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Oolong tea inhibits the growth and progression of breast cancer cells
May 08, 2019 03:07 PM
Many persons drink tea for relaxation, stress relief, and to get a caffeine fix but little do they know that drinking tea can help to inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells. Some researchers in both America and China who worked together have found that drinking tea can lead to DNA damage in the cells of breast cancer. Since this tea can be used to prevent also the progression of a tumor, it is hoped that one day they can be a non-toxic means to prevent the growth of breast cancer. In the USA alone, about 250,000 women were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018 and about 41,000 are expected to die from the disease. Although there are improvements in the screening for breast cancer, and in treatment, it is noted that more needs to be done to help women. The researchers discovered that tea has long been used in medicinal treatment in China for centuries and reckoned that black tea is used more often than green tea and oolong tea. And although the benefits of green tea in treating cancer has long been known, the use of oolong tea for cancer is not known, so the researchers sought out this tea in their experiment. Using patients from Fujian, China, where oolong tea is grown mainly, they found out that there was a lower incidence of cancer among people who take oolong tea.
"Like black and green teas, oolong tea contains several vitamins, minerals, and helpful antioxidants."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-04-11-oolong-tea-inhibits-the-growth-and-progression-of-breast-cancer-cells.html
Natural anxiety relief: Scientific study reveals how ashwagandha root can help
May 08, 2019 02:35 PM
The many health benefits of the ashwagandha root is well known to ayurvedic medicine. It is only recently that conventional medicine is becoming aware of this due to the increase in the number of published articles on the effectiveness of ashwagandha root. It is known that the ashwagandha root is a good adaptogen and it is prolific for combating stress, for giving support to the adrenal system, and also for help in balancing the hormones in the body. It can also serve as an exceptional herb for aiding sleep. This effect on the body is due to the richness of alkaloids including sioinidosides that can be found in ashwagandha root which makes it serve as a mild sedative for natural anxiety relief. A recent study in which 64 human subjects were used and half were given a placebo while the other half ashwagandha root extracts gave impressive results in showing that ashwagandha root extracts is effective for boosting resistance to stressors and can help adults suffering from chronic stress. Furthermore, there is no side effect with taking ashwagandha roots even if one is not feeling stress.
"This study further propels holistic medicine’s reach into the mainstream by confirming that ashwagandha root extract boosts resistance to stressors and can be safely utilized as an adaptogen for adults suffering from chronic stress issues."
Read more: https://www.naturalhealth365.com/ashwagandha-root-anxiety-2908.html
Common vitamins linked to a lower risk of pancreatic cancer
May 07, 2019 04:31 PM
While pancreatic cancer is a terribly dangerous disease, a vitamin supplement regime may be able to mitigate some of the risk of developing it. A Chinese study that looked at health data from over 1.2 million people discovered a clear correlation between higher intake of vitamins and lower risk of pancreatic cancer. Specifically, the researchers believe that the vitamins, through a variety of different mechanisms, induce apoptosis in cancer cells. This demonstrates that a healthy diet combined with supplements can greatly reduce your cancer risk.
"Fortunately, there are lifestyle changes that can dramatically reduce the risk of falling victim to pancreatic cancer, including a vitamin (and mineral) regimen."
Read more: https://www.naturalhealth365.com/pancreatic-cancer-vitamin-2775.html
Pomegranate can prevent the growth and spread of four common typesof cancer cells
April 26, 2019 02:26 PM
There is a protective enzyme within pomegranate that is known scientifically as paraoxonase-1 (PON-1), and it has the ability to block oxidative stress that promote DNA mutations. These DNA mutations are often what lead to a cancer diagnosis. More research determined that not only does pomegranate help block gene mutations, but it can also stop the replication cycle of cancer cells in which they grow at alarming rates. Not only can it help disrupt this cycle, but it can also kill some cells altogether.
"In one study, a cup of day of pomegranate juice lowered inflammatory markers – such as C-reactive protein and interleukin-6 – in diabetic patients."
Read more: https://www.naturalhealth365.com/pomegranate-cancer-cells-2628.html
Coconut oil studied for its potential to reverse Alzheimer's
April 22, 2019 04:31 PM
A recent study that was conducted by scientists in Spain has shown that extra virgin coconut oil can actually result in the reversal of Alzheimer's symptoms. A controlled group was given 40 mL of olive oil each day while receiving cognitive evaluations by the researchers in order to determine how their cognitive functioning was coming along. The results showed an increase in this functioning when it came to those who were taking in the extra virgin coconut oil on a regular basis.
"Some research has indicated that it very well could be a natural way to boost cognition, and possibly even reverse the effects of this dreaded disease."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-02-27-coconut-oil-to-reverse-alzheimers.html
Garlic the master medicine: Scientists find a compound in the herbthat can destroy resistant bacteria
December 14, 2018 09:05 AM
Garlic is something that is present in many different types of foods on a regular basis. It is very interesting to see how many people like garlic and use it for different things. However, now garlic is being used for something a little bit more new. Within the herb, scientists have found really promising compounds that could help ruin bacteria. This is revolutionary for people who suffer from a lot of bacteria and the results are continuing to come in.
"The researchers say that they believe their garlic drug could help treat patients whose outlook is otherwise poor. A biotech firm is developing the compound for use against bacterial infections, and human clinical trials are expected to be carried out soon."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-11-15-garlic-medicine-scientists-find-compound-destroy-resistant-bacteria.html
The Cannabis Remedy: Simple Solution For Over 40 Million PeopleSuffering With Anxiety
November 24, 2018 11:13 AM
Anxiety is a very prevalent condition, both in the U.S. and worldwide. In fact the National Institutes of Health concur that as much as 33% of the world's population has suffered, or well suffer from some type of anxiety. Besides mentally specific symptoms, such as worry, fretting, inability to focus, nervousness and fearfulness, the condition can create physical symptoms as well, such as clenching, sweating, dizziness, accelerated breathing, pulse and raised blood pressure. At it's worst, anxiety can induce a full-blown panic attack, depersonalization and even a certainty that one is dying. Obviously anxiety is a potentially critical condition, with the ability to disrupt life, even in small ways. As it worsens, anxiety can make it difficult to impossible for sufferers to work or socialize effectively. Though triggers vary, most people are visited by anxiety due to one of three big concerns, namely fears that center around finances, safety, or health. One poll conducted by the American Psychiatric Association concluded that keeping the family safe and bill-paying were huge anxiety triggers that resonated with more than 60% of respondents. The positive news is that many people can experience mitigation, if not complete surcease of these symptoms by using cannabis, which is expected to keep growing as an industry. THC which is the psychoactive component in cannabis, that which makes it illegal if it gets past .3%, is minimal to almost nil in hemp, which is related to, but not the same as marijuana. The THC amount will vary in cannabis products. There is hemp oil, hemp seed oil and CBD oil, which is made from the entire plant, flowers and all, so it may have a bit more THC. Oil products can be taken topically, or sublingually, even smoked. By acting on receptors in the central nervous symptom, the constituents of the oil act to mitigate the symptoms of anxiety. Even beyond pain relief these products have been shown to have efficacy for symptoms of epilepsy, pain and impaired cognition.
"The good news is, there are ways to cope, even ways to alleviate anxiety and its symptoms using natural and drug-free solutions."
Read more: https://www.thealternativedaily.com/cannabis-remedy-solution-people-suffering-with-anxiety/
Almonds may boost heart health in diabetic people
November 23, 2018 08:51 AM
Almonds are a versatile, portable, tasty and nutritious snack food. However, new research suggests that the salad topper may also have more to impart to eaters, particularly if the eaters in question number among the millions struggling under the burden of type 2 diabetes. Of the more than 400 million who struggle with the disease, worldwide, nearly 80 million cases can be found in the country of India, alone. One study, using Indian subjects with type 2 diabetes and elevated cholesterol levels, discovered some interesting results. The subjects were given whole un-roasted almonds in place of 20 calories in an otherwise balanced eating plan. The subjects heart health showed marked improvement. Another study used Chinese participants and allowed 60 grams of almonds a day. Blood sugar levels and cardiovascular aspects were not affected by this study's regime. However, for some subjects with otherwise well-controlled type 2 diabetes, blood sugar serum levels dropped. Almonds may improve inflammation, which is a factor in cardiovascular disease. They also provide vitamins, minerals and fiber.
"While the almond diet offered better overall nutritional quality, neither diet with or without almonds improved blood sugar status, nor most cardiovascular risk factors as was expected. However, researchers found that among a subset."
Read more: https://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/health/almonds-may-boost-heart-health-in-diabetic-people-5444785/
Prevent vision loss by protecting your heart with a healthy diet
May 03, 2018 09:17 AM
The amount of those suffering from eyesight across our nation is expected to reach over a staggering 22 million by the year 2050. Many physicians are now recommending that their patients adhere to healthier diets in order for the odds to be in their favor when it comes to keeping their eyesight long-term. It is important to eat healthy foods due to them being high in antioxidants which can help fight harmful bacteria in our body that can lead to disorders that cause vision loss.
"Joshi’s colleague, Dr. Nancy Kunjukunju, M.D. gets even more specific. She states that a heart-healthy diet and lifestyle are essential for those who are afraid of getting AMD because the disease runs in the family."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-05-01-prevent-vision-loss-by-protecting-your-heart-with-a-healthy-diet.html
How can I protect my eyes from diabetes?
November 16, 2017 03:59 PM
With the rising in numbers of the disease diabetes, there are more people at risk for becoming blind. Diabetes causes a high risk for blindness, but there are preventative ways in which people can protect themselves from this risk. They need to maintain blood sugar levels, talk to their doctor about overall well-being such as diets, physical activity, and medications. They should not miss appointments with the doctor! A missed appointment could mean missed information. They should refrain from using any kinds of drugs, alcohol, or tobacco, as the chemicals can increase risk for damage to the eye. As long as the diabetic person lives a healthy lifestyle and maintains it, they can help prevent or reduce the risk of becoming blind in the future.
