Search Term: " Inhibiion "
Go nuts with the cancer-protective properties of walnuts
April 29, 2019 02:48 PM
Despite some of the negative press that the nut group receives overall, there is some significant proof that incorporating nuts, specifically walnuts into your diet can have positive effects. From assisting with cancer prevention, boosting your mood, weight loss assistance and even strengthen your bones, the benefits could outweigh your negative mindset. Also be aware that the method in which you prepare your walnuts could also change the properties of the un-roasted nut structure. Remaining natural with your nut selection is usually best.
"These results, which were published in the journal Nutrition Research, indicated that walnuts reduce the risk of colon cancer by inducing expression of genes involved in detoxification and by causing growth inhibition and apoptosis in colon adenoma cells."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-03-14-go-nuts-with-the-cancer-protective-properties-of-walnuts.html
Do rumored spirulina benefits stand up to the scrutiny of science?Experts agree with a resounding YES
December 10, 2018 04:11 PM
Many people around the world are skeptical about the actual use case of a so called super food. These things are supposed to be foods that offer excellent health benefits. Health gurus around the world that specialize in dieting feel as if these things are so important for the future. For example, spirulina is one of these foods that is getting a lot of hype. It is very rich in protein but its main benefit is that it can greatly help immunity.
"One of the biggest benefits associated with spirulina is its ability to boost immunity."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-11-21-do-rumored-spirulina-benefits-stand-up-scrutiny-of-science.html
Scientific study reveals Mexican mint essential oil can treat antibiotic-resistant bacteria
August 23, 2018 09:53 AM
In a study published in an alternative medicine journal, researchers says that an essential oil known as Plectranthus amboinicus, which is commonly referred to as Mexican mint, can be used to treat bacteria strains that are antibiotic-resistant. The team of scientists based their findings on results taken from oil that was taken from the plant's stems and leaves. In particular, PAEO and carvacrol, its active ingredient, can be possibly to treat staphylococcal biofilm and planktonic forms,
"Researchers found that S. aureus strains that were resistant to oxacillin and vancomycin (OVRSA) were sensitive to both PAEO and carvacrol. Results yielded an inhibition zone from 16–38 mm for PAEO and 23–48 mm for carvacrol."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-08-02-mexican-mint-essential-oil-treat-antibiotics-resistant-bacteria.html
Borage seed oil found to mitigate effects of radiation therapy on the liver
August 19, 2018 09:53 AM
Borage seed oil is typically used to treat the following health problems, rheumatoid arthritis, chest congestion, cough, depression, premenstrual syndrome, and menopausal symptoms. It is often used for hair and skin conditions such as hair loss, eczema, and Acne. borage oil contains a powerful anti-inflammatory compound known as gamma-linolenic acid however, borage oil is unique in that its GLA content is remarkably high.Also known as starflower, borage (Borago officinalis) is an herbaceous flowering plant.As a common herbal treatment in traditional medicine practices for hundreds of years, borage oil has numerous uses ranging from treating skin flare-ups to lowering pain.The most beneficial aspect of using borage oil either topically on the skin or internally in capsule form is it has strong anti-inflammatory effects.Borage oil is becoming increasingly popular as a natural anti-inflammatory supplement because it has one of the highest amounts of GLA of all seed oils.GLA is one type of omega-6 “essential” fatty acid that the body cannot make on its own, so we must get it from outside sources.The mechanisms of [borage oil] that provide protection against gamma-irradiation-induced toxicity may be explained by its antioxidant activity, inhibition of MDA, and prevention against GSH depletion due to its high content of GLA. Therefore, [borage oil] may be used as a beneficial supplement for patients during radiotherapy treatment.Borage can be helpful for treating a wide range of both short- and long-term illnesses like Bone loss and osteoporosis,skin disorders,Rheumatoid arthritis pain,managing diabetes,Dealing with stress, Hormonal imbalances, including adrenal insufficiency,respitory distress like bronchitis, colds, coughs and fevers,Alcoholism,preventing heart diseases and Inflammation causing pain and swelling. Borage oil is often used along with evening primrose oil supplements to further increase the anti-inflammatory and pain-reducing effects.
"Also known as starflower, borage (Borago officinalis) is an herbaceous flowering plant most known for being the source of borage oil."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-08-17-borage-seed-oil-found-to-mitigate-effects-of-cancer-treatment-the-supplements-antioxidant-activity-reduces-damage-to-liver-from-chemicals-according-to-study.html
Lactic acid bacteria can protect against Influenza A virus, study finds
December 19, 2017 07:59 AM
Researchers have shown that lactic acid bacteria (LAB) may provide broad protection against influenza viruses. LAB are best known for their human gut floral maintenance, fermentative activity, and preservative capacity. LAB are widely used in food industry, such as in the preparation of fermented dairy products, pickling of vegetables, and baking. LAB have many health benefits, such as alleviation of diarrhea, stimulation of immune system, inhibition of infections, and prevention of certain diseases. So, LAB have been classified as probiotics. Previous studies have suggested that many LAB strains protect mice against influenza virus. The aim of the new study is to further explore the antiviral effect of LAB.
"Our study provides evidence that heat-killed lactic acid bacteria could potentially be administered via a nasal spray as a prophylactic drug against non-specific influenza virus infections."
Read more: https://eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-12/gsu-lab121317.php
Do You Know The Benefits Of Olive Leaf Extract?
Olive leaf extract offers several health benefits that you cannot get from other types of extracts. It has a wide range of unique health properties that work against symptoms and diseases. Here are some of the major benefits.
Prevention and inhibition of cancer
One of the major benefits of olive leaf extract is that it has the ability to offer protection against breast cancer. The good thing is that it helps prevention of the escalation of the problem at an early stage in its growth cycle.
Boost development of bones
Olive oil extract helps in stimulation of the production of bone building cells also referred as osteoblasts. This helps in prevention of the loss of bone density and helps in fighting osteoporosis.
Antibacterial and antiviral properties
The compounds found in olive leaf extract contain a unique feature that makes it have the ability to fight against different microorganisms such as viruses and bacteria. The compounds impair viruses, thus making them lack the ability to develop amino acids. This makes it impossible for them to reproduce and multiply. These compounds act against microorganisms in a way that antibiotics cannot.
Olive leaf extract has several phenols, which are antioxidants that help in neutralizing the action of free radicals. Free radicals refer to active substances that destroy the process of DNA creation.
Anti inflammatory properties
Another common use of the olive oil extract is that it helps in treatment of various infections in the body. Oleuropein which is one of its major compound has anti microbial activity that helps reduce and boost inflammation. This means that it helps in reducing inflammation in the body.
Lower blood pressure
Studies have showed that oleuropein has the ability to relax your blood vessels, reduce blood pressure and helps in prevention of blood clot formation. It also helps stop irregular heartbeat, balance blood sugar levels and improve flow of blood in the coronary arteries.
Does Broccoli Really Fight Cancer?
May 27, 2014 05:23 PM
What is a broccoli?
Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli is known to have numerous health benefits within the body. In addition, many studies have proved that broccoli has another element known as sulforaphane that has cancer-fighting properties.
Benefits of broccoli
A recent study by the Oregon State University, suggested that sulforaphane is a powerful antioxidant in broccoli and many other cruciferous vegetables do have the power and the ability to kill cancer cells, thus leaving the prostate cells unaffected.
Sulforaphane is also another potent antioxidant that has the ability to inhibit HDAC enzymes known as histone deacetylase and play a vital role in suppressing tumor-like genes thus making a perfect solution to cancer treatment. HDAC in Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli is known to have numerous health benefits within the body. In addition, many studies have proved that broccoli has another element known as sulforaphane that has cancer-fighting properties.
A recent study by the Oregon State University, suggested that sulforaphane is a powerful antioxidant in broccoli and many other cruciferous vegetables do have the power and the ability to kill cancer cells, thus leaving the prostate cells unaffected.
Sulforaphane is also another potent antioxidant that has the ability to inhibit HDAC enzymes known as histone deacetylase and play a vital role in suppressing tumor-like genes thus making a perfect solution to cancer treatment. HDAC inhibition is another very promising cancer treatment and many researchers have found that it is associated with broccoli. Cancer is often characterized by the inappropriate cell growth, however, HDAC inhibitors has the ability of restoring cells to normalcy in terms of function and thus the most effective cure of cancer.
Other studies have also demonstrated the cancer-fighting ability of the cruciferous vegetables. In the year 2009, Victoria Kirsh., of Toronto Cancer Care Ontario and her team discovered that eating vegetables and fruits in general was associated with the decreased prostate cancer risk, making it one of the best ways of enhancing health. This remarkable compound in broccoli is among the strongest anti-cancer elements in the body.
It is important to recall that you cook your broccoli in the best way possible since this will preserve the elements that helps in fighting cancer. In addition, Broccoli has myrosinase that helps in the formation of sulforaphane. You need to remember that Myrosinase is an element that can be destroyed through overcooking the broccoli. You should only steam it for 2 to 4 minutes. In conclusion, the above information should convince on the incredible ability to cure the cancer cells that are found within the body.
EGCG in green tea
May 10, 2014 07:38 AM
Green tea benefits
Green tea is made from the leaves of Camellia Sinensis, which is recognized for its health benefits. The nonfermented product is obtained by leaf desiccation that contains potent, polyphenolic antioxidants, with a flavanolic structure referred to as green- tea catechins, including epigallocat-echin-gallate (EGCG). Studies have shown that drinking EGCG prevents carcinogenesis in rodent organs. Studies have shown it had a significant chemoprotective effect against DMBA-induced mammary tumorigenesis in rats. Human breast cancer cell proliferation inhibition by green tea appeared mediated in part by (CKI). Mutagenesis was inhibited at concentration levels equivalent to human daily consumption.
Using human umbilical vein endothelial cells, it was demonstrated that green tea extracts reduced expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptors forms-like tyrosine kinase and fetal liver kinase. Kinase insert domain containing receptor. Because of the antiangiogenic property of its extracts, they have therapeutic potential in preventing the development of new microvascular networks (angiogenesis) needed for tumor growth. It was also found that green- tea polyphenols inhibited angiogenesis by reducing vascularization of chicken chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) by an angiogenin-like protein isolated from goat serum.
EGCG effectively inhibited bladder-tumor implantation growth in rats, pointing to its potential as an intravesical chemotherapeutic agent. Inhibition of platelet function is a factor in reducing the risk of coronary artery disease. EGCG was reported to inhibit platelet aggregation, by possibly involving inhibition of cytoplasmic calcium increase. EGCG was proven to be the most effective in reducing thrombin-induced aggregation of washed human platelets. The ability of green- tea catechins to inhibit adenovirus infection and adenain, the human adenovirus 2 endopeptidase, was reported. EGCG proved the most potent inhibitor of four green-tea catechins tested. The viral protease adenain appeared to be the target of EGCG, so it is possible that all adenoviruses are sensitive to its action.
The Chinese have known about medicinal qualities of green tea since ancient times, treating everything from headaches to depression.
The three "Es"
Provides support for a healthy weight loss program, gives the energy needed to maintain an active lifestyle, health, and longevity. The appetite suppressor, Vanadium, reduces calorie intake. Thermogenesis, or fat metabolism, is increased, because of the EGCG/caffeine combination, therefore burning fat.
EGCG fights free radicals. Fatty acids and lipids in the brain are susceptible to the effects of free radical perodixation. Much of the aging of the brain is attributed to perodixation. The EGCG helps to keep us young, alert, and able. Researchers have found that EGCG has inhibited tumor growth in both skin and gastrointestinal tracts. EGCG may fermented be able to obliterate cancer cells, without harming neighboring tissues.
Can Glutamine Improve Nitrogen Balance in the Body?
May 07, 2014 09:08 AM
Can Glutamine Improve Nitrogen Balance in the Body?
Essentials of glutamine have been found to be many. Nowadays there are commercially produced glutamine which are taken as strong anti-catabolic supplement.
Health benefits of Bromelain and its mechanism of fighting inflammation
April 20, 2013 09:54 AM
Bromelain is a blend of enzymes found in the juice and the stems of pineapples and is often used as a health supplement to assist in various disorders and enhance overall health. Here are the health benefits of Bromelain.
Improved Heart health
Bromelain functions as a blood thinner by breaking down the fibrins thus helps prevent blood clotting. It allows blood to move more freely throughout the circulatory system. Thinner blood is linked with lower possibilities of stroke, cardiac arrest and other heart problems.
Improved Breathing conditions
Bromelain is linked to improved breathing conditions that occur as a result of thicker mucus like asthma. It has similar effects on mucus as it has on blood thus making mucus thinner and thus does not clog the bronchial tubes.
It serves as an immunity booster and helps certain immunity boosting receptors within the body. As a result it fortifies the immune response by improving the response of body's front-line immune defense called the T-cells.
If the pancreas is not very active, it may produce insufficient quantities of enzymes, making the food we eat just getting digested partially. Consuming a bromelain supplement might help to cure any resulting digestive complaints like stomach upset, heartburn, diarrhea or indigestion. It is especially effective when used in in conjunction with other enzymes such as amylase and lipase because of its protease functions.
An external application of bromelain might help getting rid of undesirable skin tissues in the third-degree burns. Bromelain could also reduce inflammation due to insect bites and their stings.
Bromelain helps decreasing congestion and the cough that comes with sinusitis. Its anti-microbial attributes may wipe out viruses and bacteria associated with sinus infections.
Relieves varicose veins and Hemorrhoids
Bromelain is used as a complementary medicine in treating chronic venous insufficiency, hemorrhoids and varicose veins.
Enhanced Acid-alkaline balance
Bromelain can help in balancing the acidity and also the alkalinity in the small intestine. The anti-bacterial effects of bromelain helps relieving bacteria-related diarrhea connected with E. coli attacks and inflammatory bowel disease.
Bromelain and Inflammation
While inflammation aids mending the entire body during an injury, excessive swelling can result in health complications and speed up aging. Bromelain is beneficial in treating inflammation. The mechanism of how bromelain fights inflammation involves the inhibition of many bio-chemical responses and reactions that induce inflammation. Treatment with bromelain manages and regulates the activity of various bio-chemical messengers referred to as cytokines in our body. These cytokines are the chemical substances that trigger inflammation. By inhibiting the activity of cytokines, bromelain reduces the impulses that induce an inflammatory reaction.
Bromelain also decreases the deposition of kinins, a by-product of inflammation and also prostaglandins, the hormone-like compounds found through the entire body Thus Bromelain assists fighting the majority of inflammation occurring after having a sports injury or after surgery, or from minor sprains and tendonitis. Certain kinds of arthritis which involve inflammation also benefits from bromelain, particularly in combination with some other typical anti-inflammatory medications.
Do you take bromelain daily? If not, why not?
Benefits of Extended Release Guggulipid
January 03, 2013 04:10 PM
Guggul is one of the holistic ancient herbal extracts derived from the Commiphora wightii plant that had been predominant in India although some parts of northern Africa and Asia still had some traces of the same. Over the years, Guggul resin gum derived from the plant has been used to promote a healthy living, and has a good number of recent scientific research findings to back it up. Some of the health benefits associated with the use of Guggulipids supplements (also known as the Guggulsterone Supplements) include lowering of Low Density Lipoproteins (Bad Cholesterol), reducing inflammation, and significantly lowering the risk of suffering from cardiovascular diseases, tumors and cancers.
Extensive scientific research shows that Guggulipids play an important role in inhibition of its synthesis in the liver and its hydrolysis into bile salts. It also acts on the thyroid gland which in turn controls the Basal Metabolic Rate that directly relates to the rate of cholesterol catabolism in the body. Additionally, a cascade of reactions in the liver during the process of cholesterol hydrolysis down-regulates the uptake of cholesterol in the gut which ensures that the body is at a healthy blood cholesterol level.
The anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor and anti-cancer effects are highly associated with the stimulation of the liver to release C-Reactive Protein. Even though the CRP protein is primarily produced by the body in response to inflammation and cell death, presence of the CRP in the blood stream prior to an acute inflammation or cell death plays an important role in toning down inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid inflammation as well as killing abnormal cells before they develop into tumors and cancerous cells.
However, Guggulsterones are rapidly regenerated in the body in the same rate that other steroid hormones are degenerated which makes the use of extended release Guggulipid supplements very essential. This makes it possible to have the body under constant supply of the component for optimal guggulsterone health benefits.
Neem Health Properties
December 19, 2012 02:53 PM
Neem is a large tree of the mahogany family Meliaceae and is native to both semi-tropical and tropical regions of Asia. The tree is tall and evergreen with a height ranging from 15 to 20 m. It is effective for treating various ailments to an extent of being referred to as Muarubaini within East Africa, meaning ‘a tree of the forty'; due to its capability of treating 40 diseases. Every part of the neem tree is endowed with a capacity to fight infections.
Here are some health benefits of neem.
It has powerful antibacterial and antiviral properties which make it a first choice in several households, medicinal, cosmetic and agricultural products.
How Does The White Kidney Bean Block Carbohydrates?
February 08, 2012 08:23 PM
The White Kidney Bean is referred scientifically as Phaseolus vulgar. It is bean plant that is native to the Indies, Europe and Peru. The major advantage of using this bean plant is because it has been proven scientifically proven as a good inhibitor of the digestion of some selected dietary carbohydrates. Its carbohydrate blocking ability has seen it being adopted in the manufacture of most weight loss and diet pills.
When you consume starch, normally referred to as the complex carbohydrates, the body then has the responsibility of breaking these food substances into smaller digestible units that are referred to as dextrins. This is usually done through a chemical process catalyzed by the enzyme amylase. The dextrins are later broken down to form glucose. This is then the product that is useful to the body. Glucose is required for body energy requirements. The glucose before being used by the body system is first stored in the muscle tissue or the liver in the form of glycogen.
The settling of glycogen in the liver is used for conversion to lipids and later their storage in fat form. White Kidney Bean is essentially used to block the digestive ability of alpha-amylase which is used in the breakdown of carbohydrates into dextrins and later into glucose which is then used up by the body system. The result of this means that all the carbohydrates pass through the digestive tract undigested. This therefore translates to a lower intake of energy and. This subsequently lowers the amount of body fat that is usually introduced into the body by the consumption of such foods. This is why this bean is an essential element for those seeking to lose weight.
The White Kidney Bean can be able to block the digestion of carbohydrates but is not capable of inhibiting the digestion of fats and simple sugars. This therefore calls for more adoption of dietary controls because the bean might not achieve the level of effect required. Even through the bean is able to inhibit the functioning of alpha-amylase, there still is another starch digestive enzyme called glucoamylase that can still be digesting the starch during the inhibition of the other enzyme. The White Kidney Bean is a good option for weight loss and weight management. The users are however still advised to ensure that they properly limit their intake of carbohydrates so as to get better results.
This bean is safe to take and does not have any health complications associated with it. The use of this bean is of much importance in losing that extra pound. The White Kidney Bean is especially helpful to those people who cannot get the proper time for preparing healthy meals. It is always important to keep in mind the fact that this bean is only useful in inhibiting the digestion of carbohydrates. This is why people are always advised to try as much as possible to limit their carb consumption. Some side effects like heartburn might be witnessed but in most cases they might not be very much pronounced.
Does Stress Deplete The Body Of Minerals?
September 24, 2011 04:06 PM
Heavy traffic after a long day’s work, trying to sleep and your neighbour’s dog keeps barking and when you wake up in the morning your kids show you their report cards and they failed a couple of subjects then you’re late in getting to work because you had to have that discussion with your kids, you get called off into the boss’ office and he tells you that what you’re doing and the reasons behind it are unacceptable. That’s stress, in the modern world many people believe although there are no conclusive studies about it yet, stress is the number one silent killer in the world.
I mean think about it, aside from the health implications, how many violent acts have been caused by stressed People? Every day in the news you see stressed out people doing things they probably will not do otherwise had they controlled there stress factors. Stress and its health effects though in a more minor scale has been proven to exist like stress induced ulcers or allergies induced by stress so having more detrimental effects to the health is not that far fetch. So in the question of whether the body can be depleted by stress of minerals I would say yes however more than that lets find out how.
Stress and Minerals
Commonly stress is triggered by environmental circumstances which in turn if left unattended can lead to depression however recent studies have come across more evidence that the true culprit maybe a chemical imbalance in the brain. This is where we see that initial relationship between stress and minerals as certain mineral depletion in the body can lead to inefficient functioning of vital organs and one of them is the brain which is where stress just like any other emotion we have originates. In the US, modernisation has depleted our soil of its mineral contents which in turn also affects the food we eat. Aside from food intake, mineral deficiency can also be caused by an underlying heath issue that an individual may have.
From diarrhea to malnutrition the possibilities are wide. Another way that stress has been proven to be related to minerals is in the way it is absorbed. Many studies have shown that some minerals are affected by stress due to inhibiting its absorption in some way. The key for this inhibition property of stress for proper mineral absorption is in the chemicals and hormones it initiates the body to release. When the body is stressed, the normal response for it is to release hormones and chemicals such as adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol.
These substances counteract the efficient absorption process that our body otherwise will have if they were in absence. Different minerals maybe affected in different ways but nonetheless affected. Calcium for example will not be absorbed well by the bones in the presence of cortisol and with high adrenaline levels magnesium may be lost through urine and potassium is another mineral that does not react well with cortisol and has marked stress as an inhibitor for its absorption because of this.
Fight Anxiety Disorders Naturally
December 14, 2010 04:27 PM
Do you suffer from an Anxiety Disorder?
Before considering how to test for anxiety disorders and discussing natural supplements that can help we should first discuss what anxiety disorders are - what the term means and if there are degrees of anxiety disorders as there are of depression and stress. First, what is anxiety?
Anxiety is a natural reaction to stress and it is anxiety that makes you worry about the consequences of not studying for an exam - so you study. It focuses you on problems so that you will be more likely to solve them, and helps you to perform better whatever you are doing. However, it can get out of hand and these positive mental processes become negative anxiety disorders.
With some people, anxiety becomes a dread of situations that were once everyday occurrences and can make your life a misery. Here are some forms of anxiety disorder.
Typical Anxiety Disorders
General Anxiety Disorder
Its symptoms include excessive sweating, worry, headaches, irritability, difficulty in sleeping, tiredness and tension in your muscles. It can lead to substance abuse and deep depression if left untreated.
These are three typical forms of anxiety, but how do you test for anxieties? Here are some tests that are used, beginning with the easiest - doing it yourself!
Testing for Anxiety Disorders
Many that believe they may have an anxiety disorder either tend to panic or go into a depression. It is far better to carry out a self-test. This anxiety test is very simple: simply tick which of the symptoms below you have experienced in the past six months:
I can't relax
I am always worried about something.
I get headaches for no apparent reason
I frequently sweat a lot and get hot flashes
I have no time for anybody and am easily annoyed
I find it hard to sleep and I often wake up during the night
My attention keeps wandering and I can't focus on anything
I sometimes get so worried I want to be sick or have a lump in my throat
If you have ticked more than three then perhaps you should pay your doctor a visit, or try some of the recommendations below.
b) Doctors' Tests
If you feel you might be suffering some form of anxiety disorder you should consult your doctor, particularly if you have tried the self test above and it indicates that you might be. Your doctor might carry out various tests for your general health, and if it is felt necessary you may be asked about your family history: is there any history of mental problems in the family, particularly with your mother or father.
Other questions may appertain to your own physical and mental background, such as have you been stressed for any reason lately, have you suffered anxiety or panic attacks in the past and what is your normal use of prescription and non-prescription medications and drugs. Do you smoke, drink or take any social drugs.
It is important that you are totally honest: the doctor is not judging you, simply trying to find the cause of your problem. Under the terms of their oath they cannot divulge anything you tell them to anyone else, so be honest and let them help you. Among the tests you will be given will be to declare all your history of anxiety-related symptoms. To achieve that, you will be asked a series of questions while the doctor assesses your mental condition.
Finally, you may be referred to a psychiatrist who will be able to help you more than your doctor. Psychiatrists have a good record in resolving anxiety disorders, but once you are diagnosed positively, what then? Chemical drugs? Or perhaps you would prefer something more natural such as herbal remedies.
Herbal Remedies for Anxiety
There are a number of herbs that can be used to treat anxiety disorders. Here are the more commonly used of these:
Passion flower contains the active substances maltol and ethylmaltol that your body's biochemistry uses to increase the concentration of GABA (gamma-butyric acid) in your brain. GABA is a neurotransmitter that calms you and helps you to relax and forget anything that is making you anxious. It relieves muscle tension, can lower your blood pressure and some equate its effect to that of Valium: although it is totally different chemically it is similar in its effect. It offers a sedative effect and helps you sleep.
Kava Kava root
Kava kava. Generally just referred to as kava, comes from the Pacific and the kavalactones it contains increase the concentration of neurotransmitters in your vascular system, particularly serotonin, the feel-good substance. Its sedative effects have been likened to that of alcohol, and it can certainly give you a lift and certainly helps you worry less as it reduces the negative symptoms of stress and depression.
St. John's Wort
St. John's wort is a well-known anti-depressant and it can also help reduce the symptom of anxiety. The hyperforin the plant contains helps to improve the brain's content of the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine that make you feel good, and St. John's wort certainly washes away your anxiety. Not only that, but the napththodianthrone in another of its important components, hypericin, promotes a reduction in depression through the inhibition of monoamine oxidase, a pro-depressive enzyme.
An extract of valerian root can help you to relax and sleep well, and this can often be enough to prevent your anxiety attacks. A lot depends on their cause, but if the attacks are mild and don't require extensive medical or psychiatric intervention, then valerian can help, particularly in treating stress-related anxiety. Make sure you stick to the recommended dose because valerian can be dangerous if taken to excess.
The four herbal remedies above should between them be all you need to treat your anxiety. One major problem is that, just like any chemical drugs, they only treat the symptoms and not the underlying cause which is something you and your physician will have to work on yourselves.
However, until then, the above herbal remedies for anxiety disorders are generally safer to use than prescription drugs and each has a well proven effect, both on the symptoms of anxiety and on depression.
Horny Goat Weed
December 06, 2008 10:05 AM
Horny Goat weed, correctly named Epimedium, or Yin Yang Huo in Chinese, is one of over 60 herbaceous plants of the Berberdaceae family. It grows naturally in Southern China, and also in Korea, Southeast Asia and some parts of Europe. Other names given to include Fairy Wings and Bishop's Hat.
