Search Term: " Conversion "
Eat more artichokes! Their leaves contain powerful compounds thatprotect you from diabetes
April 04, 2019 09:27 AM
Diabetes has the harmful potential of damaging the liver, kidneys, and pancreas. Fortunately, research is now showing that the consumption of artichoke leaves can protect your organs from this oncoming threat. This was concluded after a study was performed on rats, giving them a certain amount of alloxan each day which mimicked the effects of artichoke leaves. Once tissue was extracted from their organs, it showed that it was much less damaged than those who were not exposed to the alloxan.
"People who are at risk of diabetes and other metabolic disorders would do well to add artichokes (Cynara scolymus) in their diet to lower their chances of getting the disease, according to researchers from the University of Sfax in Tunisia."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-02-04-artichoke-leaves-protect-you-from-diabetes.html
Scientists Say: Mitochondrion
May 27, 2017 07:14 PM
Mitochondria are crucial parts of cells, performing the integral function of glucose to ATP conversion, which provides energy for the function of the entire cell. They are found in the majority of cells, and they uniquely possess DNA, making them more complex than most other cellular structures. One theory behind mitochondrial DNA is that mitochondria originated from a living bacteria that lived with cells, and eventually joined together as a single unit. Mitochondria are an important identifying aspect of a cell, and are commonly regarded as a cell's most significant cellular structure.
Read more: Scientists Say: Mitochondrion
Inositol is a vital nutrient for your body that could prevent and heal cancer
December 05, 2016 12:59 PM
Many shamans, medicine men, and just plain old grandmothers have used food to heal the body. In the new millennium scientist have been able to look into many different ways of healing. Inositol may be that rare substance found within us and in Mother Nature that could hold the keys to our survival of terminal diseases. Scientist have been able to identify this substance in many foods from legumes to fruits. As long as we can locate these items in nature, there may be hope for a healthier future.
"That's why it is promising that researchers are examining the health benefits of inositol, a nutrient that is one of several little-known chemo-protective natural substances that have been discovered."
Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) and its Protection of the Liver
SOD consists of enzymes that speed up the break-down or partition/dismutation of the superoxide (O2-) radical into its constituent molecular content Oxygen or hydrogen peroxide. Superoxide is harmful to cells and is produced as a by-product of oxygen metabolism; therefore it needs to be controlled or regulated. The resultant Hydrogen peroxide is also harmful but to a less extent, and it is further broken down by other enzymes like catalase, This sums up the crucial role played by Superoxide Dismutases (SOD) as an important antioxidant in almost all living organism exposed to oxygen.
SOD extracted or laboratory manufactured can be used as a medicine orally or taken as an injection. When taken orally it is believed to remove wrinkles, rebuilding tissue, and prolonging life; even though it is not proven that orally administered SOD is absorbed by the body. When injected it functions as a painkiller, treatment of inflammation caused by sports injuries, osteoarthritis, kidney condition known as interstitial cystitis, gout, cancer, lung problems in infants among others.
A critical role played by SOD IS the protection of the Liver; which is one of the most crucial organ in the body for it is engaged in high-level metabolism in its function of detoxifying chemicals, breakdown of drugs and Conversion of certain food into necessary nutrients for the body. These processes entail the high use of oxygen needed by the liver cells in the effort to function optimally and thus the production of the harmful Superoxide as a by-product. SOD as an enzyme helps to break down this harmful by-product that is potentially harmful to the liver cells and consequently prevent tissue damage.
SOD also prevents oxidative tissue damage of the liver as the result of strenuous exercise. Exhausting exercise or running causes a significant surge in the activities of glutathione peroxidase (GPX), and xanthine oxidase (XO), and in addition to increased levels of thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS) in liver tissue immediately after the activity. Scientific studies have revealed that effective protection of the liver against such oxidative damages requires increased dosage of the antioxidant SOD.
Can Low Selenium Affect Thyroid Functions?
August 08, 2014 10:01 PM
What is thyroid glands
Human thyroid glands are small glands with a very important function. The major function of thyroid glands is to regulate body metabolism.
There are two main hormones produced by thyroid glands; thyroxin (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). The secretion of these 2 hormones is based on the feedback mechanism of hypothalamus and pituitary glands. These hormones influence every body cells- they control the rate at which your body accumulates and uses fat, help to regulate body temperature and also heart rate. In addition, thyroid glands produce calcitonin, a very important hormone that regulates the amount of calcium in the body. There are the major types of thyroid diseases, Thyroid cancer, Hyperthyroidism, Hypothyroidism and Benign disease. But what is the role of selenium in thyroid functions?
Selenium deficiency is not common in healthy adults, but it is common in people with digestive disorders causing low absorption, or those with severe inflammation arising from chronic infection. Research shows that low selenium does not cause illness by itself, but due to its role in immune functions, it makes a body susceptible to biochemical, nutritional and infectious diseases.
But this does not mean that selenium has no direct influence on thyroid functions. Adequate selenium supports the production of thyroid hormones, protects thyroid glands from the adverse effects of excess iodine in the body, and will also improve body metabolism.
Importance of selenium
Selenium is very important and it is always healthy to ensure your normal selenium level. For example, selenium supplements are used to treat autoimmune thyroid condition. Studies have found that selenium supplementation lowers thyroid inflammation. These findings are backed by the fact that selenium increases thioredoxin reductase and glutathione peroxidase activity, and also lowers the toxic concentration of lipid hydro peroxides and hydrogen peroxides which results from the production of thyroid hormones.
Selenium prevents thyroid tissue damage. Selenium is very important because it lowers the level of thyroid peroxides in the blood. In addition, selenium is vital for Conversion of T4 to T3. T3 is the active form of thyroid hormones. Low T3 causes hypothyroidism.
How to obtain selenium?
If you think your body is deficient of selenium, it is good to seek medical care immediately. Thyroid glands are very important for the body functions. Selenium supplement is a good solution to thyroid function. But long term use of selenium supplement would cause other complications such as white blotchy nails, hair loss, gastrointestinal upsets, fatigue, irritability, garlic breath odor, and mild nerve damage. In addition, very high selenium in the body may cause hyperthyroidism. In addition, clinical test for use of selenium supplements has found that it predisposes users to the risk of prostate cancer. Though this has not yet been proven. This makes selenium rich foods the best way to increase the level of selenium in the body. Some of the food rich in selenium includes; crimini mushrooms, shrimp, tuna, cod, scallops, chicken, halibut, salmon, shiitake mushrooms, brazil nuts, lamb eggs, and turkey. Brazil nut is particularly very rich in selenium, taking one or two in a day will significantly improve the selenium level and also boost your immune system.
Is selenium important for thyroid function?
Yes, selenium level is very important and low selenium.
Different Types of Royal Jelly
June 12, 2014 08:54 PM
What is a royal jelly?
Royal jelly is a gelatin-held substance, which is normally emitted from the cephalic organs of the working drones for the expansion of the ruler honeybee. The hugeness of this white substance for ruler honeybee could be comprehended with a truth that without it, the monarch bumblebee and other working drones will not prosper.
Benefits of royal jelly
The concoction component of illustrious jam is that it is a water-based emulsion of lipids, proteins, sugars and assortments of elements. Further, there are sure parts of it that work against diverse sorts of bacterial executors. It is additionally paramount that the sugar synthesis of bumblebee jam is indistinguishable to those found in glucose and nectar fructose.
The counterfeit detailing of illustrious jam is carried out through distinctive Conversion stages, for example, transforming it into different structures like cases, mixture, chewable tablets and fluid. The readiness of the substance is of two sorts, specifically - stop dried and new.
A few producers make offers of crisp jam straightforwardly to clients. In the end, the clients get profits as far as benefitting bumblebee items holding well being profits and sturdiness. Naturally, with such strong item, the expense of purchasing a new one is unreasonable purchase for the clients.
One of the wonderful sorts is stop-dried substance. This is a direct result of the reason that the stop-dried sort holds complete well being support profits alongside providing for your long lifespan of the item. That intends to say, different sorts of it cannot provide for you a life span ensure as stop dried jam provides for you. Those results of diverse sorts of regal jam are effectively perishable and at a certain stage, their possibility lessens continuously in this way, providing for you no wellbeing profits and the items get valuable for you. You ought to realize that it can additionally be stop dried into powder and therefore pressed into containers.
Can Guggle Extract Improve Bile And Fat Metabolism?
May 05, 2014 08:13 PM
Guggul extract on weight loss
It is good to maintain a healthy lifestyle. If you do not do so, falling prey to a number of health complications is inevitable. Among the causes of these complications, fats metabolism happens to play a big part. There are numerous ways to help deal with problems associated with fat metabolism; guggle extract is one of them. A plant found in Asia and North African parts is widely used in weight loss programs. Its bark contains some sap that is extracted to offer the desired product. Many people are asking questions on how this extract helps improve both bile and fat metabolism.
How effective guggul extract
The sap obtained is also referred to us gum guggle or rather guggglesterones. These plant steroids are responsible for the positive effects the herb on the body fat metabolism. How does it help reduce cholesterol? It simply prompts an increase in the functioning of the thyroid. Biologically, this helps enhance metabolism. It occurs because food digestion is improved while at the same time the Conversion of carbohydrates to fats is inhibited thus reducing cholesterol levels in blood. Perhaps that is why it is used in most weight loss programs.
Other health benefits of guggle extract
Furthermore, guggle extract improves bile functioning due to its cholesterol reduction characteristics. It kills two birds with one stone. As seen earlier, it inhibits formation of cholesterol on blood. Second, it helps in the excretion cholesterol from the body system. It is able to do this effectively due to the presence of phytochemicals. They inhibit farnesoid X receptor, which happens to be the bile acid receptor responsible for cholesterol levels in the body. It even blocks oxidation of low-density lipo-proteins thus enabling the breakdown of cholesterol into manageable compounds.
Finally, there is no doubt on if guggle extracts helps improve bile and fat metabolism. There may be a few people who question its effectiveness, but numerous studies have cemented the truthfulness of the idea. This herb also has other uses thus check out for our next article to understand more about it.
May 05, 2014 07:40 PM
Obese and overweight
With busy schedules day in and day out, refined foods and drinks have become the order of the day and this has led to a higher percentage of people who are obese and overweight. People have realized how this is hurting them and are very concerned about their health and are taking keen interest in how the body works and what it needs to remain healthy and in good shape. Most body processes are driven by hormones, which trigger the necessary reactions.
The body usually produces these hormones but at times, they need external boosting through intake of certain foods or medication. The T3 thyroid hormone is very important as it is responsible for stimulation of metabolism which if one is trying to lose weight is very important. Most people take thyroid drugs to increase this hormone level but a better and natural way is by using guggul extract, which does not have side effects like insomnia, jitters and heart palpitations.
What is a guggul extract and its benefits
Guggul extract is yellowish in color and it comes from guggul (gum guggul) which is a resin that comes from the mukul mirth tree. It possesses bioactive compounds from its sterols. Guggul has been used to treat obesity, acne, inflammation and hypolidemia. Guggul works by converting T4 into T3 triiodothyronine, which is more active in speeding up metabolism. The Conversion increases the amount of T3 in the blood stream. The sterols in the extract also boost thyroid stimulating hormone production, which is more direct.
This extract is best used by lose on fat loss diets as it helps maintain high levels of active thyroid which in turn helps in faster burning of the body fat. Remember dieters usually have low calorie intake and the body is designed to slow down metabolism when there is slow food intake so guggul helps crank it up.
What Is Beta Alanine And How Does It Improve My Athletic Performance?
January 16, 2014 05:32 AM
Beta-alanine is classified under non-essential amino acid; which imply that the body is able to produce.
Amino acids are the building components of proteins. Beta-alanine is a precursor to the compound carnosine; which, functions by regulating the acidic environment resulting from active muscles. In a case where the cellular environment inside the muscle becomes too acidic, then the muscle ceases to function. To prevent this carnosine slows down or attenuates the development of an acidic environment allowing an athlete to perform better or exercise with more work load.
What is Carnosine
Carnosine is very effective at controlling the hydrogen ions that cause then negative effects of lactic acid. Carnosine is understood to be one of the main muscle buffering substances contained in skeletal muscle. Therefore when carnosine prevents the arising of an acidic environment which characterizes a high-intensity exercise, the athlete is able to exercise at high intensities for a longer period.
When carnosine is ingested directly through the mouth it is rapidly converted into beta-alanine and histidine by the enzyme carnosinase as soon as it enters the blood stream. It is thus ineffective when carnosine is ingested directly. However,separate ingestion of beta-alanine and histidine results in these two compounds re-Conversion to carnosine after absorption into the skeletal muscle.
Beta-alanine has great benefit in improving athletic performance and exercise intensity, and the building of lean muscle mass.
Research indicates that beta-alanine is the amino acid that highly affects intramuscular carnosine amount as it is the rate-regulating substrate in this chemical reaction (Dunnett and Harris 1999).
Recommended Use for Beta Alanine
It is highly recommended that beta-alanine be taken in daily dosages in order to be highly effective, with dosage amounts varying from different expert opinions as well as dependant on the athlete preference.
Studies have indicated that 28 days dosage of 4 to 6 g/day of beta-alanine supplementation resulted in an approximately 60% improvement of intramuscular rates (Harris et al. 2005; Zoeller et al. 2007)
Boost Energy With CoQ10 And L-Carnitine
November 21, 2013 08:43 PM
CoQ10 and L-Carnatine
CoQ10 and L-Carnitine offer double protection for the heart and the brain in just a single tablet. You obtain all benefits for your heart at 100% from CoQ10, while L-Carnitine supports your memory, learning ability, and focus. The exclusive combination of CoenzymeQ10 and L-Carnitine encloses an absorbable, water soluble capsule of CoQ10 and L-Carnitine, which is important for proper usage.Why are CoQ10 and L-Carnitine Supportive in Energy Boost?
CoQ10 Energy Boost
CoQ10 is a vital nutritional element found in all body cells, in particular the mitochondria, in which most energy is generated. The major function of this coenzyme is to assist in the process of oxygen and food Conversion into energy. As people grow older their ability to naturally, to produce this coenzyme decays.
At the same time as Coenzyme Q10 is taking part in the production of energy in each cell of your body, it is considered be remarkably imperative for the high energy requirements of the heart. The heart needs vast energy amounts, because it is the hardest worker in your entire body. Coenzyme Q10 seems to be indispensable for this process. It offers you sufficient antioxidant provision, protecting the body cells from damage of the free radicals, and proffering a dynamic function of the immune system.
L-Carnitine Energy Boost
L-Carnitine transports indispensable fat acids into the same organ where CoQ10 plays its major function - the mitochondria. There, with the help of L-Carnitine, all fatty acids are turned into energy. However, the beneficial function of L-Carnitine does not end here. In addition, it also supports the transportation of toxins outside the body. You can think of the problems that might occur if these vital body processes are not fully operational. At the same time however, the major impact of L-Carnitine over the body is directed towards the brain:
CoQ10: What You Ought to Know about This Substance?
March 26, 2013 12:27 PM
Coenzyme Q10 or simply CoQ10 is a substance naturally present not only in a human's body but as well as with the other mammals. It plays a vital role in the production of energy. Back in the year 1957, Dr. Frederick Crane successfully used the mitochondria from the cells of a beef heart in order to locate Coenzyme Q10. But the truth of the matter is that, the substance is also present in human mitochondria. Basically, this substance has antioxidant properties which are highly beneficial in protecting the body against the free radicals present in the environment. Below are some relevant details you ought to know about this substance.
Here they are:
CoQ10 in Kreb's Cycle
There are a number of chemicals that the body needs to induce metabolism and one of those chemicals is CoQ10. The Kerb's Cycle is the body's mechanism to convert certain enzymes into energy. In order to achieve that, the body needs CoQ10 to facilitate the Conversion of the enzymes in energy production. CoQ10 is fundamental in the Kerb's Cycle as it supports the electron transport chain in which the oxidative phosphorylation of the ADP (adenosine diphosphate) into ATP (andenosine triphosphate) needs electrons that are exactly delivered where they must be. Without CoQ10, the entire Kerb's Cycle process would certainly fail. The mitochondria of every power cells synthesize CoQ10 so the substance is present in almost all the body parts. However, the heart consumes the most CoQ10 for the reason that it has the most number of mitochondria and it keeps on working even while the body is at rest.
If the Kerb's Cycle fails due to CoQ10 deficiency, the person will feel exhausted and weak. But aside from that, there are other conditions that are often associated with the deficiency such as cardiovascular related diseases, Parkinson's disease and gum disease. Conversely, it doesn't necessarily mean that those diseases are brought about by CoQ10 deficiency.
CoQ10 Dietary Sources
The main sources of CoQ10 include fish oil, whole grains and organ meats. With a balance diet, people can get sufficient amount of coenzyme Q10.
Aging is an inevitable process and it can affect the synthesis of CoQ10. As humans grow older, the production of the coenzyme Q10 gradually decreases. It was mentioned earlier some of the foods that are incredibly beneficial in maintaining ample amount of CoQ10 in the body. But people who do not really include those foods in their diet should not worry for there are now food supplements that contain CoQ10. Some medications like cholesterol meds can prevent the body from using CoQ10, this is when it is essential for one to take a supplement.