"When a person is diagnosed with diabetes, it becomes imperative that one has annual vision tests and eye fundus examination."
Read more: http://www.thehealthsite.com/diseases-conditions/diabetes/how-can-i-protect-my-eyes-from-diabetes-b1117/
Does Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar Help You Lose Weight? A Dietitian's Response
August 21, 2017 04:14 PM
People may wonder if drinking apple cider vinegar helps them lose weight. There is not any harm in taking it regularly, but it might not be a good idea to use it as a weight loss supplement. There is evidence that shows it can help with weight loss and blood sugar levels, but there is not a ton of evidence that makes it a sure thing. It can help you feel satiated, which will make you want to eat less.
"These studies sound promising, but as mentioned above, there haven't been extensive studies proving that taking ACV daily will greatly impact your metabolism or help with weight loss."
Read more: https://www.popsugar.com/fitness/ACV-Help-Weight-Loss-43633087
CBD Products Play Major Role in the Legal Cannabis Industry
August 16, 2017 07:14 PM
Hemp Business Journal and Vote Hemp released a report indicating the United States based hemp industry sold $688 million worth of products in 2016. The industry is expected to continue with this successful trend, with estimates of $1.8 billion in sales by 2020. Various companies are capitalizing on this success and trying to expand their markets - for example, a Hemp Education Center is being established by ChineseHempOil.com, Inc., to provide information about the health benefits of hemp. Other organizations, like United Cannabis Corp, are leading the way in developing medical uses and therapies that utilize cannabinoids.
Read more: CBD Products Play Major Role in the Legal Cannabis Industry
6 Unexpected Health Benefits of Activated Charcoal
August 16, 2017 04:14 PM
While most are not aware of the health benefits found in activated charcoal, adherents of the ancient Indian medicinal system of Ayurveda understand the true value of this underrated ingredient. Activated charcoal is excellent at soothing the stomach, as it aids digestive health and can alleviate symptoms of bloating. Activated charcoal also provides benefits to the skin as well. Thanks to its powerful cleansing properties, it can clear up even the most stubborn of breakouts. Adherents of Ayurveda also swear by activated charcoal’s superior teeth whitening potential compared to that of traditional fluoride toothpaste. This versatile ingredient also helps to lower cholesterol, can cure a hangover, and act as a natural filter for your water.
"In other words, activated charcoal can help draw out toxins from your food, water, and body."
Read more: https://www.brit.co/unexpected-health-benefits-of-activated-charcoal/
CBD Products Market Becoming Hottest Segment of Cannabis Industry as Demand Continues to ...
June 23, 2017 11:14 AM
CBD product sales have become the fastest growing segment of the cannabis industry. Cannabis manufacturers are scrambling to come up with new products for this increasing national and global market. New products such as a Kanna-infused CBD are being produced to enhance the health benefits of CBD. With these type of innovations in mind, investors are paying attention. Large cannabis manufacturers with public shares in the company have all been experiencing an increase in their stock prices. The trend is expected to continue.
Read more: CBD Products Market Becoming Hottest Segment of Cannabis Industry as Demand Continues to ...
Animal Study Finds Monounsaturated Fats in Olive Oil May Extend Life
June 10, 2017 12:14 PM
A recent genetic study on metabolic changes has discovered an unexpected finding: accumulation of monounsaturated fats may lengthen one's lifespan. Though the study was conducted among roundworms rather than humans, it is interesting to note since researchers previously thought that decreased caloric intake would increase longevity. Rather, it appears that this particular build-up of fat and calories can be beneficial. The researchers discovered this by blocking certain DNA-modifying proteins to increase lifespan among worms, and then noted that these worms displayed higher levels of monounsaturated fatty acids.
"Prior research shows the type of fat consumed has a much greater influence on health than the quantity, and the recent experiment builds upon what is known on the topic."
Read more: https://www.oliveoiltimes.com/olive-oil-health-news/animal-study-finds-monounsaturated-fats-olive-oil-may-extend-life/56292
Cancer-killing Dandelion Tea Receives $157K Research Grant
May 18, 2017 08:44 AM
Chronic monocytic myeloid leukemia, a cancer of the blood, has been shown to respond to respond to dandelion root extract in clinical studies. Siyaram Pandey, a biochemist at the University of Windsor, began studying its effects after an oncologist pointed out to him that patients of hers who drank dandelion root tea, were getting better. He developed a formula concentration the roots into a potent tea that has shown to treat cancer cells, while leaving healthy cells alone. His team has received a substantial research grant to continue their research.
"After other medical treatments for his leukemia failed he tried the tea. Four months later, he returned to the clinic in remission and has been cancer-free for three years."
Read more: http://www.healthnutnews.com/cancer-killing-dandelion-tea-receives-157k-research-grant/
I Drank Warm Water With Lemon And Honey For 365 Days And Then Experienced Some Great Results
May 11, 2017 04:44 AM
Lemon and honey warm water has some pretty exciting benefits when you drink it for a cold, allergies, or other conditions. But, when you consume this drink every day for an entire year the benefits are out of this world, and certainly things that you never before expected. It is worth adjusting your life and adding this drink to it each day because these are benefits that you do not want to let pass you by.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au91zJ29w_s&rel=0
"After revealing her experience after using warm lemon water online, Crystal Davis became a real hit all around the world. This American woman was searching an effective natural way to improve her health and enhance her life and decided to incorporate a simple habit into her daily routine."
Medical cannabis - The healing pros and cons
March 18, 2017 01:44 PM
Medical cannabis is becoming more widely accepted across the world as studies continue to show the phenomenal results patients have obtained with its use. There is no question that medical marijuana has an array of positive benefits associated with its use that you should know. But, are there disadvantages of using medical marijuana? Nothing is perfect, so it is only expected that some disadvantages exist. Learn more about both the pros and the cons of medical cannabis without delay.
"The use of medical cannabis is currently legal in 28 states, and proponents say the herb is changing lives by granting relief to people suffering from such problems as chronic cancer pain, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, anxiety and sleep disorders."
Read more: http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-03-15-medical-cannabis-the-healing-pros-and-cons.html
This Chinese Herb (+ Iron) Kills Cancer Cells in 16 Hours
March 18, 2017 08:44 AM
150 years ago cancer was almost non-existent, but with the inclusion of processed foods, low-quality meat and dairy, and refined sugars into the standard diet, disease and sickness sprung up in the body, and quickly became a human epidemic. Artemisinin has been used in the past as a powerful anti-malarial herb, but it now has been proven to be a cancer-fighter, too. French drugmaker Sanofi is expected to make 50 to 60 tons of Artemisinin each year, aiming to supply enough for global market demand.
"In a recent study published by Life Sciences, it was found that artemisinin (the derivative), coupled with Iron, can kill 98% of breast cancer cells in 16 hours."
'Good' bacteria is potential solution to unchecked inflammation seen in bowel diseases
March 16, 2017 01:44 PM
Valuable microscopic organisms might be the way to turning around a cycle of gut irritation found in certain fiery inside ailments, College of North Carolina Lineberger Far reaching Tumor Center scientists have found. Scientists found that including back a sort of advantageous microscopic organisms that ordinarily develops in the gut can help end this cycle, recommending another treatment for incendiary inside ailment. The two most basic fiery entrail infections, Crohn's illness, and ulcerative colitis influence an expected 1.6 million individuals in the Unified States, as indicated by the Crohns and Colitis Establishment of America. They trust their discoveries could conceivably prompt to medications for individuals with fiery gut illnesses with diminished NLRP12 expression. You can focus on the irritation that downstream of NLRP12 with mitigating medications, or you could simply nourish the creatures particular microscopic organisms that advantage, and it causes a move that made them less defenseless to the ailment.
"NLRP12 has been known to suppress inflammatory signals to prevent an overactive immune response. But an analysis uncovered low levels of NLRP12 in twins with ulcerative colitis, but not in paired twins without the disease. And in mouse models that lacked this protein, they found higher levels of inflammation in the colon."
Read more: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/03/170313135055.htm
Developments in the Legal Cannabis Industry
March 03, 2017 10:59 AM
The legal marijuana industry is currently the fastest-growing business in the United States. If it continues to expand and reaches all 50 states, it could become even bigger than the organic foods market. According to The ArcView Group, a research company focused on cannabis industry investment, the U.S. market grew 74% in 2014, up from the prior year of $1.5 billion.
"A report published by The Hemp Business Journal estimates that the Cannabidiol (CBD) market will grow to a $2.1 billion market in consumer sales by 2020 with $450 million of those sales coming from hemp-based sources. In 2015, the market for consumer sales of hemp-derived CBD products was $90 million, plus another $112 million in marijuana-derived CBD products which were sold through dispensaries - bringing a total CBD market to $202 million last year"
Gut bacteria may hold key to treating autoimmune disease
December 29, 2016 07:59 AM
Inflammation and autoimmunity are caused by inappropriate activity of the body's own regulatory T immune cells. A mutation in a gene called Foxp3 causes a fatal disease, IPEX syndrome, where these cells run amok. But new research shows an unexpected link to the gut: Foxp3 mutant mice end up missing a particular type of bacteria from their intestines. By replacing the missing bacterial species in the gut microbiome, many of the T cell-mediated inflammatory symptoms could be improved.
"The study, published online in The Journal of Experimental Medicine, suggests that replacing the missing gut bacteria."
Tired? Weak? You're not 'just getting old'; something is wrong
December 27, 2016 07:59 AM
When we start feeling rundown and tired, we tend to make jokes about getting old. The truth is, however, that feelings of depression and fatigue are not normal aging side effects. If these feelings are longer than expected, a consultation with a doctor is in order. You know your body best. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t try to pass it off as aging. There are many factors, medical and physical, that can cause signs of fatigue, depression, change of appetite, and weakness. Only a doctor can order the tests that can tell you the exact reason, so don’t hesitate.
"If you suddenly find your thinking is cloudy and your memory unreliable, if you're overcome by dizziness and your balance is out of whack, if you find yourself tossing and turning at night and running urgently to the bathroom, don't chalk it up to normal aging."
