Search Term: " Alerness "
Learn how gotu kola reduces stress and anxiety
February 21, 2019 07:57 AM
Gotu Kola has been studied and found to increase calm and alertness by one hundred percent in human. After only 60 minutes post ingestion the effects are demonstrated and showed a noteworthy reduction in startle response. A starting dose is three cups of gotu kola tea per day. There are a broad range of other health benefits which include boosts in cognitive function. It was found just as effective as folic acid. Alzheimer patients have also seen an improvement in mood and memory via the compound called triterpenes. Gotu Kola improves circulation and inflammation as well as aiding in restful sleep.
"Gotu kola is a popular herbal remedy that has a long history of being used in Ayurvedic medicine due to its healing properties that can promote mental and emotional health."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-01-15-learn-how-gotu-kola-reduces-stress-and-anxiety.html
Will CBD Oil Help Me Sleep?
May 31, 2018 05:16 PM
Insomnia affects one-third of Americans. That shows many people are not having good sleep quality. CBD oil can help in this regard. It helps you to enter and maintain the non-REM phase of sleep (the deep sleep phase) while reducing the duration of the REM phase (the light sleep phase where dreams take place). The benefits are a marked increase in overall sleep quality and reduction of symptoms of depression and anxiety. So, even if you live in a very noisy environment, CBD oil can help you get that needed sleep. But before you chose on which oil to use, you should go for one that is environmentally-friendly and not made with toxic chemicals. Check whether the manufacturer allows third party lab testing. Also, the higher the price, the higher is the quality.
"It may sound weird, but CBD is actually known to promote alertness, and thanks to that, it helps us sleep better."
Read more: http://baltimorepostexaminer.com/will-cbd-oil-help-sleep/2018/05/29
Best superfoods: Green tea is 'the best' superfood to detox
January 02, 2018 03:59 PM
Going into the New Year is a great time to make improvements to a healthy diet and one with many proven benefits is to start drinking green tea regularly. Green tea is chock full of antioxidants which will give a boost to overall health in more ways than one. Green tea has EGCG and other polyphenols that rev up metabolism, boost the immune system, fight cancer, increase alertness and help get rid of the visceral fat around the abdomen. To improve health in one simple step in the new year, give green tea a try, at pennies a cup it won't put a dent in the budget.
"A cup is easy to prepare, costs next to nothing and provides you with a whooping seven per cent active molecules [EGCG], the most of any other drink or food."
Read more: https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/897003/detox-superfood-green-tea-health-benefits
Kids who consume fish at least once a week may have a sharper IQ: Study
December 27, 2017 07:59 AM
A new study out of University of Pennsylvania has found a link between brain power, fish and sleep. The omega-3 fatty acids seem to be the real winner here. The link is how they affect sleep. They seem to allow people to sleep sounder. Sleeping better decreases stress levels and allows someone to perform better during the day. The IQ doesn't really increase, but your alertness is better and you are allowed to perform better in school and on these tests and show your skill in the long run.
"Many health experts have defined fish as brain food and as it turns out, it is more than just that!"
Read more: http://indiatoday.intoday.in/education/story/kids-eat-fish-higher-iq/1/1116668.html
The Health Benefits of Matcha Tea
July 25, 2017 09:14 AM
A major tv network has come out with a story about matcha. This is a green tea that has been ground into powder. Matcha has become a favorite with models and is offered at Starbucks. The article explored whether the item is really healthy or just another "in" thing that will fade over time. The article cited a study which showed matcha resulted in higher levels of alertness. Another study found matcha reduced stress in mice. Several photos and links are included.
"Mind you, green tea is caffeinated and matcha is an even more caffeinated form of green tea, containing approximately 34mgs of caffeine where traditional green tea averages at about 30mgs and an espresso has around 60mgs, but the L-theanine in matcha prolongs its mood-boosting effects"
Read more: https://www.nbcnews.com/better/health/much-ado-about-matcha-it-really-healthy-ncna783886?cid=public-rss_20170720
July 21, 2017 05:14 AM
There are some essential oils for university students. Coffee is always going to be number one in our hearts, but essential oils have become a very popular thing. They are very useful to easing anxiety in people. There are so many different oils and they all have health benefits that will help you in your life. Each oil has its own unique benefit to people. They have all been studies for their effects and they all have positive benefits.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlXmB4yYk5s&rel=0
"While we often think as essential oils as simply nice aromas, they also contain some pretty beneficial properties that can help boost focus and mental alertness"
Why You May Want to Drink Water Before Coffee in the Morning
April 28, 2017 06:59 AM
Start your day off with a big glass of water. Beginning your day with hydration helps improve your body functions. Over fifty percent of your body is made of water. Adding a glass of water to your morning ritual help a energize your bodily functions. It helps jumpstart your metabolism, encourages bowel regularity, and eases digestion. It can also stave off hunger cravings and increase your alertness. Staying hydrated also helps with your energy levels. Keep a glass of water handy to increase your overall health.
Read more: Why You May Want to Drink Water Before Coffee in the Morning
Caffeine: How much is too much?
March 11, 2017 07:59 AM
The amount of caffeine in four cups of coffee, about 400 mg is considered a safe daily intake for an adult. That is also equivalent to 10 cans of cola or 2 energy shot drinks. Caffeine should be avoided in children and adolescents. Signs of too much caffeine intake include Migraines, fast heart beat, irritability and tremors. You may take too much caffeine to offset not sleeping enough or because you might take supplements that cause hyper alertness. Cutting back on caffeine can be safe if done gradually while monitoring all your intake to avoid overdoing it.
"Although caffeine use may be safe for adults, it's not a good idea for children."
7 Awesome Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate
February 26, 2017 10:19 AM
This video reviews the health benefits of dark chocolate. Dark chocolate has the following health benefits: Lower Body Mass Index, boosts brain power,improves eyesight, reduces inflamation, it can protect your skin, it lowers blood pressure, raises good cholesterol. Overall, dark chocolate can provide many health benefits that can lead to a healthier well-being.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZlDx1ccWPM
"Eating dark chocolate can give your brain a short-term boost by increasing your alertness."
Breathe. Exhale. Repeat: The Benefits of Controlled Breathing
November 22, 2016 02:59 PM
Some researchers believe that overcoming stress and depression may be as easy as breathing. Many studies have been done to test the effect of slow and steady breathing on the body. Scientists have found that people who practice breathing meditation on a regular basis are able to lower their stress hormones and cytokines that have an adverse effect on the body. So, the next time you feel stressed, just practice some deep breathing to help calm yourself.
"Controlled breathing, like what you just practiced, has been shown to reduce stress, increase alertness and boost your immune system."
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
Health Benefits of Lemon oil.
February 20, 2014 04:58 PM
Health Benefits of lemon oil
Lemon oil has many health benefits. A part from combating weight which is the popular use, it has variety of benefits, some of it benefits includes.
1. Treatment of stomach ailments. It is very effective in treatment of various stomach problems such as constipation, acidity, indigestion and stomach upsets among other ailments.
2. Soothing effects. It is very effective in treating insomnia. It enhances good and comfortable sleep.
3. Refreshing effects. Lemon oil has a calm effect and it is a remedy to mental fatigue, dizziness, nervous tension and anxiety.
4. It creates a positive mindset and eradicates negative emotions. Use of lemon oil increases alertness and concentration and is recommended for students and workers to enhance their performance.
5. Boosts immune system. It is rich in vitamins that boost immune system. User are very resistant to common ailments. It stimulates synthesis of white blood cells which guards body against diseases. It also improves blood circulation.
6. Weight loss. Lemon oil is popularly used for weight loss, it suppresses appetite and thus users will lose weight in a very healthy manner.
7. Hair care. Lemon oil is very effective in eliminating dandruffs, strengthen hair follicles and also ensures even distribution of hair. In addition, it use make hair to be strong, healthy and shiny.
8. Skin care. For those with skin acnes, this is the best product to use. Lemon oil is very effective in rejuvenating skin and makes users appear young. It is effective in pimples treatments and other skin disorders.
9. Asthma treatment. Lemon oil is a natural way to treat asthma, by inhaling it aroma, it clears air passages and sinuses, thus it clear air passage.
10. Antiseptic properties. It is used to hasten wound healing.
11. It is also used to ease pain especially by people with toothache. When massaged on the gums, it can stop gum bleeding and bad breath.
The benefit of Amino Acid L-Tyrosin for our brains
January 21, 2014 09:47 AM
L-Tyrosine is a nonessential amino acid because it can be made from phenylalanine, the another amino acid by our body. But from some researchers the body cannot make tyrosine from phenylalanine if stressed. In otherhand, L-Tyrosine is definitely present in many kinds of foods, such as milk, meats, eggs, nuts, cheese, bananas, beans and some seafood like fish.
Benefits of L-Tyrosine
By using this food stuff can increased the amount of L-Tyrosine in our body. And Also L-Tyrosine can we get from some suplement. L-Tyrosine has benefits for our brains. L-Tyrosine need for creating the neurotransmitters such as dopamine, epinephrine and norepinephrine. It can called stress hormone. This compounds that transmit chemical signals in our brains. The neurotransmitters that was produced by L-Tyrosine have effect significant for your mood, memory, concentration, focus and alertness. The neurotransmitter dopamine can affects the incentive mechanism in our brain which indicates it involved in feeling of happiness. Dopamine is also helps we keep motivated and handle problem that can make streesed. But too much stress can make our dopamine level decreased. It can make our brain less active and weak. The neurotransmitter epinephrine ability to increases our energy, heart rate and breathing. It because epinephrine produces oxygen with rich blood that travels to our brain. Moreover the neurotransmitter epinephrine can boosting our memory, enhance cognitive performance, polishing our senses and reducing pain level of sensitivity. And the third compound of neurotransmitters is norepinephrine. It can helps increase our concentrate and to develop new memories. Norepinephrine is also travels through our blood and can stimulate our brains. The effect of our body does not produce enough neurotransmitters, we will become depressed, fatigued, confused and also develop memory loss. So if you want to enhance your memories and don’t let your body has less L-tyrosine to products stressed hormone that you need. Food supplements have shown good results in improving the amount L-tyrosine in our body.
Can Guarana Boost Energy?
January 24, 2013 01:29 PM
Guarana, scientifically named as Paullinia cupana is an evergreen vine indigenous to the northern regions of Brazil and Venezuela. Guarana berries are widely considered to be a great source of organic caffeine and also have been used for hundreds of years by native Amazonian tribes, the Guaranis to help retain their stamina levels and improve physical endurance. The natives believed that the drink made from this powdered ground seeds of the berries could provide more energy. They also claimed that, by drinking Guarana juice one could go on hunt for many days without food and also without feeling fatigue.
Guarana is used as an organic and effective energy booster. It has an identical chemical composition to that of caffeine, and also the plant seeds produce even greater caffeine effects than usual caffeine drinks. Guarana is released into the body much more slowly to provide longer stimulation. The plant immediately energizes the nervous system to provide sustained energy and may be taken in small dose to fight weakness and improve activity levels. Additionally, it decreases tiredness, and improves mental alertness. Also, Guarana extract is taken by sports athletes to keep up their peak performance.
Guarana is traditionally used for weight Loss as well. It helps reduce fluid retention, inhibits appetite and boosts metabolic process. As a result, the extra fat stored becomes a source of fuel to the body.
Guarana also consists of tannins, which is valuable in treating diarrhea and other types of digestive problems.
Because of higher content of caffeine, Guarana has received a reputation of a powerful stimulant and also aphrodisiac. When compared to other libido supplements, Guarana doesn't have any side effects.
As an all-natural adaptogen, Guarana can be used to boost the body's effectiveness against anxiety, stress and fatigue. It's traditionally been useful for migraines, menstruation pains as well as heart related illnesses.
November 22, 2012 11:03 AM
Among beverages, many varieties of tea exist including oolong, green and black tea. they are in fact quite similar in their natural state and chemical composition. However, the benefits of black tea extract has begun proving its mettle after the rather heavy overdose of information and research on green tea. The important ingredient that has made tea a rage in alternative medicines in the modern times is the contents of polyphenol which is beneficial in reducing fat absorption and aiding weight loss. In fact, while green tea extract has about 30-40% of water soluble polyphenol, black tea has about 10% .
What has however been proven through recent clinical studies is that the four kinds of polyphenols found in black tea extract are more active on adipose tissue mass, liver lipid content thereby suppressing body weight more effectively as compared to green tea. Green tea is the fresh plucked leaves of the camellia sinesis plant while black tea extract is made from the fermented leaves. While the green tea leaves are only lightly dried, black tea leaves are fully oxidized. Both contain flavonoids known for their beneficial effects on the human body .
However because of the excessive oxidation in black tea, the flavonoids convert to complex theaflavins and thearubiglins.These are antioxidant known to be tremendously potent in effectively countering cancers, stroke and heart ailments. Potent Health Benefits *Its proven to affect on triglycerides present in the blood thus affecting body weight issues dramatically. In fact clinical observations have proved that it induces reduced levels of cholesterol with no side effects on fat soluble vitamins.
It's safe usage could not have been proved better:
An intake up to three cups is said to have beneficial effect but again discretion should be maintained in cases of hypertension, blood pressure and anxiety, who could do without the effect black tea extract has on blood circulation and heightening of alertness.Without a doubt black tea extract remains one of the most common proven natural formulas with great benefits.
What Are the Health Benefits of Phosphatidyl Serine
February 21, 2012 07:53 AM
Phosphatidyl Serine is a phospholipid produced by the brain that brings about a number of beneficial effects to the human body. It is found in every cell of the body but it is abundantly available in the brain. Though it is manufactured naturally in the brain, this type of fat can also be derived from meat, vegetables, dairy products and supplements. In fact, lots of Phosphatidyl Serine supplements are offered on the market today because of its helpful benefits to the human body. So what are the health benefits of Phosphatidyl Serine?
Basically, Phosphatidyl Serine is a powerful nutrient that improves the cardiovascular and overall fitness and boosts the cognitive function of an individual. It increases one's mental clarity, focus, concentration and alertness. Phosphatidyl Serine is actually considered as ‘brain food' that nourishes and enhances the functions of the brain even at an old age. Intake of Phosphatidyl Serine can significantly reduce the individual's risk of suffering from life threatening diseases. In fact, clinical studies show that Phosphatidyl Serine contains powerful components that prevent an individual from developing hypertension and treat atherosclerosis.
Phosphatidyl Serine and Memory
Phosphatidyl Serine is also proven to be effective in boosting the cognitive function of the user. Studies show that the phospholipid can significantly enhance the focus and concentration of an individual. Furthermore, it improves one's learning abilities and helps in alleviating the symptoms of age-related memory loss. This type of fat regulates the production and release of neurotransmitters in the brain. Phosphatidyl Serine is also effective in preventing the development of dementia and treating it.
Studies show that production of Phosphatidyl Serine in the brain decreases with age. This results to the increased occurrence of age-related memory problems as one gets older. Phosphatidyl Serine is even effective in treating the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease that is mainly triggered by a disruption in the normal functioning in the part of the brain that controls memory, thought and language. Intake of 300g of Phosphatidyl Serine daily for two months can reduce the symptoms of the debilitating condition.
Some studies revealed that Phosphatidyl Serine has the ultimate capacity to boost the health of the cell membranes and lower the level of stress hormone in the body. This substance is also believed to be effective in reducing the impact of stress to an individual. Phosphatidyl Serine combats exercise-induced stress by reducing the level of cortisol produced by the adrenal glands during stressful situations.
A clinical study in 1990 shows that intake of Phosphatidyl Serine can significantly reduce the symptoms of depression in elderly women. Researchers claimed that depression is mainly triggered by chemical imbalances in the brain or a stressful event such as accidents and death of a spouse, children and relatives. By mitigating the impact of stress, Phosphatidyl Serine prevents the occurrence of the debilitating symptoms of depression.
Phosphatidyl Serine is also beneficial in building muscles during workout and endurance trainings. It dramatically increases the recovery time of the muscle builders between workouts. It reduces muscle soreness during workouts and increases the physical performance of an individual.
Some researchers claim that Phosphatidyl Serine can help children who have been diagnosed with ADHD. Furthermore, the substance is believed to be effective in regulating the mood of the user.
Can The Herb Passion Flower Help Pain?
September 08, 2011 11:43 AM
Furthermore, it is able to do so by not affecting respiratory activity and mental health functions unlike many of the synthetic pharmaceutical drugs available today for use of sedation. There are many Americans suffering from chronic pain and other symptoms that involve incessant pain in the muscles and other parts of the body. Many of us look towards medication for some relief however the side effects are enormous. Because in the same way that this medication can alleviate pain it also hinders many of our nervous system functions and the most important of which is brain functions. Side effects can range from being groggy to lack of mental alertness.
How passion flower works
Passionflower has a long history dating back to the ancient worlds to have uses against anxiety, insomnia, restlessness, epilepsy, and other conditions of hyperactivity because of its calming properties and this is in a general sense however let us try to look into how it is able to have these properties and how it translates to bodily functions. The key so far to its potency is its affects on muscle tension and mental conflicts. This is the same reason why a lot of medication in the market today has some sort of derivative of passionflower. It has been part of many nerve disorder treatments to aid in further relief of anxiety and even has shown signs of being helpful towards blood pressure regulation and aid in relief of heart palpitations.
Although it has been shown not be as strong as most drugs when it is not processed and just left as close to its natural form as possible it also does not have the same side effects and prevents addiction as well unlike most medications. The main way that it is able to play a big role in any efficient sedation process to relieve pain is because it has the ability to lessen neurotransmitter production or even as some research suggests block it all together through increasing GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) production which is a neurotransmitter inhibitor. Additionally it also has potent phytochemicals that studies have to shown to inhibit prostaglandin which is a chemical responsible for letting us feel pain. Therefore, passion flower could be used as a pain remedy!
Grab some passion flower today and feel the difference.
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 B-12 Help Boost Energy?
August 24, 2011 01:11 PM
How Can Vitamin B12 help you?
Vitamin B12 is water-soluble and is naturally present in most meaty foods. Also called cobalamin, Vitamin B12 exists in several forms and contains the mineral cobalt, so compounds with vitamin B12 activity are collectively called "cobalamins". It also has a key role in the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system, and for blood formation. Vitamin B12 normally plays part in the metabolism of every cell of the human body, especially affecting DNA synthesis and regulation, but also fatty acid synthesis and energy production. Vitamin B12, bound to protein in food, is released by the activity of hydrochloric acid and gastric protease in the stomach. It owes its discovery to pernicious anemia which is an anemic disease, when the cure was discovered it was along with B12.
