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The 9 Essential Amino Acids To Lower Blood Sugar, Build Muscle &Reduce Stress
March 21, 2019 01:27 PM
Lower blood sugar is beneficial to your good health but it is not always easy to achieve this feat. But, if you are using the right amino acids, it becomes much easier to lower blood sugar, but that it not all. With the right amino acids, it is also possible to increase muscle size and reduce stress. There are nine important essential amino acids that you should include in your daily routine for best results. What are those?
"If you've taken a high-school biology class or have friends who are bodybuilders, you've probably heard this fact: Amino acids are the building blocks of protein."
Read more: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/essential-amino-acids-benefits
Chia Seeds vs Flax Seeds: Which Is Healthier?
February 07, 2019 10:42 AM
Although chia and flax seeds both have distinct benefits that provide consumers with health advantages, each of these seedling varieties excel in different areas. For instance, if you are experiencing some constipation, the high amounts of fiber located within chia seeds may help relieve your discomfort. When it comes to other ailments such as Crohn's Disease, flax seeds may help due to their significant amount of selenium. Both chia seeds and flax seeds have over 4 grams of protein per serving, making them a go-to treat for body builders.
"Chia seeds and flax seeds nutrition both include a good amount of fiber and protein. They both also have an extensive nutrient profile and provide a type of omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)."
Read more: https://draxe.com/chia-seeds-vs-flax-seeds-which-is-healthier/
Protein Powder: 7 Best Types + How to Use
September 19, 2018 04:42 PM
Protein powder is commonly used amongst body builders, athletes, and every day people working out. Recent research has shown that it could improve your skin health and even improve you immunity. Protein powder is made from animal and plant-based sources. The common forms of protein powder include; hemp, egg, pea, rice, bone broth, soy, whey and more. There are three common forms of protein powder called concentrates, isolates, and hydrolysates. Protein powdering containing bone broth is one of the best kinds.
"Produced from both plant-based and animal sources, there are many types of protein powders available to tailor to any diet plan, taste palate or personal preference."
Read more: https://draxe.com/protein-powder-best-types/
Oil Of Oregano & 6 Other Health Supplements That Can Help TreatDigestive Issues
September 01, 2018 05:53 PM
In today's world, there are so many different options of foods and brands that claim to be healthier than the next. There are many supplements that people take and they all have different reasons for it. Now, the age of the bodybuilder has really increased and people are trying to achieve a certain look. Oil of oregano and other health supplements are more for the issues that involve being able to digest things more efficiently and safely.
"Leaky gut is the cause for many malabsorption issues, which means even if you are eating a healthy diet and taking care of yourself your body may not be absorbing these nourishing nutrients."
Read more: https://sporteluxe.com/oil-of-oregano-6-other-supplements-that-can-help-treat-your-digestive-issues/
12 Things That Happen To Your Body When You Eat Eggs!!
May 14, 2017 11:44 AM
Since eggs are packed with coleen, amino acids and iron. This makes them a great addition to your diet. Eggs can improve cholesterol, prevent infections, reduce the risk of heart disease. Since they contain Vitamin D, eggs also can help bone and heart health. Since eggs have so many vitamins, they are good for eye and brain health. They can even help you loose weight since they make you feel full. Children should also comsume eggs to reduce the risk of illness.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDc_WY56J3M&rel=0
"They are an easy- obtainable, versatile and inexpensive source of proteins. Furthermore, they are rich in amino acids, iron and antioxidants. Moreover, eggs also improve your health, since each 85-calorie eggs packs a solid 7 grams of the muscle-Builder."
eat eggs before workout to gain muscle
March 29, 2017 10:14 AM
For those who are trying to build more muscle mass, this video is for you. Hitting the gym and working out are not the only things you should be doing to increase muscle. Diet is important too and eggs are a food that should not be overlooked before your workout. Eggs contain high-quality protein that is absolutely vital to a muscular physique. Watch this video for an in-depth look into eggs and how they will compliment your morning workout.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TRR0icvEZw&rel=0
"It has a valuable role in providing a healthy diet for all and especially bodyBuilders."
Can L-Leucine Help Glucose Metabolism And Insulin Function?
June 02, 2014 08:54 AM
What is a leucine
Leucine is one of 3 amino acids that increases muscle mass and will also help you to recover after exercise. Leucine supplies the body with energy and regulate blood sugar. Being an essential amino acids, it cannot be synthesized by the body and thus you need to get it from food or supplements. But Can L-Leucine help glucose metabolism and insulin function?
What does leucine do
L-leucine has direct bearing on the amount of insulin produced. L-leucine will stimulate the amount of insulin produced by the pancreas. One of the ways in which it influences the amount of insulin produced is by enhancing glutaminolysis by allosterically activating GDH (glutamate dehydrogenase).
Benefits of leucine
Increased insulin levels have a major implications on glucose metabolism. Increased insulin level will directly result into faster glucose absorption into the blood stream. Increased glucose metabolism prevents the body from using lean muscles to supply energy during workouts. Unlike isoleucine and valine, L-leucine are converted to glucose slowly and thus you can have sustained energy for long.
It is also very effective in muscle building. By stimulating insulin release and glucose metabolism, it enables key nutrients such as amino acids, Creatine and glucose to enter muscle cells. Since insulin will stimulate rapid muscle synthesis while inhibiting protein breakdown, L-leucine will build lean muscle mass with a short period.
L-leucine is alternative to steroids, it is safer and its effects are lasting. During workouts, it supports oxidative metabolism in muscles and decrease protein degradation.
If you are looking for the best way you can build muscle mass and strength without adverse effects, L-leucine is premier supplement. Apart from building muscle, l-leucine will also improve brain functions. You can take more workouts. L-leusine supplement has been used by many body Builders and has been proved beyond doubt to be effective supplement. If you have been wondering if l-leucine help glucose metabolism and insulin function, no doubt it is can.
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Importance of Chlorophyll in human Body
March 22, 2014 08:37 AM
What Does Chlorophyll Do For The Body?
Chlorophyll is a green molecule found in plants and plays major roles in human body. It is ingested in its raw form while eating vegetables.
Its role in human body
Despite of being vital molecule in plants; it also plays a vital role in human body in that; it acts as a blood cleanser, blood Builder and also an oxygen booster. It does this by delivering energy transfusion in the bloodstream thereby restocking and increasing red blood cell count.
Disease prevention roles
The chlorophyll provides alkaline environment in human body in addition to being an oxygenator therefore helping our bodies fight off disease causing bacteria.
Chlorophyll helps the body to cleanse itself of toxic substances. In larger perspective it is linked with cancer prevention through its cleansing roles. By helping the body to detoxify itself; it plays a major role in removing the impurities that may lead to development of cancer in human body.
It is also known to be a source of amino acids which are important part of human health. It also plays a part in promoting quick rejuvenation of human cells. It also improves liver functions by extracting the blood impurities. It is also a high regulator of calcium. This helps in building ions in the blood. It is also known for its effects of reversing protein deficient anemia which is common in children in low developed countries.
Where can it be found?
It is usually found in green plants though in different levels. It gets to human body through consumption of these green plants especially the leafy part. The highest chlorophyll containing plant is the wheatgrass. To obtain it you have to juice the plant and for detoxification it may require regular juicing. It is the only component in a plant that has so many benefits to human body.
Lavilin Deodorant reviews.
March 04, 2014 09:03 AM
There are many deodorants in the market but Lavilin is among the reputed deodorants. It is a gentle and effective deodorant.
Aluminium-some deodorants contains aluminium which causes breast cancer and Alzheimer. Most of the ingredients are from natural sources. This makes Lavilin a premier deodorants.
It is also free from Parabens, though most anti-perspirants uses Parabens to improve shelf life, Lavilin uses natural methods. Parabens are very dangerous to our bodies since they can damage central nervous system, cause birth defects and endocrine disruption.
It contains zero Propylene Glycol, Triclosan and Phthalates which are also very harmful to your health.
It is also free from alcohol which damages skin pores and also causes blisters. Deodorants which contains alcohol will cause blisters and users will get irritation when they take bath.
How it works.
It works by eliminating bacteria that causes odor smell in your armpits. It does not prevent you from sweating, sweating is a very health process and any product that hinders normal body processes is definitely not good at all.
Lavilin uses essential oils to eliminate bacteria and ensure your skin remains fresh and you have a good smell.
Direction of use.
This product should be used after taking shower. It has a good smell which will not work well if you have not taken bath.
You can also use it after shaving, it does not cause irritations, it is very friendly.
Upon it use, you will have fresh breath for more than 72 hours. It has a good smell and it will keep your skin fresh for more than 72 hours. It does not wear off easily even after taking a bath, it is promising product that will keep you confident for more than 4 days.
It is long lasting, upon wearing it, it will remain effective for more than 72 hours. You don’t need to use it daily.
It is not affected by water, the scent will remain after taking bath.
There is no strong smell, it scent is just friendly to you and other people. It is never shouty and only a person close to you will smell the scent.
It does not stain clothes or make your armpits white. You clothes will not be discolored by use of Lavilin nor will your armpit get white color.
You can use it after shaving, it does not cause blisters or irritations. It is very friendly.
It is also very use, it has few and easy few to follow instructions.
Lavilin does not seem to be effective to men. It can last for more than 4 days when worn by a lady but for a man it will last for only three days. This call for regular use.
Lavilin can be used by body Builders or people taking strenuous exercise. It can also be used in nay weather, sunny, rainy or high humidity, it effectiveness is not lessened by weather condition.
Zinc monomethionine and aspartate
January 25, 2014 09:24 AM
What is ZMA?
Zinc monomethionine and aspartate commonly known as ZMA and Magnesium Aspartate is a supplement mostly used by people involved in great excises such as the athletes, gymnasts, and bodyBuilders. Supplements help in maximum building of body muscles though some could think about creatine, weight gainers, testosterone boosters and protein powder. ZMA is one of the great supplements.
Importance of ZMA
ZMA is of great importance when it comes to immune boosting. Some of the body occurrence could damper somebody’s ability to train well. Zinc supplementation gives appositive effect as it decreases the levels of oxidative stress and it reduces inflammation in the body. Also, the ZMA addition of this supplement to the daily diet since it happens to be one of the nutrients. These nutrients are frequently found in daily consumed foods like crab, oysters, pork shoulder and beef shanks. ZMA boosts the testosterone levels in the body since it is muscle building supplement that has been shown to boost testosterone levels. This substance contains zinc, magnesium together with vitamin B6.
The research has revealed that the usage of ZMA supplement increases the testosterone levels for about 30% and the strength could be increased by 250%. The ZMA testosterone boost makes a great progress in weight training. It also develops strength. The presence of this supplement is of great benefit to sleep as it boosts the testosterone hormone that helps in getting enough sleep. The sleep helps muscles by repairing them and giving enough rest.
The Magnesium presence could help in building of the lean muscles in from their ass. This gives the muscles enough oxygen as the function and recovering from their workouts and build new muscles. Still edge can be gotten by taking ZMA though zinc and magnesium contain high quantity of multivitamins, a condition called competing nutrients. This condition is by when one nutrient cancels the effect on another nutrient.
For the case of weight training, the presence of calcium in your body can cancel out or limit the effects of zinc and magnesium that you ingest through food or a multivitamin.
How Does Tribulus Boost Testosterone?
January 25, 2014 09:07 AM
Effective Ways to Gain the Muscle Mass
If you are a body Builder, one of the things you might be interested in is how to make sure that you gain the muscle mass you need faster and more effectively. Of course, strictly keeping to your exercise regimen and also making sure that you have a proper diet are all necessary in order to achieve this. However, you can always take advantage of some other types of help to make the process even easier. One of these is through the use of supplements such as Tribulus to accelerate the process of muscle gain.
What is Tribulus
In a nutshell, tribulus is a herb that has the effect of increasing the amount of testosterone that one has in their body. It is normally taken in pill form, and has a large following in the body building community. It works by increasing the body’s testosterone synthetic activity, which means that you don’t have to depend on any exogenous hormone in order to gain the benefits you are interested in. It is a product that has received a lot of rave reviews in the past, and this means that you are likely to benefit from it a lot if you tried using it.
In addition to the fact that people who have tried it out have very good experiences with it, there are other benefits of trying out tribulus. One of these is the fact that it’s all natural. This means that unlike other kinds of supplements, you are unlikely to suffer from issues such as adverse reactions when you use tribulus. In addition to that, it’s also cheaper than most other alternative drugs as well. The only thing you need to do in order to benefit from all this is make sure that you buy your tribulus from sources you can trust. Remember, the fact that it’s so popular means that there are many fake versions of it out there.
Is D-Ribose Only Good For All Muscular Energy Or Just The Heart?
January 22, 2014 10:32 AM
What is D-Ribose
Ribose, better known as D-Ribose is a sugar that gets produced by the human body or rather say body cells. Unlike normal sucrose or any artificial sugar, Ribose is an especial sugar found in a variety of foods. Generally, doctors suggest external Ribose dosages to heart patients as it’s known to improve heart function and help people obviate hearth disease and congestive heart failure. Now, here’s the question arises, is D-Ribose only good for all muscular energy or just the heart?
Before answering the above question, have a look at the science behind the fact that Ribose is helpful to heart patients. Well, in simple terms, heart of the people, suffering from congestive heart failure works much harder compared to the heart of normal people. To pump blood harder, heart requires more energy and if it doesn’t get the energy, it gets tired and also makes the body tired. This is where the external dosage of Ribose offsets the energy lost by the heart, and help it work properly.
D-Ribose is frequently found in energy drinks and health supplements. Actually natural foods don’t really contain free Ribose, hence health supplements or energy drinks become the best source of Ribose. Before purchasing any health supplement featuring Ribose, make sure you consult with an expert doctor. So, whether you are suffering from congestive heart failure or chronic fatigue or you just want to boost your energy before the gym workouts, consume a genuine D-Ribose health supplement daily to see the difference.
Arginine and Ornithine Supplementation for Enhanced Athletic Performance
January 19, 2014 07:41 AM
Arginine and ornithine
Arginine and ornithine are two amino acids that are incorporated in protein that is found in many dietary sources, such as meat, egg whites, soy or fish. Although these two amino acids can be supplied to your muscles from food sources, several research studies have examined the benefits of arginine and ornithine supplements. Fitness researchers found positive and promising results in terms of muscular growth, endurance and fatigue prevention. These supplements are especially known and popular among bodyBuilders and other types of strength athletes, as it has been clearly demonstrated that they improve athletic ability on a biochemical level.
Why Take An L-Arginine And L-Citrulline Amino Acid Complex?
January 18, 2014 11:52 PM
Arginine and citrulline
Are popular amino acids among individuals who are enthusiastic about athletic performance and muscle development. L-Arginine and L-Citrulline are marketed as amino acid supplements that are especially useful for athletes who need an additional biochemical support for enhanced muscular energy and growth of muscle fibers. BodyBuilders and weightlifters are especially passionate about amino acid supplements because it helps them break through muscle development stagnation and reach more difficult goals in terms of muscle size or weight lifting potential.
Reasons why your Heart Need More Energy Try D-Ribose
January 18, 2014 06:56 AM
Why take Ribose
Should you buy these ribose supplements? This article will answer this question. The supplement is one of the latest discoveries that have gained favor on many people throughout the world. If you are contemplating on buying this supplement, you need to look at this background information to make sure that you get what you deserve.
What Is Ribose?
It is made up of glucose that is found within your body thus being a natural sugar and it is a major component of RNA. Ribose is also very important in the makeup of ATP. The RNA is an important transporter of information in the body and the ATP compound is responsible in the storage of transportation of energy to the millions of cells in the body.
Benefit of Ribose Supplements
These supplements are useful especially to athletes and other body Builder in order to help them to increase the energy during their exercises. It helps the athletes in the recuperation during the exercises and helps them not to feel tired and sluggish during their workouts. Mostly the supplement is put in many energy drinks and other body building supplements.
The supplement is also very important in curing many illnesses. The most common treatment is that that it is very important in treating those patients suffering from congestive heart failure disease. Ribose supplement also help the patient suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome since it acts as a source of energy for the body.
The supplement is also useful in treatment of fibromyalgia. this is a debilitating illness that is characterized of painful skin sensitivity, muscle spasms, sleeping problem, weakness in the limbs etc. though it does not completely cure this problems it plays a major role in making sure that the pain is reduced and manageable.
Side Effects of Ribose.
The good news that comes with supplement is that it has minimal and non-existent side effects. The recommended dosage of ribose is about 5 grams thrice per day and should be taken with food. In case you take energy, drink containing the supplement also remembers to adjust your dosage accordingly
What Is The Difference Between flaxseed oil and fish oil
January 01, 2014 07:03 PM
Before you can compare flaxseed oil and fish oil
It is first important to understand the differences between the two oils. Extracted from the dried seeds of the plant rips linen, flax seed oil is clean and almost yellow. The oil is obtained by a cold method or by solvent extraction. Flaxseed oil contains acid lineolic, a particular form of omega-3 fatty acids. Fish Oil is extracted from the tissues of fatty fish containing EPA, Docohsahexanoic acid (DHA) and eicosanoids.
Benefits of compare flaxseed oil and fish oil
Some of the health benefits are reducing inflammation. For comparison, it is essential to analyze the benefits of both oils. Two omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA in this oil and are a great help in creating hormone-like substance that reduces inflammation and blood pressure. They have also been shown to reduce triglycerides and the accumulation of plaque in the arteries.Omega-3 oils promote the secretion of serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical anti-depressant produced by the body and thus reduces or mitigates the effects of depression. Fish oil is often used in the treatment of patients with HIV / AIDS, and has proven to be helpful in lowering triglyceride levels in the body that build up after prolonged use of antiretroviral drugs. This is extremely useful because it can reduce the risk of a patient for coronary artery disease. In addition to providing relief from chronic inflammation, they is also useful for those suffering from joint pain, such as rheumatoid arthritis. The EPA has also found that fish oil helps protect the skin from photo damage. Photo damage is known to cause permanent skin wrinkles and skin damage. In addition, some studies have shown that they may prevent schizophrenia, with minimal side effects. Mothers who take fish oil during pregnancy often bear children with enhanced brain function as well as children with higher IQs. They are also less prone to cognitive problems. And the effects of postpartum depression seem to lessen with the regular intake of fish oil.The fish oil supplements have even more benefits, including lower risk of macular degeneration in the aging process. And studies have shown that with weight training significant reduced pain is present in the bodyBuilders who regularly consumed fish oil. Other benefits are providing relief for digestive diseases..
The Facts About Herb Dopa Mucuna
December 15, 2013 05:17 PM
What is Herb Dopa Mucuna?
