Search Term: " Approaches "
Omega-3s are a potent way to treat depression without resorting todangerous prescription medications
May 17, 2019 04:01 PM
One can treat poor mood and depression without using pharmaceutical drugs. One of these approaches involves using omega-3 fatty acid. Foods rich in this fatty acid can help. It has been shown by many scientific studies that the risk of having depression is reduced when one takes foods rich in omega-3 fatty acid. Some of the means that have been identified as the pathways in which omega-3 fatty acids work is that they can make the CNS to release more serotonin, they can reduce the risk of an inflammation and also its severity, and they can stop phosphatidyl-inositol from releasing hormones that make a person to have depressive moods. The way omega-3 fatty acids do this has been found to be similar to the way anti-depressant drugs work. Omega-3 fatty acids have been found to counter the release of serotonin in the brain that trigger depressive moods and they also have effect on the release of cytokines in the heart that relates to lowering the risk of one having coronary heart disease. And fortunately, heart disease is linked to major depressive moods. So, omega-3 fatty acid is a powerful compound that can be used to treat both problems. But what researchers have not agreed upon though is the required dosage of omega-3 fatty acid that a person should take each day to reap these benefits.
"The fatty acids achieve their natural antidepressant effects through several means. Omega-3s can raise the activity of CNS seratonin, reduce the risk and severity of inflammation, and stop phosphatidyl-inositol from sending signals that bring about depressive moods."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-04-15-omega-3s-are-a-potent-way-to-treat-depression.html
Zinc supplementation can benefit individuals with erectiledysfunction, reveals study
May 14, 2019 04:11 PM
Researchers recommend men having erectile dysfunction to be taking diets and supplements rich in zinc. This is because it has been discovered that the element can improve the proper functioning of the penis. Erectile dysfunction comes about when a man is unable to have and sustain an erection. It is often attributable to chronic health problems like hypertension or a consequence of stress disorders like depression. The treatment for erectile dysfunction takes two conventional approaches. One approach is to concentrate on the health issue that caused the problem. But the drawback of this approach is that it takes time and effort. The other approach is using drugs that will help to start and sustain an erection. One of such drugs is Viagra. The drawback of approaches using drugs is that these drugs can have unwanted side effects. But natural supplements such as horny goat weed and vitamin D supplements have also been found effective in treating erectile dysfunction. It has been found that people who are deficient in zinc are more prone to changes in their physiology and can easily get erectile dysfunction. It can also result in weakening of the immune system. That is why zinc is recommended for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. By the way, it is low risk and high reward form of treatment.
"It is often a secondary effect of either chronic health problems like hypertension or stress disorders such as depression."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-04-16-zinc-supplementation-can-benefit-individuals-with-erectile-dysfunction.html
Unable to develop a new antibiotic drug for decades, new research "discovers" potential in a compound from honeybees, ignoring the fact that natural medicine has used bee pollen for years
September 23, 2017 12:14 PM
The University of Chicago has recently announced findings that bee pollen has antimicrobial properties, something that practitioners of natural medicine have known for years. It fights bacteria in a different way than conventional antibiotics and with the rising prevalence of antibiotic resistant microbes, this is potentially a game changer. The potential is great but also precarious as pesticide use has drastically decreased the bee population in the last few years. Hopefully science realizes just how important natural remedies are before it is too late.
"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have labeled antibiotic resistance as one of the most pressing public health issues in the world as illnesses that used to be easy to treat become deadly."
Read more: http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-09-14-unable-to-develop-a-new-antibiotic-drug-for-decades-new-research-discovers-potential-in-a-compound-from-honeybees.html
3 Common Kombucha Myths – Debunked
June 07, 2017 07:14 PM
Kombucha is a food, it is not a medicine. It is a fermented mixture of tea, sugar, water, and occasionally a flavoring, such as pomegranate, is added near the end of fermentation. That being said, one should approach Kombucha in much the same way as one approaches carrots or bananas – how much would you like. Carrots, by the way, provide Vitamin-A, carotene, and anti-oxidants, while bananas provide potassium, manganese, and small amounts of Vitamin-B6 and Niacin. And they are not considered medicine. The hesitancy of some folks to try Kombucha may stem from viewing the fermentation process itself as the culture of yeast and bacteria can be less than pretty to view. Like brewing beers, ales, and lambics, the bacteria & yeast simply converts the raw ingredients Kombucha.
Read more: 3 Common Kombucha Myths – Debunked
Cannabis Oil Extraction
May 18, 2017 11:44 AM
Within a marijuana plant there is an oil that can be extracted. There are a few ways to extract this oil, but one with butane or hexane could be very unsafe and harmful to the body. Healthier ways to extract this oil include olive oil. However, the oil is perishable so quick use is recommended. A carbon dioxide extraction is possible but needs a lot of equipment and a high quality of thinking. Lastly, a high grade ethanol can be used and is more common for cartridges.
"Cannabis oil made with neurotoxic solvents like butane and hexane may leave unsafe residues that compromise immune function and impede healing."
Read more: https://www.projectcbd.org/cannabis-oil-extraction
When A Colon Cleanse May be Right For You
April 06, 2017 09:15 AM
Colon cleanses are natural detoxification methods used to increase intestinal health and relieve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome or constipation. Colon cleansing techniques include the use of laxatives, enemas, or colonic hydrotherapy. Laxatives are large doses of magnesium used to induce a bowel movement while an enema is the act of flushing the colon with water that is inserted through the rectum. Colonic hydrotherapy is a more powerful and professionally administered method of cleansing dehydrated waste from the colon using water.
"There are typically three approaches for performing a colon cleanse; taking laxatives, performing an enema, or undergoing colonics. These three methods all offer different benefits and advantages, though all are best done in conjunction with a gut-nourishing diet rich in healthy fats and bacteria."
Read more: http://www.einnews.com/pr_news/373992435/when-a-colon-cleanse-may-be-right-for-you
Heart tissue grown on spinach leaves
March 23, 2017 10:44 AM
In this sequence, a spinach leaf is stripped of its plant cells, a process called decellularization, using a detergent. The process leaves behind the leaf's vasculature. Researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) were able to culture beating human heart cells on such decelluralized leaves. Plants and animals exploit fundamentally different approaches to transporting fluids, chemicals and macromolecules, yet there are surprising similarities in their vascular network structures," the authors wrote. "The development of decellularized plants for scaffolding opens up the potential for a new branch of science that investigates the mimicry between plant and animal."
Read more: Heart tissue grown on spinach leaves
Planning to go on a detox diet? Here are five facts and myths you should know
March 17, 2017 04:44 AM
Detoxing and dieting are both related and unrelated. Detoxing is a natural process in which the body gets rid of toxins.This is constantly happening in your body and is affected by your metabolism. Consuming certain plants, herbs, teas and avoiding junk food and sugar all happen to be beneficial to both dieting and detoxing. A liquid juice-based diet could cause starvation. Too much salt and sugar in soups and yogurt can cause water retention so it is important to consume protein and fibers to assist detoxing. A massage in the abdominal area can help flush out toxins as well by promoting blood circulation. In having a healthy diet, you are maximizing your body's ability to detox.
"The word diet has been wrongly associated with the concept of the detox, since the two approaches don’t have the same goal."
Read more: http://www.hindustantimes.com/health-and-fitness/planning-to-go-on-a-detox-diet-here-are-five-facts-and-myths-you-should-know/story-BsWxIKjMCpCyw5Z2JYBxyI.html
Natural Allopathic medicine: the power to heal and cure cancer
January 04, 2017 10:59 AM
With health care costs and the price of prescription drug costs on the rise many people are looking for alternative treatments, including natural remedies. While big pharmaceutical companies try to discount the benefits of natural remedies, proponents provide interesting information about the benefits. Check out the article for some recent news regarding natural Approaches to medicine
"Today’s allopathic system oftentimes seems like a cult, heavily influenced by pharmaceutical companies."
Benefits of stress management
Mental Health can be overlooked in our everyday lives but it plays a huge role in our health. Our mental state can affect us in many ways both positively and negatively. This article will be discuss the importance of Mental Health with a concentration on stress management. Stress is a significant cause of mental illness today and although we can't eradicate it, we can manage it It is important to understand that not all stress is negative. Stress may occur prior to weddings, graduations, or even social gatherings, but no matter the source of stress, your bodies respond the same. Also, some stress is good for you in order to manage skills needed for survival such as fight or flight.
Experts suggest a combination of physical, social, environmental, and psychological Approaches to managing stress. When we are stressed, we encounter General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS). GAS is your complex physiological responses that happen as a result of the stress and has three phases. The first phase of GAS is the alarm phase. The alarm phase occurs when we sense there is a stressor present (Body doesn't sense whether it is a good or bad stressor), everything becomes heightened and hormones respond. The seconds phase of GAS is called the resistance phase. During the resistance phase your body resists stress to get your it back to homeostasis. If you can't rid the stress you move into exhaustion The last phase, exhaustion, occurs when your body is tired and can't fight anymore to get it back to homeostasis. Physical or emotional tension is often a good indicator of stress.
Below is a short list of symptoms from stress.
We all experience some level of stress on a regular basis but as I mentioned before, too much can be harmful to your body. Below I have listed ways in which you can deal with and reduce stress levels.
Take Care of Yourself
Taking care of yourself seems self-explanatory for many but as we enter the exhaustion phase our attention to self-care begins to decline. Eat a healthy diet, get plenty of sleep, treat yourself, and maintain your normal routine.
It is often said that exercise is the most underused stress reliever and this is 100% true. Working out forces you to take your mind off of the stressors and focus on what you are doing and nothing else. Get in a gym or go for a run to lower your stress levels.
Being able to talk to someone during stressful times is very important. Connect with a friend or family member that you will listen to what you want to get off your mind. This can be very helpful for stress reduction.
Avoid Alcohol or Drugs
People often turn to drugs and alcohol in times of stress but fail to realize they only provide temporary relief. Once your "high" or "buzz" wears off, you will more than likely feel worse than before. Alcohol and drugs add to stress and do not help to reduce its impact. I hope this information helps you to recognize when you are stressed and how to handle it Stress is a serious issue that we tend to overlook. Stress is usually a catalyst for other illnesses such as anxiety to occur.
In conclusion chamomile will help you zap stress and unwind and have healthy life.
How Can You Manage Migraines With Your Diet?
November 11, 2016 01:04 PM
You can help find relief for migraines two ways. One way is to eliminate your migraine triggers such as coffee, soda and MSG. You can also eat a more low fat, low carb diet and add in more omega 3 fatty acids. Food high in Omega 3 are salmon, beef & flax seeds among others.
"t’s no secret that what we eat plays a large role in determining how our body behaves; eating fatty foods can cause obesity and heart disease while too many sweets could cause tooth decay. Research also indicates that certain foods may help prevent and manage headaches, while other foods may cause the onset of them."
How Hyaluronic Acid Benefits The Skin
May 20, 2014 09:19 AM
What is hyaluronic?
Hyaluronic corrosive is found in a great deal of hostile to maturing items. It helps your skin by enhancing the tone and composition. It is discovered characteristically in the body and serves to grease up specific territories.
Your skin produces hyaluronic corrosive regularly. This happens in the deeper layers and keeps the skin stout and smooth. As we get more seasoned, our body thinks that it is hard to hold dampness so the skin starts to lose its tone and suppleness. Without sufficient dampness, the skin is inclined to hang and as it loses flexibility, wrinkles and scarcely discernible differences show up.
Hyaluronic Acid's Function
This corrosive functions as against maturing element by helping your body to transform collagen. Collagen is an exceptionally imperative connective tissue found in the skin, which helps it to keep its structure. Surveys Hydroxatone has indicated that including this as a segment the skin gets back its sound shine and energy.
Hyaluronic corrosive additionally helps the skin to repair itself from natural harm, for instance the climate or airborne poisons. Audits Hydroxatone has indicated that this cream works well in light of the fact that the Hyaluronic corrosive can infiltrate profound into the skin. Notwithstanding decreasing wrinkles, it has been indicated to support with skin aggravation and in lessening pimple inflamation scars.
Superior to Botox
There is other mainstream Approaches to lessen wrinkles, for example, Botox or plastic surgery. Then again, the principle issue with these systems is, separated from being considerably more exorbitant; they are extremely equivocal on the body and can have awful reactions. Hyaluronic corrosive is not dangerous: it is even generated regularly by the body. It is much less expensive to utilize and has not been indicated to have any significant symptoms. Likewise, dissimilar to Botox infusions, creams holding this corrosive might be utilized anywhere on the face.
Hyaluronic corrosive can hydrate the skin successfully. Truth be told, it can hold 100 times its weight in water. One reason for wrinkles is skin dryness, so by holding more dampness in your skin, you can diminish the appearance of wrinkles as well as keep more from showing up.
Hyaluronic corrosive works successfully in against maturing. A substance discovered regularly in the body, it could infiltrate profound into the skin and serves to hold dampness. A cream holding this corrosive is a much more secure strategy than surgery and its belongings are longer enduring.
Natural Vitamins under Attack
June 29, 2009 02:53 PM
The value of nutritional supplements in protecting and promoting human health has been intensely debated in recent years throughout the scientific and medical community as well as the national press. Many researchers believe that supplements provide a convenient and effective way to supply the optimal amounts of essential nutrients that are necessary for supporting long-term health, while others argue that there is no proof that supplements provide any real health benefits at all.
A lot of the debate has been published by media that is more interested in selling papers than reporting the truth. Because of this sloppy reporting and distorted information, the public has been unnecessarily alarmed, causing them to lose trust in complementary health care. It is crucial that this false information be addressed before harm that is irreversible is done to an industry that is committed to natural Approaches to wellness and a public that is increasingly confused as to where to turn for truthful advice on preventing disease and achieving optimal health. The mixed messages that have been reported in the headlines have confused both health-conscious consumers and medical practitioners, as one day they’re told something is good for them and the next day they’re told it is not.
If there is any consolation to this whole thing, it may be helpful to understand that science never progresses smoothly, as there are always new findings that appear to disprove long-held beliefs. Controversy is necessary for change, as it paves the road that science must travel in order to arrive at the real truth. Unfortunately, bias in the media and conflicts of interest add an unnecessary element to finding the real scientific truth.
When looking at the recent studies that have been negated, there are several explanations that arise for the findings that seem to contradict prevailing scientific evidence. First of all, several long-term dietary intervention trials have recently come about which were developed in the early 1990s before good and bad fats were differentiated. Because of this design, these studies simply assume that all fat is the same, and to reduce fat, one must cut out all kinds of fat. Secondly, it has been proven that there will always be a statistical fluke in a bunch. Therefore, out of 100 clinical studies to investigate a particular effect, probability states that five of these studies, no matter how well they are designed, will show results that are not real.
Thirdly, it is expected that about one fifth of clinical trials that investigate a particular effect will not have the needed number of subjects to produce a result that is statistically significant. This is so because in most clinical trials there is only an 80% probability of finding a real result, which is known as the power of the test. Because of this, there is up to a 20% chance completely missing the mark and failing to find a difference when one actually exists. Finally, some investigations are just bad science, as they are improperly conducted, poorly reported, and inadequately reviewed. Unfortunately, these studies attract a great deal of attention from the media, which has been the case recently.
Natural vitamin supplements can feed the body and help the body fight disease and stay wall. The foods we eat determine what kind of health we will have, if we eat poorly, we will live with poor health. This is why we should consume a multiple vitamin and mineral as well as herbs and food concentrates to help supply our diet with the needed nutrients to sustain and maintain a good healthy lifestyle. Look to your local or internet health food store for vitamins, herbs, and food concentrates.
Rescue From High Cholesterol
July 01, 2008 05:22 PM
Cholesterol is an unsaturated waxy solid that is manufactured in the body and has important functions relative to cell membrane management. It is also known to help produce bile to digest fats and can help in metabolizing fat-soluble vitamins. Cholesterol is both made in tissue membranes and derived through the diet. This is where the basis of good and bad cholesterol comes into play. Cholesterol that is made in tissue membranes is transported by high-density lipoprotein (HDL), which delivers the cholesterol to the liver. HDL is thought to remove cholesterol from arteries and delivers it back to the liver for processing. Increased levels of HDL have also been deemed as protective against heart disease. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL), on the other hand, is dietary cholesterol that is transported and carries cholesterol from the liver to tissue membranes.
This factor is not what makes LDL cholesterol bad, instead it is the amount of cholesterol in the wrong place at the wrong time. Large amounts of cholesterol and LDL in the arteries can lead to plaques that gradually damage arteries over time, which leads to heart attack, stroke, or some other type of heart and vascular diseases. Because of these reasons, cholesterol management for heart and vascular health focuses on lowering LDL cholesterol. What is often overlooked is the value of raising HDL cholesterol levels, which can improve removal of cholesterol from dangerous locations in the arteries.
The diet greatly influences health, and by addressing macro and micro nutrients, cholesterol health can be greatly reduced. Macro nutrients that affect cholesterol include fiber, protein, and fats. Micro nutrients are things such as vitamins and minerals, especially those that have potent antioxidant mechanisms, which can affect lipid peroxidation. Fiber, which has long been recommended by the American Heart association (AHA), lowers total and LDL cholesterol levels, while raising HDL levels. Although fiber is straightforward, the trick with protein is to always find a good source that does not have saturated fat and cholesterol that can negate its benefits. Although whey protein is animal-based, it has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol. However, many people have looked to soy to provide cholesterol-managing protein.
When it comes to natural products, there are a few key nutrients that can help with cholesterol management. Among these are DHA, EPA, Omega-3s and 6s, Vitamin E, Vitamin B, and Niacin. Limiting oxidative stress and lipid peroxidation are also important components of cholesterol management. Although micro nutrients give a good level of protection from oxidation, a large amount of antioxidant fighters comes from botanicals, flavonoids, and carotenoids. Some flavonoids that can help with cholesterol care include cocoa, tea, and fruit.
Citrus bioflavonoids also help with antioxidant management, especially when they are combined with vitamin E. Fruits such as pomegranate and grape seed extract help to limit LDL oxidation. Botanicals such as garlic, which contain antioxidant constituents help to lower total and LDL cholesterol while still maintaining HDL levels. Other suggestions to help maintain healthy cholesterol levels include pine bark extract as well as some types of algae.