Horny goat weed has been viewed as a natural alternative to Viagra, and many species of Epimedium are said to possess aphrodisiac properties, and is said to have got its name from a Chinese goat herder who notice that his goats became more 'frisky' with the lady goats after eating the plant. In fact studies have indicated to increase vitality, particularly the libido and male sexual vitality, although it also possesses some other health benefits in its effect on dementia and osteoporosis.
The term 'horny' is used in the colloquial sense, and has nothing to do with the shape of the plant, the flowers of which are star-shaped. In fact the Chinese name for it means 'licentious goat weed', making the English translation quite clear.
The main ingredient in horney goat weed is icariin, a flavonoid glycoside that acts as a PDE5 inhibitor. Others include the similarly named, but totally different chemical, icaritin, and also many other that will be discussed later. It is icariin on which we shall focus for the time being. Since this is central to its effect on erectile dysfunction, some time will be spent on explaining what PDE5 inhibitors do.
cGMP (Cyclic guanosine monophosphate) is a chemical that relaxes smooth muscle tissue, including the vascular smooth muscles in blood vessels. This can lead to the dilation, or increase in size, of blood vessels and increased blood flow. The corpus cavernosum of the penis is a spongy area that runs the full length of the penis, and contains many blood vessels that can be dilated through the action of cGMP and allow the increased blood flow to create an erection.
PDE5 (phosphodiesterase type 5) is an enzyme that can degrade cGMP and prevent the relaxation of these blood vessels, and so prevent them from dilating. A PDE5 inhibitor, such as icariin, prevents the PDE5 from degrading cGMP, and so allow a normal erection. Sidenafil, commonly known as Viagra, is a similar PDE5 inhibitor and works in the same way as icariin. Hence, the effect of Viagra is not to create an unnatural erection, but in fact to allow the cGMP to do its natural work by preventing the phosphodiesterase from stopping it doing so.
This is just one of the effects of horny goat weed: it is a more natural PDE5 inhibitor than Viagra is. It is also more specific than Sidenfil, and does not interfere with any of the other phosphodiesterases that are essential for other purposes. However, its effects do not stop there, because icariin possesses other properties, and is also only one of the many components of epimedium that can increase vitality.
Among these are a number of flavonoids in addition to icariin, sterols and the isoquinoline alkaloid magnaflorine, that possesses antioxidant properties and reduces LDL cholesterol. The exact mechanism by which horny goat weed works to increase sexual desire is unknown, but it is believed that it inhibits the enzyme acetylcholinetsrase (AChE). Cholinergic synapses are the spaces between brain cells that allow electrical impulses to be transmitted, and are an essential component of neuromuscular system response to stimulation.
AChE can stop these from working properly, and prevent neurotransmitters from effectively allowing sexual arousal. Horny goat weed can inhibit the activity of this enzyme and allow the neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine to do their proper job in allowing sexual arousal to occur. This, again, is a natural and not a chemical solution. It has also been found to reduce cortisol levels that cause stress which also reduces sexual desire.
The effect of Epimedium on smooth muscles can also aid those suffering from pulmonary hypertension, in which the small blood vessels in the lungs become too narrow to be effective in allowing the transfer between oxygen and carbon dioxide. PDE5 inhibitors can help these blood vessels to relax and so be more easily dilated in the same way as those in the corpus cavernosum. Once dilated, they are able to carry more blood to and from the lungs and allow the reoxygenation process to continue smoothly.
Research has also discovered the possibility of horny goat weed possessing monoamine-oxidase inhibition properties. Monoamine oxidase enzymes can deaminate hormones such as dopamine, and can significantly reduce the production of testosterone. The inhibitor prevents this happening, and leads to elevated levels of dopamine, and also of serotonin and noradrenaline. Dopamine encourages the pituitary gland to release luteinizing hormone that in turn promotes the production of testosterone by the testes.
Another property of horny goat weed is that it can protect against the toxin beta-Amyloid, a protein that damages DNA in the brain, causing the death of brain cells and the accumulation of dead cells in your brain. This in turn leads to dementia and potentially Alzheimer's disease. The use of Horny goat weed is being studied closely in relation to this property. The active ingredient here is icaritin (not to be confused with icariin)
Epimedium also has implications in the treatment of the cartilage and bone damage that occurs with arthritis and osteoporosis. It is possible that this is connected with the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of magnaflorine, and icariin has been found to have bone-healing properties. It is known that damaged cartilage treated with horney goat weed displayed signs of growth and regeneration when compared to a placebo.
However, the most popular use of horny goat weed is in its effect on the libido and erectile dysfunction. The effect on the libido and sexual desire works equally well for men and women, and it is a preferred natural remedy to synthetic equivalents such as Viagra, Levitra and Cialis. The added benefits of the natural product render epimedium the preferred and safest solution for many people.
Holy Basil Extract
November 28, 2008 10:04 AM
It has been proposed that holy basil extract can help you cope with stress, and an investigation into the active components of the plant does indicate that there could be a scientific basis behind this use of it. This is in line with most traditional Ayurvedic medicines, whose benefits have been supported by modern scientific evidence.
Holy basil, otherwise known as Tulsi or Tulasi in Sanskrit and Hindi, is correctly Ocimum tenuiflorum, an aromatic member of the Lamiaceae family just as the more common form of basil is (Ocimum basilicum). Holy basil is cultivated for several reasons, the major ones being for its essential oils, for culinary use, religious use and for its medicinal properties. It is grown right across South Asia. Thai holy basil is used in Thai cookery while other forms play an important role within some of the traditions of Hinduism and is found profusively around Hindu temples.
Holy basil extract has been used for thousands of years for its healing and medicinal properties, and is mentioned in the ancient Ayurvedic text, the Charaka Samhita. It is written that it is used to balance a number of bodily processes and believed to be involved in promoting longevity. It is considered to be able to allow the body to adapt to stress and is also used to treat a large number of different medical conditions, from headaches to malaria and heart disease.
Most modern medical studies, however, have been carried out on animals rather than human subjects, so definitive evidence is lacking, and while there is evidence that tulsi extract might be an effective antioxidant and help in the control of blood sugar, there is also compelling evidence that it might be able to counteract the effects of stress. First, let's have a look at the active ingredients of holy basil extract, and how they fit in with the beneficial medical properties claimed.
One of the more important components of tulsi is eugenol, or 1-hydroxy-2-methoxy-4-allylbenzene. Eugenol is a phenylpropanoid, also found in clove oil, and is a COX-2 inhibitor that is used in medicine as a local anesthetic. Two others are the triterpenes oleanolic and ursolic acids, which possess anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties. The pentacyclic ursolic acid can inhibit the development of various forms of cancers through the inhibition of the STAT3 pathway that is responsible for several types of human cancer that have poor prognosis.
Also present in holy basil extract is the polyphenol Rosmarinic acid which is a powerful antioxidant that is also present in herbs such as rosemary, oregano and thyme. Rosmarinic acid will also contribute to the anti-inflammatory properties of holy basil, and many of the antibacterial properties it is said to possess could be due to carvacrol, a terpene that damages bacterial cell membranes and inhibits the growth of a number of bacterial strains.
Another component of Tulsi is the sesquiterpene B-caryophyllene, also contained in clove oil, and also possessing anti-inflammatory properties in mice. It is unknown whether or not these properties are transferred to humans, but the evidence of the use of the plant is that they are. Beta-caryophyllene is an FDA approved food additive, and as such, a dietary cannabinoid. Apegenin, also present in tulsi, is a flavanoid and another strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
With all of these ingredients that have proven health benefits, it is little wonder that holy basil is claimed to have the health benefits that it has. But what about its effects on blood sugar that it is said to control? It's probably not a coincidence that many other herbs that contain eugenol, such as cloves, are also claimed to have the same moderating effect on blood sugar levels. Not only that, but since diabetes is an inflammatory condition, it is not surprising that holy basil extract, that is rich in ant-inflammatories, should possess this property.
The main theory is that many of the components of holy basil can help support the beta cell function of the pancreas, and so enhance the secretion of insulin. In one of the few controlled human tests, a group of 40 people with Type 2 diabetes stopped taking their normal medication seven days before the test. They were then given holy basil leaves for an initial period of 5 days. Half were then given 2.5g powder holy basil leaf and the other half a placebo for 4 weeks. The two groups then switched over for 4 weeks - the first being on the placebo, and the second taking the holy basil.
With the first group, the average fasting glucose level dropped by 25.9%, from 234.5 mg/dl to 99.7. After switching to the placebo for 4 weeks it increased to 115.6 mg/dl (15.9% increase). The fasting blood glucose of the second group dropped from an average of 132.4 to 123.2 (6.9%), and then when on the holy basil leaf, dropped further to 97.2 mg/dl (21.1%).
This demonstrates clearly that holy basil leaf reduces blood sugar significantly faster than fasting, and so is beneficial to Type 2 diabetics. Perhaps more such studies should be carried out to confirm these important results, which appear to conform to the theory that the components of the plant should have this type of effect on blood sugar levels.
How about stress? Tulsi is said to particularly useful to people suffering from stress. The human stress response is an inflammatory cascade in which the immune system reacts by attempting to repair the stressed areas. If this response gets out of hand the stress can be exacerbated, and it is important that the stress response is carried put at an appropriate level.
A COX-2 modulator can prevent the inflammatory cascade by inhibiting the COX-2 enzyme that causes it. Since eugenol is a COX-2 inhibitor, it can help to keep the body healthy and prevent the stress reaction. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of many of the components of holy basil extract can help to prevent the body being stressed by antioxidants and by today's environmental pollution and it also possesses antiviral and antibacterial properties to help reduce illness.
It is also an adaptogen, which enhances your natural response to emotional stress and helps your body functional normally when stressed. Studies have indicated that holy basil extracts can reduce the levels of corticosterone, a hormone responsible for stress, and improve your mood and mental clarity. Longer term effects can include memory improvement and a reduction in the risk of age-related mental conditions.
The active factors involved in the reduction of mental stress, and an increase in mental clarity, are the essential oils that tulsi contains, and their chemical components: particularly eugenol and caryophyllene. Studies have shown these to elevate the spirit and the mood, while the terpene acids, such as ursolic acid and oleanolic acid, can help to improve your body's response to stress.
There are very few doubts of the effect of holy basil extract (or tulsi extract and leaf) in improving mood, mental clarity and reducing the effects of stress, or of its other extensive beneficial medical effects. More studies might be needed to prove them to the medical community, but even now people suffering from diabetes mellitus are benefiting from its moderating effect on blood sugar levels, and once again the application of Ayurvedic medicine is being proved as effective in the modern era as it was in the ancient world.
Green Coffee Bean Extract
October 22, 2008 04:59 PM
It is known that aging is largely a result of the effect of free radicals on our body cells, and that green coffee bean extract can be used to fight against these. While we intuitively understand what the term ‘aging’ means, very few people can actually describe it in words, although there are several theories of why it occurs.
The most viable of these include the Error Catastrophe Theory, related to faulty molecular transcription and errors in cellular function, the Crosslinkage Theory, in which progressively increasing cross-linking between proteins slows the body functions down, and the Neuroendocrine Theory, in which changes in homeostasis and hormone levels occur through time due to an increasing loss of sensitivity of receptors to feedback inhibition.
However, by far the most acceptable and best understood theory is the Free Radical Theory of Aging, which green coffee beans have been found to help fight, and it is on that which we shall focus here.
The Free Radical Theory of Aging
Free radicals are oxidants created by unpaired electrons. Electrons generally go around in pairs, but occasionally molecules lose one of these electrons, creating a situation where it possesses an unpaired electron. In this condition, that molecule has only one purpose in life and that is to oxidize other molecules by stealing an electron from them.
Oxidation can cause untold damage to cell membranes, and also to other molecules that are vital to life, such as DNA. The end result is aging, and the onset of many diseases and conditions connected with aging. Free radicals are believed to be behind inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and Crohn’s disease, strokes, cardiovascular disease, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer among many others. Each of these is associated with aging.
Free radicals are generated in the body in four different ways:
1. Energy is generated by the intercellular mitochondria by the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate). By-products of the mechanism by which this is done include hydrogen peroxide, the superoxide anion, and a hydroxyl radical. Over 20 billion molecules of antioxidant are produced in each individual cell daily, and every one of these has the capability to do damage to your body. The figure for inefficient cell metabolism is significantly higher.
2. Peroxisomes are eukaryotic cell components that contain oxidative enzymes, whose function is to produce hydrogen peroxide that is then used by another enzyme, catalase, to oxidize other toxic substances. It is used by the liver, for example, to oxidize about a quarter of all the alcohol we drink to acetaldehyde, and also to remove other toxins from the body. The down side is that the hydrogen peroxide can escape and degrade the cell membranes.
3. Chronic infections give rise to a high activity of white blood cells, which utilize oxidants of various kinds to destroy viruses, bacteria and parasites. These include hydrogen peroxide, superoxide and nitric oxide which can also destroy the cells they are protecting.
4. Cytochrome P450 is an enzyme used to clear the body of toxic chemicals in our food such as pesticides and drugs. They also give rise to oxidative by-products.
In addition to these, free radicals are also produced by air pollution consisting of smoking, factory emissions and traffic fumes. Trace metals such as lead, iron and copper, are rich free radical sources, as is the ultraviolet component of sunlight, and caffeine, from tea and coffee, can also contribute to the store of free radicals in your body.
So where does green coffee extract come into this, and how should it be used. Free radicals tend to react very rapidly to accelerate aging, and in order to counter them, and hold the effects of aging at bay, it is necessary to destroy them almost as quickly as they are produced. This is carried out by antioxidants, of which there must be a plentiful supply available in each body cell.
Antioxidants donate electrons to free radicals, and so effectively neutralize them before they can attack the membranes of the cells in your body, or any of the other tissues that they can degrade. Many of the vitamins have a powerful antioxidant effect, among them vitamins A, C and E. Other antioxidants available in our diet include beta carotene and other carotenoids, flavonoids and glutathione, and also cofactors such as lipoic acid. All of these can destroy free radicals by the donation of an electron.
Green coffee beans have also been found to possess a strong antioxidant effect, due largely to the plant phenols, such as caffeic acid that forms chlorogenic acid with quinic acid, both cholorgenic and caffeic acid being string antioxidants. Green coffee bean extract is standardized to 99% chlorogenic acid. This substances not only reacts rapidly with free oxygen radicals but also helps to prevent to formation of hydroxyl radicals.
It has been established that green coffee bean reacts twice as fast as green tea or grape seed extracts, and speed of reaction is critical in the destruction of free radicals that have to be destroyed before they do damage. Other antioxidants found in extracts of green coffee beans include heterocyclic compounds such as pyrroles, furans and maltol.
The extract is made from beans of Coffea Arabica, this containing higher concentrations of chlorogenic and caffeic acids than the Arabica plant. The extract is also produced to be naturally low in caffeine, thus avoiding the negative effects of drinking coffee for its stimulating properties. When the green coffee bean is roasted, the antioxidant effect is found to decrease, and after roasting and brewing both the Arabica and the Robusta beans have reduced in activity to much the same level.
Studies on some of the conditions exacerbated by free radicals have indicated the effectiveness of green coffee beans as an antioxidant. It is believed to help reduce atherosclerosis caused by the oxidation of low density lipids (LDL). Oxidized LDLs tend to be easily absorbed by phagocytes to form plaques and foam cells in artery walls, thus narrowing and hardening the arteries, causing a deprivation of oxygen and nutrients to the heart and also increased blood pressure. Antioxidants from the green coffee bean prevent this from happening, and so help to reduce this serious effect of aging.
A good supply of antioxidants will also prevent the cell membranes from being destroyed, one effect of which is to age the skin. Antioxidants in the form of green coffee bean extract can help to maintain a youthful appearance while also aiding in the prevention of the more serious effects of free radicals that can shorten life.
There are no doubts that free radicals contribute significantly to accelerated aging, and that the antioxidants contained in green coffee beans can help hold back the physical signs of aging, while also helping to destroy those free radicals that threaten life by promoting cancer, atherosclerosis, and other similar conditions.
Ginkgo Biloba Extract
September 19, 2008 09:25 AM
Ginkgo biloba, also known as the maidenhair tree, grows naturally in two small areas of Eastern China. It is believed that even these sources are artificial, and planted and maintained by monks over many centuries, and that there are no true natural sources of the tree left. Other than these, all living ginkgo trees are now artificially farmed.
The ginkgo seeds contain nuts that are a traditional food in China, served at Chinese New Year, and on other special occasions such as weddings, and is also used in traditional Chinese medicine. The seeds have been used in the treatment of coughs and asthma, and during the late 1970s and 80s, the uses of ginkgo biloba in medicine was extensively investigated with a view to determine the range of conditions that the tree could be used to treat. Given that many ancient Chinese remedies have found to be effective, and with a relevant scientific basis, this was a logical step.
It has been established that ginkgo biloba could have three possible effects on the body. These are:
* Improvement in circulation including that in the small capillaries.
The last of these has been responsible for many cardiovascular conditions, and disorders of the kidneys, lungs and central nervous system, and is due to the effect of the platelet-activating factor (PAF) that ginkgo appears to inhibit.
Before delving deeper into the possible beneficial effects of Ginkgo, let us first examine the active ingredients believed to be involved in the perceived beneficial effects.
Ginkgo leaf extract contains terpenoids (bilobalides and ginkgolides) and flavonoid glycosides. Flavones can reduce the fragility of capillaries, and protect the body from blood loss through damaged capillaries, particularly in the brain. The Ginkgolides, particularly ginkgolide B, inhibit the platelet-activating factor and so increase the fluidity of the blood that improves circulation, again particularly in the micro-capillaries of the brain. This is also why it is believed to reduce the incidence of cerebral thrombosis and resultant strokes.
The antioxidant effect of ginkgo biloba extract (GBE) has been widely studied, and by scavenging free radicals the extract can help to prevent cell membrane damage, and so prevent cells from being destroyed. It has been established that pretreatment of cells with GBE can prevent such damage in rats.
The anti-inflammatory properties of ginkgo biloba, as seen in some asthma patients for example, is thought to be due to the inhibition of the platelet-activating factor (PAF) by ginkgolide B, PAF playing a significant part in the inflammatory response to allergens, and PAF is now believed to be responsible for conditions such as asthma, renal diseases, central nervous system disorders and ischemia, a restriction in the blood supply, particularly to the brain.
It follows, therefore, that the effect of GBE on these conditions is likely to be due to PAF inhibition, and a reduction in the inflammatory response to a number of conditions. What evidence is there for this? In fact, results of the trials carried out have been inconclusive one way or the other.
Hence, a trial published by the Journal of the American Medical Association reported no effects after a 6 week trial of Ginkgo on Alzheimer’s and memory disorders. However, other trials have indicated positive effects after 6 weeks, and it could be that the GBE has to be taken for more than 6 weeks for any effects to be noticed. It is certainly believed to be a longer term treatment rather than have instant results, although some tests have shown improvement in concentration for up to 2.5 hours after treatment. The bulk of the evidence is favorable on the effect of GBE on memory disorders.
Test on rats, in which the blood flow to the brain was mechanically blocked by carotid compression, indicated that ginkgo biloba promoted an increase in the glucose and ATP levels in the brain neurons. Other trials have indicated that neurological damage in mice subjected to neurotoxins was reduced by the administration of GBE, and while not conclusive with respect to humans, the effect of GBE on the brain appears to be more than just opinion.
To sum up, ginkgo biloba is believed to be effective in treating the following disorders by virtue of its effect in improving the fluidity of the blood, protecting fragile capillaries from damage, exerting an antioxidant effect on free radices, and so prevent damage to cell membranes, and its inhibiting effect on platelet-activating factor:
Circulation problems in the arteries can lead to blood clots that in turn cause strokes and cardiac problems. By preventing blood clots through the inhibition of PAF, ginkgolide B can help to maintain a healthy circulation system that also help to maintain circulation in the very small capillaries that feed the brain.
This is caused by hardening and blockage of the arteries, and one of the effects of ginkgo biloba is to soften the arteries, help to unblock them and to prevent plaque formation by its antioxidant effect on the free radicals that cause the plaque by oxidation of LDL lipids. This is particularly true of the cerebral arteries.
The increased blood flow to the brain that GBE promotes can help to improve memory, although test are indicating that treatment has to continue for 6 weeks or more for it to be effective. Reduced blood flow to the brain is a common cause of memory impairment.
Ginkgo biloba has been used in the treatment of the symptoms of this condition, although it cannot be cured. It is thought that the improved circulation in the brain makes best use of the unaffected brain cells, improving memory and cognitive thought.
This is a condition where the extremities fail to warm up after being exposed to cold, and is caused by poor circulation in the small capillaries in which the blood pressure is very low. They symptoms are numbness and pins and needles, and GBE helps to overcome this condition due to improvement in the circulation and protection of the capillaries by rendering them less fragile.
GBE can help to reduce the symptoms of vertigo such as nausea and dizziness. This is believed, once again, to be due to an improvement in blood circulation.
There are few doubts that ginkgo biloba extract improves the circulation, particularly in the micro-capillaries in the brain and extremities of the body, and also possesses antioxidant properties, both of which help to maintain and improve the memory, and that combined with its effect on the platelet-activating factor, most of the properties of GBE is due to its capacity to maintain and improve circulation, particularly through those blood vessels closest to the blood-brain barrier.
September 01, 2008 01:04 PM
Garlic is a member of the lily family, related to onions and chives, and offers many health benefits other than deterring vampires. There is now ample scientific evidence and proof of its beneficial effect on both a healthy immune system and the circulatory system.
The active ingredients in garlic are thiosulfinates, of which the predominant one is allicin, sulfoxides such as alliin and dithiins, of which ajoene is the most widely researched. These compounds are not only responsible for the pungent odor of garlic, but also for its benefits to your health. Among the other components of garlic are selenium, manganese and vitamins B6 and C.
Before considering the other effects of garlic on your health, we shall first consider how it benefits the immune system. The immune system is an essential part of human biology, and protects your body from invasion by pathogenic organisms. Without the immune system your body would rapidly be overcome by bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites and other foreign bodies, and your body would rapidly fail to function.
The immune system consists of several components that can act in concert to protect you from these foreign invaders. It is too large a subject to be discusses in this article, although its major components are the thymus, the spleen, the lymphatic system, bone marrow, antibodies, and white blood cells of various types. Without it your body would rapidly be broken down to nothing, and would revert to a skeleton in a few weeks.
It is your immune system that causes inflammation, fevers, boils and pus. These are all examples of the immune system at work to protect your body, and even a fever is the immune system raising your body temperature to one that is unfavorable to invaders. Arthritis and hay fever are other examples of how your immune system reacts to invaders, in one case mistaking damaged joint tissue as being foreign and responding by causing inflammation to protect the joint, and in the other a reaction to invading bodies such as pollen.
So what does garlic do to help your immune system? Let's first have a look at the inflammatory reaction of the immune system, a prime example of which is rheumatoid arthritis. The inflammation is caused by compounds known as prostaglandins and thromboxanes, the biosynthesis in your body of which requires the enzymes lipoxygenase and cyclooxygenase (LOX and COX). If these enzymes can be inhibited, then the inflammatory response can be modulated, and LOX and COX inhibition is one of the studies currently being carried out into the treatment of some forms of cancers.
However, where garlic comes in here is that two effective non-reversible inhibitors of LOX and COX are the chemicals Di(1-propenyl) sulfide and ajoene, and both of these are components of garlic. Garlic can therefore be used, not to stop the inflammatory response altogether since it is an essential part of the immune system for certain infections, but to modulate it and protect you from the more severe effects of conditions such as arthritis - both osteo and rheumatoid - and asthma, which is also an immune response.
Allicin has been shown to work with vitamin C to kill certain types of bacteria and viruses, and can help the immune system to protect you from colds and flu, Candida and some gastroenteric viruses. It can also be effective against some of the more powerful pathogens such as tuberculosis. It should be stressed that garlic will not cure these conditions, but help the immune system to deal with them. In fact with respect to the common cold, a study at Munich University has shown that garlic significantly reduces the activity of kappa-B, which is a nuclear transcription factor that mediates the inflammatory response. In other words, the cold symptoms are greatly reduced.
This is significant, since increased kappa-B levels can be triggered off by any pathogen that causes an inflammatory response by the immune system (e.g. infection, allergens, physical trauma). The study showed that unfertilized garlic provided a reduction of 25% in kappa-B activity, while garlic fertilized with sulfur reduced it by 41%.
There have been other studies carried out that demonstrated that Helicobacter pylori, the organism responsible for gastritis and peptic ulcers, was less active in those that took a regular amount of garlic in their diet. This was shown by measuring the antibody concentration, and while H.pylori was found in both sets (with and without garlic in the diet), the antibody count in the garlic-eating set was much lower indicating a significantly lower population of the bacterium.
Another unexpected result was that a group taking both cooked and uncooked garlic had a lower antibody count than those taking either cooked or uncooked. This appears to indicate that cooking changes the chemical nature of garlic, so that both forms work together to provide a more potent effect that cooked and uncooked separately.
What has also been established is that odorless garlic has less of an effect on the immune system that natural garlic, so while the odorless type is more socially acceptable, it is not so good at supporting your immune system. The allicin levels in odorless garlic are very much lower than in the natural bulb.
Garlic has also been found to be able to help with certain types of cancer. Two servings weekly have been found effective in protecting from colon cancer. Allicin has been found to protect colon cells from the toxic effect of various chemicals, and also reduce the growth rate of any cancerous cells that develop. People in Southern Europe consuming large quantities of garlic have been shown to be 39% less liable to contract cancer of the mouth and pharynx, and 57% less liable to contract cancer of the esophagus. It also had an effect on other cancers, including breast and ovarian cancer. However, the effect of onions on such cancers is even greater.
Most people are aware of the cardiovascular benefits of garlic, and it can reduce blood pressure, cholesterol levels and serum triglyceride levels, thus protecting against the harmful condition of atherosclerosis and also of diabetic heart disease. Reduced atherosclerosis means a reduced chance of heart attacks or strokes. It also appears to possess antioxidant properties.
There is no doubt that garlic helps to promote a healthy immune system, although the odorless form appear to be less effective in this respect as natural garlic, and there is evidence that a diet containing uncooked and cooked garlic can be more effective than either of these alone.
