Search Term: " EXPELLED "
Has your doctor told you about these natural ways to eliminatekidney stones?
December 20, 2018 08:50 AM
Kidney stones are both very painful, and frightfully common. One in ten people will experience a kidney stone in their life. There are some natural remedies that can help dissolve kidney stones once they form. One option is pomegranate juice, and a different option is dandelion root. Basil is also known for being good for kidney health. Lemon juice is full of citrate that may help break down kidney stones making them easier to pass.
"Citrate found in lemon breaks down kidney stones into smaller pieces so that they can pass more easily. Moreover, this substance also prevents the formation of calcium stones."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-12-15-natural-ways-to-eliminate-kidney-stones.html
Zinc-binding is vital for regulating pH levels in the brain
October 22, 2017 10:14 AM
According to a study from the University of Oslo, Zinc-binding plays a critical role in the regulation and sensing of pH in the brains of humans. This is one of the first studies to link the binding of zinc with bicarbonate transporters. Researchers from the University’s Centre for Molecular Medicine published these findings in Scientific Reports. These results are important because optimal ph levels are very important for our overall health. In fact, low ph levels in infants sometimes leads to brain damage. Lead researcher Preben Morth emphasized that research into zinc’s role in the regulation of ph is important for understanding overall brain health and function.
"An example of how important pH levels are to our health is demonstrated by the fact that pH levels in blood from the umbilical cord are always tested in newborn babies."
Read more: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/10/171017092242.htm
Learn about the prostate
June 13, 2014 09:25 PM
The human prostate is a walnut-sized gland that is located between the bladder and the penis. It is just in front of the rectum with the urethra running through the center from the bladder to the penis, letting out urine off the body. The prostate gland secretes fluid that is useful in nourishment and protection of sperms. The prostrate squeezes this fluid into the urethra during ejaculation and it comes out with sperms as semen.
However, the prostate is faced by some conditions that lead to its dysfunctions. Some of the main conditions are.
This is one of the major cancers affecting men and it kills one in every thirty-five men. Some of the treatments used to treat it are, chemotherapy, surgery, radiation and hormone therapy.
This is inflammation of the prostate, which is caused by infection. It is usually treated with antibiotics.
This usually affects older men above the age of fifty. Its signs are difficulty in urinating that increases with age. It can be treated through medication or surgery. This usually affects older men above the age of fifty. Its signs are difficulty in urinating that increases with age. It can be treated through medication or surgery.
It is of much importance to keep the prostate healthy due to its major functions. The general function of the prostate is to secrete a slightly alkaline fluid that is white in color constituting 50-70% of the semen volume together with spermatozoa and seminal fluid. The prostatic fluid is EXPELLED in the first ejaculate fractions together with most of the spermatozoa. Maintaining good health of the prostate for example by taking foods rich in lycopene mainly found in tomatoes lower the risk of developing prostate cancer.
The pygeum africanum is made from the bark of the African palm tree while the saw palmetto is made from ripe berries of the plant serenoa repens. They are both used for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia. Pygeum may reduce symptoms such as nighttime urination, urinary frequency and residual urine volume. But despite that the pygeum is also proposed for prostatitis, impotence and male infertility. This makes it better than saw palmetto. Saw palmetto has mineral selenium and vitamin E while pygeum africanum has zinc.
Papaya Enzymes and Food
December 05, 2012 03:42 PM
A healthy digestive system is a plus to everyone, and we would stop at nothing to feel at ease. The food we consume only works well with proper digestion. Anyone determined to get rid of heartburn, bloating and even constipation must think of the digestive system. Generally good digestion ensures toxic wastes are EXPELLED and you remain light and active. Healthy nutrition and digestion go hand in hand, therefore choose what you ingest well. Papaya has been proven to enhance digestive health and purify your intestines.
Reasons why papaya is good for digestion
It is enriched with powerful proteolytic enzymes
These are enzymes act as chemical reaction stimulant in the body. They help turn proteins into amino acids which in turn aid in digesting scar tissues on the dermis and epidermis. Papaya enzymes help destroy intestinal parasites The intestines are a key component of the digestive process, and when damaged digestion cannot be completed. Papaya helps kill parasites that invade the intense hence making the whole digestion procedure smooth. As such eating papaya guarantees that only friendly bacterium remains in the intestines.
Papaya is loaded with fiber
Fiber is essential for efficient digestion, whether soluble or insoluble its role in this process cannot be underestimated. First it keeps the digestive system healthy and helps in removing toxins from the body. Fiber in itself contains beneficial bacterial which softens waste products and bulky hence quick digestion. In addition the fiber in papaya prevents constipation; this makes it easy for stool to pass out hence preventing excess waste accumulation.
Papaya has vitamin C and Carotene's
These are also important components of these delicious succulent tropical fruit. Vitamin C and carotene are antioxidants; they help in the absorption of iron needed for digestion. Vitamin C maintains healthy gums and teeth necessary for digestion since the entire operation begins in the mouth. Carotene's on the other hand carotene's are easily absorbed by the intestines.
It's no doubt that papaya is not just tasty but has more to it. A cup of papaya juice or a few papaya enzymes pills a day will surely help keep your digestive system healthy. Therefore go for it and exude confidence all day long.
March 27, 2009 01:56 PM
Menopause is the time at which a woman stops ovulating and menstruation ceases, which indicates the end of fertility. Menopause is not a disease, but rather a natural progression in life, similar to puberty. Many years before a woman stops ovulating, her ovaries will begin to slow their production of the hormones estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. Estrogen and progesterone are often thought of as the reproductive hormones.
Although estrogen is essential in reproduction, it is also extremely important in other non-reproductive organs and systems in the body. Cells in the uterus, bladder, breasts, skin, bones, arteries, heart, liver, and brain all contain estrogen receptors. These organs need this hormone in order to stimulate these receptors for normal cell function. Estrogen is needed to keep the skin smooth and moist and the body’s internal thermostat working properly. Estrogen is also essential for proper bone formation. Even though estrogen levels drop sharply after menopause, they do not disappear entirely. Other organs take over for the ovaries, continuing to produce a less potent form of estrogen. These organs, known as endocrine glands, secrete some hormones from fatty tissue in order to maintain bodily functions.
Progesterone works along with estrogen, stimulating changes in the lining of the uterus to complete the preparation for a fertilized egg during the second half of the menstrual cycle. If no egg is fertilized, the uterine lining is broken down and EXPELLED, allowing the cycle to being again. Progesterone also has effects beyond the reproductive system, as it calms the brain and also affects other aspects of nervous system function. Testosterone is most important for both men and women, with women producing about 80 percent less than men do. However, it is the driving force for maintaining a healthy life and proper functioning organs.