Our body depends on B12 for a lot of our bodily functions among them are: Helping to maintain normal energy levels, aiding in healthy neurological activity, better mental alertness, and support stronger cardiac function. When blood levels of vitamin B12 are low, these functions are interrupted and would result to changes in energy levels. Our body relies much on how efficient we convert carbohydrates to glucose to use as fuel, like a car needs to be able to use gas to run smoothly. Likewise, B12 also enables your body to convert fatty acids into energy as well. Overall, B12 is a Vitamin your body can’t do without for efficient, healthy metabolism of fats and carbohydrates in which I am left to conclude, that if our blood level has inadequate B12, symptoms related to low energy and overall fatigue will be experienced.
The number one symptom from a Vitamin B12 deficiency is feeling tired and lethargic. Without all of the proper components like B-Complex Vitamins this system can breakdown and cause a these symptoms. If left untreated, B12 deficiency can lead to a serious medical condition and most common is Pernicious Anemia. The symptoms of B12 deficiency ranges from shortness of breath, rapid heart rate, loss of appetite, fatigue and diarrhea which can all cause lower energy levels. This condition is easily fixed by adding B12 rich foods to your diet or for most of us that are too busy to worry about making sure we eat the right food with the right amount of certain vitamins, supplementation should be one of our options.
Put together time constraints and changing diets and the days of highly processed foods, there has been somewhat of a proliferation of Vitamin B12 deficiency. I know for some it’s easy to get your hands on some red meat, eggs, dairy and fish, however with those sources comes other substances that most of us need to avoid like fat, cholesterol and toxins depending on where and how the meat is processed. Modern diets have simply led to a decline in nutritionally balanced diets. In terms of what adequate B12 will be able to do for your body and how it can boost energy, there should be more urgency in making sure we get the B12 dosage we need and supplementation is one of the keys.
Can Vitamin B12 Boost Mental Alertness?
July 18, 2011 12:01 PM
The body needs various nutrients in order to make vital biological reactions possible. These bodily reactions are necessary for energy production, immune system enhancement and health improvement. These nutrients are classified into two, macro and micronutrients. In addition, these micronutrients are further divided into vitamins and minerals. These vitamins are needed by individuals to help the body grow normally. Vitamins can be supplied by the food we eat. However, the body can make certain vitamins such as vitamin D and K. Individuals who are in strict vegetable diet usually need vitamin B12 supplement. In this article, we will be focusing on Vitamin B 12 or also known as cyanocobalamin.
Vitamin B 12 is also a water– soluble vitamin. It is considered as essential because it is not produced by the body. Excellent sources of this vitamin include fish, shellfish, meat, milk and milk products. Vitamin B 12 is also available in supplements in combination with other vitamin B complex. Like the other B vitamins, vitamin B 12 is also necessary in maintaining healthy brain cells and in the normal production of red blood cells. Riboflavin is also a component of DNA which is the cells’ genetic material. Vitamin B 12 in the stomach combines with a substance called intrinsic factor so that it can be absorbed into the blood stream.
Vitamin B 12 boosts mental alertness because it facilitates normal formation of body cells most especially the nerve cells. Vitamin B 12 is also an important component of the myelin sheath. Myelin sheath is necessary for the proper functioning of the nerves. Myelin sheath functions by increasing the speed of the movement of the impulse. With the presence of myelin sheath, the impulse hops from one sheath to another instead of just moving continuously along the nerve fiber. This is the reason why vitamin B 12 is commonly employed for boosting mental alertness and concentration. In fact, it is also commonly employed for treatment of memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease.
Vitamin B 12 can also help lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases by decreasing the concentration of homocysteine in the blood stream. Studies show that high levels of homocysteine can greatly lead to atherosclerosis which is the narrowing of arterial walls. It can also increase the tendency of abnormal blood clotting thus increasing the risk of clotting – related disorders. These factors can precipitate heart attacks and cerebrovascular accidents or commonly known as stroke.
Another function of vitamin B 12 is its involvement with energy metabolism in every cell of the body. Therefore, vitamin B 12 is not only good for enhancing mental alertness but also increasing energy levels. It is also required by the body so that other nutrients from the diet can be absorbed and readily utilized by the cells.
Vitamin B 12 is relatively safe. It usually comes in combination with other B vitamins in the form of tablets, capsules, or liquid which can be bought over –the – counter.
Can Vitamin B12 Boost Mental Alertness, Improve Stress Tolerance And Circulation?
June 28, 2011 10:58 AM
Can Vitamin B12 Boost Mental Alertness?
Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient often added to energy boosters. It plays a central role in DNA synthesis in red blood cells, and deficiency leads to poor circulation of compounds necessary for brain health. It has been observed that the absence of this vitamin in the human diet for prolonged periods of time causes memory impairment, such as brain fog, or permanent damage to nervous tissue.
Also known as cobalamin, vitamin B12 is the only vitamin that contains the mineral cobalt, a chemical element that is considered rare at the cellular level, albeit essential in trace amounts. It was first linked to pernicious anemia, a condition that has been linked to cognitive impairment and neuropathic pain. In recent years, it has been suggested that this vitamin makes a healthy substitute for caffeine.
Prevents Brain Atrophy
Supplementation of vitamin B12 has been linked to the prevention and treatment of many known mental infirmities, such as depression, anxiety, and even Alzheimer’s disease. There is scientific consensus that cobalamin and other compounds that exhibit vitamin B12 activity inside the human body protect nerve cells from damage and modulate functions of the nervous system.
Several studies have noted that neuronal activities are impaired in the absence of cobalamin molecules in the body. On the other hand, their continued availability prevents brain atrophy. Vitamin B12 is necessitated in the production of myelin, which insulates nerve cells. When the myelin sheaths of neurons become fragile, the proper functioning of the nervous system is compromised.
Improves Stress Tolerance
Poor mental function often referred to as brain fog has been associated with numerous medical conditions, including sleep disorders, muscle weakness, and the like. Not surprisingly, these health problems result from physical exhaustion amid compromised nutritional well-being since all organic processes that take place in the human body must receive proper nourishment and adequate rest time.
In the event of chronic stress, regular intake of vitamin B12 provides a stronger resistance to physical fatigue. While cobalamin compounds are not a cure all for physical exhaustion and bad nutrition, they have shown great promise in improving stress tolerance. People subjected to physically demanding tasks or seemingly unending routines are certain to benefit from vitamin B12 supplements.
Promotes Healthy Circulation
Good nutrition is a component of a healthy lifestyle. Individuals who lead very active lives for long periods of time are able to do so because they get the right combinations of nutrients. Most athletes are conscious of their calorie intake and make sure they get the right amounts of nutrients in the form of supplements. In particular, vitamin B12 is an indispensable part of vitamin supplementation.
One of the few vitamins that are crucial to the upkeep of circulatory system is vitamin B12. Cobalamin is directly involved in DNA synthesis required for proper formation of red blood cells, and their presence promotes the normal functioning of red blood cells. The scientific community is convinced that this vitamin is responsible for healthy circulation, which contributes to mental clarity.
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?
NADH 10 mg And 20 mg Enhanced with Bioenergy RIBOSE
December 10, 2009 04:23 PM
NADH 10 mg And 20 mg Enhanced with Bioenergy RIBOSE™
NADH is the biologically-active form of vitamin B-3 (niacin), and is involved in a wide range of functions throughout the body. An easier way to understand it, is to think of NADH as a biological spark plug that makes it possible for us to become and remain energetic, active, and functioning at our best. Remove the “spark” and some of the most basic human functions will inevitably suffer. This is not speculation. It is the result of decades of scientific investigation that has examined the link between nutrition and chronic conditions; notably those related to cellular life cycles and apoptosis, excessive fatigue, enzyme decline, free radical expansion, cognitive disparity, intracellular balance, normalized aging, and many more important aspects of human health.*
Based on a wealth of ongoing studies, we have a great understanding of the benefits of NADH. Not only is it an effective source of cellular energy, it is also one the body’s versatile electron donors—the molecule most frequently degraded during oxidation. Because of these characteristics NADH is, however, also very unstable with regard to light and oxygen, which leads to a very rapid loss of overall effectiveness. Additionally, poor lifestyle choices, such as the use of tobacco, excessive consumption of alcohol, drugs, and prescription medications, sleep deprivation, genetically-engineered foods, and a host of others can all inhibit the activity of NADH within the body. Hope is not lost, however.
NOW® NADH contains a patented form of NADH from Panmol® - the first natural stabilized, stomach acidresistant form of this unique vitamin B3 supplement. Panmol® uses a patented process to naturally preserve its effectiveness. The end result is a highly stable, and bioavailable NADH which can easily withstand the harsh, acidic environment of the stomach and digestive tract; a breakthrough in the battle against many of todays’ most chronic conditions. NOW® NADH is available in both 10 and 20 mg potencies. Both varieties have been further enhanced with 200 mg of Bioenergy RIBOSE™ to support its cellular energy support properties.*
Who Stands to Benefit from NADH
With a proper supply of amino acids and/or B3 vitamins (niacin) the human body is, in fact, capable of producing a limited reserve of NADH. Under chronic strain however, the body’s need for NADH increases. As we age, the body’s ability to manufacture NADH becomes increasingly limited. With this in mind, the following groups stand to benefit the most from incorporating NOW® NADH into their supplement regimen.
• Those who work in stressful, cognitively-demanding professions
October 26, 2009 12:34 PM
Guarana is a climbing plant that is part of the maple family, Sapindaceae. Native to the Amazon basin, this plant can especially be found in Brazil. Guarana has large leaves and clusters of flowers and is best known for its fruit. The fruit of this plant is about the size of a coffee berry. As a dietary supplement, guarana is an effective energy booster, containing about twice the caffeine found in coffee beans. Similar to other plants producing caffeine, the high concentration of caffeine is a defensive toxin that repels pathogens from the berry and its seeds. The fruit of the guarana plant ranges in color from brown to red and contains black seeds that are partially covered by white arils. The contrast in color when the fruit has been opened is similar to that of eyeballs.
Guarana plays a key role in Tupi and Guarani Brazilian culture. A myth of one of the tribe’s claims that guarana’s domestication began with a diet killing a beloved village child. To console the villagers, a god plucked the left eye from the child and planted it in the forest, which resulted in the wild variety of guarana. Then, the other eye of the child was plucked by the god and planted in the village, giving rise to the domesticated guarana. The guaranais would make tea by shelling and washing the seeds and pounding them into a fine powder. Then, this powder was kneaded into a dough and shaped into cylinders. This product could then be grated and immersed into hot water along with sugar. In the seventeenth century, guarana was introduced into western cavitations and commercialized by 1958.
Guarana was used by some Native American tribes as an energy source when traveling for long periods of time and distances. A South American legend explains the use of guarana by the Incas, hundreds of years before the Europeans colonized. Guarana was an extremely important part of the social life of the Amazon Indians, as they used this herb for energy, as an aphrodisiac, and to treat conditions such as malaria and dysentery. Some Japanese soldiers chewed guarana during World War II to increase stamina and alertness.
This herb is most known for its caffeine content. It is a stimulant on the nervous system. One of the richest sources of caffeine, guarana contains between three and five percent by dry weight. Because of this, it should be used with caution, as caffeine can be harmful and addictive. Guarana causes stimulation to the heart and increased blood flow.
Guarana is often used to lose weight, as the caffeine content is thought to work as an appetite suppressant. This herb may be found in combination with other herbs in weight-loss formulas. It should again be noted that this herb should be used with caution.
The seeds of the guarana plant are used to provide anorectic, astringent, febrifuge, narcotic, nervine, nutritive, and stimulant properties. Primarily, guarana is extremely beneficial in dealing with lack of alertness, lack of energy, lack of stamina, and weight conditions. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by this herb, please feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store with questions.
September 09, 2009 11:08 AM
Kelp is a main source of natural iodine. It is used extensively by the Japanese. The Polynesians also use kelp regularly in their diet. An English physician by the name of Dr. Bernard Russell used burned, dried kelp in 1750 to treat his patients who were suffering from goiter. In 1862, it was used by Dr. C. Dupare with success to treat obesity.
Kelp has traditionally been used for its rich abundance of iodine to treat thyroid disorders, whether they are under-active or overactive. This herb is a great promoter of glandular health. It also regulates metabolism. Kelp has a reputation for increasing the rate at which calories are burned. The herb is used to rid the body of toxins and radioactive material by preventing their absorption. Kelp promotes the growth of healthy tissue, skin, hair, and nails. Additionally, it is able to improve the cardiovascular system, nervous system, and mental alertness. It also alleviates kidney, bladder, prostate, and uterine difficulties.
The ocean water possesses one of the richest sources of the vital life-sustaining mineral elements that are known to science. Kelp extracts and assimilates the mineral elements from the ocean water and converts them into a usable form for humans. The kelp plant is thought to provide nourishment, enhance the immune system, aid in hormone balance, and restore strength. The herb has been proven to contain antibiotic properties. It is also thoughT that the brominated phenalic compounds that are found in kelp are responsible for killing both gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria. Kelp possesses natural iodine to nourish the thyroid. The Japanese eat kelp regularly and have an extremely low rate of thyroid disease. Through the regulation of metabolism, kelp helps to increase energy. It may also help reduce fat in the body. Kelp is full of nutrients that nourish the entire body. Kelp can also help to prevent the absorption of some radioactive elements known to cause tumors, cancer, and leukemia in adults and children.
Kelp is a great herb for the body, as it contains nearly thirty minerals. The entire plant of the kelp herb is used to provide alterative, antacid, antibiotic, demulcent, diuretic, hypotensive, mucilant, nutritive, and hypotensive properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are barium, bismuth, boron, calcium, chlorine, chromium, cobalt, copper, gallium, iodine, iron, lithium, magnesium, manganese, nickel, phosphorus, potassium, silicon, silver, sodium, strontium, sulfur, tin, titanium, vanadium, vitamins A, B-complex, C, E, G, S, and K, zinc, and zirconium. Primarily, kelp is extremely beneficial in treating adrenal gland problems, weak arteries, colitis, unhealthy complexion, eczema, and lack of energy, fatigue, goiter, infection, slow metabolism, weak nails, obesity, pituitary problems, and pregnancy problems, effects of radiation, unhealthy skin, and thyroid problems.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with acne, anemia, arthritis, asthma, high blood pressure, cancer, diabetes, gallbladder problems, gas, gastric disorders, glandular problems, headaches, heart problems, hypothyroidism, indigestion, kidney problems, morning sickness, nervous disorders, pancreatic problems, prostate problems, tumors, and lack of vitality. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by the kelp, please feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store.
August 04, 2009 12:50 PM
The schizandra plant belongs to the family of the Magnoliaceae family. The herb is a creeping woody vine that is native to both China and Japan. The fruit of the schizandra plant has a sweet, salty, bitter, hot, and sour taste. This explains the Chinese name for it, wu wei zi, which means five taste fruit. The seeds of the schizandra plant are both bitter and pungent. Along with the phytochemicals, schizandra is also rich in minerals, vitamins, and essential oils. Schizandra fruit can be found growing wildly in northern China. There, it has been used as a natural medicine for thousands of years. It is often prescribed by physicians in that region. The herb was listed in a book on pharmacy written in the sixteen century by Li Schizheng. Schizandra is used to increase energy; replenish and nourish the viscera, which are the internal abdominal organs; improve vision; boost muscular activity; and soothe both coughs and digestive upsets. In short, schizandra is an adaptogenic, Asian herb that is gaining popularity throughout the world.
This herb helps the body to heal itself. It can help increase energy in the cells of the brain, muscles, liver, kidney, glands, nerves, and the entire body. Schizandra good for adrenals and stimulates the immune system and protects against free-radical damage, radiation, and the effects of sugar, as well as boosting stamina, normalizing blood sugar and blood pressure, and protecting against infections. This herb has a tonic action on the immune system, as well as other body system. For this reason, it can be taken regularly. Schizandra is able to help protect the body from both viral and bacterial infections.
Scientific research has determined that schizandra is antibacterial, stimulant, and protects the liver against toxins. Problems with the liver can lead to immune disorders because of the buildup of toxins. This herb has also been found to help allergies, depression, and fatigue in mice. The herb has been found to protect against the effects of alcohol in laboratory mice. Additional studies have determined that this herb has a mild regenerative effect on the liver. The herb has been used effectively in China to treat infectious hepatitis. Schizandra seems to have a liver-protective effect that is similar to that of milk thistle extracts.
In short, the berries of the schizandra plant are used to provide alterative, antibacterial, astringent, and sedative properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, silicon, sodium, and vitamin C. Primarily, schizandra is extremely beneficial in treating diabetes, lack of energy, fatigue, impotence, lack of mental alertness, nervous disorders, and stress. Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with aging, anxiety, arteriosclerosis, asthma, high blood pressure, coughs, diarrhea, edema, gastritis, heart palpitations, hepatitis, indigestion, infections, insomnia, kidney disorders, lung disorders, motion sickness, effects of radiation, uterine problems, and poor vision.
In order to obtain the best results when supplementing with this, or any herb, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by schizandra, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
Schizandra is available at your local or internet health food store in capsule or tablet forms. Always look for name brands of schizandra to ensure that you purchase a product that is high quality and pure.
December 20, 2008 11:16 AM
If starting your day with a cup or coffee or two, having another while you’re on the road, another after arriving at work, and another to get through the afternoon slump, and perhaps a can of pop or a candy bar after work followed by an ice tea and ice cream after dinner, you may have a serious caffeine addiction.
Many people often feel irritable as the next day’s events are closing in on them at bed time and are restless about the next day’s problems race through their mind. It’s been like this for years for many of us, with an estimated 80 percent of adult Americans being regular coffee drinkers and each adult coffee drinker averaging 3.3 cups of coffee per day, without taking into account other sources of caffeine.
Caffeine can be found in tea, chocolate, soft drinks, and medicines, but is most often consumed in coffee. Coffee is somewhat popular because of the stimulating effect of its caffeine constituent, but it can contribute to irritability, depression, diarrhea, insomnia, and other disorders. The number one legal mind-altering drug in the world, caffeine is odorless, slightly bitter and can be found in coffee, tea, kola nuts, ilex plants, mate, and cocoa. You may know and accept that you have a caffeine habit, but many people are convinced that they need a pick-me-up from time to time in order to get through the day. What is important is that caffeine is not actually giving you the burst of energy, but instead negative moods and emotions.
