Search Term: " Burden "
Modified citrus pectin helps to reduce heavy metal toxicity by 74percent, study says
April 25, 2019 04:54 PM
As you may know, heavy metals are everywhere, in our water, food, dental fillings, and air. Fortunately, according to the latest research, modified citrus pectin is a substance that can help to safely remove these toxic metals from the body. The accumulation of heavy metals in the body not only can lead to chronic disease, but it also compromises the body's ability to heal from illness. Some common toxic heavy metals are lead, mercury, and cadmium. To reduce your body's burden of heavy metals, take 15 grams of the product PectaSol three times a day.
"Mercury, a known neurotoxin, is found in fish such as swordfish and shark, as well as in “silver” dental fillings. The crazy part is: we know that mercury can seriously affect the nervous system, causing tremors, loss of coordination, muscular spasms and even death."
Read more: https://www.naturalhealth365.com/modified-citrus-pectin-2824.html
Study finds geranium demonstrates antidepressant and anxiolyticproperties
January 02, 2019 05:20 PM
Geranium is most often used as an essential oil, and researchers are finding that it has properties that can fight depression in struggling patients. They had a group of Swiss albino mice that they tested by giving geranium to them routinely through the study. The geranium was able to help produce serotonin, which is one of the leading ways that antidepressants work in aiding in the relief of depressive symptoms. The phytochemicals are what are responsible for this phenomena.
"The National Alliance on Mental Illness estimates that nearly 20 percent of the U.S. adult population is diagnosed with major depressive disorder or anxiety."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-12-22-geranium-has-antidepressant-and-anxiolytic-properties.html
What's The Difference Between Niacin And Niacinamide
December 19, 2018 08:31 AM
When it comes to Vitamin B3, not all forms of Niacin are created equally. Aside from the risk of allergens and impurities, there are also separate forms with critical distinctions. The pure form is made solely of nicotinic acid which causes the flushing effect when it is taken by humans. The flushing effect is a redness that starts in the face and expands outwards through the rest of the body. It can make the skin feel warm, dry, and itchy for half an hour. The flushing effect is associated with vascular dilation that helps open up the tiny capillaries and blood vessels to clean out all the toxic junk they may have accumulated.
Nicotinic Acid Lowers Cholesterol
Nicotinic acid is also associated with increasing HDL levels in the body to prevent heart disease and plaques from accumulating on the interior walls of arteries. Nicotinic acid is also known to lower the LDL and VLDL bad cholesterols that clog up arteries and lead to heart attacks and strokes.
Other Benefits of Vitamin B3
Vitamin B3 plays a critical role in building enzymes that help us carry out over 200 physical functions in the body. It is not produced naturally but is absorbed from foods such as yeast, green vegetables, milk, eggs, legumes, and fish. Aside from cardiovascular health, it plays a critical role in nervous health and sex hormone production.
How Does Niacinamide Differ?
Niacinamide is a water-soluble form of Niacin that is used to treat deficiencies or for therapies when patients need to take higher doses regularly to treat pellegra and the deficiencies that lead to it. When an excess of Niacin is built up in the body, your body may store it in this form. The chief distinction between this water-soluable hybrid and nicotinic acid is the effect on cholesterol and vascular dilation. Although flushing can be reduced by taking nicotinic acid daily and building up a tolerance to the effects, it is harder on the liver and more Burdensome on the body to metabolize it in the high doses used for therapy of many illnesses: ADHD, Schizophrenia, nervous problems, migraines, and arthritis, among others. It is the preferred choice for maintaining a consistent and steady level of Vitamin B3 in the body and loaded into many beauty and skin products for women.
What Other Forms Can I Take?
You can take any form of the vitamin on a daily basis or supplement it with nicotinic acid when you need some additional flushing effect. You will notice that Niacinamide causes some symptoms of drying and itching that are similar to flushing when you take it in high doses. The no-flush formulation is called inositol hexanicotinate and made up from Vitamins B3 and Inositol Vitamin B8. The inositol acts as an additional buffer that makes inositol hexanicotinate easy to digest and take 1600 mg without side-effects: nausea, itching, flushing, dizziness, gout, liver damage, diabetes. Although multi-vitamin formulas and even fortified foods like breakfast shakes and cereals suggest that you are getting a full dose of B3 in each serving, this is very unlikely. The better choice is to take specifically formulated capsules rather than multivitamins if you are using it for therapeutic reasons.
Almonds may boost heart health in diabetic people
November 23, 2018 08:51 AM
Almonds are a versatile, portable, tasty and nutritious snack food. However, new research suggests that the salad topper may also have more to impart to eaters, particularly if the eaters in question number among the millions struggling under the burden of type 2 diabetes. Of the more than 400 million who struggle with the disease, worldwide, nearly 80 million cases can be found in the country of India, alone. One study, using Indian subjects with type 2 diabetes and elevated cholesterol levels, discovered some interesting results. The subjects were given whole un-roasted almonds in place of 20 calories in an otherwise balanced eating plan. The subjects heart health showed marked improvement. Another study used Chinese participants and allowed 60 grams of almonds a day. Blood sugar levels and cardiovascular aspects were not affected by this study's regime. However, for some subjects with otherwise well-controlled type 2 diabetes, blood sugar serum levels dropped. Almonds may improve inflammation, which is a factor in cardiovascular disease. They also provide vitamins, minerals and fiber.
"While the almond diet offered better overall nutritional quality, neither diet with or without almonds improved blood sugar status, nor most cardiovascular risk factors as was expected. However, researchers found that among a subset."
Read more: https://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/health/almonds-may-boost-heart-health-in-diabetic-people-5444785/
Turmeric may reduce inflammation from osteoarthritis
November 01, 2017 12:59 PM
Osteoarthritis is a condition affecting many people and without a cure, the condition turns lives upside down. Fortunately for sufferers, osteoarthritis inflammation and pain can be reduced with many at-home, natural remedies you probably already have lying around. Turmeric happens to be one of the remedies that works wonders for anyone who uses it and is suffering from this painful condition. Immediate inflammation relief is just one of the many benefits you enjoy when using turmeric for inflammation reduction.
"A recent study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food demonstrated that extracts of turmeric have a significant impact on the inflammation and pain associated with osteoarthritis."
Read more: http://www.dailyherald.com/entlife/20171028/turmeric-may-reduce-inflammation-from-osteoarthritis
8 Ways To Slow Aging, Anti-Inflammatory Style
October 29, 2017 10:14 AM
Dietary and lifestyle changes may help prevent or alleviate some of the symptoms associated with chronic inflammation. Lifestyle changes suggested in the article "8 Ways To Slow Aging, Anti-Inflammatory Style" include getting enough sleep, exercise, and not smoking. For those who are not malnourished, intermittent fasting has proven to be helpful with inflammation. This practice has also shown to improve cognitive abilities and slow bone mineral density loss. Physiologically, fasting inhibits inflammatory reactions by reducing markers of oxidative stress.
"The overall inflammation burden was 27% lower for those with strong spousal support."
Read more: https://www.prevention.com/health/anti-inflammatory-diet
How the immune system causes heart disease
July 22, 2017 11:14 AM
There is a way in which the immune system causes heart disease in people. It poses a significant burden on the healthcare industry. We all know that smoking and diabetes are things that lead to heart disease. But, there are also many people that die from this disease that do not have any kind of risk factor. Studies are trying to figure out what the reason is behind this. The immune system as well as inflammation in the body are two reasons why this could be happening.
Read more: How the immune system causes heart disease
Zinc can boost immunity and assist the body!
Rheumatoid arthritis: Is exercise important?
July 20, 2017 11:14 AM
Although rheumatoid arthritis causes severe pain, it is important for sufferers to implement an adequate daily exercise routine. Exercise can help increase blood flow to joints and help them not be so stiff. Exercise is also good for your mood and the emotional burden that comes with having a disability.
Some good things to do for arthritis include swimming, light aerobics, going for a simple walk, or bike riding. There are misconceptions about staying fit while suffering from arthritis.
Read more: Rheumatoid arthritis: Is exercise important?
Study Improving The Mother's Immune System
January 11, 2017 12:59 PM
Recently a new research study has found an essential function of a particular kind of immune cells found in mothers uterine line. These particular cells were B lymphocytes which were found to aid in the resistance of preterm births that are caused from inflammation. The researchers found that the cells create antibodies which aid in the defense against infection.
"While preterm birth — defined as a birth taking place before the 37th week of pregnancy — is a complex condition, there are two causes which the specialists identified to be responsible for it: infection of the mother and ensuing inflammation."
Top signs your body is burdened with toxins, and what you can do about it
December 06, 2016 10:59 AM
The food most of us eat is too processed and adulterated. Big food companies put in additives, preservatives, artificial colors and sweeteners, and your body gets Burdened by toxins. Soon you have constipation, headaches, food allergies, muscle aches. The first step in fixing this problem is to change your diet – avoid processed foods, buy fresh, organic and have a lot of fruits and vegetables.
"In addition to increased risk of disease, these kinds of foods also put more stress on your body, and create more waste for your lymphatic system. When the body's natural method of detoxification – the lymphatic system – is inundated with toxins, it is not able to function at its best. This means that waste and toxic materials are often left to linger in the body, rather than getting filtered out by the lymphatic system"
Can Adrenal Extract Support Adrenal Function?
April 09, 2014 11:47 PM
Effects low adrenal to body
As the adrenal organs affect all body forms, a diminishing in their capacity might be seen practically anywhere. The standard first side effect of LAF is regularly weariness. Individuals experiencing issues getting up in the morning or have spurts of exhaustion at diverse times of the day. Frequently, the following side effect is an inclination of shortcoming, discombobulating or expanded heart rate when climbing from a sitting position to standing. In the event that the issue is not tended to, additional manifestations take after:
Cause of low adrenal level
With adrenal weariness, your body does not process enough cortisol to keep glucose levels consistent as you experience your normal 8-10 hour when we rest. As glucose levels begin to drop throughout the center of the night, ordinarily your adrenal organs discharge cortisol to help push glucose levels move down. These hormones are Central Nervous System stimulants and will wake you up. This is the reason you may appear to get up, wide up and about.
It is critical to take a gander at all the elements that help adrenal weakness and hyperactive action. A sleep deprivation prescription will never alter the center issue in this case. The very situation recently portrayed to you is exceptionally normal. There are numerous variables that must be viewed as including circadian musicality of cortisol discharge, lifestyle components, passionate anxiety, and sustenance sensitivities, in addition to everything else. There is nobody size fits all medication for this syndrome however you can have triumph and overcome you’re a sleeping disorder in the event that you discover a specialist who takes a thorough, all common, huge picture methodology, to this advanced disease called Adrenal Stress Syndrome .
Types of adrenal stress syndrome
Temperament swings: When the cerebrum isn't getting enough sugar, it doesn't work appropriately. A way the cerebrum builds the breakdown fat into sugar is by creating a solid feeling, for example, indignation or great misery. An individual typically feels better a short time later, in the same way that they will be less passionate in the wake of consuming.
Desires of desserts: As the adrenal organs tell the pancreas what amount of insulin is required to process in a dinner, when the adrenal organs are not working accurately, they don't correctly correspond with the pancreas, so a lot of insulin has a tendency to sent by the pancreas for anything consumed subsequently glucose levels drop rapidly after supper; this causes the starch longings.
Mental Burdens: Anything that causes mental or enthusiastic misery will fortify the adrenal organs to transform substances to help with the impacts of the anxiety (epinephrine, norepinephrine, and serotonin). Delayed mental anxiety, for example, needing to meet a due date, last test of the years, being in an oppressive relationship, and so forth will result in the adrenal organs to need to capacity without enough breaks.
What are The Steps to Make Kombucha from Extract?
November 21, 2012 07:58 AM
Kombucha is popularly known as a kind of tea which made by fermenting tea and sugar in the presence of yeasts and bacteria. But, in fact, it is a kind of beverage that is made from a colony of yeast and bacteria known as kombucha culture, frequently referred as a mushroom by its look though it is not a mushroom.
Steps to make Kombucha from extract:
Your kombucha tea is ready to be stored in bottles. Kombucha tea is used for various health benefits like detoxifying the liver to prevent cancer.
Its richness of enzymes and presence of bacterial acids help in detoxing your body from the effects of toxins to ease your liver from excessive Burdens. It helps in improving your digestion, fighting the overgrowth of harmful yeasts and eliminating or reducing the symptoms of depression, anxiety, fibromyalgia, etc. So, take kombucha and live a healthy life.
Do you Suffer from Varicose Veins? There Is A Remedy!
February 03, 2011 01:10 PM
Over 12 million people suffer from varicose veins in the US alone, and leg veins in particular are expected to appear by the time women turn 50. There is nothing pleasant about having varicose veins, and complications are not uncommon, giving rise to venous ulcers and even cancerous tissues. The good news is that a treatment proven to be safe and effective has been around for years with the use of horse chestnut seed extract or HCSE as made available by pharmaceutical companies.
Veins may develop conditions leading to the impairment of its functions. Unlike arteries, veins pump blood back to the heart, and acting against gravity bear the weight of the blood coming from the lower extremities. This seems to be a real Burden to the veins in the legs, but the vascular walls of all veins have special valves to accomplish this feat. To avoid blood flow moving against the programmed current inside the veins, leaflets of the valves fold and close up as blood passes.
A medical condition called chronic venous insufficiency explains the appearance of varicose veins. Veins anywhere in the body can get inflicted with the same symptoms made evident by varicose veins, but the latter is more noticeable because it lies close to the surface of the skin. The valves inside the venous system must be able to act against the turbulence that may occur inside the tube, and when they don’t, blood flow literally descends into chaos, putting an added pressure on the vascular walls.
The resulting dilated veins are what we refer to as varicose veins, which is just one symptom of chronic venous insufficiency. Age is one major factor in the development of this medical condition. It is a fact that the valves inside the leg veins are more susceptible to decreasing elasticity as we age due to daily wear and tear the veins in the legs has to endure over the years. Since female hormones contribute to the relaxing of the vascular walls, varicose veins are more likely to afflict women.
For most women, varicose veins must be remedied to avoid the social implications they bring. However, there are a number of patients that are plagued with a variety of complications. Some women practically lose the ability to stand or walk for otherwise short stretches of time, significantly affecting their productivity at work. More severe cases include the formation of skin ulcers close to the area of varicose veins, which may worsen into necrosis or skin loss.
All the debilitating effects of varicose veins can be countered by intake of horse chestnut seed extract, including of course the removal of ugly leg veins. Standardized dosage of horse chestnut is among the best remedies for chronic venous insufficiency, accounting for innumerable positive results that have been documented in recent years minus the side effects commonly associated with other medications. In fact, medical professionals in Europe largely rely on the use of horse chestnut to correct varicose veins.
March 05, 2009 01:31 PM
Inflammation is a normal part of the body’s defense against pathogens. The increase in body temperature, flood of toxic free radicals and inflammation-signaling proteins, and release of killer macrophage cells are the main signs of an inflammatory event that is the body’s long-established means of defending against a clear and present danger. This adaptive response can now become a cause for debilitating disease. It is even thought that the aging process may be linked to the very defense mechanism that keeps us healthy when we are young. As we grow older, our ability to regulate inflammation begins to diminish. Instead of protecting us, inflammation becomes silent and systemic, allowing degenerative disease to take root. The symptoms of silent inflammation are extremely different from acute inflammation of redness, heat, swelling, and pain, and can lie undetected until it has been around for far too long.
Silent inflammation causes the body to turn on itself, as its immune system begins attacking its own organs. Over time, inflammatory cytokines such as C-reactive protein, interleukin-6, and inflammation producing eicosanoids like prostaglandin E-2 and leukotrienes B-4, start to destroy tissue all over the body. In response to this attack, the body produces even more inflammatory cytokines and free radicals, which creates a self-perpetuating cycle. Silent inflammation damages arteries, destroys nerve cells and organs, compromises the immune system, and promotes cancerous growths. Despite how well they feel today, those with silent inflammation are on a fast track toward degenerative disease. On the good side, preventative measures that are taken today to reduce inflammation can prevent degenerative diseases like cardiovascular heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s tomorrow.
When there are equal numbers of good and bad eicosanoids, a state of wellness is able to prevail within the body. However, when they become chronically unbalanced, many problems result. This balance is, interestingly, highly dependant upon the level of insulin that is found in the body. High insulin levels, whether they are induced by sugar overload, the onset of insulin resistance, or the hormonal effects of excess fat, set the stage for systematic inflammation. As insulin levels climb, oxidative stress increases dramatically, causing the production of inflammatory cytokines. Along with being too high in refined sugar, the average North American diet is filled with inflammation-promoting fats and scarce in inflammation-reducing omega-3 fats; the consequence of this chronic fatty acid imbalance in an increase in systemic inflammation.
As inflammation rises, so does the production of cortisol, which is produced in the adrenal glands and is intricately involved in the body’s response to stress. In an attempt to reduce inflammation, cortisol increases blood pressure, elevates blood-sugar levels, and suppresses the immune system. This means that systemic inflammation produces chronically elevated levels of cortisol, which then place a heavy physiological Burden on all organs, causing a dramatic increase on the risk of degenerative disease.
Fortunately, changing the balance within the body to favor the production of anti-inflammatory eicosanoids can be achieved through a conscious dietary change. By simply increasing your dietary intake of fatty fish, eating raw nuts and grains rich in healthy fats, and supplementing with a high-quality cold-pressed fish oil or flaxseed oil, and concurrently decreasing your intake of red meats, eggs, high-glycemic foods, and foods high in saturated fats, chronic inflammation can be reduced greatly. Vitamin supplements can boost ones antioxidant intake and help fight inflammation as well. Quality vitamins are available at your local or internet health food store.
Gently Narrow Your "Estrogen Window" With Lignan's
January 25, 2008 12:23 PM
Although many people think that breast cancer is a genetically transferred disease, the truth is that it is rarely genetically transferred, as only one in every ten cases are linked to genes for this cancer. Strong evidence points to environmental causes being the main reason for breast cancer. By avoiding synthetic chemicals that mimic estrogens, a substantial fraction of these cancers can be prevented. These synthetic chemicals are called xenoestrogens. These xenoestrogens are manmade chemicals that either imitate or enhance the effects of estrogens in the body's cells and tell these cells to grow.
During puberty, this growth message is important to a woman's body and during pregnancy and the preparation for that. At this time period, estrogens are in full force, but if estrogen stimulation is increased by chemicals, cell growth is increased even more. Uncontrolled cell growth provides the foundation for cancer. As cells rapidly multiply, which is what happens when exposed to estrogens, the chance of DNA mutation is enhanced, which causes the creation of cancerous cells. A lot of women today also deal with increased estrogen stimulation over their lifetimes due to an early onset of menstruation, late menopause, and less time spent breastfeeding. The use of estrogen-containing oral contraceptives and post-menopausal hormone replacement also add to the estrogen Burden, along with obesity and being overweight.
Estrogens affect cells by binding to receptor sites. However, there are tools that help to reduce the impact of areas that have a lot of receptor sites, such as the breasts. One of the main tools is lignans, which are a group or naturally occurring plant chemicals that are found in flaxseeds. Interest in lignans began with observational studies, which found a link between high intake and reduced risk of breast and colon cancers. Studies have reinforced those results, finding that lignans inhibit the growth of breast and colon cancer and also reduce the spread of skin cancer. The real benefit of lignans starts when they reach your intestines, where friendly bacteria convert them into phytoestrogens.
Phytoestrogens are a gentler estrogen, which bind to the same receptors that other estrogens bind, but don't have the growth-accelerating effects. While they are occupying these receptors, the less kind and gentle estrogens are unable to bind to them, resulting in both an estrogenic and estrogen-blocking effect. This explains why lignans are effective both for fighting against breast cancer and reducing the effect of hot flashes other symptoms during menopause. When estrogens are low, lignans act as weak estrogens, but when they are high, lignans act as estrogen blockers.
The risk for breast cancer is strongly affected by a woman's "estrogen window", or overall estrogen exposure that has been experienced over her reproductive years. The early onset of menstruation, no pregnancies, being pregnant after age 30, limited or no breastfeeding, short menstrual cycles, and late menopause all expand the estrogen window, increasing lifetime estrogen exposure along with the risk for breast cancer. By adding lignans to the diet, women can reduce the size of the estrogen window, and therefore, block the excess estrogen stimulation in estrogen-sensitive tissues like the breasts. Additionally, lignans are also believed to reduce the risk of colon and prostate cancers. When they are delivered along with omega-3-rich flaxseed oil, they promote better cholesterol balance, heart health, joint health, better bone density, greater endurance, better blood sugar balance, and healthy skin, hair, and nails.
Chronic Illness and eating healthy
November 09, 2007 12:43 PM
Chronic illness which exhibits itself as a recurring disease, with lingering and lasting symptoms is a growing pandemic amongst people today. The question is how much of this is due to neglect on the basics of healthy living? Today’s fast paced life style could be a factor for these reoccurring problems. For example, we pride ourselves on keeping five things in the air at the same time; this has caused us to slip from eating three healthy meals per day to drinking a slim fast or popping a diet pill to keep going. Moving away from proper diet and nutrition may be the reason our bodies are breaking down today resulting in chronic illnesses.
