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  Messages 1-39 from 39 matching the search criteria.
Sweet dreams: Eating honey before you go to bed can help you sleepbetter Darrell Miller 5/14/19
Pu-erh tea has hepatoprotective and antioxidant properties Darrell Miller 5/14/19
Health Benefits of Honey: 6 Reasons to Add Honey in Your Daily Diet Darrell Miller 7/9/17
Citrimax Darrell Miller 12/20/13
The Benefits of Forskolin Darrell Miller 12/24/12
glycine: a healthy amino acid Darrell Miller 11/15/12
The Health benefits of P-5-P Darrell Miller 7/20/12
How Does The White Kidney Bean Block Carbohydrates? Darrell Miller 2/8/12
Can Royal Jelly Really Boost Energy? Darrell Miller 4/18/11
What are the Health Benefits of Vitamin K? Darrell Miller 2/19/11
L-Carnitine Darrell Miller 5/7/09
L-Methionine Darrell Miller 5/2/09
Strengthen The Liver and Kidneys With Leucine Darrell Miller 4/27/09
Detoxify With L-Citrulline Darrell Miller 4/13/09
L-Alanine Non Essential Amino Acid Darrell Miller 1/5/09
Hoodia Gordonii Darrell Miller 12/10/08
Guggul Darrell Miller 11/10/08
Glycine Darrell Miller 10/11/08
Coconut Oil Darrell Miller 8/18/08
B Vitamin Supplements Darrell Miller 5/7/08
Blue Green Algae a Super Food that is Foods Packed With Nutrients. Vegetarian Friendly Darrell Miller 4/11/08
Eighty Seven Percent of All Type 2 Diabetes Can Be Prevented Naturally Darrell Miller 1/24/08
Green Coffee For Protection Against Oxidative Stress Darrell Miller 11/17/07
Stevia: Sweeten Your Life With Out The Weight Gain Darrell Miller 11/13/07
Triphala: A Traditional Ayurvedic Herb to Help Cleanse the Body Darrell Miller 11/1/07
Exceptional Ingredients For Exceptional Performance Darrell Miller 6/2/07
Carbohydrate Loading Darrell Miller 10/17/06
Cinnamon may control sugar levels... Darrell Miller 7/8/05
Kal - Vanadyl Complex now with Cinnamon Bark for Blood sugar Darrell Miller 7/1/05
Promilin Fenugreek Extract - Supports Healthy Blood Sugar Levels Darrell Miller 6/28/05
MECHANISMS OF CHITOSAN FAT- BINDING Darrell Miller 6/25/05
Physical and Mental Stamina Darrell Miller 6/25/05
The important role the liver plays in maintaining health Darrell Miller 6/21/05
Pep Up and Go! Darrell Miller 6/14/05
Energy Vitamins Darrell Miller 6/11/05
Power Protein Darrell Miller 6/11/05
Summer Sports Nutrition Guide Darrell Miller 6/11/05
Stevia, Xylitol Sugar alternatives ... Darrell Miller 6/9/05
Re: Natural Energy Production ... Darrell Miller 6/9/05




Sweet dreams: Eating honey before you go to bed can help you sleepbetter
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Date: May 14, 2019 05:01 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (support@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Sweet dreams: Eating honey before you go to bed can help you sleepbetter





It is noted that when one eats sweets before going to bed this could have a negative impact on his sleep. If one does not sleep well, the next day would be a dreadful one. But for those who want to indulge themselves at night with something sweet, there is a natural alternative they can go for which can also help them to sleep better at night. That alternative is honey. Honey is a potent superfood and effective for relaxation, and can serve as a sleep remedy. The use of honey is not new. For centuries, various cultures have used it for food and medicine. Honey is a good source of nutrition because it has lots of antioxidants and nutrients. It is also rich in natural compounds. Honey is recommended as a daily food and its does not have negative drawbacks no matter how often one takes it. Honey possesses many properties which include being an important alternative to sugar, for the treatment of insomnia, for the promotion of deep sleep, and for the relaxation of the body. Therefore, honey is recommended by health practitioners to be taken daily.

Key Takeaways:

  • Honey is a great source of antioxidants which can also help you attain more restful and refreshing sleep.
  • When mixed with warm water and lemon, honey can also help soothe your digestive system.
  • In addition to honey, other ways of improving your sleep quality include avoiding the use of electronic devices or eating large meals right before bed.

"Eating honey at night can kick-start a whole chain of events throughout your body. Raw honey naturally contains high levels of fructose and glucose. Glucose can immediately boost your energy levels, whereas fructose gets stored in your liver as glycogen to serve as an energy source while you sleep."

Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-04-18-eat-honey-to-help-you-sleep-better.html

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Pu-erh tea has hepatoprotective and antioxidant properties
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Date: May 14, 2019 04:25 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (support@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Pu-erh tea has hepatoprotective and antioxidant properties





Yunnan Tasly Deepure Biological Tea Group Company recently collaborated with scientists from Tianjin University of Commerce on research into the health benefits of pu-erh tea. The research involved rats on a high fat diet, and discovered that pu-erh tea can help defend your liver against oxidative stress and high glucose levels. Pu-erh tea also appears to be able to protect rats from weight and body fat increases and prevent lipid peroxidation. These results suggest pu-era tea has great potential for preventing fatty liver disease.

Key Takeaways:

  • This study studied the effects of Pu-erh tea extract on live rats and the results reveal that is contains hepatoprotective and antioxidants properties.
  • The study researchers fed rats with a high fat diet for a period of 12 weeks and then gave them Pu-erh tea extract in measured doses.
  • Another way that Pu-erh tea extract can protect against liver diseases is by reducing the glucose level in the body and increase hepatic glycogen production.

"The results showed that the treatment with Pu-erh tea extract prevented the increases of body weight and fat index, reduced oxidative stress, and inhibited lipid peroxidation — all of which contributed to the protection of the liver in rats."

Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-04-16-pu-erh-tea-has-hepatoprotective-and-antioxidant-properties.html

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Health Benefits of Honey: 6 Reasons to Add Honey in Your Daily Diet
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Date: July 09, 2017 12:14 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (support@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Health Benefits of Honey: 6 Reasons to Add Honey in Your Daily Diet





Honey is more than a naturally sweet condiment; it also contains nutrients that can improve one's health. There are six health benefits to using honey. First, it can assist with weight loss by helping the body use up stored fat. Second, it can help you get a better night's rest because it encourages melatonin release. Thirdly, it can help heal burns and scrapes when applied directly because it is a natural antibiotic. Rich in probiotics, honey is believed to boost the body's immune system. For coughs due to the cold, honey added to hot water or tea can act as a cough suppressant. Lastly, honey's flavonoids may reduce the risk of certain cancers as well as heart disease.

Key Takeaways:

  • Honey is rich in both vitamin B6 and C, which can help lower bad cholesterol.
  • Honey contains probiotic bacteria, which can boost your immune system.
  • Adding two to three teaspoons of honey to hot water or tea can be a natural cough remedy.

"If you have a hard time going to sleep, you can try having honey before your bedtime as it helps release glycogen in the liver and melatonin, the hormone required for recovery and rebuilding of body tissues during rest."

Read more: http://www.india.com/lifestyle/health-benefits-of-honey-6-reasons-to-add-honey-in-your-daily-diet-2296330/

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Citrimax
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Date: December 20, 2013 09:14 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Citrimax

Garcina cambogiaWhat is Citrimax

Citrimax is a global popular weight loss supplement drug which is believed to help in to burning of fats which are excess in the body since this fats are stored in the fat reserves. It is one of the plant extracts from the South Asian fruit known as the Garcina cambogia which contains naturally occurring deposits of hydroxyl citric acid. This has been proved to be the source of appetite suppressant which results to the blockage of deposits of the fats enhancing metabolism.

Benefits of Citrimax

The tablets are believed to have been formulated and proven to be effective and preferably safe in clinical tests which have been conducted so far. Results have shown that these tablets can greatly suppress the appetite and to a greater percentage inhibits the production of fat in the body without any adverse effects on the dieter’s nervous system.

The Citrimax are different from the rest of the body weight products because of the presence of the hydroxyl citric acid which normally fails to stimulate the central nervous system. Though there have cases associated with the nervous anxiety, Citrimax still remains to be a product with no risk at all since it does not cause drastic side effects. These tablets work by hindering the enzymes which breakdown carbohydrates into the stored fat in the body. It also promotes an increase in stored energy as to be in form of Glycogen. It normally provides away of melting excess fats in the body.

The Citrimax tablets

Give an important impression in their usage since they work by altering the enzymes converting carbohydrates into fats since the carbohydrates stored as fats are used for energy and the body to store the same energy in form of Glycogen which then is a channel of communication for the brain information which leads to turn off of hunger signals.

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The Benefits of Forskolin
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Date: December 24, 2012 07:58 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: The Benefits of Forskolin

Forskolin is the chemical substance extracted from the root of a plant called coleus forskolin also known as Indian coleus plant. This plant originated in India and its part of mint family. This herb is used to treat various health conditions.

One of the benefits of this herb is its great effectiveness in losing weight. For those people who love looking good, then this product can be of great help. This herb can greatly help wit the reduction of excess fat; this helps in speeding up the process of losing weight.

Forskolin can work in two days.

It works first through stimulating lipolysis and then breaking down the lipids containing fats. This is takes much less time compared to other traditional methods since it raises the cAMP production levels in patients. CAMP regulates Glycogen, sugar and lipid. Scientists have proven that this herb can be very beneficial to obese patients. 

Stimulates Thyroid function

Secondly, Forskolin helps in losing weight through is ability to increase the production of thyroid hormone levels. When thyroid production is increased, our metabolism rate increases which leads to weight loss. Typical dosage is 25 to 60mg of forskolin herb per day. This is divided into 2 or 3 doses. Weight loss can be experienced within a few weeks of regular use of this herb. This herb also helps in lowering blood pressure, therefore preventing blood clots.

An improved blood flow helps maintain a healthy heart. This herb also helps in maintaining healthy lungs. Forskolin is also used in treatment of eczema and psoriasis. It's also beneficial to asthma patients by aiding in relaxing the airways, this helps in respiration process. This product has no known side effects, it can also be taken along with other caffeine's; this provides a boost in the stamina. However, make sure you see your doctor for proper guidance on how to use this product.

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glycine: a healthy amino acid
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Date: November 15, 2012 07:56 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: glycine: a healthy amino acid

For those who have heard about glycine and wonder about its health benefits, they should first of all know that it's a proteinogenic amino acid with its name being a combination from the words Glycogen and glucose. This is not an essential amino acid for the body, because it can be obtained from other sources.

Nutritional Role

Many studies have been performed around glycine and the results show that it can be easily used in order to reduce the psychotic symptoms associated with schizophrenia and at the same time it can also be used to reduce symptoms that are associated with BPH or benign prostatic hyperplasia.

Health benefits

It seems that glycine also has many benefits in nutrition and they are as following:

  • Benign prostatic hyperplasia
  • Mental health
  • Digestion
  • Nervous system
  • Energy metabolism

Importance

Glycine is similar with many other amino acids and one of those similarities is in the fact that it has a great importance for the nervous system, more specifically in what regards understanding and memory. Due to the fact that glycine work as a neurotransmitter, it has been successfully used in many treatments for hyperactivity, epilepsy and bipolar depression. Not only that, but it also supplies the human body with creatine which is vital for having healthy developing muscles.

More to that, it also helps with maintaining a healthy prostate and with healing damaged skin. On the other hand, it seems that its uses are much broader and deeper, down to even helping out the body with detoxifying the liver and eventually helping with the calcium absorption process.

Where is it found?

People can easily get glycine from foods like seeds, soya, gelatin, dairy and fish products, but also meat. In some cases, it's used as a sweetener and also in food supplements and protein drinks. Lastly, unless the individual needs this amino acid specifically, there is no need to actually get it, as the body can produce it unless for some reason the body mechanism that produces it is blocked.  Then supplementation is essential to good health and wellness.

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The Health benefits of P-5-P
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Date: July 20, 2012 07:51 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: The Health benefits of P-5-P

P-5-P or Pyridoxal-5-phosphate

P-5-P or the most commonly called Pyridoxal-5-phosphate is known to be the most active form of the Vitamin B6. This is known to be converted from organic compounds pyridoxal, pyridoxine and pyridoxamine. The Vitamin P-5-P is a coenzyme which support several other enzymes in the body which play a important role in biosynthesis. This also makes optimum use of the vitamin B6 by improving the body metabolism and many other biological process as well. The vitamin B6 traditionally comes in the form of pyridoxine hydrochloride which the body finds difficult to synthesize in its existing state. Hence, this pyridoxine hydrochloride is processed and is formed as Pyridoxal-5-phosphate to help the body to use the vitamin B6 effectively.

There are a lot of benefits of the vitamin P-5-P

Let us have a look at some of them.

Pyridoxal-5-phosphate uses the information from the genes ad helps to produce proteins.P-5-P is also helpful in the formation of hemoglobin, histamine and neurotransmitters and is also helpful in the metabolism of amino acids, fats and glucose.Pyridoxal-5-phosphate also helps in the conversion of dopa which is a useful substance used in the treatment of Parkinson's disease. Dopa is converted to dopamine which is a neurotransmitter which is produced in the brain and is released by the hypothalamus.

Food Source

The P5P is also helpful in the utilization of the food sources for the formation of energy and also helps in the easy release of Glycogen which is the stored energy.P5P also converts glutamate into GABA which is gamma amino butyric acid which is again a neurotransmitter which is known to be found in the mammals. This is found in their central nervous system.The Pyridoxal-5-phosphate also helpful in the process of decarboxylation which is the conversion of histidine to histamine.

This also converts SAM-e to propylamine which is known to be a precursor of polyamines.The Vitamin P5P is also responsible to lower the homocystenie levels which are caused by the intake of high amounts of methionine.The Vitamin Pyridoxal-5-phosphate helps in the treatment of irregular heartbeat , which is a condition termed as arrhythmia.This plays a important role in the treatment of myocardial infections. This prevents the blood platelets from sticking to each other which usually causes blood clots.The enzymes produced by the Pyridoxal-5-phosphate also helps in the formation of different kinds of amino acid reactions which keeps the carbon ions stable. This process is very important in the metabolism of the cells.The P5P also helps in the metabolism of the amino acids.

Here it helps in converting methionine to cysteine and also converts tryptophan to niacin.Pyridoxal-5-phosphate also plays a vital role in the formation of glucose. This process is known as gluconeogenesis.This also acts a important co-enzyme in the process of Glycogenolysis which happens in the liver and muscles and this is known to be a reaction which occurs due to presence of Glycogen.The P5P also helps in the formation of antibodies and also assists in the process of hemoglobin synthesis as well.

To keep it simpler, the vitamin P5P performs many functions which is very beneficial to the whole human body. The P5P deficiency can also happen in many individuals and even such symptoms are hard to identify. Any person suffering from the P5P deficiency will have symptoms like muscle weakness, irritability or depression. Consulting a physician and taking necessary supplements will help to overcome the P5P deficiency.

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How Does The White Kidney Bean Block Carbohydrates?
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Date: February 08, 2012 08:23 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: How Does The White Kidney Bean Block Carbohydrates?

The White Kidney Bean is referred scientifically as Phaseolus vulgar. It is bean plant that is native to the Indies, Europe and Peru. The major advantage of using this bean plant is because it has been proven scientifically proven as a good inhibitor of the digestion of some selected dietary carbohydrates. Its carbohydrate blocking ability has seen it being adopted in the manufacture of most weight loss and diet pills.

When you consume starch, normally referred to as the complex carbohydrates, the body then has the responsibility of breaking these food substances into smaller digestible units that are referred to as dextrins. This is usually done through a chemical process catalyzed by the enzyme amylase. The dextrins are later broken down to form glucose. This is then the product that is useful to the body. Glucose is required for body energy requirements. The glucose before being used by the body system is first stored in the muscle tissue or the liver in the form of Glycogen.

The settling of Glycogen in the liver is used for conversion to lipids and later their storage in fat form. White Kidney Bean is essentially used to block the digestive ability of alpha-amylase which is used in the breakdown of carbohydrates into dextrins and later into glucose which is then used up by the body system. The result of this means that all the carbohydrates pass through the digestive tract undigested. This therefore translates to a lower intake of energy and. This subsequently lowers the amount of body fat that is usually introduced into the body by the consumption of such foods. This is why this bean is an essential element for those seeking to lose weight.

The White Kidney Bean can be able to block the digestion of carbohydrates but is not capable of inhibiting the digestion of fats and simple sugars. This therefore calls for more adoption of dietary controls because the bean might not achieve the level of effect required. Even through the bean is able to inhibit the functioning of alpha-amylase, there still is another starch digestive enzyme called glucoamylase that can still be digesting the starch during the inhibition of the other enzyme. The White Kidney Bean is a good option for weight loss and weight management. The users are however still advised to ensure that they properly limit their intake of carbohydrates so as to get better results.

This bean is safe to take and does not have any health complications associated with it. The use of this bean is of much importance in losing that extra pound. The White Kidney Bean is especially helpful to those people who cannot get the proper time for preparing healthy meals. It is always important to keep in mind the fact that this bean is only useful in inhibiting the digestion of carbohydrates. This is why people are always advised to try as much as possible to limit their carb consumption. Some side effects like heartburn might be witnessed but in most cases they might not be very much pronounced.

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Can Royal Jelly Really Boost Energy?
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Date: April 18, 2011 02:25 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Can Royal Jelly Really Boost Energy?

Royal Jelly as an Energy Boost

Royal jelly is an all-natural animal product entirely derived from the secretions of honey bees. It is commercially touted as an energy booster because of its unique combination of compounds that help produce energy in cells and promote mental clarity. It contains an abundance of monosaccharides, amino acids, fatty acids, trace minerals, and enzymes, all of which have bioactive properties.

Inside a honeycomb, royal jelly is obtained from queen cells. These secretions are actually fed to all larvae, but only queen larvae are fed with royal jelly in amounts that can be harvested. This is the reason why royal jelly is considered rare. That being said, recent innovations in the manufacture of honey and the overall beekeeping process have contributed to increasing productions of royal jelly.

Contains Vitamins and Minerals

Royal jelly is available as a dietary supplement noted for its high vitamin and mineral content. It is a natural source of vitamin B complex, notably pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) and pyridoxine (vitamin B6). It has relatively high amounts of simple sugars and fatty acids, both groups are biological precursors of cellular energy. In general, it contains up to 15 per cent carbohydrates and 5 per cent healthy fats.

In addition to vitamins, it is also rich in enzymes that are believed to aid the fast absorption of its bioactive compounds in the small intestine. In addition, it contains trace amounts of dietary minerals. Royal jelly is often marketed as a fast-acting energy booster because its components are believed to work synergistically in the prompt release of energy within cells right after absorption.

Improves Energy Metabolism

Coenzyme A is an organic compound produced in the human body to aid the metabolism of cellular energy. Its synthesis, however, requires the presence of pantothenic acid, a vitamin obtained largely from the diet. It is postulated that royal jelly helps increase the production of energy in that it contains pantothenic acid in amounts sufficient to affect the biosynthesis of coenzyme A.

Royal jelly is also noted for its pyridoxine content. Pyridoxal phosphate, or pyridoxine, is the active form of vitamin B5. It is necessary for the metabolism of protein, glucose, and lipids. It is of special significance in yielding energy from Glycogen, which it converts to glucose. The combination of fatty acids, simple sugars, and B vitamin in royal jelly enables it to bring about a noticeable energy boost.

Creates Feelings of Well-being

Royal jelly has been linked to an increase in the release of major neurotransmitters, especially serotonin, dopamine, and glutamate. Serotonin is dubbed the happiness hormone. Dopamine is linked to rewards-seeking behavior and keeps interest in repetitive tasks. And glutamate is a major excitatory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. Together they sustain mental focus.

The roles of its components and their metabolites in the production of energy and release of brain chemicals are the reason why royal jelly creates feelings of physical and mental well-being.

Royal Jelly Use It

As you can see, royal jelly is rich in many nutrients to support a health brain and metabolism. If you are seeking more energy, give royal jelly a try!

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What are the Health Benefits of Vitamin K?
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Date: February 19, 2011 11:42 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: What are the Health Benefits of Vitamin K?

6 Ways Vitamin K Can Boost Your Health

Vitamin K is belongs to the group of vitamins that are soluble in fat. There are a lot of chemical compounds that display the activities of this essential nutrient inside the human body, but the best known form of this vitamin is phylloquinone, a naturally occurring substance in green leafy vegetables. Many different synthetic forms have also been proven to exhibit the same health benefits.

Helps against Blood Loss

Vitamin K was named so largely owing to the fact that it is directly involved in the coagulation of blood, which was the first of its benefits to be discovered. K stands for the first letter of its German name, Koagulationsvitamin. The process by which our body controls blood loss during bleeding, both external and internal, is called coagulation, which describes the ability of the blood to thicken and form a clot. Coagulation is central to the health of blood vessels as it stops bleeding and starts the healing process.

Promotes Vascular Health

Phylloquinone and other forms of Vitamin K have long been used as a treatment for cardiovascular diseases. One form of calcification outside the bones occurs in the arterial linings, which wears down the elastic properties of vascular tissues. Arterial calcification in itself is a very serious medical condition and usually takes place in end-stage cardiovascular diseases. However, the absence of vitamin K in the body also brings on this disease.

Facilitates Calcium Absorption

There is strong evidence that vitamin K helps build strong bones, and is in fact utilized as treatment for osteoporosis. Vitamin K modulates the production of osteocalcin, which induces bone formation and reduces bone resorption by attracting calcium minerals inside the body. Premature calcification of bones negatively affects bone density, but the presence of vitamin K has been observed to avoid this.

Regulates Blood Sugar

The bone-building protein osteocalcin also acts as a hormone that triggers the beta cells in the pancreas to release more insulin, which instruct cells in different tissues of the body to absorb glucose from the blood. Glucose is either converted into ATP, the primary source of energy that power cellular functions, or stored as Glycogen inside the cells. Either way maintains healthy blood sugar.

Breaks down Body Fats

Osteocalcin is also involved in the burning of fats in adipose tissues, including the unwanted flab on the belly. By stimulating these fatty tissues to release a hormone called adiponectin, body fats are broken down into smaller particles and in the process release energy. In fact, the abundance of adiponectin in the bloodstream has been closely tied to low percentage of body fats in adults.

Scavenges Free Radicals

Vitamin K helps clear the body of ravaging free radicals that damage everything at the cellular level. It is particularly associated with protecting the nerve cells from premature death due to oxidative stress caused by free radicals, the reason why it is used in studies concerning Alzheimer’s disease and cancer. With all its health benefits, it is prudent to ensure consumption of Vitamin K.

Do you get enough Vitamin K Daily?

