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Curcumin: The Superfood That Fights Inflammation
April 30, 2022 09:39 AM
Do you suffer from inflammation? If so, you're not alone. Inflammation is a common problem that can cause pain and discomfort in the body. Fortunately, there is a natural remedy that can help: curcumin. Curcumin is a compound found in turmeric that has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. We will discuss the benefits of curcumin and how to add it to your diet.
What is inflammation and what causes it?
Inflammation is a natural process that helps the body heal. It occurs when the immune system responds to an injury or infection. The symptoms of inflammation include redness, swelling, and pain. While inflammation is a necessary part of the healing process, chronic inflammation can lead to serious health problems. Chronic inflammation is often caused by lifestyle factors, such as smoking, obesity, and stress. dietary factors can also contribute to chronic inflammation, including a diet high in sugar. Sugar causes the body to release inflammatory chemicals that can damage tissues and lead to disease. Therefore, reducing sugar intake can help to reduce the risk of chronic inflammation.
What are the symptoms of inflammation?
Inflammation is a natural process in the body that helps to protect us from injury and illness. It occurs when the immune system detects harmful stimuli, such as pathogens or damaged tissue, and triggers a series of reactions which boost the production of white blood cells. However, if inflammation becomes excessive or chronic, it can cause a range of physical symptoms, including redness and swelling at the site of inflammation, increased pain sensitivity, headache, fatigue and fever. Other common symptoms include irritation in the eyes and mouth, digestive issues like diarrhea and nausea, rashes or skin lesions, changes in appetite and mood swings. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms on a regular basis, it is important to take anti-inflammatory supplements to help control inflammation. One such supplement is curcumin.
How can curcumin help to reduce inflammation in the body?
Curcumin is a compound that can be found in turmeric, a bright yellow spice commonly used in cooking. This powerful phytochemical has been shown to have potent anti-inflammatory properties, and can help to reduce inflammation throughout the body. One of the main ways that curcumin achieves this effect is by blocking an enzyme known as cyclooxygenase, or COX. This enzyme is responsible for producing pro-inflammatory compounds called prostaglandins that are often associated with pain and swelling. By preventing their production, curcumin can help to control acute and chronic inflammation in the body, thereby reducing the risk of conditions such as arthritis, heart disease, and cancer. In addition to blocking COX activity, curcumin helps to reduce oxidative stress by inducing production of antioxidants like superoxide dismutase. Overall, these mechanisms make curcumin an excellent natural treatment for chronic inflammation and a host of related health problems.
How to add curcumin to your diet?
Adding curcumin to your diet is a great way to reap the many health benefits of this powerful natural compound. There are several different ways that you can incorporate more curcumin into your daily routine, from simply adding it to your favorite recipes to taking a supplement. For example, you can start off by incorporating turmeric into your cooking, as turmeric is one of the richest sources of curcumin in nature. Additionally, there are many curcumin supplements available on the market that can be easily incorporated into your daily routine. Ultimately, by making these simple changes in your diet, you can enjoy all the great benefits of curcumin for overall health and well-being.
The benefits of taking curcumin regularly
Curcumin is a compound found in the spice turmeric. It has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, and it has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine. Recently, curcumin has begun to gain recognition in the Western world as well. A growing body of research suggests that curcumin may have a wide range of health benefits, including the ability to improve cognitive function, reduce inflammation, and even ward off cancer. Curcumin is generally well tolerated, but it can interact with certain medications. However, for many people, taking curcumin regularly can be a safe and effective way to improve overall health.
To fight inflammation, reduce sugar consumption and take curcumin
To help reduce inflammation in the body, it is important to reduce your sugar intake and take curcumin supplements. These steps are vital because chronic inflammation has been linked to a wide range of health conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. Additionally, sugar consumption can also worsen inflammation by triggering the release of inflammatory chemicals like cytokines and free radicals.
One of the best ways to fight against inflammation is to take curcumin supplements on a regular basis. Curcumin is a natural anti-inflammatory agent found in turmeric, a spice that is commonly used in Indian cooking. Research has shown that curcumin can be just as effective as anti-inflammatory drugs in reducing levels of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), a potent inflammatory chemical released by cells. Furthermore, studies have also shown that taking curcumin regularly may benefit overall health and prevent certain age-related diseases like Alzheimer's.
Overall, reducing your sugar intake and taking curcumin supplements are two effective ways to fight inflammation and improve overall health. By following these simple steps, you can help protect yourself from the many negative effects of chronic inflammation.
Delta-8 THC Shows Promise in Combating Myocarditis
April 29, 2022 12:41 PM
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America, and myocarditis is one of the most common causes. Researchers are constantly looking for new ways to combat this deadly disease, and Delta-8 THC may be a promising treatment. A recent study found that Delta-8 was able to slow down heart rate and reduce inflammation in mice with myocarditis. While more research is needed, these findings suggest that Delta-8 could be a valuable tool in the fight against heart disease.
What is myocarditis and what are the symptoms?
Myocarditis is a term used to describe inflammation of the heart muscle. This can occur for a variety of reasons, including infection or injury, and it can cause a wide range of symptoms. Some of the most common signs of myocarditis include shortness of breath, chest pain, and chest tightness. Other possible symptoms include dizziness, lightheadedness, fatigue, nausea, and weakness. If you experience any combination of these symptoms along with changes in your heart rate or blood pressure, it is important to seek immediate medical attention to determine whether you are suffering from myocarditis. Treatment will depend on the specific cause of your condition, but it typically involves anti-inflammatory medications and rest. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential for preventing the progression of the disease and reducing the risk of cardiovascular complications.
What causes myocarditis and how is it diagnosed?
Myocarditis is a condition characterized by inflammation and swelling of the heart muscle. This can lead to a number of symptoms, such as shortness of breath, chest pain, increased heart rate, and cough. There are many possible causes of myocarditis, including infections, autoimmune disorders, metabolic or nutritional disorders, or exposure to toxins or other irritants. In order to diagnose myocarditis properly, doctors will typically perform several different tests. These may include blood tests, scans of the heart using ultrasound or MRI technology, and electrocardiograms to assess heart activity. Ultimately, the treatment for myocarditis will depend on its underlying cause and the severity of symptoms. With proper care, however, most people can recover fully from this condition.
How is myocarditis treated and what are the potential complications?
Myocarditis is a condition that occurs when the heart muscle becomes inflamed. This can be caused by a viral infection, an autoimmune reaction, or other factors. Treatment for myocarditis generally involves addressing the underlying cause, if possible. For example, if the inflammation is due to a viral infection, antiviral medications may be prescribed. Corticosteroids may also be used to reduce inflammation. In some cases, heart surgery may be necessary to repair damage to the heart muscle. Complications of myocarditis can include heart failure and arrhythmias. With prompt and appropriate treatment, however, most people with myocarditis recover fully.
What is Delta-8 THC and how does it work?
Delta-8 THC is a chemical compound that is found in the Hemp plant. Unlike other forms of THC, which produce psychoactive effects by binding to cannabinoid receptors in the brain, Delta-8 simply activates these receptors without producing any noticeable effects on cognition or perception. While the precise mechanism of action for this compound remains somewhat unclear, scientists believe that Delta-8 works by interacting with specific neuroreceptors in the brain and body, thereby triggering a series of responses that ultimately lead to changes in mood or behavior. Furthermore, research suggests thatDelta-8 may also have antioxidant properties and may be effective at reducing inflammation in certain tissues. Overall, while more research is needed to fully understand the pharmacological effects of this compound, it seems clear that Delta-8 has great potential as a therapeutic agent and may hold benefits for patients suffering from certain mood disorders or neurological conditions.
Delta-8, inflammation and relaxation
Delta-8 is a cannabinoid that is found in hemp plants. This compound has a similar structure to Delta-9 THC, the main psychoactive compound in cannabis. However, Delta-8 is much less potent than Delta-9 and does not produce the same psychoactive effects. Instead, Delta-8 provides a more mild physical response that is associated with relaxation and relief from anxiety and pain. Research suggests that Delta-8 may also be effective in reducing inflammation. This anti-inflammatory effect may be due to the ability of Delta-8 to bind to CB2 receptors, which are found in high numbers in the immune system. As a result,Delta-8 may offer a unique combination of anti-inflammatory and relaxant effects.
What are the findings:
The results of recent studies suggest that delta-8, a type of cannabinoid found in cannabis plants, may play a role in reducing the symptoms of myocarditis. Myocarditis is a condition characterized by inflammation and damage to the heart muscle, which can lead to serious complications such as cardiac arrest if left untreated. Early research has shown that delta-8 may be able to help protect against this deterioration, as it was found to reduce levels of oxidative stress and inhibit pro-inflammatory signaling pathways. As more studies continue to explore the mechanisms underlying myocarditis, it is hoped that delta-8 will become an important tool for managing this deadly disease.
What is CBD?
May 15, 2019 01:54 PM
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabinoid
Men, here's a diet plan for a better memory: leafy greens, darkorange and red vegetables, berries, and a glass of OJ
April 27, 2019 10:00 AM
According to a recent Harvard University study, the optimal diet for men who want to maintain strong cognitive health consists of eating leafy green vegetables, berries, orange and red vegetables, and orange juice. Researcher Changzheng Yuan studied 28,000 men over the course of 20 years, tracking their dietary habits and periodically testing their cognitive skills. The group that consumed the most vegetables, about six servings per day, performed better on thinking skills tests than the group that ate half that. There was also a positive association found between eating fruits and overall brain health.
"Yuan noted that participants who ate all these fruits and vegetables at the start of the study – 20 years ago – enjoyed better cognitive and memory skills."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-03-05-a-diet-plan-for-a-better-memory.html
Coconut oil studied for its potential to reverse Alzheimer's
April 22, 2019 04:31 PM
A recent study that was conducted by scientists in Spain has shown that extra virgin coconut oil can actually result in the reversal of Alzheimer's symptoms. A controlled group was given 40 mL of olive oil each day while receiving cognitive evaluations by the researchers in order to determine how their cognitive functioning was coming along. The results showed an increase in this functioning when it came to those who were taking in the extra virgin coconut oil on a regular basis.
"Some research has indicated that it very well could be a natural way to boost cognition, and possibly even reverse the effects of this dreaded disease."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-02-27-coconut-oil-to-reverse-alzheimers.html
Sunflower Lecithin: Brain-Boosting Supplement or UnhealthyAdditive?
December 18, 2018 04:04 PM
Sunflower Lecithin might be part of the reason some may view it as a super food: it is a fatty natural additive that improves many foods, boosts many parts of physical health(such as digestive health and brain health) and has many vitamins and minerals in it. It has been used in traditional medicine for a long time and can even be used in a vegan diet(unlike other forms of lecithin). Be careful though: overloading on it can cause digestive distress.
"Commonly used as an emulsifier and emollient in both processed foods and cosmetics alike, sunflower lecithin has also begun gaining traction in the supplement world thanks to its powerful health-promoting properties."
Read more: https://draxe.com/sunflower-lecithin/
Gotu Kola is one of the most useful plant remedies found inAyurvedic medicine
December 08, 2018 11:16 AM
Plant remedies around world are getting more and more attention. People are realizing that there is a very high use case for these things and it is being accepted around the world. Gotu Kola is a planet remedy that is common due to its usefulness for various different things that are found in people. At the end of the day, not all plant remedies will work for everyone. However, if you find one that does work for you, it can work wonders.
"Psychoactive substances target the brain and nervous system, resulting to an altered mental state. This psychoactive property is the reason why Gotu Kola is traditionally used for enhancing memory, longevity and cognition. In addition to these, Gotu Kola has also been used to treat skin conditions, including leprosy, lupus, varicose ulcers, eczema, psoriasis."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-11-22-gotu-kola-in-ayurvedic-medicine.html
The Cannabis Remedy: Simple Solution For Over 40 Million PeopleSuffering With Anxiety
November 24, 2018 11:13 AM
Anxiety is a very prevalent condition, both in the U.S. and worldwide. In fact the National Institutes of Health concur that as much as 33% of the world's population has suffered, or well suffer from some type of anxiety. Besides mentally specific symptoms, such as worry, fretting, inability to focus, nervousness and fearfulness, the condition can create physical symptoms as well, such as clenching, sweating, dizziness, accelerated breathing, pulse and raised blood pressure. At it's worst, anxiety can induce a full-blown panic attack, depersonalization and even a certainty that one is dying. Obviously anxiety is a potentially critical condition, with the ability to disrupt life, even in small ways. As it worsens, anxiety can make it difficult to impossible for sufferers to work or socialize effectively. Though triggers vary, most people are visited by anxiety due to one of three big concerns, namely fears that center around finances, safety, or health. One poll conducted by the American Psychiatric Association concluded that keeping the family safe and bill-paying were huge anxiety triggers that resonated with more than 60% of respondents. The positive news is that many people can experience mitigation, if not complete surcease of these symptoms by using cannabis, which is expected to keep growing as an industry. THC which is the psychoactive component in cannabis, that which makes it illegal if it gets past .3%, is minimal to almost nil in hemp, which is related to, but not the same as marijuana. The THC amount will vary in cannabis products. There is hemp oil, hemp seed oil and CBD oil, which is made from the entire plant, flowers and all, so it may have a bit more THC. Oil products can be taken topically, or sublingually, even smoked. By acting on receptors in the central nervous symptom, the constituents of the oil act to mitigate the symptoms of anxiety. Even beyond pain relief these products have been shown to have efficacy for symptoms of epilepsy, pain and impaired cognition.
"The good news is, there are ways to cope, even ways to alleviate anxiety and its symptoms using natural and drug-free solutions."
Read more: https://www.thealternativedaily.com/cannabis-remedy-solution-people-suffering-with-anxiety/
From OCD to depression to anxiety, learn how inositol can preventmany mental health disorders
November 13, 2018 08:51 AM
Living at maximum wellness constitutes more than having a disease-free body, where all the parts are doing what they should. Mental health is also a key component to overall health. From PMS symptoms all the way to psychotic episodes, more than 40 million U.S. citizens suffer from a mental problem yearly. Although treating these potentially life-clouding conditions with pharmaceutical grade interventions is the norm, these interventions are not without the possibility of potentially hazardous side effects. A B vitamin, inositol is present in the human brain in large amounts. Scientists are considering whether significant supplementation of the vitamin might be a way to treat an array of mental conditions naturally and without side effects. The vitamin has already been shown to have positive effect in some mental conditions, which makes sense, as significant neural transmissions depend on the use of the vitamin. Moreover, it's also been shown that individuals with lesser amounts of the mood-regulating chemicals, serotonin and dopamine, have lower levels of inositol. Although more research needs to happen in some instances, there is promising research to suggest that elevating inositol levels could prove efficacious for an array of mental conditions, including panic attacks, bipolar mood disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and depression.
"In fact, other major neurotransmitters depend on inositol to relay messages, making it a key component in a lot of chemical systems in a person’s brain, including the ability to handle stress, learning and cognition, mood, productivity, sleep, and addiction."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-11-06-inositol-can-prevent-many-mental-health-disorders.html
Vitamin K: The Wellness Vitamin
September 18, 2018 03:31 PM
Vitamin K isn't actually one specific vitamin. There is a whole grouping of fat-soluble cofactors that are intricately involved in the creation of protein in human beings. This grouping is called vitamin K in layperson speak and for everyday purposes. There are actually four cofactors in the K grouping, which has a designated K because of its well-know ability to coagulate human blood.
K1 is an important part of the chemical process that leads directly to clotting. The other organic K variant, specifically K2 (MK-4) and K2 (MK-7), are used by the body to transport calcium. They have a profound affect on human bone density and in preventing calcium plaque formation on blood vessel walls. K3 is a synthetic variant with possible cancer applications which are being investigated.
