Search Term: " Hypoglycemia "
Hintonia Latiflora Combined With Key Nutrients for Blood Sugar Control
August 31, 2020 12:36 PM
Type 2 diabetes is increasing at an alarming rate. With certain life style changes, exercise, along with Sucontral D, one can reduce blood sugar.
Hintonia latiflora combined with key nutrients for blood sugar control can:
The CDC reports that 84 million Americans have pre diabetes which is higher than normal blood sugar levels but not yet considered type 2 diabetes. It is said there is an additional 30 million type 2 diabetes and roughly 24% do not know they have high blood sugar levels.
Hintonia has been clinically studied in Europe for decades, 60 years to be exact, clinically studied to help bot pre- and type 2 diabetes. By the end of these studies, participants in the studies experienced an average of 10.4% improvement in their A1C, and 23.3% improvement in their fasting glucose levels and 24.9% on their postprandial glucose levels. This is quite significant indeed.
In conclusion, the clinical studies proved Hintonia improved blood glucose levels. out of 114 patients 45 were able to reduce their medication and 10 were able to eliminate their medication all together.
Protein Can Stabilize Blood Sugar Levels
Many people suffer from blood sugar level inconsistencies. A condition known as Hypoglycemia is caused when your blood sugar (glucose) drops, resulting in a range of symptoms. Many people with diabetes suffer from Hypoglycemia, and the common solution is thought by many to be a sweet treat. However, this can often exacerbate the problem. More often the solution is to give the person some foods which contain protein.
How protein can stabilize blood sugar levels
In much the same way that dietary fiber works, eating a source of high-quality protein along with your meals and snacks can have a beneficial effect on your body's blood sugar levels. Adding some protein to your meal would help to provide the amino acids for tissue repair and recovery while also ensuring you stay satisfied for several hours after eating or consuming the meal.
By choosing the right combination of protein and carbohydrates to eat, you can control the amount of glucose in your bloodstream by slowing the process of digestion. This slowing down prevents a blood sugar spike as a result of overdosing on carbohydrates. However, this doesn't mean that you can just eat foods with protein to your content. Your body can only assimilate so much protein in a single sitting, so you need to be able to ration your intake. Too much protein included in your diet can have severe side effects like intestinal wind, bad breath, and indigestion and there are also long-term health concerns concerning a diet that's too rich in protein.
Though many people might find it challenging to manage, diabetes is not a friendly condition you should just live with. Indeed, with simple changes in your life, you can reap great benefits such as weight reduction and lower both your blood sugar levels as well. Include foods rich in protein in your daily diet and the results will be amazing.
MSG: Here is why you should stay far away from it.
MSG is a neurotransmitter that stimulates nerves, which makes food that would normally be bland taste great. Because MSG is often used to compensate for low-sodium or low-fat contents, many food manufacturers try to downplay its toxicity in order to promote their products as healthy. As a result, people who believe they are buying healthy foods are actually putting their health at risk by consuming large amounts of MSG.
The following are the health risks of MSG:
MSG is widely used in the food industry, which makes finding MSG-free foods a challenge. It is often hidden on ingredient lists under different names to mislead consumers.
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Xylitol, a Healthy and Safe Sweetener.
March 12, 2014 09:05 PM
What is xylitol
Xylitol is a comprehensively utilized regular sweetening operator that was initially uncovered by a German Chemist in the nineteenth century. The primary crude materials utilized for its assembling are birch trees and corn, however can moreover be processed from plums and berries. It is worth specifying that it is in addition commonly handled in little amounts by the human form. Xylitol is without a doubt not the most well known sugar substitute or nourishment added substance yet that doesn't imply that it isn't an essential one since it pushes various health profits. Researchers began investigating these profits once again a large portion of a century prior and more conceivable solid profits are continuously investigated today. Artificially it is a sugar liquor that has five carbon iotas in its compound structure and this structure is answerable for a large portion of its properties that make it gainful.
As we specified, xylitol has various profits, yet the particular case that is best thought about is the way that it can avoid dental caries. Research discoveries are strong to the point, that this profit is undeniable. There are numerous instruments that are answerable for this valuable impact. One of them is that dissimilar to sugar and starchy sustenances it doesn't result in an abatement of the ph in the mouth, despite what might be expected it can help kill it. Acidic conditions in the oral pit are valuable for microorganisms like S. Mutans that are the primary driver of dental caries. Moreover, the acids processed can bring about harms to the tooth veneer that ensures our teeth. Other than securing tooth veneer, there are proof that propose it can additionally help restore it. Notwithstanding that, these microorganisms can't age xylitol to handle vitality so as to duplicate, then again sugar is their favored vitality source. At long last, xylitol can extraordinarily diminish the adherence of the organisms on the tooth surface and as a result their capacity to manufacture plaque. All the reasons above help xylitol's tooth day battling profits.
It has been made clear that xylitol has various vital profits. On the other hand, it is paramount to note that it has several minor reactions also. The two fundamental symptoms that could be created by the utilization of xylitol are bloating and looseness of the bowels. These symptoms are created on the grounds that xylitol is ingested by inactive dispersion and happen assuming that somebody expends it above his laxation limit. It is likewise worth noting that the laxation limit can expand over the long run as the physique adjusts to the routine ingestion of xylitol. A couple of extra symptoms like unfavorable susceptibilities have been accounted for however they are not decently archived or affirmed via research information. At long last, most official associations, including the FDA have sanction it as a safe nourishment added substance for people.
VITAMIN - D3:A reservoiur of benefits to sheenful life
January 03, 2014 05:29 PM
Vitamin D3 Sources
A handful of sunshine everyday is what our body requires to retain its sheen and keep our health problems at bay. Human skin when exposed to ultraviolet rays of the sun manufactures vitamin D-3 orcholecalciferol for its consumption. It is recommended that lighter skin individuals receive 10 to 15 minutes of sunlight daily. Darker individuals, on the other hand, should receive almost double the amount of sunlight, up to 25 to 30 minutes daily. Other best natural food source for vitamin- D3 is fish products, such as: cod liver oil, tuna, salmon and sardines.
Apart from the tablets or liquid vitamin D-3 supplements, fortified milk, breads, cereals and eggs are lesser vitamin D3 sources.
Lists of health benefits for Vitamin D-3:
What Are The Health Benefits Of The Herb Motherwort?
November 29, 2013 10:40 PM
What is Motherwort HerbMotherwort is a herb known for its properties of calming the nerves and relaxing the heart by reducing the harmful effects of stress. It is mostly used by women, but also works for men who have heart and nervous system maladies that relate to stress. It’s scientific name is “Leonurus cardiaca” and its native location is Europe and Asia. The common name comes from the fact that is has been prescribed to pregnant stressed women throughout history as a cardio tonic and nervine tonic. It strengthens and gladdens the heart thus transforming user from dull and bitter moods to relaxed, comfortable and happy ones.
Benefits of Motherwort Herb
The herb includes tincture that elevates a persons mood and acts as a sedative. As a result, the user gets better sleep on using heavy doses and a good energy balance when using small doses spread out through the day. When combined with linden flower and ginger tinctures it also helps to tackle postpartum depression. By acting as a galactagogue, it promotes the flow of mother’s milk and it also helps soothe the uterine before and after giving birth. For those who are not pregnant, consumption of motherwort leads to better menstrual flow as a result of the regulation of the menstrual cycle. Women with cramps, nervousness and digestive disturbances during PMS benefit most from the consumption of this herb as tea or in other forms.
As a cardio tonic, it is injected so that it can halt the clotting of blood as results to a better blood flow. Improved blood flow in the body is good for prevention of other diseases and health risks such as heart attacks and stroke. People with thyroid disease and Hypoglycemia or low blood sugar tend to develop heart palpitations, but this is greatly reduced by the use of motherwort. Lastly, other useful uses of motherwort herb include the relieving of lung problems such as asthma and bronchitis.
Signs of Low Blood Sugar
November 08, 2013 09:36 AM
Types of Low Blood Sugar
If you live with or know a type 1 or type 2 diabetic, then you should be aware of the signs of low blood sugar so that you are in a position to help if and when an emergency arises.
Diabetes is a chronic illness that affects nearly 8 percent of the United States population, according to the American Diabetes Association. The disease is characterized by the absence of insulin in the bloodstream (type 1 diabetes) or the body's inability to utilize insulin effectively (type 2 diabetes).
Since insulin is the mechanism that allows glucose in the bloodstream, known as blood sugar, to provide food for the brain and energy to the body's organs and cells, diabetics must inject insulin or take other oral medications to counteract any insulin deficiency. All diabetics must also follow a daily regimen that includes a heart-healthy diet and plenty of physical activity to help regulate blood sugar levels.
About Blood Sugar
Normal blood sugar levels are 70 mg/dl to 120 mg/dl. If a diabetic consumes too many carbohydrates or doesn't take enough insulin, blood sugar levels can run high, resulting in a condition known as hyperglycemia. Blood sugar levels below 70 mg/dl is considered Hypoglycemia, a life-threatening condition. Fortunately, there are several initial signs of low blood sugar that help the diabetic and those around them know that a medical situation is arising.Causes of Low Blood Sugar
Some causes of low blood sugar are under a diabetic's control, including: insufficient carbohydrate consumption. Consuming alcoholic beverages. Prolonged strenuous physical activity. Other causes of Hypoglycemia can catch a diabetic by surprise: Mental or emotional stressSevere or prolonged illnessSigns and Symptoms of Hypoglycemia
Most diabetics are able to identify the signs of low blood sugar fairly quickly and treat it before the condition becomes serious -- but not always. If someone's blood sugar levels normally run between 100 mg/dl and 120 mg/dl they might feel the onset of low blood sugar symptoms when they near the 70 mg/dl mark. Diabetics whose blood sugar levels are usually on the lower end of the spectrum, like in the 70 mg/dl to 80 mg/dl range, may not begin to feel symptoms of Hypoglycemia until their blood sugar levels are already dangerously low.
The onset of symptoms usually includes:
What Are herbs For Hypoglycemia?
December 21, 2011 07:38 AM
Low Blood Sugar (Hypoglycemia)
As people, as human beings we are built for action not for sitting down and be a couch potato all day long. We were created or our body is created with activity in mind and not luxury and laziness. Our body is able to adjust to almost any environment or any change in the environment for that matter if given enough time however the changes that is happening in the world today may be too fast for our body to cope with.
If you notice all these advancements are supposed to make things easier but it seems like it made thing harder and in turn we try to balance, we are obligated to do more work so we try to keep up by exercising a little bit more and by watching our weight and what we eat a little bit more. But in all this time one thing remains the same, our body needs sugar to burn for us to be able to do all those things, even the simplest of brain functions needs sugar or glucose to have it functioning right. Any imbalance between the body’s requirement and the blood sugar supply will cause health problems and one of them is Hypoglycemia.
This is a condition in which the imbalance of the blood glucose levels in the body is pointing more towards on the lower side. Meaning this a condition caused by unusually low sugar levels in the blood. Commonly this is caused by not eating enough as the body requires or maybe too much insulin is taken as why “insulin shock” is a term commonly used for cases of severe hypoglycaemia. Some of the symptoms that are associated with this condition are paleness and sweatiness of the skin, shakiness, heart palpitations and anxiety as commonly caused by high adrenaline levels in the blood as this is the body’s way of counteracting low blood sugar levels.
Other symptoms include weakness, fatigue, double vision, extreme hunger and headaches and these sets of symptoms are caused by brain function impairment which is caused by low glucose levels in the blood. In fact the brain is the organ that suffers the most when it is not able to get the glucose it needs.
Herbs that can help against Hypoglycemia just to name a few…
Ginseng – this wonder herb which has long been used and has been noted to have been effective in Chinese natural medicine is able to aid in sugar absorption in the body. If taken for longer periods of time the logic behind it is that it will be able to regulate blood sugar levels which will help with symptoms like fatigue.
Holy Basil – will be helpful for people with hypoglycaemia through aiding in the management of stress which has been known to worsen the conditions of hypoglycemic individuals.
Gentian – is a bitter tasting herb that has antiseptic and appetite stimulating properties. Its main function though is to be able to stimulate adrenaline production from the adrenal gland which will help in the regulating blood sugar levels.
Gymnema Sylvestre is an ayruvedic herb that has also been shown to help maintain good blood sugar levels.
Chromium picolinate, although not an herb but a mineral can also help maintain good blood sugar levels.
What Are The Different Types Of Ginseng And What Is Ginseng Good For?
December 16, 2011 06:44 AM
Ginseng is a considered to be a perennial plant which is a member of the Panax genus under the family of Araliaceae. It is abundantly found in North America, East Asia and other places which have a cool climate. There are many types of ginseng. Though different in kind, all these species of ginseng contains the active ingredient known as ginsenosides. This chemical substance is the one responsible for the many health benefits of ginseng.
The types of Ginseng are:
1. PANAX GINSENG. This type of ginseng is also known as Asian ginseng. It is very rich in ginsenosides which proves that it is included among the types of true ginseng.
2. PANAX QUINQUEFOLIUS. This ginseng has an effective adaptogenic property. It is otherwise known as American ginseng. This herb is also considered as a true ginseng.
3. ELEUTHEROCOCCUS SENTICOSUS. The other name for this herb is Siberian ginseng. However, it is not considered as a true ginseng because it does not contain ginsenosides but eleutherosides. Also, ginseng has a fleshy root while this herb has a woody one. Despite their differences, Siberian ginseng also has similar effects to true ginseng herbs. It has an adaptogenic property which can effectively improve the overall health of the individual.
As mentioned above, ginseng has many benefits to human health. These include:
1. IMMUNE SYSTEM BOOSTER. Ginseng contains several vitamins and minerals which can be helpful in improving the immune system as well as the overall health of the individual. Studies have shown that ginseng has an ample amount of Vitamin C which can help maintain the health and strength of the body’s immune system. As a result, ginseng can effectively improve health especially those who are one the recovery phase of an illness.
2. LOWERS BLOOD GLUCOSE. Asian ginseng is noted for its potential ability to help regulate blood sugar levels. This is made possible because of its action in the stomach and intestine to control the absorption of glucose from the diet. In this connection, health experts highly recommend that individuals under diabetic therapy must use ginseng with extra care because it might cause Hypoglycemia or low level of sugar in the blood.
3. AFFECTS BLOOD PRESSURE. Ginseng can produce an effect to the blood pressure of the individual, either high or low blood pressure. Depending on the dosage and the person’s response, ginseng can effectively maintain blood pressure within it normal limits.
4. IMPROVES THE OVERALL STATE OF HEALTH. Many ginseng consumers have reported that they experience an increased sense of well – being with their regular use of such helpful herb. It is also commonly used for the improvement of one’s stamina and endurance in performing many mental and physical tasks.
Ginseng can be consumed raw. Others use dried roots of this herb. Supplements are also available in the form of tablets, extracts and teas. Ointments and creams are also formulated for topical administration. If you plan to use ginseng for a particular health indication, make sure to talk to your doctor first since ginseng can have significant effect to the body as mentioned above. This will greatly prevent adverse effects and interactions with other medications you are taking.
Coconut Oil Help Sugar Cravings?
October 05, 2011 01:00 PM
Craving for sugary foods is a form of refined sugar addiction. For you to totally end your addiction towards sugar, you need to eat healthy foods to keep you well nourished hence, you will no longer feel the necessity of the stimulating effect of refined sugar. Engaging in to various ways and means to cut your cravings for refined sugar is very necessary to protect yourself from various disease conditions that are associated with too much intake of glucose like diabetes mellitus. Diabetes mellitus is one condition that affects many people across the globe. Since this condition can lead to more serious health ailments there is a great need for us to stop the root cause of diabetes which is too much intake of sugar-rich foods. Here are some useful ways that you may consider that can help you put an end your cravings for foods that are excessively sweet hence, will make you more vigorous and healthy.
Fats that are considered healthy like unrefined coconut oil is very beneficial in helping you regulate your blood sugar levels. The essential fats that unrefined coconut oil contains can enhance vitamin and mineral absorption and at the same time decrease the rate of carbohydrate absorption. Several studies can already prove the capacity of unrefined coconut oil as a remedy for Hypoglycemia and sugar addiction. Coconut oil is also vital for those people who often encounter problems with regards to fat digestion.
Eat as much fruit as you can
Eating fresh fruits as well as consuming fruit derivatives (dried fruits, smoothies, and fruit juices) on a regular basis is very helpful in keeping you healthy. Compared to refined sugar, fresh fruits contains abundant amount of vitamins and minerals that would guard your body from incurring diseases that will impede you from doing the things that you like to do. What makes fruit and natural fruit products even better is the fact that it does not contain any addictive properties that are present in refined sugar.
Prevent blood sugar fluctuations
If you want to cut down your cravings for foods that have high sugar content, you should learn how to control your blood sugar levels within normal boundaries. When the blood sugar level of your body is too low (Hypoglycemia) the body tends to compensate by increasing cravings for sugar. If you do not want to experience such feeling, then you have to make sure that you do not skip any meals. Small frequent meals are also very helpful so as regular exercise.
Try super foods
Super foods are foods that contain liberal amounts of vitamins and minerals that are all necessary in keeping your body lean and healthy. These kinds of foods are also necessary in controlling unreasonable cravings. Here is a list of the most common super foods that you can readily avail in the market today: mangosteen, wheatgrass juice, seaweed, and acai.
Controlling your cravings for unrefined sugar is very important to prevent yourself from developing disease conditions brought about by too much consumption of sugary foods. So live healthily and enjoy life to the fullest!
Chronic fatigue syndrom and your life styles
September 01, 2010 07:55 PM
Fight Chronic Fatigue SyndromChronic fatigue syndrome strikes more than two million people in the United States, with eighty-five percent of these people being women between the ages of thirty and fifty. The symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome often resemble many other viral infections, making it very hard to pinpoint the real problem. This condition is possibly caused by stress as well as by mercury poisoning from amalgam fillings, Hypoglycemia, anemia, hypothyroidism, sleep apnea, food and chemical allergies, weak adrenal function, parasitic infections, amino acid deficiencies, and Candida albicans infections. With all of this in mind, there are a couple of herbal combinations and healthful suggestions that can be followed to help prevent or deal with chronic fatigue syndrome.
Cordyceps sinensis is a natural Chinese supplement that contains high amounts of L-tryptophan. It provides nutrients that are necessary for relieving fatigue and improving endurance. It also helps to increase blood supply to the heart and brain. This herb increases the production of superoxide dismutase in the body. In China, this herb has been traditionally used to treat the nervous system. Additionally, it is used to help strengthen the kidneys and liver.
An herbal combination containing bee pollen, licorice, kelp, barley grass, schizandra, gotu kola, eleuthero, yellow dock, rose hips, and capsicum has been shown to help restore energy to the system. This combination is an excellent combination of herbs to feed and nourish the entire system. It provides nourishment for the adrenals, in the form of licorice, and also for the thyroid, in the form of kelp. The bee pollen in this combination helps to nourish and supply energy to the body. Barley grass nourishes and cleans the body, while schizandra, which is an adaptogen herb, increases the energy supply of cells in the brain, muscles, liver, kidneys, glands, nerves, and in the entire body. The combination of herbs will rebuild the blood, liver, and digestive system.
The following are a few suggestions that can be followed to help deal with and prevent chronic fatigue syndrome. Exercise is very helpful, with even mild exercise helping to increase stamina and oxygenate cells. Exercise also helps to improve sleep. Allergies can be involved in chronic fatigue syndrome, so it is important to look into food allergies, chemicals, and heavy metals, and eliminate them. Anytime there is inflammation in the body that is accompanied by pain, swelling, heat, and redness, allergies are likely the culprits. When the immune system is weak, candida is usually involved.
