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New gut bacteria discovered: Scientists are researching a strainthat shows potential for enhancing weight loss
March 20, 2019 12:52 PM
According to Dr. Gilberto Flores, there is a bacteria called Akkermansia muciniphila that may have the ability to jump-start weight loss. Dr. Flores and other medical experts have an inkling that Akkermansia muciniphila is actually a probiotic, but there still needs to be additional research in order to determine if this is true or not. It has been proven, however, that those who have higher levels of Akkermansia muciniphila within their bodies have a less chance of being overweight or obese.
"If we’re lucky, we can soon learn more about a certain kind of gut bacteria that might have various health benefits such as preventing weight gain."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-01-06-gut-bacteria-shows-promise-for-weight-loss.html
What Is Vitamin A Good For? It Turns Out a Lot of Things
February 21, 2019 07:57 AM
Vitamin A has numerous health benefits, and is a nutrient that most people already get a sufficient amount of. Vitamin A is found in meats, eggs, seafood, fruits and vegetables. Vitamin A helps your eyesight. However, too much Vitamin A can actually cause blurred vision. Vitamin A is also known for helping your skin via retinoids. It also helps your immune system. Some studies have linked Vitamin A with a lower risk of cancer, although the science is not conclusive.
"But even if you don't have to worry about getting enough vitamin A in your diet, it's still important to know what it does in the body — here's what we know about it."
Read more: https://www.womansday.com/health-fitness/nutrition/g25895881/what-is-vitamin-a-good-for/
The importance of magnesium in the prevention and treatment of Type2 diabetes
November 23, 2018 02:19 PM
Type 2 diabetes is something that is really common in the world today. There seems to be so many people who are struggling from it. Doctors have found ways to deal with it and the people who have it always have to go through a process to maintain healthy sugar levels. However, the emergence of magnesium as a potential factor in the prevention and treatment of the disease is promising. By incorporating more magnesium into one's diet, it can make a big difference.
"New research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association has shown that achieving ideal magnesium intake can help prevent type 2 diabetes, as well as improve blood glucose levels in people who’ve already been diagnosed with the condition."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-11-13-magnesium-prevention-and-treatment-of-type-2-diabetes.html
Rosemary can be used to enhance memory in university students
November 01, 2018 10:51 AM
We all know the stress that college kids go through on a daily basis. Keeping up with their studies while also trying to maintain the life of a normal kid is very difficult. College is the time period where students need to figure some things out about themselves. Also, they need to retain information. Some people have better memories than others and that is evident in so many walks of life. Now, studies show that rosemary helps memory.
"Rosemary, known for its distinct fragrance, can also improve memory according to a recent study, proving that the herb’s effects on your brain go beyond making food more appetizing."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-10-18-rosemary-can-be-used-to-enhance-memory.html
Gut microbes can fight parasites: Probiotics may reduce infections, and severity of infections, in developing countries
June 08, 2018 09:16 AM
Parasites are a more common problem in some parts of the world, where soil quality is particularly conducive to their survival and growth. Unfortunately, for individuals that get infected with these parasites, it's becoming harder to get rid of them, as successive strains become more resistant to drugs.
Fortunately, new research is discovering that keeping parasites at bay and destroying those already present may have more to do with the environment of the gut. Individuals from villages in Indonesia and Liberia were the data pool used to find guts harboring parasites as well as those free of them. It was found that some bacteria were actually assistive of the parasites, while others made it hard on them. Since inflammation is the way that the gut generally fights off parasitic invasion, those bacteria that are anti-inflammatory are not useful in ridding the body, although those that aid in producing an inhospitable environment are. It may be that a eating a great deal more fermented foods could be a key, as such foods encourage the production of friendly and useful bacteria.
"Your ability to fight off parasitic worms may be aided by your gut microbiota."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-06-05-gut-microbes-can-fight-parasites-probiotics-may-reduce-infections-and-severity-of-infections-in-developing-countries.html
Anxiety Relief Without The High? New Studies On CBD, A Cannabis Extract
May 23, 2018 09:16 AM
Marijuana is historically known for its mind-altering impact on those who consume it, but this is primarily due to the THC that is present within the strand at use. CBD is a component that is also in all marijuana strands, but it does not promote the same psychological effects that THC does. CBD oil can be extracted out on its own so that patients can consume it for medical benefits without any concern for psychological symptoms. CBD has shown to be especially effective in treating inflammatory diseases, as well as anxiety symptoms.
"By one estimate, the CBD industry has doubled in size over the last two years, and is now worth $200 million. But with this popularity the hype may have gotten ahead of the science."
Read more: http://news.wfsu.org/post/anxiety-relief-without-high-new-studies-cbd-cannabis-extract
Contact Dermatitis + How to Soothe Skin Irritation
October 19, 2017 01:14 PM
When an irritant, or something that we have a sensitivity to touches our skin, we can get a very itchy and blistery rash. Most people will contract some form of this sometime in their life. It usually resolves itself without medical intervention. If it persists for a month, then it may need medical intervention. There are around 15 million people affected by this issue every single year. Thankfully, this issue is not something that can spread.
"Contact dermatitis is responsible for 95 percent of occupational skin diseases and one of the most common reasons to see a dermatologist."
Read more: https://draxe.com/contact-dermatitis/
How CBD Changes The Brain To Treat Psychiatric Disorders
August 01, 2017 04:14 PM
This comes from cannabis. Many use using it to treat a wide variety of issues. It can help with psychiatric disorders because of how it works with the brain, and this is explained here so you will understand what it does before trying it. This is not THC which is what causes you to gt high. That is something else entirely. It is not recommended for medical use while CBD is. CBD can also be taken in many forms.
"The study suggests that CBD’s therapeutic effects are caused by a number of acute mechanisms as well as changes in the structure of the brain over time, known as neuroplasticity."
Read more: http://www.cannatech.news/2017/07/25/how-cbd-changes-the-brain-to-treat-psychiatric-disorders/
What Is Taurine? Separating Myth from Reality
June 03, 2017 09:14 AM
Taurine is is an amino acid naturally found in meats and dairy products. If a person consumes a normal balanced diet, they are probably meeting their daily taurine requirements. It is regarded as safe to consume, as long as it is used responsibly in moderation.
It does have numerous health benefits, including improved heart health, sedative effects for those afflicted with neurological disorders, lowering of cholesterol and blood pressure, combating gum disease, and improvement of athletic performance (although there seems to be some disagreement on this point).
A growing source of Taurine is in energy drinks. While usage of energy drinks has resulted in a rise in emergency room visits, the amount of taurine used within should pose no health risk and is not considered a contributing factor.
It should be noted that taurine is not completely understood at this time. Its effects on pregnant/breast-feeding women are unknown at this time, and the safe decision would be to avoid usage. It is also theorized that taurine may be detrimental to those battling bipolar disorders. Only further scientific studies will clarify the benefits/risks associated with taurine.
"The only amino acid with its own zodiac sign, it’s falsely been associated with the myth of coming from bull urine or bull semen, probably because its name stems from taurus, meaning bull."
Read more: https://draxe.com/what-is-taurine/
5 Easy Ways To Burn Calories Without Dieting
June 01, 2017 05:14 AM
Losing weight is all about burning more calories than you take in. There are many ways to do this. Five are outlined here and none of them involve dieting. Not everyone wants to do that. It isn't safe for some and also isn't if not done properly. You need proper nutrition and may take dieting too far. You can try these ways to see if you burn enough calories to help you. THERE Should be at least a few of these which will work with your lifestyle.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8ByPuYnMDY&rel=0
"Drink more water: most of us don't know how dehydrated we are."
Understanding protein shakes
May 28, 2017 12:14 PM
There are many kinds of protein shakes out there. They come in different flavors and formulas. Many don't understand exactly what they're supposed to do for the body. It is said they can help with weight loss by curbing hunger. They are also good for those who can't eat a solid diet. They are good for you because protein is but what exactly is their purpose? This is outlined here so you can be sure you really need them before taking them.
"While protein shakes can be beneficial, the International Society of Sports Nutrition recommends that those who exercise should try to reach their protein requirements via whole foods."
Read more: http://www.wmicentral.com/community_beat/health/understanding-protein-shakes/article_f73db31b-f5e3-596c-9fa4-ab5b2e5f701f.html
Can we mix onion and garlic juice together to regrow hair ?
April 22, 2017 11:44 AM
Although it may sound strange tHERE Seems to be mounting evidence that a simple dietary change can help stop and possibly regrow hair. Using the results from studies done on animals it would appear that a basic lack of nutrition could be one of the underlying causes of hair loss. By the logic that if loss is caused by lack of nutrients we can grow hair by rubbing nutrient rich garlic on the scalp you can regrow you thinning hair.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yk_NrYajjL8&rel=0
"Garlic has an extremely high sulfur content, which is beneficial to hair. Garlic also has many other nutrients important to hair and general health, according to the National Cancer Institute. Garlic may also be a good topical remedy to improve hair growth."
6 Things I Learned About Ulcers
April 19, 2017 03:44 PM
Are you keen on ulcers? Many people are not, and that is a mistake that could very well be costly. An ulcer is a health concern that you shouldn't play around with. It can cause a great deal of pain, but that is just the first of many concerns. There are so many things to learn about ulcers, but the six facts listed here are among the most important that everyone out there should know.
"My ulcer turned out to be “idiopathic,” which is a fancy way of saying that doctors have no idea why it happened."
Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/13/well/eat/6-things-i-learned-about-ulcers.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&_r=0
Vitamin D and folic acid can help deal with depression
January 08, 2017 12:59 PM
Vitamin D and folic acid are two natural chemicals that affect neurotransmitter function, and low levels of either can contribute to depression. Vitamin D is normally produced by the skin when hit by sunlight, so can run short during the winter. Low iron levels can also affect brain function by limiting the blood's ability to supply the brain with oxygen. Fortunately, levels of all these substances can be boosted through nutrient-rich foods.
"Vitamin D is produced when the skin is exposed to the sun's ultraviolet rays. In regions wHERE Sunshine is limited in winter, more people tend to suffer from depression."
People are using cacao to get high... here's the chemical that makes it happen
December 24, 2016 02:59 PM
Cacao, which is used to make chocolate, is a superfood that contains one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants and magnesium. It also has the benefit of being used to make one of the tastiest candies in the world. Due to its mood-enhancing properties, many party-goers have recently started using concentrated cacao to get high. Some use it to get an endorphin rush, while others use it to calm anxiety and overcome emotional problems. There have actually been healing groups popping up around the world that take the drug together and use it for spiritual enlightenment.
"Reports are surfacing of ground cacao being used as a new party drug in clubs across Europe, be they in drink, or pill form, or even snorted in powdered form."
Learn how iodide can fix hemorrhoids over night
Hemorrhoids, also popularly known as piles, is a condition characterized by enlarged veins in the lower rectum. This condition is majorly caused by blood blockage in the hemorrhoidal complex veins. The hemorrhoidal veins is located just above the internal opening of the anus and can enlarge enough to protrude and give subsequent disturbance and squeezing while setting causes pain.
Constipation and hardened stools due to lack of diet or fluids is the primary cause of hemorrhoids. People who are experiencing constipation have little or no peristalsis process (the process that cause wave-like motion in their bowel through their intestines), and when the bowel strain to have such movement, the result is hemorrhoids. Other causes of hemorrhoids include diarrhea, pregnancy, heavy lifting, and long periods of standing or sitting.
The standard conventional treatment includes lubrication of the surface of the veins with medication that reduce pain and help to shrink the hemorrhoid. Sitz baths and cold or hot packs are also used to soothe the irritated area. In conventional allopathic treatment, surgeons can operate the hemorrhoids and successfully remove it or may be even hardened through injection.
Iodine is popular for eliminating hemorrhoids. Iodine is used in a form called SSKI (Saturated Solution of Potassium Iodide). It should be clear that SSKI can easily cause burning sensation and should be used with a carrier such as flaxseed or olive. A mix of 20 drops of SSKI should be mixed with carrier oil and applied on the affected area at night just before going to bed. Note that iodine stains and it is recommended that you wear bedclothes that you don’t worry about.
How Iodide can fix Hemorrhoids over Night
Saturated solution of potassium iodine is close to 100 in inhibiting and killing bacteria, fungi, and viruses before causing serious infections. So when you apply a few drops of this product with carrier oil, you are sure of preventing any microorganism from affecting the protruded rectum. Taking an ounce of water with about 10 drops of water also results in rapid accumulation of SSKI in all secretions parts of the body and highly assists to eliminate hemorrhoids.
Applying SSKI on the hemorrhoids affected area ensure that it is soft and protected from all kind of germs and this alone enough to solve the problem overnight. A research done show that 6 to 8 drops of SSKI taken daily significantly reduce fibrocystic breast disease to insignificance within 3 to 6 months and when victims of hemorrhoids use apply SSKI or take some drops of the same with water, they get healed within a few weeks.
While using SSKI for treatment, it is vital to monitor the thyroid functions since tHERE Sometimes side effects of this treatment. One of the side effect although minimal is peyronie’s disease that results when the tissue along the shaft of the penis thickens and results in erections that increasingly curve and even painful.
Applying SSKI to thicken tissue twice a day over some weeks helps to soften it considerably and assist to prevent any micro-organism from investing in the affected area and eventually allow normal functioning. In fact, hemorrhoids, disappears sometimes literally overnight when a mixture of 20 drops of SSKI and an ounce of flaxseed oil is applied to them at night.
Can 5-HTP Help with Sleep?
May 26, 2014 12:57 PM
What is 5-HTP
5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan) is a compound which is produced naturally in the body via the means of the amino acid tryptophan. Even though this compound is already present in the body, researchers have found that we can benefit by having more of it. This has resulted in several supplement companies producing this compound from the seeds of an African plant known as Griffonia simplicifolia; 5-HTP can now be found in many health food and drug stores.