The period when a woman’s body is preparing for menopause is known as perimenopause. For the majority of women, hormone production beings to slow down then they reach their thirties, continuing to diminish with age. Many women will experience few if any symptoms at this time, but others may suffer from anxiety, dry skin, fatigue, feelings of bloating, headaches, heart palpitations, hot flashes, insomnia, irritability, decreased interest in their significant other, loss of concentration, mood swings, night sweats, reduced stamina, urinary incontinence, uterine dryness and itching, weight gain, cold hands and feet, joint pain, hair loss, and/or skin changes.
Menopause occurs when a woman stops menstruating altogether. At this point, most of the acute problems a woman may have experienced are actually over and a new balance between all hormones should be established. However, women become increasingly vulnerable to other, potentially serious health problems at this time. Over the long term, the diminished supply of estrogen increased the likelihood of cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and uterine atrophy. Osteoporosis especially is a major problem for women after menopause, with an estimated 80 percent of the hip fractures that occur in the United States every year being due to osteoporosis.
A proper diet, nutritional supplements, and exercise can help to minimize or eliminate most of the unpleasant side effects of menopause. The following nutrients are recommended for dealing with this stage of life: beta-1, cerasomal, coenzyme Q10, DHEA, essential fatty acids, lecithin granules, a multi-enzyme complex, soy protein, vitamin B complex, vitamin D3, vitamin E, boron, calcium, magnesium, quercetin, silica, zinc, l-arginine, multiglandular complex, a multivitamin and mineral complex, vitamin C, aloe vera gel, slippery elm, damiana, amaranth, chickweed, dandelion greens, nettle, seaweed, watercress, anise, black cohosh, fennel, licorice, raspberry, sage, unicorn root, wild yam root, hops, valerian root, gotu kola, red clover, dong quai, St. John’s wort, and Siberian ginseng.
All these above listed vitamins and herbs are available in capsule, tablet, or powder forms. When looking for natural alternatives to help replace estrogen naturally, look to your local or internet health food store for name brand products that can help restore an imbalance over time.
Colon Cleanse And Enema
September 08, 2008 09:49 AM
While on a colon cleanse, it is extremely important to take a daily enema, a coffee or garlic enema is suggested, but inter-changing the two may be a good idea. When coffee enemas are taken, be sure to use 8 rounded tablespoons of regular grind coffee with 2 quarts of water. Be sure to boil thoroughly or perk first. A garlic enema can be made by emptying two capsules of garlic into two quarts of warm water and mixing well. The following steps should be followed when taking an enema. First, lie on your left side and let in ½ to 1 cup of enema water. Next, massage the lower left side of your abdomen, working especially hard on any lumps or ridged areas that you may feel, as these are deposits of fecal matter. After four to five minutes of massaging, let more water in. Then, continue to massage across the abdomen and down your right side, as this is where the greatest problems occur. Make sure to be especially thorough in massaging this area. Do not retain the liquid if you feel the need to eliminate. Instead, simply start over. Most people have EXPELLED brown or grey mucous, black fleck-like matter, parasites, and other surprising matter.
Slantboard exercises are extremely important in helping all pocketed lazy bowels and are a great help for colon problems, prolapsus, and gas. It also regenerates the vital nerve center of the brain. Most people are able to use a slantboard. However, those with high blood pressure or any other problem that would contra-indicate a slantboard exercise should not use this method. The mini trampoline is probably one of the best devices ever invented, as it can increase circulation, empty the lymph glands, exercise the heart, and increase energy. It is recommended that one jump every day while they are on a seven day cleanse.
Most individuals should stay on a colon cleanse for at least a full seven days and repeat this program twice a year. This is especially true for those who are interested in the prevention and maintenance of good health. People with chronic health problems should repeat the cleanse four times a year and also follow a building program in the meantime. Nutritionists often suggest a year round use of the bentonite, but many believe that the bentonite cleanse should be alternated with a building program that is individually designed to meet each person’s specific needs. This program should include a variety of herb formulas that will help to rebuild the colon and supplements that are specific for individual problems.
It is suggested that people cut down on processed foods such as white sugar and flour where ever possible. Also, use foods that have the least amount of chemical additives like artificial food colors and preservatives. Whenever possible, eat mainly foods that spoil because of not having added preservatives, such as fresh fruits and vegetables. Also, use a wide variety of vegetables, raw or cooked in way that keeps in the most of the nutrition. When one does eat frozen foods, the fluid released in thawing often does have nutritional value. Make sure to avoid a steady intake of junk foods like candy and soda drinks.
Therefore, substitute natural sweets with fruit juices when you can do so. Also, exercise regularly and take into consideration your age and general health. While taking a colon cleanse, it is usually a good idea to consume only liquids for the first two – three days to help elimination. Consult your doctor if on medications so that a colon cleanse does not conflict with your medications.
Fiber For Better Health
July 11, 2008 12:27 PM
We have been told that we must eat a certain amount of fiber with our meals because it is ‘good for us’. Most of us have been led to believe that this is because fiber promotes bowel motions and prevents us from suffering from constipation. It is also good for our digestive system. But how true is this, and just what are the real benefits of fiber in our diet?
First of what, what is fiber? Sure, we know there must be fiber in food such as cabbage, beans and celery because we can see it. But is all fiber actually fibrous? Of course not, so let’s first have a close look at what dietary fiber actually is.
Fiber is composed of these parts of a plant that are broken down by the action of enzymes in our digestive juices in the upper parts of our intestinal tract. Some fiber can be digested by the bacteria in our lower intestine, and some is not. So where does fiber come from? By that definition, fiber can be any part of your food, not only the stringy bits, and by definition are of vegetable origin.
Water insoluble fibers increase fecal bulk. That’s the stringy stuff in celery and string beans. It is also contained in cellulose materials, lignin, wheat bran, whole grains and most vegetables. These have the effect of increasing the efficiency of the peristaltic movement of the intestine on the passage of chyme (the creamy fluid that exits the stomach into the duodenum) through your system.
The liquid and nutrients are progressively removed, and the fiber maintains the bulk needed for peristalsis to work properly. Peristalsis is the rhythmic movement of the intestine that forces your food right from your stomach to your rectum. It is also the basis of some forms of industrial pump that operate on the same principle. Without fiber this pump would be inefficient.
Soluble fiber includes the gum and pectin that are obtained from plant cells. They swell up the chyme, and slow down its rate of travel through the gastrointestinal system, although they have no effect on fecal bulk. Specific examples are oat bran, fruit and most vegetables (all plants contain both). A peach, for example, consists of a skin which is insoluble fiber, and the juicy pulp beneath it which is predominantly soluble fiber.
Although a distinction is made between dietary and crude fiber, they both have their part to play. The term ‘fiber’ is a wide one and it cannot be said that fiber as a whole imparts a specific health benefit. The benefits of fiber are a combination of those imparted by the full range of types of fiber and their sources that are contained in the human diet, both crude and dietary, soluble and insoluble.
