Search Term: " Alma "
CBD Oil Benefits for Dogs
February 17, 2018 07:59 AM
The use of CBD oil as a supplement for humans has been growing in past years, as researchers discover new and promising benefits and regulatory restrictions are incrementally relaxed. But, did you know that this substance can have significant benefits for your dogs as well? Particularly, the use of CBD oil in dogs can help to improve cardiovascular health, as well as joint mobility. And, there are specific formulations which are aimed directly for use at our canine friends.
"your canine family member can likely benefit from daily CBD oil supplements in much the same way you do."
Read more: https://www.medicalmarijuanainc.com/cbd-oil-benefits-dogs/
CBD from Hemp Oil vs. CBD from Medical Marijuana
May 17, 2017 10:44 AM
Two well known plants that are easily mixed up include the hemp and marijuana plant. Now many people are wondering what separates the CBD oil made from hemp and the CBD made from medical marijuana. Oil made from hemp was said to be least potent, but molecular wise they are the same. However, hemp plants grow much faster and can yield more. Since many medical marijuana growers do not have regulations on how to grow, harmful chemicals could be used which in return would be in the oil.
Read more: CBD from Hemp Oil vs. CBD from Medical Marijuana
4 Reasons to Make a CBD Hemp Oil Supplement Part of Your Day
March 25, 2017 01:44 PM
With the recent more progressive views toward marijuana, people are realizing that there are many benefits to the plant beyond smoking and ingesting it. In fact, CBD, a non THC compound that is created from the plant, has an abundance of positive qualities that should make potential users excited for the many benefits. CBD has four main benefits that really help those that are looking for a positive effects, similar to those that are seen from ingesting regular marijuana, but also other great aspects.
"Full-spectrum hemp oil refers to pure hemp oil that features all the same cannabinoids present in the original hemp plant, providing an all-natural CBD hemp oil supplement that allows the cannabinoids and other compounds in hemp to work together in what is called the entourage effect."
Read more: http://www.medicalmarijuanainc.com/4-reasons-make-cbd-hemp-oil-supplement-part-day/
Nearly 10000 Acres of Hemp Now Growing in US
February 14, 2017 05:59 AM
Hemp has many uses. Rope is made from it, it has medical applications, and even the seed is used. It has nutrients in it. Hemp is often villafied because it comes from the marijuana plant but it's becoming more and more accepted. There is a bunch of it now growing in the United States which is what we're discussing here.
What is Fenugreek Seed and How Does It Boost Your Health?
July 07, 2011 11:16 AM
Fenugreek seed and your health
Fenugreek seed is a spice often added to curries and other Indian dishes. It is a good source of protein and nutrients. In folk medicine, it has been used in the treatment of pain and irritation characteristic of inflammation. It is historically utilized to promote lactation. More recent studies have shown that it displays antiviral properties. In particular, it has been tested in allaying symptoms of cold infections.
Trigonella foenum-graecum is a plant species that belongs to the legume family. As such, it has been cultivated as a vegetable even before the ancient times. It is believed to be an indigenous species of the Fertile Crescent, a historic region that comprises the modern countries Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Syria. To this day, it remains an important crop, herb, and food source in these countries.
Combats Diabetes Mellitus
Fenugreek seed has been the subject of scientific research in the past few years. Drawing on its use in traditional medicine, it has been employed in the management of blood sugar. It improves the effect of the hormone insulin in regulating glucose levels. In fact, it has shown great potential in treating both type I insulin dependent diabetes mellitus and type II noninsulin dependent diabetes mellitus.
Alters Blood Lipid Profile
The phytochemical content of fenugreek seed enables it to effectively lower cholesterol levels in the blood. Clinical trials have recorded changes in lipids present in the systemic circulation after intake of fenugreek seed products. It is now postulated that it blocks the metabolic pathway for the synthesis of low density lipoproteins or bad cholesterol. Some sources say that it raises good cholesterol levels.
Increases Milk Production
Fenugreek seed is rich in organic compounds that promote the secretion of milk products within the mammary glands of lactating women by as much as 900 per cent. Traditionally, the seeds are ground into powder and consumed in large quantities by pregnant women. Today they are made into capsules, which have been reported to display the same benefits and remain popular in the Indian subcontinent.
Relieves Viral Infections
There is a growing body of literature devoted to the putative antiviral properties of fenugreek seed. A number of researchers have attested that the seed displays biochemical activity that interferes with the replication of viruses. For instance, topical applications of fenugreek extracts have shown desirable results in removing viral skin conditions, and oral intake has been effective in easing the common cold.
Promotes Skin Health
Fenugreek seed is a natural conditioner and moisturizer. It promotes retention of moisture in the skin and protects the outer layer of the skin from irritants. It has been used as salves to wounds, rashes, boils, bruises, allergies, and insect bites. It is made into a syrupy mixture that is directly applied to the hair. It regulates the production of sebum in the hair follicles and helps control dandruff.
Grab some fenugreek seed and feel the difference!
What Does The Ayurvedic Herb Amla Do For The Body?
February 22, 2011 02:25 PM
Alma And Your Health
Amla is an herb famed for its high content of antioxidants, notably vitamin C. The berries, which are utilized as a source of food and in the production of dietary supplement, come from the plant species Phyllanthus emblica, or more commonly identified as Emblica officinalis, but other parts of the plants such as the leaves and bark have also been used in preparations in treatment of various diseases.
Also known as Indian gooseberry in the vernacular, amla is an important herbal remedy in Ayurvedic medicine, a system of medical practices native to India. It is also extensively used in Unani practices, which cover the countries of the Middle East, largely owing to the influence of earlier Hippocratic medicine on the region.
Scavenges Free Radicals
Amla is touted to be among the fruits that contain exceptionally high concentrations of vitamin C. The berries yield up to 445mg per 100g, which is at least 20 times higher than the ascorbate content of oranges. In addition, the plant produces a unique free cascading antioxidant now called emblicanin, purported to have very strong antioxidant properties, seeking out free radicals and effectively scavenging large numbers by converting into another form of antioxidant after neutralizing the first.
As you might already know, free radicals significantly contribute to the process of aging by producing effects related to oxidation. While the body manufactures endogenous agents that come to its defense, it has long been discovered that free radicals are able to multiply at an exponential rate and cause irreversible damage at the cellular level. This is the reason why supplementation of vitamin C as well as other antioxidants is advocated by the scientific community.
Lowers Bad Cholesterol
One of the studies concerning amla that have promising preliminary results is its use as a therapeutic remedy for elevated levels of blood cholesterol. There have been reports that the high density of tannins in amla is responsible for its effects on the production of low-density lipoproteins in the liver. These lipoproteins, notoriously labeled as bad cholesterol, is the main transports of cholesterol and triglycerides in the bloodstream and in the process gets attracted to the arterial walls, resulting in buildup of plaques associated to atherosclerosis and related heart diseases.
Inhibits Bone Resorption
Amla has also shown to have an effect on osteoclasts, which is involved in the degeneration of bone and cartilage tissues related to osteoporosis and many cases of arthritis. Intake of amla has been observed to induce death in osteoclasts and alter the gene expression in osteoclasts, thereby reducing bone resorption. That being said, it prevents further damages to bone and joints in patients of arthritis and osteoporosis.
There have been many scientific researches concerning the age-old applications of amla in many common ailments, such as fever, cough and colds, and constipation, age-related diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes, and even enhancing the memory. Most of these studies are limited to India and has largely drawn on anecdotal evidence of the local communities.
If you want to give your body a health boost, try the Ayurvedic herb Alma today!
Vitamin D And Calcium - Phosphorus Absorption
January 14, 2011 12:21 PM
The human body is indeed a very complex system that needs various vitamins and minerals to sustain its vigor and life. One of the essential vitamins that is a must for our body to have is Vitamin D. The function of the said vitamin would sound very simple but if you ponder it deeper you will realize that beyond the simplicity lies its true essence and use.
The most vital function of vitamin D is for calcium and phosphorous absorption for bone and teeth growth. Not only that, it also aids in regulating the use and consumption of both minerals. To simply elaborate the vitamin’s mechanism of action, here goes the explanation. Adequate intake of Vitamin D could help your body decipher whether phosphorous and calcium will be deposited into your bones or would be discarded out of your system. Hence, for individuals who do not have sufficient intake of vitamin D, they would find it difficult to maintain homeostasis of the two essential minerals- calcium and phosphorous.
As early as now, we have to do our best and engage in different ways and means on how we can ensure that our body is getting enough vitamin D. It has been stated in several medical literatures that with adequate exposure to morning sunlight for approximately twenty to thirty minutes or an hour depending on the person’s skin tone, the body could generate its own vitamin D. the explanation for the difference in the required exposure is based on the fact that individuals who have dark colored skin has undeniably more skin pigments that could filter ultraviolet rays.
Because vitamin D is responsible in maintaining the health of your bones and teeth, a deficiency with the said vitamin would lead to a condition known as rickets. Rickets is characterized by bone fragility caused by depletion of calcium and protein deposits in your bones. However, as the golden rule dictates, too much of everything is bad. So if you consume too much of vitamin D, there would be a high probability that it will cause you a problem in your kidneys, heart and other vital organs brought about by calcium deposits.
Vitamin D can be found on the array of foods that we eat. Some food groups that contain high and liberal amounts of vitamin D includes: butter, milk, cod liver oil, cream, yogurt, tuna and egg yolks. However, despite of their high content of vitamin D, extra caution must be employed in eating such foods for it contains high level of bad cholesterol that is very detrimental to one’s body which in the long run would bring you to an undesirable state of health. Another wonder that vitamin D brings is the capacity of slowing down the growing number of cancer cells and in preventing grave illness such as multiple sclerosis, psoriasis diabetes mellitus and arthritis.
Good Colon Health Is Essential To Feeling Good
July 21, 2010 02:55 PM
There was once a case of a young man who had felt sick for years. Although it was nothing intense, it was just enough to make him feel listless, tired, and depressed. His medical doctors prescribed him a list of medications, but nothing seemed to help. Eventually, he went to a chiropractor who was also trained in nutrition. After a few urine tests and an examination of his diet, the chiropractor was able to diagnose the man’s problem as auto-intoxication. This meant that his body was actually being poisoned by his intestinal tract.
Auto-intoxication, also known as intestinal toxemia, is a condition that is brought on by eating the wrong types and amounts of food that certain bacteria can thrive upon and produce toxins from. These toxins permeate into the bloodstream and are carried into the rest of the body. Symptoms of auto-intoxication include fatigue, nervousness, gastrointestinal conditions, skin diseases, headaches, endocrine and circulatory disturbances, and others.
The chiropractor placed the young man on a regime of low-protein, high complex-carbohydrate, low-fat foods, with the main emphasis being on raw fruits and vegetables. The young man felt great within a month. His symptoms had gradually disappeared. He states that it was frustrating to suffer for so long when the answer to his problem was a change in diet. The diet changes were not hard for him. After so long being sick, he was willing to try almost anything. He claims that the relief he feels today has made the diet changes worthwhile. The toxins which are formed and sent into the bloodstream are sent to the liver first, where some, but not all, of them are filtered out. They are then sent back into the bloodstream where they poison various cells. Finally, they are excreted by the kidneys into urine, making their presence able to be detected through a urinalysis.
A lot of medical literature has been published that supports the link between illness and intestinal toxemia. The following are just a few examples of this literature. One doctor studied 472 cases of allergies, with allergies clearing up when intestinal toxemia was eliminated. After 23 years of observation, another doctor stated that toxemia is the underlying cause of asthma. About 50% of all cases of inflammatory arthritis can be greatly helped by removing the toxins that are formed in the intestine. Similarly, about 25% of all cases of irregular heartbeats seem to respond well to the elimination of toxemia. Several hundred cases of ear, nose, and throat diseases were from auto-intoxications. A high protein diet that is combined with intestinal stagnation has been shown to cause toxemia of pregnancy.
It was found that many cases of eye disease respond well when the intestinal toxins are eliminated from the picture. Both mental and physical nervous system diseases may result form auto-intoxication. One paper reported that 517 cases of mental symptoms that ranged from mental sluggishness to hallucinations were relieved by eliminating intestinal toxemia. Recent research has actually found that toxemia is related to schizophrenia.
The process of aging is even sped up by toxins in the body. Low back pain and sciatica can be caused by nerves that are irritated by intestinal toxins. One doctor reported that intestinal toxemia is an important causative factor in the production of a variety of skin diseases. Breast diseases have self-healed when auto-intoxication has been removed from the picture. It seems that the answer to many health problems is building up the immune system with a healthy diet that is high in complex-carbohydrates, low in fats, and contains an abundance of fruits and vegetables.
Increasing fiber in the diet can help colon function and eliminate the compounds that cause auto-intoxication. Acidophilus can help restore the intestinal balance once the colon has been cleansed boosting digestion and immune health. Look to your local or internet health food store for quality colon support supplements.
Natural Remedies To Control Blood Sugar
June 17, 2010 01:32 PM
Diabetes has now been found to be the seventh leading cause of death in the United States and Canada. It is a chronic disorder of carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolism. The disease starts off as a variety of metabolic changes that are associated with hyperinsulinemenia and hyperglycemia. When this happens, Insulin Resistance Syndrome results, which is a precursor to actual, full-blown, diabetes. If left untreated, insulin resistance will develop into full-blown diabetes, which includes greatly magnified risks of heart disease, stroke, eye and kidney disease, and loss of nerve function. It should be noted that diabetes is the principal cause of adult blindness and limb amputation.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. In this type of diabetes, the body either does not produce enough insulin or the cells ignore the insulin. Insulin is crucial for the body to be able to use glucose for energy. The body breaks down all of the sugars and starches that you consume into glucose, while insulin takes the glucose from the blood into the cells. When glucose builds up in the blood instead of going into the cells, the cells may be starved for energy immediately, and high blood sugar glucose levels over time can cause damage to your eyes, kidneys, nerves, and heart. Diabetes occurs in people of all ages and races, with some groups having a higher risk for developing it than others. Diabetes is more common in African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and Asian Americans, as well as the older aged population.
Non-insulin-dependent diabetes, also known as type 2 diabetes, is a disease that is strongly associated with a sedentary lifestyle and the modern western diet. Inadequate physical activity, along with a diet that is high in refined sugars, saturated fats, and proteins, and simultaneously low in dietary fiber has resulted in an obesity epidemic throughout the United States and Canada. With this epidemic has risen the prevalence of type 2 diabetes. In fact, obesity is a main factor in type 2 diabetes, with almost 90% of those diagnosed with type 2 diabetes being obese at the time of diagnosis. Although there is still a disagreement as to whether obesity actually causes type 2 diabetes or whether diabetes causes obesity, there is one thing that is clear: the disease involves a huge disturbance to the metabolic balance of the body and weight is a major factor in blood sugar management. This disturbance leads to dramatic consequences for the individual.
In order to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, it is crucial that one prevents the onset of insulin resistance. Unfortunately, millions of North Americans unknowingly suffer from this syndrome. This places them at an increased risk for cardiovascular and neurological dysfunctions. Research has shown that complications that are associated with the development of insulin resistance may be mitigated effectively by conscientious dietary and lifestyle changes along with weight loss.
Vitamins B3, B6, B12, C, E, biotin, coenzyme Q10, and the trace elements chromium, magnesium, manganese, and zinc are all crucial for proper blood sugar defense and metabolic support, as well as the regulation of glucose metabolism. Supplementation with these nutrients at levels that are determined to be suitable for optimal nutritional health by cited nutritional authorities is an important part of product-rating criteria. Nutritional experts ask themselves whether the product in question contains vitamin B3, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin E, biotin, coenzyme Q10, chromium, magnesium, manganese, and zinc at potencies that are up to 100% of the potencies for these nutrients in the Blended Standard.
Excess weight seems to be a key factor in type 2 diabetes so it seems to reason that reducing body fat can help one improve insulin sensitivity. Losing weight is no easy task but is possible with consistent work. Fortunately, heath food stores have vitamin formulas that may help improve insulin sensitivity, but this is no substitute for good clean eating and exercise. For additional information on these supplements, please contact your local health food retailer.
Antioxidants and your health
May 17, 2010 10:44 AM
There is an impressive amount of scientific evidence supporting the health benefits of supplementing with a wide variety of antioxidants. Consequently, there are many health practitioners who have begun to recommend high dietary intakes of these crucial nutrients in order to prevent against oxidative stress. It was anticipated over two decades ago by leading researchers that high-dose supplementation with antioxidants is developing a significant role in the prevention and treatment of a lot of today’s common illnesses. It should be noted that antioxidants do not work in isolation. When an antioxidant neutralizes a free radical, it, itself, is oxidized and must be regenerated by another antioxidant before it can be used again. Because of this, it is crucial to supplement with a wide variety of antioxidants, in order to reflect what actually occurs in nature.
Vitamin C, an aqueous-phase antioxidant, is the main guard against oxidative attack in the extra-cellular matrix, as well as within the cytoplasm of the cell. Vitamin C happens to be a substrate for eight different enzyme systems that are involved in various cellular functions. Among these functions are collagen synthesis, ATP synthesis in the mitochondria, and hormone biosynthesis. Its main antioxidant partners are vitamin E and beta carotene, both of which help to regenerate vitamin C.
Of all the antioxidants, it seems as if vitamin E offers the greatest protection against heart disease because of its ability to protect the cardiovascular system from oxidative damage. It is lipid-soluble, making it an important component of the cell membrane, where it works to protect the cell against lipid peroxidation and control oxidation-induced inflammatory events. Recently, the gamma tocopherol form of vitamin E has shown a great deal of promise in its ability to reduce the risk of several oxidative stress related disease.
Beta-carotene is a member of a diverse group of photosynthetic pigments. It plays a huge role in human nutrition. As an antioxidant, it possesses a double-bond structure that allows it to react effectively with single oxygen radicals, absorbing and diffusing their energy. Beta-carotene also acts as a precursor for vitamin A by supplying a portion of the body’s requirement for the vitamin. This act alone plays a central role in the chemistry of vision. Beta-carotene and vitamin A both prevent the oxidation of cholesterol, reduce oxidative damage to DNA, and disable oxygen free radicals that are produced by exposure to sunlight and air pollution. These antioxidants are also involved in the activation of gene expression and the control of cell differentiation.
When combined together, vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene produce and important antioxidant trio that plays a huge role in fighting oxidative and inflammatory events. There are several other antioxidants that should be noted due to their ability to work synergistically with the vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene trio. These include vitamin A, alpha-lipoic acid, lycopene, coenzyme Q10, and the antioxidant mineral, selenium. In order to determine whether a nutrient provides antioxidant support, scientists question whether the product contains vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin A, beta-carotene, alpha-lipoic acid, lycopene, coenzyme Q10, and selenium and to what strength these vitamins and minerals are per serving.
August 22, 2009 11:54 AM
Buckthorn is a bitter herb that is used for expelling impurities. It has been used in Europe for hundreds of years as a potent laxative for purging the body. The Cherokee Indians used this herb as a cathartic. It was also used for skin problems. Nicholas Culpeper, a seventeenth-century herbalist, recommended using bruised buckthorn leaves to stop bleeding when it was applied directly to the wound.
The buckthorn plant is a genus of about one hundred species of shrubs or small trees that range from one to ten meters tall. These plants are native throughout the temperate and subtropical Northern Hemisphere. They are also found more locally in the subtropical Southern Hemisphere in parts of Africa and South America. Some species of this plant are invasive outside of their natural ranges. This species has both deciduous and evergreen plants with simple leaves that are three to fifteen centimeters long. The plant bears fruits which are dark blue berries. The name for this plant comes from the woody spine on the end of each twig in many of the species.
The berries of the buckthorn plant are the part used medicinally. They are collected when ripe. From them, a nauseous, bitter juice is obtained. From this juice, with the addition of sugar and aromatics, buckthorn syrup is prepared. When they are freshly gathered in autumn, the berries are about one third of an inch in diameter. A series of rich but fugitive colors is obtained from the dried berries. The berries were originally sold under the name “French berries.” If they were gathered before they were ripe, the berries would create a yellow dye that was formerly used for staining maps or paper.
This herb is a well-known and extremely powerful laxative. It is also helpful for cleansing the liver and gallbladder. Buckhorn works by stimulating the flow of bile from both the liver and gallbladder. If one takes buckthorn hot, it will produce perspiration and also lower a fever. When made into an ointment, this herb will help relieve itching. Some evidence of antitumor effects of buckthorn has been found. However, there is no recent research to prove the information. Many believe that future studies will prove that it is beneficial.
