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L-Histidine: Support Immunity, Brain Function And Cardiovascular Health
October 21, 2022 12:12 PM
L-Histidine is an essential amino acid that plays a role in a variety of important bodily functions. Histidine is best known for its role in the production of histamine, an important mediator of immune system responses. However, histidine is also critical for normal brain function and for the maintenance of a healthy skin barrier. In addition, histidine plays important roles in muscle function, cardiovascular health, protection against free radicals, and the elimination of heavy metals from the body. Let's take a closer look at some of these benefits.
The Role of Histamine in the Immune System Response
As we mentioned before, histamine is an important mediator of immune system responses. When your body comes into contact with a foreign invader, such as a virus or bacteria, mast cells release histamine into the bloodstream. This leads to the dilation of blood vessels and increased permeability of capillaries, which allows white blood cells and other immune cells to more easily reach the site of infection. In addition, histamine release triggers sneezing and increased mucus production, which helps to Expel foreign invaders from the body.*
Histamine and Brain Function
Histamine is also involved in regulating wakefulness and sleep cycles.* In fact, l-histidine deficiency has been linked to insomnia.* Histamine regulates serotonin levels in the brain and has been shown to improve cognitive function.* Additionally, histamine plays a role in memory formation and has even been shown to protect against age-related cognitive decline.*
L-Histidine and Cardiovascular Health
L-histidine has also been shown to have protective effects on the cardiovascular system.* Histamine promotes vasodilation—the widening of blood vessels—which can help to lower blood pressure.* L-histidine also inhibits platelet aggregation—the clumping together of blood cells—which can help to prevent blood clots from forming.* These effects can help to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.*
As you can see, l-histidine is involved in a variety of important bodily functions. From its role in immunity and brain function to its protective effects on the cardiovascular system, l-histidine is an amino acid that offers many benefits. If you are looking for a way to boost your health and well-being, consider adding l-histidine to your diet!
Kill bacteria, prevent bacteria from sticking to teeth, and promote salication
November 12, 2019 03:08 PM
Destroys Bacterial Biofilm
Xylitol is a Sugar alcohol with a unique 5-carbon structure. Clinical studies suggest xylitol breaks up biofilm bacteria found in the teeth. Bacteria found in the teeth try and consume this unique 5-carbon sugar molecule, but soon discover it can not break down the sugar for food, so it expends all its energy trying to Expel the sugar effectively starving out the bacteria and killing it.
Has anti-adherence Effect:
Xylitol also has anti-adherence effects within the mouth. When you brush of floss with xylitol, the bacteria in the mouth can not stick to anything, because of this the bacteria can not colonize and reproduce.
Can promote salivation:
Xylitol promotes salivation which is a natural defense system in the mouth. By consuming mints, gum, and other forms of foods that contain xyltiol, one can help prevent cavities and improve oral health. Have you had your xylitol today?
Broccoli is one of the best detoxifying foods you'll ever find
February 20, 2019 01:17 PM
Broccoli can really help your body’s ability to expel harmful toxins that you ingest or breathe in According to recent research, post-menopausal women who ate lots of cruciferous vegetables like broccoli showed a substantially lower risk of breast cancer, perhaps because broccoli improved their livers’ ability to detoxify their bodies. Likewise, a 12-week Johns Hopkins University study of almost 300 people in a heavily polluted part of rural China found that broccoli made their bodies much more efficient at excreting dangerous compounds like benzene and acrolein.
"These detoxifying benefits of broccoli can be attributed to the presence of phytonutrients called glucoraphanin, gluconasturtiian, and glucobrassicin."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-02-12-broccoli-is-one-of-the-best-detoxifying-foods.html
Why coconut oil should be a part of your survival stockpile
January 09, 2019 10:39 AM
When choosing a coconut oil to stock up on, it is important to know which kind of oil you are getting. Coconut oil has many health qualities and helps to boost immune system. It is also multi purpose. It can be used to clean, cook with, used as a fuel or in soap making, the only limit is one's imagination.It also kills several virus, fungi and bacteria that which causes gum disease as well as promoting skin health.
"Aside from being a shelf stable product, coconut oil is a nutritious substitute for cooking oil. Additionally, coconut oil has various survival uses."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-01-06-why-coconut-oil-should-be-a-part-of-your-survival-stockpile.html
Has your doctor told you about these natural ways to eliminatekidney stones?
December 20, 2018 08:50 AM
Kidney stones are both very painful, and frightfully common. One in ten people will experience a kidney stone in their life. There are some natural remedies that can help dissolve kidney stones once they form. One option is pomegranate juice, and a different option is dandelion root. Basil is also known for being good for kidney health. Lemon juice is full of citrate that may help break down kidney stones making them easier to pass.
"Citrate found in lemon breaks down kidney stones into smaller pieces so that they can pass more easily. Moreover, this substance also prevents the formation of calcium stones."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-12-15-natural-ways-to-eliminate-kidney-stones.html
Zinc-binding is vital for regulating pH levels in the brain
October 22, 2017 10:14 AM
According to a study from the University of Oslo, Zinc-binding plays a critical role in the regulation and sensing of pH in the brains of humans. This is one of the first studies to link the binding of zinc with bicarbonate transporters. Researchers from the University’s Centre for Molecular Medicine published these findings in Scientific Reports. These results are important because optimal ph levels are very important for our overall health. In fact, low ph levels in infants sometimes leads to brain damage. Lead researcher Preben Morth emphasized that research into zinc’s role in the regulation of ph is important for understanding overall brain health and function.
"An example of how important pH levels are to our health is demonstrated by the fact that pH levels in blood from the umbilical cord are always tested in newborn babies."
Read more: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/10/171017092242.htm
Say Goodbye to Gout and High Uric Acid Levels With This Powerful Home Remedy | Natural Cures
August 27, 2017 12:14 PM
You can say goodbye to gout and also high uric acid levels with one powerful home remedy. Uric acid is an acid that is produced by the body when food is broken down during the digestive process. To eliminate it, the cells dissolve it and carry it to the kidneys through the blood stream. The kidneys then Expel it. The kidneys filter the blood and get rid of the residue through urine. When there is a build up of this acid, there is an imbalance in the tissue.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvdRDA6MKIU&rel=0
"Both artichoke and lemon help to control inflammation due to their diuretic and purefying properties that lower high uric acid."
This Is The Number 1 Food In The World To Prevent Strokes, High Blood Pressure And Cholesterol!
June 17, 2017 05:14 AM
Dates are a great food that will help lower your risk of heart problems. It contains many nutrients that help with cholesterol and are extremely healthy. Not only that, but they also contain numerous nutrients like iron that help keep your blood regulated. They can aid greatly in heart health and brain health as well as aid in weight goals one might be shooting for in both gaining and losing weight. Adding on benefits to aid with constipation and pregnancy, the video goes in depth about how the date is a little miracle food.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FO3zyRib8sY&rel=0
"This food that is not so popular contains high amounts of potassium, fiber, magnesium and vitamin B6."
Consuming silicon-rich water or foods can purge your body of up to 70% of the of aluminum in your bloodstream
April 08, 2017 11:44 AM
Despite the fact that aluminum is known to be a dangerous substance, it can be found in a large number of our regular items, for example, prepared sustenance, cookware, immunizations, prescriptions, child items, beauty care products, antiperspirants, sunscreens, cleaning items, tap water, and even noticeable all around we relax. The conclusion that drinking silicon-rich mineral water might be the answer for shield your body and mind from aluminum developments and cerebrum harm. Amid the clinical trials, including both solid people and individuals with Alzheimer illness, and found that drinking around one liter of silicon-rich mineral water each day can accelerate the discharge of aluminum by means of the kidneys and pee by up to 70 percent. Drinking silicon water is a non-intrusive approach to expel more aluminum from the body, something which benefits everybody, including immunized kids and individuals with infections, for example, Alzheimer's, dementia, and Parkinson's.
"Today, aluminum is so abundant in our surrounding environment that it is practically impossible to avoid. Therefore, Dr. Exley has dedicated over two decades of his life to researching the effects of aluminum toxicity."
Read more: http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-04-04-consuming-silicon-rich-water-or-herbs-can-purge-your-body-of-up-to-70-the-of-aluminum-in-your-bloodstream.html
Expelling Parasites and Worms with Black Walnuts
Parasites and worms are responsible for a number of health problems all over the world. These organisms invade our bodies and feed on nutrients for their own sustenance. Parasites can be both internal and external in nature. External parasites can generally be seen and are easier to get rid of. You will find a number of standard medical treatments for this. However, it is the internal parasites that pose the higher threat. It can be difficult to identify internal parasites and treatments require more effort. These parasites usually attack the colon and intestines. If left unchecked, they can cause a lot of damage to your body. While antibiotics are effective, they can have a few side effects. So people have been looking for more natural alternatives. Black walnut has shown a number of properties that are beneficial in fighting parasites.
How does Black Walnut help in killing parasites and worms?
Black walnut has been universally acknowledged to be a strong vermifuge, that is a parasite-killing herb. It has strong concentrations of Natural iodine, juglone and astringent tannins. All these ingredients are well known for their parasite killing properties. One of the best methods of ingesting black walnut is by preparing a medicine that utilizes other similar organic foods like garlic, pineapples, papaya seeds and pumpkin seeds. This helps clean the intestines and remove parasites and worms.
What are the effective black walnut recipes?
One of the most popular recipes involves using black walnuts, cloves and wormwood. There are many products that utilize this combination and have been seen to give impressive results. Of course it also depends on the potency of the ingredients used. For example, green black walnuts are generally known to be more effective than other lighter colored ones. So it could be a good idea to look for these specific walnuts in the ingredients label. They are likely to be stronger and can get faster results. You will also see a number of freeze dried capsules available in the market that have a higher strength compared to normal medicines. Wormwood is herb that has been used in stomach treatment for centuries. It contains a number of enzymes that are good for cleaning the intestine. Hence, it can be found in conjunction with black walnut in medicines that fight parasites. With cloves too you should be careful, as they tend to lose their potency very fast. So make sure that your medicine uses only fresh and completely organic cloves. You can either go in for manufactured pills that use these ingredients or can create your own recipes. Just make sure that you are using only the most effective constituents.
Apart from these herbs, you will also find a number of other natural solutions for getting rid of parasites and worms. These include papayas, pineapples and pumpkin seeds. Papayas can be highly effective as they contain a strong enzyme known as papain.
What other steps can I take?
If you are going through a parasite Expelling phase, it will be good to regulate your diet in a proper manner. Avoid coffee, sugar, alcohol and other such items. Take care of your stomach and eat only fresh and light food. With a good diet, and the right herbs, you will soon be having a completely parasite-free body.
Learn about the prostate
June 13, 2014 09:25 PM
The human prostate is a walnut-sized gland that is located between the bladder and the penis. It is just in front of the rectum with the urethra running through the center from the bladder to the penis, letting out urine off the body. The prostate gland secretes fluid that is useful in nourishment and protection of sperms. The prostrate squeezes this fluid into the urethra during ejaculation and it comes out with sperms as semen.
However, the prostate is faced by some conditions that lead to its dysfunctions. Some of the main conditions are.
This is one of the major cancers affecting men and it kills one in every thirty-five men. Some of the treatments used to treat it are, chemotherapy, surgery, radiation and hormone therapy.
This is inflammation of the prostate, which is caused by infection. It is usually treated with antibiotics.
This usually affects older men above the age of fifty. Its signs are difficulty in urinating that increases with age. It can be treated through medication or surgery. This usually affects older men above the age of fifty. Its signs are difficulty in urinating that increases with age. It can be treated through medication or surgery.
It is of much importance to keep the prostate healthy due to its major functions. The general function of the prostate is to secrete a slightly alkaline fluid that is white in color constituting 50-70% of the semen volume together with spermatozoa and seminal fluid. The prostatic fluid is Expelled in the first ejaculate fractions together with most of the spermatozoa. Maintaining good health of the prostate for example by taking foods rich in lycopene mainly found in tomatoes lower the risk of developing prostate cancer.
The pygeum africanum is made from the bark of the African palm tree while the saw palmetto is made from ripe berries of the plant serenoa repens. They are both used for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia. Pygeum may reduce symptoms such as nighttime urination, urinary frequency and residual urine volume. But despite that the pygeum is also proposed for prostatitis, impotence and male infertility. This makes it better than saw palmetto. Saw palmetto has mineral selenium and vitamin E while pygeum africanum has zinc.
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 Are The Benefits Of Turmeric Extract?
June 04, 2013 01:53 PM
Turmeric extract, also known as Curcuma longa has been used for over 4000 years to treat a variety of conditions. Reputable studies show that it may help control infections, reduce inflammation, and treat digestive problems and some cancers. Historically, it has been widely used in cooking Indian dishes and is much loved due to its curry flavor and yellow color.
Further, it's used to color butter and cheese and has been intensively applied in both Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine to treat wounds and skin diseases.
According to research done at the University of Maryland Medical Center, turmeric extract contains powerful ingredients that stimulate the production of bile and thus can be used to control indigestion.
Let us take a more straight forward look at its main benefits to human health.
Benefits of Turmeric Extract
* Fighting inflammation
Turmeric contains a special substance called curcumin which aside from destroying free radicals lowers the levels of some enzymes in the body that fuel inflammation. Clinical studies have suggested that turmeric's duo benefits (antioxidant and anti-inflammatory) are an essential part of recovering from joint stiffness - useful in relieving rheumatoid arthritis.
As we mentioned earlier, turmeric can boost the production of bile. One double-blind study (done by The German Commission E) concluded that turmeric may help in improving the functioning of the digestive system by reducing bloating.
* Turmeric and ulcerative colitis
Although turmeric does not seem to help control stomach ulcers, researchers at the University of Maryland Medical Center confirm that can play a central role in people with ulcerative colitis by helping them stay in remission. Recent studies done on people with this disease (who consumed turmeric) showed a lower relapse rate than who took other treatment substances.
* Turmeric extract and cancer
Though most results are still early, there has been a great deal of findings that have painted turmeric in good light as far as treatment of various cancers is concerned. At the moment, scientists are keenly studying its effects on colon, skin, breast and prostate cancers. All the same, turmeric is known for its preventive effects which have something to do with its strong antioxidant properties.
* Turmeric=Good Heart Health
Some substances found in turmeric extract may help reduce incidences of atherosclerosis - a condition closely associated with the occurrence of stroke and/or heart attack. It, in a great way lowers cholesterol levels in blood vessels. Aside from that, it stops platelets from clumping together thus preventing blood clots from accumulating along blood vessels.
* Containing Viral and Bacterial Infections
Turmeric may to some extent kill viruses and bacteria. Some of its active ingredients are as well known to Expel intestinal worms.
Turmeric has been for a long time been associated with good eye health. Well, researchers have recently made breakthrough findings that curcumin (turmeric's main active ingredient) may help treat chronic anterior uveitis. Its efficiency is believed to be at par with corticosteroids.
There are many other health benefits associated with turmeric extract. However, the few mentioned herein are the most important ones that you need to take note of.
Black walnut hull and its health benefits
December 19, 2012 12:36 PM
Black walnut hull, also called Juglans Nigra, is the hull or outer shell of black walnut tree. This tree is a native of North America. While the tree is easy to grow, it is quite rare. Its health benefits Black walnut hull has several health benefits besides its effectiveness in treating parasites and fungal infections.
Some of its health benefits are as follows:
It is used for treating inflammatory skin conditions like ringworm, eczema, blisters, and acne. It's also effective for wounds and bruises. It is used to treat diarrhea, constipation, candida and giardia. It has been proven to build tooth enamel due to its fluoride content, balance glucose levels, and also to treat impetigo and herpes. It can be topically applied on cold sores and herpes. It is an excellent source of nutrients such as potassium, magnesium, copper, sulfur, manganese, and silica. It contains Juglone, a very effective fungicide, bactericide, and parricide.
It contains tannins that help the body to fight bacteria and protect against diarrhea, blood disorders, tumors, stress, and even cancer. In addition, tannins can tone body tissues when applied topically. This makes black walnut hull useful for treating bowel inflammatory conditions, especially hemorrhoids. Tannins also help to eliminate microbes from the large intestine. It contains iodine, a very popular antiseptic. Iodine helps to maintain thyroid health. Since iodine contains antiseptic properties, it also helps to strengthen the natural immune system of the body. How black walnut hull kills parasites Perhaps the most popular property of black walnut hull is that it can fight intestinal parasites.
It is a popular vermifuge that helps the body to get rid of parasites. It is a laxative that Expels parasites when cleansing the body. Its high juglone and tannin content also helps to oxygenate blood and get rid of parasites. This herb is effective against ringworm, tapeworm, pinworm, and other parasites.
Papaya Enzymes and Food
December 05, 2012 03:42 PM
A healthy digestive system is a plus to everyone, and we would stop at nothing to feel at ease. The food we consume only works well with proper digestion. Anyone determined to get rid of heartburn, bloating and even constipation must think of the digestive system. Generally good digestion ensures toxic wastes are Expelled and you remain light and active. Healthy nutrition and digestion go hand in hand, therefore choose what you ingest well. Papaya has been proven to enhance digestive health and purify your intestines.
Reasons why papaya is good for digestion
It is enriched with powerful proteolytic enzymes
These are enzymes act as chemical reaction stimulant in the body. They help turn proteins into amino acids which in turn aid in digesting scar tissues on the dermis and epidermis. Papaya enzymes help destroy intestinal parasites The intestines are a key component of the digestive process, and when damaged digestion cannot be completed. Papaya helps kill parasites that invade the intense hence making the whole digestion procedure smooth. As such eating papaya guarantees that only friendly bacterium remains in the intestines.
Papaya is loaded with fiber
Fiber is essential for efficient digestion, whether soluble or insoluble its role in this process cannot be underestimated. First it keeps the digestive system healthy and helps in removing toxins from the body. Fiber in itself contains beneficial bacterial which softens waste products and bulky hence quick digestion. In addition the fiber in papaya prevents constipation; this makes it easy for stool to pass out hence preventing excess waste accumulation.
Papaya has vitamin C and Carotene's
These are also important components of these delicious succulent tropical fruit. Vitamin C and carotene are antioxidants; they help in the absorption of iron needed for digestion. Vitamin C maintains healthy gums and teeth necessary for digestion since the entire operation begins in the mouth. Carotene's on the other hand carotene's are easily absorbed by the intestines.
It's no doubt that papaya is not just tasty but has more to it. A cup of papaya juice or a few papaya enzymes pills a day will surely help keep your digestive system healthy. Therefore go for it and exude confidence all day long.
What Are The Health Benefits Of DMAE?
April 26, 2012 12:57 PM
Dimethylaminoethanol or DMAE is anorganic compound that is metabolically produced by the adrenal glands, testes and the brain in small quantities. It is converted into testosterone, estrogen and cortisone by the body. It is a known fact that the liver processes DMAE into choline, but the molecule thus produced is charged and cannot break the blood-brain barrier. Studies have shown that DMAE methylated in the brain acts as the precursor for the manufacture of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that plays a key role in the conduction of signals in the brain as well as the nervous system.
