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World's Largest CBD Extraction Plant to be Built in Western Ky.
December 26, 2017 03:59 PM
A company, called Kings Royal Biotech has decided to partner up with a Chinese industrial hemp development company, in order to open the largest cannabidiol (CBD) processing plant in the United States. CBD is a substance that is extracted from the hemp plant, but it is not psychoactive. In fact, CBD has been shown to be useful in treating a variety of medical conditions, including epilepsy and chronic pain. THC, on the other hand, is the substance in marijuana that can give a user a psychoactive effect. King Royal intends to grow hemp that is free of THC, so that the CBD could be isolated and utilized for medicinal purposes, without the risk of giving the user a psychoactive effect. Additionally, this means that the products are completely legal, in accordance with the laws of the federal government of the United States.
"Under Federal Law industrial hemp cannot contain more than .3 percent THC, so there is no chance of any users having an altered state of mind from this product."
Read more: http://surfky.com/index.php/muhlenberg/news-muhlenberg/179-news/kentucky/125400-world-s-largest-cbd-extraction-plant-to-be-built-in-western-ky
Treating ADHD naturally: The science says Omega-3s make a difference
October 15, 2017 01:14 PM
Science is figuring out how ADHD can be treated without a strong medication. The key is Omega-3s. This is good news since many parents don't want to put their children on these medications because they an alter a child's modd. They are very powerful. Omega-3s can be found in fish and other foods, though. They are natural and safe. There are also supplements which contain them. It will not be hard to get them into your child's diet.
"From the seven clinical tests, they discovered that omega-3 fatty acids improved the clinical symptoms of ADHD, such as inattention and hyperactivity, according to reports made by the parents of the observed children."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2017-10-09-treating-adhd-naturally-the-science-says-omega-3s-make-a-difference.html
7 Things Your Hands Say About Your Health
July 26, 2017 12:14 PM
Your hands show the internal worKings of our body. They are packed full of nerves, which can alert you to carpal tunnel and many other health issues. Hands can reveal fatigue as well. Vitamins E, B1, and B12 being lacking can cause tingling in your hands. If you have numbness in just the finger tips it could be blood flow or other cardiovascular issue. If you notice any of these signs stretch, rest and consult a doctor if the symptoms continue.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQe0lJ9ATfs&rel=0
"If we will stop, look and listen, we will discover they have much to say to us about the internal worKings of our bodies"
Oxford University Launching World Class Cannabis Research Center
April 28, 2017 10:44 AM
Oxford University plans to open a world class cannabis research facility. This center would seek to research THC and CMD as potential therapies and treatments for a variety of illnesses. Despite the plant being illegal in the UK and in many other countries, Kingsley hopes to find ways to harness the healing properties of cannabis and put the UK on track as a leader in this rapidly growing field. The center also plans to host international conventions where researchers from across the globe can share their findings.
Read more: Oxford University Launching World Class Cannabis Research Center
Biotin: What's the Beauty Buzz?
March 14, 2017 06:59 PM
Found in dietary supplements, makeup, and individual care items, biotin is accepted to bolster more beneficial looking hair, skin, and nails. Biotin additionally bolsters the wellbeing of moms and children amid pregnancy and breastfeeding; advances sound glucose levels as of now inside the ordinary range; underpins liver and eye wellbeing; and backings the general solid looking appearance of hair, skin, and nails. At the point when individuals don't get enough biotin in their eating regimen, they may encounter male pattern baldness, dry textured skin, cheilitis, glossitis, dry eyes, loss of craving, weariness, a sleeping disorder or discouragement. You can keep your scalp hydrated and sound by taking supplements of biotin, vitamin C, vitamin E, and zinc, to bolster your hair's imperviousness to breakage. Concerning nail wellbeing, biotin may help goad nail development, conceivably profiting individuals with nails that effortlessly chip, split or break.
Read more: Biotin: What's the Beauty Buzz?
Rewires Your Brain and Slashes Anxiety Levels, but Beware
March 14, 2017 03:59 PM
Thedocumentary, Ride the Tiger: A Guide Through the Bipolar Brain, focused on current concepts treatment. Drugs available don't work in all patients and lifestyle changes are recommended when possible. It's recommended that bipolar patients and people suffering from other disorders There has been some positive outcomes from devices using light and magnets to stimulate the brain but a healthy diet, exercise, vitamin supplements and probiotics can address these disorders. Patients have also received benefits through exercise and proper sleep patterns. Doing all this, patients have found they can slowly get off their drug treatment regimens.
""By seeking to understand how the bipolar brain malfunctions, researchers believe they can get closer to understanding the inner worKings of the brain, potentially unlocking treatments for other types of psychiatric problems as well.""
Rhodiola an ancient medicinal plant to help you cope with modern life
The plant Rhodiola Rosea, most commonly known as Rose Root, and also by the names Golden Root, King's Crown, Lignum Rhodium,Racine Dorée or Rodia Riza, is recognized throughout the world for its many proprieties and has been used since antiquity to treat and prevent a number of conditions - it has even been featured in De Materia Medica written by the ancient physician Dioscorides. This Scandinavian herb, is native to the arctic regions of Europe, Asia, and even Alaska.
