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What Health Benefits Does Black Currant Seed Oil Posses? Darrell Miller 4/18/14
Does Black Currant Have Healing Properties? Darrell Miller 3/28/14
Gooseberry Benefits Vision, Blood Sugar, Cholesterol And More Darrell Miller 4/9/11
Healthy Nails Darrell Miller 3/3/09
Very Berry - Antioxidants Darrell Miller 12/1/08
Bilberry Darrell Miller 8/30/08
Elderberry Can Boost The Immune System In The Winter Darrell Miller 12/3/07
The Healing Power Of Borage Oil’s GLA Darrell Miller 11/13/07
Mannose Darrell Miller 3/8/07
Galactose Darrell Miller 3/8/07
The healing power of borage oil Darrell Miller 6/19/06
Sources of Essential Fatty Acids Darrell Miller 6/25/05



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What Health Benefits Does Black Currant Seed Oil Posses?
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Date: April 18, 2014 06:10 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: What Health Benefits Does Black Currant Seed Oil Posses?

black Currant fruitWhat is a black Currant

BlackCurrant is a small nutritious berry grown in places that experience temperate climates such as north and central Europe. For years, this nutritious fruit has been used for both food and medicinal purposes and scientists have also discovered that it contains vitamin C, antioxidants and phytochemicals.

Other medicinal properties of the fruit include:

1. It contains lots of essential fatty acids

Black Currant seed oil is believed to contain lots of gamma and alpha linolenic acids, these compounds are also found in fish oils and are useful in improving memory and eyesight. Fatty acids also help in boosting cellular development including formation of healthy cell-membranes. According to a study conducted by Maryland University, gamma linolenic is the only Omega-6 fatty acid that can reduce swelling. It can also improve nerve functioning for diabetics and increase bone density by enhancing calcium absorption. Other studies also show fatty acids can help prevent allergic reactions, those who react adversely to external stimuli typically have lower levels of this compound in their bloodstream.

2. It improves cardiovascular health

Preliminary studies show that those suffering from arterial malfunction experience reduced pressure levels after taking omega-3 fatty acids. The anti-inflammatory aspects of this substance also help in cutting back cholesterol levels within the blood vessels and platelet aggregation.

3. Prevents premature aging

The substance is very useful in preventing untimely aging as it blocks wrinkle formation and fastens the process of repairing damaged tissues. Moreover, some scientists believe that omega-6 fatty compounds can be beneficial in curing eczema, including liver toxicity and symptoms of withdrawal caused by too much alcohol abuse. Black current seed oil can also lessen premenstrual syndromes by alleviating cramps, breast tenderness and depression while at the same time reducing nervous system stress. Though this product is beneficial in treating a myriad of conditions, it should be taken in moderation for the best results. You may also consult with a nutritionist for more information on how to consume it effectively.

Sources

  1. //altmedicine.about.com/od/herbsupplementguide/a/Black-Currant-Oil.htm
  2. //www.evitamins.com/a/10-best-uses-black-Currant-522#.U0xN_aJyXIU

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Does Black Currant Have Healing Properties?
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Date: March 28, 2014 10:26 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Does Black Currant Have Healing Properties?

Black Currant

Truly, the leaves of black Currant and borage plants have been used for different rheumatic and provocative conditions, and as natural diuretics. Black Currant has likewise been utilized to loose bowels, while borage has additionally been utilized as an antipyretic, expectorant, and general tonic. Right now, both plant oils are utilized as rich wellsprings of gamma-linolenic corrosive (GLA). Alongside, night primrose oil, these GLA-holding oils are utilized for interminable provocative and other conditions, for example, dermatitis, rheumatic issue, nostalgia, premenstrual syndrome, and diabetic neuropathy.1-4 Patients with these issues are thought to be unable to sufficiently change over their dietary vital greasy acids to GLA, an antecedent of mitigating eicosanoids 5; in this manner, supplementation with GLA-rich plant oils is viewed as advantageous.

Benefits of black Currant

The Health Benefits and therapeutic employments of black Currants incorporate it being utilized for the medicine of different cardiovascular ailments because of vitamin C. Likewise, black Currants are additionally used to anticipate heart inadequacy as they have a tendency to enhance the safety of the energetic vessels that are known to be delicate and likewise minimize blood vessel hypertension.

Black Currants are additionally valuable for those miseries of menopause as they have a tendency to escalate the feeble fringe flow and likewise dispose of the cholesterol, waste and poisons from the blood. Black Currants likewise help women experiencing menopause.

Some of the other medicinal employments of black Currants might be it being exceptionally beneficial in the common medication of gout, stiffness and joint pain.

The homegrown cure arranged using the buds of the black Currant plant is utilized within the medication of urticaris and the products of the soil of the black Currant are utilized as a common solution for treating skin conditions, for example, bug stings, dermatosis, and abscess and skin inflammations.

Black Currants are a brilliant soil grown foods for ladies particularly, by virtue of their various benefits, for example, treating the indications of premenstrual syndrome, menopause, bosom delicacy and excruciating periods. Black Currants are additionally useful in upgrading one's general unsusceptibility.

Health benefits and therapeutic employments of the black Currant likewise make it an amazing common cure for kidney related issues in a distinctive as the dried leaves of the black Currant plant are known to advertise stream of urine, work against the shaping of bladder stones and additionally sterilize the urine particularly when expended on a customary groundwork as a cleansing tea.