DMAE also stimulates phosphatidylcholine, a crucial part of cell membranes. However, the DMAE naturally produced by the body is sufficient only to maintain healthy brain and functions. It will not improve their functions. Though DMAE is found in fish such as salmon, anchovies, and sardines, supplementation in the pill form is important because of the practical difficulties having these foods in the right form and quantity on a daily basis to derive the benefits. DMAE supplements for oral consumption are through stores that sell health foods and groceries.
Daily consumption of DMAE in the supplement form provides a number of benefits to the body. Some of the benefits are as follows:
It helps prevent as well as treat cardiovascular problems and boost the body's immune system because of its strong antioxidant properties.It protects cells from the harmful effects of free-radicals by helping them retain the nutrients that are essential and Expelling waste.As a precursor in the production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, it supports the functioning of the brain in a number of ways. It increases a person's attention span, relieves behavioral problems and hyperactivity or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. It is also helpful in treating memory lapses and Alzheimer's disease.
It helps stop production of arachidonic acid which is responsible for wrinkling and aging of skin. Topical creams containing DMAE help tighten skin and reduce wrinkles and fine lines.It is found to be effective in burning fat because of its involvement in the production of acetylcholine. It increases the metabolism in the body because of its thermogenic effect.It can be beneficial as an anti-inflammatory as well.It can reduce the amount of sleep required for a person by up to one hour.It can safely be used as a substitute for anabolic steroids.
Research studies have shown that consumption of 200 to 500 mg of DMAE on a daily basis is helpful in improving health. However, it is important to start with a low dosage of DMAE and then gradually increase the dosage level to the optimum level. Higher dosage can cause headaches, insomnia and muscle tension. People suffering from conditions such as schizophrenia, mental depression and epilepsy should not have DMAE supplements. Pregnant and lactating women also should not have DMAE.
Summarizing, consumption of recommended amounts of DMAE is believed to be safe. Side effects due to consumption of DMAE are rare and not generally serious. However, it is important to use high-quality supplements in order to increase DMAE levels in the body and reap the benefits.
Serrapeptidase: Natural NSAID
March 27, 2012 03:26 PM
Serrapeptase, also known as Serratia peptidase is a proteolytic (protein-splitting) bioactive enzyme found in the intestines of the silk worm. This silk-worm enzyme is widely used in Europe and Japan in clinical therapy for relieving pain and inflammation. When the silk worm leaves the cocoon, it regurgitates the serrapeptase in to create a hole in the cocoon for its escape. It was soon discovered that serrapeptase enzyme has a unique property to dissolve dead material consisting protein without even harming the living tissue. This property of dissolving dead tissue can be used in treating many health conditions.
How Serrapeptase work?
Protein is the main component of most of the fibrous materials in the body. Once these fibrous materials out-live their purpose or are over-grown, they start causing serious disease conditions involving fibrosis. Fibrosis is an abnormal thickening and scarring of connective tissue caused by infection, injury, surgery or lack of oxygen. Serrapeptase works as an anti-fibrotic and helps in relieving the conditions in connective tissue scarring and thickening has occurred.
Health Benefits of Serrapeptase:
This proteolytic enzyme is considered an alternative to NSAIDS (Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) that are used to treat osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. Serrapeptase has been used to treat fibromyalgia, colitis, Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, varicose veins, ovarian cysts, ear and throat infections, enlarged prostate and postoperative inflammation. Studies have shown its effective results in prevention and removal of arterial plaque.
Serrapeptase in relieving Pain:
Pain and Inflammation Reduction:
Serrapeptase is a great anti-inflammatory and analgesic agent. It reduces the inflammation and gives relief from the pain. It works by blocking the release of pain inducing amines from the inflamed tissues. Due to its pain relieving and anti-inflammatory properties, serrapeptase is used in treatment as an alternative to NSAIDS. This enzyme gives relief from mild to moderate pain like headache and backaches. Hence it is used all the inflammatory conditions such as colitis, sinusitis, arthritis and many more.
Serrapeptidase has an anti-fibrotic and fibrinolytic action that prevents and treats the accumulation of plaque in the arteries. Plaque is the accumulated deposits of cholesterol, fatty substances, cellular waste products, fibrin and calcium. Excessive plaque formation impairs the normal blood flow and cause partial or complete blockage, which also results in arteriosclerosis. Serrapeptidase helps to prevent build-up of plaque in the body. Due to its fibrinolytic action, it also helps in dissolving of proteins and breaking down atherosclerotic plaques. The dissolved deposits are eliminated from the body.
Hence, serrapeptidase prevents coronary artery diseases and improves cardiovascular health.
Due to its anti-inflammatory and mucus dissolving properties, Serrapeptidase is very beneficial for chronic sinusitis sufferers. Serrapeptidase helps in thinning and Expelling the thickened mucus secretion present in nasal cavities of sinusitis sufferer.
Serrapeptidase helps in reducing the recovery time in any injuries, wounds or surgery. It promotes healing in post-operative wounds by reducing the inflammation and pain.
Serrapeptidase is available in the form of supplements. If you are taking NSAIDS for any healthy condition, substitute it with serrapeptidase supplement
How Does Glutathione Work in the Body to Detox
May 06, 2011 10:11 AM
Glutathione a Body Detox
Glutathione belongs to the category of antioxidants that the human body can synthesize. It is an organic compound that is quite pervasive in nature as it is found in many multicellular organisms, microscopic or not. Almost all plants and animals are capable of producing glutathione, and, like human beings, they utilize this substance to neutralize free radicals and detoxify heavy metals.
Scavenges Free Radicals
It is common knowledge that free radicals are harmful to our body. It damages tissues, proteins, and even DNA. Free radicals are highly reactive by-products of cellular respiration. Cells utilize oxygen to power their activities, but in the process produce a group of compounds called reactive oxygen species, which change into radicals, harming cell organelles when not disposed of and raising cellular toxicity.
Glutathione is in the employ of every cell, for it is a fundamental part of the antioxidant defense of cells. Throughout the body, it is usually found in its reduced form, which donates reducing equivalents to reactive oxygen species. Glutathione becomes reactive in the process, but easily reacts with other reactive glutathione to form glutathione disulfide. Antioxidant enzymes manufacture glutathione in the presence of glutathione disulfide. This process constitutes the antioxidant mechanism of all cells.
Detoxifies Liver Metabolites
Metabolism is a complex process. Bioactive compounds in the foods we eat produce metabolites and by-products that are not necessarily good for our health. In fact, most of the drugs and medications we take directly harm us. Fortunately, the liver comes to our defense. For example, alcohol is converted into large amounts of acetaldehyde in its first stage of metabolism, creating effects we usually refer to as hangover.
The presence of glutathione enables the liver to easily recuperate from the damages brought on by harmful metabolites. That being said, glutathione in its reduced form does get depleted. One good example is drug overdose. The analgesic paracetamol, or acetaminophen, is known for its toxic by-product that induces liver failure in the absence of glutathione. Drugs are immediately detoxified in the liver with the help of glutathione. Low levels of glutathione may even result in death as is the case with paracetamol overdose.
Expels Foreign Materials
A number of substances in our diet are considered xenobiotics, or foreign materials, by our body. Most of them passes the alimentary canal undigested and enters the colon together with waste materials. However, there are substances that readily undergo absorption in the small intestines, such as trace elements and heavy metals. They pose considerable threats to health when they enter the systemic circulation in large quantities.
Glutathione is one of the compounds that keep xenobiotics in check. It facilitates the excretion of heavy metals and many known toxins. Glutathione conjugation plays a major role in detoxification and quite common at the cellular level. It makes sure that foreign compounds do not undergo reabsorption once it reaches the kidneys, effectively washing them away through the urine.
What Is Thyme and How Can It Help My Lungs?
April 12, 2011 04:28 PM
Thyme And Lung Health.Thyme is a flavorful herb known for its significant presence in Western cuisines. It is grown for its strong flavor and pleasant aromatic odor, which are often attributed to an organic compound called thymol. The health benefits of thyme are ascribed to its unique combination of phytochemicals that protect the lungs and the rest of the respiratory system. The chemical compounds naturally occurring in thyme are extracted and added to many health and hygiene products.
Thymus vulgaris, the common thyme largely utilized as a culinary herb, is the same species where most thyme extracts are derived from. However, other species that belong to the genus Thymus have also been observed to produce similar health benefits. There are over 300 species of thyme, but the most widely cultivated in addition to the common thyme are T. herba-barona, T. serpyllum, T. x citriodorus, and T. variegata, and T. zygis. These species are known for their medicinal properties and commonly used in herbal preparations.
Fights Respiratory Tract Infections
In the pharmaceutical industry, thyme is best known for its high terpene content. Terpenes are organic compounds found in many plants that are noted for their antiseptic properties. Thymus species are very rich in thymol, which accounts for more than 50 per cent in essential oil extracted from Thymus vulgaris. Thyme is historically noted for its ability to ward off infections.
In ancient times, crushed leaves were added to poultices to disinfect wounds and dried leaves were made into tea to fight off sore throat. Today thymol is the main ingredient of many hygiene products such as natural sanitizers and the mouthwash Listerine. Thymol is so effective that adding it to water and gargling with the solution fights off infections of the respiratory tract and relieves inflammation.
Displays Antispasmodic Properties
Upper respiratory tract infection is often accompanied by respiratory spasms characteristic of coughs. Thyme also contains flavonoids, such as apigenin, luteolin, naringenin, and thymonin, all of which are spasmolytic in nature. Symptoms of cough may vary, depending on the nature of the condition. Fits of severe coughing may result from different causes, but are often caused by bacterial infection. The flavonoids content of thyme is thought to act on pulmonary tissues and bronchial tubes, creating a soothing effect that results in the amelioration of respiratory spasms and the expulsion of bacteria.
Promotes the Discharge of Mucus
Thyme is a reputed expectorant with a long association with folk medicine of the Mediterranean region. For centuries, certain European communities have relied on thyme to effectively Expel infected matter from the lungs and the bronchi. Herbal preparations come in tincture, tea, syrup, and even steam. The inhalation of thyme essential oil has been reported to be very helpful in easing the discharge of mucus. Thyme contains terpenoids in addition to thymol, which all act to increase the fluidity of mucus and exert antimicrobial activity when they reach the lungs, making it easier to cough up phlegm while disinfecting the respiratory tract at the same time.
Give Thyme a try and feel the difference!
How Do I Eliminate Parasites Naturally from the Colon?
April 11, 2011 09:36 PM
Intestinal parasites infect over 3 billion people worldwide. These worm-like organisms populate the gastrointestinal tract and interfere with the absorption of foods. In children they may slow the normal progress of physical growth and intellectual development. In adults they cause muscle weakness, vitamin deficiencies, and susceptibility to fatigue. People from all over the world may acquire parasites from contaminated water and infected soil. Deworming is an effective way to get rid of these parasites. Fortunately, there are many herbs reputed for their anthelmintic benefits.
Allium sativum, the popular spice known as garlic, is the best known anti-parasitic herb. Its wide distribution in every continent has enabled cultures from all over the world to take advantage of its medicinal uses. Garlic contains the organic compound allicin, which is the primary substance responsible for warding off worms and bugs that attack the plant. This is the same compound that destroys intestinal parasites, notably threadworms.
Juglans nigra, or black walnut, is recommended specifically for the removal of pathogenic microorganisms, yeast infections, and intestinal worms. It is a flowering tree that belongs to the hickory family, and anthelmintic extracts are derived from the juice of unripe walnuts. Its antifungal effects are very visible after topically applied to fungal infections such as athlete’s foot. When taken orally, it has been noted to be particularly helpful against tapeworms.
Hydrastis canadensis, called orangeroot or goldenseal in the vernacular, is historically noted for its ability to ease anomalies of the alimentary canal. It is rich in the alkaloid berberine, which restores health to the damaged epithelial tissues of the intestinal walls and Expels invasive microorganisms. In recent years it has been observed to act against the parasites E. histolytica, G. lamblia, and Plasmodium as well as the bacterium E. coli.
Artemisium absinthium, better known as wormwood, is an ingredient of traditional herbal preparation used for deworming in the Mediterranean region. The discovery of sesquiterpene lactones in the plant explained its bitter taste and supported its centuries-old use as a vermifuge. Recent studies point to its activities inside the human body that inhibit growth of the parasites Giardia, Plasmodium, A. lumbricoides, and S. mansoni and effectively Expel them.
Seeds of pumpkin cultivars that belong to the species Cucurbita pepo have a long-standing association with the natural expulsion of intestinal parasites. Pumpkin Seed oil has a milder effect than other herbs but guaranteed to be the safest of all anthelmintic herbal remedies. It is most effective against tapeworms and roundworms. For better results, it is consumed in large quantities with ample liquids, and often ground into a pulp beforehand.
Syzgium aromaticum, or Cloves, refers to the dried flowering buds of the plant commonly used as a spice. It is often linked to Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic Medicine and known for the treatment of digestive ailments. Its oil has been proven effective against infections induced by certain strains of bacteria and fungi. It contains sesquiterpenes that are believed to kill intestinal worms.
If you have worms, you can experience fatigue, malnutrition, and leaning development delays or mental foggyness. Taking an herbal remedy to help Expel worms of any kind should be used with a yearly detox and cleans to maintain good health and wellness.
Anise Seed Is Anti-Fungal Herb And Much More!
February 23, 2011 01:44 PM
Anise Seed And Your Health
Anise seed, or simply aniseed, refers to the seed pods of the herbaceous plant native to the Mediterranean and Southwest Asia. It is famed for its moderate flavor, which is similar to fennel, licorice, and tarragon. The plant species, Pimpinella anisum, has been part of many cuisines on both the West and the East, incorporated in aromatic, sweet-tasting dishes. There is a wide array of uses for anise in the food industry, especially in recent years because of its health benefits. For centuries, it has been utilized to treat digestive problems, and the recent discovery of its high phytochemical levels has been reported to show antibacterial and antifungal properties.
The first undisputed mention of anise seed was in Naturalis Historia by Pliny the Elder, which recorded its widespread use as a breath freshener, a therapeutic remedy for insomnia, and a cure for insomnia. Some translations of biblical accounts also recorded the use of the seeds in ancient Israel and surrounding areas. By the time of Roman antiquity, it had become a popular spice added to seafood dishes, valued for of its sweet fragrance. In the Indian subcontinent and nearby regions, anise has up to now been used as a digestive, taken after meals to avoid indigestion, especially after feasts.
The English herbalist John Gerard noted in his encyclopedia Generall Historie of Plantes the carminative effects of anise seed, which means it decreases pressure in the lower esophagus, thereby removing related digestive ailments such as excessive flatulence. It has become quite commonplace in Europe, not only due to its presence in traditional medicine, but also its increasing visibility in the food and beverage industry. It is used in soups and stews, in confectionery, adding a very strong sweet flavor. Anethole, an organic compound extracted from aniseed is added to liquor to produce a cloudy appearance.
Phytochemical Content or Anise Seed
Anise seed is known to contain many different phytochemicals that are polyphenolic and phytoestrogenic. It has high levels of phenylpropenes, a class of polyphenols that are present in essential oils, the reason why aniseed is one of the most common ingredients used in aromatherapy. These organic compounds have shown to lower the body temperature, act on the nervous system to relieve pain, and have a positive effect on epileptic seizures. In addition, it creates strong phytoestrogen-like activities in the human body, relieving cramps during menstrual period.
Anethole is widely believed to be responsible for the antimicrobial activities of anise seed, acting against bacteria, yeast, and other types of fungi. It is a bacteriostatic antibiotic and a bactericide, which means it inhibits the growth of bacteria by interfering with bacterial cellular metabolism responsible for their replication and, at the same time, actively kill them. This explains why anise seed is effective as a breath freshener in the old days, and removes digestive ailments related to bacteria. Interestingly, aniseed is also anthelmintic; it Expels parasitic worms from the body.
That being said, keep in mind that the benefits of anise seed are largely therapeutic.
Anise Seed is one of those herbs you want to keep in the medicine cabinet for quick use when needed.
Melatonin, What is it, Sleep And How it Helps!
December 22, 2010 03:20 PM
What is Melatonin?
Melatonin, or N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine, is a hormone secreted during the hours of darkness by the light-sensitive pineal gland located in the brain and also by bone marrow, epithelial cells and lymphocytes. Melatonin plays a role in the human circadian cycle because of the fact that it is secreted only when it is dark. It can therefore be used to treat sleeping disorders, although it also affects conditions such as fibromyalgia and depression.
Melatonin is also a powerful antioxidant, particularly protecting the DNA from free radical oxidation and studies have indicated a potential application in inhibiting the aggregation of amyloid beta protein in the brain that promotes Alzheimer's disease. It not only reduces the production of cholesterol in the gall bladder, but also increases the rate of conversion of cholesterol to bile, thus reducing the amount available for oxidation in the arteries that leads to atherosclerosis.
A melatonin supplement is also believed to be an effective treatment for migraine and helps the gall bladder to Expel gallstones, rendering them less likely to become a problem.
Melatonin and Sleep
Melatonin is a hormone that is secreted mainly by the pineal gland, a small pea-sized gland in the brain that is sensitive to light in that it secretes this hormone only during the hours of darkness. For this reason, melatonin can be used to help people sleep earlier and awake earlier, by shifting the circadian cycle to an earlier time.
An interesting factor learned from the effect of light on melatonin is that it is suppressed only by blue light (460-480 nanometers) and by wearing blue filtering glasses it is possible to achieve the same effect as taking a supplement of the hormone. That is, to sleep earlier and waken earlier.
People suffering jet lag, or who have to adapt to differing shift work patterns, benefit by taking melatonin, and it has also been used in helping with benzodiazepine withdrawal and helping people to stop smoking. You must let your doctor know you are using it, and in many countries it is available only by prescription.
November 25, 2009 03:40 PM
Fenugreek is one of the oldest herbal remedies, used for both a cooking spice and a medicinal remedy. Fenugreek is a plant that can be found in the family Fabaceae. This plant is used both as an herb and as a spice. The leaves of the plant are used as an herb, while the seeds of the plant are used as a spice. Fenugreek is cultivated worldwide as a semi-arid crop. Frequently, fenugreek can be found as a main ingredient in curry. Originally native to southwestern Asia, this herb was used for inflamed bowels and stomach problems because of its bowel-lubricating abilities. Fenugreek was used by the Greeks for respiratory problems. Additionally, fenugreek was used in both the East and West and thought of as one of the most effective medicinal herbs. Often, fenugreek plants were fed to sick animals to improve their health.
