections people can contract. That’s why current research is searching for ways to protect brain cells from inflammation. And why some countries have low rates of Alzheimer’s disease, like
Q. Why curry? Couldn’t other lifestyle difference account for the low rates of Alzheimer’s disease in
A. That’s a good question. When researchers begin studying a disease, like Alzheimer’s, they look for trends to help them determine how and why the disease occurs. For example, we all now know the connection between cigarettes smoking and long cancer. But, it wasn’t until the 1930’s that doctors noticed the trend fro cigarette smokers to have more lung cancer than people who didn’t smoke.
So it has been with researchers studying Alzheimer’s disease. They know Alzheimer’s disease has an important connection to inflammation. They also know turmeric reduces inflammation. And when researchers noticed these trends – that people in India eat high amounts of curry from turmeric and have very little Alzheimer’s disease – they began to theorize that turmeric might be able to prevent or even treat the illness. And the research they designed around these trends has unequivocally found turmeric to be on common denominator.
Q. What have the turmeric studies shown so far?
A. Simply amazing findings are coming from curry research. Not only does turmeric slow down cancer growth, it’s also been found to correct the cystic fibrosis defect in mice, help prevent the onset of alcoholic liver disease, and may slow down other serious brain diseases like multiple sclerosis.
Researchers from the
And now the UCLA Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC) is using turmeric in clinical trials and studying the effect of this powerful spice in patients diagnosed with this devastating disease. Clinical trials are the gold standard of medical research. But it’s rare in Alzheimer’s disease. And it’s even more rare when all-natural herbs and spices like turmeric are used in hopes the positive benefits will be discovered. The head of the UCLA’s research team was recently interviewed and stated that setting out to hopefully prove turmeric’s ability to prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease was “tremendously exciting.”
Q. I recently read that one of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) was found to prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Is this true?
A. Scientists recently studied ibuprofen, one of the NSAIDs investigated for Alzheimer’s disease Prevention. Ibuprofen belongs to a family of drugs that includes naproxen, indomethacin, nabumetone, and several others. These drugs are used most often to get rid of headaches, mild arthritis, and other kinds of pain and inflammation.
In the studies, the average dose of ibuprofen was 800mg a day. Patients took the product for two years. While the results suggested that ibuprofen might reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s, ibuprofen’s side effects are too harmful to be a valid lifelong prevent aid treatment. Ibuprofen, like other NSAIDs, can cause gastrointestinal bleeding when used at high dosages over a long period of time. Long term use of ibuprofen can also lead to analgesic nephropathy, a kind of kidney damage caused by NSAIDs.
As we discussed earlier, turmeric appears to block and break up brain plaques that cause the disease and helps reverse some of the damage already present. Ibuprofen does not provide any protection against free radical damage. No anti-inflammatory medicine can do this.
Q. If I eat curry will I be protected against Alzheimer’s disease? There aren’t many foods or recipes I make that require curry, do I need to eat it every day? And how much do I need?
A. If you enjoy Indian cuisine, by all means, enjoy these delicious foods. You’ll benefit your brain and your appetite. But you make a good point, American meals rarely contain curry. That’s why supplements that contain extracts are suddenly quite popular. In fact, there are numerous turmeric/curcumin supplements on the market today.
But like all nutritional supplements, some turmeric supplements are superior to others. You need to read their labels to make sure the turmeric extract you are buying will provide the protection you need. Look for high-potency turmeric extract from turmeric (Curcuma longa) rhizome. And make sure the extract is standardized to contain 90% curcuminoids, the active ingredient in turmeric responsible for the positive research findings.
Researchers once thought that preventing for Alzheimer’s disease would elude them for decades. In fact, several scientists privately speculated the disease might never be ameliorated. They thought the origin of the disease was too complex and the symptoms of the disease were too profound.
That’s why ongoing research on turmeric is so exciting. A safe, natural, and effective way to protect against Alzheimer’s disease almost seems too good to be true. But, the nation of
Memory And Focus
May 08, 2007 02:05 PM
Memory & Focus
Some people think getting older often means getting slower. It’s true that as we age, we may find we can’t walk quite as fast, climb as many flights of stairs, or play sports as hard as we could when we were twenty. However, we k now that a healthy diet, regular exercise, and the right dietary supplements can make a huge difference in our health, strength, and mobility as we age.
This is true for our mental abilities as well. We may not think as quickly as we used to, might misplace our keys more often, and experience more “tip-of-my-tongue” word searches. These so-called “middle-aged moments” most often have minor consequences: a missed appointment or the forgotten name of an acquaintance. However, in a small number of cases, these mental slips can also be the first sign of serious diseases of aging, such as Alzheimer’s disease of other dementias.
The good news is, just like our physical health, we can improve how we function mentally. Eating healthy foods, taking the right supplements, and participating in regular mental exercise can significantly increase our mental endurance, improve our memory, and optimize our ability to focus.
In fact, groundbreaking and ongoing research has discovered that specific herbs and vitamins, particularly Ginkgo Biloba, Bacopa monnieri, folic acid, vitamins B6 and B12, and the important co-enzyme and antioxidant, alpha lipoic acid, all have powerful effects on memory and focus. These nutritional supplements have been scientifically shown to quickly reduce mild age-related memory chances, as well as greatly reducing the risk of developing more serious problems like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, or other brain diseases later on in life.
Q. What is the difference between age related memory decline and dementia?
A. As we get older, our nerve cells need more time to spark and connect, slowing the process of bringing memories and events to mind. Another theory is that, as we age, we accumulate more knowledge and memories. The mind then has to sort through much more data to reference a memory. Almost everyone middle-aged and older notices this slowdown. Memory decline and problems with mental focus are a normal part of aging.
While it’s true that the older we get, our chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease increase, this illness is not a normal part of aging. Alzheimer’s is an irreversible, progressive dementia that slowly kills nerve cells in areas of the brain where memory, learning, though, and language take place. Often first appearing as people begin retirement, Alzheimer’s disease makes the “golden years” a time of loss and devastation. Memories vanish, relationships are erased, and independence is gradually lost.
After Alzheimer’s disease, the second most common cause of dementia in older people is multi-infarct dementia. Caused by a series of mini-strokes that damage or destroy brain tissue over time, multi-infarct dementia usually affects people between the ages of 60 and 75. Men are slightly more at risk. High blood pressure is the most significant risk factor for multi-infarct dementia.
Multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, strokes, Huntington’s disease, Creutzfelt-Jakob disease, and alcoholism can also cause progressive and irreversible dementia.
While normal age-related memory and focus loss may mean we can’t remember where we put our car keys, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia may mean we can’t remember what our car keys are used for.
Q. Are any types of memory and focus loss reversible?
A. Yes. As women enter menopause, they frequently experience trouble remembering. This memory interference is caused by hormone fluctuations and can affect speech, thinking, and attention. Symptoms of menopause-related memory loss and poor focus include recognizing faces less well than in the past, missing scheduled appointments, and misplacing articles. Once a woman passes through menopause, her ability to remember and focus most often improves.
Certain medications, such as the heavily prescribed cholesterol lowering drugs called stains, can temporarily interfere with memory. Low vitamin B levels, artherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), and thyroid disease can cause disruption of mental focus and memory loss. These problems usually resolve with treatment of the underlying disorder.
A certain type of stoke, called a transient ischemic attack (TIA) can cause memory loss that may be reversible. A TIA is a brief episode of stroke symptoms that come on quickly. Sometimes referred to as a “mini-stroke” or “warning stroke,” a TIA is caused by a temporary interruption in the blood supply to the brain. But, unlike a stroke, a TIA does not lead to permanent brain damage. While a TIA is usually short-lived, it is likely to occur again if not properly managed and can be a warning of future stroke.
Q. I seem to forget a lot of things. How can I be sure I don’t have Alzheimer’s disease or some other dementia?
A. If you, or other around you, are concerned about your memory, you should be examined by your health care practitioner. Once the cause of your memory and focus problem is diagnosed, treatment can begin. All causes of memory loss and mental focus disruption can be treated, even Alzheimer’s disease. While presently irreversible dementias cannot be cured, the progression of the disease may be slowed, and in some cases, stopped..
Research on memory loss and mental focus disruption has increased dramatically in the past few years. Discoveries regarding Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, as well as age-related loss of memory and focus have recently been made. Most importantly, many new treatment options, including the use of nutritional supplements, have been developed.
Q. How can nutritional supplements improve memory and focus?
A. Several herbs and vitamins have been demonstrated to improve memory and mental focus. While some nutritional supplements work now to improve memory and focus, others work to prevent problems we might develop later.
One of the most researched herbs, Ginkgo biloba, has been found to be effective in improving currently experienced memory and focus loss; in other words, problems we are having now. Ginkgo has been studied in individuals who have age-related memory loss, as well as in those with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. It seems that ginkgo can improve many brain functions, such as speeding up memory recall, protecting brain cells from chemical changes and free radical damage, improving blood flow to the brain, and helping nerve cells communicate with each other better.
Several studies examined ginkgo’s effect in healthy people who were experiencing normal age-related memory and focus problems. They determined that ginkgo improved memory, attention, and clarity of thinking. Ginkgo can also help restore memories that may be lost in TIAs, those mini-strokes that were discussed earlier.
In studies of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, the results showed that ginkgo slowed down the disease in those severely afflicted and actually improved those with very mild or moderate disease. In one of these studies, ginkgo was compared to four prescription cholinesterase inhibitors, medications commonly used to treat individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. Using written mental tests, the researchers found that ginkgo worked just as effectively as the prescription drugs. While those taking one of the cholinesterase inhibitors dropped out of the study because of disturbing side effects, ginkgo had no side effects and improved symptoms equally as well.