Fortunately, with the advent of medical researches and innovative technology in drug manufacturing, CoQ10 can now be ingested into one single tablet, soft gel capsule, hard shell capsule or an oral spray. CoQ10 is a fat-soluble substance so taking it along with foods is highly encouraged.
Who Takes CoQ10 Supplement?
Children under 18 years old are not allowed to take CoQ10 supplements unless prescribed by the doctor. For adults at the age of 19 or older, the recommended dosage in 30 - 600 mg daily. Higher dosage may be taken for special conditions.
Humans need energy in order to carry out all the tasks. Therefore, CoQ10 must be taken daily, whether from foods or supplements, so the body has the energy to move.
Have you had your CoQ10 Today?
Can Vitamin D-3 Improve Your Health?
February 28, 2013 02:59 PM
Vitamin D-3 or cholecalciferol, an active form of D vitamin, plays a huge role in bone remodeling and normal calcium balance. Sunlight is responsible for the Conversion of cholesterol to vitamin D on the skin but when exposure to sunlight do not always synthesize sufficient amounts, this D vitamin can be obtained from various sources.
The recommended daily dose of this vitamin is 1000 IU for adults or more if there is a deficiency. As mentioned, insufficient amount of such vitamin from sunlight can be supplemented by various sources such as the following: - Fatty fishes like salmon, mackerel, sardines and tuna - Dairy products, such as milk, soy milk, yogurt and cheese - Grains - Other food products like egg, beef liver and orange juice Insufficient amount of this vitamin can also be supplemented through the consumption of multivitamins, which can provide approximately 400 IU of vitamin D-3. However, take note that higher doses, such as the ones with up to 50,000 IU, require a prescription from your doctor. You can find D-3 in dosages as high as 10,000IU at a health food store.
Health Benefits of Vitamin D-3
This type of vitamin D can definitely improve one's health with all the benefits it can provide. This fat-soluble vitamin is responsible for the proper absorption of calcium in the body, thus making it essential for the bones. Insufficient amount of this essential vitamin in the body can result to brittle bones and other health problems. On the other hand, sufficient amount of this essential vitamin can provide you lots of health benefits, such as the following:
- Bone Health: as mentioned, this fat-soluble vitamin facilitates the proper absorption of calcium from foods and the reabsorption of essential minerals by the kidneys. Apart from that, it also boosts the absorption of phosphorous, which is also essential for the health of the bones and prevents various diseases, such as rickets and osteomalacia.
- Immune System: this vitamin is also beneficial for the body's immune system. According to various studies conducted, it can also help prevent autoimmune disorders from developing and is useful in treating inflammatory diseases.
- Neuromuscular System: vitamin D-3 can enhance the functions of the neuromuscular system, as well as protect the body against muscle weakness due to the process of aging.
- Weight Loss: if combined with a healthy diet and regular exercise, this can also help promote weight loss. It helps assimilate foods properly and regulates the levels of blood sugar.
- Skin: this fat-soluble vitamin is also beneficial for the skin, as it contains natural anti-inflammatory properties. It helps control various inflammatory diseases, such as psoriasis, speeds up the healing process of wounds, alleviate skin lesions due to photodermatitis and lichen planus, reduce itching and rejuvenates the skin.
- Depression: the connection between depression and this D vitamin is still unclear. However, a certain study has shown that this insufficient amount of this essential vitamin in the body can increase the risk of depression in men and women. It can also result to hyperparathyroidism where depression is the most prevalent system.
Apart from all these, vitamin D-3 and its supplements can provide the body with lots of other health benefits. It can regulate blood pressure and protect the body against cardiovascular diseases, as well as from various types of cancers.
Have you had your vitamin D-3 today?
What Are The Health Benefits Of Vitamin B-12?
November 06, 2012 04:46 PM
This water-soluble vitamin has a lot of use for the heath of the body. First of all, it helps in the maintenance of healthy nerves and blood cells.
Some people require Vitamin B-12 supplements more than others do. Some of these include pregnant women, smokers, drinkers, elderly, and even those who have strict vegetarian diet and tendencies.
In other cases, our own bodies hinder the absorption of the vitamin. The most common reasons for this include when you have celiac disease, anemia, bacteria growth, crohn's disease, etc. Those that find themselves in this situation need not fret for there is way to handle the Vitamin B-12 deficiency.
B-12 vitamin deficiency
These include weight loss, memory reduction, fatigue, weakness, appetite loss, asthma, eyesight issues, sore mouth, etc. This lack of adequate Vitamin B-12 in your body is of course not a very common occurrence. Why? Well your liver acts as a store of the vitamin for your body. Health benefits of vitamin B 12:
Assists in the Conversion of carbohydrates to glucose needed for energy
Aids in regeneration of nervous system
Has effects on the reduction of stress, fatigue, depression and even brain shrinkage
Used in maintaining healthy skin/hair and nails.
Protection against cancer cells (breast, colon, prostate, lung) The best foods for you to get the Vitamin B-12 from are in variety of fish, milk, cheese, liver. These foods should be incorporated into your diet to keep your vitamin levels up.
The Health benefits of P-5-P
July 20, 2012 07:51 AM
P-5-P or Pyridoxal-5-phosphate
P-5-P or the most commonly called Pyridoxal-5-phosphate is known to be the most active form of the Vitamin B6. This is known to be converted from organic compounds pyridoxal, pyridoxine and pyridoxamine. The Vitamin P-5-P is a coenzyme which support several other enzymes in the body which play a important role in biosynthesis. This also makes optimum use of the vitamin B6 by improving the body metabolism and many other biological process as well. The vitamin B6 traditionally comes in the form of pyridoxine hydrochloride which the body finds difficult to synthesize in its existing state. Hence, this pyridoxine hydrochloride is processed and is formed as Pyridoxal-5-phosphate to help the body to use the vitamin B6 effectively.
There are a lot of benefits of the vitamin P-5-P
Let us have a look at some of them.
Pyridoxal-5-phosphate uses the information from the genes ad helps to produce proteins.P-5-P is also helpful in the formation of hemoglobin, histamine and neurotransmitters and is also helpful in the metabolism of amino acids, fats and glucose.Pyridoxal-5-phosphate also helps in the Conversion of dopa which is a useful substance used in the treatment of Parkinson's disease. Dopa is converted to dopamine which is a neurotransmitter which is produced in the brain and is released by the hypothalamus.
The P5P is also helpful in the utilization of the food sources for the formation of energy and also helps in the easy release of glycogen which is the stored energy.P5P also converts glutamate into GABA which is gamma amino butyric acid which is again a neurotransmitter which is known to be found in the mammals. This is found in their central nervous system.The Pyridoxal-5-phosphate also helpful in the process of decarboxylation which is the Conversion of histidine to histamine.
This also converts SAM-e to propylamine which is known to be a precursor of polyamines.The Vitamin P5P is also responsible to lower the homocystenie levels which are caused by the intake of high amounts of methionine.The Vitamin Pyridoxal-5-phosphate helps in the treatment of irregular heartbeat , which is a condition termed as arrhythmia.This plays a important role in the treatment of myocardial infections. This prevents the blood platelets from sticking to each other which usually causes blood clots.The enzymes produced by the Pyridoxal-5-phosphate also helps in the formation of different kinds of amino acid reactions which keeps the carbon ions stable. This process is very important in the metabolism of the cells.The P5P also helps in the metabolism of the amino acids.
Here it helps in converting methionine to cysteine and also converts tryptophan to niacin.Pyridoxal-5-phosphate also plays a vital role in the formation of glucose. This process is known as gluconeogenesis.This also acts a important co-enzyme in the process of glycogenolysis which happens in the liver and muscles and this is known to be a reaction which occurs due to presence of glycogen.The P5P also helps in the formation of antibodies and also assists in the process of hemoglobin synthesis as well.
To keep it simpler, the vitamin P5P performs many functions which is very beneficial to the whole human body. The P5P deficiency can also happen in many individuals and even such symptoms are hard to identify. Any person suffering from the P5P deficiency will have symptoms like muscle weakness, irritability or depression. Consulting a physician and taking necessary supplements will help to overcome the P5P deficiency.
July 16, 2012 08:39 AM
Caring for your hair can be quite tricky sometimes, especially if you happen to own a little longer strands than average. The joy of keeping hair is seeing it shinny, silky, strong, consistent and admirable luster that it comes with. However, archiving these properties is next to impossible if there happen to be one to two hair disorders or diseases interacting with your hair.
The commonest and perhaps most frustrating of the hair disorders is hair loss, whichever the cause, the results are nowhere near to pleasing. Other disorders and diseases that make our hair loss its admirable beauty and luster include; trichodystrophy, alopecia areata, Telogen effluvium, Androgenetic alopecia, Infectious folliculitis, Lichen planus, Lupus erythematosus, Ringworms just to name but a few.
You must have noted that a lot of hair shampoos, conditioners and “hair food” gels use a lot of herbal additives nowadays for improvinng hair health. Use of herbs is a natural way that can restore dry damaged or diseased hair and stimulate faster growth of stronger hair strands. You may apply hair herbal solutions directly to your hair and scalp or you may consume them for shiny and healthy hair depending on the formulation. Herbs can also go as far as treating dandruff, hair loss and restoring your luscious locks.
Are hair herbal products safe?
Herbs are a natural and safe way of treating and restoring hair health unlike their synthetic counterparts, this does not however mean that they are completely safe for everyone. Some people may have allergic reactions from use of some herbs so if you suspect any possibility of an allergic reaction you may want to perform a little test before using the herbs. You can apply a small amount on your wrist and check after two days to see if there is any reaction before proceeding to use the particular herb. Be sure to consult with your physician especially if you are pregnant.
Common herbs used to restore hair health
Rosemary: according to experts, rosemary helps fight dandruff, stimulate rapid and strong hair growth, and bring back luster to your hair. To get the above benefits from this herb, you can add rosemary in foods, or formulate rosemary water through socking the foliage in a cub of warm water for some times. You can then use the resulting water to rinse your hair.
Horsetail: this herb is an excellent source of silica. Silica is good at strengthening the hair from its core while restoring the shine. Horsetail herb can be used through deriving a shampoo from its foliage. Add 2-3 table spoons of crashed horsetail leaves into ½ cup of hot water. The mixture is the added to baby shampoo. Use this to shampoo your hair regularly.
Aloe Vera: aloe Vera gel extract is known for its numerous medicinal properties such calming irritated skin in addition to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. When the gel is massaged into the scalp, it has the ability to restore the hair's PH balance while sealing in the hair moisture content and consequently acting as a perfect natural conditioner. Additionally, aloe Vera also stimulates hair growth and therefore used for Alopecia treatment.
Ginkgo Biloba: this is a well known herbal remedy for quite a number of health issues including improving blood circulation to the skin and brain. Due to this medicinal property, Ginkgo Biloba helps in delivering of extra nutrients to the hair follicles and promotes hair growth. It's therefore recommended by most health practitioners for hair loss treatment. Stinging nettle-this herb stops Conversion of testosterone to DHT which is the major contributor of hair lose in men. Stinging nettle extracts and powders are available commercially and are most effective when used together with pygeum or palmetto. You can also make green tea from the dried and ground powder of its leaves.
Other similarly useful herbs for restoring your health include marigold, licorice, chamomile, parsley, birch and burdock.
What Makes Ubiquinol The Best Form Of COQ10?
March 08, 2012 11:48 PM
Benefits of Ubiquinol
Ubiquinol is an active antioxidant form of CoQ10. It is pre-converted and ready-to-use diet supplement. Hence, it is easily absorbed and utilized by the body. Research studies show that ubiquinol has proved to be much more effective than ubiquinone and has all vital health benefits as CoQ10.
Ubiquinol is the next generation supplement which provides support for a healthy body and mind. It helps you to live a healthy life by raising your CoQ10 plasma level. It also plays an important role in production of energy levels. Moreover, it protects the cells of the body from oxidative kind of stress which can eventually damage proteins, DNA, and lipids.
Benefits of Ubiquinol:
Cardiovascular health: Clinical studies show that ubiquinol improves the overall cardiovascular health. Cardiac patients who have been taking high dosages of statins like Lipitor, Zocor, etc for a long period of time have decreased levels of coenzyme Q10 as these statins inhibit the body's production level of coenzyme Q10. The low levels of CoQ10 in the body can result in cardiomyalgia, fibromyalgia, atherosclerosis, etc. Thus, if these patients take ubiquinol which is an antioxidant then it neutralizes the oxidation of LDL.
Cognitive Health: It helps to increase the stamina and energy and promotes general health and wellness.
Anti-aging support: Due to degeneration and advanced age, the aged people have less CoQ10 biosynthesis and body's Conversion ability also diminishes in such subjects. A collaborated study carried out on middle aged people demonstrated that subjects who were given this supplement showed marked improvement in their physical and mental activities. Thus ubiquinol by and large promotes life extension and improves the overall mental health by compensating for the age-related Conversion disability.
Power to other organs: Ubiquinol plays an important role in igniting energy levels within the cells of vital organs like heart, kidneys, liver, and lungs. Thus it naturally helps you to sustain your energy levels.
Protects Cells: Ubiquinol protect cells of vital organ like heart from further damage and from constant attack by free radicals.
Neuronal Health: Ubiquinol benefits the neurological system and promotes brain health. Studies carried out on patients who had Parkinson's disease have proved that it reduces the functional decline in these patients.
Oral Health: Ubiquinol impacts the oral health and significantly enhances the salivary coenzyme Q10 levels. It affects all aspects of mouth, teeth, lips, tongue, and salivary glands.
Renal Health: Studies show that Ubiquinol gives significant renal protection to patients who have chronic kidney disease.
Your body constantly produces powerful antioxidants daily when you are young. But as you age, your body can not sustain this natural production level forever. Hence ubiquinol supplementation is important to promote overall good health. Ubiquinol can be used as a dietary supplement. Its ready-to-use formula is eight times more effective as it can be readily absorbed by your body. Thus it is an ideal diet supplementation for current CoQ10 users.
At present there are no known side effects of ubiquinol, but if you are on multi-drug therapy or are already taking other supplementations, then please consult your doctor prior taking this diet supplementation Ubiquinol.
How Do Carbohydrate Blockers Like White Kidney Bean Extract Work?
February 19, 2012 08:14 AM
Weight Loss And Carb Blockers
With so many weight loss products available in the market, it becomes difficult to find the right one that actually works. Many dieters are turning to starch blockers such as White Kidney beans that help in reducing the absorption of carbs in the body, hence getting rid of extra flab. Let us look at the science behind starch or cabohydrate blockers.
How does Carbohydrate Blocker work?
Starch is the non-nutritious and empty calorie form of carbohydrate that is found in bread, pasta, rice and potatoes. These evil foods have become the staple diet of many people. During the process of digestion, all the forms of carbohydrates are converted in to simple sugars. Sugar is further metabolised for energy, and excess sugar is stored either in the muscle tissue and liver or in the form of fat deposits. This breaking down of carbs is done with the help of an enzyme, alpha amylase. Recent studies have found that some substances contain specific ingredients that help in blocking the enzyme amylase. This ingredient is known as Phase 2 Carb Controller and it blocks tha action or function of alpha amylase. This results in slowing down of absorption and digestion processes. This reduces Conversion of extra sugar in to fat and hence reduces calorie impact. So actually it is not starch blocker, as they do not block everything; rather it is starch enzymen blocker.
White Kidney Beans as Carbohydrate blocker:
White kidney beans are large beans that can be used to prepare soup and pasta dishes and other italian dishes. They are also called cannellini beans and have a mild delicious flavor. It has been studies that white kidney beans contain a specific ingredient called Phase 2 Carb Controller that helps in blocking the action of enzyme alpha amylase. According to the latest studies, white kidney beans may help the body stop carbs from breaking down in to sugars, hence there is no excess sugar to get converted in to fat. Experts say that Phase 2 Carb Controller selectively targets only the starchy white component of carbohydrates and do not affect the digestion of healthy carbohydrates such as whole grains and fruits. It inhibits body's digestion of specific complex carbs, which are then eliminated from the body. This helps you get rid of unhealthy stored fat, giving you healthy, fat free body.
What are the other benefits of White kidney beans that may assist in weight loss:
According to studies, white kidney beans also help in regulating the blood sugar levels. Normal blood sugar levels do not require breakdown of complex carbs and this also helps in losing weight.
White kidney beans also contain high amounts of fibre, which aids in digestion and keeps you satisfied, thereby avoiding untimely bingeing of high calorie snacks.
Other health benefits of White kidney beans:
White kidney beans are useful in lowering triglycerides, coronary artery disease and degenerative arthritis.
Clinical studies on white kidney beans or starch blockers have shown that carbohydrate blocker do allow complex carbs to pass through the small intestine undigested. Research is still going on to find the further action of Phase 2 Carb Controller present in white kideny beans in losing weight.
Red Yeast Rice for Reducing Cholesterol
February 16, 2012 08:06 AM
How does Red Yeast Rice Reduce Cholesterol?
