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Study: Astragalus can improve symptoms of pulmonary arterial hypertension Darrell Miller 5/10/19
The incredible immune booster many have never heard of Darrell Miller 6/24/18
What Herbs Are Good For Boosting The Immune System? Darrell Miller 3/25/12
Can Astragalus Help Boost the Immune System? Darrell Miller 2/24/11
Astragalus Darrell Miller 5/31/08
VitaBerry Plus+ Fact Sheet Darrell Miller 12/7/05
Astragalus Fact Sheet Darrell Miller 12/7/05
Immune Renew Fact Sheet Darrell Miller 12/7/05
Fight Hay Fever - Help Your Sinus... Darrell Miller 7/11/05
Hayfever & Allergies - Herbs To Help You Breathe Easier Darrell Miller 6/30/05
The important role the liver plays in maintaining health Darrell Miller 6/21/05
Are Standardized Herbs Better? Darrell Miller 6/17/05
Breathe Easy Darrell Miller 6/14/05
Move it and Lose it! Burn off body fat! Darrell Miller 6/14/05
Breathe Easy - Don't underestimate the danger of asthma. Darrell Miller 6/12/05
Allergy Alleviation Darrell Miller 6/10/05
Intimate Response - The Freedom to Change. Boost intimacy Darrell Miller 6/2/05



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Study: Astragalus can improve symptoms of pulmonary arterial hypertension
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Date: May 10, 2019 02:20 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (support@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Study: Astragalus can improve symptoms of pulmonary arterial hypertension





Astragalus is known in Chinese medicine because it has been used by the Chinese for centuries as a medicinal herb. Recent researchers have backed up the healing claims of the plant. In a new study that was done in China, Chinese researchers have discovered that polysaccharide extracts from astragalus can be effective against pulmonary arterial hypertension. To carry out the study they fed rats with monocrotaline in order to induce pulmonary arterial hypertension in them. Then they gave the rats 200 milligrams per kilogram of astragalus polysaccharides once in every two days for a period of two weeks. The results were positive. It was found that the polysaccharides of astragalus reduced the hypertension of the pulmonary artery induced by monocrotaline in rats. There were other benefits that were discovered. The treatment with the polysaccharide of astragalus also eliminated oxidative stress, promoted vasodilation, and reduced inflammation in the rats. All these suggest that astragalus lowers the blood pressure in individuals. The findings of the study were then published in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine with the authors stating that astragalus can be used to eliminate symptoms of pulmonary arterial hypertension in individuals.

Key Takeaways:

  • Astragalus is also known as huang qi and it has been used in Chinese medicine for hundreds of years while its beneficial effects has been backed up by research.
  • In a new study that was published by Chinese researchers, it was found that the polysaccharides in astragalus can be used to help patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension.
  • In the study the researchers administered monocrotaline in rats in order to induce pulmonary arterial hypertension and then administered astragalus polysaccharides to them for two weeks.

"In China, astragalus is one of the herbs commonly prescribed to help with diabetes management. Research has also shown that the active compounds in astragalus may help in reducing blood sugar levels in people with Type 2 diabetes. Lab trials have shown that it improves metabolism, reduce blood sugar levels, and aid in weight loss."

Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-04-17-astragalus-improves-symptoms-of-pulmonary-arterial-hypertension.html

Even CBD can help reduce hypertension.

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The incredible immune booster many have never heard of
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Date: June 24, 2018 05:54 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (support@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: The incredible immune booster many have never heard of





The incredible immune booster many have never heard of

Astragalus, also known as Huangqi or Milkvetch, is a relative of the pea plant with remarkable adaptogenic qualities that can help boost your resilience against various types of physical and mental stress. Astragalus delivers a potent mix of anti inflammatory, antibacterial and immune system-boosting compounds that can help bolster your natural defense system and stimulate production of antibodies. Astragalus is easily grown in the garden in most U.S. regions, and can be prepared for consumption as an oil, tea, tincture, etc.

Key Takeaways:

  • Astragalus — also known as Huangqi or Milkvetch — is an herb with adaptogenic compounds that can boost immunity and reduce inflammation to make you more resilient against stress.
  • Astragalus requires a fair amount of care and maintenance, but grows relatively well in most U.S regional climates in partial shade or full sun.
  • Astragalus can be prepared and consumed as an oil, a tea, or a tincture, and can also be added to chicken soup and other dishes as well.

"For medical use, the root is made into powder, herbal decoctions, tea, capsules and ointments."

Read more: https://www.healthnutnews.com/the-incredible-immune-booster-many-have-never-heard-of/

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What Herbs Are Good For Boosting The Immune System?
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Date: March 25, 2012 03:11 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: What Herbs Are Good For Boosting The Immune System?

Herbs for Immunity

The immunity system comprises a network of organs, cells and tissues that are responsible for your overall wellness. The status of your immunity system mainly depends on your feeding habits. The foods you eat supply you with vital nutrients and minerals that help protect you from diseases. The white blood cells in your body are also endowed with the role of defending your body against diseases. There are herbs that help increase the number of white blood cells, while others produce immunity cells thus boosting your immunity system. The following are the best herbs that are good for boosting the immune system:

Astragalus

Astragalus is a traditional Chinese herb that is locally known as Huang-Qi. The roots of this herb are used for a wide range of purposes, one of which is to boost the immune system. This is because of its ability to increase the number of T-cells and interferon.

Astragalus is also used to treat inflammatory conditions, liver problems, viral and bacterial infections, lack of appetite, short breath, stomach ulcers, flu, common cold, diabetes, stress, hypertension and body weakness. This herb also interferes with the growth of cancerous tumors, and has thus been used as a natural aid during chemotherapy treatments.

Echinacea

Echinacea is a group of herbs popular within the American market, which are also known as black susans, Indian head, American cone flower, or Kansas snake root. The popular species of Echinacea are E. pallid, E. purpurea and E. angustifolia.

These herbs have been used for ages as natural immune boosters because of their ability to increase the number of WBC as well as spleen cells in your body. They also increase the number of natural immune chemicals such as immuno globin, interferon and interleukin. When White Blood Cells increase, they give your body maximum protection against antigens that interfere with your overall wellness. The phenolic compounds found in the flowers, roots and leaves of Echinacea herbs are the ones that facilitate this immuno stimulating function.

They are also natural remedies for common colds, respiratory infections, skin complications and Urinary tract infections. These herbs can suppress your immunity if taken habitually. Therefore, it is recommended that you use the herb only when you suspect infection. It is also advisable for you to limit the intake of Echinacea to a week because overuse may generate unbearable symptoms.

Golden seal

This herb is also known as Ground Raspberry, Yellow Root, Orange Root, Wild Curcuma, Indian Dye, Indian Paint, Jaundice Root or Indian Plant. It is a medicinal herb that contains berberine, canadine and hydrastine alkanoids. Golden seal also contains vital vitamins and minerals that are needed for strong immunity system.

One of the benefits of Golden Seal is that it serves as an immuno stimulant, especially when blended with echinacea. It has also been used to treat various medical conditions such as inflammation, herpes and common cold. It also has tonic and antiseptic qualities. You can also use it externally to cure sores and itchy sensations.

So if you want an immune boost, give one of these herbs a try!

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Can Astragalus Help Boost the Immune System?
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Date: February 24, 2011 01:31 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Can Astragalus Help Boost the Immune System?

Astragalus

What we refer to as the herbal astragalus is actually a large number of plant species in the family Fabaceae, the same group of shrubs that we commonly identify as peas, beans, or legumes. Many of these species have been utilized in folk medicine of different communities all over the world, but the majority of herbal extracts made available as nutritional supplements today come from Astragalus propinquus, or Astragalus membranaceus.

Astragalus may be best known for its touted modulating effects to the immune system largely owing to the fact that it has enjoyed a very long history as a health tonic both in the East and the West. It is an important ingredient in Traditional Chinese Medicine, valued for its reinvigorating effects to what they call defensive energy of life. It is known by the name of Huang Qi in China, where most of the recent studies on this herb take place.

Regulates Interferon Releases

There are a number of studies that link astragalus to HIV in that it is purported to combat replication of viruses and inhibit growth of pathogenic microbes. To be more specific, it is believed to have an influence on the production of proteins called interferon, or IFNs. A type of white blood cell in the employ of the immune system called lymphocytes release interferon whenever the body detects the presence of viruses, bacteria, parasites, or even tumors. In addition, IFNs activate natural killer cells, which target cells infected with viruses and tissues afflicted with tumor, and program them to die.

Stimulates the Healing Process

It is also postulated that astragalus has an augmenting effect on the healing process by interfering with inflammatory agents. There are organic compounds called eicosanoids that are released by the body in larger amounts to facilitate healing of wounds or infections through the process of inflammation. These compounds work hand in hand with the immune system in removing the pathogens that cause infections and initiate the reversal of damages done by these pathogens. If inflammation takes place longer than it is supposed to, the area affected will have to deal with prolonged pain, redness, and swelling. Astragalus works on the principle of maintaining healthy releases of eicosanoids, the reason why it is used as a treatment for arthritis, dermatitis, asthma, and other autoimmune diseases.

Produces Homeostatic Effects

Astragalus has shown to be involved in many metabolic processes, maintaining stability of organic compounds from the foods we eat that reach the circulation. There have been mentions that it is particularly good for the lungs, adrenal glands, and alimentary canal by improving their functions and acting as a buffer to any unwanted debris that may attack the cells that make up these organs.

Be reminded that astragalus has been associated with a long list of health benefits, but none of these have yielded strong scientific support. It is safe to assume that testimonials are influenced by anecdotal evidence and initial results of studies that are yet to be concluded.

Have you tried Astragalus?

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Astragalus
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Date: May 31, 2008 10:15 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Astragalus

The immune system protects the body from disease, illness, parasites and other abnormalities. The immune system is a delicate balance of things working together to keep the body well. When something is out of line, the body is more susceptible to colds, viruses and more serious diseases. That's why it is so important to take care of your body and strengthen your immune system with astragalus.


Boosting Your Immune System

Boost your immune system to strengthen the heart and lungs, protect the eyes, heal the skin and improve the body's functions. You can enhance your immune system with an herbal boost of astragalus, also known as Huang-qi. Astragalus is an herb from the legume family. It has been used for many years in Chinese medicine and made its debut in the U.S. in the 1980s. It is used to enhance the immune system, for chronic hepatitis, in cancer therapy, to prevent colds, help fight upper respiratory infections and prevent heart disease.

Astragalus contains powerful antioxidants that strengthen the body in many ways. It acts as an antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and diuretic. It increases the production of immune cells to heal the body.


Things that Affect Your Immune System

Poor eating habits, a sedentary lifestyle, smoking, drugs, alcohol, environmental toxins, stress and lack of sleep chip away at the effectiveness of your immune system to fight disease. Each of these things takes away from your overall health and well-being. They break down the healthy functioning of your immune system. When this happens, you can expect to feel weak and run down, to be susceptible to colds and the flu and more likely to be affected by disease. When your immune system is not functioning well, germs can easily penetrate the body and wreak havoc on your organs.

