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Eat This Herb To Improve Your Mood and Memory, Regulate Blood Pressure, Boost Immunity and More!
April 04, 2018 01:17 PM
Basil is a very common herb used around the world as a flavoring, from Italian cuisine to Thai cuisine, it is ubiquitous. This herb may have a link to improving mood and memory, as well as other health benefits. The key is its flavonoids. These chemicals are known for their antiseptic, detoxifying and other properties, such as soothing. This calming herb is just as perfect on a margarita pizza as it is to help alleviate your cough.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m0oVnKkmBvo&rel=0
Four good reasons to keep oil of oregano around at all times
July 20, 2017 12:14 PM
Oregano is an herb. It is found in many Italian dishes. You can buy it fresh or dried. You can also get oil of oregano. This talks about that specifically. It gives reasons to keep that on hand. There are four good reasons which will make you want to go out and find this for yourself. You'll like using this natural product instead of having to take meds. Not everyone likes those because of their possible interactions with otehr meds and with the body in general.
"Do you carry a bottle of oregano oil with you? Maybe you should."
Read more: http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-07-18-reasons-keep-oil-of-oregano-around-at-all-times.html
'Red Yeast Rice' Statin Alternative Not Harmless Either, Study Says
February 02, 2017 07:59 AM
If you suffer from high cholesterol, you are probably being prescribed a statin. Along with the effectiveness of statins to treat cholesterol issues, there is also the risk of side effects such as muscle and liver damage. For a while, red yeast rice has been recommended as a natural alternativeto prescribed statins. However, it has recently been found that this alternative choice can also increase muscle and liver injury. This is believed to be due to the fact that the active ingredient in each is monacolin K.
"Red yeast rice could increase risk of muscle injury or liver damage."
Anti-aging 'Holy Basil' herb supports natural detoxification
January 27, 2017 02:59 PM
Anyone who loves Italian food is probably aware of basil. Hindus actually view the plant as sacred and use it in many religious ways. However, Western herbalists are just now beginning to understand the power this herb has to detoxify and hold off aging. Indians already use basil to help with immunity and stress. It is this stress-relieving property that they believe to be the cause of its anti-aging properties. It also seems to have an effect on cortisol in the body. There is still much research that needs to be done on the subject.
"According to Ayurveda, holy basil can be used to boost mood, stamina and endurance by filling the body with a calming energy. It can help speed up slowed digestion or free up suppressed emotions."
Oregano Plant Is the Most Potent Antimicrobial In The world
Along with its culinary usage, oregano shows antimicrobial and antioxidant properties and possess probable activity like an antispasmodic and in diabetes. But there is no clinical proof to facilitate the usage of oregano in any signs. Normal or wild oregano is a perennial plant grown in the Mediterranean region and Asia. It is also cultivated in the United States. The creeping rootstock of oregano makes a downy, square, purplish stem with reverse ovate leaves. The plant stem also grows about 76cm tall. Purple two lipped flowers develop in terminal groups from July to October.
Features of Oregano
This plant has been a normal ingredient in Italy, Spain and Italian dishes like a spice and flavouring compound for several years. Its basic purpose was like a cautious digestive and circulatory stimulant. This plant has been availed in perfumery for the volatile oil materials, particularly in scenting soaps. The antiseptic feature of medicinal and aromatic plants and the extracts have been identified since antiquity. It has been recommended that an infusion of the new herb is useful in treating a collapsed stomach and indigestion, colic, headache and nervous problems as well as for some respiratory ailments. A mixture of the flowers has been utilized to avoid seasickness.
Uses of Oregano
The oil of this plant has been availed externally in lotions and liniments and to ease toothache. Oregano has been utilized like an ant repellent. Oregano has ursolic and oleanolic acids, hydroquinones, flavonoids, rosmarinic, caffeic,tannins, lithospermic acid and phenolic glycosides. The compounds of phenolic represent seventy one percent of the full oil. The carvacrol and polar phenols thymol are accountable for several of the properties of the necessary oil as well as terpinene and P-cymene. Research has compared the impacts of oregano necessary oil, carvacrol and thymol on fungi. All three totally reduced fungal development of aspergillus and penicillium species. The oil also seems to possess certain activity against Candida species, probably due to the reason of its carvacrol content.
The oregano volatile oil have explained in vitro antibacterial activity against different types of gram negative and gram positive microorganisms like pseudomonas, listeria, salmonella, proteus and clostridium species as well as certain methicillin resistant. There are different reports explaining antiparasitic activity of oregano. The origanum vulgare oil has been presented to remove normal parasites in pheasants and chickens. There are also some other Potent Antimicrobial seen in the world like clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, onion, garlic, anise, sassafras, ginger. These all have certain amount of antimicrobial properties in it.
Bergamot Oil: Uses and Health Benefits
February 13, 2014 05:55 AM
What is bergamot
Bergamot citrus or the bergamot orange is the fruit from which bergamot oil is derived. Taken from the peel of the fruit, the oil is pressed out of the rind through cold compression. The citrus originally came from tropical Asia but is now grown in Europe, mainly the southern part of Italy, but also in Morocco and the Ivory Coast. It takes name from an Italian city in Lombardy called Bergamot.
This oil has a long history of use as a food flavoring and perfume fragrance, but it also has several other less commonly known uses due to its therapeutic properties. The oil has been utilized as an analgesic, a stimulant, antidepressant, antiseptic, antibiotic, disinfectant, and as a circulatory and digestive aid.
By stimulating the production of hormones, bergamot oil deadens the nerves to pain. It is very effective for headaches, muscle pain and other pain ailments. Use of the oil can lower the need for over-the-counter (OTC) medications, therefore reducing a person's chance of liver damage or gastric upset caused by many OTC pain relievers. The oil also known to lower the body temperature, making it an excellent anti-febrile agent.
Produce both soothing and stimulating effects in the body, bergamot oil has been used as an anti-depressant and a metabolic stimulant. Components of the oil calm the nerves by increasing blood flow thereby creating pleasant feelings. By inducing secretion of certain hormones, bergamot oil helps the body to maintain a proper metabolic rate. It is also used in aromatherapy, specifically to calm anxiety during radiation treatments.
A natural antibacterial and anti-fungal agent, bergamot oil has long been used in the treatment of infections, including certain skin conditions such as acne and mycosis fungoides, a fungal infection that causes tumors on the skin. It has also been used to treat unitary tract, colon, respiratory and kidney infections as well as vaginal yeast infections cause by Candida albicans. Its antibiotic and disinfectant properties make this oil a perfect antiseptic for treating wounds, rashes and other topical conditions which could result in a nasty infection.
Using the oil will assist in the secretion of digestive enzymes and acid, therefore aiding in digestion and reducing gastrointestinal problems such as constipation, gas and bloating
By inhibiting the enzyme, HMG-CoA reductase, bergamot oil helps reduce the amount of "bad" cholesterol, LDL in the body and also dilates the blood vessels which assists in lowering blood pressure.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Saffron Extract?
March 26, 2012 08:01 AM
HEALTH BENEFITS OF SAFFRON EXTRACT
Saffron is one of the rarest and exotic spices found on the earth. Golden spice is the other name given to saffron, attributing to its reddish-golden color. It is the most common spice used in many Indian,Mediterranean and Italian cuisine. This culinary and exotic spice grows on a flowering plant- Crocus Sativa. It is grown in various countries around the world including many Asian and European countries. Areas with hot dry summers and wet springs are the most suitable areas for growing Saffron. While saffron is popular for its flavor, color and fragrance, this rare spice also, has many medicinal and health benefits. Saffron is a very expensive spice and this is mainly because of the fact, that for making 1gram of Saffron strands 150 flowers are required.
Mineral present in Saffron extract -
Saffron extract contains high amounts of copper, magnesium, calcium, zinc, potassium, iron, and selenium. It is also a rich source of various vitamins like- vitamin A, B2 and C, niacin and folic acid. Apart from these Saffron also contains carotenoid compounds - crocetin, lycopeneand, safranel and crocin.
The various health benefits of Saffron are -
1) Cancer Treatment- Because of the presence of crocetin and carotenoid in Saffron, it has anti-mutagenic and anti-tumor properties. Several studies on Saffron extract have proved that Saffron extract delays papilloma carcinogenisis and tumor growth. Because of all these properties, Saffron extract can be used for treating and preventing skin cancer, liver cancer and sarcoma.
2) Anti-inflammatory properties- Saffron have anti-inflammatory properties and therefore it can be used in treatment of arthritis and other inflammatory diseases. It is capable of controlling inflammation and healing cuts and burns faster.
3) Potent aphrodisiac- For last many centuries, Saffron has been used as a “POTENT APHRODISIAC” inPersiaand many other Arabian countries. It can increase libido and improve erectile dysfunction by increasing the flow of blood in the pelvic region.
4) Eye Care- Several studies have proved that Saffron extract can treat certain eye problems like- macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa. Saffron also protects the eyes from the harmful effects UV rays.
5) Anti-Depressants- Saffron extract can also be used in the treatment of patients suffering from depression. Researches have shown that Saffron gives equal results as given by therapeutic drugs like imipramine and fluoxetine.
6) Painkiller- Saffron extract can be used for treating many severe painful conditions like- stomach pain, menstrual pain, and kidney pain.
7) Weight loss- Researches have shown that Saffron can suppress the feeling of hunger, by controlling the percentage of serotonin content in the blood. Therefore, Saffron is used in many weight loss programs, as it can reduce the compulsion to eat and feelings of hunger.
8) Skin- Saffron contains antioxidants, and therefore it is used in many beauty and anti-aging treatments.
9) Saffron during Pregnancy- During pregnancy, women are advised to drink Saffron milk, in order to enhance their pelvic blood flow. Also, due to its Carminative properties it helps in suppressing cramps.
Gas and bloating are very common problems during pregnancy and just one glass of Saffron milk can reduce flatulence and ease digestion.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Saffron Extract?
February 23, 2012 07:08 AM
Saffron is an expensive spice that is commonly used to add color and flavor to food. It is used in many cuisine especially Mediterraean, Italian and Indian. The high cost of saffron is due to the fact that 150 flowers are required to make 1 g of saffron strands. This culinary spice grows on aflowering plant, Crocus Sativa. It is grown in Southwest Asia, especially in areas with wet springs and hot dry summers.It contains high amounts of minerals such as copper, calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron and selenium. It is a rich source of vitamins such as vitamins A, C and B2, folic acid and niacin. Saffron contains carotenoidcompounds- crocin, crocetin, lycopeneand safranel, which are known to possess many health benefits. This expensive herb not only adds flavor to food but also offers variety of health benefits.
Spices have been used as medicines for centuries because of their anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and anti-oxidant properties. Therapeutic usage of saffron is 3000 years ago when it was used as an natural aphrodisiac. Some of the health benefits of saffron extract are:
1. Saffron contains anti-tumour and anti-mutagenicproperties due to the presence of carotenoid, crocetin. Studies on mice indicated that saffron extract delays tumor growth and delays papilloma carcinogenisis and inhibits squamous cell carcinoma. It helps in treating and preventing certain types of cancer such as skin cancer, sarcoma and liver cancer.
2. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, saffron can control inflammation in the body and speed up the healing of burns and cuts. It helps in treating arthritis and other inflammatory joint diseases.
3. For thousands of years in Persian and other Arabian countries, saffron was used as a potent aphrodisiac. It was used to increase libido and erectile dysfuntionby improving the blood flow to the pelvic region. It was also used to treat many female health conditions.
4. Studies have shown the effects of saffron on several eye conditions. Saffron extract helps to slow down retinitis pigmentosa and macular degenration. It alsoprotects the eye from direct effect of bright light.
5. Saffron has been proved to be effective in treating mild to moderate depression. According to studies, saffron has shown equivalent results as given by therapeutic doses of fluoxetine and imipramine., anti-depressants.
6. Saffron acts as a painkiller in treating many painful conditions such as kidney pain, stomach pain and menstrual pain.
7. According to French researchers, saffron extract can reduce the hunger in between meals. It does that by controlling the levels of serotonin in the blood, which is responsible for signaling hunger pangs. Studies have found the effects of saffron on weight loss by reducing feelings of hunger and compulsion to eat between meals.
8. Some animal studies on saffron indicate cognitive enhancement and improved memory . However human trials are still to be conducted to find out the potential effects of saffron on memory. It is believed that regular use of saffron can delay demetia and prevent Alzheimer's disease.
9. It is used in many cosmetics such as skin lightening agents.
A sprinkle of Saffron extract not just adds spice to your food, but also prevents many health conditions.
How Do Carbohydrate Blockers Like White Kidney Bean Extract Work?
February 19, 2012 08:14 AM
Weight Loss And Carb Blockers
With so many weight loss products available in the market, it becomes difficult to find the right one that actually works. Many dieters are turning to starch blockers such as White Kidney beans that help in reducing the absorption of carbs in the body, hence getting rid of extra flab. Let us look at the science behind starch or cabohydrate blockers.
How does Carbohydrate Blocker work?
Starch is the non-nutritious and empty calorie form of carbohydrate that is found in bread, pasta, rice and potatoes. These evil foods have become the staple diet of many people. During the process of digestion, all the forms of carbohydrates are converted in to simple sugars. Sugar is further metabolised for energy, and excess sugar is stored either in the muscle tissue and liver or in the form of fat deposits. This breaking down of carbs is done with the help of an enzyme, alpha amylase. Recent studies have found that some substances contain specific ingredients that help in blocking the enzyme amylase. This ingredient is known as Phase 2 Carb Controller and it blocks tha action or function of alpha amylase. This results in slowing down of absorption and digestion processes. This reduces conversion of extra sugar in to fat and hence reduces calorie impact. So actually it is not starch blocker, as they do not block everything; rather it is starch enzymen blocker.