So what specifically are these benefits, other than just the generalization that they are ‘good for your intestinal health’? As you likely know, it is the fiber in your diet that binds your feces together into a solid, rather than leaving it as a mobile liquid. Although around 75% of feces are liquid, the bulk of the rest is fiber, bacteria and undigested food.
Since insoluble fiber makes feces bulkier and softer it can help treat constipation, where the stool has an excess of solid content. Any substance that absorbs water and swells can help with this condition. The same is true of hemorrhoids and a condition of the wall of the intestine known as diverticulosis. Once the inflammation has subsided, a high soluble fiber diet can help prevent a recurrence.
If you want to lose weight, a fiber diet can make you feel full without the calories, since fiber is calorie-free. There is also the fact that high fiber foods have to be chewed longer before they can be swallowed, and so you are liable to eat less in the same time. However, if you are determined, all that means is that you will have to lunch longer to get the same weight gain!
There is little doubt that a fiber-rich diet contributes significantly to intestinal health, and that if the correct amount of fiber is not taken then problems such as constipation, diarrhea, diverticulosis and a lack of absorption of nutrients will occur. The peristaltic pumping motion of the whole gastrointestinal tract, from the top of the throat to the anus, is dependent on solids rather than liquids. While a semi-liquid fecal consistency will pass through your body, it will take the bulk of the nutrition extracted from your food with it. It is fiber that is needed to bulk it up and to enable the liquid to be extracted through the intestinal wall and the fibrous solid to pass on through the colon to the anus.
There are other benefits of a diet high in fiber, though they generally depend on the type of fiber. Take cholesterol, for example. High LDL blood cholesterol levels are associated with atherosclerosis, and the consequent risk of heart disease and strokes, due to the oxidation of the LDL by free radicals. When the HDL lipids carry cholesterol back to the liver, it is destroyed by the action of bile acids. Since water soluble fiber binds bile acids, it figures that some types of fiber can promote the excretion of cholesterol from the body. The fiber most effective in achieving this comes from rolled oats and also pectin.
It has also been claimed that dietary fiber might be effective in preventing cancer of the colon. The theory is that bowel cancer is caused by toxins in the feces and if the fecal matter is EXPELLED from the body quickly, the toxins will have less time to act. Fiber promotes the expulsion of the contents of the colon. This has not been confirmed, however.
What has been confirmed is that your bowel can collect mucoid plaque that sticks to mainly your colon, and is an ideal environment for parasites and yeast infections. The National Fiber Council has stated that most people do not eat enough fiber, and the average requirement is 38g a day for men and 25g a day for women.
So eat your fiber, because fiber can boost your intestinal health and wellness.
July 08, 2008 03:00 PM
Garcinia cambogia is a small tree bearing a small pumpkin-like fruit of the citrus family, and is steadily appearing in an increasing number of weight loss supplements. It is indigenous to parts of Africa and Asia, and the rind is commonly used in Indian cookery.
Although the fruit is particularly sour to the taste, it is used in form of an extract of the rind and claimed to act as an appetite suppressant and also to increase the body’s capacity to metabolize fat. Although there are conflicting claims being made about its efficacy, or lack of it, research shows that it definitely has promise as an agent to prevent and fight obesity and its use is steadily increasing in this respect.
The active ingredient is hydroxy citric acid, otherwise known as HCA, contained in the form of the potassium and calcium salts of the acid in the aqueous extract of the garcinia cambogia rind. It forms up to 30% by weight of the rind. It is tasteless and odorless, and so far found to have no toxic effects on humans. Animal studies have also been generally favorable.
HCA works in two specific ways both to reduce the desire to eat and to inhibit the storage of fat in the body. In each case, as with so many supplements that have an inhibitory effect on a physiological or psychological function or on a metabolic process, it involves an interaction with enzymes.
Citrate lysase is an enzyme in the body that helps to prevent lipogenesis and instead promotes the conversion of carbohydrates into fat. When this enzyme is inhibited from carrying out its intended part in the body’s metabolism, the process of carbohydrate oxidation is boosted, or, in other words, the excess carbohydrate is burned off, or changed into energy.
More fats could also be EXPELLED unchanged from the body, but irrespective of that the end result is that less carbohydrate tends to be converted to fat. Garcinia cambogia, however, has not been found to reduce the body’s uptake of essential fatty acids which are necessary for health. Had this occurred, you would feel a raging hunger as opposed to the appetite suppressing properties the extract is claimed to have.
The oxidation of carbohydrates can also lead to thermogenesis, or the boosting of the metabolism by increasing your body temperature. An increase in the metabolic rate helps weight reduction through an increased calorie demand while your body is at rest. However, that is not the only way in which the HCA extract works to help reduce your weight, or at least help to maintain it at a healthy level. Let’s return to its specific appetite suppression properties.
Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine) is a neuroreceptor found in the central nervous system. It has many regulatory effects on the body, one of which is appetite. Although it is by no means the only chemical in the body that has an effect on the appetite, serotonin is a significant factor. As you get hungry, serotonin is released in the hypothalamus, an area of the brain that regulates sleep and eating. The release of serotonin increases when you see and or smell food. It is the agent that starts canine salivation, and a ravenous hunger in those that have no immediate access to food.
It also causes you to snack, and, as you eat, the serotonin level in the hypothalamus continues to increase until it reaches a point where it provides the hypothalamus with a feeling of repletion or satisfaction. You then stop eating. So the more serotonin is produced, the quicker you stop feeling hungry.
Garcinia cambogia extract has the effect of stimulating the emission of serotonin into the hypothalamus, and so suppresses your hunger quicker. You don’t stop eating altogether, but attain that feeling of satisfaction much quicker and so tend to eat less with each meal. This can not only help you maintain your weight at a healthy level, but also to reduce weight in the obese.
Although the extract can work through each of these mechanisms, it does not have such a significant effect on a very fatty diet. It can help if you switch to a relatively healthy diet, lower in fats, but the effect might not be strong enough to compensate for a poor diet in terms of fat content.
Studies have indicated an anti-oxidant activity that likely comes from the xanthones and xanthone derivatives that are also contained in the fruit. In fact there are other recorded uses of garcinia cambogia, and it has been used in traditional Indian medicine to treat fevers, dysentery, open wounds, ulcers and tumors.
According to a study carried out for the National Cancer Institute there is no documented toxicity effects on humans, and there is no regulation regarding the use of garcinia cambogia. It has not been evaluated by the FDA.
However, there are contra-indications in the case of pregnant and lactating women, more as a safety measure than for any particularly known risk. Alzheimer patients should avoid taking HCA since there is a possibility of it promoting the synthesis of acetylcholine in the brain, and its glycemic action renders it unsuitable for diabetics.
