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Ginger found to be effective against many different types of cancer Darrell Miller 2/14/19
Anxious Pets? Hereâ??s How Hemp Can Help Darrell Miller 7/26/18
Cannabis compounds found to be SUPERIOR to migraine drugs Darrell Miller 7/16/17
Egg White Nutrition Benefits the Skin, Heart, Muscles & More Darrell Miller 6/26/17
If You No Energy It May Be Because Of Poor Absorption Darrell Miller 11/6/15
What Health Benefits Juniper Berry Oil Posses Darrell Miller 2/19/14
Why Zinc is Important for the Body Darrell Miller 12/21/13
Serrapeptidase: Natural NSAID Darrell Miller 3/27/12
8 Major Benefits of Nattokinase Darrell Miller 2/18/12
How Does Holy Basil Extract Help With Pain Darrell Miller 6/6/11
Glutathion, Antioxidants, And The Body Darrell Miller 7/14/10
Hyaluronic Acid can help Restore Joint Function Darrell Miller 12/1/08
Green Coffee Bean Extract Darrell Miller 10/22/08
WHAT IS A FREE RADICAL? Darrell Miller 7/13/05
Say Goodbye to Headaches Darrell Miller 6/13/05
Menopause: Disease or Condition? Darrell Miller 6/13/05
Botanical Arsenal - Plants can help our bodies fight off cancer's deadly ... Darrell Miller 6/13/05
Don't Be Blue - Does winter got you singing the blues? Darrell Miller 6/13/05
Maximum Absorption Darrell Miller 6/10/05



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Ginger found to be effective against many different types of cancer
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Date: February 14, 2019 09:49 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (support@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Ginger found to be effective against many different types of cancer





Cancer, that one disease none of us will ever be able to escape. Outside of doing specifically bad things for your body such as smoking, there isn’t much said about helping prevent cancer of any type. This article attempts to assist in helping you make informed decisions. It focuses on ingesting ginger as a natural treatment that could halt the spreading of cells but also focuses on other healing attributes such as pain relief and protection for your liver.

Key Takeaways:

  • The wide range of health benefits of ginger include treating nausea and alleviating pain, as well as preventing different types of cancer.
  • As a natural treatment for cancer, numerous studies have found that ginger could prevent the spread of tumor cells to other parts of the body.
  • One of the known ways through which ginger prevent cancer is by the ability to trigger mechanisms that cause the pro-aptosis gene in cancer cells to start working.

"Like its close relative turmeric, ginger is also a very powerful superfood."

Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-02-11-ginger-found-to-be-effective-against-many-different-types-of-cancer.html

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Anxious Pets? Hereâ??s How Hemp Can Help
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Date: July 26, 2018 05:53 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (support@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Anxious Pets? Hereâ??s How Hemp Can Help





Anxious Pets? Here’s How Hemp Can Help

Separation anxiety is a real concern for pets and their owners. When dogs, for example, are left alone and unhappy they can act out in a number of negative ways, which can include urinating and defecating, chewing and scratching and trying to escape. While behavior modification can at times ease the symptoms, owners are looking into a way to alleviate the sense of anxiety their pets fel with CBD oil, which is a compound available through the hemp plant. The oil affects the neurotransmitters in the brain, also boosting the feel-good hormone serotonin. In this way the dog's anxiety may be alleviated. And, it may be a good choice, as study has shown 75% of pet-owners using CBD felt that it was an effective choice for their pet. Because hemp-based products are low in THC, the psychoactive compound found in marijuana, they are a better and usually legal choice. Regardless, it is always wise to seek out a veterinarian's advice.

Key Takeaways:

  • Some pets when forced to do without their primary caregivers go through a condition called separation anxiety.
  • This can manifest in numerous negative ways, such as soiling and scratching and chewing and exit-seeking.
  • Data suggests that nearly half of the pet-owners that have tried CBD oil to help with this condition feel that it has had a positive effect.

"CBD is a compound found in both marijuana and its close cousin hemp. Unlike THC, which is responsible for marijuana’s psychoactive effect, CBD is not mind-altering or toxic."

Read more: https://www.thealternativedaily.com/hemp-can-help-anxious-pets/

(https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=5680)


Cannabis compounds found to be SUPERIOR to migraine drugs
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Date: July 16, 2017 04:14 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (support@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Cannabis compounds found to be SUPERIOR to migraine drugs





Migraines are a terrible affliction for many people around the world. Usually, people go for the Tylenol, Advil, or a similar drug to escape their horrible pain. Recently, studies have confirmed that migraines could be better managed by the cannabis compound. There was a test done with 79 people that regularly suffer from migraines or cluster headaches. It found that many more were receptive to the cannabis compound than typical drugs for their headaches. Marijuana treatment led to fewer and less frequent migraines.

Key Takeaways:

  • Studies show that medications made from cannabinoids reduce amount and intensity of migraines and cluster headache better than traditional treatment options.
  • The traditional treatment option of antidepressant medications has often undesired side-effects that the cannabis-derived treatment avoids.
  • Migraines are among the most common and debilitating diseases, so increased treatment research could help countless across the globe.

"Past research has shown that cannabis can help migraines thanks to its ability to target the cells in the body that are responsible for controlling inflammation and relieving pain."

Read more: http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-07-05-cannabis-compounds-found-to-be-superior-to-migraine-drugs.html

(https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=4985)


Egg White Nutrition Benefits the Skin, Heart, Muscles & More
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Date: June 26, 2017 09:14 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (support@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Egg White Nutrition Benefits the Skin, Heart, Muscles & More





Eggs are all-natural and provide one of the highest quality proteins of any food available. Eggs are super health foods and they have been a breakfast staple from the unknown period of time throughout the world. eggs contain all the daily vitamins and minerals that are needed to produce energy in all the cells of the body. The egg whites are good to have as healthy low diet as compared to the yolk portion. Egg white protein is classified as high quality and valuable protein.

Key Takeaways:

  • The nutritious qualities in egg whites can be applied in many ways, from cooking and baking to beauty and skin care.
  • Egg whites are a filling food that help reduce appetite that could lead to obesity, build muscle, and support electrolyte levels.
  • As eggs age, carbon dioxide escapes the white and it becomes more transparent, so the cloudier the white, the fresher the egg.

"Egg whites are very low in calories, have pretty much zero cholesterol, are high in protein and provide amino acids that our bodies cannot produce, making them a great choice for most anyone."

Read more: https://draxe.com/egg-white-nutrition/

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If You No Energy It May Be Because Of Poor Absorption
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Date: November 06, 2015 11:14 PM
Author: Darrell Miller
Subject: If You No Energy It May Be Because Of Poor Absorption

The human body is a miracle designed differently. At conception, our cells are encoded with a genetic blueprint and if kept clean with all nutrients provided, the cells will perform perfectly. Current research shows that our bodies are engineered for up to 120 years but our lifespan nowadays wind up to 60's to 70's only. This is a result of poor maintenance of the body. When one starts to get older, the more damage accumulates in the cells and speeds the aging process. But we can never Escape aging.

Aging is controlled by two factors which are heredity and the internal and external elements that results to our way of living. These external and internal factors can be the kind of food we eat, quality of air we breathe and also the amount of stress that accumulate in our bodies. Consumption of excess alcohol, smoking, oxidized fats and chemicals in food speeds the aging process.

Oil is one of the causes of absorption issues in the colon. Example, cooking meat creates a substance called hetero cyclic amines which cause colon cancer. Poor elimination and toxic buildup are said to be a result of premature aging. Poor digestion and absorption drives the aging bodies to nutrients they need. The solution to slow down aging is to eat food that are nutrients-dense and low-calories.

The absorption of food by the colon is determined with what we eat. The best diet for the colon is a natural diet which is easily digested by our bodies. The more you take man-made ingredients, the more you make it difficult for food to digest. This means when the food will be passed to the colon from the small intestine what will remain to the colon will not be digested hence making it difficult for the colon.

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous Earth suggests that the best diet for a healthy colon in the absorption of food is fiber and water. Fiber means adding more plant based food on the diet. These include eating more vegetables, whole grains, fruits and nuts. Fiber helps retain water and roughage in the body making your stool softer for easy passage to the colon. Another way is that you can conduct a colon cleanse. This removes old fecal matter and helps the colon to function more. Diatomaceous Earth is good for lowering blood pressure, cholesterol, and good for the skin hair and bones. When taking diatomaceous earth make sure you take a lot of water because it dries you off. Drinking water not only provides moisture to your body but also helps to remove out toxins. Avoid drinking drinks with sugar especially those that got high fructose corn syrup. The colon is the most important part of the waste treatment. The more we take care of our bodies the more energy we will have. To restore our health we need good diet and a good colon that will help our bodies function.


References

//www.katestrong.com

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What Health Benefits Juniper Berry Oil Posses
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Date: February 19, 2014 03:18 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: What Health Benefits Juniper Berry Oil Posses

What is juniper berry

juniper berryWith regards to Super foods, berries are right on top of the agenda on the grounds that they are packed with gainful cell reinforcements. One such berry that can help you a great arrangement is the juniper berry oil and through the years, experimental exploration has indicated what a wonder it is.

Organically talking, the juniper berry isn't a real tree grown foods yet the juniper's seed cone. It's viewed as a berry as a result of its scales. The juniper is an evergreen tree and there are obviously 6 types of this tree whose berries are palatable and utilized for a ton of useful purposes.

Juniper berries oil are widely utilized within European cooking, particularly meat based arrangements as it gives one of a kind quality. Gin significant others likewise may be amazed to discover that juniper berries are the essential element in gin. However the juniper berry is eminent for its notoriety as a home grown answer for an unimaginably long rundown of conditions and afflictions.

How it makes a difference

The juniper is truth be told a helpful tree as a large portion of its parts are utilized for a medicinal readiness or the other. In this way, the berries, leaves, bark and even oil determined from the berries and wood are utilized within different ways.

Benefits of juniper berry

Basically a severe berry, the juniper berry holds various unpredictable oils or key oils, strand, vitamin C, flavoring and entire parcel of dynamic fixings that makes it the achievement healer that it is. Note that juniper berries might be taken as teas and the squashed berries could be connected on the skin also for an assortment of sicknesses.

