Search Term: " Guggul "
8 Herbs That Help You Lose Weight Naturally
August 24, 2017 12:14 PM
When paired with a health-minded diet and routine exercise, herbs can be used as a secret weapon in the battle to shed pounds and maintain physique. The herbs guggul, garlic, coriander, and ginseng all play various roles in increasing metabolism and burning off calories and fat. Peppermint and gurmar are both appetite suppressants and help to reduce cravings for sugary, processed foods. Oregano and dandelion both target bloating and water weight while flushing toxins out from the body.
"It goes without saying that you can't do without a good workout regime and a healthy and balanced diet but these herbs can give you an extra boost."
Read more: http://food.ndtv.com/food-drinks/8-herbs-that-help-you-lose-weight-naturally-1740034
Can Guggle Extract Improve Bile And Fat Metabolism?
May 05, 2014 08:13 PM
Guggul extract on weight loss
It is good to maintain a healthy lifestyle. If you do not do so, falling prey to a number of health complications is inevitable. Among the causes of these complications, fats metabolism happens to play a big part. There are numerous ways to help deal with problems associated with fat metabolism; guggle extract is one of them. A plant found in Asia and North African parts is widely used in weight loss programs. Its bark contains some sap that is extracted to offer the desired product. Many people are asking questions on how this extract helps improve both bile and fat metabolism.
How effective Guggul extract
The sap obtained is also referred to us gum guggle or rather guggglesterones. These plant steroids are responsible for the positive effects the herb on the body fat metabolism. How does it help reduce cholesterol? It simply prompts an increase in the functioning of the thyroid. Biologically, this helps enhance metabolism. It occurs because food digestion is improved while at the same time the conversion of carbohydrates to fats is inhibited thus reducing cholesterol levels in blood. Perhaps that is why it is used in most weight loss programs.
Other health benefits of guggle extract
Furthermore, guggle extract improves bile functioning due to its cholesterol reduction characteristics. It kills two birds with one stone. As seen earlier, it inhibits formation of cholesterol on blood. Second, it helps in the excretion cholesterol from the body system. It is able to do this effectively due to the presence of phytochemicals. They inhibit farnesoid X receptor, which happens to be the bile acid receptor responsible for cholesterol levels in the body. It even blocks oxidation of low-density lipo-proteins thus enabling the breakdown of cholesterol into manageable compounds.
Finally, there is no doubt on if guggle extracts helps improve bile and fat metabolism. There may be a few people who question its effectiveness, but numerous studies have cemented the truthfulness of the idea. This herb also has other uses thus check out for our next article to understand more about it.
May 05, 2014 07:40 PM
Obese and overweight
With busy schedules day in and day out, refined foods and drinks have become the order of the day and this has led to a higher percentage of people who are obese and overweight. People have realized how this is hurting them and are very concerned about their health and are taking keen interest in how the body works and what it needs to remain healthy and in good shape. Most body processes are driven by hormones, which trigger the necessary reactions.
The body usually produces these hormones but at times, they need external boosting through intake of certain foods or medication. The T3 thyroid hormone is very important as it is responsible for stimulation of metabolism which if one is trying to lose weight is very important. Most people take thyroid drugs to increase this hormone level but a better and natural way is by using Guggul extract, which does not have side effects like insomnia, jitters and heart palpitations.
What is a Guggul extract and its benefits
Guggul extract is yellowish in color and it comes from Guggul (gum Guggul) which is a resin that comes from the mukul mirth tree. It possesses bioactive compounds from its sterols. Guggul has been used to treat obesity, acne, inflammation and hypolidemia. Guggul works by converting T4 into T3 triiodothyronine, which is more active in speeding up metabolism. The conversion increases the amount of T3 in the blood stream. The sterols in the extract also boost thyroid stimulating hormone production, which is more direct.
This extract is best used by lose on fat loss diets as it helps maintain high levels of active thyroid which in turn helps in faster burning of the body fat. Remember dieters usually have low calorie intake and the body is designed to slow down metabolism when there is slow food intake so Guggul helps crank it up.
What Are Some Natural Cholesterol Lowering Supplements?
December 10, 2013 02:30 AM
What Are Some Natural Cholesterol Lowering Supplements?Cholesterol is a lipid, or a fat, which is produced by the liver. Though many know it not, cholesterol is essential for the normal function of the body. Amazingly, each and every cell of the body contains cholesterol in its outer layer. This lipid serves several critical functions. Most importantly, cholesterol aids in building and maintaining cell membranes. The compound also determines which elements can pass through a cell membrane and which cannot; put differently, it determines cell permeability. The compound is also essential in the production of sex hormones, including androgens and estrogens.
LDL and HDL
Like most other chemical elements found in the body, cholesterol is only helpful if it is available in the right proportions. Low or high levels of cholesterol are harmful. However, high cholesterol levels can cause the most devastating effects on health. It is of great importance, to control cholesterol levels in the body. Failure to do this, you are at risk of developing several health complications. Some of these include atherosclerosis, a condition where arteries become extremely narrow to allow proper circulation; heart attack, caused by clogged arteries; stroke, caused by blood clots that prevent arteries or veins from transporting blood to the brain; and angina, a condition that develops when the heart muscles do not get enough blood.
About Cholesterol Levels
Cholesterol levels can always be brought to optimal levels by behavior and lifestyle change. This may include avoiding foods saturated in fats, quitting smoking and drinking, and exercising. There are also supplements that are quite effective in restoring cholesterol levels to the optimal levels. Some of the popular and effective supplements include red yeast rice, niacin, and Guggul. Others are fish oil and green tea extracts. Though different from the outlook, all cholesterol supplements achieve their objective in a similar or closely related ways. Most importantly, the supplements are useful in raising HDL (high density lipo-protein also called good cholesterol) levels while at the same time lowering triglycerides (another class of fats found in the blood stream).
Benefits of Extended Release Guggulipid
January 03, 2013 04:10 PM
Guggul is one of the holistic ancient herbal extracts derived from the Commiphora wightii plant that had been predominant in India although some parts of northern Africa and Asia still had some traces of the same. Over the years, Guggul resin gum derived from the plant has been used to promote a healthy living, and has a good number of recent scientific research findings to back it up. Some of the health benefits associated with the use of Guggulipids supplements (also known as the Guggulsterone Supplements) include lowering of Low Density Lipoproteins (Bad Cholesterol), reducing inflammation, and significantly lowering the risk of suffering from cardiovascular diseases, tumors and cancers.
Extensive scientific research shows that Guggulipids play an important role in inhibition of its synthesis in the liver and its hydrolysis into bile salts. It also acts on the thyroid gland which in turn controls the Basal Metabolic Rate that directly relates to the rate of cholesterol catabolism in the body. Additionally, a cascade of reactions in the liver during the process of cholesterol hydrolysis down-regulates the uptake of cholesterol in the gut which ensures that the body is at a healthy blood cholesterol level.
The anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor and anti-cancer effects are highly associated with the stimulation of the liver to release C-Reactive Protein. Even though the CRP protein is primarily produced by the body in response to inflammation and cell death, presence of the CRP in the blood stream prior to an acute inflammation or cell death plays an important role in toning down inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid inflammation as well as killing abnormal cells before they develop into tumors and cancerous cells.
However, Guggulsterones are rapidly regenerated in the body in the same rate that other steroid hormones are degenerated which makes the use of extended release Guggulipid supplements very essential. This makes it possible to have the body under constant supply of the component for optimal Guggulsterone health benefits.
Diet To Lower Cholesterol
December 26, 2012 12:07 PM
Cholesterol is found naturally within the human body, particularly, in skin, internal organs, nerves, brain, cell membranes and bloodstream. This wax like compound is very important for the body's normal functioning. However, when there is excessive cholesterol buildup within the body, your health is at risk, because it gets deposited within the blood vessels. This article will talk about how to lower cholesterol levels through diet.
Consequences of Excessive Cholesterol Levels
Excessive cholesterol levels can cause dangerous ailments. Food habits as well as lifestyle changes are a few of the main reasons behind its rising level. Presented below are a few of the medical problems associated with high cholesterol levels within the body. When excess cholesterol is deposited on the inside of the arteries, flow of blood is interrupted which leads to inadequate supply of blood to the body. One of the organs that are mostly affected by high cholesterol levels is the heart. Extreme cases might lead to cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks. Blocked arteries and reduced blood flow may lead to blood coagulation. Also, if blood supply to the brain is impaired, it can lead to confusion and stroke.
Research And Foods
Research has indicated that a diet which includes a daily consumption of oats, sterol based foods, nuts, soya based products and fish is extremely effective in decreasing the amount of cholesterol within the body. In fact, it is as effectual as taking cholesterol medication, and definitely a preferable as well as less costly option, with very little or no side effects. However, if you suffer from any special health condition, make sure you first speak with your healthcare professional before you go on a diet that is low in cholesterol. If you are currently taking some medication, you should check with your doctor to make sure the drugs are okay with the low cholesterol food.
Different Foods that Can Lower Cholesterol
Oats provides your body with soluble fiber that is beneficial in decreasing bad low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Foods that contain oat bran, whole oat flour and oatmeal are extremely healthy as well as filling. Oat bran cold cereal and hot oatmeal porridge have been traditionally been eaten for breakfast, however you can include ground oatmeal to casseroles, baked foods and soups as well.
Nuts contain lots of fiber, protein, vitamins, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, phytonutrients, antioxidants and plant sterols. They are not difficult to eat. All you need to do is remove the shell and put a handful in your mouth, lengthy preparations are not necessary.
Foods Rich in Soluble Fiber
You can keep your cholesterol levels low by regularly consuming foods that contain high amounts of soluble fiber. Soluble fiber adheres to cholesterol within the blood to flush it out. It also promotes healthy digestion.
Aside from oats, other examples of foods rich in soluble fiber:
Other foods that can lower cholesterol levels in the blood
However, you must bear in mind that even though eating foods that contain low cholesterol is definitely beneficial, these foods will not cure existing problems. Eating the foods mentioned above regularly in moderation and doing sufficient exercise is the secret to enjoying good health.
There are some supplements known to help lower cholesterol as well:
These are safe and effective ways to help reduce unwanted cholesterol.
November 08, 2012 03:15 PM
Guggul Extract is a resin that is extracted from the mukul myrrh tree. This tree is originally from India and has been known to be used in many traditional healing remedies.
Western herbal supplements are beginning to use this extract because of the various healing qualities that it shows. Among the various healing qualities that Guggul Extract has include, The stimulation of the thyroid functions in your body, which increases your metabolism. This means that you can reduce the amount of fat you have (help to check obesity). It can have an impact on the level of cholesterol in the body. This is after continuous use of the extract.
For those who might have hardened arteries they stand a great risk of getting heart attacks. Guggul can help to soften these arteries. The cleaning of the arteries thanks to this extract means improved blood circulation. Improved circulation reduces blood clots and even risk of having a heart attack.
The anti-inflammatory properties of the Guggul Extract make it very helpful to arthritis sufferers. Even those suffering from bowel issues can get relief using this extract. Bloating and gas symptoms and ailments can be dealt with using the extract. The extract has pain relief qualities for those suffering from chronic pain caused by various injuries. Acne sufferers can turn to Guggul to ease skin irritation and acne breakouts.
Women have found that by using the extract they are able to have monthly menstrual periods that are regular in nature. Infections of the mouth can be adequately dealt with when using the extract. Those who suffer from things like tonsillitis can turn to this supplement for some much-needed relief.
give Guggul a try.
Guggul: An effective remedy to lower cholesterol levels in the body
February 22, 2012 11:34 PM
Guggul is a popular herb in Indian Ayurvedic medicine that is used to treat several ailments. Due to its miraculous healing properties, it has been used for centuries in India to treat a range of health conditions. Recently many clinical studies have been carried out to find out the potential health benefits of herb Guggul. Research has shown that Guggul helps in lowering total body cholesterol, especially the bad ones-LDL and triglycerides. Before we move on to find the positive effects of Guggul on heart and cholesterol levels, let us find out the more about this wonder herb.
Botanically known as Commiphora mukul, Guggul is a small shrub reaching up to a height of 4-6 ft. It is found in Central Asia, more common in India. It possess red colored flowers, thorns on branches and oval pulpy fruits. Guggul is prepared from the gum resin that is excreted by the bark of the plant. It contains phytosterols named guggusterones, aromatic acids, steroids, sterols, lignans, fatty acids, organic acids and diterpenes. According to Indian traditional system of medicine, Ayurveda, Guggul contains hot potency which helps in treating diseases caused by vata dosha prominence. It treats coating and obstruction of channels that helps in treating and preventing atherosclerosis and other medical conditions caused due to high levels of lipids in the body. Raw Guggul exudate is not safe and it is always used after purification in milk.
