Search Term: " Insoluble "
Fiber doesn't just do wonders for your gut: It also can also keepbreast cancer at bay
April 23, 2019 03:29 PM
We're all well aware of the digestive benefits associated with high amounts of fiber in out diets, but research is now showing that increasing your fiber can actually reduce one's vulnerability to breast cancer. Problems with insulin and glucose levels are often a primary culprit in the development in breast cancer, and fiber actually has the ability to regulate glucose levels. Since glucose levels remain more stable after regularly taking in fiber, the odds of developing breast cancer can be reduced.
"On its way out, insoluble fiber brushes the insides of the colon. This helps eliminate harmful substances so that they don’t accumulate in the body."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-02-28-fiber-keeps-breast-cancer-at-bay.html
Pineapples offer you enormous health benefits and can even help thebody fight off chronic disease
March 07, 2019 09:27 AM
Pineapples are more than just a sweet summer treat. They are filled with minerals and vitamins such as B6, copper, manganese, vitamin C, and an enzyme called bromelain. Bromelain is a bioactive compound that has many health benefits. It improves digestive health through rich soluble and insoluble fibers that can stimulate food in the digestive tract. Bromelain is also a natural cough remedy and can be five times more effective than syrup from the store. A lesser-known benefit is bone strengthening due to the high manganese content. Copper in the pineapple boosts blood circulation and wound healing. People who have arthritis also can benefit due to the great anti-inflammatory properties found within the fruit. Rich in potassium, pineapple can also help lower blood pressure as it counteracts the effects of sodium. It is a a great fruit with great benefits.
"Because of these bioactive compounds, people can enjoy a lot of health benefits just by eating pineapples."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-01-13-pineapples-health-benefits-fight-off-chronic-disease.html
Asparagus tops the list for nutritious food
May 27, 2018 09:16 AM
Asparagus has been used for centuries due to its medicinal properties such as being a natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory vegetable. Asparagus contains a compound called inulin, which becomes a form of good bacteria after the large intestine leaves it undigested after consumption. It also can help lower the risk of cardiovascular disease due to how much fiber it has. Cooking asparagus can be quite effortless, requiring only lemon and a pinch of olive oil in a pan.
"Packed with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, asparagus has been used as a medicinal vegetable for 2,500 years."
Read more: https://www.prestoncitizen.com/opinion/asparagus-tops-the-list-for-nutritious-food/article_6d6912d6-4813-11e8-bdda-8339f8e68768.html
Fibre 101: What it is, what foods it's in, and why it's so important for your health
December 09, 2017 03:59 PM
Fiber may not sound very cool, but it's incredibly important for the body. Fiber, the indigestible part of many good foods, fuels good bacteria, helps to stabilize glucose levels, and can aid in weight loss. The three types of fiber -- soluble, insoluble, and resistant starch -- work together to ensure good health. To get more fiber, try whole grain bread, fruits, and vegetables. You may not be getting enough fiber if you are constipated or get hungry very easily.
"There are three main types of fibre – soluble, insoluble and resistant starch – and you need a balance of all three for optimal digestive health."
Read more: https://coach.nine.com.au/2017/12/06/11/02/what-is-fibre
Best fiber-rich foods for human health
June 24, 2017 04:14 PM
I really believe it's mandatory to nourish your body with the necessary amount of fiber that's needed on a daily basis.Why I say this is because as follows theirs more than just a few benefits of doing so.It was mentioned about the positive effects that a diet rich in fiber has on cancer fighting agents.As well as a few nutrients that we may not get from other food sources.Lets also remember it keeps our digestive system reguarl which in turn combats colon problems we may have without the proper amount of fiber.Just remember theirs loads of benefits from eating a proper diet.
"Regular use of split peas aids digestive health and helps reduce your blood cholesterol level."
Read more: http://us.blastingnews.com/food/2017/06/best-fiber-rich-foods-for-human-health-001760605.html
6 Big Health Benefits of Oatmeal
May 17, 2017 11:44 AM
Oatmeal is a popular breakfast. In other countries it is sometimes called porridge. It's inexpensive and sticks to the ribs as well. There are many reasons to eat it. Health is another which should not be overlooked. This outlines six health benefits to oatmeal that you might not know about. You can make it even healthier by adding fresh fruit, nuts or other healthy foods to it. There are many ways to invorporate it into your diet.
"oats are a great source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, which help keep you full in between meals, as well as regular"
Read more: http://www.health.com/food/health-benefits-of-oatmeal
9 health benefits of hemp oil and hemp seeds
February 25, 2017 06:19 AM
Hemp seeds are rich in protein, polyunsaturated fatty acids, omega 6, omega 3 and Insoluble fiber. They are a good source of tocopherols, or Vitamin E antioxidants. They're packed with minerals such as potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, calcium, and phosphorus. High in essential fatty acids, Omega 6 and omega 3, hemp oil can be used to increase immunity, counteract aging skin and improve cardiovascular health. Several studies show that the linoleic acid present in hemp oil can slow down the aging process and fight psoriasis.
"Hemp seeds contain arginine and gamma-Linolenic acid, both of which have been linked with a reduced risk of heart disease."
Benefits Of Having Dried Plums For Health
November 21, 2016 06:54 AM
Prunes are not just for older people anymore. Along with vitamins A and C, prunes are also abundant in soluble and Insoluble fiber. This helps clean out and strengthen the intestines, which will ease constipation and help lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar. It is recommended that each adult consume 3-6 prunes each day to help keep the body performing optimally.
"It emphasizes on how prunes can promote your cardiovascular health, help alleviate your constipation, control your blood sugar, prevent osteoporosis, avert cataract, help in anemia, fight obesity and ward off cancer."
vitamin d influences longevity by working at genetic level
November 07, 2016 09:54 AM
We know that constant badgering from our doctors saying that Vitamin D or any of the recommended vitamins are important to take but did you know that taking Vitamin D may help produce longevity in your life by working at the genetic level? A new study in worms shows that Vitamin D suppressed protein insolubility and prevented the toxicity.
"Excess vitamin D can raise blood levels of calcium which leads to vascular and tissue calcification, with subsequent damage to the heart, blood vessels and kidneys."
Fiber, Constipation, and colon health
Constipation occurs because of the lack of fluids in the stomach and intestinal tract. Dietary fiber helps the digested food retain water and aid in the movement of waste though the intestinal tract. There are two types of fiber, soluble and Insoluble fiber. Both of these are available in high fiber foods such as whole meal bread and in dietary supplement form.
How it works
Since constipation is a dry hard stool clog in the upper small or large intestines, adding fiber and water will eliminate constipation completely.
This fiber does not dissolve even in the digestive juices. However, it is important in adding to the weight (bulk) of digestive waste. With this bulkiness, the fecal matter will retain more water and pass smoothly through the intestines.
Constipation is caused by inadequate fluids in the lumen. Both soluble and Insoluble fiber helps in retaining as much fluids as possible into the fecal matter. With this, movements are easy due to the lubrication aspect of the stool.
If you suffer from constipation, add more fiber to your diet as well as drink an additional 6 x 12oz glasses of water each day. This will eliminate constipation.
Sources: www.everydayhealth.com, www.wemd.com
Why Should We Take A Multi-Strain Probiotic?
Most people taking a probiotic supplement or drink do so for the purpose of supporting digestive health. Probiotics increase the colonization of beneficial bacteria in the intestines and limit the proliferation of pathogenic or disease-causing bacteria. A healthy intestinal microflora is believed to not only enhance digestion, but also promote general health and boost immunity.
Probiotics Offer More than Digestive Health Support
Probiotics offer medical advantages that go past the extent of supporting digestive wellbeing. Recent studies demonstrate that particular strains of probiotics may be utilized to treat particular conditions. Here's a rundown of advantages of taking probiotics supplement or drink:
Blend of Probiotics with Other Ingredients
Products that contain probiotics and a blend of different fixings are picking up prevalence since they offer more extensive advantages for wellbeing.
The symbiotic blend of probiotics with prebiotics multiplies the development of solid microflora. Prebiotics are Insoluble fiber, for example, Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) and inulin, which achieve the colon in a genuinely undigested state. It is in the colon that probiotics feast upon prebiotics through a maturation prepare that happens in the colon. Amid this procedure, by-items called transient unsaturated fats (SFA) are delivered. SFAs help to keep up fundamental elements of the body and produce certain B vitamins.
Probiotics can be consolidated with proteins that help separate sustenance substances into easier structures to improve supplement absorption.
Consolidating probiotics with a multi-vitamin is famous yet stances challenges in assembling because of the touchy way of probiotics. Probiotics are delicate to light, dampness, heat, oxygen.
How Probiotics Manufacturers Can Provide Retailers with Reliable Probiotics Supplements
The greatest test that probiotics producers face is keeping the microorganisms alive amid the mixing procedure while guaranteeing strength amid timeframe of realistic usability. At the point when joined with different fixings that are similarly touchy, for example, proteins, compelling consideration ought to be taken to guarantee that the assembling and bundling procedure happen in a dry situation. Any dampness may initiate the proteins and wreck the probiotics.
Microencapsulation is a genuinely late innovation that guarantees the survival of probiotics amid surrounding so as to assemble and stockpiling it with an external covering. Microencapsulating shields probiotics from ecological defilement and forestalls unplanned blending of probiotics with different fixings in the recipe that may bargain its solidness.
Guaranteeing the Right Strain and Count
The wellbeing presenting advantages of probiotics are strain-particular. Diverse strains have particular capacities in the body and not all strains are valuable to wellbeing. Probiotic formulators must be knowledgeable in probiotic strains and the utilization of proper strains for the sought condition-particular capacities. Slight variety in the hereditary profile of strains could create undesirable results.
What is chitosan and how effective is it for weight loss?
Chitosan is a compound extracted from the hard shells of shrimps and other crustaceans. While it has many uses, it also claims that it aids in the elimination of excess fat in our bodies which makes it a perfect candidate for inclusion in any weight loss program. It can be ingested in the form of capsules, powder and pills.
How does it work?
Chitosan works by preventing the absorption and storage of fat before it is metabolized in the stomach. Basically, it is a fiber that absorbs fats when they enter the body. Therefore, the fat is broken down and does not get absorbed into the blood stream. Instead, fat and chitosan go through your small intestine or the ileum where they bind with bile acids. They then form an Insoluble gel that passes through the large intestine and is excreted out of your body. This means that instead of the fat being absorbed into the blood stream, it is excreted out of the body and no fat absorption means no weight gain.
There is still another way that chitosan helps in weight loss. Since chitosan is a fiber, it promotes cleansing which is important in the process of losing weight.
Another reason this compound seems to work for weight loss is that it makes the body not to crave for fattening foods. It neither starves nor does it make you feel hungry; this is simply because you continue eating fat, the only thing is that the fat does not get absorbed into your blood stream.
Now, since less amounts of fat are entering the blood stream, the body is able to burn the existing fat present in your body. Therefore, your body burns the fat in the body and you constantly lose weight.
Chitosan products contain vitamin C which makes it swell up. This promotes appetite suppression which is very important for weight loss.
What is Carob Powder Good For?
January 28, 2014 09:03 PM
What is Carob Powder
Carob powder is extracted from a plant, and it is successfully used a natural sweetener and a replacement for chocolate or cacao powder. It has several advantages over chocolate, and has a unique nutritional profile that make is useful for fitness enthusiasts, athletes and individuals who like to monitor their diet.
Papaya Enzymes and Food
December 05, 2012 03:42 PM
A healthy digestive system is a plus to everyone, and we would stop at nothing to feel at ease. The food we consume only works well with proper digestion. Anyone determined to get rid of heartburn, bloating and even constipation must think of the digestive system. Generally good digestion ensures toxic wastes are expelled and you remain light and active. Healthy nutrition and digestion go hand in hand, therefore choose what you ingest well. Papaya has been proven to enhance digestive health and purify your intestines.
Reasons why papaya is good for digestion
It is enriched with powerful proteolytic enzymes
These are enzymes act as chemical reaction stimulant in the body. They help turn proteins into amino acids which in turn aid in digesting scar tissues on the dermis and epidermis. Papaya enzymes help destroy intestinal parasites The intestines are a key component of the digestive process, and when damaged digestion cannot be completed. Papaya helps kill parasites that invade the intense hence making the whole digestion procedure smooth. As such eating papaya guarantees that only friendly bacterium remains in the intestines.
Papaya is loaded with fiber
Fiber is essential for efficient digestion, whether soluble or Insoluble its role in this process cannot be underestimated. First it keeps the digestive system healthy and helps in removing toxins from the body. Fiber in itself contains beneficial bacterial which softens waste products and bulky hence quick digestion. In addition the fiber in papaya prevents constipation; this makes it easy for stool to pass out hence preventing excess waste accumulation.
Papaya has vitamin C and Carotene's
These are also important components of these delicious succulent tropical fruit. Vitamin C and carotene are antioxidants; they help in the absorption of iron needed for digestion. Vitamin C maintains healthy gums and teeth necessary for digestion since the entire operation begins in the mouth. Carotene's on the other hand carotene's are easily absorbed by the intestines.
It's no doubt that papaya is not just tasty but has more to it. A cup of papaya juice or a few papaya enzymes pills a day will surely help keep your digestive system healthy. Therefore go for it and exude confidence all day long.
Benefits of magnesium chelate
June 23, 2012 02:31 PM
According to various authority websites on the internet magnesium chelate usage can result in positive effects for the human body. The fact is that people will need to balance its use and not take too much, because otherwise, like with any overdose, they will be in for some side effects.
The way it works
There are basically two types of magnesium out there and they number the Insoluble and the soluble version. The latter gets absorbed by the human body very well, but when it comes to the former, it will take some time until the body manages to dissolve and absorb it. One of the benefits of using the soluble version is that the body can absorb it very easily and after that supplement the entire system, maintain a healthy level of magnesium and improve the immune system. For adults it's recommended they would take four hundred milligrams of magnesium on a daily basis, depending on their size and gender.
The truth is that magnesium chelate is an amino acid that occurs naturally in the human body. Some of its positive side effects number improving the normal functioning of the heart, of the muscles, of the bones and also an improvement in the bloodstream of magnesium deficient individuals. There are also many people who choose to take magnesium in order to improve the quality of their sleep by calming down their entire nervous system.
On top of that, magnesium also showed positive effects in helping the body absorb potassium, calcium, decrease the risk of heart attacks, maintaining a low blood pressure and reducing high blood pressure.
Diabetes is a lifelong disease, but studies and experiments have shown that taking magnesium people will be able to defer it. Those who have a deficiency in this element will oftentimes feel weak, deal with nauseas and experience fatigue. In some cases it can lead to an impaired cardiovascular function and even seizures.
For a healthy cardiovascular function and strong bones, calcium is a must for everyone. More to that, if an individual has a low magnesium level this can be mainly because of a low blood calcium.
Guidelines for taking magnesium chelate
Many health institutes recommend that adults (women) who are between nineteen to thirty years old will take three hundred and ten milligrams of magnesium on a daily basis. After the age of 30, they should take three hundred and twenty mg per day. In regards to men between 19 and 30 years old and even beyond that, they should take four hundred mg per day and four hundred and twenty mg respectively. In case of an overdose (even though it's very rare) people will experience gastrointestinal distress and to avoid it, they should strictly follow the recommended dosage.
As people can see, taking magnesium can be quite beneficial for the overall healthy functioning of their body, yet as with any type of drug out there, taking too much of it can have a few undesired side effects.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Flax Meal?