 

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Gooseberry Benefits Vision, Blood Sugar, Cholesterol And More
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Date: April 09, 2011 11:17 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Gooseberry Benefits Vision, Blood Sugar, Cholesterol And More

Gooseberry And Your Health.

Gooseberry is a group of fruit-bearing plant species that belong to the same family as Currants. They are easily recognizable by their round berries that are either bright green or deep purple in color. While most of the cultivars produce fruits that are bitter in taste, gooseberries are often added to desserts and preserved as jam or pickle. They are an excellent source of many nutrients, such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B complex, phosphorous, calcium, iron, potassium, and magnesium, among others. Herbalists believe that the vitamin and mineral content of gooseberries do not significantly change after washing, heating, and other cooking preparations.

Different varieties of gooseberries are widely distributed across the Old World, with species native to Europe, Africa, and Asia. The American species are also considered indigenous to North America although many dispute this claim. Each species have been linked to varying herbal remedies, but they all have similar genetic traits and nutrient contents. European and American cultivars are known for the following uses:

Counters Visual Decline

Gooseberry is often associated with the improvement of eyesight. There have been numerous articles about its medicinal potential in the treatment of cataracts, myopia or nearsightedness, and macular degeneration. The fruits are indeed a good source of biological precursors of vitamin A, and the juice extracted from the fruits are believed to contain phytochemicals that contribute to the upkeep of healthy cells found in the human eye.

Reduces Blood Sugar

Almost all varieties of gooseberry are believed to lower blood glucose levels. Proponents of its use as a therapeutic remedy for hyperglycemia point to the modulating effects of its organic compounds and metabolites on the hormone insulin. Gooseberry appears to increase production of insulin and improve glucose sensitivity of cells, the reason why it is also in use in conjunction with other common treatments for type 2 diabetes.

Promotes Cardiovascular Health

The organic compounds naturally occurring in gooseberry have been observed to show cardioprotective properties. First, they help lower serum cholesterol by interfering with the release of low-density lipoproteins, or bad cholesterol, from the liver. Second, they relax the smooth muscle cells within blood vessel walls, resulting in increased blood flow. Third, they strengthen heart muscles, promoting heart health.

Improves Hair Loss

The buzz around the ability of gooseberry products to control hair is supported by very encouraging results. It is believed that topical applications containing gooseberry extracts act on hair follicles, or hair roots, the part of the scalp that grow hair. Practitioners of folk medicine in Europe and Asia usually boil gooseberries, add the pulp to other ingredients to make paste, and apply the paste to the scalp.

Scavenges Free Radicals

Gooseberries are rich in polyphenols, with different species containing flavonoids, tannins, lignans, or their combination. Plant-based polyphenols are known for their antioxidant properties, which of course is important to neutralizing free radicals. Gooseberry is historically noted for its anti-aging effects, and modern research support this centuries-old with the discovery of its polyphenolic antioxidants.

Give Gooseberry A Try Today!

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Healthy Nails
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Date: March 03, 2009 12:14 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Healthy Nails

The nails are responsible for protecting the nerve-rich fingertips and tips of the toes from injury. Nails are part of the epidermis, which is the outer layer of skin. They are mainly composed of keratin, which is a type of protein. The nail bed is the skin on top of which the nails grow, as they grow from 0.05 to 1.2 millimeters each week. If a nail is lost, it takes approximately seven months for it to grow out fully.

Those nail beds that are healthy are pink, which indicates a rich blood supply. Changes or abnormalities in the nails are often a result of nutritional deficiencies or other underlying conditions. The nails are able to reveal a great deal about the body’s internal health. Nail abnormalities on either the fingers or the toes can give evidence to an underlying disorder.

There are many changes that nutritional deficiencies can produce in the nails. A lack of protein, folic acid, and vitamin C are responsible for hang nails, while white bands across the nails are an indicator for protein deficiency. Dryness and brittleness indicates a lack of vitamin A and calcium. Horizontal and vertical ridges in the nails means that there is a deficiency of the B vitamins, while an insufficient intake of vitamin B12 can lead to excessive dryness, very rounded and curved nail ends, and darkened nails. Iron deficiency can lead to nails that develop a concave shape and/or vertical ridges. White spots on the nails can be caused by a deficiency of zinc. Inadequate amounts of friendly bacteria in the body can result in the growth of fungus under and around the nails, while a lack of hydrochloric acid contributes to the splitting of nails.

The following supplements are essential in promoting healthy nail growth. Unless otherwise specified, the dosages given are for adults. For children between the ages of twelve and seventeen, the dose should be reduced to three-quarters of the recommended amount. For children between six and twelve, one-half of the recommended dose should be used, while one-quarter of the amount should be used for children under the age of six.

Acidophilus should be taken as directed on the label, as it inhibits the harmful bacteria that cause fungal infection. A free-form amino acid complex can also be taken as directed on the label, on an empty stomach, to provide the building materials for new nails. Silica supplies silicon, which is needed for hair, bones, and strong nails. It should be taken as directed on the label. Vitamin A emulsion should be taken in dosages of 50,000 IU daily, as the body cannot utilize protein without vitamin A. Black Currant seed oil is helpful for weak, brittle nails and should be taken in dosages of 500 mg twice daily. Calcium and magnesium should be taken as directed on the label, as they are necessary for nail growth.