It is an adaptogen, a substance that can normalize bodily functions and augment resistance to physical, chemical and environmental stress. It is also neuroprotective, thus, promoting longevity. There has been evidences of its use as a medicinal plant, under many names, in both Greek and Chinese medicine, but there are also accounts of its use by other past populations like the ViKings.
Rhodiola has been used to promote vitality both physical and psychological, since it can reduce fatigue and exhaustion, and conversely increase stamina, strength and mental capacity.
Nowadays, it has been used to improve daily life: for increasing sexual performance and hearing, to treat depression and to counter, aging and certain heart disorders. It is also used by athletes to reduce recovery time after long workouts. There are even some that use the rhodiola plant to prevent against common colds.
However, since there hasn't been long term studies on humans, there isn't of yet confirmation of some of the benefits of this medicinal plant. While there isn't reliable information pertaining to side effects, pregnant and lactating women should consult their physicians prior to taking rhodiola or avoid it for the duration of the pregnancy and breastfeeding.
June 22, 2009 11:43 AM
Even though bee pollen has received a good deal of attention over the last few decades, a lot of people still do not know exactly what it is. Pollen is technically the male seed of flowers and can be viewed as the male cells of a flowering plant. It is necessary for the plant to be fertilized. Every kind of flower on his plant produces pollen, which is created in the stamen of the blossom itself. Bee pollen is the pollen which is collected and stored by honey bees in their hives. While honey bees perform this activity, they actually pollinate more than 80 percent of green growing plants. Obviously, they are a vital component of plant propagation. Universally, bee pollen is praised for its notable nutrient content and extraordinary ability to provide energy.
Used for centuries, bee pollen has been considered a powerful healing agent, a source of regenerative power, and the secret to eternal youth for some ancients. As far back as 2735 B.C., the Chinese emperor compiled an impressive medical collection containing many beehive products. This compilation is still referred to today, with ongoing research continuing to support many of its claims. For millions of years, humans have made good use of beehive products. Before paper was even invented, ancient people commemorated their respect of the honeybee and beehive products. Honeybees were considered to be sacred at this time, with Egyptian papyri referring to bee pollen as life-giving dust and its use as a sacred offering to the gods. Roman legions use to carry bee pollen for sustenance, with ancient Romans even making Virgil the official poet laureate of the honeybee.
Even Hippocrates recommended bee pollen for several ailments, while the Hindus taught that eating honey and pollen could produce health, vigor, happiness, and wisdom. Honey and pollen were routinely used by orientals for medicinal purposes, while Ancient Greeks referred to honey and pollen as the food of Kings, as they believed the food would give them youth and vitality. Bee pollen was also looked upon as a dietary staple by the Anglo-Saxons. People drank combinations of wine, honey, and pollen because they believed that it was a life-sustaining elixir.
In the following centuries, Charlemagne recorded that his subjects used pollen and honey on a daily basis. He even required that his people take an annual inventory of their honey and pollen supplies. Taxes were often paid in the form of honey and pollen and gifts of honey and pollen were looked upon with respect. Almost every recorded religious or historical record praises the honeybee and its products such as bee pollen. These books refer to the beneficial healing and nutritive properties that bee pollen possesses. Aztec and Mayans even worshiped the honeybee, which can be proved through numerous images of honeycombs and pollen. Early American settlers even became actively involved in honey production, so that it could be used at the table.
Because American scientists have shown little to no amounts of interest in European documentation that supports the therapeutic value of bee pollen, most modern day scientific investigation has taken place in Europe. Other researchers have already discovered that this wonderful food contains concentrations of just about every known nutrient, with reports from areas of Europe and Russia confirming the belief that this substance has infinite value for health maintenance and diseases treatment.
Bee pollen is available in capsule, tablet, and bulk powder forms at VitaNet ®, LLC. Always purchase a name brand bee pollen product to ensure quality and purity of the product you purchase.
Potassium And Magnesium
December 30, 2008 01:08 PM
Potassium and magnesium are the two most common minerals found within the cells of your body. They each have specific individual functions within your body, and together help to maintain the correct balance of electrolytes and the proper functioning of smooth and striated muscles. That includes allowing muscles to relax properly rather than to cramp.
Before discussing this, let's have a look at the major individual properties of these two metallic minerals with respect to the body's biochemistry.
Magnesium is needed to ensure the proper functioning of the sodium/potassium pump. This is a complex topic, and we shan't dwell on it at length here, although the basics are that it is responsible for the movement of ions into and out of cells. Sodium and potassium ions are moved in opposite directions across the cell plasma membrane, three sodium ions being pumped out for every two potassium ions pumped into the cell.
This is of particular importance to nervous cells responsible for transmitting impulses in response to specific stimuli. In the event of a magnesium deficiency, this pumping action is impaired and the sodium/potassium balance within and without the body cells are imbalanced. This in turn impairs the response of nerve cells to stimuli. Both magnesium and potassium can be depleted through the use of diuretics, in which case a magnesium supplement can redress the imbalance.
There are several consequences of such an electrolytic imbalance, some having potentially serious consequences. Many can cause death if left untreated, although the symptoms usually allow appropriate medical treatment prior to the condition becoming fatal, such treatment frequently involving administration of magnesium and potassium. Among these are:
Calcium overload in certain heart cells that reduces the effective use of oxygen and ATP and causes overactive contraction of the heart muscle.
