Search Term: " Caroenoids "
Reverse cardiovascular disease with cherries
May 01, 2019 09:23 AM
Cherries are a surprising and tasty option for lowering your risk of heart disease, thanks to their bountiful polyphenols, flavonoids and micronutrients. Like apples and grapes, cherries have lots of quercetin, which can reduce oxidative damage to your body. The deep red carotenoids and anthocyanins in cherries can fight inflammation and act as antioxidants. Cherries may also reduce your levels of C-Reactive Protein, which is associated with cardiovascular disease risk. Cherries and cherry juice are also good for regulating your blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol.
"In particular, the anthocyanins and carotenoids that give this stone fruit its deep red hue offer anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and they also help fight obesity and diabetes."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-03-26-reverse-cardiovascular-disease-with-cherries.html
Parsley: An Spectacular Herb With Well being Advantages
April 23, 2019 01:58 PM
While most of us know parsley is a popular herb used in many American and European dishes, it also has many impressive health benefits. Parsley is quite low in calories, however, it's rich in critical nutrients, such as vitamins C, A, and K. Parsley is an immune-boosting herb that plays an important role in bone density, heart health, and blood clotting. The vitamin C in parsley acts as a strong antioxidant that protects cells from free radical damage. Some animal studies have shown that parsley can help to normalize high blood sugar, making it a great food for diabetics. Moreover, parsley contains carotenoids, which can reduce the risks of heart disease.
"Aside from its many culinary uses, parsley is highly nutritious and has been shown to have many powerful health benefits (1, 2)."
Read more: https://infosurhoy.com/cocoon/saii/xhtml/en_GB/health/parsley-an-spectacular-herb-with-well-being-advantages/
The Swiss Army knife of plants why sea buckthorn oil is such apowerful remedy
April 01, 2019 03:52 PM
The sea buckthorn oil serves many purposes such as treating varied health problems. The oil is made from the berries, seeds, and leaves of the plant. The antioxidant flavonoids within the oil can help the immune system as can the amount of Vitamin C contained in the oil. This oil can also help the heart by lowering cholesterol and blood pressure. The carotenoids contained in the berries can also assist with anti-aging, wrinkles, and skin moisture. Another study suggested that buckthorn oil may help to regulate blood sugar, therefore helping with diabetes, and yet another study showed that omega fatty acids were found in the oil too, which can help with liver disease prevention.
"The high antioxidant content found in sea buckthorn oil can help protect your body from the harmful effects of free radical damage and oxidative stress."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-01-28-sea-buckthorn-oil-is-such-a-powerful-remedy.html
Why diabetics should drink more tea and eat more cherries
February 16, 2019 08:57 AM
If you are a diabetic, you should consider drinking more tea and eating more cherries. A recent study done by Brazilian researchers says that both of these can improve diabetes. Tea is a natural antidiabetic treatment used for some time because it boosts the immune system, improves blood flow, and even reduces the risk of cancer. they tested two groups, giving one natural extracts and the other treatments similar to acarbose or miglitol. Phenolic compounds, chlorophyll, and carotenoids appeared to be higher in participants that received the natural extracts.
"This study, published in the journal Pharmacognosy Research, was based on in vitro assays that determined the ability of combined extracts from the two to act as an antioxidant and to inhibit alpha-glucosidase activity."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-12-13-why-diabetics-should-drink-more-tea-and-eat-more-cherries.html
Carotenoids may also bolster brain function in older adults: Study
February 07, 2019 04:16 PM
Antioxidants and substances with anti-inflammatory properties have long shown to have great advantages on neurological function. Researchers are now finding that carotenoids can provide both of these beneficial properties, and that consuming carotenoids may help aid older adults in maintaining their brain health while preventing certain neurological disorders. The experts found that specifically lutein and zeaxanthin are the two carotenoids that have the most impact on successfully boosting cognitive function in seniors, as well as increasing verbal skills.
"However, while most studies have looked at the benefits of lutein and zeaxanthin in eye health, it should be worth noting that the two are also found in certain brain regions."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-12-19-carotenoids-may-also-bolster-brain-function-in-older-adults.html
Sea buckthorn oil can promote liver health and decrease the storageof body fat
September 06, 2018 09:52 AM
More study is now being done regarding lesser known fruits and vegetables, not only for the betterment of human understanding, but also to potentially augment the list of natural alternatives to pharmaceuticals for the improvement of human health.
Healthy lipids and fatty acids have been on the nutrition radar for a while now, as these items are known for having useful bioactive ingredients, including high vitamin content, making them useful for human consumption. Sea buckthorn oil is a new face on the lipid list, but offering some impressive credentials. For example, the plant shows high levels of vitamin A and E, phytosterols and unsaturated fatty acids. One study suggests that the type of oil used by humans effects how much vitamin A the liver stores. The ware-housing effect was considerably upped when rats were given sea buckthorn oil as opposed to soybean oil. Sea buckthorn oil has other pluses too. It can reverse GERD and possibly ulcers, also lower cholesterol and promote heart health. It also reduces inflammation, making it useful for sore inflamed, reddened skin.
"Lesser known fruits and plants have been gradually taking the spotlight in alternative medicine as natural remedies to various health conditions and improving overall nutrition."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-09-01-sea-buckthorn-oil-can-promote-liver-health.html
What are cherries good for?
September 17, 2017 09:14 AM
Cherries are amazingly healthful fruit. Not only are they good for you but they taste great too. For many centuries they have been regarded as a garnish but they are much more valuable than that. They provide the body with antioxidants and nutrients. There are 2 different types of cherries - sweet and tart. The sour version is great for cooking as the flavor becomes more rich as it cooks. The sweet version of cherries, also known as Bing cherries, are more commonly eaten raw.
"Sweet cherries contain fiber, vitamin C, carotenoids, and anthocyanins, each of which may help play a role in cancer prevention."
Read more: https://www.healthnutnews.com/what-are-cherries-good-for/
10 Foods your liver loves you to consume
April 13, 2017 11:44 AM
The liver has an important role in keeping us healthy and filtering our systems. An unhealthy liver can lead to many diseases such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, cancer and cardiovascular disease. There are many foods that help the liver function well and guard against disease. These include dark leafy vegetables, broccoli, garlic, walnuts, blueberries, turmeric, pineapple, green tea and avocados. Fresh vegetables and fruits of any kind are beneficial as is limiting alcohol intake and being careful to stay away from toxins.
"Adopting healthy lifestyle changes such as regular exercise, lower alcohol intake and less exposure to toxins may help promote liver health. Avoiding foods that are high in fat, sugar and preservatives do your liver a huge favor."
Read more: http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-04-02-7-foods-your-liver-loves-you-to-consume.html
Lutein and zeaxanthin levels linked to better cognitive function: Study
April 06, 2017 07:45 AM
Higher levels of lutein and zeaxanthin in the blood can lead to better cognitive scores. Higher zeaxanthin levels also are linked to better processing ability. There are smaller studies that confirm this. Lutein was first linked to eye health in 1994 by Dr. Seddon at Harvard. The researchers studied 4076 Irish adults 50 years or older. Only zeaxanthin increased processing speed, but both carotenoids were linked with higher cognitive function. However, further testing is needed to understand levels.
Read more: Lutein and zeaxanthin levels linked to better cognitive function: Study
Easy Healthy Recipes || How to Make Avocado Smoothie
March 28, 2017 11:44 AM
Avocado used to be seen as a fattening food that should only be eaten rarely. That perception has changed as it becomes clear that avocado is rich in healthy fat, vitamin E and carotenoids. Avocado is also rich in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It should definitely be included in your diet and there are many ways to do this. Watch this video for a recipe for a delicious avocado smoothie. It's simple to make and its ingredients are inexpensive.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bjx_enRmRk&rel=0
"You should learn how to make an avocado smoothie because it can be a great morning meal to eat."
How antioxidants aid in healthy living: Vitamins C, E and beta carotene can help ward off a ...
March 02, 2017 12:59 PM
Antioxidants are substances that may protect your cells against the effects of free radicals — molecules produced when your body breaks down food or is exposed to tobacco smoke and radiation. Free radicals may play a role in heart disease, cancer and other diseases. Antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, and carotenoids, may help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. Other naturally occurring antioxidants include flavonoids, tannins, phenols and lignans. Plant-based foods are the best sources. These include fruits, vegetables and their juices.
"Among the antioxidants that our bodies utilize to protect us are vitamin C, vitamin E, beta carotene, glutathione, selenium, lutein and various polyphenols. These are very necessary ingredients that ward off a multitude of diseases."
Holiday Survival Tips!
December 15, 2016 08:59 AM
Deprivation does not work. The key to healthy eating is an ample and ready supply of the right foods. The right foods contain nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, protein, and nutrients like essential fatty acids (EFAs), carotenoids, and bioflavonoids, which have gotten so much attention in the nutrition research literature.
"Appreciate the presence of YOU in your life – your breath, your health, your generosity."
Fruits and vegetables may slow ALS
November 16, 2016 01:04 PM
We know we should eat more fruits and vegetables, but it turns out that a diet high in these too foods may also help with diseases like ALS. Studies are showing that the foods we eat play a huge rule in both triggering and the prognosis of the disease. Lunch meats and milk should be avoided, while foods high in fiber and some meats may actually help.
"New research at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health reveals that foods like fruits and vegetables that are high in antioxidant nutrients and carotenoids are associated with better function in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients around the time of diagnosis."
Annatto Seeds, Leaves and Root.
Benefits of Annatto Seeds, Leaves and Root.
Coming from achiote shrub seeds, annatto is not just a food coloring. The red plant extract is also used to give colours to textiles and body care products.
The red colour of the seeds comes from the carotenoid content. Carotenoids are best known for their work in the eyes. They work as antioxidants to help fight off the damages caused by sunlight. Since carotenoids are strong antioxidants, annatto can be used to treat the skin by reducing wrinkle signs, blemishes and helps tightening up the skin to make it look younger, all through free radical scavenging antioxidant properties.
Annatto leaves supports healthy digestion and healthy cholesterol levels.
The roots of Annatto can be extracted to be made an antidote to cure cassava poisoning.
Scientists are finding that antioxidant rich diets can help slow the aging process, slow the buildup of cholesterol, and slow mental decline. By adding annatto to your diet, you to can reap the benefits of a rich antioxidant diet.
Importance of Antioxidants and How Can We Get Them from Various Foods
Antioxidants, also known as anti-oxidation agents, are nutrients that help reduce the harmful effects of oxidants in the body. We all know that our body cells need oxygen for energy and growth. As our body cells use oxygen to create energy and sustain life, free radicals are released in the process as a byproduct. Antioxidants help combat the damage caused by oxidation.
If you have ever left a slice of apple in open air, you must have seen that after some time the flesh of the fruit turns brown. This is a result of oxidation. However, if you apply a little lemon juice on the slice, and then leave it in open air, the apple slice will remain white. This is because of the antioxidant present in lemon juice. Similarly, the antioxidants present in the food we consume do the same thing, neutralizes the free radicals, and thus keeps our cells protected. Studies have proven that people who consume antioxidant-rich food are at lower risk of developing many diseases, including cancer. Thus, it is very important for you to include these important nutrients in your everyday diet.
Foods Rich in Antioxidants
These important nutrients exist in many foods, and you can easily get them through a well-balanced diet. Nutrients having antioxidant benefits include vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, beta-carotene, and manganese. A large group of phytochemicals also works as antioxidants.
One of the richest sources of vitamin C is sweet red peppers, and one single cup of these peppers can provide you 190 mg or 200 percent of your required daily intake. You can enjoy 100 percent of your daily intake from a single cup of green peppers, orange juice, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli. One cup serving of cauliflower, cantaloupe, tomatoes, grapefruit, blackberries, and raspberries offers 32 percent of women’s and 25 percent of men’s suggested daily intake.
The richest source of vitamin E includes hazelnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, pinto beans, peanuts, and vegetable oils like canola, corn, and safflower oil. 1 cup of cooked beans, 1-tablespoon vegetable oil and a one-ounce serving of seeds and nuts, offers 2 – 7 mg of vitamin E. These make 13 to 47 percent of your suggested daily intake. Certain vitamin C rich foods also fulfill 10 percent of your daily-required intake of vitamin E including blackberries, raspberries, broccoli, tomatoes, and sweet peppers.
Phytochemical antioxidants like carotenoids, resveratrol, and flavonoids can easily be identified because of the pigments they offer to the vegetables and fruits, like orange, red, yellow, purple and blue colors. Purple and dark blue fruits include blackberries, blueberries and grapes, and these are rich in resveratrol. Carrots, pumpkin, tomatoes, oranges, and red peppers are rich in carotenoids, which offer them a shade of red, orange, and yellow. Dark greens, particularly leafy greens, are rich sources of antioxidants, but the presence of green chlorophyll hides the other colors.
Dark chocolates are rich in flavonoids, but to enjoy the benefits you need to opt for those that have cacao solids. Milk chocolates and white chocolates do not offer flavonoids. Wine, tea, and coffee are also sources of flavonoids. You can find selenium in beans, nuts, and animal products like milk, beef, pork, chicken, and fish. The best sources of manganese are nuts, pineapple, beans, sweet potatoes, and brown rice.
Can Argan Oil Help My Skin Look Younger?
Argan oil has risen to become a very important component when it comes to skin care. The trick lies in its composition. Unlike other products in the same class, it has a very unique composition. This oil has sterols, polyphenols, carotenoids, natural antioxidants and not forgetting essential fatty acids.
Below are some of the skin problems that can be cured by Argan oil:
Sunburn refers to dry scaly skin condition as a result of being exposed to intense sunshine. Argan oil is high in vitamin E content which plays a very big role in curing this condition. It helps prevent sunburns due to its moisturizing ability. However, in cases where the sunburn has already occurred it can be used to treat the condition. Due to this particular quality; vitamin E has been linked to preventing skin cancer.
As people age, the skin tends to lose its elasticity quality and as such wrinkles begin to appear. However, this oil helps to prevent and/or cure this problem. It does this by rehydrating the skin, hence restoring the skin’s natural elasticity properties.
Psoriasis is a disease that affects the skin. Its main symptoms are appearance of red patches on the skin covered with scales. The compounds present in argan oil help alleviate the problem through nourishing it with essential nutrients. As a result it helps the skin retain moisture, effectively treating the condition.
Have you ever experienced rashes that arise due to after-shave? This condition is very common in men after shaving as well as women after shaving their legs and/or bikini lines. These bumps are very uncomfortable and unsightly. Argan oil has been proven to heal this condition.
Regular use of argan oil is not just for cosmetic purposes, but majorly for the general health of the skin. Its many unique natural compounds do not only preserve and soften the skin but also help in healing various skin conditions.