Whether you’re attempting to use just one or many of these Approaches to battle cholesterol levels, there are many well-researched ways to both lower the bad and raise the good cholesterol.
Urinary Incontinence and Overactive Bladder: The Silent Conditions
February 07, 2008 05:56 PM
Even though we are all comfortable talking about cardiovascular issues, mind and brain function, and digestive wellness, the topic of bladder health is rarely discussed. Whether it is vaguely touched upon or completely ignored, bladder issues including urinary incontinence and overactive bladder get a low amount of coverage considering their prevalence throughout the world. Research has shown that 17 million Americans can be diagnosed with urinary incontinence and 33 million Americans suffer from overactive bladder. So with these figures, why is it that we rarely hear about these issues? Firstly, urinary incontinence and overactive bladder have been marked as taboo topics, as sufferers are not eager to openly talk about their experiences since they can be uncomfortable and embarrassing to discuss. Due to the social stigma that is associated with urinary incontinence, it is extremely under-diagnosed and under-reported. Another reason why people aren’t talking about bladder issues is because the market has only recently become recognized as financially viable as the market for urinary incontinence treatment reached more than $7 billion by the end of 2006, as compared to $276 million in 2000. With the new baby boomer population turning 60 in a few years, it is anticipated that urinary incontinence and overactive bladder treatment will soar much higher.
No matter the reason, these are serious health issues that affect people deeply. Both physiological and psychological aspects take their toll on a person. Studies have shown that people with these illnesses have a poorer quality of life, causing sufferers to become reclusive and isolated as they are too embarrassed to talk about their bladder issues.
However, there are a variety of ways that bladder health can be addressed, including pharmaceutical, behavioral, and natural Approaches. Various drug therapies have been found to improve bladder control. However, most drug therapies also have unpleasant side effects such as dry mouth, dry eyes, blurred vision, and memory loss. Some drugs can even produce harmful long-term side effects. National continence groups also have recommendations as to behavioral interventions and exercises that can be taken to deal with bladder issues. Bladder control training, which involves teaching the bladder to completely fill and empty, is important to adequate fluids and avoid going to the toilet just in case. Kegal exercises can also be done to help strengthen the muscles that contract if you are urinating.
There are also natural herbal and nutrient options that are worth considering. These include Horsetail and Crateva nurvala, which both are means of improving bladder tone and control. Horsetail, which is high in silica, is known as a urinary astringent and antispasmodic. It relieves involuntary muscle spasms. Crateva has been shown to improve bladder tone and total bladder capacity. It improves urine flow, which helps the bladder to empty completely.
Since bladder health is a concern for many Americans, as it impacts what we do, where we go, our confidence levels, and sense of freedom, we need to start openly discussing bladder health and become more informed about the options that are available to us. Even though sufferers have learned to live with poor bladder health, recent research is making natural dietary ingredients an alternative for those who are looking for support to their bladder health.
Natural Hormone Balance for Women
December 25, 2007 11:18 AM
The majority of women are affected by moderate-to-severe menopausal symptoms and premenstrual syndrome (PMS) at some point in their life. PMS that is clinically diagnosed consists of symptoms that are so severe and pervasive that careers, social interactions, and family lives are negatively affected. This occurs in eight to twenty percent of women in the Western world. Menopause and PMS are both characterized by a severe fluctuation or major falling of the female hormones estrogen, progesterone, and prolactin. Since many examples of women who are barely affected by natural changes exist, it can be logically inferred that female hormones are capable of remaining close to balanced, while others experience hormones that swing abruptly from one extreme to the next, causing severe mood swings. Although changes in hormone levels are the reason menopause and PMS occur, women do have some control over the severity of their symptoms.
There are many natural Approaches to hormone balance along with other medical interventions that can be used either separate or together. However, one must remember that women are biologically programmed to have multiple children, which therefore, would limit the number of menstrual cycles in a lifetime. Additionally, women are now living thirty years past menopause, an experience that is relatively new. Also, a lot of the pain and anguish that is associated with menopause and PMS is actually related to obesity, high-calorie eating habits, and inactivity. Normal body weight and regular exercise often leads to mild or inconsequential PMS.
In 2002, estrogen and progesterone hormone replacement therapy, which is the standard treatment for menopausal symptoms, came under scrutiny after the publication of research that found that supplementation of estrogen significantly increases the risk for breast and ovarian cancer. Supplementing estrogen also does not protect against cardiovascular disease. As a result, US-dispensed prescriptions for estrogen declined from ninety-one million in 2001 to fifty-seven million in 2003. It has been found that a lot of the excess risk for breast and ovarian cancer was due to prescriptions being refilled indefinitely instead of hormone replacement therapy only being used at the onset of menopause. Additionally, supplemental estrogen was not paired and balanced with progesterone, causing a greater risk. Either way, the door to natural alternatives was opened wide, especially for those patients who have a family history of reproductive cancer. Natural therapy for menopause and PMS is based upon phytoestrogens.
Phytoestrogens are plant compounds that contain chemical structures which resemble estrogen. These plant compounds can exert weak estrogenic or antiestrogenic effects. Isoflavones from legumes such as soybean, red clover, licorice, as well as lignans like flaxseed and milk thistle are the most common and familiar phytoestrogens. Black cohosh has been shown to have antiestrogenic effects only. Phytoestrogens have been proven to reduce the risk for estrogen-dependent breast, uterine, and ovarian cancers as well as hot flashes, night sweats, and sleep disturbances. Although phytoestrogens do a good job at protecting women from symptoms of excess estrogen, phytoestrogens cannot replace estrogen when there isn’t enough. They don’t help with vaginal wall atrophy and dryness, thinning hair, lack of sexual desire, menopause-related urogenital itching, or infertility. For the best results, supplements of soy and red clover isoflavone should be taken 2-3 times daily. Although there are no herbal alternatives that actually raise levels of estrogen, natural medicine such as dong quai, licorice, milk thistle, ginseng, pycnogenol, and pollen for menopause and calcium, magnesium, B6, chastre tree, dong quai, and ginseng for PMS can balance existing female hormones and provide relief from symptoms.
Natural Vitamin and Herbal Alternatives For Joint Health
October 18, 2007 03:58 PM
Joint tissue breaks down and arthritis sets in for a number of reasons, and there are several natural alternatives for joint health that can be use to prevent this and to treat affected joints.
Thyroid problems can slow down the production of adrenal hormones that are responsible for the production of cortisone and cosrtisol. These are anti-inflammatories, that when unavailable or in low supply can result in joint inflammation. If you suffer joint pain in the mornings that tends to improve as the day goes on, then it is likely that is the cause since adrenal activity can improve as the day progresses.
One of the main reasons for joint tissue breakdown is osteoarthritis whereby the cartilage wears down until it fails to provide the necessary protection against impact between the bones in a joint, or against the friction generated when two bones rub together. Injuries to joints can have the same effect, whereby an injury to a hip or knee can appear to clear up and then later the cartilage wears out sooner than expected. This can take several months or many years, depending on the severity and nature of the injury concerned.
Continual wear and tear can also cause joint tissue to break down. Athletes and other sportspersons often suffer twenty years or more after retirement from their sport due to the gradual wearing down of cartilage while they were active. Once they stop, this continues to a lesser extent until the cartilage is eventually worn away sufficiently for it to stop protecting the joint.
Problems with the auto-immune system can lead to rheumatoid arthritis and inflammation of the joints. This weakens them and can eventually completely destroy the tissue. In such cases the tissues in the joint tend to swell and become extremely painful. Gout can also damage joints, especially in the big toe. This is caused through a built up of needle sharp uric acid crystals. Another cause is a deficiency in sodium and potassium in the diet that are needed to help maintain calcium in solution. When these metals are in deficiency due, for example, to an adrenal problem or some other reason, calcium can deposit right in the joints, causing undue pain.
Calcium and vitamin D deficiencies are commonly associated with arthritis sufferers, and protein deficiencies are also believed to be a contributing factor of rheumatoid arthritis, and it is also true that degenerative arthritis can accompany rheumatoid arthritis. This occurs in almost 40% of cases, and diet and nutrition are now being recognized as a major cause of both types. Deficiencies in folic acid or its natural form of folate, vitamin E, zinc and selenium have all been associated with degeneration of joint tissue, so it makes sense that a supplement of these substances can help to avoid these conditions.
Standard medical treatment, however, is for the relief of pain and reduction of inflammation through the prescribing of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Typical NSAIDs are aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen. Although it relieves pain, paracetamol is not an anti-iflammatory. An alternative to blocking the inflammatory reponse is to help to regenerate the damaged joint tissue.
However, reducing the inflammatory response to tissue damage does not address the underlying problem, but masks it. Not only that, but there are side effects associated with the use of NSAIDs. Excessive doses can create serious gastrointestinal problems, such as bleeding, ulcer perforation and even death is possible in severe cases. Anti-inflammatories cause gastric problems in up to 20% of cases
The newer Cox-2 inhibitors act on the enzyme that causes the inflammation within the joint, and while these can be very effective, they are still masking the underlying problem. Incidentally, the Cox-2 inhibitors should not be used with NSAIDs, and both increase the possibility of a myocardial infarction or heart attack. Also, if you are taking aspirin to reduce the risk of heart problems, you should be careful not to use other NSAIDs since they can interfere with the effects of the aspirin.
More effective in the long run is to treat the conditions with substances that deal with the cause of the problem. Vitamin C, for example, improves the lubrication effect of the synovial fluid in the joints, and vitamin E is a strong antioxidant that can help to repair damaged tissue and improve the circulation within the joints. Joints have very low blood circulation levels, which is a problem when trying to direct drugs to the joint tissues. Vitamin C is also good for improving the integrity of connective tissue. Zinc, manganese and copper are also instrumental in developing strong connective tissue and helping to repair the damage done to the joints.
Horsetail is a commonly used herbal remedy that can be taken as a tea, tincture or in capsules. It is the richest natural herbal source of silicon, which is used by the body to form connective tissue and collagen. Damaged connective tissue is rapidly repaired by horsetail, and its strength and elasticity significantly improved. It is commonly used in the treatment of arthritis and osteoporosis.
Cat’s Claw is used for its beneficial effect on the immune system, and frequently used successfully to treat osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. However, this treatment is used more to help reduce the inflammatory effects of the condition than to effect a long lasting cure. Gotu Kola, also called Indian pennywort, is traditionally used for treating arthritis. The fresh leaves are effective in reducing the inflammation and pain, and help to improve the quality of life of arthritis sufferers. In Australia, it is referred to as ‘the arthritis herb’ and two leaves a day are said to be effective.
Another popular remedy is MSM (methylsulfonylmethane), although it is claimed to provide pain relief rather than a cure. Amino acids also seem to help, and L-cysteine helps promote collagen and connective tissue. It appears to work best when taken in combination with vitamin E and selenium that are powerful antioxidants. L-arginine has a similar effect in the reconstruction of joint tissue, again helping to repair damaged connective tissues.
There are therefore two Approaches to treating both rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, one providing pain relief and reducing inflammation, and the other repairing the damage done to the joint tissues. Vitamins, minerals, trace minerals and herbal remedies are used in both, though it is better to use a combination that provides pain relief and also helps to regenerate strong connective tissues in the joints.
When using combinations of remedies it is important that possible interactions are understood, and you should always seek the advice of your physician when using non-prescription remedies of any kind.
George’s Aloe Vera Vs. Other Brands
April 21, 2007 02:07 PM
Why isn’t George’s Aloe Vera thick and greenish in color? Why doesn’t it have that bitter taste most other Aloe Vera products have?
The thick greenish substance just beneath the rind in the latex layer of the plant is where the aloins and anthraqinones are located. These substances are irritants and when ingested can cause cramping and diarrhea and in some cases nausea. George’s Aloe is a refined product. We remove the antagonistic compounds that cause the bitter taste and irritation to the GI tract.
For several years we examined various species of Aloe Vera whereby separating the chemical components of the Aloe Vera leaf. We singled out a variety of the Barbadensis Miller as the species with the most unique beneficial qualities. We continued to study the effects of Aloe as a food supplement; we found the digestive tract seemed to be the most important factor, other than our parent’s genes and chromosomes in determining our health and well being. A newborn’s food conversion efficiency Approaches 100%. However, as we mature our digestive membrane system loses its efficiency and our body thus makes changes to compensate. The aches, pains and malfunctions of the body can result from changes in the digestive process and many of which may have occurred over a number of years.
Dozens of maladies can be derived from what your digestive system has produced. We hypothesize that our “always Active” Aloe actually cleanses the digestive membranes, thus causing them to function in a fashion similar to that of your infant days. Consequently, the body makes adjustments that if combined with a daily regimen, can result in better health. We urge daily consumption of our “Always Active” Aloe and are convinced that your body will note your use by returning to its more efficient method of operating. Changes are slow, so you may not notice a significant improvement for 2 to 3 weeks, and may not notice any improvement unless you drink the “Always Active” Aloe daily. For optimum results, we recommend drinking 2 ounces twice daily of our “Always Active” Aloe. If you are not 100% satisfied, we will promptly and cheerfully refund your money. You be the judge.!
Regulating Blood Pressure Naturally
March 28, 2007 10:29 AM
Regulating Blood Pressure Naturally
High blood pressure (also known as hypertension) affects about 65 million Americans, or about 1 in 3 adults. There are many potential causes of hypertension, but not necessarily any symptoms. In fact, 30% of the people who have high blood pressure don’t even realize it.
In other words, just because you don’t have symptoms doesn’t mean you don’t have high blood pressure. That’s why it’s called “The Silent Killer.” And, make no mistake about it: high blood pressure is dangerous. It is the number one modifiable cause of stroke. Just lowering blood pressure reduces the chance of stroke by 35 to 40 percent. Other conditions, including heart attack and heart failure can be reduced from 25 to 50 percent, respectively.
In this issue of Ask the Doctor, we’re going to talk about high blood pressure and an exciting natural treatment for lowering blood pressure safely and effectively.
Of course, changing blood pressure numbers depends, in a large part, on the choices we make every day – how much we exercise, the foods we eat, and our lifestyle overall. But, for those times we need extra help, there is a new, scientifically-studied supplement to help us along our path to better health and lower blood pressure.
Blood pressure guidelines from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
Q. What exactly is blood pressure?
A. Blood pressure is divided into two parts, systolic and diastolic. Systolic is the pressure of the heart beating. Diastolic is the pressure of the heart and vessels filling. When blood pressure numbers are written out, like “120/80,” 120 is the systolic pressure and 80 is the diastolic pressure. The unit of measurement for blood pressure is millimeters of mercury, written as “mm/Hg.”
Q. What is considered high blood pressure?
A. A person’s blood pressure can naturally vary throughout the day – even between heartbeats.
However, if the numbers are consistently high (over 120 systolic and 80 diastolic), after multiple visits to your healthcare practitioner, you may have either pre-hypertension or high blood pressure.
Young arteries and arteries that are kept young through healthy diet and exercise are typically more elastic and unclogged. Blood flows through them easily and without much effort. However, as we age, our arteries become more prone to plaque buildup (due to diets high in saturated fat and sedentary lifestyles) and don’t “flex” as well under pressure. The result is faster blood flow, all the time. Over the long term, it damages heart tissue, arteries, kidney and other major organs.
To get a better idea of high blood pressure, compare your arteries to a garden hose. When unblocked, a garden hose allows water to flow through it quickly and easily – without any real rush or stress. However, if you block the end of the hose with your thumb, closing it off even a little, water rushes out much more quickly.
For many years, high diastolic pressure was considered even more of a threat than high systolic pressure. That thinking has changed somewhat but high diastolic numbers could still mean organ damage in your body – especially for individuals under 50.
Q. What courses high blood pressure?
A. The reasons for hypertension aren’t always clear. However, there are lifestyle factors that contribute to high blood pressure that you can change:
Body type: Weight isn’t always a reliable indicator of whether or not you’ll have high blood pressure – but the type of weight is. Lean body mass – muscle – doesn’t increase blood pressure levels the way that fat can. However, fat body mass, especially fat around your middle, can contribute to high blood pressure.
Sedentary lifestyle: Too often, many of us sit down all day at work, and then sit down all night at home. Over time, this inactivity usually leads to weight gain, making the heart work harder to pump blood through the body. In a way, it almost seems contradictory, but inactivity usually leads to higher heart rates.
Sodium intake: Sometimes it’s hard to believe how much salt there is in processed foods. However, salt intake in itself is not necessarily bad. For people with a history of congestive heart failure, ischemia, and high blood pressure, sodium is definitely out. For those individuals, it leads to more water retention, which increases blood pressure. (Salt’s effect on water retention is one reason that so many sports drinks have fairly high sodium content – the sodium in the drink prevents your body from sweating out too much water.) But, for healthy individuals, moderate salt intake, especially a mixed mineral salt like sea salt or Celtic salt (good salt should never be white) is fine.
Low potassium intake: Unlike sodium, potassium is a mineral which most Americans get too little of. Potassium helps regulate the amount of sodium in our cells, expelling excess amounts through the kidneys. Low levels of this mineral can allow too much sodium to build up in the body.
Heavy alcohol intake: Having three or more alcoholic drinks a day (two or more for women) nearly doubles an individual’s chance of developing high blood pressure. Over time, heavy drinking puts a lot of stress on the organs, including the heart, liver, pancreas and brain.
Unhealthy eating: Eating a lot of processed or fatty foods contributes to high blood pressure. Adapting a diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grain products, fish, nuts and magnesium and potassium (like the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, known as the “DASH” diet) can bring it back down.
Smoking: If you smoke, stop. Smoking damages the heart and arteries – period. Nicotine constricts blood vessels, increases heart rate, and raises blood pressure. This in turn, increases hormone production and adrenaline levels, further stressing the body.
As if that weren’t bad enough, the carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke replaces the oxygen in the blood, making the heart work even harder to make up the difference. Since the effect of a single cigarette can last for an hour, smoking throughout the day leads to continuously revved-up blood pressure.
Some of these factors might sound like a lot to overcome. The important thing to remember is that all of these behaviors are changeable. If you have high blood pressure, modifying any of these can significantly lower blood pressure as part of an overall plan.
Q. What are the blood pressure numbers I should see?
A. Experts consider healthy blood pressure numbers to be 115/75 mm/Hg. The reason? They found that the risk of cardiovascular disease doubles at each increment of 20/10 mmHg over 115/75 mm/Hg. Even small jumps in blood pressure numbers increase the risk of stroke and heart attack.