Iron should be taken as directed by a physician, as deficiency produces spoon nails and/or vertical ridges. A vitamin B complex should be taken as directed on the label, as deficiencies result in fragile nails. To prevent hangnails and inflammation of the tissue surrounding the nail, 3,000 to 6,000 mg daily of vitamin C with bioflavonoids should be taken. 50 mg daily of zinc is beneficial for affecting absorption and action of vitamins and enzymes.

Additionally, the following herbs are helpful: alfalfa, black cohosh, burdock root, dandelion, gotu kola, yellow dock, horsetail, oat straw, borage seed, flaxseed, lemongrass, parsley, primrose, pumpkin seed, sage, butcher’s broom, chamomile, ginkgo biloba, rosemary, sassafras, and turmeric.

Healthy looking nails can tell you if your body is getting the right nutrients from your diet. When you find your nails are not looking well, consider the above vitamins, minerals and herbs to help restore healthy looking finger and toe nails. The vitamins and herbs listed can be found at your local or internet health food store.

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Very Berry - Antioxidants
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Date: December 01, 2008 10:23 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Very Berry - Antioxidants

It has been suggested that eating berries may be a delicious and great way for a person to protect themselves against heart disease. Blueberries are full of antioxidants, called anthocyanins, which have been shown to keep the memory sharp as you age. Raspberries, on the other hand, contain ellagic acid, which is a compound containing anti-cancer properties. All berries are a great source of fiber for the body, a nutrient that is extremely important for a healthy digestive system.

More so, berries have recently been studied for their effects on heart health. A recent study published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who ate berries on a daily basis had higher levels of HDL cholesterol, which is healthy for the heart, lower blood pressure, and less blood platelet clumping, which is a factor that can help to protect people against dangerous blood clots.

A new study, which tested seventy-two people who had one or more risk factors for heart disease, tested for the effects of eating berries on markers that deal with cardiovascular health. This trial, which lasted eight weeks, had half of the people eating berry mixtures of bilberries, lingon berries, black Currants, strawberries, and raspberry and chokeberry juices two times each day. A combination of different berries was used in order to ensure that a large amount of polyphenols were taken in. As a control, the other people were given sugar water, sweetened wheat or rice cereals, or marmalade.

Among those people who had the highest initial blood pressure, systolic blood pressure dropped 7.3 mm Hg in the berry group compared to only 0.2 mm Hg in the control group. Although total cholesterol levels were unchanged, those people who were a part of the berry group had a 5.2 percent increase in protective HDL cholesterol levels. Eating berries also stopped platelet function, which means that it takes longer for blood platelets to clump together and begin forming clots.

Berries are good for you because they contain many beneficial substances such as polyphenols, potassium, vitamin C, folic acid, and fiber. Polyphenols are also found in cocoa, tea, red wine, onions, and other fruits and have attracted a lot of attention recently because of their potential health benefits. Some recent reports have concluded that polyphenols may potentially help to protect against both heart disease and cancer. Although the way that polyphenols work to promote health is not completely understood, it is assumed that it is tied to their antioxidant properties and their ability to enhance the body’s immunity while repairing DNA damage that occurs from smoking and exposure to other toxins.

The findings of these studies are extremely significant because they may be partly responsible for explaining the role it holds in protecting the cardiovascular system. By eating fruits and vegetables a person increases the efficiency and health of their cardiovascular system significantly. Other types of studies have recently been warranted so that they may identify the compounds and mechanisms that are responsible for the effects that have been observed to this date. Berry supplements are also available at your local or internet health food store.

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Bilberry
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Date: August 30, 2008 09:43 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Bilberry

Bilberry is a part of the herb world that has recently begun re-emerging because of recent scientific discoveries linking the fruit to therapeutic properties in blood vessel-related disorders. If you happen to suffer from any disorder that is related to weaken blood vessels, then you should definitely think about bilberry as part of your treatment, as it can be safe and extremely effective. Bilberry is a rich source of anthocyanidins, which gives it the unique ability to stabilize and protect collagen stores. This helps to prevent capillary leakage and hemorrhage. Bilberry is currently being used to treat vascular and blood disorders, and is also a main ingredient in the treatment of many visual problems. It has even been proven effective for varicose veins, thrombosis, diabetes, macular degeneration, and angina.

Thanks to its rich amounts of anthocyanosides, bilberry is an extremely valuable treatment for a variety of disorders in which leaky veins cause tissue damage. Containing over 15 different anthocyanosides, bilberry protects the veins and arteries, as it boosts a great deal of physiological processes that results in the improved integrity of capillary walls. Additionally, anthocyanosides prevent platelets from sticking to the walls of vessels, which helps to prevent the formation of blood clots. Bilberry has shown healing properties including: analgesic, anti-arthritic, anti-clotting, antiulcer, anti-edemic, anti-inflammatory, anti-osteotic, cyclooxygenase inhibitor, inhibits collagenase, inhibits elastase, lipoxygena, smooth muscle relaxant, lowers blood sugar, and vasodilator.