Conversely, this same action is a positive benefit by reducing the craving of healthy adults for sweet foods. However, HCA is frequently taken in combination with chromium due to the latter’s positive effect on the regulation of blood sugar levels. Nevertheless, diabetics should avoid any supplement containing chromium without professional medical advice.
The supplement should be standardized on the HCA content, and an average dose is around 500 mg – 1000 mg of 50% extract a day. However, this varies, and the most important aspect of such extracts is that when changing brands; be sure to compare the strength of the relative extracts and change your dosage accordingly.
Although the benefits of garcinia cambogia to those seeking to lose weight are debated, there is ample evidence to suggest that a regular intake of the extract is beneficial – and not only with respect to the maintenance of healthy weight.
The Benefits of Ascorbyl Palmitate A Fat-Soluble Form of Ascorbic Acid
February 09, 2008 10:43 AM
The benefits of ascorbyl palmitate are due to the substance being a fat-soluble form of ascorbic acid which is otherwise known as vitamin C. Before discussing why being fat-soluble should be of benefit, let us first have a look at what vitamin C does for us and what its limitations are.
Most people know vitamin C as the vitamin that prevents us from getting scurvy, and that limes and other citrus fruits were given to sailors to prevent them from contracting this often fatal disease on long journeys. However, important though the protection it provides against scurvy is, there are many more important uses for this important vitamin. In fact some of them are closely connected to the symptoms of scurvy.
Among these are pains and swelling in the joints, and the loosening of teeth and hair loss. Scurvy is also associated with easy bruising and bleeding. All of these can be associated with loss of collagen, which is contained in connective tissues, bone and blood vessels. Collagen repairs and maintains cartilage, heals wounds and is essential for proper skin formation and the structure of ligaments, tendons, blood vessels, bones, hair and teeth. When we consider that one of the most important properties of vitamin C is the part it plays in the production of collagen in the body, then its effectiveness in alleviating the symptoms of scurvy is not difficult to understand.
Vitamin C is also a strong antioxidant that destroys free radicals that kill and severely damage body cells, and cause a large variety of undesirable conditions such as atherosclerosis and cancers, and also debilitating and painful inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. Many free radicals are formed in the body as by-products of our metabolism: the generation of energy from fats and blood glucose. Others are ingested in the form of cigarette smoke and other toxins, while yet other free radicals are caused by the effect of sunlight on our skins. Natural antioxidants such as vitamins A, C and E help to keep these free radicals under control and minimize their effect.
Another interesting property of vitamin C is in the synthesis of carnetine, a deficiency of which is also thought to contribute to scurvy. Carnetine is needed by the body to transport fat to the cellular mitochondria so that it can be converted to energy. Vitamin C is also believed to take part in the biochemistry that converts cholesterol to bile acids and so helps to maintain a healthy level of cholesterol in the blood.
The vitamin is therefore a very useful one for the body, but it has one fault. It is water soluble, and hence cannot be stored in the body but is EXPELLED in the urine. Had it been fat soluble it could have been able to be stored in the body fats, in the same way that vitamins A and E are, and be available for use when required. Instead any excess that is not immediately used is lost, and a fresh intake of ascorbic acid necessary on a continuous basis.
Not only that, but it is only of use in areas of the body that the blood can reach. Fatty tissue is practically devoid of vitamin C, and many areas of the brain cannot be reached by substances that are insoluble in oils and fats. It also finds it difficult to penetrate the skin and the walls of body cells. This is where the benefits of ascorbyl palmitate are useful.
Ascorbyl palmitate is a fat-soluble form of vitamin C and possesses all of the attributes of ascorbic acid. It is more easily absorbed by the body and can be stored in the membranes of the cells until needed. It is also a powerful antioxidant, the same as vitamin C, and is frequently used to prevent the oxidation of vegetables oils, such as on potato chips and other oily snacks. It also takes part in the biochemistry of the production of collagen and connective tissues.
The usefulness of this substance comes from not only from its amphoteric nature, whereby it has one end that is water soluble and another that is fat soluble, but also by the fact that it is also amphipathic, meaning that it prefers neither one medium nor the other, and tends to collect at phase boundaries, between oil and water phases. It is particularly effective in topical uses on the skin, because it is easily absorbed into the skin tissue, and more stable than some of the other forms of vitamin C. It is also believed to protect other fat soluble antioxidants such as vitamin E from oxidation, and also to help to protect blood cell membranes from free radical attack.
Although vitamin C is a very powerful vitamin, carrying out a multitude of tasks, ascorbyl palmitate has some advantages over it apart from the solubility difference. Its antioxidant properties are stronger than those of regular ascorbic acid and in fact rival those even of vitamin E, which it also helps to regenerate after its reaction with free radicals, and help to maintain a continuous supply of this powerful antioxidant.
It is also a chemically neutral form of the vitamin, and unlike regular ascorbic acid, does not cause inflammation of the tissues it comes into contact with. It can also reduce sunburn due to excessive exposure to UVB when applied to the skin, and is a very stable form of the vitamin. Ascorbyl palmitate also acts as an anti-inflammatory with certain conditions, such as psoriasis where topical application helped to reduce the extent of the lesions. In fact it appears to do most of what vitamin C does, but faster and with smaller doses.
So why is ascorbyl palmitate not used as the main form of vitamin C in supplements? The answer is money. Ascorbyl palmitate is considerably more expensive than regular vitamin C, and also normal ascorbic acid has some properties that the fat-soluble form does not have, such as its ability to rapidly pass through the body in the bloodstream.
However, it would make sense to take a supplement consisting of both forms of vitamin C, and so combine the best properties of each. Any vitamin C supplement that is designed for maximum effect on the body should contain at least 25% of ascorbyl palmitate, the balance being ascorbic acid. That is what to look for if you are to receive the combined benefits of both water and fat soluble vitamin C.
Support A Healthy Digestive System With Discount Vitamins
November 21, 2007 10:31 AM
Discount vitamins can help to support a healthy digestive system, but to explain how they do you first need to know how the system of pipes, tubes and chemical plants that make up the digestive system basically works.
The digestive system is a system of tubes through which your food is passed during the various stages of digestion, and also organs that produce the chemicals needed to break down your food into the nutrients needed by the body. The digestive system begins with the mouth, where the teeth cut and grind the food, and mix it with saliva containing the enzyme amylase that begins the digestive process by converting starch into maltose and dextrin, which are later converted to glucose. Amylase cannot work in the acidity of the stomach, which is why you should chew starchy foods such as bread and potatoes before it is swallowed and passed down the esophagus to the stomach.