5 Sure Fire Ways to Know if You Have Hashimoto’s
December 22, 2016 10:59 AM
Hashimoto’s disease is a hypothyroid disorder that is caused by an immune attack on your thyroid. This leads to a generally fatigued and weak feeling that persists longer than expected. It can also affect the health of your hair, your weight, and how you respond to cold environments. So, if you have been feeling rundown for a while and just generally down in the dumps with any of the other above symptoms, it may be time to talk to your doctor to get tested.
"Hashimoto’s is the most common autoimmune thyroid disorder. For a variety of reasons, your immune system sets out to attack your thyroid gland. Over time, the thyroid gland is slowly destroyed"
Hemp Protein Expected to Be Biggest Emerging Market by 2026
December 21, 2016 02:59 PM
Hemp protein is a nutrient that has been gaining popularity. Due to its diverse profile of protein, carbohydrates, fatty acids, and fiber, hemp protein has a lot of benefits. It contains all essential amino acids needed by humans and can help with constipation, diabetes, and heart disease. This plant is also very easy to grow without the aid of fungicides or herbicides. Once the benefits of this produce become more widely known, the market is expected to take off.
"Hemp protein refers to the industrial by product of hemp seeds. Hemp seeds have a composition of approximately 45 percent oil, 35 percent protein and 10 percent carbohydrates."
4 Main Health Benefits Of Grapefruit
Grapefruits are fruits loved by many. Most people prefer eating this fruit mainly because they're rich in vitamin C. Besides that, grateful also has a number of health benefits that you should probably know about. This fruit is found in 3 different pulps; white, red or pink pulps. But nevertheless, they still offer similar benefits. I'm going to show you some of the most unexpected health benefits of grapefruits that you probably need to be aware of.
Benefits of Grapefruit
Grapefruit is a good remedy for those who want to shed some weight. A high metabolism is good because it will help you burn down excessive fat in your body even when you're resting. Eating grapefruit before meal can tremendously help you lose some weight. This is because grapefruits have a high amount of enzymes and less sodium which helps to burn excessive fat easily.
Reduces the risk of having kidney stones
According to reports, grapefruits reduce the risk of having kidney stones. Naringenin is a natural compound that regulates protein a called PKD2 which is responsible for the prevention of kidney cysts. The antioxidant effects will also prevent the kidneys from swelling which is mainly caused by fluid retention.
Strengthen the immune system
Typically, any fruit that is rich in vitamin C will support and strengthen the immune system. This vitamin also works in conjunction with other micronutrients in order to provide the body with good nourishment. Having high levels of the vitamin will help reduce cold symptoms. This will make it easier to control allergies since vitamin C reduces histamine levels.
Protects against cancer
Grapefruits have also been linked to reducing the chances of getting certain cancers. Recent studies have discovered that the fruit can help repair/restore damaged DNA found in prostate cancer cells. The natural compound called naringenin stimulates repair of DNA in the cancer cells and will prevent your body from cancer. Grapefruits have been linked to reducing the risk of cancer like breast cancer, cancer of the stomach, colon, esophagus as well as bladder.
10 health concerns you can detect through your eyes
November 26, 2016 06:59 AM
While I was driving the car in the city where traffic was bad, I found the brake override warning lamp illuminated on the combination meter sometimes. And then, when I accelerated the car while the light was illuminated, unexpectedly the engine did not have power.
"When you meet someone new, the first thing you notice about them is probably their eyes—the shape, the color and sometimes their health"
Inflammation Pain Got You Down? EPA Fish Oil Can Help
There's absolutely no doubt as to whether fish oil contains anti-inflammatory benefits. The main question is how one can tap into these benefits. How fish oil helps in inflammation pain is well understood. Basically, fish oil contains EPA and DHA which are Omega 3 fatty acids. Our body cannot make these essential fats on its own, and it's therefore important to have them in included in the diet just like other minerals and vitamins.
Effects of Inflammation Pain
Fish oil has shown to have potential benefits to all these diseases, but the main question is how one substance could help so many different conditions. However, fish oil contains essential omega 3 fats that benefit a wide variety of health conditions, either related or caused by inflammation.
How EPA helps inflammation
EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid) is an omega 3 fatty acid present in fish oil and is used by the body as a building block for manufacturing a group of chemicals with anti-inflammatory effects. This simply means that EPA acts as the fuel for the ability of our body to make its own anti-inflammatory chemicals. Scientists and nutritionists have shown that our modern diet is deficient in these omega 3 fatty acids. They also suggest that this may serve as an explanation of the current epidemic of inflammatory pain related illnesses that are being experienced in most western countries.
EPA fish oil dosage
In order to achieve significant anti-inflammatory effects, you must take a large daily dose of EPA-rich fish oils. One study has shown that patients suffering from disabling pain are able to achieve a significant pain relief that could not be helped by prescriptive pain medications, after taking high doses of fish oil for a prolonged period of time. In this study, all the patients had suffered severe disabling pain that could not be relieved through prescriptive pain medications. The pain was caused by something different in each of the cases.
One of the patients had second and third-degree burns over large parts of his body and was still experiencing pain despite taking morphine. Another patient had suffered a disc herniation in his neck. In all these cases, patients experienced significant relief after taking high doses of EPA fish oils and were able to return to their normal daily living. The fish oil daily dosage included 3200 mg to 7000 mg of EPA and DHA combined.
Assessing your need for omega 3
The expected results from taking fish oil largely depend on your current intake of omega 3 fats. If your body is currently depleted on omega 3 fats, it will certainly take much longer before it reaches the optimal levels of omega 3 and to achieve the full benefits of EPA. To determine your current omega 3 status, a simple blood test can measure your Omega-Index.
Xylitol, a Healthy and Safe Sweetener.
March 12, 2014 09:05 PM
What is xylitol
Xylitol is a comprehensively utilized regular sweetening operator that was initially uncovered by a German Chemist in the nineteenth century. The primary crude materials utilized for its assembling are birch trees and corn, however can moreover be processed from plums and berries. It is worth specifying that it is in addition commonly handled in little amounts by the human form. Xylitol is without a doubt not the most well known sugar substitute or nourishment added substance yet that doesn't imply that it isn't an essential one since it pushes various health profits. Researchers began investigating these profits once again a large portion of a century prior and more conceivable solid profits are continuously investigated today. Artificially it is a sugar liquor that has five carbon iotas in its compound structure and this structure is answerable for a large portion of its properties that make it gainful.
As we specified, xylitol has various profits, yet the particular case that is best thought about is the way that it can avoid dental caries. Research discoveries are strong to the point, that this profit is undeniable. There are numerous instruments that are answerable for this valuable impact. One of them is that dissimilar to sugar and starchy sustenances it doesn't result in an abatement of the ph in the mouth, despite what might be expected it can help kill it. Acidic conditions in the oral pit are valuable for microorganisms like S. Mutans that are the primary driver of dental caries. Moreover, the acids processed can bring about harms to the tooth veneer that ensures our teeth. Other than securing tooth veneer, there are proof that propose it can additionally help restore it. Notwithstanding that, these microorganisms can't age xylitol to handle vitality so as to duplicate, then again sugar is their favored vitality source. At long last, xylitol can extraordinarily diminish the adherence of the organisms on the tooth surface and as a result their capacity to manufacture plaque. All the reasons above help xylitol's tooth day battling profits.
It has been made clear that xylitol has various vital profits. On the other hand, it is paramount to note that it has several minor reactions also. The two fundamental symptoms that could be created by the utilization of xylitol are bloating and looseness of the bowels. These symptoms are created on the grounds that xylitol is ingested by inactive dispersion and happen assuming that somebody expends it above his laxation limit. It is likewise worth noting that the laxation limit can expand over the long run as the physique adjusts to the routine ingestion of xylitol. A couple of extra symptoms like unfavorable susceptibilities have been accounted for however they are not decently archived or affirmed via research information. At long last, most official associations, including the FDA have sanction it as a safe nourishment added substance for people.
February 26, 2014 08:51 AM
What is thyme
Thyme is delicate herb with a highly penetrating fragrance. It has very many varied importance in culinary, medicinal and ornamental purposes. Thyme is an ancient herb that was used for medical purposes by Greeks and Egyptians. It has a sweet yet strong herbal smell and is reddish-brown to amber in color. Thyme essential oil is carefully extracted through distillation from Thymus Vulgaris that belongs to the Labiatae plant family. This oil is considered to have very many health benefits that range from curing some ailments to preventing as well as improving the general body health.
Benefits of thyme
To begin with, it is an excellent disinfectant that is highly regarded particularly in aromatherapy for the protection against infectious diseases. Thyme oil is an antiseptic as well as an expectorant. When diffused into the atmosphere, it can be really beneficial in the treatment and as well as revealing the symptoms of bronchitis, sinusitis, pneumonia, coughs, cold and flu.
The components in this volatile oil have also been proven to expel antimicrobial activity against a host of different bacteria and fungi. For thousands of years, this essential oil has been used to preserve foods; protecting them from microbial contamination. In this way, using the oil helps people avoid various health issue associated with contaminated food.
Thyme oil is also crucial in stimulating the formation of white blood cells as well as aiding in the oxygenation of cellular tissues; which helps in the removal of toxic wastes during illness. Thyme oil generally boosts your lymphatic system and builds your self-esteem and confidence in your ability to make quick recovery during illness.
For a vitamin or supplement, thyme oil taken by mouth and can be very helpful in curing arthritis, stomach pain and a sore throat. It has also been used to treat skin disorders, movement disorders (dyspraxia) as well as parasitic worm infections. This oil can also be applied directly to the skin for swollen tonsils, hoarseness and sore mouth.
I would like to caution you. Please note that there are lots of cheap, synthetic copies of essential oils. You, therefore, need to be careful when purchasing thyme oil and ensure that you get it from a trusted supplier to avoid getting a counterfeit product that may not give you the expected results.
What is Xylitol?
February 09, 2014 08:50 AM
What is Xylitol?