Dopa Mucuna has become used as an aphrodisiac. Which is still used to raise and help libido in both women and men. However it's an alternative treatment peculiarity now is extremely popular used as it provides potential and valuable results in managing Parkinson along with conditions. Pots include seeds called velvet beans or mucuna beans, these are glowing brown or black. Dopa Mucuna is generally be able to recover soil fertility and decrease weed infestation. In society medicine seeds can be used healing different conditions and disease. Mucuna beans have been used as a coffee alternate (ground and roasted) in Brazil, Central America, and other countries.
The primary acts of the plant are following :
You've surely would not heard about L-Dopa, except if you are associated with somebody who carries body Builder or Parkinson's disease, you might not be familiar with about it. L-Dopa is a precursor to dopamine. The seeds of Mucuna bean is rich in lipids, protein, ash, dietary fiber, minerals, and carbohydrates. Moreover they are very high in sterols, alkaloids, and saponins. Mucuna seeds (along with the seeds of every Mucuna varieties) include high level of L-dopa is an immediate precursor of the neurotransmitter dopamine.
How does it works?
Low dopamine ranges are related to psychosis, addiction, schizophrenia, depression, and Attention Deficit Disorder. Because dopamine itself is unable to move the blood-brain barrier, it is transferred in a precursor condition is an outline that causes the brain to generate dopamine. L-Dopa is simply like a precursor. L-Dopa is located to work in improving concentrate, relieving depressive disorders, and managing Parkinson's Disease.
Shark Cartilage and Its Benefit in Improving Joint Health
October 29, 2013 10:12 PM
Benefits of Shark
Shark cartilage is derived from the dried and powdered skeletons of sharks caught in the Pacific Ocean. The part of the skeleton that is used is known as cartilage, which is the tough but elastic part of the skeletal tissue that provides support to the body much like bones. This tissue is rich in calcium as well as other substances thought to have a variety of benefits in health and fitness.
BodyBuilders and fitness experts around the world are currently showing a lot of interest in this product because it has number of effects that can be of benefit to joint health. Depending on the manner in which shark cartilage is harvested and formulated, product can be used to treat cancer, osteoporosis, arthritis and skin disease (psoriasis).
How Does It Work?
As already been mentioned, shark cartilage is rich in calcium. It contains in its formulation other compounds including glucosamine sulfate, chondroitin sulfate and camphor. All these compounds are essential to joint health. When applied topically on the skin covering the joints, shark cartilage is absorbed into the synovial fluid where it produces its effects.
The glucosamine sulphate, the chondroitin sulfate and the camphor have anti-inflammatory properties and therefore helps with treatment of the common inflammatory disorders of the joints especially osteoarthritis and arthritis and repair of joint damages. When used orally as a dietary supplement, it has the effects of promoting calcification of the bones preventing osteoporosis.
The Uses of Shark Cartilage
Shark cartilage is not only used in joint health. It is also used in the treatment of a variety of cancers (prostate, colon, breast and lungs), psoriasis, eye complications and wound healing. However, there is only limited scientific evidence that shark cartilage can produce these effects.
Those who have used products derived from shark cartilage on the other attest to the efficacy of these supplements especially in improving joint health. BodyBuilders and the elderly who usually suffer from a variety on deteriorating joints can benefit from shark cartilage.
What Is Super Oxide Dismutase (SOD)?
December 29, 2012 12:06 PM
Super Oxide Dismutase is an important enzyme that plays an important role in protecting the cells from free radical damage. Enzymes are compounds that work by speeding up certain chemical processes in the body. Super oxide dismutase speed up the process of transforming superoxide into oxygen and hydrogen peroxide, making SOD an important component in the processes of providing oxygen to the cells. Without oxygen, cells eventually stop functioning and die.
Benefits of Super Oxide Dismutase (S.O.D)
This enzyme is present in various living organisms even in some bacteria species that do not utilize oxygen. Because of its function in providing oxygen to the cells, super oxide dismutase is important in keeping cells healthy and ensuring the function of all organs in the body. Without it, cells rapidly age and die, and the body becomes exposed to various kinds of diseases and infections. This becomes more pronounced in individuals who are constantly exposed to pollution and other sources of free radicals. Fortunately, the enzyme is available as a supplement for those who want to ensure that they have the right amounts of super oxide dismutase in their systems. It is important to seek professional consultation before taking the enzyme, but it is often allowed for most people in varying degrees of health.
Top Uses of Super Oxide Dismutase
Super oxide dismutase is often used to treat various types of organ malfunctions like bladder infections as well as to prevent lung infections in newborns suffering from compromised respiratory systems. This is very important in premature newborns since giving oxygen to a newborn can damage his lungs. The enzyme is also used by bodyBuilders and those who want to stay fit and healthy since it enhances oxygen delivery and promotes longer endurance when working out. The antioxidant property of SOD also helps in keeping cells healthy and supports cell tissue repair after strenuous workouts.
What Are the Health Benefits of Phosphatidyl Serine
February 21, 2012 07:53 AM
Phosphatidyl Serine is a phospholipid produced by the brain that brings about a number of beneficial effects to the human body. It is found in every cell of the body but it is abundantly available in the brain. Though it is manufactured naturally in the brain, this type of fat can also be derived from meat, vegetables, dairy products and supplements. In fact, lots of Phosphatidyl Serine supplements are offered on the market today because of its helpful benefits to the human body. So what are the health benefits of Phosphatidyl Serine?
Basically, Phosphatidyl Serine is a powerful nutrient that improves the cardiovascular and overall fitness and boosts the cognitive function of an individual. It increases one's mental clarity, focus, concentration and alertness. Phosphatidyl Serine is actually considered as ‘brain food' that nourishes and enhances the functions of the brain even at an old age. Intake of Phosphatidyl Serine can significantly reduce the individual's risk of suffering from life threatening diseases. In fact, clinical studies show that Phosphatidyl Serine contains powerful components that prevent an individual from developing hypertension and treat atherosclerosis.
Phosphatidyl Serine and Memory
Phosphatidyl Serine is also proven to be effective in boosting the cognitive function of the user. Studies show that the phospholipid can significantly enhance the focus and concentration of an individual. Furthermore, it improves one's learning abilities and helps in alleviating the symptoms of age-related memory loss. This type of fat regulates the production and release of neurotransmitters in the brain. Phosphatidyl Serine is also effective in preventing the development of dementia and treating it.
Studies show that production of Phosphatidyl Serine in the brain decreases with age. This results to the increased occurrence of age-related memory problems as one gets older. Phosphatidyl Serine is even effective in treating the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease that is mainly triggered by a disruption in the normal functioning in the part of the brain that controls memory, thought and language. Intake of 300g of Phosphatidyl Serine daily for two months can reduce the symptoms of the debilitating condition.
Some studies revealed that Phosphatidyl Serine has the ultimate capacity to boost the health of the cell membranes and lower the level of stress hormone in the body. This substance is also believed to be effective in reducing the impact of stress to an individual. Phosphatidyl Serine combats exercise-induced stress by reducing the level of cortisol produced by the adrenal glands during stressful situations.
A clinical study in 1990 shows that intake of Phosphatidyl Serine can significantly reduce the symptoms of depression in elderly women. Researchers claimed that depression is mainly triggered by chemical imbalances in the brain or a stressful event such as accidents and death of a spouse, children and relatives. By mitigating the impact of stress, Phosphatidyl Serine prevents the occurrence of the debilitating symptoms of depression.
Phosphatidyl Serine is also beneficial in building muscles during workout and endurance trainings. It dramatically increases the recovery time of the muscle Builders between workouts. It reduces muscle soreness during workouts and increases the physical performance of an individual.
Some researchers claim that Phosphatidyl Serine can help children who have been diagnosed with ADHD. Furthermore, the substance is believed to be effective in regulating the mood of the user.
What Is the best Free Form Amino Acid to Take?
September 19, 2011 02:43 PM
These days many of us are more and more conscious about our health and we also are able to figure out that if we would like to move further towards a healthier condition we also need to build muscle. That may not be what your trainer says but a good one will do so because healthier means less fat and more muscle. Leaner muscle will be able to give us more energy thus more vitality, in general we simply will be able to get more out of life than if we had plenty of fat to carry around. However please do note that I am not talking about being a body Builder and build bulks and bulks of muscle. That part really depends on you and what I mean is it depends on your weight, your height, your current health and a lot of other factors which are unique to you. So now you may ask, what does this have to do with free form amino acids? Well lean muscle could not be built without amino acids because they are the building blocks of muscle tissues so for us to understand the purpose of free form amino acids and what it can do for us let’s look at more details and thereafter we will be able to figure out as well what may be the best free form amino acid to take.
Free Amino Acids
Free form Amino Acids are basically single amino acids which are ready for use in other words it does need to be digested by the body. This is the reason why it is known more as “pre-digested”. You see, if we get all our amino acids from food what happens is all the protein that is supposed to be derived from it will not be entirely assimilated and a lot of partial proteins will be left undigested and this is what is known as peptides. In this form, it can cause problems for the body as it is useless and in this case will cause imbalances in different areas of your body and may cause allergic reactions. On the other hand free form amino acid will skip all of that because it will be readily available to make all the enzymes and hormones that the body needs and eventually create healthy muscle tissue and nervous tissue.
The Best Free form Amino Acid
I really can’t pinpoint just one awesome product that is out there as the best but what I can do is tell you what to look for to possibly have the best wherever you may be. First off is to find a well balanced formula of essential amino acids because they stop working for a certain period of time if it is not well balanced in the body. Then make sure that it has a lot of essential amino acids so that your body will be able to produce a wider range of non-essential amino acids for more health benefits. Second is that you need to look for high quality crystalline free form amino acids because reduced soy or milk proteins still have peptides which may cause allergic reactions. Lastly, check for good sulfur and molybdenum content to aid strengthen the liver as it is responsible for all protein processing and cleansing of toxins.
Can Alpha Lipoic Acid Help Lower Blood Sugar?
August 06, 2011 12:10 PM
Alpha lipoic acid is a nutritional supplement best known as an antioxidant. It is an organic compound that plays many important physiological functions at the cellular level. For one, it is widely regarded as a potent scavenger of free radicals. It also affects the rate of metabolism and the production of energy. In fact, it has become one of the most popular supplements available in the past few years.
Often abbreviated as ALA, alpha lipoic acid is a derivative of caprylic acid or octanoic acid. As its name suggests, caprylic acid is generally linked to goat milk, though it can be obtained from several other sources of food, such as vegetable oils. ALA has been the subject of studies in recent years. Apart from its role it in the prevention of oxidative stress, it also contributes to the regulation of blood sugar.
Modulates Insulin Function
Blood sugar is the concentration of glucose present in the bloodstream as measured by whole blood, plasma, or serum. Glucose is obtained from complex carbohydrates found in the human diet. It enters the circulatory system, travels through the bloodstream, and nourishes cells. It is the precursor of biochemical energy that supports the physiological functions of cells, tissues, and body organs.
There is good scientific evidence that alpha lipoic acid influences the uptake of glucose. Insulin is the hormone responsible for regulating blood sugar levels as it instructs cells to take up glucose from the blood. It has been observed that alpha lipoic acid induces the activation of insulin receptors, raises the number of glucose transports in cell membranes, and enhances glucose uptake in the process.
Increases Glucose Utilization
Alpha lipoic acid is a dietary supplement popular among body Builders largely owing to the fact that it increases glucose utilization. There is a growing body of scientific literature devoted to the effects of ALA on overall metabolic rate, the reason why it has been marketed as a weight loss supplement for years. As a general rule, glucose utilization by cells increases as the rate of metabolism increases.
The synthesis of adenosine triphosphate requires the presence of glucose, which the human body uses as a source of cellular energy. Numerous studies have reported that alpha lipoic acid is capable of upregulating the production of energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate. Its presence triggers cells to convert glucose to energy at a faster rate, effectively affecting and lowering blood sugar.
Alleviates Diabetes Mellitus
Alpha lipoic acid is especially helpful for people suffering from diabetes mellitus and its complications. In addition to its role in the management of blood sugar, it also protects the nervous system from cellular damage brought on by reactive oxygen species, as is the case with diabetic neuropathy. As a reputed free radical neutralizer, ALA not only alleviates diabetes but also prevents its complications.
How Does N-Acetyl L-Carnitine Help Energy Levels?
August 03, 2011 11:47 AM
N-Acetyl L-Carnitine And Cellular Health
N-Acetyl L-Carnitine refers to the ester form of the organic compound carnitine. It has been linked to many different health benefits largely owing to the fact that it is quite ubiquitous at the cellular level. It plays an important role in keeping cells in prime working condition as derivatives of this compound protect cells from oxidative stress as well as contribute to reactions responsible for energy production.
Increases Cellular Energy
The biochemical energy that powers cellular activities comes in the form of adenosine triphosphate. All types of tissues in the human body are capable of manufacturing this chemical compound, the reason why it is often called the molecular unit of currency. The human diet provides the biological precursors of cellular energy, but adenosine triphosphate is obtained from the sugar glucose more often than not.
Cells make use of N-acetyl L-carnitine in the synthesis of adenosine triphosphate. Research has shown that the presence of acetylated carnitine appears to modulate the metabolic processes leading to the manufacture of cellular energy. In recent years, endurance athletes and body Builders have relied on supplements that contain this compound to boost their energy levels. Human trials support its safety.
Aids Healthy Metabolism
Glucose is the principal precursor of chemical energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate. Complex carbohydrates are digested to simple sugars such as glucose, which enters the circulation. Insulin is a hormone that induces the uptake of glucose by cells, which convert glucose to usable energy. Studies have observed that N-acetyl L-carnitine improves the activity of insulin and consumption of glucose.
It is a well established fact that carnitine is involved in the breakdown of fats, waxes, and sterols, and their consequent utilization in the production of cellular energy. For this reason, N-acetyl L-carnitine is marketed as a nutritional supplement that promotes fat loss and aids weight loss. Human trials have noted that regular intake upregulates the conversion of fats and other lipids to adenosine triphosphate.
Prevents Oxidative Stress
Lysine and methionine are amino acids that act as immediate precursors of carnitine, which the body synthesizes on a regular basis to support a number of physiological functions. In particular, carnitine plays a major role in supplying cells with a steady supply of chemical energy during intense physical exertion. At the same time, they protect the cells from the harmful effects of reactive oxygen species.
N-acetyl L-carnitine is a very good source of carnitine as it is widely believed to be more bioavailable than L-carnitine. It adds to the number of carnitine in cells, boosts energy levels, and combats free radicals and other reactive oxygen species. Free radicals are natural by-products of energy production, and thus carnitine produces a twofold effect. It promotes cellular longevity and raises chemical energy.
How Does Chromium Picolinate Work in the Body And Blood Sugar?
August 01, 2011 03:36 PM
Chromium, Blood Sugar, And More
Chromium picolinate is a form of trivalent chromium first developed to reverse chromium deficiency. It has been linked to many different health benefits over the past few decades. Inasmuch as chromium is an essential trace mineral required in minute quantities for the hormone activity of insulin, it is often marketed as a dietary supplement for the management of uncontrolled sugar levels in the blood.
Glucose tolerance is compromised in the absence of chromium in the human body for long periods of time, as is the case with chromium deficiency. Research has found out that chromium concentrations are decreased with high consumptions of simple sugars whereas regular intake of chromium has been noted to improve glucose tolerance. Also, several studies have supported its use for diabetes mellitus.
Improves Lipid Profile
It is a fact that trivalent chromium is necessary for the metabolism of lipids, which include fats, waxes, sterols, and fat-soluble vitamins. It has long been postulated that chromium picolinate has an effect on the lipids found in the blood, the reason why proponents suggest its use for the improvement of blood cholesterol and serum lipids. It allegedly lowers bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol.
Aids Energy Production
Chromium picolinate has been marketed to athletes for years in that it aids energy production. As a trace mineral, chromium is involved in the metabolism of glucose, which is the biological precursor of chemical energy for use of each individual cell in the form of adenosine triphosphate. It appears to modulate the uptake of sugar from the blood and elevate the production of energy in the process.
Induces Weight Loss
In addition to its putative effects on energy production, chromium picolinate has been reported to curb sugar and fat cravings. Indeed healthy levels of chromium effectively controls metabolism. Moreover, scientific literature has noted its role in the utilization of adipose tissue that leads to the burning of body fat. For these reasons, it has become increasingly popular as a supplement for weight loss.
Promotes Muscle Growth
There have been numerous reports that chromium picolinate promotes the growth of lean mass and skeletal muscles. In fact, it is one of the earliest supplements that remain in use by body Builders today. Some sources say that it provides the muscles a steady supply of energy even during intense physical exertion and it accelerates the process of muscle recovery in between physical activities.
Enhances Mood Disorders
Chromium picolinate has shown potential as an alternative remedy for mood disorders. In particular, it has been investigated in a study that involved patients diagnosed with a chronic mood disorder called atypical depression or dysthymia. It has been observed that regular intake of chromium picolinate exerts a positive effect on the appetite of patients and enhances mood disorders at the same time.
Improve Immune System, Digestion, Muscle Recover, The Skin, And More with OptiZinc
May 31, 2011 03:45 PM
Zinc And Your Health.
OptiZinc is a patented zinc supplement in which the trace element zinc is bound to the essential amino acid methionine. It is especially formulated to guarantee absorption of zinc at a rate far superior to other zinc supplements. Hence, it is commercially touted to be the form of zinc best suited for people diagnosed with zinc deficiency. Decades-long studies have recorded noticeable effects on health.
Increases Immune Function
Zinc has long been tied to the immune system. For one, all white blood cells that contain granules in their cytoplasm secrete zinc at certain immune responses. In addition, several other cells in the employ of the immune system utilize zinc signaling for cell-to-cell communication. OptiZinc increases availability of elemental zinc for use by immune cells and modulates immune function in the process.
Promotes Healthy Metabolism
Zinc is one of the trace elements that are pervasive at the cellular level. Proteins that belong to all enzyme classes necessitate the presence of zinc to activate their catalytic activities. The scientific community has long come to a conclusion that zinc is absolutely necessary for healthy metabolism, and thus the daily zinc needs of the body must be met to avoid impairment of physiological functions.
Aids Digestive Processes
OptiZinc is particularly good for the gastrointestinal tract. It contains up to 200 per cent of the recommended daily value for zinc to ensure absorption and aid digestion at the same time. Zinc ions are directly involved in the antimicrobial activities that take place in the intestines. Digestive enzymes that contain zinc are responsible for the breakdown of peptide bonds of proteins during digestion.
