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IGF-1: How to Improve Muscle Gain
July 20, 2022 03:38 PM
If you're looking to improve muscle gain, IGF-1 is a hormone you'll want to know about. This hormone is responsible for increasing muscle mass and strength, and has been shown to be incredibly effective in doing so. We'll discuss what IGF-1 is, how it works, and the best ways to increase its levels in your body for improved muscle growth. IGF-1 is from Deer Antler Velvet.
What is IGF-1 and what does it do?
IGF-1, or insulin-like growth factor 1, is a hormone that plays an important role in the growth and development of the human body. While it is most commonly associated with childhood growth, IGF-1 continues to be produced throughout adulthood and is involved in a variety of physiological processes. In addition to promoting cell proliferation and differentiation, IGF-1 has been shown to stimulate collagen production, increase bone density, improve muscle growth, and improve glucose tolerance. Despite its many beneficial effects, excessive levels of IGF-1 can lead to a number of health problems, including cancer. For this reason, it is important to maintain healthy levels of IGF-1 throughout life.
How does IGF-1 work?
IGF-1, or insulin-like growth factor 1, is a hormone that plays an important role in childhood growth and development. In the body, IGF-1 is produced in response to growth hormone (GH) stimulation. Once released, it travels through the bloodstream and binds to IGF-1 receptors on cells, provoking a range of different cellular effects. These include cell proliferation, differentiation, and survival. In addition, IGF-1 has been shown to promote angiogenesis (the formation of new blood vessels) and to inhibit apoptosis (programmed cell death). Together, these effects make IGF-1 an important regulator of tissue growth and repair. Consequently, serum levels of IGF-1 are closely monitored in children with GH deficiencies, as well as in those who are at risk for cancer or other diseases involving abnormal cell growth.
IGF-1 an important regulator of tissue growth and repair, lifting weights tears down muscle fibers and the body can rebuild faster.
IGF-1 is a protein that plays an important role in the growth and repair of tissues throughout the body. It is particularly well-known for its ability to help the body rebuild muscle tissue after exercise. When we lift weights, we cause tiny tears in our muscle fibers. In response, the body releases IGF-1 to help repair the damage. This results in an increase in muscle size and strength. Additionally, IGF-1 has been shown to promote healing after injuries and to protect against cell damage caused by stress and inflammation. Therefore, it is not surprising that IGF-1 is often referred to as the "body's repairman." While more research is needed to fully understand the role of IGF-1 in health and disease, there is no doubt that this protein plays a vital role in maintaining our bodies' peak performance.
The benefits of increased IGF-1 levels?
However, IGF-1 levels decline with age, which may contribute to the age-related decline in muscle mass and strength. Therefore, maintaining high levels of IGF-1 throughout life may be important for preserving muscle mass and function.
How to increase your IGF-1 levels for improved muscle growth?
As we already know, levels of IGF-1 decline with age, which may explain why older adults tend to have less muscle mass than young people. However, there are several ways to increase IGF-1 levels and improve muscle growth. One of the most effective methods is to take deer antler velvet, which is the highest natural source of IGF-1. Deer antler velvet can be taken in pill form or made into a liposomal supplement, which helps the body absorb the IGF-1 more effectively. Additionally, regular exercise and proper nutrition are important for supporting muscle growth and keeping IGF-1 levels high.
Fortunately, Now Foods makes a liposomal IGF-1 supplement.
Low levels of IGF-1 have been linked to a variety of health problems, including muscle wasting, osteoporosis, and heart disease. Fortunately, Now Foods makes a liposomal IGF-1 supplement that can help to raise IGF-1 levels and improve overall health. Liposomal delivery is the most efficient way to increase blood levels of IGF-1, and the fact that this supplement is also affordably priced makes it an attractive option for many people. If you are looking for a way to improve your health, consider giving Now Foods liposomal IGF-1 a try.
Take echinacea at the first signs of the flu
November 22, 2018 09:20 AM
If you know what the flu feels like, then you know that it can be really bad. The suffering that some people go through as a result of having the flu is real and it can really take its toll on people. However, everyone deals with the flu a little bit differently as there is no set cure. Echinacea is something that is being said to be very good for people who are currently suffering from the flu.
"Besides being attractive, it possesses powerful health-boosting abilities that make it a good potential treatment for various common diseases, such as cold and the flu."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-11-20-take-echinacea-at-the-first-signs-of-the-flu.html
Beet juice may reduce walking pain with leg artery disease
October 10, 2018 03:26 PM
It may be hard to believe but beet juice is being considered as a way to improve the living conditions of someone with leg artery disease. Some may wonder how this is even remotely possible. However, reports are saying that people who suffer from this disease feel as if beet juice reduces some of the pain when walking. This is a massive revelation because, if true, now doctors and scientists have a sort of remedy for something they did not have before.
"“This makes it an attractive potential therapeutic approach for individuals with PAD who have severely limited blood/oxygen supply to the lower limbs which severely reduces their function and makes everyday tasks require a vigorous effort,” said senior study author Jason David Allen of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville."
Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-blood-vessels-legs/beet-juice-may-reduce-walking-pain-with-leg-artery-disease-idUSKCN1LN2JC?feedType=RSS&feedName=healthNews
The 5 health benefits of eating Millet you never knew
October 10, 2017 01:14 PM
Millet is a crop that is native to Africa and Asia, and is considered a primary source of both carbs and proteins for inhabitants close to where it is grown. Millet is garnering attention from scientists because it is almost impervious to insects and diseases, lending important components to the plant's potential positive impact of benefitting the health of those who ingest it. Millet has five main benefits, including anticancer attributes, it may play a pivotal role in stopping type 2 diabetes, it has a positive impact on the cardiovascular system, it may aid in partially lowering cholesterol, and finally, millet aids in positively impacting bowel health and movements.
"The nutritional value of Millet is also what is making this crop more attractive for western nations."
Read more: https://www.emaxhealth.com/13644/5-health-benefits-eating-millet-you-never-knew
5 Reasons you should NEVER use canola oil, even if its ORGANIC
June 27, 2017 09:14 AM
Canola oil is a popular cooking oil that is attractive to customers and the restaurant industry. Canola oil is believed to have benefits such as a smaller waistline and a cleaner environment. It is now believed that Canola oil may not be as healthy as once thought. Canola oil must undergo many chemical processes in its original form before it can be converted into Canola oil. Also, since the Canola plant is one of the first plants that was genetically modified, it may be subject to exposure by a large amount of pesticides.
"Even canola oils deemed organic still undergo various production processes, and may not have a healthier fatty acid profile compared with commercial varieties."
Read more: http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-06-24-6-reasons-you-should-never-use-canola-oil-even-if-its-organic.html
One Oil That WILL STOP YOUR HAIR FALL AND GROW THICK LONG HAIRS IN JUST 10 DAYS TIME!
May 12, 2017 11:44 AM
If you have ever noticed that you lose more hair than average this oil might help. It can also help your hair grow longer and thicker quickly. This is good info because hair issues can make you feel less attractive, especially if you lose enough to be visually noticeable. This can happen. Your hair can fall out in large quantities. It can be caused by many things but dryness and a lack of nutrients is the most common one which is why this oil can help.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=giE0e9EVKXg&rel=0
"Castor oil is a common ingredient used for beauty treatments, especially for skin and hair health. It is an ancient beauty remedy, which can improve your skin quality, prevent hair loss, and promote hair growth."
5 Ways to Grow Your Nails FAST!
April 10, 2017 11:44 AM
Growing strong nails is a process that takes some steps. Fortunately, it can be done with the right maintenance and quitting bad habits that are detrimental to nail growth such as nail-biting, using acrylics and gels, picking at chipped nail polish, skipping base or top coats when applying nail polish, and using your fingernails as tools. You then need to take the right vitamins and manicure regularly. If you are looking for ways to grow your nails quickly, watch this video for some good tips.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m99WWGhQFcQ&rel=0
"As long as you take good care of your nails, you can grow them to the length you desire."
Argan Oil For Hair Growth | 10 Argan Oil Benefits For Skin And Hairs
March 02, 2017 10:19 AM
Argan oil is a popular, all-natural moisturizer for hair and skin. When applied directly to your skin, argan oil helps reduce inflammation and adds important nutrients that support a healthy, youthful look. There are many methods you can use to incorporate argan oil into your beauty routine to replenish damaged areas and promote healing.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0hFPEKLd88
"Argan oil is most commonly used as a skin moisturiser to hydrate and soften skin. With its high vitamin E and fatty acid content, argan oil is the ideal product to give skin a natural boost."
CBD Oil Spray Benefits on Behance
February 08, 2017 07:59 AM
You can find many benefits to having CBD oil spray in your home. A few of them are that the oil can absorb in soil and not water soluble. You can have the oil in liquid or even take them in capsules. You also find what to look for when buying the oil
"It is a therapeutic styling spray that's available in attractive costs online."
What Are The Health Benefits Of PABA
May 10, 2014 04:30 AM
What is a PABA
Para-amino benzoic acid or PABA is generally not known, yet in any case it is a paramount supplement, however it is considered as one of the B-complex vitamins. The perplexity is maybe justifiable because PABA assumes a paramount part in the production in the collection of a standout amongst the most essential B-complex vitamins and folic acid.