Benefits of 5-HTP
Even though tHERE Still hasn't been much research done regarding this supplement, we can still see that there are many uses for it. However, there is sufficient evidence out that shows 5-HTP is effective in treating depression and fibromyalgia, which means improved mood, reduced pain, better joint health, and better quality of sleep. To elaborate on the sleep benefits, 5-HTP increases serotonin levels which are converted into melatonin (a hormone which helps keep sleep cycles under control) through the body. There is also some evidence to suggest that this supplement can reduce anxiety as well as help promote weight loss in obese people.
So there is some great evidence to suggest that this supplement can help to improve our mood, quality of sleep, health and much more. However there is a slight downside, because of the limited amount of research done on this compound it is currently considered possibly unsafe to use. Potential side effects of 5-HTP include muscle ache/pain, heartburn, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, stomach pain, and also a serious condition known as eosinophilia myalgia syndrome – a rare flu-like condition. Drug interactions can take place also; you should stay away from 5-HTP especially if you are taking any anti-depressant medication as these often increase serotonin levels which may result in too much serotonin in the body.
This supplement has many benefits and there has been research done to prove that it is effective in treating many problems such as insomnia, depression, fibromyalgia, anxiety, weight loss and more. However, it is recommended that you stay away from supplementing with 5-HTP because of the limited research done.
Together Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and MSM Fight The Battle Against Joint Pain
December 18, 2013 03:36 AM
What Do Glucosamine / Chondroitin / MSM Have In Common?
In today's cultural, tHERE Seems to be a remedy for almost any ailment. If you have a headache then just take two acetaminophen every four to six hours. Maybe you have broken your arm and can recall the pain medication that was prescribed by your doctor. Unfortunately, as far as science is concerned,not a single treatment works 100% of the time. There is always some sort of relapse period during which, if an individual forgets to take their medicine the pain will return.
How Does Glucosamine Fit Into The Picture
Hundreds of individuals suffer from some sort of joint pain that is found in the knee, hip, or shoulder area. The chance is high that you are one of those people who have been diagnosed witharthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, or bursitis. Most likely, you have also been written a prescription from your doctor for anything from a muscle relaxer to an anti-inflammatory. Be aware of the fact that these medicines will reduce pain and swelling but only for a short period of time. What happens when the pain relapses and you cannot take anymore? Perhaps, you should consider a nutrional supplement that will help your body fight from within.
What About Chondroitin
By itself, glucosamine lubricates the connective tissues of the body. Although, glucosamine cannot work without another natural compound called chondroitin. The body uses glucosamine to produce chrondroitin which is an example of a glycosaminoglycan. Better known as chondroitin sulfate, it must mix with other proteins in the body to create proteoglycans which are found in all connective tissues.
Why Does MSM Sound So Similar
Just like glucosamine and chondroitin , also known as methyl sulfonyl methane , MSM is known to help aid in the fight against osteoarthritis and joint pain. It is naturally found in humans and in certain plants and animals. Usually MSM is paired with glucosamine and chondroitin in a pill or capsule form.
Plants That Fight Against Cancer
May 16, 2013 12:49 PM
As medical research continues to understand cancer and formulate ways to treat it, there has been a lot discovered about cancer fighting plants. There are chemicals in certain plants that have been shown to help prevent cancer, but there have also been plants that can fight cancer once it begins to develop. There are many plants that are considered to be herbs and are not a part of a typical person's everyday diet. However, many fruits and vegetables have been shown to be effective and are found at most super markets.
Good examples of these types of vegetables are those from the cruciferae family. Among vegetables in this family are broccoli, cabbage, kale, collard greens and cauliflower. The specific chemical that is helpful in fighting cancer is Indole-3-carbinol. Although this compound can be found in other plants, it exists in greater concentrations in this family of vegetables.
Indole-3-carbinol works to inhibit and reduce the size of tumors.
Although research is still ongoing, there has been significant work done on animals such as mice and rats that have demonstrated the effectiveness of Indole-3-carbinol. At the time of this writing, the data for its effect on humans is still inclusive, but the research is producing optimism in the medical community. It is in the area of prostate and breast cancer that have shown the best results, but tHERE Seems to have an effect on other forms of cancer as well.
Another example of a natural chemical to help fight cancer is ellagic acid.
This anti-oxidant is found in fruits and vegetables, but it is more prevalent in fruits. Various berries such as blackberries, raspberries and cranberries have the highest concentrations. Pomegranates have been found to have a very high concentration of ellagic acid as well. This chemical is just now beginning to be understood in how it fights cancer.
Although research is in an early stage, it appears that ellagic acid acts to prevent the proliferation of carcinogens that cause cancer by stopping them from binding with human DNA. Even with research still being done and the results, in some cases, still unclear, nutrition has been shown to help prevent and fight cancer. If you begin to add certain vegetables and fruits to your diet, it will be beneficial to your overall health, and this will reduce your chances of getting many forms of cancer.
Other than an allergy to a certain plant, there are no side effects when eating several servings of fruit and vegetables every day of your life. No one has every suffered an ill effect from adding broccoli to their diet. The best way to take advantage of cancer fighting plants is to consume a variety of them throughout the day.
Unless there is a particular type of fruit or vegetable that you love, it is best to mix up the types you eat so that you do not get tired of the food. You should also eat fruits and vegetables as fresh as possible. Although cooked vegetables still have nutritional value, they lose much of their nutritional content when heated. A well balanced diet with very little red meat can go a long way against the fight with cancer.
If you can not consume enough raw vegetables on a daily basis, give these vegetable food concentrates in supplement form a try:
November 17, 2012 10:35 AM
Vitamin D-3 has profound health benefits in our bodies.
It is necessary for maintaining bone density and the body's immunity against heart diseases, cancers, muscle wasting, osteoporosis, weakness, among other disorders. Like all the other types of vitamin D, Vitamin D-3 is a hormone which is produced naturally in our bodies. Very few foods contain this vitamin but the good thing is that it is readily available to the body via absorption of the rays of the sun.
Vitamin D-3 plays a crucial role in the development of the brain. Its deficiency in children may lead to autism. It also helps in the absorption of calcium which is needed for the development of bones. Children may also develop rickets which eventually cause bone deformities and results in weakening of the bones and muscles.
It also prevents per-eclampsia.
This is a condition that occurs during pregnancy and leads to production of protein in urine and high blood pressure, eventually leading to premature labor. Deficiency of Vitamin D-3 in the body poses numerous health risks. Since it is mainly manufactured in the skin directly from the sunlight, people living in areas with little sunlight are at an increased risk of suffering from the health problems that are caused by its deficiency.
People who stay in the northern climates are advised to take it through supplements in order to maintain their health. These supplements are available in health facilities and nutritional stores. The recommended intake of Vitamin D-3 is 1000 IU per day. This offers increased protection against mental illness, obesity, high blood pressure, osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.
This amount is easily produced by spending a few hours in the sunshine each week. WHERE Sun exposure is not possible, vitamin D3 capsules will readily provide your body with these nutrients. These supplements are affordable and have no side effects to your body. They are necessary in order to ensure your body gets the required amount of Vitamin D3
Benefits of Omega-3 Fish Oil in Joint Pains and Inflammation
August 01, 2012 08:16 AM
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are derived from fish oil and are an essential fatty acid necessary for the human health. Human body cannot produce them so they have to be derived from food products like fish, nuts and some plants. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in abundance in certain fish varieties like the salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel, herring, krill and halibut. One needs to consume these varieties of fish at least twice a week to enjoy the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids. Fish oil has a number of health benefits some of them are neurological benefits, preventing heart diseases, and improving the health of joints.
Health Benefits of Omega-3 fish oil:
Omega-3 fish oils are also known as polyunsaturated fats (PUFA). Fish oil supplements are made from salmon, mackerel, tuna and herring varieties. The polyunsaturated fats in the fish oil have substantial anti-inflammatory properties and suppress the production of inflammation. They also help in reducing the risks of arthritis, cancer, and heart diseases. Omega-3 fish oil helps in brain growth and improves the operation of the brain memory and performance. Babies who are deprived of omega-3 fish oil are born with possible nerve and vision problems.
Deficiency of omega-3 fish oil can lead to dry skin, tiredness, heart problems, and mood swings. People consuming food rich in omega-3 fish oils are less likely to develop heart disease.
Benefits of Omega-3 fish oil in joint pains and inflammation:
Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the major causes of joint pains and inflammation in many people making their life difficult. This type of arthritis can affect young as well as old alike. The body's immune system attacks the joints of the body by causing stiffness, and swelling of the area. People suffering from this condition have found a lot of relief from inflammation due to joint aches after regular consumption of fish supplements or consuming fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Some of the benefits of omega-3 fish oil relating to joint pains are:It helps reduce tenderness of the jointsIt reduces the enzymes that destroy the cartilageDecreases the need to use painkillersReduces stiffness of the joints especially in morningsImproves the strength of joints
Increase in Omega-6 fatty acid which is also a type of essential fatty acids causes inflammation of the joints. They are found in abundance in corn, sunflower and canola oils. These are found in packaged snacks, processed foods and in margarines. Omega-3 fish oil is a natural anti-inflammatory, which reduces joint pain and inflammation. According to researches our body helps convert omega-3 fatty acids into compounds which protect our joints and is thousands of times stronger than the original omega-3. These compounds are named Resolvins. These Resolvins slows and stops the production and flow of chemicals that are responsible for causing pains.
Studies have shown tHERE Should be a proper balance of Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids in the diet. Omega-3 fish oils can also be consumed in the form of supplements for people who do not consume fish. These supplements are an affordable choice to lessen joint and tendon pains. Omega-3 fish oil is considered to be very healthy in treating many other health conditions and improves the overall health just by consuming them on a regular basis.
Red Yeast Rice for Reducing Cholesterol
February 16, 2012 08:06 AM
How does Red Yeast Rice Reduce Cholesterol?
Maybe you have heard about it that some people said that red yeast rice is very effective for decreasing the cholesterol level on our body. Some people have tried putting it on their diet program to see how it works, while some others just stick to the medicines. But mostly, people does not even know what cholesterol is and why should they control the amount of it on their body.
Cholesterol is a fat substance produced by the liver and is important to allow your body to work properly. It helps the conversion process of vitamin D. It creates and controls cell membranes. It is also essential for many productions of hormones. And there are still much more benefits your body can get from cholesterol.
As long as the amount is perfect, cholesterol is a beneficial substance for your body. But having too much of it on your body is really not healthy. It can stick to your arteries and narrow it down. Therefore, your blood could not flow smoothly. It can lead you to a heart attack, coronary heart, stroke and other life-endangering diseases. That is why it is important to control the amount of cholesterol inside your body.
Red yeast rice is a kind of rice that was fermented by red yeast. Since about a thousand years ago, red yeast has been commonly used in Chine as a natural food colorant and the main ingredients of rice wines. They also used it as a traditional medication for improving blood circulation and helping many kinds of digestion problems.
Red Yeast Rice
Even so, there are still many scientist and doctors who does not believe if red yeast rice is safe enough for human to consume. Therefore, they did some trials. Firstly, they tried it to animal. They fed it the several kinds of animal continuously. The result shows that no damage is shown on the lungs, livers, kidneys, or any other organs. After that, they tried it to human wHERE Some people are volunteering. He result shows almost the same. There were some side effect such as heartburn and indigestions, but the number is very negligible and level is low.
Some other researches had been done to measure how effective is it in reducing cholesterol level. The results show that red yeast rice contains Cholestin that is effective to remove bad cholesterol (LDL) but not affecting good cholesterol (HDL) at all. The results also show that people who consume 1.8 grams of it per day can lower their cholesterol for about 27% in twelve weeks only.
Although it is effective in lowering the cholesterol, pregnant or breastfeeding women are not recommended to consume it. It is also not recommended for people who have a severe heart disease or high cholesterol. Those people are usually consuming statin given by their doctor. Statin is a lot better in reducing cholesterol and it is not wise to replace it with any other supplement.
Controlling your cholesterol level is very important in order to live a healthy life for as long as possible. Besides putting red yeast rice on your diet program, you also need to have a healthy lifestyle by consuming nutritional foods, avoiding alcohols, and doing exercise regularly.
How Does The White Kidney Bean Block Carbohydrates?
February 08, 2012 08:23 PM
The White Kidney Bean is referred scientifically as Phaseolus vulgar. It is bean plant that is native to the Indies, Europe and Peru. The major advantage of using this bean plant is because it has been proven scientifically proven as a good inhibitor of the digestion of some selected dietary carbohydrates. Its carbohydrate blocking ability has seen it being adopted in the manufacture of most weight loss and diet pills.
When you consume starch, normally referred to as the complex carbohydrates, the body then has the responsibility of breaking these food substances into smaller digestible units that are referred to as dextrins. This is usually done through a chemical process catalyzed by the enzyme amylase. The dextrins are later broken down to form glucose. This is then the product that is useful to the body. Glucose is required for body energy requirements. The glucose before being used by the body system is first stored in the muscle tissue or the liver in the form of glycogen.
The settling of glycogen in the liver is used for conversion to lipids and later their storage in fat form. White Kidney Bean is essentially used to block the digestive ability of alpha-amylase which is used in the breakdown of carbohydrates into dextrins and later into glucose which is then used up by the body system. The result of this means that all the carbohydrates pass through the digestive tract undigested. This therefore translates to a lower intake of energy and. This subsequently lowers the amount of body fat that is usually introduced into the body by the consumption of such foods. This is why this bean is an essential element for those seeking to lose weight.
The White Kidney Bean can be able to block the digestion of carbohydrates but is not capable of inhibiting the digestion of fats and simple sugars. This therefore calls for more adoption of dietary controls because the bean might not achieve the level of effect required. Even through the bean is able to inhibit the functioning of alpha-amylase, tHERE Still is another starch digestive enzyme called glucoamylase that can still be digesting the starch during the inhibition of the other enzyme. The White Kidney Bean is a good option for weight loss and weight management. The users are however still advised to ensure that they properly limit their intake of carbohydrates so as to get better results.
