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The Consequences of Not Getting Enough Sleep
September 14, 2022 04:03 PM
Most people know they should be getting around eight hours of sleep per night, but according to the National Sleep Foundation, between 50 and 70 million U.S. adults havea sleep disorder*. That means many of us are not getting the quality sleep we need on a nightly basis. But what does that mean for our health? Let’s take a look.
Short-Term Effects of Sleep Deprivation
There are many short-term effects of not getting enough sleep, including:
* Difficulty concentrating or making decisions * Increased forgetfulness * Moodiness or irritability * Slow reflexes * Increased anxiety * Decreased sex drive * Weight gain or weight loss * Heightened senses * Increased susceptibility to colds and flus
Long-Term Effects of Sleep Deprivation
The long-term effects of sleep deprivation are even more concerning. Some of the long-term effects of not getting enough sleep include:
* High blood pressure * Diabetes * Heart disease * Mood disorders such as depression or anxiety * Memory problems * weakened immune system * Increased pain perception Conclusion: As you can see, there are many short-term and long-term effects of not getting enough sleep. If you think you might have a sleep disorder, talk to your doctor about treatment options. In the meantime, practice good sleep hygiene by avoiding caffeine before bedtime, establish a regular sleep schedule, and create a calming bedtime routine. Do your best to get seven to eight hours of quality sleep every night so you can wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day!
Need more sleep try melatonin!
What is Melatonin?
Melatonin is a hormone that helps regulate our sleep-wake cycles. It's produced naturally by our bodies in response to darkness and starts to increase in the evening as we prepare for bed.
How Does Melatonin Work?
Many people take melatonin supplements in an effort to improve their sleep quality. And there is some evidence to suggest that it can be helpful. One small study found that melatonin supplements helped people fall asleep faster than placebo pills did. However, the effects were only temporary, lasting for just three days.
Another study looked at the effects of melatonin on people with insomnia due to jet lag. This research found that melatonin supplements shortened the time it took for participants to fall asleep by about an hour on average.
It's important to note that these studies looked at short-term usage of melatonin supplements. There's not much research available on the long-term effects of taking this supplement.
If you're struggling to get enough sleep, you might be wondering if supplements could help. One popular option is melatonin. But what is it, and does it really work? Melatonin is a hormone that helps regulate our sleep-wake cycles which is produced naturally by our bodies in response to darkness.. Many people take melatonin supplements in an effort to improve their sleep quality and there is some evidence to suggest that it can be helpful such as one small study found that melatonin supplements helped people fall asleep faster than placebo pills did.. however the effects were only temporary lasting three days or another study which looked at the effects of melatonin on people with insomnia due to jet lag and found that it shortened the time it took participants to fall asleep by an hour on average...
Give Melatonin a try and sleep better!
Vitamins C and D: The Immune System Supplements You Need
August 02, 2022 05:39 PM
It's that time of year again. The leaves are changing color, the days are getting shorter, and people are starting to get sick. If you're looking for a way to boost your immune system, you may want to consider taking vitamins C and D. These two essential nutrients have been shown to be beneficial for immune health, and can help keep you healthy during the cold and flu season. Lets discuss the benefits of Vitamins C and D for immunity, as well as how to get them into your diet.
What are Vitamins C and D, and what do they do for the immune system?
vitamins C and D are essential nutrients that play a vital role in supporting the immune system. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps to protect cells from damage, while vitamin D helps to regulate the body's response to infection. Both vitamins are found in a variety of foods, including citrus fruits, leafy greens, eggs, and fatty fish. In addition, both vitamins can also be taken as supplements. While both vitamins are important for immune system health, vitamin C is particularly critical during times of heightened stress or illness, as it helps to boost the body's production of white blood cells. Vitamin D, on the other hand, is essential for maintaining a healthy balance of inflammation in the body. Without adequate levels of vitamin D, the body may become excessively reactive to foreign invaders, leading to chronic inflammation and a higher risk of infection. Together, vitamins C and D play an important role in keeping the immune system functioning properly.
Are there any side effects associated with taking too much of these vitamins?
Although you can get vitamins C and D through your diet, sometimes it's not enough to boost your immune system. The only way to ensure you're getting enough of these essential vitamins is to supplement your diet with pills or injections. Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits, tomatoes, potatoes, and leafy green vegetables. However, your body can't store vitamin C, so you need to consume it on a daily basis. Vitamin D is found in fatty fish, egg yolks, and fortified milk. However, most people don't get enough vitamin D from their diet and need to supplement it with pills or injections. Supplementing your diet with vitamins C and D is the only way to ensure you're getting enough of these essential nutrients to boost your immune system.
How can you make sure that you're getting the most out of your vitamins C and D supplements for immune health?
When it comes to vitamins C and D, there are a few things you can do to make sure you're getting the most out of them. First, vitamin C should be taken in divided doses throughout the day. This ensures that your body has a constant supply of the vitamin and can make use of it more efficiently. Second, vitamin D can be taken once per day. Finally, remember to take your vitamins with food. This ensures that your body gets the full benefits of the nutrients and doesn't waste any of them. By following these simple tips, you can help ensure that you're getting the most out of your vitamins C and D.
What are some other ways to boost your immune system during the cold and flu season?
While there are many products on the market that claim to boost your immune system, there is no magic pill that can protect you from colds and flu. However, there are a few simple steps you can take to reduce your chances of getting sick. First, make sure you're getting enough sleep. Sleep helps your body to repair and regenerate cells, which is essential for maintaining a strong immune system. Second, eat a healthy diet. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables will give your body the nutrients it needs to fight off infection. Finally, try to reduce stress. Stress can weaken your immune system, so it's important to find ways to relax and de-stress. Taking these simple steps will help you stay healthy during cold and flu season.
It's important to get enough vitamins C and D to boost your immune system. You can do this by supplementing your diet with pills, eating a healthy diet, and getting enough sleep. By following these simple tips, you can help ensure that you're getting the most out of your vitamins C and D supplements and keep your immune system functioning properly during cold and flu season.
Why magnesium may be the single most important nutrient you need totake for heart health
April 26, 2019 10:20 AM
Magnesium deficiency, which afflicts close to 50 percent of the U.S. population, can have a profoundly negative impact on your health. Failure to consume enough magnesium can increase insulin resistance and create a higher risk of cardiac disease. A Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) study found that magnesium-deficient people had substantially higher levels of harmful C-Reactive Proteins — associated with inflammation and heightened risk of heart disease— present in their blood. A second MUSC study confirmed this association while also noting that magnesium supplements could help reduce the health impacts of not getting enough magnesium from dietary sources.
"If you do not have enough magnesium in your body, you can become more prone to various diseases and disorders."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-03-11-magnesium-may-be-the-single-most-important-nutrient-for-heart-health.html
The common causes of candida overgrowth
January 22, 2019 04:39 PM
Candida albicans is a form of yeast that is present in small colonies across the human body. Unfortunately, when these clusters grow to an abnormal size, the heightened populations can cause some serious health concerns such as mouth ulcers, gastrointestinal issues, and even psychological symptoms. Researchers are now finding links between the overgrowth of Candida albicans and potential triggers such as: fermented foods like pickles, contraceptives, the overuse of antibiotics, and several other contributing factors.
"However, when candida populations swell into an overgrowth, you can develop severe health problems."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-12-25-the-common-causes-of-candida-overgrowth.html
6 Steps to Get Your Cortisol Levels Under Control & Turn Down the Stress
July 27, 2018 02:44 PM
Cortisol is a hormone that is released whenever we are under intense levels of stress. Whenever you are in a situation that causes extreme tension, your brain reacts with what is called a, "fight or flight" response. This response is what contributes to heightened cortisol levels. Elevated cortisol can lead to various health conditions, so it is important to keep it regulated by consuming an anti-inflammatory diet, and by participating in activities that reduce stress such as meditation.
"Although most think of cortisol as a bad thing — such as contributing to acne, weight gain or high blood pressure — there’s actually a lot more to cortisol levels than just our stress response and its unwanted symptoms."
Read more: https://draxe.com/cortisol-levels/
Nuts may be tiny but they are powerhouses when it comes to improving your health
July 09, 2018 09:54 AM
In the past, nuts have received a bad reputation due to being so high in sodium and fat. Fortunately, new research is pointing to them actually being healthy due to their fat content containing mainly healthy fats that are not saturated. Maintaining a healthy consumption level of nuts can also allow you to lower your bad cholesterol while heightening your good cholesterol. These benefits can be achieved by taking in 100 grams of nuts each day.
"Once deemed unhealthy due to being high in fat, nuts are now viewed as anything but. It’s these fats, along with many other essential nutrients, that have made nuts a staple in the diets of many health-conscious individuals."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-07-06-nuts-may-be-tiny-but-they-are-powerhouses-when-it-comes-to-improving-your-health.html
If Your Heel Hurts When You Wake Up, This Is Happening To Your Body!
June 02, 2017 05:14 AM
The calcaneal spur affects the heel and has a similar feelings of walking on nails and is very unpleasant. This feeling which is normally heightened in the morning, can happen if you are in one position too long, wear high heels, or overload the foot with weight. luckily, surgical intervention is rare and shoe insoles are a common and effective remedy along with gentle stimulating massages. If you wish to treat your foot there are some cost effective and natural remedies such as coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, ice pack and sodium bicarbonate.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5JKuc5axGI&rel=0
"This malady is usually caused by taking inappropriate positions for a long time, or by wearing inappropriate footwear."
Can Air Pollution Heighten Alzheimer's Risk?
February 05, 2017 04:59 PM
Recent research studies indicate a link between high levels of air pollution and an increased risk of Alzheimer's Disease. Studies tested mice exposed to air pollution and found that it led to an increase of the protein clusters associated with dementia and Alzheimer's. Another study found that elderly women in areas with above average pollution were also at a greater risk.
A brain wide chemical signal that enhances memory
January 30, 2017 10:59 AM
Alzheimer’s seems to become more prevalent every day. This has lead to much research into what causes it and how to prevent it. While we still do not know the exact mechanism behind what causes it, there has been some discovery on ways to help fight the disease. A recent study has shown that keeping our brains active will help fend off the signs of mental decline. This discovery was uncovered in light of drugs that seem to help with the disease when they activate acetylcholine release and activate the brain for longer periods of time.
""Many current and future drug therapies for a wide range of brain disorders including Alzheimer's and schizophrenia are designed to target chemical systems such as acetylcholine""
Red meat link to common bowel disease: study
January 20, 2017 07:59 AM
Watch out if your on a rich red meat diet! Studies show people on red meat rich diets have been linked to a heightened risk of a bowel inflammation called diverticulitis. Diverticulitis is a common condition in which small pockets lining the intestine become irritated. Diverticulitis causes 200,000 hospital admissions every year in the United States alone.
"Diverticulitis is a common condition which occurs when small pockets lining the intestine -- called diverticula -- become irritated."
Trilobites: Your Liver Doesn’t Know It’s the Holidays
December 31, 2016 10:59 AM
The study included 89,000 middle-aged men and women who were followed for up to 13 years. At study entry 68 percent of the men and 11 percent of the women were regular drinkers. The analysis was confided to the men because the number of female drinkers was so small. The investigators found that men who drank relatively heavily on most days of the week had a heightened risk of dying from any cause. In contrast, men who drank roughly the same amount alcohol each week, but drank less frequently, showed no increase in their mortality risk. The findings, which appear in the American Journal of Epidemiology, give some credibility to the widespread social belief in Japan that a "liver holiday," a few days off from drinking each week helps counter the ill effects of alcohol.
"To keep your liver’s clock consistent this holiday season, avoid extreme behaviors"
Can You Get Too Much Protein?
December 12, 2016 07:59 AM
Excessive protein can have a stimulating effect on an important biochemical pathway called the mammalian target of rapamycin. This pathway has an important and significant role in many cancers. When you reduce protein to just what your body needs, mTOR remains inhibited, which helps minimize your chances of cancer growth. Additionally, when you consume too much protein, your body must remove more nitrogen waste products from your blood, which stresses your kidneys. Chronic dehydration can result, as was found in a study involving endurance athletes.
"Protein has achieved a venerated status in the dietary world for everything from building muscle to preventing weight gain. But can you get too much of a good thing?"
Five ways to avoid germs while traveling
December 06, 2016 07:59 AM
Different areas of the world have different germs and it is easy to pick up a germ you are not resistant to already. No one wants to get sick when they travel and ruin their vacation or business trip. This article will explain five different ways to avoid picking up new germs while you travel.
"Gendreau studies germiness while traveling, and he knows just how infectious travel can be."
Benefits of stress management
Mental Health can be overlooked in our everyday lives but it plays a huge role in our health. Our mental state can affect us in many ways both positively and negatively. This article will be discuss the importance of Mental Health with a concentration on stress management. Stress is a significant cause of mental illness today and although we can't eradicate it, we can manage it It is important to understand that not all stress is negative. Stress may occur prior to weddings, graduations, or even social gatherings, but no matter the source of stress, your bodies respond the same. Also, some stress is good for you in order to manage skills needed for survival such as fight or flight.
Experts suggest a combination of physical, social, environmental, and psychological approaches to managing stress. When we are stressed, we encounter General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS). GAS is your complex physiological responses that happen as a result of the stress and has three phases. The first phase of GAS is the alarm phase. The alarm phase occurs when we sense there is a stressor present (Body doesn't sense whether it is a good or bad stressor), everything becomes heightened and hormones respond. The seconds phase of GAS is called the resistance phase. During the resistance phase your body resists stress to get your it back to homeostasis. If you can't rid the stress you move into exhaustion The last phase, exhaustion, occurs when your body is tired and can't fight anymore to get it back to homeostasis. Physical or emotional tension is often a good indicator of stress.
