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No to Pain Pills and Yes to Safe and Effective Curcumin
September 04, 2020 11:05 AM
Many people turn to over the counter (OTC) drugs when they experience pain, the common ones are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, better known as NSAIDS. The problem with NSAIDS these drugs reduce an enzyme associated with pain called COX-1 and COX-2. There are a lot of hidden dangers behind prescription and OTC pain killers. Some of the most common ones consumed are Ibuprofen an d Acetaminophen.
Ibuprofen: a popular OTC pain reliever can cause stomach pain, nausea, gastric bleeding, ulcers, confusion, hypertension, increased heart attack and stroke. Also, swelling, rapid weight gain, reduced urination, which is a sign of kidney dysfunction, kidney failure, fever, sore throat, headache, rash, bruising, tingling, numbness, muscle weakness, neck stiffness, chills, light sensitivity, and seizures.
Acetaminophen: also known as Tylenol, is classified as an NSAID, but is also unsafe. The number one cause of liver failure in the United States is caused by acetaminophen next to alcohol consumption. If combined with alcohol, the damage to the liver is increased significantly. It also depletes glutathione, an important antioxidant needed by the liver to protect and detoxify the body. Over use of this OTC drug can cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal tenderness, and it can interfere with blood clotting, weaken kidney function, and with severe over dose can cause death.
The alternative: Curcumin is a safe and effective pain reliever
Curcumin is a compound from Turmeric Root, unstandardized turmeric powder contains only two to three percent curcumin. It is important to get a standardized curcumin so that you can get a therapeutic response from consuming this herb. Not all curcumin is the same, look for a brand that blends turmeric essential oil with curcumin to enhance the absorption of the product because the product is hard to absorb.
Curcumin is one of the worlds best studied herbs, it works by reducing a COX-2 response to inflammation the same target as many prescription and OTC drugs that cause organ damage and side effects. Fortunately, Curcumin can target the same in a safe and natural way with no side effects. It can prevent a wide spectrum of inflammatory and oxidative damage, relieve chronic pain as effective and much more safely than drugs like NSAIDs.
Taking OTC or prescription pain relieving drugs are not a long term solution for pain. With the side effects associated with common pain relievers, one should only take them as a last resort and consider using a safer alternative that is as effective to relieving pain. Terry Naturally offers BCM-95 a patented curcumin that is blended with turmeric essential oils, BCM-95 has been the subject of many clinical studies demonstrating its effectiveness in relieving pain. We at VitaNet offer free shipping on any product in Terry’s brand. If you are struggling with pain, consider trying Terry Naturally to help relieve pain safely.
July 03, 2019 02:23 PM
Hemp phytocannabinoids interact with receptors and signaling compounds in the body known collectively as the endocannabinoid system, and by doing so, help relieve pain. Sometimes our own endocannabinoid levels are low. They can be consumed by enzymes, underfed by a poor diet, or simply depleted by stress and chronic pain. that's where hemp oil can help. I recommend a hemp that contains a full spectrum of beneficial phytocannabinoids.
Discover the benefits of biotin, a little known B-vitamin that cangive you that natural, healthy look
May 02, 2019 10:42 AM
The vitamin B7, often known as Biotin is normally advertised as a supplement to help with the growth of hair and nail tissue. In a new write up by Zoey Sky, she provides the general public with a few different symptoms that may indicate your body has a Biotin deficiency, such as dry and itchy skin or constant bouts of fatigue. She also provides a few benefits that come along with taking a Biotin supplement such as a positive change in thyroid health, better digestion and ability to absorb nutrients as well as support for your nervous system.
"The average recommended daily intake for biotin is five micrograms (mcg) for infants and small children, 30 mcg for adults, and 35 mcg for pregnant and breastfeeding women."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-03-14-biotin-can-give-you-that-natural-healthy-look.html
Moms, add more leucine and omega-3s to your diet to boostantioxidant levels in your children's liver
April 22, 2019 04:16 PM
When you have an imbalance of antioxidants within your system, this often leads to oxidative stress. An increase in oxidative stress unfortunately leads to many forms of cancer. Research has emerged that showed leucine and omega-3's have the ability to fight off this oxidative stress by increasing the amount of antioxidants that are found in the liver. Both of these can be found in the form of a nutritional supplement at most mainstream health and wellness stores.
"Expectant mothers need a wide range of nutrients for them and their child to stay healthy."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-02-27-moms-add-more-leucine-omega-3s-to-your-diet.html
How does poor gut health affect vitamin C and E in metabolicsyndrome? - Medical News Bulletin
April 16, 2019 10:53 AM
Metabolic syndrome involves a combination of at least three out of five conditions — hypertension, abdominal obesity, low “good cholesterol,” and excessively high fasting blood glucose and serum triglyceride scores. Metabolic syndrome is a major public health concern, given that more than a third of American adults have it. Recent studies suggest that eating too much saturated fat can imbalance the bacteria in the gut. This results over time in oxidative stress and inflammation that can deplete the body’s stockpiles of vitamins C and E, and also make it harder to absorb more vitamin C from food to replace what has been used up. Vitamins C and E play an important role in protecting against oxidative stress.
"Around 35% of the American adult population has metabolic syndrome, with a higher prevalence in older age groups."
Read more: https://www.medicalnewsbulletin.com/poor-gut-health-vitamin-c-e-metabolic-syndrome/
Bombshell study shows aspartame depletes neurotransmitters in thebrain, makes brains vulnerable to chemical damage from food and vaccines
March 04, 2019 02:26 PM
A recent study looked at the effects of aspartame on brain functions in rats. The results were impressive. The results showed a direct correlation between the dose of aspartame and the destruction of neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are required for the function of your brain's neurons. The rats who were fed the aspartame had a reduction of Serotonin and an increase in Epinephrine. Epinephrine is associated with your flight or fight reactions. This study reminds us that although an ingredient might be approved by the FDA, it could have long term effects.
"A bombshell scientific study reveals that aspartame may be one of the most damaging vectors for the widespread “dumbing down” of humanity."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-12-17-bombshell-study-shows-aspartame-depletes-neurotransmitters-in-the-brain-5g-pesticides.html
3 Nutrients that reduce excessive amounts of the stress hormonecortisol
February 28, 2019 08:47 AM
In the appropriate quantities, the stress hormone known as cortisol is actually beneficial to our bodies. It's when these levels rise to an abnormal level that they can become detrimental to our bodies. Fortunately, there are many natural nutrients that can aid in the reduction of cortisol levels in order to get them down to a more efficient level. Foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, for instance, are great sources of health benefits including cortisol regulation.
"Too much cortisol in the body, which can be attributed to stress, lack of sleep, infections, or white light exposure, can become a problem since it depletes the adrenals that also produce other hormones."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-01-13-3-nutrients-that-reduce-excessive-stress-hormone-cortisol.html
Ribose Energy-Boosting Heart Supporter or Sugar Trap?
January 09, 2019 09:15 AM
Ribose is a natural energy-boosting chemical that our bodies produce in order to provide our cells with the appropriate energy levels. It has been shown to support heart health by regenerating the necessary energy levels that can be depleted by cardiovascular disease. Ribose has also shown to help patients who are suffering from left ventricular diastolic dysfunction. Other advantages of ribose include: improved skin health, better workouts due to the energy increase, and aiding in the treatment of fibromyalgia.
"In fact, scientific studies show that D-ribose may help a number of serious health concerns, including heart diseases, fibromyalgia symptoms and chronic fatigue syndrome."
Read more: https://draxe.com/ribose/
A natural sugar molecule, D-ribose, found to improve heart function and blood flow
July 04, 2018 09:54 AM
D-Ribose is a simple sugar molecule that plays an important role in energy metabolism within your body by helping to produce cellular energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Oxidative stress can deplete ATP, which can then cause further stress, in a vicious cycle for your heart. However, D-Ribose supplements can restore levels of ATP, which can improve heart function and exercise endurance in cardiac patients. Infusion of D-Ribose after a cardiac event may even be able to prevent dangerous ischemia reperfusion injuries.
"With one occurring every 40 seconds in America, you likely know more than a few people who have experienced one."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-07-01-natural-sugar-molecule-d-ribose-improve-heart-function-and-blood-flow.html
Will CBD Oil Help Me Sleep?
May 31, 2018 05:16 PM
Insomnia affects one-third of Americans. That shows many people are not having good sleep quality. CBD oil can help in this regard. It helps you to enter and maintain the non-REM phase of sleep (the deep sleep phase) while reducing the duration of the REM phase (the light sleep phase where dreams take place). The benefits are a marked increase in overall sleep quality and reduction of symptoms of depression and anxiety. So, even if you live in a very noisy environment, CBD oil can help you get that needed sleep. But before you chose on which oil to use, you should go for one that is environmentally-friendly and not made with toxic chemicals. Check whether the manufacturer allows third party lab testing. Also, the higher the price, the higher is the quality.
"It may sound weird, but CBD is actually known to promote alertness, and thanks to that, it helps us sleep better."
Read more: http://baltimorepostexaminer.com/will-cbd-oil-help-sleep/2018/05/29
IN BALANCE — Magnesium: An Essential Mineral for Health
August 14, 2017 12:14 PM
Magnesium is an important element. It is found in the body. It's important that you have a good balance of it. The body works best when all of the elements are balanced properly since they do different things. Magnesium can be bought and taken in supplement form for those who don't feel they have enough, but too much can also be a bad thing so be careful not to overdo it. You can always talk to a doctor first to see if you even need to be taking it.
"Americans are at risk of magnesium deficiency and it has been estimated that nearly half of the population is deficient."
Read more: https://bayviewcompass.com/in-balance-magnesium-an-essential-mineral-for-health/
Is there a difference between fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables?
July 04, 2017 09:14 AM
People might wonder of there is a difference between fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables. It was believed previously that frozen fruits and veggies do not have as much nutritional value as their fresh counterparts. It was also believed that during freezing, essential vitamins and minerals depleted. There was an article posted at The Guardian's website that stressed today's newer techniques that involve blanching before flash freezing have greatly improved nutrient retention in frozen fruits and veggies.
"However, an article published in The Guardian‘s website stressed that today’s newer techniques involving blanching prior to flash freezing have significantly improved nutrient retention in frozen fruits and vegetables."
Read more: http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-07-01-is-there-a-difference-between-fresh-or-frozen-vegetables.html
Is Glutathione The Fountain Of Youth?
Glutathione has created huge excitement in the medical world. Many experts believe that finally they have found the secret to eternal youth. Although Glutathione is naturally produced in our liver, but it gradually depletes as we age. Hence, it should be taken from external sources. Glutathione can be taken via pills. It can also be injected into our body through our veins.
Glutathione, the Fountain of Youth
Are you deficient in the B vitamin Choline?
Did you know that only 10% of Americans get sufficient amounts of choline? Choline is an essential nutrient that must be supplied by the foods we eat.
Choline plays many roles in the body:
Taking choline can help restore levels that may be depleted by anticholinergic drugs or other prescription drug medications.
Are you getting enough choline from day to day?
90% of Adults need Choline daily!
Inflammation Pain Got You Down? EPA Fish Oil Can Help
There's absolutely no doubt as to whether fish oil contains anti-inflammatory benefits. The main question is how one can tap into these benefits. How fish oil helps in inflammation pain is well understood. Basically, fish oil contains EPA and DHA which are Omega 3 fatty acids. Our body cannot make these essential fats on its own, and it's therefore important to have them in included in the diet just like other minerals and vitamins.
Effects of Inflammation Pain
Fish oil has shown to have potential benefits to all these diseases, but the main question is how one substance could help so many different conditions. However, fish oil contains essential omega 3 fats that benefit a wide variety of health conditions, either related or caused by inflammation.
How EPA helps inflammation
EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid) is an omega 3 fatty acid present in fish oil and is used by the body as a building block for manufacturing a group of chemicals with anti-inflammatory effects. This simply means that EPA acts as the fuel for the ability of our body to make its own anti-inflammatory chemicals. Scientists and nutritionists have shown that our modern diet is deficient in these omega 3 fatty acids. They also suggest that this may serve as an explanation of the current epidemic of inflammatory pain related illnesses that are being experienced in most western countries.
EPA fish oil dosage
In order to achieve significant anti-inflammatory effects, you must take a large daily dose of EPA-rich fish oils. One study has shown that patients suffering from disabling pain are able to achieve a significant pain relief that could not be helped by prescriptive pain medications, after taking high doses of fish oil for a prolonged period of time. In this study, all the patients had suffered severe disabling pain that could not be relieved through prescriptive pain medications. The pain was caused by something different in each of the cases.
One of the patients had second and third-degree burns over large parts of his body and was still experiencing pain despite taking morphine. Another patient had suffered a disc herniation in his neck. In all these cases, patients experienced significant relief after taking high doses of EPA fish oils and were able to return to their normal daily living. The fish oil daily dosage included 3200 mg to 7000 mg of EPA and DHA combined.
Assessing your need for omega 3
The expected results from taking fish oil largely depend on your current intake of omega 3 fats. If your body is currently depleted on omega 3 fats, it will certainly take much longer before it reaches the optimal levels of omega 3 and to achieve the full benefits of EPA. To determine your current omega 3 status, a simple blood test can measure your Omega-Index.