Spasms in coronary blood vessels.
Over-activity of the striated muscle fibers, leading to cramps in the calf and thigh muscles, for example.
Cramp and pain in the smooth muscles of hollow organs such as the bladder or uterus that can also cause premature labor.
Several heart problems caused by an increase in energy consumption and a calcium overload and potassium deficiency that leads to cardiac ischemia and arrhythmia that continue to create a serious medical condition and hazard to life. Potassium, that can stop the heart if given in excess, can be just as harmful if present in too small a concentration.
The whole situation creates a self-perpetuating cycle that can be broken by a magnesium and potassium supplement that restores the correct gradient of potassium and magnesium across the cell membrane, improves the function of the sodium/potassium pump and reduces the excess cellular calcium by replacing it with magnesium.
This only works if both potassium and magnesium are taken together: just either alone is no good. It also takes time for the effect to occur, so the supplement is not suitable for emergency use. A regular supply can prevent the condition occurring.
There are many other properties that magnesium and potassium possess with regard to the body's biochemistry such as the effect of magnesium in activating certain enzymes. However, in discussing relaxation, both of these essential minerals have a significant part to play.
It has been mentioned that a magnesium and calcium deficiency causes spasms and cramps in the smooth and striated muscles, and the corollary is also true. Magnesium and potassium can be used to relieve such cramps, and relax muscle tissue. Hence, because it can relax excited smooth bronchial muscle tissue, magnesium can be used to relieve asthma attacks. The intravenous administration of magnesium is, in fact, an accepted and proven clinical treatment for acute asthma attacks.
In the same way, magnesium has been used to treat muscle spasms and cramps. Again, it is not an immediate treatment for emergency use, but can be used over a period of days to treat athletes with a history of muscle spasms. Such spasm frequently occur after prolonged periods of exercise, when magnesium and potassium, among other electrolytes, can be lost through a combination of sweating and urination.
However, this is not the only means by which magnesium is lost from your body cells, and probably not even the main one. Less obvious, but likely of more importance, is the transfer of magnesium from the plasma into the red blood cells (erythrocytes). The amount by which this occurs is directly proportional to the more anaerobic the exercise, hence the need by athletes and weightlifters for more magnesium. It can be rapidly lost through exercise with insufficient oxygen, and cause their muscles to cramp up.
Magnesium deficiency is common in Americans, although factors such as high calcium intake, alcohol intake, diuretics, and kidney and liver disease are more responsible for this than a dietary deficiency. Potassium is readily available in bananas, brown rice, potatoes, tomatoes and oranges and dietary deficiencies are not common although supplements are readily available.
Magnesium is also known to play an important part in the secretion and use of insulin by the body. Supplementation with magnesium can help diabetics to make best use of insulin, become more tolerant to glucose and improve the fluidity of the membrane of red blood cells. The mineral; also has a small but definite effect in lowering blood pressure. Other uses for magnesium supplements include congenital heart failure, where higher magnesium contents lead to greater life expectancy and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) where magnesium supplements can significantly increase energy levels.
Other uses to which your body puts potassium other than to allow proper muscle contraction and relaxation and to maintain the balance of electrolytes in the body, includes the function of brain and nerve neurons. This, however, is academic since should your potassium levels drop by 50%, death would result.
Potassium, Magnesium and Calcium are essential in maintaining the proper worKings of your body cells, although the most visible effect of magnesium and potassium is their relaxation properties on the body, put to specific use by sportsmen and women, particularly those involved in the more anaerobic sports.
Trace Minerals and Migraines
November 16, 2005 12:02 PM
Trace Minerals and Migraines
An increasingly large amount of disease today may be attributable to deficiencies in the supply of trace minerals in our diets.1 How can this be the case when the availability of food in our country is unprecedented, with a supermarket on every corner? These deficiencies do not stem from a lack of quantity of food, rather they stem from the quality of food. Trace minerals can be found mainly in whole, unprocessed foods such as vegetables and fruits. Unfortunately, the large majority of fruits and vegetables found in supermarkets today are nutritionally devoid of these minerals, largely in part to the high-yield farming practices in this and other countries.
The mineral content of food is mainly dependent on the amount of minerals found in the soil in which it is grown. Current farming practices leave soils with less than optimal amounts of these minerals, especially the less common trace minerals. As a result of this, our food supplies leave us at risk for deficiencies of these very important substances. Because of this situation, it is essential that every person now supplement their diet with trace minerals in order to avoid the many diseases that are attributable to this scarcity. A lack of vital nutrients leaves the body unable to function fully, leaving it vulnerable to disease.
Trace minerals have numerous roles. Oftentimes, because these minerals are found in such small quantities in the body, scientists and physicians have paid little attention to their importance in health and disease prevention. However, with the advent of improved science and the recognition of the efficacy of natural medicine, we are beginning to understand how vital these elements are to our health. Trace minerals, in a sense, are akin to the numerous tiny nails, nuts, and bolts that hold a house together. At first glance, a home is made of much more than these items. However, if they are slowly removed and never replaced, the house will continue to sag and finally fall apart. So it is the same with the smallest building blocks of our bodies. Trace minerals are important in the proper functioning of enzyme systems, nerve conduction and muscle function, assisting with transfer of nourishment into cells, providing the framework for tissues, and regulation of organ functions. These ‘behind the scenes’ functions are not possible without a constant, adequate supply of minerals. Even with the many multivitamin and mineral supplements available, most of these products fall short because they do not contain large enough amounts of the trace minerals that are so important to health.