This herb has a reputation of being able to dissolve hardened masses of accumulated mucus in the body. Fenugreek helps to rid the lungs of mucus and the bronchial tubes of phlegm. Often, it is combined with lemon juice and honey to help Expel waste through the lymphatic system. Fenugreek is known for the antiseptic properties that it contains, which help kill infections in the lungs. Additionally, this herb is recommended for treating an inflamed gastrointestinal system. This herb contains thirty percent mucilage, which may be used as a poultice on wounds, inflammations, boils, and skin ailments. Formulas containing fenugreek are often touted as the miracle medicine for all gynecological problems. Some studies have found that fenugreek simulates the uterus and contains diosgenin, a constituent similar to estrogen. Research on diabetic animals has found that Fenugreek seeds are able to reduce urinary glucose levels. The active ingredient seems to be the defatted portion of the seed, which possesses the alkaloid trogonelline, nicotinic acid, and coumarin. When the defatted seeds were added to insulin treatment of diabetic dogs, it was noted that insulin dose was decreased. Fenugreek contains choline and liptropic, which aid in dissolving cholesterol and lowering cholesterol levels. Animal studies have shown beneficial results in lowering serum cholesterol levels. Fenugreek helps reduce mucus in cases of asthma and sinus and bronchial congestion. Evidence of anti-inflammatory activity has been show in some studies, which may explain why some individuals with arthritis have been helped by fenugreek.
The seeds of the fenugreek plant are used to provide alterative, anti-catarrhal, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, aphrodisiac, astringent, bitter, demulcent, emollient, expectorant, febrifuge, galactagogue, mucilant, and vulnerary properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are choline, iron, lecithin, minerals, protein, and vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, and D. Primarily, fenugreek is extremely beneficial in treating allergies, loss of appetite, bronchial catarrh, high cholesterol, diabetic retinopathy, gas, gastric disorders, lung infections, excessive mucus, and sore throat.
Additionally, the herb is very helpful in dealing with abscesses, anemia, asthma, body odor, boils, bronchitis, cancer, swollen eyes, fevers, gallbladder problems, heartburn, inflammation, sinus problems, ulcers, uterine problems, and water retention. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by fenugreek, please feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store with questions.
November 12, 2009 04:47 PM
Fennel is a plant species that is part of the genus Foeniculum. A member of the family Apiaceae, this plant is a hardy, perennial, umbelliferous herb. The plant has yellow flowers and feathery leaves. It is generally found growing on the shores of the Mediterranean, but it has become widely naturalized elsewhere. Now, the plant can be found growing wild in many parts of the world, especially on dry soils near the sea-coast and on river-banks. The plant is highly aromatic and flavorful. It is actually one of the primary ingredients of absinthe. Some species of fennel possess a swollen, bulb-like stem base, which is used as a vegetable. Fennel is used as food plant by some moth and bird species.
The fennel plant is native to the southern areas of Europe and Asia Minor. The herb is now cultivated in the United States and Great Britain. It was used anciently in many civilizations. Used in ancient Egypt, this herb aids in digestion and flatulence. In Italy, fennel was used to bring surgical patients out of anesthesia. Fennel was recommended by Hippocrates and Dioscorides to increase milk production in nursing mothers. The ancient Greeks used this herb for weight reduction, while the seventeenth-century herbalist Nicholas Culpeper also recommended this herb for losing weight.
Fennel is extremely helpful in weight reduction, as it suppresses the appetite. This herb aids in stabilizing the nervous system and can be used as a sedative for small children. Fennel can be used to Expel phlegm from the throat, eliminate toxins from the body, and purify the blood. This herb is known for its ability to fortify the immune system and be good for the eyes. Additionally, fennel aids in digestion, improves night vision, relieves gas, Expels worms, improves the quality of milk in nursing mothers, and cleans the bladder and liver. This herb has been used to stimulate menstruation and can help too soothe the smooth muscles of the digestive tract, as it aids in digestion and related problems.
Research on rats has found that the fennel seeds have estrogenic effects on the genital organs. The herb has been found to promote the production of milk in nursing mothers. Fennel is good for digestion, colic, and other stomach complaints. This herb contains essential oils that have a composition similar to catnip and peppermint. The seeds of the fennel plant are used to provide anorectic, antacid, anti-inflaamtory, antimicrobial, antispasmodic, carminative, diuretic, estrogenic, expectorant, galactagogue, sedative, and stimulant properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are calcium, magnesium, niacin, potassium, sodium, sulfur, vitamins A, C, B1, and B2. Primarily, fennel is extremely beneficial in dealing with abdominal cramps, colic, gas, gastric disorders, indigestion, intestinal problems, and weight-related conditions.
Additionally, this herb can be very helpful in treating excessive appetite, asthma, constipation, convulsions, coughs, uterine cramps, gout, kidney ailments, absence of lactation, liver disorders, lung disorders, and nervous disorders. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by this herb, please feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store.
September 24, 2009 10:50 AM
The pleurisy plant is a perennial herb that has several stems. It can be found growing three feet high, with branches at the top. The leaves are dark green on the upper surface and pale green on the underside. The flowers are richly colored orange and are found blooming from June through September. This plant is a member of the milkweed family. Monarchs, swallowtails, and other butterflies are especially attracted to the pleurisy plant when it is in flower. The plant prefers open, dry fields. It is often growing in abundance in the southern United States. Similar to other milkweeds, pleurisy root produces pods that reveal rows of silky reeds that drift in the wind in autumn. However, unlike most milkweeds, this species does not produce a milky sap.
This plant is native to North America. It was long used by Indians and pioneers. Often, it was spread onto sores after being powdered and mixed into a paste. Indians of several regions brewed a tea from the leaves to induce vomiting in certain rituals, while settlers and Indians alike made a tea from the root to induce perspiration and expectoration in severe respiratory conditions. Pleurisy was listed in the U.S. Pharmacopeia in the 19th century.
Pleurisy root developed its name because of its use for treating lung conditions. The name comes from the Greek root word pleura, which means “lung membranes.” This name implies that this herb is extremely valuable for treating pleurisy. This is because it relieves chest pain and eases breathing difficulties. Pleurisy was used by Native Americans. Then, they introduced it to the European settlers who were suffering from numerous respiratory problems.
This herb works primarily as an expectorant. Pleurisy helps to Expel phlegm from bronchial and nasal passages. The herb is responsible for opening lung capillaries. This aids in the release of mucus, which thins discharge. This process helps to reduce lung congestion and improve breathing.
In addition to its uses for pulmonary problems, pleurisy root is also used as a gentle tonic. This tonic helps with stomach pain that is caused by gas, indigestion, and dysentery.
Additionally, pleurisy root is a powerful diaphoretic. It increases body temperature and opens pores to induce perspiration. It has also been used against poisoning and acute rheumatism. Unfortunately, this is not recommended for children.
The root of the pleurisy plant is used to provide alterative, anodyne, antispasmodic, carminative, diaphoretic, diuretic, emetic, expectorant, febrifuge, nervine, mild purgative, and stimulant properties. Primarily, pleurisy is extremely beneficial in treating spasmodic asthma, bronchitis, acute dysentery, emphysema, fevers, indigestion, lung disorders, pleurisy, and pneumonia. Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with croup, contagious diseases, flu, gas, kidney problems, measles, and excessive mucus, absent perspiration, poisoning, acute rheumatism, scarlet fever, tuberculosis, and typhus.
In order to obtain the best results when supplementing with this, or any herb, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen while on prescription medications. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by pleurisy, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
Pumpkin Seed Oil
September 15, 2009 11:15 AM
The word pumpkin comes from the Greek word pepon, which means large melon. This word was adapted by the French to pompon. Then, the British changed to pumpion and the American colonists later changed that to the word that we use today. The origin of pumpkins is not definitely known. However, they are thought to have originated in North America. The oldest evidence of pumpkins dated back to between 7000 and 5500 B.C. in Mexico. The pumpkin is a squash-like fruit that ranges in sizes of less than one pound to over 1,000 pounds.
Because some squash have the same botanical classifications as pumpkins the names are often used interchangeably. Pumpkins generally have stems that are more rigid, pricklier, and squarer than squash stems. Squash stems on the other hand are more often softer, more rounded, and more flared when joined to the fruit. Generally, pumpkins weigh somewhere between nine to eighteen pounds, although the largest species is capable of reaching a weight of over seventy-five pounds. The shape of the pumpkin varies greatly, ranging from oblate through oblong. Even though pumpkins are generally orange or yellow, some are dark green, pale green, orange-yellow, white, red, and gray. Pumpkins have bright and colorful flowers that have an extremely short life span. Some may only open for as short a time as one day. The color of pumpkins comes from the orange pigments that are abundant in them.
The pumpkin is associated with autumn holidays such as Halloween and Thanksgiving in the United States. Generally, the seeds are thrown away as waste. However, pumpkin seeds and their oil possess great beneficial properties. There are especially for ridding the body of intestinal parasites.
Research has determined that various squash, including pumpkin, have great parasite-fighting capabilities. Although scientists are not exactly sure which compound in pumpkin seeds is responsible for Expelling the worms, the seeds are known for their ability to do so quickly and safely. They are even safe for children. Pumpkin seeds work best when a laxative is taken an hour after they are used.
Pumpkin seeds are used to strengthen the prostate gland. They are also great for promoting male hormone function. They have long been used to treat an enlarged prostate. Myosin, which is found in pumpkin seeds, is known for its ability to be essential for muscular contractions.
One can apply the oil of the pumpkin seed to wounds, burns, and chapped skin. This helps to soothe and help heal injured skin. The seeds and oil of the pumpkin plant are used to provide anthelmintic, demulcent, diuretic, nutritive, parasiticide, and mild purgative properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are amino acids, beta-carotene, magnesium, zinc, essential fatty acids, vitamin E, and carotenoids. Primarily, pumpkin is extremely beneficial in treating intestinal problems, parasites, and tapeworm.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with burns, gastric disorders, nausea, prostate problems, roundworms, chapped skin, uterine problems, and wounds. In order to obtain the best results when supplementing with this, or any herb, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen while on prescription medications. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by pumpkin, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
September 03, 2009 12:33 PM
The hyssop plant is a genus of about ten to twelve species of herbaceous or semi-woody plants in the Lamiaceae family. These plants are native to the east Mediterranean and to central Asia. They are aromatic and have erect branched stems up to 60 centimeters in length and covered with fine hairs at the tips. The leaves are about two to five centimeters long. The plant possesses small blue flowers that grow on the upper part of the branches during the summer.
Hyssop tea was used in ancient Babylon to reduce fever and for sore throats, colds, lung infections, and eye infections. Hyssop was recommended by Hippocrates for pleurisy. The word hyssop is of Greek origin, and means “holy herb.” The Bible even contains references to hyssop, but the actual identity of the plant is in question. More than two thousand years ago, Jewish priests used hyssop to cleanse the temple. Hyssop was also used to reduce perspiration and to treat dropsy and jaundice during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Colonists brought hyssop to the New World, using it to treat colds and chest congestion.
This herb is most often used for lung ailments and fevers. Hyssop is extremely useful in lung disorders. Among these include bronchitis, chest congestion, hay fever, tuberculosis, and asthma. The herb also helps relax and Expel phlegm from the lungs and relieve coughing. Hyssop helps promote sweating, which Expels toxins through the skin. The leaves of the plant grow a mold which produces penicillin and may contribute to the herb’s healing abilities. Hyssop also contains essential oils that can help build resistance to infectious disease. The leaves of hyssop can be applied directly to a wound to stop infection and promote healing. Hyssop is generally found in a combination with other herbs.
This herb is a member of the mint family. It is believed to aid in digestion and also help relieve gas. History has a long history of use as a body purifier. The herb is able to strengthen the immune system. It also works as a blood pressure regulator. Some of the volatile oils that are found in hyssop may actually be responsible for its use in treating sore throats and also as an expectorant. Hyssop is thought to be effective for mild irritations. The herb has also been studied for the treatment of herpes simplex virus. It has been found to inhibit the growth of the virus. This can be attributed most likely to the tannin content.
The entire hyssop herb is used to provide carminative, diaphoretic, expectorant, febrifuge, galactagogue, pectoral, and stimulant properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are Diosmine, flavonoids, marrubin, and tannins. Primarily, hyssop is extremely beneficial in dealing with congestion, coughs, hay fever, absent lactation, lung ailments, excessive mucus, phlegm, wheezing, and worms.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in treating asthma, high blood pressure, bronchitis, bruises, intestinal catarrh, cuts, ear ailments, edema, epilepsy, fevers, hoarseness, jaundice, kidney problems, lice, sore throat, and spleen ailments. In order to obtain additional information on the many beneficial effects provided by hyssop, please feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store with questions.
August 22, 2009 11:54 AM
Buckthorn is a bitter herb that is used for Expelling impurities. It has been used in Europe for hundreds of years as a potent laxative for purging the body. The Cherokee Indians used this herb as a cathartic. It was also used for skin problems. Nicholas Culpeper, a seventeenth-century herbalist, recommended using bruised buckthorn leaves to stop bleeding when it was applied directly to the wound.
The buckthorn plant is a genus of about one hundred species of shrubs or small trees that range from one to ten meters tall. These plants are native throughout the temperate and subtropical Northern Hemisphere. They are also found more locally in the subtropical Southern Hemisphere in parts of Africa and South America. Some species of this plant are invasive outside of their natural ranges. This species has both deciduous and evergreen plants with simple leaves that are three to fifteen centimeters long. The plant bears fruits which are dark blue berries. The name for this plant comes from the woody spine on the end of each twig in many of the species.
The berries of the buckthorn plant are the part used medicinally. They are collected when ripe. From them, a nauseous, bitter juice is obtained. From this juice, with the addition of sugar and aromatics, buckthorn syrup is prepared. When they are freshly gathered in autumn, the berries are about one third of an inch in diameter. A series of rich but fugitive colors is obtained from the dried berries. The berries were originally sold under the name “French berries.” If they were gathered before they were ripe, the berries would create a yellow dye that was formerly used for staining maps or paper.
This herb is a well-known and extremely powerful laxative. It is also helpful for cleansing the liver and gallbladder. Buckhorn works by stimulating the flow of bile from both the liver and gallbladder. If one takes buckthorn hot, it will produce perspiration and also lower a fever. When made into an ointment, this herb will help relieve itching. Some evidence of antitumor effects of buckthorn has been found. However, there is no recent research to prove the information. Many believe that future studies will prove that it is beneficial.
This herb should not be abuse. Be sure to follow directions in order to avoid gastrointestinal cramping. It is important to consult a health care professional before taking this, or any herb, in order to obtain optimum effects.
The bark, berries, and root of the buckthorn plant can be used to provide alterative, anthelmintic, antineoplastic, antirheumatic, bitter, blood purifier, diuretic, emetic, febrifuge, and mild purgative properties. The primary nutrient found in this herb is vitamin C. Primarily, buckthorn is extremely helpful in treating bleeding, chronic constipation, fevers, gallstone, gastric disorders, liver disorders, and lead poisoning.
Additionally, this herb is very beneficial in dealing with appendicitis, edema, gout, hemorrhoids, itching, parasites, rheumatism, skin diseases, and external warts. In order to obtain additional information on the many beneficial effects provided by buckthorn, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store.
Marshmallow Root Herb
August 12, 2009 11:30 AM
The marshmallow plant can be found in southern and western Europe, western Asia, and the northeastern region of North America. The plant originally grew in salty soils, but now it thrives in moist, uncultivated ground. The fleshy, upright stems of the marshmallow plant reach a height of three to four feet. The pale yellow roots are tapered, long, and thick. They have a tough, yet flexible, exterior. The short-stemmed leaves are round, with irregularly toothed margins and three to five lobes. The leaves and stem are covered with a soft and velvety down. The flowers have five reddish-white petals. The whole plant, especially the root, is filled with a mild mucilage.
Since ancient Egyptian times, marshmallow has been used as food and medicine. One of the herbs found in the grave of a Neanderthal man in a cave in Iraq was marshmallow. This herb was used anciently for irritated throats and intestinal tracts. The Europeans used marshmallow for bronchitis, colds, and coughs. This was because of its soothing and healing properties. Native Americans also used marshmallow to treat snakebites and wounds.
This herb is responsible for helping to Expel phlegm and relax the bronchial tubes while soothing and healing. The herb aids in healing lung ailments such as asthma and inflammation. The soothing and healing properties that are found in the mucilage in marshmallow make it a valuable herb for many lung ailments. Also, it is useful on sore throats, infections, diarrhea, dysentery, skin irritations, and for coughs. This herb is a powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-irritant. This fact makes it good for both the joints and the gastrointestinal tract. Marshmallow is used as a poultice with cayenne, which allows it to help with gangrene, blood poisoning, burns, bruises, and wounds.
Studies have found that the mucilaginous properties of marshmallow yield a soothing effect on the mucous membranes. A study that was done on animals showed some indication of a reduction in blood sugar levels and hypoglycemia activity. This may be beneficial for diabetics.
The root of the marshmallow plant are used to provide alterative, anticatarrhal, anti-inflamamtory, antilithic, demulcent, diuretic, emollient, expectorant, galactagogue, lithotriptic, mucilant, nutritive, and vulnerary properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are calcium, iodine, iron, pantothenic acid, sodium, and vitamins A and B-complex. Primarily, marshmallow is extremely beneficial in treating asthma, bed-wetting, bleeding, boils, bronchitis, emphysema, kidney problems, lung congestion, nervous disorders, pneumonia, urinary incontinence, urinary problems, uterine problems, whooping cough, and wounds. Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with allergies, breast problems, burns, constipation, coughs, diabetes, diarrhea, dysentery, sore eyes, gangrene, gastric disorders, glandular problems, inflammation, intestinal problems, kidney stones, absent lactation, liver disorders, irritated membranes, excessive mucus, and skin disorders.
In order to obtain the best results when supplementing with this, or any herb, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen while on medications. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by marshmallow, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
March 27, 2009 01:56 PM
Menopause is the time at which a woman stops ovulating and menstruation ceases, which indicates the end of fertility. Menopause is not a disease, but rather a natural progression in life, similar to puberty. Many years before a woman stops ovulating, her ovaries will begin to slow their production of the hormones estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. Estrogen and progesterone are often thought of as the reproductive hormones.
Although estrogen is essential in reproduction, it is also extremely important in other non-reproductive organs and systems in the body. Cells in the uterus, bladder, breasts, skin, bones, arteries, heart, liver, and brain all contain estrogen receptors. These organs need this hormone in order to stimulate these receptors for normal cell function. Estrogen is needed to keep the skin smooth and moist and the body’s internal thermostat working properly. Estrogen is also essential for proper bone formation. Even though estrogen levels drop sharply after menopause, they do not disappear entirely. Other organs take over for the ovaries, continuing to produce a less potent form of estrogen. These organs, known as endocrine glands, secrete some hormones from fatty tissue in order to maintain bodily functions.
Progesterone works along with estrogen, stimulating changes in the lining of the uterus to complete the preparation for a fertilized egg during the second half of the menstrual cycle. If no egg is fertilized, the uterine lining is broken down and Expelled, allowing the cycle to being again. Progesterone also has effects beyond the reproductive system, as it calms the brain and also affects other aspects of nervous system function. Testosterone is most important for both men and women, with women producing about 80 percent less than men do. However, it is the driving force for maintaining a healthy life and proper functioning organs.