How does the herb Guggul help maintain good cholesterol levels?
The exact mechanism by which Guggul lowers cholesterol levels is still not understood, but many theories have been proposed.
1. Guggul works by blocking the synthesis of cholesterol in the liver. Hence liver does not release excess LDL or bad cholesterol in the blood, thereby reducing the risk of many heart diseases.
2. According to studies, Guggul has an impact on the functioning of throid gland and production of bile acids in the body, both of which play an important role in the metabolism of cholesterol.
3. Studies have indicated the role of Guggul in preventing oxidation of cholesterol. Oxidation of LDL cholesterol leads to formation of plaques in blood vessels and causes Atherogenesis. The antioxidant action of Guggul inhibits cholesterol oxidation and reduces the risk of Atherosclerosis.
The cholesterol lowering properties and antioxidant action make Guggul a beneficial Anti-Atherogenesis agent. It can lower cholesterol levels by 14-17 percent and reduce triglycerides by 22-30 percent.
Guggul and heart benefits:
Guggul helps in promoting overall cardiovascular health. It reduces the adhesion of platelets and this reduces the rick of cardiovascular diseases. Studies have shown that Guggul when taken along with Inula racemosa helps in reducing chest pain and dyspnea associated with angina. It has potential cardi-protective benefits that keep your heart health. It helps in lowering blood sugar level and treating any inflammatory heart condition.
Health supplements are prepared from the extract of this highly beneficial plant. Consult your health provider before you start taking Guggul supplements. When taken in recommended doses, Guggul helps you keep your heart healthy and fit so that you can live a healthy life.
Guggul, Cholesterol and Your Health!
February 11, 2012 07:53 AM
Guggul is a secretion substance, usually a yellowish rein, of the mukul myrrh tree botanically known as Commiphora mukul. It has been used for centuries now in the Indian Ayurvedic medicine as a remedy for conditions such as osteoarthritis, obesity as well as some skin conditions. Recent studies have also indicated that Guggul can also be used to lower the levels of cholesterol mostly by inhibiting cholesterol synthesis and accelerating the removal of the LDL and triglycerides cholesterol. Besides lowering cholesterol and blood fats, Guggulipid extracts have been observed to raise the level of HDL cholesterol ,which are good cholesterols, and thus enhancing the health of your heart by shielding it against artherosclerosis vascular disease.
The Guggul extract contain a compound that inhibits the functioning of a receptor in the cell known as FXR. This receptor is responsible for regulating the cholesterol in our body by varying the amount of the bile acids in our bodies. Usually, cholesterol in our body is either from synthesis in the liver or from diet. Cholesterol is contained in the bile acids which are made in the liver before being passed to the gall bladder and then to the small intestines. They help in the metabolism of fat in the small intestines before reprocessing and returning to the liver. By preventing the functioning of the FXR receptor implies that more cholesterol becomes excreted. In so doing 14 to 27 percent of LDL cholesterol and 22 to 30 percent of triglycerides cholesterol levels are reduced with use of Guggul without need for exercise or diet.
Since Guggul is instrumental in hardening of the arteries (artherosclerosis) and maintaining gigh levels of HDL (High-density lipoprotein) it has been seen to be a remedy for male erectile dysfunction and impotence. Further, Guggul enhances the function of thyroid gland which is responsible in production of hormones that regulate metabolism. This therefore aids in weight loss by altering the thyroid function to increase production of thyroxine metabolite, triiodothyroxine and T3 which enhances the general body metabolism and by extension enhance burning of fats.
The action of Guggul thus creates a balance between low and high cholesterol which may be in our bodies owing to diet, chronic stress, genetic propensity and also lack of exercise. A number of studies have reported that it is a safe and effective remedy to improving and maintaining a ratio of HDL to LDL cholesterols. In addition to maintaining normal ranges of cholesterol levels, it shields you against heart disease and inflammation.
In research, Guggul extracts has been observed to clash with CYP3A4 enzyme whose responsibility is to metabolise numerous chemicals in the body. CYP3A4 is also responsible for metabolism of medications and thus Guggul use tends to reduce the effectiveness of a number of medications such as diltiazem, propanolol and birth control pills. However, it has been reported that it in fact increases the levels of certain drugs such as statins in the body resulting in an improved effectiveness. Another problem of Guggul use is its ability to raise the effectiveness of blood thinners and hence blood clotting becomes a challenge and it results to excessive bleeding. Therefore Guggul should be administered only in the event that one is not under medication or the interaction between Guggul and the medication is in fact not detrimental.
Have your tried Guggul Today?
November 10, 2008 10:34 AM
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.
November 10, 2008 10:30 AM
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.
Supports Healthy Blood Pressure
April 18, 2008 03:59 PM
3 tablets contain:
Suggested Use: 3 tablets mid-morning and 2 tabs mid-afternoon between meals on an empty stomach.
Cholesterol Support FAQ's
January 06, 2006 12:15 PM
January 05, 2006 10:29 AM
Fact: Millions of Americans trying to lose weight are horrified to see their bathroom scales inching uncontrollably upwards.
And these numbers increase every single year. Making matters worse, many of these same people are shocked to find their energy levels slipping inexorably downwards. I guess I’ve just got a slow metabolism…” “You can’t get as much done when you start getting older…” “Why am I always so cold?” Sound a little too familiar? What if there was a safe and natural way to energize your metabolism and keep it operating at its youthful, maximum efficiency? While it is true that metabolism slows somewhat with age, its not inevitable that every one of us is destined to end up with more weight to move around and less energy to get there. There are people in their 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and beyond with all the vibrant energy they need. There are people who end every day with a list of important accomplishments completed. So what’s their secret? It may well be a healthy, fully functioning thyroid.The human thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the front of the neck that wraps around the trachea. It has but one job - to produce the two critical thyroid hormones we need to keep our metabolism efficient. In fact, these hormones are indispensable for our bodies to convert calories into energy – and that’s the crux of metabolism. These two hormones, triiodothyronine and thyroxine, or T3 and T4 respectively, are produced in the thyroid when the iodine in our system teams up with the amino acid L-tyrosine. Sounds simple, right?
Think again. Human metabolism is a highly intricate process that can be adversely affected by a wealth of variables. One important variable that we can control, is the nutrient mix our thyroid keeps on hand to operate. In order for metabolism to occur with any respectable level of effectiveness, the body must have a full supply of thyroid supporting nutrients on hand at all times. If you aren’t willing to deliver the nutrients it needs to function properly, chances are, it won’t be able to do what it’s supposed to (which is to keep your metabolism fired up and your energy resources fully charged).Don’t despair. There is good news. Encouraging and maintaining healthy thyroid function may be easier than you might imagine. This master gland of metabolism is often very responsive to the right combination of thyroid supporting nutrients.
Yes, a healthy diet will promote a healthy thyroid, but some of the nutrients that are especially helpful in supporting healthy thyroid function are not likely to be found in your local market. That is, unless you happen to be shopping in India or Ireland. So just what are the critical nutrients for a healthy, energized thyroid? L-Tyrosine. This amino acid plays an essential role in the production of thyroid hormones, in addition to hormones that affect mood including epinephrine, norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine. And while our body can naturally produce some Tyrosine from other amino acids, as we age, our bodies may not be able to keep up with the needs of a demanding thyroid. During metabolism, tyrosine joins forces with iodine in order to produce the thyroid hormones needed to efficiently convert (metabolize) the calories from our diet into expendable energy. A weak reserve of tyrosine can leave us feeling sluggish. As a result, our body reacts by storing more calories as fat for energy.
Iodine. Another key player in the metabolism game. Without it, metabolism simply can not take place. The thyroid is the only gland in the human body capable of absorbing this trace element. Typically found in shellfish and iodized salts, iodine is stored in the thyroid gland until needed for the production of the thyroid hormones triiodothyronine and thyroxine. When combined with L-tyrosine and other nutrients these two work synergistically to produce T3 and T4 thyroid hormone. Moreover, iodine deficiencies have been linked to the formation of goiters, decreased energy and lack of concentration.
Irish Moss. A natural vegetarian source of many thyroid-supporting nutrients, including Iodine, a key component in healthy metabolism. Irish moss has been consumed for thousands of years, and many herbalists encourage its use to contribute to sound glandular health.
Selenium. This naturally occuring trace mineral is well known for its strong antioxidant properties and natural synergism with other vitamins. Supplementing with selenium is essential for anyone concerned with sluggish thyroid performance.
Guggul. Technically known as Guggulsterone, the Gug¬gul tree is native to India, and emits a resinous sap that has been used for centuries as part of India’s traditional medicine known as Ayurveda. Studies have shown that the purified plant sterol extract from Guggulsterone can promote healthy thyroid function, and assist the body in maintaining normal production of thyroxine and triiodo¬thyronine.
Simply put, the thyroid gland relies heavily on a host supporting nutrients to produce the hormones needed to ensure that metabolism goes off without a hitch. Without these vital nutrients, our ability to metabolize food may slow down. Here’s an easy way to remember how this process works. The less thyroid supporting nutrients we have, the less thyroid hormone (T3 and T4) we produce.
The less thyroid hormone we produce, the less efficient our metabolic process becomes. The less effective our metabolic process becomes, the less energy we produce. The less energy we produce, the more prone we are to weight gain and fatigue.
NOW® Thyroid Energy was scientifically formulated to help maintain healthy thyroid function by incorporating a powerful blend of thyroid sup¬porting nutrients. With a full gram of L-Tyrosine (the direct precursor to thyroid hormone production) in addition to Iodine from Kelp, Selenium, Guggul, Zinc, Copper and a perfectly balanced blend of B vitamins, NOW® Thyroid energy just may be the boost you’ve been looking for.
Guggulsterones - Support Cholesterol Wellness
September 28, 2005 10:52 AM
NEW PRODUCT ANNOUNCEMENT
Supports Cholesterol Wellness!
1 tablet contains:
Suggested Use: 1 tablet twice daily between meals
Sytrinol can lower Cholesterol by 27% - 34%
September 20, 2005 09:56 AM
Sytrinol – MultiPronged Heart Health
According to the American Heart Association, more than 60 million Americans suffer from on of more forms of cardiovascular imbalances. When we add in those individuals with blood cholesterol concerns, we see over 100 million Americans who may be in need of specific diet and lifestyle recommendations for achieving and maintaining heart health.
Aside from the generalized recommendations that we typically hear for heart health (lose weight, exercise more, and eat less fat and more fruits and vegetables) There are a number of potentially beneficial dietary supplements that may help to maintain cholesterol levels in the normal range. Among supplements there is a wide range of safety and efficacy between products—but a newer product called Sytrinol stands out for its clinical effectiveness.
Sytrinol is a patented blend of polymethoxylated flavones (from citrus) and tocotrienols (from palm fruit). One of the factors that sets Sytrinol apart from existing natural products for heart health is its multipronged approach to controlling multiple factors related to overall heart health—including control of cholesterol, cellular irritation, oxidation, triglycerides, and others.
While it is unarguable that cholesterol is an important contributor to overall heart health, it couldn’t be further from the truth that cholesterol is the “only” or even the most important factor when it comes to protecting your heart. Did you know that approximately HALF of all serious heart challenges each year are experienced by people with NORMAL cholesterol levels? If Cholesterol is not to blame, then what is?
In addition to total cholesterol levels (the “number” that you may know as 200 to 240 of other values in “mg/dl” units), we know how that LDL and HDL matter a lot (Low-density lipoprotein—the “bad” cholesterol, and High-density lipoprotein—the “good” cholesterol). We also know that some forms of the bad and LDL can be “Badder” than others—specifically those with lots of structural protein called “apolipoprotein B” (which tends to encourage LDL cholesterol to become embedded in your blood vessel linings—bad!). In addition to our total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, and the various apoproteins, we also need to know our triglyceride levels, our levels of cellular irritation, what our free radical load looks like, and what our antioxidant defenses are. Sytrinol addresses each of these important aspects of heart and health simultaneously.
The Sytrinol Solution
Polymethoxylated Flavones (PMFs) in Sytrinol are just what they sound like – flavonoid compounds with extra methoxy groups compared to “regular flavones. Like all flavonoids, the PMFs deliver potent antioxidant activity, but the PMF version is about three times more potent in its ability to address cholesterol levels (20% - 30% reduction in clinical Studies). The two primary PMFs are nobiletin and tangeretin.
In addition to the PMFs, Sytrinol contains palm tocotrienols—one of the most potent antioxidant nutrients known. An interesting effect of tocotrienols is a reduction in cholesterol synthesis in the liver—by a mechanism similar to (but safer than) the commonly utilized mechanism of inhibition of the HMG-CoA Reductase Enzyme.