I eat Good, Do I Need Trace Minerals?
July 17, 2014 08:49 PM
A few carbs, a slice of bacon or two, a glass of milk and later a bottle of mixed tropical fruit juice. Sounds like quite a balanced meal. A good meal most definitely doesn’t lack the chemical elements or minerals that are in abundance in the human body. These major elements in order of profusion are calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur, chlorine and magnesium. But are these the only minerals we require?
While the above are the main ones, there are other minerals that are essential to good health but are required in very small quantities. These minerals include iron, copper, zinc, molybdenum, cobalt, iodine, bromine and selenium; collectively known as trace minerals. Though in small amounts, they are crucial for immune system function, metabolism and antioxidant protection. A number of health complications such as senility, heart disease, arthritis, diabetes and depression have been linked to trace mineral deficiency.
Despite society having more nutritious than ever before, the quality of food has declined as seen in the dwindling quantities of these trace elements in our diet. This can be mainly attributed to lack of these nutrients in the soil due to years of erosion and aggressive farming embraced by farmers in order to meet the demands of the population. Soils have become depleted, resulting in deficiency of trace elements in our meals. So much for modern practices working against mankind.
All is not lost though. There are supplements readily available to tackle this need and come recommended for preventing and managing a number of conditions. They can be taken to address ailments such as Osteoporosis, a disease that causes weakening of bones. Copper, iron, magnesium zinc and manganese help increase bone mass and density and reverse such bone deterioration. Iron also happens to be important in making blood components. The benefits of these supplements can therefore not be underestimated.
Can Hyaluronic Acid Cream Help Improve Skin Health?
March 16, 2014 04:22 PM
Unfortunately our skin health will always deplete as we age and it is a normal thing to happen to anyone. There are various ways that one can improve his or her skin health. As much as there are several method for one to use, Hyaluronic acid cream has generated much hype in this particular topic.
Can Hyaluronic Acid Cream Help Improve Skin Health? A question in everybody’s mind at the moment The answer to that question is a resounding yes, and here are reasons why this is so.
This is a naturally occurring acid that exists in our body. It is a component of the connective tissue that helps in strengthening various parts of our body, including blood vessels, cartilage, and definitely the skin. It helps the skin remain hydrated
Research shows that as we get older, the hyaluronic acid quantity in the skin diminishes, leading to a dry skin.
Hyaluronic Acid Cream
This is a skincare product that has been designed with the same properties as the natural hyaluronic acid that exists in our body. The cream, when applied will deeply penetrate your skin membrane helps the cells take in and retain moisture. This will eventually give your skin a supple and soft appearance that was wearing out.
All in all hyaluronic acid cream has proved to be an effective skin care product that will hydrate and plump drying and aging skin. Through research, this product is known to have been formulated with cosmetic-grade hyaluronic acid. Although to some people the name may paint a picture of a harsh erosive product that might do harm to ones skin, hyaluronic acid is tremendously gentle and nourishing to the skin. Apparently it proves to be so tender that it is even recommended for the sensitive skin.
Hyaluronic acid cream can help improve skin health.
ROLE OF BRANCH CHAINED AMINO CIDS IN MUSCLE GROWTH AND ATHLETIC PERFOMANCE
January 20, 2014 09:06 AM
Essential amino acids are amino acids that cannot be synthesized by the body and must be ingested from plant and animal sources. There are ten essential amino acids needed by humans plus an extra two essential amino acids needed by infants. For athletes, a large amount of essential amino acids of all types is needed to help repair, grow and maintain muscle. This iis where 3 essential amino acids come into play .These are leucine, isoleucine and valine.
Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine are Branched Chained essential Amino Acids(BCAA). These three amino acids account for 35% of the essential amino acids in muscle protein and 40% of the essential amino acids required by humans. Due to their importance, dietary supplementation of these amino acids has become quite common due to their beneficial effects. BCAAs help burn patients to recover faster as the amino acids in high concentration provide the material for the cells to repair themselves at a faster rate. At the same time, BCAAs help in managing diabetes
Are very popular due to their many functions in the body of an athlete. This is because unlike other amino acids, it is metabolized in muscle tissue, not in the liver thus it has a more direct effect on the muscles than other amino acids.
These functions include:
Advantages of taking Multiple Vitamin and Mineral Pills
January 16, 2014 06:19 AM
Multiple Vitamin and Mineral pills
Multiple vitamins, also known as multivitamins are dietary supplements containing vitamins and dietary minerals, among other important elements. These supplements often are in the form of capsules, tablets, injections and syrup. They are normally provided in conjunction with dietary minerals. The minerals provided by these supplements fulfill various roles in the body. Research findings have indicated that taking multiple vitamins does not protect you from diabetics, heart attacks, cancer, among other lifestyle diseases. Nonetheless, some categories of people like malnourished people and people with an increased chance of macular deterioration. Overally, the benefits of taking a multivitamin daily exceed the probable risks associated with them.
Enhancing nutrient intake
For people who cannot get the recommended nutrient amounts, these people are urged to take supplements so as to boost their diet. Processed and inorganically grown food have been depleted of their vitamins and essential minerals. It is for this reason that it is suggested to take multivitamins and minerals daily to supplement your dietary intake. People essentially take dietary supplements to back up their food intake.
Improving your health and suppression of recurrent diseases
Specific supplements can be very helpful for individuals with particular diseases. Increasing your daily dose of vitamins and minerals is likely to slow down loss of vision. Studies have also indicated that taking multivitamins lowers the risk of developing growth in the large intestines. The folate in multivitamins is thought to be responsible for this protection.
In as much as multivitamins cannot take the place of real food, it is imperative to get extra vitamins and nutrients for people taking incomplete diets. One advantage of these supplements is that they offer higher nutrient returns with low calories unlike regular food. They are also recommended for pregnant, breastfeeding and post-menopausal women.
How D-ribose boost energy levels in the body
October 27, 2013 09:40 PM
D-ribose is a simple sugar, prontose sugar, or 5-carbon monosaccharide. It is used by all body cells and is essential component in energy metabolism. Ribose also gives the structural backbone of body genetic materials like RNA and DNA, certain vitamins and other vital cellular compounds. It provides raw material to facilitate the production of adenosine triphosphate.
D-ribose was discovered in late 1990s by an American company. People who were suffering from fatigue and chronic related illnesses could be given pure adenosine triphosphate instead of AMP. This new supplement was produced in a stable and safe natural form that allowed it to be sold as nutritional supplement.
Ribose is an essential ingredient in stimulating the production of natural energy. It promotes the cardiovascular health, minimizes cardiac stress associated with strenuous events. Ribose enables the muscles and heat to maintain healthy energy level as well as accelerating the recovery of energy when body tissues are stressed by overwork, strenuous exercise, or disease. The physiological fuction of d-ribose is known as 5-phosphoribosyl-1-pyrophosphate, which controls the metabolic path that synthesizes energy components in all body living tissues. In case the cellular energy pool is depleted by overwork, diseases or exercise it must be replaced. 5-phosphoribosyl-1-pyrophosphate will stimulate the metabolic pathway to replenish these energy pools.
Patients with myocardial ischemia condition or reduced blood flow resulting from reduced oxygen flow to the heart may experience discomfort and chest pain. This may cause heart attack to a person with such experience. The ability of the heart cells to expand and contract depend upon the adenosine triphosphate available. The reduced blood flow lowers the level of adenosine triphosphate, but this can as well be replenished by 5-phosphoribosyl-1-pyrophosphate. D-ribose stimulates the 5-phosphoribosyl-1-pyrophosphate production, which in turn increases the level of adenosine triphosphate. This will actually restores the heart cell contractile functions and reduces ischemia.
October 22, 2013 11:51 PM
Lutein is referred to as an antioxidant carotenoid which is simply a pigmented nutrient that is. How does Lutein helps the eyes. Lutein is responsible for the yellow colours found in fruits and vegetables. It is present in high quantities in leafy green vegetables such as kale, spinach, corn, orange juice, grapes, broccoli and yellow carrots and is dark in colour. Lutein is obtained by animals either directly or indirectly from plants and employed by them as an antioxidant and also for absorption of blue light. Each and every individual was born with a certain amount of lutein in your eye but it is not produced in the body.
Where is lutein found in the body
The region of the retina responsible for central vision is called the macula. This area is sensitive to blue light and upon exposure to too much light can cause damage to the eyes. Lutein helps to protect this damage by filtering blue light before it can cause damage to the macula.
Also it is evident that lutein in food protects against cataracts as well as macular degeneration that are the common eye disorders. Lutein together with another carotenoid called zeaxanthin form the yellow pigment found in the retina and absorbs blue light that is a harmful component of the sunlight. Lutein is also may help protect carotid arteries found on the neck from clogging which is an indication of atherosclerosis that is a disease that leads to heart attacks.
If you do not eat properly, the amount of lutein in the eyes may deplete as you age. Your body doesn’t make lutein therefore it is recommended that you replace this through eating fruits and vegetables that are good sources of lutein. You can also get zeaxanthin in oranges, orange bell peppers, honeydew melon and also corn. Lutein and zeaxanthin works together and can also be found in egg yolks. Therefore to maintain that good vision always eat lots of fruits and vegetables and they will boost your vision.
//www.bausch.com/en/reference/lutein for eyes/
What Liver Blend Does For You
November 26, 2011 03:43 PM
Liver blend is a powerful combination of herbs that help maintain the health of your liver, help to restore it when it has been damaged by alcohols and pharmaceuticals such as acetominophen (paracetamol and Tylenol) and also detox your body, purifying the blood before it reaches the liver. Your liver is an extremely important major organ, being responsible not only for metabolizing toxins and drugs, but is also your body's chemical processing plant, manufacturing enzymes and the bile needed for effective digestion.
Liver Blend not only supports your liver, but also your gall bladder that is used to store bile and release it into the duodenum as part of your digestive process when necessary. By maintaining a healthy liver and gall bladder, and restoring the liver when damaged, Liver Blend helps you maintain a healthy digestive system and remain healthy yourself.
It is also a diuretic that promotes the urination that washes away many of the toxins that pass through the kidneys, and in so doing helps to keep your kidneys healthy. A useful side-effect is its support for your endocrine system, so in total, Liver Blends supports the liver, gall bladder and kidneys and also helps to maintain a healthy hormone system - in total, an amazing combination of healthful properties for an amazing mixture of natural herbs.
Liver Blend as a Powerful Diuretic
In addition to offering a powerful synergistic blend of substances that help detoxify your liver and protect is from damage caused by pharmaceuticals and alcohol, Liver Blend can also help your liver to regenerate and build new cells to replace those damaged by toxins. It is therefore both protective to your liver and regenerative. However, it also possesses powerful diuretic properties, largely through its flavonoid content, such as those present in the bitter oils contained in dandelion.
Burdock, too, is highly diuretic, and dandelion and burdock are frequently used together to help promote the urination that flushes toxins from your body and purifies your blood and your liver. Not only that, but dandelion contains large quantities of potassium, a mineral that can be depleted in the kidneys as they rid your body of toxins. This is restored by the dandelion in Liver Blend. Diuretics are important components of any detox program, and also essential in maintaining liver health, and Liver Blend provides a powerful mix of diuretics in the dandelion and burdock it contains.
How Fast Does Acidophilus Capsules Work?
October 13, 2011 03:16 PM
Acidophilus And Colon Health
The body contains a normal flora of good microorganisms which is helpful not only in protecting the body from harmful microorganisms but also in the production of several body fluids and enzymes required for its many biological processes. One of the areas of the body which has an abundant number of good bacteria is the digestive tract. As many health experts claim, “Good digestion largely depends on a healthy digestive tract”.
However, these floras of good bacteria in the stomach and intestine can be easily depleted under certain circumstances which include excessive stress and antibiotic therapy. In antibiotic therapy, it is not only the bad bacteria that are destroyed but also the good ones. Antibiotics will greatly lower the population of good bacteria in the stomach and intestine. Under stressful conditions, the good bacteria may be gradually destroyed by the bad bacteria inside the digestive system and since the body is under stress, it cannot produce enough number of good bacteria which can outnumber the bad bacteria. Good thing, there are supplements which can increase the number of good bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. These are called probiotics. One of the most common probiotics is Lactobacillus acidophilus. This is effective in adding more good microorganisms in the digestive tract thus helping in the maintenance of a healthy and reliable intestinal flora.
Lactobacillus acidophilus consists of billions of live good bacteria which can greatly help in promoting healthy digestive system and good digestion. Most studies revealed that the improvement of digestion would be apparent about a week or two. Probiotics supplements can be used everyday and can be taken together with prebiotic supplements. Prebiotics, on the other hand, are not live cultures of good bacteria but are supplements to help the existing good bacteria inside the digestive tract to produce more good bacteria. The two can effectively work hand in hand to improve digestion.