February 21, 2012 08:01 AM
Flax meal is obtained after the flax seeds (brown or yellow/golden) areground into flour/powder which can be made into porridge or added into other foods/drinks so that those who consume it will be able to derive the health benefits that accompany the meal. In some cases flax seed meal can be used as a thickener in many food preparations hence imparting into the foods its components which can be enjoyed by many people across the population thus derive the health benefits that are associated with the flax seed meal.
Flax meal is considered very useful because of the following:-
It is rich in omega-3-fatty acids; this is one of the essential nutrients that the body can not synthesize hence it must be supplied from the diet for example from flax seed meal. The fatty acids play a very important role in fighting inflammation in the body and also breaking down the excess fats that may be present in the body. This is important as it will prevent many chronic diseases such as asthma, arthritis, cardiovascular heart diseases among others which pose danger to the lives of many more especially those who are overweight and obese. Most of the fatty acids that are found in flax meal are unsaturated which makes it very important in reducing body fat.
Fiber: Soluble And Insoluble
Fiber; flax meal is rich in both soluble and Insoluble fiber which is essential when one wants to reduce the level of low density lipoproteins (bad cholesterol) in the body as the level of high density lipoproteins (good cholesterol) is increased. This is possible as the fiber is able to initiate fat breakdown in various areas of the body which will finally help in stabilizing sugar levels in the body, promote the overall functioning of the intestines and more especially the colon.
Flax meal is rich in phytochemicals, ligans and antioxidants which play various roles in the body. For example ligans are very good in balancing female hormones which in the long run will help in fighting hot flashes. It is worthy to note that this fiber is important in women because it helps in preventing some forms of cancer in women. Flax meal is also important as it helps in boosting the immune system hence puts the body in a good position to fight ailments which may want to take advantage.
Applications of flax meal
As a food additive; flax meal can be added into other foods such as yogurt, ice cream among other foods thus making these foods more nutritious.
In baking; flax meal is usually incorporated in mixes that are used in making cookies and other baked products as it is able to withstand very high temperatures that are experienced in the oven. It improves on the consistence of the baked products and at the same time improving their nutritional content.
Other uses of flax meal include; use in recipes of food preparations and it can be used to replace fats and eggs which will make the food more healthier and nutritious unlike using shortenings and margarines which are unhealthy.
What Are The Health Benefits Of The Grain Quinoa?
February 13, 2012 01:57 AM
Quinoa is a gluten free seed rich in dietary fibers with creamy, fluffy and slightly crunchy texture. Its taste is somewhat nutty when cooked. It belongs to the family of spinach, beets, swiss chard and lamb's quarter.It is a complete protein grain with all the essential amino acids. There are nine essential amino acids known as the building blocks of protein. Amino acids help in building strong muscles and nourish the nerves.It is also rich in essential minerals such as manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, copper and iron.
Quinoa is technically a seed, not a grain of a goose foot plant. The name quinoa came from Greek words chen which means goose and pou which means foot. This is because the leaves of the plant of quinoa seeds resemble the webbed foot of a goose.
Quinoa has been cultivated as early as the 12th century by the Incans, the ancient people of South America. They referred to quinoa as the "mother seed",considered as a sacred grain and gold of the Incans.They believed that it is a gift from gods that possesses enhancing properties.The emperor ritually planted and sowed the first quinoa seed of the season using his golden taquiza, a shovel like planting stick. Quinoa gives energy and increases oxygen to the relay teams of bare footed running messengers who lived in the mountains with an altitude considered high enough where oxygen level is reduced.This is because they were holding ash from quinoa plant and cocoa leaves. This combination increases oxygen in their body to sustain the runners increasing need for oxygen. In can armies also used quinoa to energize their body from frequent marching for days. Quinoa is part of the native Indian diet to increase their resistance to prevail over harsh living condition in the high mountains.
Today quinoa is making its name popular in the industry of wonder foods.It is so high in protein that builds and nourishes muscle tissues. It is used to treat people with migraine, diabetes and atherosclerosis. It is a good source of magnesium that relaxes the blood vessels. Magnesium reduces attack of migraine by improving blood and oxygen distribution to the brain.
Magnesium combined with high dietary fiber found in quinoa helps in maintaining healthy blood pressure and prevents cardiovascular diseases. Fibers absorb and eliminate bad cholesterol.It prevents plaque that blocks the arteries and enhances blood circulation.This process prevents atherosclerosis, the hardening of the arteries due to fat deposits and plaque buildup that narrows the arteries.
Quinoa is rich in anti oxidants that shields each cells from getting damaged caused by free radicals, pollution, alcohol and medication. It boosts the immunity and increases resistance from stress. Anti oxidants and fibers prevent risks of cancer and diabetes.Obesity and overweight are the most common risk factor of diabetes. Fibers remove toxins and excess fats, improve digestion and maintain healthy body weight to prevent diabetes.While antioxidants enhances cell regeneration and repair. This process lowers risks of cancer.
Quinoa is highin Insoluble fiber thatprevents gallstones and helps in cleansing the liver. Whole grains like quinoa reduce asthma, allergic cough and wheezing in children. The protein in quinoa strengthens the muscle tissues of the air passage, thus prevents inflammation that narrows the airways of asthma patients.
What can you get from Too Much Fiber?
October 11, 2011 12:57 PM
Dietary fibers are plant food particles which cannot be digested and absorbed by the body. Fiber only adds roughage or bulk to the stool making it easier to pass out. It cannot be broken down into simpler compounds then absorbed by the body for cellular consumption. Therefore, dietary fiber is generally intact inside and outside the body. However, despite this fact, certain fiber may be dissolved in certain kinds of solvent such as water.
Fiber is categorized into two, Insoluble and soluble fiber. The former is a fiber which does not dissolve in water while the latter is a fiber which dissolves in water. Insoluble fiber significantly promotes the movement of digestive contents by increasing its bulk. This normal intestinal peristalsis then promotes regular bowel movement, thereby, lowering the risk of constipation or irregular bowel movement. Great sources of this kind of fiber include whole wheat flour, wheat bran, nuts and leafy vegetables. On the other hand, soluble fiber dissolves in water but is not absorbed by the body. After being dissolved, the fiber forms into a gel – like substance which alters the absorption of cholesterol and excess sugar thus regulating the blood levels of cholesterol and glucose. Popular sources of soluble fiber include oats, beans, apples, carrots, oranges and barley.
There are many great sources of dietary fiber. However, there are misconceptions on what fruit or vegetable contains rich amount of fiber. Among the commonly mistaken food items are lettuce, tomatoes and celery in the forms of fresh salads. Chemically, these fruit and vegetable contains little amount of fiber only. Another mistaken belief is that a food may be high in dietary fiber just because of its tag which states wheat, multi – grain, natural and enriched. Like for example, oat – bran doughnuts, cookies and grain chips are commonly low in oat bran fiber but instead high in fat and sugar. Therefore, be careful of commercial labels.
Great sources of dietary fiber mainly include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and legumes. Dietary fiber is important to the body because it can significantly normalize the individual’s bowel movement. Aside from such primary purpose, fiber can also greatly help in lowering the risk of certain diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Indeed, fiber is beneficial and important to the body. However, many questions have come out whether consuming more fiber can be good or bad to the body.
Certain clinical studies have revealed that consuming greater than 35 grams of fiber everyday can significantly influence the digestion and absorption of several vitamins and minerals. This may be technically valid. However, that certain amount of fiber is rarely eaten since most people eat only a small amount of dietary fiber. Therefore, this is not a significant threat to the health of an individual. The benefits of dietary fiber far outweigh the little possibility of adversely altering nutrient absorption and assimilation.
Also, rarely in certain individuals, consumption of more than 50 grams per day of fiber may cause intestinal obstruction. However, this chance is only very little since in most individuals this amount of fiber can improve instead bargain the health of the intestines.
How Does Additional Dietary Fiber Boost Colon Health?
October 05, 2011 04:34 PM
Properly functioning Colon Is A Healthy Body
Colon health and fiber is intertwined and inseparable. Fiber is very essential and necessary to keep your colon healthy and well functioning. Therefore, if you want your colon to work properly, adequate intake of fiber rich foods should be ensured all the time because if not, several problems specifically those that involves the digestive tract would occur.
The colon as most of us already know is one of the most vital organs for digestion. You could not live without your colon hence, it is truly necessary to maintain life. Through your colon, waste and toxins from the foods that you ate will be flushed out from your body because one of its chief functions is to get rid of the body’s waste products.
When your colon is sound and healthy, the evacuation of body waste and toxins would be on a regular basis. You can determine if your colon is functioning well if your bowel movement is one to two times per day. Through this bowel pattern, build up of waste and toxins in the gastro-intestinal tract would be prevented.
Regular bowel movement and elimination of waste is highly important to prevent the blood from absorbing detrimental elements from the colon because ones these toxins are being absorbed by the blood, it will reach the liver and kidneys which will add up to their work load thus, would lead to exhaustion and organ damage.
For us to prevent vital organ damage, fiber rich foods should be constantly incorporated in your meals. Fiber prevents and relieves constipation and for you to grasp the health advantages that it offers; you have to consume enough fruits and vegetables. Because of fiber’s importance it is very essential to discuss the two categories of fiber:
This particular kind of fiber is mostly found in nuts, vegetables, and whole-wheat flour. Insoluble fiber is highly beneficial in retaining water therefore making it a very effectual laxative. Insoluble fiber also aids in the formation of waste or feces.
This specific fiber is most of the time broken down by bacteria. It resembles a gel like form that is very effective in the evacuation of waste in the colon. Soluble fiber also helps in keeping the walls of the colon healthy and well functioning. You can grasp the benefits of soluble fiber by eating apples, carrots, oats, and barley.
Because of the kind of lifestyle and diet that the people are engaging in right now, there is a great need to reiterate that fiber should always be included in your meals. Fiber increases the bulk and softens stools hence, it would be easier to evacuate. Another significant benefit of fiber is the promotion of colon health as well as preventing disease conditions such as hemorrhoids and diverticular disease (presence of small pouches in the colon). In addition, healthy colon could also facilitate safe weight loss thus you will feel hunger less often.
When Should Probiotics Be Taken?
October 04, 2011 02:00 PM
Probiotics are digestive bacteria which are naturally present in the gastric environment. This type of bacteria is necessary for the proper digestion of food as well as absorption of nutrients. Clinical studies have shown that the digestive tract must contain at least 10 to 15 % good bacteria to have a healthy digestion. In addition, trace amount of bad bacteria is also present inside the digestive tract. This is also important for digestion because these bacteria produce essential enzymes that aid digestion and absorption.
The most popular probiotics is called Lactobacillus acidophilus. This kind of bacteria produces lactic acid inside the stomach when they reproduce. Lactic acid increases the acidity of the gastric environment thus enhancing digestion. The acidity of the digestive tract also helps protect the stomach and intestines from overgrowth of harmful microorganisms such as yeasts, spores, molds and bacteria such as Escherichia coli and Salmonella.
The population of good bacteria in the digestive tract is depleted when the individual is on antibiotic therapy or under prolonged stress. Antibiotics are non – selective. This means that they do not only kill the harmful microorganisms but also the good ones. Good thing probiotics can be obtained from the diet such as yogurt, buttermilk, kefir and other fermented products. In addition, probiotics can also be provided by supplements. Therefore, when the person is to have an antibiotic therapy, the physician usually prescribes probiotic supplement to replenish the digestive tract with the killed good bacteria.
Moreover, if probiotics are prescribed, another form of supplement may also be recommended to aid the activity of probiotic supplements. These are called prebiotics which are considered to be fibers, either soluble or Insoluble. These prebiotics does not increase the number of good bacteria in the digestive tract. Prebiotics serve as food for good bacteria thus making them healthy and strong against bad bacteria. Sources of prebiotics include fruits, vegetables, legumes and grains.
Other health benefits of probiotics are that it can enhance the health of the immune system and boost the intestinal barrier function. Probiotics also lessen the development of allergies to food and drugs. For lactose – intolerant individuals, yogurts with live and active cultures of lactobacillus acidophilus are recommended to relieve its disturbing symptoms. In addition, probiotics also has an anti – diarrheal property and at the same time helps in the regulation of normal bowel movement.
A good probiotic supplement must have at least ten million live bacteria. Experts also stressed that the good bacteria contained in a supplement must be that of the Lactobacillus strains. This family of bacteria is the only considered group of good bacteria which is strong enough to reach the intestines, bypassing the acidic environment of the stomach. Another helpful tip on what a good probiotic supplement must be is that the product must be guaranteed organic. Organic probiotics ensure that the bacteria are in its natural and live state and have not been destroyed with heat and strong chemicals during processes. Experts also suggest that you must choose those probiotic supplements in which the source is from organic vegetables.
Can Herbs and Prunes Help with Constipation
March 30, 2011 02:41 PM
Herbs and Prunes as a natural laxative
Herbs and Prunes must be the best digestive formula out there. It contains a select combination of herbs whose laxative properties are tried and tested for decades, namely: senna leaf, Chinese rhubarb root, Chinese asparagus, beet leaf, buckthorn bark, cabbage leaf, cascara sagrada bark, celery leaf, cranberry fruit, Culver’s root, parsley leaf, spinach leaf, and prune fruit. In addition to their long-standing association with alternative medicine, medical research has pointed to their active ingredients that are purgative in nature. These herbs not only relieve digestive problems such as constipation and indigestion but also cleanse the gastrointestinal tract, effectively disposing of toxins.
Induces Bowel Movement
There are several factors that may give rise to constipation, but in most cases it results from withholding bowel movement far longer than what is considered normal. In general, a healthy individual is expected to discharge fecal matter from the bowels at least once a day although it may vary from person to person. The rectum sends messages to the brain every time the final phase of digestion is about to take place, and not responding to these messages leads to reversing the direction of the feces, which are temporarily stored in the colon. However, the colon is not able to reduce the pressure the feces produce for long periods of time, leading to constipation. The unique formulation of Herbs and Prunes relaxes the intestinal walls and softens the stools, making it much easier to evacuate the bowels.
Alleviates Abdominal Pains
The phytochemicals that are considered the active ingredients of Herbs and Prunes include anthraquinones, such as senna glycosides, sorbitol, and isatin, such as dihydrophenylisatin, among others. These organic compounds are reputed for their laxative properties that soothe the muscles tissues within the intestinal walls and influence the releases of chemicals that sensitive the digestive tract to pain. Irregular bowel movement causes what we refer to as stomach pains, and more often than not the foods that we eat influences regularity. A balanced diet is named so because it promotes digestion as well as gives us the nutrients our body needs in right amounts. Herbs and Prunes works on the principle of supplying our body with all-natural, plant-based dietary fiber and phytochemicals that restores normal digestion.
Detoxifies the Digestive Tract
Herbs and Prunes comprises a significant fraction of both soluble and Insoluble fiber that are guaranteed to wash away toxins when ingested with ample amounts of liquids. As diet significantly influences human health, it is not surprising that the digestive system may be rendered susceptible to unhealthy foods. The alimentary canal is our first line of defense against toxins that the foods we eat produce. Plant-based foods that contain fiber remove by-products of digestion that otherwise accumulate in the bowels. In conjunction with phytochemicals, fiber is known to reach parts of the alimentary canal that play host to harmful microorganisms, the reason why plant-derived medications are often the cure to many diseases of the digestive system.
Herbs and Prunes
It is always recommended to keep a herbs and prunes formula on hand when irregularity hits. Grab yourself a bottle today!
What are Homeopathic Remedies and How do They Work?
March 25, 2011 11:28 AM
Homeopathic remedies have been in use for over a century in treatment of diseases. Homeopathy is considered a forerunner of modern medicine, but today largely classified as a form of alternative medicine. Medications prepared by practitioners of homeopathy are still widely available. Moreover, there has been a resurgence of interest in homeopathy in the past few decades. Germany in particular grants the title Physician of Homeopathy after a training program of three years while other countries require professional training in more accepted conventional medicine.