Physicians that specialize in natural medicine are some of the biggest proponents of trace mineral supplementation. This type of physician is attuned to the many subtleties of the functions of the human body, and oftentimes addresses health issues with nutritional therapeutics in an attempt to bring the body’s health back into balance. This process of balance, also known as homeostasis, occurs quite wonderfully all by itself, as long as the body has the proper fuel and building materials. Unfortunately, physicians are seeing more and more diseases, which can be attributed to the body’s inability to achieve this balance. This trend towards ill health is directly related to the dearth of nutritional value in our diets today.
However, practitioners of natural medicine are very excited with the many dramatic turn-arounds toward health that many of their patients have experienced with the use of mineral supplementation. A common example of this is the treatment of migraine headaches with magnesium. Recent statistics suggest that 18 percent of women and six percent of men suffer from migraine and those numbers are increasing.2 The Centers for Disease Control reported a 60-percent increase in the disease from 1980 to 1989.3 Migraine headaches occur when the blood vessels in the brain spasm and constrict. Soon after this constriction occurs, the blood vessels then reflexively open, or dilate. When the vessels become dilated, they occupy more space in the brain, activating nearby pain receptors. It is speculated that an imbalance of mineral stores in the body can lead to this spasm of the blood vessels. Many researchers have suggested magnesium plays an important role in migraine attacks. The activities of magnesium in the body include preventing blood vessel spasm, inhibiting blood clotting, and stabilizing cell membranes, all of which are involved in migraine develoment4. Magnesium concentration exerts an effect on neurotransmitter production and receptors, pro-inflammatory molecules, and other migraine-related chemicals in the brain.5 Recent evidence suggests up to 50 percent of migraine patients have lowered levels of tissue magnesium during an acute migraine attack.6 Another study discovered brain magnesium concentrations were 19 percent lower in patients during migraine attack compared to healthy controls.7 Because recent research strongly indicates a magnesium deficiency in migraine headaches, natural medicine practitioners prescribe magnesium along with other trace minerals as a primary treatment for this condition with great success.
Because of their widespread distribution throughout the metabolic worKings of the human body, trace minerals are integral to the functioning of one of the body’s largest organ systems, the muscles. Mainly, magnesium plays a large role in the relaxation of muscles following their contraction. Without this vital nutrient, it would be impossible for the muscles of the human body to function. Muscle cramps are prevalent in western society due to lack of intake of an appropriate amount of minerals. One easy, straightforward cure for muscle cramping is supplementation with magnesium and other trace minerals, as they allow the muscles to function smoothly and correctly. The role of magnesium in relieving cramped muscles also makes it a highly appropriate therapy for the muscle pain associated with fibromyalgia, a condition that is often treated successfully by practitioners of natural medicine. These practitioners often use high doses of magnesium and other trace mineral combinations to reduce the painful and tender muscles that are so common in fibromyalgia patients.
Another condition that is successfully treated with magnesium and trace minerals is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. People with this condition often experience profound muscle aches and weakness. It has been shown that in order for proper muscle contraction and relaxation to occur, magnesium and calcium need to be present in proper amounts in the body, which can be difficult to achieve even on a standard healthy diet. Additionally, magnesium and mineral supplementation may decrease the pain involved with sports-related injuries and excessive physical activity. As we use our muscular system, it is slowly depleted of these minerals, making replacement a top priority. Others signs of magnesium deficiency include disorientation, depression, tingling, numbness, seizures, abnormal heart rhythms in addition to muscle spasms and cramps.8,9
A minimum of at least 60 trace minerals has been demonstrated to be vital to health and well-being.10 This article has covered only a small fraction of the multitudes of health benefits of trace minerals. As science and natural medicine continues to uncover the many roles for all of these trace minerals, doctors are finding exciting solutions to several maladies that may be successfully treated by replacing these nutrients in the body. Unless we begin replacing these minerals early on in life, we put ourselves at risk for the many diseases of mineral deficiency that are becoming more and more prevalent in society today.
1 Medical Nutrition from Marz, 2nd Edition. Omni-Press, 1997. Pps. 103-107
2 Stewart WF, Lipton RB, Celentano DD, et al. Prevalence of migraine headache in the United States: relation to age, income, race, and other sociodemographic factors. JAMA 1992;267:64-69.
3 Rappaport AM, Scheftell FD. Headache Disorders: A Management Guide for Practitioners. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Co.;1996:4.
4 McCarty MF. Magnesium taurate and fish oil for prevention of migraine. Med Hypotheses 1996;47:461-466.
5Sinclair, S. Migraine Headaches: Nutritional, Botanical And Other Alternative Approaches. Alternative Medicine Review - Volume 4, Number 2, April 1999.
6 Mauskop A, Altura BM. Role of magnesium in the pathogenesis and treatment of migraine. Clin Neurosci 1998;5:24-27.
7 Ramadan NM, Halvorson H, Vande-Linde A, et al. Low brain magnesium in migraine. Headache 1989;29:590-593. 8 Rude RK. Magnesium deficiency: A cause of heterogeneous disease in humans. J Bone Miner Res 1998;13:749-58.