The stomach is a natural food processor, containing concentrated hydrochloric acid that breaks the food down into smaller molecules. Once the food has been mixed and processed it passes into the small intestine where the real digestion begins. The liver and pancreas manufacture digestive juices and pass them into the intestine as the food is EXPELLED from the stomach. These juices are mixed with the food, break it downs chemically into nutrients which are then absorbed through the walls of the intestine. The waste is passed into the colon, from which they are later EXPELLED.
While in the stomach, its glands produce not only the stomach acid but also enzymes that break up proteins into smaller compounds including amino acids. The liver produces a number of digestive juices, including bile that dissolves fats and renders them water soluble to be digested by enzymes from the pancreas. The liver also produces enzymes that further breaks down the food in smaller molecules.
The whole process is controlled by the digestive hormones that are generated by the stomach and small intestine, namely secretin, gastrin and CCK (cholecystokinin). These control the release of the various digestive juices and chemicals into the digestive system, and once the food has been broken down the nutrients are absorbed into the bloodstream and transported to the cells of the body where they are needed.
So, starting again from the top, how do discount vitamins and minerals help to support a healthy digestive system? First, we start with the teeth. It is essential for the proper use of food that it is shredded and ground properly before being passed to the body, and that the starches are broken down by the saliva enzyme amylase. The structure of your teeth is dependant on vitamin C and D, and the minerals calcium, phosphorus and magnesium. A deficiency in any of these would result in poor weak teeth, and your food would not be prepared properly for your stomach.
Vitamin B1 keeps your nerves in good working order, without which your appetite could not be regulated. Vitamin B3, or niacin, keeps the digestive tract in a healthy state and functioning properly. Vitamin B9, or folate (folic acid) carries out a similar task, and the B complex vitamins in general, then, keep the digestion process working smoothly and the peristaltic motion that moves the food along, also in good working order.
Manganese and chromium are essential minerals to the digestive system, without which enzyme activity would be limited and without chromium your appetite could not be controlled. Apart from that there is a lot that can go wrong with the digestive system and a good vitamin B complex or Vitamin B1 and B3 supplement, will help to maintain the proper functioning of the system. These vitamins will encourage proper control of the intestinal muscle function, and vitamins C and E will help deal with any inflammation in the bowel, or undue immune system activity. Acidophilus will also help to maintain a good population of healthy bacteria that are essential components of your digestive system. A probiotic supplement taken as instructed should achieve this.
A little considered function of the digestive system, perhaps because it actually takes place in the liver rather than the alimentary canal itself, is the disposal from the body of toxin absorbed by the small intestine. This is the chemical transformation of certain molecules into a form whereby they can be rendered water soluble and EXPELLED in the urine. Substances such as drugs, alcohol, paint fumes and so on are formed into other chemicals that might be even more toxic than the originals for a short time, and since oxidation is used in many of these reactions, free radicals might be formed that can harm the body.
This danger, which is indirectly caused by the digestion of these substances, can be relieved by maintaining a sufficient intake of antioxidants in the form of Vitamins A, C and E to neutralize them. Some liver disease is caused in this way by insufficient vitamin nutrition, and a good discount vitamin supplement can help to prevent it by destroying the free radicals as they are formed.
This detoxification process then proceeds to a phase where the biochemically converted molecules are rendered into the water soluble form so that they can dissolve in the blood and be extracted by the kidneys into the urine. For this, a good supply of the tripeptide glutathione, glycuronic acid and some amino acids is needed. A supplement of these should also help the detoxification process.
Other supplements that can help the digestive system are natural enzymes. These work whether taken on an empty stomach or with food. On an empty stomach, at least two hours after a meal, they will immediately go to work in your blood and improve its condition. Taken with a meal they will help digestion the fats and reduce food waste by improving absorption.
There are many ways in which you can help to maintain a healthy digestive system by the use of discount vitamins, although any problem with your digestive system should be referred to your physician since there are many serious conditions that need expert medical treatment. Vitamins, enzymes, probiotics and other supplements, however, can help to prevent many of these from occurring.
Is Wild Yam Natures Progesterone?
November 15, 2007 07:20 AM
Dioscorea villosa, commonly known as wild yam, is a tuberous vine native to North America and parts of Central America. It was used by the Mayan and Aztec civilizations for pain relief and birth control and has also been given the names colic root and rheumatism root, demonstrating this early use of the plant. However, whether it is nature’s progesterone or not is another question that requires close analysis.
These Central American civilizations, of course, did not understand the reason why they were effective. Some of the symptoms treated can be caused by the menopause, and the wild yam is believed to contain natural forms of progesterone that can alleviate some of the adverse effects of the menopause on the body. Like most plants, they also likely act as anti-inflammatories, so relieving the pain of rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory conditions.
Like any natural remedy, wild yam had its adherents and its detractors, though in recent years the plant has been used as the raw material for the production of cortisone and a form of progesterone: or at least so it is claimed, so let’s have a closer look at these claims and determine whether or not wild yam is indeed nature’s progesterone.
The human body uses organic compounds called hormones to regulate many of the chemical activities of the body. The hormones catalyze the chemical reactions and changes needed for the proper functioning of our bodies. Hormones are produced in small chemical factories dotted throughout our body called glands. Each gland is devoted to producing a specific hormone, or a range of them, and each hormone is designed for a specific purpose.
Each has an associated hormone ‘receptor’ at their targeted destination that fits the hormone like a jigsaw piece. When it turns up, the hormone attaches to the receptor and the reaction proceeds. That might be the initiation of energy production in cells, the activation of certain genes or even the stimulation of hair growth by the follicles or of the libido and the natural desire to procreate.
Hormones are manufactured from only three constituents: proteins, amino acids and cholesterol, and the steroidal sex hormones are created from cholesterol. Therefore, don’t reduce your cholesterol level too much!
Prior to puberty, all of the sex hormones are manufactured by the adrenal glands, and after puberty by the ovaries in women and the testes in men. Progesterone is produced initially, and is then used as the building block for all the other sex hormones (hence the prefix ‘pro’). In women these are the estrogens and in males the androgens. Progesterone is made from the start of the menstrual cycle, and after day 12 they have reached a high enough level to halt ovulation. Progesterone levels continue to rise for about 8 days, and then if fertilization has not occurred, the progesterone levels trigger menstruation, and the lining of the womb is detached and EXPELLED.
During certain phases of the menstrual cycle, the levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone drop off, although the exact reason for the many and varied symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) are still unknown to a large extend. There appear to be several contributing factors, though estrogen and progesterone certainly appear to be two of the major ones. We shall concentrate here on the progesterone factor because that is what wild yam is claimed to address.