Potentization and Succussion
Repertories are the primary source of information for practitioners of homeopathy. These reference books point to a process called potentization, which works on the principle of systematic dilution of substances in a solution. Homeopathic remedies administered today use distilled water or alcohol as major solvents, with proponents of this alternative medicine believing that water has the capability of retaining properties of substances even when the molecules of the substance are no longer present in the solution.
However, this effect is only achieved through succussion, the proper shaking of solution, which must be applied between each process of dilution. On the other hand, desirable dilutions of Insoluble solids are possible to achieve by first reducing the size of the substance with the use of a mortar and a pestle. Potentization and succussion produce homeopathic remedies that are believed to display their well-documented potent pharmacological effects.
Law of Similars
Modern scholars consider Samuel Hahnemann to have single-handedly invented the alternative medicine practice of homeopathy. In fact, he coined the term homeopathy and outlined procedures known as homeopathic provings. He was a German physician who studied in several German universities and practiced conventional medicine before he developed the law of similars in response to medical practices of the time that are harmful in general, such as bloodletting. He gave up his medical practice amid the conviction that information on medicine was very limited and often conflicting.
All the homeopathic provings that followed the rise of homeopathy depends on the most important principle he called law of similars, which is believed to govern diseases and their treatment. Substances that produce symptoms similar to a known disease when taken by an individual in large amounts ought to bring about curative effects when taken in small amounts by an individual afflicted with the disease. Homeopathic repertories document the effects of a host of substances and their identified sources in a process called homeopathic proving in an effort to support the laws of similar.
Modern Homeopathic Remedies
The continued support for homeopathy comes from people who are seeking alternative forms of healing. Also, homeopathic remedies that follow standard preparation procedures of potentization and succussion have never been associated with any known adverse effects. While present-day doctors and medical professionals are particularly critical of homeopathic remedies, which they generally consider as placebo, they also believe that homeopathic remedies are the safest among all forms of alternative medicine.
Phytoestrogen, fish oil, and other Supplements may help With estrogen related diseases
July 27, 2010 12:19 PM
Many women fear breast cancer, as it seems out of control. In actuality, a woman’s diet is something within her control and it can be the most powerful force in significantly deterring breast cancer. One out of every eight American women experience breast cancer. Foods, natural herbs, and exercise can significantly reduce your risk, with just one change cutting your risk in half. The more estrogen a woman is exposed to over her lifetime, the higher her risk of breast cancer. There are both good and bad estrogens. Daily, we are bombarded with bad estrogens through cosmetics, plastics, metals, and toxins in the air. Good estrogens come from foods, especially plants.
Choosing organic foods and starting young women on organic dairy in particular is a great way to make preventative dietary changes. A diet full of fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and plant compounds supports the detoxification pathways and protects cells. This alone is a giant step on the path of disease prevention. Following are ten foods that can inspire you to make small, tasty changes to your diet and help you to feel in control of your breast cancer prevention.
Flaxseeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids and plant lignans and are the most powerful food you can eat to fight breast cancer. Try adding 2 to 3 tablespoons of ground flaxseeds to a blueberry-yogurt smoothie, or sprinkling on cereal, oatmeal, or wholesome muffins.
Turmeric, which is extremely popular in Indian cuisine, is an anti-inflammatory that’s 300 times more potent than vitamins E and C. This food can help to cut your risk of breast cancer in half. It also stimulates liver enzymes, which helps to clear the body of bad estrogen toxins. Adding ¼ teaspoon of turmeric to a curried chicken stir-fry or plain basmati rice is a great way to get more in your diet.
Women who eat diets high in fiber have a 54% lower risk of breast cancer. Insoluble fiber binds to estrogen in the colon, eliminating it from the body. Fiber also slows the absorption of carbohydrates and bad fats. Try starting your day with oatmeal that is topped with fresh blueberries and slivered almonds. A low-fat bran muffin and apple is also a great way to get more fiber in your diet.
Vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, and Brussels sprouts put up a good fight against breast cancer. Their indole-3-carbinols block estrogen receptors, which slows bad estrogen from causing breast cells to grow and divide faster, which increases the risk of breast cancer. Cruciferous veggies also contain a compound called DIM, which helps detoxify estrogen in the body. Women who eat the most cruciferous vegetables have a 40 percent lower risk of breast cancer than those who eat few if any. Try steaming veggies, sprinkling them with sea salt, and drizzling with olive oil.
Fish, which is known for its high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids, is also a great way to prevent breast cancer. However, vegetarians who prefer vegetable sources can stick with flaxseeds and occasionally eating wild salmon is recommended. To get more, bake a 4-ounce salmon fillet and serve it over a bed of quinoa and steamed broccoli drizzled with olive oil. If you’re not into the fishy taste, try purified fish oil supplements.
Other foods that can help to prevent breast cancer include green tea, soy, olive oil, mushrooms, and seaweeds. Green tea inhibits the growth of cancers and also help decrease the body’s estrogen production. An adequate amount of soy in your diet can reduce chances of breast cancer by 30 to 50 percent, as it contains genistein, a plant estrogen that has been proven to stop tumor growth, prevent metastasis, and shut off blood flow to growing tumors. Olive oil has the ability to suppress a gene in our DNA that is involved in tumor growth, while mushrooms boost the immune system. Seaweeds is rich in iodine, which is toxic to breast cancer cells.
Eating a healthy diet low in red meat and high in fruits and vegetables along with vitamin supplements can go a long way in the fight against cancer. Look to your local or internet vitamin store for additional information on vitamin supplements.
Psyllium Husk Fiber
September 23, 2009 11:08 AM
The Native Americans used psyllium as an eye-wash. It was also used to treat sprains and abrasions. Additionally, it was and continues to be used as a laxative to help relieve constipation. This herb contains aucubine, enzymes, fats, glycosides, mucilage, and protein.
When psyllium is taken internally it is an excellent remedy for a variety of problems in the digestive system. The herb can be used to help prevent autointoxication, if used over a period of time, from the re-absorption of toxins into the bloodstream by removing the toxins. Since psyllium prevents toxic re-absorption, it allows for added protection to the colon. This helps the body to fight disease and illness. The herbal fiber also works as a lubricant on the intestinal tract. Additionally, it helps with diarrhea.
Research has determined that psyllium is a useful treatment for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). IBS is considered to deal with an overly sensitive colon that responds to stress. This herb may help the colon by soothing, healing, and aiding in the elimination of toxins from the colon. Psyllium has also been recommended for diabetics. The herb produces copicous mucilage which soothes and heals the large intestines and cleans the colon. Psyllium does not irritate the delicate mucus membrane. Instead, it works to strengthen and restore the tissues. Jethro Kloss suggested the use of psyllium in cases of colitis and anal ulcers.
This herb is considered to be a safe alternative to drug therapy for chronic constipation when it is used properly. The husks from psyllium seeds are a great source of Insoluble and soluble fiber. They also serve as an intestinal cleanser and stool softener. Additionally, psyllium is a hydrophilic bulking agent, which means that it is able to increase several times in size when it is combined with water. This occurs because of mucilage, one o the main components of psyllium. Mucilage is a thickening and stabilizing agent that swells in water. When psyllium swells in the intestines, it helps to increase the peristaltic activity of the bowel. This bulks up stool and promotes bowel movement. Because of this, it is crucial to drink plenty of water when one is taking psyllium. Mucilage is also able to help soothe and heal inflamed tissue in the intestinal tract.
Studies have determined that psyllium is beneficial for lowering cholesterol and strengthening the heart. An article in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggested that dietary modifications such as psyllium should be used to lower cholesterol levels before turning to drug therapy. By adding mucilage, like that found in psyllium, to the diet, one can successfully reduce serum cholesterol levels. Recent studies on psyllium and other forms of fiber have determined that mucilage in fiber is responsible for inhibiting cholesterol production. Not only does psyllium reduce bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels, it also increases levels of good cholesterol.
The externally use of psyllium is helpful in dealing with skin inflammation and irritation. A poultice of crushed psyllium seeds is very beneficial. Additionally, psyllium is a great drawing agent. It is recommended for drawing the pus out of both boils and sores.
In order to obtain the best results when supplementing with this, or any herb, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen while on prescription drugs. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by psyllium, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
Fight Cold Sores And Build Collagen
April 29, 2009 10:18 AM
Lysine is an essential alpha-amino acid, in that it cannot be biosynthesized by the human body, and therefore must be taken in your diet or as a supplement. It is synthesized in plants from aspartic acid, and metabolized in the body to produce acetyl-Coenzyme A (acetyl-CoA).
Before discussing its action on herpes, we shall first have look at how Lysine helps with the formation of collagen. Collagen is a protein that is produced in the body from lysine and proline, another amino acid. In fact the primary role of amino acids in your diet is as building blocks to form the much larger protein molecules.
Collagen is fibrous, and forms the connective tissue such as cartilage, ligaments, tendons, blood vessels and skin. Even the external parts of the ears. It literally holds our skeletons together, and wraps the whole body up in skin, so if we had no collagen we would literally fall apart! Collagen is also used by body cells to form the matrix that the body cells use to attach to each other and is one of the most important types of tissue in your body.
It is so ubiquitous that over 30% of the protein contained in your body is collagen, and it is designed for its structural strength as opposed to its ability to take part in chemical reactions as other proteins are. Lysine and Vitamin C are essential for the maintenance and formation of collagen.
There is not a lot of lysine in collagen - only about 4%, but it is very active in the cross-linking that forms the fibrils of collagen. Fibrils are the hair-like structures formed in a triple helix arrangement by three protein chains twisting round one another. The fibrils are bundled together in a straight line that has amazing tensile strength. The tensile strength of collagen is, weight for weight, stronger than steel!
In order for lysine to take part in this process effectively, some molecules have to be hydroxylated and others oxidized, forming aldehydes. Things can go wrong here, and deficiencies in the metabolic process can lead to some heritable conditions, or diseases of connective tissue. Among these are lathyrism, Cutis-Laxa and the Menkes kinky hair syndrome.
However, lysine is a very versatile amino acid, and not only is it necessary for the biosynthesis of all proteins, but is also heavily involved in the production of enzymes, hormones and antibodies. It is an important component of the calcium absorption process, and also, as previously stated, can be used in the treatment of herpes simplex.
This form of herpes is known commonly as 'cold sores', and is a result of the activity of the herpes virus. Viruses do not reproduce in order to ensure the 'continuation of the species', but replicate. In order to achieve this it requires the help of another amino acid, arginine. This is a common amino acid whose sources include grains, seeds, peanuts, raisins and chocolate.
Lysine and arginine competes for the absorption and entry of tissue cells, and reduces the strength of arginine, so preventing the growth of herpes. For this reason a supplement of lysine can be used to reduce the effects of the herpes simplex virus, and lessen the symptoms of the cold sore.
However, it is not only cold sores but other forms of herpes that lysine can help to relieve. Herpes zoster is a virus that causes shingles. This virus is generated by the reactivation of the dormant varicella-zoster virus left in the tissues after chickenpox. It is a recurrent condition, and lycine can help to reduce recurrences as well as its severity. Apart from being an effective defense against herpes, and forming collagen, the amino acid imparts several other benefits to the human body.
Among these is osteoporosis. L-lysine is involved in calcium absorption in the intestine, and also helps to reduce the loss of calcium in the urine. In osteoporosis we have to try to make every calcium molecule ingested in the diet to be incorporated in the bone structure. L-arginine can work with lysine to enhance the activity of the body cells that produce bone.
Canker sores are often mistaken for cold sores, but they are actually quite different. They are small sores inside the mouth, and appear in the form of very painful ulcers. The cause is unknown, but is believed to be a virus, and lysine appears to help the condition. Although there have been no proper clinical tests carried out on its use as a remedy for canker sores, lysine appears to help, and a supplement is recommended as a treatment by many doctors. It will do no harm, and anybody suffering from these tiny but painful sores will try anything.
Although lysine deficiency is rare, it can occur, particularly amongst those observing a vegetarian macrobiotic diet, and also in athletes who frequently undertake vigorous exercise, especially with too little recovery time. The effects of a deficiency are fatigue, nausea, appetite loss, anemia, slow growth and kidney stones. The latter is likely due to a failure to absorb calcium, that L-lysine promotes, and the formation of calcium oxalate and other Insoluble salts in the kidney.
Dietary sources include beans and other legumes, and although it should be available in cereals, baked foods and doughnuts, for example, the carmelization of sugars binds the lysine to the sugar, and so reducing its bioavailability. However, you can also get it in cheese, eggs, tofu and red meats.
If you are taking an arginine supplement, you should consult your physician prior to taking lysine. The reason for this is that lysine and arginine share biochemical pathways, and arginine can reduce the effective concentration of lysine.
However, it has not been tested by the FDA, nor approved, and any use is at your own risk. This risk appears to be very small, although its manufacture is not regulated. However, do not let this bother you: the proof of the pudding is in the eating as they say.
Many have found lysine to be effective with collagen or herpes problems, and a supplement of between 3,000 and 9,000 mg per day is recommended for those with herpes viral infections. It is not recommended for children under two years old. Lysine is available at your local or internet health food store at discount prices. Look for name brands to ensure purity and quality of the product you purchase.
Another Great Cold Sore Remedy is Red Marine Algae!
April 15, 2009 01:20 PM
Thrombophlebitis is when inflammation occurs in the veins due to the formation of a blood clot in that vein. This problem usually occurs in the extremities, especially the legs. Thrombophlebitis can be considered superficial if it affects the subsutaneous vein, which is one of the veins near the skin’s surface.
In superficial thrombophlebitis, the affected vein can be felt and may be seen as a reddish line under the skin. Additionally, swelling, pain, and tenderness to touch can occur. If widespread vein involvement is included, the lymphatic vessels may become inflamed. Superficial thrombophlebitis is a relatively common disorder that can be brought about by trauma infection, standing for long periods of time, lack of exercise, and intravenous drug use. The risk of superficial thrombophlebitis can be increased by pregnancy, varicose veins, obesity, and smoking. Thrombophlebitis can also be associated with environmental sensitivities to allergies. This condition is usually diagnosed according to physical findings and a medical history that indicates an increased risk.
Deep thrombophlebitis (DVT) affects the intramuscular veins farther below the skin’s surface. DVT is a much more serious condition than superficial thrombophlebitis because the veins affected are larger and located deep within the musculature of the leg. These veins are responsible for the transport of 90 percent of the blood that flows back to the heart from the legs. Symptoms of DVT may include pain, warmth, swelling, and bluish discoloration of the skin of the affected limb. These symptoms are often accompanied by fever and chills. The pain is typically felt as a deep soreness that is worse when standing or walking and gets better with rest, especially with elevation of the leg. The veins directly under the skin may become dilated and more visible. Inflammation situated in a vein in the pelvis is referred to as pelvic vein thrombophlebitis.
The reason or reasons for the formation of the clots in the veins are often unknown. However, in most cases, clots are probably the result of a minor injury to the inside lining of a blood vessel. If the vessel lining receives a microscopic tear, clotting is initiated. Platelets clump together to protect the injured area, and a series of biochemical events is initiated that results in the transformation of fibrinogen, a circulating blood protein, into strands of Insoluble fibrin, which are deposited to form a net that traps blood cells, plasma, and yet more platelets. This results in a blood clot. Other possible causes of the formation of DVT include abnormal clotting tendencies; poor circulation; certain types of cancer; and Behcet’s syndrome, which is a condition that affects small blood vessels that predispose an individual to the formation of clots. The following factors increase the risk of DVT: recent childbirth, surgery, trauma, the use of birth control pills; and prolonged bed rest.