August 29, 2008 09:20 AM
Gamma Oryzanol is extracted from rice bran oil, and is a mixture of substances that includes ferulic acid and sterols. It is not restricted to rice barn oil, and is also found in the bran of other grains, and some fruits and vegetables. It is commonly used as a sports supplement, although possesses other uses including treatment of menopausal symptoms and high cholesterol levels.
Athletes use gamma oryzanol to increase their muscle bulk through it increasing the levels of testosterone and other anabolic hormones. Although there is little scientific evidence for these effects, bodybuilders claim excellent results and the other benefits that the substance offers make it worthwhile taking. The reported benefits are so common and widespread that they are difficult to ignore, and it can be assumed that, in the absence of scientific evidence through test results, the athletes and bodybuilders are right until proven wrong.
Gamma oryzanol is reported to promote a number of metabolic effects on the body such stimulation of the Human Growth Hormone that is involved in increasing muscle bulk. It also induces increased release of endorphins, and improves recovery after exercise. Ferulic acid promotes increased strength, reduced fatigue and improved recovery.
The catabolic effect of cortisol is also reduced. Cortisol is produced during exercise and it is destructive to muscle tissue. What this does in practice is to increase your recovery time, and after a long run it can take two days to recover and allow your exercise effectively again. It is important that your body is conditioned to rapidly reduce its cortisol content after exercise, and ferulic acid helps you to do this.
Athletes have reported no side effects from doses of up to 900 mg of gamma oryzanol and 60 mg ferulic acid, which appears to be up to thirty times as bioavailable to the human body as gamma oryzanol. However, there are many more uses of the supplement than just metabolic ones.
Gamma oryzanol possesses strong antioxidant properties. Ferulic acid is a phenolic phytochemical, and a derivative of trans-cinnamic acid. As such, it is an antioxidant with strong reducing properties towards free radicals. Free radicals are implicated in cardiac problems cause by the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, leading to atherosclerosis that is responsible for strokes and blockages of the cardiac arteries.
Lipid peroxides can be formed by the oxidization of fats, and can damage nerve cells and muscle tissue. Antioxidants can also lead to premature aging through the destruction of human body cells, damage to DNA and also many forms of cancer. Although it is believed that components of gamma oryzanol can inhibit the initiation of some cancers, the evidence is still scanty and the research in its infancy.
Any substance that destroys free radicals is of benefit to your health, and Ferulic acid stands beside other strong antioxidants such as Vitamins A, D and E, and many of the high colored phytochemicals such as beta carotene. It is believed to have anti-cancer properties with some forms of cancer, such as breast and liver cancer, though, as referred to above, studies are continuing.
Paradoxically, intensive physical exercise can lead to the generation of more free radicals, since they are a by-product of the generation of energy in the mitochondria from blood glucose, and so, in addition to its beneficial metabolic and anti-catabolic properties, gamma oryzanol should be taken during exercise in order to reduce the effect of these dangerous molecules.
The effect of gamma oryzanol on cholesterol levels has been demonstrated, and complement the same effect offered by the fatty acid component of the bran oil. It appears to prevent the absorption of cholesterol by the digestive tract, and so allow it to be excreted naturally before doing any harm. It is believed that the phytosterols present in rice bran oil block the cholesterol absorption sites in the intestine, so is must continue down the intestinal canal until it is evacuated.
Cholesterol itself is essential to human metabolism and biochemistry, and without it we could not survive. Cholesterol is not soluble in water, and it has to be bound to low density lipids (LDL) to enable it to be transported round the blood to where it is needed: usually in the arteries to heal up arterial damage, a bit like a sticking plaster.
However, free radicals oxidize these LDLs and deposit them along with their cholesterol on the artery walls: that is the problem, not the cholesterol itself, and is why antioxidants such as gamma oryzanol are so important to us. Rice bran oil has been used by the Japanese for many years to treat elevated cholesterol levels and also to reduce high triglyceride levels.
It also acts as an anti-inflammatory, specifically in the stomach and can be used to treat gastritis, in that it reduces the inflammation of the stomach lining. There is some evidence from studies on animals that the substance could be effective in treating gastric ulcers, although the results with animals have not yet been tried on human subjects. Another mechanism, other than the anti-inflammatory route, is through the normalization of the secretion of the gastric juices.
Another use to which gamma oryzanol has been successful put is in the treatment of menopause symptoms. This is another of those situations where some trials have proved unsuccessful, but those that use it has found it be effective. Hot flashes and aging syndromes are two symptoms that have been effectively treated by use of the supplement, with one study reporting a 50% reduction in symptoms in 70% of patients.
The way this is theorized to work is through the inhibition of the secretion of leutinizing hormone by the pituitary gland, which promotes the hypothalamus to release endorphins. Endorphins help to overcome the effects of the menopause.
Gamma oryzanol, then, has found use by many athletes and bodybuilders in its metabolic properties in helping to increase muscle bulk and reduce fat, and by shortening recovery times by reducing the catabolic effect of cortisol. However, apart from these sports-related benefits, it possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that are beneficial to your general health.
August 28, 2008 09:33 AM
Garcinia Cambogia is found naturally in India and parts of Asia, and also on the Pacific coast of South and Central America all the way from Peru up to Mexico, and likes a humid forested environment. Also known as Brindall berries, garcinia is believed to act as an appetite suppressant and allows you to lose weight by diminishing your desire for food.
The Malabar tamarind, as it is also known, is about the size of an orange resembling a small pumpkin, and an extract from the fruit and rind is used in several weight loss products. The health risks presented by synthetic diet pills render a natural product extremely attractive were it to be effective. So can Garcia curb your appetite? What is the scientific evidence for it, and what biochemical route would it take?
Although tests on animals have been very positive, human results have been inconsistent. In some double blind tests using a placebo, weight loss was up to three times that of the control, but in others there was no apparent difference between those taking garcinia, and those given a placebo. However, doubts have been raised of the validity of some of the negative tests, so what does science tell us?
The active ingredient in the cambogia extract is hydroxycitric acid (HCA), which is a powerful inhibitor of ATP citrate lyase, an enzyme that catalyzes the reaction between citrate and Coenzyme A to Acetyl CoA and oxaloacetate. Since the acetyl CoA is necessary in the synthesis of fatty acids and lipogenesis (the conversion of glucose to fatty acids), then anything that inhibits the biosynthesis of acetyl CoA must help to reduce the amount of fat stored in your body.
By inhibiting this reaction, that occurs outside the mitochondria so is not a direct part of the Citric Acid Cycle, HCA should theoretically suppress the formation of fats from carbohydrates, reduce food intake and thereby induce weight loss. But that is not the only mechanism.
A study at Georgetown University in Washington found that after 8 weeks of taking the garcinia extract, there was a 5.4% reduction in body weight and body mass index, and a significant reduction in low density lipoproteins (LDL) and triglycerides with an associated rise in high density lipoproteins (HDL). This is good news for those suffering from high cholesterol levels, since the LDL lipoproteins are those that carry cholesterol to the major blood vessels, and which when oxidized by free radicals deposit fatty plaques on the artery walls. These plaques constrict the arteries and the resultant atherosclerosis can lead to cardiac problems and strokes. HDL lipoproteins carry cholesterol back to the liver for destruction, and is known popularly as ‘good cholesterol’.
The studies also indicated modifications to certain indicators of the status of fat deposits in the body and of appetite modifiers in the brain. In this respect they found 38% decreases in serum leptin and increases in serotonin levels of 44%, and the excretion of fat metabolites in the urine increased from between 32% and 104%.
These are significant findings, and further research has indicated that HCA helps to suppress appetite. Serum leptin is an indicator of the level of fat stores in the body, and as the leptin levels in the blood reduces, the hypothalamus is given an instruction to increase the appetite so as to increase the fat levels again. However, it is believed that HCA possesses leptin-like properties, and this signal is either not generated or is modulated.
The increase in serotonin has the same effect. It is known that serotonin controls the appetite, although the exact mechanism has not yet been established. What is known is that serotonin activates certain neurons and melanocortin-4 receptors (MC4R) in the brain, that not only curb appetite but also block the effect of other neurons that would normally increase appetite by blocking the effect of MC4Rs.
This is how the banned anti-obesity and serotonin inciting drug Fen-Phen operated, and it appears that the hydroxycitric acid in garcinia cambogia extract acts in a similar, but safer, way. The problem with drugs such as Feb-Phen was that they created cardiac problems which could be dangerous to obese people whose hearts might have been weakened.
However, now that the biological pathway by which serotonin controls weight is believed to be known, if not fully understood, the way is becoming clearer as to how safer weight loss pills, acting through appetite suppression, might be developed. It also provides a valid scientific explanation for the effect of garcinia cambogia extract which might in itself prove to be that safer way.
The biochemistry supports the evidence of its effect on those wanting to lose weight, and also bolsters the claims that those tests and trials found to be negative were in some way flawed. Until the full chemical pathway is understood, the factors that can lead to flawed tests are unknown, although one could be the use of excessive fiber in some trials that could reduce the effect of the extract.
One of the effects of HCA is to limit the ability of your body to convert carbohydrates into fat (the Acetyl CoA inhibition mentioned above). That, combined with suppression of your appetite and a higher rate of thermogenesis, prevents the body from storing excess carbohydrates as fat. Instead you will have increased energy levels, so you should exercise to use this up while taking garcinia extract. For this reason it is popular with athletes and bodybuilders seeking an energy source that has not yet been banned from sport.
Although diet pills based on the same principle had side-effects and could make the user feel on edge, there are none known with garcinia. However, it is possible to reduce the absorption of some essential nutrients due to appetite suppression, so do not exceed the recommended dose. An excessive amount can also led to gastric discomfort, but none of these effects have been noted when the recommended doses have been adhered to.
However, if you are diabetic, pregnant or a nursing mother, you should consult with your physician or health professional before taking the extract. Garcinia Cambogia presents no specific risk to such people, and this warning should be given for all non-prescriptive treatments that your physician might be unaware of you taking.
August 26, 2008 04:58 PM
GABA is gama amino butyric acid, and is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that is essential for the proper function of your brain and the central nervous system, and has the effect of reducing excessive brain activity and promoting a state of calm.
For many people, the rush of daily life, with its problems, worries and external stimuli, can over-stimulate the brain to the extent that it can all seem too much for them. They feel anxious and overwhelmed, and wish that they could just go into a quiet corner to get away from it all. Most people have felt like that at some time, but the demands of life do not allow them that luxury. They just have to bear it and get on with life.
That is where GABA can come in. It can be used to bring your nervous system back to base, and make you feel more relaxed, calmer and more able to meet these challenges that life often throws at you. When you feel that you just can’t relax or concentrate on what you are doing, GABA can help you. If you look around you and everybody else seems OK, without apparently feeling the stress and irritability that you feel, and then perhaps your problem is due to a GABA deficiency. GABA is the principal inhibitory neurotransmitter in your brain, and a deficiency would certainly give you the symptoms that you are feeling. Let me explain why.
As your brain becomes excited, it can run out of control and needs some form of modification or inhibition to keep it acting as normal. Without this you would become increasingly more restless and irritable, and ultimately have seizures. GABA is not only the main inhibitor in your brain, but also helps in the production of endorphins that provide you with a sense of well being. That sense of calm you feel when endorphins are produced, for example during exercise or sexual intercourse, is commonly referred to as the ‘endorphin effect’.
GABA is at its highest concentration in specific areas of the brain, including the hypothalamus, the hippocampus and the central brain area, and is present in up to 40% of all synapses, the small gaps between neurons across which brain cells can communicate with each other.
It is produced during the Krebs or Citric Acid Cycle that is responsible for cell respiration or the production of energy from carbohydrates. It is synthesized from alpha-keto glutarate, which is produced just before the Succinyl Co-A stage of the Krebs Cycle in the brain. Vitamin B6 in involved in its metabolism, and a Vitamin B6 deficiency can lead to a deficiency in GABA that might result in seizures.
Basically GABA works by inhibiting the firing of neurons in your brain, and thus reducing general brain activity. The GABA receptor allows more chloride ion to enter the brain cell, thus helping to maintain the electrical charge within the cells. Bezodiazepines (e.g. diazepam) work by increasing the effectiveness of GABA in opening the chloride ion cells to allow more chloride ion to enter the neurons, and caffeine does the opposite, and inhibits this property of GABA. Thus diazepam works as a minor tranquilizer and caffeine as a stimulant.
Alcohol has a similar effect to the benzodiazepines, increasing the release of chloride into the neurons, and is the major way in which alcohol affects the brain. In fact, tolerance to drugs and withdrawal symptoms can be explained by the receptors adapting to the drug. They may increase in number, which means that more of the drug is needed to work on them, and they can become hypoactive in the event of the drug being withdrawn, that enhances the symptoms that the drug was intended to treat.
So basically, that is the way that GABA works. In simple terms it increases the flow of chloride electrolyte to the brain, and in so doing affects our mood. This effect is enhanced by prescription drugs such as Valium and Ativan, which are used by those that suffer the effects of a GABA deficiency. However, these drugs have side effects, not the least of which is dependency due to the GABA receptors becoming modified to suit the drug. There is a more natural way to overcome many stress problems and symptoms of mood swings.
Knowing what causes these symptoms, it makes sense to eat foods that stimulate the creation of neurotransmitters to replace those that are deficient. Since GABA is produced in the Krebs Cycle and complex carbohydrates produce glutamine that is an important part of that Cycle, and is also the precursor to GABA, then the consumption of such foods should in theory produce more GABA. In this case the theory works, and you should eat foods rich in complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, brown rice and oats as part of your diet.
Other foods that are high in glutamine or its precursors, glutamic acid and glutamate, include citrus fruits, beef liver, broccoli, halibut and lentils. A useful supplement to take is L-theanine, an amino acid found in green tea, and available in supplement form. L-theanine can calm your nerves while maintaining clarity of thought. In other words it calms you down, but doesn’t make you drowsy and allows you to enjoy your day with anxiety.
Your doctor can determine whether or not you have a neurotransmitter deficiency through a simple urine test, and might also test your saliva for hormone content. A GABA supplement might be indicated, and if so it other beneficial effects on your body other than its effect on your brain cells.
It improves your sleep cycles and promotes vivid dreaming, and can also have a positive effect on your blood pressure. It is also an effective pain killer, and can provide relief from such conditions as back pain and arthritis. Its stimulating effect on the anterior pituitary gland to secrete Human Growth Hormone might also be regarded as a benefit by many. Increasing the level of HGH in your blood can lead to fat loss and improved anabolic activity (increase in muscle tissue). This can be of benefit to older people whose level of HGH secretion has dropped off, and who find it more difficult to lose fat.
GABA is a substance that has many known benefits and no known side effects other than a slight tingling and increase in heart rate when the supplement is first used. It has a definite benefit for people to whom the world seems too hectic and overwhelming.
Red Yeast Rice
August 04, 2008 04:07 PM
Many natural substances that are capable of lowering blood fats and cholesterol levels that are potentially harmful have emerged. No one is suggesting that there is a magic pill that will promote healthy cholesterol levels, but nature has provided us with some specific compounds that are capable of enhancing both dietary and lifestyle changes in order to improve cardiovascular health. One of the most impressive of these compounds is that of red yeast rice, which is a fermented food substance that has been traditionally used for its red-coloring abilities in meats and other foods. Additionally, red yeast rice offers some extremely beneficial therapeutic effects, as it is the source of certain compounds that can successfully reduce cholesterol.
Pharmaceutical companies have been making cholesterol lowering drugs for many years, but natural supplements are now available which offer the consumer a way to lower cholesterol in natural way. This is extremely good news for those people who are suffering from moderately elevated cholesterol levels and is looking to avoid synthetic drug preparations and the side effects that follow.
Most of us are now aware that high serum cholesterol level is what predisposes us to cardiovascular disease along with other degenerative conditions. Learning how to control our cholesterol levels, especially the LDL and blood triglyceride levels, while keeping HDL cholesterol at desirable levels can be an extremely frustrating task. By decreasing our consumption of animal fats and certain types of oils, eating more fiber and taking prescription drugs or natural alternatives, we can easily accomplish our goal.
Dietary changes should be targeted first, but turning to cholesterol-lowering prescription drugs has both its pros and cons. Pharmaceutical preparations come with considerable side effects. Some of the drugs that are most effective contain enzymatic inhibitors that prevent the synthesis of cholesterol. Red yeast rice accomplishes the same enzyme inhibition but is considered a natural alternative that safely promotes healthy serum cholesterol levels.
Coronary heart disease refers to the damage that is done to the heart when the coronary arteries become blocked or narrowed because of a buildup of plaque or oxidized cholesterol. When cholesterol buildup breaks off and lodges in the heart or brain, this causes a heart attack or stroke. An extremely common disorder of developed nations, coronary heart disease causes more deaths in the US than any other disease. Many people who die from heart disease are ironically in otherwise good health.
High blood pressure, which is a related disorder, is similar in the fact that both can be a silent killer. The symptoms of coronary heart disease include impotence, heart attack, or stroke. Although the mortality rates from coronary heart disease have declined over the last twenty years, the reason for this decline is shown to be the better medical technology that is available. Claiming more than one million deaths every year, coronary heart disease is still a major issue facing the American society.
In order to help us prevent heart disease, we have been given many dietary guidelines. However, many of us are not motivated enough to make the dietary changes that could literally save our lives. The major causes of coronary heart disease include obesity, smoking, alcohol, high protein and high saturated fat diet, lack of exercise, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, and a genetic predisposition.
July 03, 2008 08:58 AM
Serotonin has not only been shown to regulate sleep, but it also is responsible for controlling mood, including feelings of optimism, relaxation, general sense of well-being, and the ability to focus and concentrate. When serotonin levels drop, it can lead to a lowered mood, which is what people experience with seasonal affective disorder, premenstrual syndrome, and general stress. People who experience these conditions also have been shown to experience decreased levels of tryptophan, which is responsible for the decrease in production of serotonin. Tryptophan depletion has been associated with a lowering in mood of normal healthy men. In one study, women who had recovered from major depression and ended drug treatment experienced temporary but clinically significant depressive symptoms after tryptophan depletion. In many studies that were performed in the 1970s, indications of trytophan’s ability to relieve lowered mood were found.
When shorter days begin in the fall and winter, negative effects on a significant percent of the U.S. population result. Some experience sadness, sleepiness, increased appetite, weight gain, and a loss of libido, which is what is known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD). A key contributor to this is the increased synthesis of melatonin that occurs during the winter months. Daylight normally inhibits the conversion of serotonin into melatonin. Since the period of nighttime is longer in the winter versus the summer, there is a longer period of melatonin secretion. Increased synthesis of melatonin depletes serotonin levels, which, in turn, increase the symptoms of SAD. Those patients who experience SAD tend to crave starchy foods and sweets more, which happens when brain serotonin levels are low.
Tryptophan treatment may offer a substantial amount of help for people who are suffering from seasonal affective disorder. SAD patients who were treated with either light therapy or with tryptophan proved that patients with light therapy relapsed more quickly after the discontinued use, as apposed to those who were treated with tryptophan. Studies have also shown that SAD patients often feel better after being treated with tryptophan.
Serotonin also plays an important role in behavioral inhibition. Many studies have found that there is a decrease in aggressive behavior when serotonin is increased, while decreasing serotonin leads to impulsive aggressive behavior. Another study proves that healthy men who are depleted of tryptophan show more aggressiveness. When tryptophan supplementation was studied, participants who received the tryptophan significantly decreased their quarrelsome behavior and increased in sociable and agreeable behavior. Additionally, those patients’ perceptions of other participants’ agreeableness also increased.
Symptoms that are related to premenstrual syndrome include depression, cravings for foods that a rich in carbohydrates, insomnia, irritability, and hostility. More so, women with premenstrual syndrome dysphoria, which is a more severe premenstrual syndrome, have shown decreased levels of brain serotonin. This suggests that tryptophan may be involved, as premenstrual women who had tryptophan depletion have shown increased aggressive behavior. When tryptophan supplementation was studied on women who experienced premenstrual dysphoric disorder, mood swings, tension, and irritability, results showed that there were significantly greater improvements with l-tryptophan supplementation than with a placebo.
May 01, 2008 02:45 PM
Bromelain consists of two enzymes that digest proteins, otherwise known as proteases or proteolytic enzymes. These enzymes are obtained from different parts of the plant, one from the stem and the other from the fruit. It also includes protease inhibitors, acid phosphatase, peroxidase and calcium.
First used as a supplement in 1959, bromelain is particularly popular in Germany, where a lot of the recent research has been carried out. Because the stem enzyme is in the greatest amount, eating pineapple will not give a great deal of bromelain, and you will have to take the supplement which is extracted from the stem in order to get the greatest benefits.
Bromelain has several therapeutic effects on the body, and is a good aid to digestion. The enzyme can boost the digestive processes and so reduce the incidence of problems such as heartburn, acid reflux and any other condition caused by the incomplete digestion of foods. It does this by breaking down proteins so they are more easily digested.
In fact its potency is sometimes measured in GDUs (Gelatin Digesting Units), gelatin being a common protein that is easily used for the measurement of bromelain activity. It is also measured in MCU (Milk Clotting Units), since bromelain can also be used to clot milk, and a standardized dose should contain 2 MCU per milligram. The dosage to use depends a great deal on the condition being treated, but a good general average for digestive problems is 500 mg three times daily.
Bromelain works best at an optimum pH of 4.5 – 5.5 and can therefore help to balance the pH in its environment. It is extremely important to the immune system that the pH of the body is balanced and controlled to within certain limits, and bromelain can help to achieve that. In helping to reduce the excessive acidity caused by poor digestion, a balanced pH of the stomach is also maintained, helping to reduce the feeling of nausea, common with some digestive defects. The overall result of bromelain supplement is to help to maintain a better digestive system and ease the discomfort of many people for whom a meal is frequently not the pleasure it should be.
Bromelain is also an anti-inflammatory, and used for temporary relief of the inflammation caused by surgical procedures, arthritis and various injuries and forms of disease It is commonly used for the treatment of sports injuries and also immediately after surgery to reduce the risk of inflammation. It appears to have an inhibiting effect of the production of pro-inflammatory metabolites in the body, although the mechanism by which it works is not yet fully understood.
In fact many of the therapeutic benefits of bromelain have been show to be only partially due to its proteolytic activity, and it is now believed that there are also as yet unidentified non-protein factors present in bromelain that contribute to these forms of health benefit. The biochemistry of bromelain has yet to be fully characterized.
Notwithstanding that, the substance has been recommended for the treatment of a wide range of connected conditions, such as gout, arthritis, hemorrhoids, ulcerative colitis, autoimmune disorders, hay fever and sinusitis. It is particularly useful where there is pain, where tissues have become swollen and when tissue repair is needed. It appears to inhibit pain-inducing prostaglandins and is also believed in some way to induce the biochemical production of other prostaglandins that have an anti-inflammatory effect.
All of this knowledge has come as a result of studies carried out on the biochemical activity of bromelain, but have not yet been proved and is indicative of the lack of biochemical knowledge on this substance and the chemicals it contains. What have been demonstrated, however, are its effects on platelets and blood clots in arteries.
It appears to do this by the inhibition of the formation of high levels of fibrinogen from which clots are made, and also inhibits the aggregation of blood platelets and their ability to stick to the endothelial cells of blood vessels, particularly the arteries. The fibrin that is produced from fibrinogen not only promotes blood clotting but is also associated wit the retention of fluid. It is a protein, and the proteolytic effect of bromelain also breaks this down.
Bromelain therefore works in a number ways to reduce fluid retention, prevent blood clotting and inhibit the aggregation of blood platelets on artery walls. The measurable effect of this is the thinning of the blood that such activity promotes. It is logical that if fibrin contributes to the viscosity of blood, then its destruction will result in thinner blood, and hence lower blood pressure.
It is also used in the treatment of burns, where it helps to remove the dead skin that can delay recovery after third degree burns. It also appears to promote the absorption of many antibiotics, which again helps in recovery.
Bromelain is relatively safe to use with few side effects, although, curiously, among the side effects are some conditions it is also used to treat. Among these are nausea and allergic reactions, along with diarrhea and excessive menstrual flow. One of its successes has been in the control of menstrual pain.
Bromelain has been proposed for cancer therapy, its potential use being recommended due to its effect of the adhesion of cells, its regulation of the immune function and its effect on the immunosuppressive cytokine TGF-beta that is involved in several types of cancer and their metastasis (spread to other parts of the body). However, a lot more work is needed on this for definite conclusions to be drawn.
On a more practical note, the effect of bromelain on proteins is put to use as a steak tenderizer. If the product is sprinkled in powdered form onto meat, and then forked into the tissue, the enzymes will break down the protein of the meat and make it tender when cooked. However, don’t overdo it or you will end up eating a meaty mush more akin to a soft meatloaf than a good steak!
All in all, bromelain is a useful supplement for many medical conditions, and does to food in your stomach what it does to steak on the plate. It is generally used in supplement form because the active enzyme is not in a high enough concentration in the fruit itself, but in the stem from which it is extracted after the fruit has been harvested. It is also easier to standardize a supplement than a fruit.
April 30, 2008 03:03 PM
Sharks do not have skeleton of bone but of cartilage, which is a dense form of connective tissue. Its main components are cells known as chondrocytes that are responsible for producing collagen fibers, an elastic protein called elastin that is responsible for the skin returning to its original shape after being pinched, and ground substance that is rich in proteoglycan, a protein with glycosaminoglycan chains.
Shark cartilage is said to be beneficial in the treatment of many conditions including arthritis, psoriasis (allied to arthritis), rheumatism, eczema, acne, allergies and the most controversial – cancer. It is said to inhibit tumor growth by inhibiting angiogenesis – the formation of new blood vessels by growing them from old ones. This can lead to metastasis, or the spread of cancer between organs and also feed the cancer cells with blood.
Shark cartilage has been used medicinally for thousands of years, particularly in ancient China where its use is documented, and might also have been in other areas where the consumption of fish was high. However, the production of shark cartilage and its trade is not well documented. The major cartilage consuming countries are Australia, India, Japan and the USA, although it is used or consumed in many other countries, especially Hong Kong, Taiwan, China and, increasingly, Europe.
The best quality of cartilage is from the blue shark due to its higher chondroitin quality. Chemically, chondroitin is an acid mucopolysaccharide, and a very large molecule that is used for a variety of purposes. In arthritis it is difficult to get it to the source of the problem due to its physical size and large doses are used to ensure that at least a proportion passes through the capillaries to the joints.