Below is a short list of symptoms from stress.
We all experience some level of stress on a regular basis but as I mentioned before, too much can be harmful to your body. Below I have listed ways in which you can deal with and reduce stress levels.
Take Care of Yourself
Taking care of yourself seems self-explanatory for many but as we enter the exhaustion phase our attention to self-care begins to decline. Eat a healthy diet, get plenty of sleep, treat yourself, and maintain your normal routine.
It is often said that exercise is the most underused stress reliever and this is 100% true. Working out forces you to take your mind off of the stressors and focus on what you are doing and nothing else. Get in a gym or go for a run to lower your stress levels.
Being able to talk to someone during stressful times is very important. Connect with a friend or family member that you will listen to what you want to get off your mind. This can be very helpful for stress reduction.
Avoid Alcohol or Drugs
People often turn to drugs and alcohol in times of stress but fail to realize they only provide temporary relief. Once your "high" or "buzz" wears off, you will more than likely feel worse than before. Alcohol and drugs add to stress and do not help to reduce its impact. I hope this information helps you to recognize when you are stressed and how to handle it Stress is a serious issue that we tend to overlook. Stress is usually a catalyst for other illnesses such as anxiety to occur.
In conclusion chamomile will help you zap stress and unwind and have healthy life.
How to Boost the Female Egg Health with these Rich Vitamin Foods
November 25, 2016 12:59 PM
A healthy diet can heighten chances of conception. Alcohol and junk food can reduce fertility health, but healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables can actually increase your chances. For example, avocados contain monounsaturated fat which produces healthier eggs. Beans and lentils contain iron (among other vitamins) which promotes ovulation. Even cinnamon can improve ovary function.
"A healthy lifestyle can improve your chances of conceiving by protecting your fertility."
health benefits of dhea and how it declines as we age
The importance of DHEA to human health cannot be overlooked. Found in the bloodstream, dhea is the furthermost plentiful hormone steroid. It is secreted in the brain, testes and ovaries and produced by the adrenal glands. Adrenal glands is the major producer of DHEA hormone. This hormone is changed to other hormones essential in the body such as estrogen and androgen.
Health benefits of DHEA
How DHEA levels diminishes with age
As we age, dhea levels biologically diminish. According to research by experts, in our young years, plenty of dhea is secreted since it is vital for brain development and growth. This gradually continues until the age of 25 years after which the levels start to decline. The impact of the diminishing levels of dhea are mostly felt when we hit 40 years and above. This is manifested in terms of difficulties in remembering information, low levels of libido particularly in women, dry skin and increased anxiety.
DHEA is a hormone that is essential to human beings as it aids in counteracting the aging process, making us feel good and above all improving our overall health. Taking dhea supplements for those aged 40 years and above will help keep at bay problems associated with low levels of DHEA.
Are You Gaining Weight For No Reason? Check Your Thyroid
The human body is an extremely complex system of checks and balances that's held in a very delicate state of equilibrium. It's hard to understand at times but with the patience of science, we can usually get to the bottom of whichever mysteries our bodies will present us with.
One of the mysteries that some people might find themselves faced with at some point in their lives is that of gaining weight for no reason. Diets and exercise will seem not to work. A possible culprit might be found in a small organ known as the thyroid gland. Let’s have a closer look at it and how it may be affecting your metabolism and weight.
How the Thyroid Gland Works
The thyroid is the largest gland in your endocrine system of glands and is located right in the middle of your neck just below the Adam’s apple in men. Endocrine glands refer to glands that secrete hormones in the human body. The thyroid gland produces the hormones Thyroxine and Triiodothyronine, which are referred to as the thyroid hormones. These hormones play a significant role in your energy regulation and metabolism functions by prompting almost every cell in your body to increase its activity. This is essentially what your metabolic rate is. There are three basic categories of problems that can occur in your thyroid gland, as follow:
The Thyroid Gland and Weight Gain
When too little thyroid hormone is being produced in a patient, their metabolic rate will slow down, meaning that the body’s cell will not be burning up calories at their optimum rate. This will lead to these unspent calories being deposited throughout the body in the form of fat. The person affected might find themselves suddenly gaining weight without any apparent changes in their lifestyle or eating habits. This is also why dieting and exercise may not have the desired effect on the patient.
The symptoms of an underactive thyroid can be very vague because the hormone acts throughout the body but should you find yourself experiencing some of these, consider testing specifically for hypothyroidism:
How to Detoxify the Body
Free radicals are elements in the body that attacks healthy cells, resulting to cellular and tissue damage. When this happens, mild conditions such as weight gain to serious illnesses such as cancer may occur. The production of more and more free radicals intensifies due to several factors. Pollution, the food you eat, different kinds of chemicals found in the environment and the daily stress you go through are all factors that contribute to the increase of free radicals. Thus, detoxification should be a must for everybody.
Detox means cleansing the body of toxins and harmful elements. The importance of detoxification has intensified as years go by. The modern world has not only offered outstanding innovations but many deadly diseases. The many benefits of detox can help counter these unhealthy occurrences.
What are some of the Benefits of Detoxifying the Body?
This is among the exciting benefits one can get from detoxification. Just like a clean house or a clean car engine, you would feel a heightened vitality as harmful elements are flushed out of your system. This boosts in energy will help you accomplish daily tasks and even go to the gym after work.
Detoxification cleanses essential organs such as the liver, kidneys and colon. These organs are crucial in the body’s waste management system. Buildup of toxins in the body can slow down the work that they do. Overtime, when the stress is too much to bear, these organs may experience fatigue, disrupting their function. Diseases associated with abnormally functioning liver and kidneys can become serious medical conditions. Therefore, proper care and management is important.
Weight loss can just be a bonus when you choose to detox. Because you are choosing to live healthily, you can rid yourself of excessive calories, salt, sugar and other unhealthy foods that compromises your detoxification process. Also, as you continue with a good cleansing regimen, your organs will be able to function well, improving your metabolism.
How Can You Detoxify?
The “father of plants”, Alfalfa, is gaining popularity in the field of detox. Alfalfa has roots that can reach 20 to 30ft down the ground. For this unique characteristic, minerals and essential vitamins are rich in Alfalfa. Traditionally, the herb’s parts from its leaves to the seeds are used as medicine. It is a good source of minerals such as Calcium, Iron, Potassium, Phosphorous and Zinc, as well as vitamins A, C and E.
Alfalfa, as early as the 6th century, has been beneficial for its role in treating many health issues such as kidney problems, arthritis, cardiovascular disorders, digestive problems and auto-immune illnesses. Today, more and more health problems are being addressed by the use of Alfalfa. Detoxification using the herb also became popular due to its natural ability to eliminate excess fluid and toxins in the body. Aside from this, its vitamins and mineral properties are useful for people who are trying to lose weight.
Detoxification should be a healthy process. Make sure to make it as one by using the right detox ingredient.
How Huperzine Helps With Memory
Memory refers to the process by which information is encoded, stored and retrieved when required. Encoding makes information from the outside world to be sensed in form of physical and chemical stimuli. In the first stage, information has to be changed in order to be put into the encoding process. Storage is the process by which the information is maintained over duration of time. The third of final stage is the retrieval process where the information stored is returned back to the consciousness.
One of the major problems that many people undergo is memory loss. This is a condition in which a person cannot recall information or events that they would be able to remember in normal circumstances. One of the most effective ways to help improve memory is by taking Huperzine. This is a drug that has proven to help boost memory and learning.
Here are some of the ways on how Huperzine help with memory:
1. Boost the level of acetylcholine
Acetylcholine is a very important transmitter in the brain responsible for carrying out several functions including those associated to memory and cognition. It is released into the space between two cells, where it then stimulates nerve impulses from one cell to the other. When acetylcholine fails to work effectively, several types of brain dysfunction occurs. A shortage of acetylcholine is known to be the common cause of memory loss, decreased intelligence and learning ability. Huperzine helps in reducing the breakdown of acetylcholine and boost the duration and strength of nerve impulse. It makes the neurotransmitter more available leading to better memory and improved overall brain functioning.
2. Protection against free radicals
Huperzine offers protection against free radicals that are known to be the major cause of modern diseases. It decreases the activity of heightened free radical activity in the brain. This goes a long way in reducing the risk of having memory loss. It has also proved to be effective in helping adolescents improve their learning abilities and memories.
Deer Antler Velvet
February 02, 2014 07:56 AM
Deer antler velvet
Deer antler is also referred to as insulin like growth factor or simply IGF 1. They are designed to help improve the performance of an athlete and also aid in building of muscles. Deer antler is the outer layer that is found on the antler of a male deer which is extracted just before they reach a fully calcified state. Then they are concentrated and sold as deer antler sprays.
What it does
IGF 1 plays a very important role in growth of cells and their replication, protein synthesis, helps stop overproduction of insulin, helps metabolize carbohydrates, regulates growth and development of the bones and also helps regulate circulation. Recent study shows that Deer antler velvet also supplements helps in improving cartilage damage joints due to cases of repetitive trauma. It affects how the process through which the body repairs itself. The hormone aids in building up a base that is essentially a building block of protein that is needed for the growth of cells. Then this substance helps increase the total number of new cells that accumulate on the base which in turn helps in healing the injury.
Health benefits of deer antler
Focusing on the health benefits of this supplement, the user can trust the fact that he or she will have to go through increase in the levels of their energy, endurance as well as stamina. If you happen to be training then this is the best supplement that you ought to be using. You will discover that you find yourself able to execute all kinds of physical efforts. In addition to this you will feel more relaxed and rested after the effort and will enjoy a good night sleep. Also, deer antler is known to improve your mood and helps you maintain a younger look for longer periods of time. Also it helps eliminate the pains that result from exercise and heightens your sense in order to help you think more clearly. Besides these benefits, this supplement it is used to improve the way in which the immune system works, it counters the effects of stress and also promotes the rapid recovery from illness. Other uses include treatment of high blood pressure, asthma, high cholesterol, indigestion, headache, weak bones, muscle aches and pains chronic skin ulcers and liver as well as kidney disorders.
Why it is popular
Ancient medicines have proclaimed that deer antler is the best regenerative supplements found in nature. This hormone has produced what is the best antler extract that is available on the market. With many similar products in the market Deer antler is the only supplement that gives an antler extract of 100mg per dose. Also what is exciting about this product is that it contains a stimulant for the nerve growth which is very essential for the body since nerves do not degenerate. These are the unique properties of this product and that’s what makes it stand out of the other products.
Deer antler supplements is referred as the best body booster is the market and will give you that body shape you always desired while keeping it healthy and young therefore be sure to spend your hard earned cash on the real deal in order to get the tremendous health benefits.
Coconut Oil for Memory Enhancement
December 27, 2012 12:53 PM
Coconut oil has been widely used for centuries for various purposes. Mainly, it is a cooking ingredient, used for frying and for adding flavor to meals. Aside from this, many nations have different ways of using it as treatment for various illnesses. Countries like Jamaica, Panama, and India believe that ingesting the oil helps prevent contracting any disease and helps in the speedy recovery when sick.
People from the Philippines and Thailand use the oil for massaging to provide relief from painful muscles and joints. Other topical uses are for moisturizing of the skin and for the healthy growth of hair.
Since 2008, new studies have been conducted to test the effects of coconut oil in enhancing the memory and to cure Alzheimer's disease.
MCT (Medium Chain Triglycerides) Benefit:
The most astounding find is the presence of MCT or medium chain triglycerides in coconut oil in high concentration. This MCT creates a string of processes that ultimately helps in curing neurodegenerative diseases.
MCT against Amyloid-Beta
Amyloid-beta is a protein that forms into plaques in the brains. They decrease the efficient functioning of the nerve cells that then causes the decline in memory.
Most drugs prescribed to Alzheimer patients target these plaques, to dissolve them and consequently see an improvement. Studies done on dogs by incorporating MCT in their diets showed that the levels of amyloid-beta has declined, which is a very positive effect. Likewise, energy levels in the brain have gone up among the test subjects.
MCT to Promote Ketone
One cause of Alzheimer's disease is the inability of the brain to metabolize glucose and transform it to energy. As you all know, glucose is the main energy source of the body that provides it the energy it needs to function. This glucose comes from the carbohydrate that comes from food sources. Without this fuel, the brain cells could degenerate. Fortunately, glucose is not the only source of energy for the brain. It can also come from ketones, which are produced from fats in the liver.
However, the liver does not continually produce this. The human body, being smart as it is, only produces ketones when the glucose level drops in order to compensate for the loss of energy source. This is why people who have cognitive disorders often go on a fat and protein diet to trigger the production of ketones, by lowering their intake of carbohydrates. Still, maintaining such a diet for long periods is hard. The good thing is studies have shown that ingesting MCT has increased the level of ketones in the body, regardless of the amount of glucose present in the system. It is believed that MCT is converted to ketone, thus, providing the brain the energy it needs.
MCT and Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Another study done on dogs showed an increased level of omega-3 fatty acids in their brain. Omega-3 fatty acids have many benefits to the body, including improvement of brain function. They support the effective transmission of energy from one neuron to another through the synapses. This consequently makes learning easier, promotes faster reactions, and heightens memory.
Unfortunately, this fatty acid is not produced in the body and people have to rely on food sources, such as fish and nuts. Studies have shown that MCT from coconut oil induces the production of omega-3 from fats that are already present in the body.
