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  Messages 1-9 from 9 matching the search criteria.
Vitamin B-complex can help you to restore adrenal function Darrell Miller 1/3/14
The Health benefits of P-5-P Darrell Miller 7/20/12
Memory And Focus Darrell Miller 5/8/07
Instant Energy B-12 2000mcg per serving 75 packets/Box Darrell Miller 2/16/06
Co-Enzyme B-Complex Fact Sheet Darrell Miller 12/8/05
Benfotiamine raises the blood level of thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP) Darrell Miller 8/2/05
Anti-Aging Nutrients Darrell Miller 6/18/05
Nutrients for Longevity Darrell Miller 6/10/05
Under-Reported (and Underappreciated) Cholesterol control. Darrell Miller 5/12/05



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Vitamin B-complex can help you to restore adrenal function
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Date: January 03, 2014 05:46 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Vitamin B-complex can help you to restore adrenal function

Adrenalin Glandniacin food

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.

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The Health benefits of P-5-P
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Date: July 20, 2012 07:51 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: The Health benefits of P-5-P

P-5-P or Pyridoxal-5-phosphate

P-5-P or the most commonly called Pyridoxal-5-phosphate is known to be the most active form of the Vitamin B6. This is known to be converted from organic compounds pyridoxal, pyridoxine and pyridoxamine. The Vitamin P-5-P is a coenzyme which support several other enzymes in the body which play a important role in biosynthesis. This also makes optimum use of the vitamin B6 by improving the body metabolism and many other biological process as well. The vitamin B6 traditionally comes in the form of pyridoxine hydrochloride which the body finds difficult to synthesize in its existing state. Hence, this pyridoxine hydrochloride is processed and is formed as Pyridoxal-5-phosphate to help the body to use the vitamin B6 effectively.

There are a lot of benefits of the vitamin P-5-P

Let us have a look at some of them.

Pyridoxal-5-phosphate uses the information from the genes ad helps to produce proteins.P-5-P is also helpful in the formation of hemoglobin, histamine and neurotransmitters and is also helpful in the metabolism of amino acids, fats and glucose.Pyridoxal-5-phosphate also helps in the conversion of dopa which is a useful substance used in the treatment of Parkinson's disease. Dopa is converted to dopamine which is a neurotransmitter which is produced in the brain and is released by the hypothalamus.

Food Source

The P5P is also helpful in the utilization of the food sources for the formation of energy and also helps in the easy release of glycogen which is the stored energy.P5P also converts glutamate into GABA which is gamma amino butyric acid which is again a neurotransmitter which is known to be found in the mammals. This is found in their central nervous system.The Pyridoxal-5-phosphate also helpful in the process of decarboxylation which is the conversion of histidine to histamine.

This also converts SAM-e to propylamine which is known to be a precursor of polyamines.The Vitamin P5P is also responsible to lower the homocystenie levels which are caused by the intake of high amounts of methionine.The Vitamin Pyridoxal-5-phosphate helps in the treatment of irregular heartbeat , which is a condition termed as arrhythmia.This plays a important role in the treatment of myocardial infections. This prevents the blood platelets from sticking to each other which usually causes blood clots.The enzymes produced by the Pyridoxal-5-phosphate also helps in the formation of different kinds of amino acid reactions which keeps the carbon ions stable. This process is very important in the metabolism of the cells.The P5P also helps in the metabolism of the amino acids.

Here it helps in converting methionine to cysteine and also converts tryptophan to niacin.Pyridoxal-5-phosphate also plays a vital role in the formation of glucose. This process is known as gluconeogenesis.This also acts a important Co-Enzyme in the process of glycogenolysis which happens in the liver and muscles and this is known to be a reaction which occurs due to presence of glycogen.The P5P also helps in the formation of antibodies and also assists in the process of hemoglobin synthesis as well.

To keep it simpler, the vitamin P5P performs many functions which is very beneficial to the whole human body. The P5P deficiency can also happen in many individuals and even such symptoms are hard to identify. Any person suffering from the P5P deficiency will have symptoms like muscle weakness, irritability or depression. Consulting a physician and taking necessary supplements will help to overcome the P5P deficiency.

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Memory And Focus
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Date: May 08, 2007 02:05 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Memory And Focus

Memory & Focus

 

Some people think getting older often means getting slower. It’s true that as we age, we may find we can’t walk quite as fast, climb as many flights of stairs, or play sports as hard as we could when we were twenty. However, we k now that a healthy diet, regular exercise, and the right dietary supplements can make a huge difference in our health, strength, and mobility as we age.

This is true for our mental abilities as well. We may not think as quickly as we used to, might misplace our keys more often, and experience more “tip-of-my-tongue” word searches. These so-called “middle-aged moments” most often have minor consequences: a missed appointment or the forgotten name of an acquaintance. However, in a small number of cases, these mental slips can also be the first sign of serious diseases of aging, such as Alzheimer’s disease of other dementias.

The good news is, just like our physical health, we can improve how we function mentally. Eating healthy foods, taking the right supplements, and participating in regular mental exercise can significantly increase our mental endurance, improve our memory, and optimize our ability to focus.

In fact, groundbreaking and ongoing research has discovered that specific herbs and vitamins, particularly Ginkgo Biloba, Bacopa monnieri, folic acid, vitamins B6 and B12, and the important Co-Enzyme and antioxidant, alpha lipoic acid, all have powerful effects on memory and focus. These nutritional supplements have been scientifically shown to quickly reduce mild age-related memory chances, as well as greatly reducing the risk of developing more serious problems like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, or other brain diseases later on in life.

 

Q. What is the difference between age related memory decline and dementia?

A. As we get older, our nerve cells need more time to spark and connect, slowing the process of bringing memories and events to mind. Another theory is that, as we age, we accumulate more knowledge and memories. The mind then has to sort through much more data to reference a memory. Almost everyone middle-aged and older notices this slowdown. Memory decline and problems with mental focus are a normal part of aging.

While it’s true that the older we get, our chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease increase, this illness is not a normal part of aging. Alzheimer’s is an irreversible, progressive dementia that slowly kills nerve cells in areas of the brain where memory, learning, though, and language take place. Often first appearing as people begin retirement, Alzheimer’s disease makes the “golden years” a time of loss and devastation. Memories vanish, relationships are erased, and independence is gradually lost.

After Alzheimer’s disease, the second most common cause of dementia in older people is multi-infarct dementia. Caused by a series of mini-strokes that damage or destroy brain tissue over time, multi-infarct dementia usually affects people between the ages of 60 and 75. Men are slightly more at risk. High blood pressure is the most significant risk factor for multi-infarct dementia.

Multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, strokes, Huntington’s disease, Creutzfelt-Jakob disease, and alcoholism can also cause progressive and irreversible dementia.

While normal age-related memory and focus loss may mean we can’t remember where we put our car keys, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia may mean we can’t remember what our car keys are used for.

 

Q. Are any types of memory and focus loss reversible?

A. Yes. As women enter menopause, they frequently experience trouble remembering. This memory interference is caused by hormone fluctuations and can affect speech, thinking, and attention. Symptoms of menopause-related memory loss and poor focus include recognizing faces less well than in the past, missing scheduled appointments, and misplacing articles. Once a woman passes through menopause, her ability to remember and focus most often improves.

Certain medications, such as the heavily prescribed cholesterol lowering drugs called stains, can temporarily interfere with memory. Low vitamin B levels, artherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), and thyroid disease can cause disruption of mental focus and memory loss. These problems usually resolve with treatment of the underlying disorder.

A certain type of stoke, called a transient ischemic attack (TIA) can cause memory loss that may be reversible. A TIA is a brief episode of stroke symptoms that come on quickly. Sometimes referred to as a “mini-stroke” or “warning stroke,” a TIA is caused by a temporary interruption in the blood supply to the brain. But, unlike a stroke, a TIA does not lead to permanent brain damage. While a TIA is usually short-lived, it is likely to occur again if not properly managed and can be a warning of future stroke.

