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Top three reasons why cannabis is a powerful superfood
January 21, 2019 01:40 PM
Cannabis is something that many people have heard of. However, it is not something that is very commonly mentioned in food circles. Sure, we all know that cannabis is very prevalent in the communities who smoke a lot of marijuana. These communities love cannabis and what it brings them. However, there are studies being done that show that cannabis can be a real life super food. With that, it has some use cases that can be good for one's health.
"Cannabis' nutritional properties have been gaining traction as its popularity grows"
Read more: https://lfpress.com/cannabis-culture/top-three-reasons-why-cannabis-is-a-powerful-superfood/wcm/87ee82e3-1458-43de-8856-447c44198bbd
Barley being studied as a potential cure for diabetes
December 06, 2018 10:16 AM
Diabetic people really struggle to deal with the upkeep of their everyday lives. It is something that it common in the world today but for the individuals who have never had diabetes, they do not know how hard it is. Every single day requires hard work and upkeep and it is a process that can get a bit grueling. However, there is more hope coming out of medicinal circles as barley is being touted as a potential cure.
"This is especially helpful since crops with antidiabetic potential can easily be incorporated into a person’s diet. Barley is a cereal grain that is widely consumed worldwide because of its high nutritional content and its many health benefits, which potentially includes antidiabetic activity."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-11-22-barley-being-studied-as-a-potential-cure-for-diabetes.html
Supplementing with vitamin D can promote weight loss, study finds
December 03, 2018 02:03 PM
There are a lot of people out there that love to have vitamins on a daily basis. They understand all the good things that they can provide for someone and how important they can be as you get older. Diet is one of those things that is constantly not getting enough credit in the health circles of today's world. However, studies are now showing that Vitamin D can promote weight loss and help people achieve their body image goals.
"Childhood obesity has become a significant health problem around the world. Not only is it dangerous for children right now, but it also sets them up to develop serious problems later in life, such as diabetes and heart disease."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-11-30-supplementing-with-vitamin-d-promotes-weight-loss.html
Rejuvenate your skin and get rid of dark circles under your eyeswith aloe vera
November 27, 2018 08:51 AM
Aloe vera can help remove the dark circles under your eyes. Aloe vera contains vitamin E and has anti pigmentation properties. In order to remove the dark circles, gently rub the aloe vera on the affected areas. Leave the gel on your face for 15 to 20 minutes or overnight. Then remove the gel with a cotton swab. To extract aloe vera gel from the plant, first pluck a leaf. Lie the leaf flat on the table and slice the leaf open. Scrape the gel using a spoon.
"A unique succulent plant, aloe vera contains vitamin E and anti-pigmentation properties, which help get rid of those dark circles."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-11-13-get-rid-of-dark-circles-under-your-eyes-with-aloe-vera.html
5 Home Remedies to Remove Dark Circles Naturally #Home Remedies for Remove Dark Circles
March 13, 2018 01:51 AM
Dark Circles around and under eyes are a common experience in both men and women. Poor sleep, injury, hormones and stress all have a part in contributing to dark Circles. Carrots contain high levels of vitamin A which is necessary in skin repair and for eye health. Carrot juice can be applied to the eye area. Potato is good for bleaching. Blend it and strain for the potato juice and apply it soaked onto a gauze pad. Both these remedies should be used regularly for results.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elucAtHerjs&rel=0
Get Rid of Eye-Bags and Dark Circles Naturally
January 10, 2018 03:59 PM
Eye bags can be a worrying thing. While not necessarily a health risk, the can show that you are not sleeping enough. They are almost like bruises, with blood pooling under the skin and showing those dark circles. You can help these problems with a few easy tricks. The first involve being more healthy, by cutting back on smoking and alcohol. You can also place potatoes or cucumbers on those areas, acting almost like a ice pack, to help bring down any swelling.
"Although under eye dark circles are not exactly a health hazard but they may impact one’s look and hence confidence negatively."
Read more: http://www.business-standard.com/article/health/get-rid-of-eye-bags-and-dark-circles-naturally-118010800598_1.html
Apple, Beet and Carrot Juice Liver Tonic
August 30, 2017 09:14 AM
Your liver is a very important organ in your body. It serves to clean all of the toxins out of your body. In today's world, people are not eating enough cleansing foods to keep their livers fully functioning and it is visible on the outside of their bodies and the instance of liver cancer is increasing. To be healthier, a mix of apple, beets, and carrots- preferably organic- with some lime and ginger- is recommended.
"You may end up liking it so much that you want to have it long-term and see just what it can do to improve your liver’s function and by association your appearance, general immunity and ultimately your overall health."
Read more: https://www.healthambition.com/apple-beet-carrot-juice-liver-tonic/
5 Incredible Benefits of Walnut Oil for Health and Beauty
June 03, 2017 12:14 PM
Walnut oil is very healthy. It can make you look and feel better. This talks about its benefits and how best to reap them. Nuts are great sources of healthy fats, proteins, and many other nutrients so you should try to incorporate them into your diet. This can be done in many ways. There are different nut products and recipes which will allow you to eat them without betting bored from the same thing all the time.
"Walnut oil can be used to treat fungal infections like candida, jock itch and athlete’s foot."
Read more: http://food.ndtv.com/health/5-incredible-benefits-of-walnut-oil-for-health-and-beauty-1697195
THIS HEALING OF A SINGLE LUNG STRIKE, ELIMINATES KIDNEYS STONE, SLIMS AND MAKES YOU FEEL 15!
March 21, 2017 11:44 AM
Health Benefits of Lemon Juice and Olive Oil for Liver Cleansing & More
Now you can use a simple homemade recipe mixture of lemon juice and olive oil to maintain good health, cleanse your liver and whole body. Just by taking two teaspoons of the lemon and olive oil mixture each day in the morning on a empty stomach. To deep cleanse your liver, skin, organs, cut down on heart disease, toxins in the body due to overeating of junk foods. The mixture can also, remove dark Circles under eyes, create healthy blood vessels, remove kidney stones and helps you lose weight. Feel lots of better and again gain healthy liver functions, good organs and skin health.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qJxSUaNf4c&rel=0
"The liver is an extremely important organ, as it is responsible for cleaning the blood and eliminating toxins that could harm the body."
