Search Term: " Isolate "
Study: Taking protein supplements before going to the gym can leadto improved post-workout burn
May 03, 2019 04:08 PM
Recent research published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition indicates that taking your protein supplement before working out can help increase your body’s fat oxidation. In a study of 11 college-aged males who took either whey or casein protein supplements prior to moderate exercise, it was found that both post-exercise fat oxidation and post-exercise energy consumption improved. Casein has more of an impact in this study than whey. This strongly suggests you should take your protein supplement before exercising.
"Published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, the study looked at the effect of taking protein supplements before exercise on fat oxidation and energy expenditure during and after a bout of moderate-intensity exercise. Previous research has shown that pre-exercise protein consumption may promote fat oxidation, at the same time, minimize protein degradation during exercise."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-03-26-protein-supplements-before-gym-improve-post-workout-burn.html
Protein Powder: 7 Best Types + How to Use
September 19, 2018 04:42 PM
Protein powder is commonly used amongst body builders, athletes, and every day people working out. Recent research has shown that it could improve your skin health and even improve you immunity. Protein powder is made from animal and plant-based sources. The common forms of protein powder include; hemp, egg, pea, rice, bone broth, soy, whey and more. There are three common forms of protein powder called concentrates, isolates, and hydrolysates. Protein powdering containing bone broth is one of the best kinds.
"Produced from both plant-based and animal sources, there are many types of protein powders available to tailor to any diet plan, taste palate or personal preference."
Read more: https://draxe.com/protein-powder-best-types/
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
World's Largest CBD Extraction Plant to be Built in Western Ky.
December 26, 2017 03:59 PM
A company, called Kings Royal Biotech has decided to partner up with a Chinese industrial hemp development company, in order to open the largest cannabidiol (CBD) processing plant in the United States. CBD is a substance that is extracted from the hemp plant, but it is not psychoactive. In fact, CBD has been shown to be useful in treating a variety of medical conditions, including epilepsy and chronic pain. THC, on the other hand, is the substance in marijuana that can give a user a psychoactive effect. King Royal intends to grow hemp that is free of THC, so that the CBD could be isolated and utilized for medicinal purposes, without the risk of giving the user a psychoactive effect. Additionally, this means that the products are completely legal, in accordance with the laws of the federal government of the United States.
"Under Federal Law industrial hemp cannot contain more than .3 percent THC, so there is no chance of any users having an altered state of mind from this product."
Read more: http://surfky.com/index.php/muhlenberg/news-muhlenberg/179-news/kentucky/125400-world-s-largest-cbd-extraction-plant-to-be-built-in-western-ky
A New Marijuana To Relieve Pain Without The High
January 19, 2017 02:59 PM
The pure medical value of marijuana is apparently being Isolated without getting the user high, LatinosHealth reports. The two main molecules in marijuana are THC (which contains the "high"), and CBD, which does not get the user high, but can relieve pain. Efforts are being made to Isolate the CBD side of marijuana for pure medical use.
"Earlier researchers were of the opinion that CBD had no use in the human body while THC was used to treat pain, nausea, loss of appetite and other problems but that notion has changed as CBD has been used in the treatment of diseases like epilepsy, anxiety, schizophrenia, heart disease and cancer."
What are the Health Benefits of Beta-Glucans
December 22, 2014 04:54 PM
What are Beta-glucans?
Benefits of beta-glucan
Beta-glucans are use for cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS and high cholesterol. Beta-glucans are also use for boosting the immune system in people whose body defenses have been weakens by emotional or physical stress, chronic fatigue syndrome or by treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation. Beta-glucans are also used for ulcerative colitis, hepatitis, multiple sclerosis, aging, H1N1 flu, Lyme disease, allergies, fibromyalgia, ear infections, rheumatoid, asthma and crohn's disease.
EGCG in green tea
May 10, 2014 07:38 AM
Green tea benefits
Green tea is made from the leaves of Camellia Sinensis, which is recognized for its health benefits. The nonfermented product is obtained by leaf desiccation that contains potent, polyphenolic antioxidants, with a flavanolic structure referred to as green- tea catechins, including epigallocat-echin-gallate (EGCG). Studies have shown that drinking EGCG prevents carcinogenesis in rodent organs. Studies have shown it had a significant chemoprotective effect against DMBA-induced mammary tumorigenesis in rats. Human breast cancer cell proliferation inhibition by green tea appeared mediated in part by (CKI). Mutagenesis was inhibited at concentration levels equivalent to human daily consumption.
Using human umbilical vein endothelial cells, it was demonstrated that green tea extracts reduced expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptors forms-like tyrosine kinase and fetal liver kinase. Kinase insert domain containing receptor. Because of the antiangiogenic property of its extracts, they have therapeutic potential in preventing the development of new microvascular networks (angiogenesis) needed for tumor growth. It was also found that green- tea polyphenols inhibited angiogenesis by reducing vascularization of chicken chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) by an angiogenin-like protein Isolated from goat serum.
EGCG effectively inhibited bladder-tumor implantation growth in rats, pointing to its potential as an intravesical chemotherapeutic agent. Inhibition of platelet function is a factor in reducing the risk of coronary artery disease. EGCG was reported to inhibit platelet aggregation, by possibly involving inhibition of cytoplasmic calcium increase. EGCG was proven to be the most effective in reducing thrombin-induced aggregation of washed human platelets. The ability of green- tea catechins to inhibit adenovirus infection and adenain, the human adenovirus 2 endopeptidase, was reported. EGCG proved the most potent inhibitor of four green-tea catechins tested. The viral protease adenain appeared to be the target of EGCG, so it is possible that all adenoviruses are sensitive to its action.
The Chinese have known about medicinal qualities of green tea since ancient times, treating everything from headaches to depression.
The three "Es"
Provides support for a healthy weight loss program, gives the energy needed to maintain an active lifestyle, health, and longevity. The appetite suppressor, Vanadium, reduces calorie intake. Thermogenesis, or fat metabolism, is increased, because of the EGCG/caffeine combination, therefore burning fat.
EGCG fights free radicals. Fatty acids and lipids in the brain are susceptible to the effects of free radical perodixation. Much of the aging of the brain is attributed to perodixation. The EGCG helps to keep us young, alert, and able. Researchers have found that EGCG has inhibited tumor growth in both skin and gastrointestinal tracts. EGCG may fermented be able to obliterate cancer cells, without harming neighboring tissues.
Can Glutamine Improve The Immune System, Lymphocites and Inetstinal cell Enterocytes?
May 07, 2014 11:29 AM
Glutamine is considered to be the most abundant natural amino acids which is a building block of proteins in the body. Although the body can already make enough glutamine on its own, extreme stress is the type you could experience after heavy exercise or from injuries can't naturally aid help those pains on its own. The body may need a bit more glutamine in order to truly eliminate those kinds of ailments. Most glutamine is naturally stored in the muscles and lungs.
Facts about whey protein.
January 24, 2014 10:09 AM
Whey protein refers to one of the two significant parts of milk, whey is the fluid parcel of the milk that divides from the curds (the other real part), throughout the process of cheese processing. Whey proteins are made up of fats, sugars, vitamins, and minerals. Because of its tough amino acid acerbic profile and simplicity of withholding, it is ostensibly the most prominent games nourishment supplement.
Whey protein exists in three principle structures:
Isolate, concentrate, and hydrolysate. This article will concentrate on how different is concentrate from Isolate. Both structures have whey protein, but whey Isolate, which is created out of whey concentrate, goes through further processing which yields an end product with more protein per unit than whey concentrate.
Then again, the whey protein isolation procedure is significantly more exhaustive. It basically differentiates the protein, just about in its sum from the crude whey, bringing about 90-94% pure protein. So in a 50-gram serving of whey protein Isolate, move toward getting 45-47 grams of unadulterated protein with the remaining 3-5 grams being maybe 1 gram of crabs and some calcium, potassium and sodium.
You may tend to think that whey protein is spring water because as it is separated, pure and also healthy, yet contains the greater part of the minerals and so forth of regular water. While whey protein disengage is like refined water, as it is water in its purest structure with essentially all different particles evacuated additionally a hydrogen and oxygen atom
The essential distinction between Isolate and concentrate
Isolate is the most unmodified type of protein. Whey Isolate typically have between 90-94% proteins while whey concentrate has a protein proportion of around 70-85%.
In the event that you are you are not fit for lactose and you have issues with gas then the whey protein Isolate is the better decision. Whey protein concentrate is also an astounding source of protein and concentrate has higher BV qualities contrasted with lean red meats, chicken, fish and entire eggs. Isolate whey is more expensive than other forms as Isolate has been filtered more than concentrate some of the important immune-boosting protein components have been removed and some say the protein is degraded more making it less useful to the body.
The following sites have more on whey proteins that every consumer should know.
How cat's claw as a natural immune system booster to treat and prevent diseases
November 01, 2013 07:51 PM
What is cat's claw plant
The root of the cat's claw plant, which is scientifically known as Uncaria tomentosa, contains compounds called pentacyclic oxindole alkaloids (POAs) that are responsible for its healing powers. The consumption of the cat's claw roots in raw or extract form must not be mixed with other foods that may neutralize the helpful effects of the POAs. The name cat's claw is Latin and represents this woody Amazonian vine that has only recently grabbed the attention of scientists who now use high performance liquid chromatography to see the POAs and Isolate them for medicinal purposes. Here is an explanation of how the herb works to treat or prevent diseases.
What does cat' claw plant benefits
The alkaloids in the cat's claw herb are responsible for strengthening the immune system, but the specific benefits are as follows. In the digestive tract, the herb is able to treat Crohn’s disease, gastritis and duodenal ulcers, intestinal inflammation, parasites as well as balancing the intestinal flora. To the immune system itself, the herb stimulates the production of white blood cells to help combat arising problems of arthritis, rheumatism, chronic fatigue syndrome and infections by viruses or fungi. In South America, it serves as a birth control herb because of its associated properties of causing an unfavorable environment in the uterus thus preventing a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterus.
The anti inflammatory effects of the herb, together with its anti-tumor properties, all attributed to the alkaloids, prevent the damage of cells in the body by free radicals. As a result, patients having weak immune systems are able to significantly improve their chances of fighting diseases when they take in the herb as a supplement or tea. It’s the procyanidolic oligomers (PCOs) that stimulate phagocytes, which are special immune cells that destroy viruses and other organisms causing diseases. Excess use of cat's claw extracts or the herb itself can lead to nausea and headaches. The recommended dosage is 250mg of the extract taken twice in a day, or a teaspoon of cat's claw tea mixed with warm water, taken at most three times in a day.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Inositol Crystals?
December 28, 2012 10:39 AM
The first isolation of inositol was made by Scherer in the year 1849 who was a renowned Biochemist at the time. Since its discovery, wide spread research has been conducted with successful isolation of inositol and its derivatives in both plants and animals. The physiological functions have been confirmed to differ with respect to the structural form of the inositol, with cis-inositol, myo-inositol, neo-inositol and allo-inositol being some of the inositol's stereoisomers commonly Isolated.
Our Need for Inositol
The human body particularly requires inositol and its derivatives in many physiological processes. It is a major messenger molecule that is used in calcium mediated cell signaling which affects motor function, action of hormones such aldosterone and affects the functioning of some of the neurotransmitters in the brain such as serotonin. Inositol derivatives are also involved in lipid metabolism which helps control the amount of LDP (Bad cholesterol) in the body.
Additionally, some of the researches indicate that inositol derivatives are actively involved in suppressing oncogenesis which significantly reduces the risk of suffering from breast and prostate cancers. The human body can produce some of the inositol variants from glucose metabolism but obtaining plant derived inositols is also worthwhile.
Food Sources Of Inositol
Plant products such as red beans, bran and other cereals contain good levels of inositol although the chelating effect of the inositol by calcium and magnesium ions limits its uptake in the gut. For this reason, use of supplement Crystal Inositols is regarded as the best way to obtain dietary inositol. A majority of the crystal inositols available in the market are chemically combined with other compounds such as Niacin which highly increase their absorption in the intestines. Dissolving these crystals in juices is also highly recommended as it is a better way of taking the supplements since a wide range of other drinks especially the ones that contain caffeine affects the uptake of inositol negatively.
The Tremendous Health Benefits Of Omega- 3 Fatty Acids
November 10, 2012 11:53 AM
Omega-3 vs Omega-6
Several sources of information and clinical studies have revealed that the ratio between these two essential fatty acids in our diet have over a period of time played a significant role in making humans prone to certain diseases that the early humans were not afflicted with.
The raging debate in finding the right ratio arises also from the fact that modern foods preferences lean heavily toward the consumption of omega-6 rich foods . This fatty acid has been linked to the pathogenesis of cardiovascular diseases, cancers, inflammatory diseases, immunodeficiency, artherosclerosis, hypertension, blood pressure, arthritis, diabetes and obesity. In the last ten thousand years our genetic structure has remained the same, but with the onset of the Agricultural Revolution radical changes in food habits have created a lopsided diet. The western diet is heavily oversubscribing to the use of the polyunsaturated fatty acids or PUFA, and going low on Essential Fatty Acids or EFA. Living in the industrial societies that we do and in a kind of nutritional environment that we live in, we need to make informed choices about the food we consume is important considering how high- risk western societies are to many kinds of ailments.
Both omega-3 and omega -6 fatty acids are essential for us, but have to be obtained from food as the human body does not have the ability to produce it. Clinical evidence has shown that the Mediterranean diet is more focused on fresh fruits, vegetables, fats from olives, fish, nuts, garlic and whole grains. It has the requisite amounts of healthy fats to combat numerous diseases like coronary condition, rheumatoid arthritis, depression, high cholesterol, schizophrenia, inflammatory bowel disease, asthma, bipolar disorder and colon cancer. Astounding also is the finding that our body possesses a certain enzyme that can be linked in its structure and function to these essential fatty acids. These are called prostaglandins.
Prostaglandins are the end products of a chain reaction that begins with the release of unsaturated fatty acids from the cell membrane. It was first Isolated from human semen and has found great use as an enzyme based treatment for menstrual problems, childbirth and many other medical conditions. Its ability to increase blood flow has resulted in its use for inducing abortion in troubled pregnancies. However, its over secretion in the body is related to numerous inflammatory conditions and has been found to increase in the body due to the overbearing presence of 0mega-6 fatty acids.These facts can not be taken lightly for a civilization reeling under the onslaught of devastating ailments. Its time to take heed .
Lecithin And Its Brain Boosting Properties
March 02, 2012 07:10 AM
Lecithin is a group of fatty substances, which occur in the tissues of plants and animals. It composed of fatty acids, choline, phosphoric acid, triglycerides, glycolipids, B vitamins, glycerol, and phospholipids. Liver produces this substance daily if you follow a complete nutritional diet. Lecithin is also inevitable for all cells in your body,protecting your cells from oxidation, and it is a major building block of cell membranes. It also supports the circulatory system of your body because it is a fat emulsifier too.
The first isolation of lecithin was done by a French pharmacist and chemist, Theodore Gobley in 1846 and he named phosphatidylcholine Lechithine in 1850. He Isolated it originally from egg yolk. Today, lecithin can very easily be extracted mechanically or chemically from soybean, grape seed, and sunflower. However, in plants, the most common source of lecithin is soybean. This substance is used for medicinal purposes and as a food supplement. Sometimes, it is used as an emulsifier in cooking for preventing sticking.
Your body gets adequate amount of lecithin from your diet because it is naturally found in foods such as soybeans, egg yolk, peanuts, yeast, legumes, fish, wheat germ, grains, etc. It is also available in the market in the form of capsules, granules, and powder. This is also used as a supplement for promoting weight loss. Besides, you can also take lecithin in the form of pill or mixed in health shakes.
Health benefits of lecithin
It is believed that lecithin is beneficial for solving a number of health problems. So it is effective for:
* Cell communication,
Brain Boosting Properties of Lecithin
The major brain chemical for improving memory is acetycholine and the deficiency of this chemical is the major cause of declining memory. This chemical can be derived from nutrient choline. Fish is a rich source of acetylcholine. It can also be obtained from eggs, nuts, peanuts, soy beans, liver, etc. Eating more egg is beneficial for enhancing your memory.