 

Q. I seem to forget a lot of things. How can I be sure I don’t have Alzheimer’s disease or some other dementia?

A. If you, or other around you, are concerned about your memory, you should be examined by your health care practitioner. Once the cause of your memory and focus problem is diagnosed, treatment can begin. All causes of memory loss and mental focus disruption can be treated, even Alzheimer’s disease. While presently irreversible dementias cannot be cured, the progression of the disease may be slowed, and in some cases, stopped..

Research on memory loss and mental focus disruption has increased dramatically in the past few years. Discoveries regarding Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, as well as age-related loss of memory and focus have recently been made. Most importantly, many new treatment options, including the use of nutritional supplements, have been developed.

 

Q. How can nutritional supplements improve memory and focus?

A. Several herbs and vitamins have been demonstrated to improve memory and mental focus. While some nutritional supplements work now to improve memory and focus, others work to prevent problems we might develop later.

One of the most researched herbs, Ginkgo biloba, has been found to be effective in improving currently experienced memory and focus loss; in other words, problems we are having now. Ginkgo has been studied in individuals who have age-related memory loss, as well as in those with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. It seems that ginkgo can improve many brain functions, such as speeding up memory recall, protecting brain cells from chemical changes and free radical damage, improving blood flow to the brain, and helping nerve cells communicate with each other better.

Several studies examined ginkgo’s effect in healthy people who were experiencing normal age-related memory and focus problems. They determined that ginkgo improved memory, attention, and clarity of thinking. Ginkgo can also help restore memories that may be lost in TIAs, those mini-strokes that were discussed earlier.

In studies of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, the results showed that ginkgo slowed down the disease in those severely afflicted and actually improved those with very mild or moderate disease. In one of these studies, ginkgo was compared to four prescription cholinesterase inhibitors, medications commonly used to treat individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. Using written mental tests, the researchers found that ginkgo worked just as effectively as the prescription drugs. While those taking one of the cholinesterase inhibitors dropped out of the study because of disturbing side effects, ginkgo had no side effects and improved symptoms equally as well.

 

Q. Hoe does Bacopa monnieri help memory and focus?

A. Like ginkgo, bacopa works on the memory and focus problems we are experiencing now. Bacopa grows in India and has a long history as a natural medicine. In a recent study, bacopa was compared to a placebo in its effect on memory. Adults between the ages of 40 and 65 were divided into 2 groups. Half got the bacopa and half got a placebo. Researchers, who didn’t k now which patients got the bacopa, tested both groups’ memory before the study, at three months, and when the study ended six weeks later. The results showed the group taking the bacopa extract was able to remember new information much better than the group taking the placebo.

 

Q. How does alpha lipoic acid help memory and focus?

A. Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) is a vitamin-like coenzyme that prevents memory and focus problems we might have later on. ALA is an incredibly powerful antioxidant that works especially well with other antioxidants. An antioxidant’s job is to disarm damaging free radicals, those naturally occurring molecules that damage cells and cause disease. ALA has potent antioxidant action in almost all the tissues of the body, helps generate energy from food an oxygen, can get directly to the nerves, and plays an important role in the “antioxidant network”.

Researchers have discovered unmistakable free radical damage in Alzheimer’s disease. Accordingly, ALA’s effect in the illness has been studied extensively. Researchers have learned that ALA not only prevents free radical damage in Alzheimer’s disease, but also regulates protective chemicals in the brain that help improve symptoms.

In a recent study, people with Alzheimer’s disease were given tests that measured through and memory. They were then given ALA supplements for an average of 11 months. At the end of the study, the participants were tested again. The results showed that every person had higher scores on the thought and memory tests than they had at the beginning.

ALA is unique among antioxidants, as it can neutralize free radicals in both the fat and the water of cells. In contrast, the well known vitamin C is only water-soluble, while the popular antioxidant vitamin E is only soluble in fat. Because ALA is easily absorbed, enters cells and tissues in a highly usable form, performs a variety of antioxidant actions (including rejuvenation of other antioxidants), and is both fat and water soluble, many researchers label ALA an “ideal antioxidant”.

 

Q. How do vitamins B12 and B6 help memory and focus?

A. Vitamin B6 is an essential nutrient in the regulation of nerve transmissions. It is required by the nervous system for normal brain function, and it may also help with mood.

Like ALA, vitamins B6 and B12 help prevent memory and focus problems further on down the road. One important recent discovery is the role of homocysteine in brain diseases. These important B vitamins can reduce homocysteine, an amino acid (the building blocks of protein) that is produced in the human body. Homocysteine irritate s blood vessels, makes it easier for blood to clot, and can cause cholesterol to become more harmful.

Researchers have learned that people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias (including Parkinson’s disease) have elevated homocysteine levels. IN fact, t he amount of homocysteine in the blood corresponds to the severity of the disease. Most people with a high homocysteine level don’t have enough folate, vitamin B5 or vitamin B12 in their diet. Replacing these vitamins helps return the homocysteine level to normal.

Reducing homocysteine levels may prevent the occurrence of Alzheimer’s disease, or other brain diseases, and improve the symptoms of those already afflicted.

 

Q. What about folic acid?

A. Folic acid has long been recognized as a vital nutrient for the brain and spinal cord. Recent research has demonstrated that folic acid has significant importance in Alzheimer’s disease.

An ongoing study of Alzheimer’s disease that began in 1986 has been studying 678 members of the School Sisters of Notre Dame in the hopes of learning how the disease develops, how it might be prevented, and how to treat it. Data collected in the study includes biographies the sisters wrote upon entrance to the order, blood samples from the sisters while they are living, and information gained from the voluntary donation of their brains after death.

Aptly named the “Nun Study,” ground breaking discoveries have already been made. It seems that diet and nutrition have a dramatic influence in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Sisters who had high levels of folic acid showed little evidence of Alzheimer’s-type damage in their brains after death. And, those nuns who had Alzheimer’s disease in spite of high folic acid levels had profoundly less brain damage from the disease. In fact, some sisters who had no outward evidence of Alzheimer’s disease while they were living had surprisingly extensive damage in their brains after death.

 

Q. Besides taking ginkgo, bacopa, B vitamins, folic acid, and ALA, is there other things I can do to prevent Alzheimer’s disease?

A. You may not know if you have a serious B-vitamin deficiency. Routine lab work does not measure the amount of B vitamins in your blood. You might want to ask your health care practitioner to have your B vitamin level in your blood measured, especially if you are having memory and focus problems. Keep in mind that this type of lab work is fairly expensive, however.

Supplements do not replace the need for a healthy diet, especially a diet with high levels of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and omega-3 fatty acids. Keeping your body healthy helps keep your brain healthy as well.

It also seems that the use-it-or-lose-it theory applies to our brain as well as our body. Research has shown that people who seek opportunities to keep mentally active, such as reading books, newspapers, and magazines, solving crossword puzzles, playing card games, and visiting museums, lower their risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

 

Conclusion

Dealing with age-related memory loss may be both frustrating and frightening. As the population of America gets older, dementia is continuing to affect a larger proportion of society. Prevention of these devastating diseases has become increasingly important.

In fact, more and more research shows prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias is a reality. And age-related memory loss can successfully be improved as well. Taking the scientifically validated nutritional supplements ginkgo, bacopa, vitamins B6 and B12, folic acid, and ALA can improve age-related memory loss and potentially prevent the development of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias as we age.