Accelerates Muscle Recovery
Supplementation of OptiZinc is likely to benefit people who engage in regular physical activities, especially athletes and bodyBuilders. This formulation of zinc contains an equal ration of zinc to methionine, an essential amino acid necessitated in the biosynthesis of many other amino acids. OptiZinc speeds up the recovery of skeletal muscles after subjected to intense exercise.
Improves Skin Conditions
It is well established fact that a deficiency in zinc leads to higher incidence to acne. Severe cases even result in progressive hair loss and skin ulcer formation. These skin conditions are in fact a symptom of a metabolic disorder affecting the uptake of zinc, whether congenital or acquired. OptiZinc have been reported to alleviate zinc deficiency-induced skin problems and promote healthy-looking skin.
Scavenges Free Radicals
OptiZinc is a noted free radical scavenger. Its efficacy in preventing oxidative stress has been associated to the prevention of a diverse variety of illnesses, which include eye problems, prostate inflammation, and neurodegenerative diseases. This special formulation of zinc delivers the highest absorbable amounts of zinc into the systemic circulation to effectively prevent radical damage.
What is Potassium and Why Do We Need It?
January 14, 2011 03:48 PM
Potassium has a number of roles to play on the stage of human life, not the least of which is to maintain a good balance of electrolytes, and particularly a good balance between sodium and potassium. Excess sodium in your body solutions can be damaging to your health causing, for example, dangerous heart conditions and loss of calcium from your bones leading to osteoporosis.
Other conditions believed to be either caused by or exacerbated by a deficiency in potassium include stroke, inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBS) and high blood pressure. Potassium will not only reduce the possibility of these conditions occurring, but will also offer some unrelated benefits.
BodyBuilders need potassium to increase their muscle bulk, optimize nerve functions and enable the release of energy from carbohydrates, fat and protein to allow them to exercise and burn fat while feeding their muscles with energy and amino acids and also building new muscle tissue.
Pau d'arco Bark
November 10, 2009 11:23 AM
Pau d'arco is known in South America for its healing powers by the Callawaya tribe. These people called the herb taheebo and have been using it for over one thousand years. This herb was used anciently by the Inca civilization's medicine men. Pau d'arco was included in traditions that were passed down through the generations. Pau d'arco has been used to treat cancer and other illnesses since the 1970s in the Santo Andre Hospital in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This herb has become a well-known herb for healing and protecting the body from disease.
Pau d'arco is found growing in a tree high in the Andes and can weather the worst storms because of its hard wood and deep roots. This herb is found in the inner bark of the red lapacho tree. Most of the trees surrounding this tree eventually become covered with spores, which lead to fungus, and this eventually kills the trees. However, the red lapacho seems to be able to resist the spores. This may be a contributor in pau d'arco's ability to heal the body and resist disease.
There seems to be some evidence of antitumor properties in pau d'arco. Many individuals have taken this herb when they are undergoing radiation and chemotherapy. Pau d'arco helps to strengthen the body and help prevent the side effects that are associated with cancer treatment. Additionally, this herb seems to be a powerful alterative and blood Builder. It has the ability to increase the hemoglobin and red corpuscles that are found in the blood. It gives the body a greater vitality by increasing its resistance to disease. Pau d'arco seems to be responsible for giving the body energy and strength to defend itself and resist disease. The herb is also believed to help inhibit the growth of tumors and increase the growth of normal tissue. Furthermore, pau d'arco herb is used to aid in the assimilation of nutrients and the elimination of waste matter. It is often referred to as the “everything” herb due to its uses for many disorders. Pau d'arco has been used by many, along with other medications. There seem to be no problems that are associated with the combination. It is also used to help counteract the side effects of some medications and is believed to reduce the liver damage that is caused by some drugs. Many herbalists have used this herb to treat a variety of conditions. It is effective as an immune system enhancer. It can also aid in treating conditions such as cancer, leukemia, tumors, and blood disorders. Pau d'arco is also used to treat the pain of arthritis and also for diabetes, candidiasis, herpes, liver ailments, hypoglycemia, and assimilation of nutrients.
Studies have found that a component of pau d'arco, quinine lapachol, has antimicrobial and antiviral properties. The herb also seems to have an antitumor effect without any toxic side effects. Additional components include beta-lapachone, hydroxyl-napthoquinone, alpha-lapachone, and xyloidone. These are effective against numerous viruses, bacteria, and fungi, including herpes, influenza, poliovirus, and many others. A researcher at the National University of Tucuman in Argentina, Dr. Theodoro Meyer, discovered the substance xyloidin. This substance is able to kill viruses. Xyloidin is also beneficial in inhibiting the causative agent of dysentery, tuberculosis, and anthrax.
Pau'd arco is available at your local or internet health food store at discount prices. Look for name brands like Solaray, Source Naturals, and Natures Plus to ensure quality and purity of the product you purchase.
October 06, 2009 01:22 PM
Goldenseal was used by the Native Americans as a tonic, for sore throats, eye infections, ulcers, and even arrow wounds. It was also used as an insect repellant and pesticide for crops. When boiled in water, it was used externally for skin conditions. The dried root of the goldenseal plant was official in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia from 1831 to 1842 and was readmitted in 1863 to 1936.
Traditionally, goldenseal has been used for many different conditions. Among these are boosting the glandular system, hormone imbalance, congestion, inflammation, female problems, infection, bronchitis, menstrual problems, catarrh of the bladder, gastritis, ulcers, bowel stimulation, antiseptic, and as an immune system Builder. Those with low blood sugar or pregnant women should not use this herb.
Recent studies have determined that goldenseal is beneficial in fighting viruses and infections. This herb contains the alkaloids hyrastine and hyrastinine, which possess strong astringent and antiseptic benefits on the mucous membranes. The berberine that is found in goldenseal, and can also be found in barberry, Oregon grape, and goldthread, is effective in fighting infections of the mucous membranes, which includes the mouth, throat, and sinuses. It has also been found to kill toxic bacteria in the intestinal tract like giardiasis, which is found in streams of North America. Goldenseal can help to relieve diarrhea in cases of giardiasis, amoebiasis, or other gastrointestinal infections.
The alkaloid content of goldenseal gives it its antibiotic properties. Goldenseal has a long history of use for fighting both colds and flu viruses. The berbine content is effective as a natural antibiotic and immune stimulant. The herb may also help to prevent candida infection which is the result of antibiotic use. Goldenseal is thought to help strengthen the immune system and may work by increasing the blood supply to the spleen. This enables the spleen to function and release compounds which are known to improve immune function. Some herbalists in England consider goldenseal to be the wonder remedy for digestive problems. This herb is recommended for use after the onset of a cold instead of as preventative action. For this reason, it is often found in cold remedy combinations.
The rhizome and root of the goldenseal plant are used to provide adaptogen, alterative, anthelmintic, antibiotic, antiperiodic, antiseptic, cholagogue, emmenagoggue, hepatic, nephritic, stomachic,, and mild purgative properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are calcium, copper, iron, manganese, phosphorus, potassium sodium, vitamins A, B-complex, C, E, and F, and zinc. Primarily, this herb is extremely helpful in treating bronchitis, poor circulation, colds, colitis, colon problems, coughs, diarrhea, eye infections, gonorrhea, gum disease, hemorrhages, hemorrhoids, infection, inflammation, intestinal problems, kidney problems, liver disorders, excessive menstruation, membrane infections, mouth sores, nosebleeds, and sore throat.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with allergies, hay fever, asthma, Bright’s disease, burns, chicken pox, constipation, earaches, eczema, fever, flu, gallbladder problems, gastric disorders, gastritis, glandular problems, heart conditions, herpes, membrane irritation, nausea, nervous disorders, ringworm, skin disorders, spleen ailments, tonsitilits, and urinary problems. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by goldenseal, please feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store.
L-Alanine Non Essential Amino Acid
January 05, 2009 04:31 PM
L-Alanine is one of 20 amino acids that are used by the body to manufacture the proteins essential for life. Each protein possesses specific biological properties that are imparted by the sequence of amino acids it contains. Proteins control the chemistry that takes place within the cells of our body, and comprise all of the enzymes that catalyze the body's biochemistry.
Amino acids are also the building blocks of DNA that determines the genetic make-up of individuals, and that also provides recipes or templates for the production of proteins from amino acid sequences. There is a different DNA template for every protein required by the body that determines which of the 20 amino acids are needed, and in what order they are to be combined with one another to manufacture the desired protein.
10 of these 20 amino acids can be synthesized by your body's biochemistry, the other 10 being essential parts of your diet. If you fail to include just of these 10, then your body will break down its proteins until it has obtained a sufficient supply of that amino acids for its needs. That involves muscle and other tissue degradation, and is one of the symptoms of malnutrition. Amino acids are not stored, and a daily supply is essential to avoid these symptoms.
L-Alanine is one of the ten that the body can manufacture, and used by the body to help build protein and also to enable the body to make use of glucose to generate energy. It does so as part of what is known as the glucose-alanine cycle. During anaerobic exercise, such as in weightlifting and sustained running, muscles produce lactate and also alanine.
The alanine is passed on to the liver where it is converted to energy via its conversion to glucose. This is not a particularly efficient means of creating energy because a byproduct of the process is urea, the removal of which in turn requires energy. However, it serves its purpose as an energy source once the liver is depleted of glycogen. In fact that is the major use to which alanine appears to be put by the body: the conversion of glucose to energy.
The way the glucose-alanine cycle works is that a process known as transamination produces glutamate from the amino groups of amino acids that are degraded during exercise. Glutamate is then converted to pyruvate by means of the enzyme alanine aminotransferase, with the production of alanine and alpha-ketoglutarate. This is a reversible reaction, and after the alanine has been carried by the bloodstream to the liver, the reaction reverses with the regeneration of pyruvate that undergoes gluconeogenesis (generation of glucose).
The result of this is glucose that returns to the muscle tissue to provide more energy. The glutamate is broken down to the ammonium ion in the mitochondria, which in turn enters the urea cycle with the production of urea.
In a nutshell, then, the glucose-alanine cycle removes glutamate and pyruvate from muscle tissue to the liver where glucose is generated from the pyruvate and returned to the muscle. Since gluconeogenesis involves the expenditure of energy, and this occurs in the liver rather than in the muscle, all the energy in the muscle can be used for muscle contraction.
L-Alanine possesses other properties, among them the ability to help maintain the health of the prostate. A study of benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate) indicated that treatment with L-alanine, glutamic acid and glycine over a period of three months reduced the symptoms. However, make sure that you consult your physician before using alanine in this way. This is not because there are any known adverse side effects, because there are not, but because it I always wise to so with any supplement taken with a view to treating any medical condition.
A less obvious application derives from the fact that it forms a stable free radical when deaminated. Deamination can be initiated by radiation, and so the concentration of this free radical can be measured to ensure that the correct dose of radiation is being given in dosimetric radiotherapy. It is not always easy to control the dose accurately, and this property of alanine allows it to monitored and to ensure that it is neither too low to have the desired effect, nor dangerously high.
Although it is a non-essential amino acid, and can be produced by the body, a dietary supply or supplement is advantageous if extra energy is required. Good dietary sources of L-alanine include meats, seafood, eggs, nuts, beans, seeds, brewer's yeast, corn and legumes among others. Supplements are also available, and useful for body-Builders, weightlifters and others involved in anaerobic exercise. Due to the glucose-alanine cycle, it can possibly provide energy when lactate build-up would otherwise lead to muscle cramps.
Those for whom a supplement could be useful are athletes and others who are trying to build muscle and stamina, or reduce their body fat and also the obese and overweight for the same reason. There is also evidence that a combination of the amino acids alanine, glycine and arginine can help to reduce arterial plaque from oxidized low density lipoproteins, and can also help to reduce high blood pressure.
Deficiencies are rare, although groups that do not eat meat should be careful to eat foods with a good alanine content. There are no known side effects of a deficiency since the body will generate what is needed for normal purposes, and while the supplement appears to have no side effects, it is advisable that pregnant and lactating women should first seek medical advice. The same applies if you suffer from hypertension or diabetes. High doses of alanine might also affect those with kidney or liver disease.
Although the benefits of supplementation of L-alanine might not be immediately obvious, the results and the science indicate that it is effective in making better use of blood glucose in that the adenosine triphosphate (ATP) created in the muscle tissue is allowed to be expended on muscle contraction while the glucose-alanine cycle provides the energy needed for gluconeogenesis.
August 29, 2008 09:20 AM
Gamma Oryzanol is extracted from rice bran oil, and is a mixture of substances that includes ferulic acid and sterols. It is not restricted to rice barn oil, and is also found in the bran of other grains, and some fruits and vegetables. It is commonly used as a sports supplement, although possesses other uses including treatment of menopausal symptoms and high cholesterol levels.
Athletes use gamma oryzanol to increase their muscle bulk through it increasing the levels of testosterone and other anabolic hormones. Although there is little scientific evidence for these effects, bodyBuilders claim excellent results and the other benefits that the substance offers make it worthwhile taking. The reported benefits are so common and widespread that they are difficult to ignore, and it can be assumed that, in the absence of scientific evidence through test results, the athletes and bodyBuilders are right until proven wrong.
Gamma oryzanol is reported to promote a number of metabolic effects on the body such stimulation of the Human Growth Hormone that is involved in increasing muscle bulk. It also induces increased release of endorphins, and improves recovery after exercise. Ferulic acid promotes increased strength, reduced fatigue and improved recovery.
The catabolic effect of cortisol is also reduced. Cortisol is produced during exercise and it is destructive to muscle tissue. What this does in practice is to increase your recovery time, and after a long run it can take two days to recover and allow your exercise effectively again. It is important that your body is conditioned to rapidly reduce its cortisol content after exercise, and ferulic acid helps you to do this.
Athletes have reported no side effects from doses of up to 900 mg of gamma oryzanol and 60 mg ferulic acid, which appears to be up to thirty times as bioavailable to the human body as gamma oryzanol. However, there are many more uses of the supplement than just metabolic ones.
Gamma oryzanol possesses strong antioxidant properties. Ferulic acid is a phenolic phytochemical, and a derivative of trans-cinnamic acid. As such, it is an antioxidant with strong reducing properties towards free radicals. Free radicals are implicated in cardiac problems cause by the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, leading to atherosclerosis that is responsible for strokes and blockages of the cardiac arteries.
Lipid peroxides can be formed by the oxidization of fats, and can damage nerve cells and muscle tissue. Antioxidants can also lead to premature aging through the destruction of human body cells, damage to DNA and also many forms of cancer. Although it is believed that components of gamma oryzanol can inhibit the initiation of some cancers, the evidence is still scanty and the research in its infancy.
Any substance that destroys free radicals is of benefit to your health, and Ferulic acid stands beside other strong antioxidants such as Vitamins A, D and E, and many of the high colored phytochemicals such as beta carotene. It is believed to have anti-cancer properties with some forms of cancer, such as breast and liver cancer, though, as referred to above, studies are continuing.
Paradoxically, intensive physical exercise can lead to the generation of more free radicals, since they are a by-product of the generation of energy in the mitochondria from blood glucose, and so, in addition to its beneficial metabolic and anti-catabolic properties, gamma oryzanol should be taken during exercise in order to reduce the effect of these dangerous molecules.
The effect of gamma oryzanol on cholesterol levels has been demonstrated, and complement the same effect offered by the fatty acid component of the bran oil. It appears to prevent the absorption of cholesterol by the digestive tract, and so allow it to be excreted naturally before doing any harm. It is believed that the phytosterols present in rice bran oil block the cholesterol absorption sites in the intestine, so is must continue down the intestinal canal until it is evacuated.
Cholesterol itself is essential to human metabolism and biochemistry, and without it we could not survive. Cholesterol is not soluble in water, and it has to be bound to low density lipids (LDL) to enable it to be transported round the blood to where it is needed: usually in the arteries to heal up arterial damage, a bit like a sticking plaster.
However, free radicals oxidize these LDLs and deposit them along with their cholesterol on the artery walls: that is the problem, not the cholesterol itself, and is why antioxidants such as gamma oryzanol are so important to us. Rice bran oil has been used by the Japanese for many years to treat elevated cholesterol levels and also to reduce high triglyceride levels.
It also acts as an anti-inflammatory, specifically in the stomach and can be used to treat gastritis, in that it reduces the inflammation of the stomach lining. There is some evidence from studies on animals that the substance could be effective in treating gastric ulcers, although the results with animals have not yet been tried on human subjects. Another mechanism, other than the anti-inflammatory route, is through the normalization of the secretion of the gastric juices.
Another use to which gamma oryzanol has been successful put is in the treatment of menopause symptoms. This is another of those situations where some trials have proved unsuccessful, but those that use it has found it be effective. Hot flashes and aging syndromes are two symptoms that have been effectively treated by use of the supplement, with one study reporting a 50% reduction in symptoms in 70% of patients.
The way this is theorized to work is through the inhibition of the secretion of leutinizing hormone by the pituitary gland, which promotes the hypothalamus to release endorphins. Endorphins help to overcome the effects of the menopause.
Gamma oryzanol, then, has found use by many athletes and bodyBuilders in its metabolic properties in helping to increase muscle bulk and reduce fat, and by shortening recovery times by reducing the catabolic effect of cortisol. However, apart from these sports-related benefits, it possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that are beneficial to your general health.
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.
May 17, 2008 10:07 AM
Discovered by Phoebus Levene in 1905, D-ribose is a monosaccharide, and is a component of RNA that is needed for genetic transcription. It is a stereoisomer of ribose, and although not regarded as an essential nutrient since it is synthesized in the body, it is essential for life. It also takes part in human metabolism, helping to generate energy from food, and is a component of all living cells – animal or vegetable. It is contained in ATP and NADH and we could not live without it.
Because it is contained in all living organisms, D-ribose is a common component of the human diet, and required as a supplement only for specific needs. It for this reason that the human species developed and survived: the chemicals needed for life are either commonly found in nature or are manufactured by the body itself from other raw materials which themselves are common in our diet. The other stereoisomer is L-ribose, and this plays no part in human metabolism.
Energy is needed not only to enable us to walk and to run, but also to drive every part of human physiological activity, and all of the physical and chemical processes of life. Because of its nature energy cannot travel round the body in our bloodstream as if were a chemical entity, but must be released or generated where and when it is needed. For that reason every cell in our body contains an area called the mitochondria in which energy is generated. The molecule of energy, if there is such a thing, is called ATP, or adenosine triphosphate.
ATP controls the production of energy everywhere in the body, and allows muscles to contract and relax. This muscular activity is responsible for all movement, including the circulation of our blood through heart contractions, the diaphragm movement that creates the vacuum that allows us to breathe, and the operation of the digestive system by means of the peristaltic motion of the esophagus and the intestines. Each of the two ways in which ATP is generated involves D-ribose.