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L-Carnitine
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Date: May 07, 2009 05:45 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: L-Carnitine

L-carnitine is amino acid essential for the metabolism of fats into a form of energy necessary for extended aerobic activity. Originally discovered in Russia, and Germany a year later, the structural formulation of carnitine, as it is correctly known, was determined in 1927, although it is physiological and biochemical activity was not understood until the 1960s.

The amino acid is biosynthesized in the liver and kidneys from lysine and methionine. The vitamins niacin, B6, C and iron are essential for this reaction to take place. However, the supply of L-carnitine has to be supplemented by the diet, good sources being dairy products, red meat, nuts and seeds, pulses and fruits such as apricots, bananas and avocado. Most of the L-carnitine supply of the body is stored within the muscle tissue. However, it is not unusual for conditions to arise making it difficult for the body to obtain all the carnitine required.

L-carnitine enables fatty acids to be transported into the mitochondria, where cell metabolism occurs. The biochemistry is discussed below, although in simple terms the amino acid allows body fats, in the form of triglycerides, to be made more readily available for the generation of energy required for extended exertion. In this way, body fats can be used for energy and the supplies of Glycogen stored by the liver can be retained for emergency use.

By providing the energy for endurance and stamina in this way, carnitine makes use of an otherwise unavailable energy source, and has the added benefit of reducing body fat stores and reducing strain on the heart.

Although there is generally a plentiful supply of L-carnitine available in a healthy diet, supplementation can ensure that a deficiency does not occur. Supplements are available in the form of L-carnitine or its acetylated derivative, acetyl L-carnitine.

In order for fatty acids to be used in the production of energy, their long-chain acetyl groups have to get inside the mitochondria where they are oxidized to the acetate to be used for the production of energy via the Citric Acid or Krebs cycle.

In order for the biochemistry to take place, fatty acids must be rendered suitable for binding to the carnitine molecule. The chemical grouping with a good affinity for L-carnitine is the acetyl or acetyl group, available in the molecule acetyl coenzyme A (CoA). The free fatty acid, therefore, is attached to coenzyme-A by means of a thioester bond, catalyzed by means of the enzyme fatty acetyl-CoA synthetase. The reaction is then completed by means of in organic pyrophosphatase.

In this way, the fatty acid in the form of an acetyL-carnitine derivative can be transported through the mitochondrial wall. This transportation takes place by means of several steps. These are:

1. As explained, the acetyl-CoA is attached to L-carnitine by means of the enzyme carnitine acetyltransferase I. This enzyme is conveniently located on the outer mitochondrial membrane.

2. The enzyme carnitine-acetylcarnitine translocase helps the acetyL-carnitine through the membrane.

3. Another enzyme, carnitine acetyltransferase II, located on the inner mitochondrial membrane, converts the acetyL-carnitine to acetyl-CoA, liberating the carnitine which returns to the muscle mass.

L-carnitine is the only known substance that allows fatty acids to cross the mitochondrial membrane, and therefore deficiencies must be avoided.

Another way in which carnitine is used in energy production is in the Krebs cycle itself. Part of this cycle involves the conversion of guanine diphosphate to the higher energy form guanine triphosphate. In this way energy can be stored in much the same way as it is in the conversion of ADP to ATP. Succinyl CoA is involved in this conversion, and one of the by-products of it is a corresponding succinate, that is then converted to a fumarate by the action of L-carnitine fumarate. Carnitine, therefore, has two parts to play in the production of long-term energy from the fatty acids contained in body fats.

Since the fatty acid triglycerides contained in body fats are a major source of energy in the heart and skeletal muscles, it is easy to understand how L-carnitine is believed to lead to the increased energy levels required for stamina and staying power. A major reason for its effect on longer-term or extended energy requirements is that in enabling stored body fats to be used for immediate and longer-term energy requirements, L-carnitine allows emergency Glycogen stores to be retained for use once immediate fatty acid supplies or those of carnitine have been depleted, and so allows the energy supply to be extended even farther. Research has also suggested that the amino acid can possibly be used to treat liver and kidney disease, diabetes and chronic fatigue syndrome.

As with many supplements, the question is often asked how does L-carnitine work in practice as opposed to the claims made for it by the supplement providers? Recent research indicates mixed results, but sufficient to justify its use. It is generally accepted that a supplement is necessary when there is a deficiency, but once that deficiency has been corrected further intake is unnecessary. However, it is also believed that during long and extended periods of exercise a carnitine deficiency does occur as L-carnitine is used up, and the supplement is necessary to ensure sufficient energy supply throughout the period of exercise.

There has also been a case reported in the Journal of Clinical Neurology (Negoro, Tsuda, Kato & Morimatsu, 1995) where a deficiency, caused by anorexia nervosa damaging the liver to the extent that it was unable to synthesize L-carnitine, was remedied by means of an oral supplement. Studies on endurance athletes have been mixed, ranging from no effect to L-carnitine being found to promote weight loss.

Carnitine has no unknown harmful side effects, and has been studied for medical applications other than as an energy supplement. For example it possesses extensive antioxidant properties, and can be used as a supplement against oxidative stress and the prevention of the lipid peroxidation that is a precursor to atherosclerosis.

Its use in osteoporosis and reducing bone mass is also being studied. The concentration of L-carnitine diminishes with age, and affects fatty acid metabolism in a number of tissues. Bones are particularly affected since they require continuous reconstruction. Without detailing the biochemistry involved in this, administration of carnitine helps to reduce the speed by which this occurs. Trials are so far been carried out only on animals.

In studies on both healthy volunteers and patients with type II diabetes, L-carnitine was found to improve storage of glucose in both groups, although its oxidation increased only in the group with diabetes. Other studies carried out include improving the function of neurotransmitters in the brains of elderly patients and in the treatment of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, and other neurological disorders.

In conclusion then, although the jury is out on the use of L-carnitine is an energy-giving or weight-loss supplement, it appears to be effective where the body's stores of carnitine could be depleted such as with long-term exercise, natural deficiencies or deficiencies caused through age. It is also under study in the treatment of various medical conditions. On balance, it would appear that the prospective benefits of L-carnitine render it worthy of use.

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L-Methionine
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Date: May 02, 2009 11:41 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: L-Methionine

Methionine is an essential amino acid, meaning that it is not synthesized by the body, and so has to be taken as part of your diet. It also contains sulfur, one of two sulfur-containing amino acids that can form proteins, the other being cysteine. It is a precursor for taurine, which is an aminosulphonic acid, and not strictly an amino acid, which together with cysteine supports the health of your cardiovascular system and helps to eliminate toxins from the body.

Maintenance of Cell Membranes

It is also an important intermediary in the maintenance of cell membranes. Phospholipids are fat-soluble components of the cell membrane, phosphatidylcholine being a very important example. Also known as lecithin, this substance is derived from choline, itself biosynthesized in a chemical pathway involving S-adenosylmethionine.

This substance is made in the body from ATP (adenosine triphosphate) and methionine with the help of the enzyme methionine adensosyltransferase. Known as SAM (or SAM-e), S-adenosylmethionine employs a number of metabolic pathways in its reaction, though generally aminopropylation, transmethylation and transsulfuration. These add aminopropyl, sulfo and methyl groups to a number of substances, the most common being the methylation of proteins, nucleic acids and lipids.

Phosphatidylcholine is produced by the enzyme-catalyzed sequential methylation of phosphatidylethanolamine, SAM donating the methyl groups. The maintenance of the integrity of the cellular membrane by phosphatidylcholine is critical to all of the basic processes in human biology, including communication between cells, flow of information and bioenergetics.

A by-product of this reaction is homocysteine, formed in the liver from the S-adenosylhomocysteine that SAM is changed to after donating methyl groups. Excess homocysteine in the blood can create the risk of myocardial infarction and cardiovascular disease. SAM is also of use in the treatment of depression and of arthritis.

Muscle Development

Creatine is a substance well known to athletes as being useful in provide short-term energy for high-intensity training. Although available in the diet, about 50% creatine used by the body is biosynthesized from methionine and two other amino acids, glycine and arginine. It allows a burst of energy lasting about 10 seconds, carried out without the use of Glycogen reserves or fatty tissue.

Glycine and arginine combine to release ornithine as a by-product, and form guanidino acetate. SAM donates a methyl group to the latter to form creatine, about 95% of which is then stored in the skeletal muscle tissue. The stored creatine phosphate has the effect of allowing the muscle cells to hold more water, which also enables an enhanced level of protein synthesis, and hence an increase in muscle bulk, which also results from the increased blood flow resulting from the short-term high-intensity exercise that creatine allows.

Creatine can also increase the levels of MRF4 (myogenic transcription factor), resulting in an increasing in the myonuclei provided by satellite cells to damaged muscle tissue, that not only repair damaged muscle fibers, but also increase their ability to grow.

Detoxification of the Liver

Substances that help the liver to process fats, or lipids, are known as lipotropic, and the important lipotropics in human biochemistry are imositol, betaine, choline and methionine. They prevent fat from accumulating in the liver, and methionine is also useful in its effect of glutathione. This is a substance that helps the liver to neutralize toxins, such as excessive doses of acetaminophen, and its supplies are regulated by methionine.

Methionine and Autism

Research into autism is closely studying the Methionine/Glutathione Transsulfuration Pathway. This pathway is a very important biochemical means of detoxification, whereby toxins are methylated and then excreted. This pathway seems to be disrupted in autistic individuals.

Not only that, but disruption can lead to oxidative stress which results in many health problems. An example of this is the build-up of the oxidant homocysteine when there is insufficient Vitamin B6 to convert it into cysteine. This has been discussed previously, and is discussed again below.

Miscellaneous Benefits

Although research is in its infancy, it appears that AIDS sufferers also have decreased levels of methionine in their blood. It is believed that the process of AIDS could be linked to this, particularly the dementia that can occur as a result of the deterioration of the nervous system.

It is also hoped that it can help with some symptoms of Parkinson's disease, and pancreatitis. Initial research into this use of methionine has been very promising, as are studies into its use for urinary tract infections. It appears to operate like cranberry in this respect, preventing bacteria from attaching to the cell walls and multiplying in the urinary tract.

Methionine is believed to be essential for the formation of collagen, and for healthy pliable skin, hair, nails and other forms of connective tissue. For this reason it is often used as a supplement for the treatment of arthritis, although an excess should be avoided for reasons discussed above. S-Adenosylmethionine generates homocysteine during the biosynthesis of phosphatidylcholine, and this can cause cardiovascular problems.

So stick to the recommended doses when you use methionine as a supplement. Used properly, and according to instructions, it offers many health benefits, and can also be used to bulk up your muscle tissue and give increased energy when you need it most.

Dietary sources include fish, eggs, lentils, onions, garlic, meat, seeds, spinach and yoghurt. A good supplement would be from 800mg - 1000mg per day, and is best taken along with a B vitamin complex, or at least folic acid and vitamins B6 and B12, in order to prevent the increased generation of homocysteine.

Methionine also promotes the excretion of estrogen, so is a possible supplement for women on oral contraceptives that lower the production of this hormone. The elderly might also benefit from a supplement although, if taken for any specific condition, your health professional should be consulted first, as they should be for any supplement.

Nevertheless, methionine is a very useful supplement, and can be taken to prevent a large number of conditions. Research is continuing on its effect on AIDS patients, and Parkinson's, and it is hopeful that it will one day be recommended to help people suffering from these conditions.

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Strengthen The Liver and Kidneys With Leucine
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Date: April 27, 2009 02:08 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Strengthen The Liver and Kidneys With Leucine

L-leucine is an amino acid that is used by the body to fuel exercise and muscle-building to provide you with that athletic edge that gets you ahead of your opponents. It does so in a number of ways, none of them specifically by the direct generation of energy as such.

It is also an essential amino acid, since it cannot be manufactured by your body and hence must be taken as a supplement or as part of your diet. Foods rich in leucine include nuts, whole wheat products such as wholemeal bread, and brown rice. It is a hydrophobic amino acid, meaning that it does not like water.

It is also one of three essential branched chain amino acids, the other two being L-valine and L-isoleucine, and offers many benefits to athletic performance that shall be discussed below It also helps to preserve the body's stores of Glycogen, used as an emergency energy source. Other than these properties, it possesses others, such as the maintenance of the nitrogen balance in the body.

So how does it work to fuel your body while you are exercising? The answer is not as you might think. L-leucine doesn't increase your energy levels as creatine does when it elevates your ATP (adenosine triphosphate) levels. ATP is the molecule of energy that is synthesized in your body cells, and is then converted back to ADP, the diphosphate, with the release of energy in the form of muscular contractions.

This amino acid is what is referred to as a 'limiting' substance, in that the other amino acids cannot do their jobs in your body unless you have sufficient L-leucine in proportion to them. Specifically, you need two parts of L-valine and two parts of L-leucine to one part of L-isoleucine for optimum usage of the food that you eat.

Therefore you cannot just take the supplement without considering how much should be taken to ensure this balance. Excess will be wasted and a deficiency would fail to make proper use of the protein content of your food.

If you suffer from a deficiency, therefore, your body cannot make best use of the protein in your diet to the extent that muscle tissue will not be generated during exercise. In fact it causes catabolism, or the breakdown of muscle tissue, resulting in a loss of performance and possible increase in fatty tissue as opposed to lean muscle. The only way to build muscle is take in sufficient nitrogen in the form of amino acids and protein, along with L-leucine to put that protein to best use.

One of the major properties of L-leucine is in stimulating the synthesis of skeletal muscle tissue and by using a supplement, the protein balance can be positive after a workout. It has been shown that this protein balance is generally negative until specifically L-leucine is consumed.

The way it works is to activate a muscle-generating pathway known as mTOR (mammalian Target of Rapamycin). mTOR is normally activated when the levels of ATP in the muscle cells is high, and when these levels drop then mTOR is deactivated. The activity of mTOR is sensitive to the concentration of L-leucine, and when the concentration of the amino acid in the body rises it informs mTOR that the protein in the diet is sufficient to manufacture skeletal muscle tissue, and so mTOR s activated.

Exactly how this is done is unknown, but is a fact the mTOR depends upon both L-leucine concentration and also ATP levels. This amino acid also decreases catabolism through a number of different mechanisms, one of which involves increasing insulin levels.

In fact, when insulin and L-leucine levels increase at the same time, there is a synergy that promotes the synthesis of new protein. Not only that, but the response of insulin to the presence of carbohydrates is enhanced, this resulting in an enhancement of your body's metabolism.

The amino acid can also be used to help those suffering from kidney and liver problems because it increases liver protein synthesis. It is therefore a useful adjunct both to diabetics and those suffering from liver and kidney disease.

However, because L-leucine is an essential amino acid with so many important properties, a deficiency can have specific consequences. Catabolism has been stated earlier as one such reaction to a deficiency, and others include decreased energy levels and irregularities in the levels of blood sugar.

Everything about this substance is not good however, and when taken by itself in excess, it can reduce the amount of the other amino acids in the blood, particularly of the other two branched chain amino acids (BCAAs). This in turn upsets the balance of amino acids, and reduces further the ability of the body to produce muscle tissue until a balanced supplement is taken.

Leucine also helps to maintain the nitrogen balance. It is essential for the human body to maintain a positive nitrogen balance, and L-leucine supports this. In fact, one study has demonstrated that after 12 hours infusion with L-leucine, nitrogen balance was improved by as much as 23%.

A supplement alone is not always sufficient to maintain a positive nitrogen balance. It is generally essential that you rest your body for a sufficient length of time to allow protein to be generated. If you don't take the required amount of rest, a surplus of protein could be used to maintain energy levels rather than replace lost protein and maintain a good nitrogen balance.

A positive nitrogen balance is essential for the generation of muscle tissue, such as in bodybuilding for example, since all proteins contain nitrogen and the net nitrogen intake must exceed the excretion rate. Not in gaseous form, of course, but in the intake of amino acids and proteins. The more positive your nitrogen balance is, the faster you will recover after exercise. It is essential for anabolic exercise.

L-leucine, therefore, is a supplement that can help to maintain your current muscle mass while undergoing strenuous exercise, in addition to increasing it while resting. It offers other health benefits, one being helping to maintain clarity of thought in the aged. However, it is for its effect on muscular build-up and the athletic edge that provides that the supplement is most commonly taken.

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Detoxify With L-Citrulline
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Date: April 13, 2009 03:51 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Detoxify With L-Citrulline

L-citrulline is an alpha-amino acid, first isolated from the watermelon in 1930: hence the name, citrullis being Latin for that fruit, the skin of which is rich in the substance. It is used to enhance performance in sports, particularly through aiding recovery after exercise, and also helps the liver to detoxify the blood.

It is not an essential amino acid in that it is produced by the body and need not be part of your diet. It is a precursor to arginine, which involves the sustained release of nitric oxide in the endothelium that promotes increased flow of blood and the blood vessels as described further below. One of the biochemical pathways for its biosynthesis involves the urea cycle, whereby the toxic ammonia is detoxified into an easily excreted form through its conversion to urea.

The urea cycle consists of five reactions, and citrulline is formed in the second of these. In the first of these, ammonia reacts with bicarbonate to form carbamoyl phosphate, the phosphate coming from the two molecule of ATP used to energize the reaction. These are converted to adenosine diphosphate (ADP), and the carbamoyl phosphate then reacts with ornithine to form citrulline, which takes part in step three that eventually leads to the formation of urea.

The second way in which L-citrulline can be biosynthesized is from the oxidation of arginine, a natural amino acid. Arginine is oxidized into N-hydroxyarginine, and then into L-citrulline with the release of nitric oxide.

So that's how it is produced in the body, but how does it help sportsmen, and what part does it play in detoxification? Its effect on recovery after exercise is connected with blood flow. Energy is created in the mitochondria that are contained in every cell off the body. Among the raw materials needed for the production of energy are glucose and oxygen: glucose obtained from the carbohydrates in your diet, and oxygen transported by the hemoglobin or red blood cells.

Both of these rely on blood flow: greater the volume of blood transported to the cells then the greater the ability of these cells to produce energy. During periods of exercise, a good supply of blood is required to provide the raw materials needed for the energy demand of the muscles involved in the exercise. Not only that however, but recovery after exercise involves the replacement of electrolytes, the Glycogen used in extensive aerobic and anaerobic exercise and protein replacement, particularly where catabolism has occurred.

In order to supply these raw materials at an adequate rate, it is necessary for the flow of blood to the appropriate muscles to be sufficient. A major restriction to increase blood flow is elasticity of the blood vessels and cells. Although a healthy heart is capable of providing the necessary quantities of blood, and hence of nutrients, any restriction to the flow could cause dangerously high blood pressure.

Nitric oxide plays a signaling role in enlarging blood vessels to allow an increased blood flow when it is needed by the body. It can provide more blood to the stomach during digestion and to the muscles during exercise and recovery.

During hard exercise, nitric oxide can act as a pump that provides blood during exercise and also during recovery. It can therefore provide more rapid gains in lean mass, increased endurance and faster muscle recovery. The way it does this is to send a signal to the smooth muscles to relax; smooth muscles such as those found in veins and arteries, so resulting in vasodilation therefore allowing increased blood flow.

It is the endothelium, the inner lining of blood vessels, which uses the nitric oxide to provide the relaxation signal to the smooth muscles surrounding it. In fact, it is the effect of nitric oxide that enables those living at high altitudes to develop increased stamina and speed over those at lower altitudes, and find more world records seem to be broken during athletics meetings, such as Olympic Games, held at high altitudes. This is because the production of nitric acid is increased at higher altitudes with slightly lower oxygen levels. This is the same effect that is used by vasodilators such as amyl nitrite and Viagra that work by increasing nitric oxide levels in the smooth muscle wall of the blood vessels.

It should not be surprising therefore, that L-citrulline should work in a similar way, since it is intimately involved in the production of nitric oxide. Although this is now generally understood, what part does supplemental citrulline play in the body if it is a non-essential amino acid?

Supplemental L-citrulline is useful in supporting the detoxification of ammonia in the liver when supplies of ornithine carbamoyl transferase is naturally in short supply. This is the enzyme that catalyzes the reaction between ornithine and carbamoyl phosphate to form citrulline. Supplements can then help in the removal of ammonia from the blood, and also provide material for the continued production of nitric oxide support muscular activity and its recovery after exercise.

Ammonia itself is a by-product of intensive exercise, and without the urea cycle the body would rapidly become polluted. It is a very toxic product, and causes the death of thousands of people each year. This is generally in people who suffer liver and kidney disease, and the ammonia can be broken down and excreted.

Your brain cells are particularly sensitive to ammonia, and as levels increase the effect progressively ranges from drowsiness thru tremors to coma and eventual death. Any condition, therefore, that reduces the body's capability of metabolizing ammonia is potentially very serious, and any supplement that can help prevent this is valuable.

L-citrulline is believed to help in such situations, although any condition affecting the efficiency of the kidneys or liver and that can cause toxicity due to ammonia or any other toxic substance, should be referred to your physician. It is for its effect in increasing blood flow to provide sufficient raw material, for both the energy needed for high levels of exercise and for muscle recovery, that citrulline is predominantly used as a supplement.

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L-Alanine Non Essential Amino Acid
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Date: January 05, 2009 04:31 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: L-Alanine Non Essential Amino Acid

L-Alanine is one of 20 amino acids that are used by the body to manufacture the proteins essential for life. Each protein possesses specific biological properties that are imparted by the sequence of amino acids it contains. Proteins control the chemistry that takes place within the cells of our body, and comprise all of the enzymes that catalyze the body's biochemistry.

Amino acids are also the building blocks of DNA that determines the genetic make-up of individuals, and that also provides recipes or templates for the production of proteins from amino acid sequences. There is a different DNA template for every protein required by the body that determines which of the 20 amino acids are needed, and in what order they are to be combined with one another to manufacture the desired protein.

10 of these 20 amino acids can be synthesized by your body's biochemistry, the other 10 being essential parts of your diet. If you fail to include just of these 10, then your body will break down its proteins until it has obtained a sufficient supply of that amino acids for its needs. That involves muscle and other tissue degradation, and is one of the symptoms of malnutrition. Amino acids are not stored, and a daily supply is essential to avoid these symptoms.

L-Alanine is one of the ten that the body can manufacture, and used by the body to help build protein and also to enable the body to make use of glucose to generate energy. It does so as part of what is known as the glucose-alanine cycle. During anaerobic exercise, such as in weightlifting and sustained running, muscles produce lactate and also alanine.

The alanine is passed on to the liver where it is converted to energy via its conversion to glucose. This is not a particularly efficient means of creating energy because a byproduct of the process is urea, the removal of which in turn requires energy. However, it serves its purpose as an energy source once the liver is depleted of Glycogen. In fact that is the major use to which alanine appears to be put by the body: the conversion of glucose to energy.

The way the glucose-alanine cycle works is that a process known as transamination produces glutamate from the amino groups of amino acids that are degraded during exercise. Glutamate is then converted to pyruvate by means of the enzyme alanine aminotransferase, with the production of alanine and alpha-ketoglutarate. This is a reversible reaction, and after the alanine has been carried by the bloodstream to the liver, the reaction reverses with the regeneration of pyruvate that undergoes gluconeogenesis (generation of glucose).