Lactobacillus acidophilus can help defend the body against harmful microorganisms. When it is used by the body, its by–product called hydrogen peroxide can make an unfriendly environment for bad bacteria. This toxic environment helps kill and eliminate bad bacteria thus maintaining the health of the digestive system. Lactobacillus acidophilus can also produce certain enzymes which can be helpful in the breakdown and absorption of food nutrients which are essential to the human body. The best widely – known source of Lactobacillus acidophilus is yogurt. It is easily discernible because of its sour taste due to its lactic acid content produced by the billions of Lactobacillus acidophilus. Other food products which are considered as good source of Lactobacillus acidophilus are sauerkraut, kefir, aged cheese and many other fermented products. Lactobacillus acidophilus is also available in the form of pill supplements. One pill approximately has an amount of three billion live cultures of Lactobacillus acidophilus depending on the brand you purchase for internal use.
If you have ever been on antibiotics, you should be taking acidophilus daily!
Where And What Sources Can I Get Probiotics From?
October 11, 2011 12:37 PM
Where Can I Get Probiotics From?
Probiotics are not uncommon to the ear ordinary individuals. You may have heard this term on TV and radio or have read this on a newspaper or internet article. Probiotics are considered to be live microorganisms which pose many benefits to human health especially to the digestive system. According to the World Health Organization, Probiotics: "live microorganisms which when consummed in adequate amounts have a health benefit to the host." Probiotics is a general term. The widely used types of Probiotics include Lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacteria and their different species and strains.
Another good Probiotic is not a bacteria but yeast called Saccharomyces boulardii. Though it may be a different microorganism, but still it offers positive health effects. These beneficial microorganisms are commonly supplied to the body by eating fermented food items such as yogurt and soy yogurt. There are also some fermented products which are specially added with live active good bacteria to improve the health of the gastric environment.
Probiotics are found to be beneficial to the body because of its ability to significantly improve the intestinal microbial balance. It acts by inhibiting harmful microorganisms and toxin - producing bacteria inside the gastrointestinal system from causing harm to the body. These microorganisms also aid the good bacteria which are naturally found inside the gastrointestinal system of the human body.
Probiotics can be acquired from food or dietary supplements. The food items which are considered to be great sources of Probiotics are yogurt, fermented milk, miso, tempeh, soy and soy products as well as certain juices. Other great sources of Probiotics include Aged cheese, Cottage cheese, beer, kefir, pickled ginger, brine– cured pickles, Sauerkraut and certain kinds of wine. Dairy products aside from fermented milk which are rich in Probiotics include acidophilus milk and buttermilk. These dairy products are also fermented and cultured with the potent Probiotics Lactobacillus acidophilus and Streptococcus lactis, respectively. Dietary supplements of Probiotics may come in the form of capsules, tablets or powders. The good bacteria may have been naturally present from the raw material used or added during the formulation of such probiotic dietary supplement.
Keep in mind that Probiotics are different from Prebiotics (Inulin). The latter are indigestible food ingredients which can relatively stimulate the growth and activity of the normal bacterial flora of the intestines. When these two are combined, they form a symbiotic effect by working hand in hand with each other.
Good bacteria are normally present inside our gut system. However, with the effect of certain health conditions and poor lifestyle, these friendly and beneficial microorganisms may be depleted and not reinforced with new healthy ones immediately. This normal bacterial flora of the digestive system is important for maintaining the health of the digestive system thereby improving the general health of the person. These good bacteria are also helpful in inhibiting and regulating the growth of harmful microorganisms found in the digestive system. Instances which can significantly decrease the number of good bacteria in the gut include antibiotic therapy, food poisoning, alcohol intake, stress and poor diet.
What Is The Effect Antibiotics Have On Babies And How Does Acidophilus Help?
October 11, 2011 12:21 PM
Normally, the human body has its own collection of microorganisms which help protect the body from harm microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, parasites and the like. The “friendly” or “good” bacteria in the body may be situated on the skin, mucous membranes, digestive tract, reproductive tract and other parts of the body which need a normal flora of good bacteria for protection and enzyme production.
However, these normal floras of microorganisms may become depleted under certain condition such as extreme exposure to stress, poor diet and antibiotic therapy. When babies are infected with harmful microorganisms, antibiotics may be of great help to destroy the invading microorganisms. However, when a person is under antibiotic therapy, it is not only the bad bacteria that are killed but also the good bacteria naturally inhabiting in the human body. The normal floras of the intestines, mouth, and vaginal tract and even on the skin are destroyed as well.
The intention of antibiotic therapy is good. However, it is inevitable that the good microorganisms which are normally residing in the body will be destroyed as well. Among babies, when antibiotics are given and the good bacteria of the body are destroyed, the body has an increased susceptibility to allow the overgrowth of yeast which can lead the baby to suffer from diarrhea and anal or oral thrushes.
Indeed, the normal flora of microorganism may be depleted due to antibiotic therapy. Good thing is that there are available supplements formulated to increase the population of these good bacteria inside the body. These are called probiotics. One most common and useful probiotic is Lactobacillus acidophilus. This is a good strain of bacteria which helps in improving intestinal health by enhancing the growth of intestinal flora. Babies are usually given with Lactobacillus acidophilus supplement to help the baby’s body repopulate the normal flora of good microorganisms, thus helping in the prevention of yeast overgrowth and infections.
Lactobacillus acidophilus can be acquired from fermented products such as milk, cheese, yogurt and kefir. And with its great benefit to human health, Lactobacillus acidophilus is now made available in the form of supplements. You can purchase Lactobacillus acidophilus supplements in powder form for infants. The powder may be applied on the nipples of breastfeeding mothers before every nursing session. The baby will then consume the Lactobacillus acidophilus together with the breast milk. For working mothers who just leave breast milk at home or use formula milk for feeding, Lactobacillus acidophilus may be mixed with the expressed breast milk or formula milk making the probiotic available for the baby. Usually, one teaspoon of Lactobacillus acidophilus powder is mixed into an 8 ounce of milk. For babies who can already eat solid foods, they may consume unflavored and unsweetened yogurt which is rich in live and active Lactobacillus acidophilus.
Doctors and many health experts highly recommend that it is practical to administer antibiotic medications one to two hours before giving the baby probiotic food or supplements. This is to avoid killing of the probiotics given and allowing the body to get the maximum benefit of the probiotic.
When Should Probiotics Be Taken?
October 04, 2011 02:00 PM
Probiotics are digestive bacteria which are naturally present in the gastric environment. This type of bacteria is necessary for the proper digestion of food as well as absorption of nutrients. Clinical studies have shown that the digestive tract must contain at least 10 to 15 % good bacteria to have a healthy digestion. In addition, trace amount of bad bacteria is also present inside the digestive tract. This is also important for digestion because these bacteria produce essential enzymes that aid digestion and absorption.
The most popular probiotics is called Lactobacillus acidophilus. This kind of bacteria produces lactic acid inside the stomach when they reproduce. Lactic acid increases the acidity of the gastric environment thus enhancing digestion. The acidity of the digestive tract also helps protect the stomach and intestines from overgrowth of harmful microorganisms such as yeasts, spores, molds and bacteria such as Escherichia coli and Salmonella.
The population of good bacteria in the digestive tract is depleted when the individual is on antibiotic therapy or under prolonged stress. Antibiotics are non – selective. This means that they do not only kill the harmful microorganisms but also the good ones. Good thing probiotics can be obtained from the diet such as yogurt, buttermilk, kefir and other fermented products. In addition, probiotics can also be provided by supplements. Therefore, when the person is to have an antibiotic therapy, the physician usually prescribes probiotic supplement to replenish the digestive tract with the killed good bacteria.
Moreover, if probiotics are prescribed, another form of supplement may also be recommended to aid the activity of probiotic supplements. These are called prebiotics which are considered to be fibers, either soluble or insoluble. These prebiotics does not increase the number of good bacteria in the digestive tract. Prebiotics serve as food for good bacteria thus making them healthy and strong against bad bacteria. Sources of prebiotics include fruits, vegetables, legumes and grains.
Other health benefits of probiotics are that it can enhance the health of the immune system and boost the intestinal barrier function. Probiotics also lessen the development of allergies to food and drugs. For lactose – intolerant individuals, yogurts with live and active cultures of lactobacillus acidophilus are recommended to relieve its disturbing symptoms. In addition, probiotics also has an anti – diarrheal property and at the same time helps in the regulation of normal bowel movement.
A good probiotic supplement must have at least ten million live bacteria. Experts also stressed that the good bacteria contained in a supplement must be that of the Lactobacillus strains. This family of bacteria is the only considered group of good bacteria which is strong enough to reach the intestines, bypassing the acidic environment of the stomach. Another helpful tip on what a good probiotic supplement must be is that the product must be guaranteed organic. Organic probiotics ensure that the bacteria are in its natural and live state and have not been destroyed with heat and strong chemicals during processes. Experts also suggest that you must choose those probiotic supplements in which the source is from organic vegetables.
Does Stress Deplete The Body Of Minerals?
September 24, 2011 04:06 PM
Heavy traffic after a long day’s work, trying to sleep and your neighbour’s dog keeps barking and when you wake up in the morning your kids show you their report cards and they failed a couple of subjects then you’re late in getting to work because you had to have that discussion with your kids, you get called off into the boss’ office and he tells you that what you’re doing and the reasons behind it are unacceptable. That’s stress, in the modern world many people believe although there are no conclusive studies about it yet, stress is the number one silent killer in the world.
I mean think about it, aside from the health implications, how many violent acts have been caused by stressed People? Every day in the news you see stressed out people doing things they probably will not do otherwise had they controlled there stress factors. Stress and its health effects though in a more minor scale has been proven to exist like stress induced ulcers or allergies induced by stress so having more detrimental effects to the health is not that far fetch. So in the question of whether the body can be depleted by stress of minerals I would say yes however more than that lets find out how.
Stress and Minerals
Commonly stress is triggered by environmental circumstances which in turn if left unattended can lead to depression however recent studies have come across more evidence that the true culprit maybe a chemical imbalance in the brain. This is where we see that initial relationship between stress and minerals as certain mineral depletion in the body can lead to inefficient functioning of vital organs and one of them is the brain which is where stress just like any other emotion we have originates. In the US, modernisation has depleted our soil of its mineral contents which in turn also affects the food we eat. Aside from food intake, mineral deficiency can also be caused by an underlying heath issue that an individual may have.
From diarrhea to malnutrition the possibilities are wide. Another way that stress has been proven to be related to minerals is in the way it is absorbed. Many studies have shown that some minerals are affected by stress due to inhibiting its absorption in some way. The key for this inhibition property of stress for proper mineral absorption is in the chemicals and hormones it initiates the body to release. When the body is stressed, the normal response for it is to release hormones and chemicals such as adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol.
These substances counteract the efficient absorption process that our body otherwise will have if they were in absence. Different minerals maybe affected in different ways but nonetheless affected. Calcium for example will not be absorbed well by the bones in the presence of cortisol and with high adrenaline levels magnesium may be lost through urine and potassium is another mineral that does not react well with cortisol and has marked stress as an inhibitor for its absorption because of this.
What Can Chromium Picolinate Do In The Body?
July 23, 2011 03:15 PM
It is inevitable that health awareness and protection are very vital. It is also very crucial for us to take necessary measures and precautions to boost our guards from elements that could pose harm and threat to our very delicate body. If we just take these things for granted, for sure, we will be paying for the consequences of our own actions. Fortunately, we are living in this generation where in many have already been discovered that we could utilize to help us achieve a health state that we have always wanted. Chromium Picolinate is one useful element that could help us control the blood sugar levels in our body. Therefore, it is deemed necessary especially for those that are suffering from diabetes mellitus.
Many experts would claim that Chromium is beneficial in reducing body fat as well as in improving muscle tone. With the array of benefits it is capable of offering the human body; its discovery could be considered as a miracle breakthrough in the field of medical science. However, there are still questions that lurk in the minds of many about chromium. Questions like “could chromium be the answer of our predicament with the very common diabetes mellitus?” Such question is surely expected because not all are fully aware about its importance therefore; its discovery is not yet wholly appreciated. Because of this, there is a great need to educate the populace about its benefits.
Chromium is an important trace mineral that is useful in the metabolism of carbohydrates hence; it could play a vital role in the regulation and metabolism of blood sugar. Other benefits of chromium would also include management of cholesterol, and hypertension. Chromium can be grasped from many food sources. But it is most abundant in true brewer’s yeast. The more common nutritional yeast though has chromium content but is not as high compared to that of a true brewer’s yeast. Chromium can also be found in grains and cereals. However, at the course of the refining process, most of the said mineral is depleted and lost. Beers also contain small amounts of chromium.
Many individuals who have good knowledge about chromium would really agree about the above mentioned benefits. As a matter of fact, a lot of dieters and health conscious individuals could really testify about the benefits of chromium picolanate especially in improving muscle tone, fat metabolism, and blood glucose level control. At present, there are a growing number of people who are already enticed to take chromium picolinate because of the irrefutable benefits it offers. Needless to say, we are the culprits of our own actions. Whatever health state we would grasp is surely the result of the things that we have sow and invested for our health. If you do not want to suffer from dreadful consequences of your own doing then you have to give yourself the protection that you truly deserve.