Q. Hoe does Bacopa monnieri help memory and focus?
A. Like ginkgo, bacopa works on the memory and focus problems we are experiencing now. Bacopa grows in
Q. How does alpha lipoic acid help memory and focus?
A. Alpha lipoic acid (
Researchers have discovered unmistakable free radical damage in Alzheimer’s disease. Accordingly,
In a recent study, people with Alzheimer’s disease were given tests that measured through and memory. They were then given
Q. How do vitamins B12 and B6 help memory and focus?
A. Vitamin B6 is an essential nutrient in the regulation of nerve transmissions. It is required by the nervous system for normal brain function, and it may also help with mood.
Researchers have learned that people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias (including Parkinson’s disease) have elevated homocysteine levels. IN fact, t he amount of homocysteine in the blood corresponds to the severity of the disease. Most people with a high homocysteine level don’t have enough folate, vitamin B5 or vitamin B12 in their diet. Replacing these vitamins helps return the homocysteine level to normal.
Reducing homocysteine levels may prevent the occurrence of Alzheimer’s disease, or other brain diseases, and improve the symptoms of those already afflicted.
Q. What about folic acid?
A. Folic acid has long been recognized as a vital nutrient for the brain and spinal cord. Recent research has demonstrated that folic acid has significant importance in Alzheimer’s disease.
An ongoing study of Alzheimer’s disease that began in 1986 has been studying 678 members of the School Sisters of Notre Dame in the hopes of learning how the disease develops, how it might be prevented, and how to treat it. Data collected in the study includes biographies the sisters wrote upon entrance to the order, blood samples from the sisters while they are living, and information gained from the voluntary donation of their brains after death.
Aptly named the “Nun Study,” ground breaking discoveries have already been made. It seems that diet and nutrition have a dramatic influence in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Sisters who had high levels of folic acid showed little evidence of Alzheimer’s-type damage in their brains after death. And, those nuns who had Alzheimer’s disease in spite of high folic acid levels had profoundly less brain damage from the disease. In fact, some sisters who had no outward evidence of Alzheimer’s disease while they were living had surprisingly extensive damage in their brains after death.
Q. Besides taking ginkgo, bacopa, B vitamins, folic acid, and ALA, is there other things I can do to prevent Alzheimer’s disease?
A. You may not know if you have a serious B-vitamin deficiency. Routine lab work does not measure the amount of B vitamins in your blood. You might want to ask your health care practitioner to have your B vitamin level in your blood measured, especially if you are having memory and focus problems. Keep in mind that this type of lab work is fairly expensive, however.
Supplements do not replace the need for a healthy diet, especially a diet with high levels of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and omega-3 fatty acids. Keeping your body healthy helps keep your brain healthy as well.
It also seems that the use-it-or-lose-it theory applies to our brain as well as our body. Research has shown that people who seek opportunities to keep mentally active, such as reading books, newspapers, and magazines, solving crossword puzzles, playing card games, and visiting museums, lower their risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Dealing with age-related memory loss may be both frustrating and frightening. As the population of
In fact, more and more research shows prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias is a reality. And age-related memory loss can successfully be improved as well. Taking the scientifically validated nutritional supplements ginkgo, bacopa, vitamins B6 and B12, folic acid, and
Selecting the Right Probiotic is the Key to proper digestion
May 05, 2007 01:16 PM
Selecting the Right Probiotic is the Key
Do you ever think about what goes into your body each day? You should. One of the key to feeling good and being healthy s eating nutritious food and making sure our gastrointestinal (GI) tract has the tools it needs to optimally digest and absorb nutrients. The GI tract includes the stomach and intestines, which work to digest foods and eliminate waste.
A variety of “good” intestinal bacteria helps to keep the digestive system running. These “good” bacteria are called probiotic bacteria, or probiotics. Probiotics digest food, process waste, and keep the “bad” bacteria – which have the potential to cause disease and illness – in check.
This issue of Ask the Doctor will look at the probiotic bacteria that play an important role in maintaining our health and wellness: we need them, what they can do for us, and how to make sure we are getting enough. Also, we will talk about an exciting process that truly delivers probiotic bacteria taken in nutritional supplements. Encapsulated in a pearl-like sphere, they survive transport to the intestines, set up house, and exert their beneficial effects. As we will see, probiotic supplementation can help prevent and treat many different illnesses, unless the beneficial bacteria reach the intestines alive and active, the supplement is worthless.
Q. I thought bacteria were bad. How can bacteria be good for us?
A. Some kinds of bacteria do cause illnesses and disease in humans. “Strep” throat is an example of an illness caused by bacteria.
However, the majority of bacteria do not cause disease. In fact, there are types of bacteria that are actually beneficial. “Good” bacteria, known as probiotic bacteria, are used in the manufacturing of food and beverages. Some examples of foods that have probiotic food ingredients are buttermilk, yogurt, cheese, sausage, and acidophilus milk.
These same kinds of probiotic bacteria are present in our intestines and help to keep the digestive system running by digesting food and processing waste.
Q. What are probiotics?
A. Probiotics are live bacteria that are non-toxic and do not cause disease (non-pathogenic).
Some of the best-understood probiotic bacteria include members of the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium groups. Because of the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium’s ability to break down lactose, these probiotic bacteria are also known as lactic acid bacteria. Both of these types of probiotic bacteria are well studied and are available in both food and dietary supplements.
Q. Is there a difference between the probiotic bacteria that is found in yogurt, and in nutritional supplements?
A. Actually, the bacteria that are in yogurt, our intestine, and most natural supplements are the same types of probiotic bacteria, Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacteria longum. Because of this, these bacteria are referred in a generic sense as probiotics. So, the term probiotics may refer to the “good” bacteria that are present in food or that live in our intestine, or that are part of a natural supplement.
Q. Where do these probiotic bacteria come from?
A. As recently as the middle of the last century, bacteria found naturally in food ingredients were used to make a fermented food product. For example, the example, the lactic acid bacteria found naturally in milk were used to make cheese. This was known as wild fermentation.
Wild fermentations are no longer used. Today, the probiotic bacteria used in food and natural supplements are harvested via a highly controlled fermentation process. This process results in high numbers of bacteria and ensures quality and purity of the bacteria.
A. Normal microflora (the term commonly used for intestinal bacteria) is associated with good health. An imbalance in this natural microflora (when the beneficial probiotics are outnumbered by the harmful bacteria) is frequently associated with various disease states such as yeast infections and colon cancer.
Eating foods or taking a nutritional supplement containing probiotic bacteria can help support and modify the composition of the large intestine microflora. Microflora of the large intestine assist digestion through fermentation (by making the intestines more inhospitable to invading bacteria species), protection against disease-causing bacteria, and stimulation of the immune system.
The probiotics, Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria, occupy a central role in the intestinal and provide health benefits.
Q. How do probiotic bacteria help with digestion?
A. Lactose is an important sugar that is converted to lactic acid by lactic acid bacteria. Lactose intolerance results from an inability to digest lactose, due to the failure of small intestine mucosal cells to produce lactase, an enzyme needed to digest lactose. This often results because of genetics, gastrointestinal disease, or because of the decline in the amount of intestinal lactase levels associated with aging. Lactase deficient people accumulate non-absorbed lactose in the gastrointestinal tract, which draws water and electrolytes into the gut and speeds waste through the intestines, leading to bloating, cramping, and diarrhea.
Approximately 50 million people in the
Lactic acid bacteria have been shown to help the breakdown of lactose, specifically by enhancing the activity of lactase (beta galactosidase), which improves lactose digestion and tolerance. Furthermore, in a randomized, controlled clinical trial, Bifidobacteria longum was shown to assist in the breakdown of lactose and relieve the symptoms of lactose intolerance (flatulence) in people with lactose intolerance.
Q. What is the difference between digestive enzymes and probiotics? Can they be taken together?
A. Digestive enzymes, such as protease, amalyse, and lipase, act upon food, breaking it down into simpler components that can be used by the body for energy. Without enzymes, digestion could not take place. Therefore, the food that we eat could not be absorbed and utilized by our bodies.
Probiotics help the enzymes to digest food and process waste. In essence, probiotic bacteria and enzymes work together to ensure that the digestive tract is running smoothly. When taken together, enzymes assure greater levels of digestion absorption of your food, and probiotic bacteria aid the enzymes in digestion and keep problems in check.
Q. Is helping to ensure a healthy digestive system the only use for probiotics?
A. Absolutely not! Probiotic bacteria, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, have been found to help prevent vaginal yeast infections in women that suffer from these reoccurring infections.
Approximately 35% of vaginal infections are caused by the yeast. Candida albicans, Candida, is a fungus that is a component of the normal gastrointestinal microflora. However, Candida must not be allowed to increase in numbers. An overgrowth is associated with adverse health effects like vaginal infections, oral thrush, or even serious systematic yeast infections. Probiotics have been shown to keep levels of Candida in check.
Probiotic bacteria have also been demonstrated to have anti-cancer properties. In baa clinical study, colon cancer patients given Lactobacillus acidophilus fermented milk showed a significant increase in numbers of intestinal Lactobacilli and a decrease in risk factors associated with colon cancer.
Patients suffering from inflammatory bowel diseases, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease can benefit from probiotic bacteria supplementation. Studies have shown that probiotic bacteria assist in maintaining remission in ulcerative colitis and preventing reoccurrence of Crohn’s disease. Manipulating the intestinal flora may prove to be more effective and better tolerated than the drugs that are conventionally given to treat these diseases. I one study, Lactobacillus acidophilus was found to improve the intestinal barrier and clinical status in children suffering from Crohn’s disease.
Probiotics supplementation can also improve and prevent skin disease, such as eczema. Studies have shown that probiotic bacteria can actually control inflammation associated with skin conditions. In one study, infants with eczema who were given probiotic-supplemented formulas showed a significant improvement in skin condition.