The coffee tree, which is a small evergreen, has smooth leaves and clusters of fragrant white flowers that mature into red fruits that are about half of an inch long. The fruit contains two seeds usually, which become raw coffee beans when dried. After roasting, coffee contains more than 700 volatile substances including acids, alcohols, and even residues of cancer-causing pesticides. In all fairness, caffeine does act as a mild stimulant to the nervous system when used in moderation, which results in a feeling of well-being and alertness. It increases the heart rate, urination, and stimulates the secretion of stomach acid.
Although a little caffeine may wake us up and give us a sense of energy, too much caffeine actually hurts our moods and overall well being. Two cups of caffeine per day seems to have a positive effect, but research shows that even one cup a day is enough to cause dependence. Caffeine may temporarily improve your mood and give a sense of vitality, it wears off and your mood and energy levels crash to levels even lower than before. Additionally, our bodies adjust, causing us to need more caffeine to give us the same desired effect. Caffeine does not provide any energy or increase our alertness. Instead, it stimulates our bodies.
Excessive intake of coffee can lead to restlessness, insomnia, and heart irregularities. Those people who drink a lot of coffee often complain of jittery nerves, chronic anxiety, frequent bouts of diarrhea or loose stools, and restless nights. Coffee can also cause stomach and intestinal problems, as well as coronary diseases. An occasional cup of coffee is one thing, but depending on a cup to keep you awake is something entirely different.
Harsh symptoms of withdrawal such as headache, fatigue, and depression are common among regular caffeine users. Caffeine also causes the body to expel vital nutrients like b vitamins from the body that we need to function. If you consume more than two cups of coffee each day then a multi-vitamin should be taken once daily to help replenish was is lost by the diuretic effects of caffeine in the body.
Vitamin B Complex
November 24, 2008 04:45 PM
The connection between B vitamin complex and stress is well known; although why a good B vitamin complex can reduce stress is less well known. Before discussing the reason why a Vitamin B formula can reduce stress, we shall first have a look at stress and what causes it. The term means different things to different people, and a stressful situation to one person might not be such to another.
The biochemistry of stress is fairly complex, although involves the production and release of hormones into your bloodstream. When an event occurs that causes stress, the hypothalamus portion of your brain becomes involved. It releases cotocotropin releasing factor (CRF), a hormone that protects you from stress by raising your spirits. CRF sends signals to the pituitary gland causing the release of ACHT (Adrenocorticotropic hormone corticotropin) that causes cortisol to be released into the bloodstream by the adrenal glands. Cortisol speeds up the metabolism.
Coincidentally, the cells of the brain stem and spinal cord send a message that stimulates the adrenal glands to secrete epinephrine that increases the heart rate, breathing and alertness, ready for fight or flight. Both of these mechanisms then lead back to the pituitary gland and your new stress level can repeat the process or stop it, should your stress be reduced. If this cycle continues over an extended period of time it can have serious repercussions on your mental and physical health.
The B vitamins can help to regulate this biochemical function, and in doing so can reduce stress, and with it the associated anxiety and depression. In fact many of the symptoms of vitamin B deficiency are those that are also associated with stress: anxiety, nervousness, depression irritability and so on. There is no one specific form of Vitamin B that helps with stress, and there are eight in total. However, in saying that, the three members of the B vitamin complex that have most effect on stress are vitamins B 3, 6 and 12.
Every one of the B vitamins is involved in cell metabolism. Because they are soluble in water, they are quickly leached from the body so have to be replaced on a regular basis. The various B vitamins are needed by your body for specific purposes, such as Vitamin B1 (thiamin) is essential for the correct function of your nerves, brain and muscles. Although others have their own particular areas of responsibility, they are generally lumped together, not only because they are all soluble in water, but also because they each have a profound effect on the metabolism of your body.
Those mostly connected with the nervous system are Vitamins B3, B6 and B12. Vitamin B3 (Niacin) helps to maintain the proper health of your digestive system, skin and nerves, and B12 (cobalamin) is also needed for a healthy nervous system. Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) along with vitamin B12 are the two principal members of the B complex that have an effect on stress, and a deficiency of these can make you more prone to this frequently debilitating condition. In fact many people that are suffering from a general Vitamin B deficiency have various forms of mental problems.
Because Vitamin B12 is available only from animal sources, deficiencies are common in vegetarians, and even more common in vegans who are advised to take a Vitamin B12 supplement. However, in general you are best to take a Vitamin B complex as opposed to a supplement of any specific member of the B family. This is because a surplus of any one could lead to a depletion of others.
It is thought that much of today's stress is caused by an inadequate diet, and a diet deficient in various forms of Vitamin B is believed to render the subject particularly prone to stress and anxiety. People that have been suffering undue levels of stress over a protracted period of time can be helped by a regular treatment of B vitamins. In taking such supplements, however, you should also be aware of the various possible effects on your body that the causes of your stress can have. These are frequently neither understood nor recognized when they occur.
For example, if you are under stress due to a poor diet, or conversely, are eating a poor diet due to your high stress levels, you might be building up fatty deposits in your liver. Because of this your general health could be at serious risk in addition to your mental health. It is important, therefore, that you don't just restrict yourself to a B vitamin complex, but also take a supplement containing inositol and choline bitartrate.
These can reduce the fatty deposit that a poor diet can cause to build up in your liver with consequent risk to life. Such deposits affect the ability of your liver to destroy the environmental toxins to which become exposed as part of your daily life, and which can be directly related to your ability to counter high stress levels.
In general, however, if you are prone to stress and get nervous and worried about the slightest thing that doesn't go to plan, a B vitamin complex can help: vitamin B can reduce stress, although if your stress is sever you would be better advised consulting a physician than a health store.
Stress is a serious condition, and not one that should be treated lightly. It is possible to treat some stress conditions by using a good B vitamin complex, although should the stress be serious then you should consult your physician. Frequently the stress is not diet related, but due to personal circumstances that cannot be cured by any form of supplement.
However, there are few doubts that a course of Vitamin B supplements can help to overcome many of the metabolic causes of stress, and make up for any deficiency in these vitamins that leave your body almost as quickly as they enter it. Vitamin B can reduce stress, but only if your stress is due to a deficiency: and this is more common that most people are aware.
October 31, 2008 04:28 PM
Contrary to popular belief, Attention deficit and hyper activity (ADHD) doesn’t always go away when children grow up. Many of the children affected by this disorder as children carry it on into adult hood. This complicated disease can cause all sorts of problems mostly lost of work.
One survey studying over seven thousand workers between the ages of eighteen and forty four discovered that three and one half percent of these workers studied had ADHD. The ability to concentrate cost these individuals over twenty days of work. Both women and men experience mood, anxiety and most likely abuse drugs and alcohol. Fortunately there is an alternative, changing ones diet can help.
Dietary changes can help reduce the occurrence of ADHD in both children and adults. Have you ever noticed when you eat a meal high in carbohydrates you become sleepy where a meal higher in protein then carbohydrates does not make you sleepy but increase your mental acuity?
A high protein meal can reduce the amount of tryptophan that crosses the blood brain barrier in turn causes more phenylalanine and tyrosine to enter the brain. These two amino acids boost mental alertness. They are converted into neurotransmitters like norepinephrine, epinephrine, and dopamine which are adrenaline like neurotransmitters. High carbohydrate meals cause an insulin spike in the blood which causes the body to absorb protein into the muscles and frees up tryptophan.
Tryptophan when not in competition with other amino acids will cross the blood brain barrier which then is converted to serotonin a sleep neurotransmitter. To help over come this, one should eat a meal high in protein at breakfast and moderate protein / carbohydrate meal at lunch, leaving the last big meal of the day rich in carbohydrates.
Some older individuals may notice that they have a hard time sleeping at night; this may largely be due to a high protein meal later in the evening which stimulates the brain. A over stimulated brain will hinder ones sleep and could cause insomnia.
Other things that can help with ADHD are omega-3 fish oil that is high in DHA, phosphatidyl serine, and DMEA. The later two convert to neurotransmitters that can help support healthy mental function and alertness.
June 14, 2008 03:22 PM
DMAE (dimethylaminoethanol) enhances mental function through the improvement of concentration, mental clarity and mental alertness. It is also a mild brain stimulant because it increases and sustains the energy levels in the brain. It also improves the level of restful nighttime sleep because the sleep is deeper and less time is needed to reach a rejuvenated state. DMAE helps to boost mental function through an increase in the levels of acetylcholine and choline. These are the brain’s chemical messengers.
Because of DMAE’s ability to stimulate mental cognitive function, it also has been shown to improve learning, increase intelligence and elevate mood.
* Accelerates mental processes * Decreases irritability and overactivity * Does not cause drowsiness * Improves concentration * Improves IQ * Increases attention * Relieves mild depression * Aids in long-term treatment of schizophrenia
It is believed that DMAE may also increase physical energy. Athletes and other active individuals are using DMAE more and more because of its ability to enhance these brain functions. The connection between the mind and muscles is a means to focus on form and reduce the risk of injury. So, when the mind is enhanced, it communicates better with the muscles to improve and refine function.
Due to DMAE’s mild stimulating effect on the brain, athletes report that it is a good alternative for a quick lift instead of coffee. They also believe the stimulating effects last longer than they do with caffeine. DMAE used as a mild stimulant is also safer and healthier than caffeine.
How It Works:
DMAE, once consumed, is transported to the liver where it is converted into choline through the process of metabolism. A small amount is then converted into acetylcholine, which is a brain transmitter. Through this process, DMAE increases the levels of these brain transmitters (neurotransmitters). This causes a boost in mental cognitive function and memory.
Acetylcholine is also responsible for helping to conduct nerve impulses in the brain. Choline is also converted in the brain into phosphatidylcholine. This chemical rebuilds and protects existing cell membranes inside the brain. DMAE has the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier faster than choline. Through this quicker travel, DMAE enhances cell protection and repair and helps our brains function better and create enhanced, positive behavioral changes in most people.
Other DMAE Uses:
DMAE is being studied for use in aiding a movement disorder in Parkinson’s patients. This disorder, called dyskenesis is caused by L-Dopa, which is administered to treat the effects of the disease. DMAE seems to counteract dyskenesis effectively and safely without interfering with the benefits of the therapy. DMAE is proving to reduce the effects of other disorders that involve involuntary movements. Two of these disorders being treated are blepharospasm (eyelid twitching) and benign essential tremors.
Age spot sufferers may find hope for treatment of their condition as well. DMAE has been found to inhibit the formation of pigment caused by aging (lipofuscin) and liver spots (lentigo). It may actually flush lipofuscin from the body, causing the skin spots to disappear over a few month’s time.
DMAE is being studied for its possible ability in helping to reduce cognitive impairments related to age. Aside from increased mental cognitive function, research has shown that DMAE may also be useful in treating the following conditions.
* Alzheimer’s disease * ADD (attention deficit disorder) * Hyperactivity
The use of DMAE as a regular dietary supplement is increasing steadily. All of its benefits in aiding mental cognitive function and brain stimulation are an attractive quality for everyone. Additional research showing that DMAE is useful in treating debilitating conditions such as Parkinson’s gives us new hope. As research continues and more new uses for DMAE are discovered, its popularity will continue to grow as well.
June 13, 2008 12:18 PM
DL-Phenylalanine has been found to work in conjunction with the body’s natural ability to relieve pain. It helps to lengthen the lifespan of the chemicals in the brain that ease pain. It is especially effective in relieving pain from arthritis and aching muscles.
Some chronic pain can be treated with DL-phenylalanine through the stimulation of nerve pathways in the brain that control pain. Enhanced pain relief has been discovered when D-phenylalanine is used in conjunction with prescribed pain killers. This manufactured form of phenylalanine is used to block an enzyme in the nervous system that increases pain signals. The interruption of pain signals allows the healing mechanisms of the body to begin working faster.
DL-Phenylalanine is a chemical combination of half L-phenylalanine and half D-phenylalanine. L-Phenylalanine is the natural form of phenylalanine found in proteins all over the body. It is found in foods like beef, poultry, pork, fish, eggs, milk, yogurt, cheese, nuts, seeds and certain soy products. D-Phenylalanine is a synthesized form of the chemical, which means it is produced in a laboratory.
Phenylalanine as an Amino Acid:
Amino acids perform various major functions in the body. They assist in fulfilling the body’s basic needs from minerals and vitamins. They can act as neurotransmitters, which carry signals to and from the brain. They also aid in other parts of the body for communication between nerve cells.
Phenylalanine is one of the essential amino acids found in protein. This means it is required for human health, but cannot be manufactured by the human body. Therefore it has to be supplied through food consumption. It can also be found and taken in the form of powder, capsule, tablet or a topical cream. In the body, phenylalanine is converted into tyrosine, which is another amino acid needed to make protein. It is also needed to make certain brain chemicals and thyroid hormones. Phenylalanine deficiency signs include:
A rare disorder called phenylketonuria (PKU) happens in humans who are missing the enzyme required to metabolize phenylalanine. Symptoms of this disorder tend to appear between the ages of 3-6 months. These include:
If PKU is not treated within the first three weeks of life, it can cause severe and irreversible mental retardation. Women who are pregnant or nursing should avoid taking phenylalanine as a supplement in any form. DL-Phenylalanine may cause hyperactivity, jitteriness and anxiety in children.
Phenylalanine is the major ingredient in the artificial sweetener known as aspartame. Products containing this sweetener are required by law to carry warnings on their labels for phenylketonurics. People who have PKU can be severely injured by ingesting the sweetener. Products containing this artificial sweetener include diet sodas, sugarless gums and some sugar substitutes. Some sugar-free versions of Jello, puddings, ice creams, candies and various other items also contain aspartame.
Other Phenylalanine Uses:
Some individuals have reported that taking DL-phenylalanine has improved their mood and aided in treating depression. This is the result of a higher rate of production of the brain chemicals dopamine and norepinephrine. These chemicals, when out of balance, cause depression, stress and frustration. Elevation of the levels of these chemicals have an anti-depressant effect in the body.
One study suggests that D-phenylalanine has been shown to improve some symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease. These include: depression, rigidity, walking problems and speech problems.
The combination of L-phenylalanine and UVA radiation may be used to treat the symptoms of vitiligo. This condition involves de-pigmentation (white patches) of skin. The use of L-phenylalanine may help to re-pigment these patches, but further study is necessary.
DL-Phenylalanine has many uses and benefits if taken correctly. As with any new dietary supplement, consult your physician before beginning a new routine.
May 30, 2008 02:43 PM
You're ready to leave the house, you're already running late and you can't remember where you put the keys. You try retracing your steps, check all of your coat pockets and start to panic. You can't remember where you put them or where you last saw them. Does this sound familiar? Do you have trouble focusing clearly? Our thinking process slows as we age. It is as if a cloud lingers over our brains, making it impossible to think clearly.
Improve Your Mind with Bacopa Extract
There is help for people who can't learn or think as fast as they once could. An all-natural product, bacopa extract, has been used for thousands of years as a "brain tonic" in India. It has been used to enhance memory, learning and concentration. This aquatic plant has strong antioxidant powers. It helps people retain new information by stimulating the brain's neurotransmitters.
Bacopa extract can be used for:
* Relieving anxiety
It also has antispasmodic and anti-allergic properties.
Clinical Study Proves Benefits of Bacopa Extract
A study reported in the August 2002 issue of Neuropsychopharmocolgy, "Chronic Effects of Brahmi (Bacopa) on Human Memory," stated positive results. The study found that "Brahmi decreased the rate of forgetting of newly acquired information."
This means you can learn faster and think more clearly when taking a bacopa extract. Consider, for example, a situation in which you are meeting people for the first time and being introduced to them by name. Will you be able to remember any of their names when you see them across the room in 10 minutes? How about if you run into them a few weeks later?
What if you couldn't remember their name, or worse, called them by the wrong name? That doesn't send a very good first impression. Or maybe you have been on the receiving end of this and have been repeatedly called the wrong name by someone. You know how irritating it can be. Bacopa extract can help in this type of situation. Taken daily over an extended period of time, you will see a difference in the amount of information you can retain. You won't have to struggle so much to recall where you left your keys or the name of the person you just met.
Studies have shown that bacopa extract is effective for mental acuity. It helps by smoothing neurotransmitters and relaxing the brain. It has no known side effects and is deemed safe for children, as well.
Pair Bacopa Extract with a Healthy Lifestyle for Best Results
As with any natural supplement, bacopa will not improve your mental health unless it is accompanies by healthy lifestyle choices. Make sure you get the proper rest your body needs, daily exercise and good nutrition. Furthermore, it is important to exercise your brain. Find ways to challenge your mental alertness on a daily basis. Combine this with a daily dose of bacopa extract and you will see improvement in the clarity of your thinking.
May 19, 2008 03:37 PM
Codonopsis, "the poor man's ginseng," is the dried or fresh root cultivated from the plant Codonopsis pilosula. It is a perennial native to Asia and is found most abundantly in parts of China. It thrives in moist soil and at the edges of thick, wooded areas and grows to approximately five feet tall.
It is now cultivated in many other areas of the world including the United States. Its bell-shaped greenish-purple flowers have helped it gain its two other names in the English language: bastard ginseng and bonnet bellflower.
Codonopsis is best known in Chinese herbalism where it is referred to as tang shen. It has been used there for more than 2,000 years and is one of the most widely used herbs in Chinese alternative medicine.
In Chinese health, the yin and yang aspects of nature must remain balanced in order to maintain overall health of mind and body. Here are the properties of each.
* Yin: cold, dark, moisture, passivity * Yang: heat, light, dryness, activity
When the body suffers from inner disharmony, the elements and energies must be rebalanced. Herbs and treatments are taken to restore harmonious balance, and therefore bring yin and yang back to equal counterparts of each other.
Codonopsis has a sweet taste and a neutral nature. According to traditional Chinese medicine, it is taken as a tonic to nourish and strengthen the blood and to balance metabolic function. It also helps to keep the lungs and spleen healthy.
Codonopsis is an adaptogen. This means that it helps to regulate the body and enhance its ability to tolerate stress. It helps to increase the overall performance of the body to aid it in combating disease and maintaining a healthy immune system.
This herb stimulates the body's nervous system. It also increases resistance to colds, flu and other infections. It has been shown that Codonopsis increases the number of red blood cells and hemoglobin content.
Codonopsis benefits the entire body by:
* Increasing stamina * Building strength * Increasing mental alertness * Rejuvenating the system * Strengthening the immune system * Speeding recovery from illness * Stimulating the appetite * Reducing stress * Improving digestive functions
Taken in the form of a tonic, Codonopsis is a nourishing herb. It is used to promote digestion, absorption and metabolism. It is also said to strengthen and tone the stomach and spleen.