Things to Know Before Using Arnica Cream for Pain Relief or Bruise Treatment
April 26, 2014 09:36 PM
Arnica medicinal qualities
The medicinal qualities of Arnica, or scientifically Arnica Montana, are known since long. This is a plant indigenous to Northern Europe. This herbal medicine is widely used as pain reliever. Rich in antioxidants. Arnica contains high amount of flavonoids such as carotenoids, tannins and inulin. It helps to alleviate pains of arthritis, bruises and injuries in short period of time. Since it has some dominant side effects, it is recommended that arnica should be taken under prescription of medics. However, arnica cream is available for common usage.
Healing qualities of arnica ointment:
Uses of Arnica
Things to Consider
Does Sea Buckthorn Berry Have Healing Properties?
April 01, 2014 08:12 PM
Sea Buckthorn contains in excess of 190 distinct vitamins and nutrients. It is often proven to enhance the wellness, feel and look regarding skin. It is going to take care of several conditions but it really is principally acknowledged as a robust treatment pertaining to growing old or perhaps harmed skin. It is just a way to obtain this unusual Omega 7 fatty acid solution, which can be shown to result in the entire body to clear itself regarding weight loss. It is often proven to help alleviate problems with type-2 diabetes; and is effective in treatment of burns along with the skin disorder dermatitis. It's got already been utilized to take care of rosacea, eczema, and acne breakouts.
Benefits of sea buckthorn berry
Allows in weight reduction - Sandthorn is among the a small number of place species that contains large quantities regarding omega-7 fat acid solution, also known as vaccenic acid solution. It helps to cut back LDL (Low Denseness Lipoprotein) cholesterol, which can be considered to be this root-cause regarding several cardiovascular ailments, this modulates metabolic circuit to accelerate this assimilation. Vaccenic acid solution is additionally a robust desire for food suppressant. Hence, seabuckthorn persuades you to definitely take a lesser amount and alternatively, this increases weight malfunction practice. Each function in concert provide help to shed weight devoid of harming your wellbeing in any fashion.
Enhances immunity- Sea berry not simply suppresses this development regarding bacteria including streptococcus. Coli and staphylococcus, but it also boosts your own defense by stimulating this development regarding T-cells and escalating the experience regarding interleukin. It also assists in this quick treatment regarding injuries, ulcers and scalds, a result of the occurrence regarding beta sitosterol.
Delivers dermatological benefits- Studies reveal which sandthorn hastens cell regeneration practice, although retards skin growth practice. For that reason, it is really thoroughly employed in anti-aging treatments and with the alleviation of the symptoms regarding psoriasis and eczema. Your essential fatty acids also provide defense from your harmful ultra-violet radiations.
Superb way to obtain essential nutrients- Sea buckthorn contains high-levels regarding nutrients including Vitamin A supplements, Vitamin E, Vitamin C supplements, Magnesium and Flavonoids. Apart from most of these, large amount of carotenoids and polyphenols are also seen in this place acquire. Most of these antioxidants band together in order to avoid this incident regarding disease including cancers, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, and nerve disorders.
The idea assists in this comfort regarding gastric ulcers, which are non-cancerous abdomen ulcers which have been caused by a difference between stomach acid, and an enzyme referred to as pepsin. This particular difference contributes to inflammation inside gastric/stomach area.
It may help to heal hard working liver accidents. It really is a wonderful tool pertaining to injure treatment, and cardiovascular ailments.
Your nutrients and mineralso of this berries oil gives are perfect with the skin. There are several antioxidants which are recognized by assist wait growing old. Also, this specific berries gives treatment properties to assist in removing a lot of skin conditions.
From various research, it is a vivid answer that Sea buckthorn has healing properties.
Vitamin A -- Where It Comes from and What It Does.
March 22, 2014 08:50 AM
Vitamin A helps battle off contamination. It likewise serves to keep your skin smooth and supple. You can get a great deal of vitamin A from your sustenance - with liver meats being the best source. A few vegetables - carrots, broccoli leaves (the leaves, not the stems), sweet potatoes and kale, run a far off second, alongside spread.
Dietary vitamin A hails from two sorts of sustenance:
* Animal sustenance sources give "dynamic" manifestations of vitamin A - the form can use the vitamin promptly. They are called 'retinoid'. Retinoid are frequently utilized within skin creams and dermatological pharmaceuticals, as vitamin A is well known for its skin revival properties.
* Plants give carotenoids (to illustration beta-carotene). Carotenoids are changed over by the constitution into vitamin A. Beta-carotene is the most widely recognized of the carotenoids. A brilliantly colored intensifies; this is the thing that gives carrots and sweet potatoes their orange shade.
"Collaboration" is the point at which two or more substances join to make an impact more terrific than either could perform on its own. All supplements in the constitution have a synergistic impact, and vitamin A is no special case. Assuming that you as of recently have an iron inadequacy that brings about frailty - insufficient oxygen-transporting red platelets that abandons you ceaselessly tired a vitamin A insufficiency too will exacerbate it. Iron and vitamin A supplements taken together for frailty are more viable than either of these taken separately. When you don't have enough zinc in your eating methodology, the figure has a harder time proficiently utilizing vitamin A.
The main sign of a vitamin A inadequacy is debilitated vision especially 'night blindness the powerlessness to see well in faint light. Vitamin An is utilized to structure the shades required in the retina for vision, and without enough A, your eyes can't do their employment. Keep in mind when your mother used to let you know to consume carrots so you could see well? There's truth in that old home cure.
What are the Health Benefits of Spirulina?
November 28, 2013 04:17 PM
Whaty is Spirulina
Spirulina is one of the most nutritious food on the planet. It tastes and smells like seaweed. It's packed with nutritious vitamins and minerals which make it considered as one of the super foods available to humans.Here are some of the health benefits of Spirulina
1. High in antioxidants - Some of the antioxidants found in Spirulina are carotenoids, selenium, vitamin E and phenolic acid.
2. Boosts immune system - Sprirulina helps our body to produce more monocytes and macrophages that kills bad cells and pathogens.
3. Rich in beta carotene - It has ten times richer beta carotene than carrots.
4. Remove toxins in our body - It is rich in phytonutrients like polysaccharides, phycocianin and chlorophyll that cleanse our bodies from the toxic chemicals found in drugs, food, water and air.
5. Allergy treatment - Studies show that it can treat allergic rhinitis and some of its' symptoms like sneezing, nasal discharge, itching and congestion.
6. Cardiovascular Disease - It can reduce the level of bad cholesterol in our body. It prevents hypertension and stroke.
7. Cancer - It removes free radicals and fights cellular degeneration.
8. Diabetes - In a recent study, it was found out that after 12 weeks of taking spirulina, there was a significant drop in blood-fat levels.
9. Aids in digestion - It restrains bad bacteria like candida yeast and e-coli and boosts the healthy level of bifidobacteria and lactobacillus.
10. Prevents nutritional disease - Such as anemia or iron deficiency. It is rich in iron which is easier to absorb by our body than other iron supplements.
Did you know that Japan is the largest consumer as well as the largest producer of Spirulina? Maybe this is also one of the reasons why Japanese looks 10 years younger than their current age and their life expectancy is 82 which makes them the second country to have the longest life expectancy in the world.
What Makes Beta Carotene The Safer Vitamin A.
November 15, 2013 11:24 PM
What is the Main Source of Beta Carotene
Vitamins are essential ingredients for a healthy living. A good example of a very essential vitamin is Vitamin A, which consists of a group of fat-soluble retinoids, including retinol, retinal, retinyl esters [1-3] and retinoic acid. The main sources of vitamin A, retinoids, that comes from animal products and Beta carotene, which comes from plants are essential for not only treating deficiency syndromes but also boosting the immune system.
What are the Importance of Vitamin A
The most important type of vitamin A, is in no doubt beta carotene, a type of carotenoid. The main source of beta carotene is carrots. Carotenoids act as anti-oxidants and anti-inflamatory nutrients. Beta carotene is considered a safe vitamin A source because its sources are vegetables, for instance carrots, meaning that it is low in fat content.
1. Most animal products are rich in cholesterol. Once inside your body, cholesterol molecules bind together forming plaques which then attach themselves on the walls of blood vessels. This restricts the flow of blood resulting to high blood pressure. Plant products, unlike animal products, have less cholesterol and, vitamin A (such as beta carotene), keeps the cholesterol molecules in your body from binding together. It also prevents it from attaching itself on the walls of the arteries.
2. It facilitates normal growth of healthy cells and cell division. A normal replication of DNA requires presence of vitamin A. This vitamin, therefore, inhibits multiplication of cancerous cells and slows tumor growth down. Abnormal cell devision, as found in cancer victims, is a sign that there is deficiency of vitamin A.
3. Studies show that levels of vitamin A are very low for people suffering from viral diseases. When these people receive additional levels os the vitamin, they are said to recover faster since the defences are now restored. This shows that vitamin A is very important in causing retreats of viruses for instance those that cause measles, respiratory viruses, and even HIV.
4. Stroke victims, on the other hand, are encouraged to take vegetables and fruits (they are very good sources of beta carotene). The reason for this is because vitamin A in stroke patients helps reduce chances of the victim suffering from disabilities or in some extreme cases, death.
4. Apart from being very helpful in improving eyesight in dim light, beta carotene helps relieve the dry-eye disorder. When the lubrications of the eyes reduces, mainly due to reduction in tear production, the eyes can be very uncomfortable. Vitamin A eyedrops improve the cell fuctions in your eyes and restores their moistness.
Astaxanthin Protects The Eye And More!
November 13, 2013 02:52 PM
Astaxanthin is a carotenoid that is commonly found in the marine environment. It is naturally found in salmon, krill, trout, crayfish, shrimp, crustaceans and yeast. It is the chemical that is responsible for the red color in cooked shellfish and salmon meat. The algae Haematoccus has the richest natural source of astaxanthin.
Astaxanthin can also be produced synthetically, but due to the synthetic product consisting of different steriosmers it is not preferred to be used in some cases.
Unlike beta-carotene it has two more oxygenated groups on each of its ring structure, these additional functional groups make it a highly potent antioxidant and give it a configuration that is more polar than that of other carotenoids. Vitamin E has been known as the strongest antioxidant both in topical use in cosmetics and in internal use, but research has shown that astaxanthin has a greater antioxidant strength than Vitamin E. For example in the quenching of singlet oxygen it has an antioxidant strength five hundred times stronger than Vitamin E.
Unlike many other antioxidants it has the ability of crossing the blood-brain barrier and enter into the eyes, brain and central nervous system (CNS). Most diseases of the CNS and eye are caused by increased generation of free radicals or by a decrease in the ability to remove free radicals from the body. Some of the diseases that are caused by problems with inflammation and oxidation include Glaucoma, Cataracts, and Huntington’s disease. These can be prevented by taking astaxanthin.
It has anti-inflammatory properties that are related to its strong antioxidants properties. It suppresses some of the inflammatory mediators such as, prostaglandin E-2 (PGE-2), tumor necrosis factor –alpha (TNF-a), and nitric oxide. Unlike other anti-inflammatory drugs like acetaminophen that can damage the liver and aspirin that may cause stomach bleeding, astaxanthin doesn’t have any side effects.
In people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome it has the ability of reducing pain. Studies have shown that it is able to reduce pain in rheumatoid arthritis by 40% after 8 weeks of continuous use.
It prevents Ultra Violet induces oxidative stress of the skin and prevents the photo aging of the skin. It prevents UV induced formation of wrinkles and collagen degradation in the skin. It may be applied on the skin or taken orally.
In people participating in sports it eliminates the soreness of joints after exercise, and reduces the pain caused by inflammation. This enables athletes to train harder and as a result increase their endurance, skill, and strength. This is through its ant-inflammatory and ant-oxidant effects in the mitochondria (energy producing organelle).
It strengthens the immune system, research by scientists has shown that it causes increase in production of T cells, stimulates the proliferation of lymphocytes, amplify the cytotoxicity of natural killer cells, decrease damage of DNA, and increases significantly delayed type hypersensitivity syndrome.
It prevents heart disease and reduces the risk of people already suffering from heart disease form getting a stroke or heart attack. It improves the blood lipid profiles by increasing HDL (high density lipoprotein) and decreasing LDL (low density lipoprotein).
The liver main function of the liver and kidney is the detoxification and removal of harmful substances in the body. These activities lead to the formation of free radicals. Astaxanthin being a strong antioxidant helps by destroying these free radicals hence it eliminates their oxidative effects.
As a result of its immune benefits Astaxanthin also has anti-tumor properties and as a result it prevents the development of cancer. Its prevention of cancer is also caused by its antioxidant properties and by it regulating gene expression.
All that you may need to know about antioxidants
November 05, 2013 10:00 PM
All that you may need to know about antioxidants
Oxidants are elements whose main role is to protect your cells from the harmful effects of free radicals. Free radicals, on their part, are molecules that may be produced by the body when it breaks down food. These molecules may also be produced when your body is exposed to environmental factors like tobacco smoking and radiation. It is worth noting that free radicals have the ability of wrecking damage to cells and causing such diseases as cancers and heart complications. Over the years, studies have consistently revealed that diets high in antioxidants are essential in preventing diseases like Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and cardiovascular diseases.
Main Source of Antioxidant
The main source of antioxidants is fruits and vegetables. Amazingly, all foods rich in antioxidants are high in fiber, low fat, and are also excellent sources of important vitamins and minerals. It is also important to add that fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants have bright colors, including purple, yellow, red and orange.
Type of Antioxidant
The five main types of antioxidants are beta carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, Zinc, and selenium. Others are lucopene and lutein. Beta-carotene (and other carotenoids), can be derived from a long list of fruits and vegetables. Some of these are asparagus, apricot, broccoli, water melon, sweet potato, kale, mango, turnip and peaches.
Vitamin C, as a major and critical antioxidant, can be obtained from kiwi, broccoli, honeydew, kale, orange, papaya, nectarines, strawberries, and snow peas among others.
Vitamin E, another major vitamin antioxidant, can be derived from spinach, red peppers, sunflower seeds, papaya, pumpkin and carrots among others.
Zinc and selenium are other antioxidants that are essential in maintaining overall body health and boosting the immune system. Common sources of zinc include red meat, poultry, oysters, dairy products, and whole grain foods. Selenium, on the other hand, can be obtained from foods such as tuna, nuts, whole grains, and beef.
Fact About Antioxidant
The most important fact to realize is that popular sources of antioxidants are fruits and vegetables. Where possible, these foods should be eaten raw or steamed. Boiling will do more harm than good.
How Does Chlorella Improve Your Health?
November 04, 2013 05:06 AM
What is Chlorella
Chlorella is made by two cycle periods that determine the total cell size and length. A timer usually runs through the G1 phase and it leads to the cell attainment prior to S phase without further growth requirement. The cycle is consistent with increments of size control. It multiplies rapidly through photosynthesis and requires only three basic conditions to reproduce namely; water, carbon dioxide and sunlight. There are various health benefits of chlorella including;
Chlorella is rich in various types of vitamins including; A, B1, B2, B6, B12, C and E. It provides the nutrients as a whole food bundle that is way superior than manufactured formula.
