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Benefits of stress management
Mental Health can be overlooked in our everyday lives but it plays a huge role in our health. Our mental state can affect us in many ways both positively and negatively. This article will be discuss the importance of Mental Health with a concentration on stress management. Stress is a significant cause of mental illness today and although we can't eradicate it, we can manage it It is important to understand that not all stress is negative. Stress may occur prior to weddings, graduations, or even social gatherings, but no matter the source of stress, your bodies respond the same. Also, some stress is good for you in order to manage skills needed for survival such as fight or flight.
Experts suggest a combination of physical, social, environmental, and psychological approaches to managing stress. When we are stressed, we encounter General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS). GAS is your complex physiological responses that happen as a result of the stress and has three phases. The first phase of GAS is the alarm phase. The alarm phase occurs when we sense there is a stressor present (Body doesn't sense whether it is a good or bad stressor), everything becomes heightened and hormones respond. The seconds phase of GAS is called the resistance phase. During the resistance phase your body resists stress to get your it back to homeostasis. If you can't rid the stress you move into exhaustion The last phase, exhaustion, occurs when your body is tired and can't fight anymore to get it back to homeostasis. Physical or emotional tension is often a good indicator of stress.
Below is a short list of symptoms from stress.
We all experience some level of stress on a regular basis but as I mentioned before, too much can be harmful to your body. Below I have listed ways in which you can deal with and reduce stress levels.
Take Care of Yourself
Taking care of yourself seems self-explanatory for many but as we enter the exhaustion phase our attention to self-care begins to decline. Eat a healthy diet, get plenty of sleep, treat yourself, and maintain your normal routine.
It is often said that exercise is the most underused stress reliever and this is 100% true. Working out forces you to take your mind off of the stressors and focus on what you are doing and nothing else. Get in a gym or go for a run to lower your stress levels.
Being able to talk to someone during stressful times is very important. Connect with a friend or family member that you will listen to what you want to get off your mind. This can be very helpful for stress reduction.
Avoid Alcohol or Drugs
People often turn to drugs and alcohol in times of stress but fail to realize they only provide temporary relief. Once your "high" or "buzz" wears off, you will more than likely feel worse than before. Alcohol and drugs add to stress and do not help to reduce its impact. I hope this information helps you to recognize when you are stressed and how to handle it Stress is a serious issue that we tend to overlook. Stress is usually a catalyst for other illnesses such as anxiety to occur.
In conclusion chamomile will help you zap stress and unwind and have healthy life.
How Does Nattokinase Improve Blood Flow?
An enzyme is a protein that speeds up complex biochemical reactions in the body. Enzymes are substrate-specific catalysts that accelerate these chemical reactions by converting substrates into simpler products. Nattokinase is an enzyme which is extracted from a traditional Japanese delicacy called Natto. Natto is basically boiled soy beans that have been fermented using a bacterium known as Bacillus natto. When the bacteria act on the boiled soy beans, Nattokinase is produced. This is the only method of preparation of natto that results in the production of this enzyme.
Many people may not be fond of the nutty flavor and sour taste of natto, but this is probably one of the world’s healthiest foods. Its potency lies in the fact that it contains Nattokinase. Nattokinase was discovered by Dr. Hiroyuki Sumi who was searching for the ultimate natural blood thinner and clot-buster. If he found one, it would be a one of a kind thrombolytic agent that would help in the fight against stroke and heart attacks associated with blood clotting. His Eureka moment came in 1980 when he placed natto in a Petri-dish with a thrombus (blood clot). The clot dissolved completely within 18 hours.
The process of blood clotting occurs naturally when a blood vessel is injured. This happens to stop the bleeding; else we would bleed to death. However, sometimes blood clots form in the blood vessels even when a person is not injured. This poses a great risk as it disrupts the smooth flow of blood. It may block a blood vessel and in a worst case scenario, travel to the heart and gets lodged there. This is where the potency of Nattokinase is best applied. As an excellent and natural clot buster, Nattokinase will dissolve existing blood clots and even prevent them from forming in the first place. Another overlooked problem that often results in high blood pressure and heart disease is hyper viscosity. This thickening of the blood results in a sluggish blood flow – it increases the risk of clot formation and it overworks the heart. Nattokinase benefits helps reinforce the actions of the body’s anti-clotting agent – plasmin. It prevents this abnormal thickening of blood hence promoting improved blood flow.
Can Glutamine Improve Nitrogen Balance in the Body?
May 07, 2014 09:08 AM
Can Glutamine Improve Nitrogen Balance in the Body?
Essentials of glutamine have been found to be many. Nowadays there are commercially produced glutamine which are taken as strong anti-catabolic supplement.
Why Trace Minerals are Vital to Our Body?
January 22, 2014 10:20 AM
Minerals in our body
Majority, if not all of the non-organic elements or minerals are present in the human body. Some are vital in our diet and can be derived from the food that we eat. Minerals are categorized into macro/major minerals and the micro/trace minerals.
These minerals serve as catalysts for different biological functions that occur in the body such as transmission of messages in our nervous system or muscle response. Always remember that these minerals are vital factors for good health, particularly with the development of blood cells and bones.
Impacts of pantethine
January 09, 2014 04:53 PM
What is Pantethine
Pantethine (bis-pantethine or co-chemical pantethine) is a dimeric type of pantothenic harsh corrosive (vitamin B5). It is made out of two particles of pantothenic harsh corrosive connected by cysteamine crossing over aggregations. The monomer of this compound is regarded as pantetheine and is a halfway in the generation of Coenzyme A by the form. Pantethine is acknowledged the all the more naturally animated type of vitamin B5, yet it is less stable, disintegrating over the long haul in the event that it is not kept refrigerated most vitamins B5 supplements are subsequently as calcium pantothenate, a salt of pantothenic harsh corrosive.
Pantethine is accessible as a dietary supplement due to proof of its health profits. In different clinical trials of patients with hoisted cholesterol and triglycerides, absolute and LDL cholesterol were diminished by 12%, triglycerides diminished by 18%, and HDL cholesterol was expanded by 9%. These clinical trials were directed with day by day admissions running from 600 to 1200 mg/day. Inside this measurement go there is no proof of a measurements impact relationship, i.e. changes in lipid focuses covered over the reach of measurements. Immediate measurements reaction proof is not accessible in light of the fact that no trial tried more than one measurement. A couple of trials tried 300 mg/day with additional unobtrusive yet factually noteworthy effects.
Further deliberately regulated trials of 600 and 900 mg/d dosages have indicated factually huge bringing down of LDL cholesterol in people with extraordinarily or reasonably raised levels of blood lipids.
Two instruments of activity are proposed for pantethine. In the in the first place, pantethine serves as the forerunner for amalgamation of coenzyme A. In the second, pantethine is changed over to two pantetheine particles which are thusly metabolized to structure two pantethenic harsh corrosive and two cysteamine atoms. Cysteamine is conjectured to tie to and therefore inactivate sulfur-holding amino acids in liver catalysts included in the generation of cholesterol and triglycerides.
Vitamin B-complex can help you to restore adrenal function
January 03, 2014 05:46 PM
We all know that proper functioning of adrenal is highly important for complete health and do not work properly then your body or mind may not function properly. We also know that adrenalin gland create and release a number of required hormones such as adrenaline, cartisol, estrogen, testosterone, and aldosterone that help in normal functioning of body.
What is the Role Vitamin B
This hormone creation process is commonly known as hormone cascade and most of us do not know that Vitamin b-Complex is the most essential material for synthesizing of all these hormones. In this process most of the b-complex vitamins works as coenzymes that means they help the adrenal to form the required hormone by working as catalyst. Other than this, vitamin b-complex helps your body in energy creation and DNA synthesis as well that is essential for proper functioning of adrenal.
If we talk about the role of each vitamin out of all the 8 Vitamin B-complex in proper functioning of adrenal, then we all 8 have some visible effect on it. However, Vitamin B3 also known as niacin, Vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid and Vitamin B6 or pyridoxine are the most important b-complex vitamins that help the adrenal in its acute functioning.
Niacin or vitamin B3 is essential for formation of molecular structure of various co-enzymes and it is required for almost every step of hormone cascade process. Similarly vitamin B5 is also equally important because this particular b-complex vitamin is required for transformation of glucose into energy and it fulfills all the requirement of energy for adrenal hormones. Other than this B6 is another important b-complex vitamin that helps your body to control the adrenal activity and gives proper stress response for proper functioning of your adrenal system. Other than this, other b vitamins work as energy source so if your adrenal is not functioning properly then have complete vitamin B-complex for proper functioning and restoration of your adrenal system.
Why Is DDS Acidophilus A Better Form Of Friendly Bacteria?
April 03, 2012 10:34 PM
Every day, there is constant battle going on between the healthy bacteria who try to create a healthy environment in the digestive tract and the bad bacteria who try to establish dominance. Along with healthy, beneficial bacteria, your gastro-intestinal tract is susceptible to many harmful bacteria that can enter the body through food and water. And if these bad bacteria keep on multiplying unchecked, they create a bacterial imbalance that can affect your digestive health and lead to problems such as bloating, gas pain, constipation, belching or diarrhea. These harmful bacteria cannot be completely eliminated from the digestive system, but healthy bacteria can be added to the environment of your digestive tract that can counteract the action of bad bacteria. These healthy bacteria also known as probiotics give relief from many types of digestive discomfort, defend your GI tract from free radicals and thus support your immune system function.
Many Bacterial Strains
There are many strains of healthy bacteria such as lactobacillus DDS, lactobacillus fermentum, Bifidobacteria bifidum etc. which boost your digestive health. DDS Acdiophilus is by far the most popular strain commonly used due to its multiple benefits in promoting the digestive health. Researched by Metchnikoff and Dr. Shahani's, L. acidophilus DDS is grown and produced under specific conditions and has properties of great significance for digestion and nutrition as well as other physiological conditions like health and prophylaxis. Till now, this strain is well studied to find its beneficial role in achieving optimal digestive health. It works as a prophylactic, nutrient and antibiotic.
Beneficial Properties Of DDS
The beneficial properties of DDS acidophilus, based on proper research and documentation are:
1. Lactobacillus DDS helps in production of enzymes such as proteases and lipases which help in digestion of proteins and fats.
2. It helps in production vitamin B (and folic acid), which plays the role of biocatalyst in digestion of food.
3. DDS acidophilus produces natural antibiotics such as acidophilin that protect digestive gut from harmful bacteria.
4. It helps in maintaining the integrity of intestinal walls so that maximum absorption of nutrients can occur.
5. It aids digestion and helps you prevent digestion related problems. Lacyobacillus DDS inhibits the growth of toxic producing microorganism in the body, such as yeast and hence inhibits recurrent yeast infections.
6. L. acidophilus DDS helps in alleviating the symptoms of lactose
7. Intolerance by producing large quantities of lactase enzyme, which help in digestion of milk based products.
8. Studies have shown that DDS acidophilus contain antitumor and anti-carcinogenic properties.
9. Due to their antibiotic properties, lactobacillus inhibits several gastrointestinal and uropathogens, thereby preventing many urinary, digestive and vaginal infections.
It helps in metabolism of calcium and reduction of serum cholesterol levels. Hence lactobacillus supplementation helps in preventing as well as curing osteoporosis.
The benefits of DDS acidophilus are not only limited to digestive system but this exceptionally powerful strain of probiotic bacteria helps in supporting your immune system, energy levels and overall well-being. Lactobacillus is widely researched than any other strain of healthy bacteria that promote optimal digestion.
DDS acidophilus strain is available in supplement form that can be taken to enhance digestive health.
What Is L-Carnosine And What Does It Do?
March 30, 2012 08:28 AM
What Is L-Carnosine
L-Carnosine is basically a combination of 2 vital amino acids-L-histidine and beta-alanine. It is naturally present in the body, mainly in the muscle, and in many animals too. Carnosine can be broken down easily into the two amino acids, but it is good to know that these amino acids work much better when combined to form L-Carnosine. L-Carnosine has the remarkable ability to revitalize, that is, to make older cells younger and lengthen their life cycle. This compound is commercially available and is the only one that has the rare and distinctive ability to rejuvenate cells.
What does L-Carnosine do?
In simple language, L-carnosine is able to transform itself into so many compounds with each performing or enhancing a number of crucial body functions such as:
May bind to dangerous metal compounds to make them inactive.
Turning the resultant metal compound/carnosine into useful antioxidants which in turn can be anti-ulcer agents
Protecting and stabilizing cell membranes, keeping cells safe from dangerous free radicals
Protecting healthy cells from damage caused by radiation
Enhances blood flow to the brain
Acts like a neurotransmitter, helping messages move from one nerve to the other. This helps fight dementia, as in Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease, and boost memory.
Blocks guanylate cyclase activation, an enzyme associated with cancer, migraine, asthma, and septic shock.
Special derivatives of carnosine can help get rid of the accumulation of sugar compounds and abnormal protein in the eye. A variety of these compounds may cause glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration.
Carnosine works like a catalyst to boost the work of so many other compounds and nutrients.
Benefits of using L-carnosine
Although L-carnosine benefits haven't been extensively researched, according to initial studies it may help in:
Dealing with complications related to cataracts, diabetes, neuropathy, and kidney failure.
It may also help in slowing down aging in skin, minimizing wrinkles as well as breakdown of elasticity in skin.
It can help to prevent joint inflammation, atherosclerosis, and formation of cataract.
Carnosine has been known to prevent and reduce cell damage occasioned by beta amyloid-the substance found in Alzheimer's patent's brain.
Additionally, carnosine appears able to help get rid of the helicobacter pylori bacterium, the organism associated with stomach cancer and peptic cancer. Therefore, it can significantly help protect and heal both peptic and gastric ulcers.
Other possible L-carnosine benefits
Increase muscle endurance and strength
Improves heart function
Speeds healing of wound
A powerful antioxidant that can deal with even the worst free radicals
Reduces inflammation and boosts immunity
It helps pull out or chelate some heavy metals from your body
May help autistic children
Act as anti-cancer agent in the body
Stabilizes cell membranes and slows down lipid peroxidation to protect the process of aging of the brain
L-carnosine can help in preventing or even treating age-related conditions like:
Cell aging/cellular senescence
Cross-linking of eye lens
Build up of damaged proteins
Brain circulatory deficit
Cross-linking of collagen in the skin
DNA chromosome damage
LDL cholesterol oxidation
Formation of AGEs i.e. advanced glycation end-products.
What is stopping you from taking L-Carnosine today?
What Are The Health Benefits Of A Multi-Mineral Supplement?
March 05, 2012 07:42 AM
Four to five per cent of the human body weight is made up of minerals, for the body to function properly it must have sufficient supply of minerals because they are essential building blocks for teeth, bones, muscle, soft tissue, nerve cells and the blood. Minerals are needed for proper digestion, muscle response, hormone production, manufacture of antibodies and communication in the nervous system. They also regulate the body's acid, bases and water balance. It is because of these reasons that people need to have a daily consumption of minerals. Plant based minerals are the best way to obtain these minerals but because of diet deficiency's people still need to take supplements.
Multi-minerals are important for people who have dietary imbalance i.e. people who do not eat balanced diets or those who are on restrictive diets. Multi-minerals supplements are also important for people who have different dietary needs like elderly people and pregnant women.
SOME MINERALS CONTAINED IN MULTI-MINERALS AND THEIR BENEFITS
Magnesium is a catalyst in the processing of fats, carbohydrates, calcium, proteins, potassium and phosphorous. There has been a link established by researchers between heart health and magnesium for the heart to be strong and have regular heartbeats a stable amount of magnesium is required. Magnesium is also required for enzymes to function properly and the prevention of diseases that are associated with lack of proper enzyme functioning these diseases includes chronic fatigue and diabetes.
Calcium helps in the maintenance of healthy teeth and bones. it also helps in the utilization of vitamin A, B complex vitamin C and D, manganese, iron, magnesium, zinc and phosphorous.
Phosphorous is found in all cells in the body and is an important aspect of every chemical reaction that happens in the body. Calcium, magnesium, zinc, manganese, zinc and iron work best when taken together with phosphorous.
Iron, protein and copper form the oxygen transporter in the blood stream known as haemoglobin, this helps in maintaining healthy red blood cells. Calcium, copper, phosphorous and cobalt are better utilized when taken with iron.
Copper contributes to our skin and hairs health. Beans, crabs, nuts, meat and the liver are a good source of copper but because of today's hectic lifestyles and diet deficiency's a lot of people may need to take supplements that contain copper. Some cardiovascular diseases and high blood pressure may be caused by a lack of sufficient copper in the body, this mineral also helps in lowering bad cholesterol and strengthening of the immune stem. Manganese is found in very small amounts in the body but it play a crucial role in maintenance of healthy tissue, blood clotting, and prevention of some cancers, maintain brain health and sex hormone regulation.
Chromium is a mineral that is essential when trying to lose weight or when trying to maintain an ideal weight, because of its ability to burn fat and its muscle developing role. People with low levels of chromium have a high probability of developing heart problems and diabetes.
