Search Term: " Connecive "
Research uncovers brand new benefits of vitamin C
April 16, 2019 10:54 AM
Vitamin C remains a common supplement that people take when sick. As an antioxidant, vitamin C helps keep skin, bones, and connective tissue healthy. What's more, a recent study conducted by Deakin University claims that vitamin C also helps those with diabetes. The study included thirty one participants, employed a placebo to test against, and lasted nine months. It's results implied that taking vitamin C twice daily lower blood sugar levels and kept them more stable. Researchers hope to repeat the study with a larger sample size in the future.
"A study by Deakin University has concluded that a twice-daily dose of 500 milligrams of vitamin C can lower elevated blood-sugar levels across the day and reduce blood-sugar spikes after meals in people with type-2 diabetes."
Read more: https://thenewdaily.com.au/life/wellbeing/2019/02/11/vitamin-c-health-benefits/
7 Proven uses of lavender essential oil
February 18, 2019 01:38 PM
If you aren't aware of the healing powers of lavender essential oil, prepare for some exciting surprises. Many people know how amazing the lavender essential oil smells and that it promote relaxation. But , they don't know its many other great uses. Did you know that the oil can help treat ulcers and yeast infections or that it can help improve your sleep? These are a few of the many benefits that you get when using lavender essential oil!
"Its medicinal use can be traced back to more than 2,500 years ago where it was widely used in traditional Chinese medicine."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-02-13-7-proven-uses-of-lavender-essential-oil.html
Did You Know That Coconuts Are Healthy? If Not, Then Check This Out!
December 15, 2016 02:59 PM
Coconut meat is the rich white lining that is contained within the shell of a coconut. Coconut meat can be juicy and tender, or slightly thick and crunchy, to tough and fibrous depending on how long the kernel has been stored. Though coconut only grows in tropical regions of the world, it is now widely available in the American consumer market. And this is a fortunate thing as eating food products derived from coconut like coconut oil and coconut meat on a regular basis has profound positive effects to your overall health.
"Coconut also contains short-chain fatty acids and medium-chain fatty acids that have amazing benefits."
The Benefits of Vitamin C Related to Skin, Nutrition & Health
December 05, 2016 07:59 AM
Vitamin C is one of many essential nutrients that our bodies require to function properly. The list of benefits of getting the proper amount of this vitamin is quite long. Some of the main effects of vitamin C include stimulating the immune system to avoid illness and help in collagen production to discourage signs of aging and maintain connective tissues. Many foods can have vitamin C artificially added these days, so it’s important to read labels. Foods that naturally provide this wonder-supplement include citrus fruits, green vegetables, strawberries, milk, and potatoes.
"Vitamin C or L-ascorbic acid or L-ascorbate is an necessary nutrient for humans and certain other animal species, in which it functions as a vitamin."
What Are Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) And What Herbs Contain Them?
Glycosaminoglycans refers to a linear unbranched polysacharide chain molecule composed of disaccharides repeats with a high negative charge due to the presence of Uronic acid components and sulfate esters with some hydoxyl (OH) groups as part of its structural components. They have varying molecular size and sulfation depending on the tissue they are located on and their state. They function to attract cations and maintain the hydration of the extracellular membrane (E.C.M).
Glycoaminoglycans are classified into different groups based on different categories which include; glycosidic linkages in their structure, type of the sugar moiety, sulphate groups numbers and the location of the sulfate groups. Based on this various classification categories six major groups of GAGs exists, namely; heparin, hyaluronan, dermatan sulfate, heparin sulfate, chondroitin sulfate, and keratan sulfate.
GAGs have a high solvation degree and and are as well highly viscous. This is beneficial to the body in that it helps to cushion and lubricate various connective tissues and body joints respectively. It therefore protects an individual from joint pains due to poor lubrication of the joints causing the bone to slide over each other. They also form the building blocks of proteoglycans which are the major building blocks of the extracellular matrix. Due to this property they are vital in determining the cellular activities such as cell division because the cell division machinery has to attach itself to the extracellular matrix before the division process is initiated. Some body tissues such as the nerve cells and the muscle cells require continuous cell division to replace worn out cells for the normal functioning. This means that structural deformities in the extracellular matrix will hinder the division process to occur and is most likely to lead to some neurodegenerative complexions.
Recent studies have linked GAGs to play a role in the cell biology of cancer.They have been established as the key macromolecules affecting cell properties and functions through interaction with key growth factors or by acting directly as receptor molecules. Through this it has been findings they play a vital role in the cell signaling process thus playing a role in the cancer disease progression.Heparin and heparin sulfate have been indicated through studies to have anti-tumor effects by preventing the process of angiogenesis which is the first step in cancer metastasis.Some have been associated with anti-coagulant properties.
Therefore GAGs are important molecules which play a vital role in protection against various forms of cancers. GAGs aremostly obtained from animal sources. The animal sources include shark fish and ray skeletons. Plants are also sources of GAGs, however their digestion by the human system is not possible. Seaweed is one herb that is rich in GAGs. However as earlier explain the digestion of the sea weed by the animal digestive system is quite a challenge. It is therefore recommended that we eat foods rich in proteins, and carbohydrates which can be used to synthesize GAGs in the body.
In summary, GAGs are heteropolymers which acts as the building blocks of the extracellular matrix in animals. The body has the ability to synthesize GAGs naturally hence nutritional supplement is required for the body to obtain key components necessary for the synthesis.
How Important Is It To Take A Trace Mineral Supplement And Why?
September 07, 2014 05:38 PM
What is Trace Minerals
Trace minerals are the essential minerals for proper functioning of our bodies. Trace minerals are zinc, calcium, copper, fluoride, iodine, iron, selenium, etc., the best way to get these minerals is through a diet rich in nutrients. The modern busy lifestyle prevents us from obtaining these minerals, also modern diets, have led to a deficiency in some of the most essential minerals. That is why a proper trace mineral supplementation is necessary for optimal health.
Most important trace minerals are:
Zinc is a mineral found in meat, poultry, beans, nuts, seafood. The recommended daily intake for adult males is 11 mg and 8 mg for female. Zinc deficiency leads to slow recovery of injuries, diarrhea in children, stunted growth; it may disrupt the thyroid functioning, low levels of testosterone. Zinc is necessary for the immune system, it cures the common cold faster, and it is used for Attention deficit disorder, Down syndrome, colitis and many other illnesses.
Copper is a mineral mostly found in meat, and many foods we already intake. The recommended daily intake of copper is only 2 mg. The National center for biotechnology information warns about recent studies who found copper deficiency. Copper deficiency leads to Menkes' syndrome, anemia, and neutropenia.
Iodine - 3. 40% of the world population is at risk of iodine deficiency. The use of iodine is at risk of extinction because of using iodine in salt. Many people do not have the proper nutrition to obtain the daily need of iodine. Iodine deficiency leads to hyperthyroidism, enlargement of the thyroid gland, miscarriages in pregnancy, preterm delivery of babies, and to permanent mental damage in babies. Iodine is found in meat, dairy products, soy, eggs, milk, and ice cream.
Manganese is a mineral responsible for blood clotting, sex hormones, and it forms the connective tissue. Manganese is found in the bones, kidneys, pancreas, adrenal, and pituitary glands. According to the University of Maryland, 37% of the Americans are at risk of manganese deficiency, and do not take the daily recommended intake of manganese. Manganese deficiency changes the fat metabolism; it causes bone deformities, skin rash, increases calcium in blood, and causes many other symptoms, which lead to serious medical problems. Manganese is found in nuts, seeds, whole grains.
Chromium is found in meat, whole grain, some fruits, but these foods provide a very small amount of chromium in the body. The recommended daily intake of chromium is 50-200 mg a day and food provides 2 mg per serving. The elder are at a higher risk of chromium deficiency. Research has found that chromium deficiency leads to glucose intolerance and insulin resistance, and increased chromium intake has fixed diabetes symptoms in patients.
Who is at risk of trace mineral deficiency?
Vegetarians are at a higher risk of mineral deficiency as most of the sources of these minerals are coming from meat. Vegetarians should consider taking trace mineral supplementation. We need a very small amount of minerals for proper functioning of our bodies, still we have a mineral deficiency which leads to many illnesses, improper functioning in the body. The mineral deficiency has led to lower life span in humans. Our ancestors lived longer because they ate home cooked food, rich in the most important nutrients. Daily trace mineral supplementation is essential for returning our health and immune system on the right track. That is why we all need proper trace mineral supplementation to compensate for the low levels of minerals.
How Can I Tell If Im Lacking Silica In My Diet?
June 16, 2014 11:53 AM
Uses of silica
Our body requires the mineral silica for it to function normally. The body uses this mineral together with calcium for growing and maintaining of strong bones. Silica is also a very strong anti-aging mineral and plays a big role in the prevention of osteoporosis (a condition in which bones become very fragile and likely to fracture). It also contributes to the strength, flexibility and integrity of connective tissues such as the ones found in bones, skin, nails and blood vessels. It is also important for the growth of the skin, hairs and fingernails. It also helps in the healing process, as it is an integral part of the immune system. It is also a vital component of the teeth whereby it strengthens the enamel hence preventing problems such as gum recessions and bleeding gums. We therefore require silica daily due to its many important functions in the body.
There are some symptoms of silica deficiency that will indicate you are missing it in your diet. These include poor formation of bones, osteoporosis, formation of wrinkles, and aging of the skin, brittleness of both finger and toenails and thinness of hair. The main symptom of this deficiency is sensitive to cold, meaning that you will feel cold even in the hottest summer days.
Foods rich in silica
Fibrous foods are the richest in this important mineral. Such foods are peppers, celery, potatoes, carrots, cereals, beets and unrefined grains. Other sources of the mineral are apples, almonds, raw cabbage, pumpkins, peanuts, honey, fish, cucumber, cherries, cons and raisins. Absorbing silica from foods is always difficult and that why it is important to consume these foods in large quantities. Grains have been shown to consist the highest level of absorbable silica.
How Hyaluronic Acid Benefits The Skin
May 20, 2014 09:19 AM
What is hyaluronic?
Hyaluronic corrosive is found in a great deal of hostile to maturing items. It helps your skin by enhancing the tone and composition. It is discovered characteristically in the body and serves to grease up specific territories.
Your skin produces hyaluronic corrosive regularly. This happens in the deeper layers and keeps the skin stout and smooth. As we get more seasoned, our body thinks that it is hard to hold dampness so the skin starts to lose its tone and suppleness. Without sufficient dampness, the skin is inclined to hang and as it loses flexibility, wrinkles and scarcely discernible differences show up.
Hyaluronic Acid's Function
This corrosive functions as against maturing element by helping your body to transform collagen. Collagen is an exceptionally imperative connective tissue found in the skin, which helps it to keep its structure. Surveys Hydroxatone has indicated that including this as a segment the skin gets back its sound shine and energy.
Hyaluronic corrosive additionally helps the skin to repair itself from natural harm, for instance the climate or airborne poisons. Audits Hydroxatone has indicated that this cream works well in light of the fact that the Hyaluronic corrosive can infiltrate profound into the skin. Notwithstanding decreasing wrinkles, it has been indicated to support with skin aggravation and in lessening pimple inflamation scars.
Superior to Botox
There is other mainstream approaches to lessen wrinkles, for example, Botox or plastic surgery. Then again, the principle issue with these systems is, separated from being considerably more exorbitant; they are extremely equivocal on the body and can have awful reactions. Hyaluronic corrosive is not dangerous: it is even generated regularly by the body. It is much less expensive to utilize and has not been indicated to have any significant symptoms. Likewise, dissimilar to Botox infusions, creams holding this corrosive might be utilized anywhere on the face.
Hyaluronic corrosive can hydrate the skin successfully. Truth be told, it can hold 100 times its weight in water. One reason for wrinkles is skin dryness, so by holding more dampness in your skin, you can diminish the appearance of wrinkles as well as keep more from showing up.
Hyaluronic corrosive works successfully in against maturing. A substance discovered regularly in the body, it could infiltrate profound into the skin and serves to hold dampness. A cream holding this corrosive is a much more secure strategy than surgery and its belongings are longer enduring.
A Sulfur Supplement Is Necessary For A Healthy Body
May 17, 2014 01:25 AM
Benefits of sulfur
The human body obliges sulfur for bones, joints and an assortment of capacities. Sulfur is needed for ordinary day-by-day capacities and in bigger amounts when the body's frameworks are focused on, repairing harm or battling a malady. A sulfur supplement is required that can likewise offer a large number of numerous wellbeing upgrading profits for fighting an extensive variety of wellbeing issues, expanding imperviousness to sicknesses, and making wellbeing and prosperity. It is additionally required for detoxification of the body in uprooting poisons and mechanical chemicals that the body regularly assimilates once a day.
An approach to fulfill these needs is with a day-by-day admission of MSM (Methyl Sulfonyl Methane). MSM is the main bio available manifestation of sulfur, a macro mineral that is utilized within critical sums in the body. An uncommon dietary supplement is likely the most noteworthy finding since Vitamin C, and is presently the most prominent supplement in nourishment. It is intended to help joint conditions, for example, osteoarthritis, sprains, tendinitis, bursitis and games related wounds. It is non-poisonous, non-allergenic and does not meddle with different sorts of pharmaceuticals and supplements, and offers a long arrangement of wellbeing profits for the body.
Where to find sulfur?
Sulfur is fundamental in the ordinary consistently working of the human body. It has been utilized for many years to cure skin sicknesses, joint and bone conditions and numerous different afflictions. In spite of the fact that sulfur is gotten from nourishment sources and the human body does not handle it, in instances of great insufficiency it could be acquired by dietary supplements. Sulfur makes up pretty nearly 0.25% of body weight and is a vital some piece of all living cells. It is key in the counteractive action of numerous issues and must essentially be acquired from sustenance or wellbeing supplements.
Sulfur could be found in numerous skin balms, bar soaps, salves and creams. It is been demonstrated to be valuable in the medicine of pimple inflammation. It is utilized as an element within the medication for other skin related issue, for example, scabies, warts, and likewise for dandruff because of the antifungal, antibacterial properties of sulfur. Results of sulfur have been utilized to upgrade the procedure of wound recuperating, which was its motivation in the Trojan wars.
What are the benefits of MSM
MSM is the wealthiest wellspring of natural sulfur accessible and is essential in the creation and recovery of tissue. It is found in and utilized by every cell as a part of the body. It expands vitality, readiness, mental placidness and improves the capacity to focus. It remembers the manifestations of joint pain, carpal tunnel, tendonitis, bursitis and unending weakness. Sulfur has an alternate, positive impact on all the frameworks in the human body. MSM causes quick detoxification of the body's tissues by making the cell dividers more porous, making it simpler for the body to ingest supplements and to dispose of poisons by flushing them out of the body. Hormones, compounds, antibodies and cell reinforcements rely on upon MSM for their day-by-day capacities.
MSM is a non-medicine supplement that can help with joint issues running from a slight solidness to extreme torment. Its general profits helps with wellbeing issues, for example, joint inflammation, unfavorable susceptibilities, gastrointestinal, PMS, skin break out, lung issues, muscle torment, parasite, a few diseases, heart smolder and blockage, to name a couple. It is an exceptional dietary supplement that could be utilized for a mixture of requisitions, for example, hostile to aggravation, body corrosive decrease, expanding flow, sound connective tissues, lupus, breast and colon diseases, diabetes, eye wellbeing, anxiety and mental issue.
Studies have indicated that MSM Capsules help joint adaptability, decrease firmness and swelling, and diminish torment connected with maturing and damage. They have been utilized to help with ceaseless agony, joint inflammation, joint irritation, rheumatoid joint pain, osteoporosis, bursitis, tendonitis, musculoskeletal ache, muscle issues and then some. These containers can make the skin look more youthful and increment vitality levels. MSM is copious in nature, yet the wealthiest characteristic sources just give it at levels of a few parts for every million. Nourishment sources are prepared which exhausts characteristic sulfur, making a MSM supplement vital, and these containers have not demonstrated any negative reactions.
Can Hyaluronic Acid Cream Help Improve Skin Health?
March 16, 2014 04:22 PM
Unfortunately our skin health will always deplete as we age and it is a normal thing to happen to anyone. There are various ways that one can improve his or her skin health. As much as there are several method for one to use, Hyaluronic acid cream has generated much hype in this particular topic.
Can Hyaluronic Acid Cream Help Improve Skin Health? A question in everybody’s mind at the moment The answer to that question is a resounding yes, and here are reasons why this is so.
This is a naturally occurring acid that exists in our body. It is a component of the connective tissue that helps in strengthening various parts of our body, including blood vessels, cartilage, and definitely the skin. It helps the skin remain hydrated
Research shows that as we get older, the hyaluronic acid quantity in the skin diminishes, leading to a dry skin.
Hyaluronic Acid Cream
This is a skincare product that has been designed with the same properties as the natural hyaluronic acid that exists in our body. The cream, when applied will deeply penetrate your skin membrane helps the cells take in and retain moisture. This will eventually give your skin a supple and soft appearance that was wearing out.
All in all hyaluronic acid cream has proved to be an effective skin care product that will hydrate and plump drying and aging skin. Through research, this product is known to have been formulated with cosmetic-grade hyaluronic acid. Although to some people the name may paint a picture of a harsh erosive product that might do harm to ones skin, hyaluronic acid is tremendously gentle and nourishing to the skin. Apparently it proves to be so tender that it is even recommended for the sensitive skin.
Hyaluronic acid cream can help improve skin health.
Can Green Tea And Pomegranate cream Help The Skin?