Arthritis is a particularly prevalent disease and comes in two forms: osteo- and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis develops over a long period of time, and generally the cartilage roughens and becomes thin, while the bone becomes thinner. Extra synovial fluid, that lubricates the joint, can be formed and that causes swelling. The bone tried to repair itself, but degeneration continues and the tendons become affected. Eventually inflammation can occur leading to severe swelling and pain. There are several causes, the most common being injury or repetitive hard use of the joints.
Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, is completely different, and is caused by the immune system rather than wear and tear. The immune system mistakes parts of your joints as being foreign, and attacks the synovial membrane, or lining of the joint. It might also attack the sheath around the tendons. This eventually causes the cartilage to thin and the joints to wear, and the inflammatory response can cause painful inflammations. There is no apparent cause, though heredity, lifestyle and hormones might all be connected.
The effect of shark cartilage on arthritis is well documented, and in one study in the 1970s, only 11% of patients did not respond well to a treatment of cartilage injections. The pain relief the injections provided lasted from six weeks to over a year, though no reason could be provided for the vast difference. However, it did seem to demonstrate that the remedy was more than just a placebo. In another study involving bedridden osteoarthritis patients, eight out of ten could leave their beds after only three weeks of oral cartilage treatment. Shark cartilage appears to be effective when administered both intravenously and orally.
In a later placebo study involving 147 arthritis patients, they were given either shark cartilage or a placebo. Those with the placebo were encouraged to use other treatments when their pain became severe. After five years the placebo group reported a 5% drop in pain scores compared to 85% of the group taking shark cartilage. The joint deterioration in each group was assessed, and was considerably less in the cartilage group, who also lost less time at work through pain.
All of these results indicate that shark cartilage can be used to relieve osteo- and rheumatoid arthritis pain in at least 60% of sufferers. Since rheumatoid arthritis has been linked to psoriasis, this could also explain its effects on psoriasis. What the studies did indicate is that you need not wait five years to find if the treatment is effective or not: if you do not experience positive results within between four and six weeks, then shark cartilage treatment will likely not work for you.
There is no doubt that shark cartilage can provide relief to painful, swollen joints, and this is likely due to the mucopolysaccharides. It can also prevent the undesirable growth of new blood vessels into the cartilage and appears to help to regulate the immune system. These are also two of the reasons why it is believed by some to be an effective treatment for cancer by preventing metastasis.
It was the publication of the book “Sharks Don’t get Cancer” that started the rush for shark cartilage as a a treatment for cancer, but the problem is that sharks do get cancer – they even get cancer of the cartilage! However, that does not mean that the scientific reasons for the inhibition of metastsis are invalid. They are valid, and it is metastsis rather than the original cancer that ferquently leads to death. Metastsis is the spread of the disease round the body by the bloodstream, and shark cartilage appears to be able to help to prevent that. It also prevents the growth of blood cells into cancerous areas to feed the cancers with oxygen and other nutrients.
Although there are few reported side effects of shark cartilage, in the interest of safety it is advised that children and pregnant women should avoid it. The same is true of people recovering from recent surgery since it could slow healing due to its effect on repairing blood vessels. If you have a low white blood cell count, do not have a shark cartilage enema since it can cause a potentially fatal infection.
Otherwise it should be safe to take, and is available in many forms including creams, capsules, powders and injections. The recommended dosage is 1 gram dried shark cartilage for each 7 Kg (15 lb) body weight. Once you begin to see an effect on the pain of your arthritis, one can then try to reduce the dose to 1 gram for each 18 Kg (40 lb) body weight.
April 29, 2008 10:49 AM
Butterbur extract is taken mainly from the rhizome, root and leaves of the butterbur, a member of the daisy family. They are very hardy and have creeping underground rhizomes and large leaves like those of rhubarb. Another name given to it is the sweet Coltsfoot, and they generally grow in the temperate climates of Europe, North Africa and South west Asia. They like damp conditions, specifically marshes and ditches, and also riverbanks where there are always plentiful supplies of moisture.
It has been used by Native Americans for headaches and inflammation, and has been shown to be an effective remedy for hay fever and to provide relief from painful menstrual cramps. Butterbur has also been used throughout the middle Ages to treat fever and the plague, and has been recorded in the seventeenth century as being used for asthma, wounds and coughs. However, one of its most important applications is in restore bladder function in the incontinent and semi-incontinent.
Urinary incontinence is typified by an unusually high frequency of urination – more than 8 times a day, an immediate strong urge to pass water or leaking and involuntary urination. Any two of these three indicates urinary incontinence. As people age their bladders become smaller, and by definition the periods between urination will reduce. This does not, however, suggest that bladder size is the cause of urinary incontinence.
Urination is caused by the contraction of the smooth layered muscle that surrounds the bladder, called the detrusor, a contraction in turn caused by neurons both in the brain and in the detrusor itself. This naturally contracts and expands according to the volume of urine in the bladder, and once the bladder is about half full the brain will tell you that the detrusor is ready to contract to expel the urine. However, if the time is not convenient, the cortex will suppress this desire until a more convenient time.
In incontinence, the desire is suppressed but the neurons still fire to contract the detrusor, expelling urine at inconvenient moments. Butterbur contains the sesquiterpenes petasin and isopetasin, which are known to reduce spasms in smooth muscle tissue and in vascular walls. It can therefore be used to control the involuntary spasms that cause urine leakage or expulsion against the patient’s wishes. These sesquiterpenes are at highest concentration in the roots of the plant.
The effect that the sesquiterpenes have in inhibiting the synthesis of leukotriene in leukocytes tends to support this effect, since leukotrienes can cause contraction of vascular and smooth muscle tissue. Not only this, but the spasmolytic effect could also be explained by the inhibition of cellular calcium caused by the petasin isomers.
Many studies have indicated that the effectiveness of butterbur extract is also useful in the prevention of migraines. There has been a lot of research carried out on the use of butterbur extract on migraine sufferers, and the effective dose appears to about 75 mg twice daily. There is little evidence of it being a cure but as a prophylactic there appears no doubt of its efficacy: there have been too many positive results against placebos for its effect to be deniable.
It is significant that leukotriene can cause constriction of the small blood vessels in the veins, and so affect the flow of blood. Butterbur, in inhibiting its biochemical production, helps to keep these blood vessels open. Lekotrienes are also important components of inflammation, and altogether it appears that whatever the real cause of migraine, the petasin isomers in butterbur have an effect in inhibiting its initiation. Add to that the potential reduction in calcium content that can cause blood vessels to become less flexible, and the argument for its effectiveness is both irrefutable and well explained.
In one example of such a double blind study that is representative of many, a group of patients given 50 mg butterbur extract twice a day for twelve weeks experienced a 60% reduction in the frequency of attacks, a reduction in the severity of the attacks they did have, and a reduction in the length of the attacks. Although the vascular theory of the cause of migraine is no longer supported, maintenance of the vascular system appears to at least reduce the likelihood of attacks.
The effect of butterbur on asthma and other allergic reactions is also well documented. This again is due to its anti-spasmodic properties and inhibitory effect on the inflammatory immune response through the inhibition of leukotriene synthesis and the consequent positive effect on the metabolism of prostaglandin. Prostaglandins also constrict vascular smooth muscle cells, regulate the mediation of the inflammatory response and constrict general smooth muscle cells. All of these can lead a to a variety of disorders cause by smooth muscle spasms in additional to urinary incontinence, such as menstrual cramps, liver and gastrointestinal disorders and asthmatic conditions.
In one study of allergic rhinitis, administration of butterbur extract appeared to result in a reduction in the histamine and leukotriene content of nasal fluids and no difference was noticed between this treatment and histamine treatment. This was a useful study because histamines causes drowsiness and butterbur can be used as a substitute for histamine without the sedative effect. A study in Germany in 1993 has shown that the stomach ulceration caused by the anti-inflammatory medications for arthritis was reduced by the administration of butterbur extract
Cetirizine is a commonly prescribed prescription treatment for allergic conditions, and studies comparing that with butterbur demonstrated them to be equally effecting in reducing the symptoms typical of allergic reactions such as sneezing, runny nose and nasal congestion. 50% of the patients in the group took each and there was no difference in results. Again it was explained by the petasin limiting the production of leukotriene and histamine, both of which are produced by the immune response and promote mucous secretions and inflammation. They also constrict airways that can be serious to asthma sufferers
These studies are simply providing scientific evidence and explanations for the tradition use of this plant for such conditions. Butterbur has been used for centuries to treat such conditions all over Western Europe, and once again the use of traditional medicine has been supported by modern investigative techniques.
Artichoke Promotes Healthy Fat Digestion and Metabolism
January 30, 2008 10:37 PM
In discussing the health benefits of the artichoke, and the way it promotes healthy fat digestion and metabolism, we are talking here about the true artichoke: the globe artichoke. The alternative Jerusalem artichoke is not an artichoke at all, but a member of the sunflower family. The globe artichoke is a type of thistle.
It is in fact a perennial thistle that originated in the Mediterranean area and is now cultivated world wide. The edible portions are the lower parts of the bracts and the base of the buds, known as the heart while the inedible portion in the center of the bud is known as the ‘choke’. Globe artichokes were introduced to the USA in the 19th century by French and Spanish immigrants who settled in Louisiana and California respectively. Contrary to popular opinion its name did not come from the ‘heart’ and the ‘choke’, but from the Arabic for ground thorn: ‘ardi shauki’.
In today’s world of fast foods, a high consumption of fats and red meat and excessive alcohol consumption, your liver is put under a great strain. Its main function is as a chemical factory, to produce the chemicals, such as enzymes and other proteins, needed to maintain life and also to metabolise the nutrients we need from the food we eat. If you overtax your liver it will not work as it should, which results in poor digestion and assimilation of the nutrients in your food and an increase in the toxins in your blood.
You will feel tired and run down, with digestion problems and many other health complaints. Liver abuse can result in malnutrition, which also results in cirrhosis which is not curable. You should seriously appraise your diet, and identify the eating and drinking habits that are causing the problem, and give your liver a rest. Artichoke extract is a great liver tonic, and your liver will respond well to a break from alcohol and fatty foods, and a course of artichoke leaves and extract.
The main active ingredient of the artichoke is cynarine (1,5-dicaffeylquinic acid), a substance that stimulates the production of bile, and hence renders the artichoke an excellent starter for any meal. This is yet another example of science finding a logical reason for people eating artichokes for centuries in order to promote the health of their liver and digestive system. It is not only for its cynarine content that the globe artichoke is useful, however, but also the luteolin and chlorogenic acids that it contains.
The stimulation of bile production by the cynarine is one the more important of the effects of artichoke on your well being. Bile emulsifies fats and renders them into an easily digested form. Most of the digestive chemicals are water soluble, and without this emulsification of the fat with water then most of the fats we consume would pass through the body unchanged. We would the vats majority of the fat soluble nutrients in our food, including vitamins A, D, E and K.
Bile enables us to digest fats and to absorb vitamins from our food, and also promotes the general health of our digestive system. It is biosynthesized in the liver from various enzymes and triglycerides and then stored in the gall bladder until needed. Its use is prompted by the presence of fats in the system, and this is stimulated by the cynarine in the artichoke leaves.
Its ability to improve bile flow has been recognized by scientist’s world wide, and artichoke juice has been used by the French for many years as a liver tonic. However, it is not just for the liver and the digestive system that artichokes are useful in maintaining good health. They also have an effect on the cholesterol levels in your blood. This is believed to be due to the inhibition of the activity of enzyme HMG CoA Reductase that helps the liver to generate cholesterol. Inhibiting the activity of this enzyme reduces the amount of cholesterol produced.
This can have the effect of reduced the possibility of you developing atherosclerosis, a condition caused by deposition of low density lipid (LDL) cholesterol through the effect of free radical oxidation of the lipid. The less cholesterol to be transported by your blood, then the lower levels of the low density lipid needed to do this. This effect is also possibly due to the fact that bile is formed from cholesterol and triglycerides, and so stimulated bile production would possibly leave less cholesterol in the bloodstream.
Artichoke also possesses antioxidant properties that would contribute even further to this effect by preventing the oxidation of the LDL by free radicals. These free radicals, formed in the body both naturally and by the effects of pollutants such as pesticides, cigarette smoke and traffic fumes, are destroyed by antioxidants. In atherosclerosis the LDL lipids are oxidised and deposited under the surface cells of the blood vessels, and are then digested by certain blood cells forming a hard fatty deposit that can eventually block the arteries affected.
The result can be a heart attack or a stroke, depending on where in the body the blood vessels are affected, and if the cholesterol levels in the body are decreased through it being used to produce bile, then the concentration of LDL lipids used to transport it will also be reduced and the condition will be less likely to occur..
Apart from the liver, the gall bladder is also given a boost by artichoke because that is where bile is stored, and a regular flow to and from the gall bladder maintains its health. The only thing you should be aware of if is that if you are prone to gallstones then the increase in bile flow could cause the stones to be stuck in the bile duct. You should therefore refer to your physician before embarking on a course of artichoke extract if you have a propensity to develop gallstones.
Apart from the phytonutrients already discussed, the globe artichoke also contains a good supply of fiber and minerals such as potassium, iron, calcium and phosphorus, and also some trace elements that your body needs. It is therefore more than just a bile stimulant, but provides a wide range off essential nutrition to your body. It is know to aid conditions such as gout, high blood sugar, and digestive complaints such as flatulence, bloating and abdominal cramps.
Apart from cooking and eating the tender parts of the leaves, or bracts, you can make an infusion of the parts that you don’t eat. Chop up the tougher leaves and pour boiling water over them as if making tea. Leave it to infuse for a few minutes and then drink. Honey can be used to take away the bitter taste; honey rather than sugar due to its greater nutritional content.
Addiction Recovery With Chinese Herbs Like Kudzu
November 28, 2007 12:04 PM
Kudzu is Chinese herb that has been identified for the treatment of alcoholism. Anybody who has even had an addiction will tell you that addiction recovery is one of the most difficult of the tasks that life throws at us. Whether it is an addiction to tobacco or to heroin or anything in between is not easy, and those that join the ‘self-afflicted’ lobby do not help, but for the Grace of God...
Alcohol addiction is now potentially the most prevalent addiction in the world. There are now more that drink alcohol than smoke, and alcohol related problems are more than just a social problem, but cause the deaths of over 100,000 annually in the USA. One shudders at the thought of the world-wide death toll. It has been suggested that chemical addictions, as opposed to physical habits, can have chemical cures. Although the jury is still out on this one, there have been some positive results achieved in the treatment of addicts with natural remedies.
One of these natural remedies is the Chinese herb, kudzu. Kudzu is a climbing vine that can grow just about anywhere: in fields, lightly forested land and mountains. It is found throughout China, and also in the south eastern states of the USA. The reason for this strange distribution is that the plant was introduced to the USA by Japan at the 1876 Centennial Expo in Philadelphia.
The large blooms attracted gardeners who propagated them, and when it was discovered that the plant made good forage for animals, Florida nurserymen grew it as animal feed. Its effect in preventing ground erosion rendered it popular during the 1930s and 40s when farmers were paid up to $8 an acre for growing kudzu. Fodder and groundcover were the original uses of this vine in the USA irrespective of its medicinal uses on the other side of the Pacific.
Prior to it being recognized as a useful treatment for alcoholism, the vine had been used in China for generations for the treatment of such conditions as headaches, flu, high blood pressure symptoms, dysentery, muscular aches and pains and the common cold. It is still used to treat digestive complaints and allergies, and find use in modern medicine in the treatment of angina.
It is the root that is mainly used, which at up to six feet tall provides a plentiful supply of its active ingredients. These include isoflavones including daidzein and isoflavone glycosides, mainly puerarin and also daidzin. However, it is in its application in the treatment of alcohol addiction that the root is currently creating interest.
Studies in the 1960s on animals bred with an alcohol craving indicated that daidzein and daidzin reduced their consumption of alcohol when offered it, and further studies have indicated that the mechanism of this was by inhibition of enzymes necessary for metabolizing alcohols. This has not yet been successfully repeated in humans, but the effects on animals cannot be just coincidental. Or can it? That question can only be answered by those for whom kudzu has been found effective, although many laboratory studies have shown that it certainly reduces the alcohol consumption of those with a habitual heavy intake of the substance.
Of all the other substances that have been used in an attempt to reduce the extent of alcoholism in the Western world, none have been found truly effective. The three recognized treatments of Campral (Acamprosate Calcium), approved by the FDA in July, 2004, Naltrexone (Revia) and Antabuse work in three different ways. Campral is useful only once you have stopped drinking and have detoxed, Naltrexone interferes with the pathway in the brain that ‘rewards’ the drinker and Antabuse gives unpleasant side effects that are meant to put the drinker off drinking.
Although all have side effects of one type or another, they have been approved by the FDA, and must therefore be assumed safe if used as recommended. However, none are natural, and kudzu has been found to have no known side effects. It is a type of pea, and did you know that it grows about one foot a day? Luckily it only grows to about 20 feet!
It is kudzu’s lack of side effects that renders it so attractive as a treatment for alcoholism, although more tests are needed before the evidence for its effectiveness can be declared cast iron. Most of the tests to date have been carried out on heavy drinkers rather than true alcoholics, but they have all found the plant effective in reducing the amount that each member of the study drank, even though no limitations were placed on them.
Future studies should probably be designed to determine if the treatment is safe for such groups as pregnant women, young people and those with specific medical complaints such as liver problems. Naltrexone should not be used by anybody with serious liver problems, and even campral is only suitable if you have no more than a moderate liver problem. Since alcoholics can reasonable be expected to also suffer from liver disease, then a treatment that is safe for such people would be very welcome.
A 2002 meeting of the Research Society on Alcoholism in San Francisco named kudzu and St. John’s Wort as being the two most promising treatments for alcoholism. The mention of St. John’s Wort raises an interesting point, and one that must be discussed. That is the question of standardized doses, and what can happen if doses of natural products are not standardized with respect to the identified active constituent.
The reason for the importance of this is that not all sources of a particular herb are equally well endowed with active constituents. Although, for example, a dose of 2.5 grams daily of kudzu root might be recommended, how does the percent content of isoflavones in different roots vary. That variation will mean that the amount of active ingredient taken in one 2.5g dose will differ from that in another, unless there is standardization.
The reason St. John’s Wort brought this to mind is that with this herb, used for some psychological problems such as depression, the active ingredient content was standardized. It was standardized to 0.3% hypericin, a napthodianthrone that causes an increase in dopamine levels. However, standard doses of St. John’s Wort gave inconsistent results and the reason for this could not be identified. It now has been. The active ingredient is now known to be not hypericin, but hypeforin, what is known as a prenylated phloroglucinol. The herb is now standardized on this substance.
This is a demonstration of the importance of identifying the active ingredients in a herbal treatment accurately, and also of standardizing doses. Kudzu doses must be standardized if their effect is to be consistent. There is now little doubt that addiction recovery is possible with Chinese herbs like kudzu, and who knows what else the ancient civilizations such as the Chinese have to offer us.
Build Healthier Skin With Antioxidant Rich Skin Moisturizing Lotions
November 02, 2007 04:32 PM
Antioxidant rich skin moisturizing lotions can help you to build healthier skin, since they can help to allow the appearance of the fine lines that eventually develop into the wrinkles that you dread.
Most people think about caring for their skin more in the summer when the sun is hot than in the colder winter months, but cold can also dry out your skin since you tend to sweat less. However, the summer brings with it the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun to a greater or lesser degree depending on your climate. Tough leathery skin is generally associated with skin neglect by white skinned people in the hotter areas of the world such as Australia and the southern parts of Florida and California.
You should look after your skin since it is important to you. It not only keeps everything inside that should be kept inside, but also generates vitamin D and contains the temperature control system that your body relies upon. Elephants flap their ears, dogs pant and humans sweat! Without your skin you would be in a bad way, so you should look after it. If you don’t keep it supple it gets dry and hard, wrinkled, itchy and can crack, into which the bugs and viruses needed to make you ill can enter.
All of this occurs when your skin loses its moisture. In order to keep it in tip top condition, and keep yourself looking young and attractive, you should keep it moist through the use of artificial moisturizers if necessary. So why does your skin dry out and how do moisturizers work to help overcome the effects of drying?
In fact the major problems that occur with your skin due to exposure to sun in the summer have nothing to do with drying out. Your skin actually does, as suggested above, become more affected by dryness in the winter when the relative humidity is low. It is in winter that you have to use lip moisturizer because of dry and cracked lips, not summer. However, summer has its dangers, even more than winter.
It is the UV radiation from the sun that damages your skin and can ultimately lead to skin cancer. The UVA and UVB radiation are at different wavelengths and have different effects. The combination, however, causes wrinkles, skin disorders when aging, premature aging, and dry leathery skin. Part of this is believed to be due to the breakdown of the collagen in the skin that maintains its elasticity, free radical damage and inhibition of the immune system.
When UV radiation breaks down collagen it causes the accumulation of abnormal tissue. When this builds up, enzymes are produced that are intended to repair the collagen, but sometimes it does not work properly and produces a disorganized and random accumulation of collagen fibers that eventually result in wrinkles.
Free radicals are chemicals that have a free electron available, rather than having all electrons in pairs as in stable compounds. It is therefore unstable and will steal an electron from healthy tissue and so damage the cell that it takes it from. Eventually, the cells die and genetic material within the cells can be altered. This can cause wrinkling of the skin and underlying tissues or even cancer by changing the DNA and RNA contained within the cell.
The final defense of the body against cell damage is paradoxically apoptosis, which is suicide by the damaged cells to prevent them becoming cancerous. This is what you see when your skin peels after sunburn – it is deliberate action on behalf of the cells of your skin sacrificing themselves to save the body as a whole. UV exposure can prevent this from occurring which is why it can lead to some forms of skin cancer.
However, it is the action of oxidants on the skin that cause most damage. The so-called drying out of skin is largely due to oxidant damage more so than to loss of moisture. The sweat glands in your skin can produce lots of moisture, but nothing can be done about free radicals other than provide the help of antioxidants to kill them off. Antioxidants destroy free radicals with glee, and hunt them down wherever they are. The common antioxidants in your body are vitamins A, C and especially the powerful vitamin E. That is why so many skin creams contain vitamin E, and sometimes also vitamin A.
However, there are many more antioxidants than these. Astaxanthin is one. ‘Asta what?’ I can hear you say, and I am not surprised. It is not very common in health stores, but has been approved by the FDA and in Europe as a food colorant. It is a terpene carotenoid, though does not break down to vitamin A in the human metabolism as other carotenes do. It is claimed to be fifty times more powerful as an antioxidant than vitamin E and acts as an internal sunscreen in the skin by blocking the harmful effects of UV radiation at cellular level.
It is available naturally in krill, salmon, trout, crustaceans and some bird feathers, and is extracted from microalgae. Not all sources are palatable and it is best taken as a supplement, or to protect the skin, in a cream. Another super-antioxidant is pycnogenol. However, be aware of purchasing it under this trade name in the USA, since the term has been hijacked by others who are selling a different product under that name. The true chemical pycnogenol as named by Frenchman Dr. Masquelier is a very strong antioxidant: any others are mere imitations that are not the same product.
Chemically, pycnogenol is a proanthocyanidin, a flavanol extractable from grape seed or pine bark. Any product that comes from a different source cannot be pycnogenol. That said, the product is able to strengthen the skin and prevent wrinkles through its effect in scavenging free radicals. It stops the free radicals from destroying the cells of the skin and causing premature aging. Whether the chemical is extracted from pine bark or grape seed appears to make no difference. The chemicals are virtually identical, or should be if they are from the right form of pine bark.
The polyphenols in green tea also eradicate free radicals. They too are very strong antioxidants, just one of the remarkable properties of this plant. However, none of these will be of much help unless specifically applied to the skin. If taken internally, they will do a great job of mopping up free radicals in the blood, but very little will actually reach the skin.
In order to build healthier skin, you will have to use antioxidant rich skin moisturizing lotions that apply moisture to your skin, but more importantly also apply these powerful antioxidants. If you really want to maintain good looking wrinkle-free supple skin in sunny climates, then look for one or more of the above substances as an ingredient in your moisturizing lotion.
September 29, 2007 03:55 PM
ligonol combines the nutrients from lychee fruit and green tea for a powerful and unusual antioxidant. In this blend, the active polyphenols of lychee and green tea are converted into smaller molecules known as oligomers. This unique process makes the nutrients more bioavailable; they are more quickly absorbed and effective for protecting the cells from free radicals and oxidation, and for inhibition of lipid peroxidation. Oligonol also supports improved circulation and energy, all to help support healthy aging.
Breast Cancer and Natural Supplements
May 11, 2007 10:47 AM
Breast Cancer and Nutritional Supplements
There is probably nothing more frightening for a woman than the discovery of a lump in her breast. Cancer and all its consequences quickly come to mind. This quick association may materialize, in part, because no woman is immune. Most have a friend, a sister, a mother, or a coworker who has been diagnosed with the disease. And they know how difficult dealing with this disease can be. Fortunately, 80% of all breast lumps are not cancerous. Most are cysts or a benign clump of tissue.
Over her lifetime, a woman’s breasts undergo many, many changes. From before puberty and on, breast tissue is continually evolving. Breasts often feel different before menstrual cycle, returning to normal a few days after. Pregnancy certainly causes changes in a woman’s breasts, as does breastfeeding. And as women age, breast tissue becomes less dense.
Because of these continual changes, breast tissue especially requires adequate nutrition. While everyone benefits from a healthy diet, there are additional nutrients from which women can specifically benefit.
In this issue of Ask the Doctor, we will discuss breast cancer and the vast amount of research that has explored the role nutrition plays in this serious and still deadly disease. Specifically, we will discuss how two B vitamins, calcium D-glucarate, broccoli extract, green tea, maitake mushrooms, and iodine can all help prevent breast cancer.
Q. How can these nutrients prevent breast cancer?
A. Scientists learn a lot about disease from simply observing what is happening around them. One observation that has been recognized for many years is that certain cultures have very low incidence of breast cancer. Women n
Moms (and dads) have also learned a lot about diseases simply by observing what is happening in their families. They have notices that certain vegetables play a large role in the prevention of all types of diseases, including cancer. And, accordingly, they have been urging their offspring to eat their vegetables for several generations.
Building on these observations, scientists have designed and carried out many studies to determine what it is about these nutrients that can prevent breast cancer. What they have discovered, so far, follows. Let’s start with the B vitamins.
