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6 Reasons why boswellia is one of the most powerful herbal extracts available today
January 19, 2019 10:09 AM
The more common name for boswellia is frankincense, and it is known for having a plethora of health benefits. Frankincense is made from the gum resin that originates from the boswellia tree. This boswellia resin has the ability to promote several incredible health benefits such as helping fight against various cancers, as well as preventing them in the first place. This is due to the anti-inflammatory aspects of frankincense, and an acid called Acetyl-11-keto-?-boswellic acid that naturally has the ability to fight cancer.
"This herbal extract has a long history of being used as perfume, incense, and medicine due to is therapeutic and anti-inflammatory properties."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-01-15-6-reasons-why-boswellia-is-one-of-the-most-powerful-herbal-extracts-out-there.html
Almonds are good for your heart, brain, AND stomach
November 21, 2018 03:35 PM
Almonds are an extremely versatile food. They can be added to just about any food. It also provides great benefits for your heart, stomach, and brain. Almonds can decrease one's heart attack risks. It can also regulate one's blood sugar and improve memory. In addition, ingesting almonds long term can aid healthy gut microbiota and it can help prevent cancer. They can also help a person keep a healthy weight, and almonds can even extend a person's life.
"Eating almonds is beneficial for heart, brain, and stomach health and function."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-10-30-almonds-are-good-for-your-heart-brain-and-stomach.html
Reduce your risk of developing an autoimmune disease withglutathione
November 21, 2018 12:15 PM
The 50 million Americans living with some kind of autoimmune disease share a deficiency of “master antioxidant” glutathione. Glutathione helps control and moderate the immune system, and reduce oxidative stress and inflammation, but lifestyle issues like lack of sleep, dietary factors, obesity and inadequate exercise can cause you to developed a glutathione deficiency. Supplements like N-acetyl-cysteine can help increase the amount of glutathione in your cells, while alpha-lipoic acid promotes recycling of oxidized glutathione. You can also address glutathione deficiency by eating a better diet and moderating your blood sugar.
"Research has shown that people with an autoimmune disease are always deficient in this antioxidant."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-10-24-glutathione-reduces-risk-for-autoimmune-disease.html
A brain wide chemical signal that enhances memory
January 30, 2017 10:59 AM
Alzheimer’s seems to become more prevalent every day. This has lead to much research into what causes it and how to prevent it. While we still do not know the exact mechanism behind what causes it, there has been some discovery on ways to help fight the disease. A recent study has shown that keeping our brains active will help fend off the signs of mental decline. This discovery was uncovered in light of drugs that seem to help with the disease when they activate Acetylcholine release and activate the brain for longer periods of time.
""Many current and future drug therapies for a wide range of brain disorders including Alzheimer's and schizophrenia are designed to target chemical systems such as Acetylcholine""
Improving Liver Health - Does NAC Help Improve Liver Health?
All organs in our body have purposes why they exist. This includes our football size liver. Many people take their liver health for granted. Since it is an internal organ, we do not see the actual effects of toxins and unhealthy lifestyle as they slowly destroy the liver. However, we might feel the results from time to time. Our liver has the size of a football, making it a star football player in our digestive system where everything passes through it. It cleanses the blood by taking away hazardous chemicals, converting the liquid into bile, which is then used to break down fat from the food we eat. The liver also stores glucose, a sugar that quickly boosts energy. So how do we take care of our liver?
How to Take Care of Liver Health
It is okay to enjoy and have fun, but to do it every day with a lot of alcohol is dangerous. Drinking too much alcohol leads to the swelling of liver cells.
Controlling what you eat and good amount of exercise will help you avoid non-alcoholic fatty liver diseases, a condition that might lead to severe liver damage.
There are some medicines such as Tylenol and cholesterol drugs that may hurt your liver when taken in uncontrolled doses. Also avoid taking medicines with alcohol, because they are not a good combination, or joining different drugs together.
Many studies say that liver diseases are caused by the lack of Glutathione or GSH in our body. That is why NAC comes to the rescue.
NAC is a small protein powerful to restore intracellular level of Glutathione or GSH, an effective antioxidant. The GSH is most needed by those who have liver diseases because it protects the liver against toxicity. When you are suffering from stress caused by a chronic liver disease, there is the reduction of glutathione, which is why there is a need to supplement it. NAC also helps to protect against present liver damages by reducing a wide range of chronic, deteriorating issues which include liver inflammation and impaired glucose control.
Taking good care of our liver health is like grooming a football superstar. Always watch out of the things you are doing to it.
How Huperzine Helps With Memory
Memory refers to the process by which information is encoded, stored and retrieved when required. Encoding makes information from the outside world to be sensed in form of physical and chemical stimuli. In the first stage, information has to be changed in order to be put into the encoding process. Storage is the process by which the information is maintained over duration of time. The third of final stage is the retrieval process where the information stored is returned back to the consciousness.
One of the major problems that many people undergo is memory loss. This is a condition in which a person cannot recall information or events that they would be able to remember in normal circumstances. One of the most effective ways to help improve memory is by taking Huperzine. This is a drug that has proven to help boost memory and learning.
Here are some of the ways on how Huperzine help with memory:
1. Boost the level of Acetylcholine
Acetylcholine is a very important transmitter in the brain responsible for carrying out several functions including those associated to memory and cognition. It is released into the space between two cells, where it then stimulates nerve impulses from one cell to the other. When Acetylcholine fails to work effectively, several types of brain dysfunction occurs. A shortage of Acetylcholine is known to be the common cause of memory loss, decreased intelligence and learning ability. Huperzine helps in reducing the breakdown of Acetylcholine and boost the duration and strength of nerve impulse. It makes the neurotransmitter more available leading to better memory and improved overall brain functioning.
2. Protection against free radicals
Huperzine offers protection against free radicals that are known to be the major cause of modern diseases. It decreases the activity of heightened free radical activity in the brain. This goes a long way in reducing the risk of having memory loss. It has also proved to be effective in helping adolescents improve their learning abilities and memories.
Does Broccoli Really Fight Cancer?
May 27, 2014 05:23 PM
What is a broccoli?
Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli is known to have numerous health benefits within the body. In addition, many studies have proved that broccoli has another element known as sulforaphane that has cancer-fighting properties.
Benefits of broccoli
A recent study by the Oregon State University, suggested that sulforaphane is a powerful antioxidant in broccoli and many other cruciferous vegetables do have the power and the ability to kill cancer cells, thus leaving the prostate cells unaffected.
Sulforaphane is also another potent antioxidant that has the ability to inhibit HDAC enzymes known as histone deAcetylase and play a vital role in suppressing tumor-like genes thus making a perfect solution to cancer treatment. HDAC in Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli is known to have numerous health benefits within the body. In addition, many studies have proved that broccoli has another element known as sulforaphane that has cancer-fighting properties.
A recent study by the Oregon State University, suggested that sulforaphane is a powerful antioxidant in broccoli and many other cruciferous vegetables do have the power and the ability to kill cancer cells, thus leaving the prostate cells unaffected.
Sulforaphane is also another potent antioxidant that has the ability to inhibit HDAC enzymes known as histone deAcetylase and play a vital role in suppressing tumor-like genes thus making a perfect solution to cancer treatment. HDAC inhibition is another very promising cancer treatment and many researchers have found that it is associated with broccoli. Cancer is often characterized by the inappropriate cell growth, however, HDAC inhibitors has the ability of restoring cells to normalcy in terms of function and thus the most effective cure of cancer.
Other studies have also demonstrated the cancer-fighting ability of the cruciferous vegetables. In the year 2009, Victoria Kirsh., of Toronto Cancer Care Ontario and her team discovered that eating vegetables and fruits in general was associated with the decreased prostate cancer risk, making it one of the best ways of enhancing health. This remarkable compound in broccoli is among the strongest anti-cancer elements in the body.
It is important to recall that you cook your broccoli in the best way possible since this will preserve the elements that helps in fighting cancer. In addition, Broccoli has myrosinase that helps in the formation of sulforaphane. You need to remember that Myrosinase is an element that can be destroyed through overcooking the broccoli. You should only steam it for 2 to 4 minutes. In conclusion, the above information should convince on the incredible ability to cure the cancer cells that are found within the body.
Educative And Informative Details About NADH Supplement And Its Benefits
May 12, 2014 03:34 AM
What is a NADH
Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NADH) is an activated form of B vitamin niacinin, which is available naturally in the body, from poultry, meat, fish and in minimal quantities from vegetables and fruits. This substance is also commonly referred to as the most important coenzyme mainly because of the import role of transforming food-based energy into energy, which can be utilized by the body cells. Due to the roles played by NADH, it has been developed into supplements, which have various benefits. NADH role in the body is important since the body cannot utilize the energy inform of whole proteins, carbohydrates and fats which are the main sources of energy.
How NADH works
Instead, when the foods that provide the body with energy are ingested, they are usually broken down into smaller parts after being absorbed and distributed into various cells. One of the things that are derived after these foods being broken down is Acetyl, which is a two-carbon molecule. Enzymes are the primary components that break the foods into Acetyl. However, enzymes require coenzymes to break these foods properly and extract the energy from Acetyl. This makes NADH is an important coenzyme, which extracts energy from reactions between oxygen and Acetyl. This coenzyme also helps in transforming tyrosine, which is an amino acid into dopamine, which is a brain chemical.
Benefits of NADH
One of the primary benefits of NADH supplement is that the brain chemical it helps to produce known as dopamine helps in improving various brain functions. Some of these functions which this chemical affects include; concentration, mood, muscle movement, sexual drive and energy. It also helps in athletic performance, slowing aging process, Parkinson's disease, depression and Alzheimer's disease.
This supplement is also helpful on people with chronic fatigue syndrome. This is achieved through helping patients reduce anxiety and reduce heart rate. Consequently, the patient is able to relax and allow the body to function normally. Therefore, NADH supplement is helpful and has many benefits if it is used properly.
Benefits of Boswellic Acid To The Body
April 20, 2014 08:25 PM
Benefits of boswellia
Rarely do people bank on herbs for treatment. Chemically manufacture medicines have taken over. However, what makes Boswellia herb very important? This herb has been used for a very long time. It is extracted from the Boswellia serrate tree. This herb is popular among other pharmacological medicines because of its medicinal values of reducing the effect of inflammation and inflammation related diseases.
What is inflammation?
Our body goes through very complex biological processes to keep us healthy. Inflammation is one of them. Inflammation has been the response action that the body takes towards an intruder. The body does this by producing prostaglandins and leukotriene; they are otherwise called inflammation mediators. Most of the time, the intruder can be harmful stimuli or pathogens and damaged cells. The body responds by causing acute pain in places like toes and fingers. Besides the pain, heat, swelling, redness and loss of function are signs of inflammation. Note that inflammation is not an infection.
Examples of inflammatory disease
Examples of inflammatory diseases are bronchial asthma that leads to narrowing of the respiratory tract and makes breathing difficult. Diabetes, type 1 is an inflammatory disease that is caused by the inflammatory mediators. They eat up the pancreas until it is exhausted. Production of insulin to counter diabetes will be affected largely.
How boswellia works
Boswellia releases boswellic acid. This is the main ingredient that is used to fight and heal inflammation. It does this by suppressing the release of prostaglandins and leukotriene. Bowellic acid comes in many forms. Acetyl-11-keto-B is one example that when released, inhibits the synthesis of enzymes that will produce leukotriene hence lead to inflammation. Constant use of this herb heals and prevents the body from inflammation diseases.
Besides healing inflammation diseases, boswellia reduces the effects of brain cells tumor and colon cancer. The herb can be used to activate tumor suppression genes, a genes that will control and eventually reduce the growth of cancer cells.
Supplements That Can Improve Focus
March 23, 2014 07:57 AM
A focused mind is one that is able to concentrate on a particular issue and think about it, discuss it or deal with it and pay special attention to that subject. This explains why people have different focus abilities as brought about by their varying environments and capabilities. Enhanced minds quickly grasp ideas as opposed to low minded ones. A determined mind therefore understands and interpret facts more readily in an effective way, and this is why it is important for individuals to to be focused at school. However, there are instances where learners have limited focus abilities, but this can be improved by use of focus supplements. The following are the supplements that can be used to boost an individual's focus levels.
Supplement that can help improve focus
Can DMAE Help Memory And Mood?
December 19, 2013 07:23 AM
Do you ever feel like you are experiencing lapses in memory or you have a low general mood? There is evidence that DMAE might be able to help with both memory and mood. DMAE occurs naturally in the human brain. When we take supplemental amounts of the compound, brain function effects can be seen.
DMAE as a Supplement
It is thought that the supplement works by increasing the speed of the brain's turnover and synthesis of a neurotransmitter called Acetylcholine. This neurotransmitter plays a strong role in maintaining general mental ability. It also works at supporting a stable, healthy memory in older adults. It is also believed that DMAE might work by stopping choline metabolism. This allows the free choline to gather in the blood, go into the brain, and stimulate the cholinergic receptors.
A French double-blind study was performed to measure how much of an impact the supplement DMAE has on both mood and vigilance. Four of the subjects were categorized as having anxiety, and four other subjects were the controls. They were each given 1200mg of DMAE over the course of 5 days. These subjects were measured daily for their EEG and convergence of the inter hemispheres of the brain. In the case of the four subjects that were given the supplement, progressive sync of the two brain hemispheres was found. This is correlated with increased neuromotor control, increased verbal memory, improvement in behavioral tasks, as well as better control of anxiety.
Another use for DMAE worth mentioning is its affects on learning deficiencies like ADD or hyperkinesia. Many doctors prescribe amphetamines for conditions like this, but DMAE has also proven useful. According to studies, hyperactivity and irritability decrease, and scholastic ability improves from supplementing with DMAE.
In addition to improving these conditions there is evidence that DMAE can improve life span, IQ, and motor mechanisms. It is very important to take the correct dosage of DMAE. I would start with taking 200-400mg first, and work your way up from there.
5-HTP and how it can help promote natural sleep patterns.
November 27, 2013 07:47 AM
What is 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP)?
5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is a substance derived from Griffonia simplicifolia’s seed pods. In the human body, 5-hydroxytryptophan is an immediate nutrient precursor to neurotransmitter serotonin. This implies that 5-HTP directly converts into serotonin in human brain. Serotonin plays very many essential functions such as; a role in appetite, learning, sleep, memory, temperature regulation, cardiovascular function, endocrine regulation, sexual behavior, mood and muscle contraction.
The production of serotonin declines with age, however it’s also important to note that, at any age serotonin production can be further compromised by stress. Low serotonin levels are commonly manifested by insomnia, depressed mood and anxiety.
It is known that insomnia is an age-related condition. Sleep disorders are associated with very significant psychological, medical and social disturbances. Sleep deprivation can cause depression, stress and anxiety, it can also lead to fatigue, impairment of memory, immune function and mood. Nutritional supplements that contain 5-HTP, choline, melatonin and valerian root helps one to get a good sleep hence alleviating these problems. Recent research has indicated that increased serotonin levels can assist individuals suffering from chronic sleep disturbances restore healthy sleep patterns.
Pathways of serotonin
One of the metabolic pathways of serotonin leads to melatonin a hormone widely acknowledged for being responsible for the sleep-wake cycle. By increasing serotonin’s level with 5-HTP, you are also increasing the melatonin levels. Melatonin is also known to improve the immune function and assist improve immunodepressions that are stress-induced.
Valerian root is a Eurasian herb that has been for long known for enhancing sleep. Valerian helps one to fall asleep and also improves the quality of sleep thus allowing one to wake up feeling refreshed. A study showed that people who used valerian were more active and alert .
Choline is a nutrient precursor to neurotransmitter Acetylcholine, that assists to protect your sound sleep so that you are not woken up by every little murmur or cleak.Supplementing the diet with these natural substances will assist eradicate or diminish sleep disturbances and also assist reestablish healthy sleep patterns.
Boost Energy With CoQ10 And L-Carnitine
November 21, 2013 08:43 PM
CoQ10 and L-Carnatine
CoQ10 and L-Carnitine offer double protection for the heart and the brain in just a single tablet. You obtain all benefits for your heart at 100% from CoQ10, while L-Carnitine supports your memory, learning ability, and focus. The exclusive combination of CoenzymeQ10 and L-Carnitine encloses an absorbable, water soluble capsule of CoQ10 and L-Carnitine, which is important for proper usage.Why are CoQ10 and L-Carnitine Supportive in Energy Boost?
CoQ10 Energy Boost
CoQ10 is a vital nutritional element found in all body cells, in particular the mitochondria, in which most energy is generated. The major function of this coenzyme is to assist in the process of oxygen and food conversion into energy. As people grow older their ability to naturally, to produce this coenzyme decays.
At the same time as Coenzyme Q10 is taking part in the production of energy in each cell of your body, it is considered be remarkably imperative for the high energy requirements of the heart. The heart needs vast energy amounts, because it is the hardest worker in your entire body. Coenzyme Q10 seems to be indispensable for this process. It offers you sufficient antioxidant provision, protecting the body cells from damage of the free radicals, and proffering a dynamic function of the immune system.