March 07, 2014 03:53 PM
What is pomegranate
Pomegranate seed cream takes care of your skin from the outside and within. Pomegranate seed oil takes a shot at the outside to minimize the presence of lines and indications of maturing; inside, pomegranate seed oil is a dietary supplement rich in sound dietary fats and omega-3's. Regularly, an eating methodology rich in sound fats, vitamins, and hostile to oxidants gives skin the building squares it needs to look brilliant and adolescent.
Pomegranate seed cream animates the handling of collagen and the multiplication of skin units. Collagen is a vital structural protein that is available in the connective tissues of skin cells. As collagen breaks down, skin begins to look thin and dry and scarce differences show up. Utilizing pomegranate seed oil as a major aspect of a saturating routine helps to modify collagen and fortifies skin units to process firm, young skin.
Green tea oil has numerous utilization, one of them being a skin mind item that offers some stunning profits, especially to tired, slack skin. You are dependably best to utilize characteristic items on your skin, on the grounds that large portions of the produced substance elements in advanced business skin mind planning can accomplish more mischief than great.
What Is Gelatin Powder Good For?
January 29, 2014 04:54 PM
What is Gelatin?
Gelatin is a protein, made from the hydrolysis of collagen, a protein that makes up about a third of all mammalian tissue proteins and the connective tissues of the body. Collagen makes up the tendons of the body muscles. Gelatin powder is gelatine that has been dried and broken up into individual grains, which has the advantage of dispersing more easily throughout a dish.
Health Benefits of Gelatin Powder
Gelatin powder has many health benefits.It is a source of protein and dietary collagen. It is composed of two amino acids-proline and glycine which many people do not consume adequately. This is because the amino acids are contained in organs of animals, fibrous tissue and in bones which a large population do not consume more often. These amino acids are important for proper hair, skin and nail growth.
Gelatin powder helps in the recovery of joints when injured. Gelatin also provides building blocks for health joints. It has been noted that people with arthritis, joint pain and osteoporosis will see their situation improve when they take gelatine rich foods and supplements.
It improves digestion as it binds to water making food move easily through the digestive truck. In this case the gelatine powder is usually used in form of a homemade bone broth. It supports hair, skin and nail growth. It will again protect your skin from wrinkles as your skin ages.
Glycine which makes the large percentage in gelatine powder helps in speed wound healing and acts as an anti-inflammatory. It also improves sleep ease and quality. Believe it or not, it can also be used for weight loss. This is because it boosts metabolism when taken.
Gelatin powder is used to naturally balance hormones in the body. High amounts of hormones like oestrogen in the body can cause infertility, inflammation and accelerate aging.
Finally, gelatine is a cost-effective and nutritious way to get proteins in to your body.
Together Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and MSM Fight The Battle Against Joint Pain
December 18, 2013 03:36 AM
What Do Glucosamine / Chondroitin / MSM Have In Common?
In today's cultural, there seems to be a remedy for almost any ailment. If you have a headache then just take two acetaminophen every four to six hours. Maybe you have broken your arm and can recall the pain medication that was prescribed by your doctor. Unfortunately, as far as science is concerned,not a single treatment works 100% of the time. There is always some sort of relapse period during which, if an individual forgets to take their medicine the pain will return.
How Does Glucosamine Fit Into The Picture
Hundreds of individuals suffer from some sort of joint pain that is found in the knee, hip, or shoulder area. The chance is high that you are one of those people who have been diagnosed witharthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, or bursitis. Most likely, you have also been written a prescription from your doctor for anything from a muscle relaxer to an anti-inflammatory. Be aware of the fact that these medicines will reduce pain and swelling but only for a short period of time. What happens when the pain relapses and you cannot take anymore? Perhaps, you should consider a nutrional supplement that will help your body fight from within.
What About Chondroitin
By itself, glucosamine lubricates the connective tissues of the body. Although, glucosamine cannot work without another natural compound called chondroitin. The body uses glucosamine to produce chrondroitin which is an example of a glycosaminoglycan. Better known as chondroitin sulfate, it must mix with other proteins in the body to create proteoglycans which are found in all connective tissues.
Why Does MSM Sound So Similar
Just like glucosamine and chondroitin , also known as methyl sulfonyl methane , MSM is known to help aid in the fight against osteoarthritis and joint pain. It is naturally found in humans and in certain plants and animals. Usually MSM is paired with glucosamine and chondroitin in a pill or capsule form.
How Do You Reduce Arthritis Naturally?
December 05, 2013 02:29 AM
What is Arthritis
Arthritis is a complex family of disorders that affect the musculoskeletal system of humans. It manifests in 100 different diseases or conditions and it affect two-thirds of people who are under the age of 65. It affects both the old and the young. The common forms of arthritis are Osteoarthritis (OA), Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and Juvenile Arthritis (JA). Exercise remains a valuable tool in the fight against the disease, especially when it’s combined with the appropriate diet and diet supplements. Other than the preventive tactics of avoiding joint injury, arthritis victims can still find help naturally by using glucosamine and hyaluronic acid in foods and plant extracts.
Symptoms of Arthritis
The main symptoms of the disease include difficulty in moving joints as well as swollen joints that may lead to severe problems when movement is forced. The disease also causes eye, skin and other organ disorders but not on all patients.
GlucosamineGlucosamine plays a key role in forming connective tissues. It helps people cope with discomfort and mobility problems that arise out of stiff joints. It works by fortifying the protective cushioning between bones. It does not directly improve the bone function, but it leads to better coping with old age and thus delays the onset of joint diseases like arthritis.
Benefits of Glucosamine
Glucosamine works closely with hyaluronic acid to rebuild and support tissues in joints. The hyaluronic acid hydrates and lubricates the joint tissues because of its excellent water trapping and retaining properties. This helps to enhance the body’s ability to absorb shock.
Natural way to deal with ArthritisA natural way to deal with this disease is to consume foods and extracts that are rich in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity. Some of these foods include methylsulfonylmethane, ginger, turmeric and boswellia. Unlike over the counter prescriptions, boswellia is able to impede inflammation and relieve discomfort by reducing the swelling of joints for those who have arthritis. The other foods like ginger and turmeric are also helpful because they have no serious side effects and they work just as well as boswellia.
Can MSM Help Improve Joint Health?
November 09, 2013 05:58 PM
What is MSM
The initials MSM stands for methyl- sulfonyl – methane commonly known as sulfur. MSM is white sulfur powder which is organic. MSM comes from the ocean and is soluble in water. It is a food commonly found in meats, vegetation, plants and dairy products. In the human body, it is the third largest nutrient. Sulfur is very important in human body; it plays a very critical role in the production of collagen which acts as a building block of skin, joints, nails, hair and other connective tissues.
What are the Benefits of MSM
Physical strain and Osteoarthritis (OA) may lead to swelling and joint pain. The pain caused by OA can be relieved using MSM. From the research done; MSM is believed to have anti-inflammatory effects.
Many people especially the old suffer from joint disease. The OA affected joints suffer from uneven loading, which results to altered lines of weight bearing. Cartilage starts to form to compensate for the uneven load, this leads to formation of deformities and roughening in the surface of the joint. The operation of the joint inflame is affected because the socket and the ball rub unevenly due to the friction of outgrowths of bone and cartilage, called osteophytes.Up to date no cure for OA has been found therefore, the treatment available only eases the symptoms.
How Sulfhur Helps our Body
Sulfur is delivered into our bodies by MSM in a usable way. Sulphur helps in maintaining the connective tissue structure by forming cross linkages. This therefore means that sulphur strengthens the joint tissues.Sulphur is very important for the good health of the joints.Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) are the crucial building blocks of joint cartilage. GAG molecules are held together by the disulfide bonds. As the name suggests, the disulfide bonds are bonds between 2 atoms of sulphur. Disulfide bridges reduce the conformational flexibility of the GAG chains, hence making the cartilage resilient and firm. Thus the integrity of the cartilage depends on sulphur.
Can The Consumption of Collagen Help Hair, Skin, Nails, And Joints?
May 30, 2013 02:09 PM
Collagen is produced naturally by the body. It's a protein contained in connective tissues in the body. The benefits of collagen supplements are the most amazing fad on the market for health and beauty industry recently.
About 25% of proteins contained in our bodies are collagens. It is the second greatest substance in the body following water. Its production reduces as people get older. However, supplements are available in the market and help restore the quantity of collagen in the body. Collagen supplements are available in different forms such as gelatin and elastin. Gelatin has been used for a long time to strengthen nails and hair.
Collagen needs to be taken with water, 2 hours after taking a meal. It needs to pass through the stomach into the intestines and not get digested. In case it is broken down then it becomes ineffective so it is wise to take collagen on an empty stomach.
Below are some benefits of collagen;
Collagen for skin
It works to eliminate signs of old age by making skin firm, flexible and young because of the fibrous and steady structure of the substance. Several plastic surgeons use the substance to provide their customers a youthful look. Collagen is introduced directly to the skin on the parts with depressions formed by wrinkles. It makes the wrinkles less visible. The injection might last for about 6 months before you undergo another procedure to eliminate wrinkles. The time used to complete this procedure depends on the extent of wrinkles. Reduce occurrence of cellulite and works to restore the fibers that make cellulite to appear on skin. It is also used for artificial skin treatment for burn patients. Collagen applied in this process is usually acquired from bovine or equine to restore damaged skin as a result of burns.
Collagen supplements help reduce rheumatoid arthritis signs such as joint inflammation and lack of mobility. This might be because of collagen anti-inflammatory components and impacts on the body's immune system. Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid patients use collagen supplements to treat joints. It offers a supportive structure for many body tissues, for instance, muscles or bones. It helps to rebuild cartilage material found in joints. Collagen reduces pain due to these conditions as well.
Collagen helps to strengthen nails and help to get rid of the white spots. Frequent use will help the nail-bed to maintain a healthy color.
Hair It's a key component in hair growth since it kills free radicals that can affect your hair texture, growth and thickness. Applying oils with collagen on the hair shaft could enhance hair growth. Taking collagen capsules reinforce hair and increase the thickness of a person's hair, providing your hair with an generally fuller look.
The suggested quantity for hair regrowth and thickness for aesthetic purposes is 4-6g. It also helps to decrease the appearance of grey hair by improving structure and health of hair follicle. Apply collagen creams directly on the scalp to make grey hair look darker and less dried out. Collagen is very efficient in treating dry brittle hair. It is useful in restoring and reversing split ends and also enhancing moisture levels in the hair.
If you are not currently taking collagen, whats stopping you?
The Role of Glycine in Collagen and Its Remarkable Health Benefits
March 17, 2013 08:41 AM
Collagen is basically made up of several amino acids and one of which is glycine. This particular amino acid accounts 1/3 of the entire composition of collagen. It can be found in the third position in the sequence of the amino acids. One of the fundamental roles of this amino acid is that it reduces the water solubility of collagen by a hundred folds. Contrary to the fact that it's considered as a non-essential amino acid, glycine has many health benefits aside from being a part of the collagen synthesis. The details below present some of the most essential information that you ought to know about this collagen component. Here they are:
Glycine Synthesizes Normal DNA and RNA
DNA and RNA are genetic materials necessary for the proper cellular formation and function. Glycine prevents the breakdown of the muscle tissues by increasing the body's creatine levels which is a compound that builds muscle mass. High concentration of this amino acid can also be found in the skin and connective tissues in the body and it keeps them flexible and firm. Without glycine, the body won't be able to repair damaged tissues.
Glycine Keeps the Central Nervous System Healthy
Studies had shown that this amino acid is an inhibitor of the neurotransmitters that can cause seizures, hyperactivity and bipolar depression. As a matter of fact, it can be converted into serine which is a neurotransmitter beneficial in the treatment of schizophrenia. Researchers found out that schizophrenic patients exhibited significant improvements after adding glycine with their anti-psychotic medication. It was also found out that it improves memory. Glycine Promotes Proper Function of the
This amino acid is known to induce bile acid production which is used to digest fats. It is also often included in most over-the-counter gastric antacid agents to prevent and treat acid reflux. Glycine Provides Glucose Specifically, this non-essential amino acid is also considered as glucogenic amino acid. That simply means that it provides glucose in the body. One of its benefits includes regulation of blood sugar levels, so it can be helpful in treating symptoms manifested by low energy and fatigue.
Glycine May Help With Cancer
Preliminary studies considered this amino acid as another breakthrough in cancer treatment. Results suggested that it can prevent the development of cancerous cells as it acts as an inhibitor of angiogenesis which is a process in which tumors, benign or malignant, develop their own blood supply.
Sources of Glycine
High-quality protein foods such as white meat from fish and chicken, beans, legumes, eggs and milk are known to be the main sources of this amino acid. Glycine supplements are also available in tablet or powder forms and can also be one of the components of many amino acid supplements. Except for some people complaining about having stomach upset and dizziness after taking glycine supplements, there are no other noted adversarial or severe side effects of glycine. If taken properly, such supplementation is extremely safe.
Who Should Not Take Glycine?
Those individuals suffering from kidney and liver diseases should never take glycine. Pregnant women should never take as well. People taking antispatic medication are not allowed also since there could be interference between the drugs and glycine. It's always best to consult a doctor first before taking such supplement.
Those are all the most notable benefits of glycine. The point here is that it is not just a mere part of a collagen but it also has a number of health benefits.
What Is Vitamin B-2 Riboflavon Good For?
November 17, 2012 02:11 PM
Vitamin B-2 is one of the B-complex, water soluble vitamins that is required for the proper functioning of the human body. They can be found in different dietary sources including but not limited to eggs, dairy products, grains and cereals, green vegetables, mushrooms, oily fish and meat.
A B-2 Deficiency:
It is concluded that the deficiency in this vitamin can disrupt the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and protein. Symptoms of deficiency includes high sensitivity to light, inflammation the mouth, sore tongue, anemia, skin rash and fatigue, and it affects mostly malnourished people like alcoholics and the elderly.
Benefits of vitamin B-2 Riboflavin.
Apart from helping to increase the level of body metabolism, the vitamins is also useful in helping to prevent and treat diseases e.G. Riboflavin deficiency states and newborn jaundice. It can also help for the prevention of cataracts of the eyes and reduce migraine headaches intensity. Riboflavin plays a major role in the development of reproductive organs. It also help to support the growth of body tissue like the skin, nervous system, mucous membranes and the connective tissue. vitamin B-2 helps to improve the body immunity by energizing the body's natural defense and disease suppressing systems. Known to be very helpful as a natural supplement in the treatment of nervous system conditions like Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy.
Constant intake of vitamin B-2 will help in the digestion of carbohydrates, fats and protein so that the body cells can derive more minerals and vitamins from them, for utilization. Absorption of other vitamins and minerals like folic acid, vitamin B1, Iron and vitamin B6 is also made very possible.
To have stress free digestion you'll need to have a digestive system with functioning mucus membranes. Riboflavin is helpful in making the mucus membrane in the digestive track work at optimum levels. Recent research also suggests that vitamin B-2 can help improve the body's response to iron therapy, which is a method used to boost red blood cell production in sickle cell anemia patients.
So my question to you is, are you getting enough B-2 in your daily diet?
November 08, 2012 04:11 PM
One of its biggest benefits of boswellia extract is that it can treat inflammatory conditions. The reason that its good for these patients is because it contains boswellic acid, and this will help strengthen connective tissue. In addition to imflammatory conditions, it can help with arthritis, diarrhea, ulcers, back pain, stiffness, and Crohn's disease. Depending on what the condition is, it may be better to take the herb orally or as an atopical cream. For example, it's better to take the pill when you have back pain, while it's better to take atopical cream if you have stiffness.
You can also find boswellia in numerous weight loss pills, it can repair the blood vessels that get damaged in bronchial disorders. The reason its so helpful is beause it has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. It can improve the ability of the thyroid to do its job. If want you improve your metabolism, you can take boswellia extract to start losing weight. People who take the herb have also noticed they have a reduction in asthma attacks. Women who experience PMS have also taken the herb at their time of the month to help ease the pain.
The herb can act as a natural asprin for people who take those pills, but the herb does not have the side effects of the over-the-counter pills.
Boswellia is a great anti-inflammatory herb. If you experience inflammation, give boswellia a try!
C and Bioflavonoids
October 31, 2012 04:47 PM
A supplement of super bio C vitamin is essential to the body because of the unique properties it possesses. Taking this supplement will enable a person reap the full benefit of a normal vitamin C compound without experiencing side effects normally associated with common Vitamin C sources. Such side effects include excessive acidity in the stomach. Additionally, intake of C vitamin has been found to have immense benefit to the health of the human body. It performs some core functions such as detoxification of the body and boosting the immune system. Also people who are nursing injuries will find this Vitamin helpful as it accelerates the healing process through its ability to repair tissues fast.
Bioflavonoids on the other hand, are plant compounds which occur naturally. They are popular for their antioxidant properties. Recent studies show that Bioflavonoids play an even greater role in preventing elimination of vitamin C from the body. Therefore they are helpful as they protect Vitamin C from complete oxidation. This means that the human body will benefit by having vitamin C retained longer.
A combination of these two compounds helps to promote better health of a person. Some benefits include improved eyesight, better cardiovascular health and an improvement in the structure of the connective tissues. They also help to improve the skin appearance through its replenishing and nourishing properties.
Further to this, combination of vitamin C and Bioflavonoids can go a long way to lower the effect of some common but serious diseases such as cancer and gastrointestinal disorders. More so, Arthritis and atherosclerosis are among the diseases that can be prevented by intake of the compounds mentioned.
Research shows that intake of both vitamin C and Bioflavonoids alleviates allergies and inflammation in the body. It can also help the body fight Colds and other respiratory infections.
have you had your bio C today?
The Health benefits of L-Arginine
June 08, 2012 08:10 AM
What is L-Arginine?