The period when a woman’s body is preparing for menopause is known as perimenopause. For the majority of women, hormone production beings to slow down then they reach their thirties, continuing to diminish with age. Many women will experience few if any symptoms at this time, but others may suffer from anxiety, dry skin, fatigue, feelings of bloating, headaches, heart palpitations, hot flashes, insomnia, irritability, decreased interest in their significant other, loss of concentration, mood swings, night sweats, reduced stamina, urinary incontinence, uterine dryness and itching, weight gain, cold hands and feet, joint pain, hair loss, and/or skin changes.
Menopause occurs when a woman stops menstruating altogether. At this point, most of the acute problems a woman may have experienced are actually over and a new balance between all hormones should be established. However, women become increasingly vulnerable to other, potentially serious health problems at this time. Over the long term, the diminished supply of estrogen increased the likelihood of cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and uterine atrophy. Osteoporosis especially is a major problem for women after menopause, with an estimated 80 percent of the hip fractures that occur in the United States every year being due to osteoporosis.
A proper diet, nutritional supplements, and exercise can help to minimize or eliminate most of the unpleasant side effects of menopause. The following nutrients are recommended for dealing with this stage of life: beta-1, cerasomal, coenzyme Q10, DHEA, essential fatty acids, lecithin granules, a multi-enzyme complex, soy protein, vitamin B complex, vitamin D3, vitamin E, boron, calcium, magnesium, quercetin, silica, zinc, l-arginine, multiglandular complex, a multivitamin and mineral complex, vitamin C, aloe vera gel, slippery elm, damiana, amaranth, chickweed, dandelion greens, nettle, seaweed, watercress, anise, black cohosh, fennel, licorice, raspberry, sage, unicorn root, wild yam root, hops, valerian root, gotu kola, red clover, dong quai, St. John’s wort, and Siberian ginseng.
All these above listed vitamins and herbs are available in capsule, tablet, or powder forms. When looking for natural alternatives to help replace estrogen naturally, look to your local or internet health food store for name brand products that can help restore an imbalance over time.
December 23, 2008 11:44 AM
Although it is important to stress that the fatty acids found in flax are essential, flax also contains substances called lignans. Lignans are special compounds that demonstrate impressive health benefits, as they seem to be responsible for assisting the immune system in many ways, along with helping to prevent some types of cancers.
Because flax contains lignans, it is an even more beneficial to the body when consumed in this form. Flax is one of the most abundant sources of lignans, a type of phytoestrogen that interferes with estrogen metabolism in animals and humans. This property gives lignans the ability to help in the prevention of both fat and hormone-sensitive types of cancer. Lignans also benefit the body by providing antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral activity that helps the immune system to function optimally.
All of the benefits of flax are still yet to be known, but it has been established that flax is also a good source of fiber. There have been several studies which confirm that flaxseed can be a cholesterol-lowering agent similar to oat bran, fruit pectin, and other food ingredients that contain fiber. Because flax packages both omega-3 fatty acids and soluble fiber together, it presents two ingredients which provide healthy blood lipid patterns. Flaxseed contains beneficial amounts of both soluble and insoluble fiber, giving it potential cancer-fighting ability especially in colon cancer.
When selecting a healthy diet, it is important to consider your sources of essential fatty acids. Essential fatty acids are fragile and easily damaged by air, high temperatures, and food processing, so you are unlikely to get all of the EFAs that you need, even if you are careful to use vegetable oils for cooking. Most of the oil that we consume today has been heavily processed, which damages essential fatty acids. When choosing flax oil, you’ll want to take into account the same considerations, looking for oil that has not been damaged by processing and is packaged to block all light from contact with the oil.
Not all flax oils are the same, with there being a great deal of variation in quality and purity as a result in differences of how the oil is expressed. Most flaxseed oils are mechanically pressed out through an Expeller, in which great amounts of heat and pressure can be generated. The higher the temperature, the better the yield of oil, but the lower the quality of oil. Many manufactures willingly sacrifice quality for quantity. The best way to measure the quality of oil is by taste, with the degree of bitterness being a close approximation of the level of lipid peroxides. The best source of high quality flaxseed oil can be found in health food stores where inventory turnover is highest.
Some good guidelines to go by in selecting a good flaxseed oil include: making sure the flaxseed oil is derived from 100% certified organic flaxseed; making sure the oil is as fresh as possible and not past the expiration date; making sure that the oil is Expeller-pressed or cold pressed; using flaxseed oil that is high in lignans to gain the most benefit.
December 20, 2008 11:16 AM
If starting your day with a cup or coffee or two, having another while you’re on the road, another after arriving at work, and another to get through the afternoon slump, and perhaps a can of pop or a candy bar after work followed by an ice tea and ice cream after dinner, you may have a serious caffeine addiction.
Many people often feel irritable as the next day’s events are closing in on them at bed time and are restless about the next day’s problems race through their mind. It’s been like this for years for many of us, with an estimated 80 percent of adult Americans being regular coffee drinkers and each adult coffee drinker averaging 3.3 cups of coffee per day, without taking into account other sources of caffeine.
Caffeine can be found in tea, chocolate, soft drinks, and medicines, but is most often consumed in coffee. Coffee is somewhat popular because of the stimulating effect of its caffeine constituent, but it can contribute to irritability, depression, diarrhea, insomnia, and other disorders. The number one legal mind-altering drug in the world, caffeine is odorless, slightly bitter and can be found in coffee, tea, kola nuts, ilex plants, mate, and cocoa. You may know and accept that you have a caffeine habit, but many people are convinced that they need a pick-me-up from time to time in order to get through the day. What is important is that caffeine is not actually giving you the burst of energy, but instead negative moods and emotions.
The coffee tree, which is a small evergreen, has smooth leaves and clusters of fragrant white flowers that mature into red fruits that are about half of an inch long. The fruit contains two seeds usually, which become raw coffee beans when dried. After roasting, coffee contains more than 700 volatile substances including acids, alcohols, and even residues of cancer-causing pesticides. In all fairness, caffeine does act as a mild stimulant to the nervous system when used in moderation, which results in a feeling of well-being and alertness. It increases the heart rate, urination, and stimulates the secretion of stomach acid.
Although a little caffeine may wake us up and give us a sense of energy, too much caffeine actually hurts our moods and overall well being. Two cups of caffeine per day seems to have a positive effect, but research shows that even one cup a day is enough to cause dependence. Caffeine may temporarily improve your mood and give a sense of vitality, it wears off and your mood and energy levels crash to levels even lower than before. Additionally, our bodies adjust, causing us to need more caffeine to give us the same desired effect. Caffeine does not provide any energy or increase our alertness. Instead, it stimulates our bodies.
Excessive intake of coffee can lead to restlessness, insomnia, and heart irregularities. Those people who drink a lot of coffee often complain of jittery nerves, chronic anxiety, frequent bouts of diarrhea or loose stools, and restless nights. Coffee can also cause stomach and intestinal problems, as well as coronary diseases. An occasional cup of coffee is one thing, but depending on a cup to keep you awake is something entirely different.
Harsh symptoms of withdrawal such as headache, fatigue, and depression are common among regular caffeine users. Caffeine also causes the body to Expel vital nutrients like b vitamins from the body that we need to function. If you consume more than two cups of coffee each day then a multi-vitamin should be taken once daily to help replenish was is lost by the diuretic effects of caffeine in the body.
Colon Cleanse And Enema
September 08, 2008 09:49 AM
While on a colon cleanse, it is extremely important to take a daily enema, a coffee or garlic enema is suggested, but inter-changing the two may be a good idea. When coffee enemas are taken, be sure to use 8 rounded tablespoons of regular grind coffee with 2 quarts of water. Be sure to boil thoroughly or perk first. A garlic enema can be made by emptying two capsules of garlic into two quarts of warm water and mixing well. The following steps should be followed when taking an enema. First, lie on your left side and let in ½ to 1 cup of enema water. Next, massage the lower left side of your abdomen, working especially hard on any lumps or ridged areas that you may feel, as these are deposits of fecal matter. After four to five minutes of massaging, let more water in. Then, continue to massage across the abdomen and down your right side, as this is where the greatest problems occur. Make sure to be especially thorough in massaging this area. Do not retain the liquid if you feel the need to eliminate. Instead, simply start over. Most people have Expelled brown or grey mucous, black fleck-like matter, parasites, and other surprising matter.
Slantboard exercises are extremely important in helping all pocketed lazy bowels and are a great help for colon problems, prolapsus, and gas. It also regenerates the vital nerve center of the brain. Most people are able to use a slantboard. However, those with high blood pressure or any other problem that would contra-indicate a slantboard exercise should not use this method. The mini trampoline is probably one of the best devices ever invented, as it can increase circulation, empty the lymph glands, exercise the heart, and increase energy. It is recommended that one jump every day while they are on a seven day cleanse.
Most individuals should stay on a colon cleanse for at least a full seven days and repeat this program twice a year. This is especially true for those who are interested in the prevention and maintenance of good health. People with chronic health problems should repeat the cleanse four times a year and also follow a building program in the meantime. Nutritionists often suggest a year round use of the bentonite, but many believe that the bentonite cleanse should be alternated with a building program that is individually designed to meet each person’s specific needs. This program should include a variety of herb formulas that will help to rebuild the colon and supplements that are specific for individual problems.
It is suggested that people cut down on processed foods such as white sugar and flour where ever possible. Also, use foods that have the least amount of chemical additives like artificial food colors and preservatives. Whenever possible, eat mainly foods that spoil because of not having added preservatives, such as fresh fruits and vegetables. Also, use a wide variety of vegetables, raw or cooked in way that keeps in the most of the nutrition. When one does eat frozen foods, the fluid released in thawing often does have nutritional value. Make sure to avoid a steady intake of junk foods like candy and soda drinks.
Therefore, substitute natural sweets with fruit juices when you can do so. Also, exercise regularly and take into consideration your age and general health. While taking a colon cleanse, it is usually a good idea to consume only liquids for the first two – three days to help elimination. Consult your doctor if on medications so that a colon cleanse does not conflict with your medications.
Fiber For Better Health
July 11, 2008 12:27 PM
We have been told that we must eat a certain amount of fiber with our meals because it is ‘good for us’. Most of us have been led to believe that this is because fiber promotes bowel motions and prevents us from suffering from constipation. It is also good for our digestive system. But how true is this, and just what are the real benefits of fiber in our diet?
First of what, what is fiber? Sure, we know there must be fiber in food such as cabbage, beans and celery because we can see it. But is all fiber actually fibrous? Of course not, so let’s first have a close look at what dietary fiber actually is.
Fiber is composed of these parts of a plant that are broken down by the action of enzymes in our digestive juices in the upper parts of our intestinal tract. Some fiber can be digested by the bacteria in our lower intestine, and some is not. So where does fiber come from? By that definition, fiber can be any part of your food, not only the stringy bits, and by definition are of vegetable origin.
Water insoluble fibers increase fecal bulk. That’s the stringy stuff in celery and string beans. It is also contained in cellulose materials, lignin, wheat bran, whole grains and most vegetables. These have the effect of increasing the efficiency of the peristaltic movement of the intestine on the passage of chyme (the creamy fluid that exits the stomach into the duodenum) through your system.
The liquid and nutrients are progressively removed, and the fiber maintains the bulk needed for peristalsis to work properly. Peristalsis is the rhythmic movement of the intestine that forces your food right from your stomach to your rectum. It is also the basis of some forms of industrial pump that operate on the same principle. Without fiber this pump would be inefficient.
Soluble fiber includes the gum and pectin that are obtained from plant cells. They swell up the chyme, and slow down its rate of travel through the gastrointestinal system, although they have no effect on fecal bulk. Specific examples are oat bran, fruit and most vegetables (all plants contain both). A peach, for example, consists of a skin which is insoluble fiber, and the juicy pulp beneath it which is predominantly soluble fiber.
Although a distinction is made between dietary and crude fiber, they both have their part to play. The term ‘fiber’ is a wide one and it cannot be said that fiber as a whole imparts a specific health benefit. The benefits of fiber are a combination of those imparted by the full range of types of fiber and their sources that are contained in the human diet, both crude and dietary, soluble and insoluble.
So what specifically are these benefits, other than just the generalization that they are ‘good for your intestinal health’? As you likely know, it is the fiber in your diet that binds your feces together into a solid, rather than leaving it as a mobile liquid. Although around 75% of feces are liquid, the bulk of the rest is fiber, bacteria and undigested food.
Since insoluble fiber makes feces bulkier and softer it can help treat constipation, where the stool has an excess of solid content. Any substance that absorbs water and swells can help with this condition. The same is true of hemorrhoids and a condition of the wall of the intestine known as diverticulosis. Once the inflammation has subsided, a high soluble fiber diet can help prevent a recurrence.
If you want to lose weight, a fiber diet can make you feel full without the calories, since fiber is calorie-free. There is also the fact that high fiber foods have to be chewed longer before they can be swallowed, and so you are liable to eat less in the same time. However, if you are determined, all that means is that you will have to lunch longer to get the same weight gain!
There is little doubt that a fiber-rich diet contributes significantly to intestinal health, and that if the correct amount of fiber is not taken then problems such as constipation, diarrhea, diverticulosis and a lack of absorption of nutrients will occur. The peristaltic pumping motion of the whole gastrointestinal tract, from the top of the throat to the anus, is dependent on solids rather than liquids. While a semi-liquid fecal consistency will pass through your body, it will take the bulk of the nutrition extracted from your food with it. It is fiber that is needed to bulk it up and to enable the liquid to be extracted through the intestinal wall and the fibrous solid to pass on through the colon to the anus.
There are other benefits of a diet high in fiber, though they generally depend on the type of fiber. Take cholesterol, for example. High LDL blood cholesterol levels are associated with atherosclerosis, and the consequent risk of heart disease and strokes, due to the oxidation of the LDL by free radicals. When the HDL lipids carry cholesterol back to the liver, it is destroyed by the action of bile acids. Since water soluble fiber binds bile acids, it figures that some types of fiber can promote the excretion of cholesterol from the body. The fiber most effective in achieving this comes from rolled oats and also pectin.
It has also been claimed that dietary fiber might be effective in preventing cancer of the colon. The theory is that bowel cancer is caused by toxins in the feces and if the fecal matter is Expelled from the body quickly, the toxins will have less time to act. Fiber promotes the expulsion of the contents of the colon. This has not been confirmed, however.
What has been confirmed is that your bowel can collect mucoid plaque that sticks to mainly your colon, and is an ideal environment for parasites and yeast infections. The National Fiber Council has stated that most people do not eat enough fiber, and the average requirement is 38g a day for men and 25g a day for women.
So eat your fiber, because fiber can boost your intestinal health and wellness.
July 08, 2008 03:00 PM
Garcinia cambogia is a small tree bearing a small pumpkin-like fruit of the citrus family, and is steadily appearing in an increasing number of weight loss supplements. It is indigenous to parts of Africa and Asia, and the rind is commonly used in Indian cookery.
Although the fruit is particularly sour to the taste, it is used in form of an extract of the rind and claimed to act as an appetite suppressant and also to increase the body’s capacity to metabolize fat. Although there are conflicting claims being made about its efficacy, or lack of it, research shows that it definitely has promise as an agent to prevent and fight obesity and its use is steadily increasing in this respect.
The active ingredient is hydroxy citric acid, otherwise known as HCA, contained in the form of the potassium and calcium salts of the acid in the aqueous extract of the garcinia cambogia rind. It forms up to 30% by weight of the rind. It is tasteless and odorless, and so far found to have no toxic effects on humans. Animal studies have also been generally favorable.
HCA works in two specific ways both to reduce the desire to eat and to inhibit the storage of fat in the body. In each case, as with so many supplements that have an inhibitory effect on a physiological or psychological function or on a metabolic process, it involves an interaction with enzymes.
Citrate lysase is an enzyme in the body that helps to prevent lipogenesis and instead promotes the conversion of carbohydrates into fat. When this enzyme is inhibited from carrying out its intended part in the body’s metabolism, the process of carbohydrate oxidation is boosted, or, in other words, the excess carbohydrate is burned off, or changed into energy.
More fats could also be Expelled unchanged from the body, but irrespective of that the end result is that less carbohydrate tends to be converted to fat. Garcinia cambogia, however, has not been found to reduce the body’s uptake of essential fatty acids which are necessary for health. Had this occurred, you would feel a raging hunger as opposed to the appetite suppressing properties the extract is claimed to have.
The oxidation of carbohydrates can also lead to thermogenesis, or the boosting of the metabolism by increasing your body temperature. An increase in the metabolic rate helps weight reduction through an increased calorie demand while your body is at rest. However, that is not the only way in which the HCA extract works to help reduce your weight, or at least help to maintain it at a healthy level. Let’s return to its specific appetite suppression properties.
Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine) is a neuroreceptor found in the central nervous system. It has many regulatory effects on the body, one of which is appetite. Although it is by no means the only chemical in the body that has an effect on the appetite, serotonin is a significant factor. As you get hungry, serotonin is released in the hypothalamus, an area of the brain that regulates sleep and eating. The release of serotonin increases when you see and or smell food. It is the agent that starts canine salivation, and a ravenous hunger in those that have no immediate access to food.
It also causes you to snack, and, as you eat, the serotonin level in the hypothalamus continues to increase until it reaches a point where it provides the hypothalamus with a feeling of repletion or satisfaction. You then stop eating. So the more serotonin is produced, the quicker you stop feeling hungry.
Garcinia cambogia extract has the effect of stimulating the emission of serotonin into the hypothalamus, and so suppresses your hunger quicker. You don’t stop eating altogether, but attain that feeling of satisfaction much quicker and so tend to eat less with each meal. This can not only help you maintain your weight at a healthy level, but also to reduce weight in the obese.
Although the extract can work through each of these mechanisms, it does not have such a significant effect on a very fatty diet. It can help if you switch to a relatively healthy diet, lower in fats, but the effect might not be strong enough to compensate for a poor diet in terms of fat content.
Studies have indicated an anti-oxidant activity that likely comes from the xanthones and xanthone derivatives that are also contained in the fruit. In fact there are other recorded uses of garcinia cambogia, and it has been used in traditional Indian medicine to treat fevers, dysentery, open wounds, ulcers and tumors.
According to a study carried out for the National Cancer Institute there is no documented toxicity effects on humans, and there is no regulation regarding the use of garcinia cambogia. It has not been evaluated by the FDA.
However, there are contra-indications in the case of pregnant and lactating women, more as a safety measure than for any particularly known risk. Alzheimer patients should avoid taking HCA since there is a possibility of it promoting the synthesis of acetylcholine in the brain, and its glycemic action renders it unsuitable for diabetics.
Conversely, this same action is a positive benefit by reducing the craving of healthy adults for sweet foods. However, HCA is frequently taken in combination with chromium due to the latter’s positive effect on the regulation of blood sugar levels. Nevertheless, diabetics should avoid any supplement containing chromium without professional medical advice.