The chart below summarizes some of the diseases and conditions that probiotic bacteria can help prevent and/or improve.
Q. How often should probiotics be taken to ensure optimal support of the digestion system?
A. Probiotic bacteria do not permanently colonize in the body. They need to be replenished by the consumption of foods containing probiotic bacteria or by taking a probiotic natural supplement. Whatever form you choose to replenish the intestinal probiotics, they need to be ingested daily for their health-promoting effects to continue.
Q. If I take a probiotic nutritional supplement, how many bacteria should a good quality supplement contain?
A. The critical factor is not how many bacteria that a supplement contains, but rather how many bacteria reach the intestines healthy, vigorous, and ready to work.
A good quality supplement will deliver at least 3 billion living, healthy probiotic bacteria per dose to your intestines. The bacteria in the probiotic natural supplement should be a mixture of both Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria.
Again, the critical key to a good quality probiotic supplement is that the bacteria must be alive to work. Only living probiotic bacteria can colonize in the intestines. A good quality probiotic nutritional supplement will have GUARANTEED levels of live bacteria at the point of consumption. Inferior brands will merely state levels of live bacteria at the point of manufacture.
Recently, a private laboratory tested various probiotic nutritional supplements in the marketplace, including one utilizing a new process that encapsulates the bacteria in a spherical, pearl-like coating. Each of these supplements were best-selling brands, two of them were enteric coated, and all had label guarantees about potency. The lab counted the levels claimed by each manufacturer.
Q. Then how do I know I am getting what I pay for?
A. First, look for a product that has a “use by” date or an “expiration” date clearly stated on the package.
It is also important to look for a probiotic supplement that does not require refrigeration. Probiotic supplements that require refrigeration often have been subjected to warm temperatures during shipment and storage that will inevitably kill off some or all of the bacteria.
It is also important that the product label guarantees live bacteria at the time of purchase, not at the time of shipment or manufacturing. However, from the laboratory test discussed, we see that sometimes these written guarantees are not worth the paper they are written on. There is one scientifically validated process that truly delivers live and vigorous bacteria to the intestine. This process suspends the probiotic bacteria in a moist paste and immediately seals the bacteria in a perfectly seamless, spherical, gelatin ball. This bacterial paste is completely protected from air and dryness so the bacteria are alive until the specialized gelatin dissolves – in the intestines.
Q. Why is it important to dissolve only in the intestine?
A. Lactic acid bacteria are not very resistant to the acids of the stomach. The harsh environment of the stomach destroys the majority of these bacteria.
This pearly-like coating technology protects bacteria from the stomach acid. The sphere is specially developed to only dissolve in the intestines. Enteric coating is not enough as it does nothing to protect the bacteria while they wait for purchase on the shelf.
Q. What does this proprietary coating technology mean to me?
A. This specialized process is an expensive processing step, but it has many advantages to you.
The pearl-shaped spheres actually “seal” the bacteria in the capsule, which protects them from air. Probiotic bacteria are anaerobic, meaning they do not require oxygen to live. In fact, the presence of oxygen can actually injure or kill probiotic bacteria. In addition, the special coating’s ability to seal the bacteria in the capsule stimulates the need for the nutritional supplement to be refrigerated – though they can be kept in the refrigerator, if desired.
By protecting the bacteria on the shelf and in the stomach, the probiotic bacteria successfully reach the intestine. As a result, there will be a greater number of healthy, intact bacteria that can colonize in the intestine.
Many health care practitioners believe all health issues are related in some way to the process of digestion. Probiotics play a crucial role in improving our digestive health, which, in turn, is interconnected to every single function in our bodies.
Taking a probiotic supplement is an excellent way to replenish the good bacteria in your intestinal microflora. A quality probiotic product contains two different types of bacteria from Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria species with at least one billion live bacteria per dose.
But how do you know the bacteria re still alive? Look at the package. If there is no fate stamp, put it down. If it says the company guarantees there was a certain number alive at the time of manufacture, put it down. Tat means that the company is not willing to claim the bacteria are alive when delivered to the target site, the intestine. If the product must be constantly refrigerated, put it down. How do you know it didn’t sit in a truck for two days, or was in a warehouse before it was shipped to the health food store?
Find a probiotic that says the bacteria are guaranteed to be alive in the numbers stated on the label until the printed on the package. Find a product using unique, cutting edge science to deliver the probiotic bacteria in a form that uses spherical, sealed, triple coating to protect the bacteria. That company has gone to extra time and expense to make sure you reap the benefits that probiotics can offer.
March 08, 2007 12:27 PM
Revita, the most efficient hair growth stimulating shampoo available in the market is the final result of DS Laboratories efforts on cutting edge research. Revita is a powerful and unique SLS/SLES free combination of active ingredients specially designed to maintain scalp vitality and act on folicle dysfunctions in order to achieve best results in short periods of time. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate, commonly used low cost detergents in shampoos and cleansers, are linked to skin irritation, skin drying and hair loss due to follicle attack. Revita is Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate free, providing a high quality scalp skin safe shampoo product.
Revita was developed with a cost-no-object approach. Revita’s compounds have been chosen based exclusively on their properties, quality and efficacy (in the opposite of the majority of available products, which are usually developed with production costs in mind). The final result is a very high quality shampoo product with absolutely no equivalent competitor in the market. Revita combines costly first line compounds at high concentrations like Caffeine at 4.0%, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Seed Extract at 1.0% and Spin Traps (SOD Mimic) at 0.1% with other top level ingredients which make Revita a unique product in its class.
To improve the efficacy of this synergic combination, DS Laboratories developed a unique “chemical free” extraction process that keeps original properties and clinical efficacy of final components. Through gentle mechanical compression, Revita’s compounds are obtained as pure and chemically preserved active molecules.
Revita starts acting on your scalp and hair follicle since the first day of use. The time you will need to note the first results will depend of the severity and duration of your hair loss. No matter how long or how intense your hair loss is, using Revita on daily basis will improve the vitality of your scalp, maintaining the quality of your hair and stimulating new hair growth.
Through the synergic interaction of very effective compounds, Revita brings you a highly effective product designed to maintain scalp vitality and act on hair loss. By combining an antioxidant effect, anti-DHT properties, powerful hydrating molecules, hair growth stimulants and structural amino acids, Revita brings you the most effective hair growth stimulating shampoo available.
Apple Polyphenol (procyanidin B2 and C1) - phytochemical concentrate found in the skin of unripe apples that acts as potent antioxidant. It protects cells against free radicals, reactive atoms that contribute to tissue damage in the body. These chemical compounds are being studied extensively in labs around the world for their health effects in major diseases including treatment of hair growth. Studies showed that after sequential use, an increase of almost 80% of hair diameter and an increase in number of total hairs was shown, with no side effects.
In 2000, Japanese researchers presented their findings to the international community on the hair growth effects of apple polyphenols - specifically one known as procyanidin B-2. They identified two successful compounds- one from chardonnay grapes, and one extracted from unripe apples. The procyanidin B-2 fraction clearly outperformed the grape extract. "Procyanidin B-2 purified from apples," stated the research team, "shows the highest activity of more than 300% relative to controls."
In the same year, in a double-blind placebo-controlled trial, nineteen men with male pattern baldness were studied with a daily topical application of a 1% procyanidin B-2 solution, extracted from apples. Ten other balding men served as controls, receiving a placebo solution. After 6 months, the study concluded:
• The increase in number of total hairs and terminal hairs in the procyanidin B-2 group subjects was significantly greater than controls.
• 78.9% of subjects showed an increased mean value of hair diameter.
• "Procyanidin B-2 therapy shows promise as a cure for male pattern baldness."
Following the revelations, an attempt was made to further understand the mechanism by which the remarkable hair growth effects occurred. The results were published in the prestigious British Journal of Dermatology: Procyanidin B-2, extracted from apples, promotes hair growth: a laboratory study, Br J Dermatol. 2002 Jan;146(1):41-51. In this study, the researchers concluded that procyanidin B-2 acts to diminish protein kinase C isozymes, which play an important role in the hair growth cycle. Procyanidin B-2 seems to promote hair growth by down regulating PKC in both the anagen (active growth phase) and telogen (resting phase) of the hair follicle. When the anagen phase is prolonged, and the telogen phase is shortened, increased hair growth results.
Two more clinical trials and a total of seven published studies have now confirmed the surprising hair growth-promoting effects of apple procyanidins. Here is a summary of those findings:
• Total Number of Hairs: Significantly Increased
• Total Number of Terminal Hairs: Significantly Greater
• Increase in Hair Diameter: 78.9% Positive • Ratio of Thicker (terminal) Hairs: Significantly Higher
• Hair Follicle Activation: Intensive
In the most exciting development yet, Japanese researchers released a new study late in 2005. Once again, procyanidin therapy was proven successful in regrowing hair in subjects with male pattern baldness. The new study, published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, confirmed the findings of earlier studies, showing clear improvement in the number of hairs and the density of hairs in the treated area. Building on the success of earlier trials, the study was extended to 12 months in the procyanidin group, and proved that longer term procyanidin therapy was even more successful than prior 4 and 6 month trials.
Cooper Peptides - Cooper Peptides have two main properties: (1) potent tissue protective anti-inflammatory agents that limit oxidative damage after tissue injury, and (2) tissue remodeling activation agents, that is, the processes for removal of damaged protein and scar tissue and their replacement by normal tissue. Studies at numerous universities and research institutes have found copper-peptides to improve hair transplant success, increase hair follicle size, stimulate hair growth and reduce hair loss.
Research scientists at the University of San Francisco Wound Center stumbled upon very interesting results. Their discovery was made while applying a synthetically formulated compound, Copper Peptide, to severe wound areas on several patients. During this process something unusual happened. Not only did the wounds heal about 30 percent faster, but a significant stimulation of the follicular cells occurred. As a side effect, these tripeptide complexes actually grew hair around the wound area.
