Search Term: " Invader "
L-Histidine: Support Immunity, Brain Function And Cardiovascular Health
October 21, 2022 12:12 PM
L-Histidine is an essential amino acid that plays a role in a variety of important bodily functions. Histidine is best known for its role in the production of histamine, an important mediator of immune system responses. However, histidine is also critical for normal brain function and for the maintenance of a healthy skin barrier. In addition, histidine plays important roles in muscle function, cardiovascular health, protection against free radicals, and the elimination of heavy metals from the body. Let's take a closer look at some of these benefits.
The Role of Histamine in the Immune System Response
As we mentioned before, histamine is an important mediator of immune system responses. When your body comes into contact with a foreign Invader, such as a virus or bacteria, mast cells release histamine into the bloodstream. This leads to the dilation of blood vessels and increased permeability of capillaries, which allows white blood cells and other immune cells to more easily reach the site of infection. In addition, histamine release triggers sneezing and increased mucus production, which helps to expel foreign Invaders from the body.*
Histamine and Brain Function
Histamine is also involved in regulating wakefulness and sleep cycles.* In fact, l-histidine deficiency has been linked to insomnia.* Histamine regulates serotonin levels in the brain and has been shown to improve cognitive function.* Additionally, histamine plays a role in memory formation and has even been shown to protect against age-related cognitive decline.*
L-Histidine and Cardiovascular Health
L-histidine has also been shown to have protective effects on the cardiovascular system.* Histamine promotes vasodilation—the widening of blood vessels—which can help to lower blood pressure.* L-histidine also inhibits platelet aggregation—the clumping together of blood cells—which can help to prevent blood clots from forming.* These effects can help to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.*
As you can see, l-histidine is involved in a variety of important bodily functions. From its role in immunity and brain function to its protective effects on the cardiovascular system, l-histidine is an amino acid that offers many benefits. If you are looking for a way to boost your health and well-being, consider adding l-histidine to your diet!
NOW Beta-1, 3/1, 6-D-Glucan: Immune Support You Can Count On
September 13, 2022 10:48 AM
Boost Immunity with Beta Glucan
If you're looking for an immune support supplement that is effective and backed by science, look no further than NOW Beta-1, 3/1, 6-D-Glucan. This Immune Support Supplement is a bioactive carbohydrate derived from the cell wall of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, commonly known as Bakers' yeast. Scientific studies have shown that yeast-derived Beta-Glucan can interact with certain immune cells, including those present in the gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT). The GALT exists in the intestinal tract and is known to play a critical role in healthy immune system function. NOW Beta-Glucan is blended with Maitake Mushrooms for complementary support.
How NOW Beta Glucan Works
NOW Beta Glucan works by interacting with certain immune cells, including those present in the gut associated lymphoid tissue (GALT). The GALT exists in the intestinal tract and is responsible for a large portion of the body's immune response. When the body is exposed to a foreign substance, such as a virus or bacteria, the cells of the GALT produce antibodies which help to fight off the Invader. In addition to producing antibodies, the cells of the GALT also secrete cytokines; these are signaling molecules that help to regulate the body's immune response. Studies have shown that Beta Glucan can help to modulate the activity of cytokines, which may help to promote a healthy immune response.*
The Benefits of NOW Beta Glucan
In addition to supporting a healthy immune system, NOW Beta Glucan has also been shown to have other potential health benefits. One study showed that Beta Glucan was able to decrease total cholesterol levels and LDL cholesterol levels in individuals with high cholesterol.* Another study showed that Beta Glucan was able to increase natural killer cell activity in healthy individuals.* Natural killer cells are a type of white blood cell that helps to protect the body against infection.*
If you're looking for an effective and science-backed Immune Support Supplement, look no further than NOW Beta 1, 3/1 ,6 -D -Glucan. This bioactive carbohydrate derived from yeast has been shown in scientific studies to interact with certain immune cells present in the gut associated lymphoid tissue (GALT). The GALT exists in our intestinal tracts and plays a critical role in our overall immunity. NOW Beta Glucan is also blended with Maitake Mushrooms for complementary support. So why wait? Give your immunity the boost it deserves with NOW Beta 1, 3/1 ,6 -D -Glucan today!
Vitamins C and D: The Immune System Supplements You Need
August 02, 2022 05:39 PM
It's that time of year again. The leaves are changing color, the days are getting shorter, and people are starting to get sick. If you're looking for a way to boost your immune system, you may want to consider taking vitamins C and D. These two essential nutrients have been shown to be beneficial for immune health, and can help keep you healthy during the cold and flu season. Lets discuss the benefits of Vitamins C and D for immunity, as well as how to get them into your diet.
What are Vitamins C and D, and what do they do for the immune system?
vitamins C and D are essential nutrients that play a vital role in supporting the immune system. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps to protect cells from damage, while vitamin D helps to regulate the body's response to infection. Both vitamins are found in a variety of foods, including citrus fruits, leafy greens, eggs, and fatty fish. In addition, both vitamins can also be taken as supplements. While both vitamins are important for immune system health, vitamin C is particularly critical during times of heightened stress or illness, as it helps to boost the body's production of white blood cells. Vitamin D, on the other hand, is essential for maintaining a healthy balance of inflammation in the body. Without adequate levels of vitamin D, the body may become excessively reactive to foreign Invaders, leading to chronic inflammation and a higher risk of infection. Together, vitamins C and D play an important role in keeping the immune system functioning properly.
Are there any side effects associated with taking too much of these vitamins?
Although you can get vitamins C and D through your diet, sometimes it's not enough to boost your immune system. The only way to ensure you're getting enough of these essential vitamins is to supplement your diet with pills or injections. Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits, tomatoes, potatoes, and leafy green vegetables. However, your body can't store vitamin C, so you need to consume it on a daily basis. Vitamin D is found in fatty fish, egg yolks, and fortified milk. However, most people don't get enough vitamin D from their diet and need to supplement it with pills or injections. Supplementing your diet with vitamins C and D is the only way to ensure you're getting enough of these essential nutrients to boost your immune system.
How can you make sure that you're getting the most out of your vitamins C and D supplements for immune health?
When it comes to vitamins C and D, there are a few things you can do to make sure you're getting the most out of them. First, vitamin C should be taken in divided doses throughout the day. This ensures that your body has a constant supply of the vitamin and can make use of it more efficiently. Second, vitamin D can be taken once per day. Finally, remember to take your vitamins with food. This ensures that your body gets the full benefits of the nutrients and doesn't waste any of them. By following these simple tips, you can help ensure that you're getting the most out of your vitamins C and D.
What are some other ways to boost your immune system during the cold and flu season?
While there are many products on the market that claim to boost your immune system, there is no magic pill that can protect you from colds and flu. However, there are a few simple steps you can take to reduce your chances of getting sick. First, make sure you're getting enough sleep. Sleep helps your body to repair and regenerate cells, which is essential for maintaining a strong immune system. Second, eat a healthy diet. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables will give your body the nutrients it needs to fight off infection. Finally, try to reduce stress. Stress can weaken your immune system, so it's important to find ways to relax and de-stress. Taking these simple steps will help you stay healthy during cold and flu season.
It's important to get enough vitamins C and D to boost your immune system. You can do this by supplementing your diet with pills, eating a healthy diet, and getting enough sleep. By following these simple tips, you can help ensure that you're getting the most out of your vitamins C and D supplements and keep your immune system functioning properly during cold and flu season.
How to Support a Healthy Immune System?
May 21, 2022 10:19 AM
It's no secret that a strong immune system is key to keeping you healthy. A robust defense against invading viruses and bacteria can help you stay well all year long, and even support healthy aging. But what are the best ways to support your immune system? Here we will discuss four simple tips that can help keep your immune system functioning at its best!
What is the immune system and what does it do?
The immune system is a complex network of cells and proteins that work together to protect the body from infection. One of the main roles of the immune system is to identify foreign Invaders, such as viruses and bacteria, and destroy them. The immune system also helps to remove damaged or abnormal cells from the body, preventing them from causing disease. In order to carry out these functions, the immune system must be able to distinguish between normal, healthy cells and foreign or abnormal cells. To do this, the immune system uses a variety of specialized cell types and proteins. white blood cells are a type of cell that is important in immunity. They circulate through the body looking for foreign Invaders and damaged or abnormal cells. When they find these cells, they release substances that destroy them. antibodies are proteins that are produced by the immune system in response to an infection. They attach to foreign Invaders and mark them for destruction by other cells of the immune system. The immune system is constantly changing and adapting in order to better protect the body against disease. This process is known as immunization, and it occurs when the immune system encounters and defeats a new virus or bacteria.
The benefits of a strong immune system?
A strong immune system is the key to maintaining good health. It helps the body fight off infections and diseases, and also helps to repair tissue damage caused by injury or illness. There are a number of ways to boost the immune system, including eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep. Additionally, there are a number of supplements that can help to support the immune system, such as vitamin C, echinacea, and garlic. By taking steps to boost the immune system, we can help to protect ourselves against a wide range of illnesses.
Four ways to support your immune system?
There are many ways to support your immune system. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can help to protect cells from damage. NAC (N-acetylcysteine) is an amino acid that helps to produce glutathione, a key molecule for detoxification. Echinacea is a herb that has been traditionally used to help fight infection. Garlic is a well-known natural remedy that has antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. All of these substances can be found in supplement form, and they can also be found in many foods. For example, citrus fruits contain vitamin C, broccoli and Brussels sprouts contain glutathione-boosting compounds, echinacea can be found in capsules, teas and tinctures, and garlic is a common ingredient in many cuisines. By including these immune-supporting nutrients in your diet, you can help to keep your immune system strong and healthy.
Additional tips for keeping your immune system healthy?
In addition to getting plenty of rest and exercise, there are a few other things you can do to support your immune system. First, make sure you’re getting enough vitamins and minerals. Vitamin C is known for its immune-boosting properties, so consider taking a supplement or eating foods rich in vitamin C, such as oranges, strawberries, bell peppers, and broccoli. You should also make sure you’re getting enough vitamin D, which you can get from spending time in the sun or by taking a supplement. Vitamin E and N-acetylcysteine (NAC) are also thought to support immunity, so consider adding these to your diet as well. Finally, probiotics are “good” bacteria that live in your gut and help keep your digestive system healthy. Probiotics can be found in fermented foods like yogurt and sauerkraut, or you can take them in supplement form. Purchasing a few of these in vitamin supplement form and consuming them daily can ensure you get enough of the needed vitamins to support a healthy immune system. By following these tips, you can help keep your immune system healthy and strong.
A strong immune system is essential for good health. It helps to protect the body against infection and disease, and it also helps to repair tissue damage caused by injury or illness. There are a number of ways to boost the immune system, including taking vitamin supplements, eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep. Are you getting what you need to better support your immunity?
Study shows benefits of vitamin C in treating cancer
February 01, 2019 08:50 AM
First discovered in 1912, Vitamin C is a crucial nutrient that plays roles in immunity, tissue repair, synthesis of vital neurotransmitters and protection of the body from free radicals as an antioxidant. Cancer Research recently published a new Phase 1 human trial which suggests that adding intravenous Vitamin C to traditional chemotherapy can significantly increase survival rates. This may be related to Vitamin C’s potential benefits in protecting against the stres that chemotherapy drugs put on the body.
"A recent medical study evaluating the effect of adding intravenous vitamin C during chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer demonstrated significant benefits."
Read more: https://www.dailyherald.com/entlife/20181222/study-shows-benefits-of-vitamin-c-in-treating-cancer
Gut microbes can fight parasites: Probiotics may reduce infections, and severity of infections, in developing countries
June 08, 2018 09:16 AM
Parasites are a more common problem in some parts of the world, where soil quality is particularly conducive to their survival and growth. Unfortunately, for individuals that get infected with these parasites, it's becoming harder to get rid of them, as successive strains become more resistant to drugs.
Fortunately, new research is discovering that keeping parasites at bay and destroying those already present may have more to do with the environment of the gut. Individuals from villages in Indonesia and Liberia were the data pool used to find guts harboring parasites as well as those free of them. It was found that some bacteria were actually assistive of the parasites, while others made it hard on them. Since inflammation is the way that the gut generally fights off parasitic invasion, those bacteria that are anti-inflammatory are not useful in ridding the body, although those that aid in producing an inhospitable environment are. It may be that a eating a great deal more fermented foods could be a key, as such foods encourage the production of friendly and useful bacteria.
"Your ability to fight off parasitic worms may be aided by your gut microbiota."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-06-05-gut-microbes-can-fight-parasites-probiotics-may-reduce-infections-and-severity-of-infections-in-developing-countries.html
Here's how the body prevents helpful bacteria from causing disease
February 11, 2018 03:59 PM
The body is pretty amazing in how it can detect foes. The system is literally called "friend/foe" and it is the immune system's response to all bacteria. Researchers examined mice for a particular strand of bacteria known as Helicobacter hepaticus. This invader caused a response from T cells and immediately was acted upon as "foe." Specifically Th17 were the T cells that were able to kill the bacteria, but they have another which shuts this cell down when finding friendly ones, not causing the inflammation chain that it normally does.
"Certain bacteria, such as those from the Helicobacter family, are generally considered helpful but can cause disease when genetic or environmental factors alter the normal balance."
Read more: https://www.breakingnews.ie/world/heres-how-the-body-prevents-helpful-bacteria-from-causing-disease-827150.html
Kudzu Root: Beneficial Herb or Just a Hyped Plant Invader?
May 27, 2017 12:14 PM
Originally native to Asia, the kudzu root has had a divided perception in the United States. Used for many years in Chinese medicine, the kudzu has instead been seen as a harmful plant for many Americans. However, further research shows that the kudzu root does indeed has beneficial properties if used the right way. Whether it be fighting disease by reducing inflammation, easing an upset stomach, or even treating alcoholism, the kudzu root has been looked at a bit more favorably on the side of one's health. It is not without its drawbacks, however, as not only is the plant itself seen as a yard pest, but ingesting the root while on birth control can weaken the effects of the birth control and as it slows blood clotting, it could be a danger to those who are already on blood clotting medication. Regardless of the studies that have been shown, it is still clear that more research needs to be completed on kudzu root before a final verdict can be made on whether it is truly beneficial or just another yard pest.
"The Preventative Medicine Center (PMC) suggests kudzu as a remedy for an upset stomach caused by digestive issues."
Read more: https://draxe.com/kudzu-root/
7 Ways Inflammation Affects Your Body
April 23, 2017 11:44 AM
Inflammation is not a friend to your body. In fact, it probably affects you in several ways that you are unaware of at the time being. It is time to change that. It's always best to be informed. When you're informed, you'll know what to expect, and better understand the importance of visiting a doctor. Pay attention to these seven ways that inflammation affects your body, and learn what you can do to avoid these hassles.