The following nutrients are recommended for the prevention and treatment of thrombophlebitis: acetyl-l-carnitine, coenzyme Q10, flaxseed oil, garlic, l-cysteine, lecithin granules, l-histidine, magnesium, MSM, Pycnogenol, vitamin C with bioflavonoids, vitamin E, zinc, and vitamin B complex. Additionally, the following herbs may be beneficial: alfalfa, pau d’arco, red raspberry, rosemary, yarrow, butcher’s broom, cayenne, ginger, plantain, witch hazel, skullcap, valerian root, ginkgo biloba, goldenseal, hawthorn, and olive leaf extract.
Natural vitamins are a great way to help prevent conditions such as these. If you suspect that you have thrombophlebitis, consult your doctor before trying to take the problem into your own hands. Natural vitamins such as the ones listed above can be found at your local or internet health food store.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Natural vitamins and herbs are not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.
March 29, 2009 10:08 AM
Constipation occurs when one has difficulty passing stools, or infrequently passes hard, dry stools. This is the result of food moving extremely slowly through the large intestine. From time to time, most people experience constipation. However, lifestyle changes and better eating habits can help to relieve the symptoms and prevent recurrences. Constipation usually results from insufficient amounts of fiber and fluids in the diet. Fiber can be found in plant foods like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Fiber that is water-soluble takes on a soft texture and is helpful in softening the stools. Insoluble fiber goes through the large intestine unchanged and is helpful in adding bulk to the stools to stimulate bowel contractions.
Other factors that can cause constipation include inadequate exercise, advanced age, muscle disorders, structural abnormalities, bowel diseases, neurogenic disorders, and a poor diet, especially a heavy consumption of junk food. Constipation can also be a side effect of iron supplements and some drugs, like painkillers and antidepressants. It is also common during pregnancy. High levels of calcium and low levels of thyroid hormone can also lead to constipation. Those with kidney failure are also prone to having problems with constipation. Constipation is often caused by dehydration in older individuals, with depression being a factor in people of any age. Some medications, like cough syrups, pain medications that contain codeine, antidepressants, iron supplements, blood pressure and heart medicines, calcium supplements, and some antihistamines can also cause constipation.
A small percentage of people with spinal injuries and other similar problems have constipation because the nerves that usually regulate bowel movement have been damaged or destroyed. A condition referred to as Hirshsprung’s disease makes the normal excretion of feces impossible because the nerves inside the bowel are missing. The nerve cells in the colon can also be damaged by long-term use of laxatives, which makes constipation inevitable. A thrombosed hemorrhoid, anal fissure, or a pocket of infection at the anus can create a spasm of pain that is strong enough to contract the muscles and prevent the evacuation of stools.
Constipation can cause a variety of other ailments such as appendicitis, bad breath, body odor, coated tongue, depression, diverticulitis, fatigue, gas, headaches, hemorrhoids, hernia, indigestion, insomnia, mal-absorption syndrome, obesity, and varicose veins. It may even be involved in the development of other serious diseases like bowel cancer. It is important to have regular bowel movements in order to remove toxins from the body. Toxins from bowel bacteria and undigested food particles play a part in the development of diabetes mellitus, meningitis, myasthenia gravis, thyroid disease, candidiasis, chronic gas and bloating, migraines, fatigue, and ulcerative colitis. People can have bowel movements as infrequently as three times a week and still not be constipated, but there are some health practitioners that believe that it is important to have a bowel movement every day.
The following nutrients are very helpful in dealing with and preventing constipation: garlic, vitamin C with bioflavonoids, apple pectin, chlorophyll liquid, essential fatty acids, a multi-enzyme complex, a multivitamin and mineral complex, vitamin B complex, vitamin D3, vitamin E. Additionally, the following herbs are also beneficial: alfalfa extract, fennel seed, aloe vera, ginger, milk thistle, triphala, cascara sagrada, goldenseal, rhubarb root, senna leaves, and yerba mate.
Adding a good fiber supplement as well as the above mentioned supplements can help one stop constipation and start normal bowel movements again. Natural fiber, vitamins, and herbs are available at your local or internet health food store. Look for name brands such as Source Naturals, Solaray, Kal, Planetary Formulas, and Natures Plus to ensure quality and safely of all your natural supplement needs.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Vitamins, herbs, and fibers are not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.
December 23, 2008 11:44 AM
Although it is important to stress that the fatty acids found in flax are essential, flax also contains substances called lignans. Lignans are special compounds that demonstrate impressive health benefits, as they seem to be responsible for assisting the immune system in many ways, along with helping to prevent some types of cancers.
Because flax contains lignans, it is an even more beneficial to the body when consumed in this form. Flax is one of the most abundant sources of lignans, a type of phytoestrogen that interferes with estrogen metabolism in animals and humans. This property gives lignans the ability to help in the prevention of both fat and hormone-sensitive types of cancer. Lignans also benefit the body by providing antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral activity that helps the immune system to function optimally.
All of the benefits of flax are still yet to be known, but it has been established that flax is also a good source of fiber. There have been several studies which confirm that flaxseed can be a cholesterol-lowering agent similar to oat bran, fruit pectin, and other food ingredients that contain fiber. Because flax packages both omega-3 fatty acids and soluble fiber together, it presents two ingredients which provide healthy blood lipid patterns. Flaxseed contains beneficial amounts of both soluble and Insoluble fiber, giving it potential cancer-fighting ability especially in colon cancer.
When selecting a healthy diet, it is important to consider your sources of essential fatty acids. Essential fatty acids are fragile and easily damaged by air, high temperatures, and food processing, so you are unlikely to get all of the EFAs that you need, even if you are careful to use vegetable oils for cooking. Most of the oil that we consume today has been heavily processed, which damages essential fatty acids. When choosing flax oil, you’ll want to take into account the same considerations, looking for oil that has not been damaged by processing and is packaged to block all light from contact with the oil.
Not all flax oils are the same, with there being a great deal of variation in quality and purity as a result in differences of how the oil is expressed. Most flaxseed oils are mechanically pressed out through an expeller, in which great amounts of heat and pressure can be generated. The higher the temperature, the better the yield of oil, but the lower the quality of oil. Many manufactures willingly sacrifice quality for quantity. The best way to measure the quality of oil is by taste, with the degree of bitterness being a close approximation of the level of lipid peroxides. The best source of high quality flaxseed oil can be found in health food stores where inventory turnover is highest.
Some good guidelines to go by in selecting a good flaxseed oil include: making sure the flaxseed oil is derived from 100% certified organic flaxseed; making sure the oil is as fresh as possible and not past the expiration date; making sure that the oil is expeller-pressed or cold pressed; using flaxseed oil that is high in lignans to gain the most benefit.
Guar Gum Fiber
October 27, 2008 04:21 PM
Guar gum is what is known as a soluble fiber, and it is well known that it promotes a healthy colon. You will not find soluble fiber in what you believe to be 'high fiber foods', yet it is a very important part of your diet, particularly if you have problems with your colon such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or even colon cancer.
Traditional high fiber foods, such as bran, leafy vegetables and cereals, contain Insoluble fiber that mechanically act as an aid to digestion and the movement of your food through your gastrointestinal system. Soluble fiber, on the other hand, is found in what are more commonly regarded as starchy foods, although unlike starch, the chemical bonds that attach the various sugar molecules together cannot be broken by the acids and enzymes used by your gastric system to digest them.
They thus pass through the body undigested, in the same way as Insoluble fibers, and so contribute to the mechanical system upon which the peristaltic pumping motion of the intestine depends. Because it is not digested, soluble fiber contains practically no calories since it does not contribute to the metabolism of your body. Fiber imparts many benefits in addition to enabling your intestine peristalsis to move your food through your digestive system.
For a start they don't contribute to your nutrition, either negatively or positively, but provide bulk to what you eat and provide help to your bowel movements by giving the intestinal muscles something to bite on. One of the benefits of such foods is their effect on your blood sugar and preventing the onset of diabetes. They can also help you to avoid obesity through providing virtually calorie-free bulk to your meals. Some fibers can bind chemically to toxins and certain fats, and can clean out your colon. So what's the benefit of soluble fiber over the Insoluble type, and where does guar gum enter the equation?
Basically, soluble fiber is water soluble while Insoluble fiber is not. Insoluble fiber is contained in cereals, beans and peas, fruits and in fact anything that doesn't dissolve in water, even when acted upon by that concentrated hydrochloric acid that is the basis of your digestive juices. Soluble fiber can help to prolonging the time that your stomach acids and enzymes spend in digesting your food. Soluble fiber is reported as conferring many health benefits, and guar gum and pectin are two of its major forms.
Guar gum is obtained from the guar bean, indigenous to India and Pakistan, but also grown in the USA, China Africa and Australia. The bean is edible to humans, and also used as cattle feed and fertilizer. TO obtain the gum, the seeds are dehusked and milled, and the gum is a whitish powder, not gummy as you might believe. However, when dissolved in water it gels when it comes into contact with calcium or borax.
It is effective as a laxative, due to the bulk it forms when dissolved in water, and can relieve not only constipation, but is also an effective treatment for IBS, Crohn's disease, colitis and other conditions of the lower digestive tract. Because it enables the colon to eject toxins and other undesirable waste products much more rapidly, guar gum is good for the health of your colon, and absorbs not only toxins but also undesirable bacteria.
Guar gum is what is known as thermogenic: it helps your body to burn fat by converting it to energy, with a resulting increase in your body heat. Not only that, but because it contains very little calorie content, it can bulk up a meal, help to make you feel satisfied and lower the glycemic index of your meal. It is used in many types of weight loss products and diets, although its uncontrolled use can be dangerous due to the potential blockage of your esophagus through insufficient fluid intake. For that single reason you are unable to purchase guar gum in non-prescriptive weight loss products.
Another of the benefits of soluble fiber, and guar gum in particular, is that it accelerates the absorption of calcium in the colon. Since calcium is normally absorbed in the small intestine, as opposed to the colon, this is good news for those seeking to lose weight. The reason for that is that the dairy products which traditionally contain most calcium tend to be high in calories, and guar gum enables you to get your RDA of calcium from a diet lower in these products by maximizing the calcium extraction and absorption right through the intestinal tract, and not only in the small intestine.
It has also been found to improve your tolerance to glucose. One of the problems that diabetics have is that sugars are absorbed mainly in the small intestine, whereas guar gum also enables it to be absorbed in the colon. Therefore, while the overall absorption level remains constant, there are no peaks and troughs since the absorption is constant through the entire intestinal tract rather than all the demand being in the small intestine. There is therefore less of a demand for insulin at certain times after a meal, so that the overall level of blood insulin can be reduced.
Guar gum is used as a delivery medium for certain drugs. Where it is desirable for a drug to be released into the colon as opposed to any other part of the gastrointestinal tract, this is the ideal substance. Guar gum can be degraded, if not digested, by anaerobic bacteria (bacteria that live in the absence of oxygen). Certain drugs can be attached to the guar gum molecule, and after consumption will pass unchanged through the stomach, duodenum and small intestine.
However, when it reaches the colon, the anaerobic bacteria that populate the large intestine degrade the gum, and release the drug molecules into the colon where they are needed. There are a number of delivery techniques in addition to using the gum itself, including using derivatives of guar gum, using a combination of the gum and other polymers and also multiparticulate delivery techniques.
Partially hydrolyzed guar gum also seems to increase the population of your bowel with friendly bacteria, or probiotics, such as lactobacilli and bifidobacteria. These can help to prevent or reduce the symptoms of many bowel conditions, and probiotic drinks taken with guar gum can be extremely beneficial to people suffering the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and other similar disorders of the lower intestinal tract.
So if you have a disorder of your lower intestine or colon, try a soluble fiber such as guar gum as a natural treatment, and where appropriate also take that with a probiotic. Most people find that their symptoms improve and in many cases they disappear altogether.
What Is Fiber?
July 21, 2008 02:56 PM
Fiber often has been called roughage, as it technically is a food component that is undigested and processed through the gastrointestinal tract. Since it readily absorbs water, it helps to add to the bulk that is required in order to form a good bowel movement. Fiber is often described as a complex carbohydrate, which consists of the polysaccharide and lignin substance that often gives structure to the cell of a plant and is the portion of plant food that is not digested.
Fiber which is Insoluble has the capability of passing through the intestines intact and unchanged. Unlike fats, carbohydrates, and proteins, fiber does not give the body nutrients or fuel for energy, and has no caloric value. Dietary fiber can only be found in plant components including vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Primarily, there are only two types of fiber: soluble and Insoluble, with some foods containing both types.
Soluble fiber is eventually digested in the large intestine, causing it to have limited bulking power. Soluble fibers dissolve in water and have often been linked to helping prevent blood sugar highs and lows, helping to lower blood cholesterol, lowering the risk of heart disease, helping to control high blood pressure, and encouraging friendly bacteria growth. Soluble fiber can be found in pectin, lignin, gums, mucilages, and other sources such as psyllium, beans, apples, pears, and oat bran.
Soluble fiber doesn’t usually seem like fiber. It is digestible and, when broken down, it creates a gel as it absorbs water in the intestinal tract. It does not bulk the stool to the extent of Insoluble fiber, but it does slow down the rate at which food is digested. Soluble fiber is found in vegetables, particularly onions, bulbs, leeks, and asparagus, and also fruits, including dried varieties.
Insoluble fiber remains undigested for the most part and promotes a faster stool transit time. Insoluble fiber can keep the bowel clean and operative and also help to bind dangerous toxins and hormones in order to promote better excretion. Insoluble fiber also fosters regularity in the body, contributes to better digestion, prevents constipation, and helps to lower the risk of bowel disease.
Insoluble fiber is primarily composed of cellulose and hemicelulose. Cellulose is a non-digestible form of fiber, found in outer portions of vegetables and fruits. Bran or seed covering of whole grains is another type of Insoluble fiber. Hemicellulose fibers remain unchanged and absorb water as they travel the digestive tract. They increase stool bulk and transit time, preventing constipation and conditions like hemorrhoids. Stalks, stems, peels, and fruit and vegetable skins are all made up of Insoluble fiber. However, the Insoluble fiber content of fruits is actually found in its flesh and stringy membranes, rather than its peelings.
The average person needs a good variety of foods that contribute to at least 35 grams of dietary fiber in our diet daily. Most foods contain both types of fiber, but the ones that are most fiber rich are not usually the ones that we commonly eat. Whole grain cereal, raw fruits and vegetables, split peas, beans, lentils, millet, and barley are the best sources of fiber. Unfortunately, statistics have shown that most of us only get 9 grams of fiber each day, if we are lucky.
Finally, fiber has the ability to increase fecal bulk by retaining water, decrease stool transit time, keep blood sugar levels more stable, lower blood serum and liver cholesterol, help prevent weight gain by slowing the rate of digestion and absorption and controlling hunger, expediting the removal of dangerous toxins, binding with bile salts to help decrease the risk of gallbladder disease and certain types of cancer, and creating the presence of healthier intestinal bacteria.
Fiber For Better Health
July 11, 2008 12:27 PM
We have been told that we must eat a certain amount of fiber with our meals because it is ‘good for us’. Most of us have been led to believe that this is because fiber promotes bowel motions and prevents us from suffering from constipation. It is also good for our digestive system. But how true is this, and just what are the real benefits of fiber in our diet?
First of what, what is fiber? Sure, we know there must be fiber in food such as cabbage, beans and celery because we can see it. But is all fiber actually fibrous? Of course not, so let’s first have a close look at what dietary fiber actually is.
Fiber is composed of these parts of a plant that are broken down by the action of enzymes in our digestive juices in the upper parts of our intestinal tract. Some fiber can be digested by the bacteria in our lower intestine, and some is not. So where does fiber come from? By that definition, fiber can be any part of your food, not only the stringy bits, and by definition are of vegetable origin.