Other minerals include iodine, potassium and molybdenum. Everybody should be taking a multiple vitamin and mineral 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?
Why Should I Be Taking A Vitamin B-Complex?
February 03, 2011 12:18 PM
Vitamins are vital to life. They are essential organic nutrients that are required in very small amounts. Each vitamin is responsible for a certain metabolic function. Vitamins, except for Vitamin D, are not synthesized by the human body and thus are essential nutrients that must be provided through diet or supplements. Vitamins have two categories based on their solubility, the water – soluble and the fat – soluble. Water – soluble vitamins comprise of the B – complex vitamins, vitamin C and choline. On the other hand, the fat – soluble ones are vitamins A, D, E and K. In this article, we will focus on vitamin B – complex which are water soluble.
Vitamin B – complex include thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pyridoxine, folate, cobalamin, biotin and pantothenic acid. These vitamins are crucial to many biologic processes:
Vitamin B-1 or thiamine is plays a role in energy metabolism and nerve functioning that is associated with muscular movement.
Vitamin B-2 or riboflavin also acts as a coenzyme in the release of energy from nutrients just like thiamine.
Vitamin B 3 or niacin is also very important in energy metabolism, specifically in glycolysis and tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle.
Vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid is involved in the normal growth and development of cells.
Vitamin B6 or pyridoxine acts as a catalyst in protein metabolism. This is essential in the development of nerve cells and normal functioning of the nervous system.
Vitamin B7 or biotin aids the transfer of carbon dioxide from one compound to another. It also assists the body to make hormones.
Vitamin B9 or folic acid helps maintain a healthy DNA and is required in the production of red blood cells (RBC).
Vitamin B12 or cobalamin is important in the growth and development of tissues and organs. It is also needed in the production of RBCs and nervous system functioning.
These vitamins are found almost in all foods, yet no one food is a perfect source of all these essential vitamins. Fruits and vegetables, cereals, meat and dairy products are great sources. Experts suggest that it is always best to consume vitamins from food sources. However, deficiencies may be rampant if you would just depend on dietary sources. These vitamins work hand in hand that an insufficiency in any B vitamin may result to poor functioning of any or all of the other B vitamins even if they are in good supply. Good thing, vitamin B – complex is made available to supplement the diet. These supplements come in capsule or tablet preparations. Inadequate levels of B vitamins may cause a feeling of weakness, tingling sensation and numbness in both upper and lower extremities, muscle cramps, hair loss, nail brittling, abdominal pain, depression, anemia, poor growth and development in children, and birth defects. As mentioned above, B vitamins are water – soluble. This means that the body cannot store this kind of vitamin except for vitamin B12 and any excess will be readily excreted in the urine. That’s why for those who are taking vitamin B – complex, it is safe and normal to have a bright to dark yellow – colored urine.
Bromelain Supplements why?
November 06, 2010 10:32 AM
Bromelain enzyme may not be as familiar as other digestive supplements to most people but this helpful catalyst offers a wide range of benefits not only to the digestive system but also to other systems of the body.
Bromelain Enzyme Supplement
Bromelain enzyme is a proteolytic digestive catalyst that contains sulfur. From the word “proteolytic”, this substance aids in the digestion of proteins especially when taken with meals. On the other hand, when taken without meals, it is deemed to act as an anti-inflammatory supplement. Ananas comosus or the pineapple plant is the best source of this beneficial enzyme. However, fresh pineapple extract does not contain doses high enough to have a medicinal effect. Hence, a preparation to meet the body’s demand is produced. Bromelain supplements now come in the form of tablets and topical creams. They are now widely available and affordable to counterweigh the several uses it offers.
In the Digestive System, bromelain enzyme does not only help in digesting proteins but may also relieve gastric upset and heartburn especially when used together with other digestive enzymes like amylase, a catalyst responsbile for carbohydrate digestion, and lipase which is for the digestion of fats. Diarrhea conditions associated with deficiency in the proteolytic enzymes can also be alleviated with the use of this supplement.
In the Immune System, bromelain has been widely considered as an effective relief for pain and swelling caused by both injury and certain infections. Studies frequently show the bromelain’s ability in facilitating the body to restore health more quickly. The mechanism is said to be a reduction of fibrin and leukotriene accumulation, thus regulating the inflammation process. Researchers have demonstrated evidences that a daily intake of 1,200 to 1,800 mg of bromelain may help alleviate painful inflammation just like in rheumatoid arthritis.
In the Cardiovascular System, bromelain supplement is theorized to play a role in the prevention of heart disease caused by atherosclerosis or thickening of the arterial wall due to plaque deposits. It slows down the clumping of platelets thus preventing a possible heart attack.
Bromelain May Also Relieve Pain
Lastly, bromelain may also relieve pain associated premenstrual syndrome and menstraul cramps. Studies reveal that they act as prostaglandin inhibitors. However, bromelain can also increase the bleeding during menstruation.
Bromelain supplement has no Recommended Dietary Allowance but doses of up to 1 gram taken 3 times a day showed no toxic effects. Experts also advise to take bromelain on an empty stomach supplemented with magnesium to increase the bromelain’s effects.
Just like any other drug or food supplement, bromelain also has side effects, nonlife-threatening to be exact. It may have drug interactions such as increasing the absorption of some medications like antibiotics, chemotherapeutic drugs and specific antihypertensive agents. In addition, it may also bolster the effects of blood thinners such as warfarin (Coumadin), anti-inflammatory drugs and antiplatelet agents such as clopidogrel (Plavix). Since bromelain supplement can cause certain drug interactions, it is important to take this enzyme cautiously or under the supervision of a qualified health care provider.
To find quality bromelain supplements, look to your local or internet vitamin store.
February 13, 2009 10:47 AM
Copper is an essential trace mineral that can impair the ability of white blood cells to fight infection with even the slightest deficiency. Copper is necessary for the proper absorption of iron in the body. It is found primarily in foods that contain iron. If the body does not get a sufficient amount of copper, hemoglobin production decreases, causing copper-deficiency anemia to potentially result.
There are a variety of enzyme reactions that require copper. Copper is essential as a cross-linking agent for elastin and collagen. It is also a catalyst for protein reactions and is also needed for oxygen transport. Copper is used for the metabolism of essential fatty acids. Copper deficiency can result in a variety of symptoms. Among these symptoms are diarrhea, inefficient utilization of iron and protein, and stunted growth. The development of nerve, bone, and lung tissue can be impaired in babies and the structure of these body parts may also be altered.
Because the body is unable to manufacture copper, it must be obtained through the diet. Too much copper trace mineral produces a condition known as copper toxicity or copper overload. In order for the body to work properly, it is essential that it has a proper balance of copper and zinc. An imbalance can lead to thyroid problems. Additionally, low copper levels can contribute to mental and emotional problems. For example, copper deficiency may be a factor in anorexia nervosa.
Although the FDA has never published a Recommended Daily Allowance for copper, the National Research Council recommends that adults get from 1.5 to 3.0 mg per day, while children obtain 1.5 to 2.5 milligrams and infants less than six months old obtain 0.4 to 0.6 milligrams. For most people, a normal healthy diet will provide the correct amount of copper.
Copper deficiency is most likely to occur in babies who are fed only cow's milk, persons suffering from a malabsoprtion syndrome known as sprue, persons suffering from kidney disease, and those who chronically take mega-doses of zinc. Long-term use of oral contraceptives can upset the balance of copper in the body. This can cause either excessively high or excessively low copper levels. Copper levels can be determined through a blood test, urine samples, and hair analysis. The basis for a nutritional program to balance body chemistry is determining mineral levels and ratios.
The following nutrients are helpful in combating copper deficiency. The dosages recommended are for adults unless otherwise specified. For a child between the ages of twelve and seventeen, the dosage should be reduced to three-quarters the recommended amount, while one-half the recommended amount should be used for a child between six and twelve. A child under the age of six should use one-quarter the recommended amount.
Copper should be taken in dosages of 5 mg daily for a month, and then reduced to 3 mg daily. This helps to restore copper in the body. It is recommended that a copper amino acid chelate is used. 30 mg of zinc should be taken daily, as it is needed to balance with copper. This amount should not be exceeded and a zinc chelate form should be used. Iron should be taken as directed by a physician, as copper deficiency may cause anemia. Be sure to use a chelate form and do not take iron unless anemia is diagnosed. Additionally, a multivitamin and mineral complex should be taken as directed on the label since all nutrients are necessary in balance.
In conclusion, copper is a wonderful mineral that can help one with immunity and much more. Remember that copper should only be taken in low dosages of 1 to 3 milligrams per day. Copper can be found at your local or internet health food store.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Copper is 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.
L-Arginine An Amino Acid Essential Or Not You Be The Judge?
January 06, 2009 04:01 PM
L-Arginine is an amino acid that is one of 20 needed by the body for its existence. To some, it is not what is known as an essential amino acid, since it can be biosynthesized by the body, but arginine is termed a conditionally essential amino acid in that we must include some in our diet because our biochemistry does not produce all that our body needs, particularly during the growing years.
Amino acids are the building blocks of life, and are the units from which proteins and ultimately our DNA are built. In fact DNA contains the blueprints for every protein used by our bodies, including all the enzymes without which our biochemistry could not occur. When a supply of a particular protein is needed, the DNA template provides the sequence of amino acids needed to produce it.
Of the 20 amino acids we need, only 10 can be produced by our body: the other 10 must be included in our diet and are termed 'essential' because they are an essential part of our diet, just as vitamins and minerals are. Without an adequate supply of essential components, we cannot survive, and if the essential amino acids are depleted in our diet then the body will break down muscle tissue to release them.
Although L-arginine is termed a 'conditionally' essential amino acid, it is included by many among the 10 regarded as being essential. Hence, depending upon who you read, it can be either essential or non-essential. That is because, as inferred earlier, arginine is needed for growth and development, and there is insufficient in the diet to meet these needs. Therefore, while it is essential in cases where growth is still taking place, it is not in those where normal growth is complete.
Proteins are essential for all animal life, forming not only the enzymes, or biochemical catalysts, but also muscles and DNA among other bodily tissues. Protein is also a necessary part of our diet, and it is from protein, animal or vegetable, that we get the amino acids in our diet. L-arginine is one of these, being available from all meats and seafood’s, and vegetables rich in protein such as soy, seeds, nuts and grains.
So what does arginine do for us, quite a lot in fact, many of its functions being related to our health? Arginine plays an important role in the healing of wounds, especially bone, assisting the immune function, decreasing blood pressure and speeding up the repair time of tissue. However, it possesses other properties such as increasing muscle mass, helping to increase male fertility and improving the circulation.
It also helps to remove ammonia from the body, and is a precursor for the biosynthesis of nitric oxide (NO2). It is in the way that L-arginine works with the nitrogen stores of the body that we will focus on here, prior to touching on its other properties.
L-Arginine transports, stores and excretes nitrogen, and used biochemically to manufacture nitric oxide. This oxide of nitrogen plays a very important role in your body, and is produced in every cell of your body. Nitric oxide helps in the dilation of your blood vessels, allowing a reduction in blood pressure, better circulation and helping to prevent a mans man-hood dysfunction, all of which are due to its relaxing effect on smooth muscle contraction and the promotion of the increased blood flow necessary for men and their functions. It is also important to your immune system and nervous system.
It works in a similar way to the effect of nitroglycerine on the heart: this is converted in the body to nitric oxide which relaxes the blood vessels and so reduces the amount of work needed by the heart. The way in which L-arginine forms nitric oxide is by the action of the enzyme nitric oxide synthase.
The amino acid is also an important component of the Citric Acid or Kreb's cycle, where it reacts with ammonia which is a toxic by-product in the generation of energy in the mitochondria. Ammonia is converted to urea by L-arginine and excreted from the body. This is another way in which L-arginine is involved in the storage and use of nitrogen-containing compounds in your biochemistry.
It was mentioned earlier that arginine is an essential amino acid for children. Studies have indicated that it supports the release of the human growth hormone from the pituitary gland although the amount released through supplementation of the amino acid varies widely between individuals. The growth hormone maintains the production of proteins and muscle tissue in the body cells. This reduces as we age, and arginine becomes non-essential, the smaller amounts needed in our biochemistry being manufactured by the body.
The anabolic effect of the supplement is believed to increase the effectiveness of exercise intended to increase muscle bulk and reduce the percentage of body fat, and many take L-arginine as a supplement while undergoing such anabolic fitness and exercise programs. It is normally best to start with low supplement levels and work up due the potential side effects (diarrhea and nausea).
Arginine is an important component in the body's healing mechanisms for both tissue and bone, and studies have confirmed accelerated healing of wounds and fractures with arginine supplementation. Although the mechanism by which this occurs is not yet understood, there is evidence that it may be connected with the nitric oxide pathway and increased blood flow, and also with its effect on the immune system in reducing inflammation at the healing site.
Diabetics, however, should be careful with substances that promote the release of growth hormone, and children with incomplete bone growth should also use such agents only under medical supervision. With diabetics, their condition could be either exacerbated or improved, and those with herpes and some psychotic conditions should also be careful.
Nitrogenous compounds are essential to life, and L-arginine plays a significant role in the storage, use and secretion of them. Without it life would not be possible, although it is its visible uses, such as the effect of nitrous oxide on blood flow and of proteins on muscle metabolism, for which it is best known to those that use it, either as a supplement or as a remedy. Pure supplement form is available at your local or internet health food store.
October 11, 2008 10:26 AM
The non-essential amino acid glycine is needed to generate muscle tissue and also for the conversion of blood glucose into energy. It is referred to as being ‘non-essential’ because the body can manufacture its own glycine, and is therefore not an essential component of your diet. Other uses to which glycine is put by the body includes the maintenance of a healthy nervous system, and is necessary for the proper functioning of the digestive system.
Amino acids play three essential roles in the human body:
1. They are the building blocks of proteins: proteins comprise about half of the dry weight of the majority of your body cells, and without them there would be no life. They are produced using monomers known as amino acids, and there are about 20 different amino acids used to make the vast variety of proteins that make up the human body. Proteins are needed to form enzymes, the catalysts that permit the majority of chemical reactions within our bodies, and also genes, the building blocks of DNA.
2. More relevant here, amino acids play an important role in the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) from ADP (adenosine diphosphate) by phosphorylation with creatine phosphate. The more creatine phosphate available, the more ATP can be produced. Since ATP is the molecule responsible for the generation of energy, then the more ATP available the more energy is generated. Although creatine is available from many food sources, it is destroyed by cooking, and over half of what you use is made from the three amino acids, glycine, arginine and methionine. The energy produced in this way is very short-lived, and last only a few seconds - more on that later.
3. Glycine is heavily involved in the production of collagen, which is the substance that maintains the flexibility of your skin and other connective tissues while still maintaining their strength and firmness. Without glycine your skin would become slack due to the degrading effect of sunlight, free radicals and oxidation.
The non essential amino acid, glycine, is believed to offer other benefits to the human body, but it is the second of those above, the production of ATP, which interests us here. ATP is an extremely important nanomolecule, second in importance to the body only to DNA, and possibly also RNA since the two are linked. RNA makes copies of your DNA structure for use in cell division and growth.
When a cell expends energy for whatever reason, such as when I am typing this, or when your heart beats, or even when your liver synthesizes a protein, one of the phosphate groups is removed from the adenosine triphosphate molecule, and converts it to adenosine diphosphate (ADP). The ATP is then said to be 'spent', just as your energy is spent when you are tired and can exercise no more.
The ADP is then immediately reconverted to ATP in the mitochondria, a part of every cell in your body. A cell can contain hundreds, or even thousands, of mitochondria, the number depending upon that particular cell's need for energy. Hence, cells in your muscles, or in your liver where most of the body's chemistry takes place, contain thousands of mitochondria whereas those in your scalp contain a lot less. Once changed to ATP, a phosphate is again lost when energy is expended, and so the cycle continues.
Glucose is needed allow the ADP to be converted to ATP, hence the need for sugars, or the carbohydrates from which they are manufactured in your body. Each cell can contain up to a billion molecules of ATP, although the couch potatoes among you probably have a lot less! Your store of ATP molecules last about 2 to 5 seconds before being changed to ADP although more rapidly for athletes that expend a lot of energy. Then the energy stored in the form of glycogen in the liver kicks in for another 4 - 6 seconds.
Additionally, you cannot expend more energy that the (eventual) sugars that you take in your diet, which can be in the form of ordinary 'sugar' (sucrose), fruit (fructose), glucose, carbohydrates that are metabolized into sugars, or any other member of the sugar family (e.g. lactose, maltose, etc.).
Glycine is one of what are called glucogenic amino acids, which refers to their ability to provide glucose to the blood. Because it helps to maintain proper blood glucose levels, it is often prescribed for conditions that are caused by low glucose levels, such as hypoglycemia that shows symptoms of fatigue and tiredness, and also anemia and what is known as CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome).