"When your immune system detects any of these invaders, it fights back by triggering proteins that are meant to protect your cells and tissue."
Read more: http://www.health.com/pain/body-inflammation
Medical News Today: How does the immune system know friend from foe in gut bacteria?
March 21, 2017 02:44 PM
Microorganisms in the human digestive tract are necessary for proper nutrition, metabolism and immune functioning. However, because the human body has mechanisms to destroy pathogens, cooperating scientists in Germany and Italy conducted research as to how the body differentiates between necessary micro-biotic organisms in the gut and detrimental invaders. They found that dendritic cells (DC) act as messengers that either repress immune responses, or promote these responses. When DC are functioning properly, they deliver protein-encoded messages to the immune system that certain types of microorganisms found in the gut are desirable, thus not to be destroyed. However, if DC cease carrying this message, the body will treat the friendly gut microbiota as pathenogenic, causing a number of undesirable symptoms in the human host.
"a type of cell called dendritic cells (DCs) that have evolved two distinctive - and what may appear to be opposite - roles in the human body, in that they can both promote and inhibit immune response."
Read more: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/316335.php
Short Stretches of Exercise May Have Anti-Inflammatory Effect
January 28, 2017 02:59 PM
Exercise does more than just strengthen muscles. Studies show that it also helps stave off inflammation in the body. After walking at a moderate pace for just 20 minutes, patients were shown to have lower levels of immune cells circulating in their blood. Scientists are not yet sure what this means for a patient’s health, but they know that heart disease and diabetes are linked to prolonged inflammation.
"Studies have suggested that exercise lowers inflammation, especially when you're active on a regular basis. However, "what is less known is how that is happening," Hong added."
Prevent chronic inflammation with a healthy diet
November 17, 2016 06:59 AM
It has come to light in the past 20 years that fat cells are little factories that pump out hormones and immune system chemicals that can increase inflammation throughout the body. This is quite different from the energy storehouses we thought they were. In order to reduce inflammation, and the risk of certain diseases, the best thing we can do it eat foods that decrease the amount of fat stores. This means avoiding fried and sugary foods and instead opting for fresh fruits and vegetables that help fight inflammation.
"Inflammation in the body is a double-edged sword. Short-lived inflammation, directed by your immune system at Invaders like bacteria or viruses, protects your health."
Prevent chronic inflammation with a healthy diet
November 06, 2016 03:09 PM
Chronic inflammation affects thousands of men and women, disrupting their life and making pain a normal way of doing things. Perhaps it is time to look at your diet if you want to prevent the condition. According to this information, a healthy diet may be key in the elimination and prevention of chronic inflammation.
"Inflammation in the body is a double-edged sword. Short-lived inflammation, directed by your immune system at Invaders like bacteria or viruses, protects your health."
Improve Your Immune System.
Our bodies have a defense mechanism called immune system designed to protect us against unknown Invaders that attack our body. Immune system is a system of biological structures and processes guarding us against illness. It identifies a wide array of foreign agents such as viruses, parasitic worms, bacteria, microbes, toxins that invade our body and differentiates them from healthy tissues.
Some products available over the counter are known to improve immune system. Even though, few of these products are not trustworthy several of these supplements have known to improve immune systems drastically. They enhance immune cells in the body resulting in a better performing immune system.
Cetyl Myristoleate to Encourage Healthy Cells
October 29, 2013 10:01 PM
Which is a plant and animal oil derived natural fatty acid, has been found to have a good effect on joint inflammation. To be very accurate, the natural compound can be very effective for controlling complications of arthritis. However, researchers are still trying to examine the compound in order to unfold many other beneficial aspects.
Source of Cetyl Myristoleate
This compound can be found in both vegetable and animal sources. People who only prefer to have vegetarian sources can get this compound from nuts. If a person does not mind to have the compound from an animal source, he/she can get it from the oil of the sperm whale and beef tallow.
Cetyl Myristoleate Benefits
· Among many other benefits, the effect of this compound on the joint problem has got maximum exposure.
· This fatty acid is equally effective for managing autoimmune diseases like lupus, psoriasis, fibromyalgia and gout. When the immune cells start to attack other healthy cells of the body, it causes autoimmune diseases.
· Cetyl Myristoleate also gives power to the healthy cells that altogether build an immune system strong enough to fight the foreign Invaders.
Arthritis is a common problem in adults. Cetyl Myristoleate can make a huge difference in the condition by lubricating the joints suffering from inflammation. It is an excellent mean to encourage the healthy cells of the body. By having a prescribed dosage of this nutrient, one can improve the skin texture, the condition of heart, arteries and nerve.
Cetyl Myristoleate is an excellent mean to safeguard against the autoimmune diseases. People can make a great use of this fatty acid to get a relief from the acute joint inflammation problem and reduce the pain. As the effect of this element is still under observation, to be able to use the element extensively, people might have to wait a bit longer.
What Are The Health Benefits Of A Mushroom Formula?
December 29, 2012 11:39 AM
Three Important Mushrooms And Their Benefits:
You've probably heard of the health benefits of a mushroom formula, but do not know much in details. Well, Medicinal mushrooms are known to possess healing and life-giving properties. However, there are different types of mushrooms and each of them has its benefits. Let us look at three important mushrooms and how they can benefit you.
Turkey Tail Mushroom
The turkey tail mushroom has shown great promise as a powerful immune system booster. If this is your first time of hearing about this mushroom, you will want to pay keen attention to its benefits. The Turkey Tail Mush room has the power to fight off foreign Invaders due to its anti-vital and microbial properties. The world we live in is full of toxins, bacteria and viruses, but when our body's immune system is working effectively, it can protect you from dangerous invasions. Furthermore, the turkey tail mushroom is can help your body to fight off the growth of cancerous tumor cells. It is therefore, a weapon against sickness and cancer.
This is an edible species that is commonly found in form of extract today. It contains beta-glucane, which helps to strengthen the immune system as well. When you take this extract regularly, it will boost your immune system and prevent the entrance of foreign bodies that causes infection. Also, Maitake mushroom helps to regulate blood sugar levels in the body. Therefore, it is good for people with diabetes and also helps to prevent similar illnesses.
Today, the Reishi mushroom is now available as a dietary supplement. It can be added to coffee and tea. Like other mushrooms, it helps to boost the immune system and promote good health. The Reishi mushroom also act as an antioxidant by eliminating hydroxyl free radicals and improving your ability to use oxygen. More so, it is effective at lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
How Does Coenzyme Q10 Improve Energy Levels and Our Health?
October 04, 2011 04:18 PM
One of the most amazing and essential chemical cofactors is coenzyme Q10. This specific cofactor plays a crucial role for the body because it is required by cells to produce enough energy to sustain life. Studies revealed that coenzyme Q10 can increase the level of energy of all the muscles in the body therefore, it is beneficial most especially for the cardiac muscles to achieve optimal rate.
Coenzyme Q10 also provides the immune system with enough power and energy so that the body will be protected from injurious pathogens. It can also help in releasing fat storage by enhancing oxygen utilization. Because of the fact that the production of coenzyme Q10 decreases as we age, there is a great need to take supplements so that we will not be depriving our body with the health benefits that it offers. Below is the array of health benefits that coenzyme Q10 is capable of offering:
Coenzyme Q10 toughens your protection against pathogens
It is an inevitable fact that our immune system requires enough energy to sustain it from performing its functions. Coenzyme Q10 has been proven essential in terms of strengthening the immune system especially in instances when an Invader is detected. Coenzyme Q10 offers vital support to our natural killer cells (our first line of defense) in fighting bacterial and viral agents that could cause great harm to our body.
Another health benefit of coenzyme Q10 is its capability in lowering the concentration and regulating the production of chemicals such as NF-kappaB, which could weaken our immune system. Based on the studies that were conducted, it has been unleashed that increasing blood levels of coenzyme Q10 could enhance the antibody response to as much as 57% hence, it is highly essential in keeping our body well protected.
Coenzyme Q10 is good for you heart
We are aware that ATP is the primary unit of energy that is being utilized by the mitochondria of our cells; to sustain the process, the body only recognizes coenzyme Q10 to act as chemical facilitator. A deficiency in the amount of coenzyme Q10 in the body would also equate to poor muscle functioning.
As a matter of fact there was this study that revealed that when coenzyme Q10 is combined with other forms of potent antioxidants like selenium, vitamin C and vitamin E, it can relevantly enhance the health of your heart and can lower down your risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.
Coenzyme Q10 can help you lose weight
This special coenzyme supplies your body with enough energy to ensure the efficacy of your exercise program by increasing fat metabolism and energy utilization. Because coenzyme Q10 can help the conversion of energy components into a more useful form, it can help stimulate your metabolic rate thus helping you achieve the body that you have always wanted. Experts suggest that you should combine coenzyme Q10 with regular aerobic exercise to make it more efficient for your body to get rid of fats.
August 27, 2009 02:40 PM
Garlic is very popular because of its health benefits. A perennial plant and member of the lily family, the bulb of the garlic plant is used for many medicinal purposes. Garlic was used by the ancient Hebrews, Greeks, Romans, Chinese, and Egyptians. The Chinese used this herb at least three thousand years ago to treat various ailments. The Egyptians ate garlic while building pyramids to increase their strength and endurance. Hippocrates suggested that this herb be used for treatment of uterine cancer. Native Americans used garlic to fight abdominal cancer, while the Europeans used this herb during the plague years to provide immunity. The main historical uses of garlic were to treat colds, coughs, toothaches, earaches, diarrhea, infection, arteriosclerosis, headaches, dandruff, tumors, worms, and hypertension.
Garlic is nature’s antibiotic. This herb is very effective in fighting bacteria which may be resistant to other antibiotics. The herb stimulates the lymphatic system in order to throw off waste material. Garlic is different from other antibiotics in the fact that it has the ability to stimulate cell growth and activity. This herb rejuvenates all body functions. Garlic opens up blood vessels, reducing hypertension. It is known as a health-building and disease-preventing herb.
Several studies have linked garlic to a lower incidence of cardiovascular disease. This herb has been found to reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood, while lowering blood pressure, increasing immunity, and reducing the blood’s clotting ability. Research suggests that eating the equivalent of one-half to one clove of garlic daily can decrease total serum cholesterol levels by about nine percent. Anticoagulant capabilities have also been found in garlic by German researchers. Garlic is able to benefit those individuals who are suffering from peripheral arterial occlusive disease, which is better known as blood clots in the legs.
Garlic also contains antitumor properties, with studies showing it having the ability to inhibit the growth of cancer-causing nitrosamine. The National Cancer Institute even recommends adding more garlic, onions, and other similar vegetables to the diet. This would lower the risk of developing stomach cancer. Results from one study showed that garlic may be toxic to some cancer cells. It may encourage the immune system to spot the Invaders and destroy them, allowing a natural immune process to destroy tumor cells.
Garlic is believed to stimulate the lymphatic system by ridding itself of toxins. The Russians consider garlic to be a natural antibiotic, which is why they consume it regularly. This herb is often used to prevent disease and heal the body. It is nourishing for the entire body, especially the heart, circulation, stomach, spleen, and lungs. Additionally, it has been used to stimulate circulation and to help the immune system function more effectively. Some believe that this herb may help prevent some forms of cancer, heart disease, strokes, and infections.
In summary, the bulb of the garlic plant is used to provide adaptogen, alterative, antibiotic, anticoagulant, antifungal, antineoplastic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, blood purifier, diaphoretic, digestive, expectorant, febrifuge, rubefacient, stimulant, and vulnerary properties. Primarily, garlic is extremely beneficial in dealing with asthma, blood impurities, high blood pressure, bronchitis, cancer, candidiasis, poor circulation, colds, colitis, coughs, infectious diseases, ear infections, fevers, flu, fungus, gastric disorders, heart disease, indigestion, infection, liver disorders, lung disorders, parasites, blood poisoning, prostate problems, respiratory problems, and staph/strep infections.
This herb is also good for treating acne, allergies, arthritis, childhood diseases, diabetes, diarrhea, edema, emphysema, gallbladder problems, hypoglycemia, insomnia, kidney ailments, pneumonia, rheumatism, sinus problems, ulcers, warts, and worms.
Garlic is a wonderful all purpose herb that can be found at your local or internet health food store. Always look for name brands when buying garlic to ensure quality and purity of the product you purchase.
Colostrum, Vitamin C, Echinacea, Goldenseal, Pau D'arco, Garlic, Astragalus
June 19, 2009 11:05 AM
There are many supplements and herbs that compliment the supplementation of colostrum. Among these are Echinacea, vitamin C, garlic, goldenseal, pau d’arco, astragalus, and beta carotene (vitamin A).
Echinacea is one of the most well-known and respected herbal supplements when it comes to the maintenance and strengthening of the immune system. Various Echinacea species have yielded an impressive variety of chemical constituents which possess pharmacological properties. This suggests that there is some form of synergistic action that occurs between the compounds in order to achieve therapeutic benefits. The main therapeutic properties are found in polysaccharides, flavonoids, caffeic acid derivatives, essential oils, polyacetylenes, and alkylamides. These constituents are responsible for a large number of immuno-stimulatory, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, and anticancer properties.
Echinacea has several effects on the immune system, including the alternate complement pathway, which enhances the movement of white blood cells into the areas of infection. Echinacea also affects many of the immune system’s cells that are responsible for slowing viral and bacterial infection. The aerial portion of Echinacea is known to be effective in warding off viruses such as influenza, herpes, and vesicular stomatitis, by blocking virus receptors on the cell surface. Echinacea is also able to indirectly kill viruses by encouraging the production and release of interferon, which is a substance that is capable of blocking viral RNA.
Vitamin C is one of the most well-known nutrients for promoting basic immune functions, with its benefits being known for many years. It is effective in reducing the severity and duration of colds and flu. Also, it has the ability to act as an immuno-stimulant by enhancing white blood cell production, increasing interferon levels and antibody responses, promoting the secretion of thymic hormones, and improving connective tissue. Vitamin C can be found abundantly in various fruits in vegetables, which means that it can often be consumed in acceptable amounts without supplementation through broccoli, sweet peppers, collards, cabbage, spinach, kale, parsley, melons, potatoes, tangerines, and Brussels sprouts, just to name a few.
Garlic is one of the most commonly used medicinal herbs, as it is found throughout the world and has been employed for various therapeutic purposes for thousands of years. Commonly used in Chinese herbal medicine and ayurvedic medicine, it has recently received much attention in the US media as well as other Western countries. Recent research has found that garlic possesses some powerful capabilities when it comes to the immune system and the body’s ability to fight infection. Garlic produces antiviral and antibacterial capabilities that stimulate and improve performance by the body’s immune systems. Additionally, garlic kills viruses and protects the body from invading virus cells by enhancing the body’s immune functions.