With more than 100 names from around the world, bilberry also can be known by: huckleberry, whortleberry, European blueberry, myrtle bilberry, myrtle blueberry, myrtle whortleberry, Rocky Mountain whortleberry, red whortleberry, black grouseberry, low bilberry, mountain blueberry, huckleberry, and blueberry. Bilberry is a perennial shrub that can be commonly found in many different climates around the world that are characterized by damp woodlands and moorlands in northern Europe, northern regions of America, and parts of Canada.

Bilberry grows as a small shrub with wiry, angular branches that do not usually grow over a foot high. The branches of bilberry bear waxy flowers and black berries that are covered with a grey bloom when they are ripe. The leather-like leaves of bilberry are initially rose color, but turn to a yellowish-green in the summer and a fiery red in the autumn.

Growing abundantly in areas of England and flourishing best on high ground in the north and west regions of Britain, bilberry possesses a round fruit or berry that has a flat top and is approximately the size of a black Currant, with a taste that is slightly acidic. The berry bushes prefer filtered shade and moist, fertile soil that is acidic and non calcareous. The bilberry plant is related most closely to blueberries and Currants, all of which belong to the genus Vaccinium. Bilberries are rich in carbohydrates, tannin, vitamin A, and vitamin C. It also contains glucoquinine, which is able to lower blood sugar.

Finally, bilberry is considered an astringent; it exhibits antibacterial properties in the intestines. Bilberry’s analgesic properties are often thought to come from chlorogenic-acid and ferulic-acid content. Bilberry contains copper, quercetin, linoleic-acid, magnesium, pantothenic acid, ursolic acid, and zinc. This herb is good for the parts of the body that contain small fragile blood vessels such as the eyes and this is why this herb is associated with promoting eye health.

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Elderberry Can Boost The Immune System In The Winter
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Date: December 03, 2007 09:44 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Elderberry Can Boost The Immune System In The Winter

The immune system is frequently overworked when the days get shorter and the temperature starts to drop, and elderberry can boost the immune system in winter for those that find themselves susceptible to all the colds, flu and other viral infections that seem to come out of the woodwork at that time.

Elderberry is the fruit of the elder tree that is native to Asia, Europe and North America. They are found just about anywhere due to their tolerance for a wide range of climates and soil types, and are frequently found by river banks. There are a number of different types of elder, in both small tree and shrub form, and it is those with the black and blue berries that are useful medicinally, not those with red berries. It is not only the berries that are used, but also the elder flowers. Elderflower wine has long been a favorite country wine, and the berries are used to make jam, pies and also drunk as juice.

Elder has been used for countless years for treating viral diseases such as influenza and colds, and it has also been found by some to be effective for the treatment of cold sores (herpes simplex). Its effect on flu is thought to be that it prevents the virus from entering and infecting the body cells, but more on this later. Historically, it has been used to promote the excretion of waste products through urination and sweating, which might be another reason why it is effective against colds and flu and some general respiratory problems.

The juice contains anthocyanins in the form of anthocyanidin-3-glycosides that appear to be very bioavailable to the body. The anthocyanins are more easily absorbed than those of blackCurrant juice, and are very strong antioxidants. The antioxidant effect is reinforced by the presence of large quantities of vitamin C. This difference in bioavailability has been proved though the administration of both blackCurrant and elderberry juice to volunteers, and testing the presence of the anthocyanins in the urine. This is a measure of their bioavailability, or how easily they are absorbed by the body, and the greater this bioavailability, then the more effective is their antioxidant effect.

Separate studies have indicated that anthocyanins derived from berries in general, not just elderberry, can reduce oxidative stress due to age, and also to help brain function. An improvement in the memory of the elderly has been seen to have improved after a course of berry juices rich in these powerful antioxidants. Elderberry antioxidants also improve the stability of LDL cholesterol by protecting against free radical oxidation, and thus helping to reduce the incidence of atherosclerosis that is promoted by the deposition of the oxidized LDL cholesterol on artery walls. This in turn helps to reduce the possibility of cardiovascular disease.

However, it is its effect on the immune system for which elderberry is generally studied by the medical professions. Elderberry helps to boost the immune system predominantly through the production of cytokines. To explain how these work, a quick summary of how part of the immune system works will first be necessary.

When intrusion into the body by an antigen (foreign body) is detected, the initial response is the inflammatory response. Chemical messengers called cytokines are released into the blood to inform the other parts of the immune system that an invader has been spotted.

The immediate effect is to increase the flow of blood to the affected part of the body by dilation of the blood vessels. The spaces between the cells in the vessel walls increase to allow the larger components of the immune system, such as the phagocytes that consume and destroy bacteria. Proteins also congregate and the temperature at the site rises to promote the reactions that the body uses to eject the invaders. The tissue therefore swells due to all the extra fluid and gets hot. The area becomes painful due to the accumulation of material aggravating the nerves, and if there is an infection, pus will eventually be formed from the dead neutrophils used to kill the bacteria or virus.

There are many different types of cytokine, including those that initiate the inflammatory response and others that stop the immune response once the invader has been killed off. Other cytokines, such as the interferons, stop viruses from multiplying, and others take part in the response only to specific types of antigen. Each cytokine has a specific message to pass to the relevant components of the immune system in order that the immune response is appropriate to the invasion concerned and does not overreact. Hence, a grain of pollen in the nose will elicit a lesser response than a varicella antigen that leads to those horrible chickenpox pustules.