L-Arginine, also referred to as Arginine, is a non-essential amino acid-it's produced naturally in the body-and it is vital for the normal functioning of pituitary gland. This substance comes from natural sources such as nuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, popcorn, chocolate, brown rice, raisins, carob, oatmeal, gelatin desserts, protein rich foods, and whole wheat bread. Men, whose seminal fluids consist of up to 80 percent of this amino acid, especially need L-Arginine as a deficiency could cause infertility. L-Arginine is not only obtained from food sources but through supplementation as well. As we age, the production of this amino acid decreases in the body and this is thought to cause many degenerative processes associated with aging. Thus, Arginine is vital for maintaining your overall health as well as sexual health.
Deficiency of L-Arginine can delay sexual maturity, impair insulin production, cause liver lipid metabolism and glucose tolerance.
Functions of L-Arginine
L-Arginine amino acid performs various functions in the body, including:
It is a component of collagen, enzymes, ejaculate, hormones, connective tissues, and skin. It plays an important role in the manufacture of protein molecules such as insulin and creatine. It's a precursor of nitric oxide as well as other metabolites.
Health benefits of L-Arginine
Although the benefits of Arginine supplements are debated, proponents state that Arginine converts into nitric oxide inside the body and enlarges or dilates the blood vessels. This helps better circulation and it's one of the reasons it is used to cure erectile dysfunction. This amino acid produces positive results as it enhances blood circulation, especially to the genitalia. Arginine is also a key component in sperm and seminal fluid production, so it's used to treat sterility in men. Other health benefits of L-Arginine include:
Aids in muscle-building
Helps maintain blood-sugar levels
Increases immune function
Increase fertility in females
Improves blood flow and decreases clogged arteries
Increases sperm count
Helps in liver detoxification
Maintains nitrogen balance
Promotes body fat burning
Promotes better bone density
Provides anti-oxidant properties
Reduces effects of alcohol toxicity
Reduces blood pressure
Reduces heart and vascular disease, cholesterol risk and stroke
Helps reduce body fat
Helps remove excess ammonia
Aids faster healing of wounds
L-Arginine anti-aging properties
One last benefit to note about L-Arginine is the fact that it simulates the production of human growth hormone (HGH), IGF, and testosterone. As your body ages, it produces less and less of these hormones which directly affects the aging process. These hormones are responsible for reducing body fat, keeping the skin elastic, and increasing sexual stamina. While your body won't turn into that of a teenager, taking L-Arginine supplements can make you feel and look younger.
Just as other forms of supplementation, you should take caution while using L-Arginine. This means that you have to get a doctor's approval before you take this drug. You should carefully follow the drug's instructions on dosage and frequency. As long as you take L-Arginine with care, you can greatly enhance your overall health and wellbeing.
What are the health benefits of silica gel?
April 27, 2012 03:15 PM
The inevitable process of aging does exhaust sources of silica in our bodies. This leads to brittle nails, bones, lifeless hair, wrinkles, and dry skin. The skin has collagen underneath which helps to enhance its beauty as well as elasticity. Silica helps provide a young and healthy look to the hair, nails and skin. It is associated with mineral absorption and may be combined with proteins or lipids. Silica can also come soluble in water or in free form. Silica is so important in the process of antibody manufacture and efficient in assisting to convert lymphocyte B into lymphocyte T, making it a very beneficial element for the immune system.
Silica Promotes Collagen Production
Silica quantities in our bodies are typically higher than the quantities of other vital minerals essential for a myriad of metabolic processes. A type of silica known as colloidal silica gel has very tiny microscopic particles of silica suspended in liquid. The gel can be taken in order to provide support to the connective tissues as well as to promote collagen formation in one's skin. Silica gel can also be bought in form of capsules. The gel may be mixed with juice or water.
Silica is a crystalline silicon or quartz and is found in abundant quantities in the crust of the earth. Silica gel is extracted from plants and is important for the bones, skin, cartilage, blood vessels, and tendons. Silica gel is found in very few kinds of foods and the amounts are usually sufficient for the needs of human beings.
Silica gel must be replenished every day since it gets absorbed and then excreted rapidly. The gel is very important as it helps in the accurate absorption of vital minerals in our bodies and provides all healthy attributes for the collagen under the skin. Silica gel supplies proteins and lipids to our bodies and helps make the hair, nails, and skin have a more radiant look.
Silica and osteoporosis
Silica gel also helps to prevent and treat osteoporosis that is caused by aging. Calcium supplements alone cannot fight osteoporosis and have to be combined with silica gel.
Osteoporosis decreases the density and mass of the bones, causing them to be fragile and porous. If one only takes calcium supplements, it may hasten the process of degeneration. Silica gel is very effective for pain relief and retention of the self-repairing abilities of our bodies. The connective tissues degenerate rapidly because they are not able to retain moisture for an extended period of time, thus silica gel works as the glue that holds them together.
Silica And Blood Pressure
Silica gel also helps to control high blood pressure for those at risk. While it lowers blood pressure, it helps promote and maintain the right blood pressure levels in the entire circulatory system. Doing this helps to bring normal circulation to the body.
Silica gel is also recommended for people with various joint pains. From rheumatism and arthritis, silica nutrients replenish cartilage in the joints. After prolonged use, one can freely move their joints without feeling excessive pain or discomfort.
Serrapeptidase: Natural NSAID
March 27, 2012 03:26 PM
Serrapeptase, also known as Serratia peptidase is a proteolytic (protein-splitting) bioactive enzyme found in the intestines of the silk worm. This silk-worm enzyme is widely used in Europe and Japan in clinical therapy for relieving pain and inflammation. When the silk worm leaves the cocoon, it regurgitates the serrapeptase in to create a hole in the cocoon for its escape. It was soon discovered that serrapeptase enzyme has a unique property to dissolve dead material consisting protein without even harming the living tissue. This property of dissolving dead tissue can be used in treating many health conditions.
How Serrapeptase work?
Protein is the main component of most of the fibrous materials in the body. Once these fibrous materials out-live their purpose or are over-grown, they start causing serious disease conditions involving fibrosis. Fibrosis is an abnormal thickening and scarring of connective tissue caused by infection, injury, surgery or lack of oxygen. Serrapeptase works as an anti-fibrotic and helps in relieving the conditions in connective tissue scarring and thickening has occurred.
Health Benefits of Serrapeptase:
This proteolytic enzyme is considered an alternative to NSAIDS (Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) that are used to treat osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. Serrapeptase has been used to treat fibromyalgia, colitis, Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, varicose veins, ovarian cysts, ear and throat infections, enlarged prostate and postoperative inflammation. Studies have shown its effective results in prevention and removal of arterial plaque.
Serrapeptase in relieving Pain:
Pain and Inflammation Reduction:
Serrapeptase is a great anti-inflammatory and analgesic agent. It reduces the inflammation and gives relief from the pain. It works by blocking the release of pain inducing amines from the inflamed tissues. Due to its pain relieving and anti-inflammatory properties, serrapeptase is used in treatment as an alternative to NSAIDS. This enzyme gives relief from mild to moderate pain like headache and backaches. Hence it is used all the inflammatory conditions such as colitis, sinusitis, arthritis and many more.
Serrapeptidase has an anti-fibrotic and fibrinolytic action that prevents and treats the accumulation of plaque in the arteries. Plaque is the accumulated deposits of cholesterol, fatty substances, cellular waste products, fibrin and calcium. Excessive plaque formation impairs the normal blood flow and cause partial or complete blockage, which also results in arteriosclerosis. Serrapeptidase helps to prevent build-up of plaque in the body. Due to its fibrinolytic action, it also helps in dissolving of proteins and breaking down atherosclerotic plaques. The dissolved deposits are eliminated from the body.
Hence, serrapeptidase prevents coronary artery diseases and improves cardiovascular health.
Due to its anti-inflammatory and mucus dissolving properties, Serrapeptidase is very beneficial for chronic sinusitis sufferers. Serrapeptidase helps in thinning and expelling the thickened mucus secretion present in nasal cavities of sinusitis sufferer.
Serrapeptidase helps in reducing the recovery time in any injuries, wounds or surgery. It promotes healing in post-operative wounds by reducing the inflammation and pain.
Serrapeptidase is available in the form of supplements. If you are taking NSAIDS for any healthy condition, substitute it with serrapeptidase supplement
What Are The Health Benefits Of L-Carnosine?
February 28, 2012 07:53 AM
Among the numerous natural compounds in the body, L-Carnosine is also one such beneficial compound that is naturally contained in the human body. Numerous health benefits are offered by this compound, and it plays an integral role in maintaining the wellness of an individual. However, as people begin growing old, are frequently stressed or have undergone some sort of a trauma, then the levels of this compound in the body are decreased.
What is L-Carnosine?
This compound is basically a dipeptide that comprises of alanine and histidine, which are two different types of amino acids. The brain, heart, kidneys, muscles, skin and the stomach are the organs where L-Carnosinecan be naturally found. Due to its potent antioxidant traits, this dipeptide is regarded as an effective anti-aging agent.
What Are The Health Benefits Of L-Carnosine?
As mentioned, Carnosine is an integral dipeptide in the body and quite an array of benefits are offered by it.
Due to the intense antioxidant qualities of L-Carnosine, the free radical damaged caused within the body is minimized. Free radicals are not good for the cells present in the body since they damage and kill cells, and can also alter DNA too. Thus, Alzheimer's disease, heart disease, cancer and skin damage, are some of the health problems people can suffer from as a result of altered DNA, damaged and dead cells due to free radicals. In comparison to vitamin E, this compound can protect cell membranes from oxidation more effectively because it is water-soluble.
Other Carnosine Benefits
The compound also helps in healing wounds as well. The connective tissues in the body are effectively repaired thanks to the antioxidant qualities of Carnosine, and the skin is ideally healed. The compound also helps reducing the risk of wound infection too.
Cataracts and other eye conditions can also be relieved with the help of the health benefits offered by this compound. Even though this compound is naturally contained in the eye, however, as people get older, its amount lessens. Thus, primary and mature senile cataracts can be effectively cured with eye drops containing L-Carnosine.
Even the heart is kept healthy by this compound as well. The heart tissue muscle is strengthened by this compound and enzymes that enable the heart muscles to contract are also activated by it.
How to Increase the Level of L-Carnosine in the Body?
Those who want to increase the amount of this beneficial dipeptide in their body should eat a diet that essentially includes fish, meat and poultry. Dietary supplements can also supply the body with this compound. L-Carnosineis contained in certain multivitamin supplements, which contain various other amino acids, minerals, vitamins and other special nutrients. Thus, the overall positive effective of this compound in the body can be further enhanced by taking such supplements.
As long as the supplement being used contains nothing but natural ingredients, supplementing this compound in the body can help an individual avail many health benefits. L-Carnosine is, therefore, an important dipeptide and those who are growing old should consider supplementing it through diet or supplements.
If You Are Having Trouble With Night Driving, Bilberry Extract Could Help
February 02, 2011 10:06 PM
Night blindness is very common nowadays. According to statistics, a lack of vitamin A is the primary cause of night blindness or inability to see at night or in dim light. The treatment of this eye condition will depend upon the cause. Treatment may be as simple as getting a new eye glasses prescription. But invasive procedures may also be required most especially those that are caused by cataracts. Fortunately, Bilberry extracts may help night blindness.
Bilberry is a low – growing perrenial shrub growing approximately 15 to 20 inches in height. It is a member of the family Ericaceae in the genus Vaccinium. Its branches are green with sharp edges. It bears edible berr that is seemingly wrinkled and black. Bilberry is a comparative to the common berries known as blueberry and cranberry. The active compounds in bilberry fruit are known as anthocyanosides. Bilberry extract has a deep bluish purple tone which contains the majority of the active substance of the fruit known as anthocyanidin. Anthocyanidin is a component of anthocyanosides. It can help increase the formation of rhodopsin. According to studies, rhodopsin is formed from an aldehyde form of vitamin A called retinaldehyde, or retinal as commonly used. It is then bound to the protein opsin. This compound consisting of retinal and opsin is stored in photoreceptors of the retina of the eye known as rods and cones. Rhodopsin is the compound in the eye that is responsible for adjusting eye perception to light variations.
This plant extract is also commonly used for treating eye problems like cataracts and retinal disorders particularly retinopathy. Scientists found out that anthocyanosides help protect the retina. Since bilberry improves the formation of rhodopsin, adequate levels of rhodopsin can significantly improve night vision and reduce visual fatigue. This eye pigment could help those individuals who are having trouble driving at night because of its rhodopsin regenerating property.
Aside from supporting a healthy eye function, bilberry has many other health benefits. It has an antioxidant, anti – inflammatory, collagen stabilizing and vasoprotective properties. Generally, anthocyanosides are considerably beneficial to the overall health of the body. It can improve circulation by preventing blood clumping by reducing platelet aggregation. It can also prevent or reduce the amount and extent of damage to cells caused by free radicals.
Further clinical studies are being done to be able to get concrete evidence on the fruit’s benefits especially to the eyes. Preliminary results show that bilberry decreases eyestrain after an excessive use of computers, protects against glaucoma by improving blood vessel integrity in the eyes, reduces the occurrence of cataracts by maintaining the integrity of connective tissues in the eyes and lessens the risk of retinopathy among diabetic patients. Preparations of bilberry extracts include teas, capsules or tablets.
Hyaluronic acid and your cells, eyes, and skin
December 17, 2010 10:48 AM
Discovered in 1934, hyaluronic acid can be found anywhere there is the need for connective tissue in your body. Your joints, your eyes and your heart all contain hyaluronic acid, and a shortage can lead to a wide range of bodily defects, including the appearance of accelerated aging. It is a glycosaminoglycan, a form of polysaccharide that is not only found in connective tissue and epithelial and neural cells, but is also important in the growth and renewal of body cells.
We shall discuss here how hyaluronic acid affects specific areas of your body, and what the effect of a deficiency would mean, but also keeping in mind that an excess of this polysaccharide can also have a serious impact on your health although it offers few side effects worth noting.
Hyaluronic Acid and Your Joints
The highest concentrations of hyaluronic acid (HA) in your body is found in the synovial fluid, the fluid lubricating contained in your joints, and it is also plays an important role in maintaining the function of cartilage in keeping your joints flexible and well cushioned. It is chemically a glycosaminoglycan that is formed from glucosamine and glucuronic acid. Its production is boosted by chondroitin, which is why glucosamine and chondroitin are commonly used supplements for the treatment of arthritis.
Specifically, HA joins with collagen and elastin to produce cartilage, and also increases the supply of synovial fluid that maintains lubricity within the joints. Without the synovial fluid your cartilage would soon become worn away and your bones would grind together, eventually seizing up. By taking hyaluronic acid orally as a supplement, you can help to maintain healthy joints by maintaining the integrity of the cartilage and the quality of the synovial fluid.
Because the cartilage contains no blood vessels, it is reliant on the synovial fluid to keep it supplied with nutrients, and specifically with HA which is a large part of its structure. Without this important polysaccharide your body would not be able to function: no mobility, dry flaky skin and poor or no eyesight.
Hyaluronic Acid and Your Skin
Hyaluronic acid occurs in the lower layers of your skin where it helps to maintain a smooth and full appearance to your skin due to its hygroscopic nature in absorbing up to a thousand times its weight of water. For this reason HA is frequently used in skin moisturizing treatments and lotions.
HA is not found inside body cells, but appears to be restricted to the extracellular regions between cells where its moisturizing properties are critical in maintaining suppleness. Elastin requires copious quantities of water to remain elastic or it would otherwise become brittle: that is why our skin looks dry and wrinkled when we age. It is due to a lack of moisture: the moisture that hyaluronic acid can bring to the table. The problem is that HA reduces with age and in order to maintain our youthful looks we have to take a supplement.
Hyaluronic acid doesn't last long in your skin: it has to be renewed constantly and each day about 50% of the HA content of your skin is lost. It takes about two weeks for the same degree of loss to occur in the synovial fluid of your joints. The look of your skin depends to a very large extent on the extracellular matrix, or what is contained between your skin cells. The more moisture there then the smoother and plumper your skin will appear.
As you age, your hyaluronic acid production drops and so your skin becomes increasingly more depleted of moisture. This causes it to dry up and wrinkle. Were there one substance that I would choose as the elixir of life it would be HA, because by taking a regular supplement your natural daily loss is replenished and your skin is given a hand to maintain its soft, moist plumpish look that helps you to keep you looking young.
Hyaluronic Acid and Your Eyes
The vitreous humor is the liquid inside your eyeball, and it contains a large amount of hyaluronic acid. It helps absorb shock and to maintain the shape of the eyeball. The HA is so important that your body has developed a special set of cells known as the hyalocytes of Balazs that are believed to promote the renewal of hyaluronic acid, and also possibly its breakdown.
There is still a lot of research going on into this but the importance of HA in the vitreous humor and other aqueous area of your body is not in question. It helps to retain water and give structure to the liquid media within your body, whether that is between the bones of your joints, in the dermal and epidermal regions of your skin to keep it supple, or in your eyeball. In fact, it is believed to take up 70% - 80% of your eye, and helps to keep the retina in place exactly where it has to be for your eyesight to work.
Because Hyaluronic acid is:
a) present between the cells in every tissues in your body, and
b) a consumable, in that it gets used up rapidly, and
c) your biochemistry's ability to regenerate it reduces with age,
a supplement is the ideal way in which to maintain its levels in your extracellular system. In some instances injections are given, particularly in expensive anti-wrinkling treatment, but studies have shown that hyaluronic acid baxyl taken as an oral supplement shows an improvement after an average of 3 months treatment.
It should be understood that the average person has around 15 grams hyaluronic acid in their body, of which 5 grams is continually degraded and synthesized daily. When you reach an age that your ability to generate HA is impaired, then an oral supplement will be less expensive than injections, the hyaluronic acid of which will also be degraded with time. It won't be long before you need more treatment, and oral supplements are less expensive than private hypodermic injections.