Here is a glance at a portion of the employments of the juniper berry and how it can help us lead healthier lives:

Juniper is recognized to be a herb with the most astounding consequences for kidneys. It is additionally used to cure different urinary tract contaminations and it can uproot uric harsh corrosive from the figure. Juniper makes the kidneys work rapidly and the form transforms more pee, making it a great diuretic additionally.

People confronting water maintenance issues can feel a great deal of alleviation with the juniper berry and its oil due to its diuretic lands.

Oil from the juniper berry has a disinfectant impact and it comes as an extraordinary easing to individuals experiencing urethritis and cystitis.

Suffering from digestive issues? The Berry may very well be your reply as it can help diminish tooting and colic and help processing. It additionally moves issues, for example, bloating, belching and acid reflux. As a digestive help, it is remarkable as it expands the longing, soothes gas and expansions the generation of gastric harsh corrosive.

Juniper berry oil additionally has calming qualities and it is of superb assistance to those experiencing joint inflammation, gout and different conditions, for example, ailment. These joint related ailments happen due to the liquid maintenance around these joints and the juniper berry with its diuretic activity assuages this weight extensively.

Skin afflictions, for example, dandruff, skin inflammation and contender's foot can additionally be treated with topical provision of the juniper berry.

Juniper helps in invigorating the muscle tone and discernibly decreasing the impacts of ageing for generally individuals.

Menstrual spasms are frequently a significant number of the most troublesome parts of a lady's life; however these can additionally be lessened fundamentally with the assistance of the juniper berry. Numerous cultivators even utilize the juniper to enhance the uterus tone and to help the individuals who have moderate or late beginning periods.

Concentrated oils of the juniper are utilized topically for lung clogging and hack while it is additionally pivotal in helping those experiencing respiratory contaminations. The unpredictable oils help in clearing up bronchial entries and disposing of bodily fluid.

It has a high convergence of insulin and aides in mending the pancreas.

Essential oils extricated from juniper berries can help in soothing toothache and making gums stronger. It can additionally be utilized to oversee hair fall.

Finally, the juniper berry is utilized by numerous to thin down and since it even scrubs the poisons from the form, it is an extraordinary general purifier also.

Safety measures

Juniper does have some noteworthy symptoms and its vital that you're attentive to them before you begin utilizing them as any type of medicine.

Avoid the juniper berry oil in the event that you have extreme kidney issues as it can disturb the issue and cause further harm.

If you utilize more than the endorsed sum, chances are that you could experience the ill effects of loose bowels, kidney torment, high circulatory strain, quick pulse and purplish pee.

When taken inside, it can affect the assimilation of iron and different minerals.

Open wounds are best not treated with juniper on the grounds that it can cause inconvenience and swelling.

Juniper causes uterine fits and could prompt brought down ripeness, so ladies who are endeavoring to get pregnant must Escape juniper.

Pregnant ladies ought not to utilize juniper as it can cause uterine compressions and reason a premature birth.

Diabetics must be cautious while utilizing juniper as it can raise the levels of glucose in the form.

Juniper when taken in prudent sums and with individuals, who don't have the shown issues as said above, could be a blessing as it furnishes them with a considerable measure of help.

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Why Zinc is Important for the Body
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Date: December 21, 2013 01:39 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Why Zinc is Important for the Body

antioxidantZinc

Zinc is an important trace mineral found in our bodies. Its importance cannot be underestimated for its lack would cause vital body functions to come to a stop.The amount of zinc found in our bodies is about 3 to 4 grams. Zinc is also known to help people Escape dangerous diseases like acne, Alzheimer's and many others. Below is a brief account of the various vital functions of zinc:

It Stimulates Enzymes in the Body

Zinc enables vital body functions to occur.This is because it stimulates over a 100 enzymes in the body. Enzymes are known to aid in body processes including such activities as making vital body components or helping break down chemicals that the body does not need or would rather harm it, if left to accumulate. Still in enzymatic functions, zinc plays a role in the formation of DNA, bones and breakdown of the proteins we eat.

Zinc Helps Boost your Immunity

Zinc is very vital when it comes to protecting our bodies against infections. It achieves this function in a multiplicity of ways, the very first being the pivotal role it plays in the healing of wounds. Zinc is also found in body secretions that kill bacteria and viruses which may find their way into our bodies. This is made possible by the fact that it has anti-microbial effects.

Other Benefits of Zinc in the Body

Zinc is also known to assist in protecting our cell membranes from the harmful effects of metals such as copper and iron. Another similar function of zinc is its ability to assist the liver form an antioxidant known as super-peroxide that assists in elimination of harmful toxins that would otherwise harm the body. Zinc will also help reduce poor night vision for it will slow ocular degeneration.

From the above facts about the importance of zinc, it is relevant that individuals supply their diets with reasonable amount of this mineral which is found in many common foods like red meat, poultry, oysters and vegetables like spinach. This would ensure a healthy life devoid of diseases.


Reference

  1. //www.clinicians.co.nz/the-importance-of-zinc


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Serrapeptidase: Natural NSAID
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Date: March 27, 2012 03:26 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Serrapeptidase: Natural NSAID

Serrapeptase, also known as Serratia peptidase is a proteolytic (protein-splitting) bioactive enzyme found in the intestines of the silk worm. This silk-worm enzyme is widely used in Europe and Japan in clinical therapy for relieving pain and inflammation. When the silk worm leaves the cocoon, it regurgitates the serrapeptase in to create a hole in the cocoon for its Escape. It was soon discovered that serrapeptase enzyme has a unique property to dissolve dead material consisting protein without even harming the living tissue. This property of dissolving dead tissue can be used in treating many health conditions.

How Serrapeptase work?

Protein is the main component of most of the fibrous materials in the body. Once these fibrous materials out-live their purpose or are over-grown, they start causing serious disease conditions involving fibrosis. Fibrosis is an abnormal thickening and scarring of connective tissue caused by infection, injury, surgery or lack of oxygen. Serrapeptase works as an anti-fibrotic and helps in relieving the conditions in connective tissue scarring and thickening has occurred.

Health Benefits of Serrapeptase:

This proteolytic enzyme is considered an alternative to NSAIDS (Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) that are used to treat osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. Serrapeptase has been used to treat fibromyalgia, colitis, Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, varicose veins, ovarian cysts, ear and throat infections, enlarged prostate and postoperative inflammation. Studies have shown its effective results in prevention and removal of arterial plaque.

Serrapeptase in relieving Pain:

Pain and Inflammation Reduction:

Serrapeptase is a great anti-inflammatory and analgesic agent. It reduces the inflammation and gives relief from the pain. It works by blocking the release of pain inducing amines from the inflamed tissues. Due to its pain relieving and anti-inflammatory properties, serrapeptase is used in treatment as an alternative to NSAIDS. This enzyme gives relief from mild to moderate pain like headache and backaches. Hence it is used all the inflammatory conditions such as colitis, sinusitis, arthritis and many more.

Cardiovascular Health:

Serrapeptidase has an anti-fibrotic and fibrinolytic action that prevents and treats the accumulation of plaque in the arteries. Plaque is the accumulated deposits of cholesterol, fatty substances, cellular waste products, fibrin and calcium. Excessive plaque formation impairs the normal blood flow and cause partial or complete blockage, which also results in arteriosclerosis. Serrapeptidase helps to prevent build-up of plaque in the body. Due to its fibrinolytic action, it also helps in dissolving of proteins and breaking down atherosclerotic plaques. The dissolved deposits are eliminated from the body.

Hence, serrapeptidase prevents coronary artery diseases and improves cardiovascular health.

Relieving Sinusitis:

Due to its anti-inflammatory and mucus dissolving properties, Serrapeptidase is very beneficial for chronic sinusitis sufferers. Serrapeptidase helps in thinning and expelling the thickened mucus secretion present in nasal cavities of sinusitis sufferer.

Promoting Healing:

Serrapeptidase helps in reducing the recovery time in any injuries, wounds or surgery. It promotes healing in post-operative wounds by reducing the inflammation and pain.

Serrapeptidase is available in the form of supplements. If you are taking NSAIDS for any healthy condition, substitute it with serrapeptidase supplement

(https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=2621)


8 Major Benefits of Nattokinase
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Date: February 18, 2012 07:18 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: 8 Major Benefits of Nattokinase

Nattokinase

The need to live and eat healthy has grown other years. However, every time you hear of a new health supplement or food type, you are never sure of its exact impact on your wellness. But for nattokinase, you can be sure that is benefits to your health are true. Here is how your body benefits from the use of nattokinase.

Background Information of Nattokinase

Before you learn about its advantages , here is a little background on this supplement. Nattokinase or natto is a wholesome and nutritious Japanese food that is derived from soybeans. In its native country,it is taken with rice. To make natto, boiled soya beans are mixed and fermented with a bacterium referred to as Bacillus Natto. After the fermentation process, the enzyme nattokinase - the main active ingredient in the supplement- is produced.

Major Benefits

One of the best known effects of natto is that it reduces clotting in blood by dissolving fibrin. When fibrin Escapes to blood, it binds platelets together resulting in a clot. In young people, production of plamin - an agent that reduces synthesis of fibrin - is at its maximum. However, as people get older and in some disease conditions, less plasmin is produced thus the risk of developing clots. Natto contains agents that work like plasmin and therefore is used in place of plasmin.

By countering the production of angiotensin converting hormone (ACE), natto lowers the pressure of blood. The hormone mentioned above reduces the elasticity of blood vessels; consequently, the vessels become narrower. Narrow vessel lead high blood pressure. In addition, by making the blood vessels soft and supple , it increases the supply of blood to all parts of the body.

Body cells need proteins to grow and function optimally. However, as people age, the ability of the body to utilize and absorb proteins is reduced. As a result, skin cells grow don't rejuvenate quickly. Natto contains high levels of proteins and vitamin K2 - a well documented anti-aging factor.