9 Institute of Medicine. Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary Reference Intakes: Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Vitamin D and Fluoride. National Academy Press. Washington, DC, 1999.
10 Kelly, GS. Sports Nutrition: A Review of Selected Nutritional Supplements For Bodybuilders and Strength Athletes-Alternative Medicine Review - Volume 2, Number 3, May 1997
Maintaining Healthy Veins
July 25, 2005 09:36 PM
More than 40 million Americans have varicose veins, a term in Latin meaning “twisted and wollen blood vessel.” Although the condition is rarely disabling, it is disfiguring, causing discomfort and embarrassment to those afflicted.
many cases, genetic predisposition and gender determine who will develop varicose veins. A full 75% of Americans with the condition ar e women. At risk some women who may experience the beginning of this condition during pregnancy as the enlarging womb presses on the veins in the abdomen, increasing the pressure in the veins of the legs.
Age is another factor as the skin becomes less elastic, lessening vein support. Some individuals are genetically edisposed to a malfunction of the one-way valves that may cause a back low of blood to pool in super ficial veins, stretching and swelling them.
some health care professionals believe that our Western diet, high in refined carbohydrates and fat and low in fiber, may cause straining during bowel movement leading to hemorrhoids (anal varicose veins) and increase pressure on the leg veins. Our Western diet also eads to obesity and cardiovascular conditions such as plaque deposits in the arteries, abnormal clotting and platelet aggregation, cardiac dysfunction or failure, all leading to a weakened venous system that could increase the chance of developing varicose veins and edema (swelling in the legs). Those who ar e predisposed to varicose veins and who stand for long periods of time, especially on hard floors, may develop them more quickly.
If you are at risk of developing this condition as you age, emphasizing a diet high in fiber, legumes and grains, fresh fruits and vegetables will improve your chances of maintaining good vein health. Other nutritional supplements that may be beneficial are horse chestnut seeds, Centella Asiatica, Milk Thistle, Butcher’s Broom and bioflavonoids.
Horse chestnut seeds have a long historical use in the treatment of varicose veins and hemorrhoids. One active ingredient that has been researched is a saponin mixture called Aescin. In a recent study, Aescin was as effective as compression stocKings in reducing leg swelling in patients with chronic venous insufficiency.
Centella Asiatica is a common edible herb also known as Gotu Kola in India. When grown in Madagascar, it has a higher content of a compound called triterpenic fraction (TTFCA) than the same herb has when grown in other parts of the world. This compound has been used for many years in the treatment of venous hypertension. In a study conducted in 1989, 120mg dosage was safely used in patients with poor venous blood flow and it improved the condition after one or two months.
Often, inflammation is a component of varicose veins. Milk Thistle, another herb commonly used for the treatment of liver disorders, was also found to reduce inflammation and edema in a recent Spanish study.
A bushy ever green perennial found throughout much of the Western world is Butcher’s Broom. Its saponin glycosides ar e anti-inflammatory and helped contract blood vessels, especially veins thus making it an important component of any natural for mulation used to improve venous conditions.
Certain bioflavonoids, such as quer cetin and rutin, have also been shown to be useful in the natural tr eatment of varicose veins as a strengthener of capillary and vein walls.
There are other nutritional supplements including vitamins and minerals that may help maintain vein health as we age. They are listed in my new book “A Doctor’s Guide to Natural Medicine.” To improve vein health and to decrease your chance of developing varicose veins: do not stand for long periods of time especially on hard sur faces such as concrete. If you can’t avoid this, make sure your shoes are well cushioned. If you are sitting for long periods of time either working or traveling, take walking breaks. Stop crossing your legs and exercise regularly to incorporates rhythmical contraction of the leg muscles. Rest with your legs elevated when taking a break. W earing good support hose and avoiding tight knee-highs will promote good blood flow.
These things can be very important if you ar e genetically pr edisposed to varicose veins. Starting nutrients early may help diminish or delay venous problems.
Micromedex, Inc. Volume 96, 1974-1998. Diehmetal. Microcirculation Laboratory, Cardiovascular Clinic, Chieti, Italy.
Efficacy of Centellase in the Treatment of Venous Hypertension Evaluated by a Combined Micro circulatory Model. G. Belcaroetal. Current Therapeutic Research, Vol. 46, No. 6, Dec. 1989.
Effect of Silymarin on Different Acute Inflammation Models and on Leukocyte Migration. R. de la Puertaetal, J. Pharm. Parmacol. 1996, 48: 968-970 Merck Sciential Review, no. 10, 1995-04-30, pp. 2
The 50 Year Service Check...
July 07, 2005 09:18 AM
Sad but true: Guys who wouldnt forget to give their cars an oil change will go years without having their own inner worKings inspected. But a reluctance to have ones chassis checked at the practitioner's office can translate into serious body engine failure. While physical exams are always important, they become a nevessity with advancing age. We're not saying 50 is old, mind you--a couple at Energy Times staffers are starting the big five-oh right in the face--but it's a good time to start getting regular checkups if you haven't been in the habit. Here's some of the things to look for next time they pop your hood.