White Kidney Beans as Carbohydrate blocker:
White kidney beans are large beans that can be used to prepare soup and pasta dishes and other Italian dishes. They are also called cannellini beans and have a mild delicious flavor. It has been studies that white kidney beans contain a specific ingredient called Phase 2 Carb Controller that helps in blocking the action of enzyme alpha amylase. According to the latest studies, white kidney beans may help the body stop carbs from breaking down in to sugars, hence there is no excess sugar to get converted in to fat. Experts say that Phase 2 Carb Controller selectively targets only the starchy white component of carbohydrates and do not affect the digestion of healthy carbohydrates such as whole grains and fruits. It inhibits body's digestion of specific complex carbs, which are then eliminated from the body. This helps you get rid of unhealthy stored fat, giving you healthy, fat free body.
What are the other benefits of White kidney beans that may assist in weight loss:
According to studies, white kidney beans also help in regulating the blood sugar levels. Normal blood sugar levels do not require breakdown of complex carbs and this also helps in losing weight.
White kidney beans also contain high amounts of fibre, which aids in digestion and keeps you satisfied, thereby avoiding untimely bingeing of high calorie snacks.
Other health benefits of White kidney beans:
White kidney beans are useful in lowering triglycerides, coronary artery disease and degenerative arthritis.
Clinical studies on white kidney beans or starch blockers have shown that carbohydrate blocker do allow complex carbs to pass through the small intestine undigested. Research is still going on to find the further action of Phase 2 Carb Controller present in white kideny beans in losing weight.
August 20, 2009 05:32 PM
Anise is a flowering plant that is part of the Apiaxeae family. It is native to the eastern Mediteranean region and southwest Asia. It is known for its flavor, which resembles licorice, fennel, and tarragon. The anise plant is an herbaceous annual plant that grows to three feet tall. The leaves are at the base of the plant and are very simple. They are about two to five centimeters long and shallowly lobed. The leave higher on the stems are feathery pinnate and divided into numerous leaves. The flowers of the anise plant are white and about three millimeters in diameter. They are produced in dense umbels. The anise fruit is an oblong dry schizocarp that is about three to five millimeters in length. The seedpods are referred to as aniseed. Anise is usually used as food by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species, such as butterflies and moths. Among these are the lime-speck pug and the wormwood pug.
The best growth for the anise plant can be found in light, fertile, well drained soil. The plants should be started from seeds as soon as the ground warms up in the spring. Because the anise plants have a taproot, they do not transplant well after they are established. For this reason, the plants should be started where they are to grow, or transplanted while the seedlings are still small.
Anise is sweet and very aromatic. It can be distinguished by its licorice-like flavor. It is widely used in a variety of regional and ethnic confectioneries, including British Aniseed balls, Austrailain Humbugs, New Zealand Aniseed wheels, Italian pizzelle, German pfeffernusse and springerle, Netherland Muisjes, Norwegian knots, and Peruvian Picarones. Anise is a key ingredient in Mexican “atole de anis” which is similar to hot chocolate. It is taken as a digestive after meals in India.
Anise was used in ancient Rome as flavoring. However, it contains nutrients like calcium and iron. This herb was added to foods to prevent indigestion when eating large quantities of food. Additionally, it was used to help with bad breath. Hippocrates recommended this herb to relieve both coughs and congestion.
Anise is used to help remove excess mucus from the alimentary canal and the mucus that is associated with coughs. It is used to stimulate the appetite, relieve digestive problems, and treat colic pain. Some herbalists recommend that anise be used for stimulating the glands and vital organs. Among these organs are the heart, liver, lungs, and brain. Additionally, it helps to normalize estrogen levels.
The oil and seeds of the anise plant are used to provide anodyne, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, aromatic, carminative, diaphoretic, digestive, diuretic, expectorant, galactagogue, stimulant, and stomachic properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are B vitamins, calcium, choline, iron, magnesium, and potassium. Primarily, anise provides extraordinary benefits in treating colds, colic, coughs, gas, indigestion, absent lactation, excessive mucus, and pneumonia.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with loss of appetite, breath odor, emphysema, epilepsy, nausea, and nervous disorders. It is important to speak with a health care professional before considering supplementing with any nutrient in order to obtain the best results while on medications. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by anise, please feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store.
May 15, 2009 01:08 PM
Basil is a common seasoning that can be found in many kitchens all over the world. This herb is often used to make pesto and to flavor soups, stews, and other foods. Additionally, basil has been used for a long amount of time throughout the world for medicinal purposes. This herb is especially used in Asia and Africa, along with India, where it is thought to be a sacred herb. Basil has been used to treat exhaustion, as it works as a stimulant to promote energy. This herb has antibacterial properties and may help to draw out poisons from stings and bites.
Basil is a low-growing herb that is prominently featured in Italian cuisine. This herb is also a huge part of Southeast Asian cuisines like those of Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos. The plant has a similar taste to that of anise, but has a pungent and sweet smell. There are multiple varieties of basil, with the one most typically used in Italian food being sweet basil. Asia, on the other hand, uses Thai basil, lemon basil, and holy basil. Although most types of basil are considered to be annuals, some are perennial and grow in warm, tropical climates. These include the African Blue and Holy Thai basil. Originally native to Iran, India, and other tropical regions of Asia, basil has been cultivated for more than 5,000 years.
The basil plant grows between 30-130 cm tall and has light green, silky leaves that are approximately 3-11 cm long and 1-6 cm broad. The flowers are very big and white in color. They arrange themselves along the plant in a spike shape. The basil plant is extremely sensitive to cold, as it grows best in hot, dry conditions. If there is any chance of frost, the plant will behave as an annual. This plant only grows well in Northern Europe, Canada, the northern states of the U.S., and the South Island of New Zealand if it is grown under glass in a pot, and planted outdoors in late spring or early summer, when there is little chance of a frost. The plant does its best in well-drained sunny places.
Basil is not only a flavoring, but a definite source of health benefits. One study done by the University of Baroda in India found basil to help to lower fasting blood glucose, cholesterol, and triglyercide levels significantly. Basil may also help non-insulin-dependent diabetics to control their diabetes. Additional research has found that basil can also be useful for killing intestinal parasites, treating acne, and stimulating the immune system.
The leaves of basil are used to provide anthelmintic, antibacterial, antispasmodic, demulcent, diaphoretic, diuretic, febrifuge, galactagogue, stimulant, and stomachic properties. The primary nutrients found in basil are calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamins A, D, and B2. Primarily, basil is very beneficial in treating insect and snake bites, colds, headaches, indigestion, absence of lactation, and whooping cough. Additionally, basil can be extremely helpful in dealing with intestinal catarrh, constipation, stomach cramps, fevers, flu, kidney problems, nervous disorders, respiratory infections, rheumatism, urinary problems, vomiting, and worms. For more information on the many health benefits of basil, feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store.
Natural Sweeteners Vs. Artificial Sweeteners
April 30, 2009 10:16 AM
Artificial sweeteners are food additives intended to replace the sweetness of sugar without the calorie intake. There are also natural sweeteners that can replace sugar, so which should you choose? Natural sweeteners such as sugar, honey and grape juice are well known, although there are also the less well known, but much more effective, sucanat and stevia.
Sucanat is dried unrefined cane sugar, and unlike refined sugar retains the molasses. Stevia, on the other hand, is a shrub, native to Paraguay, the leaf of which contains a non-sucrose sweetener, 300 times the sweetness of sugar, and which is not absorbed by the body. It is a sweetener pure and simple, with no proven health issues. It is also Japan's most popular sugar substitute.
Artificial sweeteners have been known for many years, the first and best known being benzoic sulfanide, known to you as saccharin. The health risks of saccharin have been the subject of debate for over 100 years and have yet to be resolved. Studies had shown it to cause cancer in rats, and it was placed on a list of known or suspected carcinogens.
It has been banned for use in the USA, but that was lifted by the FDA in 1991, and in 2000 saccharin has no longer required a health warning label. The issue appears to have been resolved by rats metabolizing saccharin in a way not possible in humans. However, many are still suspicious of it, and if you don't trust a food additive then do not voluntarily consume it.
The top two artificial sweeteners in the USA are sucralose and aspartame. Sucralose, discovered in the UK in 1976, is the less emotive of the two, and is chemically the chlorocarbon trichlorogalactosucrose, produced by chlorination of sucrose and 600 times as sweet. It should be stressed that a chlorocarbon is totally different to a chlorinated hydrocarbon. It is generally considered safe to use, although it is very slow rate of degradation in waste water has raised concerns that concentrations could increase with increasing popularity of the sweetener.
According to' Sweet Deception', the book states sucralose to be discovered during the search for an insecticide, and is produced when sugar is treated with acetic anhydride, hydrogen chloride and trityl chloride among others in the presence of toluene, MIBK and dimethyl formamide among other solvents. Although marketed as coming from a natural source, it is anything but natural.
Aspartame was developed by G.D. Searle, and its approval by the FDA has been a matter of concern for many years. Promoted by Donald Rumsfeld, then CEO of Searle, he "called in his markers" to have the substance approved, which was not one of the more glorious moments in America's history.
It is used in over 6,000 products, most household names, yet was based on "inconclusive and incompetent science" according to detractors. In 1981, on the day of his inauguration, Ronald Regan suspended the powers of the FDA on aspartame, and then a month later appointed a new FDA head, Arthur Hayes, who immediately licensed the substance. Donald Rumsfeld was on President Regan's team.
There is a strong body of evidence that aspartame is toxic to humans, although the official evidence has discredit such studies. Recent evidence that linked aspartame to cancer has been stated as irrelevant to humans. In spite of the concerns, the substance has been approved, not only in the USA but also by the European Union. This might call into question the relevance of studies to humans, but many still believe that commercial considerations are behind these decisions.
In fact, an extensive study carried out by the Italian European Ramazzini Foundation, showed that aspartame can cause a significant increase in cancers and leukemias in rats at well below the doses allowed by the EU or the US. This substance required further study by bodies with no vested interest in the outcome.
Those that believe so point to the stevia situation. This natural sweetener is banned for use as a food additive in the EU, and cannot be sold as sweetener due to the FDA not recognizing it as such. It has also been banned in Hong Kong, even though it is the sweetener of choice in Japan, with no apparent side-effects becoming endemic in that country. The USA might not approve stevia as a sweetener, but it is considering lifting its ban on cyclamate.
Cyclamate was banned by the FDA due to tests on rats indicating a possibly carcinogenic effect, but no more positive than those on aspartame. Cyclamate is permitted in Canada, where saccharin is not, and also in the UK, but not throughout the EU.
It is obvious, then, looking at the various claims and counter-claims, and the conflicting legislation between civilized countries, that the artificial sweetener industry is wrought with uncertainty. In the past, it is almost certain that commercial considerations have come before the health of the nation, and that does not engender confidence.
In fact, the only sane approach to take at this time would be to avoid artificial sweeteners altogether, and stay natural. That is not to claim that natural products are safe to eat - far from it! Many of the most virulent poisons are natural, but the well-used natural sweeteners appear to be safer at this time than any of those artificially manufactured.
There might be objections to this where diabetes is concerned, and Canada, while banning saccharin for normal use, still allows it for use by diabetics. This is the one of the two major bodies that promotes the use of artificial sweeteners: the diabetic lobby and the weight loss lobby.
It is difficult to question the obesity and weight problem that America has while at the same time arguing against the use of artificial sweeteners. However, don't forget that stevia is widely used in Japan with no reported health problems, and stevia is a natural sweetener that is permitted for use as a food additive, and that is not absorbed by the body.
However, there is also a recent 2005 study that has indicated that diet drinks containing artificial sweeteners might fool your body into believing that the sweet taste is promising energy, and when it doesn't materialize, you feel hungry and eat more. This has been supported by animal studies.
These have shown convincingly that the sensation of sweetness induces the production of insulin with resulting hypoglycemia because there is no actual increase in blood sugar. This induces increased food intake. This has been proved with rats, and also proved was the fact that the natural response of eating less at the next meal, after sugary food, was gradually diminished in animals fed non-calorific sweeteners.
The choice is yours, but it would seem advisable to stick to natural sweeteners for the time being, at least until the studies carried out are in concurrence as opposed to offering conflicting results depending upon who is doing the testing.
Regulating Blood Pressure Naturally
March 28, 2007 10:29 AM
Regulating Blood Pressure Naturally
High blood pressure (also known as hypertension) affects about 65 million Americans, or about 1 in 3 adults. There are many potential causes of hypertension, but not necessarily any symptoms. In fact, 30% of the people who have high blood pressure don’t even realize it.
In other words, just because you don’t have symptoms doesn’t mean you don’t have high blood pressure. That’s why it’s called “The Silent Killer.” And, make no mistake about it: high blood pressure is dangerous. It is the number one modifiable cause of stroke. Just lowering blood pressure reduces the chance of stroke by 35 to 40 percent. Other conditions, including heart attack and heart failure can be reduced from 25 to 50 percent, respectively.
In this issue of Ask the Doctor, we’re going to talk about high blood pressure and an exciting natural treatment for lowering blood pressure safely and effectively.
Of course, changing blood pressure numbers depends, in a large part, on the choices we make every day – how much we exercise, the foods we eat, and our lifestyle overall. But, for those times we need extra help, there is a new, scientifically-studied supplement to help us along our path to better health and lower blood pressure.
Blood pressure guidelines from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
Q. What exactly is blood pressure?
A. Blood pressure is divided into two parts, systolic and diastolic. Systolic is the pressure of the heart beating. Diastolic is the pressure of the heart and vessels filling. When blood pressure numbers are written out, like “120/80,” 120 is the systolic pressure and 80 is the diastolic pressure. The unit of measurement for blood pressure is millimeters of mercury, written as “mm/Hg.”
Q. What is considered high blood pressure?
A. A person’s blood pressure can naturally vary throughout the day – even between heartbeats.
However, if the numbers are consistently high (over 120 systolic and 80 diastolic), after multiple visits to your healthcare practitioner, you may have either pre-hypertension or high blood pressure.