Health Benefits Of Almond Oil
March 07, 2014 04:04 PM
What is almond
Almonds are fruits of deciduous trees that are originally found in North Africa and Asia. There are two varieties of almonds, sweet and bitter. Sweet almonds can be used to produce essential oil, and extract. Almond extract is often used as an alternative to vanilla extracts in diabetic safe recipes. Bitter almonds contain a toxic amount of prussic acid that can be converted to cyanide during refining, consequently prussic acid has to be leached out, before it can be suitable for human consumption.
Both bitter and sweet almond oil can be produced from two different almond trees. From the sweet almond tree, we produce sweet almond oil and an emulsion. From the bitter almond tree we produce the essential oil of almonds (it is nearly pure benzaldehyde), a less amount of fixed oil, and an emulsion that yields cyanide, and glucose.
Health Benefits Of Almond Oil
1. Skin- The two oils have different health benefits to the skin. Sweet almond oil is a good lubricant and is beneficial for sensitive, dry skin. It is composed of olein, glucosides, and linoleic acid. It also contains minerals, vitamins and protein, as a result it nourishes and revitalizes the skin. It is used as a carrier oil in face serums.
Its other benefits include:
Bitter almond oil as mentioned above is nearly 100% benzaldehyde, it does not contain any cyanide. It isn’t used in any direct way for skin care. It is used mainly because of its wonderful almond flavor or scent.
2. Hair- Sweet almond oil contains omega 6 fatty acids, which stimulates hair growth. It strengthens hair, nourishes the hair follicles, moisturizes the scalp, and prevents dandruff. It also makes hair thicker and stronger, as well as smoothing and nourishing hair cuticles.
3. Body- Sweet almond oil contains antioxidants that are useful in eliminating free radicals and toxins from the body. It assists digestion, aiding the assimilation of nutrients, and can be used to cure constipation. It contains mono-saturated fats and antioxidants that help in preventing heart disease. Sweet almond oil helps in maintaining the proper level of cholesterol by decreasing the level of LDL, and increasing the level of HDL in the body. It contains folic acid, which is important in preventing birth defects in pregnancy. It also contains phenylalanine and riboflavin that improve neurological function.
Are Pumpkin Seeds Healthy For Men and Women?
February 04, 2014 06:45 PM
Pumpkin seeds have been gaining traction around health Circles in recent months and all for the right reasons. These greenish flat-shelled seeds that pumpkin lovers have been throwing away for years have been proven through tests to contain a whole lot of nutrients.
According to www.whfoods.com, tests showed improved insulin regulation helping reduce prevalence of diabetes thanks to the various unique protein types in pumpkin seeds
Pumpkin seeds are rich in omega 3 fats that help prevent BPH - Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy a condition where the prostrate gland becomes enlarged.They also contain cancer-fighting compounds known as cucurbitacins that kill cancer cells.According to www.health.yahoo.net , recent research has shown that eating pumpkin seeds lowered risk of breast cancer in post menopausal women by 23%.
Pumpkin seeds contain tryptotophan that converts various amino-acids to serotonin which is known to improve sleep and lower depression
Thanks to the zinc, manganese and various types of Vitamin E, pumpkin seeds are also great anti-oxidants for the body for both men and women of all ages.
According to www.healthyeating.sfgate.com, pumpkin seeds improve blood flow in the body by thinning blood due to its vitamin E elements and also helps in blood clotting and bone development due to vitamin K.
1. Rich in magnesium which aids in heart-related ailments
Can Butcher's Broom Boost Cardiovascular Health?
October 30, 2013 09:48 PM
Where to find Butchers Broom
The butcher’s broom also known as ruscus aculeatus is an evergreen low shrub that grows in the Eurasian region. It is known to produce greenish flowers that are small sized and blooms during Spring. It has leaves that produce red berries after the falling off of its female flowers. It is reputed among native cultures as much as asparagus, with the roots been eaten in various preparations.
It is mainly recurrent in woodland as a result of bird-spread though is now grown as a garden plant in regions across the world. It has general names like the pettigree, Jews’myrtle, sweet broom, petit houx and knee holly. Its roots are deployed as medicines in different remedies.
It has been used as an effective tool to constrict capillaries and blood vessels by herbal and alternative medicine practitioners. Its efficiency in constricting blood vessels is considered to result from the constituent chemicals. This prevents the veins from pooling blood thereby improving the flow of blood in the hands, brain and legs.
It has been used to heal fractures and reduce swelling, as well as treatment for hemorrhoids and gallstones. It is reputed for constipation relief and ease of urine ejection.
As a result of its wide application and effectiveness, the German Health Commission listed it as a useful for the treatment of hemorrhoids. It is advised in medical Circles that its use by pregnant women should be subject to consultation of a qualified medical practitioner to avoid possible contraindications and safeguard the fetal balance.
Clinical research is still open in several fronts to ascertain its virility and possible side effects as a result of the widespread usage across the globe by alternative medicine practitioners for a variety of medical conditions. This evidently will provide clues as to acceptable dosage and prescription in the years to come.
4. botanical.com: Broom, Butcher's
What Is Vanadyl Sulfate And How Does It Relate to Diabetes?
December 22, 2011 09:24 PM
What is Vanadyl Sulfate
This is a well known inorganic compound of vanadium and in some Circles it has been commonly referred to as another name for vanadium. This water soluble sulphate is known to be the most stable diatomic ion in the scientific world and has been known in the medical industry as something that has the same effect as insulin. It basically is a metallic element and is a soft and ductile element which is physically described as silvery white in colour and when it is in powder form it looks as if it is light gray.
History and Discovery
It is commonly known that this metallic element was discovered by a Spanish professor named Andres Del Rio who in 1801 was able to find the element erythronium in Mexico however at the time Professor Del Rio felt it was nothing new so he did not pursue to prove it any further and this is when a Swedish Chemist named Nils Gabriel Sefstrom got the credit for its discovery and it remained as the more known fact until a German Chemist by the name of Friedrich Wohler was able to prove otherwise in 1831. He was able to prove that both discoveries were the same.