Deficiencies of this vitamin can result in a serious type of anemia. Nerve damage can also occur if B12 levels are too low. Researchers are now investigating whether breast cancer may, in part, be caused by a B12 deficiency as well.
Another study, this one taking place in a laboratory setting, discovered that vitamin B12, applied directly against experimental breast cancer cells, actually stopped the cancer cells from growing. The researchers conducting the experiment believe that giving vitamin B12 to women with breast cancer as part of a chemotherapy regime, might help keep the cancer in check.
Low folic acid intake is linked to the development of all cancers. This is because folic acid is crucial to the making and continual repair of DNA, the molecule that carries our genetic code. A recent study discovered that high intakes of folic acid might actually reduce the risk of breast cancer. The researchers looked at the diets of over 2600 women. During interviews with the researchers, the women reported what they usually ate. Once the data was collected, the results showed that women, who ate lots of foods that contained folic acid, had much lower rates of breast cancer.
There is no clear-cut, single cause of breast cancer. Many factors are required for the disease to appear. One such factor is estrogen. A recent study showed that women who developed breast cancer tended to have higher levels of estrogen circulating in their bodies than women without breast cancer. This means that women who got their periods before age eleven or entered menopause after age fifty-five have a higher risk of breast cancer. This also supports the theory that the number of menstrual cycles a woman has affects her risk for breast cancer.
Another factor is drinking alcohol. Because alcohol raises estrogen levels, if a woman consumes even moderate amounts of alcohol her risk of breast cancer also is increased. The link between alcohol and breast cancer may even be stronger than other dietary links. However, an important study has discovered that folic acid may uncouple this link.
A very large study of over 34,000 women recently studied the effect of folic acid on the risk of breast cancer. This project was part of the Nurses’ Health Study, an ongoing, long-term study that looks at nutrition’s role in the development of disease. The women in the folic acid and breast cancer study were followed for 12 years. The participants completed detailed food questionnaires that provided the researchers with important data.
The women were divided into four groups:
1. Women with low folic acid levels and drink alcohol
2. Women with high folic acid levels and rink alcohol
3. Women with low folic acid levels and don’t drink alcohol
4. Women with high folic acid levels and don’t drink alcohol
Within these four groups the women were further divided into subgroups according to the amount of alcohol they consumed each day and their specific folic acid intake.
The researchers found that women who consumed the lowest amounts of folic acid and drank at least one alcoholic beverage a day had the highest rate of breast cancer. In contrast, women who had high intakes of folic acid and also drank at least one alcoholic beverage a day, had the same rate of breast cancer as the women with high folic acid intakes who did not drink. In other words, women who had high levels of folic acid in their diet erased their alcohol-related increase in breast cancer risk.
It seems estrogen can be both friend and foe. While women need the hormone to soften skin, thicken hair, and fill out hips and breasts, estrogen can also nourish breast tumors, helping them grow bigger, stronger, and more deadly. Thanks, in part, to good nutrition, American women get their periods early and go through menopause alter in life. Women today also have fewer pregnancies; families with one or two children are quite common.
All of these factors increase the time women’s bodies are exposed to estrogen. As we discussed before, longer exposure means increased opportunities for estrogen to cause trouble. It is also a troubling fact of modern life that we are continuously exposed to cancer-causing chemicals and toxins. These toxins come in part from contaminants in the food we eat and pollutants in the air we breathe.
The body does have a system that eliminates some of the excess estrogen and toxic chemicals before they can cause harm. In the liver, they are bound or attached to a chemical called glucuronic acid. The bound toxin or estrogen is then excreted in bile and eventually eliminated as a waste product in the stool.
However, an enzyme called beta-glucuronidase can break this bond between estrogen and glucuronic acid. When this happens, the hormone or toxin is released from its bone, capable of causing harm once more. Increased beta-glucuronidase activity is associated with an increased risk for various cancers, particularly hormone-dependant cancers like breast cancer.
Fortunately, scientists have discovered that a natural substance found in foods calcium D-glucarate (CDG) can stop the activity of beta-glucuonidase. CDG keeps the harmful estrogen bound to glucuronidase. While CDG is found in fruits and vegetables, the amounts may not be sufficient to maintain effective levels to stop beta-glucuronidase.
CDG has been shown in experimental studies to significantly stop beast cancer growth. And several human trials are currently underway with CDG to determine its capability to decrease the breast cancer risk in women at high risk for the disease.
There are some very interesting connections between breast tissue and thyroid tissue. Iodine is an essential trace element present in a hormone of the thyroid gland and is involved in several metabolic functions. One iodine function is the protection of breast tissue from cancerous cells.
In a laboratory study, researchers exposed breast cancer cells and breast tissue without any cancer to a type of seaweed that contains high levels of iodine. The seaweed killed all of the cancerous cells, yet did not harm the normal breast cells. Japanese women frequently eat this type of seaweed and have very low rates of breast cancer. The study’s researchers believe one reason for this low incidence of breast cancer may be the iodine in the seaweed.
And, for some as yet unknown reasons, women who have thyroid cancer are at higher risk of developing breast cancer. While they are unsure why this happens, researchers are continuing to study this link, and support of healthy thyroid function remains an important consideration.
For quite some time, scientists have observed that cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower, significantly reduce the risk of disease, including cancer. It seems a phytochemical in broccoli sulforaphane, is one of the chemicals responsible for this beneficial activity. Sulforaphane increases certain enzymes in the body called phase 2 enzymes that deactivate cancer-causing chemicals.
Breast cancer cells exposed to sulforaphane in several lab experiments showed that the compound inhibited the growth of the cancer cells up to 80 percent. Researchers are in the process of setting up clinical trials to study sulforaphane’s effect in women who have breast cancer.
There is a tall amount of research, including finding from the Nurses’ Health Study, that suggest green tea beverage consumption is associated with a lower incidence of breast cancer. In fact, researchers have long noted the low rates of breast cancer in
The active compound in green tea responsible for breast cancer inhibition is epigallocatechin-3 gallate or EGCG. When breast cancer cells are exposed to EGCG in lab experiments, the cells stop growing, lose their ability to replicate, and die.
In a recent study, researchers discovered that drinking green tea prevented the recurrence of breast cancer in women who have previously been diagnosed and treated for the disease. This study involved over 1100 Japanese women. The women who drank green tea every day had very low rates of their breast cancer returning.
For thousands of years, maitake mushrooms have been linked to good health in those who eat them. Called “dancing mushrooms” (possibly due to their wavy, rippling appearance or possibly due to the little dance of joy mushroom hunters perform when they find them in the woods), maitakes contain an important compound called D-fraction.
Not only does the D-fraction in maitake mushrooms stop the growth of cancerous tumors, it also alerts and stimulates immune cells (including macrophages and natural killer cells) to fight the disease. Maitake also inhibits some of the mechanism that promotes metastasis, or spread, of cancer cells in the lymph and bloodstream.
Because of this success, maitake is now being used in clinical trials of women with breast cancer. One study reported significant improvement of symptoms, including reduction of the tumor. The maitake was given to breast cancer patients in addition to standard chemotherapy.
Q. Should these nutrients be used in place of traditional treatment for breast cancer?
A. Absolutely not. None of these nutrients can cure breast cancer. However, they can be a part of a validated plan of treatment. If you have breast cancer, talk to your health care practitioner about these nutrients. Remember, nutritional supplements are just that: supplements to food, medication, and treatment. They are intended to enhance and prevent, not replace.
Despite apprehension in performing self-breast exams, women are very proactive in their health. Yearly mammograms and pap tests have been an important part of their lives for many years, and newer and more accurate diagnoses are emerging. The prevention of health problems in themselves and their families has always been a high priority for women. And for women, nutrition has played an important part of health problem prevention.
Nutritionally speaking, what benefits your breasts benefit your whole body. However, as we have learned, there are specific links between nutrition and developing breast cancer that seem to be fairly strong.
Making a few changes may reduce the risk of developing the disease. The nutrients listed here, vitamin B12, folic acid, calcium d-glucarate, iodine, broccoli, green tea, and maitake mushrooms can be an important part of a woman’s preventative health regimen.
Do you experience muscle pain and inflammation?
April 25, 2007 03:30 PM
Everyone experiences muscle pain and inflammation due to overuse and exertion. We’ve all had those softball games, weekend camping trips or chore-intensive days when our body lets us know we’ve overdone it.
So, what can you do about it? Well, fortunately, there is a proprietary formula with clinically studied ingredients that provides a natural solution: FlexAgility MAX.
FlexAgility MAX is designed to reduce pain and inflammation due to overuse. Its clinically studied ingredients have been shown to help balance the body’s own inflammatory response. Let’s take a look at FlexAgility MAX and answer a few questions you may have about it.
Q. What is inflammation? Why does it happen?
A. Inflammation is actually an essential part of your body’s natural healing process. When some form of physical stress affects the body, the immune system responds by supplying defensive compounds to the stressed site. This is what causes the fluid build-up, pain and redness we typically associate with inflammation. And until the situation is resolved those symptoms will stick around. So, why is that good? Because without these signals – pain and inflammation – we’d probably do even more damage. In a sense, pain and inflammation are very effective stop signs.
The problem is, if our bodies are continuously bombarded by factors that trigger inflammation, these defenders (and their symptoms) are always around. This can mean unnecessary pain and inflammation following overuse and exertion.
Q. What does FlexAgility MAX have to do with inflammation?
A. FlexAgility MAX provides triple-action activity against occasional pain and inflammation, with powerful antioxidant free-radical scavengers, the enzyme bromelain, and a natural COX-2 inhibitor.
Q. So what is COX-2 and why should I inhibit it?
A. We’ve all been hearing a lot in the news about COX-2 inhibition and may have wondered about its connection to pain and inflammation. Let’s take a look:
Cyclooxygenase is an enzyme that comes in two main types, abbreviated for convenience: COX-1 and COX-2. The COX enzymes regulate compounds involved with inflammation, including prostaglandins. COX-1 is found throughout the body, and maintains the integrity of the stomach lining, circulation and kidneys.
COX-2 on the other hand, cruises along the central nervous system – it’s much more attuned to our brain’s sense of “what hurts.” Primarily activated by inflammatory stress, COX-2 generates prostaglandins – the hormone-like defensive compounds that cause the responses we associate with pain and inflammation due to overuse.
You can understand why so much research has focused on COX-2 inhibition. Decreasing its activity means short-circuiting the “inflammation cascade” that follows occasional overuse.
Because COX-1 is associated with a healthy stomach lining, it is not an enzyme you want to inhibit. Unfortunately, many products don’t know the difference between COX-1 and COX-2 – filing both with one blast.
Fortunately, there are ingredients in FlexAgility MAX that can tell them apart. One of them is IsoOxygene.
IsoOxygene is a patented hops extract shown in scientific studies to significantly inhibit COX-2, while leaving COX-1 alone. And, it is a 20 times more potent COX-2 inhibitor than other tested popular botanic products, including curcumin and grape seed.
Q. How do antioxidants support the body during times of inflammation due to overuse?
A. Overall, the body ahs a pretty darn good repair system. However, oxidative stress due to free radical damage can take its toll, especially during times of occasional physical stress. Free radicals and reactive oxygen species can damage cells, because they are hungry, unstable molecules in search of electrons. To find them, they attack other cells. These pillaged cells then become free radicals themselves, setting off a chain reaction of oxidative stress.
Free radicals are formed during the body’s normal functions, and can have benefits, such as neutralizing viruses and bacteria. However, in doing do, they erode the body’s own antioxidant defenses, too. And, free radicals typically become very active during times of inflammation due to overuse or other stressors.
The good news is that the herbal and antioxidant elements in FlexAgility MAX help support the body’s own natural anti-inflammatory defenses.
Take vitamin C, for instance. This extremely well-known antioxidant has been scientifically studied for its beneficial effects on muscle, collagen and connective tissue health. Collagen and connective tissue is what helps hold us together – literally.
And famous antioxidant, green tea, has been well-studied for the benefits of a polyphenol called epigallocatechin-3-gallate, or simply EGCG. In scientific and clinical studies, EGCG from green tea works as an overall antioxidant, scavenging free radicals, and supporting healthy collagen. In fact, one study showed that green tea polyphenols supported collagen health by 50% versus only 16% in controls.
The green tea extract in FlexAgility MAX is especially focused on these beneficial polyphenols. It’s standardized to contain 70% polyphenols – half from EGCG. The green tea acts in concert with elderberry and ginger in the formula to help prevent oxidative stress to the body due to occasional overuse.
Anthocyanins are natural antioxidants found in berries and vegetables. Black elderberry extract, one of the herbal ingredients in FlexAgility MAX, was shown in scientific studies to be more bioavailable – that is, more readily used by the body – than the natural bioflavonoids of other plants. Again, antioxidants help keep the body in optimum health- especially during times of physical stress.
Ginger, used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine, provides strong, natural antioxidant activity. In fact, a recent scientific study found more than 50 separate antioxidants in ginger root.
Of course, there are many components of plants that show strong antioxidant properties. A scientific study comparing flavonoid antioxidant activity and inflammation have shown that rutin was the most effective in reducing the inflammation cascade.
Boswellia serrata is a tree found growing in the dry, hilly regions of
Another antioxidant ingredient in FlexAgility MAX, N-acetylcysteine (NAC), even helps the body produce more of its own antioxidants, cysteine and glutathione. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study, N-acetylcysteine inhibited occasional pain and inflammation due to overuse and attenuated fatigue by 26% compared to controls!
N-acetylcysteine has also been shown in scientific tests to act as an antioxidant, supporting healthy collagen and synovial fluid.
The last ingredient, bromelain, provides the enzymatic pathway used by FlexAgility MAX. Bromelain is a proteolytic enzyme derived from pineapple. Clinical and scientific studies showed benefits from bromelain in reducing pain and inflammation from occasional overuse.
So, there you have it- the triple action of FlexAgility MAX: COX-2 inhibition (and COX-1 sparing), antioxidant benefits, and enzyme support.
Q. Is there another product you’d recommend that I use with FlexAgility MAX?
A. One other product I recommend without hesitation is GS-500, a glucosamine sulfate supplement that has been shown to help build and support cartilage. The body’s connective tissue and cartilage include a natural compound called glucosamine. Supplemental glucosamine sulfate is up to 98% absorbable, so more glucosamine reaches the target structures. It has been clinically studied on its effect in building cartilage.
About Enzymatic Therapy:
Like Chris, Enzymatic Therapy is a trailblazer. Since our founding in 1981, we’ve been leading the industry with innovative natural products. After all, in 1993, Enzymatic Therapy introduced glucosamine sulfate, shown to help build and support cartilage, to the
In the intervening years, Enzymatic Therapy has been at the frontline of innovation and invention. Many revolutionary precuts, including Saventaro, Cell Forte, Heartburn Free, Petadolex Patented Brain Support, Whole Body Cleanse, Earth’s Promise, Hot Plants for Him and Hot Plants for Her have been introduced by Enzymatic Therapy.
One of the newest products, (and the reason you’re reading this) is FlexAgility MAX. FlexAgility MAX works with the body’s own natural anti-inflammatory pathways to relieve pain and reduce inflammation due to occasional overuse. Our proprietary FlexBend of ingredients, combined with antioxidants and the proteolytic enzyme, bromelain, is unique among natural products.
Supplements good for reducing stress and boosting energy!
March 26, 2007 02:05 PM
More and more Americans are feeling overworked, overtired, and overcome by life’s demands. We just do not have the energy we need to meet our responsibilities to the people we care about. More importantly, we don’t even have the energy to have fun! It seems that a constant feeling of fatigue has become part of the American way of life.
Research has shown that the same processes that cause lack of energy can rob us of sleep, saddle us with excess weight, disrupt our hormonal balance, and create significant amounts of stress in our daily lives. Chronic stress can dramatically contribute to fatigue, sleep disorders, irritability, and anxiety. The research simply confirms what most of us already know – uncomfortable stress can really wear us out mentally and physically! It can take away the satisfaction of a job well done. It can take away our ability to believe in ourselves. And, sadly and maybe most importantly, continual stress can take the fun and joy out of life.
In a separate issue of Ask the Doctor, we discuss the energy and sleeping needs of people suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. In this issue, I discuss the 3-step process I call “Vitality 101.” People do not have to accept pain, insomnia, or fatigue. It’s time for everyone to feel great and have a life they love!
Step 1 – Nutrition
Good overall nutrition is important for everyone! As a foundation product to support energy levels, a powdered drink mix is a pleasant, easy way to ensure that you are taking all of the necessary vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that you need to have great energy all through your day.
The following chart lists the most critical ingredients. You can see that almost all of the vitamins and minerals work together to help improve energy levels and overall health.
In addition to the powdered energy drink mix, it is important that you also take a high potency vitamin B-complex supplement. This should include niacinamide, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, and choline, which are especially important to restore the energy production needs of your body. It is also critical to get enough water, as most Americans are chronically dehydrated.
Step 2 – Rest Your Body
Having trouble sleeping is one of the most troubling symptoms of stress. While the stress is wearing us down and making us tired, it’s also keeping us tense and unable tot relax. The result? That easy drift into sleep becomes harder and harder. And if we are lucky enough to actually get some shut-eye, stress will often wake us up, sometimes several times a night.
This occurs because excess stress suppresses the sleep center in the brain. It is important to break the “stress/insomnia cycle” early, before it results in pain and hormonal and immune dysfunction!
Because good quality sleep is how the body repairs and re-energizes itself, it may be helpful to use herbal products to promote good quality sleep. There are many natural supplements that are marketed as sleep formulas. To get the best results, it is very important that the right ingredients are in the sleep formula you buy. Look for a supplement that has a blend of herbs that promote deep sleep, such as valerian, L-theanine, hops, passionflower,
Step 3 – Manage Excess Stress Levels
In this fast paced world, it is important to learn to manage the stressor in our lives. Glandular extracts, such as raw adrenal extract, can offer natural support to help our bodies deal with the effects of stress and, in turn, can boost your energy levels. Exercise is another stress buster. Using your body physically is important for good health. Find something that is fun for you, however, or you are unlikely to stick with it!
Q. Does stress zap my energy in any other ways besides making me lay awake at night and causing me to be a zombie the next morning?
A. Most people are familiar with the body’s dramatic response to an emergency. The heart pounds, the muscles constrict, and the lungs expand – and while this is happening, we are capable of greater than normal strength and speed. This response is the body’s way of rescuing itself when faced with an emergency. We don’t have to think about it to make it happen. It’s automatic.
The same can be said of a chronic stress response. Whether we’re late for a business meeting because we’re stuck in traffic, or worrying about how we are going to pay for our children’s college tuition, our response to stress happens automatically. The difference between the two is that the body’s response in an emergency starts and resolves itself quickly. The response to being stuck in traffic may not.
The body makes the “stress hormone”, cortisol, to handle the normal stresses of day-to-day living. But in an emergency situation, the adrenal glands, located above the kidneys, secrete increased amounts of this hormone until the emergency passes. Then the body returns to its normal function. Unfortunately, however, chronic stress is more complex. When our body is subjected to increased amounts of the hormone, cortisol, for an extended time, it can lead to a condition known as “adrenal burnout” or “adrenal fatigue.” While it’s true that very large amounts of cortisol can have damaging effects on our hormones, too little cortisol doesn’t allow us to respond to stress properly. It’s really a matter of balance.
Q. How can I control the stress in my life and re-energize?
A. Many people who are under constant stress may have adrenal burnout. Adrenal burnout occurs when the adrenal glands are constantly producing cortisol in response to chronic stress. Over time, this exhausts the adrenal reserve, meaning the adrenal gland can no longer increase cortisol production in response to stress.
The good news is that changes in our hormone levels can return to normal when stress is decreased. The key in learning how to deal with daily stress is to allow the body to return to its normal state. I discuss additional techniques for coping with stress in my recent book Three Steps to Happiness! Healing Through Joy (see my website, www. jacobeitelbaum .com, for more information). In addition to stress control, it is important to supplement your adrenals with a glandular therapy regimen to ensure healthy cortisol levels and adrenal function. Glandular therapy, which uses the concentrated forms of bovine (cow) or porcine (pig) glands, can improve the health of our glands. Pioneers in the field of endocrinology (the study of hormones) hypothesized that glandular extracts work by providing nutrients the body lacked and thus repaired the malfunctioning gland.
If you are one of the unlucky folks with stressed-out adrenal glands, you should see great results from taking raw adrenal supplements. Be sure to buy adrenal extract supplement that contains both whole adrenal and cortex adrenal.
The best adrenal supplement should also contain vitamin C, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid and licorice. Licorice contains glycyrrhizin, which is broken down into glycyrrhizic or glycyrrhetinic acid. This compound inhibits the activity of an enzyme that turns active cortisol into inactive cortisol. While in high amounts (greater than 100 mg of glycyrrhizic acid/day), licorice administration causes hypertension, no such effects have been observed at lower doses. Experts have speculated that inhibition of the cortisol-converting enzyme may reduce cortisol-related symptoms associated with adrenal insufficiency. The adrenal glands use these nutrients to manufacture cortisone and other compounds. It just makes sense to purchase an adrenal supplement with these supportive ingredients.
Did your grandmother ever tell you to eat your liver so that you didn’t get “tired blood?” Well, it turns out that she was right. Liver extract is another glandular extract that can help improve energy levels.
Liver extract is an excellent source of highly bioavailable nutrients including iron, B vitamins (especially B12), and other minerals. The stamina and energy-enhancing benefits of liver are widely touted. Liver extract has been shown to support healthy function of the liver and increase the energy levels inside our body.
Because heat will destroy the key components in the liver, a high quality liver extract supplement should be cold-processed and encapsulated to enhance speed and absorption of nutrients from liver. A high quality aqueous liver extract supplement should also contain vitamin B12 to support healthy blood iron and oxygen levels to energize.
Q. It will be great to get a good night’s sleep. Are there also any other natural alternatives that could help promote relaxation and increase my energy levels during the day?
A. Yes, there are. Rhodiola rosea is an all-natural herb that has long been used to help relieve stress and increase energy. Rhodiola has also been used to lift our moods, improve sexual satisfaction, and even help in certain nervous system disorders. First used in Siberia and
In clinical trials, the most effective Rhodiola rosea extract was found to contain 3% rosavins and 1% salidroside. While there are many Rhodiola supplements in health food stores, only those containing these specific amounts can provide the best results.
Altered digestion, food intolerances, decreased energy, fatigue, cognitive problems, and sleeplessness create the need for changes in daily living routines. These can include alterations in diet; exercise modifications; alterations in activities of daily living according to one’s energy level; and sleep/rest management. All may require the assistance of a professional clinician, such as a chiropractor, nutrition specialist, physical and/or occupational therapist, mental health professional, or sleep therapist.
Super busy lives demand super strength nutrition. Begin each day with a powdered nutritional supplement after getting at least 8 hours of sleep each night. In addition to the nutritional beverage mix, a vitamin B complex supplement should be taken every morning. The nutritional drink mix and the vitamin B complex supplement will ensure that your body has all the vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and other nutrients to combat your fatigue. Taking a daily adrenal supplement, like the one discussed earlier, will provide the much needed (and often depleted) nutrients your body may be lacking, and help you recover lost energy. Rhodiola rosea, and ginseng can offer additional natural nutritional support in your busy life to boost your energy levels. These nutritional supplements can be used daily and you will feel energized to get through each day’s challenges and opportunities!
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia
February 28, 2007 12:02 PM
This is a fast paced world. We are all busy; living our full lives, burning the candle at both ends. We all get tired. We all get sick from time to time and maybe even depressed. But the illness called chronic fatigue syndrome is not like the normal ups and downs that we experience in everyday life. People with chronic fatigue syndrome feel overwhelming fatigue, and often pain as well. This is an illness that does not go away with a few good nights’ sleep. It drags on and on and doesn’t resolve itself. It steals vigor and energy over months, and sometimes even years.
In this issue of Ask the Doctor, we will talk about powerful vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and herbs combined in scientifically validated formulas that people with chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia can use every day. These nutrients help address some root problems of chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia by restoring energy and health to sufferers.
Q. What is chronic fatigue syndrome?
A. Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) also known as chronic fatigue and immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS), or myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), is a group of symptoms associated with unrelenting and debilitating fatigue. The profound weakness of CFS causes a persistent and substantial reduction in activity level. You feel too tired to do normal activities or are easily exhausted for no apparent reason.
Besides extreme fatigue, symptoms of CFS include general pain, mental fogginess, flu-like symptoms, and gastrointestinal problems. A list of symptoms includes:
The number of symptoms and the severity of these symptoms can vary among people. The symptoms of CFS hand on or reoccur frequently for more than six months.
Q. Are chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia considered being the same illness?
A. Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a painful shortening of muscles throughout the body. FMS is basically a sleep disorder characterized by many tender knots in the muscles. These tender knots, called tender or trigger points, are a major cause of the achiness that people with fibromyalgia and CFS feel.
Approximately 80 percent of chronic fatigue syndrome patients have received and overlapping diagnosis of fibromyalgia syndrome. For most people, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome are the same illness.
Q. What causes chronic fatigue syndrome?
A. There are many causes that can trigger CFS. Current research is looking at the roles of neuroendocrine dysfunction, viruses, environmental toxins, genetic predisposition, food sensitivities, yeast overgrowth, faulty digestion, or a combination of these factors.
For many people, CFS is triggered by a bout with a viral illness (like a cold or the flu), or even a stressful event. CFS is usually a mix of underlying causes. It is like a domino effect in that each problem can trigger another problem, and so on. For example, fatigue and poor sleep can trigger a weakened immune system, which can, in turn, trigger yeast or bacterial infections.
Q. Who gets chronic fatigue syndrome?
A. CFS is more common than you might expect. It strikes people of all ages, racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. Approximately 800,000 people nationwide have CFS and over six million have fibromyalgia at any given time.
It is important to stress that CFS is a real illness; it is not “just in your head.” Unfortunately, sufferers of CFS may find that many healthcare practitioners discount the symptoms of this illness or misdiagnose it as another disease. This can lead to additional emotional suffering.
Q. How long does chronic fatigue syndrome last?
A. The illness varies greatly in its duration. Some people recover after a year or two. More often, those who recover are more likely to do so three to five years after onset. Yet for some people, the illness seems to simply persist. There are rare cases of spontaneous improvement after five years without undergoing any treatment. However, this is very unusual.