Young arteries and arteries that are kept young through healthy diet and exercise are typically more elastic and unclogged. Blood flows through them easily and without much effort. However, as we age, our arteries become more prone to plaque buildup (due to diets high in saturated fat and sedentary lifestyles) and don’t “flex” as well under pressure. The result is faster blood flow, all the time. Over the long term, it damages heart tissue, arteries, kidney and other major organs.
To get a better idea of high blood pressure, compare your arteries to a garden hose. When unblocked, a garden hose allows water to flow through it quickly and easily – without any real rush or stress. However, if you block the end of the hose with your thumb, closing it off even a little, water rushes out much more quickly.
For many years, high diastolic pressure was considered even more of a threat than high systolic pressure. That thinking has changed somewhat but high diastolic numbers could still mean organ damage in your body – especially for individuals under 50.
Q. What courses high blood pressure?
A. The reasons for hypertension aren’t always clear. However, there are lifestyle factors that contribute to high blood pressure that you can change:
Body type: Weight isn’t always a reliable indicator of whether or not you’ll have high blood pressure – but the type of weight is. Lean body mass – muscle – doesn’t increase blood pressure levels the way that fat can. However, fat body mass, especially fat around your middle, can contribute to high blood pressure.
Sedentary lifestyle: Too often, many of us sit down all day at work, and then sit down all night at home. Over time, this inactivity usually leads to weight gain, making the heart work harder to pump blood through the body. In a way, it almost seems contradictory, but inactivity usually leads to higher heart rates.
Sodium intake: Sometimes it’s hard to believe how much salt there is in processed foods. However, salt intake in itself is not necessarily bad. For people with a history of congestive heart failure, ischemia, and high blood pressure, sodium is definitely out. For those individuals, it leads to more water retention, which increases blood pressure. (Salt’s effect on water retention is one reason that so many sports drinks have fairly high sodium content – the sodium in the drink prevents your body from sweating out too much water.) But, for healthy individuals, moderate salt intake, especially a mixed mineral salt like sea salt or Celtic salt (good salt should never be white) is fine.
Low potassium intake: Unlike sodium, potassium is a mineral which most Americans get too little of. Potassium helps regulate the amount of sodium in our cells, expelling excess amounts through the kidneys. Low levels of this mineral can allow too much sodium to build up in the body.
Heavy alcohol intake: Having three or more alcoholic drinks a day (two or more for women) nearly doubles an individual’s chance of developing high blood pressure. Over time, heavy drinking puts a lot of stress on the organs, including the heart, liver, pancreas and brain.
Unhealthy eating: Eating a lot of processed or fatty foods contributes to high blood pressure. Adapting a diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grain products, fish, nuts and magnesium and potassium (like the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, known as the “DASH” diet) can bring it back down.
Smoking: If you smoke, stop. Smoking damages the heart and arteries – period. Nicotine constricts blood vessels, increases heart rate, and raises blood pressure. This in turn, increases hormone production and adrenaline levels, further stressing the body.
As if that weren’t bad enough, the carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke replaces the oxygen in the blood, making the heart work even harder to make up the difference. Since the effect of a single cigarette can last for an hour, smoking throughout the day leads to continuously revved-up blood pressure.
Some of these factors might sound like a lot to overcome. The important thing to remember is that all of these behaviors are changeable. If you have high blood pressure, modifying any of these can significantly lower blood pressure as part of an overall plan.
Q. What are the blood pressure numbers I should see?
A. Experts consider healthy blood pressure numbers to be 115/75 mm/Hg. The reason? They found that the risk of cardiovascular disease doubles at each increment of 20/10 mmHg over 115/75 mm/Hg. Even small jumps in blood pressure numbers increase the risk of stroke and heart attack.
Q. Okay, so other than diet, exercise and lifestyle changes are there other natural ways or supplements I can use to lower my blood pressure?
A. Yes, in fact, you hear about some of them in the news all the time – fish oil, CoQ10, and garlic. As effective as these symptoms are, they typically lower systolic pressure much more than diastolic pressure.
However, there is a blend of scientifically and clinically studied natural ingredients that lower high blood pressure separately, and work even better when they’re combined. This combination blend contains: dandelion leaf extract, lycopene, stevia extract, olive leaf extract and hawthorn extract.
Every one of these ingredients has been studied and recommended for years. But now, a scientific study on a supplement that combines them in one synergistic formula shows encouraging results for lowering systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Let’s take a look at each:
Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) originated in
The leaf of stevia is considered the medicinal part of the plant. Research shows that extracts of the leaf relax arteries and help prevent the buildup of calcium on artery walls – keeping them healthy and reducing blood pressure.
In a long-term, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical study, stevia reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure. On average, participants’ blood pressure reduced from baseline 150 mm/Hg to 140 mm/Hg systolic and 95 mm/Hg to 89 mm/Hg diastolic.
And, in another double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study, stevia lowered blood pressure quite significantly – by an average of 14 millimeters of mercury in both systolic and diastolic readings. Those are impressive numbers!
Despite its role as a sweetener, stevia may have a side benefit to for those with hypertension – blood sugar regulation. Scientific studies show that extracts of stevia regulated blood sugar and reduced blood pressure.
A clinical study showed that stevia extract actually improved glucose tolerance by decreasing plasma glucose levels during the test and after overnight fasting in all participants. Regulating blood sugar is very important for those with high blood pressure. When blood sugar levels are high, blood vessels are inflamed. Many people with diabetes have high blood pressure as well. In a paired, cross-over clinical study, stevioside (one of the compounds in stevia) reduced glucose levels in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Further scientific studies show that stevia works to control blood sugar levels by stimulating insulin secretion by the pancreatic beta cells. It shows great potential in treating type 2 diabetes. Further scientific studies show that stevia works to control blood sugar levels by stimulating insulin secretion by the pancreatic beta cells. Its shows great potential in treating type 2 diabetes as well as hypertension.
Hawthorn (Crataegus spp. Oxycantha) has been used since ancient ties as a medicinal herb – even being mentioned by the Greek herbalist Dioscorides, in the first century AD. Traditionally, it has generally been used for support of the heart. Modern research points to bioflavonoid-like complexes in hawthorn leaf and flower that seem to be most responsible for its benefits on cardiac health, like blood vessel elasticity.
The bioflavonoids found in hawthorn include oligomeric procyanidins, vitexin, quercetin, and hyperoside. They have numerous benefits on the cardiovascular system. Hawthorn can improve coronary artery blood flow and the contractions of the heart muscle. Scientific studies show that the procyanidins in hawthorn are responsible for its ability to make the aorta and other blood vessels more flexible and relaxed, so that blood pumps more slowly and with less effort – sparing the cardiovascular system such a hard workout.
The procyanidins in hawthorn also have antioxidant properties – protecting against free radical cellular damage.
And, hawthorn may also inhibit angiotensin-converting enzyme. Angiotensin-converting enzyme is responsible for retaining sodium and water, and may have roots in our evolutionary development. It influences blood vessel contraction and dilation, sodium and water balance and heart cell development – just about everything that has to do with blood pressure. This may have developed as a way of dealing with periods of drought and stress. By narrowing the blood vessels, the body could guarantee an adequate supply of blood and focus on repairing tissue.
Unfortunately, that can lead to real problems these days. Since many of us live in an industrialized society, and frequently have pretty sedentary lifestyles, conserving sodium just makes the conditions for high blood pressure that much worse.
Like the other ingredients in this combination, hawthorn showed benefits on other body systems, too. In clinical and scientific studies, it not only lowered blood pressure, but also showed anti-anxiety properties and regulated blood sugar.
Olive leaf extract:
Olive leaf (Olea europaea) comes up again and again in scientific and clinical studies as having beneficial effects on hypertension. One of olive leaf’s most beneficial compounds is oleuropein – the same compound that makes olive oil so helpful in reducing blood pressure. Here again, we have to look at the traditional Mediterranean diet, which features voluminous use of olives and olive oil. Not surprisingly, blood pressure is generally much lower in Greek and Italian populations.
But it’s not just the diet – scientific studies showed that oleuropein lowered blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels and prevented buildup of plaque in arteries. Plus, whether in olive leaf extract or in olive oil, oleuropein works as an antioxidant, too.
Dandelion leaf extract:
Dandelion (Taraxacum offinale) leaves provide a healthy supply of vitamins, much like spinach. In fact, although it has become the bane of North American gardeners and lawn owners, dandelion greens are a component of many gourmet salads.
Medicinally, dandelion has been used for centuries, dating back to ancient
They are a very rich source of vitamin A, and contain vitamin D, vitamin C, carious B vitamins, iron, silicon, magnesium, zinc and manganese, too. Dandelion leaves produce a diuretic effect in the body, similar to a prescription drug. Since one of dandelion leaf’s traditional uses was the treatment of water retention, it’s really not too surprising. Dandelion leaf is also rich in potassium – one of the vital minerals many Americans lack in their diet. So, even though it may act as a diuretic, it replaces more potassium than the body expels.
The diuretic effect of dandelion can relieve hypertension by drawing excess water and sodium from the body and releasing it through the kidneys as urine. Getting rid of extra water and sodium allows the blood vessels to relax – lowering blood pressure.
If a nutrient can be called exciting, lycopene is it. Lycopene is found mostly in tomatoes and processed tomato products, like pasta and pizza sauce. Related to beta-carotene lycopene shows great antioxidant abilities among its many talents. In fact, it shows even greater free-radical scavenging properties than beta-carotene, its more famous cousin. Healthy intakes of lycopene can guard against a variety of chronic conditions, including lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol, lowering homocysteine levels and reducing blood platelet stickiness that can lead to clogged arteries. It’s even being studied for its protective effect against prostate cancer.
And, for proof, you don’t have to look too far to see the amazing effect lycopene intake can have on health. The Mediterranean diet provides an excellent example. Its high intakes of vegetables, (tomatoes, of course, playing a central role) fish, and whole grains improve cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure. The research on lycopene as a stand-alone nutrient has been compelling. A randomized clinical trial found that not having enough lycopene was associated with early thickening of the arteries.
So, it makes sense that other clinical trials, showed that higher intakes of lycopene frequently meant less thickening of arteries, and a reduced risk of heart attack. In one study, the risk of heart attack was 60% lower in individuals with the highest levels of lycopene. In a multicenter study, similar results were found – men with the highest levels of lycopene had a 48% lower risk of heart attack.
Q. What can I expect taking this herbal combination?
A. You should notice both systolic and diastolic numbers lowering in about two weeks. The scientific study showed that for pre-hypertensive and stage I, (early hypertensive individuals) this combination for ingredients lowers both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
When you’re taking herbs to support your blood pressure, it’s important to keep it monitored so you have an accurate reading (and record) of your numbers. If you need to, you can pick up a home blood pressure monitoring device. These can retail for anywhere from $30 all the way up to $200, but buying one in the $30 to $50 range is a good idea and money well spent. Consider taking the machine to your local doctor’s office or fire department to have it tested for accuracy against a professional blood pressure monitor. See the chart below for tips on getting an accurate reading from a home monitor.
Tips for Accurate Blood Pressure Monitoring:
-Relax for about 5 to 10 minutes before measurement.
-If you have just come inside from cold outdoors allow yourself to warm up.
-Remove tight-fitting clothing and jewelry.
-Unless your physician recommends otherwise, use left arm to measure pressure.
-Sit, don’t stand.
-Remain still and do not talk while using the monitor.
Q. Are there any side effects?
A. There were no side effects noted in the study. However, because of the mild diuretic effect of dandelion leaf extract, you may notice an increase in trips to the bathroom. It’s always important to make sure you don’t get dehydrated, so you may want to drink more water during the day.
High blood pressure doesn’t happen overnight. As we get older, the likelihood of developing hypertension increases. And, stressful, fast-forward lifestyles, bad diets and no exercise conspire to raise our blood pressure.
In my own practice I have helped patients move toward a healthier lifestyle, including diet, exercise, and blood-pressure reducing supplements. They live better, more vibrant lives as a result, and their blood pressure normalizes. It really can happen – you can bring your blood pressure back to normal, and this combination of scientifically and clinically validated ingredients can help.
Oil of Oregano – The Natural Antiseptic
March 08, 2007 02:39 PM
Oregano is an aromatic herb that grows in the Mediterranean region, and is cultivated in many areas of the world. It is a member of the Lamiaceae or mint family, a plant family recognized for square stems and opposing pairs of leaves. The ancient Greek’s original name for this plant, “oreganos”, translated to “Delight of the Mountains”. It earns this name because the fragrance that is exuded, which has been described as complex, warm and spicy. The Greeks believed that if their cows ate oregano, it gave the meat a better flavor. Today, Oregano is recognized internationally as a culinary spice. It is a popular herb with Americans, especially in the distinctive aroma of Italian style cooking. Aromatic spices have been used through out the world for centuries for both their distinctive flavor and aroma as well as for their medicinal qualities.
Oregano is rich in vitamins and minerals including vitamin A and C, niacin, calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, potassium, copper, boron and manganese. In addition, the herb contains many active chemical constituents that provide beneficial support to our bodies, such as thymol and carvacrol these components strongly discourage the growth of microorganisms, as action recognized by traditional herbalists throughout history as well as supported by modern scientific research. Oregano additionally provides antioxidant activities, useful to offset the effects of free radical damage.
There is a lot of confusion about oregano, because there are many plants throughout the world that are called oregano. Marjoram is often referred to as oregano, because it is a close cousin to the “true” oregano, and the genus and species name of marjoram is Origanum marjorana. To add to the confusion, the plant called oregano in Spain, Thymus nummularius, is different than Mexican oregano, Lippia graveolens. It is important to be aware of this because different species have different chemical constituents. The active ingredient, carvacrol, is found in high amounts only in “true” oregano, origanum vulare, the exact species that vitamin supplement manufacture use.
It takes approximately 200 pounds of oregano to produce 2 pounds of oregano oil. This highly concentrated form provides you with a quality plant remedy containing all the important volatile oils intact, thus remaining true to maintaining the plant in its holistically balanced state.