One is by means of D-ribose being used to produce new ATP, and the other is the recycling of used ATP. In the latter, D-ribose and ATP react to form ADP (adenosine diphosphate and D-ribose-5-phosphate with the release of energy. This diphosphate then reacts again with the ADP to produce new ATP and D-ribose. The reaction is catalyzed by an enzyme known as a ribokinase, a phosphotransferase that specifically catalyzes reactions involving phosphorus groups with an alcohol receptor group.
The heart muscle is operated by means of the calcium pump that depends upon both calcium and ATP for its operation. When ADP and phosphate are created by the effect of calcium and ATP coming together, then energy is provided to the muscle fibers of the heart. ADP then reacts with the phosphate and D-ribose in the presence of magnesium to reform the ATP. ATP is therefore essential for the continuation of the pumping action of the heart that maintains life in all mammals.
D-ribose is also part of the base of RNA and DNA, without which there could be no life. Because the cardiac muscle is easily depleted of ATP, the presence of D-ribose is of extreme importance and it has been proved that cardiac failure begins with the reduction in energy levels of the heart muscle that can be brought about by a lack of ATP in the muscle cells.
An important property of D-ribose is that it is unchanged by the liver, which is the chemical plant of your body in which a large part of the biochemistry needed for life takes place. This means that D-ribose can be taken in the diet and pass through the liver virtually unchanged, and then be transported in the bloodstream to where it is needed for the maintenance of ATP levels. That is why D-ribose is frequently given to treat heart attacks: because it can rapidly replace lost ATP and enable the calcium pump to get to work and keep the heart beating at its normal strength. Maintenance levels of this important sugar would not go amiss.
However, there are other uses to which the body can put this marvelous substance. Among these is the body’s ability to form Coenzyme A from it. This coenzyme is needed in the body for the breakdown of fatty acids, and many other chemical reactions, and also provides the raw material for many other necessary substances in human biochemistry.
Patients with low energy levels can frequently fail to be able to recover from illness. This is because that when illness stresses your body, your mitochondria become overwhelmed with work and begin to fail to produce sufficient ATP to keep the body going. Naturally, as your energy level drops, and your body cells are unable to respond to this, then the condition you are suffering from gets worse, and become stronger leading ultimately to possible death. Your immune system is put under a great deal of stress that uses up what little ATP you have left.
That is why when people start to get really ill, they tend to fade very rapidly: not because of the spread of the disease, but through a reduction in the ATP needed to provide the energy required for the body to fight the disease. Without an adequate supply of energy, your body would rapidly fade.
By taking a D-ribose supplement that passes unchanged right into your bloodstream and taken to where it is needed most, you body can rapidly generate sufficient ATP to keep up the fight against the agent that is making you ill. Your immune system is given a massive energy boost, and more importantly, your heart is kept beating. D-ribose is the answer to the prayer of many sick people, and also to athletes and bodyBuilders needing quick bursts of energy. But what did they use before D-ribose was discovered to have the properties that it has?
At one time, it was adenosine monophosphate (that’s right, not ATP or ADP, but AMP) that was administered intravenously to those suffering from chronic fatigue, this substance being synthesized to ATP in the body over a period of time. However, it take a lot of time to be effective, and the injections had to be made daily into the muscle tissue, so it fell out of favor.
Then came an ATP supplement that could be taken orally, but the side effects were unpleasant, and that too went out of favor. However, towards the end of the 1990’s D-ribose was found to overcome all of these disadvantages, and not only be able to be taken orally, but also to work almost immediately by providing the mitochondria with a direct source of the sugar they need to generate energy.
It is now one of the most popular energy providing supplements on the market, and also a remedy for chronic fatigue that helps the patient to overcome energy-sapping medical conditions both directly and by providing the immune system with the energy needed to keep it operating effectively against masses of invading bacteria and viruses. There is nothing better than D-ribose for providing you with the energy boost that you need, whenever you require it, either to provide energy for your sport or to help you overcome illness.
May 12, 2008 11:10 AM
All female mammals, including humans, produce colostrum soon after giving birth, and before proper milk is produced. It is a milk-like substance that provides newly born infants with a boost to their immune system and gives immediate protection against the germs with which they are about to come into contact.
It also, incidentally, promotes the child’s first bowel movement to rid it of the large amount of dead blood cells created when it’s blood supply was drastically reduced after the severing of the umbilical supply.
It is now believed that colostrum will help not only newly born infants, but also grown adults. If your immune system is weak or you are suffering from a condition that could be helped by a boost to your immune system, colostrum might be what you need to help you fight off what is ailing you. This has become clear after the way that colostrum works has been established.
Transfer factors were discovered in 1949 by Dr. H. Sherwood Lawrence of the New York University School of Medicine. He found that when he injected an extract of the leukocytes of somebody that had previously been infected with tuberculosis, the natural immunity was transferred from the donor to the recipient. He called this extract the ‘transfer factor’, and a means of transferring immune response factors between people was born.
However, the sharing of transfer factors between people suffering from serious conditions such as the HIV virus or hepatitis is a high risk action, and fifty years later, in 1999, bovine colostrum was discussed at a transfer factor conference in Mexico. Bovine colostrum contains large quantities of transfer factors such as IgG type immunoglobulins and hydrogen peroxide. The latter is commonly produced by our body cells to fight off invading pathogens, and immunoglobulins are very effective in fighting some diseases that can be fatal to AIDs patients. Take Cryptosporidium parvum, for instance. This microorganism causes a form of diarrhea that AIDs patients have no defense against but that colostrum can be particularly effective against, and it is also effective against rotavirus that is the main cause of diarrhea in young children.
Before discussing this further, let’s go back a step and examine how bovine milk came to be included in the equation. At one time it was believed that a baby received its immunity from the mother while in the womb and that this was extended via the mother’s milk. However, it was discovered that the milk contained no antibodies as such, only the colostrum, and these antibodies had somehow been transferred to the baby.
This was explained by the concept of the transfer factor. It is not the antibodies that are being transferred from mother to child, but the transfer factor. This modulates the immune system of the recipient and teaches it how to create antibodies against the specific antigens that the donor’s antibodies protect against and to inform the recipient’s immune system when these antigens are present.
The next step was to test the theory that the transfer factor should be able to be passed between species, and the cow was the obvious initial choice since not only are cattle exposed to many of the same antigens as humans, but we already use cow’s milk as a food source – particularly for babies and children. It worked! It was found that when humans were fed cow’s colostrum the specific antibodies were later found in the blood of the person given the treatment.
The next step was to determine the form in which this substance could be used, and injections of various types were tried without success. It was established that the only means of administering colostrum was by drinking it, or supplying it in capsule form. It can be drunk fresh or freeze dried to kill of living organisms and then fats and sugars removed and the resultant dried product encapsulated. It is even possible to remove all large molecules, antibodies, proteins, etc, and still retain the transfer factor. It is absorbed by the gut, and the resultant message passed to the recipient.
It is important to understand that it is not the immunoglobulins from the cow that are passed on, because these are species specific, and are in fact the source of most cow’s milk allergies. There is no transfer of antibodies or any other specific parts of the immune system. What are passed on are the messengers, particularly the transfer factors that are not species specific. A cow’s transfer factors would work just as well in a cat as in humans, only cats don’t get the same diseases as cows and people.
The types of disease that colostrum can help to protect us from include viral and bacterial diseases, fungal diseases and parasites, and neurological and autoimmune diseases. If you have cancer, colostrum can help significantly since cancer and immune deficiency are related. Cancer cells are being formed all the time in your body, but your immune system generally disposes of them. However, if it fails to do this, then the cells can proliferate and lead to cancer as we know it. Colostrum can help your body to prevent cancer occurring, and if you have it, can help to reduce its spread.
Freelance journalist Sam Wainaina studied the effects of Ebola virus in Uganda after the 2002 outbreak, and concluded that had transfer factors been available during the outbreak to transfer immunity it might perhaps have been contained sooner than it was, and saved many, many lives. Although transfer factors have been known of for 60 years, there is still a lot to be done in their application and studies on colostrum could help to accelerate this. Transfer factors alert immune cells to danger, train the system to generate the right type of immunoglobulins and boost NK cell activity to defeat the invaders. They can also moderate an over-active immune system that can be as much a danger to the body as an invading pathogen.
Colostrum can also be used to burn fat and create muscle tissue, and is popular with bodyBuilders but it is for its healing and immunity-boosting properties that it is most used. Biotechnology companies are now boosting the colostrum’s transfer factors by injecting cows with vaccines that create pathogens. Known as Ultra Colostrum this is an advance on the natural material.
Tongkat Ali: The Natural Viagra?
October 22, 2007 10:02 AM
Tongkat Ali is also known as Longjack, and is a well known aphrodisiac in South East Asia, the root of which has been found effective both as an aphrodisiac and in treating certain sexual problems including failure to achieve an erection. What Viagra does in the west, Longjack does in the east, only cheaper.
The tree is also called Pasak Bumi, and had originally been used for many years as a treatment for malaria, the side effects being accepted but not understood as originating from the malaria medication. Some though that the malaria itself perhaps caused them, and was a long time before the effect of tongkat ali on the testosterone levels in the body was understood.
The name literally means Ali’s walking stick, and is named after the long roots from which it is extracted. The tree itself is about ten metres high, and grows beneath the canopy of the Indonesian rainforests. However, due to a heavy demand for the product, the older trees are increasingly more difficult to find, and most of the herbal preparation is extracted from younger trees. The tree itself is not easy to cultivate outside its natural environment, and is very slow growing.
Unlike many herbal remedies used in Asia, the effects of Tongkat Ali on the libido have been supported by scientific medical evidence, and it has been demonstrated to support the availability of unbound testosterone and to support hormonal balance in general. It had been used for many years to promote sexual desire and sexual ability before the medical evidence was obtained to provide scientific support to what was already known by the indigenous population: that it was effective in improving sexual ability, stamina, and endurance and to reduce mental fatigue in general.
Although it was originally used as a treatment for malaria, Longjack increases the natural production of testosterone in the body and hence improving the male sex drive and also that of women. It is a little known fact that women, too, need testosterone for their sexual impulses. However, it is probably more important from a physiological point of view that testosterone is essential to women in that it increases the metabolic rate and accelerates the burning and elimination of fats, and the production of red blood cells and the development of muscle tissue.
As the production of testosterone drops off with age, generally starting after about thirty years, bodyBuilders find it increasingly more difficult to maintain a good body shape and muscle shape. They are interested in anything that could feasible maintain or even increase the production of testosterone by the body, and Tongkat Ali does this. To them, the increase in their libido, or sex drive, is a bonus that they will not refuse to take advantage of!
Eurycoma longifolia, the scientific name for the tree, increases the amount of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in the body. ATP, along with its cousin adenosine diphosphate (ADP), is responsible for the availability of energy for use by the body. It is normally created from ADP and glucose, and an increased availability in the blood can reduce the fatigue caused by its consumption through vigorous exercise. However, if too much ATP is available, the subject can suffer from insomnia and restlessness since there is too much ATP in the body.
The function of the ATP is to provide available energy that can be used by the muscles in exercise. When energy is used up the ATP is converted to ADP, which needs more glucose to reform the ATP. If there is excess ATP, it is like a charged battery within the body, and we become restless until the energy available is used up.
Another benefit of this amazing substance is that it helps the body to increase its own production of sex hormones, rather than simply provide them for it. People who suffer from sexual dysfunction conditions tend to be provided with HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) from their physicians or doctors which involve the introduction of testosterone intravenously. The result of this is that your body recognizes that it has a sufficient supply of testosterone and so stops making it for itself. Eventually your body just stops testosterone production, and relies on the artificial supply it has got used to receiving. Longjack treatment, however, does not provide a supply of testosterone, but stimulates your body to produce its own, which is better for it in the long run.
You should, however, be made aware of the possible side effects or testosterone administration which are insomnia, anxiety and a possible reduction in your immune functions. There are also other possible side effects if you suffer from diabetes, or heart liver or kidney disease, and you should always refer to your doctor before commencing its use. If you start off your treatment with small doses and check out the side effects at each stage, then you will be able to safely find out if these side effects relate to you. If not, then you are all set as long as you obey the advice of your physician.
Another natural product that is recommended as an aphrodisiac is Horny Goat Weed, but when used in combination with Tongkat Ali it appears to have a synergistic effect. Horny Goat Weed is also called Fairy Wings and a number of other alternatives names, and is not one but about 60 different flowering plants found in southern China. It works by increasing the nitric oxide concentration in the body that helps to relax the smooth muscles.
By itself Horny Goat Weed is an effective aphrodisiac, but the combination of its effect in relaxing the penile muscles and the increased testosterone levels promoted by Longjack is extremely powerful, and much more effective in resolve sexual problems in men that either of them alone.
For this reason tongkat ali is frequently sold in combination with horny goat weed. Although not unusual, it is not common to find natural herbs that have such a profound effect on the libido and whose effect is backed up by scientific evidence. Tongkat ali is one of those, and although it is still currently mainly used in Asia, demand for it in the west is rising.
Papaya- May Be A Fountain of Youth
May 31, 2007 02:09 PM
Papaya- May Be A Fountain of Youth
Seventy years ago, when the Social Security Administration was developed during the Great Depression, age 62 was recognized as average life expectancy. These days, getting older is a whole different ball game. Not only are people living well into their 80s and 90s, they’re living better, too. People well into retirement are mountain biking, kayaking, jogging and hiking, as well as gardening, golfing and attending concerts – sometimes for their first time. Everybody, it seems, is on the go, from ages of 22 to 92.
Of course, you don’t have to wait until retirement to start planning for a longer more vibrant life. The best way to ensure happier and longer years ahead is to start young.
Nobody wants to spend retirement in the doctor’s waiting room or have their golden years intruded upon with illnesses or infirmities. And, most importantly, we don’t want to feel 80 years old even though our driver’s license says we are.
These desires and demands are not just wishful thinking. Huge advances in the understanding of how men and women age are being made almost daily. These findings are helping to improve our chances of living long, healthy lives. And, some of the most impressive findings have shown that using nutritional supplements can help – in particular, a specially formulated papaya preparation is able to fight two of the primary reasons we get old – oxidative stress and immune system decline.
This issue of Ask the Doctor is going to share the anti-aging secrets hidden in the papaya and how this tropical fruit may hold the key to a long, vibrant life.
Q. Why papaya? What does papaya have that other fruits and vegetables don’t?
A. Not many American moms put a papaya in their kids’ lunch boxes and papaya pie has yet to gain a following. But this tangy tasting fruit is now appearing fairly frequently in the produce departments of most grocery stores and its popularity seems to steadily increase each year.
The papaya’s bright orange flesh is fairly fibrous and very slippery – slicing a peeled papaya is a little like slicing a bar of wet soap. The core is filled with little black seeds that look a lot like caviar. And while eating a papaya will give you a day’s worth of vitamins A and C as well as potassium taking Fermented Papaya Preparation (or FPP) might just give you an additional 30 years of healthy vibrant life.
Q. What exactly is Fermented Papaya Preparation (FPP)?
A. It’s a specialized nutritional supplement. Backed by more than 30 studies to date, FPP has been used in
Q. How was FPP developed?
A. Japanese scientists noticed that individuals with higher amounts of papaya in their diets experienced certain health benefits.
Researchers who study aging decided to look at the papaya’s chemistry to see if it might have properties that could contribute to longevity. Several plant chemicals in the papaya showed promise. And when they combined papaya with specific yeasts and traditional Japanese fermentation techniques, FPP was born. This unique substance was then subjected to scientific studies to see its health impact; they determined that FPP is a superior antioxidant, a powerful immune-booster, and one of
Q. How does FPP help people live longer and healthier?
A. While getting older is an indisputable fact of life, aging, per se, is not. We can’t do much about our annual birthdays and we really shouldn’t even if we could. Every age is a cause for celebration and every life experience, both the difficult and the sublime, should be treasured.
However, we don’t have to accept the consequences of aging that can make a mockery of the “Golden Years” - heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, osteoporosis, arthritis, and cancer. Our parents and grandparents and the generations that preceded them might have had little say in how they aged. But we can. We can slow down the harmful effects of aging and FPP can help by reducing oxidative stress and immune system decline.
Additionally, fighting oxidative stress helps people retain their youthful appearance longer. Oxidative damage is the number one factor in facial aging.
Q. What exactly does oxidative stress mean and what does it have to do with aging?
A. One theory of aging is that harmful molecules called free radicals wreak havoc in our cells. Many of our body’s normal metabolic processes produce free radicals. For example, free radicals are a normal by-product in the production of ATP (the energy molecule) from glucose. Certain types of white blood cells destroy invading microbes by the production of free radicals. Free radicals are also formed by the many normal enzymatic actions that take place every minute every day.
However, outside sources can also cause free radical formation, as well. If we are exposed to pollutants in the environment, chemicals, additives and preservatives in the food we eat, or even direct sunlight, excess production of free radicals can occur, causing profound damage. This free radical frenzy is called oxidative stress, and is linked to almost every disease of aging including arthritis, heart disease, cataracts, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and cancer. In fact, the reason why these are called diseases of aging is because the longer we are alive, the longer we are subjected to these free radical assaults.
Q. How does FPP affect the decline of our immune systems as we age?
A. Our immune systems consist of specialized tissues, organs, and cells, including several different kinds of white blood cells. Each type of white blood cell works in specific ways to keep us healthy and free of disease. They not only stand guard – on the alert for invaders – they can fight and eradicate microbes, too.
However, as we age, our white blood cells become less efficient in keeping viruses and bacteria from infecting us. They often mistake invaders for good guys, like nutrients. As they age, white blood cells may recognize foreign invaders, but be too tired to fight and let them in. This age-associated immune decline also results in single cancer cells being able to “take hold” and grow into tumors. By the time the white blood cells realize their mistake, the cancer is a widespread disease.
That’s why older members of society have more urinary tract infections, more pneumonia, more cases of bacterial meningitis, tuberculosis, herpes zoster, and much more cancer than younger adults do. Moreover, mortality rates for these diseases are often 2-3 times higher among adults than younger people with the same disease.
FPP steps in and takes charge. One kind of white blood cells, the macrophage “eats” and digests bacteria, viral particles, and free radical fragments. Research has shown that FPP helps macrophages work faster and ingest more disease-causing microbes. Scientists have also discovered that FPP increases the production of a chemical protein called interleukin that’s secreted by macrophages. Interleukin plays an important part in wound healing and keeping minor infections from becoming major infections.