Water Insoluble fibers increase fecal bulk. That’s the stringy stuff in celery and string beans. It is also contained in cellulose materials, lignin, wheat bran, whole grains and most vegetables. These have the effect of increasing the efficiency of the peristaltic movement of the intestine on the passage of chyme (the creamy fluid that exits the stomach into the duodenum) through your system.
The liquid and nutrients are progressively removed, and the fiber maintains the bulk needed for peristalsis to work properly. Peristalsis is the rhythmic movement of the intestine that forces your food right from your stomach to your rectum. It is also the basis of some forms of industrial pump that operate on the same principle. Without fiber this pump would be inefficient.
Soluble fiber includes the gum and pectin that are obtained from plant cells. They swell up the chyme, and slow down its rate of travel through the gastrointestinal system, although they have no effect on fecal bulk. Specific examples are oat bran, fruit and most vegetables (all plants contain both). A peach, for example, consists of a skin which is Insoluble fiber, and the juicy pulp beneath it which is predominantly soluble fiber.
Although a distinction is made between dietary and crude fiber, they both have their part to play. The term ‘fiber’ is a wide one and it cannot be said that fiber as a whole imparts a specific health benefit. The benefits of fiber are a combination of those imparted by the full range of types of fiber and their sources that are contained in the human diet, both crude and dietary, soluble and Insoluble.
So what specifically are these benefits, other than just the generalization that they are ‘good for your intestinal health’? As you likely know, it is the fiber in your diet that binds your feces together into a solid, rather than leaving it as a mobile liquid. Although around 75% of feces are liquid, the bulk of the rest is fiber, bacteria and undigested food.
Since Insoluble fiber makes feces bulkier and softer it can help treat constipation, where the stool has an excess of solid content. Any substance that absorbs water and swells can help with this condition. The same is true of hemorrhoids and a condition of the wall of the intestine known as diverticulosis. Once the inflammation has subsided, a high soluble fiber diet can help prevent a recurrence.
If you want to lose weight, a fiber diet can make you feel full without the calories, since fiber is calorie-free. There is also the fact that high fiber foods have to be chewed longer before they can be swallowed, and so you are liable to eat less in the same time. However, if you are determined, all that means is that you will have to lunch longer to get the same weight gain!
There is little doubt that a fiber-rich diet contributes significantly to intestinal health, and that if the correct amount of fiber is not taken then problems such as constipation, diarrhea, diverticulosis and a lack of absorption of nutrients will occur. The peristaltic pumping motion of the whole gastrointestinal tract, from the top of the throat to the anus, is dependent on solids rather than liquids. While a semi-liquid fecal consistency will pass through your body, it will take the bulk of the nutrition extracted from your food with it. It is fiber that is needed to bulk it up and to enable the liquid to be extracted through the intestinal wall and the fibrous solid to pass on through the colon to the anus.
There are other benefits of a diet high in fiber, though they generally depend on the type of fiber. Take cholesterol, for example. High LDL blood cholesterol levels are associated with atherosclerosis, and the consequent risk of heart disease and strokes, due to the oxidation of the LDL by free radicals. When the HDL lipids carry cholesterol back to the liver, it is destroyed by the action of bile acids. Since water soluble fiber binds bile acids, it figures that some types of fiber can promote the excretion of cholesterol from the body. The fiber most effective in achieving this comes from rolled oats and also pectin.
It has also been claimed that dietary fiber might be effective in preventing cancer of the colon. The theory is that bowel cancer is caused by toxins in the feces and if the fecal matter is expelled from the body quickly, the toxins will have less time to act. Fiber promotes the expulsion of the contents of the colon. This has not been confirmed, however.
What has been confirmed is that your bowel can collect mucoid plaque that sticks to mainly your colon, and is an ideal environment for parasites and yeast infections. The National Fiber Council has stated that most people do not eat enough fiber, and the average requirement is 38g a day for men and 25g a day for women.
So eat your fiber, because fiber can boost your intestinal health and wellness.
Ubiquinol Reduced CoQ10
April 07, 2008 01:05 PM
Ubiquinol, which is the reduced from of Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), has been recently added to the supplement offerings of many companies and has generated a lot of confusion along with its excitement. As a supplement, ubiquinol is somewhat new, but as a critical part of human metabolism, our knowledge of ubiquinol goes back to the discovery of CoQ10. Although CoQ10 is often thought of as a “static” nutrient in the context of nutrition, it actually interchanges between two useful states: the oxidized ubiquinone, and the reduced ubiquinol.
Coenzyme Q10 is a member of a family of important biological compounds which are referred to as ubiquinones. It is a lipophilic, water-Insoluble substance, which takes part in a large array of biochemical oxidation and reduction reactions. It was first identified in 1957 as an essential component of the energy production system in cells. CoQ10 and other members of the ubiquinone family have, since then, been identified as critical metabolic compounds in a range of aerobic organisms. Because of its crucial role in metabolism, humans have the ability to make their own CoQ10, although small amounts can be obtained through diet and as supplements.
In humans, CoQ10 is found in each cell in the body, but is particularly abundant in tissues which have large energy requirements such as the heart, liver, kidneys, and skeletal muscles. Smaller amounts can be found in the brain, lungs, and intestines. There are also substantial amounts that can be found in circulation, which are most often associated with lipoprotein particles. In total, CoQ10 in a normal adult has been estimated to be between 0.5 and 1.5 grams. Inside cells, about half of the CoQ10 is found within the mitochondria, where the final steps of CoQ10 production occur.
CoQ10 which is not located in areas of the cell and are not charge with producing cellular energy can amount to about 50-60 percent of the total CoQ10 pool. CoQ10 can be found throughout cell membranes and in other cellular structures such as the nucleus, cytoplasm, and endoplasmic reticulum. Some experimentation has also concluded that, while the final steps of CoQ10 production occur in the mitochondria, it can be exported to other sub-cellular locations.
While participating in various oxidation and reduction reactions, CoQ10 is cycled between two stable states: a fully oxidized form referred to as ubiquinone, and a fully reduced form called ubiquinol. CoQ10 cycles through these oxidated/reduced forms in order to achieve its metabolic goals. The cycle of CoQ10 is simple. Ubiquinone picks up electrons and then becomes ubiquinol. Ubiquinol then release its electrons and becomes ubiquinone again. Therefore, it would seem that CoQ10 has a very simple function of moving electrons, as the transfer of electrons is a fundamental step in the production of energy, the regeneration of antioxidants in cell membranes, and the construction of other important biological molecules. Each cell that is in the body needs a source of energy in order to survive. Therefore, sugars, fats, and amino acids are broken down in order to make energy.
In the mitochondria, CoQ10 is abundant, as it carries electrons to aid in the chemical reactions that burn cellular fuel and produce chemical energy to form ATP. Since substantial amounts of ATP are needed to power our cells, the importance of CoQ10 in human metabolism is easily understood. Both forms of CoQ10 are needed to transfer electrons between energy-producing reactions. Outside of the mitochondria, CoQ10 performs a slightly different role as a membrane and antioxidant. About half of the human body’s total CoQ10 pool may be functioning in this capacity. CoQ10 is one of the major antioxidant elements of the LDL particles and is also one of the first to be depleted when LDL is subjected to oxidation.
A discussion of CoQ10 would not be complete without mentioning its documented health benefits. Supplemental CoQ10 has been the subject of a lot of studies over the last half century, especially in applications for cardiovascular health. Many studies have shown benefits of CoQ10 in patients who are diagnosed with chronic heart failure, exercise-induced angina, hypertension, or those who have recently experienced infarction. There is also early evidence showing that CoQ10 may protect the heart from damage during chemotherapy, bypass surgery, or in diabetes. Aside from its cardiovascular uses, CoQ10 has been studied for its benefits in other conditions involving dysfunctions in cellular energetics, neurological degeneration, or oxidative stress damage. Although the clinical evidence for the potential benefit of CoQ10 in many of these applications shows promise, the variability in study outcomes proves it necessary to further research these areas for a more definite answer.
As we have previously seen, CoQ10 functions by cycling between two stable forms, ubiquinol and ubiquinone. This cycle results in the generation of cellular energy and the protection of membranes and lipids from oxidation. Dietary or supplemental CoQ10 also takes part in this cycle. Supplemental ubiquinol may have a distinct advantage over ubiquinone in its facility of absorption. Like many fats and lipophilic nutrients, CoQ10 is usually taken up by the intestinal electrolytes, packaged into lipid particles, and then released into the lymphatic system. From there, these particles are transferred into circulation where they are free to be transported throughout the body as needed.
The absorption of dietary CoQ10 is actually quite poor since it has limited solubility in lipids and depends on other contents of the gut. Some studies have measured that absorption is as low as 2-3 percent of the total dosage. One of the most thrilling consequences of the development of a stabilized dosage form of ubiquinol is its ability to be absorbed more efficiently than ubiquinone. There is evidence that CoQ10 must be reduced in intestinal enterocytes before the release into the lymphatic system. This, paired with absorption/reduction, may be a rate-limiting step of CoQ10 assimilation.
Dietary ubiquinol avoids this reduction reaction, and is directly available for absorption, which explains why ubiquinol-based CoQ10 supplements exhibit enhanced bioavailability over ubiquinone supplements. Preliminary studies in humans have shown that absorption of ubiquinol is at least double the absorption of ubiquinone. Comparisons of blood levels between trials also estimate the improvement in absorption to be significantly higher. Future studies are necessary to more accurately determine ubiquinol’s enhanced absorption, and what effect the patient age or medical condition may have on these results.
Fight Osteoporosis With Minerals To Build Bones And Improve Quality Of Life
April 02, 2008 11:06 AM
Bone consists predominantly of collagen and calcium phosphate. The collagen provides the connective framework for bone that is hardened by the calcium phosphate, and without healthy bones, your quality of life would be significantly reduced due to bone breakage. That is why it is essential to supplement this framework with the vitamins and minerals needed to maintain a good bone density at those periods in your life when bone density is liable to deteriorate.
This begins to happen between the ages of 30 and 35 and in women and accelerates during the menopause, when your ovaries stop producing the hormone estrogen that is necessary for the maintenance of healthy bones. Through time, your bone mass drops creating first a condition known as osteopenia, or reduced bone mass, and then osteoporosis, when your bones become brittle, porous and very prone to fractures.
Before we look at what can be done to reduce your chances of developing osteoporosis, lets have a close look at how bone develop so that it will be easier to understand the remedial action that can be taken.
Calcium is the most common mineral in the body, and the vast majority is in the bones and teeth. Phosphorus is also essential for healthy bones because as stated earlier, the bone consists of collagen that is hardened by calcium phosphate. The two main uses of phosphorus are in bone structure and animal metabolism, since phosphates are also essential for the vast majority of the energy-production chemical reactions within your body.
Calcium has other functions within the body other than bone, however, including exchange of fluids within and between cells, the maintenance of your heartbeat and in blood clotting. Vitamin D is necessary to help calcium be absorbed from your diet, through the membranes of the duodenum. More calcium is absorbed there than in the small intestine, and the calcium is also most available to the body when it is in a water-soluble form.
In fact, the reason that stones form in your kidney for example, is that the calcium is rendered Insoluble through the formation of calcium oxalate from the oxalic acid in foods such as rhubarb and soy. High fat diets can also slow down the absorption of calcium.
Estrogen plays a significant part in bone physiology, and is an important factor in the maintenance of bone density in women. Bone is living tissue, and is constantly being absorbed and remodeled throughout life. The part played by estrogen is to maintain a proper balance between the osteoclasts, the cells that reabsorb bone tissue, and osteoblasts, the cells that form new bone tissue.
When estrogen is deficient, this balance is lost and rather than bone formation and resorption occurring constantly, they take place in spurts so that first an area of new bone will be formed, then resorption will occur some weeks later, resulting in a structure where there are cavities between areas of bone. With time, these cavities will increase and weaken the integrity of the bone structure.
However, that is not the whole story. The effect of estrogen is to limit the active period of osteoclasts so that the areas of bone resorbed into the body are relatively small so that the removed bone cavity can easily fill up with new bone by the osteoblasts, which are invigorated by estrogen. When estrogen is deficient, not only is the activity of the bone-forming osteoblasts reduced, but the bone-absorbing osteoclasts activity is not regulated, and they form deeper holes in the bone structure than the osteoblasts are able to fill.
The net result is bone loss, with more bone being reabsorbed than is being formed. The end result of all this is spongy bone tissue with many tiny hole and also with larger areas of missing bone. Eventually this passes a critical point and the bone fractures during normal use. A simple jump from one step to another can fracture a bone at its weakest point, such as at the hip joint where the neck of bone is thinner.
Not everybody is at the same risk, and there are certain risk factors that you should be aware of, each of which could increase the chances of you developing weak bones. The condition particular affects white or Asian women, and those who have a small frame. If you smoke and drink an excessive amount of alcohol, you will also be more prone to osteoporosis, although exercise can help you to avoid it. An inadequate intake of calcium and vitamin D will also contribute, and magnesium is an essential part of strong bone development.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has carried out surveys that indicate American women to be taking only 50% of the calcium recommended to maintain a healthy bone density. However, it is not only dietary calcium that is needed for the formation of bone, but also magnesium and boron, and vitamin D also helps with the absorption of calcium in the gut.
If you are on steroids then they can render you more prone to brittle bone disease. Unfortunately the symptoms of osteoporosis do not become evident until there has been a significant amount of bone loss, which is why post menopausal women, and those over 65, should have a bone density scan (DXA test). It is important to understand that osteoporosis is not a disease as such: you cannot ‘catch’ it, but it develops as the result of a gradual reduction in the minerals that maintain the density of your bone structure.
Your diet is important in helping you prevent bone loss and osteoporosis later in life, and your lifestyle is also important. Reducing your daily alcohol intake will certainly help, and cigarette smoking further retards the activity of the bone-creating cells. Calcium and vitamin D supplements will help, but do not restrict yourself only to these.
If you want to maintain proper bone density through and beyond the menopause stage of life, you should take a balanced supplement that contains a combination of vitamins and minerals needed to maintain a healthy balance between natural bone loss and regeneration. There is more to it that only calcium and vitamin D, and a balanced supplement takes this out of your hands. You can rest in the knowledge that you are doing the best for your body and its bone density.
The Benefits of Ascorbyl Palmitate A Fat-Soluble Form of Ascorbic Acid
February 09, 2008 10:43 AM
The benefits of ascorbyl palmitate are due to the substance being a fat-soluble form of ascorbic acid which is otherwise known as vitamin C. Before discussing why being fat-soluble should be of benefit, let us first have a look at what vitamin C does for us and what its limitations are.
Most people know vitamin C as the vitamin that prevents us from getting scurvy, and that limes and other citrus fruits were given to sailors to prevent them from contracting this often fatal disease on long journeys. However, important though the protection it provides against scurvy is, there are many more important uses for this important vitamin. In fact some of them are closely connected to the symptoms of scurvy.
Among these are pains and swelling in the joints, and the loosening of teeth and hair loss. Scurvy is also associated with easy bruising and bleeding. All of these can be associated with loss of collagen, which is contained in connective tissues, bone and blood vessels. Collagen repairs and maintains cartilage, heals wounds and is essential for proper skin formation and the structure of ligaments, tendons, blood vessels, bones, hair and teeth. When we consider that one of the most important properties of vitamin C is the part it plays in the production of collagen in the body, then its effectiveness in alleviating the symptoms of scurvy is not difficult to understand.