There are lots of studies has been conducted for finding the effectiveness of lecithin in improving the memory. As per the findings of experts, lecithin is highly effective for improving concentration, memory, and for preventing Alzheimer's disease and maniac depression (bipolar disorder). Lecithin helps to run your brain smoothly by improving insulation around the nerves. A major part of cell membranes consists of lecithin and it is essential for the proper functioning and growth of nerve. Organ meats and egg yolks are rich sources of lecithin but the usage of these products is very less due to the fear of cholesterol. Experts think that this is the major reason for the increase of concentration and memory problems.
If you use lecithin properly, you can improve your concentration, memory, mind and nerves.
Melatonin, Sleep, and insomnia
February 08, 2012 08:01 AM
The pattern according to which a human being wakes up and remains awake during the day and falls asleep at night is regulated by a hormone known as Melatonin. This hormone was first discovered by a team of researchers that was led by a Yale dermatologist by the name of Dr. Aaron Lerner. While Lerner passed away on the 3rd of February, 2007, however, his discovery was quite groundbreaking in medical science.
Initially back in 1958, the Melatonin hormone that was Isolated from the pineal gland inside a frog's brain was believed to be a cure for skin pigmentation problems. However, it was later discovered that rather than helping to treat skin pigmentation problems, this hormone had a role in regulating the wake and sleep pattern of human beings. There, Dr. Aaron Lerner and his team of researchers came to conclusion that sleep related problems; especially insomnia could be treated using this hormone.
Almost millions of Americans these days are suffering from sleep disorders include insomnia, narcolepsy, etc. Insomnia, in particular, is not really a disease but is merely a disorder or a symptom that makes an individual sleepless and makes it difficult for them to fall asleep. In fact, people suffering from insomnia are hardly able to get any quality sleep, especially at night, which is most essential for them. Those people who have had a couple of sleepless nights can be certain that they are suffering from insomnia, however, people rarely visit a doctor when suffering from this sleep disorder.
There are a variety of reasons that cause insomnia. Anxiety, depression, discomfort, specific medical illnesses, stress, etc. are some of the most common causes of insomnia. Insomnia can last for both short and long periods of time. When it comes to safely treating insomnia, the melatonin hormone can be used for this purpose. Presently there are numerous natural melatonin supplements available in the market that can be used by insomniacs as a remedy for the sleep disorder they are suffering from.
It was somewhere during the mid 1990s when this hormone became available in the form of pills. At that time travelers who frequently suffered from jet lag used supplements containing this hormone.
These days, after further research claims are being made that many other benefits are also offered by this antioxidant hormone. Research has proven that headaches and migraines, which are among the causes of insomnia, can be effectively relieved by using supplements containing melatonin. It is believed that the certain cancers can also be prevented from further developing with the help of this hormone.
As for insomnia, it is a sleep disorder that disrupts the natural sleep and wake pattern of the body. This hormone, therefore, restores that pattern back to normal causing people to feel sleepy at the right time when they actually need sleep. This sleep is being promoted by a natural hormone so these supplements cannot be considered drugs and neither do they cause an individual to feel as if they are drugged. Insomniacs will simply begin feeling naturally sleepy and this is why it is safe to use melatonin supplements to treat insomnia.
Give it a try and feel the difference
How Does Serrapeptidase Support A Healthy Immune System, Regulate Inflammation, And More?
September 01, 2011 02:25 PM
What Does Serrapeptidase Do In The Body?
Serrapeptidase is an enzyme which is protein - digesting by nature. It is considered to be one of the types of proteolytic enzymes which consist of the chemical substance protease. This chemical is derived from a non - genetically engineered fungus of the family of Aspergillus. Serrapeptidase is a dietary supplement which may be Isolated from Serrapeptidase oryzae and Serrapeptidase melleus. Studies have claimed that this dietary supplement is effective as an anti - inflammatory, respiratory aid, cardiovascular or immune support. Other names of Serrapeptidase include serration - peptidase and serrapeptase.
During the early 1990’s, Serrapeptidase was Isolated from the microorganism Serratia marcescens which is a known human pathogen found in the digestive tract of the Japanese silkworm. Many studies have been conducted to uncover the medicinal purposes of this bacterial enzyme. In fact, it has been widely used clinically in specific areas of Asia and Europe primarily as an inflammation relief agent.
These are some of the uses of the enzyme Serrapeptidase:
1. ANTI – THROMBIC AND FIBRINOLYTIC. Serrapeptidase can significantly prevent the build – up of blood clots. These clots must not be accumulated to prevent thromboembolism which can cause life threatening health conditions such as heart attack and stroke. Aside from its ability to prevent clot formation, Serrapeptidase also has a good fibrinolytic ability. It can lyse or dissolve already – formed blood clots.
2. PH REGULATOR. This proteolytic enzyme is considered to be an alkaline metalloprotease enzyme. It can selectively act on specific biological systems and prevent the activation of immunoglobulin G and immunoglobulin A. These body chemicals are immune system factors which helps the body prevent from infections and illnesses.
3. GOOD PROTEIN DIGESTER. Clinical studies have revealed that Serrapeptidase has a very good ability to digest protein molecules and its substrates. This is the reason behind why Serrapeptidase can effectively dissolve protein – based tissues such as fibrins, blood clots, cysts and certain inflammations. The advantage of this enzyme is that it can dissolve unnecessary tissues without harming the normal living tissues.
4. PROFOUND ANTI – INFLAMMATIORY AGENT. Serrapeptidase can effectively prevent and reduce inflammation, thus reducing swelling and pain sensation. The mechanism of action is said to be that Serrapeptidase blocks the synthesis of pain – inducing amines. Another mechanism is that it can effectively inactivate pro – inflammatory chemicals known as cytokines. In fact, this chemical is one of the components of analgesic drugs in Europe. The positive effect of this enzyme is that it does not have any digestive side effects.
5. RESPIRATORY AID. This enzyme is also helpful in improving the health of the respiratory system. It effectively alters the elasticity and viscosity of the dense mucus in people with respiratory problem such as sinusitis, bronchitis, asthma, and pulmonary diseases. People who are taking this enzyme supplement have shown improved liquefaction and expectoration of the mucus, thus Serrapeptidase is considered to be an effective mucolytic agent widely used all over the world.
Serrapeptidase is generally safe. Clinical studies have revealed that the sources of this enzyme are non – pathogenic except of one strain known as Serratia marcesens. This strain is pathogenic to human body. It may cause hypersensitivity or any untoward signs and symptoms. Therefore, it is best to consult a doctor before starting such supplementation.
How Does Malic Acid Help With Fibromyalgia?
August 22, 2011 12:37 PM
Fibromyalgia(FM) is a condition affecting primarily middle-aged women and is often misdiagnosed and misunderstood as an ailment which has a diverse set of symptoms, in which none are pleasant. It basically is a medical disorder defined by chronic and widespread pain, a heightened response to pressure and often time painful as well. No one really knows what the exact causes are. There are a number of studies taking place and done by reputable medical organisations (such as the Nation Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases - NIAMS) which are geared towards the establishment, once and for all, of the route cause of Fibromyalgia. A part of the current scientific theories is the inherent genetic factor, but even in this it seems that geneticists are not clear as to which genes exactly may be the culprit. What has been concretely established and clarified though is that not just because your mom or dad has it you’ll have it. Stress in some studies has also been found as a contributor but may not be the main cause though.
Malic acid is an organic compound and also a carboxylic diacid and is an active ingredient in many sour or tart foods. It is mostly in unripe fruits and it has two stereoisomeric forms (L- and D-enantiomers), though only the L-isomer exists naturally. The salts and esters of this diacid are called malates. The malate anion is an intermediate in the citric acid cycle. However it was not until 1785 that Carl Wilhelm Scheele first Isolated it from apple juice. It is formed in metabolic cycles within the cells of plants animals and humans. A somewhat large amount of Malic Acid is produced and broken down in the body each day. Malic acid also provides stamina and endurance within the muscle cells. It is particularly useful in the blocking of aluminum toxics, which has been found to possibly be one contributing factors to fibromyalgia.
Compelling evidence has surfaced that malic acid may plays a central role in energy production, especially during hypoxic conditions. In some experiments that have been done, the improvement that came about when malic acid was administered to the subject was gone after discontinuing for 48 hours. The theory behind this is in the relative association of hypoxia to FM, if it will improve hypoxic conditions then it will be beneficial for FM sufferers as well just as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome has also been associated with FM. Additionally, many hypoxia related conditions, like respiratory and circulatory insufficiency, are related to deficiency in energy production as well. Therefore, malic acid may be of benefit in these conditions.
The mitochondria are the energy furnaces in cells which metabolize food for energy. Some findings suggest that this structure does not operate efficiently in those with FM. So, for the mitochondria to produce ample amounts of ATP, several nutrients are essential and Malic Acid is one of them. Imbalances in the mitochondria’s process can cause the body to switch from oxygen-based metabolism to the less efficient anaerobic metabolism and this would contribute to an abnormal buildup of lactic acid following even light exertion. This lactic acid buildup results in fatigue, weakness, pain and muscle spasms.
How Does Grapefruit Seed Extract Help Fight Candida Yeast Infections?
August 08, 2011 06:51 PM
Grapefruit seed extract is processed from the seeds, pulp, and vesicles of the sour citrus fruit known as grapefruit. Nutrition experts have attributed several medicinal properties to the plant. In addition, practitioners of herbal medicine make use of the seeds and membranes of the fruit in health tonics. It has long been linked to the treatment of earache, sore throat, digestive problems, and yeast infections.
Citrus x paradisi is a hybrid species of pomelo and orange. Its fruits are much larger than oranges but smaller than pomelos, growing up to 15 centimeters in diameter on average. It is widely known as a naturally occurring hybrid, like sweet orange. The juice of popular varieties of the fruit comes in colors red and pink in respect to its ripeness. Some cultivars are sweet, but most are sour at the same time.
Many organic compounds Isolated from grapefruit have long been observed to show pharmacological activity. For one, consumptions of the fruit itself have been reported to interact with numerous drugs. It either enhances the potency of drugs or inhibits their pharmacological activities. Researchers have enumerated a long list of drugs whose bioavailability increase in the presence of grapefruit extracts.
Proponents of grapefruit seed extract believe that it possesses antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. They began promoting its medicinal uses at the turn of the 20th century. At that time, physicians took note of the many benefits tied to grapefruit in the earlier century. Furthermore, they produced the first extracts from the seeds and white membranes of the fruit mixed with glycerin.
Grapefruit seed extract is an all natural remedy for Candidiasis. As its name suggests, Candida yeast infections are caused by different species of fungi that belong to the genus Candida. These fungi are part of the normal flora of the human body that comprises bacteria and other microorganism. While they are not harmful in general, they are capable of producing harm and spurring inflammation.
Oral thrush is one form of Candidiasis that infects mucus membranes located in the mouth cavity. Populations of yeast build up in the surface of the mouth and bring on inflammatory responses. The infection often appears as cream-colored deposits or slightly raised red patches. Candidiasis of the skin, sex organs, and other parts of the body look similar as they are all inflammatory in nature.
The effectiveness of grapefruit seed extract in the treatment of Candidiasis yeast infections has been compared to conventional medications. Its use is supported by anecdotal evidence that is largely positive. While the results of studies are conflicting at best, researchers have compared the extract to benzethonium chloride, a chemical compound that displays strong antibacterial and antifungal activity.
Grapefruit seed extract is a viable remedy for Candidiasis yeast infections. In fact, it may be used as a therapeutic prophylactic for infections caused not only by fungi but also viruses and bacteria. Due to its putative effect, it is added as an active ingredient to many personal care products.
What is Red Marine Algae And What Are Its Health Benefits?
June 01, 2011 04:21 PM
Red Marine Algae And Your Health.
Red marine algae refer to a large group of seaweeds that contain phycobiliproteins, which give them their red coloration. They are simple organisms in that they do not have complex tissues in contrast with terrestrial plants. Many species of red marine algae plays an important role in the formation of coral reefs as they secrete calcium carbonate as well as provide nutrition for other marine species. Like plants, they are capable of making their own food by way of photosynthesis. And like most other seaweeds, they are excellent sources of vitamins, minerals, and other healthy organic compounds.
Rhodophyta is the taxonomic classification of all red marine algae. It is oftentimes considered a part of the plant kingdom, but more recent definitions of plant suggest red algae belong to a kingdom of their own. Rhodophyta is one of the largest groups of algae, second only to green algae. It consists of up to 6000 aquatic species that are widely distributed in the tropical, temperate, and even frigid zones. These species usually take up residence along the coastal regions and significantly contribute to the distribution, abundance, and ecology of organisms found in the extended perimeter of each continent.
Seaweeds have become a part of the staple diet of many communities throughout history, and red marine algae are one of the best sources of human nutrition among all seaweeds. For thousands of years, different species of red algae have enjoyed significant presence in cuisines from all over the world. It is often consumed uncooked or added to salads. It is also an important ingredient in soups and stews. Ocean farmers have learned different techniques of domesticating crops of algae, and cultivation has been the solution to the growing demand of red marine algae in the past few decades.
Red marine algae have steadily grown in economic value since the 20th century. In addition to their historical culinary uses, their application now extends to medical science. Several organic compounds have been Isolated from different species of red marine algae are now in wide use in the food and drug industries. For example, gelatinous substances are derived from agarophytes, any species of seaweeds that belong to rhodophyta. These substances are used in the production of beer, food preserves, ice cream as well as papers, fabrics, lubricants, and other personal care products.
Red marine algae have a special place in antiviral research. Many species are now identified to contain organic compounds that are of medicinal value against several viruses. Decades-long studies have come to a conclusion that sulfated polysaccharides derived from red marine algae have an inhibitory effect on replication of herpes simplex virus (HSV). There is good evidence that one class of sulfated polysaccharides called carrageenan offer some protection against transmission of herpes. Furthermore, recent studies have revealed that sulfated polysaccharides are potent inhibitors of HIV-1 in cell culture.
Red marine algae is an excellent source of nutrients found in the sea. Get some red marine algae and reap the benefits of this nutrient rich food today!
April 08, 2010 04:31 PM
Comments by Craig Gerbore, CEO of Madhava:
Reading through the attack articles and blogs that have surfaced recently one could think that using agave is bad for one's health. These claims are utterly false and misleading. They are extreme views drawn from extreme examples and applied way out of context. They are propagandizing and clearly designed to frighten, not educate. All of the fears and concerns associated with the overconsumption of sugars and calories in general have been unfairly cast on agave.
What is a "healthy" sweetener? One that you use moderately and sensibly.
Health concerns related to fructose and caloric sweeteners are all dependant on the overconsumption of them. All foods have calories and it is the overall consumption of calories that lead to obesity and related issues, not any one food source.
Agave's caloric value is comparable to the other sweeteners in the category. Due to its greater sweetness though, less agave is used compared to the others, so agave actually can reduce caloric consumption per serving. This is due to a higher fructose content. The higher content does not mean higher consumption though, due to the smaller portion used. But, it is not the single serving that matters, it is the number of servings which lead to the overconsumption issues which may result in health concerns.
As a reference point, 9-10 teaspoon servings of agave would be the approximate caloric equivalent of one 16 oz soft drink. With this perspective, is agave really being overconsumed as a choice of sweetener for home use?
Every single health issue which the attackers have tried to associate with agave is really the result of a caloric overconsumption issue. There are no documented issues with normal, moderate consumption of agave or sweeteners in general as part of our everyday diet. For reasons unknown, some have attempted to Isolate agave from the real world and real world conditions with the goal of inhibiting agave's use. They play on people's fears, reference false information and fail to address health issues in any meaningful way.
The purpose of this article is to debunk the controversial misinformation surrounding agave. All information debunking the myths and misinformation is based on current science and facts. It is our goal to provide you with useful information so that you can make your personal nutritional choices in a well-informed, science-based manner.
The Agave Controversy: Exposing the fraudulent article by Rami Nagel
By Dr. Susan Kleiner, PhD, RD, FACN, CNS, FISSN
And Craig Gerbore, CEO Madhava
The controversy about agave syrup was manufactured by the publication of a single article on the internet, which has been reproduced and adapted for virtually every other article produced on the internet and other media venues. That article, written by Rami Nagel and published on Naturalnews.com, was highly biased and full of inaccuracies, half-truths and misinformation about agave. Since the Naturalnews.com article has been the sole source of nearly all other popular articles in public media, we want to set the record straight with science-based, reliable information to offer a more balanced resource to those interested in learning more about agave syrup. Who is the author, Rami Nagel?