November 22, 2012 11:03 AM
Among beverages, many varieties of tea exist including oolong, green and black tea. they are in fact quite similar in their natural state and chemical composition. However, the benefits of black tea extract has begun proving its mettle after the rather heavy overdose of information and research on green tea. The important ingredient that has made tea a rage in alternative medicines in the modern times is the contents of polyphenol which is beneficial in reducing fat absorption and aiding weight loss. In fact, while green tea extract has about 30-40% of water soluble polyphenol, black tea has about 10% .
What has however been proven through recent clinical studies is that the four kinds of polyphenols found in black tea extract are more active on adipose tissue mass, liver lipid content thereby suppressing body weight more effectively as compared to green tea. Green tea is the fresh plucked leaves of the camellia sinesis plant while black tea extract is made from the fermented leaves. While the green tea leaves are only lightly dried, black tea leaves are fully oxidized. Both contain flavonoids known for their beneficial effects on the human body .
However because of the excessive oxidation in black tea, the flavonoids convert to complex theaflavins and thearubiglins.These are antioxidant known to be tremendously potent in effectively countering cancers, stroke and heart ailments. Potent Health Benefits *Its proven to affect on triglycerides present in the blood thus affecting body weight issues dramatically. In fact clinical observations have proved that it induces reduced levels of cholesterol with no side effects on fat soluble vitamins.
It's safe usage could not have been proved better:
An intake up to three cups is said to have beneficial effect but again discretion should be maintained in cases of hypertension, blood pressure and anxiety, who could do without the effect black tea extract has on blood circulation and heightening of alertness.Without a doubt black tea extract remains one of the most common proven natural formulas with great benefits.
How Does Malic Acid Help With Fibromyalgia?
August 22, 2011 12:37 PM
Fibromyalgia(FM) is a condition affecting primarily middle-aged women and is often misdiagnosed and misunderstood as an ailment which has a diverse set of symptoms, in which none are pleasant. It basically is a medical disorder defined by chronic and widespread pain, a heightened response to pressure and often time painful as well. No one really knows what the exact causes are. There are a number of studies taking place and done by reputable medical organisations (such as the Nation Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases - NIAMS) which are geared towards the establishment, once and for all, of the route cause of Fibromyalgia. A part of the current scientific theories is the inherent genetic factor, but even in this it seems that geneticists are not clear as to which genes exactly may be the culprit. What has been concretely established and clarified though is that not just because your mom or dad has it you’ll have it. Stress in some studies has also been found as a contributor but may not be the main cause though.
Malic acid is an organic compound and also a carboxylic diacid and is an active ingredient in many sour or tart foods. It is mostly in unripe fruits and it has two stereoisomeric forms (L- and D-enantiomers), though only the L-isomer exists naturally. The salts and esters of this diacid are called malates. The malate anion is an intermediate in the citric acid cycle. However it was not until 1785 that Carl Wilhelm Scheele first isolated it from apple juice. It is formed in metabolic cycles within the cells of plants animals and humans. A somewhat large amount of Malic Acid is produced and broken down in the body each day. Malic acid also provides stamina and endurance within the muscle cells. It is particularly useful in the blocking of aluminum toxics, which has been found to possibly be one contributing factors to fibromyalgia.
Compelling evidence has surfaced that malic acid may plays a central role in energy production, especially during hypoxic conditions. In some experiments that have been done, the improvement that came about when malic acid was administered to the subject was gone after discontinuing for 48 hours. The theory behind this is in the relative association of hypoxia to FM, if it will improve hypoxic conditions then it will be beneficial for FM sufferers as well just as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome has also been associated with FM. Additionally, many hypoxia related conditions, like respiratory and circulatory insufficiency, are related to deficiency in energy production as well. Therefore, malic acid may be of benefit in these conditions.
The mitochondria are the energy furnaces in cells which metabolize food for energy. Some findings suggest that this structure does not operate efficiently in those with FM. So, for the mitochondria to produce ample amounts of ATP, several nutrients are essential and Malic Acid is one of them. Imbalances in the mitochondria’s process can cause the body to switch from oxygen-based metabolism to the less efficient anaerobic metabolism and this would contribute to an abnormal buildup of lactic acid following even light exertion. This lactic acid buildup results in fatigue, weakness, pain and muscle spasms.
Protect The Liver with Glutathione And Cysteine
April 23, 2009 01:54 PM
The tripeptide L-glutathione is synthesized in the body from L. glutamic acid, L-cysteine and glycine, a reaction that can occur in any cell of the body although it is essential that it also occurs in the liver. Should glutathione concentrations drop, they can be increased by supplementing with cysteine or any other of the three amino acids that are used in the biosynthesis of this important if substance
The tripeptide exists in two forms: the reduced form (GSH) which contains a sulfhydryl (SH) functional group attached to the cysteinyl part of the molecule, and the oxidized form glutathione disulfide (GSSG). As electrons are lost from the reduced form, two molecules combine to create a dimer formed by a disulfide bridge, the process which can be reversed through reduction of the GSSG. Such electrons are lost during its reaction with free radicals, in which the free radicals are neutralized by the donation of an electron from the oxidized version of glutathione.
The definition of a free radical is a molecule that is lacking one electron from an electronic pair. Its prime purpose is then to steal an electron from the nearest molecule to it. In doing so, it can not only destroy that molecule, but also destroy body cells and lead, not only to premature aging, but also to some potentially fatal conditions.
It is an unusual peptide in that it involves a link between the cysteine amino grouping and the carboxyl functional group of the glutamic acid. It is a powerful antioxidant, acting as an effective free radical scavenger and protecting the body cells from the effects of free radical oxidation. However, it is on its detoxification effect in the liver that we shall focus here prior to discussing some other uses to which the body puts glutathione in its two manifestations.
Much of the detoxification is connected with the thiol group in the molecule. Take mercury for example. The thiol grouping forms a strong Hg-sulfydryl chemical bond within the liver, in the form of a glutathione-mercury chelate. In this form mercury is unable to exert any toxic effect on the body and can be excreted in the normal manner. The same reactive pathway is followed by other heavy metals that can bond to thiol groupings. In this way L-glutathione can protect the liver from the effects of a number of toxic heavy metals such as cadmium and chromium.
This is an important property of the amino acid, particularly in industrial and urban environments where the population is more prone to exposure to heavy metals than their rural counterparts. However, the end result on the glutathione is that it is removed from the body, and, particularly with city dwellers, a supplement may be required to maintain a healthy concentration of this amino acid in the body and in particular in the liver. Therefore, although L-glutathione is not considered an essential amino acid, in that it is biosynthesized within the body, a supplement is sometimes required, particularly by those who live in large cities.
It is important to consider the form in which the glutathione supplement is administered. This is because of the presence of gamma-glutamyltranspeptidase within the digestive system. This enzyme appears to destroy L-glutathione before it can be absorbed in the intestine so normal oral forms of supplementation are likely to be ineffective. Possible forms of effective administration include buccal (between the cheek and teeth) and hypodermically.
An alternative means of supplementation is to take substances such as selenium, methionine, alpha-lipoic acid, vitamin C and glutamine that stimulate the biosynthesis of glutathione. Also, since the substance utilizes the raw materials of L-cysteine, glutamic acid and glycine in its intracellular production, supplementation with these amino acids should also help to produce L-glutathione.
That said, let's return to its antioxidant properties and its effect on the liver that contains the largest stocks of glutathione in the body. It is generally regarded as the most important antioxidant in the body. It protects cellular cytoplasm from oxidation by reducing disulfide groups and maintaining a highly reducing environment within the cytoplasm. It reacts with hydrogen peroxide and other oxidative agents, and is converted to the oxidized form GSSG. It is then reduced back to GSH through the combination of the reducing agent and an enzyme. The reducing agent is nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH), the enzyme being glutathione reductase.
The implications that this strong reducing effect has on the liver are significant. Reduced GSH L-glutathione levels have been found in patients suffering from HIV, hepatitis C and other liver diseases. Supplementation with GSH has been found to restore normal levels of glutathione to the liver, and it has been demonstrated that the treatment has improved such conditions significantly.
Atherosclerosis is a condition of the arteries caused by the deposition of plaques formed from oxidized low-density lipoproteins, otherwise known as bad cholesterol. The strong antioxidant effect of GSH prevents this from LDLs from being oxidized and deposited on the arterial wall. There are other results of glutathione supplementation that indicate the effectiveness of antioxidants in the treatment of serious liver conditions, and there are no doubts that combating the effects of free radicals and oxidizing agents within the liver has a positive effect on many potentially serious liver diseases.
Many of these are exacerbated by the generation of free radicals by relatively modern pollution sources such as pesticides, petrol and diesel emissions, tobacco fumes and various other chemical emissions. A strong antioxidant such as L-glutathione cannot be anything other than an effective means of reducing the biological effect of these oxidants. It protects not only the liver but also the lungs and cardiovascular system.
For all these reasons a supplement consisting of L-glutathione or its constituent parts, glutamic acid, cysteine and glycine, provide significant protection against the stresses and strains of modern living. Increased pollution levels and heightened oxidative stress levels within the body are playing havoc with our body defenses, and GSH is an important one of them that can easily be enhanced by supplementation. There are no known reactions to L-glutathione supplementation, but pregnant women and babies should receive expert medical advice prior to taking it.
Kaneka QH - Ubiquinol
November 30, 2007 03:40 PM
CoQ10 with Heightened Absorption
• New, active form of CoQ10 with heightened absorption, which results in increased blood serum levels
• Provides powerful antioxidant support by blocking free radical damage within cell membranes.
• Supports cardiovascular health and energy production by aiding the synthesis of mitochondrial ATP.
• Supports normal, healthy liver functioning by reducing oxidative stress.
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UBIQUINOL COQH bundles all the great benefits of the powerful antioxidant CoQ10 into a superior form that enhances absorption into the body and increases blood serum levels. UBIQUINOL COQH facilitates the production of cellular energy in the mitochondria, which in turn provides robust support to some of the body’s most demanding systems. Both the cardiovascular and liver systems rely heavily on CoQ10 to help generate the energy needed for healthy functioning. Also found in high levels within cellular membranes, CoQ10 works as an effective antioxidant that protects the integrity of mitochondrial and lipid membranes.
1 softgel contains:
Kaneka QH™ Ubiquinol 100 mg
7-Keto - Anti-Aging and Antioxidant Protection
December 18, 2005 09:44 PM
“Anti-Aging and Antioxidant Protection”
The Fountain of Youth Discovered in Wisconsin
It turns out that Ponce de Leon was looking in the wrong place for the fabled Fountain of Youth. It was recently discovered – in Wisconsin! And it turns out that the Fountain of Youth isn’t really a fountain – it’s a biological compound produced in our own bodies. This compound is extremely important for the growth and development of the human body, and, as the body’s production of this substance decreases with age, the signs of aging begin to appear – weight gain, wrinkled skin, loss of muscle, loss of cognitive function, and loss of libido.
This biological Fountain of Youth was discovered by Dr. Henry Lardy and associates at the Institute for Enzyme Research at the University of Wisconsin. It’s called 7-Keto™, a metabolite of a hormone produced by the adrenal glands called DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone). Research on 7-Keto™ indicates that it may work through a number of pathways to combat the signs of aging. Helping the body maintain a healthy weight as we age greatly improves overall health and longevity and is one of the strongest benefits discovered for 7-Keto™ to date.
Unfortunately, because 7-Keto™ is a metabolite of DHEA, whose levels decline as we age, so to does this wonderful, natural bio-nutrient. Scientists originally looked to DHEA for improved cardiovascular vitality, and strengthened immune and brain function3. Researchers believed that declining DHEA so profoundly impacted our bodies that it could be partly responsible for the effects of aging. They hypothesized that supplementation with DHEA could sustain hormone levels and stave off many of the degenerative changes we collectively call aging. But there was a catch. Because DHEA is converted into sex hormones, people taking supplemental DHEA would sometimes experience the frightening, unwanted side effects associated with hormone supplementation.
In 1989, Dr. Lardy and his colleagues set out to solve the mystery of eliminating DHEA’s side effects by examining all of the constituents that make up DHEA. Ten long years of research unearthed hundreds of DHEA derivatives, which were developed and tested continuously, until one derivative rose above all the others – a metabolite that was incredibly bio-active and far more promising than any other substance they’d tested. That metabolite is 7-Keto™. 7-Keto™ outperformed DHEA and other metabolites in immune modulation, memory enhancement and thermogenesis and, more importantly, without any adverse side effects3.
The most significant benefit of 7-Keto™ supplementation is its ability to support healthy body weight. Obesity is a major contributing factor in a number of serious medical conditions. A recent study assessed the effectiveness of 7-Keto™ on weight loss and body fat loss. Participants were divided into two groups; one group received 100mg of 7-Keto™ twice daily and the other a placebo. Both groups exercised three times per week. At the end of the study, researchers noted a statistically significant reduction in body weight and body fat only in the 7-Keto™ group. Researchers concluded that 7-Keto™ was three times more effective than diet and exercise alone in promoting weight and fat loss1,2,7. Preliminary research also indicates that 7-Keto™ may support healthy immune and nervous systems. One study measured the effects of 7-Keto™ on memory function. Subjects were given a single dose of a substance that inhibits nerve cell communication and causes shortterm memory loss. Afterwards subjects were given a single dose of 7-Keto™. Results showed that 7-Keto completely reversed the memory impairment, suggesting that 7-Keto™ supports memory retention6.