Another important immune system cell is the natural killer (NK) cell, a white blood cell that is continually on the prowl for cancer cells. As the immune system ages, NK cells have trouble “seeing” cancer cells. Researchers have discovered that FPP boosts the activity of NK cells. Increased NK cell activity can result in the increased killing of cancer cells as well as cells infected by viruses.
Q. How does FPP help protect us from free radical damage?
A. FPP contains unique and powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants are molecules that neutralize free radical damage. Antioxidants do this by donating an extra electron to the free radical without becoming frenzied or worked up into a free radical themselves. Although the antioxidant has donated an electron, it has a more stable “personality” and is less reactive. This action stops the domino effect and ongoing free-radical damage.
If you consider your body a temple, think of free radicals as stealing bricks from your temple’s foundation. FPP acts not only as policeman, but as a Builder as well. It doesn’t just stop the theft of bricks; it helps create new ones, keeping the foundation strong and young.
FPP does this by affecting super oxide dimutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPX), the very genetic pathways that eliminate free radicals from the system. FPP is more than an antioxidant – it doesn’t turn into a pro-oxidant if you happen to take a large dose the way standard antioxidants can. Consider it an “antioxidant plus.”
Since aging is largely determined by how well our bodies can fight oxidative damage, using FPP can slow down the clock as it bolsters natural abilities with its own potent neutralizing activities.
Q. What else does science say about FPP?
A. As the subject of over 30 clinical studies, FPP has been shown to inhibit dangerous hydroxyl free radicals. In addition, it is also being considered for its immuno-protective effects.
Researchers and medical professionals have been studying FPP for years, tracking its effect on the immune system and aging. In fact, no less a personage then Dr. Luc Montagnier, co-discover of HIV 1 & 2 virus, has been conducting research on this natural immune booster.
Dr. Montagnier recommends using FPP as part of a tri-therapy (including antibiotics) that reduces the proliferation of the virus and stimulates the immune system. Since FPP has antioxidant and immuno-stimulative properties, it seems like an obvious choice for a combined approach to combating AIDS. Because of the higher free radical production in stage II of HIV infection, Montagnier believes that reducing this oxidative stress at the earliest stage of HIV infection may be a key factor.
In HIV-infected patients, the glutathione system is depressed even at the early stages. As part of a combination treatment, FPP increased the numbers of CF4 lymphocytes helped with weight gain and increased hemoglobin levels.
One scientific study showed the ability of FPP to inhibit dangerous hydroxyl and hydroxyl-like free radicals, while enhancing the production of protective super oxide. Other research by Dr. Lester Packer, a professor of Molecular Pharmacology and Toxicology at the
And, in one randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, patients with cirrhosis of the liver were given FPP or a placebo. The results showed that 81.2% of the patients survived in the FPP group compared to 38.5% of participants in the placebo group.
These studies and many others like it, show that FPP can neutralize the effects of oxidative stress on disease states as well as slowing the normal aging process.
Q. So if we can prevent oxidative damage to our cells AND prevent decline in our immune systems, how much longer can we expect to live?
A. Most theories of aging and almost all researchers who study aging claim there IS a limit to how long the human body can remain viable. However, the oldest age achieved so far was 128 by a woman named Ma Pampo who lived in the
Right now, Japanese women have the longest life span of any country in the world, with an average life expectancy of 85.93 years. Japanese men live an average 78.87 years.
Q. Is FPP safe?
A. Yes, it is. Many health-conscious people in
Q. What is the recommended dosage level of FPP?
A. Dosages of FPP vary depending on individual needs and usage. For basic anti-aging support, 3 grams per day is fine. For additional support, up to 9 grams per day is recommended. To add a boost to your immune system when you need it, start out with 6-9 grams a day for the first 2-3 days (at the beginning of a cold, for example) and then move back down to 3 grams per day.
For individuals looking for optimum immune support, Dr. Montagnier advises morning and evening doses, preferably on an empty stomach.
D-Ribose Powder Benefits!
April 10, 2007 11:57 AM
Supports normal heart function*
A significant amount of in vitro, animal and human research suggests benefits of ribose on heart function.* Studies have shown that ribose supplementation can enhance cardiac energy levels and support cardiovascular metabolism.* Ribose has been shown in clinical trials to enhance the recovery of heart muscle ATP levels and improve myocardial function following exercise.
Studies suggest that ribose supplementation can increase the tolerability of the cardiovascular system to exercise-induced fatigue.1 In one study, twenty men underwent treadmill exercise tests on two consecutive days to confirm the onset of fatigue secondary to exercise. The participants were then randomized to the treatment group or a placebo group. The groups received either four doses of 15 grams of D-ribose (60 grams/day total) or the same amount of placebo each day. After three days of treatment, another treadmill test was performed. The time it took to reach the specified level of fatigue was significantly greater in the ribose group than in the placebo group.
Another study investigated the ability of ribose to support healthy heart function and quality of life.2 In a randomized, crossover design study, fifteen individuals were given 5 grams three times a day of either D-ribose or placebo. Each treatment period lasted three weeks. In patients receiving ribose, echocardiography demonstrated enhancement of heart function, reflecting a “more efficient relaxation phase of the heart”. Participants also had a significant improvement in their subjective quality of life scores compared to placebo.
Scientists suggest that suboptimal heart function is a result of the heart requiring more energy to function properly. Ribose supports the heart’s enhanced energy requirements, promoting optimal heart function. It does so by enhancing the stores of high-energy phosphates in heart tissue. These intermediates are necessary for the production and resynthesis of ATP. A double-blind crossover study in which 12 individuals were randomized to receive either ribose or dextrose (both administered as 5 grams three times daily for three weeks, followed by a 1-week washout period and crossover of treatments for three additional weeks) suggested significant enhancements in normal cardiac function during the period of ribose supplementation.3
Perhaps one of the more useful illustrations of the potential for ribose to support heart function comes from a study in which 20 rats received a continuous infusion of ribose for 24 hours (control rats received an infusion of saline). The hearts were then explanted (as they would be for heart transplants) and placed in preservation solution that was enriched with ribose for 4 hours. ATP levels were measured from tissue biopsies and revealed that 10 of the ribose-treated hearts had ATP levels higher than 12.3 micromoles per gram whereas saline-treated hearts (controls) had lower ATP levels, with 20% showing levels below 10 micromoles per gram of tissue. This provides support for the hypothesis that ribose may enhance the preservation of ATP levels in cardiac tissue, promoting normal heart function.4
Further animal studies have shown that ribose significantly enhances heart function after experimentally induced cardiac depression. Rats were injected with isoproterenol (a drug that stimulates sympathetic nervous system function) and had their abdominal aorta constricted to induce depression of heart function and reduce cardiac ATP levels. The decrease in ATP was primarily responsible for the depression of heart function. Continuous infusion of ribose for 24 hours replenished ATP concentrations to normal levels and normalized heart function in these animals.5
Ribose may strengthen and support the body’s crucial antioxidant defenses*
Ribose may support the body’s innate antioxidant mechanisms while promoting an antioxidant effect of its own. Intense exercise and other strenuous activity can induce the production of free radicals. Preliminary studies suggest that ribose can attenuate some of the effects of oxidation seen after performance of intensive exercise.
One small human study indicated that ribose administered at a dose of seven grams before and after a bout of cycling exercise may reduce free radical production.6 Seven volunteers ingested either ribose or placebo both before and after intense exercise. Markers of lipid peroxidation, including malondialdehyde, significantly decreased in the ribose-supplemented group, while increasing in the control group. The results of this study indicate a possible effect of ribose in supporting antioxidant activity.
Supports healthy energy levels in heart and muscle tissue*
After bouts of intense exercise, ATP levels have been shown to decrease by an average of 15 to 20%.7 The amount of ATP stored in the muscle is limited and so the body must have the potential to rebuild ATP stores. ATP is the fuel necessary for the integrity and function of a cell. In addition, several studies have found correlations between ATP content and heart function.1 Research that was also alluded to above suggests that ribose stimulates ATP synthesis and supports heart and muscle function by enhancing ATP levels in cardiac and muscle tissue. D-ribose is an essential building block for the synthesis of ATP through the pentose phosphate pathway.
The results of ribose supplementation enhancing ATP levels in muscle are evidenced by studies suggesting beneficial effects on anaerobic performance. In a randomized, placebo-controlled crossover study assessing the effects of acute ribose supplementation, participants receiving the ribose supplement had increases in mean power (a measure of average overall muscular strength output during the sprint) and peak power (a measure of the highest muscular strength output during the sprint) when undergoing a series of cycle sprints.8 While this effect was not noted in all of the six short cycling sprints that the participants underwent, the study does illustrate the potential benefits of ribose on ATP production and, secondarily, on enhancing exercise performance.
A second placebo-controlled trial investigated the effects of four weeks of ribose-supplementation (10 grams /day) on male bodyBuilders. Of the 20 participants who were recruited, twelve completed the study. Each subject participated in a heavy-resistance training program designed to increase skeletal muscle mass. The effects of ribose on body composition (body weight, body fat, lean body mass, fat mass, and bone mineral content) were also assessed. The results suggested that ribose increased total work capacity and bench press strength compared to placebo, without altering body composition.9
Supports energy recovery after exercise*
Animal studies have suggested that the administration of ribose after exercise increases the rate of adenine salvage by five to seven-fold in muscle tissue7, supporting energy recovery after exercise. When ATP is utilized by muscle tissue, the degradation products include adenine nucleotides (Adenine is one of two purine bases that is a component of DNA). Adenine is recycled to synthesize DNA, and the salvage of adenine within the muscle tissue is crucial to energy recovery. Studies have shown that the presence of adequate ribose concentrations is the rate-limiting step in the purine salvage pathway. Therefore, increased adenine salvage could potentially help in the recovery and regeneration of ATP after intense bouts of activity.
A study investigated the effect of oral intake of ribose on the synthesis of AMP, a precursor to ATP.10 Participants performed intense cycle training for seven days. They then received either ribose (at a concentration of 200 mg/kg body weight, which is equivalent to 14 grams per day for an average 70 kilogram male) or placebo three times a day for the following three days. Exercise tests were performed again on day 4. Muscle biopsy samples were taken before the first training session, immediately after, and again five hours, 24 hours, and 72 hours after the last training session. No differences were seen in exercise performance between the groups. The intense exercise caused the ATP levels in muscle to decrease in both groups. However, at 72 hours post-exercise, the ribose group exhibited a much higher ATP level than the placebo group. The muscle levels of critical building blocks for ATP, including total adenine nucleotides (TAN) and inosine 5’-monophosphate (IMP), were also significantly higher in the ribose group compared to the placebo group at 24 hours after exercise. Ribose-supplementation was shown to enhance the resynthesis of ATP after intense exercise.
*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Caution: Insulin-dependent diabetics and pregnant women should consult their physician before use.
Suggested Adult Use: Take 1 or 2 scoops mixed in water, juice or other beverage two times per day. May be taken with or without food.
1) Pliml, W., von Arnim, T., Stablein, A., Hofmann, H., Zimmer, H., Erdmann, E. Effects of ribose on exercise-induced ischaemia in stable coronary artery disease. The Lancet. 1992;340:507-510.
2) Omran, H., Illien, S., MacCarter, D., St. Cyr, J.A., Luderitz, B. D-Ribose improves diastolic function and quality of life in congestive heart failure patients: a prospective feasibility study. The European Journal of Heart Failure. 2003;5:615-619.
3) Illien, S., Omran, H., MacCarter, D., St. Cyr, J.A. Ribose improves myocardial function in congestive heart failure. FASEB Journal 2001;15(5): A1142
4) Muller C., Zimmer H., Gross M., Gresser U., Brotsack I., Wehling M., Pliml W. Effect of ribose on cardiac adenine nucleotides in a donor model for heart transplantation. Eur J Med Res. 1998 Dec 16;3(12):554-8.
5) Zimmer H.G. Normalization of depressed heart function in rats by ribose. Science. 1983 Apr 1;220(4592):81-2.
6) Seifert, J.G., Subudhi, A., Fu, M., Riska, J.J. The effects of ribose ingestion on indices of free radical production during hypoxic exercise. Free Rad Biol Med 2002; 33(Suppl 1) S269.
7) Zarzeczny, R., Brault, J.J., Abraham, K.A., Hancock, C.R., Terjung, R. Influence of ribose on adenine salvage after intense muscle contractions. J Applied Physiology. 2001;91:1775-1781.
8) Berardi J.M., Ziegenfuss T.N. Effects of ribose supplementation on repeated sprint performance in men. J Strength Cond Res. 2003 Feb;17(1):47-52.
9) Van Gammeren, D.V., Falk, D., Antonio, J. The effects of four weeks of ribose supplementation on body composition and exercise performance in healthy, young, male recreational bodyBuilders: a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Current Ther Research. 2002;63(8):486-495.
10) Hellsten, Y., Skadhauge, L., Bangsbo, J. Effect of ribose supplementation on resynthesis of adenine nucleotides after intense intermittent training in humans. American Journal of Physiology – Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology. 2004;286:R182-R188.
Buy Ribose at Vitanet at a Discount
Hypoallergenic Free Form Amino Acids
September 07, 2006 01:29 PM
Free form amino acids are hypoallergenic (extremely non-allergic). Many sources of animal and plant proteins cause allergic reactions. Amino acids are molecularly pure and appropriate for the lactose intolerant and those who suffer from a variety of food allergies. Protein toxicity is a common problem for athletes, especially bodyBuilders who create serious liver and kidney conditions due to over consumption and malabsorption of protein. To protect against protein toxicity, free form amino acids are used instead of protein, or as a digestive aid to improve assimilation of food protein.
A Testosterone Breakthrough to Restore Health and Youth
May 29, 2006 07:17 PM
There is a powerful new performance-enhancing ingredient clinically proven in humans. Its called LJ100 Tongkat Ali. Four years ago no one in the United States had heard of Tongkat Ali. Today the herb is becoming increasingly well-known as an athletic performance enhancer, overall youth-promoting agent, and libido Builder.
Tongkat Ali is the popular folk name for Eurycoma Longifolia, a medium sized, slender rain forest tree. The name Tongkat Ali means Ali’s walking stick and the plant is native to Malaysia, lower burma, Thailand and Indonesia. Tongkat Ali enjoys a history of use that dates back to the 1700’s, and today there is a growing body of serious science that corroborates its traditional uses, specifically for the patented and proprietary brand LJ100 Tongkat Ali standardized extract containing 28% bioactive glycopeptides.
LJ100 Tongkat Ali
LJ100 is a proprietary, patented ingredient, and has become recognized as the premier brand of Eurycoma Longifolia for supplements that build and tone muscles, boost energy levels, decrease body fat, slow the aging process, and increase libido for health-conscious consumers. LJ100 has undergone an exclusive, patented extraction process to capture the most potent, biologically active compounds. SourceOne Global Partners, headquarters in Chicago, holds the exclusive distribution rights to market and sell LJ100 Tongkat Ali in dietary supplements.
ATP and Lean Muscle
In studies, LJ100 Tongkat Ali extract greatly increases ATP production. ATP, or adenosine triphosphate, is the basic unit of energy in the body, responsible for keeping us alive and going. By increasing ATP, overall energy and vitality are increased. Most people seek more energy and LJ100 Tongkat Ali provides it, without hyper stimulation, jittery nerves or insomnia. Promoting human energy production is a valuable health benefit by itself to make LJ100 Tongkat Ali an enduring botanical superstar. People want energy more than just about any other functional attribute.
Endocrinologists have known for a long time that testosterone increases the body’s ratio of lean muscle mass to fat. In both animals and humans, LJ100 Tongkat Ali increases muscle mass. In a study of men, half the subjects ingested LJ100 and half did not. In an eight-week physical training program the men who consumed LJ100 experienced greater gains in muscle mass and strength than those that did not. This demonstrates the powerful anabolic properties of Tongkat Ali. Instead of turning to the use of dangerous and potentially lethal steroids, it is recommended that more athletes opt for Tongkat Ali. In Malaysia, many professional field hockey players use LJ100 Tongkat Ali as an androgen and swear to its performance-enhancing effects. According to Chris Kilham, ethno botanist, author and lecturer, in a recent article in Physical Magazine,. “LJ100 Tongkat Ali has potential to revolutionize the sport nutrition category.”
Maintaining Normal cortisol / Testosterone Ratios
LJ100 is clinically proven to enhance weight loss and maintain high energy levels by maintaining normal levels of cortisol and testosterone during weight loss. More particularly, LJ100 studies have shown it to help maintain normal (low) cortisol and normal (high) testosterone levels during the stress of weight loss. This hormonal control provides energy to a person in a weight loss phase while simultaneously helping them lose weight. As a result, effective doses of LJ100 help prevent the body from seeking to gain weight by storing fat and increasing appetite. LJ100 can help stop the “yo-yo” diet effect where a dieter’s initial weight loss of a few pounds sends the body into catabolic state, leading to binge eating and fat storage.
LJ100’s Testosterone Breakthrough
LJ100 Tongkat Ali root contains numerous beneficial compounds, including potent protective antioxidants which inhibit cellular aging. What excites many people about LJ100 Tongkat Ali is that the root significantly boosts libido in men and women by increasing testosterone. Agents identified as glycoproteins are now proven to be the libido boosting ingredients in the plant.
Increasing testosterone is the key factor is the key factor in increasing libido. Testosterone is the most important of the male sex hormones, known as androgens, produced in the gonads. Testosterone plays a key role in the development and maturity of male sex organs. The hormone promotes secondary sex characteristics, including appearance of facial hair, enlargement of the larynx (producing a deeper voice), sexual desire and sexual behavior. Testosterone also stimulates metabolism, promotes lipolysis (Burning of fat), increases the formation of red blood cells and accelerates muscle growth.
Testosterone doesn’t stay with us from age 30 or so, blood levels of this hormone decline at a rate of about 2 percent per year. By age 50, the level is around 55 percent. As testosterone decreases, muscle tone, energy and sex drive all begin to decline. But testosterone is not just for men. The same decline in testosterone occurs in women, though the amounts involved are lower. In both sexes, sex drive, function, fat metabolism and energy decline into middle age.
One of the questions that many health researchers have pondered is what if you could boost your testosterone levels to more youthful levels? With LJ100 Tongkat Ali extract you can. And that makes LJ100 are true fountain of youth.
LJ100 Tongkat Ali “is the Greatest”
Don’t be fooled by wannabes. Only LJ100 delivers efficacy, standardization and supporting scientific research. When compared against lesser quality products, research showed LJ100 to increase serum testosterone levels 100% after two weeks, while some other products showed only an 8% improvement in serum testosterone level. Ali is the greatest only if it is LJ100 TongKat Ali.