According to the description on the Naturalnews.com website, Rami Nagel is a "citizen journalist". This means that Mr. Nagel is self-employed, and not employed as an in-house journalist by the website. He wrote and published the article without any editorial or content oversight, and the editor of the website, Mike Adams, makes it clear that the article was not checked for incorrect or inaccurate information or facts. The introduction to the article, written by Mr. Adams, states that readers had written to comment that Mr. Nagel's resources were biased with conflicts of interest due to their financial interests in competing sweeteners, such as brown rice syrup. So even the website editor himself states that the article is not fact-checked, and it is biased and unbalanced.
Who is Russ Bianchi?
The sole resource interviewed for the article is Russ Bianchi, identified by the author as Managing Director and CEO of Adept Solutions, Inc. Mr. Bianchi has clear conflict of interest ties to the sweetener industry. We have documentation of the fact that Mr Bianchi had plans to market a product named Replace. It was to be touted as a low calorie alternative sweetener composed of natural and artificial ingredients! Mr Bianchi was prevented from marketing this sweetener as the result of a lawsuit against him by the owner of the formula.
Mr Bianchi is quoted by Nagel extensively and exclusively. Many, if not all, of his statements are blatantly false or misrepresentations of fact. He is clearly propagandizing against agave nectar.
Was anyone else interviewed for this article?
Yes. Craig Gerbore, president and owner of Madhava Agave Syrup, was extensively interviewed by the author but no parts of that interview were included in the article.
It is important to note that neither Mr Nagel or Mr Bianchi have not made themselves available for questions on their statements since the articles appearance. They remain out of sight and have entirely avoided the controversy their statements created.
What is agave nectar?
The opening line of this paragraph in the article by Mr. Nagel states:
"The principal constituent of the agave is starch, such as what is found in corn or rice."
This is absolutely false. There is no starch in agave. The source of carbohydrate in agave syrup is inulin, a polysaccharide made up primarily of strings of fructose units. Starch is a polysaccharide made up of strings of glucose molecules. They are significantly different, and this difference is why agave syrup is naturally sweet.
The very basis of the argument presented by Mr. Nagel is false.
The agave plant is a succulent, similar to a cactus. The agave sweetener comes from both the Salmiana agave plant and the agave Tequilana (Blue Agave) which are both organically farmed in Mexico and certified organic by USDA approved certifiers. As the salmiana plant grows it produces a stalk called the "quiote" and when this is removed, a natural liquid called "aquamiel". The liquid is collected from the plant, while Blue agave pinons are harvested and shredded to remove the similar juice. Either can be naturally processed thermally or by enzymes into agave nectar.
The juice of the plant is not naturally sweet. The string of connected fructose units that makes up the major proportion of inulin does not have a sweet taste, but when the fructose units are separated (the process is called hydrolysis) by the addition of an enzyme, similar to digestion, or thermally for most blue agave, the syrup becomes quite sweet. That is the entire processing chain for agave nectar. There are no additives, other ingredients or chemicals in Madhava agave nectar. It is absolutely pure and organic and GMO free.
? Mr. Nagel claims that agave syrup is a "refined corn fructose" similar to high fructose corn syrup. This is absolutely false. There is no relationship between agave syrup and high fructose corn syrup in any way, including the source of the product, or the manufacturing process.
? Mr. Nagel refers to a "confidential FDA letter" from Mr. Martin Stutsman, claiming that agave is fraudulently labeled. We contacted Mr. Stutsman at the United States Food and Drug Administration, and his response made it clear that there was never a "confidential FDA letter". He did publish a public letter referenced in an FDA document as "FDA letter from Martin Stutsman to Dr. Eric
Wilhelmsen (Wilhelmsen Consulting), May 8, 2000", regarding evaporated cane juice, a topic wholly unrelated to agave syrup.
? He continued in his response to us that the paragraph in Mr. Nagel's article inaccurately reflected the substance of his comments in the document.
This link will take you to the original document in which the letter was referenced (reference #2):
In fact, Mr. Nagel fabricated the entire story of the letter. Mr. Stutsman is a lawyer, not a doctor. The quotes were completely taken out of context from the document, and the quotes never referred to agave syrup at any time. Nagel goes on to further misrepresent Mr. Stutsman's intent in the published document by weaving in other inaccurate information that is thoroughly unrelated to the original document. Mr Bianchi's subsequent statements on labeling issues are false and without merit.
Mr. Nagel is clearly caught red-handed. He has misrepresented the words of a government official, lied about the facts, and twisted the information to achieve his own agenda. This strategy is repeated throughout the article.
? Mr. Nagel continues his deceptive writing by referring to a quote by the late Dr. Varro Tyler in his book, The Honest Herbal. The first line of the paragraph is a direct quote from the book. Nothing else in that paragraph remotely resembles anything else found in Dr. Tyler's book. Mr. Nagel is trying to claim that agave syrup contains large quantities of saponins, and that they can be harmful to health. Here is the debunking of that paragraph:
1. Dr. Tyler does not include the variety of agave plant used for agave syrup.
2. The entire discussion is about the use of the sword-shaped leaves and the stem. Agave syrup is produced from the natural liquid in the plant. The saponins are Isolated from the leaves of the plant.
3. There is no documented evidence to suggest agave syrup contains worrisome levels of saponins and the entire rest of the discussion about health dangers is fabricated and false.
People are going to continue to consume sweet food and drink. There are only three categories of choice to sweeten food. Those are artificial sweeteners, stevia, or caloric sweeteners from natural sources, sugars.
Most people will not choose artificial. Many will not choose stevia. That only leaves the category of sugars. In this group, agave is a good choice due to its organic quality, ease of
use, neutral flavor, low glycemic index and the fact that less is used to equal the sweetness of the others in the category.
The sweeteners in this category are composed of three primary sugars used to sweeten foods: glucose, fructose and sucrose. These sugars belong to a class of compounds known as carbohydrates. "Saccharide" is a term that denotes sugar, or substances derived from sugar. Monosaccharides are simple or single sugars; disaccharides are derived from two joined monosaccharides and when they are hydrolyzed, or separated, they yield two molecules of simple sugar. Strings of more than two sugar molecules are called polysaccharides. This category includes compounds such as starches, cellulose and inulin.
Glucose and fructose are monosaccharides. Glucose and fructose are found abundantly in nature in fruits and plants. Sucrose is the disaccharide formed by the joining of glucose and fructose, also known as table sugar. When comparing their relative sweetness, glucose is the least sweet tasting, sucrose is next, and fructose is the sweetest of the three sugars, measured as 1.4 times sweeter than table sugar. Because it is so sweet, people typically use less fructose when sweetening foods compared to sucrose.
? In the article by Mr. Nagel he states , "fructose is not what is found in fruit. Commonly, fructose is compared with its opposite and truly naturally occurring sweetener, known as ‘levulose' (made by nature)..."
Another fabrication. In fact, levulose is just another name for fructose. There are various nomenclatures used in the scientific naming of compounds. Fructose and levulose are exactly the same thing; the names are interchangeable. It is no different than if you called your father, "dad", and your sibling called your father, "father". He would still be the exact same person. Fructose and levulose are different names for the exact same thing: a sugar found in nature.
Mr. Bianchi also is quoted to say that the body does not recognize the fructose in agave. This is another false piece of propaganda which demonstrates just how far he is reaching. If this were true, it would have no impact on us. He immediately contradicts himself with the claims of detrimental effects caused by the overconsumption of fructose.
Sugars can be compared to each other in their ability to raise blood sugar levels by using the Glycemic Index. The scale is set from zero to 100, where low numbers do not have much impact on blood sugar levels, and high numbers raise blood sugar levels quickly. Fructose is very low on the scale. Because agave syrup is high in fructose, it has a rating of 32 or lower. Honey, which has a higher proportion of glucose to fructose, has a Glycemic Index of 58. Sucrose has a Glycemic Index of 68, and glucose, serving as the index standard, is 100.
All sugars, whether fructose, glucose, sucrose or others, contribute 4 calories per gram to our total diet. 1 teaspoon of sugar = 4 grams = 16 calories
In addition to calories, sugars sweeten our foods offering a desirable taste and adding enjoyment and pleasure to our dining. During cooking and baking, sugars allow for browning and the unique consistencies of syrups, candies, frostings and frozen desserts. The varieties of sugars, such as crystallized table sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, molasses, honey and agave nectar, among others, contribute different properties and flavors to foods.
When you add your own sugar to foods you are in control of how much sugar you use. Most people would never add as much sugar as do the food manufacturers. Moderate amounts of sugar can certainly be enjoyed as part of a healthy diet for an active individual. Natural sugars are easily metabolized and utilized by the body, offering a very efficient source of fuel for physical and mental activity.
Of course, sugars should be used in moderation in the diet. This can control calories and help create a diet that is dense in nutrients.
Impact of sugar on health and disease
? The remainder of Mr. Nagel's article works to link agave syrup with the increased incidence of obesity, diabetes, metabolic disease, and the general rise of morbidity and mortality in the population. This is an overconsumption issue involving far more than the occasional use of agave. Here are the facts:
• Rats that are fed a high fructose diet become obese and will develop the chronic diseases associated with obesity: insulin resistance, diabetes and metabolic disease.
• No one should eat a diet that reflects this type of experimental diet.
• Too much sugar in the diet, whether from fructose, glucose or sucrose, can be unhealthy. Diets high in sugar promote tooth decay and periodontal disease; create an overabundance of calories and a deficit of nutrients. This scenario typically leads to weight gain and the development of chronic disease.
• Active individuals can include a moderate amount of added sugar in their diet without negative health consequences. When calorie intake is balanced with physical activity, sugar serves as an efficient source of fuel for muscles, the brain and the central nervous system.
• According to the World Health Organization (2003), individuals can healthfully include 10% of their daily calories from added sugars. This translates into 200 calories for a 2000 calorie diet, or 12½ teaspoons of added sugar daily. Clearly, one can safely add a couple of teaspoons of sweetener to a cup of tea or coffee, or have a little sweetened food without worrying about their risk of developing disease.
• Agave syrup, which is sweeter than other sugars and low on the Glycemic Index scale, is a good choice to include as one of the added sugars in your diet because you will use less sugar (and therefore fewer calories) and minimally raise blood sugar levels.
Just a teaspoon of agave: the healthy use of sweeteners in your diet
We all want to live healthier and longer lives. Diet and nutrition plays a key role, impacting our health and our ability to perform physically and mentally now and into the future. Food offers us not only sustenance, but also pleasure and enjoyment. Food is present in so many parts of our lives: at celebrations, business events, family events, religious and spiritual occasions, sports outings, the focus of our family meals, intimate dinners, and sometimes just the excuse to socialize.
Sweet foods make us feel good. Sugar allows for the elevation of serotonin in our brains, the "feel good" neurotransmitter that elevates mood, helps us focus, and in the evening, helps us relax and sleep.
Sugar is a source of energy for our muscles, brain and central nervous system. Without sugar our bodies will not function at peak capacity.
Too much sugar, however, is not good. In small amounts sugar energizes us, but in large doses, repeated throughout the day, day in and day out, sugar puts stress on the body. The extra calories can lead to weight gain and obesity, which in time can lead to chronic disease. In the short term, high sugar intakes can lead to a nutritionally deficient diet and a sense of being on an emotional roller coaster.
So be selective about your use of sugars and use them in moderation in your diet. Just like all foods, a variety will enhance the nutritional content of your diet and the flavor and tastes that you can enjoy. Since sugars come in different forms and have different flavors, they can be used most effectively in specific foods and beverages. For instance, agave syrup is liquid and less viscous than honey, making it easy to mix into cold liquids like iced tea and coffee, and is great to add to cold unsweetened cereals for a little sweet taste. Agave's mild flavor allows chefs and bakers to sweeten foods lightly, without overpowering the taste of the dish.
Pay attention to how much sugar is added to your diet every day. Read labels so that you know when sugar is added to manufactured foods. Keep the consumption of added sugars in your diet to no more than 10% of your total daily calorie intake so that you have plenty of room for nutrient dense foods like fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, protein-rich foods, nuts, seeds and healthy oils.
Remember that nutrition is a science based on facts. We are making great advances in our understanding of the science of foods and nutrition. Beware of people with hidden agendas using fear tactics to influence your choices. Don't take their opinion at face value. What are their credentials? What conflicts of interest do they have? If they do not disclose conflicts, then assume that they are manipulating the truth.
Most of all enjoy food. Think about what you need to eat to promote whole health. Don't overindulge, but don't deprive yourself of the bounty of wonderful tastes, either. Use celebrations as occasions to enjoy your favorite foods and try new ones. A teaspoon or two of sugar easily fits into the diet of an active, healthy person. Agave syrup offers an organic low-glycemic choice for those looking for that option.
Resources for this article:
Charley H. Food Science, 2nd Edition. John Wiley & Sons, New York, NY, 1982.
Figlewicz DP et al. Effect of moderate intake of sweeteners on metabolic health in the rat. Physiology and Behavior 98:618-624, 2009
Johnson RK et al. Dietary sugars intake and cardiovascular health: A scientific statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, 2009
Tyler VE. The Honest Herbal, Third Edition. Pharmaceutical Products Press, New York, NY, 1993.
Pine Bark Extract
October 07, 2009 11:25 AM
Many Native American tribes relied on the bark of pine trees for its ability to treat a number of disorders. The Annedda pine was called the “tree of life” due to its marvelous healing benefits. Jacques Cartier, a noted explorer in 1535, wrote in his diaries about the early medicinal uses for pine tree bark. Cartier and his crew came down with scurvy after being caught in the bitter snows of Quebec and living on hard biscuits and cured meat. Multiple men died before Quebec Indians approached them and made a tea from the bark of a pine tree. After drinking the tea and applying poultices to their wounds, they were soon healed. The miraculous recovery is actually a result of the vitamin C and bioflavonoids in the bark. A French professor discovered Cartier’s account and became intrigued with studying pine tree bark. He Isolated a certain kind of proanthocyanidin flavonoids from the extract and later found it to have antioxidant attributes.
Pine bark extract has become an important herbal remedy due to its antioxidant power. It is responsible for binding with collagen fibers and helping to restore elasticity in the skin. It also protects the body from free-radical damage, which prevents excess and premature wrinkles. Pine tree bark also protects capillaries from free-radical damage that can cause phlebitis, varicose veins, and bruising. Those people who are suffering from skin conditions like psoriasis can also be benefited from pine bark extract. Along with being an antioxidant, pine bark is a natural anti-inflammatory. It helps heal joint pain that is associated with things such as arthritis and sports injuries. This herb helps to control and prevent edema and bursitis. Pine bark extract also helps with eyesight. It is responsible for reducing the risk of and treating diabetic retinopathy. Multiple studies have concluded that it is beneficial in improving night vision. One study even found marked improvement in visual performance in the proanthocyanidin group over a placebo group.
Additionally, pine bark extract may also help in inhibiting cellular mutations like tumors. Reports have found that this herb can help to prevent cellular deterioration in breast tumors and cardiovascular disease. There is also evidence that this herb possesses antiulcer properties that may help prevent the formation of undesirable chemicals in the stomach.
Pine bark can also benefit other conditions with its proanthocyanidin therapy. Among these are autoimmune disorders such as lupus, neural problems such as Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis, and vascular problems like heart disease, atherosclerosis, and stokes. Pine bark extract can also treat common complaints such as insomnia, flu, and even the common cold. This herb is very helpful in improving memory, longevity, and the prostate.
Additionally, its stimulant properties are responsible for decreasing the production of histamines in allergic reactions like hay fever. In order to obtain the best results when supplementing with this, or any herb, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by pine bark extract, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
Ginseng, Its Good For The Body
October 05, 2009 11:35 AM
Ginseng, one of the oldest and most beneficial herbs in the world, is probably the most popular herb used in traditional medicine. It was rated the highest and most potent of herbs in Shen-Nung’’s Pharmacopoeia in AD 206-220. People in northern China began using ginseng thousands of years ago. Early herbalists recognized the shape of ginseng as resembling a human figure, feeling this was a sign that the root was important for healing the entire body. Often, ginseng is referred to as the “man root” and is often the subject of many legends and fold history. The Chinese revered the ginseng root so highly that they even fought wars over the land used for growing this herb.