The one activity of the human body, in fact that of any mammal, for which ATP is essential, is the heartbeat. Without that no mammal could survive, or any other creature that relies on a circulation system for life. The only reason you heart has to beat is to pump your blood around your body, and it is your blood that contains the oxygen and nutrients needed to sustain life. Your cardiovascular health relies on lots of ATP being available to power each and every heartbeat.
Analysis of the heart during the final stages of heart failure has revealed that there is a general decrease in the myocardial arginine: glycine amidinotraferase (AGAT) gene expression, which is indicative of the necessity of this enzyme for proper heart function. The enzyme is responsible for the first stage in the biosynthesis of creatine from glycine.
Creatine is well known to athletes, and while it is available naturally from some food sources, it can be destroyed during cooking, and at least 50% of the creatine needed by the body is produced in the liver, pancreas and kidneys. It is creatine phosphate that is broken down into creatine and phosphate, the latter of which is used by the mitochondria to regenerate ATP from ADP.
The study carried out on the reduced AGAT levels found in heart failure patients indicates the importance of glycine to heart health. Without a good supply of glycine, there will insufficient creatine produced biochemically to generate the phosphate needed to for the ATP to produce the energy required to keep the heart pumping with the required strength. The energy provided by the mitochondria is used locally by the cells in which it is produced, and within a few seconds of that production. As explained earlier, ATP stores are used up within 2 - 5 seconds, and glycogen stores within another 4 - 6 seconds.
That is why sprinters cannot keep running at maximum speed for more than around 10 seconds or so, because the immediate availability of glycine, and hence creatine, are insufficient to last longer than that. That is one reason why they have to finish those 100 meters as fast as possible, because otherwise they would run out of energy. Other than trying to win, of course!
However, when it comes to the heart, ATP stores are essential, and the cells in your heart require a constant supply of ATP from creatine, which itself depends upon your intake or biosynthesis of glycine. Since dietary sources are insufficient to meet all your needs, and destroyed by cooking, a glycine supplement is the only way to ensure a sufficient intake. You cannot undernourish your heart and remain healthy.
ATP biosynthesis is essential if that of glycine theoretically is not, but the fact that 50% of your glycine requirement has to be produced by your body and the other 50% is sensitive to heat during cooking, a supplement of glycine could be essential to many people.
Capsicum - Cayenne Red Pepper
July 28, 2008 03:06 PM
Capsicum also known as cayenne pepper has been known to the natives of the tropical Americas for thousands of years. It was first introduced to Europe by Christopher Columbus as Guinea Pepper and was originally used by Native Americans that were located south of the Mexican boarder as early as 700 B.C. The mixture of chocolate and red chilies was a taste treat that was reserved exclusively for Aztec royalty. Although the exact origin of the word Capsicum is somewhat a mystery, it is assumed to be derived from the Greek word kapto, which means to bite. Capsicum is a fruit found on a shrub-like tropical plant that is technically considered a berry. The designation of it as a pepper can be traced back to Columbus, who compared its hot taste sensation with that, a black pepper.
Gerard referred to Capsicum as extremely hot and dry in 1597 and prescribed it to those with skin and throat infections. The health practitioners of the 1800s used Capsicum to counteract rheumatism, arthritis, depression, and chills. Capsicum was used in the early 1800s as a potent and safe natural stimulant and was believed to be able to treat a large array of diseases. It was first used orally to treat tumors, toothaches, fevers, and respiratory conditions.
This cayenne red pepper was introduced to England by Dr. John Stevens in 1804 when it became the catalyst component in many herbal blends. Additionally, herbal and medical practitioners used Capsicum in order to fight infection and sustain the natural heat that the body produces. After, it became very well known in American dispensatories and pharmacopeia. In 1943, The Dispensary of the United States recorded Capsicum to be a powerful local stimulant that produces a sense of heat in the stomach and a general glow over the whole body when it is swallowed. It does all of this without having a narcotic effect.
Physicians in the twentieth-century recognized the medicinal value of Capsicum. This caused the herb to find its way to the American Illustrated Medical Dictionary, the Merck Manual and Materia Medica, where it is named a rubefacient, local stimulant, counter-irritant, gastric stimulant, and diaphoretic. Mexican Indians today use Capsicum as an intestinal disinfectant and protectant against contaminated food and, additionally, to treat fevers. In the world today, this cayenne pepper is no more appreciated and more widely used than in Mexico and a few other Latin American countries, which together are the original home of all the peppers. Practically every dish the Indians eat both in the morning and evening include Capsicum, just as it was 2,000 years ago. These peppers are a wonderful source of essential vitamins in a diet that is otherwise lacking of them.
Capsicum is a source of health and vitality in many countries which include the Bahamas and Costa Rica, in which it is used to treat colic and indigestion, in Africa for vascular disorders, and in North America as a tonic and natural stimulant. Currently undergoing a large variety of studies, Capsicum has emerged with an impressive list of actions. Scientists are currently taking notice and looking at Capsicum with a new respect and interest. Capsicum can be set apart from powerful pharmaceutical stimulants and pain killers because it possesses the potency without the delirious side effects.
B Vitamin Supplements
May 07, 2008 03:18 PM
The fact that B vitamins have had to be coenzymated before they can be used by your body has been known for some time, but it is only over the past few years that they have been made commercially available in that form. Before we discuss the B vitamins in their coenzyme form it might be appropriate to discuss what coenzymes are and how they differ from ordinary enzymes.
An enzyme is like an organic catalyst: it takes part in biochemical reactions by allowing such reactions to take place, but itself remaining unchanged. All enzymes are proteins formed in your body from amino acids and other protein material. A coenzyme, on the other hand, is somewhat like an enzyme for the enzymes, in that it is needed for the enzyme to do its job. Without a coenzyme, many enzymes could not promote the biochemical reaction it is responsible for.
The B vitamins are all water soluble, which means that they are readily excreted and it is not impossible that if you take a B vitamin supplement, the whole lot will be immediately excreted in your urine if not used by your body. Whether they are or not it is a fact that your body can quickly become depleted of the B vitamin group, especially if you drink a lot. Alcoholics in particular are frequently vitamin B deficient. Although the liver can store unused vitamin B, they are only very small quantities and insufficient to prevent a deficiency.
A deficiency in the B vitamins can cause a wide range of unpleasant conditions that are rapidly remedied with supplements. Pellagra is due largely to a deficiency in Vitamin B3, and causes hair loss, horrible skin lesions and many other side effects that you don’t want to know about. Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause loss of memory, and is common in alcoholics and some vegetarians (vitamin B12 is animal derived). Other symptoms of a general B vitamin deficiency include exhaustion, heart palpitations, fibrillation, anxiety, restlessness, attention deficit disorder and many, many more.
It is not pleasant so you make sure that take enough vitamin B in your diet: dietary sources are far superior to pills although supplements will help you get over the symptoms of the deficiency until your diet takes over. Supplementation is also a good way to maintain a regular supply of vitamin B complex irrespective of your diet. The effects of a deficiency are so bad that a regular supplement is well worth taking.
However, back to coenzymes and why they are needed for the metabolism of B vitamins in your body. Most B vitamins are, in fact, coenzymes themselves. Keep in mind that the definition of a vitamin is an organic substance that is essential for the normal health of your body. If you lack even one vitamin, your health with suffer and eventually you will be likely to die. That describes all of the B vitamins perfectly, and they also just happen to be coenzymes. This is not coincidence, of course, and their biochemistry must have been recognized before the concept of coenzymes was formulated.
The B vitamins proper consist of eight distinct proteins: B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B6 (pyridoxine), B9 (folic acid), B12 (cyanocobalamin), and biotin and pantothenic acid. They are all essential components in human and animal metabolism, and most are also coenzymes.
Every cell in your body depends on B vitamins for its existence, which is why pregnant women should include a good supply of them in their diet, especially folic acid (B9). They are essential for the cellular development of the fetus. Folic acid is necessary for the synthesis of nucleic acids that allow cell growth and the production of red blood cells. However, not one can be placed in importance above any other since they are all essential.
With respect to the coenzyme factor, the vitamin B coenzymes are responsible for many of the biochemical reactions upon which life depends. Coenzyme B-12 for example is essential for two types of reaction that it catalyzes, one being a hydrogen atom exchange with alcohol and amine functional groups, the other being connected with methyl group transfer between molecules.
In humans, the first of these is responsible for an essential step that results in energy being metabolized from fats and proteins in the mitochondria and the second for DNA production in cells that is indirectly responsible for growth. Each of these is why a vitamin B-12 deficiency leads to excessive fatigue and also a lack of fetal growth (although folic acid can make up for the latter deficiency).
Thiamine (Vitamin B1) is a coenzyme for the metabolism of carbohydrates to energy. In the body it is present in the form of thiamine diphosphate, a coenzyme that assists in the decarboxylation of pyruvate as part of the citric acid cycle, otherwise known as the Krebs Cycle, that takes place in the mitochondria and is responsible for the generation of energy through aerobic respiration.
Another coenzyme that is involved in the Krebs Cycle is formed in the body from Vitamin B3, or niacin. This coenzyme, nicotinamine adenine dinucleotide, has a redox potential and can store energy for use later on. Vitamin B5 can be converted in the body to Coenzyme A that not only breaks proteins down into individual amino acids, but also takes part in the first part of the Krebs Cycle. There is a common pattern emerging here where the B vitamins have an important part to play in the generation of energy from fats and carbohydrates.
Similarly, Vitamin B6 is present in the body as the coenzyme Pyridoxal 5'-phosphate that helps to break down the body’s emergency energy store, glycogen, into energy when needed.
In these ways, and more, the coenzymes created in the body from the B vitamins help many of the reactions of life to take place, and without these coenzymes life could not exist. Hence the importance of the B vitamins themselves, and any deficiency could be disastrous to the metabolic processes that generate energy and keep you alive. It is not just the energy needed for exercise and normal human activity that will be compromised, but also that which keeps the heart beating and your diaphragm moving to allow you to breath.
Without a doubt, a Vitamin B supplement is one of the most valuable of all the vitamin supplements, and they are available in many forms. You might also find some of the B vitamins in their coenzyme form, though some of them may be unstable. However, whatever form they are taken in, Vitamin B complex should be one of the first on your vitamin supplement shopping list.
Digestive Enzymes To Improve Wellness For Kids
November 04, 2007 03:19 PM
It is very safe to say that most people experience some type of digestive difficulty, as digestive disturbances are very common, especially for those who do not practice healthy eating. The numerous advertisements for antacids and acid blockers clearly identify the degree of this problem. But, what about our children? It has been proven that kids are suffering from digestive problems more than ever before due to unhealthy eating habits and nutritionally deficient diets that are high in saturated fats and processed sugars and carbohydrates. The food that is served in school cafeterias often contains too much fried food and not enough fresh produce. Additionally, parents have to constantly fight a losing battle against advertisements for junk food. Many children follow in the footsteps of their parents, picking up the same bad eating habits, which frequently leads to poor digestion and health problems. Overeating, eating too fast, or not chewing food well hinders digestive capability leading to symptoms such as gas, heartburn, bloating, burping, bad breath, diarrhea, constipation, and general discomfort or fatigue after meals. Although these symptoms are common, they should not be considered normal as they are distress signals sent by our body telling us that the digestive process is not going smoothly and we are not receiving the full nutritional benefit of the food we eat. If digestion is not efficient or complete, inflammation may develop, which causes “leaky gut syndrome,” leading to various allergic reactions.
The brain is especially susceptible to protein fragments, which come from the incomplete digestion of grain gluten and dairy casein. Researchers believe that these fragments, which are called exorphins, are the main factors in the cognitive symptoms and abnormal behaviors of those kids with ADHD and autism. A recent study on thirty-six autistic children found that a majority of these children had digestive disorders including esophageal reflux and inflammation, gastritis, duodenitis and low carbohydrate digestive enzyme levels. Some doctors believe that seventy-five percent of the children that they treat have major deficiencies of pancreatic enzymes.
Enzymes are often called the spark of life or the missing link in nutrition because no plant or animal can exist without them. Digestive enzymes are protein catalysts which break down food so the body can absorb nutrients. Therefore, enzyme supplementation can be extremely helpful, especially when it is done in conjunction with dietary changes. And, yes, kids can take enzymes supplements, too. In children with digestive symptoms, enzyme supplements help to establish proper weight because better assimilation of nutrients helps growth and repair while still supporting a healthy metabolism. Digestive enzymes come in mild-potency enzyme formula which covers all of the food groups for children. Children should take a powder which is safest so there are no caps to swallow and chock on and powdered enzymes allow children to get their digestive enzymes through one scoop which can be added to your child’s favorite juice. Some formulas add potassium carbonate, this form of potassium adds a fun fizz to whatever beverage is used, but is not recommended in milk or water. Look for a powdered supplement that is sweetened with xylitol, a safe and natural sugar substitute which supports tooth and gum health. Since more children than ever suffer from the consequences of incomplete digestion, digestive enzymes are a safe and effective way to support digestion and assimilation of important nutrients into your child’s diet in an enjoyable way.
Prevent Disease With Discount Vitamins
October 24, 2007 09:33 AM
You can prevent disease with discount vitamin just as easy as with those you pay top dollar for on the High Street. Vitamins are vitamins, and they do not lose quality for price as long as you know what to look for and stick with name brands. They are the most purchased supplement in the western world, and there are ways of getting them for less than the normal price.
First, though, a definition of what a vitamin is since an astounding number of people have no idea of what actually constitutes a vitamin even though they can recite all the letters. In fact, a vitamin is a molecule, obtained from an organic animal or vegetable source that is essential for life. Without it there can be no animal life and vitamins generally catalyze or act as coenzymes in the biochemistry that makes up all of the chemical reactions of the body. A catalyst allows a reaction to occur without changing itself, and a coenzyme allows enzymes to do their jobs.
Let’s have a look at one or two vitamins to provide examples of these statements. In bygone days when sailors used sail to cross the oceans in open boats powered only by sail and oar, a trip that takes us a week in a cruise liner these days could take sailors several months. It was not only the fact that they relied on favorable winds, but also that they did not always know where they were going, and were frequently unable to store up for a whole voyage. They depended on landing at islands on the way to replenish supplies. Disease due to lack of nutrition was common and one of these was scurvy.
This condition is not strictly a disease and is due to a lack of vitamin C, or ascorbic acid. In fact the name ‘ascorbic’ comes from the Latin for ‘without scurvy’. The symptoms are liverish spots over the body, spongy gums that cause the teeth to fall out and bleeding from the mucus membranes. Healed scars will open up, and cured and knitted bone fractures will separate. Ultimately it causes death. The first person is used since scurvy still exists.
It is due to a breakdown in the synthesis of collagen which heals scars, keeps joints held together, and forms the outside part of cells, and also some inner cell structures. Collagen synthesis is dependent on the amino acids proline and lysine that are hydroxylated by the enzymes lysyl and prolyl hydroxylase. The problem is that these enzymes need ascorbic acid (vitamin C) to do their work. Without it, collagen cannot be made.
Although the chemistry was unknown, early sailors soon found that citrus fruits such as lemons and limes prevented this horrible condition. The English used to stock up their ships with fresh limes at any port of call that had them, and this is why the English are frequently referred to a ‘Limeys’. It got them a nickname, but it saved their lives. Scurvy is now rare, but it is not a disease as such that can be eradicated. It occurs now and again in teenagers with poor diets that do not include fresh fruit and vegetables.
Vitamin C supplements are now available, and it is one of the most common of the discount vitamins on the market. The same is true of vitamin A that is essential for good eyesight. It has many other uses, as has vitamin C, but without it we could not survive. Without it we will eventually become blind, although the first symptom is night blindness. However, an excess can lead to hypovitaminosis A, a condition common in the developed world. Its absence can kill us, and vitamin A deficiency is one of the more common conditions of the developing world. Vitamins are contrary creatures, and can do us harm as well as good.
How about vitamin D, the sunlight vitamin? We don’t think of it, yet it is responsible for the strength of your skeleton and the regulation of calcium and phosphorus levels in the blood. Without it our bones become soft, our children get rickets and we eventually die – frequently through cancer.
1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol is the chemical name for calcitriol, which is the form of vitamin D found in the body, known as vitamin D3. This has been found to kill some cancer cells in the laboratory, and it is thought that supplements of vitamin D might help to prevent some types of cancer. The reults of a four year cancer study were released in June, 2007, that showed a reduction of 60% in cancers where patients were given a aupplement of 1100 inernational units daily. This rose to 77% where the cancers had been diagnosed in their first year.
The effect of vitamin D was emphasized by the reults of a study of more than 4 million cancer patients that showed a marked difference in the risk of cancer according to whether they lived in sunny or less sunny climates.