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Instant Energy B-12 2000mcg per serving 75 packets/Box
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Date: February 16, 2006 03:46 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Instant Energy B-12 2000mcg per serving 75 packets/Box

Of all the vitamins, minerals, herbs and specialized dietary supplements at the disposal of the health-conscious public, not a single one can mirror the biological complexity of Vitamin B-12. It is involved in thousands upon thousands of chemical reactions throughout the body, and its presence has a direct influence on energy, red blood cell production, metabolism, central nervous system function, cardiovascular health, cognitive function, emotion, DNA repair and digestion, just to scratch the surface.*

Our researchers and product formulators had one goal in mind – to develop a vitamin B-12 formula that was superior to anything to precede it – a potent, fast-acting B-12 complex capable of expediting delivery while maximizing uptake. After months of research and development, this was accomplished by uniting cyanocobalamin (the primary form of B-12) with the vitamin’s two Co-Enzyme forms (methylcobalamin and dibencozide) in perfect balance. But we didn’t stop there. To further enhance the activity of this one-of-a-kind formula, we merged the three with a group of proven synergists that includes Chromium Picolinate, Creatine Monohydrate, and a optimally balanced arrangement of 6 additional B vitamins.

It’s clear that B-12 plays a vital role in human health. Unfortunately, many consumers might not be aware of just how vital it is. As we age, it becomes increasingly difficult for the body to properly utilize, and is almost non-existent in many processed foods. This makes B-12 especially important for people over the age of 50, as well as vegetarians, those who regularly consume fast and processed foods, social drinkers and individuals who live with digestive challenges. Simply put, you can feel completely confident recommending NOW® Instant Energy B-12 Packs to virtually any customer trying to take charge of their health.*

NOW® Instant Energy B-12 makes it simple to get the B-12 they need to function at their absolute best. NOW’s unique collaboration of all three B-12 forms goes to work quickly to effectively boost energy, support cognitive health, promote normal homocysteine conversion and support healthy red blood cell production. Our convenient packets can be taken throughout the day, and are perfect for the office, the car or when traveling.*

Serving Size 1 Packet
Thiamine (from Thiamine HC1) 1.5 mg
Riboflavin (Vitamin B-2) 1.7 mg
Vitamin B-3 (as Niacinamide) 20 mg
Vitamin B-6 (from Pyridoxine HC1) 2 mg
Folate (as Folic Acid) 400 mcg
Vitamin B-12 2 mg (2,000 mcg)
Cyanocobalamin 1.4 mg (1,400 mcg)
Methylcobalamin 300 mcg
Dibencozide 300 mcg
Vitamin B-5 (from Calcium d-Pantothenate) 30 mg
Chromium (from Chromium Picolinate) 60 mcg
Creatine Monohydrate 250 mg



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Co-Enzyme B-Complex Fact Sheet
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Date: December 08, 2005 04:40 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Co-Enzyme B-Complex Fact Sheet

Co-Enzyme B-Complex Fact Sheet

Neil E. Levin, CCN, DANLA 8/1/05

LIKELY USERS: People with poor digestion or low stomach acid, People needing ENERGY, People desiring metabolism support.

KEY INGREDIENTS: CoEnzyme B-Vitamins plus synergists

MAIN PRODUCT FEATURES: B Complex Vitamins are needed by the body for energy production, synthesis of hormones and blood cells, healthy nervous system function, and numerous other metabolic processes. The forms of the B Vitamins found in foods and most supplements, however, are not readily utilized by the body. They require conversion into their active forms before they can perform their functions as cofactors in biochemical reactions. NOWR Co-Enzyme B-Complex contains B Vitamins already in their active or "Coenzyme" forms. This enables the body to use them more quickly and efficiently because, once absorbed, they are transported directly to their site of action, requiring no conversion. 1

B Complex Vitamins are needed by the body for energy production, synthesis of hormones and blood cells, healthy nervous system function, and numerous other metabolic processes 1, 2. The forms of the B Vitamins found in foods and most supplements, however, are not readily utilized by the body. They require conversion into their active forms before they can perform their functions as coenzymes in biochemical reactions 1, 2.

ADDITIONAL PRODUCT USE INFORMATION & QUALITY ISSUES: NOWR Co-Enzyme B-Complex tablets are enteric coated to enhance bioavailability by allowing delivery to intestinal absorption sites intact, unharmed by stomach acids.2 Our Quality department had to qualify several new ingredients for this formula.

This formula is enhanced with added Coenzyme C10 (CoQ10), Alpha Lipoic Acid, Betaine (TMG), Vitamin C, and both coenzyme forms of B-12 (Methylcobalamin and Dibencoside) and is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

SERVING SIZE & HOW TO TAKE IT: Two tablets daily, preferably in divided doses. This enteric-coated tablet is best to take between meals (one or more hours before a meal or hours after a meal), as it has an acid-resistant coating that dissolves beyond the stomach and needs to transit quickly past the stomach.

COMPLEMENTARY PRODUCTS: Vitamin C, TMG (Betaine), Lecithin (Choline, Inositol)

CAUTIONS: None.

SPECIFIC: Please discuss your use of B-Vitamins with your physician, especially if you are using any medications.

GENERAL: Pregnant and lactating women and people using prescription drugs should consult their physician before taking any dietary supplement. This information is based on my own knowledge and references, and should not be used as diagnosis, prescription or as a specific product claim. Information given here may vary from what is shown on the product label because this represents my own professional experience and understanding of the science underlying the formula and ingredients. When taking any new formula, use common sense and cautiously increase to the full dose over time.

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

REFERENCES:

1. Shils ME, Olson JA, Shike M (eds.) (1994) Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, Eighth Edition. Chapters 20-26, 28, 30. Lea & Febiger Philadelphia.
2. Chang EB, Sitrin MD, Black DD (1996) Gastrointestinal, Hepatobiliary, and Nutritional Physiology. Chapter 9, Absorption of Water-Soluble Vitamins and Minerals. Lippincott-Ravin, Philadelpia



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Benfotiamine raises the blood level of thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP)
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Date: August 02, 2005 03:52 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Benfotiamine raises the blood level of thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP)

Benefits

Benfotiamine raises the blood level of thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP), the biologically active Co-Enzyme of thiamine.4

Thiamine and its Co-Enzyme, TPP

Thiamine (vitamin B1) plays an essential part in the metabolism of glucose, through actions of it Co-Enzyme TPP (thiamine pyrophosphate). TPP is formed by the enzymatically-catalyzed addition of two phosphate groups donated by ATP to thiamine. TPP also goes by the name "thiamine diphosphate." In the cytoplasm of the cell, glucose, a 6-carbon sugar, is metabolized to pyruvic acid, which is converted into acetyl-CoA, otherwise known as "active acetate." Acetyl CoA enters the mitochondrion, where it serves as the starting substrate in the Kreb’s cycle (citric acid cycle). The Krebs cycle is the primary source of cellular metabolic energy. TPP, along with other Co-Enzymes, is essential for the removal of CO2 from pyruvic acid, which in turn is a key step in the conversion of pyruvic acid to acetyl CoA. CO2 removal from pyruvic acid is called "oxidative decarboxylation," and for this reason, TPP was originally referred to as "cocarboxylase." TPP is thus vital to the cell’s energy supply. Benfotiamine helps maintain healthy cells in the presence of blood glucose. Acting as a biochemical "super-thiamin," it does this through several different cellular mechanisms, as discussed below.

Benfotiamine and Glucose Metabolism Benfotiamine normalizes cellular processes fueled by glucose metabolites.

As long as glucose remains at normal levels, excess glucose metabolites do not accumulate within the cell. The bulk of the cell’s glucose supply is converted to pyruvic acid, which serves as substrate for production of acetyl CoA, the primary fuel for the Krebs cycle. Of the total amount of metabolic energy (in the form of ATP) released from food, the Krebs cycle generates about 90 percent.5 In the presence of elevated glucose levels, the electron transport chain, the final ATP-generating system in the mitochondrion, produces larger than normal amounts of the oxygen free radical "superoxide." This excess superoxide inhibits glyceraldehyde phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), as key enzyme in the conversion of glucose to pyruvic acid, resulting in an excess of intermediate metabolites known as "triosephosphates." Increase triosephophate levels trigger several cellular mechanisms that result in potential damage to vascular tissue. Cells particularly vulnerable to this biochemical dysfunction are found in the retina, kidneys and nerves.