Chlorella is rich in magnesium that helps in improving blood sugar levels, mental health and heart health. It also contains other rich minerals including; iron, potassium and calcium.
Chlorella is a rich protein source and it also contains important amino acids. The amino acids are used by the body for rebuilding neurotransmitters and lean tissues.
Chlorella is very effective in binding with toxic chemicals and heavy metals. The toxins are removed from the body hence bringing a positive health impact.
Chlorella increases the body energy. It is also very effective in elevating moods and it is way stronger than taking super food.
Chlorella has amazing cancer-fighting abilities due its rich natural carotenoids that prevent oxidation. It also has the ability to nourish the system.
Chlollera helps to improve blood sugar levels and insulin over time. It can also improve insulin resistance and diabetes.
Chlollera offers protection against heart disease by improving LDL cholesterol and triglyceride. It also has strong antioxidant properties.
Chlollera has unique properties that can lower body fat. It can also improve insulin sensitivity and aid fat metabolism.
Elderberry An Immune Booster And More!
December 21, 2012 12:00 PM
Elderberry Flower And Fruitelderelder
Elderberries are fruit shrubs that are native to North America and Europe. Unlike other organic foods that claim to have medicinal benefits, elderberries have crossed the border of being just a folk medicine to becoming an authentic treatment for a host of ailments, as backed by scientific research and studies. Today, elderberry has become a popular medicine for prevention and treatment of diseases. It is available in powder, syrup, capsule, and extract form.
A Good Antioxidant
Elderberries contain carotenoids, flavonoids, anthocyanins and polyphenols. These are antioxidants that fight free radicals. Free radicals are naturally occurring as by-products of metabolism, but as a person ages the antioxidants that the body produces cannot fight these anymore, as aggravated by pollution, smoke, and radiation. This causes the death of cells, which hastens aging and makes the body vulnerable to diseases. The antioxidants that you get from elderberries can reverse this process, putting a stop to the damage caused by free radicals.
Makes Your Heart Healthy
The number one enemy of the heart is bad cholesterol or LDL. Bad cholesterols form plaques in the arteries, which increase the risks for heart attacks and strokes. Elderberries are known to lower the levels of LDL in the body, thus, prevent the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases.
Strong Immune System
Elderberry boosts the production of cytokines, proteins that send signals to the immune system. With a faster communication between cells when the body is under attack by virus or bacteria, immune molecules can take abrupt actions to travel to the site of the attack and fight it off. Therefore, even if the body is exposed to a contagion, it can recover with less damage because of a strong immunity.
As proven during the influenza outbreak in Panama in 1993, elderberry has aided in the hasty recovery from the virus. According to studies, the extract from the fruit contain glycoprotein that inhibits the replication of the virus, thus, stopping its attack. The high vitamin content in elderberries also helps in the prevention of respiratory diseases like colds, bronchitis, and asthma.
November 24, 2012 10:28 AM
History of Green Tea.
Green tea originated in China and it has been used as a beverage and for medicinal reasons in China and most of Asia. In Asia besides China, green tea is common in Japan, Korea, Vietnam and Thailand. The book written by 'Lu Yu' from the Tang Dynasty in China is to date considered as the most important book in the history of Green tea. The book is called the " Cha Jing" or "Tea Classic". It was written between 600 and 900 AD.
The book details the medicinal qualities of green tea which include, Easing effects on alcohol, curing blotchiness, acting as a stimulant, quenching thirst, curing the beriberi disease, eliminating indigestion, improving the brain and urinary functions and also preventing fatigue. Green tea was used in Asia to help in almost everything, that is from, helping to heal wounds and bleeding to regulating the body temperatures and blood sugars. It was even used to promote digestion.
Recently, green tea has become popular in the west where Black tea was mainly consumed. Green tea today is being used as a raw material for extracts mostly used in beverages, dietary supplements, healthy foods and even in cosmetic items. Green tea varies in varieties depending on the country its grown, the growing conditions, the desired type of green tea, the production process and the harvesting time.
How its made.
The general process of making a cup of green tea entails, using 2 grams of green tea leaves for 100ml of water or rather, a teaspoon of green tea leaves per a 5 ounce cup of water. When making green tea, the hottest temperature for the water should be between 81 degrees and 87 degrees and the lowest temperature should be between 61 degrees and 69 degrees. Low quality green leaves will mostly require more heating or steeping time than high quality tea leaves, however if you steep or heat for too long it may result in a bitter taste regardless of the quality of the tea leaves.
Benefits Of Green Tea.
Green tea contains a variety of amino acids, carbohydrates, enzymes, vitamins, sterols, lipids,carotenoids, polyphenols, tecopherols and caffeine among others. In a 2012 scientific study, it was concluded that green tea actually does help in reducing certain types of cancer like prostate cancer, breast cancer, ovarian cancer and endometrial cancer. the study concluded that a compound contained in green tea not only inhibits the growth of cancer cells but also kills then without causing harm to the healthy body cells. A study in the university of Geneva in Switzerland found out that people who drank caffeinated green tea lost more calories than those who drank regular tea which means it can be of great help to dieters.
Drinking green tea also helps lower the total levels of cholesterol and improve the ratio of HDL cholesterol (Good) to the LDL cholesterol (Bad). A Dutch study has shown that the more one consumes green tea the less severe the clogging of the heart's blood vessels especially in women. The green tea antioxidants help improve the flexibility of the blood vessels thus making them less vulnerable to clogging. Other studies have shown that green tea can also help prevent tooth decay since it has the ability to destroy bacteria.
What Are Benefits of Goji Berries
August 12, 2012 11:54 PM
Found extensively in Asia and southeastern Europe, the wolfberry, also known as the Goji berry, is one of the most important medicinal plants. It belongs to the same fraternity as pepper, tomatoes, potatoes and other such similar plants. The Goji Berry is mainly found in the wilderness of the Himalayas as well as the snowy expanses of Tibet. The plant has a number of health benefits and virtues. Here is a look at them.
1-Vitamins and Proteins
Among the different medicinal plants, Goji berries are rare because they have a lot of proteins. The plant is full of amino acids and it is one of the best sources of proteins. On the other hand, the plant has a number of valuable vitamins as well. It is the sources of vitamin C and it provides adequate quantities of this vitamin. Thus, if you take care to include theGoji berries in your diet, you could manage to have a lot of vitamins in your diet. Thus, these berries are really valuable from that aspect.
Vitamins and proteins are really important for our nutrition and health. However, the body and mind also needs a number of essential minerals. In that matter, the Goji berries are a rich sources of minerals that provide overall nutrition and health. It is the source for 24 source minerals and carotenoids which are found in veggies like carrots and tomatoes. Also, these berries have minerals like selenium, iron, potassium and other such healthy and nutritious minerals. Thus, if you eat Goji berries to a good extent, you can end up having a number of valuable minerals in your body.
3-Anti-inflammatory and Anti-Bacterial
One of the best things about eating the Goji berries is that you can end up having a better protection and security against microbial infections and inflammations. The berries carry many valuable antiseptic properties. These properties end up curing most of your skin inflammations, allergies and bacterial and fungal infection to a great extent. Thus, these berries are known for their antibacterial and medicinal properties and virtues.
The berries are also valued across the world for their immense and effective antioxidant properties. The berries can help to reverse the ill effects and degenerative diseases. The antioxidants in the berries keep the deteriorative diseases in good check. Thus, they help to keep the body's immune systems safe and secure from any disease or damage. Thus, the berries should be taken to counter some terrible diseases.
5-Cures Other Problems
As a medicine, Goji berries are known for curing a number of well-known and common problems. However, they are also useful in solving problems of the kidney and liver. They also lend a helping hand in curing backache and they make the mind alert and active. This is why they are used to make a variety of tea in China.
Goji berries are really valuable plants that should be consumed. They provide all-round protection and security to the body and mind. So, we need to plant Goji berries in our county too.
Effects of Pumpkin Seed Oil on Prostate Health
February 07, 2012 11:46 AM
Pumpkin Seed Oil
Pumpkin seed oil is getting a lot of attention nowadays because of its healing and therapeutic effects to the human body. Pumpkin seeds actually contain a number of valuable nutrients and microelements that enhances the health being of the users. Pumpkin seeds are actually rich sources of phytonutrients, carotenoids, antioxidants, vitamins, proteins, phytosterols and essential fatty acids that bring about a number of beneficial effects to the human body.
Pumpkin seed oil is known for its anti-parasitic, anti-arthritic and anti-inflammatory properties. Furthermore, the oil is known for its capacity to lower the cholesterol level of an individual and optimize kidney function. The oil is even used to treat skin irritations and minor skin infections. In fact, pumpkin seed oil is used to achieve a healthier and smoother skin. The oil is even capable of improving sexual health, treating minor depression and provide ample amount of energy to the user.
Pumpkin seed oil actually contains ample amount of antioxidants such as Vitamins A, E and C that help the body fight against damaging free radicals. The oil also contains significant amounts of Vitamins B1, B2 and B6. The oil is fortified with adequate amount of Vitamin Kand D, magnesium, omega 6, omega 3, phosphorus, iron, zinc, calcium and trace minerals.
Pumpkin seed oil is a rich source of omega 6, omega 9, zinc and carotenoids that significantly reduce the risk of developing prostate problems in the future. The zinc content of pumpkin seed oil makes this natural product effective in treating prostate enlargement. Zinc is an essential mineral that shrinks any inflammation or enlargement of the organs or tissues. Pumpkin seed oil actually contains a number of potent elements that inhibit androgen receptors which can trigger the multiplication of cancerous prostate cells.
Pumpkin seed oil was initially used to treat prostate problems and infertility. A number of scientific studies revealed that pumpkin seed oil contains essential elements that increases the libido and optimizes bladder and prostate functions.
Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy is one of the most common prostate problems of men who are over 50 years old. The condition is mainly characterized by the inflammation of the prostate gland. High levels of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the body can trigger the onset of prostate problems. DHT is known for its capacity to promote the multiplication of cells in the prostate which leads lead to the enlargement of the gland.
Pumpkin seed oil is believed to be efficient in protecting the prostate against the damaging effects of DHT. Pumpkin seed oil contains huge quantities of phytosterol beta-sitosterol that prevents the conversion of hormone testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT) by inhibiting the activity of the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase which converts testosterone to DHT. In effect, the level of DHT in the body is managed at an optimum level. Pumpkin seed oil also contains Delta-7-sterine that acts as DHT blocker and prevents the damaging effects of DHT on the cell. Delta-7-sterine also aids in preventing the multiplication of cancerous prostate cells in the body. Inhibiting the activity of the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase can lead help the prostate shrink back to its normal size because of a controlled production of DHT in the body.
Benefits Of Zeaxanthin
February 07, 2012 08:14 AM
With aging, our eyes and the associated muscles weaken. They can degenerate and lose our ability to see properly. Eyes enable us with vision to see the world, and losing the eyesight will halt affect our daily activities and movements. People are frequently worried about losing their sight, and try to find supplements that can prevent the loss of vision. However, this debility can be prevented.
Supplements should be ideally be all natural, healthy, and with no side effects. Zeaxanthin is an important nutrient for eye health. This is found in found in green leafy vegetables, and also in other foods like eggs. Zeaxanthin fulfills most of the requirements that most people look in a supplement.
WHAT IS ZEAXANTHIN
Zeaxanthin and lutein are carotenoids that filter out the harmful high-energy wavelengths of light, and also act as antioxidants in the eye. This helps to maintain and protect healthy eye cells. Out of the six hundred carotenoids found in nature, only these two, Zeaxanthin and Lutein are deposited in high quantities in the retina (macula) of the eye. Unfortunately, our body does not synthesize the zeaxanthin and lutein it requires.
This is the reason why green vegetables, eggs and other sources of these carotenoids are essential to proper nutrition. Daily intake of zeaxanthin and lutein through diet, beverages, fortified foods or nutritional supplements and is very important for the protection and continuation of good eye health.
Studies have indicated that zeaxanthin and lutein can help to lessen the chance of chronic eye illnesses, including cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Zeaxanthin, is also a bioflavonoid, that besides its benefits to ocular health, has been linked to providing many health benefits, including its anti-inflammatory property. Because of zeaxanthin being a carotenoid category bioflavonoid, its main action is over the blood vessels; it works by supporting the blood vessels around the retina area with their proper function.
Zeaxanthin is both an anti-inflammatory phytochemical and an antioxidant; hence this has been used as a preventative measure for macular degeneration and cataracts. Its antioxidant properties keep eyes from being damaged from the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sunlight. Overall, zeaxanthin keeps the eye healthier, and looking younger.
ZEAXANTHIN AGAINST CATARACT: Our natural eye collects and focuses light on the retina, and to properly provide this function continuously, the lens must remain clear throughout life. A major cause of cataracts is oxidation of the lens, which clouds it. Antioxidant nutrients, like zeaxanthin and lutein neutralize the free radicals or the unstable molecules associated with this oxidative stress associated with retinal damage. Thus, these phytochemicals play a role in cataract prevention. Higher dietary intakes of vitamin E, zeaxanthin and lutein can considerably reduce the risk of cataract formation.
ZEAXANTHIN AGAINST AGE-RELATED MACULAR DEGENERATION (AMD): Zeaxanthin and lutein reduces the risk of AMD. In fact, studies like AREDS2 (Age-Related Eye Disease Study) are being conducted with supplements containing ten mg lutein along with two mg zeaxanthin each day, how it affects or lowers the chance of developing this degeneration.
FOOD SOURCES OF ZEAXANTHIN
Zeaxanthin is naturally found in some green leafy vegetables like kale and spinach. Other sources of zeaxanthin include egg yolk, yellow squash and bell-peppers. This makes zeaxanthin available as a completely natural nutrient, with no side effects.
How Does Lutein Help Fight Against Macular Degeneration?
August 19, 2011 01:11 PM
Macular degeneration is a medical condition that affects older adults in most cases which results in a loss of sight or vision just in the center of the visual field due to damage of the retina. This is a very serious condition of the eye and it progresses over the years and in case left untreated may lead to further loss of sight. It has been found to be a major cause of older adults being visually impaired and usually age range is 50 years or older. Macular degeneration makes it hard or impossible to read or recognize faces, even though enough peripheral vision remains to make daily life activities remain doable.
Lutein from the Latin meaning of yellow, luteus, is a xanthophyll and is a naturally-occurring carotenoid. It is abundant in leafy vegetables which are green in color like spinach and kale. Lutein can also be found in egg yolks and is also present in plants as a fatty-acid tester and most of all, it can be found in the retina and concentrated in the macula, which is a small area of the retina mainly responsible for central vision. This helps the eyes to be protected from oxidative stress and blue light photons with high energy.