So these are the benefits of some discount vitamin supplements. How, then, do you find vitamins at discount prices? The easiest way is to purchase in bulk. There are those that form online clubs for vitamins and pay a weekly or monthly fee to join. When offers come online for specific supplements at low prices, they are purchased by the groups and distributed. You could do the same yourself with some friends, since it is generally cheaper to purchase 5 Kg of a vitamin that 500g. Your local health food store could also help you out since they are likely to be able to procure discount bulk prices from their supplier.
Another way is to wait until your local store makes special offers, or seek offers in the press. These can often be found, but if you are concerned mainly with the common vitamins A, B complex, C, D and E then a large proportion of the population are interested in these and you should not find it difficult to sell several kilos of these. You will not only get yours free, but will a sizeable profit into the bargain.
Anything between that and the normal price is an advantage for chemicals that are essential for life. One thing to always remember, buy reputable name brand vitamins because if the vitamins seem to cheap than you’re probably right. Name brand vitamins have quality and can be purchased at discount prices if you look long enough.
Supplements good for reducing stress and boosting energy!
March 26, 2007 02:05 PM
More and more Americans are feeling overworked, overtired, and overcome by life’s demands. We just do not have the energy we need to meet our responsibilities to the people we care about. More importantly, we don’t even have the energy to have fun! It seems that a constant feeling of fatigue has become part of the American way of life.
Research has shown that the same processes that cause lack of energy can rob us of sleep, saddle us with excess weight, disrupt our hormonal balance, and create significant amounts of stress in our daily lives. Chronic stress can dramatically contribute to fatigue, sleep disorders, irritability, and anxiety. The research simply confirms what most of us already know – uncomfortable stress can really wear us out mentally and physically! It can take away the satisfaction of a job well done. It can take away our ability to believe in ourselves. And, sadly and maybe most importantly, continual stress can take the fun and joy out of life.
In a separate issue of Ask the Doctor, we discuss the energy and sleeping needs of people suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. In this issue, I discuss the 3-step process I call “Vitality 101.” People do not have to accept pain, insomnia, or fatigue. It’s time for everyone to feel great and have a life they love!
Step 1 – Nutrition
Good overall nutrition is important for everyone! As a foundation product to support energy levels, a powdered drink mix is a pleasant, easy way to ensure that you are taking all of the necessary vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that you need to have great energy all through your day.
The following chart lists the most critical ingredients. You can see that almost all of the vitamins and minerals work together to help improve energy levels and overall health.
In addition to the powdered energy drink mix, it is important that you also take a high potency vitamin B-complex supplement. This should include niacinamide, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, and choline, which are especially important to restore the energy production needs of your body. It is also critical to get enough water, as most Americans are chronically dehydrated.
Step 2 – Rest Your Body
Having trouble sleeping is one of the most troubling symptoms of stress. While the stress is wearing us down and making us tired, it’s also keeping us tense and unable tot relax. The result? That easy drift into sleep becomes harder and harder. And if we are lucky enough to actually get some shut-eye, stress will often wake us up, sometimes several times a night.
This occurs because excess stress suppresses the sleep center in the brain. It is important to break the “stress/insomnia cycle” early, before it results in pain and hormonal and immune dysfunction!
Because good quality sleep is how the body repairs and re-energizes itself, it may be helpful to use herbal products to promote good quality sleep. There are many natural supplements that are marketed as sleep formulas. To get the best results, it is very important that the right ingredients are in the sleep formula you buy. Look for a supplement that has a blend of herbs that promote deep sleep, such as valerian, L-theanine, hops, passionflower,
Step 3 – Manage Excess Stress Levels
In this fast paced world, it is important to learn to manage the stressor in our lives. Glandular extracts, such as raw adrenal extract, can offer natural support to help our bodies deal with the effects of stress and, in turn, can boost your energy levels. Exercise is another stress buster. Using your body physically is important for good health. Find something that is fun for you, however, or you are unlikely to stick with it!
Q. Does stress zap my energy in any other ways besides making me lay awake at night and causing me to be a zombie the next morning?
A. Most people are familiar with the body’s dramatic response to an emergency. The heart pounds, the muscles constrict, and the lungs expand – and while this is happening, we are capable of greater than normal strength and speed. This response is the body’s way of rescuing itself when faced with an emergency. We don’t have to think about it to make it happen. It’s automatic.
The same can be said of a chronic stress response. Whether we’re late for a business meeting because we’re stuck in traffic, or worrying about how we are going to pay for our children’s college tuition, our response to stress happens automatically. The difference between the two is that the body’s response in an emergency starts and resolves itself quickly. The response to being stuck in traffic may not.
The body makes the “stress hormone”, cortisol, to handle the normal stresses of day-to-day living. But in an emergency situation, the adrenal glands, located above the kidneys, secrete increased amounts of this hormone until the emergency passes. Then the body returns to its normal function. Unfortunately, however, chronic stress is more complex. When our body is subjected to increased amounts of the hormone, cortisol, for an extended time, it can lead to a condition known as “adrenal burnout” or “adrenal fatigue.” While it’s true that very large amounts of cortisol can have damaging effects on our hormones, too little cortisol doesn’t allow us to respond to stress properly. It’s really a matter of balance.
Q. How can I control the stress in my life and re-energize?
A. Many people who are under constant stress may have adrenal burnout. Adrenal burnout occurs when the adrenal glands are constantly producing cortisol in response to chronic stress. Over time, this exhausts the adrenal reserve, meaning the adrenal gland can no longer increase cortisol production in response to stress.
The good news is that changes in our hormone levels can return to normal when stress is decreased. The key in learning how to deal with daily stress is to allow the body to return to its normal state. I discuss additional techniques for coping with stress in my recent book Three Steps to Happiness! Healing Through Joy (see my website, www. jacobeitelbaum .com, for more information). In addition to stress control, it is important to supplement your adrenals with a glandular therapy regimen to ensure healthy cortisol levels and adrenal function. Glandular therapy, which uses the concentrated forms of bovine (cow) or porcine (pig) glands, can improve the health of our glands. Pioneers in the field of endocrinology (the study of hormones) hypothesized that glandular extracts work by providing nutrients the body lacked and thus repaired the malfunctioning gland.
If you are one of the unlucky folks with stressed-out adrenal glands, you should see great results from taking raw adrenal supplements. Be sure to buy adrenal extract supplement that contains both whole adrenal and cortex adrenal.
The best adrenal supplement should also contain vitamin C, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid and licorice. Licorice contains glycyrrhizin, which is broken down into glycyrrhizic or glycyrrhetinic acid. This compound inhibits the activity of an enzyme that turns active cortisol into inactive cortisol. While in high amounts (greater than 100 mg of glycyrrhizic acid/day), licorice administration causes hypertension, no such effects have been observed at lower doses. Experts have speculated that inhibition of the cortisol-converting enzyme may reduce cortisol-related symptoms associated with adrenal insufficiency. The adrenal glands use these nutrients to manufacture cortisone and other compounds. It just makes sense to purchase an adrenal supplement with these supportive ingredients.
Did your grandmother ever tell you to eat your liver so that you didn’t get “tired blood?” Well, it turns out that she was right. Liver extract is another glandular extract that can help improve energy levels.
Liver extract is an excellent source of highly bioavailable nutrients including iron, B vitamins (especially B12), and other minerals. The stamina and energy-enhancing benefits of liver are widely touted. Liver extract has been shown to support healthy function of the liver and increase the energy levels inside our body.
Because heat will destroy the key components in the liver, a high quality liver extract supplement should be cold-processed and encapsulated to enhance speed and absorption of nutrients from liver. A high quality aqueous liver extract supplement should also contain vitamin B12 to support healthy blood iron and oxygen levels to energize.
Q. It will be great to get a good night’s sleep. Are there also any other natural alternatives that could help promote relaxation and increase my energy levels during the day?
A. Yes, there are. Rhodiola rosea is an all-natural herb that has long been used to help relieve stress and increase energy. Rhodiola has also been used to lift our moods, improve sexual satisfaction, and even help in certain nervous system disorders. First used in Siberia and
In clinical trials, the most effective Rhodiola rosea extract was found to contain 3% rosavins and 1% salidroside. While there are many Rhodiola supplements in health food stores, only those containing these specific amounts can provide the best results.
Altered digestion, food intolerances, decreased energy, fatigue, cognitive problems, and sleeplessness create the need for changes in daily living routines. These can include alterations in diet; exercise modifications; alterations in activities of daily living according to one’s energy level; and sleep/rest management. All may require the assistance of a professional clinician, such as a chiropractor, nutrition specialist, physical and/or occupational therapist, mental health professional, or sleep therapist.
Super busy lives demand super strength nutrition. Begin each day with a powdered nutritional supplement after getting at least 8 hours of sleep each night. In addition to the nutritional beverage mix, a vitamin B complex supplement should be taken every morning. The nutritional drink mix and the vitamin B complex supplement will ensure that your body has all the vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and other nutrients to combat your fatigue. Taking a daily adrenal supplement, like the one discussed earlier, will provide the much needed (and often depleted) nutrients your body may be lacking, and help you recover lost energy. Rhodiola rosea, and ginseng can offer additional natural nutritional support in your busy life to boost your energy levels. These nutritional supplements can be used daily and you will feel energized to get through each day’s challenges and opportunities!
Trace Mineral Concentrate (Ionic Charge)
January 08, 2007 03:55 PM
Ionic Charge: Trace Mineral Concentrate
1/2 teaspoon contains:
Sodium (naturally occurring) 5 mg
Magnesium (naturally occurring) 246 mg
Sulfate (naturally occurring) 36 mg
Also contains trace amounts of the following: Chloride, Potassium, Lithium, Boron, Calcium, Carbonate, Bromide, Iodine, Rubidium, Scandium, Phosphorus, Nickel, Manganese, Chromium, Strontium, Cobalt, Zinc, Lanthanum, Cerium, Barium, Copper, Iron, Silicon, Yttrium, Molybdenum, Tin, Gallium, Gold, Silver, Cesium, Beryllium, Selenium, Vanadium, Dysprosium, Holmium, Terbium, Praseodymium, Lutetium, Gadolinium
Magnesium May Help Reduce Inflammation…
August 03, 2006 03:39 PM
Magnesium May Help Reduce Inflammation… Taking a daily supplement of magnesium may help reduce the levels of a type of inflammation that could lead to heart disease in people with low dietary intake of minerals. According to research published in Nutrition Research (2006, Vol.26: 193-196), Magnesium intake from supplements has an impact on the likelihood of having elevated C-reactive protein (CRP), “Separate from and in addition to dietary intake.” CRP is a pro-inflammatory cytokine—a signaling molecule associated with increased inflammation. The researchers used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2000 and focused on 10,024 people with valid measurements of both CRP levels and dietary and supplemental intake of magnesium. Among other findings, the study showed that people with a total (Dietary plus supplement) magnesium intake below the U.S. recommended daily allowance (420 milligrams for men over 20 and 320 milligrams for women over 30) were found to be 40 percent more probably to have elevated CRP levels.
along with the mineral Magnesium, trace minerals are the catalysts for all the vitamins and other nutrients your body uses for developing and maintaining good health. try out one of these trace mineral supplements which supplies 250mg of Magnesium as well as 72 trace minerals.
Did you know GliSODin can do this?
June 08, 2006 12:01 PM
GliSODin – The Antioxidant Catalyst
GliSODin promotes the most powerful antioxidant known, those in the body’s own internal antioxidant defense system.
Although dietary antioxidants are certainly important, they only play a supporting role. GliSODin takes an entirely different approach – it stimulates the body’s production of its own antioxidants – including superoxide dismutase (SOD) Glutathione Peroxidase (Gpx), and catalase. These provide the first and most important level of defense against oxidative stress.
So add GliSODin to your diet and help your body protect itself. Get the complete solution to antioxidant protection and enjoy real health benefits!
*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Best Sugar Balance Svetol (green coffee extract)
May 05, 2006 06:30 PM
Best Sugar Balance featuring Svetol® Svetol® is an extract of green coffee obtained by the use of a traditional patented extraction process from the beans of the species Coffea canephora robusta Pierre. This species is particularly rich in the constituent known as chlorogenic acid. Svetol® green coffee extract contains less than 2% caffeine. The extract is standardized to contain between 45-50% chlorogenic acids.
In vitro (test tube) and in vivo research suggests that chlorogenic acids present in coffee may have the ability to regulate blood sugar concentrations after meals by acting on the intestinal absorption of glucose and improving the body's glucose tolerance. Clinical evidence also suggests that Svetol® green coffee extract may help to maintain a healthy blood sugar level when used as a part of the diet.*
Maintains healthy blood sugar levels when used as a part of the diet*
Chlorogenic acid is the major polyphenol compound found in Svetol® green coffee bean extract. In vitro and animal studies have been conducted to determine the potential actions of this polyphenol. Studies report that chlorogenic acid and related compounds have significant antioxidant potential and are responsible for the high reported antioxidant benefit of green coffee. Several studies suggest that consumption of coffee in the diet is one factor that is correlated to the maintenance of healthy neural function and healthy aging. Coffee has also been shown in vitro to suppress the production of various free radicals. The chlorogenic acid content of coffee has been determined to be a major factor in the free radical quenching properties of coffee. A study was conducted to assess the activity of coffee extracts against the production of hydroxyl radicals in an in vitro system. It was found that coffee extracts possessed significant suppressive activity against hydroxyl radicals. Of the compounds assumed to be responsible for this effect, the researchers concluded that the chlorogenic acids played a major role with some contributions from other compounds found in the extract. This compound may also strongly contribute to any potential neuroprotective effects seen with coffee consumption.1
Two further studies highlight a possible mechanism by which chlorogenic acid mediates its antioxidant activity. In one study, the FRAP (Ferric Reducing Antioxidant Power) assay was used to measure and compare the iron-reducing capacity of chlorogenic acid and caffeine. It was shown that the chlorogenic acid content of the samples tested was highly correlated with iron-reducing activity in this assay. Moreover, lighter roasted coffee samples (closer in nature to green coffee) had the highest iron-reducing activity. Caffeine did not influence the iron-reducing activity of the coffee samples.2 Iron compounds are known to mediate the production of radicals and often serve as catalysts for their production in the body. A second study shows that chlorogenic acid can bind to and Chelate certain iron compounds, preventing them from catalyzing radical-producing reactions. In this way, chlorogenic acid acts as a powerful antioxidant.3
Chlorogenic acid and related compounds have a dual effect on the production and suppression of free radicals. In the case of the hydroxyl radical, studies outlined previously suggest that chlorogenic acid suppresses the production of the radical due to its ability to chelate iron compounds, while other studies suggest that chlorogenic acid has direct scavenging effects on the hydroxyl radical.4 Dietary intake of this potent polyphenol may confer multiple benefits to human health.
Several studies further suggest that chlorogenic acid in coffee can have a beneficial effect on blood sugar levels when consumed as a part of the diet. A recent study assessed the effects of coffee and tea consumption on glucose tolerance in middle-aged Japanese men. In this study, the relationship between daily intakes of green tea or coffee and glucose tolerance status was measured by the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). More than 3,400 men participated in the study in which fasting glucose was measured before and 2 hours after administration of an oral glucose load. A self-administered questionnaire was used to establish daily levels of dietary coffee and green tea consumption over the past year. The results showed that those individuals who consumed the highest levels of coffee per day had lower fasting glucose levels (by 1.5%) and lower post-test glucose concentrations (4.3% lower) than those who did not consume coffee Chlorogenic acid and related compounds have a dual effect on the production and suppression of free radicals. In the case of the hydroxyl radical, studies outlined previously suggest that chlorogenic acid suppresses the production of the radical due to its ability to chelate iron compounds, while other studies suggest that chlorogenic acid has direct scavenging effects on the hydroxyl radical.4 Dietary intake of this potent polyphenol may confer multiple benefits to human health.
Several studies further suggest that chlorogenic acid in coffee can have a beneficial effect on blood sugar levels when consumed as a part of the diet. A recent study assessed the effects of coffee and tea consumption on glucose tolerance in middle-aged Japanese men. In this study, the relationship between daily intakes of green tea or coffee and glucose tolerance status was measured by the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT).
More than 3,400 men participated in the study in which fasting glucose was measured before and 2 hours after administration of an oral glucose load. A self-administered questionnaire was used to establish daily levels of dietary coffee and green tea consumption over the past year.
The results showed that those individuals who consumed the highest levels of coffee per day had lower fasting glucose levels (by 1.5%) and lower post-test glucose concentrations (4.3% lower) than those who did not consume coffee on a daily basis. In this study, green tea consumption was not associated with any benefits on glucose concentrations.5
It is likely that the chlorogenic acid found in coffee plays a role in supporting healthy glucose metabolism, whereas the role of caffeine is not clear, with some reports suggesting an adverse effect on sugar metabolism.