This herb should not be abuse. Be sure to follow directions in order to avoid gastrointestinal cramping. It is important to consult a health care professional before taking this, or any herb, in order to obtain optimum effects.
The bark, berries, and root of the buckthorn plant can be used to provide alterative, anthelmintic, antineoplastic, antirheumatic, bitter, blood purifier, diuretic, emetic, febrifuge, and mild purgative properties. The primary nutrient found in this herb is vitamin C. Primarily, buckthorn is extremely helpful in treating bleeding, chronic constipation, fevers, gallstone, gastric disorders, liver disorders, and lead poisoning.
Additionally, this herb is very beneficial in dealing with appendicitis, edema, gout, hemorrhoids, itching, parasites, rheumatism, skin diseases, and external warts. In order to obtain additional information on the many beneficial effects provided by buckthorn, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store.
Vitamins Herbs And Antioxidants
October 17, 2008 09:48 AM
Grilling meat over an open fire is something our ancestors have been doing for thousands of years. But people today who are indulging in chicken and cheeseburgers face a lot of concerns that our ancestors never even dreamed of. These include air pollutants and cancer-causing compounds. Research has proven that grilling meats creates two types of compounds that can lead to cancer. More so, both briquettes and lump charcoal spew hydrocarbons and soot particles as they burn, which encourage global warming contribute to many health problems. However, the majority of us cannot resist barbeque. So instead of dodging barbequed food, learn to grill without the guilt and fewer health risks.
Barbeque emissions are well below those from motor vehicles and the industry in rank, but its environmental effects are just as harmful given that burning charcoal contributes to smog and global warming. Lump charcoal is actually made from charred wood, which is a factor in deforestation. It can be compared to fuels that we use in furnaces and water heaters, such as oil, gas, and wood. Like these other fuels, charcoal produces soot when it is burned. These particles in soot are air pollutants and microscopic solids which are inhaled and deposited in the lungs. Particle pollution is associated with asthma, strokes, heart attacks, lung cancer, and reduced life expectancy. Once animal fat drips onto the flame of a charcoal or gas grill, carcinogenic compounds rise with the smoke and are deposited on the meat. Other harmful chemicals are then formed on the food as it continues to char. The more time the meat spends on the grill, the more harmful chemicals that are created. These compounds do not form on vegetables, as it is a reaction with animal-based foods that generates the harmful effects. However, any food that is over-charred contains other types of cancer-causing substances.
Grilling is a method of cooking that adds to the formation and deposit of cancer-causing substances on meat, as both substances deposited are undesirable and carcinogenic. The high heat of grill cooking produces more harmful chemicals than oven roasting or baking a lower temperature, but beef and chicken must both be cooked at temperatures high enough to destroy E. coli and other harmful bugs.
Because cancer risk is influenced much more by long-term patterns than occasional patterns, the goal is to have a diet that balances calories you take in with calories you put out, and to eat a diet containing many fruits and vegetables. Grilling less meat and more vegetables can reduce pollution on many levels. Also, vegetarian sources of protein, such as veggie burgers, contain few or no harmful chemicals when grilled. So for those summer days when a barbecue is irresistible, be sure to use natural charcoal, which is made from environmentally friendly wood sources and low-emission plant wastes.
Thankfully, all natural charcoals are chemical-free. In order to minimize cancerous compounds on the grill, cook at lower temperatures and flip meat every one to two minutes. Marinating meat or precooking it in a microwave for two minutes will also reduce hazardous compounds and carcinogenic compounds can be reduced by grilling lower-fat meats with fewer fat drippings.
By simply limiting the animal protein portion and making vegetables and grains a larger part of the meal, you can minimize the carcinogens and maximize your intake of cancer-protective vitamins and natural compounds. For most eliminating meat is undesirable, so supplementing with herbs and vitamins that help boost the immune system and act as antioxidants such as grape seed extract, vitamin c, and bioflavonoids can help the body fight off those nasty carcinogens produced from grilling.
Did You Know There Is One Mineral That Could Change Your Life Forever?
March 05, 2008 04:05 PM
Did you know there is one mineral that could affect the way you feel and change the way you live life forever? Yes that’s correct – forever - magnesium is that mineral! More than 50% of all Americans consume less then the required amounts of magnesium to stay healthy.
You might be wondering how you would know if you are deficient in magnesium and where you can get a test. Unfortunately it is not that simple. A magnesium test is available from your doctor, but when most people take this test, the results normally come back as normal, so we think everything is fine. This test only measures blood serum levels and not cellular magnesium. One needs to have their red blood cells tested to accurately measure the uptake of magnesium and at this time. This kind of testing needed is not readily available.
You might ask, “how can I tell whether I have a deficiency or not?” It is simple, look at your medical history. Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include signs such as, muscle cramps or twitches, insomnia, irritability, sensitivity to loud noises, anxiety, nervousness, autism, ADHD, heart palpitations, angina, constipation, spasms in the muscles, headaches, migraines, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, asthma and kidney stones (typically caused by a calcium-magnesium imbalance), diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, menstrual cramps, irritable bladder, irritable bowel, acid reflux, and premenstrual syndrome, depression, low energy, weakness in the muscles, weakening bones, and calcification of organs.
If you did not notice, this is an extensive list of symptoms that may be attributed to a deficiency in magnesium. Magnesium is essential for cardiac function in stabilizing cardiac membranes preventing arrhythmias. This mineral helps the cardiovascular system relax aiding in the relief of angina symptoms. Millions of Americans are diagnosed with heart disease yearly, a magnesium deficiency may be the cause.
The reason we are deficient in magnesium is mostly due to the fact that we eat refined, over-processed foods with white flour that have absolutely zero magnesium. The consumption of foods not rich in magnesium will rob our bodies of the little we still have in our bones and organs. Drinking coffee, alcohol, eating lots of sugary foods and stress will cause the body to become depleted.
If you are experiencing one of the above mentioned symptoms and suspect you have a magnesium deficiency, changing they way you eat can help. Pick up a nutritional Almanac and find foods high in magnesium like nuts, sea vegetables, dark leaf vegetables and beans to start. Also, kelp, wheat bran, wheat germ, buckwheat, millet, brown rice, rye, tofu, soybeans, brown rice, figs, dates, avocados, parsley, barley, dandelion greens and garlic all contains high amounts of magnesium. Adding a magnesium supplement to your diet which provides 200 to 400 milligrams per day will help. One should limit the intake of coffee, alcohol, colas, salt, and sugar. Actually, many medications can deplete the body of magnesium such as water pills (diuretics) and antibiotics to name two.
So now you know what to do, you might be thinking that a magnesium supplement would be the fastest way to boost magnesium in the body for the time being. What form of magnesium is best? The recommended form of magnesium is magnesium citrate, because of its digestibility and absorbability in the body. Avoid magnesium carbonate, sulfate, gluconate, and oxide if at all possible for these forms of magnesium are harder to digest and will result in smaller amounts being absorbed by the body. Now what are you waiting for, give magnesium a try and see how good you can feel from it!
Beyond Bran Fiber
December 25, 2007 08:35 AM
At one point in time, when you went to the health food store you usually only had choice of wheat bran, which is a good source of the insoluble fiber that helps your digestive system stay on track, or oat bran, which contains the soluble fiber that helps lower cholesterol. Although both of these bran’s are still popular, as they have good reason to be, remaining excellent sources of dietary fiber, these days store shelves are gathering more and more fiber supplements ranging from encapsulated forms to powders and specialized to deal with a variety of health concerns.
Insoluble fiber has the ability to draw water into the intestines, preventing constipation and keeping waste matter from decaying within the body. However, it is the many types of soluble fiber that science has recently started investigating for health benefits. Part of soluble fiber’s value is closely related to its mechanical action, as it forms a thick gel within the digestive track that moves slowly to stop sugar from entering the body too quickly, therefore, helping to keep glucose levels down and carrying some fat and sugar out of the body completely. Additionally, when soluble fibers gel up it helps to reduce blood level cholesterol by trapping bile preventing the bile from doing its action (breaking down fats in the digestive tract so the body can absorb it). Unlike insoluble fiber, soluble fiber undergoes fermentation inside the colon to produce fatty acids that do a little bit of everything, including: helping the body digest food, protecting against polyps, stimulating immunity, increasing mineral absorption, and helping to keep cholesterol and glucose levels in check.
Soluble fiber is getting large amounts of research reviews. One study concluded that people who ate the least fiber are 63% more likely to have high levels of CRP (C-reactive protein). CRP is an inflammation marker that is associated with cardiovascular risk. Another study proved that flax seed improved glucose control. Another fiber source, psyllium, has been shown to bring relief to people with Chron’s disease, an inflammatory intestinal disorder.
Flax seed and psyllium are two of the best known types of soluble fiber available, but there are other types that aren’t as well known. Others including arabinogalactan (AG) have been shown to have a special affinity for natural killer cells. Beta-glucans are another form of fiber that can help boost immunity. Lignans, which are found in flax, have been shown to cause lower breast-cancer rates. Fenugreek is a spice that is rich in galactomannan, a heart-healthy fiber. Some fiber formulations pair up different kinds of fiber with complementary herbs. An example of this is Garcinia cambogia and Gymnema sylvestre, which can be used for glucose control; or astragalus, Echinacea, olive leaf, and shiitake to assist the immune system. Some supplements even provide natural enzymes which help prevent bloating.
It is, of course, important to eat a healthy and well-balanced diet. However, thanks to supplementation that is designed specifically for certain health concerns, it has become much easier to find the additional fiber that is needed by your body, no matter what kind of fiber that is. A large selection of fiber bran supplements can be found at your local or internet health food store.
Supreme Court Refused Ephedra Appeal…
May 17, 2007 01:39 PM
Supreme Court Refused Ephedra Appeal…The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to consider an appeal by Nutraceutical International Corporation, which sought to overturn a federal ban on the dietary supplements containing ephedrine alkaloids. The court’s decision, issued without comment, lets stand a 2005 ruling by a federal appeals court that upheld the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) 2004 ban. David Seckman, executive director and CEO of the Natural Products Association commented on the refusal. “Obviously we were concerned about the consequences of the circuit court’s ruling on the risk benefit standard the FDA used in removing ephedra from the market, which is why we filed our amicus brief. As we clearly stated in the brief, we believe congress did not intend for such a standard to be used. But, since the Supreme Court decides to take up only between five and ten percent of cases brought to it, it is not a shock that they’ve decided not to hear it. We should note, however, that the denial of the Nutraceutical petition is not an affirmation by the Supreme Court that they agree with the lower court’s decision,” Seckman said. In April, the Natural Products Association had filed a “friend of the court” or amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court that challenged the lower court ruling on the standard used by the FDA to impose a 2004 ban on ephedrine alkaloids in dietary supplements.
Solaray - Ultimate Nutrition - Actipet Pet supplements - Action Labs - Sunny Greens - Thompson nutritional - Natural Sport - Veg Life Vegan Line - Premier One - NaturAlmax - Kal
Natural Calm – The anti-stress drink
May 09, 2006 02:17 PM
Natural Calm – The anti-stress drink
The importance of Magnesium in relieving stress, the need to balance calcium intake with magnesium, and the role sufficient magnesium levels play in avoiding numerous health complaints are becoming more widely understood every day.
Natural Calm, developed by pioneering nutritional researcher Peter Gillham, is the best-selling, highest quality 100 percent natural water-soluble magnesium formulation on the market (ref. SPIN data 2006). Natural Calm uses Peter Gillham’s Exclusive delivery formula and balanced pH, which provides unequaled magnesium absorption and maximum benefit.
Natural Calm also comes in three new flavors as well as special formulations for expecting or new mothers, babies and kids and those who need added calcium.
Natural Calm is available in original flavor as well as Natural Calm raspberry-lemon, Natural Calm orange and Natural Calm sweet lemon. Specialty Calm products are formulated for new or expecting mothers (mama Calm), babies (baby calm) and children (kid’s formula calm). For those who need added calcium, we have natural calm plus calcium.
CalmaLax - CalmaLax - Regularity Support Tonic
May 06, 2006 01:27 PM
CAlmaLax - Regularity Support Tonic
Ingredients: Flax (seed), agar (stem), Chinese rhubarb (root), artichoke (leaf), chamomile (flower), gentian (root), peppermint (leaf), anise (seed), licorice (root), radish (root), bitter fennel (fruit), marshmallow (root), lemon balm (leaf), juniper (bark).
Lutein to fight age-related macular degeneration!
February 27, 2006 05:53 PM
Lutein: The Antiordinary Antioxidant
Lutein belongs to a class of compounds known as carotenoids. Carotenoids in general are yellow, orange, or red pigments responsible for many of the colors of the foods we consume each day. To date, over 600 carotenoids have been identified in nature, but are only produced by plants, algae and bacteria leaving humans and animals to consume carotenoids in the diet. Forty to fifty carotenoids are consumed in the typical US diet, but only 14 have been detected in the blood, indicating a selective use of specific carotenoids by the body. Lutein is one of these carotenoids found in the blood and has been increasingly associated with eye health over the last decade.
Lutein’s role in eye health
In the human eye, lutein is concentrated in the center of the retina in an area known as the macula. Lutein is deposited in the macula through the lutein we consume in out diet or through supplements. This area is responsible for human central vision and is colored intensely yellow due to high concentrations of lutein. Lutein is thought to be beneficial for eye health by reducing damage in the eye in two ways: 1) by absorbing blue light (blue light is thought to increase free radical formation in the eye) and 2) by acting as an antioxidant, reducing damage in the eye caused by free radicals. Leading carotenoid researchers believe these functions may lead to a reduced risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts.
Age-related macular degeneration
Macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in the USA in those over 65. twenty-five and thirty million people are afflicted worldwide and currently there are no effective treatments for the disease. The disease has two forms known as dry and wet AMD.
Ninety percent of AMD cases diagnosed are the dry form. In dry AMD, also referred to as early AMD, debris deposits under the center of the retina (known as the macula) interfering with its normal function. Parts of the macula atrophy, causing the central vision to slowly become dimmer or more blurry. Wet age-related macular degeneration, also known as late AMD, often develops in areas where dry AMD exists. Abnormal blood vessels grow and leak blood and fluid under the macula, causing scarring, which leads to rapid loss of central vision.
Dr. Joanna Seddon published one of the first studies demonstrating a link between lutein intake and AMD risk in 1994 (1). This epidemiological study compared the risk of developing AMD to nutrient intake and showed a significant reduction in risk for developing AMD as lutein intake reached 6mg per day (57% reduction in risk). Since the Seddon study, researchers have shown that increasing dietary lutein intake raises blood levels of lutein as well as levels of lutein in the eye (2). Bone et al. demonstrated that eyes with higher levels of lutein were less likely to be afflicted with AMD (3).
The latest clinical trial that investigated lutein’s role in AMD is known as the lutein antioxidant supplementation trial (L.A.S.T) (4). This study evaluated the effects of lutein supplementation for one year in 90 veterans diagnosed with dry AMD. Supplementation with lutein in these subjects significantly increased the concentration of lutein in the macula. Improvements in visual function were also detected with lutein supplementation. Glare recovery, visual acuity, and contrast sensitivity were all improved. This study continues to build on clinical evidence that the dry form of AMD may be responsive to changes in nutrition.
A cataract is a natural clouding of the lens, the area of the eye responsible for focusing light and producing clear, sharp images. For most people, cataracts are a natural result of aging. Currently in the US, cataracts are the second leading cause of blindness in the elderly behind AMD.
Lutein is the major carotenoid that has been identified in the human lens asn is thought to provide similar benefits to the leans that are seen in the retina. Two large epidemiological studies consisting of >70,000 women (age 45-71) and >30,000 men (age 45-75) compared the risk of cataract extraction to nutrient intake (5,6). Similar to AMD, a significant reduction in risk of cataract extraction was associated with lutein intakes of 6mg per day (20% reduction in risk). Besides cataract extraction, higher levels of lutein consumption have been associated with a decreased risk of cataract development and improvements in visual acuity and glare sensitivity in people with age-related cataracts.
The richest source of free lutein in the typical US diet are dark green leafy vegetables, with the highest concentration found in kale followed by spinach.
The average daily lutein intake is low, average between 1-2 mg/day. Currently there is no recommendations of the dietary guidelines for Americans 2005 (9 servings of fruits and vegetables every day) you would consume between 4 and 8 mg of lutein a day (7). Epidemiological evidence, animal models, and clinical data have indicated levels of 6-10 mg a day may be necessary to realize the health benefits associated with lutein consumption. By continuing to increase our intake of lutein, we begin to ensure the optimal health of our eyes.
Seddon et al. (1994) dietary carotenoids, vitamin a, c, and e, and advanced age-related macular degeneration. Eye disease case-control study group. JAMA. 272: 1413-20.
Bone et al. (2000) Lutein and zeaxanthin in the eyes, serum and diet of human subjects. Exp. Eye Res. 71: 239-45.
Bone et al. (2001) Macular pigment in donor eyes with and without AMD: a case-control study. Invest. OphthAlmal. Vis Sci. 42: 235-40.
Richer et al. (2004) Double-masked, placebo-controlled, randomized trial of lutein and antioxidant supplementation in the intervention of atrophic age-relaged macular degeneration: the veterans LAST study (Lutein Antioxidant Supplementation Trial). Optometry. 75: 216-30.
Brown et al. (1999) A prospective study of carotenoid intake and risk of cataract extraction in the US men. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 70: 517-24.
Chasen-Taber et al. (1999) A prospective study of carotenoid and vitamin A intakes and risk of cataract extraction in US women. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 70: 509-16
HHS/USDA. Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005. //www.healthierus.Gov/dietaryguidelines/CDC. National health and nutrition examination survey data 2001-2002. //www.cdc.gov/nchs/about/major/nhanes/nhanes01-02.html
Brandon lewis, Ph.D. is the applied research and Technical services manager at kemin health, L.C. in des moines, iowa. His responsibilities include the initiation and management of laboratory projects pertaining to the inclusion and analysis of kemin ingredients in vitamins and dietary supplements, as well as developing new applications and prototypes that include kemin ingredients. Prior to joining kemin, Brandon was enrolled at the university of Florida where he received his Ph.D. in Nutritional Science from the department of Food Science and Human Nutrition.
December 08, 2005 03:33 PM
Carnitine CreatinateNeil E. Levin, CCN, DANLA 6/30/05
LIKELY USERS: Athletes, Bodybuilders, Dieters, People who consume a lot of fat, People needing cardiovascular support (energy for the heart), People who need quick energy, especially for fast muscle response, People with muscle wasting problems (including the elderly), Weightlifters
KEY INGREDIENTS: L-Carnitine and Creatine Monohydrate
MAIN PRODUCT FEATURES: Carnitine Creatinate Monohydrate is a specialized form of Creatine bonded to L-Carnitine. Creatine is a compound natural to the human body that aids in the regeneration of ATP, the chemical energy used by muscle tissue. During exercise, large quantities of creatine are irreversibly consumed. Clinical studies have shown that oral supplementation with Creatine can increase the amount of Creatine available in muscles for ATP production. L-Carnitine is an amino acid that is necessary for the transfer of fatty acids into the fat-burning parts of the cell, facilitating energy production from fat. The combination of these two compounds can produce a synergistic effect, making NOW® Carnitine Creatinate an ideal energy supplement.
ADDITIONAL PRODUCT USE INFORMATION & QUALITY ISSUES: Carnitine and Creatinate Monohydrate is a patented ingredient that has been the subject of research studies. It is supported by the scientific staff in the laboratories of both NOW Foods and the raw material supplier, both of which have a mutual interest in protecting the integrity and efficacy of this product. Protected by U.S. Patent No. 5,994,581 (L-Carnitine Creatinate Monohydrate).
Look at the price: this is a better way to buy both supplements than purchasing them separately.
This formula is suitable for vegetarians and is offered in both tablet and powder forms.
SERVING SIZE & HOW TO TAKE IT: As a dietary supplement, every two tablets provide 1,000 mg. (one gram) each of both L-Carnitine and Creatine Monohydrate. Or one teaspoon provides 1,150 mg.) each of both L-Carnitine and Creatine Monohydrate. Take one or more servings per day with a carbohydrate source, such as fruit juice or sports drinks.
COMPLEMENTARY PRODUCTS: CoQ10, carbohydrates, B-Complex vitamins, chromium, vanadium, Hawthorn leaf and flower extract, protein supplements. Adaptogenic herbs: ginsengs, Eleuthero, Rhodiola, Maca, Ashwaganda, licorice root
PRODUCT SPECIFIC: This product is very sensitive to moisture. Please keep in the original packaging or in a moisture resistant container. Do not take more than 20 grams per day. Discontinue use if cramps of stomach upset occur, especially if taking large doses. Do not take if kidney disease is present. Do not use large doses of caffeine with creatine, as it may increase the possibility of muscle cramping.