A Hyaluronic acid supplement baxyl can be taken to improve the suppleness and appearance of youthful skin, help maintain the integrity of your eyesight and help to reduce the symptoms of arthritis and many other conditions brought on by a reduction in the synovial fluid and hydration of the skeletal and connective tissues of your body. In other words, it helps to keep you looking younger for longer and to keep your joints and your eyesight in good health.
Have you had your daily dose of hyaluronic acid today?
Baxyl is a liquid form of hyaluronic acid that is easy to take and easily assimilated into the body because its a liquid.
Do you Need Uric Acid Cleanse?
July 28, 2010 12:49 PM
Uric acid is a problem when you have high levels in your blood. So what is this chemical that can cause you so much pain when it deposits as crystals in your joints and rips your joint tissues to shreds? Uric acid is the final metabolic by-product of purine metabolism. No, that doesn't help you much, but it does when you find out that meat products are high in purine and vegetable products very low in this nitrogenous heterocyclic compound that is the base behind several amino acids, and an essential component of DNA. The final end product of the metabolism of purine is uric acid, and unless this is cleansed from the body it can precipitate as needle-like crystals in your connective tissues and cause damage. It is uric acid crystals that cause the pain of gout where you movement will be not only be restricted, but damage can also be caused to the joint itself.
A uric acid cleanse will reduce the concentration of the acid in your blood, and hence render it less likely to precipitate as crystals and cause problems such as gout.
Gotu Kola And Memory
September 15, 2009 04:30 PM
For centuries, gotu kola has been used in India and the islands of the Indian Ocean as a tonic and medicinal remedy. The herb was thought to increase longevity and improve energy. It was used in ancient days to treat leprosy, calm nerves, increase mental and physical power, stimulate and rejuvenate the brain, prevent nervous disorders, and avoid mental fatigue and senility.
This herb is considered to be one of the best herbal tonics, which is a substance that works to put the body into balance. A tonic makes sure that everything is working properly, while an herbal tonic helps to promote an optimum state in the body systems. This herb is responsible for gradually building the nervous system as a nervous system tonic. Gotu kola has been used for many different maladies, which include nervous disorders, deficient mental function, memory problems, epilepsy, and schizophrenia. The herb works by cleansing and purifying the blood by neutralizing acids and helping the body defend itself against toxins.
Research has found that an ingredient in gotu kola, known as asiaticoside, is responsible for speeding the healing of wounds. This ingredient is considered a blood cleanser and is also effective for diseases of the lungs. The herb stimulates the capillaries and helps to improve brain function, varicose veins, and hypertension.
Gotu kola is often used to increase mental function and performance. A variety of studies have confirmed this herb’s ability to improve brain function. It is often prescribed in Europe and India for this purpose. Studies done in India have found the water extract of fresh leaves helps to improve memory and learning. Additionally, it was found to help overcome the negative effects that are associated with stress and fatigue.
Additional clinical trials in India have found that gotu kola is able to help increase the IQ and mental ability of mentally retarded children. The children that were involved in this study showed improved mental capacity and behavior. This herb was given to children in combination with capsicum and ginseng. This improved behavior and mental capacity can help individuals who have mental and learning disabilities to achieve a higher quality of life.
In ancient times, gotu kola was used to heal wounds and soothe cases of leprosy. One of the first studies done on this herb was with cases of leprosy. The asiaticoside content found in gotu kola has been used for years in Europe and the Far East to cure leprosy and tuberculosis. Recent studies on this herb center more on its healing ability. Gotu kola seems to be able to accelerate the healing of wounds and skin diseases. Additionally, it has been shown to be beneficial in helping repair tissue after surgery and trauma. The herb has the ability to strengthen veins and repair connective tissue, while nourishing the motor neurons.
The entire gotu kola plant is used to provide alterative, antiasthmatic, antispasmodic, blood purifier, diuretic, and nervine properties. The primary nutrients in this herb are catechol, epicatechol, magnesium, theobromine, and vitamin K. Primarily, gotu kola is extremely helpful in dealing with aging, arteriosclerosis, high blood pressure, poor circulation, fatigue, heart problems, hypoglycemia, leprosy, memory loss, mental problems, nervousness, and senility.
Additionally, this herb is beneficial in treating blood impurities, depression, dysentery, fevers, headaches, insomnia, liver ailments, menopausal symptoms, pituitary problems, psoriasis, rheumatism, schizophrenia, thyroid problems, tonsillitis, effects of toxins, tuberculosis, varicose veins, lack of vitality, and wounds. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by gotu kola, please contact a representative from your local health food store.
Colostrum, Vitamin C, Echinacea, Goldenseal, Pau D'arco, Garlic, Astragalus
June 19, 2009 11:05 AM
There are many supplements and herbs that compliment the supplementation of colostrum. Among these are Echinacea, vitamin C, garlic, goldenseal, pau d’arco, astragalus, and beta carotene (vitamin A).
Echinacea is one of the most well-known and respected herbal supplements when it comes to the maintenance and strengthening of the immune system. Various Echinacea species have yielded an impressive variety of chemical constituents which possess pharmacological properties. This suggests that there is some form of synergistic action that occurs between the compounds in order to achieve therapeutic benefits. The main therapeutic properties are found in polysaccharides, flavonoids, caffeic acid derivatives, essential oils, polyacetylenes, and alkylamides. These constituents are responsible for a large number of immuno-stimulatory, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, and anticancer properties.
Echinacea has several effects on the immune system, including the alternate complement pathway, which enhances the movement of white blood cells into the areas of infection. Echinacea also affects many of the immune system’s cells that are responsible for slowing viral and bacterial infection. The aerial portion of Echinacea is known to be effective in warding off viruses such as influenza, herpes, and vesicular stomatitis, by blocking virus receptors on the cell surface. Echinacea is also able to indirectly kill viruses by encouraging the production and release of interferon, which is a substance that is capable of blocking viral RNA.
Vitamin C is one of the most well-known nutrients for promoting basic immune functions, with its benefits being known for many years. It is effective in reducing the severity and duration of colds and flu. Also, it has the ability to act as an immuno-stimulant by enhancing white blood cell production, increasing interferon levels and antibody responses, promoting the secretion of thymic hormones, and improving connective tissue. Vitamin C can be found abundantly in various fruits in vegetables, which means that it can often be consumed in acceptable amounts without supplementation through broccoli, sweet peppers, collards, cabbage, spinach, kale, parsley, melons, potatoes, tangerines, and Brussels sprouts, just to name a few.
Garlic is one of the most commonly used medicinal herbs, as it is found throughout the world and has been employed for various therapeutic purposes for thousands of years. Commonly used in Chinese herbal medicine and ayurvedic medicine, it has recently received much attention in the US media as well as other Western countries. Recent research has found that garlic possesses some powerful capabilities when it comes to the immune system and the body’s ability to fight infection. Garlic produces antiviral and antibacterial capabilities that stimulate and improve performance by the body’s immune systems. Additionally, garlic kills viruses and protects the body from invading virus cells by enhancing the body’s immune functions.
Goldenseal is native to North America, where it helps with a wider variety of ailments, including infection. Goldenseal is effective in combating invasion of colds and flu by stimulating the immune system and the activity of macrophages, which are one of the body’s defense mechanisms against viruses, bacteria, cancer cells, and other invaders.
Pau d’arco is also known for its powerful antiviral, antibiotic, and immune system enhancing capabilities. It has been shown to actively inhibit the activity of several viruses such as: both herpes viruses, the influenza viruses, polioviruses, and vesicular stomatitis virus.
Astragalus, which is extremely popular in Chinese herbal medicine, is an immune system enhancer. It has the ability to reduce the severity and length of the common cold through its application. Vitamin A, which has long been known to be effective in fighting infectious diseases, has antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Vitamin A deficiencies can manifest themselves through increased infection by cold and flu viruses.
Along with the above, it is also important to eat healthful foods (fruits and vegetables), drink plenty of fluids, exercise, avoid smoking, avoid consuming alcohol, get plenty of rest, and reduce stress in order to increase the benefits that colostrum supplementation provides. Natural supplements can help boost the immune system and help one live a healthier longer life.
May 02, 2009 11:41 AM
Methionine is an essential amino acid, meaning that it is not synthesized by the body, and so has to be taken as part of your diet. It also contains sulfur, one of two sulfur-containing amino acids that can form proteins, the other being cysteine. It is a precursor for taurine, which is an aminosulphonic acid, and not strictly an amino acid, which together with cysteine supports the health of your cardiovascular system and helps to eliminate toxins from the body.
Maintenance of Cell Membranes
It is also an important intermediary in the maintenance of cell membranes. Phospholipids are fat-soluble components of the cell membrane, phosphatidylcholine being a very important example. Also known as lecithin, this substance is derived from choline, itself biosynthesized in a chemical pathway involving S-adenosylmethionine.
This substance is made in the body from ATP (adenosine triphosphate) and methionine with the help of the enzyme methionine adensosyltransferase. Known as SAM (or SAM-e), S-adenosylmethionine employs a number of metabolic pathways in its reaction, though generally aminopropylation, transmethylation and transsulfuration. These add aminopropyl, sulfo and methyl groups to a number of substances, the most common being the methylation of proteins, nucleic acids and lipids.
Phosphatidylcholine is produced by the enzyme-catalyzed sequential methylation of phosphatidylethanolamine, SAM donating the methyl groups. The maintenance of the integrity of the cellular membrane by phosphatidylcholine is critical to all of the basic processes in human biology, including communication between cells, flow of information and bioenergetics.
A by-product of this reaction is homocysteine, formed in the liver from the S-adenosylhomocysteine that SAM is changed to after donating methyl groups. Excess homocysteine in the blood can create the risk of myocardial infarction and cardiovascular disease. SAM is also of use in the treatment of depression and of arthritis.
Creatine is a substance well known to athletes as being useful in provide short-term energy for high-intensity training. Although available in the diet, about 50% creatine used by the body is biosynthesized from methionine and two other amino acids, glycine and arginine. It allows a burst of energy lasting about 10 seconds, carried out without the use of glycogen reserves or fatty tissue.
Glycine and arginine combine to release ornithine as a by-product, and form guanidino acetate. SAM donates a methyl group to the latter to form creatine, about 95% of which is then stored in the skeletal muscle tissue. The stored creatine phosphate has the effect of allowing the muscle cells to hold more water, which also enables an enhanced level of protein synthesis, and hence an increase in muscle bulk, which also results from the increased blood flow resulting from the short-term high-intensity exercise that creatine allows.
Creatine can also increase the levels of MRF4 (myogenic transcription factor), resulting in an increasing in the myonuclei provided by satellite cells to damaged muscle tissue, that not only repair damaged muscle fibers, but also increase their ability to grow.
Detoxification of the Liver
Substances that help the liver to process fats, or lipids, are known as lipotropic, and the important lipotropics in human biochemistry are imositol, betaine, choline and methionine. They prevent fat from accumulating in the liver, and methionine is also useful in its effect of glutathione. This is a substance that helps the liver to neutralize toxins, such as excessive doses of acetaminophen, and its supplies are regulated by methionine.
Methionine and Autism
Research into autism is closely studying the Methionine/Glutathione Transsulfuration Pathway. This pathway is a very important biochemical means of detoxification, whereby toxins are methylated and then excreted. This pathway seems to be disrupted in autistic individuals.
Not only that, but disruption can lead to oxidative stress which results in many health problems. An example of this is the build-up of the oxidant homocysteine when there is insufficient Vitamin B6 to convert it into cysteine. This has been discussed previously, and is discussed again below.
Although research is in its infancy, it appears that AIDS sufferers also have decreased levels of methionine in their blood. It is believed that the process of AIDS could be linked to this, particularly the dementia that can occur as a result of the deterioration of the nervous system.
It is also hoped that it can help with some symptoms of Parkinson's disease, and pancreatitis. Initial research into this use of methionine has been very promising, as are studies into its use for urinary tract infections. It appears to operate like cranberry in this respect, preventing bacteria from attaching to the cell walls and multiplying in the urinary tract.
Methionine is believed to be essential for the formation of collagen, and for healthy pliable skin, hair, nails and other forms of connective tissue. For this reason it is often used as a supplement for the treatment of arthritis, although an excess should be avoided for reasons discussed above. S-Adenosylmethionine generates homocysteine during the biosynthesis of phosphatidylcholine, and this can cause cardiovascular problems.
So stick to the recommended doses when you use methionine as a supplement. Used properly, and according to instructions, it offers many health benefits, and can also be used to bulk up your muscle tissue and give increased energy when you need it most.
Dietary sources include fish, eggs, lentils, onions, garlic, meat, seeds, spinach and yoghurt. A good supplement would be from 800mg - 1000mg per day, and is best taken along with a B vitamin complex, or at least folic acid and vitamins B6 and B12, in order to prevent the increased generation of homocysteine.
Methionine also promotes the excretion of estrogen, so is a possible supplement for women on oral contraceptives that lower the production of this hormone. The elderly might also benefit from a supplement although, if taken for any specific condition, your health professional should be consulted first, as they should be for any supplement.
Nevertheless, methionine is a very useful supplement, and can be taken to prevent a large number of conditions. Research is continuing on its effect on AIDS patients, and Parkinson's, and it is hopeful that it will one day be recommended to help people suffering from these conditions.
Fight Cold Sores And Build Collagen
April 29, 2009 10:18 AM
Lysine is an essential alpha-amino acid, in that it cannot be biosynthesized by the human body, and therefore must be taken in your diet or as a supplement. It is synthesized in plants from aspartic acid, and metabolized in the body to produce acetyl-Coenzyme A (acetyl-CoA).
Before discussing its action on herpes, we shall first have look at how Lysine helps with the formation of collagen. Collagen is a protein that is produced in the body from lysine and proline, another amino acid. In fact the primary role of amino acids in your diet is as building blocks to form the much larger protein molecules.
Collagen is fibrous, and forms the connective tissue such as cartilage, ligaments, tendons, blood vessels and skin. Even the external parts of the ears. It literally holds our skeletons together, and wraps the whole body up in skin, so if we had no collagen we would literally fall apart! Collagen is also used by body cells to form the matrix that the body cells use to attach to each other and is one of the most important types of tissue in your body.
It is so ubiquitous that over 30% of the protein contained in your body is collagen, and it is designed for its structural strength as opposed to its ability to take part in chemical reactions as other proteins are. Lysine and Vitamin C are essential for the maintenance and formation of collagen.
There is not a lot of lysine in collagen - only about 4%, but it is very active in the cross-linking that forms the fibrils of collagen. Fibrils are the hair-like structures formed in a triple helix arrangement by three protein chains twisting round one another. The fibrils are bundled together in a straight line that has amazing tensile strength. The tensile strength of collagen is, weight for weight, stronger than steel!
In order for lysine to take part in this process effectively, some molecules have to be hydroxylated and others oxidized, forming aldehydes. Things can go wrong here, and deficiencies in the metabolic process can lead to some heritable conditions, or diseases of connective tissue. Among these are lathyrism, Cutis-Laxa and the Menkes kinky hair syndrome.
However, lysine is a very versatile amino acid, and not only is it necessary for the biosynthesis of all proteins, but is also heavily involved in the production of enzymes, hormones and antibodies. It is an important component of the calcium absorption process, and also, as previously stated, can be used in the treatment of herpes simplex.
This form of herpes is known commonly as 'cold sores', and is a result of the activity of the herpes virus. Viruses do not reproduce in order to ensure the 'continuation of the species', but replicate. In order to achieve this it requires the help of another amino acid, arginine. This is a common amino acid whose sources include grains, seeds, peanuts, raisins and chocolate.
Lysine and arginine competes for the absorption and entry of tissue cells, and reduces the strength of arginine, so preventing the growth of herpes. For this reason a supplement of lysine can be used to reduce the effects of the herpes simplex virus, and lessen the symptoms of the cold sore.
However, it is not only cold sores but other forms of herpes that lysine can help to relieve. Herpes zoster is a virus that causes shingles. This virus is generated by the reactivation of the dormant varicella-zoster virus left in the tissues after chickenpox. It is a recurrent condition, and lycine can help to reduce recurrences as well as its severity. Apart from being an effective defense against herpes, and forming collagen, the amino acid imparts several other benefits to the human body.
Among these is osteoporosis. L-lysine is involved in calcium absorption in the intestine, and also helps to reduce the loss of calcium in the urine. In osteoporosis we have to try to make every calcium molecule ingested in the diet to be incorporated in the bone structure. L-arginine can work with lysine to enhance the activity of the body cells that produce bone.
Canker sores are often mistaken for cold sores, but they are actually quite different. They are small sores inside the mouth, and appear in the form of very painful ulcers. The cause is unknown, but is believed to be a virus, and lysine appears to help the condition. Although there have been no proper clinical tests carried out on its use as a remedy for canker sores, lysine appears to help, and a supplement is recommended as a treatment by many doctors. It will do no harm, and anybody suffering from these tiny but painful sores will try anything.
Although lysine deficiency is rare, it can occur, particularly amongst those observing a vegetarian macrobiotic diet, and also in athletes who frequently undertake vigorous exercise, especially with too little recovery time. The effects of a deficiency are fatigue, nausea, appetite loss, anemia, slow growth and kidney stones. The latter is likely due to a failure to absorb calcium, that L-lysine promotes, and the formation of calcium oxalate and other insoluble salts in the kidney.
Dietary sources include beans and other legumes, and although it should be available in cereals, baked foods and doughnuts, for example, the carmelization of sugars binds the lysine to the sugar, and so reducing its bioavailability. However, you can also get it in cheese, eggs, tofu and red meats.