This bean is safe to take and does not have any health complications associated with it. The use of this bean is of much importance in losing that extra pound. The White Kidney Bean is especially helpful to those people who cannot get the proper time for preparing healthy meals. It is always important to keep in mind the fact that this bean is only useful in inhibiting the digestion of carbohydrates. This is why people are always advised to try as much as possible to limit their carb consumption. Some side effects like heartburn might be witnessed but in most cases they might not be very much pronounced.
Free Radicals And Cancer, How Do I Combat Free Radicals?
October 12, 2011 01:09 PM
Free Radicals Overview
Free radicals, just the very sound of those words are so dreaded in so many consultation clinics around the country today, this substance has mainly been linked to cancer and its proliferation but what else is there to know about free radicals and cancer. This is what we will be looking at as we go along this article. These free radicals are organic molecules which are primarily the cause for aging, damaged tissues, and a variety of diseases. The main property that causes them to bind with other molecules in the body there by causing damage is because it is unstable. This is the non-stop process that these molecules will do, destroy cells, takes away its vigor and initiate this pro aging process. In a way it is the natural order of things, our world is filled with so many unstable molecules and just like us, tHERE Survival instincts kick in and they have to keep stable. Outside the body, that’s all good, no harm for us, but when the same process occurs inside that’s where our own survival instincts come in and helps us think of ways to stop this process of degeneration. With this degeneration process of cells being damaged, it is not far fetch to see these free radicals as the cause of some disease most especially Cancer.
Cancer has been a close second as the top killing disease in America for the past few years now, 2011 is not over yet so there is no ranking out but my guess is, the top 2 will most likely be the same with number one still being heart disease. Cancer is basically characterized by out of control cell growth. There are many classifications of cancer and one thing remains constant, it is characterized or named based on what type of cells it began to damage to cause the eventual cancer. For many of us out there what we do not want to here are malignant tumors in the body and this can occur based on 2 things, when cancerous cells spreads around the body through the bloodstream which is often referred to as an invasion process and the second is when the cancerous cells divide and grow leaving tissues metastasized in a process called mestastasis. Tumors grow and uncontrollably which are lumps of masses that interfere with our normal bodily functions and causes systems to crash like our digestive and nervous systems just to name a few.
Antioxidants has been well known to be one of the best ways to fight cancer, present in many foods, these molecules does its handy work against cancer by going to the source. More research needs to be done in its healing effects but as an effective treatment it has been proven to be an integral part in minimizing further proliferation of damaged cells. Antioxidants have been shown to have an amazing characteristic against free radicals and that it plays an integral role in killing these cell damaging molecules in the body.
List of antioxidants:
This by far a complete list, but it will get you get started with an antioxidant program to help prevent disease caused by free radical damage.
Does Stress Deplete The Body Of Minerals?
September 24, 2011 04:06 PM
Heavy traffic after a long day’s work, trying to sleep and your neighbour’s dog keeps barking and when you wake up in the morning your kids show you their report cards and they failed a couple of subjects then you’re late in getting to work because you had to have that discussion with your kids, you get called off into the boss’ office and he tells you that what you’re doing and the reasons behind it are unacceptable. That’s stress, in the modern world many people believe although there are no conclusive studies about it yet, stress is the number one silent killer in the world.
I mean think about it, aside from the health implications, how many violent acts have been caused by stressed People? Every day in the news you see stressed out people doing things they probably will not do otherwise had they controlled tHERE Stress factors. Stress and its health effects though in a more minor scale has been proven to exist like stress induced ulcers or allergies induced by stress so having more detrimental effects to the health is not that far fetch. So in the question of whether the body can be depleted by stress of minerals I would say yes however more than that lets find out how.
Stress and Minerals
Commonly stress is triggered by environmental circumstances which in turn if left unattended can lead to depression however recent studies have come across more evidence that the true culprit maybe a chemical imbalance in the brain. This is where we see that initial relationship between stress and minerals as certain mineral depletion in the body can lead to inefficient functioning of vital organs and one of them is the brain which is wHERE Stress just like any other emotion we have originates. In the US, modernisation has depleted our soil of its mineral contents which in turn also affects the food we eat. Aside from food intake, mineral deficiency can also be caused by an underlying heath issue that an individual may have.
From diarrhea to malnutrition the possibilities are wide. Another way that stress has been proven to be related to minerals is in the way it is absorbed. Many studies have shown that some minerals are affected by stress due to inhibiting its absorption in some way. The key for this inhibition property of stress for proper mineral absorption is in the chemicals and hormones it initiates the body to release. When the body is stressed, the normal response for it is to release hormones and chemicals such as adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol.
These substances counteract the efficient absorption process that our body otherwise will have if they were in absence. Different minerals maybe affected in different ways but nonetheless affected. Calcium for example will not be absorbed well by the bones in the presence of cortisol and with high adrenaline levels magnesium may be lost through urine and potassium is another mineral that does not react well with cortisol and has marked stress as an inhibitor for its absorption because of this.
What Are The Essential Minerals Our Body Needs?
September 16, 2011 11:47 PM
Diseases are something that Americans want to avoid. I think for the most part we know what we need to do, we are aware of the steps we need to take to avoid disease and health issues. For the most part though we are not doing it and I am not one to make excuses but a lot of that has to do with our fast paced life and for us not being able to cope up with our health needs. Our body is a very efficient machine and I feel is probably the best machine out tHERE So to speak. However it will only be able to do this consistently if we make sure it gets a steady stream of essential nutrients.
We all know about vitamins and what benefits it brings and other substance that might help with improving our health but we seldom hear about essential minerals and I for one never really looked at it this way before so I guess it is high time for all of us to know what minerals we may need to focus on depending on the current state of our health.
A number of scientific researches have confirmed that in addition to vitamins our body is in need of several essential minerals as well to keep proper function.
Calcium is at the top of the list as it is able to help with so much in our body because first of all it is able to take good care of our bones’ density and maintaining its heath, without it our skeletal system will be weak and will not be able to function properly.
Magnesium is found primarily in muscle tissues and in soft tissues in the bone and also play a primary role in so many enzyme processes.
Iron is also one of the most essential to our body. It is a constituent of blood and muscle and it also acts as an oxygen transport and it is usually used to replenish blood levels lost during menstruation.
Manganese is a mineral which has been known to be responsible for growth and reproduction of bone formation. One of its primary functions as well is to help with energy in the body as it plays an integral role in the metabolism of carbohydrates.
Potassium is able to help with important nerve functions. It aids with better muscle contractions and also prevents the muscle tissues from cramping. It also has been shown to be able to aid in the regulation of blood pressure and keep it at a normal level.
Selenium is the kind of mineral that have been linked to antioxidant properties and with this there have been claims of cancer prevention and cardiovascular diseases. Some studies even have gone as far as suggesting that selenium can be taken to help prevent certain cancers. It also plays a hand in processing fats in the body.
Zinc is a mineral that has proven it essentiality through wound healing. It also has shown to have the ability to increase immune system responses.
Support a healthy body with a good multi-mineral supplement!
How Does B-12 Help Boost Energy?
August 24, 2011 01:11 PM
How Can Vitamin B12 help you?
Vitamin B12 is water-soluble and is naturally present in most meaty foods. Also called cobalamin, Vitamin B12 exists in several forms and contains the mineral cobalt, so compounds with vitamin B12 activity are collectively called "cobalamins". It also has a key role in the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system, and for blood formation. Vitamin B12 normally plays part in the metabolism of every cell of the human body, especially affecting DNA synthesis and regulation, but also fatty acid synthesis and energy production. Vitamin B12, bound to protein in food, is released by the activity of hydrochloric acid and gastric protease in the stomach. It owes its discovery to pernicious anemia which is an anemic disease, when the cure was discovered it was along with B12.
Our body depends on B12 for a lot of our bodily functions among them are: Helping to maintain normal energy levels, aiding in healthy neurological activity, better mental alertness, and support stronger cardiac function. When blood levels of vitamin B12 are low, these functions are interrupted and would result to changes in energy levels. Our body relies much on how efficient we convert carbohydrates to glucose to use as fuel, like a car needs to be able to use gas to run smoothly. Likewise, B12 also enables your body to convert fatty acids into energy as well. Overall, B12 is a Vitamin your body can’t do without for efficient, healthy metabolism of fats and carbohydrates in which I am left to conclude, that if our blood level has inadequate B12, symptoms related to low energy and overall fatigue will be experienced.
The number one symptom from a Vitamin B12 deficiency is feeling tired and lethargic. Without all of the proper components like B-Complex Vitamins this system can breakdown and cause a these symptoms. If left untreated, B12 deficiency can lead to a serious medical condition and most common is Pernicious Anemia. The symptoms of B12 deficiency ranges from shortness of breath, rapid heart rate, loss of appetite, fatigue and diarrhea which can all cause lower energy levels. This condition is easily fixed by adding B12 rich foods to your diet or for most of us that are too busy to worry about making sure we eat the right food with the right amount of certain vitamins, supplementation should be one of our options.
Put together time constraints and changing diets and the days of highly processed foods, there has been somewhat of a proliferation of Vitamin B12 deficiency. I know for some it’s easy to get your hands on some red meat, eggs, dairy and fish, however with those sources comes other substances that most of us need to avoid like fat, cholesterol and toxins depending on where and how the meat is processed. Modern diets have simply led to a decline in nutritionally balanced diets. In terms of what adequate B12 will be able to do for your body and how it can boost energy, tHERE Should be more urgency in making sure we get the B12 dosage we need and supplementation is one of the keys.
How Does Lutein Help Fight Against Macular Degeneration?
August 19, 2011 01:11 PM
Macular degeneration is a medical condition that affects older adults in most cases which results in a loss of sight or vision just in the center of the visual field due to damage of the retina. This is a very serious condition of the eye and it progresses over the years and in case left untreated may lead to further loss of sight. It has been found to be a major cause of older adults being visually impaired and usually age range is 50 years or older. Macular degeneration makes it hard or impossible to read or recognize faces, even though enough peripheral vision remains to make daily life activities remain doable.
Lutein from the Latin meaning of yellow, luteus, is a xanthophyll and is a naturally-occurring carotenoid. It is abundant in leafy vegetables which are green in color like spinach and kale. Lutein can also be found in egg yolks and is also present in plants as a fatty-acid tester and most of all, it can be found in the retina and concentrated in the macula, which is a small area of the retina mainly responsible for central vision. This helps the eyes to be protected from oxidative stress and blue light photons with high energy.
Several studies have found that an increase in macula pigmentation helps decreases the risk for eye diseases and one of them is Age-related Macular Degeneration(AMD). Some concluded that visual activity is improved with lutein supplementation alone or lutein together with other nutrients. Other studies also show that AMD seemed to be directly related to having low carotenoids in the body. It does follow in this case that increased green leafy vegetable consumption does help prevent the risk of AMD. Sufficient lutein intake indicates risk reduction for macular degeneration and this can be obtained from a proper diet, but considering that the daily focus of attention is for the lutein.
It commonly follows that this daily attention to the diet to get all the required lutein for our body is wHERE Supplementation suggestion comes in since many are not able to do so especially for people around the age group of 70 and up where the attention needed is just too taxing. And since failure to have sufficient lutein is not acceptable for these people with a high risk of AMD or those already with AMD but hopes to slow it down or even stop the progression of the decease, supplementation is a viable and reliable way to assure sufficient lutein intake. This would eventually lead to increases in blood serum levels that would be equal to a diet sufficient of high lutein foods.
However it’s worthy to note that risk reduction does not equate to a cure because once macular degeneration has started there is no way to reverse it. But reduction of risk may be an implication of prevention for some people. Further research needs to be done. However in terms of prevention before the decease starts, results have been promising.
Good Colon Health Is Essential To Feeling Good
July 21, 2010 02:55 PM
There was once a case of a young man who had felt sick for years. Although it was nothing intense, it was just enough to make him feel listless, tired, and depressed. His medical doctors prescribed him a list of medications, but nothing seemed to help. Eventually, he went to a chiropractor who was also trained in nutrition. After a few urine tests and an examination of his diet, the chiropractor was able to diagnose the man’s problem as auto-intoxication. This meant that his body was actually being poisoned by his intestinal tract.
Auto-intoxication, also known as intestinal toxemia, is a condition that is brought on by eating the wrong types and amounts of food that certain bacteria can thrive upon and produce toxins from. These toxins permeate into the bloodstream and are carried into the rest of the body. Symptoms of auto-intoxication include fatigue, nervousness, gastrointestinal conditions, skin diseases, headaches, endocrine and circulatory disturbances, and others.
The chiropractor placed the young man on a regime of low-protein, high complex-carbohydrate, low-fat foods, with the main emphasis being on raw fruits and vegetables. The young man felt great within a month. His symptoms had gradually disappeared. He states that it was frustrating to suffer for so long when the answer to his problem was a change in diet. The diet changes were not hard for him. After so long being sick, he was willing to try almost anything. He claims that the relief he feels today has made the diet changes worthwhile. The toxins which are formed and sent into the bloodstream are sent to the liver first, wHERE Some, but not all, of them are filtered out. They are then sent back into the bloodstream where they poison various cells. Finally, they are excreted by the kidneys into urine, making their presence able to be detected through a urinalysis.
A lot of medical literature has been published that supports the link between illness and intestinal toxemia. The following are just a few examples of this literature. One doctor studied 472 cases of allergies, with allergies clearing up when intestinal toxemia was eliminated. After 23 years of observation, another doctor stated that toxemia is the underlying cause of asthma. About 50% of all cases of inflammatory arthritis can be greatly helped by removing the toxins that are formed in the intestine. Similarly, about 25% of all cases of irregular heartbeats seem to respond well to the elimination of toxemia. Several hundred cases of ear, nose, and throat diseases were from auto-intoxications. A high protein diet that is combined with intestinal stagnation has been shown to cause toxemia of pregnancy.
