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six top-notch supplements that can help you achieve your goals.
December 06, 2023 04:55 PM
If you're looking to stay in the game longer and improve endurance while promoting rapid recovery, we've got you covered! six top-notch supplements that can help you achieve your goals.
For most of us, life can feel like quite the balancing act. In an ideal world, we would all have ample time throughout the day to dedicate to our health and well-being. However, reality paints a different picture, where 24 hours can seem like an insufficient amount of time to squeeze in work, school, family, and the countless responsibilities that life throws at us. In recent years, the use of supplements for recovery has gained popularity, becoming more common than ever before.
Our bodies face a barrage of daily stresses, including exposure to environmental toxins, electromagnetic pollution, and the strain of intense physical activity. These factors increase our body's demands for antioxidants and essential nutrients that aid in the process of recovery. While consuming antioxidant-rich foods can certainly make a difference, it can be challenging to meet these requirements solely through our diet. That's where a well-rounded supplement regimen can play a crucial role in promoting optimal health and aiding in recovery. Even with our best efforts to exercise regularly, eat nutritious meals, and get sufficient sleep, life in the 21st century can be incredibly demanding, depleting our bodies on a cellular level.
For athletes, consistent training is key to reaching desired performance levels. It's important to understand that the muscle recovery and building process primarily occurs between gym sessions. Developing a comprehensive recovery strategy during this crucial window, through the use of supplements, proper nutrition, and adequate rest, can help athletes perform at their best week in and week out. Failing to make the most of this recovery period may result in free radical damage and delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). To maximize the benefits, it's important to prioritize food as the primary source of vital nutrients, while also recognizing the significant role supplements can play in providing the necessary building blocks for muscle repair due to their rapid absorption rate. However, it's essential to ensure that any chosen supplements are clinically validated, demonstrating efficacy and supported by solid scientific evidence.
In today's fast-paced world, there is a growing demand for quick and convenient solutions to jumpstart the recovery process. Nevertheless, when it comes to choosing supplements, it's important to remember that one size does not fit all. The market offers an overwhelming array of options, often leaving individuals feeling bewildered about which products to select.
Before diving into my recommendations for the top six supplements to aid in recovery, I believe it's crucial to emphasize the significance of cellular renewal and its direct impact on the recovery process. This, in my opinion, serves as the key to achieving a quick and effective recovery.
Oxidation and Free Radical Damage
A fundamental key to staying young and maintaining optimal health is cellular renewal and minimizing the damage to cells over time. We all age, but studies have shown that some individuals age better than others. Have you ever wondered why? Well, recent research has linked oxidative stress to the aging process. So, what exactly is oxidative stress? Allow me to explain in simple terms – oxidation occurs when the body produces by-products commonly known as free radicals. It's almost like a machine rusting, but instead of rust forming on iron, our bodies experience the effects of aging and age-related diseases.
Now, our bodies naturally produce free radicals as part of our daily metabolism, and they can also be produced as a result of environmental pollutants from everyday things like air, water, and even sun exposure. As we age, our bodies become more vulnerable to the long-term effects of oxidative stress, which simply means we accumulate too many free radicals and experience increased inflammation at the cellular level.
As interesting as it may sound, the process of oxidation is actually abundant and can be beneficial for our bodies to function properly. But, and this is an important "but," this very process can also cause potential harm. You see, the oxidizing process creates these molecules called free radicals, which are electrically charged. These free radicals interact with our cells, and this interaction can lead to both positive and negative outcomes. For example, our immune system utilizes free radicals to help fight infection. However, when LDL cholesterol (often referred to as bad cholesterol) is oxidized, it can become a concern (cholesterol buildup).
Let's talk about oxidative stress. It occurs when the level of free radicals overwhelms the body's natural antioxidant defense system, resulting in cell damage. As I mentioned earlier, while free radicals serve useful functions in the body, they are highly unstable molecules. If they remain uncontrolled, they have the potential to wreak havoc by causing damage to cells, enzymes, and even our DNA, which ultimately accelerates the aging process. In addition, these free radicals can also contribute to the development of various age-related diseases, including arthritis, cancer, and heart disease
Now, inflammation is triggered by free radical damage, and it is this inflammation that leads to the negative effects of free radicals due to oxidation. The question then becomes, how can we address this in our daily nutritional regimen? The answer lies in the incorporation of antioxidants, which play a vital role in combating oxidative stress and minimizing the damage caused by free radicals in our bodies. You'll be glad to know that there are foods rich in antioxidant content that can help us on this journey. In fact, certain foods contain phytonutrients that, according to many health professionals, hold the potential to unlock the secrets of longevity and overall well-being.
So, my dear friend, let's take a proactive approach, nourish our bodies with antioxidant-rich foods, and strive to minimize the effects of oxidative stress caused by free radicals. It's never too late to make positive choices for our health and age gracefully.
Phytonutrients, also known as health boosters, are substances produced by plants to protect themselves from harmful bacteria and viruses. However, these compounds also offer significant benefits to the human body. Packed with essential nutrients, phytonutrients play an active role in promoting good health. They belong to the antioxidant family, responsible for eliminating harmful free radicals and thus slowing down the aging process. Incorporating a diet rich in high antioxidant foods like fresh fruits and vegetables is crucial as the first line of defense against aging.
While vitamins A, C, and E are commonly known antioxidants, there are other antioxidants available in both food and supplement form. These antioxidant supplements play a vital role in bridging the nutritional gap left by processed foods, lacking the necessary antioxidants and nutrients to combat free radicals effectively.
Let's take a closer look at my top six supplement recommendations, known for their efficacy in fighting oxidative stress and promoting optimal recovery:
Beta Alanine: As an amino acid derivative, Beta Alanine is proven to enhance intramuscular carnosine content, improving the body's ability to buffer hydrogen ions. During exercise, the body accumulates hydrogen ions, contributing to fatigue and lowering pH levels. Beta Alanine supplementation can reduce fatigue, enhance exercise performance, and increase training volume. Whether it's interval training or weightlifting to improve running economy, incorporating beta-alanine can have a positive impact on endurance performance and overall training results.
BCAAs: Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) have become a staple supplement for athletes due to their role in muscle and energy production during exercise. Consisting of three essential amino acids - leucine, isoleucine, and valine - BCAAs have been shown to significantly reduce muscle soreness and expedite the recovery process. Supplementing with BCAAs helps prevent muscle breakdown, as the body does not need to rely on its own muscle tissue for energy. Consequently, protein synthesis remains high, supporting muscle growth and repair.
Creatine, a natural molecule found in muscle cells. When engaging in high-intensity workouts like weightlifting, Creatine helps your body produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a vital energy source. This amazing compound improves strength, boosts lean muscle mass, and aids in faster muscle recovery.
Flavonoid Root, a breakthrough extract known for its cardiovascular benefits. This extract is packed with potent antioxidants and acts as a nitric oxide booster, promoting increased endurance during workouts. Studies have shown that it fights against free radical damage and increases the flow of oxygen-rich blood, ensuring optimal cardiovascular health. You can also boost nitric oxide with beet root, and l-citruline.
Speaking of studies, a published research paper in Food and Nutrition Research (April 2016) highlighted the effects of the unique flavonoid root extract on arterial health. The study revealed that after one year of consumption, participants experienced a decrease in artery wall thickness, total cholesterol, LDL levels, and blood pressure. This indicates that the extract may help reduce the risk of oxidation-related cerebral vascular issues and improve overall cardiovascular health
Glutamine. It's the most abundant amino acid in the human body and plays a vital role in muscle recovery and repair. Glutamine aids in preventing muscle soreness, optimizing post-workout recovery, and supporting muscle rebuilding. By facilitating nitrogen transport, regulating acid-base balance, and acting as an antioxidant, Glutamine ensures faster post-workout muscle recovery, giving you the freedom to train Harder for better results.
Protein plays a crucial role in replenishing and repairing your muscles after a workout, making it a key nutrient to consume alongside carbohydrates. By opting for a protein shake as a post-workout option, you can efficiently supply amino acids to your muscles, stimulating muscle protein synthesis, enhancing recovery, and promoting growth. It's important, though, to choose a protein shake that contains high-quality ingredients, as prioritizing quality over quantity is key when it comes to protein.
Apart from protein, there are several other supplements that work through various mechanisms to provide natural, broad-spectrum antioxidant and nutrient support, ultimately contributing to optimal health and recovery. Taking preventative measures to protect the health of different body systems is much easier than trying to restore their function after damage has occurred. With this in mind, retailers should suggest a preventive program to their customers, aiming to limit free radical damage and promote recovery. As the adage goes, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," emphasizing the significance of protecting and preserving one's health.
In conclusion, the role of antioxidants, particularly phytonutrients, in maintaining overall health and combating oxidative stress cannot be overstated. These beneficial compounds not only slow down the aging process, but also enhance the body's ability to recover from physical exertion. Various supplements, including Beta Alanine, BCAAs, Creatine, Flavonoid Root, Glutamine, and Protein, each offer distinct benefits in supporting muscle growth, improving athletic performance, and promoting quicker recovery. The incorporation of these supplements into one's regimen can effectively bridge the nutritional gap left by processed foods. A preventive strategy, emphasizing a diet rich in antioxidants and high-quality supplements, holds the key to optimal health and longevity. As the saying goes, 'an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure'.
Can I Eat Fruit On a Keto Diet?
April 25, 2019 04:45 PM
The ketogenic diet is now trending across the globe, but many have many impressions about this eating regimen that are far from the truth. One of these myths surround the fact that keto dieters cannot consume any carbs at all, making the majority of fruits off limits. Keto followers can actually have up to 50 grams of carbohydrates to start, and they are encouraged to consume healthy fruits that are low in carbohydrates such as lemons or avocados.
"Higher carb fruits are going to be harder to incorporate into a keto diet while still allowing room for the liberal intake of vegetables and avocados encouraged in the Keto Reset."
Read more: https://www.marksdailyapple.com/fruit-keto/
How does poor gut health affect vitamin C and E in metabolicsyndrome? - Medical News Bulletin
April 16, 2019 10:53 AM
Metabolic syndrome involves a combination of at least three out of five conditions — hypertension, abdominal obesity, low “good cholesterol,” and excessively high fasting blood glucose and serum triglyceride scores. Metabolic syndrome is a major public health concern, given that more than a third of American adults have it. Recent studies suggest that eating too much saturated fat can imbalance the bacteria in the gut. This results over time in oxidative stress and inflammation that can deplete the body’s stockpiles of vitamins C and E, and also make it harder to absorb more vitamin C from food to replace what has been used up. Vitamins C and E play an important role in protecting against oxidative stress.
"Around 35% of the American adult population has metabolic syndrome, with a higher prevalence in older age groups."
Read more: https://www.medicalnewsbulletin.com/poor-gut-health-vitamin-c-e-metabolic-syndrome/
The role of magnesium in maintaining health
February 06, 2019 02:38 PM
Magnesium is a very important mineral to our bodies and helps with our overall health, more specifically in the muscles and bones. It also helps many enzymes run smoothly within the body and is very important in turning food into energy. However, many people are unaware of the importance of magnesium and suffer from this deficiency. With the deficiency, producing energy cells becomes harder making the relaxation and contraction of muscles more difficult. Consuming foods like nuts, dark chocolate, legumes, grains, leafy vegetables, and even skim milk.
"Magnesium, as one is aware, is a highly important mineral, as it contributes to fortifying human health, especially bones and muscles."
Read more: https://www.thestatesman.com/lifestyle/health/role-magnesium-maintaining-health-1502721633.html
Nutritionists say you should eat more cinnamon if you're diabetic
December 20, 2018 08:01 AM
For people who are suffering from diabetes, it is a really hard thing. There are a lot of people out there that are naive to what it actually means to be diabetic. These people do not have it easy at all and over time, it only gets harder. The process becomes more routine but it does not get any less taxing on the body. Also, cinnamon is something that is recommended by nutritionists for people who are diabetic.
"Now that the holidays are fast approaching, the smell of cinnamon will fill the air once again. This spice, commonly added to baked goods, is well loved around the world because of its delicious taste. In a recent study, a group of Malaysian researchers from the Asian Institute of Medicine, Science and Technology (AIMST) University has found more reasons for people to enjoy foods with this spice."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-12-06-nutritionists-say-you-should-eat-more-cinnamon-if-youre-diabetic.html
What's The Difference Between Niacin And Niacinamide
December 19, 2018 08:31 AM
When it comes to Vitamin B3, not all forms of Niacin are created equally. Aside from the risk of allergens and impurities, there are also separate forms with critical distinctions. The pure form is made solely of nicotinic acid which causes the flushing effect when it is taken by humans. The flushing effect is a redness that starts in the face and expands outwards through the rest of the body. It can make the skin feel warm, dry, and itchy for half an hour. The flushing effect is associated with vascular dilation that helps open up the tiny capillaries and blood vessels to clean out all the toxic junk they may have accumulated.
Nicotinic Acid Lowers Cholesterol
Nicotinic acid is also associated with increasing HDL levels in the body to prevent heart disease and plaques from accumulating on the interior walls of arteries. Nicotinic acid is also known to lower the LDL and VLDL bad cholesterols that clog up arteries and lead to heart attacks and strokes.
Other Benefits of Vitamin B3
Vitamin B3 plays a critical role in building enzymes that help us carry out over 200 physical functions in the body. It is not produced naturally but is absorbed from foods such as yeast, green vegetables, milk, eggs, legumes, and fish. Aside from cardiovascular health, it plays a critical role in nervous health and sex hormone production.
How Does Niacinamide Differ?
Niacinamide is a water-soluble form of Niacin that is used to treat deficiencies or for therapies when patients need to take higher doses regularly to treat pellegra and the deficiencies that lead to it. When an excess of Niacin is built up in the body, your body may store it in this form. The chief distinction between this water-soluable hybrid and nicotinic acid is the effect on cholesterol and vascular dilation. Although flushing can be reduced by taking nicotinic acid daily and building up a tolerance to the effects, it is Harder on the liver and more burdensome on the body to metabolize it in the high doses used for therapy of many illnesses: ADHD, Schizophrenia, nervous problems, migraines, and arthritis, among others. It is the preferred choice for maintaining a consistent and steady level of Vitamin B3 in the body and loaded into many beauty and skin products for women.
What Other Forms Can I Take?
You can take any form of the vitamin on a daily basis or supplement it with nicotinic acid when you need some additional flushing effect. You will notice that Niacinamide causes some symptoms of drying and itching that are similar to flushing when you take it in high doses. The no-flush formulation is called inositol hexanicotinate and made up from Vitamins B3 and Inositol Vitamin B8. The inositol acts as an additional buffer that makes inositol hexanicotinate easy to digest and take 1600 mg without side-effects: nausea, itching, flushing, dizziness, gout, liver damage, diabetes. Although multi-vitamin formulas and even fortified foods like breakfast shakes and cereals suggest that you are getting a full dose of B3 in each serving, this is very unlikely. The better choice is to take specifically formulated capsules rather than multivitamins if you are using it for therapeutic reasons.