Q. Okay, so other than diet, exercise and lifestyle changes are there other natural ways or supplements I can use to lower my blood pressure?
A. Yes, in fact, you hear about some of them in the news all the time – fish oil, CoQ10, and garlic. As effective as these symptoms are, they typically lower systolic pressure much more than diastolic pressure.
However, there is a blend of scientifically and clinically studied natural ingredients that lower high blood pressure separately, and work even better when they’re combined. This combination blend contains: dandelion leaf extract, lycopene, stevia extract, olive leaf extract and hawthorn extract.
Every one of these ingredients has been studied and recommended for years. But now, a scientific study on a supplement that combines them in one synergistic formula shows encouraging results for lowering systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Let’s take a look at each:
Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) originated in
The leaf of stevia is considered the medicinal part of the plant. Research shows that extracts of the leaf relax arteries and help prevent the buildup of calcium on artery walls – keeping them healthy and reducing blood pressure.
In a long-term, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical study, stevia reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure. On average, participants’ blood pressure reduced from baseline 150 mm/Hg to 140 mm/Hg systolic and 95 mm/Hg to 89 mm/Hg diastolic.
And, in another double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study, stevia lowered blood pressure quite significantly – by an average of 14 millimeters of mercury in both systolic and diastolic readings. Those are impressive numbers!
Despite its role as a sweetener, stevia may have a side benefit to for those with hypertension – blood sugar regulation. Scientific studies show that extracts of stevia regulated blood sugar and reduced blood pressure.
A clinical study showed that stevia extract actually improved glucose tolerance by decreasing plasma glucose levels during the test and after overnight fasting in all participants. Regulating blood sugar is very important for those with high blood pressure. When blood sugar levels are high, blood vessels are inflamed. Many people with diabetes have high blood pressure as well. In a paired, cross-over clinical study, stevioside (one of the compounds in stevia) reduced glucose levels in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Further scientific studies show that stevia works to control blood sugar levels by stimulating insulin secretion by the pancreatic beta cells. It shows great potential in treating type 2 diabetes. Further scientific studies show that stevia works to control blood sugar levels by stimulating insulin secretion by the pancreatic beta cells. Its shows great potential in treating type 2 diabetes as well as hypertension.
Hawthorn (Crataegus spp. Oxycantha) has been used since ancient ties as a medicinal herb – even being mentioned by the Greek herbalist Dioscorides, in the first century AD. Traditionally, it has generally been used for support of the heart. Modern research points to bioflavonoid-like complexes in hawthorn leaf and flower that seem to be most responsible for its benefits on cardiac health, like blood vessel elasticity.
The bioflavonoids found in hawthorn include oligomeric procyanidins, vitexin, quercetin, and hyperoside. They have numerous benefits on the cardiovascular system. Hawthorn can improve coronary artery blood flow and the contractions of the heart muscle. Scientific studies show that the procyanidins in hawthorn are responsible for its ability to make the aorta and other blood vessels more flexible and relaxed, so that blood pumps more slowly and with less effort – sparing the cardiovascular system such a hard workout.
The procyanidins in hawthorn also have antioxidant properties – protecting against free radical cellular damage.
And, hawthorn may also inhibit angiotensin-converting enzyme. Angiotensin-converting enzyme is responsible for retaining sodium and water, and may have roots in our evolutionary development. It influences blood vessel contraction and dilation, sodium and water balance and heart cell development – just about everything that has to do with blood pressure. This may have developed as a way of dealing with periods of drought and stress. By narrowing the blood vessels, the body could guarantee an adequate supply of blood and focus on repairing tissue.
Unfortunately, that can lead to real problems these days. Since many of us live in an industrialized society, and frequently have pretty sedentary lifestyles, conserving sodium just makes the conditions for high blood pressure that much worse.
Like the other ingredients in this combination, hawthorn showed benefits on other body systems, too. In clinical and scientific studies, it not only lowered blood pressure, but also showed anti-anxiety properties and regulated blood sugar.
Olive leaf extract:
Olive leaf (Olea europaea) comes up again and again in scientific and clinical studies as having beneficial effects on hypertension. One of olive leaf’s most beneficial compounds is oleuropein – the same compound that makes olive oil so helpful in reducing blood pressure. Here again, we have to look at the traditional Mediterranean diet, which features voluminous use of olives and olive oil. Not surprisingly, blood pressure is generally much lower in Greek and Italian populations.
But it’s not just the diet – scientific studies showed that oleuropein lowered blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels and prevented buildup of plaque in arteries. Plus, whether in olive leaf extract or in olive oil, oleuropein works as an antioxidant, too.
Dandelion leaf extract:
Dandelion (Taraxacum offinale) leaves provide a healthy supply of vitamins, much like spinach. In fact, although it has become the bane of North American gardeners and lawn owners, dandelion greens are a component of many gourmet salads.
Medicinally, dandelion has been used for centuries, dating back to ancient
They are a very rich source of vitamin A, and contain vitamin D, vitamin C, carious B vitamins, iron, silicon, magnesium, zinc and manganese, too. Dandelion leaves produce a diuretic effect in the body, similar to a prescription drug. Since one of dandelion leaf’s traditional uses was the treatment of water retention, it’s really not too surprising. Dandelion leaf is also rich in potassium – one of the vital minerals many Americans lack in their diet. So, even though it may act as a diuretic, it replaces more potassium than the body expels.
The diuretic effect of dandelion can relieve hypertension by drawing excess water and sodium from the body and releasing it through the kidneys as urine. Getting rid of extra water and sodium allows the blood vessels to relax – lowering blood pressure.
If a nutrient can be called exciting, lycopene is it. Lycopene is found mostly in tomatoes and processed tomato products, like pasta and pizza sauce. Related to beta-carotene lycopene shows great antioxidant abilities among its many talents. In fact, it shows even greater free-radical scavenging properties than beta-carotene, its more famous cousin. Healthy intakes of lycopene can guard against a variety of chronic conditions, including lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol, lowering homocysteine levels and reducing blood platelet stickiness that can lead to clogged arteries. It’s even being studied for its protective effect against prostate cancer.
And, for proof, you don’t have to look too far to see the amazing effect lycopene intake can have on health. The Mediterranean diet provides an excellent example. Its high intakes of vegetables, (tomatoes, of course, playing a central role) fish, and whole grains improve cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure. The research on lycopene as a stand-alone nutrient has been compelling. A randomized clinical trial found that not having enough lycopene was associated with early thickening of the arteries.
So, it makes sense that other clinical trials, showed that higher intakes of lycopene frequently meant less thickening of arteries, and a reduced risk of heart attack. In one study, the risk of heart attack was 60% lower in individuals with the highest levels of lycopene. In a multicenter study, similar results were found – men with the highest levels of lycopene had a 48% lower risk of heart attack.
Q. What can I expect taking this herbal combination?
A. You should notice both systolic and diastolic numbers lowering in about two weeks. The scientific study showed that for pre-hypertensive and stage I, (early hypertensive individuals) this combination for ingredients lowers both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
When you’re taking herbs to support your blood pressure, it’s important to keep it monitored so you have an accurate reading (and record) of your numbers. If you need to, you can pick up a home blood pressure monitoring device. These can retail for anywhere from $30 all the way up to $200, but buying one in the $30 to $50 range is a good idea and money well spent. Consider taking the machine to your local doctor’s office or fire department to have it tested for accuracy against a professional blood pressure monitor. See the chart below for tips on getting an accurate reading from a home monitor.
Tips for Accurate Blood Pressure Monitoring:
-Relax for about 5 to 10 minutes before measurement.
-If you have just come inside from cold outdoors allow yourself to warm up.
-Remove tight-fitting clothing and jewelry.
-Unless your physician recommends otherwise, use left arm to measure pressure.
-Sit, don’t stand.
-Remain still and do not talk while using the monitor.
Q. Are there any side effects?
A. There were no side effects noted in the study. However, because of the mild diuretic effect of dandelion leaf extract, you may notice an increase in trips to the bathroom. It’s always important to make sure you don’t get dehydrated, so you may want to drink more water during the day.
High blood pressure doesn’t happen overnight. As we get older, the likelihood of developing hypertension increases. And, stressful, fast-forward lifestyles, bad diets and no exercise conspire to raise our blood pressure.
In my own practice I have helped patients move toward a healthier lifestyle, including diet, exercise, and blood-pressure reducing supplements. They live better, more vibrant lives as a result, and their blood pressure normalizes. It really can happen – you can bring your blood pressure back to normal, and this combination of scientifically and clinically validated ingredients can help.
Trace Minerals and Migraines
November 16, 2005 12:02 PM
Trace Minerals and Migraines
An increasingly large amount of disease today may be attributable to deficiencies in the supply of trace minerals in our diets.1 How can this be the case when the availability of food in our country is unprecedented, with a supermarket on every corner? These deficiencies do not stem from a lack of quantity of food, rather they stem from the quality of food. Trace minerals can be found mainly in whole, unprocessed foods such as vegetables and fruits. Unfortunately, the large majority of fruits and vegetables found in supermarkets today are nutritionally devoid of these minerals, largely in part to the high-yield farming practices in this and other countries.
The mineral content of food is mainly dependent on the amount of minerals found in the soil in which it is grown. Current farming practices leave soils with less than optimal amounts of these minerals, especially the less common trace minerals. As a result of this, our food supplies leave us at risk for deficiencies of these very important substances. Because of this situation, it is essential that every person now supplement their diet with trace minerals in order to avoid the many diseases that are attributable to this scarcity. A lack of vital nutrients leaves the body unable to function fully, leaving it vulnerable to disease.
Trace minerals have numerous roles. Oftentimes, because these minerals are found in such small quantities in the body, scientists and physicians have paid little attention to their importance in health and disease prevention. However, with the advent of improved science and the recognition of the efficacy of natural medicine, we are beginning to understand how vital these elements are to our health. Trace minerals, in a sense, are akin to the numerous tiny nails, nuts, and bolts that hold a house together. At first glance, a home is made of much more than these items. However, if they are slowly removed and never replaced, the house will continue to sag and finally fall apart. So it is the same with the smallest building blocks of our bodies. Trace minerals are important in the proper functioning of enzyme systems, nerve conduction and muscle function, assisting with transfer of nourishment into cells, providing the framework for tissues, and regulation of organ functions. These ‘behind the scenes’ functions are not possible without a constant, adequate supply of minerals. Even with the many multivitamin and mineral supplements available, most of these products fall short because they do not contain large enough amounts of the trace minerals that are so important to health.
Physicians that specialize in natural medicine are some of the biggest proponents of trace mineral supplementation. This type of physician is attuned to the many subtleties of the functions of the human body, and oftentimes addresses health issues with nutritional therapeutics in an attempt to bring the body’s health back into balance. This process of balance, also known as homeostasis, occurs quite wonderfully all by itself, as long as the body has the proper fuel and building materials. Unfortunately, physicians are seeing more and more diseases, which can be attributed to the body’s inability to achieve this balance. This trend towards ill health is directly related to the dearth of nutritional value in our diets today.
However, practitioners of natural medicine are very excited with the many dramatic turn-arounds toward health that many of their patients have experienced with the use of mineral supplementation. A common example of this is the treatment of migraine headaches with magnesium. Recent statistics suggest that 18 percent of women and six percent of men suffer from migraine and those numbers are increasing.2 The Centers for Disease Control reported a 60-percent increase in the disease from 1980 to 1989.3 Migraine headaches occur when the blood vessels in the brain spasm and constrict. Soon after this constriction occurs, the blood vessels then reflexively open, or dilate. When the vessels become dilated, they occupy more space in the brain, activating nearby pain receptors. It is speculated that an imbalance of mineral stores in the body can lead to this spasm of the blood vessels. Many researchers have suggested magnesium plays an important role in migraine attacks. The activities of magnesium in the body include preventing blood vessel spasm, inhibiting blood clotting, and stabilizing cell membranes, all of which are involved in migraine develoment4. Magnesium concentration exerts an effect on neurotransmitter production and receptors, pro-inflammatory molecules, and other migraine-related chemicals in the brain.5 Recent evidence suggests up to 50 percent of migraine patients have lowered levels of tissue magnesium during an acute migraine attack.6 Another study discovered brain magnesium concentrations were 19 percent lower in patients during migraine attack compared to healthy controls.7 Because recent research strongly indicates a magnesium deficiency in migraine headaches, natural medicine practitioners prescribe magnesium along with other trace minerals as a primary treatment for this condition with great success.
Because of their widespread distribution throughout the metabolic workings of the human body, trace minerals are integral to the functioning of one of the body’s largest organ systems, the muscles. Mainly, magnesium plays a large role in the relaxation of muscles following their contraction. Without this vital nutrient, it would be impossible for the muscles of the human body to function. Muscle cramps are prevalent in western society due to lack of intake of an appropriate amount of minerals. One easy, straightforward cure for muscle cramping is supplementation with magnesium and other trace minerals, as they allow the muscles to function smoothly and correctly. The role of magnesium in relieving cramped muscles also makes it a highly appropriate therapy for the muscle pain associated with fibromyalgia, a condition that is often treated successfully by practitioners of natural medicine. These practitioners often use high doses of magnesium and other trace mineral combinations to reduce the painful and tender muscles that are so common in fibromyalgia patients.
Another condition that is successfully treated with magnesium and trace minerals is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. People with this condition often experience profound muscle aches and weakness. It has been shown that in order for proper muscle contraction and relaxation to occur, magnesium and calcium need to be present in proper amounts in the body, which can be difficult to achieve even on a standard healthy diet. Additionally, magnesium and mineral supplementation may decrease the pain involved with sports-related injuries and excessive physical activity. As we use our muscular system, it is slowly depleted of these minerals, making replacement a top priority. Others signs of magnesium deficiency include disorientation, depression, tingling, numbness, seizures, abnormal heart rhythms in addition to muscle spasms and cramps.8,9
A minimum of at least 60 trace minerals has been demonstrated to be vital to health and well-being.10 This article has covered only a small fraction of the multitudes of health benefits of trace minerals. As science and natural medicine continues to uncover the many roles for all of these trace minerals, doctors are finding exciting solutions to several maladies that may be successfully treated by replacing these nutrients in the body. Unless we begin replacing these minerals early on in life, we put ourselves at risk for the many diseases of mineral deficiency that are becoming more and more prevalent in society today.
1 Medical Nutrition from Marz, 2nd Edition. Omni-Press, 1997. Pps. 103-107
2 Stewart WF, Lipton RB, Celentano DD, et al. Prevalence of migraine headache in the United States: relation to age, income, race, and other sociodemographic factors. JAMA 1992;267:64-69.
3 Rappaport AM, Scheftell FD. Headache Disorders: A Management Guide for Practitioners. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Co.;1996:4.
4 McCarty MF. Magnesium taurate and fish oil for prevention of migraine. Med Hypotheses 1996;47:461-466.
5Sinclair, S. Migraine Headaches: Nutritional, Botanical And Other Alternative Approaches. Alternative Medicine Review - Volume 4, Number 2, April 1999.
6 Mauskop A, Altura BM. Role of magnesium in the pathogenesis and treatment of migraine. Clin Neurosci 1998;5:24-27.
7 Ramadan NM, Halvorson H, Vande-Linde A, et al. Low brain magnesium in migraine. Headache 1989;29:590-593. 8 Rude RK. Magnesium deficiency: A cause of heterogeneous disease in humans. J Bone Miner Res 1998;13:749-58.
9 Institute of Medicine. Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary Reference Intakes: Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Vitamin D and Fluoride. National Academy Press. Washington, DC, 1999.
10 Kelly, GS. Sports Nutrition: A Review of Selected Nutritional Supplements For Bodybuilders and Strength Athletes-Alternative Medicine Review - Volume 2, Number 3, May 1997
New foods double as medicines
October 18, 2005 10:53 AM
New foods double as medicines
As the American public becomes more health conscious, food companies are altering their Approaches to match the public’s needs.
For instance, Benecol, a new line of margarines and salad dressings, doubles as a cholesterol- lowering medicine. The active ingredient in Benecol is a compound from pine tree pulp thought to have cholesterol-lowering abilities.
Researchers found that this compound reduced cholesterol by as much as 10 percent. While Benecol is not an alternative to healthy eating and lifestyle, it does mark a new age in food marketing and purpose. By using foods like Benecol in addition to a healthy diet and lifestyle, a person may have more success in managing their heart health than with prescriptions or diet alone. And Benecol’s success may prompt other companies to produce food items that double as medicinal products.
Source Naturals - Scientific Formulation
August 20, 2005 11:42 AM
“Formulation is an art—based on science, traditional Approaches, and a thorough understanding of an issue. My prime responsibility is to design and create formulas that are comprehensive and effective. I strongly believe in supporting the whole person and in empowering people to take control of their health through nutrition and self-education.” –Linda Meltzer, C.N., Research Specialist
Formulation at Source Naturals begins with our highly trained research and product development staff. Our researchers conduct an exhaustive review of the scientific literature on each nutrient or botanical.
Their investigation covers traditional Approaches, modern medical interventions, and current studies.
Dosage, delivery method, optimal ratios and combinations of ingredients, biochemical interactions of nutrients and herbs, the quality and form of raw materials—all are scrutinized in a quest for product efficacy. Members of our research, product development, quality control, regulatory affairs and manufacturing groups regularly attend quality circle meetings. At these meetings, team members contribute their particular expertise to resolve complex issues in the development of formulas, labels and literature.
Source Naturals researchers have all the scientific knowledge and tools of the supplement industry at their fingertips— but they also have something other companies may lack. Our expert formulators understand the need to address nutritional symptoms* at their root cause: body system imbalances. The ultimate expression of this quality-assured formulation method is our line of Bio-Aligned Formulas™. These products address nutritional symptoms* by supporting the multiple body systems involved.
Only by this holistic method of bringing alignment to your interdependent body systems can vibrant health be attained.
Source Naturals labels and literature explain the structure-function benefits of each product. Corroborated research backs these statements, from authoritative sources such as biochemistry texts, respected journals, herbal pharmacopoeia and homeopathic Materia Medica.