Protecting the Immune System

Choosing a healthy lifestyle is the single most important factor in protecting your immune system. You can cause serious damage to your body by filling it with toxins. This includes inhaling cigarette smoke, consuming alcohol, drinking sodas and other sugary drinks, and eating too many pre-packaged foods. By eliminating these things, you will be able to better protect your health. Make healthy lifestyle changes to boost your immune system. Get plenty of sleep, eat lots of fruits and vegetables, stop smoking and get more exercise on a daily basis. Stop and think about everything before you put it in your body. Consider the damage you may be doing to yourself by breaking down your immune system.

Astragalus Helps Strengthen Your Immune System

Lifestyle changes are important for your total health. There are some other things you can do to enhance your immune system though. Taking the herb astragalus is one example. It helps the body adapt to its surroundings and cope with the bacteria and germs you frequently come in contact with. When your defenses are low, it's easy for bacteria and germs to invade your body and make it a toxic environment.

You know your immune system isn't working properly if you catch cold after cold. Your body is more susceptible to illness. Your goal should be to make your defenses strong and keep illness at bay. The astragalus herb can help.

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VitaBerry Plus+ Fact Sheet
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Date: December 07, 2005 05:38 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: VitaBerry Plus+ Fact Sheet

VitaBerry Plus+ Fact Sheet

Neil E. Levin, CCN, DANLA 3/18/05

LIKELY USERS: Antioxidant users who want the best food source formula; People seeking polyphenols or ellagic acid supplements; Those who don’t eat fruit and want some of their benefits

KEY INGREDIENTS: VitaBerry extract, Hi-Active Orange Extract, Pomegranate Extract (420 mg) (400 mg) (100 mg)

MAIN PRODUCT FEATURES: This is a high antioxidant (high ORAC: 2,500 units per serving of oxygen radical absorbing capacity), proprietary blend of fruit extracts & concentrated powders containing Wild Blueberry extract, Grape & Grape seed extract, Raspberry & Raspberry seed extract, Cranberry, Prune, Tart Cherry, Wild Bilberry extract & Strawberry powder. Fortified with Hi-Active Orange Extract (Freeze-dried Orange (Citrus sinensis) powder with minimum of 40% vitamin C) and Pomegranate Extract (80% Polyphenols and 40% Ellagic Acid).

Provides a broad-spectrum antioxidant blend with phytochemicals such as anthocyanins, chlorogenic acid, ellagic acid, quinic acid, resveratrol etc. in a single “0” size vegetarian capsule. There is a synergistic effect of mixing fruit antioxidants that provides antioxidant protection greater than is predicted by measuring each fruit source used in the mix individually.

ADDITIONAL PRODUCT USE INFORMATION & QUALITY ISSUES: There will be some natural variation in color, taste and odor from these fruit sources. A special freeze drying technique preserves the antioxidant value of whole fruits in a concentrated form.

SERVING SIZE & HOW TO TAKE IT: Serving is 2 Vcaps. Take one or more servings per day as an antioxidant supplement. May be taken with food or on an empty stomach (this is food).

COMPLEMENTARY PRODUCTS: All antioxidants.

CAUTIONS: Pregnant and lactating women and people using prescription drugs should consult their physician before taking any dietary supplement. This information is based on my own knowledge and references, and should not be used as diagnosis, prescription or as a specific product claim. This information has not been reviewed by the FDA or the company posting it. Information given here may vary from what is given on the product label because this page represents my understanding of the science underlying the formula and ingredients. When taking any new formula, use common sense and cautiously increase to the full dose over time.

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

REFERENCES:

Bagchi D, Sen CK, Bagchi M, Atalay M. Anti-angiogenic, antioxidant, and anti-carcinogenic properties of a novel anthocyanin-rich berry extract formula. Biochemistry (Mosc). 2004 Jan;69(1):75-80, 1 p preceding 75. Review. PMID: 14972022

Gemma C, Mesches MH, Sepesi B, Choo K, Holmes DB, Bickford PC. Diets enriched in foods with high antioxidant activity reverse age-induced decreases in cerebellar beta-adrenergic function and increases in proinflammatory cytokines. J Neurosci. 2002 Jul 15;22(14):6114-20. PMID: 12122072

Huang D, Ou B, Prior RL. The Chemistry behind Antioxidant Capacity Assays. J Agric Food Chem. 2005 Mar 23;53(6):1841-1856. PMID: 15769103

Kay CD, Holub BJ. The effect of wild blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium) consumption on postprandial serum antioxidant status in human subjects. Br J Nutr. 2002 Oct;88(4):389-98. PMID: 12323088

Mazza G, Kay CD, Cottrell T, Holub BJ. Absorption of anthocyanins from blueberries and serum antioxidant status in human subjects. J Agric Food Chem. 2002 Dec 18;50(26):7731-7. PMID: 12475297

Prior RL, Cao G. Analysis of botanicals and dietary supplements for antioxidant capacity: a review. J AOAC Int. 2000 Jul-Aug;83(4):950-6. Review. PMID: 10995120

Prior RL, Cao G. In vivo total antioxidant capacity: comparison of different analytical methods. Free Radic Biol Med. 1999 Dec;27(11-12):1173-81. Review. PMID: 10641708

Prior RL, Hoang H, Gu L, Wu X, Bacchiocca M, Howard L, Hampsch-Woodill M, Huang D, Ou B, Jacob R. Assays for hydrophilic and lipophilic antioxidant capacity (oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC(FL))) of plasma and other biological and food samples. J Agric Food Chem. 2003 May 21;51(11):3273-9. PMID: 12744654

Proteggente AR, Pannala AS, Paganga G, Van Buren L, Wagner E, Wiseman S, Van De Put F, Dacombe C, Rice-Evans CA. The antioxidant activity of regularly consumed fruit and vegetables reflects their phenolic and vitamin C composition. Free Radic Res. 2002 Feb;36(2):217-33. PMID: 11999391

Roy S, Khanna S, Alessio HM, Vider J, Bagchi D, Bagchi M, Sen CK. Anti-angiogenic property of edible berries. Free Radic Res. 2002 Sep;36(9):1023-31. PMID: 12448828

Sofic E, Rustembegovic A, Kroyer G, Cao G. Serum antioxidant capacity in neurological, psychiatric, renal diseases and cardiomyopathy. J Neural Transm. 2002 May;109(5-6):711-9. PMID: 12111462

Stintzing FC, Stintzing AS, Carle R, Frei B, Wrolstad RE. Color and antioxidant properties of cyanidin-based anthocyanin pigments. J Agric Food Chem. 2002 Oct 9;50(21):6172-81. PMID: 12358498

Wu X, Beecher GR, Holden JM, Haytowitz DB, Gebhardt SE, Prior RL. Lipophilic and hydrophilic antioxidant capacities of common foods in the United States. J Agric Food Chem. 2004 Jun 16;52(12):4026-37. PMID: 15186133

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Vitanet ®

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Astragalus Fact Sheet
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Date: December 07, 2005 01:15 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Astragalus Fact Sheet

Astragalus Fact Sheet

Neil E. Levin, CCN, DANLA 02/10/05

LIKELY USERS: Everyone seeking a healthy immune system; Those lacking energy

KEY INGREDIENTS: Astragalus Root Extract Powder 70% polysaccharides (200 mg)

MAIN PRODUCT FEATURES: A Chinese “tonic herb” used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for night sweats, diarrhea and lack of energy. Tonic herbs are often known as “adaptogens”, helping the body adapt to stresses and modulating immune system responses. Some reports credit Astragalus with shortening colds and strengthening the heart.Astragalus additionally contains triterpene glycosides, also known as astragalosides.

ADDITIONAL PRODUCT INFORMATION: Vegetarian formula.May be useful to maintain the patient’s immunity in dialysis patients, those with liver problems and those who have suffered from strokes, according to Chinese studies (not as a treatment for those conditions!).

SERVING SIZE & HOW TO TAKE IT: For everyday use take one to five caps per day, either with meals or on an empty stomach.

COMPLEMENTARY PRODUCTS: Immune Renew, Inositol Hexaphosphate (IP-6), I3C, Pometrol, mixed carotenoids and other antioxidants.

CAUTIONS: Pregnant & lactating women, children and people using prescription drugs should consult their physician before taking any dietary supplement. Do not take with AIDS drugs or if you have an autoimmune disease, though there is some (not enough) evidence that Astragalus may balance immune function for at least one autoimmune disorder. This information is based on my own knowledge and these references, but should not be used as diagnosis, prescription or as specific product claims.