Uses and Functions
The main belief in the medical world and as proven is that it is able to function like insulin and it is able to mimic insulin’s effects to the body. As such you might have guessed what follows. It is able to help with diabetes because various studies suggest that it is able to lower the blood sugar levels in the body which is exactly what the purpose of insulin is especially when it is in high doses. Other studies also has confirmed that it also can possibly help with conditions like heart disease and high cholesterol which are diseases that diabetes usually affect as well although further studies needs to be done to this respect.
Safety and possible side effects
Vanadium has been shown to be safe for use by adults although it needs to be a fairly low dose unlike the one that is needed for diabetes. Possible side effect ranges from diarrhea to nausea and some abdominal discomfort. Furthermore, it is safe to say that this should not be taken by breast feeding women as it may have undesired side effects.
Preventing Chronic Health Problems with AHCC
October 26, 2005 05:57 PM
Preventing Chronic Health Problems with AHCC
In a country supposedly as healthy as ours, an estimated 175 million people suffer from one form of chronic imbalance or another. This can take the form of obesity, which is the second leading cause of preventable death in the United States, second only to cigarette smoking; challenges to heart health, blood pressure, blood glucose levels, joint and cell health ,to name just a few.
In fact ,treating chronic health problems is what modern medicine has become .Sure, there are still many acute illnesses treated by modern medicine; but for the most part, we are fortunate enough to have long life spans and the health issues that go along with it. Therefore it is important to make sure that out immune systems are up to the task. That is where AHCC should become part of our daily lives.
AHCC is an nutritional supplement that was developed and is manufactured solely in Japan under strict practices. It is a hybridized extract of medicinal mushrooms where the active ingredient is an oligosaccharide made from the mycelia of several species of mushrooms, grown in rice bran.
AHCC and Cell Senescence
Every few years, a new buzz word comes along in medical Circles. The latest one to be used both in a positive and negative fashion is senescence. For example, if an unhealthy cell can be artificially made to senesce, or grow old, then it will die sooner. If senescence of healthy cells can be delayed, that is an amazing achievement.
AHCC is the first nutritional supplement that shows principles of being able to promote certain cells in the immune system that keep us young and healthy, thus delaying immunosenesnscence.
AHCC and the Immune System
In order to get a full appreciation of how important taking AHCC on a daily bases is, one needs to understand the intimate role the immune system plays in our daily lives. It is responsible for riding our bodies of the unhealthy cells that are produced every day. The immune system protects us from the polluted air we breathe, the chemicaalized foods we eat, and most importantly, from the stress we bring upon ourselves just by the very nature of the way we live our lives. Our bodies were made for flight or fight capability; but never in history have we been in that mode on a daily basis. Our immune systems are under constant assault and it is up to you to take care of it even though you may not even be aware that it is there. We tend to only to think of our immune system when it is not working-when suffer mild or severe health challenges.
Without getting into too much detail, our immune system is a complex series of cells that all communicate with each other and must be balanced correctly in order for us to stay healthy. AHCC is able to encourage the helpful cells such as the natural killer (NK) cells while suppressing the ones that foster problems.
I am in clinical practice on a daily basis and use AHCC in almost every one of my patients. It is very versatile because of its effects on the immune system.
A Company Committed to Excellence
If everything I just told you wasn’t enough to convince you that AHCC should become part of your daily armamentarium, then here’s more fuel. AHCC is produced by a chemical company that is committed to excellence in manufacturing and most importantly in research. They have supported research at hospitals around the world, including local ones such as Columbia University, Harvard University and the University of California.
In fact, I just returned from a trip to Sapporo, Japan where the product is made and where each year, a team of scientists and medical professionals gather to discuss the latest research on AHCC, GCP, and oliganol-all products made by the same company. This was the 13th annual symposium and was attended by close to 1000 professionals.
It is remarkable to me that this company is able to produce such well-documented research while still being a nutritional supplement company, which shows it can be done. To me, this is the sign of a nutritional supplement worth recommending. If it does what it says it is supposed to do and has research to support those claims, than that is something you want in your daily diet.
So, even though you may never have given your immune system a second thought, you really should; and the best way to help it out is by taking AHCC on a daily basis, just like I do. I recommend 500 mg per day in the summer months and 1500 per day in the winter months as a simple preventive. Stay healthy!
About the Author
Fred Pescator, M.D., a traditionally trained physician practicing nutritional medicine, is President of the AHCC Research Association. He is the author of The Hamptons’ Diet, Thin For Good and Feed Your Kids Well. Dr.Pescator lectures around the world, and has been featured on such shows as The View, The Today Show, Deborah Norville, The O’ Reilly Factor, and Extra. Recent interviews include Woman’s Health and Fitness, Let’s Live, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Fortune and more. He is also the author of numerous papers and magazine articals. Dr.Pescator is actively involved in clinical research , and is instrumental in developing and clinically testing many of the leading nutritional products. He is the President-Elect of the International and American Association of Clinical Nutritionists and a member of the National Association of Physician Broadcasters.
The above article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat a particular illness. The reader is encouraged to seek the advice of a holistically competent licensed professional health care provider. The information in this article has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Source Naturals - Our Commitment to Your Well-Being
August 20, 2005 11:41 AM
Manufacturing nutritional supplements is a profound responsibility. We are constantly aware that the products we make are incorporated into your cells and tissues—they become the very substance of your being.
Our Commitment to Your Well-Being
As developers of a leading line of dietary supplements, we at Source Naturals know we have a unique responsibility.
When you take our supplements into your body, you entrust us with something precious and irreplaceable—your physical and mental well-being. You expect us to honor that trust by producing the highest quality supplements, based on advanced research, in formulations that can significantly impact your life. You expect Total Quality Assurance (TQA™).
A Culture of Quality Our Quality Control Department employs rigorous testing Our Commitment toYour Well-Being procedures that assure every product we produce is of the highest quality. We have set in place intricate protocols of checks and balances. But our commitment to quality does not begin or end at the laboratory door. From purchasing to warehousing, from the first stage of blending to the finishing touches in packaging, we continually strive to imbue quality at all points in our systems.
Clear protocols, policies and procedures establish the framework, but TQA at Source Naturals is a living system of dedicated people. TQA is our organizing principle. The whole company is structured around quality circle teams. They are fast and creative, enabling us to quickly take nutritional quality to the next level of performance. There is no entrenched bureaucracy, intent on maintaining the status quo. Instead, staff members participate in teams focused on the continual improvement of our products. In our everevolving quality Circles, team members are encouraged to brainstorm and think “outside the box,” to discover innovative ways to raise product quality.