The discovery was so startling that they then applied the same Copper Peptide complex to a female patient who had suffered roughly 90 percent alopecia (hair loss) for years. After about six months of use, she had recovered almost 100 percent of her hair. Dr. Loren Pickart, the leading authority in Copper Peptide technology, describes it as being like a protein injection to the scalp.
Tests were then conducted with chemotherapy patients and recent hair transplant recipients, all with great success in stimulating newer and stronger hair follicles.
Spin traps – are very special compounds that were originally utilized in measuring free radical activity because they react with free radicals both in vitro and in vivo, producing stable complexes. The most commonly used spin trap and the standard which measures new ones is PBN - alpha-phenyl- N-tert butyl nitrone. Hundreds of studies have been conducted over the last ten years that have tested PBN and other “spin traps” in numerous conditions. Later it was discovered that these spin traps had powerful free radical quenching abilities in living systems and could treat a variety of conditions. Spin traps could provide unique protection against free radical damage that complements and enhances the activities of the classical antioxidants such as vitamin C and vitamin E.
Spin traps modulate NF kappa-B regulated cytokines and inducible nitric oxide synthases that are implicated in pro-inflammatory disease conditions. A method for ameliorating a cellular dysfunction of a tissue such as the treatment of hair loss and stimulation of hair growth comprises administering a nitroso or nitrone spin trap to the affected tissue. These agents inhibit the reaction of superoxide and nitric oxide to produce peroxinitrite. Scientists discovered that nitrone and nitroso spin traps have properties in the body for ameliorating cellular dysfunction in tissue attributed, in part, to high energy oxygen and hydroxyl free radicals, and enhancing recuperation of the tissue. Alpha-phenyl-N-tert butyl nitrone (PBN) can be administered, for example, as an anti-alopecia agent to stimulate hair growth.
Spin traps can be administered to the skin to be treated, such as the scalp. Depending on the type of hair loss or alopecia being treated and the conditions thereof, the stimulation of hair growth can usually be obtained by topical application, preferably repeated daily application. The utility of topically applied spin traps is not limited thereto, however, and the stimulation of hair growth can include an increased rate of growth, increased hair diameter, follicular neogenesis, and the like; inhibiting hair loss or alopecia from progressing.
Ketoconazole - Topical ketoconazole shows itself to have an anti-DHT binding effect in the scalp. Nevertheless, it is likely that ketoconazole exhibits other methods to its anti-hair-loss effect. One such theory of ketoconazole anti-alopecia effects may be on its activity upon the removal of sebum, a fatty substance that accumulates in the scalp around the hair follicles. In addition, ketoconazole is an antifungal medication and is significant for people combating hair loss since acting as an antifungal agent it reduces scalp irritation caused by fungal colonization or infection. Reduction of the inflammatory process that occurs in male pattern alopecia is crucial.
If we first examine the role of androgens, specifically dihydrotestosterone (DHT), we find that this hormone has been thought to slowly "choke" the growth of the hair follicle by inhibiting the function of an enzyme in the hair follicle called adenylate cyclase. Suffice it to say that when DHT concentrations remain high in the scalp, we see terminal (thick, coarse) scalp hair become reduced to vellus hair (fine, thin peach fuzz). On March 04, 2001, at the American Academy of Dermatology Meeting in Washington DC, scientists presented the findings of a study done on 1% ketoconazole shampoo which had good news for hair loss sufferers. In the study presented, one hundred male volunteers with mild to moderate dandruff and somewhat oily scalp, were using in a double-blind fashion either a 1% ketoconazole shampoo or a 1% zinc pyrithione shampoo, 2-3 times a week for 6 months.
Analysis of the different parameters set up in the study shows that the hair diameter gradually increased with ketoconazole use (+8.46%) over a 6 month period, whereas the diameter showed a trend to decrease with zinc pyrithione use over the same period (-2.28%). The sebum excretion rate was reduced with ketoconazole (-6.54%) while it increased with zinc pyrithione (+8.2%) over the same period of time. The number of hairs shed over a 24-hour period was reduced by 16.46% with ketoconazole and 6.02% with zinc pyrithione after 6 months. Finally, the percentage of hairs in the anagen phase increased by 6.4% and 8.4% respectively during the study.
The results are similar to a previous study done on 2% prescription strength Ketokonazole where it was shown that use of 2% ketoconazol yielded an increase in hair shaft diameter similar to what was achieved by the control group using 2% Minoxidil and a non-medicated shampoo.
Rooibos - Rooibos or Red Bush Tea - a hardy shrub indigenous to the North Western Cape of South Africa – is an exciting new botanical ingredient with potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties well documented in medical literature. In alternative medicine Rooibos is often prescribed for nervous tension, allergies, stomach and digestive problems. Results from an independent study also showed a significant improvement in hair loss. Studies were initiated at an independent laboratory (Dermascan, France) to study the effect of the use of Rooibos in a hair lotion on a group of healthy persons who were suffering from the problem of hair loss. A 90 day trial was conducted comparing a hair lotion containing Rooibos with a placebo lotion.
After 90 days results showed a significant increase of the hair growth in the lotion containing Rooibos compared with the placebo. An increase in the hair growth was observed with 89% of the volunteers with no undesirable reactions (irritation or allergy). The participants were next asked to fill in a questionnaire. When the results were tallied, 67 percent rated their hair loss as zero or low, 78 percent saw a low to medium improvement, 45 percent saw a low to medium regrowth of hair, and 63 percent considered their hair had become smoother and shinier.
Conclusion: results show that most of the volunteers had a remarkable improvement in both the increase of hair growth and the decrease in hair loss.
MSM - Sulphur is present in protein-rich foods containing high levels of the amino acids methionine and cysteine. These foods include meat, fish, legumes, nuts, eggs, and vegetables, especially onions. However, sulphur has recently become a popular nutritional supplement and topical treatment thanks to the discovery of methylsulfonylmethane, or MSM.
The use of MSM as a nutritional supplement and topical application is relatively recent. An American chemist named Robert Herschler, began studying MSM in 1955. However, another man, Dr. Stanley Jacob with Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, is considered by many to be the father of MSM. Dr. Jacob found that simple marine life like algae and plankton convert inorganic sulphur to organic sulphur compounds. These compounds are known as dimethylsulfonium salts. These salts are transformed into dimethyl sulfide (DMS), which is released into the atmosphere and is converted by ultraviolet light into dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO). When DMSO oxidizes, it turns into MSM and is absorbed by plants that become food for animals and humans. MSM is a white, crystalline powder that is odorless and nearly tasteless. When taken as a dietary supplement, MSM proved to have the same health benefits as DMSO without side-effects such as bad breath, itchy skin, nasal congestion, and shortness of breath. Why does MSM help with the development of stronger hair? Various scientific studies have proven that MSM contributes a definite normalizing effect on body functions. The sulfur normally provided to the body by MSM is required for healthy collagen and keratin which are essential for healthy hair, skin and nails. MSM also has proven antioxidant benefits which can disrupt or alter damaging chain reactions of lipid peroxidation in the cell membranes.
MSM has been widely used as a dietary supplement without any reports of allergy or intolerance related to its use. Supplements of MSM are comfortably assimilated without side effects. There are no known contraindications.
Caffeine 4% - Active caffeine ingredient helps to regulate the effects of testosterone levels. Male pattern baldness is known to occur in individuals with sensitivity to testosterone, causing damage to hair follicles that eventually leads to baldness. Caffeine is a xanthine alkaloid compound that acts as a stimulant in humans. Caffeine is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant, having the effect of warding off drowsiness and restoring alertness.
The independent study at the University of Jena used hair samples from the scalps of young men entering into the first stages of hormone-related hair loss. The study relied on a hair organ culture that used four different types of testing samples. The first was a nutrient-based sample, the second a testosterone only sample, the third was a caffeine only sample and the fourth a mixture of caffeine and testosterone.
According to the research, the results showed that the samples containing the caffeine nutrient helped to stave off hair loss and encouraged new hair growth, while the sample that relied on testosterone only led to increased hair loss. But perhaps the most impressive was the testosterone and caffeine sample, which helped to prevent further hair loss.
The results showed that using the caffeine treatment average growth was increased by around 46 per cent and the life cycle of the hair was extended by 37 per cent, when compared to the control study.
Carnitine Tartrate - L-Carnitine, a vitamin-like nutrient, occurs naturally in the human body and is essential for turning fat into energy. Active energy metabolism is an essential prerequisite for the growth of strong and healthy hair. In biological systems ATP acts as the universal energy currency. One of the most potent bio-actives that significantly increases cellular ATP content is carnitine tartrate.
Statistical evaluation demonstrated a significant increase in ATP equivalents in human hair roots treated with carnitine tartrate, showing that carnitine tartrate is an ideal ingredient for hair care formulations, providing energy for the optimal environment to produce strong and healthy hair. Throughout the test period ATP content within plucked hair follicles was determined twice daily using a commercially available test kit. Statistical evaluation of baseline adjusted values demonstrated a significant increase in ATP equivalents in human hair roots treated with carnitine tartrate. These effects were absent in the placebo group, thus underlining the stimulating activity of carnitine tartrate.
The outstanding bio-activity of carnitine tartrate was furthermore demonstrated in a second study, assessing the effects after a single application of a shampoo formulation supplemented with carnitine tartrate. Again, ATP levels in plucked human hair follicles were significantly increased.
Amino Acids: Ornitine, Taurine, Cysteine - Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, from which hair is created. They are assembled in the correct sequence by stem cells to form keratin, a complex and immensely strong hair protein. Vital amino acids have to be replaced consistently, as damage is accumulated over time. We can replace a combination of these lost amino acids directly into the hair, where they are shown to provide significant tensile benefits to the hair shaft.