It was found that many cases of eye disease respond well when the intestinal toxins are eliminated from the picture. Both mental and physical nervous system diseases may result form auto-intoxication. One paper reported that 517 cases of mental symptoms that ranged from mental sluggishness to hallucinations were relieved by eliminating intestinal toxemia. Recent research has actually found that toxemia is related to schizophrenia.
The process of aging is even sped up by toxins in the body. Low back pain and sciatica can be caused by nerves that are irritated by intestinal toxins. One doctor reported that intestinal toxemia is an important causative factor in the production of a variety of skin diseases. Breast diseases have self-healed when auto-intoxication has been removed from the picture. It seems that the answer to many health problems is building up the immune system with a healthy diet that is high in complex-carbohydrates, low in fats, and contains an abundance of fruits and vegetables.
Increasing fiber in the diet can help colon function and eliminate the compounds that cause auto-intoxication. Acidophilus can help restore the intestinal balance once the colon has been cleansed boosting digestion and immune health. Look to your local or internet health food store for quality colon support supplements.
Pau d'arco Bark
November 10, 2009 11:23 AM
Pau d'arco is known in South America for its healing powers by the Callawaya tribe. These people called the herb taheebo and have been using it for over one thousand years. This herb was used anciently by the Inca civilization's medicine men. Pau d'arco was included in traditions that were passed down through the generations. Pau d'arco has been used to treat cancer and other illnesses since the 1970s in the Santo Andre Hospital in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This herb has become a well-known herb for healing and protecting the body from disease.
Pau d'arco is found growing in a tree high in the Andes and can weather the worst storms because of its hard wood and deep roots. This herb is found in the inner bark of the red lapacho tree. Most of the trees surrounding this tree eventually become covered with spores, which lead to fungus, and this eventually kills the trees. However, the red lapacho seems to be able to resist the spores. This may be a contributor in pau d'arco's ability to heal the body and resist disease.
THERE Seems to be some evidence of antitumor properties in pau d'arco. Many individuals have taken this herb when they are undergoing radiation and chemotherapy. Pau d'arco helps to strengthen the body and help prevent the side effects that are associated with cancer treatment. Additionally, this herb seems to be a powerful alterative and blood builder. It has the ability to increase the hemoglobin and red corpuscles that are found in the blood. It gives the body a greater vitality by increasing its resistance to disease. Pau d'arco seems to be responsible for giving the body energy and strength to defend itself and resist disease. The herb is also believed to help inhibit the growth of tumors and increase the growth of normal tissue. Furthermore, pau d'arco herb is used to aid in the assimilation of nutrients and the elimination of waste matter. It is often referred to as the “everything” herb due to its uses for many disorders. Pau d'arco has been used by many, along with other medications. THERE Seem to be no problems that are associated with the combination. It is also used to help counteract the side effects of some medications and is believed to reduce the liver damage that is caused by some drugs. Many herbalists have used this herb to treat a variety of conditions. It is effective as an immune system enhancer. It can also aid in treating conditions such as cancer, leukemia, tumors, and blood disorders. Pau d'arco is also used to treat the pain of arthritis and also for diabetes, candidiasis, herpes, liver ailments, hypoglycemia, and assimilation of nutrients.
Studies have found that a component of pau d'arco, quinine lapachol, has antimicrobial and antiviral properties. The herb also seems to have an antitumor effect without any toxic side effects. Additional components include beta-lapachone, hydroxyl-napthoquinone, alpha-lapachone, and xyloidone. These are effective against numerous viruses, bacteria, and fungi, including herpes, influenza, poliovirus, and many others. A researcher at the National University of Tucuman in Argentina, Dr. Theodoro Meyer, discovered the substance xyloidin. This substance is able to kill viruses. Xyloidin is also beneficial in inhibiting the causative agent of dysentery, tuberculosis, and anthrax.
Pau'd arco is available at your local or internet health food store at discount prices. Look for name brands like Solaray, Source Naturals, and Natures Plus to ensure quality and purity of the product you purchase.
Natural Sweeteners Vs. Artificial Sweeteners
April 30, 2009 10:16 AM
Artificial sweeteners are food additives intended to replace the sweetness of sugar without the calorie intake. There are also natural sweeteners that can replace sugar, so which should you choose? Natural sweeteners such as sugar, honey and grape juice are well known, although there are also the less well known, but much more effective, sucanat and stevia.
Sucanat is dried unrefined cane sugar, and unlike refined sugar retains the molasses. Stevia, on the other hand, is a shrub, native to Paraguay, the leaf of which contains a non-sucrose sweetener, 300 times the sweetness of sugar, and which is not absorbed by the body. It is a sweetener pure and simple, with no proven health issues. It is also Japan's most popular sugar substitute.
Artificial sweeteners have been known for many years, the first and best known being benzoic sulfanide, known to you as saccharin. The health risks of saccharin have been the subject of debate for over 100 years and have yet to be resolved. Studies had shown it to cause cancer in rats, and it was placed on a list of known or suspected carcinogens.
It has been banned for use in the USA, but that was lifted by the FDA in 1991, and in 2000 saccharin has no longer required a health warning label. The issue appears to have been resolved by rats metabolizing saccharin in a way not possible in humans. However, many are still suspicious of it, and if you don't trust a food additive then do not voluntarily consume it.
The top two artificial sweeteners in the USA are sucralose and aspartame. Sucralose, discovered in the UK in 1976, is the less emotive of the two, and is chemically the chlorocarbon trichlorogalactosucrose, produced by chlorination of sucrose and 600 times as sweet. It should be stressed that a chlorocarbon is totally different to a chlorinated hydrocarbon. It is generally considered safe to use, although it is very slow rate of degradation in waste water has raised concerns that concentrations could increase with increasing popularity of the sweetener.
According to' Sweet Deception', the book states sucralose to be discovered during the search for an insecticide, and is produced when sugar is treated with acetic anhydride, hydrogen chloride and trityl chloride among others in the presence of toluene, MIBK and dimethyl formamide among other solvents. Although marketed as coming from a natural source, it is anything but natural.
Aspartame was developed by G.D. Searle, and its approval by the FDA has been a matter of concern for many years. Promoted by Donald Rumsfeld, then CEO of Searle, he "called in his markers" to have the substance approved, which was not one of the more glorious moments in America's history.
It is used in over 6,000 products, most household names, yet was based on "inconclusive and incompetent science" according to detractors. In 1981, on the day of his inauguration, Ronald Regan suspended the powers of the FDA on aspartame, and then a month later appointed a new FDA head, Arthur Hayes, who immediately licensed the substance. Donald Rumsfeld was on President Regan's team.
There is a strong body of evidence that aspartame is toxic to humans, although the official evidence has discredit such studies. Recent evidence that linked aspartame to cancer has been stated as irrelevant to humans. In spite of the concerns, the substance has been approved, not only in the USA but also by the European Union. This might call into question the relevance of studies to humans, but many still believe that commercial considerations are behind these decisions.
In fact, an extensive study carried out by the Italian European Ramazzini Foundation, showed that aspartame can cause a significant increase in cancers and leukemias in rats at well below the doses allowed by the EU or the US. This substance required further study by bodies with no vested interest in the outcome.
Those that believe so point to the stevia situation. This natural sweetener is banned for use as a food additive in the EU, and cannot be sold as sweetener due to the FDA not recognizing it as such. It has also been banned in Hong Kong, even though it is the sweetener of choice in Japan, with no apparent side-effects becoming endemic in that country. The USA might not approve stevia as a sweetener, but it is considering lifting its ban on cyclamate.
Cyclamate was banned by the FDA due to tests on rats indicating a possibly carcinogenic effect, but no more positive than those on aspartame. Cyclamate is permitted in Canada, wHERE Saccharin is not, and also in the UK, but not throughout the EU.
It is obvious, then, looking at the various claims and counter-claims, and the conflicting legislation between civilized countries, that the artificial sweetener industry is wrought with uncertainty. In the past, it is almost certain that commercial considerations have come before the health of the nation, and that does not engender confidence.
In fact, the only sane approach to take at this time would be to avoid artificial sweeteners altogether, and stay natural. That is not to claim that natural products are safe to eat - far from it! Many of the most virulent poisons are natural, but the well-used natural sweeteners appear to be safer at this time than any of those artificially manufactured.
There might be objections to this where diabetes is concerned, and Canada, while banning saccharin for normal use, still allows it for use by diabetics. This is the one of the two major bodies that promotes the use of artificial sweeteners: the diabetic lobby and the weight loss lobby.
It is difficult to question the obesity and weight problem that America has while at the same time arguing against the use of artificial sweeteners. However, don't forget that stevia is widely used in Japan with no reported health problems, and stevia is a natural sweetener that is permitted for use as a food additive, and that is not absorbed by the body.
However, there is also a recent 2005 study that has indicated that diet drinks containing artificial sweeteners might fool your body into believing that the sweet taste is promising energy, and when it doesn't materialize, you feel hungry and eat more. This has been supported by animal studies.
These have shown convincingly that the sensation of sweetness induces the production of insulin with resulting hypoglycemia because there is no actual increase in blood sugar. This induces increased food intake. This has been proved with rats, and also proved was the fact that the natural response of eating less at the next meal, after sugary food, was gradually diminished in animals fed non-calorific sweeteners.
The choice is yours, but it would seem advisable to stick to natural sweeteners for the time being, at least until the studies carried out are in concurrence as opposed to offering conflicting results depending upon who is doing the testing.
Control Blood Sugar Naturally
October 01, 2008 12:10 PM
Your blood glucose level is generally controlled by insulin and glucagons, both of which are biosynthesized in the pancreas. Insulin works by making the glucose bioavailable to the mitochondria to convert into energy, while glucagon, the lesser known of this twosome, stabilizes the level of insulin and mobilizes it to do its job. There are two types of diabetes, known as Type I and Type II or A and B.
Type I diabetes, also known as juvenile onset diabetes, is an autoimmune condition in which the immune system destroys Beta cells because they are recognized as being foreign. It is the Beta cells that generate insulin, and so the condition can be fatal. Patients with Type I diabetes must take insulin throughout their lives, and while potential cures are currently under investigation, none are yet available. Although insulin can be effective it does not guarantee survival, and a better form of treatment is required.
Type II diabetes is by far the more common of the two, and is a form of resistance to insulin, where the body cells cannot use insulin properly. The pancreas initially reacts to this by producing more insulin in response to the increased blood glucose level, but through time it loses its ability to produce insulin as a reaction to an increase in blood sugar, even though this occurs as a result of digesting a meal.
The exact causes of either type of diabetes are not known for sure, although the general mechanism by which they work is known. However, Type II diabetes is believed to be due to some form of interaction between genetics and environment, and it is known that the majority of Type II sufferers are obese and also over 40.
The treatment for this type of diabetes is rarely insulin, but a controlled diet, control of your cholesterol level and blood pressure, exercise and specific medicines designed for sufferers of this form of diabetes. However, there are also natural supplements that can be used to control your blood sugar levels. Diabetes was the sixth leading cause of death of the USA in 1999, with 450,000 deaths, and by 2005 had reached about 300 million sufferers world wide. It is therefore a serious and widespread condition, though Type II is less serious than Type I.
It is important to do what you can to control your diabetes, since after several years it can lead to problems with your nerves, eyes, kidneys and gums, and can also lead to heart disease. With diabetes you are at least twice as likely to have a stroke or heart problem as those without it, although you can reduce the risk of this by keeping your blood pressure under control, and the levels of fats in your blood to a minimum. Stopping smoking helps, and there are some natural treatments that can also help you control your diabetes.
The most important means of control is to reduce your blood sugar levels. While there are natural products that will help you to do that, do not stop taking the medication prescribed by your doctor, but use these in addition to what you are already taking. Among specific substances that can help are:
Chromium: chromium helps your body to use insulin properly. When taken in the form of chromium picolinate, it helps to replace chromium that diabetics appear to be short of. Human studies have indicated that chromium can decrease insulin levels and improve the metabolism of blood sugar in those with Type II diabetes. Some claim that chromium is harmful to health, but the general opinion is that it helps, though you should consult your doctor before using it.
Cinnamon: If you take cinnamon daily, your blood sugar levels should gradually decrease. It appears to enable your cells to make better use of the insulin your blood, although tHERE Still discussion as to the mechanism by which this occurs and of the active ingredient in cinnamon that promotes it. Some claim it to be a flavonoid known as methylhydroxychalcone polymer, or MHCP. However, others claim it not to be MHCP, but polyphenol type-A polymer. Whichever it is, many people are finding cinnamon to be effective in reducing high levels of blood sugar to a more manageable level.
Milk Thistle: It is known that antioxidants can help to control blood sugar, and the flavolignins in Silymarin marianum, an herbal extract available from milk thistle seeds, work in this manner. It is also good for protecting the liver from toxins. Although it is not clear how it is done, silymarin appears to help to control Type II diabetes possibly by way of liver digestion of sugars in the blood. The liver processed glucose and improving its function through the consumption of milk thistle could help reduce blood sugar as well. Mulberry: The Chinese make what is known as “sugar control herbal tea” from mulberry leaves, green tea and jasmine. Mulberry leaves contain adenine, pectin and choline, and also high levels of Vitamins A and B types. This tea is used by the Chinese to control blood sugar levels, which might occur through the antioxidant effect of the mulberry constituents.
Salacia oblonga: This is an herb used in India and Sri Lanka that appears to cause a dramatic drop in the levels of insulin and sugar in the blood. It binds to enzymes in the intestine that break carbohydrates down into sugars, and so reduces the amount of sugar in your blood. That in turn reduces the amount of insulin released by the pancreas.