Sytrinol is known to work via several unique mechanisms to reduce triglycerides (TG), total cholesterol (TC) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL). First, by reducing DGAT activity (Diacylglycerol acetyl transferase) and increasing liver PPAR (Peroxisome porliferator-activated receptor)—Sytrinol can reduce overall synthesis of TG (DGAT inhibition). The overall effect is to reduce TG levels in the blood by two complementary mechanisms.
In terms of LDL effects, Sytrinol also reduces both Apolipoprotein B levels (ApoB—needed for the synthesis of LDL particles) and MTTP levels (microsomal triglyceride transfer protein-needed to transfer fat into the new LDL particles). By reducing levels of both these tructural LDL components, Sytrinol reduces overall LDL levels, and thus total cholesterol levels, in the blood.
The clinical results behind Sytrinol are impressive—showing a reduction in levels of total, LDL, and triglycerides by 27% - 34% within 4 weeks. In one of these studies, ApoB levels were reduced (suggesting reduced LDL) and ApoA1 levels were increased (suggesting increased HDL)—as would be expected based on the biochemistry of PMFs and tocotrienols.
Sytrinol is also wonderfully safe—and at the effective dose of 300mg daily, users will benefit from its multipronged effects. One aspect of Sytrinol safety that I especially like is the finding that, unlike some flavonoids like naringin from grapefruit, there are no known risks of drug interactions with the form of citrus derived PMFs found in Sytrinol (certain grapefruit flavonoids can interfere with liver enzymes needed to metabolize many prescription drugs).
Not since Red Yeast Rice was removed from the market by the FDA, have we had a truly effective, multimechanism solution for cholesterol control (and nearly total heart health). There are certainly other options for addressing heart health and cholesterol levels, but among the available choices, such as policosanol, Guggulipid, niacin, and plant sterols, we’re looking at about half the cholesterol-lowering ability (10% - 15% in most cases) compared to Sytrinol. If youre in the “borderline” zone of cholesterol levels (about 240mg/dl and below), you should absolutely consider Sytrinol to keep your cholesterol levels under control.
Kurowska EM, manthey Ja. Hypolipidemic effects of absorption of citrus polymethoxylated flavones in hamsters with diet-included hypercholesterolemia. J Argic food chem.. 2004 may 19;52(10):2879-86.
Kurowska EM, manthey Ja, Casaschi A, Theriault AG. Modulation of HepG2 cell net apolipoprotein B secretion by the citrus polymethoxyflavone, Tangeretin. Lipids 2004 feb;39(2):143-51.
Manthey JA, Grohmann K, Montanari A, Ash K, Manthey CL, Polymethoxylated flavones derived from citrus suppress tumor necrosis factor-alpha expression by human moncytes. J Nat Prod. 1999 mar;62(3)441-4.
Mora A, Paya M, rios JL, Alcaraz MJ. Structure-activity relationships of polymethoxyflavones and other flavonoids as inhibitors of non-enzymic lipid peroxidation. Biochem Parmacol. 1990 Aug 15;40(4):797-7.
Takanaga H, Ohnishi A, Yamada S, Matsuo H, Morimoto S, Shoyama Y, Ohtani H, Sawada Y. Polymethoxylated flavones in orange juice are inhibitors of P-glycoprotein but not cytochrome P450 3A4. J Pharmacol exp. Ther. 2000 Apr;293(1):230-6.
By: Shawn M. Talbott, PH.D.
Disclaimer: The above article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat a particular illness. The reader is encouraged to seek the advice of a holistically competent licensed professional health care provider. The information in this article has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Lowering cholesterol safely
July 27, 2005 04:10 PM
Lowering cholesterol safely.
By Kim Vanderlinden, N.D., D.T.C.M.
Atherosclerosis and its complications are major causes of death in the United States and have reached epidemic proportions throughout all of the Western world. Heart disease accounts for 36% of all deaths among Americans and ranks as the number-one killer; stroke; another complication of atherosclerosis; is the third most common cause of death.
Foremost in the prevention and treatment of heart disease is the reduction of blood cholesterol levels. The evidence overwhelmingly demonstrates that elevated cholesterol levels greatly increase the risk of death due to heart disease. The first step in reducing risk for heart disease is keeping your total blood cholesterol level below 200 mg/dl (milligrams per deciliter).
Not all cholesterol is bad; it serves many functions in the body, including the manufacture of sex hormones and bile acids. Without cholesterol, many body processed would not function properly.
Cholesterol is transported in the blood by molecules known as lipoproteins. Cholesterol bound to low density lipoprotein, or LDL, is often referred to as the “bad” cholesterol, while cholesterol bound to high-density lipoprotein, or HDL, is referred to as the “good” cholesterol. LDL cholesterol increases the risk of heart disease, strokes, and high blood pressure, while HDL cholesterol actually protects against heart disease.
LDL transports cholesterol to the tissues. HDL, on the other hand, transports cholesterol to the liver for metabolism and excretion from the body. Therefore, the HDL-to-LDL ratio largely determines whether cholesterol is being deposited into tissues or broken down and excreted. The risk for heart disease can be reduced dramatically by lowering LDL cholesterol while simultaneously raising HDL cholesterol levels. Research has shown that for every one percent increase in HDL levels, the risk for a heart attack drops three to four percent.
Dietary cholesterol is a major risk factor in developing atherosclerosis. The evidence is substantial. However, several studies have shown that a lower dietary cholesterol intake was associated with up to a 37% lower risk of death from any cause, or an increased life expectancy of roughly 3.4 years.
Although dietary cholesterol intake is an important contributor to atherosclerosis, most of the cholesterol in the body is actually manufactured in the liver. Reducing dietary cholesterol alone is not always sufficient to lower blood cholesterol levels.
In an attempt to reduce blood cholesterol levels, many physicians are ignoring the need to give dietary recommendations and are instead utilizing drugs as the primary treatment. Using drugs before diet is clearly not the best approach, in terms of both effectiveness and cost. In fact, the Report of the National Cholesterol Education Program Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Cholesterol in Adults clearly states: “Dietary therapy is the primary cholesterol-lowering treatment.”
The drugs lovastatin (Mevacor), prevastin (Pravachol), and simvastatin (Zocor) are commonly used to lower blood cholesterol levels. The main side effect of these drugs is liver damage. In fact, due to the seriousness of the possible adverse effects on the liver, it is necessary to have periodic blood tests to determine if the drug is harming the liver. Other side effects include: muscle breakdown, muscle pain, nausea, diarrhea, flatus, abdominal pain, headache, and skin rash.
The most important first approach to lowering a high cholesterol level is to follow a healthful diet and lifestyle. The dietary changes are simple: Eat less saturated fat and cholesterol by reducing or eliminating the amounts of animal products in the diet; increase consumption of fiber-rich plant foods (fruits, grains, and legumes); and lose weight, if necessary. Lifestyle changes include; Regular aerobic exercise; stop smoking; and reduce or eliminate consumption of coffee (both caffeinated and decaffeinated).
Here are the six key recommendations of U.S. Surgeon General, American Heart Association, and the National Research Council’s Committee on Diet and Health:
When there is a need for additional support to the dietary and lifestyle practices that can lower cholesterol levels, it simply makes more sense to use safer and more effective natural alternatives. When evaluating overall effectiveness, both LDL and HDL cholesterol levels must be taken into consideration. When you look at the cost, safety, and effectiveness, it is clear that natural alternatives are substantially superior to standard drug therapy.
Keep in mind that the natural alternatives discussed are, just like the dugs, still best utilized in a comprehensive program that stresses a healthful diet and lifestyle.
Niacin, or vitamin B3, has long been used to lower cholesterol levels. In fact, niacin is recommended by the National CholesterolEducation Program as the first “drug” to use to lower blood cholesterol levels.
The safest form of niacin at present is known as inositol hexaniacinate. This form of niacin has long been used in Europe to lower cholesterol levels and also to improve blood flow. It yields slightly better results than standard niacin, but is much better tolerated, both in terms of flushing and, more importantm long term side effects.
Gugulipid is the standardized extract of the mukul myrrh tree that is native to India. Several clinical studies have confirmed that gugulipid has an ability to lower both cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Typically, cholesterol levels will drop 14% to 27% in a four- to twelve-week period, while triglyceride levels will drop from 22% to 30%.
The dosage of gugulipid is based on its Guggulsterone content. Clinical studies have demonstrated that gugulipid extracts standardized to contain 25 mg of Guggulsterone per tablet given three times per day is an effective treatment for elevated cholesterol levels, elevated triglyceride levels, or both.
Garlic and onions exert numerous beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system, including lowering blood lipids and blood pressure. Numerous studies have demonstrated that both garlic and onions are effective in lowering LDL-cholesterol and triglycerides while simultaneously raising HDL-cholesterol levels.
Without question, the best approach to lowering cholesterol levels is through diet and lifestyle modifications. When additional support is require, there are safer and more effective natural alternatives to commonly prescribed drugs.
The goal of therapy, whether natural or synthetic, is to get blood lipid levels down into target ranges as quickly as possible. Once the target range has been achieved, begin reducing the amount of medicine by half, or take it every other day. Recheck your cholesterol levels in one month. If they have stabilized or continued to improve, you may no longer need the medication. If the levels begin to rise again, return to previous dosage.
If you are currently on a cholesterol-lowering drug, you must consult your doctor before discontinuing the medication.
Gugulipid: Controlling cholesterol levels
July 27, 2005 03:49 PM
Gugulipid: Controlling cholesterol levels
An ancient Indian plant contains a compound that can help reduce cholesterol as effectively as drugs, but without side effects.
By Michael T. Murray, N.D.
An ancient medicinal plant from India shows promise in the fight against heart disease. The mukul myrrh tree (Commiphora mukul) secretes a resinous material called gum Guggul. The classic ayurvedic medical text, the “Suchruttasamhita,” describes Guggul’s role in the treatment of obesity and other lipid (fat) disorders.
Comprehensive scientific studies have investigated the clinical effectiveness of gum Guggul in disorders of lipid (fat) metabolism. Specifically, researchers have studies this extract’s ability to support healthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels and promote weight loss. As a result of this research, scientists have developed a natural substance-gugulipid-that appears to be safer than many other cholesterol-lowering agents, including niacin.
What is gugulipid?
Gugulipid is the purified standardized extract of crude gum Guggul (oleoresin). The active components of gugulipid are Z-Guggulsterone and E-Guggulsterone. Other components of gugulipid include various diterpenes, sterols, steroids, esters, and fatty alcohols.
Gugulipid is preferred to crude gum Guggul because it is safer and more effective. In early studies, gum Guggul was linked with mild side effects such as skin rashes, gastrointestinal irritation and diarrhea. In contrast, no side effects have been reported with gugulipid. Apparently, the insoluble irritants of gum Guggul are removed in the production of the soluble gugulipid.
This just one example of how science is advancing in the efficacy of herbal therapy. Through careful scientific study, researchers developed a safer and superior form of natural plant medicine.
Numerous scientific studies have shown gugulipid effectively supports healthy levels of cholesterol and triglycerides. Gugulipid supports low levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and high levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol. HDL cholesterol has been shown to protect against heart disease caused by atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries. Research indicated gugulipid itself appears to help reduce atherosclerotic plaques.
Gugulipid has been shown to improve the heart’s metabolism and act as an antioxidant, protecting the heart against free radicals. Gugulipid appears to help inhibit platelet aggregation (clumping of red blood cells), an important factor in preventing stroke or embolism.
According to research findings, gugulipid promotes the liver’s uptake of LDL cholesterol from the blood, thus increasing the liver’s metabolism of LDL cholesterol. This function accounts for gugulipid’s ability to support healthy cholesterol levels.
Because of gugulipid’s effects on heart function and cholesterol, this natural compound appears to be especially useful for individuals with cardiovascular disease. In addition, Guggulsterone appears to stimulate thyroid function. This steroid stimulating effect may account for some of gugulipid’s impact on lipid levels and weight loss.
Gugulipid’s impact on cholesterol and triglycerides is quite startling. When the diet is supplemented with gugulipid, cholesterol levels typically drop 14 to 27 percent in four to twelve weeks, while triglyceride levels drop 22 to 30 percent. Those are extremely significant reductions.
The effect of gugulipid on serum cholesterol and triglycerides compares favorably to that of lipid-lowering drugs. Clofibrate and cholestyramine lower cholesterol levels from six to 12 percent and 20 to 27 percent respectively, but are associated with some degree of toxicity. In contrast, no side effects have been reported with gugulipid. IN addition to the excellent safety demonstrated in human studies, gugulipid has been shown to be nontoxic in safety studies on laboratory animals.