Q. What are the complications of chronic fatigue syndrome?
A. The patterns of CFS vary from individual to individual. However, many common patterns of symptoms are seen in CFS sufferers. These symptoms and problems interact and create new symptoms and problems. For example, infections and disrupted sleep can lead to digestive, hormone, and immune problems.
The most notorious pattern seen in CFS is the one in which a person suddenly comes down with a flu-like illness that doesn’t go away. These viral or bacterial infections can suppress the body’s master gland, the hypothalamus. Since the hypothalamus controls the other glands, including the adrenals, ovaries, testes, and thyroid, suppression of this gland will lead to a subtle but debilitating decrease in the functioning of all glands and their hormones. Suppressed hypothalamic function from chronic infections can then trigger sleep dysfunction.
The suppression of the hypothalamus gland can lead to poor sleep because the body confuses its day/night cycles. Because of this, people with CFS have trouble staying in the deep, restorative stages of sleep that “recharge their batteries.”
Poor sleep can cause immune suppression, which may lead to secondary bowel infections. The bowel infections seen in people with CFS can cause decreased absorption of nutrients, which can lead to chronic vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
Q. Is there a cure for chronic fatigue syndrome?
A. Treating chronic fatigue syndrome presents a significant challenge to people with CFS and their healthcare practitioners. Recently, a published placebo-controlled study ( of which I was the lead investigator) showed that when using an integrated treatment approach, over 85 percent of CFS and fibromyalgia patients can improve, often dramatically. The full text of this study can be seen at ‘www.endfatigue.com’. An editorial in the April 2002 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Pain Management noted that this treatment, which I developed, is now a highly effective and excellent part of the standard of practice for treatment of fibromyalgia. Since this treatment addresses many different problems associated with CFS/FMS, it needs to be individualized to each patient.
Medications that provide symptom relief are frequently the first line of treatment chosen by healthcare practitioners for the person with CFS. These include medications for pain, sleep disturbances; digestive problems such as nausea, depression and anxiety, and flu-like symptoms.
However, medications have not been universally successful because they tent to put a bandage on symptoms instead of addressing the root problems. Because of this, medications may need to be supplemented by the other supportive therapies that can address the root problems.
People with CFS/FMS may be depressed, given the catastrophic lifestyle disruption these diseases may cause. They may also feel guilt and frustration because their symptoms were not taken seriously for such a long time. Fear can be a factor as employment and family relationships may be jeopardized by this illness.
Therapies that help people to relax and improve coping skills may be helpful and include counseling for emotional and mental health, cognitive behavioral therapy, sleep management therapy, and massage.
Daily Nutritional Supplementation for Energy
Good overall nutrition is important for everyone, of course. However, there are several vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that can have powerful nutritional effects for a person with CFS. All of the vitamins and minerals in a chronic fatigue/fibromyalgia formula should work together synergistically to help improve energy levels and overall health. Here are some key nutrients to look for in an energy formula:
Vitamins, Minerals & Other Key Ingredients
Vitamin A: Essential for healthy skin and mucous membrane integrity, healthy immune system responses and healthy bone growth and healthy reproductive processes. Vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene is an antioxidant and free radical fighter. Vitamin E: Helps to relieve pain in CFS patients. Can also improve night leg cramps, which interferes with sleep.
Vitamin C: Enhances immune function by increasing natural killer cells, B and T cells. Can prevent chronic bladder infections by acidifying urine.
Vitamin D: Regulates immune functions of monocytes and neutrophils. Neutraphils are white blood cells that ingest invasive bacteria, and act as the first line of defense once bacteria makes it past the skin barrier.
Magnesium: Involved with immune support. Working with malic acid, enhances immune function by increasing natural killer cells. Magnesium is also critical for the relief of muscle pain.
Inositol: Enhances immune function by increasing natural killer cells.
Malic Acid: Working with magnesium, improves energy levels by improving cellular functions. Especially important in muscle metabolism.
Betaine: Works with B vitamins to synthesize amino acids, and acts as a precursor to SAM-e. SAM-e (S-adenosylmethionine) is a naturally-occurring molecule in the body, and may have an effect on overall mood elevation.
Amino Acids: Glycine, Serine, Taurine, Tyrosine are essential for the production of energy in the body. Also essential for brain function.
Zinc: Supports the immune system by enhancing neutrophils activity and supporting healthy antigen-antibody binding.
Selenium: Supports immune function by enhancing antibody production.
Fructooligosaccharides: Provides nutrition for good bacteria in the intestinal tract, improving digestion and healthy microflora.
All of the vitamins, minerals, and other nutritional supplements on the list are important to ensure recovery from chronic fatigue syndrome. To ensure that your nutritional supplement regimen contains all of these ingredients, look for a powdered supplement formulated specifically for CFS/FMS sufferers that can be reconstituted in a beverage of your choice. A powdered drink mix is a pleasant, easy way to ensure that you are taking all of the needed vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that will give you the needed energy to recover from your illness.
B Vitamin Complex for Energy
In addition to the powdered energy drink mix, it is important that you also take a vitamin B-complex supplement specifically formulated for people with CFS/FMS. The B vitamin formula, which should include niacinamide, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, folic acid, vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, and choline, is especially important to restore the energy production needs of your body, as well as for mental function. It is also important to make sure that the dosages are high enough CFS/FMS needs. The chart in the next column lists the B vitamins that are critical for people suffering from CFS/FMS.
B Vitamins Effect on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Studies have demonstrated that people with CFS/FMS are often deficient in many of the B vitamins, which tends to worsen their symptoms of fatigue and mental “fogginess” and ultimately lead to a weakened immune system.
B vitamins - Effect on Energy
Thiamine (B1) - Essential in the process of energy production. This vitamin also removes lactic acid from muscles, which causes them to be sore in fibromyalgia patients.
Riboflavin (B2) - Riboflavin (vitamin B2) is crucial in the production of body energy. Supports healthy gluthathione reductase activity, which helps maintain gluthathione, a major protector against free radical damage. Vitamin B2 itself also has antioxidant qualities.
Niacinamide(B3) - Essential vitamin that is a component of the body’s energy furnace, helping to improve fatigue and “brain fog”.
Pantothenic Acid (B5) - This vitamin improves adrenal gland function, which will boost energy levels. It can also aid in weight loss by decreasing appetite.
Vitamin B6 - Working along with thiamine, this vitamin is critical in the process of energy production.
Vitamin B12 - Important for brain function and nerve repair. Aids in relieving fatigue symptoms in CFS patients. Folic Acid - Aids in strengthening the immune system, and aids in mental clarity and concentration.
Q. What other supplements can help me with CFS?
A. Many people with CFS/FMS are suffering from adrenal burnout. Adrenal burnout occurs when the adrenal glands are constantly producing cortisol in response to chronic stress like that seen in cases of CFS. Over time, this exhausts the adrenal reserve, meaning the adrenal gland can no longer increase cortisol production in response to stress.
The good news is that changes in our hormone levels can return to normal when stress is decreased. However, in cases of CFS that return to normal can be made much simpler by using a glandular therapy regimen to ensure healthy cortisol levels and adrenal function.
Glandular therapy uses the concentrated forms of bovine (cow) or porcine (pig) glands to improve the health of our glands. Pioneers in the field of endocrinology (the study of hormones) hypothesized that glandular extracts work by providing nutrients the body lacks and thus repairing the malfunctioning gland.
If CFS has left your adrenal glands in a stressed-out state, you should see great results by taking adrenal supplements. Be sure to buy an adrenal extract supplement that contains both whole adrenal and adrenal cortex extracts.
The best adrenal supplement should also contain vitamin C, vitamin B6, L-tyrosine, betaine, pantothenic acid and licorice. Licorice contains glycyrrhizin, which is broken down into glycyrrhizic or glycyrrhetinic acid. This compound inhibits the activity of an enzyme that turns active cortisol into inactive cortisol. While in high amounts (greater than 100 mg of glycyrrhizic acid/day), licorice administration causes hypertension, no such effects have been observed at lower doses. Experts have speculated that inhibition of the cortisol-converting enzyme may reduce cortisol-related symptoms associated with adrenal insufficiency. The adrenal glands use these nutrients to manufacture cortisone and other compounds. It just makes sense to purchase an adrenal supplement with these supportive ingredients.
The Road to Recovery-Adequate Sleep
Disordered sleep is the underlying process that drives many of the symptoms of CFS/FMS. The most effective way to eliminate pain in CFS/FMS is to get seven to nine hours of deep sleep each night.
However, getting adequate sleep is easier said than done for CFS sufferers with underlying fibromyalgia symptoms. The muscle knots of fibromyalgia make it uncomfortable to lie in one position for an extended time, causing difficulty in returning to deep sleep. Because of this, people with CFS/FMS do not stay in deep stages of sleep to recharge their “batteries.” In addition, poor sleep can cause and be caused by the suppression of the hypothalamus gland, which causes the brain to think it is daytime instead of night time.
It may be helpful to use herbal products to promote good quality sleep. There are many natural supplements that are marketed as sleep formulas. To get the best results, it is very important that the right ingredients are in the sleep formula you buy. Therefore, it is important to look for an herbal sleep formula that is especially formulated for people with CFS/FMS. The combination of herbs is important as each herb addresses a different aspect of sleeplessness and muscle tension.
Ingredients - Effect on Sleep
Wild Lettuce - Has been found to have sedative effects.
Hops - Acts as mild sedative and has a sleep-inducing effect. Jamaica Dogwood Has been found to be mildly sedative and is often used for anxiousness.
L-Theanine - Causes significant increases of neurotransimitter concentrations in the brain, which promotes muscle relaxion and improves sleep.
Valerian - This herb has been clinically studied for its ability to improve sleep quality.
Passionflower - This herb eases nervousness and insomnia.
Putting It All Together
After a good night’s rest, a powdered energy drink mix formulated for people with CFS/FMS should be drunk along with a well-balanced breakfast as discussed earlier. In addition to the nutritional beverage mix, a vitamin B complex supplement designed specifically for CFS sufferers, also discussed earlier, containing niacinamide, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, and choline, should be taken every morning. The nutritional drink mix and the vitamin B complex supplement will ensure that your body has all the vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and other nutrients, to combat your overwhelming fatigue, pain, and “brain fog.” Taking a daily adrenal supplement, like the one discussed earlier, will provide the much-needed (and often depleted) nutrients your body may be lacking, and help you recover lost energy.
Together, these four interventions: sleep formula; morning energy drink; energy B complex supplement; and an adrenal complex- can make an incredible difference that you should begin to notice within 2-3 weeks of starting this program.
Chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia are complex physical diseases with physical causes. The unrelenting symptoms of fatigue, pain, and mental fogginess can be overwhelming and frightening. Partnering with a healthcare practitioner specializing in CFS and utilizing different medical treatments, supportive therapies, and lifestyle changes are healthy ways to combat chronic fatigue syndrome. And taking nutritional supplements formulated specifically for people with CMS/FMS that help boost energy or help you get a good night’s sleep can give you critical control over the outcome of your illness and set you on the road to recovery.
Fruit and Vegetable Lightning drink mixes from Natures Plus
February 06, 2007 02:41 PM
Enjoy the Rainbow – the Color Wheel of Fruits and Vegetables
We’ve all heard the statistics, and have probably seen the signs in the produce section of our favorite grocery store: eating 5 servings of fruits and veggies a day is important,
Chances are also pretty good that we’ve also seen the newest food pyramid, encouraging Americans to “eat a rainbow of frits and vegetables.” That is, choose from the rich variety of colors for the best all-around health benefits.
In this Ask the Doctor, we’re going to look at the unique health components of different colored fruits and vegetables, and why they’re so important. Plus, we’ll learn about supplemental options, like fruit and vegetable drink mixes, for those days when our diets just aren’t that great.
Q. What’s the big deal about fruits and vegetables?
A. Well, for the main reason that they are whole foods – created by nature (or at least generations of farming) and are rich in a variety of nutrients. Processed foods can’t match the health benefits of strawberries or broccoli – items that have fiber, vitamins, and enzymes built right in.
Q. What does “eating a rainbow” of fruits and vegetables really mean?
A. This is simply an easy way of remembering to get as much color variety in your diet as possible to maximize your intake of a broad range of nutrients. The colors of fruits and vegetables are often a tangible clue to the unique vitamins and other healthy substances they contain. Getting a variety of colors, therefore, means getting a variety of the essential nutrients your body needs to stay healthy and strong.
Enjoying the Rainbow: Fruit and Vegetable Benefits:
Q. Can you tell me a little more about the healthy components of fruits and vegetables?
Let’s take a look at some of the most well-studied and important nutrients:
Quercetin is found in apples, onions and citrus fruits (also is hawthorn and other berries and apple-related fruits usually used in traditional herbal remedies and modern supplements). It prevents LSL cholesterol oxidation and helps the body cope with allergens and other lung and breathing problems.
Clinical studies show that quercetin’s main points of absorption in the body appear to be in the small intestine – about 50%. The rest – at least 47% is metabolized by the colonic micro flora – the beneficial bacteria such as Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium longum. You may consider adding these beneficial bacteria (found in yogurt) either through the diet or a supplemental form.
Ellagic Acid is a component of ellagitannins – dietary polyphenols with antioxidant (and possibly anticancer) properties. Polyphenols are the basic building blocks of many plant-based antioxidants. More complex phenolic compounds, such as flavonoids are created from these molecules.
Ellagic acid is found in many fruits and foods, namely raspberries, strawberries, pomegranates, and walnuts. Clinical studies suggest that ellagitannins and ellagic acid act as antioxidants and anticarcinogens in the gastrointestinal tract.
Ellagitannins are durable antioxidants, and happily, they do not appear to be diminished by processing, like freezing. This means the benefits are still strong, even in frozen packs of raspberries or strawberries, or some of the better multi-ingredient supplement drink mixes.
In scientific studies, ellagic acid also showed an anti-proliferative effect on cancer cells, decreasing their ATP (adenosine triphosphate) production. ATP is the molecule that provides the primary energy source for the cells in our bodies. In a sense, ellagic acid seems to deprive cancer cells of their fuel.
Beta-Carotene: Probably the best-known of the carotenoids, beta-carotene is converted by the body into vitamin A. Many vegetables, especially orange and yellow varieties, are rich in this nutrient. Think summer squash, yams and of course, carrots.
Beta-carotene has long been associated with better eyesight, but it has other benefits, too. In a scientific study, beta-carotene decreased cholesterol levels in the liver by 44% and reduces liver triglycerides by 40%.
Lycopene is a carotenoid mostly found in tomatoes, but also in smaller amounts in watermelon and other fruits. Clinical studies have shown that lycopene consumption may decrease the risk of prostate cancer. In fact, high intakes of lycopene are associated with a 30% to 40% reduced risk. And, as good as beta-carotene is, its cousin, lycopene, seems to be an even stronger nutrient, protecting not just against prostate cancer, but heart disease as well.
Lutein is found in many fruits and vegetables, including blueberries and members of the squash family. Lutein is important for healthy eyes, and in fact it is found in high concentrations naturally in the macular region of the retina – where we see fine detail. It is one of the only carotenoids, along with its close sibling zeaxanthin, that is found in the macula and lens of the eye.
Lutein also supports your heart, too. In a scientific study, lutein reduced atherosclerotic lesion size by 43%. In other words, high intakes of lutein may actually help prevent coronary artery disease!
Interestingly, as is the case with lycopene, cooking or processing foods with lutein may actually make it more easily absorbed.
In clinical studies, men with high intakes of lutein (and its close cousin, zeaxanthin, found in broccoli and spinach) had a 19% lower risk of cataract, and women had a 22% decreased risk, compared to those whose lutein intakes were much lower.
Vitamin C: One of the best-known nutrients out there, vitamin C keeps our immune system strong; speeds wound healing, and promote strong muscles and joints. A free-radical fighter, vitamin C prevents oxidative damage to tissues, builds strength in collagen and connective tissue, and even reduces joint pain.
Sources of vitamin C are scattered throughout the spectrum of fruits and vegetables.
Potassium: Most Americans are deficient in potassium. For the most part, it’s hard to get too much of this valuable mineral. Potassium does great things for our hearts. Higher intakes of dietary potassium from fruits and vegetables have been found in clinical research to lower blood pressure in only 4 weeks.
Many researchers believe that the typical American diet has led to a state of chronic, low-grade acidosis – too much acid in the body. Potassium helps change pH balance to a more alkaline environment in the body and increases bone density.
This was proven in the long-running Framingham Heart Study which showed that dietary potassium, (along with magnesium and fruit and vegetable intake) provided greater bone density in older individuals.
Fiber is another food component many just don’t get enough of – especially if they’re eating a “typical American diet.” Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are excellent sources of fiber. However, fiber from a good fruits and vegetable drink mix should be derived from inulin and chicory root. This soluble fiber source not only adds to the overall amount of fiber you need (25 to 38 grams a day), but also provides a nice “nesting ground” for the beneficial bacteria that populate the intestines. And, even though some fiber has a bad rap for inhibiting mineral absorption, inulin and chicory root are “bone building” fibers – they actually help the body absorb calcium.
Flavonoids are an overarching term that encompasses flavonols, anthocyanidins, and flavones, isoflavones, proanthocyanidins, Quercetin and more. They are almost everywhere: in fruits, vegetables, grains, herbs, nuts and seeds – even in the coffee, wine and tea we drink. Flavonoids are responsible for the colors in the skins of fruits and the leaves of trees and other plants.
Flavonoids have many health benefits. They can help stop the growth of tumor cells and are potent antioxidants. Additionally, flavonoids have also been studied for their ability to reduce inflammation.
Anthocyanins: High on the list of important “visible” nutrients are anthocyanins. They color fruits and vegetables blue and red.
Anthocyanins are members of this extended family of nutmeats, the flavonoids. Typically found in high amounts in berries, anthocyanins are readily absorbed in the stomach and small intestine.
As antioxidants, anthocyanins dive deep into cell membranes, protecting them from damage. IT may be one reason why the anthocyanins from blueberries are considered such an important component in battling neuronal decline, like Alzheimer’s. Blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries are also excellent sources of this flavonoids group.
SDG lignans, (short for secoisolariciresinol diglucoside) are polyphenolic components of flaxseed, pumpkin and other herbal sources. Much of the recent research surrounding lignans has focused on flaxseed. In scientific and clinical studies, lignans from flaxseed support hormonal balance and may have cancer-preventing abilities. In fact, in one study, flaxseed lignans reduced metastatic lung tumor by 82% compared to controls.
The lignans in pumpkin seed, also considered a major source, target 5-alpha reductase activity.
This enzyme catalyzes the conversion of testosterone into the more potent dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT, like testosterone, is a steroid hormone or androgen. Androgens are responsible for the development and maintenance of masculine sex characteristics in both men and women. Excess levels of DHT can cause serious problems with prostate or bladder health. That’s why modulation of the 5-alpha reductase enzyme is so important – it helps maintain healthy testosterone and DHT levels. By balancing the levels of these key hormones, pumpkin seed lignans provide protection for prostate and bladder cells.
In addition, pumpkin seed has been shown to modulate the enzyme aromatase. Aromatase is present in the estrogen-producing cells of the adrenal glands, ovaries, testicles, adipose tissue, and brain. Aromatase converts testosterone, an androgen, into estradiol, and estrogen.
Inhibition of the aromatase conversion can help maintain a balance of healthy testosterone levels in women, which has been shown to strengthen pelvic muscles and reduce incidence of incontinence.
In fact, a clinical study, involving a pumpkin extract in conjunction with soy, resulted in significant support for bladder health. After two weeks of supplementation, 23 of the 39 postmenopausal women enrolled in the study showed great improvement in urinary frequency and sleep. By the end of the six week study, 74.4 percent of participants found pumpkin extract safely and significantly improved “nocturnia,” that is, the need to urinate frequently at night. For individuals with 2 to 4 episodes of nocturnia prior to the stud, and 81.8% improvement was seen – also showing great improvement in sleep quality. After all, if you don’t have to wake up every couple of hours to go to the bathroom you’re bound to get better sleep.
Beta glucan: Mushrooms are intense immune-boosting powerhouses due to their beta-glucan content. Three well-studied power-house mushrooms that contribute beta glucan to the diet include maitake, reishi and shiitake.
The most significant constituents of mushrooms are long chain polysaccharides (molecules formed from many sugar units) known as beta-glucan. These huge molecules act as immunoregualtors in the human body, helping to stabilize and balance the immune system.
This includes specific support of white blood cells, or lymphocytes, the primary cells of the immune system. Lymphocytes fall broadly into three categories: T cells, B cells, and natural killer (NK) cells.
In one clinical study, 165 patients with various types of advanced cancer were given maitake mushroom compounds alone or with chemotherapy. Cancer regression or significant symptom improvement was observed in 58% of liver cancer patients, and 62% of lung cancer patients. Plus, when maitake was taken in addition to chemotherapy, the immune cell activities were enhanced 1.2 to 1.4 times, compared with chemotherapy alone.
In another clinical study, researchers determined that Reishi increased the number of cancer killing white blood cells and made them more deadly to cancer cells.
And, in a scientific study of human breast cancer and myeloma cancer and myeloma cancer cell lines, shiitake compounds provided a 51% antiproliferative effect on the cells – inducing “apoptosis’ – the programmed cell death that should occur naturally.
While beta-glucan are distributed throughout the mushroom body, the beta-glucan concentrations are significantly higher in the mycelium – the interwoven fibers or filaments that make up the “feeding structure” of the mushroom.
Bioflavonoids are commonly found in bright yellow citrus fruits, including lemons, limes and oranges. They are responsible for the bright pigment found in the skin of the fruit, and are considered a “companion” to vitamin C, seeming to extend the value of the nutrient within the body.
Hesperidin is just one of the valuable bioflavonoids found in citrus. Hesperidin appears to lower cholesterol levels, as well as support joint collagen in examples of rheumatoid arthritis.
Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG):
Polyphenols, most notably EGCG, or epigallocatechin gallate, are well-studied and powerful components of tea. EGCG has been shown to reduce colon and breast cancer risk. Green tea also boosts the immune system and encourages T-cell formation – part of the front-line defense of our bodies against sickness and disease.
Q. I’ve been seeing articles about fruits, vegetables and supplements touting “high ORAC value.” What does this mean?
ORAC is an acronym for Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity, and is simply a measurement of antioxidant activity of nutrients. Oxygen radicals, or free radicals, are unstable molecules. They grab electrons from other cells to use for themselves, and in the process can damage them. It is believed that free radical activity plays a role in the development of many diseases such as heart disease and cancer, and also plays a role in aging.
Antioxidants help prevent this damage by “loaning out” extra electrons to stabilize free radicals/ Consider any fruit or vegetable with a high ORAC rating as having a lot of “antioxidant power.”
I know I should eat more fruits and vegetables, but it just seems so hard to get five servings a day.
The number one excuse I hear for not buying frits and veggies is that “fruits and vegetables are too expensive.” But are they really? Certainly, fresh foods that aren’t in season and have to be shipped a distance can be a bit pricey. If anyone added up how much spend on fast food, or prepackaged or processed snacks, it would probably be shocking.
Luckily, there are many ways to get your “Daily 5”. For instance, frozen fruits and veggies retain much of their nutrient profile. They can be an excellent alternative when certain foods are out of season. So too, are fruit and vegetable drink mixes – excellent supplemental sources of some of the nutrients our bodies need most.
More recently, the American
Of course, for people not accustomed to the fiber in fruits and veggies, there is some reason to think it’ll increase gas. When cell walls break down, and fiber passes through the system, it can create flatulence. Folks who eat fruits and vegetables every day generally don’t have this problem. Their systems are already accustomed to it.
For those just starting out on a better diet, however, start slowly – it helps your body adapt. Cooking vegetables can help, too, because it begins breaking down the cell walls early on.
One thing is certain, however. The “Typical American Diet” and good health are mutually exclusive. The increase in type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, and hypertension all point to the abuse our bodies suffer by eating diets high in fatty meats, processed sugars, and refined grains.
Q. Can I just drink fruit and vegetables drinks in place of 5 servings of fruits and vegetables?
Green drinks and fruit and vegetable drink mixes aren’t meant to replace whole foods, but they can be an excellent substitute when you’re rushed or traveling or just trying to fill everyday nutritional gaps. Their whole food ingredients absorb very easily and gently in the gut, and many of these drink mixes contain healthy doses of fiber, too.
Green drink mixes and food-based drink mixes combine many colorful fruits and vegetables and sometimes grasses in a healthy, mixable supplement assortment. While there have been many advancements in the field of green drinks, there are only a few that take the primary reason we eat into consideration: taste!
Happily, there are some companies out there with great-tasting drink mixes that also formulate based on the color concept, ensuring you get the broadest assortment of nutrients from a full range of fruit and vegetable colors to promote optimal health.
High-quality fruit and vegetable drink mixes offer the best from nature’s color wheel in a convenient and great-tasting supplement. So, the next tie you feel like taking a coffee break – try a fruit and veggie break instead. Your body and spirit will thank you.
Benefits - Supports joint function and tissue health*
December 11, 2006 03:46 PM
To understand glucosamine's role, it is important to understand joint structure and function. Cartilage in the joints acts as a shock absorber to cushion the blows of daily wear and tear. Joint cartilage is made of a unique connective tissue that consists of collagen and proteoglycans. Collagen is a strong, fibrous, insoluble protein. Proteoglycans are large, carbohydrate-rich protein chains made up of 95 percent polysaccharides and 5 percent protein called glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). GAGs are composed of repeating two-sugar units (disaccharides) that contain glucosamine sulfate and other amino sugars. Surrounding the joint cartilage is synovial fluid, which contains many substances including its chief component, hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid forms the backbone of other proteoglycans and is responsible for the thickness of synovial fluid as well as its lubricating and shock-absorbing properties. Synovial fluid also provides nutrients for the joint cartilage.