In general terms, cytokines give the immune system a kick start once an antigen is spotted. The elderberry anthocyanins produce predominantly inflammatory cytokines, but also one anti-inflammatory cytokine, and so helping to boost the inflammatory response.

Some viruses use what are known as spike proteins that mimic the molecules of their host in order to gain access to cells by binding to the target cell receptors. However, these spikes are easily recognized by the immune system, and the elderberry anthocyanins are active in promoting this recognition. For that reason, viruses vigorously continue to change and mutate to overcome this, one manifestation of their success in achieving this being in the annual infections of influenza that have overcome last year’s antibodies by means of this mutation.

The influenza virus contains what are known as hemagglutinin spikes on its surface which, when deactivated, cannot break through your cell walls, enter the cell and replicate, thus leading to influenza. That is the mechanism by which the constituents of elderberries help to control influenza and reduce its effect on your body. If not deactivated, the spikes allow the virus to invade the cell and provoke the immune response that you know as the flu.

Many such winter ailments have a similar mechanism, which is why, apart from its general health benefits through its high antioxidant content, that elderberry can boost the immune system in winter.



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The Healing Power Of Borage Oil’s GLA
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Date: November 13, 2007 10:22 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: The Healing Power Of Borage Oil’s GLA

Borage is otherwise called the starflower, and the borage oil extracted from its seeds is very rich in GLA, gamma linolenic acid, a polyunsaturated fatty acid also obtainable from evening primrose oil. Borage, however, is richer in GLA, and is therefore a more economical source that the evening primrose.

A shrub, frequently seen in gardens, borage has historically been used as a salad food, and also in soups, and borage honey is prized in many quarters. Now, however, its main use is for the GLA extracted from the seed, which provides a higher yield of GLA than any other source. Borage seed oil contains up to 25% GLA, compared to the 17% from blackCurrant oil and 9% from evening primrose oil.

The importance of GLA to the body’s biochemistry is inestimable, and cannot be overstated. It is not so much the GLA that is so important, but the prostaglandin to which it is converted in the body. Prostaglandin E1 is a hormone-like substance that plays a part in many of the biochemical and metabolic processes of the body. Examples include the control of the immune system and inflammatory response, some kidney functions, and the tone of the arterial muscles, so important in the health of the cardiovascular system.

A good fatty acid metabolism benefits some very important aspects of our health such as maintaining a good blood pressure, low cholesterol levels, preventing inflammatory and immune system conditions such as arthritis, allergies and some skin diseases such as eczema and psoriasis, and also improving the strength of the keratin-dependent tissues such as our nails and hair.

A deficiency in essential fatty acids also seems to stimulate the overproduction of a hormone in women called prolactin that can lead to the severe mood changes commonly referred to as pre-menstrual syndrome, or PMS. GLA appears to have a beneficial effect in the treatment of PMS, and some other conditions such as breast discomfort.

Gamma linolenic acid is created in the body from linoleic acid, of which there is a plentiful supply in margarine, vegetable oils and many processed foods, but there is a problem. Fatty acid molecules come in different isomeric forms, in which although the chemical is the same, the geometry or ‘stereochemistry’ is different. The healthy form is the ‘cis’ formation, and the other is the ‘trans’ stereoisomer. The trans fatty acids are formed by hydrogenation of oils to make them semi-solid, and more suitable for spreading. This hydrogenation process causes an irreversible change in the geometry of the fatty acid that can block the conversion of linoleic acid to GLA in the body.

Hence, although most of the western population has more than sufficient linoleic acid in their diets, many who eat an excess of trans fats have a deficiency of GLA. Some B vitamin deficiencies and a deficiency in certain minerals exacerbate this situation, and a gamma linolenic acid supplement is needed. Additional to this, the enzyme responsible for the conversion, delta-6-desaturase (D6D) can be affected by many modern environmental factors such as smoking, stress, alcohol, excessive animal fat consumption and even excessive linoleic acid consumption. The solution to all of this is GLA which does not require any enzymes for its creation, and supplemental GLA from any source can immediately take part in the biochemical pathway to the creation of the prostaglandin eicosanoids.

GLA provides the means and the resultant prostaglandins carry out the job of regulating the hormonal activity within human biochemistry. Prostaglandins help to regulate the function of many of the cells in the body, such as the smooth muscle cells of the arteries and veins that cause constriction or dilation, and on the stickiness of blood platelets causing their aggregation. They are important in the regulation of such functions as blood clotting, fluid balance and the production and balance of hormones. The anti-inflammatory properties of prostaglandin E1 are very important to the way that the body reacts to breaches by foreign invaders, and it is also thought to act to thin the blood and cause dilation of blood vessels, hence its effect in lowering the blood pressure.

So what does this mean to you, apart from the effects of the fatty acid on PMS? Borage oil can be used to treat a large number of different symptoms associated with a shortage of GLA and prostaglandin E1, and here are a few of the conditions for which a GLA supplement has been found beneficial.

A deficiency in GLA and other essential fatty acids can lead to loss of bone mass and subsequent osteoporosis and it is thought that fatty acids help the absorption of calcium by the digestive system, and to increase its deposit in bones. It can be used to increase bone mass and density and therefore strengthen the bones of those affected by osteoporosis. This is partially due to the hormone regulatory effect GLA has on the body.