Benefits of folic acid
The numerous vital benefits of folic acid have been generally recorded, the most critical likely being the avoidance of genuine conception deformities, especially spina bifida; and additionally insurance against stroke, cardiovascular malady and even certain malignancies. In reality, sufficient supplies of folic acid are viewed as so significant to wellbeing that staple sustenance, for example, bread are routinely enhanced with it. In any case the regular Western eating regimen is accepted by numerous nutritionists to be seriously insufficient. PABA's part in empowering the union of the body's vitamin might subsequently be viewed as sufficient in itself to make it a vital supplement in its own particular right.
Nevertheless there is much more to para-aminobenzoic acid than this. The supplement has additionally been considered a general agains oxidant, help check the maturing and degenerative impacts of harming free radical action; and as a mitigating which may be gainful in the lightening of the indications of the menopause and osteoarthritis.
The calming properties of PABA likewise make it a specific most loved by dietary specialists in battling glitches of the resistant framework, for example, thyroiditis, and a possibly deadly condition known as scleroderma, in which stringy tissue develops through the skin.
Moderate supplements of PABA were an old yet now unfashionable, medication for skin conditions, vitiligo, in which the skin loses its common pigmentation, bringing about unattractive and humiliating blotches.
For most individuals, in any case, the great thing about PABA is that, it is not just promptly accessible from the nourishments, which embody a steadily adjusted eating regimen, yet can additionally be made by the body.
Therefore, in customary circumstances, and in case you're in sensibly great wellbeing, you presumably need not bother with a different day by day supplement of PABA. Anyhow like all the B complex vitamins, PABA regardless capacities best in the vicinity of a great supply of every last one of others, thus it’s habitually found in restrictive multi-vitamin arrangements. The better quality ones usually incorporate around 30-50mg; a little add up to make it certain, however worth having as a protection strategy when you're pointing for ideal comprehensive nourishment, and especially when you acknowledge the supplement's pivotal part in the combination of folic acid.
Can Clay Masks Help Rejuvenate The Skin?
March 09, 2014 10:39 PM
Using clay mask
Women are known to be very particular about their facial appearances and will go to any length to ensure they look as beautiful as she can be at all times. In the quest to sustain their youthful beauty, women are known to go for the most unlikely beauty treatment just to make sure they look attractive and pretty. One of these beauty treatments women go for is the use of Clay Masks which has been found to possess several benefits for beauty enhancement. The Clay Masks is known to be quite effective for detoxification, nourishment, soothing, and cleansing of the skin. Clay masks contain very charged particles that originate from the earth. The charged particles found in clay masks possess energy which they transfer and transmit into the human body where it does the job of energy restoration and balance restoration.
How it works
Clays and mud come in different qualities and types, buy one thing all types share in common is the ability to absorb toxins that are found in the human skin; purifying the skin in the process. The mode of operation of the clay masks is a very natural process whereby the clay works very deep into the patient’s skin, open the fine capillaries, break up the microcrystals which are responsible for hindering blood flow, and finally allows all toxins and wastes in the body to be flushed. Some clay masks can be used for every kind of detoxification exercises, including very serious ones. However, certain clay types are known to be more suitable for some particular skin types. The red clay is good for normal skin, green clay works for all skin types, it absorbs oils from the skin and help remove toxins, pink clay is mostly used for dry and sensitive skin, while white clay is specifically most used for sensitive skins.
Health Benefits and Side effects of Grape Seed Oil.
March 08, 2014 09:09 AM
Grape seed history
Grape seed oil has been used for centuries to prevent and cure some diseases. In modern world, grape seed oil has been used to manufacture cooking oil and health practitioners recommend it use due to its health benefits.
Some of its health benefit includes.
It has is rich in antioxidants compounds, these compounds are very important because they help to eliminate free radicals in the body.
Grape seed oil improves heart functions, it is rich in HDL cholesterol which prevents heart diseases. This oil lowers the LDL cholesterol which is a major cause of heart diseases.
It is very beneficial to people suffering diabetes, it contains linoleic acid which is unsaturated fatty acid which is effective in alleviating diabetes.
It is beneficial to blood vessels especially capillaries. Grape seed oil strengthens and repairs damaged blood vessel. This helps to alleviate conditions such as, spider veins, varicose veins and hemorrhoids.
It is also very beneficial to people suffering arthritis. Grape seed oil has anti-inflammatory properties which have soothing effects, they provide relief against swelling and pain caused by arthritis.
Grape seed oil is also very important to the skin, it alleviate skin acnes and blisters.
Grape seed oil is also rich in omega 3 fatty acids which have multiple benefits. Omega 3 increases concentration power, mind power and also general body health. Kids who have used grape seed oil have recorded increased concentration and improved performance in academics.
Grape seed oil moisturizes skin and boost skin tone. It has astringent properties which help to tighten and to tone skin. This makes users to be attractive, this boost self-confidence.
Although grape seed oil has various benefit to the body, it has some side effects. Some of the seed effects includes;
People who are allergic to grapes are not fit to use grape seed oil.
Those under ant-coagulate are still not fit to use this product.
User may suffer increase blood pressure, dizziness, headache, indigestion and nausea.
What Is Patchouli Oil?
February 22, 2014 08:12 AM
What is patchouli
Patchouli oil is normally distilled from the flowers and leaves of a plant known as Patchouli, a bushy herb which is native in Asian. It is famous for its beautiful scent and has been used in perfumes for centuries. It is recently used as an alternative herbal medication for chronic diseases as well as an insect repellent.
Health benefits of patchouli
Patchouli oil offers several health benefits including treating digestive conditions such as diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting, prevention of wrinkles, speeding healing of wounds and disappearance of bruises, fighting infection and healing snake bites. Elements of patchouli oil are found in many beauty and skin care products. Patchouli oil is very ornamental in preventing anxiety as well as a wide variety of allergies. It is used in herbal curing of hypertension, haemorrhoids, fluid retention and weight reduction. It is one of the major ingredients for treatment of depression.
When patchouli oil is applied undiluted on the skin, it can improve the skin condition by smoothening sagging and chapped skin. It clears dandruffs on the head and deals with skin undesirable conditions such as acne, dermatitis and eczema. The oil is also used to reduce stress in therapeutic and aroma therapeutic healing. It contains several desirable properties including being anti- inflammatory, antifungal, relaxant, stimulant and insecticidal, a digestive aid, diuretic, tonic, decongestant, deodorant, anti-infectious, antiseptic, antimicrobial and antitoxic. It is one of the most widely used products in medicine development.
Patchouli oil is naturally sweet and attractive to use. It offers an inspiring scent that feels very sweet. Its influence is known to relax both the body and the mind. It has been used in spiritual healing for hundreds of years. It is used to align the heart chakra with the sacral and root chakras. In meditational healing, it helps people release insecurities, obsessions, and jealousness while enhancing one’s desire for a satisfying and fuller life.
What Is Atlas Cedar Oil And What Are The Health Benefits?
February 09, 2014 09:18 AM
What is atlas cedar oil
Atlas cedar oil is one of the oldest embalming oils. The oil was initially extracted in Egypt and used by spiritualists as an embalming component. In the contemporary world, this oil has been widely acknowledged and accepted as an aromatherapy product. This oil is processed through steam chemical distillation from pieces of cedar wood.
Health benefits of atlas cedar oil
Medically, the oil has an antiseptic capacity. It has been widely used as a form of antiseptic for wounds to prevent infection of the wounds and prevent them from becoming septic. It helps keep tetanus germs at bay.
Atlas cedar oil has been globally used in the treatment of arthritis particularly among the old. This oil has an anti inflammatory benefit and has been used largely on patients living with the arthritis condition.
It is also a antispasmodic. This oil is used in massaging the legs and the hands and has a known effect of reducing the profound effects of arthritis. Similarly, this oil has been widely applied to control dandruff and combat acne. It has proven very helpful in relieving spasms which occur in the body such as the intestines and the nerves.
Further, this oil is used as an astringent. It has been clinically adopted for dental use to firm the gums and prevents falling of teeth. It is also used as cure for toothaches.
Lastly, this oil can be used as an expectorant. Patients suffering from severe coughs can use this oil to combat irritate coughs. This cough gets rid of phlegm from the lungs and the air pipe and controls the cough.
This oil has been accepted as to have the effects of calming negative emotions and control anger. It comes in handy when one is faced with stressful situations and helps in calming the nerves especially during mediation time.Further, the atlas cedar oil is the attractive aroma it produces. With this effect it has been used in the preparation of perfumes and other scented beauty products. Due to this strong aroma this oil has been globally used as a aphrodisiac.
Is Coconut Oil A Brain Food?
January 26, 2014 09:34 AM
It is amazing how coconut oil has been ascribed as a good brain food.
Since Dr. Mary Newport associated coconut oil with the ability to cure Alzheimer’s disease, it has attracted the attention of researchers and other interested parties. However, her attractive explanation of how the oil helped her husband to improve her husband’s Alzheimer’s disease can be described from the observation of an Alzheimer patient’s brain.