L-Carnitine Energy Boost
L-Carnitine transports indispensable fat acids into the same organ where CoQ10 plays its major function - the mitochondria. There, with the help of L-Carnitine, all fatty acids are turned into energy. However, the beneficial function of L-Carnitine does not end here. In addition, it also supports the transportation of toxins outside the body. You can think of the problems that might occur if these vital body processes are not fully operational. At the same time however, the major impact of L-Carnitine over the body is directed towards the brain:
The Differences and Benefits
December 27, 2012 10:23 AM
There are different sources of healthy foods and ingredients that people can consume to boost their health and performance. Honey is one substance that is considered natural and has great various health benefits to prevent serious ailments, increase stamina, and improve the health of the skin and the overall body system. When talking about natural products related to honey and bee activities, people can also enjoy great benefits from royal jelly, bee pollen, and Propolis.
Value of Royal Jelly:
Although they are made through the same bee activities, the source of their existence is different; thus, leading to different health benefits and usages.
For a starter, let's talk about royal jelly first. Royal jelly is a substance that is milky or white in trait. The substance is produced by worker bees' gland in order to feed the queen bee. Although the royal jelly is also given to the larvae, it is the staple food for the queen bee. Queen bee gets to consume the jelly for life, while the larvae can only consume it for three days. The jelly is believed to contain healthy substances that make the queen bee survive for about four to five years.
The reason for the health benefit of the royal jelly is the pantothenic acid and Acetylcholine levels which are quite high. They are responsible in delivering nerve message between cells, in order to make sure that the body system works perfectly. The Acetylcholine is believed to be responsible for Alzheimer disease. When the Acetylcholine level is low, the possibility of suffering from Alzheimer is increasing. On the contrary, when the Acetylcholine level is high, people can prevent the ailment.
The bee pollen is gained from plants' pollen. When the worker bees collect the pollen and they mix it up with their saliva and the nectar, they create small pellets that are then used to feed the male bees. The drones (the male bees) are usually residing within the beehive.
Nutritive value of bee pollen:
The bee pollen itself is believed to have great health benefits since it is rich in nutrition, vitamins, and minerals. Since the pollens are rich in antioxidants, protein, carbs, amino acids, and coenzymes, the benefits people can get from consuming the pollens are:
Propolis is another product from the bee. Known as the bee glue, the resinous and sticky substance is mainly used by bees to seal off the cracks in their hive. They collect it from tree buds, so the composition, colors, and odor are different - depending on the resin source.
When Propolis is produced as cream, it is said to treat minor burns, help opening the genital herpes lesions, and heal cervix inflammation. When used as nasal spray, it can treat running nose or throat infection. When used as mouthwash, it can reduce the plaque formation, help treating gum inflammation, and reduce the numbers of bacteria.
Basically, each of these products is beneficial for people as they are rich in vitamins, minerals, and nutrition. People only need to choose which product suits their needs the most.
But to answer the question, royal jelly is believed to be the most beneficial!
Can Melatonin Increase Prolactin?
December 22, 2012 11:28 AM
What Is Melatonin?
Melatonin chemically known as N-Acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine is a naturally occurring compound normally found in microbes, plants and animals. Many of the biological effects that are associated with this product are usually produced via activation of the melatonin receptors. However, there are others which are as a result of its powerful and pervasive antioxidant nature.
Melatonin and Sleep
Melatonin also plays a vital role in maintaining natural cycle of wakefulness and sleep. There are some controversies over whether melatonin can increase prolactin or not.
Can Melatonin Increase Prolactin?
Studies that have been conducted recently by medical experts have shown that melatonin can cause an increase in the level of prolactin. Prolactin refers to a hormone which usually plays a vital role in regulating menstrual cycle and in producing milk. It is thus advisable that women who normally experience mood changes or who are in depression related to menstruation should avoid it.
In conclusion, it is my sincere hope that the question on if melatonin can increase prolactin has been answered.
Can our health benefit from supplmenting choline?
November 18, 2012 11:01 AM
Choline, discovered in 1864 by the German chemist, Adolph Strecker, is an essential nutrient, usually grouped under the vitamin B family. While the human body does synthesize small amounts of choline, dietary consumption is a must in order to maintain a healthy body. Deficiency of choline can lead to a number of serious health issues including neurological problems, insomnia, accumulation of fat in the liver, damage to the kidneys and also cardiovascular disease. There are a range of important functions that choline performs in the body.
Some of the key health benefits of choline are:
Maintenance of brain health: The neurotransmitter or the messenger molecule, Acetylcholine, that transmits signals from the brain to the muscles and various organs in the body such as the liver, heart, lungs etc, is synthesized using choline. Thus, it plays a very important role in memory and muscle control. Research also suggests that choline has a calming effect on the brain and helps reduce panic and anxiety attacks.
Maintenance of cell membranes: The integrity and flexibility of cell membranes depends on the presence of satisfactory amounts of choline thus making it a prerequisite for appropriate cell metabolism.
Maintenance of Liver health: Choline is responsible for preventing the accumulation of cholesterol and fat deposits in the liver hence preventing hepatosteatosis, a condition more commonly known as fatty liver.
Anti inflammatory benefits: Studies have revealed that inflammatory markers such as Interleukin-6, C-reactive protein, Homocysteine, etc., which are associated with various illnesses such as Diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, Cardiovascular disease, Osteoporosis and also various cancers, show reduced levels if adequate amounts of choline are consumed in the diet.
Apart from those stated above there are many more health benefits of choline and hence it is very important to consume foods that are rich in this nutrient. In addition to seafood and meat, foods that have high choline content include, Dairy and poultry products like Skim milk and Egg yolk, peanut butter; Vegetables such as Cauliflower, broccoli, tomatoes, Asparagus, Green beans and Fruits like Bananas and Oranges. Soybeans, due to their high lecithin content, are also a fantastic source of choline. Seeds like flax seed, sesame seeds and grains like corn, barley and oats are also rich in choline content.
Maintenance of adequate levels of choline is imperative in order to maintain optimal health. It is therefore very important to have periodic health checkups so that any deficiencies are identified and addressed as soon as possible.
What Are The Health Benefits Of DMAE?
April 26, 2012 12:57 PM
Dimethylaminoethanol or DMAE is anorganic compound that is metabolically produced by the adrenal glands, testes and the brain in small quantities. It is converted into testosterone, estrogen and cortisone by the body. It is a known fact that the liver processes DMAE into choline, but the molecule thus produced is charged and cannot break the blood-brain barrier. Studies have shown that DMAE methylated in the brain acts as the precursor for the manufacture of Acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that plays a key role in the conduction of signals in the brain as well as the nervous system.
DMAE also stimulates phosphatidylcholine, a crucial part of cell membranes. However, the DMAE naturally produced by the body is sufficient only to maintain healthy brain and functions. It will not improve their functions. Though DMAE is found in fish such as salmon, anchovies, and sardines, supplementation in the pill form is important because of the practical difficulties having these foods in the right form and quantity on a daily basis to derive the benefits. DMAE supplements for oral consumption are through stores that sell health foods and groceries.
Daily consumption of DMAE in the supplement form provides a number of benefits to the body. Some of the benefits are as follows:
It helps prevent as well as treat cardiovascular problems and boost the body's immune system because of its strong antioxidant properties.It protects cells from the harmful effects of free-radicals by helping them retain the nutrients that are essential and expelling waste.As a precursor in the production of the neurotransmitter Acetylcholine, it supports the functioning of the brain in a number of ways. It increases a person's attention span, relieves behavioral problems and hyperactivity or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. It is also helpful in treating memory lapses and Alzheimer's disease.
It helps stop production of arachidonic acid which is responsible for wrinkling and aging of skin. Topical creams containing DMAE help tighten skin and reduce wrinkles and fine lines.It is found to be effective in burning fat because of its involvement in the production of Acetylcholine. It increases the metabolism in the body because of its thermogenic effect.It can be beneficial as an anti-inflammatory as well.It can reduce the amount of sleep required for a person by up to one hour.It can safely be used as a substitute for anabolic steroids.
Research studies have shown that consumption of 200 to 500 mg of DMAE on a daily basis is helpful in improving health. However, it is important to start with a low dosage of DMAE and then gradually increase the dosage level to the optimum level. Higher dosage can cause headaches, insomnia and muscle tension. People suffering from conditions such as schizophrenia, mental depression and epilepsy should not have DMAE supplements. Pregnant and lactating women also should not have DMAE.
Summarizing, consumption of recommended amounts of DMAE is believed to be safe. Side effects due to consumption of DMAE are rare and not generally serious. However, it is important to use high-quality supplements in order to increase DMAE levels in the body and reap the benefits.
How Does Phosphatidyl Serine Improve Your Health?
April 17, 2012 07:22 AM
Health Benefits Of Phosphatidyl Serine
Phosphatidyl serine is phospholipid that is vital to your brain functioning. The phospholipid are molecules containing both fatty acids and amino acids found in every cell in the body. Phodphatidyl Serine supplements are plant extracts that has been proven safe and effective therapeutic substance in remedying memory disorders as well as in enhancing higher brain functions. Clinical trials have shown that this vitamin supplement do strengthen your memory, increase mental acuity, increase concentration, boosts learning, enhances attention and vigilance. In addition, Phodphatidyl serine relieves depression while improving your mood and inhibits increases in cortisol induced by exercise and stress.
The supplement works by enabling your brain cells to metabolize glucose and releases it to bind with neurotransmitters which hence support learning, memory and other cognitive functions. Phodphatidyl serine enhances the cells communication in the brain through increasing the number of membrane receptor sites. It is also important to note that this natural supplement modulates the fluidity of the cell membranes which are essential in supporting the ability of brain cells to send and receive chemical communications.
Another health benefit associated with Phodphatidyl serine is its ability to restore the supply and output of Acetylcholine in the brain. Acetylcholine is an essential transmitter to memory and is associated in reversing aging. Further, it increases the availability of endogenous chlorine used for de novo synthesis and production. Patients diagnosed with clinical depression that have ben put under the treatment of Phodphatidyl serine have registered a remarkable improvement with their symptoms. This follows from the fact that the supplement stimulates the production of dopamine by the brain. A deficit in dopamine in the brain has also been associated with attention deficit disorder and hence the natural supplement of Phodphatidyl serine has demonstrated to be an effective remedy for the disorder.
Research indicates that athletes involved in weight training, endurance running and cycling can reduce muscle soreness when they use Phodphatidyl serine. The athletes on this supplement have also been reported to undergo speed recovery during their rigorous training sessions. Other benefits of the supplement include; testicular function, formation of bone matrix, heart beat coordination, cell repair and removal by the immune system and secretion of hormones by the adrenal glands.
It is vital to note that phodphatidyl serine is present in almost every cell in our body and the membrane proteins it activates are important in all these cells. However, our bodies cannot produce enough amounts of it when under stress, when there is a deficit in necessary enzymes and metabolic cofactors, and when aged. Stress increases the demands for phospatidylserine thus depleting the available levels in the cells. On the other hand, aging not only increases the brain's requirement for phosphatidylserine but also leads to inefficiency in the digestive and metabolic functions of the body. This makes it difficult for aged people to acquire enough of it from the diet and thus it is recommended that aged people should use phosphatidyl serine supplements.
Modern diets with low fat and low cholesterol levels have been shown to be lacking in phodphotidyl serine to levels of up to 150 mg per day. A vegetarian diet on the other hand may have a deficit of up to 250 mg per day. This deficit in supply of Phodphatidyl serine in the diet leads to impairment of your brain's ability to form, store, process and even remember. It is vital hence to consider taking vitamin supplements with phosphatidyl serine to cater for the deficit which may be detrimental to your health.
Lecithin And Its Brain Boosting Properties
March 02, 2012 07:10 AM
Lecithin is a group of fatty substances, which occur in the tissues of plants and animals. It composed of fatty acids, choline, phosphoric acid, triglycerides, glycolipids, B vitamins, glycerol, and phospholipids. Liver produces this substance daily if you follow a complete nutritional diet. Lecithin is also inevitable for all cells in your body,protecting your cells from oxidation, and it is a major building block of cell membranes. It also supports the circulatory system of your body because it is a fat emulsifier too.
The first isolation of lecithin was done by a French pharmacist and chemist, Theodore Gobley in 1846 and he named phosphatidylcholine Lechithine in 1850. He isolated it originally from egg yolk. Today, lecithin can very easily be extracted mechanically or chemically from soybean, grape seed, and sunflower. However, in plants, the most common source of lecithin is soybean. This substance is used for medicinal purposes and as a food supplement. Sometimes, it is used as an emulsifier in cooking for preventing sticking.
Your body gets adequate amount of lecithin from your diet because it is naturally found in foods such as soybeans, egg yolk, peanuts, yeast, legumes, fish, wheat germ, grains, etc. It is also available in the market in the form of capsules, granules, and powder. This is also used as a supplement for promoting weight loss. Besides, you can also take lecithin in the form of pill or mixed in health shakes.
Health benefits of lecithin
It is believed that lecithin is beneficial for solving a number of health problems. So it is effective for:
* Cell communication,
Brain Boosting Properties of Lecithin
The major brain chemical for improving memory is acetycholine and the deficiency of this chemical is the major cause of declining memory. This chemical can be derived from nutrient choline. Fish is a rich source of Acetylcholine. It can also be obtained from eggs, nuts, peanuts, soy beans, liver, etc. Eating more egg is beneficial for enhancing your memory.
There are lots of studies has been conducted for finding the effectiveness of lecithin in improving the memory. As per the findings of experts, lecithin is highly effective for improving concentration, memory, and for preventing Alzheimer's disease and maniac depression (bipolar disorder). Lecithin helps to run your brain smoothly by improving insulation around the nerves. A major part of cell membranes consists of lecithin and it is essential for the proper functioning and growth of nerve. Organ meats and egg yolks are rich sources of lecithin but the usage of these products is very less due to the fear of cholesterol. Experts think that this is the major reason for the increase of concentration and memory problems.
If you use lecithin properly, you can improve your concentration, memory, mind and nerves.
What Are The Organic Compounds That Provide Our Brains With Their Basic Fuels?
October 12, 2011 01:58 PM
Brain health and nutrition has shown vast growth in interest in terms of research the past years and correctly so because the brain is a very important part of the body. This is something in my point of view that could never be replaced. Other organs like the heart, liver or kidneys can be transplanted or who knows in the far and distant future that it may even be replaceable. Well, I guess that may be just the sci-fi geek in me talking but seriously though, with the complexity in which the brain is made I do not think there will be any possibility even in the wildest of imaginations that humanity will be able to figure out a way to replace the brain.
The irony in all of this though is with human beings pushing the boundaries of their minds and manifesting the results through technological advancements all the more are we needing to protect our brains because life has become more complex. Things that were supposed to make life easier for us now seems to do the exact opposite and each technological advancement causes more and more Americans to have less and less time to devote to making sure they get the right nutrition through the right food preparation so the brain will have all the nutrients it needs. So with this we should look at how we can help augment our efforts in trying to keep our brain functioning healthily in a natural way.
Brain Health and Organic Compounds
There is a wide variety of organic compounds out there and too many of them to mention in this article in fact. Basically, organic compounds are compounds that contain carbon however not all are considered organic but that is irrelevant to what we are trying to achieve right now. So for brain health, the first organic compound that has proven to be very important is the vitamin family of rich antioxidant properties like Vitamin C and E as a couple of examples. Increasing antioxidant levels in the body through these vitamins is a very good way to reduce the risk of diseases and allow better protection for our brain against oxidative stress.
Not only that, it will also allow better health for our nerves and neurons which plays a big role in brain functions. Another example of a potent antioxidant to promote brain health is DHA and ALA or Alpha Lipoic Acid because it is able to get into the brain much easier compared to other antioxidants and fight free radicals there. Carnitine and choline are also essential contributors in modulating brain health as they are precursors to the production of Acetylcholine which is an important neurotransmitter to aid in efficient neurological functions. And lastly but certainly not the least, ATP or adenosine triphosphate is also very important to brain function as this compound supplies energy to virtually all the cells in the body and any bodily processes that require energy to function efficiently needs ATP and that includes our entire nervous system.
Keeping your brain healthy is important especially since Alzheimer’s is an ever growing problem in the United States. Keeping your brain healthy with DHA, ALA, and vitamins is the right step for anybody who wants to take preventive measures and protect the brain.
Can Alpha GPC Really Help With Memory And Growth ?
September 29, 2011 11:52 AM
What Are The Benefits Of Alpha GPC?
L-Alpha Glycerylphosphorylcholine, or abbreviated as Alpha GPC, is a natural compound which is choline in nature. It is considered to be an Acetylcholine precursor which is now being studied as a treatment for the degenerative disease called Alzheimer’s disease. This chemical compound also has a parasympathomimetic property and is widely used as a nutritional supplement for enhancing memory and concentration. The other name of Alpha GPC is Choline Alfoscerate. Alpha GPC has the capacity to rapidly transport choline to the central nervous system by passing through the blood - brain barrier. Alpha GPC can be extracted from highly distilled soy phospholipids such as lecithin. Inside the body, this chemical compound can be found in high quantity in neuronal membranes. Some of its benefits are:
1. IMPROVES AcetylCHOLINE LEVEL. As mentioned earlier, Alpha GPC can cross the blood – brain barrier. Once inside the brain, it positively influences brain activity by enhancing the production of Acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter which is responsible for improving the individual’s learning process. Acetylcholine acts on both the peripheral and central nervous system. In the former, this neurotransmitter functions as the main neurotransmitter in the autonomic nervous system. It is also involved in the contraction of body muscles. In the latter, Acetylcholine acts as an anti – excitatory chemical in the cholinergic system.