Apple Cider Vinegar: There is evidence that apple cider vinegar can help to control your blood sugar levels if taken before a meal. Just two tablespoons appears sufficient to give a noticeable result. This is one of those home remedies that might be just anecdotal, but might also work, so is worth trying.
Zinc: It has been discovered that diabetics suffer a deficiency in zinc. This mineral plays a part in the storage and production of insulin in your body, and a deficiency could cause an increase in your sugar level. Oysters, pecans, almonds, lamb and chicken are all good sources of zinc.
Glyconutrient complexes: we know that diabetes is an autoimmune disease for type I individuals. Supporting a properly function immune system requires a good diet as well as a diet rich in Glyconutrients. The polysaccharides found in glyconutrient formulas can help the immune system communicate better with the body and just possibly correct some autoimmune diseases which attach our cells.
These are the natural supplements that people are taking to help control their blood sugar and diabetes. It is important that you take nothing that interferes with the medicines given to you by your physician, so you should let your doctor know of any natural supplement that you are using in addition to your prescription medicines. However, it is possible to control your blood sugar with natural supplements, and those mentioned above are just a few of the natural substances available that can help diabetics control their condition and so avoid the side effects.
August 29, 2008 09:20 AM
Gamma Oryzanol is extracted from rice bran oil, and is a mixture of substances that includes ferulic acid and sterols. It is not restricted to rice barn oil, and is also found in the bran of other grains, and some fruits and vegetables. It is commonly used as a sports supplement, although possesses other uses including treatment of menopausal symptoms and high cholesterol levels.
Athletes use gamma oryzanol to increase their muscle bulk through it increasing the levels of testosterone and other anabolic hormones. Although there is little scientific evidence for these effects, bodybuilders claim excellent results and the other benefits that the substance offers make it worthwhile taking. The reported benefits are so common and widespread that they are difficult to ignore, and it can be assumed that, in the absence of scientific evidence through test results, the athletes and bodybuilders are right until proven wrong.
Gamma oryzanol is reported to promote a number of metabolic effects on the body such stimulation of the Human Growth Hormone that is involved in increasing muscle bulk. It also induces increased release of endorphins, and improves recovery after exercise. Ferulic acid promotes increased strength, reduced fatigue and improved recovery.
The catabolic effect of cortisol is also reduced. Cortisol is produced during exercise and it is destructive to muscle tissue. What this does in practice is to increase your recovery time, and after a long run it can take two days to recover and allow your exercise effectively again. It is important that your body is conditioned to rapidly reduce its cortisol content after exercise, and ferulic acid helps you to do this.
Athletes have reported no side effects from doses of up to 900 mg of gamma oryzanol and 60 mg ferulic acid, which appears to be up to thirty times as bioavailable to the human body as gamma oryzanol. However, there are many more uses of the supplement than just metabolic ones.
Gamma oryzanol possesses strong antioxidant properties. Ferulic acid is a phenolic phytochemical, and a derivative of trans-cinnamic acid. As such, it is an antioxidant with strong reducing properties towards free radicals. Free radicals are implicated in cardiac problems cause by the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, leading to atherosclerosis that is responsible for strokes and blockages of the cardiac arteries.
Lipid peroxides can be formed by the oxidization of fats, and can damage nerve cells and muscle tissue. Antioxidants can also lead to premature aging through the destruction of human body cells, damage to DNA and also many forms of cancer. Although it is believed that components of gamma oryzanol can inhibit the initiation of some cancers, the evidence is still scanty and the research in its infancy.
Any substance that destroys free radicals is of benefit to your health, and Ferulic acid stands beside other strong antioxidants such as Vitamins A, D and E, and many of the high colored phytochemicals such as beta carotene. It is believed to have anti-cancer properties with some forms of cancer, such as breast and liver cancer, though, as referred to above, studies are continuing.
Paradoxically, intensive physical exercise can lead to the generation of more free radicals, since they are a by-product of the generation of energy in the mitochondria from blood glucose, and so, in addition to its beneficial metabolic and anti-catabolic properties, gamma oryzanol should be taken during exercise in order to reduce the effect of these dangerous molecules.
The effect of gamma oryzanol on cholesterol levels has been demonstrated, and complement the same effect offered by the fatty acid component of the bran oil. It appears to prevent the absorption of cholesterol by the digestive tract, and so allow it to be excreted naturally before doing any harm. It is believed that the phytosterols present in rice bran oil block the cholesterol absorption sites in the intestine, so is must continue down the intestinal canal until it is evacuated.
Cholesterol itself is essential to human metabolism and biochemistry, and without it we could not survive. Cholesterol is not soluble in water, and it has to be bound to low density lipids (LDL) to enable it to be transported round the blood to where it is needed: usually in the arteries to heal up arterial damage, a bit like a sticking plaster.
However, free radicals oxidize these LDLs and deposit them along with their cholesterol on the artery walls: that is the problem, not the cholesterol itself, and is why antioxidants such as gamma oryzanol are so important to us. Rice bran oil has been used by the Japanese for many years to treat elevated cholesterol levels and also to reduce high triglyceride levels.
It also acts as an anti-inflammatory, specifically in the stomach and can be used to treat gastritis, in that it reduces the inflammation of the stomach lining. There is some evidence from studies on animals that the substance could be effective in treating gastric ulcers, although the results with animals have not yet been tried on human subjects. Another mechanism, other than the anti-inflammatory route, is through the normalization of the secretion of the gastric juices.
Another use to which gamma oryzanol has been successful put is in the treatment of menopause symptoms. This is another of those situations wHERE Some trials have proved unsuccessful, but those that use it has found it be effective. Hot flashes and aging syndromes are two symptoms that have been effectively treated by use of the supplement, with one study reporting a 50% reduction in symptoms in 70% of patients.
The way this is theorized to work is through the inhibition of the secretion of leutinizing hormone by the pituitary gland, which promotes the hypothalamus to release endorphins. Endorphins help to overcome the effects of the menopause.
Gamma oryzanol, then, has found use by many athletes and bodybuilders in its metabolic properties in helping to increase muscle bulk and reduce fat, and by shortening recovery times by reducing the catabolic effect of cortisol. However, apart from these sports-related benefits, it possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that are beneficial to your general health.
The Healing Power Of Borage Oil’s GLA
November 13, 2007 10:22 AM
Borage is otherwise called the starflower, and the borage oil extracted from its seeds is very rich in GLA, gamma linolenic acid, a polyunsaturated fatty acid also obtainable from evening primrose oil. Borage, however, is richer in GLA, and is therefore a more economical source that the evening primrose.
A shrub, frequently seen in gardens, borage has historically been used as a salad food, and also in soups, and borage honey is prized in many quarters. Now, however, its main use is for the GLA extracted from the seed, which provides a higher yield of GLA than any other source. Borage seed oil contains up to 25% GLA, compared to the 17% from blackcurrant oil and 9% from evening primrose oil.
The importance of GLA to the body’s biochemistry is inestimable, and cannot be overstated. It is not so much the GLA that is so important, but the prostaglandin to which it is converted in the body. Prostaglandin E1 is a hormone-like substance that plays a part in many of the biochemical and metabolic processes of the body. Examples include the control of the immune system and inflammatory response, some kidney functions, and the tone of the arterial muscles, so important in the health of the cardiovascular system.
A good fatty acid metabolism benefits some very important aspects of our health such as maintaining a good blood pressure, low cholesterol levels, preventing inflammatory and immune system conditions such as arthritis, allergies and some skin diseases such as eczema and psoriasis, and also improving the strength of the keratin-dependent tissues such as our nails and hair.
A deficiency in essential fatty acids also seems to stimulate the overproduction of a hormone in women called prolactin that can lead to the severe mood changes commonly referred to as pre-menstrual syndrome, or PMS. GLA appears to have a beneficial effect in the treatment of PMS, and some other conditions such as breast discomfort.
Gamma linolenic acid is created in the body from linoleic acid, of which there is a plentiful supply in margarine, vegetable oils and many processed foods, but there is a problem. Fatty acid molecules come in different isomeric forms, in which although the chemical is the same, the geometry or ‘stereochemistry’ is different. The healthy form is the ‘cis’ formation, and the other is the ‘trans’ stereoisomer. The trans fatty acids are formed by hydrogenation of oils to make them semi-solid, and more suitable for spreading. This hydrogenation process causes an irreversible change in the geometry of the fatty acid that can block the conversion of linoleic acid to GLA in the body.
Hence, although most of the western population has more than sufficient linoleic acid in their diets, many who eat an excess of trans fats have a deficiency of GLA. Some B vitamin deficiencies and a deficiency in certain minerals exacerbate this situation, and a gamma linolenic acid supplement is needed. Additional to this, the enzyme responsible for the conversion, delta-6-desaturase (D6D) can be affected by many modern environmental factors such as smoking, stress, alcohol, excessive animal fat consumption and even excessive linoleic acid consumption. The solution to all of this is GLA which does not require any enzymes for its creation, and supplemental GLA from any source can immediately take part in the biochemical pathway to the creation of the prostaglandin eicosanoids.
GLA provides the means and the resultant prostaglandins carry out the job of regulating the hormonal activity within human biochemistry. Prostaglandins help to regulate the function of many of the cells in the body, such as the smooth muscle cells of the arteries and veins that cause constriction or dilation, and on the stickiness of blood platelets causing their aggregation. They are important in the regulation of such functions as blood clotting, fluid balance and the production and balance of hormones. The anti-inflammatory properties of prostaglandin E1 are very important to the way that the body reacts to breaches by foreign invaders, and it is also thought to act to thin the blood and cause dilation of blood vessels, hence its effect in lowering the blood pressure.
So what does this mean to you, apart from the effects of the fatty acid on PMS? Borage oil can be used to treat a large number of different symptoms associated with a shortage of GLA and prostaglandin E1, and here are a few of the conditions for which a GLA supplement has been found beneficial.
A deficiency in GLA and other essential fatty acids can lead to loss of bone mass and subsequent osteoporosis and it is thought that fatty acids help the absorption of calcium by the digestive system, and to increase its deposit in bones. It can be used to increase bone mass and density and therefore strengthen the bones of those affected by osteoporosis. This is partially due to the hormone regulatory effect GLA has on the body.
Allergies appear to be very personal responses by the immune system to specific substances, and while borage oil has proved beneficial in a few allergies, and prostaglandins are known to regulate the activity of the immune response, the effectiveness of GLA treatment for allergies has been mixed. There is evidence that it can affect some cases, but not most.
GLA from borage oil can reduce the swelling and pain of rheumatoid arthritis, and helps to ease morning stiffness. Its effectiveness seems mixed, and you should try it for two or three months to determine if it helps you personally. Be careful, however, since some believe that it might react with some of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) used to treat this condition. Ibuprofen is one, so check with your physician before trying it.
If you suffer from high blood pressure, borage oil used in conjunction with Omega-3 fish oils might lower it, though more research is needed. There is a belief that the GLA is not the active agent HERE Since Omega-3 oils are known to help to reduce hypertension, though the effect of prostaglandins on the factors that can reduce blood pressure is inarguable.
The healing power of borage oil should not be underestimated, and it has been used for centuries in folk medicine to treat many conditions, especially those that science has found to be caused by the immune system and the inflammatory response. Borage oil can be found at any Health Food Store.
Supplements for Children
June 26, 2007 09:51 PM
Supplements for Children
While most parents try hard to make nutritious meals for their family, most children find the appeal of refined, fast, and junk food simply overwhelming. And, sadly, increasingly easy to buy and consume, as well. From kindergarten through 12th grade, in both grade schools and high schools, vending machines offer calorie laden candy bars, sugar-filled soft drinks, and snack foods loaded with fat and salt. Many school cafeterias actually sell fast-food to children for lunch every day. In fact, it seems almost everywhere children go and gather, visually enticing but nutritionally lacking snacks and soft drinks are sure to be available.
Determined to counteract this disturbing trend, parents everywhere are urgently seeking solutions to help their children get the nutrition they need. One answer is supplemental multivitamins. There are certainly plenty of multivitamins formulated for children currently on the market. However, these products vary considerably in quality and content. Some lack certain vital nutrients. Some taste terrible. Still others are loaded with sugar and artificial flavorings. The good news is that there are superior multivitamins and exceptional immune boosting products formulated specifically for children that actually taste great. In this issue of Ask the Doctor, we will discuss childhood nutrition and how to help ensure your children’s health with high quality, 100% natural flavored nutritional supplements.
Q. Do children really benefit from vitamin supplements? Can’t I make sure they get the vitamins and minerals they need from meals?
A. Even the most nutritionally vigilant parent cannot be 100% certain what nutrients are in the food they serve their children. That’s because there’s so much variability in the food we prepare. For instance, fat-soluble vitamins can withstand normal cooking, but vitamins A and E are gradually destroyed by exposure to air. Water-soluble vitamins such as B1, B6, folic acid, and pantothenic acid are destroyed by heat. Vitamin B2 is destroyed by light and heat, while light and air destroy vitamin C. Certain food preservatives and preparation methods also destroy the vitamins in food. To further complicate matters, some fruit and vegetables are grown and harvested in such a way that does not promote nutrient content – so even raw foods may be lacking.
Then there are those crazy food phases all children seemingly go through. While these phases are generally harmless in the long run, a recent alarming exception was in the news. A five-year old boy ate nothing but cheese pizza, Pop-tarts, biscuits, and water, refusing fruits, vegetables, juices and vitamins. He slowly developed limp, swollen gums, and small purple spots appeared on his skin. After five months of this extremely deficient diet, he was unable to walk or get out of bed because the pain was so severe. Doctors diagnosed the boy as having a severe vitamin C deficiency after ruling out other ailments such as leukemia. Within a week of getting vitamin C supplements, the boy’s pain and other symptoms were completely resolved. Obviously, this little boy’s story is unusual. However, even mild food phases (such as “If It’s Green It Must Be Yucky” or “The Only Good Crust Is A Cut-Off Crust”) can result in awfully lop-sided nutrition.