Candida and Chronic Fatigue Syndrom
A candida diet would help to restore natural flora to the system. Candida can prevent the body from using sugars properly, which blocks the body’s energy production and causes extreme fatigue. To restore the friendly bacteria, use acidophilus on an empty stomach and eat unsweetened yogurt. If candida is involved, it is important to eliminate sugar, alcohol, mushrooms and all fungi, molds, and yeast in any form. It is also important to eliminate fermented foods. Look into leaky gut syndrome, which typically allows germs, viruses, bacteria, worms, and parasites to flourish. When they flourish, the immune and nervous system become weak, causing diseases such as chronic fatigue syndrome to weaken the body.
Trying natural remedies like Fatigue to fantastic herbal supplements may help ease chronic fatigue.
Fight Free Radical Damage From Toxins With Vitamins And Herbs
July 28, 2010 11:34 AM
There are many things that destroy the immune system. Each day we are bombarded with them in many forms. The following are some of the most common ones that are encountered.
Agene, also known as Nitrogen Trichloride, is used to bleach flour and give it a white appearance. Unfortunately, it can cause epileptic-like fits along with failure of muscle coordination. Excessive use of alcohol also severely impairs the immune system. It increases susceptibility to infection and weakens the central nervous system. Alcohol promotes chronic lung disease, malignancies of the neck and head, intestinal problems, Hypoglycemia, diabetes, liver disease, and a whole variety of other problems. B vitamins, folic acid, niacin, vitamin E, magnesium, zinc, and protein are depleted by alcohol. All of these nutrients play a huge role in immune health. Aspartame breaks down in the digestive tract into a toxic material known as methanol. In order to prevent methanol from metabolizing into formaldehyde, a poison, a person needs to take another poison, ethanol.
Glutamic acid is a substance that is found in monosodium glutamate, a flavor enhancer. It affects the central nervous system and can trigger depression, gloomy fantasies, and rage for as long as two weeks following the ingestion of monosodium glutamate. High-diet fat intake increases the levels of bile acids in the colon. This breaks down into deoxycholic and lithocholic acids, both of which are cancer-causing elements. This can cause cancer of both the colon and the rectum. A diet that is high in animal protein and fat can cause cancer of the pancreas, breast, gallbladder, ovaries, uterus, prostate, and leukemia. Junk food such as sweets, white flour, and white sugar products, put a double amount of stress on the body. When too much junk food is eaten, the appetite for good, wholesome food is dulled.
Caffeine decreases immunity in the body, with fibrocystic breast disease being connected with the consumption of foods that contain caffeine. It is often caused by the chemicals methylxanthine, theophylline, and theobromine, which are found in coffee, black tea, cola drinks, chocolate, and other soft drinks. These elements act on hormones that cause breast tissue to develop fibrocystic lumps. Caffeine takes away the body’s own use of iron and inositol, and is often suspected of causing cancer in the pancreas.
Food dyes and flavorings are the culprits in behavioral problems that occur in children and adults, with some of these problems being learning disabilities and hyperactivity. Sodium nitrate is a preservative that is often found in cured meats like hot dogs, bologna, and ham. It has the potential to produce permanent epileptic changes in brain activity and damage the central nervous system.
High protein diets can deplete calcium in the body, especially when the source of protein is an animal product. There are concentrated doses of hormones and antibiotics that are found in beef which suppress the immune system and promote tumor growth. Poly-unsaturated fats undergo a process that produces rancidity in oils. This process releases dangerous free radicals, which eventually lead to cancer.
Heavy metals like lead and mercury can cause serious damage to the nervous system, with even small amounts being considered toxic. Lastly, the wide use of vaccinations and antibiotics is considered to be one of the main causes of immune system disorders.
Our bodies are under constant attack by our toxic environment. Fortunately, with regular vitamin and herb use, one can help the body restore its immune system to proper function so we can live a happier healthier life.
December 19, 2009 11:11 AM
Glucomannan is derived from the extracted mucilage of the konjac root. This plant is part of the same family as yams, but does not have the calories. Glucomannan is a 100 percent natural form of fiber. The principle use of this herb is as a bulking agent to promote the feeling of fullness.
Glucomannan is a water-soluble polysaccharide. This nutrient is considered to be a dietary fiber. Often, glucomannan is a food additive that is used as both an emulsifier and thickener. Products that contain glucomannan are marketed under a variety of brand names, but are also sold as nutritional supplements for constipation, obesity, high cholesterol, acne vulgaris, and type II diabetes. Glucomannan can be found making up about forty percent by dry weight of the roots of the konjac plant. This nutrient is also a hemicellulose, which can be found in large amounts in wood of conifer plants and in smaller amounts in the wood of dicotyledons.
Glucomannan helps to reduce cholesterol, maintain regularity, and promote intestinal health. The herb also aids in normalizing blood sugar levels, relieving stress on the pancreas, and discouraging blood sugar abnormalities such as Hypoglycemia. Glucomannan also absorbs toxic substances that are produced during digestion and elimination. The herb binds toxic materials and eliminates them before they can be absorbed into the bloodstream. Research has determined that glucomannan and lecithin together reduce cholesterol levels. Lecithin is responsible for breaking down fat and cholesterol, and glucomannan eliminates those broken-down particles from the body. This herb expands to about fifty times its original volume when it is taken with a glass of water.
Diabetic patients have reported that they experienced benefits with glucomannan. One study, in which patients were given glucomannan daily for ninety days, found the mean fasting glucose levels to have fallen by 29 percent by the end of the ninety days. At the end of the period, the mean fasting glucose levels fell by 29 percent. Most participants in this study reduced their insulin requirements. Glucomannan may also help cholesterol levels. Animal studies have determined that there is a significant reduction in cholesterol levels when given this herb.
Before supplementing with glucomannan, it is important to speak with your health care provider. In the same sense, you should be sure to tell your health care provider about any complementary and alternative practices that you use. It is important to give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This ensures both coordinated and safe health care.
The root of the glucomannan plant is used to provide anorectic, antacid, cholagogue, digestive, nutritive, and purgative properties. The primary nutrients provided by this herb are calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, niacin, phosphorus, selenium, silicon, sodium, vitamins A, C, B1, and B2, and zinc. Primarily, glucomannan is extremely helpful in treating blood sugar disorders, high cholesterol, constipation, diverticulitis, hemorrhoids, and obesity. Additionally, the herb is very beneficial in dealing with atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, diabetes, gastric problems, Hypoglycemia, and pancreatic problems.
Pau d'arco Bark
November 10, 2009 11:23 AM
Pau d'arco is known in South America for its healing powers by the Callawaya tribe. These people called the herb taheebo and have been using it for over one thousand years. This herb was used anciently by the Inca civilization's medicine men. Pau d'arco was included in traditions that were passed down through the generations. Pau d'arco has been used to treat cancer and other illnesses since the 1970s in the Santo Andre Hospital in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This herb has become a well-known herb for healing and protecting the body from disease.
Pau d'arco is found growing in a tree high in the Andes and can weather the worst storms because of its hard wood and deep roots. This herb is found in the inner bark of the red lapacho tree. Most of the trees surrounding this tree eventually become covered with spores, which lead to fungus, and this eventually kills the trees. However, the red lapacho seems to be able to resist the spores. This may be a contributor in pau d'arco's ability to heal the body and resist disease.
There seems to be some evidence of antitumor properties in pau d'arco. Many individuals have taken this herb when they are undergoing radiation and chemotherapy. Pau d'arco helps to strengthen the body and help prevent the side effects that are associated with cancer treatment. Additionally, this herb seems to be a powerful alterative and blood builder. It has the ability to increase the hemoglobin and red corpuscles that are found in the blood. It gives the body a greater vitality by increasing its resistance to disease. Pau d'arco seems to be responsible for giving the body energy and strength to defend itself and resist disease. The herb is also believed to help inhibit the growth of tumors and increase the growth of normal tissue. Furthermore, pau d'arco herb is used to aid in the assimilation of nutrients and the elimination of waste matter. It is often referred to as the “everything” herb due to its uses for many disorders. Pau d'arco has been used by many, along with other medications. There seem to be no problems that are associated with the combination. It is also used to help counteract the side effects of some medications and is believed to reduce the liver damage that is caused by some drugs. Many herbalists have used this herb to treat a variety of conditions. It is effective as an immune system enhancer. It can also aid in treating conditions such as cancer, leukemia, tumors, and blood disorders. Pau d'arco is also used to treat the pain of arthritis and also for diabetes, candidiasis, herpes, liver ailments, Hypoglycemia, and assimilation of nutrients.
Studies have found that a component of pau d'arco, quinine lapachol, has antimicrobial and antiviral properties. The herb also seems to have an antitumor effect without any toxic side effects. Additional components include beta-lapachone, hydroxyl-napthoquinone, alpha-lapachone, and xyloidone. These are effective against numerous viruses, bacteria, and fungi, including herpes, influenza, poliovirus, and many others. A researcher at the National University of Tucuman in Argentina, Dr. Theodoro Meyer, discovered the substance xyloidin. This substance is able to kill viruses. Xyloidin is also beneficial in inhibiting the causative agent of dysentery, tuberculosis, and anthrax.
Pau'd arco is available at your local or internet health food store at discount prices. Look for name brands like Solaray, Source Naturals, and Natures Plus to ensure quality and purity of the product you purchase.
September 17, 2009 10:57 AM
Ancient Greeks used hawthorn berries for heart disease. The Greeks and Romans looked to hawthorn as a source of happiness and hope for the future. The berries were used by the Chinese for digestion and circulatory problems. Christian legend says that the crown of thorns that was placed upon the head of Christ was made from hawthorn. The crushed fruit or leaves were used as a poultice for their drawing powers to remove thorns and splinters for centuries in England. Native Americans believed that hawthorn was useful for rheumatism and heart problems.
This herb contains many different components which work together to benefit the heart and body. Hawthorn can both feed and strengthen the heart and arteries. It seems to work on the heart muscle to make it work more effectively. The herb may even help a damaged heart. Hawthorn contains some mild sedative properties, which can help when heart disorders are due to stress and with insomnia. Hawthorn has been used to treat and prevent arteriosclerosis, rapid heartbeat, feeble heartbeat, enlarged heart, angina, and breathing difficulties due to a lack of oxygen in the lungs. Some people recommend using hawthorn to protect against disease before symptoms occur.
Hawthorn is known for its ability to regulate arterial blood pressure. It increases the strength of the heart muscle and also works to increase coronary blood flow. This herb is great in helping to reduce the heart rate and lessen the heart’s workload.
Some studies have found that this extract is responsible for dilating the blood vessels, which results in reduced peripheral resistance. Hawthorn may also have some further cardio-protective effects that become pronounced after prolonged use. Research on 132 patients found substantial positive results with the use of this herb. These stage two stable heart failure patients had improved exercise tolerance, and a reduction in shortness of breath and fatigue after exercise. The researchers noted that for maximum effect, hawthorn must be used for one to two months. Cardiac improvement accelerates with long-term use and relatively high doses. One of the most positive facts about hawthorn is its safety. This herb is believed to be safe for long-term use without side effects. Some experiments have found that hawthorn dilates the blood vessels, lowers blood pressure, and strengthens the heart. This herb is commonly prescribed by German physicians to treat minor heart problems. Hawthorn also contains a mild sedative effect. This effect may contribute to a healthy heart. Stress, anxiety, and nervousness are often associated with heart conditions.
The berries and flowers of the hawthorn plant are used to provide alterative, antispasmodic, astringent, cardio-alterative, diuretic, sedative, and vasodilator properties. The primary nutrients found in hawthorn are choline, inositol, and vitamins A, B-complex, and C with bioflavonoids. Primarily, hawthorn is extremely beneficial in dealing with angina, arrhythmia, arteriosclerosis, high and low blood pressure, heart conditions, heart palpitations, and Hypoglycemia.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in treating arthritis, blood clots, edema, hypertension, insomnia, liver disorders, rheumatism, sleeplessness, and stress. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by hawthorn, please feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store.
Gymnema Sylvestre Leaf Extract
September 16, 2009 11:31 AM
Gymnema has been used for centuries throughout the world for medical purposes. Only recently has it gained popularity in the Western world. The herb grows naturally in Africa and India. It is traded all over the world. Generally, the leaves are the part used. However, the root seems to supply some medicinal properties as well. The plant is a vine-like woody plant that can be found growing on bushes and small tress. It is a member of the milkweed family.
Gymnema has been used by Ayurvedic physicians to treat ailments such as stomach problems, diabetes, and urinary disorders for more than two thousand years. Early physicians found that chewing some of the leaves helped an individual to lose a taste for sweets. Modern scientific research has confirmed that gymnemic acid, the active ingredient, blacks the taste of sugar and blocks sugar’s absorption by the body. It is also thought the gymnema suppresses the taste of saccharin and clycamate, which are two common artificial sweeteners. A study done in 1986 also suggests that this herb is able to significantly increase liver and pancreatic function. This ability is promising for diabetes, obesity, Hypoglycemia, allergies, anemia, and osteoporosis.
This herb is used for blocking the passages that sugar is normally absorbed. This prevents calories from being absorbed and blood sugar levels are not so drastically affected. The herb is also thought to block the body’s desire for sweets. One study found a link between the taste buds and the absorption of sugar in the intestines. Because gymnemic acid, found in gymnema, has a molecular structure similar to sugar, these molecules can fill in the receptor locations on the taste buds temporarily, preventing the taste buds from being activated by the sugar eaten. The same basic thing happens in intestines, as the structure of tissue in the intestines is similar to the taste-bud structure that detects sugar. The gymenmic acid fills in the receptors in the intestines, which prevents absorption.
One of the most promising uses of gymnema may be in cases of diabetes. Research on animals has found that a reduction of blood sugar levels occurs after the consumption of gymnema extract. The herb may help to reduce the amount of insulin needed by diabetic individuals on insulin therapy. The herb is found in combinations that are often associated with controlling blood glucose levels and metabolism. Gymnema seems to be successful in some cases of diabetes. Additionally, the herb has been found to actually improve both liver and pancreatic function.
Over time, this herb has proven to be a nontoxic remedy. Gymnema is used for many conditions. Among these are diabetes, digestion, urinary tract problems, obesity, Hypoglycemia, allergies, anemia, cholesterol, and hyperactivity. Gymnema may be a useful remedy in the concern over sugar and sugar-related problems, along with many other medical ailments.
In short, the leaves and roots of the gymnema plant are used to provide antiperiodic, diuretic, and stomachic properties. Primarily, this herb is extremely beneficial in dealing with diabetes, hyperactivity, and Hypoglycemia. Additionally, gymnema is very helpful in treating allergies, anemia, high cholesterol, gastric disorders, indigestion, obesity, and weight conditions. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by gymnema, please feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store.
Gotu Kola And Memory
September 15, 2009 04:30 PM
For centuries, gotu kola has been used in India and the islands of the Indian Ocean as a tonic and medicinal remedy. The herb was thought to increase longevity and improve energy. It was used in ancient days to treat leprosy, calm nerves, increase mental and physical power, stimulate and rejuvenate the brain, prevent nervous disorders, and avoid mental fatigue and senility.
This herb is considered to be one of the best herbal tonics, which is a substance that works to put the body into balance. A tonic makes sure that everything is working properly, while an herbal tonic helps to promote an optimum state in the body systems. This herb is responsible for gradually building the nervous system as a nervous system tonic. Gotu kola has been used for many different maladies, which include nervous disorders, deficient mental function, memory problems, epilepsy, and schizophrenia. The herb works by cleansing and purifying the blood by neutralizing acids and helping the body defend itself against toxins.
Research has found that an ingredient in gotu kola, known as asiaticoside, is responsible for speeding the healing of wounds. This ingredient is considered a blood cleanser and is also effective for diseases of the lungs. The herb stimulates the capillaries and helps to improve brain function, varicose veins, and hypertension.
Gotu kola is often used to increase mental function and performance. A variety of studies have confirmed this herb’s ability to improve brain function. It is often prescribed in Europe and India for this purpose. Studies done in India have found the water extract of fresh leaves helps to improve memory and learning. Additionally, it was found to help overcome the negative effects that are associated with stress and fatigue.
Additional clinical trials in India have found that gotu kola is able to help increase the IQ and mental ability of mentally retarded children. The children that were involved in this study showed improved mental capacity and behavior. This herb was given to children in combination with capsicum and ginseng. This improved behavior and mental capacity can help individuals who have mental and learning disabilities to achieve a higher quality of life.
In ancient times, gotu kola was used to heal wounds and soothe cases of leprosy. One of the first studies done on this herb was with cases of leprosy. The asiaticoside content found in gotu kola has been used for years in Europe and the Far East to cure leprosy and tuberculosis. Recent studies on this herb center more on its healing ability. Gotu kola seems to be able to accelerate the healing of wounds and skin diseases. Additionally, it has been shown to be beneficial in helping repair tissue after surgery and trauma. The herb has the ability to strengthen veins and repair connective tissue, while nourishing the motor neurons.
The entire gotu kola plant is used to provide alterative, antiasthmatic, antispasmodic, blood purifier, diuretic, and nervine properties. The primary nutrients in this herb are catechol, epicatechol, magnesium, theobromine, and vitamin K. Primarily, gotu kola is extremely helpful in dealing with aging, arteriosclerosis, high blood pressure, poor circulation, fatigue, heart problems, Hypoglycemia, leprosy, memory loss, mental problems, nervousness, and senility.
Additionally, this herb is beneficial in treating blood impurities, depression, dysentery, fevers, headaches, insomnia, liver ailments, menopausal symptoms, pituitary problems, psoriasis, rheumatism, schizophrenia, thyroid problems, tonsillitis, effects of toxins, tuberculosis, varicose veins, lack of vitality, and wounds. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by gotu kola, please contact a representative from your local health food store.
September 04, 2009 12:17 PM
The juniper plant is a coniferous plant which is part of the genus Juniperus of the cypress family. There are approximately 50-67 different species of juniper, which are distributed widely throughout the northern hemisphere. Among these locations include the Artic, south to tropical Africa in the Old World, and to the mountains of Central America.
Juniper berries were used in ancient Greece as a diuretic. In Europe, the scent of juniper berries was used to help ward off the plaque. Nicholas Culpeper, a seventeenth-century herbalist, recommended the use of juniper as an appetite stimulant. Native Americans used juniper berries as a survival food during the cold winter months. The berries were dried and ground and then made into cakes. Some tribes even roasted the berries, ground them, and then used them as a coffee substitute. The tea was recommended to be used by Jethro Kloss for kidney, prostate, and bladder disorders, and for dropsy and digestive diseases. The berries and oil of the juniper plant were listed in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia from 1820 to 1873. They were also listed in the National Formulary until 1960.
Juniper berries contain a volatile oil that has traditionally been used to treat conditions of the urinary tract. The berries of the juniper plant are often used to increase the flow of urine. They are also beneficial for ridding the body of uric acid, which may crystallize in the kidneys. They are also used to dissolve kidney stones and sediment in the prostate. Juniper berries are also recommended for treating digestive problems, indigestion, gas, and to cleanse the blood. The berries may even help to stimulate the appetite. This herb contains natural insulin which is responsible for helping to restore the pancreas when no permanent damage has occurred. Juniper may be applied directly to wounds as a poultice for healing and infection prevention.
One study that was done using animals found that juniper acts as an effective diuretic. The berries are believed to stimulate the flow of urine and the filtration process. The volatile oils, which are found in the juniper berries, are responsible for increasing the glomerular filtration rate of the kidneys. Juniper berries are often used for their diuretic properties. This herb is not recommended for use by pregnant women as it may increase uterine contractions.