2. MEMBRANE COMPONENT. Another health benefit of Alpha GPC is that it can effectively protect nerve cells thus improving the transmission of impulse. Aside from maintaining the integrity of the nerves and nerve cells, Alpha GPC also serves as a precursor of the phospholipids found on membranes.
3. INCREASE HUMAN GROWTH HORMONE. Studies on Alpha GPC have revealed that it can relatively influence the action of the body’s Growth Hormone – Releasing Hormone (GHrH), thus improving the release of growth hormones. In addition, it can also enhance the effects of human growth hormone especially among young individuals.
4. A MODALITY FOR DEMENTIA. Alpha GPC has been long studied for the treatment of senile dementia. Initial result of such studies revealed that patients supplemented with Alpha GPC showed improvement but on a smaller extent. Further studies are still being conducted so that efficacy and safety as well as the appropriate dosage will be determined.
5. INFLUENCES GABA. Studies reveal that Alpha GPC significantly increase the synthesis and release of Gamma Amino – Butyric Acid or GABA. Increased synthesis of GABA is also potentiated by atropine. GABA is considered as the principal inhibitory brain chemical among mammals. It has a significant role in controlling neuronal excitation all over the nervous system. Like Acetylcholine, GABA is also one of the primary responsible chemicals for the control of muscle tone.
Alpha GPC is formulated as supplement. It is available in 300 to 1,200 milligram oral supplements. Though it is generally safe, it is important that you should consult your doctor first before using this supplement. This would significantly avoid the occurrence of adverse effects and drug interactions. Appropriate dosage will also be determined by your doctor. Remember, any medication or supplement varies from person to person on its therapeutic and adverse effects.
What Vitamins And Minerals Are For Mental Alertness?
August 29, 2011 10:33 AM
There are many vitamins and minerals which can help improve the health and functioning of the nervous system. Vitamins and minerals are significantly involved in many biological processes of the body. It influences the activities of the organs of the body including the brain. In fact, deficiencies on vitamins and minerals may result to psychological or even psychiatric symptoms in certain individuals. People with psychiatric problems are also prescribed with vitamin and mineral supplements which serve as one of its conventional treatment.
The vitamins and minerals which are good for the improvement of brain function and improvement of mental alertness are the following:
1. THIAMINE OR VITAMIN B1. Generally, insufficient amount of this enzyme may result to mild psychiatric symptoms. Studies revealed that people with inadequate amount of this vitamin has the symptoms of fearfulness, anxiety, depression, agitation and behavioral instability. This vitamin is necessary for the activity the body’s enzyme called pyruvate dehydrogenase. This enzyme is required for the conversion of pyruvate to Acetyl – coenzyme A. If pyruvate is not catalyzed into Acetyl – coenzyme A, the excess pyruvate in the body might be converted into lactate which can cause muscle pains and also psychiatric symptoms such as anxiety. Deficiency of this vitamin must be suspected when the person is alcoholic or malnourished.
2. RIBOFLAVIN OR VITAMIN B2. This vitamin is closely associated with major depression in relation to oxidative stress. Riboflavin is required for the metabolism of protein, fats and carbohydrates. The building blocks of these macronutrients are important for the maintenance of brain health and proper functioning of the nervous system. It can improve the energy levels and functioning of the brain, thus improving an individual’s mental alertness.
3. PYRIDOXINE OR VITAMIN B6. Studies show that low level of vitamin B6 is directly related to depression. Inside the body, pyridoxine is converted into its biochemical active form called pyridoxal phosphate which is important for mental alertness and brain functioning. Pyridoxine acts as a coenzyme involved in the synthesis of brain chemicals such as serotonin, dopamine and gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA). This vitamin is also involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates and amino acids which are essential for boosting energy levels.
4. COBALAMIN OR VITAMIN B12. Deficiency of this vitamin is closely related to decrease mental functioning. Vitamin B12 is a cofactor of the enzyme methionine synthase which is important in the conversion of homocysteine to methionine. This is required for the production of energy in fatty acids and proteins which is important for the methylation reactions of brain chemicals.
5. VITAMIN C. This vitamin is considered to be a cofactor of the neurotransmitter dopamine and is involved in the conversion of dopamine to norepinephrine. These brain chemicals are important for the maintenance of proper mental alertness.
6. FOLATE. Decreased mental alertness and depression is a common symptom of low levels of folate in the body. This mineral is involved in the methylation and synthesis of DNA. It is important for the development of brain function and improvement of mental alertness.
7. MAGNESIUM. This mineral is involved in many reactions of the body. Individuals with decreased mental alertness are found to have low levels of magnesium in their cerebrospinal fluids.
8. ZINC. This is a mineral which is important in the catalyses of many enzyme sin the body. It is found in high amount in the brain which is important for nervous activities.
How Does N-Acetyl L-Carnitine Help Energy Levels?
August 03, 2011 11:47 AM
N-Acetyl L-Carnitine And Cellular Health
N-Acetyl L-Carnitine refers to the ester form of the organic compound carnitine. It has been linked to many different health benefits largely owing to the fact that it is quite ubiquitous at the cellular level. It plays an important role in keeping cells in prime working condition as derivatives of this compound protect cells from oxidative stress as well as contribute to reactions responsible for energy production.
Increases Cellular Energy
The biochemical energy that powers cellular activities comes in the form of adenosine triphosphate. All types of tissues in the human body are capable of manufacturing this chemical compound, the reason why it is often called the molecular unit of currency. The human diet provides the biological precursors of cellular energy, but adenosine triphosphate is obtained from the sugar glucose more often than not.
Cells make use of N-Acetyl L-carnitine in the synthesis of adenosine triphosphate. Research has shown that the presence of Acetylated carnitine appears to modulate the metabolic processes leading to the manufacture of cellular energy. In recent years, endurance athletes and body builders have relied on supplements that contain this compound to boost their energy levels. Human trials support its safety.
Aids Healthy Metabolism
Glucose is the principal precursor of chemical energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate. Complex carbohydrates are digested to simple sugars such as glucose, which enters the circulation. Insulin is a hormone that induces the uptake of glucose by cells, which convert glucose to usable energy. Studies have observed that N-Acetyl L-carnitine improves the activity of insulin and consumption of glucose.
It is a well established fact that carnitine is involved in the breakdown of fats, waxes, and sterols, and their consequent utilization in the production of cellular energy. For this reason, N-Acetyl L-carnitine is marketed as a nutritional supplement that promotes fat loss and aids weight loss. Human trials have noted that regular intake upregulates the conversion of fats and other lipids to adenosine triphosphate.
Prevents Oxidative Stress
Lysine and methionine are amino acids that act as immediate precursors of carnitine, which the body synthesizes on a regular basis to support a number of physiological functions. In particular, carnitine plays a major role in supplying cells with a steady supply of chemical energy during intense physical exertion. At the same time, they protect the cells from the harmful effects of reactive oxygen species.
N-Acetyl L-carnitine is a very good source of carnitine as it is widely believed to be more bioavailable than L-carnitine. It adds to the number of carnitine in cells, boosts energy levels, and combats free radicals and other reactive oxygen species. Free radicals are natural by-products of energy production, and thus carnitine produces a twofold effect. It promotes cellular longevity and raises chemical energy.
What Is Fenugreek Seeds And How Does It Help Blood Sugar Control?
July 21, 2011 04:23 PM
Fenugreek And Your Health
Fenugreek is a plant which is considered to be both an herb and a spice. The plant can be found all over the world as a crop or spice and has become popular as an herbal medicine. This plant is a primary ingredient among many curry dishes. This herb is considered to be one of the oldest medicinal herbs.
The seeds of Fenugreek are abundant with the chemical called polysaccharide galactomannan. This is the reason why fenugreek herb is considered to be a galactagogue. Galactagogues are chemical compounds which intensifies lactation among humans and other mammals. Galactagogues may either be naturally derived from plants or synthetic. Fenugreek seeds are commonly employed by nursing mothers to help increase the production of breast milk. Studies reveal that fenugreek extracts effectively stimulates the mammary glands to produce milk. In addition, because of its estrogen – like property, fenugreek herb is employed at home as supplement for breast enlargement. Commonly, consuming three grams of fenugreek seed daily is suggested by health experts.
Another important health benefit of fenugreek herb extracts is that it has a potent anti – diabetic property cause of its positive effect on the metabolic symptoms related with Diabetes Mellitus, both type 1 and type 2. Preliminary studies on animals reveal that it can significantly lower serum glucose level and enhance one’s tolerance to glucose. Further studies on human subjects are still ongoing.
Fenugreek also contains an important body nutrient called Choline. This chemical is a member of the water – soluble vitamin B complex which is involved in so many body activities. Together with its metabolic end – products, choline plays a significant role as a precursor of the neurotransmitter Acetylcholine. This neurotransmitter is required for a successful cholinergic neurotransmission of the nervous system. At the cellular level, choline is one of the components of the structure of the cell membranes. Choline also improves the signaling activities of cell membranes to other cells and its surrounding environment. Not to mention, choline is also a good source of methyl groups which is needed in many biological reactions.
Studies also reveal that fenugreek herb is effective in lowering cholesterol levels at about 15 %. To acquire this effect, experts often recommend that you take about 55 to 65 grams of fenugreek seed everyday. If cholesterol levels are maintained within normal limits, the risk for cardiovascular diseases most especially heat attack is lowered.
Fenugreek supplements may come in the form of capsules, powered seeds, tinctures or teas. The recommended dosing of fenugreek supplements is two to four 600 – milligram capsule three times daily. Experts state that the maximum dose per day is six grams. For the powdered fenugreek seeds, the recommended dose is about one – half to one teaspoon taken three times daily. You may combine the powder with little water or juice to add a little taste. For the tea preparation, consume one cup of tea two to three times a day while for tinctures, use one to two milliliters of fenugreek concentrate three times daily.
Give fenugreek a try and feel the difference!
Can Nettle Leaves Help with Allergies?
July 12, 2011 12:48 PM
Nettle And Allergies
Nettle leaf is a traditional medication for excessive inflammation in many European countries. It is valued for its hollow hairs called trichomes, which work as a counter-irritant. In addition to its putative effect on allergic rhinitis or hay fever, it remains extensively used as a treatment for joint pain, muscle spasms, back ache, osteoarthritis, atopic eczema, gout, and other disorders induced by inflammation.
Urtica dioica is the plant species referred to as the common nettle or stinging nettle, from which nettle leaf is harvested from in general. It is an herbaceous shrub that grows up to 2 meters in height. It is botanically noted for its trichomes, which inject list of inflammatory agents into the skin upon contact. In alternative medicine, these organic compounds are processed to combat excessive inflammation.
Nettles enjoy a wide distribution in almost all continents, with the exception of Antarctica and South America. In particular, stinging nettle has been successfully naturalized in all regions outside the Frigid Zone. It prefers soils that retain moisture and receive high rainfall. Hence, it thrives well in tropical and subtropical regions. In temperate zones, it is often found in the wild and abandoned settlements.
Nettle leaf has had a centuries-old association with folk medicine of England, Germany, Sweden, and much of Northern Europe. It is mentioned in the Old English poem called Nine Herbs Charm, which describes the common nettle as a treatment for poison and infection. In Germany, herbal preparations that contain nettle extracts are among the leading adjuvant remedies for allergic rhinitis and joint pain.
Hypersensitivity disorder of the immune system in the form of allergies is a reaction to otherwise harmless substances called allergens. These reactions include eczema, hives, hay fever, asthma, anaphylaxis, insect bites, and even systemic allergic reactions. Modern herbalists have long employed nettle leaf for the prevention, amelioration, and cure of hay fever and related allergic reactions.
The hollow stinging hairs of nettle leaf are a natural source of organic compounds that are similar to the chemicals released by the body during allergic reactions, such as histamine and Acetylcholine. It produces optimum results when applied directly, as is the case with topical creams and alcoholic tinctures. Allergies subside when these compounds are introduced to local tissues underneath the skin.
Extracts of nettle leaf contain phytochemicals that display anti-inflammatory activities when ingested. The exact mechanism of action is still under investigation. Based on initial results, researchers are positive that nettle leaf exerts an inhibitory effect on pro-inflammatory cell-signaling protein molecules known as cytokines, which are directly involved in hypersensitivity disorder, especially hay fever.
More importantly, nettle leaf has been observed to inhibit the transcription of tumor necrosis factor alpha, which is responsible for a diverse variety of inflammatory responses of cells and tissues. As a results, it downregulates the production of cytokines and interleukins incriminated in excessive inflammation during joint pain, back ache, food allergies, asthma attacks, and allergic rhinitis.
Improve Your Memory Naturall, How Does Huperzine A Help Improve Memory?
March 26, 2011 10:47 AM
Huperzine A and The Brain
Huperzine A is an organic compound naturally occurring in a plant species believed to be one of the oldest vascular plants still in existence. It is derived entirely from the firmoss Huperzia serrata, which is reputed for its memory-enhancing effects in China for the most part of its history. It has gained the attention of researchers and health professionals in the West owing to its purported role as a cholinesterase inhibitor, which delays cognitive decline and brain shrinkage tied to Alzheimer’s disease. It has become popular to people seeking other forms of cholinesterase inhibitors apart from those commonly available in the market, and anecdotal evidence points to its noticeable effects on symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
Increases Quantities of Neurotransmitters
Cholinergic neurotransmission makes use of a system of nerve cells that participate in anti-excitatory activities in the central nervous system. These neurons rely on an endogenous compound called Acetylcholine, which acts as the primary neurotransmitter in the brain, the brain stem, and the spinal cord. Acetylcholine as a neurotransmitter is synthesized from esterified acetic acid and choline, but its lifespan is cut short by the enzyme cholinesterase.
This enzyme induces the hydrolysis of this neurotransmitter back into choline and acetic acid. Huperzine A works on the principle of inhibiting the enzyme cholinesterase, resulting in a longer Acetylcholine lifespan especially those in the brain. By doing so, it also raises the levels of other neurotransmitters that are in the employ of nerve cells.
Affects Chemical Compounds in the Brain
Nerve cells constantly respond to many chemical brains that may induce more neuronal activities that affect cognitive function. The busier nerve cells become, the sooner the brain is able to sustain concentration. An increase in neurotransmitters has been tied to greater neuronal activities. Also, there are exogenous chemical compounds that when ingested pass the blood-brain barrier and act as stimulants to nerve cells, such as caffeine.
It has been postulated that Huperzine A provides a nootropic effects by influencing endogenous brain chemicals and consequently stimulating neuronal activities in a similar way caffeine does. However, unlike caffeine, it is not considered a psychoactive drug. More importantly, a more recent study points to its effects on nerve growth factor, or NGF, a protein responsible for the growth and upkeep of nerve cells. This means Huperzine A not only influences brain chemicals, but also makes sure that nerve cells survive.
Creates Positive Effects on Neuroplasticity
In contrary to former claims that the brain does not change after early developments during infancy, recent studies point to changes in both chemical makeup and cellular structure as we age. These changes are a response to both physiological stimulus and learning experience. New nerve cells are created as we spend more time sharpening our mental skills, much like how the muscles respond to continuous exercise and body toning. This process of change in the brain is called neuroplasticity, which Huperzine A supports by acting as a vitamin-like nutrient to nerve cells and neurotransmitters.
If you want to improve brain function and memory, give Huperzine A a try today!
How does Acetyl-L-Carnitine Help With Heart Health?
February 21, 2011 02:37 PM
Acetyl L Carnitine And Heart Health
Acetyl-L-Carnitine is a form of the chemical compound carnitine, which is active in the human body as the amino acid L-carnitine. It is an organic substance that is naturally occurring in mammals and many other animals, and it is released from the liver and kidneys to every tissue in the body. While our body is capable of manufacturing this amino acid, there are factors involved in its depleting levels at certain times, and thus it is made available as a nutritional supplement. Today it is primarily used as a treatment for heart diseases and other cardiovascular problems.
Helps Break Down Fats
One of the many factors that influence heart tissues is high levels of free fatty acids in the blood. Popular health magazines and the mainstream press have labeled transports of fat-soluble bioactive compounds in the water-based bloodstream as bad cholesterol, but free fatty acids are also to blame for the buildup of fatty debris in the blood vessel linings, resulting in the thickening of walls characteristic of many cases of heart diseases.
The body has a mechanism to utilize these fats more effectively in the presence of Acetyl-L-Carnitine, which is quite active as soon as it enters the cells of any tissue, notably muscle and skeletal tissues. Free fatty acids are formed as a by-product of triglycerides that remained in the blood, but once they pass the cell membranes, they can be a source of energy far more powerful than that produced from glucose. Acetyl-L-Carnitine makes it possible for these fatty molecules to be converted into energy.
Maintains Heart Wellness
Every cell has its own form of storage fuel, and glucose and its metabolites are probably the best known. However, tissues of the heart and the muscles prefer fatty acids. As you might have surmised, tissues found in the heart and those that build the form of our physique, classified as cardiac and skeletal respectively, needs more energy than other tissues of our body. The skeletal muscles are directly involved in daily physical exertion whereas the heart is, of course, in constant movement.