A second study further confirms an effect of chlorogenic acid at inhibiting the absorption of glucose from the diet. This effect occurs in the small intestine. In this study, nine healthy fasted volunteers consumed 25 grams of glucose in 400 ml of water (the control group), caffeinated coffee, or decaffeinated coffee. Frequent blood samples were taken over the next 3 hours. It was found that glucose and insulin concentrations were higher 30 minutes after the consumption of caffeinated coffee than with either decaffeinated coffee or control (water).While caffeine has specific biological effects on raising glucose levels and impacting insulin profiles, chlorogenic acid was shown to have an antagonistic effect on glucose transport. Previous studies have also shown that chlorogenic acid significantly delays glucose uptake from the small intestine.6
RESEARCH ON SVETOL®
Svetol® is a unique extract of Coffea canephora robusta green coffee beans containing between 45 and 50% chlorogenic acids with less than 2% total caffeine concentration. As outlined above, many studies highlight the potential benefits of coffee compounds, including chlorogenic acid, for providing protection against free radicals and promoting healthy glucose metabolism. A number of other potential benefits have been discovered for these compounds. Svetol® has also been the subject of preliminary clinical studies that have shown exciting results.
In a pilot study, the effect of Svetol® on sugar concentrations after meals was evaluated in 15 individuals. In the same trial, the longer-term effects of Svetol® on weight management were also evaluated. Blood sugar concentrations were measured on two separate occasions. Patients were administered an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) in which they consumed a standard amount of sugar and had their blood sugar levels measured 1 hour after sugar intake. The first measurement was made on day 1 prior to taking Svetol® and the second OGTT was performed on day 2, after beginning the Svetol® regimen in which one tablet (200 mg per tablet) was administered 3 times during the day. Patients were fasted for at least 8 hours prior to the testing. The results showed that Svetol® was able to reduce blood sugar concentrations in 60% of the subjects. The mean reduction of blood sugar concentration in these individuals was 50%. The treatment was continued following the same regimen for 6 weeks to assess the impact of Svetol® on weight. The average weight loss of the participants was 1.5 kg (3.3 lbs) over the treatment period. 7
Based on the studies mentioned above and other related research on the ingredients in Svetol®, scientists have proposed two mechanisms of action whereby Svetol® may influence the metabolism and processing of glucose. The first mechanism seems to be an inhibitory action on glucose absorption from the diet. Svetol® may affect the uptake of glucose in the small intestine by modulating factors needed for sugar absorption.
The second mechanism relates to possible effects of Svetol® in the liver's ability to produce glucose. Chlorogenic acids have been shown in vitro and in animal studies to modulate the effects of certain enzymes in the liver that catalyze the production of glucose. By having this dual effect on sugar absorption and sugar production, Svetol® is an effective product for maintaining healthy blood sugar levels when used as a part of the diet.*
Svetol® is a natural food extract from green coffee beans containing a standardized amount of chlorogenic acid. Studies have shown that chlorogenic acid (up to 500 mg/kg/day) given to pregnant rats from the 5th through 12th day of gestation caused no maternal or fetal mortality and no adverse effects on the nervous system. Chlorogenic acids have also been shown to be non-mutagenic in tests on bacteria such as the Ames test. The LD50 of chlorogenic acids has been determined to be higher than 2500 mg/kg body weight. Svetol® is also extremely low in caffeine, with less than 2% caffeine contained in the extract, and is not expected to have any of caffeine's stimulant effects. Svetol® is extremely safe with no adverse effects having been reported while taking Svetol® at the recommended dosage.7
*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
1) Daglia M, Racchi M, Papetti A, Lanni C, Govoni S,Gazzani G. In vitro and ex vivo antihydroxyl radical activity of green and roasted coffee. J Agric Food Chem.2004 Mar 24;52(6):1700-4.
2) Moreira DP, Monteiro MC, Ribeiro-Alves M, Donangelo CM, Trugo LC. Contribution of chlorogenic acids to the iron-reducing activity of coffee beverages. J Agric Food Chem. 2005 Mar 9;53(5):1399-402.
3) Kono Y, Kashine S,Yoneyama T, Sakamoto Y, Matsui Y, Shibata H. Iron chelation by chlorogenic acid as a natural antioxidant. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 1998 Jan;62(1):22-7.
4) Zang LY, Cosma G, Gardner H, Castranova V, Vallyathan V. Effect of chlorogenic acid on hydroxyl radical. Mol Cell Biochem. 2003 May;247(1-2):205-10.
5) Yamaji T, Mizoue T, Tabata S, Ogawa S, Yamaguchi K, Shimizu E, Mineshita M, Kono S. Coffee consumption and glucose tolerance status in middle-aged Japanese men.Diabetologia. 2004 Dec;47(12):2145-51. Epub 2004 Dec 15.
6) Johnston KL, Clifford MN, Morgan LM. Coffee acutely modifies gastrointestinal hormone secretion and glucose tolerance in humans: glycemic effects of chlorogenic acid and caffeine. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 Oct;78(4):728-33.
7) Berkem.Text on Svetol®.Gardonne, France: November 2005.
Mayo Clinic Diet
December 26, 2005 11:44 AM
Mayo Clinic Diet
In 2 ½ months you should lose 52 pounds
This diet is given to heart patients needing to lose weight fast for surgery.
1. All soft drinks need to be diet and caffeine free.
GliSODin® (The Antioxidant Catalyst) 100 mg Fact Sheet
December 07, 2005 12:47 PM
GliSODin® (The Antioxidant Catalyst) 100 mg Fact Sheet Neil E. Levin, CCN, DANLA 01/31/05
LIKELY USERS: People with exposure oxidizing chemicals; People wanting to increase their body’s production of antioxidants.
KEY INGREDIENT (S): SOD (Superoxide Dismutase antioxidant enzyme) from melons Organic Wheat Grass leaf
MAIN PRODUCT FEATURES: Patented, clinically tested form of SOD to ensure absorbability; Protects cell mitochondria from oxidative stress that leads to genetic damage the cells; Reduces markers of cellular oxidative damage in the blood; May increase the body’s production of important antioxidants including SOD, Glutathione and Catalase.
OTHER IMPORTANT ISSUES: This product contains wheat protein as an aid to protecting the SOD and increasing its absorption. The base of organic wheat grass synergistically provides additional, naturally occurring levels of SOD and other nutrients, though this additional SOD is not well absorbed.
AMOUNT and HOW TO USE: One to three capsules a day, preferably between meals. If taken at mealtime avoid taking non-chelated (alkaline) forms of minerals at the same meal and take this capsule at the beginning of the meal to speed its transit time through the stomach and minimize exposure to alkaline foods and supplements that may cause the capsule to break down prematurely. That could potentially reduce the effectiveness of this form of SOD. The coating is designed to survive stomach acid and dissolve in the more alkaline conditions of the small intestine.
COMPLEMENTARY PRODUCTS: Alpha Lipoic Acid, EGCg Green Tea Extract, Whey Protein Isolate, Selenium, NAC, Vitamin C, other Antioxidants.
CAUTIONS: Contains wheat and wheat proteins, should not be used by people who are gluten-intolerant. Gluten intolerance may manifest with neurological, not abdominal symptoms, so please consider having a gluten intolerance test if you do have any neurological problems. Please notify your physician about your supplement use if you are using any drugs!
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Free Radic Res. 2004 Sep;38(9):927-32. Influence of an orally effective SOD on hyperbaric oxygen-related cell damage. Muth CM, Glenz Y, Klaus M, Radermacher P, Speit G, Leverve X. Sektion Anasthesiologische Pathophysiologie und Verfahrensentwicklung, Universitatsklinikum Ulm, D-89073 Ulm, Germany. PMID: 15621710 [PubMed - in process]
HAWAIIAN NONI (Morinda citrifolia)
July 11, 2005 08:50 PM
In a time when we are more concerned than ever with issues of health, a tried and true tropical herb called noni needs t o be added t o our list of the best natural remedies. It susage over hundreds of years supports it s description as a veritable panacea of therapeutic actions. At this writing, noni continues to accrue impressive medicinal credentials, and its emergence as an effective nat ural healing agent is a timely one. Amidst rising cancer rates, the high incidence of degenerative diseases like diabetes, and the evolution of ant ibiotic resist ant bacteria and new viral strains, herbs like noni are sought after for their natural pharmaceutical properties. Unquest ionably, all of us want to know how to:
Indian Mulberry (India), Noni (Hawaii), Nono (Tahiti and Raratonga), Polynesian Bush Fruit, Painkiller Tree (Caribbean islands), Lada (Guam), Mengkudo (Malaysia), Nhau (Southeast Asia), Grand Morinda (Vietnam), Cheesefruit (Australia), Kura (Fiji), Bumbo (Africa) Note: This is only a small sampling of vernacular names for Morinda citrifolia. Almost every island nation of the South Pacific and Caribbean has a term for this particular plant . This booklet will refer to the herb mainly as “ noni” or M. citrifolia, and is referring primarily to Hawaiin noni.
The parts of the noni plant most used for their medicinal and nutritional purposes are the fruit, seeds, bark, leaves, and flowers. Virtually every part of the noni plant is utilized for its individual medicinal properties; however, it is the fruit portion that is regarded as its most valuable. The seeds have a purgative action, the leaves are used to treat external inflammations and relieve pain, the bark has strong astringent properties and can treat malaria, the root extracts lower blood pressure, the flower essences relieve eye inflammations and the f ruit has a number of medicinal actions.
Morinda citrifolia is technically an evergreen shrub or bush, which can grow to heights of fifteen to twenty feet . It has rigid, coarse branches which bear dark, oval, glossy leaves. Small white fragrant flowers bloom out of cluster-like pods which bear creamy-white colored fruit. The fruit is fleshy and gel-like when ripened, resembling a small breadf ruit . The flesh of the fruit is characterist ically bitter, and when completely ripe produces a rancid and very dist inctive odor. Noni has buoyant seeds that can float formont hs in ocean bodies. The wood of the inflammatory, astringent, emollient, emmenagogue, laxative, sedative, hypotensive (lowers blood pressure) , blood purif ier, and tonic.
Noni has various chemical constituents. First, it has an impressive array of terpene compounds, three of which—L. Asperuloside, aucubin, and glucose— have been identified by their actyl derivatives. Both caproic and caprylic acids have been isolated.1 Second, bushfruits, a category of which noni fruit is a member, are also considered a good source of vit - amin C.2 Third, Hawaiin noni has been linked to the synthesis of xeronine in the body which has significant and widespread health implications. Last , the alkaloid cont ent of the noni fruit is thought to be responsible for its therapeutic actions. Alkaloids exhibit a wide range of pharmacological and biological act ivitiesin the human body. They are nitrogencontaining organic compounds which can react with acids to form salts and which are the basis of many medicines. The following is an in-depth chemical analysis of each plant part and it s chemical constituents.
discovered an alkaloid in the Hawaiin noni fruit which he calls proxeronine and which he believes has appreciable physiological actions by acting as a precursor to xeronine, a very crucial compound (see later sections) . In addition, a compound found in the fruit called damnacanthol is believed to help inhibit cert ain viruses and cellular mutations involved in cancer.
ROOT AND ROOT BARK
Recent surveys have suggested that noni fruit exerts antibiotic action. In fact, a variety of compounds which have antibacterial properties (such as aucubin) have been identified in the fruit.5 The 6-Dglucopyranose pentaacet ate of the fruit extract is not considered bacteriostatic.6 Constituents found in the fruit portion have exhibited ant imicrobial action against Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhi (and other types) , Shigella paradysenteriae, and Staphylococcus aureaus. Compounds found in the root have the ability to reduce swollen mucous membrane and lower blood pressure in animal studies. Proxeronine is an alkaloid constituent found in Hawaiin noni fruit which may prompt the production of xeronine in the body. It is considered a xeronine precursor and was discovered in noni fruit by Dr. Ralph M. Heinicke. He has theorized that this proenzyme can be effective in initiating a series of beneficial cellular reactions through its involvement with the integrity of specific proteins. He points out that tissues contain cells which possess certain recept or sites for xeronine. Because the reactions that can occur are so varied, many different therapeutic actions can result when xeronine production escalates, explaining why Hawaiin noni is good for so many seemingly unrelated disorders. Damnacanthol is another compound contained in the fruit of the Hawaiin noni plant which has shown the ability to block or inhibit the cellular function of RAS cells, considered pre-cancerous cells.
Body Systems Targeted
The following body systems have all been effec-freeze-dried capsules, dehydrated powder or fruit, and oil. Noni plant constituents are sometimes offered in combination with other herbs. Some products contain a percent age of the fruit, bark, root and seeds for their individual therapeutic properties.
Extracts of M. citrifolia are considered safe if used as directed; however, pregnant or nursing mothers should consult their physicians before taking any supplement . High doses of root extracts may cause constipation. Taking noni supplements with coffee, alcohol or nicotine is not recommended.
Ideally, noni extracts should be taken on an empty stomach prior to meals. The process of digesting food can interfere with the medicinal value of the alkaloid compounds found in Hawaiin noni, especially in its fruit . Apparently, stomach acids and enzymes destroy the specific enzyme which frees up the xeronine compound. Take noni supplements without food, coffee, nicotine or alcohol. Using supplements that have been made from the semi-ripe or light - green fruit is also considered preferable to the ripe, whit ish fruit .
NONI: ITS USE AND HISTORY
Noni is a tropical wandering plant indigenous to areas of Australia, Malaysia and Polynesia. It is considered native to Southeast Asia although it grows from India to the eastern region of Polynesia. Morinda citrifolia has a long history of medicinal use throughout these areas. It is thought to be the “most widely and commonly used medicinal plant prior to the European era.” 7 Centuries ago, the bushfruit was introduced to native Hawaiians, who subsequently called it “noni” and considered its fruit and root as prized medicinal agents. Among all Polynesian botanical agents of the 19th and 20th centuries, Hawaiin noni has the widest array of medical applications. Samoan and Hawaiian medical practitioners used noni for bowel disorders (especially infant diarrhea, constipation, or intestinal parasites) , indigestion, skin inflammation, infection, mouth sores, fever, contusions and sprains. Hawaiians commonly prepared noni tonics designed to treat diabetes, stings, burns and fish poisoning.8 The herb’s remarkable ability to purge the intestinal tract and promote colon health was well known among older Hawaiian and Tahitian natives and folk healers. Interestingly, field observations regarding its repu-remarkable healing agent .
Wonder Herb of Island Folk Healers
Common to t he thickets and forests of Malaysia and Polynesia, and the low hilly regions of the Philippine islands, noni has been cultivated throughout communities in the South Pacific for hundreds of years. Its Hawaiian use is thought to originate from inter-island canoe travel and settlement dating to before Christ . Its hardy seeds have the ability to float which has also contributed to its distribution among various seacoasts in the South Pacific region. Historical investigation has established the fact that some of Hawaii’s earliest settlers probably came viaTahiti. For this reason, Tahitian herbal practices have specific bearing on the herbal therapeutics of islands to the nort h. The very obvious similarities between the Hawaiian vernacular for herbal plants like noni and Tahitian names strongly suggests the theory of Polynesian migrations to Hawaii. Cultures native to these regions favored using Morinda citrifolia for treating major diseases and ut ilized it as a source of nourishment in times of famine.9 Noni fruit has been recognized for centuries as an excellent source of nutrition. The peoples of Fiji, Samoa and Rarat onga use the fruit in both its raw and cooked forms.10 Traditionally, the fruit was propicked before it was fully ripe and placed in the sunlight . After being allowed to ripen, it was typically mashed and its juice extracted through a cloth. Noni leaves provided a veget able dish and their resiliency made them desirable as a fish wrap for cooking.
Noni’s Medical Reputation
Elaborate traditionalrituals and praying rites usually accompanied the administration of noni. Int erestingly, cultures indigenous to the Polynesian islands had a significant understanding of their flora. For example, native Hawaiians maint ained a folkmedicine taxonomy t hat was considered second to none.11 Noni was not only used for medicinal purposes but for its food value, for clot hing and for cloth dyes as well. Research indicates that noni was among the few herbal remedies that islanders considered “ tried and true.” In Hawaii, trained herbal practitioners reserved the right to prescribe plant therapies.12 Records indicate that Hawaiian medical practices were based on extensive and very meticulous descriptions of symptoms and their prescribed herbal treatments. Dosages were controlled and the collection and administration of plant extracts was carefully monitored.13 In addition to Morinda, it was not uncommon for these herbal doctors to also recommend using In regard to its application for common ailments, Hawaiians and other island communities traditionally prescribed noni to purge the bowel, reduce fever, cure respiratory infections such as asthma, ease skin inflammations, and heal bruises and sprains. In other words, noni was widely used and highly regarded as a botanical medicine.