Appropriate dosage of gugulipid depends on its Guggulsterone content. Clinical studies indicate that 500 mg of gugulipid with a Guggulsterone content of 25 mg taken three times per day effectively supports healthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
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July 08, 2005 09:27 AM
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Guggulsterones - Natural Support for Cholesterol Health
June 29, 2005 10:44 AM
Today’s lifestyle, with its high-fat, processed food diet, lack of exercise, and high stress levels, leaves you at risk for imbalanced cholesterol levels. Source Naturals is committed to your optimal health and longevity. That’s why we developed GuggulSTERONES. GuggulSTERONES is a natural solution to help keep your cholesterol levels in the normal range. Guggulsterones are compounds found in Guggul, the resin of a shrub used in traditional Ayurvedic herbalism to support a healthy heart. Research shows Guggulsterones help maintain cholesterol levels in the normal range by helping to promote bile production, which removes cholesterol from the blood. They also boost thyroid activity, which supports cholesterol regulation by the liver. Source Naturals offers you natural Guggul extract, standardized to provide a clinically effective daily dosage. As one of the most important botanicals to support cardiovascular health, GuggulSTERONES is at the heart of Source Naturals’ commitment to empower people to take charge of their own health.
Cholesterol, Guggulsterones and Bile Production
Much of the cholesterol made by your liver is utilized to create bile, a substance used in digestion to emulsify fats. Because excess cholesterol and triglycerides are excreted from our bodies in the form of bile, it is important to support the liver’s bile-producing mechanism. Research shows that certain Guggul compounds— Guggulsterones—help maintain cholesterol levels in the normal range and act at the farnesoid X receptor (FXR) to promote bile production. Guggulsterones appear to be farnesoid X receptor (FXR) antagonists. FXR is a bile acid receptor. If FXR is activated, this results in down-regulation of the amount of bile acids produced by the liver. Bile is made out of cholesterol, which gets used up when bile is produced. When bile levels are high, the production of more bile is slowed through negative feedback of the FXR pathway. As steroids, Guggulsterones can enter the nuclei of liver cells and block FXR, which results in more bile production.
Guggulsterones and Thyroid Stimulation
Guggulsterones have been shown to stimulate thyroid activity in animal studies. This is important because 90% of individuals with sluggish thyroid glands also experience challenges to healthy cholesterol levels. Since the thyroid regulates the metabolic rate of many organs, when thyroid hormone levels are too low, the body’s overall metabolic rate declines. This impairs the liver’s ability to clear cholesterol from the bloodstream. The liver regulates cholesterol levels in blood as well as producing bile, and it contains thyroid hormone receptors. This is how the thyroid gland controls the metabolic rate of the liver. Several studies have shown that Guggul supports normal cholesterol levels, including LDL, serum triglycerides, and HDL levels. Because normal levels of serum lipids, including cholesterol, are supported by increased circulating thyroid hormones, it is believed Guggul works by stimulating the thyroid gland, in addition to its effects on bile production.
Clinically Effective Dosage
According to several clinical studies, the amount of Guggulsterones used to maintain normal cholesterol levels is 75 mg per day, when taken with a diet low in saturated fats. This is the daily dose delivered by SOURCE NATURALS GuggulSTERONES.
A Wellness Revolution in Cardiovascular Care
At a time when our cardiovascular health faces numerous lifestyle challenges, research into the remarkable heart-supportive properties of the plant world is critical. Source Naturals is your connection to this research, dedicated to quickly bringing you nutritional benefits now available only through the natural products marketplace.
Recognizing the Signs: Roadmap to a Healthy Heart
June 13, 2005 10:06 AM
Recognizing the Signs: Roadmap to a Healthy Heart by Louis McKinley Energy Times, January 2, 2004
From time immemorial, people have tuned into life's lessons that come from the heart. Sadly, times are changing: If you're like most inhabitants of today's harried world, you may be too distracted to detect important clues about your cardiovascular circumstances.
And while heart lessons may be more complicated than simply connecting the physiological dots, understanding those heart messages are imperative for improving and maintaining your heart health.
Every cell in your body relies on heart-powered blood flow to keep it supplied with nutrients, oxygen, hormones and other natural chemicals necessary for survival. Without that supply of life-giving substances, few cells in the body-including those within the heart itself-can survive very long.
And just as damage to a major roadway can cause mayhem with traffic patterns, damage to blood vessels and the heart can wreak a lumpy cardiovascular havoc that blocks the passage of blood and endangers your heart's well-being.
Your Heart Disease Chances
Within the last ten years, scientific research performed by investigators around the world has focused on the specific factors that most strongly influence your chances of developing heart disease and suffering either a heart attack or a stroke.
While much of your risk depends on your genetic inheritance and family history, several factors that determine your heart health are within your control.
The most important factors you can do something about include:
* Smoking: free radicals generated by burning tobacco causes significant damage to blood vessels and other cells
* Lack of exercise: the human body is designed for consistent, moderate physical activity; without exercise, the body slacks off in creating antioxidant protection for arteries
* Diabetes: when excess blood sugar persists, physiological processes begin that endanger the heart and arteries
* Cholesterol: when oxidized (a chemical process that has been compared to a kind of internal rusting), cholesterol can form artery-blocking plaque; antioxidant nutrients like vitamin C and natural vitamin E may help the body limit this process
* High blood pressure: excessive pressure within the blood vessels raises the risk of damage to the heart and arteries; a program of weight loss and exercise can help control blood pressure
* Being overweight: the extra body fat carried around your middle is linked to a greater risk of heart problems
Heart Attack Signs
Do you think you know what a heart attack feels like? Well, if you think it feels like a dramatic pain somewhere in your chest that knocks you to the floor, you're probably wrong. "Most heart attacks do not look at all like what one of my colleagues calls the 'Hollywood' attack-the heart attack you see on television or in the movies," warns Julie Zerwic, MD, professor of surgical nursing who has studied what happens when people develop heart disease and suffer damage to their hearts.
"The symptoms [of heart problems] are not necessarily dramatic. People don't fall down on the floor. They don't always experience a knife-like, very sharp pain. In fact, many people describe the sensation as heaviness and tightness in the chest rather than pain," she says. And, if you're a woman experiencing a heart attack, you may not even feel discomfort specifically in your chest. Instead you may experience a severe shortness of breath. The apparent ambiguity of the discomforts caused by a heart attack lead many people to either ignore them or take hours to realize they need to go to the emergency room at the hospital.
Consequently, much fewer than half of all individuals undergoing a heart attack actually go to a hospital within an hour of the start of the attack. That delay can be a fatal mistake.
"Timing is absolutely critical," laments Dr. Zerwic. "If treatment starts within a hour after the onset of symptoms, drugs that reestablish blood flow through the blocked coronary artery can reduce mortality by as much as 50%. That number drops to 23% if treatment begins three hours later. The goal is to introduce therapy within two hours."
However, in Dr. Zerwic's research, only 35% of non-Hispanic whites go to the hospital within an hour of the start of a heart attack. And among African-Americans, the number of people going to the hospital right away drops to a frighteningly low 13%.
Often, people will lie down or use a heating pad to relieve the tightness they feel in the chest," says Dr. Zerwic. "They may take some medicine and wait to see if that works. All these steps postpone needed treatment."
Signs of a possible heart attack include:
* Chest discomfort: Heart attacks most frequently cause discomfort in the center of the chest that can either go away after a couple of minutes (and come back) or persist. The discomfort may feel like strong pressure, fullness or pain.
* Upper body discomfort: An attack may set off pain or discomfort in either or both arms, and/or the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
* Shortness of breath: Chest discomfort is frequently accompanied by shortness of breath. But it's important to note that shortness of breath can take place even in the absence of chest discomfort.
* Other signs: You can also break out in a cold sweat, or feel nauseated or light-headed.
A Woman's Sleep Signs
If you are a woman who suddenly experiences a marked increase in insomnia and puzzling, intense fatigue, you may be in danger of an imminent heart attack.
In an attempt to understand how women's symptoms of heart problems differ from those of men, researchers talked to more than 500 women in Arkansas, North Carolina and Ohio who had suffered heart attacks. (Technically, what they had experienced is referred to as acute myocardial infarction.)
They found that chest pain prior to a heart attack was only reported by about 30% of the women surveyed.
More common were unusual fatigue, sleep disturbances and shortness of breath (Circulation Rapid Access, 11/3/01).
"Since women reported experiencing early warning signs more than a month prior to the heart attack, this [fatigue and sleep problems] could allow time to treat these symptoms and to possibly delay or prevent the heart attack," says researcher Jean C. McSweeney, PhD, RN, nursing professor at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock. In Dr. McSweeney's study, more than nine out of ten women who had heart attacks reported that they had had new, disturbing physical problems more than a month before they had infarctions.
Almost three in four suffered from unusual fatigue, about half had sleep disturbances, while two in five found themselves short of breath.
Other common signs included indigestion and anxiety.
"Women need to be educated that the appearance of new symptoms may be associated with heart disease and that they need to seek medical care to determine the cause of the symptoms, especially if they have known cardiovascular risks such as smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, overweight or a family history of heart diseases," says Dr. McSweeney.
Dr. McSweeney warns that, until now, little has been known about signs that women are having heart trouble or heart attacks. The fact that most of Western medicine's past attention has been on heart problems in men has obscured the warning signs in women. As part of Dr. McSweeney's studies, she and her fellow researchers have discovered that more than 40% of all women who suffer a heart attack never feel any chest discomfort before or during the attack.
"Lack of significant chest pain may be a major reason why women have more unrecognized heart attacks than men or are mistakenly diagnosed and discharged from emergency departments," she notes. "Many clinicians still consider chest pain as the primary symptom of a heart attack."
Vitamins for Diabetes and Heart Disease
Having diabetes significantly raises your chance of heart disease, which means that keeping your blood sugar levels under control can reduce your chances of suffering a heart attack.
Today, 17 million Americans have diabetes and, as the country's population in general gains weight and fails to exercise, the number of people suffering this problem continues to grow.
The first line of defense against diabetes consists of exercise and weight control. All you have to do is take a brisk walk for 30 minutes a day to drop your chances of diabetes (American Journal of Epidemiology 10/1/03).
"We have found that men and women who incorporate activity into their lifestyles are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who are sedentary. This finding holds no matter what their initial weight," said Andrea Kriska, PhD, professor of epidemiology at University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.
To help your body fight the development of diabetes, researchers also recommend vitamin C and natural vitamin E.
Researchers working with lab animals at the University of California at Irvine have found that these antioxidant vitamins can help insulin (the hormone-like substance secreted by the pancreas) reduce harmful blood sugar. In addition, these vitamins shrink the chances of organ damage that can be caused by diabetes (Kidney International 1/03).
In this investigation, these vitamins also helped reduce blood pressure, another risk factor that raises heart disease risk.
"Blood pressure was lowered to normal, and free radicals were not in sufficient numbers to degrade the sugars, proteins and nitric oxide," notes Nick Vaziri, MD, professor of medicine at the University of California. "We think this shows that a diet rich in antioxidants may help diabetics prevent the devastating cardiovascular, kidney, neurological and other damage that are common complications of diabetes."
Free Radical Blues
Dr. Vaziri and his group of researchers found that untreated diabetes raised blood pressure and increased the production of free radicals, caustic molecules that can damage arteries and the heart. Free radicals can change blood sugar and other proteins into harmful substances, boosting tissue and heart destruction.
In Dr. Vaziri's work with lab animals, he found that treating diabetes with insulin lowered blood pressure and helped keep sugar and protein from changing into dangerous chemicals, but allowed the free radicals to subvert nitric oxide, a chemical the body uses to protect itself from free radicals.
In this investigation, adding vitamins C and E to insulin insulated the body's sugars, proteins and nitric oxide from oxidative assault. This produces a double advantage: Lowering the risk of heart disease and other damage to the body from diabetes.
Maitake, an Oriental mushroom that has been shown to have many health benefits, can also be useful for people with diabetes who are trying to avoid cardiovascular complications. Laboratory studies in Japan demonstrate that maitake may help lower blood pressure while reducing cholesterol (Biological & Pharmaceutical Bulletin 1997; 20(7):781-5). In producing these effects, the mushroom may also help the body reduce blood sugar levels and decrease the risk of tissue damage.
Tobacco smoke is one of the most notorious causes of heart problems. In the same way a hard frost exerts a death grip on a highway, the smoke from cigarettes can freeze up arteries and hamper their proper function. A healthy artery must stay flexible to comfortably allow adequate circulation.
But "...when blood vessels are exposed to cigarette smoke it causes the vessels to behave like a rigid pipe rather than a flexible tube, thus the vessels can't dilate in response to increased blood flow," says David J. Bouchier-Hayes, MD, professor of surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, who has studied the deleterious effects of tobacco.