Fatty acids yield adenosine triphosphate, or ATP, the form of energy at the cellular level, which is in general more than two times the energy produced from either carbohydrates or proteins. This is one of the reasons why fatty acids can keep up with the hard work associated with cardiac and skeletal muscle tissues. The absence of energy required for the healthy functioning of the heart leads to cell death and affects the heart’s ability to pump blood as described in cases of heart failure.
Promotes High Bioavailability
Acetyl-L-Carnitine has been touted to be more absorbable and ultimately incorporated in body tissues more effectively than other forms of carnitine. It is a known fact that Acetylating organic molecules increases the effectiveness of administered doses, and this remains true with Acetyl-L-Carnitine, the reason why it is widely applied in serious medical conditions concerning the heart.
If you have heart problems, give Acetyl-L-Carnitine a try risk free.
Can N-Acetyl Cysteine Boost Liver Health And Function?
February 10, 2011 12:31 PM
N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) And The Liver
N-Acetyl Cysteine or NAC is an antidote for poisonous effects of paracetamol overdose. It targets the cells in the liver, raising their capacity to deal with harmful metabolites. There are a number of researches well underway that scrutinizes a variety of medical conditions for which this compound could be of use. It is a known precursor of antioxidants and in itself a scavenger of peroxides and free radicals.
Hepatocytes are the cells that take on most of the functions of the liver and account for more than 70 per cent of the liver’s total mass. These cells are responsible for the presystematic metabolism of drugs, also known as the first-pass effect, rendering most drugs innocuous before they are released into the bloodstream. The total amounts of bioactive substances that are distributed to the rest of the body are also largely regulated by hepatocytes, notably carbohydrates. In addition, they are involved in the biosynthesis of protein, cholesterol, phospholipids, and bile salts as well as the functional reserves for protein.
Hepatocytes and Toxins
Certain drugs produce toxins when broken down by hepatocytes. A classic example is the metabolism of ethanol into acetaldehyde, which is a toxic compound, a probable carcinogen, and an air pollutant emitted by combustion of cars and tobacco smoking. While hepatocytes are known for their detoxifying responses to toxic substances entering the body, the metabolism of toxins actually takes up a great deal of time, resulting in certain toxins getting released into the bloodstream prior to first-pass effect.
That being said, continued exposure to toxins wears down hepatocytes, and high concentrations of what we refer to as poisons is certain to bring damage to the liver. This is what happens during overdose of paracetamol, or acetaminophen. In an effort to metabolized excessive amounts of the drug, the liver cells produce by-products that are essentially poisons, which under normal circumstances can be contained well.
NAC and Glutathione Production
The major antioxidant synthesized by the human body called glutathione comes to the liver’s defense when toxic by-products are produced. Hepatocytes in particular are so dependent on glutathione in the quenching of toxins that it has been observed that any challenge to the manufacture of this endogenous antioxidant will ultimately result in liver failure.
Glutathione is released by hepatocytes in large amounts especially during the metabolism of alcohol and drugs, but during overdose the ravaging activities of ethanol or drug metabolites overwhelm the detoxifying effects of antioxidant reserves in the body. Simply put, the defense mechanisms in the employ of the body have limits. NAC resolves this problem.
The presence of NAC in the body augments the liver’s ability to produce the needed amounts of glutathione to effectively counter the harmful properties of invasive substances. In fact, the liver completely recuperates in a matter of weeks even after life-threatening conditions given that NAC is introduced in the human body in time to avoid subsequent damages to other vital organs. Indeed its application has proven to save lives in fatal cases of paracetamol poisoning.
N-Acetyl Cysteine is available at your local or internet vitamin store in capsule or tablet forms. Always choose name brands like Source Naturals to ensure quality and purity of the product you buy for better liver health.
Have you had your NAC today?
The Krebs Cycle - Our Lifes Blood!
January 13, 2011 05:00 PM
The Krebs Cycle, also known as the Citric Acid Cycle, is an important series of biochemical reactions that are intrinsic to cellular respiration and the generation of energy from oxygen and glucose in aerobic organisms. Although humans can generate energy anaerobically, they cannot do so for long periods and oxygen is essential for life because it fuels the Krebs Cycle. Without this cycle, there would be no available energy to maintain our vital processes.
What is The Krebs Cycle
We shall first discuss exactly what the Krebs Cycle is and then its importance in the body. The process takes place within the mitochondria of the body cells.
A. The cycle begins with the ten-step pathway of glycolysis, during which glucose is converted to two molecules of pyruvate: no oxygen is required for this step. Basically:
Glucose + 2NAD+ + 2P + 2ADP = 2Pyruvate + 2NADH + 2H+ + 2ATP
The pyruvate can then undergo aerobic or anaerobic respiration to generate energy. The Krebs Cycle is the aerobic route, and significantly more efficient that the alternative fermentation.
B. The two pyruvate molecules are then oxidized to two of Acetyl CoA with the release of carbon dioxide. The two Acetyl groups of the Acetyl CoA are donated to Oxaloacetate in the presence of water to form Citrate.
C. Citrate then undergoes a number of chemical reactions to arrive back at Oxaloacetate again and the cycle starts all over again by reacting with more Acetyl CoA from Pyruvate and oxygen to form Citrate again. During the cycle more ATP is produced and electrons and other species are sent into the Electron Transfer Chain where most energy is generated.
During this cycle three major events occur:
1. During the various transformations of Citrate, specifically when Succinyl-CoA is converted to Succinate, one Guanosine Triphosphate group (GTP) is generated, which then donates a phosphate to Adenosine Diphosphate (ADP) to create the energy molecule Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP).
2. Over the whole cycle, three molecules of Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD) are reduced to NADH that donates its electrons to the electron transport chain that is responsible for the generation of large quantities of ATP.
3. A molecule of Flavine Adenosine Dinucleotide (FAD) is reduced to FADH2, again donating its electrons to the electron transport system and the generation of energy.
Factor 2 and 3 are of more significance to energy generation than factor 1, and are the major means by which the Krebs Cycle generates energy.
Electron Transport Chain
The Krebs Cycle takes place within the mitochondria, structures that are contained in each of your body cells. Also within these mitochondria are a series of membranes that are very important in the generation of energy.
The major energy produced in your body cells comes from the Electron Transport Chain, a series of chemical reactions between an electron donor and an electron acceptor. Such reactions drive the transport of hydrogen ions (H+) across the membranes in the mitochondria.
The electron donors are species such as NADH, FADH2 and succinate and the electron acceptors are oxygen molecules. Hence the importance of oxygen in the process of aerobic respiration. The H+ ions are driven across the membranes and result in the conversion of ADP to ATP energy. In essence, the hydrogen atoms and electrons take part in a progressive chain of redox reactions, and at the end react with oxygen molecules and change it to water.
The Ultimate Products
Ultimately, through the whole chain and cycles of:
Glucose to pyruvate (glycolysis) Pyruvate to Acetyl CoA + CO2 (oxidation) Acetyl CoA to Citrate and the entire Krebs Cycle (reduction and oxidation) Krebs Cycle products to the Electron Transfer Chain Electron Transfer Chain to Water and ATP (redox) Final oxidation of hydrogen atoms to water
Basically: Glucose + Oxygen + 30ADP = Carbon Dioxide + Water + 30ATP
This is not balanced of course, and the ATP could be anything from 29 to 38, though 29.85 is the most accurate calculation to date. The entire process of glycolysis, oxidation, Krebs Cycle and Electron Transport Chain is powered by a series of enzymes and a small amount of ATP energy.
Glucose and oxygen are used up as the raw materials and ATP energy molecules are the product. It has been calculated that the total ATP yield obtained from one molecule of glucose lies between 29.5 and 30 molecules of ATP.
The Importance of the Krebs Cycle to Your Body
Were it not for the Krebs Cycle you would not be able to generate energy efficiently from your food. In particular, the carbohydrate content of your food. Carbohydrates are available in your diet from two sources: simple and complex carbohydrate foodstuffs such as cereals and grains, and fats and oils from animal and vegetable sources. They are also available from proteins, which are composed of amino acids at the head of the molecule with a carbohydrate tail.
Carbohydrates by definition contain only carbon, hydrogen and oxygen molecules, and can be converted to glucose within your body. Proteins can be deaminated and then the carbohydrate portion again converted to glucose. In fact, your body will initially use the carbohydrates in your diet as a source of glucose for its glycolysis to pyruvate, then the fatty tissue in your body, then the proteins will be deaminated so your body can get to the carbohydrate they contain.
Were it not for the Krebs Cycle, your body could not use the glucose as described above to generate energy. The only option open to it would be anaerobic respiration, or energy production in the absence of oxygen. ATP is still generated, but much less efficiently.
Anaerobic respiration is basically respiration without oxygen. If there was no Krebs Cycle, then this is the only way your body would have to create energy.
Because no oxygen is actually needed for glycolysis or the Krebs Cycle, anaerobic respiration can proceed right to the end of the Electron Transport Chain. Then instead of oxygen being used as the terminal electron donor, it has to be another species such as nitrate or sulfate. Because the Reduction Potential of these species is much lower than that of oxygen, the amount of ATP energy produced is also much lower.
Your body tries to compensate by producing even more pyruvate and the excess is removed through lactic acid fermentation. Although this also generates ATP energy enough for short-term use, it leads ultimately to lactic acidosis and a reduction in pH, causing pain and vomiting.
Ultimately, if oxygen is not forthcoming, the brain runs short of the energy needed for it to work and you die. There is insufficient ATP generated from anaerobic respiration to maintain human life.
The Krebs Cycle is of critical importance for the production of energy: not just the energy to enable you to run fast, but to enable your metabolic processes to continue. It is needed for both aerobic and anaerobic respiration, and while lactic acid fermentation can be used by your muscle cells as a brief but effective means of generating short-term energy, it is insufficient to maintain the needs of your metabolism.
Without the Krebs Cycle, mammalian and most other animal life would not be viable and the world would be populated by anaerobic bacteria.
Pantothenic acid has a wide range of health benefits
December 28, 2010 11:42 AM
Pantothenic Acid Benefits
Pantothenic acid is otherwise known as Vitamin B5 and is a member of the B vitamin complex. Among its various health benefits are helping to alleviate such conditions as hair loss, asthma, allergies, respiratory problems, heart disorders, osteoarthritis, skin disorders and much more, so what is it about this substance that is possesses so many health benefits?
Pantothenic acid is an essential component in the synthesis of the ubiquitous Coenzyme A that is found in every cell in your body. Coenzyme A (CoA) is necessary for the formation of the Acetyl-CoA that enables carbons atoms to be moved within cells. It is also an essential factor in the Kreb's or Citric Acid Cycle that generates ATP energy in every cell in your body.
Many other extremely important substances rely on Pantothenic acid and CoA, such as the biosynthesis of cholesterol (needed for sex hormone production), the neurotransmitter Acetylcholine and fatty acids which are essential for a healthy heart, immune system and many other biological processes. Little wonder then that a pantothenic acid supplement offers so many benefits to your health.
Pantothenic Acid for Healthy Hair and Skin
Most young people value the look of their hair and skin, and pantothenic acid is largely responsible, along with several other essential vitamins, for their health. Otherwise referred to as Vitamin B5, pantothenic acid is contained as an ingredient in a wide range of shampoos. This was done as a reaction to the possibility of a deficiency in pantothenic acid leading to loss of hair color and skin irritation.
In fact this occurred only with mice, and its use in shampoos has never been proved, though all that may indicate is that there has never been enough testing carried out - which might well be the case. However, there is more evidence for its effect in maintaining a healthy skin, and tests have indicated that pantothenic acid, taken both orally and topically, can help to improve the appearance of the skin within between a week and four weeks of commencing the treatment.
There is more evidence available for this effect of pantothenic on skin health and in reducing the incidence and appearance of acne, largely because of the properties of Coenzyme A, a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory that can destroy the free radicals that damage skin cells. It can also reduce skin inflammation, which will in turn reduce the inflammatory appearance of acne and other skin conditions.
Melatonin, What is it, Sleep And How it Helps!
December 22, 2010 03:20 PM
What is Melatonin?
Melatonin, or N-Acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine, is a hormone secreted during the hours of darkness by the light-sensitive pineal gland located in the brain and also by bone marrow, epithelial cells and lymphocytes. Melatonin plays a role in the human circadian cycle because of the fact that it is secreted only when it is dark. It can therefore be used to treat sleeping disorders, although it also affects conditions such as fibromyalgia and depression.
Melatonin is also a powerful antioxidant, particularly protecting the DNA from free radical oxidation and studies have indicated a potential application in inhibiting the aggregation of amyloid beta protein in the brain that promotes Alzheimer's disease. It not only reduces the production of cholesterol in the gall bladder, but also increases the rate of conversion of cholesterol to bile, thus reducing the amount available for oxidation in the arteries that leads to atherosclerosis.
A melatonin supplement is also believed to be an effective treatment for migraine and helps the gall bladder to expel gallstones, rendering them less likely to become a problem.
Melatonin and Sleep
Melatonin is a hormone that is secreted mainly by the pineal gland, a small pea-sized gland in the brain that is sensitive to light in that it secretes this hormone only during the hours of darkness. For this reason, melatonin can be used to help people sleep earlier and awake earlier, by shifting the circadian cycle to an earlier time.
An interesting factor learned from the effect of light on melatonin is that it is suppressed only by blue light (460-480 nanometers) and by wearing blue filtering glasses it is possible to achieve the same effect as taking a supplement of the hormone. That is, to sleep earlier and waken earlier.
People suffering jet lag, or who have to adapt to differing shift work patterns, benefit by taking melatonin, and it has also been used in helping with benzodiazepine withdrawal and helping people to stop smoking. You must let your doctor know you are using it, and in many countries it is available only by prescription.
A Good Vitamin Plan Is Essential To a Health Child To Help Fight ADHD
December 21, 2010 06:19 PM
Have you known any child who is having difficulty staying focused and paying attention, difficulty controlling behavior, and hyperactivity or over-activity? This child is probably experiencing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD. ADHD is a common childhood disorders and can continue through adolescence and adulthood. Researchers are not sure what causes ADHD, although many studies suggest that genes play a large role.
Like many other health conditions, ADHD probably is a result of a combination of factors. There has been no cure for ADHD yet palliative management is promising in reducing symptoms of ADHD and improving the child’s well being and optimal functioning. These include medications, psychotherapy, training and education or a combination of these managements. In this article, we will be focusing on the natural vitamins that can help fight the exacerbation of ADHD symptoms which include:
1. Choline: Choline is a vital precursor to the production of neurotransmitters such as Dopamine and Acetylcholine. These nervous system chemicals are helpful in supporting concentration, alertness, and memory.
2. Zinc: Studies show that children in ADHD categories have lower levels of zinc and clincal studies reveal that those children who supplemented with extra zinc along with traditional ADHD medications have reported improvement of signs and symptoms most especially hyperactivity and impulsivity. Foods high in zinc include Seafood, oysters, salmon, crabmeat, and, red meat like beef, lamb and pork, poultry such as turkey and chicken, dairy products, nuts, beans, fortified cereals, and whole grains.
3. Fish oil: Most Oily Fish contain omega-3 fatty acids With DHA. These chemicals can improve mental skills and enhance the child’s ability to organize activities. Possible cause for the low fish oil status of the ADHD children may be impaired conversion of the fatty acid precursors namely Linolenic Acid and alpha-linolenic acid to their longer and more highly unsaturated products, EPA and DHA, which are fish oil fats. Fish high in omega 3 fatty acids include salmon, albacore tuna, herring, mackerel, trout, sardines, flax seeds, walnuts, butternuts and soybeans.
4. Magnesium: Magnesium can have a calming effect. The best thing about magnesium is that it is abundantly found in many foods. Low dietary magnesium levels could lead to anxiety, irritability, and/or restlessness. This mineral can also play a role in sugar metabolism, which is important when wanting to stabilizing moods and concentration. Magnesium, a calming mineral, can be found in foods like nuts, black beans, peas, seeds and ready-to-eat whole grain cereals.
5. Vitamin B-6: Vitamin B-6 is needed for normal mental development and is important in the synthesis of brain chemicals including dopamine , serotonin, and norepinephrine. A B-6 deficiency has symptoms of inability to concentrate, irritability, and short-term memory loss. Regular consumption of vitamin B-6 could help reduce behavioral issues in a ADHD child. Good sources of B vitamins are milk, fish, eggs, yeast, green-leafy vegetables and cereals. Oranges are a great source of vitamin C and can improve our mood.
These are some of the natural vitamins that we find in our food. A good multiple vitamin supplements with iron can be safe and effective.
If you Suspect your child has ADHD, whats stopping you from getting him or her on a supplement plan today?
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.
Natural Vitamins for the Heart
July 06, 2010 02:44 PM
It has been consistently revealed by epidemiological research that individuals with a high dietary intake of antioxidant vitamins have a risk that is lower-than-average of cardiovascular disease. This evidence seems to be especially consistent for vitamin E. Additionally, many clinical studies show that magnesium supplementation is of significant benefit in the treatment of cardiac arrhythmias and in reversing the depletion of potassium that comes along with a magnesium deficit. Many cardiovascular events like angina pectoris, congestive heart failure, and cardiomyopathy are related directly to low magnesium status. Coenzyme Q10 is an essential component in cellular energy production. This nutrient is also prevalent in the heart muscle. When tissue levels of CoQ10 are low, there is an association with several cardiovascular complications. Among these are angina, congestive heart failure, cardiomyopathy, hypertension, and mitral valve prolapse. Research has found that the trio of coenzyme Q10, vitamin E, and magnesium plays a crucial role in the maintenance of cardiac health and the prevention of disease states.