Maybe you have heard about it that some people said that red yeast rice is very effective for decreasing the cholesterol level on our body. Some people have tried putting it on their diet program to see how it works, while some others just stick to the medicines. But mostly, people does not even know what cholesterol is and why should they control the amount of it on their body.
Cholesterol is a fat substance produced by the liver and is important to allow your body to work properly. It helps the Conversion process of vitamin D. It creates and controls cell membranes. It is also essential for many productions of hormones. And there are still much more benefits your body can get from cholesterol.
As long as the amount is perfect, cholesterol is a beneficial substance for your body. But having too much of it on your body is really not healthy. It can stick to your arteries and narrow it down. Therefore, your blood could not flow smoothly. It can lead you to a heart attack, coronary heart, stroke and other life-endangering diseases. That is why it is important to control the amount of cholesterol inside your body.
Red yeast rice is a kind of rice that was fermented by red yeast. Since about a thousand years ago, red yeast has been commonly used in Chine as a natural food colorant and the main ingredients of rice wines. They also used it as a traditional medication for improving blood circulation and helping many kinds of digestion problems.
Red Yeast Rice
Even so, there are still many scientist and doctors who does not believe if red yeast rice is safe enough for human to consume. Therefore, they did some trials. Firstly, they tried it to animal. They fed it the several kinds of animal continuously. The result shows that no damage is shown on the lungs, livers, kidneys, or any other organs. After that, they tried it to human where some people are volunteering. He result shows almost the same. There were some side effect such as heartburn and indigestions, but the number is very negligible and level is low.
Some other researches had been done to measure how effective is it in reducing cholesterol level. The results show that red yeast rice contains Cholestin that is effective to remove bad cholesterol (LDL) but not affecting good cholesterol (HDL) at all. The results also show that people who consume 1.8 grams of it per day can lower their cholesterol for about 27% in twelve weeks only.
Although it is effective in lowering the cholesterol, pregnant or breastfeeding women are not recommended to consume it. It is also not recommended for people who have a severe heart disease or high cholesterol. Those people are usually consuming statin given by their doctor. Statin is a lot better in reducing cholesterol and it is not wise to replace it with any other supplement.
Controlling your cholesterol level is very important in order to live a healthy life for as long as possible. Besides putting red yeast rice on your diet program, you also need to have a healthy lifestyle by consuming nutritional foods, avoiding alcohols, and doing exercise regularly.
How Does The White Kidney Bean Block Carbohydrates?
February 08, 2012 08:23 PM
The White Kidney Bean is referred scientifically as Phaseolus vulgar. It is bean plant that is native to the Indies, Europe and Peru. The major advantage of using this bean plant is because it has been proven scientifically proven as a good inhibitor of the digestion of some selected dietary carbohydrates. Its carbohydrate blocking ability has seen it being adopted in the manufacture of most weight loss and diet pills.
When you consume starch, normally referred to as the complex carbohydrates, the body then has the responsibility of breaking these food substances into smaller digestible units that are referred to as dextrins. This is usually done through a chemical process catalyzed by the enzyme amylase. The dextrins are later broken down to form glucose. This is then the product that is useful to the body. Glucose is required for body energy requirements. The glucose before being used by the body system is first stored in the muscle tissue or the liver in the form of glycogen.
The settling of glycogen in the liver is used for Conversion to lipids and later their storage in fat form. White Kidney Bean is essentially used to block the digestive ability of alpha-amylase which is used in the breakdown of carbohydrates into dextrins and later into glucose which is then used up by the body system. The result of this means that all the carbohydrates pass through the digestive tract undigested. This therefore translates to a lower intake of energy and. This subsequently lowers the amount of body fat that is usually introduced into the body by the consumption of such foods. This is why this bean is an essential element for those seeking to lose weight.
The White Kidney Bean can be able to block the digestion of carbohydrates but is not capable of inhibiting the digestion of fats and simple sugars. This therefore calls for more adoption of dietary controls because the bean might not achieve the level of effect required. Even through the bean is able to inhibit the functioning of alpha-amylase, there still is another starch digestive enzyme called glucoamylase that can still be digesting the starch during the inhibition of the other enzyme. The White Kidney Bean is a good option for weight loss and weight management. The users are however still advised to ensure that they properly limit their intake of carbohydrates so as to get better results.
This bean is safe to take and does not have any health complications associated with it. The use of this bean is of much importance in losing that extra pound. The White Kidney Bean is especially helpful to those people who cannot get the proper time for preparing healthy meals. It is always important to keep in mind the fact that this bean is only useful in inhibiting the digestion of carbohydrates. This is why people are always advised to try as much as possible to limit their carb consumption. Some side effects like heartburn might be witnessed but in most cases they might not be very much pronounced.
Effects of Pumpkin Seed Oil on Prostate Health
February 07, 2012 11:46 AM
Pumpkin Seed Oil
Pumpkin seed oil is getting a lot of attention nowadays because of its healing and therapeutic effects to the human body. Pumpkin seeds actually contain a number of valuable nutrients and microelements that enhances the health being of the users. Pumpkin seeds are actually rich sources of phytonutrients, carotenoids, antioxidants, vitamins, proteins, phytosterols and essential fatty acids that bring about a number of beneficial effects to the human body.
Pumpkin seed oil is known for its anti-parasitic, anti-arthritic and anti-inflammatory properties. Furthermore, the oil is known for its capacity to lower the cholesterol level of an individual and optimize kidney function. The oil is even used to treat skin irritations and minor skin infections. In fact, pumpkin seed oil is used to achieve a healthier and smoother skin. The oil is even capable of improving sexual health, treating minor depression and provide ample amount of energy to the user.
Pumpkin seed oil actually contains ample amount of antioxidants such as Vitamins A, E and C that help the body fight against damaging free radicals. The oil also contains significant amounts of Vitamins B1, B2 and B6. The oil is fortified with adequate amount of Vitamin Kand D, magnesium, omega 6, omega 3, phosphorus, iron, zinc, calcium and trace minerals.
Pumpkin seed oil is a rich source of omega 6, omega 9, zinc and carotenoids that significantly reduce the risk of developing prostate problems in the future. The zinc content of pumpkin seed oil makes this natural product effective in treating prostate enlargement. Zinc is an essential mineral that shrinks any inflammation or enlargement of the organs or tissues. Pumpkin seed oil actually contains a number of potent elements that inhibit androgen receptors which can trigger the multiplication of cancerous prostate cells.
Pumpkin seed oil was initially used to treat prostate problems and infertility. A number of scientific studies revealed that pumpkin seed oil contains essential elements that increases the libido and optimizes bladder and prostate functions.
Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy is one of the most common prostate problems of men who are over 50 years old. The condition is mainly characterized by the inflammation of the prostate gland. High levels of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the body can trigger the onset of prostate problems. DHT is known for its capacity to promote the multiplication of cells in the prostate which leads lead to the enlargement of the gland.
Pumpkin seed oil is believed to be efficient in protecting the prostate against the damaging effects of DHT. Pumpkin seed oil contains huge quantities of phytosterol beta-sitosterol that prevents the Conversion of hormone testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT) by inhibiting the activity of the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase which converts testosterone to DHT. In effect, the level of DHT in the body is managed at an optimum level. Pumpkin seed oil also contains Delta-7-sterine that acts as DHT blocker and prevents the damaging effects of DHT on the cell. Delta-7-sterine also aids in preventing the multiplication of cancerous prostate cells in the body. Inhibiting the activity of the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase can lead help the prostate shrink back to its normal size because of a controlled production of DHT in the body.
Bioperine Promotes Maximum Absorption
February 06, 2012 06:19 PM
Bioperine is an extract from black pepper that contains about 95 percent piperine. Piperine is an alkaloid, the active substance that contributes to nutrients bioavailability and absorption. Bioperine can be combined with other specific nutrients to form different nutritional supplements that can be used for both animal and human consumption. Black pepper is mostly harvested before ripening, dried in the sun and then the extraction process begins.
How and why use of Bioperine promotes maximum vitamin absorption
Recent research has shown that the use of Bioperine, whose main constituent is piperine, increases thermogenic activity in the body. Thermogenesis is an accelerated metabolic process that takes place in the body cells in which Conversion of glucose into energy takes place. An increase in absorption of discount minerals such as selenium and vitamins such as vitamin A has been witnessed to be triggered by the use of Bioperine. Piperine works through initiating the release of catecholamines hormones that stimulate thermogenesis. However, the nutrients should presently available during this time since; the process takes place for a short duration.
Piperine improves the necessary conditions of the intestines thus enhancing vitamins absorption. It alters the intestinal epithelial cell wall making it more permeable to vitamins and minerals. In addition, absorption of protein supplements such as those used by people who are on a dietary weight loss program is also increased. Several researchers have also shown that Bioperine has other benefits in the body, these includes the antibacterial properties and anti allergy properties.
Experiments prove that use of Bioperine increases vitamin and mineral absorption
Several studies on how much piperine promotes nutrients absorption have been carried out hitherto. For instance, an experiment was carried out on the effect of absorption of beta-carotene, vitamin B-6 and selenium which are fat soluble vitamin, water soluble vitamin and mineral in the form of selenomethionine respectively in the presence and absence of piperine. The experiment showed that absorption of these vitamins and mineral selenium increased appreciably when taken with Bioperine. There was 60 percent increase in absorption of beta-carotene and vitamin B-6 while 30 percent absorption was noticed for selenium. The experiment was carried out using 5 milligrams of Bioperine. Another experiment also showed a 30 to 200 percent increase in the absorption of Coenzyme Q-10.
Bioperine is the only piperine product to undergo comprehensive health tests and to be patented for the effect of increasing nutrients absorption, more so vitamins and minerals. By creating metabolic changes that require vitamins and minerals, Bioperine creates a nutritional need and then follows by increasing the nutrients bioavailability to meet the need. However, the process takes place in a short period. It is therefore advisable to co-administer minerals and vitamins with Bioperine so that they will be available during the right time for absorption. Unfortunately, research has shown that taking black pepper in its natural form does not yield the same results as those of taking Bioperine. This is mainly because the bioavailability of piperine is not that high in the natural form. Finally, antibacterial and anti allergy properties of Bioperine diversifies its application in medication.
Prostate Prevention: Using Natural Means To Promote A healthy Prostate
October 12, 2011 11:51 AM
Overview of Prostate Health
Prostate health has been more of a concern for men in the recent decade, not really because it did not have any credence before but because now there is more effort in raising awareness. It also helps that more and more men are able to talk about it more comfortably out in the open and rightfully so compared to when men are ashamed to talk about it because in some ways they see it as losing their manhood due to the ability of poor prostate health to affect erectile functions. And when issues like this are involved some prefer to go down with the disease quietly rather than ask for help and talk about it.
So the improvement in awareness this past years has been a very positive change, more and more men are aware including me as to how prostate health is as important as breast health for women. Furthermore, aside from just being aware of the need to look into prostate health a little bit more, many men are also realizing the need to have alternative ways aside from medication to promote good prostate health and avoid having prostate cancer in the future.
The Natural Way To Better Prostate Health
All natural is all well and good but one thing that we need to remember here is that the key is prevention not treatment. There are so many natural products out in the market today which could benefit prostate health and aside from just supplementing there are things you can do as well to maintain good prostate health. Some recent researches has shown that low glutathione has been linked to higher risks of prostate cancer and so it would be a good idea to ensure that glutathione levels in the body are good. There are also herbs that promote prostate health and one well known herb is saw palmetto which is a native of the Atlantic seaboard region and is by far the most well researched prostate herb.
It has been proven to be helpful because of its contents like beta sitosterol which is a powerful compound that inhibits DHT(Dihydrotestosterone – male sex hormone) Conversion from testosterone. It also has been proven to have properties that aid in the relief of any prostate enlargement and its symptoms. The next herb would be red clover which is a member of the pea family and contains a hefty amount of antioxidants which we all know fights off free radicals that cause cancer. Aside from herbs, activities like regular ejaculation can also help in such a way that it acts like a cleansing method for our prostate and experts say that 3 times a week should be enough. Exercise and diet as well can most definitely be helpful on keeping your systems healthy and making sure the right nutrients are taken in. And speaking of nutrients, some vitamins and minerals that are considered important for prostate health are Vitamin B6 and working in conjunction with the mineral Zinc it aids in the prevention of prostate enlargement or swelling. Lastly but certainly not the least, lycopene simply has powerful antioxidants that will prevent cancerous cells from proliferating thereby reducing the chances of prostate cancer.
How Does Coenzyme Q10 Improve Energy Levels and Our Health?
October 04, 2011 04:18 PM
One of the most amazing and essential chemical cofactors is coenzyme Q10. This specific cofactor plays a crucial role for the body because it is required by cells to produce enough energy to sustain life. Studies revealed that coenzyme Q10 can increase the level of energy of all the muscles in the body therefore, it is beneficial most especially for the cardiac muscles to achieve optimal rate.
Coenzyme Q10 also provides the immune system with enough power and energy so that the body will be protected from injurious pathogens. It can also help in releasing fat storage by enhancing oxygen utilization. Because of the fact that the production of coenzyme Q10 decreases as we age, there is a great need to take supplements so that we will not be depriving our body with the health benefits that it offers. Below is the array of health benefits that coenzyme Q10 is capable of offering:
Coenzyme Q10 toughens your protection against pathogens
It is an inevitable fact that our immune system requires enough energy to sustain it from performing its functions. Coenzyme Q10 has been proven essential in terms of strengthening the immune system especially in instances when an invader is detected. Coenzyme Q10 offers vital support to our natural killer cells (our first line of defense) in fighting bacterial and viral agents that could cause great harm to our body.
Another health benefit of coenzyme Q10 is its capability in lowering the concentration and regulating the production of chemicals such as NF-kappaB, which could weaken our immune system. Based on the studies that were conducted, it has been unleashed that increasing blood levels of coenzyme Q10 could enhance the antibody response to as much as 57% hence, it is highly essential in keeping our body well protected.
Coenzyme Q10 is good for you heart
We are aware that ATP is the primary unit of energy that is being utilized by the mitochondria of our cells; to sustain the process, the body only recognizes coenzyme Q10 to act as chemical facilitator. A deficiency in the amount of coenzyme Q10 in the body would also equate to poor muscle functioning.
As a matter of fact there was this study that revealed that when coenzyme Q10 is combined with other forms of potent antioxidants like selenium, vitamin C and vitamin E, it can relevantly enhance the health of your heart and can lower down your risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.
Coenzyme Q10 can help you lose weight
This special coenzyme supplies your body with enough energy to ensure the efficacy of your exercise program by increasing fat metabolism and energy utilization. Because coenzyme Q10 can help the Conversion of energy components into a more useful form, it can help stimulate your metabolic rate thus helping you achieve the body that you have always wanted. Experts suggest that you should combine coenzyme Q10 with regular aerobic exercise to make it more efficient for your body to get rid of fats.
Can Iodine And Potassium Be Used For Thyroid Health?
September 15, 2011 02:11 PM
Thyroid Hormone Production
The thyroid gland basically is the part of the body that produces thyroid hormones as the its name suggests. It could be found in the neck right around the front area, somewhere around the thyroid cartilage which is more familiar to us as the adam’s apple. The primary function of the thyroid hormone is to regulate and maintain proper metabolism. I addition it also extends its purpose to processes like energy Conversion for the body and the body’s processing of other hormones and vitamins to stimulate proper growth and maturation. Commonly when we refer to thyroid disorders, we refer to thyroid production being out of balance. It could either be too high or too low. In the case of overproduction of these hormones an overactive thyroid is usually the culprit and this is called hyperthyroidism. In the case of underproduction caused by an underactive thyroid the disorder is called hypothyroidism.
Thyroid issues also have been noted to be more prevalent in women than in men. The production of these hormones although done actually by the thyroid the process does not start there. The hormone synthesis process which will eventually produce thyroid hormones begin in the part of the brain called the hypothalamus. This is where the TSH or thyroid stimulating hormone is being released from and it then is transported to the thyroid gland via the blood. Then the two thyroid hormones, L-thyroxine or T4, and triidothyronine or T3 are produced. In this process, it is important that regulation occurs and when any disruption happens this is where the imbalances start, either overproduction or underproduction of the hormones occur. A gland known as the pituitary is the key to all this, also located in the brain it can sense how much hormones are in the blood and adjust accordingly to maintain this delicate balance.
Iodine and the Thyroid
Worldwide the most common cause of any thyroid disorder is iodine deficiency. Ample amounts of dietary iodine are needed to produce the thyroid hormones. It is important that we get the correct amount of iodine from our diets, it is so essential that in the US many food products are fortified with iodine and the reason being is that iodine in natural food sources alone are not enough since our food whether it be crops or meat gets its iodine from the soil and our soil is low in iodine content thus the fortification of many of our food products to avoid any thyroid disorders.
Potassium and the Thyroid
Potassium is a very important mineral in the body to maintain good health. It is an important electrolyte and help conduct electricity in the body. In terms of its link with thyroid health, numerous studies have shown that there is an association between low potassium levels and thyroid issues especially hyperthyroidism and in more severe cases it even has been found to be the cause of an overactive thyroid and as such potassium supplementation has been commonly used as treatment to provide relief.