In these quality circle teams, one guiding principle is always focused on and reinforced—creating products that enhance the health and well-being of our customers.
Quality and Formulation
And because you take our products to address critical health concerns, the heart of TQA at Source Naturals is our formulation method. We understand the need to go deep to the underlying causes of health imbalances. Whether developing groundbreaking nutrients or comprehensive formulas, we are dedicated to accessing and addressing those root causes. For a step-by-step tour of TQA at Source Naturals, please read on.
Estrogen: The Hidden Culprit
July 25, 2005 09:45 PM
Estrogen: The Hidden Culprit
As mentioned, many women who suffer from a whole myriad of perplexing and distressing symptoms can be unsuspecting victims of an estrogen dominance. It is important to keep in mind that when estrogen is not balanced out by adequate amounts of progesterone, a whole array of diverse symptoms may develop, many of which are easily misdiagnosed and subsequently, mistreated.
In addition, we hear so much about keeping our estrogen levels up as we approach menopause, we rarely consider the fact that we may be suffering from an estrogen overload during pre-menopausal years. Most physicians neglect to discuss the very real effect of an estrogen dominance, but I can assure you that it is all too real. Enduring very heavy periods, developing sore and tender breasts, retaining water, bloating and serious bouts with depression are more of a problem for many pre-menopausal women in their forties than one would assume. In addition, most of us are unaware of the fact that a woman can have regular periods and not be ovulating. A continued lack of ovulation or impaired ovulation can also create a progesterone deficiency leading to an abnormal buildup of the uterine lining which is never sufficiently shed. The incomplete removal of the endometrium can lead to endometriosis, uterine fibroid cysts, fibrocystic breasts, bloating, depression, heavy or irregular periods and possible malignancies.
IS ALL ESTROGEN BAD?
Certainly, all estrogen is not bad; however, it would seem that most women suffer from a dominance of estrogen and a lack of progesterone. Estrogen is the hormone that initiates female puberty, causing the development of the breast, uterus, fallopian tubes etc. It also contributes to female fat distribution. Prior to menopause, estrogen levels drop causing an eventual cessation of the menstrual period.
Most conventional physicians will recommend estrogen replacement therapy to offset the risk of osteoporosis and to prevent cardiovascular disease, two actions which are still questioned in many scientific Circles. The focus on estrogen therapy may be misguided in many cases. More and more evidence points to the fact that when progesterone levels are where they should be, conditions like PMS, osteoporosis, etc. dramatically improve. Unopposed or synthetic estrogen poses a number of health risks which most women will recognize immediately through their own personal experience.
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."
June 14, 2005 11:44 AM
Good Hydration by Lisa James Energy Times, June 17, 2004
Ah summertime, and the living is lovely: ocean fragrances wafting on a summer wind, the summer sun warming the body and relaxing the mind.
But all that sun and wind can dry your summer skin, making it uncomfortable and parched-looking. Moisture counteracts the discomforts that summer elements can bring, allowing your fresh, dewy look to shine through. Knowing how to hydrate your skin is the key.
Skin consists of three layers, each with a different function:
Do you have dry skin? How well your skin holds moisture depends on the arrangement of cells within the stratum corneum. Fat contained in this layer, as well as natural moisturizing factor (made by the epidermis), also keeps skin moist. Unfortunately, as you age, the amount of natural moisturizing factor produced by your skin decreases.
Skin Care 101
Obviously, anything that affects the all-important epidermis can dry out your skin-sun and wind both rob skin of moisture. For starters, just say no to tobacco. Smoking tightens the skin's abundant blood vessels; this reduces the flow of oxygen and nutrients, creating dryness. Smoking also breaks down elastin, the protein that gives skin its flexibility. The next step is to add water from within. " It takes at least six to eight cups of pure water each day to keep the skin and body well hydrated," notes Jeanette Jacknin, MD, board-certified dermatologist and author of Smart Medicine for Your Skin (Avery/Penguin).
At the same time, be careful about how you bathe your skin. Bathing or showering for too long, or using water that's too hot, can actually cause your skin to lose moisture for two reasons. First, prolonged bathing washes away the oils that help lock moisture in; second, it encourages your skin's own moisture to evaporate after you dry yourself off.
Before you shower or bathe, Dr. Jacknin recommends using a dry, soft-bristled brush to increase skin circulation and gently remove dead cells. Brushing in small Circles, gradually move up your legs and arms, always moving towards the heart. When you do get into the tub or shower, don't scrub your skin and don't use harsh cleaning agents. Instead, go for natural cleansers that feature such skin-friendly ingredients as glycerin.
Feed Your Inner Skin
As your body's largest organ, your skin depends on the nutrients in your diet. You have to feed your skin well if you expect it to stand up to wind and sun. " Eat fish, rolled oats and ground flaxseeds frequently," recommends Dr. Jacknin. "These foods are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which help the skin retain moisture." Include other healthy oils, such as safflower and olive oil, in your meals. Supplemental omega-3s, in the form of flaxseed or fish oils, can also help.
Various vitamins help make your skin happy and healthy. Skin growth and repair requires vitamin A, while natural vitamin E provides antioxidant protection and vitamin C promotes creation of collagen, which provides skin with its structure.
The B vitamins are essential to keeping dryness at bay; without them, the skin can crack, peel and redden. Choline, a member of the B family that helps with fat transportation within the body, is available as lecithin. Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is another skin-friendly nutrient. MSM provides sulfur, which the body needs to create healthy skin proteins. It also fights inflammation and encourages better blood flow.
Slake Your Skin's Thirst
A good moisturizer can help arid skin return to soft freshness. To get the most out of moisturizers, use them consistently, and start at a young age. " [M]ost people start to benefit from [moisturizers] in their twenties [when] their skin begins to dry with age," state Charles Inlander and Janet Worsley Norwood in Skin: Head-to-Toe Tips for Health and Beauty (Walker and Company). "Moisturizers boost skin health by preventing water loss from the skin."