Taking into consideration Axona that is usually used by Alzheimer’s patients, its active ingredients is the caprylic acid that is extracted from the oil. As a substitute, Dr. Newport used coconut food products such as oil and milk in her husband diet to achieve the same quantity of MCTs. This improved her husband’s condition a clear indication that coconut oil has some medicinal value. From a scientific point of view, it is approved that the disease is caused by insulin resistant cells thus causing the brain to unsuccessfully use glucose to fuel their activity. In its place, ketone bodies are used as a substitute fuel supply. Coconut oil is a good supply of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), for instance caprylic acid that is simply transformed into ketone bodies in the liver when ingested. Then they act as an alternative of glucose which provides fuel for the brain. Neuroprotective effect of the coconut oil is attributed to the ketone bodies formed as a byproduct of coconut oil metabolism. Therefore, leading to an energy metabolism. The ketone bodies will then supply the compromised brain structure with the much-needed alternative fuel source from the Ketone bodies.
However, it is of the essence to state that coconut oil is only known for improving the condition. For this reason, there has been an increased call for more research, particularly human clinical trials. Since there is no any cure yet, coconut oil is going to remain a good brain food of choice for others who are experiencing Alzheimer.
Health Benefits Associated with Silica
December 25, 2013 04:29 PM
What is Silica
Silica is among the most common minerals on earth. It is present in clay, sand and even granite. For human consumption purposes most silica sources include carrots, onions, pumpkins, fish, raw cabbage, apples and oranges. If you need higher quantities of silica then hard water will be the perfect source. Here are some of the health benefits associated with silica;
How Silica Works with Calcium
Silica works together with calcium to help in increasing the amount of collagen necessary for bone formation and strengthening. Furthermore, if you have bone fractures or join dislocations, silica will help in healing of the bones.
Health Benefits of Silica
Silica is important to have healthy hair. You might find people with thin hair a condition referred to as Alopecia. Alopecia is a result of eating a diet that lacks important nutrients such silica. Silica encourages the growth of thick hair that is also healthy. It further makes it shiny which good no need to use enhancements.
If you want a skin which is smooth and glowing, then you need to eat a lot of food rich in silica. Silica helps to prevent the skin from getting all flabby but keeps it looking good. In addition, it also helps in preventing commonly occurring skin problems.
For those who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease should consider using a diet full of silica food. Silica easily bond with Aluminum present in the brain lesions which are responsible for the disease. This bonding will eliminate Aluminum intoxication in the brain leaving a healthy person.
There will be no need of using fake nails anymore if silica is present in your diet. This is especially for the ladies, silica helps in developing quality nails which do not break easily while doing your laundry. Silica further helps in protecting you from nail infections and keeps your fingers strong and attractive.
For those who suffer from dehydration, silica helps in restoration of mucosa along the respiratory tract of the body.
What Is The Difference Between Echinacea Angustifolia And Purpurea?
December 18, 2011 08:26 PM
In the advent of natural medicine these days it is important for us to also know what we are dealing with. We may feel that it is better because it is all natural but still, just like prescription drugs, herbal medicine also has its attractiveness to those who want to take advantage of people’s needs and momentary lapses of judgement. It does not mean that it is all natural it is good for the body right away, we also need to find out if it is exactly what we need or what we expect it to be. These herbal medicines and supplements in the market today come from plants and they are derived from it by various types of processing. As an example, we can look at Echinacea Angustifolia And Purpurea and what the differences are.
Both of them are species of this plant and we will only be able to understand more about those two if we are able to know their mother so to speak. It is a genus of herbaceous flowering plants and those two are part of the family and it has 7 other brothers and sisters so to speak because there are 9 species all in all including both the E Angustifolia and E. Purpurea. In modern natural medicine it has been known to have a lot of health benefits and the main one being its ability to support the immune system and help activate white blood cells to improve bodily functions. Other studies have learned that it has the ability to influence the increased production of interferon which is an essential part of the body’s defensive response to any viral attacks that may cause infections.
This flowering plant is believed by some to be a miracle plant especially in the natural medicine world. It has shown to have amazing healing powers and this is what makes it a popular part of alternative medicine. Throughout US history it has been used by native Americans and frontiersmen as tonic and somewhat of a cure all treatment for various ailments and rightfully so because in modern science it has been proven to have amazing antiviral and antifungal properties which makes it an effective treatment against infections, certain diseases, common colds and flu. Other uses that it may have are being a treatment for inflammation, skin ulcers and upper respiratory infection which needs more studies to be done but early results seem promising.
This specie is not as popular as the other but it also can be effective. It basically is a perennial with long stems and long lasting lavender coloured flowers. It also has the power to help the immune system be stronger and is commonly made as a tea. Studies have shown that it has a mild natural antibiotic characteristic and its extracts has been known to have the ability to increase white blood cell count as well however it is helpful to note that it is better in smaller doses than in large ones.
Both forms posses the same properties primarily immune boosting properties; either one is good to use to help strengthen the body in times of cold and flu and disease.
What Is A Natural Carb Blocker?
November 05, 2011 01:57 PM
Carbohydrate BlockerThere are so many individuals nowadays who are already overweight because of their natural love for food that are fattening. Overeating has now become a common problem for many individuals hence, has been the primary cause unto why weight problems have become more rampant. Despite how evident the problem is right now, people still find it very difficult to resist food thus, people having weight related problems is still growing in number.
Despite the fact that several diets has been formulated that could help you shed off extra pounds, many of these diets do not work for all because people find it so difficult to adhere to a tasteless diet even for just a week. Because not all diets are easy to adhere with, diet pills has been formulated by experts that helps block carbohydrate therefore, will aid you in getting rid of excess body weight.
Carb blockers are pills that helps inhibits the absorption of carbohydrates in your system. With the help of carb blockers, carbohydrates are passed out naturally which means that carbohydrates will no longer be metabolized by the body into fat. With this mechanism, build up or accumulation of fats in your body will be greatly reduced.
Brown seaweed extract is a notable carb blocker sold in the market today. This particular product is highly effectual and proven to relevantly reduce the absorption of carbohydrates in your body to as much as 82 percent. Weight loss is not the sole benefit of carb blockers because a good and effectual carb blocker also has the capacity of enhancing your metabolic rate which is highly necessary to make reduction of fat a lot faster. Another capacity of carb blockers is that it could significantly reduce appetite hence, will enable you to consume less food that can make you fat. This threefold effect that carb blockers could do for your body will really help you achieve your goals of losing weight. A weight loss of five pounds per week is a guarantee once you follow the recommendations indicated in the product’s label.
Because of the fact that there are already so many carb blockers that are sold in the market today, it is very necessary to choose those that are 100 percent natural and those that contains effectual components such as cactus extract, capsicum extract, prickly pear extract and brown seaweed extract. These components have innate properties that could help you lose weight faster.
Trying ways and means to make yourself more attractive to the eyes of the public is not bad as long as you will only engage on those modalities that will not bring harm on your body. Make sure that the regimens that you will try are highly safe and effectual. If it involves some risk, better not try the regimen because in the end, it is you who will suffer from the health consequences that the product might bring.
Using Cherries to Deal with Arthritis
May 25, 2011 03:41 PM
Call it what you will: arthritis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or gout - cherries can deal with it and enable you live and sleep more comfortably than without them. When the bones and lubrication systems of your joints become worn you begin to feel pain - not because your bones are grinding against each other but because of the inflammatory response of your immune system.
Your cartilage begins to wear and your body reacts to the damage first by activating cells already close by - macrophages, mastocytes, dendritic cells and so on, and then calls on the release of leukocytes such as neutrophils. Your blood vessels dilate to enable the large cells to get to the general area of the problem, and then leak to enable fluids to get right to the exact spot where they are needed.
With arthritis, the joint swells because of the above actions, and the synovial fluid can become infected and inflamed. The temperature around the joint increases in temperature to render it less attractive to invading cells and pathogens, and you feel pain because of the pressure on your nerve endings. Then you should take some cherry extract.
The activity of the cytokines and prostaglandins that are creating this situation is suppressed, and the temperature starts to drop. The blood vessels are contracted and the situation begins to return to normal. One more bout of inflammation successfully dealt with, and now that you understand what has caused it you will be better placed to get the cherry extract down your throat next time.
Buy It And Try It Today!
Your immune system and how fish oil can affect it
December 08, 2010 03:33 PM
Fish oil and immunity
One of the Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil is EPA, or eicosapentaenoic acid, which has a regulatory effect on the inflammatory response of your immune system. What that means is that EPA helps to modify the inflammation you experience with conditions such as arthritis, cystitis, an enlarged prostate and many other problems associated with inflammation such as acne.
When your tissues become damaged or irritated, your immune system responds by rendering your vessels more porous, thus allowing fluids to leak through the capillaries and applying pressure to the affected areas. Your blood vessels dilate to enable the large macrophages in your bloodstream and lymphatic system to get to the damaged or infected area to destroy any invading pathogens, and the affected site heats up to render the environment less attractive to bacteria.