Goldenseal is native to North America, where it helps with a wider variety of ailments, including infection. Goldenseal is effective in combating invasion of colds and flu by stimulating the immune system and the activity of macrophages, which are one of the body’s defense mechanisms against viruses, bacteria, cancer cells, and other Invaders.
Pau d’arco is also known for its powerful antiviral, antibiotic, and immune system enhancing capabilities. It has been shown to actively inhibit the activity of several viruses such as: both herpes viruses, the influenza viruses, polioviruses, and vesicular stomatitis virus.
Astragalus, which is extremely popular in Chinese herbal medicine, is an immune system enhancer. It has the ability to reduce the severity and length of the common cold through its application. Vitamin A, which has long been known to be effective in fighting infectious diseases, has antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Vitamin A deficiencies can manifest themselves through increased infection by cold and flu viruses.
Along with the above, it is also important to eat healthful foods (fruits and vegetables), drink plenty of fluids, exercise, avoid smoking, avoid consuming alcohol, get plenty of rest, and reduce stress in order to increase the benefits that colostrum supplementation provides. Natural supplements can help boost the immune system and help one live a healthier longer life.
June 18, 2009 10:54 AM
After going through puberty, our bodies gradually decrease in the production of immune and growth factors that generally combat disease. After losing these vital components, we are much more susceptible to the aging process, which shortens our life expectancy. Colostrum and its other components have the ability to fight off bacterial and viral Invaders as well as stimulate tissue repair, which is something that becomes increasingly vulnerable as we age by boosting the immune system. For all of these reasons, it is important for an adult to supplement with colostrum.
Colostrum should be collected during the first 24 hours after birth. Also, a colostrum supplement should be processed in a USDA licensed facility. This insures the consumer that USDA guidelines are being followed. Additionally, consumers should make sure that products labeled Colostrum are actually 100% colostrum, not colostrum or concentrates of milk whey. Lastly, colostrum that is mixed with other supplements or herbs and additives may have a diluted colostrum concentration, which means the benefits you could obtain from this supplement may be compromised.
Even though colostrum has no interactions with drugs, side effects may be experienced from a cleansing or healing crisis, which is a necessary but somewhat inconvenient and adverse result. Fortunately, once the healing crisis is complete, you will feel substantially better and in good terms of health. Mediations may need to be re-evaluated by your medical profession for dose and need.
Although colostrum is generally believed to be very safe for those mothers who are pregnant and nursing, one should probably ask their medical professional prior to taking colostrum or its specific agents while they are pregnant. Just like any other supplement or drug, it is better to be overly safe and check with a healthcare provider before jeopardizing a pregnancy.
Colostrum is recommended specifically for children who have not already received the mother’s breast milk, as breast milk would have already provided the benefits that would be obtained through colostrum supplementation. Those children with flu, colds, bacterial or viral infections, or children who have been on long or short-term antibiotics or other drugs are good candidates for colostrum supplementation. Therefore, colostrum supplementation is safe and may be recommended for these types of children.
Many people wonder if colostrum products can pass on mad cow disease. At this time, no case of mad cow disease has been reported in the United States. With awareness of the disease being so high, it is extremely unlikely that one would contract mad cow disease from a colostrum product.
The overall supplementation of colostrum and other products that contain derivatives of colostrum has been shown to extremely safe. Additionally, it has been shown that colostrum is equally effective, whether it be taken by injection or by mouth. It has also been shown that the long-term administration of colostrum preparation is very safe to the human body. Because infants and the elderly are the two main groups that are especially at risk for infections, many people may wonder just how safe colostrum products are for these two groups of people. Not only is oral administration safe, it is also very effective and easily accepted by both of these groups.
Colostrum is available in capsule of tablet forms at your local or internet health food store. Look for name brands like Kal and Source Naturals to ensure quality and purity of the product you purchase.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Colostrum is not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.
September 24, 2008 09:17 AM
Balance is crucial for a healthy immune system. A variety of stressors such as bacteria, parasites, pollutants, strong emotions, and improper diet, can cause the immune system to become imbalanced. If the immune system is weakened then it is less able to fight against invading antigens. Disorders and reactions such as allergies, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, lupus, Crohn’s disease and diabetes can also occur if the immune system is overactive and begins to fight against itself. However, if the immune system is healthy and balanced, the body will be protected and healed from foreign Invaders. But if the immune system is under active or non-responsive, it is susceptible to infection, illness, and emotional distress. By supplementing with natural immune modulators, the immune system can achieve and maintain optimum balance.
Cytokines consist of a variety of multifunctional molecules which work to regulate and control the body’s defense system. These biomolecules are crucial for optimal immune function as they play a key role in immunity, infectious disease, blood production, tissue repair, and cellular development and growth. Cytokines actually play an important role in a variety of body functions, ranging from general maintenance and the regulation of inflammatory responses to the direct interference of invading pathogens.
Cytokines are also important messengers that are used by the immune system to inform the rest of the body that an infection has been discovered. Any immune system imbalance can lead to interference between cytokines and proper body function. Different cytokines have different actions on the same cell. However, there is a large degree of overlap between the actions of one cytokine and another. Cytokines have been given a variety of names throughout the years including chemokines, monokines, interferons, interleukins, lymphotoxins, lymphokines, and leukokines. Cytokines are part of large signaling network that have additive, inhibitory, and synergistic effects.
The most important immune functions are carried out by groups of cytokines that are known as interleukin 1 and 2, interferons, and tumor necrosis factor. They help to modulate the immune system when the tissue is being threatened or damaged. Interleukin 1 helps to protect against the effects of radiation and encourage the growth of immune cells, while tumor necrosis factor is produced in response to bacteria and other disease-causing agents. Additionally, tumor necrosis factor also promotes the production of more cytokines. Tumor necrosis factor also has anti-tumor properties which increases the activity of other cells that fight tumors and also affects the blood system in tumors. It also effectively helps to slow down or reverse tumor growth by starving cancer cells of the nutrients they need and reducing blood flow.
Researchers are currently looking at treating various disorders with cytokines because it is clear that cytokines link the immune system to other physiological systems. Because of the intricate network of the cytokine processes, many researchers believe that the treatment of various immune disorders could potentially require a combination of immuno-regulatory factors. Many scientists are trying to recombining cytokines; however it is extremely limited because they are extremely expensive; they may be toxic and cause symptoms such as fever, muscle aches and fatigue; and they may create imbalances in the patient that would not benefit them.
As a result of these facts, researchers are turning their attention to a natural immune modulator such as hyperimmune egg and colostrum. Hyperimmune egg and colostrum can stimulate the production and activities of powerful immune agents and jump-start the body’s own defense system, instead of having to rely on drugs to fight invading pathogens.
September 10, 2008 03:57 PM
A healthy colon is the basis for a healthy body, with most of not realizing exactly how important a healthy colon is for obtaining and maintaining optimal wellness. When searching for a healthy body, colon health should be a primary concern, as it is the source for a lot of diseases and health problems. A healthy body depends on the maintenance of a healthy digestive system and elimination. Since food is the primary source of fuel for the body, if the wrong foods are eaten, the body will not function as it should.
The nutrients, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids, carbohydrates, and lipids that are found in the foods we eat are what give us the energy and resources that keep us alive. Sadly, the foods we eat are also loaded with toxins and unnecessary substances that prevent our body from removing waste properly. A healthy colon means a healthy body, so learning natural methods to achieve colon health is extremely important. Nutritious eating habits, cleansing diets, fiber sources, herbal remedies, and nutritional substances can all contribute to the body’s well-being.
The food we eat ultimately determines how efficiently our entire body system works, with digestion being the body’s first line of defense against foreign Invaders that cause disease. The digestive system is also responsible for supplying cells with the nutrients and compounds that they need. There are many factors that contribute to digestive disorder including overeating cooked food and not enough raw foods, constipation, wrong combination of food, caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, sugar and sweets, white flour products, stress, any imbalance in the body, lack of hydrochloric acid and enzymes, Candida overgrowth, colon and liver congestion, allergies, hiatal hernia, gallbladder problems, ulcers, and heart problems.
Americans usually cause the most harm to themselves because of the types and amounts of food that they eat. In order to break down food, the body uses hydrochloric acid that is found in the stomach. This acid is actually strong enough to dissolve metal and is used in the stomach to neutralize the inappropriate substances, toxins, and bacteria that enter the body through the food that we eat daily. On occasion, the stomach and the acid inside breaks down and digestive malfunctions result.
There are many nutrients that are recommended to assist in proper digestion. Digestive enzymes are critical for digestion of any food, with acidophilus being important for proper bowel function. Hydrochloric acid is crucial for the assimilation of vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin C and calcium. B-complex vitamins promote a healthy digestive tract and assist enzymes in the metabolism of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Sodium, which is stored in the stomach wall and joints, neutralizes the acidity in the body and is needed when there is a deficiency of hydrochloric acid.
With out hydrochloric acid in the stomach, calcium, an essential mineral can not break down and is not properly absorbed in the stomach. Fiber, essential for proper digestion and elimination of food, reduces the absorption of fat, inhibits bad estrogens from absorbing into the bloodstream, and helps to maintain a healthy digestive tract.
Additionally herbal aids such as capsicum, garlic, gentian, ginger, goldenseal, licorice, papaya, and psyllium powder are great for assisting with digestion. Taking a good digestive enzyme is the first step to promoting a healthy digestive system and properly function colon. As we age, digestive functions will decline which causes disorders such as fatigue due to mal-absorption. Those over 50 should take a digestive aid on their heaviest meal to ensure that proper digestion is happening and good health will continued free form disease.
September 03, 2008 09:17 AM
Over the past several decades there have been many shifts in the research that concerns the immune system of the body. Recent discoveries have found that colostrum carries agents that can positively affect immune function in humans.
An impressive body of research has found that colostrum is responsible for the first transmission of immune signals in a newborn, which are valuable in shaping the knowledge of the newborn’s defense systems. When an infant is born, the immune system is somewhat naive to the various Invaders that try to break down its defense systems and take over the body.
Since colostrum is the first food that the body traditionally takes in, the information that the mother has collected over her life of how to fight microbial Invaders, cancerous cells, and other toxins effectively is immediately transferred to her newborn. At a time when the infant is vulnerable to thousands of Invaders, nature provides a way to help the infant in the process of building his or her immune system in a quick and effective way. Colostrum is an essential part to this complex and timely process.
As soon as an infant is born, it is generally fed, with the first portion of fluid that comes from the mother being colostrum. It was thought by experts for decades that colostrum contained only vital nutrients in a nutritional sense, but many now believe that breast-feeding a child is much more beneficial than simply bottle-feeding a child with formula. It has now been discovered that colostrum is much more than a nutrient-rich fluid, it is a combination of immune agents.
This mix of nutrients contains agents that are not species-specific in their function, so they do not produce an allergic reaction when introduced to a foreign species. Some of the more prominent and devastating conditions that could be effectively prevented by the use of colostrum and its properties include viral and bacterial infections, parasitic infections, autoimmune disorders, neurological conditions, fungal infections, tissue damage, as well as many others.
The body uses an assortment of processes, mechanisms, and agents in order to defend itself. All of these make up what is known as the immune system. The body uses three interrelated functions making its defense mechanism effective. First, it recognizes foreign agents within the body, followed by enlisting a variety of cells and molecules to eliminate or neutralize the Invader. Last, the body is able to remember the exact foreign substance so that next time it comes around; it can deal with it quickly and effectively.
If the invading organism is able to get through the physical barriers of the skin and mucous membranes in the nose and throat, there are several immune barriers that are ready to defend the body including the body’s temperature, hydrochloric acid found in the stomach, and interferon. Hydrochloric acid, along with the low pH of the stomach, defeats a large majority of viruses that make it past the mucous membranes of the nose and throat.
Interferon is derived from the virus of infected cells and binds and neutralizes nearby virus cells. If there is enough interferons present, this substance can neutralize large quantities of invading viruses. Colostrum helps the body manufacture interferons that can fight viruses and protect the body for a lifetime.
September 01, 2008 01:04 PM
Garlic is a member of the lily family, related to onions and chives, and offers many health benefits other than deterring vampires. There is now ample scientific evidence and proof of its beneficial effect on both a healthy immune system and the circulatory system.
The active ingredients in garlic are thiosulfinates, of which the predominant one is allicin, sulfoxides such as alliin and dithiins, of which ajoene is the most widely researched. These compounds are not only responsible for the pungent odor of garlic, but also for its benefits to your health. Among the other components of garlic are selenium, manganese and vitamins B6 and C.
Before considering the other effects of garlic on your health, we shall first consider how it benefits the immune system. The immune system is an essential part of human biology, and protects your body from invasion by pathogenic organisms. Without the immune system your body would rapidly be overcome by bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites and other foreign bodies, and your body would rapidly fail to function.
The immune system consists of several components that can act in concert to protect you from these foreign Invaders. It is too large a subject to be discusses in this article, although its major components are the thymus, the spleen, the lymphatic system, bone marrow, antibodies, and white blood cells of various types. Without it your body would rapidly be broken down to nothing, and would revert to a skeleton in a few weeks.
It is your immune system that causes inflammation, fevers, boils and pus. These are all examples of the immune system at work to protect your body, and even a fever is the immune system raising your body temperature to one that is unfavorable to Invaders. Arthritis and hay fever are other examples of how your immune system reacts to Invaders, in one case mistaking damaged joint tissue as being foreign and responding by causing inflammation to protect the joint, and in the other a reaction to invading bodies such as pollen.
So what does garlic do to help your immune system? Let's first have a look at the inflammatory reaction of the immune system, a prime example of which is rheumatoid arthritis. The inflammation is caused by compounds known as prostaglandins and thromboxanes, the biosynthesis in your body of which requires the enzymes lipoxygenase and cyclooxygenase (LOX and COX). If these enzymes can be inhibited, then the inflammatory response can be modulated, and LOX and COX inhibition is one of the studies currently being carried out into the treatment of some forms of cancers.
However, where garlic comes in here is that two effective non-reversible inhibitors of LOX and COX are the chemicals Di(1-propenyl) sulfide and ajoene, and both of these are components of garlic. Garlic can therefore be used, not to stop the inflammatory response altogether since it is an essential part of the immune system for certain infections, but to modulate it and protect you from the more severe effects of conditions such as arthritis - both osteo and rheumatoid - and asthma, which is also an immune response.