The same antioxidant nutrients, such as vitamin C and natural vitamin E, you feed your skin from within also abound in natural moisturizers, as do an impressive variety of herbal essences and essential oils. Aloe vera, used to treat burns for centuries, helps ease inflammation, as does chamomile. Fresh-smelling lavender oil helps soothe insect bites and minor wounds. Jasmine and peppermint offset excessive oil production.
Moisturizers: Timing and Type
The ideal time to moisturize is right after a bath or shower, since that's when evaporation promotes water loss; for best results, apply while your skin is still slightly damp. But bathtime isn't the only time to consider your skin's moisture needs. Carry some moisturizer with you so you can use it every time you wash your hands, especially if you're prone to cracked cuticles and split fingertips.
Match your moisturizer to your skin type. If your skin tends to oiliness, use a water-based product; otherwise, an oil-based formulation -jojoba oil and shea butter are good choices-is fine. (Oily skin may first need a gentle astringent like lemon peel or cucumber to remove dirt and excess oil.)
Also pay careful attention to the type of moisturizer you use. Lotions are easy to apply, but may not stay on your skin as readily as creams, which may be a better choice for your face, feet and hands. By all means, enjoy the summer sun. Just make sure your skin enjoys the summer, too, by staying hydrated and happy.
Summer Sports Nutrition Guide
June 11, 2005 03:54 PM
Summer Sports Nutrition Guide by Joyce Dewon Energy Times, June 18, 2004
If you're hooked on exercise you're probably just as hooked on using top-notch equipment when you work out. Those who are serious about staying in shape buy the best running shoes, carefully pick out the best bikes and tread on durable treadmills. But do you pay just as much attention to your nutrition?
Scientists who have studied exercise have found that what you eat before, during and after workouts is crucial to maintaining your health, getting into shape and staying fit. To achieve your best athletic performance without getting injured or sick depends on optimum nutrition. When you carefully plan what to feed your exercised body, it rewards you by feeling and looking better.
Short 'n Sweet
If you thought long exercise sessions were the only ways to get decent exercise benefits, take notice: small doses of exercise during the week can go a long way. " The important thing, apparently, is just do it," says Howard D. Sesso, ScD, author of an American Heart Association study on exercise and heart disease. In his study, exercisers demonstrated that several short sessions of exercise were as good for the body as a single long session (Circ 8/00; 102:975-80). " Short sessions lasting 15 minutes long appear to be helpful,"Dr. Sesso explains. Even walking about three miles per week, which is a moderate level of exercise, lowers your risk of heart disease by 10%.
Some people glorify in working up a sweat; others curse the dampness. But putting in extra effort in even short bursts of activity pays off: experts have found that intense exercise burns more calories than more relaxed sessions, more effectively reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease and helps stabilize blood sugar levels. In addition, it stimulates production of human growth hormone, which offsets some of the effects of aging (Exp Biol Med 2004 Mar; 229(3):240-6).
But don't go crazy if you haven't worked out in a long time. The intensity of the workout should match your physical fitness. According to the American Heart Association, when people exercise at a comfortable pace, their heart rate and level of exertion stay within a safe range, but still high enough to benefit their health. Strenuous activities, for those who can handle them, produce the most physiological bang for the jog. But brisk walking within your own level of fitness still offers significant benefits.
Feeding Your Muscles
When you exercise, you work and develop your muscles, which are made primarily out of protein. Despite this fact, many exercise experts have advocated high-carb diets for athletes. But, as John Ivy, PhD, and Robert Portman, PhD, point out in their book The Performance Zone (Basic Health), "[While] there is no doubt that aerobic athletes require more carbohydrate than strength athletes...we are now discovering that the addition of protein to a carbohydrate supplement offers significant benefits to aerobic athletes."
That is why researchers believe that consuming plenty of protein along with carbohydrates offers the best fitness benefits. Protein helps fuel activity more efficiently and aids in recovery after a session at the gym, allowing your body to repair muscle damage and build up muscle fibers.
During exercise, you break down muscle tissue. It is during recovery, after your exercise session ends, that muscles are rebuilt. At the same time, other cellular processes take place that adapt the body to working out.
According to Ivy and Portman, timing your intake of nutrients after exercise is crucial: "The ability of the muscle machinery to regenerate itself decreases very rapidly after a workout, so that the nutrients consumed more than 45 minutes after exercise will have far less impact in helping the muscles regenerate than nutrients consumed earlier."
Stresses and Tears
Engaging in athletics can cause microscopic muscle tears. These tears can cause a range of problems that, when you exercise excessively, can cause pain and injury.
Inflammation is the body's response to cellular damage. The damaged area can swell as the body sends white blood cells and other cells to repair the injured area. Unfortunately, the swelling can further damage the muscle cells.
Since inflammation can take 24 hours or more to cause the collection of cells in the injured area, it can be a day or two before the resulting muscle soreness reaches its peak painfulness and then starts to subside.
Cortisol, a hormone produced when you exercise strenuously, which can result in muscle fiber damage. Cortisol boosts protein breakdown, so it can be used to fuel muscle movement. But the more protein breaks down, the more potential exists for muscle fiber injury. Free radicals are caustic molecules that are created when the mitochondria (small structures in cells) create energy; these marauders can also cause microscopic shredding of muscle strands. As you increase your use of energy during exercise, you simultaneously increase the production of free radicals. This collection of free radicals can outstrip the body's antioxidant defenses, leading to extensive muscle damage and dampening of the immune system.
All of these cellular events can make you sore. They are also the reasons that athletes who overdo it day after day are liable to come down with nagging colds and a variety of infections.
Your muscles use different substances for fuel depending on what you ask them to do. Lift a heavy weight and muscles recruit two processes called the creatine phosphate system and glycolysis to generate a large amount of quick energy. These are known as anaerobic types of energy production.
But if you jog, swim, bike or perform any other aerobic activity, the cells use oxygen in what is called cellular respiration to supply energy to working muscles.
When you exercise aerobically for extended periods of time, the energy available is generally limited by how much oxygen your body is capable of taking in and supplying to the muscles, where it takes part in energy production. In athletic Circles, this upper limit is known as your VO2max.
The carbohydrates your body burns for energy during aerobic activity are taken from blood sugar and carbohydrate reserves called glycogen. (The muscles store glycogen, as does the liver.) During a workout session, your glycogen supply is limited to what is stored with your muscles. But blood glucose can be boosted by carbohydrate drinks, energy gels or bars.