The problem is, your immune system doesn't know when to stop, and conditions such as arthritis and cystitis become very painful, excessive swelling occurs adding to the pain and fluids build up adding even more to the pressure and your overall sensation of pain. The EPA in fish oils help to reduce all of this, and results in a reduction in swelling, less pressure and a reduction in pain levels. By taking fish oils, sufferers of arthritis and other inflammatory conditions can feel a lot more comfortable and accelerate their healing processes.
So if you are experiencing inflammation pain in any form, try adding fish oil as a natural remedy to help aid in the fight against inflammation pain.
August 28, 2008 09:33 AM
Garcinia Cambogia is found naturally in India and parts of Asia, and also on the Pacific coast of South and Central America all the way from Peru up to Mexico, and likes a humid forested environment. Also known as Brindall berries, garcinia is believed to act as an appetite suppressant and allows you to lose weight by diminishing your desire for food.
The Malabar tamarind, as it is also known, is about the size of an orange resembling a small pumpkin, and an extract from the fruit and rind is used in several weight loss products. The health risks presented by synthetic diet pills render a natural product extremely attractive were it to be effective. So can Garcia curb your appetite? What is the scientific evidence for it, and what biochemical route would it take?
Although tests on animals have been very positive, human results have been inconsistent. In some double blind tests using a placebo, weight loss was up to three times that of the control, but in others there was no apparent difference between those taking garcinia, and those given a placebo. However, doubts have been raised of the validity of some of the negative tests, so what does science tell us?
The active ingredient in the cambogia extract is hydroxycitric acid (HCA), which is a powerful inhibitor of ATP citrate lyase, an enzyme that catalyzes the reaction between citrate and Coenzyme A to Acetyl CoA and oxaloacetate. Since the acetyl CoA is necessary in the synthesis of fatty acids and lipogenesis (the conversion of glucose to fatty acids), then anything that inhibits the biosynthesis of acetyl CoA must help to reduce the amount of fat stored in your body.
By inhibiting this reaction, that occurs outside the mitochondria so is not a direct part of the Citric Acid Cycle, HCA should theoretically suppress the formation of fats from carbohydrates, reduce food intake and thereby induce weight loss. But that is not the only mechanism.
A study at Georgetown University in Washington found that after 8 weeks of taking the garcinia extract, there was a 5.4% reduction in body weight and body mass index, and a significant reduction in low density lipoproteins (LDL) and triglycerides with an associated rise in high density lipoproteins (HDL). This is good news for those suffering from high cholesterol levels, since the LDL lipoproteins are those that carry cholesterol to the major blood vessels, and which when oxidized by free radicals deposit fatty plaques on the artery walls. These plaques constrict the arteries and the resultant atherosclerosis can lead to cardiac problems and strokes. HDL lipoproteins carry cholesterol back to the liver for destruction, and is known popularly as ‘good cholesterol’.
The studies also indicated modifications to certain indicators of the status of fat deposits in the body and of appetite modifiers in the brain. In this respect they found 38% decreases in serum leptin and increases in serotonin levels of 44%, and the excretion of fat metabolites in the urine increased from between 32% and 104%.
These are significant findings, and further research has indicated that HCA helps to suppress appetite. Serum leptin is an indicator of the level of fat stores in the body, and as the leptin levels in the blood reduces, the hypothalamus is given an instruction to increase the appetite so as to increase the fat levels again. However, it is believed that HCA possesses leptin-like properties, and this signal is either not generated or is modulated.
The increase in serotonin has the same effect. It is known that serotonin controls the appetite, although the exact mechanism has not yet been established. What is known is that serotonin activates certain neurons and melanocortin-4 receptors (MC4R) in the brain, that not only curb appetite but also block the effect of other neurons that would normally increase appetite by blocking the effect of MC4Rs.
This is how the banned anti-obesity and serotonin inciting drug Fen-Phen operated, and it appears that the hydroxycitric acid in garcinia cambogia extract acts in a similar, but safer, way. The problem with drugs such as Feb-Phen was that they created cardiac problems which could be dangerous to obese people whose hearts might have been weakened.
However, now that the biological pathway by which serotonin controls weight is believed to be known, if not fully understood, the way is becoming clearer as to how safer weight loss pills, acting through appetite suppression, might be developed. It also provides a valid scientific explanation for the effect of garcinia cambogia extract which might in itself prove to be that safer way.
The biochemistry supports the evidence of its effect on those wanting to lose weight, and also bolsters the claims that those tests and trials found to be negative were in some way flawed. Until the full chemical pathway is understood, the factors that can lead to flawed tests are unknown, although one could be the use of excessive fiber in some trials that could reduce the effect of the extract.
One of the effects of HCA is to limit the ability of your body to convert carbohydrates into fat (the Acetyl CoA inhibition mentioned above). That, combined with suppression of your appetite and a higher rate of thermogenesis, prevents the body from storing excess carbohydrates as fat. Instead you will have increased energy levels, so you should exercise to use this up while taking garcinia extract. For this reason it is popular with athletes and bodybuilders seeking an energy source that has not yet been banned from sport.
Although diet pills based on the same principle had side-effects and could make the user feel on edge, there are none known with garcinia. However, it is possible to reduce the absorption of some essential nutrients due to appetite suppression, so do not exceed the recommended dose. An excessive amount can also led to gastric discomfort, but none of these effects have been noted when the recommended doses have been adhered to.
However, if you are diabetic, pregnant or a nursing mother, you should consult with your physician or health professional before taking the extract. Garcinia Cambogia presents no specific risk to such people, and this warning should be given for all non-prescriptive treatments that your physician might be unaware of you taking.
August 23, 2008 11:59 AM
Acidophilus is correctly named Lactobacillus acidophilus, and is one species of Lacobacillus used commercially in the preparation of certain types of yoghurt. The name refers to the fact it is found in milk (lacto), is rod-like in shape like many bacteria (bacillus) and it likes acidic conditions (acidophilus). It not only likes them, but creates them.
In fact, acidophilus thrives at a pH of 4-5 or less, and occurs naturally in the gastrointestinal tract of humans and animals, and also the mouth and vagina. It ferments milk to lactic acid, and dies in the presence of sunlight, excessive moisture and at high temperatures. Some, but not all, strains are probiotic, or ‘friendly’ bacteria that aid digestion and help to protect against harmful bacteria and their toxic emissions.
The fermentation of nutrients by friendly bacteria produce acids, such as the lactic acid previously referred to, hydrogen peroxide and other substances hostile to harmful organisms, and also reduces the population of harmful bacteria by competing for their food. There are additional health benefits that shall be discussed later, but first some comments about the stability of acidophilus to heat.
The growth rate of acidophilus reaches an optimum at around 36-37F (2.2C), and it tends to die off at temperatures much above this over a period of time. It also tends to be sensitive to oxygen and moisture, and if exposed to heat, moisture and oxygen, a supplement will lose its potency over time. This is true of all such supplements, and after purchase must be quickly refrigerated. It is possible, however, to purchase stabilized forms of acidophilus that die off slower than normal. This extra resistance is built in during the manufacturing process, and many forms of acidophilus claim to be stable. Although there will never be a truly stable form of the probiotic, these stabilized versions do last longer than those not claimed to be so.
During manufacture, the bacteria are first concentrated by removing the excess liquid by means of sedimentation, ultra-filtration, reverse osmosis and centrifuging. A substance is then added to protect the bacteria from the shock of freezing and the acidophilus freeze dried. A stabilizer is then added to maintain its properties between freezing and consumption.
It has also been found that bacteria grown at higher pH levels last longer than those at lower pH. The packaging is also important, and since the bacteria are sensitive to oxygen, nitrogen flushing the bottles will improve the stability of the product. Glass bottles are less porous than plastic, and so is the preferred packaging material for maximum stability and life. Another factor is refrigeration. If you keep the bottle in the fridge it was last a lot longer than at room temperature, but take care not to freeze it since acidophilus does not freeze well. If it is not refrigerated then it will quickly lose its potency.
The form in which you take the supplement is immaterial regarding the potency: at least initially. However, through time the powder will become less potent quicker, because it will adsorb oxygen and moisture. Otherwise the form in which it used is immaterial. So, yes, acidophilus can be stabilized, but only for a while, and if allowed to warm up to room temperature in the presence of oxygen will quickly degrade, although this takes more than just a day or two.
Many health benefits are claimed for Lactobacillus acidophilus, although your daily consumption to achieve these should be at least 2 billion CFU, and preferably 5 billion. You can also fortify the bacteria with a prebiotic of fructooligosaccharides (FOS). These provide nutrition for the acidophilus and accelerate its growth.
One thing to be careful of is assuming that yoghurt contains acidophilus. It does not contain sufficient to be of benefit to you. Commercial yoghurt acidifies over time and kills off the bacteria, so commercial yoghurt sitting on a supermarket shelf has very little beneficial bacterial content. Natural yoghurt is better, and certainly contains beneficial bacteria, but not enough to make a significant difference. A supplement is therefore needed if you are to keep your intestinal tract sufficiently healthy. If you cannot take dairy products, acidophilus is available in non-dairy form. The major health benefits they impart are:
1. Digestive Problems.
Acidophilus can control many types of digestive disorder, particularly traveler’s diarrhea. In fact if you are traveling to countries where drinking water might be a problem, also take some acidophilus and this will tend to prevent you from becoming ill. Even if you drink bottled water, there are still washed salads, beverages made with local water and showers and the like whereby you could ingest some dodgy water.