The berries of the juniper plant are used to provide anodyne, antispasmodic, aromatic, astringent, carminative, diuretic, emmenagogue, nephritic, and stimulant properties. The primary nutrients found in juniper are copper, sulfur, and vitamin C. Primarily, juniper is extremely beneficial in dealing with adrenal gland problems, bed-wetting, bleeding, colds, diabetes, edema, Hypoglycemia, infection, kidney infections, kidney stones, pancreatic problems, uric acid irritations, urinary problems, uterine problems, and water retention.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in treating acne, ague, hay fever, allergies, arthritis, arteriosclerosis, insect and snake bites, blood impurities, bursitis, catarrhal inflammation, colic, coughs, convulsions, uterine and stomach cramps, cystic fibrosis, fungus, gas, gonorrhea, gout, bleeding gums, irregular menstruation, excessive mucus, prostate problems, rheumatism, scurvy, sores, tuberculosis, typhoid fever, urinary incontinence, and worms. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by juniper, please feel free to contact a representative at your local health food store.
August 27, 2009 02:40 PM
Garlic is very popular because of its health benefits. A perennial plant and member of the lily family, the bulb of the garlic plant is used for many medicinal purposes. Garlic was used by the ancient Hebrews, Greeks, Romans, Chinese, and Egyptians. The Chinese used this herb at least three thousand years ago to treat various ailments. The Egyptians ate garlic while building pyramids to increase their strength and endurance. Hippocrates suggested that this herb be used for treatment of uterine cancer. Native Americans used garlic to fight abdominal cancer, while the Europeans used this herb during the plague years to provide immunity. The main historical uses of garlic were to treat colds, coughs, toothaches, earaches, diarrhea, infection, arteriosclerosis, headaches, dandruff, tumors, worms, and hypertension.
Garlic is nature’s antibiotic. This herb is very effective in fighting bacteria which may be resistant to other antibiotics. The herb stimulates the lymphatic system in order to throw off waste material. Garlic is different from other antibiotics in the fact that it has the ability to stimulate cell growth and activity. This herb rejuvenates all body functions. Garlic opens up blood vessels, reducing hypertension. It is known as a health-building and disease-preventing herb.
Several studies have linked garlic to a lower incidence of cardiovascular disease. This herb has been found to reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood, while lowering blood pressure, increasing immunity, and reducing the blood’s clotting ability. Research suggests that eating the equivalent of one-half to one clove of garlic daily can decrease total serum cholesterol levels by about nine percent. Anticoagulant capabilities have also been found in garlic by German researchers. Garlic is able to benefit those individuals who are suffering from peripheral arterial occlusive disease, which is better known as blood clots in the legs.
Garlic also contains antitumor properties, with studies showing it having the ability to inhibit the growth of cancer-causing nitrosamine. The National Cancer Institute even recommends adding more garlic, onions, and other similar vegetables to the diet. This would lower the risk of developing stomach cancer. Results from one study showed that garlic may be toxic to some cancer cells. It may encourage the immune system to spot the invaders and destroy them, allowing a natural immune process to destroy tumor cells.
Garlic is believed to stimulate the lymphatic system by ridding itself of toxins. The Russians consider garlic to be a natural antibiotic, which is why they consume it regularly. This herb is often used to prevent disease and heal the body. It is nourishing for the entire body, especially the heart, circulation, stomach, spleen, and lungs. Additionally, it has been used to stimulate circulation and to help the immune system function more effectively. Some believe that this herb may help prevent some forms of cancer, heart disease, strokes, and infections.
In summary, the bulb of the garlic plant is used to provide adaptogen, alterative, antibiotic, anticoagulant, antifungal, antineoplastic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, blood purifier, diaphoretic, digestive, expectorant, febrifuge, rubefacient, stimulant, and vulnerary properties. Primarily, garlic is extremely beneficial in dealing with asthma, blood impurities, high blood pressure, bronchitis, cancer, candidiasis, poor circulation, colds, colitis, coughs, infectious diseases, ear infections, fevers, flu, fungus, gastric disorders, heart disease, indigestion, infection, liver disorders, lung disorders, parasites, blood poisoning, prostate problems, respiratory problems, and staph/strep infections.
This herb is also good for treating acne, allergies, arthritis, childhood diseases, diabetes, diarrhea, edema, emphysema, gallbladder problems, Hypoglycemia, insomnia, kidney ailments, pneumonia, rheumatism, sinus problems, ulcers, warts, and worms.
Garlic is a wonderful all purpose herb that can be found at your local or internet health food store. Always look for name brands when buying garlic to ensure quality and purity of the product you purchase.
August 15, 2009 01:37 PM
Myrrh is the reddish-brown resinous material that comes from the dried sap of a number of trees. Primarily, it is obtained from the Commiphora myrrha, which is native to Yemen, Somalia, and the eastern parts of Ethiopia. Additionally, it comes from Commiphora gileadensis, which is native to Jordan. The sap of a number of other Commiphora and Balsamodendron species is also referred to as myrrh. Its name is most likely of Semitic origin. The quality of myrrh can be identified through the darkness and clarity of the resin. However, the best method of judging the resin’s quality is by feeling the stickiness of the freshly broken fragments. The scent of raw myrrh resin and its essential oil is sharp, pleasant, somewhat bitter, and be described as being stereotypically resinous. It produces a heavy, bitter smoke when it is burned.
In ancient times, myrrh was valued as a fragrance and healing agent. Ancient Egyptain women used the burned myrrh to get rid of fleas in their homes. The Chinese used myrrh to heal wounds. They also used this herb for menstrual problems, bleeding, hemorrhoids, and ulcerated sores. Myrrh is often mentioned throughout the Bible. In the Old Testament it is referred to in the preparation of the holy ointment. In Esther, myrrh is used as a purification herb for women and it is a perfume in Psalm 45:8.
This herb is a powerful antiseptic. Similar to Echinacea, it is a valuable cleansing and healing agent. Myrrh works on the stomach and colon to soothe and heal inflammation. This herb also provides vitality and strength to the digestive system. Myrrh stimulates the flow of blood to the capillaries. Additionally, it helps speed the healing of the mucus membranes. Among these include the gums, throat, stomach, and intestines. Myrrh can be applied to sore and it also works as an antiseptic. It can help promote menstruation, aid digestion, heal sinus problems, soothe inflammation, and speed the healing process.
Research has verified the use of myrrh as an antiseptic. Sometimes, it is added to mouthwash and toothpaste. Myrrh has also been found to have mild astringent and antimicrobial properties. This herb contains silyamrin, which is able to protect the liver from chemical toxins and help increase liver function.
The resin of the myrrh plant is used to provide alterative, antibiotic, antimicrobial, antiseptic, astringent, carminative, emmenagogue, expectorant, and stimulant properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are chlorine, potassium, silicon, sodium, and zinc. Primarily, myrrh is extremely beneficial in treating asthma, bronchitis, colds, colitis, colon problems, cuts, emphysema, gangrene, gastric disorders, sore gums, hemorrhoids, herpes, Hypoglycemia, indigestion, infection, lung disease, excessive mucus, pyorrhea, sinus problems, mouth sores, skin sores, tonsillitis, and toothaches.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with abrasions, arthritis, boils, breath odor, canker sores, coughs, diarrhea, diphtheria, eczema, gas, menstrual problems, nervous conditions, phlegm, rheumatism, scarlet fever, thyroid problems, tuberculosis, ulcers, wounds, and yeast infections. In order to obtain the best results when supplementing with this, or any herb, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen while on medications. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by myrrh, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
Milk Thistle And Silymarin
August 12, 2009 12:44 PM
In Europe, milk thistle was used as a well-known remedy for liver problems and also as a digestive aid. Pliny the Elder, the early Roman writer, explained how the juice of milk thistle mixed with honey was used for carrying off bile. Gerard, an herbalist, said in 1597 that milk thistle was one of the best remedies for liver-related diseases. Milk thistle was also given to nursing mothers to improve milk production.
The liver is an extremely important organ that is found in the body. It is responsible for filtering toxic material from the body, which prevents accumulation that can lead to disease and death. Often, the vital functions of the liver are overlooked. Nevertheless, they are extremely important. It is essential to keep the liver working properly. Milk thistle has been proven to be very beneficial for liver function. Milk thistle extract has been shown in observations to help reverse both acute and chronic liver problems, including cirrhosis and viral hepatitis. The antioxidant properties may be due to the bioflavonoid content. Milk thistle has also been found to help heal the liver from damage that occurs from alcohol toxicity. It has been used to treat many different liver ailments. Among these are fatty liver disorders, chronic hepatitis, inflammation of the bile duct, hardening of the liver, and cirrhosis. Milk thistle is also thought to actually help liver regeneration when part of the liver is removed.
Milk thistle possesses a variety of compounds which are known as Silymarin. This includes silybin, silydianin, and silychristin. All of these substances are known to protect the liver against some toxins, which helps to increase the function of this important organ. Silybin is used as an antidote to the deathcape mushroom, which is known to destroy liver cells. The deathcap species is one of the most toxic of liver poisons and has a death rate of up to fifty percent. A study with sixty patients suffering from deathcap poisoning treated with silybin produced incredible results. None of the participants died. Silymarin is an effective remedy if it is administered within forty-eight hours of ingestion. This compound seems to occupy the receptor sites to protect the cell membranes. Not only does it work to treat serious liver conditions, but it also prevents damage from occurring. Silymarin contains amines which are known to help stimulate the production and flow of bile. This compound has been found in studies to work exclusively on the kidneys and liver. Milk thistle has also been shown to stimulate the synthesis of protein.
The seeds of the milk thistle plant are used to provide alterative, antioxidant, galactagogue, hepatic, and stimulant properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are bioflavonoids. Primarily, milk thistle is extremely beneficial in treating cirrhosis, hepatitis, jaundice, kidney problems, and liver disorders. Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with alcoholism, appetite loss, high blood pressure, boils, chemotherapy, depression, epilepsy, fatty deposits, gas, heartburn, heart problems, hemorrhages, Hypoglycemia, indigestion, absent lactation, menstrual symptoms, effects of radiation, skin diseases, varicose veins, and the effects of toxins.
Marshmallow Root Herb
August 12, 2009 11:30 AM
The marshmallow plant can be found in southern and western Europe, western Asia, and the northeastern region of North America. The plant originally grew in salty soils, but now it thrives in moist, uncultivated ground. The fleshy, upright stems of the marshmallow plant reach a height of three to four feet. The pale yellow roots are tapered, long, and thick. They have a tough, yet flexible, exterior. The short-stemmed leaves are round, with irregularly toothed margins and three to five lobes. The leaves and stem are covered with a soft and velvety down. The flowers have five reddish-white petals. The whole plant, especially the root, is filled with a mild mucilage.
Since ancient Egyptian times, marshmallow has been used as food and medicine. One of the herbs found in the grave of a Neanderthal man in a cave in Iraq was marshmallow. This herb was used anciently for irritated throats and intestinal tracts. The Europeans used marshmallow for bronchitis, colds, and coughs. This was because of its soothing and healing properties. Native Americans also used marshmallow to treat snakebites and wounds.
This herb is responsible for helping to expel phlegm and relax the bronchial tubes while soothing and healing. The herb aids in healing lung ailments such as asthma and inflammation. The soothing and healing properties that are found in the mucilage in marshmallow make it a valuable herb for many lung ailments. Also, it is useful on sore throats, infections, diarrhea, dysentery, skin irritations, and for coughs. This herb is a powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-irritant. This fact makes it good for both the joints and the gastrointestinal tract. Marshmallow is used as a poultice with cayenne, which allows it to help with gangrene, blood poisoning, burns, bruises, and wounds.
Studies have found that the mucilaginous properties of marshmallow yield a soothing effect on the mucous membranes. A study that was done on animals showed some indication of a reduction in blood sugar levels and Hypoglycemia activity. This may be beneficial for diabetics.
The root of the marshmallow plant are used to provide alterative, anticatarrhal, anti-inflamamtory, antilithic, demulcent, diuretic, emollient, expectorant, galactagogue, lithotriptic, mucilant, nutritive, and vulnerary properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are calcium, iodine, iron, pantothenic acid, sodium, and vitamins A and B-complex. Primarily, marshmallow is extremely beneficial in treating asthma, bed-wetting, bleeding, boils, bronchitis, emphysema, kidney problems, lung congestion, nervous disorders, pneumonia, urinary incontinence, urinary problems, uterine problems, whooping cough, and wounds. Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with allergies, breast problems, burns, constipation, coughs, diabetes, diarrhea, dysentery, sore eyes, gangrene, gastric disorders, glandular problems, inflammation, intestinal problems, kidney stones, absent lactation, liver disorders, irritated membranes, excessive mucus, and skin disorders.
In order to obtain the best results when supplementing with this, or any herb, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen while on medications. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by marshmallow, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
August 10, 2009 12:52 PM
The Cherokee tribe used scullcap as an emmenagogue. It was also used historically as an anti-convulsant. An Asian scullcap has been used by Chinese physicians as a tranquilizer, sedative, and to treat convulsion. The herb was used in the eighteenth century as a treatment for rabies by some physicians. Later, it was recommended by eclectic physicians for insomnia, nervousness, malaria, and convulsions. The herb was officially listed in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia from 1863 to 1916. It was also found in the National Formulary from 1916 to 1947.
This herb is responsible for treating a variety of conditions. Among these include pain, anxiety, high blood pressure, and epilepsy. scullcap is well known for its ability to calm the nerves and also to help with all nervous system conditions. Additionally, it has been used to treat infertility, fatigue, inflamed tissues, digestion, coughs, and headaches. Some herbalists consider scullcap to be one of the best nervine herbs that is available. It has been used as a nerve tonic. It also can promote a feeling of well-being and promote relaxed sleep. Some people recommend scullcap for problems that are associated with drug and alcohol withdrawal, as it may lessen the severity of the symptoms. Traditional uses of this herb have included infertility, regulation of sexual desire, and as a remedy for cramps and pain.
Research one in both Europe and Russia has proven the benefits of scullcap as a tranquilizer as well as a mild sedative. The herb is recommended for use in nervous conditions in order to induce sleep and relaxation. Some evidence has shown that Asian scullcap contains component which inhibit the enzyme sialidase. This enzyme is known to increase in certain disease states like cancer, infections, and inflammations. Another study done in vitro found an antibacterial and antifungal activity in scullcap. Some early evidence has also been found of scullcap’s ability to treat high blood pressure. The herb is used and prescribed widely in Europe. Studies using animals in Japan showed that scullcap has the ability to increase the levels of good cholesterol and prevent serum cholesterol levels from rising. This study was done on rabbits, as they were fed a high-cholesterol diet. These findings suggest that scullcap may also act as a heart disease and stroke preventive.
The entire scullcap herb is used to provide alterative, analgesic, antibacterial, antifungal, antispasmodic, febrifuge, nervine, and sedative properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, vitamins C and E, and zinc. Primarily, scullcap is extremely beneficial in treating anxiety, high blood pressure, convulsions, epilepsy, infertility, insomnia, nerve problems, and restlessness.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with alcoholism, poisonous bites, childhood diseases, chorea, poor circulation, coughing, delirium, drug withdrawal, fevers, hangover, headaches, hydrophobia, hypertension, Hypoglycemia, insanity, neuralgia, pain, palsy, Parkinson’s disease, rabies, rheumatism, rickets, spasms, spinal meningitis, thyroid problems, tremors, and urinary problems. In order to obtain the best results when supplementing with this, or any herb, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by scullcap, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
July 28, 2009 11:32 AM
Saffron was used by the Greeks and Chinese as a royal dye because of its yellow color. Wealthy Romans used this herb to perfume their homes. In Europe, it was used medicinally between the fourth and eighteenth centuries. It was also being used in the kitchen to cook with.
In the book The Complete Herbal, Nicholas Culpeper recommended using saffron for the heart, brain, and lungs. The herb was also suggested for acute diseases like smallpox and measles. It was also recommended for hysteric depression. Dr. David Culbreth characterized the herb as a pain reliever and was said to promote perspiration and gas explosion and ease painful menstruation in the book Materia Medica and Pharmacology. Saffron was also said to relieve eye infections and encourage sore eruptions.
This herb is soothing to both the stomach and colon. It is responsible for acting as a blood purifier. Saffron helps stimulate circulation and regulate the spleen, heart, and liver. It is also helpful in reducing inflammation; treating arthritis, gout, bursitis, kidney stones, Hypoglycemia, and chest congestion; improving circulation; and promoting energy. Small doses should be taken internally for coughs, gas, and colic and to stimulate appetite. The herb can also be applied externally in a salve for gout.
It has been shown that saffron may even help to reduce cholesterol levels. It neutralizes uric acid buildup in the system. Recent research determined that rabbits, which were fed crocetin, which is a component of saffron, had a significant reduction in cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Saffron is eaten daily in Valencia and Spain, resulting in little heart disease occurring among inhabitants. The evidence has shown that saffron increases oxygen diffusion from the red blood cells. Not only does it discourage uric acid buildup, it also inhibits the accumulation of lactic acid. Therefore, it may help prevent heart disease.
Other research done on saffron suggests that the crocetin ingredient may have the potential to act as an anticancer agent in studies done both in vitro and in animals. On study that was done using saffron extract in vitro found that tumor colony cell growth was limited by inhibiting the cellular nucleic acid synthesis. Additional research on cancer has found that saffron that was given orally helped in increasing the life span of mice with variety of laboratory-induced cancers.
The flowers of the saffron plant are used to provide alterative, anodyne, antineoplastic, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, blood purifier, carminative, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, sedative, and stimulant. The primary nutrients found in this herb are calcium, lactic acid, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and vitamins A and B12. Primarily, saffron is extremely beneficial in treating fevers, gout, indigestion, liver disorders, measles, excessive perspiration, phlegm, psoriasis, rheumatism, scarlet fever, and stomach acid. Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with appetite loss, arthritis, blood impurities, bronchitis, cancer, colds, conjunctivitis, coughs, fatigue, gas, headaches, heartburn, uterine hemorrhages, hyperglycemia, Hypoglycemia, insomnia, jaundice, kidney stones, menstrual symptoms, skin disease, tuberculosis, ulcers, water retention, and whooping cough.
In order to obtain the best results when supplementing with this, or any herb, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by saffron, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions. Saffron is available at your local or internet health food store. Note: Saffron should not be consumed internally.
Fight Hypoglycemia With Fiber
July 17, 2009 03:46 PM
Symptoms of Hypoglycemia can be very subtle and difficult to recognize. Many people with Hypoglycemia have become so used to their symptoms that often, they don’t even recognize their own abnormality. This is especially true when it comes to behavioral changes.
There is a whole variety of symptoms that can be caused when the body cells are deprived of sugar or when blood sugar drops too quickly. The most common symptom of Hypoglycemia is fatigue. When referring to fatigue, the normal kind of fatigue that occurs after hard work or exercise is not what is being discussed. Hypoglycemic fatigue affects the muscles and nerves and usually can’t be relieved with rest or sleep. The brain is extremely dependent on glucose for its energy source. Once blood sugar levels have dropped, hormones kick into action. The release of adrenaline can cause sweating, tremors, hunger, and weakness. It should also be kept in mind that if your blood sugar levels drop at a more gradual pace, the patient may not even recognize the symptoms as those of Hypoglycemia. Those experiencing symptoms of Hypoglycemia may feel dizzy, confused, clouded, and emotionally unstable without any visible tremors. Symptoms such as anxiety or panic attacks can become a part of hypoglycemic mood swings.
Other mental symptoms of Hypoglycemia include melancholy, irritability, hostility, confusion, and paranoia.
Along with the above, there are many other symptoms that can result from Hypoglycemia. These symptoms include amnesia, anxiety, antisocial behavior, breathing difficulties, confusion, constant worry, crying jags, depression, digestive disorders, drowsiness, emotional instability, exhaustion, headaches, heart palpitations, impatience, inability to cope, insomnia, intense hunger, internal trembling, irritability, lack of concentration, nervousness, dizziness, seizures, severe sweating, fainting, tingling, and tremors.