Although the main function of progesterone is to generate estrogen and testosterone, to restore the libido after menstruation, and maintain the integrity of the lining of the uterus and aid in gestation, it has many other purposes such as in thermogenesis (burning of body fats), protection against osteoporosis and is also believed to have a natural anti-depressant action. These are all supported by the symptoms that appear when the body is low in progesterone levels: depression, sudden increase in body fat, mood swings, loss of sex drive and a susceptibility to weak bones if the deficiency is long-term.
In other words, women that usually suffer from PMS, also generally suffer low progesterone levels. It is believed in some quarters that a progesterone deficiency causes an excess of estrogen that leads to these symptoms in addition to heart disease. No one really knows for sure, but a deficiency of progesterone seems to be the determining factor.
Women with menstrual problems continue to be issued with prescribed synthetic progesterone even though they do not have the same effect as natural progesterone. They can also lead to some unpleasant side effects such as fluid retention, strokes, jaundice, blood clots and depression: some of the symptoms it is intended to alleviate. Some take borage or evening primrose oil for the GLA that helps some of the effects, but this is taken to counter the over-production of the hormone prolactin in some women prior to menstruation, not a deficiency of progesterone.
Wild yam does not cause these symptoms, and is claimed by many to be very effective in alleviating the symptoms of PMS. The problem with the artificial forms of progesterone is that the liver’s job is to destroy foreign hormones, and send them to the digestive tract for expulsion. Natural hormones are not affected in this way, even if they come from a non-human source.
The chemical diosgenin in wild yam is very similar in structure to progesterone, and is believed to be the active principle. It is claimed that it can be used to produce not only progesterone but also other related hormones. However, some medical authorities and practitioners dispute this claim, and there is still a question as to how wild yam works. Because it does work, many people swear by it and claim that they could not live without it.
This is especially true of those that suffer from the more severe effects of PMS, and since wild yam does not work for everybody, it could be connected with the severity of the condition and the symptoms. Whichever is true, there appears to be little doubt in the eyes of those that use it as a cream that wild yam is indeed nature’s progesterone.
Milk Thistle May Help With Cirrhosis, Gallstones, and Hepatitis Liver Problems
November 14, 2007 12:34 PM
Milk thistle, botanically Silybum Adans, is a member of the daisy family that is native to the Mediterranean, the Middle East and North Africa but has also been introduced to California and parts of the eastern side of the USA, and can help with problems such as cirrhosis, gallstones and hepatitis. Although it has been recorded as being used in medieval times as a tonic for the liver, it is only relatively recently that its chemical components have been investigated. Analysis indicated the presence of hitherto unknown flavonoids which were given the name of silymarin. In general, flavonoids are strong antioxidants found in many fruits and vegetables that eat up the free radicals that cause so much damage to our bodies.
Free radicals are very unstable molecules that are generated through pollution, such as smoking, car fumes, perticides etc, and that destroy body cells accelerating aging. They also oxidise the low density lipids (LDL) that carry water-insoluble cholesterol through the blood to the arteries where it is needed to repair damage, resulting in excess deposition and the atherosclerosis that can cause strokes and heart disease.
Antioxidants mop these up like a sponge, and are some of the healthiest types of molecules that we can consume. The silymarin group of flavonoids are particularly attracted to the liver where they act as antihepatoxic agents that prevent the liver from becoming poisoned. But why should the liver be poisoned I can hear you ask, and what are the poisons involved? Can we avoid them? It is a very relevant question, and one that will make you wonder, every time you leave your home, especially if you live in a big city or an industrialized area.
Smoking cigarettes, working with volatile organic compounds that you can breathe in, such as paint and printing ink solvents, the exhaust fumes of cars and diesel engines, factory chimneys belching out tons of smoke, analgesics such as paracetamol, pesticides on your fruit and vegetables that you have failed to wash off, alcohol, etc, etc, etc…
All of these have to be removed from your body or you will die, awash with all these poisons that you have ingested, some deliberately and some not. The organ that does this is your liver: the powerhouse chemical plant of your body that carries out millions of biochemical reactions every day. Your liver converts all of these poisons into molecules that can be flushed away through your body naturally. However it places great stresses upon it, and even your liver needs a rest sometimes, or even just a little rejuvenating tonic would keep it happy.
Milk thistle has been used for just that purpose, especially when the liver has been toxified with excess alcohol, pesticide poisoning or even hepatitis. The silymarin initially coats the cells of the liver by binding to the cell membranes of the cell walls, so that the toxins are hindered from entering the cells. Its antioxidant properties then neutralise any free radicals present that are causing the damage to the liver cells.
It also helps to stimulate the production of proteins to help the healing process, and reduces the fibrosis that is the development of fibrous masses outside the liver cells caused by damaged cells excreting materials such as collagens outside the cells into the general body of the liver. Finally, milk thistle helps to prevent the activity of the immune system in causing inflammation of the damaged cells.
Silymarin acts very specifically on the liver, and is often used by physicians in the treatment of such liver conditions as jaundice, hepatitis, liver cancer and cirrhosis. In addition to its own effects it appears that it stimulates the production of glutathione that is also a very powerful natural tripeptide antioxidant produced by the body when it is under oxidative stress. Its effect on cancer and some diseases is not curative, but to allow the liver to continue to detoxify the body when otherwise it might fail and lead to toxicity problems from which the patient might not be able to recover.
Due to the remarkable regenerative powers of the liver, milk thistle is able to stimulate it into repairing its damage and grow fresh cells to replace the damaged ones. This is the reason for its effectiveness in otherwise very serious degenerative diseases. It is often prescribed by doctors for patients who are taking a number of different medications. Which help the liver to metabolize these medications, since without it, it might struggle to provide the true efficacy of the prescribed drugs.
So far we have been concentrating on the liver, but milk thistle has other properties not connected directly with the hepatic function. It can help to promote the production of bile in the gall bladder and so give the digestive system a boost when needed, where it also acts as a mild laxative. However, it can also help patients suffering from both lose stools and constipation due its effect. It can also help to relieve gallstones, though medical tests are generally carried out first to ensure that they are not too large for the milk thistle to handle.
It is also an anti-inflammatory, and is useful in the treatment of acne and other inflammatory responses, and also for inflammations in the gall bladder, kidney and bladder. There are few serious side effects, although, as milk thistle rids the body of toxins, these toxins can cause problems such as diarrhea, headaches and abdominal pain. Keep in mind that you are releasing poisons from the liver into your system so that they can be EXPELLED by the usual means, and they will put up a fight along the way. However, the milk thistle will usually win in the end.
There currently appear to be no long term issues with taking milk thistle as a supplement over a long period, and it is good way to maintain a healthy liver. Keep in mind that the liver is the body’s chemical plant, where most of the biochemical reactions of life take place, and without we cannot survive. It makes sense, therefore, to look after your liver, and milk thistle is one way of doing that; some would say the best way.