Improve memory and mood with curcumin: Study finds it boostscognitive function in those with mild, age-related memory loss
October 11, 2018 02:28 PM
There are some people who are finding that retaining their memory gets harder and harder with age. Some people deal with it better than others but when this moment comes, it is a tough pill to swallow. Many people do not want to face reality as they struggle to comes to terms with the fact that they are getting older. However, it happens to everyone. Now you can improve your memory with curcumin and more things.
"Results after the completion of the study indicated that participants who took curcumin had significantly improved their cognitive function than those who received the placebo – in particular, they had better recall, visual memory, and attention than the placebo group."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-09-23-improve-memory-and-mood-with-curcumin-cognitive-function.html
Why does losing weight get harder with age?
August 18, 2018 09:53 AM
Many find it harder to drop the extra pounds later in life, and science is now backing up this theory with medical evidence that point to it being true. Each year that we grow older, our metabolism drops by approximately 1%. This means that the amount of calories we burn drops by this same amount. We also tend to store more white fat as opposed to brown fat. White fat is known to store more fat cells, while brown fat helps promote an increase in heart rate and other beneficial functions.
"Well, there are a couple things working against you. One, you’re most likely not burning as many calories as you did when you were in your 20s."
Read more: https://www.wahpetondailynews.com/health/why-does-losing-weight-get-harder-with-age/article_cc0254cc-a16b-11e8-8cf4-7710ae4a480b.html
Supplemental nutrition found to treat brain injury better than prescriptions, and may even provide some protection against injury
July 26, 2018 08:58 AM
Researchers from Texas Christian Univeristy recently led a research review into whether nutritional supplements can aid in recovery from Sports Related Concussions (SRC). SRCs, sometimes referred to as mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBI), are caused by biomechanical forces resulting from a direct blow to the head, face or neck. While mTBIs are harder to diagnose than other TBIs, they can become progressively more serious through repeated trauma and the brain’s inflammatory response. The research review decided that Curcumin, Creatine and Omega-3 supplements show potential for promoting recovery from SRCs, but noted that more research is needed.
"Mild traumatic brain injuries, however, are not as easily detected as that of a severe TBI. The authors noted that while sports-related concussive and sub-concussive impacts start out as mild, the brain’s inflammatory response to an injury may aggravate it, especially in repeated and prolonged exposures."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-07-23-supplemental-nutrition-found-to-treat-brain-injury-better-than-prescriptions.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
Vitamin K essential to a healthy heart; deficiency found to contribute to unhealthy enlargement in ...
October 23, 2017 01:14 PM
Enlargement of the heart is a serious matter. A vitamin K deficiency may contribute to it but is easily remedied. Do not ignore this. If you need more get a supplement for sure. You can also find out which foods it is in so you can eat more of them. It is best to get vitamins from your diet if possible. If your heart does become enlarged it can be dangerous since it then has to work harder to get blood and therefore oxygen around your body.
"They discovered that those who ate the smallest amount of vitamin K-rich foods, such as spinach, cabbage, iceberg lettuce, broccoli, and olive oil, had a 3.3 percent higher risk of having an unhealthy enlargement of the left ventricle."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2017-10-19-vitamin-k-essential-to-a-healthy-heart-deficiency-found-to-contribute-to-unhealthy-enlargement-in-adolescents.html
Watch out for these nine TOXIC ingredients in your toothpaste
September 18, 2017 09:14 AM
There are nine toxic ingredients that are in toothpaste that you need to watch out for. Everyone wants to have a healthy smile and a clean one as well. It can be hard for people to achieve that though. Also, with all of the toxic ingredients that are found in toothpastes, this is an even harder thing to achieve. Aspartame is one of the toxic ingredients that people need to watch out for in their toothpaste.
"Once touted as a solution to building strong teeth, fluoride has since been exposed as a downright unsafe toothpaste ingredient with a shocking number of negative health effects."
Read more: http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-09-12-watch-out-for-these-nine-toxic-ingredients-in-your-toothpaste.html
5 reasons you might wanna switch from iced coffee to iced tea
September 04, 2017 12:14 PM
There are five reasons you may want to switch from iced coffee to iced tea. One reason is all the antioxidants that are present in iced tea. The antioxidants that are found in iced tea will help to fight inflammation and it also helps the development of plaque in coronary arteries. There are so many different health benefits that iced tea offers. The people who drink tea regularly have less of a chance of having a stroke.
"Glatter says, “People who drink tea regularly have a lower risk of heart disease and stroke.” He adds, “Tea is also known to improve brain health."
Read more: http://hellogiggles.com/lifestyle/food-drink/reasons-switch-iced-coffee-iced-tea/
Here's how olive oil can treat constipation
June 24, 2017 11:14 AM
Constipation is a common digestive problem that can affect people of all ages. Many people will experience constipation at some point. Traveling, changes in routine, or certain foods may cause harder bowel movements in the short term. Olive oil can increase the level of moisture in your stool and can act as a lubricant in your bowels. It is rich in vitamin E and K, antioxidants, omega 3 and 6 fatty acids which help to boost the health of digestive tract.
Read more: Here's how olive oil can treat constipation
9 Things to Do This Morning to Make Your Whole Day More Productive
June 20, 2017 12:14 PM
There are 9 things to do this morning to make your entire day a lot more productive. Planning ahead is one of the most important things you need to do. It does not need to be a minute by minute plan. But, it does need to be a sound one. Another thing you need to do is resist the snooze. Giving yourself those few extra minutes may seem like a good thing, but you could be doing your body harm by snoozing.
"Giving yourself a few extra minutes of slumber may seem like listening to your body, but in the long run you’re probably doing more harm than good."
Read more: https://www.nbcnews.com/better/health/9-things-do-morning-make-your-whole-day-more-productive-ncna772446?cid=public-rss_20170619
The color of your urine says a lot about your health, this is what your color means!
May 25, 2017 05:14 AM
You may notice your urine looking darker or orangish. It is important to pay attention to this because it could reflect bigger health problems. You can't tell by color alone but it can be a sign. A doctor can test your urine if you think there is something wrong so you should communicate with yours whenever you worry. Just tell them what color it is and if you have any oter symptoms that could be signs of something.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2z0Rzt7104&rel=0
"Color can show you certain signs: poor diet, sickness, hydration, etc..."
The Secret to Effective Weight Loss: Testosterone
May 23, 2017 10:44 AM
Getting in shape is very part harder than the vast majority trust it to be. Your body is intended to store fat, so consuming fat conflicts with common plan. Be that as it may, imagine a scenario in which there was a basic approach to expand your fat consuming without losing muscle fat. The majority of the men had genuinely low levels of testosterone, and various them had different ailments 10% experienced heart issue, while 20% experienced diabetes.
Read more: The Secret to Effective Weight Loss: Testosterone
Pros and Cons to Know About the Atkins Diet
May 10, 2017 10:44 AM
The Atkins diet has been around for a number of years. Many people love it because it helps you lose weight quickly and it helps prevent many crippling diseases. It also can be quite easy to follow since it doesn't require calorie counting or measuring. You simply need to follow some guidelines as to what you can eat and then the weight comes off. It also has several things going against it. It can cause discomfort because it can make you very tired, making it harder to exercise. It can also cause some stomach issues. Bad breath can also be a side effect. It doesn't allow for a wide variety of foods. Therefore, you have to weigh the pros and the cons before attempting this diet.
Read more: Pros and Cons to Know About the Atkins Diet
TWO CUPS OF THIS DRINK DAILY AND THESE 9 EXERCISES IS ALL YOU NEED TO GET A FLAT STOMACH!!
April 29, 2017 02:14 PM
So many people want to flatten their stomach, but soon find that it is Harder than they ever imagined it could be. It is true that it is difficult to lose fat from the stomach, but it is not impossible. If you know the right remedy, you can get a flat stomach that you love in no time. This drink and exercises are all that you need to make great strides in your desire for a flat stomach.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=665qdTOzvgg&rel=0
"A flat stomach is everyone’s desire, and it is not simple to achieve, as you need to exercise regularly, but you should also change the food you consume. Today, we are going to reveal the recipe of a remedy which will burn the abdominal fat accumulated in the abdominal area, and prevent gain weight again. It cleanses the body from all harmful toxins and waste, removes retained fluids, and boosts the function of the brain."
10 Vitamins for Women Body Functioning
December 21, 2016 10:59 AM
As much as women want to be treated the same as men, their bodies are different and need to be treated as such. It can be easier for women to become overworked and is very important to maintain a healthy diet to prevent it. There are essential nutrients that every body needs to function properly, but some are more important for women than others. B vitamins, along with vitamin A, C, D, K, and E all need to be in proper balance to keep women performing to their best.
"With the women entering the workforce and having the stress of equal competition to men in conditions of career and opportunities, there is a growing essential to work Harder."
Health Check: what makes it so hard to quit drugs?
December 17, 2016 10:59 AM
The brain becomes primed to repeat drug taking over and over without actually thinking about it. When the dopamine system is damaged in that part of the brain, it makes it much Harder to think through consequences and make considered decisions, so drug use becomes more automated. The wiring of the dopamine reward system makes it compelling to use drugs, and the damage to the system makes self-regulation more difficult. The brain and body adapt over time to taking drugs and react when the alcohol or other drugs leave the system.
"Every drug affects different neurotransmitter pathways in different ways. Some affect more than one neurotransmitter. But most drugs impact the dopamine system in some way."
Seize the Day with Vitamins: 4 Vitamin-Packed Juicing Recipes for Energy
December 03, 2016 04:59 PM
Vitamins are an essential part of our diet. They help keep our bodies in balance and our organs functioning properly. For some, it is Harder to incorporate the proper amount of vitamins into the diet. An easier way to do this is to harvest the juices from different fruits and vegetables and combine them. The internet is a great source of research to find recipes that will give you the proper amount of vitamins your body needs.
"Vitamins will not provide energy like proteins, carbs, and fats, but they are more like essential compounds which will help our body grow, develop and function optimally."
The diet habits you need to change immediately
November 28, 2016 04:59 PM
We have grown up being told to take changes gradually in order to build a better support system. We are taught that sudden or extreme changes are Harder to maintain and may harm us in the end. A study from the University of California is contesting that belief. They had participants spend 5 hours a day committing to healthy habits such as exercise or taking wellness classes. The researchers noticed that several individual changes helped to reinforce the others, which made rapid changes to their wellbeing. We may have to rethink what we were taught as kids.
"Many of us know that we need to drink more water but yet it is estimated that up to 70 per cent of us are dehydrated at any one time."
Vitamin A -- Where It Comes from and What It Does.
March 22, 2014 08:50 AM
Vitamin A helps battle off contamination. It likewise serves to keep your skin smooth and supple. You can get a great deal of vitamin A from your sustenance - with liver meats being the best source. A few vegetables - carrots, broccoli leaves (the leaves, not the stems), sweet potatoes and kale, run a far off second, alongside spread.
Dietary vitamin A hails from two sorts of sustenance:
* Animal sustenance sources give "dynamic" manifestations of vitamin A - the form can use the vitamin promptly. They are called 'retinoid'. Retinoid are frequently utilized within skin creams and dermatological pharmaceuticals, as vitamin A is well known for its skin revival properties.
* Plants give carotenoids (to illustration beta-carotene). Carotenoids are changed over by the constitution into vitamin A. Beta-carotene is the most widely recognized of the carotenoids. A brilliantly colored intensifies; this is the thing that gives carrots and sweet potatoes their orange shade.
"Collaboration" is the point at which two or more substances join to make an impact more terrific than either could perform on its own. All supplements in the constitution have a synergistic impact, and vitamin A is no special case. Assuming that you as of recently have an iron inadequacy that brings about frailty - insufficient oxygen-transporting red platelets that abandons you ceaselessly tired a vitamin A insufficiency too will exacerbate it. Iron and vitamin A supplements taken together for frailty are more viable than either of these taken separately. When you don't have enough zinc in your eating methodology, the figure has a Harder time proficiently utilizing vitamin A.
The main sign of a vitamin A inadequacy is debilitated vision especially 'night blindness the powerlessness to see well in faint light. Vitamin An is utilized to structure the shades required in the retina for vision, and without enough A, your eyes can't do their employment. Keep in mind when your mother used to let you know to consume carrots so you could see well? There's truth in that old home cure.
Check Out The Wonder Grain: Amaranth
February 02, 2014 07:48 AM
The wonder of amaranth
The wonder grain Amaranth has been known to humans for centuries. It was heralded as a staple in the diets of pre Columbian-Aztecs who heralded the plant is granting them special powers. Unfortunately, when the Spanish Conquistadors arrived in the region, they outlawed the crop and went to great lengths to push its existence far from common knowledge. It has only resurfaced on the market in recent decades.
A broad and bushy plant, amaranth can grow to around six feet in height. It sports a bright and colorful flower head which contains an immense amount of seeds. It is not uncommon for a single plant to produce seed quantities around the 60,000 mark. The seeds are typically used in the creation of amaranth cereal or flour.
The plant itself is not technically a grain, belonging instead to the same plant family as beets, spinach and quinoa. This classification is the reason it offers nutritional benefits that are closer to those offered by darker, greener plants with more foliage rather than those of true grains. Amaranth plays host to a myriad of different nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. One amino acid in particular, lysine, which is generally present in fairly low levels in other grains, appears in a noticeably higher concentration here. Compared to wheat, Amaranth also carries four times as much calcium and double the content of iron and magnesium. It also boasts an exceptionally high level of protein.
Uses of amaranth
This miracle plant can be prepared with a wide variety of techniques. It can be simmered to produce a consistency not unlike porridge. It can also be mixed with other grains to create a dish that resembles rice. Traditionalists can also toss the grains in a skillet to be cooked like popcorn, producing a crunchy, almost nutty experience. While still not yet immensely popular and therefor sometimes Harder to find, amaranth can be an excellent addition to any healthy diet.
Is D-Ribose Only Good For All Muscular Energy Or Just The Heart?
January 22, 2014 10:32 AM
What is D-Ribose
Ribose, better known as D-Ribose is a sugar that gets produced by the human body or rather say body cells. Unlike normal sucrose or any artificial sugar, Ribose is an especial sugar found in a variety of foods. Generally, doctors suggest external Ribose dosages to heart patients as it’s known to improve heart function and help people obviate hearth disease and congestive heart failure. Now, here’s the question arises, is D-Ribose only good for all muscular energy or just the heart?