If you are taking an arginine supplement, you should consult your physician prior to taking lysine. The reason for this is that lysine and arginine share biochemical pathways, and arginine can reduce the effective concentration of lysine.
However, it has not been tested by the FDA, nor approved, and any use is at your own risk. This risk appears to be very small, although its manufacture is not regulated. However, do not let this bother you: the proof of the pudding is in the eating as they say.
Many have found lysine to be effective with collagen or herpes problems, and a supplement of between 3,000 and 9,000 mg per day is recommended for those with herpes viral infections. It is not recommended for children under two years old. Lysine is available at your local or internet health food store at discount prices. Look for name brands to ensure purity and quality of the product you purchase.
Another Great Cold Sore Remedy is Red Marine Algae!
BerryOxidants - Food-Sourced Antioxidant Protection
April 12, 2009 11:07 AM
BerryOxidants - Food-Sourced Antioxidant Protection
2 tablets contain:
Vitamin C (as ascorbic acid) 1,000 mg
Grape Seed Extract (Proanthodyn™) 150 mg
Green Tea Leaf Ext (95% polyphenols, 150 mg 35% ECGC)
Turmeric Rhizome Ext (95% curcumin) 150 mg
Polygonum cuspidatum Root Ex 100 mg (8% total resveratrols)
Bromelain 100 mg
Quercetin 100 mg
Ginkgo Leaf Extract (50:1) 60 mg
Silymarin (from milk thistle seed ext) 60 mg
Hawthorn Berry Extract (4:1) 50 mg
Rosemary Leaf Extract (5:1) 50 mg
Citrus Bioflavonoids 50 mg
Lecithin 50 mg
Grape Skin Extract (20% polyphenols) 50 mg
Astragalus Root Extract (10:1) 50 mg
Cabbage Floret & Stem 50 mg
Cranberry Fruit Ext (90% solids) 50 mg
Sweet Cherry Fruit Ext (10:1) 50 mg
Holy Basil Leaf Ext (2% ursolic acid) 50 mg
Olive Leaf Ext (15% oleuropein) 40 mg
Rutin 40 mg
Lycium Fruit Extract (4:1) 40 mg
Strawberry Fruit 40 mg
Açai Fruit Juice Powder 40 mg
Organic Amla Fruit 40 mg
Pomegranate Seed Ext (40% elagitannins) 20 mg
European Elder Berry Ext (5% flavones) 20 mg
Mangosteen Fruit Rind Extract 20 mg (standardized to 95% flavonoids & 40% mangostins)
Raspberry Leaf Ext (40% elagitannins) 10 mg
White Mulberry Fruit Ext (10:1) 10 mg
Blueberry Leaf Ext (20% chlorogenic acid) 10 mg
Bilberry Fruit Ext (25% anthocyanidins) 5 mg
Cold And Flue Remedies
March 16, 2009 03:42 PM
Echinacea, zinc, vitamin C, and garlic are all the most well-known and respected supplements concerning the maintenance and strengthening of the immune system. Echinacea contains polysaccharides, flavonoids, caffeic acid derivatives, essential oils, polyacetylenes, and alkylamides, which contribute to the herb’s therapeutic benefits. These constituents are responsible for a variety of immuno-stimulatory, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, and anticancer properties.
Echinacea possesses the ability to enhance the movement of white blood cells into infected areas of the body. Echinacea also affects many of the immune system’s cells that are responsible for slowing viral and bacterial infection. Additionally, this herb enhances the performance of macrophages in the immune system, which are responsible for engulfing foreign material like bacteria, viruses, and dead cellular matter. Echinacea also has the ability to kill viruses that indirectly encourage the production and release of interferon, which is a substance that potentially blocks the transcription of viral RNA.
Zinc has been recognized for an extended amount of time as a protection against colds. It is well known that zinc deficiencies are linked to immune system-related disorders as well as the increased susceptibility to infectious diseases. Zinc throat lozenges have become very popular in treating colds over the last few years. One recent study found that zinc is not only beneficial to the immune system, but also necessary for its optimal function.
Vitamin C is one of the most well-known nutrients for battling the effects of colds and flu. Its benefits have been known for years, with a large body of research indicating its effectiveness in reducing the severity and duration of colds an flu. Additionally, vitamin C acts as an immunostimulant by enhancing white blood cell production, increasing interferon levels and antibody responses, promotes secretion of thymic hormones, and improves connective tissue.
There is conflicting information on how much vitamin C one should take, but most experts agree that the FDA’s recommended dietary intake is not sufficient. Many doctors suggest taking large doses, as much as 10,000 mg when suffering from a cold or flu. One of the great things about vitamin C is that it can be found abundantly in many fruits and vegetables. The best food sources include broccoli, sweet peppers, collards, cabbage, spinach, kale, parsley, melons, potatoes, tangerines, and Brussels sprouts.
Garlic, which is extremely well known as a culinary additive, is actually one of the most commonly used medicinal herbs as it is found throughout the world and employed for various therapeutic purposes for thousands of years. It is common in Chinese herbal medicine and has recently received a great deal of attention in the U.S. and other Western countries. Recent research has found that garlic possesses powerful capabilities relating the immune system and the body’s ability to fight infection. Garlic possesses antiviral and antibacterial capabilities and has been shown repeatedly to simulate and improve performance by the body’s immune systems. Studies on garlic have shown that it has the ability to actually kill flu and cold viruses. Garlic also can protect the body from invading virus cells by enhancing the body’s immune functions.
Additional herbs and natural supplements that are useful in fighting cold and flu viruses include goldenseal, pau d’arco, astragalus, licorice, peppermint, and beta carotene. No matter what you choose to do by way of a doctor or natural alternative, supplements such as these discussed have zero side effects if taken as recommended on the bottles label. Natural vitamins and herbs can be found at your local or internet health food store.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Vitamins and herbs are not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.
Hyaluronic Acid can help Restore Joint Function
December 01, 2008 10:03 AM
Hyaluronic acid, also known as hyaluronan, is one of the main components of the extracellular matrix of connective tissue and joints, and is one of the main chemicals contained in the synovial fluid that lubricates your joints. Before we discuss how it can be used to help restore the function of damaged joints, let's have a look at what causes joint pain, and why joints can break down long before their time.
You might have heard that arthritis is an inflammatory condition, or that it is due to the immune system. This is true to an extent, and rheumatoid arthritis is an immune system problem, although osteoarthritis is a different problem altogether. Arthritis is not the only cause of joint pain of course, but is by far the most common cause. As already inferred, there are two forms of arthritis, each with a different basic cause.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of joint disease, and is largely due to wear and tear, injury or can be hereditary. However it is usually initiated by damage, the joint surface becomes roughened and the bone around the damaged area gets thicker to compensate. A joint is where two bones meet, and not all joints move. You have the fixed joints in your skull, for example, and those between the ribs and the spine. However, arthritis generally affects the joints associated with movement, mainly the knees, hips, fingers, toes and elbows.
The ends of the bones are covered with a thin layer of cartilage, which can absorb shocks and both cushion the joint and allow the ends of the bones to move smoothly over each other. Round each joint is a membrane known as the synovium that is filled with the thick synovial fluid, which lubricates the cartilage. The bone ligaments hold them close to the joint, and prevent them moving too much and dislocating. Finally, the joint is completed by the tendons that attach the muscles to the bones they control.
Osteoarthritis causes a joint to deteriorate: the cartilage becomes rougher and wears, and the bone beneath the cartilage gets thicker. At the edge of the joint the bone tends to grow outwards, forming spurs and the synovium swells producing extra synovial fluid. This causes swelling and pain, and ultimately the joint can be damaged beyond repair. This process takes a number of years to reach a stage whereby pain and discomfort are felt.
Before that situation occurs, however, the joint tries to repair itself, and hyaluronic acid can take part in this process. It is mainly involved in the reparation of connective tissues such as cartilage, although there are other connective tissues which hyaluronan has been found to repair. These include skin, eyes and heart valves and hyaluronic acid can arguably be used to help repair all of them.
However, it is joint tissue with which we are concerned here, and hyaluronan is an important component of articular cartilage: the type of cartilage involved in movement (knees, hips, etc), as opposed the type that forms your nose or the external part of your ears. It is believed that injections of hyaluronic acid can help to repair damaged articular cartilage. However, osteoarthritis is only one of the two forms of arthritis. The other is rheumatoid arthritis, and this is much more sinister.
Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by the attack of your joints by your own immune system, although why this happens is unknown. The most likely theory is that certain infections trigger the immune system, and it then proceeds to attack the synovial joints. Cytokines are responsible for inflammation of the synovial fluid, which can also cause fever, loss of weight and appetite, and inflammation of the blood vessels.
The body tries to generate more synovial fluid which causes swelling round the whole joint, putting pressure on the damaged areas, and generating even more pain. The inflammatory response commences and the whole area becomes seriously painful.
The smaller joints are most commonly affected, such as the fingers and toes, but it can progress to the elbows, hips and the knees. The joints become red, swollen and finally too stiff to be used. The sinusitis eventually leads erosion of the joint and deformation.
Because hyaluronic acid behaves like the synovial fluid, it is believed that it can be used to treat both forms of arthritis. It is a glycosaminoglycan, an unbranched polysaccharide of the same type as chondroitin sulfate that is commonly used to treat arthritis. It can be used to increase the viscosity of the synovial fluid, and render a more effective lubricant.
However, it is in treatment of osteoarthritis that hyaluronan is most likely to find success. It is used to improve the viscosity of the synovial fluid, so providing increased lubrication to the joint and helping reduce the pain. In fact it not escaped notice that those who eat a diet rich in hyaluronic acid tend to live longer and look younger than those that do not do so.
Commercial preparations are currently in use or under evaluation for disorders such as glaucoma, fractures, and detached retinas, damage to cartilage, healing ligaments and osteoarthritis. These last three are particularly of interest to arthritis sufferers, and signs are that they are effective with many cases.
However, it has also been established that smoking cigarettes can negate the effect of hyaluronic acid, and excessive levels of Vitamin C can also degrade it. Estrogen treatment, however, can enhance its effect in repairing connective tissue. Zinc deficiencies have also been found to have negative results, so make sure that these factors are addressed if you are using hyaluronic acid to treat arthritis.
Something to keep in mind if you are taking hyaluronic acid orally is the size of the molecule. It is a very large molecule, and suffers from the same absorption problems as chondroitin sulfate. There are smaller hyaluronan molecule versions available if you can find them, that improve the absorption through the intestine, but if not then the dose will generally be greater than expected due to the low absorption levels due to the molecule being too large to be easily absorbed through the tissues into the bloodstream.
October 11, 2008 10:26 AM
The non-essential amino acid glycine is needed to generate muscle tissue and also for the conversion of blood glucose into energy. It is referred to as being ‘non-essential’ because the body can manufacture its own glycine, and is therefore not an essential component of your diet. Other uses to which glycine is put by the body includes the maintenance of a healthy nervous system, and is necessary for the proper functioning of the digestive system.
Amino acids play three essential roles in the human body:
1. They are the building blocks of proteins: proteins comprise about half of the dry weight of the majority of your body cells, and without them there would be no life. They are produced using monomers known as amino acids, and there are about 20 different amino acids used to make the vast variety of proteins that make up the human body. Proteins are needed to form enzymes, the catalysts that permit the majority of chemical reactions within our bodies, and also genes, the building blocks of DNA.
2. More relevant here, amino acids play an important role in the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) from ADP (adenosine diphosphate) by phosphorylation with creatine phosphate. The more creatine phosphate available, the more ATP can be produced. Since ATP is the molecule responsible for the generation of energy, then the more ATP available the more energy is generated. Although creatine is available from many food sources, it is destroyed by cooking, and over half of what you use is made from the three amino acids, glycine, arginine and methionine. The energy produced in this way is very short-lived, and last only a few seconds - more on that later.
3. Glycine is heavily involved in the production of collagen, which is the substance that maintains the flexibility of your skin and other connective tissues while still maintaining their strength and firmness. Without glycine your skin would become slack due to the degrading effect of sunlight, free radicals and oxidation.
The non essential amino acid, glycine, is believed to offer other benefits to the human body, but it is the second of those above, the production of ATP, which interests us here. ATP is an extremely important nanomolecule, second in importance to the body only to DNA, and possibly also RNA since the two are linked. RNA makes copies of your DNA structure for use in cell division and growth.
When a cell expends energy for whatever reason, such as when I am typing this, or when your heart beats, or even when your liver synthesizes a protein, one of the phosphate groups is removed from the adenosine triphosphate molecule, and converts it to adenosine diphosphate (ADP). The ATP is then said to be 'spent', just as your energy is spent when you are tired and can exercise no more.
The ADP is then immediately reconverted to ATP in the mitochondria, a part of every cell in your body. A cell can contain hundreds, or even thousands, of mitochondria, the number depending upon that particular cell's need for energy. Hence, cells in your muscles, or in your liver where most of the body's chemistry takes place, contain thousands of mitochondria whereas those in your scalp contain a lot less. Once changed to ATP, a phosphate is again lost when energy is expended, and so the cycle continues.
Glucose is needed allow the ADP to be converted to ATP, hence the need for sugars, or the carbohydrates from which they are manufactured in your body. Each cell can contain up to a billion molecules of ATP, although the couch potatoes among you probably have a lot less! Your store of ATP molecules last about 2 to 5 seconds before being changed to ADP although more rapidly for athletes that expend a lot of energy. Then the energy stored in the form of glycogen in the liver kicks in for another 4 - 6 seconds.
Additionally, you cannot expend more energy that the (eventual) sugars that you take in your diet, which can be in the form of ordinary 'sugar' (sucrose), fruit (fructose), glucose, carbohydrates that are metabolized into sugars, or any other member of the sugar family (e.g. lactose, maltose, etc.).
Glycine is one of what are called glucogenic amino acids, which refers to their ability to provide glucose to the blood. Because it helps to maintain proper blood glucose levels, it is often prescribed for conditions that are caused by low glucose levels, such as hypoglycemia that shows symptoms of fatigue and tiredness, and also anemia and what is known as CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome).
The one activity of the human body, in fact that of any mammal, for which ATP is essential, is the heartbeat. Without that no mammal could survive, or any other creature that relies on a circulation system for life. The only reason you heart has to beat is to pump your blood around your body, and it is your blood that contains the oxygen and nutrients needed to sustain life. Your cardiovascular health relies on lots of ATP being available to power each and every heartbeat.
Analysis of the heart during the final stages of heart failure has revealed that there is a general decrease in the myocardial arginine: glycine amidinotraferase (AGAT) gene expression, which is indicative of the necessity of this enzyme for proper heart function. The enzyme is responsible for the first stage in the biosynthesis of creatine from glycine.
Creatine is well known to athletes, and while it is available naturally from some food sources, it can be destroyed during cooking, and at least 50% of the creatine needed by the body is produced in the liver, pancreas and kidneys. It is creatine phosphate that is broken down into creatine and phosphate, the latter of which is used by the mitochondria to regenerate ATP from ADP.
The study carried out on the reduced AGAT levels found in heart failure patients indicates the importance of glycine to heart health. Without a good supply of glycine, there will insufficient creatine produced biochemically to generate the phosphate needed to for the ATP to produce the energy required to keep the heart pumping with the required strength. The energy provided by the mitochondria is used locally by the cells in which it is produced, and within a few seconds of that production. As explained earlier, ATP stores are used up within 2 - 5 seconds, and glycogen stores within another 4 - 6 seconds.
That is why sprinters cannot keep running at maximum speed for more than around 10 seconds or so, because the immediate availability of glycine, and hence creatine, are insufficient to last longer than that. That is one reason why they have to finish those 100 meters as fast as possible, because otherwise they would run out of energy. Other than trying to win, of course!
However, when it comes to the heart, ATP stores are essential, and the cells in your heart require a constant supply of ATP from creatine, which itself depends upon your intake or biosynthesis of glycine. Since dietary sources are insufficient to meet all your needs, and destroyed by cooking, a glycine supplement is the only way to ensure a sufficient intake. You cannot undernourish your heart and remain healthy.
ATP biosynthesis is essential if that of glycine theoretically is not, but the fact that 50% of your glycine requirement has to be produced by your body and the other 50% is sensitive to heat during cooking, a supplement of glycine could be essential to many people.
October 02, 2008 09:36 AM
Cartilage has several roles to play in your body, an example of which is to form curved body parts that would otherwise be unsupported, such as the external contours of your ears or a large part of your nose. Without cartilage you ears and nose would flop around a lot, and it is also contained in the spine, to prevent your discs from grinding against each other.
However, the part that we are interested in is as a shock absorber between the bones of your joints. It allows bones to slide over one another without damage, either through friction or shock, and is also nature’s shock absorber, helping to support your weight while you are active. Thus, your cartilage protects from impact damage when you are running or jumping down from a height. This type of cartilage, known as articular cartilage, is bathed in a lubricating fluid known as synovial fluid, which introduces its own problems when your cartilage becomes damaged.
This damage can occur in several ways: as the result of a fall, for example, or direct contact with the joint when playing a physical contact sport such as football or soccer. It can also become damaged through wear and tear over a period of time, such with long distance runners or soccer players (again), and is also associated with age. Many years of continual use, especially amongst those with active rather than sedentary occupations, eventually lead to wear and damage.
Problems with the joint structure itself, known as osteoarthritis, can also damage the cartilage, as can being overweight for a lengthy period. You can also experience cartilage damage if you are bedridden or other wise immobile for long periods, because the cartilage needs regular movement to function correctly. This is connected with the blood supply, which will be discussed shortly.