It has been found to reduce blood pressure, as well, by inhibiting adrenal cortex activity and dilating peripheral blood vessels. For the lungs, it helps to treat shortness of breath and chronic coughing.
Codonopsis can also be taken to address specific conditions beyond whole body health. Some of these are anemia, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, asthma, hemorrhoids, headaches, tension and prolapsed uterus. Nursing mothers can take Codonopsis in order to increase their supply of breast milk.
Codonopsis has even been discovered to aid in fighting cancer when used in conjunction with other conventional medical therapy. It has been found to have properties that assist in helping to protect patients from the harmful side effects of radiation therapy. This seems to happen without diminishing the effectiveness of the therapy.
Overall, Codonopsis has many uses and benefits to the body. It is an immune system booster and all around promoter of bodily health. It works to stabilize and strengthen many different areas of the body together, as well as separately.
Codonopsis seems to be one of the best herbs of its kind for use in maintaining a healthy and balanced body. As more studies are performed on this beneficial herb, new discoveries will be made as to its other healing properties and benefits to the human body.
Power Your Day With Natural Energizer's
December 20, 2007 01:48 PM
If you tend to feel a bit tired now and again, there are plenty of natural energizers that you can use to power your day and provide you with that much needed energy to enable you to get going and keep going.
If you are suffering from chronic fatigue then you need something to get you going, and many people suffering from conditions such as fibromyalgia that can cause severe fatigue and very poor sleeping patters, need an energy booster each morning. It might not help the pain, but it will help their bodies to get moving and provide the energy required for everyday living.
So what substances are available to help you energize yourself for what the day is to bring you? The Chinese use cordyceps, which is type of mushroom that truly could be describes as ‘magic’. It grows on the caterpillars of a type of moth and can improve stamina and endurance, and also regulate sleeping patterns. It is useful for the prevention of depression, and improves the function of your lungs and also of the adrenal function. A low adrenal function can lead to low blood sugar and loss of energy.
Energy is obtained from the cellular mitochondria that metabolize blood glucose into energy. Part of this metabolic process requires the presence of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Coryceps is known to increase the ATP levels in human cells and so enable the mitochondria to generate more energy. It is used in China by those recovering from surgery or childbirth, and is known to replace the energy lost after heavy exertion.
Its added benefits to those suffering from sexual dysfunction are well known, and it appears to promote stronger blood flow to the extremities of the body. In Chinese medicine it replenishes yin and yang jing and is also a strong antioxidant. It is used extensively by athletes and people who expend a lot of energy while working and exercising.
A magnesium deficiency is rare in the western diet, but it can cause symptoms including fatigue, weakness, irritability, muscle cramps, insomnia stress and appetite loss. Your cardiovascular system is dependent on magnesium for its functioning, and it contributes significant to the strength of the heart muscle contraction and hence the blood flow.
It is also an important component of bone, and during times of stress its stores can be significantly depleted. It is when stressed, then, that most people might benefit from a supplement, and a general energy boosting supplement would also benefit from a small amount of magnesium to replace what is lost through stress. Many people needing a tonic to give them a start to the day might also be under stress for one reason or another, and a magnesium supplement will do them no harm.
D-ribose is found in all living cells. It is an essential building block of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) and RNA (ribonucleic acid). DNA, of course, is essential to life while RNA is used in DNA replication. Ribose is responsible for providing energy to every cell in your body, and without it you would not exist. Athletes in particular believe that a ribose supplement increases stamina and endurance, and it is used to help speed up recovery of the heart after surgery and after heart attacks.
Ribose seems an excellent candidate to be included in any energizing tonic due both to its ubiquitous presence throughout the body and also because it is a sugar – a monosaccharide in fact, and hence simple and easily absorbed by the body.
Yohimbe is obtained from the bark of a predominantly West African tree, and when ingested it releases an indole alkaloid called yohimbine into the bloodstream.
Yohimbine is a vasodilator, which means that it widens the blood vessels allowing a greater flow of blood to the extremities. This is one reason why it is also prized by those suffering from erectile dysfunction although it also claimed to be an aphrodisiac. However, as an energizer it is likely the increased blood flow that provides a greater supply of oxygen to the muscles that is the most important property. There are also several more alkaloids contained in yohimbe bark that likely have an effect on its energy enhancing effects on the body.
Guarana is extracted from the seeds of the guarana shrub, native to South America, and Brazil in particular. The Amazonian natives use it in their food and drinks to improve their alertness and energy and its main benefits likely come from its caffeine content. This is about twice that of coffee beans, and it should therefore be used with caution.
An excess of caffeine can cause restlessness, tension and nervousness due both to the caffeine content (xanthines), and that of other alkaloids such as theophylline and theobromine. They not only enhance your alertness and energy levels but suppress appetite and increase your metabolic rate that results in an increased need for energy providing foods such as sugars. However, guarana is used by those needing a boost and makes a good energizer for those that find it difficult to keep both physically and mentally active throughout the day.
Bee products provide sugars in a natural form and are excellent and natural energizers for your whole body. Whether you use royal jelly, honey or any other of the bee products available as supplements, they will not only increase your energy levels but also provide you with many other health benefits.
From treating athlete’s foot to healing wounds and alleviating stomach ulcers, honey has many medicinal uses. It is an antioxidant and antiseptic, and can heal you of many conditions from head to toe, inside and out. Bee products are a must in any restorative or energizing tonic and are completely safe with no known side effects.
Each of the above six substances has its place as a natural energizer, and each could help to power your whole day. Put them together and you have an ultra-powerful mix of natural products that should enable you to meet any physical demands put on you. You are unlikely to come across such a combination of effective substances of course, but should make your choice of tonic from any or some of the above, and you can even use them in combination since they do not appear to interact with each other.
Exotic Herbs From The Amazon Basin
June 22, 2007 05:07 PM
Although many traditional herbal medicines have yet to find complete scientific corroboration in the West, it follows logically that people wouldn't use an herbal product for centuries if it didn't work.
Many of the popular herbs we all recognize as having great health benefits were only recently considered pretty exotic. Even green tea - a staple in China for centuries -has only lately gone main stream.
So it will likely be with herbs from the Amazon basin and its environs. The Amazon basin is one of the most bountiful environments on the planet. Explorers and botanists from the West have looked to this region for generations for the "next big thing." Of course, in many cases, the "next big thing" has already been in use for centuries.
In this issue of Ask the Medicine Hunter, we're going to look at some energizing and life- stimulating herbs that also happen to have great antioxidant properties, too. Best yet, many of them are available to us here from companies that practice fair trade policies.
Let's take a look at some of the herbal powerhouses coming out of the Amazon (and its nearby neighborhoods):
Maca (Lepidium meyenii) has been cultivated for a long time at least 2000 years. Related to brassica family plants like radishes, mustard and cabbage, its foliage does actually look somewhat radish-like, but grows close to the ground.
Maca is cultivated by the Andean people in Peru's central highlands, and contains a plethora of beneficial compounds that enhance overall health and vitality. The tradition of cultivating maca is an old one some strains have been found in Incan sites that date from 1600 B.C. During early European colonization, maca was used by the local native culture as a form of currency, much of the way cocoa was used by the Aztecs, further north in pre-Columbian Mexico.
Maca thrives in high altitudes - between 10,000 and 16,000 feet. The harsher the conditions, the better it grows, or so it seems. In fact, efforts to grow the plant in Central Europe haven't been as successful - maca seems to enjoy its home turf the best. In Peru, maca is a popular and beloved nutrient-packed superfood, and is commonly powdered and mixed into drinks at roadside stands throughout the Andes.
Q. I've heard of maca being used for healthy libido - are there any other benefits?
A. Maca is a natural energizer, and although it is recognized for it's libido enhancing abilities, it has other uses, too, acting as an adaptogen - similar to rhodiola or ginseng. In fact, in South America, maca is known as "Peruvian Ginseng." Though maca is not ginseng at all, some of the benefits of both plants are similar.
In any event, maca is recommended for boosting the immune system, menopause support, and hormonal balance in general. For daily use, maca is most recognized as a great source of energy and all-day endurance. Alkaloids from maca root may be partially responsible for both maca's energizing and libido boost. Research shows that maca affects the hypothalamic-pituitary (HPA) axis - boosting energy and overall aphrodisiac prowess in men and women. Maca contains novel compounds called macamides and macaenes, which have been proven in animal studies to significantly enhance energy, stamina and sexual function reasons people have been so consuming maca for 2000 years.
There are other serious reasons why maca is such an excellent plant. One group of compounds in maca is the isothiocyanates-aromatics constituents that are responsible for the "hotness" of mustards and radishes - fellow members of the brassica family. Isothiocyanates from other members of the brassica family may reduce the risk of breast and stomach cancer. Although the same constituents specifically from maca haven't beentested, it's plausible that they could have the same effects.
Q. I've heard a little about guarana extracts - is it just caffeine?
A. Guarana is widely loved for its mild stimulating effect, which is due to caffeine. But this is by no means this Amazonian herb's sole beneficial compound. Guarana (Paullinia cupana) is so logically ingrained in the culture of Brazil that it's practically a rival (actually out-sells) Coca-Cola in its soft-drink form. Like many other indigenous herbs, guarana was in use locally well before European settlement. Its Latin name comes fromthe German botanist C.F. Paullini, who first encountered the herb in the 1700s. This evergreen vine typically climbs fairly far up the Brazilian forest trees. The seed is the part that gets used. In one clinical study, guarana boosted the memory alertness of participants, even when the caffeine level per dose was a low 9 mg., as compared with approximately 100 mg for a cup of coffee. This effect suggests that other agents than caffeine contribute to a feeling of well being.
Guarana also contains powerful antioxidants including catechin, epicatechin and proanthocyanidins, which protect cells against destruction from free radicals, and impart benefits to the body's tissues and blood. The small seed of this plant is powerful in its health benefits.
Catuaba (Erythroxylum catuaba) is a common tree found in South America from Brazil to Peru, in the same genus as the coca plant. Catuaba contains components known as alkaloids. These alkaloids (called catuabine A, B, and C) are probably responsible for themental boost most people get when they take catuabe-based supplements or mixes.
There may be little confusion regarding catuaba, because various species and genus typesuse the common name. As a result, "catuaba" gets bandied around a lot, and one person'scatuaba may not be the next. Read labels carefully. The catuaba I've had the best luck with is Erythroxylum catuaba.
One of my favorite drinks in the world is coffee, and I'm sure at many people reading thisconsider it the essential part of their morning, too.
The part of coffee that we use the most is the seed of the coffee fruit - which appears as a bright, red berry. Most of the time, this fruit is sloughed off and left behind in the process of making coffee - it's really too delicate to last long in hot conditions.
But advances in technology have tapped a previously discarded resource. Though the fruit of coffee is available in any coffee-growing economy, a high antioxidant commercial extract of "coffee cherry" is now available from the fruits of coffee plants in Mexico.
Coffee fruit has many of the attributes of other dark-colored, anthcyanin-rich fruits. Coffee fruit (also referred to as "coffee cherry") appears not to be just another antioxidant, however. Current research on this once-forgotten, former castoff shows impressive abilities to decrease tumor size, and possibly even prevent their formation in the first place. It seems that the elements in coffee berry activate T-lymphocytes in such a way that mammary tumors are shrunk or simply put on hold. It will be fascinating to see how this science plays out.
Muira Puama Bark:
Muira puama (Ptychopetalum olacoides) grows between 15 to 45 feet high. Native to theAmazon basin of Brazil, the dried bark has been used for centuries as a traditional energysupport. Components include beta-sitosterol, campesterol and lupeol.
Muira puama, like other central nervous stimulants has been researched lately for its ability to boost memory retrieval and protect neural (brain) tissue. Who knows? Maybe this traditional ingredient could someday be on the cutting edge of natural medicines fighting Alzheimer's, much the way green tea and turmeric are currently. In one unpublished French study of 262 men with low libido and poor erectile function, 62% experienced significant improvement after taking an extract of Muira puama for two weeks.
Acai (Euterpe acai) berry is a traditional favorite (and readily available) food source for people in the Amazon. The tree is a tall-growing palm with berries that provide - a rich source of anthocyanins, potent purple pigments with extraordinary high antioxidant activity.
Once harvested, acai fruits decay rapidly. As with coffee fruits, special processing is the surest way to make certain the nutrients of acai berry make it to those of us outside the Amazon basin.
However, these wonderful fruits not only fight against free radical damage, but help our natural digestive enzymes and boost natural immune defenses, too. In fact, current research is investigating whether compounds in acai may have a fighting effect on leukemia, too. So far, the results have been very positive.
Look for supplements made using organically-grown, fair trade acai berry. The best companies ensure that the local people harvesting acai and the communities where they live gather more than just short-term benefits. The best companies work not just to provide jobs, but better lives for generations to come.
Q. What is sustainability and fair trade, anyway?
A. Sustainability refers to a set of naturally occurring circumstances, or intentionally designed practices and principles, which ensure that all parts or members of a situation are adequately nourished to promote their healthy continuance. In current parlance, sustainability often refers to practices and programs designed and implemented to keep natural systems healthy and flourishing. Many such programs focus on environmental protection and preservation of traditional cultures. In the world of medicinal plants, sustainable practices include organic agriculture, species management, fair trade, and benefit-sharing programs.
In other words, sustainability pays people fair wages, puts resources back into their communities, and ensures that the resources that benefit us all are going to be around for a long time. It is an earth-friendly, people-friendly concept of commerce that happily, is taking root around the world.
The traditional cultures that use - and have used - these ingredients for generations wouldn't have done so if they hadn't been effective. Fortunately we live in an era when formerly locally-used herbs are now available far beyond their previous range. We are also fortunate to have companies and individuals working hard to make sure that the people who tend and care for these precious resources are paid fairly for their efforts, andthat their families and communities benefit from this commerce as well.
The great thing about using traditional herbs and ingredients that have been gathered in this manner is that you know they'll be around for a long time.
March 08, 2007 12:27 PM
Revita, the most efficient hair growth stimulating shampoo available in the market is the final result of DS Laboratories efforts on cutting edge research. Revita is a powerful and unique SLS/SLES free combination of active ingredients specially designed to maintain scalp vitality and act on folicle dysfunctions in order to achieve best results in short periods of time. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate, commonly used low cost detergents in shampoos and cleansers, are linked to skin irritation, skin drying and hair loss due to follicle attack. Revita is Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate free, providing a high quality scalp skin safe shampoo product.
Revita was developed with a cost-no-object approach. Revita’s compounds have been chosen based exclusively on their properties, quality and efficacy (in the opposite of the majority of available products, which are usually developed with production costs in mind). The final result is a very high quality shampoo product with absolutely no equivalent competitor in the market. Revita combines costly first line compounds at high concentrations like Caffeine at 4.0%, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Seed Extract at 1.0% and Spin Traps (SOD Mimic) at 0.1% with other top level ingredients which make Revita a unique product in its class.
To improve the efficacy of this synergic combination, DS Laboratories developed a unique “chemical free” extraction process that keeps original properties and clinical efficacy of final components. Through gentle mechanical compression, Revita’s compounds are obtained as pure and chemically preserved active molecules.
Revita starts acting on your scalp and hair follicle since the first day of use. The time you will need to note the first results will depend of the severity and duration of your hair loss. No matter how long or how intense your hair loss is, using Revita on daily basis will improve the vitality of your scalp, maintaining the quality of your hair and stimulating new hair growth.
Through the synergic interaction of very effective compounds, Revita brings you a highly effective product designed to maintain scalp vitality and act on hair loss. By combining an antioxidant effect, anti-DHT properties, powerful hydrating molecules, hair growth stimulants and structural amino acids, Revita brings you the most effective hair growth stimulating shampoo available.
Apple Polyphenol (procyanidin B2 and C1) - phytochemical concentrate found in the skin of unripe apples that acts as potent antioxidant. It protects cells against free radicals, reactive atoms that contribute to tissue damage in the body. These chemical compounds are being studied extensively in labs around the world for their health effects in major diseases including treatment of hair growth. Studies showed that after sequential use, an increase of almost 80% of hair diameter and an increase in number of total hairs was shown, with no side effects.
In 2000, Japanese researchers presented their findings to the international community on the hair growth effects of apple polyphenols - specifically one known as procyanidin B-2. They identified two successful compounds- one from chardonnay grapes, and one extracted from unripe apples. The procyanidin B-2 fraction clearly outperformed the grape extract. "Procyanidin B-2 purified from apples," stated the research team, "shows the highest activity of more than 300% relative to controls."
In the same year, in a double-blind placebo-controlled trial, nineteen men with male pattern baldness were studied with a daily topical application of a 1% procyanidin B-2 solution, extracted from apples. Ten other balding men served as controls, receiving a placebo solution. After 6 months, the study concluded:
• The increase in number of total hairs and terminal hairs in the procyanidin B-2 group subjects was significantly greater than controls.
• 78.9% of subjects showed an increased mean value of hair diameter.
• "Procyanidin B-2 therapy shows promise as a cure for male pattern baldness."
Following the revelations, an attempt was made to further understand the mechanism by which the remarkable hair growth effects occurred. The results were published in the prestigious British Journal of Dermatology: Procyanidin B-2, extracted from apples, promotes hair growth: a laboratory study, Br J Dermatol. 2002 Jan;146(1):41-51. In this study, the researchers concluded that procyanidin B-2 acts to diminish protein kinase C isozymes, which play an important role in the hair growth cycle. Procyanidin B-2 seems to promote hair growth by down regulating PKC in both the anagen (active growth phase) and telogen (resting phase) of the hair follicle. When the anagen phase is prolonged, and the telogen phase is shortened, increased hair growth results.
Two more clinical trials and a total of seven published studies have now confirmed the surprising hair growth-promoting effects of apple procyanidins. Here is a summary of those findings:
• Total Number of Hairs: Significantly Increased
• Total Number of Terminal Hairs: Significantly Greater
• Increase in Hair Diameter: 78.9% Positive • Ratio of Thicker (terminal) Hairs: Significantly Higher
• Hair Follicle Activation: Intensive
In the most exciting development yet, Japanese researchers released a new study late in 2005. Once again, procyanidin therapy was proven successful in regrowing hair in subjects with male pattern baldness. The new study, published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, confirmed the findings of earlier studies, showing clear improvement in the number of hairs and the density of hairs in the treated area. Building on the success of earlier trials, the study was extended to 12 months in the procyanidin group, and proved that longer term procyanidin therapy was even more successful than prior 4 and 6 month trials.