Xylitol is a 5-carbon Sugar alcoholic recognized even more particularly like a polyalcohol (polyol) and it has already been getting used because the 60's. You can find this within nourishments with regard to unique nutritional reasons as well as a number of without having Sugar goodies, candy, mints as well as biting down hard gums.
What you may need to know about Vitamin B2
January 05, 2014 09:06 AM
What you may need to know about Vitamin B2
Vitamin B2, also called riboflavin or additive E101, is one of the eight (8) B vitamins that are necessary for maintaining proper human health. This nutrient serves several roles in the body. Most important of all, vitamin B2 helps in breaking down food components, including proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Secondly, it plays a critical role in maintaining the body’s energy supply. Thirdly, it is necessary for maintaining body tissues.
Water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins. On its part, vitamin B2 is a water-soluble vitamin. Generally, these types of vitamins get absorbed fast into the bloodstream and any excess eliminated through urine. This means that regular replenishment is required.
As vitamin B2 is a vital nutrient, its deficiency may lead to several health complications. Some of the symptoms of the nutrient’s deficiency include sore throats, mouth ulcers, abnormally red lips, inflammation of the tongue, cracks at the corners of the mouth (technically known as angular cheilitis), inflammation of the lining of the mouth, and iron-deficiency anemia.
What Are The Symptoms Of GABA Deficiency?
September 05, 2011 11:19 AM
In this modern age many of our illnesses comes from the lack of certain substances, chemicals or enzymes just to name a few possibilities but the list could go on. They are called so many different things but they all have one thing in common and that’s being essential to our day to day bodily functions. In this writing we will look into possible symptoms of GABA deficiency.
GABA or Gamma aminobutyric Acid
Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is an essential neurotransmitter in the body. Its main function is as an inhibitor which mainly focuses on regulating neuronal excitability throughout the nervous system and another function that this chemical has it to aid in the regulation of muscle tone in human beings. In terms of its chemical makeup it is essentially an amino acid however it is very seldom to be called that in the scientific community.
The reason mainly for this is because it is not an alpha amino acid and is never incorporated with a protein which what the term amino acid is commonly reserved for in the medical science world. GABA, to keep things simple is mainly essential to the nervous system and brain health. It is responsible for the maintenance of our nervous system functions and some parts of the brain by allowing the nerves to complete the processes needed to get all the necessary chemicals to keep nerve functions healthy.
GABA Deficiency and Symptoms
As a neurotransmitter it has the ability to influence relaxation and aid in preventing anxiety when GABA levels are too low in the body there are a variety of unwanted effects that can happen. The reasons for GABA being too low in the body can possibly be two things, it can either be genetic or acquired reasons. Just to name some specific possible factors in GABA levels being low are chronic stress and chronic pain. Furthermore, inadequate sleep, caffeine excess, excessive electromagnetic radiation and progesterone deficiency may also further initiate the lowering of GABA levels in the body. With GABA being an essential neurotransmitter the first symptom that may arise with a lack of this brain chemical in the body is expectedly anxiety and depression.
Many studies have shown individuals that suffer from some form of anxiety and depression commonly has low levels of GABA in their body and it has also confirmed that when subjects are supplemented with this brain chemical in an attempt to raise levels in the body they are alleviated of the incidence of depression and anxiety. Feeling panicky, nervous and having a low tolerance for stress are also possible symptoms and also have been shown in researches to be alleviated through GABA supplementation. The most common medication for people suffering from these symptoms is valium and as most of us know, even for those who haven’t used it, it has nasty side effects and one of them is addiction to it however more natural means of supplementing with GABA will be able to give the same desired improvements but with lesser side effects.
What Is the Life Span Of Human Cells And How Do Antioxidants Help?
August 25, 2011 10:38 AM
The human body is composed of many different cells. These cells have varying functions as well as life span. The human cells, in general, are very complex. Some cells may last only within a day while others may be for life. Like for example, one blood component known as neutrophil lasts only within 24 hours. On the other hand, another blood component which is red blood cell has a life span of 120 days. One human cell which lasts for a lifetime is the stem cell. Stem cells are undifferentiated cells which are the source of blood cells. They supply the body throughout life both with red and white blood cells. Here is a brief outline of some cells of the human body with their corresponding life spans.
1. Granulocytes such as eosinophils, basophils and neutrophils – half day to 3 days
2. Stomach and colon lining cells – 2 to 4 days
3. Sperm cells – 2 to 3 days
4. Epithelial cells of the small intestines – 5 to 7 days
5. Platelets – 10 days
6. Skin epidermal cells – 14 to 28 days
7. Lymphocytes, macrophages and endothelial cells – 2 months to a year, but may vary
8. Pancreatic cells – a year or more
9. Bone cells – 25 to 30 years
As shown above, these human cells have an expected time of death. However, if the body is exposed to harmful toxins, their life span significantly decreases. As we know for a fact, the body undergoes many biological reactions almost every second. The reaction is called oxidation process which is essential to the body. However, such reaction has harmful by – products in the form of free radicals. Free radicals can cause the body significant damage. Free radicals can cause destruction and death of the healthy cells of the body and also affect the body’s cellular division. This kind of chemicals can potentially tamper DNA replication during cell division. Once cellular division is tampered, abnormal growths would likely happen. Aside from the naturally occurring free radicals, external stressors can also cause damage to the cells of the body. Some of these include pollutants, harmful chemicals and irritants. These harmful chemicals can potentially lead to the development of certain disease conditions such as heart diseases, stroke and cancer.
Fortunately, there are many antioxidants which can greatly help in the prevention of free radical damage by protecting the cells of the body. Antioxidants are molecules which can effectively prevent the oxidation of other molecules. There are many natural antioxidants found among plants and animals. Some common antioxidants are glutathione, vitamin C and vitamin E. Other nutrients which have antioxidative property include beta – carotene, lutein, lycopene, vitamin A and selenium. Fruits and vegetables are great sources of antioxidants. Nuts, grains, meat, poultry products and fish are also good sources of such cell – protecting chemicals. In addition, dietary supplements of antioxidants are also widely available in the market. However, health experts highly suggest that before supplementation of antioxidants, medical evaluation must be done first to be completely safe.
What Can Chromium Picolinate Do In The Body?
July 23, 2011 03:15 PM
It is inevitable that health awareness and protection are very vital. It is also very crucial for us to take necessary measures and precautions to boost our guards from elements that could pose harm and threat to our very delicate body. If we just take these things for granted, for sure, we will be paying for the consequences of our own actions. Fortunately, we are living in this generation where in many have already been discovered that we could utilize to help us achieve a health state that we have always wanted. Chromium Picolinate is one useful element that could help us control the blood sugar levels in our body. Therefore, it is deemed necessary especially for those that are suffering from diabetes mellitus.
Many experts would claim that Chromium is beneficial in reducing body fat as well as in improving muscle tone. With the array of benefits it is capable of offering the human body; its discovery could be considered as a miracle breakthrough in the field of medical science. However, there are still questions that lurk in the minds of many about chromium. Questions like “could chromium be the answer of our predicament with the very common diabetes mellitus?” Such question is surely expected because not all are fully aware about its importance therefore; its discovery is not yet wholly appreciated. Because of this, there is a great need to educate the populace about its benefits.
Chromium is an important trace mineral that is useful in the metabolism of carbohydrates hence; it could play a vital role in the regulation and metabolism of blood sugar. Other benefits of chromium would also include management of cholesterol, and hypertension. Chromium can be grasped from many food sources. But it is most abundant in true brewer’s yeast. The more common nutritional yeast though has chromium content but is not as high compared to that of a true brewer’s yeast. Chromium can also be found in grains and cereals. However, at the course of the refining process, most of the said mineral is depleted and lost. Beers also contain small amounts of chromium.
Many individuals who have good knowledge about chromium would really agree about the above mentioned benefits. As a matter of fact, a lot of dieters and health conscious individuals could really testify about the benefits of chromium picolanate especially in improving muscle tone, fat metabolism, and blood glucose level control. At present, there are a growing number of people who are already enticed to take chromium picolinate because of the irrefutable benefits it offers. Needless to say, we are the culprits of our own actions. Whatever health state we would grasp is surely the result of the things that we have sow and invested for our health. If you do not want to suffer from dreadful consequences of your own doing then you have to give yourself the protection that you truly deserve.
Grab Some Chromium and fee the difference!
Iodine, The Thyroid, And Radiation! What You Should Know!
July 13, 2011 10:34 AM
What Is Potassium Iodide Good For?Potassium iodide is an inorganic chemical compound which is a non-radioactive form of iodine. This type of chemical compound is very important to the body because it is involved with the production of thyroid hormones. If iodine in the body is low, thyroid hormones cannot be produced therefore levels of these hormones remain low in the blood. The pituitary gland, in return, will continue to produce thyroid – stimulating hormone thus the thyroid gland will also continually be stimulated. Overstimulation or overwork of any part of the body will cause enlargement thus goiter or enlargement of the thyroid gland occurs. These hormones are also important for the regulation of the body’s metabolism and are involved with protein synthesis, as well as fat and carbohydrate metabolism.
Potassium iodide is also important when there is radiologic exposure or nuclear meltdown since radioactive iodine may be freed into the air thus contamination to human beings and surrounding materials can be highly expected. Exposure may then lead to internal contamination which can be harmful to the body cells most especially with the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland readily absorbs iodine whether in radioactive ionizing or non-ionizing form. If potassium iodide is present, it fills the receptor sites of iodine thus preventing the radioactive form of iodine to be absorbed by the body.
The iodine in the receptor sites is good for 24 hours already. The Food and Drug Administration has approved two preparations of potassium iodide which comes in the form of tablet and liquid. The tablet comes in two dosage, 130 milligrams and 65 milligram. It is also scored so that it can be easily divided for smaller doses prescribed. The liquid preparation, on the other hand, contains 65 milligram of potassium iodide per one milliliter. Experts suggest that those who are exposed to high doses of radiation can take potassium iodide immediately after a nuclear meltdown or radiation emergency.