This rigidity is called endothelial dysfunction. When arteries are rigid, blockages gum up vessels, clots and other impediments to blood flow appear, and your risk of heart attack and stroke increases (Circulation 2001 Nov 27; 104(22):2673).
This condition can also cause chest pain (angina) similar to that caused by a heart attack, and should be evaluated by a knowledgeable health practitioner.
Although all experts recommend you stop smoking to lower your heart disease risk, some studies have found that Pycnogenol(r), a pine bark extract that helps the body fight inflammation, may ease some of smoking's ill effects.
In a study of platelets, special cells in the blood that can form dangerous blood clots, researchers found that Pycnogenol(r) discouraged platelets from sticking together (American Society for Biochemical and Molecular Biology 5/19/98). By keeping platelets flowing freely, this supplement may alleviate some of the heart-threatening clots that tobacco smoke can cause.
In Ayurvedic medicine, a traditional therapy from India, an herb called Guggul has also been used to lower the risk of blockages in arteries. This herb, derived from the resin of the mukul tree, has been shown to reduce cholesterol by about 25%. People taking this herb have also reduced their triglycerides (harmful blood fats) by the same amount (Journal Postgraduate Medicine 1991 37(3):132).
The Female Version of Heart Disease
For one thing, women often don't suffer from the crushing chest pain that for most people characterizes a heart attack; instead, many women experience back pain, sweating, extreme fatigue, lightheadedness, anxiety or indigestion, signs that can be easily misread as digestive troubles, menopausal symptoms or indicators of aging.
The genders also differ in how heart disease poses a threat. While men seem most endangered by the buildup of blockages in arteries, women apparently are more at risk from endothelial dysfunction. But more study needs to be done since, in many cases, researchers have been unable to pin down the precise mechanism that causes many women to die of heart disease.
Scientists have found that the number of women in their 30s and 40s who are dying from sudden cardiac arrest is growing much faster than the number of men of the same age who die of this cause. But research by the Oregon Health & Sciences University and Jesse E. Edwards Cardiovascular Registry in St. Paul, Minnesota, shows that while doctors can pinpoint the coronary blockages that kill men, they can't find specific blockages in half of the female fatalities they have studied (American Heart Journal 10/03).
"This was an unexpected finding. However, the study underscores the need to focus on what is causing these younger women to die unexpectedly because the number of deaths continues to increase," says Sumeet Chugh, MD, a medical professor at Oregon.
Since the failure of arteries to relax probably contributes to heart disease in many women, eating red berries, or consuming supplements from berries such as chokeberry, bilberry or elderberry, may be important in lowering women's heart disease risk. These fruits help arteries expand and allow blood to flow freely.
Red berries are rich sources of flavonoids, polyphenols and anthocynanins. The anthocyanins are strong antioxidants that give the berries their color. Research at the Indiana University School of Medicine have found that these chemicals can interact with nitrous oxide, a chemical produced by the body, to relax blood vessels (Experimental Biology conference 5/20/02).
As researchers work to devise lifestyle roadmaps that can steer you around the perils of heart disease, they are finding that exercise is a key path to avoiding cardiovascular complications.
A 17-year study of about 10,000 Americans found that those who exercised and kept their weight down (or took weight off and kept it off) experienced a significantly lower risk of heart problems (Preventive Medicine 11/03).
"The fact is that those who both exercised more and ate more nevertheless had low cardiovascular mortality," says Jing Fang, MD, of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York. Burning calories in physical activity may be the secret to reducing heart disease risk and living longer, she says.
Dr. Fang's research used information collected from the First National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in 1975 and then computed how much people exercised, how their body mass indices varied and which of these folks died of heart disease during the next two decades.
In the study, more than 1,500 people died of heart disease. Those who worked out and consumed more calories cut their risk of heart disease death in half.
Exercise Is Essential
"Subjects with the lowest caloric intake, least physical activity, and who were overweight or obese had significantly higher cardiovascular mortality rates than those with high caloric intake, most physical activity, and normal weight," Dr. Fang notes. The individuals in the study who were overweight and didn't exercise had a bigger risk of heart disease even if they tried (and succeeded) at eating less.
"This suggests that heart disease outcome was not determined by a single factor, but rather by a compound of behavioral, socioeconomic, genetic and clinical characteristics," according to Dr. Fang.
According to researchers, if your job requires a great deal of physical activity, your health will be better if you get another job. Exercise on the job not only doesn't decrease your risk of heart disease, it may actually raise it. The reason: On-the-job activity is linked to heart-endangering increases in job stress.
Research into this subject, performed at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, found that while recreational exercise slowed hardening of the arteries, workers who had to exert themselves during the workday had arteries that were blocked at a younger age (American Journal of Medicine 7/03).
In this study, researchers examined about 500 middle-aged employees as part of what is called the Los Angeles Atherosclerosis Study.
"We found that atherosclerosis progressed significantly faster in people with greater stress, and people who were under more stress also were the ones who exercised more in their jobs," says James Dwyer, PhD, professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School. According to Dr. Dwyer, "This suggests that the apparent harmful effect of physical activity at work on atherosclerosis-and heart disease risk-may be due to the tendency of high-activity jobs to be more stressful in modern workplaces.
"It appears from our findings that the psychological stresses associated with physically active jobs overcomes any biological benefit of the activity itself."
On the other hand, the scientists found that heart disease drops dramatically among those who exercise the most in their spare time. In the study, people who vigorously worked out at least three times a week had the lowest risk. But even those who just took walks enjoyed better heart health than people whose most strenuous activity was working the TV remote. Dr. Dwyer says, "These results are important because they demonstrate the very substantial and almost immediate-within one or two years-cardiovascular benefit of greater physical activity."
Lowering your risk of heart disease is substantially up to you. Listen to what your heart tells you it needs; then, exercise your right to fetch some cardiovascular necessities.
MYELIN SHEATH SUPPORT™ - Herbal-Nutrient Nervous System Support!
June 04, 2005 10:15 AM
Planetary Formulas is pleased to introduce MYELIN SHEATH SUPPORT: a comprehensive formula designed to support the fat-like insulating sheath (myelin) that surrounds nerve tissues. Properly formed myelin is necessary for optimal nerve conduction. MYELIN SHEATH SUPPORT is the first formula developed for Planetary Formulas by herbalist and Ayurvedic specialist Alan Tillotson. It consists of some of the most highly regarded tonifiers of Chinese and Ayurvedic herbalism, along with additional key botanicals and supporting nutrients used with success in his practice.
Nervous System Support
MYELIN SHEATH SUPPORT is a broad-range herbal-nutrient formula that supports your nervous system with traditional Ayurvedic and Chinese botanicals as well as scientifically researched nutrients. Vitamin B-12 is key to the MYELIN SHEATH SUPPORT formula. It plays two critical roles: 1) it is essential for normal health of blood; and 2) it may function as a coenzyme in the synthesis of either the protein or lipid part of myelin.
Comprehensive Botanical - Nutrient Formula
Ayurvedic botanicals: Ashwagandha has been widely used throughout India for 3,000-4,000 years. It is one of the most highly regarded tonics in the 6,000-year old Ayurvedic tradition. Bacopa has been reported by Ayurvedic scholar Charaka to promote mental ability. Yogaraj Guggul is one of the most valued botanical compounds of Ayurveda. The boswellic acids in boswellia inhibit leukotriene synthesis. Shilajit, a mineral resin that oozes from steep rocks in the Himalayas, is used extensively in Ayurveda. Curcuma (turmeric) has been used both internally and externally in Ayurveda. Curcuma is included in a dosage clinically shown to inhibit a group of enzymes that influence metabolism of arachidonic acid. Arachidonic acid is an unsaturated fatty acid found in most animal fats and is a precursor of prostaglandins. Chinese herbs: Included are the Chinese tonifiers panax ginseng and tienchi ginseng, as well as licorice extract (which is also prominent in European herbalism). MYELIN SHEATH SUPPORT delivers panax ginseng in amounts clinically shown to have adaptogenic (anti-stress) effects. Nutrients: Vitamin B-12, central for supporting the nervous system and specifically the myelin sheath, is included in the form of methylcobalamin. While a few forms of B-12 have been used clinically, it has been shown that methylcobalamin is a highly assimilable form of B-12, leading to increased retention in tissues. MYELIN SHEATH SUPPORT also includes zinc, copper, L-selenomethionine, boron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, chromium and pantothenic acid.
Alan Tillotson is the newest member of the Planetary Formulas formulation team. He has been an ardent student of Ayurvedic herbalism, having engaged in an apprenticeship since 1976 with Ayurvedic scholar Mana Bajra Bajracharya, a practitioner whose family’s Ayurvedic lineage dates back 700 years. Planetary Formulas MYELIN SHEATH SUPPORT is available in bottles of 45, 90 and 180 tablets. Planetary Formulas: More than Herbs— Herbalism!
Full Spectrum Arjuna & Arjuna CardioComfort
June 02, 2005 10:12 AM
Arjuna bark has been used in Ayurvedic herbalism for more than three centuries to support a healthy heart. Today, scientific research is confirming arjuna’s benefits and providing the knowledge that enables development of highly effective arjuna formulations. Planetary Formulas offers you two premier arjuna products, unsurpassed for dependability and efficacy. FULL SPECTRUM ARJUNA combines arjuna bark with arjuna bark extract, for a broad spectrum of beneficial constituents. ARJUNA CARDIOCOMFORT combines arjuna with additional botanicals renowned for supporting cardiovascular health. Both reflect Planetary Formulas’ commitment to herbalism at its best—uniting traditional herbal wisdom with the findings of modern clinical and pharmacological research.
FULL SPECTRUM™ ARJUNA
The arjuna tree (Terminalia arjuna) grows to heights of 60-90 feet throughout India. Its thick, white-to-pinkish gray bark has been used in traditional Ayurvedic herbalism for generations, primarily as a cardiac tonic. Arjuna has been found to help support heart health, to have antioxidant properties similar to vitamin E, and to help maintain cholesterol levels already in the normal range, according to preliminary clinical studies. It has also been found to help maintain healthy phospholipid and triglyceride levels, according to animal research. Arjuna may work by supporting healthy cardiac muscle function and pumping of the heart. These effects are associated with its saponin glycosides, while its flavonoids and oligomeric proanthocyanidins are associated with antioxidant activity and vascular support.
This broad-range formula combines arjuna bark with additional botanicals, including salvia, hawthorn and Guggul. Salvia is the most widely used herb in China for supporting healthy circulation. Hawthorn is the most widely used herb in North America and Europe for supporting a healthy heart. Research suggests that hawthorn increases coronary blood flow, displays antioxidant activity and supports normal heart contraction. Guggul is a traditional Ayurvedic botanical, shown in modern research to support cholesterol levels already in the normal range. Together these botanicals provide a comprehensive herbal approach for supporting a healthy heart.
CLINICALLY DERIVED FORMULAS
FULL SPECTRUM™ ARJUNA and ARJUNA CARDIOCOMFORT were developed by Planetary Formulas’ primary formulator, renowned herbalist and clinician, Michael Tierra, L.Ac., O.M.D., and are used on a daily basis in his clinical practice. This means your customers can be assured of obtaining the benefits they are seeking from an herbal product.
Developed exclusively for Planetary Formulas by world renowned herbalist, acupuncturist, and author Michael Tierra, L.Ac., O.M.D., who has more than 30 years of clinical experience.
Diet Metabo 7 -- It's all about Mood and Metabolism ...
June 01, 2005 12:08 PM
It’s incredibly difficult to stay committed to a weight loss program—to change the eating habits of a lifetime and resist “emotional overeating.” You need a weight loss program that helps you break the unhealthful cycle of dieting and losing— followed by bingeing and gaining back.
We can’t stop the Yo-Yo®, but we can give you a fighting chance.
DIET METABO-7 supports seven body systems related to successful weight loss, including cellular energy generation and metabolism, and neurotransmitter production to support calmness, drive and determination.
DIET METABO-7 SUPPORTS SEVEN BODY SYSTEMS
Your body is composed of complex interactive systems that work on many levels. Likewise, the nutrients in DIET METABO-7 target specific body systems and the connections between them. This full spectrum nutritional formula helps instill balance and harmony by addressing seven interrelated systems whose healthy function is necessary for successful dieting: the brain and nervous system, metabolic energy, liver, thyroid, blood sugar levels, adrenals and fluid balance.