Nattokinse and cholesterol

Nattokinase reduces the bad cholesterol in the body by transporting it from the blood vessel to the liver where it's eliminated. Moreover, natto prevents osteoporosis by lowering the rate at which calcium is removed from the body. By taking nattokinase, the risk of heart diseases especially those that plaque blood vessels is reduced.

More Yet

Other Health Benefits of Nattokinase.Prevents loss of hair.Soothes the muscles and reduces pain joints.Lowers the risk of Alzheimer's disease.Prevents other diseases that are caused by clots in blood. What more! So far there are no serious health side effect are associated with the use of this product.In any case, the Japanese have been using this product for a long time.In fact, the generally low levels of heart diseases in its native society are associated to the use of nattokinase. However, lactating and pregnant women should only take this and other supplement after medical advice.In addition, if you are to undergo surgery, please be sure to consult your surgeon before use. Above all, you must read all the manufacturers instructions and recommendations before use.

(https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=2583)


How Does Holy Basil Extract Help With Pain
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Date: June 06, 2011 02:43 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: How Does Holy Basil Extract Help With Pain

Holy Basil And Your Health.

Holy Basil, technically known as Ocimum tenuiflorum, is a perennial plant which is a member of the family Lamiaceae. This kind of plant is commonly cultivated in the tropics region but can also be seen as an Escape weeds. Holy Basil plant is an upright shrub with many hairy branches that can grow up to 30 to 60 centimeters in height. It has an aromatic leaves in green color that are slightly toothed. It also bears flowers which are purple in color and also has a strong scent. Holy Basil has many medicinal uses. In fact, in South Asian regions, Holy Basil is commonly utilized as an herbal tea.SOURCE NATURALS - Holy Basil Extract 450MG 120 caps

Holy Basil claimed to be an effective pain treatment. Clinical studies show that this plant contains high amounts of Eugenol which mimics the actions of COX – 2 Inhibitor drugs. COX – 2 Inhibitors is a pain killer which is classified as Non – Steroidal Anti – Inflammatory Drug or NSAID. This type of drug is directly targets the enzyme Cyclooxygenase – 2 which is responsible for inflammatory response. Inflammation is associated with swelling which further cause pain. If an area is swollen, the nerve endings are compressed therefore pain is felt.

Aside from its potent pain alleviating property, Holy Basil is also useful in reducing blood sugar levels. This is the reason why it is utilized as an effective treatment for diabetes mellitus. Holy Basil also has an antioxidant effect. As we know for a fact, antioxidants are useful in eliminating harmful toxins in the body known as free radicals. Free radicals can damage cells and even tamper DNA formation during cellular division. Other benefit of Holy Basil includes its anti – stress property. Holy Basil leaves are considered to be an adaptogen or anti – stress agent which protects an individual against various stressors. Experts recommend that an individual can consume a dozen of Holy Basil leaves two times daily to prevent stress. Holy Basil leaves are thought to purify blood thus improving blood circulation and tissue oxygenation.

Aside from Eugenol, Holy Basil also contains the compound Carvacrol which has a strong antibacterial property. Carvacrol has the capacity to inhibit the growth of certain bacteria such as E. coli and Bacillus cereus. Carvacrol is also an effective digestive aid. Research reveals that Carvacrol is can alleviate gastric upset and improve digestion of food and absorption of nutrients.

Holy Basil extracts are reported to be safe and effective in helping alleviate pain and treating other health conditions. Experts suggest that Holy Basil is not for long – term use. It must be used only for a maximum of four weeks. Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers must not use this supplement to be completely safe. Holy Basil is discovered to slow blood clotting therefore it must not be used within two weeks before and after any type of surgery. Finally, though Holy Basil extracts are relatively safe, it would still be best to consult a qualified healthcare provider and discuss with him or her your health status and history.

Get some today and reap the benefits of this wonderful herb for yourself!

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Glutathion, Antioxidants, And The Body
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Date: July 14, 2010 02:41 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Glutathion, Antioxidants, And The Body

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.

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Hyaluronic Acid can help Restore Joint Function
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Date: December 01, 2008 10:03 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Hyaluronic Acid can help Restore Joint Function

Hyaluronic acid, also known as hyaluronan, is one of the main components of the extracellular matrix of connective tissue and joints, and is one of the main chemicals contained in the synovial fluid that lubricates your joints. Before we discuss how it can be used to help restore the function of damaged joints, let's have a look at what causes joint pain, and why joints can break down long before their time.

You might have heard that arthritis is an inflammatory condition, or that it is due to the immune system. This is true to an extent, and rheumatoid arthritis is an immune system problem, although osteoarthritis is a different problem altogether. Arthritis is not the only cause of joint pain of course, but is by far the most common cause. As already inferred, there are two forms of arthritis, each with a different basic cause.

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of joint disease, and is largely due to wear and tear, injury or can be hereditary. However it is usually initiated by damage, the joint surface becomes roughened and the bone around the damaged area gets thicker to compensate. A joint is where two bones meet, and not all joints move. You have the fixed joints in your skull, for example, and those between the ribs and the spine. However, arthritis generally affects the joints associated with movement, mainly the knees, hips, fingers, toes and elbows.

The ends of the bones are covered with a thin layer of cartilage, which can absorb shocks and both cushion the joint and allow the ends of the bones to move smoothly over each other. Round each joint is a membrane known as the synovium that is filled with the thick synovial fluid, which lubricates the cartilage. The bone ligaments hold them close to the joint, and prevent them moving too much and dislocating. Finally, the joint is completed by the tendons that attach the muscles to the bones they control.

Osteoarthritis causes a joint to deteriorate: the cartilage becomes rougher and wears, and the bone beneath the cartilage gets thicker. At the edge of the joint the bone tends to grow outwards, forming spurs and the synovium swells producing extra synovial fluid. This causes swelling and pain, and ultimately the joint can be damaged beyond repair. This process takes a number of years to reach a stage whereby pain and discomfort are felt.

Before that situation occurs, however, the joint tries to repair itself, and hyaluronic acid can take part in this process. It is mainly involved in the reparation of connective tissues such as cartilage, although there are other connective tissues which hyaluronan has been found to repair. These include skin, eyes and heart valves and hyaluronic acid can arguably be used to help repair all of them.

However, it is joint tissue with which we are concerned here, and hyaluronan is an important component of articular cartilage: the type of cartilage involved in movement (knees, hips, etc), as opposed the type that forms your nose or the external part of your ears. It is believed that injections of hyaluronic acid can help to repair damaged articular cartilage. However, osteoarthritis is only one of the two forms of arthritis. The other is rheumatoid arthritis, and this is much more sinister.

Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by the attack of your joints by your own immune system, although why this happens is unknown. The most likely theory is that certain infections trigger the immune system, and it then proceeds to attack the synovial joints. Cytokines are responsible for inflammation of the synovial fluid, which can also cause fever, loss of weight and appetite, and inflammation of the blood vessels.

The body tries to generate more synovial fluid which causes swelling round the whole joint, putting pressure on the damaged areas, and generating even more pain. The inflammatory response commences and the whole area becomes seriously painful.

The smaller joints are most commonly affected, such as the fingers and toes, but it can progress to the elbows, hips and the knees. The joints become red, swollen and finally too stiff to be used. The sinusitis eventually leads erosion of the joint and deformation.

Because hyaluronic acid behaves like the synovial fluid, it is believed that it can be used to treat both forms of arthritis. It is a glycosaminoglycan, an unbranched polysaccharide of the same type as chondroitin sulfate that is commonly used to treat arthritis. It can be used to increase the viscosity of the synovial fluid, and render a more effective lubricant.

However, it is in treatment of osteoarthritis that hyaluronan is most likely to find success. It is used to improve the viscosity of the synovial fluid, so providing increased lubrication to the joint and helping reduce the pain. In fact it not Escaped notice that those who eat a diet rich in hyaluronic acid tend to live longer and look younger than those that do not do so.

Commercial preparations are currently in use or under evaluation for disorders such as glaucoma, fractures, and detached retinas, damage to cartilage, healing ligaments and osteoarthritis. These last three are particularly of interest to arthritis sufferers, and signs are that they are effective with many cases.

However, it has also been established that smoking cigarettes can negate the effect of hyaluronic acid, and excessive levels of Vitamin C can also degrade it. Estrogen treatment, however, can enhance its effect in repairing connective tissue. Zinc deficiencies have also been found to have negative results, so make sure that these factors are addressed if you are using hyaluronic acid to treat arthritis.

Something to keep in mind if you are taking hyaluronic acid orally is the size of the molecule. It is a very large molecule, and suffers from the same absorption problems as chondroitin sulfate. There are smaller hyaluronan molecule versions available if you can find them, that improve the absorption through the intestine, but if not then the dose will generally be greater than expected due to the low absorption levels due to the molecule being too large to be easily absorbed through the tissues into the bloodstream.

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Green Coffee Bean Extract
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Date: October 22, 2008 04:59 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Green Coffee Bean Extract

It is known that aging is largely a result of the effect of free radicals on our body cells, and that green coffee bean extract can be used to fight against these. While we intuitively understand what the term ‘aging’ means, very few people can actually describe it in words, although there are several theories of why it occurs.

The most viable of these include the Error Catastrophe Theory, related to faulty molecular transcription and errors in cellular function, the Crosslinkage Theory, in which progressively increasing cross-linking between proteins slows the body functions down, and the Neuroendocrine Theory, in which changes in homeostasis and hormone levels occur through time due to an increasing loss of sensitivity of receptors to feedback inhibition.

However, by far the most acceptable and best understood theory is the Free Radical Theory of Aging, which green coffee beans have been found to help fight, and it is on that which we shall focus here.

The Free Radical Theory of Aging

Free radicals are oxidants created by unpaired electrons. Electrons generally go around in pairs, but occasionally molecules lose one of these electrons, creating a situation where it possesses an unpaired electron. In this condition, that molecule has only one purpose in life and that is to oxidize other molecules by stealing an electron from them.

Oxidation can cause untold damage to cell membranes, and also to other molecules that are vital to life, such as DNA. The end result is aging, and the onset of many diseases and conditions connected with aging. Free radicals are believed to be behind inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and Crohn’s disease, strokes, cardiovascular disease, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer among many others. Each of these is associated with aging.