The result of this is glucose that returns to the muscle tissue to provide more energy. The glutamate is broken down to the ammonium ion in the mitochondria, which in turn enters the urea cycle with the production of urea.

In a nutshell, then, the glucose-alanine cycle removes glutamate and pyruvate from muscle tissue to the liver where glucose is generated from the pyruvate and returned to the muscle. Since gluconeogenesis involves the expenditure of energy, and this occurs in the liver rather than in the muscle, all the energy in the muscle can be used for muscle contraction.

L-Alanine possesses other properties, among them the ability to help maintain the health of the prostate. A study of benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate) indicated that treatment with L-alanine, glutamic acid and glycine over a period of three months reduced the symptoms. However, make sure that you consult your physician before using alanine in this way. This is not because there are any known adverse side effects, because there are not, but because it I always wise to so with any supplement taken with a view to treating any medical condition.

A less obvious application derives from the fact that it forms a stable free radical when deaminated. Deamination can be initiated by radiation, and so the concentration of this free radical can be measured to ensure that the correct dose of radiation is being given in dosimetric radiotherapy. It is not always easy to control the dose accurately, and this property of alanine allows it to monitored and to ensure that it is neither too low to have the desired effect, nor dangerously high.

Although it is a non-essential amino acid, and can be produced by the body, a dietary supply or supplement is advantageous if extra energy is required. Good dietary sources of L-alanine include meats, seafood, eggs, nuts, beans, seeds, brewer's yeast, corn and legumes among others. Supplements are also available, and useful for body-builders, weightlifters and others involved in anaerobic exercise. Due to the glucose-alanine cycle, it can possibly provide energy when lactate build-up would otherwise lead to muscle cramps.

Those for whom a supplement could be useful are athletes and others who are trying to build muscle and stamina, or reduce their body fat and also the obese and overweight for the same reason. There is also evidence that a combination of the amino acids alanine, glycine and arginine can help to reduce arterial plaque from oxidized low density lipoproteins, and can also help to reduce high blood pressure.

Deficiencies are rare, although groups that do not eat meat should be careful to eat foods with a good alanine content. There are no known side effects of a deficiency since the body will generate what is needed for normal purposes, and while the supplement appears to have no side effects, it is advisable that pregnant and lactating women should first seek medical advice. The same applies if you suffer from hypertension or diabetes. High doses of alanine might also affect those with kidney or liver disease.

Although the benefits of supplementation of L-alanine might not be immediately obvious, the results and the science indicate that it is effective in making better use of blood glucose in that the adenosine triphosphate (ATP) created in the muscle tissue is allowed to be expended on muscle contraction while the glucose-alanine cycle provides the energy needed for gluconeogenesis.

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Hoodia Gordonii
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Date: December 10, 2008 10:48 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Hoodia Gordonii

Hoodia Gordonii is a South African succulent plant of the family Apocynaceae. They are remarkable similar in appearance to cacti, although they are totally unrelated to them and grow predominantly in the region of Central Namibia in the south west of Africa, up to the southern regions of Angola. They are most commonly found in rocky ground and on the plains.

There are several species of hoodia, some of them grown domestically, and it is Hoodia gordonii that is used as an appetite suppressant in hoodia weight loss pills. Although the plant has historically found use in the treatment of infections and gastric problems, most interest is displayed in its use by the bushmen of the Kalahari Desert to suppress their appetite during long hunting trips when food and water are scarce.

The active ingredient was isolated in 1977, and given the name P57: the product is therefore often referred to as Hoodia P57. It was patented by its discoverers, the CSIR (South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research) and a license granted to UK company Phytopram, who worked together with Pfizer to isolate the active ingredients and manufacture them synthetically. This was found to be very difficult, if not impossible, since any synthetic form of the extract failed to display any hunger-suppressant properties.

Finally, the rights to the main ingredient were released by Pfizer in 2002, thus indicating that it was of no commercial benefit to them. The main problem they admitted with synthesizing P57 was not only the difficulty in doing so, but also that there were side effects of the extract on the liver caused by other components that could not be removed. No synthetic form of hoodia is therefore available, and only the natural plant is used in current Hoodia 57 preparations.

The rights of the San Bushmen to the plant were recognized by the CSIR in 2002, and not only do they receive a proportion of the profits of marketing hoodia, but also the plant is protected with wild-harvesting licenses provided to only certain individuals and companies. Due to the rising popularity of the hoodia weight loss industry, the plant has been named as an endangered species in the wild.

It is believed that the active ingredients are steroidal saponins that can fool the body into believing it is full. This theory is based upon the effect on appetite of glucose concentrations in the blood. Your appetite is controlled by the amount of unconverted glucose in your blood, and Glycogen in the liver. When you eat carbohydrates, they are digested and converted into glucose which is absorbed into the bloodstream.

Under normal conditions your blood glucose levels increase to a level where a signal from hypothalamus stops you feeling hungry. Insulin is then secreted from the pancreas to prepare your cells to use that glucose in the mitochondria to create energy by means of the Kreb's Cycle, or Citric Acid Cycle as it is also known. This reduces the concentration of glucose in the blood, and once it reaches a certain level the body begins to use its emergency energy supply, Glycogen, that is stored in the liver.

A signal then informs the brain that more glucose is needed. You then feel hungry again, and this cycle is repeated several times a day in a normally healthy person. This cycle is controlled by certain hormones in the brain, specifically in the ventromedial center of the hypothalamus, where it is believed that the ATP (adenosine triphosphate) availability controls the release of the hormones involved.

ATP is the molecule of energy, and as the concentration of blood glucose and of Glycogen drop, then the amount of ATP produced also drops and this is detected in the hypothalamus, which reacts by releasing ghrelin. Increased leptin increases the feeling of satiety and ghrelin increases the feeling of hunger. Serotonin acts on the brain to increase the effect of leptin in the hypothalamus, and therefore make us feel less hungry, or more satiated.

It is believed that hoodia gordonii, or the Hoodia P57 component of it, fools the brain into believing that your blood glucose or Glycogen levels have reached the point at which it should trigger a satiated response, so that you stop eating even though your ATP levels might be low. The steroidal saponins that it contains is believed to be ten thousand times more effective than glucose in stimulated the secretion of serotonin.

Hoodia has also been found to contain a number of glycosides, including pregnane glycosides that some studies have indicated to help control appetite of the subjects tested. Most of these tests have been carried out on animals, although Hoodia weight loss preparations are offered in a form standardized on both steroidal saponins and pregnane glycosides.

Hoodia gordonii is becoming so popular as a weight loss product that its export is being monitored by the South African government. It has become so endangered that, since 2005, only hoodia grown on commercial farms is permitted an export license, and exporters must obtain a license from the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Importers also require a permit from the US department of Agriculture, and a CITES certificate is also needed to re-export the finished product.

Because of this, more hoodia weight loss pills are being sold than there is hoodia gordonii to produce them. It is not uncommon for cacti such as the prickly pear cactus from Mexico, to be used, or for low concentrations of hoodia to be bulked up with fillers. Neither of these is of any use as an appetite suppressant, the former having no active ingredients whatsoever and the latter containing only traces.

If you are purchasing hoodia, therefore, be aware of this. Request sight of the CITES certificate and USDA permit, and also the analysis results by an authorized laboratory to confirm that the product is what it purports to be. Otherwise, there is some evidence that Hoodia gordonii can help you reduce weight, although to date there are only four recognized analytical laboratories registered to analyze the active content of hoodia weight loss products.

Finally, check for the analysis certificates. All Hoodia weight loss products should be analyzed by each of three methods: Microscopy, High Performance Thin Layer Chromatography (HPTLC) and High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) - all there are needed. The four authorized laboratories are: the University of Mississippi, Chromadex labs in Irvine California, Alkemist Pharmaceuticals and Advanced Laboratories, Smithfield, NC.

No others will do, so if your Hoodia weight loss preparation has not been analyzed using the three methods by one of these laboratories, don't buy it, even if it can show the CITES and USDA documentation.



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Guggul
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Date: November 10, 2008 10:30 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Guggul

Guggul is a natural herb supplement that may help lower cholesterol, yet few in the Western hemisphere know much about it. Guggul is otherwise known as the Mukul myrrh tree, and is a plant of the Burseracae family with small red or pink flowers.

It is found across central Asia over to North Africa, although is very common in the northern areas of India where the climate is more semi-arid than equatorial. Guggul does not like a lot of water and can thrive in ground where the soil has few nutrients. Its Latin name is Commiphora wightii, and it grows about 12 feet high.

It has been predominantly used in the Ayurvedic medicine of ancient India, and like many such ancient remedies and treatments, is now used in modern medicine to treat specific conditions: conditions such as some forms of heart condition, where it has been found to be able to lower your blood cholesterol levels, weight loss and some forms of arthritis and other inflammatory conditions.

However, it has been used so successfully over the years, particularly in India, which it is now in danger of extinction and is contained in the Red Data List of the World Conservation Union that lists endangered species. So what is so special about this plant that makes it so popular? To get the answer to that we have to go back a bit in its history, although not quite as far as the two or three thousand years that it is known to have been used in traditional Hindu medicine.

The active ingredient is found in the sap of the tree, and is used to fight against obesity and other diseases that can be caused by excess weight or cholesterol, such as arthritis, obesity and atherosclerosis. Until recently it has had very little support for its claims from conventional medicine. It was in the 1960s that an ancient Sanskrit text was found that recommended guggul as a treatment for high cholesterol levels. Since that discovery, research has focused on the plant's anti-cholesterol properties, and a great deal of evidence has been gathered supporting the claims of that ancient text.

So much so that the Indian government has approved the use of guggul for the treatment of high cholesterol levels, largely because it has been found very effective in reducing the levels of 'bad' LDL cholesterol in the blood while increasing the levels of the beneficial HDL cholesterol. Several trials have supported this, including one study involving 228 patients that showed the extract to be equally as effective as the anti-cholesterol drug clofibrate.

That is not all, and other studies included one in which a decrease in LDL cholesterol of almost 13% was measured in a double blind study involving 61 subjects, of which around half received a placebo. An average 12.7% reduction in LDL cholesterol, 12% in triglycerides and 11.7% in total cholesterol was experienced by the group given the guggul extract. Every 1% drop in total cholesterol is associated with a 2% decrease in the risk of heart disease.

Guggul reduces the levels of harmful cholesterol in your blood by converting it into bile. The plant extract contains substances given the name guggulsterones that block the activity of a protein that regulates the metabolism of cholesterol in your body known as FXR (the Farsenoid X Receptor). This protein can increase the risk of you contracting heart disease by preventing the liver from converting cholesterol into bile acids, so that the concentration of cholesterol in your blood continues to build up.

The problem with bile acids is that once they reach a certain concentration in your body, the FXR comes into play and stops more being produced. Guggulsterones prevent the FXR from doing this, and so helps the liver to destroy more cholesterol. There is a reason for the body not allowing too much bile acid to be generated, but for those with excess cholesterol, it is more beneficial for this regulation to be prevented, and more cholesterol to be destroyed by the liver.

It is the resin of the plant that is prized, being extracted from the bark in much the same way as rubber is tapped. It is also used in fragrances and perfumes in addition to its medicinal uses, and the dosage generally recommended is 1500 mg (1.5 grams) twice daily. However, it is not recommended for those suffering liver disease, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn's disease or any form of diarrhea, and should not be taken by those on beta blockers.

It is not only for its cholesterol-lowering properties that guggul is prized, however. Another property it possesses is its ability to render blood platelets less sticky, and so reduce the risk of coronary disease, and prevent the formation of blood clots and thrombosis.

Another use it has found is in the field of weight loss, where it has been found effective in reducing the weight of obese adults. It does so by the activation of lipolytic enzymes and increased levels of triiodothyronine (T3), believed to be due to the formation of T3 from T4 (thyroxine) in the liver.

T3 increases the metabolic rate, and the rate of the breakdown of Glycogen and gluconeogenesis: the biosynthesis of glucose. It also causes cholesterol to be broken down and increases the rate of lipolysis - the breakdown of fats stored in fat cells in the body. Studies have shown that those taking guggul lost up to 6 times the weight of a control group within 15 days, and the practice is going along with the theory.

Not only that, but when you are on a diet, your body is likely to respond by decreasing levels of triiodothyronine, and so reducing the rate at which fat burns. Hence, your diet does not help you top reduce weight as quickly as it could. Guggul, however, stimulates the production of T3, and so you are not only taking less fat into your body, but are also burning it up at an accelerated rate.

Other uses to which the resin has been put are based upon its anti-inflammatory properties. It has been found to be an effective treatment for some forms of arthritis and also in the treatment of acne. The active inflammatory ingredient is believed to be myrrhanol A, a polypodane-type triterpene, which would also explain the antioxidant effect of guggulipid on lipid peroxidation.

Guggul is a versatile plant, and a good supplement to take for anybody suffering increased lipid or cholesterol levels, and who wants to increase the weigh-loss effect of their diet. However, make sure that you purchase a supplement standardized on its guggulipid content.



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Glycine
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Date: October 11, 2008 10:26 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Glycine


The non-essential amino acid glycine is needed to generate muscle tissue and also for the conversion of blood glucose into energy. It is referred to as being ‘non-essential’ because the body can manufacture its own glycine, and is therefore not an essential component of your diet. Other uses to which glycine is put by the body includes the maintenance of a healthy nervous system, and is necessary for the proper functioning of the digestive system.

Amino acids play three essential roles in the human body:

1. They are the building blocks of proteins: proteins comprise about half of the dry weight of the majority of your body cells, and without them there would be no life. They are produced using monomers known as amino acids, and there are about 20 different amino acids used to make the vast variety of proteins that make up the human body. Proteins are needed to form enzymes, the catalysts that permit the majority of chemical reactions within our bodies, and also genes, the building blocks of DNA.

2. More relevant here, amino acids play an important role in the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) from ADP (adenosine diphosphate) by phosphorylation with creatine phosphate. The more creatine phosphate available, the more ATP can be produced. Since ATP is the molecule responsible for the generation of energy, then the more ATP available the more energy is generated. Although creatine is available from many food sources, it is destroyed by cooking, and over half of what you use is made from the three amino acids, glycine, arginine and methionine. The energy produced in this way is very short-lived, and last only a few seconds - more on that later.

3. Glycine is heavily involved in the production of collagen, which is the substance that maintains the flexibility of your skin and other connective tissues while still maintaining their strength and firmness. Without glycine your skin would become slack due to the degrading effect of sunlight, free radicals and oxidation.

The non essential amino acid, glycine, is believed to offer other benefits to the human body, but it is the second of those above, the production of ATP, which interests us here. ATP is an extremely important nanomolecule, second in importance to the body only to DNA, and possibly also RNA since the two are linked. RNA makes copies of your DNA structure for use in cell division and growth.

When a cell expends energy for whatever reason, such as when I am typing this, or when your heart beats, or even when your liver synthesizes a protein, one of the phosphate groups is removed from the adenosine triphosphate molecule, and converts it to adenosine diphosphate (ADP). The ATP is then said to be 'spent', just as your energy is spent when you are tired and can exercise no more.

The ADP is then immediately reconverted to ATP in the mitochondria, a part of every cell in your body. A cell can contain hundreds, or even thousands, of mitochondria, the number depending upon that particular cell's need for energy. Hence, cells in your muscles, or in your liver where most of the body's chemistry takes place, contain thousands of mitochondria whereas those in your scalp contain a lot less. Once changed to ATP, a phosphate is again lost when energy is expended, and so the cycle continues.

Glucose is needed allow the ADP to be converted to ATP, hence the need for sugars, or the carbohydrates from which they are manufactured in your body. Each cell can contain up to a billion molecules of ATP, although the couch potatoes among you probably have a lot less! Your store of ATP molecules last about 2 to 5 seconds before being changed to ADP although more rapidly for athletes that expend a lot of energy. Then the energy stored in the form of Glycogen in the liver kicks in for another 4 - 6 seconds.

Additionally, you cannot expend more energy that the (eventual) sugars that you take in your diet, which can be in the form of ordinary 'sugar' (sucrose), fruit (fructose), glucose, carbohydrates that are metabolized into sugars, or any other member of the sugar family (e.g. lactose, maltose, etc.).

Glycine is one of what are called glucogenic amino acids, which refers to their ability to provide glucose to the blood. Because it helps to maintain proper blood glucose levels, it is often prescribed for conditions that are caused by low glucose levels, such as hypoglycemia that shows symptoms of fatigue and tiredness, and also anemia and what is known as CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome).

The one activity of the human body, in fact that of any mammal, for which ATP is essential, is the heartbeat. Without that no mammal could survive, or any other creature that relies on a circulation system for life. The only reason you heart has to beat is to pump your blood around your body, and it is your blood that contains the oxygen and nutrients needed to sustain life. Your cardiovascular health relies on lots of ATP being available to power each and every heartbeat.

Analysis of the heart during the final stages of heart failure has revealed that there is a general decrease in the myocardial arginine: glycine amidinotraferase (AGAT) gene expression, which is indicative of the necessity of this enzyme for proper heart function. The enzyme is responsible for the first stage in the biosynthesis of creatine from glycine.

Creatine is well known to athletes, and while it is available naturally from some food sources, it can be destroyed during cooking, and at least 50% of the creatine needed by the body is produced in the liver, pancreas and kidneys. It is creatine phosphate that is broken down into creatine and phosphate, the latter of which is used by the mitochondria to regenerate ATP from ADP.

The study carried out on the reduced AGAT levels found in heart failure patients indicates the importance of glycine to heart health. Without a good supply of glycine, there will insufficient creatine produced biochemically to generate the phosphate needed to for the ATP to produce the energy required to keep the heart pumping with the required strength. The energy provided by the mitochondria is used locally by the cells in which it is produced, and within a few seconds of that production. As explained earlier, ATP stores are used up within 2 - 5 seconds, and Glycogen stores within another 4 - 6 seconds.

That is why sprinters cannot keep running at maximum speed for more than around 10 seconds or so, because the immediate availability of glycine, and hence creatine, are insufficient to last longer than that. That is one reason why they have to finish those 100 meters as fast as possible, because otherwise they would run out of energy. Other than trying to win, of course!

However, when it comes to the heart, ATP stores are essential, and the cells in your heart require a constant supply of ATP from creatine, which itself depends upon your intake or biosynthesis of glycine. Since dietary sources are insufficient to meet all your needs, and destroyed by cooking, a glycine supplement is the only way to ensure a sufficient intake. You cannot undernourish your heart and remain healthy.

ATP biosynthesis is essential if that of glycine theoretically is not, but the fact that 50% of your glycine requirement has to be produced by your body and the other 50% is sensitive to heat during cooking, a supplement of glycine could be essential to many people.



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Coconut Oil
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Date: August 18, 2008 12:01 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Coconut Oil

Whether coconut oil is good for weight loss or not, it is becoming an increasingly popular component of a weight loss diet. So how justified is this in view the fact that fats and oils are not normally regarded as being the best form of food to take if you want to lose weight?

Apart from any other considerations, fats are actually very important components of any diet. Consider, for example, how many vitamins are fat soluble: vitamins A, D, E and K are all fat soluble, and without fats in your diet vitamins would not be able to circulate and be taken to where they do most good. Fats are also essential building blocks for hormones and cell membranes. In short, you cannot survive without fats. Coconut oil is a fat.

In referring to coconut oil here, we are discussing virgin oil, not the refined form that is high in cholesterol. Refined, or processed coconut oils, is hydrogenated, which renders it more in nature to the longer chain fatty acids. Virgin coconut oil contains what are known as medium chain fatty acids (MCFA), which are easily metabolized by your liver into energy.

The longer chain fatty acids, also called triglycerides, are not easily broken down into smaller components, and tend to be stored in the body as fat. This fat can be particularly dangerous if stored round the midriff, and so long chain fatty acids are dangerous to your health. This does not apply to MCFAs, and a possible mechanism for this is discussed later.

An inability to distinguish between the different types of fats and oils in your diet is largely due to a lack of education in the chemistry of fats, and the lumping together of all fats and oils under the 'fatty' flag. Perhaps it is the use of the word 'fat' for the overweight condition and the fact that the triglycerides and other chemicals are known generically as 'fats' that triggers a connection between the two, but although this is logical, and in some cases justified, it is not always the case. There are fats and fats, just as there are lubricating oils and greases, and edible cooking oils and greases.

The fatty acids in coconut oil are composed of relative small carbon chain lengths. Caprylic acid and capric acid contain 8 and 10 carbon atoms in the backbone compared to the 18 of the stearic acid that is commonly contained in animal fats. The longer the carbon chain in the molecule, the more difficult it is to break down, and the more likely it is to be stored in the body as a dense fatty deposit that places a strain on the heart.

Due to the shorter chain length the medium chain fatty acids hold less energy per unit weight. Apart from any other reasons then, coconut oil contains fewer calories than other fats and so if used as the bulk of your fat requirement, will be less liable to generate body fat. Not only that, but as inferred earlier, due to the smaller molecule these calories are more readily released as energy for use by your body rather than stored unused.

However, that is not the whole story on either count: coconut contains saturated fats, and also monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, although in small quantities. These, however, are present in only small amounts, although would still be expected to undergo oxidation and produce the rancid taste commonly found in aged unsaturated oils and fats. However, even after a year this does not happen, which indicates that coconut oil possesses some form of antioxidant properties. This is confirmed by the fact that people eating a diet rich in coconut oil has less of a need for the strong oil-soluble antioxidant vitamin E.

In fact, the metabolism of fats is usually connected with the carnitine transport system in the mitochondria, although the shorter chain fatty acids do not need carnitine for their metabolism. What happens then is that because carnitine promotes oxidation during stress, and causes oxidative damage to body cells, its absence in metabolism of coconut oil fatty acids results in a reduction in the oxidation that degrades unsaturated fats. Hence the lack of rancidity.

Taking this further, then, this lack of oxidation infers that those that take a diet rich in coconut oil (for example using it for cooking rather than animal and vegetable oils containing longer chain fatty acids) should be partially protected against cell oxidation in general. Oxidative effects such as aging, cardiovascular diseases and some cancers should be reduced, and studies have shown this to be the case. Those consuming coconut oil rather than other oils tend to age more slowly, suffer less from heart disease and tend to experience fewer incidences of cancer.

With regard specifically to weight loss, it is believed that consumption of medium chain triglycerides, as opposed to longer chain triglycerides, results in a higher rate of thermogenesis, or the conversion of carbohydrates to energy (fats are also carbohydrates). The first step in this process requires the presence of Coenzyme A in the form of the enzyme acyl-CoA-dehydrogenase, and measurement of the activity of this enzyme has indicated that medium chain triglycerides exhibit much higher expenditure of energy than the metabolism of long chain triglycerides when being converted to fatty tissue. However, though the energy used up in this reaction, known as lipogenesis, was higher, the formation of fatty tissue was the same.