Benfotiamine has been shown to block three of these mechanisms: the hexosamine pathway, the diaglycerol-protein kinease C pathway and the formation of Advanced Glycation End-poducts. As discussed below, benfotiamine does this by activating transketolase, a key thiamin-dependent enzyme.6 Benfotiamine stimulates tranketolase, a cellular enzyme essential for maintenance of normal glucose metabolic pathways.* Transketolase diverts the excess fructose-6-phosphate and glyceraldehydes-3-phosphate, (formed by the inhibition of GAPDH, as mentioned above), into production of pentose-5-phosphates and erythrose-4-phosphate and away from the damaging pathways. Benfotiamine activates transketolase activity in bovine aortic endothelial cells incubated in glucose.6 To test benfotiamine’s ability to counteract these metabolic abnormalities caused by elevated blood glucose, studies have been done in diabetic rats. Benfotiamine increases transketolase activity in the retinas of diabetic rats, while concomitantly decreasing hexosamine pathway activity, protein kinase C activity and AGE formation.6

Benfotiamine and Protein glycation Benfotiamine controls formation of Advanced Glycation End-products (AGEs).

AGEs have an affinity for proteins such as collagen, the major structural protein in connective tissue. AGEs are formed through abnormal linkages between proteins and glucose. This occurs via a non-enzymatic glycosylation reaction similar to the "browning reaction" that takes place in stored food.7 At high glucose concentrations, glucose attaches to lysine, forming a Schiff base, which in turn forms "early glycosylation products." Once blood glucose levels return to normal levels, the amount of these early glycosylation products decreases, and they are not particularly harmful to most tissue proteins. On long-lived proteins such as collagen, however, early glycosylation products are chemically rearranged into the damaging Advanced Glycation End-products. AGE formation on the collagen in coronary arteries causes increased vascular permeability. This vessel "leakiness" allows for abnormal cross-linking between plasma proteins and other proteins in the vessel wall, comprising vascular function and potentially occluding the vessel lumen. A number of other potentially harmful events may also occur, including production of cytokines that further increase vascular permeability. Endothelin-1, a strong vasoconstrictor, is over produced, increasing the possibility of thrombosis and generation of oxygen free radicals is stimulated.8 It is vitally important to support normal glucose metabolic pathways so that formation of AGEs is minimized. Benfotiamine, in the test tube (in vitro) prevents AGE formation in endothelial cells cultured in high glucose by decreasing the glucose metabolites that produce AGEs.9 Endothelial cells make up the membranes that line the inner walls of organs and blood vessels. In a rat study comparing the effects of Benfotiamine with water-soluble thiamin, Benfotiamine inhibited AGE formation in diabetic rats while completely preventing formation of "glycooxidation products," which are toxic by products of chronic elevated blood glucose. AGE levels were not significantly altered by thiamin.10 Benfotiamine also normalized nerve function in the animals. After three months of administration, "nerve conduction velocity (NCV)," a measure of nerve function, was increased by both benfotiamine and thiamin; at six months, NCV was normalized by benfotiamine, whereas thiamin produced no further increases in this parameter.

Dysfunctional glucose metabolic pathways leading to AGE formation occurs in endothelial cells of the kidneys. In a recent animal study, benfotiamine was administered to rats with elevated glucose levels. Benfotiamine increased transketolase activity in the kidney filtration system of these rats, while at the same time shifting triosephophates into the pentose pathway and preventing protein leakage.11

Safety

Benfotiamine has an excellent tolerability profile and can be taken for long periods without adverse effects.3,12 The statements in this fact sheet have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Scientific References

1. Bitsch R, Wolf M, Möller J. Bioavailability assessment of the lipophilic benfotiamine as compared to a water-soluble thiamin derivative. Ann Nutr Metab 1991;35(2):292-6.

2. Schreeb KH, Freudenthaler S, Vormfelde SV, et al. Comparative bioavailability of two vitamin B1 preparations: benfotiamine and thiamine mononitrate. Eur J Clin Pharmacol 1997; 52(4):319-20.

3. Loew D. Pharmacokinetics of thiamine derivatives especially of benfotiamine. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther 1996;34(2):47-50.

4. Frank T, Bitsch R, Maiwald J, Stein G. High thiamine diphosphate concentrations in erythrocytes can be achieved in dialysis patients by oral administration of benfontiamine. Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 2000;56(3):251-7.

5. Pike RL, Brown ML. Nutrition, An Integrated Approach, 3rd Ed. New York:MacMillan; 1986:467.

6. Hammes H-P, Du X, Edlestein D, et al. Benfotiamine blocks three major pathways of hyperglycemic damage and prevents experimental diabetic neuropathy. Nat Med 2003;9(3):294-99.

7. Monnier VM, Kohn RR, Cerami A. Accelerated age-related browning of human collagen in diabetes mellitus. Proc Natl Acad Sci 1984;81(2):583-7.

8. Brownlee M. The pathological implications of protein glycation. Clin Invest Med 1995;18(4):275-81.

9. Pomero F, Molinar Min A, La Selva M, et al. Benfotiamine is similar to thiamine in correcting endothelial cell defects induced by high glucose. Acta Diabetol 2001;38(3):135-8.

10. Stracke H, Hammes HP, Werkman D, et al. Efficacy of benfotiamine versus thiamine on function and glycation products of peripheral nerves in diabetic rats. Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes 2001;109(6):300-6.

11. Babaei-Jadidi R, Karachalias N, Ahmed N, et al. Prevention of incipient diabetic nephropathy by high-dose thiamine and benfotiamine. Diabetes 2003;52(8):2110-20.

12. Bergfeld R, MatsumaraT, Du X, Brownlee M. Benfotiamin prevents the consequences of hyperglycemia induced mitochondrial overproduction of reactive oxygen specifies and experimental diabetic neuropathy (Abstract) Diabetologia 2001; 44(Suppl1):A39.



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Anti-Aging Nutrients
TopPreviousNext

Date: June 18, 2005 09:07 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Anti-Aging Nutrients

Anti-Aging Nutrients by Edward C. Wallace, DC, ND Energy Times, February 3, 2000

What's the big deal about trying to live longer? As you grow older (and the American population grows older alongside you) you may want to postpone the inevitable. Few wish to hasten "the journey from which no traveler returns." But as we approach that final bon voyage, chances are we desire clear sailing-aging without disability and with a peaceful, easy feeling.

How Do We Age?

Science has long puzzled about what causes the wrinkles, pains and deterioration of aging. In the search for causes, two basic theories have won over the most proponents: The first holds that cells are programmed with biological clocks that predetermine how many times they can reproduce before becoming non-functional. This theory has been largely formulated by the researcher Leonard Hayflick, MD.

The second basic theory, introduced by Denham Harman, MD, PhD, in the mid 1950s, holds that cells eventually break down due to attack by caustic molecules called free radicals that cause oxidative stress.

Programmed Cell Theory

In the early '60s, Dr. Hayflick observed that human fibroblasts (cells from connective tissue) in the laboratory refused to divide more than about 50 times. Dr. Hayflick also found that even if he froze the fibroblasts after 20 divisions, they would remember that they only had 30 divisions left after thawing.

Fifty cell divisions have been called the "Hayflick limit." Based on this research, scientists theorize that cells maintain a genetic clock that winds down as old age ensues. Many researchers believe the hypothalamus gland is the force behind our aging clocks, signaling the pituitary gland to release hormones that cause aging.

Free Radical/Oxidative Stress Theory

The other popular theory of aging pictures the human body as a cellular battlefield where attackers called free radicals damage our cells and tissues, making them age. In this scenario, a process called oxidation is the chief aging villain. On a microscopic level, oxidation generally entails molecules or atoms losing electrons. (Gaining electrons is called reduction.) The molecules or atoms that take these electrons are oxidizing agents.