Cartilage is constructed of cells known as chondrocytes that generate a fibrous matrix known as collagen, a mixture of amino acids known as elastin that allows the cartilage to return to its original shape after deformation, and non-collagenous matrix tissue containing proteins, water and proteoglycans that contain sulfated glycosaminoglycan chains. That last mixture is often referred to as ‘ground substance.’
One of the problems with cartilage is its lack of a direct blood supply, and it relies on the compression and decompression of the articular cartilage, or on the flexing of elastic cartilage, to create a pumping action that drives blood to the chondrocytes. This is why inactivity can cause cartilage damage, due to a lack of blood supply, and why it is repaired more slowly than other body components.
Once an injury or wear and tear damages a joint, the body’s natural defense, the immune system, is activated, and the major part of that involved in cartilage damage is the inflammatory response. The joint becomes inflamed, the quantity of synovial fluid is increased to provide more protection and swells the joint, and enzymes (hyaluronidase) are produced which, although part of the natural defense system, actually degrade the synovial fluid and the cartilage.
This increases the amount of inflammation and the process becomes self-perpetuating, leading to the condition known as degenerative joint disease (DJD) because the body is unable to produce enough glucosamine to generate the proteoglycan needed for repair.
This is where glucosamine sulfate enters the scene. Glucosamine is a precursor for glycosaminoglycans (GAG), which as mentioned as above are components of proteoglycans in the cartilage matrix ground tissue. It has been shown to stimulate the biosynthesis of proteoglycan, and analysis has shown its presence within articular cartilage after administering it orally to patients with cartilage disease. It therefore makes its way to the right place.
Glucosamine is administered in the form of glucosamine sulfate, the highly electrically charged sulfate groups believed to aid in the compression properties of cartilage. It is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream, although only about a quarter of the oral dose is eventually available to the body, and high concentrations accumulate in the liver, kidneys and in articular cartilage where it is used in the biosynthesis of GAG.
When in solution, glucosamine sulfate separates into ions: sulfate and glucosamine. Glucosamine ions are involved in the synthesis of GAG, that then combine with proteins to form proteoglycans, a component of the non-collagenous matrix of the cartilage. Although glucosamine is the major active component, there is evidence that the sulfate group contributes the stability of the matrix of the connective tissue since the uptake of sulfate ions increases with the amount of glucosamine sulfate used.
Another consideration here is that sulfate is an important part of proteoglycans, and glucosamine sulfate promotes not only the synthesis of glycosaminoglycans, but also of proteoglycans in general. Glucosamine is also active in regenerating the lubricating properties of the synovial fluid, and in hindering the activity of hyaluronidase, the enzyme that breaks down the hyaluronic acid in the synovial fluid.
Some people find that glucosamine, taken either alone or in conjunction with chondroitin sulfate and/or methyl sulfonyl methane (MSM), is more effective than the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) used to reduce inflammation (e.g. Aspirin and Ibuprofen) and without the side effects of these substances. MSM contains dietary sulfur, which is necessary for cell structure and healthy cell repair. Methyl sulfone methane is know to be beneficial for painful conditions such as arthritis, and also improves the blood circulation. It might also play a part in helping glucosamine sulfate get to the site of the cartilage damage.
Glucosamine is a large molecule, however, and finds it difficult to make its way to the area around the joint due to the lack of a direct blood supply. It is therefore taken in relatively large doses to ensure that sufficient amounts get to where it is needed. Many people insist that glucosamine sulfate is very effective in reducing, or even eliminating, their pain, and it is finding increasing popularity in the treatment of arthritis and other conditions involving cartilage damage.
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 05, 2008 01:13 PM
Unlike macro-minerals such as calcium, which the body needs in gram amounts, trace minerals such as iron, selenium, zinc, silicon, chromium, sulfur, and copper are only needed in milligram or micrograms. However, these small quantities do not reflect the importance of trace minerals, as inadequate intake can have huge effects on the body. Lets discuss a few of these trace minerals.
Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency worldwide, with 20 to 50 percent of people affected. The average body contains only one teaspoon of iron, but this mineral is crucial in oxygen transportation throughout the bloodstream and into cells. A lack of iron will starve the body of oxygen and energy, which cause the symptoms of iron deficiency to be fatigue, foggy thinking, irritability, headaches, and lethargy.
A lot of athletes have inadequate iron intake, impairing their exercise performance as it decreases hemoglobin levels and the amount of oxygen that is delivered to the muscles while it increases the time that is needed to recover from exercise. Iron is also important in immunity, with optimal iron intake strengthening the immune system and building resistance to colds, infections, and diseases. Even though inadequate intake is a common concern, too much can also cause health problems including stomach and intestinal cramps, nausea, and constipation.
The most important function of selenium is its antioxidant enzyme glutathione peroxidase. This enzyme is invaluable in protecting red blood cells and cell membranes from free radical damage. Selenium works closely with vitamin E, sometimes replacing it in certain situations. Selenium holds an important role in maintaining the immune system and has been shown to reduce the risk of many health problems which include several types of cancer, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and certain birth defects.
Zinc is a valuable antioxidant that supports many aspects of the immune system. Zinc works in the eyes to protect them against sunlight-related free radicals. Zinc supplements have been found to slow the progression of macular degeneration, but high intakes of zinc and other antioxidants have been shown to lower the risk of developing this eye disease in the first place. This mineral can reduce the severity and duration of the common cold when in lozenge form, if started within 24 hours of the first cold symptom and taken every couple of hours. Taking 50mg of zinc daily or higher amounts for short periods of time is a good idea, but amounts over 150mg daily could cause metallic taste, stomach upset, or impair immune function.
Many modern diets contain extremely low amounts of silicon, especially since food processing removes much of the silicon. Silicon improves the elasticity and suppleness to skin that has been damaged by excessive skin exposure. Silicon is also important in natural bone formation, since deficiencies in silicon lead to bone weakness and sluggish wound health. Bone mineral density can be improved in people with osteoporosis by raising the intake of silicon.
Chromium is important in maintaining blood sugar levels, as well as many other roles in the body. Chromium deficiency impairs the blood sugar-insulin relationship, while chromium supplementation improves insulin response. Studies have shown that supplementing with chromium picolinate improves diabetes management by lowering blood sugar, insulin, cholesterol, or triglyceride levels and reducing the reliance on blood sugar medications. This mineral is also important in the metabolism of fat and carbohydrates.
Finally, Sulfur is needed in the joints to keep the connective tissues within them strong and stable. One source of sulfur, MSM, has been shown to significantly relieve pain and improve use of knee joints in studies. Through all of the above, one can see that trace minerals are extremely important contributors to health, even in small amounts.
Echinacea Purpurea Root
June 17, 2008 06:38 PM
There are nine known species of Echinacea native to the United States and southern Canada. The most commonly used and most potent of them is Echinacea purpurea.
Other common names for Echinacea are purple coneflower, American coneflower and coneflower. The plants contain large heads of flowers that bloom in early to late summer.
In North America, Native Americans used Echinacea more than any other herb for its healing properties. For Europeans and Americans, it was believed to aid in curing Anthrax and snakebites as well as contain antimicrobial properties.
Echinacea is well known for its abilities to boost the immune system and to help fight infections. It is also widely used to prevent infections, colds and the flu. In lesser known medicinal practices, it is used to treat wounds and such skin problems as acne and boils. Some studies have shown that Echinacea has been effective in treating upper respiratory infections.
The whole Echinacea plant is used for treating various indications. Fresh or dried, the plant and roots are used to make teas, extracts, juices or external salves, creams and ointments. As a general rule, the fresh-pressed juice of the Echinacea plant is most effective in treating colds in children. In adults, both the root and herb in combination are most effective.
When taken at the first signs of a cold, Echinacea has been found to reduce the length and severity of cold symptoms. Be aware that Echinacea is not a one-dose fix-it remedy. Begin taking recommended doses at the first signs of a cold. Subsequent doses should be taken regularly, according to the product label, until all symptoms have disappeared.
Unfortunately, many herbal preparations can vary in effectiveness due to a lack of systematic extraction and refining. It is best to research the manufacturers of herbal products to find out how they cultivate and store their herbs. Their methods will cause the chemical compositions to vary greatly. The different parts of the plant that are used vary widely in their chemical makeup as well. One part may be extremely useful as an antimicrobial, while another may stimulate stronger reactions from the immune system. Other factors that may affect the quality of the product you purchase are:
* Species * Plant part * Extraction method * Contamination * Adulteration
Side Effects and Warnings:
When taken orally (by mouth), Echinacea usually does not produce any side effects. In rare cases, some people have experienced allergic reactions and side effects that include:
* Rashes or dermatitis * Pruritus (itching) * An increase in asthma symptoms * Anaphylaxis (life threatening allergic reaction) * Hepatoxicity * Nausea * Dizziness * Dyspnea (difficulty breathing)
All of these symptoms tend to be mild and infrequent. If you suffer from asthma symptoms, you should probably avoid using echinacea. In most cases the most common side effects are gastrointestinal in nature, such as gas or mild cramping. People are much more likely to experience side effects if they are allergic to other plants in the daisy family. These plants include:
* Ragweed * Chrysanthemums * Marigolds * Daisies
Use of Echinacea in children younger than 12 years is not recommended due to lack of sufficient data to support safety. It is also not recommended for use in pregnant or nursing women.
Echinacea should not be used if you have progressive systematic or auto-immune disorders, connective tissue disorders or other diseases that may be related to these. It should not be taken if you are taking immune-suppressants and heap-toxic drugs. It may also interfere with anesthesia.
It is important to communicate with your health care providers. Be sure they are aware of any alternative herbs or other substances you are using and what their purpose is in your daily diet.
Antioxidants For The Body
June 10, 2008 11:27 AM
Eating the fruits and vegetables that naturally contain antioxidants is the best way to get them into your system. Mixing them into a well-balanced and healthy diet is the best method of all. This way you reap the benefits of all of the antioxidants in a natural combination.
The benefit of dietary antioxidants is that they slow the chemical process of oxidation. This oxidation is what causes narrowing of the arteries and heart-related health problems due to cholesterol deposits. Eating a regular variety of herbs, vegetables and fruits that contain antioxidants is the best way to maintain good health. Some foods that contain antioxidants include:
Antioxidant supplements are available, lab testing have shown that they are just as effective as their natural counterparts. Natural foods contain ranges of antioxidants that work together synergistically. These combinations of antioxidants are much more effective.
Antioxidants and other nutrients are needed by the body to protect against cell damage. They also may reduce the risks of certain forms of cancer.
It has been discovered that the mitochondria (cell power plants) are a major source of oxidant production. They are also a target for the damaging effects of the very oxidants that they produce. This is a major cause in the advancement of cellular aging, called apoptosis.
It is believed that in apoptosis, each cell has a fixed number of cell divisions that it is capable of. After the cell has used its allotted number of divisions, it ceases to function. Oxidative damage is also a contributing factor of DNA mutation, which causes further malfunction of the cells.
Most Common Antioxidants:
The following is a list of the most common antioxidants, what benefits they offer and where to find them:
*Beta-carotene keeps the skin healthy and promotes growth and development of bones. It also helps to prevent night blindness and fight infection. Beta-carotene is found in vegetables and fruits: carrots, cantaloupe, apricots, broccoli, peppers, tomatoes, spinach, sweet potatoes and pumpkin.
* Vitamin C destroys free radicals inside and outside cells. It helps in the healing of wounds, preventing bruising, formation of connective tissue, iron absorption and keeping gums healthy. Vitamin C is being studied for its beneficial effects in reducing cataracts, cancer and heart disease. Foods high in vitamin C include tomatoes, citrus fruits and juices, berries, mango, papaya, peppers, cabbage, spinach, broccoli and potatoes.
* Vitamin E acts as the essential fat protector in cell membranes and red blood cells. It reduces the risk of heart disease, cancer and other diseases associated with age. Vitamin E is found in peanut butter, nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, margarine, whole grains, wheat germ, salad dressings and avocado.
* Selenium helps the body maintain healthy hair and nails. It also enhances immunity and, along with Vitamin E, prevents cell damage. Vitamin E reduces the risk of cancers, especially prostate, lung and colorectal. The best sources of Selenium include brazil nuts, garlic, meat, eggs, poultry, seeds, seafood and whole grains. The amount of selenium found in plants depends on the soil content in which they are grown.
Antioxidants benefit the body by providing a layer of protection for the tissues and cells. They are the front line of the body's protection against free radicals. Free radicals are unstable by-products of oxygen that cause premature aging and degenerative diseases. They also come from environmental sources, such as pollution, UV rays and other toxins. Foods rich in antioxidants help to clean free radicals from the body. They also help to prevent various age-related diseases, cancers and heart disease.
Maintaining a healthy, nutritionally balanced body that has the ability to fight disease and infection is a prime way to live a long, disease free and happy life. Regular ingestion of antioxidant rich foods or supplements is the best method to achieve this.
May 08, 2008 03:47 PM
Cetyl myristoleate is a fatty acid ester used largely as a dietary supplement to support joint mobility and the immune system. Chemically it is a natural hexadecyl ester of cis-9-tetradecanoic acid, an unsaturated fatty acid commonly known as myristoleic acid.
The acid is found naturally in fish and whale oils, and also in butter and kombo butter from the kombo nut. The ester is of a buttery consistency at normal room temperatures, and turns waxy when cooled, and it has no known uses other than as a health supplement, particularly for the treatment of arthritis and other inflammatory and immune system problems.
The substances appear to have similar therapeutic characteristics to unsaturated essential fatty acids, but with a stronger and more long lasting effect. It also appears to work in three distinctly different ways in that it acts as a joint lubricant, supports the immune system and functions in the same way as essential fatty acids.
Arthritis is a disease that has reached epidemic proportions worldwide, and it is estimated that more than 50 million Americans are affected by it. Until recently it was believed to be a disease of the aged, or associated with physical injury, but is now known to be more complex than that, with many manifestations and causes. Because of this, no single treatment is effective with all forms of arthritis, but cetyl myristoleate is the new kid on the block that is believe to make a significant contribution to the treatment of non-infective forms of the disease.
However, it was not always known, and a search in the textbooks for cetyl myristoleate prior to 1977 would have yielded nothing. Why 1977? It started with Harry W Diehl, a sugar chemist with an interest in the treatment of arthritis. While carrying out research on arthritis in mice, he was working on thin layer chromatographic analysis of a methylene chloride extract of macerated mice. He noticed a separation that was unknown to him, which was subsequently identified as cetyl myristoleate.
He had been unable to induce arthritis in mice, and believed that if he found out how to do that, then he should also be able to establish what made the mice immune to the disease, and so establish a cure. He soon established that it was this cetyl myristoleate circulating in the blood that protected the mice, and then found a way of synthesizing it in the lab by esterifying myristoleic acid.
Since the compound was unknown at that time Diehl patented it in 1977, hence the date. Apart from in mice, it has subsequently been found only in whale oil and in one of the glands of the male beaver, with no other known sources at the time of writing. There have been several studies that have supported the effect of cetyl myristoleate on arthritis, the first human study being in 1995 when 46 out of 48 arthritis patients showed significant improvement in articular mobility and reduction in pain. Others since have demonstrated similar results.
So how does it work? What is the mechanism by which this hitherto unknown substance helps to relieve the symptoms of osteo and rheumatoid arthritis? Being a fatty acid ester, cetyl myristoleate possesses lubricant properties, and one of its properties is to supplement the synovial fluid that lubricates the joints and tendons. This helps to keep the joints moving freely, and reduces their tendency to grind when the connective tissue wears. It also lubricates entire muscle groups, allowing them to slide over each other more freely, and also over bones allowing a smoother movement of the joints.
The second way, in which it operates, by supporting the immune system, is particularly appropriate to the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis which is caused by the immune system attacking the body’s own joint and connective tissue. In this respect, cetyl myristoleate has also been found effective in treating other immune system conditions such as multiple sclerosis and lupus erythematosus.
Finally, it also possesses the mediation effect on the inflammatory reaction possessed by other essential fatty acids. This helps to reduce the effect of inflammation that causes much of the swelling and pain of arthritic conditions, although it occurs much faster than with other fatty acids. When taken together, all of these effects have a powerful effect in reducing the unpleasant symptoms of both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Swelling is reduced, mobility is improved and pain is alleviated. Improvements have been reported by sufferers of both types of arthritis, and in fact it is reported that Harry Diehl successfully treated his own arthritis with the substance before any other human tests had been carried out.
Cetyl Myristoleate is now used word-wide in significant quantities, and there have as yet been no confirmed reports of adverse side effects. However, as with many otherwise safe supplements, it is recommended not to be taken by pregnant or lactating women until it has been proved to definitely have no side effects on the fetus or young babies.
Although there is no definitive scientific evidence of the effectiveness of the substance in relieving the symptoms of arthritis, there is an overwhelming body of evidence from those that have used it world wide. The accepted treatment is by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and with over 16,0000 NSAID-related deaths in the USA alone each year, cetyl myristoleate is certainly worth considering as an alternative for arthritis sufferers. Not only that but there is a very significant price differential, with NSAIDs costing 5 – 10 times that of cetyl myristoleate.
Among the other benefits that people using the substance have reported are beneficial effects on psoriasis, hepatitis, high blood pressure, eczema, allergies, headaches and many more. Although many of these might be coincidence or psychosomatic, it cannot just be coincidence that many of them, such as psoriasis and allergies, are related to the immune system.
However, anybody with asthma or a history of severe allergic reactions should consult their physician before using the substance. That aside, there is more than enough popular evidence to indicate that cetyl myristoleate is effective in the treatment of arthritis in all its forms, and also good for your general state of health and wellness.
April 30, 2008 03:03 PM
Sharks do not have skeleton of bone but of cartilage, which is a dense form of connective tissue. Its main components are cells known as chondrocytes that are responsible for producing collagen fibers, an elastic protein called elastin that is responsible for the skin returning to its original shape after being pinched, and ground substance that is rich in proteoglycan, a protein with glycosaminoglycan chains.