Hence, MCA uses more energy to produce the same amount of fat as LCA, and therefore, although more energy is used up, no new fat is generated by the liver. Since your dietary fat intake can ultimately have only three fates: burned as energy, stored as the emergency energy source Glycogen, or deposited as fat, then it is logical that the more energy generated then the less fat will be stored.

In this way, coconut oil, with a high content of medium chain fatty acids, has a scientific explanation for causing weight reduction when used as a source of fat in the diet rather than animal or other vegetable fats or oils. It is converted to energy rather than fatty tissue, and if you exercise to use up that energy then your weight loss can be significant.

What this theory also states, however, is that coconut oil should be used as a replacement for other fats, and not in addition to it. If you take coconut oil in addition to your normal diet, do not expect to see results.

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B Vitamin Supplements
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Date: May 07, 2008 03:18 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: B Vitamin Supplements

The fact that B vitamins have had to be coenzymated before they can be used by your body has been known for some time, but it is only over the past few years that they have been made commercially available in that form. Before we discuss the B vitamins in their coenzyme form it might be appropriate to discuss what coenzymes are and how they differ from ordinary enzymes.

An enzyme is like an organic catalyst: it takes part in biochemical reactions by allowing such reactions to take place, but itself remaining unchanged. All enzymes are proteins formed in your body from amino acids and other protein material. A coenzyme, on the other hand, is somewhat like an enzyme for the enzymes, in that it is needed for the enzyme to do its job. Without a coenzyme, many enzymes could not promote the biochemical reaction it is responsible for.

The B vitamins are all water soluble, which means that they are readily excreted and it is not impossible that if you take a B vitamin supplement, the whole lot will be immediately excreted in your urine if not used by your body. Whether they are or not it is a fact that your body can quickly become depleted of the B vitamin group, especially if you drink a lot. Alcoholics in particular are frequently vitamin B deficient. Although the liver can store unused vitamin B, they are only very small quantities and insufficient to prevent a deficiency.

A deficiency in the B vitamins can cause a wide range of unpleasant conditions that are rapidly remedied with supplements. Pellagra is due largely to a deficiency in Vitamin B3, and causes hair loss, horrible skin lesions and many other side effects that you don’t want to know about. Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause loss of memory, and is common in alcoholics and some vegetarians (vitamin B12 is animal derived). Other symptoms of a general B vitamin deficiency include exhaustion, heart palpitations, fibrillation, anxiety, restlessness, attention deficit disorder and many, many more.

It is not pleasant so you make sure that take enough vitamin B in your diet: dietary sources are far superior to pills although supplements will help you get over the symptoms of the deficiency until your diet takes over. Supplementation is also a good way to maintain a regular supply of vitamin B complex irrespective of your diet. The effects of a deficiency are so bad that a regular supplement is well worth taking.

However, back to coenzymes and why they are needed for the metabolism of B vitamins in your body. Most B vitamins are, in fact, coenzymes themselves. Keep in mind that the definition of a vitamin is an organic substance that is essential for the normal health of your body. If you lack even one vitamin, your health with suffer and eventually you will be likely to die. That describes all of the B vitamins perfectly, and they also just happen to be coenzymes. This is not coincidence, of course, and their biochemistry must have been recognized before the concept of coenzymes was formulated.

The B vitamins proper consist of eight distinct proteins: B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B6 (pyridoxine), B9 (folic acid), B12 (cyanocobalamin), and biotin and pantothenic acid. They are all essential components in human and animal metabolism, and most are also coenzymes.

Every cell in your body depends on B vitamins for its existence, which is why pregnant women should include a good supply of them in their diet, especially folic acid (B9). They are essential for the cellular development of the fetus. Folic acid is necessary for the synthesis of nucleic acids that allow cell growth and the production of red blood cells. However, not one can be placed in importance above any other since they are all essential.

With respect to the coenzyme factor, the vitamin B coenzymes are responsible for many of the biochemical reactions upon which life depends. Coenzyme B-12 for example is essential for two types of reaction that it catalyzes, one being a hydrogen atom exchange with alcohol and amine functional groups, the other being connected with methyl group transfer between molecules.

In humans, the first of these is responsible for an essential step that results in energy being metabolized from fats and proteins in the mitochondria and the second for DNA production in cells that is indirectly responsible for growth. Each of these is why a vitamin B-12 deficiency leads to excessive fatigue and also a lack of fetal growth (although folic acid can make up for the latter deficiency).

Thiamine (Vitamin B1) is a coenzyme for the metabolism of carbohydrates to energy. In the body it is present in the form of thiamine diphosphate, a coenzyme that assists in the decarboxylation of pyruvate as part of the citric acid cycle, otherwise known as the Krebs Cycle, that takes place in the mitochondria and is responsible for the generation of energy through aerobic respiration.

Another coenzyme that is involved in the Krebs Cycle is formed in the body from Vitamin B3, or niacin. This coenzyme, nicotinamine adenine dinucleotide, has a redox potential and can store energy for use later on. Vitamin B5 can be converted in the body to Coenzyme A that not only breaks proteins down into individual amino acids, but also takes part in the first part of the Krebs Cycle. There is a common pattern emerging here where the B vitamins have an important part to play in the generation of energy from fats and carbohydrates.

Similarly, Vitamin B6 is present in the body as the coenzyme Pyridoxal 5'-phosphate that helps to break down the body’s emergency energy store, Glycogen, into energy when needed.

In these ways, and more, the coenzymes created in the body from the B vitamins help many of the reactions of life to take place, and without these coenzymes life could not exist. Hence the importance of the B vitamins themselves, and any deficiency could be disastrous to the metabolic processes that generate energy and keep you alive. It is not just the energy needed for exercise and normal human activity that will be compromised, but also that which keeps the heart beating and your diaphragm moving to allow you to breath.

Without a doubt, a Vitamin B supplement is one of the most valuable of all the vitamin supplements, and they are available in many forms. You might also find some of the B vitamins in their coenzyme form, though some of them may be unstable. However, whatever form they are taken in, Vitamin B complex should be one of the first on your vitamin supplement shopping list.

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Blue Green Algae a Super Food that is Foods Packed With Nutrients. Vegetarian Friendly
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Date: April 11, 2008 11:24 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Blue Green Algae a Super Food that is Foods Packed With Nutrients. Vegetarian Friendly


Blue green algae are not only an excellent source of amino acids and protein, but are generally considered to be the king of superfoods. It contains just about every nutrient you could think of, and has the added advantage of being completely natural and easily assimilated into the body.

In the USA it is harvested in Oregon, in the upper regions of the Upper Klamath Lake, although it is also available in many other parts of the world. Blue green algae are about the best source of vegetable protein and amino acids available to the human diet, although are now generally used as a supplement rather than as a primary food source.

However, in spite of its name, it is not an alga at all: it is a bacterium: Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA), known as cyanobacteria, after the Greek for blue. Nevertheless, bacteria or not, blue green algae offer exceptional nutritional benefits and also health benefits to people suffering from certain conditions. Here are the best of its benefits:

1. It is natural and therefore easily assimilated and digested. You get a very high useful yield from its nutrient content, unlike other foods where a large proportion can be passed through the gut unchanged. In fact a large proportion of the food you eat passes through your body unchanged, although that is mainly due to a lack of chewing!

2. It is very high in protein, and helps to maintain healthy hair, nails and skin. If you are on a vegetation diet this is an ideal source of non-animal protein (unless you class bacteria as animals!). If you want numbers, at least 60% of the solid content of this material is vegetable protein human-ready for use.

3. It is packed full of enzymes that aid digestion, and so ensures that not only is it itself fully digested, but also that you get the most nutritional benefit from any other foods you eat. A lack of enzymes is very common in the western diet, especially the North American diet, and if you take a regular supply of blue green algae, then you need not also take enzyme capsules.

4. It possesses cleansing and detoxifying properties, and so helps to reduce the incidence of headaches and allow you better and more restful sleep. Toxins can act on your body to cause pain, and is associated with the free radicals discussed below.

5. It is very high in antioxidants that destroy the free radicals in your blood and tissues. Free radicals destroy body cells and can seriously damage your health. Among the health benefits that blue green algae provide due to its antioxidant properties are:

a) It supports the immune system and helps to prevent inflammation in your joints. It also enables you to fight off bacterial and viral infections quicker. b) It maintains the integrity of your body and skin cells, and reduces cell damage by free radicals. This has an anti-aging effect and preserves the youthful appearance of your skin, resisting wrinkling and maintaining its firmness. c) Blue green algae help to prevent the free radical oxidation of the LDL lipids that transport cholesterol that cause the atherosclerosis that can lead to heart attacks and strokes.

6. It provides you with energy through its effect on your body’s metabolic conversion of blood glucose to energy within the mitochondria. This is partially due to its antioxidant effect and partially to the nutritional content of the bacteria. The bacteria are also a rich source of Glycogen that is your body’s store of emergency energy. Your liver can use the bacteria to biosynthesize its own store of Glycogen that your body can use if called upon for a sudden burst of energy.

7. The amino acids it contains are of low molecular size, and can cross the blood-brain barrier. It provides nutrition to the brain, and its high chlorophyll content helps to purify the blood. Its high content of trace minerals and naturally chelated minerals renders them extremely bioavailable, and able to provide a high degree of nutrition to the brain and other organs of the body. Blue green algae contain rhamnose that helps nutrients to cross from the blood to the brain, and then to the brain cells that need it.

8. Blue green algae have been shown to help memory and mood. This is likely due at least in part to its fatty acid content, and its effect on serotonin levels.

These eight benefits are more than any other individual food source can provide, and in themselves justify the claim that blue green algae is the best individual food source there is. However, when we have a look at the active ingredients, and nutritional content of the bacteria, then it seems even more impressive. There is more to blue green algae than just a few vitamins and minerals. You can get these in any multivitamin supplement: this stuff is completely natural and all of its ingredients are completely compatible with the human digestive system.

Many of the synthetic vitamins you find in boxes and tubs are only partially absorbed due to the form they are in. Either that or they need the presence of other substances before they can be assimilated. An example is calcium, which is next to useless without magnesium and vitamin C also being present to allow it to be incorporated in the structure of the bones and teeth. With blue green algae, every combination of substances that nature needs for them to work properly is there. Everything gets used and everything has a role to play.

The amino acids and proteins have already been mentioned, and these unusual bacteria contain all of the trace minerals that are necessary for the amino acids and proteins to be properly used. It also contains a large quantity of beta-carotene (a natural Vitamin A precursor and strong anti-oxidant), and is also rich in Vitamin B-12 that most vegetarians are deficient in. It is therefore the perfect food for vegetarians and vegans.

If you understand the health benefits of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, which blue green algae are also rich in, then you will understand how a foodstuff containing these fatty acids and all of the other nutritional substances listed above could be regarded as a ‘Superfood’.

Blue green algae is probably the richest food available commercially to humans, but before you use it you should ensure that the content of blue algae in the supplement you purchase is clear and that you are purchasing a standardized amount in what you are purchasing.

Otherwise, it is difficult to see how anybody could go wrong with blue green algae, since it is indisputably an excellent source of protein, amino acids, vitamins and much, much more.



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Eighty Seven Percent of All Type 2 Diabetes Can Be Prevented Naturally
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Date: January 24, 2008 05:06 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Eighty Seven Percent of All Type 2 Diabetes Can Be Prevented Naturally

It is a fact that almost 90% of Type 2 diabetes can be prevented by attention to diet and the use of specific supplements. However, before having a look at these possibilities, we shall first have a look at what type 2 diabetes is so that the means of prevention can be better understood.

Diabetes is a condition, not a disease. It cannot be passed from one person to another, and there is evidence that it is hereditary since it tends to run in families. In the past it tended to develop later in life, although the modern lifestyle appears to have made it more common now in children and young adults.

Diabetes occurs when the level of glucose in your blood becomes higher than it should be. The reason for this is twofold: either the body produces no or insufficient insulin or it cannot use the insulin that is produced. Sugars and other carbohydrates are metabolized to glucose that is the body’s source of energy. The parts of your body that do this are the mitochondria that are contained within your body cells, and the hormone insulin is essential in allowing this to happen.

When the concentration of glucose in your blood reaches a certain level, the pancreas secretes insulin into your blood. The insulin is synthesized in special cells called the islets of Langerhans, after the person who discovered them. Also produced is glucagon which is also secreted into your bloodstream, and the glucagons and the insulin work together to ensure that your blood glucose levels remain stable (when everything is working correctly).

Glucagon is secreted when your glucose levels are low, and its presence in the bloodstream stimulates the conversion of the emergency energy store in the liver (Glycogen) to glucose in order to maintain this stability. Insulin, on the other hand, is released after you have consumed a meal, and your glucose levels are high. What insulin does is to stimulate the cells of your body to convert glucose to energy and either use it immediately, or store it as Glycogen for use later. By means of these two substances, the level of glucose in your blood is maintained at safe levels – normally.

If something happens to the supply of insulin, then the blood sugar level will continue to rise until the bloodstreams contains too much glucose, a condition known as hyperglycemia. The symptoms are excessive thirst, a frequent desire to urinate, fungal infections or thrush around the genital area (due to yeasts and sugar fermentation), and various others such as mood swings, cramps, dizziness and a feeling of tiredness and weakness.

Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body produces no insulin, and the only possible treatment is continual insulin injections. Type 2 diabetes is defined in two ways. Either your body does not make enough insulin for your needs, or the cells in your body cannot use the insulin produced properly. It is Type 2 diabetes we are concerned with here, and that we shall be exclusively discussing. With Type 2 diabetes, insulin shots can be provided, but there are other factors that can also help to resolve the problem.

Before discussion treatment or prevention, you should be aware of the complications that Type 2 diabetes can lead to. Hyperglycemia is not common with this type of diabetes, but it can develop. If it does then it can be a life-threatening condition needing a rapid injection of insulin into the bloodstream Symptoms prior to the critical stage are drowsiness and dehydration, although as stated, this is more commonly associated with Type 1 diabetes where regular insulin injections is the normal treatment.

Longer term complications of Type 2 include kidney damage, hardening of the arteries, eye problems, impotence and problems with your circulation. Nerve damage can also occur, and it is important that you avoid these by changing your diet and lifestyle. These problems occur if you have had high blood glucose levels over a long period of time, and you therefore have time to take the steps necessary to avoid them if you start now. The same steps will also help you to avoid the condition from occurring. So what are these steps you should take?

The first is to look carefully at your diet. A healthy balanced diet is essential if you are to beat your condition naturally and avoid the potential longer term side effects. Diabetes is associated with the overweight and obese. That is not to say that only these people become diabetic, but the majority are. Most people with Type 2 diabetes are overweight, and although around 65% of Americans are overweight or obese, a considerably higher proportion of those with Type 2 diabetes are overweight.

The first and obvious action to take to avoid this type of diabetes would therefore be to lose weight, and adopt a healthy diet that is free from junk food, trans fats and alcohol, all of which contribute to obesity. The next is to look to your blood pressure and keep it normal, and also to keep your low density lipoproteins (LDL) low. These affect the propensity for your blood cholesterol to deposit in your arteries, especially if they are oxidized by free radicals. A good antioxidant content is therefore recommended in your diet. Although blood pressure and high LDL levels do not directly contribute to diabetes, they are risk factors that could increase the risk to your health if you are diabetic.

You should eat a diet that is high in whole grains and fiber, and eat lean meats and fish rather than fatty foods. Stick to complex carbohydrates that metabolize to glucose slowly and steadily, rather than starchy foods that produce a sudden sugar rush that will give you problems and could promote Type 2 diabetes in those that are prone to it.

Specific supplements that you could take include chromium picolinate that can not only be used to treat existing diabetes patients but also to reduce your chances of developing Type 2 diabetes. Studies involving the use of chromium picolinate on patients with this type of diabetes have been very positive, resulting in reduced blood sugar, lipid and insulin levels. The optimum dosage is around 500 micrograms twice daily. Such treatment has been shown to both prevent and reverse Type 2 diabetes.

Magnesium is another specific supplement that studies have suggested can lower the risk of developing this type of diabetes. Magnesium rich foods have also been found to be effective, and the fact that a magnesium deficiency can lead to diabetes supports the findings that its use can help to prevent it. Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, and beans nuts and seeds are generally rich in magnesium.

Vitamin D can also help protect against the development of diabetes. Although the research is relatively new, it has been established that the cells that produce insulin are affected by a lack of vitamin D in the blood, and low levels of vitamin D can also led to insulin resistance. If you spend more time out in the sun, you should have less chance of contracting Type 2 diabetes, although you could also take a supplement.

Although Type 2 diabetes is not as serious as Type 1, no form of diabetes is desirable to have, and ultimately both types can be extremely serious. You should do what you can to avoid diabetes, and Type 2 is easier to avoid then Type 1. Diet, weight and supplementation as described above will all help to avoid contracting this condition, so follow the advice, especially if you are overweight and have a sweet tooth.

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Green Coffee For Protection Against Oxidative Stress
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Date: November 17, 2007 11:46 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Green Coffee For Protection Against Oxidative Stress

It is recorded that coffee drinking originated in Ethiopia in North East Africa, from where Arab traders introduced the plant to the Middle East. From there it moved to Turkey in the 15th century, where it was highly prized as a daily beverage due its invigorating properties. It is also believed that the infamous Captain John Smith introduced the plant to Virginia.

The Brazilian coffee trade was due largely to the introduction of the bean to that country by the French in 1727, and the Boston Tea Party of 1773 rendered it the only non-alcoholic drink worth consuming by the patriots of 18th century America. Now over 50% of Americans drink coffee daily, although this seems a somewhat conservative estimate, and the tea houses of England have largely been replaced by coffee shops and the ubiquitous Starbucks.

So much for the history of a beverage that has been prized for its stimulant properties, but recent research has established that not only is coffee a stimulating drink, but that it is a strong antioxidant due to its polyphenol content. However, not all forms of coffee have this property, only the green coffee bean before it has been roasted. Polyphenols are very powerful antioxidants that scavenge the free radicals that destroy body cells, and not only accelerate aging but also threaten the health of your cardiovascular system and the health of other major organs.

Free radicals are compounds with a spare electron. Normally the electrons in all stable molecules come in pairs, and any free electron without a partner is like a lovelorn bachelor. It will seek a mate, and take it from wherever it can find one. Usually it secures its partner by stealing an electron from one of our body cells. This can totally destroy the cell, as it might anybody who has its partner stolen, and cell destruction is not a good thing. It is the destruction of body cells that promotes the appearance that aging brings: the wrinkles and the loss of energy that is generated by healthy cellular activity.

Antioxidants destroy these free radicals, and come in a number of different guises. Vitamins A, C and E are all powerful antioxidants, as are many of the compounds that are essential to our biochemistry such as beta carotene and polyphenols. These polyphenols are found in practically all plants to a greater or lesser degree, and another rich source is grapes, and those found in green coffee beans are what are known as hydroxycinnamic acids the most abundant of which is caffeic acid. Another is chlorogenic acid, and together they form a very potent team in preventing the oxidation by free radicals of LDL (low density lipoprotein).

Low density lipoproteins are those that carry cholesterol from the liver to areas of the body that need first aid due to damage, such the arterial walls. However, this can be attacked by free radicals and oxidized which results in the deposition of excess cholesterol that can build up till it eventually constricts, and sometimes completely blocks, the major cardiac arteries. This is a serious condition known as atherosclerosis that can eventually lead to cardiac disease and arrest or to strokes if the artery is in the brain.

Not only do chlorogenic and caffeic acid help to prevent this from occurring, but they also help to prevent the cellular degeneration caused by the free radicals. They must be extracted from the green coffee bean because roasting or heating in any way, including brewing, destroys them. In fact, brewed coffee contains some potentially harmful substances called diterpenes that some believe can increase your chances of coronary disease by up to fifth if you drink coffee regularly over your lifetime.

It is also believed that green coffee extract can reduce the risk of diabetes due to its effect on your blood glucose levels. Evidence is coming to light that some polyphenols, including chlorogenic acid, might have inhibiting properties on the activity of glucose-6-phosphate, otherwise known as Robison Ester, which is involved in the metabolism of blood glucose and which is affected by diabetes which reduces its concentration. Chlorogenic acid is though to be able to redress this imbalance and not only reduce blood glucose levels, but increase the Glycogen stored in the liver as an emergency energy source for the body.

Green coffee bean extract also possesses other beneficial properties, not the least of which is its effect in increasing the metabolism of fats in relation to carbohydrates. This assists in weight loss and also increases stamina. The decrease in the risk of diabetes of up to 50% in men, and slightly less in women, could be due to a combination of the regulation of glucose-6-phosphate and the regulation of blood glucose levels and glucose and weight management in general. The vast majority of diabetes patients are overweight.

In animal studies, the presence of chlorogenic acid appears to reduce the hyperglycemic peak that arises through the action of glucagon, a hormone used to counter hypoglycemia. The fact that chlorogenic acid reduced this sugar peak indicates its potential use in reducing abnormally high blood glucose levels. Another effect of this was an increase in the animal’s Glycogen level and in the level of glucose-6-phosphate in the liver.

This indicates a reduction in Glycogenolysis, by which Glycogen is ultimately converted to glucose-6-phosphate and glucose, thus increasing the blood glucose levels and also of gluconeogenesis which is the production of glucose from carbohydrates and some glucogenic amino acids. In other words, green coffee bean extract can help to regulate blood glucose levels by preventing the liver from producing glucose from Glycogen and carbohydrates.

However, the biochemistry apart, it must be stressed that these benefits are not obtained by drinking coffee, and it has to be repeated that the active agents in providing them are destroyed by the roasting and brewing processes. It is only the green coffee beans that can be used for protection of oxidative stress of human body cells and the gradual degradation into premature aging and many other related conditions.



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Stevia: Sweeten Your Life With Out The Weight Gain
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Date: November 13, 2007 02:55 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Stevia: Sweeten Your Life With Out The Weight Gain

It is possible to sweeten your life with stevia, and without any weight gain, since it as exceptionally sweet herb. In fact it is member of the sunflower family, and is native to parts of South and Central America where it has been used as a sweetener since time immemorial. Also known as sugarleaf, it is a commercial crop, and is available as a dietary supplement.

Extracts of stevia have been found to be up to 300 times as sweet as cane sugar, although does not metabolize in the body to glucose. In fact it is thought to enhance the glucose tolerance of some diabetics, and can be used by people suffering from that condition as a natural sweetener, thus dispensing with the need for artificial sweeteners.

It is also useful for those on diets, especially carbohydrate controlled diets, and any other sweet-toothed person wanting to lose weight and still enjoy their favorite drink or desert. Many recipes have been published using stevia for the preparation of delicious sweets. So why is stevia so sweet and what other uses does it have?

Basically the sweet taste comes from glycosides, which are molecules in which a sugar is bonded to another molecule. The two main glycosides in stevia are called stevioside and rebaudioside. These are formed through glucose combined with the diterpene steviol in different ways, though some minor glycosides also contain rhamnose. Although they contain glucose, the glucose is not released into the bloodstream during digestion and the subsequent biochemistry.