Acidophilus, especially when supported by FOS, helps both to hydrate the feces, and improve their transport through the colon, an also to improve the general health and well-being of your entire intestinal system.
3. Yeast Infections (Candidiasis)
Acidophilus possess antifungal properties that kill off yeasts, particularly Candida albicans found in the vagina. This is due to the lactic acid produced by the bacteria, and there is evidence that gastrointestinal yeasts are affected in the same way by the oral probiotic. Furthermore, when bacteria and yeasts are killed off by medication, including friendly bacteria, the sites they occupied on the intestinal walls become free and acidophilus should be present to take these up and prevent any more yeast or bacterial infections. That is one reason why probiotics should be taken immediately after a course of antibiotic treatment.
4. Immune System Support
Lactobacillus acidophilus is believed to modify the balance of microbes in the intestine so as to lead to an enhanced production of antibodies, and white blood cells with increased phagocytic activity. The bacteria also appear to have some reducing properties, which can also give support to the immune system through the resultant antioxidant properties.
However, by far the most important property of probiotics are their properties in acidifying the intestinal tract, and so rendering them less attractive to harmful pathogens, and in producing hydrogen peroxide which has a similar effect. They also produce natural antibiotics, and there is now doubt that a supplement of acidophilus will provide you with several health benefits and also make you feel fitter and more alert.
June 14, 2008 03:22 PM
DMAE (dimethylaminoethanol) enhances mental function through the improvement of concentration, mental clarity and mental alertness. It is also a mild brain stimulant because it increases and sustains the energy levels in the brain. It also improves the level of restful nighttime sleep because the sleep is deeper and less time is needed to reach a rejuvenated state. DMAE helps to boost mental function through an increase in the levels of acetylcholine and choline. These are the brain’s chemical messengers.
Because of DMAE’s ability to stimulate mental cognitive function, it also has been shown to improve learning, increase intelligence and elevate mood.
* Accelerates mental processes * Decreases irritability and overactivity * Does not cause drowsiness * Improves concentration * Improves IQ * Increases attention * Relieves mild depression * Aids in long-term treatment of schizophrenia
It is believed that DMAE may also increase physical energy. Athletes and other active individuals are using DMAE more and more because of its ability to enhance these brain functions. The connection between the mind and muscles is a means to focus on form and reduce the risk of injury. So, when the mind is enhanced, it communicates better with the muscles to improve and refine function.
Due to DMAE’s mild stimulating effect on the brain, athletes report that it is a good alternative for a quick lift instead of coffee. They also believe the stimulating effects last longer than they do with caffeine. DMAE used as a mild stimulant is also safer and healthier than caffeine.
How It Works:
DMAE, once consumed, is transported to the liver where it is converted into choline through the process of metabolism. A small amount is then converted into acetylcholine, which is a brain transmitter. Through this process, DMAE increases the levels of these brain transmitters (neurotransmitters). This causes a boost in mental cognitive function and memory.
Acetylcholine is also responsible for helping to conduct nerve impulses in the brain. Choline is also converted in the brain into phosphatidylcholine. This chemical rebuilds and protects existing cell membranes inside the brain. DMAE has the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier faster than choline. Through this quicker travel, DMAE enhances cell protection and repair and helps our brains function better and create enhanced, positive behavioral changes in most people.
Other DMAE Uses:
DMAE is being studied for use in aiding a movement disorder in Parkinson’s patients. This disorder, called dyskenesis is caused by L-Dopa, which is administered to treat the effects of the disease. DMAE seems to counteract dyskenesis effectively and safely without interfering with the benefits of the therapy. DMAE is proving to reduce the effects of other disorders that involve involuntary movements. Two of these disorders being treated are blepharospasm (eyelid twitching) and benign essential tremors.
Age spot sufferers may find hope for treatment of their condition as well. DMAE has been found to inhibit the formation of pigment caused by aging (lipofuscin) and liver spots (lentigo). It may actually flush lipofuscin from the body, causing the skin spots to disappear over a few month’s time.
DMAE is being studied for its possible ability in helping to reduce cognitive impairments related to age. Aside from increased mental cognitive function, research has shown that DMAE may also be useful in treating the following conditions.
* Alzheimer’s disease * ADD (attention deficit disorder) * Hyperactivity
The use of DMAE as a regular dietary supplement is increasing steadily. All of its benefits in aiding mental cognitive function and brain stimulation are an attractive quality for everyone. Additional research showing that DMAE is useful in treating debilitating conditions such as Parkinson’s gives us new hope. As research continues and more new uses for DMAE are discovered, its popularity will continue to grow as well.
You Should Say: Please Pass the Broccoli, Not I’ll Pass
January 22, 2008 04:38 PM
'Please pass the broccoli': not something that many mothers hear from their children. In fact, not many children appear to like any green vegetables let alone broccoli. This is not important at such a young age, but there comes a time when the health benefits that broccoli brings become almost essential to your good health and well being. Parents are right, but your children won’t believe you.
Some say that the nutritional punch of broccoli is stronger than that of any other vegetable. Is this claim justified? Let’s have a look at the evidence and the facts and you can judge for yourself. First the ‘ordinary’ nutrients of broccoli: vitamin C (more than oranges) and A, folic acid and calcium and also lots and lots of fiber. However, this wonderful vegetable contains not only high levels of calcium, but is also the one of the richest vegetable sources of magnesium. Calcium needs magnesium in order to be properly incorporated into your bone structure, and so broccoli is a very important calcium/magnesium source for vegans that do not drink milk or eat any other dairy products.
It is also rich in protein, containing 3% by weight and is also rich in iron. It is therefore an important part of the diet of women during menstruation when iron is important to enable the blood to maintain its proper erythrocyte levels. A deficiency of iron in the diet of women can lead to anemia and render them more susceptible to infection. However, it is more than just iron that renders this vegetable an important part of the female diet. Broccoli has been established to be of major importance in preventing cancer.
It is likely the most potent anti-cancer vegetable in your diet, and it has been established over 20 years of study that broccoli can help to prevent cancers of the breast and the cervix. The indoles that it contains prevent estrogens from promoting tumor growth, and it also contains beta-carotene, a strong antioxidant that destroys the free radicals that can also cause cancer. However, there is more to broccoli than just that.
Broccoli contains the highest concentration of sulforaphane of all the cruciferous vegetables that include Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, rocket and turnip, amongst many others. When you chew broccoli, the glucosinolate glucoraphan is converted to sulforaphane, not by the enzymes in your saliva, but by the actual physical damage done to the plant by the act of chewing. It could likely also be generated by hitting it with a hammer! It is glucosinolates that provide the slightly bitter taste many people experience when they eat vegetables such as brussels sprouts and broccoli, and that likely renders them somewhat unattractive to children!
Sulforaphane is an isothiocyanate containing the NCS functional group, and is actually bound loosely to the sugar as sulforaphane glucosinolate. It is the loose binding that allows it be released on chewing. Broccoli sprouts are its richest source, and it is a strong antioxidant which is why it is so effective in reducing the possibility of certain cancers.
When fighting cancers, your body produces phase-II enzymes, and since sulforaphane induces these enzymes, it stops the carcinogens before they can damage your DNA. This is achieved through the enhancement of the transcription of the proteins that suppress the tumors. In layman’s terms, it is the generation of tumor suppressant proteins from DNA that kills off the tumors before they can destroy the DNA.
There is even more however. Indoles have already been mentioned, and those in question are predominantly indole-3-carbinol (I3C) and 3,3-diindolylmethane (DIM). The latter is generated from the digestion of the former and possesses very potent anti-cancer properties. However, this indole can affect your health in ways other than just as an anti-cancer agent. It can modulate the immune system in a way that renders it suitable for the treatment of a number of viral infections, and is also believed to be a possible answer to the problem of bacteria that have become resistant to antibiotics. It appears to operate synergistically with Interferon-Gamma, a cytokine that helps to prevent viruses from replicating within the cells of the body, to strengthen the MHC-I Complex, a part of the human genome that supports the immune response to viral attacks.
To put it plainly, broccoli can aid your resistance not only to certain cancers, but also to attack by viruses and some bacteria. It is not only cancers of the cervix and breast that broccoli can help to prevent, but also of the lung, prostate, larynx and bladder. I3C also helps to support the function of your liver in detoxifying your blood as well as supporting the cellular reproduction without which your body could not maintain itself after damage.
Broccoli is therefore an important vegetable to men as well as to women, not only for its anti-cancer properties, but also as a general antioxidant and consequent free radical scavenging properties. Its high fiber content is equally split between soluble and insoluble vegetable fiber, and so meets your dietary needs of both types.
Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli have been singled out by health organizations the world over as essential to your diet, and you should eat them regularly. Once daily would be good, but more is recommended if possible. As stated at the start, strong tasting vegetables containing glucosinolates might not be attractive to children and younger people, but their phytochemical content (the foresaid indoles and isothiocyanates) render them very potent antioxidants and anti-cancer foods.
Taken in relation to other foods, an ounce of broccoli contains as much calcium as a glass of milk, more vitamin C than a similar weight of orange, and a medium floret has more fiber than one slice of bran bread. It is rich in vitamin A and of course there are the other antioxidants and anti-cancer phytochemicals already detailed.
There are many ways of cooking broccoli to maintain its nutritional content, but if you do not like broccoli, then there are supplements available. You can purchase pure broccoli extract or an extract from a mixture of cruciferous vegetables. The choice is yours, but of one thing there can be no doubt. Broccoli is the king of green vegetables, and the nutrients it contains are not available in any other vegetable in such a concentrated and easy to assimilate form.
Your mom was right: it's not just 'eat your veg', but 'eat your broccoli'. No nutritional advice could be better than that. “Pass the broccoli please mom!”
Addiction Recovery With Chinese Herbs Like Kudzu
November 28, 2007 12:04 PM
Kudzu is Chinese herb that has been identified for the treatment of alcoholism. Anybody who has even had an addiction will tell you that addiction recovery is one of the most difficult of the tasks that life throws at us. Whether it is an addiction to tobacco or to heroin or anything in between is not easy, and those that join the ‘self-afflicted’ lobby do not help, but for the Grace of God...
Alcohol addiction is now potentially the most prevalent addiction in the world. There are now more that drink alcohol than smoke, and alcohol related problems are more than just a social problem, but cause the deaths of over 100,000 annually in the USA. One shudders at the thought of the world-wide death toll. It has been suggested that chemical addictions, as opposed to physical habits, can have chemical cures. Although the jury is still out on this one, there have been some positive results achieved in the treatment of addicts with natural remedies.
One of these natural remedies is the Chinese herb, kudzu. Kudzu is a climbing vine that can grow just about anywhere: in fields, lightly forested land and mountains. It is found throughout China, and also in the south eastern states of the USA. The reason for this strange distribution is that the plant was introduced to the USA by Japan at the 1876 Centennial Expo in Philadelphia.
The large blooms attracted gardeners who propagated them, and when it was discovered that the plant made good forage for animals, Florida nurserymen grew it as animal feed. Its effect in preventing ground erosion rendered it popular during the 1930s and 40s when farmers were paid up to $8 an acre for growing kudzu. Fodder and groundcover were the original uses of this vine in the USA irrespective of its medicinal uses on the other side of the Pacific.
Prior to it being recognized as a useful treatment for alcoholism, the vine had been used in China for generations for the treatment of such conditions as headaches, flu, high blood pressure symptoms, dysentery, muscular aches and pains and the common cold. It is still used to treat digestive complaints and allergies, and find use in modern medicine in the treatment of angina.
It is the root that is mainly used, which at up to six feet tall provides a plentiful supply of its active ingredients. These include isoflavones including daidzein and isoflavone glycosides, mainly puerarin and also daidzin. However, it is in its application in the treatment of alcohol addiction that the root is currently creating interest.
Studies in the 1960s on animals bred with an alcohol craving indicated that daidzein and daidzin reduced their consumption of alcohol when offered it, and further studies have indicated that the mechanism of this was by inhibition of enzymes necessary for metabolizing alcohols. This has not yet been successfully repeated in humans, but the effects on animals cannot be just coincidental. Or can it? That question can only be answered by those for whom kudzu has been found effective, although many laboratory studies have shown that it certainly reduces the alcohol consumption of those with a habitual heavy intake of the substance.
Of all the other substances that have been used in an attempt to reduce the extent of alcoholism in the Western world, none have been found truly effective. The three recognized treatments of Campral (Acamprosate Calcium), approved by the FDA in July, 2004, Naltrexone (Revia) and Antabuse work in three different ways. Campral is useful only once you have stopped drinking and have detoxed, Naltrexone interferes with the pathway in the brain that ‘rewards’ the drinker and Antabuse gives unpleasant side effects that are meant to put the drinker off drinking.
Although all have side effects of one type or another, they have been approved by the FDA, and must therefore be assumed safe if used as recommended. However, none are natural, and kudzu has been found to have no known side effects. It is a type of pea, and did you know that it grows about one foot a day? Luckily it only grows to about 20 feet!
It is kudzu’s lack of side effects that renders it so attractive as a treatment for alcoholism, although more tests are needed before the evidence for its effectiveness can be declared cast iron. Most of the tests to date have been carried out on heavy drinkers rather than true alcoholics, but they have all found the plant effective in reducing the amount that each member of the study drank, even though no limitations were placed on them.
Future studies should probably be designed to determine if the treatment is safe for such groups as pregnant women, young people and those with specific medical complaints such as liver problems. Naltrexone should not be used by anybody with serious liver problems, and even campral is only suitable if you have no more than a moderate liver problem. Since alcoholics can reasonable be expected to also suffer from liver disease, then a treatment that is safe for such people would be very welcome.
A 2002 meeting of the Research Society on Alcoholism in San Francisco named kudzu and St. John’s Wort as being the two most promising treatments for alcoholism. The mention of St. John’s Wort raises an interesting point, and one that must be discussed. That is the question of standardized doses, and what can happen if doses of natural products are not standardized with respect to the identified active constituent.
The reason for the importance of this is that not all sources of a particular herb are equally well endowed with active constituents. Although, for example, a dose of 2.5 grams daily of kudzu root might be recommended, how does the percent content of isoflavones in different roots vary. That variation will mean that the amount of active ingredient taken in one 2.5g dose will differ from that in another, unless there is standardization.
The reason St. John’s Wort brought this to mind is that with this herb, used for some psychological problems such as depression, the active ingredient content was standardized. It was standardized to 0.3% hypericin, a napthodianthrone that causes an increase in dopamine levels. However, standard doses of St. John’s Wort gave inconsistent results and the reason for this could not be identified. It now has been. The active ingredient is now known to be not hypericin, but hypeforin, what is known as a prenylated phloroglucinol. The herb is now standardized on this substance.
This is a demonstration of the importance of identifying the active ingredients in a herbal treatment accurately, and also of standardizing doses. Kudzu doses must be standardized if their effect is to be consistent. There is now little doubt that addiction recovery is possible with Chinese herbs like kudzu, and who knows what else the ancient civilizations such as the Chinese have to offer us.
Build Healthier Skin With Antioxidant Rich Skin Moisturizing Lotions
November 02, 2007 04:32 PM
Antioxidant rich skin moisturizing lotions can help you to build healthier skin, since they can help to allow the appearance of the fine lines that eventually develop into the wrinkles that you dread.
Most people think about caring for their skin more in the summer when the sun is hot than in the colder winter months, but cold can also dry out your skin since you tend to sweat less. However, the summer brings with it the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun to a greater or lesser degree depending on your climate. Tough leathery skin is generally associated with skin neglect by white skinned people in the hotter areas of the world such as Australia and the southern parts of Florida and California.
You should look after your skin since it is important to you. It not only keeps everything inside that should be kept inside, but also generates vitamin D and contains the temperature control system that your body relies upon. Elephants flap their ears, dogs pant and humans sweat! Without your skin you would be in a bad way, so you should look after it. If you don’t keep it supple it gets dry and hard, wrinkled, itchy and can crack, into which the bugs and viruses needed to make you ill can enter.
All of this occurs when your skin loses its moisture. In order to keep it in tip top condition, and keep yourself looking young and attractive, you should keep it moist through the use of artificial moisturizers if necessary. So why does your skin dry out and how do moisturizers work to help overcome the effects of drying?
In fact the major problems that occur with your skin due to exposure to sun in the summer have nothing to do with drying out. Your skin actually does, as suggested above, become more affected by dryness in the winter when the relative humidity is low. It is in winter that you have to use lip moisturizer because of dry and cracked lips, not summer. However, summer has its dangers, even more than winter.
It is the UV radiation from the sun that damages your skin and can ultimately lead to skin cancer. The UVA and UVB radiation are at different wavelengths and have different effects. The combination, however, causes wrinkles, skin disorders when aging, premature aging, and dry leathery skin. Part of this is believed to be due to the breakdown of the collagen in the skin that maintains its elasticity, free radical damage and inhibition of the immune system.
When UV radiation breaks down collagen it causes the accumulation of abnormal tissue. When this builds up, enzymes are produced that are intended to repair the collagen, but sometimes it does not work properly and produces a disorganized and random accumulation of collagen fibers that eventually result in wrinkles.
Free radicals are chemicals that have a free electron available, rather than having all electrons in pairs as in stable compounds. It is therefore unstable and will steal an electron from healthy tissue and so damage the cell that it takes it from. Eventually, the cells die and genetic material within the cells can be altered. This can cause wrinkling of the skin and underlying tissues or even cancer by changing the DNA and RNA contained within the cell.