The cardio-protective effect of vitamin E seems to come from its ability to bind to LDL cholesterol, which protects it from free-radical induce oxidative damage along with the consequent buildup of atherogenic plaque. Low levels of vitamin E in the blood are a predictive factor of heart health almost 70% of the time.
Studies on the general population have suggested that there is a link between the intake of calcium and blood pressure. Although results of the studies have not been consistent, there are several studies showing that calcium supplementation can lower blood pressure in those individuals who experience hypertension. Overall, those intakes of calcium that are sub-optimal contribute directly to hypertension. It seems that dietary calcium reduces blood pressure by normalizing intracellular calcium levels.
Supplementation with magnesium is of benefit for the treatment of cardiac arrhythmias and the prevention of potassium depletion. Both magnesium and potassium play an important role in the functioning of the heart. Several studies have found that there is improvement in heart function in those patients that have cardiomyopathies when they supplement with magnesium. Since magnesium acts in so many ways to enhance cardiac function and optimize cellular metabolism, magnesium is widely recognized as a critical nutrient for general cardiac support.
Several double-blind studies have taken place in those patients that experience various cardiomyopathies in order to show the benefits of CoQ10 supplementation. One study reported an 89% improvement rate in 80 cardiomyopathy patients who were treated with CoQ10. The coenzyme also appears to moderate blood pressure through the usual mechanism, as it lowers cholesterol levels and also stabilizes the vascular system with its antioxidant properties. Because of this, it is able to reduce vascular resistance. Several studies on CoQ10 supplementation have confirmed that this nutrient posses the ability lower both systolic and diastolic pressures by up to ten percent.
There are other nutrients that play important roles in optimizing cardiovascular health and reducing hypertension. Among these nutrients are gamma tocopherol, calcium, magnesium, l-carnitine, Acetyl-l-carnitine, procyanidolic oligomers, phenolic compounds, and lycopene. As you can see there are many natural supplements that can help the cardiovascular system. Remember to always consult your doctor before adding supplements to your diet while on prescription drugs. Look to your local or internet health food store for quality vitamins, herbs, and specialty formulas to boost your health and wellness.
Royal Jelly As An Anti-Aging Supplement
February 27, 2010 11:45 AM
Royal jelly is considered to be the treasure of the beehive. It has the ability to promote longevity by helping to maintain healthy, beauty, and youth. This natural food is extremely potent and highly nutritional. Royal jelly is an incredibly rich, creamy, opalescent white liquid. It is produced by the worker bees specifically for the nourishment and cultivation of the queen bee. This fantastic material converts a common honeybee into a queen bee, extending the bee’s lifetime from six weeks to five years. This substance is full of natural hormones and B-vitamins. Additionally, it contains a variety of seventeen amino acids. Eight of these amino acids are essential. Royal jelly is particularly rich in cystine, lysine, and arginine and is also composed of 16.1 percent aspartic acid, which is crucial for proper tissue growth and regeneration.
Gelatin is another component of royal jelly and one of the primary precursors of collagen. It is a potent anti-aging compound that helps to keep the youthful, while supporting the organs, glands, and muscular systems. It contains vital fatty acids, sugars, sterols, phosphorus compounds, and Acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is essential in order to properly transmit nerve impulses. It is also important for the proper functioning of the endocrine system. An insufficient amount of Acetylcholine often leads to a susceptibility to a variety of nerve disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis.
Royal jelly has many properties. Among which include: antibacterial, antiviral, antibiotic, tonic, nutritive, and anti-aging. It is very beneficial to the immune, cardiovascular, endocrine, integumentary, nervous, reproductive, cellular, skeletal, hepatic, and respiratory systems.
Although aging is inevitable, the process can be slowed significantly with supplements. Researchers in Argentina have been working to document the ability of royal jelly to both slow down tissue deterioration and even reverse it. For example, the story of Noel Johnson should be noted, as he experienced of rebirth of health at age eighty. In 1964, at age sixty-five he was refused life insurance because of a weak and damaged heart. At this point he was also cautioned to restrict his physical activity in order to prevent death. In 1989, at age ninety, Johnson discussed the book he wrote, The Living Proof… I Have Found the Fountain of Youth, which claims that his use of bee products, along with a solid nutritional program, is responsible for changing his life. Despite the additional exercise and diet changes, Johnson attributes most of his vitality to the bee products he used. He claims that he discovered bee’s gift at age seventy, as the foods restored his manhood, brought him to full vigor and sexual potency, and continue to nourish every cell in his body. Johnson claims to be improving in every way without spending any money on medicine.
Royal jelly has been found to help with many conditions. Some of these include menopause, impotence, infertility, chronic fatigue, skin blemishes, wrinkles, immune system problems, viral and bacterial infections, endocrine disorders, hormonal balance, cardiovascular disease, weight control, inflammation, liver ailments, cancer, arthritis, memory, depression, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, asthma, and mental exhaustion.
In order to obtain the best results when using this, or any bee product, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by royal jelly, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions. Always buy Name brands like Premier One Royal Jelly to ensure quality and purity of the product you purchase.
June 23, 2009 11:02 AM
Royal jelly is an incredibly rich, creamy, opalescent, white liquid that is synthesized by the worker bees exclusively for the nourishment and cultivation of the queen bee. It is considered the most precious gift of the hive, as it extends the longevity of a bee’s life from six weeks to five years. Royal jelly is incomparable in its ability to enhance both physical and mental performance. Put in a simple manner, royal jelly promotes longevity by helping to maintain health, beauty, and youth.
It is extremely potent, highly nutritional, and very natural. Royal jelly is extremely difficult for scientists to completely breakdown its components or synthesize its compounds. No matter how Royal Jelly is studied, certain components of the substance still seem to mystify even the most brilliant scientists. Because of this, duplicating what is thought to be the exact chemistry of royal jelly does not duplicate its effects in the human body. This means that only honeybees can make royal jelly.
Royal jelly is rich in proteins and B-complex vitamins, especially pantothenic acid, which is often associated with reversing some of the major effects of aging. Although the chemical makeup of royal jelly may vary slightly according to the location it is found in, the United States Department of Agriculture has analyzed one gram of royal jelly and found in to contain vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, inositol, folic acid, and vitamin C. Royal jelly also contains vital fatty acids, sugars, sterols, phosphorus compounds, and Acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is responsible for the proper transmission of nerve impulses and the proper functioning of the endocrine system. A lack of Acetylcholine in the body can make us susceptible to a number of nerve disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Multiple Sclerosis.
Royal jelly can be purchased in a pure jelly-like material that must be kept frozen or refrigerated. It is also available in capsules, tablets, soft gels, and in honey chewable. Royal jelly is at its ideal best when it is combined with other natural beehive products and complementary botanicals. Because royal jelly spoils very easy, much research has been done on the ability to preserve this key nutrient. One good way to present and preserve royal jelly is within its natural medium of pure honey. By taking freeze-dried varieties of royal jelly, one can also obtain their supplemental dose. A capsulated, freeze-dried variety is an excellent and convenient way to ingest royal jelly.
It is necessary to purchase quality bee products in order to obtain the potent and pure varieties of any type of bee food or by-product. It should be noted that a relatively small percentage of the population can experience a laxative effect from royal jelly or bee pollen. Additionally, allergic reactions can happen. However, they are quite rare. Some of these allergies are due to poor quality pollen, as it has been gathered from commercially sprayed flowers or improperly cleaned, dried, or stored. Anyway taking bee products should begin slowly, in small amounts to be sure that an allergic reaction will not occur.
Natural bee pollen and royal jelly can be found at VitaNet ®, LLC health food store. Always purchase name brands to ensure that you receive a high quality and pure product.
Colostrum, Vitamin C, Echinacea, Goldenseal, Pau D'arco, Garlic, Astragalus
June 19, 2009 11:05 AM
There are many supplements and herbs that compliment the supplementation of colostrum. Among these are Echinacea, vitamin C, garlic, goldenseal, pau d’arco, astragalus, and beta carotene (vitamin A).
Echinacea is one of the most well-known and respected herbal supplements when it comes to the maintenance and strengthening of the immune system. Various Echinacea species have yielded an impressive variety of chemical constituents which possess pharmacological properties. This suggests that there is some form of synergistic action that occurs between the compounds in order to achieve therapeutic benefits. The main therapeutic properties are found in polysaccharides, flavonoids, caffeic acid derivatives, essential oils, polyAcetylenes, and alkylamides. These constituents are responsible for a large number of immuno-stimulatory, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, and anticancer properties.
Echinacea has several effects on the immune system, including the alternate complement pathway, which enhances the movement of white blood cells into the areas of infection. Echinacea also affects many of the immune system’s cells that are responsible for slowing viral and bacterial infection. The aerial portion of Echinacea is known to be effective in warding off viruses such as influenza, herpes, and vesicular stomatitis, by blocking virus receptors on the cell surface. Echinacea is also able to indirectly kill viruses by encouraging the production and release of interferon, which is a substance that is capable of blocking viral RNA.
Vitamin C is one of the most well-known nutrients for promoting basic immune functions, with its benefits being known for many years. It is effective in reducing the severity and duration of colds and flu. Also, it has the ability to act as an immuno-stimulant by enhancing white blood cell production, increasing interferon levels and antibody responses, promoting the secretion of thymic hormones, and improving connective tissue. Vitamin C can be found abundantly in various fruits in vegetables, which means that it can often be consumed in acceptable amounts without supplementation through broccoli, sweet peppers, collards, cabbage, spinach, kale, parsley, melons, potatoes, tangerines, and Brussels sprouts, just to name a few.
Garlic is one of the most commonly used medicinal herbs, as it is found throughout the world and has been employed for various therapeutic purposes for thousands of years. Commonly used in Chinese herbal medicine and ayurvedic medicine, it has recently received much attention in the US media as well as other Western countries. Recent research has found that garlic possesses some powerful capabilities when it comes to the immune system and the body’s ability to fight infection. Garlic produces antiviral and antibacterial capabilities that stimulate and improve performance by the body’s immune systems. Additionally, garlic kills viruses and protects the body from invading virus cells by enhancing the body’s immune functions.
Goldenseal is native to North America, where it helps with a wider variety of ailments, including infection. Goldenseal is effective in combating invasion of colds and flu by stimulating the immune system and the activity of macrophages, which are one of the body’s defense mechanisms against viruses, bacteria, cancer cells, and other invaders.
Pau d’arco is also known for its powerful antiviral, antibiotic, and immune system enhancing capabilities. It has been shown to actively inhibit the activity of several viruses such as: both herpes viruses, the influenza viruses, polioviruses, and vesicular stomatitis virus.
Astragalus, which is extremely popular in Chinese herbal medicine, is an immune system enhancer. It has the ability to reduce the severity and length of the common cold through its application. Vitamin A, which has long been known to be effective in fighting infectious diseases, has antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Vitamin A deficiencies can manifest themselves through increased infection by cold and flu viruses.
Along with the above, it is also important to eat healthful foods (fruits and vegetables), drink plenty of fluids, exercise, avoid smoking, avoid consuming alcohol, get plenty of rest, and reduce stress in order to increase the benefits that colostrum supplementation provides. Natural supplements can help boost the immune system and help one live a healthier longer life.
May 08, 2009 10:00 AM
L-Cysteine is what is known as a non-essential amino acid, meaning that it can be biosynthesized by the body and hence not an essential part of your diet. Due to its possessing a thiol side chain, it is termed a hydrophilic amino acid with an affinity for aqueous systems. Because of this it is relatively highly reactive, and is therefore an important component of a large number of enzymes and proteins.
Although, after all, it is not an essential amino acid, deficiencies can occur in the young and in the old, and also in those suffering certain metabolic diseases. Dietary sources include high-protein foods such as chicken, turkey, pork, dairy products and vegetables such as cereals, broccoli, garlic and onions.
The biochemistry of this amino acid begins with another amino acid known as serine, and also methionine. The latter is fist converted to homocysteine, which is then combined with serine to form cystathionine. This is then converted into cysteine and alpha- ketobutyrate. The thiol group is highly reactive and gives cysteine its biological properties.
L-Cysteine possesses strong antioxidant properties due to the thiol group which easily undergoes redox reactions. However, it is for its detoxification effect on the body that the amino acid is mainly taken as a supplement. It is, therefore, these properties that we shall discuss first.
Cysteine can reduce the toxic effects of alcohol, such as a hangover or the more serious liver damage. The by-product of alcohol metabolism that does most damage and is responsible for the majority of the negative after-effects of excessive alcohol consumption is acetaldehyde. L-Cysteine converts acetaldehyde into the more acceptable acetic acid, and so prevents the aldehyde from having too much of a negative effect on your health and well-being. However, the results obtained from such studies have been from animals only, and the therapeutic effects of cysteine have not yet been tested on humans.
What has been tested and is known is that L-cysteine is effective in the detoxification of heavy metals in the body. A common source of heavy metal toxicity is mercury from amalgam fillings in the teeth. Although the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) declared in 1989 that dental amalgams are a hazardous substance under the Superfund law, many people still have them in their mouths.
The thiol group and L-cysteine has a high affinity for mercury and other heavy metals, as previously stated, and a supplement can be used to remove from the body any mercury leached from mercury-based tooth fillings. It can also be used to bind to copper, lead and cadmium. Lead and cadmium are particularly toxic to the human body, and even though lead is no longer used in plumbing or paints, and cadmium in toys or paints, there are still many sources of these two heavy metals available that can lead to human toxification.
An L-cysteine supplement can be used to remove these heavy metals from the body. Any proteins containing cysteine will tightly bind heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, molybdenum, cobalt and mercury, and allow them to be excreted by the body in the usual fashion. This direct involvement in heavy metal detoxification is a very useful property of this amino acid.
Another detoxification application of L-cysteine is in direct involvement in protecting cellular glutathione levels, and also the prevention of the death of liver cells by acetaminophen poisoning. The latter is of particular interest to many people since acetaminophen is better known as paracetamol, and since this is a freely available over-the-counter drug, overdoses are not unknown. The result of an overdose is the necrosis of liver cells, with eventual liver failure and death.
The treatment of choice is N-Acetylcysteine. If used within 10 hours of the overdose it is extremely effective, and even from 16 to 24 hours it is better than other controls. It is believed that the Acetylcysteine liberates cysteine which, when available to the liver, enables the biosynthesis of glutathione. Glutathione can then maintain the production of the fifth metabolite required for the specific detoxification of the paracetamol/acetaminophen.
L-Cysteine is also an essential component in the biosynthesis of coenzyme A, an enzyme essential for the production of energy from fats and carbohydrates. It is also a very important component of hair, from which it is commercially produced. Without an adequate intake of L-cysteine the growth of healthy hair would not be possible.
There are several supplemental uses of L-cysteine including the treatment of bronchial conditions for which the amino acid can help to liquefy and clear mucus from the airways and lungs. It is also used to protect against side effects of chemotherapy treatment of cancers and for medical treatments for excessive exposure to radiation.
However, there are certain situations in which L-cysteine should be avoided when at all possible. Diabetics should not use it, and neither should those suffering from cystinuria, whereby large quantities of amino acids, including cystine, are excreted in their urine. L-cystine, incidentally, is formed by oxidation of L-cysteine.
Paradoxically the amino acid is one of the several hundred additives made to tobacco by the cigarette companies. Although, as with the majority of tobacco additives, its purpose is unknown there are two possible reasons for its inclusion. L-Cysteine is a known expectorant, so it could be added to promote the expectoration of mucus in the lungs which is promoted by smoking, and it also increases the production off the antioxidant glutathione that is depleted in smokers.
There are several other non-medical uses for the amino acid, but it is for is its detoxification properties that it is most used as a supplement. However, because it is largely derived from human hair or duck feathers, it may not be classed as kosher or halal in spite of many claims made to that effect, though the more expensive source of microbial fermentation from corn sugar can be.
The substance is recognized as safe by the FDA, and must be labeled as L-cysteine when it is present in a preparation intended for its therapeutic effects. Keep in mind however, that it should be avoided by diabetics.
May 07, 2009 05:45 PM
L-carnitine is amino acid essential for the metabolism of fats into a form of energy necessary for extended aerobic activity. Originally discovered in Russia, and Germany a year later, the structural formulation of carnitine, as it is correctly known, was determined in 1927, although it is physiological and biochemical activity was not understood until the 1960s.
The amino acid is biosynthesized in the liver and kidneys from lysine and methionine. The vitamins niacin, B6, C and iron are essential for this reaction to take place. However, the supply of L-carnitine has to be supplemented by the diet, good sources being dairy products, red meat, nuts and seeds, pulses and fruits such as apricots, bananas and avocado. Most of the L-carnitine supply of the body is stored within the muscle tissue. However, it is not unusual for conditions to arise making it difficult for the body to obtain all the carnitine required.