Japan began the cultivation of the plant in the 1970s rather than produce artificial sweeteners that were suspected carcinogens (saccharin and cyclamate). Japan is now the world’s biggest consumer of stevia, even being used in the Japanese Coca Cola plants. Around 40% of Japan’s total sweetener volume is stevia. However, apart from its use as a natural alternative sweetener to sugar, stevia has specific properties, already alluded to, that renders it of particular attraction to certain groups of people, and we shall now take a closer look at these.

Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that is essential to regulate the glucose content of the blood. It stimulates the cells of the body to take in blood glucose and convert it to Glycogen that can be used for energy. Without insulin the blood sugars would increase in concentration without regulation leading to very serious health issues that would eventually result in death.

Diabetes is a condition in which the body either does not produce sufficient insulin, does not use the insulin it produces properly, or produces no insulin at all. Hence, a sweetener that did not exacerbate this situation by being eventually metabolized to glucose, as most sugars are in the body, would be of great benefit to diabetics. This is exactly what stevia is. It is a very powerful sweetener, 250 – 300 times sweeter to the taste-buds than sucrose, normal table sugar, and it does not metabolize to glucose. It is heaven-sent sweetener for diabetics that have a sweet tooth.

It is very safe for them and has been consumed for centuries without any side effects. In fact, studies have indicated that stevia might even regulate the pancreas and help to stabilize the levels of blood glucose in the body, rendering it an effective and safe supplement for those suffering from hypoglycemia (excess blood sugar), diabetes and candidiasis, a yeast infection that thrives on sugar.

Apart from that, stevia is also popular with those who are on a calorie controlled diet – or any other diet for that matter, since an excessive sugar intake invariably leads eventually to weight increase. The 21st century western diet is drowning in sugar, with up to 10 spoonfuls of sugar in every small bottle of cola. There is sugar in cookies, hot dogs, bread, soy sauce, ketchup, cans of beans and peas, and even sugar in cigarettes, though that is the least of the health worries there!

For the first time in history, there are now more overweight and obese people in the world than hungry people, yet the sugar corporations claim that there is no scientific proof that sugar leads to weight increase. Worldwide, diabetes kills 6 people every minute, and obesity caused by the consumption of too much sugar leads to Type II diabetes. It had been shown that fructose is a major player in that corn syrup (fructose) is contained in many soft drinks and foods.

One of the major problems with refined sugars is that they contain nothing but pure carbohydrate. All the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients have been removed, so that when they are consumed, your body has to provide these nutrients needed to metabolize the sugar to glucose and then to energy. Humans cannot live on sugar alone, and in fact you are better drinking water than corn syrup or cane sugar solutions since at least water does not make demands on your existing nutrient store.

It was noted in 1929 by Sir Frederick Banting, one of those scientists credited with the discovery of insulin, that there was a significantly large proportion of diabetes among the sugar plantation owners that ate large quantities of refined sugar, whereas there was none detected in the cane harvesters who were able to chew on only the raw cane. The raw cane contains the minerals and vitamins needed to metabolize the sucrose.

Stevia is a potential answer to this problem, and it is such an obvious one that there are a lot of politics regarding its use. The big USA sugar corporations will undoubtedly be opposed to it, and the FDA has refused to allow its use as a food additive, only as a dietary supplement, yet its use in Japan has been very successful. It is also used throughout East Asia, including China, Korea and Taiwan, and also in South America, Israel and some areas of the Caribbean. It is available as a green powder in its crude form, and also brownish syrup redolent of licorice, but also as a more refined white powder that is likely best used as weak solution due to its sweetness.

It is totally free of calories; this may come as a surprise to many since it tastes so sweet. It is an excellent sweetener for children’s drinks since it does not cause cavities: unlike sugar it is not degraded by bacteria to produce the corrosive acid that eats into the enamel. It does not metabolize to a burst of energy that is practically addictive, since that generally then leads to tiredness and the need for more sugar to make up for it.

Stevia does not cause diabetes in any form, is not a food for yeast and it is beneficial to the pancreas. In short, it is a completely safe food supplement that has been used for centuries without ill effect, and if you want to prevent yourself from adding weight and protect against the possibility of Type II diabetes in particular, then stevia should be your sweetener of choice.



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Natural Sweeteners

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Triphala: A Traditional Ayurvedic Herb to Help Cleanse the Body
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Date: November 01, 2007 01:44 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Triphala: A Traditional Ayurvedic Herb to Help Cleanse the Body

Triphala is a traditional Indian ayurvedic remedy, that, as the name suggests, is actually composed of three different herbs or fruits. However, before describing the constituents, first an explanation of what ayurveda is and what it does.

Ayurveda is a science that is centuries old, and has been in use for at least five thousand years. Originating in prehistoric India, it is based upon the approach it takes in that all ills are caused by anomalies of the digestive system. All that exists on earth is believed to be composed of five elements (the pancha mahabhooota): earth (prithyi), fire (agni), water (jal), air (yayu) and ether (akash). The latter can be approximately described as space

Ayurveda combines these into three main doshas: Vata, a combination of the ether are air elements, Pitta, which is the same as the fire element, and Kapha that is a combination of the earth and water elements). Each of these has specific effects on the body, and when in equilibrium then the body is also in equilibrium.

Vata governs what is loosely described as movement in both the mind and body. An excess of vata leads to worries, anxiety, constipation and cramps of the stomach. It is responsible for waste elimination, flow of the blood, breathing and even movement of thought. Everything connected with movement in the body. It is believed to be expressed visibly and audibly as creativity and art and is believed also to be the initial cause of all disease and illness.

Pitta, the fire dosha, governs the metabolism and body heat. It is responsible for the way we digest our food and how we know right from wrong. An excess of pitta causes anger, ulcers, dyspepsia and criticism. If your pitta is balanced you are a good friend and warm personality.

Kapha provides and maintains the physical elements of the body, such as good joints, healing of wounds and strength. It maintains a strong heart and lungs, and everything physical. It promotes love and forgiveness, but also envy and greed. Too much in an individual causes lethargy, allergies, congestion and weight gain. It is also called the mucus humor.

The three fruits of triphala are amalaki, bhibitaki and haritaki, and together maintain these three doshas in balance. Amalaki, or amla, is used to treat an imbalance in the pitta, or fire humor. It is sour and is exceptionally rich in vitamin C and is therefore a strong anti-oxidant. It is the highest natural source of this vitamin. It is used as a tonic, for boosting the immune system and for its anti-aging properties. It is also a good adaptogen and has strong stomach acid neutralizing effects. It is therefore effective in reducing dyspepsia and in the treatment of gastric ulcers, and also possesses cholesterol-reducing properties. Amalaki provides the body with strength and is used in the treatment of disorders of the respiratory tract and any illness that creates burning sensations.

Bhibitaki, or bihara, is also useful in the treatment of respiratory disorders, and has a number of effects that are useful in treating digestive disorder. It deals with problems associated with the kapha or mucus humor. Thus, it possesses anti-mucal, laxative, astringent, digestive and anti-spasmodic properties, and is also a tonic and an expectorant and helps deal with allergies.

Haritaki, or haradaha, deals with diseases of the vata humor. It is very bitter with a strong antimicrobial and laxative effect on the digestive system, and is a rejuvenator that promotes long life and boosts the immune system of the body (though the scientific effect was unknown to the ancient exponents of ayurveda). It also possesses an astringent and lubricant effect and used to treat constipation, anxiety and stress.

When combined into triphala, the products are a popular treatment for all digestive disorders and is popularly used to cleanse the colon. It aids digestion, improves the metabolic processes involved and also aids abdominal pains, flatulence and eases conditions of the liver. It is useful in the treatment of what today are termed ulcerative colitis and irritable bowel syndrome. The ancient Indians were able to treat these conditions of the digestive systems without understanding what they were and what caused them.

Triphala is also widely used in the treatment of conjunctivitis and prevention of atherosclerosis. This is likely due to its antioxidant effect and the high level of ascorbic acid it contains. Its anti-inflammatory properties are also likely derived from the same source. These properties, and its effects as a tonic and cleanser, render it a popular treatment for many skin conditions. It is a multi-purpose treatment for a multitude of illnesses and conditions and has been used effectively for thousands of years.

Modern science has provided an explanation for most of these effects. Many of the conditions that triphala is effective in treating have been shown to be caused by excessive blood cholesterol and lipid levels. Many can be attributed to circulatory disorders caused by cholesterol build up in the arteries, or atherosclerosis. Some of the benefits of the three fruits are associated with the lowering of cholesterol and of blood pressure that benefits circulation.

Cholesterol build up and internal stress is associated with the consumption of hot spicy foods, the use of excessive stimulants and repression of the natural emotions. The way the body handles these is to produce corticosteroids that can contribute to cholesterol build up in the blood. Triphala can be used to reduce blood LDL cholesterol and increase the HDL lipoprotein that eliminates cholesterol from the body. Amla fruit has been shown to reduce serum and aortic cholesterol, and also increase cardiac Glycogen that provides an energy source for the heart that can help prevent cardiac disease.

Bihara contains 35% oil of which 31% is linoleic that increases the good HDL cholesterol and reduces the bad LDL cholesterol. Harada has been found to reduce blood pressure and intestinal spasms, thus backing up its use for treating heart and intestinal conditions.

Triphala is a traditional ayurvedic herb that has many uses in cleansing the body that have been investigated and backed up by modern medical science. The mixture of the three fruits have strong anti-oxidant, anti-spasmodic and cholesterol reducing effects, and also possess laxative properties that can ease a large number of different physical and psychological health problems.



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Exceptional Ingredients For Exceptional Performance
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Date: June 02, 2007 02:52 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Exceptional Ingredients For Exceptional Performance

Anaerobic exercises, such as bodybuilding and strength training, as well as endurance based aerobic activities, such as marathon running and bicycling, are notorious for depleting the body’s reserves of Glycogen, protein, electrolyte minerals, water, and other vital constituents. And as simple logic will tell us, the harder one trains, the more they will lose in the process. Failure to properly replenish these nutrients immediately after training can result in fatigue, delayed recovery, accelerated lactic acid levels, mental sluggishness, and intense soreness. According to research, immediate replacement of electrolyte minerals and carbohydrates, along with easily assimilated protein is an effective way to maximize amino acid utilization, when preventing the onset of fatigue. NOW Electro Pro Energy Drink contains all the elements to ensure proper post-workout recovery. By combining a perfectly balanced mix of electrolytes, protein and simple and complex carbohydrates, Electro Pro serves as an ideal supplement for recovering after intense training and exercise.*

PeptoPro

This patented casein hydrolysate was scientifically formulated to provide athletes with a better source of protein for faster recovery, more efficient Glycogen usage, better insulin response, and less fatigue. PeptoPro helps stimulate the body’s own natural production of insulin to help increase glucose uptake to hard working muscle cells. Its high dipeptide and tripeptide profile promotes fast absorption, and has been shown in human trials to accelerate muscle recovery. PeptoPro contains all 20 amino acids in the natural ratio of casein, a key factor in preventing muscle fatigue and muscle tissue damage because it is a predigested protein, PeptoPro is ideal for taking before and after workouts.

Electrolyte Minerals

During intense exercise, the body quickly exhausts its reserve of electrolytes. If these aren’t replenished promptly, the body will fatigue at a very fast rate, and may dehydrate. Electro Pro contains calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium to help fuel even the most intense training session.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are vital when it comes to providing the Glycogen that is needed to fuel and refuel today’s athlete. Electro Pro contains a unique blend of dextrose, fructose and rice Maltodextrin to ensure that the body has a generous fuel source. Every serving contains 32 grams of quality carbohydrates.

Electrolyte Energy Formula
Increases Endurance During Exercise, Expedites Post-Workout Muscle Recovery*

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.



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Carbohydrate Loading
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Date: October 17, 2006 01:50 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Carbohydrate Loading

Carbohydrate loading is an ergogenic technique devised for endurance athletes to trick the muscles into storing more fuel than it normally would. Although carbohydrate loading has been hailed as an innovative training technique in the past few years, the discovery of carbohydrates as the preferred fuel of the body dates back several decades. In 1939 two scientists named Christiansen and Hensen demonstrated that the body burns carbohydrates before drawing upon its fat and protein. The research found that the body readily uses carbohydrates as fuel for the muscular and nervous system with minimal wastage and toxic by products – unlike the case with protein and fats.

The body stores carbohydrates in the form of Glycogen in the muscles and liver. This Glycogen helps the liver to detoxify otherwise dangerous substances. It also supplies a readily available source of glucose to maintain the essential blood sugar level. Glycogen stored in a muscle is available for energy use for only that particular muscle, unlike Glycogen stored in the liver, which is available systemically. At rest, and during low-intensity exercise, the body burns about an equal mixture of fat and carbohydrate for energy purposes. However, as work intensity increases, carbohydrates become the dominant fuel because of its quick availability. Laboratory research has shown that an exercise intensity of less than 40-50 percent VO2 max, the body burns mostly fat, and the degradation of stored Glycogen is minimal.

The situation changes during high intensity exercise, when carbohydrates become the sole source of energy. The activity itself is limited by the availably of Glycogen as an energy source.

Muscle Glycogen is five times more available as an energy source for intensity exercise as compared to liver Glycogen. When the muscle Glycogen becomes depleted, the muscle its self begins to fail, and fatigue rapidly sets in marathon running, this dreaded phenomenon is known as “hitting the wall”.

Since it is obvious that the availability of Glycogen is a limiting factor in endurance athletic events, exercise physiologists devised ways to increase Glycogen storage in the body. In 1967 two Swedish exercise physiologists came up with carbohydrate loading, also called Glycogen loading, as a method of supper-compensation of Glycogen through diet and exercise.

Hydrate loading usually is approached by any of the following means:

  • Consumption of high (complex) carbohydrate and high protein foods while limiting intake of refined sugars, 3-4 days before competition. This results in a Glycogen level 40-60 percent above normal.
  • Exercise to exhaustion for several days, followed by a carbohydrate-loading period. This will deplete stored Glycogen and then double its reserves.
  • A combination of low carbohydrate consumption and exhaustive exercise. The athlete eats only proteins and fats for 3 days, followed by eating only carbs for the next 3 days. On the carbo-concentration days, the athlete exercises minimally, so as not to interfere with the Glycogen storage process.

According to researchers David Costill, Ph.D., carbohydrate consumption in excess of 600 grams daily won’t result in proportionally larger amounts of synthesized Glycogen. In the first 24 hours of carbo-loading, the type of carbs eaten is not of critical importances. However, after the second day, Costill suggests eating complex rather refined or simple sugars.

Complex carbs are those which contain lots of intact fiber, such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables. An exception to this rule is pasta, which is a refined sugar but is good to ingest during carbo-loading. Complex carbs tend to maintain a steady output of the hormones insulin, which activates the enzymes Glycogen synthetase, essential for effective Glycogen storage.

Most experts today advocate a gradually tapering exercise program while increasing carbo consumption to about 525 grams daily. This avoids the problems associated with the low-carb period, such as fatigue, weakness, potassium loss and muscle tissue loss.

One day prior to competition, the athlete rests completely and consumes about 550 grams of carbohydrates.

The carbohydrate loading program should be limited to three times a year. More often than seems to decrease its effectiveness. Costill suggests that athletes engaged in intense exercise on a daily basis consume about 70 percent of their daily calories in carbohydrates. This will maintain adequate Glycogen levels in both the liver and muscles, according to Costill.

Carbohydrate loading is of no real benefit in athletic events lasting less than 60 min, because lesser activity time does not deplete Glycogen levels enough to inhibit work capacity of endurance.

Carbohydrate loading isn’t for everyone. Each gram of cellular Glycogen is stored with 2.7 gram of water. This rapid water storage makes some people feel stiff and tight, resulting in decreased performance. The only way to determine if the carbohydrate loading works for you is to try it – carefully!

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Cinnamon may control sugar levels...
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Date: July 08, 2005 10:48 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Cinnamon may control sugar levels...

Best Cinnamon

  • Use as Part of Your Diet to Help Maintain a Healthy Blood Sugar Level*
  • HUMAN CLINICAL TRIALS
  • Cinnamon,
    a staple ingredient in apple pie, has remained one of the
    world's favorite spices throughout recorded history. The
    evergreen cinnamon tree (Cinnamomum verum), considered to be
    true cinnamon, is native to Sri Lanka. Chinese cinnamon
    (Cinnamomum cassia or Cinnamomum aromaticum), the cinnamon most
    commonly sold in the U.S., goes by the name “Cassia.” Usage of
    cinnamon in Chinese medicine is said to date back over 4,000
    years. Mentioned in the Bible, cinnamon was imported to Egypt
    and Europe from the Far East by 500 B.C. In addition to its
    value as culinary spice, cinnamon has traditionally been
    utilized as a folk medicine for colds and minor digestive
    complaints. True cinnamon and cassia are very similar; cassia
    has a more pungent flavor. Cassia buds can be found in potpourri
    and used as a flavoring agent in sweets and
    beverages.1

    Recent research has revealed that constituents in
    cinnamon bark called procyanidin Type-A polymers help maintain
    the body's ability to metabolize glucose in a healthy way.* Best
    Cinnamon Extract is Cinnulin PF®, a patented, water extract of
    Cinnamon that contains Type-A polymers. Cinnulin PF® is a
    registered trademark of Integrity Nutraceuticals International
    and is manufactured under US Patent #
    6,200,569.

    Benefits

    Use as Part of Your Diet to Help
    Maintain a Healthy Blood Sugar Level*

    In Vitro and Animal
    Studies

    Research has revealed that a number of herbs and
    spices have insulin-like activity.2 In a study by the U.S.
    Department of Agriculture (USDA), cinnamon demonstrated the
    greatest ability to stimulate cellular glucose metabolism among
    49 botanicals tested.3

    In a 2001 study, researchers at the
    USDA's Human Nutrition Research Center showed that bioactive
    compounds in cinnamon trigger an insulin-like response in fat
    cells.4 These compounds stimulated glucose uptake into cells and
    increased Glycogen (stored glucose) production via activation of
    the enzyme, Glycogen synthase.

    The bioactive compounds in
    cinnamon appear to potentiate insulin activity at the level of
    the cell receptor for insulin. It has been shown that insulin
    resistance involves down regulation of “insulin signaling”
    characterized by dephosphorylation of the receptor.5 Enzymes
    called “protein tyrosine kinases” (PTPases) are believed to
    decrease receptor phosphorylation, and increased PTPase activity
    has been observed in insulin resistant rats.6 Cinnamon compounds
    have demonstrated the in vitro ability to inhibit PTP-1 and
    increase autophosphorylation of the insulin receptor.7

    In a
    recent animal study, cinnamon (cassia) extract was administered
    to rats for three weeks. Following this, the rats were infused
    with insulin and glucose to assess their insulin response.
    Increased phosphorylation of the insulin receptor was observed
    in skeletal muscle of these rats, suggesting that cinnamon has
    the ability to potentiate insulin function by normalizing
    insulin signaling, leading to improved uptake of glucose into
    skeletal muscle.8

    Until recently, the precise molecular
    structure of the bioactive compounds in cinnamon had not been
    clearly defined. The USDA has now determined that the bioactive
    compounds in cinnamon are water-soluble procyanidin Type-A
    polymers of catechin and epicatechin. In a 2004 study, type-A
    polymers were isolated from cinnamon and characterized by
    nuclear magnetic resonance and mass spectroscopy. Type-A
    polymers were found to increase in vitro insulin activity by a
    factor of 20. Type-A polymers also exhibited antioxidant
    activity, as measured by inhibition of free radical production
    in platelets. These results suggest that, in addition to
    regulating glucose metabolism, cinnamon may help protect cell
    membranes by controlling the lipid peroxidation associated with
    disruptions in insulin function.9

    HUMAN CLINICAL TRIALS

    The effect of cinnamon on glucose and blood lipids
    levels on people with type 2 diabetes was tested in a recent
    randomized, placebo-controlled trial. A total of 60 subjects
    were divided into six groups administered 1, 3, or 6 grams of
    cinnamon daily, in 500 mg capsules, or equal numbers of placebo
    capsules.

    The cinnamon or placebo capsules were consumed for
    two periods of 20 days each. Serum glucose, triglyceride,
    cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol were measured
    after 20 days, 40 days and again at the end of a 20-day wash-out
    period, during which neither cinnamon nor placebo was
    consumed.

    In all three cinnamon groups, statistically
    significant reductions in blood glucose levels occurred, with
    decreases ranging from 18 to 29 percent. Interestingly, glucose
    levels remained significantly lower after the 20-day wash-out
    period (60 days from the study start) only in the group that
    took the lowest cinnamon dose (1 gram daily). The placebo groups
    showed no significant changes.

    Decreases in triglyceride
    levels ranging from 23 to 30% were observed in all three
    cinnamon groups after 40 days. When the study ended at 60 days,
    triglyceride levels remained lower than at the study start in
    the 1 and 3 gram cinnamon groups, but not in the group taking 6
    grams daily. Cholesterol reductions also occurred with the three
    cinnamon doses, with decreases ranging from 13 to 25% that were
    maintained at the study end. For LDL, the 3 and 6 gram cinnamon
    groups showed significant reductions from 10 to 24%, while in
    the 1 gram cinnamon group, non-significant reductions occurred
    after 40 days; LDL levels continued to decrease, reaching
    statistical significance at 60 days. With respect to HDL,
    significant increases were seen only in the 3 gram cinnamon
    group after 20 days; non-significant changes occurred in the 1
    and 6 gram groups after 40 days.

    The overall results of this
    trial demonstrate that cinnamon exerts a beneficial effect on
    blood glucose and lipid levels in people with type 2 diabetes,
    at daily intakes of 1 gram, and that this low dose is equally
    efficacious as are the higher doses of 3 and 6
    grams.10

    Safety

    The various species of cinnamon are
    classified as GRAS (generally regarded as safe) herbs.11 The
    Botanical Safety Handbook lists Cinnamomum cassia a “Class 2b”
    herb; not to be used during pregnancy.12 The water-soluble
    cinnamon extract is largely free of the lipid-soluble components
    of cinnamon most likely to be toxic at high dose of cinnamon and
    long-term consumption of the herb.9

    *This statement has not
    been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product
    is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any
    disease.

    Scientific References

    1. Manniche, L. An Ancient
    Egyptian Herbal. 1989, Austin , TX : University of Texas
    Press.

    2. Khan A, Bryden NA, Polansky MM, Anderson RA.
    Insulin potentiating factor and chromium content of selected
    foods and spices. Biol Trace Elem Res 1990;24(3):183-8.

    3.
    Broadhurst CL, Polansky MM, Anderson R. Insulin-like biological
    activity of culinary and medicinal plant aqueous extracts in
    vitro. J Agric Food Chem 2000;48(3):849-52.