Our labeling and literature are reviewed by attorneys who specialize in FDA law. This ensures that claims are accurate and appropriate according to the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA).
Zeaxanthin with Lutein - The clearly-seen benefits of advanced eye protection
August 03, 2005 06:27 PM
Zeaxanthin with Lutein
The clearly-seen benefits of advanced eye protection
In the U.S. and other developed nations, the worst enemy of eyesight is not disease, it is the natural aging process. But even if the advance of years is unstoppable, new research shows that eyesight can be protected as we age. Two little-known carotenoids have been found to protect eyesight and combat the effects of aging upon the retina. Zeaxanthin and lutein, naturally found in many fruits and vegetables, form a natural filter on the retina, protecting the delicate photoreceptor cells from the damaging effects of blue-wave light and the UV radiation of sunlight. The two nutrients have also been found to be a natural antioxidant, further protecting the retina from the oxidation that arises from normal body functions as well as exposure to cigarette smoke, air pollutants, radiation, and environmental toxins.
Source Naturals unites the benefits of both of these nutrients in ZEAXANTHIN WITH LUTEIN, offering one of the most advanced Approaches to eye protection available.
Key to Healthy Vision
A Harvard-led study found that eating lutein-rich foods five days per week meant subjects were eight times more likely to have healthy macular pigment density than those who consumed the same foods just once a month. Another study at the University of Florida found that diets rich in lutein and zeaxanthin could substantially (82%) protect the macula. A number of companies offer either lutein or zeaxanthin, Source Naturals combines the benefits of both, just as both are used in the eye.
Part of Your Wellness Program
Bone, RA, et al. (2003). Journal of Nutrition. 133:992-998. Gail, C, et al. (2003).Investigative Opthalmology & Vis. Sci. 44:2461-246. Krinsky N, et al (2003). Annual Review of Nutrition. 23:171-201.
Source Naturals Strategies for Wellness sm
The above information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
LIFE FORCE MULTIPLE - Essential Nutrients to Support Your Low Carb Lifestyle..
June 29, 2005 10:39 AM
Taking care of your body is an especially important challenge in today’s stressful and hectic world. Choosing a low carb lifestyle is an increasingly popular way to seek better health. In fact, there are approximately 30 million U.S. adults counting their carbs right now. While effective for weight control and therefore having positive health effects, low carb Approaches can also result in serious nutrient imbalances. Thus, adding the right multiple to your low carb approach is an enormously important next step for your good health. LIFE FORCE MULTIPLE, the top-ranked and award–winning multiple from Source Naturals, replenishes these nutrients and provides compounds that will help your body process the increased proteins and fats better while you are restricting carbs.
Low Carb Benefits
Restricting carbs can have many health benefits. And lowering your intake of refined simple carbs, such as sugar and white flour, can help you promote healthy blood sugar and insulin levels, which is critical for your good health. Insulin is used to move the glucose from carbs into your cells for energy. Ingesting too many refined carbs can greatly reduce your body’s ability to use insulin well, which can lead to short and long-term health concerns.
Replenish Nutrients with LIFE FORCE
LIFE FORCE contains optimal levels of many nutrients that might be deficient in low carb meals. Counting carbs can lead to restrictions of nutrient dense foods such as dairy products, grains, fruits and vegetables. LIFE FORCE contains many of the same protective antioxidants, vitamins and minerals as fruits and vegetables, including beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, flavinols, magnesium and selenium. It also contains high levels of the same vitamins found in grains, including all of the B vitamins, to support your body’s healthy energy metabolism. And it contains nutrients found in dairy products such as calcium, potassium, vitamin A and vitamin D.
Support Healthy Fat and Protein Consumption with Life Force
Low carb lifestyles mean higher consumption of proteins and fats. Unfortunately, there are artery, heart, colon and many other health concerns associated with meals that are high in fat and protein and low in fiber and produce. However, the nutrients in LIFE FORCE can help you better process eating this way. LIFE FORCE contains high levels of protective fat-soluble antioxidants such as alpha lipoic acid, ascorbyl palmitate (vitamin C ester) and vitamin E to protect your body from the free radicals generated by consuming more fats. It also contains many nutrients for liver health, such as silymarin, CoQ10, N-Acetyl Cysteine and turmeric to help support the fat metabolism your liver is responsible for. LIFE FORCE also contains a high level of the B vitamin biotin, which aids in fat, protein and energy metabolism.
Restricting simple carbs can do much more than help you maintain a healthy weight; it can also be the foundation for maintaining good health throughout your long life. But you need to develop a thoughtful holistic strategy for success. When you integrate LIFE FORCE MULTIPLE into your wellness plan, then you can benefit from decades of clinical research about the nutrients your body needs to support optimal health and a low carb lifestyle, long before this information becomes part of mainstream health recommendations. Join this wellness revolution by adding LIFE FORCE to your strategies for health and allow yourself to start feeling energized today!
Take Your Vitamins: Reviewing Scientific Approaches to Selecting Daily Multiple Supplement
June 21, 2005 05:10 PM
By Adina Licht, MS
Adina Licht, M.S. is a Nutritional Scientist and Science Writer who works as a Marketing Specialist for Source Naturals. She has a B.A. in Environmental Science from UC Berkeley, an M.S. in Nutrition and Food Science from San Jose State University, and training in Technical Communication from Cal State Hayward. Her work has appeared in publications such as Advances in Packaging and Development, Health Supplement Retailer and Delicious Living.
Americans Need More Nutrients
The U. S. population is drastically malnourished. According to the latest A. C. Nielsen survey, only 12% of Americans claim to eat the 5 recommended servings of fruits and vegetables each day (Warner, 2004). And approximately 1/3 of the calories that people do consume are from nutrient-poor foods such as alcohol and soda (Yang, 2004). This combination has led to a population that consumes too few nutrients, which according to an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (Fletcher, 2002) puts people at risk for long-term health concerns. With Americans eating fewer healthy foods, taking a daily multiple is one way for people to increase their intake of nutrients. But the search for what defines a good multiple can be confusing, even to health care professionals.
The Confusing U.S. Government Standards
Scientists first recognized the need for vitamins in the early 1900s (Levenstein, 1993). But setting U. S. government standards for vitamins and minerals didn't start until healthy soldiers were needed to fight World War II. And when a committee of scientists was asked to determine the levels of nutrients needed to maintain good health they could only agree on "recommended allowances" to prevent deficiency with a wide margin of safety. In 1941, these allowances became the first Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for the nation (Levenstein, 1993). In 1997, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) used latest RDAs to set the new Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) standards, which included Adequate Intakes (AIs) for when there was insufficient evidence to determine an RDA, and Upper Intake Levels (ULs) as the safe daily upper limit. To simplify the information, food labels express nutrient information as a percentage of the Daily Value (DV), which includes RDA values for a healthy adult who consumes 2000 calories per day (Whitney, 2002). However, these values do not include AIs or ULs and many individuals need different levels of nutrients than these.
Confusing Standards equals Confusing Recommendations
The RDAs and subsequent DRIs are the basis of the nutrient standards for at least 40 different nations and many professional health organizations. Currently, the American Dietetic Association (ADA) recommends that people who cannot reach the DRIs through diet take a multiple with nutrient levels that do not exceed the RDAs (JADA, 2001). And in 2002, the American Medical Association (AMA) published a paper that included a recommendation for all adults to take RDA levels of vitamin supplements in their Journal of the American Medical Association (Fletcher, 2002). Despite the benefits of having guidelines, most people only hear about the RDAs and DVs, which may be too low for preventing deficiencies while the ULs and AIs, which can be much more beneficial are rarely discussed. For example, the Daily Value of Vitamin E to prevent deficiency is 30 IU while the daily Upper Intake Limit is 1,467 IU. But, according to the ADA, as many as 75% of cardiologists recommend vitamin E to their patients to promote heart health, usually at a dosage of 400 IU (ADA, 2001; Meydani, 2004; & Whitney, 1998). And the Daily Value for Vitamin C is 60 mg while the daily Upper Intake Limit is 2000 mg, but in clinical studies it took 500 mg per day to help maintain healthy blood pressure (Whitney, 1998, & Hendler, 2001).
Lyle MacWilliam is a biochemist and former health advisor to the Canadian Ministry of Health, who decided to research, analyze and publish the Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements. In this book, the individually published recommendations from seven nutrition experts (Phyllis Balch, CNC, Dr. Michael Colgan, Ph.D., Dr. Earl Mindell, Ph.D., Dr. Michael Murray, N.D., Dr. Richard Passwater, Ph.D., Dr. Ray Strand, M.D., and Dr. Julian Whitaker, M.D.) were combined to create an ultimate blended standard of recommended median intakes for 39 nutrients to promote health. Those nutrients include vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and other supplements, that span 14 different health categories and are much closer to the Upper Intake Limit government standards. The guide also includes information about recommended forms, safety, purity and quality (MacWilliam, 2003). One of the most profound differences between MacWilliam?s compiled recommendations and the DRIs is the difference in the number of supplements: 39 vs. 26 respectively. The Comparative Guide standard includes additional nutrients, including many more antioxidants, based on decades of clinical research about their benefits. For example, the fat-soluble antioxidant Coenzyme Q10 that your body manufactures less of as you age is included. So is the fat and water-soluble antioxidant alpha lipoic acid that helps recycle other antioxidants such as vitamins C and E (Hendler, 2001).
Top Ranked Multiples for Optimal Health
In the latter half of MacWilliam's book he uses this ultimate blended standard to rank and compare 500 manufactured multiples. Of the five top-ranked multiples, only the Source Naturals multiples, Life Force and Élan Vitàl, are widely available at natural product stores and health outlets. And the new and improved Life Force formulation now rates higher than any of the products evaluated in the current edition of this guide (MacWilliam, 2004; & Mac-William, 2003). The ingredients that can be found in today's multiple supplements can vary greatly. But multiple choices don't have to lead to confusion. Health professionals, such as Lyle MacWilliam, understand the importance of remaining curious, evaluating the available research, and conferring with other scientists to determine the nutrients that support optimal health.
American Dietetic Association. 2001. Vitamin E: Disease Prevention for your Good Health. American Dietetic Association Website. Available at: Public/Other/index_nfs1001.cfm Fletcher, R. H., & Fairfield, K. M. 2002. Vitamins for Chronic Disease Prevention in Adults. JAMA. (23)287:3116-3129. Hendler, S. S., et al. 2001. PDR for Nutritional Supplements. Thomson Healthcare: Montvale. Pages 11-12, 17-21, 60-62, 103, 416-421, 486-498. JADA (Journal of the American Dietetic Association) 2001. Vitamin and mineral supplementation. J AM Diet Assoc.101: 115 Available at: Public/NutritionInformation/92_8343.cfm Levenstein, H. 1993. Paradox of Plenty: A Social History of Eating in Modern America. Oxford University Press: New York. Pages 13-15, 64-67. MacWilliam, L, et al. 2003. Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements. Northern Dimensions Publishing: Vernon. Pages 62-70. MacWilliam, L. 2004. Comparative Guide Individual Assessment of New Life Force Formulation. Warner, J. 2004. Few Follow '5 a Day' Fruit and Vegetable Rule. WebMD website. Available at: ent/Article/93/102158.htm Whitney, N. W., & Rolfes, S. R. (1998). Understanding Normal and Clinical Nutrition, 5th ed. Page 358. Whitney, E. N., & Rolfes, S. R. 2002. Understanding Nutrition. 9th ed. Wadsworth Thomson Learning: Belmont. Pages A, B, Y, 13-20, 55-56, 307, 331, 335-341, 401. Yang, S. 2004. Nearly one-third of the calories in the US diet come from junk food, researcher finds.
Modified Citrus Pectin (MCP) and Mercury Cleansing Programs...
June 21, 2005 05:02 PM
by Isaac Eliaz, M.D., M.S., L.Ac.
Modified Citrus Pectin (MCP) is a dietary supplement derived from the peel and pulp of citrus fruit. MCP is mostly known for its positive effects on cellular health. Recently, however, clinical research on MCP has produced exciting results for its use as a gentle chelator (eliminator) of mercury and other heavy metals. Some of the expanding clinical applications for MCP include:
The Problem with Mercury
Recent news on mercury is particularly concerning for the U.S. population. In March 2004 the EPA issued a press release reporting nearly all fish contained traces of mercury. Some samples contained levels high enough to harm an unborn baby or young child's developing nervous system. These findings prompted the EPA to issue a warning to women who may become pregnant, pregnant women and nursing mothers advising them to eat only two meals of fish per week that are thought to have lower levels of mercury.1 In their most recent update (August 2004), the EPA issued a warning that 1/3 of the nation's lakes and 1/4 of its river ways are contaminated with toxic levels of mercury and other contaminants, and warned pregnant women and children against consumption of fish from these sources. Additionally, a National Academy of Sciences panel definitively warned that some children who had been exposed to mercury while in the wombs of their mothers were at risk for becoming those children "who have to struggle to keep up in school and who might require remedial classes of special education." The risk of mercury toxicity from fish has reached epidemic levels. Two studies have further spurred on the concerns of mercury toxicity, as they both found women to have mercury levels that are 8-10% above what is considered safe.1,2 Furthermore, women who ate more fish were found to have higher levels of mercury. Another source of mercury toxicity may be amalgam dental fillings. Heavy metals, in conjunction with the abundant presence of environmental toxins and xenoestrogens, constitute a dangerous insult to the body through DNA damage, hormonal modulation, immune suppression, oxidative stress, and cellular irritation.
A New Application for MCP Use: Heavy Metal Detoxification
The standard western medical approach for removing mercury from the body to treat mercury toxicity is chelation. This procedure is performed with harsh chelators that can cause multiple side effects while potentially robbing the body of some of its essential nutrients. While this may be the routine and most beneficial procedure when facing a serious toxicity problem, are there other, gentler ways to reduce mercury levels? Two recent clinical studies have found that MCP may be a promising new dietary solution for reducing heavy metal load. In one recent clinical study, MCP was administered to a group of volunteers, and baseline levels of their total body mercury burden were measured and then compared against levels after treatment with MCP (15 grams of PectaSol® daily) for four months. The results showed a significant average decrease (over 60%; p=0.03) in the total body mercury burden after treatment with MCP3 In an earlier study, PectaSol® was given to patients and proven to increase urinary secretion of heavy metals such as lead, mercury, cadmium and arsenic.4 Both studies concluded that MCP may be a promising alternative to the harsher intravenous chelating therapies as MCP was found to be both effective and free of any side effects.
How MCP Works as a Gentle Chelator
Pectins are natural gelling agents, binders, thickeners, and stabilizers in foods. They mostly consist of galacturonic acid and galacturonic-acid methyl esters with average molecular weights from 50,000 to 150,000 daltons. High-methoxy (HM) pectin has at least 50% DE (degree of esterification) or greater, while a low-methoxy (LM) pectin?s DE is 50% or less. For systemic chelation of heavy metals, pectin is modified to a low molecular weight, and low-methoxy content. My observation from using MCP as a detoxification agent in my clinic is that it works as a gentle chelator in the bloodstream and it is very useful for ongoing use. Because fish are still recommended as part of a healthy diet and an essential source of certain nutrients (essential fatty acids like DHA), mercury levels are also becoming a widespread health concern. It is a Catch-22 for dietary health. As the widespread environmental cleanup of mercury is unlikely in the short-term, the medical community should develop methods to treat toxicity or reduce high body levels of mercury body burden. One approach is the use of traditional and alternative medicine cleansing programs along with the use of dietary supplements such as MCP that may act as gentle chelators. For chelation purposes, 5-15 grams of MCP should be taken per day depending on mercury levels for one year. Maintenance at 2-5 grams per day thereafter is usually sufficient. In my practice, I use 15 grams per day or 15 grams per day in the first 3-5 days of the month and 5 grams per day for the remainder of the month. MCP is generally regarded as safe and is well tolerated. Reported side effects have been rare, but may include mild and transient gastrointestinal discomfort.
1-CDC Press Release: Blood and Hair Mercury Levels in Young Children and Women of Childbearing Age-United States, 1999 (see:/media/mmwrnews/n010302.htm#mmwr3) 2-Schober, SE, Sinks, TH, Jones, RL et al. (2003) Blood mercury levels in US children and women of childbearing age, 1999-2000. Journal of the American Medical Association. 289(13) :1667-74. 3-Eliaz, I. (2004) Modified citrus pectin (MCP) in the treatment of cancer. Paper presented at: The American Chemical Society Annual Meeting; Philadelphia, PA. 4-Eliaz, I. and D. Rode (2003). The effect of modified citrus pectin on the urinary excretion of toxic elements. Fifth Annual Conference of Environmental Health Scientists: Nutritional Toxicology and Metabolomics, University of California, Davis.
Isaac Eliaz, M.D., M.S., L.Ac., is a pioneer in the field of integrative medicine and founder of Better Health Publishing®, an education-based company that provides health care professionals, consumers and other interested parties with scientific research on integrative medicine. He is a respected author, clinical practitioner and frequent guest lecturer on integrative medical Approaches to health, immune enhancement and cancer prevention and treatment. Since 1991, Dr. Eliaz has maintained a busy private practice in Sebastopol, California, and is the current medical director of the Amitabha Medical Clinic and Healing Center (email:email@example.com) which focuses primarily on integrative and holistic protocols for cancer patients as well as those with chronic health challenges.
What is the difference between the types of Ginseng?
June 17, 2005 12:45 PM
What is the difference between the types of Ginseng?
Ginseng has been used for thousands of years by the Chinese and Native Americans. The Chinese name, Ren Shen means "Man-Root" because it is shaped like a human. There have been over 3,000 scientific studies published on Ginseng. Studies have examined the anti-tumor, anti-infective, nervous system, lipid lowering, and anti-fatigue activity of ginseng. Experimental research indicates that Ginseng helps the body adapt to stress, protects the body against radiation, and increases sperm count, and stabilizes blood sugar levels.
Ginseng can differ depending upon the species, the way it is prepared, and of course the dose administered. There are two main kinds of Ginseng: American and Asian. American Ginseng, Panax quinquefolium, grows wild in many states although it is cultivated mainly in Wisconsin. American Ginseng generates body fluids and is said to clear heat. Those who can benefit most from American Ginseng are individuals that are under stress, athletes, and people who feel hot and thirsty. They may also have coughing, or coughing up blood, which indicates heat according to traditional Chinese Medicine.