Dr. Zheng-Xian Liu, PhD, has more than 18 years of experience in the Nutraceutical business and more than 34 years of experience in R & D. he received a doctorate of biochemistry and nutrition at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He was an NIH post-doctorate research fellow at Duke University Medical Center, specializing in free radical biochemistry, and a Pratt research fellow in nutrition. He also served as a member of the editorial board of journal of Advancement in Medicine and has published more than 60 papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals.
STS - Supplement Training Systems
May 08, 2006 04:31 PM
A New Line of Sports Nutrition Products from Nutraceutical
Accomplished body Builder Dean Caputo and Nutraceutical Corporation recently joined forces to create the Supplement Training Systems brand. Their goal is to raise the bar for authenticity, quality, purity, and efficacy in the sports nutrition industry. The STS brand has the same high quality standards that you have come to expect from Nutraceutical Corporation.
The STS branded line comes in 3 main categories: Muscle/Strength, Diet/Energy and Health/Nutrition that is shown on the bottle to help guide customers in there choices. The unique frosted blue bottle was constructed to clearly show what’s inside each product. Our powders and two of our liquid products some in convenient single serving packets (PowerStix) serving sizes suitable for both men and women. The initial launch includes 25+ products with more products in the pipeline. Besides a complete line of products, STS has its own website www.sts-sports.com, newsletters and various tips and articles related to sports nutrition as well as Dean Caputo’s Personal Training and Diet Guide.
Protein for optimal performance
December 30, 2005 08:54 AM
Protein for optimal performance
Sending a frail, malnourished warrior into battle is the biological equivalent of trying to win the Daytona 500 on a set of roller-skates. Under no circumstances should this be attempted. Though popularized by bodyBuilders, protein supplementation is imperative for athletes at every stage and skill set. Its role in muscular development still accounts for its unceasing popularity, though many users don’t realize that protein has many other responsibilities.
As one of the body’s key structural building-blocks, the amino acids in protein are actively involved in the repair and development of muscle fi bers, hormone, antibodies and enzymes – each one vital to the success of any hard working athlete. Over the past 10 years or so, the science of isolating and manufacturing protein supplements has advanced far beyond what anyone could have possibly predicted. Today’s products are very pleasant tasting, highly bioavailable (easy to absorb), nutritionally optimized and available in a number of different flavors.
December 30, 2005 08:53 AM
Every human being is at the mercy of their diet to provide them with a solid foundation of nutrients. This is especially true in the case of endurance athletes, bodyBuilders and other adrenaline-seeking competitors. During intense physical training, the body calls upon its reserve of electrolytes such as potassium, magnesium, calcium and sodium to provide the spark needed for increased respiration, muscle contractions, nerve impulses and countless other functions.
A well-stocked cellular arsenal of these nutrients can ultimately lead to greater levels of sustained endurance, muscular strength and mental clarity. Deprivation, on the other hand, is an invitation for disaster. When the body is pushed to extremes, but unable to locate what it needs, it becomes prone to fatigue, cramping, nausea and headaches. Not to mention, last place. Products such as Carbo Gain and ZMA can provide a solid base of nutrients. (See reverse for detailed specifi cations).
Now Foods Quality Sports Nutrition.
December 30, 2005 08:53 AM
“It is a flame which sinks for lack of fuel…” - Pierre Corneille
Athletes are one of the most unique breeds of life roaming the earth. On the surface, their traits are simple; sweat beaded foreheads, high-tech stop watches, chiseled physiques, running shoes, corporately endorsed attire, etc. But when you take just a moment to peer into what really makes an athlete an athlete, it’s becomes easy to see what sets them apart.
From bikers to bodyBuilders, sprinters to swimmers, athletes epitomize what it means to be alive. These modern day, physically motivated warriors thrive on personal achievement, lament the thought of failure and in the process, subject their bodies to immeasurable amounts of pain and exhaustion. But these aren’t just traits to an athlete – they’re prerequisites. When you consider the enormous nutritional needs of the average busy adult, then and only then, can you begin to appreciate what the most physically active individuals require in order to succeed. And while these needs vary from sport to sport and lifestyle to lifestyle, there’s simply no denying their never-ending need to fuel, refuel and repeat. So whether you’re just starting out, or make it your life’s work, here are a few ways to get the most out of your training.
December 08, 2005 03:33 PM
Carnitine CreatinateNeil E. Levin, CCN, DANLA 6/30/05
LIKELY USERS: Athletes, BodyBuilders, Dieters, People who consume a lot of fat, People needing cardiovascular support (energy for the heart), People who need quick energy, especially for fast muscle response, People with muscle wasting problems (including the elderly), Weightlifters
KEY INGREDIENTS: L-Carnitine and Creatine Monohydrate
MAIN PRODUCT FEATURES: Carnitine Creatinate Monohydrate is a specialized form of Creatine bonded to L-Carnitine. Creatine is a compound natural to the human body that aids in the regeneration of ATP, the chemical energy used by muscle tissue. During exercise, large quantities of creatine are irreversibly consumed. Clinical studies have shown that oral supplementation with Creatine can increase the amount of Creatine available in muscles for ATP production. L-Carnitine is an amino acid that is necessary for the transfer of fatty acids into the fat-burning parts of the cell, facilitating energy production from fat. The combination of these two compounds can produce a synergistic effect, making NOW® Carnitine Creatinate an ideal energy supplement.
ADDITIONAL PRODUCT USE INFORMATION & QUALITY ISSUES: Carnitine and Creatinate Monohydrate is a patented ingredient that has been the subject of research studies. It is supported by the scientific staff in the laboratories of both NOW Foods and the raw material supplier, both of which have a mutual interest in protecting the integrity and efficacy of this product. Protected by U.S. Patent No. 5,994,581 (L-Carnitine Creatinate Monohydrate).
Look at the price: this is a better way to buy both supplements than purchasing them separately.
This formula is suitable for vegetarians and is offered in both tablet and powder forms.
SERVING SIZE & HOW TO TAKE IT: As a dietary supplement, every two tablets provide 1,000 mg. (one gram) each of both L-Carnitine and Creatine Monohydrate. Or one teaspoon provides 1,150 mg.) each of both L-Carnitine and Creatine Monohydrate. Take one or more servings per day with a carbohydrate source, such as fruit juice or sports drinks.
COMPLEMENTARY PRODUCTS: CoQ10, carbohydrates, B-Complex vitamins, chromium, vanadium, Hawthorn leaf and flower extract, protein supplements. Adaptogenic herbs: ginsengs, Eleuthero, Rhodiola, Maca, Ashwaganda, licorice root
PRODUCT SPECIFIC: This product is very sensitive to moisture. Please keep in the original packaging or in a moisture resistant container. Do not take more than 20 grams per day. Discontinue use if cramps of stomach upset occur, especially if taking large doses. Do not take if kidney disease is present. Do not use large doses of caffeine with creatine, as it may increase the possibility of muscle cramping.
GENERAL: Pregnant and lactating women and people using prescription drugs should consult their physician before taking any dietary supplement. When taking any new supplement, use common sense and cautiously increase to the full dose over time to avoid any potential problems.
Packages may contain moisture or oxygen controlling packets or canisters that are not intended for consumption. In order to maintain maximum freshness, please do not remove these from your bottle (until the bottle is empty). Please recycle your container.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Fang S-M (1998) Carnitine Creatinate. U.S. Patent 5,994,581.
Beers MH, Berkow R (eds). The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy, 17th ed. Whitehouse Station, NJ: Merck and Co., Inc, 1999, 881-3.
Broquist HP (1994) Carnitine, in Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, 8th ed., Shils ME, Olson JA, Shike M (eds.) Lea & Febiger, Philadelphia, pp. 459-465. Casey A, Greenhoff PL (2000) Does dietary creatine supplementation play a role in skeletal muscle metabolism and performance? Am J Clin Nutr 72(suppl):607S-17S. Columbani P, Wenk C, Kunz I, et al. Effect of L-carnitine supplementation on physical performance and energy metabolism of endurance-trained athletes: a double blind crossover field study. Eur J Appl Physiol 1996;73:434-9.
Dal Negro R, Pomari G, Zoccatelli O, Turco P. L-carnitine and rehabilitative respiratory physiokinesitherapy: metabolic and ventilatory response in chronic respiratory insufficiency. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther Toxicol 1986;24:453-6.
Dal Negro R, Turco P, Pomari C, De Conti F. Effects of L-carnitine on physical performance in chronic respiratory insufficiency. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther Toxicol 1988;26:269-72.
Del Favero A. Carnitine and gangliosides. Lancet 1988;2:337 [letter].
Dipalma JR. Carnitine deficiency. Am Fam Physician 1988;38:243–51.
Digiesi V, Palchetti R, Cantini F. The benefits of L-carnitine in essential arterial hypertension. Minerva Med 1989;80:227-31.
Giamberardino MA, Dragani L, Valente R, et al. Effects of prolonged L-carnitine administration on delayed muscle pain and CK release after eccentric effort. Int J Sports Med 1996;17:320-4.
Green RE, Levine AM, Gunning MJ. The effect of L-carnitine supplementation on lean body mass in male amateur body Builders. J Am Diet Assoc 1997;(suppl):A-72.
Harris RC, Soderlund K, Hultman E (1992) Elevation of creatine in resting and exercised muscle of normal subjects by creatine supplementation. Clin Sci 83(3):367-374.
Kendler BS. Carnitine: an overview of its role in preventive medicine. Prev Med 1986;15:373–90.
Kobayashi A, Masumura Y, Yamazaki N. L-carnitine treatment for congestive heart failure—experimental and clinical study. Jpn Circ J 1992;56:86–94.
Murray MT. The many benefits of carnitine. Am J Natural Med 1996;3:6-14 [review].
Tamamogullari N, Silig Y, Icagasioglu S, Atalay A. Carnitine deficiency in diabetes mellitus complications. J Diabetes Complications 1999;13:251–3.
Yesilipek MA, Hazar V, Yegin O. L-Carnitine treatment in beta thalassemia major. Acta Haematol 1998;100:162-3. CREATINE MONOHYDRATE: Almada A, Mitchell T, Earnest C. Impact of chronic creatine supplementation on serum enzyme concentrations. FASEB J 1996;10:4567.
Becque MD, Lochmann JD, Melrose DR. Effects of oral creatine supplementation on muscular strength and body composition. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2000;32:654-8.
Casey A, Constantin-Teodosiu D, Howell S, et al. Creatine supplementation favorably affects performance and muscle metabolism during maximal intensity exercise in humans. Am J Physiol 1996;271:E31-E7.
Earnest CP, Almada AL, Mitchell TL. High-performance capillary electrophoresis-pure creatine monohydrate reduces blood lipids in men and women. Clin Sci 1996;91:113-8.
Earnest C, Almada A, Mitchell T. Influence of chronic creatine supplementation on hepatorenal function. FASEB J 1996;10:4588.
Earnest CP, Snell PG, Rodriguez R, et al. The effect of creatine monohydrate ingestion on anaerobic power indices, muscular strength and body composition. Acta Physiol Scand 1995;153:207-9.
Felber S, Skladal D, Wyss M, et al. Oral creatine supplementation in Duchenne muscular dystrophy: a clinical and 31P magnetic resonance spectroscopy study. Neurol Res 2000;22:145-50.
Feldman EB. Creatine: a dietary supplement and ergogenic aid. Nutr Rev 1999;57:45–50.
Green AL, Hultman E, Macdonald IA, et al. Carbohydrate ingestion augments skeletal muscle creatine accumulation during creatine supplementation in man. Am J Physiol 1996;271:E821–6.
Green AL, Simpson EJ, Littlewood JJ, et al. Carbohydrate ingestion augments creatine retention during creatine feeding in humans. Acta Physiol Scand 1996;158:195-202.
Greenhaff PL. Creatine and its application as an ergogenic aid. Int J Sport Nutr 1995;5:94-101.
Greenhaff PL. The nutritional biochemistry of creatine. J Nutr Biochem 1997;8:610-8 [review].
Greenhaff PL, Bodin K, Soderlund K, et al. Effect of oral creatine supplementation on skeletal muscle phosphocreatine resynthesis. Am J Physiol 1994;266:E725-30.
Greenhaff PL, Casey A, Short AH, et al. Influence of oral creatine supplementation on muscle torque during repeated bouts of maximal voluntary exercise in man. Clin Sci 1993;84:565-71.
Harris RC, Soderlund K, Hultman E. Elevation of creatine in resting and exercised muscle of normal subjects by creatine supplementation. Clin Sci 1992;83:367-74.
Hultman E, Soderlund K, Timmons J, et al. Muscle creatine loading in man. J Appl Physiol 1996;81:232–7.
Juhn MS, O’Kane JW, Vinci DM. Oral creatine supplementation in male collegiate athletes: a survey of dosing habits and side effects. J Am Diet Assoc 1999;99:593–5.
Kreider RB, Ferreira M, Wilson M, et al. Effects of creatine supplementation on body composition, strength, and sprint performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1998;30:73-82.
Poortmans JR, Auquier H. Renaut V, et al. Effect of short-term creatine supplementation on renal responses in men. Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol 1997;76:566–7.
Poortmans JR, Francaux M. Long-term oral creatine supplementation does not impair renal function in healthy athletes. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1999;31:1108–10.
Pritchard NR, Kaira PA. Renal dysfunction accompanying oral creatine supplements. Lancet 1998;351:1252–3 [letter].
Sewell DA, Robinson TM, Casey A, et al. The effect of acute dietary creatine supplementation upon indices of renal, hepatic and haematological function in human subjects. Proc Nutr Soc 1998;57:17A.
Silber ML. Scientific facts behind creatine monohydrate as a sports nutrition supplement. J Sports Med Phys Fitness 1999;39:179–88 [review].
Sipila I, Rapola J, Simell O, et al. Supplementary creatine as a treatment for gyrate atrophy of the choroid and retina. N Engl J Med 1981;304:867-70.
Stone MH, Sanborn K, Smith LL, et al. Effects of in-season (5-weeks) creatine and pyruvate supplementation on anaerobic performance and body composition in American football players. Int J Sport Nutr 1999;9:146-65.
Stout JR, Eckerson J, Noonan D, et al. The effects of a supplement designed to augment creatine uptake on exercise performance and fat-free mass in football players. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1997;29:S251.
Tarnopolsky MA. Potential benefits of creatine monohydrate supplementation in the elderly. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care 2000;3:497-502 [review].
Tarnopolsky M, Martin J. Creatine monohydrate increases strength in patients with neuromuscular disease. Neurology 1999;52:854-7.
Tarnopolsky MA, Roy BD, MacDonald JR. A randomized, controlled trial of creatine monohydrate in patients with mitochondrial cytopathies. Muscle Nerve 1997;20:1502-9.
Toler SM. Creatine is an ergogen for anaerobic exercise. Nutr Rev 1997;55:21-5 [review].
Vandenberghe K, Gills N, Van Leemputte M, et al. Caffeine counteracts the ergogenic action of muscle creatine loading. J Appl Physiol 1996;80:452–7.
Vandenberghe K, Goris M, Van Hecke P, et al. Long-term creatine intake is beneficial to muscle performance during resistance training. J Appl Physiol 1997;83:2055-63.
Walter MC, Lochmuller H, Reilich P, Klopstock T, Huber R, Hartard M, Hennig M, Pongratz D, Muller-Felber W. Creatine monohydrate in muscular dystrophies: A double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study. Neurology. 2000 May 9;54(9):1848-50. PMID: 10802796
Walter MC, Reilich P, Lochmuller H, Kohnen R, Schlotter B, Hautmann H, Dunkl E, Pongratz D, Muller-Felber W. Creatine monohydrate in myotonic dystrophy: a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study. J Neurol. 2002 Dec;249(12):1717-22. PMID: 12529796
Trace Minerals and Migraines
November 16, 2005 12:02 PM
Trace Minerals and Migraines
An increasingly large amount of disease today may be attributable to deficiencies in the supply of trace minerals in our diets.1 How can this be the case when the availability of food in our country is unprecedented, with a supermarket on every corner? These deficiencies do not stem from a lack of quantity of food, rather they stem from the quality of food. Trace minerals can be found mainly in whole, unprocessed foods such as vegetables and fruits. Unfortunately, the large majority of fruits and vegetables found in supermarkets today are nutritionally devoid of these minerals, largely in part to the high-yield farming practices in this and other countries.
The mineral content of food is mainly dependent on the amount of minerals found in the soil in which it is grown. Current farming practices leave soils with less than optimal amounts of these minerals, especially the less common trace minerals. As a result of this, our food supplies leave us at risk for deficiencies of these very important substances. Because of this situation, it is essential that every person now supplement their diet with trace minerals in order to avoid the many diseases that are attributable to this scarcity. A lack of vital nutrients leaves the body unable to function fully, leaving it vulnerable to disease.
Trace minerals have numerous roles. Oftentimes, because these minerals are found in such small quantities in the body, scientists and physicians have paid little attention to their importance in health and disease prevention. However, with the advent of improved science and the recognition of the efficacy of natural medicine, we are beginning to understand how vital these elements are to our health. Trace minerals, in a sense, are akin to the numerous tiny nails, nuts, and bolts that hold a house together. At first glance, a home is made of much more than these items. However, if they are slowly removed and never replaced, the house will continue to sag and finally fall apart. So it is the same with the smallest building blocks of our bodies. Trace minerals are important in the proper functioning of enzyme systems, nerve conduction and muscle function, assisting with transfer of nourishment into cells, providing the framework for tissues, and regulation of organ functions. These ‘behind the scenes’ functions are not possible without a constant, adequate supply of minerals. Even with the many multivitamin and mineral supplements available, most of these products fall short because they do not contain large enough amounts of the trace minerals that are so important to health.
Physicians that specialize in natural medicine are some of the biggest proponents of trace mineral supplementation. This type of physician is attuned to the many subtleties of the functions of the human body, and oftentimes addresses health issues with nutritional therapeutics in an attempt to bring the body’s health back into balance. This process of balance, also known as homeostasis, occurs quite wonderfully all by itself, as long as the body has the proper fuel and building materials. Unfortunately, physicians are seeing more and more diseases, which can be attributed to the body’s inability to achieve this balance. This trend towards ill health is directly related to the dearth of nutritional value in our diets today.