GENERAL: Pregnant and lactating women and people using prescription drugs should consult their physician before taking any dietary supplement. When taking any new supplement, use common sense and cautiously increase to the full dose over time to avoid any potential problems.
Packages may contain moisture or oxygen controlling packets or canisters that are not intended for consumption. In order to maintain maximum freshness, please do not remove these from your bottle (until the bottle is empty). Please recycle your container.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Fang S-M (1998) Carnitine Creatinate. U.S. Patent 5,994,581.
Beers MH, Berkow R (eds). The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy, 17th ed. Whitehouse Station, NJ: Merck and Co., Inc, 1999, 881-3.
Broquist HP (1994) Carnitine, in Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, 8th ed., Shils ME, Olson JA, Shike M (eds.) Lea & Febiger, Philadelphia, pp. 459-465. Casey A, Greenhoff PL (2000) Does dietary creatine supplementation play a role in skeletal muscle metabolism and performance? Am J Clin Nutr 72(suppl):607S-17S. Columbani P, Wenk C, Kunz I, et al. Effect of L-carnitine supplementation on physical performance and energy metabolism of endurance-trained athletes: a double blind crossover field study. Eur J Appl Physiol 1996;73:434-9.
Dal Negro R, Pomari G, Zoccatelli O, Turco P. L-carnitine and rehabilitative respiratory physiokinesitherapy: metabolic and ventilatory response in chronic respiratory insufficiency. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther Toxicol 1986;24:453-6.
Dal Negro R, Turco P, Pomari C, De Conti F. Effects of L-carnitine on physical performance in chronic respiratory insufficiency. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther Toxicol 1988;26:269-72.
Del Favero A. Carnitine and gangliosides. Lancet 1988;2:337 [letter].
DipAlma JR. Carnitine deficiency. Am Fam Physician 1988;38:243–51.
Digiesi V, Palchetti R, Cantini F. The benefits of L-carnitine in essential arterial hypertension. Minerva Med 1989;80:227-31.
Giamberardino MA, Dragani L, Valente R, et al. Effects of prolonged L-carnitine administration on delayed muscle pain and CK release after eccentric effort. Int J Sports Med 1996;17:320-4.
Green RE, Levine AM, Gunning MJ. The effect of L-carnitine supplementation on lean body mass in male amateur body builders. J Am Diet Assoc 1997;(suppl):A-72.
Harris RC, Soderlund K, Hultman E (1992) Elevation of creatine in resting and exercised muscle of normal subjects by creatine supplementation. Clin Sci 83(3):367-374.
Kendler BS. Carnitine: an overview of its role in preventive medicine. Prev Med 1986;15:373–90.
Kobayashi A, Masumura Y, Yamazaki N. L-carnitine treatment for congestive heart failure—experimental and clinical study. Jpn Circ J 1992;56:86–94.
Murray MT. The many benefits of carnitine. Am J Natural Med 1996;3:6-14 [review].
Tamamogullari N, Silig Y, Icagasioglu S, Atalay A. Carnitine deficiency in diabetes mellitus complications. J Diabetes Complications 1999;13:251–3.
Yesilipek MA, Hazar V, Yegin O. L-Carnitine treatment in beta thalassemia major. Acta Haematol 1998;100:162-3. CREATINE MONOHYDRATE: Almada A, Mitchell T, Earnest C. Impact of chronic creatine supplementation on serum enzyme concentrations. FASEB J 1996;10:4567.
Becque MD, Lochmann JD, Melrose DR. Effects of oral creatine supplementation on muscular strength and body composition. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2000;32:654-8.
Casey A, Constantin-Teodosiu D, Howell S, et al. Creatine supplementation favorably affects performance and muscle metabolism during maximal intensity exercise in humans. Am J Physiol 1996;271:E31-E7.
Earnest CP, Almada AL, Mitchell TL. High-performance capillary electrophoresis-pure creatine monohydrate reduces blood lipids in men and women. Clin Sci 1996;91:113-8.
Earnest C, Almada A, Mitchell T. Influence of chronic creatine supplementation on hepatorenal function. FASEB J 1996;10:4588.
Earnest CP, Snell PG, Rodriguez R, et al. The effect of creatine monohydrate ingestion on anaerobic power indices, muscular strength and body composition. Acta Physiol Scand 1995;153:207-9.
Felber S, Skladal D, Wyss M, et al. Oral creatine supplementation in Duchenne muscular dystrophy: a clinical and 31P magnetic resonance spectroscopy study. Neurol Res 2000;22:145-50.
Feldman EB. Creatine: a dietary supplement and ergogenic aid. Nutr Rev 1999;57:45–50.
Green AL, Hultman E, Macdonald IA, et al. Carbohydrate ingestion augments skeletal muscle creatine accumulation during creatine supplementation in man. Am J Physiol 1996;271:E821–6.
Green AL, Simpson EJ, Littlewood JJ, et al. Carbohydrate ingestion augments creatine retention during creatine feeding in humans. Acta Physiol Scand 1996;158:195-202.
Greenhaff PL. Creatine and its application as an ergogenic aid. Int J Sport Nutr 1995;5:94-101.
Greenhaff PL. The nutritional biochemistry of creatine. J Nutr Biochem 1997;8:610-8 [review].
Greenhaff PL, Bodin K, Soderlund K, et al. Effect of oral creatine supplementation on skeletal muscle phosphocreatine resynthesis. Am J Physiol 1994;266:E725-30.
Greenhaff PL, Casey A, Short AH, et al. Influence of oral creatine supplementation on muscle torque during repeated bouts of maximal voluntary exercise in man. Clin Sci 1993;84:565-71.
Harris RC, Soderlund K, Hultman E. Elevation of creatine in resting and exercised muscle of normal subjects by creatine supplementation. Clin Sci 1992;83:367-74.
Hultman E, Soderlund K, Timmons J, et al. Muscle creatine loading in man. J Appl Physiol 1996;81:232–7.
Juhn MS, O’Kane JW, Vinci DM. Oral creatine supplementation in male collegiate athletes: a survey of dosing habits and side effects. J Am Diet Assoc 1999;99:593–5.
Kreider RB, Ferreira M, Wilson M, et al. Effects of creatine supplementation on body composition, strength, and sprint performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1998;30:73-82.
Poortmans JR, Auquier H. Renaut V, et al. Effect of short-term creatine supplementation on renal responses in men. Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol 1997;76:566–7.
Poortmans JR, Francaux M. Long-term oral creatine supplementation does not impair renal function in healthy athletes. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1999;31:1108–10.
Pritchard NR, Kaira PA. Renal dysfunction accompanying oral creatine supplements. Lancet 1998;351:1252–3 [letter].
Sewell DA, Robinson TM, Casey A, et al. The effect of acute dietary creatine supplementation upon indices of renal, hepatic and haematological function in human subjects. Proc Nutr Soc 1998;57:17A.
Silber ML. Scientific facts behind creatine monohydrate as a sports nutrition supplement. J Sports Med Phys Fitness 1999;39:179–88 [review].
Sipila I, Rapola J, Simell O, et al. Supplementary creatine as a treatment for gyrate atrophy of the choroid and retina. N Engl J Med 1981;304:867-70.
Stone MH, Sanborn K, Smith LL, et al. Effects of in-season (5-weeks) creatine and pyruvate supplementation on anaerobic performance and body composition in American football players. Int J Sport Nutr 1999;9:146-65.
Stout JR, Eckerson J, Noonan D, et al. The effects of a supplement designed to augment creatine uptake on exercise performance and fat-free mass in football players. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1997;29:S251.
Tarnopolsky MA. Potential benefits of creatine monohydrate supplementation in the elderly. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care 2000;3:497-502 [review].
Tarnopolsky M, Martin J. Creatine monohydrate increases strength in patients with neuromuscular disease. Neurology 1999;52:854-7.
Tarnopolsky MA, Roy BD, MacDonald JR. A randomized, controlled trial of creatine monohydrate in patients with mitochondrial cytopathies. Muscle Nerve 1997;20:1502-9.
Toler SM. Creatine is an ergogen for anaerobic exercise. Nutr Rev 1997;55:21-5 [review].
Vandenberghe K, Gills N, Van Leemputte M, et al. Caffeine counteracts the ergogenic action of muscle creatine loading. J Appl Physiol 1996;80:452–7.
Vandenberghe K, Goris M, Van Hecke P, et al. Long-term creatine intake is beneficial to muscle performance during resistance training. J Appl Physiol 1997;83:2055-63.
Walter MC, Lochmuller H, Reilich P, Klopstock T, Huber R, Hartard M, Hennig M, Pongratz D, Muller-Felber W. Creatine monohydrate in muscular dystrophies: A double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study. Neurology. 2000 May 9;54(9):1848-50. PMID: 10802796
Walter MC, Reilich P, Lochmuller H, Kohnen R, Schlotter B, Hautmann H, Dunkl E, Pongratz D, Muller-Felber W. Creatine monohydrate in myotonic dystrophy: a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study. J Neurol. 2002 Dec;249(12):1717-22. PMID: 12529796
What is cat’s claw?
November 11, 2005 05:30 PM
Q. What is cat’s claw?
A. Cat’s claw might be one of the most confusing (and most effective!) nutritional supplements available in health food stores today-with some fairly good reasons.
First, its mere name can be bewildering. Currently, there are at least 16 plants in the world that are called cat’s claw. Sometimes these plants are referred to as “Una de Gato”, Spanish for cat’s claw. While Uncaria tomentosa is the Latin name of the plant most frequently sold as cat’s claw supplements, these products vary vastly. Some cat’s claw nutritional supplements contain cat’s claw bark, some contain cat’s claw stems, and others contain compounds from the leaves of cat’s claw. All of these claim to help the immune system.
However, it is the root of Uncaria tomentosa that actually contains the true cat’s claw health benefits. Scientists, who have extensively studied every part of the plant, discovered that only extracts made from cat’s claw root possess the healing power to treat and prevent disease. While it would seem that this vital understanding might help clear up some cat’s claw confusion, not all Uncaria tomentosa roots actually contain healing properties.
To determine which cat’s claw roots do have healing properties, we have to go to the rainforests of Peru. This is where Uncaria tomentosa thrives. It’s a woody vine that’s found at the base of tall trees in the rainforests. As the plant grows, it winds up and around the tree, attaching itself to the trunk with curved cat-like claws found at the junctions of its leaves. The Ashaninka Indians, who make these rainforests their home, have used the roots of the cat’s claw plant for thousands of years to cure illness and maintain health in the tribe.
Healers in the Ashaninka tribe attribute the healing properties in cat’s claw to the “good sprits” that live in the plant’s roots. In order to obtain these healing properties, the correct cat’s claw root must first be harvested. The Ashaninka healers know which cat’s claw to use; they can actually “see” the good spirits hidden inside the root of the plant before they collect them. Some cat’s claw plant roots have the good spirits. Some cat’s claw plant roots don’t. If the cat’s claw root with good spirits is mixed with any cat’s claw root without good spirits, the healing power is lost. While there are no visible differences in the plants or the roots, only certain cat’s claw roots possess the power to heal. And, only the Ashaninka tribal healers seem to be able to see them.
Amazingly, however, scientists who were given cat’s claw roots by the Ashaninka to study in the laboratory discovered that they were able to “see” the good spirits, too! Using high performance liquid chromatography, or HPLC, a laboratory process that identifies various chemical compounds, the good spirits of cat’s claw roots were revealed to actually be important medicinal compounds, called pentacyclic oxindole alkaloids (or POAs).
At the same time, the scientists studying cat’s claw found they could “see” the non-healing properties as well. Again, using HPLC, they also discovered the presence of tetracyclic oxindole alkaloids (or TOAs) in certain cat’s claw roots. While the POAs have very powerful effects in the immune system, the TOAs have different effects in the body, none of which help the immune system cells at all.
And, if the TOAs and POAs are mixed together (as, so often happens in the vast majority of cat’s claw products), the resulting product is useless to healing and health. The TOAs cancel out the action of the POAs, making the cat’s claw root extract ineffective. Even as little as 1% TOA content can cause POAs to lose their ability to beneficially modulate the immune system.
This means that cat’s claw supplements that contain only POAs (in other words, cat’s claw that is 100% TOA-free) from the root of the plant will provide powerful effects in the immune system.
Skin Eternal #1 Skin Care Line – Source Naturals
November 04, 2005 09:16 AM
Skin Eternal #1 Skin Care Line – Source Naturals
November is National Skin Health Month! It’s also a time of year when exposure to stormy winter weather and overheated rooms can play havoc with skin. Source Naturals #1 Skin Eternal line can help nourish and recondition dry, chapped and irritated skin.
Source Naturals Skin Eternal skin care products in Whole Foods magazines annual Natural Choice Awards for two years in a row!
Skin Eternal products enhance skin tissue with breakthrough ingredients that go deep to the cellular level to recharge and revitalize delicate skin. These include alpha lipoic acid, CoQ10, vitamin C ester, DMAE, plus a wide variety of nutrients and plant extracts. This premier line includes luxurious cosmetic products as well as supplements that support healthy skin from the inside out.
Research on SAMe....
October 26, 2005 12:49 PM
Two groups of researchers have conducted analyses of trials that utilized SAM-e for mood enhancement. One meta-analysis was published in 1994. The researchers analyzed the efficacy of SAM-e in oral or injection forms based on published trials dated between 1973 and 1992. The authors concluded that there was a significant improvement of 17 to 38% seen in trials of SAM-e compared to placebo response. They state that the efficacy of SAM-e was superior to placebo and its administration caused few side effects.5 A second review was published in 2002. The authors analyzed studies in which SAM-e doses ranged from 200 to 1600 mg daily. They also found a significant effect of SAM-e in comparison to placebo, with an evident rapid onset of effect at enhancing mood.6
Promotes Joint Comfort and Mobility*
As a sulfur donor to connective tissue, SAM-e plays a major role in protecting the integrity of cartilage tissue. An in vitro trial assessed the actions of SAM-e in cultured human articular chondrocytes. At a concentration of 10 micrograms/ml, proteoglycan synthesis and sulfate residue incorporation in chondrocytes was shown to be 60% higher than control levels. Based on these results, it was shown that SAM-e has a positive influence on the growth and health of cartilaginous connective tissue.7
In a double-blind trial with 734 individuals with compromised joint health. SAM-e given orally at a dose of 1200 mg daily for 30 days was shown to significantly promote joint comfort compared to placebo, with a high level of tolerability and low incidence of side effects. The researchers concluded that SAM-e is a highly effective supplement for enhancing joint comfort.8
Another trial evaluated the response of individuals experiencing discomfort in the joints to a regimen of 1200 mg SAM-e for 1 week followed by 800 mg for the second week, and then 400 mg for weeks 3 through 8. This open trial of 20, 641 people showed a strong ability of SAM-e to enhance feelings of comfort within the joints. The treatment was rated as “very good” or “good” in 71% of the participants, with an additional 21% rating the treatment effect as “moderate”.9
In a long-term trial lasting 24 months, SAM-e was given to 108 participants with compromised joint function. Individuals were given 600 mg orally per day for the first two weeks followed by 400 mg daily for the remainder of the trial. Individuals experienced significant enhancements in joint comfort, with dramatic improvements noted after 2-4 weeks of treatment. Improvements continued to 6 months and beyond.10
In addition to the above studies, a review was conducted in 1987 to assess the results of SAM-e supplementation in clinical trials for enhancing joint mobility and function. Over 22,000 individuals had participated in the clinical trials that were the subject of this review. The author concluded from his analysis that SAM-e was shown to be highly efficacious, rivaling or surpassing the effectiveness of other treatments, and also possessing a high level of safety.11 Because of this, SAM-e may be the treatment of choice for enhancing joint function.
Supports Liver Health and Detoxification*
SAM-e supplementation can have profound benefits on liver function. These benefits center around its function as the major methyl donor in the liver, as well as its lipotropic activity. SAM-e also enhances the production of the antioxidant glutathione.
A number of trials have been conducted showing the ability of SAM-e to support liver detoxification functions and enhance liver health in individuals susceptible to toxin-induced liver compromise. SAM-e has the ability to normalize liver function by increasing the activity of enzymes needed to upregulate liver detoxification. These effects are comprehensive and rapid. Dosages used in these studies range from 600 mg to 1600 mg daily for 2 months to two years.12,13,14 In these trials, significant benefits of SAM-e supplementation were seen over placebo.
SAM-e has an excellent safety profile and is considered well-suited for long term use based on multiple clinical trials. Individuals diagnosed with manic depression should avoid SAM-e supplementation, as it may aggravate the manic phase *This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
1. Agnoli A, Andreoli V, Casacchia M, Cerbo R. Effect of s-adenosyl-l-methionine (SAMe) upon depressive symptoms. J Psychiatr Res. 1976;13(1):43-54.
2. De Leo D. S-adenosylmethionine as an antidepressant. Curr Ther Research. 1987;41(6):865-70.
3. Kagan BL, Sultzer DL, Rosenlicht N,Gerner RH. Oral S-adenosylmethionine in depression: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Am J Psychiatry. 1990 May;147(5):591-5.
4.SAlmaggi P,Bressa GM,Nicchia G,Coniglio M,La Greca P,Le Grazie C.Doubleblind, placebo-controlled study of S-adenosyl-L-methionine in depressed postmenopausal women. Psychother Psychosom. 1993;59(1):34-40.
5. Bressa GM. S-adenosyl-l-methionine (SAMe) as antidepressant: metaanalysis of clinical studies. Acta Neurol Scand Suppl. 1994;154:7-14. 6.Mischoulon D, Fava M. Role of S-adenosyl-L-methionine in the treatment of depression: a review of the evidence. Am J Clin Nutr. 2002 Nov;76(5):1158S-61S.
7. Harmand MF, Vilamitjana J,Maloche E, Duphil R, Ducassou D. Effects of Sadenosylmethionine on human articular chondrocyte differentiation. An in vitro study. Am J Med. 1987 Nov 20;83(5A):48-54.
8. Caruso I, . Italian double-blind multicenter study comparing S-adenosylmethionine, naproxen, and placebo in the treatment of degenerative joint disease. Am J Med. 1987 Nov 20;83(5A):66-71.
9. Berger R, Nowak H. A new medical approach to the treatment of osteoarthritis. Report of an open phase IV study with ademetionine (Gumbaral). Am J Med. 1987 Nov 20;83(5A):84-8.
10. Konig B. A long-term (two years) clinical trial with S-adenosylmethionine for the treatment of osteoarthritis. Am J Med. 1987 Nov 20;83(5A):89-94.
11. di Padova C. S-adenosylmethionine in the treatment of osteoarthritis. Review of the clinical studies. Am J Med. 1987 Nov 20;83(5A):60-5.
12. Frezza M, et al. S-adenosylmethionine counteracts oral contraceptive hepatotoxicity in women. Am J Med Sci. 1987; 293(4):234-238.
13. Frezza M, Surrenti C, Manzillo G, Fiaccadori F, Bortolini M, Di Padova C. Oral S-adenosylmethionine in the symptomatic treatment of intrahepatic cholestasis. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Gastroenterology. 1990 Jul;99(1):211-5.
14. Mato JM, et al. S-adenosylmethionine in alcoholic liver cirrhosis: a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, multicenter clinical trial. J Hepatol. 1999 Jun;30(6):1081-9.
All SAM-e supplements are not created equal
October 26, 2005 12:41 PM
All SAM-e supplements are not created equal
During the manufacture of SAM-e, two forms are produced known as the S,S and the R,S isomers. The S,S isomer is the biologically active form in the human body, whereas the R,S form is considered to be inactive. Double Strength SAMe 400 utilizes Italian SAM-e to yield the highest available percentage of the active pure S,S form on the market. Double Strength SAMe 400 contains an average of nearly 80% of the active S,S form. Other SAM-e products contain as little as only 50% of the active form. A higher content of the active form yields a more potent product.
The molecule SAM-e itself is highly unstable. It will degrade quickly in conditions of heat, light and moisture. To increase its stability, it must be formed into a salt. It is important to note that SAM-e used for dietary supplements exists in a number of salt forms. Double Strength SAMe 400 utilizes the SAM-e tosylate disulfate salt form. This salt has been the most extensively utilized form in clinical trials of SAM-e.
Because of the unstable nature of pure SAM-e it is also highly susceptible to degradation in an acidic environment like the stomach. To be utilized effectively, it must pass through the stomach for absorption in the small intestine. For this reason, only enteric-coated formulas should be used. Double Strength SAMe 400 tablets are enteric-coated to maximize the utilization and benefit of the SAM-e by the body.