Glucosamine sulfate is a normal constituent of glycosaminoglycans in cartilage and synovial fluid. In essence, glucosamine sulfate provides important building blocks for cartilage production. Laboratory studies suggest that glucosamine may also function to stimulate production of cartilage-building proteins. It is also thought that the sulfate portion of the molecule contributes to the efficacy of glucosamine sulfate in the synovial fluid by providing the elemental sulfur needed for strengthening cartilage and aiding glycosaminoglycan synthesis. 1,2,3
Glucosamine sulfate has been the subject of research for over twenty years. Clinical trials as well as experimental studies have repeatedly supported the efficacy of oral glucosamine sulfate in supporting joint function. In one large open trial, over 1200 people took oral glucosamine sulfate for periods ranging from 36 to 64 days. In this multi-center trial, ninety-five percent of the subjects experienced greater joint comfort and increased mobility. The physicians reported "good" results in 59%, and "sufficient" results in 36%. Furthermore, the improvements in joint health lasted for up to three months after the glucosamine sulfate was discontinued. 3
Promotes optimal joint comfort, function and flexibility*
Boswellia serrata (Indian frankincense) has been used for centuries in the Indian Ayurvedic system of medicine to maintain healthy joints. Even today, this is one of the primary uses for this plant in Ayurvedic medicine. Boswellic acids have been shown to support healthy joint tissue, maintain circulation to joints, enhance joint mobility, and promote joint comfort in animal models without known side effects. 4
Boswellin® is an extract rich in boswellic acids. Boswellic acids are potent modulators of enzymes involved in leukotriene synthesis in vitro, promoting a healthy balanced production of these components of the immune system.5 Healthy leukotriene balance can lead to enhanced joint function. A human clinical study was conducted to assess the effects of supplementation with a formula containing Boswellia, Curcumin and other nutrients on joint function. In this double-blind placebo-controlled crossover trial, participants were randomly assigned to receive the herbal formulation or a placebo for 3 months. Following this 3-month period, the treatments were reversed for an additional 3 months. The results showed that while each group was receiving the herbal formulation, they had superior joint function and a greater sense of joint comfort when compared to the placebo groups.6 Other trials lend further support to Boswellia’s ability to promote healthy joint function.4,6,7
Curcumin is a potent antioxidant that has known free radical scavenging activity. This activity of Curcumin is thought to play a major part in its role as a joint protective nutrient. In fact, the numerous beneficial effects attributed of whole turmeric are thought to stem in large measure from the antioxidant properties of curcuminoids. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals, which are highly unstable molecules that can damage cellular structures through abnormal oxidative reactions. Curcumin is not toxic to cells, even at high concentrations. Pure Curcumin was shown to be less protective than a mixture of curcuminoids, indicating a possible synergism among the curcuminoids.8
Curcumin demonstrates several other in vitro effects linked to free radical scavenging. Curcumin scavenges nitric oxide, a compound associated with the body’s inflammatory response.9 Curcumin also demonstrates in vitro inhibition of certain enzymes involved in promoting inflammatory reactions in the body. Together these results strongly suggest that Curcumin is a potent bioprotectant with a potentially wide range of therapeutic applications.9,10,11
Preliminary human trials have assessed the therapeutic potential of Curcumin, with results that verify the traditional use of turmeric as an herb to enhance joint health. In a short-term double-blind, cross-over, comparative study, eighteen people were randomized to receive Curcumin (1200 mg daily) or an alternative therapy for two-week periods. The participants in the Curcumin groups were shown to produce measurable enhancements in joint flexibility and walking time.12 Research suggests that Curcumin and Boswellia work extremely well in combination to benefit joint health and mobility, as trials combining both nutrients have yielded highly positive results.
Bioperine-Nature’s Absorption Enhancer Boosts Nutrient Absorption*
Traditional Ayurvedic herbal formulas often include black pepper or long pepper as synergistic herbs. The active ingredient in both black pepper and long pepper is the alkaloid, piperine. Experiments carried out to evaluate the scientific basis for the use of peppers have shown that piperine significantly enhances bioavailability when consumed with other substances.13 Several double-blind clinical studies have confirmed that Bioperine® increases absorption of nutrients.14
Curcumin is known to be poorly absorbed in the intestinal tract when used on its own, thereby limiting its therapeutic effectiveness. Oral doses are largely excreted in feces, and only trace amounts appear in the bloodstream. However, a study has shown that concomitant administration of 20 mg of piperine with 2 grams of Curcumin was able to enhance Curcumin bioavailability by an astounding 2000%. 15 These results speak to the wisdom of including a small amount of Bioperine® in the formulation to ensure nutrient bioavailability.
Sustained Release – For lasting joint comfort and convenient dosing
To ensure that the body can utilize all of the joint health-enhancing nutrients effectively, Best Joint Support featuring ArthriBlend-SR™ has been designed to have a sustained release delivery system. The nutrients are released over a longer period of time, maximizing absorption and providing the comfort-enhancing properties in a sustained manner. This unique delivery system allows the product to be taken just twice daily while maintaining its efficacy throughout the day.
Suggested Adult Use: Take two tablets every 12 hours. Take 4 tablets daily.
2. Tapadinhas M.J., Rivera, I.C. Bignamini, A.A. Oral glucosamine sulphate in the management of arthrosis: report on a multi-centre open investigation in Portugal. Pharmatherpeutica 1982; 3(3):157-68.
3. Vaz, A.L. Double-blind clinical evaluation of the relative efficacy of ibuprofen and glucosamine sulphate in the management of osteoarthrosis of the knee in out-patients. Current Medical Research and Opinion 1982; 8(3):145-149.
4. Kimmatkar N, Thawani V, Hingorani L, Khiyani R. Efficacy and tolerability of Boswellia serrata extract in treatment of osteoarthritis of knee--a randomized double blind placebo controlled trial. Phytomedicine. 2003 Jan;10(1):3-7.
5. Safayhi, H., Mack, T., Sabieraj, J., Anazodo, M.I., Subramanian, L.R., and Ammon, H.P.T. (1992) Boswellic acids: Novel, specific, nonredox inhibitors of 5-lipoxygenase. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 261(3), 1143-1146.
6. Boswellia serrata. Alternative Medicine Review Monographs – Volume One. 2002.
7. Kulkarni RR, Patki PS, Jog VP, Gandage SG, Patwardhan B. Treatment of osteoarthritis with a herbomineral formulation: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study. J Ethnopharmacol. 1991 May-Jun;33(1-2):91-5.
8. Majeed, M., Badmaev, V., Shivakumar, U., Rajendran, R. Curcuminoids: Antioxidant Phytonutrients. 1995. Piscataway, NJ: NutriScience Publishers.
9. Snow, J.M. Herbal Monograph: Curcuma longa L. (Zingiberaceae). The Protocol Journal of Botanical Medicine, Autumn 1995:43-46.
10. Rao, S., Rao, M.N.A. Nitric oxide scavenging by curcuminoids. J Pharm. Pharmacol. 1997;49:105-7.
11. Ramsewak, R.S., DeWitt, D.L., Nair, M.G. Cytotoxicity, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory activities of Curcumins I-III from Curcuma longa. Phytomedicine 2000;7(4):303-308.
12. Deodhar, S.D., Sethi, R. Srimal. R.C. Preliminary study on antirheumatic activity of curcumin (diferoyl methane). Indian J Med Res 1980;71:632-34.
13. Atal, C., Zutshi, U., Rao, P. Scientific evidence on the role of Ayurvedic herbals on bioavailability of drugs. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 1981;4:229-232.
14. Bioperine®–Nature's Bioavailability Enhancing Thermonutrient. Executive Summary. 1996; Sabinsa Corporation, Piscataway, N.J.
15. Shoba, G., et al. Influence of piperine on the pharmacokinetics of curcumin in animals and human volunteers. Planta Medica 1998;64(4):353-6.
Q. Why not just take IP-6 by itself? Why does IP-6 need to be combined with inositol?
November 22, 2006 01:43 PM
A. When scientists studying this combination used plain IP-6 in the laboratory, good cancer preventative effects and good cancer killing effects happened. When scientists used plain inositol in the laboratory, again, good cancer preventative and cancer killing effects occurred. However, when IP-6 was combined with inositol, powerful cancer killing and cancer preventative effects happened. Clearly, IP-6 with inositol is the superior choice in cancer prevention.
Scientists are interested in the very unique way IP-6 works in our body. One theory of how this combination exerts its effects is that IP-6 mixed with inositol breaks down into IP-3 in the body. IP-3 is more active than IP-6, but is very unstable. That is why it is so important to use a product that is an exact combination of IP-6 and inositol, precursors that are both needed to yield the maximum amount of IP-3 needed for immune stimulation and cancer growth inhibition.
Benefits of Camu Camu Powder Extract
August 29, 2006 09:18 AM
100% Natural Wild-Crafted Vitamin C*
Camu camu is one of the richest natural sources of this potent antioxidant vitamin in the world. Every gram of Best Camu Camu 4:1 extract contains at least 200 mg of natural, wild-crafted vitamin C. This is in addition to a synergistic host of additional nutrients that potentially enhance the uptake of the antioxidants in the extract.
Vitamin C is critical to numerous organs and systems throughout the body. It serves as an important cofactor in a number of physiological processes that occur on a daily basis. Vitamin C protects molecules including lipids, proteins and DNA from free radical damage and serves to regenerate other potent antioxidants, including vitamin E. Vitamin C is also a required factor for the synthesis of collagen and connective tissue, plays a prominent role in energy production, helps in the formation of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine, and supports immune health.1 An adequate daily supply of vitamin C is necessary for the maintenance of these and other critical physiological processes.
Strengthens Antioxidant Defenses*
Anthocyanin compounds, such as cyanidin-3-glucoside found prominently in camu camu fruit, are natural pigments responsible for the brilliant colors seen in fruits.2 They also possess significant antioxidant activities as well as other potential health benefits. Furthermore, studies show that anthocyanin compounds are rapidly absorbed in humans and other mammals. Recent studies have shown that the stomach and small intestines are the predominant sites of absorption into the bloodstream.3
Research conducted on cyanidin-3-glucoside confirms its potent antioxidant activity. In vitro assays have been performed evaluating markers of free radical damage including DNA cleavage, free radical scavenging capacity and xanthine oxidase activity. In this study, cyanidin-3-glucoside showed protective effects on DNA cleavage, inhibition of xanthine oxidase and dose-dependent free radical scavenging abilities.4 Studies in rats also confirm the beneficial effects of this anthocyanin. In one such study, feeding this compound to rats was shown to increase the resistance of rat serum to oxidative changes, suggesting a potent antioxidant effect of this compound.5
Camu camu is a potent source of cyanidin-3-glucoside and has a high content of the ubiquitous, water-soluble antioxidant, vitamin C. Together, these nutrients serve to strengthen antioxidant defenses against free radical damage*. Best Camu Camu 4:1 Extract provides a natural, wholesome way to infuse the body with its daily requirement for vitamin C and additional free radical-fighting anthocyanin compounds.
Suggested Adult Use: Take 1 more capsules daily, with or without food
1. Linus Pauling Institute. Micrnutrient Information Center. Monograph on “Vitamin C”. //lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/vitamins/vitaminC/
2. Zanatta CF, et al. Determination of Anthocyanins from Camu-camu (Myrciaria dubia) by HPLC-PDA, HPLC-MS, and NMR. J Agric Food Chem 2005. 53: 9531-9535.
3. Talavera S, et al. Anthocyanins are efficiently absorbed from the small intestine in rats. J Nutr 2004. 134: 2275-2279.
4. Acquaviva R, et al. Cyanidin and cyanidin 3-O-beta-D -glucoside as DNA cleavage protectors and antioxidants. Cell Biol Toxicol. 2003 Aug;19(4):243-52.
5. Tsuda T, et al. Dietary cyanidin 3-O-beta-D-glucoside increases ex vivo oxidation resistance of serum in rats. Lipids. 1998 Jun;33(6):583-8. Buy Camu Camu at Vitanet
Acai is an exotic palm fruit from the Amazonian rain forest!
February 12, 2006 01:38 PM
Olive Leaf Extract - for immune support
January 02, 2006 10:11 AM
“STANDARDIZED HERBS FOR IMMUNE SYSTEM SUPPORT”
Olive Leaf Extract
* This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Astaxanthin - PHYTONUTRIENT ANTIOXIDANT
December 28, 2005 10:20 AM
"PHYTONUTRIENT ANTIOXIDANT" Astaxanthin
Carotenoids are a class of lipid-soluble natural pigments found in plants, as well as in phytoplankton and certain fungi and bacteria. The red, orange and yellow colors seen in fruits and vegetables are from carotenoids. When various aquatic animals such as salmon and shrimp eat plants containing some of the over 700 compounds that make up the carotenoid class, those animals are also decorated with the same brilliant colors. However, carotenoids do more than provide color - they’re powerful phytonutrient antioxidants. Beta carotene, lutein, and lycopene are some of the more well-known carotenoids, but the most powerful found to date is astaxanthin.
Astaxanthin is a fat-soluble carotenoid with a unique molecular structure that makes it an extremely effective antioxidant. The PDR® Medical Dictionary 2nd Edition defines an antioxidant as, “An agent that inhibits oxidation; any of numerous chemical substances, including certain natural body products and nutrients, that can neutralize the oxidant effect of free radicals and other substances.” Not only is astaxanthin a potent free radical scavenger, but it also can protect against oxidation, which limits the number of free radicals produced. Additionally, it’s very effective at quenching a molecule called singlet oxygen, a harmful reactive oxygen species formed through normal biological processes. Singlet oxygen possesses a high amount of excess energy that must be released to keep it from damaging other cells. Astaxanthin absorbs this energy and dissipates it as heat, and in the process returns the singlet oxygen to a grounded state.
A growing body of research is showing that astaxanthin is the creme de la creme of phytonutrient antioxidants. Studies comparing astaxanthin to other carotenoids have shown it to possess antioxidant activity up to 10 times stronger than that of beta carotene, canthaxanthin, lutein and zeaxanthin.4 A study published in 1990 conducted by Kurashige and associates compared the effectiveness of vitamin E and astaxanthin for the prevention of lipid peroxidation. The results showed that astaxanthin is 100-500 times more effective in preventing lipid peroxidation in vivo than vitamin E.5
Astaxanthin in algae provides protection against the effects of ultraviolet (UV) light exposure, and studies are showing that this protective effect is also imparted with dietary astaxanthin. Scientists believe that astaxanthin effectively scavenges the oxygen radicals produced through photo-oxidation caused by UV exposure. A 1995 study by Savoure and associates studied the protective effects of astaxanthin, beta carotene and retinol against UVinduced photo-oxidative stress. The results showed that astaxanthin is extremely effective in preventing increases of certain polyamines created through photo-oxidation, which damages skin. A particular polyamine was found to increase only 1.5-fold in subjects fed astaxanthin, whereas subjects in the control group experienced a significant 4.1- fold increase. It was concluded that astaxanthin works through a particular enzyme, increasing this enzyme’s consumption of polyamines in response to irradiation.
Research has shown that astaxanthin also offers cardioprotective effects through its ability to decrease oxidation of HDL (“good” cholesterol), which is a cholesterol transporter in the blood. It‘s well established that high levels of HDL and low levels of LDL (“bad” cholesterol) are desirable for healthy cardiovascular function, so protecting HDL from oxidation means there’s more circulating in the bloodstream. In a 1992 study by Murillo, subjects were fed dietary astaxanthin for 30 days. HDL cholesterol increased 57mg/dL, compared to the control diet (42.4 mg/dL). LDL cholesterol decreased from 12.5 mg/dL to 9.6 mg/dL. Clearly, astaxanthin exhibited an influence on the ratio of these two lipoproteins.
We can thank the lobster for the discovery of astaxanthin. Researchers working with an extract of the lobster Homarus astacus first characterized astaxanthin in 1938. It was soon discovered that astaxanthin is abundant in nature, although mostly in very low concentrations. The greatest source found is in green algae called Haematococcus pluvialis, which also contains other carotenoids such as beta carotene and lutein. NOW® Foods Astaxanthin supplies 4mg of this effective phytonutrient antioxidant and is an excellent source of this outstanding member of the carotenoid family. The astaxanthin used for our product is BioAstin® supplied by the Cyanotech Corporation, one of the premier suppliers of highquality astaxanthin taken from Haematococcus pluvialis, the richest natural source discovered. In addition to Astaxanthin, NOW® offers other carotenoids, including Lutein, Beta Carotene and Lycopene. Research continues to support the inclusion of carotenoids in the diet to support overall health. This is even truer for those with less than perfect diets and for those who smoke or spend any time with someone who does.
What other supplements can help me with CFS?
December 10, 2005 03:21 PM
A. Many people with CFS/FMS are suffering from adrenal burnout. Adrenal burnout occurs when the adrenal glands are constantly producing cortisol in response to chronic stress like that seen in cases of CFS. Over time, this exhausts the adrenal reserve, meaning the adrenal gland can no longer increase cortisol production in response to stress.
The good news is that changes in our hormone levels can return to normal when stress is decreased. However, in cases of CFS, that return to normal can be made much simpler by using a glandular therapy regimen to ensure healthy cortisol levels and adrenal function.
Glandular therapy uses the concentrated forms of bovine (cow) or porcine (pig) glands to improve the health of our glands. Pioneers in the field of endocrinology (the study of hormones) hypothesized that glandular extracts work by providing nutrients the body lacks and thus repairing the malfunctioning gland.
If CFS has left your adrenal glands in a stressed-out state, you should see great results by taking adrenal supplements. Be sure to buy an adrenal extract supplement that contains both whole adrenal and adrenal cortex extracts.
The best adrenal supplement should also contain vitamin C, vitamin B^, L-tyrosine, betaine, pantothenic acid and licorice.
Licorice contains glycyrrhizin, which is broken down into glycycrrhizic or glycycrrhetinic acid. This compound inhibits the activity of an enzyme that turns active cortisol into inactive cortisol. While in high amounts (greater than 100 mg of glycycrrhizic acid/day), licorice administration causes hypertension, no such effects have been observed at lower doses. Experts have speculated that inhibition of the cotisol-converting enzyme may reduce cortisol-related symptoms associated with adrenal insufficiency. The adrenal glands use these nutrients to manufacture cortisone and other compounds. It just makes sense to purchase an adrenal supplement with these supportive ingredients.
The Road to Recovery- Adequate Sleep
Disordered sleep is the underlying process that drives many of the symptoms of CFS/FMS. The most effective way to eliminate pain in CFS/FMS is to get seven to nine hours of deep sleep each night.
However, getting adequate sleep is easier said then done for CFS sufferers with underlying fibromyalgia symptoms. The muscle knots of fibromyalgia make it uncomfortable to lie in one position for an extended time, causing difficulty in returning to deep sleep. Because of this, people with CFS/FMS do not stay in deep stages of sleep to recharge their “batteries.” In addition, poor sleep can cause and be caused by the suppression of the hypothalamus gland, which causes the brain to think it is daytime instead of night time.
It may be helpful to use herbal products to promote good quality sleep. There are may natural supplements that are marketed as sleep formulas. To get the best results, it is very important that the right ingredients are in the sleep formula you buy. Therefore, it is important to look for an herbal sleep formula that is especially formulated for people with CFS/FMS. The combination of herbs is important as each herb addresses a different aspect of sleeplessness and muscle tension.
Putting It All Together
After a good night’s rest, a powdered energy drink mix formulated for people with CFS/FMS should be drunk along with a well-balanced breakfast as discussed earlier. In addition to the nutritional beverage mix, a vitamin B complex supplement designed specifically for CFS sufferers, also discussed earlier, containing niacinamide, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, and choline, should be taken every morning. The nutritional drink mix and the vitamin B complex supplement will ensure that your body has all the vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and other nutrients, to combat your overwhelming fatigue, pain, and “brain fog.” Taking a daily adrenal supplement, like the one discussed earlier, will provide the much needed (and often depleted) nutrients your body may be lacking, and help you recover lost energy.
Together, these four interventions: sleep formula; morning energy drink; energy B complex supplement; and an adrenal complex can make an incredible difference that you should begin to notice within 2-3 weeks of starting this program.
Allibiotic CF Fact Sheet
December 07, 2005 01:37 PM
Allibiotic CF Fact SheetNeil E. Levin, CCN, DANLA 03/09/05
LIKELY USERS: People seeking support of the immune system and intestinal flora
KEY INGREDIENTS: Allicin (“AlliSure” patented, stabilized allicin from fresh garlic); Olive Leaf Extract (Olea Europaea with 18% minimum Oleuropein content); Elderberry extract, from fruit/berry, 60:1 concentrate (equivalent to 2,500 mg. of fresh berries of Sambucus nigra); Oil of Oregano (wild oregano from Origanum vulgare) ImmunEnhancer AG (trademarked Arabinogalactan from Larch Tree, Larix occidentalis)
MAIN PRODUCT FEATURES: AlliSure is the clinically tested, patented and stable form of allicin. Not allicin potential, but actual allicin. Allicin represents the immune supporting nutrients of raw garlic, and is chemically similar to penicillin, though with different physical properties. AlliSure shares garlic’s abilities to help maintain healthy cholesterol and blood pressure levels, and also has been shown to raise levels of a key T cell to enhance immune system function. Like raw garlic, AlliSure has antimicrobial properties linked to its ability to react with sulfur-containing metabolic enzymes. Allicin is also shown in studies to play a role in controlling blood sugar and abnormal cell growth.
Black Elderberries have strong antioxidant properties, containing flavonoids like anthocyanidins. They have been studied in relation to inhibition of viral replication and of minor inflammations.
Olive Leaf has been used as an antioxidant, cholesterol and blood viscosity regulator, and vasodilator. But its most important use has been as a way to help the body deal with undesirable organisms in the vital respiratory and intestinal areas.
Oil of Oregano (wild oregano, wild marjoram) contains carvacrol and thymol, which are responsible for much of its antimicrobial activities. It also has some anti-inflammatory effects.
Arabinogalactan from Larch tree bark (ImmunEnhancer AG) can help speed the immune system’s response to undesirable organisms and is often compared to Echinacea. It has also been shown to promote the growth of beneficial intestinal bacteria.
ADDITIONAL PRODUCT INFORMATION: Patented and trademarked ingredients enhance quality controls and have clinical research. Rosemary Oil provides antioxidant protection for the capsule contents. Enteric coating protects the capsule from stomach acid to deliver its contents past the stomach. This helps to assure full potency and reduces the possibility of the oils repeating.
SERVING SIZE & HOW TO TAKE IT: One softgel twice daily, preferably with meals. Try one before using the full dose.
COMPLEMENTARY PRODUCTS: Probiotics, Antioxidants, D-Flame
CAUTIONS: Pregnant & lactating women, children and people using prescription drugs should consult their physician before taking any dietary supplement. Discontinue use if any uncomfortable side effects occur. This information is based on my own knowledge and references, and should not be used as diagnosis, prescription or as a specific product claim.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Josling P. Preventing the common cold with a garlic supplement: a double-blind, placebo-controlled survey. Adv Ther. 2001 Jul-Aug;18(4):189-93. (AlliSure was used in this study.)
Abramovitz D, Gavri S, Harats D, Levkovitz H, Mirelman D, Miron T, Eilat-Adar S, Rabinkov A, Wilchek M, Eldar M, Vered Z. Allicin-induced decrease in formation of fatty streaks (atherosclerosis) in mice fed a cholesterol-rich diet. Coron Artery Dis. 1999 Oct;10(7):515-9. PMID: 10562920
Ankri S, Miron T, Rabinkov A, Wilchek M, Mirelman D. Allicin from garlic strongly inhibits cysteine proteinases and cytopathic effects of Entamoeba histolytica. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 1997 Oct;41(10):2286-8. PMID: 9333064
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Chowdhury AK, Ahsan M, Islam SN, Ahmed ZU. Efficacy of aqueous extract of garlic & allicin in experimental shigellosis in rabbits. Indian J Med Res. 1991 Jan;93:33-6.
Eilat S, Oestraicher Y, Rabinkov A, Ohad D, Mirelman D, Battler A, Eldar M, Vered Z. Alteration of lipid profile in hyperlipidemic rabbits by allicin, an active constituent of garlic. Coron Artery Dis. 1995 Dec;6(12):985-90. PMID: 8723021
Elkayam A, Mirelman D, Peleg E, Wilchek M, Miron T, Rabinkov A, Oron-Herman M, Rosenthal T. The effects of allicin on weight in fructose-induced hyperinsulinemic, hyperlipidemic, hypertensive rats. Am J Hypertens. 2003 Dec;16(12):1053-6. PMID: 14643581
Feldberg RS, Chang SC, Kotik AN, Nadler M, Neuwirth Z, Sundstrom DC, Thompson NH. In vitro mechanism of inhibition of bacterial cell growth by allicin. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 1988 Dec;32(12):1763-8.
Focke M, Feld A, Lichtenthaler K. Allicin, a naturally occurring antibiotic from garlic, specifically inhibits acetyl-CoA synthetase. FEBS Lett. 1990 Feb 12;261(1):106-8.
Hirsch K, Danilenko M, Giat J, Miron T, Rabinkov A, Wilchek M, Mirelman D, Levy J, Sharoni Y. Effect of purified allicin, the major ingredient of freshly crushed garlic, on cancer cell proliferation. Nutr Cancer. 2000;38(2):245-54. PMID: 11525603
Patya M, Zahalka MA, Vanichkin A, Rabinkov A, Miron T, Mirelman D, Wilchek M, Lander HM, Novogrodsky A. Allicin stimulates lymphocytes and elicits an antitumor effect: a possible role of p21ras. Int Immunol. 2004 Feb;16(2):275-81. PMID: 14734613
Rabinkov A, Miron T, Mirelman D, Wilchek M, Glozman S, Yavin E, Weiner L. S-Allylmercaptoglutathione: the reaction product of allicin with glutathione possesses SH-modifying and antioxidant properties. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2000 Dec 11;1499(1-2):144-153. PMID: 11118647
Rabinkov A, Miron T, Konstantinovski L, Wilchek M, Mirelman D, Weiner L. The mode of action of allicin: trapping of radicals and interaction with thiol containing proteins. Biochim Biophys Acta. 1998 Feb 2;1379(2):233-44. PMID: 9528659
Sela U, Ganor S, Hecht I, Brill A, Miron T, Rabinkov A, Wilchek M, Mirelman D, Lider O, Hershkoviz R. Allicin inhibits SDF-1alpha-induced T cell interactions with fibronectin and endothelial cells by down-regulating cytoskeleton rearrangement, Pyk-2 phosphorylation and VLA-4 expression. Immunology. 2004 Apr;111(4):391-9. PMID: 15056375
Shadkchan Y, Shemesh E, Mirelman D, Miron T, Rabinkov A, Wilchek M, Osherov N. Efficacy of allicin, the reactive molecule of garlic, in inhibiting Aspergillus spp. in vitro, and in a murine model of disseminated aspergillosis. J Antimicrob Chemother. 2004 May;53(5):832-6. Epub 2004 Mar 24. PMID: 15044429
Tsai Y, Cole LL, Davis LE, Lockwood SJ, Simmons V, Wild GC. Antiviral properties of garlic: in vitro effects on influenza B, herpes simplex and coxsackie viruses. Planta Med. 1985 Oct;(5):460-1. PMID: 3001801
Uchida Y, Takahashi T, Sato N. [The characteristics of the antibacterial activity of garlic (author's transl)] Jpn J Antibiot. 1975 Aug;28(4):638-42. PMID: 1099271
Yasuo Yamada and Keizô Azuma. Evaluation of the In Vitro Antifungal Activity of Allicin. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 1977 April; 11(4): 743–749.