L-carnitine enables fatty acids to be transported into the mitochondria, where cell metabolism occurs. The biochemistry is discussed below, although in simple terms the amino acid allows body fats, in the form of triglycerides, to be made more readily available for the generation of energy required for extended exertion. In this way, body fats can be used for energy and the supplies of glycogen stored by the liver can be retained for emergency use.
By providing the energy for endurance and stamina in this way, carnitine makes use of an otherwise unavailable energy source, and has the added benefit of reducing body fat stores and reducing strain on the heart.
Although there is generally a plentiful supply of L-carnitine available in a healthy diet, supplementation can ensure that a deficiency does not occur. Supplements are available in the form of L-carnitine or its Acetylated derivative, Acetyl L-carnitine.
In order for fatty acids to be used in the production of energy, their long-chain Acetyl groups have to get inside the mitochondria where they are oxidized to the acetate to be used for the production of energy via the Citric Acid or Krebs cycle.
In order for the biochemistry to take place, fatty acids must be rendered suitable for binding to the carnitine molecule. The chemical grouping with a good affinity for L-carnitine is the Acetyl or Acetyl group, available in the molecule Acetyl coenzyme A (CoA). The free fatty acid, therefore, is attached to coenzyme-A by means of a thioester bond, catalyzed by means of the enzyme fatty Acetyl-CoA synthetase. The reaction is then completed by means of in organic pyrophosphatase.
In this way, the fatty acid in the form of an Acetyl-carnitine derivative can be transported through the mitochondrial wall. This transportation takes place by means of several steps. These are:
1. As explained, the Acetyl-CoA is attached to L-carnitine by means of the enzyme carnitine Acetyltransferase I. This enzyme is conveniently located on the outer mitochondrial membrane.
2. The enzyme carnitine-Acetylcarnitine translocase helps the Acetyl-carnitine through the membrane.
3. Another enzyme, carnitine Acetyltransferase II, located on the inner mitochondrial membrane, converts the Acetyl-carnitine to Acetyl-CoA, liberating the carnitine which returns to the muscle mass.
L-carnitine is the only known substance that allows fatty acids to cross the mitochondrial membrane, and therefore deficiencies must be avoided.
Another way in which carnitine is used in energy production is in the Krebs cycle itself. Part of this cycle involves the conversion of guanine diphosphate to the higher energy form guanine triphosphate. In this way energy can be stored in much the same way as it is in the conversion of ADP to ATP. Succinyl CoA is involved in this conversion, and one of the by-products of it is a corresponding succinate, that is then converted to a fumarate by the action of L-carnitine fumarate. Carnitine, therefore, has two parts to play in the production of long-term energy from the fatty acids contained in body fats.
Since the fatty acid triglycerides contained in body fats are a major source of energy in the heart and skeletal muscles, it is easy to understand how L-carnitine is believed to lead to the increased energy levels required for stamina and staying power. A major reason for its effect on longer-term or extended energy requirements is that in enabling stored body fats to be used for immediate and longer-term energy requirements, L-carnitine allows emergency glycogen stores to be retained for use once immediate fatty acid supplies or those of carnitine have been depleted, and so allows the energy supply to be extended even farther. Research has also suggested that the amino acid can possibly be used to treat liver and kidney disease, diabetes and chronic fatigue syndrome.
As with many supplements, the question is often asked how does L-carnitine work in practice as opposed to the claims made for it by the supplement providers? Recent research indicates mixed results, but sufficient to justify its use. It is generally accepted that a supplement is necessary when there is a deficiency, but once that deficiency has been corrected further intake is unnecessary. However, it is also believed that during long and extended periods of exercise a carnitine deficiency does occur as L-carnitine is used up, and the supplement is necessary to ensure sufficient energy supply throughout the period of exercise.
There has also been a case reported in the Journal of Clinical Neurology (Negoro, Tsuda, Kato & Morimatsu, 1995) where a deficiency, caused by anorexia nervosa damaging the liver to the extent that it was unable to synthesize L-carnitine, was remedied by means of an oral supplement. Studies on endurance athletes have been mixed, ranging from no effect to L-carnitine being found to promote weight loss.
Carnitine has no unknown harmful side effects, and has been studied for medical applications other than as an energy supplement. For example it possesses extensive antioxidant properties, and can be used as a supplement against oxidative stress and the prevention of the lipid peroxidation that is a precursor to atherosclerosis.
Its use in osteoporosis and reducing bone mass is also being studied. The concentration of L-carnitine diminishes with age, and affects fatty acid metabolism in a number of tissues. Bones are particularly affected since they require continuous reconstruction. Without detailing the biochemistry involved in this, administration of carnitine helps to reduce the speed by which this occurs. Trials are so far been carried out only on animals.
In studies on both healthy volunteers and patients with type II diabetes, L-carnitine was found to improve storage of glucose in both groups, although its oxidation increased only in the group with diabetes. Other studies carried out include improving the function of neurotransmitters in the brains of elderly patients and in the treatment of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, and other neurological disorders.
In conclusion then, although the jury is out on the use of L-carnitine is an energy-giving or weight-loss supplement, it appears to be effective where the body's stores of carnitine could be depleted such as with long-term exercise, natural deficiencies or deficiencies caused through age. It is also under study in the treatment of various medical conditions. On balance, it would appear that the prospective benefits of L-carnitine render it worthy of use.
NOW Foods is the Leading Brand for Amino Acids in Health Food Stores
April 29, 2009 04:16 PM
-Michael Lelah, Ph.D. / Technical Director
It was recently announced that NOW Foods is now the leading brand for the amino acid segment in Health Food Stores. We sell over 100 different formulas of single and multiple amino acids in powder, capsule, tablet, and liquid forms. We cover the alphabet from L-Arginine to L-Tyrosine, with high potency products such as Acetyl L-Carnitine 750 mg, 1,000 mg L-Carnitine Tartrate, and our new 1000 mg L-Tryptophan Tabs coming in June. Most amino acids come in two optical forms – the L-form and the D-form. The L-form is the only true natural form, while the more common D- and DL-forms are synthetic. At NOW Foods, we only carry the natural L-form. This is the safest form, naturally found in foods and in the human body. Taurine and Glycine have no optical rotation, and therefore occur in only one natural form with no L- or D- designation.
Our L-amino acids are of the highest quality available, and our ingredient powders conform to USP standards. The USP standards cover identity, purity and potency testing. This means that each lot of amino acid ingredient is tested to ensure that (a) it really is the amino acid we say it is, and not something else, (b) it’s pure to the highest USP standards, and (c) it has the full potency that you require. At NOW Foods, we take our amino acids seriously, and we even go beyond the USP level of testing when we believe it is necessary. For example, every lot of our L-Tryptophan is tested to ensure that it is free of Peak E. This is the impurity which is believed to have been responsible for serious adverse events twenty years ago. We rigorously enforce this standard, and this goes beyond USP requirements. We have rejected a number of lots of L-Tryptophan because of the presence of Peak E. We will not sell you these rejected materials, and we hope that others do not as well. We can’t control what others do, but we can control what we do and we assure you of L-Tryptophan tested to be free of Peak E.
Our state-of-the-art analytical labs allow us to perform our own testing on our amino acids to doubly ensure their quality. We have 9 HPLCs that we use every day to test and retest our aminos to confirm their potency, purity and identity. We have very strong analytical, professional, and technical staff members who have many years of experience in testing amino acids. So much so that we are involved in developing industry validated methods for L-Carnitine and L-Arginine. NOW scientists are setting the standards for amino acid testing.
Most amino acids are quite stable and they can be packaged in standard containers. These amino acids will maintain their shelf life through their Best By date, and we test to make sure they do. SAMe however, is a uniquely unstable amino acid compound. Because of this, we provide triple protection – glass bottles, moisture control and oxygen control. SAMe is distinctly susceptible to oxygen degradation. We are the only major brand to offer our SAMe packaged with Ageless® oxygen absorbing packets, which remove integrity-challenging oxygen from every bottle to reduce degradation. We go that one step further to protect our products! Finally, we’re the leading amino acid brand because our products work. As an example, in a published study2, our SAMe was directly compared against the leading drug – Celebrex®.
NOW Foods brand SAMe performance was the same as the drug supporting joint health, but without the pharmaceutical side effects. All in all, we are not the leading brand in this category just because of our great prices. We have significant science and quality behind all of our products, not just amino acids, and we hope that you consider our rigorous efforts in quality assurance, safety and efficacy when making a purchase.
1. SPINScan Natural Channel, 52 weeks ending 02.21.09. 2. Najim, W.I., et al, SAMe versus celecoxib…, BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2004, 5:6.
Fight Cold Sores And Build Collagen
April 29, 2009 10:18 AM
Lysine is an essential alpha-amino acid, in that it cannot be biosynthesized by the human body, and therefore must be taken in your diet or as a supplement. It is synthesized in plants from aspartic acid, and metabolized in the body to produce Acetyl-Coenzyme A (Acetyl-CoA).
Before discussing its action on herpes, we shall first have look at how Lysine helps with the formation of collagen. Collagen is a protein that is produced in the body from lysine and proline, another amino acid. In fact the primary role of amino acids in your diet is as building blocks to form the much larger protein molecules.
Collagen is fibrous, and forms the connective tissue such as cartilage, ligaments, tendons, blood vessels and skin. Even the external parts of the ears. It literally holds our skeletons together, and wraps the whole body up in skin, so if we had no collagen we would literally fall apart! Collagen is also used by body cells to form the matrix that the body cells use to attach to each other and is one of the most important types of tissue in your body.
It is so ubiquitous that over 30% of the protein contained in your body is collagen, and it is designed for its structural strength as opposed to its ability to take part in chemical reactions as other proteins are. Lysine and Vitamin C are essential for the maintenance and formation of collagen.
There is not a lot of lysine in collagen - only about 4%, but it is very active in the cross-linking that forms the fibrils of collagen. Fibrils are the hair-like structures formed in a triple helix arrangement by three protein chains twisting round one another. The fibrils are bundled together in a straight line that has amazing tensile strength. The tensile strength of collagen is, weight for weight, stronger than steel!
In order for lysine to take part in this process effectively, some molecules have to be hydroxylated and others oxidized, forming aldehydes. Things can go wrong here, and deficiencies in the metabolic process can lead to some heritable conditions, or diseases of connective tissue. Among these are lathyrism, Cutis-Laxa and the Menkes kinky hair syndrome.
However, lysine is a very versatile amino acid, and not only is it necessary for the biosynthesis of all proteins, but is also heavily involved in the production of enzymes, hormones and antibodies. It is an important component of the calcium absorption process, and also, as previously stated, can be used in the treatment of herpes simplex.
This form of herpes is known commonly as 'cold sores', and is a result of the activity of the herpes virus. Viruses do not reproduce in order to ensure the 'continuation of the species', but replicate. In order to achieve this it requires the help of another amino acid, arginine. This is a common amino acid whose sources include grains, seeds, peanuts, raisins and chocolate.
Lysine and arginine competes for the absorption and entry of tissue cells, and reduces the strength of arginine, so preventing the growth of herpes. For this reason a supplement of lysine can be used to reduce the effects of the herpes simplex virus, and lessen the symptoms of the cold sore.
However, it is not only cold sores but other forms of herpes that lysine can help to relieve. Herpes zoster is a virus that causes shingles. This virus is generated by the reactivation of the dormant varicella-zoster virus left in the tissues after chickenpox. It is a recurrent condition, and lycine can help to reduce recurrences as well as its severity. Apart from being an effective defense against herpes, and forming collagen, the amino acid imparts several other benefits to the human body.
Among these is osteoporosis. L-lysine is involved in calcium absorption in the intestine, and also helps to reduce the loss of calcium in the urine. In osteoporosis we have to try to make every calcium molecule ingested in the diet to be incorporated in the bone structure. L-arginine can work with lysine to enhance the activity of the body cells that produce bone.
Canker sores are often mistaken for cold sores, but they are actually quite different. They are small sores inside the mouth, and appear in the form of very painful ulcers. The cause is unknown, but is believed to be a virus, and lysine appears to help the condition. Although there have been no proper clinical tests carried out on its use as a remedy for canker sores, lysine appears to help, and a supplement is recommended as a treatment by many doctors. It will do no harm, and anybody suffering from these tiny but painful sores will try anything.
Although lysine deficiency is rare, it can occur, particularly amongst those observing a vegetarian macrobiotic diet, and also in athletes who frequently undertake vigorous exercise, especially with too little recovery time. The effects of a deficiency are fatigue, nausea, appetite loss, anemia, slow growth and kidney stones. The latter is likely due to a failure to absorb calcium, that L-lysine promotes, and the formation of calcium oxalate and other insoluble salts in the kidney.
Dietary sources include beans and other legumes, and although it should be available in cereals, baked foods and doughnuts, for example, the carmelization of sugars binds the lysine to the sugar, and so reducing its bioavailability. However, you can also get it in cheese, eggs, tofu and red meats.
If you are taking an arginine supplement, you should consult your physician prior to taking lysine. The reason for this is that lysine and arginine share biochemical pathways, and arginine can reduce the effective concentration of lysine.
However, it has not been tested by the FDA, nor approved, and any use is at your own risk. This risk appears to be very small, although its manufacture is not regulated. However, do not let this bother you: the proof of the pudding is in the eating as they say.
Many have found lysine to be effective with collagen or herpes problems, and a supplement of between 3,000 and 9,000 mg per day is recommended for those with herpes viral infections. It is not recommended for children under two years old. Lysine is available at your local or internet health food store at discount prices. Look for name brands to ensure purity and quality of the product you purchase.
Another Great Cold Sore Remedy is Red Marine Algae!
April 15, 2009 01:20 PM
Thrombophlebitis is when inflammation occurs in the veins due to the formation of a blood clot in that vein. This problem usually occurs in the extremities, especially the legs. Thrombophlebitis can be considered superficial if it affects the subsutaneous vein, which is one of the veins near the skin’s surface.
In superficial thrombophlebitis, the affected vein can be felt and may be seen as a reddish line under the skin. Additionally, swelling, pain, and tenderness to touch can occur. If widespread vein involvement is included, the lymphatic vessels may become inflamed. Superficial thrombophlebitis is a relatively common disorder that can be brought about by trauma infection, standing for long periods of time, lack of exercise, and intravenous drug use. The risk of superficial thrombophlebitis can be increased by pregnancy, varicose veins, obesity, and smoking. Thrombophlebitis can also be associated with environmental sensitivities to allergies. This condition is usually diagnosed according to physical findings and a medical history that indicates an increased risk.
Deep thrombophlebitis (DVT) affects the intramuscular veins farther below the skin’s surface. DVT is a much more serious condition than superficial thrombophlebitis because the veins affected are larger and located deep within the musculature of the leg. These veins are responsible for the transport of 90 percent of the blood that flows back to the heart from the legs. Symptoms of DVT may include pain, warmth, swelling, and bluish discoloration of the skin of the affected limb. These symptoms are often accompanied by fever and chills. The pain is typically felt as a deep soreness that is worse when standing or walking and gets better with rest, especially with elevation of the leg. The veins directly under the skin may become dilated and more visible. Inflammation situated in a vein in the pelvis is referred to as pelvic vein thrombophlebitis.
The reason or reasons for the formation of the clots in the veins are often unknown. However, in most cases, clots are probably the result of a minor injury to the inside lining of a blood vessel. If the vessel lining receives a microscopic tear, clotting is initiated. Platelets clump together to protect the injured area, and a series of biochemical events is initiated that results in the transformation of fibrinogen, a circulating blood protein, into strands of insoluble fibrin, which are deposited to form a net that traps blood cells, plasma, and yet more platelets. This results in a blood clot. Other possible causes of the formation of DVT include abnormal clotting tendencies; poor circulation; certain types of cancer; and Behcet’s syndrome, which is a condition that affects small blood vessels that predispose an individual to the formation of clots. The following factors increase the risk of DVT: recent childbirth, surgery, trauma, the use of birth control pills; and prolonged bed rest.
The following nutrients are recommended for the prevention and treatment of thrombophlebitis: Acetyl-l-carnitine, coenzyme Q10, flaxseed oil, garlic, l-cysteine, lecithin granules, l-histidine, magnesium, MSM, Pycnogenol, vitamin C with bioflavonoids, vitamin E, zinc, and vitamin B complex. Additionally, the following herbs may be beneficial: alfalfa, pau d’arco, red raspberry, rosemary, yarrow, butcher’s broom, cayenne, ginger, plantain, witch hazel, skullcap, valerian root, ginkgo biloba, goldenseal, hawthorn, and olive leaf extract.
Natural vitamins are a great way to help prevent conditions such as these. If you suspect that you have thrombophlebitis, consult your doctor before trying to take the problem into your own hands. Natural vitamins such as the ones listed above can be found at your local or internet health food store.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Natural vitamins and herbs are not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.
April 05, 2009 01:40 PM
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the newest name that has been given to a group of disorders of the central nervous system. With the long list of names this disorder has been given over the years, it is often confusing as to which criteria are for a diagnosis of ADHD or ADD. It is estimated that between 3 and 5 percent of children in the United States have ADHD, meaning that at least one child in a classroom of twenty-five to thirty children will have ADHD. There are three times as many boys diagnosed with ADHD, but the condition is increasingly being diagnosed in girls as well.