There are many different types of the ginseng plant that are grown throughout the world and used for traditional medicine. All of the most common species of plants known as ginseng have similar reactions in the body. Ginseng has often been referred to as an adaptogen herb, helping to normalize and adjust the body. This herb also restores and regulates natural immune response. Ginseng helps produce adjustments as needed in the body without side effects or harm. This herb has been used to help normalize blood pressure. This adaptogen helps to modify the effects of the environmental and internal stresses from various sources like chemical pollutants, radiation, some poisons, weather, temperature changes, poor diet and exercise, and emotional stress. Used for many ailments, ginseng is thought of as a universal cure-all, promoting longevity in general.
A great variety of studies have been done in many countries to determine the effectiveness of ginseng. In some instances, incomplete results have occurred. However, there have been enough credible studies done to now determine that high-quality ginseng plants do contain active constituents that are very beneficial to the body. Research has even shown that the roots are effective against bronchitis and heart disease.
There has been a lot of interest in the alleged aphrodisiac effects of ginseng. Often marketed as a sexual stimulant, the results of most studies have been inconclusive. Ginseng does increase the sperm count. For thousands of years, ginseng has been used to strengthen the male reproductive system. It is highly recommended alone or in combinations for both male and female health.
Ginseng contains at least thirteen known triterpenoid saponins, which are referred to as ginsenosides. These are thought to be the most important active constituents. Many other minor components have been Isolated as well. The age, location, species, and curing method of each plant effects the composition. Some of the plants tend toward stimulating and warming effects, while others have relaxing and cooling effects.
The root of the ginseng plant is used to provide adaptogen, alterative, aphrodisiac, stimulant, and stomachic properties. Primarily, ginseng is extremely beneficial in dealing with age spots, appetite loss, asthma, high blood pressure, and depression, lack of endurance, fatigue, fevers, hemorrhage, hormone imbalance, sexual stimulation, and stress.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in treating aging, anemia, bleeding, blood diseases, bronchitis, and cancer, lack of concentration, gastric disorders, indigestion, inflammation, impotence, insomnia, liver disorders, and lung disorders. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by ginseng, please contact a representative from your local health food store.
Detoxify With L-Citrulline
April 13, 2009 03:51 PM
L-citrulline is an alpha-amino acid, first Isolated from the watermelon in 1930: hence the name, citrullis being Latin for that fruit, the skin of which is rich in the substance. It is used to enhance performance in sports, particularly through aiding recovery after exercise, and also helps the liver to detoxify the blood.
It is not an essential amino acid in that it is produced by the body and need not be part of your diet. It is a precursor to arginine, which involves the sustained release of nitric oxide in the endothelium that promotes increased flow of blood and the blood vessels as described further below. One of the biochemical pathways for its biosynthesis involves the urea cycle, whereby the toxic ammonia is detoxified into an easily excreted form through its conversion to urea.
The urea cycle consists of five reactions, and citrulline is formed in the second of these. In the first of these, ammonia reacts with bicarbonate to form carbamoyl phosphate, the phosphate coming from the two molecule of ATP used to energize the reaction. These are converted to adenosine diphosphate (ADP), and the carbamoyl phosphate then reacts with ornithine to form citrulline, which takes part in step three that eventually leads to the formation of urea.
The second way in which L-citrulline can be biosynthesized is from the oxidation of arginine, a natural amino acid. Arginine is oxidized into N-hydroxyarginine, and then into L-citrulline with the release of nitric oxide.
So that's how it is produced in the body, but how does it help sportsmen, and what part does it play in detoxification? Its effect on recovery after exercise is connected with blood flow. Energy is created in the mitochondria that are contained in every cell off the body. Among the raw materials needed for the production of energy are glucose and oxygen: glucose obtained from the carbohydrates in your diet, and oxygen transported by the hemoglobin or red blood cells.
Both of these rely on blood flow: greater the volume of blood transported to the cells then the greater the ability of these cells to produce energy. During periods of exercise, a good supply of blood is required to provide the raw materials needed for the energy demand of the muscles involved in the exercise. Not only that however, but recovery after exercise involves the replacement of electrolytes, the glycogen used in extensive aerobic and anaerobic exercise and protein replacement, particularly where catabolism has occurred.
In order to supply these raw materials at an adequate rate, it is necessary for the flow of blood to the appropriate muscles to be sufficient. A major restriction to increase blood flow is elasticity of the blood vessels and cells. Although a healthy heart is capable of providing the necessary quantities of blood, and hence of nutrients, any restriction to the flow could cause dangerously high blood pressure.
Nitric oxide plays a signaling role in enlarging blood vessels to allow an increased blood flow when it is needed by the body. It can provide more blood to the stomach during digestion and to the muscles during exercise and recovery.
During hard exercise, nitric oxide can act as a pump that provides blood during exercise and also during recovery. It can therefore provide more rapid gains in lean mass, increased endurance and faster muscle recovery. The way it does this is to send a signal to the smooth muscles to relax; smooth muscles such as those found in veins and arteries, so resulting in vasodilation therefore allowing increased blood flow.
It is the endothelium, the inner lining of blood vessels, which uses the nitric oxide to provide the relaxation signal to the smooth muscles surrounding it. In fact, it is the effect of nitric oxide that enables those living at high altitudes to develop increased stamina and speed over those at lower altitudes, and find more world records seem to be broken during athletics meetings, such as Olympic Games, held at high altitudes. This is because the production of nitric acid is increased at higher altitudes with slightly lower oxygen levels. This is the same effect that is used by vasodilators such as amyl nitrite and Viagra that work by increasing nitric oxide levels in the smooth muscle wall of the blood vessels.
It should not be surprising therefore, that L-citrulline should work in a similar way, since it is intimately involved in the production of nitric oxide. Although this is now generally understood, what part does supplemental citrulline play in the body if it is a non-essential amino acid?
Supplemental L-citrulline is useful in supporting the detoxification of ammonia in the liver when supplies of ornithine carbamoyl transferase is naturally in short supply. This is the enzyme that catalyzes the reaction between ornithine and carbamoyl phosphate to form citrulline. Supplements can then help in the removal of ammonia from the blood, and also provide material for the continued production of nitric oxide support muscular activity and its recovery after exercise.
Ammonia itself is a by-product of intensive exercise, and without the urea cycle the body would rapidly become polluted. It is a very toxic product, and causes the death of thousands of people each year. This is generally in people who suffer liver and kidney disease, and the ammonia can be broken down and excreted.
Your brain cells are particularly sensitive to ammonia, and as levels increase the effect progressively ranges from drowsiness thru tremors to coma and eventual death. Any condition, therefore, that reduces the body's capability of metabolizing ammonia is potentially very serious, and any supplement that can help prevent this is valuable.
L-citrulline is believed to help in such situations, although any condition affecting the efficiency of the kidneys or liver and that can cause toxicity due to ammonia or any other toxic substance, should be referred to your physician. It is for its effect in increasing blood flow to provide sufficient raw material, for both the energy needed for high levels of exercise and for muscle recovery, that citrulline is predominantly used as a supplement.
December 10, 2008 10:48 AM
Hoodia Gordonii is a South African succulent plant of the family Apocynaceae. They are remarkable similar in appearance to cacti, although they are totally unrelated to them and grow predominantly in the region of Central Namibia in the south west of Africa, up to the southern regions of Angola. They are most commonly found in rocky ground and on the plains.
There are several species of hoodia, some of them grown domestically, and it is Hoodia gordonii that is used as an appetite suppressant in hoodia weight loss pills. Although the plant has historically found use in the treatment of infections and gastric problems, most interest is displayed in its use by the bushmen of the Kalahari Desert to suppress their appetite during long hunting trips when food and water are scarce.
The active ingredient was Isolated in 1977, and given the name P57: the product is therefore often referred to as Hoodia P57. It was patented by its discoverers, the CSIR (South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research) and a license granted to UK company Phytopram, who worked together with Pfizer to Isolate the active ingredients and manufacture them synthetically. This was found to be very difficult, if not impossible, since any synthetic form of the extract failed to display any hunger-suppressant properties.
Finally, the rights to the main ingredient were released by Pfizer in 2002, thus indicating that it was of no commercial benefit to them. The main problem they admitted with synthesizing P57 was not only the difficulty in doing so, but also that there were side effects of the extract on the liver caused by other components that could not be removed. No synthetic form of hoodia is therefore available, and only the natural plant is used in current Hoodia 57 preparations.
The rights of the San Bushmen to the plant were recognized by the CSIR in 2002, and not only do they receive a proportion of the profits of marketing hoodia, but also the plant is protected with wild-harvesting licenses provided to only certain individuals and companies. Due to the rising popularity of the hoodia weight loss industry, the plant has been named as an endangered species in the wild.
It is believed that the active ingredients are steroidal saponins that can fool the body into believing it is full. This theory is based upon the effect on appetite of glucose concentrations in the blood. Your appetite is controlled by the amount of unconverted glucose in your blood, and glycogen in the liver. When you eat carbohydrates, they are digested and converted into glucose which is absorbed into the bloodstream.
Under normal conditions your blood glucose levels increase to a level where a signal from hypothalamus stops you feeling hungry. Insulin is then secreted from the pancreas to prepare your cells to use that glucose in the mitochondria to create energy by means of the Kreb's Cycle, or Citric Acid Cycle as it is also known. This reduces the concentration of glucose in the blood, and once it reaches a certain level the body begins to use its emergency energy supply, glycogen, that is stored in the liver.
A signal then informs the brain that more glucose is needed. You then feel hungry again, and this cycle is repeated several times a day in a normally healthy person. This cycle is controlled by certain hormones in the brain, specifically in the ventromedial center of the hypothalamus, where it is believed that the ATP (adenosine triphosphate) availability controls the release of the hormones involved.
ATP is the molecule of energy, and as the concentration of blood glucose and of glycogen drop, then the amount of ATP produced also drops and this is detected in the hypothalamus, which reacts by releasing ghrelin. Increased leptin increases the feeling of satiety and ghrelin increases the feeling of hunger. Serotonin acts on the brain to increase the effect of leptin in the hypothalamus, and therefore make us feel less hungry, or more satiated.
It is believed that hoodia gordonii, or the Hoodia P57 component of it, fools the brain into believing that your blood glucose or glycogen levels have reached the point at which it should trigger a satiated response, so that you stop eating even though your ATP levels might be low. The steroidal saponins that it contains is believed to be ten thousand times more effective than glucose in stimulated the secretion of serotonin.
Hoodia has also been found to contain a number of glycosides, including pregnane glycosides that some studies have indicated to help control appetite of the subjects tested. Most of these tests have been carried out on animals, although Hoodia weight loss preparations are offered in a form standardized on both steroidal saponins and pregnane glycosides.
Hoodia gordonii is becoming so popular as a weight loss product that its export is being monitored by the South African government. It has become so endangered that, since 2005, only hoodia grown on commercial farms is permitted an export license, and exporters must obtain a license from the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Importers also require a permit from the US department of Agriculture, and a CITES certificate is also needed to re-export the finished product.
Because of this, more hoodia weight loss pills are being sold than there is hoodia gordonii to produce them. It is not uncommon for cacti such as the prickly pear cactus from Mexico, to be used, or for low concentrations of hoodia to be bulked up with fillers. Neither of these is of any use as an appetite suppressant, the former having no active ingredients whatsoever and the latter containing only traces.
If you are purchasing hoodia, therefore, be aware of this. Request sight of the CITES certificate and USDA permit, and also the analysis results by an authorized laboratory to confirm that the product is what it purports to be. Otherwise, there is some evidence that Hoodia gordonii can help you reduce weight, although to date there are only four recognized analytical laboratories registered to analyze the active content of hoodia weight loss products.
Finally, check for the analysis certificates. All Hoodia weight loss products should be analyzed by each of three methods: Microscopy, High Performance Thin Layer Chromatography (HPTLC) and High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) - all there are needed. The four authorized laboratories are: the University of Mississippi, Chromadex labs in Irvine California, Alkemist Pharmaceuticals and Advanced Laboratories, Smithfield, NC.
No others will do, so if your Hoodia weight loss preparation has not been analyzed using the three methods by one of these laboratories, don't buy it, even if it can show the CITES and USDA documentation.
NOW® Introduces Genuine Whole Food™ Labeling
September 27, 2008 01:23 PM
NOW is excited to highlight our line of Genuine Whole Food products with a new icon. These existing products include a wide range of items, including NOW® Flax, Alfalfa Juice, Blue Green Algae, Kelp, Spirulina, Aloe, Hoodia, Colostrum, and Chlorella. One of the most exciting to join this new product category is an Organic Red Yeast Rice that is sourced right here in the United States.
In order to provide you and your customers with the finest possible product, these items undergo a delicate process that helps retain the highest concentrations of nutrients and other beneficial extracts. They are minimally processed without adding or creating new Isolates, and we do not spike our active ingredients. This results in safe ingredients that provide nutrients in their original form. NOW® Genuine Whole Foods are concentrated using only deionized water; no harsh chemical solvents are used at any stage during the process.
When it comes to the products that enter your body, natural is always better. Not only are natural products free of potentially dangerous chemicals, they also contain a wide range of nutrient compounds that cannot be recreated in a laboratory. All NOW Genuine Whole Food supplements are 100% natural and free of artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, and preservatives. Our new Genuine Whole Foods icon identifies this commitment made to product quality. Each product delivers a ratio of nutrients similar to that found in natural food sources. This results in greater nutrition that your body can use in the most effective manner possible.
Unlike other companies that offer only a small selection of Whole Food-based products and ingredients, or none at all, NOW has a diverse selection of 68 SKUs that encompasses a wide range of health and wellness needs.
Hoodia Extract And Appetite
September 26, 2008 11:36 AM
Hoodia is a plant that belongs to the milkweed family and consists of about twenty different species. It is a leafless, spiny plant, with fleshy finger-like stems. Along the stems, there are rows of thorns, while the plant bears flesh-colored flowers. Flies are attracted to the flowers by the strong smell of decaying meat, causing the flies to lay their eggs and pollinate the flowers. Sometimes spelled hootia, hodia, hoodie, and hudia, hoodia has recently gained a great amount of attention in the United Kingdom and America after being featured on BCC and CBS. Often growing in summer rainfall areas in Angola, Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa, along with winter rainfall areas in Nambia, hoodia gordonii is the only species that contains the chemical component that suppresses appetite.
Hoodia has been used for thousands of years by San Bushmen, as it populates the arid territories of South Africa and Namibia. Because San Bushmen needed to remain active in order to survive, they had little need for dieting, but this plant provided them with stamina and a curbed appetite during long periods without food. Along with reducing or eliminating the desire for food, many people believe that hoodia also increases energy and can act as an aphrodisiac on the user.
The appetite-suppressing ingredient found in hoodia is a molecule that is similar to, but stronger than glucose. The active compound that was Isolated to be responsible for appetite suppression is P57, which works by sending a signal to the hypothalamus of the brain, tricking the body into thinking that it is no longer hungry, and resulting in a complete lack of appetite. P57 is a steroid like molecule that is chemically bonded to a chain of three sugar molecules. The appetite-suppressing and mood-enhancing properties of P57 go directly to the mid-brain, where it causes neuron cells to fire as if you were full.
The hypothalamus is the region of the brain that contains several important centers which control body temperature, thirst, hunger, water balance, and sexual function. Additionally, the hypothalamus is closely connected with emotional activity and sleep and also functions as a center for the integration of hormonal and autonomic nervous activity through the control of pituitary secretions. In short, the hypothalamus links the nervous system to the endocrine system. The pituitary gland is often thought of as the mater gland in our bodies, as the anterior and posterior pituitary secrete a variety of hormones that influence all cells and affect almost all physiological processes.
The pituitary gland is powered by the hypothalamus, as some of the neurons in the hypothalamus secrete the hormones that are responsible for controlling the secretion of hormones from the anterior pituitary. The inhibiting and releasing hormones of the hypothalamus are carried directly to the anterior pituitary where hypothalamic hormones bind to receptors on anterior pituitary cells.
The P57 hormone that is found in hoodia works by increasing the amount of ATP in nerve cells found in the hypothalamus. ATP is an energy-producing molecule that is formed from glucose. When there are increased levels of ATP in hypothalamic nerve cells, those nerve cells fire as if you had just eaten, even when you haven’t. Hoodia is a safe herb taken for hundreds of years, have you tried Hoodia lately?
September 22, 2008 09:48 AM
Panax is a type of perennial plant with fleshy roots, and grows in Eastern Asia. Ginsengs contain ginsenosides that are triterpene saponins, steroidal compounds that are found only in Panax ginseng. The effects of these saponins are difficult to establish, but they are believed to be behind the properties of ginseng.