So remember that, although milk thistle may help with cirrhosis, gallstones and hepatitis liver problems, you should be prepared for a short struggle before it wins the day. Always consult your family physician for a clear diagnosis before self prescribing herbs as treatment. Your physician can advise you as the correct course of action to take once diagnosed with a liver blood test first. But, to boost overall health and wellness milk thistle is a great herbal supplement to take on a daily basis.
Pumpkin Seed Oil is good for your health
October 14, 2007 05:34 PM
Pumpkin seed oil, as the name suggests, is obtained from pumpkin seeds, which can also be eaten roasted in the same way that people eat sunflower seeds. When roasted, they are coated in a sauce such as Worcester sauce and then heated in low oven for a long period of time. The secret of roasting them to maintain their nutritional value is to keep the temperature low and the cooking time high.
The seeds are regarded as a ‘superfood’ that is rich in vitamins A and E, the essential fatty acids known as Omega 3 and Omega 6, zinc, iron, magnesium and potassium. The seed is known as a pepita in North and South America.
The oil is reddish green and many people find it delicious. It is best when used raw, and can be drunk in the form of smoothies or shakes, or used as a salad dressing. Some also enjoy drinking it raw, and using it as a spread instead of butter or margarine. The benefits it provides to the human body are a healthy brain function, increased energy and it has a special use in maintaining a healthy prostate gland.
The vitamin E content is high, especially gamma-tocopherol, and it has a high antioxidant effect with consequent anti-inflammatory properties. Its effect on arthritis, and inflammatory disease, has been investigated and the inclusion of pumpkin seeds in the diet has been found to reduce the inflammatory symptoms of the condition with a consequent reduction in pain. In fact, in a comparison test with indomethacin, a common arthritis treatment, pumpkin seeds compared very well and in fact had a more positive effect on the damage to the fats in the joint linings than did indomethacin, which tends to increase the concentration of lipid peroxides rather than reduce them.
Its effect on the prostate gland is partially due to its high zinc content that is present in a higher concentration in the prostate than in any other gland in the body, and also to its effect on the hormones that cause the gland to grow and swell to the extent that it constricts or completely blocks the urethra, the tube connecting the bladder to the outside of the body. This is caused by an enzyme that converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT causes the over-proliferation of the prostate cells.
The reason for the effect of pumpkin seed oil on DHT is still under discussion, but some believe that it is connected with the zinc content and others with the high level of delta-7-sterine in the seed. The sterine appears to neutralize the effect of the DHt on the growth of prostate cells.
In addition to prostate enlargement, Osteoporosis is another problem associated with aging in men. It has been estimated that men over 50 have a 12.5% chance of suffering a fracture due to brittle bones, and it is though that this is connected with a deficiency of zinc. In fact a clear correlation has been established between osteoporosis in older men and low levels of zinc and the diet and in the blood. Pumpkins seeds, as already mentioned, are rich in zinc, and the benefits of their use as a supplement to avoid an enlarged prostate is reinforced by their effect in protecting against osteoporosis.
Pumpkin seeds contain a high concentration of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. These are specifically useful in protecting the cardiovascular system and prevent atherosclerosis. They also contain plant sterols known as phytosterols that are believed to help reduce the blood concentration of cholesterol. This types of sterols are the basis of the ‘cholesterol busting’ drinks that are sold in supermarkets. They also help to strengthen the immune system and are believe to help reduce the risk of contracting some types of cancer.
Pumpkin seed oil is a rich source of alpha-linolenic acid, an important unsaturated fatty acid that some studies have indicated can be used to prevent metastaes (the spread of the disease) development in patients with breast cancer. The most prized type of oil is that from Syrian oil, from the province of Steiermark in Austria. Such pumpkins are also grown in parts of North America, and the best oil is said to come from the first pressing, the so-called ‘virgin’ oil. If used in cooking, the temperature must be kept low, since many of the nutrients are destroyed much over 100 Celsius.
A little known use for pumpkin seed oil is in eradicating intestinal parasites. Many people are embarrassed at requesting professional help for worms, and pumpkin seeds are the ideal home remedy. The act almost immediately, and two or three hours after taking them, or the oil, then you should take a laxative. You should the parasites being removed with the bowel motions.
The worms are not actually killed, but are paralyzed, and cannot prevent themselves being removed with the bowel movement. If a laxative is not taken, however, they will recover and there will be no effect. As with any remedy for a health condition, therefore, it is necessary to understand how the seeds or oil work to help to remove the horrible parasites from your body. They are very common, and any self-help or natural remedy that actually works will undoubtedly be very popular, but if it is not understood that these creatures must be EXPELLED from your body while paralyzed, then pumpkin seeds or oil will not work.
Those that failed to understand the process would then complain that the treatment does not work. In fact, it does work, and if the worms are EXPELLED when they are unable to remain in your intestines then they will be removed. You must “read the instructions on the bottle” for the contents to work.
Pumpkin seed oil is a very potent mixture of chemicals that can cure or control a large number of conditions, and it is essential that you understand why you are using them. They can be used as a supplement to your diet, though it is easy to wonder why you should take this antioxidant rather than another.
Find out what pumpkin seed oil can do for you, and if it applies to you then use it. There are stronger antioxidants, and better foods to take in an attempt to protect from certain conditions. However, there are certain circumstances when pumpkin seeds will do the job better than most other supplements, and if you can fit them into your regular diet then they will not only do you ‘no harm’, as they say, but will do you a great deal of good. Look for organic pumpkin seeds or pumpkin seed oil at your local health food store.
Clearing the Air
June 13, 2005 10:34 AM
Clearing the Air by Robert Gluck Energy Times, August 1, 1999
One crisp winter morning in Vermont, Alan hoisted his skis over his shoulder and tracked through the dazzling snowpack to the lift about a quarter-mile away. He had trekked this gently uphill route many times and valued it as an invigorating warmup for a day on the ski trails. The path seemed to grow steeper, however, and the winter sun more blazing as Alan struggled for breath, sweat dampening his woolen cap. Weak and wheezing, he paused for what seemed like an eternity and finally turned back, plodding arduously through the ice.
Fit and athletic, the 42-year-old Alan heard the alarming news from his health care practitioner: asthma. The therapy: inhaled steroids.
The incidence of asthma-a chronic condition characterized by narrowing of the bronchial tubes, swelling of the bronchial tube lining and mucus secretion that can block the airway, making breathing difficult-has ballooned to alarming rates.
In the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control, the number of people reported to suffer from asthma increased from 10.4 million in 1990 to 15 million in 1995. In 1998, the epidemic cost about $11.3 billion.
Worldwide, experts estimate that the prevalence of asthma increased approximately 50% over the last 10 to 15 years. Nations with the highest rates are the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia; lowest are Indonesia, Albania, Romania and Georgia.