The supplement should be standardized on the HCA content, and an average dose is around 500 mg – 1000 mg of 50% extract a day. However, this varies, and the most important aspect of such extracts is that when changing brands; be sure to compare the strength of the relative extracts and change your dosage accordingly.
Although the benefits of garcinia cambogia to those seeking to lose weight are debated, there is ample evidence to suggest that a regular intake of the extract is beneficial – and not only with respect to the maintenance of healthy weight.
June 19, 2008 04:06 PM
Many natural health practitioners are looking at chitin as a possible weight-loss tool in a diet program. While still under study, proponents of it have helped this natural product and formulations made from it popular. Those seeking to lose weight efficiently are buying this product in droves. Manufacturers and marketers of chitin have seen great sales growth in Japan and the United States in recent years.
Chitin is a positively charged polysaccharide that comes from an animal source. This source is shellfish in the form of shrimp, crab and lobster. A polysaccharide is a string of sugar molecules found in the outer shell of these crustaceans. Chitin is also found in marine coral and the outer shells of certain insects, such as beetles and ants. Chitin shares chemical similarities with cellulose and starch, which are plant fibers.
The weight-loss benefits of chitin are in its binding properties. Some researchers believe that the positively charged polysaccharides attract negatively charged bile acids and free fatty acids. These acids are now bound by the positively charged chitin and therefore are not absorbed into a person's system. The result is the prevention of an increase in dietary fat, which puts the pounds on a person's frame.
Some evidence from studies does suggest that chitin breaks down in the stomach and changes to a gel. Some researchers believe this is where the binding takes place as this gel traps fats and cholesterols. This process is believed to occur in the intestine, where chitin prevents the fat from becoming absorbed and digested.
All types of fiber are beneficial for preventing the absorption of fat into the body, at least to some degree. Studies show that chitin, as an amino polysaccharide fiber may do this to a greater degree. Some proponents believe chitin has the capacity to Expel up to four times its weight in fat. Some claim it binds 10 times its weight in fat and does this better than any other kind of fiber.
Some believe chitin works best when used in conjunction with a high-fat meal. If it's going to be one of those high-fat intake days, they say taking chitin can help you counter the fat. Taking chitin may help bind the fat molecules and take them through your system until they're eliminated. However, chitin does not bind carbohydrates, protein, or alcohol. Over-indulgence in them, even with chitin added to your diet, may mean you will still put on weight.
Because chitin is a non-digestible, non-absorbable fiber, it acts as a carrier. It doesn't absorb into your body as other foods can. It helps carry harmful fats away through its binding capabilities before they have a chance to settle in. Studies suggest chitin may do this and help improve blood cholesterol levels as it goes about its work.
Chitin is a calorie-free fiber supplement. A product that is abundantly available, it is even used in food manufacturing as an edible film to protect foods from spoiling. It is often found at a reasonable cost and is a product known for having few side effects. One caveat with chitin is that those allergic to shellfish should not consume chitin. In addition, pregnant women should not take chitin products because of a possible reduction in calcium and vitamin D absorption. Of course, any weight-loss program needs to rely on healthy foods and exercise in addition to any weight-loss supplements. It's all part of an overall healthy approach to losing weight.
Along with its possible benefits as a weight-loss tool chitin has other benefits. It is used in the manufacture of surgical thread. Being biodegradable, it dissolves over time as a wound heals. It also has properties that allow for its use as a wound-healing agent.
Studies continue in the uses of chitin as a weight-loss product. As a natural product, readily available, diet supplement manufacturers strive to make innovative products from it. Their focus is to further research chitin so they can use it to help those striving to take control of their weight.
April 29, 2008 10:49 AM
Butterbur extract is taken mainly from the rhizome, root and leaves of the butterbur, a member of the daisy family. They are very hardy and have creeping underground rhizomes and large leaves like those of rhubarb. Another name given to it is the sweet Coltsfoot, and they generally grow in the temperate climates of Europe, North Africa and South west Asia. They like damp conditions, specifically marshes and ditches, and also riverbanks where there are always plentiful supplies of moisture.
It has been used by Native Americans for headaches and inflammation, and has been shown to be an effective remedy for hay fever and to provide relief from painful menstrual cramps. Butterbur has also been used throughout the middle Ages to treat fever and the plague, and has been recorded in the seventeenth century as being used for asthma, wounds and coughs. However, one of its most important applications is in restore bladder function in the incontinent and semi-incontinent.
Urinary incontinence is typified by an unusually high frequency of urination – more than 8 times a day, an immediate strong urge to pass water or leaking and involuntary urination. Any two of these three indicates urinary incontinence. As people age their bladders become smaller, and by definition the periods between urination will reduce. This does not, however, suggest that bladder size is the cause of urinary incontinence.
Urination is caused by the contraction of the smooth layered muscle that surrounds the bladder, called the detrusor, a contraction in turn caused by neurons both in the brain and in the detrusor itself. This naturally contracts and expands according to the volume of urine in the bladder, and once the bladder is about half full the brain will tell you that the detrusor is ready to contract to Expel the urine. However, if the time is not convenient, the cortex will suppress this desire until a more convenient time.
In incontinence, the desire is suppressed but the neurons still fire to contract the detrusor, Expelling urine at inconvenient moments. Butterbur contains the sesquiterpenes petasin and isopetasin, which are known to reduce spasms in smooth muscle tissue and in vascular walls. It can therefore be used to control the involuntary spasms that cause urine leakage or expulsion against the patient’s wishes. These sesquiterpenes are at highest concentration in the roots of the plant.
The effect that the sesquiterpenes have in inhibiting the synthesis of leukotriene in leukocytes tends to support this effect, since leukotrienes can cause contraction of vascular and smooth muscle tissue. Not only this, but the spasmolytic effect could also be explained by the inhibition of cellular calcium caused by the petasin isomers.
Many studies have indicated that the effectiveness of butterbur extract is also useful in the prevention of migraines. There has been a lot of research carried out on the use of butterbur extract on migraine sufferers, and the effective dose appears to about 75 mg twice daily. There is little evidence of it being a cure but as a prophylactic there appears no doubt of its efficacy: there have been too many positive results against placebos for its effect to be deniable.
It is significant that leukotriene can cause constriction of the small blood vessels in the veins, and so affect the flow of blood. Butterbur, in inhibiting its biochemical production, helps to keep these blood vessels open. Lekotrienes are also important components of inflammation, and altogether it appears that whatever the real cause of migraine, the petasin isomers in butterbur have an effect in inhibiting its initiation. Add to that the potential reduction in calcium content that can cause blood vessels to become less flexible, and the argument for its effectiveness is both irrefutable and well explained.
In one example of such a double blind study that is representative of many, a group of patients given 50 mg butterbur extract twice a day for twelve weeks experienced a 60% reduction in the frequency of attacks, a reduction in the severity of the attacks they did have, and a reduction in the length of the attacks. Although the vascular theory of the cause of migraine is no longer supported, maintenance of the vascular system appears to at least reduce the likelihood of attacks.
The effect of butterbur on asthma and other allergic reactions is also well documented. This again is due to its anti-spasmodic properties and inhibitory effect on the inflammatory immune response through the inhibition of leukotriene synthesis and the consequent positive effect on the metabolism of prostaglandin. Prostaglandins also constrict vascular smooth muscle cells, regulate the mediation of the inflammatory response and constrict general smooth muscle cells. All of these can lead a to a variety of disorders cause by smooth muscle spasms in additional to urinary incontinence, such as menstrual cramps, liver and gastrointestinal disorders and asthmatic conditions.
In one study of allergic rhinitis, administration of butterbur extract appeared to result in a reduction in the histamine and leukotriene content of nasal fluids and no difference was noticed between this treatment and histamine treatment. This was a useful study because histamines causes drowsiness and butterbur can be used as a substitute for histamine without the sedative effect. A study in Germany in 1993 has shown that the stomach ulceration caused by the anti-inflammatory medications for arthritis was reduced by the administration of butterbur extract
Cetirizine is a commonly prescribed prescription treatment for allergic conditions, and studies comparing that with butterbur demonstrated them to be equally effecting in reducing the symptoms typical of allergic reactions such as sneezing, runny nose and nasal congestion. 50% of the patients in the group took each and there was no difference in results. Again it was explained by the petasin limiting the production of leukotriene and histamine, both of which are produced by the immune response and promote mucous secretions and inflammation. They also constrict airways that can be serious to asthma sufferers
These studies are simply providing scientific evidence and explanations for the tradition use of this plant for such conditions. Butterbur has been used for centuries to treat such conditions all over Western Europe, and once again the use of traditional medicine has been supported by modern investigative techniques.
Boost digestion with Bifidus Longum and Acidophilus Probiotics
March 21, 2008 12:19 PM
Prior to discussing how you can boost digestion with bifidus longum probiotics, let's first have a look at probiotics in general and why they are so beneficial to us.
Probiotics are also known as microflora, and are beneficial organisms that live in your digestive tract. Not all microorganisms are bad news, and many are essential for good health. Included in these organisms are various types of bacteria and yeasts, each of which has a specific part to play in the proper functioning of your body. Because of this they are found in foods all over the world, including yoghurt and fermented vegetables such as German sauerkraut and Korean kimchi.
Among their major benefits to health are that they help to support your immune system, they aid the digestion and absorption of food, they provide increased energy by improving the metabolic conversion of blood glucose to energy, and they can also help to delay aging. However, you should be aware that not all probiotics are the same, and when used properly some can have the same effect as antibiotics.
They are used to cure many digestive problems such as irritable bowel syndrome and diarrhea, and can also help to relieve heartburn and acid reflux. In fact your lower intestine should contain a minimum of 85% friendly bacteria, and 15% at most of unfriendly bacteria that can cause disease if they over-colonize your colon. It might surprise you to learn that you have around twenty times more bacteria in your body than body cells.
One of the best known of the probiotics are members of the lactobacillus family that are contained in yoghurt and curds and whey, so Little Miss Muffet had the right idea. However, you might not have the right idea in eating commercial yoghurt because, while raw yoghurt does contain these helpful bacteria, the type that you buy in pots in the supermarkets has likely been pasteurized - a process that kills off the bacteria. Unless the product has been seeded with live bacteria after pasteurization, then there will likely be none in your yoghurt! Make your own!
So what are the probiotics that do you most good, and in what form should you consume them? The common friendly bacteria are the already mentioned lactobaccilus, and then lactococcus, streptococcus thermophilus, enterococcus, bifidobacterium and others. Bacteria are easily killed off by the acidic conditions in your stomach, and since they must be taken live they should be consumed in a form that can resist the stomach acid.
There are many ways in which they benefit you, the main ones that are currently understood being:
Lactic acid production: the presence of lactic acid in the gut prevents stops or slows the growth of harmful bacteria by increasing the acidity. Some probiotics, known as lactic acid bacteria (LAB) can do this. Most bacteria do not like acidic conditions.
Supporting the immune system: LAB bacteria have been shown to increase the production of cytokines that stimulate the activity of the macrophages that attack foreign viruses and pathogenic bacteria. The LAB also promotes the formation of NK-cells (natural killer cells) that destroy cells that have been infected by viruses.
Adhesion site blockage: bacteria attach themselves to your intestinal walls at specific adhesion sites. Friendly bacteria can colonize these sites and so prevent the pathogens from adhering.
Effect on the Intestinal wall: the intestinal wall has a natural mucous barrier that helps to prevent the passage of allergens and pathogens into the bloodstream through the intestine. Probiotics can strengthen this barrier, and also alter the nature of the mucous to render it less liable to penetration by these unwelcome visitors.
So where does bifidobacteria come into this? There is a number of strains of this bacterium living in the human body, but Bifidus longum is the most common or most abundant of these. Although it is the most common bacterium found in commercially available probiotic products, high numbers have to be consumed for the proper health benefits. However, commercial yoghurts contain very little of this bacterium, or even none at all. This is largely due to the pasteurization previously discussed, that kills the bacteria at high temperatures. Unfortunately this process is not selective, and in ridding the products of bacteria that could make you seriously ill, the beneficial bacteria are also destroyed.
This is a shame because Bifidus longum has been shown to inhibit E.Coli that can cause serious conditions of the digestive system. Among these are severe diarrhea and an inflammatory condition in the colon as the immune system tries to Expel these nasty bacteria. This bacterium is particularly dangerous to the weak, such as the aged, children and people already weakened by illness.
It also helps to counteract yeast and other vaginal infections and when taken with other probiotics is believed to help in colon cancer cases. Among its other benefits are its part in the biosynthesis of thiamine, riboflavin and other vitamin B forms in your intestine, and also the absorption and assimilation of these vitamins by your body. It is also believed that it might help to reduce the cholesterol level in your body through its uptake of bile salts from the colon.
The major destructive elements of Bifidus longus are antibiotics of any kind, whether they be penicillin variants or tetracycline, and although the latter is used mainly for infections of the respiratory tract, it is ingested by the gut and effectively reduces the population of the bacteria that are needed for optimum health. That is one of the reasons why antibiotic use should be restricted to only what is necessary, and not use indiscriminately for all infections. Unless administered intravenously or site targeted, antibiotics kill off the good with the bad!
The other activities of Bifidus longus, such as removing the by-products of our metabolism that could be toxic if left to roam our bodies, render this bacterium as useful to your body as any vitamin or mineral supplement you could take. It is a supplement that many either overlook or are not even aware of, yet one that can make a significant difference, not only to your digestive and intestinal health, but also to you general overall wellbeing.
The Benefits of Ascorbyl Palmitate A Fat-Soluble Form of Ascorbic Acid
February 09, 2008 10:43 AM
The benefits of ascorbyl palmitate are due to the substance being a fat-soluble form of ascorbic acid which is otherwise known as vitamin C. Before discussing why being fat-soluble should be of benefit, let us first have a look at what vitamin C does for us and what its limitations are.
Most people know vitamin C as the vitamin that prevents us from getting scurvy, and that limes and other citrus fruits were given to sailors to prevent them from contracting this often fatal disease on long journeys. However, important though the protection it provides against scurvy is, there are many more important uses for this important vitamin. In fact some of them are closely connected to the symptoms of scurvy.
Among these are pains and swelling in the joints, and the loosening of teeth and hair loss. Scurvy is also associated with easy bruising and bleeding. All of these can be associated with loss of collagen, which is contained in connective tissues, bone and blood vessels. Collagen repairs and maintains cartilage, heals wounds and is essential for proper skin formation and the structure of ligaments, tendons, blood vessels, bones, hair and teeth. When we consider that one of the most important properties of vitamin C is the part it plays in the production of collagen in the body, then its effectiveness in alleviating the symptoms of scurvy is not difficult to understand.
Vitamin C is also a strong antioxidant that destroys free radicals that kill and severely damage body cells, and cause a large variety of undesirable conditions such as atherosclerosis and cancers, and also debilitating and painful inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. Many free radicals are formed in the body as by-products of our metabolism: the generation of energy from fats and blood glucose. Others are ingested in the form of cigarette smoke and other toxins, while yet other free radicals are caused by the effect of sunlight on our skins. Natural antioxidants such as vitamins A, C and E help to keep these free radicals under control and minimize their effect.
Another interesting property of vitamin C is in the synthesis of carnetine, a deficiency of which is also thought to contribute to scurvy. Carnetine is needed by the body to transport fat to the cellular mitochondria so that it can be converted to energy. Vitamin C is also believed to take part in the biochemistry that converts cholesterol to bile acids and so helps to maintain a healthy level of cholesterol in the blood.
The vitamin is therefore a very useful one for the body, but it has one fault. It is water soluble, and hence cannot be stored in the body but is Expelled in the urine. Had it been fat soluble it could have been able to be stored in the body fats, in the same way that vitamins A and E are, and be available for use when required. Instead any excess that is not immediately used is lost, and a fresh intake of ascorbic acid necessary on a continuous basis.
Not only that, but it is only of use in areas of the body that the blood can reach. Fatty tissue is practically devoid of vitamin C, and many areas of the brain cannot be reached by substances that are insoluble in oils and fats. It also finds it difficult to penetrate the skin and the walls of body cells. This is where the benefits of ascorbyl palmitate are useful.
Ascorbyl palmitate is a fat-soluble form of vitamin C and possesses all of the attributes of ascorbic acid. It is more easily absorbed by the body and can be stored in the membranes of the cells until needed. It is also a powerful antioxidant, the same as vitamin C, and is frequently used to prevent the oxidation of vegetables oils, such as on potato chips and other oily snacks. It also takes part in the biochemistry of the production of collagen and connective tissues.
The usefulness of this substance comes from not only from its amphoteric nature, whereby it has one end that is water soluble and another that is fat soluble, but also by the fact that it is also amphipathic, meaning that it prefers neither one medium nor the other, and tends to collect at phase boundaries, between oil and water phases. It is particularly effective in topical uses on the skin, because it is easily absorbed into the skin tissue, and more stable than some of the other forms of vitamin C. It is also believed to protect other fat soluble antioxidants such as vitamin E from oxidation, and also to help to protect blood cell membranes from free radical attack.
Although vitamin C is a very powerful vitamin, carrying out a multitude of tasks, ascorbyl palmitate has some advantages over it apart from the solubility difference. Its antioxidant properties are stronger than those of regular ascorbic acid and in fact rival those even of vitamin E, which it also helps to regenerate after its reaction with free radicals, and help to maintain a continuous supply of this powerful antioxidant.
It is also a chemically neutral form of the vitamin, and unlike regular ascorbic acid, does not cause inflammation of the tissues it comes into contact with. It can also reduce sunburn due to excessive exposure to UVB when applied to the skin, and is a very stable form of the vitamin. Ascorbyl palmitate also acts as an anti-inflammatory with certain conditions, such as psoriasis where topical application helped to reduce the extent of the lesions. In fact it appears to do most of what vitamin C does, but faster and with smaller doses.
So why is ascorbyl palmitate not used as the main form of vitamin C in supplements? The answer is money. Ascorbyl palmitate is considerably more expensive than regular vitamin C, and also normal ascorbic acid has some properties that the fat-soluble form does not have, such as its ability to rapidly pass through the body in the bloodstream.
However, it would make sense to take a supplement consisting of both forms of vitamin C, and so combine the best properties of each. Any vitamin C supplement that is designed for maximum effect on the body should contain at least 25% of ascorbyl palmitate, the balance being ascorbic acid. That is what to look for if you are to receive the combined benefits of both water and fat soluble vitamin C.
Support A Healthy Digestive System With Discount Vitamins
November 21, 2007 10:31 AM
Discount vitamins can help to support a healthy digestive system, but to explain how they do you first need to know how the system of pipes, tubes and chemical plants that make up the digestive system basically works.
The digestive system is a system of tubes through which your food is passed during the various stages of digestion, and also organs that produce the chemicals needed to break down your food into the nutrients needed by the body. The digestive system begins with the mouth, where the teeth cut and grind the food, and mix it with saliva containing the enzyme amylase that begins the digestive process by converting starch into maltose and dextrin, which are later converted to glucose. Amylase cannot work in the acidity of the stomach, which is why you should chew starchy foods such as bread and potatoes before it is swallowed and passed down the esophagus to the stomach.