The final defense of the body against cell damage is paradoxically apoptosis, which is suicide by the damaged cells to prevent them becoming cancerous. This is what you see when your skin peels after sunburn – it is deliberate action on behalf of the cells of your skin sacrificing themselves to save the body as a whole. UV exposure can prevent this from occurring which is why it can lead to some forms of skin cancer.
However, it is the action of oxidants on the skin that cause most damage. The so-called drying out of skin is largely due to oxidant damage more so than to loss of moisture. The sweat glands in your skin can produce lots of moisture, but nothing can be done about free radicals other than provide the help of antioxidants to kill them off. Antioxidants destroy free radicals with glee, and hunt them down wherever they are. The common antioxidants in your body are vitamins A, C and especially the powerful vitamin E. That is why so many skin creams contain vitamin E, and sometimes also vitamin A.
However, there are many more antioxidants than these. Astaxanthin is one. ‘Asta what?’ I can hear you say, and I am not surprised. It is not very common in health stores, but has been approved by the FDA and in Europe as a food colorant. It is a terpene carotenoid, though does not break down to vitamin A in the human metabolism as other carotenes do. It is claimed to be fifty times more powerful as an antioxidant than vitamin E and acts as an internal sunscreen in the skin by blocking the harmful effects of UV radiation at cellular level.
It is available naturally in krill, salmon, trout, crustaceans and some bird feathers, and is extracted from microalgae. Not all sources are palatable and it is best taken as a supplement, or to protect the skin, in a cream. Another super-antioxidant is pycnogenol. However, be aware of purchasing it under this trade name in the USA, since the term has been hijacked by others who are selling a different product under that name. The true chemical pycnogenol as named by Frenchman Dr. Masquelier is a very strong antioxidant: any others are mere imitations that are not the same product.
Chemically, pycnogenol is a proanthocyanidin, a flavanol extractable from grape seed or pine bark. Any product that comes from a different source cannot be pycnogenol. That said, the product is able to strengthen the skin and prevent wrinkles through its effect in scavenging free radicals. It stops the free radicals from destroying the cells of the skin and causing premature aging. Whether the chemical is extracted from pine bark or grape seed appears to make no difference. The chemicals are virtually identical, or should be if they are from the right form of pine bark.
The polyphenols in green tea also eradicate free radicals. They too are very strong antioxidants, just one of the remarkable properties of this plant. However, none of these will be of much help unless specifically applied to the skin. If taken internally, they will do a great job of mopping up free radicals in the blood, but very little will actually reach the skin.
In order to build healthier skin, you will have to use antioxidant rich skin moisturizing lotions that apply moisture to your skin, but more importantly also apply these powerful antioxidants. If you really want to maintain good looking wrinkle-free supple skin in sunny climates, then look for one or more of the above substances as an ingredient in your moisturizing lotion.
October 22, 2007 10:06 AM
A plate of colored food is not only very pleasing to our eyes, but also very healthy. What looks good to eat is also very healthy for us and if you are finding it difficult to persuade your children to eat those boring old tired looking vegetables, then try brightening up their plates with some nice bright colors.
Kids love brightly colored pop and candy so it should not be a difficult thing to persuade them to eat some brightly colored vegetables like peppers, tomatoes, quashes and even thinly sliced carrots with a nice dip. The more intense the color the better for you they appear to be. Colored foods are normally packed full of anti-oxidants that help to prevent diseases of the cardiovascular system and to mop up free radicals present in our bodies. These antioxidants are all chemicals, and many of the naturally occurring antioxidants are highly colored. They are very good at destroying free radicals.
Free radicals are a form of chemical that destroy body cells, and not only accelerate the effects of aging, but also harm our heart. A free radical is a molecule with an unpaired electron. Electrons like to go around in pairs. Every atom has pairs of electrons, and one atom has an odd number then it pairs up with another atom with an odd number, so the two form a compound with an even number of electrons.
However, now and again, the body’s metabolism throws up a molecule with an unpaired electron. That electron’s first thought is to find a partner, and it does so by stealing one from a cell in your body. The result is the disruption and destruction of the cell. Free radicals can also be formed by environmental pollution, cigarette smoke, pesticides and so on.
Anti-oxidants destroy free radicals, and generally keep us healthier for longer. They do so by mopping up the extra electron, and there are many different types of antioxidant that form part of our normal diet. Among them are vitamins A, C and E, but there are others that are complex highly colored organic compounds. Among these are the anthocyanins, known to paint and ink manufacturers as strong red pigments.
Anthocyanins are the pigments or dyes that color red grapes, egg plant, plums and blueberries and they are very powerful antioxidants. However, it is not only for antioxidants that we should eat colorful foods. Some dark green foods, such as spinach, green peppers, peas, celery and dark leafy vegetables, contain what are known as lutein. Lutein works in combination with zeaxanthin to protect our eyes from cataracts and a condition known as macular degeneration, which can lead to blindness. Zeaxanthin is available from red peppers, oranges, egg yolk and corn.
Many people take folic acid supplements help maintain a healthy heart, and especially women to help prevent birth defects. However, the natural form of folic acid, folate is available from green foods such as lettuce, green beans, broccoli, peas, green grapes, and many other green foods. Broccoli and cabbage also contain indoles also known as indol-3-carbinol are believed to protect your from some cancers. So green is good!
Yellow is also good, and foods such as grapefruit, pineapple and melon help to boost the immune system and keep infections at bay, and also to provide energy and help maintain healthy eyes. Many antioxidants are yellow, although yellow might not a color that you would associate as being attractive to children, unless very bright. However, the yellow foods tend to be fruits rather than vegetables, and it is much easier to persuade a child to eat a pineapple than a squash.
Lycopene is another very powerful antioxidant that prevents the oxidation of low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol that can damage the cardiovascular system through atherosclerosis. Lycopene is a red pigment very common in tomatoes, and is fat soluble. It is a member of the carotenoid family of antioxidants that are common in brightly colored foods such as carrots, red peppers and many yellow fruits and vegetables as described above. Lutein is also a carotenoid.
A diet rich in carotenoids is very good for keeping the effects of aging at bay and protecting you from heart problems. Lycopene is contained in the liver, colon, skin and prostate gland, and can occur at higher concentrations than most other carotenoids. People that suffer from HIV infections, high cholesterol diseases and inflammatory conditions such as osteoarthritis, are generally found to have low levels of lycopene in their blood.
Many of the so-called ‘superfoods’ are also brightly colored, and useful not just for their antioxidant properties. Take cranberries for example. These bright red berries contain proanthocyanadins that prevent some bacteria such as e-coli from adhering to the walls of the urinary tract and cause urinary tract infections such as cystitis, and also from adhering to the gums. Cranberries can therefore be used in the treatment of some gum diseases. However, they also possess strong antioxidant properties that help to protect the body against some cancers and also heart disease.
Blueberries are high in vitamin C, potassium and antioxidants with strong anti-inflammatory properties. Pomegranates have exceptionally high antioxidant content and are excellent for a healthy cardiovascular system while strong green broccoli contains not only vitamin C and antioxidants but also folate (the natural form of folic acid) and the phytochemical sulforafane that is believed to protect against certain cancers.
The color of your food, therefore, not only makes it look pretty on your plate and attractive to children, but also indicates the presence of strong antioxidants and other chemicals that help to protect you from specific medical conditions. It is no coincidence that the vast majority of the so-called superfoods is vegetable in origin rather than animal, and also tastes good. You should eat as many of them as you can, and certainly at least five portions every day.
Some can also be used as a remedy for specific conditions in addition to being used for their preventative properties, such as cranberries are used in the treatment of diseases of the urinary tract, and specific diets can help to reduce the amount of LDL cholesterol in the body. Eating with your eyes is not always a bad thing. Some may find it hard to consume enough colorful fruits and vegetables to be beneficial so what is a person to do? Your local health food store has available powdered vegetable and fruit concentrates that supply all the needed nutrients in one simple drink.
Americans, on the whole, are fatter than just about any other group...
March 18, 2006 02:38 PM
Americans, on the whole, are fatter than just about any other group of people in the world. They also have some of the highest rates of Type-II Diabetes and heart problems in the world. Why are we so fat? Weight gain is usually a combination of two things: an unhealthy diet and a lack of exercise. Most people, when they decide to try and lose weight, only tackle part of the problem. They try dieting or taking pills or living off of lemon juice and cayenne pepper for awhile, but usually it doesn’t work. Though a healthy diet is important to losing weight, it’s still only part of the equation. If you cut down your calories but still sit on a couch or in an office every day, you’re not going to lose much weight. Interestingly enough, though many people are happy to try dieting, there aren’t many who only work at the other side of the equation: exercising.
So why don’t people exercise? Part of it is attached to our mentality about exercising. “Exercising” brings up images of sweaty, unhappy people lifting weights in a smelly gym, and it sounds like a lot of work. However, exercising doesn’t mean you’re going to have to pump iron for a few hours every day. In fact, lots of things are considered exercising, from playing a pick-up game of basketball to gardening to just taking a walk around the block. Most studies have found that a half hour of exercise every day is enough to keep you healthy, and that half hour doesn’t even have to be all at once. You can skip rope for ten minutes in the morning, take a walk for ten minutes after lunch, and take a walk around the block for ten minutes when you get home and night and take care of all of your exercise for the day.