Several studies have found that an increase in macula pigmentation helps decreases the risk for eye diseases and one of them is Age-related Macular Degeneration(AMD). Some concluded that visual activity is improved with lutein supplementation alone or lutein together with other nutrients. Other studies also show that AMD seemed to be directly related to having low carotenoids in the body. It does follow in this case that increased green leafy vegetable consumption does help prevent the risk of AMD. Sufficient lutein intake indicates risk reduction for macular degeneration and this can be obtained from a proper diet, but considering that the daily focus of attention is for the lutein.
It commonly follows that this daily attention to the diet to get all the required lutein for our body is where supplementation suggestion comes in since many are not able to do so especially for people around the age group of 70 and up where the attention needed is just too taxing. And since failure to have sufficient lutein is not acceptable for these people with a high risk of AMD or those already with AMD but hopes to slow it down or even stop the progression of the decease, supplementation is a viable and reliable way to assure sufficient lutein intake. This would eventually lead to increases in blood serum levels that would be equal to a diet sufficient of high lutein foods.
However it’s worthy to note that risk reduction does not equate to a cure because once macular degeneration has started there is no way to reverse it. But reduction of risk may be an implication of prevention for some people. Further research needs to be done. However in terms of prevention before the decease starts, results have been promising.
How Does Lycopene Help Improve Prostate Health?
August 18, 2011 10:16 AM
Lycopene is a bright red carotenoid pigment and phytochemical found in tomatoes and other red fruits and veggies, like red carrots, watermelons and papayas however not strawberries. Although most chemical carotenes has vitamin A activity, lycopene does not. Lycopene is an essential intermediate in the biosynthesis of many carotenoids and in algae, plants, and other photosynthetic organisms.
A term that describes a large range of more about 600 pigments which give plants their red, orange or yellow colouring is carotenoid. Some of the most commonly known in a regular Western region diets are alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and lycopene.
Attention has been paid most to alpha-carotene and beta-carotene since these are the ones that can be synthesized by our body to form vitamin A, one of the body’s very powerful antioxidants.
Lycopene, in particular, is has even been credited with some of the many anti-oxidant functions previously credited to beta-carotene.
Prostate cancer is most common among men over the age of 50. The cause of this type of cancer, like almost all other cancers, is unknown, but some studies indicate alteration in testosterone metabolism possibly plays a role in its development. Prostate cancer generally grows slowly and can be undetected until late in the stage of the decease since it does not show any symptoms in the early stages. Symptoms can include painful urination, a feeling of incomplete emptying of the bladder, or blood showing with the urine. According to some studies prostate cancer patients that supplement with lycopene in addition to surgical procedures to remove the testicles may experience, less bone pain, and live longer than those who does not supplement.
It has also shown that groups of patient that were tested with lycopene supplementation has a higher survival rate after a time frame of two years and no adverse side effects were observed in these men as well. This is achieved through lycopenes proven role in keeping the pathways open between cells which is vital in allowing the immune system to hold off cancer cells in its early stages. Although more research is still required to iron out what exact amount of lycopene will be most effective, the current results are already encouraging. However eating a moderately sized tomato a day can approximately provide 4 mg of lycopene and other tomato products, like an 8-ounce tomato juice or tomato paste provides up to 15 mg of lycopene just to give all the men out there an estimate. These are small portions of the diet that could easily be added without any major adverse effect to weight or health and seems too small to ignore given the possible benefits and minimal negative effects if any.
Additional Lycopene Benefits
It also has been found that lycopene can possibly as important as beta-carotene in protecting against the process of oxidation of Low Density Lipids (LDLs), also known as the “bad cholesterol”, which is now held to be the main cause of atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries which leads to cardio-vascular diseases like stroke or heart attack.
Grab Some Lycopene today and experience the benefits for yourself!
Can Lycopene Help with Prostate Problems
May 09, 2011 11:14 AM
Lycopene and The Prostate.
Lycopene is an organic compound often associated with tomatoes. It is almost always touted to prevent prostate cancer, though the scientific community has not come to a conclusion yet. Scientists are nevertheless positive that it is good for the prostate, for it displays antiproliferative effects on prostate cells. Laboratory studies are very promising as it appears to inhibitory effect on tumor growth.
Prostate health has long been tied to consumptions of foods rich in lycopene. It is a carotenoid that is bright red in color, and as such can easily be obtained from brightly colored plant products, such as watermelon, papaya, pink guava, and apricots in addition to tomatoes. Like other carotenoids, it displays antioxidant properties. In fact, it is the most efficient scavenger of singlet oxygen of all antioxidants that are classified as carotenoids.
Reverses Oxidative Damage
There have been numerous studies on lycopene in the past few decades, and many of them have noted its antioxidant potential. It has become common knowledge that lycopene is good for the prostate, but not all people know that the prostate gland is its primary storage in the human body. Indeed lycopene interferes with the health of cells and tissues that make up the prostate gland.
One study that tracked down malignant prostate tissues prior to scheduled surgical removal studied the effects of regular intake of lycopene. It was documented and published that lycopene concentrations in the prostate doubled and the oxidative damage to DNA in prostate tissues decreased, suggesting a dose-related efficiency in the prevention of cellular damage brought on by free radicals and other reactive oxygen species.
Induces Apoptotic Death
High consumptions of lycopene appear to directly counteract with cancer cells and tumor growth, not only in the prostate gland, but also in the lungs, breasts, ovaries, stomach, and cervix. It has also been tied to other disorders of the prostate, such as prostatitis and benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH. It has been noted to slow down cell proliferation that leads to the enlargement of the prostate.
More imporatantly, lycopene seems capable of inducing the cellular process called apoptosis, or programmed cell death, in prostate tissues, most notably in carcinoma regions. This is also evidenced by a significant decrease in prostate-specific antigen in the blood, the reason why lycopene has gained the attention of researchers for prostate health, spurring a number of studies in recent years.
Maintains Prostate Health
Lycopene levels in the human body are largely dependent on dietary intake. As a general rule, the higher the intake of lycopene is, the healthier the prostate becomes. First, it neutralizes reactive oxygen species such as singlet oxygen and free radicals. It also inhibits the multiplication of prostate cells, effectively preventing benign prostatic hyperplasia, which is believed to afflict up to 80 percent of the male population. For those suffering from prostate enlargement, it slows the progression of the disease.
If you are, 40 years old or more you should consider taking lycopene as a preventative daily!
Lycopene is More than Just a Tomato Extract!
February 08, 2011 04:38 PM
Lycopene is a naturally occurring antioxidant, and a very powerful one at that. Like beta-carotene, it is a carotenoid, a phytochemical that gives certain plants their orange or bright red pigmentation. While lycopene belongs to a group of carotenoids called carotene, known precursors of vitamin A, it does not get converted into vitamin A inside the human body, which is not a bad thing, inasmuch as lycopene in itself exhibits antioxidant properties that surpass the effects of vitamins.
Tomatoes are very rich in lycopene, and indeed consumptions of tomatoes have been reported to show the antioxidant properties of lycopene. Papayas, pink guavas, and watermelons are also good sources of this compound, but the plant source identified to have the highest concentrations of lycopene is Gac, in English also known as Sweet Gourd, a bright red fruit native to Southeast Asia and largely unknown to the rest of the world. With that, a significant fraction of the total lycopene consumption worldwide is derived from tomatoes.
Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS)
Chemical reactions in the human body that respond to the presence of oxygen are part of a process called oxidation, which takes place everywhere else in nature. These reactions entail a change in the oxidation number of atoms or molecules involved in the movement of electrons between molecules inside the body, giving rise to toxic by-products collectively known as reactive oxygen species.
When cells produce the energy that they use to power their physiological functions, they also produce reactive oxygen species, or ROS, which is now believed to be a key factor in the progression of physical infirmities associated with the aging process of human beings and other mammals. That being said, ROS are actually in the employ of the immune system, and particularly effective against pathogens, which may be invasive extracellular matter or harmful microorganisms.
Every single cell make use of enzymes that change the chemical makeup of unnecessary ROS, which must always be kept in check as they damage cells even at low amounts. These enzymes outmaneuver the damaging activities of ROS, thereby protecting the cells. In spite of that, the human body is known to produce more ROS as we age or during long-standing exposure to stress.
Lycopene versus ROS
One type of ROS is singlet oxygen, a form of oxygen that is highly reactive to free radicals. In fact, singlet oxygen is a known catalyst of free radicals especially when it gets excited at the molecular level. Lycopene is the best known carotenoid to counter the damaging effects of singlet oxygen in the human body, and reported to have antioxidant properties far superior to vitamin E and glutathione.
The good thing about lycopene is that its bioavailability compounds when exposed to heat, so cooking tomatoes actually brings out the goodness of this chemical compound. Lycopene acts against the proliferation of cancer cells in a number of mechanisms, and, to date, there have been innumerable reports in support of the role of lycopene against most known types of cancer.
Have you had your Lycopene today?
Lycopene - A Powerful antioxidant with great promise
December 10, 2010 06:11 PM
Lycopene is a tetraterpene carotene that is largely responsible for the red color of tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables such as carrots and papayas, although it is not a form of Vitamin A as other carotenes are. It is responsible for the production of the pigment beta-carotene which does have Vitamin A activity, and that is also found in carrots and similarly colored foodstuffs.
The health benefits of lycopene have been studied in relation to its possible antioxidant activity and its effect on atherosclerosis and other conditions of the cardiovascular system, and also in its potential anti-cancer properties. Although these properties are still under investigation, there is traditional and anecdotal evidence that is can be used to ward of cancer, heart disease and macular degeneration, a degenerative condition of the retina that results in loss of central vision.
It can be taken as a supplement as a form of insurance, even though the firm medical evidence for its use has yet to be established. While not claiming this to be the case with lycopene, many such traditional uses have eventually been proved to have a firm foundation in science, and many of the initial results and studies with lycopene are tending that way.
The Antioxidant Properties of Lycopene
Carotenoids tend to possess antioxidant properties, and lycopene is as much a carotenoid as the powerfully antioxidant beta-carotene. The problem is that studies focusing specifically on lycopene are rare, and that while such properties can be assumed by association, they have not been conclusively proved for lycopene. Nevertheless, the health benefits of tomatoes are largely assumed to be due to their high lycopene content, particularly powerful when cooked.
Laboratory studies have indicated lycopene to possess strong antioxidant properties, as would also be assumed from its strongly conjugated chemical structure. This would account for its perceived effect upon age-related macular degeneration, and also its possible anti-cancer properties. Several studies have also been carried out using tomato juice in treating atherosclerosis, an oxidative condition involving cholesterol deposition on the internal walls of the arteries.
These studies have been inconclusive, although everything is pointing toward lycopene being a powerful antioxidant displaying all the properties of Vitamin A and perhaps more. A lycopene supplement is believed to be safer than Vitamin A which can be toxic in large quantities (300,000UI +), and lycopene is used as an approved food coloring.
Have you had your Lycopene today?
Glutathion, Antioxidants, And The Body
July 14, 2010 02:41 PM
Glutathione is a simple protein that consists of three amino acids. These amino acids include glutamic acid, cysteine, and glycine. Due to the chemical nature of sulphur-containing cysteine, glutathione is able to effortlessly donate electrons. This ability is the reason why it has powerful antioxidant properties. Intracellular glutathione status is a sensitive indicator of cellular health and of the cell’s ability to resist toxic challenges.
Glutathione is an important water-phase antioxidant that is an essential component in the glutathione peroxidase system. Glutathione peroxidase enzymes are crucial for detoxifying peroxides including hydrogen peroxide, which is generated within cellular membranes and lipid-dense areas of the cell, especially the mitochondrial membrane. Severe glutathione depletion often leads to cell death, while experimental glutathione depletion has been found to induce cellular apoptosis.
A cellular level of glutathione depletion seems to cause extensive damage to the mitochondria. Depletion of mitochondrial glutathione may, in fact, be the ultimate factor that determines a cell’s vulnerability to oxidative(free radical) attack. The mitochondria is the most crucial place for glutathione presence, as the cascade of oxidation-reduction reactions complete the final steps in respiration take place here. Throughout this process, which is called oxidative phophorylation, electrons invariably escape and react with the ambient oxygen in order to generate toxic free radicals. It has been estimated that 2% to 5% of the electrons that enter the mitochondria are converted into reactive oxygen species that generate considerable oxidative stress for the cell. These free radicals cause an immediate threat to other cellular components, such as the DNA, enzymes, structural proteins, and lipids.
The cumulative damage that is caused by oxygen and other free radical species is now determined to be the principal contributor to the degenerative disease process and the progressive loss of organ function that is commonly recognized as aging. Because of this, the cell is constantly challenged to destroy these free radicals before they can inflict any lasting damage. Minimizing oxidative attacks may actually be the ultimate challenge of being alive. Because of this, the reducing power of glutathione is of huge important to the cell.
Glutathione is important for helping to regenerate other antioxidants that are depleted from their constant work to fight off free radical challenges. Regeneration that is glutathione-induced may be the mechanism that is actually used by the cell in order to conserve lipid-phase antioxidants, vitamin A, vitamin E, and the carotenoids. It has been confirmed by recent investigations that dietary vitamin C can actually protect us against tissue damage that results from glutathione depletion.
Additionally, supplementation with glutathione or its precursors can also quickly replenish any vitamin C deficiencies. Because of this, glutathione and ascorbic acid, both of which are pre-eminent cellular antioxidants, are tightly linked, as glutathione can conserve vitamin C and vitamin C can conserve glutathione. When they are both present, these two antioxidants protect the entire spectrum of biomolecules that are found within the cell, as well as facilitate the cell’s best performance. It has been said that the glutathione status of a cell may be the most accurate single indicator of the health of the cell. This means that as glutathione levels go, the health of the cell will go as well.
Glutathione is available in capsule or tablet form at your local or internet health food store. Always choose name brands to ensure quality and purity of the glutathione supplement you choose to purchase for consumption.
Vitamins and Herbs to Fight Sunburns, and Sunblock to Prevent it
February 25, 2010 09:47 AM
Sunburn is the result of excessive exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. The amount of exposure that is required to cause a burn is unique to each individual, the geographical location, the time, and the atmospheric conditions. There are two types of ultraviolet rays, which are designated as ultraviolet-A (UVA) and ultraviolet-B (UVB). Both types of ultraviolet rays are dangerous. UVB rays attack the skin’s outer layers, while UVA rays attack the underlying layers of the skin.