Vitamin C is also a strong antioxidant that destroys free radicals that kill and severely damage body cells, and cause a large variety of undesirable conditions such as atherosclerosis and cancers, and also debilitating and painful inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. Many free radicals are formed in the body as by-products of our metabolism: the generation of energy from fats and blood glucose. Others are ingested in the form of cigarette smoke and other toxins, while yet other free radicals are caused by the effect of sunlight on our skins. Natural antioxidants such as vitamins A, C and E help to keep these free radicals under control and minimize their effect.
Another interesting property of vitamin C is in the synthesis of carnetine, a deficiency of which is also thought to contribute to scurvy. Carnetine is needed by the body to transport fat to the cellular mitochondria so that it can be converted to energy. Vitamin C is also believed to take part in the biochemistry that converts cholesterol to bile acids and so helps to maintain a healthy level of cholesterol in the blood.
The vitamin is therefore a very useful one for the body, but it has one fault. It is water soluble, and hence cannot be stored in the body but is expelled in the urine. Had it been fat soluble it could have been able to be stored in the body fats, in the same way that vitamins A and E are, and be available for use when required. Instead any excess that is not immediately used is lost, and a fresh intake of ascorbic acid necessary on a continuous basis.
Not only that, but it is only of use in areas of the body that the blood can reach. Fatty tissue is practically devoid of vitamin C, and many areas of the brain cannot be reached by substances that are Insoluble in oils and fats. It also finds it difficult to penetrate the skin and the walls of body cells. This is where the benefits of ascorbyl palmitate are useful.
Ascorbyl palmitate is a fat-soluble form of vitamin C and possesses all of the attributes of ascorbic acid. It is more easily absorbed by the body and can be stored in the membranes of the cells until needed. It is also a powerful antioxidant, the same as vitamin C, and is frequently used to prevent the oxidation of vegetables oils, such as on potato chips and other oily snacks. It also takes part in the biochemistry of the production of collagen and connective tissues.
The usefulness of this substance comes from not only from its amphoteric nature, whereby it has one end that is water soluble and another that is fat soluble, but also by the fact that it is also amphipathic, meaning that it prefers neither one medium nor the other, and tends to collect at phase boundaries, between oil and water phases. It is particularly effective in topical uses on the skin, because it is easily absorbed into the skin tissue, and more stable than some of the other forms of vitamin C. It is also believed to protect other fat soluble antioxidants such as vitamin E from oxidation, and also to help to protect blood cell membranes from free radical attack.
Although vitamin C is a very powerful vitamin, carrying out a multitude of tasks, ascorbyl palmitate has some advantages over it apart from the solubility difference. Its antioxidant properties are stronger than those of regular ascorbic acid and in fact rival those even of vitamin E, which it also helps to regenerate after its reaction with free radicals, and help to maintain a continuous supply of this powerful antioxidant.
It is also a chemically neutral form of the vitamin, and unlike regular ascorbic acid, does not cause inflammation of the tissues it comes into contact with. It can also reduce sunburn due to excessive exposure to UVB when applied to the skin, and is a very stable form of the vitamin. Ascorbyl palmitate also acts as an anti-inflammatory with certain conditions, such as psoriasis where topical application helped to reduce the extent of the lesions. In fact it appears to do most of what vitamin C does, but faster and with smaller doses.
So why is ascorbyl palmitate not used as the main form of vitamin C in supplements? The answer is money. Ascorbyl palmitate is considerably more expensive than regular vitamin C, and also normal ascorbic acid has some properties that the fat-soluble form does not have, such as its ability to rapidly pass through the body in the bloodstream.
However, it would make sense to take a supplement consisting of both forms of vitamin C, and so combine the best properties of each. Any vitamin C supplement that is designed for maximum effect on the body should contain at least 25% of ascorbyl palmitate, the balance being ascorbic acid. That is what to look for if you are to receive the combined benefits of both water and fat soluble vitamin C.
You Should Say: Please Pass the Broccoli, Not I’ll Pass
January 22, 2008 04:38 PM
'Please pass the broccoli': not something that many mothers hear from their children. In fact, not many children appear to like any green vegetables let alone broccoli. This is not important at such a young age, but there comes a time when the health benefits that broccoli brings become almost essential to your good health and well being. Parents are right, but your children won’t believe you.
Some say that the nutritional punch of broccoli is stronger than that of any other vegetable. Is this claim justified? Let’s have a look at the evidence and the facts and you can judge for yourself. First the ‘ordinary’ nutrients of broccoli: vitamin C (more than oranges) and A, folic acid and calcium and also lots and lots of fiber. However, this wonderful vegetable contains not only high levels of calcium, but is also the one of the richest vegetable sources of magnesium. Calcium needs magnesium in order to be properly incorporated into your bone structure, and so broccoli is a very important calcium/magnesium source for vegans that do not drink milk or eat any other dairy products.
It is also rich in protein, containing 3% by weight and is also rich in iron. It is therefore an important part of the diet of women during menstruation when iron is important to enable the blood to maintain its proper erythrocyte levels. A deficiency of iron in the diet of women can lead to anemia and render them more susceptible to infection. However, it is more than just iron that renders this vegetable an important part of the female diet. Broccoli has been established to be of major importance in preventing cancer.
It is likely the most potent anti-cancer vegetable in your diet, and it has been established over 20 years of study that broccoli can help to prevent cancers of the breast and the cervix. The indoles that it contains prevent estrogens from promoting tumor growth, and it also contains beta-carotene, a strong antioxidant that destroys the free radicals that can also cause cancer. However, there is more to broccoli than just that.
Broccoli contains the highest concentration of sulforaphane of all the cruciferous vegetables that include Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, rocket and turnip, amongst many others. When you chew broccoli, the glucosinolate glucoraphan is converted to sulforaphane, not by the enzymes in your saliva, but by the actual physical damage done to the plant by the act of chewing. It could likely also be generated by hitting it with a hammer! It is glucosinolates that provide the slightly bitter taste many people experience when they eat vegetables such as brussels sprouts and broccoli, and that likely renders them somewhat unattractive to children!
Sulforaphane is an isothiocyanate containing the NCS functional group, and is actually bound loosely to the sugar as sulforaphane glucosinolate. It is the loose binding that allows it be released on chewing. Broccoli sprouts are its richest source, and it is a strong antioxidant which is why it is so effective in reducing the possibility of certain cancers.
When fighting cancers, your body produces phase-II enzymes, and since sulforaphane induces these enzymes, it stops the carcinogens before they can damage your DNA. This is achieved through the enhancement of the transcription of the proteins that suppress the tumors. In layman’s terms, it is the generation of tumor suppressant proteins from DNA that kills off the tumors before they can destroy the DNA.
There is even more however. Indoles have already been mentioned, and those in question are predominantly indole-3-carbinol (I3C) and 3,3-diindolylmethane (DIM). The latter is generated from the digestion of the former and possesses very potent anti-cancer properties. However, this indole can affect your health in ways other than just as an anti-cancer agent. It can modulate the immune system in a way that renders it suitable for the treatment of a number of viral infections, and is also believed to be a possible answer to the problem of bacteria that have become resistant to antibiotics. It appears to operate synergistically with Interferon-Gamma, a cytokine that helps to prevent viruses from replicating within the cells of the body, to strengthen the MHC-I Complex, a part of the human genome that supports the immune response to viral attacks.
To put it plainly, broccoli can aid your resistance not only to certain cancers, but also to attack by viruses and some bacteria. It is not only cancers of the cervix and breast that broccoli can help to prevent, but also of the lung, prostate, larynx and bladder. I3C also helps to support the function of your liver in detoxifying your blood as well as supporting the cellular reproduction without which your body could not maintain itself after damage.
Broccoli is therefore an important vegetable to men as well as to women, not only for its anti-cancer properties, but also as a general antioxidant and consequent free radical scavenging properties. Its high fiber content is equally split between soluble and Insoluble vegetable fiber, and so meets your dietary needs of both types.
Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli have been singled out by health organizations the world over as essential to your diet, and you should eat them regularly. Once daily would be good, but more is recommended if possible. As stated at the start, strong tasting vegetables containing glucosinolates might not be attractive to children and younger people, but their phytochemical content (the foresaid indoles and isothiocyanates) render them very potent antioxidants and anti-cancer foods.
Taken in relation to other foods, an ounce of broccoli contains as much calcium as a glass of milk, more vitamin C than a similar weight of orange, and a medium floret has more fiber than one slice of bran bread. It is rich in vitamin A and of course there are the other antioxidants and anti-cancer phytochemicals already detailed.
There are many ways of cooking broccoli to maintain its nutritional content, but if you do not like broccoli, then there are supplements available. You can purchase pure broccoli extract or an extract from a mixture of cruciferous vegetables. The choice is yours, but of one thing there can be no doubt. Broccoli is the king of green vegetables, and the nutrients it contains are not available in any other vegetable in such a concentrated and easy to assimilate form.
Your mom was right: it's not just 'eat your veg', but 'eat your broccoli'. No nutritional advice could be better than that. “Pass the broccoli please mom!”
Which Form Of Calcium Is Best For You?
January 15, 2008 05:10 PM
There is no warning signal that lets you know if you have a calcium deficiency. Actually, a calcium deficiency is usually undetectable until damage that is irreversible has already occurred. A calcium deficiency is extremely hard to detect because the calcium level in the blood may seem to be normal, even if extreme cases of deficiency are actually occurring. This is because the body has a calcium bank, which can be found in teeth and bones. Calcium is needed in order to control muscular contractions such as the heart, blood-clotting, transmission of nerve impulses, and other requirements which take priority.
You may not know for sure whether you have calcium deficiency until you experience loose teeth, receding gums, or a bone fracture. At this point you will realize how brittle and chalky your bones have become. There is no known cure for osteoporosis, and it seems to be affecting people at younger ages more and more. The progression towards this illness takes years, but it is going on unnoticed in a great percentage of our population right as we speak.
There are many reasons why calcium deficiency is so widespread. First, calcium is not easily absorbed, as no more than 10-20% of what is found in foods is actually consumed and metabolized. This is because a meal that is high in fats can form Insoluble calcium soaps which cause calcium to pass through the system without being absorbed. Also, the calcium in certain vegetables can actually be inhibited from releasing by oxalates that are found naturally in foods such as rhubarb, kale, spinach, broccoli, grains, and cereals.
Furthermore, vitamins A and D must be present in the body in order for absorption to occur. Additionally, calcium requires an acid environment for absorption, which is a huge problem for older people who have less production of digestive acids. More so, amino acids are needed for the formation of calcium-amino acid complexes and magnesium and phosphorus must be present in a precise ratio’s. Without all of these factors, you can lose a lot of the benefit, no matter how much calcium you are taking in.
A great variety of calcium supplements can be found in your health food store. These supplements can range from a simple calcium carbonate to bone meal, dicalcium phosphate, dolomite, calcium lactate, calcium gluconate, and many others. Although they all contain calcium, they vary in the amount of actual calcium content from 40% in calcium carbonate to 9% in calcium gluconate. Calcium carbonate has the highest percentage calcium per gram, but it acts as an antacid which makes this supplement somewhat useless since calcium can only be absorbed in an acid environment.
Acid breaks down the bonds between the calcium element and its bonding partner like carbonate or amino acid chelate. Calcium Carbonate has a carbon bond the strongest bond of its kind; this makes it extremely unwise for those people who are older or suffer from a digestive acid deficiency. Calcium carbonate that is derived from oyster shells is no different from any other form. However, oyster shells carry an additional risk of being contaminated with naturally occurring heavy metals found in the oyster bed environment. Calcium phosphate is probably the best source of calcium, since the principle calcium in the body is actually calcium hydrogen phosphate which is easy to digest.
Whether you choose calcium carbonate or calcium citrate, ask your local health food store which calcium is best for you depending on your age and whether you have a digestion disorder or not. With poor diets and lack of exercise, calcium supplementation is a must for most people. Have you had your calcium today?
Beyond Bran Fiber
December 25, 2007 08:35 AM
At one point in time, when you went to the health food store you usually only had choice of wheat bran, which is a good source of the Insoluble fiber that helps your digestive system stay on track, or oat bran, which contains the soluble fiber that helps lower cholesterol. Although both of these bran’s are still popular, as they have good reason to be, remaining excellent sources of dietary fiber, these days store shelves are gathering more and more fiber supplements ranging from encapsulated forms to powders and specialized to deal with a variety of health concerns.
Insoluble fiber has the ability to draw water into the intestines, preventing constipation and keeping waste matter from decaying within the body. However, it is the many types of soluble fiber that science has recently started investigating for health benefits. Part of soluble fiber’s value is closely related to its mechanical action, as it forms a thick gel within the digestive track that moves slowly to stop sugar from entering the body too quickly, therefore, helping to keep glucose levels down and carrying some fat and sugar out of the body completely. Additionally, when soluble fibers gel up it helps to reduce blood level cholesterol by trapping bile preventing the bile from doing its action (breaking down fats in the digestive tract so the body can absorb it). Unlike Insoluble fiber, soluble fiber undergoes fermentation inside the colon to produce fatty acids that do a little bit of everything, including: helping the body digest food, protecting against polyps, stimulating immunity, increasing mineral absorption, and helping to keep cholesterol and glucose levels in check.
Soluble fiber is getting large amounts of research reviews. One study concluded that people who ate the least fiber are 63% more likely to have high levels of CRP (C-reactive protein). CRP is an inflammation marker that is associated with cardiovascular risk. Another study proved that flax seed improved glucose control. Another fiber source, psyllium, has been shown to bring relief to people with Chron’s disease, an inflammatory intestinal disorder.
Flax seed and psyllium are two of the best known types of soluble fiber available, but there are other types that aren’t as well known. Others including arabinogalactan (AG) have been shown to have a special affinity for natural killer cells. Beta-glucans are another form of fiber that can help boost immunity. Lignans, which are found in flax, have been shown to cause lower breast-cancer rates. Fenugreek is a spice that is rich in galactomannan, a heart-healthy fiber. Some fiber formulations pair up different kinds of fiber with complementary herbs. An example of this is Garcinia cambogia and Gymnema sylvestre, which can be used for glucose control; or astragalus, Echinacea, olive leaf, and shiitake to assist the immune system. Some supplements even provide natural enzymes which help prevent bloating.
It is, of course, important to eat a healthy and well-balanced diet. However, thanks to supplementation that is designed specifically for certain health concerns, it has become much easier to find the additional fiber that is needed by your body, no matter what kind of fiber that is. A large selection of fiber bran supplements can be found at your local or internet health food store.
Milk Thistle May Help With Cirrhosis, Gallstones, and Hepatitis Liver Problems
November 14, 2007 12:34 PM
Milk thistle, botanically Silybum Adans, is a member of the daisy family that is native to the Mediterranean, the Middle East and North Africa but has also been introduced to California and parts of the eastern side of the USA, and can help with problems such as cirrhosis, gallstones and hepatitis. Although it has been recorded as being used in medieval times as a tonic for the liver, it is only relatively recently that its chemical components have been investigated. Analysis indicated the presence of hitherto unknown flavonoids which were given the name of silymarin. In general, flavonoids are strong antioxidants found in many fruits and vegetables that eat up the free radicals that cause so much damage to our bodies.
Free radicals are very unstable molecules that are generated through pollution, such as smoking, car fumes, perticides etc, and that destroy body cells accelerating aging. They also oxidise the low density lipids (LDL) that carry water-Insoluble cholesterol through the blood to the arteries where it is needed to repair damage, resulting in excess deposition and the atherosclerosis that can cause strokes and heart disease.