Most people who work out have enough glycogen and blood sugar to fuel moderate aerobic activity for about two hours. After that, the body turns mostly to fat and protein stores to fuel exercise.
Fat Into the Fire
In contrast to the body's quickly diminishing supply of glycogen and blood sugar, fat can last for hours and hours of exercise. According to Portman and Ivy, a 200-pound man with 15% body fat has, theoretically, enough fat energy to run from Washington DC down to Miami Beach-and still has enough energy left over to jump into the ocean.
But using fat for energy is complicated; fat is stored in fat tissue and not readily available to working muscles. Plus, to burn fat for energy, the body needs carbohydrate-it cannot burn fat all by itself. What's more, the conversion of fat into energy doesn't go as quickly as carb conversion.
Protein is also used for energy when carbs run low. But the more you use protein for energy, the more you risk soreness as muscle fibers break down.
Prepare to Energize
To maximize your energy during exercise and minimize soreness, Portman and Ivy recommend some simple nutritional steps:
Taking protein and carbs while working out can limit muscle damage and curtail soreness. Carbs apparently drop your cortisol levels, and thereby limit muscle injuries linked to this hormone. While the mechanism that helps protein limit muscle soreness is not completely understood, it is possible that taking in protein while working out keeps the body from shredding muscle tissue in search of fuel.
Supplements that contain antioxidants such as natural vitamin E and vitamin C (Portman and Ivy think you should take these during exercise) may limit free radical damage to muscle fibers.
Muscle Reconstruction Plan
If you want to help your exercise plan make you stronger, you should focus your after-exercise sports nutrition plan on these steps:
The protein part of the equation is vital: don't merely indulge in only carbs after exercising. A recent study found that while carbs could help muscles rebuild, adding protein can make a big difference in improving your fitness (J App Phys 2/04).
This combination of nutrients stimulates the pancreas so that it releases insulin. The release of insulin is the key, initial step that sets off a cascade of physiological events that speeds muscle recovery. Although many people think of insulin as an undesirable hormone-if you never exercise, too much insulin may help drive your blood sugar down and cause other problems-for exercisers, this hormone plays a crucial function in benefiting from exercise.
By eating carbohydrate and protein soon after working out and stimulating insulin, according to Ivy and Portman, you help your body boost its synthesis of protein by:
Drinking for Exercise The most obvious nutrient you lose during intensive exercise is water in your perspiration. However, that perspiration also contains an array of minerals known as electrolytes. So, for optimal performance and health, experts recommend you replace both the water and its minerals.
Merely drinking water-instead of electrolyte-filled sports drinks-during prolonged aerobic activity can be dangerous. It leaves you vulnerable to a condition called hyponatremia, which can occur when your blood levels of sodium and other electrolytes drop, but your blood volume stays steady or increases because you drink lots of water.
According to Edmund Burke, PhD, in his book Optimal Muscle Performance and Recovery (Avery), one out of four athletes who seek medical attention after a long race are suffering hyponatremia.
" Typically," he says, "conscientious athletes get in trouble because they adhere too diligently to one recommendation: the need to drink lots of fluids. They tend to ignore another recommendation: The need to keep electrolytes up...for most endurance athletes the real problem is drinking too much water." Dr. Burke warns that you can possibly suffer hyponatremia even if you don't drink a lot of water.
Signs of hyponatremia can be similar to those of heat exhaustion. But, while resting and cooling down can help alleviate heat exhaustion, that doesn't help hyponatremia. " To protect yourself against hyponatremia, start by paying attention to how much you sweat," Dr. Burke says. If your sweat seems very salty, burns your eyes or leaves an evident, white residue on your skin, you may be losing a great deal of sodium and should be diligent about eating salty foods. " You can also make sure you're getting enough sodium by drinking sports drinks instead of plain water during long (exercise) events," Dr. Burke notes.
Of course, no matter what you decide to eat or drink while exercising, the most important factor for your well-being is to get out to the gym, onto the track, or just on to the sidewalk, and do something, even if you only want to go out for a walk. No matter how old you are or what kind of shape you're in, you'll benefit from exercise.
" It's solid evidence that across-the-board declines occur when people stop exercising," says Charles Emery, PhD, professor of psychology at Ohio State University (Health Psychology 3/04).
Don't decline or remain supine. Let your fitness climb.
Federal Court Overturns FDA Ban on Ephedra at Low Doses
June 09, 2005 08:41 AM
Federal Court Overturns FDA Ban on Ephedra at Low Doses
by Rakesh M. Amin and Mark Blumenthal
A Utah Federal District Court recently limited the scope of a year old Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Final Rule1 banning the sale of all ephedrine-alkaloid dietary supplements.2 The Court’s ruling has a limited affect on the ability of companies to sell ephedrine nationally, but is important regarding FDA procedure for creating rules and enforcement powers. Ephedrine alkaloids are found primarily in the controversial herb ephedra (Ephedra sincica Stapf., Ephedraceae).
The District Court determined that the FDA’s use of a risk-benefit analysis was against the intent of Congress in passing the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act,3 which presumes all foods are safe and requires the FDA to prove the existence of a significant or unreasonable risk. The court held that to require food producers to establish a benefit before selling their product places an improper burden on them and was inconsistent with Congress’s intent when it passed the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA) to clearly place the burden of proof of safety of a dietary ingredient on the FDA.4
Secondly, the court determined the FDA had to show by a preponderance of the evidence “a significant or unreasonable risk of illness or injury.”5 Therefore, in order to ban all sales of a given product, the FDA must first prove that the dosage amount in the product presents an unreasonable risk.6 Prior to this ruling, the FDA was not required to consider dosage size before banning a substance.
This ruling has limited effects at the moment since the FDA may appeal this decision. Additionally, the ruling has no effect on the laws of several states (including California, Illinois and New York) which have banned all sales of ephedrine alkaloids in dietary supplements. The ruling also only applies to products containing 10 mg or less of ephedrine alkaloids per daily dosage. Any product exceeding that amount is still banned and will continue to be enforced under the FDA rule.7
The court, in its ruling, specifically precluded the FDA from taking any enforcement action against Nutraceutical Corporation, the company that filed the lawsuit, for its sale of products containing 10mg or less of ephedra and for the FDA to consider further rulemaking “consistent with this Order”.8 However, the court did not specifically instruct the FDA to refrain from taking enforcement action against other brands containing less than 10mg of ephedrine.9 As such, companies considering launching new products containing ephedrine alkaloids are advised to do so carefully.