Hair is composed primarily of proteins (88%). These proteins are of a hard fibrous type known as keratin. Keratin protein is comprised of what we call "polypeptide chains.” The word, polypeptide, comes from the Greek word "poly" meaning many and "peptos" meaning digested or broken down. In essence, if we break down protein, we have individual amino acids.
Many (poly) amino acids joined together form a "polypeptide chain". Two amino acids are joined together by a "peptide bond", and the correct number of amino acids placed in their correct order will form a specific protein; i.e. keratin, insulin, collagen and so on. The "alpha helix" is the descriptive term given to the polypeptide chain that forms the keratin protein found in human hair. Its structure is a coiled coil. The amino acids link together to form the coil and there are approximately 3.6 amino acids per turn of the helix (coil). Each amino acid is connected together by a "peptide bond". The peptide bond is located between the carbon atom of one amino acid extending to bond with the nitrogen atom of the next amino acid. In many individuals the extremities, including the top of the head, are the most difficult places to maintain blood flow. Follicles which are constantly deprived of blood, and therefore nutrients, cannot produce hair properly. Lack of proper nutrients, amino acids, minerals and vitamins can certainly hamper hair growth.
L-Arginine is a semi-essential amino acid synthesized by the body from L-Ornithine. Arginine + Ornithine support protein synthesis because they are involved in the transport and storage of nitrogen. The usage of taurine corrects the "rigidification" of the connective sheath that surrounds the Pilosebaceous unit and hair follicles, specifically those affected by pattern hair loss. This is a novel and previously undisclosed angle on hair loss treatment that has yet to be touched upon in any of the medical literature or prior publications.
The amino acid, l-cysteine speeds up hair growth and increases hair shaft diameter resulting in fuller hair. L-cysteine has been reported to facilitate longer hair growth, beyond what is genetically programmed. L-cysteine also provides potent antioxidant protection to the hair follicle. Users of topical n-acetyl-cysteine have reported hair regrowth.
Emu Oil - The emu, dromaius nova hollandiae, is a flightless bird part of a group called ratites which also includes the ostrich and the kiwi. Modern Australians learned early on from the Aborigines the many valuable qualities in the emu and its oil. The earliest research studies in emu oil come from Australia, and Australia continues to export emu oil to this day.
In the United States today there is a growing network of research labs interested in emus and their incredible oil. Emu oil is rendered from a thick pad of fat on the back of the bird that was apparently provided by nature to protect the animal from the extreme temperatures in its Australian homeland. Emu oil is deep penetrating and super hydrating to the skin - an all-natural tissue nutrient. Michael Hollick, MD, Ph.D., Professor of Medicine, Physiology, and Dermatology at Boston University School of Medicine conducted a study involving emu oil and hair growth. His study found that there was a 20% increase in growth activity of skin that received emu oil compared to skin that received corn oil. Looking at the hair follicles Dr. Hollick realized they were much more robust, the skin thickness was remarkably increased suggesting that emu oil stimulated skin growth and hair growth. Additionally, the study showed that over 80% of hair follicles that had been "asleep" were woken up, and began growing.
Emu oil is anti-inflammatory, which may be in part why it stimulates hair growth. Emu Oil has also been shown to be a 5 alpha reductase inhibitor in target tissues when topically applied, which likely contributes significantly to its hair growth properties. A third important property of emu oil is that it is bacteriostatic.
Emu Oil contains a multitude of Essential Fatty Acids (EFA) which helps to "feed" the skin. Consumers who suffer from natural forms of baldness have reported hair re-growth. Since Alopecia Areata only suppresses the hair follicle (vs. killing the hair follicle), emu oil may have an effect to assist with hair regrowth.
Biotin – Biotin is a member of the B-vitamin family and a major component in the natural hair manufacturing process -- it is essential to not only grow new hair, but it also plays a major role in the overall health of skin and nails. The beneficial effects of biotin on hair may be linked to its ability to improve the metabolism of scalp oils. Biotin when absorbed by the scalp may promote hair growth and it is able to penetrate the hair shaft making it expand which actually thickens the hair cuticle.
Biotin is used in cell growth, the production of fatty acids, metabolism of fats and amino acids. It plays a role in the Krebs Cycle, which is the process in which energy is released from food. Biotin is so important to hair health, that many dermatologists prescribe biotin supplements to their patients as part of their medical treatment for hair loss.
After applying Revita with a gentle massage, you should leave it on the scalp from 1 – 2 minutes before rinsing. Then repeat and leave on the scalp for 3 – 5 minutes. If desired, follow with a high quality conditioner. For optimal results, Revita should be used at least 5 times per week.
This formulation is contraindicated in individuals with a history of sensitivity reactions to any of its components. It should be discontinued if hypersensitivity to any of its ingredients is noted.
Q. Is Revita safe ?
A. Revita primarily contains compounds that are not only safe in topical use, but actually dramatically enhance overall skin health. The other active ingredients such as Ketoconazole have been tested in clinical studies and have been shown safe.
Q: Can I use hair sprays, mousses, gels, etc.?
A: Hair spray, gel, and other styling aids are not recommended since they tend to clog the hair shaft. However, you can use them while using Revita.
Q: Can I have my hair colored or permed while using Revita ?
A: While there is no evidence that coloring or perming hair can lead to or even worsen hair loss, it is generally not recommended for people with hair loss. If you are experiencing hair loss then perming and coloring hair is not recommended. However, this will not interfere with Revita.
Q: What is SLS/SLES free ?
A: SLS means Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and SLES means Sodium Laureth Sulfate, commonly used low cost detergents in shampoos and cleansers. They are linked to skin irritation, skin drying and hair loss due to follicle attack. Revita is Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate free, and that means that Revita does not irritate you scalp and preserves your hair follicale health.
Q: Can I blow dry my hair after using Revita ?
A: Extreme heat damages the proteins in the hairs making them fragile. Nevertheless, if you need or want to blow dry your hair, you can do it after using Revita.
Q: Who is a candidate for Revita ?
A: Ideal candidate is someone with little hair loss or at the beginning stages of hair loss, since it is much easier to prevent hair loss then to grow new hair. Someone who is concerned with hair loss prevention should start using Revita immediately.
Q: What type of results should I expect with Revita ?
A: When deciding to use Revita, it is important to have realistic expectations. Depending of severity and duration of your hair loss, it could take some time to see hair growth. In fact, during the first 2 weeks of treatment you may actually notice increased hair loss as old hairs are being pushed out and the hair follicles start growing new hair. Do not become alarmed with this and just stick to the treatment.
Q. Does Revita have any systemic side effects ?
A. No, when used as directed, Revita active ingredients have a long history of use both orally and topically.
Q. Does Revita work for women?
A. Yes. In most cases, the cause of hair loss in women is surprisingly similar to men. Fortunately for women, estrogen helps to protect the hair follicle from the destructive effects of DHT. However, many women develop thinning hair and loss due to fluctuation of estrogen levels and/or over production of DHT. Revita can help protect the hair follicle from DHT resulting in a thicker, fuller and healthier hair.
Q. I am using other topical treatments. Can I use Revita at the same time ?
A. Yes. Revita has no side effects and does not cross react with other topical treatments. You can safely opt to use Revita with other products, and we strongly recommend the association with Spectral.DNC for more severe hair loss or Spectral.RS for thinning hair.
Q. Do I need to use Revita for a long time ?
A. Once you have reached the desired results, you should continue to use Revita as your regular shampoo to maintain the revitalized hairs and a healthy scalp.
Q: Is stress a factor in hair loss?
A: When the body is under significant physical and emotional stress it is possible that the immune system will produce anti-bodies that attack hair follicles, and this results in bald patches or diffuse loss. Stress-induced loss will respond very well to Revita and you should keep using Revita as your regular daily shampoo to keep your scalp healthy.
The Power Plant of the Amazon
March 02, 2007 11:34 AM
It may surprise most Americans to know that rainforest plants are the original source for one-fourth of the chemotherapy medications used today. Plants offer a plethora of beneficial compounds, and rainforests contain a superabundance of beneficial plants.
In fact, plant medicines are the most widely used medicines of all types in the world. Over eighty-five percent of the world’s population uses plant and herbal medicines as their primary medicines. That’s 5.1 billion (5,100,000,000) people worldwide! While Americans overwhelmingly use synthetically manufactured pharmaceuticals to cure their ills, the vast majority of Earth’s inhabitants use healing plant medicines instead.
One of the most powerful healing rainforest plant medicines is cat’s claw, or Uncaria tomentosa. This high climbing woody vine grows at the base of tall trees in the Peruvian rainforest. The plant’s claw-shaped thorns latch onto the trees and spiral further upward, nourished by the lush rainforest environment. For over 2,000 years, the Ashaninka, a tribal people of the Peruvian rainforest, have used the root of U. tomentosa to treat illnesses in the tribe, including asthma, bladder infections, infected wounds, arthritis, bone pain, bowel inflammation, and cancer.
Q. I’ve heard about cat’s claw, but what does it do and how do I know which one is right for me?
Cat’s claw might be one of the most confusing (and most effective!) nutritional supplements available in health food stores today. One reason that it’s so confusing is there are so many kinds of cat’s claw supplements-there are cat’s claw leaves, cat’s claw bark, and even cat’s claw twigs. While each of these supplements claim to help the immune system, it is the root of Uncaria tomentosa that is proven to impart the true cat’s claw health benefits.
Scientists, who have extensively studied every part of the plant, discovered that extracts made from selected cat’s claw roots possess the healing power to treat and prevent diseases like cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcers and degenerative diseases. In addition, it demonstrates anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-microbial benefits.
Adding to the confusion is the fact that not all Uncaria tomentosa roots actually contain healing properties.