Whether you are free from or Burdened by illness it is time to take charge of your health! The first thing one can do is basic research. Studies on dietary supplements in scientific and medical research are an ongoing process both in the United States and internationally. If you are interested in finding citations on a particular chronic illness or research that is available I recommend looking at government agencies such as (i) The Office of Dietary Supplements, (ii) The National Institutes of Health (NIH), (iii) The National Agricultural Library (NAL), and (iv) United States Department of agriculture (USDA). It is also possible to obtain research abstracts from different major databases such as MEDLINE for biomedical related articles and AGRICOLA for botanical and agricultural science. To find these different databases and governmental agencies, search google using the respective agency/database name.
Research shows that stress reduction can help to improve energy levels, improve sleep quality, and reduce high blood pressure. The following are some suggestions for reducing stress:
1. Weight lifting is not just about barbells and muscle-building but about stressing the body as a means for relieving stress.
2. Cardiovascular exercises such as jogging and bicycling.
3. Exercise is helpful by increasing blood flow to the brain, release of hormones, stimulates the nervous system and produces a feeling of well being.
Eating healthy including supplementation
1. Vitamin C or ascorbic acid has the ability to boost the immune system. Vitamin C also helps to produce neurotransmitters by converting L-Tyrosine into dopamine. Along with dopamine, ascorbic acid also synthesizes norepinephrine and serotonin which have been found to be directly related to control anxiety and depression.
2. B-Vitamins are also the important for reducing stress. For example, Niacin (Vitamin B3) helps the body fight stress in three ways, (i) controls blood sugars, (ii) improves blood flow and (iii) regulates the release of energy from carbohydrates.
Stress is a state of bodily or mental tension resulting from factors which are an unavoidable effect of living. Stress has been linked to coronary heart disease, psychosomatic disorders and various other mental and physical problems. Reducing stress is essential and can be done through diet and exercise. Nutritional science studies the relationship between diet and states of health and disease. Nutritional science has found human nutrition is very complex and varies widely and proper nutrition cannot be obtained by simply eating three meals a day because quite simply the average person just does not eat well. If you eat less than five servings of fruits and vegetables daily it is impossible to obtain all of the vitamins and minerals your body needs. In order to seek assurance that you are getting all your body needs I suggest you take a good multiple vitamins which supplies at least 100 percent of the daily value for various vitamins and minerals. It is a good idea however to discuss with your doctor the best choices as he or she knows your history and specific health needs best.
Betaine HCI and Pepsin
January 28, 2007 08:41 PM
Betaine HCI and Pepsin
Betaine HCl is a form of HCl used as a nutrient to supplement the stomach’s own production of HCl, or stomach acid. While occasional indigestion may be a result of acid irritating tissue in the structure above the stomach known as the esophagus, a line of research suggests that the cause of this irritation may actually be less than optimal stomach acid production. Stomach acid is normally produced by the parietal cells of the stomach and the function of stomach acid is to break down food that enters the stomach into smaller fragments and nutrient components. These components move through the stomach into the small intestine where they are further broken down by digestive enzymes in the upper part of the small intestine. The individual nutrients that result from the digestion of proteins, fats and carbohydrates can then be absorbed and assimilated by the body and used for metabolism and growth. However, optimal stomach acid production is certainly a major step for the efficiency of the digestive process. Less than ideal stomach acid production prevents foods from being broken down properly and places an added Burden on the remainder of the digestive process, including enzyme production from the pancreas.
As mentioned earlier, the presence of optimal stomach acid is necessary for the digestion and absorption of critical nutrients. Amino acids and other peptides from proteins, minerals, vitamin B12 and folic acid are examples of nutrients that require proper levels of stomach acid for their absorption and usage. The presence of adequate acid in the stomach is also required for the conversion of the digestive enzyme pepsin. Pepsin is produced in the stomach from its precursor pepsinogen, which is secreted by cells known as chief cells, and functions to help with the digestion of proteins. Pepsin breaks proteins down into their amino acid components. Since stomach acid is essential to the process of absorbing our nutrients from food, lack of sufficient acid production may lead to decreased health and general well-being.
Ideal stomach acid production is also essential for maintaining a healthy bacterial balance in the intestines. Firstly, acid production in the stomach itself provides a protective barrier that keeps the stomach environment safe. Secondarily, low levels of stomach acid can lead to improperly, incompletely, or poorly-digested food fragments that may cause an imbalance in the growth of normal bacterial flora in the intestines. Achieving the correct balance of flora is a key to maintaining proper digestive function and overall health.
Research also suggests that the body’s capacity to produce stomach acid normally declines as we age. Moreover, stress and other factors may impact proper stomach acid production. Occasional heartburn, bloating, belching, discomfort, and a "sour stomach" may often result from this. Food that we eat enters the stomach through the esophagus, or food pipe. At the junction of the esophagus with the stomach is a muscular structure known as the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). When food enters the stomach for digestion, the LES normally contracts, narrowing the passageway between the esophagus and the stomach and preventing the backflow of stomach contents into the esophagus. A major trigger for the process of tightening the sphincter is the presence of sufficient stomach acid.
When sufficient stomach acid is sensed, the LES will close. However, in conditions where there is a lack of stomach acid, the sphincter remains open, allowing stomach contents, including acid, to flow back through the opening, potentially creating a sense of irritation and discomfort. Adequate stomach acid production is an essential criterion for the sphincter to function properly and prevent the backflow of stomach contents.1
A recent study assessed the incidence and causes of low vitamin B12 levels in elderly patients. The researchers suggest that the incidence of decreased vitamin B12 in the elderly, based on results of some epidemiological studies, is as high as 30-40%. When they looked at the possible causes of low B12 levels in 200 individuals that they followed, they found that food-B12 malabsorption accounted for 60-70% of the cases.2 In other words dietary B12 is bound to foods, generally animal proteins. The protein is normally broken down in conjunction with acid and pepsin in the stomach. However, low production of stomach acid may decrease the efficiency of this process and vitamin B12 remains bound to the protein source, leaving it unavailable to be absorbed. The absorption of countless other nutrients may also be impacted by low stomach acid and pepsin levels.
Gentian is an herb that is native to parts of Europe and Asia. The root has been used extensively by traditional herbalists to support digestive function due in large part to its bitter constituents. Its present day use as a therapeutic herb dates back to the Romans and Greeks, and related species have even been used in the Indian Ayurvedic system. Various traditional texts classify gentian as a bitter tonic and digestive stimulant, due to its ability to promote the secretion of digestive enzymes. The German Commission E has approved the use of gentian for digestive support, which leads to an increased secretion of saliva and digestive juices.3
Supplementation with the combination of nutrients and cofactors present in Betaine HCl Pepsin & Gentian supports the normal digestive function of the stomach and helps to ensure that the body maintains the efficiency of nutrient absorption from the foods that we eat. Gentian serves to stimulate digestive secretions in the stomach, priming it to digest the food that we eat, while supplemental Betaine HCl and pepsin provide support to the body’s innate production of these digestive factors.
Take 1 capsule with each meal, or as recommended by a healthcare professional.
1. Wright, Jonathan V., MD and Lane Lenard, PhD. Why Stomach Acid is Good For You. New York: Evans, 2001. 2. Andres E, et al. Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) deficiency in elderly patients. CMAJ 2004; 171(3): 251-259. 3. Blumenthal M, Goldberg A and J Brinckmann, eds. Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs. Newton, MA: Integrative Medicine Communications, 2000.
Controlling Diabetes with Nutritional Supplements
December 15, 2006 04:07 PM
Controlling Diabetes with Nutritional Supplements
Perhaps no other disease is as closely linked to nutrition as diabetes. Not only doe nutrition play a role in its development, nutrition is also one of the disease’s most powerful treatments.
Because of this strong and critical connection to nutrition, researchers have carefully studied the use of nutritional supplements in the treatment of the disease. They found that many vitamins, such as vitamin C and the B vitamins, minerals such as chromium, as well as herbs like Gymnema sylvestre, can safely, effectively, and naturally lower blood sugars and help prevent diabetic complications.
What is even more important, however, is that these vitamins, minerals, and herbs can be combined together in a scientifically validated diabetic formula to work synergistically. That means their combined effectiveness is even more powerful. Like a group of good friends, these vitamins, minerals, and herbs do their best work when they are all together.
In this issue of Ask the Doctor, we will talk about powerful vitamins, minerals, and herbs combined in a scientifically validated formula that people with diabetes can use every day.
But before we get into the specific formula, we need to first talk about diabetes.
Q. What exactly is diabetes?
A. When we eat, the process of digestion breaks down our food into nutrients. Most of the food we eat is broken down into sugar (also called glucose). The sugar enters the bloodstream for delivery throughout the body and is then called blood sugar.
Insulin, a hormone that helps metabolize blood sugar, is made in the pancreas-a long, skinny gland located behind the stomach. Insulin takes blood sugar from the bloodstream and delivers it into the cells that make up the various organs in our body, such as our heart, lungs, and kidneys. The sugar provides energy to the cells to keep our hearts beating, our lungs breathing, and our kidneys excreting.
Type 1 diabetes, sometimes called insulin-dependent or juvenile diabetes, most often starts in childhood. In this type of diabetes, the pancreas no longer makes insulin. The sugar stays in the blood instead of going into the cells where it is needed. Because of this, all people with Type 1 diabetes have to take at least one shot of insulin every day just to stay alive.
Type 2 diabetes most often starts in adults and is also the most common kind. About 90 to 95 percent of all people with diabetes have Type 2. In Type 2 diabetes, the pancreas is usually producing enough insulin. However, the body does not use it effectively. The condition known as “insulin resistance” occurs when the cells do not respond to (resist) insulin’s attempt to enter with glucose. The pancreas responds by producing more and more insulin. When the cells do not respond, high levels of glucose build up in the blood, leading to Type 2 diabetes. Almost everyone with Type 2 diabetes also is insulin resistant. Because the insulin is left unused, the pancreas thinks it isn’t needed and may eventually stop making it. People with Type 2 diabetes often need to take prescription drugs to lower blood sugar levels if dietary and lifestyle changes are not enough to control the problem.
In both types of diabetes, the sugar stays in the bloodstream instead of going into the cells where it is needed and belongs. When blood sugar builds up in the blood, it causes two problems. First, the cells become starved for energy. And, over a period of time, high blood sugar levels can damage the blood vessels, nerves, eyes, and kidneys.
Q. What causes diabetes?
A. While scientists aren’t exactly sure why Type 1 diabetes happens, they do know the immune system is involved. A healthy immune system protects us from diseases caused by infections, such as colds or the flu, as well as diseases that start in our own cells, such as cancer. For some reasons, in certain people, the immune system becomes confused and begins attacking and destroying the cells in the pancreas that makes insulin.
Scientists aren’t exactly sure why Type 2 diabetes happens either; however, they have identified that it occurs most often in certain individuals. About 80 percent of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight, have high blood pressure, and have high cholesterol levels in their blood.
Q. What are the symptoms of diabetes?
A. Type 1 diabetes develops very quickly. The classic signs of diabetes include:
-Frequent urination, because the body is trying to get rid of the excess sugar in the blood
-Intense thirst, because the body needs to replace the fluid lost through the urine
-Increased hunger, because the cells need nutrients
-Weight loss, because without insulin, the body begins to starve
The onset of Type 2 diabetes is often very gradual and may develop without any symptoms at all. Sadly, the diagnosis most often is made only after a complication of the disease happens.
Q. What are the complications of diabetes?
A. The complications of diabetes happen in both types of the disease. All diabetic complications are caused by chronically high blood sugars. The longer your blood sugar levels are elevated, the greater your chances are of having complications.
High blood sugar damages blood vessels. When high levels of sugar are continuously in the blood, the blood vessels become thicker and less flexible, causing poor circulation. Poor circulation can impair healing, especially on the feet and lower legs. High blood sugar also causes higher levels of fat in the bloodstream. The fat clogs and narrows the blood vessels. Partial blockages deprive the heart of some necessary nutrients. A complete blockage can result in a heart attack, heart pain (called angina), or stroke.
Nerve damage makes it hard for your nerves to send messages to the brain and other parts of the body. It may cause you to lose feeling in parts of your body or have a painful pins-and-needles-like feeling. While nerve damage most often affects the feet and legs, it can also affect other parts of the body.
Diabetes can damage and weaken the small blood vessels in the retina, the part of the eye that is sensitive to light and helps you see. When the blood vessels are weak, they can leak fluid, which causes swelling in the eye. The swelling blurs your vision. If the eye damage gets worse, your eye attempts to fix this damage by making new blood vessels over the retina. But because these blood vessels are fragile, they can break open easily and bleed into the eye. Scar tissue can then form. This may cause the retina to break away from the back of the eye, which can lead to visual impairment-even blindness.
Diabetes can also damage the blood vessels in the kidney so it can’t filter out the body’s waste. High blood pressure is also associated with kidney damage. If you have diabetes and high blood pressure, it is important to keep them both under control as much as possible. The longer blood sugar levels are left uncontrolled, the greater the amount of kidney damage that can occur. If the kidney damage isn’t stopped, some individuals may progress to needing kidney transplants or dialysis machines.
All of these complications, however, can almost always be prevented.
Q. How can the complications of diabetes be prevented?
A. Vitamins, minerals, and herbal supplements can provide powerful tools for preventing serious complications and keeping people with diabetes healthy. The best nutritional supplement contains powerful vitamins, minerals, and herbs in a synergistic formula that can effectively lower blood sugars and provide the specialized nutrients people with diabetes need.
Q. Which vitamins, minerals, and herbs should be included in a nutritional supplement for people with diabetes?
A. The vitamins, minerals, and herbs in a diabetic formula should work synergistically and be clinically demonstrated to help prevent the known complications of diabetes. To get the best results, it is very important that the right ingredients are in the diabetic formula you buy.
Q. How often should I take a diabetic formula supplement?
A. Read the label of the diabetic formula you are considering buying. Most quality products need to be taken twice a day. Keep in mind that you will still need to take a high quality multivitamin in addition to the diabetic formula supplement. A diabetic formula is complementary. That means that it is designed to be and addition to your multivitamin routine, not a replacement.
Q. Could the diabetic formula lower my blood sugar level too much?
A. In general, too low blood sugar levels should not be a problem. A high quality diabetic formula containing synergistic vitamins, minerals and herbs, most often lowers blood sugars to normal levels. However, these vitamins, minerals, and herbs will not excessively lower blood sugar levels that are already normal.
Q. Do I need to continue monitoring my blood sugar when taking a diabetic formula supplement?
A. Diabetes is a disease that requires active participation from you. You need to be aware of your problem and be in control of it as much as possible. If you use a home glucose monitor to check your blood sugars, you may feel more comfortable by checking your levels more frequently when you first take a diabetic formula supplement. You should always follow the recommendation of your doctor or a licensed health care practitioner regarding how often you should check your blood sugar levels.
According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) (as well as most licensed health care practitioners), a good blood sugar range for most people with diabetes (before a meal) is from about 70 to 150. An ideal range is 70-120.
Taking a nutritional supplement formulated especially for diabetics that contain vitamins, minerals, and herbs that work synergistically in a scientifically valid formula will help you keep your blood sugars right where the
Q. Can’t I just take the diabetic formula supplement and not worry about my diet?
A. Unfortunately, you cannot. Successful diabetes management means doing lost of positive things. First, you need to see your licensed health care practitioner often. You need to choose foods wisely and stay active to have a positive influence on your blood sugar levels and your health. And, taking a diabetic formula supplement every day can really help. However, the diabetic formula supplement is meant to be an addition to your healthy diet, not a substitute.
Having diabetes might make you feel overwhelmed. Restrictions on what you may and may not eat might make you feel deprived and unfairly Burdened. The possibility of disease complications may make you feel anxious and scared-even angry. It is only natural to ask “Why me?” Taking control of your diabetes, instead of letting it control you, can help with these feelings. Eating wisely and exercising every day are two important ways to improve your health. And, taking a nutritional supplement formulated specifically for people with diabetes every day can give you the critical control you need to direct your health for years to come. Many healthy years to come.
Digestive enzymes and Herbs
August 25, 2006 02:26 PM
Digestive enzymes and Herbs
Raw food naturally contains the proper types and proportion of enzymes to assist in its own digestion. Food enzymes are released by the action of chewing, which ruptures the foods cell membranes. Like salivary enzymes, raw food enzymes play an important role in human digestion by predigesting food in the upper stomach, where contents may site for as long as an hour before gastric secretions deign their action.
Since enzymes are essentially destroyed at 118 degrees F, most forms of cooking and industrial food preparation render food devoid of enzyme activity. This places the full Burden of digestion on the body processes and reserves. In time, this Burden can weaken or overwhelm an individual’s ability to process and absorb vital food nutrients. Many health professionals believe that the prevalence of cooked and processed foods in modern society makes supplementation with digestive enzymes essential. Digestive enzymes also may be a benefit to those who suffer from clinical disorders of digestion and absorption.
Consider these advantages
Ban against ephedra supplements at any does upheld.
August 22, 2006 11:48 AM
A three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver late last week overturned a 2005 ruling by a Utah district court that had allowed the sale of low-dosage ephedra dietary supplements containing 10 milligrams or less of ephedrine alkaloids.
The appellate decision, which is effective immediately, supports FDA’s original determination that no dosage of ephedra is safe for consumption and means that it is unlawful to manufacture and sell any supplements containing ephedra, even products containing low doses of the herb.
The original ban was challenged in a May 2004 lawsuit by Nutraceutical Corp, and its subsidiary Solaray Inc., which said dried whole-herb ephedra sinica - the type of supplement in their products – had been safely used for thousands of years.
The U.S. district judge in Utah blocked any enforcement action against Nutraceutical for selling supplements containing 10 milligrams or less of ephedra per daily dose. The Utah District Judge said FDA’s process in banning ephedra improperly shifted the Burden of proving product safety from the government to supplement manufacturers.
While noting that the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA) categorized dietary supplements as foods and are not, therefore, subject to premarket approval by FDA, the appellate panel found that the Utah district court had interpreted this basic provision to narrowly.
The panel said that the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA), of which DSHEA is a part, should not be interpreted “too restrictively” but should instead be read in a manner “consistent with the statute’s overwhelming purpose to protect public health.”
Nutraceutical’s attorney has indicated that the company would appeal the ruling to the full appeals court.
Benefits of Total Daily Formula
October 13, 2005 04:45 PM
Benefits of Total Daily Formula
All fruits and vegetables contain carotenes, the plant pigments responsible for the rich variety of colors we enjoy in the natural world. Beta carotene is the most familiar member of the carotene family. But beta carotene never exists by itself; it is always found with other carotenes in foods. We need more than just beta carotene alone. Carotenes are powerful antioxidants, which means they help reduce the body's free radical Burden. Research suggests that carotenes work as a team to keep us healthy.5 Total Daily Formula provides beta carotene, alpha carotene, lutein, lycopene, zeaxanthin and cryptoxanthin from natural sources such as algal extracts, carrot oil, marigold and tomatoes (Caromix®).
Total Daily Formula uses only corn-free vitamin C (ascorbic acid). The full daily intake of 6 tablets provides an exceptionally generous 800 mg of vitamin C.
Total Daily Formula supplies ample amounts of all essential B vitamins. Vitamin B3 is given as niacin plus an extra helping of niacinamide, the non-flush form of this important vitamin. The body uses pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) to deal with stress, so the formula provides 150 mg, which is 15 times the RDA. Vitamin B6 is another B vitamin people may run short of, so 60 mg -- 30 times the RDA -- is supplied. The formula contains 800 mcg of folic acid, the vitamin now recognized by the FDA as essential for prevention of neural tube defects in unborn babies. Folic acid also helps prevent accumulation in the body of homocysteine, a metabolite of the amino acid methionine.6 A high blood homocysteine level is now considered to be a risk factor for heart disease.7
Flavonoids, also known as "bioflavonoids." are plant pigments widely distributed throughout the plant kingdom.8 Previously known as "Vitamin P," because they help reduce capillary permeability (leakiness) flavonoids are now regarded as "semi-essential" non-vitamin nutrients that benefit health in a variety of ways.9 In addition to maintaining the structure of blood vessels, flavonoids function as versatile antioxidants. Flavonoids protect vitamin C from destruction by free-radicals, helping to preserve the body's vitamin C supply.10 Total Daily Formula provides 100 mg of pure flavonoids from 112 mg of citrus extract.