The majority of sunburns are first-degree burns that cause the skin to become red, warm, and tender to the touch. Depending on the severity of the burn and the individual’s skin type, the burn may subsequently “cool” into a suntan or thin layers of skin may peel off. More serious sunburn can be categorized as a second-degree burn. A second-degree burn consists of extreme reddening, swelling, pain, and even blisters. This is a sign that the burn has gone deeper than just the surface layer of the skin and has caused damage and the release of fluids from cells in the lower layers of the skin. The result of this is eruptions and breaks in the skin where bacteria and other infectious organisms can enter. In the most severe cases, a burn can be accompanied by chills, fever, nausea, and/or delirium. These types of sunburns are extremely painful and are extremely dangerous for children. Sunburn can often be accompanied by dehydration.
Those people who are fair-skinned are more prone to sunburn than those darker-skinned individuals. However, no matter what your skin color, you will burn if you get enough exposure. Symptoms do not always appear while you are in the sun, as they may begin from one hour to twenty-four hours after sun exposure and they usually reach their peak in two to three days.
The effects of sun exposure are becoming an increasing concern today due to the decline in the earth’s ozone layer. The ozone layer is responsible for screening out the most harmful ultraviolet rays, but it is becoming increasingly thinner all over the world. Holes that fluctuate in size have even developed in various places. Additionally, the incidence of skin cancer is growing at an alarming rate. It has been found that having two or more bad episodes of sunburn as a child can make you much more likely to develop skin cancer as an adult.
The following nutrients are recommended for prevention and treatment of sunburn: coenzyme Q10, colloidal silver, DMB, a free-form amino acid complex, L-cysteine, a multivitamin and mineral complex, potassium, Pycnogenol, vitamin A with mixed carotenoids, vitamin C with bioflavonoids, an all-purpose bactericide spray, calcium, magnesium, essential fatty acids, silica, a vitamin B complex, vitamin E oil, and zinc.
Additionally, the following herbs may be beneficial in treating sunburn. Aloe vera gel has been noted to be remarkably effective in treating any kind of burn. It is responsible for relieving discomfort, speeding healing, and also helping to moisturize the skin and relieve dryness. A salve of calendula flowers and St. John’s wort can act as painkiller for burns and promote healing of skin wounds because these herbs have antiseptic properties.
Also, Lavender oil or chamomile oil used in a herbal bath can help to minimize the stinging and pain of sunburn. Comfrey and gotu kola tea can be made it to a compress for the affected area. Horsetail is good for tissue repair, while tea tree oil can help to heal sunburn and other skin irritation. Apple cider vinegar diluted with water is a great wash for sunburned areas.
To prevent sunburns, apply sunblock on any exposed skin before going out side to prevent skin damage before it starts.
Herbs, Serrapeptase, and your Sinus
February 18, 2010 04:26 PM
Sinusitis occurs when the nasal sinuses become inflamed. There are sinuses that are located above the eyes (frontal sinuses), inside the cheekbones (maxillary sinuses), behind the bridge of the nose (sphenoid sinuses), and in the upper nose (ethmoid sinuses). Sinuses are air-filled pockets in the skull that are connected to the nose and throat by passages designed to drain away mucous. The sinuses are the first line of defense to protect the lungs from infection. The majority of sinusitis cases affect the frontal and/or maxillary sinuses. However, any or all of the sinuses may be involved, with each individual tending to have problems with a particular set of sinuses. If the sinuses are too small or happen to be poorly position to handle the volume of mucous produced, they can become clogged. This causes pressure in the sinuses to increase, which causes pain. Those sinuses that are clogged for a long time are extremely prone to infection.
Sinusitis can be either acute or chronic. Acute sinusitis is usually caused by bacterial or viral infections of the nose, throat, and upper respiratory tract, like the common cold. Over 50 percent of all cases of sinusitis are caused by bacteria. Air travel can also lead to acute inflammation of the sinuses, due to the changes in air pressure. Chronic sinusitis problems, on the other hand, may be caused by small growths in the nose, injury of the nasal bones, air pollution, dental complications, emotional stress, smoking, and exposure to irritant fumes and smells. Allergic sinusitis may be the result of hay fever of food allergies, especially those allergies to milk and dairy products. People who have compromised immune systems are susceptible to fungal sinusitis, which is a potentially dangerous condition that requires aggressive treatment.
Sinusitis is characterized by symptoms such as fever which is usually low-grade but can be higher in some cases, cough, headache, earache, toothache, facial pain, cranial pressure, difficulty breathing through the nose, loss of the sense of smell, and tenderness over the forehead and cheekbones. If pain results from tapping the forehead just over the eyes, the cheekbones, or the area around the bridge of the nose, the sinuses may be infected. Sinusitis occasionally produces facial swelling which can be followed by a stuffy nose and a thick discharge of mucous. Those who suffer from sinusitis can have other unpleasant symptoms as a result of previous symptoms. Postnasal drip can cause a sore throat, nausea, and bad breath, while difficulty breathing can cause snoring and loss of sleep.
The following nutrients are considered to be helpful in dealing with and preventing sinusitis: acidophilus, bee pollen, flaxseed oil, a multivitamin and mineral complex, Quercetin, raw thymus glandular, vitamin A with mixed carotenoids, vitamin B complex, vitamin C with bioflavonoids, vitamin E, coenzyme Q10, colloidal silver, DMSO, garlic, MSM, proteolytic enzymes, Pycnogenol, sea mussel, serrapeptase, and zinc lozenges.
Additionally, the following herbs may be helpful in preventing and treating sinusitis: anise, fenugreek, marshmallow, red clover, bayberry, bitter orange oil, cat’s claw, ginger root, goldenseal, horehound, mullein, nettle, olive leaf extract, and rose hips. Serrapeptase is an enzyme that is able to help keep sinus fluid thin and flowing properly. Serrapeptase also possesses anti-inflammatory properties and can help reduce sinus inflammation which will ease pain and speed healing of the sinus cavity.
Pumpkin Seed Oil
September 15, 2009 11:15 AM
The word pumpkin comes from the Greek word pepon, which means large melon. This word was adapted by the French to pompon. Then, the British changed to pumpion and the American colonists later changed that to the word that we use today. The origin of pumpkins is not definitely known. However, they are thought to have originated in North America. The oldest evidence of pumpkins dated back to between 7000 and 5500 B.C. in Mexico. The pumpkin is a squash-like fruit that ranges in sizes of less than one pound to over 1,000 pounds.
Because some squash have the same botanical classifications as pumpkins the names are often used interchangeably. Pumpkins generally have stems that are more rigid, pricklier, and squarer than squash stems. Squash stems on the other hand are more often softer, more rounded, and more flared when joined to the fruit. Generally, pumpkins weigh somewhere between nine to eighteen pounds, although the largest species is capable of reaching a weight of over seventy-five pounds. The shape of the pumpkin varies greatly, ranging from oblate through oblong. Even though pumpkins are generally orange or yellow, some are dark green, pale green, orange-yellow, white, red, and gray. Pumpkins have bright and colorful flowers that have an extremely short life span. Some may only open for as short a time as one day. The color of pumpkins comes from the orange pigments that are abundant in them.
The pumpkin is associated with autumn holidays such as Halloween and Thanksgiving in the United States. Generally, the seeds are thrown away as waste. However, pumpkin seeds and their oil possess great beneficial properties. There are especially for ridding the body of intestinal parasites.
Research has determined that various squash, including pumpkin, have great parasite-fighting capabilities. Although scientists are not exactly sure which compound in pumpkin seeds is responsible for expelling the worms, the seeds are known for their ability to do so quickly and safely. They are even safe for children. Pumpkin seeds work best when a laxative is taken an hour after they are used.
Pumpkin seeds are used to strengthen the prostate gland. They are also great for promoting male hormone function. They have long been used to treat an enlarged prostate. Myosin, which is found in pumpkin seeds, is known for its ability to be essential for muscular contractions.
One can apply the oil of the pumpkin seed to wounds, burns, and chapped skin. This helps to soothe and help heal injured skin. The seeds and oil of the pumpkin plant are used to provide anthelmintic, demulcent, diuretic, nutritive, parasiticide, and mild purgative properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are amino acids, beta-carotene, magnesium, zinc, essential fatty acids, vitamin E, and carotenoids. Primarily, pumpkin is extremely beneficial in treating intestinal problems, parasites, and tapeworm.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with burns, gastric disorders, nausea, prostate problems, roundworms, chapped skin, uterine problems, and wounds. In order to obtain the best results when supplementing with this, or any herb, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen while on prescription medications. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by pumpkin, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
Buckthorn Of The Sea
August 05, 2009 04:05 PM
Sea buckthorn is also known as sea berry or Siberian pineapple. It is a small shrub that can be found growing natively in a wild swath across Europe and Asia. This plant has been used by southeast Asians to treat various diseases for hundreds of years. The ancient Greeks are believed to have used the berries of the sea buckthorn plant in order to promote weight gain and shiny fur in horses.
After analyzing the orange berries of sea buckthorn, an abundance of vitamins C and E, carotenoids, flavonoids, glucose, fructose, several amino acids, and fatty acids have been found. The berries of this herb are used in order to produce juices, jams, liquors, and lotions. The oil that comes from the berries of sea buckthorn has been used to treat ailments that are related to inflammation. Included in these ailments are canker sores, esophagitis, cervicitis, peptic ulcers, and ulcerative colitis. Horticulturalists from the Soviet Union and East Germany came up with new varieties of sea buckthorn during the Cold War years that produce bigger berries and better nutrition.
Traditional Chinese medicine uses sea buckthorn to boost energy. Olympic athletes in the country have recently used sea-buckthorn-based sports drinks as part of their training. This herb is used in Russia in ointments to help shield cosmonauts from radiation damage while in orbit. The oil found in sea buckthorn contains high amounts of palmitoleic acid, which is a rare fatty acid that is found in skin fat. This fatty acid aids cell tissue and wound healing. Some U.S. cosmetic firms put this herb into their skin creams in order to provide protectant and anti-aging properties.
Sea buckthorn is recommended by herbalists in order to boost energy levels, promote wound healing, and shield the skin from the damage caused by ultraviolet rays. Some research on the wound-healing and tissue-protecting properties of this herb has provided positive results. The extract was shown to strengthen cardiac pump function and myocardial contractility in animal studies where dogs with heart failure were tested. The herb also seems to improve oxygen use in the hearts of dogs and animal heart cells in test tubes.
Generally, sea buckthorn oils are used externally for burns and other skin damage. They are also used internally for stomach and duodenal ulcers. Anecdotal reports of sea buckthorn extract have shown it being used to fight tumor growth, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
The berries of the sea buckthorn plant are used to provide anti-inflammatory properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are amino acids, carotenoids, fatty acids, flavonoids, fructose, glucose, and vitamins C and E. Primarily, sea buckthorn is extremely beneficial in treating burns, canker sores, cervicitis, colitis, lack of energy, esophagitis, skin protection, ulcers, and wounds. In order to obtain the best results when supplementing with this, or any herb, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen while on medications. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by sea buckthorn, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
February 27, 2009 02:34 PM
Mumps, a common viral illness mostly occurring during childhood, is caused by a type of virus that is known as a paramyxovirus that infects the parotid glands, which are the salivary glands that are located at the jaw angles below the ears. Symptoms include swelling of one or both glands plus headache, fever, chills, decreased appetite, sore throat, and pain when swallowing or chewing, especially when swallowing acidic substances such as citrus juices. A lot of times, one of the parotid glands will swell before the other, and as swelling in one gland subsides, the other begins to swell. Mumps travels from person to person by means of infected droplets of saliva or direct contact with contaminated materials. This illness can be contracted through sneezing, coughing, kissing, talking, breathing, drinking out of the same glass as an infected person, and sharing utensils. This virus has an incubation period that can vary from fourteen to twenty-four days, with the average period being about eighteen days. A person with mumps is contagious any time from forty-eight hours before the onset of symptoms to six days after the symptoms have started. Although this attack is not as contagious as measles or chickenpox, it is similar in that one attack usually gives lifetime immunity.
Mumps occurs most commonly in those children that range between the ages of three and ten. However, it can occur through teenage years and, rarely, in adulthood. If this illness does occur after puberty, the ovaries or testes may become involved and sterility may result. If the testicles are affected, they become swollen and painful, while abdominal pain will result if the ovaries or pancreas is affected. Other organs that can be affected by mumps in rare or severe cases include the brain, pancreas, and kidneys. All of these can potentially cause serious complications.
The following bacteria are beneficial in dealing with mumps. Unless otherwise specified, the dosages given are for adults. For children between the ages of twelve and seventeen, the dose should be reduced to three-quarters of the recommended amount. For children between six and twelve, one-half of the recommended doses should be used, while one-quarter of the amount should be used for children under the age of six. Bifidobacterium bifidus should be taken as directed on the label to provide friendly bacteria, which contains antibiotic substances that inhibit pathogenic organisms. Vitamin C with bioflavonoids helps to destroy the virus and eliminate toxins if taken in dosages of 500 mg every 2 hours until improvement is noted.
One 15 mg zinc lozenge should be taken every 4 to 6 hours to aid healing. Acidophilus should be taken as directed on the label, as it contains antibiotic substances that inhibit pathogenic organisms. A free-form amino acid complex should be taken as directed on the label, as it is important for tissue repair and healing. 50,000 IU of vitamin A with mixed carotenoids should be taken daily, as it potentates immune function. Kelp, which contains essential minerals, iodine, and vitamins, should be taken in dosages of 1,000-1,500 mg daily. Additionally, the following herbs are beneficial in dealing with mumps: catnip, chamomile, dandelion, Echinacea, elderflower, lobelia, mullein, peppermint tea, slippery elm bark, barley, and yarrow.
Vitamin supplements are great to help fight off colds, but with the mumps always consult your doctor, if left untreated further life threatening complications may occur which is not desirable by anybody. Vitamin and Herbs are available at your local or internet health food store.
February 23, 2009 11:54 AM
Mononucleosis is an infectious viral disease that is most often caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. More rarely, it can be caused by cytomegalovirus. Both of these viruses are members of the herpes family. Once the virus enters the body, it multiplies in lymphocytes. Mono then affects the respiratory system, the lymphatic tissues, and glands in the neck, groin, armpits, bronchial tubes, spleen, and liver.
Symptoms of mono include depression, extreme fatigue, fever, generalized aching, headache, jaundice, and loss of appetite, sore throat, pain on the upper left side of the abdomen, puffy eyelids, swollen glands, and sometimes, a bumpy, red rash. Additionally, the spleen may become enlarged and liver function may be affected. Meningitis, encephalitis, and rupturing of the spleen are very rare complications that may develop as a result of mono.
The virus’s associated with mono are extremely contagious, often being transmitted from person to person by close contact such as kissing, which explains why mono is often referred to as the “kissing disease.” The disease can also be spread by sharing food or utensils, as well as through sexual contact or through respiratory droplets. The incubation period for mono is about ten days in children and thirty to fifty days in adults. A lot of mononucleosis cases occur in the military and in colleges, as living conditions are crowded and sleeping patterns are inadequate. High school students also have a high incidence of this disease. Mono is most common among children and adolescents, as about 90 percent of people over age thirty-five have mono antibodies in their blood, which means that they had the disease at some point in their lives, although many do not even know they had it.