Free radicals are substances that can exist with missing electrons, making them readily able to donate or accept electrons and damage structures in cells. As such, they are highly reactive, binding with and destroying important cellular compounds. Most of the free radicals in your body are made during metabolic processes. More are added from the food you eat and environmental pollution. Most of these free radicals contain oxygen molecules. As each cell makes energy in little structures called mitochondria, free radicals result. These oxidant by-products can damage DNA, proteins and lipids (fats). Consequently, toxic by-products of lipid peroxidation may cause cancer, inhibit enzyme activity and produce mutations in genetic material that make you age faster.

DNA Repair Theory

Free radical damage to DNA can cause cells to mutate or die. Your body makes enzymes that can repair this damage and slow aging. But, over time, the amount of damage overwhelms the body's ability to fix things. As cells grow older, their ability to patch up DNA diminishes and the rate of damage proceeds faster than repair. The result: We age and eventually die.

What Can We Do?

The free radical theory of aging suggests that taking antioxidants (compounds known to prevent free radical damage) in our food or as supplements may slow aging.

In the publication Age (18 [51] 1995: 62), it was reported that "aging appears to be caused by free radicals initiated by the mitochondria at an increasing rate with age. Superoxide and hydrogen peroxide radicals formed by the mitochondria during normal metabolism are major risk factors for disease and death after about the age of 28 in developed countries. Antioxidants from the diet lower the production of free radicals without impairing essential reactions to maintain body function."

Antioxidant Protection

Common dietary antioxidants include: vitamins E and C, carotenes, sulphur containing amino acids, Co-Enzyme Q10 and flavonoids (a group of plant compounds or pigments responsible for the color in fruits and flowers). In addition, melatonin, DHEA and the amino acid compound glutathione may also prove of benefit.

Glutathione along with the enzyme glutathione peroxidase are an essential part of free radical "quenching." (Quenching means changing free radicals into benign substances no longer capable of harm.) Deficiencies may suggest a decreased capacity to maintain detoxification and metabolic reactions in which glutathione plays a role, resulting in increased free radical stress and/or lipid peroxidation. Drinking too many alcoholic beverages can result in glutathione deficiency.

In a study in which 39 healthy men and 130 healthy women between the ages of 20 and 94 were evaluated for glutathione levels, the older subjects had significantly decreased levels (especially in the 60 to 79-year-old group). The authors felt that physical health and longevity were closely related to glutathione levels (Jrnl Lab & Clin Sci 120(5), Nov. 1992: 720-725). Poor nutrition and/or deficiencies in essential micronutrients and many prescription medications may contribute significantly to detoxification capacity in an aged individual. All of these circumstances are common in the elderly.

Eating a poor diet that contains too many processed foods without many fruits and vegetables can compromise your body's ability to detoxify pollutants, toxins and other harmful compounds. That can set off metabolic processes capable of fomenting large increases in free radical stress that can accelerate aging. Unfortunately, even in a country as prosperous as our own, nutrient deficiencies are frequent, especially in older citizens.

Nutrition Deficiencies

A study that looked at what elderly people consumed compared their reported intake with the 1989 Recommended Dietary Amount (RDA) and 1980 RDA: One of four people consumed only two-thirds of the RDA for calories and 60% consumed less than two-thirds of the RDA for vitamin D. As for other nutrients, 50% were found to have inadequate zinc levels (less than two-thirds of the RDA), 31% lacked calcium, 27% were short of vitamin B6, 25% didn't get enough magnesium, 7% missed out on folate and 6% ate less than two-thirds of the requirement for vitamin C (Nutrition Reviews (II), September 1995: S9-S15).

When researchers examine what everyone in the U.S. eats, they find that only 9% of Americans consume the recommended five servings of fruits and/or vegetables per day (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Sept 1993).

A diet high in fruits and vegetables is naturally high in antioxidant compounds and is believed to help you live longer. Unfortunately, if you buy your produce in the supermarket, those fruits and vegetables may also be rich in pesticide and herbicide residues (Consumer Reports, March 1999). Obviously, organic produce lacks these residues. But, in any case, research continues to indicate that a diet low in meats and animal fat and high in vegetables protects against antioxidant damage.

Longevity Diets

A six-year study of 182 people over age 70 in rural Greek villages found that those following their traditional diet of olive oil, whole grain breads, fresh fruits and vegetables and wine were less likely to die during the study than those who consumed more red meat and saturated fat. The most important foods in lowering the risk of early death included fruits, vegetables, legumes (peas and beans), nuts, dairy products and cereals (BMJ 311, 1995: 1457-1460).

Another article in Epidemiology highlights the evidence that eating a vegetarian diet increases your chances of living longer. Included in this survey is a recent country-wide study of diet and health in China, showing that the traditional near vegetarian diet of 10% to 15% of calories coming from dietary fat reduced the chances of heart disease, diabetes and many types of cancers (Epidemiology 3[5], 1992: 389-391).

Staying Alive

Staying skinny and limiting what you eat may also increase longevity. Scientific studies have previously shown that being overweight can theoretically curtail your life, increasing the risk of heart disease, diabetes and other life-shortening conditions. Animal studies have also shown that restricting food can slow diseases associated with aging. Researchers believe that cutting calories helps your immune system stay younger by reducing the formation of substances that are called proinflammatory cytokines.

Specifically reducing your intake of fatty foods may decrease your chance of coming down with autoimmune diseases. Researchers think omega-6 fatty acid vegetable oils (like corn oil) may increase free radical formation and decrease levels of antioxidant enzyme messenger RNA in addition to other effects (Nutrition Reviews 53[4], 1995: S72-S79). Another study found that cutting calories lowers the levels of oxidative stress and damage, retards age-associated changes and extends maximum life span in mammals (Science 273, July 5, 1996: 59-63).

In yet another study, it was shown that caloric restriction early in the life of lab animals increased their life span by a whopping 40% (Australian Family Physician 23[7], July 1994: 1297-1305). Today's modern higher-fat, low-fiber diet with substantial sugar consumption represents everything the longevity researchers say you shouldn't eat.

Longevity and Exercise

Exercise may slow aging. When researchers looked at the exercise habits of 17,000 men, average age of 46, they found that those who took part in vigorous activity lived longer.

Exercise can improve both cardiac and metabolic functions within the body, while also decreasing heart disease risk. Even modest exercise has been shown to improve cholesterol and blood sugar levels (JAMA 273[15], April 19, 1995: 1179-1184). In a study of how exercise affects your chances of living longer, 9,773 men underwent preventive medicine examinations on two different occasions. When the researchers looked at who lived longest, they found the highest death rate was in men who were unfit during both physical exams.

The Treadmill of Life

The lowest death rate was in the men who worked out and were in good shape. The researchers concluded that for each minute increase in how long a man could keep treading on a treadmill (between the first and second exam) there was a corresponding 7.9% decrease in the risk of dying (JAMA 273 [14], April 12, 1995: 1093-1098).

Since exercise can increase oxygen consumption up to 10 times, boosting the rate of production of free radicals, researchers believe that older individuals need more antioxidant nutrients to protect them. In a paper published in Aging Clinical and Experimental Research (1997), researchers stated that if you regularly exercise in your golden years, you should take more antioxidant vitamins to compensate for this risk.

Longevity Supplementation

Melatonin is not often thought of as an antioxidant, but, instead, as a sleep aid. Melatonin, however, is an effective and efficient free radical scavenger and may help stave off the effects of aging. Melatonin protects against what are called hydroxyl free radicals. Research shows that older people's lack of melatonin may make them more susceptible to oxidative stress. In one study, researchers felt that new therapies aimed at stimulating melatonin synthesis may eventually lead to therapies for the prevention of diseases related to premature aging (Aging and Clinical Experimental Research 7[5], 1995: 338-339). Melatonin was shown to provide antioxidant protection in several ways.

Toning Down Enzymes

Melatonin can ease the effects of enzymes that generate free radicals, enhance the production of glutathione peroxidase (an antioxidant) and defuse the caustic action of free radicals that contain hydroxyls. In several studies, DHEA supplementation has been shown to potentially revive immune function in older adults (Exp. Opin. Invest. Drugs 4[2], 1995: 147-154).