What Causes Glycine Malabsorption?
September 09, 2011 04:33 PM
Glycine is known to be the smallest amino acid in the human body and it is present in both water and fatty based environments. This has been one of the most researched amino acid to date and most results indicate that it has an important role in normal bodily function maintenance. It has the ability to supply collagen to the human body as one of its main functions. Studies have also found that glycine is also used to build both fibrous and muscle tissues which is why it has been used as a treatment for degenerative diseases. Aside from this main function glycine also plays such a wide range of roles in other bodily functions as it is playing a part in numerous system processes, from aiding in blood sugar Conversion to affecting the nervous system it truly has made itself essential to the body.
That is why any malabsorption or lowering of glycine levels in the body can cause harmful and detrimental effects in any person’s well being. Furthermore, it also has been proven in many studies that glycine has an antioxidant effect which aids in the body’s war against free radicals. In recent years there has been an increase in the popularity of glycine, so much so that some food products have been fortified with it just to up their value in the consumer’s eyes as they know that America is getting more and more health conscious as the days go by. Since the body is capable of producing this substance it is considered as a non essential amino acid. It is seldom that the body will totally run out of this substance however lowered levels due to various reasons are absolutely possible. Which brings me back to how is malabsorption of Glycine caused.
Glucose and Galactose Presence
Studies have been done to show how glycine absorption can be impaired and what they were able to find out is that there is a competition between forms of sugar like glucose and galactose and glycine for intestinal transport. The results show that there was a decrease in absorption of both substances whenever the other is present. For glycine the drop in absorption was over 50 percent and for the sugars there was also significant decrease in uptake and absorption. What this entails in the real world is that regions with high carbohydrate diets maybe affected and may have cases of Glycine absorption impairment more so than other regions with lower carbohydrate diets however this is not taking into account any gastrointestinal damage that may also affect glycine absorption.
In cases that a person has gone through surgery they may suffer from Glycine malabsorption, this is not something to be that worried about as anesthesia is not consistently present in the body and realistically very few individuals have surgery often and surgery that requires anesthesia I might add. Studies have shown that local anesthesia is the one that is more harmful to glycine absorption compared to general anesthesia.
If you have a glycine malabsorption problem, supplementing with the amino acid will help restore these low levels. Grab some glycine and feel the difference it can make in your energy.
What Vitamins And Minerals Are For Mental Alertness?
August 29, 2011 10:33 AM
There are many vitamins and minerals which can help improve the health and functioning of the nervous system. Vitamins and minerals are significantly involved in many biological processes of the body. It influences the activities of the organs of the body including the brain. In fact, deficiencies on vitamins and minerals may result to psychological or even psychiatric symptoms in certain individuals. People with psychiatric problems are also prescribed with vitamin and mineral supplements which serve as one of its conventional treatment.
The vitamins and minerals which are good for the improvement of brain function and improvement of mental alertness are the following:
1. THIAMINE OR VITAMIN B1. Generally, insufficient amount of this enzyme may result to mild psychiatric symptoms. Studies revealed that people with inadequate amount of this vitamin has the symptoms of fearfulness, anxiety, depression, agitation and behavioral instability. This vitamin is necessary for the activity the body’s enzyme called pyruvate dehydrogenase. This enzyme is required for the Conversion of pyruvate to acetyl – coenzyme A. If pyruvate is not catalyzed into acetyl – coenzyme A, the excess pyruvate in the body might be converted into lactate which can cause muscle pains and also psychiatric symptoms such as anxiety. Deficiency of this vitamin must be suspected when the person is alcoholic or malnourished.
2. RIBOFLAVIN OR VITAMIN B2. This vitamin is closely associated with major depression in relation to oxidative stress. Riboflavin is required for the metabolism of protein, fats and carbohydrates. The building blocks of these macronutrients are important for the maintenance of brain health and proper functioning of the nervous system. It can improve the energy levels and functioning of the brain, thus improving an individual’s mental alertness.
3. PYRIDOXINE OR VITAMIN B6. Studies show that low level of vitamin B6 is directly related to depression. Inside the body, pyridoxine is converted into its biochemical active form called pyridoxal phosphate which is important for mental alertness and brain functioning. Pyridoxine acts as a coenzyme involved in the synthesis of brain chemicals such as serotonin, dopamine and gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA). This vitamin is also involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates and amino acids which are essential for boosting energy levels.
4. COBALAMIN OR VITAMIN B12. Deficiency of this vitamin is closely related to decrease mental functioning. Vitamin B12 is a cofactor of the enzyme methionine synthase which is important in the Conversion of homocysteine to methionine. This is required for the production of energy in fatty acids and proteins which is important for the methylation reactions of brain chemicals.
5. VITAMIN C. This vitamin is considered to be a cofactor of the neurotransmitter dopamine and is involved in the Conversion of dopamine to norepinephrine. These brain chemicals are important for the maintenance of proper mental alertness.
6. FOLATE. Decreased mental alertness and depression is a common symptom of low levels of folate in the body. This mineral is involved in the methylation and synthesis of DNA. It is important for the development of brain function and improvement of mental alertness.
7. MAGNESIUM. This mineral is involved in many reactions of the body. Individuals with decreased mental alertness are found to have low levels of magnesium in their cerebrospinal fluids.
8. ZINC. This is a mineral which is important in the catalyses of many enzyme sin the body. It is found in high amount in the brain which is important for nervous activities.
What Are The Symptoms Of Magnesium Deficiency?
August 15, 2011 06:25 PM
Magnesium is a chemical element and the seventh most abundant element in the crust of the Earth and is third most being dissolved in seawater. In the human body, it is the 11th most abundant by mass. Its ions are essential and play a major role in all living things through its ability to manipulate important biological polyphosphate compounds and most familiar of which is DNA. It is important in over 350 needed biochemical reactions in the body. Digestion, energy production, the function of muscle, formation of bone, creation of new cells, activation of B vitamins, relaxation of muscles, and also aids in the proper functioning of major parts of the body like heart, kidneys, brain and nervous system.
Magnesium deficiency is a state of the body where in dietary magnesium is below acceptable levels because of poor intake and can result to numerous symptoms and diseases. Magnesium deficiency is more common than most people think. However, these can usually be remedied by an uptake of magnesium in diet or through supplementation. In sever case though, intravenous remedies may be required. The initial symptoms of magnesium deficiency are more often than not subtle. Magnesium is stored by our body in its tissues, so pain in the muscles, cramps and some “twitches” are most commonly the first tell tale signs. Moving on down the list migraine, insomnia, or headaches are also most common of magnesium deficiency symptoms. Magnesium deficiency not only exists but is common.
Low Energy and Weakness
Magnesium has a key role in regulating how well our body processes the Conversion of food into usable energy. Metabolism of carbohydrates and fats needs a number of magnesium-dependent chemical reactions. Some studies have found that during a low-magnesium phase of the body we use up more oxygen during physical activities. Our heart rates will increase by an additional 10 beats per minute. Inadequate magnesium has long been associated with a need for increased oxygen during strenuous activities and people who routinely complain of low energy should benefit from magnesium supplementation. Our muscles only can be pushed as far as its nutrition will allow, in other words if we lack magnesium to help lessen the need of oxygen all throughout our bodies then we should have an overall increase of energy and lessen the feeling of weakness since oxygen equals energy for our muscles, we need to help lessen our muscles need for oxygen to make it function more efficiently.
Weakening of the Bones
Some studies have found that Magnesium is perhaps, the most important single element to promote the health of our bones. For so long calcium was considered the foremost mineral in preventing Osteoporosis, however new research has proven that supplementing with magnesium is equally important. Magnesium comprises a percent of the human bones mineral make up. Bone mineral metabolism and matrix are both influenced by magnesium and allows are body to assimilate calcium easier. In essence it helps calcium to be absorbed by the bones more easily.
How Does N-Acetyl L-Carnitine Help Energy Levels?
August 03, 2011 11:47 AM
N-Acetyl L-Carnitine And Cellular Health
N-Acetyl L-Carnitine refers to the ester form of the organic compound carnitine. It has been linked to many different health benefits largely owing to the fact that it is quite ubiquitous at the cellular level. It plays an important role in keeping cells in prime working condition as derivatives of this compound protect cells from oxidative stress as well as contribute to reactions responsible for energy production.
Increases Cellular Energy
The biochemical energy that powers cellular activities comes in the form of adenosine triphosphate. All types of tissues in the human body are capable of manufacturing this chemical compound, the reason why it is often called the molecular unit of currency. The human diet provides the biological precursors of cellular energy, but adenosine triphosphate is obtained from the sugar glucose more often than not.
Cells make use of N-acetyl L-carnitine in the synthesis of adenosine triphosphate. Research has shown that the presence of acetylated carnitine appears to modulate the metabolic processes leading to the manufacture of cellular energy. In recent years, endurance athletes and body builders have relied on supplements that contain this compound to boost their energy levels. Human trials support its safety.
Aids Healthy Metabolism
Glucose is the principal precursor of chemical energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate. Complex carbohydrates are digested to simple sugars such as glucose, which enters the circulation. Insulin is a hormone that induces the uptake of glucose by cells, which convert glucose to usable energy. Studies have observed that N-acetyl L-carnitine improves the activity of insulin and consumption of glucose.
It is a well established fact that carnitine is involved in the breakdown of fats, waxes, and sterols, and their consequent utilization in the production of cellular energy. For this reason, N-acetyl L-carnitine is marketed as a nutritional supplement that promotes fat loss and aids weight loss. Human trials have noted that regular intake upregulates the Conversion of fats and other lipids to adenosine triphosphate.
Prevents Oxidative Stress
Lysine and methionine are amino acids that act as immediate precursors of carnitine, which the body synthesizes on a regular basis to support a number of physiological functions. In particular, carnitine plays a major role in supplying cells with a steady supply of chemical energy during intense physical exertion. At the same time, they protect the cells from the harmful effects of reactive oxygen species.
N-acetyl L-carnitine is a very good source of carnitine as it is widely believed to be more bioavailable than L-carnitine. It adds to the number of carnitine in cells, boosts energy levels, and combats free radicals and other reactive oxygen species. Free radicals are natural by-products of energy production, and thus carnitine produces a twofold effect. It promotes cellular longevity and raises chemical energy.
Control Cholesterol, Loose Weight, Regulate Blood Sugar, And More With Inositol
June 02, 2011 12:10 PM
What Does the B Vitamin Inositol Do for the Body?
Inositol is an organic compound that functions within the human body in the same way as nutrients. Its vitamin-like activities are believed to be similar to other B vitamins. It plays an important role in the upkeep of cells, breakdown of fats, effects of insulin, activities of serotonin, and regulation of cholesterol, among others. It is usually obtained from plant-based food products that contain lecithin.
Myo-inositol is the form most widespread in nature. It is also the form most active within the body as it has been associated with many physiological functions. It is no longer classified as an essential nutrient in that our body is capable of synthesizing it in adequate amounts. That being said, its vitamin-like activities and desirable health benefits have contributed to its popularity as a supplement.
Reduces Cholesterol Levels
One of the biological roles of inositol is to help regulate cholesterol levels in the systemic circulation. This nutrient even reduces overall lipid levels. It limits the Conversion of very-low-density lipoproteins to low-density lipoproteins, or bad cholesterol. In addition, it promotes the releases of high-density lipoproteins, or good cholesterol, which contains lower amounts of lipids. By so doing, it lowers free fatty acids and other lipids in the blood and protects the blood vessels from lipid peroxidation.
Modulates Serotonin Activities
Inositol is directly involved in the activities of what we refer to as the happiness hormone, which is the neurotransmitter serotonin. In fact, this nutrient has very visible impact on the effects of serotonin on mood, appetite, sleep, and muscle contraction. Healthy levels of inositol increases the overall tolerance of the human body to risk factors and creates a general feeling of physical well being.
Induces Weight Loss
Fat metabolism relies on the presence of inositol, the reason why this B-vitamin-like compound is commercially touted to aid weight loss. Inositol participates in the chemical reactions that lead to the breakdown of fats. Consumptions of foods rich in inositol have shown to increase effective utilization of fat reserves found in adipose tissues, such as the unwanted subcutaneous body fat. Proponents of supplementation believe that inositol induces breakdown of fats even while sleeping.
Regulates Blood Sugar
The hormone insulin is responsible for regulating blood sugar levels throughout the day. It sends signals to individual cells that promote the uptake of glucose from the blood. Glucose is of course what fuels cellular activities, and thus contributes to the metabolism of compounds utilized by cells. Inositol enables insulin to initiate signal transduction and communicate effectively with cells in the process.
Improves Mental Disorders
Inositol has long been linked to the improvement of mental disorders. It has been observed that individuals diagnosed with clinical depression have low levels of inositol in their cerebrospinal fluid. Supplementation appears to rebalance brain chemicals, enhance mood, and improve mental illnesses, such as bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety disorder, panic attacks, major depression, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Improve Your Health with Inositol.
Grab some inositol today and improve your cardiovascular health naturally!
Triphala - Boost digestion, Improve Liver Function, Blood Sugar, Cholesterol And More
May 27, 2011 11:42 AM
What is the Ayurvedic Herb Triphala and What Does it Do for the Body?
Triphala, or “three fruits”, is an herbal preparation that originated from India. As its name suggests, it is made up of fruits extracts from three different plant species, namely: amla, beliric, and haritaki. These plants are native to India, but enjoy a significant presence throughout the tropical and subtropical regions of Asia. Their historical uses are largely medicinal, with the exception of amla.
Allays Digestive Problems
The organic compounds that occur naturally in triphala have several properties that aid digestion and prevent gas. Triphala is often taken before meals as an appetizer because it increases digestive activities necessary for the perception of hunger. It is also widely used as a treatment for constipation for two reasons: it works as a mild laxative that induces the fast passage of foods and stimulates peristaltic movements in the colon.
Improves Liver Function
Triphala is especially good for the liver. For one, its addition to the diet speeds up the breakdown of bioactive compounds in the gastrointestinal tract. Regular intake of triphala has been observed to improve several liver functions, most notably the Conversion of cholesterol to bile salts, which is crucial for the processing of lipids in the diet. More importantly, it raises the capacity of the liver to deal with harmful metabolites of foreign materials, such as drugs.
Regulates Blood Sugar
Practitioners of Ayurvedic medicine recommend larger consumptions of triphala to individuals suffering from glucose intolerance, diabetes mellitus, and metabolic syndrome. The fruits that constitute triphala are known for their ability to interfere with the releases of simple sugars, such as glucose, into the systemic circulation. They work on the principle of sustaining a gradual but steady distribution of glucose to individual cells for several hours.
Lowers Bad Cholesterol
It is common belief in parts of Asia that triphala is good for the circulatory system. Apart from its putative role in the regulation of blood sugar, it also impacts overall lipid levels in the blood. The phytochemical content of triphala enables it to have an effect on the productions of very-low-density lipoproteins, precursors of low-density lipoproteins, or bad cholesterol. This results in fewer free fatty acids that often get trapped in arterial walls.
Promotes Healthy Metabolism
Athletes are likely to benefit from triphala, for it influences the Conversion of bioactive compounds to energy for use by cells. Triphala appears to increase metabolic rate and facilitate better utilization of glucose and fats, the reason why it is now commercially touted as an herbal supplement that aids weight loss. Also, triphala has been observed to regulate water retention, which has been linked to obesity.
Protects Eye Tissue
Triphala contains a host of antioxidants that protect eye tissues. The eyes are susceptible to oxidative stress brought on by free radicals and other reactive oxygen species. Oxidative stress interrupts functions of ocular cells and damages cellular organelles, leading to many known diseases of the eye. Triphala has been associated with the prevention and amelioration of conjunctivitis, cataracts, glaucoma, and myopia.
Triphala being a fiber has a wide range of health benefits, give triphala a try today and feel the difference!
Vitamin B2 Is Good for Nutrient Metabolism, Cellular Energy, And More
May 10, 2011 11:11 AM
Vitamin B2 is an essential nutrient. As its name suggests, it belongs to the B complex group of vitamins. The monosaccharide ribose is part of its chemical composition together with the ring moiety called flavin that gives its yellow coloration. Hence, it is also known by the name riboflavin. Inside the human body, it plays a central role in the synthesis of flavoproteins, which are involved in many chemical reactions, especially in the metabolism of other micronutrients and bioactive molecules.
Deficiency in riboflavin is quite common as it is routinely excreted through the urine. Common symptoms include sore throat, seborrheic dermatitis, lower blood count, all of which have been tied to higher incidence of esophageal cancer. Chronic ariboflavinosis, the medical condition caused by vitamin B2 deficiency, has been reported to contribute to carcinogenesis. The good news is that it can be easily reversed with regular intake of foods rich in riboflavin or supplementation.
Aids Nutrient Metabolism
It is not a coincidence that vitamin B2 deficiency is often accompanied by deficiencies in other vitamins and minerals. In some cases, deficiencies may be attributed to impaired liver function or intestinal absorption. That being said, low levels of riboflavin do impact the metabolism of other vitamins, such as vitamin A, vitamin B3, vitamin B6, and vitamin B9, among other water-soluble micronutrients.