Free radicals are generated in the body in four different ways:

1. Energy is generated by the intercellular mitochondria by the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate). By-products of the mechanism by which this is done include hydrogen peroxide, the superoxide anion, and a hydroxyl radical. Over 20 billion molecules of antioxidant are produced in each individual cell daily, and every one of these has the capability to do damage to your body. The figure for inefficient cell metabolism is significantly higher.

2. Peroxisomes are eukaryotic cell components that contain oxidative enzymes, whose function is to produce hydrogen peroxide that is then used by another enzyme, catalase, to oxidize other toxic substances. It is used by the liver, for example, to oxidize about a quarter of all the alcohol we drink to acetaldehyde, and also to remove other toxins from the body. The down side is that the hydrogen peroxide can Escape and degrade the cell membranes.

3. Chronic infections give rise to a high activity of white blood cells, which utilize oxidants of various kinds to destroy viruses, bacteria and parasites. These include hydrogen peroxide, superoxide and nitric oxide which can also destroy the cells they are protecting.

4. Cytochrome P450 is an enzyme used to clear the body of toxic chemicals in our food such as pesticides and drugs. They also give rise to oxidative by-products.

In addition to these, free radicals are also produced by air pollution consisting of smoking, factory emissions and traffic fumes. Trace metals such as lead, iron and copper, are rich free radical sources, as is the ultraviolet component of sunlight, and caffeine, from tea and coffee, can also contribute to the store of free radicals in your body.

So where does green coffee extract come into this, and how should it be used. Free radicals tend to react very rapidly to accelerate aging, and in order to counter them, and hold the effects of aging at bay, it is necessary to destroy them almost as quickly as they are produced. This is carried out by antioxidants, of which there must be a plentiful supply available in each body cell.

Antioxidants donate electrons to free radicals, and so effectively neutralize them before they can attack the membranes of the cells in your body, or any of the other tissues that they can degrade. Many of the vitamins have a powerful antioxidant effect, among them vitamins A, C and E. Other antioxidants available in our diet include beta carotene and other carotenoids, flavonoids and glutathione, and also cofactors such as lipoic acid. All of these can destroy free radicals by the donation of an electron.

Green coffee beans have also been found to possess a strong antioxidant effect, due largely to the plant phenols, such as caffeic acid that forms chlorogenic acid with quinic acid, both cholorgenic and caffeic acid being string antioxidants. Green coffee bean extract is standardized to 99% chlorogenic acid. This substances not only reacts rapidly with free oxygen radicals but also helps to prevent to formation of hydroxyl radicals.

It has been established that green coffee bean reacts twice as fast as green tea or grape seed extracts, and speed of reaction is critical in the destruction of free radicals that have to be destroyed before they do damage. Other antioxidants found in extracts of green coffee beans include heterocyclic compounds such as pyrroles, furans and maltol.

The extract is made from beans of Coffea Arabica, this containing higher concentrations of chlorogenic and caffeic acids than the Arabica plant. The extract is also produced to be naturally low in caffeine, thus avoiding the negative effects of drinking coffee for its stimulating properties. When the green coffee bean is roasted, the antioxidant effect is found to decrease, and after roasting and brewing both the Arabica and the Robusta beans have reduced in activity to much the same level.

Studies on some of the conditions exacerbated by free radicals have indicated the effectiveness of green coffee beans as an antioxidant. It is believed to help reduce atherosclerosis caused by the oxidation of low density lipids (LDL). Oxidized LDLs tend to be easily absorbed by phagocytes to form plaques and foam cells in artery walls, thus narrowing and hardening the arteries, causing a deprivation of oxygen and nutrients to the heart and also increased blood pressure. Antioxidants from the green coffee bean prevent this from happening, and so help to reduce this serious effect of aging.

A good supply of antioxidants will also prevent the cell membranes from being destroyed, one effect of which is to age the skin. Antioxidants in the form of green coffee bean extract can help to maintain a youthful appearance while also aiding in the prevention of the more serious effects of free radicals that can shorten life.

There are no doubts that free radicals contribute significantly to accelerated aging, and that the antioxidants contained in green coffee beans can help hold back the physical signs of aging, while also helping to destroy those free radicals that threaten life by promoting cancer, atherosclerosis, and other similar conditions.



--
Vitanet ®, LLC

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WHAT IS A FREE RADICAL?
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Date: July 13, 2005 09:57 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: WHAT IS A FREE RADICAL?

WHAT IS A FREE RADICAL?

Free radicals are unstable, unpredictable structures that pose a potential threat to healthy molecules on a cellular level. In their atte mpt to become stable, they assault and randomly impact healthy molecules, altering their functions in the process.

TO COMPLETLEY ELIMINATE FREE RADICALS, YOU MUST STOP BREATHING

The very act of breathing oxygen activates these reactive chemical structures. To make matte rs wo rse, because our generation, more than any other, is exposed to a number of potentially harmful environmental substances, free radical formation can reach epidemic proportions. Some of the more dangerous of these include:

  • • cigarette smoke
  • • herbicides
  • • pesticides
  • • smog
  • • car exhaust
  • • certain prescription drugs
  • • diagnostic and therapeutic x-rays
  • • ultra-violet light
  • • gamma radiation
  • • rancid foods
  • • certain fats
  • • alcohol
  • • some of our food and water supplies
  • • stress
  • • poor diets

    EVEN EXERCISE HAS ITS PERILS

    Exercising, as beneficial as it is, can initiate the release of free radicals within our cellular systems. Aerobic exercising produces oxidation products. Many of these compounds are not neutralized by our internal safety mechanisms and an overload can occur. Supplementing the diet with efficient antioxidants is highly recommended for eve ryone, but especially for those who exercise on a regular basis.

    WHY ARE FREE RADICALS SO DANGEROUS

    A free radical can destroy a protein, an enzyme or even a complete cell. To make matte rs wo rse, free radicals can multiply through a chain reaction mechanism resulting in the release of thousands of cellular oxidants. When this happens, cells can become so badly damaged that DNA codes can be altered and immunity can be compromised.

    Contact with a free radical or oxidant on this scale can create cellular deterioration, resulting in cancer and heart disease. Tissue breakdown from this oxidative stress can also occur which can contribute to aging, arthritis and whole host of other degenerative conditions. “Through free radical reactions in our body, it’s as though we’re being irradiated at low levels all the time. They grind us down.”3

    PREMATURE AGING AND FREE RADICALS:

    Frequently, the oxidative stress caused by free radicals results in what we refer to as the aging process. While aging is inevitable, many of us hasten its outcome by not protecting ourselves, hence, we age prematurely. The early onset of wrinkling, arthritis, circulatory disorders, diabetes, heart disease and hardening of the arteries can result from free radical damage that could have been minimized by consistently taking strong antioxidants like Pycnogenol. More and more research suggests that it is a lack of certain protective nutrients, like the bioflavonoid compounds contained in Pycnogenol, which increases our risk of cancer and other degenerative diseases.4

    WHY A NUTRITIOUS DIET DOES NOT AFFORD US ENOUGH PROTECTION

    “They (antioxidants) may be much more important that doctors thought in warding off cancer, heart disease and the ravages of aging—and, no, you may not be getting enough of these nutrients in your diet.”5

    Clearly, while diet modifications are invaluable, diet alone cannot provide the kind of physiological defense the body requires to inhibit free radicals before they cause biological harm. While there is no way to Escape our exposure to free radicals, we can minimize potential cellular destruction by reducing their numbers.

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    Say Goodbye to Headaches
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    Date: June 13, 2005 07:25 PM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: Say Goodbye to Headaches

    Say Goodbye to Headaches by Susan Weiner Energy Times, December 8, 1999

    What's in a name? A headache by any other name hurts just as much. But categorizing your headache can be as overwhelming as finding an obscure breakfast cereal at the supermarket. Medical folks pigeonhole headaches as tension headaches, allergy headaches, morning headaches and sinus headaches, plus the organic, migraine, cluster, trauma, TMJ, eyestrain, rebound, exertion, hormonal and muscle tension varieties. You may also suffer the self-induced hangover and toxicity headaches.

    Americans are no strangers to self-medication, and as a society we battle these headaches by consuming nearly 80 billion tablets of aspirin each year, about 20 million aspirins a day, according to Burton Goldberg, co-author of An Alternative Medicine Definitive Guide to Headaches (Future Medicine Publishing). And while we drown ourselves in over-the-counter and powerful prescription products, our tolerance, just like a drug addict's, grows. So what begins as a twodose headache slowly evolves into three, four or five doses, until you realize that no dosage can make your headache go away.

    Unless you're fond of medieval practices such as ritualistic healings and bloodletting, drugs seem the only answer to headache misery. But even modern medicine has been unable to solve headaches. Rather than a cure, medications provide only temporary relief, and even that isn't guaranteed. Additionally, over-reliance on medications can lead to chronic head pain. According to Goldberg, rebound headaches often result from the consumption and withdrawal of drugs.

    Halt Your Headaches

    Rather than strive to simply eliminate headache pain, why not identify the underlying cause and prevent the headache? Almost always, every type of headache results from a health or lifestyle-related activity. In an ideal world, the best approach would be to eliminate the tensions, stress, frustrations, anger, insufficient sleep, excessive drinking and poor diet that contribute to your headaches. For better or for worse, however, you can't always: a. quit your job; b. ask your spouse to leave; c. sit on the beach all day; or d. all of the above. But you can make appropriate lifestyle changes and learn to express suppressed feelings.