Oregano oil is exceptional in its ability to destroy many different kinds of pathogenic (disease-causing) microorganisms. It has a stronger effect than commercial preparations of phenol, a well-recognized medical antiseptic. Disease causing microorganisms including bacteria, fungus, virus and parasites are involved in illnesses ranging from colds and flues to gingivitis of the gums, athlete’s foot and candida. Oregano oil has been shown in scientific studies to actively inhibit and destroy E. Coli, candida albacans and the bacteria’s that cause strep and staff infection. It has been used for diarrhea, intestinal gas and digestive problems, as well as sore throats and minor breathing difficulties in traditional herbology. Oil of Oregano can act as an immediate first aid for insect bites and minor cuts and scrapes as well as dandruff, diaper rash and other skin disorders.
Unlike pharmaceutical drug antibiotics, Oregano oil does not cause the development of resistant strains of bacteria. Although it is always possible for an individual to have an allergic reaction to any substance, there are no known adverse effects to Oil of oregano.
Try Oil of Oregano on the skin for external conditions such as athlete’s foot. A few drops can be diluted in a teaspoon of water and used to brush the gums to help with gingivitis. Due to its high concentration, suggested internal use is just four drops (Start with one drop) in a full glass of water, three times per day. Each four drop dose of Nature’s Answer Oil of Oregano provides 13mgs of Oregano oil, which is guaranteed to contain a minimum of 7mg of Carvacrol. It is also available from Nature’s Answer in soft gel form.
Pycnogenol: Heart, Blood Sugar and Cellular Health
November 03, 2006 12:16 PM
Pycnogenol (pronounced pic-nojen-all) is a natural plant extract originating from the bark of the maritime pine that grows along the coast of southwest France. Pycnogenol® consists of particularly bioactive flavonoid species and its purity is in strict accordance with the United States Pharmacopoeia. Pycnogenol® was initially developed 35 years ago in Europe. During the past years it evolved as one of the most thoroughly researched nutritional supplements, with over 200 studies published in peer-reviewed journals. Seventy of these studies were clinical with in total more than 4,000 patients. Pycnogenol® taken in dosages from 25mg to 300mg is well tolerated and Pycnogenol® was attributed “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) by the FDA.
Pycnogenol® supports healthy capillaries
The “Career” of Pycnogenol® began in Europe, where it was first used to maintain vein and capillary health. Pycnogenol® has been shown to strengthen blood vessel walls, with 15 clinical trials showing fast relief from ankle and foot discomfort. A recent study with 200 passengers on long-haul flights showed that Pycnogenol® taken before departure and again during the flight supports foot comfort and healthy circulation. Travelers typically comment that with Pycnogenol® it is much easier to put shoes on again upon arrival. Clinicians in Germany discovered that Pycnogenol® also supports healthy capillaries in the eyes. Retinal capillaries may be affected by imbalanced blood sugar levels. In a multi-center field study with 1169 subjects Pycnogenol® supported healthy capillaries in the retina and improved visual acuity to some extent.
Pycnogenol® benefits the cardiovascular system
More detailed investigation of the interaction of Pycnogenol® with blood vessel walls at the University of Florida, Tampa led to an amazing discovery. Pycnogenol® stimulates an enzyme in blood vessel walls that is responsible for generating the most important vascular mediator, known as “nitric oxide” (NO). NO triggers relaxation of the arteries and supports clear blood flow. Hence, NO is the body’s mediator for maintaining healthy blood pressure levels and circulation. NO plays such an important function for cardiovascular health that Dr. Louis Ignarro (UCLA) and his co-workers received the Nobel Prize for this discovery in 1987.
A number of factors, including aging, can interfere with the body’s efficient production of NO. Supplementation with Pycnogenol® for four weeks was shown to restore NO production and improve blood supply to the fingertips of elderly people in a Japanese study. Microscopic evaluation of blood vessel diameter at the root of fingernails showed an increased diameter of capillaries allowing better blood perfusion. Specific sensors applied to the legs showed increased oxygen and decreased carbon dioxide presence. Better blood, nutrient and oxygen supply with Pycnogenol® benefits everybody. Italian researchers were able to show that regular intake of Pycnogenol® helps defy muscle cramps and minor pain in athletes.
The relaxation of arteries has a favorable effect on blood pressure. In two clinical studies Pycnogenol® taken for at least eight weeks was found to significantly support normal blood pressure.
Pycnogenol® stimulated NO generation directly translates into clear blood flow. This was first demonstrated at the University of Arizona, Tucson in smokers. Pycnogenol® dose-dependently, starting at a single dose of 25mg, countered the typical effects of cigarette smoking on the blood. Also, Italian vascular specialists found that Pycnogenol® supported the circulation of individuals on flights between New York and London.
Pycnogenol® supports healthy blood sugar levels
Pycnogenol® can support normal glucose levels when taken as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle plan. A clinical investigation has confirmed the significant glucose-lowering effect of Pycnogenol®. It was noted that Pycnogenol® did not affect insulin levels. Pycnogenol® appears to facilitate previously insulin-resistant cells to uptake sugar from the blood stream by yet unknown mechanisms.
Pycnogenol® limits cellular irritation
Two clinical studies carried out in Germany this year with student volunteers demonstrated that Pycnogenol® has a potent effect in preventing cellular irritation. Pycnogenol® inhibits a molecular “main-switch” in immune cells that triggers the onset of cellular irritation in any part of the body. Moreover, Pycnogenol® was found to inhibit so-called COX enzymes, which are involved with minor pain-sensation related to cellular irritation.
Pycnogenol® sooths menstrual pain
Japanese gynecologists discovered in 1999 that regular supplementation with Pycnogenol® soothes the normal discomfort of menstrual pain, particularly during cramping. Another clinical investigation of 47 women in year 2004 confirmed the effect of Pycnogenol® in addressing menstrual pain. This year a double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-center field study with 116 women again confirmed these results. Pycnogenol® is not suitable for on-demand relief during menstruation. The studies show that Pycnogenol® reached highest efficacy when taken regularly for months.
Pycnogenol® helps to support respiratory health
Challenges to normal respiratory function may result from incidents the immune system perceives as harmful. Pycnogenol® offers valuable help in supporting respiration due to its immune-modulating effect and its ability to limit cellular irritation. A study at the University of Arizona found that Pycnogenol® supports clear breathing and lowers mediators of cellular irritation in the blood stream. More recently, a placebo-controlled clinical study at the University of California, Loma Linda described how Pycnogenol® supported healthy respiration in 60 children aged 6-18 years. Pycnogenol® needs to be taken continuously for prolonged periods of time for maximum benefit to the respiratory system.
Pycnogenol® is investigated in clinical trials all over the world. New findings are posted on the website www.pycnogenol.com.
Frank Schonlau Ph.D. is a biochemist who has spent nine years in medical research at the University Clinic of Munster Germany. His area of expertise covers vascular disorders, inflammation and dermatology. He has published more than 20 studies and review articles in the medical literature. Since entering the dietary field in 1999 he was involved in numerous studies on Pycnogenol® and communication of new health discoveries.
7-Syndrom Healing and 5-HTP
June 07, 2006 03:49 PM
Boomer Breakthrough – Keeping in the Game
If there is not thing boomers need to manage, its chronic stress. That’s because of its deleterious effects, which include accelerated aging and altered brain function. This month boomer breakthroughs will focus on 5-hydroxytryptophan or 5-htp, one of the most versatile and powerful anti-aging remedies. For starters, 5-htp is a more powerful antioxidant than either vitamin C or melatonin. This it deserves a place in ones daily vitamin regimen based on this fact alone. However, the better-known attribute of 5-htp is its stabilizing effects on the brain and nerves.
Mood, Anxiety and Depression
Chronic stress can lead to mood swings, anxiety, depression, poor memory, and reduced cognitive functions. Last month we recommended the Adaptogenic herbs Ashwagandha and Rhodiola as therapy for smoothing out periods of intense stress such as looming deadlines. For longer term stress supplementation with 5-htp is a better choice. That’s because extended periods of stress reduce brain levels of serotonin. Supplemental 5-htp is produced from the African plant Griffonia Simplicifolia and has over 30 years of safety and effectiveness in clinical use.
How do you know if you have low levels of serotonin? Persistent anxiety is one key and insomnia is another. 5-htp, an intermediary metabolite of serotonin, has proven to be clinically effective in reducing these disorders. Weight gain and eating disorders also appear to be associated with low serotonin levels.
Serotonin the Antiaging Neurotransmitter
Serotonin, one of three major neurotransmitters, has a calming effect and helps keep emotions in check. It has been extremely helpful in lessening panic attacks, various phobias, suppressing appetite, and reducing aggression, anxiety, and pain sensation. And, it may be more effective in relieving mild depression than antidepressants. In a 1991 Swiss study, the effectiveness of 5-htp in alleviating depression was compared to a conventional antidepressant, fluvoxamine (Luvox). Patients were divided into two groups and given either 100mg 5-htp or 150mg of fluvoxamine three times a day for six weeks. At the end of the test period, the 36 5-htp patients showed a greater percentage of improvement than the 33 fluvoxamine patients.
Other studies have compared 5-htp with antidepressants such as chloripramine and imipramine. 5-htp was at least as effective if not more so than the conventional drugs. Moreover, 5-htp has no reported side effects, although some patients have experienced mild nausea when they first take 5-htp. If this happens, merely back off and reduce the daily dose to 50mg and gradually increase it over a four-day period.
5-htp has an advantage over its precursor amino acid L-Tryptophan (LT). it is more readily absorbed than LT and is immune to meals without reducing its effectiveness. 5-htp, unlike LT, is not shunted into niacin, melatonin, picolonic acid and other amino acids. Seventy percent of oral 5-htp ends up in the bloodstream, crosses into the brain and is directly converted into serotonin.
It’s best not to combine 5-htp with antidepressant medications, although there have been no reports of adverse events. Suggested doses is 100mg 3 times a day or 200 to 200 mg taken at bedtime for insomnia.
Pain, Per-menopause and PMS
5-htp has additional benefits for boomers. It reduces hot flashes and is an effective anti-pain remedy. The concern over use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) has led to interest in safe and effective methods of reducing hot flashes. Come anti-depressants (Prozac, ect.) have been effective in alleviating hot flashes in women with breast cancer or at risk of the disease. Increasing serotonin is the proposed mechanism by which this occurs. Serotonin in turn resets the brain’s heat regulating system. 5-htp is effective at raising serotonin levels, is free of side effects, and is an effective substitute for anti-depressants.
Additionally, 5-htp has been clinically useful in reducing premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) symptoms such as sadness, hopelessness, self-deprecation, tension, anxiety, emotional instability, tearfulness, anger and irritability.
Migraine and fibromyalgia share a common root in serotonin and adrenal hormone (Cortisol) receptor function. Serotonin plays a role in maintaining pain thresholds, vascular constriction/dilation and maintenance of restorative sleep. It is also thought to disrupt pain signals and induce the activity of endorphins, the brains natural painkiller.
Italian researchers report in two clinical trials involving patients with fibromyalgia, that 5-htp (100mg 3X/day) significantly reduced fibromyalgia symptoms. These include a number of tender points, subjective pain severity, morning stiffness, sleep patterns, and anxiety.
Now offers 5-htp in three convenient doses; 50mg for starters, 100mg for maintenance, and 200mg plus 250mg tyrosine, Niacinamide and vitamin B-6 to stabilize adrenal function and help control minor pain.
Adapted from 7-syndrome healing: Supplement essentials for Body and Mind by Marcia Zimmerman and Jayson Kroner, 2006, Nutrition Solution Publications.
Coenzyme Q10 and Cardiovascular Health.
December 13, 2005 11:34 AM
CoQ10 is a vitamin-like compound that is produced naturally in the human body and is also found in most living organisms. It is also called ubiquinone, a combination of quinone, a type of coenzyme, and ubiquitous, meaning it exists everywhere in the human body. CoQ10 plays an important role in your body’s energy production and is an essential component of the mitochondria, where it helps to metabolize fats and carbohydrates and maintain cell membrane flexibility. CoQ10 is also involved in the production of several key enzymes that are used to create ATP, which is burned by your body for energy, and used in the energy transfer between mitochondria and cells. Without CoQ10, you would not be able to function!
CoQ10 is also an effective antioxidant that may beneficially affect the aging process. As we age, our body’s production of CoQ10 declines by as much as 80 percent. Because it is so important to energy production, and therefore life, researchers believe that this decline may be a factor in the effects of aging on the human body. Clinical trials on both animal and human subjects have revealed a marked decrease in CoQ10 levels in relation to a wide variety of diseases. As a free radical scavenger, CoQ10 inhibits lipid peroxidation – a normal aspect of the aging process that is implicated in certain agerelated diseases. Studies conducted in the last fifteen years suggest CoQ10 is important for maintaining healthy intracellular activity, and some researchers have compared its efficiency to that of vitamin E, one of the most effective of all dietary antioxidants. Research has shown that CoQ10, along with glutathione and selenium, works to regenerate or recycle vitamin E after it’s capacity to fight radicals has been diminished, thereby allowing vitamin E to remain active as an antioxidant for a longer period of time in your body.
CoQ10 was first discovered by Dr. Frederick Crane of the University of Wisconsin in 1957. One year later, Professor Karl Folkers and others at Merck Inc. identified and recorded CoQ10’s chemical structure, and were the first to produce it through fermentation. Intermittent research led to its use in Japan for cardiac insufficiencies during the 1960’s. Dr. Folkers championed more intensive research into CoQ10’s role in cardiovascular health in 1972, after he and an Italian scientist, Gian Paolo Littarru, discovered that persons with cardiac insufficiencies had very low levels of CoQ10, and supplementation increased CoQ10 levels and positively affected heart health. Soon afterwards, the Japanese developed a method that allowed pure CoQ10 to be produced in quantities large enough for significant clinical trials. During the 1980’s this method was perfected in Japan, and medical technology finally allowed scientists to measure CoQ10 levels in blood and tissues, leading to a surge in further research. It was during this time that a Swedish researcher, Lars Ernster, drew attention to CoQ10’s role as a free radical-scavenging antioxidant. Today a multitude of research supports CoQ10’s health benefits.