However, practitioners of natural medicine are very excited with the many dramatic turn-arounds toward health that many of their patients have experienced with the use of mineral supplementation. A common example of this is the treatment of migraine headaches with magnesium. Recent statistics suggest that 18 percent of women and six percent of men suffer from migraine and those numbers are increasing.2 The Centers for Disease Control reported a 60-percent increase in the disease from 1980 to 1989.3 Migraine headaches occur when the blood vessels in the brain spasm and constrict. Soon after this constriction occurs, the blood vessels then reflexively open, or dilate. When the vessels become dilated, they occupy more space in the brain, activating nearby pain receptors. It is speculated that an imbalance of mineral stores in the body can lead to this spasm of the blood vessels. Many researchers have suggested magnesium plays an important role in migraine attacks. The activities of magnesium in the body include preventing blood vessel spasm, inhibiting blood clotting, and stabilizing cell membranes, all of which are involved in migraine develoment4. Magnesium concentration exerts an effect on neurotransmitter production and receptors, pro-inflammatory molecules, and other migraine-related chemicals in the brain.5 Recent evidence suggests up to 50 percent of migraine patients have lowered levels of tissue magnesium during an acute migraine attack.6 Another study discovered brain magnesium concentrations were 19 percent lower in patients during migraine attack compared to healthy controls.7 Because recent research strongly indicates a magnesium deficiency in migraine headaches, natural medicine practitioners prescribe magnesium along with other trace minerals as a primary treatment for this condition with great success.
Because of their widespread distribution throughout the metabolic workings of the human body, trace minerals are integral to the functioning of one of the body’s largest organ systems, the muscles. Mainly, magnesium plays a large role in the relaxation of muscles following their contraction. Without this vital nutrient, it would be impossible for the muscles of the human body to function. Muscle cramps are prevalent in western society due to lack of intake of an appropriate amount of minerals. One easy, straightforward cure for muscle cramping is supplementation with magnesium and other trace minerals, as they allow the muscles to function smoothly and correctly. The role of magnesium in relieving cramped muscles also makes it a highly appropriate therapy for the muscle pain associated with fibromyalgia, a condition that is often treated successfully by practitioners of natural medicine. These practitioners often use high doses of magnesium and other trace mineral combinations to reduce the painful and tender muscles that are so common in fibromyalgia patients.
Another condition that is successfully treated with magnesium and trace minerals is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. People with this condition often experience profound muscle aches and weakness. It has been shown that in order for proper muscle contraction and relaxation to occur, magnesium and calcium need to be present in proper amounts in the body, which can be difficult to achieve even on a standard healthy diet. Additionally, magnesium and mineral supplementation may decrease the pain involved with sports-related injuries and excessive physical activity. As we use our muscular system, it is slowly depleted of these minerals, making replacement a top priority. Others signs of magnesium deficiency include disorientation, depression, tingling, numbness, seizures, abnormal heart rhythms in addition to muscle spasms and cramps.8,9
A minimum of at least 60 trace minerals has been demonstrated to be vital to health and well-being.10 This article has covered only a small fraction of the multitudes of health benefits of trace minerals. As science and natural medicine continues to uncover the many roles for all of these trace minerals, doctors are finding exciting solutions to several maladies that may be successfully treated by replacing these nutrients in the body. Unless we begin replacing these minerals early on in life, we put ourselves at risk for the many diseases of mineral deficiency that are becoming more and more prevalent in society today.
1 Medical Nutrition from Marz, 2nd Edition. Omni-Press, 1997. Pps. 103-107
2 Stewart WF, Lipton RB, Celentano DD, et al. Prevalence of migraine headache in the United States: relation to age, income, race, and other sociodemographic factors. JAMA 1992;267:64-69.
3 Rappaport AM, Scheftell FD. Headache Disorders: A Management Guide for Practitioners. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Co.;1996:4.
4 McCarty MF. Magnesium taurate and fish oil for prevention of migraine. Med Hypotheses 1996;47:461-466.
5Sinclair, S. Migraine Headaches: Nutritional, Botanical And Other Alternative Approaches. Alternative Medicine Review - Volume 4, Number 2, April 1999.
6 Mauskop A, Altura BM. Role of magnesium in the pathogenesis and treatment of migraine. Clin Neurosci 1998;5:24-27.
7 Ramadan NM, Halvorson H, Vande-Linde A, et al. Low brain magnesium in migraine. Headache 1989;29:590-593. 8 Rude RK. Magnesium deficiency: A cause of heterogeneous disease in humans. J Bone Miner Res 1998;13:749-58.
9 Institute of Medicine. Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary Reference Intakes: Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Vitamin D and Fluoride. National Academy Press. Washington, DC, 1999.
10 Kelly, GS. Sports Nutrition: A Review of Selected Nutritional Supplements For BodyBuilders and Strength Athletes-Alternative Medicine Review - Volume 2, Number 3, May 1997
HERBS FOR HEALTHY SKIN
July 14, 2005 04:07 PM
HERBS FOR HEALTHY SKIN
The skin is actually the largest organ of he body and the largest channel of elimination. The health of the skin is dependent on the health of the other organs in the body. If they are running efficiently, the skin will be healthy. When the body is overloaded with toxins the liver, kidneys and gastrointestinal system cannot process and eliminate them fast enough. This puts excess burden on the skin which may lead to conditions such as acne, psoriasis, boils or rashes.
Red clover is a great blood detoxifier allowing for healthy skin. It is often recommended for cleansing programs.
Yellow dock has been found to be a good alterative, especially for chronic skin problems. It is useful for leprosy, psoriasis and cancer. Modern herbalists recommend yellow dock for anemia, as a blood purifier, liver congestion, and skin problems. It is also considered beneficial for toxemia, infections, lymph congestion, ulcers and wounds. It is considered one of the best blood Builders in the herbal kingdom.
Burdock is valued highly in the plant kingdom. It is used to purify the blood and strengthen the liver, kidneys, stomach and lungs. It contains volatile oils which are known to help clear the kidneys of excess wastes and uric acid, and burdock is used as a diuretic. It is used for skin problems such as acne, boils, psoriasis, and canker sores.
Heart Health - Heart-Healthy Herbs & Tonics
June 30, 2005 09:39 AM
Heart Health By Ellen J. Kamhi, Ph. D. with Dorie Greenblatt Heart attacks and other circulatory problems head the list of modern day health threats. Care of the heart includes proper diet, exercise and effective handling of stress. An ideal way to provide nourishing support to the heart and related organs is through the use of herbs. Herbs have been used throughout history as part of a heart-healthy program. (Note that the well-known prescription heart medication, digitalis, was originally extracted from the herb Foxglove.) They provide a wide range of medicinal benefits not only for the heart, but for heart-supportive organs and related body systems as well. Herbs help the heart in several ways. Some are “tonics” for the heart and cardiovascular system. Others specifically aid with circulation. In addition, many herbs contain relaxing properties, which help decrease the negative effects of stress. As we frequently see in the herbal kingdom, there is often an overlap of therapeutic benefits between herbs, ultimately benefiting the user! Furthermore, combining herbs can have a more powerful or synergistic effect – meaning that the blend of two or more herbs is even more beneficial than the actions of any single herb!
A tonic herb is one that aids the body in a non-specific, balancing fashion, usually over a long period of time. Traditional Chinese Medicine considers tonics to be the most important class of herbal remedies, often called "superior" medicine.
First and foremost of the heart tonics is the European herb, Hawthorn, traditionally used in England to decorate the maypole. Hawthorn has a normalizing effect upon the heart, improving cellular metabolism while strengthening the heart's contractions, thereby improving the rate of blood flow throughout the body. It also helps maintain the integrity of the venal and arterial walls, as well as exhibiting anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. Hawthorn is without a doubt the best long term heart tonic, useful for a variety of imbalances and for maintaining overall cardio-vascular health. An ideal formula for Hawthorn is Nature’s Answer®’s Hawthorne Berry, Leaf and Flower liquid herbal extract supplement (alcohol- free, organic alcohol).
Other herbs offering tonic actions to the heart include Astragalus and Dong Quai, especially when used together. Well-known as an immune tonic, Astragalus has been used traditionally to support the heart, and is considered one of the "superior" Chinese herbs. Its properties help lower blood pressure while increasing endurance. Astragalus’s ability to stimulate the body’s circulation is further enhanced when combined with Dong Quai, an herb traditionally used as a “blood Builder”. Nature’s Answer® offers both herbs in alcohol-free and organic alcohol liquid herbal extract forms.
Any discussion of support for the heart would be inadequate without mentioning the essential and nourishing benefits of bio-flavonoids. Bio-flavonoids have the specific ability to regulate the permeability of capillaries and increase the strength of capillary walls. They are powerful anti-oxidants and free radical scavengers. Nature’s Answer® offers an outstanding bio-flavonoid formula -- Bio-Flavonoids & Rose Hip (organic alcohol), a truly tangy and delicious liquid supplement.
Other Heart-Healthy Herbs
Cayenne (a hot red pepper), has a long history of use to support the heart in many cultures. Best known as a potent circulatory stimulant (making it very useful for cold hands and feet), cayenne strengthens the heart, arteries and capillaries. This herb is added to many formulas to act as a "carrier" herb, which helps deliver active constituents to the body. Nature’s Answer®’s Cayenne liquid herbal extract formula (organic alcohol) is a powerful supplement for Cayenne support. Another overlooked herb for the heart is Cactus Grandiflorus found in Nature’s Answer®’s Cactus Grandiflorus liquid herbal extract supplement (organic alcohol); (new name: Night Blooming Cactus Formula). This herb, also called Cereus Grandiflorus, is a cactus flower extract that is useful to strengthen a weak heart and regulate irregular heartbeats.
Ginkgo Biloba, an herb well-recognized for its support of brain functions, has applications in maintaining the cardio-vascular system. It acts as both an anti-oxidant and circulatory stimulant. Ginkgo Biloba increases circulation, especially to the small venules and arterioles, including those which nourish the heart directly. An exceptional supplement featuring Ginkgo Biloba would be Nature’s Answer®’s Ginkgo Leaf liquid herbal extract formula (alcohol-free, organic alcohol).
Ideal Stress Reducers
Linden or lime blossom, another herbal remedy from Europe, provides nutritional support for the cardio-vascular system with a relaxing action on the arteries of the heart. Linden is useful with muscular tension and tension headaches as well. This makes it an excellent herb for heart difficulties relating to stress or anxiety, such as hypertension. You can find this herb in Nature’s Answer®’s Linden Flower liquid herbal extract (organic alcohol). Motherwort, as found in Nature’s Answer®’s Motherwort liquid formulation (organic alcohol), is yet another herb that has a long history of use for the heart. As a relaxing nervine, it may be particularly helpful in situations where anxiety or tension may affect the pulse.
As stated earlier, herbs used in combination can have a more synergistic, or powerful effect than when used alone. Nature’s Answer® offers an array of outstanding combination formulas for heart support. One such product is called Hawthorne CT (alcohol-free; new name: CardioNutriv™), a unique liquid herbal extract featuring Hawthorn, Linden and Cayenne herbs. TenseEase™(alcohol-free) is a second formula that blends Hawthorn and Linden with other stress relieving herbs.
As you see, liquid herbal extracts can be wonderful natural adjuncts to your program of sensible eating and exercise. Nature provides many useful herbs to support, nourish and protect the heart, heart-supportive organs and related body systems. Ultimately, remember to smile, relax and breathe deeply -- it'll do you and your heart a world of good!
These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Astra 8 - Boost immune system your primary defense against colds...
June 15, 2005 10:29 AM
Astra 8 Defense Builder
Defense Builder Herbal Formula is one of the most popular and effective herbal formulas available. It is the basis for many of the immune products found in natural food stores today. Astra 8 is the only one, however, recommended by name in books, on video, and in periodicals. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), these herbs are especially used for people who worry, think too much, eat sweets and feel cold and tired. In TCM terms, these herbs tonify Lung, Spleen and Kidney Qi and strengthen Wei Qi. Western medicine considers many of these herbs adaptogenic in that they help body adapt to stress. Astragalus, ligustrum, ginseng, and ganoderma (Reishi) found in Astra 8 are carefully balanced by additional herbs necessary to help you digest and assimilate these proven tonic herbs. For additional defensive system toning and energy enhancement, use with Power Mushrooms.
Astra-8 Defense BuilderEnhance immune system:
Pep Up and Go!
June 14, 2005 05:45 PM
Pep Up and Go!
by Harris Parker Energy Times, February 2, 2000
Feel your energy flagging?
You've lost count of the number of phone calls you fielded all afternoon-the last was from your son, who missed the late bus home from school-and colleagues needing your decision are lined up outside your office. Your husband has invited clients home for dinner. You wilt like a new hairdo on a damp August day and pray for a miracle to jump-start your engine.
Your pep quotient depends on three essential ingredients: nutrients you consume through your diet and supplements, how much you exercise and your sleep schedule.(Of course, if you're troubled by any kind of disabling, ceaseless fatigue accompanied by mental fuzziness, joint pain, sore throat, swollen glands, headaches and other chronic distress, consult your health practitioner.)
Vitamins and Energy
Certain nutrients are called vitamins because scientists consider them to be crucial for vitality. They generally function as coenzymes, partnering with the enzymes that are catalysts for the chemical reactions constantly taking place in our bodies. Our need to replenish our store of vitamins, which may merge with cell, muscle, enzyme, hormone, blood and bone structure once they have been absorbed, depends on their rate of utilization, according to The Real Vitamin & Mineral Book (Avery) by Shari Lieberman, PhD, and Nancy Bruning.
While a low-fat diet rich in raw fruits and vegetables helps supply important nutrients, a B complex supplement and a balanced multivitamin can guarantee daily vitamin levels.
Be Energetic with B Vitamins
Vitamins, especially the B vitamins, play extremely important roles in producing cellular energy. The chart on page 39 lists the key vitamins and describes their effects as well as the consequences of not getting enough of them. Their benefit is felt most profoundly in the energy producing process known as the Krebs cycle (which we'll explain in a moment).
Vitamins B2 and B3, for example, supply the major building blocks for substances that are called flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD and FADH) and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD and NADH), which are critical elements of energy production in the Krebs cycle as well as a process called oxidative phosphorylation.
Hundreds of Reactions
Even though you may never have heard of NAD and NADH, these molecules are found in very many places throughout your body; they play a role in hundreds of biochemical reactions in all kinds of cells. B vitamins also combine with other materials to build coenzymes, chemicals which help form other chemicals necessary for cellular energy. B vitamins are crucial: miss out on one or more and you may break these metabolic chains necessary for peak energy.
Energy to Spend
The main energy currency of every cell single cell is ATP: a chemical called adenosine triphosphate. This material is used by cells for every imaginable task including reproduction, growth, movement and metabolism. Specialized metabolic cycles within the cell are designed to generate ATP.
Consequently, the more ATP our cells create, the more energy can be generated. The raw materials used to make cellular energy are glucose (blood sugar) and "free" fatty acids. The best way to supply your cells with the sugar they need is to consume complex carbohydrates which also supply fiber and other nutrients. When you eat carbohydrates, they are made into glucose which is stored as a starch called glycogen in muscles and the liver. Your body can rapidly turn glycogen into glucose for extra energy. (The process of making energy from glycogen yields carbon dioxide and water as well as ATP.)
The first step in making glucose into energy is called glycolysis. This complicated process requires nine different steps. During these steps, glucose is made into a substance called pyruvate. The process of glycolysis requires ATP, but yields twice as much ATP as is present when it starts.
From here, the process gets a little more complicated as pyruvate enters into a complex chain of events in tiny cellular structures called mitochondria. (Many metabolic events take place in the mitochondria.) The pyruvate molecules are converted to a molecule known as acetyl coenzyme A and eventually made into carbon dioxide, water and more ATP.
This process is known as the Krebs cycle or citric acid cycle. It also involves a series of events known as oxidative phosphorylation in which NADH formed during the Krebs cycle is oxidized to form ATP.
Why is fat such a concentrated source of energy? Free fatty acids enter the Krebs cycle to help generate ATP much more efficiently than glucose - producing roughly six times more energy per gram than glucose.
And Don't Overlook. . . . . .other supplements that may aid energy production: • Alpha Lipoic Acid, an antioxidant that works in the fatty tissues of cell membranes and in cells' watery interiors • Coenzyme Q10, also known as ubiquinone as it exists everywhere in the body, acts like a vitamin because it stimulates some reactions. CoQ10 protects cell membranes, especially of the heart, against oxidation and toxins.
Ginsengs: Energy Generators
With their legendary and slightly mysterious characteristics, the ginsengs are greatly respected natural energy boosters. " Perhaps no herb has excited so much interest in medical circles as ginseng, and yet, strangely, it does not actually 'cure' any one particular ailment," reports Michael Hallowell, the author of Herbal Healing (Avery) and a frequent lecturer on botanic medicine. "Rather, its virtue lies in its tremendous power as a tonic and invigorator. Russian athletes are prescribed large amounts of ginseng because researchers in Moscow have shown that it not only improves stamina, but also increases the efficiency with which blood is pumped to the muscles."
What are the physiological mechanisms that allow ginseng to bolster your get up and go? In order to unravel the legend and lore of ginseng, the first step is understanding the intricacies of the three types: • Asian (Panax ginseng), which produces the strongest and most profound stimulation; • American (Panax quinquefolium), which soothes at a more subtle level; • Siberian (Eleutherococcus senticosus), a stamina booster embraced by a wide range of athletes. All three varieties are treasured for their ability to help people adjust to stress.
The ginsengs are adaptogens, "biologically active substances found in certain herbs and plants that help the body and mind adapt to the changes and stress of life," says Stephen Fulder, MD, author of The Book of Ginseng and Other Chinese Herbs for Vitality (Inner Traditions). "Stress is not an illness in itself. Stress is change, our ability to adapt to all the changes that occur in life, emotional or physical, from exercise, work, chemicals, drugs, food, radiation, bacteria, disease, temperature, or simply too many late nights or too much fun."
The body reacts to stress by producing the hormone adrenaline, which throws the whole body into a state of alert. Metabolism, blood pressure and circulation accelerate; immunity and resistance drastically decline; performance suffers.
Enter the ginsengs, with their varied, subtle tonic qualities. The Greek name for this herb, "panax," means "panacea" or cure-all. But the Chinese, who first referred to it 2,000 years ago, more literally called it "ren shen" or "person root," in reference to its physical resemblance to a miniature human form.
" Most exhibit medicinal properties, but each species has a different chemical makeup and has a unique application in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)," says Kim Derek Pritts, author of Ginseng: How to Find, Grow and Use America's Forest Gold (Stackpole). "In general, all true ginseng contains biologically active saponins (chemicals similar to human hormones), essential oils, carbohydrates, sugars, organic acids, nitrogenous substances, amino acids, peptides, vitamins and minerals."