Nocturnal Hypoglycemia is when blood sugar levels are low at night time, causing insomnia. Eating a whole grain snack or small piece of cheese 30 minutes before going to bed can help to reduce occurrences of this scenario.
There are, unfortunately, hundreds of people that struggle with low-blood sugar symptoms and are unaware as to why. By simply switching for a diet that is high in refined carbohydrates to one that is comprised of protein and complex carbohydrates, one can bridge the gap between a dysfunctional life and a rich one. In order to determine whether you have Hypoglycemia, you must first examine your eating habits. Simple facts like what and when you eat can directly affect how you feel. Anyone who has unexplained fatigue, depression, crying spells, anxiety, or apprehension should investigate low blood sugar levels as a potential culprit. You should also look into your family history, as Hypoglycemia tends to run within families.
Those people who are chronically stressed and often find themselves on a roller coaster of blood sugar going up and down are especially prone to dips in energy at certain times of the day. These people have adrenals that are not functioning optimally, causing them to want sugar when they hit a real low point. Usually, in the mid-afternoon, adrenal glands are at their lowest level of functioning. If you do, in fact, suffer from Hypoglycemia, you will feel good right after you eat and then your mood and physical status will deteriorate from two to six hours after eating.
Keeping your glucose levels stable is important to maintaining good health. Snacking on complex carbohydrate foods can help regulate the amount of sugar that is released into your blood system. Consuming large quantities of fiber can also slow down the absorption of sugar in the digestive tract and level out blood sugar.
Look for great advice and fiber supplements at your local or internet health food store. When purchasing products, always buy name brands to ensure quality and purity of the supplements you buy. Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Lycopene is not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.
July 16, 2009 01:39 PM
It is critical for one to known that an excess amount of sugar can deplete our vitamin and mineral stores. To make things worse, vitamin and mineral deficiencies can predispose us to both Hypoglycemia and diabetes. Significant amounts of B vitamins are necessary in order to metabolize and detoxify sugar after it has entered our bodies. The assimilation of nutrients from other foods is inhibited when the body is overloaded with sugar. To state it simply, our bodies were not designed to cope with the amounts of sugar that we routinely consume.
Vitamin A helps the body to maintain normal glandular function. Energy transfers in the body depend upon the presence of vitamin A, which helps to assimilate the mineral efficiently when it is used in conjunction with vitamins D and E.
Vitamin B-complex is essential in order to help control the highs and lows associated with Hypoglycemia. They boost the adrenal glands and work to calm the nerves and promote mental health. Vitamin B1 is necessary for metabolizing carbohydrates and also improves appetite, digestion, assimilation, and elimination. This vitamin works to protect the nervous system and improve nerve function. Vitamin B2 works in conjunction with niacin and thiamine to protect the nerves and boost the immune system. Additionally, this vitamin helps to facilitate proper digestion, which is essential to healthily metabolize carbohydrates. Vitamin B3 plays a vital role in energy production and carbohydrate metabolism. Also, it is involved in the production of several biochemical’s, among them is adrenaline. Niacin boosts the body’s ability to take in sugar from the blood into the cells. Supplementing the diet of diabetics with niacin is also strongly recommended.
A lack of vitamin B5 in the body can cause a drop in blood sugar. This B vitamin is involved in the production of natural cortisone from the adrenal glands and can help to protect the body against the averse affects of stress. It is crucial for the maintenance of a healthy endocrine system. Vitamin B6 is vital in helping to maintain hormonal functions and endocrine balance. Vitamin B6 strengthens the adrenal glands and helps to protect the pancreas. It is essential for the metabolism of proteins and for the production of hormones and antibodies. Additionally, vitamin B6 may also help to prevent complications that may occur from diabetes. Vitamin B9, B12, D, E, C, K, PABA, Biotin, Lecithin, Inositol, and Bioflavonoids are also essential for assisting the body against Hypoglycemia.
There are also minerals, amino acids, and herbs that helps the body fight against Hypoglycemia. These minerals include calcium, chromium, iodine, magnesium, manganese, potassium, selenium, and zinc. Amino acids that assist in Hypoglycemia are alanine, carnitine, glutamic acid, and phenylalanine and tyrosine. Herbs for Hypoglycemia include alfalfa, bilberry, bitter melon, black cohosh, buchu, cedar berries, damiana, dandelion, dulse, fenugreek, garlic and onions, ginseng, gentian, golden seal, gymnema sylvestre, ho-sho-wu, kelp, licorice, mullein, parsley, pterocarpus, red raspberry, saffron, saltbush, sarsaparilla, saw palmetto, suma, and uva ursi. Alfalfa nourishes all the glands, especially the pituitary, while bilberry is valuable for anyone who suffers from glucose impaired diseases. Suma is used by both men and women to restore body function and are also good for poor circulation, heart disease, and arthritis. Uva Ursi helps to regulate glucose transfer to the nerve fivers which feed the brain.
Many of the above listed vitamins, minerals, and herbs are available in combinations directly formulated to help with high blood sugar. Look for these great vitamins and more at your local or internet health food store. Remember to always choose name brands to ensure you purchase a high quality and pure product.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Vitamins, minerals and herbs are not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.
Soluble Fiber And Blood Sugar
July 10, 2009 12:02 PM
The first step to prevent the occurrence of Hypoglycemia is to eliminate sugar and caffeine from your diet. Eliminating foods like candy, soda pop, doughnuts, sugary pastries, sugared cold cereals, and cookies. Substituting foods with whole grains, fresh vegetables, lean proteins, and supplementation of B vitamins, vitamin C, and chromium is recommended. In order to avoid stressing the endocrine system, the cold hard facts concerning Hypoglycemia are that diet and life style must be altered.
Complex carbohydrates take more time to break down in the body, unlike simple refined foods, which helps to keep normal blood sugar levels for longer periods of time. It should also be known that metabolizing whole grains requires more chemical reactions than processing a bowl of sugary cereal. Increased research has shown that whole grains are the superior foods and offers the body a balanced mix of fiber, nutrients, and others. Our bodies were made to thrive on whole foods, not the fragmented, altered, and highly refined foods that a lot of us eat on a routine basis in order to increase energy but lack sustainability.
Nothing can be achieved in nature through fragments if it is going to be worthwhile. Only parts of the B vitamins are synthetically replaced out of all the B-complex vitamins that are removed from whole grain cereals before they are milled. This is probably one of the worst things we could possibly do, as these B vitamin imbalances create an unhealthy environment in the body. Many of the trace minerals are also lost from the refining process. By adding white sugar and refined foods, you cut down severely on the vitamin B contents that are suppose to be found in your diet. Whole grains, nuts, and seeds have also been found to be rich in magnesium, zinc, and manganese. All of these are vital minerals for the prevention and treatment of Hypoglycemia.
Many studies have found that diets that lack fiber can lead to diseases including Hypoglycemia and diabetes. Dietary fiber includes components that make up the cell wall of plants that are not digestible. On the other hand, water soluble fiber seems to be the most beneficial for controlling blood sugar. This type of fiber includes mucilages, gums, hemicelluloses, and pectins, which are also found in a number of foods. This type of fiber slows down the absorption of sugar from the intestinal wall into the blood stream, helping to prevent wild insulin release (cause of low blood sugar). When this happens, the liver can take in more glucose at a more rapid pace, causing blood sugar levels to remain more normal. Water soluble fiber that is recommended for Hypoglycemia is found in legumes, like beans, lentils, and split peas, oat bran; nuts, seeds; psyllium hulls; pears; apples; and most vegetables as well as in supplement form.
A person's optimal fiber intake should be somewhere between 35 to 50 grams each day. Unfortunately, most of us rarely come close to this ideal. Fiber is also extremely important for controlling appetite and weight gain. Additionally, it is great for regularity, which is intrinsically linked to the health of the rest of our body systems. Fortunately, soluble fiber is available at your local health food store at reasonable prices. Fiber supplements can boost ones fiber intake to the needed 35 – 50 gram per day dose needed to maintain a healthier body.
May 22, 2009 11:44 AM
Bitter melon, which is also referred to as bitter gourd, is the fruit of the Momordica charantia plant. This plant is a climbing vine that originated in Asia, Africa, and Australia. Now, it is grown in warm climates all over the world. The fruit is one of the bitterest fruits of all plant foods. The oblong shaped bitter melon has warty appearance, making it quite easy to distinguish. The bitter melon fruit is hollow in cross-section with a thin layer of flesh that surrounds the central seed cavity. This cavity is filled with large flat seeds and pith which appear white in unripe fruits and red in those that are ripe.
The seeds and pith are not intensely bitter and can be removed before cooking. The pith will become sweet when the fruit is fully ripe. The pith can be eaten uncooked in this state, but the flesh is far too tough to be eaten anymore. The flesh of this fruit is crunchy and watery in texture, similar to that of cucumber, chayote, or a green bell pepper. The skin is tender and edible. Most often, the fruit is often eaten green, but it can be eaten when it has started to ripen and turn yellowish. However, it grows more bitter as it ripens.
Bitter melon has a history of being used in fold medicine all over the world. It is though to be natural insulin in Ayurvedic tradition, making it highly recommended for the treatment of diabetes. Bitter melon is also one of the main components of the Okinawa diet. These people have the highest percentage of centenarians in the world, the longest healthy life expectancy, and a very low incidence of heart disease. This fruit has often been used for the treatment of tumors, asthma, skin infections, gastrointestinal ailments, and high blood pressure. Bitter melon has been a traditional remedy in Africa, China, India, and the southeastern portion of the United States.
Currently, bitter melon is being researched as a remedy for diabetes, AIDS, and some kinds of cancer. It can be used to help regulate blood sugar by reducing blood glucose and improving glucose tolerance. However, no studies have established a safe and effective dose. The plant’s roots and leaf extracts have shown antibiotic properties. Some studies suggest the possibility that an element in bitter melon may prevent the HIV virus from infecting human cells. Laboratory research shows that one component of the plant may even help to inhibit the growth of some cancers. In some studies, those people who take bitter melon developed headaches. It should be noted that expectant mothers should not use bitter melon.
The fruit, leaves, seeds, and seed oil of the bitter melon fruit are used to provide abortifacient, antifertility, antimicrobial, and Hypoglycemia properties. The primary nutrients found in this fruit are ascorbic acid, glycosides, iron, niacin, riboflavin, sodium, and thiamine. Primarily, the bitter melon fruit is extremely beneficial in treating asthma, cancer, diabetes, gastrointestinal issues, HIV/AIDS, hypertension, skin infections, and tumors.
Bitter melon is available in capsule or tablet forms at your local or internet health food store. For more information on the beneficial effects provided by the bitter melon fruit, please contact a representative from your local health food store. *Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Bitter melon and magnesium is not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.
May 20, 2009 12:00 PM
Bee pollen is made up of the fine powder that is found in the male seed of a flower blossom. Bees transport this powder and mix it with nectar to create their own form of nourishment. The pollen grains are collected and eaten by the bees, but they are also used to pollinate the flowers. Since the beginning of time, bee pollen and honey have been recognized for their astounding healing benefits. Egyptian records going back thousands of years have references to honey and the potential for healing that it holds. Marathon runners of ancient Greece recognized the value that bee pollen held to increase their strength and endurance. Bee pollen was also revered by European nations and Asian countries for its medicinal value.
Bee pollen is considered to be a complete food due to the fact that it contains every chemical substance that is needed to maintain life. This makes it a great supplement to help build the immune system and provide the body with energy. Recent scientific research has found that bee pollen contains properties which are beneficial to healing, revitalizing, and protecting against radiation therapy. Bee pollen is also a rich source of protein and carbohydrates. This nutrient can not only be used as a food supplement, but also to correct body chemistry and normalize weight.
Scientists at the Institute of Bee Culture in Buressur-Yvette near Paris, in addition to other researchers throughout Europe, have studied the effects of honeybee pollen consumption on human beings. The study concluded that there are exceptional antibiotic properties in bee pollen. It was also found that bee pollen is helpful in treating conditions like chronic fatigue, hay fever, allergies, bronchitis, sinusitis, asthma, colds, balancing the endocrine system, and menopausal symptoms. Additionally, bee pollen can be helpful in treating other conditions such as prostate problems including prostates, infertility, indigestion, constipation, colitis, anemia, high blood pressure, premature aging, depression, and hair loss.
Bee pollen has also been shown to improve one’s concentration and mental function. A study found that a group of students’ mental performance improved drastically when supplementing with bee pollen. This nutrient also reduces cholesterol and triglyceride levels. It does this by preventing plaque buildup in the arteries. This supplement is often used by athletes to increase strength, endurance, and speed.
The pollen of bees is used to provide both alterative and nutritive properties. The primary nutrients found in bee pollen are twenty-one amino acids, enzymes, essential fatty acids, and variable vitamins and minerals. These vitamins and minerals depend on the region that the bee pollen is harvested in. Primarily, bee pollen is extremely beneficial in dealing with aging, allergies, hay fever, loss of appetite, lack of endurance, exhaustion, fatigue, a weak immune system, infection, multiple sclerosis, and pregnancy problems.
Additionally, bee pollen can be extremely helpful in treating asthma, high blood pressure, cancer, depression, Hypoglycemia, indigestion, liver diseases, prostate disorders, and radiation. Bee pollen is available in capsules, tablets, and bulk powder forms for easy consumption. Always look for name brands to ensure quality and purity of the bee pollen product you purchase. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by bee pollen, please contact a representative from your local health food store.
Natural Sweeteners Vs. Artificial Sweeteners
April 30, 2009 10:16 AM
Artificial sweeteners are food additives intended to replace the sweetness of sugar without the calorie intake. There are also natural sweeteners that can replace sugar, so which should you choose? Natural sweeteners such as sugar, honey and grape juice are well known, although there are also the less well known, but much more effective, sucanat and stevia.
Sucanat is dried unrefined cane sugar, and unlike refined sugar retains the molasses. Stevia, on the other hand, is a shrub, native to Paraguay, the leaf of which contains a non-sucrose sweetener, 300 times the sweetness of sugar, and which is not absorbed by the body. It is a sweetener pure and simple, with no proven health issues. It is also Japan's most popular sugar substitute.
Artificial sweeteners have been known for many years, the first and best known being benzoic sulfanide, known to you as saccharin. The health risks of saccharin have been the subject of debate for over 100 years and have yet to be resolved. Studies had shown it to cause cancer in rats, and it was placed on a list of known or suspected carcinogens.
It has been banned for use in the USA, but that was lifted by the FDA in 1991, and in 2000 saccharin has no longer required a health warning label. The issue appears to have been resolved by rats metabolizing saccharin in a way not possible in humans. However, many are still suspicious of it, and if you don't trust a food additive then do not voluntarily consume it.
The top two artificial sweeteners in the USA are sucralose and aspartame. Sucralose, discovered in the UK in 1976, is the less emotive of the two, and is chemically the chlorocarbon trichlorogalactosucrose, produced by chlorination of sucrose and 600 times as sweet. It should be stressed that a chlorocarbon is totally different to a chlorinated hydrocarbon. It is generally considered safe to use, although it is very slow rate of degradation in waste water has raised concerns that concentrations could increase with increasing popularity of the sweetener.
According to' Sweet Deception', the book states sucralose to be discovered during the search for an insecticide, and is produced when sugar is treated with acetic anhydride, hydrogen chloride and trityl chloride among others in the presence of toluene, MIBK and dimethyl formamide among other solvents. Although marketed as coming from a natural source, it is anything but natural.
Aspartame was developed by G.D. Searle, and its approval by the FDA has been a matter of concern for many years. Promoted by Donald Rumsfeld, then CEO of Searle, he "called in his markers" to have the substance approved, which was not one of the more glorious moments in America's history.
It is used in over 6,000 products, most household names, yet was based on "inconclusive and incompetent science" according to detractors. In 1981, on the day of his inauguration, Ronald Regan suspended the powers of the FDA on aspartame, and then a month later appointed a new FDA head, Arthur Hayes, who immediately licensed the substance. Donald Rumsfeld was on President Regan's team.
There is a strong body of evidence that aspartame is toxic to humans, although the official evidence has discredit such studies. Recent evidence that linked aspartame to cancer has been stated as irrelevant to humans. In spite of the concerns, the substance has been approved, not only in the USA but also by the European Union. This might call into question the relevance of studies to humans, but many still believe that commercial considerations are behind these decisions.
In fact, an extensive study carried out by the Italian European Ramazzini Foundation, showed that aspartame can cause a significant increase in cancers and leukemias in rats at well below the doses allowed by the EU or the US. This substance required further study by bodies with no vested interest in the outcome.
Those that believe so point to the stevia situation. This natural sweetener is banned for use as a food additive in the EU, and cannot be sold as sweetener due to the FDA not recognizing it as such. It has also been banned in Hong Kong, even though it is the sweetener of choice in Japan, with no apparent side-effects becoming endemic in that country. The USA might not approve stevia as a sweetener, but it is considering lifting its ban on cyclamate.
Cyclamate was banned by the FDA due to tests on rats indicating a possibly carcinogenic effect, but no more positive than those on aspartame. Cyclamate is permitted in Canada, where saccharin is not, and also in the UK, but not throughout the EU.
It is obvious, then, looking at the various claims and counter-claims, and the conflicting legislation between civilized countries, that the artificial sweetener industry is wrought with uncertainty. In the past, it is almost certain that commercial considerations have come before the health of the nation, and that does not engender confidence.
In fact, the only sane approach to take at this time would be to avoid artificial sweeteners altogether, and stay natural. That is not to claim that natural products are safe to eat - far from it! Many of the most virulent poisons are natural, but the well-used natural sweeteners appear to be safer at this time than any of those artificially manufactured.
There might be objections to this where diabetes is concerned, and Canada, while banning saccharin for normal use, still allows it for use by diabetics. This is the one of the two major bodies that promotes the use of artificial sweeteners: the diabetic lobby and the weight loss lobby.
It is difficult to question the obesity and weight problem that America has while at the same time arguing against the use of artificial sweeteners. However, don't forget that stevia is widely used in Japan with no reported health problems, and stevia is a natural sweetener that is permitted for use as a food additive, and that is not absorbed by the body.
However, there is also a recent 2005 study that has indicated that diet drinks containing artificial sweeteners might fool your body into believing that the sweet taste is promising energy, and when it doesn't materialize, you feel hungry and eat more. This has been supported by animal studies.
These have shown convincingly that the sensation of sweetness induces the production of insulin with resulting Hypoglycemia because there is no actual increase in blood sugar. This induces increased food intake. This has been proved with rats, and also proved was the fact that the natural response of eating less at the next meal, after sugary food, was gradually diminished in animals fed non-calorific sweeteners.
The choice is yours, but it would seem advisable to stick to natural sweeteners for the time being, at least until the studies carried out are in concurrence as opposed to offering conflicting results depending upon who is doing the testing.
March 23, 2009 01:56 PM
Our memory is as natural to us as breathing. An ability we all have, but don’t often think of, it doesn’t seem to cross our mind until we perceive that we are losing the ability. Memory lapses are an annoyance in themselves, but the anxiety that often comes along with them seems to be even worse. We often wonder if our memory problems are a symptom of some other problem like midlife depression, arteriosclerosis, or even Alzheimer’s disease. Although Alzheimer’s disease is a fairly common disorder among older people, one must realize that most memory lapses have nothing to do with Alzheimer’s disease.
Generally, it is believed that increasing age brings about an increased likelihood of developing memory loss. The mildest form of this illness is called age-associated memory impairment. This is characterized by one’s perception of his or her own memory loss and it is estimated that it is experienced by 40 percent of Americans over the age of sixty-five. Not all memory loss is attributable to aging, as occasional memory lapses are a natural normal part of life at almost any age, and are not likely to precede serious memory loss. With a proper diet, nutrition, and memory use, the memory should remain sharp and active well into one’s nineties or beyond.