Asian Ginseng, Panax Ginseng, is usually imported to the US from either China or Korea. It is traditionally used to treat cold syndromes, which include cold limbs, weak pulse, exhaustion, and shortness of breath. White Ginseng usually refers to untreated ginseng, and is said to be less warm than red Ginseng. Typically red Ginseng is steamed and cured with other herbs giving it a dark red appearance; most Korean Ginseng is red.
A common substitute for Ginseng in the US and China is Codonopsis, known botanically as Codonopsis pilosula. It has similar effects to Asian Ginseng: it is not as strong and not nearly as expensive. Eleuthero Ginseng, sometimes referred to as Siberian Ginseng, is really not ginseng at all but is in fact a distant cousin. It belongs in a different botanical species: Eleutherococcus Senticosus. Eleuthero Ginseng grows in northern China and Russia. Although it is used to help the body adapt to stress, it is less specific as a medicinal herb than Asian or American Ginseng.
Traditional herbalists rarely use ginseng by itself. Herbs are usually combined with other ingredients in order to increase clinical benefits and reduce negative reactions. For example, Generate Pulse Powder (Sheng Mai San) is a traditional combination, which often combines America Ginseng with herbs to moisten the lungs; therefore it can be used for chronic cough that is difficult to expectorate, and shortness of breathe. Bu Zhong Yi Qi Wan is an ancient formula that has been used for at least one thousand years to treat patients who are exhausted, feel cold, and may have weak limbs and/or chronic loose stools. In this ancient formula, Ginseng is combined with Astragalus and other harmonizing herbs, which help the body assimilate ginseng. Modern formulas with Ginseng or Codonopsis, have been used to help people overcome serious conditions such as impotence, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and fibromyalgia. Modern Ginseng formulas have also been used in conjunction with western medical Approaches to treating patients with HIV, and patients undergoing chemo and radiotherapy.
Asian Ginseng is considered a "big gun" and should not be indiscriminately used especially by itself. Headache, elevated body temperature, digestive upset, rash, fever, irritability, and insomnia are possible signs that Ginseng is not appropriate. It should not be taken at the same time as caffeine or other stimulants. Good quality Ginseng is expensive. Superior grade Ginseng can run several thousand dollars per pound. For this reason, it makes no sense to shop for the cheapest Ginseng or Ginseng products.
Mane Attraction - lustrous Hair...
June 14, 2005 08:19 AM
Mane Attraction by Chrystle Fiedler Energy Times, February 12, 2004
Everyone wants thick, lustrous hair. Think of the allure attached to the locks of Samson and Lady Godiva and-fast-forward to the present-the full heads of Antonio Banderas and Julia Roberts.
" We're naturally attracted to hair as humans; it catches the light, it frames the face, we like the feel of it," says Catherine Jones, ND, LAc, a resident naturopathic physician at Bastyr Center for Natural Health in Seattle, Washington. "Fair or not, historically in many cultures, rich, thick hair has been a sign of fertility and strength."
Along with that allure, latching onto natural ways to have great-looking hair gives you the benefits of looks and health. Every hair starts with a shaft that grows from a root. "The root is contained deep within the hair follicle," says Dr. Jones. "Each one has a sebaceous or oil gland, which supplies the hair with necessary lubrication as it Approaches the surface of the scalp." Each hair follicle has its own growth cycle, including a resting period, the telogen phase, when hair falls out. Because of these constant hair phases, each of us loses, on average, about 100 hairs a day.
" The number of hairs the average person loses in a day tends to increase in the fall as the leaves fall from the tree and tends to decrease in the spring as the bulbs emerge from the soil," Dr. Jones says. "We really are connected to nature." Stress-due to rapid weight loss, infection, anemia, prolonged illness, hormonal changes, hypoactive thyroid disease, autoimmune conditions, eczema or psoriasis-can influence hair growth and loss.
Hair consists of proteins, lipids (fats), carbohydrates and pigment (gray hair has reduced pigment; white, none at all). Each shaft's structure is divided into a medulla, a cortex and an outer cuticle. " The cuticle is coated with an outside lipid-like layer, which protects the hair," says Dr. Jones. "As the hair grows out of the follicle, the cortex and cuticle become keratinized and harden." Dry or damaged hair is more susceptible to breakage. "The condition of the cuticle affects how the light reflects off the hair, giving it highlights and luster," Dr. Jones says. "Luster is affected both by what occurs inside the body as the hair is developing and what happens to the hair after it has grown from the shaft."
Sun, heat, moisture, pollution and hair products, dyes and bleaches can all dull the hair. "Applying chemical solutions to the hair, color, permanent waves or curl relaxers, damage the protein molecules that wrap around the shaft, leaving hair brittle and dull," says Christina Pirello, author of Glow: A Prescription for Radiant Health and Beauty (HP Books).
Conditioners and oils can leave a residue or weigh hair down. Hair sprays and products that contain alcohol can dry and damage the hair, as can using blow dryers and curling irons.
To combat hair-raising havoc, feed your hair natural nutrients for health. Silica and plants that contain silica/silicon both strengthen hair and promote growth. "Silica is a good mineral for hair health," says Walter Siegordner, founder of The Aurora Group, a personal care company. "It helps in the keratinization process of the cells that produce hair."
" Silica is a mineral that is involved in the synthesis of bone and connective tissue," adds Dr. Jones. "The hair follicle contains connective tissue so silica may promote the health and function of the follicle itself." Silica-containing herbs include nettles (Urtica dioica), horsetail (Equisetum arvense), oatstraw (Avena sativa) and alfalfa (Medicago sativa).
Sea plants like seaweed and kelp also provide vital nutrients. "Sea plants are essential ingredients in many natural shampoos and can be used to fortify damaged hair," says Pirello. "They're rich in vitamin A that prevents the build-up of dead skin cells, which can clog the hair follicles, inhibiting the growth and health of the hair, and also contain vitamin B, linked to the prevention of oily hair, baldness and dandruff. Calcium found in sea plants is essential to the structure of the hair shaft."
Eaten on s daily basis, sea plants are rich in nutrients that help maintain healthy, shiny hair, free of split ends, Pirello says. Try wakame in soups and salads, kombu or kelp in bean and vegetable dishes, nori in sushi, and hiziki and arame as side dishes. Since hair health is affected by digestive health, the fiber found in whole grains also helps. "Fiber prevents accumulation in the intestines that can result in the formation of toxins," says Pirello.
Miso, she adds, is especially good hair food. It "is rich in living enzymes that ease digestion, fortify the quality of the blood nourishing the body and hair, and provide us with essential oils, vitamins and minerals."
Key nutritional support includes adequate protein and amino acids, essential fatty acids such as cold-pressed flax seed oil and fish oil, copper, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin D, biotin, iron and vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid). Zinc and selenium can help combat the effects of hyperthyroidism, which can result in thinning, lackluster hair.
Vitamin C can boost adrenal health. "When the adrenals are overtaxed and become fatigued, hair follicles will go into a resting phase," says Dr. Jones. (If you have a medical condition, she adds, check with your health care practitioner first before taking supplements.)
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, hair is associated with the kidneys' qi, energy that originates in these organs, and with blood quality. " From the traditional Chinese perspective, excess amounts of fat, protein, dairy, sugar, alcohol and salt in the diet acidify the body, damage the Kidney qi and are not good for the hair," says Dr. Jones. A diet rich in vegetables and grains is a great way to support healthy hair. "Iron and mineral-rich foods are considered blood builders and hair tonics. Foods such as blackstrap molasses, seaweed, nettles, and the herb polygonum multiflorum (also known as He Shou Wu and Fo-Ti) have been used throughout the years. Fo-Ti has also been used to prevent graying of the hair and support the immune system."
" Hair is extremely strong but at the same time it's extremely delicate," says Barsoum Bouchar, a cosmetologist and owner of the Virtuoso Salon in Birmingham, Michigan. "Many products work against the hair texture, so the cuticle is always raised. This causes tangles and split ends. With blow dryers, chemicals, colors and styling elements, the hair is tremendously abused." If you don't have to chemically treat the hair, he says, don't.
When replenishing the hair it's important to remember that it's composed of 97% protein and 3% moisture, says Bouchar. Shampoo cleanses the hair and removes buildup. "A moisturizer brings moisture back into the hair and smoothes the cuticle down, which is what makes hair shiny and gives it bounce. The one key ingredient in both shampoo and moisturizers is aloe vera. It heals the hair." " Avoid products with harsh surfactants like sodium laurel sulfate and propylene glycol," warns Siegordner. "These decrease the circulation in the scalp, reducing the pathway for nutrition to the hair bulb." Conditioners that aren't natural can also cause build-up. "When you apply heat to the hair through blow drying or styling, you end up 'burning' the hair," says Bouchar.
To stimulate hair growth, add a few drops of essential oils of rosemary, lavender and thyme to jojoba and almond oils, and rub into the scalp. Leave it overnight and then rinse it off. " Essential oils have antimicrobial and antifungal properties, stimulate the circulation to the hair follicles and combat dryness. They also smell good," says Dr. Jones.
For hair that's not chemically treated, "a vinegar rinse cleanses the hair, removes build-up and boosts shine," says Bouchar. Use one part vinegar to ten parts water, apply after a shampoo, comb though and rinse it off. To naturally lighten the hair, use the same ratio in a lemon rinse for five minutes for, say, four days in a row, and then stop.
If you want to color your hair, choose natural elements, too. "The best natural dye is henna," says Bouchar. "It's organic, just like hair is." Blonde hair becomes warmer with a coppery tone, brunette hair takes on a mahogany hue, gray hair looks like highlights.
To find a good natural hair stylist, Bouchar suggests asking which products they use and why. If your hair is chemically treated, it's especially important to work with a stylist you trust for the best care.
Keep your eye on the big picture when it comes to hair health. "Be proactive and treat the body holistically," urges Dr. Jones. "Nourish the glands, the organs and the vessels that are responsible for getting the necessary nutrients to the hair follicle. Pay attention to the physical, emotional and mental aspects of health. Once hair is lost it may come back but it will likely be thinner than it was before. It's important to take care of what you have."
Acupuncture nutrient Connection
June 12, 2005 05:53 PM
Acupuncture nutrient Connection by Robert Gluck Energy Times, November 1, 1998
The theory behind the practice of acupuncture confounds western science. This therapy, originating in Asia, is based on the concept that currents of energy called meridians flow through your body. However, no one has ever been able to conclusively demonstrate the existence of these meridians.
Despite the evasiveness of these energy streams, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) holds that alterations in these energy flows can disrupt health and cause pain. Consequently, an acupuncturist punctures your skin with specialized needles to redirect the body's vital energy.
Despite the fact that western scientists have not been able to find satisfactory evidence of the existence of these energetic meridians, studies show that acupuncture works and is especially effective at relieving pain. This therapy has been used to alleviate a variety of conditions including chronic pain, nausea and even mental illness. In addition, some practitioners apply it to those trying to shake off the chains of drug addiction. (More recently, many practitioners now also successfully use acupuncture to relieve physical problems in animals.)
Of course, no matter what your perspective on this therapy, acupuncture's no panacea. While you might use acupuncture to relieve the discomforts of chemotherapy, you wouldn't use this technique as your primary weapon against a dangerous disease like cancer. Still, this reliable therapy occupies a welcome spot as an adjunct to many mainstream therapies. Consequently, many mainstream practitioners accept the validity of using acupuncture and many managed care companies reimburse this therapy. Some HMOs even keep a list of approved acupuncturists that they make available to enrollees.
Acupuncture East and West
The practice of acupuncture dates back at least 2200 years ago in Asia. Only during the last forty years has it become well-known and widely available in the United States. Today, 29 accredited acupuncture schools train practitioners in North America. In addition, traditional healers in Belize (south of Mexico) have been found to use a form of acupuncture derived from traditional Mayan medicine.
Is the use of acupuncture by Mayan shamans coincidence? Or further evidence that acupuncture meridians really exist? No one knows for sure, although some experts believe the Mayan use of this therapy supports the notion that the original ancestors of the Mayans migrated from Asia.
Acupuncturists insert needles into the body to relieve pain or enhance bodily functions. TCM holds that acupuncture, and the manipulation of these tiny needles, moves and manipulates qi (pronounced chee), the body's energy force.
"Acupuncture is a method of balancing the body's energy," says Carol Alexander, an acupuncturist at the North Jersey Health and Pain Relief Center in Hackettstown, New Jersey. "Disease occurs because of an imbalance...Insertion of the acupuncture needles into meridians will bring about the balance of qi." Alexander has practiced acupuncture for 10 years and studied at the Tri-State School of Traditional Acupuncture in Stanford Connecticut.
Alexander says patients sometimes suffer a blockage of qi or display too much or too little qi. The manipulation and placement of the acupuncture needles vary according to the need for adjusting meridian energy flow.
Acupuncture can be used to prevent disease and, if disease is already rampant, it can be used to help the body correct the problem.
In conjunction with her use of acupuncture needles, Alexander rarely prescribes single herbs but uses combinations of whole herbs that are very specific for different diseases and disease patterns. "Certain herbs, such as ginseng, are very prized in Chinese medicine," Alexander notes.
"Astragalus is an herb used in China and around the world to tonify the qi and increase qi energy as well as stimulate the immune system."
Alexander uses licorice root for assisting digestion and for helping women with menopausal discomforts. On the other hand, she recommends whole food concentrates like bee pollen granules for enhancing the immune system, peppermint for treating gastro-intestinal problems plus fiber supplements as well as the antioxidant/antihistamine quercetin, coenzyme Q10 and melatonin.
"In terms of classes of nutrients, I use a lot of whole food concentrates: the green concentrates like barley greens, wheat grass powder, spirulina and blue-green algae," Alexander says. "These are high in minerals, antioxidants, nutrients and fatty acids. I also use some soy products because the isoflavone concentrates are very much anti-cancer."
The Fine Points of Acupuncture
Acupuncture needles are very fine, as thin as hairs. They are available in a variety of diameters and lengths. When an acupuncturist inserts these needles, the sensation is that of mild pinpricks. (The needles enter the body at depths of only 1/8th inch to two inches.) In many cases people experience mild pleasure during needle manipulation.
"From a Western point of view it's important to explain that there is a distinct function of acupuncture treatment and that is to increase circulation," Alexander says. "We do stimulate nerves and we know that with the stimulation of nerves many neurochemicals and neurotransmitters are released. They move through the nerves and find receptor sights, some in the brain, some in other parts of the body."
By stimulating nerves, acupuncturists can calm inflammation and deaden pain. These effects are believed to be linked to the release of endorphins and dinorphins, powerful painkillers and anti-inflammatories that the body produces for itself. Most acupuncturists use this therapy as part of an overall, multi-faceted treatment plan.
"Qi is what makes you different from a sack of chemicals," points out David Molony, an acupuncturist at the Lehigh Valley Acupuncture Center in Catasaqua, Pennsylvania who studied at the Nanjing Traditional Medicine Hospital in China and has lectured at Cornell University.
What You Need
"You can manipulate qi with acupuncture, herbs and diet. Because people's bodies work differently, there are different Approaches. When you ask the question what nutrients and herbs are effective at enhancing acupuncture, it depends on what the person needs, according to an Oriental Medicine diagnosis."
An Oriental Medical examination, Molony says, begins with a long list of health questions designed to reveal factors that contribute to disease. A practitioner measures your pulse in several different places along your arm, inspects your tongue, may press on your stomach, sniff your general odor and closely examine your nails and skin for signs of problems.
"You take in everything you can," adds Molony, a board member of the Acupuncture Society of Pennsylvania and former board member of the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. "This gives you clues that you need in order to make your diagnosis."
Acupuncturists use nutrients and herbs that complement the treatment, as well as dietary and lifestyle counseling. Some acupuncturists don't specialize in herbal remedies, so these practitioners might go to a specialist like David Winston for advice. Winston, an herb expert skilled in Cherokee, Chinese and Western eclectic herbal medicine, works as an instructor, lecturer and consultant.
"In China, acupuncture is considered a complementary therapy; you generally don't go for treatment and get purely acupuncture," says Winston who is working on a book about saw palmetto. "Herbal medicine, diet and qi gong are important therapies in their own right and acupuncture is one of those therapies. Qi gong is a form of martial arts that focuses on unique breathing and visualization methods. Qi is not exactly energy, it's energy in movement; it's what makes the blood move."
Acupuncture is used to open blockages that sometimes build up in what TCM practitioners characterize as excessive heat or cold. These hot and cold spots do not always literally refer to the temperature of the body but are meant to depict changes in the character of the body's vital energy.
Chinese acupuncturists don't necessarily treat diseases, but target clusters of physical discomforts. Winston says, "Herbal formulas change depending on the 'symptom pictures.' Somebody could have acute appendicitis but the symptom picture could vary. Usually Chinese acupuncturists use herbs like isatis (a very cold, drying herb that's a powerful anti-bacterial agent) and coptis (a powerful anti-bacterial herb)."
Americans often visit acupuncturists complaining of back pain or some type of musculoskeletal problem-a wrenched knee, a ligament that hasn't healed properly or perhaps a torn rotator cuff. "If the injury is hot to the touch, it's red, it's inflammatory-that's a condition where there's excessive heat and in that condition the acupuncturist would give herbs that are cooling and anti-inflammatory such as the root of large leaf gentian."
Pain that Moves
If someone suffers pain that moves, pain that is sometimes exacerbated by damp or humid conditions, acupuncturists often prescribe clematis root, a wild variety of the garden plant that is an anti-spasmodic, or acanthopanax, a relative of Siberian ginseng used for damp pain.
"If there's pain with excessive dampness," Winston says, "acupuncturists might use duhuo, a drying herb that opens the meridians."
Molony agrees with Winston that when it comes to choosing herbs to enhance acupuncture, accurate analysis of the root cause of the health problem is paramount to making the right decisions. For example, if a person is qi deficient and her tongue is thickly coated, she may not be processing her energy properly. Phlegm builds up, decreasing energy. "What you want to do is give them herbs that move phlegm, like citrus peel, and combine that with acupuncture points that move phlegm also," Molony says.
For stimulating metabolism, Molony uses lactoferin-processed colostrum from cows. He uses ginseng and atractylodes as qi tonics and he adds herbs like magnolia bark or atractylodes alba.