    This approach, lifestyle modification, is a treatment program based on a Loma Linda University study, originally published in Medical Hypothesis and the Journal of Women's Health and Gender-Based Medicine and later explained in No More Headaches, No More Migraines: A Proven Approach to Preventing Headaches and Migraines by Zuzana Bic, DrPH and L. Francis Bic, PhD (Avery). The program, conducted on a group diagnosed with chronic migraines, dramatically decreased the frequency, intensity and duration of headaches in nine of 10 headache sufferers. Rather than demand radical life changes, the lifestyle modification program introduces gradual changes in three specific areas: nutrition, exercise and understanding stress. The study doesn't expect you to change your entire diet, join a gym and eliminate everything that triggers stress, but teaches techniques to make subtle lifestyle changes and reduce the impact of daily stress. These same techniques can also improve sleep patterns, a factor known to affect headaches. The lifestyle modification approach clarifies that while very few headaches directly result from existing acute conditions, recurring headaches often derive from a larger lifestyle factor. If these issues are ignored, the body's natural defense mechanisms may kick into overdrive and become exhausted, leaving you susceptible to other chronic diseases. By finding and eliminating the cause of your headaches, you may be saving yourself from other eventual illnesses.

    Natural Alternatives

    Willing to make some lifestyle changes and step away from medications? Try these remedies, courtesy of Nature's Pharmacy by Lynn Paige Walker, PharmD and Ellen Hodgson Brown, JD (Prentice-Hall).

    For simple headaches, start with relaxation and neck stretches. Or try rubbing your forehead with peppermint oil, a natural antispasmodic and diuretic shown in German research to be as effective as acetaminophen in easing tension headaches.

    Never underestimate the old-fashioned ice pack to the forehead as an effective treatment that works by constricting the swollen blood vessels that cause your head to ache. If the ice pack isn't enough, try putting your arms in icy water up to your elbows to constrict additional blood vessels. But if it's a sinus headache you're fighting, take the opposite approach and try hot compresses.

    The herbal, and original, form of aspirin is white willow bark. Used by Chinese practitioners 2,500 years ago, it contains salicin, nearly the same pain reliever found in aspirin. Other herbal aspirins include meadowsweet tea, just as effective as aspirin with few side effects. For migraines, Walker and Brown recommend feverfew and magnesium supplements, which reduce nerve excitability and migraine susceptibility. In fact, individuals with frequent headaches have been found to have low brain and tissue magnesium, says Julian Whitaker, MD, author of Julian Whitaker's Guide to Natural Healing (Prima). For all headaches, Goldberg suggests essential fatty acid supplementation with evening primrose oil (EPO), which improves circulation, helps regulate inflammation and relieves pain.

    The Curse of the Migraine

    Migraines, a debilitating headache distinguished by a throbbing pain, may be humanity's oldest malady. The name is derived from the word the Greek physician Galen used to describe the disorder in 200 A.D. Six-thousand-year-old Sumerian writings refer to the ravages of migraines, and prehistoric skeletons bear testimony to a crude form of trephination-holes chiseled in skulls to allow the Escape of pain-creating demons, according to Lifetime Encyclopedia of Natural Remedies by Myra Cameron (Parker Publishing).

    In the common migraine, throbbing pain develops gradually from distended veins around the brain and may be accompanied by nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light. These miseries can be preceded by 15 to 90 minutes of an "aura," which includes visual disturbances, distorted perception, hallucinations, flashes of light and temporary loss of sight or hearing. In fact, skeptical historians attribute some of the religious visions of the Middle Ages to the visual effects of migraine aura, according to Cameron.

    Snacking on high fiber foods between three light meals each day helps stabilize blood sugar and prevent migraines. And while some doctors summarily attribute migraines to diet, other experts attribute at least half of all migraines to food sensitivities. The most common edible villains are aged cheeses, yeast breads, chocolate, cured meats, citrus fruits, eggs, fermented foods, wheat, milk, milk products, alcoholic drinks and food additives, including nitrates and MSG.

    Suggested daily supplements for migraine-susceptible individuals include a multivitamin, one capsule of B complex to help maintain normal vascular control, 3,000 to 6,000 milligrams in divided doses of vitamin C with bioflavonoids to assist the production of anti-stress hormones, and 500 to 1,000 milligrams of magnesium to reduce nerve excitability and pain. At the onset of a migraine, says Cameron, try homeopathic remedies, dilutions of natural substances from plants, minerals and animals. For throbbing pain, take natrum muriaticum according to package directions. Other homeopathic options to explore include iris versicolar, lac defloratum and sanguinaria.

    Take Charge of Your Headaches

    Headache management involves managing your life. Practice relaxation techniques to reduce stress. Calmly discuss your feelings. Take a leisurely stroll at lunch. Walk your dog, or a neighbor's dog, after dinner. Keep a food diary. Sit and stand tall. Skip the fast food tonight. Join a yoga class. Take vitamins and supplements. Get a two-hour massage. Turn the television off earlier and sleep in a little later.

    Taking the time to care may take effort, but it will soon become second nature. Invest in yourself. It's your most precious possession.



    --
    Vitanet ®

    Solaray - Ultimate Nutrition - Actipet Pet supplements - Action Labs - Sunny Greens - Thompson nutritional - Natural Sport - Veg Life Vegan Line - Premier One - NaturalMax - Kal

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    Menopause: Disease or Condition?
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    Date: June 13, 2005 03:44 PM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: Menopause: Disease or Condition?

    Menopause: Disease or Condition?

    by Mary Ann Mayo & Joseph L. Mayo, MD Energy Times, September 4, 1999

    It's front-page news. It's politically correct and socially acceptable. Talking about menopause is in. Suddenly it's cool to have hot flashes. Millions of women turning 50 in the next few years have catapulted the subject of menopause into high-definition prominence.

    It's about time. Rarely discussed openly by women (what did your mother ever advise you?), meno-pause until recently was dismissed as "a shutting down experience characterized by hot flashes and the end of periods." Disparaging and depressing words like shrivel, atrophy, mood swings and melancholia peppered the scant scientific menopausal literature.

    What a difference a few years and a very vocal, informed and assertive group of Baby Boomers make. Staggered by the burgeoning numbers of newly confrontational women who will not accept a scribbled prescription and a pat on the head as adequate treatment, health practitioners and researchers have been challenged to unravel, explain and deal with the challenges of menopause.

    Not An Overnight Sensation

    Menopause, researchers have discovered, is no simple, clear cut event in a woman's life. The "change of life" does not occur overnight. A woman's body may begin the transition toward menopause in her early 40s, even though her last period typically occurs around age 51. This evolutionary time before the final egg is released is called the perimenopause. Erratic monthly hormone levels produce unexpected and sometimes annoying sensations.

    Even as their bodies adjust to lower levels of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone, some women don't experience typical signs of menopause until after the final period. A fortunate one-third have few or no discomforts.

    Hormonal Events

    According to What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Premenopause (Warner Books) by John R. Lee, MD, Jesse Hanley, MD, and Virginia Hopkins, "The steroid hormones are intimately related to each other, each one being made from another or turned back into another depending on the needs of the body...But the hormones themselves are just part of the picture. It takes very specific combinations of vitamins, minerals and enzymes to cause the transformation of one hormone into another and then help the cell carry out the hormone's message. If you are deficient in one of the important hormone-transforming substances such as vitamin B6 or magnesium, for example, that too can throw your hormones out of balance. Thyroid and insulin problems, toxins, bad food and environmental factors, medication and liver function affect nutrient and hormone balance."

    The most important reproductive hormones include:

    Estrogen: the female hormone produced by the ovaries from puberty through menopause to regulate the menstrual cycle and prepare the uterus for pregnancy. Manufacture drops significantly during menopause. Estradiol is a chemically active and efficient form of estrogen that binds to many tissues including the uterus, breasts, ovaries, brain and heart through specific estrogen receptors that allow it to enter those cells, stimulating many chemical reactions. Estriol and estrone are additional forms of estrogen.

    Progesterone: also produced by the ovaries, it causes tissues to grow and thicken, particularly during pregnancy, when it protects and nurtures the fetus. Secretion ceases during menopause.

    Testosterone: Women produce about one-twentieth of what men do, but require it to support sex drive. About half of all women quit secreting testosterone during menopause.

    Estrogen's Wide Reach

    Since estrogen alone influences more than 400 actions on the body, chiefly stimulating cell growth, the effects of its fluctuations can be far-reaching and extremely varied: hot (and cold) flashes, erratic periods, dry skin (including the vaginal area), unpredictable moods, fuzzy thinking, forgetfulness, fatigue, low libido, insomnia and joint and muscle pain.

    Young women may experience premature menopause, which can occur gradually, as a matter of course, or abruptly with hysterectomy (even when the ovaries remain) or as a result of chemotherapy. Under such conditions symptoms can be severe.

    In the 1940s doctors reasoned that if most discomforts were caused by diminishing estrogen (its interactive role with progesterone and testosterone were underestimated), replacing it would provide relief. When unchecked estrogen use resulted in high rates of uterine cancer, physicians quickly began adding progesterone to their estrogen regimens and the problem appeared solved.

    For the average woman, however, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) became suspect and controversial, especially when a link appeared between extended use of HRT (from five to 10 years) and an increase in breast and endometrial cancers (Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 37, 1997). The result: Women have drawn a line in the sand between themselves and their doctors.

    Resolving The Impasse

    Since hormone replacement reduces the risk of major maladies like heart disease, osteoporosis, Alzheimer's, colon cancer and diabetes that would otherwise significantly rise as reproductive hormone levels decrease, most doctors recommend hormone replacement shortly before or as soon as periods stop. Hormone replacement also alleviates the discomforts of menopause.

    But only half of all women fill their HRT prescriptions and, of those who do, half quit within a year. Some are simply indifferent to their heightened medical risks. Some are indeed aware but remain unconvinced of the safety of HRT. Others complain of side effects such as bloating, headaches or drowsiness.

    Women's resistance to wholesale HRT has challenged researchers to provide more secure protection from the diseases to which they become vulnerable during menopause, as well as its discomforts. If the conventional medical practitioners do not hear exactly what modern women want, the complementary medicine community does. Turning to centuries-old botanicals, they have validated and compounded them with new technology. Their effectiveness depends on various factors including the synergistic interaction of several herbs, specific preparation, the correct plant part and dosage, harvesting and manufacturing techniques.

    Research demonstrates that plant hormones (phytoestrogens) protect against stronger potentially carcinogenic forms of estrogen while safely providing a hormone effect. Other herbs act more like tonics, zipping up the body's overall function.