Metabolites of riboflavin are required in the Conversion of these vitamins to their active forms, for example, from vitamin A to retinoic acid, vitamin B6 to pyridoxic acid, vitamin B9 to folic acid. Furthermore, the metabolism of bioactive compounds, including fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, also necessitates the presence of this vitamin, the reason why it greatly impacts growth and development in children.
Increases Cellular Energy
In addition to its physiological potential in intermediary metabolism, vitamin B2 is also present in the generation of adenosine triphosphate, the primary transport of energy that powers intracellular activities. Adenosine triphosphate is synthesized in three different metabolic pathways, and one process called oxidative phosphorylation necessitates the involvement of flavin adenine dinucleotide, one of the active forms of riboflavin.
Vitamin B2 is an important cofactor in all chemical reactions that result in an increase or decrease of oxidation state. These reactions are collectively called oxidation-reduction, or simply redox. Metabolites of riboflavin are reliable oxidizing agents capable of carrying high-energy electrons needed for oxidative phosphorylation. They also participate in beta oxidation, another metabolic pathway that yields cellular energy.
Scavenges Free Radicals
A nucleic acid derivative of riboflavin is an important constituent of a special class of organic compounds called flavoproteins. These proteins are found in almost all cells of the human body, and one of their functions is to protect the cells from oxidative stress brought on by free radicals. Vitamin B2 is present in the production of cellular energy and the removal of harmful by-products of energy metabolism.
Insufficient intake of vitamin B2 is deleterious to human health, inasmuch as its biological roles are quite pervasive at the molecular level. Do you get enough Vitamin B-2?
How Does Zinc Boost the Immune System and What Else Does this Mineral Do
May 02, 2011 01:58 PM
Zinc And Good Health!
Zinc is considered a transition metal in general, and as such one of the most abundant transition metals in living organisms, including human beings. It plays a central role in the molecular structure of proteins, which is indispensable in catalytic activities of over a hundred enzymes. These proteins belong to all enzyme classes and have far-reaching effects on the human body, notably in the immune system.
In the past few decades, the scientific community has unearthed countless chemical reactions that take place inside the human body. A number of these reactions necessitate the presence of zinc. While zinc is considered toxic in high amounts, it is classified as an essential trace mineral, which means it has a daily value. A deficiency in zinc has serious effects on growth and development as implicated in the life cycle of cells.
Stabilizes Cellular Structures
Zinc is a trace mineral that is quite pervasive at the cellular level as all cells have zinc demands. This dietary element keeps cells in prime condition and maintains the health of cell organelles. For one, zinc is required to stabilize ions that functions as interaction modules responsible for binding DNA, RNA, and other particles found within cells. The absence of zinc in cells will cripple these activities.
The complete absence of this trace mineral is improbable, but low levels of elemental zinc in the body have been observed to have serious effects on cellular health. The capacity of cells to contain radical damage depends on the availability of zinc. Depleting levels of zinc result in an impaired antioxidant defense and greater susceptibility to free radicals and other reactive oxygen species.
Induces Enzymatic Reactions
Enzymes are proteins that play functional roles in the metabolism of bioactive compounds. They are categorized into many classes, depending on their catalytic functions. These functions are vital as they are one of the mechanisms in the employ of the body to sustain homeostasis. Some classes are involved in immune responses in the prevention of disease and the alleviation of chronic disorders.
All classes of enzymes are affected by the metabolism of zinc one way or another, with over a hundred requiring the direct involvement of zinc to induce catalysis. Zinc is of special note in a chemical reaction called hydroxylation, a process that helps cleanse the body of toxins. With hydroxylation, zinc participates in the Conversion of lipid-soluble substrates into water-soluble products ready for excretion.
Modulates Immune Responses
The human body utilizes zinc in many different metabolic pathways that influence the processes needed for prompt immune responses. In the case of common infections such as colds and flu, zinc curtails severity of symptoms and raises immune responses to optimum levels. More importantly, healthy levels of zinc enable the body to take on preventative measures against diseases.
Remember even though zinc is an important mineral, to much can cause problems as well. Do not exceed 150mgs daily for extended periods of time to maintain safe levels of zinc. I suggest 15mg to 75mg daily.
Bad Cholesterol, High Blood Sugar ? - Try Prickly Pear!
March 29, 2011 04:27 PM
Prickly Pear Cactus And Your Health
Prickly pear refers to a large genus of cactuses known for their culinary and medicinal uses. It is also known as nopal, a popular vegetable from the young pad segments with the spines removed that originated from Central America. Nopales are sold fresh in Mexico and neighboring countries and largely derived from the species Opuntia ficus-indica. This edible cactus is rich in fiber and flavonoids, making it not only a healthy source of but also a potent medicinal herb. In recent years it has enjoyed a much-publicized association with the therapeutic treatment of diabetes and high cholesterol. Also, its age-old preparations for indigestion and other digestive problems remain in wide use.
Cleanses the Digestive Tract
Prickly pear has long been used as a digestive and an herbal remedy for illnesses of the gastrointestinal tract. In certain regions of Central America, eating nopales is considered the most viable treatment for indigestion, diarrhea, and constipation simple because it works, not to mention nopales are delicious. Of course it is now common knowledge that its high fiber content is the reason why it aids digestion and allays digestive problems. Furthermore, the phytochemical it contains serves as natural cleansers of the entire alimentary canal.
Lowers Blood Lipid Levels
Bad cholesterol is notoriously named so because of the fact that they are a reliable indicator of cardiovascular diseases, notably atherosclerosis. Recent studies have linked prickly pear, especially Opuntia ficus-indica, to better management of high cholesterol. The exact mechanism of action is still under scrutiny, but it is postulated that it interferes with the Conversion of very-low-density lipoproteins into low-density lipoproteins, or bad cholesterol, in the liver. It is also suggested that prickly pear may promote the releases of high-density lipoproteins, or good cholesterol.
Enhances Insulin Sensitivity
Among all the health benefits of prickly pear, its effect on diabetes may well be the best studied. Type 2 diabetes results from a metabolic disorder that impairs the capacity of cells to respond to the hormone insulin. Cells that have become resistance to the physiological effects of insulin significantly contribute to escalating levels of sugar in the blood, which often leads to diabetes. Prickly pear works on the principle of reversing this metabolic disorder by promoting the uptake of glucose.
Neutralizes Free Radicals
Free radicals are by-products of oxygen metabolism that damage cells and tissues, the reason why cells have endogenous antioxidants to fight them off. When there is an imbalance between endogenous antioxidants and free radicals, the body needs help in the form of exogenous antioxidant in our diet to contain the damage free radicals cause.
There have been numerous reports about the antioxidant properties of the herb prickly pear. In fact, Opuntia species contain a diverse variety of polyphenols that are not present in a single plant species. Nopales are particularly rich in betalains and flavonoids, both of which are organic compounds naturally occurring in nature that have been well investigated due to their active antioxidant properties inside the human body.
I Am a Vegetarian, Should I be Taking a B-12 Vitamin Supplement?
February 28, 2011 12:52 PM
Vitamin B12 And Your Health
Vegetarians are especially in risk of deficiency in vitamin B12 in that there are no plant sources known to contain significant levels of this essential nutrient. While the body is capable of storing this vitamin in the liver enough to meet the daily needs for several years, those who are following a strict vegan diet for long periods of time are in danger of developing many different medical conditions, including heart diseases, neural impairment, and anemia. Most vegetarians do not realize the seriousness of vitamin B12 deficiency as its symptoms often materialize in later life when the damage may no longer be reversible. Fortunately, total vegetarians do have options without renouncing their beliefs, inasmuch as Vitamin B12 supplements have shown to meet the nutritional needs of the body.
Removes Neurological Problems
One of the mishaps of long-term vegetarianism is the incidence of neural tube defects in babies, inasmuch as developments in the nervous system in the first periods of pregnancy is compromised in women who have very low levels of vitamin B12 does not have enough even with excessive quantities of folate. Nerve cells in particular are very sensitive to the absence of this vitamin. Many vegetarians are under the impression that plants contain every nutrient that the human body needs, which is completely misleading. Only bacteria have the enzymes required to manufacture vitamin B12, and these bacteria are present in the gut of animals. The good news is that vitamin B12 supplements that are available in the market today are good source of the active forms of this vitamin, and has stood the test of time in reversing the deficiencies brought on by malnutrition.
Prevents Cardiovascular Diseases
High levels of homocysteine are another consequence of low levels of vitamin B12 in the blood. A rise in homocysteine concentrations in the blood serum is a very important risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, and may come to an extent that is no longer reversible. Atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease are among the disorders tied to elevated homocysteine in the bloodstream, the reason why supplementation vitamin B12 has been used to treat certain medical conditions involving the heart and the blood vessels. The availability of vitamin B12 is in fact inversely proportional to the quantities of homocysteine produced by the body, and supplementation starting in the early years has shown to remove all the dangers related to homocysteine.
Supplies the Body with Energy
It is a known fact that vitamin B12 supplements affect chemical processes implicated in the production of energy. They are now widely accepted to be good for individuals involved in endurance sports and for the regular guy who usually relies on caffeine. Vitamin B12 stimulates the Conversion of fatty acids into cellular energy, and influences the production of red blood cells, producing the vitality we need minus the jittery effects of coffee. For athletes, it does not only provide energy but also ensures cardiovascular health as homocysteine levels are directly proportional to exercise duration.
If you do not eat much red meat and do not take a supplement, you might be deficient or boarder line at best in vitamin B12. Taking a supplement is the easy way to boost B12 and improve your health.
How does Malic Acid help with Fibromyalgia?
February 09, 2011 01:18 PM
Malic Acid And Fibromyalgia
If you feel sensitized to pain by otherwise harmless stimuli, then you may be experiencing symptoms of fibromyalgia, which has been recorded to affect up to 4 per cent of the population worldwide. It is characterized by a feeling of weakness in the muscles of the limbs, conscious awareness of abnormal heartbeat, problems concerning bowel movement, and disturbances to sleep patterns. All of these are complaints reported to have been addressed by supplementation of malic acid.
The medical community remains inconclusive as to what causes fibromyalgia, some claiming it’s not a disease at all. While symptoms may not be necessarily medical signs, there are innumerable cases that describe complaints we collectively refer to as fibromyalgia. Throughout the past few decades, medical professionals around the world have considered these symptoms as one musculoskeletal disease whereas most neurologists have contended that fibromyalgia is attributable to the abnormalities within the nervous system. Today the American College of Rheumatology has charted nine paired tender points in an effort to describe the symptoms for this condition better.
Known Causes in Scrutiny
The most common symptoms of fibromyalgia more often than not appear simultaneously with stress-induced medical conditions such as chronic fatigue, anxiety disorders, and depression, but they are known to develop independently. A tissue in the brain responsible for long-term memory and spatial navigation called hippocampus have shown abnormalities among patients of fibromyalgia, thereby affecting sleep patterns, perception of pain, and related cognitive functions.
In the latter half of the 20th century it is postulated that serotonin leads to fibromyalgia. Serotonin being a neurotransmitter that governs mood, attention, and pain were found to be significantly decreased in the blood plasma and cerebrospinal fluid among patients who reported to experience this condition. That being said, the introduction of serotonin inhibitors used in treatment of depression has also shown alleviations of pain-related symptoms across the tender point index.
Malic Acid and Prognosis
Malic acid was discovered as a constituent of apple juice as early as the 18th century. Reduced levels of malic acid contribute to the maturity of fruits. In human beings it plays a fundamental role as an intermediate in a metabolic pathway that influences the chemical Conversion of bioactive compounds like carbohydrates, fats, and proteins into carbon dioxide and water, which in turn convert the molecules contained in the cytoplasmic fluid of cells into energy generated in the mitochondria.
The availability of malic acid inside the human body modulates functional activities at the cellular level by speeding up the metabolism of bioactive compounds and consequently the production of energy in use by the cells. That being said, malic acid provides vitality to muscle cells, raising their endurance against stress. In addition, there have been reports that intake of malic acid help elevate levels of serotonin, leading to improved response to pain and better management of fibromyalgia.
For now, the tender point index is the primary diagnostic tool for evaluating fibromyalgia, and the use of malic acid has been recorded to reduce pain in these points.
Have you had your Malic Acid today?
The Krebs Cycle - Our Lifes Blood!
January 13, 2011 05:00 PM
The Krebs Cycle, also known as the Citric Acid Cycle, is an important series of biochemical reactions that are intrinsic to cellular respiration and the generation of energy from oxygen and glucose in aerobic organisms. Although humans can generate energy anaerobically, they cannot do so for long periods and oxygen is essential for life because it fuels the Krebs Cycle. Without this cycle, there would be no available energy to maintain our vital processes.
What is The Krebs Cycle
We shall first discuss exactly what the Krebs Cycle is and then its importance in the body. The process takes place within the mitochondria of the body cells.
A. The cycle begins with the ten-step pathway of glycolysis, during which glucose is converted to two molecules of pyruvate: no oxygen is required for this step. Basically:
Glucose + 2NAD+ + 2P + 2ADP = 2Pyruvate + 2NADH + 2H+ + 2ATP
The pyruvate can then undergo aerobic or anaerobic respiration to generate energy. The Krebs Cycle is the aerobic route, and significantly more efficient that the alternative fermentation.
B. The two pyruvate molecules are then oxidized to two of Acetyl CoA with the release of carbon dioxide. The two acetyl groups of the Acetyl CoA are donated to Oxaloacetate in the presence of water to form Citrate.
C. Citrate then undergoes a number of chemical reactions to arrive back at Oxaloacetate again and the cycle starts all over again by reacting with more Acetyl CoA from Pyruvate and oxygen to form Citrate again. During the cycle more ATP is produced and electrons and other species are sent into the Electron Transfer Chain where most energy is generated.
During this cycle three major events occur:
1. During the various transformations of Citrate, specifically when Succinyl-CoA is converted to Succinate, one Guanosine Triphosphate group (GTP) is generated, which then donates a phosphate to Adenosine Diphosphate (ADP) to create the energy molecule Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP).
2. Over the whole cycle, three molecules of Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD) are reduced to NADH that donates its electrons to the electron transport chain that is responsible for the generation of large quantities of ATP.
3. A molecule of Flavine Adenosine Dinucleotide (FAD) is reduced to FADH2, again donating its electrons to the electron transport system and the generation of energy.
Factor 2 and 3 are of more significance to energy generation than factor 1, and are the major means by which the Krebs Cycle generates energy.
Electron Transport Chain
The Krebs Cycle takes place within the mitochondria, structures that are contained in each of your body cells. Also within these mitochondria are a series of membranes that are very important in the generation of energy.
The major energy produced in your body cells comes from the Electron Transport Chain, a series of chemical reactions between an electron donor and an electron acceptor. Such reactions drive the transport of hydrogen ions (H+) across the membranes in the mitochondria.
The electron donors are species such as NADH, FADH2 and succinate and the electron acceptors are oxygen molecules. Hence the importance of oxygen in the process of aerobic respiration. The H+ ions are driven across the membranes and result in the Conversion of ADP to ATP energy. In essence, the hydrogen atoms and electrons take part in a progressive chain of redox reactions, and at the end react with oxygen molecules and change it to water.
The Ultimate Products
Ultimately, through the whole chain and cycles of:
Glucose to pyruvate (glycolysis) Pyruvate to Acetyl CoA + CO2 (oxidation) Acetyl CoA to Citrate and the entire Krebs Cycle (reduction and oxidation) Krebs Cycle products to the Electron Transfer Chain Electron Transfer Chain to Water and ATP (redox) Final oxidation of hydrogen atoms to water
Basically: Glucose + Oxygen + 30ADP = Carbon Dioxide + Water + 30ATP
This is not balanced of course, and the ATP could be anything from 29 to 38, though 29.85 is the most accurate calculation to date. The entire process of glycolysis, oxidation, Krebs Cycle and Electron Transport Chain is powered by a series of enzymes and a small amount of ATP energy.
Glucose and oxygen are used up as the raw materials and ATP energy molecules are the product. It has been calculated that the total ATP yield obtained from one molecule of glucose lies between 29.5 and 30 molecules of ATP.
The Importance of the Krebs Cycle to Your Body
Were it not for the Krebs Cycle you would not be able to generate energy efficiently from your food. In particular, the carbohydrate content of your food. Carbohydrates are available in your diet from two sources: simple and complex carbohydrate foodstuffs such as cereals and grains, and fats and oils from animal and vegetable sources. They are also available from proteins, which are composed of amino acids at the head of the molecule with a carbohydrate tail.
Carbohydrates by definition contain only carbon, hydrogen and oxygen molecules, and can be converted to glucose within your body. Proteins can be deaminated and then the carbohydrate portion again converted to glucose. In fact, your body will initially use the carbohydrates in your diet as a source of glucose for its glycolysis to pyruvate, then the fatty tissue in your body, then the proteins will be deaminated so your body can get to the carbohydrate they contain.
Were it not for the Krebs Cycle, your body could not use the glucose as described above to generate energy. The only option open to it would be anaerobic respiration, or energy production in the absence of oxygen. ATP is still generated, but much less efficiently.