He believes antioxidants are helpful too, as preventive medicines, including vitamins C and E. These valuable nutrients disarm the harm that reactive molecules can wreak within the body.
So how important are herbs and nutrition to enhance acupuncture's effectiveness? Acupuncturists seem to agree that healthy doses of antioxidants (such as vitamins C and E plus antioxidants from grapeseed extract) as well as specialized herbs, turn this therapy into a highly effective healing tool. Those wanting to benefit from this penetrating technique should stock up on nutrients. Then sit back, relax, kick off your shoes and let the acupuncturist do her stuff.
Down with Blood Pressure
June 12, 2005 08:03 AM
Down with Blood Pressure by Kim Erickson Energy Times, January 6, 2002
More than one of four Americans suffers from high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. This so-called silent killer is often the first step in developing long-term problems like heart disease and stroke. According to the American Heart Association, high blood pressure leads to about 45,000 deaths a year and contributes to another 210,000. Hypertension is more common in women beginning at age 50, particularly African-American women. And since high blood pressure rarely causes obvious physical distress, unless your health practitioner monitors your blood pressure on a regular basis, it's easy to miss. The famous study by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), known as the Framingham Heart Study, found that half of all people who suffered a first heart attack and two-thirds of first-time stroke victims also had moderate to high blood pressure. What's more, left untreated, high blood pressure can also increase the risk of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), aneurysms, loss of vision and kidney failure. Normal blood pressure is considered 120/80. When blood pressure reaches 140/90 or above on a consistent basis, you have high blood pressure. What do the numbers mean? The top number, systolic pressure, represents the peak pressure generated in your arteries when your heart beats. The bottom number, diastolic pressure, indicates the pressure when your heart is at rest between heartbeats. Among 95% of all people with high blood pressure, health practitioners can generally pinpoint no specific, single cause.
For decades, the most common recommendation for people with high blood pressure was to eat less salt. Experts have advocated reducing our salt intake to no more than three teaspoons a day: six grams (2400 mg), which is four grams less than the current national average. This recommendation was largely based on a study conducted by Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago, Illinois, known as INTERSALT. The study tested more than 10,000 men and women from 32 countries. The researchers concluded that eating a lot of salt was linked to rises in blood pressure. Other scientists haven't always found the same results. One review of 56 clinical trials by the Integrative and Behavioral Cardiology Program at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York found only a modest reduction in blood pressure when the salt shaker was left unshaken. And an analysis of 58 studies by academics at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark found that, overall, studies did not support a general recommendation to reduce the amount of salt we consume. Added to all this confusion, many people are salt sensitive: their bodies retain excess salt instead of flushing it out of their systems. Unfortunately, only medical tests can reveal this sensitivity. Consequently, experts still recommend that you eat fewer foods containing salt. That means going easy on processed foods, lunch meats and soft drinks. In addition, increasing your intake of potassium, calcium and magnesium may help your blood pressure.
Foods rich in potassium and magnesium not only help regulate blood pressure, but may boost overall cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of stroke. Vegetarian items such as bananas, baked potatoes and oranges are rich in these minerals. Research that looked at 30,000 doctors found that those who ate diets rich in fiber, potassium and magnesium had lower blood pressure than the men who ate few of these mineral-rich foods (Circ, 1992; vol 86:1475-1484). A study of 40,000 female nurses found that their pressure decreased when they consumed fibrous and magnesium-filled foods (Hypertension, 1996, vol 27:1065-1072).
The nutrient CoQ10 is a vitamin-like substance which acts as an antioxidant in the body, decreasing the harm caused by caustic substances known as free radicals. Found in every part of the body, CoQ10 is necessary for producing energy in every cell. But it is estimated that nearly 40% of people with high blood pressure are deficient in CoQ10. Tests of CoQ10 seem to show that it can often reduce blood pressure by almost 10% (Cur Ther Res 1990;47: 841-845). It also appears to reduce blood triglycerides, blood fats linked to heart disease, and insulin, while slightly increasing HDL (good) cholesterol.
Perhaps the biggest breakthrough in lowering blood pressure without the use of prescription medicine came with a study known as DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension). Funded by NHLBI and the National Institutes of Health, the multicenter study examined more than 400 people with high blood pressure. These folks were divided into three groups. One ate the standard high-sodium, high-fat American diet, the second a diet high in fruits and vegetables, and the third a combination diet rich in fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products (the DASH diet). While the group eating plenty of fruits and vegetables enjoyed a modest reduction in blood pressure, the study found that combining low-fat dairy with produce lowered both systolic and diastolic blood pressure by 11.4 and 5.5 points, respectively. And the benefits came quickly. Many of the people on the combination diet lowered their blood pressure within two weeks. The results were so impressive that researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts suggested that the DASH diet may offer an alternative to drug therapy for people with hypertension and may even serve to prevent high blood pressure altogether. The DASH diet is low in saturated fat and rich in whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Similar to the diet found in Mediterranean cultures, DASH also includes nuts, seeds and legumes, and is supplemented by non- or low-fat dairy products. Moderate amounts of protein-in the form of fish, poultry and soy-are also eaten. Eating in the DASH may also spur weight loss. Since being overweight can increase your blood pressure, the NHLBI strongly recommends a low-calorie diet such as DASH to take off extra pounds. Exercise and stress relief play critical roles in most pressure-reducing plans. Working out not only helps shed weight, it can also lower your blood pressure. Low to moderate aerobic exercise four days a week may lower blood pressure just as effectively as a higher intensity workout. And learning how to manage stress has helped dropped pressures in people with hypertension (Arch Intern Med 2001; 161:1071-80). Nutrition and lifestyle: two vital relief valves for dropping your high blood pressure and increasing your chances of longer life.
June 11, 2005 05:24 PM
Better Bones by Deborah Daniels Energy Times, March 13, 2004
As America ages, osteoporosis, a weakening of the bones, grows into an ever-expanding problem. Currently, it affects more than 44 million Americans.
Women are in special danger; of those who suffer weak bones, about 35 million are women. This problem causes a huge amount of damage-physical, emotional and financial. The national bill for hospital and nursing care for osteoporosis victims tops $17 billion a year, about $47 million a day.
Odds are, your bones need help. According to the National Institutes of Health, the bones of more than half of all Americans over age 50 are weak enough to put them at risk of osteoporosis. Weak bones linked to osteoporosis continue to present a serious risk to health. A study published in the British Medical Journal shows that fractures in older people are just as life-threatening today as they were two decades ago (2003; 327:771-5).
When researchers looked at broken legs among more than 30,000 people over the age of 65, they found that just as many people die today after these kinds of bone breaks as they did during the 1980s.
Their findings emphasize how important strong bones are to survival. This study showed that breaking your leg at age 65 or older increases your risk of death more than 12 times. And these high death rates, according to the researchers, reinforce the fact that preventing osteoporosis saves lives.
Blowing Smoke Through Bones
While many bone experts blame the high rate of osteoporosis on sedentary lifestyles and foods low in calcium, Australian research has turned up another bone-weakening villain: smoking. According to these scientists, smoking may be the most destructive lifestyle habit that destroys bone in older women. While other studies have pointed to smoking as a factor in bone loss, this most recent study purports to show that smoking may be one of the most important influences on weak bones (J Bone Min Res 9/03). " This will be an important step forward in the management of osteoporosis, since the results of this study can be used to improve current Approaches to preventing bone loss," says researcher John Wark, PhD.
Dr. Wark's study found that older smokers are particularly prone to weak bones. While smoking is always bad for bone strength, after menopause tobacco smoke seems to exert an even deadlier affect on your skeletal support.
" [T]he damaging effects of cigarette smoking may well have been underestimated in the past," says Dr. Wark. When you inhale cigarette smoke, your lungs are exposed to about 500 harmful gases, including carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, benzene, hydrogen cyanide and ammonia. The infusion of these gases cuts back on the available oxygen used for building bone and other tissues.
Along with these gases, small particles containing chemicals like anatabine, anabase, nicotine, monicotine and other carcinogens also filter into the lungs. Studies (Acad Ortho Surg 2001; 9:9) indicate that bathing the body in these chemicals results in:
While it's never too late to build more bone, the best time for laying down a dependable musculoskeletal foundation is before age 30. That way, as you get older, your strong bones can better resist the weakening effects of aging. Ipriflavone is a natural chemical that has been found to help protect bone. Researchers believe that this supplement can help bones strengthen by absorbing more calcium (Calc Tissue Int 2000; 67:225)
Other ways to make bones stronger include:
Weak bones can put a severe crimp in your lifestyle and put your life at risk. How can you tell what shape your bones are in? Health practitioners can help you get the appropriate bone density test. But the tone of your muscles are also a good indicator: Exercise to tone those muscles and chances are you're building your bones, too. All you have to do is get moving!
The Science of Healthy Hair
June 10, 2005 03:44 PM
The Science of Healthy Hair
by Susan Weiner Energy Times, January 5, 2002
From the strength-giving mane of Sampson to the magically long locks of Rapunzel, hair has had the power to captivate since biblical times. Today, its lure is just as compelling and hair remains an important form of self-expression and self-image. A healthy head of hair is more than an asset to your appearance. A hairstyle can reflect a mood, an attitude or a personal style, while unkempt hair may reveal the status of one's emotional or physical health. Even a "good" hair day vs. a "bad" hair day can significantly determine how your frame of mind takes shape. We can't always control the frizz factor or the humid weather that makes our curls fall flat, but many natural Approaches are available to allow us to put our best looking follicle forward. Whether your hair is sleek and stylish, long and slinky, spiky punk rock-hip or wash-and-wear, botanical-based products and proper nutrition can bring out the very best in your locks.
Don't Fool Mother Nature
No matter how often you cut, dye, perm or blow-dry your hair, Mother Nature, with the help of your DNA, has blessed you with a quite specific quality and quantity of hair. Styling may work to change the appearance of your hair, but nothing can change your genetics. Every hair on your body, from the soft down on your arms to the coarser, longer hairs on your head, grows from a cell-lined indentation called a follicle. The hair follicle consists of three cylinders; the central cylinder determines whether your hair is straight, wavy or curly. Each hair shaft alternately grows or goes into a dormant phase. "At any one time, approximately fifteen percent of the one hundred thousand or so hairs on the head are resting, while the rest are growing or lengthening," say Arthur Balin, MD, PhD, and Loretta Pratt Balin, MD (The Life of the Skin: What It Hides, What It Reveals, and How It Communicates, Bantam). Hair constantly comes and goes, falling out consistently even when it is healthy. Consequently, a normal head can shed up to one hundred resting-phase hairs a day. When hair is subjected to harsh chemicals and treatment, even more may fall out. If you're concerned with hair loss, gently pull on a small section of hair; if fewer than five hairs come out, hair loss is within normal range.
What's Your Type?
Normal hair is an elusive commodity in these stressed-out days of over-washed, over-dried and chemically treated hair. If your tresses look frizzy, tangle easily or generally lack moisture, they're probably dry. Dry hair lacks the proper oil content to maintain an ample sheen and is usually dull-looking. To gain back a natural shine, cut back on shampooing and use a natural conditioner formulated for dry hair. Look for essential oils such as jojoba, evening primrose, blue chamomile, and white camellia, and B vitamins (such as panthenol) and aloe vera, suggests Aubrey Hampton, founder of Aubrey Organics. Drinking plenty of water, eating a diet that's not ultra-low in fats and using a humidifier may also help improve dull-looking dry hair, points out David E. Bank, MD (Beautiful Skin: Every Woman's Guide to Looking Her Best at Any Age, Adams Media). (Excessively dry hair may be a significant sign of metabolic disease. If you don't notice a marked improvement in your scalp after taking measures to improve dry hair, or your hair is abnormally dry, consult your health practitioner to see if stronger cures should be implemented.)
Too Much Oil
Hair that appears greasy within 24 hours after shampooing is oily. In that case, try gentle shampoos and herbal rinses with essential oils including quillaya bark, amino acids mixed with saponins, non-coloring henna and peppermint. For an oily scalp and dry ends, condition only the ends. Styling products should be oil-free. For thin or flyaway hair, products with natural thickening agents such as panthenol can help pump up the volume. Color treated and damaged hair can benefit from sulfur-containing amino acids; check your natural foods store for hair care products that contain horsetail, coltsfoot and cysteine. Tea tree oil products are effective when you are trying to control dandruff and a problem scalp.
If the label lists sodium lauryl sulfate, steer clear, warns Hampton. And, says Dr. Bank, sodium C-14-16 olefin sulfonate, a harsh chemical found in cheap shampoos, is the worst of the worst when it comes to offensive hair care ingredients. "You also need to watch out for sodium chloride-table salt-in the ingredient list. It's a cheap ingredient to thicken shampoo and strips the hair of oils."
Feed Your Head
To optimize shine and fullness, improve your nutrition, says Bruce Miller, MD, author of The Nutrition Guarantee (Summit Publishing Group). "Good nutrition is as essential to healthy, attractive hair as it is to clear, glowing skin," notes Dr. Miller. "Your hair directly reflects your care and feeding of it." Your hair consists of about 97% protein, containing nineteen of the twenty-two amino acids that form protein, explains Dr. Miller. If you skimp on quality protein, your hair may reflect this amino acid imbalance by breaking, cracking and splitting. Hair follicles pass on the nutrients you consume, nourishing the new cells that form the growing hair shaft. As the hair gradually pushes upward, the shaft is continually lubricated by the busy sebaceous glands. For a smoother transition through the shaft and undamaged hair, lecithin provides a welcome dose of lubrication, as well as the important B vitamins choline and inositol, vital to healthy hair. In fact, the B vitamins are crucial to the growth of full bodied, healthy hair. The B complex strengthens, forms and smoothes the hair shafts, and helps maintain an even hair color, even warding off the beginning of gray hair. For thick and shiny hair, vitamin A works in conjunction with the B vitamins. Zinc can strengthen the hair shafts by thickening them. Thicker and stronger hair shafts increase your chances of holding on to your hair and suffering fewer lost hairs. When it comes to hair retention, genetics count. The more hair your parents retained, the greater your chance of keeping yours.
If you're interested in optimal hair health, think nutrition. Eating for the sake of your curls is a lot like eating for overall health: plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy grains and lean sources of protein, including tofu and other soy-based foodstuffs. To support healthy hair, some experts advocate foods high in biotin, including brown rice, brewer's yeast, bulgur, green peas, lentils, oats, soybeans, sunflower seeds and walnuts. The natural phytochemicals in green tea may aid hair, while ginkgo biloba improves circulation to the scalp. Don't forget your daily vitamins and be sure to take an iron and B12 supplement.
Herbs from China show great promise for helping hair. He Shou Wu, made from Polygoni multiflori (the eastern wild rose), is reputed by devotees to restore color, slow hair loss, and help hair grow back. In Chinese medicine, this botanical has been used as an adaptogen to boost overall health and longevity. Within the context of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), He Shou Wu is supposed to strengthen the liver and kidney meridians and support healthy blood. Many Asians use the herb to promote higher levels of qi, the TCM concept that encompasses your life's overall energy.
Show a Little Tenderness
Long-term exposure to sunlight and seawater can damage hair, as can combing or brushing wet hair. Treat your hair with kid gloves, use natural products that are gentle on hair, and avoid chemical treatments. If you're looking to lose weight, avoid crash diets; a sudden drop in nutrition can cause deficiencies and lead to hair damage and loss. Keeping a wonderful head of hair means staying ahead of the curve with proper nutrition, the right supplements and a continuous program of TLC. In that way, you can maintain the crowning head of hair you've always coveted.
Hangover Formula - Fight Hangovers with this formula...
June 02, 2005 11:37 AM
Whether you plan to “tie one on” during a holiday, or just sip a little wine with dinner, you should be aware that you may experience a form of low-level toxicity. When you drink, your body converts alcohol into toxic by-products, especially one called acetaldehyde. These toxins cause free radical damage and other problems, and are to blame for the hangover experience. HANGOVER FORMULA from Source Naturals may help to prevent and relieve some of the causes of hangovers. Its potent combination of antioxidants and Western and Chinese herbs is designed to help neutralize the negative effects of alcohol and replenish the nutrients it destroys.
Fight Free Radicals
Acetaldehyde causes the creation of free radicals, which can disrupt cellular activities throughout your body. This causes damage that accumulates with continued use, and is particularly threatening in its effect on the liver. But research shows that Vitamins C and E, and the amino acid Cysteine, act as an antioxidant force to counter the acetaldehyde-produced free radicals, helping to protect against long-term damage. HANGOVER FORMULA provides substantial amounts of these nutrients, and includes Cysteine both in its free form and as the powerful N-Acetyl Cysteine.
Help Counteract the Energy Drain
Acetaldehyde also poisons the energy-generating processes in our cells, the Krebs and glycolytic cycles. It breaks down the protein fraction of enzymes needed to keep these energy generation cycles going. It also damages enzymes that help carry nutrients through the intestinal walls, and others used by the liver to activate vitamins so they can be used in the body. This destruction of critical enzyme systems causes the intense fatigue and the feeling of literally being poisoned that are associated with hangovers and with too much drink, too fast. HANGOVER FORMULA provides the vitamins and minerals necessary to replace the damaged enzymes and keep the Krebs and glycolytic energy cycles going. The result? You feel better — stronger and healthier — than you might otherwise.
Guard Against Severe Depletion of Critical Vitamins and Minerals
Alcohol impairs absorption of a wide range of essential vitamins and minerals by the intestines. Many of the vitamins at particular risk are BVitamins such as B1, or Thiamine. Alcohol also disrupts the kidneys’ ability to conserve the mineral Magnesium, which is then flushed out in the urine. To help reduce the risk of severe depletion, HANGOVER FORMULA provides two of the principal minerals related to nerve function — Calcium and Magnesium — plus substantial amounts of all the B-Vitamins, with an especially high level of Thiamine.
The Acetylcholine Connection
Another major effect of alcohol in the body is the destruction of acetylcholine, one of the body’s most important neurotransmitters. HANGOVER FORMULA includes Phosphatidyl Choline, Choline Bitartrate, and DMAE (dimethylaminoethanol), which are precursors for acetylcholine. Alcohol also causes the brain’s sensitive cell membranes to get very “puffy” (or “fluidized” in scientific terms). This is followed by a rebound effect, and thecell membranes get too “thin,” which can result in a lack of coordination and focus. The acetylcholine precursors in HANGOVER FORMULA also help restore the normal levels of fluidity to these cell membranes, and assist in clearing and focusing the mind again.