MOOD MANAGEMENT: A POSITIVE ATTITUDE
DIET METABO-7 can help you change your habitual response to eating and start making healthy food choices. A key strategy involves the production of neurotransmitters, the brain chemicals that regulate your nervous system. When certain neurotransmitter levels are low in your brain, you may feel depressed. You crave simple carbohydrates and sugars from bread, pasta or candy— because when the brain is low in mood-enhancing neurotransmitters, it does whatever it can to increase them. It will cause you to crave those foods that produce the building blocks your body uses to raise those neurotransmitter levels. DIET METABO-7 provides specific vitamins and amino acids necessary for your brain to make norepinephrine, serotonin, dopamine and GABA, the major neurotransmitters that help regulate mood and attention, support clear focus and active calm, and affect drive and determination. Included are the amino acids tyrosine, glutamine, phenylalanine and GABA. For example, the brain uses phenylalanine and tyrosine to manufacture norepinephrine. Increased amounts of norepinephrine can block the drive to eat and may help provide a sense of well-being.
METABOLIC ACTIVATORS: HERBAL ENERGIZERS
To support a sustained reduction of body fat, it’s helpful to increase metabolism via exercise and herbal stimulation while lowering caloric intake by curbing appetite. High doses of stimulants, however, are counterproductive and can make you nervous and irritable. To avoid being overly stimulative, DIETMETABO-7 is formulated with appropriate amounts of herbal metabolic activators that promote calorie burning and suppress appetite.
Used since ancient times in India to support health, Sida cordifolia contains a profile of naturally occurring ephedrine alkaloids that act as stimulants to promote the metabolism of fat. This thermogenic effect is augmented by the natural caffeine contained in standardized extracts of green tea, yerba mate, and kola nut. Also included are specific B vitamins essential to the production of energy from the breakdown of fats and carbohydrates.
HELPING THE LIVER: DETOXIFICATION AND CIRCULATION
One of the most overworked organs is the liver, the body’s chief manufacturing and detoxification plant. It constantly regulates the levels of chemicals circulating throughout the bloodstream and plays a key role in breaking down fat and eliminating waste products. The amino acid N-acetyl cysteine is an antioxidant that strongly supports liver function. Your liver needs it to make glutathione, a crucial detoxifying substance used to remove harmful compounds from your bloodstream. Optimal metabolic energy depends on healthy circulation, especially while dieting, when the bloodstream is delivering excess waste products to the liver for removal. To help maintain a healthy circulatory system, DIET METABO-7 includes standardized extracts of ginkgo and horse chestnut. In use for centuries, these botanicals have been the subject of numerous chemical and pharmacological investigations.
THE THYROID: YOUR BODY’S THERMOSTAT
Your thyroid gland produces hormones that control how quickly you burn calories and use energy. Tyrosine is an amino acid building block of thyroid hormones. Low blood levels of tyrosine have been associated with the underproduction of thyroid hormones. Kelp and bladderwrack provide natural sources of iodine, the basic substance of thyroid hormones.
STABILIZING BLOOD SUGAR: CONTROLLING MOOD SWINGS An important strategy of DIET METABO-7 is to minimize the changes in blood sugar levels that can cause unwanted mood swings, which diminish your physical and mental energy. Chromium, an essential mineral, is important to carbohydrate and fat metabolism and tends to increase insulin efficiency. It helps stabilize blood sugar levels and keep you on an even keel.
DEALING WITH THE STRESS FACTOR
Dieting often adds more stress to your life, and stress hormones affect the mind and body in many ways. They disrupt liver function and blood sugar levels, which lowers energy production in the brain, adversely influencing mood and motivation. Because your adrenals need extra attention, DIET METABO-7 helps nourish these hardworking glands with pantothenic acid and ascorbic acid, both necessary for healthy adrenal function. Also, pantothenic acid provides additional support for energy generation during dieting.
Potassium is an essential mineral with many functions, including the transmission of electrical impulses in the brain. It works with sodium to control the body’s water balance. Dieting tends to deplete potassium levels in the body, therefore DIET METABO-7 replenishes this vital nutrient.
THE WEIGHT IS OVER
DIET METABO-7 provides necessary cofactors to balance body systems involved with healthy weight management. When used with the Maximum Metabolism Weight Loss Plan and exercise program, Source Naturals DIET METABO-7 may help you achieve your goal of a healthy and more vibrant life.
Under-Reported (and Underappreciated) Cholesterol control.
May 12, 2005 10:00 AM
Under-Reported (and Underappreciated) Solutions for Cholesterol and Triglyceride Controlby Richard Conant, L.Ac., C.N.
Fat and human existence are inseparable. Setting aside the fear and loathing over fat in the body that pervades our culture, we understand that fat is our friend. We cannot live without fat.
The human body contains many different kinds of fats and fat-like molecules. Collectively known as "lipids" these fatty substances include fatty acids, lipoproteins, phospholipids, glycolipids, triglycerides, steroid hormones and the infamous, dreaded cholesterol.
Lipids (fats) are found everywhere in the body, performing a variety of vital functions. The brain is a fat-rich organ. Brain neurons and all other nerve cells are protected by a myelin sheath, made largely out of fatty material. Cell membranes consist almost entirely of phospholipids (lipids that contain phosphorus) arranged in a sandwich-like double layer embedded with proteins. Sex hormones are lipids, belonging to the group of complex lipid molecules known as "steroids." Vitamin D is a lipid.
The body stores and transports fatty acids in the form of triglycerides. A triglyceride contains three fatty acid molecules, which have a chain-like structure, linked to glycerol. (There are also mono- and di-glycerides, which have one and two fatty acid chains, respectively, attached to glycerol.)
Like many other things necessary to life, fat is a two-edged sword. Fat insulates us from the cold, cushions and protects our vital organs and serves as a storehouse for energy. Yet, when present in excess to the point of obesity, fat threatens health, happiness, self-esteem, social standing and longevity. The same is true of other lipids, most notably triglycerides and cholesterol. Transported throughout the body in the bloodstream, these essential lipids become a health liability when the blood contains too much of them.
Keeping fat in it its proper place, not eliminating or drastically reducing it, is the goal we should seek. In the blood, lipids must be maintained at healthy levels and ratios. When they are, an important foundation of good health is established.
How do we keep the blood lipids we need——triglycerides and the various forms of cholesterol——balanced at healthy levels? Diet and exercise are indispensable, these basics must come first. Along with the recommended dietary practices, a number of nutritional approaches offer help for maintaining healthy blood lipids. We will now give several of these a closer look.
In 1990, an herb used for centuries in the Far East was introduced to U.S. consumers. This herb, called "gum Guggul," is proving to be one of the most effective natural cholesterol-lowering agents ever discovered. It also brings triglycerides down and raises HDL, the "good" cholesterol. The changes are substantial; gum Guggul single-handedly normalizes the entire blood lipid profile, even in people with high starting levels of cholesterol and triglycerides.
Gum Guggul, also called simply "Guggul," is a gummy resin tapped from the Commiphora tree. A cousin of myrrh gum, Guggul has been used by Ayurvedic herbalists of India for at least 3,000 years; texts dating from around 1,000 B.C. mention the herb. Guggul was traditionally given for rheumatism and poor health caused by excess consumption of fatty foods. One ancient Sanskrit text describes in detail what happens in the body when blood fats are out of balance, due to sedentary lifestyle and overeating. The name of this condition has been translated as "coating and obstruction of channels."
Intrigued by the obvious similarity between "coating and obstruction of channels" and arteries clogged by fatty plaque, Indian researchers initiated a series of experimental and clinical studies in the 1960's to see if gum Guggul would lower excess blood lipids.1 Both human and animal studies consistently showed cholesterol and triglyceride reductions.
Detailed pharmacological studies showed that Guggul's lipid-lowering effects are produced by compounds in the resin called "Guggulsterones."2 An Indian pharmaceutical firm then patented a standardized extract of gum Guggul under the trade name "Gugulipid." The product contains a uniform 2.5 percent Guggulsterones, which is higher than Guggul resin in its natural state.
Because Gugulipid guarantees the necessary intake of Guggulsterones needed for blood fat reduction, it has become the product used in clinical research. Phase I efficacy safety trials and Phase II efficacy trials have yielded more positive data.3,4,5 Most of the studies on gum Guggul have used relatively small numbers of subjects; this tends to make mainstream medical scientists reluctant about natural remedies. A large, well-publicized double-blind Gugulipid trial on 400 to 500 people would go a long way toward giving this herb the credibility it deserves.
Another effective natural solution for blood fat control that should be better known is a relative of pantothenic acid (vitamin B5). Pantethine is the active form of pantothenic acid in the body. Pantethine forms CoA, an essential co-enzyme for utilization of fat. CoA transports "active acetate," an important byproduct of fat metabolism that provides fuel for generating cellular energy. By promoting the burning of fats for energy, pantethine helps keep triglyceride levels down.6 Pantethine also helps regulate cholesterol production, by facilitating the conversion of fat into other lipid-based molecules needed in the body.6
Japanese researchers began studying the effect of pantethine on blood fats nearly twenty years ago. They reported their promising results at the Seventh International Symposium on Drugs Affecting Lipid Metabolism, held in Milan, Italy in 1980.7 Few in the medical or scientific communities took notice. Italian researchers followed up with several small clinical trials that confirmed the preliminary reports.6,8,9 An excellent cholesterol and triglyceride lowering agent that is safe and free of side-effects, pantethine remains, for the most part, ignored by mainstream science, although its usage is growing in alternative medicine circles. Pantethine it will no doubt prove to be one of the most important supplements for maintaining healthy blood fat levels.
When taken in high enough doses, niacin (vitamin B3) substantially lowers cholesterol. This has been known to medical science for many years.10 studies on niacin as a cholesterol-lowering agent go back to the 1950's. There was a fair amount of initial enthusiasm for niacin because it improves, unlike most lipid-lowering drugs, all parameters of the blood lipid profile. Niacin reduces total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. It also raises HDL cholesterol quite well. Interest in niacin has faded, in part because the necessary dose, 1200 milligrams a day or more, can cause flushing and gastrointestinal disturbances. Very high doses may be harmful to the liver if taken for too long.
There is a solution to the side-effect problem with niacin which, again, has failed to gain widespread attention. Inositol hexanicotinate is a flush-free form of niacin composed of six niacin molecules bonded to one molecule of inositol, another B-complex nutrient. Absorbed as an intact structure, inositol hexanicotinate is metabolized slowly, releasing free niacin into the bloodstream over a period of hours following ingestion.11 Inositol hexanicotinate has all the benefits of niacin for controlling blood fats. The flushing effect of ordinary niacin, which metabolizes much more rapidly, does not occur. Taking as much as four grams per day has not been reported to raise liver enzymes or cause other side-effects, but prudence dictates that people with liver problems should avoid very high doses of inositol hexanicotinate, or any form of niacin.12
We often think of vitamin E as synonymous with d-alpha tocopherol. Vitamin E is actually a whole family of compounds that includes various tocopherols and a group of lesser known but highly beneficial substances called "tocotrienols." All have vitamin E activity. Tocotrienols are similar in chemical structure to tocopherols, but they have important differences which give them unique and highly beneficial properties for human health.
Vitamin E is one of the most recognized antioxidants, nutrients that deactivate potentially toxic byproducts of oxygen metabolism known as free radicals. Vitamin E neutralizes peroxides, which result from the free radical oxidation of lipids, making it a key antioxidant in cell membranes. While d-alpha tocopherol has generally been regarded as the form of vitamin E with the strongest antioxidant activity, tocotrienols are even stronger.
The tocotrienol story is another example of a natural product slow to gain recognition. A Univeristy of California research team discovered that d-alpha tocotrienol is over six times more effective than d-alpha tocopherol at protecting cell membranes against free radical damage.13 In the presence of vitamin C, which recycles vitamin E-like compounds, its antioxidant activity is 40 to 60 times higher than d-alpha tocopherol. This study was published in 1991. Its safe to say few cardiac physicians know about tocotrienols, and we have yet to see 60 Minutes do a piece on "the powerful new form of vitamin E."
It would be a tremendous service to public health if they did, because the benefits of tocotrienols go far beyond their stellar antioxidant ability. Tocotrienols also lower total cholesterol and LDL, by impressive percentages. In one double-blind controlled study, tocotrienols reduced total cholesterol by 16 percent and LDL by 21 percent after twelve weeks. Another study recorded drops of 15 to 22 percent in total cholesterol along with 10 to 20 percent decreases in LDL levels.14 Now appearing on health food store shelves, tocotrienols are a health-protecting nutrients whose long overdue time has come. Derived from food oils such as palm oil and rice bran oil, tocotrienols have the same lack of toxicity as ordinary vitamin E.
1. Satyavati, G. Gugulipid: a promising hypolipidaemic agent from gum Guggul (Commiphora wightii). Economic and Medicinal Plant Research 1991;5:47-82.