Allicin has been shown to work with vitamin C to kill certain types of bacteria and viruses, and can help the immune system to protect you from colds and flu, Candida and some gastroenteric viruses. It can also be effective against some of the more powerful pathogens such as tuberculosis. It should be stressed that garlic will not cure these conditions, but help the immune system to deal with them. In fact with respect to the common cold, a study at Munich University has shown that garlic significantly reduces the activity of kappa-B, which is a nuclear transcription factor that mediates the inflammatory response. In other words, the cold symptoms are greatly reduced.
This is significant, since increased kappa-B levels can be triggered off by any pathogen that causes an inflammatory response by the immune system (e.g. infection, allergens, physical trauma). The study showed that unfertilized garlic provided a reduction of 25% in kappa-B activity, while garlic fertilized with sulfur reduced it by 41%.
There have been other studies carried out that demonstrated that Helicobacter pylori, the organism responsible for gastritis and peptic ulcers, was less active in those that took a regular amount of garlic in their diet. This was shown by measuring the antibody concentration, and while H.pylori was found in both sets (with and without garlic in the diet), the antibody count in the garlic-eating set was much lower indicating a significantly lower population of the bacterium.
Another unexpected result was that a group taking both cooked and uncooked garlic had a lower antibody count than those taking either cooked or uncooked. This appears to indicate that cooking changes the chemical nature of garlic, so that both forms work together to provide a more potent effect that cooked and uncooked separately.
What has also been established is that odorless garlic has less of an effect on the immune system that natural garlic, so while the odorless type is more socially acceptable, it is not so good at supporting your immune system. The allicin levels in odorless garlic are very much lower than in the natural bulb.
Garlic has also been found to be able to help with certain types of cancer. Two servings weekly have been found effective in protecting from colon cancer. Allicin has been found to protect colon cells from the toxic effect of various chemicals, and also reduce the growth rate of any cancerous cells that develop. People in Southern Europe consuming large quantities of garlic have been shown to be 39% less liable to contract cancer of the mouth and pharynx, and 57% less liable to contract cancer of the esophagus. It also had an effect on other cancers, including breast and ovarian cancer. However, the effect of onions on such cancers is even greater.
Most people are aware of the cardiovascular benefits of garlic, and it can reduce blood pressure, cholesterol levels and serum triglyceride levels, thus protecting against the harmful condition of atherosclerosis and also of diabetic heart disease. Reduced atherosclerosis means a reduced chance of heart attacks or strokes. It also appears to possess antioxidant properties.
There is no doubt that garlic helps to promote a healthy immune system, although the odorless form appear to be less effective in this respect as natural garlic, and there is evidence that a diet containing uncooked and cooked garlic can be more effective than either of these alone.
B Vitamin Complex
June 23, 2008 03:19 PM
The vitamin B supplement you take is a mixture of nutrients that, although they share the same vitamin letter, are in fact distinctly different chemical entities. The reason that they share the same reference letter of the alphabet is that they are all essential water soluble vitamins (Vitamin C being the only other), they frequently work in synergy with each other and they often come from common sources and have similar properties in the body. They were therefore at one time believed to be just the one chemical entity.
They are essential in that they must form part of our diet because our bodies cannot manufacture these substances from others, and although most share common biochemical and health functions, there is no health function that requires all of them, and none of them can be totally replaced by another.
The B-Vitamin complex that you take can consist of as many as eight different B vitamins, each of which is essential for a healthy body and at one time it was believed that this mixture was only one single vitamin. That is why they are collectively known as vitamin B and were subsequently allocated numbers: it was only later that the individual components were discovered.
These eight are vitamin B-1 (thiamine), vitamin B-2 (riboflavin), vitamin B-3 (niacin), vitamin B-5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B-12 (cobalamins), biotin and folic acid (folate). They are found in yeast, liver, tuna, bananas and rice among other sources, and, as with all vitamins, without them life would not be possible. Not all vitamins are found in each of these food sources, and vitamin B-12, for example, is available in nutritional quantities only from animal sources.
Knowing what they are is all very well, but what does your body do with the B vitamin supplement that you take? Before considering that, the reason that a regular supply is important is because of their water solubility. This is a useful property for a vitamin to possess, because it means that they can easily be transported by the body fluids to the tissues where they are needed. The downside, however, is that they are consequently also easily flushed from the body, and your body cannot store any of the B vitamins.
You therefore must have a regular dietary source that can be augmented through supplementation. This is particularly desirable in alcoholics, those on diets to lose weight and vegans who are advised to take a regular vitamin B-12 supplement.
A lack of vitamin B will make you feel tired and lack energy because they play a big part in your body’s metabolism of blood glucose into energy. They also help to maintain a healthy immune system, keep your nervous system in tip-top condition and maintain good healthy skin, hair and muscles. The B complex is also very important in maintaining healthy blood and liver, and each and every component of the mixture has a specific part to play, both on individually and by interaction with others in the B complex.
Rather than examining what your body does with the supplement as a whole, let’s have a look at each component, and what your body does with that. Taking them one at a time, thiamine (B1) helps you to burn carbohydrates to generate energy. It is highly water soluble and must be taken daily. In the form of thiamine pyrophosphate it plays a key part in the metabolism of carbohydrates to energy, and also in the metabolism of certain amino acids. If you rely heavily on a high carbohydrate diet, you will need a good regular supplement of thiamine to be able to convert them to energy.
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) also plays a part in fat and carbohydrate metabolism and the formation of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the molecule of energy. It plays a significant part in the health of your skin and a deficiency is associated with mouth ulcers, cracked lips, flaky skin and bloodshot watery eyes. It also activates vitamin B6 and folic acid, one of the cases where the B vitamins work together synergistically.
Vitamin B3, or niacin, is well known to women as a component of some shampoos, and helps to promote health hair. However, this vitamin also takes part in the process of energy creation within your body, and helps to maintain a good muscle tone within the digestive tract. It is also used as a supplement for the treatment of diseases related to high levels of LDL cholesterol and is useful for the treatment of atherosclerosis.
Pantothenic acid is also found as a component of shampoos, so no prizes for guessing one of its functions. Vitamin B-5 plays a significant part in the energy-producing Krebs Cycle, or Citric Acid Cycle, that is used by every cell in your body to generate energy just where it is needed. It is also needed to synthesize acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter needed for good brain function and it helps to reduce stress. Pantothenic acid is also closely involved in the production of cholesterol in your liver: cholesterol is not all bad, and is needed by your body to produce some of the steroid hormones and also vitamin D.
Amino acids are the small units that are used to biosynthesize proteins and ultimately the genes and DNA that determine who you are. The major factor involved in processing these amino acids is Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), one of the lesser known of the vitamin B complex. It synthesizes and breaks up different amino acids to produce a variety of other compounds, such as the hormones serotonin, melatonin and dopamine.
Deficiencies in these hormones can be very serious, Parkinson’s disease believed to be connected with a dopamine deficiency for example, and other disorders include kidney stones, anemia and many skin complaints. Although deficiency of vitamin B6 is rare, it can occur in alcoholics and those with chronic kidney problems. It is believed that many diets are deficient, however, and a good vitamin B supplement would ensure that this did not occur.
Vitamin B-12 is one where deficiency can occur, particularly in alcoholics and vegans. It is available in sufficient quantities only from meat sources, and a supplement is indicated in anyone with a low meat intake in their diet. It is used by your body for the replication of DNA and to allow the normal activity of your body cells. It also helps to control homocysteine levels in conjunction with vitamin B6 and folic acid: homocysteine is a high-risk amino acid associated with atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease that can lead to Alzheimer’s disease, heart attacks and strokes.
The seventh, biotin (sometimes referred to as vitamin B7) also takes part in the metabolism of energy, but deficiencies have not been known, and the final known member of the B vitamin complex is folic acid. This is essential for cell growth and the synthesis of RNA and DNA in the body. RNA (Ribonucleic acid) is responsible for the synthesis of proteins in your body, and the well known Deoxy-ribonucleic acid (DNA) holds the genetic information of your body. Folic acid is therefore essential in the growing fetus, and any other cellular system that rapidly regenerates such as blood cells and the various cells of the immune system.
Without folic acid your body would be more susceptible to bacterial and viral attack, and less able to protect you from foreign Invaders into your body tissues. Although deficiency is not common, folic acid is present in fresh food only and degrades when stored at room temperature and when cooked. A supplement is therefore advisable during pregnancy to help to prevent neural tube defects.
It is evident that the Vitamin B complex plays many parts in the chemistry of your body, and that a supplement can be of benefit in assuring that there are no deficiencies. A good B complex can be found at your local or internet health food store.
May 12, 2008 11:10 AM
All female mammals, including humans, produce colostrum soon after giving birth, and before proper milk is produced. It is a milk-like substance that provides newly born infants with a boost to their immune system and gives immediate protection against the germs with which they are about to come into contact.
It also, incidentally, promotes the child’s first bowel movement to rid it of the large amount of dead blood cells created when it’s blood supply was drastically reduced after the severing of the umbilical supply.
It is now believed that colostrum will help not only newly born infants, but also grown adults. If your immune system is weak or you are suffering from a condition that could be helped by a boost to your immune system, colostrum might be what you need to help you fight off what is ailing you. This has become clear after the way that colostrum works has been established.
Transfer factors were discovered in 1949 by Dr. H. Sherwood Lawrence of the New York University School of Medicine. He found that when he injected an extract of the leukocytes of somebody that had previously been infected with tuberculosis, the natural immunity was transferred from the donor to the recipient. He called this extract the ‘transfer factor’, and a means of transferring immune response factors between people was born.
However, the sharing of transfer factors between people suffering from serious conditions such as the HIV virus or hepatitis is a high risk action, and fifty years later, in 1999, bovine colostrum was discussed at a transfer factor conference in Mexico. Bovine colostrum contains large quantities of transfer factors such as IgG type immunoglobulins and hydrogen peroxide. The latter is commonly produced by our body cells to fight off invading pathogens, and immunoglobulins are very effective in fighting some diseases that can be fatal to AIDs patients. Take Cryptosporidium parvum, for instance. This microorganism causes a form of diarrhea that AIDs patients have no defense against but that colostrum can be particularly effective against, and it is also effective against rotavirus that is the main cause of diarrhea in young children.
Before discussing this further, let’s go back a step and examine how bovine milk came to be included in the equation. At one time it was believed that a baby received its immunity from the mother while in the womb and that this was extended via the mother’s milk. However, it was discovered that the milk contained no antibodies as such, only the colostrum, and these antibodies had somehow been transferred to the baby.
This was explained by the concept of the transfer factor. It is not the antibodies that are being transferred from mother to child, but the transfer factor. This modulates the immune system of the recipient and teaches it how to create antibodies against the specific antigens that the donor’s antibodies protect against and to inform the recipient’s immune system when these antigens are present.
The next step was to test the theory that the transfer factor should be able to be passed between species, and the cow was the obvious initial choice since not only are cattle exposed to many of the same antigens as humans, but we already use cow’s milk as a food source – particularly for babies and children. It worked! It was found that when humans were fed cow’s colostrum the specific antibodies were later found in the blood of the person given the treatment.
The next step was to determine the form in which this substance could be used, and injections of various types were tried without success. It was established that the only means of administering colostrum was by drinking it, or supplying it in capsule form. It can be drunk fresh or freeze dried to kill of living organisms and then fats and sugars removed and the resultant dried product encapsulated. It is even possible to remove all large molecules, antibodies, proteins, etc, and still retain the transfer factor. It is absorbed by the gut, and the resultant message passed to the recipient.
It is important to understand that it is not the immunoglobulins from the cow that are passed on, because these are species specific, and are in fact the source of most cow’s milk allergies. There is no transfer of antibodies or any other specific parts of the immune system. What are passed on are the messengers, particularly the transfer factors that are not species specific. A cow’s transfer factors would work just as well in a cat as in humans, only cats don’t get the same diseases as cows and people.
The types of disease that colostrum can help to protect us from include viral and bacterial diseases, fungal diseases and parasites, and neurological and autoimmune diseases. If you have cancer, colostrum can help significantly since cancer and immune deficiency are related. Cancer cells are being formed all the time in your body, but your immune system generally disposes of them. However, if it fails to do this, then the cells can proliferate and lead to cancer as we know it. Colostrum can help your body to prevent cancer occurring, and if you have it, can help to reduce its spread.
Freelance journalist Sam Wainaina studied the effects of Ebola virus in Uganda after the 2002 outbreak, and concluded that had transfer factors been available during the outbreak to transfer immunity it might perhaps have been contained sooner than it was, and saved many, many lives. Although transfer factors have been known of for 60 years, there is still a lot to be done in their application and studies on colostrum could help to accelerate this. Transfer factors alert immune cells to danger, train the system to generate the right type of immunoglobulins and boost NK cell activity to defeat the Invaders. They can also moderate an over-active immune system that can be as much a danger to the body as an invading pathogen.
Colostrum can also be used to burn fat and create muscle tissue, and is popular with bodybuilders but it is for its healing and immunity-boosting properties that it is most used. Biotechnology companies are now boosting the colostrum’s transfer factors by injecting cows with vaccines that create pathogens. Known as Ultra Colostrum this is an advance on the natural material.
First, the Painful Inflammation
April 03, 2008 12:43 PM
Inflammation occurs because of the reaction of your immune system to what it perceives as being the presence in your tissues of dangerous foreign particles. Your immune system generally reacts to particles. Typical particles are bacteria and viruses, pollen, smoke, your own body cells that are not doing what they should, moulds and fungi, and various other things that can circulate in your blood.
There are several reasons for the immune system being activated, some of them historical due to your body having an imprinted memory of previous bacteria and viruses that it has dealt with, and others the reaction to new Invaders that it has never met before, and for which your immune system creates antibodies to destroy. Another is the recognition of abnormal body cells that have to be destroyed before they can proliferate, and yet another is when the immune system gets confused and itself damages your own tissues such as in rheumatoid arthritis.
Whatever the cause, inflammation is a common result of the immune system going to work, and can be extremely painful. It can cause damage to our own joints, vascular system and major organs, although treatment of the inflammation does not reduce the effectiveness of the immune response. You can safely treat the inflammation with anti-inflammatories and painkillers without the condition getting worse.
Common physical manifestations of inflammation are the swollen and painful joints of rheumatoid arthritis (osteoarthritis is not an immune response), the swelling in the airway of asthma, the spots and swellings of measles and chickenpox, the lesions of psoriasis and the swelling and pain of abrasions and cuts that have gone ‘septic’ or ‘poisoned’. The latter two are simply examples of the effect of phagocytes and leucocytes on bacterial infection – the white blood cells and their cohorts!