One big reason why people suffer from memory loss is an insufficient supply of necessary nutrients to the brain. The life of the body is in the blood, as it literally feeds and nourishes every cell within our bodies. Only certain substances are allowed to pass from the bloodstream into the brain, thanks to the protective envelope that is known as the blood-brain barrier. If the blood is thick with cholesterol and triglycerides, the amount of nutrient-rich blood that can pass through the blood-brain barrier decreases. This can result in the brain becoming malnourished over time.
The functioning of the brain also depends upon substances that are referred to as neurotransmitters, which are brain chemicals that act as electrical switches in the brain and are responsible for all the functions of the body. If the brain does not have an adequate supply of neurotransmitters, or the nutrients to make them, it starts to develop something similar to a power failure or a short circuit. If you are trying to recall as specific fact or piece of information and your mind goes blank, it is likely that the above “short circuit” has occurred.
There are many other factors that are involved in the deterioration of the memory. One of the most important is exposure to free radicals, which can cause huge amounts of damage if the memory is unchecked. Alcoholics and drug addicts often suffer a great deal of memory loss, with alcoholics being notorious for huge memory gaps that occur even though they are conscious. Allergies, candidiasis, stress, thyroid disorders, and poor circulation to the brain can also contribute to memory loss, while Hypoglycemia can play a role in memory loss as well, as the brain requires that the level of glucose in the blood fall within a specific narrow range. Wide swings in blood sugar levels affect brain function and memory.
The following nutrients are beneficial in dealing with and preventing memory loss: acetylcholine, boron, DMAE, garlic, huperzine A, lecithin granules, manganese, multivitamin and mineral complex, omega-3 fatty acid complex, phosphatidyl choline, phosphatidyl serine, SOD, vitamin A, vitamin B complex, vitamin B3, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, acetyl-l-carnitine, l-glutamine, l-tyrosine, coenzyme Q10, DHEA, DMG, melatonin, NADH, pregnenolone, RNA and DNA, Brahmi, ginkgo biloba, anise, blue cohosh, ginseng, gotu kola, and rosemary.
All of the above mentioned as well as formulas tailored to help improve memory can be found in capsule, table, or power forms. Remember, only look to name brands such as Solaray, Source Naturals and Natures Plus for quality products. Memory vitamins and herbs can be found at your local or internet health food store.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Vitamins and herbs are not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.
November 12, 2008 09:51 AM
Gymnema sylvestre is found naturally in central and southern India, where it has been used in traditional Indian medicine for almost two thousand years. It is known as 'gurmar' in ancient Indian texts, a word meaning 'sugar destroyer', which gives an indication of its uses in medicine.
It is used to reduce the absorption of glucose into the body, and also reduce the sweetness of foods, both of which are desirable for those wishing to lose weight and to reduce the level of sugar in their blood. It was used for this purpose in Ayurvedic medicine, subjects being given the leaves to chew. As with many other ancient Ayurvedic remedies, this use of gymnema sylvestre has passed into modern times, and has sound scientific basis. First, however a bit more about the plant itself.
It is found predominantly in the Western Ghats, and also to the west of the mountains, around coastal Goa. It is a vinous plant that climbs on other bushes and trees, known in Sanskrit as Meshasringa, or ram's horn after the shape of the leaves from which the supplement is extracted. For what it's worth, the official name seems a mix of Greek and Latin (gymnos(Gr) - naked and Silva (L)- forest) for naked forest. That, however, is irrelevant to its uses, so let's have a look at the science involved and the active ingredients in the plant.
The main constituents are terpenoid saponins known as gymnemic acids, so one can assume that they were first found in this plant. They are glycosides, including hodulcine and ziziphin, which act as sweetness inhibitors so that there is no sweet taste in anything that is sweetened by sucrose. There are over 20 types of gymnemic acid in the leaves, of which the strongest, Gymnemic Acid 1, can suppress the sweetness even of artificial sweeteners such as aspartame.
These are not irreversible effects, and last only about 10 minutes, after which normal sweetness is detectable by your tongue. During the active period, however, a solution of normal sugar will taste like ordinary unsweetened water. However, is this just a matter of taste, or does it affect the sugar itself?
Studies have shown that animals fed the leaves of Gymnema sylvestre develop Hypoglycemia, probably because it stimulates the pancreas to generate insulin that reduces the level of sugar in the blood. Further studies have shown the presence in the leaves of a number of types of acylated derivatives of deacylgymnemic acid. There are well over a dozen types of saponins known to be contained within the leaves.
Other chemicals found include anthraquinones, flavanoids, chlorophylls, querticol, phytin, a number of glycosides and anthraquinones. The bush also contains alkaloids, although these are constituents in most plants used in ancient remedies. This is by no means all of the chemicals discovered, and many of the minor benefits of using it could be due to the minor constituents of this amazing little leaf.
A study of the above constituents will reveal a few antioxidants, and it is no surprise that the extract from Gymnema sylvestre also possesses anti-inflammatory properties. Gymnemic acid is believed to have a similar chemical structure to saccharose, and the plant extracts can be used not only to reduce a craving for sugar, but also to treat digestive problems and high cholesterol levels. So what scientific evidence is there other than the obvious effects reported by those that use it?
A study in the UK in 2005 found that an aqueous extract of Gymnema sylvestre caused the secretion of calcium and insulin from mouse and human cells to be increased at a specific concentration without affecting the cellular function. This means that the supplement can be used to stimulate the secretion of insulin with people with Type 2 diabetes without otherwise affecting health. Its usefulness to diabetics is obvious, but there are other health benefits to those that are not diabetic.
Anything that modulates a sweet tooth must be of use to those seeking to lose weight, particularly if they feel the need for sweet foods. In fact Gymnema tends to reduce food cravings for carbohydrates and sweets, and can be used by those seeking a natural means of curbing their appetite for sweet and sugary foods. Because excess weight can lead to diabetes,
Although there have been many discussions about the biochemical mechanism of the gymnemic acids in this effect on taste, recent evidence suggests that the phytochemicals act on both your taste buds and on those parts of the intestine responsible for absorbing nutrients from digested foods.
Not only that, but studies have also indicated that Gymnema sylvestre removes the bitterness of acerbic chemicals such as quinine in the same way that it removes the sweetness form cakes and candies, and if you drank tonic water it would taste just like water. On the other hand, if you ate an orange, you would taste the acidity but not the sweetness.
The way to use this remarkable supplement is to follow the instructions, and within about a week you will be able to control your appetite much better, and any cravings for carbohydrates you previously had will be much reduced. After a month or so, you will notice an accelerated rate of weight loss if you had been overweight, and diabetics will find a significant reduction on blood sugar between insulin shots.
Gymnema sylvestre can take care of any sugar or carbohydrate cravings, and is of significant use to the overweight, obese or to diabetics, and the mechanism by which it works has now been all but understood, although there are still some biochemical secrets that this amazing plant has yet to reveal. This amazing herb can be found at your local or internet vitamin store.
October 11, 2008 10:26 AM
The non-essential amino acid glycine is needed to generate muscle tissue and also for the conversion of blood glucose into energy. It is referred to as being ‘non-essential’ because the body can manufacture its own glycine, and is therefore not an essential component of your diet. Other uses to which glycine is put by the body includes the maintenance of a healthy nervous system, and is necessary for the proper functioning of the digestive system.
Amino acids play three essential roles in the human body:
1. They are the building blocks of proteins: proteins comprise about half of the dry weight of the majority of your body cells, and without them there would be no life. They are produced using monomers known as amino acids, and there are about 20 different amino acids used to make the vast variety of proteins that make up the human body. Proteins are needed to form enzymes, the catalysts that permit the majority of chemical reactions within our bodies, and also genes, the building blocks of DNA.
2. More relevant here, amino acids play an important role in the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) from ADP (adenosine diphosphate) by phosphorylation with creatine phosphate. The more creatine phosphate available, the more ATP can be produced. Since ATP is the molecule responsible for the generation of energy, then the more ATP available the more energy is generated. Although creatine is available from many food sources, it is destroyed by cooking, and over half of what you use is made from the three amino acids, glycine, arginine and methionine. The energy produced in this way is very short-lived, and last only a few seconds - more on that later.
3. Glycine is heavily involved in the production of collagen, which is the substance that maintains the flexibility of your skin and other connective tissues while still maintaining their strength and firmness. Without glycine your skin would become slack due to the degrading effect of sunlight, free radicals and oxidation.
The non essential amino acid, glycine, is believed to offer other benefits to the human body, but it is the second of those above, the production of ATP, which interests us here. ATP is an extremely important nanomolecule, second in importance to the body only to DNA, and possibly also RNA since the two are linked. RNA makes copies of your DNA structure for use in cell division and growth.
When a cell expends energy for whatever reason, such as when I am typing this, or when your heart beats, or even when your liver synthesizes a protein, one of the phosphate groups is removed from the adenosine triphosphate molecule, and converts it to adenosine diphosphate (ADP). The ATP is then said to be 'spent', just as your energy is spent when you are tired and can exercise no more.
The ADP is then immediately reconverted to ATP in the mitochondria, a part of every cell in your body. A cell can contain hundreds, or even thousands, of mitochondria, the number depending upon that particular cell's need for energy. Hence, cells in your muscles, or in your liver where most of the body's chemistry takes place, contain thousands of mitochondria whereas those in your scalp contain a lot less. Once changed to ATP, a phosphate is again lost when energy is expended, and so the cycle continues.
Glucose is needed allow the ADP to be converted to ATP, hence the need for sugars, or the carbohydrates from which they are manufactured in your body. Each cell can contain up to a billion molecules of ATP, although the couch potatoes among you probably have a lot less! Your store of ATP molecules last about 2 to 5 seconds before being changed to ADP although more rapidly for athletes that expend a lot of energy. Then the energy stored in the form of glycogen in the liver kicks in for another 4 - 6 seconds.
Additionally, you cannot expend more energy that the (eventual) sugars that you take in your diet, which can be in the form of ordinary 'sugar' (sucrose), fruit (fructose), glucose, carbohydrates that are metabolized into sugars, or any other member of the sugar family (e.g. lactose, maltose, etc.).
Glycine is one of what are called glucogenic amino acids, which refers to their ability to provide glucose to the blood. Because it helps to maintain proper blood glucose levels, it is often prescribed for conditions that are caused by low glucose levels, such as Hypoglycemia that shows symptoms of fatigue and tiredness, and also anemia and what is known as CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome).
The one activity of the human body, in fact that of any mammal, for which ATP is essential, is the heartbeat. Without that no mammal could survive, or any other creature that relies on a circulation system for life. The only reason you heart has to beat is to pump your blood around your body, and it is your blood that contains the oxygen and nutrients needed to sustain life. Your cardiovascular health relies on lots of ATP being available to power each and every heartbeat.
Analysis of the heart during the final stages of heart failure has revealed that there is a general decrease in the myocardial arginine: glycine amidinotraferase (AGAT) gene expression, which is indicative of the necessity of this enzyme for proper heart function. The enzyme is responsible for the first stage in the biosynthesis of creatine from glycine.
Creatine is well known to athletes, and while it is available naturally from some food sources, it can be destroyed during cooking, and at least 50% of the creatine needed by the body is produced in the liver, pancreas and kidneys. It is creatine phosphate that is broken down into creatine and phosphate, the latter of which is used by the mitochondria to regenerate ATP from ADP.
The study carried out on the reduced AGAT levels found in heart failure patients indicates the importance of glycine to heart health. Without a good supply of glycine, there will insufficient creatine produced biochemically to generate the phosphate needed to for the ATP to produce the energy required to keep the heart pumping with the required strength. The energy provided by the mitochondria is used locally by the cells in which it is produced, and within a few seconds of that production. As explained earlier, ATP stores are used up within 2 - 5 seconds, and glycogen stores within another 4 - 6 seconds.
That is why sprinters cannot keep running at maximum speed for more than around 10 seconds or so, because the immediate availability of glycine, and hence creatine, are insufficient to last longer than that. That is one reason why they have to finish those 100 meters as fast as possible, because otherwise they would run out of energy. Other than trying to win, of course!
However, when it comes to the heart, ATP stores are essential, and the cells in your heart require a constant supply of ATP from creatine, which itself depends upon your intake or biosynthesis of glycine. Since dietary sources are insufficient to meet all your needs, and destroyed by cooking, a glycine supplement is the only way to ensure a sufficient intake. You cannot undernourish your heart and remain healthy.
ATP biosynthesis is essential if that of glycine theoretically is not, but the fact that 50% of your glycine requirement has to be produced by your body and the other 50% is sensitive to heat during cooking, a supplement of glycine could be essential to many people.
August 13, 2008 12:44 PM
A lot of people are eating healthier nowadays, as empty processed diets are being restored to more wholesome foods, causing a more conscious society to be emerging. It is important now more than ever to understand how natural foods can help us to lose weight and create a better life. Spirulina is a small spiral-coiled organism that is one of the oldest living things on earth. Spirulina also called blue-green algae is a nutritional powerhouse and supplies numerous benefits. For centuries it has been nourishing people and is becoming an increasingly popular option among dieters and health seekers.
Spirulina thrives in hot climates where it grows in ponds and lakes, producing twenty times more protein than soybeans that grow on an equal-sized amount of land. It actually has the richest known protein content at 60 to 70 percent. This vegetable is easy to digest and allows dieters to meet their needs for this nutrient while fighting off the craving for meat, unwanted fat, and cholesterol. The concentrated protein found in spirulina can encourage natural body weight by eliminating the highs and lows in blood sugar that come along with a high-carbohydrate diet. This effect of stabilizing blood sugar helps people with Hypoglycemia.
Spirulina was originally used for food by African villagers before the Aztecs recorded consuming spirulina in what is now Mexico over five centuries ago. In India, small amounts of spirulina were used to help improve the general well-being, by enabling vegetarian villagers to maintain a healthy weight without eating meat. Spirulina was rated a better food than most other protein sources by researchers at the Toronto’s McGill University when studying severely malnourished children. If you aren’t consuming the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables, just one spirulina serving can give you ten times more beta carotene than carrots.
In a study at McGill University, spirulina was given to thirty men with mild hypertension and high cholesterol; results were shown to reduce cholesterol levels in all participants. The total cholesterol levels dropped significantly, but returned to baseline when the spirulina was stopped. Spirulina contains gamma-linolenic acid, which is the same nutrient that is found in mother’s milk. When it is taken in large quantities, GLA has been shown to contribute to the prevention of cardiovascular disease and hormone regulation.
Scientists at UC Davis School of Medicine found that spirulina increases the production of cytokines, which provide a major defense against viruses and cancer cells. Cytokines are good for the body because they stimulate the cells that target cells which target certain pathogens. The more of these cells that you have available, the more attack forces you have to fight the cells.
The chlorophyll which is found in spirulina makes it a natural cleanser, as well as a natural appetite suppressant; making it favorable for dieters. This is extremely useful for people who are trying to lose weight or are fasting. Because spirulina is so rich in vitamin B12, iron, and magnesium, it is great for men, women, children, and vegetarians who are prone to deficiencies in these nutrients.
In conclusion, today’s spirulina is grown using modern methods and available in tablets, capsules, and powders. Spirulina is a great addition to one’s diet whether they are trying to boost overall health or manage weight. Stop in to your local health food store and ask about spirulina and how it can help boost your health.
August 06, 2008 11:21 AM
Traditionally, Cat's Claw has been used to treat arthritis, gastritis, tumors, dysentery, and female hormonal imbalances. Today, the plant has shown the ability to treat viral infections, minimize inflammation, and provide therapeutic action for stomach and bowel disorders including arthritis, Crohn’s Disease, ulcers, gastritis, parasites, diverticulitis, hemorrhoids, several types of cancer, irritable bowel syndrome, herpes, allergies, lupus, diabetes, PMS, yeast infections, Hypoglycemia, prostatitis, bursitis, and rheumatism. European studies are currently looking at Cat's Claw for its ability to treat AIDS and cancer. Additionally, the herb has been used for Athlete’s Foot, Ear infections, back pain, TMJ syndrome, fibromyalgia, canker sores, sinus infections, and asthma.
Peruvians have trusted the anti-inflammatory abilities of Cat’s Claw for many generations, as it was traditionally used for any type of rheumatism or arthritic joint condition. Many studies on the plant metabolites found in Cat’s Claw have found that it does inhibit inflammatory response for a fact. The plant sterols that are found in Cat’s Claw have the ability to reduce artificially induced swelling. After extensive research, scientists have found that the strong anti-inflammatory activity is due to the presence of all the compounds together. These same compounds have an intrinsic anti-inflammatory effect as well.
These findings confirm what herbalists have advocated for many generations: the fact that plants are designed to be used in their whole form in order to be biochemically effective. Pharmaceutical synthetic versions of herbal medication shave so many bad side effects because they have been chemically extricated and isolated, which eliminates the very crucial role of other compounds that are vital to the function of the plant.
Natural botanical remedies, on the other hand, have been designed by nature to work together. Natural anti-inflammatories are extremely important for treating diseases such as allergies and arthritis because they have a lot less side effects than the prescription NSAIDs that are currently being used by thousands of individuals. Back pain, joint pain, inflammation caused by histamine release, and a whole lot of other maladies have resulted in millions of dollars worth of anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen to be purchased.
Diseases such as AIDS and flesh-eating viruses have received a good amount of press coverage over the last several years. Although a lot of us may not feel immediately threatened by these viruses, we may not be as strong as we could be immunologically. Most of us are battling a never-ending list of ailments such as colds, flu, sore throats, earaches, athlete’s foot, yeast infections, chronic fatigue syndrome, herpes, and colitis.
With heart disease, cancer, and diabetes being responsible for thousands of deaths each year, our country as a whole is in poor health. Our immune systems, which are our build-in defense mechanisms, need to be kept in optimal working condition as infectious microorganisms and carcinogens constantly surround us. A healthy immune system has a great ability to fight off disease or at least minimize its stay in our body. By fortifying our defenses with certain herbs, vitamins, and antioxidants, we can greatly promote wellness in our bodies.
April 23, 2008 11:21 AM
Chromium is a trace element in your body, meaning that it is present only in very small quantities, yet like many trace elements it is extremely important to your health. Most people associate chromium with the shiny finish on car fenders, but it is more than that.
Chromium oxide was discovered as being a part of crocoite, better known as red lead, which is actually lead chromate, sometimes containing some molybdate and perhaps vanadium. Although it was discovered in the middle of the 18th century, it was not until 1797 that chemist Louis-Nicholas Vauquelin discovered it for what it was. He synthesized it in his laboratory in 1798, which is the ultimate proof of the identity and chemical structure of any substance.
It was eventually named chromium, after the Greek ‘chroma’ meaning color, because its compounds are highly colored, normally yellow, red and green, and it is chromium that gives emerald its green color. It is also found in low concentrations in the human body, but too low, thankfully, to color your body red, green or yellow! Perhaps Martians contain a lot of chromium!
The first indication of the potential benefits of chromium to health was when a pork kidney extract called the Glucose Tolerance Factor was discovered in 1957 to enable rats to improve their use of insulin in maintaining the effective use of blood sugar in generating energy. The GTF contained chromium, and that was believed to be the effective ingredient.
Diabetes is a condition in which people either do not generate enough insulin or cannot use it properly. Insulin is a hormone biosynthesized in a group of cells known as the islets of Langerhen in the pancreas and is a necessary part of your metabolism. Your metabolism converts carbohydrates and various sugars into glucose, and when the glucose level reaches a certain concentration in your blood, you stop feeling hungry and the pancreas is stimulated into secreting insulin.