Cooper Peptides - Cooper Peptides have two main properties: (1) potent tissue protective anti-inflammatory agents that limit oxidative damage after tissue injury, and (2) tissue remodeling activation agents, that is, the processes for removal of damaged protein and scar tissue and their replacement by normal tissue. Studies at numerous universities and research institutes have found copper-peptides to improve hair transplant success, increase hair follicle size, stimulate hair growth and reduce hair loss.
Research scientists at the University of San Francisco Wound Center stumbled upon very interesting results. Their discovery was made while applying a synthetically formulated compound, Copper Peptide, to severe wound areas on several patients. During this process something unusual happened. Not only did the wounds heal about 30 percent faster, but a significant stimulation of the follicular cells occurred. As a side effect, these tripeptide complexes actually grew hair around the wound area.
The discovery was so startling that they then applied the same Copper Peptide complex to a female patient who had suffered roughly 90 percent alopecia (hair loss) for years. After about six months of use, she had recovered almost 100 percent of her hair. Dr. Loren Pickart, the leading authority in Copper Peptide technology, describes it as being like a protein injection to the scalp.
Tests were then conducted with chemotherapy patients and recent hair transplant recipients, all with great success in stimulating newer and stronger hair follicles.
Spin traps – are very special compounds that were originally utilized in measuring free radical activity because they react with free radicals both in vitro and in vivo, producing stable complexes. The most commonly used spin trap and the standard which measures new ones is PBN - alpha-phenyl- N-tert butyl nitrone. Hundreds of studies have been conducted over the last ten years that have tested PBN and other “spin traps” in numerous conditions. Later it was discovered that these spin traps had powerful free radical quenching abilities in living systems and could treat a variety of conditions. Spin traps could provide unique protection against free radical damage that complements and enhances the activities of the classical antioxidants such as vitamin C and vitamin E.
Spin traps modulate NF kappa-B regulated cytokines and inducible nitric oxide synthases that are implicated in pro-inflammatory disease conditions. A method for ameliorating a cellular dysfunction of a tissue such as the treatment of hair loss and stimulation of hair growth comprises administering a nitroso or nitrone spin trap to the affected tissue. These agents inhibit the reaction of superoxide and nitric oxide to produce peroxinitrite. Scientists discovered that nitrone and nitroso spin traps have properties in the body for ameliorating cellular dysfunction in tissue attributed, in part, to high energy oxygen and hydroxyl free radicals, and enhancing recuperation of the tissue. Alpha-phenyl-N-tert butyl nitrone (PBN) can be administered, for example, as an anti-alopecia agent to stimulate hair growth.
Spin traps can be administered to the skin to be treated, such as the scalp. Depending on the type of hair loss or alopecia being treated and the conditions thereof, the stimulation of hair growth can usually be obtained by topical application, preferably repeated daily application. The utility of topically applied spin traps is not limited thereto, however, and the stimulation of hair growth can include an increased rate of growth, increased hair diameter, follicular neogenesis, and the like; inhibiting hair loss or alopecia from progressing.
Ketoconazole - Topical ketoconazole shows itself to have an anti-DHT binding effect in the scalp. Nevertheless, it is likely that ketoconazole exhibits other methods to its anti-hair-loss effect. One such theory of ketoconazole anti-alopecia effects may be on its activity upon the removal of sebum, a fatty substance that accumulates in the scalp around the hair follicles. In addition, ketoconazole is an antifungal medication and is significant for people combating hair loss since acting as an antifungal agent it reduces scalp irritation caused by fungal colonization or infection. Reduction of the inflammatory process that occurs in male pattern alopecia is crucial.
If we first examine the role of androgens, specifically dihydrotestosterone (DHT), we find that this hormone has been thought to slowly "choke" the growth of the hair follicle by inhibiting the function of an enzyme in the hair follicle called adenylate cyclase. Suffice it to say that when DHT concentrations remain high in the scalp, we see terminal (thick, coarse) scalp hair become reduced to vellus hair (fine, thin peach fuzz). On March 04, 2001, at the American Academy of Dermatology Meeting in Washington DC, scientists presented the findings of a study done on 1% ketoconazole shampoo which had good news for hair loss sufferers. In the study presented, one hundred male volunteers with mild to moderate dandruff and somewhat oily scalp, were using in a double-blind fashion either a 1% ketoconazole shampoo or a 1% zinc pyrithione shampoo, 2-3 times a week for 6 months.
Analysis of the different parameters set up in the study shows that the hair diameter gradually increased with ketoconazole use (+8.46%) over a 6 month period, whereas the diameter showed a trend to decrease with zinc pyrithione use over the same period (-2.28%). The sebum excretion rate was reduced with ketoconazole (-6.54%) while it increased with zinc pyrithione (+8.2%) over the same period of time. The number of hairs shed over a 24-hour period was reduced by 16.46% with ketoconazole and 6.02% with zinc pyrithione after 6 months. Finally, the percentage of hairs in the anagen phase increased by 6.4% and 8.4% respectively during the study.
The results are similar to a previous study done on 2% prescription strength Ketokonazole where it was shown that use of 2% ketoconazol yielded an increase in hair shaft diameter similar to what was achieved by the control group using 2% Minoxidil and a non-medicated shampoo.
Rooibos - Rooibos or Red Bush Tea - a hardy shrub indigenous to the North Western Cape of South Africa – is an exciting new botanical ingredient with potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties well documented in medical literature. In alternative medicine Rooibos is often prescribed for nervous tension, allergies, stomach and digestive problems. Results from an independent study also showed a significant improvement in hair loss. Studies were initiated at an independent laboratory (Dermascan, France) to study the effect of the use of Rooibos in a hair lotion on a group of healthy persons who were suffering from the problem of hair loss. A 90 day trial was conducted comparing a hair lotion containing Rooibos with a placebo lotion.
After 90 days results showed a significant increase of the hair growth in the lotion containing Rooibos compared with the placebo. An increase in the hair growth was observed with 89% of the volunteers with no undesirable reactions (irritation or allergy). The participants were next asked to fill in a questionnaire. When the results were tallied, 67 percent rated their hair loss as zero or low, 78 percent saw a low to medium improvement, 45 percent saw a low to medium regrowth of hair, and 63 percent considered their hair had become smoother and shinier.
Conclusion: results show that most of the volunteers had a remarkable improvement in both the increase of hair growth and the decrease in hair loss.
MSM - Sulphur is present in protein-rich foods containing high levels of the amino acids methionine and cysteine. These foods include meat, fish, legumes, nuts, eggs, and vegetables, especially onions. However, sulphur has recently become a popular nutritional supplement and topical treatment thanks to the discovery of methylsulfonylmethane, or MSM.
The use of MSM as a nutritional supplement and topical application is relatively recent. An American chemist named Robert Herschler, began studying MSM in 1955. However, another man, Dr. Stanley Jacob with Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, is considered by many to be the father of MSM. Dr. Jacob found that simple marine life like algae and plankton convert inorganic sulphur to organic sulphur compounds. These compounds are known as dimethylsulfonium salts. These salts are transformed into dimethyl sulfide (DMS), which is released into the atmosphere and is converted by ultraviolet light into dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO). When DMSO oxidizes, it turns into MSM and is absorbed by plants that become food for animals and humans. MSM is a white, crystalline powder that is odorless and nearly tasteless. When taken as a dietary supplement, MSM proved to have the same health benefits as DMSO without side-effects such as bad breath, itchy skin, nasal congestion, and shortness of breath. Why does MSM help with the development of stronger hair? Various scientific studies have proven that MSM contributes a definite normalizing effect on body functions. The sulfur normally provided to the body by MSM is required for healthy collagen and keratin which are essential for healthy hair, skin and nails. MSM also has proven antioxidant benefits which can disrupt or alter damaging chain reactions of lipid peroxidation in the cell membranes.
MSM has been widely used as a dietary supplement without any reports of allergy or intolerance related to its use. Supplements of MSM are comfortably assimilated without side effects. There are no known contraindications.
Caffeine 4% - Active caffeine ingredient helps to regulate the effects of testosterone levels. Male pattern baldness is known to occur in individuals with sensitivity to testosterone, causing damage to hair follicles that eventually leads to baldness. Caffeine is a xanthine alkaloid compound that acts as a stimulant in humans. Caffeine is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant, having the effect of warding off drowsiness and restoring alertness.
The independent study at the University of Jena used hair samples from the scalps of young men entering into the first stages of hormone-related hair loss. The study relied on a hair organ culture that used four different types of testing samples. The first was a nutrient-based sample, the second a testosterone only sample, the third was a caffeine only sample and the fourth a mixture of caffeine and testosterone.
According to the research, the results showed that the samples containing the caffeine nutrient helped to stave off hair loss and encouraged new hair growth, while the sample that relied on testosterone only led to increased hair loss. But perhaps the most impressive was the testosterone and caffeine sample, which helped to prevent further hair loss.
The results showed that using the caffeine treatment average growth was increased by around 46 per cent and the life cycle of the hair was extended by 37 per cent, when compared to the control study.
Carnitine Tartrate - L-Carnitine, a vitamin-like nutrient, occurs naturally in the human body and is essential for turning fat into energy. Active energy metabolism is an essential prerequisite for the growth of strong and healthy hair. In biological systems ATP acts as the universal energy currency. One of the most potent bio-actives that significantly increases cellular ATP content is carnitine tartrate.
Statistical evaluation demonstrated a significant increase in ATP equivalents in human hair roots treated with carnitine tartrate, showing that carnitine tartrate is an ideal ingredient for hair care formulations, providing energy for the optimal environment to produce strong and healthy hair. Throughout the test period ATP content within plucked hair follicles was determined twice daily using a commercially available test kit. Statistical evaluation of baseline adjusted values demonstrated a significant increase in ATP equivalents in human hair roots treated with carnitine tartrate. These effects were absent in the placebo group, thus underlining the stimulating activity of carnitine tartrate.
The outstanding bio-activity of carnitine tartrate was furthermore demonstrated in a second study, assessing the effects after a single application of a shampoo formulation supplemented with carnitine tartrate. Again, ATP levels in plucked human hair follicles were significantly increased.
Amino Acids: Ornitine, Taurine, Cysteine - Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, from which hair is created. They are assembled in the correct sequence by stem cells to form keratin, a complex and immensely strong hair protein. Vital amino acids have to be replaced consistently, as damage is accumulated over time. We can replace a combination of these lost amino acids directly into the hair, where they are shown to provide significant tensile benefits to the hair shaft.
Hair is composed primarily of proteins (88%). These proteins are of a hard fibrous type known as keratin. Keratin protein is comprised of what we call "polypeptide chains.” The word, polypeptide, comes from the Greek word "poly" meaning many and "peptos" meaning digested or broken down. In essence, if we break down protein, we have individual amino acids.
Many (poly) amino acids joined together form a "polypeptide chain". Two amino acids are joined together by a "peptide bond", and the correct number of amino acids placed in their correct order will form a specific protein; i.e. keratin, insulin, collagen and so on. The "alpha helix" is the descriptive term given to the polypeptide chain that forms the keratin protein found in human hair. Its structure is a coiled coil. The amino acids link together to form the coil and there are approximately 3.6 amino acids per turn of the helix (coil). Each amino acid is connected together by a "peptide bond". The peptide bond is located between the carbon atom of one amino acid extending to bond with the nitrogen atom of the next amino acid. In many individuals the extremities, including the top of the head, are the most difficult places to maintain blood flow. Follicles which are constantly deprived of blood, and therefore nutrients, cannot produce hair properly. Lack of proper nutrients, amino acids, minerals and vitamins can certainly hamper hair growth.
L-Arginine is a semi-essential amino acid synthesized by the body from L-Ornithine. Arginine + Ornithine support protein synthesis because they are involved in the transport and storage of nitrogen. The usage of taurine corrects the "rigidification" of the connective sheath that surrounds the Pilosebaceous unit and hair follicles, specifically those affected by pattern hair loss. This is a novel and previously undisclosed angle on hair loss treatment that has yet to be touched upon in any of the medical literature or prior publications.
The amino acid, l-cysteine speeds up hair growth and increases hair shaft diameter resulting in fuller hair. L-cysteine has been reported to facilitate longer hair growth, beyond what is genetically programmed. L-cysteine also provides potent antioxidant protection to the hair follicle. Users of topical n-acetyl-cysteine have reported hair regrowth.
Emu Oil - The emu, dromaius nova hollandiae, is a flightless bird part of a group called ratites which also includes the ostrich and the kiwi. Modern Australians learned early on from the Aborigines the many valuable qualities in the emu and its oil. The earliest research studies in emu oil come from Australia, and Australia continues to export emu oil to this day.
In the United States today there is a growing network of research labs interested in emus and their incredible oil. Emu oil is rendered from a thick pad of fat on the back of the bird that was apparently provided by nature to protect the animal from the extreme temperatures in its Australian homeland. Emu oil is deep penetrating and super hydrating to the skin - an all-natural tissue nutrient. Michael Hollick, MD, Ph.D., Professor of Medicine, Physiology, and Dermatology at Boston University School of Medicine conducted a study involving emu oil and hair growth. His study found that there was a 20% increase in growth activity of skin that received emu oil compared to skin that received corn oil. Looking at the hair follicles Dr. Hollick realized they were much more robust, the skin thickness was remarkably increased suggesting that emu oil stimulated skin growth and hair growth. Additionally, the study showed that over 80% of hair follicles that had been "asleep" were woken up, and began growing.
Emu oil is anti-inflammatory, which may be in part why it stimulates hair growth. Emu Oil has also been shown to be a 5 alpha reductase inhibitor in target tissues when topically applied, which likely contributes significantly to its hair growth properties. A third important property of emu oil is that it is bacteriostatic.
Emu Oil contains a multitude of Essential Fatty Acids (EFA) which helps to "feed" the skin. Consumers who suffer from natural forms of baldness have reported hair re-growth. Since Alopecia Areata only suppresses the hair follicle (vs. killing the hair follicle), emu oil may have an effect to assist with hair regrowth.
Biotin – Biotin is a member of the B-vitamin family and a major component in the natural hair manufacturing process -- it is essential to not only grow new hair, but it also plays a major role in the overall health of skin and nails. The beneficial effects of biotin on hair may be linked to its ability to improve the metabolism of scalp oils. Biotin when absorbed by the scalp may promote hair growth and it is able to penetrate the hair shaft making it expand which actually thickens the hair cuticle.
Biotin is used in cell growth, the production of fatty acids, metabolism of fats and amino acids. It plays a role in the Krebs Cycle, which is the process in which energy is released from food. Biotin is so important to hair health, that many dermatologists prescribe biotin supplements to their patients as part of their medical treatment for hair loss.
After applying Revita with a gentle massage, you should leave it on the scalp from 1 – 2 minutes before rinsing. Then repeat and leave on the scalp for 3 – 5 minutes. If desired, follow with a high quality conditioner. For optimal results, Revita should be used at least 5 times per week.
This formulation is contraindicated in individuals with a history of sensitivity reactions to any of its components. It should be discontinued if hypersensitivity to any of its ingredients is noted.
Q. Is Revita safe ?
A. Revita primarily contains compounds that are not only safe in topical use, but actually dramatically enhance overall skin health. The other active ingredients such as Ketoconazole have been tested in clinical studies and have been shown safe.
Q: Can I use hair sprays, mousses, gels, etc.?
A: Hair spray, gel, and other styling aids are not recommended since they tend to clog the hair shaft. However, you can use them while using Revita.
Q: Can I have my hair colored or permed while using Revita ?
A: While there is no evidence that coloring or perming hair can lead to or even worsen hair loss, it is generally not recommended for people with hair loss. If you are experiencing hair loss then perming and coloring hair is not recommended. However, this will not interfere with Revita.
Q: What is SLS/SLES free ?
A: SLS means Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and SLES means Sodium Laureth Sulfate, commonly used low cost detergents in shampoos and cleansers. They are linked to skin irritation, skin drying and hair loss due to follicle attack. Revita is Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate free, and that means that Revita does not irritate you scalp and preserves your hair follicale health.
Q: Can I blow dry my hair after using Revita ?
A: Extreme heat damages the proteins in the hairs making them fragile. Nevertheless, if you need or want to blow dry your hair, you can do it after using Revita.
Q: Who is a candidate for Revita ?
A: Ideal candidate is someone with little hair loss or at the beginning stages of hair loss, since it is much easier to prevent hair loss then to grow new hair. Someone who is concerned with hair loss prevention should start using Revita immediately.
Q: What type of results should I expect with Revita ?
A: When deciding to use Revita, it is important to have realistic expectations. Depending of severity and duration of your hair loss, it could take some time to see hair growth. In fact, during the first 2 weeks of treatment you may actually notice increased hair loss as old hairs are being pushed out and the hair follicles start growing new hair. Do not become alarmed with this and just stick to the treatment.
Q. Does Revita have any systemic side effects ?
A. No, when used as directed, Revita active ingredients have a long history of use both orally and topically.
Q. Does Revita work for women?
A. Yes. In most cases, the cause of hair loss in women is surprisingly similar to men. Fortunately for women, estrogen helps to protect the hair follicle from the destructive effects of DHT. However, many women develop thinning hair and loss due to fluctuation of estrogen levels and/or over production of DHT. Revita can help protect the hair follicle from DHT resulting in a thicker, fuller and healthier hair.
Q. I am using other topical treatments. Can I use Revita at the same time ?
A. Yes. Revita has no side effects and does not cross react with other topical treatments. You can safely opt to use Revita with other products, and we strongly recommend the association with Spectral.DNC for more severe hair loss or Spectral.RS for thinning hair.
Q. Do I need to use Revita for a long time ?
A. Once you have reached the desired results, you should continue to use Revita as your regular shampoo to maintain the revitalized hairs and a healthy scalp.
Q: Is stress a factor in hair loss?
A: When the body is under significant physical and emotional stress it is possible that the immune system will produce anti-bodies that attack hair follicles, and this results in bald patches or diffuse loss. Stress-induced loss will respond very well to Revita and you should keep using Revita as your regular daily shampoo to keep your scalp healthy.
The Important Role of Nutritional Magnesium & Calcium Balance in Humans Living with Stress
August 23, 2006 03:14 PM
Part I. The Stress Response
The stress reaction is a host of responses necessary for any animal to live in the world. Commonly called the fight-or-flight reation, we as humans often experience it in rapid heartbeat and increased breathing rate. It comes when we exercise more vigorously than usual, or when we are suddenly and unexpectedly frightened.