Potassium iodide is present among common foods especially sea foods. Kelp which is a large type of seaweeds is very rich in potassium iodide. Studies show that its iodine content is about 90 to 8000 microgram per gram of kelp. To note, the recommended daily allowance of iodine is only 100 to 150 micrograms. FDA recommends specific doses after exposure to large amounts of radioactive iodine. For adults, take 130 milligrams, for breastfeeding women, 130 milligrams is also recommended, for children 3 to 18 years old must take only 65 milligram, however, for children who are 150 pounds or more, 130 milligrams of potassium iodide is suggested. Children who are 1 month of age but less than three years old are recommended to take 32 milligrams or one – half of the 65 milligram tablet. Newborns to 1 month old babies are prescribed to have only 16 mg or one – fourth of the 65 milligram tablet.
The effectiveness of potassium iodide relatively depends on the time interval between the onset of exposure and contamination with radioactive iodine and the time when potassium iodide is taken, therefore, it is highly recommended that potassium iodide is taken just prior or immediately after exposure.
Can Dietary Collagen Help the Skin and Joint Tissue?
June 30, 2011 10:45 AM
Collagen and Your Health
Collagen is the most common form of protein in humans and other mammals. It is a major constituent of the extracellular matrix that provides structural support to animal cells from the outside. It displays great tensile properties, which is responsible for the strength and elasticity of the skin. Since it is a component of fibrous tissue, it is also found in ligaments and cartilages that make up joint tissue.
Dietary collagen has long been postulated to contribute to the biochemical composition of cells present in the skin and joints. Proponents of collagen supplements believe that dietary collagen is assimilated into the extracellular matrix and fibrous tissue. The scientific community has been doubtful about the efficacy of topical applications of collagen, but oral supplements have been promising in clinical trials.
Molecular collagen is composed of polymers of amino acids linked by peptide bands, which are too big at the cellular level to get absorbed through skin. On the other hand, intestinal absorption of dietary collagen remains a matter of controversy. That being said, nutraceutical companies have developed formulations of supplements that facilitate the best possible absorption rates and better bioavailability.
Tough bundles of collagen fibers comprise several polypeptide chains of fibrous structural proteins. All fibrous tissues have cells and extracellular matrix in between. High concentrations of collagen found in cartilages, ligaments, tendons, fascia, and even bones give these fibrous tissues tensile strength, the reason why the joints are capable of bearing a certain level of longitudinal stress without tearing apart.
Structural proteins make up the outer layer of the human skin and its appendages, such as the scalp, hair, and nails. The most important of these proteins are collagen, keratin, and elastin. Collagen fibers are responsible for the tensile properties of the skin. Keratin provides strength whereas elastin exerts an elastic effect. Collagen fibers affect the process of healing and its degradation leads to wrinkles.
Oral route of administration is believed to produce the health benefits linked to dietary collagen. While researchers have ruled out the health claims tied to collagen creams and lotions, they have reported encouraging results about dietary collagen. In fact, collagen supplements utilized in the management of rheumatoid arthritis and treatment of skin disorders have produced significantly positive outcomes.
One clinical trial that involved more than 200 participants diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis point to the medicinal potential of collagen as an adjunct treatment for rheumatism and osteoarthritis. There was a noticeable decrease in joint pain, morning stiffness, and restrained mobility, which were noted as statistically significant. For this reason, supplementation of collagen has attracted more research.
Dietary collagen is now becoming increasingly visible in the nutraceutical industry in that sales have increased in the past few years. It has become the subject of numerous studies well underway, and as such developments in collagen supplementation are expected to produce formulations specialized for higher bioavailability. The good news is dietary collagen has not been linked to any adverse effects.
Get some collagen today and feel the difference it can make in your diet!
Liver Protection With Lipoic Acid and R-Lipoic Acid
May 05, 2011 03:42 PM
Early biochemistry studies pioneered by Linus Pauling associated R-Lipoic acid with orthomolecular medicine in that proponents argued that it biological roles provide protection against diseases. Succeeding research in the latter half of the 20th century supported its status as an essential nutrient, but more recent studies proved that all it is produced in vivo by almost all mammals, including human beings. In the past few years Lipoic acid has been strongly linked to glutathione as its supplementation appears to raise levels of endogenous glutathione.
Strengthens Antioxidant Defense
Lipoic acid is believed to raise the antioxidant capacity of the human body. Its biological roles benefits all cells, most notably hepatocytes, the cells that make up a significant fraction of the liver. For one, it affects productions of glutathione throughout the body. Glutathione is tripeptide that protects cells from the damage caused by reactive oxygen species, such as free radicals. Furthermore, it is a major transport of toxins found in the systemic circulation, facilitating their excretion through the urine.
R-Lipoic acid has been observed to be the form of Lipoic acid that is capable of activating nuclear factor erythroid-derived-2-like 2, commonly abbreviated as NFE2L2, the protein that binds to DNA sequences responsible for regulating the antioxidant defense of the human body. Proponents believe that oral intake of R-Lipoic acid produces more visible results than its racemic counterparts.
Displays Higher Bioavailability
Research on Lipoic acid is one of the most advanced, starting in the 20th century and spanning over 5 decades. It is widely accepted that the forms available in the market are not bioequivalent. Most of the studies in the 1950’s utilize the enantiomer S-Lipoic acid and R/S-Lipoic acid race mixture because they were cheaper to produce. Recent developments in chiral chemistry have increasing allowed for large-scale productions of R-lipoic acid.
Many scientists today believe that R-Lipoic acid is superior to racemic forms. Its rate and extent in availability after oral administration has been noted to be far better, and thus its efficacy is expected to be more remarkable. It is postulated that its higher bioavailability allows it to effective fill the roles of endogenous lipoic acid, not to mention manage to influence the master regulator of antioxidants.
Shows Vitamin-like Properties
The popularity of R-Lipoic acid lies in vitamin-like properties. Researchers are particularly enthusiastic about its purported benefits on human health, though more studies are needed. It is one of the organic compounds needed for enzyme function just like vitamins, and supplementation is believed to produce preventative benefits against diseases. Its pervasive roles at the cellular level enable it to affect energy metabolism, leading to healthy weight loss.
Can Herbs and Prunes Help with Constipation
March 30, 2011 02:41 PM
Herbs and Prunes as a natural laxative
Herbs and Prunes must be the best digestive formula out there. It contains a select combination of herbs whose laxative properties are tried and tested for decades, namely: senna leaf, Chinese rhubarb root, Chinese asparagus, beet leaf, buckthorn bark, cabbage leaf, cascara sagrada bark, celery leaf, cranberry fruit, Culver’s root, parsley leaf, spinach leaf, and prune fruit. In addition to their long-standing association with alternative medicine, medical research has pointed to their active ingredients that are purgative in nature. These herbs not only relieve digestive problems such as constipation and indigestion but also cleanse the gastrointestinal tract, effectively disposing of toxins.
Induces Bowel Movement
There are several factors that may give rise to constipation, but in most cases it results from withholding bowel movement far longer than what is considered normal. In general, a healthy individual is expected to discharge fecal matter from the bowels at least once a day although it may vary from person to person. The rectum sends messages to the brain every time the final phase of digestion is about to take place, and not responding to these messages leads to reversing the direction of the feces, which are temporarily stored in the colon. However, the colon is not able to reduce the pressure the feces produce for long periods of time, leading to constipation. The unique formulation of Herbs and Prunes relaxes the intestinal walls and softens the stools, making it much easier to evacuate the bowels.
Alleviates Abdominal Pains
The phytochemicals that are considered the active ingredients of Herbs and Prunes include anthraquinones, such as senna glycosides, sorbitol, and isatin, such as dihydrophenylisatin, among others. These organic compounds are reputed for their laxative properties that soothe the muscles tissues within the intestinal walls and influence the releases of chemicals that sensitive the digestive tract to pain. Irregular bowel movement causes what we refer to as stomach pains, and more often than not the foods that we eat influences regularity. A balanced diet is named so because it promotes digestion as well as gives us the nutrients our body needs in right amounts. Herbs and Prunes works on the principle of supplying our body with all-natural, plant-based dietary fiber and phytochemicals that restores normal digestion.
Detoxifies the Digestive Tract
Herbs and Prunes comprises a significant fraction of both soluble and insoluble fiber that are guaranteed to wash away toxins when ingested with ample amounts of liquids. As diet significantly influences human health, it is not surprising that the digestive system may be rendered susceptible to unhealthy foods. The alimentary canal is our first line of defense against toxins that the foods we eat produce. Plant-based foods that contain fiber remove by-products of digestion that otherwise accumulate in the bowels. In conjunction with phytochemicals, fiber is known to reach parts of the alimentary canal that play host to harmful microorganisms, the reason why plant-derived medications are often the cure to many diseases of the digestive system.
Herbs and Prunes
It is always recommended to keep a herbs and prunes formula on hand when irregularity hits. Grab yourself a bottle today!
Do you Suffer from Varicose Veins? There Is A Remedy!
February 03, 2011 01:10 PM
Over 12 million people suffer from varicose veins in the US alone, and leg veins in particular are expected to appear by the time women turn 50. There is nothing pleasant about having varicose veins, and complications are not uncommon, giving rise to venous ulcers and even cancerous tissues. The good news is that a treatment proven to be safe and effective has been around for years with the use of horse chestnut seed extract or HCSE as made available by pharmaceutical companies.
Veins may develop conditions leading to the impairment of its functions. Unlike arteries, veins pump blood back to the heart, and acting against gravity bear the weight of the blood coming from the lower extremities. This seems to be a real burden to the veins in the legs, but the vascular walls of all veins have special valves to accomplish this feat. To avoid blood flow moving against the programmed current inside the veins, leaflets of the valves fold and close up as blood passes.
A medical condition called chronic venous insufficiency explains the appearance of varicose veins. Veins anywhere in the body can get inflicted with the same symptoms made evident by varicose veins, but the latter is more noticeable because it lies close to the surface of the skin. The valves inside the venous system must be able to act against the turbulence that may occur inside the tube, and when they don’t, blood flow literally descends into chaos, putting an added pressure on the vascular walls.