Another study gauged 7-Keto™’s ability to support immune system function. Interleukin 2 (IL2) is a substance produced by T lymphocytes that causes an increase of disease fighting white blood cells. White blood cells were taken from healthy volunteers and introduced into a solution that contained 7-Keto™ for 24 hours. When the cultures were tested for heightened IL2 production. 7-Keto™ was shown to augment IL2 production by a statistically significant 68%4.
NOW® 7-Keto™ is a well-researched and patented form of this amazing product that’s supplied by the Humanetics Corporation. Humanetics 7-Keto™ has been proven safe and well-tolerated in doses up to 200mg5. Research is clear, the rate at which we age can be influenced by the diet and lifestyle choices we make. One very smart choice would clearly be adding NOW 7-Keto™ to your diet.
1) 7-Keto™: The Key to Healthy Aging – Scientific Support; Humanetics Corporation, 1999
THERAPEUTIC APPLICATIONS OF ST. JOHN’S WORT DEPRESSION—AN OVERVIEW
July 15, 2005 09:12 AM
THERAPEUTIC APPLICATIONS OF ST. JOHN’S WORT DEPRESSION—AN OVERVIEW
Depression is a disorder that affects millions of people, both Americans and worldwide. It takes many forms, but is usually marked by sadness, inactivity and heightened selfdepreciation. Hopelessness and pessimism are often common symptoms, as are lowered self-esteem, reduced energy and vitality, and loss of the overall capability to enjoy one’s existence.
Depression is probably the most common psychiatric complaint offered to doctors, and has been described by physicians from at least the time of Hippocrates, who called it “melancholia.” The course the disorder runs varies widely from person to person. Depression may be short-term, or may occur repeatedly at short intervals. It may be somewhat permanent, mild or sever, acute or chronic. And who does depression most affect? Rates of incidence are higher among women than men (for varying reasons, some not totally understood). And men are more at risk of suffering from depression as they age, while a woman’s peak age for experi-encing depression is usually between the ages of 35-45.
Depression is caused by many things—it could come about because of childhood traumas, or because of stressful life events—but more and more, doctors and scientists are pointing to biochemical processes as a main culprit in the onset of depression. Defective regulation of the release of one or more naturally occurring monoamines in the brain—particularly norepinephrine—leads to reduced quantities or reduced activity of these chemicals in the brain, bringing on the depressed mood for most sufferers. Accompanying the increase in depression cases and the emerging knowledge of its causes has been the rise of drug and other therapies in treating the disorder. The two most important are drug therapy and psychotherapy. Psychotherapy aims to resolve any underlying psychic conflicts that may be causing the depressed state, while giving emotional support to the patient. This usually involves seeing a psychiatrist and/or psychologist at regular intervals. This also may be accompanied by participation in support groups.
Antidepressant drugs, on the other hand, directly affect the chemistry of the brain and its chemicals, such as the monoamines that are thought to have the most effect on depressed emotional states and moods. The tricyclic antidepressant drugs are thought to work by inhibiting the body’s physiological inactivation of the monoamine transmitters. This results in the buildup or accumulation of these neurotransmitters in the brain and allows them to remain in contact with nerve cell receptors longer, thus aiding in elevating the mood of the patient. There are other drugs, called oxidase inhibitors, which interfere with the activity of monoamine oxidase, an enzyme known to be involved in the breakdown of norepinephrine and serotonin.5
While drug therapy is something more favorable than continuing suffering from depression, for many persons who take these medications it brings on very undesirable side effects. Uncomfortable physical side effects are among the biggest complaints. Many drug users suffer from sensations of nausea, bloating, indigestion, abdominal cramping and diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal discomforts. Dizziness is often a common complaint, and there are many others. For decades, St. John’s wort has been utilized as a mood elevator, antidepressant and overall mental stimulant. As mentioned before, since times as far back as the Crusades do we have record of St. John’s wort being used in this and other capacities. Wounds were treated with the herb’s extracted oil, the insane were given the herb for its effect on both the nervous system and brain, and it was even used to cast out evil spirits (which often is linked to hallucinations and other mental instability).
More recent uses in “folk” or nonstandard medicine point to St. John’s wort’s effective use not only as an antidepressant and nervous system tonic, but also for neuralgia, wounds, kidney problems, its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, and of very recent interest, its use as an AIDS virus inhibitor. Michael Murray, in his book Natural Alternatives to Over-the-Counter Drugs, points to St. John’s wort’s uses for the previously listed uses, and the results of several recent clinical studies. Rebecca Flynn and Mark Roest also outline very well the benefits of the herb as shown in medical and other tests.6 The information coming from both the folk medicine and the clinical medicine worlds indicates that St. John’s wort possesses effective and safe healing properties for several disorders and ailments, and potentially many more.
Pain - Post Op and Relaxation
July 13, 2005 09:24 AM
Relaxation, Music Reduce Post-Op Pain. New research has found that relaxation and music, separately or together, significantly reduce patients' pain following major abdominal surgery. The study, published in the May issue of the journal Pain, found that these methods reduce pain more than pain medication alone. Led by Marion Good, PhD, RN, of Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, the study is supported by the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR), at the National Institutes of Health. "This is important news for the millions of Americans who undergo surgery and experience postoperative pain each year," said Dr. Patricia A. Grady, director of the NINR.
"Better pain management can reduce hospital stays and speed recovery, ultimately improving patients' quality of life." Dr. Good and her research team studied three groups of patients undergoing abdominal surgery. In addition to the usual pain medication, one group used a jaw relaxation technique, another group listened to music, and a third group received a combination of relaxation and music.
Findings revealed that, after surgery, the three treatment groups had significantly less pain than the control group, which received only pain medication. "Both medication and self-care methods which involve patient participation are needed for relief," said Dr. Good.
"These relaxation and music self-care methods provide more complete relief without the undesired side effects of some pain medications." The findings have important implications for the 23 million people who undergo surgery and experience postoperative pain annually in the United States. Pain can hamper recovery by heightening the body's response to the stress of surgery and increasing tissue breakdown, coagulation and fluid retention. Pain also interferes with appetite and sleep and can lead to complications that prolong hospitalization.
Dr. Good and her research staff worked with 500 patients aged 18-70, who were undergoing gynecological, gastrointestinal, exploratory or urinary surgery. Prior to surgery, those in the music, relaxation or combination groups practiced the techniques. The relaxation technique consisted of letting the lower jaw drop slightly, softening the lips, resting the tongue in the bottom of the mouth, and breathing slowly and rhythmically with a three-rhythm pattern of inhale, exhale and rest. Patients in the music group chose one of five kinds of soothing music--harp, piano, synthesizer, orchestral or slow jazz.
On the first and second days after surgery, all patients received morphine or Demerol for pain relief by pressing a button connected to their intravenous patient controlled analgesia pumps. The groups receiving the additional intervention used earphones to listen to music and relaxation tapes during walking and rest, while the control group did not. The research team measured the patients' pain before and after 15 minutes of bed rest and four times during walking to see if the sensation and distress of pain changed.
Dr. Good found that during these two days postsurgery the three treatment groups had significantly less pain than the control group during both walking and rest. "Patients can take more control of their postoperative pain using these self-care methods," says Dr. Good. "Nurses and physicians preparing patients for surgery and caring for them afterwards should encourage patients to use relaxation and music to enhance the effectiveness of pain medication and hasten recovery."
Dr. Good's findings have implications for future research into the effectiveness of self-care methods on other types of pain, including chronic pain, cancer pain, and pain of the critically ill.
Vitamin D Lack Linked to Hip Fracture. Vitamin D deficiency in post-menopausal women is associated with increased risk of hip fracture, according to investigators at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Mass. In a group of women with osteoporosis hospitalized for hip fracture, 50 percent were found to have a previously undetected vitamin D deficiency. In the control group, women who had not suffered a hip fracture but who were hospitalized for an elective hip replacement, only a very small percentage had vitamin D deficiency, although one-fourth of those women also had osteoporosis. These findings were reported in the April 28, 1999, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The study, conducted by Meryl S. LeBoff, MD; Lynn Kohlmeier, MD; Shelley Hurwitz, PhD; Jennifer Franklin, BA; John Wright, MD; and Julie Glowacki, PhD; of the Endocrine Hypertension Division, Department of Internal Medicine, and Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, was supported by grants from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR. These investigators studied women admitted to either Brigham and Women's Hospital or the New England Baptist Hospital, both in Boston, between January 1995 and June 1998.
A group of 98 postmenopausal women who normally reside in their own homes were chosen for the study. Women with bone deterioration from other causes were excluded from the study.
There were 30 women with hip fractures caused by osteoporosis and 68 hospitalized for elective joint replacement. Of these 68, 17 women also had osteoporosis as determined by the World Health Organization bone density criteria. All the participants answered questions regarding their lifestyle, reproductive history, calcium in their diet, and physical activity.
Bone mineral density of the spine, hip, and total body were measured by dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) technique, as was body composition. Blood chemistry and urinary calcium levels were analyzed. The two groups of women with osteoporosis did not differ significantly in either time since menopause or bone density in the spine or hip. They did, however, differ in total bone density.
The women admitted for a hip fracture had fewer hours of exercise than the control group. Fifty percent of the women with hip fractures were deficient in vitamin D, 36.7 percent had elevated parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels (a hormone which can stimulate loss of calcium from bone), and 81.8 percent had calcium in their urine, suggesting inappropriate calcium loss. Blood levels of calcium were lower in the women with hip fractures than in either elective group.
These researchers propose that vitamin D supplementation at the time of fracture may speed up recovery and reduce risk of fracture in the future. Current Dietary Reference Intake Guidelines contain a daily recommendation of 400 IU of vitamin D for people aged 51 through 70 and 600 IU for those over age 70.
"We know that a calcium-rich diet and regular weight-bearing exercise can help prevent osteoporosis. This new research suggests that an adequate intake of vitamin D, which the body uses to help absorb calcium, may help women to reduce their risk of hip fracture, even when osteoporosis is present," observed Dr. Evan C. Hadley, NIA Associate Director for geriatrics research.
"Osteoporosis leads to more than 300,000 hip fractures each year, causing pain, frequent disability, and costly hospitalizations or long-term care. "Prevention of such fractures would greatly improve the quality of life for many older women and men, as well as significantly reduce medical costs." The bones in the body often undergo rebuilding. Some cells, osteoclasts, dissolve older parts of the bones. Then, bone-building cells known as osteoblasts create new bone using calcium and phosphorus.
As people age, if osteoporosis develops, more bone is dissolved than is rebuilt, and the bones weaken and become prone to fracture. Also in many older persons, levels of vitamin D in the blood are low because they eat less or spend less time in the sun, which stimulates the body's own production of vitamin D.
Experts do not understand fully the causes of osteoporosis. However, they do know that lack of estrogen which accompanies menopause, diets low in calcium, and lack of exercise contribute to the problem. Eighty percent of older Americans who face the possibility of pain and debilitation from an osteoporosis-related fracture are women. One out of every two women and one in eight men over the age of 50 will have such a fracture sometime in the future. These fractures usually occur in the hip, wrist, and spine.
Sleep Apnea, Diabetes Link Found. Adults who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea are three times more likely to also have diabetes and more likely to suffer a stroke in the future, according to a new UCLA School of Dentistry/Department of Veterans Affairs study published today in the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. Sleep apnea, a serious condition marked by loud snoring, irregular breathing and interrupted oxygen intake, affects an estimated nine million Americans. The culprit? Carrying too many extra pounds.
"The blame falls squarely on excess weight gain," said Dr. Arthur H. Friedlander, associate professor of oral and maxillofacial surgery at the UCLA School of Dentistry and associate chief of staff at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Los Angeles. Surplus weight interferes with insulin's ability to propel sugars from digested food across the cell membrane, robbing the cells of needed carbohydrates. Diabetes results when glucose builds up in the bloodstream and can't be utilized by the body. Being overweight can also lead to obstructive sleep apnea, according to Friedlander.
"When people gain too much weight, fatty deposits build up along the throat and line the breathing passages," he explained. "The muscles in this region slacken during sleep, forcing the airway to narrow and often close altogether." Reclining on one's back magnifies the situation. "When an overweight person lies down and goes to sleep," Friedlander said, "gravity shoves the fat in the neck backwards. This blocks the airway and can bring breathing to a halt."
Friedlander tested the blood sugar of 54 randomly selected male veterans whom doctors had previously diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea. He discovered that 17 of the 54 patients, or 31 percent, unknowingly suffered from adult-onset diabetes. Using the same sample, Friedlander also took panoramic X-rays of the men's necks and jaws. The X-rays indicated that 12 of the 54 patients, or 22 percent, revealed calcified plaques in the carotid artery leading to the brain.
These plaques block blood flow, significantly increasing patients' risk for stroke. Seven of the 12, or 58 percent, were also diagnosed with diabetes. In dramatic comparison, the 17 patients diagnosed with diabetes showed nearly twice the incidence of blockage. Seven of the 17 men, or 41 percent, had carotid plaques. Only five of the 54 patients who displayed plaques did not have also diabetes. If he conducted this study today, Friedlander notes, he would likely find a higher number of diabetic patients. After he completed the study in 1997, the American Diabetes Association lowered its definition for diabetes from 140 to 126 milligrams of sugar per deciliter of blood.
"This is the first time that science has uncovered a link between sleep apnea and diabetes," said Friedlander. "The data suggest that someone afflicted with both diabetes and sleep apnea is more likely to suffer a stroke in the future." "Persons going to the doctor for a sleep-apnea exam should request that their blood be screened for diabetes, especially if they are overweight," he cautioned. More than half of the individuals who develop diabetes as adults will need to modify their diet and take daily insulin in order to control the disease, he added.