The stomach is a natural food processor, containing concentrated hydrochloric acid that breaks the food down into smaller molecules. Once the food has been mixed and processed it passes into the small intestine where the real digestion begins. The liver and pancreas manufacture digestive juices and pass them into the intestine as the food is Expelled from the stomach. These juices are mixed with the food, break it downs chemically into nutrients which are then absorbed through the walls of the intestine. The waste is passed into the colon, from which they are later Expelled.
While in the stomach, its glands produce not only the stomach acid but also enzymes that break up proteins into smaller compounds including amino acids. The liver produces a number of digestive juices, including bile that dissolves fats and renders them water soluble to be digested by enzymes from the pancreas. The liver also produces enzymes that further breaks down the food in smaller molecules.
The whole process is controlled by the digestive hormones that are generated by the stomach and small intestine, namely secretin, gastrin and CCK (cholecystokinin). These control the release of the various digestive juices and chemicals into the digestive system, and once the food has been broken down the nutrients are absorbed into the bloodstream and transported to the cells of the body where they are needed.
So, starting again from the top, how do discount vitamins and minerals help to support a healthy digestive system? First, we start with the teeth. It is essential for the proper use of food that it is shredded and ground properly before being passed to the body, and that the starches are broken down by the saliva enzyme amylase. The structure of your teeth is dependant on vitamin C and D, and the minerals calcium, phosphorus and magnesium. A deficiency in any of these would result in poor weak teeth, and your food would not be prepared properly for your stomach.
Vitamin B1 keeps your nerves in good working order, without which your appetite could not be regulated. Vitamin B3, or niacin, keeps the digestive tract in a healthy state and functioning properly. Vitamin B9, or folate (folic acid) carries out a similar task, and the B complex vitamins in general, then, keep the digestion process working smoothly and the peristaltic motion that moves the food along, also in good working order.
Manganese and chromium are essential minerals to the digestive system, without which enzyme activity would be limited and without chromium your appetite could not be controlled. Apart from that there is a lot that can go wrong with the digestive system and a good vitamin B complex or Vitamin B1 and B3 supplement, will help to maintain the proper functioning of the system. These vitamins will encourage proper control of the intestinal muscle function, and vitamins C and E will help deal with any inflammation in the bowel, or undue immune system activity. Acidophilus will also help to maintain a good population of healthy bacteria that are essential components of your digestive system. A probiotic supplement taken as instructed should achieve this.
A little considered function of the digestive system, perhaps because it actually takes place in the liver rather than the alimentary canal itself, is the disposal from the body of toxin absorbed by the small intestine. This is the chemical transformation of certain molecules into a form whereby they can be rendered water soluble and Expelled in the urine. Substances such as drugs, alcohol, paint fumes and so on are formed into other chemicals that might be even more toxic than the originals for a short time, and since oxidation is used in many of these reactions, free radicals might be formed that can harm the body.
This danger, which is indirectly caused by the digestion of these substances, can be relieved by maintaining a sufficient intake of antioxidants in the form of Vitamins A, C and E to neutralize them. Some liver disease is caused in this way by insufficient vitamin nutrition, and a good discount vitamin supplement can help to prevent it by destroying the free radicals as they are formed.
This detoxification process then proceeds to a phase where the biochemically converted molecules are rendered into the water soluble form so that they can dissolve in the blood and be extracted by the kidneys into the urine. For this, a good supply of the tripeptide glutathione, glycuronic acid and some amino acids is needed. A supplement of these should also help the detoxification process.
Other supplements that can help the digestive system are natural enzymes. These work whether taken on an empty stomach or with food. On an empty stomach, at least two hours after a meal, they will immediately go to work in your blood and improve its condition. Taken with a meal they will help digestion the fats and reduce food waste by improving absorption.
There are many ways in which you can help to maintain a healthy digestive system by the use of discount vitamins, although any problem with your digestive system should be referred to your physician since there are many serious conditions that need expert medical treatment. Vitamins, enzymes, probiotics and other supplements, however, can help to prevent many of these from occurring.
Is Wild Yam Natures Progesterone?
November 15, 2007 07:20 AM
Dioscorea villosa, commonly known as wild yam, is a tuberous vine native to North America and parts of Central America. It was used by the Mayan and Aztec civilizations for pain relief and birth control and has also been given the names colic root and rheumatism root, demonstrating this early use of the plant. However, whether it is nature’s progesterone or not is another question that requires close analysis.
These Central American civilizations, of course, did not understand the reason why they were effective. Some of the symptoms treated can be caused by the menopause, and the wild yam is believed to contain natural forms of progesterone that can alleviate some of the adverse effects of the menopause on the body. Like most plants, they also likely act as anti-inflammatories, so relieving the pain of rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory conditions.
Like any natural remedy, wild yam had its adherents and its detractors, though in recent years the plant has been used as the raw material for the production of cortisone and a form of progesterone: or at least so it is claimed, so let’s have a closer look at these claims and determine whether or not wild yam is indeed nature’s progesterone.
The human body uses organic compounds called hormones to regulate many of the chemical activities of the body. The hormones catalyze the chemical reactions and changes needed for the proper functioning of our bodies. Hormones are produced in small chemical factories dotted throughout our body called glands. Each gland is devoted to producing a specific hormone, or a range of them, and each hormone is designed for a specific purpose.
Each has an associated hormone ‘receptor’ at their targeted destination that fits the hormone like a jigsaw piece. When it turns up, the hormone attaches to the receptor and the reaction proceeds. That might be the initiation of energy production in cells, the activation of certain genes or even the stimulation of hair growth by the follicles or of the libido and the natural desire to procreate.
Hormones are manufactured from only three constituents: proteins, amino acids and cholesterol, and the steroidal sex hormones are created from cholesterol. Therefore, don’t reduce your cholesterol level too much!
Prior to puberty, all of the sex hormones are manufactured by the adrenal glands, and after puberty by the ovaries in women and the testes in men. Progesterone is produced initially, and is then used as the building block for all the other sex hormones (hence the prefix ‘pro’). In women these are the estrogens and in males the androgens. Progesterone is made from the start of the menstrual cycle, and after day 12 they have reached a high enough level to halt ovulation. Progesterone levels continue to rise for about 8 days, and then if fertilization has not occurred, the progesterone levels trigger menstruation, and the lining of the womb is detached and Expelled.
During certain phases of the menstrual cycle, the levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone drop off, although the exact reason for the many and varied symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) are still unknown to a large extend. There appear to be several contributing factors, though estrogen and progesterone certainly appear to be two of the major ones. We shall concentrate here on the progesterone factor because that is what wild yam is claimed to address.
Although the main function of progesterone is to generate estrogen and testosterone, to restore the libido after menstruation, and maintain the integrity of the lining of the uterus and aid in gestation, it has many other purposes such as in thermogenesis (burning of body fats), protection against osteoporosis and is also believed to have a natural anti-depressant action. These are all supported by the symptoms that appear when the body is low in progesterone levels: depression, sudden increase in body fat, mood swings, loss of sex drive and a susceptibility to weak bones if the deficiency is long-term.
In other words, women that usually suffer from PMS, also generally suffer low progesterone levels. It is believed in some quarters that a progesterone deficiency causes an excess of estrogen that leads to these symptoms in addition to heart disease. No one really knows for sure, but a deficiency of progesterone seems to be the determining factor.
Women with menstrual problems continue to be issued with prescribed synthetic progesterone even though they do not have the same effect as natural progesterone. They can also lead to some unpleasant side effects such as fluid retention, strokes, jaundice, blood clots and depression: some of the symptoms it is intended to alleviate. Some take borage or evening primrose oil for the GLA that helps some of the effects, but this is taken to counter the over-production of the hormone prolactin in some women prior to menstruation, not a deficiency of progesterone.
Wild yam does not cause these symptoms, and is claimed by many to be very effective in alleviating the symptoms of PMS. The problem with the artificial forms of progesterone is that the liver’s job is to destroy foreign hormones, and send them to the digestive tract for expulsion. Natural hormones are not affected in this way, even if they come from a non-human source.
The chemical diosgenin in wild yam is very similar in structure to progesterone, and is believed to be the active principle. It is claimed that it can be used to produce not only progesterone but also other related hormones. However, some medical authorities and practitioners dispute this claim, and there is still a question as to how wild yam works. Because it does work, many people swear by it and claim that they could not live without it.
This is especially true of those that suffer from the more severe effects of PMS, and since wild yam does not work for everybody, it could be connected with the severity of the condition and the symptoms. Whichever is true, there appears to be little doubt in the eyes of those that use it as a cream that wild yam is indeed nature’s progesterone.
Milk Thistle May Help With Cirrhosis, Gallstones, and Hepatitis Liver Problems
November 14, 2007 12:34 PM
Milk thistle, botanically Silybum Adans, is a member of the daisy family that is native to the Mediterranean, the Middle East and North Africa but has also been introduced to California and parts of the eastern side of the USA, and can help with problems such as cirrhosis, gallstones and hepatitis. Although it has been recorded as being used in medieval times as a tonic for the liver, it is only relatively recently that its chemical components have been investigated. Analysis indicated the presence of hitherto unknown flavonoids which were given the name of silymarin. In general, flavonoids are strong antioxidants found in many fruits and vegetables that eat up the free radicals that cause so much damage to our bodies.
Free radicals are very unstable molecules that are generated through pollution, such as smoking, car fumes, perticides etc, and that destroy body cells accelerating aging. They also oxidise the low density lipids (LDL) that carry water-insoluble cholesterol through the blood to the arteries where it is needed to repair damage, resulting in excess deposition and the atherosclerosis that can cause strokes and heart disease.
Antioxidants mop these up like a sponge, and are some of the healthiest types of molecules that we can consume. The silymarin group of flavonoids are particularly attracted to the liver where they act as antihepatoxic agents that prevent the liver from becoming poisoned. But why should the liver be poisoned I can hear you ask, and what are the poisons involved? Can we avoid them? It is a very relevant question, and one that will make you wonder, every time you leave your home, especially if you live in a big city or an industrialized area.
Smoking cigarettes, working with volatile organic compounds that you can breathe in, such as paint and printing ink solvents, the exhaust fumes of cars and diesel engines, factory chimneys belching out tons of smoke, analgesics such as paracetamol, pesticides on your fruit and vegetables that you have failed to wash off, alcohol, etc, etc, etc…
All of these have to be removed from your body or you will die, awash with all these poisons that you have ingested, some deliberately and some not. The organ that does this is your liver: the powerhouse chemical plant of your body that carries out millions of biochemical reactions every day. Your liver converts all of these poisons into molecules that can be flushed away through your body naturally. However it places great stresses upon it, and even your liver needs a rest sometimes, or even just a little rejuvenating tonic would keep it happy.
Milk thistle has been used for just that purpose, especially when the liver has been toxified with excess alcohol, pesticide poisoning or even hepatitis. The silymarin initially coats the cells of the liver by binding to the cell membranes of the cell walls, so that the toxins are hindered from entering the cells. Its antioxidant properties then neutralise any free radicals present that are causing the damage to the liver cells.
It also helps to stimulate the production of proteins to help the healing process, and reduces the fibrosis that is the development of fibrous masses outside the liver cells caused by damaged cells excreting materials such as collagens outside the cells into the general body of the liver. Finally, milk thistle helps to prevent the activity of the immune system in causing inflammation of the damaged cells.
Silymarin acts very specifically on the liver, and is often used by physicians in the treatment of such liver conditions as jaundice, hepatitis, liver cancer and cirrhosis. In addition to its own effects it appears that it stimulates the production of glutathione that is also a very powerful natural tripeptide antioxidant produced by the body when it is under oxidative stress. Its effect on cancer and some diseases is not curative, but to allow the liver to continue to detoxify the body when otherwise it might fail and lead to toxicity problems from which the patient might not be able to recover.
Due to the remarkable regenerative powers of the liver, milk thistle is able to stimulate it into repairing its damage and grow fresh cells to replace the damaged ones. This is the reason for its effectiveness in otherwise very serious degenerative diseases. It is often prescribed by doctors for patients who are taking a number of different medications. Which help the liver to metabolize these medications, since without it, it might struggle to provide the true efficacy of the prescribed drugs.
So far we have been concentrating on the liver, but milk thistle has other properties not connected directly with the hepatic function. It can help to promote the production of bile in the gall bladder and so give the digestive system a boost when needed, where it also acts as a mild laxative. However, it can also help patients suffering from both lose stools and constipation due its effect. It can also help to relieve gallstones, though medical tests are generally carried out first to ensure that they are not too large for the milk thistle to handle.
It is also an anti-inflammatory, and is useful in the treatment of acne and other inflammatory responses, and also for inflammations in the gall bladder, kidney and bladder. There are few serious side effects, although, as milk thistle rids the body of toxins, these toxins can cause problems such as diarrhea, headaches and abdominal pain. Keep in mind that you are releasing poisons from the liver into your system so that they can be Expelled by the usual means, and they will put up a fight along the way. However, the milk thistle will usually win in the end.
There currently appear to be no long term issues with taking milk thistle as a supplement over a long period, and it is good way to maintain a healthy liver. Keep in mind that the liver is the body’s chemical plant, where most of the biochemical reactions of life take place, and without we cannot survive. It makes sense, therefore, to look after your liver, and milk thistle is one way of doing that; some would say the best way.
So remember that, although milk thistle may help with cirrhosis, gallstones and hepatitis liver problems, you should be prepared for a short struggle before it wins the day. Always consult your family physician for a clear diagnosis before self prescribing herbs as treatment. Your physician can advise you as the correct course of action to take once diagnosed with a liver blood test first. But, to boost overall health and wellness milk thistle is a great herbal supplement to take on a daily basis.
Are Inflammation, Immunity, And Allergic Reactions A Role For Supplements?
November 10, 2007 11:29 AM
Inflammation, immunity diseases and allergic reactions are all connected with your immune system, and the way the body reacts to what it considers to be foreign invaders that are a risk to your health. Although you may not understand that all three have the basic underlying cause, in fact they do, and here is why.
Inflammation manifests as pain and swelling in the inflamed area, and not only can the area also get hot, but it can also raise your temperature in general, commonly called a fever. Fever is the body’s way of raising temperature above that at which foreign organisms such as bacteria and viruses can live, so any inflammatory condition that results in fever by definition must be an immune response through the body trying to eliminate foreign invaders.
If your body gets injured in any way, your immune system responds, and usually calms down again if decides that the injury is not serious. Your immune system is actually initiated by what are known as pro-inflammatory hormones, such as prostaglandins that stimulate the nerves to signal pain and swell the blood vessels close to the injury to make room for the large white blood cells when they arrive. That also allows blood and plasma to rush out and cause swelling at the site of the injury. Other prostaglandins act to quell the immune response, and get your body back to normal.
Another such hormone is a cytokine, which informs the brain of the intrusion. Some cytokines called leukocytes stop the immune system when necessary to prevent the destruction of healthy tissue, and also halt the inflammatory response. If the leukocytes are not working properly, the body can be severely damaged as the immune system becomes uncontrolled and starts to attack healthy tissue.
Then there are the histamines that allow you to Expel the agents causing the problem by sneezing, watery eyes, runny noses and scratching. They lead lymphatic fluid and blood to the site of the problem in order that the invasion can be attacked and destroyed.
It is the histamines that provide what is commonly referred to as an allergic reaction, which is really the immune system coming into action to remove invaders such as pollen, dust mites and any other agent that can cause an allergy. Immunity is caused by introducing small amounts of the agent into the blood, so that the immune system can develop a memory of them. Then, when the same invader returns at a later date, the system can immediately attack them with the antibodies that have been produced.
All of these: inflammation, immunity and allergies, are caused by the reaction of the immune system to what it perceives as an invader. Normally these are bacteria and viruses, but sometimes they react to other foreign bodies such as pollen. In some people this provokes no response at all, while in others it provokes the immune system to create antibodies against the pollen, and emit histamine to Expel it.
Substances that cause allergies are referred to as allergens. Many allergens are environmental, such as dust, pollen and peanuts. Some people are allergic to certain animals, such as cats or dogs, and others to chemicals in the air such as hydrocarbon emissions, particularly when in particulate form.
The symptoms can be simple, such as a runny nose, a cough and hay fever or more complex such as hives, eczema and asthma. All of these are caused by the immune system reacting to an invader. There are also foods that cause internal inflammation, such as shellfish and whitefish, eggs and tomatoes. Many of these can be extreme, leading to serious illness and can even be fatal. So what can be done to treat people who are particularly prone to inflammation and allergic reactions?
Omega-3 fatty acids have been found to reduce inflammation, unlike their Omega-6 cousins that appear to increase it. Omega-3 oils contain chemicals known as eicosanoids, of which the prostaglandins are an example. While this might seem paradoxical, since prostaglandins are what set off the whole process, there are many types of these. Prostaglandin E2 is the type that leads to allergic immune reactions, and omega-3 fatty acids reduce the concentration of these in the blood.
Those who eat little fish tend to suffer more from inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and other conditions indicating a lack of control of the immune system. On the other hand, processed foods contain more omega-6 fatty acids that can promote these conditions. The major components of omega-3 oils are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and also DHA, docosahexaenoic acid. These are all anti-inflammatories and have been shown to have very positive effects on inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease and eczema. Each of these is a different type of inflammatory condition caused by inappropriate immune response.
However, it not just fish oils that can help resolve problems with our immune system. Quercetin is what is known as a flavonoid. It is a strong anti-oxidant and natural anti-histamine that combats histamine release and the swelling associated with the immune response to allergens. It also counters the inflammatory agents of arthritis and so helps to reduce the pain associated with many of these conditions. It appears to work better in conjunction with bromelain, a very powerful anti-inflammatory that also possesses anti-allergen response properties. Bromelain is extracted from pineapple stems.
Another natural product is a resin extract that is obtained from the Boswellia serrata tree. It has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, and has been recommended for the treatment of arthritis (rheumatoid and osteo), Crohn’s disease and has been suggested as a treatment for asthma, though studies are still under way. However, world wide experience is that Boswellia is effective against gout, psoriasis and ulcerative colitis, to name another three totally different inflammatory conditions.
What all of this indicates are two things. First that inflammation, immunity and allergic reactions are connected conditions, and due to either poor control over or an over stimulated immune response to what the body perceives as being abnormal, in the way that hormones and other chemicals that are used to control our immunity detect it to be.
Secondly, there are many natural products that can be used as supplements to treat these effects caused by the immune system, and that their effectiveness has been proven, if not by scientific study, then by generations of traditional application as treatments of the symptoms of the conditions concerned.
However, although many have been proved by scientific study, others have not, and you should always refer to your physician before undergoing any treatment other than that prescribed. Also, there is incontrovertible evidence that the role for supplements in the treatment of inflammation, immunity and allergic reactions are beneficial. Many use nothing else.