The insulin allows the cells to admit sugar and the mitochondria within them to convert the glucose to energy. Your body likes the blood glucose level to be maintained at between 70 and 110 mg/dl. If it falls below 70, then you will be suffering from Hypoglycemia, but you can be above 110 if you have recently eaten. If your blood glucose is being measured it must be at least four hours after your last meal, which is why you are asked to fast first. The absolute maximum is 180 mg/dl, above which you are in trouble and suffering hyperglycemia.
If your pancreas cannot produce any insulin you are regarded as having Type 1 diabetes, and if it produces too little or your body cannot use it effectively, it is Type 2 diabetes. It is believed today that chromium is one of the factors involved in allowing the cells to absorb glucose, and that without it the mitochondria are unable to convert your blood glucose into energy.
Although up to 90% of Americans are thought to have a low chromium content, few are believed to be deficient and there is a big difference between the two. However, pregnant women and the elderly are particularly prone to a deficiency, as are those that consume too many sugary foods. A deficiency in chromium not only leads to an excess of blood sugar however, but also of cholesterol and triglycerides. This can in turn lead to atherosclerosis, heart disease and strokes.
Although the role of chromium in the control of blood sugar levels was discovered in the 1950s, it was not until the 1970s that it was proven. As with many such proofs it came about accidentally, through what was known as Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN). This provided intravenous nourishment to patients who were unable to eat, and contained a mixture of the nutrients believed to be essential to life.
However, the mixture was based on current knowledge, and it was found that some patients developed the symptoms of hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar levels. This was what would have been expected of untreated diabetics, but none were diagnosed with the condition so the cause was a mystery. The physicians responsible for the treatment had no option but to administer insulin, even though there appeared to be no deficiency in the patients.
If you are with us so far, then you will realize that the insulin would not have had the expected result. That is because the condition is not caused by too much sugar or carbohydrate in the diet, and also not caused by a deficiency of insulin. However, due to the known role of chromium in the action of insulin, it was then thought that TNP solution would be improved by adding chromium. When chromium was added in small quantities of under 50 micrograms (5 hundredths of a gram) the patients’ condition improved to normal, and the effect of chromium on blood sugar levels was finally proven.
So how does chromium achieve this? In fact the biochemistry is complex, and dietary chromium works in a different way to the chromium picolinate that is the most popular form of chromium supplement. However, in a nutshell, what appears to happen is that its effect on human tissue may be through an increase in the activation of Akt Phosphorylation, which is a protein within the body cells that enables the easy absorption of glucose into the cells.
In addition to that, cell membranes contain insulin receptor sites that respond to biochemical signals from messengers such as hormones and nutrients, and it is believed that chromium might be involved in promoting the binding of insulin to these sites. Alternatively, it is possible that it may promote the reactions that occur after the insulin has bound to the receptor site, an occurrence that is referred to as a post-receptor event.
Whether chromium is involved in a post-receptor event or in binding the insulin top the receptor sites, there is no doubting the importance of the element to the overall insulin-glucose-energy metabolism, and that the trace element chromium is indeed important in helping your body cells to absorb glucose.
Green Coffee For Protection Against Oxidative Stress
November 17, 2007 11:46 AM
It is recorded that coffee drinking originated in Ethiopia in North East Africa, from where Arab traders introduced the plant to the Middle East. From there it moved to Turkey in the 15th century, where it was highly prized as a daily beverage due its invigorating properties. It is also believed that the infamous Captain John Smith introduced the plant to Virginia.
The Brazilian coffee trade was due largely to the introduction of the bean to that country by the French in 1727, and the Boston Tea Party of 1773 rendered it the only non-alcoholic drink worth consuming by the patriots of 18th century America. Now over 50% of Americans drink coffee daily, although this seems a somewhat conservative estimate, and the tea houses of England have largely been replaced by coffee shops and the ubiquitous Starbucks.
So much for the history of a beverage that has been prized for its stimulant properties, but recent research has established that not only is coffee a stimulating drink, but that it is a strong antioxidant due to its polyphenol content. However, not all forms of coffee have this property, only the green coffee bean before it has been roasted. Polyphenols are very powerful antioxidants that scavenge the free radicals that destroy body cells, and not only accelerate aging but also threaten the health of your cardiovascular system and the health of other major organs.
Free radicals are compounds with a spare electron. Normally the electrons in all stable molecules come in pairs, and any free electron without a partner is like a lovelorn bachelor. It will seek a mate, and take it from wherever it can find one. Usually it secures its partner by stealing an electron from one of our body cells. This can totally destroy the cell, as it might anybody who has its partner stolen, and cell destruction is not a good thing. It is the destruction of body cells that promotes the appearance that aging brings: the wrinkles and the loss of energy that is generated by healthy cellular activity.
Antioxidants destroy these free radicals, and come in a number of different guises. Vitamins A, C and E are all powerful antioxidants, as are many of the compounds that are essential to our biochemistry such as beta carotene and polyphenols. These polyphenols are found in practically all plants to a greater or lesser degree, and another rich source is grapes, and those found in green coffee beans are what are known as hydroxycinnamic acids the most abundant of which is caffeic acid. Another is chlorogenic acid, and together they form a very potent team in preventing the oxidation by free radicals of LDL (low density lipoprotein).
Low density lipoproteins are those that carry cholesterol from the liver to areas of the body that need first aid due to damage, such the arterial walls. However, this can be attacked by free radicals and oxidized which results in the deposition of excess cholesterol that can build up till it eventually constricts, and sometimes completely blocks, the major cardiac arteries. This is a serious condition known as atherosclerosis that can eventually lead to cardiac disease and arrest or to strokes if the artery is in the brain.
Not only do chlorogenic and caffeic acid help to prevent this from occurring, but they also help to prevent the cellular degeneration caused by the free radicals. They must be extracted from the green coffee bean because roasting or heating in any way, including brewing, destroys them. In fact, brewed coffee contains some potentially harmful substances called diterpenes that some believe can increase your chances of coronary disease by up to fifth if you drink coffee regularly over your lifetime.
It is also believed that green coffee extract can reduce the risk of diabetes due to its effect on your blood glucose levels. Evidence is coming to light that some polyphenols, including chlorogenic acid, might have inhibiting properties on the activity of glucose-6-phosphate, otherwise known as Robison Ester, which is involved in the metabolism of blood glucose and which is affected by diabetes which reduces its concentration. Chlorogenic acid is though to be able to redress this imbalance and not only reduce blood glucose levels, but increase the glycogen stored in the liver as an emergency energy source for the body.
Green coffee bean extract also possesses other beneficial properties, not the least of which is its effect in increasing the metabolism of fats in relation to carbohydrates. This assists in weight loss and also increases stamina. The decrease in the risk of diabetes of up to 50% in men, and slightly less in women, could be due to a combination of the regulation of glucose-6-phosphate and the regulation of blood glucose levels and glucose and weight management in general. The vast majority of diabetes patients are overweight.
In animal studies, the presence of chlorogenic acid appears to reduce the hyperglycemic peak that arises through the action of glucagon, a hormone used to counter Hypoglycemia. The fact that chlorogenic acid reduced this sugar peak indicates its potential use in reducing abnormally high blood glucose levels. Another effect of this was an increase in the animal’s glycogen level and in the level of glucose-6-phosphate in the liver.
This indicates a reduction in glycogenolysis, by which glycogen is ultimately converted to glucose-6-phosphate and glucose, thus increasing the blood glucose levels and also of gluconeogenesis which is the production of glucose from carbohydrates and some glucogenic amino acids. In other words, green coffee bean extract can help to regulate blood glucose levels by preventing the liver from producing glucose from glycogen and carbohydrates.
However, the biochemistry apart, it must be stressed that these benefits are not obtained by drinking coffee, and it has to be repeated that the active agents in providing them are destroyed by the roasting and brewing processes. It is only the green coffee beans that can be used for protection of oxidative stress of human body cells and the gradual degradation into premature aging and many other related conditions.
Stevia: Sweeten Your Life With Out The Weight Gain
November 13, 2007 02:55 PM
It is possible to sweeten your life with stevia, and without any weight gain, since it as exceptionally sweet herb. In fact it is member of the sunflower family, and is native to parts of South and Central America where it has been used as a sweetener since time immemorial. Also known as sugarleaf, it is a commercial crop, and is available as a dietary supplement.
Extracts of stevia have been found to be up to 300 times as sweet as cane sugar, although does not metabolize in the body to glucose. In fact it is thought to enhance the glucose tolerance of some diabetics, and can be used by people suffering from that condition as a natural sweetener, thus dispensing with the need for artificial sweeteners.
It is also useful for those on diets, especially carbohydrate controlled diets, and any other sweet-toothed person wanting to lose weight and still enjoy their favorite drink or desert. Many recipes have been published using stevia for the preparation of delicious sweets. So why is stevia so sweet and what other uses does it have?
Basically the sweet taste comes from glycosides, which are molecules in which a sugar is bonded to another molecule. The two main glycosides in stevia are called stevioside and rebaudioside. These are formed through glucose combined with the diterpene steviol in different ways, though some minor glycosides also contain rhamnose. Although they contain glucose, the glucose is not released into the bloodstream during digestion and the subsequent biochemistry.
Japan began the cultivation of the plant in the 1970s rather than produce artificial sweeteners that were suspected carcinogens (saccharin and cyclamate). Japan is now the world’s biggest consumer of stevia, even being used in the Japanese Coca Cola plants. Around 40% of Japan’s total sweetener volume is stevia. However, apart from its use as a natural alternative sweetener to sugar, stevia has specific properties, already alluded to, that renders it of particular attraction to certain groups of people, and we shall now take a closer look at these.
Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that is essential to regulate the glucose content of the blood. It stimulates the cells of the body to take in blood glucose and convert it to glycogen that can be used for energy. Without insulin the blood sugars would increase in concentration without regulation leading to very serious health issues that would eventually result in death.
Diabetes is a condition in which the body either does not produce sufficient insulin, does not use the insulin it produces properly, or produces no insulin at all. Hence, a sweetener that did not exacerbate this situation by being eventually metabolized to glucose, as most sugars are in the body, would be of great benefit to diabetics. This is exactly what stevia is. It is a very powerful sweetener, 250 – 300 times sweeter to the taste-buds than sucrose, normal table sugar, and it does not metabolize to glucose. It is heaven-sent sweetener for diabetics that have a sweet tooth.
It is very safe for them and has been consumed for centuries without any side effects. In fact, studies have indicated that stevia might even regulate the pancreas and help to stabilize the levels of blood glucose in the body, rendering it an effective and safe supplement for those suffering from Hypoglycemia (excess blood sugar), diabetes and candidiasis, a yeast infection that thrives on sugar.
Apart from that, stevia is also popular with those who are on a calorie controlled diet – or any other diet for that matter, since an excessive sugar intake invariably leads eventually to weight increase. The 21st century western diet is drowning in sugar, with up to 10 spoonfuls of sugar in every small bottle of cola. There is sugar in cookies, hot dogs, bread, soy sauce, ketchup, cans of beans and peas, and even sugar in cigarettes, though that is the least of the health worries there!
For the first time in history, there are now more overweight and obese people in the world than hungry people, yet the sugar corporations claim that there is no scientific proof that sugar leads to weight increase. Worldwide, diabetes kills 6 people every minute, and obesity caused by the consumption of too much sugar leads to Type II diabetes. It had been shown that fructose is a major player in that corn syrup (fructose) is contained in many soft drinks and foods.
One of the major problems with refined sugars is that they contain nothing but pure carbohydrate. All the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients have been removed, so that when they are consumed, your body has to provide these nutrients needed to metabolize the sugar to glucose and then to energy. Humans cannot live on sugar alone, and in fact you are better drinking water than corn syrup or cane sugar solutions since at least water does not make demands on your existing nutrient store.
It was noted in 1929 by Sir Frederick Banting, one of those scientists credited with the discovery of insulin, that there was a significantly large proportion of diabetes among the sugar plantation owners that ate large quantities of refined sugar, whereas there was none detected in the cane harvesters who were able to chew on only the raw cane. The raw cane contains the minerals and vitamins needed to metabolize the sucrose.
Stevia is a potential answer to this problem, and it is such an obvious one that there are a lot of politics regarding its use. The big USA sugar corporations will undoubtedly be opposed to it, and the FDA has refused to allow its use as a food additive, only as a dietary supplement, yet its use in Japan has been very successful. It is also used throughout East Asia, including China, Korea and Taiwan, and also in South America, Israel and some areas of the Caribbean. It is available as a green powder in its crude form, and also brownish syrup redolent of licorice, but also as a more refined white powder that is likely best used as weak solution due to its sweetness.
It is totally free of calories; this may come as a surprise to many since it tastes so sweet. It is an excellent sweetener for children’s drinks since it does not cause cavities: unlike sugar it is not degraded by bacteria to produce the corrosive acid that eats into the enamel. It does not metabolize to a burst of energy that is practically addictive, since that generally then leads to tiredness and the need for more sugar to make up for it.
Stevia does not cause diabetes in any form, is not a food for yeast and it is beneficial to the pancreas. In short, it is a completely safe food supplement that has been used for centuries without ill effect, and if you want to prevent yourself from adding weight and protect against the possibility of Type II diabetes in particular, then stevia should be your sweetener of choice.
Clinical Applications of Herbal Medicine
November 08, 2005 06:29 PM
Clinical Applications of Herbal Medicine by D. Paul Barney, M.D.
1. Infertility (Damiana Ginseng Blend) (SP-1) – Impotency, Hot flashes, hormonal imbalance, menstrual problems.
2. Arthritis (Devil’s Claw Yucca Blend) (SP-2) – Rheumatism, Bursitis, Gout.
3. Respiratory Distress (Pleurisy Root Blend) (SP-3) – Bronchitis, Asthma, Pneumonia, T.B. Cough, Sore Throat, Colds, Hay fever.
4. Skin Disorders (Herbal Skin Blend) (SP-4) – Eczema, Psoriasis, Acne, Rash.
5. Diabetes (Uva Ursi Dandelion Blend) (SP-5) – High Blood Sugar.
6. Water Rentention (Cornsilk Blend) (SP-6) – Edema, Cystitis, Gout.
7-A. Yeast Infection (Goldenseal-witch Hazel Blend) (SP-7A) – Vaginitis.
7-B. Heavy Mentral Flow (Cranesbill Blend) (SP-7B) – Menorrhagia, Menorrhea.
8. Heart Trouble (Hawthorn Motherwort Blend) (SP-8) – Weak heart muscle, Arrythmia, Angina, Short of Breath, Palpitations.
9. High Blood Pressure (Garlic Valerian Blend) (SP-9) – High cholesterol, blood pressure.
10. Pain (White Willow Blend) (SP-10) – Headache, Migraine, Pain for Backache, Inflammation, Spasms, fever.
11-A. Blood Health (Dandelion Yellow Dock Blend) (SP-11A) – Infections, Acne, Gout, Exposure to Toxins.
11-B. Poor Circulation (Cayenne Blend) (SP-11B) – Phlitis, Cold Extremities, Varicose Veins, Diabetes.
12. Constipation (Butternut Cascara Blend) (SP-12) – Constipation.
13. Liver (Dandelion Milk Thistle Blend) (SP-13) – Hepatitis, Jaundice, Alcohol Cirrhosis, Sluggish Bile Flow, Gallstones, Psoriasis.
14. Nervous Tension (Valerian Blend) (SP-14) – Anxiety, Emotional, Fear, Hysteria, Restlessness.
15. Low Energy – Fatigue (Cayenne Ginseng Blend) (SP-15) – Boost Energy, Reduce Fatigue.
15-B. Male Stamina Blend (SP-15b) - Boost Libido.
16. Prostate (Saw Palmetto Blend) (SP-16) – Prostate cancer, Slow Urination.
17. Insomnia (Valerian Hops Blend) (SP-17) – Improve Sleep.
18. Obesity (Chickweed Celery Blend) (SP-18) – Reduce Weight.
19. Glandular & Nervous System Tonic (Goldenseal Gentian Blend) (SP-19) – Support Proper Glandular function and strengthen the nervous system.
20. Gastrointestinal (GI Blend) (SP-20) – Ulcers, Flatulence, Upset Stomach, Colic, Diverticulitis, Gastritis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
20-B. Stomach Blend (Mastic gum, Marshmellow) (SP-20b) - Aids in digestion, stomach problems.
21. Infections (Echinacea Goldenseal Blend) (SP-21) – General infections, Flu, Fever, Sore Throat.
22. Caugh & Sore Throat (Bayberry Horehound Blend) (SP-22) – Colds, Bronchial Congestion, Inflammation.
23. Eyes (Eyebright Blend) (SP-23) – Eyestrain, Infection, Conjunctiuits, Dry/Inflamed.
24. Parasites – Worms (Garlic Black Walnut Blend) (SP-24) – Reduce Worms in colon.
25. Environmental (Algin Blend) (SP-25) – Pollution, Heavy metal, Recovery from illness.
26. Thyroid (Kelp Blend) (SP-26) – High, Low, Goiter.
27. Digestion (Papaya Peppermint Blend) (SP-27) – Dyspepsia, Colic, Gas, Heartburn, Antibiotic use, Pancreatic Insufficiency, Dependence on Laxatives.
28. Health & Body Tonic (Sarsaparilla Ginseng Blend) (SP-28) – Stress, Malaise, Fatigue, System Imbalances, Debilities.
29. Degenerative Disorder (Red Clover Blend) (SP-29) – Cancer, Addisons, Skin, Rheumatism.
30. Mental Stamina (Peppermint Ginseng Blend) (SP-30) – Memory Loss, Dementia, Poor Concentration.
31. High Cholesterol (Apple Pectin & Herbs Blend) (SP-31) – Control Cholesterol.
32. Hemorrhoids (Aloe witch Hazel Blend) (SP-32) – Phlebitis, Periodontal Swelling.
33. Allergy (Clay &Herbs Blend) (SP-33) – Hay Fever, Allergies.
34. Healing (Horsetail-Plantain Blend) (SP-34) – Ulcers, Broken Bones, Cuts, Wounds, Lacerations.
35. Low Blood Sugar (Licorice Gota Kola Blend) (SP-35) – Hypoglycemia.
36. Motion Sickness (Ginger Blend) (SP-36) – Nausea, Upset Stomach, Poor Digestion, Morning Sickness.
37. Antioxidants (Antioxidant Herb Blend) (SP-37) – Scavenge free radicals.
38. Hair (Herbal Hair Nutrients Blend) (SP-38) – Feed your Hair.
39. Depression (St. John’s Wort Blend) (SP-39) – Anxiety, Chronic Fatigue, Mononucleosis.
40. Immune Deficiency (Astragalus Blend) (SP-40) – Weakness, Chronic Disease, AIDS.
PRIMARY APPLICATIONS OF STEVIA
July 15, 2005 12:55 PM
PRIMARY APPLICATIONS OF STEVIA
STEVIA: THE IDEAL SWEETENER?
July 15, 2005 12:51 PM
STEVIA: THE IDEAL SWEETENER?
For anyone who suffers from diabetes, Hypoglycemia, high blood pressure, obesity or chronic yeast infections, stevia is the ideal sweetener. It has all the benefits of artificial sweeteners and none of the drawbacks. Stevia can be added to a variety of foods to make them sweet without adding calories or impacting the pancreas or adrenal glands. It can help to satisfy carbohydrate cravings without interfering with blood sugar levels or adding extra pounds.
Using stevia to create treats for children is also another excellent way to avoid weight gain, tooth decay and possible hyperactivity. While it may take some getting used to initially, stevia products are becoming easier to measure and better tasting.
Stevia’s Unique Taste Sensation
When the whole leaf extract or powdered forms of stevia make contact with the tongue, the resulting taste can be described as a sweet flavor, with a slight licorice-like and transient bitter flavor. If stevia is used correctly with hot water or some other liquid, both those flavors will disappear. At this writing, researchers are working on a new extraction process that will preserve stevia’s sweetening potency while minimizing any aftertaste associated with the herb.