The symptoms of mononucleosis are very similar to those of influenza, which often results in mono often being mistaken for it. However, with mono, the symptoms tend to be more persistent, with acute symptoms usually lasting from two to four weeks, and fatigue persisting for three to eight weeks after the other symptoms disappear. The disease can even linger for a year or more in some individuals. It can also produce recurring, but successively milder, attacks. If the immune system has been compromised by an organ transplant, HIV/AIDS, or other viruses, the mono symptoms can be extremely serious and chronic.
Mononucleosis is diagnosed through a blood test called a spot test. This test reveals the presence of specific viral antibodies and also confirms the presence of mono. Additionally, a liver function test can assist in the diagnosis.
The following nutrients are considered to be extremely important in dealing with mononucleosis: acidophilus, proteolytic enzymes, vitamin A with mixed carotenoids, and vitamin C with bioflavonoids. Other nutrients that have proven to be both important and helpful include: DMG, a free-form amino acid complex, garlic, vitamin B complex, zinc lozenges, maitake extract, reishi extract, shiitake extract, a multivitamin and mineral complex, and raw thymus glandular.
Astragalus and Echinacea are also beneficial in boosting the immune system, while cat’s claw has immune-enhancing properties that act against viral infections. Dandelion and milk thistle are beneficial in protecting the liver. Goldenseal helps to fight infection, while olive leaf extract helps to inhibit the growth of viruses that cause mono. Pau d’arco balances the bacteria in the colon and spirulina contains phytonutrients that are helpful in boosting the immune system.
Whether you want to combat mono symptoms naturally or use prescription drugs, always consult your family physician before taking matters into your own hands. A correct diagnosis is important to how one might want to combat sickness in general. Natural vitamins like the ones listed above are available at your internet health food store.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Vitamins and herbs are not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.
Guarana Seed Extract
November 17, 2008 11:24 AM
Guarana comes from the Amazon basin, and has been used by the natives of the Amazon rain forest to treat conditions such as diarrhea, arthritis, fatigue and even to reduce hunger. It is, in fact, a climbing plant of the Sapondacaea family, although it is the fruit for which it best known. Each contains a single seed that contains around five times the amount of caffeine of a similarly sized coffee bean.
An interesting piece of trivia is that the reason why such seeds are rich in caffeine is that the substance is poisonous to certain pathogens that would otherwise attack the berry. The same is - true of all seeds that contain caffeine: it is a means of self-defense. Obviously it is an effective defense since the berries appear to relatively immune to such common plant diseases.
Guarana is named after the Guarani tribe of South America, and the language is spoken by many in the area around Paraguay, Bolivia and Brazil, and also parts of Argentina. In fact over 67% of Paraguayans speak the language. There is a myth that when child of the Guarana village was killed by an evil god, a more benevolent deity planted the child's left eye in the forest and the right eye in the village. The left eye gave rise to the wild form of the plant, and the right eye the cultivated form.
This likely came about because of the appearance of the fruit when it is split open: it has the appearance of eyeballs. However, what is true is that Guaranis made tea from the seeds, and also a bread known as guarana bread by mashing the powder into a dough and shaping it into a cylindrical bread. It is dry roasted and milled to a fine powder, also known as Brazilian cocoa, but it has never quite managed to compete commercially against the coffee! However, it has its local adherents to whom it is a staple drink.
However, back to the health benefits of the seed. They were recognized as early as the 17th century when Father Felip Betendorf introduced it into Western civilization, but over the centuries since then it has been found that even in spite of the caffeine content it has been demonstrated to have brain-boosting properties and able to increase tasks requiring mental attention. It is certainly known to be an energizer, and able to give a boost to your brain when you really need it. So why should this be, and how does it do this?
The flavor is a bit like chocolate, hence its nickname of Brazilian cocoa, and has been approved by the FDA as a food additive. Extracts from the berry have been shown to possess strong antioxidant properties, and also act as bactericides and fungicide, few of which can be put down the caffeine content. In fact the seed has been proposed for use in the food industry as a natural antioxidant and preservative and as stated below, that is more acceptable to people than synthetic chemicals.
This is probably in response to the fact that synthetic antioxidants are in decline whereas the natural antioxidants such as vitamins, C and E and the various tocopherols and carotenoids are increasing in prominence due to them being more readily accepted by the consumer than the synthetics such as butylhydroxytoluene(BHT). These antioxidants are commonly used as food preservatives, in that they slow down the oxidation of foodstuffs, and people are increasingly feeling that natural products are preferable for this application than synthetic.
Guarana seeds have been found to be exceptionally high in proanthocyanadins with powerful antioxidant properties. They are fatal to free radicals and help to prevent cardiac disease and to improve cellular activity. They also display antimicrobial and antifungal activity. Chemically, they consist of up to 60% starch, pectins, saponins, proteins, and the aforementioned caffeine (3% - 5%). The guarana paste can contain up to 7% caffeine that can be dangerous to those with cardiac problems.
Guarana also contains tannins at levels of up to 12%, including catechin and some proanthocyanadins. The astringency of these tannins represents a problem to their use in the beverage and food industry, although the substance is regarded as safe by the FDA. They have little if any nutritional value and can react with alkaloid and proteins to form unwanted complexes. Were it not for tannins guarana would be more acceptable to the food industry.
However, it is for their energy-boosting properties that the guarana berries and seeds are most prized by many. The fact they it has been traditionally used as a stimulant and aphrodisiac indicates that there is something behind these claims. Studies on mice, hamsters and other animals have supported these effects. It has been found to posses the two desirable properties (to some) of stimulating the nervous system and curbing the appetite.
Consequently, it is used in diet and weight loss pills, and also to maintain high energy levels. In fact weight loss pills are used by many people to maintain their energy levels while not eating. This is a definite bonus to those that want to lose weight, but dislike the lethargy that a strict diet can cause.
There is a downside to that of course, and that is insomnia and an increased heartbeat, and also nervousness and feeling 'on edge'. Once people stop using guarana they suffer withdrawal symptoms such as nervousness, irritability and headaches.
The upshot is that it is basically the high caffeine content of guarana that allows its use as a stimulant that can boost not only energy, but also reduce appetite and act as an effective weight loss supplement. However, used excessively it can lead to nervousness and while it is included as an ingredient in many foods and drinks, you should be careful when using it as an energizing supplement if you have any heart problems at all.
Otherwise, guarana is used to energize the body naturally, and is not only very commonly used for this purpose in South America, but also increasingly so in the USA and elsewhere with some very good results.
Green Tea Extract
October 23, 2008 01:43 PM
Green tea is a form of tea made from the leaves of the Carmellia Sinensis, a shrub that is native to China and has spread to other areas of Asia including Japan and the Middle East. Drinking it is believed to impart many health benefits, including the prevention of obesity, heart disease and some forms of cancer and it has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for over 400 years.
Tea is known to have been consumed in China for around 5,000 years, and used, not only in Chinese medicine, but also in that of Japan, Thailand and India for a number of ailments including regulating blood sugar, treating wounds and digestive problems. The drinking of green tea to benefit the heart and other vital organs is described in the Kissa Yojoki (Book of Tea), written in 1191 by Eisai, a Japanese Zen priest.
This two-part book talks about the various medicinal benefits of green tea, such as preventing fatigue, curing beriberi, quenching thirst, clearing the thoughts, maintaining health of the urinary tract and improving digestive problems. It also explains how to grow tea and how to prepare and use the leaves. The methods of treatment of various ailments and medical conditions are described in the second part of the book.
The active ingredients in green tea are catechins, polyphenols with strong anti-oxidant properties. Antioxidants are important components of your diet due to their effect on free radicals. These are small molecules, generally oxygenated, such the superoxide cation and hydrogen peroxide that are generated during normal metabolic processes and also ingested in pollutants such as traffic and factory fumes and insecticides. Free radicals are also formed by the effect of the ultra-violet component of sunlight on your skin and other tissues.
The effect of free radicals on your body can be devastating, and they not only destroy cell membranes but also oxidize such molecules as the low density lipids (LDL) that carry cholesterol around your bloodstream. This allows the LDLs to be absorbed by the white blood cells and then deposited as fatty plaques in the walls of your arteries. The end result is a thickening and hardening of the arteries that leads to a condition known as atherosclerosis, where the blood supply to the brain and heart muscle is restricted, which can in turn lead to strokes and heart disease.
Their effect on your cells is to cause cancer and premature aging, among others, and free radicals are also believed to play a part in conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease and also inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and diabetes. They can also cause damage to your DNA.
It is essential, therefore, that these free radicals are destroyed as quickly as they are generated, and that is what antioxidants do. You might be more familiar with the antioxidants Vitamins A, C and E, and phytochemicals such as flavonoids and carotenoids, but there are many substances available to you that are even more powerful such as the polyphenols found in green tea.
Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is the most powerful of these with antioxidant properties at least twenty five times that of Vitamin E, and 100 times that of Vitamin C. EGCG comprises around 10-50% of the total catechin content of the tea and studies indicate that it likely helps to protect against DNA damage by free radicals, to protect against oxidation of LDL, provide protection against the damage of ultra-violet radiation and to protect you from the free radicals that are generated by smoking tobacco and general airborne pollution.
There are suggestions that the bioavailability of EGCG can be increased by consuming black pepper when drinking green tea, possibly due to the presence of piperine in the pepper. The piperine appears to retard the intestinal glucuronidation of EGCG and so allow more of it to be absorbed as opposed to excreted. So if you are using green tea for health reasons, spice up your food with a small amount of black pepper - that's all it needs. You don't have to smother your food in it! It should be stressed that these tests were carried out on animals, although the biochemistry involved is much the same.
The oxidation of fat by your metabolism to provide energy is a very important factor in weight control. If the contribution of the fats you ingest to the energy generated by your metabolism is low, then the fats can go on to be deposited in your body. This is not only unsightly, in that it can basically make you look 'fat', but is also dangerous to your health. Fat deposits around your midriff and round the major organs of your body can be extremely damaging and a severe risk to your health.
It has been shown by a recent study in the UK (Birmingham University) that those taking green tree extract displayed a 17% increase in fat oxidation over those given a placebo. Not only that, but the ratio of fat oxidation to the overall energy expenditure showed a similar differential between the study and the control group. This provides evidence of green tea extract being able to control your weight by burning fat, and also to improve the tolerance to glucose and sensitivity to insulin of healthy people.
Many other health claims have been made for green tea extract, although many of these have little, if any, scientific basis. Among these are the claims that it can treat multiple sclerosis and be used to treat cancer, although claims that it can prevent the destruction of cell membranes due to its oxidative effect are supported by the biochemistry, if not the medical proof. There are cases where theoretical biochemistry can explain many of the applications of ancient remedies without needing modern day studies to support it.
Some of the research supporting the green tea theories include:
1. In 2006, a study was announced that had followed over 40,500 Japanese men and women, aged between 40 and 79, that had no history of coronary heart disease, stroke or cancer starting in 1994. It was found that those who drank at least 5 cups of tea per day had a 16% lower risk of dying from any cause and a 26% less risk of dying from cardiovascular disease than those that drank less than one cup of tea each day. Since cardiovascular disease and cancer are the major causes of death world-wide, these are significant results.
2. Again in 2006, it was reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that studies indicated that a higher consumption of green tea was associated with a reduction in human mental impairment when compared to the average.
3. Yale University School of Medicine reported later that year that, in spite of smoking more than their western counterparts, Asians suffered lower rates of cancer and heart disease, and put that down to them drinking over 4 pints of green tea daily. It was the polyphenol content of green tea and its antioxidant effect that was proposed for this result, known commonly as the 'Asian paradox'. A specific reason given for this was the antioxidant effect preventing the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, and its subsequent deposition in the artery walls.
4. Another component of green tea is the amino acid L-Theanine that promotes relaxation, and it is believed that this could help to fight stress by inhibiting the excitation of cortical neurons.
There is a lot more evidence for the health benefits of green tea, and once again it appears that the ancients have been proved correct. Perhaps we should pay more attention to ancient remedies, although without the proper evidence much of it is ignored - for the time being at least. Green tea, however, has generally been accepted due to the research and studies carried out on ECGC (Epigallocatechin gallate) and in additional to the traditional form, is also available as a dietary supplement.
Green Coffee Bean Extract
October 22, 2008 04:59 PM
It is known that aging is largely a result of the effect of free radicals on our body cells, and that green coffee bean extract can be used to fight against these. While we intuitively understand what the term ‘aging’ means, very few people can actually describe it in words, although there are several theories of why it occurs.
The most viable of these include the Error Catastrophe Theory, related to faulty molecular transcription and errors in cellular function, the Crosslinkage Theory, in which progressively increasing cross-linking between proteins slows the body functions down, and the Neuroendocrine Theory, in which changes in homeostasis and hormone levels occur through time due to an increasing loss of sensitivity of receptors to feedback inhibition.
However, by far the most acceptable and best understood theory is the Free Radical Theory of Aging, which green coffee beans have been found to help fight, and it is on that which we shall focus here.
The Free Radical Theory of Aging
Free radicals are oxidants created by unpaired electrons. Electrons generally go around in pairs, but occasionally molecules lose one of these electrons, creating a situation where it possesses an unpaired electron. In this condition, that molecule has only one purpose in life and that is to oxidize other molecules by stealing an electron from them.
Oxidation can cause untold damage to cell membranes, and also to other molecules that are vital to life, such as DNA. The end result is aging, and the onset of many diseases and conditions connected with aging. Free radicals are believed to be behind inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and Crohn’s disease, strokes, cardiovascular disease, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer among many others. Each of these is associated with aging.
Free radicals are generated in the body in four different ways:
1. Energy is generated by the intercellular mitochondria by the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate). By-products of the mechanism by which this is done include hydrogen peroxide, the superoxide anion, and a hydroxyl radical. Over 20 billion molecules of antioxidant are produced in each individual cell daily, and every one of these has the capability to do damage to your body. The figure for inefficient cell metabolism is significantly higher.
2. Peroxisomes are eukaryotic cell components that contain oxidative enzymes, whose function is to produce hydrogen peroxide that is then used by another enzyme, catalase, to oxidize other toxic substances. It is used by the liver, for example, to oxidize about a quarter of all the alcohol we drink to acetaldehyde, and also to remove other toxins from the body. The down side is that the hydrogen peroxide can escape and degrade the cell membranes.
3. Chronic infections give rise to a high activity of white blood cells, which utilize oxidants of various kinds to destroy viruses, bacteria and parasites. These include hydrogen peroxide, superoxide and nitric oxide which can also destroy the cells they are protecting.