As a result of the overwhelmingly positive reports from studies conducted since CoQ10’s discovery, the Japanese were the first to approve widespread use of CoQ10, granting market approval for it in 1974. From 1974 to 1982, CoQ10 use in Japan grew rapidly until it was one of the most widely used products in the Japanese pharmaceutical industry. It is still widely used today, and has a long history of safe use. In “An Introduction To Coenzyme Q10” by Peter H. Langsjoen, M.D., F.A.C.C., he lists the substantial amount of scientific evidence that supports CoQ10’s benefits. “Internationally, there have been at least nine placebo controlled studies on the treatment of heart disease with CoQ10: two in Japan, two in the United States, two in Italy, two in Germany, and one in Sweden. All nine of these studies have confirmed the effectiveness of CoQ10 as well as it’s remarkable safety. There have now been eight international symposia on the biomedical and clinical aspects of CoQ10 (from 1976 through 1993). These eight symposia comprised over 3000 papers presented by approximately 200 different physicians and scientists from 18 countries.”
“The majority of the clinical studies concerned the treatment of heart disease and were remarkably consistent in their conclusions: that treatment with CoQ10 significantly improved heart muscle function while producing no adverse effects or drug interactions.” There are many CoQ10 supplements on the market today, and it can be difficult to choose the best brand and dosage. CoQ10 is a fat-soluble substance, which means it is more easily absorbed and used by your body in the presence of fat. CoQ10 supplements that include lecithin or another dietary fat will be more effective, and CoQ10 in a softgel form should be in an oil base, usually soybean oil. The dosage most commonly used in research is 30 mg, but higher doses are optimal and may be required to maintain optimal levels as we age. Always remember to consult your health practitioner before taking dietary supplements if you have current health problems or are taking prescription medication.
Now Foods continues to be a leading supplier of high-quality, low cost CoQ10 products. In 1999 and 2003 NOW Foods CoQ10 was voted the best-selling brand in health food stores nationwide, earning the Vity Award from Vitamin Retailer magazine. NOW carries eight different effective potencies of CoQ10, ranging from 30mg to 400mg, in lonzenges, softgels, and vegetable capsules. Many of our formulas are complexed with other synergistic nutrients like vitamin E, selenium, lecithin, and hawthorn for greater absorption and efficiency.
Allibiotic CF Fact Sheet
December 07, 2005 01:37 PM
Allibiotic CF Fact SheetNeil E. Levin, CCN, DANLA 03/09/05
LIKELY USERS: People seeking support of the immune system and intestinal flora
KEY INGREDIENTS: Allicin (“AlliSure” patented, stabilized allicin from fresh garlic); Olive Leaf Extract (Olea Europaea with 18% minimum Oleuropein content); Elderberry extract, from fruit/berry, 60:1 concentrate (equivalent to 2,500 mg. of fresh berries of Sambucus nigra); Oil of Oregano (wild oregano from Origanum vulgare) ImmunEnhancer AG (trademarked Arabinogalactan from Larch Tree, Larix occidentalis)
MAIN PRODUCT FEATURES: AlliSure is the clinically tested, patented and stable form of allicin. Not allicin potential, but actual allicin. Allicin represents the immune supporting nutrients of raw garlic, and is chemically similar to penicillin, though with different physical properties. AlliSure shares garlic’s abilities to help maintain healthy cholesterol and blood pressure levels, and also has been shown to raise levels of a key T cell to enhance immune system function. Like raw garlic, AlliSure has antimicrobial properties linked to its ability to react with sulfur-containing metabolic enzymes. Allicin is also shown in studies to play a role in controlling blood sugar and abnormal cell growth.
Black Elderberries have strong antioxidant properties, containing flavonoids like anthocyanidins. They have been studied in relation to inhibition of viral replication and of minor inflammations.
Olive Leaf has been used as an antioxidant, cholesterol and blood viscosity regulator, and vasodilator. But its most important use has been as a way to help the body deal with undesirable organisms in the vital respiratory and intestinal areas.
Oil of Oregano (wild oregano, wild marjoram) contains carvacrol and thymol, which are responsible for much of its antimicrobial activities. It also has some anti-inflammatory effects.
Arabinogalactan from Larch tree bark (ImmunEnhancer AG) can help speed the immune system’s response to undesirable organisms and is often compared to Echinacea. It has also been shown to promote the growth of beneficial intestinal bacteria.
ADDITIONAL PRODUCT INFORMATION: Patented and trademarked ingredients enhance quality controls and have clinical research. Rosemary Oil provides antioxidant protection for the capsule contents. Enteric coating protects the capsule from stomach acid to deliver its contents past the stomach. This helps to assure full potency and reduces the possibility of the oils repeating.
SERVING SIZE & HOW TO TAKE IT: One softgel twice daily, preferably with meals. Try one before using the full dose.
COMPLEMENTARY PRODUCTS: Probiotics, Antioxidants, D-Flame
CAUTIONS: Pregnant & lactating women, children and people using prescription drugs should consult their physician before taking any dietary supplement. Discontinue use if any uncomfortable side effects occur. This information is based on my own knowledge and references, and should not be used as diagnosis, prescription or as a specific product claim.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Josling P. Preventing the common cold with a garlic supplement: a double-blind, placebo-controlled survey. Adv Ther. 2001 Jul-Aug;18(4):189-93. (AlliSure was used in this study.)
Abramovitz D, Gavri S, Harats D, Levkovitz H, Mirelman D, Miron T, Eilat-Adar S, Rabinkov A, Wilchek M, Eldar M, Vered Z. Allicin-induced decrease in formation of fatty streaks (atherosclerosis) in mice fed a cholesterol-rich diet. Coron Artery Dis. 1999 Oct;10(7):515-9. PMID: 10562920
Ankri S, Miron T, Rabinkov A, Wilchek M, Mirelman D. Allicin from garlic strongly inhibits cysteine proteinases and cytopathic effects of Entamoeba histolytica. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 1997 Oct;41(10):2286-8. PMID: 9333064
Cellini L, Di Campli E, Masulli M, Di Bartolomeo S, Allocati N. Inhibition of Helicobacter pylori by garlic extract (Allium sativum). FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 1996 Apr;13(4):273-7. PMID: 8739190
Chowdhury AK, Ahsan M, Islam SN, Ahmed ZU. Efficacy of aqueous extract of garlic & allicin in experimental shigellosis in rabbits. Indian J Med Res. 1991 Jan;93:33-6.
Eilat S, Oestraicher Y, Rabinkov A, Ohad D, Mirelman D, Battler A, Eldar M, Vered Z. Alteration of lipid profile in hyperlipidemic rabbits by allicin, an active constituent of garlic. Coron Artery Dis. 1995 Dec;6(12):985-90. PMID: 8723021
Elkayam A, Mirelman D, Peleg E, Wilchek M, Miron T, Rabinkov A, Oron-Herman M, Rosenthal T. The effects of allicin on weight in fructose-induced hyperinsulinemic, hyperlipidemic, hypertensive rats. Am J Hypertens. 2003 Dec;16(12):1053-6. PMID: 14643581
Feldberg RS, Chang SC, Kotik AN, Nadler M, Neuwirth Z, Sundstrom DC, Thompson NH. In vitro mechanism of inhibition of bacterial cell growth by allicin. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 1988 Dec;32(12):1763-8.
Focke M, Feld A, Lichtenthaler K. Allicin, a naturally occurring antibiotic from garlic, specifically inhibits acetyl-CoA synthetase. FEBS Lett. 1990 Feb 12;261(1):106-8.
Hirsch K, Danilenko M, Giat J, Miron T, Rabinkov A, Wilchek M, Mirelman D, Levy J, Sharoni Y. Effect of purified allicin, the major ingredient of freshly crushed garlic, on cancer cell proliferation. Nutr Cancer. 2000;38(2):245-54. PMID: 11525603
Patya M, Zahalka MA, Vanichkin A, Rabinkov A, Miron T, Mirelman D, Wilchek M, Lander HM, Novogrodsky A. Allicin stimulates lymphocytes and elicits an antitumor effect: a possible role of p21ras. Int Immunol. 2004 Feb;16(2):275-81. PMID: 14734613
Rabinkov A, Miron T, Mirelman D, Wilchek M, Glozman S, Yavin E, Weiner L. S-Allylmercaptoglutathione: the reaction product of allicin with glutathione possesses SH-modifying and antioxidant properties. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2000 Dec 11;1499(1-2):144-153. PMID: 11118647
Rabinkov A, Miron T, Konstantinovski L, Wilchek M, Mirelman D, Weiner L. The mode of action of allicin: trapping of radicals and interaction with thiol containing proteins. Biochim Biophys Acta. 1998 Feb 2;1379(2):233-44. PMID: 9528659
Sela U, Ganor S, Hecht I, Brill A, Miron T, Rabinkov A, Wilchek M, Mirelman D, Lider O, Hershkoviz R. Allicin inhibits SDF-1alpha-induced T cell interactions with fibronectin and endothelial cells by down-regulating cytoskeleton rearrangement, Pyk-2 phosphorylation and VLA-4 expression. Immunology. 2004 Apr;111(4):391-9. PMID: 15056375
Shadkchan Y, Shemesh E, Mirelman D, Miron T, Rabinkov A, Wilchek M, Osherov N. Efficacy of allicin, the reactive molecule of garlic, in inhibiting Aspergillus spp. in vitro, and in a murine model of disseminated aspergillosis. J Antimicrob Chemother. 2004 May;53(5):832-6. Epub 2004 Mar 24. PMID: 15044429
Tsai Y, Cole LL, Davis LE, Lockwood SJ, Simmons V, Wild GC. Antiviral properties of garlic: in vitro effects on influenza B, herpes simplex and coxsackie viruses. Planta Med. 1985 Oct;(5):460-1. PMID: 3001801
Uchida Y, Takahashi T, Sato N. [The characteristics of the antibacterial activity of garlic (author's transl)] Jpn J Antibiot. 1975 Aug;28(4):638-42. PMID: 1099271
Yasuo Yamada and Keizô Azuma. Evaluation of the In Vitro Antifungal Activity of Allicin. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 1977 April; 11(4): 743–749.
Duke JA. CRC Handbook of Medicinal Herbs. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 1985, 423.
Gruenwald J, Brendler T, Jaenicke C, et al. (eds). PDR for Herbal Medicines. Montvale, NJ: Medical Economics, 1998, 1116–7.
Mascolo N, Autore G, Capasso G, et al. Biological screening of Italian medicinal plants for anti-inflammatory activity. Phytother Res 1987;1:28–31.
Murkovic M, Abuja PM, Bergmann AR, et al. Effects of elderberry juice on fasting and postprandial serum lipids and low-density lipoprotein oxidation in healthy volunteers: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Eur J Clin Nutr. Feb2004;58(2):244-9.
Newall CA, Anderson LA, Phillipson JD. Herbal Medicines: A Guide for Health-Care Professionals. London: The Pharmaceutical Press, 1996, 104–5.
Yesilada E. Inhibitory Effects of Turkish Folk Remedies on Inflammatory Cytokines: Interleukin-1Alpha, Interleukin-1Beta and Tumor Necrosis Factor Alpha. J Ethnopharmacol. Sept1997;58(1):59-73. Youdim KA, Martin A, Joseph JA. Incorporation of the elderberry anthocyanins by endothelial cells increases protection against oxidative stress. Free Radical Biol Med 2000;29:51–60.
Zakay-Rones Z, Varsano N, Zlotnik M, et al. Inhibition of several strains of influenza virus in vitro and reduction of symptoms by an elderberry extract (Sambucus nigra L.) during an outbreak of influenza B Panama. J Alt Compl Med 1995;1:361–9.
OLIVE LEAF EXTRACT:
American Herbal Products Association. Use of Marker Compounds in Manufacturing and Labeling Botanically Derived Dietary Supplements. Silver Spring, MD: American Herbal Products Association; 2001.
Bennani-Kabchi N, et al. Effects of Olea europea var. oleaster leaves in hypercholesterolemic insulin-resistant sand rats. Therapie. Nov1999;54(6):717-23.
Bisignano G, et al. On the in-vitro antimicrobial activity of oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol. J Pharm Pharmacol. Aug1999;51(8):971-4. Gonzalez M, et al. Hypoglycemic activity of olive leaf. Planta Medica. 1992;58:513-515. Visoli F, et al. Oleuropein protects low density lipoprotein from oxidation. Life Sciences. 1994;55:1965-71. PDR for Herbal Medicines, 2nd edition. Montvale, NJ: Medical Economics Company; 2000:557.
Petroni A, et al. Inhibition of platelet aggregation and eicosanoid production by phenolic components of olive oil.Thromb Res. Apr1995;78(2):151-60. Pieroni A, et al. In vitro anti-complementary activity of flavonoids from olive (Olea europaea L.) leaves. Pharmazie. Oct1996;51(10):765-8. Zarzuelo A, et al. Vasodilator effect of olive leaf. Planta Med. Oct1991;57(5):417-9. OREGANO OIL (OIL OF OREGANO, WILD OREGANO, WILD MARJORAM):
Dorman HJ, et al. Antimicrobial agents from plants: antibacterial activity of plant volatile oils. J Appl Microbiol. Feb2000;88(2):308-16. Force M, et al. Inhibition of enteric parasites by emulsified oil of oregano in vivo. Phytother Res. May2000;14(3):213-4.
Hammer KA, Carson CF, Riley TV. Antimicrobial activity of essential oils and other plant extracts. J Appl Microbiol 1999;86:985–90.
Kelm MA, Nair MG, Strasburg GM. Antioxidant and Cyclooxygenase Inhibitory Phenolic Compounds from Ocimum sanctum Linn. Phytomedicine. Mar2000;7(1):7-13. Lamaison JL, et al. Medicinal Lamiaceae with antioxidant properties, a potential source of rosmarinic acid. Pharm Acta Helv. 1991;66(7):185-8.