The resulting dilated veins are what we refer to as varicose veins, which is just one symptom of chronic venous insufficiency. Age is one major factor in the development of this medical condition. It is a fact that the valves inside the leg veins are more susceptible to decreasing elasticity as we age due to daily wear and tear the veins in the legs has to endure over the years. Since female hormones contribute to the relaxing of the vascular walls, varicose veins are more likely to afflict women.
For most women, varicose veins must be remedied to avoid the social implications they bring. However, there are a number of patients that are plagued with a variety of complications. Some women practically lose the ability to stand or walk for otherwise short stretches of time, significantly affecting their productivity at work. More severe cases include the formation of skin ulcers close to the area of varicose veins, which may worsen into necrosis or skin loss.
All the debilitating effects of varicose veins can be countered by intake of horse chestnut seed extract, including of course the removal of ugly leg veins. Standardized dosage of horse chestnut is among the best remedies for chronic venous insufficiency, accounting for innumerable positive results that have been documented in recent years minus the side effects commonly associated with other medications. In fact, medical professionals in Europe largely rely on the use of horse chestnut to correct varicose veins.
July 08, 2009 10:50 AM
The headline "Doubts over heart claims of omega-3 fats" was published in March of 2006 in the world's largest international news agency, Reuters. This article reported on the findings of a study on omega-3 fats and heart health, which published the exact same month in the British Medical Journal. The article found in Reuters claimed that the systematic review of 89 studies led to the conclusion that there was no substantive evidence that omega-3 fats actually protected individuals against cardiovascular disease or cancer. The New Zealand Herald picked up this article and announced that the heart-healthy advice to eat more oily fish was incorrect, as it advised its readers to put fish oils on the top of the list of medical beliefs that turned out to be myths.
In actuality, the omega-3 investigation, conducted by Lee Hooper and coworkers at the University of East Anglia School of Medicine, was a meta-analysis, as it combined data from several available clinical trials. Meta-analyses are highly speculative due to the differences in the scientific protocols between the included studies, which can lead to difficulty in exposing a common factor. A good meta-analysis is often useful to put contradictory evidence into perspective. However, a poorly designed analysis can lead to bad science and faulty conclusions.
This Hooper analysis was a review of 48 randomized controlled trials, along with 41 cohort studies. However, the investigation only used as few as 15 controlled trials and 3 cohort studies in compiling the data. Included in this analysis were studies that had very small sample sizes and provided little data on the effects under investigation. Extremely low death rates in several of the studies that were included worsened the situation, which resulted in a very large confidence interval and a lower analytical power than what was expected. Additionally, there was a large degree of difference among the included studies. Some of them had death rates in their control groups as low as 0.5%, while others had extremely high control-group death rates exceeding 15% and 22% in two cases. This fact indicates that there were large disparities in the health of subjects. This much heterogeneity among subjects requires a high degree of analytical power in order to produce meaningful results. This was something that the Hooper study lacked.
When addressing the above issues, the authors of the study pointed out that “there were too few events such as deaths, associated cardiovascular events, and incidences of cancer to rule out the possibility of important effects from various interventions.” This basically means that the numbers produced in the study produced results that didn't show much of anything. In a case like this, a person should be extremely cautious as to dismissing a possibly association based on negative results. Dr. Mike Knapton, the Director of Prevention and Care for the British Heart Foundation cautioned the public that they should not stop consuming omega-3 fats or eating oily fish as a result of this study. The wise advice given by Dr. Knapton, however, was not enough to stop the media from fabricating stories and devaluing the necessity for omega-3 fats.
The fact is that omega-3 when taken on a consistent basis can help reduce cholesterol and improve cardiovascular health. Look for high quality omega-3 fish oil that is molecularly distilled at your local or internet health food store. Always select name brands to ensure quality and purity of the product you purchase.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Omega-3 fish oil is not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.
Natural Vitamins under Attack
June 29, 2009 02:53 PM
The value of nutritional supplements in protecting and promoting human health has been intensely debated in recent years throughout the scientific and medical community as well as the national press. Many researchers believe that supplements provide a convenient and effective way to supply the optimal amounts of essential nutrients that are necessary for supporting long-term health, while others argue that there is no proof that supplements provide any real health benefits at all.
A lot of the debate has been published by media that is more interested in selling papers than reporting the truth. Because of this sloppy reporting and distorted information, the public has been unnecessarily alarmed, causing them to lose trust in complementary health care. It is crucial that this false information be addressed before harm that is irreversible is done to an industry that is committed to natural approaches to wellness and a public that is increasingly confused as to where to turn for truthful advice on preventing disease and achieving optimal health. The mixed messages that have been reported in the headlines have confused both health-conscious consumers and medical practitioners, as one day they’re told something is good for them and the next day they’re told it is not.
If there is any consolation to this whole thing, it may be helpful to understand that science never progresses smoothly, as there are always new findings that appear to disprove long-held beliefs. Controversy is necessary for change, as it paves the road that science must travel in order to arrive at the real truth. Unfortunately, bias in the media and conflicts of interest add an unnecessary element to finding the real scientific truth.
When looking at the recent studies that have been negated, there are several explanations that arise for the findings that seem to contradict prevailing scientific evidence. First of all, several long-term dietary intervention trials have recently come about which were developed in the early 1990s before good and bad fats were differentiated. Because of this design, these studies simply assume that all fat is the same, and to reduce fat, one must cut out all kinds of fat. Secondly, it has been proven that there will always be a statistical fluke in a bunch. Therefore, out of 100 clinical studies to investigate a particular effect, probability states that five of these studies, no matter how well they are designed, will show results that are not real.
Thirdly, it is expected that about one fifth of clinical trials that investigate a particular effect will not have the needed number of subjects to produce a result that is statistically significant. This is so because in most clinical trials there is only an 80% probability of finding a real result, which is known as the power of the test. Because of this, there is up to a 20% chance completely missing the mark and failing to find a difference when one actually exists. Finally, some investigations are just bad science, as they are improperly conducted, poorly reported, and inadequately reviewed. Unfortunately, these studies attract a great deal of attention from the media, which has been the case recently.
Natural vitamin supplements can feed the body and help the body fight disease and stay wall. The foods we eat determine what kind of health we will have, if we eat poorly, we will live with poor health. This is why we should consume a multiple vitamin and mineral as well as herbs and food concentrates to help supply our diet with the needed nutrients to sustain and maintain a good healthy lifestyle. Look to your local or internet health food store for vitamins, herbs, and food concentrates.
Calcium, Magnesium And Vitamin D
June 24, 2009 12:14 PM
In February 2006, the findings of an $18 million double-blind placebo-controlled study were published in the New England Journal of Medicine. This study was conducted by the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) and was on the protective effect of calcium and vitamin D. The New York Times reported on this study, declaring that the study found that there were no clear benefits to calcium pills. In this article, the fact that the women who stuck to their supplementation regime experienced 29% reduction in hip fractures was dismissed. This result is rarely achieved, even with use of the strongest pharmaceuticals.
This study was designed to determine whether postmenopausal women who were given calcium and vitamin D would have a lower risk of hip fracture. The intervention group was given 1,000 mg each day of calcium carbonate, along with 400 IU of vitamin D. Although these women portrayed a greater preservation of hipbone density, the decrease in risk of fracture of 12% was not significant as a whole. The fact that many of the women who were included in the study were under sixty, and therefore, not typically at risk for fractures, causes these results to be unsurprising.
The results that were found were also skewed as a result of the fact that compliance with the prescribed daily intake was only 59% by the end of the study. 41% of the study participants had fully stopped taking the prescribed daily dosage of calcium and vitamin D, with 24% having discontinued the supplementation altogether. With such an unexpectedly low compliance rate, along with the fact that the projected hip fracture rate was over twice what was actually observed, the power of the study was reduce to only 48%. As a result, the trial had less chance than a simple flip of a coin to find anything but the largest of differences in a risk for fracture.
Despite these shortcomings, the researchers looked at the subgroups, and found different pictures emerging. Looking only at the women who mostly stuck to their prescribed regime, researchers found that a reduction in fractures of 29% was experienced. Additionally, those women over sixty experienced a reduction in the risk of fracture of 21%. These results are actually remarkable, especially after considering the many problems which clouded the accuracy of the data. Unfortunately, reporters did not look at these findings, causing a slanted account of the study to be published. Because of this, the media failed to acknowledge what were actually significant findings.
Additionally, the design of the WHI study disregarded the fact that a reduction of fracture risk is actually dependent on several factors other than calcium. Studies have actually shown that magnesium is also of equal important in the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis, as a deficiency plays a central role in the development of the disease. Postmenopausal women and those women with osteoporosis usually have low bone-magnesium content, exhibiting other indicators of magnesium deficiency that are not seen in non-osteoporotic women. Also, calcium competes for absorption with magnesium, meaning that postmenopausal women who increase calcium intake without also increasing magnesium intake can impair their absorption of magnesium. With this knowledge, the failure of the researchers to include magnesium supplementation along with calcium and vitamin D caused the potential for a study that could cause harm on the patients. With the results as they are how can we trust studies that are conducted when the patients who participate do not follow the rules? For those who want to prevent osteoporosis, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D when taken together can help slow and prevent the onset of brittle bones.
Calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D come in capsule, tablet, and liquid softgel forms at your local or internet health food store. Always look for a name brand calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D supplement to ensure quality and purity of the product you purchase.
Glaucoma (loose your eye sight)
February 16, 2009 01:18 PM
Glaucoma is a group of diseases that affect the optic nerve and can lead to irreversible vision loss. It is usually associated with elevated fluid pressure within the eye. All forms of glaucoma can cause damage to the optic nerve and lead to vision loss, even blindness, if left untreated. About 2.2 million Americans have been diagnosed with glaucoma and as many as 2 million more could have it and not yet know. It is one of the lading causes of blindness and is expected to become more prevalent in years to come due to the growing population of older adults.