K1 is available to eaters through a wide array of fruits and vegetables and beans and margarine. The K2s can be found in an array of cheeses and in egg yolks,chicken and beef and other non-meat proteins.
Because it has such an important role to play vis a vis calcium use in the body, it stands to reason that K is significant in the possible prevention of both osteoporosis and cardiac disease. It is becoming clear to scientists that K may also have a role to play in cognition and in increasing insulin sensitivity, thereby ameliorating the effects of diabetes.
"Vitamin K is a name given to a group of fat-soluble vitamins which are considered essential cofactors in humans for the production of various proteins involved in coagulation homeostasis and calcium homeostasis."
Read more: https://www.healthaid.co.uk/healthaid-blog/vitamin-k-the-wellness-vitamin
5 Adaptogens That Will Improve Your Brain Function
August 29, 2018 10:53 AM
Adaptogens help protect your brain from stress and keep it working at peak efficiency. Ashwagandha, for example, can bolster focus, memory and cognition, as well as promoting the growth of new dendrites. Rhodiola can make neurons more sensitive to dopamine and serotonin, which increases mental clarity and focus, and has great potential for fighting depression and inflammation. Turmeric is an even stronger anti-inflammatory, and may help depression as well. Siberian Ginseng can help speed up processes in the brain, and improve learning and retention of new information. Finally, maca root can stabilize moods, fight brain fog and help inhibit breakdown of neurotransmitters.
"Adaptogens are substances that promote balance and negate the ill effects of stress in the body."
Read more: https://www.care2.com/greenliving/5-adaptogens-that-will-improve-your-brain-function.html
What Are The Health Benefits Of Vitamin B12?
August 28, 2018 09:53 AM
The array of array of nutrients that comprises B complex includes B12, a water-soluble vitamin, which is also called Cobalamin. The vitamin comes in many chemical forms. Nutritionists advocate getting the vitamin in its natural state through eating vitamin B12-rich foods, or through the use of supplements. As far as foods go, vitamin B12 is only available in animal form through animal products, such as dairy foods, beef, liver and chicken.
Once eaten, vitamin B12 converts complex carbohydrates into glucose, making the vitamin an essential component in providing energy. Vitamin B12 is also important to the human brain as it boosts cognition and impedes psychological disturbances. B12 also helps the body replicate DNA and create healthy red blood cells.
"For many ailments, experts recommend taking vitamin B12 rich foods or supplements."
Read more: https://www.epainassist.com/vitamins-and-supplements/what-are-the-health-benefits-of-vitamin-b12
The facts about candida overgrowth and how to overcome it
August 21, 2018 05:53 PM
Candida is a type of yeast found in the human body that is usually dairy harmless but which can cause digestive problems and a range of other symptoms of it. Candida overgrowth can damage the intestinal walls and also cause an increase in allergy symptoms, fatigue, problems with other fungal diseases, headaches, respiratory problems and cold symptoms. Candidates overgrowth can also impede mental clarity and cognition. A combination of overuse of antibiotics, poor diet and the resulting poor immunity make people more vulnerable to candida overgrowth.
"Although it is normal to have some of this fungus in the body, candida can also invade the body beyond what is acceptable"
Read more: https://www.healthnutnews.com/the-facts-about-candida-overgrowth-and-how-to-overcome-it/
Fermented turmeric prevents memory loss caused by oxidative stress and inflammation
July 16, 2018 09:54 AM
Even without Alzheimer's or dementia, the human brain is apt to experience memory loss over time. Neural cells can die, victims of disease, or inflammation. Simple oxidative stress can be at the bottom of significant loss of cognition.
Study has shown that by boosting a key neurotransmitter, a significant amount of natural damage can be avoided. One specific ingredient with the potential to make this happen has been tested on rodents.
Rodents were injected with an amnesia-creating medication. A percentage of them also received a dose of fermented turmeric, renowned for its anti-inflammatory activity. The mice given the turmeric were proven to be protected against the affects of the amnesia-producing drug.
"Turmeric contains curcumunoids like curcumin, a well-known antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound that shields neurons from damage."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-07-11-fermented-turmeric-prevents-memory-loss-caused-by-oxidative-stress-and-inflammation.html
6 Amazing Benefits Of Drinking 1 Liter Of Water On An Empty Stomach
June 30, 2018 09:54 AM
As many as 75% of Americans may suffer from chronic dehydration, as many people do not drink nearly enough water during the day. Japanese traditional medicine recommends “water therapy,” which involves drinking a liter of water on an empty stomach first things in the morning. This can rehydrate you after sleeping, cleanse your digestive tract and helps your kidneys and lympathic system to flush out toxins and waste. By making sure you are properly hydrated, it can also boost your metabolism and cognition!
"When you wake up in the morning, you will have likely gone a full seven to eight hours without a drink of water — maybe even longer if you’re not one to take a few swigs before bed. Realistically, that means we go approximately one-third of the day without drinking any fluids."
Read more: https://www.thealternativedaily.com/6-amazing-benefits-of-drinking-1-liter-of-water-on-an-empty-stomach/
Finger millet is a nutritional powerhouse: A review of the nutrients it offers
June 29, 2018 09:54 AM
Millet tends to get short shrift in the US, since it’s grown mostly in semi-arid Asian and African climes, but it’s very nutritious, especially the variety known as finger millet. Finger millet’s five layer seed coat (called the testa) is rich in a variety of micro and macro nutrients, amino acids, dietary fiber, protein and phenols. Finger millet shows promise for the management of diabetes and conditions associated with high cholesterol. It has a remarkable ability to lower blood sugar. Most of the nutritional value is in the seed coat/testa, so always get the whole grain variety!
"While millet may not be as popular as other types of cereals, researchers from the G. B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology have argued that it deserves more recognition because it is a nutritional powerhouse."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-06-26-finger-millet-is-a-nutritional-powerhouse-a-review-of-the-nutrients-it-offers.html
6 Vitamins and Minerals That Boost Brain Function
December 15, 2017 03:59 PM
As our brain ages, it begins to decline in cognition and other functions. It is well known that people who eat primarily a vegan diet get the nutrients to help this brain aging, but that diet is not practical for many to follow. Here are six essential vitamins and minerals you can take in supplement form that will help you keep your brain young. Each nutrient is described by what it can do for both your brain and overall health.
"Not only does vitamin C strengthen your immune system, it can also help prevent cognitive decline."
Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/6-vitamins-and-minerals-that-boost-brain-function.html
Consuming nuts strengthens brainwave function
November 21, 2017 03:59 PM
A recent study has shown that people who eat nuts on a daily basis have better brain function than those who don't. Different nuts affected different brain frequencies including those involved with memory, learning and cognition. It has been well documented that eating nuts is healthy for you body but this study proves the benefits for brain health as well. Different subjects were given different nuts to eat and brain wave function was measured. This can hopefully lead to further research.
"nuts are as good for your brain as they are for the rest of your body"
Read more: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/11/171115091809.htm
Men can boost brain health and enhance performance with ginkgo
October 08, 2017 10:14 AM
Men can greatly boost their brain health and enhance their performance with ginkgo. Young and active men can greatly benefit from taking extracts from Ginkgo biloba leaves. This is according to a recent study. The great thing about Ginkgo is that it can also combat memory issues that are related to dementia. They help boost the brain functioning in people that are having issues with dementia. Rats were used in studies and some interesting things were discovered.
"According to the researchers, the plant extracts’ positive effects may be stemming from its polyphenolic compounds."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2017-10-02-men-can-boost-brain-health-and-enhance-performance-with-ginkgo.html
Mediterranean Diet found to slash risk of dementia by 35%
July 22, 2017 09:14 AM
According to a study by the University of California following a Mediterranean diet could significantly reduce the risk of dementia. Other studies seem to agree that a diet low in meat and dairy but is rich in fresh fruit and vegetables, beans, nuts, and healthy fats significantly reduce the risk of cognitive decline. There are some studies showing that there is marked improvement in cognition when a person strictly adhered to the diet as well as decreasing inflammation, reducing obesity, healthier lipid panels and such.
"The Mediterranean diet, which includes mostly oily fish, vegetables and nuts, has long been touted as a highly effective diet scheme against a plethora of diseases."
Read more: http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-07-19-mediterranean-diet-found-to-slash-risk-of-dementia-by-35.html
Probiotics: Research Beyond the Belly...and to the Brain and Heart)
June 13, 2017 04:14 PM
Probiotics are a very successful thing. It is very popular among consumers and also among clinicians. The digestive tract is considered a main hub in our bodies. They have a long track record of digestive health and other positive things. Your digestive and immune health. The research on the links between probiotics and the heart is still in the very early stages. There are many factors to consider in this area. There is still much developing in this area.
"The latest eye-opener: Not only do probiotics have a proven track record of promoting digestive and immune health; emerging findings associate some strains with marked improvements in cognition and cardiovascular wellness, to boot."
Read more: http://www.nutritionaloutlook.com/brain-health/probiotics-research-beyond-bellyand-brain-and-heart
Cannabis prevents brain aging
June 12, 2017 09:14 AM
Cannabis helps to prevent aging in people. Memory performance decreases with increasing age. Cannabis can reverse these aging processes in the brain. If given a low dose, it will help the elderly with their learning as well as their memory. Scientists have demonstrated this in a lab with mice. This is very exciting news and many people can benefit from this information. Researchers have been looking how to reverse the aging process for many years.
"Low doses of the active ingredient in cannabis, THC, has the opposite effect on the elderly, reversing brain aging and restoring learning and memory."
Read more: https://www.healthnutnews.com/cannabis-prevents-brain-aging/
Soaking 4 Almonds inThe Night & Eating Them In The Morning Would Do This To My Body In 1 Day!
May 30, 2017 05:14 AM
Almonds are healthy sources of many nutrients and they can be eaten in many ways. Stores sell almond milk, butter, flour, oil and more. You can also buy whole almonds, both shelled and unshelled, roasted and raw. Most people wouldn't think of soaking them. That's the surprising info here. What would that do for our health? This tells us. It will make you feel differently about eating almonds and about how you do so as well.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PMY0Q3F-Xg&rel=0
"Prevent colon cancer: One of the best advantages of almonds is that they help you prevent the formation of cancer cells related to colon cancer."
How B Vitamins Improve Brain Health, Cognition, Psychiatric Problems and Mood Disorders - ProHealth
March 30, 2017 10:44 AM
Vitamin B supplements are great for many areas of your health. If you're not currently using one of the supplements, what are you waiting for? When you begin using a Vitamin B supplement, these great benefits to your health are yours to enjoy, and they're all pretty nice. Vitamin B can improve your brain health, mood disorders, cognition, and so much more. This is one supplement that is worth taking every single day. Isn't your life worth it?
Read more: How B Vitamins Improve Brain Health, Cognition, Psychiatric Problems and Mood Disorders - ProHealth
Chocolate cocoa boosts the functioning of the brain
Eating chocolates has always been associated to certain misconceptions such as weight gain and a rise in cholesterol levels. A recent published scientific study has proven that chocolate has various health benefits. Does eating chocolate make us smarter? Yes! This article will show the relationship of chocolate and cognitive activities in our body.
How does chocolate make you smarter?
Chocolate is a product of cocoa. Flavonoid a phytonutrient present in the cocoa induces the production of protein in neurons known as Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). BDNF acts on some neurons of the central nervous system. It helps support existing neurons and encourages growth neurons. In the brain, BDNF functions in the active cortex, basal forebrain, and hippocampus. These areas are vital to higher thinking, learning, and memory. BDNF boosts the activity in these areas hence aiding in acquiring and consolidation of memory and its storage.
Flavonoids in the chocolate also help in blood flow. More blood flow to the brain, results to improved brain functions.
Chocolates contain antioxidants. These are compounds which slow down the damaging effects of free radicals in the body. Free radicals are byproducts of oxygen use in the body. They cannot be avoided and are responsible for damaging body cells. In the brain, they cause memory loss. Antioxidants in the chocolate step in to reverse the harmful effect of these radicals and hence improve cognitive skills.
Flavonoids and antioxidants are the main elements in chocolates that improve the brain function. Therefore, people who eat chocolates are smarter.
Reduce Caloric Intake with Xylitol
Xylitol is a natural sweetener which was discovered long back in 1891 but since 1960s it is used as a good alternative for refined sugar to sweeten a number of edible products. It reduces caloric intake and the chances of cavities in your dental line. But before discussing the benefits of this alternative sweetener you should know the harms of white sugar on your health which compelled people to adopt it as an effective alternative.
Harmful Effects of Refined Sugar on your Health
Sugar is a kind of drug that contains additive chemicals but no nutritional value. Most of the people use it in their day-to-day life due to its addictive properties. According to various health experts white sugar affects your brain like cocaine. In fact, the added sugar in your day-to-day diet can be the single item that is most unhealthy for you. Most people eat it as they are ignorant about the harmful effects of white sugar on their health. It has been proven that white sugar can;
After realising the harmful effects of white sugar on their health many people have started to adopt alternative sweeteners like Xylitol etc. to replace white sugar and protect their health from its ill effects.
What is Xylitol?
Xylitol is a natural product which is produced by human body in normal metabolic conditions and is also found in various vegetables and fruits like fibrous vegetation, hard wood trees and birch etc. It is produced commercially from these fruits and vegetation plants due to the quantity of sucrose and sweetness it provides without giving unpleasant aftertaste and increasing calories. When you eat Xylitol it gives cooling sensation in your mouth.
How it replaces sugar effectively?
Xylitol has been approved to be used in various oral health and pharmaceutical products like cough syrups, lozenges, chewable pediatric multivitamins, mouthwashes and toothpastes etc. It is also permitted to use in various food items like hard candies, chewing gums and gum drops etc.
Benefits of Xylitol as alternative sweetener
Xylitol is good in taste without any unpleasant flavour. It can be used in same quantity as in sweetness it is equal to sugar. Helps in reducing the chances of cavities in your teeth and reduces the formation of plaque in your teeth. Xylitol also helps in repairing damaged enamel of your teeth by increasing the flow of saliva. It provides 2.4 calories per gram which is about 1/3 of the calories provided by same amount of white sugar.
Most of the healthcare providers advice it as a useful alternative to sugar to their diabetic patients. Thus, Xylitol can be used as an effective alternative to white sugar to reduce the chances of a number of health problems caused by the later one.
How Huperzine Helps With Memory
Memory refers to the process by which information is encoded, stored and retrieved when required. Encoding makes information from the outside world to be sensed in form of physical and chemical stimuli. In the first stage, information has to be changed in order to be put into the encoding process. Storage is the process by which the information is maintained over duration of time. The third of final stage is the retrieval process where the information stored is returned back to the consciousness.
One of the major problems that many people undergo is memory loss. This is a condition in which a person cannot recall information or events that they would be able to remember in normal circumstances. One of the most effective ways to help improve memory is by taking Huperzine. This is a drug that has proven to help boost memory and learning.
Here are some of the ways on how Huperzine help with memory:
1. Boost the level of acetylcholine
Acetylcholine is a very important transmitter in the brain responsible for carrying out several functions including those associated to memory and cognition. It is released into the space between two cells, where it then stimulates nerve impulses from one cell to the other. When acetylcholine fails to work effectively, several types of brain dysfunction occurs. A shortage of acetylcholine is known to be the common cause of memory loss, decreased intelligence and learning ability. Huperzine helps in reducing the breakdown of acetylcholine and boost the duration and strength of nerve impulse. It makes the neurotransmitter more available leading to better memory and improved overall brain functioning.