Grab Some Chromium and fee the difference!
Digestive Enzymes, Acid Reflux, Cholesterol, Heartburn, IBS, Diabetes, And Blood Pressure
June 13, 2011 02:24 PM
Digestive Enzymes - Can Enzymes Help Me Feel Better?
Irregular bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic disease many people suffer from and basically causes your bowels to move irregularly leaving you bloated and in pain. This is mainly due to the average diet of today (too little fiber) but is also caused by genetic reasons and an unhealthy diet. A great way to treat this problem healthily is by taking digestive enzymes supplements.
The first question we should probably ask is what are digestive enzymes? Shortly put – digestive enzymes are live proteins present in all living organisms. Digestive enzymes are secreted along your digestive track and it extracts nutrients from the food and your body passes the rest as waste. The reason why some foods are hard on your digestive system is because we eat most of our food cooked and this process of cooking kills all the live enzymes in the food, leaving it to your digestive system to digest the whole portion, whilst uncooked food breaks 40% – 60% down itself.
Your body isn’t designed to digest mostly cooked food, and this causes almost every digestive problem you might have. A great way to get rid of this problem is drinking digestive enzymes supplements. Before your food moves from your stomach to the next process of digesting the extra digestive enzymes can help to completely digest all the food as so making it much easier on your body to break down.
Making sure your body has enough digestive enzymes is crucial – not only for your digestive health. If your body produces less digestive enzymes than it uses, it may cause damage to your pancreas because you’re overworking it. Remember that it is the pancreas that produces your body’s digestive enzymes. Eventually damage to your pancreas will also lower your immune system and also lower metabolic enzymes and having a constantly depleted level of digestive enzymes will eventually catch up with you. So get yourself some supplements – even if you are a vegetarian Yogi!
Not having enough digestive enzymes, your body can be in deathly dangers. Some of the problems due to a lack of enzymes include acid reflux, high cholesterol, heartburn, IBS, diabetes, high blood pressure and circulatory problems. If you are prone to any of these problems you should consider talking to your doctor about taking some digestive enzymes, they are readily available, not too expensive and they may lengthen your life another decade or two.
To avoid any of these health problems you should look after your body because, evidently, it will make you feel better for longer. Exercise regularly, eat as much raw food as possible, and try to drink digestive enzymes supplements when you eat cooked food and to visit your doctor for a check-up once a year. With the right balance, diet and digestive enzymes you can go a long way to assure yourself a long, healthy life.
How Does Taurine Help the Brain?
May 13, 2011 01:09 PM
Taurine is an amino acid often added to energy drinks. There have been several theories on how taurine affects brain chemicals and improve cognitive function. For many years, it has been compared to caffeine due to its effects on the human brain that appear to enhance mood. Its exact mechanisms of action remain a mystery to the scientific community, but recent studies are believed to be closing in.
It has long been known that taurine crosses the blood brain barrier, allowing it to exert some effects on several neurotransmitters found in the central nervous system. It has been tied to the alleviation of many mental illnesses, such as epilepsy, post traumatic stress disorder, clinical depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety, making it the subject of a number of studies in the past few years.
Rebalances Brain Chemicals
It has been postulated that taurine influences the activities of neurotransmitters in the brain, but only recently has brain scientists been able to actually track its activities in the brain. A team of researchers at Cornell University managed to find a site for the neurological activity of taurine, with initial results pointing to its relationship with gamma the neurotransmitter aminobutyric acid, or GABA. The researchers do not discount the possibility that taurine may even have a receptor of its own.
Whether taurine interacts with brain chemicals is no longer debatable as it creates homeostasis in the central nervous system. It acts on receptors that the researchers discovered to be the same receptors present in GABAergic mechanisms. That being said, scientists remain inconclusive as to how its interaction with GABA receptors provides energy-boosting benefits as it is marketed in the food and drug industries.
Prevents Neuron Damage
The scientific community is convinced that taurine has neuroprotective properties. High levels of taurine in the brain have been observed to protect brain tissues from cerebral ischemia. Taurine has been linked to many metabolic pathways that are known to promote neurological health, such as the activation of glycine receptors and the regulation of enzymes called cysteine-dependent aspartate-directed proteases.
In addition, taurine serves as antioxidants that protect nerve cells from cellular damage brought on by oxidative stress. The presence of taurine within cells reduces damage from calcium excesses and increases mitochondrial events. For decades, supplementation of taurine has benefited sufferers of brain ischemia, epileptic seizures, panic attacks, anxiety symptoms, and even alcohol withdrawal.
Enhances Cognitive Function
Taurine has already been associated with physiological functions the hypothalamus controls, such as sleep-wake cycle and responses to fatigue. In several laboratory studies, administrations of taurine by way of intraperitoneal injection have successfully induced social interaction in animal subjects. It is one of the amino acids that affect cognitive development, especially in children. While it is one of the most abundant amino acids in the brain, it is depleted as we age, making supplementation a good option.
Protect your brain with Taurine by taking it daily!
How Does Glutathione Work in the Body to Detox
May 06, 2011 10:11 AM
Glutathione a Body Detox
Glutathione belongs to the category of antioxidants that the human body can synthesize. It is an organic compound that is quite pervasive in nature as it is found in many multicellular organisms, microscopic or not. Almost all plants and animals are capable of producing glutathione, and, like human beings, they utilize this substance to neutralize free radicals and detoxify heavy metals.
Scavenges Free Radicals
It is common knowledge that free radicals are harmful to our body. It damages tissues, proteins, and even DNA. Free radicals are highly reactive by-products of cellular respiration. Cells utilize oxygen to power their activities, but in the process produce a group of compounds called reactive oxygen species, which change into radicals, harming cell organelles when not disposed of and raising cellular toxicity.
Glutathione is in the employ of every cell, for it is a fundamental part of the antioxidant defense of cells. Throughout the body, it is usually found in its reduced form, which donates reducing equivalents to reactive oxygen species. Glutathione becomes reactive in the process, but easily reacts with other reactive glutathione to form glutathione disulfide. Antioxidant enzymes manufacture glutathione in the presence of glutathione disulfide. This process constitutes the antioxidant mechanism of all cells.
Detoxifies Liver Metabolites
Metabolism is a complex process. Bioactive compounds in the foods we eat produce metabolites and by-products that are not necessarily good for our health. In fact, most of the drugs and medications we take directly harm us. Fortunately, the liver comes to our defense. For example, alcohol is converted into large amounts of acetaldehyde in its first stage of metabolism, creating effects we usually refer to as hangover.
The presence of glutathione enables the liver to easily recuperate from the damages brought on by harmful metabolites. That being said, glutathione in its reduced form does get depleted. One good example is drug overdose. The analgesic paracetamol, or acetaminophen, is known for its toxic by-product that induces liver failure in the absence of glutathione. Drugs are immediately detoxified in the liver with the help of glutathione. Low levels of glutathione may even result in death as is the case with paracetamol overdose.
Expels Foreign Materials
A number of substances in our diet are considered xenobiotics, or foreign materials, by our body. Most of them passes the alimentary canal undigested and enters the colon together with waste materials. However, there are substances that readily undergo absorption in the small intestines, such as trace elements and heavy metals. They pose considerable threats to health when they enter the systemic circulation in large quantities.
Glutathione is one of the compounds that keep xenobiotics in check. It facilitates the excretion of heavy metals and many known toxins. Glutathione conjugation plays a major role in detoxification and quite common at the cellular level. It makes sure that foreign compounds do not undergo reabsorption once it reaches the kidneys, effectively washing them away through the urine.
Can Magnesium Relax the Muscles?
March 04, 2011 04:27 PM
Magnesium The Miracle mineral
The biological role of magnesium is no longer the mystery it once was. Today we are well informed that the presence of minute quantities of magnesium in the human body is necessary for life. Moreover, a well balanced diet incorporating healthy levels of this trace element has been associated with lower susceptibility to fatigue, muscle weakness, and neurological conditions. Deficiency, on the other hand, brings on a long list of symptoms, including muscle spasms, insulin resistance, and even heart failure. It is an important factor of muscle health, and, not surprisingly, an effective muscle relaxant.
Facilitates Muscle Recovery
In the past few years there was a health concern in connection with the high incidence of magnesium deficiency among the general population, spurring the government to be actively involved in promoting the availability of elemental magnesium in the foods that we eat. Today with many food products fortified with magnesium, it is now becoming common knowledge that this dietary element is indispensable. What the average guy may not know is how important it is to the overall health of the muscles. First off, a significant fraction of magnesium is present in the muscle cells. The energy that you feel during physical exertion, which of course involves the muscles, is generated at the cellular level in the presence of magnesium. However, even when magnesium levels are depleted, each muscle cell still has to endure with the continuing muscular contractions, resulting in a slower rate of recovery.
Prevents Muscle Fatigue
Do be aware that longer hours at work take a toll on your muscular system. Doing the same things for long periods of time entails the repetitive use of the same muscles, straining these muscles and literally pushing them to the limit. Cumulative trauma disorder, or sometimes called repetitive strain injury, is in fact more common among individuals with low levels of magnesium, the muscles being more susceptible to stress as the body uses up its magnesium reserves. The same is the case with staying up all night or engaging in activities with fewer rewards in that the nervous system plays a role in controlling your muscles. The role of magnesium in combating muscle fatigue transcends its presence in muscle tissues for it is also actively involved in keeping undesirable neurological responses in check.
Strengthens Muscle Cells
Magnesium is not an herbal remedy for muscle spasms, but a vital constituent of strong, healthy muscles. That being said, there are formulations that must be taken at recommended dosages to produce a relaxing effect on the muscles. This will of course relieve the symptoms associated with muscle problems, including pain, tremors, and stiffness. What must follow is the incorporation of this mineral to your diet or supplementation to ensure that your muscles are protected against their continued exposure to daily wear and tear. Keep in mind that supplying your body with magnesium translates to developing healthier muscles, whether you lead an active life or spend long hours at the workstation.
Have your had your magnesium today?
How can I Tell if I am Magnesium Deficient?
February 09, 2011 01:25 PM
Magnesium The Essential Mineral
Magnesium is a dietary mineral that has established nutritional values in most countries. The presence of magnesium inside the human body involves many different chemical reactions, assisting more than 300 enzymes in their functional roles. That’s why we need to meet the daily recommended allowances for this dietary element, which has been calculated by the scientific community to supply the body with amounts adequate to support body functions.
An Essential Mineral
Not all enzymes are capable of producing the effects that they are programmed for on their own, and enzymes identified to rely on the presence of magnesium can be traced in almost all metabolic pathways. Molecules that comprise the structural units of RNA and DNA are extensively used as a source of energy of all cells, such as adenosine triphosphate or ATP. When enzymes utilize ATP for energy, they require another molecule that secures their binding to ATP, which is magnesium. In addition, ATP being the main source of energy that powers the functional roles of cells more often than not necessitates that it be bound to a magnesium ion to be fully activated.
Magnesium is ubiquitous in nature, and green leafy vegetables are ideal sources of this dietary element as well as nuts, wheat, seafood, and meat. In spite of that, it has been reported that in the US alone more than 60 per cent of the population does not meet the recommended daily intake for magnesium. The availability of magnesium in our diet does not ensure absorption of this essential mineral, and a significant fraction is in fact excreted along with other waste products in the urine or feces. Interestingly, diet high in protein or fat actually interferes with the absorption of magnesium.
A general feeling of malaise must not be taken lightly, for it is key indicator of magnesium deficiency. Magnesium is indispensable at the cellular level, and insufficient amounts of this element will certainly affect the way you feel, bringing about the perception of fatigue. If you feel weak all the time for no known reason, then it is recommendable to visit your doctor and find out if you have an alarming case of magnesium deficiency.
Keep in mind that high concentrations of protein and fat in the foods that you eat contribute to malabsorption of magnesium, and subsequently malnutrition. Certain medical conditions are known to deplete your reserves of elemental magnesium present in your body, notably diabetes mellitus. Drugs and medications also washes away the magnesium found in your diet and your body especially osmotic diuretics, cisplatin, ciclosporin, amphetamines, and possibly proton pump inhibitors.
Continued exposure to stress and excessive intake of alcohol both result in the unhealthy drop of magnesium levels in the blood. While there are environmental settings that we may not be able to alter, we can certainly control what we ingest. Supplementation is the only surefire remedy for magnesium deficiency, but the best way to combat whatever symptoms you are experiencing is to seek medical advice.
It is Essential You Get Your Magnesium Daily!
Hyaluronic acid and your cells, eyes, and skin
December 17, 2010 10:48 AM
Discovered in 1934, hyaluronic acid can be found anywhere there is the need for connective tissue in your body. Your joints, your eyes and your heart all contain hyaluronic acid, and a shortage can lead to a wide range of bodily defects, including the appearance of accelerated aging. It is a glycosaminoglycan, a form of polysaccharide that is not only found in connective tissue and epithelial and neural cells, but is also important in the growth and renewal of body cells.
We shall discuss here how hyaluronic acid affects specific areas of your body, and what the effect of a deficiency would mean, but also keeping in mind that an excess of this polysaccharide can also have a serious impact on your health although it offers few side effects worth noting.