4. Cytochrome P450 is an enzyme used to clear the body of toxic chemicals in our food such as pesticides and drugs. They also give rise to oxidative by-products.
In addition to these, free radicals are also produced by air pollution consisting of smoking, factory emissions and traffic fumes. Trace metals such as lead, iron and copper, are rich free radical sources, as is the ultraviolet component of sunlight, and caffeine, from tea and coffee, can also contribute to the store of free radicals in your body.
So where does green coffee extract come into this, and how should it be used. Free radicals tend to react very rapidly to accelerate aging, and in order to counter them, and hold the effects of aging at bay, it is necessary to destroy them almost as quickly as they are produced. This is carried out by antioxidants, of which there must be a plentiful supply available in each body cell.
Antioxidants donate electrons to free radicals, and so effectively neutralize them before they can attack the membranes of the cells in your body, or any of the other tissues that they can degrade. Many of the vitamins have a powerful antioxidant effect, among them vitamins A, C and E. Other antioxidants available in our diet include beta carotene and other carotenoids, flavonoids and glutathione, and also cofactors such as lipoic acid. All of these can destroy free radicals by the donation of an electron.
Green coffee beans have also been found to possess a strong antioxidant effect, due largely to the plant phenols, such as caffeic acid that forms chlorogenic acid with quinic acid, both cholorgenic and caffeic acid being string antioxidants. Green coffee bean extract is standardized to 99% chlorogenic acid. This substances not only reacts rapidly with free oxygen radicals but also helps to prevent to formation of hydroxyl radicals.
It has been established that green coffee bean reacts twice as fast as green tea or grape seed extracts, and speed of reaction is critical in the destruction of free radicals that have to be destroyed before they do damage. Other antioxidants found in extracts of green coffee beans include heterocyclic compounds such as pyrroles, furans and maltol.
The extract is made from beans of Coffea Arabica, this containing higher concentrations of chlorogenic and caffeic acids than the Arabica plant. The extract is also produced to be naturally low in caffeine, thus avoiding the negative effects of drinking coffee for its stimulating properties. When the green coffee bean is roasted, the antioxidant effect is found to decrease, and after roasting and brewing both the Arabica and the Robusta beans have reduced in activity to much the same level.
Studies on some of the conditions exacerbated by free radicals have indicated the effectiveness of green coffee beans as an antioxidant. It is believed to help reduce atherosclerosis caused by the oxidation of low density lipids (LDL). Oxidized LDLs tend to be easily absorbed by phagocytes to form plaques and foam cells in artery walls, thus narrowing and hardening the arteries, causing a deprivation of oxygen and nutrients to the heart and also increased blood pressure. Antioxidants from the green coffee bean prevent this from happening, and so help to reduce this serious effect of aging.
A good supply of antioxidants will also prevent the cell membranes from being destroyed, one effect of which is to age the skin. Antioxidants in the form of green coffee bean extract can help to maintain a youthful appearance while also aiding in the prevention of the more serious effects of free radicals that can shorten life.
There are no doubts that free radicals contribute significantly to accelerated aging, and that the antioxidants contained in green coffee beans can help hold back the physical signs of aging, while also helping to destroy those free radicals that threaten life by promoting cancer, atherosclerosis, and other similar conditions.
Lutein 20mg (FloraGlo)
September 26, 2008 03:49 PM
Maintains Healthy Visual Function*
It has been well established that lutein is present in high concentrations in the retinal tissue of the human eye. However, a study was conducted in human volunteers to determine whether taking lutein in supplement form actually increased the density of the carotenoid pigments present in the macula. In this study of eight individuals, researchers estimated the density of the macular pigments prior to having each individual take 10 mg of lutein daily in supplement form for 12 weeks. Plasma lutein concentrations were measured at 4-week intervals. During the first four weeks of the study, plasma levels increased five-fold from pre-supplement measures, and then remained at this level for the duration of the study. It was also shown that, due to increased deposition of lutein in optical tissues, macular pigment density increased by an average of 5.3% at the 4-week mark, and continued to increase until the duration of the study.1
A study was also conducted to investigate the possible role of specific nutrients in protecting the lens of the eye against aging, a risk factor for compromised visual function. The study was comprised of 376 individuals aged from 18 to 75. Of the nutrients measured, it was found that the lenses of individuals with higher concentrations of lutein and zeaxanthin showed less of an effect from the aging process. The investigators concluded that these carotenoids might play a protective role in supporting the maintenance of healthy vision.2
The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) was a landmark study of the effects of diet and antioxidant supplementation on eye health. The study enrolled over 3500 subjects aged 55 to 80 years who were followed for approximately 6 years. Among the data collected in this multi-faceted study was a self-administered Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ). The AREDS Report No. 22 examined the data from the FFQs and determined that, of the nutrients evaluated, only lutein and zeaxanthin were directly related to maintaining eye health with statistical significance3. These findings corroborated similar results of an earlier multi-center study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association that also found that those with a higher intake of lutein and zeaxanthin maintained healthier eye function.4 These promising results have spurred the design of a second major clinical trial (AREDS2), which is currently enrolling participants to study the impact of supplemental xanthophylls (FloraGLO® Lutein and zeaxanthin) and other nutrients on age-related eye health.5
In addition, a double-blind placebo controlled trial was performed in ninety individuals who had signs of compromised visual function. Individuals were divided into three groups and received either 10 mg FloraGLO® lutein, 10 mg FloraGLO® lutein plus a multivitamin/multimineral formulation, or placebo for 12 months. In both the FloraGLO® lutein and FloraGLO® lutein plus other nutrients groups, improvements were seen in mean eye macular pigment optical density, visual acuity and contrast sensitivity. No improvements were noted in the placebo group.6 These results demonstrate FloraGLO® lutein’s beneficial effect on maintaining healthy visual function.
Newly published research has demonstrated that lutein and zeaxanthin supplementation may enhance visual performance under glare conditions. Forty healthy subjects took daily doses of 10 mg FloraGLO® Lutein plus 2 mg zeaxanthin for six months. They were evaluated for changes in macular pigment, glare disability and photostress recovery at the onset of the study, and at 1, 2, 4 and six months. After six months, subjects experienced an average increase in macular pigment optical density (MPOD) of 39% compared to baseline, and all but two participants experienced some increase in MPOD. This increase in MPOD was also directly related to measured improvements in visual performance after exposure to bright light, as well as photostress recovery.7 This study suggests another way in which lutein and zeaxanthin can help support optimal visual function in healthy individuals.
Potent Antioxidant Protection*
Most of the beneficial effects of lutein are ascribed to its potent free radical scavenging abilities. It is well-known that lutein is a carotenoid related to beta-carotene and possesses antioxidant activity against a number of reactive oxygen species.8
More direct evidence for the free radical scavenging activity of lutein is found in studies of its effects on human lens epithelial cells. Cell cultures were exposed to ultraviolet light after pretreatment with lutein or alpha-tocopherol. Both nutrients were found to reduce ultraviolet-induced damage to lens epithelial cells. However, lutein was shown to have significantly higher photoprotective activity than alpha-tocopherol9 demonstrating its potential as a high-powered antioxidant.
A further review of the mechanisms of lutein in conferring a protective role reveals evidence for its antioxidant activity in various body tissues. Lutein has been shown to be an effective antioxidant in vitro as well as in experimental models of a number of body systems.10
Supports Healthy Skin*
A recent randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled study has demonstrated the positive effects of oral and topical administration of lutein on skin health parameters (surface lipids, hydration, photoprotective activity, skin elasticity and skin lipid peroxidation). Forty female subjects were divided into four treatment groups. Treatment options included oral administration of 5 mg of FloraGLO® Lutein twice daily or placebo and topical administration of 50 ppm FloraGLO® Lutein twice daily or placebo. Each treatment group received either an active oral treatment with a placebo topical treatment, a placebo oral treatment with an active topical treatment, both active treatments, or both placebo treatments. Statistically significant improvements were seen in all five parameters tested in all treatment groups compared to the group receiving only placebos. The greatest overall improvements were seen in the group receiving both active oral and topical treatments, while lesser but still significant improvement was seen in both the active oral only and the active topical only groups. Additionally, oral administration of lutein conferred superior photoprotective activity (as measured by skin surface redness after exposure to ultraviolet light) and prevention of lipid peroxidation (as indicated by levels of malondialdehyde in skin lipids after exposure to ultraviolet light) than either topical lutein or placebo.11
Diverse Cinical Benefits*
Evidence from various experimental trials suggests that lutein may play a protective role on the circulatory and cardiovascular systems. Its antioxidant activity may also extend to the heart, skin, lungs and blood vessels, making it a nutrient with diverse clinical benefits. Lutein possesses the ability to promote the health of many body tissues.12
Suggested Adult Use: One softgel daily with food, or as directed by a health care professional.
Does Not Contain: milk, egg, wheat, sugar, sweeteners, starch, salt, or preservatives.
1. Berendschot TT, et al. Influence of lutein supplementation on macular pigment, assessed with two objective techniques. Invest Opthalmol Vis Sci. 2000 Oct; 41(11): 3322-6.
2. Berendschot TT, et al. Lens aging in relation to nutritional determinants and possible risk factors for age-related cataract. Arch Opthalmol. 2002 Dec; 120(12): 1732-7.
3. Age-Related Eye Disease Study Research Group. The relationship of dietary carotenoid and vitamin A, E, and C intake with age-related macular degeneration in a case-control study: AREDS Report No. 22. Arch Ophthalmol. 2007 Sep; 125(9): 1225-32.
4. Seddon JM, et al. Dietary Carotenoids, Vitamins A, C, and E, and Advanced Age-Related Macular Degeneration. JAMA. 1994 Nov; 272(18):1413-1420.
5. www.nei.nih.gov/neitrials/viewStudyWeb.aspx?id=120. Clinical Studies Database. Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS2). Last Updated 2/28/2008. Viewed 5/15/2008.
6. Richer S, et al. Double-masked, placebo-controlled, randomized trial of lutein and antioxidant supplementation in the intervention of atrophic age-related macular degeneration: the Veterans LAST study (Lutein Antioxidant Supplementation Trial). Optometry. 2004 Apr; 75(4): 216-230.
7. Stringham JM and Hammond BR. Macular pigment and visual performance under glare conditions. Optom Vis Sci. 2008 Feb; 85(2):82-8.
8. “Lutein and Zeaxanthin”. PDR Health. www.gettingwell.com/drug_info/nmdrugprofiles/nutsupdrugs/lut_0164.shtml
9. Chitchumroonchokchai C, et al. Xanthophylls and alpha-tocopherol decrease UVB-induced lipid peroxidation and stress signaling in human lens epithelial cells. J Nutr. 2004 Dec; 134(12): 3225-32.
10. Krinsky NI. Possible biologic mechanisms for a protective role of xanthophylls. J Nutr. 2002; 132: 540S-542S.
11. Palombo P, et al. Beneficial Long-Term Effects of Combined Oral/Topical Antioxidant Treatment with the Carotenoids Lutein and Zeaxanthin on Human Skin: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study. Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2007; 20: 199-210.
12. Mares-Perlman JA, et al. The body of evidence to support a protective role for lutein and zeaxanthin in delaying chronic disease. Overview. J Nutr. 2002; 132: 518S-524S.
Gac Fruit Oil
August 25, 2008 07:04 PM
Most people have never heard of gac fruit, yet it is very popular in South East Asia, particularly in China and Vietnam. The fruit is grown on vines that reach the size of a cantaloupe and from North East Australia across to China and Vietnam it is used as both a food and a medicine. It is only fairly recently that it has found use in the West as a health food
So what’s so special about this fruit, known also as baby jackfruit and sweet gourd? Its bright red color should provide a clue, since it is jam packed full of beta carotene, lycopene and other strong antioxidants that not only helps to support the immune system, but also helps to retard the effects of aging. It has been used in Vietnam in particular to overcome the effects of an endemic deficiency in vitamin A, and is rich in provitamin A carotenoids. It is also widely used in Chinese medicine to treat a variety of complaints.
Antioxidants and Free Radicals
Antioxidants can boost health in a number of ways, and it might help you understand better the benefits that gac fruit can provide to explain what antioxidants do and why they are such an essential part of our diets. Every millisecond of every day of our lives, our natural metabolism of the conversion of blood glucose to energy generates small oxygenated molecules known as free radicals.
Free radicals are molecules that possess an unpaired electron and are highly unstable. Electrons generally travel in pairs, and when one of that pair is lost through a chemical reaction, the other electron has only one purpose in its short life: to pair up with another electron and it will do whatever it has to in order to achieve that. It is called a free radical, and its life is short. Free radicals destroy body cells, and this can have a dramatic effect, both visually on your skin, and internally on your general health.
Apart from those generated by your body’s own biochmemistry, free radicals are present in car emissions and other pollutants such as pesticides, smog and fried and barbecued foods. They are also formed in your skin by excessive exposure to the UV component of the sun’s radiation. That is why the skin of those living in hot climates tends to age earlier.
Free radicals are what make you look older as you grow older: they destroy skin cells as they are formed, but that is one of the least of their effects. They can also oxidize low density lipids (LDL) that carry cholesterol around your body, causing it to deposit fatty plaques on the walls of your arteries, which is a serious cardiovascular condition known as atherosclerosis.
Antioxidants can donate an electron to free radicals without then becoming free radicals themselves, and so destroy them as they are formed. However, the antioxidant can then lose its reducing power. Free radicals do not roam the blood seeking victims as many imagine them to, but react almost instantly, as soon as they are formed. It is important, therefore, that antioxidants are present in or close to every cell of your body. To achieve this, they must be bound to a fatty molecule, and the problem with many phytonutrients is that they have no associated fats or oils to carry them into the fatty tissues of the body.
Nutritional Constituents of Gac Fruit
Not so with gac fruit, because in addition to the beta carotene and lycopene content, it is also rich in long-chain fatty acids, particularly linoleic and alpha linoleic acids. Not only that, but its beta carotene content is around ten times that of carrots, and it contains 70 times the lycopene of tomatoes! Vitamin C is another very powerful antioxidant, and gac contains 60 times the Vitamin C of oranges. It is also rich in other free radical busters, such as xeoxanthins and alpha-tocopherol, a form of vitamin E.
Altogether, gac fruit contains a free radical killing arsenal that should be enough to scare even the most courageous free radical back to where it came from. Other constituents of gac are numerous minerals, particularly zinc and iron.
That is why the sweet gourd is such a prized fruit, and why Southeast Asian women have skins that western women of the same age would die for! Antioxidants help to prevent the disruption and destruction of skin cells that are the major reason for aging looks, and why skin creams are packed with vitamins A and E, both strong antioxidants.
Health Benefits of Gac
Most of the health benefits of gac are provided by its antioxidant properties. Thus, if you have a high cholesterol level, gac can help you to avoid atherosclerosis by preventing the oxidation of the LDL cholesterol, which is the precursor to it depositing on your artery walls. The body needs cholesterol, but levels should be kept to within certain limits or the resultant atherosclerosis can narrow your arteries leading to cardiac problems and strokes, particularly in the very narrow arteries of the brain.