Three superior sources of Calcium
Total Daily Formula contains three of the best absorbed and most effective forms of calcium available. MCHC (microcrystalline hydroxyapatite concentrate) is a naturally-derived compound composed of calcium, plus all the minerals and organic factors in living bone tissue. MCHC has been clinically shown to benefit bone health.11 Calcium citrate malate is a very well-absorbed form of supplemental calcium shown in recent research to be helpful for postmenopausal women.12,13 Calcium glycinate is chelated with the amino acid glycine, one of the most efficient mineral carriers for effective absorption.14,15
Magnesium is essential for strong bones and healthy hearts. This versatile mineral also regulates nerve function, keeps muscles relaxed and coordinates activity of over 300 enzymes in the body.16 Total Daily Formula contains 100 percent magnesium glycinate for exceptional absorption and gentleness on the intestinal tract.17 Magnesium glycinate has been clinically tested on people with severe malabsorption with excellent results.18
Total Daily Formula provides - in addition to zinc, chromium, selenium and iodine - vanadium and molybdenum. Vanadium helps maintain normal blood sugar.19 Molybdenum works as a co-factor for enzymes that help detoxify and eliminate foreign substances from the body.20
Bioperine® for Enhanced Absorption
Bioperine® is a natural extract derived from black pepper that enhances nutrient absorption. Preliminary trials on humans have shown significant increases in the absorption of nutrients consumed along with Bioperine®. 21 Betaine HCL - supplies HCL (hydrochloric acid) to assist digestion. All natural tablet coating made of vegetable concentrate and beta carotene.
2. Morgan, K.J. et. al. Magnesium and calcium dietary intakes of the U.S. population. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 1985;4:195-206.
3. Lakschmanan, F.L., Rao, R.B., Kim, W.W., Kelsay, J.L. Magnesium intakes, balances and blood levels of adults consuming self-selected diets. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1984;40:1380-89.
4. Mertz, W. The Essential Trace Elements. Fed. Proc. 1970;29:1482.
5. Perry, G. Byers, T. Dietary carotenes, vitamin C and vitamin E as protective antioxidants in human cancers. Annu. Rev. Nutr. 1992;12:139-59.
6. Landgren, F., et. al. Plasma homocysteine in acute myocardial infarction: Homocysteine-lowering effect of folic acid. J Int Med 1995;237:381-88.
7. Clarke, R., et. al. Hyperhomocysteinemia: an independent risk factor for vascular disease. New Eng J Med 1991;324:1149-55. 8. Havsteen, B. Flavonoids, a class of natural compounds of high pharmacological potency. Biochemical Pharmacology 32(7):1141-48.
9. Middleton, E. The flavonoids. TIPS 1984; 5:335-38.
10. Roger, C.R. The nutritional incidence of flavonoids: some physiological and metabolic considerations. Experientia 44(9):725-804.
11. Dixon, A. St. J. Non-hormonal treatment of osteoporosis. British Medical Journal 1983;286(6370):999-1000.
12. Smith, K.T. et. al. Calcium Absorption from a new calcium delivery system (CCM). Calcif Tissue Int 1987;41:351-352.
13. Dawson-Hughes, B. et. al. A controlled trial of the effect of calcium supplementation on bone density in postmenopausal women. New England Journal of Medicine 1990 Sep 27;323(13):878-883.
14. Albion Research Notes Vol. 4, No. 1, ©Albion Laboratories Jan,1995.
15. Ashmead, H.D. Intestinal Absorption of Metal Ions and Chelate, Springfield: Charles C Thomas, ©1985.
16. Wester, P.O., Dyckner, T. The importance of the magnesium ion. Magnesium deficiency-symptomatology and occurrence. Acta Med Scand 1992; (Suppl) 661:3-4.
17. Albion Research Notes Vol. 3, No. 1, ©Albion Laboratories, Feb 1994.
18. Schutte, S., et. al. Bioavailability of Mg diglycinate vs MgO in patients with ileal resections. Abstract 115, AJCN 1992;56(4).
19. Cohen, N. et. al. Oral vanadyl sulfate improves hepatic and peripheral insulin sensitivity in patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. J. Clin Invest 1995; 95:2501-09.
20. Sardesi, V.M. Molybdenum: An essential trace mineral element. Nutr Clin Pract 1993; 8:277-81.
21. Bioperine® - Nature's Bioavailability Enhancing Thermo-nutrient. Executive Summary' 1996; Sabinsa Corporation, Piscataway, N.J.
The wellness Revolution - 90% Of Americans Carry Chemical Stew in their Bodies.
October 01, 2005 01:22 PM
The Wellness Revolution
90% of Americans Carry Chemical Stew in their Bodies
The third national report on human exposure to Environmental Chemicals, issued this summer, shows that most people in the U.S., and especially children, carry a dangerous mixture of chemicals in their bodies. Nevertheless, the Center for Disease Control (CDC), authors of the report, issued a press release focusing on progress made in a few areas—and most media looked no further than the optimistic press release.
The CDC sampled the blood and urine of thousands of subjects across the country for 148 environmental chemicals. This study found a significant decline since previous reports in exposure to secondhand smoke and in lead levels in children’s blood.
Despite the positive headlines, however, the study documented the presence in human bodies of dozens of pesticides and toxic compounds used in consumer products. Among the findings:
Body Burden and the wellness Revolution
This Study—the latest indication that all of us carry a “body Burden” caused by widespread chemical use in our society—shows the need for a system that relies on organic agriculture and alternative pest controls. The constant exposure to toxics we experience today is a major cause of chronic illness, including cancer, birth defects or abnormal development, brain or nervous system damage, hormonal and reproductive imbalances, and impaired immunity, to name just a few.
Meanwhile, individuals should take advantage of the organic products available in health food stores, and the herbs and nutrients that support detoxification and the liver, the main organ of detoxification, as well as immunity—for example, silymarin, N-acetyl cysteine, calcium d-glucarate, folic acid, Reishi and shiitake mushroom, and turmeric. A healthy lifestyle and appropriate supplementation can offer some protection from societal pollution.
Sources: Third National Report on Human Exposure to environmental Chemicals, 2005, available at www.cdc.gov. Los Angeles Times, 7/22/05. A Brief Companion to CDC’s 2005 National Exposure Report, Physicians for Social Responsibility, www.psr.org. Pesticide action network, www.panna.org.
Pesticide Report Shows Widespread Body Burden.
September 16, 2005 10:50 AM
Women and Children Especially Vulnerable
Most Americans carry toxic pesticides in their bodies, according to a recent report. Often, the so called “body Burden” of these chemicals is well above government-defined safety levels. Included are pesticides linked to cancer, birth defects, low birth weight, declining sperm counts, and infertility.
Chemical Trespass, by the Pesticide Action Network, analyzes data collected by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) from blood and urine analyses of 9,282 people. Among the findings:
Pesticides residues and metabolites were found in every subject. The average person had 13 pesticides in his or her body. The Average 6 to 11 year old was exposed to certain organophosphorus (OP) pesticides at four times the levels deemed acceptable by the environmental protection agency. Children are especially susceptible to dietary pesticides since they eat more food on a body weight basis than adults.
Organochlorine (OC) pesticides were found as significantly higher levels in women. This probably reflects women’s higher body fat content; OC pesticides are stored in fatty tissue.
Mexican-Americans showed the highest pesticides exposure, probably due to their disproportionate employment in agriculture. However, the statistics did not include occupational information.
Many pesticides used widely in the past, such as DDT and chlordane, are still found in our bodies, even in children born years after they were banned.
Cause for Alarm?
The CDC, which tested for 116 environmental chemicals, stressed that presence of these chemicals in the body does not necessarily indicate disease and called for more study of the dosages that should cause concern. The Pesticide Action Network sharply criticized this approach as a “Failure to protect public health.” Much evidence links long-term, low-level exposure to chronic illnesses, the group said, and the problem is more acute when one considers the additive effects of combining chemicals.
Pesticides and the wellness Revolution
This study shows the need for a system that relies on organic agriculture and alternative pest controls. Meanwhile, individuals should take advantage of the organic products available in health food stores, and the herbs and nutrients that support detoxification and immunity—for example, silymarin, N-acetyl cysteine, Reishi and shiitake mushroom, turmeric, and much more.
Sources: Second National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals, Center for Disease Control, available online at www.cdc.gov.exposurereport Chemical Trespass, Pesticide action network, available online at www.panna.org
Assists Digestion of Proteins, Carbohydrates and Fats
September 03, 2005 01:30 PM
Assists Digestion of Proteins, Carbohydrates and Fats
Digestive enzymes are produced by the pancreas and secreted into the duodenum (upper small intestine), where proteins, carbohydrates and fats are broken down prior to absorption. As we age, the body’s capacity to produce enzymes may decline. Moreover, stress and other health difficulties can impact enzyme production. Overeating sometimes causes incomplete digestion. Heartburn, bloating, belching, discomfort, and a “sour stomach” often result.
Supplementation with the enzymes in Best For Digestion supports replenishment of the body’s enzyme level, helping to relieve the Burden on an overworked pancreas. Digezyme® contains a neutral protease which, like the body’s intrinsic protein-digesting enzymes, is active in the neutral to alkaline pH range. In addition to amylase for starch digestion and lipase for fats, Digezyme® also supplies lactase, which acts on milk sugar, and cellulase, which breaks down cellulose.
Benefits of Enzyme Supplementation
Enzyme supplementation promotes improved digestion and delivery of vital nutrients to the system. This benefits good health in many ways, including better elimination, improved energy levels and maintenance of healthy body weight. Enzymes also help prevent accumulation of undigested foods in the large intestine, which can be a source of toxicity for the body.
Supports Digestive Function According to Ancient Principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine
Disturbed digestion, whether from overeating or generally poor digestive-organ function, results in sluggish movement of food through the alimentary canal and sub-optimal nutrient absorption. In traditional Chinese medical theory, the functions of transporting food and assimilating nutrients are governed by the stomach and “spleen.” The “Qi,” or vital functional energy of these organs, is complimentary in action. Stomach Qi “descends” as food travels downward through the digestive tract. Overeating and poor digestion interfere with the stomach’s normal descending function, resulting in “food stagnation.” If stomach Qi “rebels upward,” the result is nausea and vomiting. The herbs in Best For Digestion, which include stomach tonics such as Ginger root, assist the descending function of the stomach, and have been traditionally used as remedies for “food stagnation.”
The “spleen” in Chinese medicine encompasses the digestive role of the pancreas. Spleen Qi normally “ascends.” This can also be explained from a Western perspective. When nutrients are absorbed, they enter the circulation through intestinal capillaries, travel upward to the liver via the hepatic portal system, and continue up to the heart, eventually to be circulated throughout the body. Several of the herbs in Best For Digestion are traditional “spleen tonics” that support the ascending of spleen Qi, thus assisting optimum nutrient absorption.
Digestive Enzymes and Traditional Chinese Herbs: A Novel Approach to Better Digestion
Combining digestive enzymes and Chinese herbs that support digestive function is a unique new approach to better digestion. Whether the problem is temporary “food stagnation” or a more long-term need for improved digestive organ function, Best For Digestion provides valuable assistance.
2. Chinese Herbal Materia Medica compiled and translated by Dan Bensky and Andrew Gamble©1986, Eastland Press, Inc., Seattle, WA.
3. Barillas, C., Solomons, N. Effective reduction of lactose maldigestion in preschool children by direct addition of ß-galactosidases to milk at mealtime. Pediatrics 1987;79(5):766-72.
4.DiPalma, J., Collins,M. Enzyme replacement for lactose malabsorpiton using a beta-d-galactosidase. J Clin Gastroenterol 1989;11(3):290-3.
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.
HERBS FOR A HEALTHY LIVER
July 14, 2005 03:38 PM
HERBS FOR A HEALTHY LIVER
The liver is extremely important in ridding the body of toxins. It is the key channel of elimination. Good health is impossible without adequate liver function. It is one of the most important organs in the body and often is not considered when it comes to health. The liver cannot function if digestion is poor or the colon is congested. Everything the enters the liver must be detoxified.
Everything we breathe, eat and absorb through the skin is refined in the liver; it becomes overBurdened when too much is required. The liver is required to detoxify at a much higher rate than ever before. The exposure to toxins has increased rapidly over the years. The liver works by using enzymes to break down toxic material. The liver then converts the material from a fat soluble form to a water soluble form to be eliminated through the kidneys.
Milk thistle has a complex of compounds known as silymarin. These substances are actually known to protect the liver against some toxins and help increase the function of this important organ. Silybin found in this herb is used as an antidote to the deadly deathcap mushroom which is known to destroy liver cells. It also contains amines (thyramine and histamine) which are known to help stimulate the production and flow of bile. Milk thistle has been proven to be very beneficial on liver function.
Studies done recently indicate that milk thistle is beneficial for severe liver disorders such as hepatitis and cirrhosis, as well as general liver restoration, protection and strengthening. The properties of milk thistle have been confirmed in animal studies to be a protection in liver disorders.
Turmeric has been found to contain liver protective properties similar to the glycyrrhizin found in licorice. This ability may be due to its powerful antioxidant activity. It also has been found to increase enzymes in the liver to pre vent inflammation. Turmeric has also been found to increase bile acid output. Turmeric has the ability to breakdown carcinogens and toxins allowing them to be excreted from the body without doing damage. It seems to protect the liver from toxic damage.
Licorice contains glycyrrhizin and glycyrrhetinic acid which help stimulate interferon in the body which is essential for protecting the immune system. It also contains liver protective properties preventing damage due to toxic exposure. Glycyrrhizin found in licorice is thought to inhibit cell injury. Glycyrrhizin has been found in studies to be beneficial in treating cases of chronic hepatitis B. It seems to improve liver function as well as reduce liver enzymes that are known to determine liver damage.
Scientific studies have found that schizandra protects the liver against toxins. Problems with the liver and lead to immune disorders because of the build up of toxins. Schizandra has also been found to protect against the effects of alcohol in mice. Other studies have found this herb to have a mild regenerative effect on the liver . It is used in China to treat infectious hepatitis. It helps to protect the liver from damage and encourage liver regeneration after injury or illness.
UROVEX: BUTTERBUR EXTRACT Supports healthy urinary urge and frequency Promotes healthy ...
June 29, 2005 02:13 PM
UROVEX: BUTTERBUR EXTRACT Supports healthy urinary urge and frequency Promotes healthy bladder control
Fear—the fear of job loss, embarrassment in social settings, sexual frustrations and psychological stress. That’s what life is like for the nearly 30 million people in the United States who have concerns with bladder control. A Burden at any age, bladder issues are highly prevalent in both genders but more common in women. Urinary urge and frequency occurs when the smooth muscle of the bladder contracts without warning. SOURCE NATURALS UROVEX BUTTERBUR is a patented standardized extract that supports healthy urinary urge and frequency. Further, it has been shown to help minimize the sudden urge to urinate, according to a human clinical trial. It has also been shown to support smooth muscle relaxation in animal studies. In vitro studies show that UROVEX BUTTERBUR may reduce bladder cell irritation by inhibiting leukotriene synthesis.
What Goes On
If you experience this circumstance, you probably have two of the following indicators: frequency of urination (usually more than 8 times in 24 hours), urgency (an immediate and strong urge to urinate) and leaking or involuntary loss of urine. Although the changes in urinary anatomy—the result of normal aging—do not cause urinary trouble, they do create a situation that allows this to occur more easily. Aging results in a reduced size of the bladder, producing a decreased bladder volume and a need for more frequent bladder emptying.
Urination involves physiological processes within the urinary tract and the brain. Our brain normally suppresses the urge to urinate until we initiate urination. Neurons in the brain and in smooth muscle of the bladder involuntarily govern the detrusor (layered, smooth muscle that surrounds the bladder) muscle. This muscle contracts and relaxes based on the volume of urine in the bladder and the initiation of urination. The desire to urinate usually starts when the bladder has reached about half its physiologic capacity. This desire is suppressed by the cerebral cortex until a suitable time and place has been chosen. Butterbur relaxes the detrusor muscle, which reduces pressure on the bladder and thus relieves the urge to urinate. Each capsule contains 50 mg of standardized butterbur, yielding 7.5 mg of the active ingredients petasin and isopetasin. Our extract has been specially processed to remove undesirable pyrrolizidine alkaloids found in some brands.
UROVEX BUTTERBUR EXTRACT has been shown in research to improve the sudden urge to urinate. In one study, 24 women were given butterbur for 8 weeks. After three weeks, 17 women reported a significant reduction of the frequency of urination. Before they began taking butterbur, urination intervals were 30 to 90 minutes, while three weeks later the intervals of 17 of the women were between 90 and 150 minutes. Butterbur is a perennial shrub native to Europe, northern Africa and southwestern Asia that has been used medicinally for centuries to maintain a healthful, active lifestyle. The use of preparations from butterbur has included promoting proper smooth muscle tone, including relief for painful menstrual cramps and other traditional uses.
An All-Natural Solution
Source Naturals is pleased to partner with your natural food product retailer to deliver this botanical treasure that is so effective in solving this often untreated problem. Look for Source Naturals UROVEX BUTTERBUR. It is the only patented butterbur product for bladder control and other traditional uses and is available in 12, 30 and 60 capsule bottles.
Hoodia Extract - Discover the Contemporary Use for a Traditional Food Source
June 29, 2005 09:59 AM
Hoodia Extract - Discover the Contemporary Use for a Traditional Food Source
The San Tribesmen of the Kalahari Desert in southern Africa have known for millennia what we’ve only recently discovered; that the cactus-like Hoodia gordonii plant can be used as a healthy alternative food source. Because Source Naturals is dedicated to your good health, we’ve fused ancient San tradition with modern science to develop HOODIA EXTRACT.
The sustenance the San derived from the hoodia plant as a main food source allowed them to travel lightly without the Burden of extra food to hinder their journey on long hunting trips. With the introduction of our high quality HOODIA EXTRACT, Source Naturals offers you a safe, natural solution to achieving and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and the chance to discover the contemporary use for the powerful nutritional supplement everyone’s looking for. HOODIA EXTRACT underlines Source Naturals commitment to bringing you the highest quality dietary supplements in your steps toward good health.
An Age Old Tradition
Life in southern Africa’s Kalahari Desert could be cruel. But even without modern research, the San Tribesmen knew their nutritional needs could be met with a remarkable botanical. For more than a hundred thousand years the San thrived as hunter-gatherers; their success dependant on their ability to locate food. Their treks across the Kalahari would last for months, even years, with the men hunting for antelope, and the women foraging for what became the main staple in their diet: fruit, nuts, and plants. None of their traditional food sources were more important than the phenomenal Hoodia gordonii plant. The hoodia plant became their chief source of sustenance while roaming the desert. Fruit and meat spoiled, nuts never lasted, but the stems and roots of that plant were special.
A Special Plant
Despite its similar appearance, the cactus- like hoodia is characterized as a succulent plant, which is a member of the milkweed family. Though there are about 20 species within the family, the active ingredient of hoodia is found only in the gordonii variety. Experts in succulent horticulture have helped ensure that the material Source Naturals uses to make HOODIA EXTRACT is gathered from authentic Hoodia gordonii sources.
A Potent Extract
The secret of HOODIA EXTRACT lies in the plant’s active ingredient; a substance containing previously unknown molecules discovered by South African scientists, and found to interact with the hypothalamus. Through painstaking chemical testing to assure quality and potency, Source Naturals has gone to great lengths to develop an extract that is best for the supplemental needs of its consumers. Every bit of the certified material Source Naturals receives is put through high tech chromatographic analysis to verify the purity of the active constituents needed to make HOODIA EXTRACT.
A Responsible Company HOODIA EXTRACT has been produced with environmental sustainability in mind. Using only materials safely cultivated from the stems of seedlings grown on approved farms in South Africa, Source Naturals has made certain those materials were gathered with the knowledge and help of the San people to better preserve the Kalahari’s natural resources.
A Wellness Revolution in Nutritional Health
With today’s people faced with a multitude of nutritional problems, it is increasingly critical for us to take charge of our own well-being. Source Naturals is devoted to providing the highest quality products designed to supplement your diet and aid in your pursuit of a healthy lifestyle. HOODIA EXTRACT is available at your local health food store in 250mg capsules or tablets. Source Naturals - providing nutritional benefits offered only in the natural products marketplace.