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

REFERENCES: 1. Ooi VE, Liu F. Immunomodulation and anti-cancer activity of polysaccharide-protein complexes. Curr Med Chem. 2000 Jul;7(7):715-29.
2. Zhang YD, Shen JP, Zhu SH, Huang DK, Ding Y, Zhang XL. Effects of astragalus (ASI, SK) on experimental liver injury Yao Xue Xue Bao. 1992;27(6):401-6. Chinese. PMID: 1442065
3. Sheng BW, Chen XF, Zhao J, He DL, Nan XY. Astragalus membranaceus reduces free radical-mediated injury to renal tubules in rabbits receiving high-energy shock waves. Chin Med J (Engl). 2005 Jan;118(1):43-9. PMID: 15642225
4. Yesilada E, Bedir E, Calis I, Takaishi Y, Ohmoto Y. Effects of triterpene saponins from Astragalus species on in vitro cytokine release. J Ethnopharmacol. 2005 Jan 4;96(1-2):71-7. PMID: 15588652
5. Li C, Cao L, Zeng Q. Astragalus prevents diabetic rats from developing cardiomyopathy by downregulating angiotensin II type2 receptors' expression. J Huazhong Univ Sci Technolog Med Sci. 2004;24(4):379-84. PMID: 15587404
6. Wang SH, Wang WJ, Wang XF, Chen W. [Effect of Astragalus polysaccharides and berberine on carbohydrate metabolism and cell differentiation in 3T3-L1 adipocytes]. Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi. 2004 Oct;24(10):926-8. Chinese. PMID: 15553830
7. Shao BM, Dai H, Xu W, Lin ZB, Gao XM. Immune receptors for polysaccharides from Ganoderma lucidum. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2004 Oct 8;323(1):133-41. PMID: 15351712
8. Mao SP, Cheng KL, Zhou YF. [Modulatory effect of Astragalus membranaceus on Th1/Th2 cytokine in patients with herpes simplex keratitis]. Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi. 2004 Feb;24(2):121-3. Chinese. PMID: 15015443
9. Guo FC, Williams BA, Kwakkel RP, Li HS, Li XP, Luo JY, Li WK, Verstegen MW. Effects of mushroom and herb polysaccharides, as alternatives for an antibiotic, on the cecal microbial ecosystem in broiler chickens. Poult Sci. 2004 Feb;83(2):175-82.
10. Shao BM, Xu W, Dai H, Tu P, Li Z, Gao XM. A study on the immune receptors for polysaccharides from the roots of Astragalus membranaceus, a Chinese medicinal herb. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2004 Aug 6;320(4):1103-11. PMID: 15249203
11. Zhang BQ, Hu SJ, Shan QX, Sun J, Xia Q. [Relaxant effect of Astragalus membranaceus on smooth muscle cells of rat thoracic aorta.] Zhejiang Da Xue Xue Bao Yi Xue Ban. 2005 Jan;34(1):65-8. Chinese. PMID: 15693127
12. Luo Y, Qin Z, Hong Z, Zhang X, Ding D, Fu JH, Zhang WD, Chen J. Astragaloside IV protects against ischemic brain injury in a murine model of transient focal ischemia. Neurosci Lett. 2004 Jun 17;363(3):218-23. PMID: 15182947
13. Tan BK, Vanitha J. Immunomodulatory and antimicrobial effects of some traditional chinese medicinal herbs: a review. Curr Med Chem. 2004 Jun;11(11):1423-30.
14. Shu HY. Oriental Materia Medica: A Concise Guide. Palos Verdes, CA: Oriental Healing Arts Press, 1986, 521–3. 15. Klepser T, Nisly N. Astragalus as an adjunctive therapy in immunocompromised patients. Alt Med Alert 1999;Nov:125–8 [review].
16. Qun L, Luo Q, Zhang ZY, et al. Effects of astragalus on IL-2/IL-2R system in patients with maintained hemodialysis. Clin Nephrol 1999;52:333–4 [letter].
17. Tang W, Eisenbrand G. Chinese Drugs of Plant Origin. Berlin: Springer Verlag, 1992, 1056.
18. Li SQ, Yuan RX, Gao H. Clinical observation on the treatment of ischemic heart disease with Astragalus membranaceus. Chung Kuo Chung His I Chieh Ho Tsa Chih 1995;15:77–80 [in Chinese].
19. Chen LX, Liao JX, Guo WQ. Effects of Astragalus membranaceus on Left Ventricular Function and Oxygen Free Radical in Acute Myocardial Infarction Patients and Mechanism of Its Cardiotonic Action. Chung Kuo Chung Hsi I Chieh Ho Tsa Chih. Mar1995;15(3):141-3.
20. Lei ZY, Qin H, Liao JZ. Action of Astragalus membranaceus on Left Ventricular Function of Angina Pectoris. Chung Kuo Chung Hsi I Chieh Ho Tsa Chih. Apr1994;14(4):199-202,195.
21. Geng CS, et al. Advances in Immuno-pharmacological Studies on Astragalus membranaceus. Chin J Integ Trad West Med. 1986;6:62.
22. Shi HM, et al. Intervention of Lidocaine and Astragalus membranaceus on Ventricular Late Potentials. Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi. Oct1994;14(10):598-600.
23. Griga IV. Effect of a Summary Preparation of Astragalus cicer on the Blood Pressure of Rats with Renal Hypertension and on the Oxygen Consumption by the Tissues. Farm Zh. 1977;6:64-66.
24. Kurashige S, Akuzawa Y, Endo F. Effects of astragali radix extract on carcinogenesis, cytokine production, and cytotoxicity in mice treated with a carcinogen, N-butyl-N'-butanolnitrosoamine. Cancer Invest. 1999;17(1):30-5.
25. Wei H, Sun R, Xiao W, et al. Traditional Chinese medicine Astragalus reverses predominance of Th2 cytokines and their up-stream transcript factors in lung cancer patients. Oncol Rep. Sep2003;10(5):1507-12.
26. PDR for Herbal Medicines, 2nd edition. Montvale, NJ: Medical Economics Company; 2000:56. American Herbal Products Association. Use of Marker Compounds in Manufacturing and Labeling Botanically Derived Dietary Supplements. Silver Spring, MD: American Herbal Products Association; 2001.



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Vitanet ®

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Immune Renew Fact Sheet
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Date: December 07, 2005 01:07 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Immune Renew Fact Sheet

Immune Renew Fact Sheet Neil E. Levin, CCN, DANLA 02/10/05

LIKELY USERS: Everyone seeking a healthy immune system; People on low carb diets or non-whole grain diets that are lacking dietary beta-glucans

KEY INGREDIENTS: Astragalus Root Extract Powder 70% polysaccharides (200 mg). Proprietary blend of 8 organically grown “medicinal mushrooms” (200 mg)

MAIN PRODUCT FEATURES: Vegetarian formula. Polysaccharides in these US-grown mushrooms grown on organic brown rice include 1,3 Beta-glucans and terpenoids. Beta-glucans may stimulate the immune system in different ways. Triterpenoids may act as mild anticoagulants. Each mushroom may have a different effect; for example, one may stimulate T-cells and another Natural Killer cells, aiding in immune defense. Mushrooms have reported beneficial effects on liver health and promoting normal cell growth.

ADDITIONAL PRODUCT INFORMATION: Some extracts from these kinds of mushrooms have been used medicinally in Japan and China. The mushrooms include Turkey Tail, Sun Mushrooms, Maitake, Cordyceps, Phellinus, Lion’s Mane, Reishi and Shiitake. The astragalus extract also contains naturally occurring astragalosides. Mushrooms may help maintain normal cholesterol and triglyceride levels

SERVING SIZE & HOW TO TAKE IT: For everyday use take one or two caps per day, either with meals or on an empty stomach.

COMPLEMENTARY PRODUCTS: Vitamin C to break down beta-glucan structures for better absorption, Inositol Hexaphosphate (IP-6), I3C, Pometrol, mixed carotenoids and antioxidants

CAUTIONS: Pregnant and lactating women and people using prescription drugs should consult their physician before taking any dietary supplement. Do not take with AIDS drugs or if you have an autoimmune disease. Use with caution if using anticoagulants or blood pressure medication, as these mushrooms may have mildly synergistic effects to those drugs. Do not use if you have mold or mushroom allergies (or any sensitivities to mushrooms, cheese, etc.), which can potentially result in hives, rashes, breathing difficulties (including dry mouth or throat), stomach distress, diarrhea, or any other unusual side effect.

This information is based on my own knowledge and these references, but should not be used as diagnosis, prescription or as specific product claims.

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

REFERENCES:

1. Hobbs C. Medicinal Mushrooms. Santa Cruz, CA: Botanica Press, 1995
2. Wasser SP, Weis AL. Therapeutic effects of substances occurring in higher Basidiomycetes mushrooms: a modern perspective. Crit Rev Immunol. 1999;19(1):65-96.
3. Wasser SP. Medicinal mushrooms as a source of antitumor and immunomodulating polysaccharides. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2002 Nov;60(3):258-74. Epub 2002 Sep 10.
4. Nanba H, Hamaguchi AM, Kuroda H. The chemical structure of an antitumor polysaccharide in fruit bodies of Grifola frondosa (maitake). Chem Pharm Bull 1987;35:1162–8.
5. Yamada Y, Nanba H, Kuroda H. Antitumor effect of orally administered extracts from fruit body of Grifola frondosa (maitake). Chemotherapy 1990;38:790–6.
6. Nanba H. Immunostimulant activity in vivo and anti-HIV activity in vitro of 3 branched b-1–6-glucans extracted from maitake mushrooms (Grifola frondosa). VIII International Conference on AIDS, Amsterdam, 1992 [abstract].
7. Kubo K, Nanba H. Anti-hyperliposis effect of maitake fruit body (Grifola frondosa). I. Biol Pharm Bull 1997;20:781–5.
8. Adachi K, Nanba H, Otsuka M, Kuroda H. Blood pressure lowering activity present in the fruit body of Grifola frondosa (maitake). Chem Pharm Bull 1988;36:1000–6.
9. Jones K. Shiitake: A major medicinal mushroom. Alt Compl Ther 1998;4:53–9 [review].
10. Taguchi I. Clinical efficacy of lentinan on patients with stomach cancer: End point results of a four-year follow-up survey. Cancer Detect Prevent Suppl 1987;1:333–49.
11. Matsuoka H, Seo Y, Wakasugi H, et al. Lentinan potentiates immunity and prolongs survival time of some patients. Anticancer Res 1997;17:2751–6.
12. Guangwen Y, Jianbin Y, Dongqin L, et al. Immunomodulatory and therapeutic effects of lentinan in treating condyloma acuminata. CJIM 1999;5:190–2.
13. Jones K. Reishi mushroom: Ancient medicine in modern times. Alt Compl Ther 1998;4:256–66 [review].
14. Kammatsuse K, Kajiware N, Hayashi K. Studies on Ganoderma lucidum: I. Efficacy against hypertension and side effects. Yakugaku Zasshi 1985;105:531–3.
15. Jin H, Zhang G, Cao X, et al. Treatment of hypertension by ling zhi combined with hypotensor and its effects on arterial, arteriolar and capillary pressure and microcirculation. In: Nimmi H, Xiu RJ, Sawada T, Zheng C. (eds). Microcirculatory Approach to Asian Traditional Medicine. New York: Elsevier Science, 1996, 131–8.
16. Suzuki H, et al. Immunopotentiating Substances in Lentinus edodes Mycelial Extract(LEM)-- Activation of Macrophage and Proliferation of Bone Marrow Cell. Nippon Shokakibyo Gakkai Zasshi. Jul1988;85(7): 1430.
17. Suzuki H, et al. Inhibition of the Infectivity and Cytopathic Effect of Human Immunodeficiency Virus by Water-soluble Lignin in an Extract of the Culture Medium of Lentinus edodes Mycelia (LEM). Biochem Biophys Res Commun. Apr1989;160(1):367-73.
18. Gordon M, et al. A Placebo-controlled Trial of the Immune Modulator, Lentinan, In HIV-positive Patients: A Phase I/II Trial. J Med. 1998;29(5-6):305-30.
19. Li JF, et al. Study on the Enhancing Effect of Polyporus Polysaccharide, Mycobacterium Polysaccharide and Lentinan on Lymphokine-activated Killer Cell Activity in vitro. Chung Kuo Chung Hsi I Chieh Ho Tsa Chih. Apr1996;16(4):224-26.
20. Li KR, et al. Anti-atherosclerotic Properties of Higher Mushrooms (a Clinico-experimental Investigation. Vopr Pitan. Jan1989;1:16-19.
21. Shouji N, et al. Anticaries Effect of a Component From Shiitake (An Edible Mushroom). Caries Res. Feb2000;34(1):94-98.
22. Levy AM. Eosinophilia and Gastrointestinal Symptoms After Ingestion of Shiitake Mushrooms. J Allergy Clin Immunol. May1998;101(5):613-20.
23. Zjawiony JK. Biologically active compounds from Aphyllophorales (polypore) fungi. J Nat Prod. 2004 Feb;67(2):300-10.
24. Oliva D. Cellular and physiological effects of Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi). Mini Rev Med Chem. 2004 Oct;4(8):873-9.
25. Ooi VE, Liu F. Immunomodulation and anti-cancer activity of polysaccharide-protein complexes. Curr Med Chem. 2000 Jul;7(7):715-29.
26. Borchers AT, Stern JS, Hackman RM, Keen CL, Gershwin ME. Mushrooms, tumors, and immunity. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med. 1999 Sep;221(4):281-93.
27. Mau JL, Lin HC, Chen CC. Antioxidant properties of several medicinal mushrooms. J Agric Food Chem. 2002 Oct 9;50(21):6072-7.
28. Hirasawa M, Shouji N, Neta T, Fukushima K, Takada K. Three kinds of antibacterial substances from Lentinus edodes (Berk.) Sing. (Shiitake, an edible mushroom). Int J Antimicrob Agents. 1999 Feb;11(2):151-7.
29. Rajewska J, Balasinska B. Biologically active compounds of edible mushrooms and their beneficial impact on health. Postepy Hig Med Dosw (Online). 2004 Oct 5;58:352-7.
30. Chang R. Functional properties of edible mushrooms. Nutr Rev. 1996 Nov;54(11 Pt 2):S91-3.
31. Lin ZB, Zhang HN. Anti-tumor and immunoregulatory activities of Ganoderma lucidum and its possible mechanisms. Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2004 Nov;25(11):1387-95. PMID: 15525457
32. Cheung NK, Modak S, Vickers A, Knuckles B. Orally administered beta-glucans enhance anti-tumor effects of monoclonal antibodies. Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2002 Nov;51(10):557-64. Epub 2002 Sep 20. PMID: 12384807
33. Shamtsyan M, Konusova V, Maksimova Y, Goloshchev A, Panchenko A, Simbirtsev A, Petrishchev N, Denisova N. Immunomodulating and anti-tumor action of extracts of several mushrooms. J Biotechnol. 2004 Sep 30;113(1-3):77-83. PMID: 15380649
34. Zhang YD, Shen JP, Zhu SH, Huang DK, Ding Y, Zhang XL. Effects of astragalus (ASI, SK) on experimental liver injury Yao Xue Xue Bao. 1992;27(6):401-6. Chinese. PMID: 1442065
35. Sheng BW, Chen XF, Zhao J, He DL, Nan XY. Astragalus membranaceus reduces free radical-mediated injury to renal tubules in rabbits receiving high-energy shock waves. Chin Med J (Engl). 2005 Jan;118(1):43-9. PMID: 15642225
36. Yesilada E, Bedir E, Calis I, Takaishi Y, Ohmoto Y. Effects of triterpene saponins from Astragalus species on in vitro cytokine release. J Ethnopharmacol. 2005 Jan 4;96(1-2):71-7. PMID: 15588652
37. Li C, Cao L, Zeng Q. Astragalus prevents diabetic rats from developing cardiomyopathy by downregulating angiotensin II type2 receptors' expression. J Huazhong Univ Sci Technolog Med Sci. 2004;24(4):379-84. PMID: 15587404
38. Wang SH, Wang WJ, Wang XF, Chen W. [Effect of Astragalus polysaccharides and berberine on carbohydrate metabolism and cell differentiation in 3T3-L1 adipocytes]. Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi. 2004 Oct;24(10):926-8. Chinese. PMID: 15553830
39. Shao BM, Dai H, Xu W, Lin ZB, Gao XM. Immune receptors for polysaccharides from Ganoderma lucidum. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2004 Oct 8;323(1):133-41. PMID: 15351712
40. Mao SP, Cheng KL, Zhou YF. [Modulatory effect of Astragalus membranaceus on Th1/Th2 cytokine in patients with herpes simplex keratitis]. Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi. 2004 Feb;24(2):121-3. Chinese. PMID: 15015443
41. Guo FC, Williams BA, Kwakkel RP, Li HS, Li XP, Luo JY, Li WK, Verstegen MW. Effects of mushroom and herb polysaccharides, as alternatives for an antibiotic, on the cecal microbial ecosystem in broiler chickens. Poult Sci. 2004 Feb;83(2):175-82.