Although ADHD was primarily thought of as a childhood disorder, it can be found in adults as well. Experts have estimated that as many as 8 million adults may be affected, but 80 percent of them do not realize it. Some studies show that there is significant decline in ADHD symptoms as a person ages, while others estimate that between 30 and 70 percent of children with ADHD will carry some symptoms into adulthood. ADHD is a more complex disorder in adults, but it manifests itself into a problem with self-regulation. Without this self-control, an adult’s ability to do tasks is impaired. This condition can lead to marital conflicts, substance abuse, and financial problems. Infidelity is common because ADHD adults easily become bored with things, including spouses.
Factors that have been linked to the development of ADHD include heredity, anxiety, allergies, smoking during pregnancy, hyperinsulinemia, oxygen deprivation at birth, environmental stress or pollutants, artificial food additives, injury, infection, lead poisoning, and prenatal trauma. More emphasis has been placed on the role of diet in ADHD in recent years. Many people with these conditions react to certain preservatives, dyes, and salicylates in foods. These problems can cause the balance of chemistry in the brain to be thrown off, which produces undesirable changes in behavior. A low-protein diet may also be a contributing factor. Although a hotly debated topic for decades, studies have definitely shown that food additives do play a major role in hyperactivity.
Many researchers feel that ADHD is being over-diagnosed nowadays. It is difficult to accurately diagnose this condition because many of the symptoms appear in the normal, healthy children at many times during childhood. In fact, more than 60 percent of parents suspect that their child has ADHD at some point in their upbringing. What may merely be creativity or a high energy level can be diagnosed as ADHD. A diagnosis of ADHD should be made by a team of specialists who are experts in the disorder and it is wise to get a second opinion.
One should considered nutritional deficiencies and dietary measures for treating ADHD. The following nutrients are recommended: calcium, magnesium, GABA, a multivitamin and mineral complex, Omega-3 fish oil, Pycnogenol, Quercetin, SAMe, Acetylcholine, DMAE, l-cysteine, phosphatidyl serine, vitamin C with bioflavonoids, and zinc. Additionally, the following herbs may be beneficial: ginkgo biloba, ginseng, mullein oil, valerian root, catnip, chamomile, gotu kola, hops, kava kava, lemon balm, licorice, lobelia, oats, passionflower, skullcap, St. John’s wort, thyme, and wood betony.
Creating a nutritionally sound diet for children and adults can go a long way to controlling ADHD and ADD in general. Reducing sugar intake and adding good quality food that hasn’t been over processed which removes the needed vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients we all need to live healthy lives. The above vitamins, minerals and herbs are suggested to be helpful for those suffering as well as those who aren’t, but always consult your health care provider before adding dietary supplements to ones diet while on prescription drugs. Quality vitamins can be found at your local or internet health food store.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Vitamins, minerals, and herbs are not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.
March 23, 2009 01:56 PM
Our memory is as natural to us as breathing. An ability we all have, but don’t often think of, it doesn’t seem to cross our mind until we perceive that we are losing the ability. Memory lapses are an annoyance in themselves, but the anxiety that often comes along with them seems to be even worse. We often wonder if our memory problems are a symptom of some other problem like midlife depression, arteriosclerosis, or even Alzheimer’s disease. Although Alzheimer’s disease is a fairly common disorder among older people, one must realize that most memory lapses have nothing to do with Alzheimer’s disease.
Generally, it is believed that increasing age brings about an increased likelihood of developing memory loss. The mildest form of this illness is called age-associated memory impairment. This is characterized by one’s perception of his or her own memory loss and it is estimated that it is experienced by 40 percent of Americans over the age of sixty-five. Not all memory loss is attributable to aging, as occasional memory lapses are a natural normal part of life at almost any age, and are not likely to precede serious memory loss. With a proper diet, nutrition, and memory use, the memory should remain sharp and active well into one’s nineties or beyond.
One big reason why people suffer from memory loss is an insufficient supply of necessary nutrients to the brain. The life of the body is in the blood, as it literally feeds and nourishes every cell within our bodies. Only certain substances are allowed to pass from the bloodstream into the brain, thanks to the protective envelope that is known as the blood-brain barrier. If the blood is thick with cholesterol and triglycerides, the amount of nutrient-rich blood that can pass through the blood-brain barrier decreases. This can result in the brain becoming malnourished over time.
The functioning of the brain also depends upon substances that are referred to as neurotransmitters, which are brain chemicals that act as electrical switches in the brain and are responsible for all the functions of the body. If the brain does not have an adequate supply of neurotransmitters, or the nutrients to make them, it starts to develop something similar to a power failure or a short circuit. If you are trying to recall as specific fact or piece of information and your mind goes blank, it is likely that the above “short circuit” has occurred.
There are many other factors that are involved in the deterioration of the memory. One of the most important is exposure to free radicals, which can cause huge amounts of damage if the memory is unchecked. Alcoholics and drug addicts often suffer a great deal of memory loss, with alcoholics being notorious for huge memory gaps that occur even though they are conscious. Allergies, candidiasis, stress, thyroid disorders, and poor circulation to the brain can also contribute to memory loss, while hypoglycemia can play a role in memory loss as well, as the brain requires that the level of glucose in the blood fall within a specific narrow range. Wide swings in blood sugar levels affect brain function and memory.
The following nutrients are beneficial in dealing with and preventing memory loss: Acetylcholine, boron, DMAE, garlic, huperzine A, lecithin granules, manganese, multivitamin and mineral complex, omega-3 fatty acid complex, phosphatidyl choline, phosphatidyl serine, SOD, vitamin A, vitamin B complex, vitamin B3, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, Acetyl-l-carnitine, l-glutamine, l-tyrosine, coenzyme Q10, DHEA, DMG, melatonin, NADH, pregnenolone, RNA and DNA, Brahmi, ginkgo biloba, anise, blue cohosh, ginseng, gotu kola, and rosemary.
All of the above mentioned as well as formulas tailored to help improve memory can be found in capsule, table, or power forms. Remember, only look to name brands such as Solaray, Source Naturals and Natures Plus for quality products. Memory vitamins and herbs can be found at your local or internet health food store.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Vitamins and herbs are not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.
Cold And Flue Remedies
March 16, 2009 03:42 PM
Echinacea, zinc, vitamin C, and garlic are all the most well-known and respected supplements concerning the maintenance and strengthening of the immune system. Echinacea contains polysaccharides, flavonoids, caffeic acid derivatives, essential oils, polyAcetylenes, and alkylamides, which contribute to the herb’s therapeutic benefits. These constituents are responsible for a variety of immuno-stimulatory, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, and anticancer properties.
Echinacea possesses the ability to enhance the movement of white blood cells into infected areas of the body. Echinacea also affects many of the immune system’s cells that are responsible for slowing viral and bacterial infection. Additionally, this herb enhances the performance of macrophages in the immune system, which are responsible for engulfing foreign material like bacteria, viruses, and dead cellular matter. Echinacea also has the ability to kill viruses that indirectly encourage the production and release of interferon, which is a substance that potentially blocks the transcription of viral RNA.
Zinc has been recognized for an extended amount of time as a protection against colds. It is well known that zinc deficiencies are linked to immune system-related disorders as well as the increased susceptibility to infectious diseases. Zinc throat lozenges have become very popular in treating colds over the last few years. One recent study found that zinc is not only beneficial to the immune system, but also necessary for its optimal function.
Vitamin C is one of the most well-known nutrients for battling the effects of colds and flu. Its benefits have been known for years, with a large body of research indicating its effectiveness in reducing the severity and duration of colds an flu. Additionally, vitamin C acts as an immunostimulant by enhancing white blood cell production, increasing interferon levels and antibody responses, promotes secretion of thymic hormones, and improves connective tissue.
There is conflicting information on how much vitamin C one should take, but most experts agree that the FDA’s recommended dietary intake is not sufficient. Many doctors suggest taking large doses, as much as 10,000 mg when suffering from a cold or flu. One of the great things about vitamin C is that it can be found abundantly in many fruits and vegetables. The best food sources include broccoli, sweet peppers, collards, cabbage, spinach, kale, parsley, melons, potatoes, tangerines, and Brussels sprouts.
Garlic, which is extremely well known as a culinary additive, is actually one of the most commonly used medicinal herbs as it is found throughout the world and employed for various therapeutic purposes for thousands of years. It is common in Chinese herbal medicine and has recently received a great deal of attention in the U.S. and other Western countries. Recent research has found that garlic possesses powerful capabilities relating the immune system and the body’s ability to fight infection. Garlic possesses antiviral and antibacterial capabilities and has been shown repeatedly to simulate and improve performance by the body’s immune systems. Studies on garlic have shown that it has the ability to actually kill flu and cold viruses. Garlic also can protect the body from invading virus cells by enhancing the body’s immune functions.
Additional herbs and natural supplements that are useful in fighting cold and flu viruses include goldenseal, pau d’arco, astragalus, licorice, peppermint, and beta carotene. No matter what you choose to do by way of a doctor or natural alternative, supplements such as these discussed have zero side effects if taken as recommended on the bottles label. Natural vitamins and herbs can be found at your local or internet health food store.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Vitamins and herbs are not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.
Horny Goat Weed
December 06, 2008 10:05 AM
Horny Goat weed, correctly named Epimedium, or Yin Yang Huo in Chinese, is one of over 60 herbaceous plants of the Berberdaceae family. It grows naturally in Southern China, and also in Korea, Southeast Asia and some parts of Europe. Other names given to include Fairy Wings and Bishop's Hat.
Horny goat weed has been viewed as a natural alternative to Viagra, and many species of Epimedium are said to possess aphrodisiac properties, and is said to have got its name from a Chinese goat herder who notice that his goats became more 'frisky' with the lady goats after eating the plant. In fact studies have indicated to increase vitality, particularly the libido and male sexual vitality, although it also possesses some other health benefits in its effect on dementia and osteoporosis.
The term 'horny' is used in the colloquial sense, and has nothing to do with the shape of the plant, the flowers of which are star-shaped. In fact the Chinese name for it means 'licentious goat weed', making the English translation quite clear.
The main ingredient in horney goat weed is icariin, a flavonoid glycoside that acts as a PDE5 inhibitor. Others include the similarly named, but totally different chemical, icaritin, and also many other that will be discussed later. It is icariin on which we shall focus for the time being. Since this is central to its effect on erectile dysfunction, some time will be spent on explaining what PDE5 inhibitors do.
cGMP (Cyclic guanosine monophosphate) is a chemical that relaxes smooth muscle tissue, including the vascular smooth muscles in blood vessels. This can lead to the dilation, or increase in size, of blood vessels and increased blood flow. The corpus cavernosum of the penis is a spongy area that runs the full length of the penis, and contains many blood vessels that can be dilated through the action of cGMP and allow the increased blood flow to create an erection.
PDE5 (phosphodiesterase type 5) is an enzyme that can degrade cGMP and prevent the relaxation of these blood vessels, and so prevent them from dilating. A PDE5 inhibitor, such as icariin, prevents the PDE5 from degrading cGMP, and so allow a normal erection. Sidenafil, commonly known as Viagra, is a similar PDE5 inhibitor and works in the same way as icariin. Hence, the effect of Viagra is not to create an unnatural erection, but in fact to allow the cGMP to do its natural work by preventing the phosphodiesterase from stopping it doing so.
This is just one of the effects of horny goat weed: it is a more natural PDE5 inhibitor than Viagra is. It is also more specific than Sidenfil, and does not interfere with any of the other phosphodiesterases that are essential for other purposes. However, its effects do not stop there, because icariin possesses other properties, and is also only one of the many components of epimedium that can increase vitality.
Among these are a number of flavonoids in addition to icariin, sterols and the isoquinoline alkaloid magnaflorine, that possesses antioxidant properties and reduces LDL cholesterol. The exact mechanism by which horny goat weed works to increase sexual desire is unknown, but it is believed that it inhibits the enzyme Acetylcholinetsrase (AChE). Cholinergic synapses are the spaces between brain cells that allow electrical impulses to be transmitted, and are an essential component of neuromuscular system response to stimulation.
AChE can stop these from working properly, and prevent neurotransmitters from effectively allowing sexual arousal. Horny goat weed can inhibit the activity of this enzyme and allow the neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine to do their proper job in allowing sexual arousal to occur. This, again, is a natural and not a chemical solution. It has also been found to reduce cortisol levels that cause stress which also reduces sexual desire.
The effect of Epimedium on smooth muscles can also aid those suffering from pulmonary hypertension, in which the small blood vessels in the lungs become too narrow to be effective in allowing the transfer between oxygen and carbon dioxide. PDE5 inhibitors can help these blood vessels to relax and so be more easily dilated in the same way as those in the corpus cavernosum. Once dilated, they are able to carry more blood to and from the lungs and allow the reoxygenation process to continue smoothly.
Research has also discovered the possibility of horny goat weed possessing monoamine-oxidase inhibition properties. Monoamine oxidase enzymes can deaminate hormones such as dopamine, and can significantly reduce the production of testosterone. The inhibitor prevents this happening, and leads to elevated levels of dopamine, and also of serotonin and noradrenaline. Dopamine encourages the pituitary gland to release luteinizing hormone that in turn promotes the production of testosterone by the testes.
Another property of horny goat weed is that it can protect against the toxin beta-Amyloid, a protein that damages DNA in the brain, causing the death of brain cells and the accumulation of dead cells in your brain. This in turn leads to dementia and potentially Alzheimer's disease. The use of Horny goat weed is being studied closely in relation to this property. The active ingredient here is icaritin (not to be confused with icariin)
Epimedium also has implications in the treatment of the cartilage and bone damage that occurs with arthritis and osteoporosis. It is possible that this is connected with the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of magnaflorine, and icariin has been found to have bone-healing properties. It is known that damaged cartilage treated with horney goat weed displayed signs of growth and regeneration when compared to a placebo.
However, the most popular use of horny goat weed is in its effect on the libido and erectile dysfunction. The effect on the libido and sexual desire works equally well for men and women, and it is a preferred natural remedy to synthetic equivalents such as Viagra, Levitra and Cialis. The added benefits of the natural product render epimedium the preferred and safest solution for many people.
Huperzine And Memory
December 04, 2008 01:20 PM
Chinese club moss goes by the name Huperzia serrata, and gives its name to the sesquiterpene alkaloid it contains: huperzine A. This alkaloid has been found to be a superstar in the arena of brain-saving treatments for conditions such as Alzheimer's and age-related senility. Studies in China have found up to 60% improvements in the cognitive functions of such patients, and its potential has been recorded in the Journal of the American Medical Association. This is no mere folk remedy, and is the subject of serious study.
Known as Qian Ceng Ta, Chinese club moss has been a part of traditional Chinese medicine for centuries for the treatment of fever and inflammation, which is not surprising considering that most plants contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. However, what is unusual is the fact that it has also been found effective in treating some forms of dementia and depression, and also helps to reduce the incidence of panic attacks in those susceptible to them.
Not only that, but the plant has been found to possess diuretic properties, and a reduction in the swelling associated with water retention could also help to reduce the pain and other effects of swelling and inflammation. However, for now it is its effect on the brain that we are concerned, and research has indicated the likely mechanism by which huperzine A works.
Huperzine is an enzyme inhibitor - specifically inhibiting the enzyme Acetylcholinesterase that breaks down Acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter involved in the processes of memory, learning and mood. Outside the brain, it is involved in the movement of skeletal muscle tissue as well as in the regulation of cardiac and other smooth muscles such as those of the blood vessels.
When Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) attacks Acetylcholine (ACh), the latter attaches to a chemical site on the enzyme where it is then destroyed. It is a deliberate function of the body, designed to terminate a synaptic transmission. The purpose of a neurotransmitter is to allow the transmission of an electrical impulse form one nerve cell to another over a gap between them known as a synapse. Once the transmission has been completed, the enzyme can destroy the neurotransmitter, and then another takes its place. In fact one molecule of AChE can destroy around 5,000 molecules of ACh.
However, with age and for other reasons, these neurotransmitters can become depleted so that it becomes increasingly more difficult for brain cells to communicate with each other, and their destruction becomes undesirable. There are drugs available to help prevent this happening (e.g. donepezil, galantamine and tacrine), and so help to improve the memory and mental function of people as they grow older or contract conditions such as Alzheimer's disease.
Huperzine A has been found to take up the site in the Acetylcholinesterase molecule that would normally have been used by the Acetylcholine, and so save it from destruction. The more Huperzine A molecules present, the more Acetylcholine available to pass messages between brain cells, and the stronger the cognitive function of the subject or patient. The pharmaceutical drugs mentioned in the previous paragraph work in exactly the same way.
This is a very specific reaction, one molecule adopting exactly the same space as the other, and has been proved scientifically by comparing the physical shapes of the two molecules. It's just like a jigsaw puzzle, where only one piece can fit into each position. Except here there are two: Huperzine A and Acetylcholine both fit into the exact same place in the chemical structure of the Acetylcholinesterase molecule.
The biochemistry of the reactions involved is very complex, and shall not be discussed here, but the upshot is that Huperzine A can do exactly the same job as modern drugs to avoid this hydroxylation of the ACh needed for the proper functioning of your brain.
In fact, clinical trials have indicated Huperzine A not only to be comparable in effect to the drugs current used, but also likely safer with respect to the possible side effects. This has still to be confirmed, but the National Institute on Aging is currently carrying out a trial to evaluate this claim in tandem with its effect on Alzheimer's disease. It has also been examined at Harvard University for its effect on epilepsy on patients with whom alternative pharmaceutical treatments have been unsuccessful.