Deaths from asthma have doubled in the last decade and, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, asthma is the seventh most common chronic health condition in the United States. Children constitute the most disturbingly burgeoning segment of the asthma explosion, its sufferers numbering five to six million. The rate of asthma among children five to 14 years old increased 74% between 1980 and 1994; the rate for preschool kids skyrocketed 160%. Asthma is the number one chronic childhood illness and the third leading cause of hospitalization for children under age 15. More than 5000 Americans die from asthma annually; the fatality rate among children five to 14 years old more than doubled from 1979 to 1995, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation.
Waging War on the Wheeze
Asthma is indeed chronic, but it can be prevented and controlled and its effects reversed. Mainstream MDs command an arsenal of pharmaceuticals, some of which are essential for severe or urgent conditions. Consult your health care practitioner about any breathing difficulties.
Because of its complexity, however, asthma requires a balanced therapeutic approach: careful attention to diet, exercise and stress reduction while taking supplemental nutrients and botanicals can help ease asthma's discomforts. Antioxidant nutrients like vitamins C and E, fruits and vegetables rich in phytochemicals plus herbs like echinacea and garlic, all possess the potential for helping the body fight asthma.
Induced by an array of inherent physiological vulnerabilities, some of which may not manifest until adulthood, as well as environmental factors, asthma benefits from extra sleuthing into its causes and planning for relief.
Triggers and Therapies
Asthma is derived from the Greek word meaning panting or breathing hard, which pretty much sums up the malady: Wheezing and shortness of breath typify the attack.
In bronchial asthma, the commonest variety, the passages that carry air from the throat to the lungs narrow as a result of muscle contraction, local inflammation or production of excess mucus. Breathing becomes difficult and wheezy as air is EXPELLED.
"Asthma symptoms are triggered by various factors such as allergens, irritants, infections, pollutants, medications, and emotions," says Anthony Rooklin, author of Living with Asthma: A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding and Controlling Asthma While Enjoying Your Life (Penguin). "Triggers are substances or situations that would be quite harmless to people with ordinary airways, but that bring on asthma symptoms in susceptible individuals."
According to Ellen W. Cutler, nutritionist, enzyme therapist, chiropractor and author of Winning the War Against Asthma & Allergies: A Drug-Free Cure For Asthma and Allergy Sufferers" (Delmar), asthma is an allergic disease that is always triggered by allergens. "These allergens include not only foods, pollens and environmental factors such as perfume, animal dander and chemicals but also bacteria, climactic conditions and emotions," says Cutler.
"When these allergies are active from birth, asthma can be diagnosed early in life, even in infancy," she adds.
Cutler believes every individual with asthma should be able to lead a normal, drug-free life.
"Most asthmatics have been told that asthma is a chronic problem they will have to contend with for the rest of their lives. Asthma can be cured, not miraculously and instantaneously, but inevitably and permanently, once the allergies that cause it have been eliminated," she adds.
Dilating on Nutrients
Although it is vitally important for folks with asthma to develop a treatment plan with a trusted health care provider, that plan, according to experts, may lend itself to a rich variety of complementary options, especially nutrients, phytochemicals, minerals and enzymes.
According to Ruth Winter, author of A Consumer's Guide to Medicines in Food: Nutraceuticals That Help Prevent and Treat Physical and Emotional Illnesses (Crown), researchers in Nottingham, England, linked magnesium and lung function.
"Magnesium is involved in a wide range of biological activities, including some that may protect against the development of asthma and chronic airflow obstruction," Winter says. "Dr. John Britton and his colleagues at Nottingham University measured the magnesium in the diets of 2,633 adults aged 18 to 70 and they found that low magnesium was associated with reduced lung function and wheezing" (The Lancet 344, 1994: 357-62).
Magnesium actually boasts a long history as a bronchial relaxant, first demonstrated in 1912 on cows. Its potential was eclipsed, however, by pharmaceutical antihistamines and bronchodilators until its recent rediscovery.
Defending the Lungs
Antioxidants, with their ability to bolster the lungs' defense mechanisms by battling oxidizing free radicals that constrict bronchial tissue, wield tremendous force in the anti-asthma offensive. Michael T. Murray, ND, and Joseph E. Pizzorno, ND, in their Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine (Prima), connect the steady decrease in dietary intake of antioxidants to the burgeoning incidence of asthma.
Among the top asthma-busting antioxidants:
Vitamin C. Murray and Pizzorno note that C is the major antioxidant present in the lining of the airway and cite generous evidence that when vitamin C is low, asthma incidence is high (Annals Allergy 73, 1994: 89-96). Vitamin C, taken over time, effectively suppresses histamine secretion by white blood cells.
Flavonoids. Also credited with reducing histamine production, flavonoids, notably quercetin and the extracts from grape seed, pine bark and ginkgo biloba, are key asthma-fighting antioxidants (J Allergy Clin Immunol 73, 1984; 769-74).
Carotenes. They limit production of allergy-related compounds (called leukotrienes) and bolster the lining of the respiratory tract (Biochem Biophys Acta 575, 1979: 439-45).
Vitamin E and selenium. Both reduce secretion of leukotrienes (Clinical Exp Allergy 26, 1996: 838-47).
Vitamin B12. Murray and Pizzorno cite the work of Jonathan Wright, MD, whose clinical trials with supplemental vitamin B12 proved strongly effective, especially for children with asthma.
A Bundle of Botanicals
Herbal remedies for asthma date back more than 5000 years to the Chinese emperor Shen-nung. The ancient Egyptians treated respiratory ailments with herbs as well; the Greeks favored mint, garlic, cloves and myrrh for pulmonary problems.
Today, the power of plants has been validated by clinical research and standardized for predictability. (Always consult a health care practitioner when seeking complementary therapies, and read the package labels carefully for dosages and cautions.)
In their book, Asthma: An Alternative Approach (Keats), Ron Roberts and Judy Sammut provide a concise guide to asthma-easing botanicals: Garlic: acts as antiviral, antibacterial and antihistamine; enhances immune response; contains the antioxidant selenium. Garlic also is an expectorant.
Echinacea: a traditional treatment for immune disorders and infections of the upper respiratory tract, known to shorten the duration of colds, coughs and flus.
Ginkgo biloba: inhibits the chemical responses that induce asthma discomfort (Br J Clin Pharmacol 29, 1990: 85-91).
Ginseng: stimulates immunity and the production of steroid-like hormones; helps chronic coughs.
Licorice: an expectorant, anti-inflammatory and anti-allergenic that also inhibits leukotriene production (Acta Med Okayama 37, 1983: 385-91).
Tylophora asthmatica: an Ayurvedic treatment that many respected experts believe can act both as an antihistamine and antispasmodic (Planta Med 57, 1991: 409-13).