Gac also supports the immune system and helps to maintain prostate health, largely through its alpha tocopherol, or vitamin E content. Vitamin E is easily destroyed by free radicals, which is where the beta carotene is of benefit. This is the body’s first line of defense against free radicals, and each molecule can neutralize up to 20 free radical molecules before it is destroyed. This helps to save other antioxidants such as vitamin E.
Lycopene is particularly beneficial to the prostate and current research indicates that it can help to prevent prostate cancer and cardiovascular disease, plus some other diseases such as macular degeneration that affects your sight. Perhaps this is one reason why the gac fruit membranes are used in Vietnam to promote healthy vision, and they also help to cure dry eyes. Lycopene remains in your body fat longer than normal beta carotene, and recent studies have found that men with high amounts of lycopene in their body fat are up to 50% less likely to suffer heart attacks as those with low amounts.
Gac fruit is jam-packed full of nutrients and antioxidants, and has no known side effects. It is used in Asia for weddings and other special occasions, and is grown on lattices in many gardens, although it has a short season. However, gac fruit is not known as the “Fruit from Heaven” for no reason, and if you were allowed the choice of only one fruit in your life, then this would be the one.
August 14, 2008 09:35 AM
Antioxidants are the body’s main defense against free radicals as they work against the substances that create oxidants and the reactive substances that result from oxidation and reduction. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals by supplying the missing electron so that the molecule may be stabilized. There are many different types of antioxidants ranging from dietary antioxidants to those that the body produces itself. The four major antioxidant nutrients are vitamin A (beta carotene), vitamin C, vitamin E, and selenium.
Vitamin A, the first vitamin to ever be isolated, is essential for the proper function of the eyes and maintenance of the skin. It is found in the retina of all mammals as well as the liver. Vitamin A works to increase our resistance to infections by keeping all the linings in the body healthy. It is necessary for the health and moisture of the skin and the specialized cells lining the eyes, nose, mouth, throat, lungs, esophagus, stomach intestines, and urinary tract. When these cells don’t have sufficient vitamin A, they thicken and harden, which is extremely detrimental to health and makes us more susceptible to infection. Vitamin A also protects the body from cardiovascular disease and cancer, and is necessary for new cell growth, something that is extremely important in slowing the aging process.
Beta carotene is the best known of the two carotenoids that form vitamin A, being composed of two vitamin A molecules that are split apart by liver enzymes when the body is low in vitamin A. If body levels are sufficient, the enzymes remain inactive and beta carotene does not divide, making it a safe source of vitamin A, without producing the toxic effects that come with high levels of vitamin A itself. If excess beta carotene is consumed it is stored in fat tissue or circulated in the blood. Beta carotene is one of the most powerful antioxidant nutrients as it can prevent free radical formation and inactivate existing free radicals. Once free radicals have been formed, it traps them and breaks the chain reaction that occurs.
Vitamin C holds a crucial role in many body processes that are necessary for life, among these being its role in collagen formation. Collagen is important in the every structure of the body, as it works like glue to bind cells together to form tissues. The integrity of collagen depends on vitamin C. Vitamin C also functions as one of the most powerful free radicals to prevent the damage that contributes to aging and age-related diseases.
It also works against pollution and toxins that damage cells and cause mutations, possibly even reducing some food carcinogens and protecting lung lining fluids against damage by air pollution. Vitamin C is important in the immune system and it also increases immunity to infectious diseases, lowers total cholesterol, enhances the effect of vitamin E, promotes wound healing, growth, tissue repair, and helps with the utilization of iron.
Vitamin E prevents aging by prolonging the useful life of cells found in the body. It also works to protect vitamin C and vitamin A from free radical activity so that they may remain potent. Vitamin E has the ability to stop a free radical chain reaction as it is happening and plays an extremely important role in preventing the per-oxidation of lipids (cholesterol). It protects the cell membrane, which in turn causes it to help protect the body from disease.
Selenium, one of the ten essential trace minerals, can be found in all tissues of the body. It is best known for its antioxidant role and its function in fighting cancer. It protects the liver from damage and works to stop lipid per-oxidation. Selenium is vital in maintaining the elasticity of body tissues and preventing the oxidation of fatty tissue, in turn combating the effects of aging. Selenium causes the skin to be healthier, muscle mass and tone are more easily maintained, and the heart is strengthened. Selenium works along with vitamin E, enhancing the effects of each other. It is important to get our vitamins and minerals on a daily basis to maintain a health happier life.
Protect Your Skin
August 11, 2008 03:20 PM
SOD, which is short for superoxide dismutase, is an antioxidant that is found in small, insubstantial quantities in the body. It reduces potentially harmful free radicals. Research is also available that looks into antioxidants role in supporting healthy skin against the sun. However, SOD’s benefits have only recently begun to be studied. One studied found that SOD supported skin health against the photo-oxidative stress that is caused by UV radiation better than any other antioxidant.
Two studies have found that the oral consumption of carotenoids from tomatoes such as lycopene, phytoene, and phytofluene helps to maintain healthy skin by protecting it against the damage induced by UV rays. Topical application of currently available sun care products provides limited protection against UV light, as even so-called quality products allows some light to still penetrate the skin which causes damage and wrinkling. To provide optimal protection, supplementing the diet with natural antioxidants, especially lycopene, is essential along with applying sun care products that contain UV-B and UV-A filters. Many studies have been done to examine the photo-protective effects of lycopene.
It has been shown that this nutrients decreases reddening of the skin. A second study, which involved three groups of antioxidants and two different groups of antioxidant supplements that contained carotenoids and selenium, tested the impact of these nutrients on skin structure and health. After 12 weeks, a significant increase in skin density and thickness, an improvement in skin smoothness and softness, and reduced scaling were the results of using these nutrients. There are many all-natural extracts that contain lycopene, and a complex of tocopherols, beta-carotene, phytoene, and phytofluene. These supplements increase the levels of antioxidants in the skin, which enhances the body’s natural defenses against UV-induced skin damage, supports healthy skin structure, and helps to prevent premature aging of the skin.
Zinc oxide is said to provide the most abundant wavelength protection of any sunscreen ingredient, which uniformly covers from 290 to 300 nm, allowing it to protect against UV-B and most of the UV-A rays. Recent studies have shown that topical vitamins C and E offer greater photo-protection than what was previously realized, delivered protection four times stronger, offered seventy percent sunburn reduction, and prevented the formation of thymine dimmers, which are signature DNA mutations found in non-melanoma skin cancers.
Actually, a study that was published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology determined that a combination of topical vitamins C and E were better for UV protection to skin than an equivalent concentration of topical vitamin C or E alone. Additionally, the combination of vitamins C and E provided protection against thymine dimmer formation. In order to obtain appreciable photo-protection, a combination of topical vitamins C and E is necessary.
Medical experts also suggest that all of the above natural products may protect against skin cancer, photo-aging and the effects that go along with them. For more information on these nutrients and the helpful capabilities that they are able to provide for your body, be sure to contact your local health food store. Sun Care Moisturizers And Creams
Dandelion Root Tea
July 05, 2008 09:53 AM
Just about everybody knows what a dandelion is. In the western world it is a weed, but in many other societies it is an important herb that is used to treat many common diseases and conditions of the human body.
It is also a food, being used in salads and the roots are also used by some as a coffee substitute the same as chicory. It is also used to make a herbal tea, and most people have likely heard of dandelion tea. However, its medicinal properties are not so well known, even though it has been use for hundreds, if not thousands, of years for the treatment of many conditions including those associated with the gall bladder, liver and kidneys.
However, that is not all, and there are several more traditional uses of dandelion in the folk medicine of many different countries including conditions as diverse as water retention and eczema. So, taking all of this into consideration, what exactly are the main benefits of dandelion to the body and what is it that provides these benefits?
Dandelion contains its fair share of minerals and vitamins, and is rich in vitamin C of course, with its strong antioxidant properties. It also contains the antioxidant vitamin A together with several B vitamins and the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D, which is so important for the absorption of calcium by the kidneys and into the bone structure. The minerals it contains is like an encyclopedia entry of minerals important to the human body. It’s not so much what minerals dandelion contains, as what it doesn’t contain.
The list includes phosphorus, iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, silicon, manganese and boron, and the organic nutrients include lecithin, carotenoids, terpenoids, tannins, sterols, choline, inulin, aspargine and so on. It would take a whole book to describe the health benefits of each of these, but an attempt will be made later to discuss the more important of them.
Suffice it to say that the list contains antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, and substances that help to reduce blood cholesterol levels and also maintain the health of your blood and major organs. However, the effect of dandelion on the liver and the digestive system are due largely to substances known collectively as taraxacin. That is what gives dandelion its bitter taste.
What was once known as taraxin, is now known to consist of sesquiterpene lactones known as eudesmanolide and germacranolide, which although claimed to be unique to the dandelion, are very similar to other sesquiterpenes found in chicory. In fact, dicaffeolquinic acid and chicoric acid (dicaffeoyltartaric acid) have been found to comprise a significant proportion of the extract from dandelion roots, together with a number of phenolic acids and flavanoids. Each of these, of course, is important and effective antioxidants, responsible for many positive health effects in the body.
Among the more important of these is the stimulation of the circulation of the blood throughout the body. The sesquiterpenes are also believed to support the activity of the pancreas, and the presence of so many strong antioxidant species within the leaves and roots of the dandelion explains the traditional use of dandelion for the treatment of inflammatory diseases.
Antioxidants support the immune system that causes inflammation when it is under stress. Studies of rats have indicated that dandelion is effective in reducing acute pancreatis, which is itself an inflammatory condition. The large querticin glycoside and flavanoid content of dandelion root extract posses anti-inflammatory properties, and suddenly dandelion is beginning to take on the appearance of a ‘wonder plant’.
However, let’s get away from the technical stuff for a while, and check out exactly what you can use dandelion for. Pregnant and post-menopausal women can gain the benefit of all these nutrients detailed above by taking dandelion extract, and it also has a diuretic effect. Although mild, this can help to remove excess water from the body, and helps to reduce blood pressure and the effects of heart problems. LDL cholesterol levels can be reduced by virtue of its anti-oxidant properties, and can help to resolve minor digestive complaints.
Traditionally it is claimed to have been used as a laxative and a cure for rheumatism. The latter can be explained by its antioxidant effects, and the way the sesquiterpenes reduce the inflammation associated with rheumatism. It is this inflammation of the tissues that causes so much of the swelling and pain of rheumatism and arthritis. Anti-inflammatories help to reduce this effect.
Dandelion is also believed to stimulate the flow of bile from the gall bladder to the duodenum, and help promote the digestion of fats and oils, thus alleviating many of the digestive problems associated with a fatty diet. This also appears to have the effect of stimulating the appetite, and dandelion juice is frequently drunk before a meal for these reasons. It is believed to help bladder and kidney stones, and also helps to alleviate infections of the urinary tract.
Although dandelion is normally safe to take, those with problems associated with the bile ducts should not take it, and if you are already on diuretic drugs, or any medicines designed to lower your blood pressure, you should stay clear of dandelion extract. The same is true if you are taking lithium for manic depression since some of the components of dandelion juice can exaggerate the side effects. It is also recommended that diabetics do not use dandelion extract, and neither should anyone on blood thinning drugs such as Coumadin, or any other form of warfarin.
Although dandelion can be a very effective natural remedy for many conditions, you should always refer to your physician before taking it, since it could interfere with any medications you are currently taking. Your doctor might also be aware of certain medical conditions you have that, while you are not being treated for, could deteriorate in the presence of one of the constituents of dandelion extract.
Although all of this could suggest that dandelion is dangerous to take, in fact what it indicates is that it is very effective against many conditions, and that taking it could lead to the effects of an overdose of the treatment you are already on. Had it not so many contra-indications, dandelion wouldn’t be as effective at doing what it does.
Rescue From High Cholesterol
July 01, 2008 05:22 PM
Cholesterol is an unsaturated waxy solid that is manufactured in the body and has important functions relative to cell membrane management. It is also known to help produce bile to digest fats and can help in metabolizing fat-soluble vitamins. Cholesterol is both made in tissue membranes and derived through the diet. This is where the basis of good and bad cholesterol comes into play. Cholesterol that is made in tissue membranes is transported by high-density lipoprotein (HDL), which delivers the cholesterol to the liver. HDL is thought to remove cholesterol from arteries and delivers it back to the liver for processing. Increased levels of HDL have also been deemed as protective against heart disease. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL), on the other hand, is dietary cholesterol that is transported and carries cholesterol from the liver to tissue membranes.
This factor is not what makes LDL cholesterol bad, instead it is the amount of cholesterol in the wrong place at the wrong time. Large amounts of cholesterol and LDL in the arteries can lead to plaques that gradually damage arteries over time, which leads to heart attack, stroke, or some other type of heart and vascular diseases. Because of these reasons, cholesterol management for heart and vascular health focuses on lowering LDL cholesterol. What is often overlooked is the value of raising HDL cholesterol levels, which can improve removal of cholesterol from dangerous locations in the arteries.
The diet greatly influences health, and by addressing macro and micro nutrients, cholesterol health can be greatly reduced. Macro nutrients that affect cholesterol include fiber, protein, and fats. Micro nutrients are things such as vitamins and minerals, especially those that have potent antioxidant mechanisms, which can affect lipid peroxidation. Fiber, which has long been recommended by the American Heart association (AHA), lowers total and LDL cholesterol levels, while raising HDL levels. Although fiber is straightforward, the trick with protein is to always find a good source that does not have saturated fat and cholesterol that can negate its benefits. Although whey protein is animal-based, it has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol. However, many people have looked to soy to provide cholesterol-managing protein.
When it comes to natural products, there are a few key nutrients that can help with cholesterol management. Among these are DHA, EPA, Omega-3s and 6s, Vitamin E, Vitamin B, and Niacin. Limiting oxidative stress and lipid peroxidation are also important components of cholesterol management. Although micro nutrients give a good level of protection from oxidation, a large amount of antioxidant fighters comes from botanicals, flavonoids, and carotenoids. Some flavonoids that can help with cholesterol care include cocoa, tea, and fruit.
Citrus bioflavonoids also help with antioxidant management, especially when they are combined with vitamin E. Fruits such as pomegranate and grape seed extract help to limit LDL oxidation. Botanicals such as garlic, which contain antioxidant constituents help to lower total and LDL cholesterol while still maintaining HDL levels. Other suggestions to help maintain healthy cholesterol levels include pine bark extract as well as some types of algae.
Whether you’re attempting to use just one or many of these approaches to battle cholesterol levels, there are many well-researched ways to both lower the bad and raise the good cholesterol.