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Fight Hay Fever - Help Your Sinus...
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Date: July 11, 2005 09:15 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Fight Hay Fever - Help Your Sinus...

HANDLING SPRING(HAY)

The National Institute of Health’s branch of Allergy and Infectious Diseases re p o rt that 40 to 50 million Americans suffer from allergies in one form or another. Many experience food allergies that a re treated somewhat diff e rently from hay fever allergies. Hay fever comes from airborne allergens, generally from pollen or pollutants.

The symptoms of allergy occur when an immune system is overactive. The immune system often recognizes something as foreign and treats it as foreign by attacking it, when in fact it really isn’t a substance the body should be concern e d with. This over-activity of the immune system leads to the release of substances including histamine that cause the symptoms of hay fever.

The most common symptoms include a runny nose and itching eyes and scratchy throat. Sometimes, an allergy will precede a sinus infection by causing swelling in the nasal membranes preventing fluids f rom exiting the sinus passages. An infection then ensues. However, most people who feel pressure over their sinuses, never develop an infection and so can be adequately treated with the supplements mentioned here. Many people experience a tickle or a shallow cough that comes from the throat rather than the lungs. They may also experience a change in emotions, becoming quite irritable or moody.

These airborne allergies can often be g rouped by season. Those people sensitive to tree pollens usually have more severe allergies in the springtime. Those sensitive to grasses are often worse in mid-summer. Those allergic to weeds have their symptoms peak in the fall. There are some unfortunate people who have allergies all summer long who may be allergic to a few plants in each group. Those who have symptoms of allerg i e s all winter long probably are allergic to molds and mildew or household animals and dust mites. On occasion, it takes a real detective to determine from where the allergies come.

There are several methods used to diagnose a cause of an allergy. In a scratch test, drops of an allergen are put on small scratches on the arm or the back. Are action is considered positive if swelling or redness occur around the scratch. A blood sample can also be used to meas ure antibody response to certain allergens. It is often helpful to determine the allergen which cause the hayfever to reduce the symptoms. There are also practitioners who use kinesiology or electronic devices to determine the cause of allergies.

The most common treatment of allergies is with antihistamines. Their side effects include drowsiness and drying of the mucous membranes of the nose and mouth. Many of the newer prescription antihistamines don’t cause drying but often have serious drug interactions and the consumer must be very careful in combining the prescription antihistamines with antifungal drugs, and blood thinning as well as asthma medication. There are some natural products that can be taken to decrease allergy symptoms. They are often equally effective without the side effects of antihistamines.

QUERCETIN

One of the more popular is quercetin. Quercetin is a bioflavonoid found in red apples, red onions, brussels sprouts, kale, peas, bell peppers, pears and asparagus. It is also found in bee pollen and propolis, two plant materials found in the beehive. It is possible to consume a fair amount of quercetin through your diet. If you have allergies, however, diet is often not enough and you may need a supplement to get enough quercetin to ontrol your symptoms. It appears quercetin decreases allergic symptoms by stopping the release of histamine. If you start taking quercetin and other nutritional supplements I will mention below before an allergy attack, they are likely to be more effective. However, don’t let that discourage you from taking them even after the symptoms have started. A common dose is 300mg to 600mg per day.

BROMELAIN

Bromelain is a nutrient often extracted f rom pineapple. Found in many digestive formulas, it is an enzyme that helps absorption. If it is found in a combination formula, chances are, it is there to help with the absorption of the other nutrients such as quercetin. Bromelain also has an anti-inflammatory effect. When someone develops allergy symptoms, part of the reason is due to the inflammatory response to substances such as histamine that are released as the allergy takes hold. This causes inflammation in the tissues which then manifests with redness and swelling.

VITAMIN C

Vitamin C is useful in many conditions including hay fever. Higher doses are often required in the treatment of allergies: 2,000mg is beneficial and you can take up to 4,000mg or more during acute symptoms. It also stabilizes capillaries, reducing the swelling in the throat, nasal passages and around the eyes. If you are taking a multi-vitamin or a combination product that contains Vitamin C, I still recommend additional supplementation.

NETTLE (URTICA DIOICA)

Stinging nettle is probably a plant many a re familiar with, especially if it has come into contact with your skin, but it also has an historical use in the treatment of allergy. In fact, in double blind studies it was shown to decrease the symptoms of allergy, specifically runny nose.

EPHEDRA (MA Huang)

The active component of the ephedra herb is ephedrine, an alkaloid. It is used in OTC asthma medication. As a natural herb, ephedra in small doses can be v e ry useful in decreasing the symptoms of colds, asthma, cough and in this case, hay fever. It is in many Chinese and American formulas that I use and I feel v e ry comfortable using 100mg to 200mg of ephedra that contain small doses of 2.5mg to 8mg of ephedra alkaloids per day. I feel comfortable using dosages of up to 15mg of ephedra alkaloids .

FEVERFEW

Feverfew is another herb with a variety of uses. You will find it in headache formulas, in fever reducing formulas, and many hay fever formulas. Like bromelain, it has an anti-inflammatory effect and reduces the swelling that occurs during a hay fever attack.

Homeopathic formulas can also be useful to reduce hay fever. There is no re ason why the herbs I’ve mentioned cannot be combined with homeopathic formulas. You may want to take them at separate times of the day.

So, if you suffer from hay fever, don’t give up. You can use these nutrients singly or in combination. You can take a formula that contains all of them and then add to that additional vitamin C for instance, or additional nettle. It may require trial and error to find the right amounts in combination that will work for you.



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Hayfever & Allergies - Herbs To Help You Breathe Easier
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Date: June 30, 2005 09:36 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Hayfever & Allergies - Herbs To Help You Breathe Easier

Hayfever & Allergies By Ellen J. Kamhi, Ph. D. with Dorie Greenblatt Runny nose, watery eyes, itchy skin...oh no, it's that time of year again! Are you one of the 30 million Americans who suffer from hayfever? If so, breath easier and let the herbal world replace your antihistamines and steroids with both preventative and therapeutic remedies.

Allergies and hayfever are abnormal reactions to everyday substances such as pollen, dust, dander, etc. and involve many different organ systems of the body, primarily the respiratory, liver and adrenal glands. Using herbs to strengthen these systems will give your body a preventative edge over allergic reactions, and will further help decrease the severity of uncomfortable symptoms.

Licorice is a wonderful ally to the adrenal glands and is probably the most widely studied adrenal herb. Licorice has anti-inflammatory actions similar to the glucocorticoids (which are produced by healthy adrenals) and are involved with resolving allergic reactions. It also preserves the effects of cortisol, and adrenal hormone involved in clearing allergies.

A second well-known herb used to strengthen the adrenals is Ginseng. Often times, the onset of allergies can be attributed to stress. The adaptogenic properties of Ginseng allow the glands to balance stress and energy while creating an overall resistance to allergic reactions, colds, flus and infections.

A strong liver is also vital to a healthy balanced body, acting as a protective factor against allergies. Dandelion is one of the most nutritive and strengthening herbs to the liver. It helps clear toxins and stimulates the energy of the liver to work towards the resolution of the allergic reaction. Milk Thistle acts as both a protector and regenerator of the liver. This herb helps repair damaged tissue and support the actions necessary for dealing with allergens and their accompanying symptoms.