Antioxidants mop these up like a sponge, and are some of the healthiest types of molecules that we can consume. The silymarin group of flavonoids are particularly attracted to the liver where they act as antihepatoxic agents that prevent the liver from becoming poisoned. But why should the liver be poisoned I can hear you ask, and what are the poisons involved? Can we avoid them? It is a very relevant question, and one that will make you wonder, every time you leave your home, especially if you live in a big city or an industrialized area.
Smoking cigarettes, working with volatile organic compounds that you can breathe in, such as paint and printing ink solvents, the exhaust fumes of cars and diesel engines, factory chimneys belching out tons of smoke, analgesics such as paracetamol, pesticides on your fruit and vegetables that you have failed to wash off, alcohol, etc, etc, etc…
All of these have to be removed from your body or you will die, awash with all these poisons that you have ingested, some deliberately and some not. The organ that does this is your liver: the powerhouse chemical plant of your body that carries out millions of biochemical reactions every day. Your liver converts all of these poisons into molecules that can be flushed away through your body naturally. However it places great stresses upon it, and even your liver needs a rest sometimes, or even just a little rejuvenating tonic would keep it happy.
Milk thistle has been used for just that purpose, especially when the liver has been toxified with excess alcohol, pesticide poisoning or even hepatitis. The silymarin initially coats the cells of the liver by binding to the cell membranes of the cell walls, so that the toxins are hindered from entering the cells. Its antioxidant properties then neutralise any free radicals present that are causing the damage to the liver cells.
It also helps to stimulate the production of proteins to help the healing process, and reduces the fibrosis that is the development of fibrous masses outside the liver cells caused by damaged cells excreting materials such as collagens outside the cells into the general body of the liver. Finally, milk thistle helps to prevent the activity of the immune system in causing inflammation of the damaged cells.
Silymarin acts very specifically on the liver, and is often used by physicians in the treatment of such liver conditions as jaundice, hepatitis, liver cancer and cirrhosis. In addition to its own effects it appears that it stimulates the production of glutathione that is also a very powerful natural tripeptide antioxidant produced by the body when it is under oxidative stress. Its effect on cancer and some diseases is not curative, but to allow the liver to continue to detoxify the body when otherwise it might fail and lead to toxicity problems from which the patient might not be able to recover.
Due to the remarkable regenerative powers of the liver, milk thistle is able to stimulate it into repairing its damage and grow fresh cells to replace the damaged ones. This is the reason for its effectiveness in otherwise very serious degenerative diseases. It is often prescribed by doctors for patients who are taking a number of different medications. Which help the liver to metabolize these medications, since without it, it might struggle to provide the true efficacy of the prescribed drugs.
So far we have been concentrating on the liver, but milk thistle has other properties not connected directly with the hepatic function. It can help to promote the production of bile in the gall bladder and so give the digestive system a boost when needed, where it also acts as a mild laxative. However, it can also help patients suffering from both lose stools and constipation due its effect. It can also help to relieve gallstones, though medical tests are generally carried out first to ensure that they are not too large for the milk thistle to handle.
It is also an anti-inflammatory, and is useful in the treatment of acne and other inflammatory responses, and also for inflammations in the gall bladder, kidney and bladder. There are few serious side effects, although, as milk thistle rids the body of toxins, these toxins can cause problems such as diarrhea, headaches and abdominal pain. Keep in mind that you are releasing poisons from the liver into your system so that they can be expelled by the usual means, and they will put up a fight along the way. However, the milk thistle will usually win in the end.
There currently appear to be no long term issues with taking milk thistle as a supplement over a long period, and it is good way to maintain a healthy liver. Keep in mind that the liver is the body’s chemical plant, where most of the biochemical reactions of life take place, and without we cannot survive. It makes sense, therefore, to look after your liver, and milk thistle is one way of doing that; some would say the best way.
So remember that, although milk thistle may help with cirrhosis, gallstones and hepatitis liver problems, you should be prepared for a short struggle before it wins the day. Always consult your family physician for a clear diagnosis before self prescribing herbs as treatment. Your physician can advise you as the correct course of action to take once diagnosed with a liver blood test first. But, to boost overall health and wellness milk thistle is a great herbal supplement to take on a daily basis.
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.
More evidence supporting high-fiber diet…
April 15, 2006 01:40 PM
More evidence supporting high-fiber diet… Eating a diet high in fiber significantly lowered levels of c-reactive protein (CRP), which is associated with inflammation, diabetes, and heart disease. Increased levels of CRP are a good predictor of the onset of both type-2_diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Published in the American journal of clinical nutrition (2006, vol.83, no.4: 760-766), the prospective observational study measured usual intake of carbohydrate, protein, fat and fiber. Over 500 subjects with an average age of 48 participated in the year-long study. Insoluble fiber intake was associated with 68 percent reduction in CRP levels, while soluble fiber was associated with a 42 percent reduction.
HDL Booster - Boost your good cholesterol
March 16, 2006 12:51 PM
(Product No. 02922)
HDL Booster is a physician-developed dietary supplement that has been clinically shown to increase good cholesterol levels, particularly HDL-2, the best form of cholesterol.* The formula combines essential vitamins and minerals, at levels recommended by the American Heart Association (AHA), with key amino acids, powerful antioxidants, and traditional herbal extracts to provide superior support for cardiovascular health.*
· Formulated by Dr. Dennis Goodman, Chief of Cardiology at
· Clinically studied to increase good cholesterol levels up to 23%*1
· All-inclusive formula; includes ingredients recommended in accordance with the American Heart Association
· Replaces the CoQ10 depleted by cholesterol lowering (statin) drugs.*2
HDL Booster has been clinically shown to increase HDL cholesterol levels.* HDL Booster also supports healthy cholesterol and healthy triglyceride levels already within the normal ranges.* By reducing C-reactive protein levels, HDL Booster helps support the body’s natural anti-inflammatory response.*
Two tablets (one serving) contain:
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) 148 mg
Vitamin E (as natural mixed tocopherols) 35 IU
Niacin (as niacinamide) 21 mg
Vitamin B6 (as pyridoxine HCl) 3 mg
Folic Acid 301 mcg
Vitamin B12 (as cyanocobalamin) 20 mcg
Magnesium (from magnesium amino acid chelate) 10 mg
Selenium (as L-selenomethionine) 49 mcg
Proprietary Blend 388 mg
hawthorn (Crategus oxyacantha) berry extract,
taurine, garlic (Allium sativum) bulb, grape seed (Vitis
vinifera) extract, grape skin (Vitis vinifera) extract,
N-acetyl-L-cysteine, alpha-lipoic acid, soy (Glycine
max) isoflavones, tocotrienols
L-Arginine (as L-arginine HCl) 153 mg
L-Carnitine (as L-carnitine L-tartrate) 51 mg
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)(ubiquinone 10) 25 mg
Policosanol 7 mg
Other ingredients: See label for most current information.
Contains no: sugar, salt, yeast, wheat, gluten, corn, dairy products, artificial coloring, artificial flavoring, or preservatives. This product contains natural ingredients; color variations are normal.
Cholesterol, the soft, waxy substance present among the lipids (fats) in the bloodstream and in all cells, is important for wide variety of physiological functions. It is essential for the formation of cellular membranes, necessary for the production of bile salts, and also plays a role in the synthesis of certain hormones.3-5
Cholesterol is both produced by the body and obtained from food. Endogenous cholesterol is formed by human cells, particularly liver cells, whereas exogenous cholesterol is absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract from food.3,4
Because cholesterol can not be metabolized for energy, it must be removed from the body once it has served its function. The major route of removal is through the liver, where it is processed and subsequently excreted from the body.3,4
Types of Cholesterol
Cholesterol is lipophilic (“fat loving” or water Insoluble) by nature. It can not be dissolved in the blood, and must, therefore, be transported by carriers known as lipoproteins. These carriers are classified by density, with LDL (low density lipoproteins) and HDL (high density lipoproteins) being the most common.4,5
LDL is often referred to as “bad” cholesterol. LDLs carry cholesterol throughout the body. Conversely, HDL, or “good” cholesterol, is responsible for carrying cholesterol away from the arteries to the liver where it is eventually processed and eliminated from the body.3,4,6
Scientific studies have shown that both types of cholesterol are important indicators of cardiovascular health. But recent research, focusing on the beneficial subtypes of HDL, has found that certain fractions of HDL may be more supportive of cardiovascular health than others. The two most notably supportive HDL fractions are HDL-2 and HDL-3.7
The smaller HDL-3 is synthesized by the liver and intestines. This form, which is known as “free cholesterol-rich” HDL, scavenges or “scoops up” free cholesterol. The cholesterol is then chemically altered by the addition of an ester group. When sufficient cholesterol is esterified, HDL-3 becomes HDL-2, which is therefore referred to as “cholesterol ester-rich” HDL. HDL-2 is larger in size and has been shown to be more cardiosupportive than HDL-3.*7
HOW IT WORKS:
HDL is known to possess antioxidant activity and to help balance the body’s natural anti-inflammatory response, both of which are important for cardiovascular health, but its most important function is the role it plays in cholesterol transport.6,8 High levels of HDL cholesterol are also associated with reduced platelet activity, another key indicator of arterial and venous health.9
Both HDL and LDL levels are important indicators of healthy cardiovascular function.* Therefore, supplements that increase the level of good cholesterol can profoundly impact heart health.* In 2002, an open label pilot study was conducted at
The following chart summarizes the benefits of each of the ingredients in HDL Booster:
Gugulipid: Controlling cholesterol levels
July 27, 2005 03:49 PM
Gugulipid: Controlling cholesterol levels
An ancient Indian plant contains a compound that can help reduce cholesterol as effectively as drugs, but without side effects.
By Michael T. Murray, N.D.
An ancient medicinal plant from India shows promise in the fight against heart disease. The mukul myrrh tree (Commiphora mukul) secretes a resinous material called gum guggul. The classic ayurvedic medical text, the “Suchruttasamhita,” describes guggul’s role in the treatment of obesity and other lipid (fat) disorders.
Comprehensive scientific studies have investigated the clinical effectiveness of gum guggul in disorders of lipid (fat) metabolism. Specifically, researchers have studies this extract’s ability to support healthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels and promote weight loss. As a result of this research, scientists have developed a natural substance-gugulipid-that appears to be safer than many other cholesterol-lowering agents, including niacin.
What is gugulipid?
Gugulipid is the purified standardized extract of crude gum guggul (oleoresin). The active components of gugulipid are Z-guggulsterone and E-guggulsterone. Other components of gugulipid include various diterpenes, sterols, steroids, esters, and fatty alcohols.
Gugulipid is preferred to crude gum guggul because it is safer and more effective. In early studies, gum guggul was linked with mild side effects such as skin rashes, gastrointestinal irritation and diarrhea. In contrast, no side effects have been reported with gugulipid. Apparently, the Insoluble irritants of gum guggul are removed in the production of the soluble gugulipid.
This just one example of how science is advancing in the efficacy of herbal therapy. Through careful scientific study, researchers developed a safer and superior form of natural plant medicine.
Numerous scientific studies have shown gugulipid effectively supports healthy levels of cholesterol and triglycerides. Gugulipid supports low levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and high levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol. HDL cholesterol has been shown to protect against heart disease caused by atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries. Research indicated gugulipid itself appears to help reduce atherosclerotic plaques.
Gugulipid has been shown to improve the heart’s metabolism and act as an antioxidant, protecting the heart against free radicals. Gugulipid appears to help inhibit platelet aggregation (clumping of red blood cells), an important factor in preventing stroke or embolism.
According to research findings, gugulipid promotes the liver’s uptake of LDL cholesterol from the blood, thus increasing the liver’s metabolism of LDL cholesterol. This function accounts for gugulipid’s ability to support healthy cholesterol levels.
Because of gugulipid’s effects on heart function and cholesterol, this natural compound appears to be especially useful for individuals with cardiovascular disease. In addition, guggulsterone appears to stimulate thyroid function. This steroid stimulating effect may account for some of gugulipid’s impact on lipid levels and weight loss.
Gugulipid’s impact on cholesterol and triglycerides is quite startling. When the diet is supplemented with gugulipid, cholesterol levels typically drop 14 to 27 percent in four to twelve weeks, while triglyceride levels drop 22 to 30 percent. Those are extremely significant reductions.
The effect of gugulipid on serum cholesterol and triglycerides compares favorably to that of lipid-lowering drugs. Clofibrate and cholestyramine lower cholesterol levels from six to 12 percent and 20 to 27 percent respectively, but are associated with some degree of toxicity. In contrast, no side effects have been reported with gugulipid. IN addition to the excellent safety demonstrated in human studies, gugulipid has been shown to be nontoxic in safety studies on laboratory animals.
Appropriate dosage of gugulipid depends on its guggulsterone content. Clinical studies indicate that 500 mg of gugulipid with a guggulsterone content of 25 mg taken three times per day effectively supports healthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Introducing CoQsol-CF All the benefits of CoQ10 with enhanced bioavailability.
July 26, 2005 03:10 PM
Introducing CoQsol-CF™ – All the benefits of CoQ10 with enhanced bioavailability.
The absorption problems inherent in CoQ10 are widely known. The best known reasons are the molecular size, which hampers the vitamin- like nutrient’s movement through the intestinal lining, and its highly lipophilic feature, which means it is attracted to fatty substances and quite Insoluble in water. Some figures point to as much as 60% of CoQ10 taken orally as being eliminated by the body without being absorbed. But there is a third, less well-known reason for CoQ10’s poor absorbability. During the manufacturing process, CoQ10 is heated and then cooled, and then heated and cooled again. When it is heated, the solution melts and, upon cooling, the molecules tend to crystallize. This crystallization process renders even more of the CoQ10 useless because large crystals cannot be absorbed. Recent advances in delivery systems of lipophilic molecules, however, have corrected many of these issues. Doctor’s Best CoQsol-CF is a 100% crystal-free form of CoQ10 (patent pending) that is highly absorbable and bioavailable. This unique product combines CoQ10 with dlimonene and mixed tocopherols. D-limonene is a natural oil-based substance extracted from citrus fruits that serves to emulsify the CoQ10 molecules, yielding a higher surface area for absorption. Decreasing the particle size of CoQ10 enhances the solubility of the nutrient, and also prevents the formation of crystals. Placing CoQ10 in a lipid-rich medium such as d-limonene enhances its bioavailability. CoQsol-CF incorporates the latest advances in delivery technology, making it a highly bioavailable and useable form of CoQ10.
June 14, 2005 10:52 AM
Nutritional Scorecard by Sylvia Whitefeather Energy Times, June 15, 2004
For over 50 years, the federal government has produced Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs) as guidelines for vitamin and mineral intake. Then, in 1993, the Reference Daily Intakes (RDIs) superseded the RDAs. By applying this new designation, the government's guidelines are now supposed to represent the designated amounts that an average person should consume. With this in mind, and the fact that many experts think you should consume more than some of the RDIs, how does your nutritional scorecard add up? Answering a few nutritional questions can point you in the right direction.
Are you trying to lose weight? If you are, the latest thinking on weight loss opines that eating more protein may be the key to keeping your weight down. Two recent studies published in the Annals of Internal Medicine (5/18/04) found that people who ate a low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet lost more weight and had better cholesterol levels than dieters who ate fewer fatty foods. Both studies found that a low-carb diet can improve your triglycerides (blood fats) and boost your HDL, or good, cholesterol.
Eating protein satisfies both tummies and taste buds. Researchers have found that the amount of protein eaten in a meal determines not only how much food you eat but also how satisfied you feel after eating (J Nutr 2004 Apr; 134(4):974S-9S). And when you feel satisfied after eating less food you improve your odds of losing weight.
We need about 50 grams of protein a day to support the body's functions. The best sources of protein are eggs, meat, milk, protein shakes and yogurt.