Enhances Mood and Neural Function*
SAM-e has been studied for decades now for its potential role in enhancing mood and supporting healthy neural metabolism. In a double-blind placebo trial published in 1976, 30 individuals were given either SAM-e intramuscular injections (15 mg three times daily) or placebo. Individuals were assessed for improved mood and affect. It was found that 100% of patients in the SAMe group showed significant improvements in mood, while only 30% of the placebo group showed any improvement.1 The improvement seen with SAM-e in this trial was rapid, with a response time of between 4 and 7 days.
A second Italian double-blind placebo controlled study was published in 1987. Again, individuals showing signs of decreased affect and mood were administered 200 mg SAM-e as daily intramuscular injections, or a placebo, for four weeks. Each group consisted of 20 patients, with all medial and laboratory results being normal. Rating scales were used to monitor changes and the authors found that the treatment with SAM-e was significantly superior to placebo and was very well tolerated.2
Researchers had known that SAM-e injections showed benefit in mood enhancement based on the results of multiple clinical trials. However, with injections, chronic administration is always challenging. For this reason, oral doses are superior in terms of ease of administration. Studies were conducted to assess the efficacy of oral SAM-e preparations. One such study was published in 1990.
In this double-blind placebo-controlled trial, individuals were given increasing doses of SAM-e from 200 mg to 800 mg twice daily, or placebo, over the 21 day period of the trial. In the placebo group, one of the six individuals showed an enhancement of mood of 50% according to the rating scales, whereas 6 of the 9 individuals given the oral SAM-e showed a 50% or greater improvement in mood and affect.3 It was concluded that oral SAM-e, like SAM-e injections, can significantly enhance mood without significant side effects.
Another double-blind placebo controlled trial looked at the effects of administering 1600 mg of SAM-e, or placebo, daily to 80 women aged between 45 and 59. The administration took place for 30 days, after which the women were assessed for improvements. Rating scales were administered at 10 and 30 days. SAM-e supplementation significantly enhanced mood and affect in the women compared to placebo administration.4 SAM-e was also seen to be well tolerated, as three women in the placebo group and two women in the SAM-e group complained of minor side effects which did not interfere with continuation of treatment.
From kids to grownups, there’s a formula for everyone.
October 24, 2005 08:21 AM
The Mighty Multivitamin From kids to grownups, there’s a formula for everyone.
What’s the top-seller in the supplement world, year after year? You guessed it-the humble multivitamin/ multimineral. Millions of people start their day with multis to help ensure they get all the necessary nutrients that eat-and-run dining doesn’t always provide.
The praise bestowed on multis by the lab-coat crowd is richly deserved. In one study, people who took a multivitamin every day didn’t get as many infections, including reparatory and urinary bugs, as those taking placebos (look-alikes).
Harvard scientists fond that adding a multivitamin to a high-produce diet helps the body fend off such common dangers as heart disease and cancer. Swedish multi takers enjoyed reductions in heart attack rates (21% among men, 33% among women); this effect was not tied to such overall health habits as plentiful produce consumption and adequate exercise. And the American Cancer Society reports that long-term multivitamin use has been linked to a reduced risk of colorectal cancer.
No wonder so many people see multis as a nutritional no-brainer. As a report from the Council for Responsible Nutrition puts it, “Supplements are a proven bridge between what we should eat and what we actually eat.”
Committed to supporting independent health food retailers
October 21, 2005 08:10 AM
Committed to supporting independent health food retailers
“How do we Justify taking on another line of products?”
Eliminating slow-moving items is a great way to make room for NOW’s line of affordable high-quality products. Your bottom line cant afford to have shelves full of products that do nothing but collect dust. Our commitment to providing products that people actually want at prices that they can afford will help you overcome this common hurdle.
Selenium for Prostate
October 18, 2005 09:35 AM
Selenium - There have been many studies showing a direct connection between selenium and prostate cancer, and most nutritionist agree, it’s hard to get enough of it on a daily basis without taking a nutritional supplement. In the now famous Clark Study, a 63% reduction in prostate cancer was found in men who received 200 micrograms of selenium from a selenium-enriched yeast containing mostly seleniumethionine. The conclusion? Eat more tuna, Brazil nuts, and sunflower seeds, and to guard against gaps in your diet, take a daily supplement containing 200 micrograms (MCG) of selenium from selenium-enriched yeast or seleniumethionine!
Another Study conducted at Stanford University found that low plasma selenium is associated with a four to five-fold increase of prostate cancer. These results support the hypothesis that supplemental selenium may reduce the risk of prostate cancer. And because plasma selenium decreases with patient age, supplementation is particularly beneficial to older men.
Road Runner's Choice
October 05, 2005 04:46 PM
While researching the Aloe Vera Plant in Mexico and Texus, we noticed that the Road Runner bird consistently ran to a special variety of Aloe plant when it needed a drink. We took the plant the road runner chose, chemically analyzed it, and found it to have a more potent gel than other Aloe varieties. We then concentrated on this plant to produce George's "Always Active" Aloe.
Vegetarian Glucosamine - Promotes Healthy Joints
September 30, 2005 10:01 AM
New Product Announcement
Vegetarian Glucosamine - Promotes Healthy Joints
One tablet contains:
Suggested Use: 1 tablet twice daily.
MIGRAINE BLOCKER - Homeopathic Remedy for Headache and Migraine Relief
September 30, 2005 09:41 AM
NEW PRODUCT ANNOUNCEMENT
MIGRAINE BLOCKER - Homeopathic Remedy for Headache and Migraine Relief
One tablet contains:
VITAMIN E OIL 32,000 IU PER OUNCE - Source Naturals
September 30, 2005 09:29 AM
NEW PRODUCT ANNOUNCEMENT
VITAMIN E OIL 32,000 IU PER OUNCE
Pesticide Report Shows Widespread Body Burden.
September 16, 2005 10:50 AM
Women and Children Especially Vulnerable
Most Americans carry toxic pesticides in their bodies, according to a recent report. Often, the so called “body Burden” of these chemicals is well above government-defined safety levels. Included are pesticides linked to cancer, birth defects, low birth weight, declining sperm counts, and infertility.
Chemical Trespass, by the Pesticide Action Network, analyzes data collected by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) from blood and urine analyses of 9,282 people. Among the findings:
Pesticides residues and metabolites were found in every subject. The average person had 13 pesticides in his or her body. The Average 6 to 11 year old was exposed to certain organophosphorus (OP) pesticides at four times the levels deemed acceptable by the environmental protection agency. Children are especially susceptible to dietary pesticides since they eat more food on a body weight basis than adults.
Organochlorine (OC) pesticides were found as significantly higher levels in women. This probably reflects women’s higher body fat content; OC pesticides are stored in fatty tissue.
Mexican-Americans showed the highest pesticides exposure, probably due to their disproportionate employment in agriculture. However, the statistics did not include occupational information.
Many pesticides used widely in the past, such as DDT and chlordane, are still found in our bodies, even in children born years after they were banned.
Cause for Alarm?
The CDC, which tested for 116 environmental chemicals, stressed that presence of these chemicals in the body does not necessarily indicate disease and called for more study of the dosages that should cause concern. The Pesticide Action Network sharply criticized this approach as a “Failure to protect public health.” Much evidence links long-term, low-level exposure to chronic illnesses, the group said, and the problem is more acute when one considers the additive effects of combining chemicals.
Pesticides and the wellness Revolution
This study shows the need for a system that relies on organic agriculture and alternative pest controls. Meanwhile, individuals should take advantage of the organic products available in health food stores, and the herbs and nutrients that support detoxification and immunity—for example, silymarin, N-acetyl cysteine, Reishi and shiitake mushroom, turmeric, and much more.
Sources: Second National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals, Center for Disease Control, available online at www.cdc.gov.exposurereport Chemical Trespass, Pesticide action network, available online at www.panna.org
Assists Digestion of Proteins, Carbohydrates and Fats
September 03, 2005 01:30 PM
Assists Digestion of Proteins, Carbohydrates and Fats
Digestive enzymes are produced by the pancreas and secreted into the duodenum (upper small intestine), where proteins, carbohydrates and fats are broken down prior to absorption. As we age, the body’s capacity to produce enzymes may decline. Moreover, stress and other health difficulties can impact enzyme production. Overeating sometimes causes incomplete digestion. Heartburn, bloating, belching, discomfort, and a “sour stomach” often result.
Supplementation with the enzymes in Best For Digestion supports replenishment of the body’s enzyme level, helping to relieve the burden on an overworked pancreas. Digezyme® contains a neutral protease which, like the body’s intrinsic protein-digesting enzymes, is active in the neutral to alkaline pH range. In addition to amylase for starch digestion and lipase for fats, Digezyme® also supplies lactase, which acts on milk sugar, and cellulase, which breaks down cellulose.
Benefits of Enzyme Supplementation
Enzyme supplementation promotes improved digestion and delivery of vital nutrients to the system. This benefits good health in many ways, including better elimination, improved energy levels and maintenance of healthy body weight. Enzymes also help prevent accumulation of undigested foods in the large intestine, which can be a source of toxicity for the body.
Supports Digestive Function According to Ancient Principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine
Disturbed digestion, whether from overeating or generally poor digestive-organ function, results in sluggish movement of food through the alimentary canal and sub-optimal nutrient absorption. In traditional Chinese medical theory, the functions of transporting food and assimilating nutrients are governed by the stomach and “spleen.” The “Qi,” or vital functional energy of these organs, is complimentary in action. Stomach Qi “descends” as food travels downward through the digestive tract. Overeating and poor digestion interfere with the stomach’s normal descending function, resulting in “food stagnation.” If stomach Qi “rebels upward,” the result is nausea and vomiting. The herbs in Best For Digestion, which include stomach tonics such as Ginger root, assist the descending function of the stomach, and have been traditionally used as remedies for “food stagnation.”
The “spleen” in Chinese medicine encompasses the digestive role of the pancreas. Spleen Qi normally “ascends.” This can also be explained from a Western perspective. When nutrients are absorbed, they enter the circulation through intestinal capillaries, travel upward to the liver via the hepatic portal system, and continue up to the heart, eventually to be circulated throughout the body. Several of the herbs in Best For Digestion are traditional “spleen tonics” that support the ascending of spleen Qi, thus assisting optimum nutrient absorption.
Digestive Enzymes and Traditional Chinese Herbs: A Novel Approach to Better Digestion
Combining digestive enzymes and Chinese herbs that support digestive function is a unique new approach to better digestion. Whether the problem is temporary “food stagnation” or a more long-term need for improved digestive organ function, Best For Digestion provides valuable assistance.
2. Chinese Herbal Materia Medica compiled and translated by Dan Bensky and Andrew Gamble©1986, Eastland Press, Inc., Seattle, WA.
3. Barillas, C., Solomons, N. Effective reduction of lactose maldigestion in preschool children by direct addition of ß-galactosidases to milk at mealtime. Pediatrics 1987;79(5):766-72.
4.DiPAlma, J., Collins,M. Enzyme replacement for lactose malabsorpiton using a beta-d-galactosidase. J Clin Gastroenterol 1989;11(3):290-3.
August 30, 2005 01:22 PM
Kiss Herbal Supplements Goodbye
Healthful herbal therapies face a new attack in Congress.
If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny. – Thomas Jefferson
Our third president recognized the devastating health and liberty implications of allowing governments to dictate what people eat. One can only imagine the disgust with which Jefferson would regard elected officials who are currently betraying core American freedoms by working to revoke our rights to choose what foods we put in our bodies.
In 1994, the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) estabilished that dietary supplements are foods. Its passage was a shinning moment of democracy that resonated with Jefferson’s beliefs on health freedom, as millions of Americans raised their voices to preserve our right to safe, natural supplements.
DSHEA Under Attack
But now, as countless people use supplements to enhance their health, some officials are tampering with the DSHEA. HR 3156, the dietary supplement access & awareness act introduced by representative Susan Davis (D-CA), is designed to deny Americans access to the supplements they rely upon for good health. Should HR3156 pass, herbal supplements will be subject to risk benefits analysis, under which adverse event reporting will empower the FDA to ban herbal supplement sales.
Inexplicably, the bill pays no heed to the amount of herbal supplement associated with an adverse event. In other words, if someone ingests an unreasonably excessive amount of a herbal remedy, and as result experiences an adverse event, that would be enough for the FDA to ban that supplement—even if the overwhelming majority of consumers experienced positive benefits by using the supplement properly. This caveat, in addition to the relative ease with which an adverse event could falsely be linked to herbal supplements, has the potential to enable widespread, groundless bans of these health-enhancing, time-tested therapies.
Fight Back, Right Now!
We must act now to prevent the passage of HR 3156. For America’s sake, we must fight the forces in Congress that wish to ban our access to herbal supplements. In the name of democracy we must ensure that our elected officials are representing our interests and not furthering their own agendas. Without your immediate support, America’s health will be compromised as herbal supplements, one by one are banned under false pretenses.
To Quote Jefferson once again, “Never put off ‘till tomorrow what you can do today.” The need for your support is urgent, so please fax your representatives in congress today and urge them to oppose that passage of HR 3156. Contacting elected officials is fast and easy; visit www.NHA2005.com and use revolutionary technology that helps you compose faxes to congress. Become a good health ambassador; educate your friends on this gross impingement on our health freedom and encourage them to join the fight against health tyranny!
Fax the architects of HR 3156, Susan Davis (Fax: 202-225-2948), John Dingell (Fax: 202-226-0371) and Henry Waxman (Fax: 202-225-4099), and let them know that if they revoke your health freedom, you’ll vote for your health-care interests in the next election! It is only with your help that we can win the fight to keep safe, healthy supplements in our lives. For health, Freedom and liberty, visit www.NHA2005.com and Join the NHA Today.
Pumpkin Seed Oil "Cucurbita pepo"
August 18, 2005 12:14 PM
Definition: Pumpkin seeds have a significant antiparasitic property to them and are routinely used to rejuvenate the prostate gland. As a rich source of zinc, which is highly recommended for the male reproductive system. Pumpkin seeds are highly nutritional, but those who can not handle the seeds can take Pumpkin seed oil in Pill form. Pumpkin Seeds are a symbol of health in China.
Possible applications: Intestinal parasites, Prostate disorders.
Scientific info: Swedish clinical trials found the that oil constituents of pumpkin seed combined with saw palmetto treated an enlarged prostate gland effectively. Pumpkin seed has a reputation of being a non-irritating diuretic. Pumpkin seed contains a rare amino acid called myosin found in the seeds of certain Cucurbita species, which is the primary protein constituent of muscles.
Complementary supplements: quassia, buckthorn, acidophilus, bee pollen, bee propolis, B-complex, Saw palmetto, kelp, garlic, black walnut, red clover, cascara sagrada, vitamin E, bioflavonoids, phytonutrients, blue-green algae, zinc and electrolyte supplements.
NEW PRODUCT ANNOUNCEMENT - Hyaluronic Joint Complex
August 03, 2005 01:27 PM
NEW PRODUCT ANNOUNCEMENT
Hyaluronic Joint Complex ™ with Glucosamine, Chondroitin and MSM
The Next Generation in Joint Formulas!
2 tablets contain:
BioCell Collagen is a trademark of Biocell Technology LLC, Newport Beach, California USA (US patent 6,025,327 - other USA and foreign patents pending). OptiMSM is a trademark of Cardinal Nutrition.
Suggested Use: 2 tablets twice daily, or as recommended by your health care professional.
Benfotiamine raises the blood level of thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP)
August 02, 2005 03:52 PM
Benfotiamine raises the blood level of thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP), the biologically active co-enzyme of thiamine.4
Thiamine and its Co-enzyme, TPP
Thiamine (vitamin B1) plays an essential part in the metabolism of glucose, through actions of it co-enzyme TPP (thiamine pyrophosphate). TPP is formed by the enzymatically-catalyzed addition of two phosphate groups donated by ATP to thiamine. TPP also goes by the name "thiamine diphosphate." In the cytoplasm of the cell, glucose, a 6-carbon sugar, is metabolized to pyruvic acid, which is converted into acetyl-CoA, otherwise known as "active acetate." Acetyl CoA enters the mitochondrion, where it serves as the starting substrate in the Kreb’s cycle (citric acid cycle). The Krebs cycle is the primary source of cellular metabolic energy. TPP, along with other co-enzymes, is essential for the removal of CO2 from pyruvic acid, which in turn is a key step in the conversion of pyruvic acid to acetyl CoA. CO2 removal from pyruvic acid is called "oxidative decarboxylation," and for this reason, TPP was originally referred to as "cocarboxylase." TPP is thus vital to the cell’s energy supply. Benfotiamine helps maintain healthy cells in the presence of blood glucose. Acting as a biochemical "super-thiamin," it does this through several different cellular mechanisms, as discussed below.
Benfotiamine and Glucose Metabolism Benfotiamine normalizes cellular processes fueled by glucose metabolites.
As long as glucose remains at normal levels, excess glucose metabolites do not accumulate within the cell. The bulk of the cell’s glucose supply is converted to pyruvic acid, which serves as substrate for production of acetyl CoA, the primary fuel for the Krebs cycle. Of the total amount of metabolic energy (in the form of ATP) released from food, the Krebs cycle generates about 90 percent.5 In the presence of elevated glucose levels, the electron transport chain, the final ATP-generating system in the mitochondrion, produces larger than normal amounts of the oxygen free radical "superoxide." This excess superoxide inhibits glyceraldehyde phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), as key enzyme in the conversion of glucose to pyruvic acid, resulting in an excess of intermediate metabolites known as "triosephosphates." Increase triosephophate levels trigger several cellular mechanisms that result in potential damage to vascular tissue. Cells particularly vulnerable to this biochemical dysfunction are found in the retina, kidneys and nerves.
Benfotiamine has been shown to block three of these mechanisms: the hexosamine pathway, the diaglycerol-protein kinease C pathway and the formation of Advanced Glycation End-poducts. As discussed below, benfotiamine does this by activating transketolase, a key thiamin-dependent enzyme.6 Benfotiamine stimulates tranketolase, a cellular enzyme essential for maintenance of normal glucose metabolic pathways.* Transketolase diverts the excess fructose-6-phosphate and glyceraldehydes-3-phosphate, (formed by the inhibition of GAPDH, as mentioned above), into production of pentose-5-phosphates and erythrose-4-phosphate and away from the damaging pathways. Benfotiamine activates transketolase activity in bovine aortic endothelial cells incubated in glucose.6 To test benfotiamine’s ability to counteract these metabolic abnormalities caused by elevated blood glucose, studies have been done in diabetic rats. Benfotiamine increases transketolase activity in the retinas of diabetic rats, while concomitantly decreasing hexosamine pathway activity, protein kinase C activity and AGE formation.6
Benfotiamine and Protein glycation Benfotiamine controls formation of Advanced Glycation End-products (AGEs).
AGEs have an affinity for proteins such as collagen, the major structural protein in connective tissue. AGEs are formed through abnormal linkages between proteins and glucose. This occurs via a non-enzymatic glycosylation reaction similar to the "browning reaction" that takes place in stored food.7 At high glucose concentrations, glucose attaches to lysine, forming a Schiff base, which in turn forms "early glycosylation products." Once blood glucose levels return to normal levels, the amount of these early glycosylation products decreases, and they are not particularly harmful to most tissue proteins. On long-lived proteins such as collagen, however, early glycosylation products are chemically rearranged into the damaging Advanced Glycation End-products. AGE formation on the collagen in coronary arteries causes increased vascular permeability. This vessel "leakiness" allows for abnormal cross-linking between plasma proteins and other proteins in the vessel wall, comprising vascular function and potentially occluding the vessel lumen. A number of other potentially harmful events may also occur, including production of cytokines that further increase vascular permeability. Endothelin-1, a strong vasoconstrictor, is over produced, increasing the possibility of thrombosis and generation of oxygen free radicals is stimulated.8 It is vitally important to support normal glucose metabolic pathways so that formation of AGEs is minimized. Benfotiamine, in the test tube (in vitro) prevents AGE formation in endothelial cells cultured in high glucose by decreasing the glucose metabolites that produce AGEs.9 Endothelial cells make up the membranes that line the inner walls of organs and blood vessels. In a rat study comparing the effects of Benfotiamine with water-soluble thiamin, Benfotiamine inhibited AGE formation in diabetic rats while completely preventing formation of "glycooxidation products," which are toxic by products of chronic elevated blood glucose. AGE levels were not significantly altered by thiamin.10 Benfotiamine also normalized nerve function in the animals. After three months of administration, "nerve conduction velocity (NCV)," a measure of nerve function, was increased by both benfotiamine and thiamin; at six months, NCV was normalized by benfotiamine, whereas thiamin produced no further increases in this parameter.