Allergies appear to be very personal responses by the immune system to specific substances, and while borage oil has proved beneficial in a few allergies, and prostaglandins are known to regulate the activity of the immune response, the effectiveness of GLA treatment for allergies has been mixed. There is evidence that it can affect some cases, but not most.

GLA from borage oil can reduce the swelling and pain of rheumatoid arthritis, and helps to ease morning stiffness. Its effectiveness seems mixed, and you should try it for two or three months to determine if it helps you personally. Be careful, however, since some believe that it might react with some of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) used to treat this condition. Ibuprofen is one, so check with your physician before trying it.

If you suffer from high blood pressure, borage oil used in conjunction with Omega-3 fish oils might lower it, though more research is needed. There is a belief that the GLA is not the active agent here since Omega-3 oils are known to help to reduce hypertension, though the effect of prostaglandins on the factors that can reduce blood pressure is inarguable.

The healing power of borage oil should not be underestimated, and it has been used for centuries in folk medicine to treat many conditions, especially those that science has found to be caused by the immune system and the inflammatory response. Borage oil can be found at any Health Food Store.



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Mannose
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Date: March 08, 2007 05:06 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Mannose

Aloe vera (acemannan is a chain of mannose molecules), kelp, shiitake mushroom, ground fenugreek, carob gum, guar gum, black Currants, red Currants, gooseberries, green beans, capsicum (cayenne pepper), cabbage, eggplant, tomatoes, turnip, Cranberry

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Galactose
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Date: March 08, 2007 05:03 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Galactose

Dairy products
fenugreek
kelp
apple pectin
apples
apricot
banana
blackberries
cherries
cranberries
Currants
dates
grapes
kiwi fruit
mango
orange
nectarine
peach
pear
pineapple
plums
prunes
raspberries
rhubarb
strawberries
passionfruit
echinacea
boswellia
chestnuts
broccoli
brussels sprouts
avocado
cabbage
carrot
cauliflower
celery
cucumber
potato
eggplant
tomatoes
leeks
asparagus
lettuce
green beans
mushrooms
beetroot
onions
parsnip
green peas
pumpkin
spinach

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The healing power of borage oil
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Date: June 19, 2006 01:27 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: The healing power of borage oil

Borage oil, extracted from the seed of the blue, star shaped borage flower, is gaining much attention by alternative health practitioners and main stream medicine alike for its profound medicinal properties. Whereas the oil is getting all the redit, it is actually the oil’s active component, gamma linoleic acid (GLA), which has drawn the interest of researchers. The majority of the early studies done on GLA, dating back to the late 1940’s, were conducted with the oil of evening primrose. For rezones cited in the title, more bank for the buck, borage seed oil is now thought to be s superior source of GLA compared to evening primrose oil. Other plants forms and food concentrates that contain appreciable amounts of GLA include black Currant seed oil and spirulina.

Why GLA Supplementation?

A body with healthy biochemistry has the ability to produce GLA from the most essential fat linoleic acid. Linoleic acid is found most abundantly in the omega 6 family of oils, including safflower, sunflower, and corn oil. While it has been estimated that a majority of Americans and Europeans consume far to many omega 6 fatty acids in proportion to the beneficial omega 3 fatty acids (by approximately 10:1). Most biochemists agree optimal ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acids should be approximately 1:1. Despite the obvious over consumption of omega 6 oils rich in linoleic acid, some individuals lack the ability to convert linoleic acid to the much needed GLA.

As is the example with many of our modern day nutrient deficiencies, the adulteration of our food supply by today’s processing methods has much to do with the faulty fat metabolism suffered by many. A prime example is the hydrogenation process utilized to convert liquid polyunsaturated oils into semi-solid, altered saturated fats for use as margarine and commercially processed foods. Hydrogenation is accomplished by subjecting the oils to temperatures in excess of 250 C, and bombarding them with hydrogen ions in the presence of the heavy metal nickel, which irreversibly changes the chemical structure of the fatty acid molecule from a healthful “cis” configuration to a dangerous “trans” configuration. When these products are eaten in excess they are known, in some cases, to block the enzymatic conversion of linoleic acid to GLA. In addition to the damaging effects of hydrogenation, certain essential fatty acid nutrient cofactor deficiencies may exist to further complicate the conversion. Vitamins pro-A, A, C, E, B-2, B-3, B-6, pantothenic acid, B-12 biotin and the minerals calcium, magnesium, potassium, sulfur and zinc are all involved in essential fatty acid (EFA) metabolism.

Particular interest should be given to those afflicted with diabetes, cystic fibrosis, asthma, alcoholism, multiple sclerosis. For a myriad of reasons, including cofactor deficiencies, these individuals lack the enzymatic ability to convert linoleic acid to GLA and must obtain a direct source of GLA for proper hormonal regulation. In addition, excessive consumption of animal fats containing acachidonic acid competes for the same metabolic pathways occupied by GLA, thus minimizing its biological action.

These potential negating effects can simply be diverted to consuming a food source or supplement containing GLA which bypasses any previously necessary enzymatic conversion and floods the metabolic pathways with beneficial GLA. Nutrient deficiency should also be addressed. Here lies the true power of GLA.