Get those choppers checked at least once a year--untreated gum disease can lead to the kind of low-level inflammation now thought to be a culprit in numerous illnesses, including heart disease.
Some experts recommend yearly testing for glaucoma, a condition in which increased pressure within the eyeball can cause blindness if not treated. Presbyopia, the farsightedness that accompanies increasing age, generally starts in one's 40s; time to invest in a pair of reading glasses.
Have your blood pressure taken by a professional at least once a year. Checks for cholesterol and blood sugar are part of a metabolic panel (Standard blood work) to be done every three years; it should include total cholesterol, LDL "bad" cholesterol and triglycerides (blood fats). Discuss testing for CRP (C-reative Protein), a marker of chronic inflammation, with your practitioner.
The American Thyroid Association suggests an initial check of your thyroid, a gland in your neck that serves as the body's energy transformer, at age 35 with retests every five years afterwards. If you can't seem to lose weight and/or are sonstantly tired, ask about having your thyroid hormone levels assessed.
Your liver won't send out distress signals until it's pretty banged up. Since the standard metabolic panel includes the liver-enzyme check be sure to have it done every three years; that frequency may need to increase if you have a history of heavy alcohol or workplace exposure to toxins.
Having a yearly digital rectal examination (DRE) is recommended. Blood testing for prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is more contraversial.
Colonoscopy, in which a lighted tube is used to view the entire colon, is the gold standard (although doctors are working on a less invasive virtual colonoscopy); once every 10 years starting at age 50 is recommended. A fecal occult blood test (FOBT) should be preformed every year, but keep in mind it can yeild false results, positive and negative.
Don't Forget to:
Screening frequencies are for healthy individuals with no known risk factors. If you have a pre-existing condition or are at risk for one, follow your practitioner's recommendations.
: Energy Times
June 25, 2005 09:58 AM
For thousands of years amazing magical and medicinal powers have been attributed to garlic. Prized as a legendary protectant against vampires in Transylvania, it has also been used to enhance sexual prowess and fight off infections. Referred to as “the stinking rose,” it is mentioned in Bible, the Talmud, and in the Odyssey by Homer as well. The Egyptians looked to garlic as a tonic which boosted physical strength and consumed it while building the pyramids. The Greeks utilized its laxative properties, and the Chinese prescribed it for high blood pressure. ViKings and Phoenicians alike extolled the virtues of garlic and used it both for flavoring foods and treating disease.
Garlic is a hardy, perennial bulb which is native to the Mediterranean regions of Africa and Europe. Along with onions, leeks, chives and shallots, garlic is a member of the lily family. The botanical name for garlic, allium sativum may have been derived from the celtic word all which refers to “pungent.” The edible portion of the garlic plant grows underground and consists of a cloved bulb.
Hippocrates believed that garlic could treat uterine cancer and Native Americans used it for stomach cancer. During the Bubonic Plague years in Europe, garlic was used to boost immunity against the infectious organism responsible for so many deaths. Several accounts relate that survivors of the plague were frequently those who had routinely ingested large amounts of garlic. A sixteenth- century herbalist writes, referring to garlic, “The virtue of this herb is thus. It will unbind all wicked winds within a man’s body.”1
During the eighteenth century, Russians utilized garlic to treat influenza. Eventually, garlic would become known as “Russian penicillin.” American colonists regarded garlic for its ability to kill parasites.
In the nineteenth century, Louis Pasteur finally proved scientifically that garlic contains antibiotic properties. His discovery led to the initiation of hundreds of studies which have substantiated his findings. What was thought to be nothing more than a culinary ingredient has medicinal value. Garlic can effectively kill bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites. In the late nineteenth century, garlic was routinely used by physicians as an effective treatment for typhus, cholera and whooping cough. It was highly recommended by medical practitioners and considered as staple treatment for infection. Albert Schweitzer used garlic for treating amebic dysentery in Africa. Early in this century, tuberculosis was treated with garlic and it was also used as an antibiotic/antiseptic for wounds during World War II. American and European doctors alike noted a remarkable high cure rate in tuberculosis patients treated with garlic.
2 Septic poisoning and gangrene, which can so quickly develop in battlefield wounds were prevented to a significant degree by using garlic. During the 1950’s Chinese scientists used garlic to successfully treat influenza. Subsequently, western studies found that garlic was an effective treatment for the common cold. Today the widespread use of antibiotics have relegated garlic to the back burner of medicinal therapies for infection. The discovery of penicillin resulted in classifying garlic as nothing more than a folk remedy. Unfortunately, for several decades its medicinal potential was no longer taken seriously by scientists. Over the last decade, scientific interest in garlic has dramatically escalated. In 1990, the First World Congress on the Health Significance of garlic and Garlic Constituents was held in Washington D.C. Herbalists have always considered garlic as an effective treatment and preventative agent against colds, flu and other infectious diseases. The present focus on garlic as a medicinal agent promises to support the notion that garlic should be utilized by medical practitioners much more than it currently is.
Recently, medical research has focused on garlic’s potential value in treating cardiovascular disorders and as an anti-cancer agent. This renewed interest in garlic has contributed to the development of the “Designer Foods Program” which is sponsored by the National Cancer Institute.3 This agency investigates foods that may be effective cancer preventatives. Garlic is one of those foods which may have profound cancer prevention potential.