Stress, Surgery May Increase CA Tumors. Stress and surgery may increase the growth of cancerous tumors by suppressing natural killer cell activity, says a Johns Hopkins researcher.
Malignancies and viral infections are in part controlled by the immune system's natural killer (NK) cells, a sub-population of white blood cells that seek out and kill certain tumor and virally infected cells. In a study using animal models, natural killer cell activity was suppressed by physical stress or surgery, resulting in a significant increase in tumor development.
These findings suggest that protective measures should be considered to prevent metastasis for patients undergoing surgery to remove a cancerous tumor, according to Gayle Page, D.N.Sc., R.N., associate professor and Independence Foundation chair at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. "Human studies have already found a connection between the level of NK activity and susceptibility to several different types of cancer," says Page, an author of the study.
"We sought to determine the importance of stress-induced suppression of NK activity and thus learn the effects of stress and surgery on tumor development. "Many patients undergo surgery to remove cancerous tumors that have the potential to spread. If our findings in rats can be generalized to such clinical settings, then these circumstances could increase tumor growth during or shortly after surgery." The research was conducted at Ohio State University College of Nursing and the Department of Psychology at UCLA, where Page held previous positions, and at Tel Aviv University.
Results of the study are published in the March issue of the International Journal of Cancer. In laboratory studies, Page and her colleagues subjected rats to either abdominal surgery or physical stress, and then inoculated them with cancer cells. In the rats that had undergone surgery, the researchers observed a 200 to 500 percent increase in the incidence of lung tumor cells, an early indicator of metastasis, compared with rats that had not received surgery.
The experiment also showed that stress increased lung tumor incidence and significantly increased the mortality in the animals inoculated with cancer cells. "Our results show that, under specific circumstances, resistance to tumor development is compromised by physical stress and surgical intervention," says Page.
"Because surgical procedures are life-saving and cannot be withheld, protective measures should be considered that will prevent suppression of the natural killer cell activity and additional tumor development. "Researchers do not yet know how to prevent surgery-induced immune suppression, but early animal studies have shown increased use of analgesia reduces the risk."
The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health, and the Chief Scientist of the Israeli Ministry of Health. Lead author was Shamgar Ben-Eliyahu, Ph.D., and other authors were Raz Yirmiya, Ph.D., and Guy Shakhar.
Summary of Specific Actions Associated with Ginkgo
June 25, 2005 12:39 PM
Summary of Specific Actions Associated with Ginkgo
Unquestionably, ginkgo will continue to enjoy its current popularity. As baby boomers continue to enlarge the senior citize n block of our population, supplements which have the ability to deter or even prevent age-related disorders will be vigorously sought after.
Ginkgo can be used in these combinations for bioenhancement:
Ginkgo: Primary Applications
The following are general areas that ginkgo biloba can be used effectively:
The following are areas of secondary application for ginkgo biloba:
Migraine Headaches and Ginkgo
June 25, 2005 12:02 PM
Migraine Headaches and Ginkgo
Because ginkgo helps to promote proper cerebral circulation, it may be effective in some cases of migraine headaches. Migraines are believed to be the cause of a malfunction in vasodilation and constriction of blood vessels in the brain. By heightening blood flow and oxygenation of brain tissue, this neuro-vascular disorder may be alleviated or even prevented. More research is required to establish a firm scientific link between migraines and ginkgo.
Smell Perception, Hearing and Ginkgo
June 25, 2005 12:00 PM
Smell Perception, Hearing and Ginkgo
Over 200,000 visits to the doctor annually are due to lack of smell or the diminished ability to smell properly. In addition, an abnormally heightened sense of smell can also be a problem.
Interestingly, these types of smell disorders are commonly seen in people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease. Both of these disorders are the result of faulty bio-chemical reactions in the brain. Ginkgo is one of the supplements that has been re p o rted to help smell perception. Effective dosages would depend on the degree of severity and the current nutritional status of the person. Ginkgo as a Treatment for Tinnit us When circulation is improved, frequently hearing does as well.
Ginkgo helps to oxygenate tissues more effectively which can enhance nutrient transport to the nerves of the inner ear. As a result, conditions such as tinnitus (ringing in the ear) may be alleviated. Tinnitus is a very difficult condition to effectively treat. If the tinnitus is the result of a circulatory deficiency, ginkgo may be effective. The role of ginkgo as a viable therapy for the disord e r remains somewhat controversial.
In terms of treating tinnitus with ginkgo, experimentation is the best approach. Tinnitus can be caused by a number of differe n t problems and the search for an effective treatment can only be made by the individual. In addition, treatment must be sustained for a long period of time before any judgement can be drawn. A minimum of two weeks is necessary. For more seve re cases of tinnitus, a longer period of therapy is required. German tests using ginkgo for sudden hearing loss suggested that in cases where hearing is lost for no apparent reason, ginkgo was effective in promoting a remission after one week of treatment. In some cases, hearing was also improved.11 One of the main advantages of using ginkgo over other drugs for hearing loss is that it is considered safe with minimal side effects.
Deafness Due to Compromised Blood Flow
In some cases of cochlear deafness, ginkgo has proven to be a valuable therapeutic agent. As in the case of tinnitus, treatment should be initiated and sustained.
CANCER TREATMENT AND PREVENTION WITH GARLIC
June 25, 2005 10:14 AM
CANCER TREATMENT AND PREVENTION WITH GARLIC
One of the most exciting aspects of the therapeutic value of garlic lies in its potential use as an anti-cancer agent. Several animal experiments have suggested that Garlic can inhibit or even reverse the growth of certain tumors.
One in three people will develop cancer at some time during their life and one in five will die from it. Cancer ranks second only to heart disease as a leading cause of death in the United States. Projections put cancer as the number one killer of Americans sometime after the year 2000. While cancer research has spent millions of dollars searching for the elusive cure, thousands continue to die from cancer. Garlic has finally caught the attention of cancer research and is currently under scrutiny for its anti-carcinogenic properties.
Several laboratory tests have found that certain enzymes contained in some cancers are totally inhibited by alliinase and other compounds contained in garlic. Several Japanese experiments suggest that injecting garlic into rats with certain types of sarcoma blocked tumor cell reproduction and caused mutations in the cancer cells themselves.38
As is the case with other infectious diseases, garlic’s role in simulating the body’s immune defenses may also be linked to cancer control and prevention. Because garlic helps to mobilize the immune system, carcinogens which may initially begin tumor formation may be attacked and destroyed by heightened immune function. Because garlic enhances the action of the body’s natural killer cells, it boosts their ability to attack tumor cells before cancers can develop. In laboratory tests, the natural killer cells of garlic-eating subjects destroyed 159 percent more tumor cells than those who had not consumed garlic.39
“In animal studies by Weisberger and Pensky of Western Reserve University, as reported in Science, mice injected with cancer cells died within 16 days. When cancer cells were treated with Garlic extract and injected into the animals, no deaths occurred for a period of 6 months. In other studies, feeding fresh Garlic to female mice completely inhibited the development of mammary tumors.”40
Studies in cancer Research in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute reveal that stomach cancer risk was significantly reduced with the consumption of allium vegetables including garlic and scallions. The high germanium content of garlic may also play a role in cancer treatment and prevention. At this writing, continuing research unfolds on garlic and its effect on cancer cells. The National Cancer Institute is planning a study of garlic’s role as a cancer-preventing agent. The study was planned after reports indicated that people who live in China and Italy and eat a lot of garlic seem to enjoy a certain degree of protection against stomach cancer.
Dr. William J. Blot of the Institute stated that these people eat a lot of garlic and related vegetable such as scallions and onions, a habit that correlates with a lower incidence of stomach cancer.41
Menopause: Disease or Condition?
June 13, 2005 03:44 PM
Menopause: Disease or Condition?
by Mary Ann Mayo & Joseph L. Mayo, MD Energy Times, September 4, 1999
It's front-page news. It's politically correct and socially acceptable. Talking about menopause is in. Suddenly it's cool to have hot flashes. Millions of women turning 50 in the next few years have catapulted the subject of menopause into high-definition prominence.
It's about time. Rarely discussed openly by women (what did your mother ever advise you?), meno-pause until recently was dismissed as "a shutting down experience characterized by hot flashes and the end of periods." Disparaging and depressing words like shrivel, atrophy, mood swings and melancholia peppered the scant scientific menopausal literature.
What a difference a few years and a very vocal, informed and assertive group of Baby Boomers make. Staggered by the burgeoning numbers of newly confrontational women who will not accept a scribbled prescription and a pat on the head as adequate treatment, health practitioners and researchers have been challenged to unravel, explain and deal with the challenges of menopause.
Not An Overnight Sensation
Menopause, researchers have discovered, is no simple, clear cut event in a woman's life. The "change of life" does not occur overnight. A woman's body may begin the transition toward menopause in her early 40s, even though her last period typically occurs around age 51. This evolutionary time before the final egg is released is called the perimenopause. Erratic monthly hormone levels produce unexpected and sometimes annoying sensations.
Even as their bodies adjust to lower levels of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone, some women don't experience typical signs of menopause until after the final period. A fortunate one-third have few or no discomforts.
According to What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Premenopause (Warner Books) by John R. Lee, MD, Jesse Hanley, MD, and Virginia Hopkins, "The steroid hormones are intimately related to each other, each one being made from another or turned back into another depending on the needs of the body...But the hormones themselves are just part of the picture. It takes very specific combinations of vitamins, minerals and enzymes to cause the transformation of one hormone into another and then help the cell carry out the hormone's message. If you are deficient in one of the important hormone-transforming substances such as vitamin B6 or magnesium, for example, that too can throw your hormones out of balance. Thyroid and insulin problems, toxins, bad food and environmental factors, medication and liver function affect nutrient and hormone balance."
The most important reproductive hormones include:
Estrogen: the female hormone produced by the ovaries from puberty through menopause to regulate the menstrual cycle and prepare the uterus for pregnancy. Manufacture drops significantly during menopause. Estradiol is a chemically active and efficient form of estrogen that binds to many tissues including the uterus, breasts, ovaries, brain and heart through specific estrogen receptors that allow it to enter those cells, stimulating many chemical reactions. Estriol and estrone are additional forms of estrogen.
Progesterone: also produced by the ovaries, it causes tissues to grow and thicken, particularly during pregnancy, when it protects and nurtures the fetus. Secretion ceases during menopause.
Testosterone: Women produce about one-twentieth of what men do, but require it to support sex drive. About half of all women quit secreting testosterone during menopause.
Estrogen's Wide Reach
Since estrogen alone influences more than 400 actions on the body, chiefly stimulating cell growth, the effects of its fluctuations can be far-reaching and extremely varied: hot (and cold) flashes, erratic periods, dry skin (including the vaginal area), unpredictable moods, fuzzy thinking, forgetfulness, fatigue, low libido, insomnia and joint and muscle pain.
Young women may experience premature menopause, which can occur gradually, as a matter of course, or abruptly with hysterectomy (even when the ovaries remain) or as a result of chemotherapy. Under such conditions symptoms can be severe.
In the 1940s doctors reasoned that if most discomforts were caused by diminishing estrogen (its interactive role with progesterone and testosterone were underestimated), replacing it would provide relief. When unchecked estrogen use resulted in high rates of uterine cancer, physicians quickly began adding progesterone to their estrogen regimens and the problem appeared solved.
For the average woman, however, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) became suspect and controversial, especially when a link appeared between extended use of HRT (from five to 10 years) and an increase in breast and endometrial cancers (Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 37, 1997). The result: Women have drawn a line in the sand between themselves and their doctors.
Resolving The Impasse
Since hormone replacement reduces the risk of major maladies like heart disease, osteoporosis, Alzheimer's, colon cancer and diabetes that would otherwise significantly rise as reproductive hormone levels decrease, most doctors recommend hormone replacement shortly before or as soon as periods stop. Hormone replacement also alleviates the discomforts of menopause.
But only half of all women fill their HRT prescriptions and, of those who do, half quit within a year. Some are simply indifferent to their heightened medical risks. Some are indeed aware but remain unconvinced of the safety of HRT. Others complain of side effects such as bloating, headaches or drowsiness.
Women's resistance to wholesale HRT has challenged researchers to provide more secure protection from the diseases to which they become vulnerable during menopause, as well as its discomforts. If the conventional medical practitioners do not hear exactly what modern women want, the complementary medicine community does. Turning to centuries-old botanicals, they have validated and compounded them with new technology. Their effectiveness depends on various factors including the synergistic interaction of several herbs, specific preparation, the correct plant part and dosage, harvesting and manufacturing techniques.
Research demonstrates that plant hormones (phytoestrogens) protect against stronger potentially carcinogenic forms of estrogen while safely providing a hormone effect. Other herbs act more like tonics, zipping up the body's overall function.
Help From Herbs
Clinical trials and scientific processing techniques have resulted in plant-based supplements like soy and other botanicals that replicate the form and function of a woman's own estrogen.
The complementary community also can take credit for pushing the conventional medical community to look beyond estrogen to progesterone in postmenopausal health.
Natural soy or Mexican yam derived progesterone is formulated by pharmacologists in creams or gels that prevent estrogen-induced overgrowth of the uterine lining (a factor in uterine cancer), protect against heart disease and osteoporosis and reduce hot flashes (Fertility and Sterility 69, 1998: 96-101).
A quarter of the women who take the popularly prescribed synthetic progesterone report increased tension, fatigue and anxiety; natural versions have fewer side effects.
