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Acai may offer prebiotic benefits throughout the GI tract, researchers find
October 31, 2017 10:14 AM
According to UK researchers, beneficial polyphenols found in the acai fruit can pass through the digestive system intact. Therefore, they may provide a prebiotic effect to every part of the gastrointestinal tract, including the colon. A substance is considered prebiotic means that it helps the beneficial bacteria living in human organs. In turn, the bacteria cause fermentation, which provides health benefits to the person. Acai is a fruit found in the Amazon. Some people call it a superfruit.
"The polyphenols found in acai can survive through the digestive system, potentially bringing prebiotic benefits throughout the gastrointestinal tract down to the colon, according to researchers in the UK."
Read more: https://www.nutraingredients-usa.com/Article/2017/10/19/Researchers-explore-acai-s-digestive-health-benefits-as-a-prebiotic
Turmeric Extract May Help Overcome Chemotherapy Resistance
September 29, 2017 10:14 AM
Researchers are testing the effectiveness of using a turmeric extract to combat resistance for chemotherapy in pancreatic cancer patients. My mother died from pancreatic cancer and from personal experience I know how difficult battling becomes once chemotherapy ceases to work. This study takes a highly potent extract from turmeric that resets the cancerous cells against immunity from chemotherapy. In doing so it helps to reduce the size of the tumor and make chemo a viable treatment option again.
"The turmeric extract was also able to re-sensitize pancreatic cancer cells to be able to use Gemcitabine — a commonly prescribed chemotherapy regimen that is often resisted — which in turn reduced tumor size."
Read more: http://wholefoodsmagazine.com/news/research/turmeric-extract-chemo-resistance/
9 Health Benefits of Switching to Brown Rice
August 12, 2017 04:14 PM
When it comes to nutrition and health benefits, brown rice is the superior option over white rice. Brown rice is less processed than white rice, and it also boasts a higher level of vitamins and minerals as well as greater fiber content. Brown rice carries a number of health benefits with it and nutritionists say it strengthens cardiovascular, digestive, and bone health. Additionally, it lowers cholesterol and helps to prevent diabetes. Brown rice benefits one’s waistline as well, as it keeps the stomach feeling full while also providing the body with energy.
"Recent studies suggest that eating cereals high in fiber and low in glycemic content such as brown rice reduce the risk of developing metabolic syndrome."
Read more: http://food.ndtv.com/food-drinks/9-health-benefits-of-switching-to-brown-rice-1730477
5 Reasons Why Your Eyebrows Are Thinning and How to Stop it
July 20, 2017 07:14 AM
Here's a topic that is near and dear to my heart, eyebrow thinning! In a time where full eyebrows are everything, no woman wants to endure the horror of her eyebrows thinning. Luckily, there are some ways to prevent and/or fix that. Overplucking can be one reason. I know so many of us want the shape of our eyebrows to remain intact, but sometimes we can pluck too much. Nutritional deficiencies, aging and Alopecia arata are also culprits.
Read more: 5 Reasons Why Your Eyebrows Are Thinning and How to Stop it
High-Fiber Diet Keeps Intestinal Walls Intact
April 03, 2017 06:44 AM
A diet that is low in fiber cause your intestines to get worse as they lose mucus. Mucus is actually very helpful to your intestines. Fiber also helps the mucus that is in your colon. Scientists know all of this because the scientists have decided to test this stuff out on mice in the past. Based upon the results of the mice testing the scientists believe that people in general should double how much fiber they get.
Read more: High-Fiber Diet Keeps Intestinal Walls Intact
Soluble corn fiber can improve women's bone health
January 14, 2017 07:59 AM
A recent new research study has found that daily intake of soluble corn fiber can significantly improve women's bone fiber overall. The reason for this is because the research found that once fiber passes through the gut, the soluble corn fiber is broken down into some short chain fatty acids which then assist in bone health maintenance.
"According to new research daily soluble corn fiber supplementation significantly helps build and retain calcium in bone for women in their teens and post menopause."
Alleviating Blood Sugar Levels with Chromium Picolinate
November 27, 2013 08:01 AM
What is Chromium Picolinate
Chromium picolinate is among the essential trace minerals that have received a lot of attention as dietary supplements. While it is know to be inhibit blood sugar levels, there are recurring debates that remain unsettled. However, there are recent studies that consistently revealed the augmenting effect of chromium to the actions of the hormone insulin. That then suggests the intake of the said mineral as it seconds the claims of it being an effective solution to control blood sugar or glucose levels of people intolerant to carbohydrates.In the uptake of carbohydrates, they are broken down into sugar, followed by absorption to the blood. The amount of blood sugar and insulin rising vary from one food to another. By slowing rate of sugar release to the bloodstream is the initial step towards controlling glucose levels, which is also a vital goal of any type of healthy diet.
Benefits of Chromium Picolinate
Keeping your blood sugar at a normal level does everything. May it be to gain or lose weight, reduce fat, curbing craving pangs and lowering appetites, as well as warding off numerous chronic diseases such as diaebetes and heart attack, a normal blood sugar level does it all. For that matter, chromium is really of the essence. And here are some of its major health benefits.
Blood Sugar ControlA study was once conducted where a loaf of bread was prepared with 400 micrograms chromium. After consuming the bread, there was a 23% blood sugar decline in the patient, which points out to chromium picolinate as an effective solution to lower glycemic indexes of meals.
Cholesterol Level ControlChromium also has an important role for fat metabolism. After further investigations, chromium's different effects on lipids were finally discerned. Some of the reports included how chromium reduced triglyceride levels, as well as total LDL cholesterol. These basically meant that the chemical compound can lower risks for different heart diseases.
Curbs Down Carb CravingsOne of the biggest reasons why many people suffer from diabetes is the indulgence to cravings, particularly to carb-rich and starchy foods. This is known to be an addiction with mechanisms in the pleasure/guilt portion of the brain similar to opiates. By taking 600 micrograms of the chromium compound for a span of 8 weeks, the subject can be withdrawn from the said sugar laden addiction.
Another thing worth noting is that this particular chromium compound fully remains intact within the gastric juice for several hours and does not cause any digestive drawbacks. Furthermore, a minimum of 200 to 300 micrograms supplementation is suggested for people with less severe cases to set out the stabilization of insulin production.
Can Too Much Fiber Block Mineral Absorption ?
October 12, 2011 01:39 PM
Fiber has always been known to be a helpful substance in many ways related to digestion and our bowel movements. In terms of how much is too much though we would need to look at first what fiber can do and how it works in the colon to have a broader point of view and to take all aspects into account before determining if too much fiber can cause health issues and specifically in this case, can cause a form of blockade for mineral absorption.
What is Fiber and what does it do?
Fiber, simply put is a substance that is found primarily in the outer layers of plants. Fiber is considered a carbohydrate and a special one at that because of its ability to stay intact even after passing through our digestive system unlike other carbohydrates that gets broken down by food and used for energy. For better understanding let’s talk more about its importance. For one, it has the ability to influence our digestive process in so many ways. It’s most evident importance and function is how it is able to regulate digestion and virtually slow the process down.
With this, it is able to allow us to feel full longer which will cause less appetite therefore affecting weight and in turn overall health. With the same process it slows glucose processing as well which will aid in sugar levels and also helps nourish the colon’s lining to keep it from damage and maintain its health. However in a more practical sense, it aids in our digestion because of its sponge like qualities. So if coupled with a good amount of water in the stomach it will aid and ease the stool and help bowel movements along. This is more known to many as a cleansing process which brings me back to the question, can it be too much and affect mineral absorption?
Can too much affect absorption?
A simple and most straight forward answer is “yes”. Yes it can, absolutely it can and “how?” you ask. As discussed above, one of the ways that fiber functions is aid with the cleansing process and the same sponge like qualities are the primary reason why it can affect mineral absorption in the colon. The reason why fiber is effective for cleansing is because it absorbs bacteria and any other toxin or harmful substances in the colon and flushes it out therefore promoting good health however it can’t filter through its absorption process and select only those toxins, rather it absorbs both good and bad substances, the good in this case being the minerals.
So before it can be absorbed by the body, fiber already caused it to be excreted. But this does not mean you stop taking fiber, remember the key words here are “too much” and all we need to do to avoid any mineral deficiency is to follow the right amount, we can check with our doctor for best advice but most experts believe getting somewhere around 30 – 35g maybe too much but then again most Americans does not even come close to that with their regular diets.
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.
Turmeric, Curcumin, And Good Health
November 11, 2010 03:48 PM
Turmeric and its historyTurmeric is not just an ancient Asian spice but also an effective traditional alternative medicine used worldwide. Turmeric is a spice that originates in India and has been long used in both Ayurvedic and Chinese traditional medicine. This spice comes from the herb Curcuma longa L. which is a member of the Curcuma botanical group, a part of the ginger family of herbs called Zingiberaceae. The root and rhizome (underground stem) of this plant is crushed and powdered into ground Turmeric. Ground Turmeric is used worldwide as a seasoning and the main ingredient in curry powders. Ground Turmeric is also the source of Curcumin, an extracted potent substance also used as alternative medicine nowadays.
Turmeric, because of its Curcumin content, has many health benefits to humans. Firstly, Turmeric has an anti-inflammatory property. Its active ingredient, Curcumin, has been proven to help reduce inflammation. Decade to decade, Turmeric has been used as an anti-inflammatory agent to treat inflammations of the skin and muscles. Experiments done by researchers also revealed that this herb has been effective in decreasing post-surgical inflammation. This important health benefit of Turmeric is considered to be a result of the herb’s ability to slow down, if not to totally stop, Eicosanoid Biosynthesis, one of the processes the immune system undergoes during an inflammatory response.
Secondly, as a result of its anti-inflammatory characteristic, Turmeric also has an anti-arthritic property. It is widely used as an alternative medicine for rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune disorders. In addition, this herb also has a natural painkiller effect. Studies show that it has similar actions to the commonly used medications such as COX-2 inhibitor and Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs.
Thirdly, several studies have shown that Turmeric is also helpful in lowering the level of bad cholesterol in the blood known as the Low Density Lipoprotein or LDL and in increasing the body’s good cholesterol, High Density Lipoprotein or HDL. An increased level of LDL promotes cholesterol plaque deposits to the walls of blood vessels, most commonly in the arteries of heart. These plaques narrow the arterial diameter hence resulting to high blood pressure and even circulation blockage. An arterial block may cause poor circulation and oxygenation to heart muscles leading to cardiac injury then infarction. This is oftentimes the cause of heart attacks. It has also been discovered that Turmeric can promote excretion of dietary fats. Thus, controlling the intestinal uptake of fats, especially cholesterol.
Turmeric - Powerful AntioxidantLastly, Turmeric is also widely used because of its anti-oxidant property. Studies demonstrate that Turmeric is effective in eliminating free radicals in the body. These free radicals are harmful. It may cause cell mutations which can lead to tumor formation and, worse, cancer.
This herbal plant can be prepared in the household by pounding and pressing its roots to be able to extract the juice out. It is then mixed with water and may be used topically or by nasal inhalation. The root can also be lightly cooked and eaten. Turmeric is also helpful in earaches and to clear clogged sinuses thus easing breathing. This herb can also be purchased in bulk powder or standardized forms to ensure its beneficial properties are intact.
October 28, 2009 11:39 AM
The horseradish plant is a perennial plant that is part of the Brassicaceae family, which includes mustard, wasabi, broccoli, and cabbages. Native to southeastern Europe and western Asia, the plant is popular around the world today. The horseradish plant grows up to five feet tall and is mainly cultivated for its large, white, tapered root. The intact horseradish root has hardly any aroma. However, when cut or grated, enzymes from the damaged plant cells break down to produce allylisothiocyanate, which often irritates the sinuses and eyes. Once grated, if the plant is not mixed with vinegar or used immediately, the root darkens and loses its pungency. It quickly becomes unpleasantly bitter when exposed to air and heat.
Horseradish has been cultivated since ancient times. The Delphic Oracle in Greek mythology told Apollo that horse radish was worth its weight in gold. Horseradish was known in Egypt by 1500 BC and has been used by Jews from Eastern Europe traditionally in Passover. The plant is discussed by Cato in his treatises on agriculture. It is thought that horseradish is the plant known as Wild Radish by the Greeks. Both the root and leaves of the horseradish plant were used as a medicine during the Middle Ages, with the root used as a condiment on meats in Germany, Scandinavia, and Britain. This herb was taken to North American during Colonial times. It is not certain as to where the name horseradish come from. Some believe that it derives by misinterpretation of the German Merettich as mare radish. Others think the name comes from the coarseness of the root. The common thought in Europe is that it refers to the old method of processing the root called hoofing, in which horses were used to stamp the root tender before grating it.
For at least two thousand years, horseradish has been cultivated. It was brought to America by early settlers and used to treat conditions such as pain from sciatic, colic, and intestinal worms. Horseradish provides antibiotic action that is recommended for respiratory and urinary infections. The volatile oil in horseradish has the ability to work as a nasal and bronchial dilator. Internally, it has been used to clear nasal passages, alleviate sinus problems, help with digestion, work as a diuretic, aid with edema and rheumatism, and cleanse various body systems. Also, horseradish has been used to stimulate digestion, metabolism, and kidney function. This herb helps promote stomach secretions to aid in digestion. Horseradish can be used as a compress for neuralgia, stiffness, and pain in the back of the neck. Additionally, this herb can be used as a parasiticide.
The root of the horseradish plant can be used to provide antibiotic, antineoplastic, antiseptic, bitter, caminative, diaphoretic, digestive, diuretic, expectorant, hepatic, parasiticide, mild purgative, rubefacient, sialagogue, stimulant, and stomachic properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are calcium, iron, phosphorus, sodium, and vitamins A, B-complex, and P. Primarily, horseradish is extremely beneficial in dealing with loss of appetite, circulation, coughs, edema, excessive mucus, sinus problems, internal and skin tumors, and worms.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in treating arthritis, asthma, bronchitis, congestion, gout, jaundice, kidney problems, irritated membranes, neuralgia, palsy, rheumatism, skin conditions, water retention, and wounds. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by horseradish, please feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store with questions.