2. Protection against free radicals
Huperzine offers protection against free radicals that are known to be the major cause of modern diseases. It decreases the activity of heightened free radical activity in the brain. This goes a long way in reducing the risk of having memory loss. It has also proved to be effective in helping adolescents improve their learning abilities and memories.
What Are the Benefits of Ylang Ylang Oil?
February 25, 2014 07:36 AM
Health benefits of ylang ylang
Ylang ylang oil has many health benefits. We can draw some of its benefits from its characteristics, like for instance hypertensive, sedative and antidepressant substance. Ylang ylang has gained worldwide recognition over the recent years due to the production of hundreds of cosmetic products that have this essential oil.
Thorough advertisements through the media have also contributed a lot to its growth. Today, almost every house hold in the world use ylang ylang oil. It is in fact the most preferable component for most aroma therapists.
Below are some of the benefits of ylang ylang oil.
An anti-depressant factor
This is actually the most common medicinal feature of ylang ylang oil which also has essential oil properties. Ylang ylang oil helps the body to fight depression and also has relaxing properties that aim at easing the body tension and the soul. It also can induce various beneficial feelings to the body like for instance hope and joy. These feelings replace negative emotions such as sadness and major stress.
It cures Antiseborrhoeic
Seborrhoeic Eczema is a very dreadful disease that arises as a result of sebaceous glands malfunctioning. This disorder may lead to irregular production of sebum. Ylang ylang oil can help to cure this disease by enhancing the production of sebum and treating the disease itself.
It acts as an antiseptic substance
Wounds such as burns and abrasions are susceptible to getting bacterial infections. Bacterial infections to wounds can cause a serious medical issue. However, the ylang ylang oil can prevent all that. This is because it can stop tetanus and sepsis by preventing microbial growth. It can also disinfect wounds.
This might sound hilarious but it is true- ylang ylang oil can enhance effective romance in couples and can improve sexual experiences. This can be good news to people who lack interest in sex due to factors such as depression and stress or people suffering the loss of libido.
Why Is George's Aloe Vera By Warren Labs Better Than Other Brands?
January 10, 2013 12:50 PM
Since time immemorial, the succulent Aloe Vera plant has been an eminent medicinal plant with a worldwide recognition. The soothing effect, rejuvenating irritated membranes, moisturizing the skin and easing constipation have been some of the undisputed health benefits that makes Aloe Vera gel a worthy supplement and cosmetic product's constituent. Recent research also shows that Aloe Vera extracts have a notable efficacy in lowering blood glucose and blood lipid levels.
Studies however depict that the varied Aloe Vera species differ in some biochemical constituents and composition which makes some species better than others for a specific use. Georges Aloe Vera produced by Warren Labs specifically selects the species that are best suited for a given use. For instance, their George's Always Active Aloe Vera drink is made from Aloe barbadensis species which has been noted to be the most beneficial in rejuvenating mucal membranes that lines the GIT, effectively eases and prevents constipation without any irritation and also lowers blood lipid levels.
Unlike other manufacturing processes employed by other Aloe supplement producers, George's Aloe Vera employs fractional distillation method to obtain the most beneficial constituents and gives Georges Aloe Vera drink the characteristic clear and thin feel. This process is primarily intended to get rid of the Aloe Vera's aloins and anthroquinones which irritate the GIT manifested by cramping and diarrhea. The distillation process also makes the drink easy to preserve since most of the Aloe Vera's constituents which may necessitate special storage or addition of additives are discarded off.
This yields a pleasantly tasting drink with no additives or preservatives added. For optimal health benefits of this supplement, the manufacturer recommends a consistent daily intake of 2 ounces twice a day, and thus a gallon pack is always enough to use for a month. However, even though most of the Aloe Vera's constituents which produce considerable drug interaction implications are distilled off, consulting your doctor before using the supplement while under medication is always worthwhile.
How Does GABA Help Brain Function?
May 16, 2012 08:43 AM
Gamma Amino Butyric Acid, GABA, is a neurotransmitter found in central nervous system. It has an inhibitory action on nerve transmission and helps in regulating brain activity and function.
Healthy functioning of brain is important to achieve optimal health. In today's fast paced lifestyle, work related stress and anxiety have taken a toll on man's health. Mental stress and anxiety can cause havoc on the internal systems of the body. According to American Psychological Association, stress can affect the physical as well as mental health of a person. It impairs the brain's ability to block certain toxins and can lead to certain aging conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Stress can affect brain's normal functioning and affect intellectual abilities and memory. GABA helps in calming the stress and thereby enhancing the functioning capacity of the brain. Let us understand how does GABA help in brain function?
Role of GABA in cerebral cortex:
The nervous system comprises of neurons, brain, spinal cord and neurotransmitters. The role of neurotransmitters is to transmit nerve signals from one neuron to another or from neuron to muscle or gland cell. The most abundant neurotransmitters in cerebral cortex, Glutamate and GABA, have opposite action on the neuron cells.
Glutamate is an excitatory neurotransmitter, which results in neuron fires and sends an electrical impulse down its length. On the other hand, GABA, made from glutamate, has inhibitory action on the nerve cells and does not allow the electrical impulse to pass through the neuron. In case of deficiency of GABA, nerve cells will fire too often and too easily, resulting in wide number of anxiety disorders such as panic attacks, seizure disorders, headaches and other cognitive impairment disorders. Hence, GABA helps in stopping the transmission of nerve impulses from one neuron to another and thereby regulating brain activity. It has a calming effect on the brain.
Once the activity in the brain is regulated and cognitive abilities are restored by GABA, the person can think better and perform better. This natural tranquilizer allows your brain to function more efficiently. Studies have related many higher brain functions such as visual recognition and language comprehension with declining levels of GABA with advancing age. This results in easy firing of neurons by stimulus, slowing down processing of information in brain.
Health benefits of GABA:
According to studies, GABA plays an important role in healthy functioning of mind and body. It helps in:
1. Treating conditions like depression, anxiety, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and epilepsy. The result is due to the calming effect of GABA on brain activity. It helps in clear thinking and better reasoning.
2. Preventing age related conditions such as cardiovascular disorder, diabetes and cancer.
3. Inducing a sense of relaxation by providing tranquilizing effect. GABA increases dopamine hormone in the body and gives a sense of euphoria. You remain happy and of course this has a positive effect on sexual system.
4. Relieving pain.
5. Promoting body building and losing extra fat.
GABA can be purchased as a supplement in the form of pill, capsule or powder form. It is a natural alternative for relieving stress and improving brain function.
What Is Zinc and What AreThe Benefits of Taking OptiZinc
February 12, 2012 07:34 AM
Zinc is considered to be one of the most essential minerals that have the ultimate capacity to boost the immune health of a human body. Scientific researches revealed that zinc plays a major role in regulating the production of cells in the body's immune system. High levels of zinc can be derived from ginger roots, pecan nuts, oysters, peanuts, oats, peas, turnips, whole wheat grains, almonds and pumpkin seed. Zinc supplementation is getting a lot importance nowadays because of a number of health complications that can arise due to zinc insufficiency.
Intake of zinc supplements can help the body gain sufficient amount of resistance against acne, eczema, prostate disorder and even simple colds. Studies show that zinc has the optimum capacity to regulate the level of testosterone in the body which when left uncontrolled can eventually lead to the formation of annoying acne. Zinc also stimulates the body's natural ability to heal chronic infections. Zinc actually aids a number of enzymes that facilitate in collagen synthesis which leads to faster healing of wounds and infections.
Zinc is also known for its capacity to strengthen the body's immune system. In fact, it shortens the duration of common colds by enhancing the functions of white blood cells. Low level of zinc in the body makes an individual more susceptible to suffer from a number of health infections.
Zinc is scientifically proven to be effective in preventing the development of diabetes. It regulates the production of insulin and helps the blood sugar move into the cells. The mineral is even effective in reducing the risk of suffering rheumatoid arthritis because of its anti-inflammatory properties.
Inadequate amount of zinc in the body can lead to growth retardation, loss of appetite, bone degradation, low blood pressure, poor quality and rough skin and loss of sense of taste and smell. Zinc insufficiency can also be major culprit behind the development of weight loss, fatigue, hair loss, formation of white spots underneath the nails and diarrhea.
Zinc is also known for its capacity to promote a healthy and radiant skin. The mineral has a direct influence over hormones that control the production of oil, promote optimum cell growth and prevent the development of skin disorders like diaper rash, burns, psoriasis and dandruff. Zinc is a powerful mineral that optimizes cognitive function by enhancing memory and cognition.
Optizinc is actually a patented complex of methionine and zinc supplement that absorbs better and retain longer than any other zinc supplement available on the market today. In fact, OptiZinc is considered as the superior quality bioavailable form of mineral zinc. OptiZinc actually increases the availability of zinc in the body that is effective in promoting healthy cell functions which include digestion, reproduction, respiration, growth and development. OptiZinc also promotes a better and efficient brain, vision, nerve and immune functions. It is also capable of neutralizing the effects of damaging free radicals thereby reducing the user's risk of suffering from serious health conditions like cancer. Clinical studies show that OptiZinc works better than any other zinc supplement available on the market today.
What Does A Selenium Deficiency cause In The Body?
September 26, 2011 04:56 PM
What is Selenium
Selenium is also known as selenium yeast, selenium sulfide and selenium acid as it has different forms. Its main role in our bodily functions is to work in tandem with Vitamin E. As with vitamin E's main functions, selenium also has been deemed vital in the preservation and elasticity of tissues. It is commonly found from sulfide ores such as pyrite and in some cases can partially replace sulfur. Aside from its uses for health it also is used in industry as chemicals and pigments.
This is defined basically as the lack of Selenium in the body, at depreciated levels that may cause health disorders. For the most part, this mineral can easily be obtained and consumed however unlike other minerals it takes only a little to create a deficiency in the body so it is important to be vigilant about Selenium levels. The most common cause found is impaired intestinal functions as it relates to the absorption of this mineral.
Aging Process Alteration
So much cosmetic products in the market today are geared towards beauty and slowing down the aging process. If you are the kind of person that does not like chemical products on your skin this might be interesting to you. Studies have shown that Selenium is necessary if we want to slow down the process of aging. How does it do it? You may ask. It is by increasing endurance which leads to improved blood and oxygen supply for the muscles of the heart. Another key to how Selenium is essential to a slowed down aging process is that the prostoglandins in the human body which is responsible for high blood pressure protection cannot be formed without selenium. Prostoglandins are substances that aid our body's avoidance of harmful blood clots. With this action, strokes and heart attacks can be prevented. With a deficient amount of selenium in the body these are some of the positive things that you can say good bye to in our body.
Recent research has shown that selenium can aid in preventing cancer. It would seem that patients with low levels of selenium are more prone to certain cancers. Recognition has been given that it does work as an antioxidant. It works in an indirect way. It basically helps other enzymes get rid of the body’s toxic free radicals that may be harmful to our bodies in the long run by causing certain cancers. As something that works in tandem with Vitamin E it should be evident that selenium in itself is able to influence our cells protection against free radicals as Vitamin E does.
Aside from the two major possible health issues from being deficient in selenium mentioned above there is a wide variety of more minor problems that can occur from not having the right levels of this mineral in your body. It can cause joint tissue weakening, hypothyroidism and muscle weakness just to name a few. Over longer periods of time without treatment, it may also cause a steady but gradual decline in mental health.
September 05, 2008 09:02 AM
Bilberry has been used most commonly for centuries as a food, with the English traditionally eating bilberries with a rich cream. Large amounts of bilberries were imported annually from Holland, Germany and Scandinavia for use by pastry cooks and restaurant keepers to make jams, liqueurs, wines, and desserts up until World War II. Bilberry’s use is not only limited to food, as the juice of bilberry yields a clear, dark blue or purplish dye that has often been used to color wool in England.
Over the years, the bilberry fruit has gained recognition for its medicinal properties. Decoctions of the leaves and bark of the root have been used for a topical application to treat mouth and throat ulcers. Syrups have also been made from a mixture of the berries and honey to treat intestinal issues.
Additionally, the berries are very rich in vitamin C, with their astringent action explaining their historical use for diarrhea and dysentery. Many believe that the berries contain a pigment that can kill many strains of bacteria. Bilberry fruit and tea that are dried have been used to treat nausea as well as indigestion. Along with the above, other traditional applications of bilberry include inflammation of the mucous membranes in the mouth and throat, eyestrain or fatigue, and as a circulatory tonic. The leaves and berries have also been used for a homeopathic treatment of diabetes.
One of the main reasons that bilberry’s medicinal value came to attention in the Western world was because of its legendary ability to improve the nighttime vision of the British Royal Air force pilots during World War II. After consuming bilberry, it was found that they experienced improved visual acuity, making it easier to carry our nighttime bombing raids. It was also found that their eyes could adjust to darkness quicker and their vision was able to better correct after the effects of prolonged glare.
In the proceeding years, scientific research found that bilberry offered a wide range of benefits for both vision and other vascular disorders. French studies found that bilberry supplementation significantly enhanced the ability to adjust for glare and darkness. Bilberry can help to prevent compromised vision for anyone who is susceptible to eyestrain. In the last few decades, more studies have confirmed the medicinal value of bilberry for a variety of eye disorders. Bilberry is routinely used by European medical practitioners for patients with cataracts, venous insufficiency, visual disorders, peptic ulcers, capillary fragility, and even dysmenorrheal.
Finally, bilberry has a great effect on the activity of many enzymes that participate in inflammatory responses. Those who bruise easily or have trouble with capillary weakness can benefit from the anthocyanidin content of bilberry. These anthocyanidins offer many actions including: stimulating the production of collagen; protecting existing collagen stores in the connective tissue; preventing the formation and release of inflammatory compounds including histamine, prostaglandins, and leukotrines; preventing certain enzyme reactions that occur as a result of inflammatory conditions; and scavenging for free radicals to reduce cellular damage from oxidizing agents.
August 12, 2008 01:34 PM
Similar to everyone else, you probably have an occasional period where you’re down in the dumps. But don’t fret; feeling a little bit down every now and then is normal. But when these low feelings persist, you may be in trouble. If they deepen over time no matter what you’re doing to change them, then chances are that you are truly depressed. True depression occurs as a result of a loss of interest in nearly everything that once gave you pleasure. These pleasure feelings are replaced by an all-consuming feeling of emptiness and numbness which may be related to clinical depression.
Clinical depression is another matter, this form of depression is an intense feeling of sadness that lasts for long periods of time and prevents people from leading a normal life. It is a treatable medical condition and is characterized by persistent and sometimes severe feelings of worthlessness, guilt, sadness, helplessness, and hopelessness. There may also be disturbance in sleeping or eating patterns, anxiety, regret, shame, grief, diminished ability to concentrate, and repetitive suicidal thoughts.
Having five or more of these symptoms for a span of two weeks or longer is categorized as clinical depression. However, there are shades of gray when it comes to being emotionally down, from low moods all the way to major depressive episodes. Dysthymia is a lot less severe than depression, but it lingers sometimes for years, allowing people to function adequately but consistently feeling unhappy. Bipolar disorder also causes people to have severe high and low mood swings, while seasonal depression is another form that rounds out the category.
According to a global study, depression may be the most disabling disease in the world. Researchers found that depression can worsen health more than angina, arthritis, asthma, and diabetes. Those who have depression and one or more chronic diseases are in the worst health of all. It is estimated that 19 million American adults are living with major depression, with up to 25 percent experiencing an episode of major depression at some point during their lifetime and women suffering twice as much as men do from major depression.