Building Vital Energy
All the ginsengs strengthen, nourish and build Qi, the TCM concept describing basic vital energy circulating through our bodies. Every physical and mental function, from breathing, thinking, nutrition and circulation, is regulated by Qi. Although many of the Native American tribes used the abundant, indigenous Panax quinquefolium ginseng extensively, particularly to increase mental acuity and boost fertility, the herb never has been as popular in North America as it is in Asia. American ginseng traditionally has been a lucrative export crop to China, where the wild native variety suffers from overharvesting. Even today, according to Paul Bergner in The Healing Power of Ginseng & the Tonic Herbs (Prima), 95% of the American ginseng crop is exported to China, where XiYang Shen, or "western sea root," as it is called, is immensely valued and costs double what it does here.
Jacques MoraMarco, author of The Complete Ginseng Handbook: A Practical Guide for Energy, Health and Longevity (Contemporary), as well as a licensed acupuncturist and doctor of Eastern medicine, suggests American ginseng for a slight energy boost. The moderate effect of American ginseng is considered a more appropriate tonic to the intensity of our pace and diet.
Variations on a Theme
In TCM terms, American ginseng cools and moistens, as well as lubricates and strengthens the body. It is reputed to reduce fevers and night sweats and alleviate hot, dry lung problems like smoker's cough. With its emollient qualities, American ginseng is considered to treat dry, wrinkled skin effectively.
The Bolder Energizer
Asian ginseng, which includes red Korean panax, is a bolder energizer taken by those who feel depleted from anemia, blood loss, cardiovascular weakness, injury, shock or trauma, as well as the disabling effects of age. In general, Asian ginseng is warming and stimulating, urging the body to run faster.
Siberian ginseng, though botanically not a true ginseng, still acts similarly to Asian ginseng in its reputed power to control stress, boost energy, support the immune system, enhance performance and increase longevity. Called Wu Cha Seng in Chinese, Siberian ginseng is perceived by natural practitioners as an ideal herb for the healthy who want to lift both stamina and endurance. Experts believe it counteracts the effects of cortisol, the stress hormone produced by the adrenal glands in response to injury, pain or emotional turmoil.
Natural Energy Boosters
The herbal pharmacopeia includes several other natural energy boosters available in various forms-shakes and bars for those on the run-loaded with nutrition absent from commercial snacks. Some choices: • Ginkgo biloba-used in Chinese medicine to heat the body and increase sexual energy. Ginkgo enthusiasts take this herb to increase the supply of oxygen to the brain and generally increase circulation. • Gotu kola-may stimulate the central nervous system and help eliminate excess fluid, thereby reducing fatigue. • Astragalus-a Chinese herb that enhances energy and builds the immune system. It is credited with strengthening digestion, improving metabolism, increasing appetite, combating diarrhea and healing sores. • Schisandra-also a Chinese herb, treats respiratory illness, insomnia and irritability and rejuvenates sexual energy. Its mild adaptogens help the body to handle stress. • Licorice-is a favored endocrine toner in Chinese medicine. It is reputed to support the adrenals, the pair of small glands directly above the kidneys that secrete steroidal hormones, norepinephrine and epinephrine, the "fight or flight" hormones. People with high blood pressure or edema, or pregnant women, should avoid it. • Ashwagandha-an Ayurvedic herb used for thousands of years in the traditional healing of India as a potent strength Builder for men and women.
Experienced herbal practitioners acquire an impressive and fascinating store of knowledge and experience-you'll find it helpful to visit one as you begin your course of ginseng or other energy-boosting herbs.
When you visit a TCM practitioner, you'll notice that she evaluates your body's condition through an extremely careful examination of all the different systems: Several pulse points are felt in order to ferret out and detect troubling abnormalities. The condition and color of the tongue is observed to decipher digestive disorders. In addition, your urine may be examined to determine other imbalances and specific health problems.
In many cases, your TCM practitioner will recommend ginseng as an adaptogen that can give you an overall boost. When taking ginseng, follow the directions on the package. Note: in some cases, you may want to consume a little bit less if you suffer headaches, insomnia or high blood pressure. Consult your health practitioner if you are afflicted with either acute inflammatory disease or bronchitis.
Then take comfort in the eternal soothing wisdom of Chinese Traditional Medicine. In the first century A.D., the Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing (The Divine Husbandman's Classic of the Materia Medica) effusively described ginseng and the tonic herbs in this beguiling and intriguing manner: "The first class of drugs...are considered to perform the work of sovereigns. They support human life and they resemble heaven. They are not poisonous regardless of the quality and duration of administration."
Mane Attraction - lustrous Hair...
June 14, 2005 08:19 AM
Mane Attraction by Chrystle Fiedler Energy Times, February 12, 2004
Everyone wants thick, lustrous hair. Think of the allure attached to the locks of Samson and Lady Godiva and-fast-forward to the present-the full heads of Antonio Banderas and Julia Roberts.
" We're naturally attracted to hair as humans; it catches the light, it frames the face, we like the feel of it," says Catherine Jones, ND, LAc, a resident naturopathic physician at Bastyr Center for Natural Health in Seattle, Washington. "Fair or not, historically in many cultures, rich, thick hair has been a sign of fertility and strength."
Along with that allure, latching onto natural ways to have great-looking hair gives you the benefits of looks and health. Every hair starts with a shaft that grows from a root. "The root is contained deep within the hair follicle," says Dr. Jones. "Each one has a sebaceous or oil gland, which supplies the hair with necessary lubrication as it approaches the surface of the scalp." Each hair follicle has its own growth cycle, including a resting period, the telogen phase, when hair falls out. Because of these constant hair phases, each of us loses, on average, about 100 hairs a day.
" The number of hairs the average person loses in a day tends to increase in the fall as the leaves fall from the tree and tends to decrease in the spring as the bulbs emerge from the soil," Dr. Jones says. "We really are connected to nature." Stress-due to rapid weight loss, infection, anemia, prolonged illness, hormonal changes, hypoactive thyroid disease, autoimmune conditions, eczema or psoriasis-can influence hair growth and loss.
Hair consists of proteins, lipids (fats), carbohydrates and pigment (gray hair has reduced pigment; white, none at all). Each shaft's structure is divided into a medulla, a cortex and an outer cuticle. " The cuticle is coated with an outside lipid-like layer, which protects the hair," says Dr. Jones. "As the hair grows out of the follicle, the cortex and cuticle become keratinized and harden." Dry or damaged hair is more susceptible to breakage. "The condition of the cuticle affects how the light reflects off the hair, giving it highlights and luster," Dr. Jones says. "Luster is affected both by what occurs inside the body as the hair is developing and what happens to the hair after it has grown from the shaft."
Sun, heat, moisture, pollution and hair products, dyes and bleaches can all dull the hair. "Applying chemical solutions to the hair, color, permanent waves or curl relaxers, damage the protein molecules that wrap around the shaft, leaving hair brittle and dull," says Christina Pirello, author of Glow: A Prescription for Radiant Health and Beauty (HP Books).
Conditioners and oils can leave a residue or weigh hair down. Hair sprays and products that contain alcohol can dry and damage the hair, as can using blow dryers and curling irons.
To combat hair-raising havoc, feed your hair natural nutrients for health. Silica and plants that contain silica/silicon both strengthen hair and promote growth. "Silica is a good mineral for hair health," says Walter Siegordner, founder of The Aurora Group, a personal care company. "It helps in the keratinization process of the cells that produce hair."
" Silica is a mineral that is involved in the synthesis of bone and connective tissue," adds Dr. Jones. "The hair follicle contains connective tissue so silica may promote the health and function of the follicle itself." Silica-containing herbs include nettles (Urtica dioica), horsetail (Equisetum arvense), oatstraw (Avena sativa) and alfalfa (Medicago sativa).
Sea plants like seaweed and kelp also provide vital nutrients. "Sea plants are essential ingredients in many natural shampoos and can be used to fortify damaged hair," says Pirello. "They're rich in vitamin A that prevents the build-up of dead skin cells, which can clog the hair follicles, inhibiting the growth and health of the hair, and also contain vitamin B, linked to the prevention of oily hair, baldness and dandruff. Calcium found in sea plants is essential to the structure of the hair shaft."
Eaten on s daily basis, sea plants are rich in nutrients that help maintain healthy, shiny hair, free of split ends, Pirello says. Try wakame in soups and salads, kombu or kelp in bean and vegetable dishes, nori in sushi, and hiziki and arame as side dishes. Since hair health is affected by digestive health, the fiber found in whole grains also helps. "Fiber prevents accumulation in the intestines that can result in the formation of toxins," says Pirello.
Miso, she adds, is especially good hair food. It "is rich in living enzymes that ease digestion, fortify the quality of the blood nourishing the body and hair, and provide us with essential oils, vitamins and minerals."
Key nutritional support includes adequate protein and amino acids, essential fatty acids such as cold-pressed flax seed oil and fish oil, copper, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin D, biotin, iron and vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid). Zinc and selenium can help combat the effects of hyperthyroidism, which can result in thinning, lackluster hair.
Vitamin C can boost adrenal health. "When the adrenals are overtaxed and become fatigued, hair follicles will go into a resting phase," says Dr. Jones. (If you have a medical condition, she adds, check with your health care practitioner first before taking supplements.)
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, hair is associated with the kidneys' qi, energy that originates in these organs, and with blood quality. " From the traditional Chinese perspective, excess amounts of fat, protein, dairy, sugar, alcohol and salt in the diet acidify the body, damage the Kidney qi and are not good for the hair," says Dr. Jones. A diet rich in vegetables and grains is a great way to support healthy hair. "Iron and mineral-rich foods are considered blood Builders and hair tonics. Foods such as blackstrap molasses, seaweed, nettles, and the herb polygonum multiflorum (also known as He Shou Wu and Fo-Ti) have been used throughout the years. Fo-Ti has also been used to prevent graying of the hair and support the immune system."
" Hair is extremely strong but at the same time it's extremely delicate," says Barsoum Bouchar, a cosmetologist and owner of the Virtuoso Salon in Birmingham, Michigan. "Many products work against the hair texture, so the cuticle is always raised. This causes tangles and split ends. With blow dryers, chemicals, colors and styling elements, the hair is tremendously abused." If you don't have to chemically treat the hair, he says, don't.
When replenishing the hair it's important to remember that it's composed of 97% protein and 3% moisture, says Bouchar. Shampoo cleanses the hair and removes buildup. "A moisturizer brings moisture back into the hair and smoothes the cuticle down, which is what makes hair shiny and gives it bounce. The one key ingredient in both shampoo and moisturizers is aloe vera. It heals the hair." " Avoid products with harsh surfactants like sodium laurel sulfate and propylene glycol," warns Siegordner. "These decrease the circulation in the scalp, reducing the pathway for nutrition to the hair bulb." Conditioners that aren't natural can also cause build-up. "When you apply heat to the hair through blow drying or styling, you end up 'burning' the hair," says Bouchar.
To stimulate hair growth, add a few drops of essential oils of rosemary, lavender and thyme to jojoba and almond oils, and rub into the scalp. Leave it overnight and then rinse it off. " Essential oils have antimicrobial and antifungal properties, stimulate the circulation to the hair follicles and combat dryness. They also smell good," says Dr. Jones.
For hair that's not chemically treated, "a vinegar rinse cleanses the hair, removes build-up and boosts shine," says Bouchar. Use one part vinegar to ten parts water, apply after a shampoo, comb though and rinse it off. To naturally lighten the hair, use the same ratio in a lemon rinse for five minutes for, say, four days in a row, and then stop.
If you want to color your hair, choose natural elements, too. "The best natural dye is henna," says Bouchar. "It's organic, just like hair is." Blonde hair becomes warmer with a coppery tone, brunette hair takes on a mahogany hue, gray hair looks like highlights.
To find a good natural hair stylist, Bouchar suggests asking which products they use and why. If your hair is chemically treated, it's especially important to work with a stylist you trust for the best care.
Keep your eye on the big picture when it comes to hair health. "Be proactive and treat the body holistically," urges Dr. Jones. "Nourish the glands, the organs and the vessels that are responsible for getting the necessary nutrients to the hair follicle. Pay attention to the physical, emotional and mental aspects of health. Once hair is lost it may come back but it will likely be thinner than it was before. It's important to take care of what you have."
Improove Memory ...
June 09, 2005 05:49 PM
Mesmerizing Memory by Cal Orey Energy Times, January 1, 1999
In the 60s, the same rock 'n' rollers who belted out "One pill makes you larger and one pill makes you small," often espoused the belief that certain pills could expand the mind. While counter-culture pill purveyors were pilloried for their pill-popping claims, 90s nutritional research has uncovered a stash of supplements that may amplify mental improvement.
Like a blues singer bending a high note, researchers are now humming with dramatic assertions that certain nutritional supplements can sustain and enhance concentration and memory function. For instance, studies reveal possible benefits for cognitive powers from vitamin C, magnesium and Ginkgo biloba. A recent report in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA 278:1327-1332) said that an extract of Ginkgo biloba "can stabilize and, in some cases, improve the cognitive function and social behavior of demented patients."
A researcher in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences noted that a daily dose of vitamin E may "help protect the brain and its memories from the ravages of time." And the beat goes on: other evidence indicates that zinc, iron and boron may pump up short-term memory attention span and cut the time it takes to perform mental tasks.
Lester Packer, PhD, professor of molecular and cell biology at UC Berkeley, told a joint 1996 United Nations-World Health Organization conference on Aging that "there is a growing body of evidence indicating that the free radical theory of aging and aging-related disease is valid," and that dietary and supplemental antioxidants can help fight illness and mental deterioration.
Vitamin E and other memory aids are believed to protect brain chemicals called neurotransmitters, "the ferrymen of the brain's communication system," that influence concentration and memory. Experts say that sustaining the level of these nerve chemicals in the brain can potentially improve all mental processes.
Too much alcohol, for example, commonly causes progressive mental decline, according to Secrets of the Superyoung (Villard) by David Weeks and Jamie James. The authors also point out that "the memory tends to worsen noticeably after 15 years of alcohol drinking, and much sooner in people who go on massive binges."
"The effects of cigarette smoke are subtler because the poisonous effects of carbon monoxide in each puff are temporarily offset by the alerting effects of the nicotine," they add. Can't remember the name of that singer cavorting in a music video? Tests have shown that smokers are worse at connecting peoples' names to their faces than nonsmokers.
n Learn something new: A second language, musical instrument, or unique puzzles and games keep neurons working like new.
n Turn off the TV: Read. Studies show that passively watching TV requires less concentration than eating cereal. Mental rejuvenation also requires physical activity. Exercise increases oxygen flow to the brain, which supports memory, concentration and cognition. One study has shown that exercise significantly brightened the moods of middle-aged and older women, regardless of whether they were pre- or post-menopausal, with or without hormone replacement therapy.
Supplemental Brain Help
Antioxidants, including the previously mentioned vitamin E (You haven't forgotten vitamin E already, have you?), provide crucial help for vigorous cerebral function. The free radicals created by tobacco smoke, air pollution, ultraviolet light and certain carcinogenic chemicals deconstruct cell membranes and may foster microscopic brain cell havoc. Antioxidant enzymes convert free radicals to more neutral, benign substances and nutritional antioxidants can neutralize free radicals by linking up with them.
Vitamin C, a brainy antioxidant all star, performs so well that, according to Dr. Khalsa, its levels in the brain are almost 15 times higher than in other parts of the body. This nutrient, he asserts, aids mental and physical longevity. In a UCLA study, people who ingested at least 300 mg of vitamin C daily lived more than six years longer than those who ingested less.
Added to this mix, magnesium also scavenges free-radicals, according to Dr. Khalsa. Plus, experts recommend grape seed extract (phytochemicals that protect a wide range of cellular structures) to safeguard nerve cells and mental capacity.
B Vitamins for the Mind
Boron plays a crucial part in mental function. Scientists at the USDA's Human Nutrition Research Center have linked boron deficiencies to chronic lethargy and fatigue. In brain studies, they found that the electrical activity of the gray matter in the boron deficient indicated increased drowsiness and mental sluggishness.
HupA basically protects the brain from free radical damage (due to low levels of antioxidant defenses) and maintains or enhances crucial neurotransmitter action. More specifically, HupA helps reduce the breakdown of acetylcholine, the vital neurotransmitter, and makes this substance more bioavailable. In addition, HupA helps make choline accessible to the brain for the synthesis of acetylcholine, according to a study in Neuropharmacology (30, 1991: 763-768).
Normally, the brain manufactures sufficient levels of the chemical phosphatidylserine, a lecithin-derivative that helps boost neurotransmitter release, but deficiencies of vitamin B12 and folic acid, or of essential fatty acids, may retard that production. Low levels of phosphatidylserine in the brain are related to impaired mental function and depression in the elderly. Scientists reporting in Aging (5, 1993; 123-33) describe "good results" using phosphatidylserine in the treatment of age-related cognitive ills.
Ginkgo Brain Power
Another ingredient in what seems like an alphabet-soup of brain nourishment is DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), an omega-3 fat essential for normal brain function. Researchers met recently at The New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center's Nutrition Information Center to discuss "Keeping Your Brain in Shape: New Insights into DHA." Their findings revealed links between low levels of DHA and Alzheimer's, depression, memory loss, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and certain behavioral traits including aggression and hostility.
Researchers from the National Institutes of Health point out, however, that fish is an excellent dietary source of DHA. In their studies, they discovered that depression rates in Japan and Taiwan, where fish ranks a top spot on the menu, are significantly lower than in North America and Europe.
DHA also is crucial to the neurological development of children, according to findings published in Pediatrics (vol. 101, no. 1, January 1998). Researchers suggest that DHA-rich breast milk should be the model for infant formulas that enhance babies' neurological development. Scientists also have correlated some behavioral problems in children-ADHD, for example-to DHA deficiencies.
If you are a vegetarian, or have other cause for concern about a potential lack of DHA in your diet, you can rely on dietary supplementation of DHA. Bruce J. Holub, PhD, of the University of Guelph in Canada provided vegetarians in his research project with DHA supplements over a 42-day period and substantially increased their DHA blood levels.
The bottom line to enhanced mental performance is to take a balanced approach, says Robert Snider, MD, who specializes in preventive medicine in Massena, New York. "Maintaining brain power includes exercise, stress reduction and good nutrition." The message to keep in mind: Don't lose your nutritional balance or you could lose a piece of your peace of mind.
Recommended Reading: & Brain Builders (Reward Books, 1995), by Richard Leviton.
Brain Longevity (Warner Books, 1997), by Dharma Singh Khalsa, MD.
Omega 3 Oils to Improve Mental Health, Fight Degenerative Diseases and Extend Life (Avery, 1996), by Donald Rudin, MD, and Clara Felix.
Successful Aging (Pantheon, 1998), by John W. Rowe, MD, and Robert L. Kahn, PhD.