2. Dev, S. A modern look at an age-old Ayurvedic drug—Guggulu. Science Age July 1987:13-18.
3. Nityanand, S., Srivastava, J.S., Asthana, O.P. Clinical trials with gugulipid. J. Ass. Physicians of India 1989;37(5):323-28.
4. Agarwal, R.C. et. al. Clinical trial of gugulipid—a new hypolipidemic agent of plant origin in primary hyperlipidemia. Indian J Med Res 1986;84:626-34.
5. 'Gugulipid' Drugs of the Future 1988;13(7):618-619.
6. Maggi, G.C., Donati, C., Criscuoli, G. Pantethine: A physiological lipomodulating agent, in the treatment of hyperlipidemias. Current Therapeutic Research 1982;32(3):380-86.
7. Kimura, S., Furukawa, Y., Wakasugi, J. Effects of pantethine on the serum lipoprotiens in rats fed a high cholesterol diet (Abstract) Seventh International Symposium on Drugs Affecting Lipid Metabolism, Milan, Italy, 1980.
8. Arsenio, L. Bodria, P. Effectiveness of long-term treatment with pantethine in patients with dyslipidemia. Clinical Therapeutics 1986;8(5):537-45.
9. Avogaro, P. Bittolo Bon, G. Fusello, M. Effect of pantethine on lipids, lipoproteins and apolipoproteins in man. Current Therapeutic Research 1983;33(3):488-93.
10. Crouse, J.R. New developments in the use of niacin for treatment of hyperlipidemia: new considerations in the use of an old drug. Coronary Artery Disease 1996;7(4):321-26.
11. Welsh, A.L. Ede, M. Inositol hexanicotinate for improved nicotinic acid therapy. International Record of Food Medicine 1961;174(1):9-15.
12. "Inositol hexaniacinate" (Monograph). Alternative Medicine Review 1998;3(3):222-3.
13. Serbinova, E., et. al. Free radical recycling and intramembrane mobility in the antioxidant properties of alpha-tocopherol and alpha tocotrienol. Free Radical Biology and Medicine 1991;10:263-275.
14. Qureshi, N. Qureshi, A.A. Tocotrienols: Novel Hypercholesterolemic Agents with Antioxidant Properties. in 'Vitamin E in Health and Disease' Lester Packer and Jürgen Fuchs, Editors. 1993; New York: Marcel Dekker, Inc.
Control Cholesterol with the following Supplements
Guggul – New Benefits for Heart Health
May 11, 2005 09:00 PM
Gum Guggul–New Benefits for Heart Health from an Age-Old Herbby Richard Conant, L.Ac., C.N.
The 1990's have seen a growing interest in herbs from India's ancient Ayurvedic tradition. One Ayurvedic herb in particular, "gum Guggul," stands at the forefront, thanks to its rather remarkable benefits for the heart and cardiovascular health. A relative of myrrh and frankincense, gum Guggul is a resin tapped from India's Commiphora mukul tree. Known more commonly in the Far East as simply "Guggul," the herb has proven to be one of the most effective natural cholesterol-lowering agents ever discovered. Cholesterol reductions with Guggul can be twenty percent or higher, and the herb also raises HDL, the more beneficial form of cholesterol. Studies also show Guggul may help prevent atherosclerosis, by retarding the formation of fatty, cholesterol-laden deposits in blood vessel tissues.
Recent research on Guggul has revealed that Guggul also blocks the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, by acting as an antioxidant. LDL, which carries cholesterol from the liver to the rest of the body, is generally regarded as a key element in the development of atherosclerosis. But only when it is oxidized by free radicals does LDL accumulate in arteries. It its unoxidized or "native" state, LDL is more or less benign. Checking LDL oxidation is vital to keeping blood vessels free of plaque.1 (This is one of the major reasons why antioxidants are so important.) Guggul, by both lowering blood cholesterol and acting against LDL oxidation, now stands out as one of the world's most valuable herbs for heart health.
Guggul first caught the attention of the scientific world in1966, thanks to an Indian medical researcher who submitted a doctoral thesis on gum Guggul.2 Her interest had been kindled by references to the herb in a centuries-old Ayurvedic text. Apparently, poor cardiovascular health and atherosclerosis were a problem back then just as they are today. Translated from Sanskrit, this text describes, in elegant detail, a condition called "coating and obstruction of channels." The cause, according to the ancient writers? Faulty metabolism due to overeating of fatty foods and lack of exercise. Death was said to be the end result of leaving this condition uncorrected. The recommended treatment plan emphasized diet and herbs, chiefly gum Guggul.3
References to Guggul in ancient literature actually go back even farther. The herb is mentioned in the Vedas, the holy scriptures of India believed to be anywhere from 3,000 to 10,000 years old. One stanza is translated as follows: "Disease (consumption) does not afflict and the curse never affects whom the delicious odor of the healing Guggul penetrates (spreads). The diseases also flee away in all directions from him like horses and deer, O Gugulu! Either born from Sindhu or from the sea. I chant your name for the removal of diseases."3
Struck by the obvious similarity between "coating and obstruction of channels" and atherosclerosis, the Indian researcher decided to study gum Guggul's effect on blood fats in rabbits. Over a two-year period, the animals were fed hydrogenated vegetable oil to artificially raise their cholesterol levels. Guggul was administered to one group of rabbits, while the rest served as controls. At the end of the study the rabbits given Guggul had normal cholesterol and blood lipid levels. Their arteries showed no fatty streaks or plague deposits. This caught the attention of the Indian scientific community, and numerous clinical trials ensued, both on animals and humans. In study after study, Guggul consistently produced substantial reductions in cholesterol and triglyceride levels, while raising HDL.
The active ingredients in Guggul are a group of natural plant sterols. Among these, substances called "Guggulsterones" are the most important ingredients for the cholesterol and blood fat lowering properties of Guggul, with the other sterols acting as a synergistic supporting cast.4 A number of mechanisms are suggested, although not definitely proven, for how the herb works; these include reducing the synthesis of cholesterol in the liver, enhancing cholesterol removal from the gut, stimulating thyroid function and increasing the number of receptors in the liver for uptake of LDL.3,5
Guggul extracts are now standardized for Guggulsterone content. The herb naturally contains about 2 percent Guggulsterones. Quality extracts contain a minimum of 2.5 percent, which assures the user is getting a product potent enough to produce results. Since the late 1980's clinical trials have used the standardized extract.6,7,8 The product is readily available in the U.S.
The ability of Guggulsterones to prevent oxidation of LDL was discovered in a 1997 study done by scientists at the Central Drug Research Institute in Lucknow, India.9 This study sheds light on how Guggul works against "coating and obstruction of channels." Remember that oxidized LDL forms the plaque that coats and eventually obstructs blood vessels. The researchers mixed LDL from human blood with a free radical promoting agent, either alone or in combination with Guggulsterones. Samples were then analyzed for the presence LDL oxidation byproducts. The results showed that Guggulsterones strongly protect LDL from being oxidized. Guggulsterones block the formation of hydroxyl radicals, a potent type of free-radical that attacks cell membranes.
Guggulsterones may also help keep the heart muscle itself healthy. When the heart muscle is deprived of oxygen, a condition known as "myocardial ischemia," it can be severely damaged by free radicals. The body tries to counter this with SOD, a key enzyme present in cells that neutralizes free radicals. SOD levels are significantly reduced in damaged heart tissues. Guggulsterones have been found to reverse this decrease by more than two-fold.10
Like the writer of that age-old verse found in the Vedas, contemporary herbalists hold gum Guggul in the highest regard. Backed as it is by scientific research linked to centuries of traditional use, gum Guggul has a bright future as a natural resource for maintaining normal cholesterol and blood fats, and for protecting heart health.
1. Heinecke, J.W. Free radical modification of low density lipoprotein: mechanisms and biological consequences. Free Radical Biology & Medicine 1987;3:65-73.
2. Satyavati, G.V. Effect of an indigenous drug on disorders of lipid metabolism with special reference to atherosclerosis and obesity (Medoroga) M.D. thesis (Doctor of Ayurvedic Medicine). Banaras Hindu University, varanasi, 1966.
3. Satyavati, G. Gugulipid: a promising hypolipidaemic agent from gum Guggul (Commiphora wightii). Economic and Medicinal Plant Research 1991;5:47-82.
4. Dev, S. A modern look at an age-old Ayurvedic drug-Guggulu. Science Age July 1987:13-18.
5. Singh, V. et. al. Stimulation of low density lipoprotein receptor activity in liver membrane of Guggulsterone treated rats. Pharmacological Research 1990;22(1):37-44.
6. Nityanand, S., Srivastava, J.S., Asthana, O.P. Clinical trials with gugulipid. J. Ass. Physicians of India 1989;37(5):323-28.
7. Agarwal, R.C. et. al. Clinical trial of gugulipid-a new hypolipidemic agent of plant origin in primary hyperlipidemia. Indian J Med Res 1986;84:626-34.
8. 'Gugulipid' Drugs of the Future 1988;13(7):618-619.
9. Singh, K., Chandler, R. Kapoor, N.K. Guggulsterone, a potent hypolipidaemic, prevents oxidation of low density lipoprotein. Phytotherapy Research 1997;11:291-94.
10. Kaul, S. Kapoor, N.K. Reversal of chnages of lipid peroxide, xanthine oxidase and superoxide dismutase by cardio-protective drugs in isoproterenol induced myocardial necrosis in rats. Indian Journal of Experimental Biology 1989;27:625-627.
May 09, 2005 06:10 PM
It's in the BloodNatural alternatives abound for managing cholesterol levels, backed by a growing body of research ©VR By Paul Bubny
The National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) last July lowered the threshold for considering the use of statin drugs—a move which some say was motivated more by profits than scientific evidence. For example, the Center for Science in the Public Interest pointed out that eight of the nine authors behind the new recommendations had financial ties to statin manufacturers, which stand to reap billions of dollars more from a category that grossed $14 billion in the U.S. last year. And though the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in January decided against authorizing over-the-counter (OTC) sales of statin drugs, drug companies would still like to see this happen.
“The medical establishment’s pushing of these drugs to becoming the number one category of prescribed drugs in the world has led them to keep lowering the total cholesterol number that triggers the drug recommendation,” said Neil E. Levin, C.C.N., D.A.N.L.A., nutrition educator, product formulator, and “Truth Advocate” for NOW Foods (Bloomingdale, IL), which produces a number of supplements for addressing cholesterol. “This is despite the lack of evidence that total cholesterol means much as regards cardiovascular risks.
“Other tests are much more important in terms of predicting risks, including CRP (C-reactive protein), the balance of different cholesterol fractions, and homocysteine,” he continued. “Add adult-onset diabetes to the risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD).”
At the same time, the allegation that enormous sales potential lay behind the lower threshold for prescribing statin drugs illustrates how widespread the problem of hypercholesterolemia (elevated total cholesterol) is. More than 100 million Americans have elevated cholesterol (total cholesterol values of 200 mg/dl and higher), and of these, more than a third have high cholesterol (levels of 240 mg/dl and higher), according to the American Heart Association. Those numbers have unfavorable implications for the incidence of CVD, as high cholesterol is considered a risk factor for coronary heart disease and stroke.
While statin drugs haven’t garnered the same degree of negative publicity that COX-2 inhibitors have suffered lately, safety concerns have arisen nonetheless. For one thing, these drugs lower the liver’s production of coenzyme Q10 (coQ10) along with its production of cholesterol. “CoQ10 is related to energy production and immune functions, is an antioxidant, and [is] an important cardiovascular nutrient,” Levin said. “It is not good to lower one’s coQ10 levels by half!”
Moreover, said Levin, statins increase the tendency of muscle tissues to break down. “Combined with inactivity or certain drugs, this can stimulate muscle wasting,” he said. “Muscle is where a good deal of calories are burned, so a loss of muscle could affect mobility and energy production, potentially adding to obesity problems. These muscle changes occurred in patients and persisted for years after treatment was discontinued, as shown by muscle biopsies, even if no obvious muscle problems were observed by the patients.”
And the last word on the subject may not have been spoken. Predicted Dr. Frank King, Jr. president of King Bio Natural Medicine (Asheville, NC), “Once the appropriate studies are finished, these drugs, along with hypertensives, will hit the fan bigger than the COX-2 inhibitors.”
Also looking toward the future, Levin said that of the 20 million Americans who will be “targeted” for statin drug prescriptions under the new NCEP guidelines, “Some of these will want to try natural methods first. Others will rebel at the side effects of the drugs and experiment with alternative products.”