Those people who are at greatest risk for developing glaucoma are people over the age of sixty, people of African ancestry, and people with diabetes, high blood pressure, severe myopia, or a family history of glaucoma. Smokers also have an elevated risk, as do those who have sustained eye injuries or who have used steroids for an extended period of time.
About 3 percent of Americans are believed to have open-angle glaucoma, which is the most common form of this disease. Because this disorder causes no symptoms until it is quite advanced, only about half of those who have it are actually aware of it. In open-angle glaucoma, there is no physical blockage and the structure of the eye appear to be normal. However, the drainage of fluid is inadequate to keep the intraocular pressure at a normal level.
The most pronounced symptoms of open-angle glaucoma are the gradual loss or darkening of peripheral vision and a marked decrease in night vision or the ability of the eye to adjust to darkness. Other possible symptoms include chronic low-grade headaches, the need for frequent changes in eyeglass prescription, and/or seeing halos around electric lights.
A far less common, yet more serious, form of glaucoma is closed-angle glaucoma. Closed-angle glaucoma is much more dangerous than open-angle forms because it almost never manifests any symptoms until very late in the condition. By that time, vision may be irreversibly damaged.
Glaucoma probably has many causes, with many scientists believing it may be closely linked to stress and nutritional problems or disorders like diabetes and high blood pressure. Some think that excessive amounts of glutamic acid, which is a nonessential amino acid, may be involved. Glaucoma has also been linked to deficiency in nitric oxide, which is a molecule that is critical for healthy blood vessels. Problems with collagen, the most abundant protein in the human body, have been linked to glaucoma as well. Collagen increases the strength and elasticity of tissues in the body, especially those of the eye. Collagen and tissue abnormalities at the back of the eye contribute to the clogging of the tissues through which the intraocular fluid normally drains. This results in elevated inner eye pressure, leading to glaucoma and related vision loss.
The following nutrients are considered to be very important when dealing with and preventing glaucoma: choline, essential fatty acids, glutathione, rutin, vitamin A, vitamin B complex, vitamin C with bioflavonoids, vitamin E, alpha-lipoic acid, magnesium, a multivitamin and mineral complex, and zinc. Additionally, the following herbs are helpful: bilberry, chickweed, eyebright, coleus forskohli, fennel tea, chamomile, ginkgo biloba, zinc sulfate, jaborandi, and rose hips.
To resolve issues with the eyes, one must change their diet, exercise, and take supplements and herbs like what are listed above. Medical doctors are at a loss as to how glaucoma happens but they can help stop the progression of this disease if detected early on. Always consult your doctor before adding vitamins and herbs to your diet, vitamins and herbs are available at your local or internet health food store.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Vitamins and herbs are not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.
Natural Soap Bars
January 20, 2009 09:34 AM
With the earth-friendly topic being on so many people’s minds lately, consumers are realizing that using natural personal care products is a simple way to start with a greener lifestyle. Consumer demands for natural personal care products has actually experienced double digit growth consistently for the past few years, with this trend not expected to slow. At the same time, non-natural personal care is typically seeing less than a five percent growth.
Natural is currently one of the fastest growing subcategories of personal care, with a large crossover clientele emerging and many mass, grocery, and drug stores are now offering natural products. Success has moved natural ingredients into mainstream brands, opened doors to food, drug, and mass merchant distribution, and driven major consumer brands to enter the market. Larger mass market companies are now realizing the extreme growth potential and profitability of the natural market as compared to the traditional personal care market.
Manufactures have been trying many different things in the soap market including making soaps for sensitive skin, using fair trade ingredients, and discovering new ways to make creamier and more moisturizing soaps. Consumers are looking for their natural personal care products to have the same easy use and performance level of chemical-based personal care products. There is also an increase in interest in using food-based ingredients, as it is appealing on a consumer level due to the familiarity, because if you can eat it, it must be safe.
Fragrance-free and sensitive-sin products are also on the rise, with thirty percent of the population reporting some sensitivity to fragrance, while more than eighty percent report that exposure to fragrances is bothersome, with many synthetic fragrances containing phthalates, which are linked to birth defects and health-related issues. However, the consumer must know that there is actually a difference between unscented and fragrance-free. Unscented products mask the odor of the actual formula with a fragrance, which leaves the potential for skin irritation and allergic reactions.
The Natural Products Association recently launched a Natural Care Product Seal and Standard so that consumers could more easily identify products with truly natural ingredients. Adhering to these requirements can prove difficult for manufactures of natural soaps. Soaps and creams present several challenges to formulators who are seeking to avoid chemicals and synthetic materials. Soaps made according to the above standards will cleanse skin and hair, although they may have an appearance and texture that was different than many consumers are use to. These soaps may be thin, create minimal foam, and may have a shorter shelf life than other natural products that are made according to alternative ingredient standards.
Although bar soaps are staple products year round, liquid soaps are currently gaining popularity, as bar soaps are often drying to the skin and have a high pH. Liquid soaps, on the other hand, have a pH closer to that of skin and also have the ability to moisturize. The market should see an increase in liquid soaps in the future, as the population ages and skin is drier and needs more moisture, leaving the moisturizing abilities of liquid soaps to meet these needs.
Hyaluronic Acid can help Restore Joint Function
December 01, 2008 10:03 AM
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.
The pediatrics academy has raised its earlier recommendation to 400 IU per day.
October 14, 2008 10:03 PM
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) today announced that it has doubled the amount of vitamin D recommended for infants, children and adolescents. The increase, from 200 international units (IU) to 400 IU per day, starting in the first few days of life, was detailed at the group’s annual meeting in Boston. The new advice replaces an academy recommendation issued in 2003.
"We are doubling the recommended amount of vitamin D children need each day because evidence has shown this could have life-long health benefits," said Frank Greer, M.D., FAAP, chair of the AAP Committee on Nutrition and co-author of the report. “Supplementation is important because most children will not get enough vitamin D through diet alone.”
"Breastfeeding is the best source of nutrition for infants. However, because of vitamin D deficiencies in the maternal diet, which affect the vitamin D in a mother’s milk, it is important that breastfed infants receive supplements of vitamin D,” said Carol Wagner, M.D., FAAP, member of the AAP Section on Breastfeeding Executive Committee and co-author of the report.
The new advice is based on mounting research about potential benefits from vitamin D besides keeping bones strong, including suggestions that it might reduce risks for cancer, diabetes and heart disease. But the evidence isn't conclusive and there is no consensus on how much of the vitamin would be needed for disease prevention.
"We know 400 IU a day is safe and prevents rickets," Greer said. "We don't have any idea if that amount of vitamin D is enough for other diseases. We also don't know if anything over 400 is safe."
The AAP also made these recommendations:
Infants who are breast-fed or partially breast-fed receive 400 IU a day of vitamin D in supplements, beginning in the first few days of life, continuing unless the infant starts taking at least one quart a day of vitamin D-fortified formula or whole milk, although whole milk should not be introduced until the child has turned 1. Non-breast-fed children and older children should also receive a vitamin D supplement of 400 IU per day.
Adolescents who do not obtain 400 IU of vitamin D per day through foods should receive a supplement containing that amount.
Children at increased risk of vitamin D deficiency (for example, those taking anti-seizure medications) may need higher doses, but this should only be done in consultation with a health-care professional. The new recommendations were expected to be published in the November issue of the journal Pediatrics.
Hyper-immune Egg Vs Colostrum
September 23, 2008 03:36 PM
When a hen lays her eggs she is virtually an antibody-producing factory, as she passively transfers her antibodies and immunoregulatory factors into the egg in order to protect her offspring. These eggs are made up of a concentrated source of antibodies and helpful immune-supporting biomolecules. However, there are significant differences in the way a cow passes immune protection to a calf and the way a mother hen passes protection to a chick.
A newborn calf will nurse for several months, acquiring immune support over the entire period of time. Since a mother hen cannot nurse her chick, it is essential for the egg to provide all the immune support a chick will need until its own immune system is functioning properly. Because of this, an egg is much more concentrated in antibodies and immunoregulatory molecules than is colostrums. This is an advantage for using hyperimmune egg over supplements that are made from bovine colostrums as an immune system support. It has been found that chickens produce almost twenty times more antibody per unit of weight than cows are able to secret in their milk. Additionally, certain egg antibodies are compared to milk antibodies, and it has been found that egg antibodies seem to be more effective in binding antigens.
In order to produce a hyperimmune egg supplement, the following procedure must be followed. First, eggs are collected from the specially designated chicken flocks after they are specifically stimulated. They are then washed and broken. The yoke of the egg white is then removed and dried to produce a find proteinous powder. There have been various processes developed to minimize the amount of heat damage to antibodies and immunoregualtory factors during the spray-drying procedure. The immune eggs are required to be processed under good manufacturing practices in USDA-inspected and monitored facilities. After processing occurs, the powders are combined with other vitamins, minerals, and possibly other ingredients in order to form a formula that possesses a high nutritive value.
Unlike the conventional methodologies, hyperimmune eggs seems to team up with our immune system instead of boosting or suppressing its function. The immune products in hyperimmune egg are a resource for the body. The body is then able to select those immune elements that it needs in order to up or down-regulate the autoimmune and inflammatory pathways.
Because our immune systems are under constant attack, immune disorders are increasing at an alarming rate. Recent research has found that immune malfunction is an important contributing factor to conditions including heart disease, arthritis, and auto immune disorders. By fine-turning and supporting our immune system in order to prevent disease, we can make one of the best investments possible for our health and longevity.
The potential value of using hyperimmune egg for various health conditions has been shown by new research. Some of the most well-known doctors using alternative and complementary health treatments have found that hyperimmune egg supplements are extremely helpful in reversing a wide array of health problems. As research continues and understanding of how hyperimmune egg works increases, the application of hyperimmune egg can be expected to increase. Impressive properties found in hyperimmune eggs make them an excellent supplement for immune support. When we have a balanced and well-functioning immune system, our lives will be much healthier and happier.