Does your energy level go up and down during the day? To get off the energy rollercoaster, cut down on carbohydrates, and make sure the carbs you do eat are complex.
Carbohydrates have been getting some unflattering press lately. Yes, if you want to lose weight, you may want to go on a strictly low-carb diet. But for those not concerned with weight, carbohydrates are the principle source of energy for the body.
What's more, even if you do restrict carbohydrates, you should still eat a tiny bit of them. Without some carbs in the diet your body cannot regulate protein or fat metabolism. According to Michael and Mary Eades, MD, authors of The 30-Day Low-Carb Diet Solution (Wiley), "Carbohydrates control insulin and insulin controls your metabolic health."
So, make your carbohydrates count. Indulge in complex carbohydrates: whole grains, fruits and vegetables. In those foods, carbs are accompanied by fiber and larger amounts of vitamins and phytonutrients. Other reliable sources of complex carbohydrates are whole wheat bread, brown rice and oatmeal.
Are you concerned about your heart health? Fiber from beans, oats, legumes, nuts, rice bran, fruits and vegetables helps stabilize blood sugar and reduce cholesterol. Pectins, found in apples, pears, prunes and plums, are a particularly useful form of water-soluble fiber.
Insoluble fiber, in cereals, wheat bran and vegetables, reduces the risk of colon-related problems. In addition to adding fiber to the diet, dried beans and soybeans have been shown to lower cholesterol, improve vascular health and kidney functioning, preserve bone mineral density and reduce menopausal discomforts (AJCN 1999 Sept; 70(3 suppl):464S-74S). Fiber also promotes good bowel health and encourages the growth of beneficial intestinal flora.
You need 25 to 40 grams of fiber daily. If you have cut back on your carbohydrates, be sure to take a reliable fiber supplement.
Do you have problems focusing on mentally challenging tasks? If so, you should eat more fish and get more of the omega-3 fatty acids that fish and flax contain. Higher levels of this type of fat have been linked to better concentration while performing demanding intellectual work (Lipids 2004 Feb; 39(2):117-23).
Fats add flavor to food, making meals taste better. Monounsaturated fats like plain olive oil and canola are liquid at room temperature and are suitable for use in cooking at high temperatures. Researchers have found that a diet high in monounsaturated fat has the ability to decrease LDL (bad) cholesterol (J Nutr 2001; 131:1758-63). Other fats, such as extra virgin olive oil and flaxseed oil, are best used in dishes that don't need cooking, such as salads.
Although the RDI for fat is less than 30% of the total calorie intake, some researchers believe that if you eat healthy fat, eating too much is not a concern. Omega-3 fats are available in supplement form.
Do you suffer from dry skin? You may not be drinking enough water. This precious liquid is used by every cell of our bodies and makes up 60% to 75% of our body weight. Water is important for kidney function. Researchers in Italy found that drinking adequate amounts of water can help prevent the formation of kidney stones (Urol Int 2004; 72 Suppl 1:29-33).
Your activity level, environment and diet influence how much water you need daily. Try to drink at least eight cups of fluid a day from noncaffeinated, nonalcoholic sources.
Do you exercise frequently? If you do, you need more antioxidant vitamins like natural vitamin E and vitamin C as well as a healthy supply of carotenoids. A study at the School of Applied Medical Sciences and Sports Studies, University of Ulster, found that exercisers need more antioxidants. Otherwise, their exertion may release an excess number of free radicals (caustic molecules) in their bodies and do damage to the heart arteries and other internal organs.
Vitamins, in general, are defined as micronutrients that are necessary for life. They are necessary for the production of energy, a healthy immune system and hundreds of other functions in the body.
Vitamins aren't the only substances that produce big benefits in small quantities. Phytonutrients are chemicals in plants that have health-promoting properties. These nutrients are getting more and more attention from researchers who are keeping score on our nutritional requirements.
Do your meals contain plenty of calcium? If not, you may need supplements to keep your bones strong and help keep your weight down. One study, presented at the Experimental Biology 2003 meeting in San Diego, found that young women who consumed more calcium had better luck controlling their weight. In this research, it didn't take much calcium to make a difference in waistlines. Consuming just one more serving daily (a cup of milk or a thumb-sized piece of cheese, each of which contain about 300 mg of calcium) made, on average, about a two-pound difference.
In addition, many experts recommend multimineral supplements (along with multivitamins) to promote better health. A recent study of people with immune problems, for instance, found that those kinds of supplements seem to help boost the immune system (AT News 2004 Feb 27; 398:4-5).
Cancer at the Millenium - the war on cancer entering its third decade...
June 13, 2005 10:23 AM
Cancer at the Millenium by Harriet Brown Energy Times, May 1, 1999
With the war on cancer entering its third decade, the necessity grows clearer for medical science to engage the enemy on several fronts. Until recently, high-tech medical weapons like vaccines and gene therapy, inspired by a flood of insights into the molecular basis of cancer, garnered most of the hope, hype, headlines and research money. The science was sexy and the prospect of a "cure" dramatic. But, today, advocates of prevention receive equal, if not greater, attention.
Improving our diets and prudently supplementing with vitamins and minerals, can deliver a major preventive impact. Contentious experts concede that at least a third (and probably more) of all cancers can be blamed on a combination of eating too much of the wrong foods and not enough of the right ones.
The Dietary Difference
Though cancer can progress rapidly once it leaps past its inception, it develops over many years and in several stages. Beneficial compounds in food and supplements may intervene along a line that runs from initial exposure to carcinogens to the final step into outright malignancy. Nutrients may: - counteract environmental poisons and the toxic byproducts of liver metabolism
The Big Picture The dietary guidelines advocated by the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute (which generally coincide with those of most health organizations) may sound familiar: Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Get lots of fiber. Limit fat, especially animal fat. Go easy on meat and avoid the cured variety (they contain nitrites). If you drink alcohol, do it in moderation. Watch your total calories, and your weight. Pretty straightforward stuff.
Carotenoids, as their name suggests, are orange and red pigments in fruits and vegetables, most notably carrots and tomatoes, although they're also in everything from sweet potatoes to spinach and brussels sprouts (in the latter their distinctive color is masked by green chlorophyll).
Lycopene, a carotenoid found primarily in tomatoes, displays double the free radical-fighting activity of beta carotene, the most widely studied carotenoid. Of 72 studies looking at consumption of tomatoes or tomato-based products reviewed in the February 1999 Journal of the National Cancer Institute, almost half showed a significant reduction in one or more of a variety of cancers.
Research shows that lycopene may be best at lowering a man's risk of prostate cancer. A 1995 Harvard Medical School study (Journal of the National Cancer Institute 1995; 87: 1767-76) queried nearly 48,000 male health-care professionals about their consumption of fruits and vegetables. The only foods that reduced their risk of prostate cancer were, apparently, tomato sauce, tomatoes, pizza (tomato paste). For those who ate ten servings a week, risk dropped 45 percent; with four to seven servings, 20 percent. In animal studies lycopene decreased the number and size of mammary tumors (Eleventh International Symposium on Carotenoids, 1996).
Tomatoes are one of the richest sources of lycopene. Cooking tomatoes helps by releasing the lycopene from the plant cell walls. Also, the oil in tomato sauce enhances absorption in the stomach. Lycopene is also available in supplements.
Wine drinkers rejoiced when resveratrol, a constituent of the skin of red grapes, was found to protect their hearts (by blocking oxidation of LDL cholesterol and discouraging blood clotting). Now they have another reason to toast this potent antioxidant. When researcher John Pezzuto at the University of Illinois at Chicago screened about 1,000 plants for anticancer activity, he came up with one whose active ingredient turned out to be resveratrol. In lab tests it squelched both free radicals and inflammation, two well-known cancer inducers (Science, 6/10/97). In a study with mice, resveratrol reduced the number of skin tumors by up to 98 percent compared to control animals. Because the effective doses were high (Pezzuto estimates a person would have to quaff about five gallons of wine a day to get the equivalent) and because more than a drink or two a day may raise the risk of breast cancer, researchers don't recommend nondrinkers take up wine. But supplements of synthesized resveratrol (as well as grape juice) may help.
Saturated fat is an authentic dietary villain. Aside from clogging arteries, it's a suspected contributor to several cancers, though the evidence is greater for some cancers (prostate) than for others (breast cancer)
Of the two other main categories of fats, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, mono seems benign, if not positively protective. For example, in a study of the influence of diet on breast cancer, Greek researchers discovered that women who consumed higher amounts of olive oil (which is mostly mono) were less likely to be afflicted with breast cancer (Journal of the National Cancer Institute 1995: 87; 110-116).
When it comes to polyunsaturated fats, however, things get complicated. The fat that predominates in corn, sunflower and other vegetable oils, called omega-6, has long been associated with cancer risk in animal experiments. Likewise the type found in margarines, trans fats, which are partially saturated vegetable oils. On the other hand, the omega-3 fats called EPA and DHA, which are found primarily in deep- and cold-water fish like cod, mackerel, and halibut, protect against both heart disease and cancer. In an epidemiological study covering 24 European countries, British researchers established that mortality rates for colon and breast cancers declined as fish and fish oil consumption rose (British Journal of Cancer 1996: 74; 159-64). And Finnish scientists discovered that the breast tissue of women who had breast cancer contained significantly less DHA and EPA than the breasts of healthy women (Nutrition and Cancer 1995: 24; 151-160).
Experts believe the omega-3s' anticancer effect derives from its ability to tamp down the prostaglandins that stimulate inflammation. Chronic inflammation unleashes a steady stream of free radicals, which can damage DNA and thereby trigger cancer. Omega-3s also help the liver detoxify potentially harmful substances.
Fortunately for the fish-phobic, nonmarine sources of omega-3 fats include flaxseed and hemp oils.
Minerals to Lower Cancer Risk
n Calcium: possibly protective against colon cancer. In a recent trial (New England Journal of Medicine, 1/14/99) researchers gave people with a history of precancerous colon polyps either two 600 mg calcium tablets a day or a placebo for nine months and found fewer polyps. n Selenium: powerful antioxidant and supporter of immunity. Researchers find that cancer rates in various regions is lowered when soil and vegetables contain more selenium
In a selenium-depleted area in China afflicted with one of the highest incidences of stomach and esophageal cancer mortality in the world, scientists asked different groups to take various combinations of nutrients. After five years they found a significant reduction in the cancer rate among those who had gotten supplements of selenium, vitamin E and beta carotene (Biological Trace Element Research 1985; 7: 21-29). In the U.S. researchers studying the potential effectiveness of selenium supplementation for preventing nonmelanoma skin cancers came up with a surprise. The 200 mcg a day the subjects received for an average of 4.5 years had no impact on skin cancer but did significantly cut the rates of lung, colorectal and prostate cancers (Journal of the American Medical Association, 12/25/96).
More recently Harvard researchers determined that men with prostate cancer had much lower levels of selenium in their toenails (a measure of consumption) than healthy men (Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 8/119/98).
Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower and kale, have long been singled out for their association with protection against cancer. In a 1996 survey of 94 population studies and clinical trials focusing on consumption of cruciferous vegetables, 67 percent showed a reduced risk, the strongest link being with lung, stomach, colon and rectal cancers (Cancer Epidemiological Biomarkers 1996; 5: 733-748).
Scientists at Johns Hopkins showed that sulforaphane, from these plants, stimulates enzymes that help detoxify carcinogens generated in the liver. When they injected rats with a cancer-causing chemical, only 26 percent of the rodents pretreated with sulforaphane developed mammary cancer, compared to 68 percent of controls. Even animals who did come down with cancer had tumors that appeared later and smaller.
Other researchers have focused on a cruciferous-vegetable compound called indole-3-carbinol, which has proved especially effective against breast cancer cells. Recently, scientists at the University of California at Berkeley found that indole-3-carbinol, rather than acting as an anti-estrogen, (as had been thought), actually stops breast cancer cells by turning off a protein critical to their replication (Jrnal of Bio Chem, 2/13/98). Consequently, when treating certain forms of cancer, some doctors have paired indole-3-carbinol with the chemotherapy drug tamoxifen - which counteracts estrogen - and found that the combination has proven more potent than either separately.
Several decades ago British physician Denis Burkitt proposed that the low incidence of colon cancer among native peoples in South Africa was attributable to the fact that their diet was rich in fiber. The fiber, it was hypothesized, bulked up the stool, speeding its passage through the bowel and reducing the time carcinogens contact its lining; it also helped neutralize cancer-promoting bile acids.
This concept has been backed up by numerous studies. Recently, Harvard researchers sprinkled cold water on this idea, finding that an examination of the eating habits of more than 80,000 female nurses, could find no protective effect against colon cancer or precancerous polyps from consuming fiber (NEJM, January 21, 1999). Most experts' take on this apparent refutation: Maybe the "high fiber" intake in this case wasn't high enough, and this is just one study among many.
Fighting Breast Cancer
Fiber has also been linked to reduced rates of breast cancer. At first it was thought that if fat was a breast-cancer culprit, fiber might just be a marker for a low-fat diet. But a look at Finland undermined that idea: Finnish women eat both a lot of fat and a lot of fiber, and their breast cancer rate ranks much below that in the U.S., (where we eat gobs of fat and little roughage).
Fiber helps take estrogen out of circulation as it passes through the liver, while the isoflavones in many high-fiber plants and vegetables are themselves weak estrogens, which compete for slots on breast tissue's estrogen receptors. The special fiber in flaxseed oil called lignans act against estrogen in two ways: by binding its receptors and by inhibiting the enzyme that converts other hormones into estrogen.
Fiber comes in two basic forms, Insoluble (e.g., wheat bran, celery, the skins of fruits and vegetables) and soluble (e.g., oat bran, citrus fruits, beans). Until a few years ago, scientists believed that cancer protection came mainly from Insoluble fiber, but that thinking has turned around.
A soluble fiber called citrus pectin has been shown to halt the tendency of prostate, lung, breast and skin cancers to metastasize, or spread (e.g., Journal of the National Cancer Institute 1995; 87: 3448-353). Typically cancer turns deadly only when it gets into the bloodstream and invades new territory. Modified citrus pectin appears to stop this aggression by preventing cancer cells from attaching to healthy tissue.
While the name inositol hexaphosphate (IP6) sounds like a mouthful, many of us consume mouthfuls of this natural substance every day - in foods like corn, rice, whole-grain cereals, oats and wheat.
But now scientists have isolated IP-6 and found that this powerful antioxidant can slow the destructive cellular processes that lead to tumors. In a study published in Anti-Cancer Research (Nov/Dec 1998), scientists at the University of Maryland School of Medicine demonstrated that IP-6 could shrink liver tumors in laboratory animals.
The researchers believe that IP-6 can help prevent cancer and also be useful in lowering the risk of health problems like kidney stones and heart disease. Research like this continues to expand our knowledge of how to lower the risk of cancer. In the next millennium, with more and more information making its way into the media and onto websites, our power and the responsibility to reduce our risk of cancer will continue to grow and offer new possibilities.
Fiber Supplements - The benefits...
June 09, 2005 08:58 AM
Some food substances that are not usually thought of as "nutritious" nonetheless have important roles to play in human health. A good example is fiber, which by definition, cannot be digested by human beings; however, it is an essential part of a proper diet . There are two classes of fiber, both of which are essential, and both of which are lacking in most modern diets: soluble fiber, such as occurs in oat bran, and Insoluble fiber, such as occurs in wheat bran.
Among the benefits of a high-fiber diet is to help control cholesterol levels. High ratio of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol to high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol in the blood is considered to be a risk factor related to cardiovascular health. Certain fibers have been shown to selectively lower blood levels of LDL cholesterol, thus contributing to cholesterol management.
Source Naturals fiber supplements are all-natural and contain pure, high-quality fiber.