Before answering the above question, have a look at the science behind the fact that Ribose is helpful to heart patients. Well, in simple terms, heart of the people, suffering from congestive heart failure works much Harder compared to the heart of normal people. To pump blood Harder, heart requires more energy and if it doesn’t get the energy, it gets tired and also makes the body tired. This is where the external dosage of Ribose offsets the energy lost by the heart, and help it work properly.
D-Ribose is frequently found in energy drinks and health supplements. Actually natural foods don’t really contain free Ribose, hence health supplements or energy drinks become the best source of Ribose. Before purchasing any health supplement featuring Ribose, make sure you consult with an expert doctor. So, whether you are suffering from congestive heart failure or chronic fatigue or you just want to boost your energy before the gym workouts, consume a genuine D-Ribose health supplement daily to see the difference.
Why Take A Coenzymated B-Complex?
January 10, 2014 05:09 PM
Why Take A Coenzymated B-Complex?
Vitamin B can normally be found in fruits and vegetables, people can get Vitamin B complex from eating green leafy vegetables, eggs, citrus fruits, nuts, kidney beans, bananas as well as chicken.
However, not everyone has the time to have a balance meal.
Vitamin B deficiency
When the body suffers from Vitamin B deficiency a person can suffer depression symptoms like anxiety and constant fatigue. It can also lead to other health problems like heart diseases and premenstrual syndrome as well as skin problems.
There are some individuals who are taking in B vitamins, but some are not able to make use of it due to problems with the way it is processed by the body.
Because of this Coenzymated B-Complex was developed. If a person’s body is unable to convert the B vitamins into usable form, then there is a need to use a coenzymate product of B vitamins.
Coenzymated sublingual B vitamins can be purchased singly or as a complex, not all forms of Vitamin B are in the coenzymate form, some are in their pure form from vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, B12 including Folate.
While this form of supplement provides a lot of benefits for the body, this is Harder to find than other B vitamins, there are only a few websites who is selling coenzyme products.
Before taking in any vitamin supplements
There is a need to consult a doctor. While it is undeniable that Vitamin B supplements are beneficial for the body, there are also potential side effects.
B vitamin supplements need to be taken according to doctor’s prescription in order to avoid skin problems and increase in sugar blood levels.
Who should take B vitamin supplements?
Coenzymated B-Complex should be taken by people who are suffering from anemia, loss of appetite, people who are experiencing frequent abdominal pain, hair loss and those who have eczema.
There is a need to ask a doctor with regards to the kind of B vitamin supplement that should be taken; vitamins should be taken only if recommended by doctors.
Overdose of vitamins can lead to kidney problems, and for this reason people have to avoid self-medication.
How vitamins help lower blood pressure naturally
December 08, 2013 11:20 PM
Blood pressure can be described as the force of blood as it goes through or pumps in your blood vessels while circulating throughout your body. Those who have narrow arteries normally have a higher blood pressure, because the blood needs to be pumped much Harder through their smaller passage-ways. Generally, high blood-pressure is usually caused by too much exercise or stress, but there are some people who may have chronic high blood-pressure. High blood-pressure symptoms can include; headaches, dizziness, and sometimes even nosebleeds. There are situations when there are no any symptoms and you won't know you've any problem until you get a stroke or have a heart attack, and this is why it's important for you to get your blood pressure checked regularly.
Below are some vitamins one can use to naturally lower their blood pressure:
Vitamin A is a fat soluble which works primarily in body fat tissues. It prevents the LDL cholesterol and also prevents the build up of any plaque on your body's arteries. It can at times be quite toxic if you take too much of it, the recommended amount is only up to 5,000-IUs a day.
How vitamins help lower blood pressure naturally
December 08, 2013 10:16 PM
Blood Pressure as Described
Blood pressure can be described as the force of blood as it goes through or pumps in your blood vessels while circulating throughout your body. Those who have narrow arteries normally have a higher blood pressure, because the blood needs to be pumped much Harder through their smaller passage-ways. Generally, high blood-pressure is usually caused by too much exercise or stress, but there are some people who may have chronic high blood-pressure. High blood-pressure symptoms can include; headaches, dizziness, and sometimes even nosebleeds. There are situations when there are no any symptoms and you won't know you've any problem until you get a stroke or have a heart attack, and this is why it's important for you to get your blood pressure checked regularly.
Below are some vitamins one can use to naturally lower their blood pressure:
Vitamin A is a fat soluble which works primarily in body fat tissues. It prevents the LDL cholesterol and also prevents the build up of any plaque on your body's arteries. It can at times be quite toxic if you take too much of it, the recommended amount is only up to 5,000-IUs a day.
Vitamin C will help in lowering and controlling your body's blood pressure in many ways. It will reduce the generation of all free radicals which can damage the artery walls. It will also help in fixing any damaged blood arteries, and will help elevate the levels of the HDL-cholesterol. If you happen to suffer from high blood-pressure, you should take a minimum of about 2,500-milligrams of vitamin-C every day. Vitamin C rich-foods can include; Oranges, red bell peppers, grape fruit,spinach, and tomatoes.
Vitamin E will reduce the risk of suffering from heart disease and will also lower your blood pressure. Vitamin E will help protect your arteries from all effects of the LDL cholesterol. It's the most active anti-oxidant in the body. It's recommended you take up to 800 international units (IUs) of all natural vitamin E every day if you have a high blood pressure and want to lower it.
Astaxanthin Protects The Eye And More!
November 13, 2013 02:52 PM
Astaxanthin is a carotenoid that is commonly found in the marine environment. It is naturally found in salmon, krill, trout, crayfish, shrimp, crustaceans and yeast. It is the chemical that is responsible for the red color in cooked shellfish and salmon meat. The algae Haematoccus has the richest natural source of astaxanthin.
Astaxanthin can also be produced synthetically, but due to the synthetic product consisting of different steriosmers it is not preferred to be used in some cases.
Unlike beta-carotene it has two more oxygenated groups on each of its ring structure, these additional functional groups make it a highly potent antioxidant and give it a configuration that is more polar than that of other carotenoids. Vitamin E has been known as the strongest antioxidant both in topical use in cosmetics and in internal use, but research has shown that astaxanthin has a greater antioxidant strength than Vitamin E. For example in the quenching of singlet oxygen it has an antioxidant strength five hundred times stronger than Vitamin E.
Unlike many other antioxidants it has the ability of crossing the blood-brain barrier and enter into the eyes, brain and central nervous system (CNS). Most diseases of the CNS and eye are caused by increased generation of free radicals or by a decrease in the ability to remove free radicals from the body. Some of the diseases that are caused by problems with inflammation and oxidation include Glaucoma, Cataracts, and Huntington’s disease. These can be prevented by taking astaxanthin.
It has anti-inflammatory properties that are related to its strong antioxidants properties. It suppresses some of the inflammatory mediators such as, prostaglandin E-2 (PGE-2), tumor necrosis factor –alpha (TNF-a), and nitric oxide. Unlike other anti-inflammatory drugs like acetaminophen that can damage the liver and aspirin that may cause stomach bleeding, astaxanthin doesn’t have any side effects.
In people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome it has the ability of reducing pain. Studies have shown that it is able to reduce pain in rheumatoid arthritis by 40% after 8 weeks of continuous use.
It prevents Ultra Violet induces oxidative stress of the skin and prevents the photo aging of the skin. It prevents UV induced formation of wrinkles and collagen degradation in the skin. It may be applied on the skin or taken orally.
In people participating in sports it eliminates the soreness of joints after exercise, and reduces the pain caused by inflammation. This enables athletes to train Harder and as a result increase their endurance, skill, and strength. This is through its ant-inflammatory and ant-oxidant effects in the mitochondria (energy producing organelle).
It strengthens the immune system, research by scientists has shown that it causes increase in production of T cells, stimulates the proliferation of lymphocytes, amplify the cytotoxicity of natural killer cells, decrease damage of DNA, and increases significantly delayed type hypersensitivity syndrome.
It prevents heart disease and reduces the risk of people already suffering from heart disease form getting a stroke or heart attack. It improves the blood lipid profiles by increasing HDL (high density lipoprotein) and decreasing LDL (low density lipoprotein).
The liver main function of the liver and kidney is the detoxification and removal of harmful substances in the body. These activities lead to the formation of free radicals. Astaxanthin being a strong antioxidant helps by destroying these free radicals hence it eliminates their oxidative effects.
As a result of its immune benefits Astaxanthin also has anti-tumor properties and as a result it prevents the development of cancer. Its prevention of cancer is also caused by its antioxidant properties and by it regulating gene expression.
What Are herbs For Hypoglycemia?
December 21, 2011 07:38 AM
Low Blood Sugar (Hypoglycemia)
As people, as human beings we are built for action not for sitting down and be a couch potato all day long. We were created or our body is created with activity in mind and not luxury and laziness. Our body is able to adjust to almost any environment or any change in the environment for that matter if given enough time however the changes that is happening in the world today may be too fast for our body to cope with.
If you notice all these advancements are supposed to make things easier but it seems like it made thing Harder and in turn we try to balance, we are obligated to do more work so we try to keep up by exercising a little bit more and by watching our weight and what we eat a little bit more. But in all this time one thing remains the same, our body needs sugar to burn for us to be able to do all those things, even the simplest of brain functions needs sugar or glucose to have it functioning right. Any imbalance between the body’s requirement and the blood sugar supply will cause health problems and one of them is Hypoglycemia.
This is a condition in which the imbalance of the blood glucose levels in the body is pointing more towards on the lower side. Meaning this a condition caused by unusually low sugar levels in the blood. Commonly this is caused by not eating enough as the body requires or maybe too much insulin is taken as why “insulin shock” is a term commonly used for cases of severe hypoglycaemia. Some of the symptoms that are associated with this condition are paleness and sweatiness of the skin, shakiness, heart palpitations and anxiety as commonly caused by high adrenaline levels in the blood as this is the body’s way of counteracting low blood sugar levels.
Other symptoms include weakness, fatigue, double vision, extreme hunger and headaches and these sets of symptoms are caused by brain function impairment which is caused by low glucose levels in the blood. In fact the brain is the organ that suffers the most when it is not able to get the glucose it needs.
Herbs that can help against Hypoglycemia just to name a few…
Ginseng – this wonder herb which has long been used and has been noted to have been effective in Chinese natural medicine is able to aid in sugar absorption in the body. If taken for longer periods of time the logic behind it is that it will be able to regulate blood sugar levels which will help with symptoms like fatigue.
Holy Basil – will be helpful for people with hypoglycaemia through aiding in the management of stress which has been known to worsen the conditions of hypoglycemic individuals.
Gentian – is a bitter tasting herb that has antiseptic and appetite stimulating properties. Its main function though is to be able to stimulate adrenaline production from the adrenal gland which will help in the regulating blood sugar levels.
Gymnema Sylvestre is an ayruvedic herb that has also been shown to help maintain good blood sugar levels.
Chromium picolinate, although not an herb but a mineral can also help maintain good blood sugar levels.
Can Royal Jelly boost Metabolism?
September 21, 2011 12:08 PM
The metabolism is becoming more and more well known in any community all across America as something to look at when we are talking about health and wellness as this is the source of all calorie burning and at the end of the day will help you lose weight. This is, in so many ways the bottom line, losing weight will make you and keep you healthy. In these times of a fast paced life where anyone and everyone is so busy to even worry about how much calories they eat versus how much they need, a need for alternative solutions aside from just working out and making sure that more calories are burnt than eaten is needed and the scientific community acknowledges that need as proven by the tons of research done regarding weight loss and embraced by the manufacturers as they are more than willing to provide us with what we need. So through all these studies, the logic of looking at the metabolism and how to boost it all seems natural and this is why.
The word metabolism is taken from the greek language and basically means change or transformation. In simple terms metabolism is defined as the amount of energy or calories your body burns at a given period of time. Whatever we are doing, no matter if we are active or at rest we are burning energy and if compared to a car, it’s like burning fuel and the car can be turned off but us on the other hand could not. Even when sleeping we are still essentially burning up fuel, just the very fact our brain still works and we are breathing while we are asleep is already a sign that we are burning energy.
Now where it will interest us in terms of energy and overall strength is that metabolism is based on a person’s body composition and fat tends to need less energy to maintain itself as it is not an active tissue compared to having lean muscle because it continually needs more and more calories to maintain itself therefore more muscle means faster metabolic rate. Now this is where we go back to the fact that we need help when it comes boosting metabolism aside from just increasing muscle, because that is so much Harder than supplementing with something all natural like Royal Jelly.
Royal Jelly and Energy Boost
Royal jelly is an animal product and derived solely from honey bees secretions. Its main function in terms of affecting the metabolism comes from its unique combination of compounds that will aid the enhancement of energy production in the cells. This combination is composed of amino acids, trace minerals, monosaccharides and enzymes that have bioactive properties. Among the vitamins that it will provide naturally is the vitamin b-complex. This family of vitamins is well known for its muscle tissue building and energy boosting attributes. Another way that researches feel is a way it increases energy is through promoting overall well being since royal jelly has been related to increased production of several neurotransmitters in the body like serotonin and dopamine.
Garcinia, Hydroxycitric acid and weight loss
December 03, 2009 01:10 PM
Garcinia is part of the plant genus in the family Clusiaceae. This plant is native to Asia, Austrlia, tropical and southern Africa, and Polynesia. The number of species of the garcinia plant is highly disputed, but various sources recognize between fifty and three hundred species that are specifically valid. The plants in this genus are commonly called saptrees, mangosteens, or monkey fruit.
Garcinia is a little-known fruit that can be found growing extensively in India and Thailand. Used for centuries as a condiment, garcinia is also known as Malabar tamarind or Gorkapuli. The garcinia fruit is about the size of an orange and orange in color. However, it looks similar to an acorn squash in appearance. With approximately two hundred different species of garcinia, only few contain the needed component necessary for herbal health. Scientists have identified the natural compound found in garcinia to be hydroxycitric acid, which can help to curb appetite, reduce food intake, and slow the body’s fat production.
Hydroxycitric acid, that active component in garcinia, is similar to the citric acid that is found in citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and grapefruit. The garcinia fruit is actually composed of about fifty percent hydroxycitric acid. This acid seems to have potent fat-fighting properties and is known for its ability to block the formation of fatty tissue, which results in less storage of fat. The rind of the garcinia fruit contains high amounts of hydroxycitric acid, which inhibits citrate lyase, which is an enzyme require to manufacture body fat. The hydroxycitric acid combines with citrate lyase, which leaves less of the enzyme available to form body fat and speeds up the fat-burning process. Some studies have found that fat production may actually be reduce by as much as seventy percent when taking hyroxycitric acid. Studies have determined the significant weight-loss benefits on both animals and humans when using garcinia. One study, which involved fifty obese patients, gave 500 mg of garcinia rind to these patients daily, along with 100 mg of chromium. This was also combined with a low-fat diet. The individuals who were taking the garcinia-chromium lost an average of eleven pounds, while the control group reported only a four-pound weight loss.