September 01, 2008 01:04 PM
Garlic is a member of the lily family, related to onions and chives, and offers many health benefits other than deterring vampires. There is now ample scientific evidence and proof of its beneficial effect on both a healthy immune system and the circulatory system.
The active ingredients in garlic are thiosulfinates, of which the predominant one is allicin, sulfoxides such as alliin and dithiins, of which ajoene is the most widely researched. These compounds are not only responsible for the pungent odor of garlic, but also for its benefits to your health. Among the other components of garlic are selenium, manganese and vitamins B6 and C.
Before considering the other effects of garlic on your health, we shall first consider how it benefits the immune system. The immune system is an essential part of human biology, and protects your body from invasion by pathogenic organisms. Without the immune system your body would rapidly be overcome by bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites and other foreign bodies, and your body would rapidly fail to function.
The immune system consists of several components that can act in concert to protect you from these foreign invaders. It is too large a subject to be discusses in this article, although its major components are the thymus, the spleen, the lymphatic system, bone marrow, antibodies, and white blood cells of various types. Without it your body would rapidly be broken down to nothing, and would revert to a skeleton in a few weeks.
It is your immune system that causes inflammation, fevers, boils and pus. These are all examples of the immune system at work to protect your body, and even a fever is the immune system raising your body temperature to one that is unfavorable to invaders. Arthritis and hay fever are other examples of how your immune system reacts to invaders, in one case mistaking damaged joint tissue as being foreign and responding by causing inflammation to protect the joint, and in the other a reaction to invading bodies such as pollen.
So what does garlic do to help your immune system? Let's first have a look at the inflammatory reaction of the immune system, a prime example of which is rheumatoid arthritis. The inflammation is caused by compounds known as prostaglandins and thromboxanes, the biosynthesis in your body of which requires the enzymes lipoxygenase and cyclooxygenase (LOX and COX). If these enzymes can be inhibited, then the inflammatory response can be modulated, and LOX and COX inhibition is one of the studies currently being carried out into the treatment of some forms of cancers.
However, where garlic comes in here is that two effective non-reversible inhibitors of LOX and COX are the chemicals Di(1-propenyl) sulfide and ajoene, and both of these are components of garlic. Garlic can therefore be used, not to stop the inflammatory response altogether since it is an essential part of the immune system for certain infections, but to modulate it and protect you from the more severe effects of conditions such as arthritis - both osteo and rheumatoid - and asthma, which is also an immune response.
Allicin has been shown to work with vitamin C to kill certain types of bacteria and viruses, and can help the immune system to protect you from colds and flu, Candida and some gastroenteric viruses. It can also be effective against some of the more powerful pathogens such as tuberculosis. It should be stressed that garlic will not cure these conditions, but help the immune system to deal with them. In fact with respect to the common cold, a study at Munich University has shown that garlic significantly reduces the activity of kappa-B, which is a nuclear transcription factor that mediates the inflammatory response. In other words, the cold symptoms are greatly reduced.
This is significant, since increased kappa-B levels can be triggered off by any pathogen that causes an inflammatory response by the immune system (e.g. infection, allergens, physical trauma). The study showed that unfertilized garlic provided a reduction of 25% in kappa-B activity, while garlic fertilized with sulfur reduced it by 41%.
There have been other studies carried out that demonstrated that Helicobacter pylori, the organism responsible for gastritis and peptic ulcers, was less active in those that took a regular amount of garlic in their diet. This was shown by measuring the antibody concentration, and while H.pylori was found in both sets (with and without garlic in the diet), the antibody count in the garlic-eating set was much lower indicating a significantly lower population of the bacterium.
Another unexpected result was that a group taking both cooked and uncooked garlic had a lower antibody count than those taking either cooked or uncooked. This appears to indicate that cooking changes the chemical nature of garlic, so that both forms work together to provide a more potent effect that cooked and uncooked separately.
What has also been established is that odorless garlic has less of an effect on the immune system that natural garlic, so while the odorless type is more socially acceptable, it is not so good at supporting your immune system. The allicin levels in odorless garlic are very much lower than in the natural bulb.
Garlic has also been found to be able to help with certain types of cancer. Two servings weekly have been found effective in protecting from colon cancer. Allicin has been found to protect colon cells from the toxic effect of various chemicals, and also reduce the growth rate of any cancerous cells that develop. People in Southern Europe consuming large quantities of garlic have been shown to be 39% less liable to contract cancer of the mouth and pharynx, and 57% less liable to contract cancer of the esophagus. It also had an effect on other cancers, including breast and ovarian cancer. However, the effect of onions on such cancers is even greater.
Most people are aware of the cardiovascular benefits of garlic, and it can reduce blood pressure, cholesterol levels and serum triglyceride levels, thus protecting against the harmful condition of atherosclerosis and also of diabetic heart disease. Reduced atherosclerosis means a reduced chance of heart attacks or strokes. It also appears to possess antioxidant properties.
There is no doubt that garlic helps to promote a healthy immune system, although the odorless form appear to be less effective in this respect as natural garlic, and there is evidence that a diet containing uncooked and cooked garlic can be more effective than either of these alone.
August 18, 2008 12:01 PM
Whether coconut oil is good for weight loss or not, it is becoming an increasingly popular component of a weight loss diet. So how justified is this in view the fact that fats and oils are not normally regarded as being the best form of food to take if you want to lose weight?
Apart from any other considerations, fats are actually very important components of any diet. Consider, for example, how many vitamins are fat soluble: vitamins A, D, E and K are all fat soluble, and without fats in your diet vitamins would not be able to circulate and be taken to where they do most good. Fats are also essential building blocks for hormones and cell membranes. In short, you cannot survive without fats. Coconut oil is a fat.
In referring to coconut oil here, we are discussing virgin oil, not the refined form that is high in cholesterol. Refined, or processed coconut oils, is hydrogenated, which renders it more in nature to the longer chain fatty acids. Virgin coconut oil contains what are known as medium chain fatty acids (MCFA), which are easily metabolized by your liver into energy.
The longer chain fatty acids, also called triglycerides, are not easily broken down into smaller components, and tend to be stored in the body as fat. This fat can be particularly dangerous if stored round the midriff, and so long chain fatty acids are dangerous to your health. This does not apply to MCFAs, and a possible mechanism for this is discussed later.
An inability to distinguish between the different types of fats and oils in your diet is largely due to a lack of education in the chemistry of fats, and the lumping together of all fats and oils under the 'fatty' flag. Perhaps it is the use of the word 'fat' for the overweight condition and the fact that the triglycerides and other chemicals are known generically as 'fats' that triggers a connection between the two, but although this is logical, and in some cases justified, it is not always the case. There are fats and fats, just as there are lubricating oils and greases, and edible cooking oils and greases.
The fatty acids in coconut oil are composed of relative small carbon chain lengths. Caprylic acid and capric acid contain 8 and 10 carbon atoms in the backbone compared to the 18 of the stearic acid that is commonly contained in animal fats. The longer the carbon chain in the molecule, the more difficult it is to break down, and the more likely it is to be stored in the body as a dense fatty deposit that places a strain on the heart.
Due to the shorter chain length the medium chain fatty acids hold less energy per unit weight. Apart from any other reasons then, coconut oil contains fewer calories than other fats and so if used as the bulk of your fat requirement, will be less liable to generate body fat. Not only that, but as inferred earlier, due to the smaller molecule these calories are more readily released as energy for use by your body rather than stored unused.
However, that is not the whole story on either count: coconut contains saturated fats, and also monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, although in small quantities. These, however, are present in only small amounts, although would still be expected to undergo oxidation and produce the rancid taste commonly found in aged unsaturated oils and fats. However, even after a year this does not happen, which indicates that coconut oil possesses some form of antioxidant properties. This is confirmed by the fact that people eating a diet rich in coconut oil has less of a need for the strong oil-soluble antioxidant vitamin E.
In fact, the metabolism of fats is usually connected with the carnitine transport system in the mitochondria, although the shorter chain fatty acids do not need carnitine for their metabolism. What happens then is that because carnitine promotes oxidation during stress, and causes oxidative damage to body cells, its absence in metabolism of coconut oil fatty acids results in a reduction in the oxidation that degrades unsaturated fats. Hence the lack of rancidity.
Taking this further, then, this lack of oxidation infers that those that take a diet rich in coconut oil (for example using it for cooking rather than animal and vegetable oils containing longer chain fatty acids) should be partially protected against cell oxidation in general. Oxidative effects such as aging, cardiovascular diseases and some cancers should be reduced, and studies have shown this to be the case. Those consuming coconut oil rather than other oils tend to age more slowly, suffer less from heart disease and tend to experience fewer incidences of cancer.
With regard specifically to weight loss, it is believed that consumption of medium chain triglycerides, as opposed to longer chain triglycerides, results in a higher rate of thermogenesis, or the conversion of carbohydrates to energy (fats are also carbohydrates). The first step in this process requires the presence of Coenzyme A in the form of the enzyme acyl-CoA-dehydrogenase, and measurement of the activity of this enzyme has indicated that medium chain triglycerides exhibit much higher expenditure of energy than the metabolism of long chain triglycerides when being converted to fatty tissue. However, though the energy used up in this reaction, known as lipogenesis, was higher, the formation of fatty tissue was the same.
Hence, MCA uses more energy to produce the same amount of fat as LCA, and therefore, although more energy is used up, no new fat is generated by the liver. Since your dietary fat intake can ultimately have only three fates: burned as energy, stored as the emergency energy source glycogen, or deposited as fat, then it is logical that the more energy generated then the less fat will be stored.
In this way, coconut oil, with a high content of medium chain fatty acids, has a scientific explanation for causing weight reduction when used as a source of fat in the diet rather than animal or other vegetable fats or oils. It is converted to energy rather than fatty tissue, and if you exercise to use up that energy then your weight loss can be significant.
What this theory also states, however, is that coconut oil should be used as a replacement for other fats, and not in addition to it. If you take coconut oil in addition to your normal diet, do not expect to see results.