FEARING FATS: There's Plenty of Cause Overview
June 25, 2005 07:34 PM
FEARING FATS: There's Plenty of Cause Overview
A wealth of scientific evidence now exists which should have turned each and everyone of us into a fat “phobic.”1a-e In other words, virtually every health expert agrees that a high fat diet is directly linked to cardiovascular disease, various types of cancer and premature death. It’s no secret that excess dietary fat poses a tremendous health risk. The United States National Institutes of Health, the World Health Organization and many other scientific institutes have confirmed the frightening hazards of fat. Health proponents generally concur that excess fat can significantly shorten one’s lifespan. More than 10,000 medical papers are published every year dealing with obesity and cardiovascular disease, two of the most insidious killers of Americans. Western eating habits, which promote fatty, salty, sugary foods, have created massive widespread disease and tremendous suffering. Studies have shown that fat is the macronutrient associated with overeating -
TABLE 1. Total fat grams in single servings.4
and obesity.2 In spite of this finding we are eating more fat and becoming fatter. The average absolute fat intake has increased from 81 to 83 grams per day over the last ten years.3 Our obsession with fatty foods has exacted an enormous toll in the form of rampant obesity, clogged arteries, hypertension, heart attack, stroke, breast cancer, etc. Many of us remain oblivious to the fat gram count of foods we routinely pop into our mouths, unaware that one fast food entree may contain more fat grams than one should consume in one given day. Take a good look at the following list of foods which have been assessed for fat content. Fast food has become a 20th-century sensation which continues to boom and expand throughout our society. Many of us literally exist on fast food, which is frequently also “fat” food. It’s no wonder so many of us “battle the bulge”, and have skyrocketing cholesterol counts. Our love affair with greasy, fried, rich, creamy foods has Burdened our bodies with the dilemma of excess fat “baggage,” resulting in phenomenal amounts of money being spent on weight loss programs. Worse still, thousands of Americans are dying before their time or living extremely compromised lives only because they ingest too much fat. Why is this? The bottom line is that fats taste good!5 Many of us were raised on seemingly innocuous foods that are loaded with fat. Some of these include:
macaroni and cheese battered fish sticks hot dogs cheese-filled casseroles pepperoni pizza burritos pancakes, waffles doughnuts pies and pastries ice cream candy bars ramen soup
Fat is also a major ingredient in most of the snack food we constantly nibble on, including chips, crackers, cookies, and nuts. Check ingredient labels to find the fat gram content of most snack foods. You’ll be surprised to find out just how fatty these foods are. Even a healthy sounding food like a “bran muffin” can contain 36 grams of fat! No wonder they stay so “moist”. In addition to the above foods, fat can add wonderful flavor to breads, vegetables and the like, and is usually used liberally in the form of butter, sour cream, whipping cream, melted cheese, cream cheese spreads, dips, cream sauces, and gravies. Fruits can also be high in fats. Did you know that one avocado has 30 grams of fat? One half cup of peanuts contains 35 grams of fat and only one glazed doughnut has 13 grams of fat. The majority of research points to fat as a much more dangerous culprit than anyone might have imagined. Saturated fats such as lard, palm, coconut oil, and beef tallow are particularly menacing. Research scientists have found over and over again that fats can contribute to the growth of tumors in animal studies.6 The National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences reported that even a relatively small amount of extra body fat increases the risk of certain diseases for women and may compromise their longevity.7 Even being mildly overweight may be much more risky than anyone previously assumed.8
The Relat ionship between Breast Cancer, Fat s, Fiber And Indoles
Dr. Leonard Cohen, of the Dana Institute of the American Health Foundation at Naylor, believes that pre-cancerous lesions found in breast tissue will develop into cancer only if they are stimulated by certain agents such as fat.9 Women increase their risk of developing breast cancer when they consume a diet high in fat and animal protein and low in fiber, vegetables and fruits. When women put on weight, they have a tendency to create more estrogen since adipose tissue produces estrogen. Certain forms of estrogen, the so-called “bad estrogens” can act as carcinogens and are anything but desirable.10 High or unbalanced estrogen levels stimulate concerous tissue in the breast. Obesity is also associated with increased breast cancer mortality.11 The three most important ways to inhibit “bad” estrogen from inducing breast cancer are:
Modified Citrus Pectin (MCP)...
June 21, 2005 05:21 PM
By Isaac Eliaz, M.D.
Modified citrus pectin (MCP) is an essential nutrient for cancer prevention and treatment. It directly attacks cancer, thereby reducing the disease, but also has properties that enhance overall health. A true super nutrient! Let me explain how it can do all this.
Characteristics of Cancer Cells
Cancer cells are different from normal cells in a number of ways. One difference is they way they "look." All cells have a variety of molecules on their surface, which allow them to communicate with each other and their environment:
Cancer cells have odd amounts or unusual molecular markers on their surface, which allow white blood cells to recognize the cells as cancerous and kill them. One type of molecule cancer cells have in excess is galectin-3. Galectin-3 molecules function as "hands" and help cancer spread. First, they are important in reaching out and stimulating growth of new blood vessels; this allows the cancer to obtain the blood flow and nutrients it needs to grow out of control. Second, galectins allow cells that break off from the primary tumor to clump together in the blood stream, enabling them to move to new sites. Third, the galectin hand can grab hold of the new location and complete the metastasis, or spread, of the cancer.
MCP Blocks the Spread and Growth of Cancer Cells
Modified citrus pectin is a natural substance that can bind to galectin molecules and block their spread and growth. Early research on prostate cancer showed that oral administration of MCP to rodents resulted in a dramatic reduction in prostate cancer metastasis to the lungs. More recent research by the same scientists extended MCP protection to breast and colon cancer, and showed that MCP blocks primary tumor growth and formation of new blood vessels.
Successful Clinical Trial
A commercially available form of modified citrus pectin was developed in response to the positive animal studies and tested in men with prostate cancer. A pilot trial using MCP at 15 grams a day and a subsequent phase II trial both showed that MCP slows prostate cancer progression, as evidenced by a reduction in the rate of PSA rise. PSA (prostate-specific antigen) is a protein made by the prostate gland; elevated PSA blood levels may indicate prostate cancer. The phase II trial, published in Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases (Dec 2003), involved men who at first experienced successful primary conventional treatment; subsequently their PSA again began to climb, representing cancer recurrence. Seventy percent of these men showed a significant reduction in the rise of their PSA climb! Because of the mechanism of action, it is expected people with other cancers (leukemia, breast, colon, lung, nasopharyngeal, brain, lymphoma, melanoma and others that express galectin molecules) also would benefit from MCP.
MCP Chelates and Removes Toxic Metals
Heavy metals, in conjunction with environmental toxins and xenoestrogens, constitute a dangerous insult to the body through DNA damage, hormonal modulation, immune suppression, oxidative stress, and hyper inflammation. The metal chelation properties of MCP (Eliaz, U.S. patent #6,462,029) have been confirmed in a recent pilot trial. In healthy individuals, MCP increased urinary excretion of the toxic metals mercury, cadmium, arsenic and lead. In addition, longterm administration of MCP has been shown to reduce the body Burden of heavy metals such as mercury, arsenic, lead, and nickel. MCP's ability to remove heavy metals and environmental toxins on an ongoing basis may significantly benefit people with cancer and other diseases involving immune dysfunction.
Clinically Validated MCP
Only one form of MCP has been validated in human clinical trials. This is important since no other MCP on the market matches the chemical specifications of the clinically validated product. If the molecular weight of MCP is too high it can't be absorbed into the bloodstream. If it is too low it won't effectively block galectin sites. Another property, the degree of esterification, must be below 5% for optimal binding. The most effective specifications were defined by cell culture studies and remain a trade secret. If you want the effects seen in the clinical studies, you must take the preparation used in those studies, at the recommended dose of 15grams/day.
The Use of Modified Citrus Pectin
MCP Application Use (Take on an empty stomach) Active Cancer 15 grams/day (5 grams, three times a day) Biopsy 15 grams/day (5 grams, three times a day) Take one week before procedure and two weeks after. Heavy Metal Chelation High body Burden levels: 15 grams/day (5 grams, three times a day) Lower levels: 15 grams/day for 5 days a month, 5 grams/day the rest of the month Cancer Prevention 5 grams/day ongoing
Modified Citrus Pectin (MCP) and Mercury Cleansing Programs...
June 21, 2005 05:02 PM
by Isaac Eliaz, M.D., M.S., L.Ac.
Modified Citrus Pectin (MCP) is a dietary supplement derived from the peel and pulp of citrus fruit. MCP is mostly known for its positive effects on cellular health. Recently, however, clinical research on MCP has produced exciting results for its use as a gentle chelator (eliminator) of mercury and other heavy metals. Some of the expanding clinical applications for MCP include:
The Problem with Mercury
Recent news on mercury is particularly concerning for the U.S. population. In March 2004 the EPA issued a press release reporting nearly all fish contained traces of mercury. Some samples contained levels high enough to harm an unborn baby or young child's developing nervous system. These findings prompted the EPA to issue a warning to women who may become pregnant, pregnant women and nursing mothers advising them to eat only two meals of fish per week that are thought to have lower levels of mercury.1 In their most recent update (August 2004), the EPA issued a warning that 1/3 of the nation's lakes and 1/4 of its river ways are contaminated with toxic levels of mercury and other contaminants, and warned pregnant women and children against consumption of fish from these sources. Additionally, a National Academy of Sciences panel definitively warned that some children who had been exposed to mercury while in the wombs of their mothers were at risk for becoming those children "who have to struggle to keep up in school and who might require remedial classes of special education." The risk of mercury toxicity from fish has reached epidemic levels. Two studies have further spurred on the concerns of mercury toxicity, as they both found women to have mercury levels that are 8-10% above what is considered safe.1,2 Furthermore, women who ate more fish were found to have higher levels of mercury. Another source of mercury toxicity may be amalgam dental fillings. Heavy metals, in conjunction with the abundant presence of environmental toxins and xenoestrogens, constitute a dangerous insult to the body through DNA damage, hormonal modulation, immune suppression, oxidative stress, and cellular irritation.
A New Application for MCP Use: Heavy Metal Detoxification
The standard western medical approach for removing mercury from the body to treat mercury toxicity is chelation. This procedure is performed with harsh chelators that can cause multiple side effects while potentially robbing the body of some of its essential nutrients. While this may be the routine and most beneficial procedure when facing a serious toxicity problem, are there other, gentler ways to reduce mercury levels? Two recent clinical studies have found that MCP may be a promising new dietary solution for reducing heavy metal load. In one recent clinical study, MCP was administered to a group of volunteers, and baseline levels of their total body mercury Burden were measured and then compared against levels after treatment with MCP (15 grams of PectaSol® daily) for four months. The results showed a significant average decrease (over 60%; p=0.03) in the total body mercury Burden after treatment with MCP3 In an earlier study, PectaSol® was given to patients and proven to increase urinary secretion of heavy metals such as lead, mercury, cadmium and arsenic.4 Both studies concluded that MCP may be a promising alternative to the harsher intravenous chelating therapies as MCP was found to be both effective and free of any side effects.
How MCP Works as a Gentle Chelator
Pectins are natural gelling agents, binders, thickeners, and stabilizers in foods. They mostly consist of galacturonic acid and galacturonic-acid methyl esters with average molecular weights from 50,000 to 150,000 daltons. High-methoxy (HM) pectin has at least 50% DE (degree of esterification) or greater, while a low-methoxy (LM) pectin?s DE is 50% or less. For systemic chelation of heavy metals, pectin is modified to a low molecular weight, and low-methoxy content. My observation from using MCP as a detoxification agent in my clinic is that it works as a gentle chelator in the bloodstream and it is very useful for ongoing use. Because fish are still recommended as part of a healthy diet and an essential source of certain nutrients (essential fatty acids like DHA), mercury levels are also becoming a widespread health concern. It is a Catch-22 for dietary health. As the widespread environmental cleanup of mercury is unlikely in the short-term, the medical community should develop methods to treat toxicity or reduce high body levels of mercury body Burden. One approach is the use of traditional and alternative medicine cleansing programs along with the use of dietary supplements such as MCP that may act as gentle chelators. For chelation purposes, 5-15 grams of MCP should be taken per day depending on mercury levels for one year. Maintenance at 2-5 grams per day thereafter is usually sufficient. In my practice, I use 15 grams per day or 15 grams per day in the first 3-5 days of the month and 5 grams per day for the remainder of the month. MCP is generally regarded as safe and is well tolerated. Reported side effects have been rare, but may include mild and transient gastrointestinal discomfort.
1-CDC Press Release: Blood and Hair Mercury Levels in Young Children and Women of Childbearing Age-United States, 1999 (see:/media/mmwrnews/n010302.htm#mmwr3) 2-Schober, SE, Sinks, TH, Jones, RL et al. (2003) Blood mercury levels in US children and women of childbearing age, 1999-2000. Journal of the American Medical Association. 289(13) :1667-74. 3-Eliaz, I. (2004) Modified citrus pectin (MCP) in the treatment of cancer. Paper presented at: The American Chemical Society Annual Meeting; Philadelphia, PA. 4-Eliaz, I. and D. Rode (2003). The effect of modified citrus pectin on the urinary excretion of toxic elements. Fifth Annual Conference of Environmental Health Scientists: Nutritional Toxicology and Metabolomics, University of California, Davis.
Isaac Eliaz, M.D., M.S., L.Ac., is a pioneer in the field of integrative medicine and founder of Better Health Publishing®, an education-based company that provides health care professionals, consumers and other interested parties with scientific research on integrative medicine. He is a respected author, clinical practitioner and frequent guest lecturer on integrative medical approaches to health, immune enhancement and cancer prevention and treatment. Since 1991, Dr. Eliaz has maintained a busy private practice in Sebastopol, California, and is the current medical director of the Amitabha Medical Clinic and Healing Center (email:email@example.com) which focuses primarily on integrative and holistic protocols for cancer patients as well as those with chronic health challenges.
The important role the liver plays in maintaining health
June 21, 2005 04:56 PM
Most practitioners who practice various forms of natural medicine know the important role the liver plays in maintaining health in general. The liver is involved in thousands of biochemical mechanisms making it second only to the brain in importance and complexity. Natural health practitioners are also acutely aware of the detrimental effects on the liver of modern living, with its chemicals, excessive fat intake, pesticides, hormones, and stress. This suggests that we as a culture are in need of liver support. History suggests, and modern research is supporting, that botanicals have an important role to play in supporting a healthy liver.
The liver has an almost miraculous ability to biochemically transform, break down, store, eliminate, and build up the plethora of chemicals to which it is exposed. Many botanicals have a very specific effect of modifying these biochemical processes. Some botanicals can enhance the liver?s phase I (cytochrome P450) and phase II (glutathione conjugation) detoxification processes, promote the flow and production of bile (one means of eliminating toxins), inhibit the attachment of viruses or chemical antagonists to hepatocytes, strongly enhance the liver?s powerful antioxidant systems, or promote the regeneration of liver tissue-the liver being the only organ in the body except the skin able to regenerate itself. Many botanicals have been used historically for promoting liver health. Today, modern research is confirming these benefits while shedding light on their mechanisms of action. Following is an overview of a number of these botanicals.
Milk Thistle Silybum marianum
The extract of the seeds of milk thistle is perhaps the most well researched of all the liver supportive botanicals. Part of its benefit has been in its ability to scavenge free radicals and to stimulate the regeneration of hepatocytes. In Germany, it is the botanical extract of choice for use in supporting a healthy liver. Typically, an extract yielding a minimum of 70% silymarin (a specific class of flavonoids) is used clinically at a dose of approximately 420 mg of the extract daily (Morazzoni and Bombardelli 1995).
Schizandra Schisandra chinensis
Schizandra, known as bei wu wei zi in China, is one of the most widely used tonics of Chinese herbalism. Its original use was to support the health of the heart, kidneys and lungs and as a longevity tonic. Modern research has focused attention on its role as an adaptogen and for supporting a healthy liver. Adaptogens are substances that positively affect overall health by reducing stress mechanisms which can contribute to a number of biochemical reactions that can be detrimental to health. While the mechanism of action of adaptogens has not been definitively determined, the existing literature suggests they work endocrinologically through the pituitary and adrenals and substantially reduce the negative effects that stress has on the system (Wagner et al. 1994). In China and Japan, the modern use of schizandra has focused on its benefit in those in need of liver support. In one review of its pharmacological activity, stabilization of liver enzymes was reported in more than 5,000 people. The benefits were experienced within 20 days of administration of schizandra with 75% of patients returning to normal values (Chang and But 1986). A limited number of controlled studies similarly reported on the beneficial effects of the equivalent of 1.5 grams of schizandra for reducing elevated liver enzymes (Liu 1991). There are three primary mechanisms of action of schizandra reported with regards to its ability to support a healthy liver: 1) its ability to reduce lipid peroxidation induced by a number of different antagonists (antioxidant activity); 2) induction of hepatomicrosomal cytochrome P-450; 3) stimulation of protein biosynthesis and liver glycogen (Liu 1991). Such mechanisms make schizandra ideal as a liver-supportive botanical that is underutilized in the West.
Bupleurum Bupleurum chinense, B. falcatum
Bupleurum, also known as chai hu in China, is perhaps the most important of liver-supportive botanicals in China and Japan, and, like schizandra, is far underutilized in the United States, except by traditional Chinese herbalists. Traditionally, it has been regarded as an herb that helps to normalize the function of the liver from a traditional Chinese perspective. Modern research has identified a group of compounds known as saikosaponins that strongly support liver health (in humans and rats). Mechanisms of action specifically regarding liver health identified for bupleurum include anti-inflammatory activity, as well as its ability to stimulate the production and release of bile, thus facilitating the detoxification process (Wagner et al. 1996).
Sho-Saiko-To Minor Bupleurum
In Chinese herbalism, herbs are seldom prescribed singularly. Rather they are combined according to very sophisticated principles of formulation based on the differential diagnosis of the patient. One of the most widely used and researched botanical formulas for the health of the liver used in China and Japan is Sho-Saiko-To, known in China as Xiao Chai Hu Tang (Minor Bupleurum). This classic formula consists of the following botanicals: ginger, scutellaria, jujube, ginseng, licorice, pinellia and bupleurum. It is widely used throughout Asia for supporting liver health and currently is the subject of phase II clinical trials at Sloan Kettering. The formula with its main ingredient, bupleurum, was first introduced in Japan by Chinese Buddhist priests between the 6th and 8th centuries. Modern research suggests that Sho-Saiko-To modulates the immune response, specifically in addition to other mechanisms, by increasing levels of interleukin and interferon (Huang et al. 2001).
To the same extent that herbs are seldom used singularly in Chinese herbalism, they are similarly used within a broader context that incorporates dietary and other lifestyle changes to support the botanicals. In my clinic, I routinely recommend that patients eliminate alcohol, coffee, sugar, and refined foods from their diet and eat whole grain foods, fish, and several servings of green vegetables daily along with their herbal program. For these individuals this is a simple program to follow, and many are able to live a normal productive life with a greater level of liver health. Such a liver-supportive program must be maintained as a way of life to lessen the Burden that modern society and exogenous factors put on our livers.
The herbal world offers a potential natural health care approach that focuses on protecting and restoring the health and functioning of the liver. Both traditional experience and modern investigation suggest that botanicals can play a role in world health, specifically in promoting liver health.
The use of botanicals should be used under the guidance of a qualified health care professional. The combined use of conventional and natural therapies may not be appropriate. Before attempting to combine such therapies, discuss your therapeutic options with your primary health care provider.
Chang HM, But PH. 1986. Pharmacology and applications of Chinese materia medica. World Science. Singapore. Huang et al. Semi-quantitative analysis of cytokine mRNA expression induced by the herbal medicine sho-saiko-to (TJ-9) using a gel doc system. J Clin Lab Anal 15: 199-209. Liu GT. 1991. Pharmacological actions and clinical uses of Fructus schizandrae in recent advances in Chinese herbal drugs-actions and uses. Scientific Press Beijing. Morazzoni P, Bombardelli E. 1995. Silybum marianum (Carduus marianus). Fitoterapia LXVI (1):3-42. Wagner H, Noerr N. Winterhoff K. 1994. Plant adaptogens. Phytomedicine 1: 63-76. Wagner H, Bauer R, Peigen X, Jianming C, Offermann F. 1996. Chinese Drug monographs and analysis: Radix Bupleuri (chaihu). Verlag fuer Ganzheitliche Medizin Koetzting/Bayer. Wald, Germany.
Michael Tierra, L. Ac., O.M.D., is a clinician and world-renowned author of the best-selling Way of Herbs and Planetary Herbology. As product formulator for Planetary Formulas, he draws on 30 years of clinical experience to create formulas renowned for their dependability and effectiveness.
Catch Your Breath
June 14, 2005 05:56 PM
Catch Your Breath
by Carl Lowe Energy Times, October 10, 2004
Asthma is on the rise. This serious breathing problem already afflicts 300 million people around the world and is expected to hinder the lung function of 400 million people in 20 years (Annual World Asthma Meeting, 2/17/04).
In the US, asthma continues to strike our kids. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (2/24/03), the rate at which kids developed asthma doubled between 1980 and 1995. By 2001, 6.3 million American kids had asthma. The cost of treating all these kids: more than $3 billion a year.
Few researchers are prepared to state definitively why asthma rates have continued to climb during the past two decades. However, many investigators point to factors that seem inextricably linked to this disorder, which is marked by wheezing, shortness of breath and coughing spells.
A report from the American Public Health Association and researchers at Harvard puts a lot of the blame for the high rate of asthma on global warming, smog and the atmosphere's growing Burden of carbon dioxide. These are linked to industries and car exhaust that release pollution.
In this increasing Burden of toxins released into the atmosphere, the rate of asthma among toddlers has grown to be particularly worrisome. Their rate of asthma has climbed more than twice the national average: by 160% between 1980 and 1994. According to these researchers (Inside the Greenhouse: The Impacts of CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) and Climate Change on Public Health in the Inner City), global warming-which involves large increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide released by internal combustion engines and and industrial processes-has fomented the asthma epidemic in several ways:
• Extra heat in the atmosphere has stimulated rapid plant growth that results in more fungus, pollen and spores; this causes allergies that often lead to asthma. Weeds like ragweed, which release allergenic particles, have greatly increased during the past few years. • Extreme weather has caused more floods and damp houses, leading to more indoor air pollution from molds. • Diesel pollutants are now combining with pollen and mold to irritate lungs, causing troublesome allergic reactions.