A Timely Reemer gence
Today, the natural pharmaceutical actions of the chemical constituents contained in noni are scientif-ically emerging as valuable bot anical medicines. Tahitian “nono” intrigued medical practitioners decades ago; however, due to the eventual emergence of synthetic drugs, interest in this island botanical diminished until recent years. Ethnobot anists are once again rediscovering why Hawaiian people havet reasured and cultivat ed Morinda citrifolia for generations. Noni is now finding its way into western therapeutics and is referred to as “ the queen” of the genus Rubiaceae. Its ability to reduce joint inflammation and target the immune system have made it the focus of the modern scientific inquiry. Dr. Ralph Heinicke has conducted some fascinating studies on the chemical constituents of the Hawaiin noni fruit. His research centers on the proxeronine content of the fruit juice and how it profoundly influences human physiology. In addition, scientific studies investigating noni as an anti-cancer agent have been encouraging. It s conspicuous attributes and varied uses have elevat edits status to one of the best of the healing herbs. Today Morinda citrifolia is available in liquid, juice, freezedried capsules, or oil forms, and is considered one of nature’s most precious botanicals.
TRADITIONAL USES OF NONI
Throughout tropical regions, virtually every part of Morinda citrifolia was used to treat disease or injury. Its curative properties were well known and commonly employed. PatoaTama Benioni, a member of the Maoritribe from the Cook Islands and a lecturer on island plants explains: Traditionally Polynesians use noni for basically everything in the treatment of illness. Noni is a part of our lives. Any Polynesian boy will tell you he’s had exper ience with it . We use juice from its roots, its flowers, and its fruit... my grandmother taught me to use noni from the roots and the leaves to make medicine for external as well as internal use, and for all kinds of ailments, such as coughs, boils, diseases of the skin, and cuts.15
decoctions to stimulate delayed menst ruation.
XERONINE: THE SECRET OF NONI?
One informed professional on the subject of noni is Dr. Ralph Heinicke, a biochemist who has researched the active compounds of noni fruit for a number of years. He discovered that the Hawaiin noni fruit contains an alkaloid precursor to a very vital compound called xeronine. Wit hout xeronine, life would cease. In Dr. Heinicke’s view, noni fruit provides a safe and effective way to increase xeronine levels, which exert a crucial influence on cell health and protction. His research suggests that the juice from the M. citrifolia fruit contains what could technically be considered a precursor of xeronine—proxeronine. This compound initiates the release of xeronine in the intestinal tract after it comes in contact with a specific enzyme which is also contained in the fruit .
Because proteins and enzymes have so many varied roles within cell processes, the normalization of these proteins with noni supplemenation could initiate avery wide variety of body responses and treat many disease condit ions. Proteins are the most important catalysts found in the body. The beauty of obtaining a precursor to xeronine from the noni fruit is that the body naturally decides how much of this precursor to convert to xeronine. Disease, stress, anger, trauma and injury can lower xeronine levels in the body, thus creat ing a xeronine deficit . Supplementing the body with noni fruit is considered an excellent way to safely and naturally raise xeronine levels. It is the research and theories of Dr. Heinicke which have made the juice of the Hawaiin noni fruit a viable medicinal substance. He writes: Xeronine is analkaloid, a substance the body produces in order to activate enzymes so they can function properly. It also energizes and regulates the body. This par-ticular alkaloid has never been found because the body makes it, immediately uses it, and then breaks it down. At no time is there an appreciable, isolable amount in the blood. But xeronine is so basic to the functioning of proteins, we would die without it . Its absence can cause many kinds of illness.17 Because so many diseases result from an enzyme malfunction, Dr. Heinicke believes that using the noni fruit can result in an impressive array of curative applications. Interestingly, he believes that we manufacture proxeronine while we are sleeping. He proposes t hat if we could constantly supply our bodies wit h proxeronine from other sources, our need to sleep would diminish.18
How an herb is processed is crucial to how beneficial it is: this is especially true of noni, with its unique enzymes and alkaloids. Morinda citrifolia should be picked when the fruit is turning from its dark green immature color to its lighter green color, and certainly before it ripens to its white, almost translucent color. Once picked, noni, like aloe, will denature extremely quickly due to its very active enzymes. After harvesting, it should swiftly be flash frozen. This is similar to what is done to fish caught at sea to keep them f esh. This stops it from losing its potency while not damaging any of its constituents. To process noni, freeze-drying is recommended. This removes only the water without damaging any of this miracle plant’s vital enzymes and other phytonutrients like xeronine and proxeronine. This pure high-quality noni fruit juice powder is then encapsu-has a very harsh taste and an extremely foul smell, similar to the fruit it self . Other methods of processing include thermal processing, dehydrat ion and air drying. Thermal processing is generally found in liquids, while the dehydrat ed noni is then milled and encapsulated. Unfortunately both methods utilize high heat (110+°F) , which can deactivate many of the vital compounds that make noni so import ant . Air-drying is effect ive without using damaging heat but has serious quality control problems for commercial production.
MODERN APPLICATIONS OF NONI
Noni possesses a wide variety of medicinal properties which originat e from its differing plant component s. The fruit and leaves of the shrub exert antibacterial activities. Its roots promote the expulsion of mucus and the shrinkage of swollen membranes making it an ideal therapeutic for nasal congest ion, lung infect ions, and hemorrhoids. Noni root compounds have also shown natural sedative properties as well as the ability to lower blood pressure.
Leaf extracts are able to inhibit excessive blood flow or to inhibit the formation of blood clots. Noni is particularly useful for its ability to treat painful joint conditions and to resolve skin inflammations. Many people drink noni fruit extracts in juice form for hypert ension, painful menstruation, arthritis, gastric ulcers, diabetes, and depression. Recent studies suggest that its anticancer activit y should also be considered. Concerning the therapeutic potential of the Hawaiin noni fruit, Dr. Heinicke writes: I have seen the compound found in noni work wonders. When I was still investigating its possibilities, I had a friend who was a medical research scientist administer the proxeronine to a woman who had been comatose for three months. Two hour safter receiving the compound, she sat up in bed and asked where she was. . . . Noni is probably the best source of proxeronine that we have today.19 Studies and surveys combined support the ability of noni to act as an immunost imulant, inhibit the growth of certain tumors, enhance and normalize cellular function and boost tissue regeneration. It is considered a powerful blood purifier and contributor to overall homeostasis.
xeronine, which appears to be able to regulate the shape and integrity of cert in proteins that individually contribute to specific cellular activities. Interestingly, this effect seems to occur after ingestion, inferring that the most active compound of noni may not be present in uneaten forms of the fruit or other plant parts. Some practitioners believe that xeronine is best obtained from a noni fruit juice precursor compound. The enzymatic reactions that occur with taking the juice on an empty stomach are what Dr. Heinicke believes set cellular repair intomotion.
A study conducted in 1994 cited the anticancer activity of Morinda citrifolia against lung cancer. A team of scientists from the University of Hawaii used live laboratory mice to test the medicinal properties of the fruit against Lewis lung carcinomas which were artificially transferred to lung tissue. The mice that were left untreated died in nine to twelve days. However, giving noni juice in consistent daily doses significantly prolonged their life span. Almost half of these mice lived for more than fifty days.20 Research conclusions state that the chemical constituents of the juice acted indirectly by enhancing the ability of the immune system to deal with the invading malig-nancy by boosting macrophage or lymphocyte activit y. Furt her evaluation theorizes that the unique chemical constituents of Morinda citrifolia initiate enhanced T-cell activity, a reaction that may explain noni’s ability to treat a variety of infectious diseases. 21
In Japan, similar studies on tropical plant extracts found that damnacanthol, a compound found in Morinda citrifolia, is able to inhibit the function of KRAS- NRK cells, which are considered precursors to certain types of malignancies.22 The experiment involved adding noni plant extract to RAS cells and incubating them for a number of days. Observation disclosed that noni was able to significantly inhibit RAS cellular function. Among 500 plant extracts, Morinda citrifolia was determined to contain the most effective compounds against RAS cells. Its damnacanthol content was clinically described in 1993 as “a new inhibit or of RAS function.” 2 3 The xeronine fact or is also involved in that xeronine helps to normalize the way malignant cells behave. While they are still technically cancer cells, they no longer function as cells with unchecked growth. In time, the body’s immune system may be able to eradicate these cells.
with arthritic disease. One link to arthritic pain may be the inability to properly or completely digest proteins which can then form crystal-like deposits in the joints. The ability of noni fruit to enhance protein digestion through enhanced enzymatic function may help to eliminate this particular phenomenon. In addition, the alkaloid compounds and plant met abolites of noni may be linked to its apparent anti-inflammatory action. Plant sterols can assist in inhibiting the inflammatory response which causes swelling and pain. In addition, the antioxidant effect of noni may help to decrease free radical damage in joint cells, which can exacerbate discomfort and degeneration.
The alkaloid and other chemical compounds found in noni have proven themselves to effectively control or kill over six types of infectious bacterial strains including: Escherichia coli, salmonellatyphi (and other types) , shigella paradysenteriae, and staphylo - coccus aureaus.25 In addition, damnacanthol, was able to inhibitt he early antigen stage of the Epstein- Barr virus.
The bioactive components of the whole plant, combined or in separate portions, have demonst rat - ed the ability to inhibit several different strains of bacteria. Anecdotal reports support this action in that noni seems particularly effective in shortening the duration of certain types of infection. This may explain why noni is commonly used to treat colds and flu. The chemical constituents found in noni and the possibility that they stimulate xeronine production— as well as initiate alkaloid therapy—may explain noni’s reputation for having immuno-stimulatory properties. Alkaloids have been able to boost phagocytosis which is the process in which certain white blood cells called macrophages attack and literally digest infectious organisms. Interestingly, the ant it umoraction of noni has been ascribed to an immune system response which involves stimulating T-cells. tropical regions during World War II learned of the fruit’s ability to boost endurance and stamina. Native cultures in Samoa, Tahiti, Raratonga and Australia used the fruit in cooked and raw forms. M. citrifolia is considered a tonic and is especially recommended for debilitated conditions.
The process of aging bombards the body with free radicals which can cause all kinds of degenerative diseases. The xeronine theory promoted by Dr. Heinicke submit s t hat as our bodies age, we lose our ability to synthesize xeronine. To make matters worse, the presence of many environment altoxins actually blocks the production of xeronine as well. He believes that the proxeronine content of Hawaiin noni fruit juice can help to block these actions, thereby working as an antiaging compound.26 The phytonutrients found in noni assist in promot - ing cell nourishment and prot ect ion from free radicals created by exposure to pollution and other potentially damaging agents. In addition, Morinda citrifolia contains selenium, which is considered one of the best antioxidant compounds available.
While scientific studies are lacking in this particular application of noni, Hawaiians used various parts of the plant and its fruit to treat blood sugar disorders. Anecdotal surveys have found t hat noni is current ly recommended for anyone with diabetes.
A 1990 study found that extracts derived from the Morinda citrifolia root have the ability to kill pain in animal experiments.27 Interest ingly, it was during this study that the natural sedative action of the root was also noted. This study involved a French team of scientists who noted a significant central analgesic activity in laboratory mice.28 Dr. Heinicke has stated, “Xeronine also acts as a pain reliever. A man wit h very advanced int est inal cancer was given three months to live. He began taking the proxeronine and lived for a whole year, pain-free.” 29
Skin Healing Agent
One of the most prevalent hist rical uses of noni was in poultice form for cuts, wounds, abrasions, burns and bruises. Using its fruit extract for very serious burns has resulted in some extraordinary healing. Because skin is comprised of protein, it immediately responds to the presence of xeronine.
burn site throught he direct application of a noni poultice is considered quite effective by Dr. Heinicke and his colleagues, who have studied enzymatic therapy. Concerning burns, he has written: I believe that each tissue has cells which contain proteins which have receptor sites for the absorption of xeronine. Certain of these proteins are the inert for ms of enzymes which require absorbed xeronine to become active. This xeronine, by converting the body’s procol- langenase system into a specific protease, quickly and safely removes the dead tissue from burns.30
The xeronine link to treat ing drug addiction is based on the notion that flooding t he brain with extra xeronine can reverse the neurochemical basis for addiction. This natural alkaloid is thought to normalize brain receptors which subsequent ly results in the cessation of physiological dependence on a certain chemical like nicotine.3 1 The potential of Hawaiin noni as a natural stimulat or for t he production of xeronine may have profound implications in treating various types of addictions.
Complementary Agents of Noni
PrimaryApplications of Noni
Benefits and Functions of Essential Fatty Acids
June 25, 2005 08:29 PM
Benefits and Functions of Essential Fatty Acids
The body takes combinations of different triglycerides and makes fats from them to help in various processes. The basic building blocks of any fats are the fatty acids. Fatty acids are either essential or nonessential. A fatty acid is considered essential if 1) the body is unable to synthesize it and 2) the only way it can be obtained is through the diet. In addition, it is considered essential if a deficiency will cause a disease. As far back as 1930 researchers discovered that if an animal did not get essential fatty acids in the diet, it could cause symptoms such as poor reproduction, lowered immunity, rough, dry skin, and slow growth, among others. There are basically three essential fatty acids. They are linoleic acid, linolenic acid, and arachidonic acid. Linoleic acid is the most vital. Linolenic and arachidonic acids can be converted from linoleic acid, but linoleic acid must be obtained from the diet. Most people are unaware of the many vital functions of essential fatty acids. The list includes:
Cholesterol is synthesized throughout the body. It is manufactured by cells, glands, the small intestine and the liver. Cholesterol is constructed from dietary by-products of proteins, sugars and fats. If the diet contains excessive fats, especially the saturated types, the body will convert them into cholesterol. People who eat high sugar or fat diets may therefore experience elevated cholesterol levels.
Prostaglandins are found in almost all body cells, and act as catalysts for many physiological processes. They help prevent abnormal blood clotting and nerve inflammation. Prostaglandins also help promote blood circulation by dilating the blood vessels and improve immune system function. The most beneficial type of prostaglandin is called PGE-1. PGE-1 balances cholesterol and blood pressure levels, and stimulates the body’s production of T-lymphocytes which strengthen the immune capabilities. Each cell keeps tiny amounts of EFAs and produces prostaglandins from them as they are needed. The name prostaglandins was coined because these substances were originally found in high amounts in the prostate gland. To date, there have been discovered at least thirty-six different prostaglandins with a wide range of roles in the body.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC ACTIONS ASSOCIATED WITH CAPSICUM
June 23, 2005 11:31 AM
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC ACTIONS ASSOCIATED WITH CAPSICUM
The following are specific actions associated with capsicum and the conditions it can help relieve.
PRIMARY MEDICINAL APPLICATIONS OF CAPSICUM
Substances that Complement Capsicum As previously mentioned, Capsicum is frequently added to herbal combinations in order to boost and potentiate their action.
The following herbs create particularly good herbal complements with Capsicum: garlic, ginger, hawthorn berry, peppermint, myrrh, yucca, gotu kola, parsley, ro s e m a ry, echinacea, kelp, ginseng, ginkgo, bayberry, slippery elm, black walnut, papaya, pep- permint, fennel, St. John’s Wort, and lobelia.
CLINICAL APPLICATIONS OF CAPSICUM
June 23, 2005 11:20 AM
CLINICAL APPLICATIONS OF CAPSICUM
Capsicum is a remarkable whole body stimulant that can boost blood flow, tone the nervous system, relieve indigestion, promote sweating, help to cauterize and heal ulcers, ease persistent pain and fight off infection. One very authoritative work on African plants suggests that Capsicum’s “regular ingestion is highly beneficial in hemorrhoids, varicose veins, anorexia, liver congestion and vascular conditions . . .the indigenous inhabitants of Africa and of the Antilles are remarkably free form all of these conditions as they use Capsicum fruit in their diet.”10 Most of the therapeutic actions of Capsicum are attributed to the alkaloid or glucoside content of the herb.11 The latest scientific studies conducted with Capsicum will be discussed in subsequent sections.
Because Capsicum boosts peripheral circulation and stimulates organ secretion, it expedites the therapeutic delivery and action of other herbs. In other words, the medicinal benefits of these herbs reach infected or inflamed tissue more rapidly due to enhanced blood flow.12 Consider the following statement: “Cayenne will insure the rapid and even distribution of the active principles of the rest of the herbs to critical function - al centers of the body, including those involved in cellular respiration, metabolism, data transmission, and neural-hormonal activation. Cayenne is included in several other blends for this reason. In extremely small quantities it can dramatically increase the efficiency of most other herbs.”13 Many health practitioners believe that the key to healing is CAPSICUM stimulation. Capsicum stimulates eve rything from blood flow to peristaltic action in the stomach, to intestinal transit time. The re m a rkable ability of Capsicum to stimulate organ secretion and even heart action makes it one of the strongest natural stimulants known. Se veral different kinds of herbal blends targeting various body systems will utilize Capsicum to boost the formula’s efficacy.