The reason that inflammation causes pain is that it affects nerve endings, and causes pressure against the damaged tissues that initiated the immune response. Although regular painkillers can control the pain of inflammation to an extent, they are generally not the ideal treatment. Herbal treatments are not necessarily always the ideal treatments either, but boswellia is one herb that has been proved to be effective in reducing the pain of inflammation.
Give Your Health A Boost With Beta Glucan
February 19, 2008 04:54 PM
Beta Glucan is a little-known component of many common foods we eat on a daily basis. Cereal, mushrooms, and even baker's yeast contain beta glucan. The substance is most common found in such grains as barely and oats. Beta glucan is often used in soluble fiber supplements. The FDA has given baker's yeast the rating for being generally safe (G.R.A.S.).
Beta Glucan has been studied in Japan for its anti-tumor and anti-malignancy properties. It is commonly known worldwide to have a significant impact on improving the human immune system. The clinical applications have been many for this substance. Beta glucan has been studied for preventing infection in post-operative patients. Likewise, it has been attributed with slightly faster, more efficient healing of wounds. Beta glucan has helped patients with septic shock.
This substance has also been studied for its effects on individuals suffering from arthritis. Beta glucan has been attributed with slowing the disease's progress and preventing further damage to tissues. Beta glucan has been studied for decades, however was too expensive for the general public until recent times. It has no known reactions with prescription medications and beta glucan supplements derived from baker's yeast isn't know to contain enough to cause a reaction in those with yeast allergies.
There are also on-going studies regarding beta glucan and it's usefulness with radiation and radiation exposure. There is a great deal of interest that this can perhaps lessen the severity of symptoms from radiation in chemotherapy and help those experiencing nuclear therapy or who are involved in a nuclear emergency.
Beta glucan is one of the few nutrients that are recommended for both humans and animals. It is also advised for those who have poor daily nutrition, athletes, those regularly exposed to radiation, individuals under stress, or anyone who wants to stay healthy. In truth, studies indicate that consumption of oats, cereal grains, and other beta glucan containing products can lower cholesterol, can aid in overcoming intestinal problems, and can benefit those diagnosed with AIDS and multiple sclerosis.
Beta glucan strengthens the cells responsible for fighting foreign Invaders in the body such as viruses, bacteria and even parasites. It helps these cells be more responsive and stronger when free radials enter the body. One study in Canada evaluated the response of beta glucan to Anthrax. As a result, the beta glucan proved to be a very effective supplement to the antibiotics used in treating this disease.
Higher dosages do not equal effectiveness. Beta glucan is not measured by the size or milligram of the supplement. The determining factors for the effectiveness of beta glucan involve how the substance is processed and if the particular pill re-aggregates during the digestive process. If your supplement re-aggregates, it will not have the same effective nature as those that do not.
Be sure to evaluate the labels and inspect the image the company is portraying. If a product is "too good to be true," it is. As always, consult with your physician before starting this or any other long-term supplement.
Seniors Need More Than a Multiple with Only 100 Percent of the RDA
January 21, 2008 03:14 PM
The aging process is a gradual one. That might seem obvious, and it is, but it is the fact that it is gradual that causes people not to notice the small but significant changes in their body that are taking place. Aging is more than just the oxidation of skin cells that cause them to wrinkle, but involves specific functional cell changes, such as their ability to multiply.
As this slows down the immune system is affected, and we find it more difficult to recover from injury and disease. Oxidation becomes more prevalent and free radicals become more common as the natural antioxidants of our bodies become overwhelmed. We are less able to recover from the effects of environmental stress, such as UV radiation from the sun, pollution and the effects of heat. We find it increasingly difficult to deal with a lack of nutrition or toxins in our food from pesticides. In short, we become less capable of dealing with attack by Invaders, but do not notice this gradual lack of immune response.
Age also affects our joints from the vertebrae in the neck to the joints of our toes. The net result is a compression of the bones that causes a reduction in height. We also develop more body fat and less muscle tissue, which is a significant consideration in planning the nutritional needs of the elderly. However, of more critical importance when discussion the nutritional needs of our aging population is the possibility of malabsorption.
Malabsorption is an inability of the digestive system to absorb nutrients from food, and occurs in people of any age although it tends to be more prevalent in seniors. It is predominantly due to a dysfunction of the liver, the pancreas or the small intestine that are the three major physical components of the human digestive system.
The liver produces bile that is needed to process the fats in your food, and if the bile is not delivered to the small intestine, then malabsorption is possible. The same is true of the enzymes that are produced by the pancreas These enzymes are important components in the biochemistry that allow us to absorb nutrition from our food, and since most of this absorption occurs in the small intestine, this too is essential for proper absorption. When any of these three are reduced in efficiency, as they are with advancing years, then malabsorption will occur.
When this occurs in seniors, however, it is essential that a multiple supplement with more than 100% of the RDA (Rcommended Daily Allowance) is used. This type of nutritional deficiency can be very serious at an age when so many normal biochemical processes are slowing down, and it is important that steps are taken to avoid the serious problems that can arise.
The immediate symptoms of malabsorption are diarrhea and weight loss, although the more serious longer term effects are anemia due to a deficiency in folic acid and iron and a reduction in the blood’s ability to form clots due to a deficiency in vitamin K absorption. There are others, but not all problems associated with aging are actually due to malabsorption, or even with aging.
Many of the problems associated with aging are now believed to be connected with the patient’s lifestyle and diet. Heart disease such as atherosclerosis is now known to begin earlier in life, as are many other conditions once believed to be associated with age. A loss of cognitive ability can be age related, but also due to cigarette smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. However, irrespective of all this, it is essential that the aged are provided with vitamin and mineral supplements offering more than 100% RDA.
Calcium is of particular importance for older women who are particularly prone to osteoporosis due to malabsorption of calcium from their food. At least 1000mg daily should be taken, and extra magnesium and vitamins A and E will also be necessary since they are needed for the proper absorption of calcium. The extra does not infer that all of the supplement will be absorbed, but that enough should be to help reduce the possibility of bone density problems.
The elderly are particularly prone to vitamin B deficiencies, particularly of vitamin B12, due to absorption problems and a good vitamin B complex supplement is needed. Chromium too can be seriously depleted in the aged, and this mineral is necessary to enhance the activity of insulin. It is also believed to play a part in the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. There are no known consequences of an excess of chromium so a good supplement can be provided. It is believed that vitamin B and chromium together are required for cardiovascular and neurological health that are so important as we age.
One important supplement for the elderly is Coenzyme Q10. Many older people are prescribed drugs such as statins for the treatment of high cholesterol levels. Statins work by depressing the biochemical synthesis of cholesterol by blocking the action of mevalonate, and this is known to interfere with the metabolism of Coenzyme Q10, otherwise known as ubiquinone.
CoQ10 is essential in allowing the production of energy within the cell mitochondria by allowing electron transfer back and forth between NAD and NADH to allow the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). A supplement of this important enzyme is therefore essential in maintaining the energy levels of the aged who are being prescribed statins.
Almost 20% of the elderly on prescription drugs are also taking herbal remedies and supplements, and there could be an interaction between them. Anybody taking prescription drugs should consult their physicians before taking natural remedies or any form of supplement, and this is particularly true of the elderly.
However, where the elderly are safely taking a vitamin and mineral supplement, it is extremely important that this contains more than just the RDA. Absorption problems are very common in the elderly, and this excess can make sure that they receive more than they would otherwise, if not the whole recommended dosage of the particular substance involved. Better safe than sorry, especially where an excess is not known to cause harm.
10 Top Winter Cold & Flu Supplements
January 14, 2008 10:01 AM
As the winter weather continues to keep people close together indoors, viruses causing influenza and the common cold are able to more easily multiply. However, there are ways to prevent these unwanted germs from invading your body. Here is a list of the top ten dietary supplements that help the immune system fight and repel cold and flu bugs.
Andrographis has long been used in Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine to boost the immune system. Actually, andrographis was first used during the Indian flu epidemic of 1919, where it was credited with stalling the spread of the disease. According to research, andrographis works better than a placebo for reducing the symptoms of respiratory infections and it may even prevent the infection in the first place. These studies used a proprietary andrographis product which combines the herb with a Siberian ginseng.
Beta glucan is a fiber-like complex sugar that can be found in oats, barley, and the cell walls of mushrooms. It provides a boost to the immune system which enhancing resistance to viruses and bacteria. In fact, beta glucan has been shown to boost the activity of phagocytes, special immune system cells which engulf and destroy germs.
Echinacea has a long history of traditional use; with it actually being one of the most widely used herbs in Native American medicine. Instead of having a direct germ-killing effect, Echinacea stimulates the body’s own immune defenses. Many studies go back as far as 1970 have shown that Echinacea boosts the immune system so that it can protect against infections Invaders. A new study has found that Echinacea can reduce the odds of developing a cold by 58 percent and shortens the length of a cold to 1.4 days.
Elderberry was considered in Roman times to be a flu remedy. Recently, elderberry extract has been researched for its role in treating influenza infections, especially when it is taken with in the first 24 hours of developing symptoms. One recent study proved that individuals who were taking elderberry recovered four days sooner from influenza than those taking a placebo. Additionally, the use of other medications was less for those who used elderberry.
Garlic improves resistance to disease by boosting immune function. Many studies have found that garlic stimulates immunity because it increases the number of white blood cells and other immune system team members. A recent study proved that a group of individuals taking garlic caught significantly fewer colds and recovered more quickly from the colds they did come down with than the other group which was taking a placebo.
Ginseng boosts immune function in all of its forms. A study of adults who were taking American ginseng daily during the winter months found that those people, compared to those taking a placebo, caught fewer colds and needed less sick days. Additionally, Siberian ginseng and Asian ginseng can also build defenses against winter germs.
Propolis is created by bees when resins from plants are mixed with wax. This propolis coats the inside of the beehive with an antiseptic layer and it can have similar benefits when taken by humans. Propolis stimulates the body’s immune system. It has been proven in studies that taking propolis extract can protect against colds and other upper respiratory infections. Children who take propolis daily for three winter months have been proven to catch fewer colds than those kids who are taking a placebo.
Zinc lozenges, when they are taken within 24 hours of the first cold symptom, can keep cold viruses from taking ground in the respiratory tract. The use of a zinc lozenge every couple of hours also causes colds to resolve more quickly and symptoms to be less severe.
Our immune system is out first line of defense against the cold and flu, as well as the diseases we may come down with. Keeping our immune system in tip top shape is key to a happier and healthier life. The above herbs can help boost the immune system along with a dietary change and exercise plan one can reduce the length of or prevent sickness over a life time.
Elderberry Can Boost The Immune System In The Winter
December 03, 2007 09:44 PM
The immune system is frequently overworked when the days get shorter and the temperature starts to drop, and elderberry can boost the immune system in winter for those that find themselves susceptible to all the colds, flu and other viral infections that seem to come out of the woodwork at that time.
Elderberry is the fruit of the elder tree that is native to Asia, Europe and North America. They are found just about anywhere due to their tolerance for a wide range of climates and soil types, and are frequently found by river banks. There are a number of different types of elder, in both small tree and shrub form, and it is those with the black and blue berries that are useful medicinally, not those with red berries. It is not only the berries that are used, but also the elder flowers. Elderflower wine has long been a favorite country wine, and the berries are used to make jam, pies and also drunk as juice.
Elder has been used for countless years for treating viral diseases such as influenza and colds, and it has also been found by some to be effective for the treatment of cold sores (herpes simplex). Its effect on flu is thought to be that it prevents the virus from entering and infecting the body cells, but more on this later. Historically, it has been used to promote the excretion of waste products through urination and sweating, which might be another reason why it is effective against colds and flu and some general respiratory problems.
The juice contains anthocyanins in the form of anthocyanidin-3-glycosides that appear to be very bioavailable to the body. The anthocyanins are more easily absorbed than those of blackcurrant juice, and are very strong antioxidants. The antioxidant effect is reinforced by the presence of large quantities of vitamin C. This difference in bioavailability has been proved though the administration of both blackcurrant and elderberry juice to volunteers, and testing the presence of the anthocyanins in the urine. This is a measure of their bioavailability, or how easily they are absorbed by the body, and the greater this bioavailability, then the more effective is their antioxidant effect.
Separate studies have indicated that anthocyanins derived from berries in general, not just elderberry, can reduce oxidative stress due to age, and also to help brain function. An improvement in the memory of the elderly has been seen to have improved after a course of berry juices rich in these powerful antioxidants. Elderberry antioxidants also improve the stability of LDL cholesterol by protecting against free radical oxidation, and thus helping to reduce the incidence of atherosclerosis that is promoted by the deposition of the oxidized LDL cholesterol on artery walls. This in turn helps to reduce the possibility of cardiovascular disease.
However, it is its effect on the immune system for which elderberry is generally studied by the medical professions. Elderberry helps to boost the immune system predominantly through the production of cytokines. To explain how these work, a quick summary of how part of the immune system works will first be necessary.
When intrusion into the body by an antigen (foreign body) is detected, the initial response is the inflammatory response. Chemical messengers called cytokines are released into the blood to inform the other parts of the immune system that an Invader has been spotted.
The immediate effect is to increase the flow of blood to the affected part of the body by dilation of the blood vessels. The spaces between the cells in the vessel walls increase to allow the larger components of the immune system, such as the phagocytes that consume and destroy bacteria. Proteins also congregate and the temperature at the site rises to promote the reactions that the body uses to eject the Invaders. The tissue therefore swells due to all the extra fluid and gets hot. The area becomes painful due to the accumulation of material aggravating the nerves, and if there is an infection, pus will eventually be formed from the dead neutrophils used to kill the bacteria or virus.
There are many different types of cytokine, including those that initiate the inflammatory response and others that stop the immune response once the Invader has been killed off. Other cytokines, such as the interferons, stop viruses from multiplying, and others take part in the response only to specific types of antigen. Each cytokine has a specific message to pass to the relevant components of the immune system in order that the immune response is appropriate to the invasion concerned and does not overreact. Hence, a grain of pollen in the nose will elicit a lesser response than a varicella antigen that leads to those horrible chickenpox pustules.
In general terms, cytokines give the immune system a kick start once an antigen is spotted. The elderberry anthocyanins produce predominantly inflammatory cytokines, but also one anti-inflammatory cytokine, and so helping to boost the inflammatory response.
Some viruses use what are known as spike proteins that mimic the molecules of their host in order to gain access to cells by binding to the target cell receptors. However, these spikes are easily recognized by the immune system, and the elderberry anthocyanins are active in promoting this recognition. For that reason, viruses vigorously continue to change and mutate to overcome this, one manifestation of their success in achieving this being in the annual infections of influenza that have overcome last year’s antibodies by means of this mutation.