Additional Therapeutic Benefits
Consider the following quote: Stevia . . . is not only non-toxic, but has several traditional medicinal uses. The Indian tribes of South America have used it as a digestive aid, and have also applied it topically for years to heal wounds. Recent clinical studies have shown it can increase glucose tolerance and decrease blood sugar levels. Of the two sweeteners (aspartame and stevia), stevia wins hands down for safety. (Whitaker) Stevia has a long history of medicinal use in Paraguay and Brazil and while many of the therapeutic applications of stevia are anecdotal, they must be considered in that they have spanned generations. Experts who work with indigenous cultures frequently find that traditional applications of folk medicine can be verified with scientific data.
Stevia and Blood Sugar Levels
Clinical tests combined with consumer results indicate that stevia can actually help to normalize blood sugar. For this reason, the herb and its extracts are recommended in some countries as an actual medicine for people suffering from diabetes or Hypoglycemia. Recent studies have indicated that stevia can increase glucose tolerance while decreasing blood sugar levels. Paraguayan natives have traditionally used stevia tea to regulate blood sugar. Stevia decoctions for diabetes are common and are usually prepared by boiling or steeping the leaves in water (Bonvie, 53). While scientific studies are certainly warranted, it is thought that disturbed blood sugar levels respond to stevia therapy while normal levels remain unaffected.
Stevia and Weight Loss
Stevia is an ideal dietary supplement for anyone who wants to lose or maintain their weight. Because it contains no calories, it can satisfy cravings for sweets without adding extra pounds. It is also thought that using stevia may decrease the desire to eat fatty foods as well. Appetite control is another factor affected by stevia supplementation. Some people have found that their hunger decreases if they take stevia drops 15 to 20 minutes before a meal. While scientific studies are lacking in this area, it is presumed that the glycosides in stevia help to reset the appestat mechanism found in the brain, thereby promoting a feeling of satiety or satisfaction. Much of our nation’s obesity epidemic is due to the over consumption of sugar-containing foods. Unfortunately, most sugary snacks are also loaded with fat, compounding the problem. When a sugar craving hits, anything will usually do. Doughnuts, candy bars, pies, pastries and cookies are considered high calorie, fattening foods. Using stevia to sweeten snacks and beverages can result making weight loss and management much easier.
High Blood Pressure
It is thought that taking stevia can result in lowering elevated blood pressure levels while not affecting normal levels. This particular application has not been researched, but its potential as a treatment for hypertension must be considered when assessing the value of herbal medicines for disease.
Stevia is thought to be able to inhibit the growth of certain bacteria and other infectious organisms. Some people even claim that using stevia helps to prevent the onset of colds and flu. Tests have supported the antimicrobial properties of stevia against streptococcus mutans (Bonvie, 54). The fact that stevia has the ability to inhibit the growth of certain bacteria helps to explain its traditional use in treating wounds, sores and gum disease. It may also explain while the herb is advocated for anyone who is susceptible to yeast infections or reoccurring strep infections, two conditions that seem to be aggravated by white sugar consumption.
Stevia can be used as an oral tonic to prevent tooth decay and gingivitis. Stevia extracts are sometimes added to toothpaste or mouthwashes to initiate this effect. Stevia is used in some Brazilian dental products with the assumption that the herb can actually help to prevent tooth decay and retard plaque deposits (Bonvie, 53). Stevia offers the perfect sweetener for oral products like toothpastes and mouthwash, enabling them to be more palatable without any of the drawbacks of other sweeteners.
Brazilians have used stevia to boost and facilitate better digestion (Bonvie, 53). Again, while this therapeutic application remains unresearched, the fact that stevia has a long history of use as a gastrointestinal tonic must be acknowledged. Plant glycosides can exert numerous therapeutic actions in the human body.
Stevia and Skin Care
Whole leaf stevia or its by-products have been used to soften and tone the skin and to ease wrinkles and lines. Facial masks can be made by adding liquid to the powder, and liquid elixirs can be used as facial toners to help tighten the skin. Stevia concentrate in the form of drops has also been used directly on sores or blemishes to promote healing. For this reason, some advocates of stevia use it on other skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis, or minor cuts or wounds. Stevia tea bags can be placed over the eyes to ease fatigue and to tone the skin. Stevia skin care products are available in clay bases, masks, and water-based creams. Liquid extracts can be directly applied to the skin.
THE FDA AND STEVIA
July 15, 2005 12:45 PM
THE FDA AND STEVIA
While stevia in no way qualifies as an “artificial sweetener,” it has been subject to rigorous inquiry and unprecedented restraints. In 1986, FDA officials began to investigate herb companies selling stevia and suddenly banned its sale, calling it “an unapproved food additive.” Then in 1991, the FDA unexpectedly announced that all importation of stevia leaves and products must cease, with the exception of certain liquid extracts which are designed for skin care only. They also issued formal warnings to companies and claimed that the herb was illegal. The FDA was unusually aggressive in its goal to eliminate stevia from American markets, utilizing search and seizure tactics, embargoes and import bans. Speculation as to why the FDA intervened in stevia commerce points to the politics of influential sugar marketers and the artificial-sweetener industry.
During the same year, the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) began their defense of the herb with the goal of convincing the FDA that stevia is completely safe. They gathered documented literature and research on both stevia and other non-caloric sweeteners. The overwhelming consensus was that stevia is indeed safe, and the AHPA petitioned the FDA to exempt stevia from food additive regulations.
Food Additive vs. Dietary Supplement
FDA regulations of stevia were based on its designation as a food additive. The claim was that scientific study on stevia as a food additive was inadequate. Ironically, extensive Japanese testing of stevia was disregarde—regardless of the fact that this body of documented evidence more than sufficiently supported its safe use. Many experts who have studied stevia and its FDA requirements have commented that the FDA wants far more proof that stevia is safe than they would demand from chemical additives like aspartame.
Stevia advocates point out that stevia not a food additive, but rather, a food. Apparently, foods that have traditionally been consumed do not require laborious and expensive testing for safety under FDA regulations. The fact that so many toxicology studies have been conducted in Japan, coupled with the herb’s long history of safe consumption, makes a strong case for stevia being accepted by the FDA as a safe dietary substance. Still, it was denied the official GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status and designated a food additive by the FDA.
The FDA Reverses Its Position
As a result of the Health Freedom Act passed in September of 1995, stevia leaves, stevia extract, and stevioside can be imported to the United States. However, ingredient labels of products that contain stevia must qualify as dietary supplements.
Stevia had been redesignated as a dietary supplement by the FDA and consequently can be legally sold in the United States solely as a supplement. Its addition to teas or other packaged foods is still banned. Moreover, stevia cannot, under any circumstances, be marketed as a sweetener or flavor enhancer.
SUGAR, SUGAR EVERYWHERE
Ralph Nader once said, “If God meant us to eat sugar, he wouldn’t have invented dentists.” The average American eats over 125 pounds of white sugar every year. It has been estimated that sugar makes up 25 percent of our daily caloric intake, with soda pop supplying the majority of our sugar ingestion. Desserts and sugar-laden snacks continually tempt us, resulting in an escalated taste for sweets.
The amount of sugar we consume has a profound effect on both our physical and mental well-being. Sugar is a powerful substance which can have drug-like effects and is considered addictive by some nutritional experts. William Duffy, the author of Sugar Blues, states,“The difference between sugar addiction and narcotic addition is largely one of degree.” In excess, sugar can be toxic. Sufficient amounts of B-vitamins are actually required to metabolize and detoxify sugar in our bodies. When the body experiences a sugar overload, the assimilation of nutrients from other foods can be inhibited. In other words, our bodies were not designed to cope with the enormous quantity of sugar we routinely ingest. Eating too much sugar can generate a type of nutrient malnutrition, not to mention its contribution to obesity, diabetes, hyperactivity, and other disorders. Sugar can also predispose the body to yeast infections, aggravate some types of arthritis and asthma, cause tooth decay, and may even elevate our blood lipid levels. Eating excess sugar can also contribute to amino acid depletion, which has been linked with depression and other mood disorders. To make matters worse, eating too much sugar can actually compromise our immune systems by lowering white blood cells counts. This makes us more susceptible to colds and other infections. Sugar consumption has also been linked to PMS, osteoporosis and coronary heart disease.
Why Do We Crave Sweets?
Considering the sobering effects of a high sugar diet, why do we eat so much of it? One reason is that sugar gives us a quick infusion of energy. It can also help to raise the level of certain brain neurotransmitters which may temporarily elevate our mood. Sugar cravings stem from a complex mix of physiological and psychological components. Even the most brilliant scientists fail to totally comprehend this intriguing chemical dependence which, for the most part, hurts our overall health.
What we do know is that when sugary foods are consumed, the pancreas must secrete insulin, a hormone which serves to bring blood glucose levels down. This allows sugar to enter our cells where it is either burned off or stored. The constant ups and downs of blood sugar levels can become exaggerated in some individuals and cause all kinds of health problems. Have you ever been around someone who is prone to sudden mood swings characterized by violent verbal attacks or irritability? This type of volatile behavior is typical of people who crave sugar, eat it and then experience sugar highs and lows. Erratic mood swings can be linked to dramatic drops in blood sugar levels.
Hypoglycemia: Sign of Hard Times?
It is rather disturbing to learn that statisticians estimate that almost 20 million Americans suffer from some type of faulty glucose tolerance. Hypoglycemia and diabetes are the two major forms of blood sugar disorders and can deservedly be called modern day plagues. Hypoglycemia is an actual disorder that can cause of number of seemingly unrelated symptoms. More and more studies are pointing to physiological as well as psychological disorders linked to disturbed glucose utilization in brain cells. One study, in particular, showed that depressed people have overall lower glucose metabolism (Slagle, 22). Hypoglycemia occurs when too much insulin is secreted in order to compensate for high blood sugar levels resulting from eating sugary or high carbohydrate foods. To deal with the excess insulin, glucagon, cortisol and adrenalin pour into the system to help raise the blood sugar back to acceptable levels. This can inadvertently result in the secretion of more insulin and the vicious cycle repeats itself.
A hypoglycemic reaction can cause mood swings, fatigue, drowsiness, tremors, headaches, dizziness, panic attacks, indigestion, cold sweats, and fainting. When blood sugar drops too low, an overwhelming craving for carbohydrates results. To satisfy the craving and compensate for feelings of weakness and abnormal hunger, sugary foods are once again consumed in excess.
Unfortunately, great numbers of people suffer from hypoglycemic symptoms. Ironically, a simple switch from a high sugar diet to one that emphasizes protein can help. In addition, because sugar cravings are so hard to control, a product like stevia can be of enormous value in preventing roller coaster blood sugar levels. One Colorado internist states: People who are chronically stressed and are on a roller coaster of blood sugar going up and down are especially prone to dips in energy at certain times of day. Their adrenals are not functioning optimally, and when they hit a real low point, they want sugar. It usually happens in mid-afternoon when the adrenal glands are at their lowest level of functioning. (Janiger, 71) Our craving for sweets in not intrinsically a bad thing; however, what we reach for to satisfy that craving can dramatically determine how we feel. Stevia can help to satisfy the urge to eat something sweet without changing blood sugar levels in a perfectly natural way and without any of the risks associated with other non-nutritive sweeteners.
Diabetes: Pancreas Overload?
Diabetes is a disease typical of western cultures and is evidence of the influence that diet has on the human body. Perhaps more than any other disease, diabetes shuts down the mechanisms which permit proper carbohydrate/sugar metabolism. When the pancreas no longer secretes adequate amounts of insulin to metabolize sugar, that sugar continues to circulate in the bloodstream causing all kinds of health problems. The type of diabetes that comes in later years is almost always related to obesity and involves the inability of sugar to enter cells, even when insulin is present. Diabetes can cause blindness, atherosclerosis, kidney disease, the loss of nerve function, recurring infections, and the inability to heal. Heredity plays a profound role in the incidence of diabetes, but a diet high in white sugar and empty carbohydrates unquestionably contributes to the onset of the disease. It is estimated that over five million Americans are currently undergoing medical treatment for diabetes and studies suggest that there are at least four million Americans with undetected forms of adult onset diabetes. Diabetes is the third cause of death in this country and reflects the devastating results of a diet low in fiber and high in simple carbohydrates. Most of us start our children on diets filled with candy, pop, chips, cookies, doughnuts, sugary juice, etc. Studies have found that diabetes is a disease which usually plagues societies that eat highly refined foods. Because we live in a culture that worships sweets, the availability of a safe sweetener like stevia, which does not cause stress on the pancreas is extremely valuable. If sugar consumption was cut in half by using stevia to
MILK THISTLE - A REMARKABLE FLAVONOID ANTIOXIDANT AND LIVER PROTECTANT
July 12, 2005 09:42 AM
SPECIFIC ACTIONS ASSOCIATED WITH GARLIC
June 25, 2005 10:34 AM
SPECIFIC ACTIONS ASSOCIATED WITH GARLIC
COMBINATIONS THAT ENHANCE GARLIC
Garlic: Primary Applications
Garlic: Secondary Applications
Menopause: Disease or Condition?
June 13, 2005 03:44 PM
Menopause: Disease or Condition?
by Mary Ann Mayo & Joseph L. Mayo, MD Energy Times, September 4, 1999
It's front-page news. It's politically correct and socially acceptable. Talking about menopause is in. Suddenly it's cool to have hot flashes. Millions of women turning 50 in the next few years have catapulted the subject of menopause into high-definition prominence.
It's about time. Rarely discussed openly by women (what did your mother ever advise you?), meno-pause until recently was dismissed as "a shutting down experience characterized by hot flashes and the end of periods." Disparaging and depressing words like shrivel, atrophy, mood swings and melancholia peppered the scant scientific menopausal literature.
What a difference a few years and a very vocal, informed and assertive group of Baby Boomers make. Staggered by the burgeoning numbers of newly confrontational women who will not accept a scribbled prescription and a pat on the head as adequate treatment, health practitioners and researchers have been challenged to unravel, explain and deal with the challenges of menopause.
Not An Overnight Sensation
Menopause, researchers have discovered, is no simple, clear cut event in a woman's life. The "change of life" does not occur overnight. A woman's body may begin the transition toward menopause in her early 40s, even though her last period typically occurs around age 51. This evolutionary time before the final egg is released is called the perimenopause. Erratic monthly hormone levels produce unexpected and sometimes annoying sensations.
Even as their bodies adjust to lower levels of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone, some women don't experience typical signs of menopause until after the final period. A fortunate one-third have few or no discomforts.
According to What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Premenopause (Warner Books) by John R. Lee, MD, Jesse Hanley, MD, and Virginia Hopkins, "The steroid hormones are intimately related to each other, each one being made from another or turned back into another depending on the needs of the body...But the hormones themselves are just part of the picture. It takes very specific combinations of vitamins, minerals and enzymes to cause the transformation of one hormone into another and then help the cell carry out the hormone's message. If you are deficient in one of the important hormone-transforming substances such as vitamin B6 or magnesium, for example, that too can throw your hormones out of balance. Thyroid and insulin problems, toxins, bad food and environmental factors, medication and liver function affect nutrient and hormone balance."
The most important reproductive hormones include:
Estrogen: the female hormone produced by the ovaries from puberty through menopause to regulate the menstrual cycle and prepare the uterus for pregnancy. Manufacture drops significantly during menopause. Estradiol is a chemically active and efficient form of estrogen that binds to many tissues including the uterus, breasts, ovaries, brain and heart through specific estrogen receptors that allow it to enter those cells, stimulating many chemical reactions. Estriol and estrone are additional forms of estrogen.
Progesterone: also produced by the ovaries, it causes tissues to grow and thicken, particularly during pregnancy, when it protects and nurtures the fetus. Secretion ceases during menopause.
Testosterone: Women produce about one-twentieth of what men do, but require it to support sex drive. About half of all women quit secreting testosterone during menopause.
Estrogen's Wide Reach
Since estrogen alone influences more than 400 actions on the body, chiefly stimulating cell growth, the effects of its fluctuations can be far-reaching and extremely varied: hot (and cold) flashes, erratic periods, dry skin (including the vaginal area), unpredictable moods, fuzzy thinking, forgetfulness, fatigue, low libido, insomnia and joint and muscle pain.
Young women may experience premature menopause, which can occur gradually, as a matter of course, or abruptly with hysterectomy (even when the ovaries remain) or as a result of chemotherapy. Under such conditions symptoms can be severe.
In the 1940s doctors reasoned that if most discomforts were caused by diminishing estrogen (its interactive role with progesterone and testosterone were underestimated), replacing it would provide relief. When unchecked estrogen use resulted in high rates of uterine cancer, physicians quickly began adding progesterone to their estrogen regimens and the problem appeared solved.
For the average woman, however, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) became suspect and controversial, especially when a link appeared between extended use of HRT (from five to 10 years) and an increase in breast and endometrial cancers (Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 37, 1997). The result: Women have drawn a line in the sand between themselves and their doctors.
Resolving The Impasse
Since hormone replacement reduces the risk of major maladies like heart disease, osteoporosis, Alzheimer's, colon cancer and diabetes that would otherwise significantly rise as reproductive hormone levels decrease, most doctors recommend hormone replacement shortly before or as soon as periods stop. Hormone replacement also alleviates the discomforts of menopause.
But only half of all women fill their HRT prescriptions and, of those who do, half quit within a year. Some are simply indifferent to their heightened medical risks. Some are indeed aware but remain unconvinced of the safety of HRT. Others complain of side effects such as bloating, headaches or drowsiness.
Women's resistance to wholesale HRT has challenged researchers to provide more secure protection from the diseases to which they become vulnerable during menopause, as well as its discomforts. If the conventional medical practitioners do not hear exactly what modern women want, the complementary medicine community does. Turning to centuries-old botanicals, they have validated and compounded them with new technology. Their effectiveness depends on various factors including the synergistic interaction of several herbs, specific preparation, the correct plant part and dosage, harvesting and manufacturing techniques.
Research demonstrates that plant hormones (phytoestrogens) protect against stronger potentially carcinogenic forms of estrogen while safely providing a hormone effect. Other herbs act more like tonics, zipping up the body's overall function.
Help From Herbs
Clinical trials and scientific processing techniques have resulted in plant-based supplements like soy and other botanicals that replicate the form and function of a woman's own estrogen.
The complementary community also can take credit for pushing the conventional medical community to look beyond estrogen to progesterone in postmenopausal health.
Natural soy or Mexican yam derived progesterone is formulated by pharmacologists in creams or gels that prevent estrogen-induced overgrowth of the uterine lining (a factor in uterine cancer), protect against heart disease and osteoporosis and reduce hot flashes (Fertility and Sterility 69, 1998: 96-101).
A quarter of the women who take the popularly prescribed synthetic progesterone report increased tension, fatigue and anxiety; natural versions have fewer side effects.
These "quasi-medicines," as Tori Hudson, a leading naturopathic doctor and professor at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine, Portland, Oregon, calls them, are considered "stronger than a botanical but weaker than a medicine." (Hudson is author of Gynecology and Naturopathic Medicine: A Treatment Manual.)
According to Hudson, the amount of estrogen and progesterone in these supplements is much less than medical hormone replacement but equally efficacious in relieving menopausal problems and protecting the heart and bones.
According to a study led by Harry K. Genant, PhD, of the University of California, San Francisco, "low-dose" plant estrogen derived from soy and yam, supplemented with calcium, prevents bone loss without such side effects as increased vaginal bleeding and endometrial hypoplasia, abnormal uterine cell growth that could be a precursor to endometrial cancer (Archives of Internal Medicine 157, 1997: 2609-2615).