Bus Fume Hazards
The report notes that in neighborhoods like Harlem, in New York City, 25% of all children suffer asthma. Rates are particularly high in children who live in apartments that are located along bus routes.
A finding that surprised the scientists is the fact that carbon dioxide released by city traffic and the burning of coal and natural gas persists over urban areas, causing a dome of CO2 pollution.
Research on air quality in New York City, Phoenix and Baltimore shows that these lingering CO2 domes contain from 400 parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide to 600 ppm. Those levels are significantly above the global average of 379 ppm. Over the course of the earth's history, going back more than 400,000 years before the Industrial Age, research shows the atmosphere has averaged only 180 to 280 ppm.
Breathing difficulties that increase at night can point to asthma, according to Robert Fink, MD: "Asthma can be a nocturnal disease, at its worst between 10 pm and 4 am, when cortisol [a hormone that regulates many bodily functions] levels are lowest" (Pediatric Asthma: Diagnosis and Treatment Goals, Medscape).
Dr. Fink says that if problems with breathing are bad enough to interfere with sleep, a health practitioner should be consulted to analyze the difficulty.
Diet and Asthma
Although nobody can guarantee protection against asthma, research suggests that eating plenty of fruits and vegetables can significantly reduce your risk. For instance, a study in Australia found that people who ate the most apples and pears reduced their chances of suffering from this breath-robbing disorder.
In research involving about 1,600 people, aged 20 to 44, they found that those who consumed the largest quantity of these fruits enjoyed the lowest rate of asthma (AJCN 2003; 78:414).
This is the latest study to confirm the fact that apples and other fruits help to keep lungs healthy. " There is extensive evidence from studies over the last 10 to 15 years that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is beneficial to lung health," observes Carol Trenga, PhD, a research scientist at the University of Washington in Seattle. "The most compelling evidence is linked to fruits high in vitamin C, which are associated with improved lung function in the general population of adults and children."
Produce for Smokers
Quitting smoking represents one of the best ways to reduce lung disease. But even if you smoke, research on smokers has found that those who ate a moderate amount of fruits and vegetables have fewer lung problems (American Thoracic Society 97th International Conference 5/2001).
And you don't have to change your diet very much to make a difference: In that research, merely eating one and half pieces of fruit a day or eating about a tablespoon of vegetables daily significantly dropped smokers' chances of serious lung disease.
Fruits and Veggies to the Rescue
In a study at the University of Nottingham, United Kingdom, scientists looking at the diets of more than 2,500 people found that eating five or more apples or three tomatoes a week increased lung function. Eating apples and tomatoes also reduced the risk of wheezing.
" The likelihood is that any effect is due to the concerted action of all the nutrients in apples and tomatoes, especially the antioxidants that are particularly rich in the peel of apples and contribute to the coloring of tomatoes," says researcher Sarah Lewis, PhD.
" Antioxidants may work by protecting the airways against the insult of tobacco smoke and other atmospheric pollutants," she adds. Dr. Trenga recommends that everyone eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. She also notes, "[I]t is reasonable to suggest modest supplementation with for example, vitamin C (250-500 mg twice/day) and vitamin E (up to 400 IU per day), in at-risk populations as a complementary therapy after considering the specific needs of the individual...These levels are very safe and have other health benefits (such as vitamin E and heart disease) in addition to potentially improving lung health."
Since asthma is linked to allergies, herbs that help to quell respiratory allergies can possibly lower your risk of asthma. A blend of standardized herbal extracts that contains Phyllanthus emblica (Indian gooseberry or amla), Terminalia chebula (Harda or Haritaki), Terminalia bellerica (bedda nut tree), Albizia lebbeck (Indian walnut), Zingiber officinale (ginger root), Piper longum (Indian long pepper), and Piper nigrum (black pepper) has been found to improve breathing and reduce the effect of allergies (FASEB J 2004; Vol II:A912, Abs. 600.8). Other studies have shown that these herbs can relieve nasal congestion, ease sneezing and clear bothersome mucus (J Am Coll Nutr 22(5): Abs 46, 2003).
Avoiding antibiotics may also lower the risk of asthma. " Over the past four decades there has been an explosive increase in allergy and asthma in westernized countries, says Mairi Noverr, PhD, a researcher who has looked at the lin between antibiotic use with asthma and allergies. " We propose that the link between antibiotic use and dysregulated pulmonary immunity is through antibiotic-induced long term alterations in the bacterial and fungal GI microflora."
In other words, Dr. Noverr's research shows that beneficial bacteria in people's intestines, which take part in strengthening immunity and regulating the immune response to pollen, may have been harmed by the overprescription of antibiotics by physicians. Dr. Noverr and his fellow researchers gave lab animals antibiotics before exposing them to candida albicans (a yeast infection). They then exposed the animals to mold spores. The result: a greater sensitivity to inhaling the spores and breathing problems similar to what people experience during hay fever season (104th General Meeting American Society of Microbiology).
" The studies presented here are the first direct demonstration that antibiotic therapy can promote the development of an allergic airway response," says Dr. Noverr. On a global scale, the outlook for asthma is worrisome. As other countries continue their industrial growth, the Burden on the earth's atmosphere will grow. Meanwhile, few serious measures are being taken to reduce global warming, and the national diet frequently neglects lung-friendly vegetables and fruits. But within that uncertain scenario, you can boost your chances of healthy lungs: Eat more apples. Stay away from smoky buses. Hope for clear skies.
Celebrating Women: Age Is Just a Number
June 13, 2005 07:43 PM
Celebrating Women: Age Is Just a Number by Carl Lowe Energy Times, March 10, 2004
As women age, their physical needs shift. The health challenges that face a woman in her thirties do not match those of a woman in her fifties.
At the same time, some basic health needs stay constant: At any age, every woman requires a wealth of vitamins, minerals and the other natural chemicals that fruits, vegetables and supplements supply. She also constantly needs families and friends to support her spiritual health.
As the internal workings of your body alter, your lifestyle must stay abreast of those adjustments. Peak health demands a finely tuned health program designed with your individual needs-and your stage of life-in mind.
Ages 30 to 45
When it comes to maintaining health, younger women might seem to have it easier than older women. If they exercise and stay in shape, they maintain more stamina than women 10 to 20 years their senior.
Unfortunately, many women in this age group mistakenly think they don't have to be as careful about their lifestyle habits and their eating habits as they will in later decades. But even if your health doesn't seem to suffer from poor eating choices or a sedentary lifestyle right away, your foundation for health in later life suffers if you don't care for yourself now.
By age 45 you should have established the good habits that will carry you successfully through the aging process. As an added bonus, good lifestyle habits pay immediate dividends. If you pay attention to your nutrients and get plenty of physical activity when younger, you'll feel more energetic and probably enjoy better emotional health.
Set Health Goals
According to Gayle Reichler, MS, RD, CDN, in her book Active Wellness (Avery/Penguin), good health at any age doesn't just come to you-you have to plan for it. In order to stick to good habits, she says, "living a healthy lifestyle needs to be satisfying." Reichler believes that you need to picture your health goals to achieve them: "Every successful endeavor first begins in the mind as an idea, a thought, a dream, a conviction." Good health at this age and in later years requires a concrete strategy and visualization of how your body can improve with a healthy lifestyle.
Your long-term health goals at this age should include an exercise program that will allow you to reach a physically fit old age with a lowered risk of disability. In addition, your short-term plans should encompass losing weight, staying optimistic, living life with more vim and vigor, increasing your capacity for exercise and lowering your stress.
As Reichler points out, "Your long-term goal and your ideal vision establish what you want to achieve....[You should do] something good...for yourself every day and every week that makes your life easier and more consistent with your goals."
Develop an Eating Plan
Today, the average American gains about two pounds annually. As a result, every year a greater portion of the US population is obese and overweight. By controlling your food intake earlier in life, you may be able to avoid this weight gain. In his book Prolonging Health (Hampton Roads), James Williams, OMD, recommends basic changes to your diet that can provide long-term support of your health:
Get Supplemental Help
If you're in your thirties or forties and you don't take at least a multivitamin, start taking one today! A large body of research shows that taking vitamin and mineral supplements over a long period of time significantly supports better health.
Calcium and vitamin D are two of the most important supplemental nutrients, helping to build stronger bones now that can withstand the bone-loss effects of aging.
Calcium can also help keep your weight down. One study of younger women found that for every extra 300 milligrams of calcium a day they consumed, they weighed about two pounds less (Experimental Biology 2003 meeting, San Diego).
In the same way, taking vitamin D supplements not only helps strengthen your bones, it can also lower your risk of multiple sclerosis (Neurology 1/13/04). In this study, which looked at the health records of more than 180,000 women for up to 20 years, taking D supplements dropped the chances of multiple sclerosis (although eating vitamin D-rich foods did not have the same benefit). And if you're thinking about having children at this age, a multivitamin is crucial for lowering your baby's risk of birth defects and other health problems. A study at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that women who take multivitamins during pregnancy lower their children's risk of nervous system cancer by up to 40% (Epidemiology 9/02).
" Our finding, combined with previous work on reducing several birth defects with vitamin supplementation and other childhood cancers, supports the recommendation that mothers' vitamin use before and during pregnancy may benefit their babies' health," says Andrew F. Olshan, MD, professor of epidemiology at the UNC School of Public Health. "We believe physicians and other health care providers should continue to educate women about these benefits and recommend appropriate dietary habits and daily dietary supplements."
In particular, Dr. Olshan feels that folic acid (one of the B vitamins), and vitamins C and A, are particularly important for lowering the risk of childhood cancers and birth defects.
Ages 45 to 55
When you reach this in-between age-the time when most women have moved past childbearing age but haven't usually fully moved into the post-menopausal stage-you enjoy a propitious opportunity to take stock of your health and plan for an even healthier future. One thing that may need adjustment is your sleep habits, as sleeplessness is a common problem for women in this age group. Even if you haven't been exercising or watching your diet until now, it's not too late to start. Making lifestyle changes at this age can still improve your chances for aging successfully.
For instance, it is at these ages that women should have their heart health checked. Research published in the journal Stroke (5/01) shows that having your cholesterol and blood pressure checked at this time more accurately shows your future chances of heart disease than having it checked at a later date after menopause, in your late fifties.
" The premenopausal risk factors may be a stronger predictor of carotid atherosclerosis [artery blockages] because they represent cumulative risk factor exposure during the premenopausal years, whereas the risk factors...during the early postmenopausal years have a shorter time for influence," says Karen A. Matthews, PhD, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. In other words, Dr. Matthews' research shows that if you have high blood pressure and high cholesterol before menopause, you are at serious risk for a stroke or heart attack soon after menopause: These are important reasons that you need to start improving your health habits immediately.
Increase in Heart Disease
Before menopause, a woman's hormones and other physiological characteristics usually hold down her chance of heart disease. After menopause, when hormones and other bodily changes occur, the risk of heart attacks and stroke in women rises significantly. (Heart disease is the leading killer of women.) At least part of this increased risk is linked to the postmenopausal decrease in estrogen production.
Dr. Matthews studied about 370 women in their late forties, measuring their weight, their BMI (body mass index, an indication of body fat compared to height), blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar. Ten years later, after the women had entered menopause, she and her fellow scientists used ultrasound to measure blockages in these women's neck arteries (a sign of heart disease).
The researchers found that indications of potential heart problems (such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and being overweight) when women were in their forties did indeed forecast future difficulties.
" Women who had elevated cholesterol, higher blood pressures and increased body weight before menopause had increased blood vessel thickening and atherosclerotic plaque formation in the neck arteries after menopause. Such changes in the carotid arteries are associated with an increased heart attack and stroke risk," says Dr. Matthews.
Heart Health Factors
The four main lifestyle factors you should adjust at this age to support better heart function are diet, stress, exercise and weight. According to Dr. James Williams, "[M]ore than any other cause, dietary factors are the most critical factor in cardiovascular disease." He recommends eliminating "dietary saturated fatty acids as found in flame-broiled and fried meats." He also urges women to eat more fish and poultry, consume organic fruits and vegetables and cut back on refined sugar.
Stress becomes an ever more important heart disease factor at this age as estrogen begins to drop.
" Our study [in the lab] indicates that stress affects estrogen levels and can lead to the development of heart disease-even before menopause," says Jay Kaplan, PhD, of the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center (The Green Journal 3/02).
Dr. Kaplan's research shows that stress in women ages 45 to 55 may reduce estrogen earlier in life and make women more susceptible to the arterial blockages that lead to heart disease. "We know from [lab] studies that stress can lower estrogen levels to the point that health is affected," he says.
Stress can also hurt bone health: In a study of 66 women with normal-length menstrual periods, estrogen levels were low enough in half of the women to cause bone loss, making the women susceptible to osteoporosis.
Exercise and Weight
Although exercise used to be considered to be mainly a young woman's activity, the thrust of recent research suggests that physical activity actually becomes more important to health as you get older.
A 17-year study of about 10,000 Americans found that exercising and keeping your weight down is probably the most important thing you can do to lower your risk of heart disease as you enter your forties and fifties (Am J Prev Med 11/03).
Of the people who took part in this study, more than 1,500 people died of heart disease. Those who performed the most exercise were thinner and had a 50% chance less of dying of heart disease than overweight nonexercisers.
" The fact is that those who both exercised more and ate more nevertheless had low cardiovascular mortality," says Jing Fang, MD, a researcher at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York.
An added benefit of exercise: If you burn up calories exercising, you can eat more and not have to worry as much about being overweight.
Supplements and Diet
If you're a woman at midlife, a multivitamin and mineral is still good nutritional insurance. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables are also important for getting enough phytochemicals, the health substances in plants that convey a wealth of health benefits.
As you enter this age group, your immune system gradually slows down. To help support immune function, eating produce rich in antioxidant nutrients, and supplementing with antioxidants like vitamins C and E as well as carotenoids, can be especially important. For example, a study of people with ulcers found that people with less vitamin C in their stomachs are more likely to be infected with Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria that can cause peptic ulcers and is linked to stomach cancer (J Amer Coll Nutr 8/1/03).
This research, which looked at the health of about 7,000 people, found that vitamin C probably helps the immune system fend off this bacterial infection.
" Current public health recommendations for Americans are to eat five or more servings of fresh fruits and vegetables a day to help prevent heart disease, cancer and other chronic diseases," says Joel A. Simon, MD, MPH, professor of medicine at the University of California at San Francisco.
Calcium and Bones
At midlife, calcium continues to be a vital mineral for supporting bone health.
According to Gameil T. Fouad, PhD, "It has been routinely shown that a woman's calcium status and level of physical activity (specifically, the degree to which she participates in weight-bearing exercise) are positively associated with bone mineral density. It is less well appreciated that this is a process which takes place over the course of a lifetime."
Dr. Fouad adds that calcium works in concert with other vitamins and minerals to keep bones healthy: "Research in the United Kingdom involving nearly 1,000 premenopausal women over age 40 illustrates those women with the highest bone density tended to have the highest intake of calcium. Surprisingly, this study also demonstrated that calcium does not act alone: those women with the best bone health also had the highest intakes of zinc, magnesium and potassium."
Dr. Fouad stresses that supplements should go together with a lifestyle that includes enough sleep and exercise to help the body stay in top shape.
" As a general guideline," he says, "a woman concerned with her mineral intake should take concrete steps to make sure she is getting adequate rest, is eating a well-balanced diet focused on fresh fruits, vegetables and lean protein as well as getting adequate exercise....A multi-mineral containing bio-available forms of zinc, magnesium, copper and selenium is probably a safe addition to anyone's routine. Taking these proactive steps dramatically reduces the chances that deficiencies will arise."
Ages 55 and Beyond
Entering the post-menopausal phase of life can present challenging opportunities for a new perspective on life and health. While some signs of aging are inevitable, experts who have looked at how the human body changes with age are now convinced that healthy lifestyle habits can improve how well you can think, move and enjoy life well past age 55.
As Dr. Williams notes, "In your fifties, the force of aging is undeniably present: Your body shape changes and organ function declines, both men and women have a tendency to gain weight....Heart disease becomes more common, energy and endurance are considerably reduced and your memory begins to slip."
But Dr. Williams also points out that you don't have to age as rapidly as other people do. He believes you should employ a "natural longevity program...[that starts] to reverse the course of aging as early as possible."
One key to staying vital as you age is your outlook on life, an aspect of life that's greatly enhanced by strong social ties.
Avoiding the Aging Slowdown The latest research shows that one of the most crucial ways to slow the effects of aging is to exercise and keep your weight down. It won't necessarily be easy, though. The change in hormonal balance at this age makes the body more prone to extra pounds (Society for Neuroscience Meeting, 11/12/03).
" In women, it has been demonstrated that major weight increases often occur during menopause, the time in a woman's life in which cyclic ovarian function ends and the ovarian hormones estrogen and progesterone decline," says Judy Cameron, PhD, a scientist in the divisions of reproductive sciences and neuroscience at the Oregon Health & Science University.
In Dr. Cameron's lab trials, she has found that the decrease in estrogen after menopause "resulted in a 67% jump in food intake and a 5% jump in weight in a matter of weeks."
In other words, the hormonal changes you undergo as enter your late fifties causes your appetite to grow as well as your waistline: Developments that increase your chances of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke and joint problems.
Vigilance against this weight gain is necessary to save your health: Start walking and exercising. Research on exercise in people aged 58 to 78 found that getting off the couch for a walk or other physical activity not only helps control weight but also helps sharpen your thinking and helps you become more decisive (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2/16-20/04, online edition). This recent study, done at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, found that performing aerobic exercise improved mental functioning by 11% (on a computer test).
" We continue to find a number of cognitive benefits in the aerobic group," says Arthur F. Kramer, PhD, a professor of psychology at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at Illinois. "The brain circuits that underlie our ability to think-in this case to attend selectively to information in the environment-can change in a way that is conducive to better performance on tasks as a result of fitness." In simple terms, that means that walking at least 45 minutes a day boosts brain power as well as protecting your heart.
An Herb for Menopause
The physical changes that accompan> y menopause can be uncomfortable. But traditional herbal help is available: Black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa), an herb used for eons by aging women, has been shown in recent studies to be both safe and effective (Menopause 6/15/03).
" This [research] should reassure health professionals that they can safely recommend black cohosh to their menopausal patients who cannot or choose not to take HRT [hormone replacement therapy]," says researcher Tieraona Low Dog, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of New Mexico Department of Family and Community Medicine.
While HRT has been used to help women cope with menopause, a flurry of studies in the past few years have shown that HRT increases the risk of heart disease and cancer. Instead, black cohosh, which alleviates such menopausal discomforts as hot flashes, has been shown to be much safer.
Keeping Track of Crucial Vitamins
While continuing to take multivitamins and minerals at this age is important, some experts believe that as we grow older, vitamin D supplementation, as well as taking antioxidant nutrients, is particularly vital. Arthritis is a common affliction of aging, and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is one particularly destructive form of this joint problem. But taking vitamin D can significantly lower your risk of this condition.
When scientists analyzed the diets of 30,000 middle-aged women in Iowa over 11 years, they found that women who consumed vitamin D supplements were 34% less likely to suffer RA (Arth Rheu 1/03).
Other vitamins are equally important to an older woman's well-being. For example, vitamins C and natural E have been found to lower the risk of stroke in those over the age of 55 (Neurology 11/11/03). In this study, smokers who consumed the most vitamin C and natural vitamin E were 70% were much less likely to suffer strokes than smokers whose diets were missing out on these vitamins.
Rich sources of vitamin C in food include oranges and other citrus fruits, strawberries, red and green peppers, broccoli and brussels sprouts. Sources of vitamin E include vegetable oils such as sunflower seed, cottonseed, safflower, palm and wheat germ oils, margarine and nuts.
Saving Your Sight
After age 55, your eyes are particularly vulnerable. Eight million Americans of this age are at risk for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a condition that destroys structures in the back of the eye necessary for vision (Arch Ophthal 11/03). But you can drop your risk of AMD by taking supplements of antioxidant vitamins and zinc, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins' Wilmer Eye Institute.
Their research shows that a dietary supplement of vitamins C, natural vitamin E and beta carotene, along with zinc, lowers the chances of progressing to advanced AMD in certain at-risk people by about 25%. Daily supplements also reduced the risk of vision loss by about 19%.
The carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin also help protect aging eyes. When scientists compared healthy eyes with eyes suffering from AMD, they found that AMD eyes contained lower levels of these vital nutrients (Ophthalmology 2003; 109:1780). Furthermore, they found that levels of these chemicals generally decline as you grow older.
Healthy at All Ages
When it comes to designing a healthy lifestyle, general rules like these can be followed, but you should individualize your plan to fit your needs. No matter which type of exercises you pick out or what healthy foods you choose, look for a strategy and a plan you can stick to. If you think a selection of foods are good for you but you absolutely hate their taste, chances are you won't be able to stick to a diet that includes them.