The influenza virus contains what are known as hemagglutinin spikes on its surface which, when deactivated, cannot break through your cell walls, enter the cell and replicate, thus leading to influenza. That is the mechanism by which the constituents of elderberries help to control influenza and reduce its effect on your body. If not deactivated, the spikes allow the virus to invade the cell and provoke the immune response that you know as the flu.
Many such winter ailments have a similar mechanism, which is why, apart from its general health benefits through its high antioxidant content, that elderberry can boost the immune system in winter.
Support Healthy Joint Function With Discount Vitamins
November 22, 2007 11:05 AM
The joints are very important to your mobility and it is essential that you support health joint function with discount vitamins. The reason for discounted vitamins is that there is no need for you to pay more than you have to, and good healthy bones and joints need a good supply of several vitamins, minerals and other substances to remain healthy throughout your lifetime.
Vitamins C and D, and calcium and magnesium are the more common supplements that help to promote joint health, but glucosamine, chondroitin and gelatine also play a large part. Although the strength of the bone is important, it is disorders of the connective tissue that are mostly responsible for joint problems. Connective tissue holds the joint together and prevents excessive friction between bones.
Arthritis in both its forms – osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis – is characterized by a reduction in the cartilage tissue that provides a lining between the bones that make up the joint. As the cartilage becomes worn or its structure destroyed, the bones are exposed to each other and this causes the frictional damage that is osteoarthritis. With rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, the connective tissue and cartilage are attacked by the body’s immune system, causing inflammation. The reason for this is still unknown, but the inflammation leads to swelling of the joint and severe pain.
Both of these conditions can be helped by the use of glucosamine, a natural substance produced by the body to form cartilage and stimulate the formation of connective tissue. Normally taken in the form of the sulfate, glucosamine reduces arthritic pain, and over time can start to rebuild the lost cartilage. It is best taken in conjunction with chondroitin sulfate which is a substance also contained in cartilage and connective tissue.
A discount vitamin supplement containing glucosamine and chondroitin can help to avoid these conditions from occurring. Rheumatoid arthritis also responds well to anti-inflammatories and antioxidants. Much of the damage to the joint tissues can be caused by the action of free radicals that are aggressively destructive molecules created by the effects of pollution such as smoking, pesticides, heavy metals, alcohol and they are also produced by many of the processes occurring inside our bodies. The immune system itself creates free radicals to use as a weapon against Invaders.
A free radical is a molecule that has lost an electron, especially an oxygenated molecule. The objective of such a molecule is to get back its electron, and it will do that by oxidizing any molecules it comes across: oxidation is the removal of an electron from a substance. Oxidation can destroy cell molecules which is why the aging process occurs through the destruction of body cells through the effect of oxidation by free radicals. They can also destroy the synovial fluid that lubricates the joints.
The molecules that can prevent this are caused antioxidants, and include some of the well known vitamins such as A, C and E, and also other substances such as Coenzyme Q10, fatty acids such as those in Omega 3 fish oils, beta carotene and the minerals zinc and copper are also effective at reducing the inflammation cause by free radical oxidation. These vitamins and minerals will not reduce the pain in your joints, but will relieve other symptoms such as the inflammation, and help the joint to recover.
Vitamin D is another that can help to cause arthritis and joint problems if you are deficient in it. Vitamin D deficiency is not uncommon, especially in those who live in northern climates where they do not get much sunlight. This vitamin helps to build cartilage and to maintain healthy bone density. Vitamin D is found in oily fish and eggs, but the majority of people suffer a deficiency, if only slight in many cases. Discount vitamin supplements containing all of these vitamins and minerals will help to maintain healthy joints. Vitamin A is available naturally from eggs yolks, oily fish and dairy products, and most people know that vitamin C is obtained from fresh fruit and vegetables, especially the highly colored foods that are also rich in other antioxidants such as anthocyanins and carotenoids.
Rich sources of vitamin E include nuts, seeds, vegetable oils and wheat germ. Taking Omega 3 oil supplements will not prevent arthritis, but will help to relieve the inflammation and hence the pain. However, in spite of all of this, the only vitamin that has been extensively tested on patients suffering from osteoarthritis has been vitamin E. It has been established that significant improvements in the condition of patients were achieved by administering from 400-600 International Units (I.U.) of vitamin E daily for two weeks.
Another substance that is a component of connective tissue and that can be taken to help rebuild what is lost in joint disease is hyaluronic acid. This chemical is found all over the body, and involved in the structure of many types of connective tissue, including the joints, the vitreous humor of the eyes and heart valves. In the joints it is rich in the synovial fluid that lubricates the joints, and also found in cartilage.
Although hyaluronic acid is contained in chicken soup, it is obtained mainly from rooster combs, then treated to reduce its molecular size so that it can be absorbed. Anybody allergic to chicken should seek their doctor’s advice on taking hyaluronic acid as a supplement.
It is highly recommended that a vitamin supplement be taken by anybody suffering from any form of arthritis or joint disease, but it is glucosamine that appears the best treatment for long term success. Glucosamine is a very large molecule, and it is difficult to get it to the site of the problem. To get to the joint, the molecule has to pass through the capillaries, and very few glucosamine molecules can actually achieve that.
That is why the doses are so large, so that even if only a small percentage gets to the joint then that is enough to help rebuild cartilage. The antioxidants help to destroy the root cause of many forms of joint disease: the free radicals and anti-inflammatories can help relieve pain. However glucosamine and chondroitin not only relieve the pain, but also continue to work over time to repair the joint tissues. As with most supplements the body can only absorb so much glucosamine, only consume 500mg at a time but take it two to three times each day for best results.
Glucosamine is often provided in conjunction with MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) that is a natural form of dietary sulfur. Sulfur is believed to be essential for healthy soft connective tissues, tendons and so on. Calcium, too, is a useful supplement to take since it help to recover the bone density, but keep in mind that vitamin D is essential for the uptake of calcium, so a vitamin D supplement will be required along with the calcium. Although calcium will not in itself help joint disease, it will help to main a good bone density that is more capable of withstanding the stresses of a reducing cartilage density.
There is therefore quite a wide variety of vitamins, minerals and other substances that can help to support healthy joint function, and also to help repair joint damage, and discount vitamins are the best way to tackle the problem of maintaining a good intake of those that are most effective, namely, glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, vitamins A, C, D and E, and supplemental MSM, hyaluronic acid and calcium.
You do not need them all, but only testing will enable you to decide which work for you. You should also contact your physician before taking discount vitamin supplements if you have any other medical problems.
The Healing Power Of Borage Oil’s GLA
November 13, 2007 10:22 AM
Borage is otherwise called the starflower, and the borage oil extracted from its seeds is very rich in GLA, gamma linolenic acid, a polyunsaturated fatty acid also obtainable from evening primrose oil. Borage, however, is richer in GLA, and is therefore a more economical source that the evening primrose.
A shrub, frequently seen in gardens, borage has historically been used as a salad food, and also in soups, and borage honey is prized in many quarters. Now, however, its main use is for the GLA extracted from the seed, which provides a higher yield of GLA than any other source. Borage seed oil contains up to 25% GLA, compared to the 17% from blackcurrant oil and 9% from evening primrose oil.
The importance of GLA to the body’s biochemistry is inestimable, and cannot be overstated. It is not so much the GLA that is so important, but the prostaglandin to which it is converted in the body. Prostaglandin E1 is a hormone-like substance that plays a part in many of the biochemical and metabolic processes of the body. Examples include the control of the immune system and inflammatory response, some kidney functions, and the tone of the arterial muscles, so important in the health of the cardiovascular system.
A good fatty acid metabolism benefits some very important aspects of our health such as maintaining a good blood pressure, low cholesterol levels, preventing inflammatory and immune system conditions such as arthritis, allergies and some skin diseases such as eczema and psoriasis, and also improving the strength of the keratin-dependent tissues such as our nails and hair.
A deficiency in essential fatty acids also seems to stimulate the overproduction of a hormone in women called prolactin that can lead to the severe mood changes commonly referred to as pre-menstrual syndrome, or PMS. GLA appears to have a beneficial effect in the treatment of PMS, and some other conditions such as breast discomfort.
Gamma linolenic acid is created in the body from linoleic acid, of which there is a plentiful supply in margarine, vegetable oils and many processed foods, but there is a problem. Fatty acid molecules come in different isomeric forms, in which although the chemical is the same, the geometry or ‘stereochemistry’ is different. The healthy form is the ‘cis’ formation, and the other is the ‘trans’ stereoisomer. The trans fatty acids are formed by hydrogenation of oils to make them semi-solid, and more suitable for spreading. This hydrogenation process causes an irreversible change in the geometry of the fatty acid that can block the conversion of linoleic acid to GLA in the body.
Hence, although most of the western population has more than sufficient linoleic acid in their diets, many who eat an excess of trans fats have a deficiency of GLA. Some B vitamin deficiencies and a deficiency in certain minerals exacerbate this situation, and a gamma linolenic acid supplement is needed. Additional to this, the enzyme responsible for the conversion, delta-6-desaturase (D6D) can be affected by many modern environmental factors such as smoking, stress, alcohol, excessive animal fat consumption and even excessive linoleic acid consumption. The solution to all of this is GLA which does not require any enzymes for its creation, and supplemental GLA from any source can immediately take part in the biochemical pathway to the creation of the prostaglandin eicosanoids.
GLA provides the means and the resultant prostaglandins carry out the job of regulating the hormonal activity within human biochemistry. Prostaglandins help to regulate the function of many of the cells in the body, such as the smooth muscle cells of the arteries and veins that cause constriction or dilation, and on the stickiness of blood platelets causing their aggregation. They are important in the regulation of such functions as blood clotting, fluid balance and the production and balance of hormones. The anti-inflammatory properties of prostaglandin E1 are very important to the way that the body reacts to breaches by foreign Invaders, and it is also thought to act to thin the blood and cause dilation of blood vessels, hence its effect in lowering the blood pressure.
So what does this mean to you, apart from the effects of the fatty acid on PMS? Borage oil can be used to treat a large number of different symptoms associated with a shortage of GLA and prostaglandin E1, and here are a few of the conditions for which a GLA supplement has been found beneficial.
A deficiency in GLA and other essential fatty acids can lead to loss of bone mass and subsequent osteoporosis and it is thought that fatty acids help the absorption of calcium by the digestive system, and to increase its deposit in bones. It can be used to increase bone mass and density and therefore strengthen the bones of those affected by osteoporosis. This is partially due to the hormone regulatory effect GLA has on the body.
Allergies appear to be very personal responses by the immune system to specific substances, and while borage oil has proved beneficial in a few allergies, and prostaglandins are known to regulate the activity of the immune response, the effectiveness of GLA treatment for allergies has been mixed. There is evidence that it can affect some cases, but not most.
GLA from borage oil can reduce the swelling and pain of rheumatoid arthritis, and helps to ease morning stiffness. Its effectiveness seems mixed, and you should try it for two or three months to determine if it helps you personally. Be careful, however, since some believe that it might react with some of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) used to treat this condition. Ibuprofen is one, so check with your physician before trying it.
If you suffer from high blood pressure, borage oil used in conjunction with Omega-3 fish oils might lower it, though more research is needed. There is a belief that the GLA is not the active agent here since Omega-3 oils are known to help to reduce hypertension, though the effect of prostaglandins on the factors that can reduce blood pressure is inarguable.
The healing power of borage oil should not be underestimated, and it has been used for centuries in folk medicine to treat many conditions, especially those that science has found to be caused by the immune system and the inflammatory response. Borage oil can be found at any Health Food Store.
Are Inflammation, Immunity, And Allergic Reactions A Role For Supplements?
November 10, 2007 11:29 AM
Inflammation, immunity diseases and allergic reactions are all connected with your immune system, and the way the body reacts to what it considers to be foreign Invaders that are a risk to your health. Although you may not understand that all three have the basic underlying cause, in fact they do, and here is why.
Inflammation manifests as pain and swelling in the inflamed area, and not only can the area also get hot, but it can also raise your temperature in general, commonly called a fever. Fever is the body’s way of raising temperature above that at which foreign organisms such as bacteria and viruses can live, so any inflammatory condition that results in fever by definition must be an immune response through the body trying to eliminate foreign Invaders.
If your body gets injured in any way, your immune system responds, and usually calms down again if decides that the injury is not serious. Your immune system is actually initiated by what are known as pro-inflammatory hormones, such as prostaglandins that stimulate the nerves to signal pain and swell the blood vessels close to the injury to make room for the large white blood cells when they arrive. That also allows blood and plasma to rush out and cause swelling at the site of the injury. Other prostaglandins act to quell the immune response, and get your body back to normal.
Another such hormone is a cytokine, which informs the brain of the intrusion. Some cytokines called leukocytes stop the immune system when necessary to prevent the destruction of healthy tissue, and also halt the inflammatory response. If the leukocytes are not working properly, the body can be severely damaged as the immune system becomes uncontrolled and starts to attack healthy tissue.
Then there are the histamines that allow you to expel the agents causing the problem by sneezing, watery eyes, runny noses and scratching. They lead lymphatic fluid and blood to the site of the problem in order that the invasion can be attacked and destroyed.
It is the histamines that provide what is commonly referred to as an allergic reaction, which is really the immune system coming into action to remove Invaders such as pollen, dust mites and any other agent that can cause an allergy. Immunity is caused by introducing small amounts of the agent into the blood, so that the immune system can develop a memory of them. Then, when the same Invader returns at a later date, the system can immediately attack them with the antibodies that have been produced.
All of these: inflammation, immunity and allergies, are caused by the reaction of the immune system to what it perceives as an Invader. Normally these are bacteria and viruses, but sometimes they react to other foreign bodies such as pollen. In some people this provokes no response at all, while in others it provokes the immune system to create antibodies against the pollen, and emit histamine to expel it.
Substances that cause allergies are referred to as allergens. Many allergens are environmental, such as dust, pollen and peanuts. Some people are allergic to certain animals, such as cats or dogs, and others to chemicals in the air such as hydrocarbon emissions, particularly when in particulate form.
The symptoms can be simple, such as a runny nose, a cough and hay fever or more complex such as hives, eczema and asthma. All of these are caused by the immune system reacting to an Invader. There are also foods that cause internal inflammation, such as shellfish and whitefish, eggs and tomatoes. Many of these can be extreme, leading to serious illness and can even be fatal. So what can be done to treat people who are particularly prone to inflammation and allergic reactions?
Omega-3 fatty acids have been found to reduce inflammation, unlike their Omega-6 cousins that appear to increase it. Omega-3 oils contain chemicals known as eicosanoids, of which the prostaglandins are an example. While this might seem paradoxical, since prostaglandins are what set off the whole process, there are many types of these. Prostaglandin E2 is the type that leads to allergic immune reactions, and omega-3 fatty acids reduce the concentration of these in the blood.