King and Levin both saw opportunity for natural products in the fallout from drug safety concerns, with King projecting that sales of his company’s cholesterol-related homeopathic remedies will double in 2005. “The reports of deaths from drugs will always overshadow the trumped-up studies and news reports blasting dietary supplements,” said Levin. “Vioxx knocked vitamin E off the media’s radar screens pretty rapidly, though we still see ignorant reporters citing that [Johns Hopkins] vitamin E analysis as if it were true. But the comparable safety of supplements means that open-minded people will want to at least try natural therapies before signing in to a lifetime of drug therapies. Meanwhile, the studies on natural products will continue to build our credibility.”
Those studies keep coming in, with at least four major findings published in the past few months, plus a heart-health claim on walnuts authorized by FDA. They join a raft of earlier findings that link natural products—branded and otherwise—to healthy cholesterol levels.
"Blur of Products"
With so many natural alternatives to cholesterol drugs available, it can be hard to keep track. “As with any other category, the blur of products as they cascade over several shelves means that the retailer needs to have a good sense of what works and what they want to recommend to their customers,” Levin said. “Really, each person needs a protocol that would include antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, herbs, and oils. The pre-mixed cholesterol support formulas are a good starting place.”
To help retailers get a sense of “what works,” here is an alphabetical discussion of several nutrients that have demonstrated benefits in serum cholesterol levels. They include the following:
Barley may help lower cholesterol, according to a report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2004, vol.80, no.5: 1185-1193). Twenty-five adults with mild hypercholesterolemia consumed a controlled diet low in total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol for 19 weeks. They then added whole-grain products containing barley to their diets that contained low (0 g), medium (3 g), or high (6 g) amount of beta-glucan per day for five weeks. Total cholesterol was reduced by 4 percent 9 percent, and 10 percent, respectively. The diet with the highest amount of beta-glucan led to a decrease in LDL cholesterol of 17 percent.
Chromium. There’s evidence, Levin said, that chromium in doses of 500 mg a day may decrease levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL, the so-called “bad” cholesterol) and total cholesterol while raising levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or “good” cholesterol). At the annual meeting of the American College of Nutrition last October, a poster presentation on the safety of Benicia, CA-based InterHealth Nutraceuticals’ ChromeMate niacin-bound chromium won first prize; among other things, the presentation cited chromium’s role in maintaining healthy blood lipid levels.
Fatty Acids. The latest in a long line of studies demonstrating the benefits of fatty acids in heart health is a study published in The International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics in December 2004. It showed that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an omega-3 fatty acid, can restore normal blood vessel function in children with inherited high cholesterol. The study, which used Martek DHA produced from microalgae, concluded that restoration of normal blood vessel function has the “potential for preventing the progression of early coronary heart disease in high-risk children.”
“The evidence continues to accumulate on the cardiovascular benefits of DHA for people of all ages,” said Henry “Pete” Linsert, Jr., chairman and CEO of Martek Biosciences, an ingredient supplier based in Columbia, MD. “This study clearly indicates that DHA played an important role in healthy blood vessel function in the children in this study.”
On the Omega-Research.com Website maintained by fish oil manufacturer Nordic Naturals (Watsonville, CA) can be found summaries of several earlier studies linking omega-3 fatty acids to maintaining healthy blood lipid levels, as well as related benefits such as elasticity of the arteries. In a 2003 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it was found that women receiving a mixture of 4 g eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and DHA along with 2 g of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) had lower levels of LDL cholesterol after 28 days compared to those who received either the EPA/DHA supplements without DHA, EPA/DHA with a smaller dose of GLA, or GLA alone.
Flax is another source of omega-3s, and Arkopharma/Health From The Sun (Bedford, MA) offers FiProFLAX in a variety of forms. Marketing director Hugues P. Mas said the flax is “QAI [Quality Assurance International] certified organic and guaranteed GMO [genetically modified organism]-free.” On its Website, the company offers a cholesterol quiz geared to consumers, discussing the importance of omega-3s as well as other nutrients.
Garlic. Adding to an already considerable body of research demonstrating that garlic can lower total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides while increasing HDL cholesterol, researchers at UCLA in 2003 reported that Kyolic aged garlic extract reduced or inhibited plaque formation in the arteries of 19 cardiac patients taking statin drugs.
Lead researcher Matthew Budoff, Ph.D. commented at the time that the study “suggests that aged garlic extract may be a useful and beneficial dietary addition for the people who have high cardiovascular risk or who have undergone heart surgery.” Budoff has since presented several trade show seminars sponsored by Los Angeles-based Wakunaga of America, the makers of Kyolic.
Guggul. In use for centuries as a component of Ayurvedic medicine, Guggul—a gummy resin tapped from the Commiphora mukul tree, which is native to India—has been studied since the early 1960s for its hypolidemic (blood-lipid lowering) properties. Sabinsa Corp. (Piscataway, NJ), an ingredient supplier which produces a standardized extract under the brand name Gugulipid, says the studies on Guggul indicate that its hypolipidemic activity can be attributed to more than one mechanism of action.
Among the possible mechanisms are: inhibition of cholesterol biosynthesis, enhancing the rate of excretion of cholesterol, promoting rapid degradation of cholesterol, thyroid stimulation, alteration of biogenic amines, and “high affinity binding and anion exchange.”
Homeopathy. “Homeopathy activates the body’s own control system to work properly,” said King. “This is the safest and most curative approach to take.
“Forcing the body into biochemical change even naturally doesn’t actually have the curative action of homeopathy,” King continued. “Homeopathy can even correct the genetic predispositions to disease we may have inherited from as deep as a thousand years into our family chain.” King Bio makes Artery/Cholesterol/BP, a homeopathic formula intended to help tone heart muscles and blood vessels.
Low glycemic index foods. In a study published in the February issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found that high glycemic load is negatively correlated to serum levels of HDL cholesterol. Assessing the relationship between blood levels of lipids and diet in a test population of 32 healthy males and females ages 11 to 25, the researchers found that glycemic load accounted for 21.1 percent of the variation in HDL cholesterol. They concluded that glycemic load appears to be an important independent predictor of HDL cholesterol in youth and noted that dietary restrictions without attention to glycemic load could unfavorably influence blood lipids.
Medicinal Mushrooms. Although its product SX-Fraction is intended primarily to address high blood sugar, Maitake Products, Inc. (MPI, Ridgefield Park, NJ) found in a clinical study that LDL cholesterol in diabetic patients declined modestly (from 142 mg/dl to 133 mg/dl) over a two-month period. Those taking SX-Fraction also lost about 7 lbs. in the same time period.
“The more impressive lowering of cholesterol, however, comes from the dietary fiber that is found in all medicinal mushrooms,” said Ellen Shnidman, manager of scientific affairs at MPI. She cited animal studies which documented the cholesterol-lowering properties of four different mushrooms: maitake, shiitake, agaricus, and enokitake.
For example, a study reported in the September 1996 issue of Alternative Therapies showed “a 44 percent reduction in total cholesterol in rats consuming maitake mushroom in their diet,” said Shnidman. “This cholesterol reduction is accompanied by weight loss, relative to rats eating a similar high-choelsterol diet without mushrooms. Apparently, cholesterol is excreted by the rats in sufficient quantity to aid in weight loss.”
Oat bran. A 2004 consumer study conducted by the Natural Marketing Institute (NMI, Harleysville, PA) for Nurture, Inc. (Devon, PA), which produces the ingredient OatVantage, found that 63 percent of consumers managing their cholesterol levels prefer oat-based ingredients.
Oat bran is the subject of a health claim authorized by FDA in 1999, and NMI research found that 69 percent of respondents preferred the FDA-permitted health claim, “Helps Lower Cholesterol,” over the model structure-function claim, “Helps Maintain Healthy Cholesterol Levels.” “This is significant for food, beverage, and dietary supplement manufacturers who want to increase sales by using a more consumer-desired claim on the product label,” said Griff Parker, Nurture CEO.
Plant sterols. Also the subject of an FDA-approved claim for heart health, plant sterols (structurally similar to cholesterol in humans) can block the absorption of cholesterol, according to a number of studies. In an “Ask the Doctor” publication (available online at www.atdonline.org), Decker Weiss, N.M.D. noted that sterols enter the same receptor sites that cholesterol enters on its way to the bloodstream. “The cholesterol, being blocked from absorption, remains in our intestines where it is eventually excreted,” Weiss wrote. General Mills has just introduced Yoplait Healthy Heart, a yogurt high in plant sterols.
Policosanol. A mixture of fatty alcohols derived from sugar cane or beeswax, policosanol has been favorably compared in clinical studies to several types of prescription drugs for managing cholesterol. On its own, policosanol was found in a 1999 study to reduce LDL cholesterol while raising levels of HDL cholesterol.
Probiotics. “Several studies have indicated that consumption of certain cultured dairy products resulted in reduction of serum cholesterol, as well as triglycerides,” wrote Dr. S.K. Dash, president of probiotic manufacturer UAS Laboratories (Eden Prairie, MN), in his Consumer Guide to Probiotics. Among other studies, Dash cited two controlled clinical studies from the VA Medical Center at the University of Kentucky.
“In the first study, fermented milk containing [Lactobacillus] acidophilus was accompanied by a 2.4 percent reduction of serum cholesterol concentration,” he wrote. “In the second study, a different L. acidophilus strain reduced serum cholesterol concentration by 3.2 percent. Since every 1 percent reduction in serum cholesterol concentration is associated with an estimated 2 to 3 percent reduction in risk for coronary heart disease [CHD], regular intake of fermented milk containing an appropriate strain of L. acidophilus has the potential of reducing risk for [CHD] by 6 to 10 percent.”
Dash said his company’s DDS Probiotics contain DDS-1 L. acidophilus, “which has been researched and demonstrated to show cholesterol-lowering effect.”
Psyllium. “Internal cleansing is very important” in maintaining healthy cholesterol levels, “especially if you do it with a lot of fiber,” said Sunil Kohli, vice president of Chino, CA-based Health Plus, Inc. The cholesterol-managing ability of fiber in general and psyllium in particular is “very well-established,” he said.
However, Kohli said, “It will probably do you no good if it’s random. It should be done on a regular basis, and it should be supervised. Consulting the doctor or pharmacist is important.”
Soy. The protein in soy “has evidence of lowering total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, based on reviews of studies using over 20 g of soy protein per day,” said Levin. “Soy isoflavones are considered only partly responsible for this effect.”
Sytrinol. A patented proprietary formula derived from natural citrus and palm fruit extracts and containing citrus polymethoxylated flavones and palm tocotrienols, Sytrinol has been shown in clinical trials to improve total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides by up to 30 percent, 27 percent, and 33 percent, respectively. Having just wrapped up Phase III of a long-term trial of Sytrinol, Chicago-based SourceOne Global Partners, which owns the exclusive worldwide license for intellectual property associated with the ingredient, is commencing a study that combines Sytrinol with plant sterols.
Tocotrienols. On its Website discussing the science and benefits of tocotrienols (www.tocotrienol.org), ingredient supplier Carotech Inc. (Edison, NJ) identifies several benefits for blood lipid levels. Tocotrienols, according to the Website, have been shown to “inhibit cholesterol production in the liver, thereby lowering total blood cholesterol;” “[suppress] hepatic HMG-CoA reductase activity [and result in] the lowering of LDL cholesterol levels;” and “inhibit cholesterogenesis by suppressing HMG-CoA reductase.”
There are also nutrients that are emerging as potential weapons in the fight against cholesterol. Levin cited rice bran oil, resveratrol, pantethine, l-carnitine, and niacin as showing promise.
With all of this, Levin said, it’s important for retailers to remember that “they are not allowed to discuss diseases and remedies unless there is an approved FDA health claim allowed on the label, as with soy protein and plant sterols. What is allowed are structure-function claims such as ‘cholesterol support,’ ‘promoting normal, healthy circulation,’ ‘homocysteine regulators,’ etc.”
Supplementation is only one tool for managing cholesterol levels, manufacturers pointed out. “Besides nutrition, lifestyle is a key to controlling cholesterol,” Levin said. “Eating a variety of antioxidant-rich foods will prevent the liver from churning out cholesterol as a ‘cheap’ antioxidant. The body uses oxidized cholesterol to patch leaky and damaged blood vessels, so the ability to build healthy collagen is a must, using nutrients like vitamin C, Pycnogenol, rutin, hyaluronic acid, and MSM.
“Don’t forget exercise and stress reduction,” he added. “Stress results in high cortisol levels—usually accompanied by poor blood lipid levels—and a lack of good sleep to produce unhealthy people.” VR
Vitamin Retailer Magazine, Inc., 431 Cranbury Road, East Brunswick, NJ 08816 //www.oprmagazine.com/
May 09, 2005 11:35 AM