Polyphenols is an Antioxidant
October 13, 2008 02:14 PM
A lot of new evidence suggests that consuming more plant polyphenols is a powerful way to protect aging arteries. These polyphenol compounds help improve endothelial function, a critical factor in preventing atherosclerosis; inhibit abnormal platelet aggregation which causes most sudden heart attacks and strokes; fight inflammation; and support healthy blood lipids. Polyphenols that are of particular interest are those derived from green tea, cocoa, apples, and black chokeberry, which all complement each other in helping to build the body’s defenses against various ailments.
All throughout history, the medicinal potential of plants has been celebrated. Modern science has found that edible plants are to be valued for their high vitamin and fiber along with their rich store of polyphenols. Polyphenols are found in fruits and vegetables, as well as cocoa, tea, and chokeberry and have been shown to be a type of chemical that may protect the body against some common health problems as well as certain effects of aging. Polyphenols protect cells and body chemicals against damage that is caused by free radicals and block the action of enzymes that cancers need for growth, deactivating substances that promote the growth of cancer. The increased consumption of polyphenols has been associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and potentially cancer and stroke.
In Aztec culture, cocoa was one of the most highly prized due to its medicinal and stimulant value, along with its taste. The polyphenols found in cocoa occur in a higher concentration than can be found in any other food. They also have antioxidant activity much greater than those found in broccoli or red wine. The catechins and procyanidins that are found in cocoa seem to lower the risk of cancer and heart disease. Cocoa has also been proven in studies to reduce blood pressure, improve insulin sensitivity, and slightly ameliorate the lipid profile. Although cocoa is a healthy and tasteful food, it is high in caloric content and therefore, its ingestion must be accompanied by the careful reduction of calories from other sources.
Many studies have shown that tea polyphenols can be extremely beneficial to human health, possessing anti-obesity, antihypertensive, anti-diabetic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer effects. Tea is the world’s second most consumed beverage, although less popular in the Western diet. Green tea and white tea retain more polyphenols in their intact form, as oolong and black teas undergo more extensive processing before they are marketed. Tea polyphenols break down in high temperatures therefore; freshly brewed tea contains a higher amount of polyphenols per serving than do tea drinks that are canned or bottled.
Similar to the blueberry, the black chokeberry is high in anthocyanins and antioxidant activity. It is native to eastern North America and has become popular in Eastern Europe and Russia due to its health-promoting potential. This berry protects the liver from chemical poisoning and the stomach lining from ulcers. It also acts as an anti-inflammatory, lowers harmful cholesterol levels, and prevents dangerous swings in blood pressure. Some studies have shown that this berry seems to prevent the harmful mutations in cell cultures, regulates immune function of human white blood cell cultures, and suppressed the growth of human colon cancers.
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.
June 30, 2008 04:47 PM
If there has ever been an overlooked vegetable, it would definitely be fennel. Some people have an aversion to its licorice-like scent, while others feel as if fennel is a bizarre and obscure vegetable that they have no interest in learning how to prepare. However, those who have discovered it know that ignoring fennel is a waste of a versatile vegetable’s amazing flavor and healthful benefits. Even those who already cook with fennel might find that they aren’t taking advantage of its versatility. For example, many people use only the delicate, lacy parts of fennel as a flavor-enhancing garnish for soups or salads. Others stick to just using the green-white bulbs, while tossing the remaining pieces aside. However, there’s no season like now to start using and enjoying all the parts of fennel.
Fennel is available from autumn until early spring and both its stems and bulbs have been found to contain many nutrients. Fennel spice, which is made from the vegetable’s seeds, can be found year round, as it is one of five spices in Chinese five-spice powder. One cup of raw, sliced fennel is a huge source of vitamin C, folic acid, fiber, and potassium. History has shown that fennel can be taken to alleviate bad breath, indigestion, intestinal spasms, cramps, and gas. It is thought that Puritans chewed the seeds in order to tame hunger during fasts. Recently, scientists have found that fennel contains antioxidants which promote good health.
In order to gain these healthful benefits, be sure to purchase white or pale-green fennel that has clean, firm bulbs. The bulbs should not be split, bruised, or spotted, while the stalks that grow from the bulb should be relatively straight. Additionally, the vegetable’s fronds would be green but not flowering because blooms indicate that the bulb is past maturity. When consumed right away, fennel is at its best. But, it can be kept in the crisper for up to four days. Be sure to wash it before using its base in hors d’oeuvres, salads, and gratins. Also, make sure to reserve its fronds in order to enhance dishes in a potent way. With such versatility in the kitchen, there is absolutely no excuse not to include fennel in your meals this season.
Once you discover that fennel is both crunchy and slightly sweet, you will want to incorporate it into many of your daily meals. Thankfully, fennel can enhance many dishes and make them extraordinary. Here are some quick ideas for using fennel this season. You can thinly shave the desired amount of a fennel bulb and toss it with a bit of olive oil, fresh lemon juice, and a small amount of Parmesan cheese to make a fennel salad at moment’s notice. Another option is sauté sliced fennel with equal parts of onion and bell pepper in order to make a simple vegetarian side dish. One can take advantage of fennel’s ability to enhance flavors by adding fennel with tuna or grilled sea bass. Fennel can also be cut vertically, leaving bulb, stalk, and leaves intact and then brushed with olive oil and grilled until lightly browned. Another idea is to garnish your favorite vegetable soup with coarsely chopped fennel fronds.
Oregano oil hi in Carvacrol
April 25, 2008 02:27 PM
VitaNet ®, LLC is pleased to distribute Nature’s Answer Oil of Oregano—one of the finest quality oregano oils available today. Nature’s Answer offers you a concentrated oil of true oregano, Origanum Vulgare, steam-distilled in a base of extra virgin olive oil. There is a lot of confusion about oregano, because many plants throughout the world are called oregano. For example, marjoram (origanum marjorana) is a close cousin to true oregano, and Spanish and Mexican oregano are actually different plant species. It is important to be aware of these differences, because only Origanum Vulgare contains high amounts of the active ingredient, carvacrol. This is the exact species that Nature’s Answer uses in its products.
It takes approximately 200 pounds of oregano to produce two pounds of Nature’s Answer Oregano Oil. This highly concentrated form yields a quality plant product, retaining all the important volatile oils intact, true to Nature’s Answer’s philosophy of maintaining the plant’s Holistic Balance.
Holistic Balance guarantees that the natural constituents of our herb products are in the same synergistic ratio as those found in the plant; an herb of this type reflects the natural balance of the plant, and all of its many micronutrients.
Oregano is rich in nutrients including vitamin A and C, niacin, calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, potassium, copper, boron, and manganese. It also contains the active chemical constituents, thymol and carvacrol. These components have shown strong activity in protecting cells against foreign organisms.
The protective properties of oregano have been recognized by traditional herbalists throughout history as well as supported by modern scientific research. Oregano is also a powerful antioxidant, offsetting the adverse effects of free radicals on out bodies. Oregano oil has been shown in scientific studies to support intestinal, digestive and respiratory health and can also be used topically for minor skin irritations.
Each four-drop dose of Nature’s Answer Oil of Oregano provides 13mg of oregano oil, which is guaranteed to contain a minimum of 7mg of carvacrol. Nature’s Answer Oil of Oregano liquid and its high quality oregano oil in softgel form are always on deal at VitaNet ®, LLC Health Food Store.
Genetically Engineered Foods May Cause Rising Food Allergies
January 21, 2008 02:14 PM
Arguments made by the Environmental Protection Agency, which regulates plant produced pesticides, tell us not to worry about the thought of consuming toxic pesticides. Instead, they say that the pesticides used, Bt, are produced naturally from a soil bacterium which has a history of safe use by organic farmers who have used the solution for yeas as a method of insect control. Genetic engineers simply remove the gene that produces Bt and insert it into the DNA of corn and cotton plants, making the plant do the work, instead of the farmer. They also say that the Bt toxin is quickly destroyed in our stomach, and even if it survived would not harm humans or any other mammals. However, these arguments are solely that, arguments, which are unsupported and refuted according to a lot of research.
When a study was done, spraying natural Bt over areas in Vancouver and Washington State for months, about 500 people reported reactions, mostly those being allergy or flu-like symptoms. Six of those people had to go to the emergency room, while workers who applied the Bt sprays reported that their eyes, nose, and throats were irritated. Similarly, farmers who were exposed to liquid Bt said that they had reactions such as infection, ulcers on the cornea, skin irritation, burning, swelling, and redness. One woman even reported fever, altered consciousness, and seizures when she was accidentally sprayed with Bt. This proves that the statements of Bt doing no harm on humans is extremely false. As for being destroyed in the digestive system, studies on mice disproved this as well. Results of these, and other, studies showed that plant-produced Bt is always active and much more likely to trigger an immune response than the natural version.
Additional studies in 2005 reported by medical investigators in India found that hundreds of agricultural workers are developing severe allergic reactions when they are exposed to Bt cotton. This exposure includes picking cotton, loading it, cleaning it, or simply leaning against it. Some people that work at ginning factories must take antihistamines daily in order to go to work. These reactions are only trigger with the Bt varieties and the symptoms are virtually identical to those that were described by the 500 people in Vancouver and Washington who were sprayed with Bt.
Another study was done on the basis that Bt-toxin is produced in GM corn and can be eaten intact. It is also in pollen which can be breathed in. Therefore, a village of Filipino people were studied in 2003 when an adjacent Bt cornfield was pollinating. 100 of these people were stricken with disease which included symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, extreme stomach pain, vomiting, chest pains, fever, and allergies, along with respiratory, intestinal, and skin reactions. The symptoms first appeared in those that were living closest to the field and then progressed to those further away. When the same corn was planted in four other villages the following year, the same symptoms returned in all four areas only during the time of pollination.
All of these studies confirm that GM crops engineered to produce built-in pesticides provoke a great variety of immune responses. Allergic reactions are a defensive and often harmful reaction from the immune system to an external irritant that occur when the body interprets something foreign as harmful and offensive and acts accordingly. Since all GM foods have something foreign and different, it is easy to see why the body would react in such ways. As the GM foods arise on the market place make sure you scan each label to make sure you are not buying a GM vegetable of fruit. Check every label this way you will not be stricken with debilitating symptoms that may prevent you from going to work. Always say NO to GM foods and support your organic foods store.
Selecting the Right Probiotic is the Key to proper digestion
May 05, 2007 01:16 PM
Selecting the Right Probiotic is the Key
Do you ever think about what goes into your body each day? You should. One of the key to feeling good and being healthy s eating nutritious food and making sure our gastrointestinal (GI) tract has the tools it needs to optimally digest and absorb nutrients. The GI tract includes the stomach and intestines, which work to digest foods and eliminate waste.
A variety of “good” intestinal bacteria helps to keep the digestive system running. These “good” bacteria are called probiotic bacteria, or probiotics. Probiotics digest food, process waste, and keep the “bad” bacteria – which have the potential to cause disease and illness – in check.
This issue of Ask the Doctor will look at the probiotic bacteria that play an important role in maintaining our health and wellness: we need them, what they can do for us, and how to make sure we are getting enough. Also, we will talk about an exciting process that truly delivers probiotic bacteria taken in nutritional supplements. Encapsulated in a pearl-like sphere, they survive transport to the intestines, set up house, and exert their beneficial effects. As we will see, probiotic supplementation can help prevent and treat many different illnesses, unless the beneficial bacteria reach the intestines alive and active, the supplement is worthless.
Q. I thought bacteria were bad. How can bacteria be good for us?
A. Some kinds of bacteria do cause illnesses and disease in humans. “Strep” throat is an example of an illness caused by bacteria.
However, the majority of bacteria do not cause disease. In fact, there are types of bacteria that are actually beneficial. “Good” bacteria, known as probiotic bacteria, are used in the manufacturing of food and beverages. Some examples of foods that have probiotic food ingredients are buttermilk, yogurt, cheese, sausage, and acidophilus milk.
These same kinds of probiotic bacteria are present in our intestines and help to keep the digestive system running by digesting food and processing waste.
Q. What are probiotics?
A. Probiotics are live bacteria that are non-toxic and do not cause disease (non-pathogenic).
Some of the best-understood probiotic bacteria include members of the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium groups. Because of the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium’s ability to break down lactose, these probiotic bacteria are also known as lactic acid bacteria. Both of these types of probiotic bacteria are well studied and are available in both food and dietary supplements.
Q. Is there a difference between the probiotic bacteria that is found in yogurt, and in nutritional supplements?
A. Actually, the bacteria that are in yogurt, our intestine, and most natural supplements are the same types of probiotic bacteria, Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacteria longum. Because of this, these bacteria are referred in a generic sense as probiotics. So, the term probiotics may refer to the “good” bacteria that are present in food or that live in our intestine, or that are part of a natural supplement.
Q. Where do these probiotic bacteria come from?
A. As recently as the middle of the last century, bacteria found naturally in food ingredients were used to make a fermented food product. For example, the example, the lactic acid bacteria found naturally in milk were used to make cheese. This was known as wild fermentation.
Wild fermentations are no longer used. Today, the probiotic bacteria used in food and natural supplements are harvested via a highly controlled fermentation process. This process results in high numbers of bacteria and ensures quality and purity of the bacteria.
Q. Why are probiotic bacteria important for digestive health?
A. Normal microflora (the term commonly used for intestinal bacteria) is associated with good health. An imbalance in this natural microflora (when the beneficial probiotics are outnumbered by the harmful bacteria) is frequently associated with various disease states such as yeast infections and colon cancer.
Eating foods or taking a nutritional supplement containing probiotic bacteria can help support and modify the composition of the large intestine microflora. Microflora of the large intestine assist digestion through fermentation (by making the intestines more inhospitable to invading bacteria species), protection against disease-causing bacteria, and stimulation of the immune system.