Duke JA. CRC Handbook of Medicinal Herbs. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 1985, 423.
Gruenwald J, Brendler T, Jaenicke C, et al. (eds). PDR for Herbal Medicines. Montvale, NJ: Medical Economics, 1998, 1116–7.
Mascolo N, Autore G, Capasso G, et al. Biological screening of Italian medicinal plants for anti-inflammatory activity. Phytother Res 1987;1:28–31.
Murkovic M, Abuja PM, Bergmann AR, et al. Effects of elderberry juice on fasting and postprandial serum lipids and low-density lipoprotein oxidation in healthy volunteers: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Eur J Clin Nutr. Feb2004;58(2):244-9.
Newall CA, Anderson LA, Phillipson JD. Herbal Medicines: A Guide for Health-Care Professionals. London: The Pharmaceutical Press, 1996, 104–5.
Yesilada E. Inhibitory Effects of Turkish Folk Remedies on Inflammatory Cytokines: Interleukin-1Alpha, Interleukin-1Beta and Tumor Necrosis Factor Alpha. J Ethnopharmacol. Sept1997;58(1):59-73. Youdim KA, Martin A, Joseph JA. Incorporation of the elderberry anthocyanins by endothelial cells increases protection against oxidative stress. Free Radical Biol Med 2000;29:51–60.
Zakay-Rones Z, Varsano N, Zlotnik M, et al. Inhibition of several strains of influenza virus in vitro and reduction of symptoms by an elderberry extract (Sambucus nigra L.) during an outbreak of influenza B Panama. J Alt Compl Med 1995;1:361–9.
OLIVE LEAF EXTRACT:
American Herbal Products Association. Use of Marker Compounds in Manufacturing and Labeling Botanically Derived Dietary Supplements. Silver Spring, MD: American Herbal Products Association; 2001.
Bennani-Kabchi N, et al. Effects of Olea europea var. oleaster leaves in hypercholesterolemic insulin-resistant sand rats. Therapie. Nov1999;54(6):717-23.
Bisignano G, et al. On the in-vitro antimicrobial activity of oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol. J Pharm Pharmacol. Aug1999;51(8):971-4. Gonzalez M, et al. Hypoglycemic activity of olive leaf. Planta Medica. 1992;58:513-515. Visoli F, et al. Oleuropein protects low density lipoprotein from oxidation. Life Sciences. 1994;55:1965-71. PDR for Herbal Medicines, 2nd edition. Montvale, NJ: Medical Economics Company; 2000:557.
Petroni A, et al. Inhibition of platelet aggregation and eicosanoid production by phenolic components of olive oil.Thromb Res. Apr1995;78(2):151-60. Pieroni A, et al. In vitro anti-complementary activity of flavonoids from olive (Olea europaea L.) leaves. Pharmazie. Oct1996;51(10):765-8. Zarzuelo A, et al. Vasodilator effect of olive leaf. Planta Med. Oct1991;57(5):417-9. OREGANO OIL (OIL OF OREGANO, WILD OREGANO, WILD MARJORAM):
Dorman HJ, et al. Antimicrobial agents from plants: antibacterial activity of plant volatile oils. J Appl Microbiol. Feb2000;88(2):308-16. Force M, et al. Inhibition of enteric parasites by emulsified oil of oregano in vivo. Phytother Res. May2000;14(3):213-4.
Hammer KA, Carson CF, Riley TV. Antimicrobial activity of essential oils and other plant extracts. J Appl Microbiol 1999;86:985–90.
Kelm MA, Nair MG, Strasburg GM. Antioxidant and Cyclooxygenase Inhibitory Phenolic Compounds from Ocimum sanctum Linn. Phytomedicine. Mar2000;7(1):7-13. Lamaison JL, et al. Medicinal Lamiaceae with antioxidant properties, a potential source of rosmarinic acid. Pharm Acta Helv. 1991;66(7):185-8.
Ponce MM, Navarro AI, Martinez GMN, et al. In vitro effect against Giardia of 14 plant extracts. Rev Invest Clin 1994;46:343–7 [in Spanish].
Stiles JC, Sparks W, Ronzio RA. The inhibition of Candida albicans by oregano. J Applied Nutr 1995;47:96–102.
Tantaoui EA, Beraoud L. Inhibition of growth and aflatoxin production in Aspergillus parasiticus by essential oils of selected plant materials. J Environ Pathol Toxicol Oncol 1994;13:67–72. ImmunEnhancer AG (Larch tree Arabinogalactan)
Corado J, et al. Impairment of Natural Killer (NK) Cytotoxic Activity in Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Infection. Exp Immunol. 1997;109:451-457. Currier NL, Lejtenyi D, Miller SC. Effect over time of in-vivo administration of the polysaccharide arabinogalactan on immune and hemopoietic cell lineages in murine spleen and bone marrow. Phytomedicine. 2003 Mar;10(2-3):145-53. PMID: 12725568
Egert D, et al. Studies on Antigen Specificity of Immunoreactive Arabinogalactan Proteins Extracted from Baptisia tinctoria and Echinacea purpurea. Planta Med. 1992;58:163-165. Gonda R, et al. Arabinogalactan Core Structure and Immunological Activities of Ukonan C, An Acidic Polysaccharide from the Rhizome of Curcuma longa. Biol Pharm Bull. 1993;16:235-238. Hagmar B, et al. Arabinogalactan Blockade of Experimental Metastases to Liver by Murine Hepatoma. Invasion Metastasis. 1991;11:348-355. Kelly GS. Larch arabinogalactan: clinical relevance of a novel immune-enhancing polysaccharide. Altern Med Rev. 1999 Apr;4(2):96-103. Review. PMID: 10231609
Kim LS, Waters RF, Burkholder PM. Immunological activity of larch arabinogalactan and Echinacea: a preliminary, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Altern Med Rev. 2002 Apr;7(2):138-49. PMID: 11991793
Levine PH, et al. Dysfunction of Natural Killer Activity in a Family With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Clin Immunol Immunopathol. 1998;88:96-104. Robinson RR, Feirtag J, Slavin JL. Effects of dietary arabinogalactan on gastrointestinal and blood parameters in healthy human subjects. J Am Coll Nutr. 2001 Aug;20(4):279-85. PMID: 11506055
Rolfe RD. The Role of Probiotic Cultures in the Control of Gastrointestinal Health. J Nutr. Feb2000;130(2S Suppl):396S-402S.
Salyers AA, Vercellotti JR, West SE, Wilkins TD. Fermentation of mucin and plant polysaccharides by strains of Bacteroides from the human colon. Appl Environ Microbiol. 1977 Feb;33(2):319-22. PMID: 848954
Uchida A. Therapy of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Nippon Rinsho. 1992;50:2679-2683.
Immune Renew Fact Sheet
December 07, 2005 01:07 PM
Immune Renew Fact Sheet Neil E. Levin, CCN, DANLA 02/10/05
LIKELY USERS: Everyone seeking a healthy immune system; People on low carb diets or non-whole grain diets that are lacking dietary beta-glucans
KEY INGREDIENTS: Astragalus Root Extract Powder 70% polysaccharides (200 mg). Proprietary blend of 8 organically grown “medicinal mushrooms” (200 mg)
MAIN PRODUCT FEATURES: Vegetarian formula. Polysaccharides in these US-grown mushrooms grown on organic brown rice include 1,3 Beta-glucans and terpenoids. Beta-glucans may stimulate the immune system in different ways. Triterpenoids may act as mild anticoagulants. Each mushroom may have a different effect; for example, one may stimulate T-cells and another Natural Killer cells, aiding in immune defense. Mushrooms have reported beneficial effects on liver health and promoting normal cell growth.
ADDITIONAL PRODUCT INFORMATION: Some extracts from these kinds of mushrooms have been used medicinally in Japan and China. The mushrooms include Turkey Tail, Sun Mushrooms, Maitake, Cordyceps, Phellinus, Lion’s Mane, Reishi and Shiitake. The astragalus extract also contains naturally occurring astragalosides. Mushrooms may help maintain normal cholesterol and triglyceride levels
SERVING SIZE & HOW TO TAKE IT: For everyday use take one or two caps per day, either with meals or on an empty stomach.
COMPLEMENTARY PRODUCTS: Vitamin C to break down beta-glucan structures for better absorption, Inositol Hexaphosphate (IP-6), I3C, Pometrol, mixed carotenoids and antioxidants
CAUTIONS: Pregnant and lactating women and people using prescription drugs should consult their physician before taking any dietary supplement. Do not take with AIDS drugs or if you have an autoimmune disease. Use with caution if using anticoagulants or blood pressure medication, as these mushrooms may have mildly synergistic effects to those drugs. Do not use if you have mold or mushroom allergies (or any sensitivities to mushrooms, cheese, etc.), which can potentially result in hives, rashes, breathing difficulties (including dry mouth or throat), stomach distress, diarrhea, or any other unusual side effect.
This information is based on my own knowledge and these references, but should not be used as diagnosis, prescription or as specific product claims.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
1. Hobbs C. Medicinal Mushrooms. Santa Cruz, CA: Botanica Press, 1995
CLA Extreme Fact Sheet
December 07, 2005 12:59 PM
CLA Extreme Fact Sheet Neil E. Levin, CCN, DANLA 01/31/05
LIKELY USERS: People wanting to control body fat; People wanting to increase their body’s lean mass (muscle tissue); People wanting an oil that helps to reduce pro-inflammatory body chemicals; Those wanting to prevent undesirable cellular changes through diet KEY INGREDIENT (S): CLA from safflower oil, L-Carnitine amino acid, Guarana Seed extract (20% naturally occurring caffeine), Green Tea extract (40% polyphenols), Chromium Picolinate
MAIN PRODUCT FEATURES: Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) is a derivative of linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid. The softgel is formulated with CLA (derived from safflower oil), Green Tea extract (polyphenols), Guarana extract (caffeine), L-Carnitine, and Chromium (III) Picolinate for synergistic effects of reducing body fat and increasing lean muscle mass.
OTHER IMPORTANT ISSUES: One study, titled "Efficacy and Safety of One-Year Supplementation with Conjugated linoleic Acid in Moderate Overweight," found that compared to placebo, CLA-supplemented subjects had Body Fat Mass index scores averaging 9% lower than the placebo group and had Lean Body Mass results showing lean muscle mass averaging 2% more than the placebo group. Analyses of blood tests showed no side effects over this one-year period. CLA plus Guarana reportedly reduces the size and number of fat cells in another report. CLA may also reduce insulin resistance and prevent undesirable cellular changes.
AMOUNT and HOW TO USE: One to five capsules a day, preferably with meals.
COMPLEMENTARY PRODUCTS: Alpha Lipoic Acid, Vitamin E, other Antioxidants
CAUTIONS: CLA may reduce insulin resistance, so people on blood sugar medications may not need as much of their drugs. Use with caution to avoid an overdose of your blood sugar medication when using this oil. Please notify your physician about your supplement use if you are using any drugs!
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Gaullier JM, Halse J, Hoye K, Kristiansen K, Fagertun H, Vik H, Gudmundsen O. Conjugated linoleic acid supplementation for 1 y reduces body fat mass in healthy overweight humans. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 79(6):1118–1125 (2004).
Tricon S, Burdge GC, Kew S, Banerjee T, Russell JJ, Grimble RF, Williams CM, Calder PC, Yaqoob P. Effects of cis-9,trans-11 and trans-1 0,cis-12 conjugated linoleic acid on immune cell function in healthy humans. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 80(6):1626–1633 (2004).
Aminot-Gilchrist DV, Anderson HDI. Insulin resistance-associated cardiovascular disease: potential benefits of conjugated linoleic acid. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 79(6):1159S–1163S Suppl. S (2004).
Bassaganya-Riera J, Reynolds K, Martino-Catt S, Cui YZ, Hennighausen L, Gonzalez F, Rohrer J, Benninghoff AU, Hontecillas R. Activation of PPAR gamma and delta by conjugated linoleic acid mediates protection from experimental inflammatory bowel disease. Gastroenterology 127(3):777–791 (2004).
Bergamo P, Luongo D, Rossi M. Conjugated linoleic acid - Mediated apoptosis in Jurkat T cells involves the production of reactive oxygen species. Cell Physiol. Biochem. 14(1–2):57–64 (2004).
Bouthegourd JC, Martin JC, Gripois D, Roseau S, Tome D, Even PC. Fat-depleted CLA-treated mice enter torpor after a short period of fasting. Appetite 42(1):91–98 (2004).
Brown JM, Boysen MS, Chung S, Fabiyi O, Morrison RF, Mandrup S, McIntosh MK. Conjugated linoleic acid induces human adipocyte delipidation - Autocrine/paracrine regulation of MEK/ERK signaling by adipocytokines. J. Biol. Chem. 279(25):26735–26747 (2004).
Cheng WL, Lii CK, Chen HW, Lin TH, Liu KL. Contribution of conjugated linoleic acid to the suppression of inflammatory responses through the regulation of the NF-kappa B pathway. J. Agric. Food Chem. 52(1):71–78 (2004).
Choi JS, Jung MH, Park HS, Song JY. Effect of conjugated linoleic acid isomers on insulin resistance and mRNA levels of genes regulating energy metabolism in high-fat-fed rats. Nutrition 20(11–12):1008–1017 (2004).
Cortes HN. CLA and body composition: Research shows conjugated linoleic acid can help maintain a healthy balance between lean muscle and body fat. Agro Food Industry Hi Tech 15(2):49–51 (2004).
Dauchy RT, Dauchy EM, Sauer LA, Blask DE, Davidson LK, Krause JA, Lynch DT. Differential inhibition of fatty acid transport in tissue-isolated steroid receptor negative human breast cancer xenografts perfused in situ with isomers of conjugated linoleic acid. Cancer Lett. 209(1):7–15 (2004).
Eyjolfson V, Spriet LL, Dyck DJ. Conjugated linoleic acid improves insulin sensitivity in young, sedentary humans. Med. Sci. Sport Exercise 36(5):814–820 (2004).
Field CJ, Schley PD. Evidence for potential mechanisms for the effect of conjugated linoleic acid on tumor metabolism and immune function: lessons from n-3 fatty acids. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 79(6):1190S-1198S Suppl. S (2004).
Hirao A, Yamasaki M, Chujo H, Koyanagi N, Kanouchi H, Yasuda S, Matsuo A, Nishida E, Rikimaru T, Tsujita E, Shimada M, Maehara Y, Tachibana H, Yamada K. Effect of dietary conjugated linoleic acid on liver regeneration after a partial hepatectomy in rats. J. Nutr. Sci. Vitaminol. 50(1):9–12 (2004).
Inoue N, Nagao K, Hirata J, Wang YM, Yanagita T. Conjugated linoleic acid prevents the development of essential hypertension in spontaneously hypertensive rats. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 323(2):679–684 (2004).
Kritchevsky D, Tepper SA, Wright S, Czarnecki SK, Wilson TA, Nicolosi RJ. Conjugated linoleic acid isomer effects in atherosclerosis: Growth and regression of lesions. Lipids 39(7):611–616 (2004).
Lamarche B, Desroches S. Metabolic syndrome and effects of conjugated linoleic acid in obesity and lipoprotein disorders: the Quebec experience. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 79(6):1149S–1152S Suppl. S (2004).
Malpuech-Brugere C, Verboeket-van de Venne WPHG, Mensink RP, Arnal MA, Morio B, Brandolini M, Saebo A, Lassel TS, Chardigny JM, Sebedio JL, Beaufrere B. Effects of two conjugated linoleic acid isomers on body fat mass in overweight humans. Obesity Res. 12(4):591–598 (2004).
McCann SE, Ip C, Ip MM, McGuire MK, Muti P, Edge SB, Trevisan M, Freudenheim JL. Dietary intake of conjugated linoleic acids and risk of premenopausal and postmenopausal breast cancer, Western New York Exposures and Breast Cancer Study (WEB study). Cancer Epidemiol. Biomarkers Prevent. 13(9):1480–1484 (2004).
Moloney F, Yeow TP, Mullen A, Nolan JJ, Roche HM. Conjugated linoleic acid supplementation, insulin sensitivity, and lipoprotein metabolism in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 80(4):887–895 (2004).
Ochoa JJ, Farquharson AJ, Grant I, Moffat LE, Heys SD, Wahle KWJ. Conjugated linoleic acids (CLAs) decrease prostate cancer cell proliferation: different molecular mechanisms for cis-9, trans-11 and trans-10, cis-12 isomers. Carcinogenesis 25(7):1185–1191 (2004).
O'Shea M. Clarinol(TM) CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid): the weight of evidence supports a safe and efficacious product for weight management. Agro Food Industry Hi-Tech 15(4):24–26 (2004).
O'Shea M, Bassaganya-Riera J, Mohede ICM, Immunomodulatory properties of conjugated linoleic acid. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 79(6):1199S–1206S Suppl. S (2004).
Rainer L, Heiss CJ. Conjugated linoleic acid: Health implications and effects on body composition. J. Am. Dietetic Assoc. 104(6):963–968 (2004).
Utah's Inland Sea Minerals – Topical Application
November 22, 2005 09:23 AM
Minerals provide a bounty of healing properties that have scientifically validated their use for topical applications. These applications have been shown to have powerful local and systemic effects. The health of ones skin and hair reflects inner health. Indeed, we judge the health of animals and humans alike by their outward appearance of fur or skin, respectively. The human skin is the largest organ of the body and is highly involved in the detoxification and maintenance processes of health. Skin not only excretes and eliminates toxins; it also has a tremendous capacity to absorb health supportive substances. The pharmaceutical industry frequently takes advantage of the skin’s absorptive capacity with drug therapies. Such therapies include the transdermal delivery of drugs like nicotine, hormone patches, progesterone creams and so forth. Thus, it is apparent that natural therapies can have pronounced and powerful health effects.
Clinical researchers have continued to document the clinical findings that have been observed for decades when it comes to the healing properties of topical minerals. Many of the studies on therapeutic baths have used minerals from the Dead Sea, an ancient inland sea. However, a similar and impressive array of minerals occurs in the other inland sea, the Great Salt Lake. Indeed, the high presence of magnesium from both inland seas appears to be the foremost active mineral. A comparison chart below clearly reflects the mineral analysis and similarity (see chart below). The following survey of medical research reflects a few of the many therapeutic roles for mineral salt baths. Of particular interest are the powerful effects of magnesium salts that are prevalent to both Utah’s Inland Sea and the Dead Sea that exhibit favorable effects in inflammatory disease. Arthritis:
103 patients with arthritic symptoms were treated for 1-2 weeks. They received various bath treatments with the ionic trace minerals. The study showed that the higher concentration baths offered the most impressive results. Those with the greatest physical limitation had the most pronounced improvement. Over 80 percent of the patients reported having less pain, 70 percent reported improved mobility and 60 percent were able to decrease analgesic use (i). In a different double-blind study, the use of warm mineral baths with Dead Sea salt demonstrated a lasting effect for patients suffering from degenerative arthritis. (ii)
In a clinical trial conducted by a leading research university in Germany, patients with atopic (eczema) skin disorders immersed their arms in a magnesium chloride rich bath. The participants immersed one arm in tap water the other in the therapeutic magnesium rich bath. The findings showed that skin hydration was improved and skin roughness and inflammation was reduced. The researchers stated “magnesium salts are known to bind water, influence epidermal proliferation and differentiation and enhance barrier repair.” (iii) Another study showed that magnesium salts when exposed to both psoriatic and healthy skin cells provided an important anti-proliferative effect (iv). Yet another study showed that the effects of mineral baths from the Dead Sea had lasting effects for upwards of a month after treatment. (v) Head to Head Comparison (vi) (vii)
Utah’s Inland Sea Composition Dead Sea Composition
By: Dr. Chris Meletis N. D.
Why does IP-6 need to be combined with inositol?
November 11, 2005 06:30 PM
Q. Why not just take IP-6 by itself? Why does IP-6 need to be combined with inositol?
A. When scientists studying this combination used plain iP-6 in the laboratory, good cancer preventative effects and good cancer killing effects happened. When scientists used plain inositol in the laboratory, again, good cancer preventative and cancer effects occurred. However, when IP-6 was combined with inositol, powerful cancer killing and cancer preventative effects happened. Clearly, IP-6 with inositol is the superior choice to cancer prevention.
Scientists are interested in the very unique way IP-6 works in our body. One theory of how this combination exerts its effects is that IP-6 mixed with inositol breaks down into IP-3 in the body. IP-3 is more active than IP-6, but is very unstable. That is why it is so important to use a product that is an exact combination of IP-6 and inositol, precursors that are both needed to yield the maximum amount of IP-3 needed for immune stimulation and cancer growth inhibition.
Comprehensive Prostate Formula-the Clinical Studies
October 13, 2005 04:32 PM
Helps maintain a healthy prostate gland.
Supports normal urinary function.
Comprehensive Prostate Formula-the Clinical Studies
Saw palmetto extract is one of the world's leading herbal products for prostate support. Widely-cited clinical studies conducted over the last fifteen years suggest Saw palmetto extract can produce major improvements in prostate-related urinary function. In clinical studies, Saw palmetto extract has produced measurable improvements in urinary functions and prostate size. Quality of life scores have also improved. The results with Saw palmetto extract have been duplicated in open trials and controlled, double-blind studies.11,12,13 For example, in a large open trial, 505 men took 320 mg of Saw palmetto extract daily for three months.1 The results were evaluated with various measurements such as the International Prostate Symptom Score, the quality of life score, urinary flow rates, residual urinary volume, and prostate size. After 45 days these parameters improved significantly. After 90 days of treatment nearly ninety percent of both the doctors and patients regarded Saw palmetto extract as effective as therapy for the prostate.
The changes in prostate health that accompany middle age are related to the hormone DHT, or dihydrotestosterone, a metabolite of testosterone. DHT levels rise, and DHT binds to prostate cells, accelerating growth of prostate tissue. Saw palmetto extract has been shown to inhibit 5 alpha-reductase, an enzyme that controls conversion of testosterone to DHT.14 Experimental evidence suggests Saw palmetto extract blocks the binding of DHT to prostate cells.15 The fatty acids and sterols in Saw palmetto are believed to be responsible for these actions.14,16 These include oleic acid, lauric acid, campasterol, stigmasterol, beta-sitosterol and others. Clinical studies have used extracts containing 85 to 90 percent fatty acids and sterols.
Like Saw palmetto, Pygeum contains natural sterols and fatty acids.2 Although the mechanisms for its effect have not been clearly established, animal experiments suggest Pygeum may work by inhibiting prostate cell proliferation and reducing inflammation.17,18 In several European trials, Pygeum has successfully improved urinary function. In a large double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 263 men were given 100 mg of Pygeum extract a day for 60 days. Urination improved in 66 percent of the men taking Pygeum, compared with 31 percent on placebo, based on subjective and objective tests.19
Nettles are approved by the German Commission E as effective for relieving inflammation in the urinary tract.20 As far back as 1950, German investigators have observed favorable effects on the prostate with the use of Nettle root. These initial findings have been confirmed through case studies, as well as double-blind studies, published mainly in German medical journals. In a recent double blind study published in the journal Clinical Therapeutics, 134 men took a combination of Nettle root extract and Pygeum extract over a period of 56 days.3 Urination was significantly improved.
As noted above, Drs. Feinblatt and Gant discovered that a combination of the amino acids L-alanine, glutamic acid and glycine has a positive effect on prostate-related urinary function.5 A controlled study of 45 men was conducted to follow up on these initial observations.21 The majority of subjects experienced complete or partial relief in urinary complaints such as nighttime urination and urgency.
2. Lawrence Review of Natural Products. Pygeum. Jan 1998. Facts and Comparisons, St. Louis, MO.
3. Combined extracts of Urtica dioica and Pygeum africanum in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia: double-blind comparison of two doses Clinical Therapeutics 1993; 15(6):1011-19.
4. Wagner, H., Willer, F., Samtleben, R., Boos, G. Search for the antiprostatic principle of stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) roots Phytomedicine 1994; 1:213-224.
5. Feinblatt, H.M., Gant, J.D. Palliative treatment of benign prostatic hypertrophy. Journal of the Maine Medical Association, March 1958:99-124.
6. Giovanni, E., et. al. Intake of carotenoids and retinol in relation to risk of prostate cancer. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 1995;87(23):1767-76.
7. Wallace, A.M., Grant, J.K. Effect of zinc on androgen metabolism in the human hyperplastic prostate. Biochemical Society Transactions 1975; 3(3):540-42
8. Badmaev, V., Majeed, M., Passwater, R. Selenium: A quest for better understanding. Alternative Therapies 1996; 2(4):59-67.
9. Fouhad, M.T. Selenium and cancer, chromium and diabetes: two trace elements that have merits as dietary supplements in human nutrition. Journal of Applied Nutrition 1979:31(1&2):14-17.
10. Vescovi, P.P., et. al. Pyridoxine (Vit. B6) decreases opoids-induced hyperprolactinemia. Horm. metabol. Res. 1985; 17:46-47.
11. Tasca, A., et. al. Treatment of obstructive symptomatology caused by prostatic adenoma with an extract of Serenoa repens. Double-blind clinical study vs. placebo. Minerva Urologica e Nefrologica 1985; 37:87-91.
12. Champault, G., Bonnard, A.M., Cauquil, J., Patel, J.C. Medical treatment of prostatic adenoma. A controlled test of PA 109 vs. placebo in 110 patients. Ann. Urol. 1984; 18(6):407-410.
13. Crimi, A., Russo, A. The use of Serenoa repens extract in the treatment of functional disturbances caused by prostate hypertrophy. Med. Praxis 1983; 4:47-51.
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