“But wait a minute,” you say, “How can walking be good for you? I walk every day!” The average American walks for only about 1/3 of a mile every day. However, fitness walking is a great way to lose weight, especially because it’s so available. If you want to go swimming you have to go to a pool, change clothes, swim, change again, and go home or to work, but if you’re taking part in fitness walking all you have to do is walk out the door of your office. Fitness walking is also an attractive exercise choice because it’s low-impact and virtually injury-free, and serves as a nice warm up for running or jogging. Fitness walking is also easy to incorporate into any schedule, since if you walk fifteen minutes to work every morning and fifteen minutes back every evening you’ve already taken care of your exercise for the day, which will help you lose weight and stay healthy.
Peaceful Planet Vegan Protein Line... Veglife
December 24, 2005 01:24 PM
Source Naturals - From Formula to Implementation
August 20, 2005 11:45 AM
“Overseeing and tracking the manufacture of approximately 500 different products is a challenging and very satisfying responsibility. I take pride in making sure all aspects of manufacturing—material rotation and pulling, mixing, wet granulation, milling, tableting, and encapsulation—run smoothly and efficiently. –Dale Nemecek, Manufacturing Supervisor
From Formula to Implementation
Source Naturals’ manufacturing team has an enormous responsibility: bringing to fruition the plans so carefully laid down on paper by our research and product development staff. Here’s how.
Premium Ingredients Because grinding or cutting increases the exposure of plants to light, heat and air, and can cause a powdered herb to degrade, whole herbs are milled on site. The result is fresher, more potent botanicals. Source Naturals also seeks to minimize excipients (non-active ingredients) in tablets and to use the most natural sources available. Vegetable gums bind ingredients together, vegetable fiber (cellulose) improves hardness and compressibility, and modified cellulose gum facilitates disintegration after ingestion. Only natural flavorings and sweeteners are used in our lozenges or chewable tablets. Our labels provide full disclosure of all ingredients and excipients.
Optimal Production Methods
Ingredients are pulled from our warehouse using first-in, first-out inventory practices. Batches of measured materials are processed according to individual specifications. For tablets, roller compaction improves granulation and milling decreases particle size. Wet granulation is used when appropriate as an alternative: active ingredients are blended with water and vegetable binder, dried, milled, and compressed on a tablet press. Tablets are coated with cellulose and polished, adding a smooth, attractive surface that protects them and makes them easier to swallow. Source Naturals also has the capacity for manufacturing and filling liquids, and for in house encapsulation.
Whole herbs are milled on site, resulting in fresher, more potent botanicals.
Best Hyaluronic Acid w/Chondroitin Sulfate - Benefits of...
July 27, 2005 12:28 PM
• Supports Healthy Joint Structure and Function*
Components of BioCell Collagen II including collagen type II, chondroitin sulfate and hyaluronic acid (HA) can enhance proteoglycans in the joint matrix, thereby providing support for healthy joint function and maintaining joint shock absorption and cushioning.
Chondroitin has been well studied for its effects on joint health. In a 1996 controlled, double-blind trial published in the Journal of Rheumatology, 146 volunteers consumed chondroitin sulfate daily for 6 months. Changes in joint function were measured according to several clinical parameters and carefully analyzed. After the first month, significant improvements were noted and maintained for three months after the subjects stopped taking the chondroitin sulfate.1 In an earlier double-blind study subjects taking chondroitin sulfate had improvements in joint function after three months of use, as determined by both objective and subjective measurements.2 In both studies, the benefits lasted for weeks after subjects stopped taking chondroitin sulfate.
In another controlled study, 192 subjects took chondroitin sulfate or a placebo daily for one year. At the end of the trial, chondroitin sulfate maintained healthy joint cartilage thickness, while those on placebo had decreased cartilage. Improvements in joint function also occurred. The researchers reported that chondroitin exerted a clear chondroprotective effect.3
COLLAGEN TYPE II
A number of studies have also been conducted on the administration of collagen type II to individuals that have various joint issues. Much of this research has been conducted on animal models of joint conditions while there are also studies showing the effectiveness of oral collagen type II preparations in humans for maintenance of healthy joints.
A randomized controlled trial conducted on 60 patients with joint health issues in 1993 found that oral administration of chicken collagen type II for 3 months led to a significant decrease in swollen and tender joints in this group, as compared to no measurable improvement in the placebo group. There were also no side effects seen with the treatment.4 A second multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in 274 individuals with joint issues was published in 1998. The participants were given collagen type II orally for 24 weeks. Positive effects of the treatment were noted while no adverse effects were seen.5
A paper published in 2000 reviewed the literature to assess the role of hydrolyzed collagen in joint and bone health. It was found that hydrolyzed collagen when administered orally was able to support joint health in most of the trials reviewed while the author concluded that, “Its high level of safety makes it attractive as an agent for long-term use.”6
HYALURONIC ACID (HA)
Most of the literature on hyaluronic acid and joint health deals with its intra-articular use, or injections of HA directly into the joints. In this realm, there is good evidence for the effects of HA on joint function.
A study was conducted with injectable HA in individuals with TMJ (temporomandibular joint) conditions. Participants received two injections, each one week apart, or placebo injections with saline. In the HA group, the researchers found decreased clicking sounds and increased function of the joint at 1 month (90% of patients showed improvement) and 6 months (63%) of follow-up, compared to about 26% of the placebo group showing improvement at 6 months.7
A pair of researchers also conducted a literature review of the trials using HA for improving joint health that was published in 2005. Their findings indicate a positive role for HA in modifying the structure of the joint and slowing progressive deterioration of joint function and mobility.8 Hyaluronic acid seems to have a natural affinity for joint tissue, and is therefore able to help support healthy joint structure and function.
• SuSupports Healthy Joint Structure and Function*
Hyaluronic Acid and Collagen are both vital components of skin tissue. Both compounds are known to decline with aging. Collagen is a vital structural component of the skin. It is also one of the most important substances required for proper skin barrier function and health. Collagen, as a major component of the connective tissue, provides structural support, increasing elasticity and tone of the skin.
In 1994, researchers performed comparative measurements of hyaluronic acid levels in the skin of young and elderly individuals. The researchers had hypothesized that a major reason for the aged appearance of skin in the elderly is a reduction of hyaluronic acid levels. What they found using their methods is that there is a progressive reduction in the number of hyaluronic acid granules in human skin with age, until a complete absence of these granules was seen in individuals 60 years or older. These variations in HA levels with age could, according to the researchers, account for the decreased turgidity, wrinkled appearance and altered elasticity of skin tissue.9 Further research was needed to determine the effect of exogenously administered HA on the suppleness of human skin.
In a laboratory study conducted in 1998, researchers analyzed the effects of HA given to live human skin cells. Whereas the cells on their own had a low rate of renewal, hyaluronic acid added to the cells resulted in increased proliferation of skin cells in the collagen matrix. This showed that supplementing skin cells with HA caused a significant increase in the ability of cells to go through the cell cycle.10 One of the major benefits of this may be hyaluronic acid’s ability to continually renew skin tissue to help maintain a youthful appearance of the skin.
Suggested Adult Use: Take 2 capsules daily, or as directed by a health care practitioner. Take with 8-10 ounces of water, with or without food.
1. Morreale P, et al. Comparison of the antiinflammatory efficacy of chondroitin sulfate and diclofenac sodium in patients with knee osteoarthritis. J Rheumatol (1996) 23:1385-91.
2. Mazières B, et al. Chondroitin sulfate for the treatment of coxarthrosis and gonarthrosis. A prospective, multicenter, placebo-controlled, double blind trial with five months follow up. Rev. Rhum. Mal. Ostèoartic. 1992;59(7-8):466-472.
3. Pipitone V, et al. A multicenter, triple-blind study to evaluate galactosaminoglucuronoglycan sulfate versus placebo in patients with femorotibial gonarthritis. Current Therapeutic Research 1992 52(4):608-38.
4. Trentham DE, et al. Effects of oral administration of type II collagen on rheumatoid arthritis. Science. 1993 Sep 24; 261(5129) 1727-30.
5. Barnett ML, et al. Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis with oral type II collagen. Results of a multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Arthritis Rheum. 1998 Feb; 41(2): 290-7.
6. Moskowitz RW. Role of collagen hydrolysate in bone and joint disease. Semin Arthritis Rheum. 2000 Oct;30(2):87-99.
7. Hepguler S, et al. The efficacy of intra-articular sodium hyaluronate in patients with reducing displaced disc of the temporomandibular joint. J Oral Rehab. 2002; 29: 80-86.
8. Goldberg VM, Buckwalter JA. Hyaluronans in the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee: evidence for disease-modifying activity. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2005 Mar;13(3):216-24.
9. Ghersetich I, et al. Hyaluronic acid in cutaneous intrinsic aging. Int J Dermatol. 1994 Feb; 33(2): 119-22.
10. Greco RM, et al. Hyaluronic acid stimulates human fibroblast proliferation within a collagen matrix. J Cell Physiol. 1998 Dec; 177(3): 465-73.
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.