    Help From Herbs

    Clinical trials and scientific processing techniques have resulted in plant-based supplements like soy and other botanicals that replicate the form and function of a woman's own estrogen.

    The complementary community also can take credit for pushing the conventional medical community to look beyond estrogen to progesterone in postmenopausal health.

    Natural soy or Mexican yam derived progesterone is formulated by pharmacologists in creams or gels that prevent estrogen-induced overgrowth of the uterine lining (a factor in uterine cancer), protect against heart disease and osteoporosis and reduce hot flashes (Fertility and Sterility 69, 1998: 96-101).

    A quarter of the women who take the popularly prescribed synthetic progesterone report increased tension, fatigue and anxiety; natural versions have fewer side effects.

    These "quasi-medicines," as Tori Hudson, a leading naturopathic doctor and professor at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine, Portland, Oregon, calls them, are considered "stronger than a botanical but weaker than a medicine." (Hudson is author of Gynecology and Naturopathic Medicine: A Treatment Manual.)

    According to Hudson, the amount of estrogen and progesterone in these supplements is much less than medical hormone replacement but equally efficacious in relieving menopausal problems and protecting the heart and bones.

    According to a study led by Harry K. Genant, PhD, of the University of California, San Francisco, "low-dose" plant estrogen derived from soy and yam, supplemented with calcium, prevents bone loss without such side effects as increased vaginal bleeding and endometrial hypoplasia, abnormal uterine cell growth that could be a precursor to endometrial cancer (Archives of Internal Medicine 157, 1997: 2609-2615).

    These herbal products, including natural progesterone and estrogen in the form of the weaker estriol or estrone, may block the effect of the stronger and potentially DNA-damaging estradiol.

    Soy in its myriad dietary and supplemental forms provides a rich source of isoflavones and phytosterols, both known to supply a mild estrogenic effect that can stimulate repair of the vaginal walls (Journal of the National Cancer Institute 83, 1991: 541-46).

    To enhance vaginal moisture, try the herb cimicifuga racemosa, the extract of black cohosh that, in capsule form, builds up vaginal mucosa (Therapeuticum 1, 1987: 23-31). Traditional Chinese herbal formulas containing roots of rehmannia and dong quai have long been reputed to promote vaginal moisture.

    Clinical research in Germany also confirms the usefulness of black cohosh in preventing hot flashes and sweating, as well as relieving nervousness, achiness and depressed moods caused by suppressed hormone levels. It works on the hypothalamus (the body's thermostat, appetite and blood pressure monitor), pituitary gland and estrogen receptors. Green tea is steeped with polyphenols, mainly flavonoids, that exert a massive antioxidant influence against allergens, viruses and carcinogens. The risks of estrogen-related cancers such as breast cancer are particularly lowered by these flavonoids, as these substances head directly to the breast's estrogen receptors. About three cups a day exert an impressive anti-inflammatory, antiallergenic, antiviral and anticarcinogenic effect.

    Other phytoestrogen-rich botanicals, according to Susun Weed's Menopausal Years: The Wise Woman Way (Ash Tree Publishing), include motherwort and lactobacillus acidophilus to combat vaginal dryness; hops and nettles for sleep disturbances; witch hazel and shepherd's purse for heavy bleeding; motherwort and chasteberry for mood swings; dandelion and red clover for hot flashes.

    Our Need For Supplements

    Adding micronutrients at midlife to correct and counter a lifetime of poor diet and other habits is a step toward preventing the further development of the degenerative diseases to which we become vulnerable. At the very minimum, you should take:

    a multivitamin/mineral supplement vitamin E calcium

    Your multivitamin/mineral should contain vitamins A, B complex, C, D, E, calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper and zinc. Look for a wide variety of antioxidants that safeguard you from free radical damage, believed to promote heart disease and cancer, as well as contribute to the aging process.

    Also on the list: mixed carotenoids such as lycopene, alpha carotene and vitamin C; and folic acid to help regulate cell division and support the health of gums, red blood cells, the gastrointestinal tract and the immune system.

    Studies indicate a deficiency of folic acid (folate) in 30% of coronary heart disease, blood vessel disease and strokes; lack of folate is thought to be a serious risk factor for heart disease (OB.GYN News, July 15, 1997, page 28).

    Extra vitamin E is believed to protect against breast cancer and bolster immune strength in people 65 and older (Journal of the American Medical Association 277, 1997: 1380-86). It helps relieve vaginal dryness, breast cysts and thyroid problems and, more recently, hit the headlines as an aid in reducing the effects of Alzheimer's and heart disease. It is suspected to reduce the thickening of the carotid arterial walls and may prevent the oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol, which contributes to the formation of plaque in arteries.

    Selenium also has been identified as an assistant in halting cancer (JAMA 276, 1996: 1957-63).

    The Omegas To The Rescue

    Essential fatty acids found in cold water fish, flaxseed, primrose and borage oils and many nuts and seeds are essential for the body's production of prostaglandin, biochemicals which regulate hormone synthesis, and numerous physiological responses including muscle contraction, vascular dilation and the shedding of the uterine lining. They influence hormonal balance, reduce dryness and relieve hot flashes.

    In addition, the lignans in whole flaxseed behave like estrogen and act aggressively against breast cancer, according to rat and human studies at the University of Toronto (Nutr Cancer 26, 1996: 159-65).

    Research has demonstrated that these omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids can reverse the cancer-causing effects of radiation and other carcinogens (Journal of the National Cancer Institute 74, 1985: 1145-50). Deficiencies may cause swelling, increased blood clotting, breast pain, hot flashes, uterine and menstrual cramps and constipation. Fatigue, lack of endurance dry skin and hair and frequent colds may signal EFA shortage. Plus, fatty fish oils, along with vitamin D and lactose, help absorption of calcium, so vital for maintaining bone mass.

    In addition, studies show that the natural substance Coenzyme A may help menopausal women reduce cholesterol and increase fat utilization (Med Hyp 1995; 44, 403, 405). Some researchers belive Coenzyme A plays a major role in helping women deal with stress while strengthening immunity.

    Still Suffering?

    Can't shake those menopausal woes? Menopause imposters may be imposing on you: The risk of thyroid disease, unrelenting stress, PMS, adrenal burnout, poor gastrointestinal health and hypoglycemia all increase at midlife. Menopause is a handy hook on which to hang every misery, ache and pain but it may only mimic the distress of other ailments. For this reason every midlife woman should have a good medical exam with appropriate tests to determine her baseline state of health. Only with proper analysis can you and your health practitioner hit on an accurate diagnosis and satisfying course of therapy.

    And if menopause is truly the issue, you have plenty of company. No woman Escapes it. No woman dies from it. It is not a disease but a reminder that one-third of life remains to be lived. Menopausal Baby Boomers can anticipate tapping into creative energy apart from procreation. If not new careers, new interests await. An altered internal balance empowers a menopausal woman to direct, perhaps for the first time, her experience of life. She has come of age-yet again. Gone is the confusion, uncertainty, or dictates of a hormone driven life: This time wisdom and experience direct her. There is no need to yearn for youth or cower at the conventional covenant of old age. Menopause is the clarion call to reframe, reevaluate and reclaim.

    Mary Ann Mayo and Joseph L. Mayo, MD, are authors of The Menopause Manager (Revell) and executive editors of Health Opportunities for Women (HOW). Telephone number 877-547-5499 for more information.



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    Botanical Arsenal - Plants can help our bodies fight off cancer's deadly ...
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    Date: June 13, 2005 10:31 AM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: Botanical Arsenal - Plants can help our bodies fight off cancer's deadly ...

    Botanical Arsenal by Fred Thomas Energy Times, May 3, 1999

    The complexities surrounding the various types of cancer stem from the variety of ways in which these diseases can wreak their havoc. Luckily, the equally complex world of plants contains novel compounds that can help our bodies fight off cancer's deadly progress.

    Research Expands

    Research into these botanical compounds is mushrooming. An example: The mighty maitake, a fungus with flair, alternately known as the king (it can grow as large as a basketball, worth its weight in silver to the ancient Japanese); the prince; the Hen of the Woods (it sticks out of from trees when it grows in the wild); and the dancing mushroom to those who leaped for joy when they found one growing in its native northeastern Japan.

    Researchers today dub it with a new moniker: Herbal Heavyweight.

    Mushroom with Potential

    The maitake, with such other medicinal mushrooms as shiitake and reishi, historically has been eaten to promote general well-being and vitality. In the modern lab, however, scientists focus on the potent immune enhancing powers of maitake, which spotlight its cancer fighting potential.

    Twenty years ago, maitake, Grifola frondosa, was an obscure, largely unavailable mushroom. A series of significant Japanese studies then catapulted it into prominence-and popularity.

    Maitake Magic

    Hiroaki Nanba, PhD, of the department of immunology at Kobe Women's College of Pharmacy on Kobe, Japan, and a leading international researcher on maitake, conducted the preliminary tests on the mushroom, demonstrating that it stimulates immune function and inhibits tumor growth.

    In 1986, Dr. Nanba fed powdered maitake to mice injected with tumor cells; 86.3% displayed inhibited tumor growth.

    Dr. Nanba and his colleagues went on to run additional mouse tests, finally reporting that this potent mushroom "directly activates various effector cells (macrophages, natural killer cells, killer T-cells, etc.) to attack tumor cells."

    From then, maitake mushrooms were headed to fame as cancer ninjas.

    Stoking The Immune Engine

    Like other mushrooms, maitake is rich in complex polysaccharides, immunomodulators that successive tests after Dr. Nanba's have shown to be effective in cancer and AIDS treatment.

    The polysaccharides in maitake have a unique structure, rendering them some of the most powerful to be studied (Chem Pharm Bull 1987:35:1162-8).

    What makes maitake a particularly hot property is beta-D-glucan, its primary polysaccharide. Studies show that the body absorbs it readily, at which point it effectively stimulates interleukin-1, natural killer cells and macrophages, anti-tumor warriors that battle solid cancers (Chemotherapy 1990;38:790-6; also International Conference on AIDS, Amsterdam, 1992).