The same goes for exercise: Pick out activities that you enjoy and that you can perform consistently. That increases your chance of sticking to an exercise program.
Staying healthy is enjoyable and it helps you get more out of life every day, no matter what stage of life you're in.
Hidden In Plain Sight - The spreading epidemic: Diabetes.
June 12, 2005 06:02 PM
Hidden In Plain Sight by Carl Lowe Energy Times, October 7, 2003
Today, a devastating disease is striking millions of Americans. Sixteen million Americans already have this disease, and every day another 2,200 Americans learn they have it. The spreading epidemic: Diabetes.
The potential ramifications: Millions of people more susceptible to heart disease, dementia, infections, amputations and blindness. Lowering your risk for diabetes is relatively simple and terribly important. Because dealing with some of its effects once you are its victim can be much more complicated.
Signs of Trouble
"Approximately one in four individuals over the age of 60 has type 2 diabetes, which is a remarkable statistic," says Gerald Shulman, MD, of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Yale University. "And, if you add impaired glucose tolerance [a condition that often leads to diabetes], you're talking about 40% of the population."
The economic Burden of this epidemic is staggering, estimated at about $100 billion a year and growing.
If you never exercise, carry around a substantial amount of stomach fat and have seen your weight climb significantly over the years, you are among the people at higher risk for diabetes.
These lifestyle habits eventually render your body unable to efficiently process blood sugar. In technical terms, researchers investigating how the body uses and misuses blood sugar have identified what they have called "syndrome X" or "metabolic syndrome," a condition that puts you at high risk for both diabetes and heart disease.
If you have three or more of the following signs, you now have metabolic syndrome and, unless you change the way you live, may eventually suffer diabetes (Circulation 7/14/03):
* Fat around your middle
* High blood pressure
* High triglycerides (blood fats)
* Low level of HDL ("good" cholesterol)
* High fasting blood sugar
In a study of more than 6,000 men in Scotland, having three of these metabolic problems almost doubled the risk of heart disease and more than tripled the risk of diabetes. If you have four of these risk factors, your risk of heart disease just about quadruples, and your diabetes risk skyrockets almost 25 times.
The cells in your body get the energy they need to survive when they take sugar out of your blood and oxidize it along with fatty acids. Normally, insulin, a hormone-like substance released by the pancreas, speeds the absorption of blood sugar by the cells. When your pancreas cannot make insulin at all or makes too little, you suffer what is called type 1 or juvenile diabetes. This condition is usually treated by taking insulin.
But if your pancreas secretes what should be enough insulin for glucose absorption, and your cells are still unable to take sufficient sugar from your blood, you have what is called type 2 or adult-onset diabetes.
Understanding exactly why cells develop difficulties in taking sugar out of the blood and using it for energy has long troubled medical investigators. This condition, before it develops into full-blown diabetes, is called insulin resistance. Researchers have now linked it to malfunctioning mitochondria, the little structures in cells that make the energy that keeps cells functioning.
Scientists have long known that, as you age, you become more susceptible to diabetes. And when researchers compare the mitochondria in young people with those found in the cells of the elderly, they find that older mitochondria are more sluggish.
The mitochondria within the cells oxidize glucose and fatty acids to make energy. (They accomplish this in a complicated metabolic action called the Krebs cycle.) Difficulty with this process, or insulin resistance, can occur when fat and fatty acid waste products accumulate in your liver and muscle tissue.
"We hypothesized that there were two routes to this type of fat accumulation," says Dr. Shulman. "One is that the fat cells might release more fatty acids to be delivered to muscles and/or defects in mitochondrial oxidation might then lead to the accumulation of these fatty acids."
Research confirms that fatty molecules probably collect in muscle cells because the mitochondria's ability to burn fat breaks down over the years. On average, mitochondrial activity dips about 40% in older people.
Dr. Shulman thinks that the final coup de grace in the development of diabetes from insulin resistance takes place when the mitochondria malfunction in the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas.
Although Dr. Shulman says that more research is needed to understand why mitochondrial function slips with age, he recommends keeping your mitochondria from slacking off by exercising. Studies now show that regular physical activity can probably increase the mitochondria in your muscles by activating release of an enzyme called AMP kinase. "...an encouraging note in this study is that-since we've shown that exercise leads to more mitochondria by activation of [the enzyme] AMP kinase-by staying active, the elderly might...maintain mitochondrial content and head off such health problems," says Dr. Shulman. "This is yet another reason for seniors to maintain an active lifestyle," he adds.
Maitake for Metabolic Syndrome
Another natural way to fight the metabolic syndrome is with an extract of the maitake mushroom (Grifola frondosa). The extract, called sx-fraction, is attracting research investigating its ability to help the body manage blood sugar more efficiently. In one study, five people with diabetes improved their blood sugar levels with sx-fraction (Diab Med 2001; 18).
This research found that taking maitake sx-fraction is often accompanied by drops in blood glucose levels ranging from 30% to 63%. According to Mark Kaylor, PhD and Ken Babal, CN, in Syndrome X and SX-Fraction (Woodland), "...Studies have demonstrated that whole maitake or its fractions are potent agents for improving 'diabetic conditions.'"
Take the Whole Grains Home
Eating a daily dish of whole grains, like whole wheat and brown rice, can also reduce your risk of diabetes (AJCN 8/22/03). In a twelve-year study of more than 40,000 men between the ages of 40 and 75, researchers found that those who ate three servings of whole grains a day cut their risk in half.
The researchers found that even overweight people lowered their chances of diabetes by eating whole grains and exercising.
Consuming more magnesium also helped; whole grains contain amounts of this mineral missing in refined-grain foodstuffs. Magnesium improves insulin response.
In an age of junk food, our simple taste for sugar and refined grains may threaten our health. Yet, your defense against this scourge is no further away than simply eating more fibrous foods and going for a simple, everyday walk.
Energy Cycles - Stress and lack of energy don't just frazzle your nerves
June 12, 2005 02:09 PM
Energy Cycles by Sylvia Whitefeather Energy Times, August 2, 2003
Feeling stressed out and exhausted from an overBurdened schedule? Regenerating your personal energy necessitates defusing stress. Stress and lack of energy don't just frazzle your nerves; they can leave you depressed, anxious and vulnerable to a long list of health problems.
According to J. Douglas Bremner, MD, a psychiatrist at Emory University, Atlanta, when your brain overcharges on prolonged stress, your body pays a heavy, tiring price.
"If stress has effects on the brain and neurological function, then stress has effects on all parts of the body, including the heart, blood vessels, immune system and digestive system," says Dr. Bremner, author of Does Stress Damage the Brain? (Norton). "The long list of damaging effects can include heart disease, memory impairment, depression and even increased susceptibility to stroke and cancer."
A Good Night's Sleep
Although getting a good night's sleep is a basic part of lowering stress and boosting energy, many of us seem to be tossing and turning through an epidemic of insomnia. The fact that so many people appear to suffer from disturbed and unsatisfying sleep may signal not only a personal energy lack, but also a deeper health crisis developing on the horizon. Lack of sleep, along with stress, not only contributes to those lackluster afternoons of the blahs, but it can also derail your basic body rhythms, weaken your immune system and make you age quicker.
Researchers at the University of Chicago report that lack of sleep may deplete your get-up-and-go by upsetting basic metabolic functions and interfering with hormones. Pretty serious stuff: When people in this experiment cut back their sleep time to about four hours each night, their bodies behaved as if they were twenty years older and they started showing signs of developing diabetes. These effects happened in only a week of missing sleep (The Lancet, October 23, 1999).
The drastically reduced sleep schedule slowed the thyroid gland, reducing the production and action of thyroid hormones. As a result, metabolism slowed and the non-sleepers developed that awful sluggish feeling too many of us know and hate.
Stress from lack of sleep also coaxed the adrenal glands into releasing extra amounts of cortisol, a stress hormone whose purpose is to force the body into providing short-lived energy boosts. But after a while the body flames out, its ability to cope with daily demands drained even further.
"We found that the metabolic and endocrine changes resulting from a significant sleep debt mimic many of the hallmarks of aging," says Eve Van Couter, PhD, professor of medicine at the University of Chicago and director of the study. "We suspect that chronic sleep loss may not only hasten the onset but could also increase the severity of age-related ailments such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity and memory loss."
And when are you are constantly short-changed of sleep, it builds up an accumulative effect. Particularly susceptible are busy parents, shift workers, menopausal women and college students.
One way to take back your energy from this metabolic madness is to get twelve hours of sleep a night for a week. But aside from hitting the snooze button a few hundred times, a possible antidote to this cortisol nightmare may be vitamin C.
Fight and Flight
The human body, which evolved before the advent of split-level houses and SUVs, was built to survive life-threatening, physical danger. When it encounters modern-day stress, such as traffic jams and credit card bills, it releases extra cortisol, heightening the body's immediate ability to run or fight. As a result of cortisol release, senses go on high alert, heart rate speeds up, blood flow to muscles increases, and the immune system mobilizes to deal with what it thinks is an imminent crisis.
However, unlike physical danger that rapidly resolves (either you get away from what's trying to harm you or it does you in), today's stress drags on and on (at least till the next exit on the expressway), and the cortisol in the body continues to circulate.
The long-range result of persistent cortisol is a drop in energy, rampant fatigue and lowered immunity. You feel constantly tired and you get sick more often. You may also gain weight.
But researchers at the University of Alabama at Huntsville have found that large doses of vitamin C "reduce...the levels of stress hormones in the blood and also reduce...other typical indicators of physical and emotional stress, such as loss in body weight, enlargement of the adrenal glands, and reduction in the size of the thymus gland and the spleen," according to P. Samuel Campbell, PhD (American Chemical Society, 1999). Dr. Campbell believes that our prehistoric ancestors probably consumed large amounts of vitamin C in a tropical diet rich in fruits. "If so, the physiological constitution we have inherited may require doses far larger than the present RDA (the amount the government recommends) to keep us healthy under varying environmental conditions, including stress."
Iron Out the Fatigue
If you are a premenopausal woman, a lack of iron may also be draining your body of energy. According to experts, as many as one of every five women who menstruate may suffer anemia caused by a lack of iron. This type of problem is also frequent in teenagers and during pregnancy. (But before you take iron supplements, talk to your health practitioner to make sure this is the source of your fatigue.)
"Women with heavy menstrual flow have the greatest risk (of anemia)," points out Susan Lark, MD, in Healing with Vitamins (Rodale). Dr. Lark recommends eating more iron-rich foods (like organic red meat) even if you are not anemic, since a mild iron deficiency can drag you down into the doldrums.
Vegetarians necessarily eat fewer iron-rich foods than do meat eaters. But if you take a vitamin C supplement when you consume such iron-rich vegetables as lima beans, pinto beans and spinach, your body can absorb more of the iron in these foods.
The Krebs Cycle: Keep the Wheel Turning
All of your cells make the energy that keeps you going. This process, a complicated chemical reaction called the Krebs cycle, transforms fatty acids and carbohydrates into ATP (adenosine triphosphate) for cellular energy. Mitochondria, small structures in each cell, are the centers of this energy production.
Energy production requires oxygen. The more oxygen available to the cells, the more energy is produced. Deep breathing and moderate exercise are simple, quick ways to oxygenate the body and boost energy. That is why walking, jogging and other physical activity wakes up your brain and restores pep.
If you've been looking for ways to feel more energetic, take a deep breath and go for a long walk before you sit down to your rejuvenating lima beans and vitamin C. And another thing...take a pass on those late-night TV shows. Sleep is more important.
June 10, 2005 09:44 PM
Breast Cancer by Joseph L. Mayo,MD Mary Ann Mayo, MA Energy Times, May 2, 1999
What do you fear most? Bankruptcy? Floods? Heart disease? If you're like many women, breast cancer stands near the top of that dreaded list.
But that fear doesn't permeate other cultures the way it does ours.
A woman like Mariko Mori, for instance, 52 years old, Japanese, worries about intense pressures beginning to Burden her toddler grandson. But worry about breast cancer? Hardly.
In Indiana, Mary Lou Marks, 50, has similar family frets, mulling over her 28-year-old daughter's career choice.
But on top of that, when Mary Lou tabulates her other worries, she recoils at the thought of breast cancer. She's heard about her lifetime risk: 1 in 8. Meanwhile, Mariko's is merely 1 in 40, according to Bob Arnot's Breast Cancer Prevention Diet (Little, Brown).
New studies have found the effect of carrying the gene linked to breast cancer, which is responsible for only 5 to 10% of breast cancer incidence, is not as great as first suspected. Earlier estimates that the gene reflects an 80% chance of incurring breast cancer by age 70 has been recalculated to be only 37% (The Lancet, 1998;352:1337-1339).
Complex Causesbr> Researchers agree: No one factor is solely responsible for breast cancer. Risk depends on many factors, including diet, weight, smoking, alcohol consumption, activity level and, of course, those genes.
Regardless of their actual chance of getting breast cancer, women worry. Mary Lou faces no factors that would place her in particular jeopardy. But her anxieties about radical therapies and medical expenses paralyze her: She forgets to visit her health care provider and skips her annual mammogram appointments. Mary Lou's daughter, perhaps in reaction to her mother's gripping fears, campaigns ardently for cancer prevention, educating herself and mobilizing against the cumulative effects of known cancer risks. Smart young woman: A malignancy, after all, can take years to develop. A tumor must swell to one billion cells before it is detectable by a mammogram.
The soy-rich regimen of Japanese women like Mariko Mori, for example, helps to explain the low breast cancer rates in Asian countries (see box at center of the page).
Tomatoes, because of their high quotient of the carotenoid lycopene, have been found to protect cells from the corrosive clutches of oxidants that have been linked with cancer in 57 out of 72 studies (The Santa Rosa Press Democrat, February 17, 1999, page A6, reporting on a Harvard Medical School study). For more on tomatoes see page 16.
But there's no one magic anti-cancer food or diet. Eating to prevent breast cancer requires a balanced menu with fiber, healthy fats, phytoestrogens and antioxidants, all fresh and free of chemical additives.
Modifying the balance and type of estrogen, the female sex hormone produced by the ovaries, offers an important breast cancer safeguard. Fat cells, adrenal glands and, before menopause, the ovaries, produce three "flavors" of estrogen, the strongest of which, estradiol, is believed to be carcinogenic when too plentiful or persistent in the body.
Estrogen does its work by attaching to estrogen receptors. Receptors are particularly numerous in the epithelial cells that line milk sacs and ducts in the breasts.
A receptor site is like a designated parking spot: Once estrogen is parked there it triggers one of its 400 functions in the body, from preparation of the uterus for pregnancy to intensifying nerve synapses in the brain.
The food we eat can be a source of estrogen; plant estrogens, called phytoestrogens, are much weaker than the body's estrogens, but they fit the same receptors. Phytoestrogens exert a milder estrogenic effect than bodily estrogen and are capable of blocking the more potent, damaging versions.
Soy also contains genistein, an "isoflavone" very similar in molecular form to estrogen but only 1/100,000 as potent. Because of its structure, genistein can attach to cells just as estrogen does; it also helps build carriers needed for binding estrogen and removing it from the body (Journal of Nutrition 125, no.3 :757S-770S). It acts as an antioxidant to counteract free radicals.
Soy is most protective for younger women. Postmenopausal women benefit from soy's ability to diminish hot flashes and for cardiovascular protection, especially in combination with vitamin E, fiber and carotene (Contemporary OB/GYN, September 1998, p57-58).
Experts don't know that much about the cumulative effect of combining hormone replacement with soy, herbs and a diet high in phytoestrogens. Menopausal women who boost their estrogen this way should work with their health care providers and monitor their hormonal levels every six to 12 months with salivary testing.
The Vegetable Cart
Fiber from fruits, vegetables and whole grains reduces insulin levels and suppresses the appetite by making make us feel full, thus helping with weight control, so important to resisting cancer. Fiber also helps build estrogen carriers that keep unbound estrogen from being recirculated and reattached to the breast receptors.
Cellulose, the fruit and vegetable fiber most binding with estrogen, also rounds up free radicals that damage DNA within cells.,p> Feeding the Immune System Despite heightened public awareness and efforts to stick to wholesome, healthful diets, experts increasingly link poor nutrition to depressed immune systems. Many Americans are at least marginally deficient in trace elements and vitamins despite their best attempts to eat well; that's why a good multivitamin/mineral is wise, even mandatory. Vitamins given to people undergoing cancer treatment stimulate greater response, fewer side effects, and increased survival (International Journal of Integrative Medicine, vol. 1, no. 1, January/February 1999).
Nutrients tend to work synergistically on the immune system. They should be taken in balanced proportions, and in consultation with your health care provider.
n Riboflavin (B2), pyridoxine (B6), pantothenic acid (B5), zinc and folate strengthen immunity. Selenium, in lab culture and animal studies, has helped kill tumors and protect normal tissues.
n Beta-carotene and vitamins A, E and C are antioxidants. Vitamin C enhances vitamin E's effects, boosting immunity and protecting against cell damage. The antioxidant isoflavones in green tea, with soy, convey the anticancer effects of the Asian diet. Research shows actions that discourage tumors and gene mutations.
The food you eat influences hormones. Excess sugar raises insulin, which acts as a growth factor for cancer and interferes with vitamin C's stimulation of white blood cells. It may contribute to obesity.
Alcohol is converted to acetaldehyde, which causes cancer in laboratory animals. It affects gene regulation by decreasing the body's ability to use folic acid. It increases estrogen and the amount of free estradiol in the blood. The liver damage that accompanies high alcohol consumption frequently reduces its capacity to filter carcinogenic products, regulate hormones and break down estrogen. Studies of alcohol consumption have caused experts to estimate that drinking more than two alcoholic beverages a day increases breast cancer risk by 63% (OB-GYN News, November 1, 1998, p. 12).
Fat Can be Phat
Fat cells produce estrogen. Excess fat stores carcinogens and limits carriers that can move estrogen out of your system.
Once estrogen has attached itself to a receptor, the health result depends on the type of fat in the breast. Saturated fat, transfatty acids and omega-6 fat from polyunsaturated vegetable oils such as safflower oil, peanut, soybean oil, corn oil and in margarine can increase the estrogen effect and trigger a powerful signal to the breast cell to replicate.
Breast tissue is protected by omega-3 fat chiefly from fish and flaxseed and by omega-9 from olive oil. Salmon once a week or water packed tuna three times a week are particularly beneficial. Fish oil supplements processed to reduce contaminates are available. Cod liver oil isn't recommended: its vitamin A and D levels are too high.
Flaxseed is the richest known plant source of omega-3. Use a coffee grinder to benefit from the seed and oil for the full estrogen effect; sprinkle ground flaxseed over cereal or fold into baked goods. Drizzle flaxseed oil, found in the refrigerator section of your health food store, over salads or cereal. (Store the oil in the refrigerator.)
Olive oil, especially in the context of the so-called Mediterranean diet of vegetables, omega-3-rich fish and fresh fruit (Menopause Management, January-February 1999, p. 16-19), lowers the risk of breast cancer (The Lancet, May 18, 1996;347:1351-1356).
Selecting Organic Food
Buy or grow fresh, organic foods whenever you can. When grilling meat, fish or poultry, reduce the area where carcinogens may accumulate by trimming fat. Charred, well-done meat is known to be carcinogenic. When grilling, marinate meat first and reduce the cooking time on the grill by slightly precooking.
Cancer prevention is an interlocking puzzle requiring the limitation of fat consumption, weight control, exercise, stress reduction and care for psychological and spiritual balance. Possessing more cancer fighting pieces makes you more likely to be able to complete the prevention picture.
Joseph L. Mayo, MD, FACOG and Mary Ann Mayo, MA, are the authors of The Menopause manager: A Safe Path for a Natural Change, an individualized program for managing menopause. The book's advice, in easy-to-understand portions, isolates in-depth explanations with unbiased reviews of conventional and alternative choices. A unique perspective for mid-life women who want to know all their options.
Also from the Mayos - The HOW Health Opportunities For Women quarterly newsletter to help women learn HOW to make informed health choices. Learn HOW to: - Choose nutritional supplements
June 10, 2005 04:08 PM
Basic Detox by Harriet Epstein , February 4, 2002
Basic Detox By Harriet Epstein Trying to stay healthy and clean in a dirty world can prove a difficult task. The rise of modern industry and agriculture has meant the widespread accumulation of toxins in our environment that can cause health problems.
As Kenneth Bock, MD, and Nellie Sabin point out in their book The Road to Immunity (Pocket), "Fat soluble chemicals are readily absorbed by the body but are difficult to excrete. To be excreted, they must first be enzymatically converted into water-soluble substances. Some of them can't be converted at all."
Bock and Sabin point out that a 1990 survey by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that looked at people's tissues found that everyone the agency examined had styrene (a chemical used to make plastic) and xylene (a paint and gasoline solvent) stored in their bodyfat.