In a study of 138 persons older than 85 years compared to 64 persons 20 to 40 years of age, scientists found that the younger people had four times as much DHEA in their bodies.

The researchers believe that our bodies make less and less DHEA as we get older. The authors of this study raise the possibility that declining DHEA may be partly to blame for our biological clocks running down (New York Academy of Sciences 1994: 543-552).

Vitamins E & C

A growing body of research also supports the benefits of taking vitamins E and C to hold off the effects of getting old. Researchers writing in Free Radicals and Aging (1992: 411-418) point out that as you get older your body is home to more and more free radical reactions that may lead to degenerative diseases like heart disease and arthritis. Research has found that in older people with exercise-induced oxidative stress, taking vitamin E every day may significantly fight off free radicals. (To investigate this effect, scientists measured waste products in urine that result from free radical reactions.) Their conclusion: Dietary antioxidants such as vitamin E may be beneficial.

Chronological Age Vs.Biological Age

Vitamin C also looks to scientists like a good anti-aging bet. Research in the Journal of Advancement in Medicine, (7[1], Spring 1994: 31-41) showed that folks consuming larger amounts of vitamin C were less likely to experience clinical problems at all ages. Those taking in less than 100 mg of vitamin C per day also suffered the most problems.

In this research, individuals over 50 years of age who daily consumed the largest amount of vitamin C were as healthy or healthier than the 40 year olds who were taking the least amount of vitamin C.

Similar Relationship

A similar relationship appears to exist for vitamin E and serum cholesterol levels. In a study of 360 physicians and their spouses, researchers found that people in their 50s who consumed more vitamin E had lower cholesterol than those in their 30s who were taking less.

And the longevity beat goes on: In a study evaluating environmental tobacco smoke and oxidative stress, researchers divided 103 people into three groups. Researchers blew smoke at 37 of these folks without protection while 30 of them got to breathe tobacco smoke but took antioxidant supplementation. Another 36 of them merely had to read magazines from doctors' offices. The results: After 60 days of supplementation the antioxidant folks had a 62% reduction in evidence of oxidative damage to their DNA. Cholesterol levels dropped and so did antioxidant enzyme activities. The researchers concluded that taking antioxidants provided a modicum of protection against environmental poisons.

The range of antioxidant nutrients used in this study included: beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc and selenium as well as copper (Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 7, November 1998: 981-988).

Carotenoids

When you mention carotene or carotenoids, most people think of the beta carotene that makes carrots orange. But more than 600 carotenoids are present in colorful vegetables and many of these misunderstood substances are more potent antioxidants than beta-carotene.

Carotenoids have been shown to destroy oxygen free radicals in lipids (fats), help protect our cells from the sun's ultra violet radiation and enhance our natural immune response (J. Nutr 119[1], Jan. 1989: 112-115).

Some evidence seems to show that how much carotenoids you (and other mammals) have in your cells may be the predominant factor in determining life span (Proc Natl Acad Sci 82 [4], 1985: 798-802). Therefore, a diet rich in carotenoids (leafy green vegetables, carrots, yams, sweet potatoes, squash, citrus fruits and tomatoes) along with supplementation seems to be just what the fountain of youth ordered.

Flavonoids

Flavonoids, a group of antioxidant plant pigments, seem to be able to protect specific organs. For instance, the flavonoids in milk thistle (Silybum marianum) have been used for ages for liver problems. Bilberry has been found protective for the eye and hawthorn for the heart and circulatory system.

Numerous studies have shown the many beneficial effects of flavonoids with perhaps the best known being the ability of anthocyanidins in wine and grape seed extract to help protect your blood vessels and capillaries from oxidative damage (Phytotherapy 42, 1986: 11-14; Am J Clin Nutr 61, 1995: 549-54).

Flavonoids are found in vegetables and such fruits as blackberries, blueberries, cherries and grapes. A diet rich in these foods helps ensure an adequate intake of these important nutrient compounds.

Amino Acid Health

Methionine and cysteine are sulphur containing amino acids (protein building blocks), both of which are essential in maintaining levels of glutathione, a substance that plays a major role in quelling free radicals. Studies have found that as we age, the level of these important amino acids in our bodies decreases. (NEJM 312 [1], 1985: 159-68). As it has been shown that adding cysteine to the diet of test animals can increase their life expectancy considerably, researchers believe these amino acids can help us live longer too.

Attitude & Behavior

Get more sleep! A recent study showed that men who habitually napped were less likely to have a heart attack. The men in this research who regularly napped for at least 30 minutes per day had about a 30% reduction in heart problems while those who napped for a full hour had a 50% reduction compared to non nappers. Naps of longer duration did not seem to increase the benefit. In the same research, investigators also found that spending time with a pet or merely contemplating nature could also improve cardiac health. Sensuality, optimism and altruism also appeared to have health benefits (Family Practice News, December 15, 1998: 14-15).

In another study, this one in American Psychologist, researchers from the University of California found that people who are self-indulgent, pampered and achieve by running roughshod over the competition are less likely to outlive their healthy peers. Being egocentric, impulsive, undependable and tough-minded were predictors of poor physical health and a shorter life. So loosen up and be nice to your fellow humans! (U.C. Davis Magazine, Fall 1995: 14).

Longevity at Last

While no one has suggested that taking supplements, eating vegetables or exercising can, as of yet, extend the human life span past the generally recognized limit of about 120 years, researchers believe they can improve your odds of longer life. And by staying healthier, your old age will be more enjoyable, too.



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Nutrients for Longevity
TopPreviousNext

Date: June 10, 2005 09:59 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Nutrients for Longevity

Nutrients for Longevity by Edward C. Wallace, ND, DC Energy Times, September 1, 1999

What's the big deal about trying to live longer? As you grow older (and the American population grows older alongside you) you may want to postpone the inevitable. Few wish to hasten "the journey from which no traveler returns." But as we approach that final bon voyage, chances are we desire clear sailing-aging without disability and with a peaceful easy feeling.

How Do We Age

Science has long puzzled about what causes the wrinkles, pains and deterioration of aging. In the search for causes, two basic theories have won over the most proponents: The first holds that cells are programmed with biological clocks that predetermine how many times they can reproduce before becoming non-functional. This theory has been largely formulated by the researcher Leonard Hayflick, MD.

The second basic theory, introduced by Denham Harman, MD, PhD, in the mid 1950s, holds that cells eventually break down due to attack by caustic molecules called free radicals that cause oxidative stress.

Programmed Cell Theory

In the early '60s, Dr. Hayflick observed that human fibroblasts (cells from connective tissue) in the laboratory refused to divide more than about 50 times. Dr. Hayflick also found that even if he froze the fibroblasts after 20 divisions, they would remember that they only had 30 divisions left after thawing.

Fifty cell divisions have been called the "Hayflick limit." Based on this research, scientists theorize that cells maintain a genetic clock that winds down as old age ensues. Many researchers believe the hypothalamus gland is the force behind our aging clocks, signaling the pituitary gland to release hormones that cause aging.

Free Radical/Oxidative Stress Theory

The other popular theory of aging pictures the human body as a cellular battlefield where attackers called free radicals damage our cells and tissues, making them age. In this scenario, a process called oxidation is the chief aging villain.

On a microscopic level, oxidation generally entails molecules or atoms losing electrons. (Gaining electrons is called reduction.) The molecules or atoms that take these electrons are oxidizing agents. Free radicals are substances that can exist with missing electrons, making them readily able to donate or accept electrons and damage structures in cells. As such, they are highly reactive, binding with and destroying important cellular compounds. Most of the free radicals in your body are made during metabolic processes. More are added from the food you eat and environmental pollution.

Most of these free radicals contain oxygen molecules. As each cell makes energy in little structures called mitochondria, free radicals result. These oxidant by-products can damage DNA, proteins and lipids (fats). Consequently, toxic by-products of lipid peroxidation may cause cancer, inhibit enzyme activity and produce mutations in genetic material that make you age faster.