Garcinia has been found to be beneficial in curbing the appetite, which aids in weight control and obesity. One study on animals found appetite reduction in lean and fat rats and mice. The animals ate less, and when hyroxycitric acid was added to their diets, their body fat decreased, but body protein was unaffected.
Garcinia is also thought to help burn fat through thermogenesis. When there is not enough thermogenic activity, weight gain can result. The thermogenic activity in garcinia is responsible for helping to increase heat production, specifically in brown fat, which is the body fat surrounded by blood vessels and energy cells. Brown fat is Harder to lose because it requires more heat to burn.
The fruit of the garcinia plant is used to provide anorectic, anticatarrhal, astringent, demulcent, and thermogenesis properties. Primarily, garcinia is extremely helpful in dealing with excessive appetite, obesity, and weight-related conditions. Look to your local or internet health food store for this and other great products to help with weight loss.
July 31, 2009 12:03 PM
Sarsaparilla can be found natively growing in the Pacific regions of Mexico, along the coast to Peru. The root is commonly used to make root beer. The sarsaparilla plant is mostly a find. It can primarily be found in Mexico, Central America and South America. The root of the plant is the most valued portion. It has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries, much like ginseng or licorice root. Sarsaparilla root is very bitter. Because of this, it was a common practice for pharmacists to distill the useful chemicals from this herb and mix them with sugar water. From this, a very popular beverage called sarsaparilla was born. This was years before other chemists would invent other medicinal drinks like the original Pepsi and 7-Up.
The sarsaparilla plant was most definitely used as a medicinal tonic, but it was often served as a sweetened beverage. Some formulas substituted sarsaparilla root with a combination of birch oil and sassafras, which is a treat that is found in the western United States. Some believe that the informal name of the drink, sasparilla, indicates the use of sassafras extract, while others say the name is a corruption of the original sarsaparilla. Unfortunately, the modern beverage is closer to a birch oil/sassafras mixture than the more bitter sarsaparilla extract. The roots of the sarsaparilla plant can be purchased in certain grocery or health food stores. The beverage called sarsaparilla is a little more difficult to find. Smaller bottling companies may produce a version for local consumption, but that national interest in root beer, sarsaparilla’s cousin, has made it much Harder to come by.
Often, sarsaparilla is used in glandular balance formulas. This is because components in sarsaparilla help with the production of testosterone and progesterone. The herb also stimulates the metabolism, aids digestion, and improves the appetite. It has been used to help with gas and edema, along with other related conditions. Additionally, studies have shown that this herb contains diuretic activity and also increased the elimination of chlorides and uric acid. Sarsaparilla is beneficial for many skin ailments. Among these are psoriasis, eczema, and leprosy. This has been found to be true in various studies. The herb also works as an anti-inflammatory by increasing circulation to rheumatic joints. It also helps to relieve arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. This herb also stimulates breathing when congestion occurs. It even helps to purify the blood.
The root of the sarsaparilla plant are used to provide alterative, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, aromatic, blood purifier, carminative, diaphoretic, diuretic, febrifuge, and stimulant properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are copper, iodine, iron, manganese, silicon, sodium, vitamins A, B-complex, and C, and zinc. Primarily, sarsaparilla is extremely beneficial in treating joint aches and pains, arthritis, blood impurities, eczema, gas, glandular problems, hormone imbalance, inflammation, psoriasis, skin diseases, and syphilis.
Additionally, the herb is very helpful in dealing with age spots, appetite loss, cods, congestion, edema, sore eyes, fevers, gout, impotence, leprosy, menopausal symptoms, metabolism disorders, skin parasites, chronic rheumatism, ringworms, primary tuberculosis, and sores. In order to obtain the best results when supplementing with this, or any herb, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen to prevent prescription drug interaction. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by sarsaparilla, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
Sarsaparilla root is available in capsule and tablet forms at your local or internet health food store. It is recommended that you look for name brands like Solaray, Natures Way, and Natures Plus to ensure quality and purity of the product you purchase.
Essential Fatty Acids
September 16, 2008 08:54 AM
A lot of people tend to shy away from anything that has the word fatty involved with it, thinking that it will cause them to gain unnecessary weight. What a lot of people don’t know is that there are good fats and bad fats. The beneficial ones actually can help decrease the desire for food and for harmful fats. Fats are essential to health, as they help to balance the body’s chemistry and provide padding for the vital organs in the body. Fats give a source of energy for body processes and also help with the transportation and absorption of vitamins A, D, E, and K, which are all fat soluble.
There are three main categories of fats: saturated fats, unsaturated fats, and essential fats. Saturated fats are made of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen molecules. The carbon atoms from fatty acids hold together in a chain-like fashion and they can attach a hydrogen atom to them. When each potential place for a hydrogen atom has been filled and there is no more room for any more hydrogen atoms, these fats are considered saturated. The fat will be Harder or thicker in consistancy the longer the chain.
These types of fatty acids are found in red meat, butter, cheese, sour cream, palm kernel, and coconut oils. When someone has a diet that is high in saturated fats, these fats clump together in the body and form deposits that lodge in cells, organs, and blood vessels and can lead to many health problems like obesity, heart disease, and breast and colon cancer.
Unsaturated fats are called this because at least two adjacent carbon atoms on a chain are not attached to hydrogen atoms. When at least two pairs of carbon atoms are empty, it is known as a polyunsaturated fatty acid. The more saturated the fat, the more easily it will stay hard at room temperature.
Essential fatty acids are crucial nutritional compounds that our bodies need in order to perform many functions. They can be found in the seeds of plants and in the oils of cold-water fish. Essential fatty acids can not be made in the body, so they must be found in a supplement or in the diet. Many factors, which include stress, allergies, disease, and diet high in fried foods, can increase the body’s need for essential fatty acids.
Fatty acids are the basic building blocks of all fats. A fatty acid is considered essential if the body is unable to synthesize it and the only way it can be obtained is through diet. Additionally, it is considered essential if a deficiency will cause disease. A deficiency of fatty acids can cause poor reproduction, lowered immunity, rough and dry skin, and slow growth.
Essential fatty acids are vital for many functions including: lowering triglyceride levels; helping to eradicate plaque from the walls of arteries; lowering blood pressure; altering the production of leukotrienes; constructing body membranes; helping strengthen cell and capillary structures; prolonging blood-clotting time, which helps wounds to heal; helping the body manufacture hemoglobin; assisting in the manufacture of cholesterol; preventing the growth of bacteria and viruses assisting in the functions of glands and hormones.
Essential fats nourish the skin, hair, and nails; increasing the rate at which the body burns fat; helping the body maintain proper temperature; assisting in the body’s production of electrical currents that are vital for a regular heartbeat; and acting as a precursor to the production of prostaglandins. It is essential that everybody obtain good fat in their diet to maintain health, if one can not eat the proper foods, supplement forms of essential fatty acids are available.
Did You Know There Is One Mineral That Could Change Your Life Forever?
March 05, 2008 04:05 PM
Did you know there is one mineral that could affect the way you feel and change the way you live life forever? Yes that’s correct – forever - magnesium is that mineral! More than 50% of all Americans consume less then the required amounts of magnesium to stay healthy.
You might be wondering how you would know if you are deficient in magnesium and where you can get a test. Unfortunately it is not that simple. A magnesium test is available from your doctor, but when most people take this test, the results normally come back as normal, so we think everything is fine. This test only measures blood serum levels and not cellular magnesium. One needs to have their red blood cells tested to accurately measure the uptake of magnesium and at this time. This kind of testing needed is not readily available.
You might ask, “how can I tell whether I have a deficiency or not?” It is simple, look at your medical history. Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include signs such as, muscle cramps or twitches, insomnia, irritability, sensitivity to loud noises, anxiety, nervousness, autism, ADHD, heart palpitations, angina, constipation, spasms in the muscles, headaches, migraines, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, asthma and kidney stones (typically caused by a calcium-magnesium imbalance), diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, menstrual cramps, irritable bladder, irritable bowel, acid reflux, and premenstrual syndrome, depression, low energy, weakness in the muscles, weakening bones, and calcification of organs.
If you did not notice, this is an extensive list of symptoms that may be attributed to a deficiency in magnesium. Magnesium is essential for cardiac function in stabilizing cardiac membranes preventing arrhythmias. This mineral helps the cardiovascular system relax aiding in the relief of angina symptoms. Millions of Americans are diagnosed with heart disease yearly, a magnesium deficiency may be the cause.
The reason we are deficient in magnesium is mostly due to the fact that we eat refined, over-processed foods with white flour that have absolutely zero magnesium. The consumption of foods not rich in magnesium will rob our bodies of the little we still have in our bones and organs. Drinking coffee, alcohol, eating lots of sugary foods and stress will cause the body to become depleted.
If you are experiencing one of the above mentioned symptoms and suspect you have a magnesium deficiency, changing they way you eat can help. Pick up a nutritional almanac and find foods high in magnesium like nuts, sea vegetables, dark leaf vegetables and beans to start. Also, kelp, wheat bran, wheat germ, buckwheat, millet, brown rice, rye, tofu, soybeans, brown rice, figs, dates, avocados, parsley, barley, dandelion greens and garlic all contains high amounts of magnesium. Adding a magnesium supplement to your diet which provides 200 to 400 milligrams per day will help. One should limit the intake of coffee, alcohol, colas, salt, and sugar. Actually, many medications can deplete the body of magnesium such as water pills (diuretics) and antibiotics to name two.
So now you know what to do, you might be thinking that a magnesium supplement would be the fastest way to boost magnesium in the body for the time being. What form of magnesium is best? The recommended form of magnesium is magnesium citrate, because of its digestibility and absorbability in the body. Avoid magnesium carbonate, sulfate, gluconate, and oxide if at all possible for these forms of magnesium are Harder to digest and will result in smaller amounts being absorbed by the body. Now what are you waiting for, give magnesium a try and see how good you can feel from it!
Why Should I Take A Liquid Vitamin Supplement?
January 21, 2008 11:59 AM
There are more and more liquid products appearing on store shelves, but most people are unaware that they all fall into one of seven categories of people who should be using them. Below are the seven categories of people that can really benefit from liquid nutrition.
Type #1 consists of those people who have age-related poor digestion or a loss of appetite. As we get older, our ability to digest foods decreases. When liquids are manufactured correctly, they are much easier to digest and absorb for almost every person. Nutritional deficiencies go right along with poor digestion and loss of appetite. Therefore, a small capful of a multiple vitamins and mineral liquid offers a good amount of nutritional benefit to persons who have impaired digestion and loss of appetite. Also, a collagen-based liquid supplement can work to help build healthy tissues and keep lean muscle weight on people. Since collagen is the foremost protein in the body and makes up all our tissues, which include our hair, eyes, and nails, its role in our health is essential.
Type #2 people are usually too busy to eat and are very low in fiber. A lot of people are too busy to eat right, so liquid nutrition helps to meet the challenge. 9 out of 10 Americans do not get the daily recommended amount of fiber and most don’t even get half the recommended amount. Newly available liquid fiber has made it more likely and easy for those Americans lacking fiber to achieve the recommended daily amount. The liquid can be taken “as is” from the bottle or added to any food or beverage.
Type #3 is those people who have difficulty swallowing which includes both children and adults. A liquid nutritional multiple vitamin and mineral provides a complete mix of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients in one single serving.
Type #4 people are those who are undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Liquid supplements are often the only way for these people to receive adequate nutrition as chemotherapy can diminish gastric function.
Type #5 consists of those people who are undergoing surgery, chronic disease, and recovery from illness. As some medical conditions can increase your nutritional needs and make it Harder for you to meet those requirements from foods alone, liquid supplements, which are highly concentrated and typically supply many nutrients in a few ounces, are perfect for these individuals. With liquid supplements, these individuals are able to properly nourish their bodies to make up for what they are missing in food.
Type #6 is those people who are seeking nutrition insurance. Even though some people are consuming the minimum recommended dietary allowance for some nutrients, it does not mean that they are actually receiving enough for optimal health. Some recommended amounts are actually set too low for what we now know is needed for the average healthy individual. For these people, liquid supplements provide nutritional insurance and are easy to take and digest.
Type #7 people are those who are living on a budget. Liquid supplements actually save consumers money as compared to the number of different supplements you would need to purchase to equal what you would get in one capful of a super-concentrated liquid supplement. People who care about their health and take vitamin supplements can now enjoy their pills in liquid form.
Whether you fall under one of these categories or not, taking a liquid vitamin supplement can improve health and help you meat your bodies nutritional needs at a less expensive price than conventional multiple vitamin supplements. Visit your local health food store for brands and availability.
Adapt To The Stresses Of Life with Herbal Adaptogens
October 18, 2007 11:13 AM
Life today places a number of different types of stresses upon us. There are the normal stresses of living, of facing problems at work, financial worries and family stresses. Schedules are becoming busier as we try to pack more and more into each day, and relaxation time is cut to a minimum. For many of us, the stress starts when we waken and rush through breakfast, if we have time for one, to catch the bus or train to work, or to slip into the morning traffic rush that takes us an hour to travel 10 miles or less.
Once at work we have problems to deal with that continue throughout a rushed lunch period, and then back to the stress of trying to return home in the evening to open the bills and check if we have enough in the bank to pay them. However, that is not all.
Our environment is continually changing, and our bodies are subject to the stresses of pollution from the planes, trains and automobiles, not to mention the pesticides, preservatives plastics and harsh lighting. The noise of air conditioning and the continual musak of the stores and shopping malls and everything else that goes to completely stress us out, weekdays and weekends.
That is ignoring the smog, the disappearing ozone layer and increased UV radiation, the greenhouse effect and global warming, El Nino and everything else that causes worry or affects the delicate balance of the body’s biochemistry. Rather than adapting to our environment we are continually striving to adapt the environment to suit our needs. We should develop a flexibility of mind and body so that we can survive these modern-day stresses, and this is where the substances known as adaptogens are important.
Adaptogens help us to adapt to the environment and withstand the stresses of modern life. The term was first used by Russian N.V. Lazarev in 1947 who defined an adaptogen as a substance meeting three specific criteria: it should cause a minimal disruption to the normal physiological function of the body, it must work by means of a range of chemical, physical and biochemical factors rather than through one specific action and must have an overall effect of normalization, so that no condition is aggravated to improve another.
There are a large number of identified adaptogens, among them several forms of ginseng: Panax, American, Siberian and Japanese; licorice, schizandra berries, rhodiola and others. These adaptogens tend to work in the body by improving the body’s availability and use of energy, improving the efficiency of removal of the metabolic waste and by-products, supporting the adrenal function so that the effects of stress are reduced or countered, improving the utilization of oxygen and helping to build up body tissue. In general the body works more efficiently in generating and using energy, muscle tissue and counteracting the effects of modern day stress, both environmental and psychological.