Ponce MM, Navarro AI, Martinez GMN, et al. In vitro effect against Giardia of 14 plant extracts. Rev Invest Clin 1994;46:343–7 [in Spanish].
Stiles JC, Sparks W, Ronzio RA. The inhibition of Candida albicans by oregano. J Applied Nutr 1995;47:96–102.
Tantaoui EA, Beraoud L. Inhibition of growth and aflatoxin production in Aspergillus parasiticus by essential oils of selected plant materials. J Environ Pathol Toxicol Oncol 1994;13:67–72. ImmunEnhancer AG (Larch tree Arabinogalactan)
Corado J, et al. Impairment of Natural Killer (NK) Cytotoxic Activity in Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Infection. Exp Immunol. 1997;109:451-457. Currier NL, Lejtenyi D, Miller SC. Effect over time of in-vivo administration of the polysaccharide arabinogalactan on immune and hemopoietic cell lineages in murine spleen and bone marrow. Phytomedicine. 2003 Mar;10(2-3):145-53. PMID: 12725568
Egert D, et al. Studies on Antigen Specificity of Immunoreactive Arabinogalactan Proteins Extracted from Baptisia tinctoria and Echinacea purpurea. Planta Med. 1992;58:163-165. Gonda R, et al. Arabinogalactan Core Structure and Immunological Activities of Ukonan C, An Acidic Polysaccharide from the Rhizome of Curcuma longa. Biol Pharm Bull. 1993;16:235-238. Hagmar B, et al. Arabinogalactan Blockade of Experimental Metastases to Liver by Murine Hepatoma. Invasion Metastasis. 1991;11:348-355. Kelly GS. Larch arabinogalactan: clinical relevance of a novel immune-enhancing polysaccharide. Altern Med Rev. 1999 Apr;4(2):96-103. Review. PMID: 10231609
Kim LS, Waters RF, Burkholder PM. Immunological activity of larch arabinogalactan and Echinacea: a preliminary, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Altern Med Rev. 2002 Apr;7(2):138-49. PMID: 11991793
Levine PH, et al. Dysfunction of Natural Killer Activity in a Family With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Clin Immunol Immunopathol. 1998;88:96-104. Robinson RR, Feirtag J, Slavin JL. Effects of dietary arabinogalactan on gastrointestinal and blood parameters in healthy human subjects. J Am Coll Nutr. 2001 Aug;20(4):279-85. PMID: 11506055
Rolfe RD. The Role of Probiotic Cultures in the Control of Gastrointestinal Health. J Nutr. Feb2000;130(2S Suppl):396S-402S.
Salyers AA, Vercellotti JR, West SE, Wilkins TD. Fermentation of mucin and plant polysaccharides by strains of Bacteroides from the human colon. Appl Environ Microbiol. 1977 Feb;33(2):319-22. PMID: 848954
Uchida A. Therapy of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Nippon Rinsho. 1992;50:2679-2683.
Research on SAMe....
October 26, 2005 12:49 PM
Two groups of researchers have conducted analyses of trials that utilized SAM-e for mood enhancement. One meta-analysis was published in 1994. The researchers analyzed the efficacy of SAM-e in oral or injection forms based on published trials dated between 1973 and 1992. The authors concluded that there was a significant improvement of 17 to 38% seen in trials of SAM-e compared to placebo response. They state that the efficacy of SAM-e was superior to placebo and its administration caused few side effects.5 A second review was published in 2002. The authors analyzed studies in which SAM-e doses ranged from 200 to 1600 mg daily. They also found a significant effect of SAM-e in comparison to placebo, with an evident rapid onset of effect at enhancing mood.6
Promotes Joint Comfort and Mobility*
As a sulfur donor to connective tissue, SAM-e plays a major role in protecting the integrity of cartilage tissue. An in vitro trial assessed the actions of SAM-e in cultured human articular chondrocytes. At a concentration of 10 micrograms/ml, proteoglycan synthesis and sulfate residue incorporation in chondrocytes was shown to be 60% higher than control levels. Based on these results, it was shown that SAM-e has a positive influence on the growth and health of cartilaginous connective tissue.7
In a double-blind trial with 734 individuals with compromised joint health. SAM-e given orally at a dose of 1200 mg daily for 30 days was shown to significantly promote joint comfort compared to placebo, with a high level of tolerability and low incidence of side effects. The researchers concluded that SAM-e is a highly effective supplement for enhancing joint comfort.8
Another trial evaluated the response of individuals experiencing discomfort in the joints to a regimen of 1200 mg SAM-e for 1 week followed by 800 mg for the second week, and then 400 mg for weeks 3 through 8. This open trial of 20, 641 people showed a strong ability of SAM-e to enhance feelings of comfort within the joints. The treatment was rated as “very good” or “good” in 71% of the participants, with an additional 21% rating the treatment effect as “moderate”.9
In a long-term trial lasting 24 months, SAM-e was given to 108 participants with compromised joint function. Individuals were given 600 mg orally per day for the first two weeks followed by 400 mg daily for the remainder of the trial. Individuals experienced significant enhancements in joint comfort, with dramatic improvements noted after 2-4 weeks of treatment. Improvements continued to 6 months and beyond.10
In addition to the above studies, a review was conducted in 1987 to assess the results of SAM-e supplementation in clinical trials for enhancing joint mobility and function. Over 22,000 individuals had participated in the clinical trials that were the subject of this review. The author concluded from his analysis that SAM-e was shown to be highly efficacious, rivaling or surpassing the effectiveness of other treatments, and also possessing a high level of safety.11 Because of this, SAM-e may be the treatment of choice for enhancing joint function.
Supports Liver Health and Detoxification*
SAM-e supplementation can have profound benefits on liver function. These benefits center around its function as the major methyl donor in the liver, as well as its lipotropic activity. SAM-e also enhances the production of the antioxidant glutathione.
A number of trials have been conducted showing the ability of SAM-e to support liver detoxification functions and enhance liver health in individuals susceptible to toxin-induced liver compromise. SAM-e has the ability to normalize liver function by increasing the activity of enzymes needed to upregulate liver detoxification. These effects are comprehensive and rapid. Dosages used in these studies range from 600 mg to 1600 mg daily for 2 months to two years.12,13,14 In these trials, significant benefits of SAM-e supplementation were seen over placebo.
SAM-e has an excellent safety profile and is considered well-suited for long term use based on multiple clinical trials. Individuals diagnosed with manic depression should avoid SAM-e supplementation, as it may aggravate the manic phase *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. Agnoli A, Andreoli V, Casacchia M, Cerbo R. Effect of s-adenosyl-l-methionine (SAMe) upon depressive symptoms. J Psychiatr Res. 1976;13(1):43-54.
2. De Leo D. S-adenosylmethionine as an antidepressant. Curr Ther Research. 1987;41(6):865-70.
3. Kagan BL, Sultzer DL, Rosenlicht N,Gerner RH. Oral S-adenosylmethionine in depression: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Am J Psychiatry. 1990 May;147(5):591-5.
4.Salmaggi P,Bressa GM,Nicchia G,Coniglio M,La Greca P,Le Grazie C.Doubleblind, placebo-controlled study of S-adenosyl-L-methionine in depressed postmenopausal women. Psychother Psychosom. 1993;59(1):34-40.
5. Bressa GM. S-adenosyl-l-methionine (SAMe) as antidepressant: metaanalysis of clinical studies. Acta Neurol Scand Suppl. 1994;154:7-14. 6.Mischoulon D, Fava M. Role of S-adenosyl-L-methionine in the treatment of depression: a review of the evidence. Am J Clin Nutr. 2002 Nov;76(5):1158S-61S.
7. Harmand MF, Vilamitjana J,Maloche E, Duphil R, Ducassou D. Effects of Sadenosylmethionine on human articular chondrocyte differentiation. An in vitro study. Am J Med. 1987 Nov 20;83(5A):48-54.
8. Caruso I, . Italian double-blind multicenter study comparing S-adenosylmethionine, naproxen, and placebo in the treatment of degenerative joint disease. Am J Med. 1987 Nov 20;83(5A):66-71.
9. Berger R, Nowak H. A new medical approach to the treatment of osteoarthritis. Report of an open phase IV study with ademetionine (Gumbaral). Am J Med. 1987 Nov 20;83(5A):84-8.
10. Konig B. A long-term (two years) clinical trial with S-adenosylmethionine for the treatment of osteoarthritis. Am J Med. 1987 Nov 20;83(5A):89-94.
11. di Padova C. S-adenosylmethionine in the treatment of osteoarthritis. Review of the clinical studies. Am J Med. 1987 Nov 20;83(5A):60-5.
12. Frezza M, et al. S-adenosylmethionine counteracts oral contraceptive hepatotoxicity in women. Am J Med Sci. 1987; 293(4):234-238.
13. Frezza M, Surrenti C, Manzillo G, Fiaccadori F, Bortolini M, Di Padova C. Oral S-adenosylmethionine in the symptomatic treatment of intrahepatic cholestasis. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Gastroenterology. 1990 Jul;99(1):211-5.
14. Mato JM, et al. S-adenosylmethionine in alcoholic liver cirrhosis: a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, multicenter clinical trial. J Hepatol. 1999 Jun;30(6):1081-9.
All SAM-e supplements are not created equal
October 26, 2005 12:41 PM
All SAM-e supplements are not created equal
During the manufacture of SAM-e, two forms are produced known as the S,S and the R,S isomers. The S,S isomer is the biologically active form in the human body, whereas the R,S form is considered to be inactive. Double Strength SAMe 400 utilizes Italian SAM-e to yield the highest available percentage of the active pure S,S form on the market. Double Strength SAMe 400 contains an average of nearly 80% of the active S,S form. Other SAM-e products contain as little as only 50% of the active form. A higher content of the active form yields a more potent product.
The molecule SAM-e itself is highly unstable. It will degrade quickly in conditions of heat, light and moisture. To increase its stability, it must be formed into a salt. It is important to note that SAM-e used for dietary supplements exists in a number of salt forms. Double Strength SAMe 400 utilizes the SAM-e tosylate disulfate salt form. This salt has been the most extensively utilized form in clinical trials of SAM-e.
Because of the unstable nature of pure SAM-e it is also highly susceptible to degradation in an acidic environment like the stomach. To be utilized effectively, it must pass through the stomach for absorption in the small intestine. For this reason, only enteric-coated formulas should be used. Double Strength SAMe 400 tablets are enteric-coated to maximize the utilization and benefit of the SAM-e by the body.
Enhances Mood and Neural Function*
SAM-e has been studied for decades now for its potential role in enhancing mood and supporting healthy neural metabolism. In a double-blind placebo trial published in 1976, 30 individuals were given either SAM-e intramuscular injections (15 mg three times daily) or placebo. Individuals were assessed for improved mood and affect. It was found that 100% of patients in the SAMe group showed significant improvements in mood, while only 30% of the placebo group showed any improvement.1 The improvement seen with SAM-e in this trial was rapid, with a response time of between 4 and 7 days.
A second Italian double-blind placebo controlled study was published in 1987. Again, individuals showing signs of decreased affect and mood were administered 200 mg SAM-e as daily intramuscular injections, or a placebo, for four weeks. Each group consisted of 20 patients, with all medial and laboratory results being normal. Rating scales were used to monitor changes and the authors found that the treatment with SAM-e was significantly superior to placebo and was very well tolerated.2
Researchers had known that SAM-e injections showed benefit in mood enhancement based on the results of multiple clinical trials. However, with injections, chronic administration is always challenging. For this reason, oral doses are superior in terms of ease of administration. Studies were conducted to assess the efficacy of oral SAM-e preparations. One such study was published in 1990.
In this double-blind placebo-controlled trial, individuals were given increasing doses of SAM-e from 200 mg to 800 mg twice daily, or placebo, over the 21 day period of the trial. In the placebo group, one of the six individuals showed an enhancement of mood of 50% according to the rating scales, whereas 6 of the 9 individuals given the oral SAM-e showed a 50% or greater improvement in mood and affect.3 It was concluded that oral SAM-e, like SAM-e injections, can significantly enhance mood without significant side effects.
Another double-blind placebo controlled trial looked at the effects of administering 1600 mg of SAM-e, or placebo, daily to 80 women aged between 45 and 59. The administration took place for 30 days, after which the women were assessed for improvements. Rating scales were administered at 10 and 30 days. SAM-e supplementation significantly enhanced mood and affect in the women compared to placebo administration.4 SAM-e was also seen to be well tolerated, as three women in the placebo group and two women in the SAM-e group complained of minor side effects which did not interfere with continuation of treatment.
Shoppers check for fat and calories
October 25, 2005 03:17 PM
Shoppers check for fat and calories
When American consumers read labels, what are they looking for? Almost a quarter of Americans said they only check labels when they’re trying to lose weight. Another 23 percent say they “always” read the nutrition info.
At least half of shoppers surveyed by ACNielsen in the United States said they “regularly” check for fat and calories. Sugar, sodium, Trans fats and carbohydrates also ranked high. Overseas, shoppers are more likely to check for additives, preservatives and coloring.
In the United States, 65 percent of consumers say they “mostly” understand nutrition labels, the highest level of understanding among all the markets tested. Only 6 percent of Italians say they understand what they read on labels.
Oregano Complete with Carvacrol
September 15, 2005 09:58 AM
Introducting Oregano Complete with Carvacrol
The answer to serious Self-Care
Solaray Provides a "Complete" Oregano - not just for pizza anymore ...
The Wild Oregano in the Oregano Complete formula is:
1: An aromatic Phenolic compound found in plants such as oregano and savory and used in flavorings.
2: Source of the antioxidant and immune function support in oregano.
Solaray guarantees that the Wild Oregano oil found in the Oregano Complete formula contains at least 70% Carvacrol - to ensure your customers gain the optimal health benefits from this powerful product.
**The Green Screened from the Wild logo represents Solaray's commitment to providing herbs of the utmost quality. The logo distinguished this product because it is wild sourced and as pure as Mother Nature intended.