The probiotics, Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria, occupy a central role in the intestinal and provide health benefits.
Q. How do probiotic bacteria help with digestion?
A. Lactose is an important sugar that is converted to lactic acid by lactic acid bacteria. Lactose intolerance results from an inability to digest lactose, due to the failure of small intestine mucosal cells to produce lactase, an enzyme needed to digest lactose. This often results because of genetics, gastrointestinal disease, or because of the decline in the amount of intestinal lactase levels associated with aging. Lactase deficient people accumulate non-absorbed lactose in the gastrointestinal tract, which draws water and electrolytes into the gut and speeds waste through the intestines, leading to bloating, cramping, and diarrhea.
Approximately 50 million people in the
Lactic acid bacteria have been shown to help the breakdown of lactose, specifically by enhancing the activity of lactase (beta galactosidase), which improves lactose digestion and tolerance. Furthermore, in a randomized, controlled clinical trial, Bifidobacteria longum was shown to assist in the breakdown of lactose and relieve the symptoms of lactose intolerance (flatulence) in people with lactose intolerance.
Q. What is the difference between digestive enzymes and probiotics? Can they be taken together?
A. Digestive enzymes, such as protease, amalyse, and lipase, act upon food, breaking it down into simpler components that can be used by the body for energy. Without enzymes, digestion could not take place. Therefore, the food that we eat could not be absorbed and utilized by our bodies.
Probiotics help the enzymes to digest food and process waste. In essence, probiotic bacteria and enzymes work together to ensure that the digestive tract is running smoothly. When taken together, enzymes assure greater levels of digestion absorption of your food, and probiotic bacteria aid the enzymes in digestion and keep problems in check.
Q. Is helping to ensure a healthy digestive system the only use for probiotics?
A. Absolutely not! Probiotic bacteria, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, have been found to help prevent vaginal yeast infections in women that suffer from these reoccurring infections.
Approximately 35% of vaginal infections are caused by the yeast. Candida albicans, Candida, is a fungus that is a component of the normal gastrointestinal microflora. However, Candida must not be allowed to increase in numbers. An overgrowth is associated with adverse health effects like vaginal infections, oral thrush, or even serious systematic yeast infections. Probiotics have been shown to keep levels of Candida in check.
Probiotic bacteria have also been demonstrated to have anti-cancer properties. In baa clinical study, colon cancer patients given Lactobacillus acidophilus fermented milk showed a significant increase in numbers of intestinal Lactobacilli and a decrease in risk factors associated with colon cancer.
Patients suffering from inflammatory bowel diseases, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease can benefit from probiotic bacteria supplementation. Studies have shown that probiotic bacteria assist in maintaining remission in ulcerative colitis and preventing reoccurrence of Crohn’s disease. Manipulating the intestinal flora may prove to be more effective and better tolerated than the drugs that are conventionally given to treat these diseases. I one study, Lactobacillus acidophilus was found to improve the intestinal barrier and clinical status in children suffering from Crohn’s disease.
Probiotics supplementation can also improve and prevent skin disease, such as eczema. Studies have shown that probiotic bacteria can actually control inflammation associated with skin conditions. In one study, infants with eczema who were given probiotic-supplemented formulas showed a significant improvement in skin condition.
The chart below summarizes some of the diseases and conditions that probiotic bacteria can help prevent and/or improve.
Q. How often should probiotics be taken to ensure optimal support of the digestion system?
A. Probiotic bacteria do not permanently colonize in the body. They need to be replenished by the consumption of foods containing probiotic bacteria or by taking a probiotic natural supplement. Whatever form you choose to replenish the intestinal probiotics, they need to be ingested daily for their health-promoting effects to continue.
Q. If I take a probiotic nutritional supplement, how many bacteria should a good quality supplement contain?
A. The critical factor is not how many bacteria that a supplement contains, but rather how many bacteria reach the intestines healthy, vigorous, and ready to work.
A good quality supplement will deliver at least 3 billion living, healthy probiotic bacteria per dose to your intestines. The bacteria in the probiotic natural supplement should be a mixture of both Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria.
Again, the critical key to a good quality probiotic supplement is that the bacteria must be alive to work. Only living probiotic bacteria can colonize in the intestines. A good quality probiotic nutritional supplement will have GUARANTEED levels of live bacteria at the point of consumption. Inferior brands will merely state levels of live bacteria at the point of manufacture.
Recently, a private laboratory tested various probiotic nutritional supplements in the marketplace, including one utilizing a new process that encapsulates the bacteria in a spherical, pearl-like coating. Each of these supplements were best-selling brands, two of them were enteric coated, and all had label guarantees about potency. The lab counted the levels claimed by each manufacturer.
Q. Then how do I know I am getting what I pay for?
A. First, look for a product that has a “use by” date or an “expiration” date clearly stated on the package.
It is also important to look for a probiotic supplement that does not require refrigeration. Probiotic supplements that require refrigeration often have been subjected to warm temperatures during shipment and storage that will inevitably kill off some or all of the bacteria.
It is also important that the product label guarantees live bacteria at the time of purchase, not at the time of shipment or manufacturing. However, from the laboratory test discussed, we see that sometimes these written guarantees are not worth the paper they are written on. There is one scientifically validated process that truly delivers live and vigorous bacteria to the intestine. This process suspends the probiotic bacteria in a moist paste and immediately seals the bacteria in a perfectly seamless, spherical, gelatin ball. This bacterial paste is completely protected from air and dryness so the bacteria are alive until the specialized gelatin dissolves – in the intestines.
Q. Why is it important to dissolve only in the intestine?
A. Lactic acid bacteria are not very resistant to the acids of the stomach. The harsh environment of the stomach destroys the majority of these bacteria.
This pearly-like coating technology protects bacteria from the stomach acid. The sphere is specially developed to only dissolve in the intestines. Enteric coating is not enough as it does nothing to protect the bacteria while they wait for purchase on the shelf.
Q. What does this proprietary coating technology mean to me?
A. This specialized process is an expensive processing step, but it has many advantages to you.
The pearl-shaped spheres actually “seal” the bacteria in the capsule, which protects them from air. Probiotic bacteria are anaerobic, meaning they do not require oxygen to live. In fact, the presence of oxygen can actually injure or kill probiotic bacteria. In addition, the special coating’s ability to seal the bacteria in the capsule stimulates the need for the nutritional supplement to be refrigerated – though they can be kept in the refrigerator, if desired.
By protecting the bacteria on the shelf and in the stomach, the probiotic bacteria successfully reach the intestine. As a result, there will be a greater number of healthy, intact bacteria that can colonize in the intestine.
Many health care practitioners believe all health issues are related in some way to the process of digestion. Probiotics play a crucial role in improving our digestive health, which, in turn, is interconnected to every single function in our bodies.
Taking a probiotic supplement is an excellent way to replenish the good bacteria in your intestinal microflora. A quality probiotic product contains two different types of bacteria from Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria species with at least one billion live bacteria per dose.
But how do you know the bacteria re still alive? Look at the package. If there is no fate stamp, put it down. If it says the company guarantees there was a certain number alive at the time of manufacture, put it down. Tat means that the company is not willing to claim the bacteria are alive when delivered to the target site, the intestine. If the product must be constantly refrigerated, put it down. How do you know it didn’t sit in a truck for two days, or was in a warehouse before it was shipped to the health food store?
Find a probiotic that says the bacteria are guaranteed to be alive in the numbers stated on the label until the printed on the package. Find a product using unique, cutting edge science to deliver the probiotic bacteria in a form that uses spherical, sealed, triple coating to protect the bacteria. That company has gone to extra time and expense to make sure you reap the benefits that probiotics can offer.
Oil of Oregano – The Natural Antiseptic
March 08, 2007 02:39 PM
Oregano is an aromatic herb that grows in the Mediterranean region, and is cultivated in many areas of the world. It is a member of the Lamiaceae or mint family, a plant family recognized for square stems and opposing pairs of leaves. The ancient Greek’s original name for this plant, “oreganos”, translated to “Delight of the Mountains”. It earns this name because the fragrance that is exuded, which has been described as complex, warm and spicy. The Greeks believed that if their cows ate oregano, it gave the meat a better flavor. Today, Oregano is recognized internationally as a culinary spice. It is a popular herb with Americans, especially in the distinctive aroma of Italian style cooking. Aromatic spices have been used through out the world for centuries for both their distinctive flavor and aroma as well as for their medicinal qualities.
Oregano is rich in vitamins and minerals including vitamin A and C, niacin, calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, potassium, copper, boron and manganese. In addition, the herb contains many active chemical constituents that provide beneficial support to our bodies, such as thymol and carvacrol these components strongly discourage the growth of microorganisms, as action recognized by traditional herbalists throughout history as well as supported by modern scientific research. Oregano additionally provides antioxidant activities, useful to offset the effects of free radical damage.
There is a lot of confusion about oregano, because there are many plants throughout the world that are called oregano. Marjoram is often referred to as oregano, because it is a close cousin to the “true” oregano, and the genus and species name of marjoram is Origanum marjorana. To add to the confusion, the plant called oregano in Spain, Thymus nummularius, is different than Mexican oregano, Lippia graveolens. It is important to be aware of this because different species have different chemical constituents. The active ingredient, carvacrol, is found in high amounts only in “true” oregano, origanum vulare, the exact species that vitamin supplement manufacture use.
It takes approximately 200 pounds of oregano to produce 2 pounds of oregano oil. This highly concentrated form provides you with a quality plant remedy containing all the important volatile oils intact, thus remaining true to maintaining the plant in its holistically balanced state.
Oregano oil is exceptional in its ability to destroy many different kinds of pathogenic (disease-causing) microorganisms. It has a stronger effect than commercial preparations of phenol, a well-recognized medical antiseptic. Disease causing microorganisms including bacteria, fungus, virus and parasites are involved in illnesses ranging from colds and flues to gingivitis of the gums, athlete’s foot and candida. Oregano oil has been shown in scientific studies to actively inhibit and destroy E. Coli, candida albacans and the bacteria’s that cause strep and staff infection. It has been used for diarrhea, intestinal gas and digestive problems, as well as sore throats and minor breathing difficulties in traditional herbology. Oil of Oregano can act as an immediate first aid for insect bites and minor cuts and scrapes as well as dandruff, diaper rash and other skin disorders.
Unlike pharmaceutical drug antibiotics, Oregano oil does not cause the development of resistant strains of bacteria. Although it is always possible for an individual to have an allergic reaction to any substance, there are no known adverse effects to Oil of oregano.
Try Oil of Oregano on the skin for external conditions such as athlete’s foot. A few drops can be diluted in a teaspoon of water and used to brush the gums to help with gingivitis. Due to its high concentration, suggested internal use is just four drops (Start with one drop) in a full glass of water, three times per day. Each four drop dose of Nature’s Answer Oil of Oregano provides 13mgs of Oregano oil, which is guaranteed to contain a minimum of 7mg of Carvacrol. It is also available from Nature’s Answer in soft gel form.
The Power Plant of the Amazon
March 02, 2007 11:34 AM
Enzymatic Therapy Amazon Herbs
It may surprise most Americans to know that rainforest plants are the original source for one-fourth of the chemotherapy medications used today. Plants offer a plethora of beneficial compounds, and rainforests contain a superabundance of beneficial plants.
In fact, plant medicines are the most widely used medicines of all types in the world. Over eighty-five percent of the world’s population uses plant and herbal medicines as their primary medicines. That’s 5.1 billion (5,100,000,000) people worldwide! While Americans overwhelmingly use synthetically manufactured pharmaceuticals to cure their ills, the vast majority of Earth’s inhabitants use healing plant medicines instead.
One of the most powerful healing rainforest plant medicines is cat’s claw, or Uncaria tomentosa. This high climbing woody vine grows at the base of tall trees in the Peruvian rainforest. The plant’s claw-shaped thorns latch onto the trees and spiral further upward, nourished by the lush rainforest environment. For over 2,000 years, the Ashaninka, a tribal people of the Peruvian rainforest, have used the root of U. tomentosa to treat illnesses in the tribe, including asthma, bladder infections, infected wounds, arthritis, bone pain, bowel inflammation, and cancer.
Q. I’ve heard about cat’s claw, but what does it do and how do I know which one is right for me?
Cat’s claw might be one of the most confusing (and most effective!) nutritional supplements available in health food stores today. One reason that it’s so confusing is there are so many kinds of cat’s claw supplements-there are cat’s claw leaves, cat’s claw bark, and even cat’s claw twigs. While each of these supplements claim to help the immune system, it is the root of Uncaria tomentosa that is proven to impart the true cat’s claw health benefits.
Scientists, who have extensively studied every part of the plant, discovered that extracts made from selected cat’s claw roots possess the healing power to treat and prevent diseases like cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcers and degenerative diseases. In addition, it demonstrates anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-microbial benefits.
Adding to the confusion is the fact that not all Uncaria tomentosa roots actually contain healing properties.
Healers in the Ashaninka tribe attribute the healing properties in cat’s claw to the “good spirits” that live in the plant’s roots. The Ashaninka healers, or sancoshi, are able to actually “see” the good spirits hidden inside the root of the plant before they harvest them.
Some cat’s claw plant roots have the good spirits. Some don’t. If the good spirits are mixed with any cat’s claw root without good spirits, the healing power is lost. While there are no apparent differences in the plants or the roots to the untrained eye, only certain cat’s claw roots possess the power to heal. And, for a very long time, only the Ashaninka tribal healer seemed to be able to identify them. They call the good spirit cat’s claw Saventaro, or “powerful plant”.
However, scientists who were given cat’s claw roots by the Ashaninka to study in the laboratory discovered that they could “see” the good spirits, too! Using high performance liquid chromatography, or HPLC, a laboratory process that identifies various chemical compounds, the good spirits of cat’s claw roots were revealed to be important medicinal compounds called pentacyclic oxindole alkaloids (POAs). Research has learned that POAs provide powerful benefits for the human immune response.