Of the ginsengs, Panax is very expensive for regular use, although many people prefer it. However, studies have shown that Siberian, or eleuthero ginseng, is a stronger adaptogen that Panax which is also called Korean or Chinese ginseng. In fact the other forms, including American and Japanese, tend to over-stimulate the body, and can also cause unwanted side effects such as constipation and over-excitement. The Siberian ginseng tends not to show these symptoms.
Siberian ginseng contains seven active substances known as eleutherosides A – F which are not present in the other ginsengs. These substances appear to have several properties that have been clinically proven. For example, they relieve insomnia, one of the symptoms of stress, high and low blood pressure, bronchitis, various forms of neuroses and, it is claimed, also some types of cancer. Siberian ginseng also allows humans to withstand noise, heat and extra stresses caused by severe workloads. It improves athletic performance and allows people to improve their work output under a variety of stresses. Athletes can train Harder and recover quicker.
Another adaptogen is schizandra berries (also called schizandra chinensis and magnolia vine). Chinese herbalists class medicinal herbs by the five different flavors, sour, bitter, salty, acrid and sweet. Schizandra berries possess all five, and are therefore considered by the Chinese to balance all the systems of the body.
It is used in the West as a stress reducing adaptogen and is also included in sports and weight loss formulae. It helps insomnia and improves endurance and mental coordination. Schizandra is believed to be a good tonic for the liver and is often used in combination with Siberian ginseng (eleuthero) and licorice. The latter is another popular herb in China that is said to be a good tonic for the spleen. Licorice itself is a known anti-inflammatory since it contains flavanoids and saponins that promote the immune system. Licorice is thought be a useful supplement for HIV patients due to its effect on the immune system. It also increases corticosteroid levels by inhibiting the liver’s ability to break down adrenal hormone. However, people with high blood pressure should be careful with licorice since it can cause sodium retention. Like any other medication, you should seek your physician’s advice if you have any existing conditions.
Rhodiola, also referred as roseroot, is used for improved memory and enhanced vitality and it can also be used as a mood modifier. It is used by athletes of all types for increased strength and endurance, and improved cardiovascular and muscle recovery time. The Russians call it ‘Golden Root’ and it is a safe and effective adaptogen.
More and more people are turning to adaptogens to help them cope with the hustle and bustle of their daily lives, and they are becoming increasingly available from ordinary health stores. If you are finding it difficult to stay energetic and active then try them out. Not all work with every individual, but there is a large variety to choose from and most people are able to find an adaptogen that suits them and enables them to adapt to the stresses of daily life.
Exceptional Ingredients For Exceptional Performance
June 02, 2007 02:52 PM
Anaerobic exercises, such as bodybuilding and strength training, as well as endurance based aerobic activities, such as marathon running and bicycling, are notorious for depleting the body’s reserves of glycogen, protein, electrolyte minerals, water, and other vital constituents. And as simple logic will tell us, the Harder one trains, the more they will lose in the process. Failure to properly replenish these nutrients immediately after training can result in fatigue, delayed recovery, accelerated lactic acid levels, mental sluggishness, and intense soreness. According to research, immediate replacement of electrolyte minerals and carbohydrates, along with easily assimilated protein is an effective way to maximize amino acid utilization, when preventing the onset of fatigue. NOW Electro Pro Energy Drink contains all the elements to ensure proper post-workout recovery. By combining a perfectly balanced mix of electrolytes, protein and simple and complex carbohydrates, Electro Pro serves as an ideal supplement for recovering after intense training and exercise.*
This patented casein hydrolysate was scientifically formulated to provide athletes with a better source of protein for faster recovery, more efficient glycogen usage, better insulin response, and less fatigue. PeptoPro helps stimulate the body’s own natural production of insulin to help increase glucose uptake to hard working muscle cells. Its high dipeptide and tripeptide profile promotes fast absorption, and has been shown in human trials to accelerate muscle recovery. PeptoPro contains all 20 amino acids in the natural ratio of casein, a key factor in preventing muscle fatigue and muscle tissue damage because it is a predigested protein, PeptoPro is ideal for taking before and after workouts.
During intense exercise, the body quickly exhausts its reserve of electrolytes. If these aren’t replenished promptly, the body will fatigue at a very fast rate, and may dehydrate. Electro Pro contains calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium to help fuel even the most intense training session.
Carbohydrates are vital when it comes to providing the glycogen that is needed to fuel and refuel today’s athlete. Electro Pro contains a unique blend of dextrose, fructose and rice Maltodextrin to ensure that the body has a generous fuel source. Every serving contains 32 grams of quality carbohydrates.
Electrolyte Energy Formula
*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Regulating Blood Pressure Naturally
March 28, 2007 10:29 AM
Regulating Blood Pressure Naturally
High blood pressure (also known as hypertension) affects about 65 million Americans, or about 1 in 3 adults. There are many potential causes of hypertension, but not necessarily any symptoms. In fact, 30% of the people who have high blood pressure don’t even realize it.
In other words, just because you don’t have symptoms doesn’t mean you don’t have high blood pressure. That’s why it’s called “The Silent Killer.” And, make no mistake about it: high blood pressure is dangerous. It is the number one modifiable cause of stroke. Just lowering blood pressure reduces the chance of stroke by 35 to 40 percent. Other conditions, including heart attack and heart failure can be reduced from 25 to 50 percent, respectively.
In this issue of Ask the Doctor, we’re going to talk about high blood pressure and an exciting natural treatment for lowering blood pressure safely and effectively.
Of course, changing blood pressure numbers depends, in a large part, on the choices we make every day – how much we exercise, the foods we eat, and our lifestyle overall. But, for those times we need extra help, there is a new, scientifically-studied supplement to help us along our path to better health and lower blood pressure.
Blood pressure guidelines from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
Q. What exactly is blood pressure?
A. Blood pressure is divided into two parts, systolic and diastolic. Systolic is the pressure of the heart beating. Diastolic is the pressure of the heart and vessels filling. When blood pressure numbers are written out, like “120/80,” 120 is the systolic pressure and 80 is the diastolic pressure. The unit of measurement for blood pressure is millimeters of mercury, written as “mm/Hg.”
Q. What is considered high blood pressure?
A. A person’s blood pressure can naturally vary throughout the day – even between heartbeats.
However, if the numbers are consistently high (over 120 systolic and 80 diastolic), after multiple visits to your healthcare practitioner, you may have either pre-hypertension or high blood pressure.
Young arteries and arteries that are kept young through healthy diet and exercise are typically more elastic and unclogged. Blood flows through them easily and without much effort. However, as we age, our arteries become more prone to plaque buildup (due to diets high in saturated fat and sedentary lifestyles) and don’t “flex” as well under pressure. The result is faster blood flow, all the time. Over the long term, it damages heart tissue, arteries, kidney and other major organs.
To get a better idea of high blood pressure, compare your arteries to a garden hose. When unblocked, a garden hose allows water to flow through it quickly and easily – without any real rush or stress. However, if you block the end of the hose with your thumb, closing it off even a little, water rushes out much more quickly.
For many years, high diastolic pressure was considered even more of a threat than high systolic pressure. That thinking has changed somewhat but high diastolic numbers could still mean organ damage in your body – especially for individuals under 50.
Q. What courses high blood pressure?
A. The reasons for hypertension aren’t always clear. However, there are lifestyle factors that contribute to high blood pressure that you can change:
Body type: Weight isn’t always a reliable indicator of whether or not you’ll have high blood pressure – but the type of weight is. Lean body mass – muscle – doesn’t increase blood pressure levels the way that fat can. However, fat body mass, especially fat around your middle, can contribute to high blood pressure.
Sedentary lifestyle: Too often, many of us sit down all day at work, and then sit down all night at home. Over time, this inactivity usually leads to weight gain, making the heart work Harder to pump blood through the body. In a way, it almost seems contradictory, but inactivity usually leads to higher heart rates.
Sodium intake: Sometimes it’s hard to believe how much salt there is in processed foods. However, salt intake in itself is not necessarily bad. For people with a history of congestive heart failure, ischemia, and high blood pressure, sodium is definitely out. For those individuals, it leads to more water retention, which increases blood pressure. (Salt’s effect on water retention is one reason that so many sports drinks have fairly high sodium content – the sodium in the drink prevents your body from sweating out too much water.) But, for healthy individuals, moderate salt intake, especially a mixed mineral salt like sea salt or Celtic salt (good salt should never be white) is fine.
Low potassium intake: Unlike sodium, potassium is a mineral which most Americans get too little of. Potassium helps regulate the amount of sodium in our cells, expelling excess amounts through the kidneys. Low levels of this mineral can allow too much sodium to build up in the body.
Heavy alcohol intake: Having three or more alcoholic drinks a day (two or more for women) nearly doubles an individual’s chance of developing high blood pressure. Over time, heavy drinking puts a lot of stress on the organs, including the heart, liver, pancreas and brain.
Unhealthy eating: Eating a lot of processed or fatty foods contributes to high blood pressure. Adapting a diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grain products, fish, nuts and magnesium and potassium (like the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, known as the “DASH” diet) can bring it back down.
Smoking: If you smoke, stop. Smoking damages the heart and arteries – period. Nicotine constricts blood vessels, increases heart rate, and raises blood pressure. This in turn, increases hormone production and adrenaline levels, further stressing the body.
As if that weren’t bad enough, the carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke replaces the oxygen in the blood, making the heart work even Harder to make up the difference. Since the effect of a single cigarette can last for an hour, smoking throughout the day leads to continuously revved-up blood pressure.
Some of these factors might sound like a lot to overcome. The important thing to remember is that all of these behaviors are changeable. If you have high blood pressure, modifying any of these can significantly lower blood pressure as part of an overall plan.
Q. What are the blood pressure numbers I should see?
A. Experts consider healthy blood pressure numbers to be 115/75 mm/Hg. The reason? They found that the risk of cardiovascular disease doubles at each increment of 20/10 mmHg over 115/75 mm/Hg. Even small jumps in blood pressure numbers increase the risk of stroke and heart attack.
Q. Okay, so other than diet, exercise and lifestyle changes are there other natural ways or supplements I can use to lower my blood pressure?
A. Yes, in fact, you hear about some of them in the news all the time – fish oil, CoQ10, and garlic. As effective as these symptoms are, they typically lower systolic pressure much more than diastolic pressure.
However, there is a blend of scientifically and clinically studied natural ingredients that lower high blood pressure separately, and work even better when they’re combined. This combination blend contains: dandelion leaf extract, lycopene, stevia extract, olive leaf extract and hawthorn extract.
Every one of these ingredients has been studied and recommended for years. But now, a scientific study on a supplement that combines them in one synergistic formula shows encouraging results for lowering systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Let’s take a look at each:
Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) originated in
The leaf of stevia is considered the medicinal part of the plant. Research shows that extracts of the leaf relax arteries and help prevent the buildup of calcium on artery walls – keeping them healthy and reducing blood pressure.
In a long-term, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical study, stevia reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure. On average, participants’ blood pressure reduced from baseline 150 mm/Hg to 140 mm/Hg systolic and 95 mm/Hg to 89 mm/Hg diastolic.
And, in another double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study, stevia lowered blood pressure quite significantly – by an average of 14 millimeters of mercury in both systolic and diastolic readings. Those are impressive numbers!
Despite its role as a sweetener, stevia may have a side benefit to for those with hypertension – blood sugar regulation. Scientific studies show that extracts of stevia regulated blood sugar and reduced blood pressure.
A clinical study showed that stevia extract actually improved glucose tolerance by decreasing plasma glucose levels during the test and after overnight fasting in all participants. Regulating blood sugar is very important for those with high blood pressure. When blood sugar levels are high, blood vessels are inflamed. Many people with diabetes have high blood pressure as well. In a paired, cross-over clinical study, stevioside (one of the compounds in stevia) reduced glucose levels in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Further scientific studies show that stevia works to control blood sugar levels by stimulating insulin secretion by the pancreatic beta cells. It shows great potential in treating type 2 diabetes. Further scientific studies show that stevia works to control blood sugar levels by stimulating insulin secretion by the pancreatic beta cells. Its shows great potential in treating type 2 diabetes as well as hypertension.
Hawthorn (Crataegus spp. Oxycantha) has been used since ancient ties as a medicinal herb – even being mentioned by the Greek herbalist Dioscorides, in the first century AD. Traditionally, it has generally been used for support of the heart. Modern research points to bioflavonoid-like complexes in hawthorn leaf and flower that seem to be most responsible for its benefits on cardiac health, like blood vessel elasticity.
The bioflavonoids found in hawthorn include oligomeric procyanidins, vitexin, quercetin, and hyperoside. They have numerous benefits on the cardiovascular system. Hawthorn can improve coronary artery blood flow and the contractions of the heart muscle. Scientific studies show that the procyanidins in hawthorn are responsible for its ability to make the aorta and other blood vessels more flexible and relaxed, so that blood pumps more slowly and with less effort – sparing the cardiovascular system such a hard workout.
The procyanidins in hawthorn also have antioxidant properties – protecting against free radical cellular damage.
And, hawthorn may also inhibit angiotensin-converting enzyme. Angiotensin-converting enzyme is responsible for retaining sodium and water, and may have roots in our evolutionary development. It influences blood vessel contraction and dilation, sodium and water balance and heart cell development – just about everything that has to do with blood pressure. This may have developed as a way of dealing with periods of drought and stress. By narrowing the blood vessels, the body could guarantee an adequate supply of blood and focus on repairing tissue.
Unfortunately, that can lead to real problems these days. Since many of us live in an industrialized society, and frequently have pretty sedentary lifestyles, conserving sodium just makes the conditions for high blood pressure that much worse.
Like the other ingredients in this combination, hawthorn showed benefits on other body systems, too. In clinical and scientific studies, it not only lowered blood pressure, but also showed anti-anxiety properties and regulated blood sugar.
Olive leaf extract:
Olive leaf (Olea europaea) comes up again and again in scientific and clinical studies as having beneficial effects on hypertension. One of olive leaf’s most beneficial compounds is oleuropein – the same compound that makes olive oil so helpful in reducing blood pressure. Here again, we have to look at the traditional Mediterranean diet, which features voluminous use of olives and olive oil. Not surprisingly, blood pressure is generally much lower in Greek and Italian populations.
But it’s not just the diet – scientific studies showed that oleuropein lowered blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels and prevented buildup of plaque in arteries. Plus, whether in olive leaf extract or in olive oil, oleuropein works as an antioxidant, too.