Omnivore Vs Vegan Who Is Right?
October 21, 2007 07:02 PM
The omnivore vs vegan argument as to who is right and who is wrong can be argued from a number of different platforms. There is the ethical issue of whether we should eat other animal life, and also the argument as which is ‘better for you’, based on arguments such as vitamin B12 is not available from a vegan diet. There is even the ‘lifestyle’ argument: does our lifestyle define our diet?
However, strictly, the only argument for or against either diet should only be made upon human biochemistry. Do both meet the needs of our biochemistry, or does one or the other lack something essential in our biochemical pathways? Obviously omnivores will lack nothing except by choice, since all foods are available for their consumption. If vegans do lack a specific chemical need, then is that available as a supplement in a form that can be effectively used in the chemistry of our bodies.
The one argument accepted by both sides is that it is essential for all animals to consume living things in order to stay alive themselves. These living thinks need not be alive at the time of consumption, but it is necessary that they eat the flesh of plant or animal life that at one time was alive and contained DNA. What that infers is that it is only vegetables that can survive on non-living tissue and this appears to be borne out in practice. No living animal known can live on inorganic matter only, but most plants can and do. Not all though, the Venus fly trap being an example.
It is easy to extend the moral problem of eating living tissue to living vegetable tissue that also contains DNA, and the argument must lie between animal and the derivatives of animals, and non-animal tissue. It has not yet been found that any organism has yet crossed the animal-vegetable divide, so the division is a valid one. That might seem obvious, but it is necessary to establish that for the argument between vegan and omnivore diets to be valid.
The consumption of protein derived from meat is not a prerequisite for size and muscle bulk, since the largest dinosaurs in the world were all herbivores, the largest being a member of the sauropod family at more than 175 tons, eclipsing the largest meat eater, the gigantosaurus at 8 tons. Thus, meat does not mean bulk. However, what has been proved is that the fastest creatures are carnivores. Hence if you want to be a top class sprinter, eat meat!
Carnivores, with their lean muscle mass and highly efficient quick use of available energy, have very short digestive tracts which are not good for digesting vegetable matter, but make best use of animal proteins and Expel unnecessary mass from the body quicker. The argument in favor of the vegans is that the human digestive tract is not that of a carnivore.
In herbivores, the food takes longer to digest, and hence it remains in the digestive system longer. This means a longer alimentary canal, longer than humans have. Herbivores also move slowly, and a good example is the comparison of speed between the omnivorous chimpanzees and other small monkeys and the herbivorous gorillas and orangutans. On the one hand you have lean fast moving machines, while on the other you have large bellies and slow moving larger animals. Check out cows and sheep and compare their body fat with ours. Nor are we like herbivores.
So what are humans? Omnivores! Our teeth and intestines are those of omnivores, the teeth designed for ripping and tearing meat, and stripping leaves from trees, but also for grinding grains, and our intestines are something between the long and the short. People are able to eat and live on every type of food imaginable from brains to intestines to leaves to roots to ants and grubs.
The argument is therefore futile to consider historically. Let’s then study the advantages and disadvantages of each type of diet. Human beings are capable of life through consuming either animals or plants, or both. The argument seems, therefore, to be one of morality rather than biochemistry. However, is that really so? The vegan refusal to eat dairy products should not be taken as extremism, since the human being is the only animal species to drink milk of another species, or to use it to make other products. It is a practice born long after cattle were husbanded by humans for food. The problem with eating animal products lies not in the meat itself, but in the fat. Animal fat is saturated, which means that the fat molecule has no active double bonds in the chemical structure that can be used to break the fat down.
Animal fat also contains cholesterol, yet we cannot survive without cholesterol. It is the human band aid, used by the body to patch up damage to the cardiovascular system. Only, sometimes, too much is laid down and the arteries get blocked. However, many vegetable products have more saturated fats and cholesterol than many animal products, so a balance is called for. The unsaturated fats and oils for humans are said to be derived from seeds, such as flax seed and fish, especially oily fish. These are the Omega-3 oils. Although they can be obtained from some seeds and nuts, it has been proved that the best come from oily fish, such as wild salmon, mackerel and sardines.
The B vitamins are essential for life. The best sources are animal sources, though you get them from some vegetable sources such as brewers years (who eats lost of that?) and others, but animal sources are the best.
Also, there is no evidence to suggest that vegans live longer than omnivores. In fact all of the evidence indicates that a middle road is the best. For human beings the healthiest diet includes both meat and vegetable tissue. The best solution to good health is neither vegan nor carnivore. Nor is it traditional vegetarian, since it is the dairy products that cause many of our dietary products.
Studies of the biochemical pathways have demonstrated that all chemicals need to sustain healthy human growth and life are not available from a classic vegan diet. Some animal protein and B vitamins are essential that cannot be obtained form a normal vegan diet. It is possible, however, to maintain life by means of supplements.
However, for the healthiest form of human life, our biochemistry, history and physiology indicate that there is a balance somewhere between the extremes of both views that is right for us, and that either diet can be sustained with appropriate supplementation based upon what is missing from one diet or the other.
So, omnivore vs vegan. Who is right: both are right if they also supplement any nutritional deficiencies in their diet with vitamins and minerals that may be lacking from one diet or the other.
Pumpkin Seed Oil is good for your health
October 14, 2007 05:34 PM
Pumpkin seed oil, as the name suggests, is obtained from pumpkin seeds, which can also be eaten roasted in the same way that people eat sunflower seeds. When roasted, they are coated in a sauce such as Worcester sauce and then heated in low oven for a long period of time. The secret of roasting them to maintain their nutritional value is to keep the temperature low and the cooking time high.
The seeds are regarded as a ‘superfood’ that is rich in vitamins A and E, the essential fatty acids known as Omega 3 and Omega 6, zinc, iron, magnesium and potassium. The seed is known as a pepita in North and South America.
The oil is reddish green and many people find it delicious. It is best when used raw, and can be drunk in the form of smoothies or shakes, or used as a salad dressing. Some also enjoy drinking it raw, and using it as a spread instead of butter or margarine. The benefits it provides to the human body are a healthy brain function, increased energy and it has a special use in maintaining a healthy prostate gland.
The vitamin E content is high, especially gamma-tocopherol, and it has a high antioxidant effect with consequent anti-inflammatory properties. Its effect on arthritis, and inflammatory disease, has been investigated and the inclusion of pumpkin seeds in the diet has been found to reduce the inflammatory symptoms of the condition with a consequent reduction in pain. In fact, in a comparison test with indomethacin, a common arthritis treatment, pumpkin seeds compared very well and in fact had a more positive effect on the damage to the fats in the joint linings than did indomethacin, which tends to increase the concentration of lipid peroxides rather than reduce them.
Its effect on the prostate gland is partially due to its high zinc content that is present in a higher concentration in the prostate than in any other gland in the body, and also to its effect on the hormones that cause the gland to grow and swell to the extent that it constricts or completely blocks the urethra, the tube connecting the bladder to the outside of the body. This is caused by an enzyme that converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT causes the over-proliferation of the prostate cells.
The reason for the effect of pumpkin seed oil on DHT is still under discussion, but some believe that it is connected with the zinc content and others with the high level of delta-7-sterine in the seed. The sterine appears to neutralize the effect of the DHt on the growth of prostate cells.
In addition to prostate enlargement, Osteoporosis is another problem associated with aging in men. It has been estimated that men over 50 have a 12.5% chance of suffering a fracture due to brittle bones, and it is though that this is connected with a deficiency of zinc. In fact a clear correlation has been established between osteoporosis in older men and low levels of zinc and the diet and in the blood. Pumpkins seeds, as already mentioned, are rich in zinc, and the benefits of their use as a supplement to avoid an enlarged prostate is reinforced by their effect in protecting against osteoporosis.
Pumpkin seeds contain a high concentration of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. These are specifically useful in protecting the cardiovascular system and prevent atherosclerosis. They also contain plant sterols known as phytosterols that are believed to help reduce the blood concentration of cholesterol. This types of sterols are the basis of the ‘cholesterol busting’ drinks that are sold in supermarkets. They also help to strengthen the immune system and are believe to help reduce the risk of contracting some types of cancer.
Pumpkin seed oil is a rich source of alpha-linolenic acid, an important unsaturated fatty acid that some studies have indicated can be used to prevent metastaes (the spread of the disease) development in patients with breast cancer. The most prized type of oil is that from Syrian oil, from the province of Steiermark in Austria. Such pumpkins are also grown in parts of North America, and the best oil is said to come from the first pressing, the so-called ‘virgin’ oil. If used in cooking, the temperature must be kept low, since many of the nutrients are destroyed much over 100 Celsius.
A little known use for pumpkin seed oil is in eradicating intestinal parasites. Many people are embarrassed at requesting professional help for worms, and pumpkin seeds are the ideal home remedy. The act almost immediately, and two or three hours after taking them, or the oil, then you should take a laxative. You should the parasites being removed with the bowel motions.
The worms are not actually killed, but are paralyzed, and cannot prevent themselves being removed with the bowel movement. If a laxative is not taken, however, they will recover and there will be no effect. As with any remedy for a health condition, therefore, it is necessary to understand how the seeds or oil work to help to remove the horrible parasites from your body. They are very common, and any self-help or natural remedy that actually works will undoubtedly be very popular, but if it is not understood that these creatures must be Expelled from your body while paralyzed, then pumpkin seeds or oil will not work.
Those that failed to understand the process would then complain that the treatment does not work. In fact, it does work, and if the worms are Expelled when they are unable to remain in your intestines then they will be removed. You must “read the instructions on the bottle” for the contents to work.
Pumpkin seed oil is a very potent mixture of chemicals that can cure or control a large number of conditions, and it is essential that you understand why you are using them. They can be used as a supplement to your diet, though it is easy to wonder why you should take this antioxidant rather than another.
Find out what pumpkin seed oil can do for you, and if it applies to you then use it. There are stronger antioxidants, and better foods to take in an attempt to protect from certain conditions. However, there are certain circumstances when pumpkin seeds will do the job better than most other supplements, and if you can fit them into your regular diet then they will not only do you ‘no harm’, as they say, but will do you a great deal of good. Look for organic pumpkin seeds or pumpkin seed oil at your local health food store.
Regulating Blood Pressure Naturally
March 28, 2007 10:29 AM
Regulating Blood Pressure Naturally
High blood pressure (also known as hypertension) affects about 65 million Americans, or about 1 in 3 adults. There are many potential causes of hypertension, but not necessarily any symptoms. In fact, 30% of the people who have high blood pressure don’t even realize it.
In other words, just because you don’t have symptoms doesn’t mean you don’t have high blood pressure. That’s why it’s called “The Silent Killer.” And, make no mistake about it: high blood pressure is dangerous. It is the number one modifiable cause of stroke. Just lowering blood pressure reduces the chance of stroke by 35 to 40 percent. Other conditions, including heart attack and heart failure can be reduced from 25 to 50 percent, respectively.
In this issue of Ask the Doctor, we’re going to talk about high blood pressure and an exciting natural treatment for lowering blood pressure safely and effectively.
Of course, changing blood pressure numbers depends, in a large part, on the choices we make every day – how much we exercise, the foods we eat, and our lifestyle overall. But, for those times we need extra help, there is a new, scientifically-studied supplement to help us along our path to better health and lower blood pressure.
Blood pressure guidelines from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
Q. What exactly is blood pressure?
A. Blood pressure is divided into two parts, systolic and diastolic. Systolic is the pressure of the heart beating. Diastolic is the pressure of the heart and vessels filling. When blood pressure numbers are written out, like “120/80,” 120 is the systolic pressure and 80 is the diastolic pressure. The unit of measurement for blood pressure is millimeters of mercury, written as “mm/Hg.”
Q. What is considered high blood pressure?
A. A person’s blood pressure can naturally vary throughout the day – even between heartbeats.
However, if the numbers are consistently high (over 120 systolic and 80 diastolic), after multiple visits to your healthcare practitioner, you may have either pre-hypertension or high blood pressure.
Young arteries and arteries that are kept young through healthy diet and exercise are typically more elastic and unclogged. Blood flows through them easily and without much effort. However, as we age, our arteries become more prone to plaque buildup (due to diets high in saturated fat and sedentary lifestyles) and don’t “flex” as well under pressure. The result is faster blood flow, all the time. Over the long term, it damages heart tissue, arteries, kidney and other major organs.
To get a better idea of high blood pressure, compare your arteries to a garden hose. When unblocked, a garden hose allows water to flow through it quickly and easily – without any real rush or stress. However, if you block the end of the hose with your thumb, closing it off even a little, water rushes out much more quickly.
For many years, high diastolic pressure was considered even more of a threat than high systolic pressure. That thinking has changed somewhat but high diastolic numbers could still mean organ damage in your body – especially for individuals under 50.
Q. What courses high blood pressure?
A. The reasons for hypertension aren’t always clear. However, there are lifestyle factors that contribute to high blood pressure that you can change:
Body type: Weight isn’t always a reliable indicator of whether or not you’ll have high blood pressure – but the type of weight is. Lean body mass – muscle – doesn’t increase blood pressure levels the way that fat can. However, fat body mass, especially fat around your middle, can contribute to high blood pressure.
Sedentary lifestyle: Too often, many of us sit down all day at work, and then sit down all night at home. Over time, this inactivity usually leads to weight gain, making the heart work harder to pump blood through the body. In a way, it almost seems contradictory, but inactivity usually leads to higher heart rates.
Sodium intake: Sometimes it’s hard to believe how much salt there is in processed foods. However, salt intake in itself is not necessarily bad. For people with a history of congestive heart failure, ischemia, and high blood pressure, sodium is definitely out. For those individuals, it leads to more water retention, which increases blood pressure. (Salt’s effect on water retention is one reason that so many sports drinks have fairly high sodium content – the sodium in the drink prevents your body from sweating out too much water.) But, for healthy individuals, moderate salt intake, especially a mixed mineral salt like sea salt or Celtic salt (good salt should never be white) is fine.
Low potassium intake: Unlike sodium, potassium is a mineral which most Americans get too little of. Potassium helps regulate the amount of sodium in our cells, Expelling excess amounts through the kidneys. Low levels of this mineral can allow too much sodium to build up in the body.
Heavy alcohol intake: Having three or more alcoholic drinks a day (two or more for women) nearly doubles an individual’s chance of developing high blood pressure. Over time, heavy drinking puts a lot of stress on the organs, including the heart, liver, pancreas and brain.
Unhealthy eating: Eating a lot of processed or fatty foods contributes to high blood pressure. Adapting a diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grain products, fish, nuts and magnesium and potassium (like the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, known as the “DASH” diet) can bring it back down.
Smoking: If you smoke, stop. Smoking damages the heart and arteries – period. Nicotine constricts blood vessels, increases heart rate, and raises blood pressure. This in turn, increases hormone production and adrenaline levels, further stressing the body.
As if that weren’t bad enough, the carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke replaces the oxygen in the blood, making the heart work even harder to make up the difference. Since the effect of a single cigarette can last for an hour, smoking throughout the day leads to continuously revved-up blood pressure.
Some of these factors might sound like a lot to overcome. The important thing to remember is that all of these behaviors are changeable. If you have high blood pressure, modifying any of these can significantly lower blood pressure as part of an overall plan.
Q. What are the blood pressure numbers I should see?
A. Experts consider healthy blood pressure numbers to be 115/75 mm/Hg. The reason? They found that the risk of cardiovascular disease doubles at each increment of 20/10 mmHg over 115/75 mm/Hg. Even small jumps in blood pressure numbers increase the risk of stroke and heart attack.
Q. Okay, so other than diet, exercise and lifestyle changes are there other natural ways or supplements I can use to lower my blood pressure?
A. Yes, in fact, you hear about some of them in the news all the time – fish oil, CoQ10, and garlic. As effective as these symptoms are, they typically lower systolic pressure much more than diastolic pressure.
However, there is a blend of scientifically and clinically studied natural ingredients that lower high blood pressure separately, and work even better when they’re combined. This combination blend contains: dandelion leaf extract, lycopene, stevia extract, olive leaf extract and hawthorn extract.
Every one of these ingredients has been studied and recommended for years. But now, a scientific study on a supplement that combines them in one synergistic formula shows encouraging results for lowering systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Let’s take a look at each:
Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) originated in
The leaf of stevia is considered the medicinal part of the plant. Research shows that extracts of the leaf relax arteries and help prevent the buildup of calcium on artery walls – keeping them healthy and reducing blood pressure.
In a long-term, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical study, stevia reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure. On average, participants’ blood pressure reduced from baseline 150 mm/Hg to 140 mm/Hg systolic and 95 mm/Hg to 89 mm/Hg diastolic.
And, in another double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study, stevia lowered blood pressure quite significantly – by an average of 14 millimeters of mercury in both systolic and diastolic readings. Those are impressive numbers!
Despite its role as a sweetener, stevia may have a side benefit to for those with hypertension – blood sugar regulation. Scientific studies show that extracts of stevia regulated blood sugar and reduced blood pressure.
A clinical study showed that stevia extract actually improved glucose tolerance by decreasing plasma glucose levels during the test and after overnight fasting in all participants. Regulating blood sugar is very important for those with high blood pressure. When blood sugar levels are high, blood vessels are inflamed. Many people with diabetes have high blood pressure as well. In a paired, cross-over clinical study, stevioside (one of the compounds in stevia) reduced glucose levels in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Further scientific studies show that stevia works to control blood sugar levels by stimulating insulin secretion by the pancreatic beta cells. It shows great potential in treating type 2 diabetes. Further scientific studies show that stevia works to control blood sugar levels by stimulating insulin secretion by the pancreatic beta cells. Its shows great potential in treating type 2 diabetes as well as hypertension.
Hawthorn (Crataegus spp. Oxycantha) has been used since ancient ties as a medicinal herb – even being mentioned by the Greek herbalist Dioscorides, in the first century AD. Traditionally, it has generally been used for support of the heart. Modern research points to bioflavonoid-like complexes in hawthorn leaf and flower that seem to be most responsible for its benefits on cardiac health, like blood vessel elasticity.
The bioflavonoids found in hawthorn include oligomeric procyanidins, vitexin, quercetin, and hyperoside. They have numerous benefits on the cardiovascular system. Hawthorn can improve coronary artery blood flow and the contractions of the heart muscle. Scientific studies show that the procyanidins in hawthorn are responsible for its ability to make the aorta and other blood vessels more flexible and relaxed, so that blood pumps more slowly and with less effort – sparing the cardiovascular system such a hard workout.
The procyanidins in hawthorn also have antioxidant properties – protecting against free radical cellular damage.
And, hawthorn may also inhibit angiotensin-converting enzyme. Angiotensin-converting enzyme is responsible for retaining sodium and water, and may have roots in our evolutionary development. It influences blood vessel contraction and dilation, sodium and water balance and heart cell development – just about everything that has to do with blood pressure. This may have developed as a way of dealing with periods of drought and stress. By narrowing the blood vessels, the body could guarantee an adequate supply of blood and focus on repairing tissue.