Fats and Oils: Clearing the Confusion
June 21, 2005 05:31 PM
Fats and Oils: Clearing the Confusion
By Fred Pescatore, M.D.
Aside from tax forms, it's hard to find anything more confusing to consumers than fats and oils. Fat-free diehards still don't know that fat is essential for the brain, hormones, cellular membranes: life itself. The clueless still use shortening, margarine and damaged grocery store vegetable oils. But what worries me more is that supposedly educated consumers aren't even getting it right. Should we be surprised since their doctors probably don't know the truth?
Mistakes made by your customers. They:
Let's clear up these myths so consumers can get busy being confused about something else:
I hope this helps you educate consumers about the proper use of fats. Unfortunately, that still leaves a long list of other things they've been misled about.
Best Bread ...
June 13, 2005 07:30 PM
Best Breads by Jane Lane Energy Times, December 9, 1999
Few of us can resist the seductions of freshly baked bread, warm and fragrant, poised on the edge of a steaming bowl of soup or painted with an aromatic swath of rosemary scented oil. Even those of us from the most culinary challenged households can recall the pleasures of the simple plump white dinner roll or flaky biscuit piled in a basket on the dinner table.
Bread has blossomed from sideshow status beside the dinner plate to a full-scale mealtime headliner, a scrumptious star enriched by nutritious grains, herbs, fruits and vegetables.
Contemporary cooks build meals around crunchy cornbread or chewy focaccia, presenting soups or salads as satisfying counterpoints. Want to jump into the bread baking basket or hone your skills? Two top vegetarian chefs shared with Energy Times their passion for bread and their expertise in baking. See if you don't find that ardor contagious.
Nancy Lazarus is a chef at the famed Moosewood Restaurant in Ithaca, New York, established in 1973 to serve up natural fare with a homecooked, vegetarian emphasis. The bill of fare changes daily at Moosewood, but there's one constant: a cup or bowl of soup, a salad and a thick slice of bread. Some loyal customers have ordered the daily special for 20 years.
That's why bread occupies a cherished spot at Moosewood. Nancy Lazarus tells why and offers some of Moosewood's favorite bread recipes: "Cooking is like art; baking is like science; bread is like magic. No matter how much science you apply, you'll never have complete control: It'll do its own thing on some level, which is part of its charm, if you're charmed by that sort of thing. Breads come out differently depending on heat and humidity, the heat of the oven; yeast is a variable that can be slower or faster acting.
"There are bread machines, of course, and they work. But they're not as satisfying as the real thing, the kneading, which can be almost therapeutic, and the control over the ingredients to your own specifications.
"Bread is not that difficult. Know your own oven, to begin: Good insulation is important and how the heat travels around inside. Convection ovens are a wonderful thing.
"There are difficult breads we recommend you buy at a good bakery: baguettes, Italian, French and Cuban that are crusty outside and soft inside.
"But focaccia is easy. It's a yeasted bread that's better to make at home than buy because it's so fresh and you can control the toppings. It only requires one slow and one quick rising but you have to be there for a while.
"Then there are quick breads that use baking soda or powder, like cornbread. If you want a good meal at home and can make only one thing, make a quick bread. They're satisfying and delicious warm from the oven; and the aroma of bread fills the house. A corn bread with tomato soup for supper is a nurturing meal good for vegans.
"Popovers are fast and simple, a middle American 50s treat, but you do need a hot oven and 45 minutes. Also easy to make: sweet breads- carrot, banana, zucchini-and biscuits.
"To reduce the fat in denser quickbreads and cakes, use applesauce. It gives body and moistness.
"The number of wheat-sensitive people is rising dramatically. A theory I think makes sense is that in the last 30 years the varieties of wheat grown has been reduced to 1 or 2 that are more easily cultivated and harvested with the machinery available. People are overloaded with one type of wheat.
"Gluten is the offending substance in wheat and some oats; try rice, tapioca and potato flours, which are denser and more fine and don't produce a good crust. Improve the crust by baking in a preheated cast iron skillet.
"Also investigate chickpea flour. You don't make a loaf of bread with it- use it for flatbreads like papadam, which is in Indian cookbooks. And it's good for batter for vegetables.
"Spelt is the closest to wheat flour in consistency but some people can be sensitive to it.
"Visit a natural food store to check out the flours. The mills sometimes print handouts with recipes and a lot of those are real good, especially for what works with their flour. Or you may run into a baker who will whet your appetite with ideas and recipes.
"Bread is the supreme comfort food. It can speak to us, and reassure us. The magic of bread and how it varies: There's something appealing in that. In today's world, food is predictable, and that's reassuring to some people. At Moosewood, things are always different, and that's good."
Claire Criscuolo puts an intensely personal spin on the eclectically ethnic style of cooking at her esteemed vegetarian restaurant, Claire's Corner Copia. That 25-year-old institution in New Haven, Connecticut, reflects her zest for the freshest ingredients, robust flavors and inspired combinations. Claire, a teacher and advocate for healthful cuisine, pours her passion into her breadmaking as well:
"Healthy bread is like anything else-it has healthy ingredients. We use the best organic unbleached flour and yeast, pure vanilla, whole eggs (not dried and powdered), whole milk and organic sour cream. You want to use good, fresh ingredients. It's the essence of healthy cooking. "I tell my staff, 'Don't use your soup pot as a garbage pail. Bread is the same. If the ingredients aren't at their freshest for serving, then they aren't right for other uses in the kitchen.
"Our bread is very important at Claire's. We make a country white and a honey wheat in a pinwheel loaf-400 a day-and challah for the morning French toast with sauteed bananas or as buns for veggie burgers. "It's not practical to bake bread every day. We let our bread rise several times, punching it down again and again. For the home cook, it's time consuming. Even I'm happy to buy a good loaf of bread. "But anybody can bake bread. Combine flour, water and yeast and watch it grow! It's delights all your senses. And it a gratifies and satisfies. I was kneading it all by hand until we got up to 12 loaves a day.
"I love a good oatmeal molasses bread; a whole wheat bread with walnuts, rosemary and finely chopped sweet onion sauteed in olive oil for a roasted vegetable sandwich; or an anadama bread with split pea soup.
"Bread is part of a meal. It requires time and effort, but I can't think of many things worthwhile that don't."
OptiZinc - The king of Zinc ...
June 04, 2005 10:43 AM
Source Naturals brings you yet another breakthrough in mineral nutrition: OptiZinc! Opti Zinc is Zinc Monomethionine — Zinc combined with the essential amino acid Methionine. It is FDA approved as safe for human nutrition, and is so unique, it’s patented.
Opti Zinc — THE MOST POTENT FORM OF ZINC AVAILABLE Extensive scientific research shows that Opti Zinc is the most bioavailable and bioactive form of Zinc tested.1 Aside from demonstrating superior absorption and utilization by the body for Zinc’s many functions, Opti zinc is also more efficient than other forms of Zinc in getting needed Vitamin A out of storage in the liver, thus making it available for use.2 Perhaps most outstanding is the synergy offered by this combination of Zinc and Methionine: while both of these nutrients are well-known for their freeradical- neutralizing properties, the antioxidant activity of Opti Zinc far surpasses that of either Zinc or Methionine alone. ZINC — ESSENTIAL
FOR YOUR HEALTH
Zinc is one of the most important minerals your body uses. Among its many functions, Zinc is: ? critical for the health of the thymus gland, which is necessary for the natural defenses, as demonstrated in recent research by Nicola Fabris, Ph.D., director of the Gerontology Research Department of the Italian National Research Center on Aging in Ancona, Italy;3
DO YOU GET ENOUGH ZINC IN YOUR DIET?
As vital as Zinc is, it can be hard to get enough of, even when following a healthy diet. Surveys show that the daily intake of Zinc in the average American diet ranges from 8 to 11 mg, yet the U.S. RDA is 15 mg. The few excellent sources include seafoods (such as oysters, herring, and clams), whole oatmeal, wheat germ, wheat bran, and milk.4 If some of these are not a regular part of your diet, you may be one of many people who are Zinc deficient, and you may want to use a dietary supplement.
SOURCE NATURALS™ — Opti Zinc THE SUPPLEMENT OF CHOICE One Source Naturals’ Opti Zinc tablet provides 30 mg of Zinc (from 150 mg Opti Zinc Zinc Monomethionine), which is 200% of the U.S. RDA for Zinc. 300 mcg of the essential mineral Copper is also included, to offset the displacement of Copper that can occur when high levels of Zinc are consumed. The form of Copper used is also state-of-the-art: it is Copper Sebacate, a natural compound that is Copper:SOD-mimetic, meaning that even on its own, it can act as an antioxidant. Its inclusion with Zinc Monomethionine makes Source Naturals’ OptiZinc a powerful antioxidant combination that is truly on the cutting edge of nutrition science.
OPTI ZINC® brand of Zinc Monomethionine complex is a trademark of InterHealth Company; U.S. Patents Nos. 3,941,818, 4,021,569, & 4,764,633. Source Naturals’ OPTI ZINC® is all-Vegetarian and hypoallergenic: contains no yeast, dairy, corn, soy or wheat. Contains no sugar, starch, salt, preservatives, or artificial color, flavor or fragrance.
Glycerylphosphorylcholine -- Supports Cognitive Function in AD ...
May 24, 2005 09:52 AM
Cognitive Improvement in Mild to Moderate Alzheimer's Dementia After Treatment with the Acetylcholine Precursor Choline Alfoscerate: A Multicenter, Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial Maria De Jesus Moreno Moreno, MD Instituto Nacional de la Senectud, Mexico City, Mexico
in both men and woman they consistently improved after 90 and 180 days versus baseline with adiministration of GPC three times a day, whereas in the placebo group they remained unchanged or worsened. Statistically significant differences were observed between treatments after 90 and 180 days.
Bartus RT, Dean RL III, Beer B, Lippa AS. The cholinergic hypothesis of geriatric memory dysfunction, Science. 1982;217:408-414. 2. Larson EB, Kukull WA, Katzman RL. Cognitive impairment: Dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Annu Rev Public Health. 1992;13:431-449. 3. Hofman A, Rocca WA, Brayne C, et al, for the European Prevalence Research Group. The prevalence of dementia in Europe: A collaborative study of 1980-1990 findings. Int d Epidemiol. 1991;20:736-748. 4. Blackwood W, Corsellis JAN, eds. Greenfield's Neuropathology. 3rd ed. London: Arnold; 1976. 5. Geldmacher DS. Cost-effective recognition and diagnosis of dementia. 5emin Neurol. 2002;22:63-70. 6. Perry EK, Tomlinson BE, Blessed G, et al. Correlation of cholinergic abnormalities with senile plaques and mental test scores in senile dementia. BMJ. 1978;2:1457-1459. 7. Perry EK. The cholinergic hypothesis--ten years on. Br Med Bull. 1986;42:63-69. 8. Giacobini E. From molecular structure to Alzheimer therapy. Jpn d Pharmacol. 1997;74:225-241. 9. Giacobini E. Invited review: Cholinesterase inhibitors for Alzheimer's disease therapy: From tacrine to future applications. Neurochem Int. 1998;32:413-419. 10. Brinkman SD, Smith RC, Meyer JS, et al. Lecithin and memory training in suspected Alzheimer's disease. J Gerontol. 1982;37:4-9. 11. Davis E, Emmerling MR, Jaen JC, et al. Therapeutic intervention in dementia. Crit Rev Neurobiol. 1993;7:41-83. 12. Amenta E Parnetti L, Gallai V, Wallin A. Treatment of cognitive dysfunction associated with Alzheimer's disease with cholinergic precursors. Ineffective treatments or inappropiate approaches? Mech Ageing Dev. 2001;122:2025-2040. 13. Sigala S, Imperato A, Rizzonelli P, et al. k-Alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine antagonizes scopolamine-induced amnesia and enhances hippocampal cholinergic transmission in the rat. Eurd Pharmacol. 1992;211:351-358. 14. Govoni S, Battaini E Lucchi L, et al. Effects of alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine in counteracting drug-induced amnesia: Through cholinergic and non-cholinergic mechanisms [in Italian]. Basi Raz Ter. 1991;21:75-78. 15. Canonico PL, Nicoletti F, Scapagnini U. Neurochemical and behavioral effects of alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine [in Italian]. Basi Raz Te~ 1990;20: 53-54. 191 CLINICAL THERAPEUTICS ® 16. Parnetti L, Amenta E Gallai V. Choline alphoscerate in cognitive decline and in acute cerebrovascular disease: An analysis of published clinical data. Mech Ageing Dev. 2001;122:2041-2055. 17. Venn RD. The Sandoz Clinical Assessment-Geriatric (SCAG) scale. A general-purpose psychogeriatric rating scale. Gerontology. 1983;29:185-198. 18. Di Perri R, Coppola G, Ambrosio LA, et al. A multicentre trial to evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine versus cytosine diphosphocholine in patients with vascular dementia. J Int Med Res. 1991;19:330-341. 19. Frattola L, Piolti R, Bassi S, et al. Multicenter clinical comparison of the effects of choline alphoscerate and cytidine diphosphocholine in the treatment of multi-infarct dementia. Curt Ther Res Clin Exp. 1991;49:683-693. 20. Muratorio A, Bonuccelli U, Nuti A, et al. A neurotropic approach to the treatment of multi-infarct dementia using L-c~-glycerylphosphorylcholine. Curt Ther Res Clin Exp. 1992;52:741-75l. 21. American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition. Washington, DC: APA; 1994. 22. McKhann G, Drachman D, Folstein M, et al. Clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease: Report of the NINCDS-ADRDA Work Group under the auspices of Department of Health and Human Services Task Force on Alzheimer's Disease. Neurology. 1984;34:939-944. 23. Folstein ME Folstein SE. "Mini-mental state": A practical method for grading the cognitive state of patients for the clinician. J Psychiatr Res. 1975; 12:189-198. 24. Loeb C, Gandolfo C. Diagnostic evaluation of degenerative and vascular dementia. Stroke. 1983;14:399-401. 25. Hamilton M. A rating scale for depression.J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 1960;23:56-62. 26. Hamilton M. Development of a rating scale for primary depressive illness. BrJ Soc Clin Psych& 1967;6:278-296. 27. Rosen WG, Mohs RC, Davis KL. A new rating scale for Alzheimer's disease. AmJ Psychiatry. 1984;141:1356-1364. 28. Reisberg B, Ferris SH, De Leon MJ, et al. The Global Deterioration Scale for assessment of primary degenerative dementia. Am J Psychiatry. 1982;139:1136-1139. 29. National Institute of Mental Health. Clinical global impressions. In: Guy W, ed. ECDEU Assessment for Psychopharmacology. Revised edition. Rockville, Md: National Institute of Mental Health; 1976:217-222. 30. Burns A, Russell E, Page S. New drugs for Alzheimer's disease. Br J Psychiatry. 1999;174:476-479. 31. Kumar V, Anand R, Messina J, et al. An efficacy and safety analysis of Exelon in Alzheimer's disease patients with concurrent vascular risk factors. Eur J Neurol. 2000;7:159-169. 32. Knapp MJ, Knopman DS, Solomon PR, et al, for the Tacrine Study Group. A 30-week randomized controlled trial of high-dose tacrine in patients with Alzheimer's disease. JAMA. 1994;271:985-991. 192 M. Moreno 33. Lindstrom MJ, Bates DM. Newton-Rapshon algorithms for linear-mixed effects models for repeated measure data. J Am Stat Assoc. 1998;83:1014-1022. 34. Thai LJ, Carta A, Clarke WR, et al. A 1-year multicenter placebo-controlled study of acetyl-L-carnitine in patients with Alzheimer's disease. Neurology 1996;47:705-711. 35. Rogers SL, Friedhoff LT, for the Donepezil Study Group. The efficacy and safety of donepezil in patients with Alzheimer's disease: Results of a US multicentre, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Dementia. 1996;7:293-303. 36. Rogers SL, Doody RS, Mohs RC, Friedhoff LT, for the Donepezil Study Group. Donepezil improves cognition and global function in Alzheimer disease: A 15-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Arch Intern Med. 1998; 158:1021-1031. 37. Corey-Bloom J, Anand R, Veach J, for the ENA 713 B352 Study Group. A randomized trial evaluating the efficacy and the safety of ENA 713 (rivastigmine tartrate), a new acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, in patients with mild to moderately severe Alzheimer's disease. Int J Geriatr Psychopharmacol. 1998;1:55-65. 38. Rosler M, Anand R, Cicin-Sain A, et al. Efficacy and safety of rivastigmine in patients with Alzheimer's disease: International randomised controlled trial. BMJ. 1999;318: 633-638. 39. Amenta E Bronzetti E, Del Valle M, Vega JA. Effects of alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine in neuroanatomy of aging brain in experimental animals [in Italian]. Basi Raz Te~: 1990;20:31-38. Address correspondence to: Scientific Department, Italfarmaco SpA, via dei Lavoratori 54, 20092 Cinisello Balsamo, Milan, Italy.