When confronted with the copious secretions commonly experienced by allergy sufferers, Nettles and Eyebright are two of the best herbs to choose to control the "drip". Both work well for short-term relief, but may be taken before the season begins as a means of prevention. For those people who become congested and need a remedy which allows them to breathe while draining occurs, Ma Huang is a good choice. Due to its stimulating nature, use Ma Huang with caution if you have high blood pressure, heart disease, etc. Additional herbs suitable for allergy relief include Red Clover, Elder Flower and Bayberry.

For a potent synergistic formula, try Allertone. This outstanding product featrues a blend of the well-known Echinacea and Goldenseal, along with Red Clover, Bayberry and Mullein to combat both the discomfort of allergies as well as reduce excess mucous from the nasal and respiratory tract.

  • These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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

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

    Mechanistic Overview

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

    Milk Thistle Silybum marianum

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

    Schizandra Schisandra chinensis

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

    Bupleurum Bupleurum chinense, B. falcatum

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

    Sho-Saiko-To Minor Bupleurum

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

    Holistic Context

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

    Conclusion

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

    Caution

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

    References

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

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



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    Are Standardized Herbs Better?
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    Date: June 17, 2005 12:34 PM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: Are Standardized Herbs Better?

    Are Standardized Herbs Better?

    Standardized is a term to mean that there is a guaranteed amount of a certain botanical constituent. For example St. John's Wort can be standardized to contain hypercin, Gingko can be standardized to contain flavones, MaHuang for ephedrine, and Milk Thistle for its silymarin content. Standardized does not necessarily mean stronger or better. Chemical solvents such as hexane benzene, acetone, and methyl chloride are typically used in standardized extracts. Residues of the chemicals are found in the finished product. Furthermore they may be hazardous to the environment.

    The problem with obtaining an amount of a standard constituent is, a plant can contain hundreds of active constituents. By concentrating on one component, we may lose synergistic compounds, which may improve effectiveness and lessen adverse reactions. Often scientists do not fully understand which constituents are beneficial for the clinical results of an herb. For example scientists are unclear whether or not hypercerin, hyperiform, or the interaction of several constituents, that have antidepressant properties in St. John's Wort. Once it was thought that the immune effects of Echinacea were due to echinosides; now it is thought that polysaccharides and proteins may also be immune supporting. In the case of ginseng, ginsenosides are found in ginseng leaves and roots, however ginseng leaves do not have same properties as the roots. In the South Pacific, locals all use Kava Kava roots, however German pharmaceutical companies use the stems to make standardized Kava Kava. Another drawback of standardized herbs is the chemicals used to manufacture them.

    Advocates of standardized herbs are usually academics with little clinical experience with herbs, or researchers whose work is funded by companies that manufacture standardized products. Traditional herbalists seldom used standardized products for a variety of reasons. One, standardized extracts tend to be more expensive. Two, there is little evidence that they are more effective than the whole herb. For example, I have never seen studies comparing Gingko tea to standardized Gingko extracts; Ginseng standardized extracts have not been shown superior to whole ginseng root. Finally, many herbalists reject the pharmaceutical model of healthcare, which involves costly production techniques and capital investment to make a standardized extract.

    Standardized herbs play a role in the drug model of herbal medicine, however traditional herbalists will continue to recommend herbs in more natural state which may include water and alcohol extracts, teas and pills that have not been standardized. (Factors that influence products quality include weather, soil, the time of year the plant is harvested, the age of the plant, the part of the plant being used, and the DNA of the plant, storage and processing.) You can also blend various batches of herbs to achieve a consistent potency; this is commonly done in the wine making industry. Finally you can add an active compound (synthesized) to an herbal product and the DNA of the plant, storage and processing.) The purpose of this article is not to condemn standardized herbs. It may be a good idea to remember that this form of herbal preparation is just one of many forms.



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    Breathe Easy
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    Date: June 14, 2005 06:19 PM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: Breathe Easy

    Breathe Easy

    by Edward Bullard, III Energy Times, March 1, 1998

    Don't underestimate the danger of asthma. When an asthmatic attack chokes the passageways to your lungs, cutting off your air supply, the consequences can prove frightening and disastrous.

    Although asthma is the leading chronic illness among children, most sufferers are adults. The condition ranks as the 7th most common chronic affliction nationwide affecting 14 to 20 million people; about 11 million of these are over the age of 18.

    The American Lung Association estimates that between 1982 and 1992 the total number of asthma cases jumped by more than 57%. Researchers can't pinpoint the reasons for this rise, but they have found that urban dwellers suffer a higher asthma risk.

    Despite the gloomy statistics, those who suffer asthma can take reassurance from the progressive development of complementary and conventional treatments that control this condition. Anyone who suffers asthma should consult with a knowledgeable health practitioner.

    How does asthma start? This airway problem may originate with allergies and sinus or bronchial infections (the bronchi are the tubes leading to the lungs). Some experts believe that air pollution, dust mites, cockroach remains and other environmental toxins may exacerbate the condition.

    A family history of allergies and asthma also increases your asthmatic vulnerability since your genes may make you more prone to the airway inflammation that leads to breathing constraints.

    Allergic reactions to food have been implicated in causing restricted breathing. Food found to most frequently instigate immediate lung difficulties include nuts, peanuts (which are, technically, legumes not nuts), eggs, shellfish and fish. Foods that do not cause immediate wheezing but may produce a delayed respiratory effect include artificial food colorings, wheat, citrus fruits, milk, chocolate and wheat products.

    Since an allergic reaction to particular foods can apparently play a role in asthma, some people find relief by systematically eliminating foods from their diets, identifying troublesome items and then permanently avoiding those foods.

    Asthma's Nutrition Gap

    According to Richard N. Firshein, D.O., director of the Firshein Center for Comprehensive Medicine in New York City, asthma stems from cells' "disordered metabolism." In these circumstances, the body's immune system often mistakes allergens (normally benign substances) for infectious agents. In strenuously defending itself against allergens, the body goes on "red alert," says Dr. Firshein in his book Reversing Asthma (Warner), "exhausting itself in the process." This creates a need for extra vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Too often, he believes, this nutritional need is not met and asthma ensues.

    In the presence of asthma, magnesium can help restore free breathing. Dr. Firshein reports that about 50 years ago, medical researchers discovered that treating asthma victims with magnesium sulfate opened up breathing passageways. Although magnesium by itself does not completely alleviate asthma attacks, many emergency room doctors still use it in conjunction with other treatments to restore breathing.

    In explaining magnesium's usefulness in alleviating asthma, Dr. Firshein notes that magnesium competes with calcium in each cell to influence asthmatic reactions. For instance, calcium stimulates mast cells (reactive immune cells) to release histamine, a chemical that foments allergic reactions that hinder breathing. Conversely, magnesium "stabilizes" mast cells, quieting their activity so that they retain their histamine instead of flooding breathing passages.

    In addition, calcium takes part in muscle contractions that can constrict breathing tube muscles. Magnesium can help relax those same muscles.

    Although intravenous treatment with magnesium for acute asthma attacks must be carried out by a trained health professional, taking magnesium supplements over a period of time, may gradually help assuage asthma's wheezes.

    How do you tell if you're short of magnesium? Standard blood tests of magnesium levels may be inadequate. As Dr. Firshein points out, normal blood tests only examine the amount of magnesium floating in the blood's plasma. That level can apparently appear sufficient even if red blood cells are magnesium-deficient. (Dr. Firshein recommends asking your health practitioner for a special red blood cell test.)

    Ephedra for Asthma

    Ever since about 3,000 BC, Chinese health practitioners have been giving the herb ma Huang (Ephedra sinica) to asthma sufferers. In the 1920s, western medical researchers extracted a chemical called ephedrine from ma Huang and soon synthesized this substance for use as a pharmaceutical. However, herbal experts believe that there are other beneficial substances in ma Huang besides ephedrine that can ease breathing.

    Although ephedra has been used successfully to ward off the allergies of hayfever as well as mild asthma, when this herb is taken over a long period its benefits may lessen. The reason: eventually the herb's ephedrine weakens the adrenal glands, according to Michael Murray, ND, and Joseph Pizzorno, ND, in the Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine (Prima). To offset this effect, they recommend supporting the use of ephedra with licorice (Glycerrhiza glabra) as well as ginseng (Panax ginseng) which support the adrenals. In addition, vitamins C and B6 and zinc and magnesium plus pantothenic acid also boost adrenal function.

    Licking Asthma with Licorice

    Since much of asthma's deleterious effects on health stem from the fact it inflames breathing passageways, licorice root, which acts to squelch inflammation and which calms allergies, can be helpful in restoring normal breathing. Licorice, according to Drs. Murray and Pizzorno, promulgates the persistence of cortisol in our body, a hormone that acts as an anti-inflammatory agent.

    As an extra benefit, licorice can also forestall the side effects of cortisone, one of the most widely prescribed medicines for asthma. Licorice also boosts cortisone's desirable anti-inflammatory action while inhibiting the action of enzymes that would otherwise increase unwanted inflammation.

    Onions + Garlic = Better Breath

    Despite their reputation for giving you bad breath, both onion and garlic can improve the breath of those afflicted with asthma. The reason: both of these plants restrict the action of an enzyme with the tongue twisting name of lipoxygenase, a chemical that helps produce inflammation.

    Studies with animals showed that when they were fed onion extract, their induced asthmatic problems decreased. Part of onion's benefit may be due to its quercetin content. (Quercetin is a bioflavonoid available as a supplement.) Onion also contains mustard oils, which are believed to slow the body's production of leukotrienes (substances that also increase inflammation).

    Vitamin C

    Vitamin C, the most abundant antioxidant nutrient in the lungs' inner lining, apparently protects against respiratory problems. Studies of people with asthma show that they possess less vitamin C both in their circulating blood and in white blood cells. When researchers induced bronchial constriction in people who volunteered for respiratory studies, they found that those given vitamin C didn't have as hard a time breathing. Experts recommend healthy doses of vitamin C plus other antioxidant nutrients such as vitamin E, carotenoids and selenium to lower the risk of allergic reactions and ease breathing. Antioxidant nutrients restrict the action of free radicals, molecules that attack the lungs and other parts of the cardiovascular system.

    Chinese skullcap (Scutellaria baicalensis) also effectively fights inflammation without causing serious side effects. Experts believe its bioflavonoids stop the body from making biochemicals that inflame tissues. Aside from restricting inflammation, these bioflavonoids also act as antioxidants.

    Strength in Numbers

    Asthma support organizations can provide vital information: Organizations American Lung Association 1740 Broadway, New York, NY 10019-43741 (800) LUNG-USA llergy & Asthma Network/Mothers of Asthmatics Inc., 3554 Chain Bridge Road, Suite 200, Fairfax, VA 22030 (703) 385-4403, (800) 878-4403 th/aanma Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America,1125 15th Street, N.W., Suite 502 Washington, DC 20005 (800) 727-8462

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    Move it and Lose it! Burn off body fat!
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    Date: June 14, 2005 12:04 PM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: Move it and Lose it! Burn off body fat!