    4. Jarvill-Taylor
    KJ, Anderson RA, Graves DJ. A hydroxychalcone derived from
    cinnamon functions as a mimetic for insulin in 3T3-L1
    adipocytes. J Am Coll Nutr 2001;20(4):327-36.

    5. Nadiv O,
    Shinitzky M, Manu H, et al. Elevated protein tyrosine
    phosphatase activity and increased membrane viscosity are
    associated with impaired activation of the insulin receptor
    kinase in old rats. Biochem J. 1998;298(Pt 2):443-50.

    6.
    Begum N, Sussman KE, Draznin B. Differential effects of diabetes
    on adipocyte and liver phosphotyrosine and phsophoserine
    phosphatase activities. Diabetes 1991;40(12):1620-9.

    7.
    Imparl-Radosevich J, Deas S, Polansky MM, et al. Regulation of
    PTP-1 and insulin receptor kinase by fractions from cinnamon:
    implications for cinnamon regulation of insulin signalling. Horm
    Res 1998;50:177-182.

    8. Qin B, Nagasaki M, Ren M, et al.
    Cinnamon extract (traditional herb) potentiates in vivo
    insulin-regulated glucose utilization via enhanced insulin
    signaling in rats. Diabetes Res Clin Pract
    2003;62(3):139-48.

    9. Anderson R, Broadhurst CL, Polansky MM,
    et al. Isolation and characterization of polyphenol type-A
    polymers from cinnamon with insulin-like biological activity. J
    Agric Food Chem 2004; 52(1):65-70.

    10. Khan A, Safdar S,
    Muzaffar M, et al. Cinnamon improves glucose and lipids of
    people with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care
    2003;26(12):3215-18.

    11. Duke, JA. Handbook of Phytochemical
    Constituents of GRAS Herbs and Other Economic Plants. 1992. Boca
    Raton, FL: CRC Press.

    12. Botanical Safety Handbook. American
    Herbal Products Association. McGuffin M, et al., eds. 1997; Boca
    Raton , FL : CRC Press.

    Acting as a biochemical
    "super-thiamin," it does this through several different cellular
    mechanisms, as discussed below.



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    Kal - Vanadyl Complex now with Cinnamon Bark for Blood sugar
    TopPreviousNext

    Date: July 01, 2005 03:07 PM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: Kal - Vanadyl Complex now with Cinnamon Bark for Blood sugar

    Cinnamon May Help Lower Blood Sugar!

    Kal Vanadyl Complex

    Vanadyl Complex - Dietary supplement contains Cinnamon Plus a variety of natural ingredients intended to provide nutritive support for normal, healthy blood glucose, and Glycogen synthesis. The formula Contains:


    450mg of GFT-Plex Proprietry Blend - made up of natural enzymes and antioxidants that may naturally assist the body in healthy glucose regulation:

  • Cinnamon Bark (Cinnamomum Verum) - comes from the Ceylon cinnamon variety (Cinnamomum Zeylanicum), also known as "True" cinnamon, which is said to have the finest and most delicate flavors and oils of cinnamon varieties. The bark contains oligomers and other compounds that are belived to help assist glucos utilization.

  • Bay Leaf (Laurus Nobilus) - possesses powerful antioxidants that may provide nutritive support for healthy glucose oxidation.

  • Clover Flowers (Syzgium Aromaticum) - Thought to contain more antioxidant capacity than any other food. Also belived to help support glucos oxidation and contains certain phenolic compounds that may help provide nutritive support for healthy glucose metabolism.

    100mg Vitamins C (as ascorbic Acid) - a water soluble nutrient that may help support carbohydrate metabolism and healthy blood glucose levels.

    50 mcg Chromium (as Chromium Picolinate) - an essential micromineral that may also help provide nutritive support for healthy carbohydrate metabolism.

    10mg Vanadyl Sulfate - the salt of the mineral vanadium that may support glucose oxidation and Glycogen synthesis.



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    Promilin Fenugreek Extract - Supports Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
    TopPreviousNext

    Date: June 28, 2005 10:44 AM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: Promilin Fenugreek Extract - Supports Healthy Blood Sugar Levels

  • Supports Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
  • Sports Nutrition and Blood Sugar
  • Benefits of PROMILIN

  • .. Your body’s ability to manage blood sugar may well be the single most crucial factor affecting your health and longevity, and the one most affected by diet and lifestyle. But today’s high-glycemic carbs and sugar-laden foods — combined with lack of exercise — are creating a serious challenge to your body’s intricate glucose/insulin regulatory system. The resulting cellular stress and deterioration have serious repercussions for both your mind and body. To promote optimal wellness through healthy sugar metabolism, Source Naturals formulated PROMILIN™ FENUGREEK EXTRACT, a potent extract from the highly valued herb fenugreek, into an advanced nutritional supplement designed to assist insulin production and support healthy glucose levels. As a complement to your diet, Source Naturals PROMILIN™ FENUGREEK EXTRACT is an excellent strategy to improve blood sugar levels, and consequently, quality of life.

    The basis of Source Naturals PROMILIN™ FENUGREEK EXTRACT is fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum), a respected culinary and medicinal herb used throughout history. One of the formula’s fenugreek extracts is rich in galactomannan, a mucilaginous fiber that may benefit the bowel. The other extract is Promilin, a patent-pending complex of bioactive amino acids standardized to contain 20% 4-hydroxyisoleucine. This extraordinary amino acid derivative assists the pancreas in production of insulin. Several studies with animals and with human cell cultures demonstrate this extract’s positive effect on reducing post-meal glucose levels — with little or no increase in blood insulin concentrations — a clear indicator of improved insulin sensitivity.

    Sports Nutrition and Blood Sugar

    Athletic energy and endurance depend on the ability of muscles to recover from exercise. Because PROMILIN promotes utilization of glucose and insulin by the the body’s muscle cells, “weekend warriors” will feel less fatigue on Monday morning. In a clinical study, PROMILIN increased Glycogen re-synthesis by 63% over carbohydrate alone. This is the rate at which post-exercise muscle Glycogen (energy) is restored. PROMILIN may also play a role in weight management because it helps your body metabolize carbohydrates more efficiently. And the less time glucose spends in your bloodstream, the less chance it will be converted into fat. By supporting glucose metabolism, Source Naturals PROMILIN™ FENUGREEK EXTRACT may help protect against a harmful process called glycation, where excess glucose reacts with amino acids to form crosslinked sugardamaged proteins that damage the linings of blood vessels, the lens of the eye, and the myelin sheath that insulates brain cells.

    Benefits of PROMILIN

  • • Promotes healthy blood sugar metabolism.
  • • Enhances natural metabolic sensitivity in healthy people.
  • •May assist in the transport of glucose to skeletal muscle.
  • • Promotes lean-muscle mass and aids anabolic recovery.
  • • Reduces body fat potential. Taking personal responsibility for your health and exploring safe natural alternatives to support prevention is the basis for the current revolution in health care. PROMILIN is a simple yet profound strategy for the increasingly recognized importance of maintaining proper blood sugar levels. Health food outlets are the center of this wellness revolution because only here can Source Naturals PROMILIN™ FENUGREEK EXTRACT and hundreds of other powerful natural compounds be found.

    References
    Madar Z., Abel R., Samish S., Arad J., 1988. Glucose-lowering effect of fenugreek in noninsulin dependent diabetics. European J of Clinical Nutrition Jan 42 (1): 51-4. Sauvaire Y., Petit P., Broca C., Manteghetti M., Baissac Y., Fernandez, Alvarez J., Gross R., Roye M., Leconte A., Gomis R., Ribes G., 1998. 4- Hydroxyisoleucine: a novel amino acid potentiator of insulin secretion Diabetes Feb;47(2):206-10. Sharma RD., Ragtura TC., Rao NS., 1990. Effect of fenugreek seeds on blood glucose in type I diabetes; European J of Clinical Nutrition Apr 44 (4) 301-6.



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    MECHANISMS OF CHITOSAN FAT- BINDING
    TopPreviousNext

    Date: June 25, 2005 08:02 PM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: MECHANISMS OF CHITOSAN FAT- BINDING

    MECHANISMS OF CHITOSAN FAT- BINDING

    The exact way(s) that Chitosan prevents fat absorbtion is not fully understood but a number of experimental observations support two basic mechanisms. The first mechanism involves the attraction of opposite charges which can be compared to the attraction of opposite magnetic poles. The second entrapment mechanism can be compared to the effect of a net. In the first mechanism the positive charges on chitosan attract the negatively charged fatty acids and bile acids binding them to the indigestible chitosan fiber. This mechanism can explain why chitosan reduces LDL cholesterol levels.

    Our bodies make bile acids in the liver using the cholesterol from LDL. When chitosan binds bile acids it increases the rate of LDL loss thus improving the LDL to HDL ratio. If enough bile acids are bound, the fats are not solublized, which prevents their digestion and absorption. The second mechanism (figure 2) describes a netting effect of chitosan fiber.

    In this model the Chitosan wraps around fat droplets and prevents their being attacked and digested by lipid enzymes. Fats unprotected by Chitosan are digested and absorbed. The “netting” mechanism has been seen to operate in vivo. 108

    Substances that Enhance the Action of Chitosan

    Fibers can be likened to a tangled-up chain. Fibers must “unravel” in order for them to be of maximum benefit to us. “Unraveling” is especially critical for chitosan because each link has a hook on which to attach lipids. Chitosan can absorb an average of 4 to 5 times its weight in lipids. Reports of numbers above and below this range have also been reported and may well reflect the rate or extent of unraveling that had taken place. Fiber formulations can be prepared that unravel rapidly and swell quickly. These highly effective formulations are called superabsorbants. When certain substances are added to chitosan, its remarkable fat-binding ability can be significantly enhanced.

    Ascorbic Acid

    D-Ascorbic acid (erythorbic acid) and L-ascorbic acid are C-vitamins which enhance chitosan’s ability to bind lipids. Combining chitosan with ascorbic acid results in even less fat absorption and greater fecal fat losses.77,108 In one study the addition of ascorbic acid to a chitosan enriched diet increased fecal fat losses by 87 percent and decreased fat absorption by over 50 percent.77

    Cholesterol oxides cause lesions in artery walls which predispose blood vessels to collect plaque. These dietary cholesterol oxides profoundly influence the initiation of heart disease.Free radicals can also contribute to the formation of cholesterol oxides which are even more likely to damage the heart. Cholesterol oxides have been found in deep-fried foods, powdered eggs, processed meats and in human blood itself. Consequently, taking antioxidants like ascorbic acid is vital to protect against the cellular damage this type of free radical causes.112

    Citric Acid

    In feeding experiments with animals, adding citric acid to a chitosan enriched diet resulted in a decreased feed consumption.77 The most likely explanation for this effect is that the citric acid may be enhancing the swelling action of chitosan leading to a sense of fullness, producing satiety and appetite suppression.

    Indoles

    Indoles are remarkable phytochemicals which have the ability to selectively activate certain Mixed Function Oxidases (MFOs).113 These MFO’s help balance estrogen metabolism and prepare dietary toxins for elimination before they are absorbed. The presence of fiber in the intestines provides a bulk agent to carry the metabolized toxins out of the body. Chelat ed Minerals The very best approach to weight loss is to nutritionally augment food choices with nutrient supplementation. Certain biochemical compounds are essential to promoting vigor during the process of thermogenesis. Chelated minerals act to bolster, support and protect the organ systems of the body.114,115

    For example, when fat is burned, heat and energy are released. If a lack of certain minerals exists, energy levels will drop. Minerals help to transport needed nutrients to depleted areas of the body, thereby stemming off the fatigue we so often experience after eating a fatty meal. Even more importantly, free radicals are released whenever fat is consumed and burned and the presence of chelated minerals helps to expedite the removal of these metabolites and facilitate the availability of fuel for energy.

    Essential Fatty Acids

    Prostaglandins control and balance many body functions. The dietary building blocks for making prostaglandins are the essential fatty acids (EFAs). The role of prostaglandins in weight loss has been extensively discussed in a recent review.116 EFAs exert profound lipid-lowering effects.They reduce the synthesis of triglycerides and very low density lipoproteins (bad cholesterol) in the liver. EFA supplementation coupled with a low-cholesterol, low-saturated fat in diet produces a complementary effect in lowering serum lipid levels.117 Garcinia Cambogia ( Hydroxy Cit ric Acid) Garcinia Cambogia contains hydroxycitric acid (HCA). This form of citric acid inhibits the liver’s ability to make fats out of carbohydrates.118

    Carbohydrates are converted to Glycogen stores, not fat stores, giving the body a better energy reserve and an increase in stamina.119 Ephedra And Thermogenisis Thermogenesis means “creating heat.” This is one of the ways our bodies have of burning off excess calories and maintaining a constant weight.120 This is an area of weight management research that is being intensely studied. When we repeatedly yo-yo diet or abuse ourselves by eating too much, our thermogenic ability may be reduced. Numerous animal and human studies have confirmed the benefits of ephedra and methylxanthines in inducing weight loss and restoring thermogenic responsiveness.43,44,121

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    Physical and Mental Stamina
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    Date: June 25, 2005 01:03 PM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: Physical and Mental Stamina

    Many studies have been done to determine the effectiveness of ginseng in a variety of countries. Incomplete results have occurred in some instances. Long-term studies are most often recommended because ginsengs properties may not be seen in immediate experiments but are more effective when taken in small doses over a period of time. There have been enough credible studies done to now determine that high quality ginseng plants do contain active constituents known to be beneficial. Research has shown that the roots are effective against bronchitis and heart disease.16 Ginseng has been found to reduce blood cholesterol, build the immune system, improve brain function and memory, increase physical stamina, stimulate the function of the endocrine glands and strengthen disorders of the central nervous system.

    Physical and Mental Stamina

    A study down in the late 1950s and early 1960s by Brekhman and Dardymov in Russia involved an experiment with Soviet soldiers. They were studying the pharmacology and reactions of different varieties of East Asian ginseng. Some were given an extract of Asian ginseng and others a placebo before running a 3-kilometer race. Those given the ginseng ran faster with less fatigue than those given the placebo.17 Other tests performed by Brekhman involved gauging reading capacity after taking ginseng. It was noted that not only was the work and reading ability improved, but the effects continued for up to six weeks after the treatment.18

    Another study giving radio operators either an Asian ginseng extract or placebo. The group given the ginseng performed better with fewer mistakes. The ginseng helped to increase stamina and mental function.19 A study involving rats followed the results when they were put in extremely cold water and forced to swim for a long period of time. The rats given the Asian ginseng were able to swim longer than the control group which indicated anti-fatigue activity. It is also important to note that ginseng increased the recovery rate of the exposed rats. The process was initiated in order to see if the point of exhaustion could be increased with the addition of ginseng. The results were favorable.20

    Ginseng seems to be able to help slow Glycogen utilization in the muscles when exercising. Fatigue accom-panying prolonged exercise is due in part to the depletion of Glycogen and lactic acid build-up. Fatty acids are used as the energy source when there is enough oxygen available to reach the muscles reserving the Glycogen stores to increase the body’s performance and reduce fatigue.21 Athletes may benefit from using ginseng to help improve and prolong their performance and abilities under stress during training and competition.

    Serious athletes throughout the world use ginseng regularly. Some Olympic athletes take ginseng daily to increase and enhance their physical performance. Siberian ginseng has been found to help improve mental abilities in geriatric patients.22 This may be of benefit to all individuals as they age especially those prone to senility and Alzheimer’s patients. It is also thought to help an aging heart and brain tissue under stress and sustained work.23

    Siberian ginseng has also been found to help increase energy and performance. Japanese medical researchers studied the extract of Eleuthero ginseng to determine anti-fatigue activity. The results showed increased physical performance and ability after taking the ginseng.24

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    The important role the liver plays in maintaining health
    TopPreviousNext

    Date: June 21, 2005 04:56 PM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: The important role the liver plays in maintaining health

    Most practitioners who practice various forms of natural medicine know the important role the liver plays in maintaining health in general. The liver is involved in thousands of biochemical mechanisms making it second only to the brain in importance and complexity. Natural health practitioners are also acutely aware of the detrimental effects on the liver of modern living, with its chemicals, excessive fat intake, pesticides, hormones, and stress. This suggests that we as a culture are in need of liver support. History suggests, and modern research is supporting, that botanicals have an important role to play in supporting a healthy liver.

    Mechanistic Overview

    The liver has an almost miraculous ability to biochemically transform, break down, store, eliminate, and build up the plethora of chemicals to which it is exposed. Many botanicals have a very specific effect of modifying these biochemical processes. Some botanicals can enhance the liver?s phase I (cytochrome P450) and phase II (glutathione conjugation) detoxification processes, promote the flow and production of bile (one means of eliminating toxins), inhibit the attachment of viruses or chemical antagonists to hepatocytes, strongly enhance the liver?s powerful antioxidant systems, or promote the regeneration of liver tissue-the liver being the only organ in the body except the skin able to regenerate itself. Many botanicals have been used historically for promoting liver health. Today, modern research is confirming these benefits while shedding light on their mechanisms of action. Following is an overview of a number of these botanicals.

    Milk Thistle Silybum marianum

    The extract of the seeds of milk thistle is perhaps the most well researched of all the liver supportive botanicals. Part of its benefit has been in its ability to scavenge free radicals and to stimulate the regeneration of hepatocytes. In Germany, it is the botanical extract of choice for use in supporting a healthy liver. Typically, an extract yielding a minimum of 70% silymarin (a specific class of flavonoids) is used clinically at a dose of approximately 420 mg of the extract daily (Morazzoni and Bombardelli 1995).

    Schizandra Schisandra chinensis

    Schizandra, known as bei wu wei zi in China, is one of the most widely used tonics of Chinese herbalism. Its original use was to support the health of the heart, kidneys and lungs and as a longevity tonic. Modern research has focused attention on its role as an adaptogen and for supporting a healthy liver. Adaptogens are substances that positively affect overall health by reducing stress mechanisms which can contribute to a number of biochemical reactions that can be detrimental to health. While the mechanism of action of adaptogens has not been definitively determined, the existing literature suggests they work endocrinologically through the pituitary and adrenals and substantially reduce the negative effects that stress has on the system (Wagner et al. 1994). In China and Japan, the modern use of schizandra has focused on its benefit in those in need of liver support. In one review of its pharmacological activity, stabilization of liver enzymes was reported in more than 5,000 people. The benefits were experienced within 20 days of administration of schizandra with 75% of patients returning to normal values (Chang and But 1986). A limited number of controlled studies similarly reported on the beneficial effects of the equivalent of 1.5 grams of schizandra for reducing elevated liver enzymes (Liu 1991). There are three primary mechanisms of action of schizandra reported with regards to its ability to support a healthy liver: 1) its ability to reduce lipid peroxidation induced by a number of different antagonists (antioxidant activity); 2) induction of hepatomicrosomal cytochrome P-450; 3) stimulation of protein biosynthesis and liver Glycogen (Liu 1991). Such mechanisms make schizandra ideal as a liver-supportive botanical that is underutilized in the West.

    Bupleurum Bupleurum chinense, B. falcatum

    Bupleurum, also known as chai hu in China, is perhaps the most important of liver-supportive botanicals in China and Japan, and, like schizandra, is far underutilized in the United States, except by traditional Chinese herbalists. Traditionally, it has been regarded as an herb that helps to normalize the function of the liver from a traditional Chinese perspective. Modern research has identified a group of compounds known as saikosaponins that strongly support liver health (in humans and rats). Mechanisms of action specifically regarding liver health identified for bupleurum include anti-inflammatory activity, as well as its ability to stimulate the production and release of bile, thus facilitating the detoxification process (Wagner et al. 1996).

    Sho-Saiko-To Minor Bupleurum

    In Chinese herbalism, herbs are seldom prescribed singularly. Rather they are combined according to very sophisticated principles of formulation based on the differential diagnosis of the patient. One of the most widely used and researched botanical formulas for the health of the liver used in China and Japan is Sho-Saiko-To, known in China as Xiao Chai Hu Tang (Minor Bupleurum). This classic formula consists of the following botanicals: ginger, scutellaria, jujube, ginseng, licorice, pinellia and bupleurum. It is widely used throughout Asia for supporting liver health and currently is the subject of phase II clinical trials at Sloan Kettering. The formula with its main ingredient, bupleurum, was first introduced in Japan by Chinese Buddhist priests between the 6th and 8th centuries. Modern research suggests that Sho-Saiko-To modulates the immune response, specifically in addition to other mechanisms, by increasing levels of interleukin and interferon (Huang et al. 2001).

    Holistic Context

    To the same extent that herbs are seldom used singularly in Chinese herbalism, they are similarly used within a broader context that incorporates dietary and other lifestyle changes to support the botanicals. In my clinic, I routinely recommend that patients eliminate alcohol, coffee, sugar, and refined foods from their diet and eat whole grain foods, fish, and several servings of green vegetables daily along with their herbal program. For these individuals this is a simple program to follow, and many are able to live a normal productive life with a greater level of liver health. Such a liver-supportive program must be maintained as a way of life to lessen the burden that modern society and exogenous factors put on our livers.

    Conclusion

    The herbal world offers a potential natural health care approach that focuses on protecting and restoring the health and functioning of the liver. Both traditional experience and modern investigation suggest that botanicals can play a role in world health, specifically in promoting liver health.

    Caution

    The use of botanicals should be used under the guidance of a qualified health care professional. The combined use of conventional and natural therapies may not be appropriate. Before attempting to combine such therapies, discuss your therapeutic options with your primary health care provider.

    References

    Chang HM, But PH. 1986. Pharmacology and applications of Chinese materia medica. World Science. Singapore. Huang et al. Semi-quantitative analysis of cytokine mRNA expression induced by the herbal medicine sho-saiko-to (TJ-9) using a gel doc system. J Clin Lab Anal 15: 199-209. Liu GT. 1991. Pharmacological actions and clinical uses of Fructus schizandrae in recent advances in Chinese herbal drugs-actions and uses. Scientific Press Beijing. Morazzoni P, Bombardelli E. 1995. Silybum marianum (Carduus marianus). Fitoterapia LXVI (1):3-42. Wagner H, Noerr N. Winterhoff K. 1994. Plant adaptogens. Phytomedicine 1: 63-76. Wagner H, Bauer R, Peigen X, Jianming C, Offermann F. 1996. Chinese Drug monographs and analysis: Radix Bupleuri (chaihu). Verlag fuer Ganzheitliche Medizin Koetzting/Bayer. Wald, Germany.

    Michael Tierra, L. Ac., O.M.D., is a clinician and world-renowned author of the best-selling Way of Herbs and Planetary Herbology. As product formulator for Planetary Formulas, he draws on 30 years of clinical experience to create formulas renowned for their dependability and effectiveness.



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    Pep Up and Go!
    TopPreviousNext

    Date: June 14, 2005 05:45 PM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: Pep Up and Go!

    Pep Up and Go!

    by Harris Parker Energy Times, February 2, 2000

    Feel your energy flagging?