Another suggested benefit of Huperzine A is that it is an NMDA (N-methyl D-aspartate) receptor antagonist that provides protection against damage to the brain by an excess of glutamates, and that it can also help to protect nerve cells from damage. Since NDMA is responsible for the transmission of some types of pain, the antagonist can also act as an analgesic.
There are other benefits that Chinese club moss can provide, and myasthenia gravis is one of them. Although relatively rare, this is a serious condition in which Acetylcholine receptors are deactivated on muscle cells. This is achieved through the autoimmune system malfunctioning and creating antibodies against the receptors, and the end result is paralysis and respiratory failure.
Huperzine A reduces the AChE available and so might possibly enable the Acetylcholine to work more effectively and delay or even stop the deterioration of muscle function. When people hear of muscle paralysis they frequently forget that breathing requires muscle function, as indeed does your heartbeat. This is currently surmise, and studies are being carried out to determine whether or not this usage of Huperzine A is viable.
Another promising application of Chinese club moss extract is in preventing organophosphate poisoning. These pesticides permanently suppress Acetylcholine. This results in seizures due to a lack of interruption of the signals from nerves to muscles. The seizures can result in rapid death from uncontrollable seizures, or from permanent contraction of the diaphragm muscle that allows breathing. Although no human studies have yet been carried out, animals given Huperzine A prior to organophosphate exposure have survived without seizures.
There are no doubts that Chinese club moss and the Huperzine A extracted from it are effective in preventing the suppression of Acetylcholine, and in permitting the proper activity of this important neurotransmitter. It is finding an increasing number of potential uses beneficial to the human body, not the least of which would be a partial remedy for some of the effects of dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
August 28, 2008 09:33 AM
Garcinia Cambogia is found naturally in India and parts of Asia, and also on the Pacific coast of South and Central America all the way from Peru up to Mexico, and likes a humid forested environment. Also known as Brindall berries, garcinia is believed to act as an appetite suppressant and allows you to lose weight by diminishing your desire for food.
The Malabar tamarind, as it is also known, is about the size of an orange resembling a small pumpkin, and an extract from the fruit and rind is used in several weight loss products. The health risks presented by synthetic diet pills render a natural product extremely attractive were it to be effective. So can Garcia curb your appetite? What is the scientific evidence for it, and what biochemical route would it take?
Although tests on animals have been very positive, human results have been inconsistent. In some double blind tests using a placebo, weight loss was up to three times that of the control, but in others there was no apparent difference between those taking garcinia, and those given a placebo. However, doubts have been raised of the validity of some of the negative tests, so what does science tell us?
The active ingredient in the cambogia extract is hydroxycitric acid (HCA), which is a powerful inhibitor of ATP citrate lyase, an enzyme that catalyzes the reaction between citrate and Coenzyme A to Acetyl CoA and oxaloacetate. Since the Acetyl CoA is necessary in the synthesis of fatty acids and lipogenesis (the conversion of glucose to fatty acids), then anything that inhibits the biosynthesis of Acetyl CoA must help to reduce the amount of fat stored in your body.
By inhibiting this reaction, that occurs outside the mitochondria so is not a direct part of the Citric Acid Cycle, HCA should theoretically suppress the formation of fats from carbohydrates, reduce food intake and thereby induce weight loss. But that is not the only mechanism.
A study at Georgetown University in Washington found that after 8 weeks of taking the garcinia extract, there was a 5.4% reduction in body weight and body mass index, and a significant reduction in low density lipoproteins (LDL) and triglycerides with an associated rise in high density lipoproteins (HDL). This is good news for those suffering from high cholesterol levels, since the LDL lipoproteins are those that carry cholesterol to the major blood vessels, and which when oxidized by free radicals deposit fatty plaques on the artery walls. These plaques constrict the arteries and the resultant atherosclerosis can lead to cardiac problems and strokes. HDL lipoproteins carry cholesterol back to the liver for destruction, and is known popularly as ‘good cholesterol’.
The studies also indicated modifications to certain indicators of the status of fat deposits in the body and of appetite modifiers in the brain. In this respect they found 38% decreases in serum leptin and increases in serotonin levels of 44%, and the excretion of fat metabolites in the urine increased from between 32% and 104%.
These are significant findings, and further research has indicated that HCA helps to suppress appetite. Serum leptin is an indicator of the level of fat stores in the body, and as the leptin levels in the blood reduces, the hypothalamus is given an instruction to increase the appetite so as to increase the fat levels again. However, it is believed that HCA possesses leptin-like properties, and this signal is either not generated or is modulated.
The increase in serotonin has the same effect. It is known that serotonin controls the appetite, although the exact mechanism has not yet been established. What is known is that serotonin activates certain neurons and melanocortin-4 receptors (MC4R) in the brain, that not only curb appetite but also block the effect of other neurons that would normally increase appetite by blocking the effect of MC4Rs.
This is how the banned anti-obesity and serotonin inciting drug Fen-Phen operated, and it appears that the hydroxycitric acid in garcinia cambogia extract acts in a similar, but safer, way. The problem with drugs such as Feb-Phen was that they created cardiac problems which could be dangerous to obese people whose hearts might have been weakened.
However, now that the biological pathway by which serotonin controls weight is believed to be known, if not fully understood, the way is becoming clearer as to how safer weight loss pills, acting through appetite suppression, might be developed. It also provides a valid scientific explanation for the effect of garcinia cambogia extract which might in itself prove to be that safer way.
The biochemistry supports the evidence of its effect on those wanting to lose weight, and also bolsters the claims that those tests and trials found to be negative were in some way flawed. Until the full chemical pathway is understood, the factors that can lead to flawed tests are unknown, although one could be the use of excessive fiber in some trials that could reduce the effect of the extract.
One of the effects of HCA is to limit the ability of your body to convert carbohydrates into fat (the Acetyl CoA inhibition mentioned above). That, combined with suppression of your appetite and a higher rate of thermogenesis, prevents the body from storing excess carbohydrates as fat. Instead you will have increased energy levels, so you should exercise to use this up while taking garcinia extract. For this reason it is popular with athletes and bodybuilders seeking an energy source that has not yet been banned from sport.
Although diet pills based on the same principle had side-effects and could make the user feel on edge, there are none known with garcinia. However, it is possible to reduce the absorption of some essential nutrients due to appetite suppression, so do not exceed the recommended dose. An excessive amount can also led to gastric discomfort, but none of these effects have been noted when the recommended doses have been adhered to.
However, if you are diabetic, pregnant or a nursing mother, you should consult with your physician or health professional before taking the extract. Garcinia Cambogia presents no specific risk to such people, and this warning should be given for all non-prescriptive treatments that your physician might be unaware of you taking.
July 08, 2008 03:00 PM
Garcinia cambogia is a small tree bearing a small pumpkin-like fruit of the citrus family, and is steadily appearing in an increasing number of weight loss supplements. It is indigenous to parts of Africa and Asia, and the rind is commonly used in Indian cookery.
Although the fruit is particularly sour to the taste, it is used in form of an extract of the rind and claimed to act as an appetite suppressant and also to increase the body’s capacity to metabolize fat. Although there are conflicting claims being made about its efficacy, or lack of it, research shows that it definitely has promise as an agent to prevent and fight obesity and its use is steadily increasing in this respect.
The active ingredient is hydroxy citric acid, otherwise known as HCA, contained in the form of the potassium and calcium salts of the acid in the aqueous extract of the garcinia cambogia rind. It forms up to 30% by weight of the rind. It is tasteless and odorless, and so far found to have no toxic effects on humans. Animal studies have also been generally favorable.
HCA works in two specific ways both to reduce the desire to eat and to inhibit the storage of fat in the body. In each case, as with so many supplements that have an inhibitory effect on a physiological or psychological function or on a metabolic process, it involves an interaction with enzymes.
Citrate lysase is an enzyme in the body that helps to prevent lipogenesis and instead promotes the conversion of carbohydrates into fat. When this enzyme is inhibited from carrying out its intended part in the body’s metabolism, the process of carbohydrate oxidation is boosted, or, in other words, the excess carbohydrate is burned off, or changed into energy.
More fats could also be expelled unchanged from the body, but irrespective of that the end result is that less carbohydrate tends to be converted to fat. Garcinia cambogia, however, has not been found to reduce the body’s uptake of essential fatty acids which are necessary for health. Had this occurred, you would feel a raging hunger as opposed to the appetite suppressing properties the extract is claimed to have.
The oxidation of carbohydrates can also lead to thermogenesis, or the boosting of the metabolism by increasing your body temperature. An increase in the metabolic rate helps weight reduction through an increased calorie demand while your body is at rest. However, that is not the only way in which the HCA extract works to help reduce your weight, or at least help to maintain it at a healthy level. Let’s return to its specific appetite suppression properties.
Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine) is a neuroreceptor found in the central nervous system. It has many regulatory effects on the body, one of which is appetite. Although it is by no means the only chemical in the body that has an effect on the appetite, serotonin is a significant factor. As you get hungry, serotonin is released in the hypothalamus, an area of the brain that regulates sleep and eating. The release of serotonin increases when you see and or smell food. It is the agent that starts canine salivation, and a ravenous hunger in those that have no immediate access to food.
It also causes you to snack, and, as you eat, the serotonin level in the hypothalamus continues to increase until it reaches a point where it provides the hypothalamus with a feeling of repletion or satisfaction. You then stop eating. So the more serotonin is produced, the quicker you stop feeling hungry.
Garcinia cambogia extract has the effect of stimulating the emission of serotonin into the hypothalamus, and so suppresses your hunger quicker. You don’t stop eating altogether, but attain that feeling of satisfaction much quicker and so tend to eat less with each meal. This can not only help you maintain your weight at a healthy level, but also to reduce weight in the obese.
Although the extract can work through each of these mechanisms, it does not have such a significant effect on a very fatty diet. It can help if you switch to a relatively healthy diet, lower in fats, but the effect might not be strong enough to compensate for a poor diet in terms of fat content.
Studies have indicated an anti-oxidant activity that likely comes from the xanthones and xanthone derivatives that are also contained in the fruit. In fact there are other recorded uses of garcinia cambogia, and it has been used in traditional Indian medicine to treat fevers, dysentery, open wounds, ulcers and tumors.
According to a study carried out for the National Cancer Institute there is no documented toxicity effects on humans, and there is no regulation regarding the use of garcinia cambogia. It has not been evaluated by the FDA.
However, there are contra-indications in the case of pregnant and lactating women, more as a safety measure than for any particularly known risk. Alzheimer patients should avoid taking HCA since there is a possibility of it promoting the synthesis of Acetylcholine in the brain, and its glycemic action renders it unsuitable for diabetics.
Conversely, this same action is a positive benefit by reducing the craving of healthy adults for sweet foods. However, HCA is frequently taken in combination with chromium due to the latter’s positive effect on the regulation of blood sugar levels. Nevertheless, diabetics should avoid any supplement containing chromium without professional medical advice.
The supplement should be standardized on the HCA content, and an average dose is around 500 mg – 1000 mg of 50% extract a day. However, this varies, and the most important aspect of such extracts is that when changing brands; be sure to compare the strength of the relative extracts and change your dosage accordingly.
Although the benefits of garcinia cambogia to those seeking to lose weight are debated, there is ample evidence to suggest that a regular intake of the extract is beneficial – and not only with respect to the maintenance of healthy weight.
B Vitamin Complex
June 23, 2008 03:19 PM
The vitamin B supplement you take is a mixture of nutrients that, although they share the same vitamin letter, are in fact distinctly different chemical entities. The reason that they share the same reference letter of the alphabet is that they are all essential water soluble vitamins (Vitamin C being the only other), they frequently work in synergy with each other and they often come from common sources and have similar properties in the body. They were therefore at one time believed to be just the one chemical entity.
They are essential in that they must form part of our diet because our bodies cannot manufacture these substances from others, and although most share common biochemical and health functions, there is no health function that requires all of them, and none of them can be totally replaced by another.
The B-Vitamin complex that you take can consist of as many as eight different B vitamins, each of which is essential for a healthy body and at one time it was believed that this mixture was only one single vitamin. That is why they are collectively known as vitamin B and were subsequently allocated numbers: it was only later that the individual components were discovered.
These eight are vitamin B-1 (thiamine), vitamin B-2 (riboflavin), vitamin B-3 (niacin), vitamin B-5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B-12 (cobalamins), biotin and folic acid (folate). They are found in yeast, liver, tuna, bananas and rice among other sources, and, as with all vitamins, without them life would not be possible. Not all vitamins are found in each of these food sources, and vitamin B-12, for example, is available in nutritional quantities only from animal sources.
Knowing what they are is all very well, but what does your body do with the B vitamin supplement that you take? Before considering that, the reason that a regular supply is important is because of their water solubility. This is a useful property for a vitamin to possess, because it means that they can easily be transported by the body fluids to the tissues where they are needed. The downside, however, is that they are consequently also easily flushed from the body, and your body cannot store any of the B vitamins.
You therefore must have a regular dietary source that can be augmented through supplementation. This is particularly desirable in alcoholics, those on diets to lose weight and vegans who are advised to take a regular vitamin B-12 supplement.
A lack of vitamin B will make you feel tired and lack energy because they play a big part in your body’s metabolism of blood glucose into energy. They also help to maintain a healthy immune system, keep your nervous system in tip-top condition and maintain good healthy skin, hair and muscles. The B complex is also very important in maintaining healthy blood and liver, and each and every component of the mixture has a specific part to play, both on individually and by interaction with others in the B complex.
Rather than examining what your body does with the supplement as a whole, let’s have a look at each component, and what your body does with that. Taking them one at a time, thiamine (B1) helps you to burn carbohydrates to generate energy. It is highly water soluble and must be taken daily. In the form of thiamine pyrophosphate it plays a key part in the metabolism of carbohydrates to energy, and also in the metabolism of certain amino acids. If you rely heavily on a high carbohydrate diet, you will need a good regular supplement of thiamine to be able to convert them to energy.
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) also plays a part in fat and carbohydrate metabolism and the formation of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the molecule of energy. It plays a significant part in the health of your skin and a deficiency is associated with mouth ulcers, cracked lips, flaky skin and bloodshot watery eyes. It also activates vitamin B6 and folic acid, one of the cases where the B vitamins work together synergistically.
Vitamin B3, or niacin, is well known to women as a component of some shampoos, and helps to promote health hair. However, this vitamin also takes part in the process of energy creation within your body, and helps to maintain a good muscle tone within the digestive tract. It is also used as a supplement for the treatment of diseases related to high levels of LDL cholesterol and is useful for the treatment of atherosclerosis.
Pantothenic acid is also found as a component of shampoos, so no prizes for guessing one of its functions. Vitamin B-5 plays a significant part in the energy-producing Krebs Cycle, or Citric Acid Cycle, that is used by every cell in your body to generate energy just where it is needed. It is also needed to synthesize Acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter needed for good brain function and it helps to reduce stress. Pantothenic acid is also closely involved in the production of cholesterol in your liver: cholesterol is not all bad, and is needed by your body to produce some of the steroid hormones and also vitamin D.
Amino acids are the small units that are used to biosynthesize proteins and ultimately the genes and DNA that determine who you are. The major factor involved in processing these amino acids is Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), one of the lesser known of the vitamin B complex. It synthesizes and breaks up different amino acids to produce a variety of other compounds, such as the hormones serotonin, melatonin and dopamine.
Deficiencies in these hormones can be very serious, Parkinson’s disease believed to be connected with a dopamine deficiency for example, and other disorders include kidney stones, anemia and many skin complaints. Although deficiency of vitamin B6 is rare, it can occur in alcoholics and those with chronic kidney problems. It is believed that many diets are deficient, however, and a good vitamin B supplement would ensure that this did not occur.
Vitamin B-12 is one where deficiency can occur, particularly in alcoholics and vegans. It is available in sufficient quantities only from meat sources, and a supplement is indicated in anyone with a low meat intake in their diet. It is used by your body for the replication of DNA and to allow the normal activity of your body cells. It also helps to control homocysteine levels in conjunction with vitamin B6 and folic acid: homocysteine is a high-risk amino acid associated with atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease that can lead to Alzheimer’s disease, heart attacks and strokes.
The seventh, biotin (sometimes referred to as vitamin B7) also takes part in the metabolism of energy, but deficiencies have not been known, and the final known member of the B vitamin complex is folic acid. This is essential for cell growth and the synthesis of RNA and DNA in the body. RNA (Ribonucleic acid) is responsible for the synthesis of proteins in your body, and the well known Deoxy-ribonucleic acid (DNA) holds the genetic information of your body. Folic acid is therefore essential in the growing fetus, and any other cellular system that rapidly regenerates such as blood cells and the various cells of the immune system.
Without folic acid your body would be more susceptible to bacterial and viral attack, and less able to protect you from foreign invaders into your body tissues. Although deficiency is not common, folic acid is present in fresh food only and degrades when stored at room temperature and when cooked. A supplement is therefore advisable during pregnancy to help to prevent neural tube defects.
It is evident that the Vitamin B complex plays many parts in the chemistry of your body, and that a supplement can be of benefit in assuring that there are no deficiencies. A good B complex can be found at your local or internet health food store.