Q. Why are good spirits, or POA’s, good for the immune system?
Cat’s claw POAs work to keep us healthy by directly interacting with white blood cells, the backbone of our immune system. Our white blood cells are the disease fighting cells of the human body. These highly specialized cells fight diseases we catch, such as colds and flu, as well as diseases that start within our own cells, such as cancer and autoimmune diseases. There are many kinds of white blood cells; each has a specific job to do in fighting diseases.
Certain POAs help white blood cells called macrophages work faster. The macrophages’ job is to engulf and digest foreign material. This means that macrophages can ingest m ore bacteria and disease causing microbes when they are exposed to POAs. The scientists also discovered that POA cat’s claw extract increases the production of a chemical protein called interleukin that is secreted by macrophages. This macrophage-secreted interleukin (IL-1) has important immune enhancing properties. IL-1 alerts resting white blood cells and spurs them into action. It also helps make other biochemicals that are essential to an activated immune system.
POAs also help B cells. B cells are white blood cells that make antibodies that kill germs. Each B cell is programmed to make one specific antibody that is effective against one specific germ (such as a bacteria, virus, or fungus). When scientists looked at the number of B cells after they were exposed to POA cat’s claw root extract, they found that the B cells had increased significantly, resulting in an increased supply of antibodies. And perhaps most importantly as they relate to cancer, the POAs in cat’s claw root extract help increase the number of T cells, the true soldiers of the immune system. There are many different kinds of these white blood cells, including Helper T cells, Suppressor T cells, and Killer T cells. Increased Helper, Suppressor, and Killer T-cells can more effectively destroy cancer cells. Increasing the number of circulating T-cells is very important in a disease like AIDS as well.
Q. Can cat’s claw and other plants in the rainforest really cure diseases? Isn’t that just folklore?
It’s folk use and modern science combined-plants have long been known for their ability to kill cancer cells. In fact, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) has identified over 3000 plant extracts that can kill cancer cells. More than 70 percent of these plants are found only in the rainforest.
Q. What is it about the rainforest that gives plants like cat’s claw these cancer killing compounds?
Most of the time when we talk about rainforests, we’re talking about the tropical rainforests. While other forests, like the old-growth temperate forests of the Pacific Northwest, also have high rainfalls and tall trees, the tropical rainforests located near the equator are where most plant medicines come from.
The Amazon rainforest in South America is the world’s largest, covering an area about two-thirds the size of the continental United States. Depending on the elevation and distance to the equator the Amazon rainforest receives between 160 and 400 inches of rain per year. The rain is spread pretty evenly from January to December-it’s always the rainy season-and the temperatures remain between 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit all year.
This fertile environment continually recycles itself. When leaves fall from the trees, flowers wilt, and animals die in the rainforest-all of the nutrients are recycled back into the roots of the trees and plants. Because the rainforest reuses almost everything that falls to the ground, the plant growth is amazingly rich in alkaloids and other medicinal compounds. Researchers think these compounds and alkaloids, like POAs, protect the plants from illness and insect attacks. These are the very same compounds that protect us from disease.
Q. When the Ashaninka harvest the cat’s claw roots, does it impact the rest of the plant?
No. The Ashaninka work intelligently to keep rainforest cat’s claw plants perpetually healthy. The Ashaninka employ responsible and innovative harvesting techniques to keep the plants alive and tribal members healthy. Individual cat’s claw plants are never completely harvested. Only one third of the lateral roots are collected at any one time to allow re-growth by the remaining root. Once a plant’s lateral roots have been partially harvested, that plant is left to regenerate, and no more root is harvested from it for 10 years.
Q. Why are the Ashaninka willing to share their cat’s claw?
They are generous people. The Ashaninka see no benefit in hoarding cat’s claw for themselves alone. They also want to make sure that the plant’s healing properties continue on. As their homelands continue to be destroyed by deforestation, rainforest peoples are also disappearing. There were an estimated ten million tribal and indigenous peoples living in the Amazonian Rainforest in 1510. Today there are less than 200,000.
Since the 1900’s more than 90 indigenous tribes have died out and disappeared. Each time a rainforest medicine man or woman dies without passing their arts on to the next generation, the tribe and the world loses thousands of years of irreplaceable knowledge about medicinal plants. With them, centuries of accumulated knowledge of the medicinal value of rainforest species have been lost.
A good example of the impact of this loss can be seen in cat’s claw. When European explorers began venturing into the Amazon River basin, t hey were skeptical of the stories the Ashaninka people told them of U. tomentosa’s amazing healing powers. But when the explorers became sick with colds, flu, or other illnesses, they harvested cat’s claw root for themselves and gave the plant a try. Sometimes the explorers got better when they used the cat’s claw root, sometimes they stayed the same.
Q. Why didn’t the cat’s claw root help all the explorers?
Because some cat’s claw plant roots have good spirits-POAs-and some cat’s claw plant roots have tetracyclic oxindole alkaloids, or TOAs. While the POAs have very powerful effects in the immune system, the TOAs have different effects in the body, none of which help the immune system cells at all. All U. tomentosa plants look virtually identical, so it’s hard to tell if they have the healing POAs or non-helpful TOAs.
What makes cat’s claw identification even more challenging is the fact that plants with POAs one year will have TOAs the next. Cat’s claw plants seem to change their alkaloid chemotypes at will, an incredibly powerful accomplishment for a plant to possess. Harvesting of cat’s claw roots that contain POAs is very tricky. Unless the person gathering the root extract is an Ashaninka sancoshi. These medicine men know which cat’s claw to use; they can actually “see” the good spirits hidden inside the root. When scientists studying cat’s claw discovered they could “see” presence of TOAs using HPLC technology, they were able to harvest cat’s claw root extracts with POAs that consistently helps people get and stay healthy.
Q. Do some cat’s claw root extract supplements contain TOAs?
Yes they do. And buying those products will only benefit the cat’s claw distributor; they won’t help you stay healthy. When cat’s claw root is harvested from the rainforest, responsible supplement maker examine the root with HPLC to make sure that only POA roots are collected. But, this identification of the chemotypes takes significant time and costs money. For these reasons, many cat’s claw distributors don’t include this important process in their harvesting. The POAs and TOAs are simply just mixed together and sold as a cat’s claw product with no mention of any alkaloid content on the label.
Q. Why should I avoid TOAs?
While the POAs in cat’s claw root extracts have numerous benefits to the immune system, the TOAs have different effects in the body, none helping the immune system cells. Most importantly, however, when POAs and TOAs are mixed together, the TOAs actually work against the POAs. TOAs reduce the capacity of POAs to beneficially modulate the immune system.
Q. How can I be sure the cat’s claw I buy is POA cat’s claw?
Read the label of the cat’s claw root extract product you are considering buying. If it does not clearly state that it is the high POA cat’s claw, then chances are that it’s not.
Q. What do the Ashaninka receive in return for the cat’s claw harvesting?
The Ashaninka and reputable distributors of cat’s claw root extract have established a mutual and ethical relationship. Both groups benefit from the sale of the plant material. Maintaining this relationship is important for both the tribe and the distributors.
The distributors are paying a fair price for the raw material directly to the tribe. No intermediary is involved. This payment covers the raw material itself, a license-fee for the k knowledge of the plant, and a guarantee (from both sides) of a lasting relationship. Payment is also made for the protection of the rainforest. No deforestation is allowed. The area where the cat’s claw materials are processed is also leased and payment is made for this, as well.
This arrangement allows the Ashaninka to make independent decisions in how to spend this income from sale of their cat’s claw plants. They have been able to make improvements in the tribe’s water supply and in their living areas. They are also able to obtain outside medical aid as needed and provide for education of their children.
The partnership with cat’s claw distributors has created a sustainable resource for the Ashaninka. The tribe has been able to not only preserve their rainforest, but also compete financially with unsustainable income sources offered by timber and agricultural firms.
Q. Why is it important to preserve the rainforest?
The most amazing fact about these impressive medicinal plants is the vast number that5 has yet to be discovered. In fact, the rainforest’s abundance is one reason it is home to so many healing plants. Within a four square mile patch of rainforest, you could see 1500 species of flowering plants, 750 species of trees, 125 mammal species, 400 species of birds, 100 reptile species, 60 amphibian species, and 150 different species of butterflies.
Unfortunately, not everyone looks to the rainforest for the same reasons. Many consider its real value in board feet and cultivated acreage. The forces pushing industrial development move quickly; experts estimate that we’re losing over 130 plant, animal, and insect species every day/ That amount to almost 50,000 species a year.
A combination of logging, petroleum interests, cattle grazing operations, and, of course, our own consumer appetites are putting pressure on rainforest resources. The consequences are sobering:
By leaving the rainforest intact, however, and harvesting its many nuts, fruits, oil-producing, and medicinal plants, the rainforest has more economic value than if it was cut down for timber or to make grazing land for cattle. If managed properly, the rainforest can provide the world’s need for sustainably harvested natural resources on a perpetual basis. That’s what the Ashaninka are doing with their cat’s claw harvesting.
The discovery of medicinal plants is dependent upon healthy rainforests. When an acre of tropical rainforest is lost due to deforestation, the impact on the number of plant and animal species lost and their possible uses is staggering.
We can all help the development of sustainable rainforest industries. By purchasing renewable and sustainable rainforest products, like POA type cat’s claw root extract, we are keeping rainforests alive and well. By benefiting from the innate wisdom of the Ashaninka people we are keeping ourselves just as alive and well. By honoring the science and the sacred of the world’s rainforests, like my friend the oncology nurse, the massive wealth and diversity will be there for generations to come.
October 17, 2006 01:50 PM
Carbohydrate loading is an ergogenic technique devised for endurance athletes to trick the muscles into storing more fuel than it normally would. Although carbohydrate loading has been hailed as an innovative training technique in the past few years, the discovery of carbohydrates as the preferred fuel of the body dates back several decades. In 1939 two scientists named Christiansen and Hensen demonstrated that the body burns carbohydrates before drawing upon its fat and protein. The research found that the body readily uses carbohydrates as fuel for the muscular and nervous system with minimal wastage and toxic by products – unlike the case with protein and fats.
The body stores carbohydrates in the form of glycogen in the muscles and liver. This glycogen helps the liver to detoxify otherwise dangerous substances. It also supplies a readily available source of glucose to maintain the essential blood sugar level. Glycogen stored in a muscle is available for energy use for only that particular muscle, unlike glycogen stored in the liver, which is available systemically. At rest, and during low-intensity exercise, the body burns about an equal mixture of fat and carbohydrate for energy purposes. However, as work intensity increases, carbohydrates become the dominant fuel because of its quick availability. Laboratory research has shown that an exercise intensity of less than 40-50 percent VO2 max, the body burns mostly fat, and the degradation of stored glycogen is minimal.
The situation changes during high intensity exercise, when carbohydrates become the sole source of energy. The activity itself is limited by the availably of glycogen as an energy source.
Muscle glycogen is five times more available as an energy source for intensity exercise as compared to liver glycogen. When the muscle glycogen becomes depleted, the muscle its self begins to fail, and fatigue rapidly sets in marathon running, this dreaded phenomenon is known as “hitting the wall”.
Since it is obvious that the availability of glycogen is a limiting factor in endurance athletic events, exercise physiologists devised ways to increase glycogen storage in the body. In 1967 two Swedish exercise physiologists came up with carbohydrate loading, also called glycogen loading, as a method of supper-compensation of glycogen through diet and exercise.
Hydrate loading usually is approached by any of the following means:
According to researchers David Costill, Ph.D., carbohydrate consumption in excess of 600 grams daily won’t result in proportionally larger amounts of synthesized glycogen. In the first 24 hours of carbo-loading, the type of carbs eaten is not of critical importances. However, after the second day, Costill suggests eating complex rather refined or simple sugars.
Complex carbs are those which contain lots of intact fiber, such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables. An exception to this rule is pasta, which is a refined sugar but is good to ingest during carbo-loading. Complex carbs tend to maintain a steady output of the hormones insulin, which activates the enzymes glycogen synthetase, essential for effective glycogen storage.
Most experts today advocate a gradually tapering exercise program while increasing carbo consumption to about 525 grams daily. This avoids the problems associated with the low-carb period, such as fatigue, weakness, potassium loss and muscle tissue loss.
One day prior to competition, the athlete rests completely and consumes about 550 grams of carbohydrates.
The carbohydrate loading program should be limited to three times a year. More often than seems to decrease its effectiveness. Costill suggests that athletes engaged in intense exercise on a daily basis consume about 70 percent of their daily calories in carbohydrates. This will maintain adequate glycogen levels in both the liver and muscles, according to Costill.
Carbohydrate loading is of no real benefit in athletic events lasting less than 60 min, because lesser activity time does not deplete glycogen levels enough to inhibit work capacity of endurance.
Carbohydrate loading isn’t for everyone. Each gram of cellular glycogen is stored with 2.7 gram of water. This rapid water storage makes some people feel stiff and tight, resulting in decreased performance. The only way to determine if the carbohydrate loading works for you is to try it – carefully!
Remifemin symptomatic relief, scientifically supported*
August 26, 2006 02:41 PM
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The only RemiSure black cohosh
Unique to Remifemin® - Exclusive standardized isopropanolic black cohosh extract, subject of over 90 scientific papers.
Proven Effective – The most clinically studies natural intervention for menopausal symptoms with over 40 years of use worldwide*
Safe – Completely hormone free
Relevant Reports and Guidelines
Responding to the need for alternative menopausal symptom relief*
Natural, Safe alternative to HRT for menopausal symptoms*
Superior Manufacturing Quality
VitaNet Recommends Remifemin
Lit source: Enzymatic therapy.
*this statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treate, cure, or prevent any disease.