Anaerobic respiration is basically respiration without oxygen. If there was no Krebs Cycle, then this is the only way your body would have to create energy.
Because no oxygen is actually needed for glycolysis or the Krebs Cycle, anaerobic respiration can proceed right to the end of the Electron Transport Chain. Then instead of oxygen being used as the terminal electron donor, it has to be another species such as nitrate or sulfate. Because the Reduction Potential of these species is much lower than that of oxygen, the amount of ATP energy produced is also much lower.
Your body tries to compensate by producing even more pyruvate and the excess is removed through lactic acid fermentation. Although this also generates ATP energy enough for short-term use, it leads ultimately to lactic acidosis and a reduction in pH, causing pain and vomiting.
Ultimately, if oxygen is not forthcoming, the brain runs short of the energy needed for it to work and you die. There is insufficient ATP generated from anaerobic respiration to maintain human life.
The Krebs Cycle is of critical importance for the production of energy: not just the energy to enable you to run fast, but to enable your metabolic processes to continue. It is needed for both aerobic and anaerobic respiration, and while lactic acid fermentation can be used by your muscle cells as a brief but effective means of generating short-term energy, it is insufficient to maintain the needs of your metabolism.
Without the Krebs Cycle, mammalian and most other animal life would not be viable and the world would be populated by anaerobic bacteria.
Melatonin, What is it, Sleep And How it Helps!
December 22, 2010 03:20 PM
What is Melatonin?
Melatonin, or N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine, is a hormone secreted during the hours of darkness by the light-sensitive pineal gland located in the brain and also by bone marrow, epithelial cells and lymphocytes. Melatonin plays a role in the human circadian cycle because of the fact that it is secreted only when it is dark. It can therefore be used to treat sleeping disorders, although it also affects conditions such as fibromyalgia and depression.
Melatonin is also a powerful antioxidant, particularly protecting the DNA from free radical oxidation and studies have indicated a potential application in inhibiting the aggregation of amyloid beta protein in the brain that promotes Alzheimer's disease. It not only reduces the production of cholesterol in the gall bladder, but also increases the rate of Conversion of cholesterol to bile, thus reducing the amount available for oxidation in the arteries that leads to atherosclerosis.
A melatonin supplement is also believed to be an effective treatment for migraine and helps the gall bladder to expel gallstones, rendering them less likely to become a problem.
Melatonin and Sleep
Melatonin is a hormone that is secreted mainly by the pineal gland, a small pea-sized gland in the brain that is sensitive to light in that it secretes this hormone only during the hours of darkness. For this reason, melatonin can be used to help people sleep earlier and awake earlier, by shifting the circadian cycle to an earlier time.
An interesting factor learned from the effect of light on melatonin is that it is suppressed only by blue light (460-480 nanometers) and by wearing blue filtering glasses it is possible to achieve the same effect as taking a supplement of the hormone. That is, to sleep earlier and waken earlier.
People suffering jet lag, or who have to adapt to differing shift work patterns, benefit by taking melatonin, and it has also been used in helping with benzodiazepine withdrawal and helping people to stop smoking. You must let your doctor know you are using it, and in many countries it is available only by prescription.
A Good Vitamin Plan Is Essential To a Health Child To Help Fight ADHD
December 21, 2010 06:19 PM
Have you known any child who is having difficulty staying focused and paying attention, difficulty controlling behavior, and hyperactivity or over-activity? This child is probably experiencing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD. ADHD is a common childhood disorders and can continue through adolescence and adulthood. Researchers are not sure what causes ADHD, although many studies suggest that genes play a large role.
Like many other health conditions, ADHD probably is a result of a combination of factors. There has been no cure for ADHD yet palliative management is promising in reducing symptoms of ADHD and improving the child’s well being and optimal functioning. These include medications, psychotherapy, training and education or a combination of these managements. In this article, we will be focusing on the natural vitamins that can help fight the exacerbation of ADHD symptoms which include:
1. Choline: Choline is a vital precursor to the production of neurotransmitters such as Dopamine and Acetylcholine. These nervous system chemicals are helpful in supporting concentration, alertness, and memory.
2. Zinc: Studies show that children in ADHD categories have lower levels of zinc and clincal studies reveal that those children who supplemented with extra zinc along with traditional ADHD medications have reported improvement of signs and symptoms most especially hyperactivity and impulsivity. Foods high in zinc include Seafood, oysters, salmon, crabmeat, and, red meat like beef, lamb and pork, poultry such as turkey and chicken, dairy products, nuts, beans, fortified cereals, and whole grains.
3. Fish oil: Most Oily Fish contain omega-3 fatty acids With DHA. These chemicals can improve mental skills and enhance the child’s ability to organize activities. Possible cause for the low fish oil status of the ADHD children may be impaired Conversion of the fatty acid precursors namely Linolenic Acid and alpha-linolenic acid to their longer and more highly unsaturated products, EPA and DHA, which are fish oil fats. Fish high in omega 3 fatty acids include salmon, albacore tuna, herring, mackerel, trout, sardines, flax seeds, walnuts, butternuts and soybeans.
4. Magnesium: Magnesium can have a calming effect. The best thing about magnesium is that it is abundantly found in many foods. Low dietary magnesium levels could lead to anxiety, irritability, and/or restlessness. This mineral can also play a role in sugar metabolism, which is important when wanting to stabilizing moods and concentration. Magnesium, a calming mineral, can be found in foods like nuts, black beans, peas, seeds and ready-to-eat whole grain cereals.
5. Vitamin B-6: Vitamin B-6 is needed for normal mental development and is important in the synthesis of brain chemicals including dopamine , serotonin, and norepinephrine. A B-6 deficiency has symptoms of inability to concentrate, irritability, and short-term memory loss. Regular consumption of vitamin B-6 could help reduce behavioral issues in a ADHD child. Good sources of B vitamins are milk, fish, eggs, yeast, green-leafy vegetables and cereals. Oranges are a great source of vitamin C and can improve our mood.
These are some of the natural vitamins that we find in our food. A good multiple vitamin supplements with iron can be safe and effective.
If you Suspect your child has ADHD, whats stopping you from getting him or her on a supplement plan today?
Myth: Hydrolysis is bad for you.
April 08, 2010 04:05 PM
Agave contains Fructans or Inulin, not starch. Fructans are a naturally occurring polysaccharide or complex sugar consisting of Fructose and Glucose. Certain plants produce Fructans which is a form of energy storage. Most plants that synthesize/store Fructans do not store other material such as starch.
Enzymatic hydrolysis (one of two processes of deriving agave nectar) uses a Non-GMO enzyme to separate the complex sugars found in Fructans. No refinement beyond the evaporation of water is involved.
Hydrolysis in its simplest form is the separation of molecules. Everyday our body naturally performs simple hydrolysis in the Conversion of energy for our daily tasks. In the process of Agave Nectar we are taking a complex molecule such as Fructan and separating it into natural molecules your body can absorb called Fructose and Glucose. This is the same exact process of how bees make honey. The nectar is hydrolyzed by an enzyme in the bee’s stomach and then they fan their wings to evaporate the natural water before capping the comb.
May 07, 2009 05:45 PM
L-carnitine is amino acid essential for the metabolism of fats into a form of energy necessary for extended aerobic activity. Originally discovered in Russia, and Germany a year later, the structural formulation of carnitine, as it is correctly known, was determined in 1927, although it is physiological and biochemical activity was not understood until the 1960s.
The amino acid is biosynthesized in the liver and kidneys from lysine and methionine. The vitamins niacin, B6, C and iron are essential for this reaction to take place. However, the supply of L-carnitine has to be supplemented by the diet, good sources being dairy products, red meat, nuts and seeds, pulses and fruits such as apricots, bananas and avocado. Most of the L-carnitine supply of the body is stored within the muscle tissue. However, it is not unusual for conditions to arise making it difficult for the body to obtain all the carnitine required.
L-carnitine enables fatty acids to be transported into the mitochondria, where cell metabolism occurs. The biochemistry is discussed below, although in simple terms the amino acid allows body fats, in the form of triglycerides, to be made more readily available for the generation of energy required for extended exertion. In this way, body fats can be used for energy and the supplies of glycogen stored by the liver can be retained for emergency use.
By providing the energy for endurance and stamina in this way, carnitine makes use of an otherwise unavailable energy source, and has the added benefit of reducing body fat stores and reducing strain on the heart.
Although there is generally a plentiful supply of L-carnitine available in a healthy diet, supplementation can ensure that a deficiency does not occur. Supplements are available in the form of L-carnitine or its acetylated derivative, acetyl L-carnitine.
In order for fatty acids to be used in the production of energy, their long-chain acetyl groups have to get inside the mitochondria where they are oxidized to the acetate to be used for the production of energy via the Citric Acid or Krebs cycle.
In order for the biochemistry to take place, fatty acids must be rendered suitable for binding to the carnitine molecule. The chemical grouping with a good affinity for L-carnitine is the acetyl or acetyl group, available in the molecule acetyl coenzyme A (CoA). The free fatty acid, therefore, is attached to coenzyme-A by means of a thioester bond, catalyzed by means of the enzyme fatty acetyl-CoA synthetase. The reaction is then completed by means of in organic pyrophosphatase.
In this way, the fatty acid in the form of an acetyL-carnitine derivative can be transported through the mitochondrial wall. This transportation takes place by means of several steps. These are:
1. As explained, the acetyl-CoA is attached to L-carnitine by means of the enzyme carnitine acetyltransferase I. This enzyme is conveniently located on the outer mitochondrial membrane.
2. The enzyme carnitine-acetylcarnitine translocase helps the acetyL-carnitine through the membrane.
3. Another enzyme, carnitine acetyltransferase II, located on the inner mitochondrial membrane, converts the acetyL-carnitine to acetyl-CoA, liberating the carnitine which returns to the muscle mass.
L-carnitine is the only known substance that allows fatty acids to cross the mitochondrial membrane, and therefore deficiencies must be avoided.
Another way in which carnitine is used in energy production is in the Krebs cycle itself. Part of this cycle involves the Conversion of guanine diphosphate to the higher energy form guanine triphosphate. In this way energy can be stored in much the same way as it is in the Conversion of ADP to ATP. Succinyl CoA is involved in this Conversion, and one of the by-products of it is a corresponding succinate, that is then converted to a fumarate by the action of L-carnitine fumarate. Carnitine, therefore, has two parts to play in the production of long-term energy from the fatty acids contained in body fats.
Since the fatty acid triglycerides contained in body fats are a major source of energy in the heart and skeletal muscles, it is easy to understand how L-carnitine is believed to lead to the increased energy levels required for stamina and staying power. A major reason for its effect on longer-term or extended energy requirements is that in enabling stored body fats to be used for immediate and longer-term energy requirements, L-carnitine allows emergency glycogen stores to be retained for use once immediate fatty acid supplies or those of carnitine have been depleted, and so allows the energy supply to be extended even farther. Research has also suggested that the amino acid can possibly be used to treat liver and kidney disease, diabetes and chronic fatigue syndrome.
As with many supplements, the question is often asked how does L-carnitine work in practice as opposed to the claims made for it by the supplement providers? Recent research indicates mixed results, but sufficient to justify its use. It is generally accepted that a supplement is necessary when there is a deficiency, but once that deficiency has been corrected further intake is unnecessary. However, it is also believed that during long and extended periods of exercise a carnitine deficiency does occur as L-carnitine is used up, and the supplement is necessary to ensure sufficient energy supply throughout the period of exercise.
There has also been a case reported in the Journal of Clinical Neurology (Negoro, Tsuda, Kato & Morimatsu, 1995) where a deficiency, caused by anorexia nervosa damaging the liver to the extent that it was unable to synthesize L-carnitine, was remedied by means of an oral supplement. Studies on endurance athletes have been mixed, ranging from no effect to L-carnitine being found to promote weight loss.
Carnitine has no unknown harmful side effects, and has been studied for medical applications other than as an energy supplement. For example it possesses extensive antioxidant properties, and can be used as a supplement against oxidative stress and the prevention of the lipid peroxidation that is a precursor to atherosclerosis.
Its use in osteoporosis and reducing bone mass is also being studied. The concentration of L-carnitine diminishes with age, and affects fatty acid metabolism in a number of tissues. Bones are particularly affected since they require continuous reconstruction. Without detailing the biochemistry involved in this, administration of carnitine helps to reduce the speed by which this occurs. Trials are so far been carried out only on animals.
In studies on both healthy volunteers and patients with type II diabetes, L-carnitine was found to improve storage of glucose in both groups, although its oxidation increased only in the group with diabetes. Other studies carried out include improving the function of neurotransmitters in the brains of elderly patients and in the treatment of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, and other neurological disorders.
In conclusion then, although the jury is out on the use of L-carnitine is an energy-giving or weight-loss supplement, it appears to be effective where the body's stores of carnitine could be depleted such as with long-term exercise, natural deficiencies or deficiencies caused through age. It is also under study in the treatment of various medical conditions. On balance, it would appear that the prospective benefits of L-carnitine render it worthy of use.
Detoxify With L-Citrulline
April 13, 2009 03:51 PM
L-citrulline is an alpha-amino acid, first isolated from the watermelon in 1930: hence the name, citrullis being Latin for that fruit, the skin of which is rich in the substance. It is used to enhance performance in sports, particularly through aiding recovery after exercise, and also helps the liver to detoxify the blood.
It is not an essential amino acid in that it is produced by the body and need not be part of your diet. It is a precursor to arginine, which involves the sustained release of nitric oxide in the endothelium that promotes increased flow of blood and the blood vessels as described further below. One of the biochemical pathways for its biosynthesis involves the urea cycle, whereby the toxic ammonia is detoxified into an easily excreted form through its Conversion to urea.
The urea cycle consists of five reactions, and citrulline is formed in the second of these. In the first of these, ammonia reacts with bicarbonate to form carbamoyl phosphate, the phosphate coming from the two molecule of ATP used to energize the reaction. These are converted to adenosine diphosphate (ADP), and the carbamoyl phosphate then reacts with ornithine to form citrulline, which takes part in step three that eventually leads to the formation of urea.
The second way in which L-citrulline can be biosynthesized is from the oxidation of arginine, a natural amino acid. Arginine is oxidized into N-hydroxyarginine, and then into L-citrulline with the release of nitric oxide.
So that's how it is produced in the body, but how does it help sportsmen, and what part does it play in detoxification? Its effect on recovery after exercise is connected with blood flow. Energy is created in the mitochondria that are contained in every cell off the body. Among the raw materials needed for the production of energy are glucose and oxygen: glucose obtained from the carbohydrates in your diet, and oxygen transported by the hemoglobin or red blood cells.
Both of these rely on blood flow: greater the volume of blood transported to the cells then the greater the ability of these cells to produce energy. During periods of exercise, a good supply of blood is required to provide the raw materials needed for the energy demand of the muscles involved in the exercise. Not only that however, but recovery after exercise involves the replacement of electrolytes, the glycogen used in extensive aerobic and anaerobic exercise and protein replacement, particularly where catabolism has occurred.
In order to supply these raw materials at an adequate rate, it is necessary for the flow of blood to the appropriate muscles to be sufficient. A major restriction to increase blood flow is elasticity of the blood vessels and cells. Although a healthy heart is capable of providing the necessary quantities of blood, and hence of nutrients, any restriction to the flow could cause dangerously high blood pressure.
Nitric oxide plays a signaling role in enlarging blood vessels to allow an increased blood flow when it is needed by the body. It can provide more blood to the stomach during digestion and to the muscles during exercise and recovery.
During hard exercise, nitric oxide can act as a pump that provides blood during exercise and also during recovery. It can therefore provide more rapid gains in lean mass, increased endurance and faster muscle recovery. The way it does this is to send a signal to the smooth muscles to relax; smooth muscles such as those found in veins and arteries, so resulting in vasodilation therefore allowing increased blood flow.
It is the endothelium, the inner lining of blood vessels, which uses the nitric oxide to provide the relaxation signal to the smooth muscles surrounding it. In fact, it is the effect of nitric oxide that enables those living at high altitudes to develop increased stamina and speed over those at lower altitudes, and find more world records seem to be broken during athletics meetings, such as Olympic Games, held at high altitudes. This is because the production of nitric acid is increased at higher altitudes with slightly lower oxygen levels. This is the same effect that is used by vasodilators such as amyl nitrite and Viagra that work by increasing nitric oxide levels in the smooth muscle wall of the blood vessels.
It should not be surprising therefore, that L-citrulline should work in a similar way, since it is intimately involved in the production of nitric oxide. Although this is now generally understood, what part does supplemental citrulline play in the body if it is a non-essential amino acid?
Supplemental L-citrulline is useful in supporting the detoxification of ammonia in the liver when supplies of ornithine carbamoyl transferase is naturally in short supply. This is the enzyme that catalyzes the reaction between ornithine and carbamoyl phosphate to form citrulline. Supplements can then help in the removal of ammonia from the blood, and also provide material for the continued production of nitric oxide support muscular activity and its recovery after exercise.
Ammonia itself is a by-product of intensive exercise, and without the urea cycle the body would rapidly become polluted. It is a very toxic product, and causes the death of thousands of people each year. This is generally in people who suffer liver and kidney disease, and the ammonia can be broken down and excreted.