The toxins that you encounter every day are not only present in air and water, but also may be found in food and medicines. If we eat beef that's been exposed to pesticides, those chemicals may be shunted into our bodyfat. Pesticide residues in fruits and vegetables may end up in a similar place.
To cope with chemicals, the human body has evolved methods for detoxifying. When we breathe out we often release inhaled toxins. Other toxins are purged through urine, feces and sweat.
One of the chief organs responsible for cleansing the body is the liver. This organ utilizes a pair of chemical pathways for breaking down and eliminating toxins. In our hectic, industrialized world, this flow of toxins can overwhelm the liver's ability to detoxify. In addition, the dual processes the liver uses to eliminate noxious substances may become unbalanced, allowing toxins produced by one pathway to build up to dangerous proportions.
Once liver function falters, toxic havoc ensues. Toxins may remain in the body, often stored indefinitely in bodyfat. The body's detoxifying systems may be swamped with toxins.
In protecting the liver and enhancing its detox functions, many naturopathic practitioners recommend the herb milk thistle (silybum marianum). According to Steven Bratman, MD, and David Kroll, PhD, authors of the Natural Health Bible (Prima), milk thistle helps the liver cope with its toxic load. Consequently, milk thistle is frequently used in Europe for liver problems like jaundice.
Bratman and Kroll point out that milk thistle "is one of the few herbs that have no real equivalent in the world of conventional medicine." As Lise Alschuler, ND, medical director at the Bastyr Natural Health Clinic, told Natural Digest, "Milk thistle protects the liver against toxic damage (and) helps prevent damage to the rest of the body."
The compounds in milk thistle that help zap toxins, known as silymarin, protect the liver by binding with substances that would otherwise interact with the liver and slow its function. They also help the liver repair itself and regenerate new liver cells.
As an extra bonus, silymarin acts as an antioxidant, protecting liver cell membranes from oxidative damage.
Dandelion has a place as another traditional treatment for toning the liver and boosting the body's filtration system. The leaves are a cornucopia of antioxidants and nutrients including B vitamins, vitamins A, C and D, plus boron, silicon, potassium, magnesium and zinc. They help detoxify by acting as a mild diuretic: they cause the body to eliminate excess fluid.
But herbalists worldwide have found the compounds in dandelion root most useful for helping alleviate liver and gall bladder malfunction. (If you think you suffer these difficulties, consult your health practitioner.) Two unique and helpful natural substances found in dandelion root are chemicals called germacranolide and eudesmanolide. The root, according to the Natural Health Bible, has traditionally been used to speed up a sluggish or congested liver as well as detoxing the body by eliminating constipation. Research indicates dandelion root may stimulate bile flow (Arzneimittel -forschung 9, 1959: 376-378).
Juniper berries (Juniperus communis), may also be taken with dandelion as a diuretic. This botanical, often used to combat urinary tract problems, is also an anti-inflammatory (Phyto Res 1, 1997: 28-31).
Heavy metals rank as dangerous toxins unleashed by modern industry. As Michael Murray, ND, and Joseph Pizzorno, ND, explain in the Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine (Prima), metals like lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic, nickel and aluminum can "accumulate within the (body) where they can severely disrupt normal function."
Public health experts estimate at least one in five Americans has been a victim of heavy metal poisoning. Lead may be the most common villain. In your everyday life, you may be ingesting metals from your cookware, from pesticides, cigarette smoke, dental fillings, polluted fish, and chipping house paint.
Signs that you may suffer from toxicity linked to heavy metals: Unusual fatigue, Persistent headaches, Unexplained muscle pains, Anemia, Ringing in the ears or dizziness and Tremors.
Of course, if you think you suffer from heavy metal poisoning, you should see a knowledgeable health practitioner as soon as possible. Murray and Pizzorno recommend an array of precautions to protect yourself against heavy metals in the environment:
Take a daily multivitamin and mineral.
Take extra amounts of vitamin C and B-complex.
Take amino acids that contain sulfur (taurine, cysteine and methionine) and high sulfur foods like onions and garlic (or supplements). (Consult your pharmacist of health practitioner before taking individual amino acids.)
In addition, Leo Galland, MD, in his book The Four Pillars of Healing (Random House) offers these tips for keeping your digestive tract functioning at top capacity:
Take supplements of lactobacil-lus acidophilus and lactobacillus plantarum, friendly bacteria that in-habit the large intestine. These microorganisms can help break down toxins and eliminate them.
Use aspirin and ibuprofen as little as possible. They increase the permeability of the digestive system, allowing allergens and other problematic substances to enter the body.
Do not use antacids. The stomach's acidic environment is designed to kill ingested bacteria and parasites.
To fight digestive problems or heartburn, cut back on saturated fat; eat smaller meals. Chewing on calcium tablets after meals may help. Foods that can exacerbate heartburn include coffee, alcoholic beverages and very spicy foods.
Dr. Galland also recommends not eating for four hours before bed.
Environmental Free Radicals
Detoxing the body may also require taking antioxidant nutrients to fight off what are called free radicals.
Free radicals are caustic molecues thought to be involved in causing many chronic problems such as cancer and heart disease. Free radicals are created within the body and its cells every time a metabolic activity takes place. While the human body has developed its own mechanisms for defending itself against these byproducts of metabolism, exposure to pollution, radiation and other toxins may overBurden the body's free radical Burden. Scientists believe that taking extra antioxidant nutrients like vitamins C and E and carotenoids (natural substances found in many vegetarian foods) may help prevent damage by free radicals.
Environmental oxidizing agents include ionizing radiation (from industry, sun, cosmic rays, x-rays) ozone and nitrous oxide (from auto exhaust) heavy metals (mercury, cadmium, lead) and cigarette smoke, along with other chemical and compounds from food, water and air. Free radicals are believed to play a role in more than sixty different health conditions, including the aging process, cancer and arteriosclerosis. (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1993;90:7915-7922).
The good news? Reducing exposure to free radicals and increasing intake of antioxidant nutrients can shrink the risk of these health problems.
"Antioxidants can't get rid of heavy metals and solvents," says Dr. Glidden, "but they do cut down on the damage they do while they're there. As toxins wander through your body, they generate metabolic reactions, resulting in free radicals. And anti-oxidants mop them up." The liver is the last line of defense in handling toxins; supplements help it regenerate itself.
The body itself does produce enzymes like Superoxide dismutase (SOD) catalase, and glutathione peroxidase which can defend against and defuse many types of free radicals.
Supplements of these compounds are also available to augment the body's supply.
These building block nutrients include the minerals manganese, zinc, and copper for SOD and selenium for glutathione peroxidase. Many vitamins and minerals act as antioxidants. Dr. Crinnion recommends a multivitamin with "a lot of B, especially magnesium."
Since chlorinated pesticides like DDT "rob the body" of B1 and Vitamin A, he says, it's a good idea to supplement these as well.
In addition, acidophilus, a beneficial bacteria that grows in the digestive tract (and found in yogurt) may restore immunity hurt by pollutants. A study on women with recurrent vaginal candidiasis found that acidophilus cut their infections by 300% (Annals Int Med 1992; 116:353-357.)
Another immunity enhancer, colostrum, a natural immune enhancer that promotes cellular repair (Food Res Intl. 1995, 28(1):9-16) can also help the immune system battle pollution.
Vitamin C vs Pollution
A study of vitamin's C's antioxidant properties, conducted by University of Buffalo epidemiologists, and presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Epidemiologic Research, revealed that people with higher levels of vitamin C in their blood serum have lower levels of a marker of oxidative stress.
"It is well known that oxidative stress (cell damage caused by free radicals) plays a role in arteriosclerosis, cancer, pulmonary disease and other chronic conditions," said Holger Schunemann, M.D. a research assistant professor of social and preventive medicine at the University of Buffalo and lead author on the study.
"In this population, vitamin C was negatively associated with oxidative stress, suggesting it may play a role in protecting against these diseases." Vitamin C is the "greatest antioxidant," says Dr. Crinnion. "It has even been shown to clear lead from the blood."
A powerful fat-soluble antioxidant, Vitamin E scavenges free radicals protecting cells from oxidative damage. Vitamin E, "reverses toxicity of various toxic chemicals," says Dr. Walter Crinnion, "it is also a stabilizer of membranes." A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition regarding antioxidant vitamin supplementation and lipid peroxidation in smokers even indicates that an antioxidant-supplemented drink can reduce lipid peroxidation and susceptibility of LDL to oxidation in smokers and may ameliorate the oxidative stress of cigarette smoke.
Dr. Glidden recommends E preferably in the form of mixed tocopherols )If you take blood thinners, check with your health practitioner.)
Unfortunately, completely avoiding toxins in today's world is probably impossible. Civilization and toxic chemicals accompany each other hand in rubber-glove-encased hand. Still, with proper attention to nutrition and supplements to keep our bodies detoxifying, we can probably minimize health difficulties linked to these undesirables.
Basics of the Immune System
June 10, 2005 03:01 PM
Basics of the Immune System
by Leonid G. Ber, MD Energy Times, September 1, 1998
In a world filled with pathogens and microbes, good health and resistance to disease is no accident. It requires a vigorous and vigilant immune system. The immune system should be viewed as an internal security force that is constantly checking the identity of everything entering and already existing in the body. A cell or substance may be recognized as "non-self" and a potential enemy if it does not have the right molecular make-up. A cell displaying molecules produced according to a different blueprint than the body's own code may be recognized as foreign. To eliminate alien material that may harm the body, the immune system must take swift action.
Recognizing entities that originate outside the self forms the key to overall immune system response. This key is carried in the body by cells called macrophages (ma-kro-fajs), a name derived from a Greek term meaning "big eater." Macrophages eat or engulf foreign cells and molecules. When a macrophage encounters something that it distinguishes as being "non-self" or abnormal, it can attack the enemy with a series of assault weapons, including free-radicals (reactive substances) and enzymes, that dissolve and weaken the intruder. In fact, an enzyme produced by macrophages called lysozyme is recognized as one of nature's most powerful anti-infective agents. These chemical defenses, along with engulfment and complete digestion by macrophages, can effectively stymie invasion by disease-causing pathogens.
Harmful invasion can originate in the body's own cells as well as begin from outside sources. While we are constantly exposed to bacteria, viruses, fungal cells and parasites, destructive cancerous growths often start within the body.
Every day, thousands of the body's cells mutate into possible cancers. Under most circumstances, the immune system keeps these cells under control. But when the immune "security" system slips up, these harmful growths multiply unrecognized.
The initial immune response that recognizes invaders is called a "non-specific defense mechanism" since this immune response is generally the same toward all invaders. This counter-attack entails battling every invader pretty much identically: a macrophage can engage, dissolve, weaken, engulf, digest, eliminate. However, if, despite the initial immune efforts, the problem persists, a macrophage can tag an invader and "introduce" it to the rest of the immune system, thus recruiting more specialized types of immune cells to enter the battle. This tagging function endows macrophages with the name "antigen-presenting cells." (Antigens are substances that can provoke specific responses by the immune system.)
Most antigens are proteins. Proteins are relatively large molecules made of smaller units called amino acids. The specific geometric organization of amino acids is what conveys uniqueness to each protein. (Your genetic code forms a blueprint for the production of your own, individual proteins.) Protein molecules produced by one human being can act as an antigen for another human being. That's why organs transplanted from one person to another can be rejected by the immune system. Unless organs are transplanted from one identical twin to another (who share the genetic blueprint for protein creation), doctors must use immune-suppressing drugs to curtail organ rejection. At the same time as these medicines prevent transplant rejection, they also make people more susceptible to infectious diseases and cancer.
After one set of immune cells chemically tags antigens (invaders) for recognition, other highly specialized parts of the immune system go into action: Cells called T cells or T lymphocytes acknowledge the invaders and can take the further action (second line of defense) that is necessary to render them harmless.
T cells get their name from the thymus (an organ located behind the sternum) where they originate. The thymus, most active when we're young, usually shrinks and apparently slows or shuts down its activity about the age of forty.
A wide variety of T cells inhabit lymph nodes (soft, usually round, pea- or nut-sized organs) and other body areas. For instance, natural killer cells, as their name implies, are a particularly aggressive type of T cell. Another type of T cell is called T helper (a cell that supports development of immune response). T suppressors halt immune response when infection ends.
In order to make all these different cells work in concert, cytokines or messenger molecules are produced that facilitate constant communications between all the parts of the immune system.
The B Team
Other organs of the immune system include:
*bone marrow: a powerful cell producing organ where the majority of immune cells are born;
*spleen: an abdominal organ that forms a reservoir for the production of immune cells.
Lymph nodes oversee particular segments of the body where they collect and recycle tissue fluids. Like an early warning system, lymph nodes react when an invader is detected in the part of the body that it controls.
Yet another step in the so-called immune cascade entails action by lymphocytes, called B cells, which originate in the bone marrow. These cells produce antibodies which are immune proteins (immunglobulins) that attack specific antigens.
While traveling in the blood, an antibody can bind to an antigen, curtailing its harmful action. This bound up molecule forms a complex easily recognized by scavenging macrophages which make a quick meal out of the unlucky invader.
After enemy cells are removed from the body, knowledge of this victory resides in the immunological memory prolonging your resistance toward specific disease pathogens indefinitely. That's why someone who has recovered from a disease like the measles may be impervious to reinfection.
Rules for Optimum Immunity
Even though the immune system consists of a complex team of hard-working cells, enhancing your immunity is relatively easy:
Maintain a healthy lifestyle. Avoid continuous stress and negative emotions or cope with them through exercise or meditation. Consistent, moderate exercise can boost the immune system. Massage can also help although extreme care must be taken when inflammation or disease is already present.
Sleep 7-8 hours a day. Sleep allows the body to recover and rebuild. Protein synthesis, vital for a healthy immune system, increases during the night.
Stick to a healthy diet. Your immune system consists of trillions of cells. Consequently, nutrients important for cell health boost the immune system. A balanced low-calorie diet rich in complex carbohydrates, "good" fats (including fish oils, olive oil and flaxseed oil) along with vitamins, minerals and phytonutrient antioxidants from fresh fruits and vegetables can fortify immune cells. Plus, drinking plenty of water helps improve circulation of lymph fluid.
These recommendations are not hard to meet once they become a part of your daily routine. However, extra immune security may be necessary during flu season, while traveling long distances (airplanes are notorious sources of pathogens) or when working extensive hours in front of a computer screen. In addition, exposure to x-rays, immunosuppressive chemicals, ultraviolet radiation (the sun) or simply aging may give your immune cells extra Burdens.
Your "specific" immune system does not respond immediately to the challenge of invasion by an infectious organism. Instead, it may require about 2 weeks for an effective reaction after antigen recognition and alerting T cells. During this period, the macrophages' non-specific defense assumes a crucial role in keeping infection in check.
Enhanced activity by macrophages is especially important for recognizing and destroying cancer cells. The most dangerous cancers are those that can mimic normal cells and avoid the immune system's wrath. Few substances can activate macrophage function in the body (aloe vera contains substances that contribute to this process). The most powerful macrophage activator recognized by the scientific community is a sugar-like substance called beta-1,3-D-glucan. Beta-glucan, extracted from the cell walls of common Baker's yeast, when taken in certain small amounts, can prevent infection by making macrophages more active in recognizing and attacking infectious bacteria, fungi and certain viruses.
This kind of activation can encourage macrophages to attack previously unrecognized tumor cells. As a result, tumors may be eradicated as the immune system mobilizes and produces what may be known as "spontaneous healing."
When a macrophage works overtime fighting disease, its demand for nutrients and energy increases dramatically. Vitamin C, known for its immune supporting function, seems to be especially important for maintaining fully active macrophages. Vitamin C collects in macrophages, often reaching forty times the concentration found in surrounding blood. What are conventionally considered normal amounts of vitamin C in the body may be insufficient to keep macrophages well supplied with this antioxidant. Therefore, extra amounts of vitamin C can keep the immune system in fighting trim.
Scientists are only now beginning to uncover the secrets of the highly organized immune system. One thing's certain: The immunity security team depends on proper lifestyle, nutrition and supplements to maintain the critical defenses necessary for good health.
Dr. Ber received his doctorate in internal medicine from the Yaroslavle, State Medical Institute in Yaroslavle, Russia.
The Latest Breakthroughs in Garlic Research on Cancer and Cardiovascular Disease
June 09, 2005 05:22 PM
The Latest Breakthroughs in Garlic Research
on Cancer and Cardiovascular Disease
Presented at the 2005 World Garlic Symposium
Many of the world’s top-level scientists gathered in Washington D.C. this week for the 2005 Garlic Symposium, entitled, “Significance of Garlic and its Constituents in Cancer and Cardiovascular Disease.” The conference provided current scientific information about the effect of garlic and its constituents on health and performance. The symposium was held at the Georgetown University Conference Center on April 9-11, 2005.
“For the first time in seven years authorities in various fields of garlic research from all over the world to provide the latest updates, specifically regarding aged garlic extract and its actions in diseased states including heart disease and cancer,” commented Dr. Matthew Budoff, M.D. cardiovascular researcher at UCLA. “Garlic has been used medicinally for thousands of years in virtually all ancient cultures. Now, new metabolic roles for garlic are being proposed and there are many promising lines of research.”
Presentation highlights included:
Effect of aged garlic extract (AGE) has been tested in the placebo-controlled double blind randomized clinical study that determined that the atherosclerotic plaque Burden detected by electron beam tomography (EBT) changed significantly with the use of aged garlic extract, Patients in Dr. Budoff’s study were able to significantly lower their total cholesterol, blood pressure, homocysteine and LDL cholesterol oxidation levels with aged garlic extract supplementation.
“Garlic is turning out to be a major player in cancer and heart disease prevention and control, especially in combination with drug treatments,” said Richard Rivlin, M.D. of Strang Cancer Prevention Center at Cornell. “It’s also showing us that we can start early. It’s madness to treat cancer and heart disease in their advanced stages. We need to start early and aged garlic extract is an excellent way to do that.”
Almost 400 scientific studies have been completed on aged garlic extract, done in major universities worldwide. These studies have focused on a variety of heart disease risk factors such as cholesterol, high blood pressure, homocysteine levels, inhibiting LDL oxidation, anti-platelet aggregation and adhesion, stimulating blood circulation; in addition to other studies on immune stimulation, cognitive effects, liver function and anti-tumor effects. .
PRECLINICAL PERSPECTIVE ON GARLIC AND CANCER. John A. Milner, National Cancer Institute, Rockville, MD 20892
Mounting evidence points to the anticancer properties of fresh garlic extracts, aged garlic, garlic oil, and a number of specific organosulfur compounds from garlic. These prevention characteristics arise through both a dose and temporal related change in several cellular events including those involving drug metabolism, immunocompetence, cell cycle regulation, apoptosis and angiogenesis. A block in carcinogen activation through modulation of cytochrome P450-dependent monooxygenases and/or acceleration of carcinogen detoxification via induction of phase II enzymes likely account for some of this protection. The block in preneoplastic lesions and/or tumors in several sites suggests a generalizable mechanism. The efficacy of water- and lipid-soluble allyl sulfur compounds against chemical carcinogenesis appears comparable, although more studies are needed. A shift in sulfhydryl groups, redox status or enzyme catalysis may account for some of the phenotypic changes. They may also account for the observed hyperphosphorylation of specific cell cycle related proteins and histone hyperacetylation; both of which have been correlated with suppressed tumor cell proliferation. Several forms of allyl sulfur compounds are effective in blocking cell division and inducing apoptosis, but notable differences in the efficacy among these various compounds and across tumor types are evident. While the expression of many genes and proteins can be influenced by allyl sulfides; the challenge is to determine which is responsible for a phenotypic change. Additional studies are needed with more modest exposures and over prolonged periods and that utilize transgenic and knockout models to assist in the identification of molecular targets. Finally, additional research is needed to identify sensitive “effect” and “susceptibility” biomarkers that can ultimately be used to identify responders from non-responders.
INHIBITION OF CORONARY ARTERIAL PLAQUE ACCUMULATION BY GARLIC. Matthew Budoff, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, UCLA School of Medicine, California, USA
Effect of Aged garlic extract (AGE) has been tested in the placebo-controlled double blind randomized clinical study to determine whether the atherosclerotic plaque Burden detected by electron beam tomography (EBT) will change at a different rate under the influence of AGE or placebo. EBT can non-invasively quantitate the amount of coronary calcification and track atherosclerotic plaque over time. Nineteen of 23 patients completed the study protocol. The patients were well matched for age, gender, statin use and cardiac risk factors. Patients underwent EBT and blood testing at baseline, and then again after 12 months of randomization. The average change in the calcium score (Volumetric method) ± SD for the AGE group (n = 9) was 7.5 ± 9.4% over the one year. The placebo group (n = 10) demonstrated 22.2 ± 18.5% annual progression, significantly greater than the treated cohort (p = 0.01). While there were no significant changes in cholesterol parameters, or C Reactive protein between the groups, high density lipoproteins and plasma homocysteine in the AGE group demonstrated a trend toward improvement compared to the placebo patients. Thus, although this is a small-scale trial, it demonstrates the potential of AGE to inhibit the rate of atherosclerosis (progression of coronary calcium), as compared to placebo over one year. Larger studies need to be performed to assess this potential anti-atherosclerotic therapy and the impact on coronary events.