We are all different. We show a range in how strongly we experience the stress response. Most of us are usually calm and experience the stress response when an unexpected noise frightens us to alertness, or we run to first base as fast as we can in a benefit baseball game that is not on our usual playtime schedule. We breathe harder for a while and notice our hearts beating faster and harder then usual, but after a while these responses all calm down, and we are again in our usual state—out or the stress response. Others of us are very low key, and it takes a lot to disturb our physiological calm. Still others of us are very sensitive to triggers of the stress response and go into it “at the drop of a hat” and to a greater degree than do calmer people. For some, parts of the stress response are almost always engaged—never really calming down all the way—giving one a hyper-vigilant or anxious demeanor.
When a stress trigger occurs, the body puts out stress hormones, magnesium and calcium, among other things, into the bloodstream. At the same time, nerve cells begin to “fire,” telling heart and muscles to “speed up. NOW!!!” These blood, nerve and organ changes make possible the instantaneous and collective rise in the body’s heart rate, blood pressure, and other necessities for the fight-or-flight reaction.
Much research has been done on the stress response, especially on the effects of stress hormones, such as adrenaline (also called epinephrine) on body, organ and cell. You can get an idea of how widespread the stress response is-affecting every aspect of physiology—by noting some of the reactions to adrenaline, one of the major stress hormones. See Table 1.
Much study as the cellular, biochemical and physiological levels has shown that the stress response vitally involves the influx of calcium into cells, resulting in a drastic change in the cells’ internal magnesium-to-calcium ratio (Mg:Ca).
In simple solutions, such as salt water, all ions are evenly dispersed. Not so in living cells. Ions are carefully and meticulously separated in living cells, and this ion “packaging” is vital to life processes and health. Calcium ions, for the most part, are kept outside cells while magnesium ions are kept mainly inside cells. The stress response changes this. During stress response, calcium ions rush inside the cell, and this alters the internal Mg:Ca ratio. This change in ratio exhibits wide effects because, while magnesium and calcium are very similar in their chemistry, biologically these two elements function and react very differently. Magnesium and calcium are two sides of a physiological coin: they are antagonistic to one another yet comes as a team. For example:
Scientific study shows more and more that the underlying cellular change enabling the stress response is a low Mg:Ca ratio caused by a large and sudden influx of calcium into cells. This stress response subsides when the cell’s magnesium returns to its dominant presence inside cells, moving extra calcium back outside cells to its “normal” Mg:Ca ratio. This underlying principle is present in studies of nerve cell-stress hormone response, organs such as hearts, the high blood pressure response to stress, and the blood-clotting reaction during stress, among many others. See Table 2.
In the normal healthy state, the stress response occurs when necessary, and subsides when the crisis or trigger is over. Since magnesium and calcium—two essential nutrients that must be obtained by the body from its dietary environment—are so essential to this important response, it is not surprising that nutritional magnesium and calcium status can affect the response.
Let’s see how.
In the normal unstressed state, cellular Mg:Ca ratio is high. If this cannot be maintained due to lack of adequate body magnesium or an overwhelming amount of body calcium, the ratio may not be able to maintain or return itself to its healthy nonstressed ratio. In such a case, the stress response, in the absence of an appropriate trigger, can occur. This can be seen when nutritional magnesium deficits cause high blood pressure or increase blood stickiness (platelet aggregation). Additionally, since a low Mg:Ca ratio can increase adrenaline secretion as well as cells’ response to adrenaline, a too low magnesium state can keep the stress response from subsiding in a timely way. Even worse, when body magnesium becomes drastically low, this becomes a stress trigger in itself, alarming the body into further stress response with out enough magnesium to back it up, resulting in a low magnesium-high stress crisis that can end in sudden death.
In the industrialized world, we live in a state of chronic, on-going stress. This environmental reality increases our daily need for magnesium in order to maintain a healthy stress response that can calm when not necessary.
Part II. Heart Disease Is Often a Magnesium Deficiency
Clearly, an adequate amount of nutritional magnesium—in proper balance with adequate nutritional calcium—is key to a healthy stress response. And yet today we have diets dangerously low in magnesium. Add the recent additions of nutritional calcium via supplements and food fortifications meant to stave off osteoporosis, and many of us are getting inadequate magnesium plus too much calcium. This results in a large occurrence of heart disease.
Not all, but much of the heart disease in the industrialized world can be explained by the low magnesium state of these societies. People with heart disease—for the most part—are people who are in a state of magnesium that is borderline or deficient. Many studies on heart disease patients exist due to medicine’s effort to understand and treat this widespread malady. Although not intended as such, this body of research shows us what stress can do to a person in a magnesium deficient state.
Part III. Mental and Emotional Stress Deplete Magnesium
It is commonly accepted that certain traditional risk factors for heart disease exist. This include high cholesterol, high blood pressure, family history of heart disease, and other factors, all of which can be linked to a shortage of nutritional magnesium. Recent studies tell us that stresses—both sudden and chronic—with their high magnesium requirements, are also strong risk factors for heart disease.
The sudden stress of the
Emotional stress and phobic anxiety cause heart problems in patients with heart disease—a population we know to be mostly low in their nutritional magnesium status. Chronic states of emotional stress, including a history of childhood abuse, neglect or family dysfunction, depression, and panic disorder, must now be added to the list of traditional risk factors for heart disease such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Depression can be a symptom of low magnesium status. So can anxiety, panic attacks, irritability, hyperactivity, and over-sensitivity to loud noises. Do these newly found risk factors cause heart disease, or are they risk factors because the, as well as heart disease, can all be aspects of low magnesium status? These chronic sources of stress can increase the human need for magnesium as well as be caused by its deficit.
Emotional stress triggers in susceptible people can even bring a sudden death due to heart attack, presumably by initiating a stress/low-magnesium crisis. Such emotional “triggers” include work stress, high-pressure deadlines, social isolation and loneliness, low socioeconomic status, anxiety, war, fear of war, anger and rage. Identical stress triggers cause more human heart attacks regardless of age, race, gender, or geographic location, including continent.
Mental stress, such as working out a math problem, can be shown to have impact upon the magnesium-stress response connection, since it can bring on heart attacks in people with heart disease.
Part IV. Stress, Magnesium and Aging
We are hearing a lot about stress in the health media, and rightly so as this constant companion to our lives brings on the fight-or-flight syndrome, a stress response that, when activated, has been shown to shorten lifespan. When we realize that the stress response is exacerbated when we are low in magnesium, that we are living on low-magnesium foods for the most part, and that our lifestyles are more and more filled with chronic stresses and stressful events, we are not surprised to see that several aspects of magnesium deficiency are remarkably like aspects of the aging process.
When faced with out stressful lifestyles, coupled with a society presenting a chronically low-magnesium/high-calcium diet, what is our best defense? For many of us, magnesium supplements can help to preserve or restore a healthy Mg:Ca balance, so important to our health in these stressful times.
Peter Gillham's Natural Calm
December 17, 2005 01:35 PM
Eleuthero- Eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus) is a hardy herb indigenous to the Taiga region of the Far East, which includes southeastern Russia, northern China, Japan and Korea. The use of this popular herb can be traced back over 2,000 years in ancient Chinese medical texts, where it is indicated for the treatment of a wide variety of ailments. Although it is a cousin of the Panax ginseng family (Korean, Chinese and American) it’s considered distinctly different. The term panax is derived from the Greek words pan (all) and akos (cure), which means “cure-all”. In addition to its adaptogenic properties, which seem to stem from its ability to regulate the activity of the adrenal cortex in response to stress, Eleuthero has some unique benefits. It stimulates the immune system, especially during times of strenuous physical exertion and stress, and seems especially beneficial for supporting a healthy mood and mental alertness. Eleuthero is also extremely beneficial as a training aid for athletes.
The Free Radical Theory
December 14, 2005 12:11 PM
The popular theory has been the subject of a great deal of research. Developed by Denham Harman, M.D., Ph.D., at the University of Nebraska in 1956, the free radical theory proposes that unstable molecules known as free radicals are responsible for inflicting extensive cellular damage, which causes cell death and dysfunction and eventually, disease. The most common type of free radicals are oxygen derived, and free radical damage is often referred to as oxidation.
Environmental sources of free radicals include radiation (I.E., sun exposure, X-rays), ozone and nitrous oxide, heavy metals (i.e., mercury, cadmium, lead), smoke, alcohol, saturated fat, and other chemicals and pollutants. The body itself generates free radicals in performing essential bodily functions including energy production and immune activities. Fortunately, the body also has the ability to create antioxidants to neutralize the free radicals and prevent extensive cellular damage. When free radicals are not neutralized by antioxidants, they inflict large-scale cellular damage which can cascade and lead to age-related degenerative diseases such as osteoarthritis, osteoporosis and age –relaged macular degeneration. For example, free radical damage to joint cells may cause the cartilage to become rough or break down, and can lead to the development of osteoarthritis. Antioxidants are needed to comb at free radicals and prevent this cellular damage. “Oxidative stress can lead to DNA mutations, cell death, and disease, all of which contribute to aging,” said Gerald R. Cysewski, president and chief executive officer (CEO) at Cyanotech corp. “Antioxidants are produced naturally by the body to combat oxidative stress by neutralizing free radicals. Increasing the amount of antioxidants in one’s system by consumption of supplements can provide further protection from the damaging effects of free radicals.”
Because the body is continually assaulted by free radicals, antioxidant supplementation is often necessary. “by taking certain nutrients that our bodies stop producing over time, supplements help us to maintain a youthful look and health, which in turn enhances the quality of life,” Alkayali said. “Furthermore, supplements can help decrease oxidative stress that may otherwise accompany age-related illness and disease.”
Many Substances are known antioxidants including certain enzymes, vitamins, phytochemicals and minerals, and include Vitamin C, Vitamin E, alpha-lipoic acid, coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), Carotenoids, Selenium, superoxide dismutase, melatonin, quercetin, catechins, and zinc.
Consuming a diet high in plant sources of powerful antioxidants is an important step to deter ageing, because nutrients from foods are often highly bioavailable and can act synergistically to increase their health benefits. Garlic contains several antioxidant phytochemicals and minerals including allicin, beta-carotene, quercetin, selenium and zinc, and may have a protective effect against stomach and colorectal cancers.
Catechins are potent antioxidants flavonoids, with the best known source being green tea; they include gallocatechin (GC), epigallocatechin (EGC), epicatechin (EC) and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). These antioxidants are being studied for their powerful abilities to combat free radical damage. In particular, EGCG has been researched for its reported protection against certain cancers and Alzheimer’s disease.
Green Foods such as seaweed, sea vegetables, young grain grasses and shoots, broccoli, cabbage and other green leafy vegetables pack a nutritional punch due to their concentratged amounts of antioxidant carotenoids, vitamins and the enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD). SOD is produced by the body and neutralizes free radicals known as superoxide radicals, which cause damaging fat oxidation. GliSODin is a patented form of SOD derived from cantaloupe and bound to a wheat protein for superior bioavailability. “GliSODin promotes the body’s production of its own endogenous antioxidants, including SOD, catalase and glutathione peroxidase, in virtually every cell,” said Eric Anderson, brand manager at P.L. Thomas. “This activation of the cellular antioxidant defenses across the whole body creates a state of alertness against any shock of oxidative stress, including sun rays, to which our body may be exposed.”
Pomegranates contain two powerful antioxidants—ellagic acid, derived from fruit’s seeds, and punicaligans, found in the juice. “Research has shown that the juice from the pomegranate, rich in polyphenols, reduces oxidative stress by helping to produce enzymes to fight free radicals,” Alkayali said. NeoCell Corp. manufactures of ellagic-acid based Pomegranate Power, while P.L. Thomas supplies POM40p, a kosher-free pomegranate juice extract standardized to 40-precent punicocides, polyphenols belong to the punicalagin family.
Consumer demand is on the rise for products that address degenerative health conditions, including supplements that support function of the bones, joints, eyes. According to a June 2005 report by the freedonia group, “Bone and joint care products will continue to dominate the health maintenance segment, spurred by a growing customer base and a plethora of new and improved products expected to soon enter the marketplace.” The report also projected rapid gains for vision care. “Demand for vision care products will be propelled by aging baby boomers who are becoming aware of debilitating eye conditions and seeking both preventive measures and ameliorative treatments.” Dietary Supplements can help prevent and ease symptoms of age-related diseases affecting the joints, bones and eyes, including osteoarthritis, osteoporosis and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Vitaberry Plus + Super Fruit Antioxidant
December 07, 2005 05:43 PM
Vitaberry Plus +™ Super Fruit AntioxidantBy Nilesh Patel, NOW Quality Assurance, April 20, 2005 Why are FRUITS AND VEGETABLES important? “Diets rich in FRUITS AND VEGETABLES may reduce the risk of some types of cancer and other chronic diseases.”- National Cancer Institute. OXYGEN AND ANTIOXIDANTS As we all know, “Oxygen is critical to life,” but is itself a double-edged sword. While oxygen is necessary to sustain life and for natural defense against microbes, too much oxygen in our cells can lead to the production of “free radicals” (mitochondrial respiratory chain) or ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species). Free radicals come in many forms - singlet oxygen, hydrogen peroxide, superoxideperoxynitrite, to name a few - but all have one commonality. Each has an unpaired (unbalanced) electron, a situation it remedies by stealing an electron from a stable molecule. This sets off a domino effect of oxidation, a chain reaction that usually ends up damaging cellular integrity and compromising overall health. Nature has a defense system in place to protect these processes in the form of antioxidants. Whether endogenous (produced by the body, such as liver enzymes, SOD, coenzymes and sulfur-containing compounds) or exogenous (obtained through the diet, such as vitamins C & E, bioflavonoids, carotenes, etc.), antioxidants “quench” free radicals by donating an electron to stabilize a molecule, thus controling the chain reaction and stopping the oxidation “domino effect”. ANTIOXIDANT-RICH FOODS Research suggests that eating plenty of foods high in antioxidants helps to slow the processes associated with aging and protect against many chronic diseases. Maximizing one’s antioxidant power will enhance overall health. Fruit and vegetables contain both nutritive and non-nutritive factors that can affect oxidative damage and enzymatic defense and might contribute to redox (antioxidant and prooxidant) actions. A new “6-a-day” study looked into the effects of fruits and vegetables on markers of oxidative stress and antioxidative defense in healthy nonsmokers by The Danish Institute for Food and Veterinary Research in Denmark. The study found that fruits and vegetables increase erythrocyte glutathione peroxidase activity and resistance of plasma lipoproteins to oxidation more efficiently than do the nutritive factors (vitamins and minerals) that the fruits and vegetables are also known to contain. Certain berries, such as blackberries, also contain salicylates, which are also linked to heart health and prevention of atherosclerosis. The protective effects of fruits and vegetables intake on both heart disease death and deaths in general have previously been demonstrated but researchers at the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, Boston. Quercetin is an anti-oxidizing flavonoid found in many berries (such as cranberries, bilberries, blueberries, strawberries, etc.) and can prevent CVDs (coronary vascular diseases), according to a recent Finnish study. All these natural plant polyphenols are responsible for the colors of many red and purple berries, fruits, vegetables and flowers. GOVERNMENT GUIDELINES The new federal guidelines released earlier this year by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommend eating more fruits and vegetables, combined, than any other food group -- five cups or about 10 servings a day for most adults. The amount of fruits and vegetables recommended has increased for men and women of every age. “Fruits and vegetables are the "good news" story of the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans for food-loving consumers, the industry and America's public health”, stated the Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH). Eating a variety of colorful phytochemical-rich fruits and vegetables has been associated with lower risk of some chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Many authoritative organizations such as the National Cancer Institute and The American Heart Association recommend getting phytochemicals from whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables, rather than from individual component supplements. The Scottish government is promoting healthy eating through a scheme designed to increase purchasing of fruit and nutritional foods. Scottish health minister Andy Kerr said, "This initiative shows that healthy eating can be good for customers and good for business." Scottish women are said to have the highest rates of death from lung cancer in the world as well as the highest rates in Europe for coronary heart disease. They also have low consumption of fruits and vegetables, shown in studies to help protect against some cancers and benefit heart health. ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species) Free radicals and oxygen free radicals play an important role in the development and progression of many brain disorders such as brain injury, neurodegenerative disease, and Down syndrome. Oxidative stress is an important factor in the etiology and pathogenesis of diabetes & is also linked to other host of degenerative health conditions. Fortunately, antioxidants are available to support the body’s defense and fight disease and aging. Examples of “Fast acting antioxidants” in the body (serum) are: uric acid (polyphenols), ascorbate, bilirubin, vitamin E (the later two are lipid soluble). Examples of “Slow acting antioxidants” are glucose, urea nitrogen etc. In short, free radicals, reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS) are generated as by-products of normal cellular metabolism. Their deleterious effects are minimized in vivo (in the body) by the presence of antioxidant systems. How do Antioxidants work? Antioxidants are substances in plants that help maintain health. Antioxidants protect against damage to cells caused by too many “free oxygen radicals,” which form because of the effects of oxidation. Smoking, sunlight, heavy exercise, and pollution all increase oxidation in the body. Most people would benefit by eating more (five to nine or more servings) fruits and vegetables & colorful plant foods, such as purple, dark green, yellow, orange, blue, and red ones, each day. These have healthful pigments along with antioxidant nutrients such as vitamin C, carotenoids, beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin E, selenium, flavonoids, and other beneficial substances. There are numerous ways in which these antioxidants affect, but can be explained in two groups: Alpha (a) Effects: This refers to the scavenging or neutralizing of free radicals. These effects do not change the way humans (or animals) feel. There are also no noticeable health, psychological or emotional benefits. While there are no obvious changes, increased total antioxidant intakes are associated with decreased tumor rates, prevention of heart attacks and increased longevity. Beta (ß) Effects: These are the changes on health, psychological or emotional state that you or others will notice. In this case, the antioxidant is affecting metabolic processes (enzymes) with consequent changes in the physical (improvement in joint movements, improved skin condition, tissue damage recovery), emotional (better ability to cope with stress) or psychological state (increased alertness). The ORAC value Because most of the active nutritional components in fruits and vegetables are antioxidants, accurate measurement of antioxidant activity serves as a good indicator of potential health benefit. Scientific opinion runs high that ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity) will eventually become a government standard of reference for overall daily fruits and vegetables intake. ORAC units are a measurement of the ability of food to stop oxidation. It is most generally expressed in terms of Trolox equivalent per gram (µmole Trolox equivalents (TE)/g). POPULATION DATA A survey done by the National Research Council indicates that only 10% of the US population consumes the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables per day. The equivalent to eating 5 mixed servings of fruits and vegetables per day is about 1,670 ORAC units. Based on scientific evidence it is suggested that daily antioxidant intake should be increased to between 3,000 and 5,000 ORAC units per day, per human subject, in order to reach a significant antioxidant capacity in blood plasma and other tissues. WHAT IS NOW DOING TO HELP? In accord with our mission, “To provide value in products and services that empower people to lead healthier lives,” NOW® Foods is introducing an ALL-FRUIT-DERIVED antioxidant product called VitaBerry Plus +™ Super Fruit Antioxidant Vcaps (vegetarian capsules) (product number #3336). At time of manufacture this product provides an ORAC value of at least 2,500 units per serving from a full-spectrum antioxidant blend of fruits containing phytochemicals and phenolic compounds such as anthocyanins, proanthocyanins, chlorogenic acid, ellagic acid, quinic acid, resveratrol , many organic acids, resveratrol and vitamin C. VitaBerry Plus +™ is formulated with VitaBerry™ Hi-ORAC Fruit Blend [a proprietary blend of fruit extracts & concentrated powders containing Wild Blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium) extract, Grape (Vitis vinifera) & Grape seed extract, Raspberry (Rubus idaeus) & Raspberry seed extract, Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon), Prune (Prunus domestica), Tart Cherry (Prunus cerasus), Wild Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) extract & Strawberry (Fragaria virginia)], Hi-Active™ Orange (Citrus sinensis) and Pomegranate (Punica granatum) min. 40% ellagic acid fruit extract. One gram of VitaBerry™ Hi-ORAC Fruit Blend provides at least 6,000 ORAC units (i.e., µmole Trolox equivalents (TE)/g). (Also watch for an upcoming antioxidant product from NOW called Enzogenol® (Pinus radiata bark extract from New Zealand) with Rutin (a flavonoid from South American fruit of Dimorphandra mollis) and Grapeseed extract. IS IT EFFECTIVE? Total ORAC value includes both lipophilic and hydrophilic components. VitaBerry Plus +™ contains only water/hydroethanol based extracts and concentrated (100:1 to 125:1) freeze-dried fresh fruit blends, so the lipophilic ORAC value is mere 2-4% of the total ORAC value. Glutathione peroxidase is a selenium-containing enzyme that decreases cell death from brain injuries. It also acts as a critical first-line antioxidant defense on the airway (respiratory) epithelial surface against ROS and RNS (reactive nitrogen species. Genetics research has found that the glutathione S-transferase gene controls the onset of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease etc. Taking glutathione (GSH) itself as a supplement does not boost cellular glutathione levels, since it breaks down in the digestive tract before it reaches the cells. So glutathione precursor dietary supplements (such as NAC and GliSODin), along with fruits and vegetables, are effective in boosting intracellular levels of GSH. The lungs have a defense system against the ROS oxidants consisting of low molecular weight antioxidants such as GSH and intracellular enzymes such as SOD, catalase and glutathione peroxidase to protect against the toxic effects of oxidants generated within the cells. Some of the primary effects of VitaBerry Plus +™ against the common reactive free-radical species or ROS are as follows: - Superoxide dismutase-SOD (destroys Superoxide radicals),
- Catalase (neutralizes peroxides),
- Functions similar to reduced Glutathione (GSH),
- Glutathione peroxidase enzyme (detoxifies peroxides, using GSH as a reducing agent),
- Functions similar to Glutathione S-transferase (GST),
- Nullifies Superoxide-generating NADH/NADPH oxidase system In conclusion More concentrated than fresh berries, with over 6000 ORAC units per gram, VitaBerry Plus +™ provides consumers with the antioxidant power of almost 15 servings per day of FRUITS AND VEGETABLES ina convenient vegetarian capsule form! VitaBerry™ PLUS +™ (# 3336) provides a powerful, convenient way to supplement diets that do not include sufficient fruit and vegetable antioxidants Selected References: USDA/HHS guidelines report at: etaryguidelines/dga2005/document/
ls.com/proprietary/pdf/VitaberryBrochure.pdf g Kaplan M., Hayek T. , Raz A., Coleman R. and Aviram M. Pomegranate juice supplementation to apolipoprotein E deficient mice with extensive atherosclerosis reduces macrophages lipid peroxidation, cellular cholesterol accumulation and development of atherosclerosis. J. Nutr. 131: 2082-2089 (2001) Lars O Dragsted et. al., The 6-a-day study:effects if fruit and vegetables on markers of oxidative stress and antioxidative defense in healthy nonsmokers. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 79, No. 6, 1060-1072, June 2004 Fuhrman B. and Aviram M. Polyphenols and flavaonoids protects LDL against atherogenic modifications.In: Handbook of Antioxidants Biochemical, Nutritional and Clinical Aspects, 2nd Edition. Cadenas E & Packer L (Eds.) Marcel Dekker, NY(Pub.). 16:303-336 (2001) Wood, Jacqueline, et al. Antioxidant activity of procyanidin-containing plant extracts at different pHs. Food Chemistry 77 (2002) 155-161 Aviram M. Pomegranate juice as a major source for polyphenolic flavonoids and it is most potent antioxidant against LDL oxidation and atherosclerosis. Free Radical Research 36 (Supplement 1): 71-72 (2002) Jennifer Schraag, Antioxidants: Nature’s Way of Balancing Life. HSR Health Supplement Retailer, Vol. 11, No. 2, 24-27, February 2005 com/news/printNewsBis.asp?id=58665 com/news/printNewsBis.asp?id=58697
MSM - Natures Primary Sources of Organic Dietary Sulfur
August 02, 2005 03:48 PM
Theanine Serene™ with Relora® - to ease tension, improve relaxation
July 07, 2005 03:52 PM
NEW PRODUCT ANNOUNCEMENT
New and Improved!