Naturopaths worldwide address hangovers with cleansing herbs that help the body regain its natural balance. HANGOVER FORMULA employs a sophisticated selection of these powerful herbs. Chinese Herbology contributes Pueraria Flowers (Ko Hua), specifically to cleanse; Magnolia Bark (Hou Pu), to relieve food stagnation; and Gastrodiae Root (Tien Ma), to relieve tension and excessive “liver yang.” Western Herbology provides Gravel Root, Slippery Elm, and Peach Leaves to restore fluid balance, plus Fennel Seeds, Cloves, and Mint to enhance assimilation. Other herbs of benefit include Germinated Rice, Crysanthemum Flowers, Marshmallow Root, and most importantly, Feverfew Leaf and Milk Thistle Seeds. Numerous studies in the scientific publication Lancet have demonstrated the amazing efficacy of the Feverfew Leaf. This traditional herbal remedy apparently helps to block the effects of hormone-like biochemicals called leukotrienes, which — when out of control — cause intense discomfort, until the body can once again get in balance. Three tablets of HANGOVER FORMULA provides 100 mg of a very potent Feverfew Extract. Silymarin, an extract of Milk Thistle Seeds, is the most popular herb in Germany for the liver. It helps keep this major cleansing organ in optimal working order by fighting free radicals and thus minimizing damage. In addition, Silymarin enhances the unique self-regenerative properties of the liver by helping accelerate repair when damage has been done.
Complete Nutritional & Herbal Support
To counter nutrient depletion and ease discomfort during hangover miseries, HANGOVER FORMULA is here to help.
Elan Vital - The Vital Essence of Life - Multi-Vitamin and Mineral Supplement
June 01, 2005 01:13 PM
What makes ÉLAN VITÀL unique is its unprecedented range of nutriments in high potencies and superior forms. Quite simply, it stands alone among multiples: a quantum leap beyond maintenance...into excellence. Not only does it offer unparalleled antioxidant nutrition and a full-spectrum of essential vitamins and minerals, ÉLAN VITÀL is also formulated with specific nutrients that support:
Today’s inflated levels of stress and pollution give rise to harmful free radicals – unpaired electrons that can damage living cells and compromise the proper function of tissues and organs. Antioxidants serve to protect the body by neutralizing free radicals; in fact, many scientists believe that high levels of antioxidants may prolong the effective working life span of the body’s cells. The primary strategy of ÉLAN VITÀL is to provide a wide range of antioxidants at exceptional levels, from both botanical and biochemical sources.
ÉLAN VITÀL has the powerful advantage of Plantioxidants™, standardized botanical extracts with unparalleled free radical-scavenging properties. Plantioxidants have the unique quality of providing targeted protection because they tend to be attracted to different organs in the body. Grape Seed extract is rich in potent proanthocyanidins, a special class of highly bioavailable, water-soluble bioflavonoids that have the unique ability to cross the blood-brain barrier where they support the health of brain cells. Proanthocyanidins have been shown to efficiently scavenge oxygen radicals, as well as optimize the transport of vitamin C. They also have an affinity for collagen and elastin, the structural proteins that are abundant in vessel linings and other connective tissue. ÉLAN VITÀL contains the most concentrated extract of Bilberry available, with at least 25% anthocyanosides – compounds which are similar to proanthocyanidins but with an unusually strong attraction to optical tissue. They have been shown to protect cellular integrity in the delicate structures of the eyes. Ginkgo biloba extract is a standardized concentration of prime quality ginkgo leaves, yielding 24% ginkgoflavoneglycosides. These active compounds are potent antioxidants that have been associated with superior oxygen transport throughout the body with a special affinity for brain capillaries. Silymarin is the name given to a complex of three bioflavonoid-like compounds — silybum, silycristin, and silymarin — extracted and concentrated from milk thistle seeds. Silymarin functions in the body as an antioxidant with a special attraction for the liver. It has been researched and used extensively in Europe, where it is prized for its unique ability to nourish the liver and support its natural regeneration process by speeding up DNA synthesis in liver cells. Quercetin is a bioflavonoid present in some foods, such as onions and blue-green algae. A cousin of rutin, quercetin has been shown to stabilize cell membranes and help prevent free radical damage to this vital but vulnerable part of cells. Bioflavonoids and related compounds do their best antioxidant work when in the presence of Vitamin C, the nutrient they are most often paired with in nature. The vitamin C provided in ÉLAN VITÀL is both water- and fat-soluble. This combination is crucial because the tissues and membranes richest in fatty acids are most at risk to free radical attack. Fat-soluble vitamin C in the form of ascorbyl palmitate has an affinity for these highly vulnerable structures.
ÉLAN VITÀL not only provides botanical defense plants to combat free radicals, but also contains tried-and-true antioxidant nutrients: Biochemicals known as vitamins, minerals, and amino acids work together for maximum protection to all the body’s cells. The amino acid, N-Acetyl Cysteine, is a powerful and highly versatile antioxidant that doubles as a precursor to glutathione and glutathione peroxidase, two of the most formidable cell-protective compounds manufactured by the body. Studies have shown that supplemental N-acetyl cysteine enhances internal levels of glutathione far better than supplements of glutathione itself. Methionine also contributes to the synthesis of glutathione, and is an efficient transporter of certain antioxidant minerals, magnifying their activity. Vitamin A is included in both its fat-soluble palmitate form and in its provitamin form, Beta Carotene. While preformed A has long been known to play a role in the body’s defenses, beta carotene itself has recently been shown to possess a powerful ability to scavenge free radicals and contribute to the youthful function of some tissues. Vitamin E is one of the most important antioxidant compounds in nature. It works to prevent harmful oxidation within each cell and is vital in the protection of red blood cells from free radical-induced rupture. Selenium is an extremely powerful antioxidant shown in studies to work synergistically with Vitamins A, C, and E. In combination with cysteine, selenium helps build the glutathione peroxidase molecule. ÉLAN VITÀL offers a 50/50 blend of the two most scientifically supported forms of selenium: L-selenomethionine and sodium selenite. In addition to being an antioxidant itself, Zinc works closely with fat-soluble vitamin A by facilitating its release from the liver to the rest of the body. In ÉLAN VITÀL, Zinc is synergistically bound to methionine for optimal bioavailability. Copper sebacate is a natural compound that can function as the copper-SOD antioxidant system in the body, one of the first lines of defense against free radical attack. Copper sebacate is a highly absorbable form that possesses significant free radical scavenging activity.
Supporting Structural Integrity
An important adjunct to antioxidant nutrition is the amino sugar N-Acetyl Glucosamine, or N-A-G™. Amino sugars are essential components of cell membranes and their surface structures, as well as of the “ground substance” that holds body tissues together. They are also a key constituent of the synovial fluid in the joints. Recent research has revealed that amino sugars play an important role in maintaining the integrity of the connective and structural tissues of the body, a property that complements perfectly the actions of antioxidants: where antioxidants may prevent damage from occurring, amino sugars may help the body repair and regenerate damaged tissue. N-A-G’s activity is supported in ÉLAN VITÀL by other nutrients helpful to structural tissue. The mineral Manganese is required for building amino sugars into mucopolysaccharides, the large molecules that make up the ground substance that holds cells together. Choline and Inositol are both components of phospholipids, principal constituents in cell membranes. Two B vitamins, Folic Acid and Vitamin B12, are important to cell regeneration and to the development of healthy red blood cells.
Enhanced Energy to Maximize Metabolism
ÉLAN VITÀL is a potent source of coenzymes, metalloenzymes, and metabolites involved in energy production in the body. There are two main energy production cycles in the cells: the glycolytic cycle and the Krebs’ cycle. Together, they generate about 90-95% of the body’s entire energy supply – using fats, sugars, and amino acids as fuel, with enzymes as facilitators. The enzymes which catalyze energy production function in combination with coenzymes made from vitamins such as B1, B2, B3, B5 and Biotin, plus metalloenzymes made from minerals, including Magnesium, Manganese, and Copper. Biotin, an often overlooked nutrient, may function to help the body maintain a youthful metabolism. The mineral Magnesium aids in energy production, not only by acting as a cofactor to some enzymes, but also as a stabilizer of ATP, the body’s primary energy molecule. Some of the key connecting enzymes in the energy production process require two additional non-vitamin coenzyme nutrients to maximally convert food into energy: Lipoic Acid and Coenzyme Q10. Lipoic acid helps convert the end-product of the glycolytic cycle, pyruvate, into acetyl-CoA, a principal fuel for the higher energy Krebs’ cycle. Coenzyme Q10. is the connecting link for three of the four main enzyme complexes in the Electron Transport System, an off-shoot of the Krebs’ cycle, where ATP molecules are “cashed in” for energy. The muscle-supporting electrolyte mineral Potassium is in the form of Alpha- Ketoglutarate, a critical Krebs’ cycle metabolite that has additional benefits. It has long been used to improve the efficiency of ammonia-clearance from the body, an indispensable function, as ammonia is both exceedingly harmful and constantly produced through the natural metabolism of proteins. Because alpha-ketoglutarate is an organic compound well-recognized by the cells, it is an excellent transporter of potassium into the cells. Succinic Acid, or succinate, is also a metabolite in the Krebs’ cycle. It not only boosts production of ATP energy potential, but also increases the muscle cells’ production of creatine phosphate, another high energy biochemical. Chromium is the essential mineral component of glucose tolerance factor, or GTF, which functions to help insulin (one of the two main blood sugar-controlling hormones in the body) draw sugar molecules from the bloodstream into the cells.
ÉLAN VITÀL contains natural substances that sharpen performance beyond just the physical. N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine is a highly stable and absorbable form of the conditionally essential amino acid L-tyrosine, a precursor to the major excitatory neurotransmitters dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine. DMAE is a precursor to one of the body’s main neurotransmitters, acetylcholine. From the Plantioxidants comes standardized Ginkgo biloba extract, whose compounds readily cross the blood-brain barrier where they support the integrity of the capillaries in the brain.
Guarding the Liver
ÉLAN VITÀL provides several nutrients which collectively support optimal liver function. This is an essential aspect of a multiple, because the liver is responsible for converting nutrients – from food as well as from supplements – into their usable forms. If liver function is compromised in any way, nutrient supplements may be rendered inert in the body. The liver is especially at risk because it must filter out ingested toxins and is continually exposed to chemicals that generate free radicals. N-Acetyl Cysteine and Silymarin have both demonstrated a strong affinity for the liver. Nacetyl cysteine contributes to increased levels of glutathione and glutathione peroxidase, both of which the liver uses in its natural cleansing function. Silymarin provides unparalleled support to the liver’s natural regeneration process. Because of its many vital functions, the liver uses as much as 12% of the body’s energy supply, even though it represents only 3% of body weight. The liver therefore uses a greater proportion of energy nutrients, especially Coenzyme Q10 and Lipoic Acid. Both are highly concentrated in the liver; and lipoic acid in particular has been researched and used heavily in Europe where it is prized for its special protective actions in the liver. Ascorbyl Palmitate is a fat-soluble form of Vitamin C, meaning it can provide antioxidant protection for fatty tissue. This is especially valuable to the liver, which tends to develop fatty streaks that are most vulnerable to damage. Vitamin E has been researched extensively for its antioxidant properties with regard to the liver.
The Multiple for the 21st Century
ÉLAN VITÀL is truly a one-of-a-kind multinutrient supplement: one that leaves no nutritional stone unturned. Based on the biochemical principles of nutrition and metabolism – in context of today’s challenges to our health – ÉLAN VITÀL Approaches optimal nutrition from several directions...all leading to a lifetime of health and vitality.
Glycerylphosphorylcholine -- Supports Cognitive Function in AD ...
May 24, 2005 09:52 AM
Cognitive Improvement in Mild to Moderate Alzheimer's Dementia After Treatment with the Acetylcholine Precursor Choline Alfoscerate: A Multicenter, Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial Maria De Jesus Moreno Moreno, MD Instituto Nacional de la Senectud, Mexico City, Mexico
in both men and woman they consistently improved after 90 and 180 days versus baseline with adiministration of GPC three times a day, whereas in the placebo group they remained unchanged or worsened. Statistically significant differences were observed between treatments after 90 and 180 days.
Bartus RT, Dean RL III, Beer B, Lippa AS. The cholinergic hypothesis of geriatric memory dysfunction, Science. 1982;217:408-414. 2. Larson EB, Kukull WA, Katzman RL. Cognitive impairment: Dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Annu Rev Public Health. 1992;13:431-449. 3. Hofman A, Rocca WA, Brayne C, et al, for the European Prevalence Research Group. The prevalence of dementia in Europe: A collaborative study of 1980-1990 findings. Int d Epidemiol. 1991;20:736-748. 4. Blackwood W, Corsellis JAN, eds. Greenfield's Neuropathology. 3rd ed. London: Arnold; 1976. 5. Geldmacher DS. Cost-effective recognition and diagnosis of dementia. 5emin Neurol. 2002;22:63-70. 6. Perry EK, Tomlinson BE, Blessed G, et al. Correlation of cholinergic abnormalities with senile plaques and mental test scores in senile dementia. BMJ. 1978;2:1457-1459. 7. Perry EK. The cholinergic hypothesis--ten years on. Br Med Bull. 1986;42:63-69. 8. Giacobini E. From molecular structure to Alzheimer therapy. Jpn d Pharmacol. 1997;74:225-241. 9. Giacobini E. Invited review: Cholinesterase inhibitors for Alzheimer's disease therapy: From tacrine to future applications. Neurochem Int. 1998;32:413-419. 10. Brinkman SD, Smith RC, Meyer JS, et al. Lecithin and memory training in suspected Alzheimer's disease. J Gerontol. 1982;37:4-9. 11. Davis E, Emmerling MR, Jaen JC, et al. Therapeutic intervention in dementia. Crit Rev Neurobiol. 1993;7:41-83. 12. Amenta E Parnetti L, Gallai V, Wallin A. Treatment of cognitive dysfunction associated with Alzheimer's disease with cholinergic precursors. Ineffective treatments or inappropiate Approaches? Mech Ageing Dev. 2001;122:2025-2040. 13. Sigala S, Imperato A, Rizzonelli P, et al. k-Alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine antagonizes scopolamine-induced amnesia and enhances hippocampal cholinergic transmission in the rat. Eurd Pharmacol. 1992;211:351-358. 14. Govoni S, Battaini E Lucchi L, et al. Effects of alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine in counteracting drug-induced amnesia: Through cholinergic and non-cholinergic mechanisms [in Italian]. Basi Raz Ter. 1991;21:75-78. 15. Canonico PL, Nicoletti F, Scapagnini U. Neurochemical and behavioral effects of alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine [in Italian]. Basi Raz Te~ 1990;20: 53-54. 191 CLINICAL THERAPEUTICS ® 16. Parnetti L, Amenta E Gallai V. Choline alphoscerate in cognitive decline and in acute cerebrovascular disease: An analysis of published clinical data. Mech Ageing Dev. 2001;122:2041-2055. 17. Venn RD. The Sandoz Clinical Assessment-Geriatric (SCAG) scale. A general-purpose psychogeriatric rating scale. Gerontology. 1983;29:185-198. 18. Di Perri R, Coppola G, Ambrosio LA, et al. A multicentre trial to evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine versus cytosine diphosphocholine in patients with vascular dementia. J Int Med Res. 1991;19:330-341. 19. Frattola L, Piolti R, Bassi S, et al. Multicenter clinical comparison of the effects of choline alphoscerate and cytidine diphosphocholine in the treatment of multi-infarct dementia. Curt Ther Res Clin Exp. 1991;49:683-693. 20. Muratorio A, Bonuccelli U, Nuti A, et al. A neurotropic approach to the treatment of multi-infarct dementia using L-c~-glycerylphosphorylcholine. Curt Ther Res Clin Exp. 1992;52:741-75l. 21. American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition. Washington, DC: APA; 1994. 22. McKhann G, Drachman D, Folstein M, et al. Clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease: Report of the NINCDS-ADRDA Work Group under the auspices of Department of Health and Human Services Task Force on Alzheimer's Disease. Neurology. 1984;34:939-944. 23. Folstein ME Folstein SE. "Mini-mental state": A practical method for grading the cognitive state of patients for the clinician. J Psychiatr Res. 1975; 12:189-198. 24. Loeb C, Gandolfo C. Diagnostic evaluation of degenerative and vascular dementia. Stroke. 1983;14:399-401. 25. Hamilton M. A rating scale for depression.J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 1960;23:56-62. 26. Hamilton M. Development of a rating scale for primary depressive illness. BrJ Soc Clin Psych& 1967;6:278-296. 27. Rosen WG, Mohs RC, Davis KL. A new rating scale for Alzheimer's disease. AmJ Psychiatry. 1984;141:1356-1364. 28. Reisberg B, Ferris SH, De Leon MJ, et al. The Global Deterioration Scale for assessment of primary degenerative dementia. Am J Psychiatry. 1982;139:1136-1139. 29. National Institute of Mental Health. Clinical global impressions. In: Guy W, ed. ECDEU Assessment for Psychopharmacology. Revised edition. Rockville, Md: National Institute of Mental Health; 1976:217-222. 30. Burns A, Russell E, Page S. New drugs for Alzheimer's disease. Br J Psychiatry. 1999;174:476-479. 31. Kumar V, Anand R, Messina J, et al. An efficacy and safety analysis of Exelon in Alzheimer's disease patients with concurrent vascular risk factors. Eur J Neurol. 2000;7:159-169. 32. Knapp MJ, Knopman DS, Solomon PR, et al, for the Tacrine Study Group. A 30-week randomized controlled trial of high-dose tacrine in patients with Alzheimer's disease. JAMA. 1994;271:985-991. 192 M. Moreno 33. Lindstrom MJ, Bates DM. Newton-Rapshon algorithms for linear-mixed effects models for repeated measure data. J Am Stat Assoc. 1998;83:1014-1022. 34. Thai LJ, Carta A, Clarke WR, et al. A 1-year multicenter placebo-controlled study of acetyl-L-carnitine in patients with Alzheimer's disease. Neurology 1996;47:705-711. 35. Rogers SL, Friedhoff LT, for the Donepezil Study Group. The efficacy and safety of donepezil in patients with Alzheimer's disease: Results of a US multicentre, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Dementia. 1996;7:293-303. 36. Rogers SL, Doody RS, Mohs RC, Friedhoff LT, for the Donepezil Study Group. Donepezil improves cognition and global function in Alzheimer disease: A 15-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Arch Intern Med. 1998; 158:1021-1031. 37. Corey-Bloom J, Anand R, Veach J, for the ENA 713 B352 Study Group. A randomized trial evaluating the efficacy and the safety of ENA 713 (rivastigmine tartrate), a new acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, in patients with mild to moderately severe Alzheimer's disease. Int J Geriatr Psychopharmacol. 1998;1:55-65. 38. Rosler M, Anand R, Cicin-Sain A, et al. Efficacy and safety of rivastigmine in patients with Alzheimer's disease: International randomised controlled trial. BMJ. 1999;318: 633-638. 39. Amenta E Bronzetti E, Del Valle M, Vega JA. Effects of alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine in neuroanatomy of aging brain in experimental animals [in Italian]. Basi Raz Te~: 1990;20:31-38. Address correspondence to: Scientific Department, Italfarmaco SpA, via dei Lavoratori 54, 20092 Cinisello Balsamo, Milan, Italy.