Suicide is strongly connected to depression and is the third-leading cause of death in 10 to 24 year olds, with most depressed people never seeking treatment. Those who are undiagnosed and untreated allow depression to worsen and last for years of untold suffering. About 15 percent of people with major depression die from committing suicide. Major depression is a life-threatening illness that should be treated by medical experts. There is no test that can diagnose major depression. However, it is important to rule out other medical problems that have similar symptoms as those of depression.
Depression is usually treated with medications and counseling. Natural remedies may also be effective in the treatment of depression, especially in those cases that are mild to moderate. Additionally, many nutritional, environmental, and lifestyle factors are involved and it is important to recognize that these factors are not only important for depression, but also for our total health. Getting people healthy gets them less depressed, generally speaking, and there are three supplements that can help ease the symptoms of depression naturally.
Lithium, which is a prescription drug for bipolar disorder, is a simple mineral with benefits for the nervous system to improve mood and cognition. Since patients with depression often have low levels of omega-3 fatty acids and DHA, proper DHA levels are essential for proper functioning of the neurotransmitters. Supplementing with essential fatty acids can help with depression symptoms.
Finally there is SAM-e, a molecule that naturally occurs in the cells of plants and animals, works well as an antidepressant without causing side effects for most people. Always consult your doctor if you suspect you may have clinical depression or when you start any new vitamin supplements with medication and never exceed the recommended doses on the bottle with out a doctors help.
St. John's Wort
June 22, 2008 08:52 AM
St. John's Wort is a plant with yellow flowers that researchers continue to look at for its health and well-being benefits. A perennial herb, it is from Europe and found its way to America with settlers. It is commonplace in meadows and fields. The first recorded use of St. John's Wort was in ancient Greece. It also goes by the following names: hypericum, Klamath weed and goat weed.
For centuries, this plant has found use as a medicine for depression and anxiety. People often used it to treat mental conditions and nerve pain. Today, people use the herb to treat sleep disorders and anxiety as well as a treatment for mild to moderate depression. In Europe, St. John's Wort is available as a prescription medicine and finds wide use there.
In the United States, it is an herbal supplement and does not have classification by the government as a prescription medicine. However, there is great interest in the U.S. in this herb's capabilities as treatment for depression. Studies show St. John's Wort has a minimal effect on major depression. There is evidence though that it is a useful herb for treating milder depression. Some studies show it acts similar to synthetic antidepressants by affecting the neurotransmitters in the brain. There is also evidence that it produces fewer side effects than these synthetics.
In North America, St. John's Wort comes in capsule, tablet, liquid extract, oil-based skin lotions and tea form. The flower tops of the plant find use in tea formulations. The major active elements in the herb, considered by some researchers as antidepressants, are hyperforin and hypericin. Studies suggest that the hyperforin in the herb plays a part in helping people decrease alcohol consumption. In addition, hyperforin has beneficial antibacterial properties. The plant also contains essential oils and flavonoids. Native Americans have a history of use of St. John's Wort as an anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and astringent agent.
If you decide to try St. John's Wort, you must consult with a health care professional first, as this herb interacts with other medications. Evidence shows that it can affect anticoagulant drugs and contraceptive pills. It can also affect medication needed to treat high blood pressure.
One study of St. John's Wort showed it was beneficial to a group who consumed 300 mg. three times daily compared to a group who took a placebo only. This study occurred over a four-week period. Sixty-seven percent of the St. John's Wort group experienced improvement of their depression compared to 28 percent of the placebo group. This study included only those suffering from mild depression. What was important in this study was that there were no adverse side effects from the St. John's Wort as compared to synthetic antidepressants. This was significant because many patients often refuse standard antidepressants because of the harmful and bothersome side effects they produce.
There is no denying that St. John's Wort has a long tradition as a medicine to treat anxiety and depression. This is why studies continue into its effectiveness. Researchers do not want to ignore repeated testimonials about the herb's antidepressant capabilities; they seek to make sure these claims are legitimate by having facts to back them up.
Thirty-seven trials that met criteria for being credible received recognition concerning St. John's Wort. They received summarization in a study. (Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 1998, Issue 4. Art. No.: CD000448. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD000448.pub2.)
The conclusion reached upon analysis of the studies showed St. John's Wort could benefit those with milder types of depression. No conclusive evidence exists that more severe types receive anything more than minimum benefits from the St. John's Wort products that were part of the studies. The researchers stress that their analysis applies only to certain products they tested, not every St. Johns Wort formulation on the market. Many are of different pharmaceutical quality and of different strengths and purities.
Research will continue into this natural product that the earth provides us. At the very least, St. John's Wort does help some forms of depression. The jury is out on whether its benefits will extend to those who suffer harsher forms of the debilitating mental condition that affects millions.
First, the Painful Inflammation
April 03, 2008 12:43 PM
Inflammation occurs because of the reaction of your immune system to what it perceives as being the presence in your tissues of dangerous foreign particles. Your immune system generally reacts to particles. Typical particles are bacteria and viruses, pollen, smoke, your own body cells that are not doing what they should, moulds and fungi, and various other things that can circulate in your blood.
There are several reasons for the immune system being activated, some of them historical due to your body having an imprinted memory of previous bacteria and viruses that it has dealt with, and others the reaction to new invaders that it has never met before, and for which your immune system creates antibodies to destroy. Another is the recognition of abnormal body cells that have to be destroyed before they can proliferate, and yet another is when the immune system gets confused and itself damages your own tissues such as in rheumatoid arthritis.
Whatever the cause, inflammation is a common result of the immune system going to work, and can be extremely painful. It can cause damage to our own joints, vascular system and major organs, although treatment of the inflammation does not reduce the effectiveness of the immune response. You can safely treat the inflammation with anti-inflammatories and painkillers without the condition getting worse.
Common physical manifestations of inflammation are the swollen and painful joints of rheumatoid arthritis (osteoarthritis is not an immune response), the swelling in the airway of asthma, the spots and swellings of measles and chickenpox, the lesions of psoriasis and the swelling and pain of abrasions and cuts that have gone ‘septic’ or ‘poisoned’. The latter two are simply examples of the effect of phagocytes and leucocytes on bacterial infection – the white blood cells and their cohorts!
The reason that inflammation causes pain is that it affects nerve endings, and causes pressure against the damaged tissues that initiated the immune response. Although regular painkillers can control the pain of inflammation to an extent, they are generally not the ideal treatment. Herbal treatments are not necessarily always the ideal treatments either, but boswellia is one herb that has been proved to be effective in reducing the pain of inflammation.
Elderberry Can Boost The Immune System In The Winter
December 03, 2007 09:44 PM
The immune system is frequently overworked when the days get shorter and the temperature starts to drop, and elderberry can boost the immune system in winter for those that find themselves susceptible to all the colds, flu and other viral infections that seem to come out of the woodwork at that time.
Elderberry is the fruit of the elder tree that is native to Asia, Europe and North America. They are found just about anywhere due to their tolerance for a wide range of climates and soil types, and are frequently found by river banks. There are a number of different types of elder, in both small tree and shrub form, and it is those with the black and blue berries that are useful medicinally, not those with red berries. It is not only the berries that are used, but also the elder flowers. Elderflower wine has long been a favorite country wine, and the berries are used to make jam, pies and also drunk as juice.
Elder has been used for countless years for treating viral diseases such as influenza and colds, and it has also been found by some to be effective for the treatment of cold sores (herpes simplex). Its effect on flu is thought to be that it prevents the virus from entering and infecting the body cells, but more on this later. Historically, it has been used to promote the excretion of waste products through urination and sweating, which might be another reason why it is effective against colds and flu and some general respiratory problems.
The juice contains anthocyanins in the form of anthocyanidin-3-glycosides that appear to be very bioavailable to the body. The anthocyanins are more easily absorbed than those of blackcurrant juice, and are very strong antioxidants. The antioxidant effect is reinforced by the presence of large quantities of vitamin C. This difference in bioavailability has been proved though the administration of both blackcurrant and elderberry juice to volunteers, and testing the presence of the anthocyanins in the urine. This is a measure of their bioavailability, or how easily they are absorbed by the body, and the greater this bioavailability, then the more effective is their antioxidant effect.
Separate studies have indicated that anthocyanins derived from berries in general, not just elderberry, can reduce oxidative stress due to age, and also to help brain function. An improvement in the memory of the elderly has been seen to have improved after a course of berry juices rich in these powerful antioxidants. Elderberry antioxidants also improve the stability of LDL cholesterol by protecting against free radical oxidation, and thus helping to reduce the incidence of atherosclerosis that is promoted by the deposition of the oxidized LDL cholesterol on artery walls. This in turn helps to reduce the possibility of cardiovascular disease.
However, it is its effect on the immune system for which elderberry is generally studied by the medical professions. Elderberry helps to boost the immune system predominantly through the production of cytokines. To explain how these work, a quick summary of how part of the immune system works will first be necessary.
When intrusion into the body by an antigen (foreign body) is detected, the initial response is the inflammatory response. Chemical messengers called cytokines are released into the blood to inform the other parts of the immune system that an invader has been spotted.
The immediate effect is to increase the flow of blood to the affected part of the body by dilation of the blood vessels. The spaces between the cells in the vessel walls increase to allow the larger components of the immune system, such as the phagocytes that consume and destroy bacteria. Proteins also congregate and the temperature at the site rises to promote the reactions that the body uses to eject the invaders. The tissue therefore swells due to all the extra fluid and gets hot. The area becomes painful due to the accumulation of material aggravating the nerves, and if there is an infection, pus will eventually be formed from the dead neutrophils used to kill the bacteria or virus.
There are many different types of cytokine, including those that initiate the inflammatory response and others that stop the immune response once the invader has been killed off. Other cytokines, such as the interferons, stop viruses from multiplying, and others take part in the response only to specific types of antigen. Each cytokine has a specific message to pass to the relevant components of the immune system in order that the immune response is appropriate to the invasion concerned and does not overreact. Hence, a grain of pollen in the nose will elicit a lesser response than a varicella antigen that leads to those horrible chickenpox pustules.
In general terms, cytokines give the immune system a kick start once an antigen is spotted. The elderberry anthocyanins produce predominantly inflammatory cytokines, but also one anti-inflammatory cytokine, and so helping to boost the inflammatory response.
Some viruses use what are known as spike proteins that mimic the molecules of their host in order to gain access to cells by binding to the target cell receptors. However, these spikes are easily recognized by the immune system, and the elderberry anthocyanins are active in promoting this recognition. For that reason, viruses vigorously continue to change and mutate to overcome this, one manifestation of their success in achieving this being in the annual infections of influenza that have overcome last year’s antibodies by means of this mutation.
The influenza virus contains what are known as hemagglutinin spikes on its surface which, when deactivated, cannot break through your cell walls, enter the cell and replicate, thus leading to influenza. That is the mechanism by which the constituents of elderberries help to control influenza and reduce its effect on your body. If not deactivated, the spikes allow the virus to invade the cell and provoke the immune response that you know as the flu.
Many such winter ailments have a similar mechanism, which is why, apart from its general health benefits through its high antioxidant content, that elderberry can boost the immune system in winter.
Natural Coenzyme Q10 (Ubiquinone)
July 27, 2007 02:08 PM
Natural Coenzyme Q10 100 mg
• Supports cardiovascular function.
• Vital for the production of ATP, the energy molecule.
• Potent antioxidant.
• Addresses six of the twelve SystemiCareTM deep metabolic systems identified by Source
Naturals as critical for optimum health: Energy Production, Circulation/Heart Health, Liver/
Detox, Immunity, Cognition/Nerves, and Antioxidant Defense.
• Delicious, natural orange flavor.
One tablet contains:
Coenzyme Q10 (ubiquinone) 100 mg
Suggested Use: 1 tablet daily with a meal. Not a sublingual tablet. Place tablet on top of tongue and allow tablet to dissolve while lightly pressing tongue against the roof of the mouth. Tablet will disintegrate rapidly. Swallow CoQ-Quick contents after the tablet has disintegrated.
The Awesome Foursome: Coenzyme Q10, D-Ribose, L-Carnitine, and Magnesium
May 18, 2007 01:06 PM
The Awesome Foursome: Coenzyme Q10, L-Carnitine,
The “Awesome Foursome” of Coenzyme Q10, L-Carnitine, D-Ribose, and magnesium helps our hearts metabolize energy more efficiently and protects them from the stress of cardiovascular disease. This powerful combination of nutrients goes directly to the basic biochemistry of cellular energy metabolism. Now let’s take a closer look at how Coenzyme Q10, L-Carnitine, D-Ribose, and magnesium work in synergy to promote cardiovascular health.
Energy Recycling through the Electron Transport Chain
Coenzyme Q10 is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect the mitochondrial membrane, mitochondrial DNA, and cell walls from free-radical attack. But its most important function in the body is its central role in energy metabolism.
Most – about 90 percent – of the ATP used by cells is recycled as food (fuel) and oxidized in the mitochondria. Fatty acids, carbohydrates, and, occasionally, proteins are carried across the mitochondrial membrane and enter the Krebs’ cycle, moving from step to step and spinning off electrons. These electrons are then handed off to the electron transport chain, where, in the presence of oxygen, the energy from the electrons is captured as a phosphate group is added to ADP to form ATP. This recycling of ATP is called oxidative phosphorylation, and the by-products of these pathways are CO2 and water.
In this fashion, Coenzyme Q10 acts as a gatekeeper of electrons, making sure they are carried to just the right place to pass on their life-giving energy.
What is critical, however, is the simple fact that without Coenzyme Q10 the electron transport chain would totally break down. And since the electron transport chain is (by far!) the largest contributor to cellular energy turnover, its loss would be catastrophic. It is also important to know that there has to be an excess of Coenzyme Q10 in the mitochondria to be maximally effective. Having just enough isn’t sufficient to do the job properly, and having a deficiency seriously affects the mitochondria’s ability to supply the cell with energy.
Cellular stress can cause Coenzyme Q10 deficiency, which places a severe strain on Coenzyme Q10 availability. People with heart disease, hypertension, gingival disease, Parkinson’s disease, and the other disorders we’ve discussed are known to be deficient in Coenzyme Q10. Whether these deficiencies are the cause or the effect of these varied medical problems, the end result is that they sap the life out of their mitochondria and reduce their energy supplies. You see, Coenzyme Q10 cannot function properly if electrons are not coming out of the Krebs’ cycle, and the Krebs’ cycle won’t work without the fuel that’s transported into the mitochondria by L-Carnitine.
Transporting the Cellular Energy Fuel
Fatty acids are the preferred energy fuel for hearts and most other cells in the body. L-Carnitine facilitates the beta oxidation of fatty acids as energy fuel. And since fatty acids are the preferred fuel for energy recycling in cells, this action is critical to cell and tissue function. Unfortunately, L-carnitine is deficient in people with heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, lipid metabolic disorders, mitochondrial disorders, and many other disease syndromes we reviewed earlier. This L-carnitine deficiency disrupts the normal metabolism of fatty acids, reducing available energy supplies and leading to the accumulation of toxic by-products of fatty acid metabolism. L-carnitine supplementation revives fatty acid metabolism and restore normal mitochondrial function. But even this powerful improvement in cellular energy metabolism cannot up for the energy drain that comes from the loss of energy substrates caused by low oxygen delivery to the tissue. Only D-Ribose can do that.
Rebuilding the Cellular Energy Pool
As long as cells and tissues have plenty of oxygen, the pool of energy substrates in the cell remains high. And as long as there is enough L-carnitine and Coenzyme Q10 available, the process of energy utilization and supply can proceed unimpeded. However, the cellular supply of oxygen can be restricted by acute or chronic heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, any number of skeletal – or neuromuscular diseases, or even high-intensity exercise.