    Effective And Safe

    In addition to lab tests, trials on people have shown that maitake may offer powerful therapy against liver and stomach cancer (studies in China), breast and colon cancer (US research) and Kaposi's Sarcoma, the virulent cancer attacking AIDS sufferers.

    Importantly, studies show that no side effects or interactions accompany maitake's efficacy.

    Maitake fortunately has won the interest and enthusiasm of the scientific community. Currently, researchers at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, headed by Denis Miller, MD, are completing an exhaustive test of the anticancer and immunostimulatory actions of maitake on folks with advanced colorectal cancer. These investigators hypothesize that the polysaccharide beta-glucans derived from the fruitbody of maitake fight tumors and boost immune function. "Though it cannot be said that maitake ...[is] the cancer cure," said Dr. Nanba in his closing remarks at the Adjuvant Nutrition in Cancer Treatment Symposium in Tampa, Florida, in October 1995, "one can safely say that they do maintain the quality of life of patients and improve the immune system, resulting in the possible remission of cancer cells with no side effects."

    More Bodily Benefits

    Maitake maven Dr. Nanba also has tested-with strongly positive results-the effect of maitake on blood glucose, insulin and triglycerides in mice, whose levels of all three substances declined when they were fed the mushroom (H. Nanba working paper, Anti-Diabetic Activity by Maitake Mushroom, 1994).

    With colleagues, Dr. Nanba showed that maitake lowered blood pressure in hypertensive rats (Chem. Phann. Bu//36:1000-1006,1988). Other studies suggest it may accelerate weight loss.

    This admirable adaptogen (meaning it helps the body adapt to stress and normalize its functions) is water soluble and may be eaten in food or taken as a supplement. Vitamin C is believed to intensify maitake's beta-glucans and enhance their absorption.

    Tea Time

    It's not just what you eat that may help protect against cancer, but what you drink as well. Research from China and Japan, where tea is the everyday drink and rates of several cancers like breast and prostate are lower, may persuade you to turn over a new leaf in your own beverage choice. One of the first studies to spark interest in tea came from Shanghai (Journal of the National Cancer Institute, June 1, 1994), where people who drank two to three cups a day were found to have about a 60% reduction in the risk of cancer of the esophagus. The reason: tea leaves contain compounds called polyphenols, potent antioxidants.

    In fact, in tests at the University of Kansas, three of these, known as catechins, far outshone the common antioxidant vitamins C and E. Clinical trials are just starting, but early results are encouraging. A team of Chinese scientists reported that in a third of people with precancerous mouth sores who drank three cups of a mixture of green and black tea the lesions shrank significantly.

    Researchers at the Saitama Cancer Center in Japan found that green tea seems to improve the prognosis of breast cancer. They followed a group of women with early-stage tumors for seven years. Those who drank more than five cups of green tea a day were only half as likely to suffer a recurrence as patients who consumed fewer than four cups a day.

    Lung Help

    And at the University of Indiana, toxicologist James Klaunig found that the lungs of cigarette smokers who drank the equivalent of six cups of tea a day suffered 40 to 50 percent less damage from the toxins in smoke, potentially lowering their risk of lung cancer and other pulmonary problems. Simultaneously, research from Purdue University suggests tea's cancer-discouraging powers go beyond being an antioxidant. Scientists Dorothy and D. James Morre showed that a tea catechin dubbed EGCG inhibits a growth-promoting enzyme on the surface of many cancer cells-happily without affecting normal cells. And researchers at the Ohio State University College of Medicine found that EGCG counteracted another enzyme, urokinase, that helps cancer cells spread. To top it off, Mayo Clinic scientists recently showed that EGCG prompted prostate cancer cells to commit suicide (Cancer Letters, Aug. 14, 1998).

    Tea Research

    So far, most tea research has focused on green tea, and investigators agree it's more potent than the black tea most Americans favor. But because both kinds come from the same plant, Camellia sinensis (it's the processing that makes the difference as black tea is fermented, green tea isn't) both contain cancer-fighting polyphenols, just in different quantities. As long as the tea you drink (even decaffeinated) is fresh brewed, it's likely to provide some benefit; powdered and prepared teas probably don't. And adding milk may dilute the effect.

    Astragalus Against Tumors

    Astragalus, an herb commonly used in Asia to boost stamina, has impressed western doctors for its potential for helping people cope with chemotherapy. As John Diamon, MD, W. Lee Cowden, MD and Burton Goldberg point out in the Definitive Guide to Cancer (Future Medicine), "Astragalus appears to protect the liver against the harmful toxic effects of chemotherapy and may be effective in treating terminally ill liver cancer patients." (They cite a study in the Jrnl of Ethnopharmacology 1990, 30:145-149.) In addition, they point out, research in Japan supports using a ginseng-astragalus combination to improve the function of natural killer (NK) cells which can boost immunity (Japanese Jrnl of Allergy, 37:2, 1998, 107-114).

    Other studies confirm astragalus' potential in fighting off cancer. Research at the General Hospital of PLA, Beijing, showed that flavonoids (pigments) in astragalus could help protect cell membranes from oxidative damage caused by ultraviolet exposure (Chung Kuo Chung Yao Tsa Chih, 21(12):746-8; 1996 Dec).

    A study of laboratory animals at Cunma University in Maebashi, Japan, found that Astragalus could help preserve immune function against the harmful side effects of chemotherapy (Chung Kuo Chung Hsi I Chieh Ho Tsa Chih, 15(2):101-3, 1995 Feb).

    Garlic Benefits

    Like a flame attracting moths, garlic bulbs have irresistibly drawn the attention of medical researchers. A study at Aarhus University, Denmark, found that skin cells in laboratory dishes treated with garlic supplements lived longer, healthier lives than untreated cells (Jrnl Ethnopharm, 1994. 43:125-133).

    Meanwhile, a long list of research demonstrates that garlic's phytochemicals may fight tumors and reduce the carcinogenicity of the pollutants and chemicals that assault us daily. A study in China reported in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine showed that garlic helped slow tumors in lab animals (1983, 11:69-73). Another study in the Journal of Nutrition found that compounds in garlic could "suppress the growth of human colon tumor cells" (126, 1355-1361).

    Added to those benefits, Robert A. Nagourney, MD, reports in the Journal of Medicinal Food (1:1, 1998, 13-28), garlic may "modify the carcinogenicity of foodstuffs." In other words, studies show that garlic can make chemicals in foods like pork less likely to cause your cells to become cancerous. (Ind J Physiol Pharmacol, 39:347-353).

    DNA Protection

    DNA, the stuff that genes are made of, face constant threats from free radicals, caustic molecules that can alter cellular structure and possibly cause genetic mutations that lead to cancer. But research into what are called oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPC), flavonoids (pigments) derived from fruits vegetables, grape seed extract and the bark of maritime pine trees shows that OPC may be able to shield DNA from injury.

    In particular, studies of a grape seed extract called Activin have demonstrated this substance can help liver cell DNA Escape a destructive process called peroxidation (FASEB, 11:3, 2/28/97).

    In these experiments, Activin demonstrated the ability to inhibit the growth of tumor cells as well as slow the replication enzymes of HIV viruses. This protective ability proved to be more potent than that of vitamin C, beta carotene and vitamin E.

    Future Promise

    What does the future promise to reveal? Scientists believe that many unexamined plants probably contain undiscovered phytochemicals that hold great potential for helping us fight the cancer epidemic.

    Certainly, if the next few years produce as many results as the past decade, the next millennium will witness a long line of cancer-prevention discoveries. Before long, you should be able to take advantage of these potent substances.

    As you gulp your garlic, tip your tea cup, mull your maitake, acquire Activin and await your astragalus, you may meditate on what may soon be added to our growing anti-cancer arsenal. Undoubtedly, scientists with a botanical bent will be uncovering more coveted anti-cancer secrets before too long.



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    Don't Be Blue - Does winter got you singing the blues?
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    Date: June 13, 2005 09:49 AM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: Don't Be Blue - Does winter got you singing the blues?

    Don't Be Blue by Phyllis D. Light, RH Energy Times, October 10, 2003

    Have the gray skies of winter got you singing the blues? Do you feel tired, lost your creative spark, need extra sleep, can't get control of your appetite? If you nod in agreement to these queries, you may be one of the millions of people affected by SAD (seasonal affective disorder), also known as the "winter blues" or "cabin fever." Time to lighten up, throw off those lowdown winter blues and step up to more enjoyable feelings. Experts who study the winter blahs now acknowledge that you can blame much of winter's crankiness, moodiness and restlessness on short, cloudy days and a lack of sunlight. Low levels of sunlight trigger changes in hormones, increasing levels of melatonin (a hormone that normally helps you go to sleep) and decreasing serotonin (a hormone that improves mood). For many people, this hormonal tumult translates into a craving for sugary foods, a need for more sleep and a reduced sex drive.

    Although the exact cause of SAD is not known, researchers believe the pineal gland plays an important role in this disorder. This gland, located beneath the brain, makes melatonin in response to the amount of light that enters your eyes. Melatonin hormone is only produced in darkness. The darker your bedroom, the greater your melatonin production.

    Conversely, melatonin production usually stops in the morning when you open your eyes to the day's new light. But research shows that the production of melatonin climbs too high in folks who suffer from SAD. That excessive amount of the hormone results in a sedative effect upon the body.

    Many people with SAD suffer muscular aches and pains, along with headaches and a faltering immune system. Consequently, they often feel like they have the flu all winter long.

    Blue Lady

    More women than men suffer from SAD (and, apparently, depression in general), though the reason is unclear.

    According to Norman Rosenthal, MD, author of Winter Blues (Guilford Press), "about 6% of the US population may suffer from SAD, with an additional 14% suffering from subsyndromal [less severe] SAD." Because less sunlight reaches the northern latitudes, folks in Washington state and Alaska suffer the highest rates of SAD. People in sun-soaked Florida suffer the least.

    How do you Escape SAD? If a winter vacation to the sunny South is out of the question for you, a natural program can brighten the wintry gray days and provide relief.

    Turn on the Light

    The most common treatment for SAD is light (also called phototherapy), which cuts back the body's manufacture of melatonin. Sitting in front of a special light box for about 30 minutes each morning during the winter months can often offset SAD. But the effects of this treatment vary from individual to individual, and some may be more sensitive to the light therapy than others.