Panax ginseng is found predominantly in Korea, China and Siberia, although a genus has also been found in Vietnam. Panax are adaptogenic herbs that help promote resistance to anxiety, fatigue and stress, and are said to adapt the body to resist a number of different stressors. It has been proposed that adaptogenic herbs can balance the endocrine hormones of the hypothalamus, pituitary and adrenal axis.
They also normalize the immune system, and increase the activity of phagocytes, the killer cells. Additionally, they not only help to maintain homeostasis, but are believed to go further and act as allostatic agents, adapting response to maintain system stability in a more dynamic fashion, by changing interactive functions as opposed to the individual adaption’s made in homeostasis.
Not all ginsengs are the same, and although Siberian ginseng is an adaptogen, it is not a true ginseng. Its roots are woody rather than fleshy, and it contains eleutherosides as opposed to ginsenosides. These also are triterpenoid saponins, but of a different adaptogen. The herb is actually Eleutherococcus senticosus as opposed to Panax ginseng and P. quinquefolius, both true ginsengs. Siberian ginseng was misnamed as a marketing ploy.
American ginseng is Panax quinquefolius, sometimes referred to by the Chinese as Huaqishen. It, too, is an adaptogen and a true ginseng, containing ginsenosides. However, it contains much less ginsenonide Rg1 than panax. This ginsenonide appears to possess estrogen-like activity and improves spatial learning. The other forms of ginesonide found in panax ginseng are:
Ginsenoside Rb1: This appears in greatest concentration in American ginseng, and appears to have an effect on the reproductive system. It not only has an effect on the testicles, but is believed to increase testosterone production through its stimulating effect on luteinizing hormone. It also helps to rdeduce the incidence of angiogenesis, which is the formation of new blood vessels from old, and also a stage in the development of malignant tumors from dormant ones.
Ginsenoside Rc: this possesses sedative properties, and in a study on breast cancer was found to have an effect in inhibiting the growth of these particular cancer cells. Ginsenoside Rc might therefore have use in the treatment or prevention of breast cancer. Studies have also suggested that this ginsenoside could increase the motility of sperm: the motiliy of sperm was found to increase significantly in a solution of ginsenoside Rc.
Ginsenoside Rf: this is present only in panax ginseng, and studies have indicate that it has an inhibitory effect on the Ca2+ neural channels in the brain, and so cokld have an analgesic effect. Studies have as yet failed to explain this effect that is seen in animal tests, but are continuing on this ginsenoside.
Ginsenoside Re: this ginsenoside has strong antioxidant effects and has a significant antidiabetic effect in that is reduces insulin resistance, which is likely why ginseng is taken to treat Type 2 diabetes. Studies are ongoing into the properties of this ginsenoside, and also on the other 10 or more that are known to be present in Panax ginseng. The effects of ginseng are difficult to establish with certainity because they work through so many different pathways and it is difficult to Isolate one. More than one ginsenoside, for example, affects the calcium channels in the brain, and it is difficult to determine which does what.
There are fewer ginsenosides in Panax quinquefoilius, and in the USA it is only the panax version that can be traded as simply ‘ginseng’. One of the main problems with all ginsengs is that although it is one of the most studied plants, the majority of the studies have been on animals, and due to this, and the difficulties caused by the multiple pathways described earlier, many of the postulations have not been proved in humans.
However, if the theory as it is know today is taken into consideration along with the traditional uses of ginseng in traditional Indian (ayurvedic), Chinese and Native American medicine, it would be fairly accurate to say that ginseng is useful in helping your body to recover after illness or surgery, and to help you to deal with stress. It has also been proved to lower your blood glucose (sugar) levels, and help in the treatment of Type II diabetes, as already mentioned. There is evidence that it helps to boost your mental performance, memory and might help to slow down the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
Ginseng can also give a boost to your energy levels, and it is genarally accepted that panax ginseng is more effective than the American version. In traditional medicine, Asian ginseng is said to be warming, and the American variery cooling. Thus Panax ginseng is useful for people recovering from illness and trying to recover their strength, acts as a tonic, stimulant and supports the immune system. In other words it helps the body to get whole again after being depleted.
It should not be used if you get very hot and red, such as with heat stroke, unless you use it in combination with the American version, because these are conditions of high yang and this type of ginseng will increase the yang even further.
American ginseng, on the other hand, is good for those with fevers, hypertension (high blood pressure), and suffereing the effcts of heat. It helps build the yin and reduce the yang, so if you always feel flushed and hot or are hyperactive then go for the American, and if you easily get chilled or find your hands and feet get cold very easily, reach for the Asian ginseng to increase your yang.
You often find ginseng as an ingredient in soft drinks, but the concentration is so low that it has no metabolic or pharmacological effect. The dose to be taken should be as stated on the pack, since there is no specific standardization. It has been noted that the effects can be lost if an excess of ginseng is taken, but generally the herb is safe and if you feel a bit down or lacking in energy, ginseng can work wonders for you.
August 14, 2008 09:35 AM
Antioxidants are the body’s main defense against free radicals as they work against the substances that create oxidants and the reactive substances that result from oxidation and reduction. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals by supplying the missing electron so that the molecule may be stabilized. There are many different types of antioxidants ranging from dietary antioxidants to those that the body produces itself. The four major antioxidant nutrients are vitamin A (beta carotene), vitamin C, vitamin E, and selenium.
Vitamin A, the first vitamin to ever be Isolated, is essential for the proper function of the eyes and maintenance of the skin. It is found in the retina of all mammals as well as the liver. Vitamin A works to increase our resistance to infections by keeping all the linings in the body healthy. It is necessary for the health and moisture of the skin and the specialized cells lining the eyes, nose, mouth, throat, lungs, esophagus, stomach intestines, and urinary tract. When these cells don’t have sufficient vitamin A, they thicken and harden, which is extremely detrimental to health and makes us more susceptible to infection. Vitamin A also protects the body from cardiovascular disease and cancer, and is necessary for new cell growth, something that is extremely important in slowing the aging process.
Beta carotene is the best known of the two carotenoids that form vitamin A, being composed of two vitamin A molecules that are split apart by liver enzymes when the body is low in vitamin A. If body levels are sufficient, the enzymes remain inactive and beta carotene does not divide, making it a safe source of vitamin A, without producing the toxic effects that come with high levels of vitamin A itself. If excess beta carotene is consumed it is stored in fat tissue or circulated in the blood. Beta carotene is one of the most powerful antioxidant nutrients as it can prevent free radical formation and inactivate existing free radicals. Once free radicals have been formed, it traps them and breaks the chain reaction that occurs.
Vitamin C holds a crucial role in many body processes that are necessary for life, among these being its role in collagen formation. Collagen is important in the every structure of the body, as it works like glue to bind cells together to form tissues. The integrity of collagen depends on vitamin C. Vitamin C also functions as one of the most powerful free radicals to prevent the damage that contributes to aging and age-related diseases.
It also works against pollution and toxins that damage cells and cause mutations, possibly even reducing some food carcinogens and protecting lung lining fluids against damage by air pollution. Vitamin C is important in the immune system and it also increases immunity to infectious diseases, lowers total cholesterol, enhances the effect of vitamin E, promotes wound healing, growth, tissue repair, and helps with the utilization of iron.
Vitamin E prevents aging by prolonging the useful life of cells found in the body. It also works to protect vitamin C and vitamin A from free radical activity so that they may remain potent. Vitamin E has the ability to stop a free radical chain reaction as it is happening and plays an extremely important role in preventing the per-oxidation of lipids (cholesterol). It protects the cell membrane, which in turn causes it to help protect the body from disease.
Selenium, one of the ten essential trace minerals, can be found in all tissues of the body. It is best known for its antioxidant role and its function in fighting cancer. It protects the liver from damage and works to stop lipid per-oxidation. Selenium is vital in maintaining the elasticity of body tissues and preventing the oxidation of fatty tissue, in turn combating the effects of aging. Selenium causes the skin to be healthier, muscle mass and tone are more easily maintained, and the heart is strengthened. Selenium works along with vitamin E, enhancing the effects of each other. It is important to get our vitamins and minerals on a daily basis to maintain a health happier life.
August 12, 2008 01:37 PM
Vitamin C is the most widely taken nutritional supplement on the market and is available in a variety of forms, including tablets, drink mixes, crystals in capsules or bulk powdered crystals. Vitamin C is present in mother's milk and, in lower amounts, in raw cow's milk, with pasteurized milk containing only trace amounts. This vitamin is most present in the liver and least present in the muscle but needed through out the body.
Vitamin C is required for the synthesis of collagen, an important structural component of blood vessels, tendons, ligaments, skin, and bone. Vitamin C can regenerate other antioxidants such as vitamin E; in the body vitamin E can regenerate C as well. This vitamin is required for the growth and repair of tissues in all parts of your body. Relatively large doses of vitamin C may cause indigestion, particularly when taken on an empty stomach.
It has been shown that smokers who have diets poor in vitamin C are at a higher risk of lung-borne diseases than those smokers who have higher concentrations of Vitamin C in the blood. Biological tissues that accumulate over 100 times the level in blood plasma of vitamin C are the adrenal glands, pituitary, thymus, corpus luteum, and retina.
Studies suggest the presence of large quantities of sugar either in the intestines or in the blood can slow absorption of this vitamin. Several studies have demonstrated a blood pressure lowering effect of vitamin C supplementation. Also, when consumed in high doses it appears to interfere with the blood thinning effects of warfarin by lowering prothrombin time, as noted in case reports in the 1970s so consult your doctor if on medications..
In one Study, researchers instructed patients with documented coronary artery disease to take a single oral dose of either 2 g vitamin C or a placebo. Results, the researchers discovered that high doses of vitamin C can help prevent blood platelet sticking and fight cholesterol oxidation. Also, researchers discovered this vitamin can reduce the formation of potentially carcinogenic nitrogen-containing compounds in the stomach, offering protection from stomach cancer, researchers have reported.
French and German researchers found that vitamin C appeared to keep cells in the blood vessel wall from dying. The researchers, who studied immune indicators, such as serum immunoglobulin and neutrophil phagocytosis (how well your white blood cells can engulf and digest foreign bodies), concluded that vitamin C exerts a remarkable immuno-modulating action, in other words, improved immune function in all those who consumed vitamin C on a regular basis.
What are deficiency symptoms for vitamin C?
Scurvy is a disease resulting from lack of vitamin C, since without this vitamin, the synthesized collagen is too unstable to perform its function. Scurvy was common among those with poor access to fresh fruit and vegetables, such as remote, Isolated sailors and soldiers. The amount of vitamin C required to prevent “chronic disease” appears to be more than that required for prevention of scurvy which is 30 – 60 milligrams per day. Based on scientific research, vitamin C also appears to improve oral absorption of iron, which is good news for those that are anemic.
Half of us in the United States will die from heart disease. The foundation of heart disease is atherosclerosis, the narrowing of our arteries with plaque. Treatment with vitamin C has consistently resulted in improved dilation of blood vessels in individuals with atherosclerosis as well as those with angina pectoris, congestive heart failure, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. Researchers believe this protection from cell death could explain previous study findings which suggest that vitamin C benefits blood vessel function in people with congestive heart failure.
Vitamin C supplements are also generally regarded as safe in most individuals in recommended amounts, although there are rarely reported side effects including nausea, vomiting, heartburn, abdominal cramps, and headache. In addition, this vitamin is required for the synthesis of l-Carnitine, a small amino acid that is essential for the transport of fat to cellular organelles called mitochondria, for conversion to energy. If you have chronic fatigue syndrome, vitamin C may help by boosting energy production through the mitochondria.
Therefore, as in many studies of vitamin C intake and cardiovascular disease risk, it is difficult to separate the effects of vitamin C on stroke risk from the effects of other components such as diet and the consumption of fruits and vegetables. As with all dietitians an emphasis on the benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is important to maintain a healthy cardiovascular system. If one can not consume fruits and vegetables on a daily basis then supplementation of vitamin C is need in either capsule of tablet to fight the risk of disease.
August 06, 2008 11:21 AM
Traditionally, Cat's Claw has been used to treat arthritis, gastritis, tumors, dysentery, and female hormonal imbalances. Today, the plant has shown the ability to treat viral infections, minimize inflammation, and provide therapeutic action for stomach and bowel disorders including arthritis, Crohn’s Disease, ulcers, gastritis, parasites, diverticulitis, hemorrhoids, several types of cancer, irritable bowel syndrome, herpes, allergies, lupus, diabetes, PMS, yeast infections, hypoglycemia, prostatitis, bursitis, and rheumatism. European studies are currently looking at Cat's Claw for its ability to treat AIDS and cancer. Additionally, the herb has been used for Athlete’s Foot, Ear infections, back pain, TMJ syndrome, fibromyalgia, canker sores, sinus infections, and asthma.
Peruvians have trusted the anti-inflammatory abilities of Cat’s Claw for many generations, as it was traditionally used for any type of rheumatism or arthritic joint condition. Many studies on the plant metabolites found in Cat’s Claw have found that it does inhibit inflammatory response for a fact. The plant sterols that are found in Cat’s Claw have the ability to reduce artificially induced swelling. After extensive research, scientists have found that the strong anti-inflammatory activity is due to the presence of all the compounds together. These same compounds have an intrinsic anti-inflammatory effect as well.
These findings confirm what herbalists have advocated for many generations: the fact that plants are designed to be used in their whole form in order to be biochemically effective. Pharmaceutical synthetic versions of herbal medication shave so many bad side effects because they have been chemically extricated and Isolated, which eliminates the very crucial role of other compounds that are vital to the function of the plant.
Natural botanical remedies, on the other hand, have been designed by nature to work together. Natural anti-inflammatories are extremely important for treating diseases such as allergies and arthritis because they have a lot less side effects than the prescription NSAIDs that are currently being used by thousands of individuals. Back pain, joint pain, inflammation caused by histamine release, and a whole lot of other maladies have resulted in millions of dollars worth of anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen to be purchased.
Diseases such as AIDS and flesh-eating viruses have received a good amount of press coverage over the last several years. Although a lot of us may not feel immediately threatened by these viruses, we may not be as strong as we could be immunologically. Most of us are battling a never-ending list of ailments such as colds, flu, sore throats, earaches, athlete’s foot, yeast infections, chronic fatigue syndrome, herpes, and colitis.
With heart disease, cancer, and diabetes being responsible for thousands of deaths each year, our country as a whole is in poor health. Our immune systems, which are our build-in defense mechanisms, need to be kept in optimal working condition as infectious microorganisms and carcinogens constantly surround us. A healthy immune system has a great ability to fight off disease or at least minimize its stay in our body. By fortifying our defenses with certain herbs, vitamins, and antioxidants, we can greatly promote wellness in our bodies.
Butcher's Broom Extract
May 02, 2008 11:04 AM
Butcher’s broom (Ruscus aculeatus) is a member of the lily family, and looks a bit like a holly bush with barbed evergreen leaves and bright red berries in the fall. At one time they were collected, tied together and sold to butchers as brooms to sweep out their shops.
The stiff leaves were particularly suitable for cleaning out offal and other waste products from butchered animals and also for scrubbing butcher’s blocks. It was also used as a deterrent to rodents with their eyes on the meat! Alternative names are sweet broom, kneeholy and Jew’s myrtle, so named because it was used during the Feast of the Tabernacles as one of the ‘four species’ used in the lulav.
The herb was commonly used in Ancient Greece and Rome, the Greeks using it to reduce swellings of various kinds and the Romans using it to treat varicose veins. It has the same uses today, only the mechanisms are understood better. It has been used for centuries in the Mediterranean area for the treatment of inflammations and problems with the circulation, and the Romans used to mash up the leaves and berries to add to wine, and they also used the roots and rhizome as a medicine by soaking them in wine. Today, it is illegal to use holly as a decoration in Italy, so butcher’s broom is used instead.
All parts of the plant are used, including the rhizome, and although it is used as a diuretic, and to control a loss of blood pressure experience by some people on standing up, it is its effect on blood vessels where its main medical benefits lie. Butcher’s Broom can strengthen certain portions of blood vessels, and change the flexibility properties of the cell walls.
The result of this is that the vessels are tightened up, which helps to maintain the flow of blood throughout the body, but also renders the cell walls less likely to leak or crack under stress. The result is a reduction in blood leakage from stretched and weakened blood vessels such as those that result in hemorrhoids, and also of conditions caused by weakened valves in the veins such as varicose veins and spider veins.