Capsicum is said to be unequaled for its ability to boost circulation and increase heart action. Interestingly, cultures who consume significant amounts of cayenne pepper in their diet have much lower rates of cardiovascular disease.14 Capsicum exerts a variety of desirable actions on the entire card i ovascular system. It has the extraordinary ability to enhance cardiovascular performance while actually lowering blood pressure.15 A quote taken from a card i ovascular publication re a d s , “Capsaicin has also been shown to prolong cardiac action potential in atrial muscle . . .”16 Michael T. Murray, N.D., has stated, “ Cayenne pepper [Capsicum] should be recommended as a food for its beneficial antioxidant and cardiovascular effects.”17 Herbalists have considered Capsicum as a superior “f o o d” for the heart. In fact, in cases where a heart attack is suspected administering capsicum in hot water has been thought to help lessen the severity of the attack. Capsicum can also be placed on or under the tongue in emergencies involving heart attack, stroke or hemorrhaging. 18 Note: Using Capsicum for any heart-related problem, especially a suspected heart attack should never take the place of medical attention or a physician’s care.
CAPSICUM Blood Cholesterol Reducer
Various studies have conclusively demonstrated that Capsicum reduces the risk of developing atherosclerosis (hardening of the a rteries) by reducing blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels .19 Additional clinical studies conducted in India found that when cayenne was ingested along with dietary cholesterol, the typical rise in liver and blood serum cholesterol levels was significantly inhibited. In addition, bile acids and free cholesterol were subsequently eliminated from the body through the stool.20 Interestingly, these tests revealed that using Capsicum was actually more effective in reducing cholesterol that capsaicin alone.2 1 Daniel Mowrey, Ph.D., emphatically points out that this is just one of many examples of the superiority of whole botanicals as opposed to their isolated components.22 Note: Using Capsicum in combination with Hawthorn is a particularly good cardiovascular tonic.
Blood Pressure Equalizer
While an added bonus of Capsicum’s capability to lower blood serum cholesterol is a decrease in blood pressure, additional evidence strongly suggests that the herb initiates other mechanisms that fight hypertension .23 “Cayenne, according to another study, also reduces the blood pressure in an even more direct manner: a number of years ago, a team of researchers discove red that capsaicin acts in a reflexive manner to reduce systemic blood pressure, a kind of coronary chemoreflex.”24 Adding Garlic to Capsicum creates an even better therapeutic blend for treating hypertension.
Blood Detoxification CAPSICUM
“Cayenne is a kind of catalyst in the blood purification process . . . it acts as a diaphoretic, stimulating the excretion of wastes in the swe a t . ”25 Because Capsicum stimulates organ secretion and boosts peripheral blood flow, it would only stand to reason that it would also facilitate the faster removal of toxins from the bloodstream and lymphatic system. You may have already noticed that Capsicum is frequently added to blood-purifying herbal combinations. Circulatory Booster Researchers have found that the simulating action of Capsicum on surface capillaries can help to pre vent cold hands and feet.2 6 For this reason, it may be helpful for Reynaud’s Syndrome. Old remedies using Capsicum have even recommended placing it in socks to warm the feet and to help prevent frostbite. An old folk cure for a chilled body was a steaming hot cup of Capsicum tea. Free Radical Scavenger The rich flavonoid content of Capsicum gives it significant antioxidant capabilities. A recent study conducted in 1995 showed that Capsicum has a higher ascorbic acid content than chiles from the jalapeno or serrano varieties .27 Vitamin C and bioflavonoids can scavenge for dangerous free radicals which cause tissue damage and can predispose organs to degenerative diseases. Free radicals are found everywhere and are created as by-products of metabolic p rocesses including the act of breathing itself. Pollutants can expose the body to free radicals. An interesting study done in Mexico City and published in 1993 found that Capsicum extract was able to modulate the mutagenic activity of urban air samples.28 In other words, these potentially dangerous nitro - a romatic compounds found in polluted air were kept from mutating by red chile extract.29 Chemical breakdowns of Capsicum have also found that CAPSICUM the pepper is high in Provitamin A, which significantly contributes to its healing ability and immune fortification.30 Anti-Carcinogenic Compound Anti-cancer research recently tested Capsicum on laboratory rats and found that it does indeed demonstrate anti-cancer properties by inhibiting certain enzymes which can initiate the mutation of cells.31 What this implies is that taking Capsicum can afford the body some protection against the cellular mutation which occurs in malignant growths. Capsicum actually inhibited the formation of dangerous metabolites under laboratory conditions where they should have normally been activa t e d .3 2 This study implies that Capsicum may have many more sophisticated bio-chemical actions than previously thought.
An Impressive Pain Killer
Capsaicin has recently emerged as a remarkably effective pain reliever and has become the subject of recent clinical research . Applying capsaicin in cream or ointment form to painful joints, scar tissue or other painful conditions involving peripheral nerves confuses pain transmitters. In other worlds, capsaicin temporarily disrupts sensory nerve cell biochemistry there by impeding the relay of pain sensations from the skin surface. It does this by inhibiting a neurotransmitter called substance P. This specific compound is thought to be the main mediator of pain impulses from peripheral nerve endings.33 Substance P has also demonstrated its ability to inhibit inflammatory pain generated in arthritic joints in much the same way.34 Today, several over-the-counter topical preparations utilize capsaicin for the pain of arthritic joints. The ability of Capsicum to control severe and unresponsive pain is significant, to say the least. Modern clinical utilization of topical capsaicin may offer signifi-cant relief for a number of painful conditions including: diabetic neuropathy, cluster headaches, post-amputation pain, post-mastectomy pain, shingles and painful scar tissue.35
In the early spring of 1996, prime time national news show s reported that scientists had found that individuals who had suffered from chronic pain in post-surgical scars (heart bypass, arterial grafts, etc.) were successfully treated with topical preparations containing capsaicin. While this may have been news to many of us, clinical studies had been already published for several years that capsaicin held profound value for various kinds of pain which did not respond to established medical treatments. Typically surgical scars and regions around them can produce persistent pain or can be very sensitive to the touch even when completely healed. This type of pain phenomenon seems to respond well to capsaicin ointments and creams.
When capsaicin preparations were applied following mastectomy or breast reconstruction, pain was significantly relieved. Se veral double blind studies found that using capsaicin creams four times daily for 4 to 6 weeks resulted in much less frequent occurrence of sharp, jabbing pain.3 6 All thirteen patients studied had a 50 percent or greater improve m e n t .3 7 Various unpleasant sensations other than pain also improved with topical applications of capsaicin creams.38
MOUTH SORES FROM RADIATION OR CHEMOTHERAPY
A fascinating study conducted at the Yale Pain Management Center discove red that capsaicin could ve ry significantly lessen pain caused by mouth sores which frequently develop after chemotherapy or radiation.39 Apparently delivering the capsaicin in the form of soft candy (taffy) enabled the substance to be retained in the mouth long enough to desensitize the nerve endings causing the pain. Each one of the eleven case studies re p o rted that their pain had decreased and in two patients, it stopped entirely.40
Diabetic neuropathy is a painful nerve condition which can develop in cases of prolonged diabetes. Several double-blind studies have supported the considerable value of capsaicin creams for relieving the pain associated with this disorder.41 The results of a controlled study using Capsicum for seve re cases of diabetic neuropathy which did not respond to conventional therapy were published in 1992. A cream containing Capsicum was applied to painful areas four time a day and pain was carefully e valuated for 8 weeks at two-week intervals. The results we re impressive, to say the least. In the 22 patients who used the Capsicum the following results we re re c o rded: “Capsaicin tre a tment was more beneficial than vehicle treatment in the overall clinical improvement of pain status, as measured by physician’s global evaluation and by a categorical pain severity scale . . . In a follow-up study, approximately 50 percent of the subjects reported improved pain control or were cured . . .”42 No t e : While there was a burning sensation when the Capsicum c ream was first applied, some subjects found that its magnitude and duration lessened with continued application.43
The FDA has approved capsaicin-based ointments for the treatment of pain that results from diseases like shingles. Again, numerous studies have documented the value of capsaicin for decreasing the miserable nerve-related pain associated with shingles. The general consensus derived from these tests were that approximately 50 p e rcent of people suffering from shingles responded well to capsaicin creams, some even after 10 to 12 months.44
Note: If blisters accompany a shingles outbreak, it is better to wait until they have healed before using any capsaicin-based ointments or creams.
RELIEF FOR BURNING FEET
Frequently an uncomfortable “burning” sensation in the feet will occur in many people, particularly in diabetics. As ironic as it may seem, using capsaicin creams may actually alleviate this burning. “In various studies, diabetics who treated their burning feet with capsaicin got greater improvement and we re able to walk more easily than those not using the cream.”45 In addition, using topical applications of capsaicin as opposed to strong, oral drugs is much more preferable.
Clinical tests have confirmed that topical capsaicin ointments substantially alleviate the miserable pain that characterizes osteoand rheumatoid arthritis.46 These studies revealed that using 0.075 capsaicin cream reduced tenderness and pain.47 Dr. Michael T. Murray writes: “ . . . seventy patients with osteoarthritis and thirty - one with rheumatoid arthritis received capsaicin or placebo for 4 weeks. The patients were instructed to apply 0.025 percent capsaicin cream or its placebo to painful knees four times daily. Significantly more relief of pain was reported by the capsaicin-treated patients than by the placebo patients throughout the study . . .”48 Anyone suffering from osteo or rheumatoid arthritis should evaluate the effectiveness of capsaicin ointments for joint pain. Ester Lipstein-Kresch, M.D., has studied the effectiveness of capsaicin creams for arthritis and has stated: “You need to apply it three or four times a day on the affected area for at least two weeks before you’ll see any improvement. An initial burning sensation at the site is not unusual for the first few days, but this goes away with continued application.”49 Note: Capsaicin is also useful for tennis elbow due to its ability to block the transmission of pain.
MIGRAINE HEADACHES (CLUSTER TYPE)
Topical applications of capsaicin ointments intranasally may also help to relieve the pain of a specific kind of migraine headache called cluster headaches. Cluster headaches are characterized by s e ve re pain which typically radiates around one eye. The term “cluster” refers to the fact that these headaches tend to occur in clusters of one to three per day and can recur at intervals. Headache pain and severity we re reducing in groups using intranasal capsaicin.5 0 This type of capsaicin treatment should be done under a physician’s care. There is some speculation that capsaicin may be more effective in pre venting migraines before they develop into a full blown attack.51
June 23, 2005 10:53 AM
Known to the natives of the tropical Americas for millennia, Capsicum, or Cayenne Pepper, was introduced to Europe by Christopher Columbus and became known as “Guinea Pepper. ” Originally used by Native Americans located south of the Mexican border, archeological evidence supports its cultivation from 7000 B.C. Apparently, mixing chocolate and red chiles was a taste treat exclusively reserved for Aztec royalty.5 The exact origin of the word Capsicum remains somewhat of a mystery. However, it is assumed to be a derivative of the Greek word kapto, meaning “to bite,” an appropriate reference to its fiery pods. Capsicum is the fruit of a shrub-like tropical plant and is technically considered a berry. Its designation as a “pepper” can be traced back to Columbus, who equated its hot taste sensation with that of black pepper.
In 1597, Gerard referred to Capsicum as extremely hot and dry and prescribed it for throat and skin infections. Health practitioners of the nineteenth century called phsysiomedicalists used Capsicum to counteract rheumatism, arthritis, depression and chills. In the early 1800s, Dr. Samuel Thompson utilize d Capsicum as a potent and safe natural stimulant. His followe r s , who would become known as Thomsonians, believed that Capsicum should be used to treat a wide variety of diseases. It was used orally and as a poultice to treat tumors, toothaches, feve r s , and respiratory ailments.
In 1804, Dr. John St e vens introduced the red pepper to England where it became the catalyst component in a variety of herbal blends. Subsequently, herbal and medical practitioners used Capsicum to fight infection and sustain the natural heat of the body. It became well known in American dispensatories and pharmacopeia. In 1943, The Dispensary of the United States recorded that, “Capsicum is a powe rful local stimulant, producing when CAPSICUM swallowed, a sense of heat in the stomach and a general glow over the body without narcotic effect.”6 Twentieth-century physicians recognized the medicinal value of Capsicum which eventually found its way to the American Illust rated Medical Dictionary, the Merck Manual and Materia Medica, where it was referred to as a rubefacient, local stimulant, counter-irritant, gastric stimulant, and diaphoretic.7
Today Mexican Indians continue to use Capsicum as an internal disinfectant and protectant against contaminated food and also to treat fevers.8 “Today the pepper is nowhere in the world more appreciated and more widely used than in Mexico and certain other Latin American countries, which together form the original home of all the peppers. Both at morning and at evening, practically eve ry dish the Indians eat included Capsicum, just as their food did 2,000 years ago. The diet of the Indians was, and still is, rather bland . . . maize, beans, squash, pumpkin, yucca, potatoes . . . little wonder that the pepper was so highly regarded. And of course . . . the peppers were a wonderful source of essential vitamins in a diet otherwise lacking in them.”9 Capsicum continues to be a source of vitality and health in numerous countries including the Bahamas and Costa Rica, where it is used to overcome colic or indigestion, in Africa for vascular disorders and by North Americans who use it as a tonic and natural stimulant.
Capsicum is currently experiencing a renaissance in that a number of recent studies have emerged adding to its already impressive list of actions. Scientists are taking notice and looking at Capsicum with new respect and interest. Perhaps what sets Capsicum apart is that unlike powe rful pharmaceutical stimulants and pain killers, Capsicum possess potency without deleterious side effects.
Pep Up and Go!
June 14, 2005 05:45 PM
Pep Up and Go!
by Harris Parker Energy Times, February 2, 2000
Feel your energy flagging?
You've lost count of the number of phone calls you fielded all afternoon-the last was from your son, who missed the late bus home from school-and colleagues needing your decision are lined up outside your office. Your husband has invited clients home for dinner. You wilt like a new hairdo on a damp August day and pray for a miracle to jump-start your engine.
Your pep quotient depends on three essential ingredients: nutrients you consume through your diet and supplements, how much you exercise and your sleep schedule.(Of course, if you're troubled by any kind of disabling, ceaseless fatigue accompanied by mental fuzziness, joint pain, sore throat, swollen glands, headaches and other chronic distress, consult your health practitioner.)
Vitamins and Energy
Certain nutrients are called vitamins because scientists consider them to be crucial for vitality. They generally function as coenzymes, partnering with the enzymes that are catalysts for the chemical reactions constantly taking place in our bodies. Our need to replenish our store of vitamins, which may merge with cell, muscle, enzyme, hormone, blood and bone structure once they have been absorbed, depends on their rate of utilization, according to The Real Vitamin & Mineral Book (Avery) by Shari Lieberman, PhD, and Nancy Bruning.
While a low-fat diet rich in raw fruits and vegetables helps supply important nutrients, a B complex supplement and a balanced multivitamin can guarantee daily vitamin levels.
Be Energetic with B Vitamins
Vitamins, especially the B vitamins, play extremely important roles in producing cellular energy. The chart on page 39 lists the key vitamins and describes their effects as well as the consequences of not getting enough of them. Their benefit is felt most profoundly in the energy producing process known as the Krebs cycle (which we'll explain in a moment).
Vitamins B2 and B3, for example, supply the major building blocks for substances that are called flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD and FADH) and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD and NADH), which are critical elements of energy production in the Krebs cycle as well as a process called oxidative phosphorylation.
Hundreds of Reactions
Even though you may never have heard of NAD and NADH, these molecules are found in very many places throughout your body; they play a role in hundreds of biochemical reactions in all kinds of cells. B vitamins also combine with other materials to build coenzymes, chemicals which help form other chemicals necessary for cellular energy. B vitamins are crucial: miss out on one or more and you may break these metabolic chains necessary for peak energy.
Energy to Spend
The main energy currency of every cell single cell is ATP: a chemical called adenosine triphosphate. This material is used by cells for every imaginable task including reproduction, growth, movement and metabolism. Specialized metabolic cycles within the cell are designed to generate ATP.
Consequently, the more ATP our cells create, the more energy can be generated. The raw materials used to make cellular energy are glucose (blood sugar) and "free" fatty acids. The best way to supply your cells with the sugar they need is to consume complex carbohydrates which also supply fiber and other nutrients. When you eat carbohydrates, they are made into glucose which is stored as a starch called glycogen in muscles and the liver. Your body can rapidly turn glycogen into glucose for extra energy. (The process of making energy from glycogen yields carbon dioxide and water as well as ATP.)
The first step in making glucose into energy is called glycolysis. This complicated process requires nine different steps. During these steps, glucose is made into a substance called pyruvate. The process of glycolysis requires ATP, but yields twice as much ATP as is present when it starts.
From here, the process gets a little more complicated as pyruvate enters into a complex chain of events in tiny cellular structures called mitochondria. (Many metabolic events take place in the mitochondria.) The pyruvate molecules are converted to a molecule known as acetyl coenzyme A and eventually made into carbon dioxide, water and more ATP.
This process is known as the Krebs cycle or citric acid cycle. It also involves a series of events known as oxidative phosphorylation in which NADH formed during the Krebs cycle is oxidized to form ATP.
Why is fat such a concentrated source of energy? Free fatty acids enter the Krebs cycle to help generate ATP much more efficiently than glucose - producing roughly six times more energy per gram than glucose.