Dandelion leaf extract:
Dandelion (Taraxacum offinale) leaves provide a healthy supply of vitamins, much like spinach. In fact, although it has become the bane of North American gardeners and lawn owners, dandelion greens are a component of many gourmet salads.
Medicinally, dandelion has been used for centuries, dating back to ancient
They are a very rich source of vitamin A, and contain vitamin D, vitamin C, carious B vitamins, iron, silicon, magnesium, zinc and manganese, too. Dandelion leaves produce a diuretic effect in the body, similar to a prescription drug. Since one of dandelion leaf’s traditional uses was the treatment of water retention, it’s really not too surprising. Dandelion leaf is also rich in potassium – one of the vital minerals many Americans lack in their diet. So, even though it may act as a diuretic, it replaces more potassium than the body expels.
The diuretic effect of dandelion can relieve hypertension by drawing excess water and sodium from the body and releasing it through the kidneys as urine. Getting rid of extra water and sodium allows the blood vessels to relax – lowering blood pressure.
If a nutrient can be called exciting, lycopene is it. Lycopene is found mostly in tomatoes and processed tomato products, like pasta and pizza sauce. Related to beta-carotene lycopene shows great antioxidant abilities among its many talents. In fact, it shows even greater free-radical scavenging properties than beta-carotene, its more famous cousin. Healthy intakes of lycopene can guard against a variety of chronic conditions, including lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol, lowering homocysteine levels and reducing blood platelet stickiness that can lead to clogged arteries. It’s even being studied for its protective effect against prostate cancer.
And, for proof, you don’t have to look too far to see the amazing effect lycopene intake can have on health. The Mediterranean diet provides an excellent example. Its high intakes of vegetables, (tomatoes, of course, playing a central role) fish, and whole grains improve cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure. The research on lycopene as a stand-alone nutrient has been compelling. A randomized clinical trial found that not having enough lycopene was associated with early thickening of the arteries.
So, it makes sense that other clinical trials, showed that higher intakes of lycopene frequently meant less thickening of arteries, and a reduced risk of heart attack. In one study, the risk of heart attack was 60% lower in individuals with the highest levels of lycopene. In a multicenter study, similar results were found – men with the highest levels of lycopene had a 48% lower risk of heart attack.
Q. What can I expect taking this herbal combination?
A. You should notice both systolic and diastolic numbers lowering in about two weeks. The scientific study showed that for pre-hypertensive and stage I, (early hypertensive individuals) this combination for ingredients lowers both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
When you’re taking herbs to support your blood pressure, it’s important to keep it monitored so you have an accurate reading (and record) of your numbers. If you need to, you can pick up a home blood pressure monitoring device. These can retail for anywhere from $30 all the way up to $200, but buying one in the $30 to $50 range is a good idea and money well spent. Consider taking the machine to your local doctor’s office or fire department to have it tested for accuracy against a professional blood pressure monitor. See the chart below for tips on getting an accurate reading from a home monitor.
Tips for Accurate Blood Pressure Monitoring:
-Relax for about 5 to 10 minutes before measurement.
-If you have just come inside from cold outdoors allow yourself to warm up.
-Remove tight-fitting clothing and jewelry.
-Unless your physician recommends otherwise, use left arm to measure pressure.
-Sit, don’t stand.
-Remain still and do not talk while using the monitor.
Q. Are there any side effects?
A. There were no side effects noted in the study. However, because of the mild diuretic effect of dandelion leaf extract, you may notice an increase in trips to the bathroom. It’s always important to make sure you don’t get dehydrated, so you may want to drink more water during the day.
High blood pressure doesn’t happen overnight. As we get older, the likelihood of developing hypertension increases. And, stressful, fast-forward lifestyles, bad diets and no exercise conspire to raise our blood pressure.
In my own practice I have helped patients move toward a healthier lifestyle, including diet, exercise, and blood-pressure reducing supplements. They live better, more vibrant lives as a result, and their blood pressure normalizes. It really can happen – you can bring your blood pressure back to normal, and this combination of scientifically and clinically validated ingredients can help.
Supplements good for reducing stress and boosting energy!
March 26, 2007 02:05 PM
More and more Americans are feeling overworked, overtired, and overcome by life’s demands. We just do not have the energy we need to meet our responsibilities to the people we care about. More importantly, we don’t even have the energy to have fun! It seems that a constant feeling of fatigue has become part of the American way of life.
Research has shown that the same processes that cause lack of energy can rob us of sleep, saddle us with excess weight, disrupt our hormonal balance, and create significant amounts of stress in our daily lives. Chronic stress can dramatically contribute to fatigue, sleep disorders, irritability, and anxiety. The research simply confirms what most of us already know – uncomfortable stress can really wear us out mentally and physically! It can take away the satisfaction of a job well done. It can take away our ability to believe in ourselves. And, sadly and maybe most importantly, continual stress can take the fun and joy out of life.
In a separate issue of Ask the Doctor, we discuss the energy and sleeping needs of people suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. In this issue, I discuss the 3-step process I call “Vitality 101.” People do not have to accept pain, insomnia, or fatigue. It’s time for everyone to feel great and have a life they love!
Step 1 – Nutrition
Good overall nutrition is important for everyone! As a foundation product to support energy levels, a powdered drink mix is a pleasant, easy way to ensure that you are taking all of the necessary vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that you need to have great energy all through your day.
The following chart lists the most critical ingredients. You can see that almost all of the vitamins and minerals work together to help improve energy levels and overall health.
In addition to the powdered energy drink mix, it is important that you also take a high potency vitamin B-complex supplement. This should include niacinamide, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, and choline, which are especially important to restore the energy production needs of your body. It is also critical to get enough water, as most Americans are chronically dehydrated.
Step 2 – Rest Your Body
Having trouble sleeping is one of the most troubling symptoms of stress. While the stress is wearing us down and making us tired, it’s also keeping us tense and unable tot relax. The result? That easy drift into sleep becomes Harder and Harder. And if we are lucky enough to actually get some shut-eye, stress will often wake us up, sometimes several times a night.
This occurs because excess stress suppresses the sleep center in the brain. It is important to break the “stress/insomnia cycle” early, before it results in pain and hormonal and immune dysfunction!
Because good quality sleep is how the body repairs and re-energizes itself, it may be helpful to use herbal products to promote good quality sleep. There are many natural supplements that are marketed as sleep formulas. To get the best results, it is very important that the right ingredients are in the sleep formula you buy. Look for a supplement that has a blend of herbs that promote deep sleep, such as valerian, L-theanine, hops, passionflower,
Step 3 – Manage Excess Stress Levels
In this fast paced world, it is important to learn to manage the stressor in our lives. Glandular extracts, such as raw adrenal extract, can offer natural support to help our bodies deal with the effects of stress and, in turn, can boost your energy levels. Exercise is another stress buster. Using your body physically is important for good health. Find something that is fun for you, however, or you are unlikely to stick with it!
Q. Does stress zap my energy in any other ways besides making me lay awake at night and causing me to be a zombie the next morning?
A. Most people are familiar with the body’s dramatic response to an emergency. The heart pounds, the muscles constrict, and the lungs expand – and while this is happening, we are capable of greater than normal strength and speed. This response is the body’s way of rescuing itself when faced with an emergency. We don’t have to think about it to make it happen. It’s automatic.
The same can be said of a chronic stress response. Whether we’re late for a business meeting because we’re stuck in traffic, or worrying about how we are going to pay for our children’s college tuition, our response to stress happens automatically. The difference between the two is that the body’s response in an emergency starts and resolves itself quickly. The response to being stuck in traffic may not.
The body makes the “stress hormone”, cortisol, to handle the normal stresses of day-to-day living. But in an emergency situation, the adrenal glands, located above the kidneys, secrete increased amounts of this hormone until the emergency passes. Then the body returns to its normal function. Unfortunately, however, chronic stress is more complex. When our body is subjected to increased amounts of the hormone, cortisol, for an extended time, it can lead to a condition known as “adrenal burnout” or “adrenal fatigue.” While it’s true that very large amounts of cortisol can have damaging effects on our hormones, too little cortisol doesn’t allow us to respond to stress properly. It’s really a matter of balance.
Q. How can I control the stress in my life and re-energize?
A. Many people who are under constant stress may have adrenal burnout. Adrenal burnout occurs when the adrenal glands are constantly producing cortisol in response to chronic stress. Over time, this exhausts the adrenal reserve, meaning the adrenal gland can no longer increase cortisol production in response to stress.
The good news is that changes in our hormone levels can return to normal when stress is decreased. The key in learning how to deal with daily stress is to allow the body to return to its normal state. I discuss additional techniques for coping with stress in my recent book Three Steps to Happiness! Healing Through Joy (see my website, www. jacobeitelbaum .com, for more information). In addition to stress control, it is important to supplement your adrenals with a glandular therapy regimen to ensure healthy cortisol levels and adrenal function. Glandular therapy, which uses the concentrated forms of bovine (cow) or porcine (pig) glands, can improve the health of our glands. Pioneers in the field of endocrinology (the study of hormones) hypothesized that glandular extracts work by providing nutrients the body lacked and thus repaired the malfunctioning gland.
If you are one of the unlucky folks with stressed-out adrenal glands, you should see great results from taking raw adrenal supplements. Be sure to buy adrenal extract supplement that contains both whole adrenal and cortex adrenal.
The best adrenal supplement should also contain vitamin C, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid and licorice. Licorice contains glycyrrhizin, which is broken down into glycyrrhizic or glycyrrhetinic acid. This compound inhibits the activity of an enzyme that turns active cortisol into inactive cortisol. While in high amounts (greater than 100 mg of glycyrrhizic acid/day), licorice administration causes hypertension, no such effects have been observed at lower doses. Experts have speculated that inhibition of the cortisol-converting enzyme may reduce cortisol-related symptoms associated with adrenal insufficiency. The adrenal glands use these nutrients to manufacture cortisone and other compounds. It just makes sense to purchase an adrenal supplement with these supportive ingredients.
Did your grandmother ever tell you to eat your liver so that you didn’t get “tired blood?” Well, it turns out that she was right. Liver extract is another glandular extract that can help improve energy levels.
Liver extract is an excellent source of highly bioavailable nutrients including iron, B vitamins (especially B12), and other minerals. The stamina and energy-enhancing benefits of liver are widely touted. Liver extract has been shown to support healthy function of the liver and increase the energy levels inside our body.
Because heat will destroy the key components in the liver, a high quality liver extract supplement should be cold-processed and encapsulated to enhance speed and absorption of nutrients from liver. A high quality aqueous liver extract supplement should also contain vitamin B12 to support healthy blood iron and oxygen levels to energize.
Q. It will be great to get a good night’s sleep. Are there also any other natural alternatives that could help promote relaxation and increase my energy levels during the day?
A. Yes, there are. Rhodiola rosea is an all-natural herb that has long been used to help relieve stress and increase energy. Rhodiola has also been used to lift our moods, improve sexual satisfaction, and even help in certain nervous system disorders. First used in Siberia and
In clinical trials, the most effective Rhodiola rosea extract was found to contain 3% rosavins and 1% salidroside. While there are many Rhodiola supplements in health food stores, only those containing these specific amounts can provide the best results.
Altered digestion, food intolerances, decreased energy, fatigue, cognitive problems, and sleeplessness create the need for changes in daily living routines. These can include alterations in diet; exercise modifications; alterations in activities of daily living according to one’s energy level; and sleep/rest management. All may require the assistance of a professional clinician, such as a chiropractor, nutrition specialist, physical and/or occupational therapist, mental health professional, or sleep therapist.
Super busy lives demand super strength nutrition. Begin each day with a powdered nutritional supplement after getting at least 8 hours of sleep each night. In addition to the nutritional beverage mix, a vitamin B complex supplement should be taken every morning. The nutritional drink mix and the vitamin B complex supplement will ensure that your body has all the vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and other nutrients to combat your fatigue. Taking a daily adrenal supplement, like the one discussed earlier, will provide the much needed (and often depleted) nutrients your body may be lacking, and help you recover lost energy. Rhodiola rosea, and ginseng can offer additional natural nutritional support in your busy life to boost your energy levels. These nutritional supplements can be used daily and you will feel energized to get through each day’s challenges and opportunities!
The Important Role of Nutritional Magnesium & Calcium Balance in Humans Living with Stress
August 23, 2006 03:14 PM
Part I. The Stress Response
The stress reaction is a host of responses necessary for any animal to live in the world. Commonly called the fight-or-flight reation, we as humans often experience it in rapid heartbeat and increased breathing rate. It comes when we exercise more vigorously than usual, or when we are suddenly and unexpectedly frightened.
We are all different. We show a range in how strongly we experience the stress response. Most of us are usually calm and experience the stress response when an unexpected noise frightens us to alertness, or we run to first base as fast as we can in a benefit baseball game that is not on our usual playtime schedule. We breathe Harder for a while and notice our hearts beating faster and Harder then usual, but after a while these responses all calm down, and we are again in our usual state—out or the stress response. Others of us are very low key, and it takes a lot to disturb our physiological calm. Still others of us are very sensitive to triggers of the stress response and go into it “at the drop of a hat” and to a greater degree than do calmer people. For some, parts of the stress response are almost always engaged—never really calming down all the way—giving one a hyper-vigilant or anxious demeanor.
When a stress trigger occurs, the body puts out stress hormones, magnesium and calcium, among other things, into the bloodstream. At the same time, nerve cells begin to “fire,” telling heart and muscles to “speed up. NOW!!!” These blood, nerve and organ changes make possible the instantaneous and collective rise in the body’s heart rate, blood pressure, and other necessities for the fight-or-flight reaction.
Much research has been done on the stress response, especially on the effects of stress hormones, such as adrenaline (also called epinephrine) on body, organ and cell. You can get an idea of how widespread the stress response is-affecting every aspect of physiology—by noting some of the reactions to adrenaline, one of the major stress hormones. See Table 1.
Much study as the cellular, biochemical and physiological levels has shown that the stress response vitally involves the influx of calcium into cells, resulting in a drastic change in the cells’ internal magnesium-to-calcium ratio (Mg:Ca).
In simple solutions, such as salt water, all ions are evenly dispersed. Not so in living cells. Ions are carefully and meticulously separated in living cells, and this ion “packaging” is vital to life processes and health. Calcium ions, for the most part, are kept outside cells while magnesium ions are kept mainly inside cells. The stress response changes this. During stress response, calcium ions rush inside the cell, and this alters the internal Mg:Ca ratio. This change in ratio exhibits wide effects because, while magnesium and calcium are very similar in their chemistry, biologically these two elements function and react very differently. Magnesium and calcium are two sides of a physiological coin: they are antagonistic to one another yet comes as a team. For example:
Scientific study shows more and more that the underlying cellular change enabling the stress response is a low Mg:Ca ratio caused by a large and sudden influx of calcium into cells. This stress response subsides when the cell’s magnesium returns to its dominant presence inside cells, moving extra calcium back outside cells to its “normal” Mg:Ca ratio. This underlying principle is present in studies of nerve cell-stress hormone response, organs such as hearts, the high blood pressure response to stress, and the blood-clotting reaction during stress, among many others. See Table 2.