Dysfunctional glucose metabolic pathways leading to AGE formation occurs in endothelial cells of the kidneys. In a recent animal study, benfotiamine was administered to rats with elevated glucose levels. Benfotiamine increased transketolase activity in the kidney filtration system of these rats, while at the same time shifting triosephophates into the pentose pathway and preventing protein leakage.11
Benfotiamine has an excellent tolerability profile and can be taken for long periods without adverse effects.3,12 The statements in this fact sheet have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
1. Bitsch R, Wolf M, Möller J. Bioavailability assessment of the lipophilic benfotiamine as compared to a water-soluble thiamin derivative. Ann Nutr Metab 1991;35(2):292-6.
2. Schreeb KH, Freudenthaler S, Vormfelde SV, et al. Comparative bioavailability of two vitamin B1 preparations: benfotiamine and thiamine mononitrate. Eur J Clin Pharmacol 1997; 52(4):319-20.
3. Loew D. Pharmacokinetics of thiamine derivatives especially of benfotiamine. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther 1996;34(2):47-50.
4. Frank T, Bitsch R, Maiwald J, Stein G. High thiamine diphosphate concentrations in erythrocytes can be achieved in dialysis patients by oral administration of benfontiamine. Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 2000;56(3):251-7.
5. Pike RL, Brown ML. Nutrition, An Integrated Approach, 3rd Ed. New York:MacMillan; 1986:467.
6. Hammes H-P, Du X, Edlestein D, et al. Benfotiamine blocks three major pathways of hyperglycemic damage and prevents experimental diabetic neuropathy. Nat Med 2003;9(3):294-99.
7. Monnier VM, Kohn RR, Cerami A. Accelerated age-related browning of human collagen in diabetes mellitus. Proc Natl Acad Sci 1984;81(2):583-7.
8. Brownlee M. The pathological implications of protein glycation. Clin Invest Med 1995;18(4):275-81.
9. Pomero F, Molinar Min A, La Selva M, et al. Benfotiamine is similar to thiamine in correcting endothelial cell defects induced by high glucose. Acta Diabetol 2001;38(3):135-8.
10. Stracke H, Hammes HP, Werkman D, et al. Efficacy of benfotiamine versus thiamine on function and glycation products of peripheral nerves in diabetic rats. Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes 2001;109(6):300-6.
11. Babaei-Jadidi R, Karachalias N, Ahmed N, et al. Prevention of incipient diabetic nephropathy by high-dose thiamine and benfotiamine. Diabetes 2003;52(8):2110-20.
12. Bergfeld R, MatsumaraT, Du X, Brownlee M. Benfotiamin prevents the consequences of hyperglycemia induced mitochondrial overproduction of reactive oxygen specifies and experimental diabetic neuropathy (Abstract) Diabetologia 2001; 44(Suppl1):A39.
Common Sense Guidelines for Avoiding the Flu and Colds
July 28, 2005 02:07 PM
Common Sense Guidelines for Avoiding the Flu and Colds
1. Eat a healthy diet. The most important way to prevent being infected is through a proper diet. Raw vegetables, fruits, sprouts, nuts, and seeds should be eaten in abundance. Fresh fruit juices such as apple and grape can help the body flush out toxins. Do not overeat. Avoid sugar, soft drinks, white flour products, chocolate, fried foods, alcohol and tobacco.
2. Exercise for health. Exercise at least three times per week to help strengthen the immune system. Regular exercise is known to help enhance the body’s resistance to disease. Exercise can improve the white blood cell count in the body, which fights germs. It stimulates the lymphatic flow and blood circulation, which allows for the blood flow to increase to the brain and all areas of the body. It can help release hormones that actually help you to feel good. Exercise can help relieve anxiety and stress in the body. It can help increase energy and an overall sense of well being.
3. Get plenty of rest. A good night’s sleep helps the immune system fight off illness. This keeps your immune cells powered up, according to research done at the San Diego Veterans Affairs Medical Center. In the study, 42 healthy volunteers were allowed only four hours of shut-eye overnight, which resulted in 30 percent drop in natural killer cells (key players in the battle against viral infections). Sleep deprivation also decreased immune cells, such as T-lymphocytes.3
4. Wash hands regularly. Viruses are easily transmitted during casual contact like shaking hands or touching a doorknob. Wash hands after coming into contact with someone who is ill. Keep hands away from face and mouth.
5. Use paper cups in the bathroom. Viruses can often spread through the family. Using small, disposable paper cups in the bathroom may stop some of the transmission. Toothbrushes should also be replaced regularly to avoid recontamination.
6. Wash towels and linens often. If someone in the family becomes ill, wash towels daily. Hot water should be used in washing to kill the viruses involved.
HAWAIIAN NONI (Morinda citrifolia)
July 11, 2005 08:50 PM
In a time when we are more concerned than ever with issues of health, a tried and true tropical herb called noni needs t o be added t o our list of the best natural remedies. It susage over hundreds of years supports it s description as a veritable panacea of therapeutic actions. At this writing, noni continues to accrue impressive medicinal credentials, and its emergence as an effective nat ural healing agent is a timely one. Amidst rising cancer rates, the high incidence of degenerative diseases like diabetes, and the evolution of ant ibiotic resist ant bacteria and new viral strains, herbs like noni are sought after for their natural pharmaceutical properties. Unquest ionably, all of us want to know how to:
Indian Mulberry (India), Noni (Hawaii), Nono (Tahiti and Raratonga), Polynesian Bush Fruit, Painkiller Tree (Caribbean islands), Lada (Guam), Mengkudo (Malaysia), Nhau (Southeast Asia), Grand Morinda (Vietnam), Cheesefruit (Australia), Kura (Fiji), Bumbo (Africa) Note: This is only a small sampling of vernacular names for Morinda citrifolia. Almost every island nation of the South Pacific and Caribbean has a term for this particular plant . This booklet will refer to the herb mainly as “ noni” or M. citrifolia, and is referring primarily to Hawaiin noni.
The parts of the noni plant most used for their medicinal and nutritional purposes are the fruit, seeds, bark, leaves, and flowers. Virtually every part of the noni plant is utilized for its individual medicinal properties; however, it is the fruit portion that is regarded as its most valuable. The seeds have a purgative action, the leaves are used to treat external inflammations and relieve pain, the bark has strong astringent properties and can treat malaria, the root extracts lower blood pressure, the flower essences relieve eye inflammations and the f ruit has a number of medicinal actions.
Morinda citrifolia is technically an evergreen shrub or bush, which can grow to heights of fifteen to twenty feet . It has rigid, coarse branches which bear dark, oval, glossy leaves. Small white fragrant flowers bloom out of cluster-like pods which bear creamy-white colored fruit. The fruit is fleshy and gel-like when ripened, resembling a small breadf ruit . The flesh of the fruit is characterist ically bitter, and when completely ripe produces a rancid and very dist inctive odor. Noni has buoyant seeds that can float formont hs in ocean bodies. The wood of the inflammatory, astringent, emollient, emmenagogue, laxative, sedative, hypotensive (lowers blood pressure) , blood purif ier, and tonic.
Noni has various chemical constituents. First, it has an impressive array of terpene compounds, three of which—L. Asperuloside, aucubin, and glucose— have been identified by their actyl derivatives. Both caproic and caprylic acids have been isolated.1 Second, bushfruits, a category of which noni fruit is a member, are also considered a good source of vit - amin C.2 Third, Hawaiin noni has been linked to the synthesis of xeronine in the body which has significant and widespread health implications. Last , the alkaloid cont ent of the noni fruit is thought to be responsible for its therapeutic actions. Alkaloids exhibit a wide range of pharmacological and biological act ivitiesin the human body. They are nitrogencontaining organic compounds which can react with acids to form salts and which are the basis of many medicines. The following is an in-depth chemical analysis of each plant part and it s chemical constituents.
discovered an alkaloid in the Hawaiin noni fruit which he calls proxeronine and which he believes has appreciable physiological actions by acting as a precursor to xeronine, a very crucial compound (see later sections) . In addition, a compound found in the fruit called damnacanthol is believed to help inhibit cert ain viruses and cellular mutations involved in cancer.
ROOT AND ROOT BARK
Recent surveys have suggested that noni fruit exerts antibiotic action. In fact, a variety of compounds which have antibacterial properties (such as aucubin) have been identified in the fruit.5 The 6-Dglucopyranose pentaacet ate of the fruit extract is not considered bacteriostatic.6 Constituents found in the fruit portion have exhibited ant imicrobial action against Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhi (and other types) , Shigella paradysenteriae, and Staphylococcus aureaus. Compounds found in the root have the ability to reduce swollen mucous membrane and lower blood pressure in animal studies. Proxeronine is an alkaloid constituent found in Hawaiin noni fruit which may prompt the production of xeronine in the body. It is considered a xeronine precursor and was discovered in noni fruit by Dr. Ralph M. Heinicke. He has theorized that this proenzyme can be effective in initiating a series of beneficial cellular reactions through its involvement with the integrity of specific proteins. He points out that tissues contain cells which possess certain recept or sites for xeronine. Because the reactions that can occur are so varied, many different therapeutic actions can result when xeronine production escalates, explaining why Hawaiin noni is good for so many seemingly unrelated disorders. Damnacanthol is another compound contained in the fruit of the Hawaiin noni plant which has shown the ability to block or inhibit the cellular function of RAS cells, considered pre-cancerous cells.
Body Systems Targeted
The following body systems have all been effec-freeze-dried capsules, dehydrated powder or fruit, and oil. Noni plant constituents are sometimes offered in combination with other herbs. Some products contain a percent age of the fruit, bark, root and seeds for their individual therapeutic properties.
Extracts of M. citrifolia are considered safe if used as directed; however, pregnant or nursing mothers should consult their physicians before taking any supplement . High doses of root extracts may cause constipation. Taking noni supplements with coffee, alcohol or nicotine is not recommended.
Ideally, noni extracts should be taken on an empty stomach prior to meals. The process of digesting food can interfere with the medicinal value of the alkaloid compounds found in Hawaiin noni, especially in its fruit . Apparently, stomach acids and enzymes destroy the specific enzyme which frees up the xeronine compound. Take noni supplements without food, coffee, nicotine or alcohol. Using supplements that have been made from the semi-ripe or light - green fruit is also considered preferable to the ripe, whit ish fruit .
NONI: ITS USE AND HISTORY
Noni is a tropical wandering plant indigenous to areas of Australia, Malaysia and Polynesia. It is considered native to Southeast Asia although it grows from India to the eastern region of Polynesia. Morinda citrifolia has a long history of medicinal use throughout these areas. It is thought to be the “most widely and commonly used medicinal plant prior to the European era.” 7 Centuries ago, the bushfruit was introduced to native Hawaiians, who subsequently called it “noni” and considered its fruit and root as prized medicinal agents. Among all Polynesian botanical agents of the 19th and 20th centuries, Hawaiin noni has the widest array of medical applications. Samoan and Hawaiian medical practitioners used noni for bowel disorders (especially infant diarrhea, constipation, or intestinal parasites) , indigestion, skin inflammation, infection, mouth sores, fever, contusions and sprains. Hawaiians commonly prepared noni tonics designed to treat diabetes, stings, burns and fish poisoning.8 The herb’s remarkable ability to purge the intestinal tract and promote colon health was well known among older Hawaiian and Tahitian natives and folk healers. Interestingly, field observations regarding its repu-remarkable healing agent .
Wonder Herb of Island Folk Healers
Common to t he thickets and forests of Malaysia and Polynesia, and the low hilly regions of the Philippine islands, noni has been cultivated throughout communities in the South Pacific for hundreds of years. Its Hawaiian use is thought to originate from inter-island canoe travel and settlement dating to before Christ . Its hardy seeds have the ability to float which has also contributed to its distribution among various seacoasts in the South Pacific region. Historical investigation has established the fact that some of Hawaii’s earliest settlers probably came viaTahiti. For this reason, Tahitian herbal practices have specific bearing on the herbal therapeutics of islands to the nort h. The very obvious similarities between the Hawaiian vernacular for herbal plants like noni and Tahitian names strongly suggests the theory of Polynesian migrations to Hawaii. Cultures native to these regions favored using Morinda citrifolia for treating major diseases and ut ilized it as a source of nourishment in times of famine.9 Noni fruit has been recognized for centuries as an excellent source of nutrition. The peoples of Fiji, Samoa and Rarat onga use the fruit in both its raw and cooked forms.10 Traditionally, the fruit was propicked before it was fully ripe and placed in the sunlight . After being allowed to ripen, it was typically mashed and its juice extracted through a cloth. Noni leaves provided a veget able dish and their resiliency made them desirable as a fish wrap for cooking.
Noni’s Medical Reputation
Elaborate traditionalrituals and praying rites usually accompanied the administration of noni. Int erestingly, cultures indigenous to the Polynesian islands had a significant understanding of their flora. For example, native Hawaiians maint ained a folkmedicine taxonomy t hat was considered second to none.11 Noni was not only used for medicinal purposes but for its food value, for clot hing and for cloth dyes as well. Research indicates that noni was among the few herbal remedies that islanders considered “ tried and true.” In Hawaii, trained herbal practitioners reserved the right to prescribe plant therapies.12 Records indicate that Hawaiian medical practices were based on extensive and very meticulous descriptions of symptoms and their prescribed herbal treatments. Dosages were controlled and the collection and administration of plant extracts was carefully monitored.13 In addition to Morinda, it was not uncommon for these herbal doctors to also recommend using In regard to its application for common ailments, Hawaiians and other island communities traditionally prescribed noni to purge the bowel, reduce fever, cure respiratory infections such as asthma, ease skin inflammations, and heal bruises and sprains. In other words, noni was widely used and highly regarded as a botanical medicine.
A Timely Reemer gence
Today, the natural pharmaceutical actions of the chemical constituents contained in noni are scientif-ically emerging as valuable bot anical medicines. Tahitian “nono” intrigued medical practitioners decades ago; however, due to the eventual emergence of synthetic drugs, interest in this island botanical diminished until recent years. Ethnobot anists are once again rediscovering why Hawaiian people havet reasured and cultivat ed Morinda citrifolia for generations. Noni is now finding its way into western therapeutics and is referred to as “ the queen” of the genus Rubiaceae. Its ability to reduce joint inflammation and target the immune system have made it the focus of the modern scientific inquiry. Dr. Ralph Heinicke has conducted some fascinating studies on the chemical constituents of the Hawaiin noni fruit. His research centers on the proxeronine content of the fruit juice and how it profoundly influences human physiology. In addition, scientific studies investigating noni as an anti-cancer agent have been encouraging. It s conspicuous attributes and varied uses have elevat edits status to one of the best of the healing herbs. Today Morinda citrifolia is available in liquid, juice, freezedried capsules, or oil forms, and is considered one of nature’s most precious botanicals.
TRADITIONAL USES OF NONI
Throughout tropical regions, virtually every part of Morinda citrifolia was used to treat disease or injury. Its curative properties were well known and commonly employed. PatoaTama Benioni, a member of the Maoritribe from the Cook Islands and a lecturer on island plants explains: Traditionally Polynesians use noni for basically everything in the treatment of illness. Noni is a part of our lives. Any Polynesian boy will tell you he’s had exper ience with it . We use juice from its roots, its flowers, and its fruit... my grandmother taught me to use noni from the roots and the leaves to make medicine for external as well as internal use, and for all kinds of ailments, such as coughs, boils, diseases of the skin, and cuts.15
decoctions to stimulate delayed menst ruation.
XERONINE: THE SECRET OF NONI?
One informed professional on the subject of noni is Dr. Ralph Heinicke, a biochemist who has researched the active compounds of noni fruit for a number of years. He discovered that the Hawaiin noni fruit contains an alkaloid precursor to a very vital compound called xeronine. Wit hout xeronine, life would cease. In Dr. Heinicke’s view, noni fruit provides a safe and effective way to increase xeronine levels, which exert a crucial influence on cell health and protction. His research suggests that the juice from the M. citrifolia fruit contains what could technically be considered a precursor of xeronine—proxeronine. This compound initiates the release of xeronine in the intestinal tract after it comes in contact with a specific enzyme which is also contained in the fruit .
Because proteins and enzymes have so many varied roles within cell processes, the normalization of these proteins with noni supplemenation could initiate avery wide variety of body responses and treat many disease condit ions. Proteins are the most important catalysts found in the body. The beauty of obtaining a precursor to xeronine from the noni fruit is that the body naturally decides how much of this precursor to convert to xeronine. Disease, stress, anger, trauma and injury can lower xeronine levels in the body, thus creat ing a xeronine deficit . Supplementing the body with noni fruit is considered an excellent way to safely and naturally raise xeronine levels. It is the research and theories of Dr. Heinicke which have made the juice of the Hawaiin noni fruit a viable medicinal substance. He writes: Xeronine is analkaloid, a substance the body produces in order to activate enzymes so they can function properly. It also energizes and regulates the body. This par-ticular alkaloid has never been found because the body makes it, immediately uses it, and then breaks it down. At no time is there an appreciable, isolable amount in the blood. But xeronine is so basic to the functioning of proteins, we would die without it . Its absence can cause many kinds of illness.17 Because so many diseases result from an enzyme malfunction, Dr. Heinicke believes that using the noni fruit can result in an impressive array of curative applications. Interestingly, he believes that we manufacture proxeronine while we are sleeping. He proposes t hat if we could constantly supply our bodies wit h proxeronine from other sources, our need to sleep would diminish.18
How an herb is processed is crucial to how beneficial it is: this is especially true of noni, with its unique enzymes and alkaloids. Morinda citrifolia should be picked when the fruit is turning from its dark green immature color to its lighter green color, and certainly before it ripens to its white, almost translucent color. Once picked, noni, like aloe, will denature extremely quickly due to its very active enzymes. After harvesting, it should swiftly be flash frozen. This is similar to what is done to fish caught at sea to keep them f esh. This stops it from losing its potency while not damaging any of its constituents. To process noni, freeze-drying is recommended. This removes only the water without damaging any of this miracle plant’s vital enzymes and other phytonutrients like xeronine and proxeronine. This pure high-quality noni fruit juice powder is then encapsu-has a very harsh taste and an extremely foul smell, similar to the fruit it self . Other methods of processing include thermal processing, dehydrat ion and air drying. Thermal processing is generally found in liquids, while the dehydrat ed noni is then milled and encapsulated. Unfortunately both methods utilize high heat (110+°F) , which can deactivate many of the vital compounds that make noni so import ant . Air-drying is effect ive without using damaging heat but has serious quality control problems for commercial production.
MODERN APPLICATIONS OF NONI
Noni possesses a wide variety of medicinal properties which originat e from its differing plant component s. The fruit and leaves of the shrub exert antibacterial activities. Its roots promote the expulsion of mucus and the shrinkage of swollen membranes making it an ideal therapeutic for nasal congest ion, lung infect ions, and hemorrhoids. Noni root compounds have also shown natural sedative properties as well as the ability to lower blood pressure.
Leaf extracts are able to inhibit excessive blood flow or to inhibit the formation of blood clots. Noni is particularly useful for its ability to treat painful joint conditions and to resolve skin inflammations. Many people drink noni fruit extracts in juice form for hypert ension, painful menstruation, arthritis, gastric ulcers, diabetes, and depression. Recent studies suggest that its anticancer activit y should also be considered. Concerning the therapeutic potential of the Hawaiin noni fruit, Dr. Heinicke writes: I have seen the compound found in noni work wonders. When I was still investigating its possibilities, I had a friend who was a medical research scientist administer the proxeronine to a woman who had been comatose for three months. Two hour safter receiving the compound, she sat up in bed and asked where she was. . . . Noni is probably the best source of proxeronine that we have today.19 Studies and surveys combined support the ability of noni to act as an immunost imulant, inhibit the growth of certain tumors, enhance and normalize cellular function and boost tissue regeneration. It is considered a powerful blood purifier and contributor to overall homeostasis.
xeronine, which appears to be able to regulate the shape and integrity of cert in proteins that individually contribute to specific cellular activities. Interestingly, this effect seems to occur after ingestion, inferring that the most active compound of noni may not be present in uneaten forms of the fruit or other plant parts. Some practitioners believe that xeronine is best obtained from a noni fruit juice precursor compound. The enzymatic reactions that occur with taking the juice on an empty stomach are what Dr. Heinicke believes set cellular repair intomotion.