When cells are deprived of oxygen the mitochondrial energy turnover becomes inefficient. Remember, oxygen is required to let the oxidative pathway of energy recycling work properly. If the mitochondria are not able to recycle energy efficiently, cellular energy supply cannot keep pace with demand. But the cell has a continuing need for energy so it will use all its ATP stores and then break down the by-product, adenosine diphosphate (ADP), to pull the remaining energy out of this compound as well. What’s left is adenosine menophosphate (AMP). Since a growing concentration of AMP is incompatible with sustained cellular function it’s quickly broken apart and the by-products are washed out of the cell. The net result of this process is a depletion of the cellular pool of energy substrates. When the by-products of AMP catabolism are washed out of the cell, they are lost forever. It takes a long time to replace these lost energy substrates even if the cell is fully perfused with oxygen again.
Ribose is the only compound used by the body to refill this energy pool. Every cell in the body has the capacity to make ribose, but hearts, muscles, and most other tissues lack the metabolic machinery to make ribose quickly when the cells are stressed by oxygen depletion or metabolic insufficiency. Ribose is made naturally in the cells from glucose. In stressed cells, however, glucose is preferentially metabolized for the energy turnover and is not available for ribose synthesis. So when energy pools are drained from stressed cells, the cells must first wait for the slow process of ribose synthesis before they can begin to replace their lost energy stores.
Acute ischemia, like that which takes place during a heart attack, heart surgery, or angioplasty, drains the cell of energy. Even when oxygenated blood flow returns, refilling the energy pool may take ten or more days. But when oxygen deprivation is chronic, or when energy metabolism is disrupted by disease, there may be so much continual strain on the energy supply that the pool can ever refill without the assistance of supplemental ribose. Conditions like ischemic heart disease or congestive heart failure fall into this category. In these situations, supplementing the tissue with exogenous ribose is the only way the cell can keep up with the energy drain.
Switching on the Energy Enzymes
Magnesium is an essential mineral that's critical for energy requiring processes, in protein synthesis, membrane integrity, nervous tissue conduction, neuromuscular excitation, muscle contraction, hormone secretion, maintenance of vascular tone, and in intermediary metabolism. Deficiency may lead to changes in neuromuscular, cardiovascular, immune, and hormonal function; Impaired energy metabolism; and reduced capacity for physical work. Magnesium deficiency is now considered to contribute to many diseases, and the role for magnesium as a therapeutic agent is expanding.
Magnesium deficiency reduces the activity of important enzymes used in energy metabolism. Unless we have adequate levels of magnesium in our cells, the cellular processes of energy metabolism cannot function. Small changes in magnesium levels can have a substantial effect on heart and blood vessel function. While magnesium is found in most foods - particularly vegetables - deficiencies are increasing. Softened water and a trend toward lower vegetable consumption are the culprits contributing to these rising deficiencies.
Supporting the Links in The Energy Cycle Chain – the Synergy
Clearly, each membrane of the “Awesome Foursome” is fundamental to cellular energy metabolism in its own right. Each plays a unique and vital role in supplying the heart with the energy it needs to preserve its contractile force. Each is independently effective in helping hearts work through the stress of disease. And while each contributes immeasurable to the energy health of the cell, in combination they are unbeatable. Allow me to reiterate the step-by-step, complicated cellular processes involved to be sure that you really understand the rationale for using these nutrients.
The cell needs a large, sustained, and healthy pool of energy to fuel all its metabolic functions. Contraction, relaxation, maintenance of cellular ion balance, and synthesis of macromolecules, like proteins, all require a high energy charge to carry their reactions to completion. The energy pool must be preserved, or these fundamental cellular functions will become inefficient or will cease to operate altogether. To keep the pool vibrant and healthy, the cell needs ribose. But even with supplemental ribose, the cell needs the efficient turnover of its energy stores to balance ongoing energy utilization with supply. That’s where CoQ10 and L-carnitine come into play.
The converse is also true. Even if the cell is fully charged with energy, cellular energy supply will not keep pace with demand if the mitochondria are not functioning properly. CoQ10 and L-carnitine work to keep mitochondrial operations running at peak efficiency, and one side cannot work effectively without the other. Even though CoQ10 and L-carnitine can make the energy turnover mechanisms work more efficiently, they cannot increase the cell’s chemical driving force, and their action will be only partially effective. Ribose on the other hand, can keep the energy pool supplied with substrate, but the value of energy pool repletion cannot be fully realized if the substrate cannot be maximally utilized and recycled. Ribose fills the tank; CoQ10 an L-carnitine help the engine run properly.
Magnesium is the glue that holds energy metabolism together. By turning on the enzymes that drive the metabolic reactions, magnesium allows it all to happen.
These four nutrients must be utilized by cardiologists and other physicians as they treat patients day-to-day. On my own journey, using Coenzymes Q10 for two decades, L-carnitine for more than ten years, D-Ribose for two years, and magnesium equally as long, I’ve seen this “Awesome Foursome” reduce suffering and improve the quality of life for thousands of patients.
The future of nutrition in conventional medicine is very bright, although the integration of nutritional supplements has been a slow and, at times, lonely process.
L-carnitine and Coenzyme Q10 are finally gaining the recognition they deserve. D-Ribose is emerging as a new player in the complex understanding of metabolic cardiology, and doctors are beginning to discuss the important role of magnesium deficiency in heart patients. As a practicing cardiologist for over thirty years, I see metabolic cardiology as the future for the treatment of heart disease and other complex disease conditions, as well.
High Potency Premium Fish Oil for Adults or Children.
June 05, 2006 03:14 PM
Fresh Catch Healthy Adult
Fresh Catch® Healthy Adult formula is a pure and pristine source of molecularly distilled, pharmaceutical grade fish oil formulated with the ideal dose and ratio of highly concentrated EPA and DHA omega-3 for the vibrant health and energy of healthy adults. Meet’s the American Heart Association’s recommendation of 2-to-4 grams of EPA and DHA.
Fresh Catch Healthy Adult 50+
Fresh Catch® Healthy Adult 50+ is a pure & pristine source of molecularly distilled, Pharmaceutical grade fish oil formulated with the ideal dose and ratio of beneficial Omega-3 - EPA and DHA, to support vibrant health and energy in healthy adults 50 years of age and over. Meets the American Heart Association’s recommendation of 2-to-4 grams of EPA and DHA.
Fresh Catch Healthy Mom
Fresh Catch® Healthy Mom is a pure and pristine source of molecularly distilled, pharmaceutical grade fish oil formulated with the ideal dose and ratio of DHA and EPA to address the health and nutrition priorities of pregnant and lactating women.
Compelling research indicates that DHA, and omega-3 fatty acid found in fish, and provided in Barlean’s Healthy Mom – aids in the cerebral and eye development that occurs during pregnancy and into infancy. Optimal levels of DHA in the bloodstream of pregnant and lactating women may be important to development of the brain and nervous system of the developing fetus and infant and possibly address post partum depression.
Fresh Catch High EPA-DHA
Fresh® Catch EPA-DHA concentrate is a pure and pristine source of pharmaceutical grade fish oil providing an ideal dose and ratio of highly concentrated EPA and DHA omega-3 to support overall vibrant health and well being – for your vibrant health and energy. Meets the American Heart Association’s recommendation of 2-4 grams of EPA/DHA daily.
Fresh Catch High EPA
Fresh Catch® Super High Potency EPA is a pure and pristine source of pharmaceutical grade fish oil providing highly concentrated EPA Omega-3 to support cardiovascular, joint, immune and colon health. – for your vibrant health and energy.
Fresh Catch High DHA
Fresh Catch® Super Potency DHA is a pure and pristine source of molecularly distilled, pharmaceutical grade fish oil providing highly concentrated DHA omega-3 to support memory, cognition and emotional well-being – for your vibrant health and energy.
March 27, 2006 06:23 PM
If there’s one truth to be told about the natural products industry, it is this. We will never have a shortage of companies claiming to be the best. It happens so often in fact, that distinguishing the quality from the questionable has become an exhausting task all in itself. After all, making claims is easy. What’s challenging, however, is supporting these claims with something concrete.
As no stranger to recognition, NOW takes pride in every honor that is bestowed upon us. And yes, over the past year, we have been blessed in many ways. Nothing, however, can match the sense of reward that comes from having our efforts, values and commitment to human wellness acknowledged by our peers, colleagues and valued customers. It is with the most sincere gratitude that we are once again able to share these with you.
Vitamin Retailer Magazine’s 2005 Vity Awards Every Spring, Vitamin Retailer Magazine recognizes the most outstanding dietary supplements, and honors the recipients with a Vity Award. The winning products are selected based on a number of criteria. This year, three NOW products were awarded 1st place honors.
The first was presented in recognition of our MSM 1000 mg. This marks the third consecutive year that we’ve watched our MSM excel in this category. Next was the award for Vitamin E, which went to our Natural Vitamin E-400 mixed tocopherol formula. Like MSM, this was also awarded 1st place st place for the third year in a row. Finally, the award for “Best Calcium”, which was given to our Calcium Citrate. With the calcium category regarded as one of the most competitive, taking top honors is an accomplishment that we’re all very proud of. Whole Foods Magazine Natural Choice Winner Best Sports Supplement
It should come as no surprise to anyone that there are literally hundreds of protein formulas available. When it was announced that our line of Whey proteins had earned the title of “Best Sports Supplement” from Whole Foods Magazine, we were truly honored to be selected as one of their Natural Choice winners.
Each year, Whole Foods Magazine evaluates hundreds of products, selecting only those that meet their demanding standards. Our Sports division has worked tirelessly to perfect our Whey proteins, and this award is a true testament to the efforts they have put forth. NOW is one of the very few companies that offers a line of 100% natural proteins, free of artifi cial sweeteners. Accordingly, this is an honor that we’re especially proud of. Nutrition Business Journal’s Lifetime Leadership Award, Elwood Richard
Nutrition Business Journal recently honored NOW founder Elwood Richard, with their prestigious Lifetime Leadership Award. Mr. Richard has been an active member of the natural products business since 1960 and is a strong advocate for both science and quality. He co-founded the NNFA standards committee, and sponsors industry organizations such as Citizens for Health, NNFA, ABC, AOAC and AHPA among others. His hard work, vision and commitment have inspired our entire organization
in supporting independent retailers, producing quality products and taking proactive measures towards environmental preservation.
Nutrition Business Journal’s Business Achievement Award, Environment of Sustainability In addition to the award presented to Elwood Richard, NOW was also the recipient of the NBJ Business Achievement Award for Environment of Sustainability. This honor is presented to businesses who have consistently participated in both internal and local initiatives to make positive environmental impacts. Notably, our recycling program has reduced waste output by over 50%. NOW FOODS Vitamins also conducts employee training programs, supports community conservation efforts and hosts volunteer workdays to plant vegetation, remove litter and control lakeside erosion in a local forest preserve. These actions have earned us a number of community service awards from several local recreation organizations. Finally, we help support environmental organizations, including The Nature Conservancy and World Wildlife Fund.
AOAC adopts NOW Glucosamine Method
NOW Foods’ glucosamine HPLC method has passed the AOAC’s 2-year validation process to become the fi rst offi cial method for testing the standards of this popular joint health ingredient. It was selected by the expert review panel in April of 2003 as the “best method for further laboratory validation”. It will be published in the Journal of AOAC International and become available to the industry this summer, 2005. “Having NOW’s method for glucosamine become the offi cial AOAC method is a testament to the expertise of our staff, our focus on the science, and our commitment to quality,” said Michael Lelah, technical director of NOW Foods.
DuPage County Forest Preserve District’s Shooting Star Award.
The DuPage County Forest Preserve District of Illinois recently presented NOW Foods their Shooting Star Award at their annual Forest Preserve District volunteer banquet. This award recognizes the long-term efforts that our entire organization has made in order to improve and support the quality of the East Branch Forest Preserve in Glendale Heights, IL. This is also the fi rst time that the District has given this award to a company. As the primary recipient, we look forward to furthering our environmental efforts.
Recapping our 2004 Achievements
Eight 1st Place Vity Awards, from Vitamin Retailer Magazine
United States Department of Commerce Excellence in Export Achievement Award
Nutrition Business Journal’s Effort on Behalf of Industry Award Consumerlab.com Top Rated Brand in Health Food Stores based on Customer Satisfaction Natural Nutritional Foods Association (NNFA) Crusader Award, Elwood Richard Vitamin Retailer Magazine Manufacturer of the Year (2003)
New Frontiers in Enzyme Supplementation
February 16, 2006 04:17 PM
New Frontiers in Enzyme Supplementation
By Nick Rana, CN, NOW Quality Assurance
Serrazimes® is a proteolytic (protein digesting) enzyme system containing protease that is derived from edible non-genetically engineered fungi (Aspergillus oryzae and Aspergillus melleus), that is designed as an alternative for Serrapeptidase (also known as serratio-peptidase and serrapeptase) in dietary supplements used for cardiovascular, anti-inflammatory, respiratory, or immune support.
Serrapeptidase was initially isolated from Serratia marcescens, a potentially pathogenic bacteria found in the gut of the Japanese silkworm. Recognized as a pharmacological agent, Serrapeptidase has wide clinical use in Asia and Europe for the management of assorted inflammatory processes (Rothschild, 1991). In recent years, recognition of the efficacy of the Japanese product has lead to growing interest in the US dietary supplement market.
The product’s efficacy and availability over the internet has fueled its popularity in the US dietary supplement industry, where it is used for anti-inflammatory support, cardiovascular support, respiratory support, and as an adjunct to antibiotic therapy. Recognizing the potential for a "Serrapeptidase-type” enzyme in the U.S. dietary supplement market, the National Enzyme Company developed a protease system that has the same in vitro (lab test) activity as Serrapeptidase, but that is from organisms that have a long history of safe use in dietary supplements. Serrazimes® is the product resulting from this search.
Since the 1960’s, plant and microbial protease enzymes have been studied for their role in the management of inflammation and inflammatory processes. In both animal and human trials, proteolytic enzymes, from a variety of sources, have repeatedly been shown to significantly reduce inflammation resulting from sickness or injury (Ryan, 1967)(Smyth et al, 1967)(Shaw, 1969)(Kumakura et al, 1988)(Lomax, 1999). The earlier research on the anti-inflammatory actions of proteases pointed entirely to their antithrombic and fibrinolytic aspects to explain this phenomenon. However, studies by Parmely (Infect and Immun Sept 1990) and others indicate that, in addition to degrading fibrin, microbial proteases may actually inactivate pro-inflammatory cytokines and to interrupt inflammatory responses.
Persons taking blood thinning or antibiotic medications and those with serious health disorders should consult their medical practitioner prior to taking Serrazimes®. As is the case with most supplements, please consult your doctor about the use of Serrazimes® during pregnancy and lactation.
The Product Development Team at NOW Foods is constantly researching new products like Serrazimes® to provide our customers with the tools that empower them to live healthier lives. Look also for our new unique digestive enzyme formulations from plant sources - backed by laboratory studies - to be introduced in March of 2006.
Serrapeptidase is a selective alkaline metalloprotease enzyme, meaning that it works to activate specific biological systems of mammals and directly degrades or inhibits IgG and IgA immune factors as well as the regulatory proteins á-2-macroglobulin, á-2-antiplasmin, and antithrombin III (Molla et al, 1989)(Maeda and Molla, 1989).
While originally isolated from Serratia marcescens, a bacteria found in the gut of the Japanese silk worm, Serrapeptidase activity is also found in fermentation extracts of Serratia E-15, Aspergillus oryzae, and Aspergillus melleus. (Salamone and Wodzinski, 1997).