Q. Can multivitamins help my child’s performance in school?
A. Most teachers firmly believe that nutrition and learning go hand in hand. They are convinced that children who are well nourished possess the mental stamina that’s needed to learn and retain even difficult concepts. But can multivitamins help children become better students?
Two independent research teams recently conducted randomized trials to find the answer. The researchers followed 245 school-children aged 6 to 12 years for three months. They gave half of the children multivitamin tablets every day, and half of the children placebos. When the children were tested, the children in the multivitamins group showed an increase in their nonverbal intelligence scores. Nonverbal intelligence is closely associated with academic performance.
Q. I can’t get my children to take 100% natural flavored multivitamins because they don’t taste very appealing. Isn’t tHERE Some way to make a 100% natural multivitamin taste good enough for my children to willingly take?
A. Yes, there is! Because most children need chewable multivitamins, manufacturers need to contend with the truly terrible taste of certain minerals. Magnesium, iodine, copper, and iron are probably the worst tasting. Some solve this dilemma by skimping on the amounts of these minerals in their children’s formulas. Others cover up the bad taste with either massive amounts of sugar or artificial flavors, or both.
However, a select few multivitamin makers have discovered how to offer a natural flavored, great tasting children’s multivitamin that contains these vital minerals. The best children’s vitamins are prepared in a base of natural fruit that provides both antioxidants and other healthy phytonutrients. Children’s multivitamins made in such a fruit base have very low sugar content, as well, providing as little as four calories a day. Fructose – fruit sugar – is the preferred sweetening agent, in addition to the fruit content.
Q. What vitamins should be in a multivitamin for children?
A. There are several vitamins and minerals that children need to take each and every day. They include biotin, folate, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamins B12, B1, A, B6, C, D, E, and K. Let’s review a few. We’ll start with folate, one of the B vitamins. This vital vitamin helps the body use protein, helps make DNA, helps cells grow and divide, and keeps the nervous system healthy. In fact, folate is so important to children that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mandated that folate must be added to many foods most children eat daily. Since 1998, cereal, enriched bread, flour corn meal, rice, and pasta have been folate-fortified with this B vitamin.
One of folate’s vital actions is the reduction of homocysteine levels in the blood. Homocysteine is an amino acid (the building block of protein) that is normally produced in the human body. Research has shown that high levels of homocysteine can irritate blood vessels, make blood clot more easily than it should, and cause blockages in arteries increasing the risk of heart attacks and strokes .
However, study after study has proven that taking folate reduces harmful homocysteine levels. While most of this research has been in adults, a recent study looked at children’s homocysteine levels. Researchers examined over 3500 children and discovered that high homocysteine levels increased the risk for heart disease in these children, especially as they grow. The researchers leading this study reinforced how critical folate is for all children.
Other critical vitamins for children are the vitamins C and E. The rates of childhood asthma have increased significantly here in the
Q. Which minerals do children need?
A. It is absolutely crucial that children get calcium, chromium, iron, magnesium, manganese, selenium, zinc, and phosphorus every day. Sadly, however, the majority of our children are not getting the recommended amounts of many of these vital minerals. Children in
According to statistics from the National Institutes of Health, only 13.5 percent of girls and 36.3 percent of boys age 12 to 19 in the
Lack of adequate calcium has immediate consequences for children, as well. The number of fractures among children and young adults has increased as a direct result of poor calcium intake. Pediatricians are also seeing children with rickets, a bone disease caused by low levels of vitamin D. Rickets became almost nonexistent after vitamin D was added to milk in the 1950s, but, due to lower milk consumption, is now appearing at greater rates around the country. And milk itself can be problematic for some children. Aside from alarming reports of hormones and herbicides in commercial dairy factory milk, even organic milk is not tolerated by all because of lactose intolerance and allergies.
Zinc is another mineral that’s vital for children. Because zinc is critical for normal growth and development, children need to take it every day. A study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, however, found more than half of US children ages two to 10 years fail to get the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for zinc. What’s even more troubling is that zinc is vitally connected to children’s ability to process information, pay attention, as well as remember and retain new information
Zinc does a lot to keep children healthy. More than 200 enzymes in our bodies rely on zinc. However, it’s zinc’s ability to connect with our immune systems to help fight infections that is crucial for children. While researchers are not certain how zinc precisely boosts a child’s immunity, they think that zinc might fight pneumonia and other infections by either enhancing the body’s immune status, preventing the infection from establishing itself, or improving the immune system’s ability to rid itself of the infecting organism. It’s possible that zinc does all three.
Q. No matter what I do, my children seem to come down with bad colds each year. Besides giving them a multivitamin, are there other nutritional supplements that can keep my children healthy?
A. Absolutely! In fact, there are 100% natural flavored children’s immune formula nutritional supplements that contain their good buddy zinc, vitamins B6, C, and A (as beta carotene), plus elderberry extract. Elderberry extract has been used as a traditional medicine for hundreds of years to treat colds and flu. And as it so often happens, scientific research has validated this use. In fact, scientists have discovered that elderberry keeps viruses from invading other cells and replicating. It also spurs important immune cells into action to fight invading germs.
While we previously discussed vitamin C’s ability to help children with asthma breathe easier, it also provides powerful immune protection. It speeds up the healing of wounds, such as those knee and elbow scrapes so common in childhood. However, vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin and can’t be stored in the body. It must be replenished every day. When children are under increased stress (like when they get sick with a cold or flu), their vitamin C levels are more rapidly depleted.
Vitamin B6 is also water-soluble and can only work in children’s bodies for eight hours. Then more B6 must be obtained. Vitamin B6 strengthens the immune system by helping white blood cells make antibodies. Vitamin A helps make lysozymes, important anti-infectious agents found in tears, saliva, and sweat. It also stimulates the thymus gland, an important immune organ, especially in children, to work better.
Q. Should children take an immune formula every day or only when they are sick?
A. It can be taken several ways. Some parents may want to give the formula when school first starts or other times that their children are exposed to lots of germs. For a child who suffers from asthma or seasonal allergies or just seems to get sick frequently, parents could provide the immune formula every day, increasing the dose when needed. And still others might feel it’s best to give their children the immune formula only whey they do catch a cold or have the flu.
No matter how it is given, the 100% all natural flavored, immune boosting nutritional supplement can provide powerful protection against all those disease-causing germs your children are exposed to every day.
The nutritional choices we make for our children today will have a profound effect on their health tomorrow. Recent research has revealed that diabetes, heart disease, obesity, osteoporosis, and cancer in adults often result form nutritional deficiencies that occurred in childhood.
Thankfully, the reverse is just as true. This means that children who are well nourished with an optimal intake of minerals, vitamins, and helpful herbs can grow into healthy and happy adults. Providing high quality multivitamins and immune boosting nutritional supplements for our children can be an important part of that process.
Growing Older, Feeling Better
March 28, 2007 02:15 PM
Growing Older, Feeling Better
Not long ago, when a man turned sixty-five, he became officially old – the best years of his life far behind him. The milestone meant his working days were done and if he was lucky, he might get four or five years to spend as he wished before illness and infirmity set in. It was simply expected and accepted that the older a man got, the sicker he got.
Well, not anymore. Today, a man age 65 is just as likely to be found hiking in the hills, running in a marathon, or even dancing in the streets than rocking in that proverbial front porch rocker. Because it’s becoming more and more evident that the older a man gets, the healthier that man has been.
Eating healthy, exercising, and kicking harmful habits (like smoking) can add years to a man’s life. Aging research is proving over and over again, that we can prevent and delay heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease – the major causes of disability and death in men over 50.
Now, it’s very true that good clean living from early on is preferable to sixty five years of bad habits and five years of good. But it’s also true that it’s never too late for men to make changes and vow to take better care of themselves. And one of the easiest and most effective ways men can improve their health is the addition of high quality nutritional supplements.
In this issue of Ask the Doctor, we’ll talk about specific dietary supplements that have been scientifically shown to improve the health of men over fifty, prevent the diseases that often strike at this crucial time in men’s lives, and actually slow the aging process.
Q. I just turned 50 and I’d like to begin taking nutritional supplements, but they seem so confusing. WHERE Should I begin?
A. Many men feel the same way. There are literally hundreds and hundreds of nutritional supplements on health food store shelves. Figuring out which supplements provide the best health benefits for a 50+ man can be overwhelming.
The best foundation supplement is a high quality multivitamin. Research is repeatedly finding that even very healthy men who take daily multivitamins can significantly improve their health. In fact, an article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) recommends that all adult Americans take a vitamin supplement. Look for solid doses of vitamin supplement. Look for sol doses of vitamins and especially minerals. Multivitamins designed to be taken once a day are often woefully deficient in calcium, magnesium, and potassium. The only mineral a man should avoid is supplemental iron. Iron should only be in formulas for women prior to menopause. Men over 50 get all the iron they need from food and too much iron can cause health problems.
Look for men’s multivitamins that contain lycopene in the formula. Lycopene is the pigment that makes tomatoes red. The redder the tomato, the more lycopene is present. Numerous studies have shown that when men have high lycopene levels in their blood, they have a much lower risk of heart disease, age-related macular degeneration (a leading cause of vision loss) and prostate cancer.
Other important considerations are antioxidant blends, especially fruit- and tea-derived extracts; ginseng for energy and stamina; and digestive enzymes to aid in absorption and compensate for age-related decreased enzyme levels.
In fact, years of research has shown the foods a man chooses to eat (or not to eat) can have a profound impact on the health of his prostate gland. Because of this close nutritional link, prostate cancer may be the most preventable type of non-smoking related cancers.
Q. Aside from taking a quality multivitamin for general health, what nutritional supplements prevent and treat prostate cancer?
A. Six vital and all-natural nutrients can prevent prostate cancer from developing and even help fight the disease.
When men are exposed to excess levels of hormones, their risk of prostate cancer increases. A natural substance found in fruits and vegetables called calcium D-glucarate (or CDG), helps men’s built-in detoxification systems get rid of these harmful excess hormones.
This antioxidant has powerful effects on the prostate gland. In a recent study, researchers recruited 974 men to take part in a large clinical trial to determine if selenium could prevent cancer. The researchers found that selenium cut the rate of prostate cancer by 63%!
Green tea is the most widely consumed liquid in the world, after water. Men in
For many years, maitake mushrooms, or dancing mushrooms, have been linked to good health in those who eat them. That’s because maitakes contain an important compound called D-fraction. A recent study showed that maitake D-fraction destroyed 95% of human prostate cancer cells in lab experiments.
Promising preliminary reports demonstrate that lycopene can actually kill prostate cancer cells, so there has been an explosion of lycopene and prostate cancer research.
Q. What exactly happens to men’s hormones as they get older?
A. Just as women experience significant hormonal changes as they age, so do men. In fact, the term andropause has been used to describe men’s mid-life changes. Similar to menopause in women (where the decline of estrogen causes a myriad of symptoms), andropause in men signals the slow decline of testosterone, the chief sex hormone in men. While estrogen levels decline faster and more abruptly in women than testosterone levels do in men, testosterone decline can cause a number of unpleasant symptoms. These include abdominal weight gain, hair loss, reduced energy and sex drive, heart disease, and prostate enlargement. Whether a man labels these age-related changes as andropause or just the consequences of aging, most men will unfortunately experience some or all of them as their birthdays mount.
Q. So, is there a supplement that can give me the hormone level of a 20 year old?
A. Sadly, no, at least not yet! But there is a nutrient that can help the testosterone in a man over fifty “behave” more like a younger man’s testosterone.
A study that took place at the
The secret of DIM’s prostate cancer prevention is its ability to metabolize estrogen. While estrogen is generally thought of as a “female” hormone, a precise ratio of testosterone-to-estrogen is needed to maintain a man’s healthy sexual response, effective sexual function (erection of the penis and intercourse), strong bones and muscles, viable sperm, and a well-functioning prostate gland. As men enter their fifties, this ratio begins to change.
When men take DIM, however, their estrogen metabolism improves, testosterone metabolism accelerates, and the unwanted conversion of testosterone into estrogen is eliminated. This results in higher testosterone levels, similar to those seen in young men. As a result, DIM may speed weight loss, reduce prostate gland enlargement (benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH), and help men over 50 feel stronger and leaner.
Some supplements on the market today contain indole-3-carbinol (I3C), a precursor to DIM. However, I3C is unstable and requires activation in the stomach to be converted into DIM. This means I3C must be taken at a much higher amount and can undergo unpredictable and undesirable chemical reactions in your stomach and colon. DIM is by far the preferred supplement.
Q. What is saw palmetto? Does it reduce symptoms of Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH)?
A. Yes it does and very effectively too. Saw palmetto is a small palm tree native to
The prostate gland is about the size of a walnut and is located below the bladder and in front of the rectum. It wraps around the upper part of the urethra and its primary job is the production and storage of semen, the milky fluid that nourishes sperm. BPH is one of the most common health conditions in older men. Half of all men aged 40-60 and more than 90 percent in men over 80 have BPH. BPH causes the prostate gland to enlarge, putting pressure on the urethra.
Men have trouble starting or maintaining a stream of urine, find they can’t completely empty their bladders, and have to urinate frequently, even during the night. They may also have episodes of uncontrollable dribbling or complete loss of urine. BPH is caused by the conversion of estrogen to a very potent form of testosterone called, dihydrotestosterone (or DHT). When prostate cells are exposed to DHT, they multiply in number and get much larger.
BPH rarely improves. It most often remains the same for years or gets gradually worse. The need to continually urinate, interrupted sleep, dribbling, and loss of urine can significantly interfere with a man’s quality of life. Prescription medications that have been developed to treat BPH are only partially effective. And surgical removal of the prostate gland may result in even more persistent urinary incontinence and the inability to achieve an erection (ED).