DNA Repair Theory

Free radical damage to DNA can cause cells to mutate or die. Your body makes enzymes that can repair this damage and slow aging. But, over time, the amount of damage overwhelms the body's ability to fix things. As cells grow older, their ability to patch up DNA diminishes and the rate of damage proceeds faster than repair. The result: We age and eventually die.

What Can We Do

The free radical theory of aging suggests that taking antioxidants (compounds known to prevent free radical damage) in our food or as supplements may slow aging.

In the publication Age (18 [51] 1995: 62), it was reported that "aging appears to be caused by free radicals initiated by the mitochondria at an increasing rate with age. Superoxide and hydrogen peroxide radicals formed by the mitochondria during normal metabolism are major risk factors for disease and death after about the age of 28 in developed countries. Antioxidants from the diet lower the production of free radicals without impairing essential reactions to maintain body function."

Antioxidant Protection

Common dietary antioxidants include: vitamins E and C, carotenes, sulphur containing amino acids, Co-Enzyme Q10 and flavonoids (a group of plant compounds or pigments responsible for the color in fruits and flowers). In addition, melatonin, DHEA and the amino acid compound glutathione may also prove of benefit.

Glutathione along with the enzyme glutathione peroxidase are an essential part of free radical "quenching." (Quenching means changing free radicals into benign substances no longer capable of harm.)

Deficiencies may suggest a decreased capacity to maintain detoxification and metabolic reactions in which glutathione plays a role, resulting in increased free radical stress and/or lipid peroxidation. Drinking too many alcoholic beverages can result in glutathione deficiency.

In a study in which 39 healthy men and 130 healthy women between the ages of 20 and 94 were evaluated for glutathione levels, the older subjects had significantly decreased levels (especially in the 60 to 79-year-old group). The authors felt that physical health and longevity were closely related to glutathione levels (Jrnl Lab & Clin Sci 120(5), Nov. 1992: 720-725).

Poor nutrition and/or deficiencies in essential micronutrients and many prescription medications may contribute significantly to detoxification capacity in an aged individual. All of these circumstances are common in the elderly.

Eating a poor diet that contains too many processed foods without many fruits and vegetables can compromise your body's ability to detoxify pollutants, toxins and other harmful compounds. That can set off metabolic processes capable of fomenting large increases in free radical stress that can accelerate aging. Unfortunately, even in a country as prosperous as our own, nutrient deficiencies are frequent, especially in older citizens.

Nutrition Deficiencies

A study that looked at what elderly people consumed compared their reported intake with the 1989 Recommended Dietary Amount (RDA) and 1980 RDA: One of four people consumed only two-thirds of the RDA for calories and 60% consumed less than two-thirds of the RDA for vitamin D. As for other nutrients, 50% were found to have inadequate zinc levels (less than two-thirds of the RDA), 31% lacked calcium, 27% were short of vitamin B6, 25% didn't get enough magnesium, 7% missed out on folate and 6% ate less than two-thirds of the requirement for vitamin C (Nutrition Reviews (II), September 1995: S9-S15).

When researchers examine what everyone in the U.S. eats, they find that only 9% of Americans consume the recommended five servings of fruits and/or vegetables per day (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Sept 1993).

A diet high in fruits and vegetables is naturally high in antioxidant compounds and is believed to help you live longer. Unfortunately, if you buy your produce in the supermarket, those fruits and vegetables may also be rich in pesticide and herbicide residues (Consumer Reports, March 1999). Obviously, organic produce lacks these residues. But, in any case, research continues to indicate that a diet low in meats and animal fat and high in vegetables protects against antioxidant damage.

Longevity Diets

A six-year study of 182 people over age 70 in rural Greek villages found that those following their traditional diet of olive oil, whole grain breads, fresh fruits and vegetables and wine were less likely to die during the study than those who consumed more red meat and saturated fat. The most important foods in lowering the risk of early death included fruits, vegetables, legumes (peas and beans), nuts, dairy products and cereals (BMJ 311, 1995: 1457-1460)

Another article in Epidemiology highlights the evidence that eating a vegetarian diet increases your chances of living longer. Included in this survey is a recent country-wide study of diet and health in China, showing that the traditional near vegetarian diet of 10% to 15% of calories coming from dietary fat reduced the chances of heart disease, diabetes and many types of cancers. (Epidemiology 3[5], 1992: 389-391).

Staying Alive

Staying skinny and limiting what you eat may also increase longevity. Scientific studies have previously shown that being overweight can theoretically curtail your life, increasing the risk of heart disease, diabetes and other life-shortening conditions. Animal studies have also shown that restricting food can slow diseases associated with aging. Researchers believe that cutting calories helps your immune system stay younger by reducing the formation of substances that are called proinflammatory cytokines.

Specifically reducing your intake of fatty foods may decrease your chance of coming down with autoimmune diseases. Researchers think omega-6 fatty acid vegetable oils (like corn oil) may increase free radical formation and decrease levels of antioxidant enzyme messenger RNA in addition to other effects. (Nutrition Reviews 53[4], 1995: S72-S79). Another study found that cutting calories lowers the levels of oxidative stress and damage, retards age-associated changes and extends maximum life span in mammals (Science 273, July 5, 1996: 59-63).

In yet another study, it was shown that caloric restriction early in the life of lab animals increased their life span by a whopping 40% (Australian Family Physician 23[7], July 1994: 1297-1305). Today's modern higher-fat, low-fiber diet with substantial sugar consumption represents everything the longevity researchers say you shouldn't eat.

Longevity and Exercise:

Exercise may slow aging. When researchers looked at the exercise habits of 17,000 men, average age of 46, they found that those who took part in vigorous activity lived longer.

Exercise can improve both cardiac and metabolic functions within the body, while also decreasing heart disease risk. Even modest exercise has been shown to improve cholesterol and blood sugar levels (JAMA 273[15], April 19, 1995: 1179-1184).

In a study of how exercise affects your chances of living longer, 9,773 men underwent preventive medicine examinations on two different occasions. When the researchers looked at who lived longest, they found the highest death rate was in men who were unfit during both physical exams.

The Treadmill of Life

The lowest death rate was in the men who worked out and were in good shape. The researchers concluded that for each minute increase in how long a man could keep treading on a treadmill (between the first and second exam) there was a corresponding 7.9% decrease in the risk of dying. (JAMA 273 [14], April 12, 1995: 1093-1098).

Since exercise can increase oxygen consumption up to 10 times, boosting the rate of production of free radicals, researchers believe that older individuals need more antioxidant nutrients to protect them. In a paper published in Aging Clinical and Experimental Research (1997), researchers stated that if you regularly exercise in your golden years, you should take more antioxidant vitamins to compensate for this risk.

Longevity Supplementation

Melatonin is not often thought of as an antioxidant, but, instead, as a sleep aid. Melatonin, however, is an effective and efficient free radical scavenger and may help stave off the effects of aging.

Melatonin protects against what are called hydroxyl free radicals. Research shows that older people's lack of melatonin may make them more susceptible to oxidative stress. In one study, researchers felt that new therapies aimed at stimulating melatonin synthesis may eventually lead to therapies for the prevention of diseases related to premature aging (Aging and Clinical Experimental Research 7[5], 1995: 338-339). Melatonin was shown to provide antioxidant protection in several ways.

Toning Down Enzymes

Melatonin can ease the effects of enzymes that generate free radicals, enhance the production of glutathione peroxidase (an antioxidant) and defuse the caustic action of free radicals that contain hydroxyls.

In several studies, DHEA supplementation has been shown to potentially revive immune function in older adults (Exp. Opin. Invest. Drugs 4[2], 1995: 147-154).

In a study of 138 persons older than 85 years compared to 64 persons 20 to 40 years of age, scientists found that the younger people had four times as much DHEA in their bodies.