In the normal healthy state, the stress response occurs when necessary, and subsides when the crisis or trigger is over. Since magnesium and calcium—two essential nutrients that must be obtained by the body from its dietary environment—are so essential to this important response, it is not surprising that nutritional magnesium and calcium status can affect the response.
Let’s see how.
In the normal unstressed state, cellular Mg:Ca ratio is high. If this cannot be maintained due to lack of adequate body magnesium or an overwhelming amount of body calcium, the ratio may not be able to maintain or return itself to its healthy nonstressed ratio. In such a case, the stress response, in the absence of an appropriate trigger, can occur. This can be seen when nutritional magnesium deficits cause high blood pressure or increase blood stickiness (platelet aggregation). Additionally, since a low Mg:Ca ratio can increase adrenaline secretion as well as cells’ response to adrenaline, a too low magnesium state can keep the stress response from subsiding in a timely way. Even worse, when body magnesium becomes drastically low, this becomes a stress trigger in itself, alarming the body into further stress response with out enough magnesium to back it up, resulting in a low magnesium-high stress crisis that can end in sudden death.
In the industrialized world, we live in a state of chronic, on-going stress. This environmental reality increases our daily need for magnesium in order to maintain a healthy stress response that can calm when not necessary.
Part II. Heart Disease Is Often a Magnesium Deficiency
Clearly, an adequate amount of nutritional magnesium—in proper balance with adequate nutritional calcium—is key to a healthy stress response. And yet today we have diets dangerously low in magnesium. Add the recent additions of nutritional calcium via supplements and food fortifications meant to stave off osteoporosis, and many of us are getting inadequate magnesium plus too much calcium. This results in a large occurrence of heart disease.
Not all, but much of the heart disease in the industrialized world can be explained by the low magnesium state of these societies. People with heart disease—for the most part—are people who are in a state of magnesium that is borderline or deficient. Many studies on heart disease patients exist due to medicine’s effort to understand and treat this widespread malady. Although not intended as such, this body of research shows us what stress can do to a person in a magnesium deficient state.
Part III. Mental and Emotional Stress Deplete Magnesium
It is commonly accepted that certain traditional risk factors for heart disease exist. This include high cholesterol, high blood pressure, family history of heart disease, and other factors, all of which can be linked to a shortage of nutritional magnesium. Recent studies tell us that stresses—both sudden and chronic—with their high magnesium requirements, are also strong risk factors for heart disease.
The sudden stress of the
Emotional stress and phobic anxiety cause heart problems in patients with heart disease—a population we know to be mostly low in their nutritional magnesium status. Chronic states of emotional stress, including a history of childhood abuse, neglect or family dysfunction, depression, and panic disorder, must now be added to the list of traditional risk factors for heart disease such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Depression can be a symptom of low magnesium status. So can anxiety, panic attacks, irritability, hyperactivity, and over-sensitivity to loud noises. Do these newly found risk factors cause heart disease, or are they risk factors because the, as well as heart disease, can all be aspects of low magnesium status? These chronic sources of stress can increase the human need for magnesium as well as be caused by its deficit.
Emotional stress triggers in susceptible people can even bring a sudden death due to heart attack, presumably by initiating a stress/low-magnesium crisis. Such emotional “triggers” include work stress, high-pressure deadlines, social isolation and loneliness, low socioeconomic status, anxiety, war, fear of war, anger and rage. Identical stress triggers cause more human heart attacks regardless of age, race, gender, or geographic location, including continent.
Mental stress, such as working out a math problem, can be shown to have impact upon the magnesium-stress response connection, since it can bring on heart attacks in people with heart disease.
Part IV. Stress, Magnesium and Aging
We are hearing a lot about stress in the health media, and rightly so as this constant companion to our lives brings on the fight-or-flight syndrome, a stress response that, when activated, has been shown to shorten lifespan. When we realize that the stress response is exacerbated when we are low in magnesium, that we are living on low-magnesium foods for the most part, and that our lifestyles are more and more filled with chronic stresses and stressful events, we are not surprised to see that several aspects of magnesium deficiency are remarkably like aspects of the aging process.
When faced with out stressful lifestyles, coupled with a society presenting a chronically low-magnesium/high-calcium diet, what is our best defense? For many of us, magnesium supplements can help to preserve or restore a healthy Mg:Ca balance, so important to our health in these stressful times.
Peter Gillham's Natural Calm
Staying on Your Diet throughout the Holidays
January 18, 2006 12:22 PM
The temptations of the holiday season don't have to mean a bigger waistline in the new year and yet another resolution to get in shape. With just a few tricks and tips, you can keep your weight in check and still celebrate with everyone.
While you might be invited to more parties than usual, you can do a lot before you even arrive to keep yourself from eating too much.
One way of keeping your food consumption down is to eat before you go out. An apple or a large glass of water before leaving home will keep you away from the dessert cart at the party.
At-the-Party! Dos and Don'ts
Now that you have lined your stomach, all you have to do is to take care of your calories, maintaining them at a sensible level. Do keep away from the high calorie sips. Alcohol, for instance, has a high calorie content that will easily build up to shatter your calorie allowance. It's a good idea to talk about anything but food, and try avoiding holding a plate! it helps to do something else with your hands, so they are occupied.
If you really must eat, you'll find that the vegetable and fruit trays can be the best places to fill up your plate. If you put these items on your plate first and then put smaller servings of other higher fat items, you'll be able to have everything without the caloric damage.
During the main course, you can balance your calories by eating only half of what is on your plate. You can easily explain it away by complementing your host on the meal, while pleading you couldn't possibly eat more. Or you could tell them the truth, one that most people readily accept! that you are being careful about your diet.
When you're at home
If you're doing the cooking during a holiday, you are more in control of your eating. Why not make items that are low in calories so you don't have to avoid anything?
When cooking, ask a family member to do the tasting. They will be only too thrilled to do this and you can save yourself from consuming added calories.
You might also want to freeze any cookies or other tempting items until you will be eating them for a meal or a gathering. It's a lot Harder to eat something that's frozen.
At the end of it all, these dos and don'ts may even take a couple of inches off your waistline at the New Year. But if they don't, and you still weigh the same, you accomplished what you set out to do! now that calls for a party!
Tania Makevey operates the website and writes for R You Diet which a site dedicated to researching diet related topics and contains all the very latest diet news and views. For more details please visit //www.ryoudiet.com
THE CONNECTION OF PROGESTERONE TO WEIGHT LOSS
July 25, 2005 10:23 PM
THE CONNECTION OF PROGESTERONE TO WEIGHT LOSS
Interestingly estrogen promotes the storing of fat and is responsible for the female contouring of the body, whereas progesterone enhances thermogenesis or fat burning. In addition, using natural progesterone to balance out hormones can help to decrease carbohydrate cravings which are hormonally related. The hormonal flux typical of most female cycles usually produces a premenstrual craving for sweets which is linked to fluctuating blood sugar and serotonin levels in the brain. Many women have found that taking natural progesterone has resulted in a marked decrease of “hormonal eating” which can result in unwanted weight gain. The desire to continually eat during periods of hormonal flux month after month certainly plays a significant role in female obesity.
Excessive hormonal appetite stimulation is not normal, neither is it healthy. Of additional interest is the fact that the more fat stores a woman carries, the more estrogen she makes, further compounding the problem. Fat cells contribute to estrogen dominance which in turn makes it Harder to burn fat—a perfectly vicious little cycle. The estrogen factor for any overweight woman must be considered, however, it is rarely addressed. Clearing excess estrogen from the body is absolutely essential for effective weight loss. Again, supplementing the body with natural progesterone can help to accomplish this.
Natural Health for a Healthy Heart
July 13, 2005 09:17 AM
Natural Health for a Healthy Heart
Cardiovascular disease is on the rise. Heart disease, stroke, and related disorders kill more Americans than any other ailments combined. In 1990 approximately one million Americans died form cardiovascular disease. Arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) is the leading cause of heart attacks and strokes. Fat and cholesterol accumulate around the heart and inner walls of the arteries. This causes blood flow to slow and blood pressure to rise. Blood clotting is also a problem when the arteries are clogged which, if a clot breaks loose, can cause strokes or heart attacks according to where they end up. Heart disease is usually advanced before a problem arises. Prevention should be the first goal.
Heart disease is much less common in “primitive” societies. This is due in part to the lifestyle and diet choices of Americans. Diet is viewed as the most important factor in heart related disorders. An increased intake of sugar, refined flour and simple carbohydrates may also be contributing factors. Other risk factors include a family history of heart disease, cigarette smoking, high blood pressure, type A personality, stress, diabetes, obesity, high blood cholesterol levels, physical inactivity and coronary artery disease. Changes must be made in diet and life-style in order to prevent heart disease.
Following a diet low in animal fat and refined sugars but high in fiber is highly recommended. Whole grains, almonds, fresh fruits and vegetables, a variety of legumes, skinless turkey, chicken and fish should be the main dietary elements. Brown rice, garlic, onions, olive oil, raw fruits and vegetables, sprouts, asparagus, apples, bananas, beans, buckwheat, seeds, whey powder, and yogurt are especially good for the heart. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, red meat, refined carbohydrates, and white flour. Limit intake of dairy products which contain high amounts of fat. Homogenized dairy products contain an enzyme called xanthine oxidase which is believed to cause artery damage and could lead to arteriosclerosis. Use olive oil and canola oil when using fat. Avoid palm oil, coconut oil, peanut oil and cottonseed oil.
Choline, inositol and lecithin: These act as fat emulsifiers in the bloodstream and can help prevent plaque buildup.
Chromium: Chromium is known for recent studies linking it to a reduced risk of heart disease. It may help prevent plaque buildup in the arteries. Low levels of chromium are thought to be a risk factor for developing heart disease. It also may help increase the beneficial HDL cholesterol and aid in lowering the LDL cholesterol.
Coenzyme Q10: This can help oxygenate the heart muscle helping to prevent additional heart damage. Coenzyme Q10 can help the body break down fatty acids converting them to energy. This is often lacking in individuals with heart problems. Essential Fatty Acids: These can help prevent hardening of the arteries by preventing the blood cells from clumping together and forming clots. They also help with the assimilation of fat soluble vitamins.
Germanium: Germanium has been found to lower high blood pressure and improve circulation in the body. Calcium and Magnesium: Both of these minerals contribute to the muscular contraction and relaxation of the heart. They are essential for the proper function of the heart muscle and maintaining normal heart rhythm and blood pressure. Low levels of calcium have been linked to high blood pressure.
L-Carnitine: This is an amino acid that can help the heart by reducing fat levels in the blood. Vitamin C with bioflavonoids: Vitamin C helps prevent blood clots and strengthens the capillary and blood vessel walls. It may help prevent high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, lower cholesterol, repair arterial walls, and contribute to reversing heart disease.
Vitamin E: Vitamin E is well known for its beneficial effect on the heart. Selenium: Low levels of selenium have been associated with heart disease.
Hawthorn: This herb is great for cardiovascular health. Garlic: Garlic is one of the most studied herbs for cardiovascular health. Several recent studies link garlic to lower incidence of cardiovascular disease.
Cayenne: This is also known as capsicum and is beneficial on circulation and cleaning and nourishing the blood vessels.
Ginkgo: Ginkgo relaxes the blood vessels and improves the flow of blood even in constricted arteries. Rosemary Tea: This is a traditional heart tonic that helps to promote circulation and lower blood pressure. Chinese Mushroom (auricularia polytricha): This is a natural blood thinner.
It is important to include exercise in the daily routine. Aerobic exercise is known to help improve the heart1s pumping ability, reduce serum cholesterol levels, decrease the risk of heart disease, and reduce the risk of high blood pressure as well as many other ailments. Exercising an average of three to five days a week for thirty minutes will benefit the body. Actually any amount of exercise is beneficial for the body, so try and do something each day.
Include relaxation techniques to reduce stress. Stress can increase the risk of heart disease. Stress releases adrenaline which causes the heart to work Harder. If you feel resentment, fear or anger, find ways to deal with these in a positive way. Pursuit serenity and peace in life. Exercise, self hypnosis, biofeedback, meditation, yoga and prayer can all help develop inner peace.
DO WE NEED EXTRA LIVER PROTECTION?
July 12, 2005 10:15 AM
DO WE NEED EXTRA LIVER PROTECTION?
Even if you don’t suffer from any liver disease or don’t abuse alcohol, you may still require the therapeutic effects of Milk Thistle. Everything that enters the liver through the portal vein must be de-toxified and neutralized. Many of us eat diets that are too high in protein, take overthe- counter or prescription drugs, and routinely expose ourselves to radiation and other pollutants. Everything we breath, eat and absorb through our skin is purified and refined in the liver. Some of the more detrimental compounds we ingest that increase the liver’ s work load include:
Dr. Andrew Weil, M.D. author of Natural Health, Natural Medicine says, “High protein diets impose a considerable work load on the digestive system and may contribute to feelings of fatigue and lack of energy.” The problem with protein is that the liver has to work Harder to detoxify the body from the nitrogen waste which results when it is metabolized. This compound called ure a has to eventually be eliminated from the body through the kidneys.
Most of us are routinely exposed to nicotine, toxins of various kinds and a whole host of synthetic drugs fro m ibuprofen to steroids. Most of us overeat the wrong things and pass up what’s really good for us. High fat, high sugar, high protein diets stress the liver. Overeating, especially overcooked, fatty foods puts added strain on the liver. In addition, lack of exercise has an indirect effect on the liver. When we don’t exercise, an excess of toxins can build up and has to be transformed by the liver.
Typically, when we are exposed to chemicals which can injure the liver, the amount of glutathione in the liver d e c reases. When this substance is reduced, the liver becomes susceptible to damage. The Silymarin content of Milk Thistle keeps concentrations of glutathione in the liver elevated by up to 35%.19 The ability of the liver to detoxify the system is largely dependent on the present of glutathione.
According to the American Liver Foundation, liver diseases are the fourth leading cause of death up to the age of 65. It is not commonly known that a significant incidence of liver disease exists in this country. In the past, liver disease was only associated with chronic alcoholics. Now, however, liver disease strikes obese people, social drinkers and people who eat poorly. Milk Thistle can help prevent the subtle kind of liver damage any of us may be susceptible to.