A study conducted in 1994 cited the anticancer activity of Morinda citrifolia against lung cancer. A team of scientists from the University of Hawaii used live laboratory mice to test the medicinal properties of the fruit against Lewis lung carcinomas which were artificially transferred to lung tissue. The mice that were left untreated died in nine to twelve days. However, giving noni juice in consistent daily doses significantly prolonged their life span. Almost half of these mice lived for more than fifty days.20 Research conclusions state that the chemical constituents of the juice acted indirectly by enhancing the ability of the immune system to deal with the invading malig-nancy by boosting macrophage or lymphocyte activit y. Furt her evaluation theorizes that the unique chemical constituents of Morinda citrifolia initiate enhanced T-cell activity, a reaction that may explain noni’s ability to treat a variety of infectious diseases. 21
In Japan, similar studies on tropical plant extracts found that damnacanthol, a compound found in Morinda citrifolia, is able to inhibit the function of KRAS- NRK cells, which are considered precursors to certain types of malignancies.22 The experiment involved adding noni plant extract to RAS cells and incubating them for a number of days. Observation disclosed that noni was able to significantly inhibit RAS cellular function. Among 500 plant extracts, Morinda citrifolia was determined to contain the most effective compounds against RAS cells. Its damnacanthol content was clinically described in 1993 as “a new inhibit or of RAS function.” 2 3 The xeronine fact or is also involved in that xeronine helps to normalize the way malignant cells behave. While they are still technically cancer cells, they no longer function as cells with unchecked growth. In time, the body’s immune system may be able to eradicate these cells.
with arthritic disease. One link to arthritic pain may be the inability to properly or completely digest proteins which can then form crystal-like deposits in the joints. The ability of noni fruit to enhance protein digestion through enhanced enzymatic function may help to eliminate this particular phenomenon. In addition, the alkaloid compounds and plant met abolites of noni may be linked to its apparent anti-inflammatory action. Plant sterols can assist in inhibiting the inflammatory response which causes swelling and pain. In addition, the antioxidant effect of noni may help to decrease free radical damage in joint cells, which can exacerbate discomfort and degeneration.
The alkaloid and other chemical compounds found in noni have proven themselves to effectively control or kill over six types of infectious bacterial strains including: Escherichia coli, salmonellatyphi (and other types) , shigella paradysenteriae, and staphylo - coccus aureaus.25 In addition, damnacanthol, was able to inhibitt he early antigen stage of the Epstein- Barr virus.
The bioactive components of the whole plant, combined or in separate portions, have demonst rat - ed the ability to inhibit several different strains of bacteria. Anecdotal reports support this action in that noni seems particularly effective in shortening the duration of certain types of infection. This may explain why noni is commonly used to treat colds and flu. The chemical constituents found in noni and the possibility that they stimulate xeronine production— as well as initiate alkaloid therapy—may explain noni’s reputation for having immuno-stimulatory properties. Alkaloids have been able to boost phagocytosis which is the process in which certain white blood cells called macrophages attack and literally digest infectious organisms. Interestingly, the ant it umoraction of noni has been ascribed to an immune system response which involves stimulating T-cells. tropical regions during World War II learned of the fruit’s ability to boost endurance and stamina. Native cultures in Samoa, Tahiti, Raratonga and Australia used the fruit in cooked and raw forms. M. citrifolia is considered a tonic and is especially recommended for debilitated conditions.
The process of aging bombards the body with free radicals which can cause all kinds of degenerative diseases. The xeronine theory promoted by Dr. Heinicke submit s t hat as our bodies age, we lose our ability to synthesize xeronine. To make matters worse, the presence of many environment altoxins actually blocks the production of xeronine as well. He believes that the proxeronine content of Hawaiin noni fruit juice can help to block these actions, thereby working as an antiaging compound.26 The phytonutrients found in noni assist in promot - ing cell nourishment and prot ect ion from free radicals created by exposure to pollution and other potentially damaging agents. In addition, Morinda citrifolia contains selenium, which is considered one of the best antioxidant compounds available.
While scientific studies are lacking in this particular application of noni, Hawaiians used various parts of the plant and its fruit to treat blood sugar disorders. Anecdotal surveys have found t hat noni is current ly recommended for anyone with diabetes.
A 1990 study found that extracts derived from the Morinda citrifolia root have the ability to kill pain in animal experiments.27 Interest ingly, it was during this study that the natural sedative action of the root was also noted. This study involved a French team of scientists who noted a significant central analgesic activity in laboratory mice.28 Dr. Heinicke has stated, “Xeronine also acts as a pain reliever. A man wit h very advanced int est inal cancer was given three months to live. He began taking the proxeronine and lived for a whole year, pain-free.” 29
Skin Healing Agent
One of the most prevalent hist rical uses of noni was in poultice form for cuts, wounds, abrasions, burns and bruises. Using its fruit extract for very serious burns has resulted in some extraordinary healing. Because skin is comprised of protein, it immediately responds to the presence of xeronine.
burn site throught he direct application of a noni poultice is considered quite effective by Dr. Heinicke and his colleagues, who have studied enzymatic therapy. Concerning burns, he has written: I believe that each tissue has cells which contain proteins which have receptor sites for the absorption of xeronine. Certain of these proteins are the inert for ms of enzymes which require absorbed xeronine to become active. This xeronine, by converting the body’s procol- langenase system into a specific protease, quickly and safely removes the dead tissue from burns.30
The xeronine link to treat ing drug addiction is based on the notion that flooding t he brain with extra xeronine can reverse the neurochemical basis for addiction. This natural alkaloid is thought to normalize brain receptors which subsequent ly results in the cessation of physiological dependence on a certain chemical like nicotine.3 1 The potential of Hawaiin noni as a natural stimulat or for t he production of xeronine may have profound implications in treating various types of addictions.
Complementary Agents of Noni
PrimaryApplications of Noni
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Theanine Serene™ with Relora® - to ease tension, improve relaxation
July 07, 2005 03:52 PM
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REFERENCES 1Steven R. Schechter, N.D., Let’s Live. July, 1994, 60. 2Ibid., 58. 3Michael T. Murray, N.D., The Healing Power of Herbs, (Rocklin, CA: Prima Publishing, 1995), 266. 4Ibid., 266. 5Varro E. Tyler, Ph.D.., The Honest Herbal, (New York: Pharmaceutical Products Press, 1993), 156. 6Rob McCaleb, Better Nutrition, “Ginseng, Mental Booster,” July, 1993, 48. 7Claire Kowalchik and William H. Hylton, Editors, Rodale’s Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs, (Emmaus, Pennsylvania: Rodale Press, 1987), 226. 8“Ginseng,” The Lawrence Review of Natural Products. Sept. 1990, 1. 9Ben Charles Harris, Ginseng, What it is...What it can do for you, (New Cannan, Connecticut: Keats Publishing, Inc., 1978), 6. 10Steven Foster, Asian Ginseng. Botanical Series No. 303, 1991, 4. 11Harris, 18-19. 12Jack Ritchason, The Little Herb Encyclopedia., (Pleasant Grove, UT: Woodland Publishing, Inc., 1994), 102. 13Ibid., 1. 14Louise Tenney, The Encyclopedia of Natural Remedies, (Pleasant Grove, UT: Woodland Publishing, Inc., 1995), 25. 15James F. Balch, MD.. and Phyllis A. Balch, C.N.C., Prescription For Nutritional Healing, (Avery Publishing Group Inc.: Garden City Park, New York, 1990), 337. 16James Duke, Handbook of Medicinal Herbs. (Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, Inc. 1985), 174. 17Murray, 268. 18Arnold and Connie Krochmal, Garden Magazine, Sept.-Oct., 1978. 19Foster, 5. 20Ibid., 5. 21Murray, 268. 22Daniel B. Mowrey, Ph.D., The Scientific Validation of Herbs, (New Canaan, Connecticut: Keats Publishing, Inc., 1986), 192. 23Ibid., 103. 24Janet Zand, OMD, L.Ac. Herbal Medicine (Internet), “Siberian Ginseng.” (Health World, 1996). 25Foster, 5. 26Simon Y. Mills, The Essential Book of Herbal Medicine, (London: Penguin Books, 1993), 531. 27Michael T. Murray, N.D., Male Sexual Vitality, (Rocklin, CA: Prima Publishing, 1991), 127. 28Rodale’s Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs. 228. 29Ibid., 228. 30Readers Digest Family Guide to Natural Medicine, (Pleasantville, New York: The Reader’s Digest Association, Inc., 1993), 310. 31Foster, 6. 32Murray, 270. 33Paul Pitchford, Healing With Whole Foods, (Berkeley, California: North Atlantic Books, 1993), 393. 34Daniel B. Mowrey, Ph.D., Herbal Tonic Therapies., (New Cannan, Connecticut: Keats Publishing, Inc., 1993), 48. 35Murray, 275. 36Rodale’s Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs, 229. 37Harris, 25. 38Murray, Male Sexual Vitality., 126. 39Mowrey, 152. 40Ibid., 266. 41The Lawrence Review, 1. 42Schechter, 60. 43Mowrey, Herbal Tonic Ther apies., 49. 44Tyler, 155.
VANADIUM W/CHROMIUM - Supports Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
June 24, 2005 05:15 PM
Today’s sedentary lifestyles and sugar-rich, nutrient-poor foods are contributing to the rise of obesity in our society. The result: challenges to your body’s system of balancing blood sugar levels and insulin activity. Maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle helps keep blood sugar levels in the normal range, but sometimes you need nutritional support when you don’t have time to make those healthy food choices. Source Naturals, the science company, introduces VANADIUMW/CHROMIUM for blood sugar support. Research shows that these two important minerals help maintain normal blood sugar levels when used as part of your diet.
Vanadium works together with chromium to support healthy blood sugar levels. Research has shown that both of these important minerals play a key role in normal insulin function.
Vanadium: Balances Insulin Activity Vanadium, named after Vanadis the Norse goddess of beauty, belongs to a group of biologically important metals known as transition elements. These metals have a natural tendency to form complexes with organic compounds called coordination compounds that serve important biological functions.
Insulin is secreted by the pancreas in response to high blood glucose levels after meals. Without insulin, glucose cannot enter cells to provide fuel for cellular energy. The sugar that remains in the blood can create problems by binding with protein molecules, resulting in damaged, non-functioning structures, in a process called glycation. Some evidence suggests that vanadium supports these vital metabolic processes because of its ability to mimic the actions of insulin.
More Absorbable Form of Vanadium
Absorption of dietary vanadium and supplemental vanadium is poor. It is estimated that less than 5% of dietary vanadium is absorbed. Organic forms of vanadium, such as bis-glycinato oxovanadium or BGOV, are recognized as being more absorbable. BGOV is an organically bound, bioavailable form of vanadium complexed with the amino acid glycine. Glycine, an amino acid found in the protein of all life forms, generates superior vanadium absorption.
Chromium: Supports Glucose Metabolism Chromium is a trace element the body needs in very small amounts, but it plays a significant role in human nutrition. Its most important function is to help regulate the amount of glucose in the blood. Insulin plays a role in this process, by regulating the movement of glucose out of the blood and into the cells. Chromium is a key constituent of the compound known as glucose tolerance factor (GTF). This mineral enhances the effectiveness of insulin, encouraging glucose to enter cells, where it can be burned for fuel.
Chromium participates in glucose metabolism by enhancing the effects of insulin. Insulin binds to insulin receptors on the surface of cells, activating those receptors and stimulating glucose uptake by cells. Through its interaction with insulin receptors, insulin provides cells with glucose for energy and prevents blood glucose levels from becoming elevated. Glucose buildup in the bloodstream is associated with adverse changes in lipid profiles and increased challenges for cardiovascular health. Some studies examining the effects of chromium supplementation on lipid profiles have observed reduction in serum total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. Source Naturals VANADIUM W/CHROMIUM includes ChromeMate®, a patented compound of chromium and niacin with proven GTF activity.
Taking responsibility for your health is at the heart of the wellness revolution. Sometimes life may seem like it’s passing you by and you may not have time to focus on staying healthy. Your local health food outlet is a great resource for nutritional education and effective, advanced natural products. Source Naturals is pleased to partner with these outlets to bring you products like VANADIUM W/CHROMIUM to help you maintain a healthy balance.
Anderson, R.1998. Chromium, glucose intolerance and diabetes. Journal of the American College of Nutrition 17(6):548-555. Jellin, J., et al. 2004. Vanadium Monograph. Pharmacists Letter/Prescribers Letter Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. Therapeutic Research Facility. Nandhini, S., et al. 1993. Insulin-like effects of bis-glycinato oxovanadium complex on experimental diabetic rats. Indian Journal of Biochemistry and Biophysics 30:73-76.
7-Keto - The Key to Healthy Aging
June 21, 2005 05:05 PM
The global population is aging at an alarming rate and causing an explosion in health care costs, insurance premiums, cosmetic surgery and more. In the U.S. alone, more than one million baby boomers are expected to live to 100 years of age or older. This increased life expectancy presents a whole new set of health concerns that the medical community has not had time to address, since there is a greater need to care for age-related health problems in this ever-growing elderly population.1
Aging and the Decline in Vital Nutrients
We all grow old at the same rate but people age at different rates. Aging is a process of gradual changes that occur to varying degrees in each of us. Interestingly, the aging process is composed of different components and interactions, some of which can be impacted. One such component is the declining level of essential biological compounds, which causes our bodily functions to slow and become dysfunctional. Our organs don?t work efficiently, our immune system becomes lazy, we lack energy, our metabolism drops and we gain weight easily.1 7-oxo DHEA (7-Keto™) is a naturally occurring compound that declines with age.2 Replacing this key metabolite helps promote a healthy immune system and maintains resting metabolic rate at levels that accelerate weight loss during standard weight reduction programs.
Aging and a Healthy Immune System
Numerous changes occur in the immune system with advancing age, probably contributing to decreased immune responsiveness. Although all segments of the immune system are affected, investigators have most consistently identified declines in cellular or T-cell mediated immune function in the elderly. The decline in T-cell immune function is generally associated with an increased susceptibility to foreign organisms. For example, individuals with age-related declines in cellular immunity have an impaired response to vaccinations, making them more susceptible to health imbalances even though they have had their shots. In a clinical study presented at the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology meeting in April 2004, the effect of 7-Keto on elderly immune function was evaluated. Healthy elderly adults were given 7-Keto orally twice daily over a period of one month. The study revealed that 7-Keto augmented several key T-cell mediated immune function parameters compared to placebo administration.4
Age-Related Weight Gain
Age-related weight gain and obesity are approaching epidemic proportions in our country.5 Weight gain is a disorder of energy balance involving energy intake and/or expenditure. Low energy expenditure, a drop in resting metabolic rate (RMR), is a challenge during most weight loss attempts due to age, calorie restriction, lack of physical activity or a combination of factors. RMR represents 60% of total daily energy expenditure. Maintaining a higher RMR as we age and during weight reduction programs helps us achieve and maintain a normal weight. Furthermore, compounds with the thermogenic potential to achieve even minimal increases in daily energy expenditure of 2-3% may have clinical relevance in preventing the decline in RMR with calorie restricted diets or weight loss, and in decreasing the risk of regaining weight. 7-Keto, a non-stimulant thermogenic compound, has been shown to significantly increase energy expenditure in humans.6 A recently completed clinical study, also presented at the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology 2004 meeting, revealed that administration of 7-Keto to overweight adults in conjunction with a calorie restricted diet effectively reversed the decline in RMR normally associated with dieting. Obese participants following a calorie-restricted diet demonstrated a 5.4% increase in daily RMR with 7-Keto.7 The magnitude of the increase in RMR by 7-Keto is clinically relevant, and represents a promising agent for enhancing thermogenesis and weight loss in obese individuals on calorie-restricted diets. Additionally, 7-Keto has been shown in two confirmatory published clinical studies to result in three times more weight loss compared to diet and exercise alone. It has a favorable side effect profile and is easy and convenient to take.8,9 Our life expectancies will likely be longer than those of our parents, and our quality of life during those years will depend on how well we take care of our bodies now. Undoubtedly, the science of aging will give rise to new and exciting technologies to help us age more gracefully and healthfully. Maintenance of healthy immune function is keenly needed for improved quality of life in the elderly. Dietary manipulation and supplementation has been identified as a method of immune system renewal, and supplements such as 7-Keto may play an important future role as immune system modulators. Moreover, the addition of 7-Keto to any weight loss program will offer vital support of energy expenditure and help with the attainment of a manageable and healthy weight into our older years.
1. 1995 White House Conference on Aging, ?Executive Summary: The Road to an Aging Policy for the 21st Century," February 1996: 17-18. 2. Marenich LP. Secretion of Testosterone, Epitestosterone, Androstenedione, and 7-Keto-Dehydroepiandrosterone in Healthy Men of Different Ages. Prob Endokrinol. 1979; 25(4): 28-31. 3. Ginaldi L, De Martinis M, D?Ostilio A, Marini L, Loreto MF, Quaglino D. Immunological Changes in the Elderly. Aging 1999; 11(5): 281-286. 4. Zenk JL, Kuskowski MA. The Use of 3-acetyl-7-oxo-dehydroepiandrosterone for Augmenting Immune Response in the Elderly, Abstract Presented at the meeting of the FASEB, April 17, 2004, Manuscript submitted for publication. 5. Flegal KM, Carroll MD, Ogden CL, Johnson CL. Prevalence and Trends in Obesity Among US Adults. 1999-2000. JAMA 2002;288:1723-1727. 6. Astrup A. Thermogenic Drugs as a Strategy for Treatment of Obesity. Endocrine 2000;13(2):207-212. 7. Zenk JL, Leikam SA, Kassen LJ, Kuskowski MA. A Prospective, Randomized, Double Blind Study to Evaluate the Effect of HUM5007 and 7-oxo DHEA on Resting Metabolic Rate in Overweight Adult Men and Women on a Calorie Restricted Diet, Abstract Presented at the meeting of the FASEB, April 17, 2004, Manuscript submitted for publication. 8. KAlman DS, Colker CM, Swain MA, Torina GC, Shi Q. A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo Controlled Study of 3-Acetyl-7-Oxo-Dehydroepiandrosterone in Healthy Overweight Adults. Current Therapeutic Research 2000;61: 435-442. 9. Zenk JL, Helmer TR, Kassen LJ, Kuslowski MA. The Effect of 7-Keto Naturalean on Weight Loss: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial. Current Therapeutic Research 2002; 63:263-272.
John L. Zenk, M.D., is Chief Medical and Scientific Officer for Humanetics Corporation and President and Medical Director of Minnesota Applied Research Center, both located in Eden Prairie, MN. He has spoken nationally and internationally on the subjects of integrating conventional and complementary medicine, anti-aging technologies, evaluating the effectiveness of alternative medicine, and dietary supplement research and development. He is author of the book Living Longer in the Boomer Age, and co-author of the book Age Wise and is a frequent contributor to national media. He has served as Principal Investigator for 15 controlled clinical studies, three of which were recently published in national peer-reviewed journals, and has presented abstracts at the 11th World Congress for Food Science and Technology and the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.
Vision Quest - help fight eye problems.
June 18, 2005 08:34 AM
Vision Quest by Phyllis D. Light, RH Energy Times, February 11, 2004
Since your eyes are in constant use every day, exposed to the damaging energy of sunlight and pollutants that waft through the air, these delicate orbs are often in danger of wearing out.
To keep this vital part of your anatomy functioning as you age, you have to feed and care for your eyes properly. Otherwise, you are in real danger of losing your vision and independence.
Your vision may be in danger. Experts estimate that 8 million Americans over the age of 55 are at serious risk of blindness linked to a condition called age-related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD can wipe out your central vision and is the primary cause of blindness in Western society.
While AMD causes no pain, it blurs the sharp, central vision necessary for driving, reading and other activities where you need to see either up close or straight ahead. During AMD, the macula, the part of the eye that allows you to pick out fine detail, is destroyed. The macula sits at the center of your retina, the nerve center at the back of your eye that senses light and sends optic signals to the brain.
Age is not the only risk factor for AMD. Scientists have isolated a genetic defect that can lead to some forms of macular degeneration (Nature Genetics 2001; 27:89-93). Smoking and excessive exposure to sunlight are other hazards best avoided if you want to save your sight.
In many cases, AMD progresses so slowly that victims of this condition don't even notice that their vision is deteriorating until much of it is irrevocably gone.
Dry and Wet AMD
Wet AMD occurs when blood vessels in back of the retina start to overgrow and leak blood. As this occurs, blood and other fluids push on the macula and quickly damage its sensitive nerve endings. When wet AMD occurs, you lose your central vision rapidly. If straight lines appear wavy to you, you may be suffering from wet AMD. If you notice this or other unusual vision changes, contact an eye care specialist as soon as possible. You need what is called a comprehensive dilated eye exam that can uncover signs of AMD.