July 08, 2006 01:22 PM
Acidophilus pearls is a prebiotic dietary supplement designed to help support digestion and a healthy intestinal system. It provides a combination of two different active, live cultures to support overall health of the intestinal tract. Acidophilus pearls are processed using an advanced, patented, encapsulation technique, which results in a product that is stable at room temperature for up to 18 months. Many other live bacteria products are unstable at room temperature, and fail to meet their level claim in less than 12 months after manufacture. Additionally, the patented True Delivery Technology pearl capsule protects the bacteria from harsh stomach acid so they can be released live and intact in the intestines, where they need to arrive in live form to perform their beneficial function.
The True Whey, boost your immune system
April 29, 2006 02:09 PM
Perplexed about Protein? immunoglobulins to boost the immune system.
April 29, 2006 01:58 PM
The Wellness Revolution
Perplexed about Protein?
As protein and whey powders have advanced in popularity, the confusion about them has grown. In particular, protein processing technology has advanced by leaps and bounds; consumers are being presented with protein claims and counter-claims that are highly contradictory.
The confusion is part of a rapid growth. Little Miss Muffet’s quiet dish of curds and whey has expanded from a minor sideline aid for weight lifters, with sales increases around to percent a year, into an explosive $1 billion a year industry, with some companies announcing sales growth of 110 percent in just the last year.
The increase in market is from whey’s expanding appeal. As new technology has made whey’s nutritive value beneficial to a wide range of consumers, more people are using whey, and whey is being added to more products. The problem is, those advanced nutritive qualities are not included in all whey products. The fantastic immune benefits, for example, apply to only the top tier of whey products.
The standard of protein quality—the ability to provide indispensable amino acids—is judged on the basis of digestibility, nutrients, and amino acid composition. Whey has historically been acknowledged as on of the best sources of high quality protein.
With the increasing popularity of whey, attention on new processing methods has raised the bar on quality, and new products have greatly expanded nutritional values. What may have been an acceptable high-quality whey protein a few years ago, no longer makes the grade. Tony Lucchesi, Natural Sales Trainer at Source Naturals says, “The different processing methods have changed the entire protein market.”
He explains, “In separating casein from whey, (a process used to make cheese), most processing methods use heat, chemical modification, or pH adjustments. These all damage the native protein structure. The result is little or no biological activity in the whey product. All the low temperature drying and micro-filtration won’t help if the raw material is denatured before a protein is dried and brought to market.”
Damaged protein may have been acceptable a few years ago, but it isn’t now. Lucchesi continues, “Animal experiments have shown that polypeptides—whole, non-denatured proteins—have greater nutritional value than protein isolates.”
Protein isolates are what is left after the pasteurization process. The protein has traditionally been “Cross cooked” out of its normal balance. “What you have left are incomplete bits and pieces of whole protein,” he says. These protein bits have only partial nutrients.
The latest introduction to the protein category are concentrates, which are intact, biologically-active whole proteins. The entire difference is in the processing; high heat, acids, and traditional methods of separating the caseins from the whey are no longer used. The new processing preserves the nutrients of the protein. This is the method that is the basis for a new Source Naturals whey product, True Whey.
Lucchesi says, “TRUE WHEY is different in that it was designed to provide nutritional support for enhanced immune function. The entire process was designed for nutritive value. The preservation of these nutrients—lactoferrin, glutamine, immunoglobulins—give TRUE WHEY a huge benefit to athletes, children, and anyone interested in boosting their immune system.”
Per serving, TRUE WHEY offers 8 grams of un-denatured protein that includes 900 mg immunoglobulins and 190mg of lactoferrin. Its vanilla flavoring has gotten very high reviews, and it has a two-year shelf life. It appears that the bar has truly been raised in the whey protein category!
Potent Antioxidant Protection *
February 11, 2006 09:28 AM
Goji berry possesses a unique combination of flavonoids, vitamins, minerals and polysaccharides that are thought to be responsible for the antioxidant and anti-aging properties attributed to Goji. Studies have been conducted which characterize some of these antioxidant nutrients and show possible beneficial effects of the berry and its extracts on various systems and organs.
In a study published in 2004, scientists undertook an experiment to assess whether Goji berries contained compounds that would be known to exert potential beneficial effects on skin complexion and anti-aging properties. After analyzing the berry, leaf and roots of the Goji plant, they found that the Goji berry contained a unique analog of vitamin C known as 2-O-(beta-D-glucopyranosyl) ascorbic acid. They determined that this compound was unique to the berry and not found in the other parts of the plant. Furthermore, the vitamin C compound was present in levels equivalent to those found in citrus fruits such as lemons. However, the question remained as to whether this vitamin C analog served as a precursor to vitamin C when ingested in the body. A further experiment in rats was performed to determine the intestinal absorption and tissue uptake of this vitamin C analog. The results showed that some of the compound was indeed metabolized into vitamin C in the blood, while the rest was absorbed intact. These studies suggested that the compound was easily transported from the blood into cells and tissues, where it is activated to active vitamin C. Therefore, the vitamin C from Goji berries seems to be highly absorbable and targeted for delivery to the cells that utilize it.1
Zeaxanthin is a carotenoid that is widely distributed in fruits and vegetables and, along with lutein, is present in significant amounts in the macula of the human eye. Studies suggest that the presence of zeaxanthin is highly desirable for healthy visual function. Goji berries are used in traditional Chinese herbalism to support eye health and are also known to contain a high level of zeaxanthin dipalmitate. Researchers compared the bioavailability of this naturally esterified zeaxanthin to that of an unesterified form in 12 individuals who underwent a 23-day study in which they received one form or the other, and then switched. Administration was done on day one followed by a three-week washout period. The individuals were then crossed over to get the other form on day 23 in a single administration. Analysis revealed that the esterified zeaxanthin from Goji berry caused a higher increase in plasma levels than the non-esterified form, indicating higher bioavailability.2
A second study confirmed these findings. In this study, fourteen individuals consumed 15 grams of whole Goji berries daily for 28 days. These individuals were compared to thirteen age and sex-matched controls who did not consume the berries. Fasting blood samples were taken for all individuals before and after the 28-day period. Results indicated that zeaxanthin plasma levels increased 2.5-fold in the group who consumed the berries daily, suggesting the high bioavailability of zeaxanthin from the berries.3
Goji berry was also studied on various measures of antioxidant activity. Researchers subjected three Chinese herbs, one of which was Goji berry, to various assays of reactive oxygen scavenging potential. The results indicated that all of the herbs had significant free radical scavenging properties; however, Goji berries showed the most potent scavenging effect in the assays. Goji berry was especially strong at inhibiting the formation of superoxide anion and scavenging free radicals. The researchers concluded that among these herbs, Goji could be considered the best antioxidant to promote healthy aging.4
An interesting study was performed in human skin cultures to determine the mechanism of the potentially protective effect of Goji berry extracts. Researchers found that bathing human skin cultures with an extract from Goji berry impacted the function of several enzymes that promote skin aging. This provides evidence of an anti-aging and antioxidant effect of Goji berry extract in these human skin cultures. Researchers also noted that when these skin cultures were subjected to suboptimal growth conditions (lack of adequate nutrients), supplementing the medium with this Goji berry extract allowed the skin to maintain normal metabolic functions.5 Goji berry extract contains numerous compounds that confer potent antioxidant protection to various tissues.*
Co-Enzyme B-Complex Fact Sheet
December 08, 2005 04:40 PM
Co-Enzyme B-Complex Fact SheetNeil E. Levin, CCN, DANLA 8/1/05
LIKELY USERS: People with poor digestion or low stomach acid, People needing ENERGY, People desiring metabolism support.
KEY INGREDIENTS: CoEnzyme B-Vitamins plus synergists
MAIN PRODUCT FEATURES: B Complex Vitamins are needed by the body for energy production, synthesis of hormones and blood cells, healthy nervous system function, and numerous other metabolic processes. The forms of the B Vitamins found in foods and most supplements, however, are not readily utilized by the body. They require conversion into their active forms before they can perform their functions as cofactors in biochemical reactions. NOWR Co-Enzyme B-Complex contains B Vitamins already in their active or "Coenzyme" forms. This enables the body to use them more quickly and efficiently because, once absorbed, they are transported directly to their site of action, requiring no conversion. 1
B Complex Vitamins are needed by the body for energy production, synthesis of hormones and blood cells, healthy nervous system function, and numerous other metabolic processes 1, 2. The forms of the B Vitamins found in foods and most supplements, however, are not readily utilized by the body. They require conversion into their active forms before they can perform their functions as coenzymes in biochemical reactions 1, 2.
ADDITIONAL PRODUCT USE INFORMATION & QUALITY ISSUES: NOWR Co-Enzyme B-Complex tablets are enteric coated to enhance bioavailability by allowing delivery to intestinal absorption sites intact, unharmed by stomach acids.2 Our Quality department had to qualify several new ingredients for this formula.
This formula is enhanced with added Coenzyme C10 (CoQ10), Alpha Lipoic Acid, Betaine (TMG), Vitamin C, and both coenzyme forms of B-12 (Methylcobalamin and Dibencoside) and is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
SERVING SIZE & HOW TO TAKE IT: Two tablets daily, preferably in divided doses. This enteric-coated tablet is best to take between meals (one or more hours before a meal or hours after a meal), as it has an acid-resistant coating that dissolves beyond the stomach and needs to transit quickly past the stomach.
COMPLEMENTARY PRODUCTS: Vitamin C, TMG (Betaine), Lecithin (Choline, Inositol)
SPECIFIC: Please discuss your use of B-Vitamins with your physician, especially if you are using any medications.
GENERAL: Pregnant and lactating women and people using prescription drugs should consult their physician before taking any dietary supplement. This information is based on my own knowledge and references, and should not be used as diagnosis, prescription or as a specific product claim. Information given here may vary from what is shown on the product label because this represents my own professional experience and understanding of the science underlying the formula and ingredients. When taking any new formula, use common sense and cautiously increase to the full dose over time.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
1. Shils ME, Olson JA, Shike M (eds.) (1994) Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, Eighth Edition. Chapters 20-26, 28, 30. Lea & Febiger Philadelphia.
October 06, 2005 10:08 PM
Magnesium is a dietary mineral with a wide array of biological activities in the body. Magnesium participates in numerous life-essential processes that occur both inside and outside cells. Magnesium deficiency impacts normal physiologic function on many levels. Adequate magnesium is a fundamental requirement for optimum function of the cardiovascular system, the nervous system and skeletal muscle, as well as the uterus and GI tract. Magnesium deficiency can affect health of the heart, bones and blood vessels and alter blood sugar balance .
Magnesium–Important for Everyone, Deficient in Many The average person living in a modern country today very likely consumes less than the optimum amount of magnesium . An abundance of data collected over the last two decades shows a consistent pattern of low magnesium intake in the U.S. This pattern cuts a wide swath across various age-sex groups. The USDA’s Nationwide Food Consumption Survey found that a majority of Americans consumed less than the recommended daily magnesium intake . Twelve age-sex groups were studied and this low magnesium intake was true for all groups except 0 to 5 year olds.
An analysis of the nutrient content of the diets of 7,810 individuals age four and above included magnesium among several nutrients where the amounts supplied by the average diet "were not sufficient to meet recommended standards" . The FDA’s Total Diet study examined the intakes of eleven minerals, including magnesium, among eight age-sex groups. Data was collected four times yearly from 1982 to 1984. Levels of magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc and copper were low for most age-sex groups . Surveys conducted in Europe and in other parts of North America paint a similar picture. Loss of magnesium during food processing is one explanation for this global lack of adequate dietary magnesium .
In particular, the elderly may be susceptible to magnesium deficiency for a variety of reasons, including inadequate magnesium intake, poor absorption due to impaired gastrointestinal function and use of drugs such as diuretics that deplete magnesium from the body . It has recently been theorized that magnesium deficiency may contribute to accelerated aging, through effects on the cardiovascular and nervous systems, as well as muscles and the kidneys .
Women who take both synthetic estrogen and calcium supplements may be at risk for low blood levels of magnesium . Estrogen promotes the transfer of magnesium from blood to soft–tissues. Low blood magnesium may result if the ratio of calcium to magnesium intake exceeds 4 to 1. Magnesium supplementation is thus advisable for women taking estrogen and calcium.
Young adults are not immune to magnesium deficiency. The University of California’s Bogalusa Heart Study collected nutritional data from a cross-sectional sample of 504 young adults between age 19 and 28 . The reported intake of magnesium, along with several other minerals and vitamins, was below the RDA.
Glycine is a highly effective mineral chelator. This is because it is a low-molecular-weight amino acid, hence is easily transported across the intestinal membrane. A study conducted at Weber State University found this particular magnesium glycinate was absorbed up to four times more effectively than typical magnesium supplements.
Magnesium-the Versatile Mineral
The average adult body contains anywhere from about 21 to 28 grams of magnesium. Approximately 60 percent of the body’s magnesium supply is stored in bone. Soft tissue, such as skeletal muscle, contains 38%, leaving only about 1 to 2% of the total body magnesium content in blood plasma and red blood cells. Magnesium in the body may be bound either to proteins or "anions" (negatively charged substances.) About 55% of the body’s magnesium content is in the "ionic" form, which means it carries an electrical charge. Magnesium ions are "cations," ions that carry a positive charge. In its charged state, magnesium functions as one of the mineral "electrolytes."
Magnesium works as a "co-factor" for over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body. Metabolism uses a phosphate containing molecule called "ATP" as its energy source. Magnesium is required for all reactions involving ATP . ATP supplies the energy for physical activity, by releasing energy stored in "phosphate bonds".
Skeletal and heart muscle use up large amounts of ATP. The energy for muscle contraction is released when one of ATP’s phosphate bonds is broken, in a reaction that produces ADP. Phosphate is added back to ADP, re-forming ATP. ATP also powers the cellular "calcium pump" which allows muscle cells to relax. Because it participates in these ATP-controlled processes, magnesium is vitally important for muscle contraction and relaxation. By controlling the flow of sodium, potassium and calcium in and out of cells, magnesium regulates the function of nerves as well as muscles .