The blood pressure in the veins is very weak since they are so far away from the heart, the blood having passed through the arteries, through the capillaries and into the veins on its way back to the heart before being pumped to the lungs. When the valves become weakened, particularly in the large veins in the leg, there is little to prevent the blood from coming under the influence of gravity and pooling back down the vein, causing distention and occasional ruptures.
A ruptured varicose vein can be very serious and cause significant blood loss. Weakened valves can also lead to the formation of blood clots, which is itself a very serious condition that eventually blocks the heart or causes a stroke. Not only can butcher’s broom strengthen the vein walls and prevent leakage, and also enable them to more easily resist the pressure that can cause them to rupture, but it can also be used to break down blood clots. In fact the herb is used in many European hospitals to prevent the formation of blood clots after surgery.
The active ingredients in the rhizome are saponins that contain the aglycones ruscogenin and neuroscogenin and the associated spirostanol and furostanol glycosides. The receptors that cause vasocontraction are known as adrenoreceptors, these receptors can be selectively stimulated by butcher’s broom extract to tighten the veins and improve the return of blood. When introduced intravenously, butcher’s broom was noted to constrict venules (small veins that feed the main veins but not arterioles (the small arteries than feed the capillaries). Hence blood vessels can be selectively treated, and the effect on Isolated blood vessels was enhanced by heating. Many supplements include calcium that helps to strengthen the blood vessel walls.
It is possible, therefore, to target the blood vessels that require constrictive treatment in order that they are strong enough to return blood to the heart rather than leak or distend. However, that is not the only health benefit that butcher’s broom provides. It can also be used as a diuretic. It is not a strong diuretic, but is used to relief the swelling of bruises and PMS, the reason given being that since leakage from the blood vessels is lessened, then more fluid is available to pass through the kidneys. There might be other reasons.
It is also use for the treatment of ortho static hypotension, the reduction in blood pressure that some people experience. It is believed that butcher’s broom can control this condition without increasing blood pressure, as most other remedies do, and which is almost as undesirable as the condition they are treating.
There are few problems associated with the herb, although few studies have been carried out its use by pregnant women. Although the one test that was carried indicated no effect, it would be wise for pregnant or nursing women not to use it until further studies have been carried out. Due to its effect in tightening blood vessels, its use is not recommended by anybody suffering from high blood pressure (hypertension). Many hypertension treatments are designed to render the blood vessels more elastic rather than constrict them.
In one very small study of pregnant women who used a topical cream containing butcher's broom, no side effects were seen for either the mother or the baby. However, very little information is available on how oral butcher's broom might affect a developing fetus, an infant, or a small child. Therefore, its use is not recommended during pregnancy, while breast-feeding, or during early childhood.
Because it tightens blood vessels, butcher's broom may worsen high blood pressure or benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH). Individuals with either of these conditions should not use any form of butcher's broom without first consulting a doctor. The known side effects have already been stated, and they are fairly mild, but few studies have been made on the herb other than in Europe, and the side effects have not been fully explored. It is unlikely; however, that there are any as yet unknown serious side effects since butcher’s broom has been used now for a long time, particularly in Europe.
The term ‘ruscogenin’ is used for the collective mixture of active saponins in butcher’s broom, and many of the supplements are formulated to include from 5 to 15 mg of these. However, check the label, since standardization is not yet required in the USA, and in theory a preparation can include much more or much less ruscogenin. It is frequently supplied with other active ingredients, such as vitamin C or calcium, and perhaps even horse chestnut that affect blood vessels in a similar way. Always follow the instructions on the package, since these are designed for the specific strength of supplement you are using.
L-Carnitine For Health And Wellness
April 16, 2008 03:25 PM
Research continues to mount evidence that l-carnitine can help boost energy and quality of life. Carnitine comes from the Latin word for flesh: caro or carnis. L-carnitine was discovered and Isolated from meat in the early 1900s. At that time, scientists thought that l-carnitine played a role in muscle function; this was many years before technology would advance so that this theory could be proved. Today, we know that this amino acid is found mostly in tissue of the body that requires lots of energy such as the heart, skeletal muscles, and liver.
L-carnitine is considered a non-essential amino acid since the body manufactures it from l-methionine and l-lysine. Depending on one’s diet, the body manufactures most of, not all, the l-carnitine it needs every day. There are circumstances where a rare genetic disease can cause the body to not manufacture its own l-carnitine resulting in a deficiency which can cause secondary diseases such as cirrhosis of the liver, chronic renal failure, diabetes, heart failure or Alzheimer’s disease. Some medications can cause a deficiency as well, check with your doctor about prescriptions.
The primary energy source for the body is long-chain fatty acids. L-carnitine plays an essential role in energy production process. This amino acid transports long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondria, where it is used to produce energy for each cell in the body. l-carnitine then removes the “acyl” group by products out of the mitochondria as they accumulate. Both the transporting in and out of the cells mitochondria is vital for continued muscle function to occur.
Researchers suggest that the limiting factor in high intensity exercise is from the availability of l-carnitine in the muscle tissue. Studies conducted with this amino acid suggest that athletes experience improved performance when supplementing with l-carnitine by reducing post exercise lactate acid levels and improving recovery from exercise stress.
Some research suggests that l-carnitine can help chronic fatigue individuals by shuttling long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondria where the body manufactures energy. The bulk of this research was done on chronic fatigue patients who consumed 2 grams per day of l-carnitine. Additional research was performed on individuals over 100 years of age and the results were these individuals experiences increase physical endurance and improved cognitive activity.
L-carnitine can help cardiovascular conditions including angina, congestive heart failure, and peripheral artery disease. Recent studies showed male fertility improvement when l-carnitine was consumed on a regular basis. Men participating had better sperm motility which increases the changes of one reaching an egg and improving the odds of fertilization.
Research also demonstrated that 1 gram of this amino acid daily over three months can help one reduce weight by improving fat metabolism. This holds consistent with the findings that l-carnitine transports long-chain fatty acids (fat) into cellular mitochondria so it can be burned as energy. With a good diet and exercise plan, reports suggest that even more weight loss can be achieved.
Safety is of particular concern when adding extra supplements to one’s diet such as l-carnitine. Good news, l-carnitine is very safe at 1 – 3 grams each day, even higher doses are safe with no side effects. With the mounting evidence on the benefits of l-carnitine consumption, what is stopping you from adding l-carnitine today to your supplement diet to improve health and wellness?
Third- The Science (Putting It All Together) Boswellia & Inflammation
April 03, 2008 12:44 PM
Frankincense has traditionally been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries, and is even mentioned in the Bible. The trunk exudes a resin containing mono- and sesquiterpenes that possess powerful anti-inflammatory properties. They are also well known antiseptics and astringents, and support the immune and respiratory systems.
These terpenes are commonly referred to as boswellian acids, and consist of a carboxylated pentacyclic triterpene with at least one more functional group. Both the alpha and beta acid have a hydroxyl (-OH) grouping, and there are also the acetyl (CH3CO-) equivalents with an acetyl group replacing the OH. There are other so-called-boswellian acids, and it is believed that they all play a part in the anti-inflammatory properties of the resin.
The acetyl derivatives are thought to be involved in the death of some cancer cells, particularly those involve in brain and colon tumors, and also leukemia. The way in which they achieve this appears to be a programmed progression that ends with the dying out of the cells rather than a violently destructive mechanism, which lends credence to the Ayurvedic belief that the treatment is a natural one designed by nature.
The anti-inflammatory properties of the acetyl triterpenes are due to their effect on leukotrienes that sustain the inflammatory reactions of many allergic reactions and also of asthma. They appear to inhibit the enzyme elastase in leukocytes; this is a crucial enzyme in the production of the chemicals that promote inflammation.
It has been established that the inflammatory response of the immune system is due to the action of specific enzymes, so it stands to reason that if you can inhibit these enzymes, then you will also inhibit the immune response to specific initiators and so reduce the pain involved. Bosellian acid in the form of triterpenes appears to contain these inhibitors, and this would appear to explain its effectiveness. Pinene and phellandrene are among the terpenes Isolated from Boswellia.
A standardised dose of 60% - 65% of Bosellian acids is generally used, so if you are purchasing Boswellia this is what you should be looking for. Keep in mind that it is intended to treat inflammation, ands that inflammation is an indicator that something with your body is not quite right. Therefore, while inflammation is painful, and Boswellia may help, you should also treat the cause of the inflammation by treating the immune system.
Urinary Incontinence and Overactive Bladder: The Silent Conditions
February 07, 2008 05:56 PM
Even though we are all comfortable talking about cardiovascular issues, mind and brain function, and digestive wellness, the topic of bladder health is rarely discussed. Whether it is vaguely touched upon or completely ignored, bladder issues including urinary incontinence and overactive bladder get a low amount of coverage considering their prevalence throughout the world. Research has shown that 17 million Americans can be diagnosed with urinary incontinence and 33 million Americans suffer from overactive bladder. So with these figures, why is it that we rarely hear about these issues? Firstly, urinary incontinence and overactive bladder have been marked as taboo topics, as sufferers are not eager to openly talk about their experiences since they can be uncomfortable and embarrassing to discuss. Due to the social stigma that is associated with urinary incontinence, it is extremely under-diagnosed and under-reported. Another reason why people aren’t talking about bladder issues is because the market has only recently become recognized as financially viable as the market for urinary incontinence treatment reached more than $7 billion by the end of 2006, as compared to $276 million in 2000. With the new baby boomer population turning 60 in a few years, it is anticipated that urinary incontinence and overactive bladder treatment will soar much higher.
No matter the reason, these are serious health issues that affect people deeply. Both physiological and psychological aspects take their toll on a person. Studies have shown that people with these illnesses have a poorer quality of life, causing sufferers to become reclusive and Isolated as they are too embarrassed to talk about their bladder issues.
However, there are a variety of ways that bladder health can be addressed, including pharmaceutical, behavioral, and natural approaches. Various drug therapies have been found to improve bladder control. However, most drug therapies also have unpleasant side effects such as dry mouth, dry eyes, blurred vision, and memory loss. Some drugs can even produce harmful long-term side effects. National continence groups also have recommendations as to behavioral interventions and exercises that can be taken to deal with bladder issues. Bladder control training, which involves teaching the bladder to completely fill and empty, is important to adequate fluids and avoid going to the toilet just in case. Kegal exercises can also be done to help strengthen the muscles that contract if you are urinating.
There are also natural herbal and nutrient options that are worth considering. These include Horsetail and Crateva nurvala, which both are means of improving bladder tone and control. Horsetail, which is high in silica, is known as a urinary astringent and antispasmodic. It relieves involuntary muscle spasms. Crateva has been shown to improve bladder tone and total bladder capacity. It improves urine flow, which helps the bladder to empty completely.
Since bladder health is a concern for many Americans, as it impacts what we do, where we go, our confidence levels, and sense of freedom, we need to start openly discussing bladder health and become more informed about the options that are available to us. Even though sufferers have learned to live with poor bladder health, recent research is making natural dietary ingredients an alternative for those who are looking for support to their bladder health.
June 26, 2007 02:39 PM
Eighty percent of Americans over 50 years old suffer from some form of degenerative joint disease, and many others suffer from sports injuries, tennis elbow and tendonitis, which can result in symptoms not unlike arthritis—soreness, stiffness, and general pain in the region. An ever widening number of people are newly discovering a well-established natural remedy for these symptoms—and numerous others—with MSM.
Methylsulfonylmethane (meth-l-sul-fonil-meth-ane), or MSM, is a natural nutrient found in many foods and is a vital building block of joints, cartilage, skin, hair and nails. It also supports a wide number of biochemical processes in the body, including energy production.
Due to the demineralization of the earth over time, many naturally occurring elements—including MSM- are not available in foods in high enough quantities to deliver therapeutic value. As a dietary supplement, MSM must be synthesized. When made correctly, it is identical to what is found in nature, and can be taken alone or in combination with other health supplements.
According to Stanley W Jacob, MD, Ronald M Lawrence, MD, PhD, and Martin Zucker, authors of The Miracle of MSM, MSM is rapidly establishing a reputation as a safe, natural and effective solution for many types of pain and inflammatory conditions, including degenerative wear-and-tear arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic back pain, chronic headaches, muscle pain, Fibromyalgia, tendonitis, and bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, TMJ, post-traumatic pain and inflammation, and heartburn. MSM also has benefits for allergy sufferers. According to Jacob, Lawrence and Zucker, “After many years of treating pain patients with MSM, it has become clear that perhaps a single most powerful benefit it offers is quick relief of the symptoms of common allergies. In hundreds of cases, this nutritional supplement has proved highly effective.”
The primary reason for MSM’s value is its high sulfur content. MSM contains 34 percent sulfur—the fourth most abundant mineral in the human body and one critical to making collagen, the primary constituent of cartilage and connective tissue. MSM is thought to deliver sulfur to the body in a usable way so it can be incorporated into these tissues. Many people using MSM as a dietary supplement have attested to its effectiveness.
“I was acquainted with an elderly woman who had been on Prednisone for severe arthritis for a number of years,” says Rob Benjamin, director of quality control for Bergstrom Nutrition in Vancouver, Washington. “Her doctor had to take her off of it because of what it was doing to her kidneys. Her knuckle joints were about an inch and a half thick. I gave her a sample of MSM, then ran into her about six days later. She came up, threw her arms around my neck and took her gloves off, and the thickness of her knuckles had reduced to almost normal. All the swelling was gone.”
The leading MSM product, manufactured to the most stringent product specifications available, is OptiMSM®, made by Bergstrom Nutrition. The crucial step that makes OptiMSM of such a high quality is its distillation process, in which heat is used to separate pure MSM from impurities and the by-products of manufacturing. The company has evolved the exact boiling points that allow MSM to be Isolated, consistently producing the purest MSM available.
“Our methods are more expensive and more energy intensive,” Says Benjamin. “But our prime concern is delivering the purest product available.”
Peter Gilliham’s Natural Vitality is proud to include OptiMSM in its daily multi nutrient Organic Life Vitamins (OLV).
Scientific Method of Evaluating the Effectiveness of Natural Medicines
April 21, 2007 01:57 PM
Author Dale Ericsson, M.D.; Shinian Cao, M.D.; Fred Crawford, Ph.D; Dale Haufrect, M.D. and Tommy E Hall, Jr.; USA
It has been traditionally assumed that long chain mucopolysaccharide and other natural ingredients found in aloe vera are active only in aloe vera are active only in their unadorned and non-modified state. There is little scientific evidence, however, to support this conclusion. In fact, certain Isolated components of aloe vera have pronounced specific pharmaco-therapeutic effects. The purpose of this series of experiments is to evaluate this unique method of scientifically evaluating biological and herbal products and to specifically compare fractionally distilled aloe preparation from a traditional ale preparation.
Utilizing the scientific method of white blood cell (T lymphocyte) culture, stimulation and metabolic turnover rates of more than 25 substances it was determined that:
1. the pivotal study had demonstrated that this type of T lymphocyte cell culture metabolic analysis is useful for evaluation the safety and efficacy of a variety of treatments in which there is only antidotal or clinical studies to support the therapeutic effect.
2. This technique of single blinded study has been employed to define the efficacy as well as compare fractionally distilled aloe vera (warren Aloe) and a traditional aloe vera product. Application of this type of blinded study to two different forms of aloe vera showed that the following conclusion may be expressed with certainty.
This data suggest that the fractionally distilled Aloe vera is bio-pharmaceutically active and provides specific changes in T cell cultures when compared to baseline and with natural aloe vera juice.
This information has been condensed. For entire report refer to EXPLORER! For the processional magazine; volume thirteen: number Two: Pages 15-19.
April 09, 2007 05:02 PM
EpiCor® is a unique and novel dietary supplement used for support of immune health, with a fascinating history of discovery. In 1943, a company in
Interestingly, when the company became self-insured, they became aware of unusually low rates of illness in employees that worked in the manufacturing plant for this animal product. This led to very low increases in their insurance premiums over the years compared to other companies, saving them quite a lot of money. Hence they began to investigate what might be the cause of the “healthfulness” of the employees at the fermentation plant. This investigation and subsequent research studies led to the formation of a new company called Embria Health Sciences, which now produces EpiCor® as a supplement for humans to support immune system health.1 Doctor’s Best® is proud to now offer the benefits of EpiCor® to its customers.