Under-Reported (and Underappreciated) Cholesterol control.
May 12, 2005 10:00 AM
Under-Reported (and Underappreciated) Solutions for Cholesterol and Triglyceride Controlby Richard Conant, L.Ac., C.N.
Fat and human existence are inseparable. Setting aside the fear and loathing over fat in the body that pervades our culture, we understand that fat is our friend. We cannot live without fat.
The human body contains many different kinds of fats and fat-like molecules. Collectively known as "lipids" these fatty substances include fatty acids, lipoproteins, phospholipids, glycolipids, triglycerides, steroid hormones and the infamous, dreaded cholesterol.
Lipids (fats) are found everywhere in the body, performing a variety of vital functions. The brain is a fat-rich organ. Brain neurons and all other nerve cells are protected by a myelin sheath, made largely out of fatty material. Cell membranes consist almost entirely of phospholipids (lipids that contain phosphorus) arranged in a sandwich-like double layer embedded with proteins. Sex hormones are lipids, belonging to the group of complex lipid molecules known as "steroids." Vitamin D is a lipid.
The body stores and transports fatty acids in the form of triglycerides. A triglyceride contains three fatty acid molecules, which have a chain-like structure, linked to glycerol. (There are also mono- and di-glycerides, which have one and two fatty acid chains, respectively, attached to glycerol.)
Like many other things necessary to life, fat is a two-edged sword. Fat insulates us from the cold, cushions and protects our vital organs and serves as a storehouse for energy. Yet, when present in excess to the point of obesity, fat threatens health, happiness, self-esteem, social standing and longevity. The same is true of other lipids, most notably triglycerides and cholesterol. Transported throughout the body in the bloodstream, these essential lipids become a health liability when the blood contains too much of them.
Keeping fat in it its proper place, not eliminating or drastically reducing it, is the goal we should seek. In the blood, lipids must be maintained at healthy levels and ratios. When they are, an important foundation of good health is established.
How do we keep the blood lipids we need——triglycerides and the various forms of cholesterol——balanced at healthy levels? Diet and exercise are indispensable, these basics must come first. Along with the recommended dietary practices, a number of nutritional approaches offer help for maintaining healthy blood lipids. We will now give several of these a closer look.
In 1990, an herb used for centuries in the Far East was introduced to U.S. consumers. This herb, called "gum guggul," is proving to be one of the most effective natural cholesterol-lowering agents ever discovered. It also brings triglycerides down and raises HDL, the "good" cholesterol. The changes are substantial; gum guggul single-handedly normalizes the entire blood lipid profile, even in people with high starting levels of cholesterol and triglycerides.
Gum guggul, also called simply "guggul," is a gummy resin tapped from the Commiphora tree. A cousin of myrrh gum, guggul has been used by Ayurvedic herbalists of India for at least 3,000 years; texts dating from around 1,000 B.C. mention the herb. Guggul was traditionally given for rheumatism and poor health caused by excess consumption of fatty foods. One ancient Sanskrit text describes in detail what happens in the body when blood fats are out of balance, due to sedentary lifestyle and overeating. The name of this condition has been translated as "coating and obstruction of channels."
Intrigued by the obvious similarity between "coating and obstruction of channels" and arteries clogged by fatty plaque, Indian researchers initiated a series of experimental and clinical studies in the 1960's to see if gum guggul would lower excess blood lipids.1 Both human and animal studies consistently showed cholesterol and triglyceride reductions.
Detailed pharmacological studies showed that guggul's lipid-lowering effects are produced by compounds in the resin called "guggulsterones."2 An Indian pharmaceutical firm then patented a standardized extract of gum guggul under the trade name "Gugulipid." The product contains a uniform 2.5 percent guggulsterones, which is higher than guggul resin in its natural state.
Because Gugulipid guarantees the necessary intake of guggulsterones needed for blood fat reduction, it has become the product used in clinical research. Phase I efficacy safety trials and Phase II efficacy trials have yielded more positive data.3,4,5 Most of the studies on gum guggul have used relatively small numbers of subjects; this tends to make mainstream medical scientists reluctant about natural remedies. A large, well-publicized double-blind Gugulipid trial on 400 to 500 people would go a long way toward giving this herb the credibility it deserves.
Another effective natural solution for blood fat control that should be better known is a relative of pantothenic acid (vitamin B5). Pantethine is the active form of pantothenic acid in the body. Pantethine forms CoA, an essential co-enzyme for utilization of fat. CoA transports "active acetate," an important byproduct of fat metabolism that provides fuel for generating cellular energy. By promoting the burning of fats for energy, pantethine helps keep triglyceride levels down.6 Pantethine also helps regulate cholesterol production, by facilitating the conversion of fat into other lipid-based molecules needed in the body.6
Japanese researchers began studying the effect of pantethine on blood fats nearly twenty years ago. They reported their promising results at the Seventh International Symposium on Drugs Affecting Lipid Metabolism, held in Milan, Italy in 1980.7 Few in the medical or scientific communities took notice. Italian researchers followed up with several small clinical trials that confirmed the preliminary reports.6,8,9 An excellent cholesterol and triglyceride lowering agent that is safe and free of side-effects, pantethine remains, for the most part, ignored by mainstream science, although its usage is growing in alternative medicine circles. Pantethine it will no doubt prove to be one of the most important supplements for maintaining healthy blood fat levels.
When taken in high enough doses, niacin (vitamin B3) substantially lowers cholesterol. This has been known to medical science for many years.10 studies on niacin as a cholesterol-lowering agent go back to the 1950's. There was a fair amount of initial enthusiasm for niacin because it improves, unlike most lipid-lowering drugs, all parameters of the blood lipid profile. Niacin reduces total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. It also raises HDL cholesterol quite well. Interest in niacin has faded, in part because the necessary dose, 1200 milligrams a day or more, can cause flushing and gastrointestinal disturbances. Very high doses may be harmful to the liver if taken for too long.
There is a solution to the side-effect problem with niacin which, again, has failed to gain widespread attention. Inositol hexanicotinate is a flush-free form of niacin composed of six niacin molecules bonded to one molecule of inositol, another B-complex nutrient. Absorbed as an intact structure, inositol hexanicotinate is metabolized slowly, releasing free niacin into the bloodstream over a period of hours following ingestion.11 Inositol hexanicotinate has all the benefits of niacin for controlling blood fats. The flushing effect of ordinary niacin, which metabolizes much more rapidly, does not occur. Taking as much as four grams per day has not been reported to raise liver enzymes or cause other side-effects, but prudence dictates that people with liver problems should avoid very high doses of inositol hexanicotinate, or any form of niacin.12
We often think of vitamin E as synonymous with d-alpha tocopherol. Vitamin E is actually a whole family of compounds that includes various tocopherols and a group of lesser known but highly beneficial substances called "tocotrienols." All have vitamin E activity. Tocotrienols are similar in chemical structure to tocopherols, but they have important differences which give them unique and highly beneficial properties for human health.
Vitamin E is one of the most recognized antioxidants, nutrients that deactivate potentially toxic byproducts of oxygen metabolism known as free radicals. Vitamin E neutralizes peroxides, which result from the free radical oxidation of lipids, making it a key antioxidant in cell membranes. While d-alpha tocopherol has generally been regarded as the form of vitamin E with the strongest antioxidant activity, tocotrienols are even stronger.
The tocotrienol story is another example of a natural product slow to gain recognition. A Univeristy of California research team discovered that d-alpha tocotrienol is over six times more effective than d-alpha tocopherol at protecting cell membranes against free radical damage.13 In the presence of vitamin C, which recycles vitamin E-like compounds, its antioxidant activity is 40 to 60 times higher than d-alpha tocopherol. This study was published in 1991. Its safe to say few cardiac physicians know about tocotrienols, and we have yet to see 60 Minutes do a piece on "the powerful new form of vitamin E."
It would be a tremendous service to public health if they did, because the benefits of tocotrienols go far beyond their stellar antioxidant ability. Tocotrienols also lower total cholesterol and LDL, by impressive percentages. In one double-blind controlled study, tocotrienols reduced total cholesterol by 16 percent and LDL by 21 percent after twelve weeks. Another study recorded drops of 15 to 22 percent in total cholesterol along with 10 to 20 percent decreases in LDL levels.14 Now appearing on health food store shelves, tocotrienols are a health-protecting nutrients whose long overdue time has come. Derived from food oils such as palm oil and rice bran oil, tocotrienols have the same lack of toxicity as ordinary vitamin E.
1. Satyavati, G. Gugulipid: a promising hypolipidaemic agent from gum guggul (Commiphora wightii). Economic and Medicinal Plant Research 1991;5:47-82.
2. Dev, S. A modern look at an age-old Ayurvedic drug—guggulu. Science Age July 1987:13-18.
3. Nityanand, S., Srivastava, J.S., Asthana, O.P. Clinical trials with gugulipid. J. Ass. Physicians of India 1989;37(5):323-28.
4. Agarwal, R.C. et. al. Clinical trial of gugulipid—a new hypolipidemic agent of plant origin in primary hyperlipidemia. Indian J Med Res 1986;84:626-34.
5. 'Gugulipid' Drugs of the Future 1988;13(7):618-619.
6. Maggi, G.C., Donati, C., Criscuoli, G. Pantethine: A physiological lipomodulating agent, in the treatment of hyperlipidemias. Current Therapeutic Research 1982;32(3):380-86.
7. Kimura, S., Furukawa, Y., Wakasugi, J. Effects of pantethine on the serum lipoprotiens in rats fed a high cholesterol diet (Abstract) Seventh International Symposium on Drugs Affecting Lipid Metabolism, Milan, Italy, 1980.
8. Arsenio, L. Bodria, P. Effectiveness of long-term treatment with pantethine in patients with dyslipidemia. Clinical Therapeutics 1986;8(5):537-45.
9. Avogaro, P. Bittolo Bon, G. Fusello, M. Effect of pantethine on lipids, lipoproteins and apolipoproteins in man. Current Therapeutic Research 1983;33(3):488-93.
10. Crouse, J.R. New developments in the use of niacin for treatment of hyperlipidemia: new considerations in the use of an old drug. Coronary Artery Disease 1996;7(4):321-26.
11. Welsh, A.L. Ede, M. Inositol hexanicotinate for improved nicotinic acid therapy. International Record of Food Medicine 1961;174(1):9-15.
12. "Inositol hexaniacinate" (Monograph). Alternative Medicine Review 1998;3(3):222-3.
13. Serbinova, E., et. al. Free radical recycling and intramembrane mobility in the antioxidant properties of alpha-tocopherol and alpha tocotrienol. Free Radical Biology and Medicine 1991;10:263-275.
14. Qureshi, N. Qureshi, A.A. Tocotrienols: Novel Hypercholesterolemic Agents with Antioxidant Properties. in 'Vitamin E in Health and Disease' Lester Packer and Jürgen Fuchs, Editors. 1993; New York: Marcel Dekker, Inc.
Control Cholesterol with the following Supplements