Magnesium’s importance for heart health is widely recognized. The heart is the only muscle in the body that generates its own electrical impulses. Through its influence on the heart’s electrical conduction system, magnesium is essential for maintenance of a smooth, regular heartbeat . Magnesium appears to help the heart resist the effects of systemic stress. Magnesium deficiency aggravates cardiac damage due to acute systemic stress (such as caused by infection or trauma), while magnesium supplementation protects the heart against stress . This has been found true even in the absence of an actual magnesium deficit in the body.
Evidence suggests that magnesium may help support mineral bone density in elderly women. In a two-year open, controlled trial, 22 out of a group of 31 postmenopausal women who took daily magnesium supplements showed gains in bone density. A control group of 23 women who declined taking the supplements had decreases in bone density . The dietary intakes of magnesium, potassium, fruit and vegetables are associated with increased bone density in elderly women and men . In an interesting animal study, rats were fed diets with either high or low levels of magnesium. Compared to the high magnesium-fed rats, bone strength and magnesium content of bone decreased in the low-magnesium rats, even though these rats showed no visible signs of magnesium deficiency . While this finding may or may not apply to humans, it raises the possibility that diets supplying low magnesium intakes may contribute to weakening of bone in the elderly.
Maximizing Absorption––Chelated Minerals Explained Mineral absorption occurs mainly in the small intestine. Like any mineral, magnesium may be absorbed as an "ion," a mineral in its elemental state that carries an electric charge. Mineral ions cross the intestinal membrane either through "active transport" by a protein carrier imbedded in the cells lining the membrane inner wall, or by simple diffusion. The magnesium in mineral salts is absorbed in ionic form. However, absorption of ionic minerals can be compromised by any number of factors, including: 1) Low solubility of the starting salt, which inhibits release of the mineral ion, and 2) Binding of the released ion to naturally occurring dietary factors such as phytates, fats and other minerals that form indigestible mineral complexes .
A second absorption mechanism has been discovered for minerals. Experiments have shown that minerals chemically bonded to amino acids (building blocks of protein) are absorbed differently from mineral ions. This has given rise to the introduction of "chelated" minerals as dietary supplements. Mineral amino acid chelates consist of a single atom of elemental mineral that is surrounded by two or more amino acid molecules in a stable, ring-like structure.
Unlike mineral salts, which must be digested by stomach acid before the desired mineral portion can be released and absorbed, mineral chelates are not broken down in the stomach or intestines. Instead, chelates cross the intestinal wall intact, carrying the mineral tightly bound and hidden within the amino acid ring. The mineral is then released into the bloodstream for use by the body. Research by pioneers in the field of mineral chelation and human nutrition indicates that the best-absorbed chelates consist of one mineral atom chelated with two amino acids. This form of chelate is called a "di-peptide." Compared to other chelates, di-peptides have the ideal chemical attributes for optimum absorption . Dipeptide chelates demonstrate superior absorption compared to mineral salts. For example, a magnesium di-peptide chelate was shown to be four times better absorbed than magnesium oxide .
Consumer Alert! Not all "amino acid chelates" are true chelates. In order for a mineral supplement to qualify as a genuine chelate, it must be carefully processed to ensure the mineral is chemically bonded to the amino acids in a stable molecule with the right characteristics. The magnesium bis-glycinate/lysinate in High Absorption Magnesium is a genuine di-peptide chelate ("bis" means "two"). It has a molecular weight of 324 daltons, considerably lower than the upper limit of 800 daltons stated in the definition of "mineral amino acid chelates" adopted by the National Nutritional Foods Association in 1996 .
Bioperine® For Enhanced Absorption Bioperine® is a natural extract derived from black pepper that increases nutrient absorption.* Preliminary trials on humans have shown significant increases in the absorption of nutrients consumed along with Bioperine® .
Scientific References 1. Abbott, L.R., R., Clinical manifestations of magnesium deficiency. Miner electrolyte Metab, 1993. 19: p. 314-22. 2. Durlach, J., Recommended dietary amounts of magnesium: Mg RDA. Magnesium Research, 1989. 2(3): p. 195-202. 3. Morgan, K.e.a., Magnesium and calcium dietary intakes of the U.S. population. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 1985. 4: p. 195-206. 4. Windham, C., Wyse, B., Hurst, R. Hansen, R., Consistency of nutrient consumption patterns in the United States. J AM Diet Assoc, 1981. 78(6): p. 587-95. 5. Pennington, J., Mineral content of foods and total diets: the Selected Minerals in Food Survey, 1982 to 1984. J AM Diet Assoc, 1986. 86(7): p. 876-91. 6. Marier, J., Magnesium Content of the Food Supply in the Modern- Day World. Magnesium, 1986. 5: p. 1-8. 7. Costello, R., Moser-Veillon, P., A review of magnesium intake in the elderly. A cause for concern? Magnesium Research, 1992. 5(1): p. 61-67. 8. Durlach, J., et al., Magnesium status and aging: An update. Magnesium Research, 1997. 11(1): p. 25-42. 9. Seelig, M., Increased need for magnesium with the use of combined oestrogen and calcium for osteoporosis treatment. Magnesium Research, 1990. 3(3): p. 197-215. 10. Zive, M., et al., Marginal vitamin and mineral intakes of young adults: the Bogalusa Heart Study. J Adolesc, 1996. 19(1): p. 39-47. 11. McLean, R., Magnesium and its therapeutic uses: A review. American Journal of Medicine, 1994. 96: p. 63-76. 12. Graber, T., Role of magnesium in health and disease. Comprehensive Therapy, 1987. 13(1): p. 29-35. 13. Sueta, C., Patterson, J., Adams, K., Antiarrhythmic action of pharmacological administration of magnesium in heart failure: A critical review of new data. Magnesium Research, 1995. 8(4): p. 389- 401. 14. Classen, H.-G., Systemic stress, magnesium status and cardiovascular damage. Magnesium, 1986. 5: p. 105-110. 15. Stendig-Lindberg, G., Tepper, R., Leichter, I., Trabecular bone density in a two year controlled trial of peroral magnesium in osteoporosis. Magnesium Research, 1993. 6(2): p. 155-63. 16. Tucker, K., et al., Potassium, magnesium, and fruit and vegetable intakes are associated with greater bone mineral density in elderly men and women. Am J Clin Nutr, 1999. 69(4): p. 727-736. 17. Heroux, O., Peter, D., Tanner, A., Effect of a chronic suboptimal intake of magnesium on magnesium and calcium content of bone and bone strength of the rat. Can J. Physiol. Pharmacol., 1975. 53: p. 304-310. 18. Pineda, O., Ashmead, H.D., Effectiveness of treatment of irondeficiency anemia in infants and young children with ferrous bisglycinate chelate. Nutrition, 2001. 17: p. 381-84. 19. Adibi, A., Intestinal transport of dipetides in man: Relative importance of hydrolysis and intact absorption. J Clin Invest, 1971. 50: p. 2266-75. 20. Ashmead, H.D., Graff, D., Ashmead, H., Intestinal Absorption of Metal Ions and Chelates. 1985, Springfield, Illinois: Charles C. Thomas. 21. NNFA definition of mineral amino acid chlelates, in NNFA Today. 1996. p. 15. 22. Bioperine-Nature's Bioavailability Enhancing Thermonutrient. 1996, Sabinsa Corporation: Piscataway, N.J.
*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Doctor's Best•1120 Calle Cordillera•Suite 101, San Clemente, CA 92673
Source Naturals - Flawless Finished Goods
August 20, 2005 11:47 AM
The packaging process requires careful coordination from start to finish. All products are meticulously tracked, counted or measured, filled into finished containers, safety-sealed, and assigned identification codes. This ensures the highest quality product – from our facility to the consumer’s hands. -Alex Rosario, Packaging Supervisor
Flawless Finished Goods
Our Packaging Department has final responsibility for seeing that our high quality supplements reach you in a form that ensures safety, freshness and accountability.
Maintaining Freshness Source Naturals takes great care to package our products in a manner that maintains the quality and potency of the ingredients. We print “best if used by” dates on our bottles to let you know they are fresh. To protect certain products from moisture, which can lower tablet potency, desiccants are inserted into bottles. An inner seal provides further protection.
Ensuring Uniform Safety Standards
High-speed tablet counters correctly add the number of tablets to place in each bottle. After bottles are filled, they are capped and pressuresensitive seals are applied to make the product tamper-evident. A full body sleeve is heatshrunk to each bottle, adding a second tamper seal.
Source Naturals traces all material lots used in our products from receipt to finished product. Through careful documentation, we have the ability to track a single ingredient throughout the entire manufacturing process to the completed bottled product. The material number, weight, and lot number of each ingredient are recorded on batch sheets. Each bottle is marked with a unique, traceable manufacturing lot number. This means a bottle can be taken off a store shelf and every ingredient traced back to its source.
Inspecting Finished Products
Our finished goods inspectors follow a very specific set of standards to determine if the finished product can be released for shipping. Our inspectors verify that bottles meet our appearance standards, are appropriately labeled, contain the correct number of tablets, have intact tamper-evident seals and, in the case of products with high iron content, child-resistant caps.
Every ingredient in every product can be traced back to its original source and manufactured lot number.
An old Indian remedy gives your teeth a new gleam - NEEM
July 27, 2005 04:23 PM
Keen on Neem
An old Indian remedy gives your teeth a new gleam.
The search for clean teeth, healthy gums and fresh breath is not just a modern obsession, but an age-old fixation. Dental historians believe that ancient cavity rates ranged from 1% among Eskimos, with their highly carnivorous diet, to 80% among members of Egypt’s royalty, who feasted on dainties that included many high-carb delights. So it’s no surprise that most ancient cultures had their favorite oral hygiene therapies.
In Indian, the tooth scrubber of popular choice was twigs taken from the neem tree. Small wonder: This tropical evergreen’s therapeutic versatility sports and impressive 4,000-year-old track record, earning it the nickname of “village pharmacy.” Indians who went abroad carried neem with them, and they put the entire tree-bark, fruit, leaf, root, seed-to health-enhancing use. One famous Indian emigrant, Mahatma Gandhi, was a keen neem enthusiast; after returning to his native land, Gandhi held prayer meetings under a neem tree.
Today, neem’s beautiful branches grace a vast swath of the Southern Hemisphere, including Australia (which may become the biggest neem-producing nation over the coming decades), Fiji, sub-Saharan Africa, Central and South America and the Caribbean. This remarkable plant’s Sanskrit name, arista, says it all-“perfect, complete and imperishable.”
Keeping Teeth Intact
Your dentist is actually the second one to drill your pearly whites. The first drillers are the germs that reside in your mouth-or, to be more accurate, the acids these wee beasties produce. Their handiwork: dental caries, or just plain cavities. These bacteria are also responsible for gum disease, which can lead to tooth loss if unchecked. What’s even worse, low-level inflammation caused by disordered gums may create the kind of blood-vessel havoc associated with heart problems.
Neem extracts act against a variety of detrimental microbes, which may explain its time-tested success in helping to keep teeth whole. Scientists at India’s Zydus Research Centre found that individuals who used a neem dental gel twice a day for six weeks enjoyed significant reductions in both plaque-the gummy, bacteria-harboring stuff that accumulates on teeth-and gum disease (International Dental Journal 8/04).
Neem’s fame is spreading among Northern Hemisphere consumers. It is becoming an herbally aware toothpaste ingredient valued for the fresh feeling its cool astringency imparts to the mouth. Neem is also a prized component of other health and beauty products, such as bath powders, lotions, shampoos and soaps.
In India, neem is a vital weapon in the arsenal of Ayurveda, that country’s system of traditional medicine. Practitioners there mash the leaves into a paste to alleviate chickenpox and warts, and brew them into tea to break malaria’s feverish grip. The leaves also make a soothing soak for fungus-infected feet.
Indian scientists are also hard at work studying neem. They’ve distilled the substances that account for neem’s ability to fight bacteria, fungi and parasites (including the pests that infest pets). Researchers have explored neem’s other traditional usages; in one study, a bark extract was able to ease ulcers (Life Sciences 10/29/04). What’s more, neem is esteemed for its contributions to Indian agriculture; the seedcake makes a nutritious feed supplement and bees that feed on neem are free of wax moths.
If you value keeping your teeth in gleaming condition, consider neem.
Natural Progesterone and PMS
July 25, 2005 10:02 PM
Natural Progesterone and PMS
When a woman’s body experiences an imbalance of progesterone resulting in estrogen dominance, a variety of pre-menstrual symptoms can result. Estrogen dominance can occur when a progesterone deficiency is present. PMS refers to a whole host of symptoms which can vary from woman to woman. Conventional therapies for PMS involves the use of antidepressants, diuretics, counseling, nutritional regimens and synthetic hormones. Interestingly, most symptoms which commonly characterize PMS are also typical of estrogen dominance. Due to this observation, Dr. John R. Lee gave natural progesterone to his patients with PMS and obtained some impressive results. “The majority (but not all) of such patients reported remarkable improvement in their symptoms-complex, including the elimination of their premenstrual water retention and weight gain.”10 Let’s quickly review the hormonal flux which characterizes the menstrual cycle. During the week following the end of the menstrual period, estrogen is the dominating hormone which initiates the buildup of the uterine lining once again. At the same time, eggs in the ovary begin to mature. Estrogen levels also contribute to the secretion of more vaginal mucous at this time making the tissue environment more conducive to sperm survival and motility. From ten to twelve days after the beginning of the last period, estrogen levels will crest and then begin to taper just prior to ovulation and when the egg (corpus luteum) has matured enough to produce progesterone.
Consequently, progesterone will dominate during the second half of the cycle. Increased levels of progesterone cause the body temperature to rise, the continued development of the uterine blood-filled lining, and the thinning of cervical secretions. All of these events occur in anticipation of the presence of a fertilized egg. If pregnancy does not occur within 10 to 12 days after ovulation, both estrogen and progesterone levels rapidly fall, which initiates the shedding of the uterine lining (menstruation) and a new cycle begins again. If a woman becomes pregnant, progesterone levels continue to rise and the uterine lining remains intact to receive and nourish the fertilized egg.