Hyaluronic Acid and Your Joints
The highest concentrations of hyaluronic acid (HA) in your body is found in the synovial fluid, the fluid lubricating contained in your joints, and it is also plays an important role in maintaining the function of cartilage in keeping your joints flexible and well cushioned. It is chemically a glycosaminoglycan that is formed from glucosamine and glucuronic acid. Its production is boosted by chondroitin, which is why glucosamine and chondroitin are commonly used supplements for the treatment of arthritis.
Specifically, HA joins with collagen and elastin to produce cartilage, and also increases the supply of synovial fluid that maintains lubricity within the joints. Without the synovial fluid your cartilage would soon become worn away and your bones would grind together, eventually seizing up. By taking hyaluronic acid orally as a supplement, you can help to maintain healthy joints by maintaining the integrity of the cartilage and the quality of the synovial fluid.
Because the cartilage contains no blood vessels, it is reliant on the synovial fluid to keep it supplied with nutrients, and specifically with HA which is a large part of its structure. Without this important polysaccharide your body would not be able to function: no mobility, dry flaky skin and poor or no eyesight.
Hyaluronic Acid and Your Skin
Hyaluronic acid occurs in the lower layers of your skin where it helps to maintain a smooth and full appearance to your skin due to its hygroscopic nature in absorbing up to a thousand times its weight of water. For this reason HA is frequently used in skin moisturizing treatments and lotions.
HA is not found inside body cells, but appears to be restricted to the extracellular regions between cells where its moisturizing properties are critical in maintaining suppleness. Elastin requires copious quantities of water to remain elastic or it would otherwise become brittle: that is why our skin looks dry and wrinkled when we age. It is due to a lack of moisture: the moisture that hyaluronic acid can bring to the table. The problem is that HA reduces with age and in order to maintain our youthful looks we have to take a supplement.
Hyaluronic acid doesn't last long in your skin: it has to be renewed constantly and each day about 50% of the HA content of your skin is lost. It takes about two weeks for the same degree of loss to occur in the synovial fluid of your joints. The look of your skin depends to a very large extent on the extracellular matrix, or what is contained between your skin cells. The more moisture there then the smoother and plumper your skin will appear.
As you age, your hyaluronic acid production drops and so your skin becomes increasingly more depleted of moisture. This causes it to dry up and wrinkle. Were there one substance that I would choose as the elixir of life it would be HA, because by taking a regular supplement your natural daily loss is replenished and your skin is given a hand to maintain its soft, moist plumpish look that helps you to keep you looking young.
Hyaluronic Acid and Your Eyes
The vitreous humor is the liquid inside your eyeball, and it contains a large amount of hyaluronic acid. It helps absorb shock and to maintain the shape of the eyeball. The HA is so important that your body has developed a special set of cells known as the hyalocytes of Balazs that are believed to promote the renewal of hyaluronic acid, and also possibly its breakdown.
There is still a lot of research going on into this but the importance of HA in the vitreous humor and other aqueous area of your body is not in question. It helps to retain water and give structure to the liquid media within your body, whether that is between the bones of your joints, in the dermal and epidermal regions of your skin to keep it supple, or in your eyeball. In fact, it is believed to take up 70% - 80% of your eye, and helps to keep the retina in place exactly where it has to be for your eyesight to work.
Because Hyaluronic acid is:
a) present between the cells in every tissues in your body, and
b) a consumable, in that it gets used up rapidly, and
c) your biochemistry's ability to regenerate it reduces with age,
a supplement is the ideal way in which to maintain its levels in your extracellular system. In some instances injections are given, particularly in expensive anti-wrinkling treatment, but studies have shown that hyaluronic acid baxyl taken as an oral supplement shows an improvement after an average of 3 months treatment.
It should be understood that the average person has around 15 grams hyaluronic acid in their body, of which 5 grams is continually degraded and synthesized daily. When you reach an age that your ability to generate HA is impaired, then an oral supplement will be less expensive than injections, the hyaluronic acid of which will also be degraded with time. It won't be long before you need more treatment, and oral supplements are less expensive than private hypodermic injections.
A Hyaluronic acid supplement baxyl can be taken to improve the suppleness and appearance of youthful skin, help maintain the integrity of your eyesight and help to reduce the symptoms of arthritis and many other conditions brought on by a reduction in the synovial fluid and hydration of the skeletal and connective tissues of your body. In other words, it helps to keep you looking younger for longer and to keep your joints and your eyesight in good health.
Have you had your daily dose of hyaluronic acid today?
Baxyl is a liquid form of hyaluronic acid that is easy to take and easily assimilated into the body because its a liquid.
Fight Free Radical Damage From Toxins With Vitamins And Herbs
July 28, 2010 11:34 AM
There are many things that destroy the immune system. Each day we are bombarded with them in many forms. The following are some of the most common ones that are encountered.
Agene, also known as Nitrogen Trichloride, is used to bleach flour and give it a white appearance. Unfortunately, it can cause epileptic-like fits along with failure of muscle coordination. Excessive use of alcohol also severely impairs the immune system. It increases susceptibility to infection and weakens the central nervous system. Alcohol promotes chronic lung disease, malignancies of the neck and head, intestinal problems, hypoglycemia, diabetes, liver disease, and a whole variety of other problems. B vitamins, folic acid, niacin, vitamin E, magnesium, zinc, and protein are depleted by alcohol. All of these nutrients play a huge role in immune health. Aspartame breaks down in the digestive tract into a toxic material known as methanol. In order to prevent methanol from metabolizing into formaldehyde, a poison, a person needs to take another poison, ethanol.
Glutamic acid is a substance that is found in monosodium glutamate, a flavor enhancer. It affects the central nervous system and can trigger depression, gloomy fantasies, and rage for as long as two weeks following the ingestion of monosodium glutamate. High-diet fat intake increases the levels of bile acids in the colon. This breaks down into deoxycholic and lithocholic acids, both of which are cancer-causing elements. This can cause cancer of both the colon and the rectum. A diet that is high in animal protein and fat can cause cancer of the pancreas, breast, gallbladder, ovaries, uterus, prostate, and leukemia. Junk food such as sweets, white flour, and white sugar products, put a double amount of stress on the body. When too much junk food is eaten, the appetite for good, wholesome food is dulled.
Caffeine decreases immunity in the body, with fibrocystic breast disease being connected with the consumption of foods that contain caffeine. It is often caused by the chemicals methylxanthine, theophylline, and theobromine, which are found in coffee, black tea, cola drinks, chocolate, and other soft drinks. These elements act on hormones that cause breast tissue to develop fibrocystic lumps. Caffeine takes away the body’s own use of iron and inositol, and is often suspected of causing cancer in the pancreas.
Food dyes and flavorings are the culprits in behavioral problems that occur in children and adults, with some of these problems being learning disabilities and hyperactivity. Sodium nitrate is a preservative that is often found in cured meats like hot dogs, bologna, and ham. It has the potential to produce permanent epileptic changes in brain activity and damage the central nervous system.
High protein diets can deplete calcium in the body, especially when the source of protein is an animal product. There are concentrated doses of hormones and antibiotics that are found in beef which suppress the immune system and promote tumor growth. Poly-unsaturated fats undergo a process that produces rancidity in oils. This process releases dangerous free radicals, which eventually lead to cancer.
Heavy metals like lead and mercury can cause serious damage to the nervous system, with even small amounts being considered toxic. Lastly, the wide use of vaccinations and antibiotics is considered to be one of the main causes of immune system disorders.
Our bodies are under constant attack by our toxic environment. Fortunately, with regular vitamin and herb use, one can help the body restore its immune system to proper function so we can live a happier healthier life.
Glutathion, Antioxidants, And The Body
July 14, 2010 02:41 PM
Glutathione is a simple protein that consists of three amino acids. These amino acids include glutamic acid, cysteine, and glycine. Due to the chemical nature of sulphur-containing cysteine, glutathione is able to effortlessly donate electrons. This ability is the reason why it has powerful antioxidant properties. Intracellular glutathione status is a sensitive indicator of cellular health and of the cell’s ability to resist toxic challenges.
Glutathione is an important water-phase antioxidant that is an essential component in the glutathione peroxidase system. Glutathione peroxidase enzymes are crucial for detoxifying peroxides including hydrogen peroxide, which is generated within cellular membranes and lipid-dense areas of the cell, especially the mitochondrial membrane. Severe glutathione depletion often leads to cell death, while experimental glutathione depletion has been found to induce cellular apoptosis.
A cellular level of glutathione depletion seems to cause extensive damage to the mitochondria. Depletion of mitochondrial glutathione may, in fact, be the ultimate factor that determines a cell’s vulnerability to oxidative(free radical) attack. The mitochondria is the most crucial place for glutathione presence, as the cascade of oxidation-reduction reactions complete the final steps in respiration take place here. Throughout this process, which is called oxidative phophorylation, electrons invariably escape and react with the ambient oxygen in order to generate toxic free radicals. It has been estimated that 2% to 5% of the electrons that enter the mitochondria are converted into reactive oxygen species that generate considerable oxidative stress for the cell. These free radicals cause an immediate threat to other cellular components, such as the DNA, enzymes, structural proteins, and lipids.
The cumulative damage that is caused by oxygen and other free radical species is now determined to be the principal contributor to the degenerative disease process and the progressive loss of organ function that is commonly recognized as aging. Because of this, the cell is constantly challenged to destroy these free radicals before they can inflict any lasting damage. Minimizing oxidative attacks may actually be the ultimate challenge of being alive. Because of this, the reducing power of glutathione is of huge important to the cell.
Glutathione is important for helping to regenerate other antioxidants that are depleted from their constant work to fight off free radical challenges. Regeneration that is glutathione-induced may be the mechanism that is actually used by the cell in order to conserve lipid-phase antioxidants, vitamin A, vitamin E, and the carotenoids. It has been confirmed by recent investigations that dietary vitamin C can actually protect us against tissue damage that results from glutathione depletion.
Additionally, supplementation with glutathione or its precursors can also quickly replenish any vitamin C deficiencies. Because of this, glutathione and ascorbic acid, both of which are pre-eminent cellular antioxidants, are tightly linked, as glutathione can conserve vitamin C and vitamin C can conserve glutathione. When they are both present, these two antioxidants protect the entire spectrum of biomolecules that are found within the cell, as well as facilitate the cell’s best performance. It has been said that the glutathione status of a cell may be the most accurate single indicator of the health of the cell. This means that as glutathione levels go, the health of the cell will go as well.
Glutathione is available in capsule or tablet form at your local or internet health food store. Always choose name brands to ensure quality and purity of the glutathione supplement you choose to purchase for consumption.
Essential Enzymes Feel The Body To Good Health
March 19, 2010 07:08 PM
Enzymes are absolutely essential for life. These naturally occurring substances are found in the human body, animals, and plants. More than 2,700 enzymes have been identified in the body, each of which is constantly in motion. Life is made up of a series of reactions known as metabolism. Enzymes are responsible for making this process work. Enzymes are involved in every individual biochemical function that takes place in the human body. Some even refer to these substances as the spark plugs of the body. Enzymes are responsible for digesting food and destroying toxins, viruses, antigens that invade the liver and bloodstream, parasites, and worms. They also help in the destruction of free radicals before cell damage can occur. The body would deteriorate without enzymes. These substances are necessary for the production of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids being converted into vital neurotransmitters, which allows the body to function properly.
Most American diets are lacking in enzymes. The only way to get them is from live food or else through supplements. A mostly cooked-food diet needs a larger amount of enzymes from the digestive organs. This causes exhaustion and degeneration of the organs. The stress can be taken off of the pancreas and the entire system by supplementing with digestive enzymes.
There are two types of enzymes: digestive and metabolic. The digestive enzymes work in the gastrointestinal tract to break down food into forms that can be assimilated and used by the body. Digestion takes up a lot of the body’s energy and needs the help of digestive enzymes in order to properly assimilate food. Overcooked food destroys enzymes. Additionally, foods may be lacking in enzymes due to pesticides, preservatives, pasteurization, and water containing chlorine. All of these are responsible for destroying enzymes. With age, our bodies manufacture fewer enzymes. It is necessary that the body has a proper balance of amino acids in order to manufacture enzymes.
Metabolic enzymes work inside the cells in order to produce energy and detoxification. This type of enzyme is required for all bodily functions. Metabolic enzymes produce the energy that is required for the body to survive and thrive. A steady supply of enzymes is needed in order for complicated chemical reactions to occur in the body.
Supplemental digestive enzymes should contain protease, which is responsible for breaking down protein into amino acids. Amylase is responsible for breaking down starch into sucrose, while lipase functions in the digestion of fats. Cellulase is needed to break down cellulose. Enzymes are responsible for improving the digestion and assimilation of food. They also help to improve assimilation of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and essential fatty acids. They also help the body break down old encrusted material on the entire digestive system.