    You've lost count of the number of phone calls you fielded all afternoon-the last was from your son, who missed the late bus home from school-and colleagues needing your decision are lined up outside your office. Your husband has invited clients home for dinner. You wilt like a new hairdo on a damp August day and pray for a miracle to jump-start your engine.

    Your pep quotient depends on three essential ingredients: nutrients you consume through your diet and supplements, how much you exercise and your sleep schedule.(Of course, if you're troubled by any kind of disabling, ceaseless fatigue accompanied by mental fuzziness, joint pain, sore throat, swollen glands, headaches and other chronic distress, consult your health practitioner.)

    Vitamins and Energy

    Certain nutrients are called vitamins because scientists consider them to be crucial for vitality. They generally function as coenzymes, partnering with the enzymes that are catalysts for the chemical reactions constantly taking place in our bodies. Our need to replenish our store of vitamins, which may merge with cell, muscle, enzyme, hormone, blood and bone structure once they have been absorbed, depends on their rate of utilization, according to The Real Vitamin & Mineral Book (Avery) by Shari Lieberman, PhD, and Nancy Bruning.

    While a low-fat diet rich in raw fruits and vegetables helps supply important nutrients, a B complex supplement and a balanced multivitamin can guarantee daily vitamin levels.

    Be Energetic with B Vitamins

    Vitamins, especially the B vitamins, play extremely important roles in producing cellular energy. The chart on page 39 lists the key vitamins and describes their effects as well as the consequences of not getting enough of them. Their benefit is felt most profoundly in the energy producing process known as the Krebs cycle (which we'll explain in a moment).

    Vitamins B2 and B3, for example, supply the major building blocks for substances that are called flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD and FADH) and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD and NADH), which are critical elements of energy production in the Krebs cycle as well as a process called oxidative phosphorylation.

    Hundreds of Reactions

    Even though you may never have heard of NAD and NADH, these molecules are found in very many places throughout your body; they play a role in hundreds of biochemical reactions in all kinds of cells. B vitamins also combine with other materials to build coenzymes, chemicals which help form other chemicals necessary for cellular energy. B vitamins are crucial: miss out on one or more and you may break these metabolic chains necessary for peak energy.

    Energy to Spend

    The main energy currency of every cell single cell is ATP: a chemical called adenosine triphosphate. This material is used by cells for every imaginable task including reproduction, growth, movement and metabolism. Specialized metabolic cycles within the cell are designed to generate ATP.

    Consequently, the more ATP our cells create, the more energy can be generated. The raw materials used to make cellular energy are glucose (blood sugar) and "free" fatty acids. The best way to supply your cells with the sugar they need is to consume complex carbohydrates which also supply fiber and other nutrients. When you eat carbohydrates, they are made into glucose which is stored as a starch called Glycogen in muscles and the liver. Your body can rapidly turn Glycogen into glucose for extra energy. (The process of making energy from Glycogen yields carbon dioxide and water as well as ATP.)

    Making Energy

    The first step in making glucose into energy is called glycolysis. This complicated process requires nine different steps. During these steps, glucose is made into a substance called pyruvate. The process of glycolysis requires ATP, but yields twice as much ATP as is present when it starts.

    From here, the process gets a little more complicated as pyruvate enters into a complex chain of events in tiny cellular structures called mitochondria. (Many metabolic events take place in the mitochondria.) The pyruvate molecules are converted to a molecule known as acetyl coenzyme A and eventually made into carbon dioxide, water and more ATP.

    This process is known as the Krebs cycle or citric acid cycle. It also involves a series of events known as oxidative phosphorylation in which NADH formed during the Krebs cycle is oxidized to form ATP.

    Why is fat such a concentrated source of energy? Free fatty acids enter the Krebs cycle to help generate ATP much more efficiently than glucose - producing roughly six times more energy per gram than glucose.

    And Don't Overlook. . . . . .other supplements that may aid energy production: • Alpha Lipoic Acid, an antioxidant that works in the fatty tissues of cell membranes and in cells' watery interiors • Coenzyme Q10, also known as ubiquinone as it exists everywhere in the body, acts like a vitamin because it stimulates some reactions. CoQ10 protects cell membranes, especially of the heart, against oxidation and toxins.

    Ginsengs: Energy Generators

    With their legendary and slightly mysterious characteristics, the ginsengs are greatly respected natural energy boosters. " Perhaps no herb has excited so much interest in medical circles as ginseng, and yet, strangely, it does not actually 'cure' any one particular ailment," reports Michael Hallowell, the author of Herbal Healing (Avery) and a frequent lecturer on botanic medicine. "Rather, its virtue lies in its tremendous power as a tonic and invigorator. Russian athletes are prescribed large amounts of ginseng because researchers in Moscow have shown that it not only improves stamina, but also increases the efficiency with which blood is pumped to the muscles."

    What are the physiological mechanisms that allow ginseng to bolster your get up and go? In order to unravel the legend and lore of ginseng, the first step is understanding the intricacies of the three types: • Asian (Panax ginseng), which produces the strongest and most profound stimulation; • American (Panax quinquefolium), which soothes at a more subtle level; • Siberian (Eleutherococcus senticosus), a stamina booster embraced by a wide range of athletes. All three varieties are treasured for their ability to help people adjust to stress.

    Biologically Active

    The ginsengs are adaptogens, "biologically active substances found in certain herbs and plants that help the body and mind adapt to the changes and stress of life," says Stephen Fulder, MD, author of The Book of Ginseng and Other Chinese Herbs for Vitality (Inner Traditions). "Stress is not an illness in itself. Stress is change, our ability to adapt to all the changes that occur in life, emotional or physical, from exercise, work, chemicals, drugs, food, radiation, bacteria, disease, temperature, or simply too many late nights or too much fun."

    The body reacts to stress by producing the hormone adrenaline, which throws the whole body into a state of alert. Metabolism, blood pressure and circulation accelerate; immunity and resistance drastically decline; performance suffers.

    Top-Notch Tonics

    Enter the ginsengs, with their varied, subtle tonic qualities. The Greek name for this herb, "panax," means "panacea" or cure-all. But the Chinese, who first referred to it 2,000 years ago, more literally called it "ren shen" or "person root," in reference to its physical resemblance to a miniature human form.

    " Most exhibit medicinal properties, but each species has a different chemical makeup and has a unique application in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)," says Kim Derek Pritts, author of Ginseng: How to Find, Grow and Use America's Forest Gold (Stackpole). "In general, all true ginseng contains biologically active saponins (chemicals similar to human hormones), essential oils, carbohydrates, sugars, organic acids, nitrogenous substances, amino acids, peptides, vitamins and minerals."

    Building Vital Energy

    All the ginsengs strengthen, nourish and build Qi, the TCM concept describing basic vital energy circulating through our bodies. Every physical and mental function, from breathing, thinking, nutrition and circulation, is regulated by Qi. Although many of the Native American tribes used the abundant, indigenous Panax quinquefolium ginseng extensively, particularly to increase mental acuity and boost fertility, the herb never has been as popular in North America as it is in Asia. American ginseng traditionally has been a lucrative export crop to China, where the wild native variety suffers from overharvesting. Even today, according to Paul Bergner in The Healing Power of Ginseng & the Tonic Herbs (Prima), 95% of the American ginseng crop is exported to China, where XiYang Shen, or "western sea root," as it is called, is immensely valued and costs double what it does here.

    Energy Boost

    Jacques MoraMarco, author of The Complete Ginseng Handbook: A Practical Guide for Energy, Health and Longevity (Contemporary), as well as a licensed acupuncturist and doctor of Eastern medicine, suggests American ginseng for a slight energy boost. The moderate effect of American ginseng is considered a more appropriate tonic to the intensity of our pace and diet.

    Variations on a Theme

    In TCM terms, American ginseng cools and moistens, as well as lubricates and strengthens the body. It is reputed to reduce fevers and night sweats and alleviate hot, dry lung problems like smoker's cough. With its emollient qualities, American ginseng is considered to treat dry, wrinkled skin effectively.

    The Bolder Energizer

    Asian ginseng, which includes red Korean panax, is a bolder energizer taken by those who feel depleted from anemia, blood loss, cardiovascular weakness, injury, shock or trauma, as well as the disabling effects of age. In general, Asian ginseng is warming and stimulating, urging the body to run faster.

    Siberian ginseng, though botanically not a true ginseng, still acts similarly to Asian ginseng in its reputed power to control stress, boost energy, support the immune system, enhance performance and increase longevity. Called Wu Cha Seng in Chinese, Siberian ginseng is perceived by natural practitioners as an ideal herb for the healthy who want to lift both stamina and endurance. Experts believe it counteracts the effects of cortisol, the stress hormone produced by the adrenal glands in response to injury, pain or emotional turmoil.

    Natural Energy Boosters

    The herbal pharmacopeia includes several other natural energy boosters available in various forms-shakes and bars for those on the run-loaded with nutrition absent from commercial snacks. Some choices: • Ginkgo biloba-used in Chinese medicine to heat the body and increase sexual energy. Ginkgo enthusiasts take this herb to increase the supply of oxygen to the brain and generally increase circulation. • Gotu kola-may stimulate the central nervous system and help eliminate excess fluid, thereby reducing fatigue. • Astragalus-a Chinese herb that enhances energy and builds the immune system. It is credited with strengthening digestion, improving metabolism, increasing appetite, combating diarrhea and healing sores. • Schisandra-also a Chinese herb, treats respiratory illness, insomnia and irritability and rejuvenates sexual energy. Its mild adaptogens help the body to handle stress. • Licorice-is a favored endocrine toner in Chinese medicine. It is reputed to support the adrenals, the pair of small glands directly above the kidneys that secrete steroidal hormones, norepinephrine and epinephrine, the "fight or flight" hormones. People with high blood pressure or edema, or pregnant women, should avoid it. • Ashwagandha-an Ayurvedic herb used for thousands of years in the traditional healing of India as a potent strength builder for men and women.

    Experienced herbal practitioners acquire an impressive and fascinating store of knowledge and experience-you'll find it helpful to visit one as you begin your course of ginseng or other energy-boosting herbs.

    TCM Visitation

    When you visit a TCM practitioner, you'll notice that she evaluates your body's condition through an extremely careful examination of all the different systems: Several pulse points are felt in order to ferret out and detect troubling abnormalities. The condition and color of the tongue is observed to decipher digestive disorders. In addition, your urine may be examined to determine other imbalances and specific health problems.

    In many cases, your TCM practitioner will recommend ginseng as an adaptogen that can give you an overall boost. When taking ginseng, follow the directions on the package. Note: in some cases, you may want to consume a little bit less if you suffer headaches, insomnia or high blood pressure. Consult your health practitioner if you are afflicted with either acute inflammatory disease or bronchitis.

    Then take comfort in the eternal soothing wisdom of Chinese Traditional Medicine. In the first century A.D., the Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing (The Divine Husbandman's Classic of the Materia Medica) effusively described ginseng and the tonic herbs in this beguiling and intriguing manner: "The first class of drugs...are considered to perform the work of sovereigns. They support human life and they resemble heaven. They are not poisonous regardless of the quality and duration of administration."



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    Vitanet ®

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    Energy Vitamins
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    Date: June 11, 2005 05:50 PM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: Energy Vitamins

    Energy Vitamins by Daniel Mowrey, PhD Energy Times, June 7, 1998

    Do you suffer groggy mornings clouded with tired and achy feelings? Do you have to struggle to muster sufficient energy to cope with the day? Then, throughout the morning and afternoon, does frequent fatigue, weakness or depression persist on your horizon like an ugly storm cloud? And your evening may bring little relief as you slump into bed for a restless night, only to begin the same routine the next morning. If lack of vim and vigor plagues your days and nights, your body may be suffering from an inability to synthesize sufficient energy.

    Our lives depend on processing the food we eat into substances our cells can take in and use. In a never-ending cycle, our body breaks food down and reconstructs the components to form body structures and burn as energy.

    How much you exercise, the food and supplements you eat and how much you sleep influence the efficiency of these processes.

    Vitamins and Energy

    Certain nutrients are called vitamins because they are crucial for vitality. These nutrients are essential to a productive life, the starting point for all life-giving and life-sustaining processes. Because of vitamins' crucial role in energy production, many people can perk up their stamina simply by consuming an adequate supply of vitamins in their daily diet. Since many vitamins - especially the ones concerned with energy - must be constantly replenished, a decent diet and the right supplements must be consumed every day.

    Be Energetic with B Vitamins

    Vitamins, especially the B vitamins, play extremely important roles in producing cellular energy. Their most important roles are shown in the illustration on page 48. The chart on page 46 lists the key vitamins and describes their effects as well as the consequences of not getting enough of them. Their effect is felt most profoundly in the energy producing process known as the Krebs cycle (which we'll explain in a moment).

    Vitamins B2 and B3, for example, supply the major building blocks for substances called flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD and FADH) and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD and NADH) which are critical elements of producing energy in the Krebs cycle as well as a process called oxidative phosphorylation.

    Even though you may never have heard of NAD and NADH, these molecules are found in many places in your body; they play a role in hundreds of biochemical reactions in all kinds of cells. B vitamins also combine with other materials to build coenzymes, chemicals which help form other chemicals necessary for cellular energy. B vitamins are crucial: miss out on one or more and you may break these metabolic chains necessary for peak energy.

    Energy to Spend

    The main energy currency of every cell is ATP: adenosine triphosphate. This material is used by cells for every imaginable task including reproduction, growth, movement and metabolism. Specialized metabolic cycles within the cell are designed to generate ATP.

    Consequently, the more ATP our cells create, the more energy can be generated. The raw materials used to make cellular energy are glucose (blood sugar) and "free" fatty acids. The best way to supply your cells with the sugar they need is to consume complex carbohydrates which also supply fiber and other nutrients. When you eat carbohydrates, they are made into glucose which is stored as a starch called Glycogen in muscles and the liver. Your body can rapidly turn Glycogen into glucose for extra energy (The process of making energy from Glycogen yields carbon dioxide and water as well as ATP.)

    Making Energy

    The first step in making glucose into energy is called glycolysis. This complicated process requires nine different steps. During these steps, glucose is made into a substance called pyruvate. The process of glycolysis requires ATP, but yields twice as much ATP as is present when it starts.

    From here, the process gets a little more complicated as pyruvate enters into a complex chain of events in tiny cellular structures called mitochondria. (Many metabolic events take place in the mitochondria.) The pyruvate molecules are converted to a molecule known as acetyl coenzyme A and eventually made into carbon dioxide, water and more ATP. This process is known as the Krebs cycle or citric acid cycle. It also involves a series of events known as oxidative phosphorylation in which NADH formed during the Krebs cycle is oxidized to form ATP.

    Why is fat such a concentrated source of energy? Free fatty acids enter the Krebs cycle to help generate ATP much more efficiently than glucose - producing roughly six times more energy per gram than glucose.

    Get Your Vitamins Every Day

    While we rely on our diet to supply many of our vitamins, a B complex supplement and multi-vitamins can ensure you consume sufficient amounts of these crucial nutrients.

    Many experts agree that a diet rich in raw fruits, nuts and vegetables that minimizes saturated fat can supply adequate a-mounts of these nutrients. Other supplements that may aid energy production:

    Alpha Lipoic Acid, an antioxidant that works in the fatty tissues of cell membranes and in cells' watery interiors. CoQ10, a nutrient that protects cell membranes, especially of the heart, against oxidation and toxins. Plus, herbs such as suma, ginseng and licorice root as well as creatine, carnitine and pyruvate.

    Of course if you suffer from any long term, intractable fatigue, consult your health practitioner. But for most cases of decreased vim and vigor, adequate vitamins should help your body recover your get up and go.



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    Vitanet ®

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    Power Protein
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    Date: June 11, 2005 05:04 PM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: Power Protein

    Power Protein by Joanne Gallo Energy Times, August 4, 1999

    Chances are, if you've been trying to lose weight, build muscle, or increase your energy levels, then you've been hearing about protein. This essential nutrient has stolen the spotlight of the health industry as the alleged key to vitality and a solid physique.

    With books like Protein Power (Bantam) and Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution (Avon) firmly implanted on The New York Times bestseller list, and protein bars and shakes growing in popularity, more people than ever are seeking to tap into the power of protein.

    But before you go on an all-out protein-blitz, how can you decide what's best for you?

    The Purpose of Protein

    No doubt about it, protein performs a variety of roles. First and foremost, it is used to manufacture and repair all of the body's cells and tissues, and forms muscles, skin, bones and hair. Protein makes up the connective tissue that forms the matrix of bones; keratin is a type of protein used to make hair and nails.

    It is essential to all metabolic processes; digestive enzymes and metabolism-regulating hormones (such as insulin, which influences blood sugar levels) are all made of protein. This nutrient also intricately takes part in transport functions: Without sufficient protein the body cannot produce adequate hemoglobin, which carries nutrients through the blood. Lipo-proteins are fat-carrying proteins which transport cholesterol through the bloodstream.

    Protein helps regulate fluid and electrolyte balance, maintaining proper blood volume. Immunoglobulins and antibodies that ward off diseases are also comprised of protein.

    Any protein that you eat that is not utilized for these purposes is stored as fat, although some may be broken down, converted to glucose and burned for energy. This can occur during intensive workouts, or when the body runs out of carbohydrates from the diet or Glycogen from its muscle and liver stores.

    "Even though the body can depend on the fat it has stored, it still uses muscle protein, unless it is fed protein as food," explain Daniel Gastelu, MS, MFS, and Fred Hatfield, PhD, in their book Dynamic Nutrition for Maximum Performance (Avery). "When dietary circumstances cause the body to use amino acids as a source of energy, it cannot also use these amino acids for building muscle tissue or for performing their other metabolic functions."

    One can see why it is so important to eat a sufficient amount of protein daily in food, shakes or bars. Without it, bone tends to break down, the immune system can become impaired, and muscle strength drops as the body uses up muscle protein for energy.

    Acid Trip

    Proteins are built of chains of amino acids, and 20 different kinds of these building blocks are necessary for protein synthesis within the body. Eleven of them can be manufactured by the body through a process called de novo synthesis; these are referred to as non-essential amino acids. The other nine, which must be obtained from the diet, are known as essential amino acids. (Although some amino acids are called "non-essential," in actuality they are vital: The body needs all 20 amino acids to function properly.)

    Some of the more familiar non-essential amino acids include: n Carnitine helps remove fat from the bloodstream n Arginine helps burn sugar Essential amino acids include: n L-tryptophan, a precursor of the neurotransmitter serotonin, helps create calm moods and sleep patterns n L-lysine, required for the metabolism of fats n L-methionine a component of SAM-e (a supplement intended to relieve depression and arthritis, see p. 45)

    The body forms and destroys protein from amino acids in a constant cycle of synthesis and degradation. You must consume protein regularly to replace the lost amino acids that are oxidized when protein is broken down and used for fuel. The amount of amino acids lost each day depends on what you eat and how much exercise you do.

    Athletes vs. Weekend Warriors

    Protein intake in the general population is still adequate, notes Gail Butterfield, PhD, RD, director of Sports Nutrition at Stanford University Medical School. "But we're learning that what is true for the general population may not be true for the athletic population," she says. "With heavy training there is greater protein degradation and you need to increase your intake. Thus, protein requirements are higher for athletes than regular people."

    Also, if you diet or restrict your eating in any way, you may also not be getting enough protein.

    Certainly, if you work out, eating protein is important. Providing four calories of energy per gram, protein keeps blood sugar steady during exercise. After exercise, it helps replenish and maintain stores of Glycogen (stored muscle fuel) and decreases the loss of amino acids, as recent research has shown (J Appl Physiol 81 (5), Nov. 1996: 2095-2104). Lab studies in animals show that protein consumed after you run, lift weights, bike, etc..., helps stimulate muscle growth (Jrnl of Nut 127 [6], June 1997: 1156-1159)

    High-protein diets are frequently touted to promote weight loss and increased energy. One of the most influential: the so-called 40-30-30 formula, developed by Barry Sears in his book The Zone: A Dietary Roadmap (HarperCollins), which describes a diet whose calories are 40% carbohydrates, 30% protein and 30% fat. The rationale: when you eat too many carbohydrates, your body uses these starches for energy instead of burning body fat. A high protein diet is supposed to keep your blood sugar balanced and stimulate hormones that burn body fat instead of carbohydrates for energy.

    Other fitness experts such as Sherri Kwasnicki, IDEA International Personal Trainer of the Year of 1998, say that while protein is a necessary component of any diet, extreme high-protein plans aren't necessary for recreational fitness buffs. However, she notes that maintaining muscle mass is the key to aging gracefully, and getting enough protein is critical for that.

    Protein Sources

    Many people today won't eat meat and dairy for ethical reasons, or to avoid the antibiotics and other chemicals in the raising of poultry and cattle. But that doesn't have to prohibit adequate protein intake. All soybean products, including tofu and soymilk, provide complete proteins, which supply ample quantities of all the essential amino acids.

    Vegan Power

    In the past vegetarians were told to combine particular foods to make sure they consumed all the essential amino acids at each meal. (For example, beans with either brown rice, corn, nuts, seeds or wheat forms "complete" protein.) Today, diet experts aren't so picky. Eating a variety of plant-based foods throughout the day is just as effective as combining them at one meal.

    Vegans who avoid all animal products should eat two servings at sometime during the day of plant-based protein sources, such as tofu, soy products, legumes, seeds and nuts.

    Protein On-The-Go

    The newest sources of protein are bars and shakes, which are growing steadily in popularity. Protein bars now constitute about 12% of the so-called energy bar market, with sales increasing about 38% per year. These bars generally provide at least 20 grams of protein, including soy and whey protein and calcium caseinate (milk protein). The benefits: bars supply protein along with carbohydrates for energy; protein powders, on the other hand, provide quickly digested, easily absorbed amino acids.

    Edmund Burke, PhD, author of Optimal Muscle Recovery (Avery), suggests "If you need extra protein, you may benefit from the convenience of a mixed carbohydrate-protein supplement... choose a supplement that's healthy and low in fat."

    Amino acid supplements are also growing in popularity, reported to build muscle and burn fat, or improve mood by boosting brain neurotransmitters. The amino acids glutamine, phenylalanine, tyrosine and 5-HTP (a form of tryptophan) are all used to boost spirits and enhance brain function.

    And if you still ponder the merits of those high protein diets, do keep in mind that protein may be better at controlling hunger than carbohydrates or fat since it steadies blood sugar, so it may help you stick to a reduced-calorie plan. But excess protein can't be stored as protein in the body: It is either burned for energy or converted to fat. And carbs are still the body's top energy source, so forgoing too many can leave you tired and sluggish.

    Still, with so many vital functions-and a variety of sources to choose from-you can't afford to not explore the benefits of protein.