    Move it and Lose it! Burn off body fat! by Mimi Facher Energy Times, June 1, 1997

    So you're feeling a little blah, a little overweight, and you're looking to drop a few of those winter pounds gained during the colder months. Maybe you've dabbled with diets and jogged around the neighborhood a few times but you're still packing unsightly bulges. If so, you may be considering the idea of turning to supplements to help you drop those pounds. Well, two types of diet supplements now generally available, combined with a diet and exercise program, may be able to help you trim those stubborn pounds.

    The first type of supplement, called metabolic optimizers, which include ephedra, caffeine and salicin (derived from willow bark), boost your metabolic rate, causing your body to burn calories faster. The second class, lipotropic substances, aid the body in fat mobilization, causing greater utilization of stored fat. These products include chromium, carnitine and hydroxycitric acid (HCA). Both classes of supplements have been around in various forms for quite a while but are now enjoying greater popularity among dieters.

    Trying to cope with a weight problem is a dilemma expanding throughout modern society. According to a 1995 Harris poll, nearly 75% of Americans are overweight. Although it's well known that the way to lose weight is to expend more calories than you take in, supplements may be able to help you burn off extra calories.

    Thermogenesis and You

    Metabolic optimizers are supposed to aid weight loss through a process called thermogenesis. Thermogenesis is a natural process in which fat is burned to produce body heat. Fat that isn't burned is stored on the hips, thighs, stomach, etc. Thermogenic agents are designed to counteract your body's fat storage mechanisms by causing your body to maintain a higher metabolic rate-turning your internal thermostat up to burn fat faster. The thermogenic process can be jump-started by a number of factors including cold, exercise, certain dietary nutrients and metabolic optimizers.

    Ephedra

    The ephedra herb, also known as ma Huang is one of nature's earliest medicines, known for over 5000 years to the Chinese, who used it to relieve allergies, coughing, wheezing and cold and flu symptoms. In the US, ephedra has been available since the 1800s.

    The ingredients in ephedra include the alkaloids ephedrine, pseudoephedrine and norephedrine. Concentrated forms of these substances are used in today's over-the-counter cold, allergy and asthma relief formulas.

    Ma Huang's effectiveness as a weight loss aid is tied to its appetite suppressant and stimulant properties. By speeding up action of the thyroid gland, the ephedrine found in the herb acts a thermogenic agent, boosting the rate at which the body metabolizes fat and promoting weight loss. According to Mark Blumenthal, Executive Director of the American Botanical Council, "When used as part of a total package that includes diet modification and exercise, ma Huang can be highly effective in the short run because it increases the speed of the body's metabolism and suppresses appetite."

    Because of their strong stimulant effect, ephedra and its derivatives have engendered some controversy. However, in its long history, billions of doses of ephedra have been consumed without problem. But ephedra supplements should only be used as directed on product labels. People with cardiovascular problems, diabetes, thyroid or prostate dysfunction, high blood pressure and those taking MAO inhibitors, pregnant or nursing should avoid this herb.

    Salicin Burns Fat

    Salicin, a substance derived from willow bark-which is also the original source for aspirin, a related compound-can boost the burning of fat when combined with ephedra. An animal study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that while ephedra boosted calorie burning by almost 10%, when ephedra was combined with aspirin, extra calorie burning just about doubled. Another study in the Internatioanl Journal of Obesity showed that when overweight women took aspirin and ephedrine during a meal, their bodies burned off more calories than normal. (Eating a meal produces a thermogenic effect as your body expends energy in digestion. That's why dieters are told not to skip meals. Skipping meals lowers your metabolic rate, decreasing your calorie expenditure.)

    Similar studies also show that caffeine, the stimulant that gives coffee its eye-opening kick, can also boost ephedra's thermogenic properties. But before using these combinations check with a health practitioner knowledgeable about nutrition. Aspirin or salicin may cause stomach upset in some people (although salicin is generally tolerated well.)

    Carnitine: Lipotropic Amino Acid

    To get carnitine into your system, you don't have to take it as a supplement. Your body already makes this vitamin-like substance. However, your body doesn't make that much. And it is said to be especially low in people with heart disease.

    This non-essential amino acid (said to be non-essential because human bodies produce it) is a key ingredient in the formation of mitochondria membranes. Mitochondria are tiny structures in your cells that burn fats for energy. Consequently, sufficient carnitine is necessary for the movement of fat into the mitochondria where it is consumed. When not enough carnitine is present, the breakdown of long chain fatty acids slows down.

    Said to improve the recovery rate for athletes (it may limit the production of lactic acid, a waste product in muscle tissue), carnitine can also lower cholesterol levels, boost levels of HDL (the good cholesterol) and decrease serum triglycerides (blood fats linked to heart disease). Not bad for a nutrient that coaxes fat into those teeny, ceullular, mitochondrial furnaces.

    Go for the Chrome

    Chromium-based supplements work as lipotropic agents by aiding insulin use in the body. This essential trace mineral is required for normal protein, fat, and carbohydrate metabolism. According to Dr. Michael Janson, author of The Vitamin Revolution in Healthcare and President of the American Preventive Medical Association (APMA), "Chromium is important for proper insulin activity. Insulin moves sugar into the muscle cells, where it is burned off as energy. Chromium improves the activity of insulin, and since insulin causes fat deposition, less of it means less fat deposition." Chromium has also been shown to build muscle tissue and to reduce LDL cholesterol, which has been linked to heart disease.

    Although the body's minimum requirement is low, the American diet tends to be deficient in chromium, in part because the mineral can be difficult for the body to absorb. The fact that, in nature, chromium is most powerfully concentrated in brewer's yeast, wheat germ and liver-items most Americans rarely eat-probably hasn't helped either. Other natural sources of chromium include whole grains, molasses and beef. But it is estimated that 50% of Americans are chromium deficient. An early study found that overweight adults taking a chromium supplement lost an average of 22% body fat, while maintaining or gaining lean body mass. In another study, athletes consuming 200 mcg. of chromium a day showed an average loss of 7.5 lbs. of body fat after six weeks, without a corresponding loss of muscle tisue. Overall, although some studies question chromium's precise effects, many experts are optimistic about this substance because of its relationship to insulin in the body's metabolism.

    Hydroxycitric Acid (HCA)

    Another possible addition to the dieter's arsenal is HCA. In nature, HCA appears chiefly in a fruit called garcinia cambogia (sometimes also called Malabar tamarind or brindall berry), a citrus plant found primarily in Asia, where the rind is often used as a flavoring agent. HCA works by inhibiting the enzyme in the body responsible for converting carbohydrates into fat. HCA causes calories to be burned in an energy cycle similar to thermogenesis and acts as somewhat of an appetite suppressant. HCA is also said to have a role in reducing triglycerides and LDL cholesterol levels.

    Several animal studies have shown that HCA caused significant weight loss without a reduction in lean body mass. In other words, the pounds that came off came out of fat stores, and not out of energy or muscle reserves. This means that HCA takes off not just weight but body fat, making it a potentially effective tool against weight regain.

    Dr. Elson Haas, director of the Preventive Medical Center of Marin in San Rafael, CA, and author of Staying Healthy With Nutrition: The Complete Guide to Diet and Nutritional Medicine, believes that HCA can be a helpful aid for dieters when used in combination with eating habit changes and exercise. He recommends an HCA and chromium blend for optimum appetite suppression. "This combination can keep the appetite down and reduce sugar cravings," he says.

    Although human research data on HCA is still in the preliminary stages, the animal study results are positive, and the supplement seems to have minimal side effects in most people.

    Some Overall Recommendations

    You are likely to lose weight faster if you eat sensibly. This means avoiding foods high in fat or sugar (which are the most likely to add to stored body fat), but it doesn't mean starving yourself. A sensible balanced diet, along with moderate exercise, is still the best prescription for weight loss. As Dr. Haas puts it, "I'm a firm believer in diet and exercise. Using supplements responsibly can help you to lose weight provided they're combined with dietary changes and exercise. They won't work if you don't change anything." No one is suggesting that dietary supplements are a miracle cure for being overweight-as always in self-health care, there are no magic wands. But, used as directed and combined with a good diet and exercise plan, you could find that these supplements might help you work your way to a slimmer you.

    Mimi Facher is a freelance writer who has contributed to Prevention, Cosmopolitan and Self.



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    Vitanet ®

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    Breathe Easy - Don't underestimate the danger of asthma.
    TopPreviousNext

    Date: June 12, 2005 05:57 PM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: Breathe Easy - Don't underestimate the danger of asthma.

    Breathe Easy by Edward Bullard, III Energy Times, March 1, 1998

    Don't underestimate the danger of asthma. When an asthmatic attack chokes the passageways to your lungs, cutting off your air supply, the consequences can prove frightening and disastrous.

    Although asthma is the leading chronic illness among children, most sufferers are adults. The condition ranks as the 7th most common chronic affliction nationwide affecting 14 to 20 million people; about 11 million of these are over the age of 18.

    The American Lung Association estimates that between 1982 and 1992 the total number of asthma cases jumped by more than 57%. Researchers can't pinpoint the reasons for this rise, but they have found that urban dwellers suffer a higher asthma risk.

    Despite the gloomy statistics, those who suffer asthma can take reassurance from the progressive development of complementary and conventional treatments that control this condition. Anyone who suffers asthma should consult with a knowledgeable health practitioner.

    How does asthma start? This airway problem may originate with allergies and sinus or bronchial infections (the bronchi are the tubes leading to the lungs). Some experts believe that air pollution, dust mites, cockroach remains and other environmental toxins may exacerbate the condition.

    A family history of allergies and asthma also increases your asthmatic vulnerability since your genes may make you more prone to the airway inflammation that leads to breathing constraints.

    Allergic reactions to food have been implicated in causing restricted breathing. Food found to most frequently instigate immediate lung difficulties include nuts, peanuts (which are, technically, legumes not nuts), eggs, shellfish and fish. Foods that do not cause immediate wheezing but may produce a delayed respiratory effect include artificial food colorings, wheat, citrus fruits, milk, chocolate and wheat products.

    Since an allergic reaction to particular foods can apparently play a role in asthma, some people find relief by systematically eliminating foods from their diets, identifying troublesome items and then permanently avoiding those foods.

    Asthma's Nutrition Gap

    According to Richard N. Firshein, D.O., director of the Firshein Center for Comprehensive Medicine in New York City, asthma stems from cells' "disordered metabolism." In these circumstances, the body's immune system often mistakes allergens (normally benign substances) for infectious agents. In strenuously defending itself against allergens, the body goes on "red alert," says Dr. Firshein in his book Reversing Asthma (Warner), "exhausting itself in the process." This creates a need for extra vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Too often, he believes, this nutritional need is not met and asthma ensues.