The Serrapeptidase activity of this high potency proteolytic (protein digesting) enzyme is determined using a spectrophotometric assay testing procedure that measures the enzyme’s ability to hydrolyze (digest) a standard casein protein substrate. Laboratory analyses have established that Serrazimes® has a 1:1 enzymatic equivalent of Serrapeptidase activity guaranteed to provide 600,000 specialized proteolytic Units per gram, or 20,000 units per capsule.
Anabol Naturals Metabolic Fat Burners
January 07, 2006 01:01 PM
Founded in 1983, Anabol Naturals has been the premier provider of the highest quality pharmaceutical-grade, free form amino acids for 22 years. The Anabol Naturals cutting edge line of free form, amino acid-based formulas in renowned for purity, quality and efficacy by professional and world-class athletes, fitness enthusiasts, health and natural food stores, as well as longevity and wellness specialists.
Driving sales nationally and internationally has been the recognition and recommendation of the Anabol Naturals line for product effectiveness and consumer satisfaction in such leading health bestsellers as Prescription for Nutritional Healing by Phyllis Balch and Healthy Healing by Linda Page.
Anti-Aging and Antioxidant Protection
December 19, 2005 09:50 AM
The most effective antiaging program is one that protects and nourishes all of the vital systems that allow us to age in the first place. Our cell structure, immune system, skin and cognition are most significantly affected by the aging process. These supplements each serve a unique purpose, and have shown great promise in providing the essentials needed to attain longevity and vitality.
Trace Minerals and Migraines
November 16, 2005 12:02 PM
Trace Minerals and Migraines
An increasingly large amount of disease today may be attributable to deficiencies in the supply of trace minerals in our diets.1 How can this be the case when the availability of food in our country is unprecedented, with a supermarket on every corner? These deficiencies do not stem from a lack of quantity of food, rather they stem from the quality of food. Trace minerals can be found mainly in whole, unprocessed foods such as vegetables and fruits. Unfortunately, the large majority of fruits and vegetables found in supermarkets today are nutritionally devoid of these minerals, largely in part to the high-yield farming practices in this and other countries.
The mineral content of food is mainly dependent on the amount of minerals found in the soil in which it is grown. Current farming practices leave soils with less than optimal amounts of these minerals, especially the less common trace minerals. As a result of this, our food supplies leave us at risk for deficiencies of these very important substances. Because of this situation, it is essential that every person now supplement their diet with trace minerals in order to avoid the many diseases that are attributable to this scarcity. A lack of vital nutrients leaves the body unable to function fully, leaving it vulnerable to disease.
Trace minerals have numerous roles. Oftentimes, because these minerals are found in such small quantities in the body, scientists and physicians have paid little attention to their importance in health and disease prevention. However, with the advent of improved science and the recognition of the efficacy of natural medicine, we are beginning to understand how vital these elements are to our health. Trace minerals, in a sense, are akin to the numerous tiny nails, nuts, and bolts that hold a house together. At first glance, a home is made of much more than these items. However, if they are slowly removed and never replaced, the house will continue to sag and finally fall apart. So it is the same with the smallest building blocks of our bodies. Trace minerals are important in the proper functioning of enzyme systems, nerve conduction and muscle function, assisting with transfer of nourishment into cells, providing the framework for tissues, and regulation of organ functions. These ‘behind the scenes’ functions are not possible without a constant, adequate supply of minerals. Even with the many multivitamin and mineral supplements available, most of these products fall short because they do not contain large enough amounts of the trace minerals that are so important to health.
Physicians that specialize in natural medicine are some of the biggest proponents of trace mineral supplementation. This type of physician is attuned to the many subtleties of the functions of the human body, and oftentimes addresses health issues with nutritional therapeutics in an attempt to bring the body’s health back into balance. This process of balance, also known as homeostasis, occurs quite wonderfully all by itself, as long as the body has the proper fuel and building materials. Unfortunately, physicians are seeing more and more diseases, which can be attributed to the body’s inability to achieve this balance. This trend towards ill health is directly related to the dearth of nutritional value in our diets today.
However, practitioners of natural medicine are very excited with the many dramatic turn-arounds toward health that many of their patients have experienced with the use of mineral supplementation. A common example of this is the treatment of migraine headaches with magnesium. Recent statistics suggest that 18 percent of women and six percent of men suffer from migraine and those numbers are increasing.2 The Centers for Disease Control reported a 60-percent increase in the disease from 1980 to 1989.3 Migraine headaches occur when the blood vessels in the brain spasm and constrict. Soon after this constriction occurs, the blood vessels then reflexively open, or dilate. When the vessels become dilated, they occupy more space in the brain, activating nearby pain receptors. It is speculated that an imbalance of mineral stores in the body can lead to this spasm of the blood vessels. Many researchers have suggested magnesium plays an important role in migraine attacks. The activities of magnesium in the body include preventing blood vessel spasm, inhibiting blood clotting, and stabilizing cell membranes, all of which are involved in migraine develoment4. Magnesium concentration exerts an effect on neurotransmitter production and receptors, pro-inflammatory molecules, and other migraine-related chemicals in the brain.5 Recent evidence suggests up to 50 percent of migraine patients have lowered levels of tissue magnesium during an acute migraine attack.6 Another study discovered brain magnesium concentrations were 19 percent lower in patients during migraine attack compared to healthy controls.7 Because recent research strongly indicates a magnesium deficiency in migraine headaches, natural medicine practitioners prescribe magnesium along with other trace minerals as a primary treatment for this condition with great success.
Because of their widespread distribution throughout the metabolic workings of the human body, trace minerals are integral to the functioning of one of the body’s largest organ systems, the muscles. Mainly, magnesium plays a large role in the relaxation of muscles following their contraction. Without this vital nutrient, it would be impossible for the muscles of the human body to function. Muscle cramps are prevalent in western society due to lack of intake of an appropriate amount of minerals. One easy, straightforward cure for muscle cramping is supplementation with magnesium and other trace minerals, as they allow the muscles to function smoothly and correctly. The role of magnesium in relieving cramped muscles also makes it a highly appropriate therapy for the muscle pain associated with fibromyalgia, a condition that is often treated successfully by practitioners of natural medicine. These practitioners often use high doses of magnesium and other trace mineral combinations to reduce the painful and tender muscles that are so common in fibromyalgia patients.
Another condition that is successfully treated with magnesium and trace minerals is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. People with this condition often experience profound muscle aches and weakness. It has been shown that in order for proper muscle contraction and relaxation to occur, magnesium and calcium need to be present in proper amounts in the body, which can be difficult to achieve even on a standard healthy diet. Additionally, magnesium and mineral supplementation may decrease the pain involved with sports-related injuries and excessive physical activity. As we use our muscular system, it is slowly depleted of these minerals, making replacement a top priority. Others signs of magnesium deficiency include disorientation, depression, tingling, numbness, seizures, abnormal heart rhythms in addition to muscle spasms and cramps.8,9
A minimum of at least 60 trace minerals has been demonstrated to be vital to health and well-being.10 This article has covered only a small fraction of the multitudes of health benefits of trace minerals. As science and natural medicine continues to uncover the many roles for all of these trace minerals, doctors are finding exciting solutions to several maladies that may be successfully treated by replacing these nutrients in the body. Unless we begin replacing these minerals early on in life, we put ourselves at risk for the many diseases of mineral deficiency that are becoming more and more prevalent in society today.
1 Medical Nutrition from Marz, 2nd Edition. Omni-Press, 1997. Pps. 103-107
2 Stewart WF, Lipton RB, Celentano DD, et al. Prevalence of migraine headache in the United States: relation to age, income, race, and other sociodemographic factors. JAMA 1992;267:64-69.
3 Rappaport AM, Scheftell FD. Headache Disorders: A Management Guide for Practitioners. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Co.;1996:4.
4 McCarty MF. Magnesium taurate and fish oil for prevention of migraine. Med Hypotheses 1996;47:461-466.
5Sinclair, S. Migraine Headaches: Nutritional, Botanical And Other Alternative Approaches. Alternative Medicine Review - Volume 4, Number 2, April 1999.
6 Mauskop A, Altura BM. Role of magnesium in the pathogenesis and treatment of migraine. Clin Neurosci 1998;5:24-27.
7 Ramadan NM, Halvorson H, Vande-Linde A, et al. Low brain magnesium in migraine. Headache 1989;29:590-593. 8 Rude RK. Magnesium deficiency: A cause of heterogeneous disease in humans. J Bone Miner Res 1998;13:749-58.
9 Institute of Medicine. Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary Reference Intakes: Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Vitamin D and Fluoride. National Academy Press. Washington, DC, 1999.
10 Kelly, GS. Sports Nutrition: A Review of Selected Nutritional Supplements For Bodybuilders and Strength Athletes-Alternative Medicine Review - Volume 2, Number 3, May 1997
STEVIA (Stevia rebaudiana)
July 15, 2005 12:24 PM
STEVIA (Stevia rebaudiana)
SYNONYMS: sweet herb, honey leaf
PARTS USED: leaves
Stevia is a small perennial shrub with green leaves that belongs to the aster (Asteraceae) or chrysanthemum family of plants. They grow primarily in the Amambay mountain range of Paraguay but over 200 various species of stevia have been identified around the globe. Stevia rebaudiana is the only species at present which possesses an inordinate ability to sweeten. Its common form is known as stevioside, a fine white powder extracted from the leaves of the plant. Phytochemistry STEVIOSIDE/REBAUDIDOSIDE COMPOUND DUO: The leaves of the stevia shrub contain specific glycosides which produce a sweet taste but have no caloric value. Stevioside is the primary glycoside involved in this effect. Dulcoside and rebaudioside are also major glycosides contained in the herb. Glycosides are organic compounds which contain a sugar component (glycone) and a non-sugar component (aglycone). The glycone constituent may be comprised of rhamnose, fructose, glucose, xylose, arabinose etc. The other portion may be any kind of chemical compound such as a sterol, tannin, carotenoid, etc.
Stevia leaves also contain protein, fibers, carbohydrates, phosphorus, iron, calcium, potassium, sodium , magnesium, rutin (flavonoid), iron, zinc, vitamin C and vitamin A. Human physiology cannot metabolize the sweet glycosides contained in stevia leaves, therefore they are eliminated from the body with no caloric absorption. Stevia, unlike aspartame, can be used in baking because its sweet glycosides do not break down when heated. Definition Stevia is an herb with incredible sweetening power. Its ability to sweeten is rated between 70 to 400 times that of white sugar. Typically, it has a mild licorice-like taste and is completely natural in its biochemical profile. What makes stevia so intriguing is that unlike other natural sweetening agents, its is completely calorie-free, never initiates a rise in blood sugar, and does not provide “food” for microorganisms like bacterias and yeasts.
Stevia may well be the most remarkable sweetener in the world and yet its recognition in this country remains relatively low. Consider the extraordinary attributes of the stevia plant and its extracts:
A Brief History
Stevia is a plant indigenous to mountainous regions of Brazil and Paraguay. For centuries, this herbal sweetener has been used by native cultures to counteract the bitter taste of various plant-based medicines and beverages. The Guarani Indians of Paraguay have used this potent sweetener in their green tea for generations. The name they designated for stevia leaves was “sweet herb.” In addition, these native peoples have historically used stevia as a digestive aid and a topical dressing for wounds and other skin disorders.
In the sixteenth century, Europeans became aware of the herbal sweetener through the Spanish Conquistadors. In the late 1880s, Moises S. Bertoni, director of the College of Agriculture in Asunción, Paraguay, became extremely intrigued by the stevia plant. Its reputation was that it was so sweet that even just a small leaf part could sweeten an entire container of mate tea. Be rtoni wanted to find out if this was true. After several years of studying the plant, he wrote about it in a local botanical publication. In 1905, Bertoni published an important article about the incredible sweetening power of the stevia plant, which he considered superior to sugar and extremely marketable. Other articles written by Bertoni note that stevia is unquestionably superior to saccharine because it is nontoxic and has significant therapeutic benefits. It sweetens with unprecedented potency and can be used in its natural state.
The first stevia crop was harvested in 1908 and subsequently, stevia plantations sprang up in South America. In 1921, the American Trade Commissioner to Paraguay, George S. Brady, wrote that although the herb is an extraordinary sweetener with remarkable properties, little had been done to commercially cultivate the plant. He suggested that stevia may be an ideal sugar product for diabetics and strongly advised that American companies pursue its importation.
During the decade of the 1970s, the Japanese developed a new method which could better refine the glycosides contained in the stevia leaf. The result was a compound called ste-vioside which is from 200 to 300 times sweeter than white sugar. The Japanese approach artificial sweeteners with great caution and they believe stevioside to be safer and more effect i've than other non-nutritive, chemical products. Stevioside is considered superior in its ability to sweeten; however, it does not exhibit some of the other therapeutic actions found in whole stevia leaves .
Stevia enjoyed substantial popularity during the 1980s as a natural sweetener and was found in a variety of consumer products. In 1986, however, the FDA abruptly seized stevia inventories and in 1991 claimed it was not suitable as a food additive. Advocates for stevia claim this happened because the herb is a natural, powerful, inexpensive and non-patentable sweetener, and therefore poses a threat to pharmaceutical sweeteners and sugar-alcohol sweeteners like mannitol, sorbitol and xylitol. At this writing, stevia has received approval by the FDA to be sold only as a dietary supplement, not as a sweetening agent.
Currently, stevia is commercially grown in Paraguay, Brazil, Uruguay, Central America, Israel, China, Thailand, and the United States. It is considered an important natural sweetener in both Japan and Korea, and has been safely used in these countries for decades. Extracts of stevia and related products make up a considerable portion of the Japanese market for natural sweetening agents. They use stevia in sweet sauces, pickles, beverages, etc., making Japan one of the largest single consumers of stevia in the world. Today, because the demand for stevia is escalating, several Paraguayan organizations are looking to expand the commercial cultivation of the plant. Currently, Canadian researchers and chemists are working to provide even better stevia supplements and may even end up teeming with governmental agencies to raise stevia crops as economic replacements for tobacco leaves (Bonvie, 64). Stevia has not been officially approved by Canadian agencies, but it is still available for purchase in tea form.
America's Most Wanted
June 14, 2005 05:23 PM
America's Most Wanted
by Brian Amherst Energy Times, January 6, 2000
The United States eats well, a little too well, according to experts. Amply supplied with a large supply of high-calorie food, our diets might seem to be chock full of every conceivable nutrient. Well, to the question "Getting all the right vitamins, minerals and other nutrients?" the most appropriate answer seems to be "Not exactly." Eating a lot doesn't equal eating a lot of the most important vitamins and minerals. So, which vitamins and minerals are likely to show up in short supply in the typical American diet? Calcium certainly sits at the top of list. According to the most recent Continuing Survey of Food Intake by Individuals, which is conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), women and girls age 12 and up are not consuming adequate calcium from their diet. Research reveals that about 1200 mg. day suffices for those over age 50 and 1000 mg a day should be adequate if you're between the ages of 19 and 50. Since strong bones are formed during "the first three decades of life," says Laura Bachrach, MD, of Since strong bones are formed during "the first three decades of life," says Laura Bachrach, MD, of Stanford University, ". . .osteoporosis is a pediatric disease." For long-range protection against that bone-weakening disease, kids should eat calcium-rich, low-fat dairy products and plenty of leafy greens (broccoli, cabbage, kale) as well as salmon (with bones), seafood and soy. But the calcium campaign does not end in early adulthood. Bone mass begins to deteriorate at about age 30. Menopausal hormonal changes can exacerbate bone brittleness. Medical conditions, including cancer, liver disease and intestinal disorders; prescription drugs; tobacco and alcohol indulgence; or a decline in activity, especially the weight-bearing kind, also jeopardize bone strength. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, about one in every two American women will break a bone after age 50 due to osteoporosis. That translates into about half a million fractured vertebrae and more than 300,000 shattered hips. Frequently, those breaks are life-threatening.