Enzymes can be taken after meals in order to improve digestion. Additional enzymes are necessary in between meals so that they are able to penetrate into tissues and break down undigested protein that can cause disease. They may also help prevent conditions like cancer, arthritis, and autoimmune diseases. Supplemental enzymes are usually needed because of poor eating habits that deplete the body of its own enzyme reserve. Eating too much cooked food, processed food, wrong food combinations, pesticides, preservatives, and additives can lead to the destruction of essential enzymes. For more information on the many beneficial effects of enzymes, please contact a representative from your local or internet health food store.
DHEA and Your Health
March 16, 2010 12:27 PM
DHEA is a naturally occurring hormone that is produced within the adrenal glands. The most abundant hormone found in the body, it is sometimes referred to as the “mother hormone.” When hormone levels are too low or out of sync, the body is unable to function as intended. DHEA levels reach their peak in the body around age twenty-one. After that, the levels tend to decline over the years. This substance is a precursor hormone that can be metabolized into other adrenal hormones and act with other hormones.
When DHEA levels are normal, it aids the immune system in maintaining balance and fighting diseases and infection. This, in turn, protects the body form a variety of serious problems that can occur, including cancer. Although the full extent of DHEA's benefits is not entirely known, there is a great deal of evidence that links low levels of DHEA to conditions such as cancer, Alzheimer's disease, arthritis, osteoporosis, chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes, fertility problems, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, allergies, PMS, and even weight problems. Many people even believe that this hormone is the single most important factor in maintaining health.
Scientific studies have determined that individuals with cancer seem to have lower levels of DHEA than those individuals who are healthy. It has been found that DHEA has the ability to inhibit one of the most important enzymes that is responsible for the feeding of cancer cells. Research has also concluded that DHEA can help in a variety of types of cancer, including colon, lung, skin, breast, lymphatic, gastric, prostate, and ovarian. It is believed that DHEA aids in slowing the growth of cancer. This hormone also blocks some of the enzymes that are responsible for cancer proliferation, which helps to prevent the activity of cancer and stops damage from occurring.
Alzheimer's condition is extremely frightening, as it deals with the loss of memory and senility. It has been found that levels of DHEA in Alzheimer's patients are forty-eight percent lower than the normal, healthy level established by the control group. DHEA is responsible for protecting the brain cells from damage and deterioration. Also, it is useful with other degenerative conditions that deal with senility. In healthy individuals, DHEA can be found abundantly in brain tissue, which protects against aging and damage.
DHEA is a precursor for cortisol and adrenaline, both of which are stress hormones. DHEA can become depleted when the body is under stress due to the effect on the adrenal glands. Because of this, chronic stress can lead to lower levels of DHEA, which can be detrimental to one's health. It has been found the prolonged stress can lead to cases of depression, with depression being helped by the addition of DHEA. Individuals with depression have found favorable results when using DHEA.
It has been shown that DHEA therapy is free of side effects when taken in proper amounts. Some problems that occur when excess amounts of DHEA are supplemented include acne, rapid heartbeat, irritability, and headaches. The majority of people solve these problems by lowering the amount they are taking. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by DHEA, please feel free to contact a representative from your local or internet health food store.
Dhea is a hormone naturally found in the body now available over the counter at your local health food store.
July 16, 2009 01:39 PM
It is critical for one to known that an excess amount of sugar can deplete our vitamin and mineral stores. To make things worse, vitamin and mineral deficiencies can predispose us to both hypoglycemia and diabetes. Significant amounts of B vitamins are necessary in order to metabolize and detoxify sugar after it has entered our bodies. The assimilation of nutrients from other foods is inhibited when the body is overloaded with sugar. To state it simply, our bodies were not designed to cope with the amounts of sugar that we routinely consume.
Vitamin A helps the body to maintain normal glandular function. Energy transfers in the body depend upon the presence of vitamin A, which helps to assimilate the mineral efficiently when it is used in conjunction with vitamins D and E.
Vitamin B-complex is essential in order to help control the highs and lows associated with hypoglycemia. They boost the adrenal glands and work to calm the nerves and promote mental health. Vitamin B1 is necessary for metabolizing carbohydrates and also improves appetite, digestion, assimilation, and elimination. This vitamin works to protect the nervous system and improve nerve function. Vitamin B2 works in conjunction with niacin and thiamine to protect the nerves and boost the immune system. Additionally, this vitamin helps to facilitate proper digestion, which is essential to healthily metabolize carbohydrates. Vitamin B3 plays a vital role in energy production and carbohydrate metabolism. Also, it is involved in the production of several biochemical’s, among them is adrenaline. Niacin boosts the body’s ability to take in sugar from the blood into the cells. Supplementing the diet of diabetics with niacin is also strongly recommended.
A lack of vitamin B5 in the body can cause a drop in blood sugar. This B vitamin is involved in the production of natural cortisone from the adrenal glands and can help to protect the body against the averse affects of stress. It is crucial for the maintenance of a healthy endocrine system. Vitamin B6 is vital in helping to maintain hormonal functions and endocrine balance. Vitamin B6 strengthens the adrenal glands and helps to protect the pancreas. It is essential for the metabolism of proteins and for the production of hormones and antibodies. Additionally, vitamin B6 may also help to prevent complications that may occur from diabetes. Vitamin B9, B12, D, E, C, K, PABA, Biotin, Lecithin, Inositol, and Bioflavonoids are also essential for assisting the body against hypoglycemia.
There are also minerals, amino acids, and herbs that helps the body fight against hypoglycemia. These minerals include calcium, chromium, iodine, magnesium, manganese, potassium, selenium, and zinc. Amino acids that assist in hypoglycemia are alanine, carnitine, glutamic acid, and phenylalanine and tyrosine. Herbs for hypoglycemia include alfalfa, bilberry, bitter melon, black cohosh, buchu, cedar berries, damiana, dandelion, dulse, fenugreek, garlic and onions, ginseng, gentian, golden seal, gymnema sylvestre, ho-sho-wu, kelp, licorice, mullein, parsley, pterocarpus, red raspberry, saffron, saltbush, sarsaparilla, saw palmetto, suma, and uva ursi. Alfalfa nourishes all the glands, especially the pituitary, while bilberry is valuable for anyone who suffers from glucose impaired diseases. Suma is used by both men and women to restore body function and are also good for poor circulation, heart disease, and arthritis. Uva Ursi helps to regulate glucose transfer to the nerve fivers which feed the brain.
Many of the above listed vitamins, minerals, and herbs are available in combinations directly formulated to help with high blood sugar. Look for these great vitamins and more at your local or internet health food store. Remember to always choose name brands to ensure you purchase a high quality and pure product.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Vitamins, minerals and herbs are not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.
May 08, 2009 10:00 AM
L-Cysteine is what is known as a non-essential amino acid, meaning that it can be biosynthesized by the body and hence not an essential part of your diet. Due to its possessing a thiol side chain, it is termed a hydrophilic amino acid with an affinity for aqueous systems. Because of this it is relatively highly reactive, and is therefore an important component of a large number of enzymes and proteins.
Although, after all, it is not an essential amino acid, deficiencies can occur in the young and in the old, and also in those suffering certain metabolic diseases. Dietary sources include high-protein foods such as chicken, turkey, pork, dairy products and vegetables such as cereals, broccoli, garlic and onions.
The biochemistry of this amino acid begins with another amino acid known as serine, and also methionine. The latter is fist converted to homocysteine, which is then combined with serine to form cystathionine. This is then converted into cysteine and alpha- ketobutyrate. The thiol group is highly reactive and gives cysteine its biological properties.
L-Cysteine possesses strong antioxidant properties due to the thiol group which easily undergoes redox reactions. However, it is for its detoxification effect on the body that the amino acid is mainly taken as a supplement. It is, therefore, these properties that we shall discuss first.
Cysteine can reduce the toxic effects of alcohol, such as a hangover or the more serious liver damage. The by-product of alcohol metabolism that does most damage and is responsible for the majority of the negative after-effects of excessive alcohol consumption is acetaldehyde. L-Cysteine converts acetaldehyde into the more acceptable acetic acid, and so prevents the aldehyde from having too much of a negative effect on your health and well-being. However, the results obtained from such studies have been from animals only, and the therapeutic effects of cysteine have not yet been tested on humans.
What has been tested and is known is that L-cysteine is effective in the detoxification of heavy metals in the body. A common source of heavy metal toxicity is mercury from amalgam fillings in the teeth. Although the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) declared in 1989 that dental amalgams are a hazardous substance under the Superfund law, many people still have them in their mouths.
The thiol group and L-cysteine has a high affinity for mercury and other heavy metals, as previously stated, and a supplement can be used to remove from the body any mercury leached from mercury-based tooth fillings. It can also be used to bind to copper, lead and cadmium. Lead and cadmium are particularly toxic to the human body, and even though lead is no longer used in plumbing or paints, and cadmium in toys or paints, there are still many sources of these two heavy metals available that can lead to human toxification.
An L-cysteine supplement can be used to remove these heavy metals from the body. Any proteins containing cysteine will tightly bind heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, molybdenum, cobalt and mercury, and allow them to be excreted by the body in the usual fashion. This direct involvement in heavy metal detoxification is a very useful property of this amino acid.
Another detoxification application of L-cysteine is in direct involvement in protecting cellular glutathione levels, and also the prevention of the death of liver cells by acetaminophen poisoning. The latter is of particular interest to many people since acetaminophen is better known as paracetamol, and since this is a freely available over-the-counter drug, overdoses are not unknown. The result of an overdose is the necrosis of liver cells, with eventual liver failure and death.
The treatment of choice is N-acetylcysteine. If used within 10 hours of the overdose it is extremely effective, and even from 16 to 24 hours it is better than other controls. It is believed that the acetylcysteine liberates cysteine which, when available to the liver, enables the biosynthesis of glutathione. Glutathione can then maintain the production of the fifth metabolite required for the specific detoxification of the paracetamol/acetaminophen.
L-Cysteine is also an essential component in the biosynthesis of coenzyme A, an enzyme essential for the production of energy from fats and carbohydrates. It is also a very important component of hair, from which it is commercially produced. Without an adequate intake of L-cysteine the growth of healthy hair would not be possible.
There are several supplemental uses of L-cysteine including the treatment of bronchial conditions for which the amino acid can help to liquefy and clear mucus from the airways and lungs. It is also used to protect against side effects of chemotherapy treatment of cancers and for medical treatments for excessive exposure to radiation.
However, there are certain situations in which L-cysteine should be avoided when at all possible. Diabetics should not use it, and neither should those suffering from cystinuria, whereby large quantities of amino acids, including cystine, are excreted in their urine. L-cystine, incidentally, is formed by oxidation of L-cysteine.
Paradoxically the amino acid is one of the several hundred additives made to tobacco by the cigarette companies. Although, as with the majority of tobacco additives, its purpose is unknown there are two possible reasons for its inclusion. L-Cysteine is a known expectorant, so it could be added to promote the expectoration of mucus in the lungs which is promoted by smoking, and it also increases the production off the antioxidant glutathione that is depleted in smokers.
There are several other non-medical uses for the amino acid, but it is for is its detoxification properties that it is most used as a supplement. However, because it is largely derived from human hair or duck feathers, it may not be classed as kosher or halal in spite of many claims made to that effect, though the more expensive source of microbial fermentation from corn sugar can be.
The substance is recognized as safe by the FDA, and must be labeled as L-cysteine when it is present in a preparation intended for its therapeutic effects. Keep in mind however, that it should be avoided by diabetics.
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.
L-Arginine An Amino Acid Essential Or Not You Be The Judge?
January 06, 2009 04:01 PM
L-Arginine is an amino acid that is one of 20 needed by the body for its existence. To some, it is not what is known as an essential amino acid, since it can be biosynthesized by the body, but arginine is termed a conditionally essential amino acid in that we must include some in our diet because our biochemistry does not produce all that our body needs, particularly during the growing years.
Amino acids are the building blocks of life, and are the units from which proteins and ultimately our DNA are built. In fact DNA contains the blueprints for every protein used by our bodies, including all the enzymes without which our biochemistry could not occur. When a supply of a particular protein is needed, the DNA template provides the sequence of amino acids needed to produce it.
Of the 20 amino acids we need, only 10 can be produced by our body: the other 10 must be included in our diet and are termed 'essential' because they are an essential part of our diet, just as vitamins and minerals are. Without an adequate supply of essential components, we cannot survive, and if the essential amino acids are depleted in our diet then the body will break down muscle tissue to release them.
Although L-arginine is termed a 'conditionally' essential amino acid, it is included by many among the 10 regarded as being essential. Hence, depending upon who you read, it can be either essential or non-essential. That is because, as inferred earlier, arginine is needed for growth and development, and there is insufficient in the diet to meet these needs. Therefore, while it is essential in cases where growth is still taking place, it is not in those where normal growth is complete.
Proteins are essential for all animal life, forming not only the enzymes, or biochemical catalysts, but also muscles and DNA among other bodily tissues. Protein is also a necessary part of our diet, and it is from protein, animal or vegetable, that we get the amino acids in our diet. L-arginine is one of these, being available from all meats and seafood’s, and vegetables rich in protein such as soy, seeds, nuts and grains.