    In the presence of asthma, magnesium can help restore free breathing. Dr. Firshein reports that about 50 years ago, medical researchers discovered that treating asthma victims with magnesium sulfate opened up breathing passageways. Although magnesium by itself does not completely alleviate asthma attacks, many emergency room doctors still use it in conjunction with other treatments to restore breathing.

    In explaining magnesium's usefulness in alleviating asthma, Dr. Firshein notes that magnesium competes with calcium in each cell to influence asthmatic reactions. For instance, calcium stimulates mast cells (reactive immune cells) to release histamine, a chemical that foments allergic reactions that hinder breathing. Conversely, magnesium "stabilizes" mast cells, quieting their activity so that they retain their histamine instead of flooding breathing passages.

    In addition, calcium takes part in muscle contractions that can constrict breathing tube muscles. Magnesium can help relax those same muscles.

    Although intravenous treatment with magnesium for acute asthma attacks must be carried out by a trained health professional, taking magnesium supplements over a period of time, may gradually help assuage asthma's wheezes.

    How do you tell if you're short of magnesium? Standard blood tests of magnesium levels may be inadequate. As Dr. Firshein points out, normal blood tests only examine the amount of magnesium floating in the blood's plasma. That level can apparently appear sufficient even if red blood cells are magnesium-deficient. (Dr. Firshein recommends asking your health practitioner for a special red blood cell test.)

    Ephedra for Asthma

    Ever since about 3,000 BC, Chinese health practitioners have been giving the herb ma Huang (Ephedra sinica) to asthma sufferers. In the 1920s, western medical researchers extracted a chemical called ephedrine from ma Huang and soon synthesized this substance for use as a pharmaceutical. However, herbal experts believe that there are other beneficial substances in ma Huang besides ephedrine that can ease breathing.

    Although ephedra has been used successfully to ward off the allergies of hayfever as well as mild asthma, when this herb is taken over a long period its benefits may lessen. The reason: eventually the herb's ephedrine weakens the adrenal glands, according to Michael Murray, ND, and Joseph Pizzorno, ND, in the Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine (Prima). To offset this effect, they recommend supporting the use of ephedra with licorice (Glycerrhiza glabra) as well as ginseng (Panax ginseng) which support the adrenals. In addition, vitamins C and B6 and zinc and magnesium plus pantothenic acid also boost adrenal function.

    Licking Asthma with Licorice

    Since much of asthma's deleterious effects on health stem from the fact it inflames breathing passageways, licorice root, which acts to squelch inflammation and which calms allergies, can be helpful in restoring normal breathing. Licorice, according to Drs. Murray and Pizzorno, promulgates the persistence of cortisol in our body, a hormone that acts as an anti-inflammatory agent.

    As an extra benefit, licorice can also forestall the side effects of cortisone, one of the most widely prescribed medicines for asthma. Licorice also boosts cortisone's desirable anti-inflammatory action while inhibiting the action of enzymes that would otherwise increase unwanted inflammation.

    Onions + Garlic = Better Breath

    Despite their reputation for giving you bad breath, both onion and garlic can improve the breath of those afflicted with asthma. The reason: both of these plants restrict the action of an enzyme with the tongue twisting name of lipoxygenase, a chemical that helps produce inflammation.

    Studies with animals showed that when they were fed onion extract, their induced asthmatic problems decreased. Part of onion's benefit may be due to its quercetin content. (Quercetin is a bioflavonoid available as a supplement.) Onion also contains mustard oils, which are believed to slow the body's production of leukotrienes (substances that also increase inflammation).

    Vitamin C

    Vitamin C, the most abundant antioxidant nutrient in the lungs' inner lining, apparently protects against respiratory problems. Studies of people with asthma show that they possess less vitamin C both in their circulating blood and in white blood cells. When researchers induced bronchial constriction in people who volunteered for respiratory studies, they found that those given vitamin C didn't have as hard a time breathing. Experts recommend healthy doses of vitamin C plus other antioxidant nutrients such as vitamin E, carotenoids and selenium to lower the risk of allergic reactions and ease breathing. Antioxidant nutrients restrict the action of free radicals, molecules that attack the lungs and other parts of the cardiovascular system.

    Chinese skullcap (Scutellaria baicalensis) also effectively fights inflammation without causing serious side effects. Experts believe its bioflavonoids stop the body from making biochemicals that inflame tissues. Aside from restricting inflammation, these bioflavonoids also act as antioxidants.



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    Vitanet ®

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    Allergy Alleviation
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    Date: June 10, 2005 05:32 PM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: Allergy Alleviation

    Allergy Alleviation by Cal Orey , February 2, 2002

    Allergy Alleviation By Cal Orey

    Welcome to the stuffed up world of seasonal allergic rhinitis: the wheezing, sneezing "inhalant allergies" that torment 35 million Americans. Adding insult to sinus pain, other allergens attack year-round. Air pollution, dust mites (microscopic gremlins that infest bedding, upholstery and rugs) and animal dander trigger allergies-or other respiratory ailments-in any season. Urban air is full of rubber tire particles, a true blowout for those with latex sensitivity. Altogether, roughly 50 million Americans-about one in five-suffer from some form of allergy, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI). Tired of cross-pollinating with plants or being bowled over by dust balls? Vitamins, herbs and other nutrients can help you nip allergy discomfort in the bud.

    The Allergy Response

    Your immune system triggers an allergic response when it overreacts to otherwise harmless substances or antigens (we're talking dust, pollen and mold).The alarmed immune system then launches a defensive chemical reaction, releasing potent chemicals (antibodies) supposed to destroy the "invaders." The antibodies, called IgE, carry the invading substances to special cells, which zap them with more biochemicals. Among these protective cells are mast cells: they release histamine, the substance that causes swelling and inflammation to the linings of the nose, sinuses and eyelids, resulting in sneezing, upper respiratory congestion and itchy, watery eyes.

    Just Blame The Folks

    Most allergies are determined by your genes. If your Mom or Dad sneeze and scratch, there's a good chance you will, too. "That is not to say that we directly inherit an allergy to any specific substance. Rather, it seems as if we might inherit some kind of immune system defect or weakness that leaves us more vulnerable to allergies," explain co-authors Glenn S. Rothfeld, MD, and Suzanne LeVert in their book Natural Medicine for Allergies: The Best Alternative Methods for Quick Relief (Rodale). For some people, allergies lurk in food, throwing the immune system into overdrive. "Many natural medicine practitioners believe that a diet high in animal fats will contribute to the development of allergy and asthma, as does a diet high in food additives, such as preservatives and dyes," says Gary McLain, PhD, in his book The Natural Way of Healing: Asthma and Allergies (Dell). Worse, allergies can up the risk of asthma, which afflicts 15 million Americans. Most people afflicted with asthma also suffer allergies: the two are linked, according to the AAAAI. Allergy triggers of asthma include pollen, mold spores and house dust mites. Remember Helen Hunt's asthmatic son in the movie As Good As It Gets? His character endured allergies to dust, and living in New York (and watching his mom date Jack Nicholson) didn't help his immune system. Coughs, ear infections, fevers and visits to hospital emergency rooms curtailed his social life (and limited his close-ups as well). That kind of routine happens in real life, too. (Well, maybe close encounters with Jack N. are not included for most.) But when we breathe substances such as molds, they can induce swelling and inflammation of the bronchial airways which narrow and restrict air flow. This, in turn, causes wheezing and shortness of breath and can trigger an asthma "attack," according to Andrew Engler, MD, who specializes in allergy and asthma in San Mateo, California.

    The Nose Knows: Chemical Sensitivities

    Imagine a picture-perfect, crisp, clear Saturday morning. You make a final stop on your weekly errand run to the dry cleaner, where you drop off your laundry and spend a moment chatting up the owner. Back in your car, your eyes tear and you feel a bit woozy. Kenneth Bock, MD, and Nellie Sabin, writing in The Road to Immunity: How To Survive and Thrive in a Toxic World (Pocket Books) sense that your reaction could be chemical sensitivity, a difficult to diagnose but, in their opinion, very real malady. (Of course, a clinician can test you for immune responses to certain chemicals.) Reactions to chemicals produce the typical allergic responses: puffy or red-rimmed eyes; swelling; aching or stiff joints and muscles; irritability or dizziness; respiratory inflammations; headaches and the like. Villains include aerosol sprays, tobacco smoke, glues, insecticides and herbicides, household chemicals and fragrances. Identification and avoidance are key, say the authors. Vitamin C, which binds with chemicals, is one of the best nutritional defenses.

    Breathing Problems Expand

    Americans now freely take lifesaving medicines such as antibiotics and insulin but, in some people, "they have the potential to alter the immune system, which is where allergies begin," says Dr. McLain. (Consult your pharmacist if you have questions about your prescription medication.) We, as a nation, are also eating more chemicals, from the pesticides drenched on plants to the preservatives poured on prepared foods. We're breathing polluted air, which can lead to or exacerbate asthma, and then we choke on recycled air in sealed buildings. And while a century ago you were likely to have spent much of your time close to home, you can now hop on a supersonic plane and be taken to the other side of the globe within a matter of hours. With travel comes exposure to even more exotic allergens that can drive your immune system to distraction.

    The All-Natural Gesundheit

    Certain allergy-relief nutrients and herbs can help make life more bearable. Here's how they work: n Vitamin C for the lungs. According to experts, when vitamin C is low, asthma is high. Vitamin C carries the major antioxidant load in the airways and therefore contributes mightily to the health of the lungs. A study in the Annals of Allergy (73(1994):89-96) reported that in seven of 11 clinical trials since 1973, vitamin C supplementation provided "significant improvements" in respiratory function and asthma symptoms. n Vitamin E and carotene to suppress allergic reactions. These antioxidants may also help protect the respiratory tract from caustic pollutants. Vitamin E is reputed to be one of the most important nutrients for antioxidant protection in the lungs. In addition, these two substances decrease production of allergy-related compounds called leukotrienes. n Zinc for the immune system. Research shows that a deficiency in this trace mineral can weaken your immune system, setting you up as a target for allergies and infections. (Some vegetarians may not store sufficient amounts of this mineral and should take supplements.) Zinc comes to the body's rescue by taking part in the production of IgA, the gastrointestinal antibody that lines the digestive tract. "When IgA binds to an allergen, it keeps it from being absorbed into the bloodstream and thus from causing an allergic reaction," report Rothfeld and Levert. Also, zinc protects mucous membranes and helps convert beta carotene to vitamin A, another anti-allergy, immune-boosting nutrient. In a study of 100 participants at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, half took a zinc-based lozenge, while the other half received a dummy preparation. The participants taking zinc experienced a 42% reduction in the duration and severity of their common colds (Annals of Internal Medicine, 7/96). n Quercetin as an antihistamine. A valuable, anti-allergic flavonoid (plant coloring agent that is a powerful antioxidant), quercetin shines as a potent weapon against allergies and asthma. Believed to inhibit histamine release from mast cells and slow the production of other allergy-related compounds, it stabilizes mast cell membranes. Other flavonoid-rich extracts include grape seed, pine bark, green tea and Ginkgo biloba. n Additional helpful nutrients: Vitamin B-12, particularly to combat sensitivity to sulfites (The Nutrition Desk Reference [Keats]); selenium, an antioxidant that breaks down leukotrienes (Clinical Science 77, 1989: 495-500); and magnesium to relax bronchial tissues (Journal of the American Medical Association, 262 [1989]: 1210-3).