Beneficial Support of the Immune System and Activation of Natural Killer (NK) Cells in vitro*
A comparison study was performed on blood from 10 fermentation plant workers compared to that from 10 age and gender matched controls. The fermentation plant workers had several immune cell parameters that appeared superior to the control group. These included decreased levels of CD8 cells resulting in significantly increased CD4 to CD8 ratios, significantly improved cytotoxic natural killer (NK) cell activity even though total NK cells were decreased in number, higher killing efficiency of NK cells, significantly increased levels of secretory IgA, increased numbers of EpiCor™ specific antibodies, higher levels of red blood cell intracellular glutathione, and significantly lower levels of immune complexes. These results represent benefits on various cellular players of both the specific and innate parts of the immune system.1,3,4
NK cells are one of the first lines of defense used by the immune system. An in vitro study performed on human cells showed that NK cells were activated after incubation with EpiCor®, as evaluated by expression of the CD69 activation marker. The CD25 marker (IL-2 receptor) was also induced in the NK cells, although to a lesser degree.1,2 B cell activation was also noted through increased expression of CD80 and CD86 markers.2 Immediate increases in calcium levels were evident in peripheral blood mononuclear cells after exposure to EpiCor®, suggesting increased activation through calcium regulation.2
High Metabolite Immunogen*: Nutrient Make-up
Production of EpiCor® utilizes the common and harmless bakers or brewers yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae in a patented process called MetaGen4™, a multi-stage fermentation and drying process. It differs from other yeast products in that it contains both the yeast itself as well as the metabolites or “nutrilites” formed by the fermentation process, which are present in the media.1 Together the media containing the metabolites and the yeast are dried to form EpiCor®. Analysis of EpiCor® reveals that it contains a mixture of natural polyphenols, phytosterols, beta-glucans, mannan oligosaccharides, fiber, trace amounts of B vitamins and minerals, as well as a host of other nutritional compounds.1,2
Beneficial Antioxidant Activity*
EpiCor® was tested for antioxidant activity in an in vitro assay called the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity assay (ORAC). In this assay, EpiCor® was shown to have a total ORAC antioxidant level of 610 micromol TE (tocopherol (vitamin E) equivalents) units (ORAC units) per gram dry weight, which soared above other high antioxidant level foods such as cranberries (93 ORAC units per gram dry weight) and blueberries (62 ORAC units per gram dry weight).1,3,5
In another study, freshly Isolated human neutrophils were treated with EpiCor® followed by the free radical generator hydrogen peroxide. Cells were treated with a dye that fluoresces when attacked by free radicals. Those cells treated with EpiCor® showed decreased fluorescence intensity compared to control cells not treated with EpiCor®, verifying antioxidant activity in vitro.2
Numerous safety tests have been conducted on EpiCor®, revealing an extremely safe profile. Animal studies performed by a leading toxicology laboratory showed no indication of any toxic effects of EpiCor®. An acute oral toxicity study on 20 rats showed that the product was safe when given to rats at a single oral dose of 2000 milligrams per kilogram of body weight (equivalent to a human ingesting 280 capsules at once). After 2 weeks the rats showed no clinical symptoms, no deaths, no abnormalities in body weight, and no gross pathological changes. The same safety results were found in a subchronic toxicity study where rats were given up to 1500 milligrams daily for 90 days (equivalent to a human ingesting up to 210 capsules daily for 1.5 years). Again, absolutely no signs or symptoms of toxicity were noted in these animals.1,3
In addition, a standard bacterial reverse mutagenicity test (AMES test) as well as a mammalian cell mutation assay using mouse lymphoma cells revealed no evidence of any increase in mutation rates after exposure to EpiCor®. EpiCor® also showed no evidence of mitogenicity (inducing increased cell division) in a human lymphocyte proliferation assay. This suggests that EpiCor® does not cause over-reactivity of cells1,3.
The effect of EpiCor® on specific liver enzymes CYP1A2 and CYP3A4 (enzymes involved in metabolizing certain drugs and other compounds) was assessed. Immortalized hepatocytes (liver cells) were treated with various concentrations of EpiCor® and compared to both positive and negative controls. EpiCor® did not increase the expression or activity of the liver enzymes, suggesting that it may not affect the metabolism of other substances or medications metabolized by these enzymes if they are taken simultaneously. It also did not appear to be toxic to the cells as measured by lactate dehydrogenase assays and microscopic analysis.1
Lastly, EpiCor® was tested for safety in humans in an open label study on 15 adult men and women given a single 500 milligram dose for 30 days. On various days throughout the study vital signs were monitored, and blood and urine samples were analyzed. No clinically relevant abnormal effects on the participants were found1.
EpiCor® also currently has received self-affirmed Generally Regarded as Safe (GRAS) status by an expert panel that included eminent toxicologists1.
EpiCor® is a novel compound with an incredibly unique composition that has been shown to enhance immune system function.*
Suggested Adult Use: Take one capsule daily with or without food.
*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
1. Embria Health Sciences
2. Hart et al. A new Saccharomyces cerevisiae based product has anti-inflammatory effects while specifically activating human NK and B lymphocyte subsets. Unpublished study, personal communication.
3. Schauss AG, Jensen G, Vojdani A, Financsek I. After decades of ingestion by farm animals, the discovery of a yeast fermentate with unexpected significant immune modulatory activity when consumed by humans. [abstract] Journal of the
4. Schauss AG, Vodjani A. Discovery of an edible fermentation product with unusual immune enhancing properties in humans. [abstract] FASEB J, 2006; 20(4):A143.
5. Wu X, Beecher GR, Holden JM, Haytowitz DB, Gebhardt SE, Prior RL. Lipophilic and hydrophilic antioxidant capacities of common foods in the
March 08, 2007 05:09 PM
Whey protein concentrate or Isolate and chicken eggs
Olive, With a Twist – The Leaves of the Olive Tree are as beneficial to our health as the
October 07, 2006 02:59 PM
Olive, With a Twist – The Leaves of the Olive Tree are as beneficial to our health as the famous oil.
Okay class, its time for a beneficial botanicals pop quiz. Raise your hands—how many people here know that olive oil is good for you? The whole room not surprising. Now, how many know that olive leaf is also good for you? There are not quite so many hands up this time. Let the lesson begin.
The olive tree occupies a prominent place in ancient history and no wonder: olives and the oil hey contain were (and are) dietary staples in the Mediterranean world. (The Greeks were so enamored of the olive tree that they ascribed its creation to the goddess Athena.) But the leaf of this venerable tree has also made historical appearances, generally as a folk remedy for bringing down fevers. The mechanism behind that action didn’t come to light until scientists were able to Isolate a substance called oleuropein, responsible for both the bitter taste of uncured olives and the tree’s hardy nature and resistance to bugs and bacteria.
In the laboratory oleuropein extract has been as tough on many of the bacteria and viruses that plague human beings as it is on the olive tree’s natural enemies, a finding which helps explain why olive leaf has traditionally worked as well in fighting fevers (a sign of infection). Various types of rhinovirus (common cold), influenza and herpes virus have been numbered among oleuropein’s victims, along with the bacterial bad guys Escherichia coli (a strain of which can cause food poisoning) and staphylococcus aureus (the prime suspect in many hospital acquired infections).
Viruses are especially difficult to vanquish—antibiotics, as anyone suffering from the flu can tell you, don’t touch these tiny marauders. Olive leaf’s power lies in its ability to thwart viruses from replicating; now replication means no new viruses, which means no spread of infection. Olive extract can also incite immune system cells into gobbling up harmful micro-organisms.
In addition to thwarting microbes, olive leaf promotes better circulatory health. The white-coat crowd has discovered that oleuropein extract relaxes constricted arteries, which results in reduced blood pressure. And olive not only reduces blood sugar (glucose) levels but also serves as an antioxidant, a substance that can mop up harmful molecules known as free radicals. Given that oxidation plays a key role in the development of diabetic complications, both actions make olive leaf an intriguing option for people with diabetes. What’s more, oxidation also affects LDL cholesterol, turning it into the bad stuff that clogs arteries; olive leaf appears to interfere with this insidious process. This triple action-the ability to reduce blood pressure, glucose and LDL oxidation—may give olive leaf an important role in fighting metabolic syndrome, a cluster of health woes that helps fuel the worlds epidemic of cardiovascular disease.
The latest news from the olive grove: what boosts your blood may also benefit your bones. French researchers, intrigued by the low occurrence of osteoporosis among people who consume olive-heavy Mediterranean diets, found that female rats who received oleuropein showed less inflammation-induced bone loss than those fed standard rat chow (Clinical Nutrition 2006 online).
Surprised to learn that the olive trees leaf is just as valuable as its fruits? It’s true-and olive leaf deserves to go straight to the head of the class. --Lisa James.
The True Whey, boost your immune system
April 29, 2006 02:09 PM
Perplexed about Protein? immunoglobulins to boost the immune system.
April 29, 2006 01:58 PM
The Wellness Revolution
Perplexed about Protein?
As protein and whey powders have advanced in popularity, the confusion about them has grown. In particular, protein processing technology has advanced by leaps and bounds; consumers are being presented with protein claims and counter-claims that are highly contradictory.
The confusion is part of a rapid growth. Little Miss Muffet’s quiet dish of curds and whey has expanded from a minor sideline aid for weight lifters, with sales increases around to percent a year, into an explosive $1 billion a year industry, with some companies announcing sales growth of 110 percent in just the last year.
The increase in market is from whey’s expanding appeal. As new technology has made whey’s nutritive value beneficial to a wide range of consumers, more people are using whey, and whey is being added to more products. The problem is, those advanced nutritive qualities are not included in all whey products. The fantastic immune benefits, for example, apply to only the top tier of whey products.
The standard of protein quality—the ability to provide indispensable amino acids—is judged on the basis of digestibility, nutrients, and amino acid composition. Whey has historically been acknowledged as on of the best sources of high quality protein.
With the increasing popularity of whey, attention on new processing methods has raised the bar on quality, and new products have greatly expanded nutritional values. What may have been an acceptable high-quality whey protein a few years ago, no longer makes the grade. Tony Lucchesi, Natural Sales Trainer at Source Naturals says, “The different processing methods have changed the entire protein market.”
He explains, “In separating casein from whey, (a process used to make cheese), most processing methods use heat, chemical modification, or pH adjustments. These all damage the native protein structure. The result is little or no biological activity in the whey product. All the low temperature drying and micro-filtration won’t help if the raw material is denatured before a protein is dried and brought to market.”
Damaged protein may have been acceptable a few years ago, but it isn’t now. Lucchesi continues, “Animal experiments have shown that polypeptides—whole, non-denatured proteins—have greater nutritional value than protein Isolates.”
Protein Isolates are what is left after the pasteurization process. The protein has traditionally been “Cross cooked” out of its normal balance. “What you have left are incomplete bits and pieces of whole protein,” he says. These protein bits have only partial nutrients.
The latest introduction to the protein category are concentrates, which are intact, biologically-active whole proteins. The entire difference is in the processing; high heat, acids, and traditional methods of separating the caseins from the whey are no longer used. The new processing preserves the nutrients of the protein. This is the method that is the basis for a new Source Naturals whey product, True Whey.
Lucchesi says, “TRUE WHEY is different in that it was designed to provide nutritional support for enhanced immune function. The entire process was designed for nutritive value. The preservation of these nutrients—lactoferrin, glutamine, immunoglobulins—give TRUE WHEY a huge benefit to athletes, children, and anyone interested in boosting their immune system.”
Per serving, TRUE WHEY offers 8 grams of un-denatured protein that includes 900 mg immunoglobulins and 190mg of lactoferrin. Its vanilla flavoring has gotten very high reviews, and it has a two-year shelf life. It appears that the bar has truly been raised in the whey protein category!
Fighting fat with fat makes sense with conjugated linoleic acid.
April 03, 2006 04:57 PM
Trimming flab away with CLA
Fighting fat with fat makes sense with conjugated linoleic acid.
Substances that enhance human health and well being can be discovered in all sorts of odd places. Take conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), for example. This unique fatty acid currently under intense study as an aid to help dieters reduce body fat—was first Isolated from grilled ground beef in the early 1980’s by researchers at the University of Wisconsin. (CLA is also found in hamburger that ma actually help you slim down? Who knew?
What’s more, CLA (now generally derived from plant sources like safflower oil) also shows promise in two important areas. First, evidence suggests it can slow down some of the steps in cancer’s complex progression. In addition, CLA may help tame excess inflammation.
When you take in more calories through food than you burn off through exercise, all those extra energy units have to go somewhere and if you’re like a lot of folks, they wind up being deposited into your fat cells. Not only are jam-packed fat cells responsible for the dreaded disappearing waistline effect, but they also promote unhealthy changes in blood pressure, cholesterol levels and other makers of possible hazards to your continued well-being.
CLA helps make life miserable for fat cells in several ways. First, it inhibits an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase that shuttles fat molecules from the blood stream into the cells. It encourages lipolysis, or the breakdown of fat that’s already in storage. Finally, in some studies CLA has shown an ability to actually encourage fat cells to commit a form of cellular suicide call apoptosis—which results in fewer places for fat to hide. At the same time, CLA promotes the transport of fat into exercising muscle cells, helping them to both burn off calories and become more toned (and shapely).
CLA Comments: What is it: a special form of linoleic acid, an essential fat: CLA is found naturally in diary foods.
What it does: CLA has shown an ability to help reduce body fat and increase muscle mass (When used as part of a healthy diet and exercise plan); it has also demonstrated cancer-fighting and immune enhancing effects.
While CLA is the subject of ongoing research, early human trials have produced promising results. In Norway, for example, scientists from five separate institutions teamed up for a study involving people who were healthy but over weight. For the first year some of the individuals took CLA while the others took placebo (look-alike) softgels that contained olive oil instead; in the second year, everyone took CLA. At the end of two years, all the people in this study showed significant reductions in body fat, body mass index (BMI), a standard measure of obesity, and weight(Journal of nutrition 4/05).
While battling the bulge is a major goal for many people, fending off cancer may just be America’s number one health concern. And here, too, CLA has come up big in a number of studies, such as a Swedish investigation that shows a link between high CLA intake and reduced colorectal cancer risk (American Journal of Clinical nutrition 10/05). In various lab studies CLA has been shown to interfere with tumor development and keep cancerous cells from spreading to nearby organs.
What’s more, CLA appears to regulate immunity by helping to strengthen the body’s natural defenses while protecting against the inflammatory damage the immune response can cause. That’s important because low-level inflammation has been linked to an ever-growing list of disorders, including cancer, cardiovascular disease and arthritis.
If you want to fight off both fat and cancer without eating a mountain of cheeseburgers, don’t have a cow. Turn to CLA instead.
TriOxil the solution for your acne!
February 25, 2006 01:55 PM
New Frontiers in Enzyme Supplementation
February 16, 2006 04:17 PM
New Frontiers in Enzyme Supplementation
By Nick Rana, CN, NOW Quality Assurance
Serrazimes® is a proteolytic (protein digesting) enzyme system containing protease that is derived from edible non-genetically engineered fungi (Aspergillus oryzae and Aspergillus melleus), that is designed as an alternative for Serrapeptidase (also known as serratio-peptidase and serrapeptase) in dietary supplements used for cardiovascular, anti-inflammatory, respiratory, or immune support.
Serrapeptidase was initially Isolated from Serratia marcescens, a potentially pathogenic bacteria found in the gut of the Japanese silkworm. Recognized as a pharmacological agent, Serrapeptidase has wide clinical use in Asia and Europe for the management of assorted inflammatory processes (Rothschild, 1991). In recent years, recognition of the efficacy of the Japanese product has lead to growing interest in the US dietary supplement market.
The product’s efficacy and availability over the internet has fueled its popularity in the US dietary supplement industry, where it is used for anti-inflammatory support, cardiovascular support, respiratory support, and as an adjunct to antibiotic therapy. Recognizing the potential for a "Serrapeptidase-type” enzyme in the U.S. dietary supplement market, the National Enzyme Company developed a protease system that has the same in vitro (lab test) activity as Serrapeptidase, but that is from organisms that have a long history of safe use in dietary supplements. Serrazimes® is the product resulting from this search.