So what does arginine do for us, quite a lot in fact, many of its functions being related to our health? Arginine plays an important role in the healing of wounds, especially bone, assisting the immune function, decreasing blood pressure and speeding up the repair time of tissue. However, it possesses other properties such as increasing muscle mass, helping to increase male fertility and improving the circulation.
It also helps to remove ammonia from the body, and is a precursor for the biosynthesis of nitric oxide (NO2). It is in the way that L-arginine works with the nitrogen stores of the body that we will focus on here, prior to touching on its other properties.
L-Arginine transports, stores and excretes nitrogen, and used biochemically to manufacture nitric oxide. This oxide of nitrogen plays a very important role in your body, and is produced in every cell of your body. Nitric oxide helps in the dilation of your blood vessels, allowing a reduction in blood pressure, better circulation and helping to prevent a mans man-hood dysfunction, all of which are due to its relaxing effect on smooth muscle contraction and the promotion of the increased blood flow necessary for men and their functions. It is also important to your immune system and nervous system.
It works in a similar way to the effect of nitroglycerine on the heart: this is converted in the body to nitric oxide which relaxes the blood vessels and so reduces the amount of work needed by the heart. The way in which L-arginine forms nitric oxide is by the action of the enzyme nitric oxide synthase.
The amino acid is also an important component of the Citric Acid or Kreb's cycle, where it reacts with ammonia which is a toxic by-product in the generation of energy in the mitochondria. Ammonia is converted to urea by L-arginine and excreted from the body. This is another way in which L-arginine is involved in the storage and use of nitrogen-containing compounds in your biochemistry.
It was mentioned earlier that arginine is an essential amino acid for children. Studies have indicated that it supports the release of the human growth hormone from the pituitary gland although the amount released through supplementation of the amino acid varies widely between individuals. The growth hormone maintains the production of proteins and muscle tissue in the body cells. This reduces as we age, and arginine becomes non-essential, the smaller amounts needed in our biochemistry being manufactured by the body.
The anabolic effect of the supplement is believed to increase the effectiveness of exercise intended to increase muscle bulk and reduce the percentage of body fat, and many take L-arginine as a supplement while undergoing such anabolic fitness and exercise programs. It is normally best to start with low supplement levels and work up due the potential side effects (diarrhea and nausea).
Arginine is an important component in the body's healing mechanisms for both tissue and bone, and studies have confirmed accelerated healing of wounds and fractures with arginine supplementation. Although the mechanism by which this occurs is not yet understood, there is evidence that it may be connected with the nitric oxide pathway and increased blood flow, and also with its effect on the immune system in reducing inflammation at the healing site.
Diabetics, however, should be careful with substances that promote the release of growth hormone, and children with incomplete bone growth should also use such agents only under medical supervision. With diabetics, their condition could be either exacerbated or improved, and those with herpes and some psychotic conditions should also be careful.
Nitrogenous compounds are essential to life, and L-arginine plays a significant role in the storage, use and secretion of them. Without it life would not be possible, although it is its visible uses, such as the effect of nitrous oxide on blood flow and of proteins on muscle metabolism, for which it is best known to those that use it, either as a supplement or as a remedy. Pure supplement form is available at your local or internet health food store.
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.
Digestive Essentail Enzymes
January 04, 2009 10:29 AM
Years of researching various health-promoting herbs, vitamins, minerals, and other dietary supplements has led to the conclusion that enzyme therapy is one of the most valuable ways to maintain and promote good health. Not very many of us actually understand the enormous role that enzymes play in health maintenance, with many of us actually being enzyme depleted due to the over-consumption of cooked enzyme-less foods and the under-consumption of raw whole foods. The human digestive system was designed for a diet that is full of raw plants and fruits, but many foods today are processed, refined, heated, and fragmented.
By eating foods that have lost their own natural enzymes, the pancreas and other organs that supply digestive enzymes are over-worked. This results in enzymatic function in other areas of the body to become compromised, which leads to disastrous health implications. Replenishing enzymes through diet and supplementation is an easy way to make up for the typical diet that is full of mostly dead foods.
The human digestive system is one of the most perfectly designed systems in the body, typically functioning without problems. This means that if we are eating the right foods in the right way, then we should not have to rely on antacids, H2 antagonists, proton-pump inhibitors, and laxatives. Burping, belching, and bloating, no matter how often they occur, are actually not normal. It is ironic that the human body has a system that is far more impressive than any other machine built by humans, but we suffer from breakdowns all the time such as abdominal cramps after eating, inordinate amounts of gas, sluggish colons, and an overall lousy feeling after eating.
Statistics prove that we are not eating the right foods, and even if we were, many of us are not properly absorbing all of their nutrients because we consume huge amounts of sugar, drugs, caffeine, alcohol, and highly processed refined foods that prevent normal digestive processes. Being under constant stress and eating on the run, along with our unhealthy food choices, creates an environment inside our body that causes common cases of heartburn and indigestion, possibly leading to ulcers and colon disease.
Enzymes are protein molecules that are responsible for thousands of physiological reactions that take place in the human body. They initiate and control almost every biochemical process that occurs in the body, with nearly three thousand individual enzymes being identified to date. Enzymes help our body to digest food, repair tissue, and eliminate dangerous toxins. Digestive enzymes break down food particles, which allows them to pass through the intestinal wall and enter the bloodstream. The enzymes that are found in the blood transform nutrient particles into tissue that is found in muscles, nerves, organs, and glands.
Enzymes also contribute to the process that stores sugar in the liver and muscle tissue and preserves fatty tissue. Additionally, digestive enzymes are part of the chemical reaction that creates urea. Some enzymes even help to detoxify our blood and tissue by allowing our immune system to attack foreign material. Lastly, metabolic enzymes help create energy in our body on a cellular level by converting foot to energy, which then fuels nearly every mechanism in the body. Do you get enough enzymes on a daily basis?
Potassium And Magnesium
December 30, 2008 01:08 PM
Potassium and magnesium are the two most common minerals found within the cells of your body. They each have specific individual functions within your body, and together help to maintain the correct balance of electrolytes and the proper functioning of smooth and striated muscles. That includes allowing muscles to relax properly rather than to cramp.
Before discussing this, let's have a look at the major individual properties of these two metallic minerals with respect to the body's biochemistry.
Magnesium is needed to ensure the proper functioning of the sodium/potassium pump. This is a complex topic, and we shan't dwell on it at length here, although the basics are that it is responsible for the movement of ions into and out of cells. Sodium and potassium ions are moved in opposite directions across the cell plasma membrane, three sodium ions being pumped out for every two potassium ions pumped into the cell.
This is of particular importance to nervous cells responsible for transmitting impulses in response to specific stimuli. In the event of a magnesium deficiency, this pumping action is impaired and the sodium/potassium balance within and without the body cells are imbalanced. This in turn impairs the response of nerve cells to stimuli. Both magnesium and potassium can be depleted through the use of diuretics, in which case a magnesium supplement can redress the imbalance.
There are several consequences of such an electrolytic imbalance, some having potentially serious consequences. Many can cause death if left untreated, although the symptoms usually allow appropriate medical treatment prior to the condition becoming fatal, such treatment frequently involving administration of magnesium and potassium. Among these are:
Calcium overload in certain heart cells that reduces the effective use of oxygen and ATP and causes overactive contraction of the heart muscle.
Spasms in coronary blood vessels.
Over-activity of the striated muscle fibers, leading to cramps in the calf and thigh muscles, for example.
Cramp and pain in the smooth muscles of hollow organs such as the bladder or uterus that can also cause premature labor.
Several heart problems caused by an increase in energy consumption and a calcium overload and potassium deficiency that leads to cardiac ischemia and arrhythmia that continue to create a serious medical condition and hazard to life. Potassium, that can stop the heart if given in excess, can be just as harmful if present in too small a concentration.
The whole situation creates a self-perpetuating cycle that can be broken by a magnesium and potassium supplement that restores the correct gradient of potassium and magnesium across the cell membrane, improves the function of the sodium/potassium pump and reduces the excess cellular calcium by replacing it with magnesium.
This only works if both potassium and magnesium are taken together: just either alone is no good. It also takes time for the effect to occur, so the supplement is not suitable for emergency use. A regular supply can prevent the condition occurring.
There are many other properties that magnesium and potassium possess with regard to the body's biochemistry such as the effect of magnesium in activating certain enzymes. However, in discussing relaxation, both of these essential minerals have a significant part to play.
It has been mentioned that a magnesium and calcium deficiency causes spasms and cramps in the smooth and striated muscles, and the corollary is also true. Magnesium and potassium can be used to relieve such cramps, and relax muscle tissue. Hence, because it can relax excited smooth bronchial muscle tissue, magnesium can be used to relieve asthma attacks. The intravenous administration of magnesium is, in fact, an accepted and proven clinical treatment for acute asthma attacks.
In the same way, magnesium has been used to treat muscle spasms and cramps. Again, it is not an immediate treatment for emergency use, but can be used over a period of days to treat athletes with a history of muscle spasms. Such spasm frequently occur after prolonged periods of exercise, when magnesium and potassium, among other electrolytes, can be lost through a combination of sweating and urination.
However, this is not the only means by which magnesium is lost from your body cells, and probably not even the main one. Less obvious, but likely of more importance, is the transfer of magnesium from the plasma into the red blood cells (erythrocytes). The amount by which this occurs is directly proportional to the more anaerobic the exercise, hence the need by athletes and weightlifters for more magnesium. It can be rapidly lost through exercise with insufficient oxygen, and cause their muscles to cramp up.
Magnesium deficiency is common in Americans, although factors such as high calcium intake, alcohol intake, diuretics, and kidney and liver disease are more responsible for this than a dietary deficiency. Potassium is readily available in bananas, brown rice, potatoes, tomatoes and oranges and dietary deficiencies are not common although supplements are readily available.
Magnesium is also known to play an important part in the secretion and use of insulin by the body. Supplementation with magnesium can help diabetics to make best use of insulin, become more tolerant to glucose and improve the fluidity of the membrane of red blood cells. The mineral; also has a small but definite effect in lowering blood pressure. Other uses for magnesium supplements include congenital heart failure, where higher magnesium contents lead to greater life expectancy and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) where magnesium supplements can significantly increase energy levels.
Other uses to which your body puts potassium other than to allow proper muscle contraction and relaxation and to maintain the balance of electrolytes in the body, includes the function of brain and nerve neurons. This, however, is academic since should your potassium levels drop by 50%, death would result.
Potassium, Magnesium and Calcium are essential in maintaining the proper workings of your body cells, although the most visible effect of magnesium and potassium is their relaxation properties on the body, put to specific use by sportsmen and women, particularly those involved in the more anaerobic sports.
Huperzine And Memory
December 04, 2008 01:20 PM
Chinese club moss goes by the name Huperzia serrata, and gives its name to the sesquiterpene alkaloid it contains: huperzine A. This alkaloid has been found to be a superstar in the arena of brain-saving treatments for conditions such as Alzheimer's and age-related senility. Studies in China have found up to 60% improvements in the cognitive functions of such patients, and its potential has been recorded in the Journal of the American Medical Association. This is no mere folk remedy, and is the subject of serious study.
Known as Qian Ceng Ta, Chinese club moss has been a part of traditional Chinese medicine for centuries for the treatment of fever and inflammation, which is not surprising considering that most plants contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. However, what is unusual is the fact that it has also been found effective in treating some forms of dementia and depression, and also helps to reduce the incidence of panic attacks in those susceptible to them.
Not only that, but the plant has been found to possess diuretic properties, and a reduction in the swelling associated with water retention could also help to reduce the pain and other effects of swelling and inflammation. However, for now it is its effect on the brain that we are concerned, and research has indicated the likely mechanism by which huperzine A works.
Huperzine is an enzyme inhibitor - specifically inhibiting the enzyme acetylcholinesterase that breaks down acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter involved in the processes of memory, learning and mood. Outside the brain, it is involved in the movement of skeletal muscle tissue as well as in the regulation of cardiac and other smooth muscles such as those of the blood vessels.
When acetylcholinesterase (AChE) attacks acetylcholine (ACh), the latter attaches to a chemical site on the enzyme where it is then destroyed. It is a deliberate function of the body, designed to terminate a synaptic transmission. The purpose of a neurotransmitter is to allow the transmission of an electrical impulse form one nerve cell to another over a gap between them known as a synapse. Once the transmission has been completed, the enzyme can destroy the neurotransmitter, and then another takes its place. In fact one molecule of AChE can destroy around 5,000 molecules of ACh.
However, with age and for other reasons, these neurotransmitters can become depleted so that it becomes increasingly more difficult for brain cells to communicate with each other, and their destruction becomes undesirable. There are drugs available to help prevent this happening (e.g. donepezil, galantamine and tacrine), and so help to improve the memory and mental function of people as they grow older or contract conditions such as Alzheimer's disease.
Huperzine A has been found to take up the site in the acetylcholinesterase molecule that would normally have been used by the acetylcholine, and so save it from destruction. The more Huperzine A molecules present, the more acetylcholine available to pass messages between brain cells, and the stronger the cognitive function of the subject or patient. The pharmaceutical drugs mentioned in the previous paragraph work in exactly the same way.