Healers in the Ashaninka tribe attribute the healing properties in cat’s claw to the “good spirits” that live in the plant’s roots. The Ashaninka healers, or sancoshi, are able to actually “see” the good spirits hidden inside the root of the plant before they harvest them.
Some cat’s claw plant roots have the good spirits. Some don’t. If the good spirits are mixed with any cat’s claw root without good spirits, the healing power is lost. While there are no apparent differences in the plants or the roots to the untrained eye, only certain cat’s claw roots possess the power to heal. And, for a very long time, only the Ashaninka tribal healer seemed to be able to identify them. They call the good spirit cat’s claw Saventaro, or “powerful plant”.
However, scientists who were given cat’s claw roots by the Ashaninka to study in the laboratory discovered that they could “see” the good spirits, too! Using high performance liquid chromatography, or HPLC, a laboratory process that identifies various chemical compounds, the good spirits of cat’s claw roots were revealed to be important medicinal compounds called pentacyclic oxindole alkaloids (POAs). Research has learned that POAs provide powerful benefits for the human immune response.
Q. Why are good spirits, or POA’s, good for the immune system?
Cat’s claw POAs work to keep us healthy by directly interacting with white blood cells, the backbone of our immune system. Our white blood cells are the disease fighting cells of the human body. These highly specialized cells fight diseases we catch, such as colds and flu, as well as diseases that start within our own cells, such as cancer and autoimmune diseases. There are many kinds of white blood cells; each has a specific job to do in fighting diseases.
Certain POAs help white blood cells called macrophages work faster. The macrophages’ job is to engulf and digest foreign material. This means that macrophages can ingest m ore bacteria and disease causing microbes when they are exposed to POAs. The scientists also discovered that POA cat’s claw extract increases the production of a chemical protein called interleukin that is secreted by macrophages. This macrophage-secreted interleukin (IL-1) has important immune enhancing properties. IL-1 alerts resting white blood cells and spurs them into action. It also helps make other biochemicals that are essential to an activated immune system.
POAs also help B cells. B cells are white blood cells that make antibodies that kill germs. Each B cell is programmed to make one specific antibody that is effective against one specific germ (such as a bacteria, virus, or fungus). When scientists looked at the number of B cells after they were exposed to POA cat’s claw root extract, they found that the B cells had increased significantly, resulting in an increased supply of antibodies. And perhaps most importantly as they relate to cancer, the POAs in cat’s claw root extract help increase the number of T cells, the true soldiers of the immune system. There are many different kinds of these white blood cells, including Helper T cells, Suppressor T cells, and Killer T cells. Increased Helper, Suppressor, and Killer T-cells can more effectively destroy cancer cells. Increasing the number of circulating T-cells is very important in a disease like AIDS as well.
Q. Can cat’s claw and other plants in the rainforest really cure diseases? Isn’t that just folklore?
It’s folk use and modern science combined-plants have long been known for their ability to kill cancer cells. In fact, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) has identified over 3000 plant extracts that can kill cancer cells. More than 70 percent of these plants are found only in the rainforest.
Q. What is it about the rainforest that gives plants like cat’s claw these cancer killing compounds?
Most of the time when we talk about rainforests, we’re talking about the tropical rainforests. While other forests, like the old-growth temperate forests of the Pacific Northwest, also have high rainfalls and tall trees, the tropical rainforests located near the equator are where most plant medicines come from.
The Amazon rainforest in South America is the world’s largest, covering an area about two-thirds the size of the continental United States. Depending on the elevation and distance to the equator the Amazon rainforest receives between 160 and 400 inches of rain per year. The rain is spread pretty evenly from January to December-it’s always the rainy season-and the temperatures remain between 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit all year.
This fertile environment continually recycles itself. When leaves fall from the trees, flowers wilt, and animals die in the rainforest-all of the nutrients are recycled back into the roots of the trees and plants. Because the rainforest reuses almost everything that falls to the ground, the plant growth is amazingly rich in alkaloids and other medicinal compounds. Researchers think these compounds and alkaloids, like POAs, protect the plants from illness and insect attacks. These are the very same compounds that protect us from disease.
Q. When the Ashaninka harvest the cat’s claw roots, does it impact the rest of the plant?
No. The Ashaninka work intelligently to keep rainforest cat’s claw plants perpetually healthy. The Ashaninka employ responsible and innovative harvesting techniques to keep the plants alive and tribal members healthy. Individual cat’s claw plants are never completely harvested. Only one third of the lateral roots are collected at any one time to allow re-growth by the remaining root. Once a plant’s lateral roots have been partially harvested, that plant is left to regenerate, and no more root is harvested from it for 10 years.
Q. Why are the Ashaninka willing to share their cat’s claw?
They are generous people. The Ashaninka see no benefit in hoarding cat’s claw for themselves alone. They also want to make sure that the plant’s healing properties continue on. As their homelands continue to be destroyed by deforestation, rainforest peoples are also disappearing. There were an estimated ten million tribal and indigenous peoples living in the Amazonian Rainforest in 1510. Today there are less than 200,000.
Since the 1900’s more than 90 indigenous tribes have died out and disappeared. Each time a rainforest medicine man or woman dies without passing their arts on to the next generation, the tribe and the world loses thousands of years of irreplaceable knowledge about medicinal plants. With them, centuries of accumulated knowledge of the medicinal value of rainforest species have been lost.
A good example of the impact of this loss can be seen in cat’s claw. When European explorers began venturing into the Amazon River basin, t hey were skeptical of the stories the Ashaninka people told them of U. tomentosa’s amazing healing powers. But when the explorers became sick with colds, flu, or other illnesses, they harvested cat’s claw root for themselves and gave the plant a try. Sometimes the explorers got better when they used the cat’s claw root, sometimes they stayed the same.
Q. Why didn’t the cat’s claw root help all the explorers?
Because some cat’s claw plant roots have good spirits-POAs-and some cat’s claw plant roots have tetracyclic oxindole alkaloids, or TOAs. While the POAs have very powerful effects in the immune system, the TOAs have different effects in the body, none of which help the immune system cells at all. All U. tomentosa plants look virtually identical, so it’s hard to tell if they have the healing POAs or non-helpful TOAs.
What makes cat’s claw identification even more challenging is the fact that plants with POAs one year will have TOAs the next. Cat’s claw plants seem to change their alkaloid chemotypes at will, an incredibly powerful accomplishment for a plant to possess. Harvesting of cat’s claw roots that contain POAs is very tricky. Unless the person gathering the root extract is an Ashaninka sancoshi. These medicine men know which cat’s claw to use; they can actually “see” the good spirits hidden inside the root. When scientists studying cat’s claw discovered they could “see” presence of TOAs using HPLC technology, they were able to harvest cat’s claw root extracts with POAs that consistently helps people get and stay healthy.
Q. Do some cat’s claw root extract supplements contain TOAs?
Yes they do. And buying those products will only benefit the cat’s claw distributor; they won’t help you stay healthy. When cat’s claw root is harvested from the rainforest, responsible supplement maker examine the root with HPLC to make sure that only POA roots are collected. But, this identification of the chemotypes takes significant time and costs money. For these reasons, many cat’s claw distributors don’t include this important process in their harvesting. The POAs and TOAs are simply just mixed together and sold as a cat’s claw product with no mention of any alkaloid content on the label.
Q. Why should I avoid TOAs?
While the POAs in cat’s claw root extracts have numerous benefits to the immune system, the TOAs have different effects in the body, none helping the immune system cells. Most importantly, however, when POAs and TOAs are mixed together, the TOAs actually work against the POAs. TOAs reduce the capacity of POAs to beneficially modulate the immune system.
Q. How can I be sure the cat’s claw I buy is POA cat’s claw?
Read the label of the cat’s claw root extract product you are considering buying. If it does not clearly state that it is the high POA cat’s claw, then chances are that it’s not.
Q. What do the Ashaninka receive in return for the cat’s claw harvesting?
The Ashaninka and reputable distributors of cat’s claw root extract have established a mutual and ethical relationship. Both groups benefit from the sale of the plant material. Maintaining this relationship is important for both the tribe and the distributors.
The distributors are paying a fair price for the raw material directly to the tribe. No intermediary is involved. This payment covers the raw material itself, a license-fee for the k knowledge of the plant, and a guarantee (from both sides) of a lasting relationship. Payment is also made for the protection of the rainforest. No deforestation is allowed. The area where the cat’s claw materials are processed is also leased and payment is made for this, as well.
This arrangement allows the Ashaninka to make independent decisions in how to spend this income from sale of their cat’s claw plants. They have been able to make improvements in the tribe’s water supply and in their living areas. They are also able to obtain outside medical aid as needed and provide for education of their children.
The partnership with cat’s claw distributors has created a sustainable resource for the Ashaninka. The tribe has been able to not only preserve their rainforest, but also compete financially with unsustainable income sources offered by timber and agricultural firms.
Q. Why is it important to preserve the rainforest?
The most amazing fact about these impressive medicinal plants is the vast number that5 has yet to be discovered. In fact, the rainforest’s abundance is one reason it is home to so many healing plants. Within a four square mile patch of rainforest, you could see 1500 species of flowering plants, 750 species of trees, 125 mammal species, 400 species of birds, 100 reptile species, 60 amphibian species, and 150 different species of butterflies.
Unfortunately, not everyone looks to the rainforest for the same reasons. Many consider its real value in board feet and cultivated acreage. The forces pushing industrial development move quickly; experts estimate that we’re losing over 130 plant, animal, and insect species every day/ That amount to almost 50,000 species a year.
A combination of logging, petroleum interests, cattle grazing operations, and, of course, our own consumer appetites are putting pressure on rainforest resources. The consequences are sobering:
By leaving the rainforest intact, however, and harvesting its many nuts, fruits, oil-producing, and medicinal plants, the rainforest has more economic value than if it was cut down for timber or to make grazing land for cattle. If managed properly, the rainforest can provide the world’s need for sustainably harvested natural resources on a perpetual basis. That’s what the Ashaninka are doing with their cat’s claw harvesting.