INFLUENCE OF GARLIC ON ENDOTHELIAL DYSFUNCTION IN HYPERHOMOCYSTEINEMIA. N. Weiss, N. Ide, T. Abahji, L. Nill, C. Keller, U. Hoffmann. Klinikum der Universität München, D-80336 Munich, Germany
Endothelial dysfunction (ED) due to decreased bioavailable nitric oxide (NO) by increased vascular oxidant stress plays a critical role in the vascular pathobiology of hyperhomocysteinemia (hhcy). Aged Garlic Extract (AGE) minimizes intracellular oxidant stress and stimulates NO generation in endothelial cells. We performed a placebo-controlled, blinded, cross-over study to examine whether AGE prevents macro- and microvascular ED during acute hhcy induced by an oral methionine challenge in healthy subjects. Acute hhcy leads to a significant decrease in flow-mediated vasodilation of the brachial artery as determined by vascular ultrasound, indicative of macrovascular ED, as well as a decreased number of recruited nailfold capillaries during postischemic reactive hyperemia as determined by videomicroscopy, and to a decreased ratio of acetylcholine (endothelium-dependent) vs. sodium nitroprusside (endothelium-independent) iontophoresis induced skin perfusion as measured by laser doppler flowmetry, indicative of microvascular ED. Preliminary results show that pretreatment with AGE for six weeks diminishes the adverse effects of acute hhcy on endothelium-dependent brachial artery vasodilation and on acetylcholine-induced stimulation of skin perfusion. Whether or not this is accompanied by changes in biochemical parameters of ED is still under investigation. It is concluded that AGE may at least partly prevent a decrease in bioavailable NO during acute hhcy.
David Heber, MD, PhD, FACP, FACN
Professor, UCLA Department of Medicine - Division of Clinical Nutrition, at the David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA, and UCLA School of Public Health; Director, UCLA Center for Human Nutrition; Director, NIH Center for Dietary Supplement Research in Botanicals (CDSRB); Director, NCI-funded Clinical Nutrition Research Unit; Vice Chair, UCLA Collaborative Centers for Integrative Medicine; Member, UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center
Matthew Budoff, MD, FACC
Matthew Budoff, MD, FACC, is an associate professor of medicine at the UCLA School of Medicine and program director for the Division of Cardiology, as well as director of the Electron Beam CT Laboratory at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, Calif. He completed his undergraduate work at University of California, Riverside, and earned his medical degree at George Washington University in Washington D.C. Dr. Budoff’s efforts to identify and modify risk factors for cardiovascular disease using electron beam CT have been extensively published. His latest research focuses on the progression of arteriosclerosis.
Federal Court Overturns FDA Ban on Ephedra at Low Doses
June 09, 2005 08:41 AM
Federal Court Overturns FDA Ban on Ephedra at Low Doses
by Rakesh M. Amin and Mark Blumenthal
A Utah Federal District Court recently limited the scope of a year old Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Final Rule1 banning the sale of all ephedrine-alkaloid dietary supplements.2 The Court’s ruling has a limited affect on the ability of companies to sell ephedrine nationally, but is important regarding FDA procedure for creating rules and enforcement powers. Ephedrine alkaloids are found primarily in the controversial herb ephedra (Ephedra sincica Stapf., Ephedraceae).
The District Court determined that the FDA’s use of a risk-benefit analysis was against the intent of Congress in passing the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act,3 which presumes all foods are safe and requires the FDA to prove the existence of a significant or unreasonable risk. The court held that to require food producers to establish a benefit before selling their product places an improper Burden on them and was inconsistent with Congress’s intent when it passed the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA) to clearly place the Burden of proof of safety of a dietary ingredient on the FDA.4
Secondly, the court determined the FDA had to show by a preponderance of the evidence “a significant or unreasonable risk of illness or injury.”5 Therefore, in order to ban all sales of a given product, the FDA must first prove that the dosage amount in the product presents an unreasonable risk.6 Prior to this ruling, the FDA was not required to consider dosage size before banning a substance.
This ruling has limited effects at the moment since the FDA may appeal this decision. Additionally, the ruling has no effect on the laws of several states (including California, Illinois and New York) which have banned all sales of ephedrine alkaloids in dietary supplements. The ruling also only applies to products containing 10 mg or less of ephedrine alkaloids per daily dosage. Any product exceeding that amount is still banned and will continue to be enforced under the FDA rule.7
The court, in its ruling, specifically precluded the FDA from taking any enforcement action against Nutraceutical Corporation, the company that filed the lawsuit, for its sale of products containing 10mg or less of ephedra and for the FDA to consider further rulemaking “consistent with this Order”.8 However, the court did not specifically instruct the FDA to refrain from taking enforcement action against other brands containing less than 10mg of ephedrine.9 As such, companies considering launching new products containing ephedrine alkaloids are advised to do so carefully.
Nutraceutical Corporation president Bruce Hough was cited in The New York Times as saying that the company’s reason for filing the suit was not based on ephedra and that his company had no plans to begin marketing ephedra supplements in the near future.10 Hough was quoted as saying, “We filed it [the lawsuit] because the FDA established rules that could cause problems to the rest of our business.” Hough was referring to the legal basis upon which the FDA banned the sale ephedra. He told the American Botanical Council that the FDA was applying a drug standard of risk vs. benefit to herbs and dietary supplements – technically foods under the law. [Hough B. Personal communication to M. Blumenthal, Apr. 27, 2005.] His company filed the lawsuit in an attempt to deter FDA’s new procedure for creating what he considered arbitrary rules which contradict the plain meaning of existing federal law (DSHEA).
The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) issued a statement on April 26 clarifying its policy on the sale of ephedra in dietary supplements.11 AHPA has notified all its members that at this time it is the organization’s policy that none of its members should be selling low doses (10 mg or less) of ephedra in dietary supplements until the FDA has clarified its position on the Court decision. At this time it is not clear whether FDA plans on appealing the decision or will implement the new policy set by the Court.
The court decision does not affect the sale of the herb ephedra in traditional formulations intended for use that is consistent with traditional uses, e.g., pulmonary complaints, and are dispensed by licensed healthcare practitioners.
As might be expected, court’s decision has stimulated a new round of media and congressional criticism of the relative safety of herbs and dietary supplements as well as DSHEA. For example, a highly critical article by Chris Mooney was posted on the website of the American Prospect on April 25.12 The Prospect is relatively influential in Democratic and progressive political circles in Washington. The article uses language such as the court decision is a “scandal” and a “disturbing ruling”, refers to DSHEA as “a terrible law” and a “peculiar and misguided law” and the “wrongheaded standards encoded in the DSHEA”, and repeats the often-cited media mantra about “unregulated herbal supplements” and that the “FDA has been hamstrung and effectively rendered impotent.”
More information regarding the sale of ephedrine products or FDA regulations in general is available from the law offices of Rakesh M. Amin at (312) 327-3382 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
1 21 C.F.R. Pt. 119, Final Rule Declaring Dietary Supplements Containing Ephedrine Alkaloids Adulterated Because They Present an Unreasonable Risk (Published February 11, 2004) (Effective April 12, 2004) available at /dockets/98fr/1995n-0304-nfr0001.pdf
2 Nutraceutical Corporation and Solaray, Inc. v. Lester Crawford, D.V.M., Acting Commissioner, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, et al., Case No. 2:04CV409TC, U.S. District Court for the Central District of Utah; available at gov/reports/204cv409-28.pdf
Chem-Defense - Fight Chemical sensitivity ...
June 01, 2005 10:21 AM
CHEMICAL SENSITIVITY IS REAL.
COURTESY OF THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION, OUR ENVIRONMENT HAS BECOME A STEW OF FOREIGN CHEMICALS. For some people suffering the malaise, lack of focus, and drained feeling associated with chemical sensitivities, home is the only sanctuary from this onslaught. For others, not even home is safe. We at Source Naturals take this threat very seriously. That’s why we created CHEM-DEFENSE.
Source Naturals’ CHEM-DEFENSE is a potent combination of Molybdenum, Glutathione, and Coenzymated B-2, nutrients which research has shown may help break down and dispel harmful chemicals from the body. And CHEM-DEFENSE is sublingual — it dissolves under the tongue so it goes directly into your bloodstream, where it can be delivered to your system, fast.
major problem has hit America in the late 20th century that is more far reaching than most people are aware — chemical sensitivity. In fact, some studies indicate that 1 out of 3 Americans may be afflicted with chemical sensitivities. In the past century, modern organic chemistry has synthesized and released into the world an estimated 300,000 xenobiotic (foreign to our normal biology) chemicals. The food processing and food growing industries put an approximate 10,000 xenobiotic chemicals into our food supply alone. These chemicals can be found in common items such as cleaning fluids, drycleaning compounds, glues, cigarette smoke, perfume, building materials and processed foods. Chemical sensitivity is the result of impairment or inadequacy of the body’s natural detoxification systems, allowing excessive levels of harmful, xenobiotic chemicals to accumulate in the body, and the results are often devastating. In sensitive people, artificial chemicals can cause an incredible range of problems: “fogginess” and lack of focus, emotional distress, fatigue, and more. The parts of the body that are most affected can vary from person to person. Some of the worst offenders are the aldehydes. The most infamous of these is formaldehyde (found in such widely used items as permanent press clothing, particle board, paints and upholsteries). The other common culprit is acetaldehyde (produced by Candida overgrowth or from alcohol consumption).
The Secret to CHEM-DEFENSE’S Power is Molybdenum
Fortunately, nature has provided the body with a special aldehyde detoxification pathway: an enzyme called aldehyde oxidase (ADO). ADO is activated by one of the coenzyme forms of Vitamin B2, Flavin Adenine Dinucleotide (FAD), and the trace mineral Molybdenum. Unfortunately, this enzymatic pathway can become impaired due to overexposure to foreign chemicals. In addition, aging, nutritional deficiencies, genetics and general poor health can greatly diminish the body’s production of these enzymes, causing a toxic buildup of aldehydes, leaving many individuals vulnerable. Current nutritional research has revealed that supplementing the diet with Molybdenum and Coenzyme B-2, both found in CHEM-DEFENSE, can increase levels of the important enzyme ADO, helping to dispel toxins from the body. A study published in the Townsend Letter for Doctors confirms the benefits of a sublingually administered 300 mcg dose (100 mcg three times a day) of Molybdenum. It was found that on the average, about 50-65% of the various symptoms of chemical sensitivity — including fogginess and other discomforts — were alleviated at least to some degree. Molybdenum is also important for several other enzymes, including xanthine oxidase, and most importantly, sulfite oxidase. Sulfite oxidase is responsible for breaking down sulfites, chemicals widely used as preservatives in wines, salad bars, produce, and other foods. Sulfites are a common culprit in chemical sensitivity reactions. In fact, by the 1980’s, it was conservatively estimated that 5,000,000 (five million) Americans were sensitive to sulfites and experienced discomfort upon ingestion. Sulfite oxidase is also important in the sulfation of various compounds, especially in the brain. This is particularly important, as the brain is often dramatically affected during bouts of chemical sensitivity. According to the Nutrition Desk Reference, the amount of Molybdenum required daily for people is 100 mcg to 500 mcg. It also states that the amount of Molybdenum in food can vary tremendously, depending on crop soil levels. Low levels are not at all uncommon, and they are lessened even further by commercial farming practices that utilize synthetic fertilizers which do not put Molybdenum back into the soil. The result? The typical American diet does not provide adequate Molybdenum. The form of Molybdenum included in CHEM-DEFENSE is Molybdenum Aspartate-Citrate, Molybdenum bound to the cellular metabolites Aspartic Acid and Citric Acid. This has been shown to be the most bioactive form available by experts in mineral metabolism.
Glutathione in its Most Bioavailable Form
Ultimately, the one organ that must cope with and attempt to relieve the body of toxic chemicals is the liver, often referred to by nutritionists as “the body’s most overBurdened organ.” To accomplish this, the liver must rely heavily on Glutathione, a tripeptide (three amino acids bound together). The Glutathione in CHEM-DEFENSE will help the liver to produce adequate levels of the important enzymes glutathione peroxidase (GSHpx) and glutathione S-transferase (GSH-S), enzymes that are essential for breaking down and disposing of foreign chemicals in the body. Glutathione peroxidase (GSHpx) helps to break down hydrogen peroxide, a medium-level toxin which is found in many xenobiotic chemicals. GSHpx also prevents cell damage caused by fatty acid oxidation, which threatens the integrity of cell membranes. Glutathione is very fragile. In fact, when taken orally, it is often destroyed by protein-digesting enzymes in the stomach. As CHEM-DEFENSE is in sublingual form, it bypasses the digestive process and goes straight into the bloodstream, allowing for maximum activity.
Coenzyme B2 — The “Recycling” Nutrient
Once Glutathione is used in the body for its detoxification functions, it becomes oxidized Glutathione, meaning it has been “used up.” Fortunately, the human body can “recycle” oxidized Glutathione and return it to its beneficial reduced (active) state. This process is made possible by a coenzyme form of Vitamin B2 (FAD), which is present in CHEM-DEFENSE.
Sublingual Delivery for Maximum Benefit
Many nutrients, when taken orally, are never completely absorbed into the bloodstream, or not absorbed at all! Because this formula is in sublingual form, the nutrients in CHEM-DEFENSE are absorbed directly into the bloodstream through the blood vessels under the tongue and in the cheeks, assuring maximum bioavailability and benefit. In America today, as foreign chemicals continue to be released into the environment on an uncontrolled basis, people continue to experience chemical sensitivities for which there appears to be no solution. Now there is. Source Naturals CHEM-DEFENSE combines the most bioavailable forms of key antioxidant nutrients that are not only powerful in and of themselves, but work together synergistically to address the problems associated with chemical sensitivities. As with all of their other products, Source Naturals has taken special care to create a product that is all natural, hypo-allergenic, and sugarfree. CHEM-DEFENSE sublingual is available in two delicious flavors — natural peppermint, and for people on homeopathic regimens who prefer an alternative to peppermint, natural orange flavor. Let’s face it — life in the modern world is a battle for your health. Arm yourself with a powerful weapon: Source Naturals CHEM-DEFENSE.
CALCIUM D-GLUCARATE - Estrogen Detoxification
June 01, 2005 09:25 AM
From the womb to the tomb, we are subject to the effects of estrogen, the potent female hormone that shapes our lives. Variations in estrogen levels can have a dramatic effect on our cellular development. Source Naturals is proud to introduce a nutrient that may help the body remove excess estrogen, thereby giving relief to estrogen-sensitive tissues. Calcium D-glucarate is currently the subject of numerous clinical studies. It is proving to have great potential for addressing health concerns closest to our heart.
One of life’s most delicate balancing acts is found in the ebb and flow of hormones that is constantly taking place in the human body. These messenger chemicals are fundamental to the process of life. Produced by endocrine glands, hormones travel throughout the body, communicating with each other as they direct cellular activity. For example, the hypothalamus gland monitors hormone levels in the body. It signals the pituitary gland, advising it to send messages to the ovaries to either produce or stop producing estrogen.
Estrogen is an extremely powerful hormone whose activity can be measured in parts per trillion. Therefore, it doesn’t take much to create an imbalance. Like all hormones, estrogen communicates with a cell by docking to a particular receptor site on that cell’s membrane. If there is an excess of these estrogen-sensitive receptors, or an excess of circulating estrogen in the bloodstream, normal cellular metabolism can be altered. Another problem is that estrogen receptors are not very particular; they will accept many chemicals – both natural and synthetic – other than estrogen.
How the body removes excess estrogen
One of the processes by which estrogen and estrogenic compounds are metabolized and broken down is through glucuronidation. In the liver, they’re bound to glucuronic acid and then excreted in the urine or feces. This process can be disrupted by an enzyme called beta-glucuronidase, which is found in the gastro- intestinal tract. It frees the bound-up estrogen or estrogenic compound, releasing it to be reabsorbed back into the bloodstream – to again affect cells. Obviously estrogen is needed by the body; however, too much can lead to cellular disruption. Since it can be very difficult to avoid the estrogenic chemicals rampant in our environment, another strategy is needed, and that is to reduce their negative effects by supporting the body’s natural ability to remove excess estrogen and other hormones and toxins.
Calcium D-glucarate and hormone metabolism
The removal of excess estrogen can be increased by a natural substance called Calcium D-glucarate (CDG), because it inhibits beta-glucuronidase activity in the body. This means that estrogen bound for excretion stays bound, and the total estrogen load on the body is reduced. In clinical trials, tissues that are sensitive to excess hormones – such as breast, liver, and lung – have been shown to respond favorably to CDG. In addition to estrogen and estrogenic compounds, CDG helps promote excretion of other hormone metabolites as well as cellular toxins and steroids.
CDG is made naturally in small quantities in the body; it is also found in a variety of fruits and vegetables: oranges, broccoli, carrots, spinach, and apples. Vitamin A has been shown to have a synergistic effect with CDG. One 500 mg tablet of Source Naturals CALCIUM D-GLUCARATE is equivalent to the phytonutrient activity found in 82 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables. The suggested use for preventative health maintenance is 3 to 4.5 grams per day. No toxicity has been found with its usage.
Phytonutrients also help reduce estrogen exposure
Another strategy to reduce the effects of excess estrogen is to increase the intake of plant estrogens. This helps for two reasons. First, by occupying estrogen receptor sites, these natural estrogenic compounds block synthetic estrogens from attaching to these sites. Second, phytoestrogens only mildly activate receptors. One of the best phytoestrogens is genistein, the isoflavone in soybeans responsible for soy’s beneficial influence on the human body. Increased intake of genistein and/or soy is being recommended by many health professionals, especially for post-menopausal women. Please see Source Naturals product literature on GENISTEIN as well as MENOBALANCE, our nutritional menopause formula with genistein and black cohosh. Both are part of our advanced line of nutritional support for women As new research sheds light on the importance of proper hormone balance to our health, it’s vital to protect ourselves from the increased Burden of estrogen that we are encountering today. Source Naturals CALCIUM D-GLUCARATE is a timely nutrient that can make a real difference in our lives.
May 31, 2005 04:27 PM
The human immune system is the extraordinary biochemical network responsible for keeping us well. As our molecular interface with the environment, it has evolved complex interactions with the plant world. Mushrooms, which form one of the most primitive plant groups, have been valued for decades by progressive medical practitioners as immunopotentiators. Only recently, however, has science identified and tested the specific mushroom nutrients that augment natural defenses. AHCC® (active hexose correlated compound) is a proprietary mushroom compound. It is wellresearched in Japan for its immune-supportive properties, in particular the ability to increase natural killer cell and macrophage activity. Hundreds of Japanese hospitals and clinics recommend AHCC as part of an immune maintenance regimen, and its potent effects are so highly regarded that sales exceed $200 million dollars per year.
AHCC ®: A Unique Compound
AHCC, or “active hexose correlated compound,” is a rich source of polysaccharides (beta glucan 1,3 and activated hemicellulose) and glycoproteins, plus amino acids and minerals. It is produced by enzymatic modification of several types of medicinal mushrooms, including shiitake. AHCC is derived from organically cultivated mushroom mycelia (the rich pre-mushroom stage, a network of fibrous filaments plus the medium it lives on and uses for fuel). The low molecular weight of AHCC makes it easier to absorb.
Natural Killer Cell and Macrophage Activity
Your trillions of cells are susceptible to damage by free radicals and toxins, so a healthy immune system uses its first line of defense—natural killer (NK) cells—to quickly identify and destroy threatening particles. The effectiveness of NK cells depends on their activity level, so boosting NK activity is a smart strategy for those committed to maintaining vibrant health and longevity. AHCC is a potent biological response modifier that may significantly increase activity of NK cells and macrophages, according to human and animal studies. Literally “large things that devour,” macrophages are white blood cells that engulf and aid in the removal of foreign particles.
Studies show AHCC also enhances production of cytokines, including interferons and interleukins. These intercellular chemical messengers trigger white blood cell production and activity. In one recent study, AHCC was shown to support normal basal levels of two cytokines, as well as NK activity. It is rare for a natural compound to have such a profound impact on strengthening the immune system.
Your liver is your body’s chemical manufacturing and detoxification factory. It must handle the full brunt of assault from environmental contaminants and pharmaceuticals. Stress further Burdens this overworked organ. Human studies suggest AHCC supports healthy liver function.
Your Source for Scientifically Advanced Nutrition
Source Naturals AHCC is the original proprietary compound that is attracting worldwide attention. And with no adverse side effects reported in dozens of studies and abstracts, it is certainly a nutritional approach worth considering. At a time when our systems are challenged by an unprecedented array of toxins, research into the remarkable immune-supportive properties of the plant world is critical. Source Naturals is your connection to this research, dedicated to quickly bringing you the benefts of the latest emerging wellness strategies.
References Uno, K. et al. Biother 2000 14(3) 303-309. Matsiu, Y. et al. J Hepatol 37 (2002) 78-86.