However, saw palmetto berry extract relieves the symptoms of BPH by inhibiting the production of DHT. And, in study after study after study, saw palmetto caused none of the side effects that happen with prostate surgery or medications.
Q. THERE Seem to be plenty of ads for supplements that claim they make men into Sexual Superheroes. Is there an “honest” nutritional supplement to help me sexually?
A. That’s a very good observation. And yes, there are honest nutritional supplements for men’s sexual health.
Sexual intimacy is an important, complex, and lifelong need. It makes us feel better physically and mentally and adds to our sense of security, belonging, and self-esteem. But just like other changes that happen to men as they get older, men’s sexual response most often changes, too. Declining testosterone levels, changes in blood flow to the penis, certain medications that older men are prescribed, and the presence of diabetes or heart disease can all affect men’s ability to engage in sexual activity.
When men have a chronic inability in obtaining and/or maintaining an erection, it’s called erectile dysfunction (ED). While ED is not an inevitable part of getting older, it does occur more frequently as men age. About 5% of 40-year-old men have ED, but more than 23% of 65-year-old men have difficulty maintaining erections.
The development of prescription medication Viagra (sildenafil citrate) has revolutionized ED treatment. When a man is sexually stimulated, Viagra helps the penis fill with enough blood to cause an erection.
Like all medicines, Viagra can cause some side effects, including headache, flushing of the face, and upset stomach. But because Viagra is a prescription medication, it requires a visit to a licensed healthcare practitioner. For many men, telling anyone (even a professional) that they are having trouble getting or keeping an erection is simply too embarrassing. Viagra is also fairly expensive and many older men do not have prescription drug health insurance.
These reasons may explain that while an estimated 30 million men in the United States – 10% of the male population – experience chronic ED, as few as 5% of men with chronic ED seek treatment.
Not every man can take Viagra, either. Men who use nitrate drugs, often used to control chest pain (also known as angina), must not take Viagra. This combination can cause their blood pressure to drop to an unsafe or life-threatening level. Men with serious liver and kidney problems who take Viagra must be monitored closely for possible serious side effects.
The good news is there is a nutritional supplement that’s formulated with vitamins, herbs, and glandular products that targets male sexual organs. The formula contains vitamin E, liver fractions, wheat germ, beta-sitosterol, and herbal extracts of muira puama, Mexican damiana, saw palmetto, cola nut, ginseng, and ginkgo biloba.
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant and men’s testicles, adrenal glands, and pituitary glands need high levels of this fat-soluble vitamin for proper functioning. Extracts of Muira puama, Mexican damiana, and cola nut have been studied for their beneficial effects on male hormones.
Study of ginkgo in sexual response came about when a patient in a nursing home who was taking the herb for memory enhancement noted that his erections were improved. Since then, study of ginkgo has shown it helps blood flow to the penis. Sexual response research in one ginkgo study showed that 76% of men taking ginkgo experienced improved sexual desire, erections, and orgasms.
While other nutritional supplements sold to improve sexual stamina often make outrageous claims, reputable manufacturers rely on science and results to sell their products.
An important note
Most often sexual problems are simply part of the aging process. They can also be signs of serious health problems. If the use of nutritional supplements for two months does not improve your erections, you do need to see your healthcare practitioner. Almost all practitioners understand how difficult this problem is for men to discuss and are experienced in getting the information as quickly and as painlessly as possible.
No man has the power to stop the passage of time. But every man has the power to make aging more healthy and less harmful. Research conducted on men who live to be 100 and beyond, has determined that those who reach extreme old age do so by avoiding ill health, rather than by enduring it. As I like to remind my patients, “Age is not determined by years, but by function.” And it’s never too late for men to detour around the major illnesses of getting older. With good nutrition, healthy habits, and high quality nutritional supplements, the best years of a man’s life can absolutely and positively be those he spends in his 70s, 80s and even his 90s.
Peppermint Oil for IBS
March 24, 2007 11:01 AM
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a painful and frequently frustrating disorder of the intestines that’s often difficult to treat. Fortunately, there are scientifically studied natural products that effectively reduce the distressing symptoms of IBS.
Q. What is IBS?
A. IBS causes crampy pain, gassiness, bloating, and alterations in bowel habits. IBS is termed a functional disorder, because when the colon is examined, there is no visible sign of disease. While IBS causes significant pain and distress, no actual damage is occurring in the intestines.
There is a wide variability in IBS. Symptoms may be mild and fairly well tolerated. Or, the pain, discomfort, and bowel dysfunction may be disabling, limiting social interactions, employment, or travel.
While some individuals with IBS have diarrhea (frequent, loose stools with an urgent need to move the bowels), others have constipation (hard, infrequent stools that are difficult to pass). And, still others may experience both. Individuals with IBS also may have painful abdominal cramps and feel an urgent need to move the bowels, but are unable to do so.
A. The small intestine receives digestive material from the stomach and delivers it to the large intestine (colon). About two quarts (2,000 ml) of digestive material enter the colon from the small intestine every day. The colon absorbs water and salts from the material, which is progressively moved through the colon. This progressive movement continues until most of the fluid and salts are absorbed into the body and stool is formed. The stool passes to the left side of the colon, where it is stored until a bowel movement occurs.
Because researchers haven’t been able to find actual damage in the colon, it once was suggested that individuals with IBS have emotional problems or are overly susceptible to stress. While stress may cause symptoms of IBS to intensify, it doesn’t cause the condition.
Recent study has determined the colon muscle of an individual with IBS spasms after only mild stimulation. It’s thought the symptoms of IBS are produced by hyperactivity of the intestines. In other words, the intestines of individuals with IBS are more reactive to stressors and diet than usual. Almost everyone has experienced abdominal queasiness in response to everyday stress or certain foods. This may result in a brief bout of diarrhea or an upset stomach. However, this response is exaggerated in individuals with IBS.
Q. How prevalent is IBS?
A. IBS is very common. In fact, it’s one of the most frequent problems seen by family physicians. It’s the most common disorder diagnosed by gastroenterologists (physicians specializing in the treatment of digestive disorders). The overall prevalence rates range from 10% to 20% of the general population in most industrialized countries. As a result, the pain and disabling symptoms associated with IBS result in significant socioeconomic costs, as wall as reduction in quality of life for many individuals.
A. Normal bowel function varies from person to person. Some people move their bowels daily, while others may only have two to three stools a week. A normal bowel movement is soft, formed, and is easily passed without cramping or pain.
IBS, however, causes abdominal cramps and pain, which are often severe and disabling. Bowel movements may be irregular and alternate between diarrhea and constipation. The diarrhea may be quite loose and watery. Mucous may be passed. There is often much straining, urgency, and feeling of incomplete evacuation (emptying). Abdominal bloating and passing of gas is common. Nausea, lack of appetite, heartburn, and belching may also be present. Sleep may be disrupted resulting in fatigue and lack of energy. Understandably, persons with IBS often feel anxious and depressed.
Diagnosis of IBS is usually based on the continuous presence or recurrence of these symptoms for at least three months. Other intestinal conditions must be ruled out. These include Chron’s disease, ulcerative colitis, inflammatory bowel disease, colon cancer, inflammatory conditions of the stomach or pancreas, ulcers, infectious disease, or gastroesphageal reflux disease.
Q. Are there clinically demonstrated natural alternatives to the over-the-counter drugs prescribed by my doctor?
A. Yes, both enteric-coated peppermint oil and clown’s mustard (in combination with other herbs) have significant scientific research behind them. Both have been demonstrated to benefit individuals with IBS.
Q. What is clown’s mustard and what does it do?
A. The scientific name for clown’s mustard is Iberis amara. Other names for this herb are wild candytuft and bitter candytuft. Clown’s mustard is a white-flowering plant from Spain, where it grows in dry soil on hillsides and in cornfields. It is also grown in Britain, France, and the United States. Iberis amara is a member of the Brassicaceae family. Iberis refers to its place of origin, the Iberian Peninsula. Amara means bitter. The key components of clown’s mustard are glycosides and flavonoids that have specific actions on gastrointestinal tract tone.
Q. Is tHERE Scientific evidence that clown’s mustard benefits people with IBS?
A. There has been very impressive research on clown’s mustard (in combination with other herbs). And, it has been used with great success in Germany for many years to treat IBS and other gastrointestinal diseases.
In a study of an herbal combination containing clown’s mustard, 20 patients were given the herbal combination for three to 32 days. They all had been diagnosed with chronic functional disorders for at least one to 20 years. The symptoms the patients experienced included pressure and pain in the abdomen, belching, heartburn, vomiting, nausea, fullness, lack of appetite, constipation, and diarrhea. The patients have been treated for their problems with a variety of antacids, anti-spasmodic agents, and motility-inducing substances. For the purposes of the study, the patients stopped taking these medications and received treatment only with the herbal combination.
Abdominal pressure and pain in the abdomen was the most common of all the experienced symptoms, with 11 of the patients rating it as severe. After six days of treatment, only sic of the patients continued to rate their abdominal pain and pressure as severe. After two weeks, this symptom had completely resolved for 16 of the patients. Diarrhea had been rated as severe in five of the patients. By day 14, only one patient continued to have moderate diarrhea.
Medications prescribed and taken for cardiovascular diseases, arthritis, and autoimmune diseases often cause gastrointestinal problems. Because these conditions are chronic, these medications must be taken for a long time, often for life. With long-term use, these medications can cause erosion of the stomach lining and actual ulcers. Many of these medication-caused symptoms are similar to IBS symptoms: pressure and pain in the upper abdomen, nausea, abdominal fullness, and lack of appetite. Most, if not all, of the individuals who have gastrointestinal problems caused from medications experience two or more of these IBS symptoms.
Forty patients who were taking medications for various types of cardiovascular disease and arthritis, and who are experiencing gastrointestinal problems related to their medications, were enrolled in a study. These symptoms included pressure and pain in the upper abdomen, nausea, abdominal fullness, and lack of appetite. Twenty patients received clown’s mustard combined with other herbs that support gastrointestinal motility. Three days after the trial started, a significant improvement of all s symptoms was noted in those taking this combination. By day 14, abdominal pressure and pain, nausea, and heartburn were completely eliminated in the herbal combination group. Several other clinical trials that were conducted in Germany report similar results.
Q. How does this herb compare to prescription drugs?
A. A study compared clown’s mustard (combined with other herbs) to Reglan (metoclopramide), which is frequently prescribed to reduce the symptoms of IBS. While metoclopramide is a very effective medication, it also has numerous side effects. Metoclopramide can cause fatigue, anxiety, agitation, jitteriness, insomnia, yellowing of the skin or eyes, changes in vision, hallucinations, and seizures. Because of these serious side effects, metoclopramide must not be taken longer than 12 weeks.
In comparison study, 77 subjects were randomized to receive treatment of either clown’s mustard in a combination with other herbs, or metoclopramide. All subjects had pain and pressure in the abdomen, cramping, abdominal fullness, nausea, heartburn, and lack of appetite. The subjects took 20 drops of their assigned treatment after meals three times daily. The duration of treatment was one to two weeks.
In both groups, a parallel improvement of all symptoms was observed. At no point in the study was a statistically significant difference in symptoms found. Both treatments significantly reduced pain and pressure in the abdomen, cramping, abdominal fullness, nausea, heartburn, and lack of appetite. In short, both metoclopramide and the clown’s mustard herbal combination worked well at reducing the symptoms of IBS.
However, side effects occurred more frequently and severely in the metoclopramide group. Given the lack of differences noted between the products at reducing symptoms of IBS, it would seem sensible to choose the treatment with the fewest reported side effects and no limits on duration of use.
A. Peppermint oil has been shown to relax intestinal smooth muscle. In Great Britain, peppermint oil is currently being prescribed for IBS by physicians and it has been used as a digestive aid and to soothe upset stomachs for generations.
Peppermint oil has also been studied for use in an important examination of the colon. A colonoscopy is a procedure of viewing the interior lining of the large intestine (colon) using a colonoscope, a slender, flexible, hollow, lighted tube about the thickness of a finger. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine supports the idea that even people who are not at risk for colon cancer should have this test. The American Cancer Society recommends that men and women at average risk of colon cancer should have a colonoscopy every 10 years, beginning at age 50.
During a colonoscopy, individuals are sedated and almost no discomfort is experienced. The insertion of the colonoscope into the rectum and up through the colon causes some spasming. This is a natural and expected event and the physician performing the exam administers medications that effectively reduce the spasms.
A recent study compared the use of peppermint oil and commonly used medications to reduce the colonic spasming in colonoscopy. The peppermint oil was introduced directly into the colon. Effective reduction of colon spasming was observed in 88% of the patients.
In a critical review and meta-analysis of peppermint oil for irritable bowel syndrome published in The American Journal of Gastroenterology, eight randomized controlled trials were identified. The studies collectively showed peppermint oil is superior to placebo in improvement of the symptoms of IBS. Because of the good results of these trials, the authors of the review urged additional study of peppermint oil in IBS.
However, straight peppermint oil is rapidly absorbed into the blood stream from the stomach. In recent studies comparing enteric-coated peppermint oil capsules and non-enteric coated oil, both preparations provided effective symptom relief. However, the studies concluded the enteric-coated capsules delivered the benefit of the peppermint oil directly to the intestines. In the treatment of IBS, enteric-coated supplemental peppermint is most definitely preferred.
In fact, an enteric-coated peppermint oil capsule containing rosemary and thyme is extremely effective in the treatment of IBS. All three of these oils are classified as volatile oils, derivatives found in plants that impart taste and aroma. The combination of peppermint, thyme, and rosemary oils in enteric-coated capsules provides significant relief in IBS-related pain.
Q. Can clown’s mustard and other herbs be taken with enteric-coated peppermint oil?
A. Yes, peppermint oil capsules and clown’s mustard can be used together. However, depending on the symptoms, individuals with IBS may want to start with one supplement and then add the other if needed.