This is a very specific reaction, one molecule adopting exactly the same space as the other, and has been proved scientifically by comparing the physical shapes of the two molecules. It's just like a jigsaw puzzle, where only one piece can fit into each position. Except here there are two: Huperzine A and acetylcholine both fit into the exact same place in the chemical structure of the acetylcholinesterase molecule.
The biochemistry of the reactions involved is very complex, and shall not be discussed here, but the upshot is that Huperzine A can do exactly the same job as modern drugs to avoid this hydroxylation of the ACh needed for the proper functioning of your brain.
In fact, clinical trials have indicated Huperzine A not only to be comparable in effect to the drugs current used, but also likely safer with respect to the possible side effects. This has still to be confirmed, but the National Institute on Aging is currently carrying out a trial to evaluate this claim in tandem with its effect on Alzheimer's disease. It has also been examined at Harvard University for its effect on epilepsy on patients with whom alternative pharmaceutical treatments have been unsuccessful.
Another suggested benefit of Huperzine A is that it is an NMDA (N-methyl D-aspartate) receptor antagonist that provides protection against damage to the brain by an excess of glutamates, and that it can also help to protect nerve cells from damage. Since NDMA is responsible for the transmission of some types of pain, the antagonist can also act as an analgesic.
There are other benefits that Chinese club moss can provide, and myasthenia gravis is one of them. Although relatively rare, this is a serious condition in which acetylcholine receptors are deactivated on muscle cells. This is achieved through the autoimmune system malfunctioning and creating antibodies against the receptors, and the end result is paralysis and respiratory failure.
Huperzine A reduces the AChE available and so might possibly enable the acetylcholine to work more effectively and delay or even stop the deterioration of muscle function. When people hear of muscle paralysis they frequently forget that breathing requires muscle function, as indeed does your heartbeat. This is currently surmise, and studies are being carried out to determine whether or not this usage of Huperzine A is viable.
Another promising application of Chinese club moss extract is in preventing organophosphate poisoning. These pesticides permanently suppress acetylcholine. This results in seizures due to a lack of interruption of the signals from nerves to muscles. The seizures can result in rapid death from uncontrollable seizures, or from permanent contraction of the diaphragm muscle that allows breathing. Although no human studies have yet been carried out, animals given Huperzine A prior to organophosphate exposure have survived without seizures.
There are no doubts that Chinese club moss and the Huperzine A extracted from it are effective in preventing the suppression of acetylcholine, and in permitting the proper activity of this important neurotransmitter. It is finding an increasing number of potential uses beneficial to the human body, not the least of which would be a partial remedy for some of the effects of dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
September 22, 2008 09:48 AM
Panax is a type of perennial plant with fleshy roots, and grows in Eastern Asia. Ginsengs contain ginsenosides that are triterpene saponins, steroidal compounds that are found only in Panax ginseng. The effects of these saponins are difficult to establish, but they are believed to be behind the properties of ginseng.
Panax ginseng is found predominantly in Korea, China and Siberia, although a genus has also been found in Vietnam. Panax are adaptogenic herbs that help promote resistance to anxiety, fatigue and stress, and are said to adapt the body to resist a number of different stressors. It has been proposed that adaptogenic herbs can balance the endocrine hormones of the hypothalamus, pituitary and adrenal axis.
They also normalize the immune system, and increase the activity of phagocytes, the killer cells. Additionally, they not only help to maintain homeostasis, but are believed to go further and act as allostatic agents, adapting response to maintain system stability in a more dynamic fashion, by changing interactive functions as opposed to the individual adaption’s made in homeostasis.
Not all ginsengs are the same, and although Siberian ginseng is an adaptogen, it is not a true ginseng. Its roots are woody rather than fleshy, and it contains eleutherosides as opposed to ginsenosides. These also are triterpenoid saponins, but of a different adaptogen. The herb is actually Eleutherococcus senticosus as opposed to Panax ginseng and P. quinquefolius, both true ginsengs. Siberian ginseng was misnamed as a marketing ploy.
American ginseng is Panax quinquefolius, sometimes referred to by the Chinese as Huaqishen. It, too, is an adaptogen and a true ginseng, containing ginsenosides. However, it contains much less ginsenonide Rg1 than panax. This ginsenonide appears to possess estrogen-like activity and improves spatial learning. The other forms of ginesonide found in panax ginseng are:
Ginsenoside Rb1: This appears in greatest concentration in American ginseng, and appears to have an effect on the reproductive system. It not only has an effect on the testicles, but is believed to increase testosterone production through its stimulating effect on luteinizing hormone. It also helps to rdeduce the incidence of angiogenesis, which is the formation of new blood vessels from old, and also a stage in the development of malignant tumors from dormant ones.
Ginsenoside Rc: this possesses sedative properties, and in a study on breast cancer was found to have an effect in inhibiting the growth of these particular cancer cells. Ginsenoside Rc might therefore have use in the treatment or prevention of breast cancer. Studies have also suggested that this ginsenoside could increase the motility of sperm: the motiliy of sperm was found to increase significantly in a solution of ginsenoside Rc.
Ginsenoside Rf: this is present only in panax ginseng, and studies have indicate that it has an inhibitory effect on the Ca2+ neural channels in the brain, and so cokld have an analgesic effect. Studies have as yet failed to explain this effect that is seen in animal tests, but are continuing on this ginsenoside.
Ginsenoside Re: this ginsenoside has strong antioxidant effects and has a significant antidiabetic effect in that is reduces insulin resistance, which is likely why ginseng is taken to treat Type 2 diabetes. Studies are ongoing into the properties of this ginsenoside, and also on the other 10 or more that are known to be present in Panax ginseng. The effects of ginseng are difficult to establish with certainity because they work through so many different pathways and it is difficult to isolate one. More than one ginsenoside, for example, affects the calcium channels in the brain, and it is difficult to determine which does what.
There are fewer ginsenosides in Panax quinquefoilius, and in the USA it is only the panax version that can be traded as simply ‘ginseng’. One of the main problems with all ginsengs is that although it is one of the most studied plants, the majority of the studies have been on animals, and due to this, and the difficulties caused by the multiple pathways described earlier, many of the postulations have not been proved in humans.
However, if the theory as it is know today is taken into consideration along with the traditional uses of ginseng in traditional Indian (ayurvedic), Chinese and Native American medicine, it would be fairly accurate to say that ginseng is useful in helping your body to recover after illness or surgery, and to help you to deal with stress. It has also been proved to lower your blood glucose (sugar) levels, and help in the treatment of Type II diabetes, as already mentioned. There is evidence that it helps to boost your mental performance, memory and might help to slow down the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
Ginseng can also give a boost to your energy levels, and it is genarally accepted that panax ginseng is more effective than the American version. In traditional medicine, Asian ginseng is said to be warming, and the American variery cooling. Thus Panax ginseng is useful for people recovering from illness and trying to recover their strength, acts as a tonic, stimulant and supports the immune system. In other words it helps the body to get whole again after being depleted.
It should not be used if you get very hot and red, such as with heat stroke, unless you use it in combination with the American version, because these are conditions of high yang and this type of ginseng will increase the yang even further.
American ginseng, on the other hand, is good for those with fevers, hypertension (high blood pressure), and suffereing the effcts of heat. It helps build the yin and reduce the yang, so if you always feel flushed and hot or are hyperactive then go for the American, and if you easily get chilled or find your hands and feet get cold very easily, reach for the Asian ginseng to increase your yang.
You often find ginseng as an ingredient in soft drinks, but the concentration is so low that it has no metabolic or pharmacological effect. The dose to be taken should be as stated on the pack, since there is no specific standardization. It has been noted that the effects can be lost if an excess of ginseng is taken, but generally the herb is safe and if you feel a bit down or lacking in energy, ginseng can work wonders for you.
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 09, 2008 11:37 AM
Recent studies have found the importance of magnesium as a nutrient and its impact on general and heart health. Nutritional magnesium is deeply involved in the production of energy, the uptake of oxygen, the function of the central nervous system, the balance of electrolytes, the metabolism of glucose, and the activity of muscles, including the heart. When magnesium’s importance in the heart muscle is closely examine, the microscope is necessary, as it gets right down to the cellular and molecular levels.
Magnesium has an essential role in many of the functions of energy production and is an integral part of the energy and protein molecules, without which the heart would not have the proper energy to contract and relax. Magnesium is also essential in the construction of the cell membrane, as the heart is composed of cells and the magnesium plays a role in the strength of the heart muscle itself.
When magnesium levels begin to get too low the body will try to adapt, but the basic functions of energy production and cell structure are affected. Without enough magnesium, the cell is unable to keep the proper number of high-energy molecules that is needed to function properly. It doesn’t just end there though, as just about everything starts to go once magnesium falls below a certain level, and then cellular damage can result. Sodium balance and electrolyte balance also start to change, while the cell is unable to have a fully integrated membrane system due to magnesium deficiency, calcium and sodium start to rush into abnormal areas for the muscle cells which can cause cellular damage.
If a person is not getting adequate magnesium, they may go into a marginal state, which can be taken to a depleted state with a certain trauma or excessive physical, emotional, or mental stress. This depleted state can manifest as hypertension, high cholesterol, heart disease, and possibly even a heart attack. Magnesium requirements increase during times of stress which include exercise, mental and emotional issues, high noise, chemical toxins, and others. Requirements for magnesium also rise during healing from a bodily trauma such as an injury or operation. A low magnesium condition can be worsened by a high intake of calcium, as calcium can not be optimally utilized without the proper balance of magnesium, and a high calcium intake without magnesium will cause further drainage of any magnesium reserves. Although calcium is necessary at the cellular level for muscles to contract, nerves to fire, and hormones to be produced and released, too much calcium and too little magnesium is a disaster. Another problem related to heart health is cholesterol, a fatty substance found in many areas of the body. Since cholesterol has gotten such a bad name, many people do not know that it is actually produced in all cells naturally and is important for proper bodily functions.
Finally, one of the reactions that are involved in cholesterol production is called rate-limiting reaction, as it keeps control of the amount of cholesterol manufactured. The rate-limiting reaction requires magnesium, which can cause cholesterol to continue to be manufactured beyond the cells control if magnesium is unavailable, resulting in cholesterol buildup. As you can see, magnesium is vital to the body and if not obtained from your diet, should be supplemented through a vitamin supplement from a health food store. For more information on magnesium and its healthful effects on the body, feel free to contact your local health food store.
July 03, 2008 08:58 AM
Serotonin has not only been shown to regulate sleep, but it also is responsible for controlling mood, including feelings of optimism, relaxation, general sense of well-being, and the ability to focus and concentrate. When serotonin levels drop, it can lead to a lowered mood, which is what people experience with seasonal affective disorder, premenstrual syndrome, and general stress. People who experience these conditions also have been shown to experience decreased levels of tryptophan, which is responsible for the decrease in production of serotonin. Tryptophan depletion has been associated with a lowering in mood of normal healthy men. In one study, women who had recovered from major depression and ended drug treatment experienced temporary but clinically significant depressive symptoms after tryptophan depletion. In many studies that were performed in the 1970s, indications of trytophan’s ability to relieve lowered mood were found.
When shorter days begin in the fall and winter, negative effects on a significant percent of the U.S. population result. Some experience sadness, sleepiness, increased appetite, weight gain, and a loss of libido, which is what is known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD). A key contributor to this is the increased synthesis of melatonin that occurs during the winter months. Daylight normally inhibits the conversion of serotonin into melatonin. Since the period of nighttime is longer in the winter versus the summer, there is a longer period of melatonin secretion. Increased synthesis of melatonin depletes serotonin levels, which, in turn, increase the symptoms of SAD. Those patients who experience SAD tend to crave starchy foods and sweets more, which happens when brain serotonin levels are low.
Tryptophan treatment may offer a substantial amount of help for people who are suffering from seasonal affective disorder. SAD patients who were treated with either light therapy or with tryptophan proved that patients with light therapy relapsed more quickly after the discontinued use, as apposed to those who were treated with tryptophan. Studies have also shown that SAD patients often feel better after being treated with tryptophan.
Serotonin also plays an important role in behavioral inhibition. Many studies have found that there is a decrease in aggressive behavior when serotonin is increased, while decreasing serotonin leads to impulsive aggressive behavior. Another study proves that healthy men who are depleted of tryptophan show more aggressiveness. When tryptophan supplementation was studied, participants who received the tryptophan significantly decreased their quarrelsome behavior and increased in sociable and agreeable behavior. Additionally, those patients’ perceptions of other participants’ agreeableness also increased.
Symptoms that are related to premenstrual syndrome include depression, cravings for foods that a rich in carbohydrates, insomnia, irritability, and hostility. More so, women with premenstrual syndrome dysphoria, which is a more severe premenstrual syndrome, have shown decreased levels of brain serotonin. This suggests that tryptophan may be involved, as premenstrual women who had tryptophan depletion have shown increased aggressive behavior. When tryptophan supplementation was studied on women who experienced premenstrual dysphoric disorder, mood swings, tension, and irritability, results showed that there were significantly greater improvements with l-tryptophan supplementation than with a placebo.