The researchers believe that our bodies make less and less DHEA as we get older. The authors of this study raise the possibility that declining DHEA may be partly to blame for our biological clocks running down (New York Academy of Sciences 1994: 543-552).

Vitamins E & C

A growing body of research also supports the benefits of taking vitamins E and C to hold off the effects of getting old. Researchers writing in Free Radicals and Aging (1992: 411-418) point out that as you get older your body is home to more and more free radical reactions that may lead to degenerative diseases like heart disease and arthritis. Research has found that in older people with exercise-induced oxidative stress, taking vitamin E every day may significantly fight off free radicals. (To investigate this effect, scientists measured waste products in urine that result from free radical reactions.) Their conclusion: Dietary antioxidants such as vitamin E may be beneficial.

Chronological Age Vs. Biological Age

Vitamin C also looks to scientists like a good anti-aging bet. Research in the Journal of Advancement in Medicine, (7[1], Spring 1994: 31-41) showed that folks consuming larger amounts of vitamin C were less likely to experience clinical problems at all ages. Those taking in less than 100 mg of vitamin C per day also suffered the most problems. In this research, individuals over 50 years of age who daily consumed the largest amount of vitamin C were as healthy or healthier than the 40 year olds who were taking the least amount of vitamin C.

Similar Relationship

A similar relationship appears to exist for vitamin E and serum cholesterol levels. In a study of 360 physicians and their spouses, researchers found that people in their 50s who consumed more vitamin E had lower cholesterol than those in their 30s who were taking less. And the longevity beat goes on: In a study evaluating environmental tobacco smoke and oxidative stress, researchers divided 103 people into three groups. Researchers blew smoke at 37 of these folks without protection while 30 of them got to breathe tobacco smoke but took antioxidant supplementation. Another 36 of them merely had to read magazines from doctors' offices. The results: After 60 days of supplementation the antioxidant folks had a 62% reduction in evidence of oxidative damage to their DNA. Cholesterol levels dropped and so did antioxidant enzyme activities. The researchers concluded that taking antioxidants provided a modicum of protection against environmental poisons.

The range of antioxidant nutrients used in this study included: beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc and selenium as well as copper (Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 7, November 1998: 981-988).

Carotenoids

When you mention carotene or carotenoids, most people think of the beta carotene that makes carrots orange. But more than 600 carotenoids are present in colorful vegetables and many of these misunderstood substances are more potent antioxidants than beta-carotene.

Carotenoids have been shown to destroy oxygen free radicals in lipids (fats), help protect our cells from the sun's ultra violet radiation and enhance our natural immune response (J. Nutr 119(1), Jan. 1989: 112-115).

Some evidence seems to show that how much carotenoids you (and other mammals) have in your cells may be the predominant factor in determining life span (Proc Natl Acad Sci 82 [4], 1985: 798-802). Therefore, a diet rich in carotenoids (leafy green vegetables, carrots, yams, sweet potatoes, squash, citrus fruits and tomatoes) along with supplementation seems to be just what the fountain of youth ordered.

Flavonoids

Flavonoids, a group of antioxidant plant pigments, seem to be able to protect specific organs.

For instance, the flavonoids in milk thistle (Silybum marianum) have been used for ages for liver problems. Bilberry has been found protective for the eye and hawthorn for the heart and circulatory system.

Numerous studies have shown the many beneficial effects of flavonoids with perhaps the best known being the ability of anthocyanidins in wine and grape seed extract to help protect your blood vessels and capillaries from oxidative damage (Phytotherapy 42, 1986: 11-14; Am J Clin Nutr 61, 1995: 549-54).

Flavonoids are found in vegetables and such fruits as blackberries, blueberries, cherries and grapes. A diet rich in these foods helps ensure an adequate intake of these important nutrient compounds.

Amino Acid Health

Methionine and cysteine are sulphur containing amino acids (protein building blocks), both of which are essential in maintaining levels of glutathione, a substance that plays a major role in quelling free radicals. Studies have found that as we age, the level of these important amino acids in our bodies decreases. (NEJM 312 [1], 1985: 159-68).

As it has been shown that adding cysteine to the diet of test animals can increase their life expectancy considerably, researchers believe these amino acids can help us live longer too.

Attitude & Behavior

Get more sleep! A recent study showed that men who habitually napped were less likely to have a heart attack. The men in this research who regularly napped for at least 30 minutes per day had about a 30% reduction in heart problems while those who napped for a full hour had a 50% reduction compared to non nappers. Naps of longer duration did not seem to increase the benefit.

In the same research, investigators also found that spending time with a pet or merely contemplating nature could also improve cardiac health. Sensuality, optimism and altruism also appeared to have health benefits (Family Practice News, December 15, 1998: 14-15).

In another study, this one in American Psychologist, researchers from the University of California found that people who are self-indulgent, pampered and achieve by running roughshod over the competition are less likely to outlive their healthy peers. Being egocentric, impulsive, undependable and tough-minded were predictors of poor physical health and a shorter life. So loosen up and be nice to your fellow humans! (U.C. Davis Magazine, Fall 1995: 14).

Longevity at Last

While no one has suggested that taking supplements, eating vegetables or exercising can, as of yet, extend the human life span past the generally recognized limit of about 120 years, researchers believe they can improve your odds of living longer. An added benefit: By staying healthier, your old age won't only be longer, it will be more enjoyable, too.

And, who knows, if you hang around long enough, taking your nutrients and getting a comfortable amount of consistent exercise, while meditating and refusing to succumb to stress, that magic bullet that will keep you alive for centuries may be discovered. Some day a new antioxidant or other substance may finally prove to provide the elusive fountain of youth. Stay tuned.



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Under-Reported (and Underappreciated) Cholesterol control.
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Date: May 12, 2005 10:00 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Under-Reported (and Underappreciated) Cholesterol control.

Under-Reported (and Underappreciated) Solutions for Cholesterol and Triglyceride Control

by 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.

Gugulipid

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.

Pantethine

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.

Niacin

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

Tocotrienols

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.

References

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.

7. Kimura, S., Furukawa, Y., Wakasugi, J. Effects of pantethine on the serum lipoprotiens in rats fed a high cholesterol diet (Abstract) Seventh International Symposium on Drugs Affecting Lipid Metabolism, Milan, Italy, 1980.

8. Arsenio, L. Bodria, P. Effectiveness of long-term treatment with pantethine in patients with dyslipidemia. Clinical Therapeutics 1986;8(5):537-45.

9. Avogaro, P. Bittolo Bon, G. Fusello, M. Effect of pantethine on lipids, lipoproteins and apolipoproteins in man. Current Therapeutic Research 1983;33(3):488-93.

10. Crouse, J.R. New developments in the use of niacin for treatment of hyperlipidemia: new considerations in the use of an old drug. Coronary Artery Disease 1996;7(4):321-26.

11. Welsh, A.L. Ede, M. Inositol hexanicotinate for improved nicotinic acid therapy. International Record of Food Medicine 1961;174(1):9-15.

12. "Inositol hexaniacinate" (Monograph). Alternative Medicine Review 1998;3(3):222-3.

13. Serbinova, E., et. al. Free radical recycling and intramembrane mobility in the antioxidant properties of alpha-tocopherol and alpha tocotrienol. Free Radical Biology and Medicine 1991;10:263-275.

14. Qureshi, N. Qureshi, A.A. Tocotrienols: Novel Hypercholesterolemic Agents with Antioxidant Properties. in 'Vitamin E in Health and Disease' Lester Packer and Jürgen Fuchs, Editors. 1993; New York: Marcel Dekker, Inc.

Control Cholesterol with the following Supplements

  • Policosanol -- Reduces Production of Cholesterol by the Liver
  • Red Yeast Rice -- Reduces production of cholesterol like pharmaceutical Statins on the market today
  • Sytrinol -- Lowers Cholesterol by reducing production of cholesterol in the body like Statins on the market today
  • Fiber -- Helps elimate waste and reduce cholesterol


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