Your brain cells are particularly sensitive to ammonia, and as levels increase the effect progressively ranges from drowsiness thru tremors to coma and eventual death. Any condition, therefore, that reduces the body's capability of metabolizing ammonia is potentially very serious, and any supplement that can help prevent this is valuable.
L-citrulline is believed to help in such situations, although any condition affecting the efficiency of the kidneys or liver and that can cause toxicity due to ammonia or any other toxic substance, should be referred to your physician. It is for its effect in increasing blood flow to provide sufficient raw material, for both the energy needed for high levels of exercise and for muscle recovery, that citrulline is predominantly used as a supplement.
L-Alanine Non Essential Amino Acid
January 05, 2009 04:31 PM
L-Alanine is one of 20 amino acids that are used by the body to manufacture the proteins essential for life. Each protein possesses specific biological properties that are imparted by the sequence of amino acids it contains. Proteins control the chemistry that takes place within the cells of our body, and comprise all of the enzymes that catalyze the body's biochemistry.
Amino acids are also the building blocks of DNA that determines the genetic make-up of individuals, and that also provides recipes or templates for the production of proteins from amino acid sequences. There is a different DNA template for every protein required by the body that determines which of the 20 amino acids are needed, and in what order they are to be combined with one another to manufacture the desired protein.
10 of these 20 amino acids can be synthesized by your body's biochemistry, the other 10 being essential parts of your diet. If you fail to include just of these 10, then your body will break down its proteins until it has obtained a sufficient supply of that amino acids for its needs. That involves muscle and other tissue degradation, and is one of the symptoms of malnutrition. Amino acids are not stored, and a daily supply is essential to avoid these symptoms.
L-Alanine is one of the ten that the body can manufacture, and used by the body to help build protein and also to enable the body to make use of glucose to generate energy. It does so as part of what is known as the glucose-alanine cycle. During anaerobic exercise, such as in weightlifting and sustained running, muscles produce lactate and also alanine.
The alanine is passed on to the liver where it is converted to energy via its Conversion to glucose. This is not a particularly efficient means of creating energy because a byproduct of the process is urea, the removal of which in turn requires energy. However, it serves its purpose as an energy source once the liver is depleted of glycogen. In fact that is the major use to which alanine appears to be put by the body: the Conversion of glucose to energy.
The way the glucose-alanine cycle works is that a process known as transamination produces glutamate from the amino groups of amino acids that are degraded during exercise. Glutamate is then converted to pyruvate by means of the enzyme alanine aminotransferase, with the production of alanine and alpha-ketoglutarate. This is a reversible reaction, and after the alanine has been carried by the bloodstream to the liver, the reaction reverses with the regeneration of pyruvate that undergoes gluconeogenesis (generation of glucose).
The result of this is glucose that returns to the muscle tissue to provide more energy. The glutamate is broken down to the ammonium ion in the mitochondria, which in turn enters the urea cycle with the production of urea.
In a nutshell, then, the glucose-alanine cycle removes glutamate and pyruvate from muscle tissue to the liver where glucose is generated from the pyruvate and returned to the muscle. Since gluconeogenesis involves the expenditure of energy, and this occurs in the liver rather than in the muscle, all the energy in the muscle can be used for muscle contraction.
L-Alanine possesses other properties, among them the ability to help maintain the health of the prostate. A study of benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate) indicated that treatment with L-alanine, glutamic acid and glycine over a period of three months reduced the symptoms. However, make sure that you consult your physician before using alanine in this way. This is not because there are any known adverse side effects, because there are not, but because it I always wise to so with any supplement taken with a view to treating any medical condition.
A less obvious application derives from the fact that it forms a stable free radical when deaminated. Deamination can be initiated by radiation, and so the concentration of this free radical can be measured to ensure that the correct dose of radiation is being given in dosimetric radiotherapy. It is not always easy to control the dose accurately, and this property of alanine allows it to monitored and to ensure that it is neither too low to have the desired effect, nor dangerously high.
Although it is a non-essential amino acid, and can be produced by the body, a dietary supply or supplement is advantageous if extra energy is required. Good dietary sources of L-alanine include meats, seafood, eggs, nuts, beans, seeds, brewer's yeast, corn and legumes among others. Supplements are also available, and useful for body-builders, weightlifters and others involved in anaerobic exercise. Due to the glucose-alanine cycle, it can possibly provide energy when lactate build-up would otherwise lead to muscle cramps.
Those for whom a supplement could be useful are athletes and others who are trying to build muscle and stamina, or reduce their body fat and also the obese and overweight for the same reason. There is also evidence that a combination of the amino acids alanine, glycine and arginine can help to reduce arterial plaque from oxidized low density lipoproteins, and can also help to reduce high blood pressure.
Deficiencies are rare, although groups that do not eat meat should be careful to eat foods with a good alanine content. There are no known side effects of a deficiency since the body will generate what is needed for normal purposes, and while the supplement appears to have no side effects, it is advisable that pregnant and lactating women should first seek medical advice. The same applies if you suffer from hypertension or diabetes. High doses of alanine might also affect those with kidney or liver disease.
Although the benefits of supplementation of L-alanine might not be immediately obvious, the results and the science indicate that it is effective in making better use of blood glucose in that the adenosine triphosphate (ATP) created in the muscle tissue is allowed to be expended on muscle contraction while the glucose-alanine cycle provides the energy needed for gluconeogenesis.
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.
August 28, 2008 09:33 AM
Garcinia Cambogia is found naturally in India and parts of Asia, and also on the Pacific coast of South and Central America all the way from Peru up to Mexico, and likes a humid forested environment. Also known as Brindall berries, garcinia is believed to act as an appetite suppressant and allows you to lose weight by diminishing your desire for food.
The Malabar tamarind, as it is also known, is about the size of an orange resembling a small pumpkin, and an extract from the fruit and rind is used in several weight loss products. The health risks presented by synthetic diet pills render a natural product extremely attractive were it to be effective. So can Garcia curb your appetite? What is the scientific evidence for it, and what biochemical route would it take?
Although tests on animals have been very positive, human results have been inconsistent. In some double blind tests using a placebo, weight loss was up to three times that of the control, but in others there was no apparent difference between those taking garcinia, and those given a placebo. However, doubts have been raised of the validity of some of the negative tests, so what does science tell us?
The active ingredient in the cambogia extract is hydroxycitric acid (HCA), which is a powerful inhibitor of ATP citrate lyase, an enzyme that catalyzes the reaction between citrate and Coenzyme A to Acetyl CoA and oxaloacetate. Since the acetyl CoA is necessary in the synthesis of fatty acids and lipogenesis (the Conversion of glucose to fatty acids), then anything that inhibits the biosynthesis of acetyl CoA must help to reduce the amount of fat stored in your body.
By inhibiting this reaction, that occurs outside the mitochondria so is not a direct part of the Citric Acid Cycle, HCA should theoretically suppress the formation of fats from carbohydrates, reduce food intake and thereby induce weight loss. But that is not the only mechanism.
A study at Georgetown University in Washington found that after 8 weeks of taking the garcinia extract, there was a 5.4% reduction in body weight and body mass index, and a significant reduction in low density lipoproteins (LDL) and triglycerides with an associated rise in high density lipoproteins (HDL). This is good news for those suffering from high cholesterol levels, since the LDL lipoproteins are those that carry cholesterol to the major blood vessels, and which when oxidized by free radicals deposit fatty plaques on the artery walls. These plaques constrict the arteries and the resultant atherosclerosis can lead to cardiac problems and strokes. HDL lipoproteins carry cholesterol back to the liver for destruction, and is known popularly as ‘good cholesterol’.
The studies also indicated modifications to certain indicators of the status of fat deposits in the body and of appetite modifiers in the brain. In this respect they found 38% decreases in serum leptin and increases in serotonin levels of 44%, and the excretion of fat metabolites in the urine increased from between 32% and 104%.
These are significant findings, and further research has indicated that HCA helps to suppress appetite. Serum leptin is an indicator of the level of fat stores in the body, and as the leptin levels in the blood reduces, the hypothalamus is given an instruction to increase the appetite so as to increase the fat levels again. However, it is believed that HCA possesses leptin-like properties, and this signal is either not generated or is modulated.
The increase in serotonin has the same effect. It is known that serotonin controls the appetite, although the exact mechanism has not yet been established. What is known is that serotonin activates certain neurons and melanocortin-4 receptors (MC4R) in the brain, that not only curb appetite but also block the effect of other neurons that would normally increase appetite by blocking the effect of MC4Rs.
This is how the banned anti-obesity and serotonin inciting drug Fen-Phen operated, and it appears that the hydroxycitric acid in garcinia cambogia extract acts in a similar, but safer, way. The problem with drugs such as Feb-Phen was that they created cardiac problems which could be dangerous to obese people whose hearts might have been weakened.
However, now that the biological pathway by which serotonin controls weight is believed to be known, if not fully understood, the way is becoming clearer as to how safer weight loss pills, acting through appetite suppression, might be developed. It also provides a valid scientific explanation for the effect of garcinia cambogia extract which might in itself prove to be that safer way.
The biochemistry supports the evidence of its effect on those wanting to lose weight, and also bolsters the claims that those tests and trials found to be negative were in some way flawed. Until the full chemical pathway is understood, the factors that can lead to flawed tests are unknown, although one could be the use of excessive fiber in some trials that could reduce the effect of the extract.
One of the effects of HCA is to limit the ability of your body to convert carbohydrates into fat (the Acetyl CoA inhibition mentioned above). That, combined with suppression of your appetite and a higher rate of thermogenesis, prevents the body from storing excess carbohydrates as fat. Instead you will have increased energy levels, so you should exercise to use this up while taking garcinia extract. For this reason it is popular with athletes and bodybuilders seeking an energy source that has not yet been banned from sport.
Although diet pills based on the same principle had side-effects and could make the user feel on edge, there are none known with garcinia. However, it is possible to reduce the absorption of some essential nutrients due to appetite suppression, so do not exceed the recommended dose. An excessive amount can also led to gastric discomfort, but none of these effects have been noted when the recommended doses have been adhered to.
However, if you are diabetic, pregnant or a nursing mother, you should consult with your physician or health professional before taking the extract. Garcinia Cambogia presents no specific risk to such people, and this warning should be given for all non-prescriptive treatments that your physician might be unaware of you taking.
Gac Fruit Oil
August 25, 2008 07:04 PM
Most people have never heard of gac fruit, yet it is very popular in South East Asia, particularly in China and Vietnam. The fruit is grown on vines that reach the size of a cantaloupe and from North East Australia across to China and Vietnam it is used as both a food and a medicine. It is only fairly recently that it has found use in the West as a health food
So what’s so special about this fruit, known also as baby jackfruit and sweet gourd? Its bright red color should provide a clue, since it is jam packed full of beta carotene, lycopene and other strong antioxidants that not only helps to support the immune system, but also helps to retard the effects of aging. It has been used in Vietnam in particular to overcome the effects of an endemic deficiency in vitamin A, and is rich in provitamin A carotenoids. It is also widely used in Chinese medicine to treat a variety of complaints.
Antioxidants and Free Radicals
Antioxidants can boost health in a number of ways, and it might help you understand better the benefits that gac fruit can provide to explain what antioxidants do and why they are such an essential part of our diets. Every millisecond of every day of our lives, our natural metabolism of the Conversion of blood glucose to energy generates small oxygenated molecules known as free radicals.
Free radicals are molecules that possess an unpaired electron and are highly unstable. Electrons generally travel in pairs, and when one of that pair is lost through a chemical reaction, the other electron has only one purpose in its short life: to pair up with another electron and it will do whatever it has to in order to achieve that. It is called a free radical, and its life is short. Free radicals destroy body cells, and this can have a dramatic effect, both visually on your skin, and internally on your general health.
Apart from those generated by your body’s own biochmemistry, free radicals are present in car emissions and other pollutants such as pesticides, smog and fried and barbecued foods. They are also formed in your skin by excessive exposure to the UV component of the sun’s radiation. That is why the skin of those living in hot climates tends to age earlier.
Free radicals are what make you look older as you grow older: they destroy skin cells as they are formed, but that is one of the least of their effects. They can also oxidize low density lipids (LDL) that carry cholesterol around your body, causing it to deposit fatty plaques on the walls of your arteries, which is a serious cardiovascular condition known as atherosclerosis.
Antioxidants can donate an electron to free radicals without then becoming free radicals themselves, and so destroy them as they are formed. However, the antioxidant can then lose its reducing power. Free radicals do not roam the blood seeking victims as many imagine them to, but react almost instantly, as soon as they are formed. It is important, therefore, that antioxidants are present in or close to every cell of your body. To achieve this, they must be bound to a fatty molecule, and the problem with many phytonutrients is that they have no associated fats or oils to carry them into the fatty tissues of the body.
Nutritional Constituents of Gac Fruit
Not so with gac fruit, because in addition to the beta carotene and lycopene content, it is also rich in long-chain fatty acids, particularly linoleic and alpha linoleic acids. Not only that, but its beta carotene content is around ten times that of carrots, and it contains 70 times the lycopene of tomatoes! Vitamin C is another very powerful antioxidant, and gac contains 60 times the Vitamin C of oranges. It is also rich in other free radical busters, such as xeoxanthins and alpha-tocopherol, a form of vitamin E.
Altogether, gac fruit contains a free radical killing arsenal that should be enough to scare even the most courageous free radical back to where it came from. Other constituents of gac are numerous minerals, particularly zinc and iron.
That is why the sweet gourd is such a prized fruit, and why Southeast Asian women have skins that western women of the same age would die for! Antioxidants help to prevent the disruption and destruction of skin cells that are the major reason for aging looks, and why skin creams are packed with vitamins A and E, both strong antioxidants.
Health Benefits of Gac
Most of the health benefits of gac are provided by its antioxidant properties. Thus, if you have a high cholesterol level, gac can help you to avoid atherosclerosis by preventing the oxidation of the LDL cholesterol, which is the precursor to it depositing on your artery walls. The body needs cholesterol, but levels should be kept to within certain limits or the resultant atherosclerosis can narrow your arteries leading to cardiac problems and strokes, particularly in the very narrow arteries of the brain.
Gac also supports the immune system and helps to maintain prostate health, largely through its alpha tocopherol, or vitamin E content. Vitamin E is easily destroyed by free radicals, which is where the beta carotene is of benefit. This is the body’s first line of defense against free radicals, and each molecule can neutralize up to 20 free radical molecules before it is destroyed. This helps to save other antioxidants such as vitamin E.
Lycopene is particularly beneficial to the prostate and current research indicates that it can help to prevent prostate cancer and cardiovascular disease, plus some other diseases such as macular degeneration that affects your sight. Perhaps this is one reason why the gac fruit membranes are used in Vietnam to promote healthy vision, and they also help to cure dry eyes. Lycopene remains in your body fat longer than normal beta carotene, and recent studies have found that men with high amounts of lycopene in their body fat are up to 50% less likely to suffer heart attacks as those with low amounts.
Gac fruit is jam-packed full of nutrients and antioxidants, and has no known side effects. It is used in Asia for weddings and other special occasions, and is grown on lattices in many gardens, although it has a short season. However, gac fruit is not known as the “Fruit from Heaven” for no reason, and if you were allowed the choice of only one fruit in your life, then this would be the one.
August 18, 2008 12:01 PM
Whether coconut oil is good for weight loss or not, it is becoming an increasingly popular component of a weight loss diet. So how justified is this in view the fact that fats and oils are not normally regarded as being the best form of food to take if you want to lose weight?
Apart from any other considerations, fats are actually very important components of any diet. Consider, for example, how many vitamins are fat soluble: vitamins A, D, E and K are all fat soluble, and without fats in your diet vitamins would not be able to circulate and be taken to where they do most good. Fats are also essential building blocks for hormones and cell membranes. In short, you cannot survive without fats. Coconut oil is a fat.
In referring to coconut oil here, we are discussing virgin oil, not the refined form that is high in cholesterol. Refined, or processed coconut oils, is hydrogenated, which renders it more in nature to the longer chain fatty acids. Virgin coconut oil contains what are known as medium chain fatty acids (MCFA), which are easily metabolized by your liver into energy.
The longer chain fatty acids, also called triglycerides, are not easily broken down into smaller components, and tend to be stored in the body as fat. This fat can be particularly dangerous if stored round the midriff, and so long chain fatty acids are dangerous to your health. This does not apply to MCFAs, and a possible mechanism for this is discussed later.
An inability to distinguish between the different types of fats and oils in your diet is largely due to a lack of education in the chemistry of fats, and the lumping together of all fats and oils under the 'fatty' flag. Perhaps it is the use of the word 'fat' for the overweight condition and the fact that the triglycerides and other chemicals are known generically as 'fats' that triggers a connection between the two, but although this is logical, and in some cases justified, it is not always the case. There are fats and fats, just as there are lubricating oils and greases, and edible cooking oils and greases.