Those who eat little fish tend to suffer more from inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and other conditions indicating a lack of control of the immune system. On the other hand, processed foods contain more omega-6 fatty acids that can promote these conditions. The major components of omega-3 oils are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and also DHA, docosahexaenoic acid. These are all anti-inflammatories and have been shown to have very positive effects on inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease and eczema. Each of these is a different type of inflammatory condition caused by inappropriate immune response.
However, it not just fish oils that can help resolve problems with our immune system. Quercetin is what is known as a flavonoid. It is a strong anti-oxidant and natural anti-histamine that combats histamine release and the swelling associated with the immune response to allergens. It also counters the inflammatory agents of arthritis and so helps to reduce the pain associated with many of these conditions. It appears to work better in conjunction with bromelain, a very powerful anti-inflammatory that also possesses anti-allergen response properties. Bromelain is extracted from pineapple stems.
Another natural product is a resin extract that is obtained from the Boswellia serrata tree. It has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, and has been recommended for the treatment of arthritis (rheumatoid and osteo), Crohn’s disease and has been suggested as a treatment for asthma, though studies are still under way. However, world wide experience is that Boswellia is effective against gout, psoriasis and ulcerative colitis, to name another three totally different inflammatory conditions.
What all of this indicates are two things. First that inflammation, immunity and allergic reactions are connected conditions, and due to either poor control over or an over stimulated immune response to what the body perceives as being abnormal, in the way that hormones and other chemicals that are used to control our immunity detect it to be.
Secondly, there are many natural products that can be used as supplements to treat these effects caused by the immune system, and that their effectiveness has been proven, if not by scientific study, then by generations of traditional application as treatments of the symptoms of the conditions concerned.
However, although many have been proved by scientific study, others have not, and you should always refer to your physician before undergoing any treatment other than that prescribed. Also, there is incontrovertible evidence that the role for supplements in the treatment of inflammation, immunity and allergic reactions are beneficial. Many use nothing else.
Papaya- May Be A Fountain of Youth
May 31, 2007 02:09 PM
Papaya- May Be A Fountain of Youth
Seventy years ago, when the Social Security Administration was developed during the Great Depression, age 62 was recognized as average life expectancy. These days, getting older is a whole different ball game. Not only are people living well into their 80s and 90s, they’re living better, too. People well into retirement are mountain biking, kayaking, jogging and hiking, as well as gardening, golfing and attending concerts – sometimes for their first time. Everybody, it seems, is on the go, from ages of 22 to 92.
Of course, you don’t have to wait until retirement to start planning for a longer more vibrant life. The best way to ensure happier and longer years ahead is to start young.
Nobody wants to spend retirement in the doctor’s waiting room or have their golden years intruded upon with illnesses or infirmities. And, most importantly, we don’t want to feel 80 years old even though our driver’s license says we are.
These desires and demands are not just wishful thinking. Huge advances in the understanding of how men and women age are being made almost daily. These findings are helping to improve our chances of living long, healthy lives. And, some of the most impressive findings have shown that using nutritional supplements can help – in particular, a specially formulated papaya preparation is able to fight two of the primary reasons we get old – oxidative stress and immune system decline.
This issue of Ask the Doctor is going to share the anti-aging secrets hidden in the papaya and how this tropical fruit may hold the key to a long, vibrant life.
Q. Why papaya? What does papaya have that other fruits and vegetables don’t?
A. Not many American moms put a papaya in their kids’ lunch boxes and papaya pie has yet to gain a following. But this tangy tasting fruit is now appearing fairly frequently in the produce departments of most grocery stores and its popularity seems to steadily increase each year.
The papaya’s bright orange flesh is fairly fibrous and very slippery – slicing a peeled papaya is a little like slicing a bar of wet soap. The core is filled with little black seeds that look a lot like caviar. And while eating a papaya will give you a day’s worth of vitamins A and C as well as potassium taking Fermented Papaya Preparation (or FPP) might just give you an additional 30 years of healthy vibrant life.
Q. What exactly is Fermented Papaya Preparation (FPP)?
A. It’s a specialized nutritional supplement. Backed by more than 30 studies to date, FPP has been used in
Q. How was FPP developed?
A. Japanese scientists noticed that individuals with higher amounts of papaya in their diets experienced certain health benefits.
Researchers who study aging decided to look at the papaya’s chemistry to see if it might have properties that could contribute to longevity. Several plant chemicals in the papaya showed promise. And when they combined papaya with specific yeasts and traditional Japanese fermentation techniques, FPP was born. This unique substance was then subjected to scientific studies to see its health impact; they determined that FPP is a superior antioxidant, a powerful immune-booster, and one of
Q. How does FPP help people live longer and healthier?
A. While getting older is an indisputable fact of life, aging, per se, is not. We can’t do much about our annual birthdays and we really shouldn’t even if we could. Every age is a cause for celebration and every life experience, both the difficult and the sublime, should be treasured.
However, we don’t have to accept the consequences of aging that can make a mockery of the “Golden Years” - heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, osteoporosis, arthritis, and cancer. Our parents and grandparents and the generations that preceded them might have had little say in how they aged. But we can. We can slow down the harmful effects of aging and FPP can help by reducing oxidative stress and immune system decline.
Additionally, fighting oxidative stress helps people retain their youthful appearance longer. Oxidative damage is the number one factor in facial aging.
Q. What exactly does oxidative stress mean and what does it have to do with aging?
A. One theory of aging is that harmful molecules called free radicals wreak havoc in our cells. Many of our body’s normal metabolic processes produce free radicals. For example, free radicals are a normal by-product in the production of ATP (the energy molecule) from glucose. Certain types of white blood cells destroy invading microbes by the production of free radicals. Free radicals are also formed by the many normal enzymatic actions that take place every minute every day.
However, outside sources can also cause free radical formation, as well. If we are exposed to pollutants in the environment, chemicals, additives and preservatives in the food we eat, or even direct sunlight, excess production of free radicals can occur, causing profound damage. This free radical frenzy is called oxidative stress, and is linked to almost every disease of aging including arthritis, heart disease, cataracts, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and cancer. In fact, the reason why these are called diseases of aging is because the longer we are alive, the longer we are subjected to these free radical assaults.
Q. How does FPP affect the decline of our immune systems as we age?
A. Our immune systems consist of specialized tissues, organs, and cells, including several different kinds of white blood cells. Each type of white blood cell works in specific ways to keep us healthy and free of disease. They not only stand guard – on the alert for Invaders – they can fight and eradicate microbes, too.
However, as we age, our white blood cells become less efficient in keeping viruses and bacteria from infecting us. They often mistake Invaders for good guys, like nutrients. As they age, white blood cells may recognize foreign Invaders, but be too tired to fight and let them in. This age-associated immune decline also results in single cancer cells being able to “take hold” and grow into tumors. By the time the white blood cells realize their mistake, the cancer is a widespread disease.
That’s why older members of society have more urinary tract infections, more pneumonia, more cases of bacterial meningitis, tuberculosis, herpes zoster, and much more cancer than younger adults do. Moreover, mortality rates for these diseases are often 2-3 times higher among adults than younger people with the same disease.
FPP steps in and takes charge. One kind of white blood cells, the macrophage “eats” and digests bacteria, viral particles, and free radical fragments. Research has shown that FPP helps macrophages work faster and ingest more disease-causing microbes. Scientists have also discovered that FPP increases the production of a chemical protein called interleukin that’s secreted by macrophages. Interleukin plays an important part in wound healing and keeping minor infections from becoming major infections.
Another important immune system cell is the natural killer (NK) cell, a white blood cell that is continually on the prowl for cancer cells. As the immune system ages, NK cells have trouble “seeing” cancer cells. Researchers have discovered that FPP boosts the activity of NK cells. Increased NK cell activity can result in the increased killing of cancer cells as well as cells infected by viruses.
Q. How does FPP help protect us from free radical damage?
A. FPP contains unique and powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants are molecules that neutralize free radical damage. Antioxidants do this by donating an extra electron to the free radical without becoming frenzied or worked up into a free radical themselves. Although the antioxidant has donated an electron, it has a more stable “personality” and is less reactive. This action stops the domino effect and ongoing free-radical damage.
If you consider your body a temple, think of free radicals as stealing bricks from your temple’s foundation. FPP acts not only as policeman, but as a builder as well. It doesn’t just stop the theft of bricks; it helps create new ones, keeping the foundation strong and young.
FPP does this by affecting super oxide dimutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPX), the very genetic pathways that eliminate free radicals from the system. FPP is more than an antioxidant – it doesn’t turn into a pro-oxidant if you happen to take a large dose the way standard antioxidants can. Consider it an “antioxidant plus.”
Since aging is largely determined by how well our bodies can fight oxidative damage, using FPP can slow down the clock as it bolsters natural abilities with its own potent neutralizing activities.
Q. What else does science say about FPP?
A. As the subject of over 30 clinical studies, FPP has been shown to inhibit dangerous hydroxyl free radicals. In addition, it is also being considered for its immuno-protective effects.
Researchers and medical professionals have been studying FPP for years, tracking its effect on the immune system and aging. In fact, no less a personage then Dr. Luc Montagnier, co-discover of HIV 1 & 2 virus, has been conducting research on this natural immune booster.
Dr. Montagnier recommends using FPP as part of a tri-therapy (including antibiotics) that reduces the proliferation of the virus and stimulates the immune system. Since FPP has antioxidant and immuno-stimulative properties, it seems like an obvious choice for a combined approach to combating AIDS. Because of the higher free radical production in stage II of HIV infection, Montagnier believes that reducing this oxidative stress at the earliest stage of HIV infection may be a key factor.
In HIV-infected patients, the glutathione system is depressed even at the early stages. As part of a combination treatment, FPP increased the numbers of CF4 lymphocytes helped with weight gain and increased hemoglobin levels.
One scientific study showed the ability of FPP to inhibit dangerous hydroxyl and hydroxyl-like free radicals, while enhancing the production of protective super oxide. Other research by Dr. Lester Packer, a professor of Molecular Pharmacology and Toxicology at the
And, in one randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, patients with cirrhosis of the liver were given FPP or a placebo. The results showed that 81.2% of the patients survived in the FPP group compared to 38.5% of participants in the placebo group.
These studies and many others like it, show that FPP can neutralize the effects of oxidative stress on disease states as well as slowing the normal aging process.
Q. So if we can prevent oxidative damage to our cells AND prevent decline in our immune systems, how much longer can we expect to live?
A. Most theories of aging and almost all researchers who study aging claim there IS a limit to how long the human body can remain viable. However, the oldest age achieved so far was 128 by a woman named Ma Pampo who lived in the
Right now, Japanese women have the longest life span of any country in the world, with an average life expectancy of 85.93 years. Japanese men live an average 78.87 years.
Q. Is FPP safe?
A. Yes, it is. Many health-conscious people in
Q. What is the recommended dosage level of FPP?
A. Dosages of FPP vary depending on individual needs and usage. For basic anti-aging support, 3 grams per day is fine. For additional support, up to 9 grams per day is recommended. To add a boost to your immune system when you need it, start out with 6-9 grams a day for the first 2-3 days (at the beginning of a cold, for example) and then move back down to 3 grams per day.
For individuals looking for optimum immune support, Dr. Montagnier advises morning and evening doses, preferably on an empty stomach.
Mushrooms are good for the Immune System
January 26, 2007 06:12 PM
Medicinal Mushrooms Grown on Purple Kculli Corn Yield Life Changing Results
Even though we treat them like vegetables, mushrooms aren’t really plants. They’re fungi and fungi grow much differently than fruits and vegetables. Most food plants, like strawberries, broccoli, and red bell peppers make chlorophyll from sunlight to gain the nutrients they need to grow. Mushrooms don’t make chlorophyll; to get the nutrients they need to grow, mushrooms release enzymes into the forest floor or flora they’re living on to break down the organic matter into a form the mushroom can absorb.
Because most mushrooms that we eat or use today are raised as crops, or cultivated, they are grown on a variety of substrates. Similar to the commercial potting soils you can buy at nurseries and garden stores, mushroom substrates vary widely in quality and the kinds of nutrients within. Mushrooms are really unique in that they can grow on almost anything, such as sawdust, shredded newspaper, and straw.
However, mushrooms are only as nutritious as the substrate they were grown on-even those unique varieties called medicinal mushrooms. While the simple button mushrooms found on pizza are most often eaten for their woodsy taste and texture, the use of medicinal mushrooms is much more complex. These mushrooms are valued because they contain numerous compounds that have been extensively studies by researchers for their ability to activate cells of the immune system.
Researchers have recently discovered that when medicinal mushrooms are grown on a Purple Kculli (pronounced ka-coo-lee) Corn substrate, the resulting mushrooms are jam-packed with powerful and potent disease-fighting compounds. Beautiful Purple Kculli Corn has long been used by the people of the Peruvian Andes as a tasty vegetable, natural food color, and powerful functional food-keeping them healthy and free of disease.
In this issue of Ask the Medicine Hunter, we’re going to talk about four powerful medicinal mushrooms that, when grown on Purple Kculli Corn, have even more potent compounds to prevent and treat cancer and other serious health problems.
Q. How exactly do medicinal mushrooms prevent and treat cancer?
A. Medicinal mushrooms are very complex. They contain numerous compounds that have been extensively studied for their ability to activate cells of the immune system. Some of the most amazing immune boosting compounds in medicinal mushrooms are beta-glucans 1-3, beta glucans 1-6, arabinogalactins, and arabinoxylans – compounds that work “hand-in-hand” with certain cells of the immune system. But to get abundant amounts of these compounds, medicinal mushrooms must be grown on substrates with high levels of nutrients. And the most nutrient dense substrate of all comes from Purple Kculli Corn.
Q. Why is Purple Kculli Corn extract good for growing medicinal mushrooms?
A. You’ve probably heard that brightly colored fruits and vegetables (like beets, broccoli, and blueberries), have more antioxidant power than paler fruits and vegetables (like iceberg lettuce, onions, and garlic). In fact, the deeper the color, the better. And there is no deeper color in nature than the deep purple of Purple Kculli Corn grown in the lush coastal plains of Peru. The kernels from Purple Kculli Corn are not only naturally beautiful, the pigment itself is extremely healthy and have been used by the people of the Peruvian Andes for centuries as both food and food coloring.
Once harvested, the Purple Kculli Corn is naturally processed into an antioxidant-rich extract. When certain medicinal mushrooms are grown on Purple Kculli Corn extract, the Purple Kculli Corn becomes a super-substrate, producing medicinal mushrooms with incredible amounts of the immune-boosting compounds. And when Purple Kculli Corn extract is added to medicinal mushroom formulas the antioxidant power increases, too.