Essential Fatty Acids - The “Good” Fats
June 25, 2005 08:24 PM
All About Fats
Some people shy away from anything that has the word “fatty” associated with it. They instantly think it will cause them to gain unnecessary weight. However, there are “good fats” and “bad fats,” and the beneficial ones can actually help decrease the desire to eat the harmful ones. Fats are important for health. Also known as lipids, they help balance the body’s chemistry and provide padding as protection for vital organs. Fats provide a source of energy for body processes, and they help with the transportation and absorption of fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E, and K. They are also a source of the vital nutrients known as essential fatty acids. Categories of fats include the following:
SATURATED FATS: All fats are composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen molecules. The carbon atoms of fatty acids hold together in a chain-like fashion. These carbon atoms can attach hydrogen to them. When each place that can hold a hydrogen atom is filled and there is not room for even one more, they are described as saturated. The longer the chain, the Harder the fat will be and thus, the higher its melting point. These types of long-chain fatty acids are found in “hard fats,” such as those in red meat, butter, cheese, sour cream and palm kernel and coconut oils. When a person’s diet is high in saturated fats, these fats tend to clump together in the body and form deposits, along with protein and cholesterol. They then lodge in the cells, organs and blood vessels. This can lead to many health problems, including obesity, heart disease, and breast and colon cancers.
UNSATURATED FATS: Unsaturated fats are called such because there are at least two adjacent carbon atoms on a chain which are not attached to hydrogen atoms. When at least two pairs of carbon atoms are empty it is known as a monounsaturated fatty acid. When two or more sets are empty, then it is referred to as a polyunsaturated fatty acid. A good rule of thumb is that the more saturated the fat, the more easily it will stay hard at room temperature.
ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS: Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are vital nutritional components that our bodies need for many functions. They are found in the seeds of plants and in the oils of cold-water fish. Essential fatty acids—sometimes referred to as vitamin F— cannot be made by the body; they must be sup-plied in the diet. However, at this time, the government has not officially established a Recommended Daily Intake (RDI). Many factors, including stress, allergies, disease, and a diet high in fried foods, can increase the body’s nutritional need for essential fatty acids.
All Calories Are Not Created Equal
June 25, 2005 07:49 PM
All Calories Are Not Created Equal
When we eat more than our daily energy requirements (and most of us do), the extra energy is stored as fat. The human body is designed to stockpile fat very easily. This tendency is related to innate mechanisms intended to protect us against starvation or the threat of a diminished food supply. Fat cells provide extra fuel which can be utilized if necessary to sustain life. Those survival fat pounds settle on the hips, waist, thighs, upper arms and back, not to mention around organs, like the heart and kidney. Some ethnic groups, whose ancestors repeatedly suffered from famines, are especially efficient in energy storage. These include the Pima tribe48 in the United States, the Aborigines of Australia,49 and many of those of African descent.41
Fats are very readily converted to pounds. Carbohydrates and proteins require more complicated digestive processes to convert and store their energy than fat does. Calories from carbohydrates and proteins are usually burned and thrown off as heat (thermogenesis). Naturally, overeating proteins and carbohydrates can result in weight gain, however the body has to work Harder to convert these nutrients to fat stores. It takes 20 to 25 percent of the energy in carbohydrate and protein to convert them into body fat. It only takes about 5 percent of the energy content of dietary fat to store it as body fat. Fat is also twice as energy dense (9 calories per gram) as carbohydrates or proteins (4 calories per gram) making fat at least twice as dangerous from a weight gain standpoint.50 Blood taken from an individual soon after they have eaten a double cheeseburger, french fries and a thick milk shake will often be a milky pink color due to the infusion of fat from the digestive system. This fat circulates throughout the system until it is either burned or stored.
A Winning Combination
Most people would agree that exercise combined with a low-fat, high-fiber diet would be a winning combination for maintaining and improving health. Exercise is important in any health maintenance program. It is especially important in weight control since the amount of energy we expend in the resting state, our Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR), is a function of our muscle mass and tone.51,52 There is a tendency for us to lose muscle mass and gain fat pounds as we age. In part, this is due to life style changes. Instead of flying kites we fly desks! Nevertheless, our capacity to increase our muscle mass is undiminished with age.53 The lack of exercise rather than the abundance of candy is thought to be the primary cause of childhood obesity.54
Eating a low-fat, high-fiber diet will produce some weight loss even in nor-mal weight subjects.55 The reason for this may well be the balance between fullness and satiety.56 It is a proven fact that we can easily eat an excess of fat before we feel full or satisfied. This is because fats are twice as energy dense (9 calories/ gram) as carbohydrates or proteins (4 calories/gram). By the time we are full, we have over eaten. Increasing our fiber intake helps us feel full. (Of course expensive gastric bypass surgery is another alternative.57) Eating a highfiber diet helps us to feel more than just full. Low-fat, high-fiber diets are found to lead to a general lowering of cancer rates.58 Though the above combination of exercise, low-fat, and high-fiber may work in theory; making the theory work in practice is quite another story.
Technology works against us in some ways as evidenced by this comment a woman made about her husband’s physique: “He has added 20 pounds of lap since he got his lap-top [computer].” And just try to get a low calorie meal over your lunch hour. In Feburary 1996 McDonald’s, an international fast food franchise, announced that it would be dropping its five-year experiment with the low-fat McLean burger (12 grams of fat). Also gone from the menu will be the Chef’s salad and the side salad. The taste of the Big Mac (35 grams of fat) has apparently won out over its McLean competition. The salads seem to be a casualty of convenience. Eating a salad in the car after a quick pickup at the drivethrough can be a bit challenging.
Fortunately, state-of-the-art research in the area of weight loss has discovered that through the addition of certain supplements and nutrients, the process of decreasing the amount of fat we process in the stomach and boosting the amount of fat we burn can be expedited. For those of us who suffer from a “fat imbalance” or a condition where we store more fat than we burn, it is often a matter of life or death to lose fat in order to protect our arteries and heart.
The Secret t o Weight Loss . . . An Ounce of Prevent ion Most weight-reducing strategies have to confront the “after the fact” problem of burning already stored fat. Like most of our medical practices, we routinely become sick or fat and then go about the business of trying to remedy our ills. Despite Poor Richard’s advice that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” we continually eat high-fat diets, and wait until we have to pay the piper before most of us take serious action. It’s much easier to prevent a fat build-up than to reverse the damage that carrying extra fat stores can cause. Going on a diet is nothing less than torture and usually means giving up all the foods we like to eat. Yet dieting seldom gets to the root cause of our excess weight which most often is that we eat too much fat, when not dieting. The body begins to digest lipids in the stomach and intestines.
The diagram in Figure 1 illustrates the steps involved in getting fat into our bloodstream.59 There are four steps in fat digestion: 1) acidolytic breakdown of food in the stomach; 2) enzymatic breakdown (lipolysis) of the fats (triglycerides, TGs) into fatty acids (FAs) and beta-monoglycerides (b-MGs); 3) formation of soluble mixed micelles with bile acids; and 4) absorption through the intestines. If we could tie up excess fat before it was absorbed, we could spare our physiological systems the stress of having to deal with that fat. Ideally then, what we need is a substance that prevents fat absorption.
CLA and Cows
June 22, 2005 09:52 PM
CLA and Cows
Nutritional developments like that of CLA couldn’t come at a better time. America is a nation obsessed with weight, but successes in battling weight seem Harder and Harder to come by. Is there a nutritional reason for this? Have we been barking up the wrong tree in recent years, starving ourselves for fear of gluttony rather than looking at broader nutritional reasons for fat accumulation? For example, Dr. Cook says that modern nutritional dogma is that fat is bad. “I’m not sure the dogma’s right. We need to get down to very specific fatty acids.”51 One of the most exciting developments coming from CLA research is that modern animal-raising techniques may be partially responsible for those of us who eat meat getting fat around the middle, even though our consumption of meat may have declined or, at least, stayed about the same in recent years.
CLA has been declining in our diet. This one nutrient’s lack may mean many of us are gaining fat, despite eating less overall fat.52
This desire to simply eliminate fats without looking at the broader nutritional picture has its roots deep in our culture. The desire to starve ourselves to lose weight goes back centuries. We have often thought weight gain came solely from lacking self-control when, often, nothing could be further from the truth.
Take for example the experiences of conscientious objectors during World War II. These men who chose, for religious reasons, not to fight in the war, contributed in other ways. One group at the University of Minnesota underwent forced starvation to help scientists learn ways to help concentration camp victims recover after liberation.
Science learned many useful things, but one thing stands out. The objectors grew more hungry as they recovered and ended up weighing five percent more after they recovered than before the experiment began. (The same can be said for refugees and concentration camp victims, who also weighed more, on average after their ordeals than before.)53 This idea of dieting being the full answer to weight loss still persists, often tragically. Many have died of anorexia, obsessed with self-image. Others have died directly from ill-conceived meal replacement programs.54 In the 1980s, Americans spent $15 billion on diet soft drinks alone,55 but consumers weighed more on average when the decade was over than when it began. You’d think all of this energy and dieting spent on the effort would have helped people lose weight. (Thankfully, many people have succeeded in losing weight and keeping it off. According to Dr. Pariza, this may well be the most significant part of CLA, not so much in losing the weight, but in helping people keep it off.56)
To drive the point home further, consider your parents. They ate a diet that was likely higher in fat than yours. They never saw “lite” versions of snacks in the store. Yet they, in general, weighed less than we do. Why? Surely exercise may have had something to do with it, but, no one has the complete answer. It seems likely that nutrition too played a role. CLA itself may hold part of the reason. As we have seen, CLA nutrition means less fat and more protein in our bodies. Recent research is showing that the amount of CLA in cows has dropped substantially since the times of our parents. In 1963, scientists found that CLA was as much as 2.81 percent of milkfat. The amount of CLA in the milk products varied with the seasons. At some times during the year, cows ate grass. At other times, they ate feed. However, in 1992, Pariza and his colleagues did a large food survey and found that this variation in CLA is no longer occurring. Furthermore, the amount of CLA in dairy products rarely gets above 1 percent of the milkfat. 57
In another research paper in 1994, scientists noticed that Australian cows have as much as three or four time the amount of CLA in the meat from similar American animals. Why? These differences probably “reflect different feeding conditions.” 58
Today, farmers use more efficient feeding methods that rely less heavily on natural grasses. This means less CLA in the meat we eat, and less CLA can mean a higher percentage of fat on our bodies. Consider too that skim milk contains virtually no CLA with its no fat content. This lack of CLA may actually hinder some people’s efforts to lose weight.
The lesson here seems to be that gluttony guilt would be better focused on balanced living. Healthy lifestyles coupled with the right supplementation can make a difference. CLA, though no magic bullet, adds to this lifestyle and could be the key that finally opens many weight (and fat) management doors. It could help many people keep the weight off.
Well Child - For a Healthy Winter
June 21, 2005 05:13 PM
By Lesley Tierra, L.Ac.
As summer turns to fall and then to winter, the nights turn cold and the days brisk. This is a challenging time physiologically as our bodies, especially those of children, try to adapt to the changing climate. Coming into the Fall and Winter seasons, many people continue to eat and dress as if it were still summer, causing the body to work even Harder at maintaining homeostasis. This is a special consideration for children who have the added challenge of being exposed to numerous other children in school and day care centers. This requires parents to be prepared by making sure your herbal health care chests are well stocked. One product worthy of having on hand is Well Child by Planetary Formulas, an echinacea-elderberry herbal syrup, specifically designed for the needs of our youth during the winter season. Well Child was developed by Michael Tierra, L.Ac., O.M.D. in the East-West Traditional Chinese Medicine Clinic in Santa Cruz, CA. Michael has been a practicing herbalist and licensed health professional for more than 35 years. His more than three decades of experience are represented in all his formulas, which have stood the test of time in his practice with literally thousands of clients.
Key Herbal Elements
* Echinacea purpurea leaf and root: No other herb is as widely used for winter immune health as echinacea. Originally used by Native Americans of the Plains and introduced to Eclectic physicians in the 1800's, echinacea has become one of the most widely researched botanicals in modern times. While the clinical findings of many studies have been mixed, there is substantial pre-clinical evidence demonstrating its ability to stimulate various immune responses, such as increasing macrophage, phagocytic and natural killer cell activity. Most of the clinical trials that have utilized protocols and dosages similar to those used by professional herbalists have reported positive findings with regard to its immune-enhancing effects. Echinacea is also very safe. * Elderberry (Sambucus nigra): Whereas echinacea reigns supreme as North America's primary wintertime botanical supplement, the berries of elder have a similar reputation in Europe, where it is widely used in cordials. Most research on elderberries has been conducted in Israel, where it was found to contain potent immune-stimulating compounds as well as powerful antioxidant activity. It makes one of the most delicious proanthocyanidin-rich syrups, so it is an ideal wintertime supplement. In Western herbal terms it is classified as a warming diaphoretic, which makes it ideal in combination with echinacea as a first line defense against the cold winds of winter. * Honeysuckle flowers (Lonicera spp.): Honeysuckle flowers are among the most widely used botanicals in Chinese herbalism for wintertime health. They are a key ingredient in the legendary classic Chinese formula Yin Chiao, which is perhaps the most frequently prescribed of all Chinese herbal supplements. Honeysuckle flowers are rich in a host of unique flavonoids which likely contribute to their health-promoting effects. These key ingredients are combined with cinnamon twig, chamomile flowers, catnip, lemon balm, and licorice root in a great-tasting syrup base of purified water, vegetable glycerin, and honey, along with extra vitamin C.
At the East-West Clinic, we have experienced dramatic positive results when giving Well Child. Luckily, this combination of botanicals tastes good. In addition, Well Child is formulated in a tasty glycerin base with added honey. The result is a liquid that is easily taken by most children. Because of the honey, we do not recommend Well Child for children under two years of age, unless it is subjected to boiling water. We also recommend specific dietary changes, including the avoidance of cold and raw foods during the cold season, eating plenty of broths, avoiding dairy, and eliminating simple sugars from the diet while ensuring the intake of adequate fluids.
Chang HM, But PP. 1986. Pharmacology and Clinical Applications of Chinese Materia Medica. World Scientific. Singapore. Mumcuoglu M. 1995. Sambucus: Black elderberry extract. RSS Publishing, Inc. Skokie, IL. Upton R, Graff A (eds.). 2004 Echinacea purpurea root: Monograph of the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia. Scotts Valley, CA.
Lesley Tierra L.Ac., Diplomate in Chinese Herbalism (NCCAOM) is a California state and nationally certified acupuncturist and herbalist. She has been practicing as a primary health care provider with her husband, Michael Tierra, in Santa Cruz, California for almost 20 years. Lesley combines acupuncture, herbs and food therapies in her work. She is the author of several books, including Herbs of Life, published by Crossing Press, and is co-author, with Michael, of Chinese Traditional Herbal Medicine. Lesley is also the director of the East-West School of Herbal Medicine, and has taught at schools throughout the United States and England since 1983.