Q. How do consumers find these formulas?
A. Fortunately, herbal combinations containing clown’s mustard and enteric-coated peppermint oil capsules are both available at health food stores, natural product supermarkets, pharmacies, and from health professionals. Most knowledgeable sales personnel and health professionals can direct consumers to the most effective products.
Q. What should customers look for when purchasing peppermint oil?
A. As mentioned before, enteric coating of the peppermint oil is extremely important. The coating prevents the oil from being absorbed in the stomach. The enteric coated-capsule moves through the stomach to the small intestine and eventually to the colon, where it is released for maximum benefit.
Q. What is the dosage for peppermint oil?
A. The German Commission E approved peppermint oil for the treatment of irritable colon. In enteric-coated form, the Commission E recommends 0.6 ml per day. Enteric-coated peppermint capsules are available.
Q. Are tHERE Side effects or other contraindications?
A. Sometimes, the enteric-coated peppermint oil capsules may cause a transient burning sensation in the rectum when moving bowls. Reducing the dose will correct this.
Individuals who must refrain from alcohol should not take clown’s mustard in an herbal tincture, which may contain alcohol.
Q. What else can IBS patients do to feel better?
A. Food allergies or food intolerance may be associated with IBS. Dairy products and certain grains may trigger a painful episode of IBS. Determining those foods that initiate the problems and eliminating them from your diet can be very helpful.
Many people report their symptoms occur after a meal. Hyperactivity of the intestine of IBS is the response. Often, the strength of this response after a meal is in direct relation to the number of calories and he amount of fat in the meal. Reducing saturated fat, limiting calories, and increasing fiber intake may be helpful.
Stress also stimulates the intestinal hyperactivity. Relaxation training may reduce some IBS symptoms. Listening to therapeutic audiotapes, hypnosis, counseling, and biofeedback all have been shown to improve the healing response in persons with IBS.
IBS can be painful and frustrating, capable of causing much distress. While currently there is no cure for IBS, the symptoms can be managed. The pain, abdominal discomfort, and bowel problems of IBS all respond well to treatment with the use of key herbs, including clown’s mustard, and enteric-coated peppermint oil. These herbal combinations can be both effective and safe in treating IBS. Clown’s mustard and enteric-coated peppermint oil are both effective front-line natural alternatives for IBS treatment.
Which Calcium is Best?
October 17, 2006 03:52 PM
Customers walking into a health food store today are faced with a vast array of calcium supplements. They might ask: which one should I pick? Which one is best? Not easy questions to answer. All calcium forms will accomplish the same task: providing your body with a nutrient that it needs to build healthy bones and teeth; however, which form of calcium has the features that you want in a calcium supplement? Looking at shelves of calcium products is kind of like shopping for a car; there are many makes and many models—some are basic and others are more sophisticated.
Fortunately, there are many forms of calcium to satisfy your needs. Like the car lot, a health food store offers many options; therefore, you have to select a calcium product that consumers will feel confident in taking regularly and that will provide the most benefit.
Some consumers have done research and will come armed with information. They have already made choices based on advertising, word-of-mouth or an article they have read. They already know the form of calcium they want, be it a “Ferrari” or a “Ford.” If the client doesn’t have a specific preference: asking these basic questions will help in the selection process:
1. Do you prefer tablets, capsules, softgels, liquid or powder?
2. Do you have high or low stomach acid?
3. Do you have absorption issues?
What is calcium?
Calcium (Ca) is one of the most important minerals found in our bones and teeth—99 percent of body calcium is found there. But the calcium molecule does not like to travel alone and, in its more basic state, it comes bounded to carbon (C), Oxygen (O), and/or hydrogen (H) molecules or in more complex form, it is bonded to organic or amino acids that act as stabilizing carriers. On most labels, the amount of calcium listed actually indicates the pure or elemental calcium because it is that amount of the calcium that is deemed important to our daily supplementation, not the complex of the materials with which it is bonded.
Where does calcium come from?
Other than the calcium found in bone, the only natural form of calcium found in nature is calcium carbonate, a calcium molecule bonded to one molecule of carbon and three molecules of oxygen (CaCO3). One of the most common minerals on the face of the earth, calcium carbonate is called calcite, aragonite or vaterite by geologists. In its geological form, it constitutes approximately four percent, by weight, or the earth’s crust.
Commercial sources of calcium carbonate used to make supplements are: limestone, dolomite, oyster cell, egg shell, coral and sea water (have you ever seen that white deposit left by hard water? That’s mostly calcium carbonate). Calcium carbonate is the starting material for all other forms of calcium supplements. From this starting material, calcium can be reduced to more concentrated forms, such as oxide or hydroxide or it can be chelated (bonded) to organic acids and amino acids to help support enhanced absorption.
Lets look more closely at the different forms of calcium that are available as supplements.
Calcium Oxide (CaO): this form is 71 percent elemental calcium and is also called “lime” commercially. This is one of the oldest and most inexpensive forms of calcium used in a variety of commercial applications and it is occasionally used in supplements wHERE Space and price are a factor. It sometimes can be found in inexpensive mass market calcium/mineral combinations or multivitamin/mineral products and in a unique algal calcium from Japan. Unfortunately, CaO is a strong alkali that may cause stomach distress, which is why it isn’t often used in health food supplements.
Calcium Hydroxide (CaHO): at 54 percent elemental calcium, it is the next highest source of elemental calcium and is also known commercially as “slaked lime.” It is used wHERE Space is an issue. Although it is also a strong alkali, it is more stable than calcium oxide. It is most often used as a component of multi-mineral formulations or in addition to other forms of calcium (i.e., calcium citrate) to provide potency wHERE Space is an issue. It is not often used as a single ingredient in health food supplementation. This is for people who want a high dosage of calcium from a minimum amount of pills in multi-mineral formulas.
Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3): at 40 percent elemental calcium, it is the most widely used form of calcium in single ingredient calcium supplements as well as combination supplements. Inexpensive and an abundant source of elemental calcium, it is the only form of calcium found in nature outside of bone. It is the primary form of calcium used in the mass market and in antacid products. This is for people who have high stomach acid and who need a buffering type of calcium. Also for people who want a high dose of calcium in a minimum amount of pills.
Calcium Citrate: at 21 percent elemental calcium, it is one of the most popular forms of calcium supplements in the health food market as well as the mass market. This calcium salt does not lower stomach acid as much as calcium carbonate. This calcium salt is usually recommended for people who have low stomach acid, have had stomach surgery or who need a form of calcium that will not lower their stomach acid further.
Calcium Gluconate and Lactate: these two forms of calcium are high soluble. Since the amount of elemental calcium is much lower (9 percent and 13 percent respectively), they are used more often in powder form and mixed with liquids or food. When mixed in a beverage, the calcium is already dissolved and is ready to be absorbed. This is the best calcium salt for people who have overactive bowels, who have trouble swallowing pills or who don’t like the taste of pre-formed liquid calcium supplements. These calcium powders can be mixed in juices or smoothies or added to food as they are virtually tasteless.
Calcium Orotate and Asporotate: In the mid 20th century, Dr. Hans Nieper, a German scientist, advanced a theory that orotic and aspartic salt forms of calcium are transported directly to cell membranes for better absorption. The Solaray brand developed an asporotate formula, which combines three organic acids: aspartic acid (-Asp), orotic acid (-oro) and citric acid (-tate) into one product. The asporotate formula has become one of the most popular calcium formulas and is exclusive to the Solaray brand. This product is for customers who appreciate the idea of combining the enhanced absorbability of three organic acids into one. Aspartate and citrate are also part of the krebs (energy) cycle and are natural to the body’s metabolic systems and, according to Neiper, calcium Orotate and Aspartate are mineral transporters that enter into the cells to facilitate enzymatic actions rather than being extra-cellular. For people who believe that intracellular calcium is of importance, calcium Orotate and asporotate may be good choice.
Calcium Hydroxyapatite: this is another “natural form of calcium usually as a mineral ash form bovine source bone. Bone meal is also a form of calcium from bovine bone. These forms of animal derived calcium are for customers who want a source that is closest to their own bone matrix. Not for vegetarians.
Calcium Amino Acid Chelates (*HVP): this form is calcium carbonate bonded (Chelated) to a form of amino acid complex such as whole rice concentrate or other grain source. This form is for customers who want the additional bioavailability of amino acids.
Calcium AEP: Another form of calcium endorsed by Dr. Hans Nieper who theorized that calcium would cross the cell membranes more readily when it was combined with phosphatidyl ethanolamine or Amino Ethanol Phosphate (AEP), a nutrient found in nerve sheaths. This highly specialized form is for very educated customers who are proponets of Hans Niepers theory.
So, which form is best?
Calcium, like cars, comes in a variety of forms. Isn’t it wonderful that we have so many choices? The point is, there is no best one, there are only individual choices. Although we have our favorites, taking a calcium supplement, regardless of which one it is, should:
Our primary concern when choosing a calcium supplement should be to provide our body with the right amount of calcium daily so that our skeleton and teeth can maintain proper mineralization and strength as the cells continuously break down and rebuild. The type of calcium complex we prefer is entirely up to us.
*HVP = Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein
The Skinny on Fats - Omega-3, Omega-6, Omega-7, Omega-9
October 04, 2006 04:53 PM
Health experts keep changing the storey on fats. First we were told that polyunsaturated fats were better than saturated fats. Then it was discovered that refined polyunsaturates were favorite targets for free radical attack. Next, monounsaturated fats took center stage and have remained in the spotlight ever since. The Mediterranean Diet, with its high intake of olive and other oils high in monounsaturates, offers several important safeguards against cardiovascular disease, cancer and overall mortality. (Laino, de Largeril, Kokkinos, Trichopoulou). While monounsaturated fats are important for maintaining optimum health and smooth supple skin, it’s the kind of fatty acids and antioxidants they contain that make up the real story.
Dark green unrefined “extra Virgin” olive oil has a delightful full bodied flavor due to its natural antioxidants. Not only are the oils of various olive cultivars distinctive, they all help fight arterial plaque buildup. (Visioli) Olive oil has a long history in Europe as both food and medicine, and carbon dating of seeds found in spain have shown that the use of olive oil dates back 8,000 years. Gourmet chefs usually prefer particular oils for various uses in making dressing, marinades, and sauces for dipping. Olive orchards have now achieved a status second only to that of vineyards.
Macadamia nut oil is another designer oil that is fast gaining a reputation among chefs and health experts. The nuts originated in Australia where they were staples in the diets of the Aborigines. In 1881, they were introduced in Hawaii and in the 20th century, made their way to California wHERE Several cultivars are now grown. Like olive oil, macadamia nut oil is rich in antioxidants and contains the highest levels, greater than 80 percent monounsaturates, primarily polmitoleic (omega-7) than other oils. (Hiraoka-Yamamoto)
Macadamia nut oil products found in mass market are typically refined, with many of the antioxidants removed. The highest levels of antioxidants in macadamia nuts are found in the shells. During cold processing, some of these antioxidants leech into the oil, increasing its antioxidant potential. (Quinn) unrefined and organic oils have a golden color, pleasing nutty aroma and buttery flavor. Scientists have found that macadamia nut oil lowers, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, and may help prevent stroke. (Yamori, Colquhoun) It is delightful on vegetables, in soups, on popcorn, and as a replacement for butter in baking.
The essential oils (Fish oils, flaxseed, GLA, DHA), which are available as liquid and packaged in black bottles, must be stored in the Refrigerator even when they have not been opened. You cannot heat or cook with them. Essential fatty acid supplements are convenient to take and have specific therapeutic value.
Cardiovascular and Nerves – Consumers have been advised to eat more fish rich in Omega-3 to reduce their risk of cardiobascular disease. However, experts worry that eating several servings of fish each week may not be safe especially during pregnancy, dursing or trying to conceive. Instead they recommend fish oil supplements such as Omega-3 from Algae , Fish oil, and Omega-6 Evening Primrose and Borage oils.
Pain Relief – A blend of cetylated fatty acids including myristate, myristoleate, laurate, oleate, palmitate and palmitoleate appear to be effective in reducing inflammation and pain in arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. (Vanderhaeghe) In a San Diego California study of sixty-four patients with osteoarthritis, an oral preparation of cetylated fatty acids known as celadrin significantly improved range of motion and flexibility. (Hesslink)
Two other studies of osteoarthritis patients at the University of Connecticut, using a topical preparation of Celadrin, showed significantly greater knee stability, improvement in stair climbing ability, balance and strength, and reduction of pain. (Kraemer)
Animal studies at the University of Minnesota have shown that cetylated fatty acids administered either topically or orally are well tolerated and rapidly dispersed throughout the body. (Gallaher) Doses for the oral form are 1500mg three times a day. The topical cream is applied two to four times a day.
Green Tea Extract Fact Sheet
December 07, 2005 10:23 AM
LIKELY USERS: People wanting antioxidant protection; Those trying to control cholesterol; People with high levels of inflammatory iron, including eaters of red meat; Those seeking to avoid caffeine, but wanting the benefits of green tea.
KEY INGREDIENT(S): Green tea extract (Camellia sinensis) 400 mg
MAIN PRODUCT FEATURES:
Total EGCg content: 50% (200 mg.) (Epigallocatechin gallate, a Catechin) Total Catechins content: 80% (by HPLC method) (Catechins are a form of Polyphenol) Total Polyphenols content: 98% (by UV method) Polyphenols, especially catechins (including EGCg), are the main active ingredients in green tea, which act as antioxidants and bind iron, which may prevent some iron-dependent inflammation.
Less than 1% caffeine content, naturally occurring (versus one cup of green tea’s roughly 40 mg. of caffeine). THERE Should be only around 3 mg. of caffeine, per capsule.
OTHER IMPORTANT ISSUES:
VitaNet ® Staff