Dry AMD strikes the eye when light-sensitive cells in the macula slowly deteriorate, gradually blurring central vision in the affected eye. As dry AMD progresses, a blurry spot in the center of your vision may appear. Eventually, as more of the macula becomes dysfunctional, the central vision in the eye can gradually disappear.
The most common sign of dry AMD is slightly blurry vision. This can make it hard to recognize faces and also make it harder to read without very bright light. Dry AMD generally attacks both eyes, but vision can be lost in one eye while the other eye stays normal. In the early stages of dry AMD, drusen, yellow deposits that gather under the retina, may form. Dry AMD progresses in three stages:
Vitamins and Minerals for AMD
Fortunately, scientists have found ways to combat AMD: An analysis of a study called the national Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) shows that more than 300,000 Americans could avoid losing their sight to AMD if they took daily supplements of antioxidant nutrients and zinc.
This conclusion, reached by scientists at Johns Hopkins' Wilmer Eye Institute, is based on research involving more than 4,500 adults suffering various stages of AMD. The study demonstrated that people who already had some AMD could lower their risk of the more advanced form of this condition by 25% when they took vitamin C, natural vitamin E and beta carotene along with zinc. Those suffering from advanced AMD lowered their chances of losing vision by about 19%. (Supplements did not affect the risk of cataracts or the chances of some vision loss for people in the early stages of AMD.)
" Without treatment to reduce their risk, we estimate that 1.3 million adults would develop the advanced stage of AMD," says Neil M. Bressler, MD, professor of ophthalmology at Johns Hopkins and author of the current study, published in Archives of Ophthalmology (11/03).
According to Dr. Bressler and the other researchers, people who now have intermediate AMD (some vision loss) in one eye have about a 1 in 16 chance of having their vision deteriorate until they have advanced AMD. They also calculate that about 1 in 4 of those with intermediate AMD in both eyes and 43% of those with advanced AMD in one eye will develop advanced AMD in five years without treatment.
In their view, older people at risk of AMD blindness should take daily supplements of 500 milligrams of vitamin C, 400 milligrams of natural vitamin E, 15 milligrams of beta carotene, 80 milligrams of zinc as zinc oxide and 2 milligrams of copper as cupric oxide. Evidence also exists that a diet which is high in fat can cause AMD to progress to an advanced stage. The exceptions: The healthy fats found in fish and nuts (Archives of Ophthalmology 2003; 121:1728-37).
Oddly enough, some of the same pigments that color vegetables and other foods also color your eyes. And scientists believe that those pigments, which are classified as carotenoids, help protect the eyes by helping them fight off the negative effects of caustic molecules called free radicals. Free radicals are formed when the energy from sunlight strikes the eyes and disrupts the composition of natural chemicals found there.
When scientists compared healthy eyes with eyes suffering from AMD, they found that AMD eyes contained lower levels of lutein and zeaxanthin, carotenoid pigments contained in egg yolk, spinach, broccoli and other dark green vegetables (Ophthalmology 2003; 109:1780). Furthermore, they found that levels of these chemicals generally decline as you grow older.
" This research is a major step toward large-scale clinical studies to prove the extent to which lutein and zeaxanthin protect against age-related macular degeneration," says Paul S. Bernstein, MD, PhD, at the University of Utah School of Medicine at Salt Lake. "We know that these carotenoids are specifically concentrated in the macula of the human eye."
Dr. Bernstein adds that, as you age, taking supplements containing lutein and other antioxidants may lower your AMD risk. In his investigation, people with AMD who did not take lutein had one-third less lutein in their eyes than older people whose vision was normal.
Another eyesight hazard is cataracts, in which the eye's lens-the part that focuses incoming light onto the retina-becomes cloudy. Cataracts form when the proteins found in the normally clear lens become damaged; signs include progressively blurred vision (especially outdoors), focusing problems, seeing streaks of light from headlights and stoplights, and colors that look faded.
Cataract is the leading cause of blindness worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. One of every six Americans 40 and older suffers from some degree of cataract; it affects half of all Americans who reach age 80. Nuclear cataracts, the most common form of this disorder, develop in the center of the lens and tend to grow slowly. Cataracts may also develop at the back of the lens; this form is linked to eye trauma and long-term use of certain medications, including steroids.
Like AMD, cataracts become more common as people age. Up to 40% of individuals between the ages of 75 and 85 have them, compared with only 5% to 10% of those folks under the age of 65. And like AMD, sunlight exposure and smoking increase the risk of developing cataracts, as does the presence of diabetes.
Lutein and zeaxanthin, the carotenoids that are so plentiful in the macula, are also found in the lens (although in lower concentrations), leading many researchers to believe that these nutrients may help drop your risk of cataract development. Early studies indicate that an increased intake of lutein and zeaxanthin reduces one's chances of needing cataract surgery, the most common surgery in the United States (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1999; 70(4):509-16; 517-24).
Antioxidants and the Lens
Scientists believe that free-radical damage is a leading cause of cataracts, and so it isn't surprising that antioxidants have proved useful in preventing this problem.
Almost 500 women filled out diet questionnaires as part of a very large research effort called the Nurses' Health Study; those who had taken vitamin C supplements for 10 years or longer enjoyed the lowest rates of nuclear cataracts (Archives of Ophthalmology 2001; 119:1009-19).
So the answer to lowering your risk of eye problems is clear, whether you are already in your mature years or plan to be someday: Lead a healthy, eye-friendly lifestyle, eating a diet filled with colorful fruits and vegetables. Take frequent walks and jogs around the block.
And yes, when you kick back and take your just-as-frequent doses of antioxidant supplements, you're allowed to take your sunglasses off and see the world clearly.
Building the Burn
June 14, 2005 12:09 PM
Building the Burn by Marjorie Flakowitz Energy Times, June 11, 2004
When was the last time you exercised? During the past decade, the number of obese Americans has jumped by 50%. A big factor in this increase: lack of physical activity.
Today, technological society seems to make everyday life effortless: car windows retreat at the push of a button, remote controls keep couch potatoes from budging off the cushions and video games have replaced non-cyber ball playing. Americans don't move around and burn off the calories they eat. Instead, our sedentary ways are causing big stomach bulges and a big bulge in health problems linked to being overweight.
Want to lose those pounds? Consuming the right nutrients and pounding the pavement are a great start.
Number of Large Americans Grows Larger
Fifty-five out of every 100 Americans are now overweight. And the numbers continue to surge. To take yourself out of these alarming statistics, plan a consistent exercise program. If the thought of sweating during strenuous workouts at the gym scares you, relax. You don't have to do that much. According to a long list of research, a few half-hour walks a week can put you on the road to weight loss.
For instance, researchers at Duke found that walking a total of only 12 miles a week can help you control your weight even if you're not dieting (Archives of Internal Medicine 1/12/04). Of course dieting and taking the right supplements will help you lose weight a little faster, but walking burns off the pounds.
In the study at Duke, scientists gathered about 180 overweight, sedentary people and assigned them to one of four groups. The first group had to jog about 20 miles a week. The second group jogged 12 miles a week. The third group walked 12 miles, and the last group didn't do a thing.
" We found that the two low-exercise groups lost both weight and fat, while those in the more intensive group lost more of each in a 'dose-response' manner," says Cris Slentz, PhD, one of the researchers. " Simply put, the more you exercise, the more you benefit. Just as importantly, the control group of participants who performed no exercise gained weight over the period of the trial."
Everybody who was exercising lost weight; their stomachs and hips shrank. The folks who did nothing didn't just stay at the same weight; their weight went up.
Dr. Slentz adds, "From the perspective of prevention, it appears that the 30 minutes per day will keep most people from gaining the additional weight associated with inactivity. Given the increase in obesity in the US, it would seem likely that many in our society may have fallen below this minimal level of physical activity required to maintain body weight."
Of course, limiting the carbohydrates you consume and eating more protein at the same time as you exercise can help you lose weight more effectively. To help your body utilize protein more fully to fuel your exercise, many experts recommend taking enzyme supplements.
One of the most valuable enzyme combinations in this process is Aminogen(r), an all-natural, patented plant enzyme that assists the digestive tract in liberating the amino acids that are the building blocks of dietary protein. By helping separate these amino acids, absorption is boosted through the walls of the small intestines and your metabolism is better able to take up proteins and use them.
Add Chromium to Exercise
The mineral chromium is another supplement found helpful in aiding weight loss. An eight-week study at the University of Texas, Austin, compared weight loss among obese women who exercised and took chromium with the number of pounds that were lost by women performing the same amount of exercise without taking supplements (Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 1997; 29:992-8).
The result: women taking chromium lost a significantly greater amount. How does chromium work? A study at the University of Vermont found that chromium may help muscles take blood sugar (glucose) out of the blood more effectively by improving what's called insulin sensitivity (18th International Diabetes Federation Congress, Paris, 8/03).
Insulin is released by the pancreas to help cells take in glucose. By exercising and keeping your weight down, and becoming more insulin sensitive, you potentially reduce your chances of getting diabetes. The cells quickly respond to insulin and blood sugar stabilizes.
On the other hand, when insulin sensitivity drops significantly, the body may suffer what's called insulin resistance, a pre-diabetic condition that complicates and slows the removal of sugar from the blood. The Vermont researchers found that chromium increases the activity of a protein called Akt phosphorylation. This is a natural substance made by the body that makes cells more sensitive to insulin and speeds the movement of blood sugar into cells, where it can be burned for energy. So, in combination with exercise, which also helps the body become more responsive to insulin, chromium may help keep blood sugar under control.
As Sandra Woodruff points out in her book Secrets of Good Carb, Low Carb Living (Avery/Penguin), "[P]hysical activity boosts the body's ability to process carbohydrate and helps reduce insulin resistance....Exercise acts much like an insulin-sensitizing drug to make the body's cells more responsive to insulin, which enables them to remove sugar from the blood more efficiently." The results of exercise and getting sufficient chromium can help support weight loss and healthy blood sugar levels. The Vermont research team found that the exercising chromium takers boosted their insulin sensitivity by almost 9%.
Building a Lean Body
A prime benefit of exercising while you lose weight is that physical activity builds muscle tissue. Muscle tissue, even at rest, burns more calories than fat cells, so having extra muscle means you can eat more and still maintain or lose weight. An aid in this process is Coleus forskohlii root, Benth., a plant that originated in India. Research shows that forskohlii furthers molecular energy processes within cells that support the development of lean body tissue (muscle) and the enzymatic reactions that break down fat.
In a study of about two dozen women who took forskohlii extract, researchers found that taking this supplement was associated with feeling more energetic and less hungry (Experimental Biology meeting, 2002). According to Vladimir Badmaev, PhD, who has studied forskohlii, this herb's help in supporting lean body tissue is crucial to maintaining a healthy weight.
" In highly overweight individuals, fat tissue can constitute up to 70% of body weight. The remaining proportion of body composition corresponds to the lean body mass. Lean body mass is composed of muscle, vital organs, bone, connective and other non-fatty tissues in the body," says Dr. Badmaev.
" The body's metabolic rate is in direct proportion to the amount of lean body mass. Therefore, safely maintaining or increasing lean body mass is an important consideration for any weight-loss strategy."
The Skinny on Calcium
Calcium, long known for its ability to strengthen bones, is now turning out to play a key role in weight maintenance as well. In one study, obese mice who were put on calorie-restricted diets lost body fat when fed extra calcium (Experimental Biology meeting 2000). Both supplemental calcium and low-fat dairy proved effective. What's more, low-fat dairy's ability to burn fat and provoke fat loss have been confirmed in additional research (Obesity Research 4/04; 12:582-90).
Fat cells contain calcium, and scientists believe that the more of this mineral a fat cell contains, the more fat will be burned off. This action is especially important when you cut back on calories, since that often gives your body the idea that it's starving, leading your metabolism to slow and making weight loss extremely difficult.
A Complete Program
To lose weight efficiently, stay in top shape and retain your feelings of energy, you also have to make sure you get enough of the vitamins and minerals necessary for good health.
For those eating a high-protein diet who are limiting their fruits and vegetables, taking a supplement that incorporates nutrients from fruits and vegetables can help restore your feelings of well-being and help maintain your motivation for dieting and losing weight. (Supplements are available that deliver these nutrients without carbohydrates.)
In addition, supplements of what are called ketogenic amino acids-the natural substances that form protein's building blocks-can also help fuel your weight-loss program. These special nutrients can be efficiently used for the body's energy needs, a process that helps you lose weight.
And don't forget to keep moving! Soon you may have the kind of results researchers produced at the University of Pittsburgh when they studied women who exercised 40 minutes, five times a week (Journal of the American Medical Association 9/10/03). Those women lost 25 pounds in six months.
Your results may be just as good or better!
Move it and Lose it! Burn off body fat!
June 14, 2005 12:04 PM
Move it and Lose it! Burn off body fat! by Mimi Facher Energy Times, June 1, 1997
So you're feeling a little blah, a little overweight, and you're looking to drop a few of those winter pounds gained during the colder months. Maybe you've dabbled with diets and jogged around the neighborhood a few times but you're still packing unsightly bulges. If so, you may be considering the idea of turning to supplements to help you drop those pounds. Well, two types of diet supplements now generally available, combined with a diet and exercise program, may be able to help you trim those stubborn pounds.
The first type of supplement, called metabolic optimizers, which include ephedra, caffeine and salicin (derived from willow bark), boost your metabolic rate, causing your body to burn calories faster. The second class, lipotropic substances, aid the body in fat mobilization, causing greater utilization of stored fat. These products include chromium, carnitine and hydroxycitric acid (HCA). Both classes of supplements have been around in various forms for quite a while but are now enjoying greater popularity among dieters.
Trying to cope with a weight problem is a dilemma expanding throughout modern society. According to a 1995 Harris poll, nearly 75% of Americans are overweight. Although it's well known that the way to lose weight is to expend more calories than you take in, supplements may be able to help you burn off extra calories.
Thermogenesis and You
Metabolic optimizers are supposed to aid weight loss through a process called thermogenesis. Thermogenesis is a natural process in which fat is burned to produce body heat. Fat that isn't burned is stored on the hips, thighs, stomach, etc. Thermogenic agents are designed to counteract your body's fat storage mechanisms by causing your body to maintain a higher metabolic rate-turning your internal thermostat up to burn fat faster. The thermogenic process can be jump-started by a number of factors including cold, exercise, certain dietary nutrients and metabolic optimizers.
The ephedra herb, also known as ma huang is one of nature's earliest medicines, known for over 5000 years to the Chinese, who used it to relieve allergies, coughing, wheezing and cold and flu symptoms. In the US, ephedra has been available since the 1800s.
The ingredients in ephedra include the alkaloids ephedrine, pseudoephedrine and norephedrine. Concentrated forms of these substances are used in today's over-the-counter cold, allergy and asthma relief formulas.
Ma huang's effectiveness as a weight loss aid is tied to its appetite suppressant and stimulant properties. By speeding up action of the thyroid gland, the ephedrine found in the herb acts a thermogenic agent, boosting the rate at which the body metabolizes fat and promoting weight loss. According to Mark Blumenthal, Executive Director of the American Botanical Council, "When used as part of a total package that includes diet modification and exercise, ma huang can be highly effective in the short run because it increases the speed of the body's metabolism and suppresses appetite."
Because of their strong stimulant effect, ephedra and its derivatives have engendered some controversy. However, in its long history, billions of doses of ephedra have been consumed without problem. But ephedra supplements should only be used as directed on product labels. People with cardiovascular problems, diabetes, thyroid or prostate dysfunction, high blood pressure and those taking MAO inhibitors, pregnant or nursing should avoid this herb.
Salicin Burns Fat
Salicin, a substance derived from willow bark-which is also the original source for aspirin, a related compound-can boost the burning of fat when combined with ephedra. An animal study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that while ephedra boosted calorie burning by almost 10%, when ephedra was combined with aspirin, extra calorie burning just about doubled. Another study in the Internatioanl Journal of Obesity showed that when overweight women took aspirin and ephedrine during a meal, their bodies burned off more calories than normal. (Eating a meal produces a thermogenic effect as your body expends energy in digestion. That's why dieters are told not to skip meals. Skipping meals lowers your metabolic rate, decreasing your calorie expenditure.)
Similar studies also show that caffeine, the stimulant that gives coffee its eye-opening kick, can also boost ephedra's thermogenic properties. But before using these combinations check with a health practitioner knowledgeable about nutrition. Aspirin or salicin may cause stomach upset in some people (although salicin is generally tolerated well.)
Carnitine: Lipotropic Amino Acid
To get carnitine into your system, you don't have to take it as a supplement. Your body already makes this vitamin-like substance. However, your body doesn't make that much. And it is said to be especially low in people with heart disease.
This non-essential amino acid (said to be non-essential because human bodies produce it) is a key ingredient in the formation of mitochondria membranes. Mitochondria are tiny structures in your cells that burn fats for energy. Consequently, sufficient carnitine is necessary for the movement of fat into the mitochondria where it is consumed. When not enough carnitine is present, the breakdown of long chain fatty acids slows down.
Said to improve the recovery rate for athletes (it may limit the production of lactic acid, a waste product in muscle tissue), carnitine can also lower cholesterol levels, boost levels of HDL (the good cholesterol) and decrease serum triglycerides (blood fats linked to heart disease). Not bad for a nutrient that coaxes fat into those teeny, ceullular, mitochondrial furnaces.
Go for the Chrome
Chromium-based supplements work as lipotropic agents by aiding insulin use in the body. This essential trace mineral is required for normal protein, fat, and carbohydrate metabolism. According to Dr. Michael Janson, author of The Vitamin Revolution in Healthcare and President of the American Preventive Medical Association (APMA), "Chromium is important for proper insulin activity. Insulin moves sugar into the muscle cells, where it is burned off as energy. Chromium improves the activity of insulin, and since insulin causes fat deposition, less of it means less fat deposition." Chromium has also been shown to build muscle tissue and to reduce LDL cholesterol, which has been linked to heart disease.
Although the body's minimum requirement is low, the American diet tends to be deficient in chromium, in part because the mineral can be difficult for the body to absorb. The fact that, in nature, chromium is most powerfully concentrated in brewer's yeast, wheat germ and liver-items most Americans rarely eat-probably hasn't helped either. Other natural sources of chromium include whole grains, molasses and beef. But it is estimated that 50% of Americans are chromium deficient. An early study found that overweight adults taking a chromium supplement lost an average of 22% body fat, while maintaining or gaining lean body mass. In another study, athletes consuming 200 mcg. of chromium a day showed an average loss of 7.5 lbs. of body fat after six weeks, without a corresponding loss of muscle tisue. Overall, although some studies question chromium's precise effects, many experts are optimistic about this substance because of its relationship to insulin in the body's metabolism.
Hydroxycitric Acid (HCA)
Another possible addition to the dieter's arsenal is HCA. In nature, HCA appears chiefly in a fruit called garcinia cambogia (sometimes also called Malabar tamarind or brindall berry), a citrus plant found primarily in Asia, where the rind is often used as a flavoring agent. HCA works by inhibiting the enzyme in the body responsible for converting carbohydrates into fat. HCA causes calories to be burned in an energy cycle similar to thermogenesis and acts as somewhat of an appetite suppressant. HCA is also said to have a role in reducing triglycerides and LDL cholesterol levels.
Several animal studies have shown that HCA caused significant weight loss without a reduction in lean body mass. In other words, the pounds that came off came out of fat stores, and not out of energy or muscle reserves. This means that HCA takes off not just weight but body fat, making it a potentially effective tool against weight regain.
Dr. Elson Haas, director of the Preventive Medical Center of Marin in San Rafael, CA, and author of Staying Healthy With Nutrition: The Complete Guide to Diet and Nutritional Medicine, believes that HCA can be a helpful aid for dieters when used in combination with eating habit changes and exercise. He recommends an HCA and chromium blend for optimum appetite suppression. "This combination can keep the appetite down and reduce sugar cravings," he says.
Although human research data on HCA is still in the preliminary stages, the animal study results are positive, and the supplement seems to have minimal side effects in most people.
Some Overall Recommendations
You are likely to lose weight faster if you eat sensibly. This means avoiding foods high in fat or sugar (which are the most likely to add to stored body fat), but it doesn't mean starving yourself. A sensible balanced diet, along with moderate exercise, is still the best prescription for weight loss. As Dr. Haas puts it, "I'm a firm believer in diet and exercise. Using supplements responsibly can help you to lose weight provided they're combined with dietary changes and exercise. They won't work if you don't change anything." No one is suggesting that dietary supplements are a miracle cure for being overweight-as always in self-health care, there are no magic wands. But, used as directed and combined with a good diet and exercise plan, you could find that these supplements might help you work your way to a slimmer you.