The fatty acids in coconut oil are composed of relative small carbon chain lengths. Caprylic acid and capric acid contain 8 and 10 carbon atoms in the backbone compared to the 18 of the stearic acid that is commonly contained in animal fats. The longer the carbon chain in the molecule, the more difficult it is to break down, and the more likely it is to be stored in the body as a dense fatty deposit that places a strain on the heart.
Due to the shorter chain length the medium chain fatty acids hold less energy per unit weight. Apart from any other reasons then, coconut oil contains fewer calories than other fats and so if used as the bulk of your fat requirement, will be less liable to generate body fat. Not only that, but as inferred earlier, due to the smaller molecule these calories are more readily released as energy for use by your body rather than stored unused.
However, that is not the whole story on either count: coconut contains saturated fats, and also monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, although in small quantities. These, however, are present in only small amounts, although would still be expected to undergo oxidation and produce the rancid taste commonly found in aged unsaturated oils and fats. However, even after a year this does not happen, which indicates that coconut oil possesses some form of antioxidant properties. This is confirmed by the fact that people eating a diet rich in coconut oil has less of a need for the strong oil-soluble antioxidant vitamin E.
In fact, the metabolism of fats is usually connected with the carnitine transport system in the mitochondria, although the shorter chain fatty acids do not need carnitine for their metabolism. What happens then is that because carnitine promotes oxidation during stress, and causes oxidative damage to body cells, its absence in metabolism of coconut oil fatty acids results in a reduction in the oxidation that degrades unsaturated fats. Hence the lack of rancidity.
Taking this further, then, this lack of oxidation infers that those that take a diet rich in coconut oil (for example using it for cooking rather than animal and vegetable oils containing longer chain fatty acids) should be partially protected against cell oxidation in general. Oxidative effects such as aging, cardiovascular diseases and some cancers should be reduced, and studies have shown this to be the case. Those consuming coconut oil rather than other oils tend to age more slowly, suffer less from heart disease and tend to experience fewer incidences of cancer.
With regard specifically to weight loss, it is believed that consumption of medium chain triglycerides, as opposed to longer chain triglycerides, results in a higher rate of thermogenesis, or the Conversion of carbohydrates to energy (fats are also carbohydrates). The first step in this process requires the presence of Coenzyme A in the form of the enzyme acyl-CoA-dehydrogenase, and measurement of the activity of this enzyme has indicated that medium chain triglycerides exhibit much higher expenditure of energy than the metabolism of long chain triglycerides when being converted to fatty tissue. However, though the energy used up in this reaction, known as lipogenesis, was higher, the formation of fatty tissue was the same.
Hence, MCA uses more energy to produce the same amount of fat as LCA, and therefore, although more energy is used up, no new fat is generated by the liver. Since your dietary fat intake can ultimately have only three fates: burned as energy, stored as the emergency energy source glycogen, or deposited as fat, then it is logical that the more energy generated then the less fat will be stored.
In this way, coconut oil, with a high content of medium chain fatty acids, has a scientific explanation for causing weight reduction when used as a source of fat in the diet rather than animal or other vegetable fats or oils. It is converted to energy rather than fatty tissue, and if you exercise to use up that energy then your weight loss can be significant.
What this theory also states, however, is that coconut oil should be used as a replacement for other fats, and not in addition to it. If you take coconut oil in addition to your normal diet, do not expect to see results.
August 15, 2008 11:53 AM
In the recent past, DHEA has shown scientists its amazing abilities within the human body. Clinical tests have created a huge amount of interest for both scientists and consumers, with estimates of about 500 in-depth clinical studies on DHEA taking place. These tests, which have been conducted at some of the most prestigious medical research centers and universities in the country, have proven DHEA to be one of the most important anti-aging and anti-disease substances of the 21st century.
DHEA is a crucial and important hormone that is produced in the adrenal glands. It is often called the mother hormone, as it forms the base for the biochemical actions of hormones like testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, and corticosterone. These hormones control important body functions that determine metabolism, energy output, endocrine mechanisms, and reproductive capabilities. DHEA directs the entire endocrine systems through activating and inhibiting enzymes. In its many clinical studies, DHEA has shown an unusually wide variety of physiological benefits. Although it has been known for many years that DHEA is made by the adrenal glands, the function of DHEA in the body has only been recently studied.
DHEA is produced by the adrenal glands, but it can also be found in non-patented prescription drugs and other over-the-counter forms. A lot of these supplements contain a synthetic DHEA-S. A lot of people consider Dioscorea extract, which can be found in Mexican Wild Yam, to have a natural source of DHEA. There are a lot of naturally occurring compounds that can mimic the actions of DHEA and, at the time, do not require a prescription. Wild Yam and Mexican Yam can give a botanical precursor of DHEA, which is considered a substantial source by a lot of health advocates. A great number of studies on DHEA that is derived from Mexican Yam have been conducted, with results concluding that DHEA derived from Mexican Yam and Dioscorea extract is a great idea. However, some controversy surrounds the value of Wild Yam as a valuable source of DHEA.
DHEA is used in the body to make other hormone, as it is the most dominant of all the hormones present in the body. It contributes to the proper growth of brain cells, inhibits the Conversion of carbohydrates to fats, decreases the formation of blood clots, regulates hormones, decreases the stickiness of platelets that can clump to cause heart attacks and strokes, increase estrogen in women and testosterone in men, lowers LDL cholesterol, enhances overall immunity, and decreases symptoms of an enlarged prostate.
DHEA helps to reduce menopausal symptoms, promotes thermo genesis, helps to increase muscle mass, stabilizes blood sugar, inhibits appetite and discourages eating, boosts endurance, inhibits diseases associated with aging, helps to restore collagen and skin integrity, fights fatigue and depression, helps to inhibit certain tumors, improves calcium absorption to discourage osteoporosis, acts as an anti-inflammatory, and helps to lower blood pressure.
DHEA levels dramatically vary in each individual and can drop as a result of stress or other conditions such as blood sugar, fever, hypertension, nicotine ingestion, alcohol consumption, drinking coffee, and the presence of various diseases. Taking birth control pills and other synthetic hormones can also deplete levels of DHEA. When any of these occur, supplementation is needed. Therapeutic doses range from 5 to 25 milligrams per day which can be found here at VitaNet, LLC.
August 12, 2008 01:37 PM
Vitamin C is the most widely taken nutritional supplement on the market and is available in a variety of forms, including tablets, drink mixes, crystals in capsules or bulk powdered crystals. Vitamin C is present in mother's milk and, in lower amounts, in raw cow's milk, with pasteurized milk containing only trace amounts. This vitamin is most present in the liver and least present in the muscle but needed through out the body.
Vitamin C is required for the synthesis of collagen, an important structural component of blood vessels, tendons, ligaments, skin, and bone. Vitamin C can regenerate other antioxidants such as vitamin E; in the body vitamin E can regenerate C as well. This vitamin is required for the growth and repair of tissues in all parts of your body. Relatively large doses of vitamin C may cause indigestion, particularly when taken on an empty stomach.
It has been shown that smokers who have diets poor in vitamin C are at a higher risk of lung-borne diseases than those smokers who have higher concentrations of Vitamin C in the blood. Biological tissues that accumulate over 100 times the level in blood plasma of vitamin C are the adrenal glands, pituitary, thymus, corpus luteum, and retina.
Studies suggest the presence of large quantities of sugar either in the intestines or in the blood can slow absorption of this vitamin. Several studies have demonstrated a blood pressure lowering effect of vitamin C supplementation. Also, when consumed in high doses it appears to interfere with the blood thinning effects of warfarin by lowering prothrombin time, as noted in case reports in the 1970s so consult your doctor if on medications..
In one Study, researchers instructed patients with documented coronary artery disease to take a single oral dose of either 2 g vitamin C or a placebo. Results, the researchers discovered that high doses of vitamin C can help prevent blood platelet sticking and fight cholesterol oxidation. Also, researchers discovered this vitamin can reduce the formation of potentially carcinogenic nitrogen-containing compounds in the stomach, offering protection from stomach cancer, researchers have reported.
French and German researchers found that vitamin C appeared to keep cells in the blood vessel wall from dying. The researchers, who studied immune indicators, such as serum immunoglobulin and neutrophil phagocytosis (how well your white blood cells can engulf and digest foreign bodies), concluded that vitamin C exerts a remarkable immuno-modulating action, in other words, improved immune function in all those who consumed vitamin C on a regular basis.
What are deficiency symptoms for vitamin C?
Scurvy is a disease resulting from lack of vitamin C, since without this vitamin, the synthesized collagen is too unstable to perform its function. Scurvy was common among those with poor access to fresh fruit and vegetables, such as remote, isolated sailors and soldiers. The amount of vitamin C required to prevent “chronic disease” appears to be more than that required for prevention of scurvy which is 30 – 60 milligrams per day. Based on scientific research, vitamin C also appears to improve oral absorption of iron, which is good news for those that are anemic.
Half of us in the United States will die from heart disease. The foundation of heart disease is atherosclerosis, the narrowing of our arteries with plaque. Treatment with vitamin C has consistently resulted in improved dilation of blood vessels in individuals with atherosclerosis as well as those with angina pectoris, congestive heart failure, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. Researchers believe this protection from cell death could explain previous study findings which suggest that vitamin C benefits blood vessel function in people with congestive heart failure.
Vitamin C supplements are also generally regarded as safe in most individuals in recommended amounts, although there are rarely reported side effects including nausea, vomiting, heartburn, abdominal cramps, and headache. In addition, this vitamin is required for the synthesis of l-Carnitine, a small amino acid that is essential for the transport of fat to cellular organelles called mitochondria, for Conversion to energy. If you have chronic fatigue syndrome, vitamin C may help by boosting energy production through the mitochondria.
Therefore, as in many studies of vitamin C intake and cardiovascular disease risk, it is difficult to separate the effects of vitamin C on stroke risk from the effects of other components such as diet and the consumption of fruits and vegetables. As with all dietitians an emphasis on the benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is important to maintain a healthy cardiovascular system. If one can not consume fruits and vegetables on a daily basis then supplementation of vitamin C is need in either capsule of tablet to fight the risk of disease.
Is Saw Palmetto's Safe?
July 15, 2008 06:58 PM
Saw palmetto, a small palm tree which is found in Florida and South Carolina, produces berries which contain many beneficial compounds. Florida is the biggest producer of saw palmetto. Small patches of this herb can be found from the southeast coastline of South Carolina and southeastern Georgia to southern Mississippi. But it does not grow naturally in Texas, Mexico, or the Caribbean. It grows in every Florida County, but much of its production is found in South Florida.
Supplements that contain saw palmetto are extremely effective in treatment of Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH), one of the most common health conditions in older men, with half of all men aged 40-60 and more than 90 percent of men over 80 having BPH. BPH is caused by the Conversion of estrogen to a very potent form of testosterone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Saw palmetto berry extract has been found to relive the symptoms of BPH by furthering the production of DHT. With the use of saw palmetto extract, it has been found that most men achieve some relief of symptoms within the first 30 days.
Additionally, saw palmetto is an herb that is commonly used to treat benign prostate enlargement, is rich in phytosterols, especially beta-sitosterol. Also, saw palmetto is very effective for excess testosterone, as it promotes testosterone excretion. Native Americans use the fruit for food, but it is also used in the treatment of a variety of urinary and reproductive system problems. Similarly, the Mayans drank it as a tonic, while the Seminoles used the berries both as an expectorant and as an antiseptic.
Recent concerns over the safety of saw palmetto supplements for prostate health have emerged and may be unfounded. A new study reported that there were no adverse effects from the supplementation of saw palmetto. The randomized clinical trial, Saw palmetto for Treatment of Enlarged Prostates (STEP) study, recruited two hundred and twenty-five men, all of which had moderate-to-severe symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Each of these men was assigned to receive either 320 milligrams per day of a saw palmetto supplement or a placebo.
This study lasted one year. After the study, researchers concluded that there were no significant differences between the groups when it came to suffering from at least one serious adverse event. 5.4 percent of men in the saw palmetto group had one serious adverse event as compared to 9.7 percent in the placebo group. There were also no significant differences that were observed when it came to non-serious symptomatic adverse events, as 34.8 percent of men in the saw palmetto group experienced such an event, compared to 30.1 percent in the placebo group.
The study was welcomed by Daniel Fabricant, PhD., vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs for the industry association of the Natural Products Association. Dr. Fabricant said that he agreed with the authors of the study and that the results are reassuring, saying that he believe the study supports the viewpoint that those people with experience in botanicals have held for an extended amount of time in that when they are used responsibly and the amounts and concentrations are supported by clinical literature, botanicals are extremely safe and effective.
July 08, 2008 03:00 PM
Garcinia cambogia is a small tree bearing a small pumpkin-like fruit of the citrus family, and is steadily appearing in an increasing number of weight loss supplements. It is indigenous to parts of Africa and Asia, and the rind is commonly used in Indian cookery.
Although the fruit is particularly sour to the taste, it is used in form of an extract of the rind and claimed to act as an appetite suppressant and also to increase the body’s capacity to metabolize fat. Although there are conflicting claims being made about its efficacy, or lack of it, research shows that it definitely has promise as an agent to prevent and fight obesity and its use is steadily increasing in this respect.
The active ingredient is hydroxy citric acid, otherwise known as HCA, contained in the form of the potassium and calcium salts of the acid in the aqueous extract of the garcinia cambogia rind. It forms up to 30% by weight of the rind. It is tasteless and odorless, and so far found to have no toxic effects on humans. Animal studies have also been generally favorable.
HCA works in two specific ways both to reduce the desire to eat and to inhibit the storage of fat in the body. In each case, as with so many supplements that have an inhibitory effect on a physiological or psychological function or on a metabolic process, it involves an interaction with enzymes.
Citrate lysase is an enzyme in the body that helps to prevent lipogenesis and instead promotes the Conversion of carbohydrates into fat. When this enzyme is inhibited from carrying out its intended part in the body’s metabolism, the process of carbohydrate oxidation is boosted, or, in other words, the excess carbohydrate is burned off, or changed into energy.
More fats could also be expelled unchanged from the body, but irrespective of that the end result is that less carbohydrate tends to be converted to fat. Garcinia cambogia, however, has not been found to reduce the body’s uptake of essential fatty acids which are necessary for health. Had this occurred, you would feel a raging hunger as opposed to the appetite suppressing properties the extract is claimed to have.
The oxidation of carbohydrates can also lead to thermogenesis, or the boosting of the metabolism by increasing your body temperature. An increase in the metabolic rate helps weight reduction through an increased calorie demand while your body is at rest. However, that is not the only way in which the HCA extract works to help reduce your weight, or at least help to maintain it at a healthy level. Let’s return to its specific appetite suppression properties.
Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine) is a neuroreceptor found in the central nervous system. It has many regulatory effects on the body, one of which is appetite. Although it is by no means the only chemical in the body that has an effect on the appetite, serotonin is a significant factor. As you get hungry, serotonin is released in the hypothalamus, an area of the brain that regulates sleep and eating. The release of serotonin increases when you see and or smell food. It is the agent that starts canine salivation, and a ravenous hunger in those that have no immediate access to food.
It also causes you to snack, and, as you eat, the serotonin level in the hypothalamus continues to increase until it reaches a point where it provides the hypothalamus with a feeling of repletion or satisfaction. You then stop eating. So the more serotonin is produced, the quicker you stop feeling hungry.
Garcinia cambogia extract has the effect of stimulating the emission of serotonin into the hypothalamus, and so suppresses your hunger quicker. You don’t stop eating altogether, but attain that feeling of satisfaction much quicker and so tend to eat less with each meal. This can not only help you maintain your weight at a healthy level, but also to reduce weight in the obese.
Although the extract can work through each of these mechanisms, it does not have such a significant effect on a very fatty diet. It can help if you switch to a relatively healthy diet, lower in fats, but the effect might not be strong enough to compensate for a poor diet in terms of fat content.
Studies have indicated an anti-oxidant activity that likely comes from the xanthones and xanthone derivatives that are also contained in the fruit. In fact there are other recorded uses of garcinia cambogia, and it has been used in traditional Indian medicine to treat fevers, dysentery, open wounds, ulcers and tumors.
According to a study carried out for the National Cancer Institute there is no documented toxicity effects on humans, and there is no regulation regarding the use of garcinia cambogia. It has not been evaluated by the FDA.
However, there are contra-indications in the case of pregnant and lactating women, more as a safety measure than for any particularly known risk. Alzheimer patients should avoid taking HCA since there is a possibility of it promoting the synthesis of acetylcholine in the brain, and its glycemic action renders it unsuitable for diabetics.
Conversely, this same action is a positive benefit by reducing the craving of healthy adults for sweet foods. However, HCA is frequently taken in combination with chromium due to the latter’s positive effect on the regulation of blood sugar levels. Nevertheless, diabetics should avoid any supplement containing chromium without professional medical advice.
The supplement should be standardized on the HCA content, and an average dose is around 500 mg – 1000 mg of 50% extract a day. However, this varies, and the most important aspect of such extracts is that when changing brands; be sure to compare the strength of the relative extracts and change your dosage accordingly.
Although the benefits of garcinia cambogia to those seeking to lose weight are debated, there is ample evidence to suggest that a regular intake of the extract is beneficial – and not only with respect to the maintenance of healthy weight.