Celebrating Women: Age Is Just a Number
June 13, 2005 07:43 PM
Celebrating Women: Age Is Just a Number by Carl Lowe Energy Times, March 10, 2004
As women age, their physical needs shift. The health challenges that face a woman in her thirties do not match those of a woman in her fifties.
At the same time, some basic health needs stay constant: At any age, every woman requires a wealth of vitamins, minerals and the other natural chemicals that fruits, vegetables and supplements supply. She also constantly needs families and friends to support her spiritual health.
As the internal worKings of your body alter, your lifestyle must stay abreast of those adjustments. Peak health demands a finely tuned health program designed with your individual needs-and your stage of life-in mind.
Ages 30 to 45
When it comes to maintaining health, younger women might seem to have it easier than older women. If they exercise and stay in shape, they maintain more stamina than women 10 to 20 years their senior.
Unfortunately, many women in this age group mistakenly think they don't have to be as careful about their lifestyle habits and their eating habits as they will in later decades. But even if your health doesn't seem to suffer from poor eating choices or a sedentary lifestyle right away, your foundation for health in later life suffers if you don't care for yourself now.
By age 45 you should have established the good habits that will carry you successfully through the aging process. As an added bonus, good lifestyle habits pay immediate dividends. If you pay attention to your nutrients and get plenty of physical activity when younger, you'll feel more energetic and probably enjoy better emotional health.
Set Health Goals
According to Gayle Reichler, MS, RD, CDN, in her book Active Wellness (Avery/Penguin), good health at any age doesn't just come to you-you have to plan for it. In order to stick to good habits, she says, "living a healthy lifestyle needs to be satisfying." Reichler believes that you need to picture your health goals to achieve them: "Every successful endeavor first begins in the mind as an idea, a thought, a dream, a conviction." Good health at this age and in later years requires a concrete strategy and visualization of how your body can improve with a healthy lifestyle.
Your long-term health goals at this age should include an exercise program that will allow you to reach a physically fit old age with a lowered risk of disability. In addition, your short-term plans should encompass losing weight, staying optimistic, living life with more vim and vigor, increasing your capacity for exercise and lowering your stress.
As Reichler points out, "Your long-term goal and your ideal vision establish what you want to achieve....[You should do] something good...for yourself every day and every week that makes your life easier and more consistent with your goals."
Develop an Eating Plan
Today, the average American gains about two pounds annually. As a result, every year a greater portion of the US population is obese and overweight. By controlling your food intake earlier in life, you may be able to avoid this weight gain. In his book Prolonging Health (Hampton Roads), James Williams, OMD, recommends basic changes to your diet that can provide long-term support of your health:
Get Supplemental Help
If you're in your thirties or forties and you don't take at least a multivitamin, start taking one today! A large body of research shows that taking vitamin and mineral supplements over a long period of time significantly supports better health.
Calcium and vitamin D are two of the most important supplemental nutrients, helping to build stronger bones now that can withstand the bone-loss effects of aging.
Calcium can also help keep your weight down. One study of younger women found that for every extra 300 milligrams of calcium a day they consumed, they weighed about two pounds less (Experimental Biology 2003 meeting, San Diego).
In the same way, taking vitamin D supplements not only helps strengthen your bones, it can also lower your risk of multiple sclerosis (Neurology 1/13/04). In this study, which looked at the health records of more than 180,000 women for up to 20 years, taking D supplements dropped the chances of multiple sclerosis (although eating vitamin D-rich foods did not have the same benefit). And if you're thinking about having children at this age, a multivitamin is crucial for lowering your baby's risk of birth defects and other health problems. A study at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that women who take multivitamins during pregnancy lower their children's risk of nervous system cancer by up to 40% (Epidemiology 9/02).
" Our finding, combined with previous work on reducing several birth defects with vitamin supplementation and other childhood cancers, supports the recommendation that mothers' vitamin use before and during pregnancy may benefit their babies' health," says Andrew F. Olshan, MD, professor of epidemiology at the UNC School of Public Health. "We believe physicians and other health care providers should continue to educate women about these benefits and recommend appropriate dietary habits and daily dietary supplements."
In particular, Dr. Olshan feels that folic acid (one of the B vitamins), and vitamins C and A, are particularly important for lowering the risk of childhood cancers and birth defects.
Ages 45 to 55
When you reach this in-between age-the time when most women have moved past childbearing age but haven't usually fully moved into the post-menopausal stage-you enjoy a propitious opportunity to take stock of your health and plan for an even healthier future. One thing that may need adjustment is your sleep habits, as sleeplessness is a common problem for women in this age group. Even if you haven't been exercising or watching your diet until now, it's not too late to start. Making lifestyle changes at this age can still improve your chances for aging successfully.
For instance, it is at these ages that women should have their heart health checked. Research published in the journal Stroke (5/01) shows that having your cholesterol and blood pressure checked at this time more accurately shows your future chances of heart disease than having it checked at a later date after menopause, in your late fifties.