These "quasi-medicines," as Tori Hudson, a leading naturopathic doctor and professor at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine, Portland, Oregon, calls them, are considered "stronger than a botanical but weaker than a medicine." (Hudson is author of Gynecology and Naturopathic Medicine: A Treatment Manual.)
According to Hudson, the amount of estrogen and progesterone in these supplements is much less than medical hormone replacement but equally efficacious in relieving menopausal problems and protecting the heart and bones.
According to a study led by Harry K. Genant, PhD, of the University of California, San Francisco, "low-dose" plant estrogen derived from soy and yam, supplemented with calcium, prevents bone loss without such side effects as increased vaginal bleeding and endometrial hypoplasia, abnormal uterine cell growth that could be a precursor to endometrial cancer (Archives of Internal Medicine 157, 1997: 2609-2615).
These herbal products, including natural progesterone and estrogen in the form of the weaker estriol or estrone, may block the effect of the stronger and potentially DNA-damaging estradiol.
Soy in its myriad dietary and supplemental forms provides a rich source of isoflavones and phytosterols, both known to supply a mild estrogenic effect that can stimulate repair of the vaginal walls (Journal of the National Cancer Institute 83, 1991: 541-46).
To enhance vaginal moisture, try the herb cimicifuga racemosa, the extract of black cohosh that, in capsule form, builds up vaginal mucosa (Therapeuticum 1, 1987: 23-31). Traditional Chinese herbal formulas containing roots of rehmannia and dong quai have long been reputed to promote vaginal moisture.
Clinical research in Germany also confirms the usefulness of black cohosh in preventing hot flashes and sweating, as well as relieving nervousness, achiness and depressed moods caused by suppressed hormone levels. It works on the hypothalamus (the body's thermostat, appetite and blood pressure monitor), pituitary gland and estrogen receptors. Green tea is steeped with polyphenols, mainly flavonoids, that exert a massive antioxidant influence against allergens, viruses and carcinogens. The risks of estrogen-related cancers such as breast cancer are particularly lowered by these flavonoids, as these substances head directly to the breast's estrogen receptors. About three cups a day exert an impressive anti-inflammatory, antiallergenic, antiviral and anticarcinogenic effect.
Other phytoestrogen-rich botanicals, according to Susun Weed's Menopausal Years: The Wise Woman Way (Ash Tree Publishing), include motherwort and lactobacillus acidophilus to combat vaginal dryness; hops and nettles for sleep disturbances; witch hazel and shepherd's purse for heavy bleeding; motherwort and chasteberry for mood swings; dandelion and red clover for hot flashes.
Our Need For Supplements
Adding micronutrients at midlife to correct and counter a lifetime of poor diet and other habits is a step toward preventing the further development of the degenerative diseases to which we become vulnerable. At the very minimum, you should take:
a multivitamin/mineral supplement vitamin E calcium
Your multivitamin/mineral should contain vitamins A, B complex, C, D, E, calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper and zinc. Look for a wide variety of antioxidants that safeguard you from free radical damage, believed to promote heart disease and cancer, as well as contribute to the aging process.
Also on the list: mixed carotenoids such as lycopene, alpha carotene and vitamin C; and folic acid to help regulate cell division and support the health of gums, red blood cells, the gastrointestinal tract and the immune system.
Studies indicate a deficiency of folic acid (folate) in 30% of coronary heart disease, blood vessel disease and strokes; lack of folate is thought to be a serious risk factor for heart disease (OB.GYN News, July 15, 1997, page 28).
Extra vitamin E is believed to protect against breast cancer and bolster immune strength in people 65 and older (Journal of the American Medical Association 277, 1997: 1380-86). It helps relieve vaginal dryness, breast cysts and thyroid problems and, more recently, hit the headlines as an aid in reducing the effects of Alzheimer's and heart disease. It is suspected to reduce the thickening of the carotid arterial walls and may prevent the oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol, which contributes to the formation of plaque in arteries.
Selenium also has been identified as an assistant in halting cancer (JAMA 276, 1996: 1957-63).
The Omegas To The Rescue
Essential fatty acids found in cold water fish, flaxseed, primrose and borage oils and many nuts and seeds are essential for the body's production of prostaglandin, biochemicals which regulate hormone synthesis, and numerous physiological responses including muscle contraction, vascular dilation and the shedding of the uterine lining. They influence hormonal balance, reduce dryness and relieve hot flashes.
In addition, the lignans in whole flaxseed behave like estrogen and act aggressively against breast cancer, according to rat and human studies at the University of Toronto (Nutr Cancer 26, 1996: 159-65).
Research has demonstrated that these omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids can reverse the cancer-causing effects of radiation and other carcinogens (Journal of the National Cancer Institute 74, 1985: 1145-50). Deficiencies may cause swelling, increased blood clotting, breast pain, hot flashes, uterine and menstrual cramps and constipation. Fatigue, lack of endurance dry skin and hair and frequent colds may signal EFA shortage. Plus, fatty fish oils, along with vitamin D and lactose, help absorption of calcium, so vital for maintaining bone mass.
In addition, studies show that the natural substance Coenzyme A may help menopausal women reduce cholesterol and increase fat utilization (Med Hyp 1995; 44, 403, 405). Some researchers belive Coenzyme A plays a major role in helping women deal with stress while strengthening immunity.
Can't shake those menopausal woes? Menopause imposters may be imposing on you: The risk of thyroid disease, unrelenting stress, PMS, adrenal burnout, poor gastrointestinal health and hypoglycemia all increase at midlife. Menopause is a handy hook on which to hang every misery, ache and pain but it may only mimic the distress of other ailments. For this reason every midlife woman should have a good medical exam with appropriate tests to determine her baseline state of health. Only with proper analysis can you and your health practitioner hit on an accurate diagnosis and satisfying course of therapy.
And if menopause is truly the issue, you have plenty of company. No woman escapes it. No woman dies from it. It is not a disease but a reminder that one-third of life remains to be lived. Menopausal Baby Boomers can anticipate tapping into creative energy apart from procreation. If not new careers, new interests await. An altered internal balance empowers a menopausal woman to direct, perhaps for the first time, her experience of life. She has come of age-yet again. Gone is the confusion, uncertainty, or dictates of a hormone driven life: This time wisdom and experience direct her. There is no need to yearn for youth or cower at the conventional covenant of old age. Menopause is the clarion call to reframe, reevaluate and reclaim.
Mary Ann Mayo and Joseph L. Mayo, MD, are authors of The Menopause Manager (Revell) and executive editors of Health Opportunities for Women (HOW). Telephone number 877-547-5499 for more information.
Energy Cycles - Stress and lack of energy don't just frazzle your nerves
June 12, 2005 02:09 PM
Energy Cycles by Sylvia Whitefeather Energy Times, August 2, 2003
Feeling stressed out and exhausted from an overburdened schedule? Regenerating your personal energy necessitates defusing stress. Stress and lack of energy don't just frazzle your nerves; they can leave you depressed, anxious and vulnerable to a long list of health problems.
According to J. Douglas Bremner, MD, a psychiatrist at Emory University, Atlanta, when your brain overcharges on prolonged stress, your body pays a heavy, tiring price.
"If stress has effects on the brain and neurological function, then stress has effects on all parts of the body, including the heart, blood vessels, immune system and digestive system," says Dr. Bremner, author of Does Stress Damage the Brain? (Norton). "The long list of damaging effects can include heart disease, memory impairment, depression and even increased susceptibility to stroke and cancer."
A Good Night's Sleep
Although getting a good night's sleep is a basic part of lowering stress and boosting energy, many of us seem to be tossing and turning through an epidemic of insomnia. The fact that so many people appear to suffer from disturbed and unsatisfying sleep may signal not only a personal energy lack, but also a deeper health crisis developing on the horizon. Lack of sleep, along with stress, not only contributes to those lackluster afternoons of the blahs, but it can also derail your basic body rhythms, weaken your immune system and make you age quicker.
Researchers at the University of Chicago report that lack of sleep may deplete your get-up-and-go by upsetting basic metabolic functions and interfering with hormones. Pretty serious stuff: When people in this experiment cut back their sleep time to about four hours each night, their bodies behaved as if they were twenty years older and they started showing signs of developing diabetes. These effects happened in only a week of missing sleep (The Lancet, October 23, 1999).
The drastically reduced sleep schedule slowed the thyroid gland, reducing the production and action of thyroid hormones. As a result, metabolism slowed and the non-sleepers developed that awful sluggish feeling too many of us know and hate.
Stress from lack of sleep also coaxed the adrenal glands into releasing extra amounts of cortisol, a stress hormone whose purpose is to force the body into providing short-lived energy boosts. But after a while the body flames out, its ability to cope with daily demands drained even further.
"We found that the metabolic and endocrine changes resulting from a significant sleep debt mimic many of the hallmarks of aging," says Eve Van Couter, PhD, professor of medicine at the University of Chicago and director of the study. "We suspect that chronic sleep loss may not only hasten the onset but could also increase the severity of age-related ailments such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity and memory loss."
And when are you are constantly short-changed of sleep, it builds up an accumulative effect. Particularly susceptible are busy parents, shift workers, menopausal women and college students.
One way to take back your energy from this metabolic madness is to get twelve hours of sleep a night for a week. But aside from hitting the snooze button a few hundred times, a possible antidote to this cortisol nightmare may be vitamin C.
Fight and Flight
The human body, which evolved before the advent of split-level houses and SUVs, was built to survive life-threatening, physical danger. When it encounters modern-day stress, such as traffic jams and credit card bills, it releases extra cortisol, heightening the body's immediate ability to run or fight. As a result of cortisol release, senses go on high alert, heart rate speeds up, blood flow to muscles increases, and the immune system mobilizes to deal with what it thinks is an imminent crisis.
However, unlike physical danger that rapidly resolves (either you get away from what's trying to harm you or it does you in), today's stress drags on and on (at least till the next exit on the expressway), and the cortisol in the body continues to circulate.
The long-range result of persistent cortisol is a drop in energy, rampant fatigue and lowered immunity. You feel constantly tired and you get sick more often. You may also gain weight.
But researchers at the University of Alabama at Huntsville have found that large doses of vitamin C "reduce...the levels of stress hormones in the blood and also reduce...other typical indicators of physical and emotional stress, such as loss in body weight, enlargement of the adrenal glands, and reduction in the size of the thymus gland and the spleen," according to P. Samuel Campbell, PhD (American Chemical Society, 1999). Dr. Campbell believes that our prehistoric ancestors probably consumed large amounts of vitamin C in a tropical diet rich in fruits. "If so, the physiological constitution we have inherited may require doses far larger than the present RDA (the amount the government recommends) to keep us healthy under varying environmental conditions, including stress."
Iron Out the Fatigue
If you are a premenopausal woman, a lack of iron may also be draining your body of energy. According to experts, as many as one of every five women who menstruate may suffer anemia caused by a lack of iron. This type of problem is also frequent in teenagers and during pregnancy. (But before you take iron supplements, talk to your health practitioner to make sure this is the source of your fatigue.)
"Women with heavy menstrual flow have the greatest risk (of anemia)," points out Susan Lark, MD, in Healing with Vitamins (Rodale). Dr. Lark recommends eating more iron-rich foods (like organic red meat) even if you are not anemic, since a mild iron deficiency can drag you down into the doldrums.
Vegetarians necessarily eat fewer iron-rich foods than do meat eaters. But if you take a vitamin C supplement when you consume such iron-rich vegetables as lima beans, pinto beans and spinach, your body can absorb more of the iron in these foods.
The Krebs Cycle: Keep the Wheel Turning
All of your cells make the energy that keeps you going. This process, a complicated chemical reaction called the Krebs cycle, transforms fatty acids and carbohydrates into ATP (adenosine triphosphate) for cellular energy. Mitochondria, small structures in each cell, are the centers of this energy production.
Energy production requires oxygen. The more oxygen available to the cells, the more energy is produced. Deep breathing and moderate exercise are simple, quick ways to oxygenate the body and boost energy. That is why walking, jogging and other physical activity wakes up your brain and restores pep.
If you've been looking for ways to feel more energetic, take a deep breath and go for a long walk before you sit down to your rejuvenating lima beans and vitamin C. And another thing...take a pass on those late-night TV shows. Sleep is more important.
June 10, 2005 09:44 PM
Breast Cancer by Joseph L. Mayo,MD Mary Ann Mayo, MA Energy Times, May 2, 1999
What do you fear most? Bankruptcy? Floods? Heart disease? If you're like many women, breast cancer stands near the top of that dreaded list.
But that fear doesn't permeate other cultures the way it does ours.
A woman like Mariko Mori, for instance, 52 years old, Japanese, worries about intense pressures beginning to burden her toddler grandson. But worry about breast cancer? Hardly.
In Indiana, Mary Lou Marks, 50, has similar family frets, mulling over her 28-year-old daughter's career choice.
But on top of that, when Mary Lou tabulates her other worries, she recoils at the thought of breast cancer. She's heard about her lifetime risk: 1 in 8. Meanwhile, Mariko's is merely 1 in 40, according to Bob Arnot's Breast Cancer Prevention Diet (Little, Brown).
New studies have found the effect of carrying the gene linked to breast cancer, which is responsible for only 5 to 10% of breast cancer incidence, is not as great as first suspected. Earlier estimates that the gene reflects an 80% chance of incurring breast cancer by age 70 has been recalculated to be only 37% (The Lancet, 1998;352:1337-1339).