Mimi Facher is a freelance writer who has contributed to Prevention, Cosmopolitan and Self.
Cleanse That Body!
June 14, 2005 11:59 AM
Cleanse That Body! by Lisa James Energy Times, January 6, 2005
When toxins accumulate in your tissues, you can become fuzzy and sluggish. Here's how a New Year's internal cleansing can make you feel fresh and energized.
What's your New Year's resolution? Losing weight? Getting fit? Kicking the [fill-in-the-blank] habit? Whatever the shape of your dreams for 2005, it won't be easy launching a self-improvement program unless you give your body a fresh start. Where to begin? Detoxification-an internal cleansing that can supply the energy you need to succeed in achieving your goals.
No one can avoid toxins in our contaminated world, so many of us suffer from toxic overload, which can lead to fatigue, digestive problems and reduced immune function. " When we get out of balance, we get congested and toxic," says Elson Haas, MD, founder of the Preventive Medical Center of Marin in San Rafael, California (www.elsonhaas.com), and author of The New Detox Diet (Celestial Arts), "and our bodies' regular elimination systems cannot keep up with it. We have problems with our skin, our intestines, our sinuses. We also become deficient in vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids. Most people have both congestion and deficiency, and they would benefit greatly from detoxification."
Toxins Within, Toxins Without
Life's fundamental activities-breathing, eating, walking around-generate waste in the form of free radicals, the unstable molecules that can ravage cells and tissues. What's more, Dr. Haas says that just "being under stress, being afraid, being anxious all produce more free radicals in the body" (like when a work deadline hits on the same day your car dies). When you add to your internal toxins all the noxious items coming from the outside, including the dietary ones, the recipe is very unhealthy.
" People are making poor choices in what they're putting in their mouths," says Dr. Haas. "They're taking in too much refined flour and sugar. There's a common problem in our country I call 'obese malnutrition'-people eating too many calories and not getting enough nutrition. People do a lot of junky fats and have a deficiency in the essential fatty acids that help protect cells."
Our bodies are also awash in manmade poisons such as food preservatives and additives, and residues from pesticides and herbicides. "The amount of toxic chemicals we are exposed to in our environment is staggering," says Susan Lark, MD, clinical nutrition expert and author of The Chemistry of Success (Bay Books). She notes that the average American is exposed to 14 pounds of such assorted chemical junk each year.
The body, however, does do its own housekeeping-and all of our cells detoxify every second of every day. "It's always a balance of garbage in, garbage out," says Dr. Haas, who has 30 years of experience in helping people detoxify. "Some of the toxins we break down into smaller components, some we just dump into the intestines for elimination."
Problems arise when there's more dirt than the internal maid service can sweep away. Dr. Lark notes that toxins wind up being stored in cells, especially fat cells, where they can hang out for years. When they are finally released "during times of low food intake, exercise or stress" complaints can range from tiredness to dizziness (sound familiar?).
That's where detoxification comes in, says Dr. Haas: "I think detoxification is a vital health care tool, particularly in this day and age when people are exposed to too many chemicals."
The process of detoxification starts with cleansing the intestinal system. Alternative health practitioners observe that discombobulated bowels can become overly permeable (a condition called leaky gut syndrome) and allow in all sorts of things that they shouldn't, such as semi-digested food particles, leading to inflammation and complaints that include rashes and joint pain.
Cleansing can be as simple as cutting down on what Dr. Haas calls the SNACCs-Sugar, Nicotine, Alcohol, Caffeine and Chemicals-or as thorough as a complete diet-and-supplement program with colonic irrigation (a sort of super-enema, professionally administered; if you're interested, contact the International Association of Colon Hydrotherapy at 210-366-2888 or www.i-act.org). The more powerful the program, though, the more likely you are to experience toxicity reactions such as nausea and headaches because of the volume of material being released. As Dr. Haas puts it:
" If you did water and green salads for a week, you'd detoxify more intensely than if you just gave up sugar and white flour." If you're feeling extremely rundown, take a gentle approach at first or consult a nutritionally aware practitioner, especially if you have a preexisting medical condition.
Getting more fiber is essential. Laurel Vukovic, a natural health teacher and author of 14-Day Herbal Cleansing (Prentice Hall), suggests following this daily regimen for two weeks: a teaspoon of psyllium (a fiber supplement); at least seven daily servings of fruits and vegetables, especially fiber-rich ones like apples, cabbage and carrots; and six glasses of water, along with daily exercise. Extra fiber "supports the intestines in eliminating the larger amounts of toxins that are released," says Vukovic, "prevent[ing] their reabsorption into the bloodstream." Some people find premixed cleansing formulas convenient; check your health food store shelves.
Fasting is a more intense detox approach that, according to Dr. Haas, "promotes relaxation and energization of the body, mind and emotions, and supports a greater spiritual awareness." He especially recommends fasting in the spring and autumn, which are times of transition. Some people do water-only fasts, but fresh vegetable juices are probably a better option, particularly if you haven't fasted before. Juices and plenty of fresh water also help cleanse the kidneys, another vital detox route.
Instead of juices you can use a special cleansing formula, such as the Spring Master Cleanser: 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup and 1/10 teaspoon cayenne pepper in 8 ounces of spring water. Dr. Haas recommends drinking eight to 12 glasses daily (and rinsing your mouth after each glass to protect your teeth from lemon's acids), augmented by water, laxative herb tea, and peppermint or chamomile tea.
Try fasting for a day to see how you feel. Dr. Haas suggests starting out by fasting from early evening through the night, and eating a light breakfast the following day. Subsequent fasts can gradually increase in length-experienced fasters may go up to two weeks without food.
Break your fast properly; for juice or cleansing formula fasts, eat a raw or cooked low-starch vegetable, such as spinach or other greens. "Go slowly, chew well and do not overeat or mix too many foods at any meal," says Dr. Haas.
Don't forget your liver, the organ that transforms noxious chemicals into substances your body can eliminate. The herb milk thistle, used since ancient times as a liver tonic, contains silymarin, which protects the liver from pollutants and helps it renew itself after toxic damage. Dandelion not only promotes the flow of bile from the liver, which helps clean out the junk, but also acts as a diuretic, helping the kidneys do their job. Green-food supplements, such as spirulina and cereal grasses, help neutralize toxins.
To maintain your cleansing gains, eat a healthy diet after detoxing. Focus on fresh organic foods, especially produce, beans and peas, whole grains and seeds (add organic poultry if you eat meat). Organic yogurt provides healthful probiotics, while fresh fish and ground flaxseeds provide omega-3 fats.
Clean Living Pays
The body's largest organ-the skin-provides a valuable contaminant exit path. Sitting in a hot tub or sauna "benefits the internal organs of detoxification," according to Dr. Lark, "by lessening the amount of toxins they must process." When sweatin' out the bad stuff, drink plenty of water and replace the calcium, magnesium and potassium lost through perspiration.
Another way to stimulate skin circulation is dry brushing, which also removes dead skin cells for a healthy glow (and is easier to fit into a daily routine). Using "a moderately soft, natural vegetable-fiber bristle brush" (Dr. Lark's suggestion), work in from the hands and up from the feet with light, short strokes that always move towards the heart. Vukovic says that a hot towel scrub is another option; put three drops of lavender essential oil in a basin of very hot water, dip in a rough terry washcloth and wring out, and then rub the skin briskly, starting with your feet and working your way up.
Once you've detoxified your body, you can start in on your immediate surroundings. Dr. Haas warns against using plastic food storage containers: "When food is heated in plastics some of the plastic material ends up in the food, especially if the food contains acids." Use glass containers instead. He also recommends avoiding aluminum pots and pans, and using stainless steel as an alternative.
Dr. Haas has seen what a good detox program can do: "It's amazing the kind of results people get-looking and feeling younger, more vital and healthy. They say, 'I'm sleeping like a baby,' they have fewer aches and pains. They have more peace in their bodies. I think detoxification is one of the keys to preventive medicine." So cleanse that body and let detoxification bring balance and renewal to your life.
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.
Marilu Henner: Energy Personified!
June 14, 2005 11:50 AM
Marilu Henner: Energy Personified! by Stephen Hanks Energy Times, January 3, 2005
Marilu Henner is an actress, dancer and author, a health, fitness and cooking guru and a devoted mom. Now she's also an advocate for nutritional supplements. In this revealing interview, she offers her thoughts on the battle to support consumer rights and to create a better health care system in America.
"So, you want to know what my schedule is after I finish talking with you?" Marilu Henner says, in an almost breathless voice. "Today's Tuesday, right? Tomorrow morning I leave Los Angeles [where she lives] for New York City so I can do the Tony Danza Show first thing Thursday morning, Then, I take a 9 am flight back to LA because my son has a sleepover birthday party. I have a 7 am flight to New Jersey the next morning because I'm speaking about mental health at a conference at a big country club. The next morning, I catch a 7 am flight back to LA for my son's soccer games, one at noon and the other at 2. Whew!"
Trying to keep up with Marilu Henner would make anybody feel out of breath because the woman is energy personified. At 52, her schedule includes acting in movies, on television and in the occasional Broadway show, writing books (she's authored seven, including Total Health Makeover and Healthy Life Kitchen), teaching online diet and exercise classes through her website (marilu.com), taking Pilates classes three times a week and raising two sons, Nicholas (10) and Joseph (8).
But now, on top of all that, the former star of the TV show Taxi has become a health and nutrition activist, speaking out in favor of the use of dietary supplements whenever she can. This past September, Henner testified at a hearing of the House Subcommittee for Human Rights and Wellness to advocate increased funding for research and full implementation of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA). During her testimony, Marilu described why she believes consumers should have access to more information about supplements and why the products should be made more accessible through both government initiatives and private health plans. "I believe that dietary supplements should be part of a campaign to improve our nation's health," Henner testified.
Energy Times recently caught up with Marilu at her Los Angeles home for a freewheeling conversation. Here, this vibrant yet down-to-earth celebrity displays her passion for health, nutrition and consumer issues.
Energy Times: You've become one of the most high profile celebrities to advocate a consumer's use of dietary supplements. What was your motivation to get involved in such a public way?
Marilu Henner: As a teenager, I had been a yo-yo dieter. I could be around 135 pounds and balloon up to 174. I knew I needed a different way of looking at my life. I couldn't concentrate on those stupid diets where I could lose 20 pounds in a week and then gain it all back over a weekend. But after my mom died at 58 in 1978, I said to myself, "It's not really about my body anymore, it's really about my health." I just became obsessed with health. I read everything I could get my hands on. I starting taking human anatomy classes, going to medical libraries and seeing nutritionists and doctors. And I started experimenting on myself, turning myself into my own guinea pig. It took me about eight years to put together a program. I always say that my health birthday was 1979, but it wasn't until 1987 that I could say I was living a completely healthy lifestyle.
ET: Were you ever really heavy when you were performing in a show? MH: Sure. When I first performed the role of Marty in "Grease" more than 30 years ago I weighed about 175 pounds. But I hid it well. When you wear those 1950s clothes you can get away with it.
ET: When did you start incorporating supplements into your health program? MH: Before I became pregnant with my first son in 1993, I had never been a supplement taker. But I started taking prenatal vitamins and dietary supplements when I was breastfeeding and they made me feel really good. After the pregnancy, I just kept taking them because I was getting the essential nutrients that I couldn't get from food alone. I was getting great stuff from my food, but with all the travel I do-you know, the eating on planes and in restaurants-I couldn't always shop for organic food. I had a doctor who understood the value of dietary supplements and encouraged me to use them. I've taken them ever since and I recommend them to my family and friends, as well as to people through my books and classes.
ET: What supplements other than vitamins do you find helpful in your total nutrition program? MH: I take vitamin E, omega-3 fish oils, antioxidants, garlic, coral calcium and echinacea supplements.
ET: So let's get back to why you decided to testify before Congress in support of supplement use. MH: I know that as soon as you put a celebrity face on an issue, people tend to pay a little more attention. When I was in Washington, I was able to tell Congress the personal stories I've heard about people who turned their lives around-from debilitating illness to vibrant health-when they got the information they need to make good choices. By good choices, I mean rejecting the manufactured foods of our society, with their over-reliance on sugar, meat and dairy, and the chemicals, hormones and steroids that usually accompany these products. Instead, we should be moving towards an organic, vegan diet that produces a sense of physical health. I also believe that a healthy diet includes the use of appropriate dietary supplements.
ET: Do you think that government is moving fast enough to reduce the restrictions on safe supplements? MH: Things could always move faster. But I remember years ago writing letters on behalf of people who wanted supplements without needing a prescription. When I would tell people about the benefits of soy products or supplements, they'd think I was nuts. Now those ideas are mainstream. The floodgates are open and people want to know more. You can't even keep up with all the information. I think that the government knows they're not going to get away with making people have a prescription to take their vitamins.
ET: What is the citizen's responsibility in all this? MH: We're in a real transitional phase and people should take responsibility to educate themselves. You have to question your doctors and recognize when something is or isn't working. You have to find a health practitioner who really knows their stuff.
ET: As you said, there's so much information out there, how do you decipher it all? How can someone be an educated information consumer?
MH: I know it's very difficult because there are so many options. Believe me, I've been doing this a long time and I'm glad I did the research. I think you have to read everything. You have to find a nutritionist/herbalist/doctor who's the real deal and knows what they're talking about. You have to recognize the symptoms in your own body and try to figure it out. I think if you start out with a good multivitamin, a calcium supplement, fish oils and vitamin E, that can be your base and you can't go wrong.
ET: Isn't a diet built on buying organic foods much more expensive? MH: Sure, it's a little more expensive. But there's nothing more expensive than bad health. There's nothing more expensive than food being thrown away because it doesn't taste right. Organic fruit tastes so much better than the perfect-looking fruits and vegetables sprayed with pesticides.
ET: What's your advice to people who want to start a workout and weight-loss program? MH: I'm always saying to people, "Look, you walk your dog, your cat stretches, your hamster runs on a hamster wheel. You're an animal, too, so go move, go do something." I know a lot of people believe that when you want to lose weight you have to go on these 1,200-calorie-per-day diets.
Well, my weight is always between 120-124 pounds and I eat close to 2,000 calories a day, but everything I eat is of quality. And I burn a lot of calories because I wear comfortable shoes and I move around in my life. I'm always strong, I never get sick and I feel like an animal.
ET: How do you view the future of healthcare policy in this country and where do you think nutritional supplements fit in? MH: I strongly believe that the general public needs more access to dietary supplements to maintain essential good health. American research and development has come up with really great products, but the American Medical Association and the drug companies have stigmatized supplements. So what's the result? Most Americans don't have access to safe supplements because they are not covered by their health plans, nor recognized as effective by the federal government. This really needs to be changed.
I think we should take 90% of what we're spending on drugs that barely keep people alive and start spending it on prevention, nutrition and changing lifestyle habits. In this country we're all about curing the disease rather than curing the patient. We don't look at the patient holistically and try to find out how the disease developed. Your doctor should be in charge of keeping you well, not keeping you in that strange state of, what I call, "dis-ease." It's like the medical and pharmaceutical establishment wants to keep you just sick enough so you'll continue to be a paying customer. They've convinced people to think they've got to take a pill to cure themselves rather than use their own bodies.
ET: Do you think medical schools will start training doctors to treat patients holistically and focus more on preventative medicine?
MH: I think we're seeing a lot more nutrition and alternative medicine specialists these days. And the general public is becoming more aware of health and nutrition issues then they were years ago. There's this groundswell of people saying "Wait, I need more information. Wait, my doctor's no longer God. I can't just keep taking these pills and trying to figure out all these warning labels and side effects."
ET: Do you plan on becoming more politically active on these issues? MH: Absolutely, I want to work with any organization that wants to improve school lunch programs, improve the healthcare system and get people more involved in understanding nutrition and disease prevention.
June 14, 2005 11:44 AM
Good Hydration by Lisa James Energy Times, June 17, 2004
Ah summertime, and the living is lovely: ocean fragrances wafting on a summer wind, the summer sun warming the body and relaxing the mind.
But all that sun and wind can dry your summer skin, making it uncomfortable and parched-looking. Moisture counteracts the discomforts that summer elements can bring, allowing your fresh, dewy look to shine through. Knowing how to hydrate your skin is the key.
Skin consists of three layers, each with a different function:
Do you have dry skin? How well your skin holds moisture depends on the arrangement of cells within the stratum corneum. Fat contained in this layer, as well as natural moisturizing factor (made by the epidermis), also keeps skin moist. Unfortunately, as you age, the amount of natural moisturizing factor produced by your skin decreases.
Skin Care 101
Obviously, anything that affects the all-important epidermis can dry out your skin-sun and wind both rob skin of moisture. For starters, just say no to tobacco. Smoking tightens the skin's abundant blood vessels; this reduces the flow of oxygen and nutrients, creating dryness. Smoking also breaks down elastin, the protein that gives skin its flexibility. The next step is to add water from within. " It takes at least six to eight cups of pure water each day to keep the skin and body well hydrated," notes Jeanette Jacknin, MD, board-certified dermatologist and author of Smart Medicine for Your Skin (Avery/Penguin).
At the same time, be careful about how you bathe your skin. Bathing or showering for too long, or using water that's too hot, can actually cause your skin to lose moisture for two reasons. First, prolonged bathing washes away the oils that help lock moisture in; second, it encourages your skin's own moisture to evaporate after you dry yourself off.
Before you shower or bathe, Dr. Jacknin recommends using a dry, soft-bristled brush to increase skin circulation and gently remove dead cells. Brushing in small circles, gradually move up your legs and arms, always moving towards the heart. When you do get into the tub or shower, don't scrub your skin and don't use harsh cleaning agents. Instead, go for natural cleansers that feature such skin-friendly ingredients as glycerin.
Feed Your Inner Skin
As your body's largest organ, your skin depends on the nutrients in your diet. You have to feed your skin well if you expect it to stand up to wind and sun. " Eat fish, rolled oats and ground flaxseeds frequently," recommends Dr. Jacknin. "These foods are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which help the skin retain moisture." Include other healthy oils, such as safflower and olive oil, in your meals. Supplemental omega-3s, in the form of flaxseed or fish oils, can also help.
Various vitamins help make your skin happy and healthy. Skin growth and repair requires vitamin A, while natural vitamin E provides antioxidant protection and vitamin C promotes creation of collagen, which provides skin with its structure.
The B vitamins are essential to keeping dryness at bay; without them, the skin can crack, peel and redden. Choline, a member of the B family that helps with fat transportation within the body, is available as lecithin. Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is another skin-friendly nutrient. MSM provides sulfur, which the body needs to create healthy skin proteins. It also fights inflammation and encourages better blood flow.
Slake Your Skin's Thirst
A good moisturizer can help arid skin return to soft freshness. To get the most out of moisturizers, use them consistently, and start at a young age. " [M]ost people start to benefit from [moisturizers] in their twenties [when] their skin begins to dry with age," state Charles Inlander and Janet Worsley Norwood in Skin: Head-to-Toe Tips for Health and Beauty (Walker and Company). "Moisturizers boost skin health by preventing water loss from the skin."
The same antioxidant nutrients, such as vitamin C and natural vitamin E, you feed your skin from within also abound in natural moisturizers, as do an impressive variety of herbal essences and essential oils. Aloe vera, used to treat burns for centuries, helps ease inflammation, as does chamomile. Fresh-smelling lavender oil helps soothe insect bites and minor wounds. Jasmine and peppermint offset excessive oil production.
Moisturizers: Timing and Type
The ideal time to moisturize is right after a bath or shower, since that's when evaporation promotes water loss; for best results, apply while your skin is still slightly damp. But bathtime isn't the only time to consider your skin's moisture needs. Carry some moisturizer with you so you can use it every time you wash your hands, especially if you're prone to cracked cuticles and split fingertips.
Match your moisturizer to your skin type. If your skin tends to oiliness, use a water-based product; otherwise, an oil-based formulation -jojoba oil and shea butter are good choices-is fine. (Oily skin may first need a gentle astringent like lemon peel or cucumber to remove dirt and excess oil.)
Also pay careful attention to the type of moisturizer you use. Lotions are easy to apply, but may not stay on your skin as readily as creams, which may be a better choice for your face, feet and hands. By all means, enjoy the summer sun. Just make sure your skin enjoys the summer, too, by staying hydrated and happy.