Prostaglandins, biochemical regulators

Whereas GLA is the power, the prostaglandins deliver the punch in this biological equation. Just as linoleic acid is normally converted to GLA, GLA is further converted into the prostaglandin E1 (PGE1). Many of the benefits derived from GLA supplementation are a result of the hormonal regulatory action of the prostaglandins. Just like the “parent” precursors they are made from, the hormone-like prostaglandins orchestrate a host of important biochemical activities. Their general regulatory effects include the control of arterial muscle tone, sodium excretion through the kidneys, blood platelet “Stickiness,” inflammatory response and the immune function, just to name a few. The list may be endless as scientists continue to discover the regulating effects of prostaglandins. One way in which GLA has shown to decrease the probability of allergic and inflammatory conditions is by competing with arachidomic acid, which when left unchecked may potentiate a hyperimmune response.

Healing Power

As a result of the powerful regulating effects derived from the conversion of GLA to healthful prostaglandins, borage oil and other GLA supplements have shown to be beneficial in the treatment and relief of many classic and modern day health problems. The disease of diabetes, cystic fibrosis, asthma, multiple sclerosis are thought to be helped by bringing about a balance in an otherwise faulty fatty acid metabolism. According to a study released in the journal diabetes care, supplementation with GLA has shown promise in the reversal of diabetic neuropathy (a condition where the nerves degenerate and symptoms of pain and numbness follow). The study concluded that all diabetics should be considered for dietary protocol of GLA. Other conditions shown to benefit include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, skin conditions, arthritis, allergies, weight loss, improved behavior of hyperactive children and increased strength of hair and nails. Cited in the book, Super Nutrition For Menopause, written by the renowned nutritionist Ann Louise Gittleman, is one of the most popular applications of GLA supplementation in the relief of menstrual pain. Sufferers use a maintenance does up to the seventh day prior to menstruation, then double the dose for the duration of their menstruation. Dietary restrictions of meat, dairy and eggs during this time has also shown to compliment this regiment. Many would agree with Ms. Gittleman’s credo in allowing mother nature to cure our ails before relying on synthetic drugs which often come with side effects.

More Bang for the Buck

Now comes the challenge of acquiring a GLA supplement suited to meet your needs. With the help of the information below you may maximize your desired result while at the same time stretching your dollars. Lets take a look at the facts. We will limit out narrative to the tree most popular forms of GLA supplementation: 1) borage oil, 2) evening primrose oil and 3) black current seed oil. Potency is an important factor, as the higher the GLA content per gram, the more likelihood of greater biological activity. Borage oil contains 24% GLA, or 240mg per 1000 mg capsules. Black current seed oil contains 18%, or 180mg per 1000 mg capsule and evening primrose oil contains 10% GLA, or 100mg per 1000 mg capsule. While black Currant seed may appear to run a close second to borage and have a slight edge on evening primrose, it contains a potent GLA inhibitor and should be considered last on the list. equally, if not more important than potency, is purity. Make it a practice not to purchase any oil product unless full disclosure of the method of extraction is printed on the label. If it is not, you may assume that the oil has been extracted in one of the following ways. Unfortunately, the popular use of the chemical hexane to extract oils is not required for disclosure. This method employs submerging cracked seed in a gasoline like substance (Hexane) and then slowly allowing it to evaporate off yielding 90% oil recovery. This is the most common method used to extract evening primrose oil because of the incredibly small, hard seed and low oil content. The second creative ploy is the claim that the oil has simply been extracted by a new high-tech method called supercritical fluid extraction (SCFE). This process “pregrinds” the seeds then subjects them to pressures of 6000 – 10000 psi in the presence of the gas CO-2. Under such intense pressure CO-2 gas becomes a liquid in which the seeds are submerged, ultimately yielding a 95% oil recovery. Look for oils that are labeled as “expeller pressed” without the damaging effects of light, heat and oxygen. The products should be contained in opaque (light resistant) bottles to protect them from the damaging effects of light. Optimally, you should find them in the refrigerated section of your local health food store. Due to the higher percentage of oil contained in the borage seed, as compared to evening primrose and black current, borage is typically priced well below the others making it the most potent and economical choice. All things considered an expeller pressed borage oil, contained in an opaque plastic bottle, may provide you the absolute best source of unadulterated GLA supplementation.

One company that provides such a product and always fulfills the quality requirements listed is Barlean’s Organic Oils. Their organic flax oil and borage oils are available at VitaNet.



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Buy Barlean's Organic Oils at Vitanet

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Sources of Essential Fatty Acids
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Date: June 25, 2005 08:38 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Sources of Essential Fatty Acids

Sources of Essential Fatty Acids

Essential fatty acids are found in both plant and animal sources, although primarily in plants. The EFA family is composed of two main forms, Omega-3 and Omega-6. The following explains exactly what these forms are.