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    Vitanet ®

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    Summer Sports Nutrition Guide
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    Date: June 11, 2005 03:54 PM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: Summer Sports Nutrition Guide

    Summer Sports Nutrition Guide by Joyce Dewon Energy Times, June 18, 2004

    If you're hooked on exercise you're probably just as hooked on using top-notch equipment when you work out. Those who are serious about staying in shape buy the best running shoes, carefully pick out the best bikes and tread on durable treadmills. But do you pay just as much attention to your nutrition?

    Scientists who have studied exercise have found that what you eat before, during and after workouts is crucial to maintaining your health, getting into shape and staying fit. To achieve your best athletic performance without getting injured or sick depends on optimum nutrition. When you carefully plan what to feed your exercised body, it rewards you by feeling and looking better.

    Short 'n Sweet

    If you thought long exercise sessions were the only ways to get decent exercise benefits, take notice: small doses of exercise during the week can go a long way. " The important thing, apparently, is just do it," says Howard D. Sesso, ScD, author of an American Heart Association study on exercise and heart disease. In his study, exercisers demonstrated that several short sessions of exercise were as good for the body as a single long session (Circ 8/00; 102:975-80). " Short sessions lasting 15 minutes long appear to be helpful,"Dr. Sesso explains. Even walking about three miles per week, which is a moderate level of exercise, lowers your risk of heart disease by 10%.

    No Sweat?

    Some people glorify in working up a sweat; others curse the dampness. But putting in extra effort in even short bursts of activity pays off: experts have found that intense exercise burns more calories than more relaxed sessions, more effectively reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease and helps stabilize blood sugar levels. In addition, it stimulates production of human growth hormone, which offsets some of the effects of aging (Exp Biol Med 2004 Mar; 229(3):240-6).

    But don't go crazy if you haven't worked out in a long time. The intensity of the workout should match your physical fitness. According to the American Heart Association, when people exercise at a comfortable pace, their heart rate and level of exertion stay within a safe range, but still high enough to benefit their health. Strenuous activities, for those who can handle them, produce the most physiological bang for the jog. But brisk walking within your own level of fitness still offers significant benefits.

    Feeding Your Muscles

    When you exercise, you work and develop your muscles, which are made primarily out of protein. Despite this fact, many exercise experts have advocated high-carb diets for athletes. But, as John Ivy, PhD, and Robert Portman, PhD, point out in their book The Performance Zone (Basic Health), "[While] there is no doubt that aerobic athletes require more carbohydrate than strength athletes...we are now discovering that the addition of protein to a carbohydrate supplement offers significant benefits to aerobic athletes."

    That is why researchers believe that consuming plenty of protein along with carbohydrates offers the best fitness benefits. Protein helps fuel activity more efficiently and aids in recovery after a session at the gym, allowing your body to repair muscle damage and build up muscle fibers.

    During exercise, you break down muscle tissue. It is during recovery, after your exercise session ends, that muscles are rebuilt. At the same time, other cellular processes take place that adapt the body to working out.

    According to Ivy and Portman, timing your intake of nutrients after exercise is crucial: "The ability of the muscle machinery to regenerate itself decreases very rapidly after a workout, so that the nutrients consumed more than 45 minutes after exercise will have far less impact in helping the muscles regenerate than nutrients consumed earlier."

    Stresses and Tears

    Engaging in athletics can cause microscopic muscle tears. These tears can cause a range of problems that, when you exercise excessively, can cause pain and injury.

    Inflammation is the body's response to cellular damage. The damaged area can swell as the body sends white blood cells and other cells to repair the injured area. Unfortunately, the swelling can further damage the muscle cells.

    Since inflammation can take 24 hours or more to cause the collection of cells in the injured area, it can be a day or two before the resulting muscle soreness reaches its peak painfulness and then starts to subside.

    Cortisol, a hormone produced when you exercise strenuously, which can result in muscle fiber damage. Cortisol boosts protein breakdown, so it can be used to fuel muscle movement. But the more protein breaks down, the more potential exists for muscle fiber injury. Free radicals are caustic molecules that are created when the mitochondria (small structures in cells) create energy; these marauders can also cause microscopic shredding of muscle strands. As you increase your use of energy during exercise, you simultaneously increase the production of free radicals. This collection of free radicals can outstrip the body's antioxidant defenses, leading to extensive muscle damage and dampening of the immune system.

    All of these cellular events can make you sore. They are also the reasons that athletes who overdo it day after day are liable to come down with nagging colds and a variety of infections.

    Muscle Fuel

    Your muscles use different substances for fuel depending on what you ask them to do. Lift a heavy weight and muscles recruit two processes called the creatine phosphate system and glycolysis to generate a large amount of quick energy. These are known as anaerobic types of energy production.

    But if you jog, swim, bike or perform any other aerobic activity, the cells use oxygen in what is called cellular respiration to supply energy to working muscles.

    When you exercise aerobically for extended periods of time, the energy available is generally limited by how much oxygen your body is capable of taking in and supplying to the muscles, where it takes part in energy production. In athletic circles, this upper limit is known as your VO2max.

    The carbohydrates your body burns for energy during aerobic activity are taken from blood sugar and carbohydrate reserves called Glycogen. (The muscles store Glycogen, as does the liver.) During a workout session, your Glycogen supply is limited to what is stored with your muscles. But blood glucose can be boosted by carbohydrate drinks, energy gels or bars.

    Most people who work out have enough Glycogen and blood sugar to fuel moderate aerobic activity for about two hours. After that, the body turns mostly to fat and protein stores to fuel exercise.

    Fat Into the Fire

    In contrast to the body's quickly diminishing supply of Glycogen and blood sugar, fat can last for hours and hours of exercise. According to Portman and Ivy, a 200-pound man with 15% body fat has, theoretically, enough fat energy to run from Washington DC down to Miami Beach-and still has enough energy left over to jump into the ocean.

    But using fat for energy is complicated; fat is stored in fat tissue and not readily available to working muscles. Plus, to burn fat for energy, the body needs carbohydrate-it cannot burn fat all by itself. What's more, the conversion of fat into energy doesn't go as quickly as carb conversion.

    Protein is also used for energy when carbs run low. But the more you use protein for energy, the more you risk soreness as muscle fibers break down.

    Prepare to Energize

    To maximize your energy during exercise and minimize soreness, Portman and Ivy recommend some simple nutritional steps:

  • • Drink 14 to 20 ounces of water or a sports drink with electrolytes about a half hour before you work out. Consuming fluid helps stave off dehydration longer, helps you sweat more (which cools your body) and moderates the rise in body temperature that takes place during exercise. Portman and Ivy favor sports drinks to help you retain fluid and maintain your mineral balance.
  • • Eat carbohydrates an hour before exercising, which boosts Glycogen and increases blood sugar and insulin. Portman and Ivy add that, alternatively, you can also consume a protein/carbohydrate sports drink about half an hour before working out. The protein helps protect muscle protein from being broken down.
  • • Drink small amounts of fluid frequently as you exercise to replace water lost through sweating. While some experts recommend only drinking enough to quench your thirst, most researchers agree that a sports drink with electrolytes is best to ensure proper mineral balance in your body.
  • • Consume carbs and protein during exercise. Portman and Ivy note that soccer players who consume sports drinks that contain electrolytes, carbohydrates and a bit of protein can perform more effectively. Cyclists who go on bike rides of three hours or more enjoy more endurance when they eat energy bars or consume other sources of carb and protein. Portman and Ivy advocate drinks that contain carbs and protein in a 4:1 ratio.

    Limit Soreness

    Taking protein and carbs while working out can limit muscle damage and curtail soreness. Carbs apparently drop your cortisol levels, and thereby limit muscle injuries linked to this hormone. While the mechanism that helps protein limit muscle soreness is not completely understood, it is possible that taking in protein while working out keeps the body from shredding muscle tissue in search of fuel.

    Supplements that contain antioxidants such as natural vitamin E and vitamin C (Portman and Ivy think you should take these during exercise) may limit free radical damage to muscle fibers.

    Muscle Reconstruction Plan

    If you want to help your exercise plan make you stronger, you should focus your after-exercise sports nutrition plan on these steps:

  • • Help your muscles recover from damage during activity and stimulate the rebuilding process
  • • Replace Glycogen (carbohydrates) the muscles have used up during your workout
  • • Reinforce your immune system
  • • Replace water and minerals lost in sweat Even after you stop exercising, your muscles are still breaking down, according to Ivy and Portman. The key to putting the brakes on this breakdown and initiating the rebuilding process is by consuming a combination of protein and carbohydrate within 45 minutes after your workout is completed.

    The protein part of the equation is vital: don't merely indulge in only carbs after exercising. A recent study found that while carbs could help muscles rebuild, adding protein can make a big difference in improving your fitness (J App Phys 2/04).

    This combination of nutrients stimulates the pancreas so that it releases insulin. The release of insulin is the key, initial step that sets off a cascade of physiological events that speeds muscle recovery. Although many people think of insulin as an undesirable hormone-if you never exercise, too much insulin may help drive your blood sugar down and cause other problems-for exercisers, this hormone plays a crucial function in benefiting from exercise.

    By eating carbohydrate and protein soon after working out and stimulating insulin, according to Ivy and Portman, you help your body boost its synthesis of protein by:

  • • Increasing the amount of amino acids (protein building blocks) that get into the muscles-this can increase by up to 50%
  • • Increasing the production of protein synthesizing enzymes by up to two-thirds
  • • Slowing the breakdown of muscle proteins

    Drinking for Exercise The most obvious nutrient you lose during intensive exercise is water in your perspiration. However, that perspiration also contains an array of minerals known as electrolytes. So, for optimal performance and health, experts recommend you replace both the water and its minerals.

    Merely drinking water-instead of electrolyte-filled sports drinks-during prolonged aerobic activity can be dangerous. It leaves you vulnerable to a condition called hyponatremia, which can occur when your blood levels of sodium and other electrolytes drop, but your blood volume stays steady or increases because you drink lots of water.

    According to Edmund Burke, PhD, in his book Optimal Muscle Performance and Recovery (Avery), one out of four athletes who seek medical attention after a long race are suffering hyponatremia.

    " Typically," he says, "conscientious athletes get in trouble because they adhere too diligently to one recommendation: the need to drink lots of fluids. They tend to ignore another recommendation: The need to keep electrolytes up...for most endurance athletes the real problem is drinking too much water." Dr. Burke warns that you can possibly suffer hyponatremia even if you don't drink a lot of water.

    Signs of hyponatremia can be similar to those of heat exhaustion. But, while resting and cooling down can help alleviate heat exhaustion, that doesn't help hyponatremia. " To protect yourself against hyponatremia, start by paying attention to how much you sweat," Dr. Burke says. If your sweat seems very salty, burns your eyes or leaves an evident, white residue on your skin, you may be losing a great deal of sodium and should be diligent about eating salty foods. " You can also make sure you're getting enough sodium by drinking sports drinks instead of plain water during long (exercise) events," Dr. Burke notes.

    Exercise Matters

    Of course, no matter what you decide to eat or drink while exercising, the most important factor for your well-being is to get out to the gym, onto the track, or just on to the sidewalk, and do something, even if you only want to go out for a walk. No matter how old you are or what kind of shape you're in, you'll benefit from exercise.

    " It's solid evidence that across-the-board declines occur when people stop exercising," says Charles Emery, PhD, professor of psychology at Ohio State University (Health Psychology 3/04).

    Don't decline or remain supine. Let your fitness climb.



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    Stevia, Xylitol Sugar alternatives ...
    TopPreviousNext

    Date: June 09, 2005 06:15 PM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: Stevia, Xylitol Sugar alternatives ...

    Xylitol

    Stevia

    Sugar Solution by Kristin Daniels Energy Times, January 4, 2002

    Sugar Solution by Kristin Daniels

    Low blood sugar-a blood sugar recession-can make the good times recede. While you can't live without blood sugar, too much or too little wreaks havoc on your body and mind. And when blood sugar dips low enough to cause hypoglycemia you may feel like your emotions have been shredded. Knowing how the body regulates blood sugar allows you a measure of control in keeping blood sugar in the proper groove, and makes life a little sweeter. Hypoglycemia occurs when you feel dragged out because of low blood sugar. Ironically, this low blood sugar syndrome may be caused by an overabundance of sugar in your meals and snacks. Those who point to hypoglycemia as a widespread problem claim that up to two of three women in America suffer from hypoglycemia. That would make it an epidemic of monstrous proportions. In a survey of 1000 folks complaining of hypoglycemia, published in the Hypoglycemia Support Foundation's winter 2000 edition, researchers found that low blood sugar sufferers complained of hypoglycemic discomforts in several main categories: 94% of the people in the study reported nervousness, 89% mentioned irritability, exhaustion affected 87%, depression struck 86% and drowsiness hit 73%. Other miseries included fatigue, cold sweats, tinnitus (ringing of the ears), rapid heart rate, blurry or double vision, confusion, sudden hunger, convulsions, sweating, sleeping problems, paleness, muscle pain, memory loss, crying jags, fainting and dizziness.

    Body of Evidence
    Hypoglycemia may result from munching endless sweets and never exercising (physical activity improves your body's handling of sugar). Many sufferers of hypoglycemia may view it as a disease, but the experts pigeonhole it, technically, as a condition or syndrome. R. Paul St. Amand, MD, Professor of Endocrinology at UCLA, points out that "in certain people, the body is unable to process carbohydrates without adverse consequences. Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, is the name often used to denote a whole disease. But more accurately it is only one of a cluster of symptoms that together make up a syndrome." According to herbalist Cynthia Hartson, ND, at Better Health Chiropractic and Natural Family Health Care in Mission Viejo, California, when you eat too many processed foods you set yourself up for a big fall in blood sugar. "...As with many conditions out there, you don't catch diseases, this one or any; you create an environment in your body that allows these symptoms (and conditions) to occur." Your body breaks down carbohydrates, including those in vegetables, fruits, breads and grains, into simpler sugars. As these carbohydrates pour into the blood in the form of glucose, cells in the pancreas secrete the hormone-like substance insulin. Insulin is supposed to persuade cells to take up this in-flow of glucose and use it as fuel. But if, during this process, blood sugar drops too low, the pancreas releases glucagon, which stimulates the release of glucose into the blood to bring blood sugar levels back up. Overindulging in sweets and processed foods may upset this blood sugar balancing act. Americans consume about 120 pounds of sugar per person annually, a voluminous avalanche compared to preindustrial times when we only took in about seven pounds a year. When you eat your way through this much sugar, Dr. St. Amand claims, your body's "...excess amounts of carbohydrates (generate) an overproduction of insulin. As your blood sugar drops, your brain tunes out. Because a massive amount of carbohydrates drives your insulin and glucagon down, the fats (stored as carbohydrates) in your body can't be released (for energy) and you crave more carbohydrates." As you continue to consume large amounts of carbohydrates, the pancreas secretes greater amounts of insulin to properly transport the excesses of circulating blood sugar. Eventually, every time you eat sugar, your pancreas may release excessive insulin, which drives and keeps your blood sugar low enough to make you feel like lying down in a corner and telling the world to go away. And there's more bad physiological news: Your adrenal glands respond to this stress by producing adrenaline and dumping it into the bloodstream in overabundance, causing anxiety, trembling and panic attacks: frequent signs of a hypoglycemic reaction. Adrenaline is supposed to stimulate the liver to release Glycogen (stored sugar) to get your blood sugar back to a functioning level. But once again, as your sugar cycle degenerates, the pancreas increasingly produces more insulin to drive down your blood sugar level. Your blood sugar may drop and stay down.

    Numbers Game
    Many conventional doctors dismiss hypoglycemia as an illusion. But Dr. St. Amand states that doctors are "hung up on numbers." The glucose tolerance test, typically used to diagnose hypoglycemia, is based on numbers and the numbers often don't add up. Signs of hypoglycemia typically show up to two to three hours after a meal or snack containing lots of processed foods, when there is a rapid release of sugar into the small intestine, followed by rapid glucose absorption into the bloodstream and the consequent production of a large amount of insulin. These reactions occur so rapidly and unpredictably that catching them in a glucose tolerance test is often impossible. (Of course, see your health practitioner if you suffer persistent health problems that may be caused by a serious underlying condition or disease.)

    Diary of a Maddening Condition
    Keeping a food diary can help you discover what foods set off your hypoglycemia. Be honest, and record everything: your food, drinks, even breath mints! Note the time you eat, the time you sleep, the exercise you do, and your moods to see what triggers low blood sugar. Once you identify your triggers, remove them. When recommending ways to dodge hypoglycemia, Dr. St. Amand says, "It is not what you add but what you remove" that's most important. Items that often cause problems include:

  • * Sugar (obviously) of all kinds: table sugar, corn syrup, honey, sucrose, glucose, dextrose or maltose.
  • * Starches such as potatoes, rice, pasta and processed white breads.
  • * Fruit juices.
  • * Caffeine (coffee, tea, chocolate and soft drinks), which intensifies the action of insulin. The National Hypoglycemia Association says that foods which many hypoglycemia sufferers find to be helpful are those high in soluble dietary fiber and complex carbohydrates: whole grains, legumes and vegetables, which may be absorbed more gradually than processed items. Slower carbohydrate absorption may help prevent the major swings in blood sugar levels that foments hypoglycemia. Eating smaller meals and snacking often may ease blood sugar fluctuations. Incorporate fats into your snacks to decrease the flow of carbohydrates into your bloodstream and decrease carbohydrate cravings. Whole-wheat crackers with natural peanut butter, vegetables dipped in organic olive oil, packaged nuts and seeds, rice cakes, and soy cheese may slow sugar absorption. Your food diary should also record your activity level, the amount of water you drink, and indicate the times you feel stressed. While your diary may show that the stresses and lifestyle items that most frequently trigger your hypoglycemia are different than those that cause problems in others, you will probably discover that exercise significantly helps to dispel low blood sugar discomforts. Exercise tones your muscles, improves circulation and aids in digestion. It increases circulation and helps your muscles metabolize sugars more effectively.

    Review Time
    Ask your relatives to find others in your family who suffer diabetes, hyperinsulism or hypoglycemia. Roberta Ruggiero, president of the Hypoglycemia Support Foundation, Inc., and author of the book The Dos and Don'ts of Low Blood Sugar (Lifetime), notes that genetics plays a large role in reactive hypoglycemia. "In a survey of confirmed hypoglycemics," she states, "it was found that approximately 64 percent of them had one or more family members who had been diagnosed with diabetes." If you know someone in your family suffers this kind of problem, you can find it helpful to see what works for them to relieve the discomforts of low blood sugar. And you can share with them what works for you. Together, you can slip the shackles of hypoglycemia and sweeten your days.

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    TopPreviousNext

    Date: June 09, 2005 05:36 PM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)

    Energy Vitamins by Daniel Mowrey, PhD Energy Times, June 7, 1998

    Do you suffer groggy mornings clouded with tired and achy feelings? Do you have to struggle to muster sufficient energy to cope with the day? Then, throughout the morning and afternoon, does frequent fatigue, weakness or depression persist on your horizon like an ugly storm cloud? And your evening may bring little relief as you slump into bed for a restless night, only to begin the same routine the next morning. If lack of vim and vigor plagues your days and nights, your body may be suffering from an inability to synthesize sufficient energy.

    Our lives depend on processing the food we eat into substances our cells can take in and use. In a never-ending cycle, our body breaks food down and reconstructs the components to form body structures and burn as energy.

    How much you exercise, the food and supplements you eat and how much you sleep influence the efficiency of these processes.

    Vitamins and Energy
    Certain nutrients are called vitamins because they are crucial for vitality. These nutrients are essential to a productive life, the starting point for all life-giving and life-sustaining processes. Because of vitamins' crucial role in energy production, many people can perk up their stamina simply by consuming an adequate supply of vitamins in their daily diet. Since many vitamins - especially the ones concerned with energy - must be constantly replenished, a decent diet and the right supplements must be consumed every day.

    Be Energetic with B Vitamins
    Vitamins, especially the B vitamins, play extremely important roles in producing cellular energy. Their most important roles are shown in the illustration on page 48. The chart on page 46 lists the key vitamins and describes their effects as well as the consequences of not getting enough of them. Their effect is felt most profoundly in the energy producing process known as the Krebs cycle (which we'll explain in a moment).

    Vitamins B2 and B3, for example, supply the major building blocks for substances called flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD and FADH) and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD and NADH) which are critical elements of producing energy in the Krebs cycle as well as a process called oxidative phosphorylation.

    Even though you may never have heard of NAD and NADH, these molecules are found in many places in your body; they play a role in hundreds of biochemical reactions in all kinds of cells. B vitamins also combine with other materials to build coenzymes, chemicals which help form other chemicals necessary for cellular energy. B vitamins are crucial: miss out on one or more and you may break these metabolic chains necessary for peak energy.

    Energy to Spend
    The main energy currency of every cell is ATP: adenosine triphosphate. This material is used by cells for every imaginable task including reproduction, growth, movement and metabolism. Specialized metabolic cycles within the cell are designed to generate ATP.

    Consequently, the more ATP our cells create, the more energy can be generated. The raw materials used to make cellular energy are glucose (blood sugar) and "free" fatty acids. The best way to supply your cells with the sugar they need is to consume complex carbohydrates which also supply fiber and other nutrients. When you eat carbohydrates, they are made into glucose which is stored as a starch called Glycogen in muscles and the liver. Your body can rapidly turn Glycogen into glucose for extra energy (The process of making energy from Glycogen yields carbon dioxide and water as well as ATP.)

    Making Energy
    The first step in making glucose into energy is called glycolysis. This complicated process requires nine different steps. During these steps, glucose is made into a substance called pyruvate. The process of glycolysis requires ATP, but yields twice as much ATP as is present when it starts.

    From here, the process gets a little more complicated as pyruvate enters into a complex chain of events in tiny cellular structures called mitochondria. (Many metabolic events take place in the mitochondria.) The pyruvate molecules are converted to a molecule known as acetyl coenzyme A and eventually made into carbon dioxide, water and more ATP. This process is known as the Krebs cycle or citric acid cycle. It also involves a series of events known as oxidative phosphorylation in which NADH formed during the Krebs cycle is oxidized to form ATP.

    Why is fat such a concentrated source of energy? Free fatty acids enter the Krebs cycle to help generate ATP much more efficiently than glucose - producing roughly six times more energy per gram than glucose.

    Get Your Vitamins Every Day While we rely on our diet to supply many of our vitamins, a B complex supplement and multi-vitamins can ensure you consume sufficient amounts of these crucial nutrients.

    Many experts agree that a diet rich in raw fruits, nuts and vegetables that minimizes saturated fat can supply adequate a-mounts of these nutrients. Other supplements that may aid energy production:

    Alpha Lipoic Acid, an antioxidant that works in the fatty tissues of cell membranes and in cells' watery interiors. CoQ10, a nutrient that protects cell membranes, especially of the heart, against oxidation and toxins. Plus, herbs such as suma, ginseng and licorice root as well as creatine, carnitine and pyruvate.

    Of course if you suffer from any long term, intractable fatigue, consult your health practitioner. But for most cases of decreased vim and vigor, adequate vitamins should help your body recover your get up and go.



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