Nutraceutical Corporation president Bruce Hough was cited in The New York Times as saying that the company’s reason for filing the suit was not based on ephedra and that his company had no plans to begin marketing ephedra supplements in the near future.10 Hough was quoted as saying, “We filed it [the lawsuit] because the FDA established rules that could cause problems to the rest of our business.” Hough was referring to the legal basis upon which the FDA banned the sale ephedra. He told the American Botanical Council that the FDA was applying a drug standard of risk vs. benefit to herbs and dietary supplements – technically foods under the law. [Hough B. Personal communication to M. Blumenthal, Apr. 27, 2005.] His company filed the lawsuit in an attempt to deter FDA’s new procedure for creating what he considered arbitrary rules which contradict the plain meaning of existing federal law (DSHEA).
The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) issued a statement on April 26 clarifying its policy on the sale of ephedra in dietary supplements.11 AHPA has notified all its members that at this time it is the organization’s policy that none of its members should be selling low doses (10 mg or less) of ephedra in dietary supplements until the FDA has clarified its position on the Court decision. At this time it is not clear whether FDA plans on appealing the decision or will implement the new policy set by the Court.
The court decision does not affect the sale of the herb ephedra in traditional formulations intended for use that is consistent with traditional uses, e.g., pulmonary complaints, and are dispensed by licensed healthcare practitioners.
As might be expected, court’s decision has stimulated a new round of media and congressional criticism of the relative safety of herbs and dietary supplements as well as DSHEA. For example, a highly critical article by Chris Mooney was posted on the website of the American Prospect on April 25.12 The Prospect is relatively influential in Democratic and progressive political Circles in Washington. The article uses language such as the court decision is a “scandal” and a “disturbing ruling”, refers to DSHEA as “a terrible law” and a “peculiar and misguided law” and the “wrongheaded standards encoded in the DSHEA”, and repeats the often-cited media mantra about “unregulated herbal supplements” and that the “FDA has been hamstrung and effectively rendered impotent.”
More information regarding the sale of ephedrine products or FDA regulations in general is available from the law offices of Rakesh M. Amin at (312) 327-3382 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
1 21 C.F.R. Pt. 119, Final Rule Declaring Dietary Supplements Containing Ephedrine Alkaloids Adulterated Because They Present an Unreasonable Risk (Published February 11, 2004) (Effective April 12, 2004) available at /dockets/98fr/1995n-0304-nfr0001.pdf
2 Nutraceutical Corporation and Solaray, Inc. v. Lester Crawford, D.V.M., Acting Commissioner, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, et al., Case No. 2:04CV409TC, U.S. District Court for the Central District of Utah; available at gov/reports/204cv409-28.pdf
Under-Reported (and Underappreciated) Cholesterol control.
May 12, 2005 10:00 AM
Under-Reported (and Underappreciated) Solutions for Cholesterol and Triglyceride Controlby Richard Conant, L.Ac., C.N.
Fat and human existence are inseparable. Setting aside the fear and loathing over fat in the body that pervades our culture, we understand that fat is our friend. We cannot live without fat.
The human body contains many different kinds of fats and fat-like molecules. Collectively known as "lipids" these fatty substances include fatty acids, lipoproteins, phospholipids, glycolipids, triglycerides, steroid hormones and the infamous, dreaded cholesterol.
Lipids (fats) are found everywhere in the body, performing a variety of vital functions. The brain is a fat-rich organ. Brain neurons and all other nerve cells are protected by a myelin sheath, made largely out of fatty material. Cell membranes consist almost entirely of phospholipids (lipids that contain phosphorus) arranged in a sandwich-like double layer embedded with proteins. Sex hormones are lipids, belonging to the group of complex lipid molecules known as "steroids." Vitamin D is a lipid.
The body stores and transports fatty acids in the form of triglycerides. A triglyceride contains three fatty acid molecules, which have a chain-like structure, linked to glycerol. (There are also mono- and di-glycerides, which have one and two fatty acid chains, respectively, attached to glycerol.)
Like many other things necessary to life, fat is a two-edged sword. Fat insulates us from the cold, cushions and protects our vital organs and serves as a storehouse for energy. Yet, when present in excess to the point of obesity, fat threatens health, happiness, self-esteem, social standing and longevity. The same is true of other lipids, most notably triglycerides and cholesterol. Transported throughout the body in the bloodstream, these essential lipids become a health liability when the blood contains too much of them.
Keeping fat in it its proper place, not eliminating or drastically reducing it, is the goal we should seek. In the blood, lipids must be maintained at healthy levels and ratios. When they are, an important foundation of good health is established.
How do we keep the blood lipids we need——triglycerides and the various forms of cholesterol——balanced at healthy levels? Diet and exercise are indispensable, these basics must come first. Along with the recommended dietary practices, a number of nutritional approaches offer help for maintaining healthy blood lipids. We will now give several of these a closer look.
In 1990, an herb used for centuries in the Far East was introduced to U.S. consumers. This herb, called "gum guggul," is proving to be one of the most effective natural cholesterol-lowering agents ever discovered. It also brings triglycerides down and raises HDL, the "good" cholesterol. The changes are substantial; gum guggul single-handedly normalizes the entire blood lipid profile, even in people with high starting levels of cholesterol and triglycerides.
Gum guggul, also called simply "guggul," is a gummy resin tapped from the Commiphora tree. A cousin of myrrh gum, guggul has been used by Ayurvedic herbalists of India for at least 3,000 years; texts dating from around 1,000 B.C. mention the herb. Guggul was traditionally given for rheumatism and poor health caused by excess consumption of fatty foods. One ancient Sanskrit text describes in detail what happens in the body when blood fats are out of balance, due to sedentary lifestyle and overeating. The name of this condition has been translated as "coating and obstruction of channels."
Intrigued by the obvious similarity between "coating and obstruction of channels" and arteries clogged by fatty plaque, Indian researchers initiated a series of experimental and clinical studies in the 1960's to see if gum guggul would lower excess blood lipids.1 Both human and animal studies consistently showed cholesterol and triglyceride reductions.