Shark cartilage is said to be beneficial in the treatment of many conditions including arthritis, psoriasis (allied to arthritis), rheumatism, eczema, acne, allergies and the most controversial – cancer. It is said to inhibit tumor growth by inhibiting angiogenesis – the formation of new blood vessels by growing them from old ones. This can lead to metastasis, or the spread of cancer between organs and also feed the cancer cells with blood.
Shark cartilage has been used medicinally for thousands of years, particularly in ancient China where its use is documented, and might also have been in other areas where the consumption of fish was high. However, the production of shark cartilage and its trade is not well documented. The major cartilage consuming countries are Australia, India, Japan and the USA, although it is used or consumed in many other countries, especially Hong Kong, Taiwan, China and, increasingly, Europe.
The best quality of cartilage is from the blue shark due to its higher chondroitin quality. Chemically, chondroitin is an acid mucopolysaccharide, and a very large molecule that is used for a variety of purposes. In arthritis it is difficult to get it to the source of the problem due to its physical size and large doses are used to ensure that at least a proportion passes through the capillaries to the joints.
Arthritis is a particularly prevalent disease and comes in two forms: osteo- and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis develops over a long period of time, and generally the cartilage roughens and becomes thin, while the bone becomes thinner. Extra synovial fluid, that lubricates the joint, can be formed and that causes swelling. The bone tried to repair itself, but degeneration continues and the tendons become affected. Eventually inflammation can occur leading to severe swelling and pain. There are several causes, the most common being injury or repetitive hard use of the joints.
Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, is completely different, and is caused by the immune system rather than wear and tear. The immune system mistakes parts of your joints as being foreign, and attacks the synovial membrane, or lining of the joint. It might also attack the sheath around the tendons. This eventually causes the cartilage to thin and the joints to wear, and the inflammatory response can cause painful inflammations. There is no apparent cause, though heredity, lifestyle and hormones might all be connected.
The effect of shark cartilage on arthritis is well documented, and in one study in the 1970s, only 11% of patients did not respond well to a treatment of cartilage injections. The pain relief the injections provided lasted from six weeks to over a year, though no reason could be provided for the vast difference. However, it did seem to demonstrate that the remedy was more than just a placebo. In another study involving bedridden osteoarthritis patients, eight out of ten could leave their beds after only three weeks of oral cartilage treatment. Shark cartilage appears to be effective when administered both intravenously and orally.
In a later placebo study involving 147 arthritis patients, they were given either shark cartilage or a placebo. Those with the placebo were encouraged to use other treatments when their pain became severe. After five years the placebo group reported a 5% drop in pain scores compared to 85% of the group taking shark cartilage. The joint deterioration in each group was assessed, and was considerably less in the cartilage group, who also lost less time at work through pain.
All of these results indicate that shark cartilage can be used to relieve osteo- and rheumatoid arthritis pain in at least 60% of sufferers. Since rheumatoid arthritis has been linked to psoriasis, this could also explain its effects on psoriasis. What the studies did indicate is that you need not wait five years to find if the treatment is effective or not: if you do not experience positive results within between four and six weeks, then shark cartilage treatment will likely not work for you.
There is no doubt that shark cartilage can provide relief to painful, swollen joints, and this is likely due to the mucopolysaccharides. It can also prevent the undesirable growth of new blood vessels into the cartilage and appears to help to regulate the immune system. These are also two of the reasons why it is believed by some to be an effective treatment for cancer by preventing metastasis.
It was the publication of the book “Sharks Don’t get Cancer” that started the rush for shark cartilage as a a treatment for cancer, but the problem is that sharks do get cancer – they even get cancer of the cartilage! However, that does not mean that the scientific reasons for the inhibition of metastsis are invalid. They are valid, and it is metastsis rather than the original cancer that ferquently leads to death. Metastsis is the spread of the disease round the body by the bloodstream, and shark cartilage appears to be able to help to prevent that. It also prevents the growth of blood cells into cancerous areas to feed the cancers with oxygen and other nutrients.
Although there are few reported side effects of shark cartilage, in the interest of safety it is advised that children and pregnant women should avoid it. The same is true of people recovering from recent surgery since it could slow healing due to its effect on repairing blood vessels. If you have a low white blood cell count, do not have a shark cartilage enema since it can cause a potentially fatal infection.
Otherwise it should be safe to take, and is available in many forms including creams, capsules, powders and injections. The recommended dosage is 1 gram dried shark cartilage for each 7 Kg (15 lb) body weight. Once you begin to see an effect on the pain of your arthritis, one can then try to reduce the dose to 1 gram for each 18 Kg (40 lb) body weight.
Cherry Fruit Extract
April 28, 2008 02:45 PM
Cherry fruit extract contains organic compounds known as flavanoids, which is a form of phytochemical frequently found in highly colored fruits and vegetables. If you eat a fruit such as pomegranate, blueberry, blackberry or cherry, or if you eat red peppers, aubergines and broccoli, you are eating foods that are rich in flavanoids.
Such foods provide you with remarkable health benefits that your ancestors knew about but did not understand. They ate these highly colored foods because they knew they helped prevent certain medical conditions, and to help others get well faster. They knew nothing about phytochemicals – chemicals contained in plants – or flavanoids, but knew about the results of eating them.
In fact, flavanoids are very powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, and each of these require more detailed explanation since between them, oxidants and inflammation are responsible for most of the non-infectious common ailments of the human body. First, let’s have a look at antioxidants.
In chemical terms oxidation is the removal of an electron from an atom or molecule. There are species within your body known as free radicals whose sole purpose in their short life is to steal an electron from the nearest molecule to them. This is almost instantaneous, and most free radicals are very short lived. The concept of free radicals roaming your body and your bloodstream waiting to pounce on the first unwary molecule is a fairy tale. In fact the vast majority react as soon as they are formed.
When they do react, they remove an electron from a stable molecule, render it unstable and thus destroy it. If that molecule is part of a cell, and enough of them are robbed of their electrons, then the cell is destroyed. One result in visible terms is wrinkling of your skin, as your skin cells become destroyed, and hence you age quicker. In terms that you are not immediately aware of, oxidation can lead to many unwanted changes in your body.
For example, the low density lipids, that carry the cholesterol in your blood to areas of the body where it is needed, are oxidized by free radicals which causes the LDL to deposit along with their cholesterol on the walls of your arteries as a layer of plaque. Eventually that will build up to constrict the artery and cause a condition known as atherosclerosis – the arteries become blocked, and you can suffer from heart attacks and strokes.
These free radicals are formed by the normal metabolism of the body when energy is created in the cell mitochondria, by pollutants such as pesticides, cigarette smoke and traffic fumes, and by radiation such as excessive exposure to the UV radiation in sunlight.
Flavanoids, contained in cherry fruit extract, are antioxidants, which prevent this oxidation of body cells from taking place. They do so by being in the right place at the right time. If a flavanoid molecule is close to a free radical when it is generated, then the antioxidant will reduce the free radical and neutralize it.
If you eat a lot of cherries, or drink cherry fruit extract, you will be consuming a massive amount of flavanoids molecules that are ready and willing to destroy these free radicals. However, that is not all that flavanoids do. They are also, as has already been stated, anti-inflammatories.
The inflammatory response is the reaction of the body to a foreign presence such as bacteria. The tissues around the infected area receive an increased blood supply, and the cell walls produce gaps allowing the large immune system blood cells, or macrophages, to pass through. The temperature around the area increases due to the concentration of blood, and this itself is controlled by the body since bacteria die off after a certain body temperature has been reached, hence the reason for fever in the immune response.
The area swells up due to the concentration of fluid and protein, and becomes painful due to pressure on nerve endings. Anti-inflammatories, such as the flavanoids, work to relieve the symptoms of inflammation without interfering with the way the immune system deals with infection.
Many inflammatory conditions occur without any apparent reason, and while anti-inflammatories might not be used to suppress the immune system, it is used in such conditions as rheumatoid arthritis where the inflammation is a mis-firing of the immune system. Cherry fruit extract can be used to alleviate many similar conditions such as gout, and osteoarthritis where its use is well known and recorded.
It can also be used to help reduce the effects of atherosclerosis through its anti-oxidant properties, and cherries contain, not only a good supply of flavanoids, but also anthocyanins, another group of powerful antioxidants. They also contain vitamin C which is also a strong antioxidant.
Another property of flavanoids is their collagen strengthening properties, which they achieve by cross-linking the fibers to form a string fibrous network. That can be used to strengthen the walls of veins, and render them less liable to stretch or expand, thus providing them with the rigidity needed to prevent varicose veins caused by the puddling of blood below weak valves. They have the same effect on arteries, providing increased strength and a reduction in the blood pressure needed to pump blood round the body.
A good intake of cherry fruit in your diet will help to improve the condition of your cartilage and other connective tissue in addition to your veins and arteries, and is particularly appropriate for athletes who place great stresses on connective tissues such as the tendons that transfer muscular energy to the levers – the long bones.
In summary, then, cherry fruit extract and the flavanoids and anthocyanins it contains, posses properties to help relieve the symptoms of gout, and various forms of arthritis, to reduce the likelihood of cholesterol oxidation that leads to heart disease and strokes, to help strengthen the walls of veins and arteries and to improve the strength of connective tissue such as cartilage and tendons.
In other words, to improve the quality of life of the majority of the population that suffers from one or more of these conditions. After learning about the health benefits of cherries and all the mounting evidence in research, my question to you is why did the FDA make cherry farmers pull the health benefits of cherries from their websites with threats of legal action if not removed? Makes a person wonder who is on our side and who isn’t?
Bilberry Extract Is A Powerful Antioxidant That Strengthens Veins
April 12, 2008 11:06 AM
Bilberry extract is taken from the Vaccinium myrtillus, or bilberry, a small blue berry that has been used traditionally for the treatment of conditions now known to be due to inflammation and the action of free radicals on the body.
Among these is atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, caused by the free radical oxidation of the low density lipids that carry cholesterol around the bloodstream, and that cause deposition of fatty plaques on the arterial walls and eventually constricts them to a stage that can cause heart failure or a stroke, depending on whether the arteries are close to the heart or in the brain.
However, additional to treating this condition, bilberry has also traditionally been used for the treatment of varicose veins and also for certain eye conditions. In fact it was during the Second World war that the Royal Air Force in Britain received reports from pilots that their night vision improved after eating bilberries. Not only their vision, but the restoration of night vision after exposure to glare.
This was extremely important to war-time pilots who had to be able to rapidly adapt their vision to fly their plane after exposure to searchlights and explosive detonations. That is the reason for anything that appeared to promote this essential adaptation to be reported.
The pharmacology of these effects have been found to be due to the anthocyanosides in which bilberries are particularly rich. Anthocyanosides consist of an anthocyanaidin backbone, to which one of either arabinose, galactose or glucose can be bound. Since bilberry contains five of these anthocyanadins, then there are fifteen different anthocyanosides in the fruit concentrate.
The area of the retina that appears to control night vision, and the transition from day to night sight, is called the epithelium which is connected with purple vision. Anthocyanosides seem to have an affinity for this part of the retina, and in so doing plays an important part in this type of vision, specifically night vision although it is also beneficial in improving day vision.
Although bilberry also contains vitamins A and C, hydroquinone and tannins, it is the anthocyanosides that provide it with its unique antioxidant properties, and also its effect upon collagen fibers. It can cross-link collagen fibers to help overcome weaknesses in the connective tissues such as cartilage, tendons and the walls of blood vessels.
Its effect as an antioxidant is to prevent the cleavage of collagen by the cyzymes that are secreted by leukocytes generated by the immune system. By preventing histamine release, and release of prostaglandins and other proteins and cells mobilized during the immune inflammatory response to the detection of foreign invasion into human tissue, anthocyanosides can help to reduce inflammation and to protect against other extreme reactions of the immune system that can harm the organism it evolved to protect.
The most powerful property of anthocyanosides are their antioxidant properties: perhaps even its only property once all of the conditions it helps to protect against are fully understood. An antioxidant combines with free radicals and destroys them. Free radicals are particularly vile chemical entities that require an electron to make them stable, and they take this electron from the nearest source. This can result in oxidation and destruction of many bodily tissues leading to premature aging, atherosclerosis, eye damage and many other problems that result from the destruction of body cells and tissue.
The various constituents that make up bilberry act in concert to scavenge the free radicals and increase the supply of oxygen to the eye. The benefits of this are in helping to prevent cataracts and glaucoma, the latter due to the effect of the anthocyanoside cross-linking effect on the structure of the collagen in the eye. It can also help in cases of macular degeneration that affects the central area of the retina which might be due to the same property of there glucoside.
Moving away from the eyes and back to the vascular system, the collagen cross-linking properties of the flavonoids, which is what anthocyanosides basically are, can help to repair damaged vein tissue by strengthening the vein walls themselves, and also by providing support for the cell membranes, or outer layers of the cells.
This in turn builds up more strength in the vein tissue below the outside walls and contributes to an overall reduction in the weakness of the vein. This in turn enables it better to withstand the internal pressure put upon it by the failure of the valve that created the problem. In this way bilberries can be used to help repair the damage done by varicose veins and improve the function of the vein in returning blood to the heart from the extremities of the legs and also to help reduce the pain and swelling of varicose veins.
In addition to these beneficial effects on the vascular system and the eyes, bilberry can also help to decrease the permeability of the blood-brain barrier to pollutants, drugs and other undesirable chemicals by improving the resistance of the capillaries in the brain to the transfer of such substances through their walls. It does so by preventing the collagen of the capillaries in the brain being degraded either by enzymes or other agents, Also, by helping to strengthen that collagen structure so that it becomes more impermeable to the larger molecules that form the pollutants.
A lesser known constituent of bilberry is myrtillin, an anthocyanoside monoglucoside that is also available in all green plants, that possesses anti-glycemic properties. What this means is that it can reduce hyperglycemia and glycosurea, and so reduce blood sugar without reducing the blood sugar level to dangerously low levels. In other words it is an ideal insulin substitute.
Native Americans used green plants for teas for centuries and were free from diabetes until the came into contact with Europeans and adopted their dietary habits. Although the case has to be proved, it appears highly likely that it was the myrtillin that kept them free from a condition that affects so many other races.
Irrespective of that, however, it is for its powerful antioxidant effect that bilberry finds its best use, and also its effects on varicose veins. However, all of the above health benefits that bilberry provides, can likely be laid at the door of the combined antioxidant effect of its vitamin C content and the anthocyanosides – including the glucoside myrtillin.
Fight Osteoporosis With Minerals To Build Bones And Improve Quality Of Life
April 02, 2008 11:06 AM
Bone consists predominantly of collagen and calcium phosphate. The collagen provides the connective framework for bone that is hardened by the calcium phosphate, and without healthy bones, your quality of life would be significantly reduced due to bone breakage. That is why it is essential to supplement this framework with the vitamins and minerals needed to maintain a good bone density at those periods in your life when bone density is liable to deteriorate.
This begins to happen between the ages of 30 and 35 and in women and accelerates during the menopause, when your ovaries stop producing the hormone estrogen that is necessary for the maintenance of healthy bones. Through time, your bone mass drops creating first a condition known as osteopenia, or reduced bone mass, and then osteoporosis, when your bones become brittle, porous and very prone to fractures.
Before we look at what can be done to reduce your chances of developing osteoporosis, lets have a close look at how bone develop so that it will be easier to understand the remedial action that can be taken.
Calcium is the most common mineral in the body, and the vast majority is in the bones and teeth. Phosphorus is also essential for healthy bones because as stated earlier, the bone consists of collagen that is hardened by calcium phosphate. The two main uses of phosphorus are in bone structure and animal metabolism, since phosphates are also essential for the vast majority of the energy-production chemical reactions within your body.
Calcium has other functions within the body other than bone, however, including exchange of fluids within and between cells, the maintenance of your heartbeat and in blood clotting. Vitamin D is necessary to help calcium be absorbed from your diet, through the membranes of the duodenum. More calcium is absorbed there than in the small intestine, and the calcium is also most available to the body when it is in a water-soluble form.
In fact, the reason that stones form in your kidney for example, is that the calcium is rendered insoluble through the formation of calcium oxalate from the oxalic acid in foods such as rhubarb and soy. High fat diets can also slow down the absorption of calcium.
Estrogen plays a significant part in bone physiology, and is an important factor in the maintenance of bone density in women. Bone is living tissue, and is constantly being absorbed and remodeled throughout life. The part played by estrogen is to maintain a proper balance between the osteoclasts, the cells that reabsorb bone tissue, and osteoblasts, the cells that form new bone tissue.
When estrogen is deficient, this balance is lost and rather than bone formation and resorption occurring constantly, they take place in spurts so that first an area of new bone will be formed, then resorption will occur some weeks later, resulting in a structure where there are cavities between areas of bone. With time, these cavities will increase and weaken the integrity of the bone structure.
However, that is not the whole story. The effect of estrogen is to limit the active period of osteoclasts so that the areas of bone resorbed into the body are relatively small so that the removed bone cavity can easily fill up with new bone by the osteoblasts, which are invigorated by estrogen. When estrogen is deficient, not only is the activity of the bone-forming osteoblasts reduced, but the bone-absorbing osteoclasts activity is not regulated, and they form deeper holes in the bone structure than the osteoblasts are able to fill.
The net result is bone loss, with more bone being reabsorbed than is being formed. The end result of all this is spongy bone tissue with many tiny hole and also with larger areas of missing bone. Eventually this passes a critical point and the bone fractures during normal use. A simple jump from one step to another can fracture a bone at its weakest point, such as at the hip joint where the neck of bone is thinner.