The critical role of calcium in many body functions is perhaps the most extensively clinically documented among nutrients. Researchers in the Department of Medicine, Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, reviewed epidemiological and clinical studies conducted over the past two years on the relationship between dietary calcium and blood pressure (J Am Coll Nutr October 1999: 398S-405S). "Nearly 20 years of investigation in this area has culminated in remarkable and compelling agreement in the data," the researchers report, "confirming the need for and benefit of regular consumption of the recommended daily levels of dietary calcium." Investigators at the State University of New York, Buffalo School of Dental Medicine, presented results of their studies of calcium and vitamin C and gum disease at the June 26, 1998 meeting of the International Association for Dental Research. Two separate inquiries revealed that people who consumed too little calcium as young adults, and those with low levels of vitamin C in their diets, appear to have nearly twice the risk of developing periodontal disease later in life than folks with higher dietary levels of either nutrient.
Calcium: Much Documented Researchers offer extensive evidence of calcium's benefits on many fronts: n Osteoporosis poses a threat to older men as well as women, according to Randi L. Wolf, PhD, research associate at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. Dr. Wolf presented her award-winning study to an October 3, 1999 meeting of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research. Dr. Wolf suggests that men increase their consumption of calcium, particularly after age 80, to avoid age-related declines in the amount of calcium absorbed. According to Dr. Wolf, "It appears that the hormonal form of vitamin D, which is the main regulator of intestinal calcium absorption, may have an important role. We are conducting more research to better understand the reasons for why calcium absorption declines with age in men." n Scientists at Tufts University in Boston did some earlier work on the calcium-vitamin D connection and reported it in the September 4, 1997 New England Journal of Medicine. Using the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) increased recommended daily intake of 1200 milligrams of calcium and 400 to 600 international units of vitamin D for people over 50, the Tufts researchers found that with supplementation of the nutrients, men and women 65 and older lost significantly less body bone and, in some cases, gained bone mineral density. n Two studies published in American Heart Association journals show that atherosclerosis and osteoporosis may be linked by a common problem in the way the body uses calcium. The September 1997 Stroke revealed that, in a group of 30 postmenopausal women 67 to 85 years old, bone mineral density declined as atherosclerotic plaque increased. Researchers reporting in Circulation (September 15, 1997) advanced the theory that the osteoporosis-atherosclerosis connection may be related to a problem in handling calcium. n For people who had colon polyps removed, taking calcium supplements decreased the number of new polyps by 24% and cut the risk of recurrence by 19%, according to researchers at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, School of Medicine. The study, published in the January 14, 1999 New England Journal of Medicine, was a first in crediting calcium with anti-cancer properties.
The D Factor
Without adequate vitamin D, your absorption of calcium slips and bone loss can accelerate, increasing the risk for fractures. Fifty percent of women with osteoporosis hospitalized for hip fractures at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston had a previously undetected vitamin D deficiency (Journal of the American Medical Association, April 28, 1999). University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute researchers told participants at the April 14, 1997 meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research that vitamin D "significantly inhibits highly metastatic, or widespread, prostate cancer in animals," suggesting its potential for treating men with similar conditions. Few foods that Americans eat, except dairy, contain much vitamin D, but we can usually synthesize sufficient amounts from as few as five minutes' exposure to the sun. But as skin ages, its ability to act as a vitamin D factory decreases. According to Michael F. Holick, the director of the Vitamin D, Skin and Bone Research Laboratory at Boston University Medical Center, upwards of 40% of the adult population over age 50 that he sees in his clinic are deficient in vitamin D. Recently, the National Academy of Sciences (the official body that decrees the required amounts of necessary nutrients) increased the daily recommendations of vitamin D to 600 IU for people over 71, 400 IU for those aged 51 to 70 and 200 IU for people under 50. The best dietary sources, apart from dependable supplements, are dairy and fatty fish like salmon. Four ounces of salmon provide about 300 IU.
The Facts About Fats
The American lust for low-fat, high-carbohydrate diets filled with sugary foods has exploded into nothing short of "obsession," according to experts at the General Research Center at Stanford University Medical Center (Am J Clin Nutr 70, 1999: 512S-5S). That mania oftens robs us of the crucial balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids typical of the Mediterranean diet that protect us from heart disease by controlling cholesterol and making blood less likely to form clots. These fatty acids cannot be made by the body but are critical for health: n Omega-3 fatty acid (linolenic acid) comes from fresh, deepwater fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines) and vegetable oils such as canola, flaxseed and walnut. n Omega-6 fatty acid (linoleic acid) found primarily in raw nuts, seeds and legumes and in saturated vegetable oils such as borage, grape seed, primrose, sesame and soybean. The American Heart Association recommends limiting total fat consumption to 30% of daily calories. Saturated fats like those in dairy and meat products as well as vegetable oil should comprise 10% of total calories; total unsaturated fat (fish oils, soybean, safflower nuts and nut oils) should be restricted to 20 to 22% of daily calories.
Be Sure About B12
Vitamin B12 presents a particular problem for the elderly because older digestive systems often don't secrete enough stomach acid to liberate this nutrient from food. (The elderly have no problem absorbing B12 from supplements, because it's not bound to food.) Vitamins generally moderate the aging process but, ironically, that process and the diseases that frequently accompany it affect vitamin metabolism (Schweiz Rundsch Med Prax 83, 1994: 262-6). And because of those changes, we need more of certain vitamins. This is the case for vitamins D, B6, riboflavin and B12. Crucial for health, B12 is necessary to prevent anemia, and, according to recent studies, needed (along with folate and B6) to help stave off heart disease. B12, with thiamine and niacin, boosts cognition (Adv Nutr Res 7, 1985: 71-100). Screening for vitamin B12 deficiency and thyroid disease is cheap and easy and can prevent conditions such as dementia, depression or irreversible tissue damage (Lakartidningen 94, 1997: 4329-32). In the January 5-12, 1999 issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, the AHA urged doctors to screen levels of homocysteine (the amino acid byproduct of protein digestion that damages arteries, causes heart disease and, possibly, strokes) in patients at high risk for heart disease. They also recommended all Americans to up their daily levels of vitamins B6 and B12, as well as folic acid. Since fruits, vegetables or grains lack B12, vegetarians need B12 supplements. And they're a good idea for the rest of us, too.
Folic Acid Benefits
Folic acid made headlines in the early 1990s when the U.S. Public Health Service declared that "to reduce the frequency of neural tube defects [spina bifida, or open spine, and anencephaly, a lethal defect of the brain and skull] and their resulting disability, all women of childbearing age in the United States who are capable of becoming pregnant should consume .4 milligrams (400 micrograms) of folic acid per day." This recommendation followed voluminous research that showed taking folic acid was associated with a significantly reduced risk of birth defects. (The advisory is based on the fact that nearly half of all pregnancies are unplanned. If you think you are pregnant, consult your health practitioner for supplementary advice.)
A Team Player
Folic acid's efficacy intensifies when it works with other nutrients. Among many studies on the preventive powers of folic acid on birth defects, one published in The New England Journal of Medicine (327, Dec. 24, 1992: 1,832-1,835), disclosed an even greater decrease in neural tube defects when supplements of folic acid contained copper, manganese, zinc and vitamin C. As a warrior against homocysteine, folic acid joins the battalion of B12 and B6 in detoxifying this harmful protein. At the University of Washington's Northwest Prevention Effectiveness Center, researchers recently analyzed 38 published studies of the relationship between folic acid, homocysteine and cardiovascular disease and, according to associate professor Shirley A. Beresford, MD, folic acid and vitamin B12 and B6 deficiencies can lead to a buildup of homocysteine.
Canadian researchers reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association (275, 1996: 1893-1896) that men and women with low folic acid have a 69% increase in the risk of fatal coronary heart disease. This 15-year study of more than 5,000 people stressed the need for dietary supplementation of folic acid. Folic acid also has been credited with the potential to protect against cancers of the lungs, colon and cervix. It appears to help reverse cervical dysplasia, the precursor cells to cervical cancer, especially for women taking oral contraceptives, which may cause a localized deficiency of folic acid in the cells of the cervix. According to Shari Lieberman, PhD, and Nancy Bruning, authors of The Real Vitamin & Mineral Book (Avery), folic acid derivatives work with neurotransmitters, the chemicals that permit signals to be sent from nerve fiber to nerve fiber. A lack of folic acid can cause some nervous-system disorders, such as depression, schizophrenia and dementia; it also may be related to some forms of mental retardation. Other supporting roles of folic acid, according to researchers: the formation of normal red blood cells, important for preventing the type of anemia characterized by oversized red blood cells; strengthening and improving white blood cell action against disease; limiting production of uric acid, the cause of gout.
The Best Sources
Many foods are rich in folic acid: beef, lamb, pork and chicken liver, spinach, kale and beet greens, asparagus, broccoli, whole wheat and brewer's yeast. But experts believe that only 25 to 50% of the folic acid in food is bioavailable. Processing also reduces an estimated 50 to 90% of its content. Folic acid supplementation overcomes these obstacles with little risk, as it has no known toxicity. Women taking folic acid who are current or former users of oral contraceptives may require additional zinc. And be sure to augment your folic acid supplement with its synergistic counterpart, vitamin B12.
Focus on Fiber
The American Heart Association came out squarely behind fiber in a June 16, 1997 issue of its journal Circulation: Double your daily intake to lower cholesterol and the risk of heart disease. The American diet is consistently low in fiber, notes Linda Van Horn, PhD, RD, author of the article. Twenty-five to 30 grams a day from foods (or supplements) are not only heart healthy but seem to aid weight control.
Getting enough iron? An estimated 25% of adolescent girls in the United States are iron deficient, according to an October 12, 1996 issue of the British medical journal The Lancet, which reported that girls who took iron supplements performed significantly better on verbal tests than those who took a placebo. "Teenage girls should be regularly tested for iron deficiency because rapid growth and the onset of menstruation during puberty increase the body's need for iron," says Ann Bruner, MD, of the Johns Hopkins Children's Center and a lead author of the study.USDA data reveal that women up to age 50 also tend to get much less than recommended levels of iron, a lack of which leads to anemia, a deficiency of red blood cells, hemoglobin or volume of blood. For kids, deficiency is more common from six months to four years and during the rapid growth spurts of adolescence when the body is growing so quickly that the body's iron stores may sink to dangerous levels. Vegetarian women run the greatest risk for deficiency, as meat is iron-rich; foods like beans, grains and vegetables also contain some iron. Supplements, of course, supply easily absorbable iron. And to absorb iron from vegetarian sources, take vitamin C with your meals. That boosts the amount of this mineral you will take in. Bear in mind, however, that certain folks-older men and post-menopausal women-generally have adequate dietary supplies of iron. Of greater concern, in fact, is excessive iron, and for these folks iron-free multivitamin and mineral supplements are available.
Ante Up the Antioxidants
Antioxidant nutrients help protect the body from oxygen-scavenging molecules called free radicals. The products of pollution, the body's own metabolic processes and other sources, free radicals are linked to heart disease, cancer and other chronic health problems. The most important antioxidants, which include vitamin C, E, beta carotene, and selenium, are often lacking in the American diet. Plus, optimal amounts of vitamin E cannot be consumed from food. You need supplements. The bottom line: even though we live in a land of plenty, you can still miss vital nutrients. So make sure to consume these vital substances.
Source of Missing Nutrients In the search for the nutrients missing from America's diet, one big help is the sprout. The sprout is truly one of nature's heavyweights: fresh, tiny and moist, its power punch of vitamins, minerals, protein, chlorophyll and disease-busting phytochemicals land it in a weight class far beyond that of its full-grown competitors. Size does NOT matter to this nutritional giant. A championship belt currently wraps around the miniscule broccoli sprout, catapulted into the ring by Paul Talalay, MD, professor of pharmacology and molecular sciences at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Talalay discovered that the seedlings contain substantially more of the cancer-fighting substance sulforaphane than mature plants (Proc. Natnl. Acad. Sci. USA, 94, 10367-10372). Sprouts, the quintessential health food of the Sixties, provide a wonderfully varied and versatile way to get your daily greens. Raw or cooked, strong or mild, vegetable and grass sprouts and their algae cousins add low-calorie texture to recipes and a rich, diverse complement of nutrients and fiber.
Ancient Asia to the Modern Lab
Asians stir-fried sprouts as one of the earliest fast foods as long as 5,000 years ago. The ancient Chinese relied on sprouts for year-round vegetables in colder regions of their vast country. Today, researchers studying sprouts and adult plants have identified their important chemoprotective and other health-bolstering substances. In Paul Talalay's research project at Johns Hopkins, scientists found that three-day-old broccoli sprouts contain up to 50 times more sulforaphane than mature plants, which prompts the body to produce an enzyme that prevents cancer tumors from forming. Uniform levels of the compound saturate the shoots, unlike the chemically uneven adult plants. The Brassica family of broccoli and cabbage is richly endowed with phytochemicals that also help reduce estrogen levels associated with breast cancer. Other phytochemical compounds in the Brassica family are associated with the prevention of stomach and lung cancers. Most of the initial landmark work on phytochemicals' cancer-fighting powers has taken place since 1989 under the aegis of the National Cancer Institute's "Designer Food Program," which isolated, for example, the isoflavones in beans that seem to neutralize cancer-gene enzymes.
Strong Suit: Soy and Spirulina
The isoflavones and phytosterols in soy produce an estrogenic effect that appears to relieve menopausal symptoms and help prevent breast cancer. Soy foods expert Mark Messina, PhD, has done extensive work on the subject, some of which has been published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute 83, 1991: 541-6. Researchers also have synthesized a bone-strengthening form of soy isoflavones called ipriflavone, following impressive clinical trials in the treatment of osteoporosis (American Journal of Medicine, 95 [Suppl. 5A] (1993): 69S-74S). Spirulina and other micro-algae are fascinating organisms that inhabit a niche between the plant and animals kingdoms. Named for its tiny spirals, spirulina, a blue-green algae, grows in saline lakes but is cultured for maximum nutritional content. In her book Whole Foods Companion (Chelsea Green), Dianne Onstad notes that spirulina contains "the highest sources of protein, beta carotene and nucleic acids of any animal or plant food." Its nucleic acids, she says, benefit cellular regeneration; its fatty acids, especially GLA and omega-3 acids, make it one of the most complete foods. Sprouts, like any other produce, should be rinsed thoroughly before serving. People at high risk for bacterial illness-young children, the very elderly or folks with weakened immune systems-should limit their consumption of raw sprouts. But no matter how you eat them, you may find more spring in your step from these tiny, sprouting nutritional wonders.
Basics of the Immune System
June 10, 2005 03:01 PM
Basics of the Immune System
by Leonid G. Ber, MD Energy Times, September 1, 1998
In a world filled with pathogens and microbes, good health and resistance to disease is no accident. It requires a vigorous and vigilant immune system. The immune system should be viewed as an internal security force that is constantly checking the identity of everything entering and already existing in the body. A cell or substance may be recognized as "non-self" and a potential enemy if it does not have the right molecular make-up. A cell displaying molecules produced according to a different blueprint than the body's own code may be recognized as foreign. To eliminate alien material that may harm the body, the immune system must take swift action.