Relora is a registered trademark of Next Pharmaceuticals.
Suggested Use: 2 tablets daily, or as recommended by your health care professional.
Life Force - The Energy Activator
June 29, 2005 10:35 AM
Don’t Be Confused About Multiples – Get the Top-Ranked Multiple That Scores 100%
We can help you decide how to pick the most advanced daily multiple for your wellness. Listen to the experts. Source Naturals LIFE FORCE MULTIPLE was honored as a leading formula in an independent scientific analysis of 500 multiples, ranking higher than any other national brand. Lyle MacWilliam, author of the Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements (ide.com) ranked multiples based on criteria developed from the published recommendations of the most renowned nutritional authorities: Phyllis Balch, C.N.C.; Michael Colgan, Ph.D.; Earl Mindell, Ph.D.; Michael Murray, N.D.; Richard Passwater, Ph.D.; Ray Strand, M.D.; and Julian Whitaker, M.D. Source Naturals’ success in this rigorous scientific analysis reflects our Bio-Aligned™ formulation method. LIFE FORCE goes deep to the underlying cause of health imbalances by supporting multiple body systems. And now, based on the latest scientific research, we have improved the formula by adding even more antioxidants and other cutting-edge ingredients. According to Lyle MacWilliam, “Source Naturals made a top ranked multiple even better!” And based on Lyle’s analysis of the new formula, LIFE FORCE is now the highest rated multiple of any evaluated in the current edition of this guide, scoring a 100% rating.
Bio-Align™ Yourself with Life Force
LIFE FORCE MULTIPLE was chosen as one of America’s most elite and comprehensive multiples, as reported in the Comparative Guide to Dietary Supplements by Lyle MacWilliam, 3rd ed. LIFE FORCE received this acknowledgement by nutrition experts because it is uniquely effective. This Bio-Aligned Formula™ goes beyond ordinary multiples that simply replace nutrients missing from the diet. LIFE FORCE provides key organ-specific nutrients to support your body’s energy generation, heart, brain, immune system, musculoskeletal system, skin, liver, eyes, and more. When all your body systems function in harmony, everything in life comes together. Your mood is positive, your mind is clear, you’ve got energy in your step—that’s your LIFE FORCE working for you.
Get Ahead with Activated Energy and a Healthy Metabolism
Your metabolism determines how much you weigh, how energetic you feel, and the effective functioning of all your systems. LIFE FORCE is a rarity – a unique multiple containing an incredible number of nutrients at the potency levels that truly support your healthy metabolic function. For example, it contains coenzyme Q10, which plays a crucial role in cellular energy production. CoQ10 is a vital intermediate in the electron transport chain, one of the body’s energy production cycles, which converts glucose, or blood sugar, into ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate), a high energy molecule that is the body’s “energy currency.” LIFE FORCE also supplies alpha-lipoic acid and the potent R-lipoic acid form of lipoic acid, which are both referred to as the universal antioxidants and important intermediaries in the Krebs cycle, another energy production cycle.
LIFE FORCE also contains tyrosine and iodine, both precursors to thyroid hormones. These hormones regulate key metabolic functions like heart rate, digestive function, weight management and energy levels. No discussion of metabolism would be complete without mentioning the B vitamins and their coenzymated forms, such as thiamin cocarboxylase, riboflavin mononucleotide, and the methylcobalamin form of vitamin B- 12. These critical vitamins and their immediately bioavailable coenzymated forms are formulated to play critical roles in thousands of enzyme reactions that promote carbohydrate metabolism, energy production, and the mental functions that invigorate and activate you as you move through your busy days. And now green tea extract with EGCG (Epigallocatechin Gallate) has been added to the formula for added metabolic support.
Protect Your Heart and Circulatory System
The amazing muscular organ that is your heart beats more than 100,000 times a day, 365 days a year, promoting vitality and alertness by constantly oxygenating our tissues. LIFE FORCE supports your cardiovascular system with antioxidant coenzyme Q10, which helps support heart muscle metabolism. LIFE FORCE also contains the minerals potassium and magnesium, electrolytes vital for healthy heartbeat and heart function, and the herb hawthorn, a rich source of antioxidant flavonoids, which has traditionally been used as a heart tonic. LIFE FORCE also supplies vitamins B-6, B-12 and folic acid to help maintain healthy homocysteine levels and vitamin K to support healthy circulation. Unlike common multiples, it supports cholesterol wellness, circulatory health and antioxidant cardiovascular protection, with both the typical d-alpha form of vitamin E but and the more potent and effective gamma-tocopherol and similarly structured tocotrienols.
Skin and Musculoskeletal Support
LIFE FORCE furnishes nutrients to build healthy bones, muscles and skin. We all know that calcium and magnesium are crucial for bone health, but many people don't know that there are a variety of nutritional cofactors that help build bone, such as vitamin D (which enhances calcium absorption and utilization), boron, manganese and copper. LIFE FORCE also supplies vitamin C and copper, necessary nutrients for collagen production (collagen is a key constituent of connective tissue in joints, skin and other areas), and the cutting-edge nutrient methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), an assimilable form of the mineral sulfur, used by the body to build and maintain connective tissues, including joint cartilage, hair, skin and nails. Additional nutraceuticals to support healthy skin include DMAE bitartrate, CoQ10, and alpha lipoic acid. LIFE FORCE also now includes rutin, quercetin, green tea extract and 65% more turmeric extract for your joint comfort.
Brain and Nerves Nutrition
The hectic pace and constant demands of life can keep our pulse racing, our nerves jangling and our temples throbbing. Our nervous systems are crying out, “Help!” LIFE FORCE provides that help. LIFE FORCE supplies the most highly bioavailable and bioactive forms of the amino acid tyrosine – the N-acetyl form and the acetyl-L form. Tyrosine is an important precursor to epinephrine and norepinephrine (collectively known as the catecholamines), which helps you respond to stress. It also contains high doses of vitamins C and B-6, required by the adrenal glands to produce the catecholamines. In addition, LIFE FORCE delivers the full spectrum of B vitamins, all important for healthy nervous system function. Now LIFE FORCE also contains a more bio-available form of tyrosine, acetyl-L-Tyrosine. And LIFE FORCE contains Neuroceutical® nutrients that support healthy brain function by furnishing DMAE and choline. Both are precursors to the important neurotransmitter acetylcholine and are important for memory focus and muscular movement. Choline is also a precursor to phosphatidylcholine, an important constituent of the cellular membranes that surround and protect our brain cells. In addition, LIFE FORCE contains the renowned herb Ginkgo biloba and now even more grape seed extract, both effective antioxidants that can prevent lipid peroxidation, which is critically important for the high amounts of fatty tissue in the brain. LIFE FORCE—good food for the brain.
LIFE FORCE MULTIPLE supports your immune system, so you can feel your best through the seasons. LIFE FORCE contains the immunosupportive nutrient vitamin A, which fosters cell-mediated immunity and protects the epithelial linings of the respiratory and digestive tracts. Two forms of vitamin A are supplied: preformed vitamin A and its precursor, the potent antioxidant betacarotene. Other immuno-supportive nutrients in LIFE FORCE include vitamin B-6, vitamin C and zinc, which is fundamental for proper functioning of our T-cells, the “seek and destroy” cells of our immune system. LIFE FORCE also now includes 40% more lipoic acid, including the highly bioavailable alpha and R-isomer forms. Lipoic acid along with the B vitamins and CoQ10 promote building the energy reserves needed when the immune system needs to kick into high gear.
Powerful Liver Support
Your liver is responsible for converting many nutrients into their metabolically active forms before your body can use them. After activation, these nutrients travel through the blood stream to target organs where they perform their metabolic functions. Not only does the liver activate nutrients, but it also plays a crucial role in a variety of other metabolic functions, from fat digestion and cholesterol production to blood sugar regulation to the processing and elimination of toxins, an important role in today’s increasingly polluted world. For all these reasons, nourishing the liver is crucial. And LIFE FORCE does just that. LIFE FORCE contains alpha-lipoic acid, turmeric, silymarin and N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) – all potent antioxidants that support healthy liver function. NAC and alpha-lipoic acid both help produce glutathione, one of the liver’s primary detoxifying molecules. Silymarin, the active flavonoid complex of the herb milk thistle, as well as coenzyme Q10, have been shown in vitro to inhibit lipid peroxidation of cell membranes. Turmeric extract promotes bile flow and is a rich source of the antioxidant, curcumin. LIFE FORCE also contains choline and inositol, vitamin- like molecules which act as lipotropics, unique substances that prevent the deposition of fat in the liver. Since the liver is naturally high in fats, LIFE FORCE is one of the only multiples that contains the fat-soluble form of vitamin C, ascorbyl palmitate, for antioxidant protection.
Complete Antioxidant Defense
Oxidative stress is the primary cause of accelerated aging. This and other forms of free radical damage are constantly threatening your body. Whether it is from pollution, ultraviolet light, food additives, or from other sources, it is more critical than ever to protect your body with antioxidants. LIFE FORCE contains 24 of the most powerful antioxidants known to science, including eight new antioxidants based on the latest research. It contains antioxidants that are water soluble, such as quercetin and rutin, and ones that are fat soluble, such as alpha-lipoic acid and lycopene. There are antioxidants that are especially protective of specific body systems, such as lutein to protect the macula in your eye, lycopene to protect your prostate gland, and tocotrienols to protect your arteries.
Cutting-Edge Vision Nutrition
The structure and functions of your eyes are very complex. LIFE FORCE contains nutrients to help support and maintain healthy eye tissue, which is particularly susceptible to oxidative stress from free radicals. To support your healthy macula, aqueous tissue and optical nerve signals, LIFE FORCE includes ingredients such as lutein, astaxanthin, beta carotene, bilberry, zinc, lipoic acid and quercetin.
Life Force Replenishes Essential Nutrients to Support Your Low Carb Lifestyle
LIFE FORCE contains optimal levels of many nutrients that might be deficient in low carb meals. Counting carbs can lead to restrictions of nutrient-dense foods, such as dairy products, grains, fruits and vegetables. LIFE FORCE contains many of the same protective antioxidants, vitamins and minerals as fruits and vegetables, including betacarotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, flavinols, magnesium and selenium. It also contains high levels of the same vitamins found in grains, including all of the B vitamins, to support your body’s healthy energy metabolism. And it contains nutrients found in dairy products, such as calcium, potassium, vitamin A and vitamin D.
Support Healthy Fat and Protein Consumption with Life Force
Low carb lifestyles mean higher consumption of proteins and fats. Unfortunately, there are artery, heart, colon and many other health concerns associated with meals that are high in fat and protein and low in fiber and produce. However, the nutrients in LIFE FORCE can help you better process these foods when eating this way. LIFE FORCE contains high levels of protective fat-soluble antioxidants such as alpha lipoic acid, ascorbyl palmitate (vitamin C ester) and vitamin E to protect your body from the free radicals generated by consuming more fats. It also contains many nutrients for liver health, such as silymarin, CoQ10, NAcetyl Cysteine and turmeric to help support the fat metabolism your liver is responsible for. LIFE FORCE also contains a high level of the B vitamin biotin, which aids in fat, protein and energy metabolism.
Complete Energizing Nutrition
LIFE FORCE is the only multiple to target organ systems with specific nutrients and bio-botanicals, antioxidants and Neuroceuticals® for total body harmony and energy activation, system by system. Only this dedication to going deep to the cellular root of system imbalances can produce a multiple so effective that it is acknowledged in a prestigious scientific review, the Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements. A nutritional program with LIFE FORCE at its center can be an easy first step in joining the Wellness Revolution. The goal of this revolution is a long, healthy and fulfilling life. Allow yourself to feel your best, to achieve mental and physical harmony, to radiate energy and vitality. Feel your LIFE FORCE!
Timed-Release St. John’s Wort Once Daily The Next Generation in Mood Support.
June 29, 2005 09:37 AM
Timed-Release St. John’s Wort Once Daily The Next Generation in Mood Support.
In our high-powered world, countless Americans are searching for a wholesome, natural product to help them maintain a positive outlook and sense of well-being. The remarkable botanical, St. John’s wort, is well-known for its established history of safe use. Now Source Naturals offers you the first and only once-daily, TIMED-RELEASE ST. JOHN’S WORT. This premium botanical is manufactured in a special cellulose base, which is tested to release St. John’s wort over a 12-hour period.
Source Naturals tests each production lot of TIMED-RELEASE ST. JOHN’SWORT. This exclusive supplement is standardized to 0.3% hypericin, yielding 2.7 mg in every convenient daily dose— the amount shown in research to support mild to moderate maintenance of a positive mood. At a time when our emotional well-being is challenged by unprecedented stress levels, research into the most convenient and effective natural remedies is critical. Source Naturals is your connection to this research, dedicated to quickly bringing you the benefts of the latest emerging wellness strategies.
Popular Choice For a Positive Mood—Now Even Better!
St. John’s wort, or Hypericum perforatum, has been valued by diverse cultures as far back as the Middle Ages for its ability to support a positive outlook and sense of well-being. Today modern consumers are experiencing the benefits of this renowned herb, which include mood-brightening, relaxation, alertness, and a sense of overall well-being. Unlike other supplements on the market, Source Naturals TIMED-RELEASE ST. JOHN’SWORT is produced using the most advanced scientific methods. The result is a supplement that offers the once-daily convenience today’s consumers have come to expect.