Detailed pharmacological studies showed that guggul's lipid-lowering effects are produced by compounds in the resin called "guggulsterones."2 An Indian pharmaceutical firm then patented a standardized extract of gum guggul under the trade name "Gugulipid." The product contains a uniform 2.5 percent guggulsterones, which is higher than guggul resin in its natural state.
Because Gugulipid guarantees the necessary intake of guggulsterones needed for blood fat reduction, it has become the product used in clinical research. Phase I efficacy safety trials and Phase II efficacy trials have yielded more positive data.3,4,5 Most of the studies on gum guggul have used relatively small numbers of subjects; this tends to make mainstream medical scientists reluctant about natural remedies. A large, well-publicized double-blind Gugulipid trial on 400 to 500 people would go a long way toward giving this herb the credibility it deserves.
Another effective natural solution for blood fat control that should be better known is a relative of pantothenic acid (vitamin B5). Pantethine is the active form of pantothenic acid in the body. Pantethine forms CoA, an essential co-enzyme for utilization of fat. CoA transports "active acetate," an important byproduct of fat metabolism that provides fuel for generating cellular energy. By promoting the burning of fats for energy, pantethine helps keep triglyceride levels down.6 Pantethine also helps regulate cholesterol production, by facilitating the conversion of fat into other lipid-based molecules needed in the body.6
Japanese researchers began studying the effect of pantethine on blood fats nearly twenty years ago. They reported their promising results at the Seventh International Symposium on Drugs Affecting Lipid Metabolism, held in Milan, Italy in 1980.7 Few in the medical or scientific communities took notice. Italian researchers followed up with several small clinical trials that confirmed the preliminary reports.6,8,9 An excellent cholesterol and triglyceride lowering agent that is safe and free of side-effects, pantethine remains, for the most part, ignored by mainstream science, although its usage is growing in alternative medicine Circles. Pantethine it will no doubt prove to be one of the most important supplements for maintaining healthy blood fat levels.
When taken in high enough doses, niacin (vitamin B3) substantially lowers cholesterol. This has been known to medical science for many years.10 studies on niacin as a cholesterol-lowering agent go back to the 1950's. There was a fair amount of initial enthusiasm for niacin because it improves, unlike most lipid-lowering drugs, all parameters of the blood lipid profile. Niacin reduces total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. It also raises HDL cholesterol quite well. Interest in niacin has faded, in part because the necessary dose, 1200 milligrams a day or more, can cause flushing and gastrointestinal disturbances. Very high doses may be harmful to the liver if taken for too long.
There is a solution to the side-effect problem with niacin which, again, has failed to gain widespread attention. Inositol hexanicotinate is a flush-free form of niacin composed of six niacin molecules bonded to one molecule of inositol, another B-complex nutrient. Absorbed as an intact structure, inositol hexanicotinate is metabolized slowly, releasing free niacin into the bloodstream over a period of hours following ingestion.11 Inositol hexanicotinate has all the benefits of niacin for controlling blood fats. The flushing effect of ordinary niacin, which metabolizes much more rapidly, does not occur. Taking as much as four grams per day has not been reported to raise liver enzymes or cause other side-effects, but prudence dictates that people with liver problems should avoid very high doses of inositol hexanicotinate, or any form of niacin.12
We often think of vitamin E as synonymous with d-alpha tocopherol. Vitamin E is actually a whole family of compounds that includes various tocopherols and a group of lesser known but highly beneficial substances called "tocotrienols." All have vitamin E activity. Tocotrienols are similar in chemical structure to tocopherols, but they have important differences which give them unique and highly beneficial properties for human health.
Vitamin E is one of the most recognized antioxidants, nutrients that deactivate potentially toxic byproducts of oxygen metabolism known as free radicals. Vitamin E neutralizes peroxides, which result from the free radical oxidation of lipids, making it a key antioxidant in cell membranes. While d-alpha tocopherol has generally been regarded as the form of vitamin E with the strongest antioxidant activity, tocotrienols are even stronger.
The tocotrienol story is another example of a natural product slow to gain recognition. A Univeristy of California research team discovered that d-alpha tocotrienol is over six times more effective than d-alpha tocopherol at protecting cell membranes against free radical damage.13 In the presence of vitamin C, which recycles vitamin E-like compounds, its antioxidant activity is 40 to 60 times higher than d-alpha tocopherol. This study was published in 1991. Its safe to say few cardiac physicians know about tocotrienols, and we have yet to see 60 Minutes do a piece on "the powerful new form of vitamin E."
It would be a tremendous service to public health if they did, because the benefits of tocotrienols go far beyond their stellar antioxidant ability. Tocotrienols also lower total cholesterol and LDL, by impressive percentages. In one double-blind controlled study, tocotrienols reduced total cholesterol by 16 percent and LDL by 21 percent after twelve weeks. Another study recorded drops of 15 to 22 percent in total cholesterol along with 10 to 20 percent decreases in LDL levels.14 Now appearing on health food store shelves, tocotrienols are a health-protecting nutrients whose long overdue time has come. Derived from food oils such as palm oil and rice bran oil, tocotrienols have the same lack of toxicity as ordinary vitamin E.
1. Satyavati, G. Gugulipid: a promising hypolipidaemic agent from gum guggul (Commiphora wightii). Economic and Medicinal Plant Research 1991;5:47-82.
2. Dev, S. A modern look at an age-old Ayurvedic drug—guggulu. Science Age July 1987:13-18.
3. Nityanand, S., Srivastava, J.S., Asthana, O.P. Clinical trials with gugulipid. J. Ass. Physicians of India 1989;37(5):323-28.
4. Agarwal, R.C. et. al. Clinical trial of gugulipid—a new hypolipidemic agent of plant origin in primary hyperlipidemia. Indian J Med Res 1986;84:626-34.
5. 'Gugulipid' Drugs of the Future 1988;13(7):618-619.
6. Maggi, G.C., Donati, C., Criscuoli, G. Pantethine: A physiological lipomodulating agent, in the treatment of hyperlipidemias. Current Therapeutic Research 1982;32(3):380-86.
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Control Cholesterol with the following Supplements