    Herbal Remedies To The Rescue

    n Nettles for hay fever relief. Research at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon, showed that 40 of 69 folks suffering from hay fever found moderate to extreme relief from taking freeze-dried stinging nettles (Planta Medica, [1990] 44-47). "It is nontoxic, cheap and preferable to antihistamines, which I think are significantly toxic," reports Andrew Weil, MD, in his book Natural Health, Natural Medicine: A Comprehensive Manual for Wellness and Self-Care (Houghton Mifflin). n Cayenne to reduce inflammation. Cayenne, known as hot red pepper, is rich in capsaicin, a potent flavonoid "counter-irritant" that dilates and soothes inflamed nasal and bronchial tissues, according to experts. A bonus: Cayenne also contains a rich amount of antioxidant vitamin C, which can help enhance your immune system. n Echinacea for allergy prevention. This popular Native American herb provides cold and allergy protection, particularly when you take it before encountering allergens. Studies reveal that echinacea aids your body's tissues and protects you from germs and allergens. In fact, German studies have found it possesses valuable antiviral, antibacterial and immunity-boosting properties.

    Make Your World Allergy-Free

    For the most effective allergy relief, make sure you stay clear of allergens that wreak allergy havoc. Visit an allergy-savvy health practitioner and get tested to find out which substances rock your respiratory world. Plus, allergy experts recommend: n Banish dust mites: sweep out clutter and have your house power-vacuumed, if necessary; wash bedding and linens in very hot water. n De-pollinate your environment: flip on the air conditioner to sift out pollen (keep its filter and any forced air registers clean); exercise indoors; machine dry, rather than line dry, your clothes. n Buy a home air filter, especially if you experience dust, pollen or pet dander allergies. n Avoid allergy triggers that dog your days: cats and canines (or consider the hairless or shed-less breeds), mold and tobacco smoke. No matter what you do or actions you take, allergies may always remain an annoyance in your life. But attention to the foods you eat, the places where you exercise and the right combination of anti-allergy nutrients can limit your discomfort.

    Leveling The Leukotrine Playing Field

    On a microscopic level, a series of biochemicals implicated in allergic reactions are leukotrienes, substances that may constrict the bronchial tubes (breathing passages). In some people, consuming the food additive tartrazine can cause severe asthmatic breathing difficulties by boosting leukotrine release. In turn, this can interfere with the body's use of vitamin B-6. The process in which lack of B-6 or "errors" in how your body uses B-6 causes allergic reactions and is complex. According to Michael Murray, ND and Joseph Pizzorno, ND in the revised edition of the Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine (Prima), breathing problems may begin when the metabolism of tryptophan (an amino acid) goes awry: "Tryptophan is converted to serotonin, a compound that, among other things, can cause the airways of asthmatics to constrict...Vitamin B-6 is required for the proper metabolism of tryptophan." Accordingly, a study of vitamin B-6, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, shows that people with compromised breathing may possess less B-6 in their blood than others who breathe normally. When people with asthma were given B-6, their wheezing and asthmatic attacks dropped.

    Fat Fix For Allergies

    The fat in your diet or supplements can also influence your susceptibility to allergies and asthma linked to allergies. Epidemiologists have found that countries where children eat fish at least four times a month cut their risk of asthma by 67% compared to other parts of the world where they consume fewer fish. Research on omega-3 fatty acids, the kind of fat found in fish, flax and hemp oil, demonstrates that some of these substances can improve breathing. In particular, fatty acids called eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) can help open up bronchial tubes. Studies in the American Review of Respiratory Disease and the International Archives of Allergy and Applied Immunology show that breathing passageways may not react so negatively to the presence of allergens when you eat more fish or take supplements containing these types of fats. Many of the scientists who study the kinds of fats we eat believe that the increase in allergies and asthma in the US during the twentieth century may be due to both increasing air pollution (which irritates our lungs) plus a simultaneous increase in our consumption of what are called omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-6 oils are contained in most of the vegetable oils Americans eat, including sunflower and peanut oils. While experts believe that we would be better off consuming a diet containing about five times as many omega-6 fatty acids as omega-3s, today we eat about 40 times as much omega-6s. The chemistry of how these fats influence our allergy susceptibility is complex. It begins in our cell membranes which consist mostly of fat. When we consume omega-3 fatty acids, in our diet or in supplements, and these fats enter cell membranes, the change in structure cuts the availability of arachidonic acid, a fatty acid your body can make and which is found in meat, eggs and dairy products. Eventually, it is thought that this change in cellular metabolism and reduction in arachidonic acid forces the body to make less 4-series leukotrienes, substances which are quite prone to provoking allergic inflammation and, instead, produce 5-series leukotrienes, leukotrienes which don't cause nearly as much trouble. This process requires patience. According to Pizzorno and Murray. "It may take as long as one year before the benefits are apparent, as it appears to take time to turn over cellular membranes in favor of the omega-3 fatty acids."

    Chinese Medicine Versus Allergies

    Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) views allergies as an imbalance of the liver, says Jason Elias, co-author with Katherine Ketcham of The Five Elements of Self-Healing (Harmony Books). "The average American's (liver) deals with about fourteen pounds of chemicals a year. What would normally be a minor irritant becomes major because the liver can't process them anymore," explains Elias. Licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra) has traditionally been used to fight allergies since this herb battles inflammation as evidenced by Japanese research and a study published in the journal Allergy. Much of this anti-allergy action is thought to proceed from licorice's interaction with a biochemical called cortisol, a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands. Cortisol (along with epinephrine, another adrenal hormone) relaxes the muscles controlling airways. By slowing the liver's breakdown of cortisol, licorice prolongs circulation of this hormone which, in turn, can help breathing passages stay clear. In addition, glycyrrhetinic acid, a compound in licorice, slows the body's manufacture of prostaglandins and leukotrienes, substances which exacerbate allergic inflammatory reactions. Ma Huang (Ephedra sinica) has been employed for thousands of years to aid breathing since chemicals in this plant widen breathing passages.

    Homeopathic Remedies for Allergy

    Homeopathic treatments consist of highly diluted substances designed to coax the body into healing itself. The effectiveness of homeopathy for hayfever has been demonstrated by research published in Lancet performed at the University of Glasgow, Scotland. There, scientists showed that homeopathically-prepared medicines produced statistically significant improvements in allergy sufferers. The appropriate homeopathic remedy for any illness depends on the personality type of the person suffering an allergy. These treatments are among those recommended by Dana Ullman: n Allium cepa: appropriate for burning nasal discharge that grows worse in warm rooms and improves outdoors. Relieves non-burning tearing from eyes, raw feeling in the nose with tingling sensation and violent sneezing. n Nux vomica: used when feeling irritable and chilled, with daytime fluent nasal discharge and night congestion that grows worse indoors. Also for those sensitive to cold and to being uncovered. n Pulsatilla: best for women and children with daytime nasal discharge and night congestion who are gentle, yielding, mild, impressionable and emotional. Used when congestion is worse in warm rooms, hot weather or while lying down.

    Food Allergy Conundrum Food allergies can prove to be the toughest allergies to identify and eliminate. Jason Elias believes that people may develop food sensitivities from eating the same foods too often. "If someone has an allergy, I might say 'Let's get you off dairy for three weeks,'" he says, noting that some people have limited their hay fever problems by ceasing to consume dairy products. Many have also found relief by maintaining a food diary, keeping track of which foods are associated with allergy attacks and then eliminating those foods. So the next time you sneeze, don't just reach for your hanky, think back to the meal that you just ate. Your allergy problem may be sitting in your stomach as well as making you sneeze and stuffing your sinuses. Taking these kinds of anti-allergy preventive measures can provide life-enhancing relief that feels like a godsend. That lets you attain your healthy best.

    This article included reporting by Judy Pokras.



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    Intimate Response - The Freedom to Change. Boost intimacy
    TopPreviousNext

    Date: June 02, 2005 12:48 PM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: Intimate Response - The Freedom to Change. Boost intimacy

    SENSUALITY AND MENOPAUSE. FOR MANY WOMEN THIS apprehensive milestone is foreshadowed by disquieting physiological changes. Its debut marks a transition period that can actually begin at age 40. Called pre-menopause, it usually lasts 3 to 6 years and is characterized by powerful hormonal changes with wide-ranging effects on a woman’s body. Her level of romantic passion is often influenced by these changes. Source Naturals is proud to announce ETERNAL WOMAN™ INTIMATE RESPONSE™. This herbal-safe, natural formulation may support a woman’s healthy vitality and vigor during pre-menopause.

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    The Nitric Oxide Connection.

    L-Arginine is the primary amino acid t hat the body uses to make nitric oxide. It is nitric oxide that helps the muscle tissues surrounding a blood vessel to relax, allowing more blood to flow to the organs. Panax ginseng is a highly valued botanical traditionally utilized as an energizing tonic. In use for thousands of years in China, its main active constituents are the ginsenosides. Ginkgo extract is traditionally the premier herb for supporting blood flow in the circulatory system. Pregnenolone is the starting point from which all sex hormones are produced internally. Yohimbe is an African herb that has traditionally been used for more than 100 years. It supports peripheral blood vessels. Epimedium and dong quai are highly valued blood tonic herbs in traditional Chinese medicine used to support circulation and “life essence.” Vitamin B6 and folic acid support proper blood flow and healthy arteries by reducing levels of homocysteine in the bloodstream.

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    References:
    Bush, P., et al. (1992). Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 186(1), 308-314. Chatterjee, S.S. in: Effect of Ginkgo Biloba on Organic Cerebral Impairment (Agnoli, A, Rapin J.R., Scapagnini, V., Weitbrecht, W.V., eds) John Libbey, London, pp. 5-14 (1985). Chen, X. (1996). Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol, 23(8), 728-32. Davis, S.R., & Burger, H.G. (1996). Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, Vol. 81(8), 2759-2763. Franken, D.G., et al. (1994). Arterioscler Thromb., 14, 465-470. Huang, K.C. (1993). The Pharmacology of Chinese Herbs, CRC Press Inc: Boca Raton, 91-92. Marcocci, L., et al. (1994). Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communication, 201(2), 748-755. Paick, Jae-Seung, & Lee, J.H. (1996). The Journal of Urology, 156, 1876-1880. Riley, AJ. (1994, May/June). BJCP, 48(3), 133-136. Roberts, E. (1995). Biochemical Pharmacology, 49(1), 1-16. Stamler, J.S. et al. (1993). The Journal of Clinical Investigation, 91, 308-318. Zumoff, B., et al. (1995). Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, Vol. 80(4), 1429-1430.



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