A review of 23 randomized clinical trials encompassing 1757 subjects was reported in the British Medical Journal. It showed that St. John’s wort was more effective than placebo for mild to moderate maintenance of a positive mental outlook.
The Beneficial Constituents
The beneficial constituents of the St. John’s Wort plant are believed to be the naphthodianthrones, especially hypericin and pseudohypericin, and a wide variety of flavonoids. Source Naturals TIMED-RELEASE ST. JOHN’S WORT is standardized to consistently yield 0.3% hypericin. Each convenient once-daily dose contains 900 mg of St. John’s Wort extract, yielding 2.7 mg hypericin. This is the optimal amount found in most studies to support a positive outlook and sense of wellbeing. Benefits may be experienced within 4 to 6 weeks of initial use.
Emotional Well-Being: Important Component of the Wellness Revolution
Source Naturals is pleased to join with your local health food store in offering you the next generation in St. John’s wort supplementation. TIMED RELEASE ST. JOHN’SWORT can help you support a positive mood with the remarkable properties of the plant world, exclusively formulated for once-daily convenience. This advanced product reflects today’s revolution in natural health care, offering you the benefits of natural, cuttingedge supplementation.
Summary of Specific Actions Associated with Ginkgo
June 25, 2005 12:39 PM
Summary of Specific Actions Associated with Ginkgo
Unquestionably, ginkgo will continue to enjoy its current popularity. As baby boomers continue to enlarge the senior citize n block of our population, supplements which have the ability to deter or even prevent age-related disorders will be vigorously sought after.
Ginkgo can be used in these combinations for bioenhancement:
Ginkgo: Primary Applications
The following are general areas that ginkgo biloba can be used effectively:
The following are areas of secondary application for ginkgo biloba:
Ginko: A Natural Antidepressant?
June 25, 2005 11:34 AM
Ginko: A Natural Antidepressant?
Several health practitioners are looking at ginkgo as a possible natural substitute for some pharmaceutical antidepressants. Be cause ginkgo stimulates the brain through increased oxygen availability, it may have therapeutic value in some cases of depression. Depression is viewed by some doctors as a condition of brain “sleepiness.” By increasing mental alertness, ginkgo may help to snap a depressed brain out of its mental patterns by stimulating biochemical reactions at the cellular level. Ginkgo may inadvertently work the same way that exercise does for people suffering from depression. Exercise helps to oxygenate the blood and by so doing, elevates mood. Ginkgo accomplishes a similar action by boosting brain blood flow. Ginkgo has also been recommended in combination with antidepressant drugs such as tricyclics and tetracyclics. It should be noted that tests using ginkgo to treat depression used higher than normal dosages of ginkgo. Learning disabilities may also benefit from the neuro-stimulation ginkgo provides, however, no one has studied its effects in this area.
Increased Brain Power and Memory with Ginkgo
June 25, 2005 11:23 AM
Increased Brain Power and Memory with Ginkgo
Ginkgo’s ability to enhance cognitive function is becoming common knowledge. Boosting the capability of the brain to record information, communicate ideas or recall concepts can all be enhanced by taking ginkgo biloba therapeutically. Evidently, providing a better oxygen supply to brain cells is ginkgo’s primary neural action. The brain is the body’s most sensitive organ to oxygen deprivation. Today, more than ever, the effects of smoking, alcohol and stress in general can diminish brain function and compromise mental alertness. Ginkgo has demonstrated over and over that it can make a significant difference in memory retrieval, fact retention and problem solving.
One of the most impressive aspects of ginkgo is its ability to stimulate circulation and oxygen flow to neural tissue, there by improving cognitive functions and memory. In test cases when ginkgo has been administered, an increase in cerebro-circulation has been noted in both healthy or diseased brain tissue. What makes this finding particularly relevant is that other circulatory enhancers, whether natural or synthetic do not usually possess this capability.
In addition, ginkgo increases oxygen transport at the blood-brain barrier site, while inhibiting the permeability of toxins into brain tissue. As well as boosting blood supply to the brain, ginkgo has demonstrated the ability to increase the rate at which information is transmitted at the nerve cell level.2
In a double-blind study, one group of healthy young women received ginkgo extract, and the other was given a placebo. A memory test was administered and the reaction time in those women who had taken the ginkgo improved significantly. These findings corresponded with EEG tracings which showed increased brain wave activity.3
Short-term memory and basic learning rates can be statistically improved by using ginkgo. Ginkgo’s ability to enhance memory may also be helpful for epileptics who take anticonvulsants. Typically, an anticonvulsant can impair memory function, making it difficult to retrieve names or numbers from memory banks. In addition, although research is lacking, because ginkgo stimulates brain function, it may help to inhibit improper discharging of electrical impulses which is the primary cause of seizures in epileptics. Ginkgo is rapidly gaining an impressive reputation as a brain enhancer. It has demonstrated its capability to improve memory, mental efficiency and the ability to concentrate. It has also been shown to reduce anxiety, headaches, tension, vertigo, and age-related cerebral disorders. Anyone who has suffered a stroke should look into the possible benefits of ginkgo to amplify mental function and clarity.
Considerable research on ginkgo conducted in Eu rope has confirmed that ginkgo does indeed facilitate better arterial circulation as well as improve electrical transmission in the nerves. The latter function also contributes to improved oxygenation and nutrition to the brain.4 Ginkgo is now accepted as a brain booster which improves memory, mental efficiency, cognitive function, communication, orientation and the ability to concentrate. Recently, the notion of using ginkgo for learning disorders has received some attention. Forthcoming research on the subject will help to clarify its potential for treating such conditions.
Caffeine - a nervous system stimulant
June 21, 2005 12:14 PM
Caffeine when used in moderation, acts as a mild stimulant to the nervous system and is harmless but potentially addictive to most persons. Caffeine increases the heart rate and rhythm, affects the central nervous system, and increases urination. It also stimulates secretion of stomach acids and is therefore harmful to individuals with ulcers.
Caffeine helps restore mental alertness or wakefulness when experiencing fatigue or drowsiness. The recommended dose of this product contains about as much caffeine as a cup of coffee. Limit the use of caffeine-containing medications, foods, or beverages while taking this product because too much caffeine may cause nervousness, irritability, sleeplessness and occasionally rapid heartbeat.
Do not give to children under 12 years of age. For occasional use only. Not intended for use as a substitute for sleep. If fatigue or drowsiness persist or continues to occur, consult a physician. Do not use if you are diabetic.
Scents of Balance
June 14, 2005 11:54 AM
Scents of Balance by Rosemary Sage Energy Times, January 5, 2005
Life can feel like an emotional rollercoaster, with the high-stress jitters following the low-mood blues. But aromatherapy-the healing power of scent-can restore equilibrium.
The use of volatile plant oils, including essential oils, for psychological and physical well-being dates back thousands of years. The ancient Chinese, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans used infused oils and herbal preparations for medicinal, fragrant, cosmetic, even spiritual reasons.
During the late 20th century, people started to relearn the benefits of aromatherapy and these days, aromatherapy's reputation as a soothing, healing art continues to grow. Once you've experienced the odiferous power of aromatherapy's essential oils, you'll keep coming back for more: These gently wafting odors have the power to stimulate or calm, invigorate or relax.
When you enter this scented world, "there you will find nature in one of its most powerful forms-aromatic liquid substances known as 'essential oils,'" says Valerie Ann Worwood in The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy (Thorsons). Essential oils form what Worwood refers to as the "fragrant pharmacy," a collection of concentrated substances used in pharmaceuticals, foods and cosmetics.
When you sniff the aromas of essential oils, "they enter and leave the body with great efficiency, leaving no toxins behind," Worwood points out. "The most effective way to use essential oils is...by external application or inhalation. The methods used include body oils, compresses, cosmetic lotions, baths-including sitz, hand and foot baths-hair rinses...perfumes...and a whole range of room [scenting] methods."
As Worwood explains, essential oils are produced in various parts of different plants. As a result, it takes a great deal of specialized work to extract essential oils. About 60,000 rose blossoms are consumed in the production of an ounce (!) of rose oil.
Just as the antioxidant phytonutrients we eat in vegetarian foods link our bodies to the health-promoting chemistry of plants, the penetrating nature of essential oils are thought to connect our souls to the essences of flora. "From inside comes the voice and from inside comes the scent," observed the 19th century German doctor Gustav Fechner, quoted by Robert Tisserand in The Art of Aromatherapy (Healing Arts Press). "Just as one can tell human beings in the dark from the tone of voice, so, in the dark, every flower can be recognized by its scent. Each carries the soul of its progenitor."
Fechner believed that the power of essential oils to stir our deepest emotions derives from their function as a vital means of communication in the plant world. As Tisserand asks, can't we imagine that flowers "communicate with each other by the very perfumes they exude, becoming aware of each other's presence?"
The Science Behind the Scent
While alternative medical practitioners have acknowledged the effectiveness of aromatherapy for thousands of years, only recently have conventional medical researchers begun seriously looking into how this technique works.
For instance, a study of estragole, a chemical found in basil, fennel and tarragon, determined that it could potentially ease back pain by inhibiting inflammation of the sciatic nerve. (The sciatic nerve, the longest nerve in the body, runs from the back down the leg.) The researchers discovered that estragole is "active on nerves," a conclusion that aromatherapy practitioners, who employ the scent of these oils to soothe pain, already knew. Science is verifying another piece of information long known to practitioners-that while certain essential oils can calm you down, others prod your alertness. In a study performed at the University of Northumbria in England, scientists found that sniffing the scent of lavender lulls the human brain into a comfortable, rather stupefied state, while rosemary, in contrast, can sharpen recall.
As the English researchers noted, lavender "produced a significant decrement in performance of working memory, and impaired reaction times for both memory and attention-based tasks." That's probably why the odor of lavender is noted for enhancing sleep. On the other hand, the scientists found that rosemary "produced a significant enhancement of performance for overall quality of memory and secondary memory factors." However, they did point out that under the influence of both of these oils, performance slowed when tackling a battery of memory tests. Apparently, the oils mellowed people so that they had little motivation to rush through the paperwork.
As Frazesca Watson notes in Aromatherapy Blends & Remedies (Thorsons): "The aroma of the oils directly affects our moods and emotions and sometimes our short- and long-term memory. Together with a wide range of physiological benefits, the aroma can help with emotional upsets such as depression, anxiety, nervous tension, anger, apathy, confusion, indecision, fear, grief, hypersensitivity, impatience, irritability, panic and hysteria."
Essential oils are especially helpful at defusing stress. Watson notes, "Treatments with essential oils are therefore very helpful for all sorts of stress-related problems, so common in our modern life."
As scientific research into the effects of these oils continue, conventional medical practitioners are sure to embrace them in increasing numbers. But before there were scientists around to confirm the effects of these wonderful scents, the ancient medical practitioners in Egypt and Greece attributed the origins of aromatherapy to the gods. For many people in today's overstressed world, the relaxing assurance of essential oils certainly seems heaven-s(c)ent.
Health Movements - Joining mind and body with healthy movement generates harmony
June 12, 2005 05:49 PM
Health Movements by Sylvia Whitefeather Energy Times, December 6, 2003
Mind/body exercises like yoga (especially the super-popular Bikram variety), tai chi and Pilates aren't just trendy, they're custom made to soothe the rough edges of modern life. So often does today's fast-paced world emphasize the mental and competitive aspects of existence that its inhabitants frequently neglect the necessity of gentle movement for the body. But these exercises are an antidote to the tendency to view the mind and body as separate entities.
Modern science is validating what traditional teachers have always known: The mind dwells in every cell. Joining mind and body with healthy movement generates harmony, lowers your chance of chronic illness and promotes emotional stability.
No one knows when yoga first appeared. Historians and archaeologists figure the practice was initiated in India somewhere between 3,000 and 1,500 BCE. But the father of the modern forms of yoga is considered to be a man named Patanjali, who wrote the Yoga Sutra around 200 CE.
The literal translation of the word yoga is "union." As Jennifer Schwamm Willis notes in her book The Joy of Yoga (Marlowe), this practice represents "the union of body, mind and spirit." The purpose of learning the fundamental movements of yoga is to connect with your body, release knots of tension and improve strength and flexibility. In that way, the physical balance during a yoga session translates into inner balance during times of crisis or distress. Schwamm points out that ancient yoga practitioners believed "the aim of yoga is to quiet the fluctuations of the mind, to create stillness in order to hear one's inner voice..."
Yoga is used by many for stress relief. But it has other important uses: In a study presented by Oregon Health & Science University at the American Academy of Neurology meeting in April 2003, yoga was shown to benefit folks with multiple sclerosis. The researchers found that participants who regularly attended yoga class for six months suffered less fatigue and improved their quality of life.
A yoga class generally begins with warm-up postures, moves on to a core group of basic postures, and ends with poses meant to cool you down. An important aspect of yoga is breath work and control. Movement in and out of poses involves carefully orchestrated breath work. Inhalation and exhalation in timed sync with movement lies at the heart of yoga's benefits. Yoga beginners often feel stiff and inflexible. But with gentle, patient, regular practice, greater flexibility, strength and balance can be had. Experts say that a yoga session does not demand struggle; it asks for surrender. If one pose causes discomfort, try another.
One particular form of yoga, Bikram, is hot in terms of both popularity and room temperature: Not only is it one of the biggest trends in the fitness world, this demanding, aerobic take on yoga is conducted in heated rooms designed to maximize muscle relaxation and minimize injury risk. The heat also helps facilitate cleansing and detoxification. It was created by Bikram Choudhury, a four-time Indian yoga champ who founded the Yoga College of India in Beverly Hills, California.
As in other types of yoga, Bikram uses asanas, or poses, handed down through generations of yoga teachers. In this case, though, 26 asanas are done in a prescribed order over a 90-minute period. Everyone, from novice to expert, works out together, the idea being that each individual is working to stretch his or her own limits by becoming stronger, more flexible and less prone to illness.
Bikram yoga stresses the tourniquet effect, in which blood floods through vessels after they've momentarily been squeezed shut. This pressurizing effect is supposed to flush out debris, quickening circulation and releasing stress. The tourniquet effect also helps cleanse the lymphatic system. Proponents say Bikram improves balance, concentration and posture; increases energy; and eases sleep.
Like any other exercise program, Bikram yoga requires diligence: one center says a minimum of 10 classes over 30 days is needed for maximum benefits. And while hydration is important during all fitness routines, consuming adequate water is crucial when you're exercising in a hot room.
Tai chi (also known as taiji or tai chi ch'uan) consists of a series of fluid movements that build endurance, increase flexibility and balance, and foster alertness of mind and spirit. Tai chi developed around the 13th century as a form of martial arts in China based on the power of flow and grace, rooting and yielding, flexibility and endurance. To the onlooker, a person practicing the movements of tai chi has the quality of someone swimming in air.
This gentle form of movement can be practiced by people of almost all ages and physical conditions. Tai chi does not require special equipment, props or a floor mat. As a non-impact form of exercise, tai chi delivers minimal stress to the joints. Tai chi emphasizes proper body alignment and uses the large muscles in the legs to relieve stress from the hips, back and shoulders. It strengthens joints, increases range of motion and improves circulation of all body fluids. Like many other forms of mind/body exercise, tai chi relieves stress.
Tricia Yu, author of Tai Chi: Mind and Body (DK), has been practicing tai chi for over 30 years. She believes that tai chi not only has benefits as a health exercise, but that it "can have a beneficial effect on your mental and emotional states, as well as help you to feel connected with your surroundings." Yu adds, "Like yoga, tai chi originated in a culture that views the mind and body not as separate but rather as different expressions or states of qi-vital energy or life force."
Current research has validated the health benefits of tai chi. One study found that the knee strength of elderly people practicing tai chi improves significantly (J Gerontol A Biol Med Sci 2003 August; 58:M763-6). Participants in this study, whose average age was 72 years, benefited significantly after five months of tai chi. For the elderly, this extra strength and control translates into fewer falls and injuries.
Tai chi may help immunity. In a study published in the September 2003 issue of Psychosomatic Medicine, researchers reported that elderly folks who participated in a tai chi class for a period of 15 weeks "saw an improvement in factors that suppress shingles [a painful viral condition] increase by 50%." They also showed an increased ability to move throughout the day and a significant improvement in their general health.
Joseph Pilates (1880-1968) was a sickly child afflicted with asthma, rickets and rheumatic fever. Determined to recover his health, Pilates studied both Eastern and Western forms of exercise, incorporating moves from gymnastics, yoga and wrestling, along with controlled breathing. With his wife, Clara, Joseph Pilates developed the form of exercise known today as simply Pilates. In the 1920s, Joseph left his native Germany and came to New York City and began teaching his exercise style in dance studios.
Today, Pilates has gained acceptance both as an exercise style for fitness and as a system for physical rehabilitation. Because of its benefits, Pilates is practiced in hospitals, wellness centers, gyms and specialized Pilates studios. It is used by athletes, dancers and anyone looking to increase endurance and improve flexibility, balance and muscle tone.
The basic principle of Pilates focuses on increasing what is called core strength. Core muscle groups include the abdominal, pelvic floor and back muscles. If these muscle groups are strong, then the body is balanced and strong. The Pilates method also encourages flexibility by building long, strong muscles without bulk.
The Stott method is one of the most popular forms of Pilates. This technique combines traditional Pilates exercises with movements updated to conform with modern knowledge about the biomechanics of the human body. By stabilizing muscles in the pelvis and shoulders, and keeping the spine and pelvis in safe, neutral positions, knowledgeable Pilates instructors minimize the chance of injury during these exercises.
Pilates exercises have been shown to help reduce back pain. Researchers report that "Pilates method can be useful for patients with chronic low back pain and deconditioning" (J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2002 May; 25/4:E3).
According to Ken Endelman, the founder of Balanced Body, maker of Pilates equipment, "Pilates is a full-body exercise. It focuses on flexibility and control, not adding bulk; bulk defeats flexibility. This flexibility is particularly important as we age. Staying flexible is key, and Pilates is good at those types of things."
A Pilates routine can be structured to fit your specific physical needs or goals. Instructors use specially designed equipment along with mat work to improve fitness. The human body was designed to move. Again and again, research shows that exercise maintains health, vitality, longevity, weight and quality of life. If you match your exercise with your physical needs and goals, and your personality, you are more likely to stay with that program whether it is aerobics, walking, Pilates or yoga. For real benefits, physical fitness has to be a lifetime endeavor.