And Don't Overlook. . . . . .other supplements that may aid energy production: • Alpha Lipoic Acid, an antioxidant that works in the fatty tissues of cell membranes and in cells' watery interiors • Coenzyme Q10, also known as ubiquinone as it exists everywhere in the body, acts like a vitamin because it stimulates some reactions. CoQ10 protects cell membranes, especially of the heart, against oxidation and toxins.
Ginsengs: Energy Generators
With their legendary and slightly mysterious characteristics, the ginsengs are greatly respected natural energy boosters. " Perhaps no herb has excited so much interest in medical circles as ginseng, and yet, strangely, it does not actually 'cure' any one particular ailment," reports Michael Hallowell, the author of Herbal Healing (Avery) and a frequent lecturer on botanic medicine. "Rather, its virtue lies in its tremendous power as a tonic and invigorator. Russian athletes are prescribed large amounts of ginseng because researchers in Moscow have shown that it not only improves stamina, but also increases the efficiency with which blood is pumped to the muscles."
What are the physiological mechanisms that allow ginseng to bolster your get up and go? In order to unravel the legend and lore of ginseng, the first step is understanding the intricacies of the three types: • Asian (Panax ginseng), which produces the strongest and most profound stimulation; • American (Panax quinquefolium), which soothes at a more subtle level; • Siberian (Eleutherococcus senticosus), a stamina booster embraced by a wide range of athletes. All three varieties are treasured for their ability to help people adjust to stress.
The ginsengs are adaptogens, "biologically active substances found in certain herbs and plants that help the body and mind adapt to the changes and stress of life," says Stephen Fulder, MD, author of The Book of Ginseng and Other Chinese Herbs for Vitality (Inner Traditions). "Stress is not an illness in itself. Stress is change, our ability to adapt to all the changes that occur in life, emotional or physical, from exercise, work, chemicals, drugs, food, radiation, bacteria, disease, temperature, or simply too many late nights or too much fun."
The body reacts to stress by producing the hormone adrenaline, which throws the whole body into a state of alert. Metabolism, blood pressure and circulation accelerate; immunity and resistance drastically decline; performance suffers.
Enter the ginsengs, with their varied, subtle tonic qualities. The Greek name for this herb, "panax," means "panacea" or cure-all. But the Chinese, who first referred to it 2,000 years ago, more literally called it "ren shen" or "person root," in reference to its physical resemblance to a miniature human form.
" Most exhibit medicinal properties, but each species has a different chemical makeup and has a unique application in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)," says Kim Derek Pritts, author of Ginseng: How to Find, Grow and Use America's Forest Gold (Stackpole). "In general, all true ginseng contains biologically active saponins (chemicals similar to human hormones), essential oils, carbohydrates, sugars, organic acids, nitrogenous substances, amino acids, peptides, vitamins and minerals."
Building Vital Energy
All the ginsengs strengthen, nourish and build Qi, the TCM concept describing basic vital energy circulating through our bodies. Every physical and mental function, from breathing, thinking, nutrition and circulation, is regulated by Qi. Although many of the Native American tribes used the abundant, indigenous Panax quinquefolium ginseng extensively, particularly to increase mental acuity and boost fertility, the herb never has been as popular in North America as it is in Asia. American ginseng traditionally has been a lucrative export crop to China, where the wild native variety suffers from overharvesting. Even today, according to Paul Bergner in The Healing Power of Ginseng & the Tonic Herbs (Prima), 95% of the American ginseng crop is exported to China, where XiYang Shen, or "western sea root," as it is called, is immensely valued and costs double what it does here.
Jacques MoraMarco, author of The Complete Ginseng Handbook: A Practical Guide for Energy, Health and Longevity (Contemporary), as well as a licensed acupuncturist and doctor of Eastern medicine, suggests American ginseng for a slight energy boost. The moderate effect of American ginseng is considered a more appropriate tonic to the intensity of our pace and diet.
Variations on a Theme
In TCM terms, American ginseng cools and moistens, as well as lubricates and strengthens the body. It is reputed to reduce fevers and night sweats and alleviate hot, dry lung problems like smoker's cough. With its emollient qualities, American ginseng is considered to treat dry, wrinkled skin effectively.
The Bolder Energizer
Asian ginseng, which includes red Korean panax, is a bolder energizer taken by those who feel depleted from anemia, blood loss, cardiovascular weakness, injury, shock or trauma, as well as the disabling effects of age. In general, Asian ginseng is warming and stimulating, urging the body to run faster.
Siberian ginseng, though botanically not a true ginseng, still acts similarly to Asian ginseng in its reputed power to control stress, boost energy, support the immune system, enhance performance and increase longevity. Called Wu Cha Seng in Chinese, Siberian ginseng is perceived by natural practitioners as an ideal herb for the healthy who want to lift both stamina and endurance. Experts believe it counteracts the effects of cortisol, the stress hormone produced by the adrenal glands in response to injury, pain or emotional turmoil.
Natural Energy Boosters
The herbal pharmacopeia includes several other natural energy boosters available in various forms-shakes and bars for those on the run-loaded with nutrition absent from commercial snacks. Some choices: • Ginkgo biloba-used in Chinese medicine to heat the body and increase sexual energy. Ginkgo enthusiasts take this herb to increase the supply of oxygen to the brain and generally increase circulation. • Gotu kola-may stimulate the central nervous system and help eliminate excess fluid, thereby reducing fatigue. • Astragalus-a Chinese herb that enhances energy and builds the immune system. It is credited with strengthening digestion, improving metabolism, increasing appetite, combating diarrhea and healing sores. • Schisandra-also a Chinese herb, treats respiratory illness, insomnia and irritability and rejuvenates sexual energy. Its mild adaptogens help the body to handle stress. • Licorice-is a favored endocrine toner in Chinese medicine. It is reputed to support the adrenals, the pair of small glands directly above the kidneys that secrete steroidal hormones, norepinephrine and epinephrine, the "fight or flight" hormones. People with high blood pressure or edema, or pregnant women, should avoid it. • Ashwagandha-an Ayurvedic herb used for thousands of years in the traditional healing of India as a potent strength builder for men and women.
Experienced herbal practitioners acquire an impressive and fascinating store of knowledge and experience-you'll find it helpful to visit one as you begin your course of ginseng or other energy-boosting herbs.
When you visit a TCM practitioner, you'll notice that she evaluates your body's condition through an extremely careful examination of all the different systems: Several pulse points are felt in order to ferret out and detect troubling abnormalities. The condition and color of the tongue is observed to decipher digestive disorders. In addition, your urine may be examined to determine other imbalances and specific health problems.
In many cases, your TCM practitioner will recommend ginseng as an adaptogen that can give you an overall boost. When taking ginseng, follow the directions on the package. Note: in some cases, you may want to consume a little bit less if you suffer headaches, insomnia or high blood pressure. Consult your health practitioner if you are afflicted with either acute inflammatory disease or bronchitis.
Then take comfort in the eternal soothing wisdom of Chinese Traditional Medicine. In the first century A.D., the Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing (The Divine Husbandman's Classic of the Materia Medica) effusively described ginseng and the tonic herbs in this beguiling and intriguing manner: "The first class of drugs...are considered to perform the work of sovereigns. They support human life and they resemble heaven. They are not poisonous regardless of the quality and duration of administration."
Power Meals - Shakes, smoothies and bars help make getting good nutrition easy.
June 14, 2005 08:28 AM
by Phyllis D. Light, RH Energy Times, March 12, 2004
Choices, choices, choices: For convenience, nutrition and either low-calorie or low-carb dieting, you now have an enviable range of choices. Shakes, smoothies and bars help make getting good nutrition easy.
Whatever your inclination, drinks and bars offer a shortcut to daily nutrition without cooking. And whether you use them as meal replacements, diet aids or healthy snacks, these power meals fill you up without filling you out.
That's the main reason these items have grown in popularity in natural food stores among the nutritionally knowledgeable searching for healthier alternatives to fast food.
No matter how hectic your day, you have no excuses anymore for missing your daily required antioxidants and minerals. Either select a bar suited to your taste, or put your blender or food processor to work in creating drinks that use fresh fruits and veggies, yogurt, low-fat milk or ice and protein powders for maximum nutritional output.
Quality note: always be sure to use organic foods for the best nutritional content, flavor and taste.
Prepared protein shake mixes and bars are ideal for losing weight, expanding personal energy or building muscle. Protein mixes are available in an assortment of flavors that are generally high in amino acids (protein building blocks) and low in carbohydrates. Of course if you are on a low-carb diet, forsake putting fruits and vegetables in your shakes; these items are too high in carbohydrates.
What's more, bars not only provide a wealth of different tastes, but different bars are also tailored to different needs-whether you're seeking to lose weight, gain muscle or replace a meal, there's a bar out there just for you.
If you use power shakes as meal replacements and you are on a low-carbohydrate diet, make sure the drink supplies plenty of protein and few carbohydrates. If you use either shakes or bars to replace one or more meals during the day, take a fiber supplement in addition. Fiber, which contains no calories, helps speed food through your digestive tract and may lower your risk of heart disease and cancer (Lancet 5/2/03).
And remember: powders and bars should also be low in sugars and saturated fats. The weight-loss benefit: If you drink high-protein shakes or eat bars that taste good and leave you feeling satisfied, you'll have a better chance of sticking to your diet long enough to lose a significant amount of weight.
Drink to Lose
Research into weight loss has established protein shakes and bars as reliable diet aids. A study of 100 dieters between the age of 35 and 65 found that people who drank a daily soy protein shake lost more than 14 pounds each in three months (Eur J Clin Nutr 2003; 57:514). And in a study reported in the Journal of American Dietetic Association (3/01), folks who had a protein shake in place of one daily meal lost almost twice as much weight over 12 weeks than those who ate their regular food with the same amount of calories.
Drinking your breakfast in the form of a protein shake can both increase your metabolism and help curb your appetite for the rest of the day.
Researchers at Harvard University found that metabolism rose faster after eating a high-protein breakfast and that blood-sugar levels stayed high for about six hours after the meal (AHA Annual Conference on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and and Prevention, 3/6/03). In comparison, when a sugary breakfast is consumed, blood-sugar levels rise quickly but fall rapidly, causing fatigue, tiredness and sleepiness.
Protein shakes are especially effective when you are on a weight-loss plateau, trying to lose those last few tenacious pounds. (But shakes, smoothies and bars should not be your only meals of the day. Eat at least one low-calorie meal daily to supply nutrients that may not be in your shakes or bars.)
Made with fruits and vegetables, smoothies are a tasty way of getting extra amounts of nutrients and soluble fiber. Using low-fat milk, yogurt, buttermilk or kefir, plus ice, creates a tempting and wholesome blend that lights up the taste buds. Powdered mixes can be used for added protein.
Fruits and vegetables in your smoothies not only fill you up on relatively few calories, but they boost your energy and supply plenty of bioflavonoids (healthy, natural chemicals from plants), antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
The fiber in smoothies can help reduce cholesterol, relieve constipation and aid in the prevention of high blood pressure. For reduced calories and added heart health benefits, low-fat or no-fat milk products can be used in place of cream or regular milk in most recipes. For the best taste sensation, combine sour and sweet fruits together.
Adding raw fruits and vegetables to smoothies provides natural enzymes that help with digestion and act as catalysts in hundreds of chemical reactions throughout the body. (You can also take enzymes in supplemental form.) Enzymes are not present in cooked foods since the heat of cooking destroys them.
Nutrition for Kids
If you have trouble getting your children to eat their fruits and vegetables, try giving them smoothies. Children can't resist these naturally sweet and healthy creations.
According to Sally Fallon, author of Nourishing Traditions (New Trends Publishing), smoothies should be "high in quality, contain healthy fats, be naturally sweet, and contain fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables."
Fallon also believes children should consume what are called lacto-fermented foods, including yogurt and kefir, which are aged to contain the kinds of friendly bacteria that normally live within our digestive tracts. For kids, Fallon also encourages the use of cream or cultured milk to ensure adequate fat and calcium, so important for the development of growing bodies.
Smoothies are an interactive drink as far as children are concerned, since they love to help blend them. For extra nutrition power, add nutritional yeast, nut butters or ground flaxseeds. These supply additional vitamins and minerals, along with healthy fats. You can also add silken tofu to bump up the protein content. If your child is lactose intolerant, try mixing smoothies with rice milk, soy milk or juice.
Bars Designed With A Woman's Needs in Mind
The modern woman is a multitasking wonder, constantly juggling work and home responsibilities. So it's no wonder that bars aimed at women are among the most popular bars there are. Many women, in eyeing the bathroom scale, shortchange themselves of the nutrients they need. That's why a woman's bar needs to provide minerals like calcium, a bone-building necessity.
Women also need to ensure that a bar contains enough of the B vitamins, particularly folate. This is especially true if a woman is pregnant, or wants to be: Folate is crucial in helping to prevent neural tube birth defects.
Folate also teams up with two other B vitamins, B6 and B12, to control homocysteine. This protein metabolism byproduct, when present in excessive amounts, is associated with heart disease.
Another popular ingredient in women's bars is soy, which has been duly recognized for its heart benefits. Studies also indicate that soy may help keep bones strong. (Not to mention the fact that the moisture soy holds helps make a bar's texture that much more appealing!)
The Protein Game
If you are unsure about how much protein you need each day, you are not alone. Are you getting too much, not enough, or just enough? Most people need between 45 and 60 grams of protein daily, and most protein shakes contain about 14 and 20 grams of protein per serving (check your labels). No matter what your nutritional needs are, you may find an answer in a smoothie, shake or bar. When it comes to power nutrition, tasting is believing!
Life Minerals - Why are Minerals So Important?
June 02, 2005 01:14 PM
Why Are Minerals So Important?
The value of adequate mineral intake for overall health cannot be overstated. Their effects are vast and broad; their deficiencies devastating. Minerals are components of body tissues and fluids that work in combination with enzymes, hormones, vitamins and transport substances. Minerals participate in nerve transmission, muscle contraction, cell permeability, tissue structure, blood formation, acid-base balance, fluid regulation, blood pressure control, protein metabolism and energy production. The human body requires large amounts of some minerals, and trace amounts of others, while some minerals – such as Lead, Mercury and Aluminum – are toxic to the body. Those minerals that are essential to health in relatively high amounts – Calcium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sulphur, Sodium, Chlorine, and Magnesium – are called macrominerals. Trace minerals – Zinc, Manganese, Copper, Iron, Chromium, Selenium, Iodine and Molybdenum, to name a few – are those which are present in the body in minute amounts, but are just as essential to health as the major minerals. One of the main functions of minerals in the body is to activate enzymes. Magnesium, for example, activates over 300 different enzymes, while Zinc “turns on” over 100. Enzymes are catalysts, functioning in the cells to accelerate chemical reactions. All of these chemical reactions collectively are referred to as “metabolism”, which is the very basis of life.
Why Do We Need Minerals Now More Than Ever?
What Is The Krebs’ Cycle? And What Are “Krebs’ Cycle Minerals”?
The Krebs’ Cycle is the energetic root of life, taking place in every cell of the body. It produces 90% of the body’s total energy in the form of ATP. Krebs’ Cycle Minerals are those which are bound to the organic acids used in the Krebs’ Cycle. Such mineral complexes are increasingly becoming the standard in mineralinclusive supplements because they’re so good at what they do: Transport. They are especially effective at penetrating various cell membranes and organelle membranes, thus carrying their mineral partners inside the cell. Many of these organelles have membranes to keep out biochemical invaders; therefore, not just any substance can penetrate cells and their organelles.
Source Naturals’ Life Minerals™: Optimal Mineral Supplementation
All this technical and scientific information has been brought together by the experts at Source Naturals into one comprehensive multi-mineral formula: Life Minerals™. Many of the minerals in Life Minerals™ — Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Manganese and Iron — are bound to some of the best known transport agents in the body, the Krebs’ Cycle organic compounds. In addition, there are minerals not usually found in other mineral supplements, such as Silicon, Boron, Copper, and Molybdenum. Plus there are the Vitamins B6, C and D3, which have been shown to significantly enhance mineral absorption and utilization. In addition to the Krebs’ Cycle minerals, Life Minerals™ also uses superior forms of other minerals. The Zinc is OptiZinc™ Zinc Monomethionine, shown in scientific studies to be highly bioavailable, offering increased absorption. The Chromium is ChromeMate®, the non-yeast Glucose Tolerance Factor Chromium, believed by many to be the most superior form of Chromium. Copper Sebacate, a more bioavailable form of Copper, is also included. Minerals are crucial to both the structure and function of the body in hundreds of ways. But what good are mineral supplements if your body cannot utilize them to their fullest advantage? Supplementing your diet with Life Minerals™ is an important aid against deficiencies that may be more significant than suspected. By providing minerals with the highest bioavailability, and including significant potencies of each, Source Naturals’ Life Minerals is your best chance of reaping all the benefits that minerals have to offer.