Recognizing entities that originate outside the self forms the key to overall immune system response. This key is carried in the body by cells called macrophages (ma-kro-fajs), a name derived from a Greek term meaning "big eater." Macrophages eat or engulf foreign cells and molecules. When a macrophage encounters something that it distinguishes as being "non-self" or abnormal, it can attack the enemy with a series of assault weapons, including free-radicals (reactive substances) and enzymes, that dissolve and weaken the intruder. In fact, an enzyme produced by macrophages called lysozyme is recognized as one of nature's most powerful anti-infective agents. These chemical defenses, along with engulfment and complete digestion by macrophages, can effectively stymie invasion by disease-causing pathogens.
Harmful invasion can originate in the body's own cells as well as begin from outside sources. While we are constantly exposed to bacteria, viruses, fungal cells and parasites, destructive cancerous growths often start within the body.
Every day, thousands of the body's cells mutate into possible cancers. Under most circumstances, the immune system keeps these cells under control. But when the immune "security" system slips up, these harmful growths multiply unrecognized.
The initial immune response that recognizes invaders is called a "non-specific defense mechanism" since this immune response is generally the same toward all invaders. This counter-attack entails battling every invader pretty much identically: a macrophage can engage, dissolve, weaken, engulf, digest, eliminate. However, if, despite the initial immune efforts, the problem persists, a macrophage can tag an invader and "introduce" it to the rest of the immune system, thus recruiting more specialized types of immune cells to enter the battle. This tagging function endows macrophages with the name "antigen-presenting cells." (Antigens are substances that can provoke specific responses by the immune system.)
Most antigens are proteins. Proteins are relatively large molecules made of smaller units called amino acids. The specific geometric organization of amino acids is what conveys uniqueness to each protein. (Your genetic code forms a blueprint for the production of your own, individual proteins.) Protein molecules produced by one human being can act as an antigen for another human being. That's why organs transplanted from one person to another can be rejected by the immune system. Unless organs are transplanted from one identical twin to another (who share the genetic blueprint for protein creation), doctors must use immune-suppressing drugs to curtail organ rejection. At the same time as these medicines prevent transplant rejection, they also make people more susceptible to infectious diseases and cancer.
After one set of immune cells chemically tags antigens (invaders) for recognition, other highly specialized parts of the immune system go into action: Cells called T cells or T lymphocytes acknowledge the invaders and can take the further action (second line of defense) that is necessary to render them harmless.
T cells get their name from the thymus (an organ located behind the sternum) where they originate. The thymus, most active when we're young, usually shrinks and apparently slows or shuts down its activity about the age of forty.
A wide variety of T cells inhabit lymph nodes (soft, usually round, pea- or nut-sized organs) and other body areas. For instance, natural killer cells, as their name implies, are a particularly aggressive type of T cell. Another type of T cell is called T helper (a cell that supports development of immune response). T suppressors halt immune response when infection ends.
In order to make all these different cells work in concert, cytokines or messenger molecules are produced that facilitate constant communications between all the parts of the immune system.
The B Team
Other organs of the immune system include:
*bone marrow: a powerful cell producing organ where the majority of immune cells are born;
*spleen: an abdominal organ that forms a reservoir for the production of immune cells.
Lymph nodes oversee particular segments of the body where they collect and recycle tissue fluids. Like an early warning system, lymph nodes react when an invader is detected in the part of the body that it controls.
Yet another step in the so-called immune cascade entails action by lymphocytes, called B cells, which originate in the bone marrow. These cells produce antibodies which are immune proteins (immunglobulins) that attack specific antigens.
While traveling in the blood, an antibody can bind to an antigen, curtailing its harmful action. This bound up molecule forms a complex easily recognized by scavenging macrophages which make a quick meal out of the unlucky invader.
After enemy cells are removed from the body, knowledge of this victory resides in the immunological memory prolonging your resistance toward specific disease pathogens indefinitely. That's why someone who has recovered from a disease like the measles may be impervious to reinfection.
Rules for Optimum Immunity
Even though the immune system consists of a complex team of hard-working cells, enhancing your immunity is relatively easy:
Maintain a healthy lifestyle. Avoid continuous stress and negative emotions or cope with them through exercise or meditation. Consistent, moderate exercise can boost the immune system. Massage can also help although extreme care must be taken when inflammation or disease is already present.
Sleep 7-8 hours a day. Sleep allows the body to recover and rebuild. Protein synthesis, vital for a healthy immune system, increases during the night.
Stick to a healthy diet. Your immune system consists of trillions of cells. Consequently, nutrients important for cell health boost the immune system. A balanced low-calorie diet rich in complex carbohydrates, "good" fats (including fish oils, olive oil and flaxseed oil) along with vitamins, minerals and phytonutrient antioxidants from fresh fruits and vegetables can fortify immune cells. Plus, drinking plenty of water helps improve circulation of lymph fluid.
These recommendations are not hard to meet once they become a part of your daily routine. However, extra immune security may be necessary during flu season, while traveling long distances (airplanes are notorious sources of pathogens) or when working extensive hours in front of a computer screen. In addition, exposure to x-rays, immunosuppressive chemicals, ultraviolet radiation (the sun) or simply aging may give your immune cells extra burdens.
Your "specific" immune system does not respond immediately to the challenge of invasion by an infectious organism. Instead, it may require about 2 weeks for an effective reaction after antigen recognition and alerting T cells. During this period, the macrophages' non-specific defense assumes a crucial role in keeping infection in check.
Enhanced activity by macrophages is especially important for recognizing and destroying cancer cells. The most dangerous cancers are those that can mimic normal cells and avoid the immune system's wrath. Few substances can activate macrophage function in the body (aloe vera contains substances that contribute to this process). The most powerful macrophage activator recognized by the scientific community is a sugar-like substance called beta-1,3-D-glucan. Beta-glucan, extracted from the cell walls of common Baker's yeast, when taken in certain small amounts, can prevent infection by making macrophages more active in recognizing and attacking infectious bacteria, fungi and certain viruses.
This kind of activation can encourage macrophages to attack previously unrecognized tumor cells. As a result, tumors may be eradicated as the immune system mobilizes and produces what may be known as "spontaneous healing."
When a macrophage works overtime fighting disease, its demand for nutrients and energy increases dramatically. Vitamin C, known for its immune supporting function, seems to be especially important for maintaining fully active macrophages. Vitamin C collects in macrophages, often reaching forty times the concentration found in surrounding blood. What are conventionally considered normal amounts of vitamin C in the body may be insufficient to keep macrophages well supplied with this antioxidant. Therefore, extra amounts of vitamin C can keep the immune system in fighting trim.
Scientists are only now beginning to uncover the secrets of the highly organized immune system. One thing's certain: The immunity security team depends on proper lifestyle, nutrition and supplements to maintain the critical defenses necessary for good health.
Dr. Ber received his doctorate in internal medicine from the Yaroslavle, State Medical Institute in Yaroslavle, Russia.
Improove Memory ...
June 09, 2005 05:49 PM
Mesmerizing Memory by Cal Orey Energy Times, January 1, 1999
In the 60s, the same rock 'n' rollers who belted out "One pill makes you larger and one pill makes you small," often espoused the belief that certain pills could expand the mind. While counter-culture pill purveyors were pilloried for their pill-popping claims, 90s nutritional research has uncovered a stash of supplements that may amplify mental improvement.
Like a blues singer bending a high note, researchers are now humming with dramatic assertions that certain nutritional supplements can sustain and enhance concentration and memory function. For instance, studies reveal possible benefits for cognitive powers from vitamin C, magnesium and Ginkgo biloba. A recent report in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA 278:1327-1332) said that an extract of Ginkgo biloba "can stabilize and, in some cases, improve the cognitive function and social behavior of demented patients."
A researcher in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences noted that a daily dose of vitamin E may "help protect the brain and its memories from the ravages of time." And the beat goes on: other evidence indicates that zinc, iron and boron may pump up short-term memory attention span and cut the time it takes to perform mental tasks.
Lester Packer, PhD, professor of molecular and cell biology at UC Berkeley, told a joint 1996 United Nations-World Health Organization conference on Aging that "there is a growing body of evidence indicating that the free radical theory of aging and aging-related disease is valid," and that dietary and supplemental antioxidants can help fight illness and mental deterioration.
Vitamin E and other memory aids are believed to protect brain chemicals called neurotransmitters, "the ferrymen of the brain's communication system," that influence concentration and memory. Experts say that sustaining the level of these nerve chemicals in the brain can potentially improve all mental processes.
Too much alcohol, for example, commonly causes progressive mental decline, according to Secrets of the Superyoung (Villard) by David Weeks and Jamie James. The authors also point out that "the memory tends to worsen noticeably after 15 years of alcohol drinking, and much sooner in people who go on massive binges."
"The effects of cigarette smoke are subtler because the poisonous effects of carbon monoxide in each puff are temporarily offset by the alerting effects of the nicotine," they add. Can't remember the name of that singer cavorting in a music video? Tests have shown that smokers are worse at connecting peoples' names to their faces than nonsmokers.
n Learn something new: A second language, musical instrument, or unique puzzles and games keep neurons working like new.
n Turn off the TV: Read. Studies show that passively watching TV requires less concentration than eating cereal. Mental rejuvenation also requires physical activity. Exercise increases oxygen flow to the brain, which supports memory, concentration and cognition. One study has shown that exercise significantly brightened the moods of middle-aged and older women, regardless of whether they were pre- or post-menopausal, with or without hormone replacement therapy.
Supplemental Brain Help
Antioxidants, including the previously mentioned vitamin E (You haven't forgotten vitamin E already, have you?), provide crucial help for vigorous cerebral function. The free radicals created by tobacco smoke, air pollution, ultraviolet light and certain carcinogenic chemicals deconstruct cell membranes and may foster microscopic brain cell havoc. Antioxidant enzymes convert free radicals to more neutral, benign substances and nutritional antioxidants can neutralize free radicals by linking up with them.
Vitamin C, a brainy antioxidant all star, performs so well that, according to Dr. Khalsa, its levels in the brain are almost 15 times higher than in other parts of the body. This nutrient, he asserts, aids mental and physical longevity. In a UCLA study, people who ingested at least 300 mg of vitamin C daily lived more than six years longer than those who ingested less.
Added to this mix, magnesium also scavenges free-radicals, according to Dr. Khalsa. Plus, experts recommend grape seed extract (phytochemicals that protect a wide range of cellular structures) to safeguard nerve cells and mental capacity.
B Vitamins for the Mind
Boron plays a crucial part in mental function. Scientists at the USDA's Human Nutrition Research Center have linked boron deficiencies to chronic lethargy and fatigue. In brain studies, they found that the electrical activity of the gray matter in the boron deficient indicated increased drowsiness and mental sluggishness.
HupA basically protects the brain from free radical damage (due to low levels of antioxidant defenses) and maintains or enhances crucial neurotransmitter action. More specifically, HupA helps reduce the breakdown of acetylcholine, the vital neurotransmitter, and makes this substance more bioavailable. In addition, HupA helps make choline accessible to the brain for the synthesis of acetylcholine, according to a study in Neuropharmacology (30, 1991: 763-768).
Normally, the brain manufactures sufficient levels of the chemical phosphatidylserine, a lecithin-derivative that helps boost neurotransmitter release, but deficiencies of vitamin B12 and folic acid, or of essential fatty acids, may retard that production. Low levels of phosphatidylserine in the brain are related to impaired mental function and depression in the elderly. Scientists reporting in Aging (5, 1993; 123-33) describe "good results" using phosphatidylserine in the treatment of age-related cognitive ills.
Ginkgo Brain Power
Another ingredient in what seems like an alphabet-soup of brain nourishment is DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), an omega-3 fat essential for normal brain function. Researchers met recently at The New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center's Nutrition Information Center to discuss "Keeping Your Brain in Shape: New Insights into DHA." Their findings revealed links between low levels of DHA and Alzheimer's, depression, memory loss, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and certain behavioral traits including aggression and hostility.
Researchers from the National Institutes of Health point out, however, that fish is an excellent dietary source of DHA. In their studies, they discovered that depression rates in Japan and Taiwan, where fish ranks a top spot on the menu, are significantly lower than in North America and Europe.
DHA also is crucial to the neurological development of children, according to findings published in Pediatrics (vol. 101, no. 1, January 1998). Researchers suggest that DHA-rich breast milk should be the model for infant formulas that enhance babies' neurological development. Scientists also have correlated some behavioral problems in children-ADHD, for example-to DHA deficiencies.
If you are a vegetarian, or have other cause for concern about a potential lack of DHA in your diet, you can rely on dietary supplementation of DHA. Bruce J. Holub, PhD, of the University of Guelph in Canada provided vegetarians in his research project with DHA supplements over a 42-day period and substantially increased their DHA blood levels.
The bottom line to enhanced mental performance is to take a balanced approach, says Robert Snider, MD, who specializes in preventive medicine in Massena, New York. "Maintaining brain power includes exercise, stress reduction and good nutrition." The message to keep in mind: Don't lose your nutritional balance or you could lose a piece of your peace of mind.
Recommended Reading: & Brain Builders (Reward Books, 1995), by Richard Leviton.
Brain Longevity (Warner Books, 1997), by Dharma Singh Khalsa, MD.
Omega 3 Oils to Improve Mental Health, Fight Degenerative Diseases and Extend Life (Avery, 1996), by Donald Rudin, MD, and Clara Felix.
Successful Aging (Pantheon, 1998), by John W. Rowe, MD, and Robert L. Kahn, PhD.
Multiple - Why take them?
June 09, 2005 08:52 AM
When designing supplements to provide the foundation of a complete nutritional program, Source Naturals devoted extensive research to making sure you get the most out of the nutrients you consume. We took into account a key factor other such products have overlooked: the fact that our bodies are challenged by living in the modern world.
We are constantly exposed to stresses our evolutionary ancestors never faced: a daily barrage of pollutants in our air, our water, even our food supply. In recognition of this fact, Source Naturals has created products that not only supply essential nutrients, but also support our key organ of detoxification: the liver.
Why Take A Multiple?
The advantage of taking a high-quality multiple, rather than taking individual nutrients, is that nutrients often enhance the absorption and/or function of other nutrients. In other words, nutrients work together. The list of nutrient interactions in the body is seemingly endless. For example, vitamin C dramatically enhances the absorption of iron. Vitamin D enhances calcium absorption and reduces excretion of calcium by the kidneys. Magnesium and calcium have complementary actions, with both playing a role in neuromuscular transmission and activity as well as bone metabolism. Vitamin B-5 is crucial in metabolizing amino acids and plays a role in converting the amino acid tyrosine into the neurotransmitters epinephrine, norepinephrine and dopamine. And the list goes on. Many antioxidant nutrients in the body have synergistic relationships as well. For example, the amino acid N-acetyl cysteine and vitamin B-2 work together. N-acetyl cysteine is an acetylated amino acid that is an antioxidant in its own right and also a precursor to another potent antioxidant, glutathione. Glutathione is a key player in redox reactions in the body?a repeating loop of chemical reactions in which glutathione is shuttled back and forth between its oxidized and reduced states. In its reduced form (GSH), glutathione is a potent antioxidant. After scavenging free radicals, glutathione becomes oxidized (GSSG). But, by using a coenzyme form of vitamin B-2 called flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD), the body can convert glutathione back into its reduced state so it can continue to scavenge free radicals.
In a similar fashion, alpha-lipoic acid recycles the antioxidant vitamins C and E. And the mineral selenium performs similar functions in the body as vitamin E, as well as regenerating oxidized vitamin E.