    For artificial light treatment, consult an appropriately trained healthcare professional who can design a plan that finds the optimal intensity, length and time of day for the treatment that best works for you. Researchers at Columbia University have found that timing the light therapy with the nuances of a person's biological clock doubles its effectiveness (Archives of General Psychiatry 1/15/01).

    On the other hand, walking in natural light can banish these problems, and research finds that natural light frequently offers the best results (Journal of Affective Disorders 1996 Apr 12; 37(2-3):109-20). In this study, people either participated in a daily walk outdoors in natural light or were treated for half an hour in artificial light. At the end of the study, participants were tested for melatonin and cortisol (stress hormone) levels. Both were found to be lower after exposure to natural light than artificial light.

    Roll up those sleeves when you're outdoors this winter: Curiously enough, studies show that light produces physiological effects by being absorbed through both the eyes and the skin.

    Research now shows that light on the skin alters the hemoglobin in the blood. "This research suggests that SAD might be a disorder of the blood rather than a brain disorder," says Dan A. Oren, MD, of the Yale University School of Medicine (Science 1/12/98).

    Vitamin D Need

    If you suffer from seasonal depression, you may also not be getting enough vitamin D. During the sun-reduced winter months, stores of this fat-soluble vitamin drop, since the skin makes it when exposed to sunlight. When you step out into daylight, the sebaceous glands near the surface of your body produce an oily substance from cholesterol that rises to the skin's surface. Then, ultraviolet B rays from the sun convert this oily substance (7-dehydrocholesterol) into what is called previtamin D3. Finally, body heat converts previtamin D3 into vitamin D3 (a form of vitamin D).

    Twenty minutes of daily sunlight exposure on the hands, arms and face can give adequate amounts of vitamin D to light-skinned people. Dark-skinned people may need longer exposure. Supplements can help: In one study, researchers found that people who took vitamin D had significant improvement in depression scale scores (Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging 1999; 3(1):5-7).

    As far as vitamin D production goes, you can never receive too much sunlight (although overexposure resulting in a burn is never a good idea). The body absorbs vitamin D from the skin as needed and never accepts more than is required. (If you take supplements, follow package directions so you don't get too much of a good thing.) Food sources of vitamin D include eggs, fortified milk, cod liver oil, salmon and other fish.

    Walk Away the Blues

    Research also shows that exercise can chase the winter blues and that a little bit of exertion goes a long way. Exercise physiologists at Duke University found that little as eight minutes of physical activity can improve your mood.

    Exercise stimulates the brain to produce endorphins, feel-good hormones that help reduce pain and depression. Physical activity can also increase serotonin levels, those neurotransmitters that brighten emotions. These two hormones work together to make you feel better: Serotonin improves the functioning of your mind while endorphins produce beneficial effects on your body. In one study, researchers reported that exercise increased vitality and improved mood even in cases of prolonged depression (Psychological Medicine 1998 Nov; 28(6):1359-64).

    To banish SAD, engage in an outdoor activity in natural light, or get active indoors under bright lights.

    As you can see, much of the research into low, wintry moods suggests that sun worshippers may have been right all along: Exposure in winter to our friendly, local neighborhood star offers impressive mood benefits.



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    Maximum Absorption
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    Date: June 10, 2005 03:24 PM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: Maximum Absorption

    Maximum Absorption

    by Henry Wolfe Energy Times, July 11, 2003

    Nutrients do you no good if you don't absorb them. Eating the right stuff and taking the right nutrients can still be wrong if they never make it out of your digestive tract and into your bloodstream.

    For instance, dietary supplements usually should be taken along with food. The presence of food in the digestive tract aids the absorption of nutrients. As a general rule, if you take dietary supplements on an empty stomach, most of their contents will probably pass through you and never Escape your intestinal tract before they are eventually eliminated. This is particularly true for the fat-soluble nutrients such as vitamins A, D and E. By consuming fatty foods when you take these supplements, you enable your body to absorb a large amount of these valuable substances.

    But there is at least one exception to this rule: Amino acid supplements (protein building blocks) should usually be taken on an empty stomach. Otherwise the other amino acids present in your meal may interfere with your use of these nutrients and counteract the benefits of the supplements.

    The Standardization of Herbs

    Taking herbs presents different challenges than consuming dietary supplements. While the chemical structures of nutrients in supplements are usually precisely identified, the active ingredients in herbs is usually a mixture of chemicals. Often, too, researchers disagree on exactly which active ingredients in herbs produce the health benefits linked to these botanicals.

    But in an effort to derive the most from these substances, many experts recommend what are called standardized forms.

    Standardized herbal supplements are formulas that have been created to insure they contain consistent and reliable amounts of certain beneficial chemicals that scientists have identified in these plants.

    In the creation of these supplements, experts determine the standardized chemicals that are most likely the basis of the herbs' effectiveness.

    By standardizing certain of the supplements' ingredients, therefore, standardized herbs limit the variation among batches of the product. You can rely on the fact that every purchase will contain the same amount of ingredients taken from the original plant. According to Michael Janson, MD, author of Dr. Janson's New Vitamin Revolution (Penguin/Avery), "Although herbs have a long history of use for medicinal purposes, it is only recently that they have been analyzed to reveal their most active components. These active chemicals are commonly present in very variable amounts in herbs, depending on where and how they are grown, soil quality, when they are harvested, the amount of rain and sun, and other factors.

    "Standardized herbs have guaranteed specific amounts of the known, active herbal components, as well as the other factors that might be of help but are not as well studied" (www.drjanson.com).

    Herbalists who specialize in using entire plants in their practices can recommend non-standardized preparations that you can often use.

    In general, that kind of herbal use is more effective when you secure expert advice. If you lack access to an experienced herbalist and you're choosing botanicals on your own, standardized preparations are easier to take.

    Absorption From the Gut

    Most of the nutrients you take in are absorbed through the walls of your digestive tract. This most often takes place in the small intestine.

    What to watch out for: Fast food, fast living and long work hours afflicts our digestion and can disrupt proper absorption. You have to be relaxed to properly absorb the nutrients in your food and supplements.

    Consequently, the occasions for meals should be relaxed and enjoyable moments. Set aside enough time to appreciate, taste and thoroughly chew your food. Adequate digestion and absorption begin in your mouth.

    Another way to increase nutrient absorption is with the use of digestive enzymes. Since the digestive tract depends on the enzymatic breakdown of food that reduces nutrients to absorbable form, taking enzymes can help your intestines make better use of nutrients as they pass through the digestive tract. Normally, enzymes are present in raw food, like uncooked fruits and vegetables. Since most of our food is eaten after it is heated, a process that breaks down enzymes, not many enzymes are present in today's diet. Therefore, taking supplemental enzymes may increase absorption.

    Beyond Stress

    Beyond everyday stress, a variety of problems can make absorption go astray, allowing important nutrients to Escape and permitting unwanted substances to enter the body. For instance, a significant digestive malfunction that many experts have focused on in recent years is a condition that has come to be called "leaky gut."

    As Anil Minocha, MD, director of digestive diseases at the Mississippi Medical Center and author of Natural Stomach Care (Avery), points out, "In a healthy individual, the wall of the intestinal tract is designed to absorb food molecules and prevent harmful microorganisms and toxic materials from passing out through the bowel wall and into the bloodstream. "In today's heavily polluted environment, the gastrointestinal tract of even the healthiest individual is called on to process an overwhelmingly large flow of septic and infectious materials."

    Because of these digestion destroyers, as we take in a startlingly large amount of viruses, bacteria, toxic chemicals, fungi and processed foods, our digestive systems are often overwhelmed and are rendered unable to perform their tasks correctly. This constant assault on the stomach and intestines takes a serious toll. A frequent product of this process is the digestive walls' loss of their crucial ability to keep out unwanted toxins and organisms as they become, in Dr. Minocha's words, "loosened and inflamed." As a result, instead of keeping out harmful substances and absorbing helpful nutrients, spaces open up that begin to allow in "bulky, partially digested food particles, toxic substances and infectious microbes."

    According to Dr. Minocha, the first signs of this absorption problem can include complaints such as allergic reactions, skin problems, joint pain, digestive difficulties, nausea, fatigue and lack of energy.

    To improve your digestive absorption, Dr. Minocha recommends a six-part program that includes these steps:

    * Detoxification by means of fasting and avoiding harmful items like sugar, over-processed foods, coffee and alcohol

    * Taking herbs that can help the digestive tract heal, recover and repair itself; these include garlic, ginger and milk thistle

    * Replenishing the beneficial bacteria of the digestive tract by eating yogurt

    * Keeping track of your daily diet and eliminating foods that cause allergies and other reactions

    * Consuming more fruits and vegetables while eating a high-fiber, mostly vegetarian diet

    * Developing consistent, healthy lifestyle habits; these include not smoking, cutting the size of your meals and eating in moderation, exercising several times a week and controlling stress

    Young and Old Digestion

    The nutrients in your diet can also beneficially influence the state of your digestive system and its ability to distinguish among substances that are supposed to gain entrance to your body and those that should be kept out. Since aging can further compromise the discriminatory ability of your gut, Dr. Minocha also recommends a steady diet of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables plus supplements to keep your digestive tract functioning at full capacity as you grow older.

    Among the nutrients he recommends:

    * Coenzyme Q10: By middle age, your body makes less of this powerful antioxidant that helps cells generate energy in the mitochondria (structures within cells that may decrease with age).

    Dr. Minocha notes that research demonstrates CoQ10 may be able to help people with diabetes control harmful metabolic byproducts that appear in their bloodstreams.

    * Natural Lycopene: This antioxidant, responsible for the red of both tomatoes and watermelon, has been shown to lower the risk of both heart disease and prostate cancer. As an antioxidant, natural lycopene also helps protect the digestive tract.

    Absorption of the proper nutrients may be the key to health for many people. By paying closer attention to the well-being of your digestive tract and practicing lifestyle habits that promote maximum absorption, you may be able to substantially improve your nutrition and your health.



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