Eventually the placenta will produce much higher than normal amounts of progesterone throughout the remainder of the pregnancy. It’s rather easy to see that a woman’s monthly cycle is regulated by the rise and fall of estrogen and progesterone. This perfectly natural fluctuation of hormones can wreak havoc with the health of a woman when imbalances occur. More often than not, a hormonal imbalance consists of a progesterone deficiency. Progesterone was designed by nature to inhibit many of the negative effects of estrogen. If progesterone levels do not balance out estrogen during the last two weeks of the cycle, PMS can become a problem. Dr. Lee illustrates this, saying: “A surplus of estrogen or a deficiency of progesterone during these two weeks allows for an abnormal month-long exposure to estrogen dominance, setting the stage for the symptoms of estrogen side effects.”11
Clearly, natural progesterone may be one of the most, if not the most effective, therapies to deal with PMS miseries. Unfortunately, many women are completely unaware of its action or availability.
June 29, 2005 05:38 PM
Bio-Chelation* By Ellen J. Kamhi, Ph. D. with Dorie Greenblatt In The Beginning The Bio-Chelated¨ process describes a proprietary cold extraction technique developed by Mr. Frank D'Amelio Sr., founder and owner of Nature's Answer¨, and well- respected author*. Long before Nature's Answer¨ was formed (early 1970's), Mr. D'Amelio was immersed in the study of botanical medicine, researching the various herbal texts including the national USP/N.F. (United States Pharmacopeia/National Formularies) dating back to the mid -1800's. (The USP/N.F. is a reference source that provides manufacturing standards and extraction techniques used to make herbal formulas; these standards were considered official prior to 1938.) This authoritative formulary discussed the use of plant parts such as leaf, stem, bark, flowers and roots. It recommended certain solvents known as "menstruums", in which plant parts were soaked in order to extract their active constituents. High heat was also often utilized to concentrate the extract. Mr. D'Amelio noticed that high amounts of solvents, usually alcohol, were often recommended, and that sediment would fall to the bottom (precipitate) in certain solutions. He began to investigate how he could offer the consumer potent herbal products made with very low heat, with minimum precipitation, and without a lot of alcohol!
A Clue From Nature In working towards the goal of attaining a final botanical extract product with little alcohol, Mr. D'Amelio turned to Nature for the apparent answer. He realized that plants were composed of 80-85% water as well as some alcohols, fats, etc. If plants were able to keep the active constituents in solution and use them as needed mainly through water, not alcohol or other solvents, why couldn't he? Thus, he began a long, in-depth series of experiments with many different plants. Through rigorous research protocols and scientific testing, he discovered that the active constituents of some plants could be extracted using lower alcohol amounts with water and other natural solvents such as organic apple cider vinegar or vegetable glycerine. At other times, however, higher alcohol was necessary, such as when he was extracting volatile oils like menthol from peppermint. The experimentation process continued, with Mr. D'Amelio documenting the optimum menstruum combinations required for each plant to yield the maximum beneficial components. (Note that there are differences in alcohol. The alcohol consumed in wine and beer is derived through a natural fermentation process with no processing other than filtration. When distilled alcohol is added to an extraction, which some herbal manufacturers use, it effects the body in a more detrimental way; thus the development of the Bio-Chelation¨ process, which uses only organic alcohol).
The Bio-Chelated¨ Method Is Developed As Mr. D'Amelio continued his experimentation with various plants and menstruums, his extraction processes became more refined, and eventually led to the development of the Bio-Chelated¨ method. The Bio-Chelated¨ method incorporates soaking for a period of time, using different menstruum ratios for different plants to optimize their therapeutic values. Furthermore, this procedure offers additional significant advantages when compared with other types of extraction processes commonly employed by competitors in the herbal industry.
Bio-Chelation includes the use of "cold extraction", where the plant parts are extracted without being exposed to excessive amounts of heat. Cold extraction helps the herb maintain vital minerals and other trace elements in solution, thus enabling the herb to keep its Holistic Balanceª intact. (Holistic Balanceª means that extracts retain as many of the natural constituents of the original plant as possible.) In addition, the Bio-Chelated¨ process incorporates the use of an exclusive technique that removes much of the alcohol used during the menstruum soaking (maceration) phase, replacing it with vegetable glycerin instead. The resulting yield is an herbal extract that is either alcohol-free, or has a low alcohol content. (Both alcohol-free and low alcohol products from Nature's Answer feature vegetable glycerin only. Glycerin is used because it helps bind certain plant constituents, is natural to the body, is easily absorbed by the cells and has little insulin response. Only vegetable glycerin has been used since 1972. In addition, all alcohol used in Nature's Answer's low alcohol formulas is certified organic.)
The Bio-Chelated¨ method was the first extraction process to yield a 12-14% alcohol extract in the herbal industry!
Nature's Answer Stands The Test of Time Over the last quarter of a century (since 1972), the Bio-Chelated¨ cold extraction process has been painstakingly tested and proven to stand the test of time. Incorporating Mr. D'Amelio's proprietary cold extraction process in today's manufacturing procedures continues to yield a measurably superior product. One such example is Saw Palmetto from Nature's Answer¨, a product that is produced utilizing our Bio-Chelated¨ method versus the more expensive CO2 method. Our Bio-Chelated¨, cold extraction process yields a product that not only contains the same amounts of active constituents as the more expensive CO2 extracted product, but features a higher percentage of polyphenols, the compounds responsible for the herb's antioxidant properties. The end result is a Saw Palmetto extract that maintains its holistic balance! (Note that most prior successful studies done on Saw Palmetto utilized grain alcohol extracts which contained naturally occurring polyphenols; the CO2 extracted products do not contain polyphenols!) Although larger quantities of herbal products are now being produced as compared to the earlier experimental batches made by Frank D'Amelio, his founding corporate philosophy remains intact - combine the greatest care with the highest quality of raw material to create the ultimate herbal extract that works. After all, that's what it's all about, isn't it? Bio-Chelated¨..Another reason to count on Nature's Answer Without Question! Manufacturing Highlights:
State-of-The-Art Laboratory Manufacturing Equipment HPLC, UV, IR, GC/MS, LC/MS, TOC and Densitometer 316 Pharmaceutical Grade Stainless Steel or Glass Lined Extraction Vessels (instead of the inexpensive, more commonly used plastic or polyethylene extraction vessels; these vessels are porous and may contain microorganisms, residual plasticizers that are difficult to clean and could cross contaminate different batches of herbs) FDA Registered & Pharmaceutically Licensed cGMP and SOP Compliant Manufactured in the U.S.A. *Botanicals - A Phytocosmetic Desk Reference (1999), Botanical & Herbal Folklore (1974), The Botanical Practitioner (1978) Bio-Chelated¨ is a registered trademark of Bio-Botanica Inc.¨ Holistic Balanceª is a trademark of Bio-Botanica Inc.¨
Your Healthy Harvest
June 14, 2005 11:05 AM
Your Healthy Harvest by Marjorie Flakowitz Energy Times, August 15, 2004
Once frowned on by conventional farmers, organic food has won respect from everyone concerned about the health of both the earth and the people who inhabit it.
Today, organic farming is considered one of the most rapidly growing areas of American agriculture. Organic foods sales topped $9 billion in 2002 and grew about 20%, up to almost $11 billion in 2003 (Organic Trade Association).
So when you buy organic, you join an expanding market that takes advantage of great-tasting, good-for-you food. Long ago, when the practice of farming was first devised, all farming was organic farming. So today's organic movement is bringing farming back to its roots.
But, safe to say, that is not what's motivating most consumers. A main reason for the popularity of organic food derives from the reassurance that organic foods, raised without artificial chemicals and pesticides, cut your exposure to toxic residues. A growing body of research shows organic food is richer in beneficial natural substances, too.
" Organic food and organic farming represent a philosophy that goes beyond just the quality of the food," says Steve Meyerowitz in The Organic Food Guide (Globe Pequot). "It strives to maintain the integrity of the entire food chain-plants, soil, air, water, animals and people. We are all part of the same ecosystem."
By eating organic, you eliminate pollution both from your body and the earth. Because our bodies are made of the animal and plant products we consume, our internal, physiological ecosystem and the earth's environment are inexorably entwined.
Chilling Arctic Evidence
As evidence of this connection, consider what's happened in the Arctic. Researchers who have analyzed Arctic water, ice, snow, soil and plants have found that chemicals used in farming and industry in other parts of the world have traveled north and accumulated in alarming quantity. How and if these chemicals break down depends on sunlight and the amount of organic matter contained in Arctic waters (American Chemical Society, 9/11/03).
" Once pollutants enter the water column, their behavior is poorly understood-particularly the processes that govern their lifetime and concentrations," says Amanda Grannas, PhD, a researcher at Ohio State University. "Such pollutants are now being found in wildlife, from fish to seals to whales, and even in people living in the Arctic."
Dr. Grannas and others looked at the pesticides lindane and hexachlorobenzene (HCB), two chemicals that have migrated to Arctic waters. Lindane is used by American farmers to treat seeds before they are planted. HCB, banned in the US in 1984, is still used in other countries to protect wheat from fungus.
The scientists found that sunlight at the top of Arctic waterways can help break down some pesticides. At lower depths, however, cut off from the sun's rays, pesticides can remain largely intact. In this research, lindane proved to persist much more readily than HCB.
" Lindane is one of the most persistent of pollutants," warns Dr. Grannas. "This could be because it's photochemically inert, whereas pollutants like HCB degrade relatively quickly. The main message is that pollutants can behave quite differently. These pollutants already affect local ecosystems, and could have repercussions for human health."
Organics Means More Benefits
Researchers are also finding that organic produce contains larger quantities of beneficial natural chemicals. For instance, one study (Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry 2/26/03) showed that berries and corn grown organically can have almost 60% more polyphenolics. Polyphenolics are antioxidants plants use for protection against disease and which are good for humans. Researchers believe that when crops are grown conventionally, protected by pesticides and herbicides, they produce fewer of these substances. " This really opens the door to more research in this area," says Alyson Mitchell, PhD, assistant professor of food science at University of California at Davis, who led the research.
These scientists compared levels of total polyphenolics and vitamin C content in marionberries (a type of blackberry) and corn grown organically, sustainably or conventionally, and also looked at chemicals in strawberries grown either sustainably or conventionally. (Sustainable farming falls between the organic and conventional methods, and concentrates on farming that's self-sufficient-for example, feeding cows hay you've grown yourself, and then using the cows' manure to fertilize another crop.) They found that organic marionberries and corn had 50% to 58% more polyphenolics. The sustainably grown strawberries had 19% more polyphenolics. And all the organic produce contained more vitamin C.
Self-Defense for Plants
According to Dr. Mitchell, the organic crops contained the high levels of polyphenolics you'd expect to find in wild plants, suggesting that, on conventional farms, pesticides reduce the necessity for plants to make these protective, natural chemicals. " If an aphid is nibbling on a leaf, the plant produces phenolics to defend itself," she says. "[P]henolics guard the plant against these pests."
Pesticides kill insects like aphids and thereby reduce the antioxidants produced by the plant. " This helps explain why the level of antioxidants is so much higher in organically grown food," Mitchell says. "By synthetically protecting the produce from these pests, we decrease their need to produce antioxidants. It suggests that maybe we are doing something to our food inadvertently.
" We know [polyphenolics] are beneficial [to human health], but we don't know what types of polyphenolics are beneficial, or in what quantities," Dr. Mitchell notes. " Originally, the question was just really intriguing to me. I found that the higher level of antioxidants is enough to have a significant impact on health and nutrition, and it's definitely changed the way I think about my food."
Vitamin C in Oranges
Meanwhile, nutritional research on the vitamin C in oranges turns up similar results: organic oranges are richer in this antioxidant nutrient than conventionally grown oranges (Great Lakes Regional Meeting, American Chemical Society, 6/2/02).
The more common supermarket oranges are significantly larger than organically grown oranges, and they have a deeper orange color. Because of their larger size, "we were expecting twice as much vitamin C in the conventional oranges," says Theo Clark, PhD, chemistry professor at Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri.
But when he isolated the chemicals in the oranges and further refined his search with nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), spectroscopy demonstrated that organically grown oranges possess 30% more vitamin C than the conventionally grown fruits-even though they are only about half as large.
Dr. Clark isn't sure why organic oranges are richer in vitamin C, but he says, "...[W]e speculate that with conventional oranges, [farmers] use nitrogen fertilizers that cause an uptake of more water, so it sort of dilutes the orange. You get a great big orange but it is full of water and does not have as much nutritional value.
" However, we can only speculate. Other factors such as maturity, climate, processing factors, packaging and storage conditions require consideration." Along with analyzing oranges, Dr. Clark and his research team questioned about 70 people to measure their concept of the nutritional value of organic oranges. In this survey, 85% of the respondents thought that organic oranges have a higher nutritional content than conventionally grown fruit.
Dr. Clark's laboratory work shows that "they were right on." In Dr. Clark's view, these issues are important because consumers have a right to know the real nutritional content of organic produce, and the fact that analyses show that organic fruit has much more vitamin C validates the benefits of eating organic.
Both plants and animals protect themselves from disease with many of the same chemicals. The natural substances that, in a farmer's field, defend vegetables from insects and microbes before they are harvested for your dinner go to work defending your body after you eat and digest them.
When you eat organic you bolster your health with more of these natural wonders. No wonder organic is becoming so popular!