The discovery of medicinal plants is dependent upon healthy rainforests. When an acre of tropical rainforest is lost due to deforestation, the impact on the number of plant and animal species lost and their possible uses is staggering.
We can all help the development of sustainable rainforest industries. By purchasing renewable and sustainable rainforest products, like POA type cat’s claw root extract, we are keeping rainforests alive and well. By benefiting from the innate wisdom of the Ashaninka people we are keeping ourselves just as alive and well. By honoring the science and the sacred of the world’s rainforests, like my friend the oncology nurse, the massive wealth and diversity will be there for generations to come.
Mushrooms are good for the Immune System
January 26, 2007 06:12 PM
Medicinal Mushrooms Grown on Purple Kculli Corn Yield Life Changing Results
Even though we treat them like vegetables, mushrooms aren’t really plants. They’re fungi and fungi grow much differently than fruits and vegetables. Most food plants, like strawberries, broccoli, and red bell peppers make chlorophyll from sunlight to gain the nutrients they need to grow. Mushrooms don’t make chlorophyll; to get the nutrients they need to grow, mushrooms release enzymes into the forest floor or flora they’re living on to break down the organic matter into a form the mushroom can absorb.
Because most mushrooms that we eat or use today are raised as crops, or cultivated, they are grown on a variety of substrates. Similar to the commercial potting soils you can buy at nurseries and garden stores, mushroom substrates vary widely in quality and the kinds of nutrients within. Mushrooms are really unique in that they can grow on almost anything, such as sawdust, shredded newspaper, and straw.
However, mushrooms are only as nutritious as the substrate they were grown on-even those unique varieties called medicinal mushrooms. While the simple button mushrooms found on pizza are most often eaten for their woodsy taste and texture, the use of medicinal mushrooms is much more complex. These mushrooms are valued because they contain numerous compounds that have been extensively studies by researchers for their ability to activate cells of the immune system.
Researchers have recently discovered that when medicinal mushrooms are grown on a Purple Kculli (pronounced ka-coo-lee) Corn substrate, the resulting mushrooms are jam-packed with powerful and potent disease-fighting compounds. Beautiful Purple Kculli Corn has long been used by the people of the Peruvian Andes as a tasty vegetable, natural food color, and powerful functional food-keeping them healthy and free of disease.
In this issue of Ask the Medicine Hunter, we’re going to talk about four powerful medicinal mushrooms that, when grown on Purple Kculli Corn, have even more potent compounds to prevent and treat cancer and other serious health problems.
Q. How exactly do medicinal mushrooms prevent and treat cancer?
A. Medicinal mushrooms are very complex. They contain numerous compounds that have been extensively studied for their ability to activate cells of the immune system. Some of the most amazing immune boosting compounds in medicinal mushrooms are beta-glucans 1-3, beta glucans 1-6, arabinogalactins, and arabinoxylans – compounds that work “hand-in-hand” with certain cells of the immune system. But to get abundant amounts of these compounds, medicinal mushrooms must be grown on substrates with high levels of nutrients. And the most nutrient dense substrate of all comes from Purple Kculli Corn.
Q. Why is Purple Kculli Corn extract good for growing medicinal mushrooms?
A. You’ve probably heard that brightly colored fruits and vegetables (like beets, broccoli, and blueberries), have more antioxidant power than paler fruits and vegetables (like iceberg lettuce, onions, and garlic). In fact, the deeper the color, the better. And there is no deeper color in nature than the deep purple of Purple Kculli Corn grown in the lush coastal plains of Peru. The kernels from Purple Kculli Corn are not only naturally beautiful, the pigment itself is extremely healthy and have been used by the people of the Peruvian Andes for centuries as both food and food coloring.
Once harvested, the Purple Kculli Corn is naturally processed into an antioxidant-rich extract. When certain medicinal mushrooms are grown on Purple Kculli Corn extract, the Purple Kculli Corn becomes a super-substrate, producing medicinal mushrooms with incredible amounts of the immune-boosting compounds. And when Purple Kculli Corn extract is added to medicinal mushroom formulas the antioxidant power increases, too.
Q. How do the medicinal mushroom compounds fight disease?
A. When bacteria, viruses, or other pathogens are present in the body, white blood cells, or leukocytes, swing into action. Leukocytes work together to defend the body against infections, like colds or the flu, as well as diseases that start within us, like cancer. These disease fighting cells are the backbone of the body’s defense system. And each type of cell works in different ways.
The macrophage, a name that means “big eater,” is a first-strike leukocyte that protects us from disease by, quit literally, devouring invading pathogens. Natural Killer (NK) cells act like sentries – constantly prowling for cancer cells, killing them quickly when they’re discovered. B-cells are the immune system’s military intelligence, seeking out targets and communicating their coordinates, while T-cells are the foot soldiers, destroying the invaders that the intelligence system has identified.
Scientists have long known that medicinal mushrooms help make white blood cells more deadly. But until recently, they weren’t sure how. Research has now shown that macrophages and NK cells have receptor sites specifically for beta-glucans 1-3 and beta-glucans 1-6. When the beta-glucans bind to the macrophages and NK cells, they make the lymphocytes stronger and more lethal. By increasing the lymphocytes’ strength, beta-glucans help them churn out more of the specialized chemical messengers, too.
Arabinogalactins and arabinoxylans, powerful polysaccharides found in medicinal mushrooms, are potent stimulators of the immune system. These compounds increase the activity of interleukins, interferons, and a tumor necrosis factor, all key components in a healthy immune system. When medicinal mushroom extracts with high amounts of Arabinogalactins and arabinoxylans are taken, diseases are dramatically reduced.
Researchers found that complex polysaccharides in four varieties of medicinal mushrooms – Agaricus blazei (Agaricus), Grifola frondosa (Maitake), Coriolus versicolor (Coriolus or Turkey Tail), and Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi) – are serious cancer fighters. The chart below explains how:
Mushroom Health Benefit
Agaricus (Agaricus Blazei)
Agaricus not only contains the greatest number of medicinal compounds, it also contains a powerful anti-tumor polysaccharide that all other medicinal mushrooms are lacking. Recently, 100 women who were receiving carboplatin, a chemotherapy drug used to treat ovarian cancer, volunteered for an important study. Half of the women were given an extract of Agaricus mushrooms, while the other half were given a placebo or dummy pill. The researchers discovered that NK cell activity was significantly higher in the Agaricus group. The women in this group were also less nauseated, fatigued, and wear than the women taking the placebo, an important consideration for people with cancer.
Maitake (Grifola Frondosa)
Maitake is one of the most researched of all medicinal mushrooms. In one clinical study, the effect of Maitake mushroom compounds were studied in ten patients with cancer who were not currently taking any chemotherapeutic drugs. The researchers found that the Maitake not only significantly stimulated NK cell activity, it also repressed the cancer’s growth, and stopped the tumors’ ability to metastasize, or spread to other parts of the body. And in another clinical study, 165 patients with various types of advanced cancer were given Maitake mushroom compounds alone or with chemotherapy. Cancer regression or significant symptom improvement was observed in 58% of liver cancer patients, 69% of breast cancer patients, and 62% of lung cancer patients. Plus, when Maitake was taken in addition to chemotherapy, the immune cell activities were enhanced 1.2 to 1.4 times, compared with chemotherapy alone.
Versicolor compounds show great promise as cancer immunotherapy agents in all cancer stages. In one clinical trial, 34 patients with advanced terminal lung cancer were given Coriolus versicolor polysaccharides or a placebo (dummy pill) for 28 days. While the group getting the Versicolor felt less fatigued and sick, very important considerations at the end-of-life, there were no changes in the placebo group.
Reishi (Ganoderma Lucidum)
Reishi mushrooms are too tough to eat, but they’ve been used medicinally for centuries and have been extensively researched. In a safety study to determine Reishi’s effect on blood thinning mechanisms, healthy volunteers received 1.5 gm Reishi or placebo daily for 4 weeks. There were no significant changes in either group and all blood clotting measurements remained within the normal range, demonstrating its safety. In a recent clinical study, researchers determined that Reishi increased the number of cancer killing white blood cells and made them more deadly to cancer cells.
Not only do Agaricus, Maitake, Coriolus, and Reishi have incredible amounts of immune boosting polysaccharides, when they are grown on Purple Kculli Corn, they also have a much higher ORAC value than mushrooms grown on other substrates.
Q. What are ORAC values?
A. ORAC, or Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity, is a measurement of the antioxidant power in fruits and vegetables. The higher the power, or ORAC value, the stronger the antioxidant is against free radicals. While free radicals are made by breathing oxygen and digesting food, and are simply the consequences of being alive, the older we get the more free radicals we make. And the more free radicals we make the more destructive they can be. Free radicals will rip membranes, wreck cells, cripple mitochondria, and ruin DNA. As this damage accumulates, even more free radicals are made. And if not stopped or slowed, this might lead to heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, dementia, and cancer.
Q. How does Purple Kculli Corn increase the ORAC value of medicinal mushrooms?
A. All brightly colored fruits and vegetables have very high ORAC values; and the higher the ORAC value – the greater the antioxidant power. Not only can we measure the ORAC values of fruits and vegetables, we can also measure the ORAC values of mushroom substrate extracts. Purple Kculli Corn extract has an ORAC value of 1789 (measured in umolesTE/gram). Now, remember that mushrooms are fungi, not fruits and vegetables, and they gain most of their nutrients from the ground (or substrate) they are grown on. When mushrooms are cultivated or “farmed” on substrates with a high ORAC value, they will absorb compounds from the substrate giving them a higher ORAC value, too. So growing mushrooms on antioxidant rich, high ORAC value, Purple Kculli Corn yields medicinal mushrooms with high ORAC values as well.