Since the 1960’s, plant and microbial protease enzymes have been studied for their role in the management of inflammation and inflammatory processes. In both animal and human trials, proteolytic enzymes, from a variety of sources, have repeatedly been shown to significantly reduce inflammation resulting from sickness or injury (Ryan, 1967)(Smyth et al, 1967)(Shaw, 1969)(Kumakura et al, 1988)(Lomax, 1999). The earlier research on the anti-inflammatory actions of proteases pointed entirely to their antithrombic and fibrinolytic aspects to explain this phenomenon. However, studies by Parmely (Infect and Immun Sept 1990) and others indicate that, in addition to degrading fibrin, microbial proteases may actually inactivate pro-inflammatory cytokines and to interrupt inflammatory responses.
Persons taking blood thinning or antibiotic medications and those with serious health disorders should consult their medical practitioner prior to taking Serrazimes®. As is the case with most supplements, please consult your doctor about the use of Serrazimes® during pregnancy and lactation.
The Product Development Team at NOW Foods is constantly researching new products like Serrazimes® to provide our customers with the tools that empower them to live healthier lives. Look also for our new unique digestive enzyme formulations from plant sources - backed by laboratory studies - to be introduced in March of 2006.
Serrapeptidase is a selective alkaline metalloprotease enzyme, meaning that it works to activate specific biological systems of mammals and directly degrades or inhibits IgG and IgA immune factors as well as the regulatory proteins á-2-macroglobulin, á-2-antiplasmin, and antithrombin III (Molla et al, 1989)(Maeda and Molla, 1989).
While originally Isolated from Serratia marcescens, a bacteria found in the gut of the Japanese silk worm, Serrapeptidase activity is also found in fermentation extracts of Serratia E-15, Aspergillus oryzae, and Aspergillus melleus. (Salamone and Wodzinski, 1997).
The Serrapeptidase activity of this high potency proteolytic (protein digesting) enzyme is determined using a spectrophotometric assay testing procedure that measures the enzyme’s ability to hydrolyze (digest) a standard casein protein substrate. Laboratory analyses have established that Serrazimes® has a 1:1 enzymatic equivalent of Serrapeptidase activity guaranteed to provide 600,000 specialized proteolytic Units per gram, or 20,000 units per capsule.
Benefits of L-Carnitine
February 12, 2006 03:24 PM
Benefits of Acetyl-L-Carnitine
February 12, 2006 01:55 PM
February 11, 2006 09:30 AM
Scientific References 1. Toyoda-Ono Y, Maeda M, Nakao M, Yoshimura M, Sugiura-Tomimori N, Fukami H. 2-O-(beta-D-Glucopyranosyl)ascorbic acid, a novel ascorbic acid analogue Isolated from Lycium fruit. J Agric Food Chem. 2004 Apr 7;52(7):2092-6.
2. Breithaupt DE, Weller P, Wolters M, Hahn A. Comparison of plasma responses in human subjects after the ingestion of 3R,3R'-zeaxanthin dipalmitate from wolfberry (Lycium barbarum) and non-esterified 3R,3R'-zeaxanthin using chiral high-performance liquid chromatography. Br J Nutr. 2004 May;91(5):707-13.
3. Cheng CY, Chung WY, Szeto YT, Benzie IF. Fasting plasma zeaxanthin response to Fructus barbarum L. (wolfberry; Kei Tze) in a food-based human supplementation trial. Br J Nutr. 2005 Jan;93(1):123-30.
4. Wu SJ, Ng LT, Lin CC. Antioxidant activities of some common ingredients of traditional chinese medicine, Angelica sinensis, Lycium barbarum and Poria cocos. Phytother Res. 2004 Dec;18(12):1008-12.
5. Zhao H, Alexeev A, Chang E, Greenburg G, Bojanowski K. Lycium barbarum glycoconjugates: effect on human skin and cultured dermal fibroblasts. Phytomedicine. 2005 Jan;12(1-2):131-7.
6. Gan L, Zhang SH, Liu Q, Xu HB. A polysaccharide-protein complex from Lycium barbarum upregulates cytokine expression in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Eur J Pharmacol. 2003 Jun 27;471(3):217-22.
7. Gan L, Hua Zhang S, Liang Yang X, Bi Xu H. Immunomodulation and antitumor activity by a polysaccharide-protein complex from Lycium barbarum. Int Immunopharmacol. 2004 Apr;4(4):563-9.
Essential Oil FAQ's - What are essential oils?
January 13, 2006 05:13 PM
Essential Oil FAQ'sWhat are essential oils?
Essential Oils are the naturally occurring volatile oils obtained by distillation or expression having the characteristic aroma of the plant part from which it was derived. These 100% pure oils are neat, meaning they have not been processed or manipulated in any way with solvents or other additives. Though a particular species of plant harvested and distilled for its essential oil during a particular growing season in a specific region may produce a fragrance that differs from the same species grown that season in a different region, many of the main chemical markers and physical specifications may be similar.
Do essential oils have a grading system to tell me which is better?
There are many companies selling Essential Oils today spinning many tall tales regarding the quality or grade of their products. To my knowledge there exists NO official grading system in any of the more respected sources of essential oil literature. Neither The Federal Register and Code of Regulations, FEMA nor AFNOR has to date adopted a system that grades these oils as an A, B or C grade. A product is either 100% pure essential oil or it’s not. All of our 100% pure essential Oils are labeled as such. We also sell oil blends that are formulated with essential oils or absolute extracts and pure grapeseed oil and are clearly labeled. Are NOW essential oils pure or do they have anything added to them?
Again all of our 100% pure essential Oils are labeled as such. We also sell oil blends that are formulated with essential oils or absolute extracts and pure grapeseed oil and are clearly labeled.
Natural Essential Oils by their very definition will vary from season to season. We are committed to allowing nature take its course without adding Isolated compounds to the oil in an effort to improve on the naturally occurring nuance. We take both the organoleptic (sight, smell and taste) and chemical properties into account when evaluating our essential oils. What are NOW’s criteria for testing essential oils? Our Quality Assurance and Control departments adhere to specifications used by the Essential Oils and Flavor Industry and published in The Essential Oils by Guenther, as well as Fenaroli’s Handbook of Flavor Ingredients.
These texts, as well as other sources of scientific information, detail specific physical and chemical properties that compose a fingerprint defining the peculiarities of a particular oil. A partial list of the components that we analyze for would include Specific Gravity, Refractive Index, Optical Rotation, Flash Point, Infrared Absorption (as published in FCC), Solubility, Taste/Odor, Color/Appearance, Heavy Metals and Predominant Active Chemical Components. Our in-house laboratory employs state-of-the-art analytical equipment that allows us to perform highly specialized analyses, such as Gas Chromatography and Infrared Spectrometry. We use our own analysis results to confirm specification sheet results and certificates of analyses received from 3rd party outside laboratories and vendors. As always, when it comes to Essential Oils, individual practitioners and lay people will decide for themselves which variety of a flower or leaf produces the essential oil that best suits their particular need. The nose, eyes, ears, hands and heart of a man or woman, used with humility and wisdom, are still the best tools given us by God to discern what is necessary and good. NOW Foods is committed to offering the purest and most potent natural Essential Oils available. All of our 100% Pure Essential Oils are FCC or food grade and derived through natural distillation or cold pressing methods with no chemicals or solvents. NR 9/03
My family and I have been using Cassia essential oil topically on our feet. Is this OK since your bottle says “Not for Topical use”?
Skin irritation is possible with many oils, including the powerful Quassia or Cinnamon essential oils. Though many people do use our oils in a variety of ways, due to the powerful nature of steam distilled pure essential oils, we label these products with cautions and suggest that you consult an aromatherapist or health professional for proper use. These 100% pure oils are of the highest quality, undiluted and unadulterated. They are appropriate for any use where these concentrated oils are indicated, either as aromatherapy or with significant dilution.
Disclaimer: This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
December 29, 2005 12:06 PM
Did you know that poor digestive function is a contributing factor in more than ninety percent of America’s serious health issues?! The waiting rooms of doctors are jam packed, in part because so many people are suffering with gastrointestinal problems. The medical establishment and alternative health and wellness practitioners don’t always agree, but both sides are certain that a healthy digestive system is the cornerstone of good health. Proteins, the building blocks of life; carbohydrates and fats, your body’s source of energy; vitamins and minerals; and water – all are assimilated through digestion. If you’re not properly digesting the foods you eat, your body isn’t obtaining the nutrients it needs to repair, renew and thrive. Without the raw materials it needs to repair the damage we do to ourselves every day, your body begins to break down, leading to poor health and accelerated aging2,3.
While there are a multitude of factors involved in healthy digestive function, one of the most important is the delicate balance of bacteria found in the human gastrointestinal (GI) tract. There are three main types of flora in the human GI tract - Bifidobacteria, Bacteroides and Eubacterium. Of slightly less importance are Lactobacilli, Streptococci and Peptococci and other transitory flora1. Our stomachs and intestines are populated by hundreds of billions of these bacteria, or microflora. Amazingly, there are more probiotic organisms in our gut than there are cells in our bodies! That’s a lot of bacteria, but it’s GOOD bacteria, and each strain has specific functions in the human body. These bacteria aid the digestion of food and have protective qualities that contribute to good colon health. While a good balance of these different microflora is necessary, there are many factors that can, and do, disrupt this balance –certain medications, a poor diet, infection, stress, bad bacteria, aging and even the climate. The good news is a rapidly expanding body of research suggests that supplementing the diet with the right mix of microflora can have a beneficial affect on gastrointestinal function, and therefore overall health.
NOW® Gr8-Dophilus™ exclusively utilizes the finest strains from Rhodia Incorporated, the world’s leading supplier of high quality probiotic ingredients, and is enteric-coated to ensure that the bacteria in this product are not destroyed in stomach acid but reach the small and large intestines where they are most beneficial. Gr8-Dophilus is a vegetarian product that contains virtually no lactose.
Lactobacillus acidophilus is a well-studied microflora species that’s highly resistant to gastric acidity and is able to proliferate in the presence of bile. Like many probiotic organisms, it also adheres well to intestinal cells, helping to prevent the adherence of certain enteropathogens5.
Lactobacillus casei is a microflora strain that is found in the human mouth and intestines as well as in fermented vegetables, milk and meat. Recent research has shown that this bacterium is active in the GI tract and may help to modulate the immune system*. Research is continuing into this very promising probiotic.
Lactobacillus rhamnosus, like Lactobacillus acidophilus, is highly resistant to gastric acidity and proliferates well in bile. It, too, adheres well to intestinal cells. We’ve included this particular strain because it works extremely well with L. acidophilus. Lactobacillus salivarius is a strain that has proven highly effective against Helicobacter pylori, a bacterial species implicated in a number of digestive conditions. Studies have shown that L. salivarius is capable of producing high amounts of lactic acid, which has been shown to inhibit H. pylori growth in live subjects. Compared to other Lactobacillus strains, L. salivarius was proven to have the greatest inhibitory effect on the proliferation of H. pylori,4 which is why this strain is included in Gr8-Dophilus™.
Streptococcus thermophilus bacterium are Isolated from yogurt and are recommended for lactose intolerant individuals to help digest lactose in the intestines. This strain is included in this formula to assist in the acidification of the intestinal environment, as well as to create a favorable environment for lactic acid bacteria.
Bifidobacterium bifidum is one of the workhorses of the large intestine. It has a high tolerance to gastric acidity, and, like L. acidophilus and many other probiotic organisms, it adheres well to intestinal cells, helping to prevent the adherence of certain enteropathogens5.
Bifidobacterium longum is a bifidobacterium of human origin that, like lactobacillus, is extremely resistant to gastric acid and bile salts. Because it’s anaerobic (able to live without oxygen) it’s perfectly suited to colonize the colon. Initial studies have shown that this particular strain of bifidobacteria helps to support the immune system*. It also seems to decrease enzymatic activity in feces. Researchers believe enzymatic activity in feces may contribute to carcinogenesis.
Bifidobacterium lactis is one of the most well-studied strains of probiotic bacteria, with a wealth of peer-reviewed, published research on its benefits. Clinical trials on B. lactis have shown it to be helpful in a number of digestive conditions, including diarrhea and lactose intolerance, as well as immune response modulation.
Vitamin C FAQ's
December 27, 2005 05:11 PM
Vitamin C FAQ's
What is Calcium Ascorbate?
Calcium Ascorbate is a buffered salt (mineral) form of the water-soluble antioxidant Vitamin C (ascorbic acid). Calcium is reacted with ascorbic acid to buffer the acidic nature of this vitamin, making it more gentle for the special needs of those who may have a sensitive gastrointestinal tract. The pH of this buffered mineral Ascorbate is approximately 6.8—7.4 as compared to ascorbic acid that is about a pH of 2.5. Calcium Ascorbate provides approximately 10% elemental calcium.
What does Calcium Ascorbate do?
Ascorbate (vitamin C) is a reducing sugar (has a reactive ene-diol structure) that is involved in biochemical processes such as hydroxylation of proline and lysine utilized in the formation of collagen and healthy connective tissue. A deficiency in Ascorbate results in a disease called scurvy which manifests as weakened collagen fibers, rotting teeth, delayed healing and open sores on the skin. Ascorbate is involved in many other vital functions such as the mobilization of iron, stimulation of immune system and as an anti-oxidant for scavenging of reactive free radicals.
Is this a necessary vitamin or can our bodies make enough to satisfy our needs?
Many plants and animals do not need to consume foods high in ascorbic acid to meet their need for Vitamin C because they are genetically programmed to produce enzymes that convert glucose into ascorbic acid. Unfortunately humans have only 3 of the 4 enzymes necessary for internal production of ascorbic acid, therefore we must satisfy our physical needs for this important vitamin through our intake of foods rich in vitamin C and/or take a good supplement.
What is the function of the Citrus Bioflavonoids?
Bioflavonoids are biologically active Flavonoid compounds found throughout the entire plant kingdom. Since the discovery of Flavonoids in 1936 when they were first Isolated from lemons and called citrin and Vitamin P over 4,000 different types have been characterized. Though there are several forms of Bioflavonoids in the complex the predominant form is Hesperidin. These Flavonoids exhibit beneficial effects on capillary permeability and therefore support blood flow. They are antioxidants that work synergistically with Vitamin C as well as exhibiting anti-inflammatory activity.
Why are there color variations in your different Vitamin C products, and are they safe to take?
Most natural Vitamin C products vary in color from batch to batch and bottle to bottle. There are normally variations in the color of the raw material used during manufacturing, which is a normal occurrence. This is due to natural color variations in the source of the Vitamin C – generally, you will find C supplements to range in color from a light tan color to a light gray color.
Over the course of the shelf-life of a Vitamin C supplement, oxidation can cause a slight change in color, so you may find the light tan C-1000 you bought has changed to a darker tan six months later. This is a normal occurrence, and the product is safe to use up until the expiration date, and even beyond. NOW® is generally conservative with expiration dates, so a Vitamin C product is still safe after the date, it just may not be as effective due to oxidation.
Why does your Ester-C Complex say 625mg on the front of the label but list 500mg on the Supplement Facts panel? The key word is “complex”. Ester-C Complex is a combination of ascorbic acid (natural Vitamin C) and Calcium Ascorbate, which ultimately yields 500 total mg of Vitamin C. It is complexed with Calcium Ascorbate and other metabolites for greater absorption and faster utilization by your body. So the total complex is 625mg of Ester-C Complex, which yields 500mg of natural Vitamin C as ascorbic acid.
NOW Ester-C Pure Powder states the serving size is ½ teaspoon. How much Vitamin C am I getting with this serving size? ½ teaspoon of Ester-C Pure Powder is equivalent to 2000mg of natural Vitamin C and 250mg of Calcium.
Can I pour the powder in NOW® Vitamin C capsules into a liquid instead of swallowing the capsule? Many people do not want to or cannot swallow capsules, tablets or softgels, for various reasons. Encapsulated Vitamin C products from NOW® can be opened and dumped into a liquid for consumption. Juice or water is recommended if you choose this method. However, taking Vitamin C with water on an empty stomach is the recommended method of ingestion. We do not recommend trying this method with Vitamin C in tablet form, although you can grind or smash a tablet into powder form and add to water or juice. If you choose to do this, use a mortar and pestle for best results and minimal loss of product. Why go through the trouble when NOW® carries Vitamin C in a powdered form already. Save yourself time and trouble by ordering this form instead. Disclaimer: This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Glucosamine & Chondroitin - JOINT HEALTH
December 22, 2005 09:30 AM