OMEGA-3: The most common forms of Omega-3 are eicosapentaenioic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and alpha-linolenic acid, which comes from plants and helps create EPA and DHA. Omega-3 is usually derived from fish oils. Dr. Roger Illingworth, associate professor of medicine and biochemistry at Oregon Health Sciences University, explains that Omega-3 fatty acids are “long-chained metabolic products from linolenic acid. . . When animals consume and metabolize plants rich in linolenic acid, they produce Omega-3.” EPA and DHA are liquid and remain that way, even at room temperature. It is said that they protect fish by providing a body fat that stays fluid even in cold temperatures. OMEGA-6: The most common form of Omega-6 is is gammalinolenic acid (GLA). GLA is known to provide the following benefits, among many others:


1. Helps facilitate weight loss in overweight persons (but not in people who do not need to lose any weight).
2. Reduces platelet aggregation (abnormal blood clotting).
3. Helps reduce symptoms of depression and schizophrenia.
4. Alleviates premenstrual syndrome symptoms.
5. May help alcoholics overcome their addiction.

Omega-6 is usually found in plant sources. The oils of coldwater fish such as salmon, bluefish, herring, tuna, mackerel and similar fish are known as Omega-3 fatty acids. The freshpressed oils of many raw seeds and nuts contain Omega-6 fatty acids. The most popular sources of Omega-3 and Omega-6 include:

BLACK Currant SEED OIL: This oil is rich in linoleic acid (44%) and provides almost twice as much gamma-linolenic acid as evening primrose oil. Black Currant seed oil also is an excellent source of an Omega-3 precursor known as stearidonic acid. BORAGE OIL: This oil comes from Borago officinalis, a plant with blue flowers. It is widely recommended in Europe to strengthen the adrenal glands, alleviate symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and relieve inflammation. Besides possibly helping with heart and joint function, it may also assist the growth of nails and hair. Borage oil is also an excellent source of GLA. In The Complete Medicinal Herbal, herbalist Penelope Ody asserts that it is “helpful in some cases of menstrual irregularity, for irritable bowel syndrome, or as emergency first aid for hangovers.” SALMON OIL: This oil is high in Omega-3 essential fatty acids. These types of EFAs are known to thin the blood, prevent clotting, regulate cholesterol production and strengthen cell walls, making them less susceptible to viral and bacterial invasion. Salmon oil has a natural ability to help the body relieve inflammation. In the ground-breaking book The Omega-3 Breakthrough: The Revolutionary, Medically Proven Fish Oil Diet, professor Roger Illingworth writes that Linolenic acid is a fatty acid with 18 carbons and 3 double bonds.

It is manufactured exclusively by plants. When animals consume and metabolize plants rich in linolenic acid, they produce Omega- 3. Plankton, a minute form of marine life, is part plant and part animal. Its plant component manufactures linolenic acid. Fish eat the plankton, and the linolenic acid breaks down in their bodies in two types of Omega-3 fatty acids: EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) . . . The liquidity of EPA and DHA serves a vital function in fish, who require body fat that remains fluid even in very cold water. Fish oils, besides containing Omega-3 fatty acids, have shown to benefit those suffering from migraine headaches, arthritis, and high cholesterol levels.

FLAX: Flax is a plant said to date back as far as 5000 B.C. It has been used since approximately 5000 B.C., making it one of the oldest cultivated crops. It is exported from several countries, including Argentina, Canada, India, Russia and the United States. The flowers are usually blue, although they are sometimes white or pink. The mucilaginous seed is, of course, called flaxseed. The oil primarily provides Omega-3/linolenic acid, and provides an average of 57 percent Omega-3, 16 percent Omega-6, and 18 percent of the non-essential Omega-9. Flaxseed oil is said to contain rich amounts of beta carotene (about 4,300 IU per tablespoon) and vitamin E (about 15 IU per tablespoon). In the October 1995 issue of Let’s Live, the history and uses of flax were highlighted by herbalist Carla Cassata. She writes, . . . It’s no wonder the Cherokee Indians highly valued the flax plant. They mixed flaxseed oil with either goat or moose milk, honey and cooked pumpkin to nourish pregnant and nursing mothers, providing them with the needed nutrients for creating strong and healthy children. It was also given to people who had skin diseases, arthritis, malnutrition as well as men wishing to increase virility. They believed flax captured energies from the sun that could then be released and used in the body’s metabolic process.

This belief has merit. Flaxseed oil, rich in electrons, strongly attracts photons from sunlight. To be effective, EFAs must be combined with protein at the same meal. This flaxseed oil/protein/ sunlight combination releases energy and enhances the body’s electrical system. Also, this combination, along with vitamin E, can be beneficial for infertile couples and women suffering from premenstrual syndrome . . . Flaxseed oil, having an anti-inflammatory effect on the body, can benefit the 40 million Americans suffering from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. To achieve optimum results, however, substances that activate the sympathetic nervous system—like refined sugar, soda, coffee, fluoride— must be eliminated. Stress must also be reduced, because it too, activates the sympathetic nervous system, promoting inflammation.

EVENING PRIMROSE: This flower is indigenous to North America, although the oil is particularly popular throughout Europe for therapeutic purposes. It is also known as night wil - low and evening star. It is an excellent source of both linolenic and linoleic acids. Both of these nutrients must be obtained from the diet, as the body cannot synthesize them. The seeds contain gamma linolenic acid. This polyunsaturated EFA helps with the production of energy and is a structural component of the brain, bone marrow, muscles and cell membranes. Evening primrose oil has also benefited those with multiple sclerosis, PMS, hyperactivity and obesity. It is estimated that it takes about 5,000 seeds to produce the oil for one 500 mg capsule.

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