Under-Reported (and Underappreciated) Cholesterol control.
May 12, 2005 10:00 AM
Under-Reported (and Underappreciated) Solutions for Cholesterol and Triglyceride Controlby Richard Conant, L.Ac., C.N.
Fat and human existence are inseparable. Setting aside the fear and loathing over fat in the body that pervades our culture, we understand that fat is our friend. We cannot live without fat.
The human body contains many different kinds of fats and fat-like molecules. Collectively known as "lipids" these fatty substances include fatty acids, lipoproteins, phospholipids, glycolipids, triglycerides, steroid hormones and the infamous, dreaded cholesterol.
Lipids (fats) are found everywhere in the body, performing a variety of vital functions. The brain is a fat-rich organ. Brain neurons and all other nerve cells are protected by a myelin sheath, made largely out of fatty material. Cell membranes consist almost entirely of phospholipids (lipids that contain phosphorus) arranged in a sandwich-like double layer embedded with proteins. Sex hormones are lipids, belonging to the group of complex lipid molecules known as "steroids." Vitamin D is a lipid.
The body stores and transports fatty acids in the form of triglycerides. A triglyceride contains three fatty acid molecules, which have a chain-like structure, linked to glycerol. (There are also mono- and di-glycerides, which have one and two fatty acid chains, respectively, attached to glycerol.)
Like many other things necessary to life, fat is a two-edged sword. Fat insulates us from the cold, cushions and protects our vital organs and serves as a storehouse for energy. Yet, when present in excess to the point of obesity, fat threatens health, happiness, self-esteem, social standing and longevity. The same is true of other lipids, most notably triglycerides and cholesterol. Transported throughout the body in the bloodstream, these essential lipids become a health liability when the blood contains too much of them.
Keeping fat in it its proper place, not eliminating or drastically reducing it, is the goal we should seek. In the blood, lipids must be maintained at healthy levels and ratios. When they are, an important foundation of good health is established.
How do we keep the blood lipids we need——triglycerides and the various forms of cholesterol——balanced at healthy levels? Diet and exercise are indispensable, these basics must come first. Along with the recommended dietary practices, a number of nutritional Approaches offer help for maintaining healthy blood lipids. We will now give several of these a closer look.
In 1990, an herb used for centuries in the Far East was introduced to U.S. consumers. This herb, called "gum guggul," is proving to be one of the most effective natural cholesterol-lowering agents ever discovered. It also brings triglycerides down and raises HDL, the "good" cholesterol. The changes are substantial; gum guggul single-handedly normalizes the entire blood lipid profile, even in people with high starting levels of cholesterol and triglycerides.
Gum guggul, also called simply "guggul," is a gummy resin tapped from the Commiphora tree. A cousin of myrrh gum, guggul has been used by Ayurvedic herbalists of India for at least 3,000 years; texts dating from around 1,000 B.C. mention the herb. Guggul was traditionally given for rheumatism and poor health caused by excess consumption of fatty foods. One ancient Sanskrit text describes in detail what happens in the body when blood fats are out of balance, due to sedentary lifestyle and overeating. The name of this condition has been translated as "coating and obstruction of channels."
Intrigued by the obvious similarity between "coating and obstruction of channels" and arteries clogged by fatty plaque, Indian researchers initiated a series of experimental and clinical studies in the 1960's to see if gum guggul would lower excess blood lipids.1 Both human and animal studies consistently showed cholesterol and triglyceride reductions.
Detailed pharmacological studies showed that guggul's lipid-lowering effects are produced by compounds in the resin called "guggulsterones."2 An Indian pharmaceutical firm then patented a standardized extract of gum guggul under the trade name "Gugulipid." The product contains a uniform 2.5 percent guggulsterones, which is higher than guggul resin in its natural state.
Because Gugulipid guarantees the necessary intake of guggulsterones needed for blood fat reduction, it has become the product used in clinical research. Phase I efficacy safety trials and Phase II efficacy trials have yielded more positive data.3,4,5 Most of the studies on gum guggul have used relatively small numbers of subjects; this tends to make mainstream medical scientists reluctant about natural remedies. A large, well-publicized double-blind Gugulipid trial on 400 to 500 people would go a long way toward giving this herb the credibility it deserves.
Another effective natural solution for blood fat control that should be better known is a relative of pantothenic acid (vitamin B5). Pantethine is the active form of pantothenic acid in the body. Pantethine forms CoA, an essential co-enzyme for utilization of fat. CoA transports "active acetate," an important byproduct of fat metabolism that provides fuel for generating cellular energy. By promoting the burning of fats for energy, pantethine helps keep triglyceride levels down.6 Pantethine also helps regulate cholesterol production, by facilitating the conversion of fat into other lipid-based molecules needed in the body.6
Japanese researchers began studying the effect of pantethine on blood fats nearly twenty years ago. They reported their promising results at the Seventh International Symposium on Drugs Affecting Lipid Metabolism, held in Milan, Italy in 1980.7 Few in the medical or scientific communities took notice. Italian researchers followed up with several small clinical trials that confirmed the preliminary reports.6,8,9 An excellent cholesterol and triglyceride lowering agent that is safe and free of side-effects, pantethine remains, for the most part, ignored by mainstream science, although its usage is growing in alternative medicine circles. Pantethine it will no doubt prove to be one of the most important supplements for maintaining healthy blood fat levels.
When taken in high enough doses, niacin (vitamin B3) substantially lowers cholesterol. This has been known to medical science for many years.10 studies on niacin as a cholesterol-lowering agent go back to the 1950's. There was a fair amount of initial enthusiasm for niacin because it improves, unlike most lipid-lowering drugs, all parameters of the blood lipid profile. Niacin reduces total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. It also raises HDL cholesterol quite well. Interest in niacin has faded, in part because the necessary dose, 1200 milligrams a day or more, can cause flushing and gastrointestinal disturbances. Very high doses may be harmful to the liver if taken for too long.
There is a solution to the side-effect problem with niacin which, again, has failed to gain widespread attention. Inositol hexanicotinate is a flush-free form of niacin composed of six niacin molecules bonded to one molecule of inositol, another B-complex nutrient. Absorbed as an intact structure, inositol hexanicotinate is metabolized slowly, releasing free niacin into the bloodstream over a period of hours following ingestion.11 Inositol hexanicotinate has all the benefits of niacin for controlling blood fats. The flushing effect of ordinary niacin, which metabolizes much more rapidly, does not occur. Taking as much as four grams per day has not been reported to raise liver enzymes or cause other side-effects, but prudence dictates that people with liver problems should avoid very high doses of inositol hexanicotinate, or any form of niacin.12
We often think of vitamin E as synonymous with d-alpha tocopherol. Vitamin E is actually a whole family of compounds that includes various tocopherols and a group of lesser known but highly beneficial substances called "tocotrienols." All have vitamin E activity. Tocotrienols are similar in chemical structure to tocopherols, but they have important differences which give them unique and highly beneficial properties for human health.
Vitamin E is one of the most recognized antioxidants, nutrients that deactivate potentially toxic byproducts of oxygen metabolism known as free radicals. Vitamin E neutralizes peroxides, which result from the free radical oxidation of lipids, making it a key antioxidant in cell membranes. While d-alpha tocopherol has generally been regarded as the form of vitamin E with the strongest antioxidant activity, tocotrienols are even stronger.
The tocotrienol story is another example of a natural product slow to gain recognition. A Univeristy of California research team discovered that d-alpha tocotrienol is over six times more effective than d-alpha tocopherol at protecting cell membranes against free radical damage.13 In the presence of vitamin C, which recycles vitamin E-like compounds, its antioxidant activity is 40 to 60 times higher than d-alpha tocopherol. This study was published in 1991. Its safe to say few cardiac physicians know about tocotrienols, and we have yet to see 60 Minutes do a piece on "the powerful new form of vitamin E."
It would be a tremendous service to public health if they did, because the benefits of tocotrienols go far beyond their stellar antioxidant ability. Tocotrienols also lower total cholesterol and LDL, by impressive percentages. In one double-blind controlled study, tocotrienols reduced total cholesterol by 16 percent and LDL by 21 percent after twelve weeks. Another study recorded drops of 15 to 22 percent in total cholesterol along with 10 to 20 percent decreases in LDL levels.14 Now appearing on health food store shelves, tocotrienols are a health-protecting nutrients whose long overdue time has come. Derived from food oils such as palm oil and rice bran oil, tocotrienols have the same lack of toxicity as ordinary vitamin E.
1. Satyavati, G. Gugulipid: a promising hypolipidaemic agent from gum guggul (Commiphora wightii). Economic and Medicinal Plant Research 1991;5:47-82.
2. Dev, S. A modern look at an age-old Ayurvedic drug—guggulu. Science Age July 1987:13-18.
3. Nityanand, S., Srivastava, J.S., Asthana, O.P. Clinical trials with gugulipid. J. Ass. Physicians of India 1989;37(5):323-28.
4. Agarwal, R.C. et. al. Clinical trial of gugulipid—a new hypolipidemic agent of plant origin in primary hyperlipidemia. Indian J Med Res 1986;84:626-34.
5. 'Gugulipid' Drugs of the Future 1988;13(7):618-619.
6. Maggi, G.C., Donati, C., Criscuoli, G. Pantethine: A physiological lipomodulating agent, in the treatment of hyperlipidemias. Current Therapeutic Research 1982;32(3):380-86.
7. Kimura, S., Furukawa, Y., Wakasugi, J. Effects of pantethine on the serum lipoprotiens in rats fed a high cholesterol diet (Abstract) Seventh International Symposium on Drugs Affecting Lipid Metabolism, Milan, Italy, 1980.
8. Arsenio, L. Bodria, P. Effectiveness of long-term treatment with pantethine in patients with dyslipidemia. Clinical Therapeutics 1986;8(5):537-45.
9. Avogaro, P. Bittolo Bon, G. Fusello, M. Effect of pantethine on lipids, lipoproteins and apolipoproteins in man. Current Therapeutic Research 1983;33(3):488-93.
10. Crouse, J.R. New developments in the use of niacin for treatment of hyperlipidemia: new considerations in the use of an old drug. Coronary Artery Disease 1996;7(4):321-26.
11. Welsh, A.L. Ede, M. Inositol hexanicotinate for improved nicotinic acid therapy. International Record of Food Medicine 1961;174(1):9-15.
12. "Inositol hexaniacinate" (Monograph). Alternative Medicine Review 1998;3(3):222-3.
13. Serbinova, E., et. al. Free radical recycling and intramembrane mobility in the antioxidant properties of alpha-tocopherol and alpha tocotrienol. Free Radical Biology and Medicine 1991;10:263-275.
14. Qureshi, N. Qureshi, A.A. Tocotrienols: Novel Hypercholesterolemic Agents with Antioxidant Properties. in 'Vitamin E in Health and Disease' Lester Packer and Jürgen Fuchs, Editors. 1993; New York: Marcel Dekker, Inc.
Control Cholesterol with the following Supplements
Nutritional Support for Prostate Health
May 11, 2005 10:19 AM
Nutritional Support for Prostate HealthBy Steve Lankford
Prostate problems are perhaps the most common problem that men will experience. As men age their hormonal production and metabolism changes and these changes can contribute to the prostate difficulties that men experience. The two major prostate problems are enlargement of the prostate gland known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and prostate cancer. These two problems are unrelated except that they both affect the prostate gland and the scope of this article will focus on BPH.
The prostate gland is a small gland located under the bladder. It is shaped like a donut and surrounds the neck of the bladder and a small portion of the urethra. The urethra is the tube that carries the urine out of the body. When the prostate gland enlarges it can constrict the urethra and the flow of urine. This contributes to the variety of symptoms of BPH. BPH affects over half of all men aged 50 and older.
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
BPH is related to the hormonal changes that men undergo as they age. Around age 40 men begin to produce more of the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase. 5-alpha-reductase converts the hormone testosterone into the less desirable hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is an important hormone and is not a problem until the levels begins to increase around mid-life. The increase in DHT results in BPH.
The symptoms of BPH include hypersensitivity of the bladder to even small amount of urine. This results in an increase of both urgency and frequency. Men will often experience frequent nighttime urination. The urine stream may become weaker and include dribbling when men are unable to completely void the bladder. Serious BPH can cause a complete blockage of urine flow.
Three stages of support
There are three stages at which you may want or need to deal with BPH. The first stage is preventive. At this stage there are no symptoms and one may do something at this stage when trying to provide benefit and support to avoid or minimize future involvement. The ideal time to begin preventive support is between the ages of 40 and 50.
The second stage is when there are emerging symptoms. This is when men first begin to experience the symptoms of BPH. The symptoms are mild and no too difficult to tolerate. This is also the best time to reverse the trend and provide effective nutritional therapy.
The third stage is when the symptoms have progressed to the difficult and serious level. It often progresses to this point when men ignore the symptoms and treatments. Often men have tried traditional medical Approaches with little satisfaction or results. Even at this stage of BPH, nutritional support is usually very effective.
The challenge of creating an effective prostate support program begins with an assessment of your current status and then making an informed choice of support options.
The most successful natural approach to prostate health should involve a multiple approach that addresses the various systems in the body related to prostate health. The various nutrients that may be use can be taken separately or in combination. This approach can be beneficial both as a preventative approach as well therapeutic. You will generally have better results when you use a comprehensive approach.
The Comprehensive Approach to BPH
Prostate Support – Studies have show that dietary factors influence the overall health of the prostate. There are some nutrients that are found in higher amounts in the prostate. Nutrients such as zinc, lycopene and vitamin E provide prostate support.
Hormonal Regulation – Hormones have a direct role in prostate function. Plant extracts inhibit testosterone uptake by the prostate as well as limiting its conversion into DHT and subsequent binding to receptor sites within the prostate. Herbs such as saw palmetto, pygeum, nettle, red clover and soy provide this benefit.
Cellular Regeneration – Certain nutrients such as Swedish Flower Pollen, Quercetin and lycopene have demonstrated significant effects in maintaining proper prostate cell regeneration.
Bladder and Urinary Tract Health – The integrity and health of the bladder and urinary tract supports the normal flow of urine and prostate function. Three amino acids alanine, glutamic acid, and glycine as well as the herbs goldenseal, marshmallow root, uva ursi and pumpkin seed are all beneficial to the health of the urinary tract.
Soothing mechanisms – Certain plant compounds such as sterols and Swedish flower pollen as well as saw palmetto and pygeum and the bioflavonoid quercetin inhibit the metabolism of arachidonic acid. This influences prostaglandin synthesis, which is associated with prostate comfort.
Antioxidant Defense - The final area that we look at is how to reduce oxidative stress (free radical damage) that can trigger a host of destructive processes. Antioxidants play an important role in prostate function including protection of cell membranes.
Natural Is Better
How good are natural alternatives for prostate health? There have been many studies on natural alternatives showing that the proper herbs in the proper form are at least as effective as prescription drugs with fewer side effects. The most common drug for BPH is Proscar (finasteride). Some of the adverse side effects associated with finasteride are decreased libido and erectile dysfunction. Natural saw palmetto extract is free of these unwanted effects and is equally effective.
Choosing an Effective Product
The effectiveness of a nutritional product has to do with several factors. The bottom line is that the most effective product is the one that works best for you. Be prepared to try several products to find the best potency and combination.
There are many nutrients that provide prostate support. Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs, Amino Acids and Nutraceuticals are all helpful and the most comprehensive products will provide supports in multiple ways.
Vitamins – Vitamin D, Vitamin E
Minerals – Zinc, Selenium, Copper
Herbs – Saw Palmetto, Nettle Root, Marshmallow Root, Pygeum Bark, Pumpkin Seed Oil, Red Clover, Goldenseal Root, Gravel Root, Green Tea
Amino Acids – Alanine, Glutamic Acid, Glycine
Nutraceuticals – Soy Isoflavones, Quercetin, Swedish Flower Pollen, Phytosterols, Lycopene
The first nutrient and herb to consider is saw palmetto extract. It is the phytosterols in saw palmetto (and other herbs) that are responsible for the beneficial results. It is important to make sure that the product that you use has the therapeutically effective dose. If you don’t know the proper dosage and how to calculate the proper concentration it is very easy to purchase a low potency formula that is less likely to be effective.
In the clinical studies with saw palmetto extract, potencies of 320 mg. per day were used. However this only tell part of the story. The saw palmetto extract was composed of 85-95% sterols resulting in approximately 288 mg. (320 mg. times 90% equals 288 mg.) of sterols daily. Make sure your saw palmetto contains the correct amount of sterols.
This process of analyzing herbal extracts will apply to any standardized herbal product. You want to know whether the product you are purchasing has the right amount of the right compounds.
Search for the best products by trying different formulas. The proper nutrients taken consistently over time will provide long-lasting benefits. Stick with good companies with a history of providing quality nutritional products.
The information provided is nutritional only and is intended to help you develop a nutritional program that can support the functions of the body. The information provided is not intended as medical advice. For medical advice always consult your physician.