Q. Some mushroom supplements have more than four medicinal mushrooms. Wouldn’t a mushroom supplement with seven mushrooms or more have a higher ORAC value than a supplement with only four?
A. Well, more is not always better – especially when it comes to medicinal mushrooms. Some supplements have a “kitchen sink” selection of mushrooms. The makers of these supplements hope that by adding modest amounts of many mushrooms, they will end up with a product that just might have some health benefits.
Clearly, it’s not how many or how exotic the mushrooms are in a medicinal mushroom supplement, it’s the substrate that mushrooms are grown on that makes the difference.
Q. How can I make sure the medicinal mushroom supplement I buy contains natural and organic mushrooms grown on Purple Kculli Corn substrate?
A. Become a label reader! Medicinal mushroom formulas have a statement showing accreditation from a certifying agency, such as the American Food Safety Institute, International; California Organic Farmer Association, Minnesota; or Crop Improvement Association, on the label, and have met certain criteria. They must be grown without chemicals or pesticides. The growers must be certified as organic mushroom produces by an accredited third party. And the growers must keep a record of their production and handling practices.
Of the nearly 38,000 varieties of mushrooms, Agaricus blazei, Grifola frondosa, Coriolus versicolor, and Ganoderma lucidum have impressive medicinal properties. With a little help from Purple Kculli Corn, these mushrooms can provide even more potent and powerful cancer preventing properties for superior mushroom supplements.
Green Tea Gets More Positive Press…
September 12, 2006 02:09 PM
A new study has added to the abundant evidence that green tea may provide health benefits. In this case, research published in the Journal Human Molecular Genetics (2006, vol.15: 2743-2751) indicated that the green tea extract epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) may slow accumulation of proteins that cause Huntington’s disease. This neurodegenerative disease, hereditary and incurable, is caused by protein misfolding. These mutant proteins cannot be disposed of by the body and accumulate in the brain, eventually becoming toxic to nerve cells. The new study looks at the effect of EGCG on the amassing of these mutant proteins and discovered that the extract was able to interfere with the very early events of this process. EGCG inhibited the misfolding of the proteins in vitro, for example. The authors suggested that further research should be conducted to determine if the doses of EGCG needed could be obtained through drinking green tea or if supplementation was required.
How Does It Work?
July 08, 2006 01:24 PM
Proprietary Probiotic blend
Acidophilus Pearls is a probiotic dietary supplement designed to help support digestion and a healthy intestinal system. Probiotics, such as lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium longum are live microbial food supplements that are non-toxic and do not cause disease (non-pathogenic). Probiotics do not permanently colonize in the body. Therefore, they need to be ingested regularly for their health-promoting effects to persist. After ingestion, probiotics must adhere to the wall of the intestine. Once attached to the intestinal wall, the bacteria are capable of multiplying and colonizing in the gut, thereby enhancing the immune response. 1-3
Oral probiotics help support the composition and metabolic activities of the large intestine micro flora.1 Micro flora of the large intestines assist digestion through fermentation (making the intestines inhospitable to invading species), protection against pathogenic bacteria, and stimulation of the development of certain components of the immune system.3 Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium longum occupy a central role in the guy micro flora, thereby enabling them to influence the composition of the micro flora to provide health benefits.4
Breakdown of Lactose
Lactose is an important sugar that is converted to lactic acid by lactic acid producing bacteria (such as lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium longum).6 Lactose intolerance results from an inability to digest lactose.7 Lactose intolerance may be due to genetics, age related declines in intestinal lactase (the enzyme that metabolizes lactose), or other reasons.8 Lactase deficient people accumulate non-absorbed lactose in the gastrointestinal tract, which draws water and electrolytes into the gut and accelerates transit time, which can lead to diarrhea.2,8 Lactic acid bacteria can help metabolize the non-absorbed lactose in the gastrointestinal tract.
In a randomized, controlled clinical trial, Bifidobacterium longum was shown to support the breakdown of lactose and reduce the symptoms of lactose intolerance (flatulence) in people with lactose intolerance.5
Immune system support
While a normal micro flora is associated with good health, changes in intestinal health are associated with altered immune function. A well-functioning gastrointestinal immune system mediates immune responsiveness at mucosal sites and throughout the entire body via the control of quality and quantity of foreign substances gaining access to the immune system.9
Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium longum have shown to possess immunoprotective/immunomodulatory properties. These benefits include modulation of: cytokine and various interleukin production, autoimmunity, natural killer cells cytotoxicity, lymphocyte proliferation, and antibody production.3
In an open, randomized, controlled trial, Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum were supportive of colon health in older adults. In addition, B cell (important antibody producing immune cells) levels increased as compared with the untreated group. The probiotics were very well tolerated, with no significant side effects or variations in clinical chemistry or hematologic parameters.
Decrease Occasional Constipation
Constipation is defined as infrequent or difficult defection that can result from decreased motility of the intestines. It is a common problem, particularly in older adults. When the feces remain in the large intestine for prolonged periods, there is excessive water absorption, making the feces dry and hard.7
Insufficient amounts of lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium longum may play a role in delayed bowel movement, which can favor the activity of undesireable putrefactive bacteria (bacteria that break down organic matter into potentially harmful compounds) in the intestines. Lactic acid bacteria contribute to the re-establishemtn of healthy intestinal flora (at the expense of pathogen growth) and stimulation of intestinal peristalsis via lactic acid. 10
Support of putrefactive Processes
When unbalanced conditions are present in the intestines (ie, unbalanced diet, high acidity, and/or low levels of lactic acid bacteria), organic matter may be putrified (decomposed or rotting) by certain bacteria and produce harmful substances such as ammonia.1,11
Micro flora or the large intestines promote homeostasis (balance) in both the intestine and the vagina.1,12,13 these activities are carried out via support of direct production of antibodies, competition with adhesion to intestinal cells, or indirect modulation of the immune system.2
Normal micro flora of the large intestine help support and complete digestion via fermentation.1,11 The risk of diarrhea, for example, increases when the capacity of colonic micro flora to ferment carbohydrates decreases.8 Oral ingestion of probiotics produces a stabilizing effect on the guy flora.2
The benefits of probiotics extend beyond digestion support and immune support. Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium longum also help support the better utilization and bioavailability of nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.14
Candida albicans is a fungus that is a naturally occurring component of normal gastrointestinal micro flora.15 however, C. albicans should be maintained at healthy levels. Probiotics have been shown to help retain healthy levels of C. albicans that are already within normal limits.
True Delivery Technology
Recently, our Enzymatic Therapy laboratory tested four leading probiotics nutritional supplements in the marketplace. These supplements were best selling brands, two of the supplements were enteric coated, and all had label guarantees about potency (guaranteed number of live bacteria). The laboratory scientist counted the levels of living bacteria found in compared these findings to the bacterial levels claimed by each manufacturer. The products were also subjected to a simulation of stomach acid conditions, after which the levels of living bacteria were re-counted.
The laboratory results found the probiotic supplements contained less than 50% of the number of living bacteria that they clamed on their labels. Furthermore, the laboratory results found that only 10% of the liver bacteria clamed on the manufacturer’s label survived the simulated stomach conditions.
Acidophilus pearls used a revolutionary proprietary “pearl” encapsulation process called True Delivery Technology. The True Delivery Technology is a special type of natural coating that protects the probiotic bacteria.
The True Delivery is a seamless “pearl”, which consists of three layers. The inner layer is a paste of probiotic bacteria suspended in a protective oil suspension. The second layer actually “seals” the bacteria in the capsule, which protects them from air, moisture, and the effects of heat. Probiotic bacteria are anaerobic organisms (grow in the absence of oxygen) and the presence of oxygen can actually injure or kill them. Because probiotic bacteria are injured or destroyed by the acids of the stomach, the third, outermost layer of the pearl is specially developed to only dissolve in the alkaline environment of the intestines. This patented gelatin pearl protects the probiotic bacteria from the acid environment of the stomach, so that they can successfully reach the intestine.
The patented seamless pearl capsule of Acidophilus Pearls assures the virtually all the bacteria remain uninjured and healthy to colonize in the intestine. In addition, the special pearl capsule’s ability to seal the bacteria inside it eliminates the need for the nutritional supplement to be refrigerated – though they can be kept in the refrigerator, if desired.
Store at controlled room temperature, 59 degrees F to 86 degrees F (15 – 30C). May refrigerate if desired
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.
Selecting Quality Evening Primrose Oil
June 03, 2006 01:12 PM
Always look first for a certified organic source of Evening Primrose Oil. In addition, since oils are highly subject to rancidity, it is recommended that you acquire a product that is manufactured using a low temperature process without chemical solvents to avoid formation of free radicals and ensuing rancidity.
Generally, two grades of evening primrose oil have been available to consumers. The crude grade is considered to be unstable because of its high organic matter content. This oil is usually greenish color.
Refined evening primrose oil have a low organic matter content and are yellowish color. As we mentioned, oils tend to accumulate pesticides, especially the many kinds that are fat soluble. That’s why we always tell our readers to prefer organic oils. Until now few, if any, organic evening primrose oil products have been available.
Spring Cleaning with these botanical cleansers
February 27, 2006 03:20 PM
Botanical Cleansers for Spring
The use of botanical cleansers and purifiers in spring has long been a cornerstone of natural health care. This seasonal cleansing helped clear the body of the toxins thought to accumulate over the long winter.
Herbal cleansing is still a vital aspect of a natural health care program. Planetary herbals this month features four key products for herbal cleansing.
A Comprehensive Approach to Seasonal Cleansing
Together, these formulas provide a comprehensive approach for a seasonal internal cleansing program.