Resveratrol - support for healthy cardiovascular health
May 23, 2005 09:11 AM
The following abstract proved that Resveratrol improves cardiovascular health:
Mechanisms of Cardiovascular Protection by Resveratrol. Hao, Han Dong; He, Li Ren. Postgraduate School, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Peop. Rep. China. Journal of Medicinal Food (2004), 7(3), 290-298. CODEN: JMFOFJ ISSN: 1096-620X. Journal; General Review written in English. CAN 142:147537 AN 2004:763821 CAPLUS
A review. The phytoantitoxin resveratrol is a plant-derived polyphenol with phytoestrogenic properties. Resveratrol protects the cardiovascular system by mechanisms that include defense against ischemic-reperfusion injury, promotion of vasorelaxation, protection and maintenance of intact endothelium, anti-atherosclerotic properties, inhibition of low-d. lipoprotein oxidn., suppression of platelet aggregation, and estrogen-like actions.
Sytrinol -- Natures way to lowering cholesterol up to 40%
May 20, 2005 12:12 PM
In a Lab experiment, cholesterol was lowered by 40%
Formulations contg. citrus polymethoxylated flavones (PMF), mainly tangeretin, or citrus flavanone glucosides hesperidin and naringin were evaluated for blood cholesterol-lowering potential in hamsters with diet-induced hypercholesterolemia. PMF metabolites were also investigated. Diets contg. 1% PMF decreased blood serum total and very-low-d. lipoprotein (VLDL) + LDL cholesterol by 19-27 and 32-40%, resp., and decreased serum triacylglycerol levels. Comparable decreases were achieved by feeding 3% mixt. of hesperidin and naringin (1:1), implying lower hypolipidemic potency of the hesperidin/naringin mixt. vs. PMF. HPLC-MS anal. identified high blood serum, liver, and urine concns. of tangeretin metabolites, including dihydroxytrimethoxyflavone and monohydroxytetramethoxyflavone glucuronides and aglycons. The total liver concns. of tangeretin derivs. corresponded to hypolipidemic concns. of intact tangeretin in earlier expts. in vitro. PMF may be novel flavonoids with cholesterol- and triacylglycerol-lowering potential. Elevated liver levels of PMF metabolites may be directly responsible for their hypolipidemic effects in vivo.
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Garlic Extract Modulation or Pulmonary Vascular Function:
May 12, 2005 12:41 PM
Garlic Extract Modulation or Pulmonary Vascular Function: Comparisons Among Fresh, Aged, Freeze-dried Powder and Oil Macerate
Garlic Elicits a Nitric Oxide-Dependent Relaxation and...
May 12, 2005 12:39 PM
Garlic Elicits a Nitric Oxide-Dependent Relaxation and Inhibits Hypoxic Pulmonary Vasoconstriction in rats.
3. Acetylcholine (0.1 micromol/L)-induced NO-dependent relaxation was reduced from a control value of -76 +/- 1% to -46 +/- 4% during hypoxia and was further reduced to -35 +/- 2 % after reoxygenation.
5. Pretreatment with NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester abolished the early transient contraction, moderately attenuated the sustained contraction and had no effect on the transient relaxation. Mechanical endothelial disruption inhibited all hypoxia-induced vascular changes.
7. Garlic also significantly inhibited endothelin-l-induced contractions in a dose-dependent manner.
8. These findings show that garlic extract modulates the production and function of both endothelium-derived relaxing and constricting factors and this may contribute to its protective effect against hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction.
Under-Reported (and Underappreciated) Cholesterol control.
May 12, 2005 10:00 AM
Under-Reported (and Underappreciated) Solutions for Cholesterol and Triglyceride Controlby Richard Conant, L.Ac., C.N.
Fat and human existence are inseparable. Setting aside the fear and loathing over fat in the body that pervades our culture, we understand that fat is our friend. We cannot live without fat.
The human body contains many different kinds of fats and fat-like molecules. Collectively known as "lipids" these fatty substances include fatty acids, lipoproteins, phospholipids, glycolipids, triglycerides, steroid hormones and the infamous, dreaded cholesterol.
Lipids (fats) are found everywhere in the body, performing a variety of vital functions. The brain is a fat-rich organ. Brain neurons and all other nerve cells are protected by a myelin sheath, made largely out of fatty material. Cell membranes consist almost entirely of phospholipids (lipids that contain phosphorus) arranged in a sandwich-like double layer embedded with proteins. Sex hormones are lipids, belonging to the group of complex lipid molecules known as "steroids." Vitamin D is a lipid.
The body stores and transports fatty acids in the form of triglycerides. A triglyceride contains three fatty acid molecules, which have a chain-like structure, linked to glycerol. (There are also mono- and di-glycerides, which have one and two fatty acid chains, respectively, attached to glycerol.)
Like many other things necessary to life, fat is a two-edged sword. Fat insulates us from the cold, cushions and protects our vital organs and serves as a storehouse for energy. Yet, when present in excess to the point of obesity, fat threatens health, happiness, self-esteem, social standing and longevity. The same is true of other lipids, most notably triglycerides and cholesterol. Transported throughout the body in the bloodstream, these essential lipids become a health liability when the blood contains too much of them.
Keeping fat in it its proper place, not eliminating or drastically reducing it, is the goal we should seek. In the blood, lipids must be maintained at healthy levels and ratios. When they are, an important foundation of good health is established.
How do we keep the blood lipids we need——triglycerides and the various forms of cholesterol——balanced at healthy levels? Diet and exercise are indispensable, these basics must come first. Along with the recommended dietary practices, a number of nutritional approaches offer help for maintaining healthy blood lipids. We will now give several of these a closer look.
In 1990, an herb used for centuries in the Far East was introduced to U.S. consumers. This herb, called "gum guggul," is proving to be one of the most effective natural cholesterol-lowering agents ever discovered. It also brings triglycerides down and raises HDL, the "good" cholesterol. The changes are substantial; gum guggul single-handedly normalizes the entire blood lipid profile, even in people with high starting levels of cholesterol and triglycerides.
Gum guggul, also called simply "guggul," is a gummy resin tapped from the Commiphora tree. A cousin of myrrh gum, guggul has been used by Ayurvedic herbalists of India for at least 3,000 years; texts dating from around 1,000 B.C. mention the herb. Guggul was traditionally given for rheumatism and poor health caused by excess consumption of fatty foods. One ancient Sanskrit text describes in detail what happens in the body when blood fats are out of balance, due to sedentary lifestyle and overeating. The name of this condition has been translated as "coating and obstruction of channels."
Intrigued by the obvious similarity between "coating and obstruction of channels" and arteries clogged by fatty plaque, Indian researchers initiated a series of experimental and clinical studies in the 1960's to see if gum guggul would lower excess blood lipids.1 Both human and animal studies consistently showed cholesterol and triglyceride reductions.
Detailed pharmacological studies showed that guggul's lipid-lowering effects are produced by compounds in the resin called "guggulsterones."2 An Indian pharmaceutical firm then patented a standardized extract of gum guggul under the trade name "Gugulipid." The product contains a uniform 2.5 percent guggulsterones, which is higher than guggul resin in its natural state.
Because Gugulipid guarantees the necessary intake of guggulsterones needed for blood fat reduction, it has become the product used in clinical research. Phase I efficacy safety trials and Phase II efficacy trials have yielded more positive data.3,4,5 Most of the studies on gum guggul have used relatively small numbers of subjects; this tends to make mainstream medical scientists reluctant about natural remedies. A large, well-publicized double-blind Gugulipid trial on 400 to 500 people would go a long way toward giving this herb the credibility it deserves.
Another effective natural solution for blood fat control that should be better known is a relative of pantothenic acid (vitamin B5). Pantethine is the active form of pantothenic acid in the body. Pantethine forms CoA, an essential co-enzyme for utilization of fat. CoA transports "active acetate," an important byproduct of fat metabolism that provides fuel for generating cellular energy. By promoting the burning of fats for energy, pantethine helps keep triglyceride levels down.6 Pantethine also helps regulate cholesterol production, by facilitating the conversion of fat into other lipid-based molecules needed in the body.6
Japanese researchers began studying the effect of pantethine on blood fats nearly twenty years ago. They reported their promising results at the Seventh International Symposium on Drugs Affecting Lipid Metabolism, held in Milan, Italy in 1980.7 Few in the medical or scientific communities took notice. Italian researchers followed up with several small clinical trials that confirmed the preliminary reports.6,8,9 An excellent cholesterol and triglyceride lowering agent that is safe and free of side-effects, pantethine remains, for the most part, ignored by mainstream science, although its usage is growing in alternative medicine circles. Pantethine it will no doubt prove to be one of the most important supplements for maintaining healthy blood fat levels.
When taken in high enough doses, niacin (vitamin B3) substantially lowers cholesterol. This has been known to medical science for many years.10 studies on niacin as a cholesterol-lowering agent go back to the 1950's. There was a fair amount of initial enthusiasm for niacin because it improves, unlike most lipid-lowering drugs, all parameters of the blood lipid profile. Niacin reduces total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. It also raises HDL cholesterol quite well. Interest in niacin has faded, in part because the necessary dose, 1200 milligrams a day or more, can cause flushing and gastrointestinal disturbances. Very high doses may be harmful to the liver if taken for too long.
There is a solution to the side-effect problem with niacin which, again, has failed to gain widespread attention. Inositol hexanicotinate is a flush-free form of niacin composed of six niacin molecules bonded to one molecule of inositol, another B-complex nutrient. Absorbed as an intact structure, inositol hexanicotinate is metabolized slowly, releasing free niacin into the bloodstream over a period of hours following ingestion.11 Inositol hexanicotinate has all the benefits of niacin for controlling blood fats. The flushing effect of ordinary niacin, which metabolizes much more rapidly, does not occur. Taking as much as four grams per day has not been reported to raise liver enzymes or cause other side-effects, but prudence dictates that people with liver problems should avoid very high doses of inositol hexanicotinate, or any form of niacin.12
We often think of vitamin E as synonymous with d-alpha tocopherol. Vitamin E is actually a whole family of compounds that includes various tocopherols and a group of lesser known but highly beneficial substances called "tocotrienols." All have vitamin E activity. Tocotrienols are similar in chemical structure to tocopherols, but they have important differences which give them unique and highly beneficial properties for human health.
Vitamin E is one of the most recognized antioxidants, nutrients that deactivate potentially toxic byproducts of oxygen metabolism known as free radicals. Vitamin E neutralizes peroxides, which result from the free radical oxidation of lipids, making it a key antioxidant in cell membranes. While d-alpha tocopherol has generally been regarded as the form of vitamin E with the strongest antioxidant activity, tocotrienols are even stronger.
The tocotrienol story is another example of a natural product slow to gain recognition. A Univeristy of California research team discovered that d-alpha tocotrienol is over six times more effective than d-alpha tocopherol at protecting cell membranes against free radical damage.13 In the presence of vitamin C, which recycles vitamin E-like compounds, its antioxidant activity is 40 to 60 times higher than d-alpha tocopherol. This study was published in 1991. Its safe to say few cardiac physicians know about tocotrienols, and we have yet to see 60 Minutes do a piece on "the powerful new form of vitamin E."
It would be a tremendous service to public health if they did, because the benefits of tocotrienols go far beyond their stellar antioxidant ability. Tocotrienols also lower total cholesterol and LDL, by impressive percentages. In one double-blind controlled study, tocotrienols reduced total cholesterol by 16 percent and LDL by 21 percent after twelve weeks. Another study recorded drops of 15 to 22 percent in total cholesterol along with 10 to 20 percent decreases in LDL levels.14 Now appearing on health food store shelves, tocotrienols are a health-protecting nutrients whose long overdue time has come. Derived from food oils such as palm oil and rice bran oil, tocotrienols have the same lack of toxicity as ordinary vitamin E.
1. Satyavati, G. Gugulipid: a promising hypolipidaemic agent from gum guggul (Commiphora wightii). Economic and Medicinal Plant Research 1991;5:47-82.
2. Dev, S. A modern look at an age-old Ayurvedic drug—guggulu. Science Age July 1987:13-18.
3. Nityanand, S., Srivastava, J.S., Asthana, O.P. Clinical trials with gugulipid. J. Ass. Physicians of India 1989;37(5):323-28.
4. Agarwal, R.C. et. al. Clinical trial of gugulipid—a new hypolipidemic agent of plant origin in primary hyperlipidemia. Indian J Med Res 1986;84:626-34.
5. 'Gugulipid' Drugs of the Future 1988;13(7):618-619.
6. Maggi, G.C., Donati, C., Criscuoli, G. Pantethine: A physiological lipomodulating agent, in the treatment of hyperlipidemias. Current Therapeutic Research 1982;32(3):380-86.
7. Kimura, S., Furukawa, Y., Wakasugi, J. Effects of pantethine on the serum lipoprotiens in rats fed a high cholesterol diet (Abstract) Seventh International Symposium on Drugs Affecting Lipid Metabolism, Milan, Italy, 1980.
8. Arsenio, L. Bodria, P. Effectiveness of long-term treatment with pantethine in patients with dyslipidemia. Clinical Therapeutics 1986;8(5):537-45.
9. Avogaro, P. Bittolo Bon, G. Fusello, M. Effect of pantethine on lipids, lipoproteins and apolipoproteins in man. Current Therapeutic Research 1983;33(3):488-93.
10. Crouse, J.R. New developments in the use of niacin for treatment of hyperlipidemia: new considerations in the use of an old drug. Coronary Artery Disease 1996;7(4):321-26.
11. Welsh, A.L. Ede, M. Inositol hexanicotinate for improved nicotinic acid therapy. International Record of Food Medicine 1961;174(1):9-15.
12. "Inositol hexaniacinate" (Monograph). Alternative Medicine Review 1998;3(3):222-3.
13. Serbinova, E., et. al. Free radical recycling and intramembrane mobility in the antioxidant properties of alpha-tocopherol and alpha tocotrienol. Free Radical Biology and Medicine 1991;10:263-275.
14. Qureshi, N. Qureshi, A.A. Tocotrienols: Novel Hypercholesterolemic Agents with Antioxidant Properties. in 'Vitamin E in Health and Disease' Lester Packer and Jürgen Fuchs, Editors. 1993; New York: Marcel Dekker, Inc.
Control Cholesterol with the following Supplements