These herbal products, including natural progesterone and estrogen in the form of the weaker estriol or estrone, may block the effect of the stronger and potentially DNA-damaging estradiol.
Soy in its myriad dietary and supplemental forms provides a rich source of isoflavones and phytosterols, both known to supply a mild estrogenic effect that can stimulate repair of the vaginal walls (Journal of the National Cancer Institute 83, 1991: 541-46).
To enhance vaginal moisture, try the herb cimicifuga racemosa, the extract of black cohosh that, in capsule form, builds up vaginal mucosa (Therapeuticum 1, 1987: 23-31). Traditional Chinese herbal formulas containing roots of rehmannia and dong quai have long been reputed to promote vaginal moisture.
Clinical research in Germany also confirms the usefulness of black cohosh in preventing hot flashes and sweating, as well as relieving nervousness, achiness and depressed moods caused by suppressed hormone levels. It works on the hypothalamus (the body's thermostat, appetite and blood pressure monitor), pituitary gland and estrogen receptors. Green tea is steeped with polyphenols, mainly flavonoids, that exert a massive antioxidant influence against allergens, viruses and carcinogens. The risks of estrogen-related cancers such as breast cancer are particularly lowered by these flavonoids, as these substances head directly to the breast's estrogen receptors. About three cups a day exert an impressive anti-inflammatory, antiallergenic, antiviral and anticarcinogenic effect.
Other phytoestrogen-rich botanicals, according to Susun Weed's Menopausal Years: The Wise Woman Way (Ash Tree Publishing), include motherwort and lactobacillus acidophilus to combat vaginal dryness; hops and nettles for sleep disturbances; witch hazel and shepherd's purse for heavy bleeding; motherwort and chasteberry for mood swings; dandelion and red clover for hot flashes.
Our Need For Supplements
Adding micronutrients at midlife to correct and counter a lifetime of poor diet and other habits is a step toward preventing the further development of the degenerative diseases to which we become vulnerable. At the very minimum, you should take:
a multivitamin/mineral supplement vitamin E calcium
Your multivitamin/mineral should contain vitamins A, B complex, C, D, E, calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper and zinc. Look for a wide variety of antioxidants that safeguard you from free radical damage, believed to promote heart disease and cancer, as well as contribute to the aging process.
Also on the list: mixed carotenoids such as lycopene, alpha carotene and vitamin C; and folic acid to help regulate cell division and support the health of gums, red blood cells, the gastrointestinal tract and the immune system.
Studies indicate a deficiency of folic acid (folate) in 30% of coronary heart disease, blood vessel disease and strokes; lack of folate is thought to be a serious risk factor for heart disease (OB.GYN News, July 15, 1997, page 28).
Extra vitamin E is believed to protect against breast cancer and bolster immune strength in people 65 and older (Journal of the American Medical Association 277, 1997: 1380-86). It helps relieve vaginal dryness, breast cysts and thyroid problems and, more recently, hit the headlines as an aid in reducing the effects of Alzheimer's and heart disease. It is suspected to reduce the thickening of the carotid arterial walls and may prevent the oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol, which contributes to the formation of plaque in arteries.
Selenium also has been identified as an assistant in halting cancer (JAMA 276, 1996: 1957-63).
The Omegas To The Rescue
Essential fatty acids found in cold water fish, flaxseed, primrose and borage oils and many nuts and seeds are essential for the body's production of prostaglandin, biochemicals which regulate hormone synthesis, and numerous physiological responses including muscle contraction, vascular dilation and the shedding of the uterine lining. They influence hormonal balance, reduce dryness and relieve hot flashes.
In addition, the lignans in whole flaxseed behave like estrogen and act aggressively against breast cancer, according to rat and human studies at the University of Toronto (Nutr Cancer 26, 1996: 159-65).
Research has demonstrated that these omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids can reverse the cancer-causing effects of radiation and other carcinogens (Journal of the National Cancer Institute 74, 1985: 1145-50). Deficiencies may cause swelling, increased blood clotting, breast pain, hot flashes, uterine and menstrual cramps and constipation. Fatigue, lack of endurance dry skin and hair and frequent colds may signal EFA shortage. Plus, fatty fish oils, along with vitamin D and lactose, help absorption of calcium, so vital for maintaining bone mass.
In addition, studies show that the natural substance Coenzyme A may help menopausal women reduce cholesterol and increase fat utilization (Med Hyp 1995; 44, 403, 405). Some researchers belive Coenzyme A plays a major role in helping women deal with stress while strengthening immunity.
Can't shake those menopausal woes? Menopause imposters may be imposing on you: The risk of thyroid disease, unrelenting stress, PMS, adrenal burnout, poor gastrointestinal health and Hypoglycemia all increase at midlife. Menopause is a handy hook on which to hang every misery, ache and pain but it may only mimic the distress of other ailments. For this reason every midlife woman should have a good medical exam with appropriate tests to determine her baseline state of health. Only with proper analysis can you and your health practitioner hit on an accurate diagnosis and satisfying course of therapy.
And if menopause is truly the issue, you have plenty of company. No woman escapes it. No woman dies from it. It is not a disease but a reminder that one-third of life remains to be lived. Menopausal Baby Boomers can anticipate tapping into creative energy apart from procreation. If not new careers, new interests await. An altered internal balance empowers a menopausal woman to direct, perhaps for the first time, her experience of life. She has come of age-yet again. Gone is the confusion, uncertainty, or dictates of a hormone driven life: This time wisdom and experience direct her. There is no need to yearn for youth or cower at the conventional covenant of old age. Menopause is the clarion call to reframe, reevaluate and reclaim.
Mary Ann Mayo and Joseph L. Mayo, MD, are authors of The Menopause Manager (Revell) and executive editors of Health Opportunities for Women (HOW). Telephone number 877-547-5499 for more information.
Battle Fatigue! Don't passively accept chronic exhaustion and weakness.
June 10, 2005 10:06 PM
Battle Fatigue! Don't passively accept chronic exhaustion and weakness. by Joanne Gallo Energy Times, December 6, 1999
Most folks wouldn't seek the distressing distinction of suffering chronic fatigue syndrome. Aside from a dizzying array of discomforts associated with the malady, the lack of a definitive cause, and few remedies offered by the medical establishment, scornful skeptics lob accusations of laziness or boredom or just plain moodiness. "Snap out of it!" they say, with little sympathy or understanding. "Just get moving!"
But if you're one of more than 3 million Americans affected by chronic fatigue, you know your problem is not all in your head. Your symptoms are real and they extend far beyond mere tiredness. In addition to a debilitating sense of fatigue that can make everyday existence feel like an overwhelming struggle, you may suffer from impaired concentration and memory, recurrent sore throats, nagging headaches, muscle and joint pain, swollen lymph nodes and fitful sleep. The persistence of any one of these effects alone could be debilitating, but the overall diminished capabilities of the chronic fatigue sufferer can become the most discouraging aspect of the disease.
But before you give up hope on kicking this energy-sucking ailment, look to natural ways to boost your immune system and regain your stamina for a more healthy and productive life. New research points to powerful, energy enhancing supplements which, combined with a nutritious diet and stress reducing techniques, can help you reclaim your body from a swamp of sluggishness.
Part of the public's misconceptions about chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) may stem from vague definitions of exactly what it is and its causes.
In the '80s, CFS was often mentioned in the same breath as the Epstein-Barr virus, which garnered much notoriety as the "yuppie flu": a state of chronic exhaustion that often plagued young, overworked professionals, as the media trumpeted. CFS was initially thought to be the result of the Epstein-Barr virus, and the two were often considered to be the same thing. Since the Epstein-Barr virus causes mononucleosis, the term "chronic mono" was also thrown around to refer to long-lasting states of fatigue.
Today, CFS is defined as a separate disorder from the Epstein-Barr syndrome. Researchers have found that CFS is not caused exclusively by the Epstein-Barr virus or any other single infectious disease agent. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, CFS may have multiple causes, in which viruses or other infectious agents might have a contributory role. Some of these additional possible culprits include herpes simplex viruses, candida albicans (yeast organisms), or parasites.
According to the CDC, a person can be definitively diagnosed with CFS when she or he experiences severe chronic fatigue for six months or longer that is not caused by other medical conditions, and must have four or more of the following problems recurrently for six consecutive months: tender lymph nodes, muscle pain, multi-joint pain without swelling or redness, substantial impairment in short-term memory or concentration; sore throat, headaches, unrefreshing sleep and postexertional malaise lasting more than 24 hours.
Even if you are not diagnosed with CFS, you could still probably use some help in fending off fatigue. You may suffer from another poorly understood condition like fibromyalgia, which causes similar symptoms of exhaustion and pain with additional stomach discomfort. You may cope with another ailment like Hypoglycemia or low thyroid function that zaps your energy. Or you could be like almost every stressed-out American adult trying to do it all at the expense of your well-being. Though researchers still search for a definitive cause for CFS, one thing is certain: Constant stress and poor nutritional habits weaken the immune system's ability to ward off a host of debilitating viruses and organisms. So before you run yourself down and succumb to a chronic condition, learn how you can build up your defenses now.
Some of the most exciting new research in CFS treatments focuses on NADH or Coenzyme 1, an energy-enhancing nutritional supplement. This naturally-occurring substance is present in all living cells including food, although cooking destroys most of it. Coenzymes help enzymes convert food and water into energy and NADH helps provide cellular fuel for energy production. It also plays a key role in cell regulation and DNA repair, acts as a potent antioxidant, and can reportedly improve mental focus and concentration by stimulating cellular production of the neurotransmitters dopamine, noradrenaline and serotonin.
A recent study conducted at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, DC, and reported in the February 1999 issue of The Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, showed that chronic fatigue sufferers improved their condition significantly by taking Enada, the stabilized, absorbable, oral form of NADH. The researchers found that 31% of those who took the supplement achieved significant improvement in relief of their symptoms, and a follow up study showed that 72% achieved positive results over a longer period of time.
Coenzyme-A and Coenzyme Q-10 (Co-Q10) are related coenzymes also necessary for energy production.
According to Erika Schwartz, M.D., and Carol Colman, authors of Natural Energy: From Tired to Terrific in 10 Days (G.P. Putnam's Sons) CoQ10 in combination with the nutrient carnitine enhances cellular energy production, thereby boosting energy levels. Coenzyme-A is required to initiate the chemical reactions that involve the utilization of CoQ10 and NADH for the production of energy at the cellular level.
Another important energy-enhancing nutrient is D-ribose, a simple sugar that is crucial to many processes in your body. D-ribose stimulates the body's production of adenosine triphosphate, or ATP, an energy-rich chemical compound that provides the fuel for all body functions. D-ribose is essential to the manufacture of ATP and maintaining high levels of energy in the heart and skeletal muscles.
In addition to these new nutrients, a host of more familiar vitamins and minerals can help banish fatigue. According to Susan M. Lark, M.D., author of the Chronic Fatigue Self Help Book (Celestial Arts) nutritional supplements help stimulate your immune system, glands and digestive tract, promote proper circulation of blood and oxygen, and provide a calming effect. Some of Lark's recommended nutrients for building and regaining strength include:
Vitamin A: Helps protect the body against invasion by viruses that could trigger CFS, as well as bacteria, fungi and allergies. Supports the production and maintenance of healthy skin and mucous membranes, the body's first line of defense against invaders. Also supports the immune system by boosting T-cell activity and contributing to the health of the thymus, the immune-regulating gland.
Vitamin B Complex: Depression and fatigue can result from the body's depletion of B vitamins, which can occur from stress or drinking too many caffeinated beverages. Studies have provided preliminary evidence that CFS patients have reduced functional B vitamin status (J R Soc Med 92 , Apr. 1999: 183-5). The 11 factors of B complex are crucial to glucose metabolism, stabilization of brain chemistry and inactivation of estrogen, which regulate the body's levels of energy and vitality. n Vitamin C: Helps prevent fatigue linked to infections by stimulating the production of interferon, a chemical that can limit the spread of viruses. Helps fight bacterial and fungal infections by maintaining healthy antibody production and white blood cells. Also necessary for production of adrenal gland hormones which help prevent exhaustion in those under stress.
Bioflavonoids: Help guard against fatigue caused by allergic reactions; their anti-inflammatory properties prevent the production of histamine and leukotrienes that promote inflammation. Bioflavonoids like quercetin are powerfully antiviral.
Vitamin E: Has a significant immune stimulation effect and, at high levels, can enhance immune antibody response.
Zinc: Immune stimulant; improves muscle strength and endurance. Constituent of many enzymes involved in metabolism and digestion. n Magnesium and Malic Acid: Important for the production of ATP, the body's energy source. Magnesium is also important for women who may develop a deficiency from chronic yeast infections.
Potassium: Enhances energy and vitality; deficiency leads to fatigue and muscle weakness.
Calcium: Combats stress, nervous tension and anxiety.
Iodine: Necessary to prevent fatigue caused by low thyroid function, as it is crucial for the production of the thyroid hormone thyroxin.
In addition to nutrients to bolster your immunity, herbal remedies can also help suppress viral and candida infections. Garlic is a powerful, natural antibiotic, while echinacea and goldenseal have strong anti-infective abilities. Other botanicals help combat tiredness and depression: stimulating herbs such as ginger, ginkgo biloba, licorice root and Siberian ginseng can improve vitality and energy. For anxiety, moodiness and insomnia try passionflower or valerian root, which both have a calming effect on the central nervous system.
Eating For Energy
Supplements can only do their best if you eat a nutritious diet. Start by cutting out large quantities of sugar, caffeine, alcohol, dairy products, red meat and fat.
But what are the best foods when trying to restore energy or recover from illness? "High nutrient content foods with a good balance of proteins and carbohydrates," answers Jennifer Brett, ND, interim clinic director and chair of botanical medicine at the University of Bridgeport College of Naturopathic Medicine.
"You want foods with high nutritional value-that's where vegetables end up looking better than fruit."
Brett enthusiastically pushes that "universal food," as she calls it: chicken soup.
"In China," she says, laughing, "they do make chicken soup, and they do think of it as healing, because they add astragalus and shiitake mushrooms. Vegetable soups with chicken or fish have high nutritional value and are easy to digest."
The same principle applies to juices, Brett says. Juices are a good way to tastefully get more phytonutrients from fruits and vegetables into your diet. Toss in protein powder, and you can make a complete meal in your blender.
"You get more energy from juicing," she explains, "more accessible nutrients and carbohydrates that are not bound up in fiber." Brett's additional recommendation: oatmeal.
"It's got protein and carbohydrates combined with a lot of minerals, which you may not get from a sugary cereal," she says. "Sure, they spray some vitamins on them, but if you don't drink the milk in the bottom of the bowl, you'll miss out on them. You might as well take a multivitamin."
Look to fiber for superior energy enhancement. Natural Energy author Schwartz calls it downright "miraculous": "In terms of conserving precious energy, fiber-rich foods are your cells' best friends," she writes. "It takes smaller quantities of them to give you a full, satisfied feeling. They release all their benefits slowly, which allows the cells to extract nutrients with much less effort. Then these fiber-rich foods graciously leave the body with ease and efficiency." Among these "slow burn" foods that Schwartz says raise blood sugar slowly and steadily and maintain energy evenly:
Alfalfa sprouts-high in fiber and low in cholesterol.
Apples-one medium unpeeled provides 10% of the recommended daily fiber dose; unlike sweeter fruits, which are rich in healthful fiber, they help regulate blood sugar.
Broccoli-along with such greens as cauliflower, cabbage, kale, collard greens and broccoli rabe, it's packed with fiber, vitamins and minerals n Brown rice, wild rice, other whole grains-fiber treasure troves, including barley, quinoa, millet and buckwheat.
Corn-excellent fiber source.
Lentils and other legumes-high in fiber, delicious beans are rich in culinary possibilities.
Oat bran and wheat bran-mix into yogurt or add to cereal for the best available access to fiber.
Popcorn-an excellent snack.
Citrus for More Energy
If constant colds and infections are draining your energy, healthy helpings of citrus fruit may be the pickup you need. According to Robert Heinerman, in Heinerman's Encyclopedia of Healing Juices (Parker), citrus fruit have been used for more than a thousand years as natural remedies for a wide variety of ailments:
Kumquat juice is supposed to help clear up bronchitis. Lemon juice with a pinch of table salt eases a sore throat. Lime juice in warm water soothes aches and cramps from the flu. Tangerine juice can break up mucous congestion in the lungs. Along with citrus' vitamin C, these fruits also supply carotenoids, antioxidants that provide disease-preventing benefits. Citrus also often contain calcium, potassium, folate (a B vitamin that fights against heart disease), iron and fiber.
Fruits are loaded with phytochemicals, naturally occurring chemicals that give fruit their vibrant colors. Yellow, red and orange fruits are also high in flavonoids, like quercetin, a substance which fights cancer. Quercetin also aids in prevention of cataracts and macular degeneration, according to author Stephanie Beling, MD, in her book Power Foods (Harper Collins).
Even the US Department of Agriculture agrees on this flavonoid's benefits, noting in its phytochemical database that quercetin is an "antitumor promoter, antiasthmatic, anticarcinogenic, antiplaque, cancer-preventive, capillariprotective." (Quercetin is also available as a supplement.)
Don't Avoid Avocados
For a vitamin rich food, few items beat the avocado which holds vitamins E and C as well as some B vitamins (B6, niacin, riboflavin). A significant source of beta carotene, though not nearly as much as carrots or sweet potatoes, avocados also contain high amounts of the minerals potassium, magnesium, copper and zinc.
Just 15 grams of avocado delivers about 81 international units of vitamin A as beta carotene. Beta carotene, a carotenoid in fruits and vegetables, is converted to vitamin A in the body. This vitamin, aside from providing antioxidant protection from damaging free radicals, is necessary for good eyesight, healthy skin and healing.
In addition, the avocado, like all of these healthy foods, tastes great. Which means that you can pep up and not have to sacrifice taste for zest.
Healthy Mind, Healthy Body
Remember that the path to wellness begins in your mind. Stress-reducing activities like yoga, meditation and massage and aromatherapy can have a great rejuvenating effect on your body. If you can learn to handle stress effectively instead of letting it control you-and strengthen your system with the right nutrients and diet-you'll find that fatigue can be a sporadic visitor rather than a chronic companion.
Stevia, Xylitol Sugar alternatives ...
June 09, 2005 06:15 PM
Sugar Solution by Kristin Daniels Energy Times, January 4, 2002
Sugar Solution by Kristin Daniels
Low blood sugar-a blood sugar recession-can make the good times recede. While you can't live without blood sugar, too much or too little wreaks havoc on your body and mind. And when blood sugar dips low enough to cause Hypoglycemia you may feel like your emotions have been shredded. Knowing how the body regulates blood sugar allows you a measure of control in keeping blood sugar in the proper groove, and makes life a little sweeter. Hypoglycemia occurs when you feel dragged out because of low blood sugar. Ironically, this low blood sugar syndrome may be caused by an overabundance of sugar in your meals and snacks. Those who point to Hypoglycemia as a widespread problem claim that up to two of three women in America suffer from Hypoglycemia. That would make it an epidemic of monstrous proportions. In a survey of 1000 folks complaining of Hypoglycemia, published in the Hypoglycemia Support Foundation's winter 2000 edition, researchers found that low blood sugar sufferers complained of hypoglycemic discomforts in several main categories: 94% of the people in the study reported nervousness, 89% mentioned irritability, exhaustion affected 87%, depression struck 86% and drowsiness hit 73%. Other miseries included fatigue, cold sweats, tinnitus (ringing of the ears), rapid heart rate, blurry or double vision, confusion, sudden hunger, convulsions, sweating, sleeping problems, paleness, muscle pain, memory loss, crying jags, fainting and dizziness.
Body of Evidence
Diary of a Maddening Condition