Complex Causesbr> Researchers agree: No one factor is solely responsible for breast cancer. Risk depends on many factors, including diet, weight, smoking, alcohol consumption, activity level and, of course, those genes.
Regardless of their actual chance of getting breast cancer, women worry. Mary Lou faces no factors that would place her in particular jeopardy. But her anxieties about radical therapies and medical expenses paralyze her: She forgets to visit her health care provider and skips her annual mammogram appointments. Mary Lou's daughter, perhaps in reaction to her mother's gripping fears, campaigns ardently for cancer prevention, educating herself and mobilizing against the cumulative effects of known cancer risks. Smart young woman: A malignancy, after all, can take years to develop. A tumor must swell to one billion cells before it is detectable by a mammogram.
The soy-rich regimen of Japanese women like Mariko Mori, for example, helps to explain the low breast cancer rates in Asian countries (see box at center of the page).
Tomatoes, because of their high quotient of the carotenoid lycopene, have been found to protect cells from the corrosive clutches of oxidants that have been linked with cancer in 57 out of 72 studies (The Santa Rosa Press Democrat, February 17, 1999, page A6, reporting on a Harvard Medical School study). For more on tomatoes see page 16.
But there's no one magic anti-cancer food or diet. Eating to prevent breast cancer requires a balanced menu with fiber, healthy fats, phytoestrogens and antioxidants, all fresh and free of chemical additives.
Modifying the balance and type of estrogen, the female sex hormone produced by the ovaries, offers an important breast cancer safeguard. Fat cells, adrenal glands and, before menopause, the ovaries, produce three "flavors" of estrogen, the strongest of which, estradiol, is believed to be carcinogenic when too plentiful or persistent in the body.
Estrogen does its work by attaching to estrogen receptors. Receptors are particularly numerous in the epithelial cells that line milk sacs and ducts in the breasts.
A receptor site is like a designated parking spot: Once estrogen is parked there it triggers one of its 400 functions in the body, from preparation of the uterus for pregnancy to intensifying nerve synapses in the brain.
The food we eat can be a source of estrogen; plant estrogens, called phytoestrogens, are much weaker than the body's estrogens, but they fit the same receptors. Phytoestrogens exert a milder estrogenic effect than bodily estrogen and are capable of blocking the more potent, damaging versions.
Soy also contains genistein, an "isoflavone" very similar in molecular form to estrogen but only 1/100,000 as potent. Because of its structure, genistein can attach to cells just as estrogen does; it also helps build carriers needed for binding estrogen and removing it from the body (Journal of Nutrition 125, no.3 :757S-770S). It acts as an antioxidant to counteract free radicals.
Soy is most protective for younger women. Postmenopausal women benefit from soy's ability to diminish hot flashes and for cardiovascular protection, especially in combination with vitamin E, fiber and carotene (Contemporary OB/GYN, September 1998, p57-58).
Experts don't know that much about the cumulative effect of combining hormone replacement with soy, herbs and a diet high in phytoestrogens. Menopausal women who boost their estrogen this way should work with their health care providers and monitor their hormonal levels every six to 12 months with salivary testing.
The Vegetable Cart
Fiber from fruits, vegetables and whole grains reduces insulin levels and suppresses the appetite by making make us feel full, thus helping with weight control, so important to resisting cancer. Fiber also helps build estrogen carriers that keep unbound estrogen from being recirculated and reattached to the breast receptors.
Cellulose, the fruit and vegetable fiber most binding with estrogen, also rounds up free radicals that damage DNA within cells.,p> Feeding the Immune System Despite heightened public awareness and efforts to stick to wholesome, healthful diets, experts increasingly link poor nutrition to depressed immune systems. Many Americans are at least marginally deficient in trace elements and vitamins despite their best attempts to eat well; that's why a good multivitamin/mineral is wise, even mandatory. Vitamins given to people undergoing cancer treatment stimulate greater response, fewer side effects, and increased survival (International Journal of Integrative Medicine, vol. 1, no. 1, January/February 1999).
Nutrients tend to work synergistically on the immune system. They should be taken in balanced proportions, and in consultation with your health care provider.
n Riboflavin (B2), pyridoxine (B6), pantothenic acid (B5), zinc and folate strengthen immunity. Selenium, in lab culture and animal studies, has helped kill tumors and protect normal tissues.
n Beta-carotene and vitamins A, E and C are antioxidants. Vitamin C enhances vitamin E's effects, boosting immunity and protecting against cell damage. The antioxidant isoflavones in green tea, with soy, convey the anticancer effects of the Asian diet. Research shows actions that discourage tumors and gene mutations.
The food you eat influences hormones. Excess sugar raises insulin, which acts as a growth factor for cancer and interferes with vitamin C's stimulation of white blood cells. It may contribute to obesity.
Alcohol is converted to acetaldehyde, which causes cancer in laboratory animals. It affects gene regulation by decreasing the body's ability to use folic acid. It increases estrogen and the amount of free estradiol in the blood. The liver damage that accompanies high alcohol consumption frequently reduces its capacity to filter carcinogenic products, regulate hormones and break down estrogen. Studies of alcohol consumption have caused experts to estimate that drinking more than two alcoholic beverages a day increases breast cancer risk by 63% (OB-GYN News, November 1, 1998, p. 12).
Fat Can be Phat
Fat cells produce estrogen. Excess fat stores carcinogens and limits carriers that can move estrogen out of your system.
Once estrogen has attached itself to a receptor, the health result depends on the type of fat in the breast. Saturated fat, transfatty acids and omega-6 fat from polyunsaturated vegetable oils such as safflower oil, peanut, soybean oil, corn oil and in margarine can increase the estrogen effect and trigger a powerful signal to the breast cell to replicate.
Breast tissue is protected by omega-3 fat chiefly from fish and flaxseed and by omega-9 from olive oil. Salmon once a week or water packed tuna three times a week are particularly beneficial. Fish oil supplements processed to reduce contaminates are available. Cod liver oil isn't recommended: its vitamin A and D levels are too high.
Flaxseed is the richest known plant source of omega-3. Use a coffee grinder to benefit from the seed and oil for the full estrogen effect; sprinkle ground flaxseed over cereal or fold into baked goods. Drizzle flaxseed oil, found in the refrigerator section of your health food store, over salads or cereal. (Store the oil in the refrigerator.)
Olive oil, especially in the context of the so-called Mediterranean diet of vegetables, omega-3-rich fish and fresh fruit (Menopause Management, January-February 1999, p. 16-19), lowers the risk of breast cancer (The Lancet, May 18, 1996;347:1351-1356).
Selecting Organic Food
Buy or grow fresh, organic foods whenever you can. When grilling meat, fish or poultry, reduce the area where carcinogens may accumulate by trimming fat. Charred, well-done meat is known to be carcinogenic. When grilling, marinate meat first and reduce the cooking time on the grill by slightly precooking.
Cancer prevention is an interlocking puzzle requiring the limitation of fat consumption, weight control, exercise, stress reduction and care for psychological and spiritual balance. Possessing more cancer fighting pieces makes you more likely to be able to complete the prevention picture.
Joseph L. Mayo, MD, FACOG and Mary Ann Mayo, MA, are the authors of The Menopause manager: A Safe Path for a Natural Change, an individualized program for managing menopause. The book's advice, in easy-to-understand portions, isolates in-depth explanations with unbiased reviews of conventional and alternative choices. A unique perspective for mid-life women who want to know all their options.
Also from the Mayos - The HOW Health Opportunities For Women quarterly newsletter to help women learn HOW to make informed health choices. Learn HOW to: - Choose nutritional supplements
Pycnogenol Complex - The Next Generation of Antioxidant Protection
June 04, 2005 02:14 PM
If there’s one factor that has the greatest negative impact on our health, it is the damage done to our cells by free radicals. These highly unstable molecules disrupt the biochemical processes that regulate life. Although a natural product of oxygen metabolism in the body, free radicals are also produced in vast quantities by modern technology. Our bodies’ natural defenses simply have not been able to keep up with the onslaught of these dangerous products of civilization. On the other hand, technology has offered help by identifying some of nature’s most powerful weapons against free radical attack. Source Naturals PYCNOGENOL® COMPLEX is an unprecedented combination of these extremely potent plantbased antioxidants, or Plantioxidants™. Consider them your antidote to the industrial revolution.
How free radicals are formed and their effect on the body
Oxygen both makes life, and takes life. The energy that animates us comes from the biochemical reactions that burn oxygen within our cells. And though carefully regulated by the body, this biological combustion, over time, inevitably leads to cellular damage. If oxidation is not carefully controlled, tissues are damaged faster than the body can repair them. This is caused by an excess of over-reactive, electron hungry molecules called oxidants or “free radicals,” which tend to disrupt normal cellular activity. Free radicals attack a cell’s membrane and can even damage its hereditary blueprint (DNA). Since free radicals are a natural result of certain metabolic reactions, the body synthesizes several types of antioxidant enzymes to neutralize them. In addition, we get essential antioxidants from the foods we eat. Vitamins C, E and beta carotene are the ones found most often in our diet. During this century, our environment has become a perpetual source of free radical contamination, primarily from radiation and the chemical pollution in our air, water and food. Today, we are literally overwhelmed with more free radicals than our bodies are accustomed to handling. Fortunately, science has found that certain plants contain special antioxidants that are far more powerful than the vitamins we typically get in our diet. With this knowledge, Source Naturals formulated PYCNOGENOL® COMPLEX, the most advanced combination of Plantioxidants available today in one product. Pycnogenol® is the proprietary name of a natural plant product made from the bark of the European coastal pine, Pinus maritima.
Natural protection against free radicals
Pycnogenol® Complex – A Cornucopia of Health Our knowledge of pine bark goes back nearly 500 years, to when the French explorer, Jacques Cartier, reported that a tea made from pine tree bark by Native Americans saved the lives of his crew who were dying of scurvy. Nutrition scientists have since isolated the extraordinary antioxidant compounds of pine bark. They have also discovered many other unique antioxidants throughout the plant kingdom. Plants have evolved bioflavonoids to protect themselves from free radical damage. One of the most abundant compounds in the plant kingdom, bioflavonoids are found in the pigments of bark, rinds, seeds, leaves and flowers.
Natural antioxidants in Pycnogenol® Complex
The active ingredients of Source Naturals PYCNOGENOL® COMPLEX are derived from a diverse range of nature’s plenty: pine bark, green tea, turmeric spice, rosemary, grape seeds, milk thistle seeds, bilberries, hawthorn berries and ginkgo leaves. Each of these Plantioxidants is an exceptional free radical scavenger, and each has a tendency to concentrate in a different organ of the body, thus providing targeted protection. And since their primary function is to capture free radicals, these Plantioxidants free up vitamin C, so it can perform its many other vital functions.
Defense Plants The two headliners of Source Naturals PYCNOGENOL® COMPLEX are the pine bark extract, Pycnogenol®, and an extract from grape seeds, Proanthodyn™. Their unsurpassed antioxidant activity – up to 20 times that of Vitamin C and up to 50 times that of Vitamin E – comes from a high concentration of proanthocyanidins.
Why Pycnogenol® Complex is formulated with extracts of pine bark and grape seed
These highly bioavailable flavonoids are able to cross the Blood-Brain Barrier, and can stay in the bloodstream for up to 72 hours. Few other nutritional antioxidants cross this barrier, and none do it as well. Proanthocyanidins therefore offer the brain and central nervous system unparalleled antioxidant protection. In particular, proanthocyanidins may help reduce the formation of lipofuscin, a brown waste material made of free radical-damaged proteins and fats. Over time, lipofuscin deposits form in the brain, heart, and skin. The “age” or “liver” spots that develop on the backs of some elderly peoples’ hands are made of lipofuscin. Because they’re rich in unsaturated fatty acids, cell membranes are the primary site of free radical attack. Proanthocyanidins are able to protect against both water- and fat-soluble free radicals. Also, their chemical structure is incorporated within cell membranes, making proanthocyanidins very effective in preventing damage to the cell’s interior. This is vital, because if a cell’s DNA is disrupted, it could lead to the abnormal reproduction of that cell. For many years now, Europeans have used pine bark and grape seed extracts to maintain vein and capillary health. Proanthocyanidins support the circulatory system by helping to keep collagen and elastin, the essential constituents of vessel walls, from breaking down during times of imbalance. And most importantly, proanthocyanidins can help prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream. Scientists now recognize that it’s not cholesterol itself, but the oxidation of cholesterol that can be problematic.
How Plantioxidants benefit different organs in the body
The Power of Diversity
In addition to the broad protection offered by Pycnogenol® and Proanthodyn, Source Naturals PYCNOGENOL® COMPLEX offers an outstanding array of other Plantioxidants. Each has unique abilities to protect the body from oxidants. For several thousand years, Green Tea has been enjoyed in the Orient, not only for its taste, but also as a health tonic. Upon analysis, it contains several strong antioxidants, called Polyphenols, with exceptional free radical scavenging abilities. Polyphenols have been shown to be over 200 times more effective than vitamin E in preventing oxidative damage to brain cells. Source Naturals uses a potent extract of green tea that concentrates 2,000 pounds of fresh green tea leaves into one pound of finished product. This extract has been awarded 30 patents for its protective effects. The ancient Ginkgo Biloba tree has long been prized for its beneficial qualities. Like proanthocyanidins, ginkgo’s compounds are able to cross the Blood-Brain Barrier, and support cell membrane and capillary integrity. Its particular antioxidant constituents have been associated with superior oxygen transport to the brain. This is important because the brain uses 20% of all inhaled oxygen. Source Naturals PYCNOGENOL® COMPLEX uses a superior 50 to 1 extract, providing 24% Ginkgoflavoneglycosides and 6% Terpenoids. Bilberries were first studied for their capacity to heighten visual acuity in normal subjects under poor light conditions. In fact, to increase their night vision, RAF pilots ate bilberry jam during WW II. Its antioxidant compounds, Anthocyanosides, have an affinity for delicate eye tissues, where it quenches free radicals and supports capillary strength. Source Naturals utilizes a standardized bilberry extract with 25% anthocyanosides, 80 times more potent than regular bilberry.