Unfortunately, that can lead to real problems these days. Since many of us live in an industrialized society, and frequently have pretty sedentary lifestyles, conserving sodium just makes the conditions for high blood pressure that much worse.
Like the other ingredients in this combination, hawthorn showed benefits on other body systems, too. In clinical and scientific studies, it not only lowered blood pressure, but also showed anti-anxiety properties and regulated blood sugar.
Olive leaf extract:
Olive leaf (Olea europaea) comes up again and again in scientific and clinical studies as having beneficial effects on hypertension. One of olive leaf’s most beneficial compounds is oleuropein – the same compound that makes olive oil so helpful in reducing blood pressure. Here again, we have to look at the traditional Mediterranean diet, which features voluminous use of olives and olive oil. Not surprisingly, blood pressure is generally much lower in Greek and Italian populations.
But it’s not just the diet – scientific studies showed that oleuropein lowered blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels and prevented buildup of plaque in arteries. Plus, whether in olive leaf extract or in olive oil, oleuropein works as an antioxidant, too.
Dandelion leaf extract:
Dandelion (Taraxacum offinale) leaves provide a healthy supply of vitamins, much like spinach. In fact, although it has become the bane of North American gardeners and lawn owners, dandelion greens are a component of many gourmet salads.
Medicinally, dandelion has been used for centuries, dating back to ancient
They are a very rich source of vitamin A, and contain vitamin D, vitamin C, carious B vitamins, iron, silicon, magnesium, zinc and manganese, too. Dandelion leaves produce a diuretic effect in the body, similar to a prescription drug. Since one of dandelion leaf’s traditional uses was the treatment of water retention, it’s really not too surprising. Dandelion leaf is also rich in potassium – one of the vital minerals many Americans lack in their diet. So, even though it may act as a diuretic, it replaces more potassium than the body Expels.
The diuretic effect of dandelion can relieve hypertension by drawing excess water and sodium from the body and releasing it through the kidneys as urine. Getting rid of extra water and sodium allows the blood vessels to relax – lowering blood pressure.
If a nutrient can be called exciting, lycopene is it. Lycopene is found mostly in tomatoes and processed tomato products, like pasta and pizza sauce. Related to beta-carotene lycopene shows great antioxidant abilities among its many talents. In fact, it shows even greater free-radical scavenging properties than beta-carotene, its more famous cousin. Healthy intakes of lycopene can guard against a variety of chronic conditions, including lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol, lowering homocysteine levels and reducing blood platelet stickiness that can lead to clogged arteries. It’s even being studied for its protective effect against prostate cancer.
And, for proof, you don’t have to look too far to see the amazing effect lycopene intake can have on health. The Mediterranean diet provides an excellent example. Its high intakes of vegetables, (tomatoes, of course, playing a central role) fish, and whole grains improve cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure. The research on lycopene as a stand-alone nutrient has been compelling. A randomized clinical trial found that not having enough lycopene was associated with early thickening of the arteries.
So, it makes sense that other clinical trials, showed that higher intakes of lycopene frequently meant less thickening of arteries, and a reduced risk of heart attack. In one study, the risk of heart attack was 60% lower in individuals with the highest levels of lycopene. In a multicenter study, similar results were found – men with the highest levels of lycopene had a 48% lower risk of heart attack.
Q. What can I expect taking this herbal combination?
A. You should notice both systolic and diastolic numbers lowering in about two weeks. The scientific study showed that for pre-hypertensive and stage I, (early hypertensive individuals) this combination for ingredients lowers both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
When you’re taking herbs to support your blood pressure, it’s important to keep it monitored so you have an accurate reading (and record) of your numbers. If you need to, you can pick up a home blood pressure monitoring device. These can retail for anywhere from $30 all the way up to $200, but buying one in the $30 to $50 range is a good idea and money well spent. Consider taking the machine to your local doctor’s office or fire department to have it tested for accuracy against a professional blood pressure monitor. See the chart below for tips on getting an accurate reading from a home monitor.
Tips for Accurate Blood Pressure Monitoring:
-Relax for about 5 to 10 minutes before measurement.
-If you have just come inside from cold outdoors allow yourself to warm up.
-Remove tight-fitting clothing and jewelry.
-Unless your physician recommends otherwise, use left arm to measure pressure.
-Sit, don’t stand.
-Remain still and do not talk while using the monitor.
Q. Are there any side effects?
A. There were no side effects noted in the study. However, because of the mild diuretic effect of dandelion leaf extract, you may notice an increase in trips to the bathroom. It’s always important to make sure you don’t get dehydrated, so you may want to drink more water during the day.
High blood pressure doesn’t happen overnight. As we get older, the likelihood of developing hypertension increases. And, stressful, fast-forward lifestyles, bad diets and no exercise conspire to raise our blood pressure.
In my own practice I have helped patients move toward a healthier lifestyle, including diet, exercise, and blood-pressure reducing supplements. They live better, more vibrant lives as a result, and their blood pressure normalizes. It really can happen – you can bring your blood pressure back to normal, and this combination of scientifically and clinically validated ingredients can help.
Barlean's - Quality Products.
July 28, 2006 04:20 PM
BARLEAN’S CONTINUES TO BE THE #1 SELLING OMEGA-3 IN AMERICA
The family owned and operated company produces the finest and freshest organic flaxseed oil, fish oil, organic Evening Primrose Oil, green food supplements and other premium essential fatty acid products.
Barlean’s “common sense” approach to producing & distributing its products at the absolute peak of freshness and nutritional value -
Made to Order- Yes, the oils are actually gently Expeller pressed after (not before) they are ordered. Barlean’s oils are truly “fresh off the press”! Air Delivered- Once fresh-pressed, the oil is air-delivered directly to local health stores. Just great tasting, fresh flax oil delivered within only days of being made.
Seed to shelf with speed!
Dated 4-months for optimal freshness- Every Barlean’s bottle is stamped with a “fresh pressed date” & “freshest before” date. A guarantee that you are getting the freshest, most nutritious flax.
ALWAYS THE BEST TASTING FLAX OIL
Fresh, quality grown, 100% organically certified North American seeds combined with Barlean’s proprietary cold pressing method consistently deliver its great tasting, whole food nutty flavor.
Considered the world’s premier manufacturer of high quality, unrefined & unfiltered flaxseed oil, Barlean’s products have met international acclaim with leading health and nutrition authorities, doctors and health practitioners. Winner of the Vity Award for EFA's and Green Food Supplements six consecutive years.
The healing power of borage oil
June 19, 2006 01:27 PM
Borage oil, extracted from the seed of the blue, star shaped borage flower, is gaining much attention by alternative health practitioners and main stream medicine alike for its profound medicinal properties. Whereas the oil is getting all the redit, it is actually the oil’s active component, gamma linoleic acid (GLA), which has drawn the interest of researchers. The majority of the early studies done on GLA, dating back to the late 1940’s, were conducted with the oil of evening primrose. For rezones cited in the title, more bank for the buck, borage seed oil is now thought to be s superior source of GLA compared to evening primrose oil. Other plants forms and food concentrates that contain appreciable amounts of GLA include black currant seed oil and spirulina.
Why GLA Supplementation?
A body with healthy biochemistry has the ability to produce GLA from the most essential fat linoleic acid. Linoleic acid is found most abundantly in the omega 6 family of oils, including safflower, sunflower, and corn oil. While it has been estimated that a majority of Americans and Europeans consume far to many omega 6 fatty acids in proportion to the beneficial omega 3 fatty acids (by approximately 10:1). Most biochemists agree optimal ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acids should be approximately 1:1. Despite the obvious over consumption of omega 6 oils rich in linoleic acid, some individuals lack the ability to convert linoleic acid to the much needed GLA.
As is the example with many of our modern day nutrient deficiencies, the adulteration of our food supply by today’s processing methods has much to do with the faulty fat metabolism suffered by many. A prime example is the hydrogenation process utilized to convert liquid polyunsaturated oils into semi-solid, altered saturated fats for use as margarine and commercially processed foods. Hydrogenation is accomplished by subjecting the oils to temperatures in excess of 250 C, and bombarding them with hydrogen ions in the presence of the heavy metal nickel, which irreversibly changes the chemical structure of the fatty acid molecule from a healthful “cis” configuration to a dangerous “trans” configuration. When these products are eaten in excess they are known, in some cases, to block the enzymatic conversion of linoleic acid to GLA. In addition to the damaging effects of hydrogenation, certain essential fatty acid nutrient cofactor deficiencies may exist to further complicate the conversion. Vitamins pro-A, A, C, E, B-2, B-3, B-6, pantothenic acid, B-12 biotin and the minerals calcium, magnesium, potassium, sulfur and zinc are all involved in essential fatty acid (EFA) metabolism.
Particular interest should be given to those afflicted with diabetes, cystic fibrosis, asthma, alcoholism, multiple sclerosis. For a myriad of reasons, including cofactor deficiencies, these individuals lack the enzymatic ability to convert linoleic acid to GLA and must obtain a direct source of GLA for proper hormonal regulation. In addition, excessive consumption of animal fats containing acachidonic acid competes for the same metabolic pathways occupied by GLA, thus minimizing its biological action.
These potential negating effects can simply be diverted to consuming a food source or supplement containing GLA which bypasses any previously necessary enzymatic conversion and floods the metabolic pathways with beneficial GLA. Nutrient deficiency should also be addressed. Here lies the true power of GLA.
Prostaglandins, biochemical regulators
Whereas GLA is the power, the prostaglandins deliver the punch in this biological equation. Just as linoleic acid is normally converted to GLA, GLA is further converted into the prostaglandin E1 (PGE1). Many of the benefits derived from GLA supplementation are a result of the hormonal regulatory action of the prostaglandins. Just like the “parent” precursors they are made from, the hormone-like prostaglandins orchestrate a host of important biochemical activities. Their general regulatory effects include the control of arterial muscle tone, sodium excretion through the kidneys, blood platelet “Stickiness,” inflammatory response and the immune function, just to name a few. The list may be endless as scientists continue to discover the regulating effects of prostaglandins. One way in which GLA has shown to decrease the probability of allergic and inflammatory conditions is by competing with arachidomic acid, which when left unchecked may potentiate a hyperimmune response.
As a result of the powerful regulating effects derived from the conversion of GLA to healthful prostaglandins, borage oil and other GLA supplements have shown to be beneficial in the treatment and relief of many classic and modern day health problems. The disease of diabetes, cystic fibrosis, asthma, multiple sclerosis are thought to be helped by bringing about a balance in an otherwise faulty fatty acid metabolism. According to a study released in the journal diabetes care, supplementation with GLA has shown promise in the reversal of diabetic neuropathy (a condition where the nerves degenerate and symptoms of pain and numbness follow). The study concluded that all diabetics should be considered for dietary protocol of GLA. Other conditions shown to benefit include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, skin conditions, arthritis, allergies, weight loss, improved behavior of hyperactive children and increased strength of hair and nails. Cited in the book, Super Nutrition For Menopause, written by the renowned nutritionist Ann Louise Gittleman, is one of the most popular applications of GLA supplementation in the relief of menstrual pain. Sufferers use a maintenance does up to the seventh day prior to menstruation, then double the dose for the duration of their menstruation. Dietary restrictions of meat, dairy and eggs during this time has also shown to compliment this regiment. Many would agree with Ms. Gittleman’s credo in allowing mother nature to cure our ails before relying on synthetic drugs which often come with side effects.
More Bang for the Buck
Now comes the challenge of acquiring a GLA supplement suited to meet your needs. With the help of the information below you may maximize your desired result while at the same time stretching your dollars. Lets take a look at the facts. We will limit out narrative to the tree most popular forms of GLA supplementation: 1) borage oil, 2) evening primrose oil and 3) black current seed oil. Potency is an important factor, as the higher the GLA content per gram, the more likelihood of greater biological activity. Borage oil contains 24% GLA, or 240mg per 1000 mg capsules. Black current seed oil contains 18%, or 180mg per 1000 mg capsule and evening primrose oil contains 10% GLA, or 100mg per 1000 mg capsule. While black currant seed may appear to run a close second to borage and have a slight edge on evening primrose, it contains a potent GLA inhibitor and should be considered last on the list. equally, if not more important than potency, is purity. Make it a practice not to purchase any oil product unless full disclosure of the method of extraction is printed on the label. If it is not, you may assume that the oil has been extracted in one of the following ways. Unfortunately, the popular use of the chemical hexane to extract oils is not required for disclosure. This method employs submerging cracked seed in a gasoline like substance (Hexane) and then slowly allowing it to evaporate off yielding 90% oil recovery. This is the most common method used to extract evening primrose oil because of the incredibly small, hard seed and low oil content. The second creative ploy is the claim that the oil has simply been extracted by a new high-tech method called supercritical fluid extraction (SCFE). This process “pregrinds” the seeds then subjects them to pressures of 6000 – 10000 psi in the presence of the gas CO-2. Under such intense pressure CO-2 gas becomes a liquid in which the seeds are submerged, ultimately yielding a 95% oil recovery. Look for oils that are labeled as “Expeller pressed” without the damaging effects of light, heat and oxygen. The products should be contained in opaque (light resistant) bottles to protect them from the damaging effects of light. Optimally, you should find them in the refrigerated section of your local health food store. Due to the higher percentage of oil contained in the borage seed, as compared to evening primrose and black current, borage is typically priced well below the others making it the most potent and economical choice. All things considered an Expeller pressed borage oil, contained in an opaque plastic bottle, may provide you the absolute best source of unadulterated GLA supplementation.
One company that provides such a product and always fulfills the quality requirements listed is Barlean’s Organic Oils. Their organic flax oil and borage oils are available at VitaNet.
Cancer fighter found in broccoli
July 27, 2005 10:05 AM
Remember when your mother told you to eat your broccoli? Research shows that mother just might know best. In a recently published paper, Dr. Paul Talalay of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine indicates that studies in his lab show broccoli is rich in sulforaphane, a chemical that works as a powerful anti-cancer compound in laboratory mice.
Other studies have shown that a diet rich in cruciferous vegetables—which include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, and others— can significantly reduce the risk of cancer of the bowel, stomach and breast. Until now, the exact reasons why these vegetables had this effect we re not very clear. Until now, that is. According to Dr. Talalay, it appears that at least one anticancer ingredient in the vegetables is sulforaphane, which essentially causes cells to Expel cancer-causing toxins. In addition, Dr. Talahay said that this study was the first to show that a high-potency compound isolated from vegetables could accelerate the detoxification process in cells.
The published report outlines how the research team isolated sulforaphane from broccoli, then fed it to a group of mice. When cells in the mice we re examined after five days, the scientists found that the chemical had triggered enzymes known to neutralize carcinogens within cells. Be yond this study, Dr. Talalay indicates that research will shift to the long-term effects of the chemical. “Our prediction is that sulforaphane will block tumor formation in animals and presumably in man.” In earlier studies, Dr. Talalay and others have shown that certain proteins in cells, called phase I enzymes, can take innocent chemicals and turn them into cancer-causing agents.
Other proteins, called phase 2 enzymes, tend to block formation of carcinogens. According to the study, sulforaphane is a potent activator of phase 2 enzymes. The Hopkins researchers will conduct tests to determine how much broccoli must be consumed to establish an effective anti-cancer level of sulforaphane in cells.
Over a decade of research has been done on cruciferous vegetables and there are large databases that confirm that cruciferous vegetables substantially reduce the risk of disease, specifically cancer. Studies show substances in these vegetables that have anti-cancer properties which cause the body to speed up production of enzymes, therefore being capable of neutralizing cancer agents. The studies also show these pre vent damage to our DNA and slow the aging process. In women, metabolic processes are regulated which eliminate the bad (and maintain the good) estrogen, therefore substantially reduce the risk of breast cancer. Shortly after the NCI study was released, John Hopkins School of Medicine revealed similar studies.
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
June 25, 2005 08:10 PM
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
1 . Chit osan Provides a Realist ic Approach t o Fat and Fiber Int ake.
Low-fat, high-fiber advocates have recommended a diet that is calorically fueled between 10 and 20 percent fat and includes 35 to 45 grams of fiber. Unfortunately, most of us, no matter how good our intentions are, will not be able to sustain this type of diet. Therefore, if we are going to face facts, a diet that reduces fat to 20-30 percent of the total caloric value and increases fiber to 20-30 grams/day is much more realistic and will help significantly in controlling weight, avoiding artery disease and promoting good colon health. Taking Chitosan prior to eating a meal can make dietary fat goals much more attainable while promoting a number of desirable health benefits. Because obesity ranks among the top ten diseases (which, by the way, are almost all related to obesity), the availability of a safe, health-promoting fat binder is desirable.
Weight control needs to be realistic and effective. Workable weight loss programs are few and far between and usually involve a life style that many of us can never incorporate. While Chitosan is not a panacea for maintaining our youthful figures, it could be a very powerful dietary complement, facilitating what might otherwise be unattainable. Lowering the amount of dietary fats we eat, exercising more, and making sure we get enough fiber seems to be the winning combination for health and longevity. Chitosan is a valuable tool to use in attaining optimal nutrition and robust health.
2 . Chitosan Is an Effective Fat Binder.
While all the previously mentioned properties of Chitosan are notable, its extraordinary ability to bind fats promises to be its most valuable asset. To reiterate, getting rid of fat after it has been stored as adipose tissue is much more difficult than neutralizing its effects before it enters the blood stream. Chitosan accomplishes this formidable task by converting fat into a form that the body does not absorb and subsequently Expels.
Any of us who occasionally eat southern fried chicken, a Big Mac, or a slice of cheesecake every once in a while can profoundly benefit from the fat binding action of Chitosan. As a fat binder, Chitosan can significantly reduce the amount of fat that enters our blood stream. Consider the possibilities. The foods mentioned above are full of excess fat grams. If you take four capsules (1 gram) of Chitosan with ascorbic acid, which is generally recommended, the fat content of that food is dramatically lowered.
Remember the discussion on how the liver has to deal with excess fat?
Chitosan decreases the liver’s work load which lightens the stress put on other body organs by the presence of excess fat. In other words, Chitosan eases the metabolic processes that kick in after we eat excess fat. As far as our metabolic processes know, those fat grams may as well never have existed. 4 . Why Chit osan Is Called t he Fiber of t he Fut ure. After years of fiber “hyping” most of us are well aware of the profound benefits that fiber has for human health and longevity. Fiber is considered a dieter’s best friend. It has also been linked to slower rises in blood glucose which also profoundly affects how we store excess calories and when we feel hungry. Most fibers are hydrophilic which means they repel fat and attract water. Psyllium, for example, is used for its bulk forming action. This type of fiber absorbs water and is easily passed through the intestine, helping to maintain a normal bowel function.
Chitosan is different. While it possesses many of the same benefits as plant fibers like psyllium, Chitosan is “lipophilic” meaning that it “loves fat” It is a positively charged fiber that binds to negatively charged fatty acids. A fiber that attracts fat is unique to say the least.