Not everybody is at the same risk, and there are certain risk factors that you should be aware of, each of which could increase the chances of you developing weak bones. The condition particular affects white or Asian women, and those who have a small frame. If you smoke and drink an excessive amount of alcohol, you will also be more prone to osteoporosis, although exercise can help you to avoid it. An inadequate intake of calcium and vitamin D will also contribute, and magnesium is an essential part of strong bone development.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has carried out surveys that indicate American women to be taking only 50% of the calcium recommended to maintain a healthy bone density. However, it is not only dietary calcium that is needed for the formation of bone, but also magnesium and boron, and vitamin D also helps with the absorption of calcium in the gut.
If you are on steroids then they can render you more prone to brittle bone disease. Unfortunately the symptoms of osteoporosis do not become evident until there has been a significant amount of bone loss, which is why post menopausal women, and those over 65, should have a bone density scan (DXA test). It is important to understand that osteoporosis is not a disease as such: you cannot ‘catch’ it, but it develops as the result of a gradual reduction in the minerals that maintain the density of your bone structure.
Your diet is important in helping you prevent bone loss and osteoporosis later in life, and your lifestyle is also important. Reducing your daily alcohol intake will certainly help, and cigarette smoking further retards the activity of the bone-creating cells. Calcium and vitamin D supplements will help, but do not restrict yourself only to these.
If you want to maintain proper bone density through and beyond the menopause stage of life, you should take a balanced supplement that contains a combination of vitamins and minerals needed to maintain a healthy balance between natural bone loss and regeneration. There is more to it that only calcium and vitamin D, and a balanced supplement takes this out of your hands. You can rest in the knowledge that you are doing the best for your body and its bone density.
Msm Is Good For More Thank Just Joint Health
March 27, 2008 11:07 AM
When asked to think of essential minerals, sulfur is probably not the first item that comes to your mind. But organic forms of this element shine brightly within every cell. No type of sulfur shines more brightly than methylsulfonylmethane, which is commonly known as MSM. MSM helps to form a vital connective tissue component and is best known as a joint supplement. However, skin is made of the same basic stuff, a strong protein called collagen, so it isn’t surprising that MSM also provides cosmetic benefits.
Collagen, which is a mesh of protein fibers that supports all the other skin cells, is what actually holds the skin together. These fibers are extremely flexible, yet very tough, with collagen actually having a greater tensile strength than steel. There are different varieties of collagen: type I through type XII. One of the main reasons that a child’s skin is so soft and smooth is that it is filled with type III collagen, which is the kind found in fast-growing tissue. As the child ages, this type is replaced with the tougher type I collagen. However, as the skin continues to age, the amount of collagen in the body begins to decline, causing wrinkles, discoloration, and other signs of skin aging.
The protein that is found within collagen is actually loaded with sulfur, which explains why MSM has been shown to restore a softer look to those people who use it. Users of MSM report that hair grows faster and thicker with the use of MSM and nails are also stronger. Some practitioners even found that scleroderma, which is a condition marked by thick, hard skin, actually is improved by the use of MSM.
Joints also contain collagen and MSM delivers sulfur to these tissues, which is what made it a great supplement in the first place. Among people ages 40 to 76 with arthritic knees, MSM improved the symptoms of pain and physical function. MSM is even more effective when taken in conjunction with other joint aids including glucosamine and chondroitin. One study showed that glucosamine and MSM reduced pain and swelling more quickly when they were taken together than when taken separately.
MSM also seems to help ease pain by directly stopping pain signals as they travel along the nerves. This ability has led to its use in treating conditions like back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, and tendonitis. Along with younger looking skin, MSM users have reported another use: reductions in allergy miseries. Scientists have discovered that MSM seems to block histamine, which is the chemical that is responsible for allergic reactions, from reaching tissues such as the mucous membranes lining the nose.
Results from studies have been promising, as seasonal allergy sufferers report significant symptom relief and increased energy levels. For pain relief, fewer allergy attacks, and softer smoother skin, MSM is the best choice to provide your body with a healthy boost of sulfur. More information about MSM and its abilities can be found at your local health food store.
The Benefits of Ascorbyl Palmitate A Fat-Soluble Form of Ascorbic Acid
February 09, 2008 10:43 AM
The benefits of ascorbyl palmitate are due to the substance being a fat-soluble form of ascorbic acid which is otherwise known as vitamin C. Before discussing why being fat-soluble should be of benefit, let us first have a look at what vitamin C does for us and what its limitations are.
Most people know vitamin C as the vitamin that prevents us from getting scurvy, and that limes and other citrus fruits were given to sailors to prevent them from contracting this often fatal disease on long journeys. However, important though the protection it provides against scurvy is, there are many more important uses for this important vitamin. In fact some of them are closely connected to the symptoms of scurvy.
Among these are pains and swelling in the joints, and the loosening of teeth and hair loss. Scurvy is also associated with easy bruising and bleeding. All of these can be associated with loss of collagen, which is contained in connective tissues, bone and blood vessels. Collagen repairs and maintains cartilage, heals wounds and is essential for proper skin formation and the structure of ligaments, tendons, blood vessels, bones, hair and teeth. When we consider that one of the most important properties of vitamin C is the part it plays in the production of collagen in the body, then its effectiveness in alleviating the symptoms of scurvy is not difficult to understand.
Vitamin C is also a strong antioxidant that destroys free radicals that kill and severely damage body cells, and cause a large variety of undesirable conditions such as atherosclerosis and cancers, and also debilitating and painful inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. Many free radicals are formed in the body as by-products of our metabolism: the generation of energy from fats and blood glucose. Others are ingested in the form of cigarette smoke and other toxins, while yet other free radicals are caused by the effect of sunlight on our skins. Natural antioxidants such as vitamins A, C and E help to keep these free radicals under control and minimize their effect.
Another interesting property of vitamin C is in the synthesis of carnetine, a deficiency of which is also thought to contribute to scurvy. Carnetine is needed by the body to transport fat to the cellular mitochondria so that it can be converted to energy. Vitamin C is also believed to take part in the biochemistry that converts cholesterol to bile acids and so helps to maintain a healthy level of cholesterol in the blood.
The vitamin is therefore a very useful one for the body, but it has one fault. It is water soluble, and hence cannot be stored in the body but is expelled in the urine. Had it been fat soluble it could have been able to be stored in the body fats, in the same way that vitamins A and E are, and be available for use when required. Instead any excess that is not immediately used is lost, and a fresh intake of ascorbic acid necessary on a continuous basis.
Not only that, but it is only of use in areas of the body that the blood can reach. Fatty tissue is practically devoid of vitamin C, and many areas of the brain cannot be reached by substances that are insoluble in oils and fats. It also finds it difficult to penetrate the skin and the walls of body cells. This is where the benefits of ascorbyl palmitate are useful.
Ascorbyl palmitate is a fat-soluble form of vitamin C and possesses all of the attributes of ascorbic acid. It is more easily absorbed by the body and can be stored in the membranes of the cells until needed. It is also a powerful antioxidant, the same as vitamin C, and is frequently used to prevent the oxidation of vegetables oils, such as on potato chips and other oily snacks. It also takes part in the biochemistry of the production of collagen and connective tissues.
The usefulness of this substance comes from not only from its amphoteric nature, whereby it has one end that is water soluble and another that is fat soluble, but also by the fact that it is also amphipathic, meaning that it prefers neither one medium nor the other, and tends to collect at phase boundaries, between oil and water phases. It is particularly effective in topical uses on the skin, because it is easily absorbed into the skin tissue, and more stable than some of the other forms of vitamin C. It is also believed to protect other fat soluble antioxidants such as vitamin E from oxidation, and also to help to protect blood cell membranes from free radical attack.
Although vitamin C is a very powerful vitamin, carrying out a multitude of tasks, ascorbyl palmitate has some advantages over it apart from the solubility difference. Its antioxidant properties are stronger than those of regular ascorbic acid and in fact rival those even of vitamin E, which it also helps to regenerate after its reaction with free radicals, and help to maintain a continuous supply of this powerful antioxidant.
It is also a chemically neutral form of the vitamin, and unlike regular ascorbic acid, does not cause inflammation of the tissues it comes into contact with. It can also reduce sunburn due to excessive exposure to UVB when applied to the skin, and is a very stable form of the vitamin. Ascorbyl palmitate also acts as an anti-inflammatory with certain conditions, such as psoriasis where topical application helped to reduce the extent of the lesions. In fact it appears to do most of what vitamin C does, but faster and with smaller doses.
So why is ascorbyl palmitate not used as the main form of vitamin C in supplements? The answer is money. Ascorbyl palmitate is considerably more expensive than regular vitamin C, and also normal ascorbic acid has some properties that the fat-soluble form does not have, such as its ability to rapidly pass through the body in the bloodstream.
However, it would make sense to take a supplement consisting of both forms of vitamin C, and so combine the best properties of each. Any vitamin C supplement that is designed for maximum effect on the body should contain at least 25% of ascorbyl palmitate, the balance being ascorbic acid. That is what to look for if you are to receive the combined benefits of both water and fat soluble vitamin C.
Boost Skin And Joint Health With Natural Supplements
January 19, 2008 10:37 AM
A lot of health conscious adults are now attempting to keep a youthful appearance for as long as possible by exercising, taking growth hormone enhances, and using expensive cosmetics. However, studies have proven that the major signs of aging in the skin, joints, and eyes occur due to a progressive collagen and hyaluronic acid degradation in our tissues. Researchers believe that supplementation of these key nutrients can actually reverse sings of aging.
Normal functioning of the skin requires that there be normal physiological substances in and around the skin cells. Of the many substances that are required for normal functioning, collagen is one of the most important. Collagen provides structural support to skin, which helps to maintain skin tone, subtleness and elasticity. All of these give the skin its amazing beauty. Without enough collagen, our body would actually lose any connective properties and its ability to hold together, causing the sagging and wrinkles that are associated with age.
Hyaluronic acid is also a vital component of the skin's structure. HA is a big part of the space between living cells and is also present in both the dermis and epidermis, where it allows skin to retain moisture and acts as a lubricant between the collagen matrix of the skin. Younger looking skin typically has higher levels of HA, but it has been observed that hyaluronic acid content declines as we age, most dramatically after the age of 50. Most people after the age of 40 have already lost a lot of HA and may require supplementation. High concentrations of hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulfate are able to reach the corium layers of the epidermis and provide cellar level nourishment to the skin. This then reveals a more vibrant and younger looking complexion.
Doctors believe that osteoarthritis affects more than 20 million Americans, with that number reaching 40 million by the year 2020. Some doctors believe we're headed for an epidemic of degenerative joint disease. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint condition marked by the erosion of the cartilage at the ends of the bones. Cartilage is the shock absorber of the joint, with regular wear and tear on the joints eventually softening, fraying, and thinning the substance. Other things that can cause cartilage degradation and osteoarthritis have recently been identified by scientists, including: weak quadriceps muscles, eroding cartilage, and changes in bone structure. Certain genes also play a role in predetermining cartilage status, and left untreated and unchecked, this can become extremely debilitating.
Since normal joint function requires healthy cartilage and bones, one of the most important substances required for the normal functioning of joints is collagen. As we age, it has been observed that there is a decrease in the production and concentration of collagen in the joints. The lack of this vital structure leads to joint pain and inflammation. Common treatments today include the prolonged use of painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs, steroids, NSAIDs and COX-2 inhibitors which temporarily relieve pain and cover up the symptoms while the disease moves further. More often, these treatments worsen the condition instead of helping it due to their harmful side effects. A natural supplement containing Collagen II can not only halt the progression of arthritis but can also improve the condition and provide relief to sufferers.
Support Healthy Joint Function With Discount Vitamins
November 22, 2007 11:05 AM
The joints are very important to your mobility and it is essential that you support health joint function with discount vitamins. The reason for discounted vitamins is that there is no need for you to pay more than you have to, and good healthy bones and joints need a good supply of several vitamins, minerals and other substances to remain healthy throughout your lifetime.
Vitamins C and D, and calcium and magnesium are the more common supplements that help to promote joint health, but glucosamine, chondroitin and gelatine also play a large part. Although the strength of the bone is important, it is disorders of the connective tissue that are mostly responsible for joint problems. Connective tissue holds the joint together and prevents excessive friction between bones.
Arthritis in both its forms – osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis – is characterized by a reduction in the cartilage tissue that provides a lining between the bones that make up the joint. As the cartilage becomes worn or its structure destroyed, the bones are exposed to each other and this causes the frictional damage that is osteoarthritis. With rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, the connective tissue and cartilage are attacked by the body’s immune system, causing inflammation. The reason for this is still unknown, but the inflammation leads to swelling of the joint and severe pain.
Both of these conditions can be helped by the use of glucosamine, a natural substance produced by the body to form cartilage and stimulate the formation of connective tissue. Normally taken in the form of the sulfate, glucosamine reduces arthritic pain, and over time can start to rebuild the lost cartilage. It is best taken in conjunction with chondroitin sulfate which is a substance also contained in cartilage and connective tissue.
A discount vitamin supplement containing glucosamine and chondroitin can help to avoid these conditions from occurring. Rheumatoid arthritis also responds well to anti-inflammatories and antioxidants. Much of the damage to the joint tissues can be caused by the action of free radicals that are aggressively destructive molecules created by the effects of pollution such as smoking, pesticides, heavy metals, alcohol and they are also produced by many of the processes occurring inside our bodies. The immune system itself creates free radicals to use as a weapon against invaders.
A free radical is a molecule that has lost an electron, especially an oxygenated molecule. The objective of such a molecule is to get back its electron, and it will do that by oxidizing any molecules it comes across: oxidation is the removal of an electron from a substance. Oxidation can destroy cell molecules which is why the aging process occurs through the destruction of body cells through the effect of oxidation by free radicals. They can also destroy the synovial fluid that lubricates the joints.
The molecules that can prevent this are caused antioxidants, and include some of the well known vitamins such as A, C and E, and also other substances such as Coenzyme Q10, fatty acids such as those in Omega 3 fish oils, beta carotene and the minerals zinc and copper are also effective at reducing the inflammation cause by free radical oxidation. These vitamins and minerals will not reduce the pain in your joints, but will relieve other symptoms such as the inflammation, and help the joint to recover.
Vitamin D is another that can help to cause arthritis and joint problems if you are deficient in it. Vitamin D deficiency is not uncommon, especially in those who live in northern climates where they do not get much sunlight. This vitamin helps to build cartilage and to maintain healthy bone density. Vitamin D is found in oily fish and eggs, but the majority of people suffer a deficiency, if only slight in many cases. Discount vitamin supplements containing all of these vitamins and minerals will help to maintain healthy joints. Vitamin A is available naturally from eggs yolks, oily fish and dairy products, and most people know that vitamin C is obtained from fresh fruit and vegetables, especially the highly colored foods that are also rich in other antioxidants such as anthocyanins and carotenoids.
Rich sources of vitamin E include nuts, seeds, vegetable oils and wheat germ. Taking Omega 3 oil supplements will not prevent arthritis, but will help to relieve the inflammation and hence the pain. However, in spite of all of this, the only vitamin that has been extensively tested on patients suffering from osteoarthritis has been vitamin E. It has been established that significant improvements in the condition of patients were achieved by administering from 400-600 International Units (I.U.) of vitamin E daily for two weeks.
Another substance that is a component of connective tissue and that can be taken to help rebuild what is lost in joint disease is hyaluronic acid. This chemical is found all over the body, and involved in the structure of many types of connective tissue, including the joints, the vitreous humor of the eyes and heart valves. In the joints it is rich in the synovial fluid that lubricates the joints, and also found in cartilage.
Although hyaluronic acid is contained in chicken soup, it is obtained mainly from rooster combs, then treated to reduce its molecular size so that it can be absorbed. Anybody allergic to chicken should seek their doctor’s advice on taking hyaluronic acid as a supplement.
It is highly recommended that a vitamin supplement be taken by anybody suffering from any form of arthritis or joint disease, but it is glucosamine that appears the best treatment for long term success. Glucosamine is a very large molecule, and it is difficult to get it to the site of the problem. To get to the joint, the molecule has to pass through the capillaries, and very few glucosamine molecules can actually achieve that.
That is why the doses are so large, so that even if only a small percentage gets to the joint then that is enough to help rebuild cartilage. The antioxidants help to destroy the root cause of many forms of joint disease: the free radicals and anti-inflammatories can help relieve pain. However glucosamine and chondroitin not only relieve the pain, but also continue to work over time to repair the joint tissues. As with most supplements the body can only absorb so much glucosamine, only consume 500mg at a time but take it two to three times each day for best results.
Glucosamine is often provided in conjunction with MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) that is a natural form of dietary sulfur. Sulfur is believed to be essential for healthy soft connective tissues, tendons and so on. Calcium, too, is a useful supplement to take since it help to recover the bone density, but keep in mind that vitamin D is essential for the uptake of calcium, so a vitamin D supplement will be required along with the calcium. Although calcium will not in itself help joint disease, it will help to main a good bone density that is more capable of withstanding the stresses of a reducing cartilage density.
There is therefore quite a wide variety of vitamins, minerals and other substances that can help to support healthy joint function, and also to help repair joint damage, and discount vitamins are the best way to tackle the problem of maintaining a good intake of those that are most effective, namely, glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, vitamins A, C, D and E, and supplemental MSM, hyaluronic acid and calcium.
You do not need them all, but only testing will enable you to decide which work for you. You should also contact your physician before taking discount vitamin supplements if you have any other medical problems.
Is Maca a Magic Root?
November 10, 2007 02:58 PM
Maca is packed with nutrients; loaded with vitamins and minerals to help fuel brain function and ease hormone irregularities as well as nourish the body.