Q. How do the medicinal mushroom compounds fight disease?
A. When bacteria, viruses, or other pathogens are present in the body, white blood cells, or leukocytes, swing into action. Leukocytes work together to defend the body against infections, like colds or the flu, as well as diseases that start within us, like cancer. These disease fighting cells are the backbone of the body’s defense system. And each type of cell works in different ways.
The macrophage, a name that means “big eater,” is a first-strike leukocyte that protects us from disease by, quit literally, devouring invading pathogens. Natural Killer (NK) cells act like sentries – constantly prowling for cancer cells, killing them quickly when they’re discovered. B-cells are the immune system’s military intelligence, seeking out targets and communicating their coordinates, while T-cells are the foot soldiers, destroying the Invaders that the intelligence system has identified.
Scientists have long known that medicinal mushrooms help make white blood cells more deadly. But until recently, they weren’t sure how. Research has now shown that macrophages and NK cells have receptor sites specifically for beta-glucans 1-3 and beta-glucans 1-6. When the beta-glucans bind to the macrophages and NK cells, they make the lymphocytes stronger and more lethal. By increasing the lymphocytes’ strength, beta-glucans help them churn out more of the specialized chemical messengers, too.
Arabinogalactins and arabinoxylans, powerful polysaccharides found in medicinal mushrooms, are potent stimulators of the immune system. These compounds increase the activity of interleukins, interferons, and a tumor necrosis factor, all key components in a healthy immune system. When medicinal mushroom extracts with high amounts of Arabinogalactins and arabinoxylans are taken, diseases are dramatically reduced.
Researchers found that complex polysaccharides in four varieties of medicinal mushrooms – Agaricus blazei (Agaricus), Grifola frondosa (Maitake), Coriolus versicolor (Coriolus or Turkey Tail), and Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi) – are serious cancer fighters. The chart below explains how:
Mushroom Health Benefit
Agaricus (Agaricus Blazei)
Agaricus not only contains the greatest number of medicinal compounds, it also contains a powerful anti-tumor polysaccharide that all other medicinal mushrooms are lacking. Recently, 100 women who were receiving carboplatin, a chemotherapy drug used to treat ovarian cancer, volunteered for an important study. Half of the women were given an extract of Agaricus mushrooms, while the other half were given a placebo or dummy pill. The researchers discovered that NK cell activity was significantly higher in the Agaricus group. The women in this group were also less nauseated, fatigued, and wear than the women taking the placebo, an important consideration for people with cancer.
Maitake (Grifola Frondosa)
Maitake is one of the most researched of all medicinal mushrooms. In one clinical study, the effect of Maitake mushroom compounds were studied in ten patients with cancer who were not currently taking any chemotherapeutic drugs. The researchers found that the Maitake not only significantly stimulated NK cell activity, it also repressed the cancer’s growth, and stopped the tumors’ ability to metastasize, or spread to other parts of the body. And in another clinical study, 165 patients with various types of advanced cancer were given Maitake mushroom compounds alone or with chemotherapy. Cancer regression or significant symptom improvement was observed in 58% of liver cancer patients, 69% of breast cancer patients, and 62% of lung cancer patients. Plus, when Maitake was taken in addition to chemotherapy, the immune cell activities were enhanced 1.2 to 1.4 times, compared with chemotherapy alone.
Versicolor compounds show great promise as cancer immunotherapy agents in all cancer stages. In one clinical trial, 34 patients with advanced terminal lung cancer were given Coriolus versicolor polysaccharides or a placebo (dummy pill) for 28 days. While the group getting the Versicolor felt less fatigued and sick, very important considerations at the end-of-life, there were no changes in the placebo group.
Reishi (Ganoderma Lucidum)
Reishi mushrooms are too tough to eat, but they’ve been used medicinally for centuries and have been extensively researched. In a safety study to determine Reishi’s effect on blood thinning mechanisms, healthy volunteers received 1.5 gm Reishi or placebo daily for 4 weeks. There were no significant changes in either group and all blood clotting measurements remained within the normal range, demonstrating its safety. In a recent clinical study, researchers determined that Reishi increased the number of cancer killing white blood cells and made them more deadly to cancer cells.
Not only do Agaricus, Maitake, Coriolus, and Reishi have incredible amounts of immune boosting polysaccharides, when they are grown on Purple Kculli Corn, they also have a much higher ORAC value than mushrooms grown on other substrates.
Q. What are ORAC values?
A. ORAC, or Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity, is a measurement of the antioxidant power in fruits and vegetables. The higher the power, or ORAC value, the stronger the antioxidant is against free radicals. While free radicals are made by breathing oxygen and digesting food, and are simply the consequences of being alive, the older we get the more free radicals we make. And the more free radicals we make the more destructive they can be. Free radicals will rip membranes, wreck cells, cripple mitochondria, and ruin DNA. As this damage accumulates, even more free radicals are made. And if not stopped or slowed, this might lead to heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, dementia, and cancer.
Q. How does Purple Kculli Corn increase the ORAC value of medicinal mushrooms?
A. All brightly colored fruits and vegetables have very high ORAC values; and the higher the ORAC value – the greater the antioxidant power. Not only can we measure the ORAC values of fruits and vegetables, we can also measure the ORAC values of mushroom substrate extracts. Purple Kculli Corn extract has an ORAC value of 1789 (measured in umolesTE/gram). Now, remember that mushrooms are fungi, not fruits and vegetables, and they gain most of their nutrients from the ground (or substrate) they are grown on. When mushrooms are cultivated or “farmed” on substrates with a high ORAC value, they will absorb compounds from the substrate giving them a higher ORAC value, too. So growing mushrooms on antioxidant rich, high ORAC value, Purple Kculli Corn yields medicinal mushrooms with high ORAC values as well.
Q. Some mushroom supplements have more than four medicinal mushrooms. Wouldn’t a mushroom supplement with seven mushrooms or more have a higher ORAC value than a supplement with only four?
A. Well, more is not always better – especially when it comes to medicinal mushrooms. Some supplements have a “kitchen sink” selection of mushrooms. The makers of these supplements hope that by adding modest amounts of many mushrooms, they will end up with a product that just might have some health benefits.
Clearly, it’s not how many or how exotic the mushrooms are in a medicinal mushroom supplement, it’s the substrate that mushrooms are grown on that makes the difference.
Q. How can I make sure the medicinal mushroom supplement I buy contains natural and organic mushrooms grown on Purple Kculli Corn substrate?
A. Become a label reader! Medicinal mushroom formulas have a statement showing accreditation from a certifying agency, such as the American Food Safety Institute, International; California Organic Farmer Association, Minnesota; or Crop Improvement Association, on the label, and have met certain criteria. They must be grown without chemicals or pesticides. The growers must be certified as organic mushroom produces by an accredited third party. And the growers must keep a record of their production and handling practices.
Of the nearly 38,000 varieties of mushrooms, Agaricus blazei, Grifola frondosa, Coriolus versicolor, and Ganoderma lucidum have impressive medicinal properties. With a little help from Purple Kculli Corn, these mushrooms can provide even more potent and powerful cancer preventing properties for superior mushroom supplements.
Scientific Research Backing Glyconutrition
October 15, 2006 04:26 PM
There are over 20,000 studies conducted annually on glycoforms alone. Researchers from universities and major pharmaceutical companies realize the importance of this new discovery. Breaking the “sugar-code” will mean a tremendous advancement in health and medicine.
Studies confirm that the eight essential biologically active sugars can accomplish amazing results. The following are just a few examples of the exciting possibilities of Glyconutrition:
Air Defense from Now Foods
October 03, 2006 01:36 PM
When it comes to good health, you are constantly on the frontline of defense against an Army of environmental Invaders. Exhaust, smoke, airborne toxins and a flurry of other environmental antagonists can make it difficult for even the healthiest of individuals to keep their guard up. Factor this into today’s fast paced, on the go lifestyles, and the need for powerful immune supporting nutrition becomes all to real.
Introducing New Air Defense Immune Booster, from Now Foods. This optimally balanced immune system supplement was scientifically formulated to provide some of the industry’s most trusted cellular safeguards, in one convenient, easy to use formula. One of its most impressive compounds is Paractin – a patented extract of Andrographis Paniculata that has been shown in studies to significantly increase the immune system’s production of interferon gamma (IFNg). Interleukin-s (IL-2), and T-cells. Collectively, these infection-fighting cells make up the body’s primary line of defense against scores of everyday threats.*
Many experts agree that the upcoming flue season could potentially be one of the most devastating and widespread on record. Numerous clinical studies have demonstrated Paractin’s ability to significantly increase cell-mediated immunity (CMI) in response to stresses, such as those commonly encountered during seasonal changes. By stimulating the body’s natural defense mechanisms, Paractin has been shown to increase the body’s production of cytokines – a key factor in healthy immune system response.*
Each serving delivers an impressive 1,000 mg of free radical quenching vitamin C along with an herbal complex of Astragalus, Elderberry, Echinacea, ImmunEnhancer AG (Arabinogalactan, from Larch Tree) and Olive Leaf. Our expert formulators have also included immune-supporting minerals, such as Zinc and Selenium. This advanced, one-of-a-kind formula unites some of the most trusted nutritional compounds available today, and was scientifically formulated to support healthy immune function during seasonal changes and year-around!
The Immune System and The Antigen Factor
September 19, 2006 05:46 PM
All cells, including infectious microorganisms, carry “ID Tags” called antigens on their surface. Each of these individual molecular signatures or “ID Tags” tells our immune generals whether the intruder is friend or foe. If foe, the antigens stimulate the immune system to produce antibodies to act against it. Amazingly, immune defense cells recognize and response to thousand of antigens. These “ID Tags” are written in glycoforms on the surface of the cells and use the sugar code to pass the information.
Here is a simple explanation of how this works. Immune cells roam throughout the body touching other cells and asking three questions:
1. are you me (part of this body) and are you okay? 2. are you me and are you not okay (do you need help)? 3. are you not me and need to be eliminated or destroyed?
These questions and their answers are translated through the sugar code found on each cell surface. Depending on the response obtained, immune cells:
1. leave the cell alone & move on; 2. send for help to repair or protect the cell; 3. call in the troops to kill off the foreign Invader or cancer cell.
Having a ready supply of glyconutrients may help the body speed up the correct immune system response.
The Consequences of Cell Miscommunication
September 19, 2006 05:45 PM
We know that a glyconutritional deficiency can lead to a breakdown in our cells’ ability to properly communicate their needs. Consequently, our immune cells may fail to recognize, warn, and mount an attack on Invaders, which leads to higher risk of infection. Also, cell miscommunication can lead to faulty signals, causing the immune system to mistake healthy tissue as a foreign Invader called an antigen (auto-immune diseases, pollen allergies, ect.) but perhaps the most pernicious result of cell miscommunication are the failure of the immune system to recognize replicating mutated cells, which is unchecked, inevitably leads to cancer.
Olive Leaf Extract
January 02, 2006 10:17 AM
In today’s stressful world, immune system health is more important than ever. History has proven that no matter what we do to combat viruses, bacteria and parasites, they have the remarkable capability to mutate for survival, often returning in a more virulent form than before. New strains of the flu and other microbial Invaders are being discovered at an alarming rate, and modern medicine is constantly on the defensive. At the time this was written, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta is predicting a “bad flu season” because a “killer drift variant” strain of flu had been discovered, called type A Fujian. This new strain has already caused deaths abroad, and vaccinations are strongly recommended, especially for the very young and the elderly.
However, mutating microbes are only part of the problem confronting our immune systems. Factors such as environmental pollution and over-processing of foods are believed by many researchers to play a major role in many health conditions. Which means, more than ever before, you need to make sure your immune system is functioning at peak efficiency. Fortunately, there are a number of natural products available that can assist you in reaching this goal.
One of the most effective discovered to date is Olive Leaf Extract (OLE). Natural olive leaf extract is derived from the olive tree (Olea europaea), which happens to have a very long and interesting history. One of the most revered botanicals, the olive tree is mentioned numerous times in the Bible. One of the earliest and most powerful mentions is the delivery of the olive branch to Noah by a dove, a sign that the floodwaters were receding and life was returning. The olive tree was, and still is, a life-giver. It’s fruit is used for food, and the oil is used for cooking and as a source of light to ward off the darkness. Ancient cultures soon discovered that the various components of the olive tree provided a myriad of health benefits as well, benefits confirmed by modern science.
Extract of olive leaves is one of the best, if not THE best, natural antimicrobials and antioxidants ever discovered.* Oddly enough it might have been well recognized in this role much sooner since it was reported in the mid-1850’s that a bitter tea brewed from olive leaves might be a potential cure for malaria. However, not all great discoveries are immediately recognized as valuable, and physicians of that era didn’t give much credence to the reports. It wasn’t until decades later that a simple analysis conducted on olive leaves led to the discovery of an active component, the phenolic compound oleuropein, which has since been associated with many health benefits.
More recently, numerous studies have been conducted on olive leaves and the active components found in the leaves, with a preponderance of positive results. A 1999 study conducted at the University of Rome assessed the antimicrobial activity of oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol, two of the most active components in olive leaf extract. They were pitted against many different bacterial strains, including salmonella and staphylococcus, in vitro. The study concluded, “Olea europaea can be considered a potential source of promising antimicrobial agents” for the support of intestinal and respiratory health.* 4
A 2002 study conducted at the University of South Australia compared the effectiveness of some of the typical components of the Mediterranean diet, including oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol, as reactive oxygen species inhibitors and free radical scavengers. Researchers also examined their capability in protecting against low-density lipoprotein oxidation in vitro. Results clearly indicated that these components are potent inhibitors of free radical generation, as well as effective free radical scavengers.* 5
NOW® Foods carries a number of olive leaf extract products, including our Olive Leaf Extract 500mg, standardized to contain 6% oleuropein, our Extra Strength product with 18% oleuropein and 100mg of Echinacea Extract, and Olive Leaf Glycerite liquid, which contains 18% oleuropein.
Why would you want a standardized Olive Leaf Extract product over a whole herb Olive Leaf product? We’re glad you asked! Standardization allows for consistently effective herbal products because the active ingredient, or marker compound, is accurately identified and measured, ensuring that the product delivers a certain minimum level of the active component or components. In simpler terms, standardized herbal products allow the consumer to obtain the benefits of an herb without having to consume massive quantities because there is a much greater concentration of active components, which also improves the effectiveness of the herbal product. Purchasing standardized Olive Leaf with a guaranteed concentration of oleuropein is a smart choice.
November 23, 2005 06:15 PM
Clinically Shown to Triple Natural Killer (NK) Cell Activity