The wide range of natural antioxidants in Source Naturals PYCNOGENOL® COMPLEX
Milk Thistle Seed Extract has been researched and used for over 20 years in Europe. Its antioxidant compound, called Silymarin, has a special preference for the liver. It’s one of the few nutrients that can support the liver’s natural regenerative processes. By enhancing DNA activity, liver cells can regenerate up to five times faster. Turmeric Extract contains 95% Curcumin, the active ingredient of this traditional East Indian spice. Curcumin promotes the body’s own production of antioxidant enzymes, including glutathione peroxidase, an important protector of the liver. Curcumin also increases the production and secretion of bile, which is used to remove cholesterol from the body. Quercetin has been well-researched for its free radical scavenging activity. Because of its ability to stabilize cell membranes, quercetin helps prevent damage and discomfort from reactionary (histamine- and leukotriene-related) processes in the body. Source Naturals quercetin has been isolated from plant sources. Rosemary and Hawthorn Berries both contain bioflavonoid antioxidants that have the unique ability to neutralize the hydroxyl radical, a particularly dangerous type of free radical. Hydroxyls are produced by exposure to excessive radiation and pollution from burned fossil fuels. The body has no innate defense system against it. Vitamin C is one of the most active and abundant antioxidants in the body, so it must be frequently replenished. Since it works in conjunction with bioflavonoids, each tablet of Source Naturals PYCNOGENOL® COMPLEX contains 500 mg of vitamin C, bound to Magnesium for increased bioavailability.
A World of Help
As we better understand how free radicals affect our health and well being, it’s important that we take advantage of the wonderful protective qualities found in certain plants. These Plantioxidants provide the appropriate means to counteract the destructive effects of excessive free radicals, which have become part and parcel of modern life. Source Naturals PYCNOGENOL® COMPLEX brings the diverse and concentrated power of the plant world into your world of wellness.
PYCNOGENOL ® - The Ultimate Antioxidant
June 04, 2005 02:04 PM
Pycnogenol® is a breakthrough in antioxidant protection that demonstrates how important natural nutrition can be for your health. Antioxidants are a class of biological molecules that function to scavenge and neutralize free radicals. Free radicals are molecules with unpaired electrons that cause damage at the cellular level, and which unfortunately are unavoidable. Antioxidants – the most famous of which thus far have been Vitamin C and Vitamin E – work to protect living tissue by neutralizing free radicals, thereby interrupting many of their harmful activities. Pycnogenol®, one of the most powerful antioxidants yet discovered, is the proprietary name of a natural plant product made from the bark of the European coastal pine, Pinus maritima. It is 20 times more potent an antioxidant than Vitamin C, and 50 times more so than Vitamin E.
Free radicals are a real threat
Uniquely vulnerable targets of free radical attack that require a regular supply of antioxidants just to maintain a basic level of function include fatty acids – especially those in cell membranes – and sulfhydral proteins, which form one of the most common types of chemical bonds found in biological organisms. The importance of these substances for overall health cannot be overstated, as they are critical components not only of tissues throughout the body, but most importantly, of the principal regulatory organs – the brain and liver – and every blood vessel. Free radical attack on fatty acids – known as lipid peroxidation – and related destruction of sulfhydral proteins can lead to diminished function of cell membranes and whole organs. This, in turn, can contribute significantly to decreases in quality of life.
Free radicals are believed to be active in the development of cumulative damage to the system, as well as in many of the undesirable effects of aging. Free radicals are constantly being produced due to the natural intake of oxygen and generation of energy by the body’s cells. However, their production is heightened by pollutants such as tobacco smoke, alcohol, solvents, and oxidized cholesterol from foods. Therefore, health scientists suggest we may need to increase our intake of antioxidants either from foods or from supplements – such as Vitamin A and Beta Carotene, Vitamins C and E, Selenium, Cysteine, and now, Pycnogenol®.
Potent antioxidant protection from nature - Pycnogenol®
Originally discovered by renowned scientist Jacques Masquelier, Pycnogenol® is a natural 85% to 95% concentrate of proanthocyanidins extracted from the bark of the Maritime Pine. Proanthocyanidins are a special class of highly bioavailable, water-soluble bioflavonoids with unparalleled free radical scavenging activity. They readily cross the Blood-Brain Barrier to provide antioxidant protection to the central nervous system, and stay in the bloodstream for approximately 72 hours. Thirty years of sound European research shows that proanthocyanidins from Pycnogenol® are highly beneficial with no evidence of adverse effects, even after more than ten years of use. They also show no loss in potency after 12 years of storage.
Better health for an active life
As a potent antioxidant, Pycnogenol® is valuable for protecting the liver from free radical attack. Since the liver is the main detoxifying, nutrient-assimilating, and energy-generating organ of the body, this may mean more potential for activity in your life. Pycnogenol® may also aid recovery for athletes on strenuous workout regimes and in competition.
Healthy capillaries through healthy collagen
A major beneficiary of the protective actions of Pycnogenol® is collagen, the most abundant protein in the body. Collagen is responsible for maintaining the integrity of “ground substance,” the basic material in functional fluids, mucus linings, and connective tissue such as tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and most importantly, blood vessels linings. It is highly vulnerable to free radical attack, and a number of discomforting and depreciating processes are associated with its destruction. There is evidence showing that Pycnogenol® can provide remarkable support for the prevention of collagen destruction, and it has received much attention for its special affinity for capillaries, the smallest blood vessels. Pycnogenol® helps strengthen capillary linings in three key ways. First, Pycnogenol® functions to scavenge the free radicals that may compromise the integrity of collagen. Second, Pycnogenol® contains catechin, which is thought to stabilize collagen by forming hydrogen bonds and cross-linking collagen. Third, Pycnogenol® is Vitamin C-sparing, meaning it can fill in for C in a number of functions; this frees some Vitamin C – required for the synthesis of hydroxproline, a major structural amino acid of collagen – for use in building collagen. People who smoke and women who take oral contraceptives can reduce their heightened risk of Vitamin C depletion by taking advantage of Pycnogenol®’s Vitamin C-sparing activity.
Look to Source Naturals® for 25 mg, 50 mg, 75 mg, & 100 mg tablets of this natural wonder!
PHOSPHATIDYL SERINE (PS) - Maintain healthy cells ...
June 04, 2005 11:08 AM
All we have ever known or will ever feel, begins and ends with the hundreds of billions of nerve cells that form our brain. Without them, there can be no experience; for us, nothing would exist. Our mind and personality, the sense of who we are, emanate from this immensely intricate system of nerves. The brain’s remarkable ability to perceive and perform, remember and learn, is severely challenged by today’s social and physical environment. These environmental factors accelerate the decline in nerve cell activity that normally occurs with age. Recent clinical research is revealing how previously unrecognized nutrients can strengthen the body’s natural defenses against age-related cognitive decline. Source Naturals is proud to present the latest breakthrough in nutritional support for the brain: PHOSPHATIDYL SERINE.
Phosphatidyl Serine (PS) is a phospholipid which forms an essential part of every human cell, but it’s particularly concentrated in the membranes of nerve cells. Since the electronic messages that communicate and regulate every aspect of our lives travel along nerve cell membranes, the structural integrity of these membranes is imperative to our health. The nerve cell membrane is the site where molecules of sodium and potassium exchange electrons, causing the electrical impulse to be generated. This bio-electric current then travels along the membrane to trigger the release of neurotransmitters. These are the chemical messengers that cross synapses (gaps between nerve cells) to relay information to neighboring nerve cells. This sets other electrical currents in motion– along thousands of other nerve cells. This happens billions of times each second, and is how the brain and nerves coordinate and communicate with the rest of the body. PS has a very important function in the nerve cell membrane. As a key bio-structural molecule, PS provides vital support for the membrane proteins that enable nerve cells to communicate and grow.
Regulating the Flow
Unlike other cells in the body, nerve cells do not reproduce. Instead, they repair and rebuild themselves, using proteins called Nerve Growth Factor (NGF). Experiments verify that PS enhances the synthesis and reception of NGF, which tend to drop off radically with age.1 PS supplements enhance the cerebral cortex’s output of acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter associated with our ability to think, reason, and concentrate. PS also stimulates the synthesis and release of dopamine, related to heightened states of attention.2 The brain’s response to stress also appears to be related to PS. When healthy young men were subjected to exercise-induced stress, those taking PS had a lowered stress response. This was measured by blood levels of ACTH, the pituitary hormone that triggers the adrenals to secrete the stress hormone cortisol.3
Subjects taking PS showed increased levels of brain energy metabolism and scored higher on cognitive tests.4 Behavioral factors were also measured in elderly subjects; PS positively affected their mood states.5 Over 23 clinical trials have investigated the effect of PS supplements on more than 1200 human subjects, ages 40-93. Consistent and statistically significant results suggest that PS supports brain functions that tend to diminish with age.
Nutritional research continually reveals new potentials for wellness. Source Naturals is committed to helping people achieve a fulfilling life, and a fully functioning nervous system is central to this aim. Source Naturals PHOSPHATIDYL SERINE can help support your body’s natural regenerative processes, keeping your brain healthy and vital for a long, long time. Experience the difference with Source Naturals PHOSPHATIDYL SERINE.
May 31, 2005 04:39 PM
Acetyl-L-carnitine is truly a mind-body nutrient. It helps synthesize acetylcholine, the brain's principal neurotransmitter responsible for learning and memory. And it is a more bioavailable form of L-carnitine, an amino acid derivative that performs the vital function of transporting longchain fatty acids into the cellular mitochondria where they are oxidized to generate metabolic energy. Supplemental acetyl-L-carnitine supports the activity of brain cells that depend on acetylcholine. It can also reduce the metabolic waste products that damage cells over time. As one of the most important nutrients to help slow the aging process, acetyl-L-carnitine is at the heart of Source Naturals' commitment to empower people to take charge of their own health.
Acetylcholine is the brain's principal neurochemical of thought. Neurons need it to communicate with each other, especially to create and recall memories. Acetylcholine is also involved in muscular coordination. At neuromuscular junctions throughout the body, it tells muscles when to contract. But the efficiency of cells that use acetylcholine naturally declines with age, partly because of decreased activity of the enzyme that synthesizes this neurotransmitter.
Acetylcholine is created when the enzyme choline acetyl transferase (CAT) attaches an acetyl group to a choline molecule. CAT activity is heightened by acetyl-L-carnitine, which donates its acetyl group. Acetyl-L-carnitine is made in small amounts naturally in the body, but its production begins to decline in midlife. In well-controlled human studies, supplemental acetyl-L-carnitine slowed the progress of mental decline by notably improving attention and memory. When supplemental acetyl-L-carnitine was combined with lipoic acid (a powerful natural antioxidant), significant improvement in memory was seen in animals. Researchers said that together the two chemicals "tune up" the mitochondria, the energy-producing organelles that power all cells. Mitochondrial decay is believed to be the primary reason for age-related deterioration of cognitive function and energy levels.
Cellular Energy and Protection
As the active form of L-carnitine, acetyl L-carnitine efficiently transports long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondria where they are converted into ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the energy molecule. Animal studies suggest that supplemental acetyl L-carnitine has a positive effect on energy generation as well as on the structural integrity of aging mitochondria. By supporting fatty acid metabolism, acetyl L-carnitine also helps reduce lipofuscin, a metabolic waste product composed of damaged proteins and rancid fats. The brown "liver spots" on some elderly hands are composed of this aging pigment that gradually builds up in cells of the heart, liver, brain, and lens of the eye.
Ninety-five percent of the body's carnitine is found in muscle cells, especially in the heart where mitochondria comprise nearly 50% of a cell's volume. During prolonged exercise, muscles have a high demand for carnitine because fats can account for up to twothirds of the energy burned. L-carnitine supplements can increase exercise endurance and reduce fatigue. Acetyl L-carnitine is also a key nutrient in Source Naturals' legendary neuroceutical formulas MEGAMIND™ and HIGHER MIND™. And because acetyl L-carnitine also generates the basic energy that affects all biological and mental processes, this mind-body nutrient is one of the few nutritional compounds with such a broad range of action in maintaining youthful functioning. Source Naturals ACETYL L-CARNITINE is therefore an essential part of a smart strategy to live well, age well.
Carta A. and M. Calvani. Acetyl-L-carnitine: a drug able to slow the progress of Alzheimer's disease? Ann NY Acad Sci 1991; 640: 228-232. Hagen T.M. et al. August 4, 1998. Acetyl-L-carnitine fed to old rats partially restores mitochondrial function and ambulatory activity. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 95(16):9562-6. Liu J. et al. February 19, 2002. Age-associated mitochondrial oxidative decay: Improvement of carnitine acetyltransferase substrate-binding affinity and activity in brain by feeding old rats acetyl-L-carnitine and/or R-alpha-lipoic acid. PNAS 99(4):1876-81. Spagnoli A.U. et al. 1991. Long-term acetyl-L-carnitine treatment in Alzheimer’s disease. Neurology. 41(11):1726-1732.