" The premenopausal risk factors may be a stronger predictor of carotid atherosclerosis [artery blockages] because they represent cumulative risk factor exposure during the premenopausal years, whereas the risk factors...during the early postmenopausal years have a shorter time for influence," says Karen A. Matthews, PhD, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. In other words, Dr. Matthews' research shows that if you have high blood pressure and high cholesterol before menopause, you are at serious risk for a stroke or heart attack soon after menopause: These are important reasons that you need to start improving your health habits immediately.
Increase in Heart Disease
Before menopause, a woman's hormones and other physiological characteristics usually hold down her chance of heart disease. After menopause, when hormones and other bodily changes occur, the risk of heart attacks and stroke in women rises significantly. (Heart disease is the leading killer of women.) At least part of this increased risk is linked to the postmenopausal decrease in estrogen production.
Dr. Matthews studied about 370 women in their late forties, measuring their weight, their BMI (body mass index, an indication of body fat compared to height), blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar. Ten years later, after the women had entered menopause, she and her fellow scientists used ultrasound to measure blockages in these women's neck arteries (a sign of heart disease).
The researchers found that indications of potential heart problems (such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and being overweight) when women were in their forties did indeed forecast future difficulties.
" Women who had elevated cholesterol, higher blood pressures and increased body weight before menopause had increased blood vessel thickening and atherosclerotic plaque formation in the neck arteries after menopause. Such changes in the carotid arteries are associated with an increased heart attack and stroke risk," says Dr. Matthews.
Heart Health Factors
The four main lifestyle factors you should adjust at this age to support better heart function are diet, stress, exercise and weight. According to Dr. James Williams, "[M]ore than any other cause, dietary factors are the most critical factor in cardiovascular disease." He recommends eliminating "dietary saturated fatty acids as found in flame-broiled and fried meats." He also urges women to eat more fish and poultry, consume organic fruits and vegetables and cut back on refined sugar.
Stress becomes an ever more important heart disease factor at this age as estrogen begins to drop.
" Our study [in the lab] indicates that stress affects estrogen levels and can lead to the development of heart disease-even before menopause," says Jay Kaplan, PhD, of the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center (The Green Journal 3/02).
Dr. Kaplan's research shows that stress in women ages 45 to 55 may reduce estrogen earlier in life and make women more susceptible to the arterial blockages that lead to heart disease. "We know from [lab] studies that stress can lower estrogen levels to the point that health is affected," he says.
Stress can also hurt bone health: In a study of 66 women with normal-length menstrual periods, estrogen levels were low enough in half of the women to cause bone loss, making the women susceptible to osteoporosis.
Exercise and Weight
Although exercise used to be considered to be mainly a young woman's activity, the thrust of recent research suggests that physical activity actually becomes more important to health as you get older.
A 17-year study of about 10,000 Americans found that exercising and keeping your weight down is probably the most important thing you can do to lower your risk of heart disease as you enter your forties and fifties (Am J Prev Med 11/03).
Of the people who took part in this study, more than 1,500 people died of heart disease. Those who performed the most exercise were thinner and had a 50% chance less of dying of heart disease than overweight nonexercisers.
" The fact is that those who both exercised more and ate more nevertheless had low cardiovascular mortality," says Jing Fang, MD, a researcher at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York.
An added benefit of exercise: If you burn up calories exercising, you can eat more and not have to worry as much about being overweight.
Supplements and Diet
If you're a woman at midlife, a multivitamin and mineral is still good nutritional insurance. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables are also important for getting enough phytochemicals, the health substances in plants that convey a wealth of health benefits.
As you enter this age group, your immune system gradually slows down. To help support immune function, eating produce rich in antioxidant nutrients, and supplementing with antioxidants like vitamins C and E as well as carotenoids, can be especially important. For example, a study of people with ulcers found that people with less vitamin C in their stomachs are more likely to be infected with Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria that can cause peptic ulcers and is linked to stomach cancer (J Amer Coll Nutr 8/1/03).
This research, which looked at the health of about 7,000 people, found that vitamin C probably helps the immune system fend off this bacterial infection.
" Current public health recommendations for Americans are to eat five or more servings of fresh fruits and vegetables a day to help prevent heart disease, cancer and other chronic diseases," says Joel A. Simon, MD, MPH, professor of medicine at the University of California at San Francisco.
Calcium and Bones
At midlife, calcium continues to be a vital mineral for supporting bone health.
According to Gameil T. Fouad, PhD, "It has been routinely shown that a woman's calcium status and level of physical activity (specifically, the degree to which she participates in weight-bearing exercise) are positively associated with bone mineral density. It is less well appreciated that this is a process which takes place over the course of a lifetime."
Dr. Fouad adds that calcium works in concert with other vitamins and minerals to keep bones healthy: "Research in the United Kingdom involving nearly 1,000 premenopausal women over age 40 illustrates those women with the highest bone density tended to have the highest intake of calcium. Surprisingly, this study also demonstrated that calcium does not act alone: those women with the best bone health also had the highest intakes of zinc, magnesium and potassium."
Dr. Fouad stresses that supplements should go together with a lifestyle that includes enough sleep and exercise to help the body stay in top shape.
" As a general guideline," he says, "a woman concerned with her mineral intake should take concrete steps to make sure she is getting adequate rest, is eating a well-balanced diet focused on fresh fruits, vegetables and lean protein as well as getting adequate exercise....A multi-mineral containing bio-available forms of zinc, magnesium, copper and selenium is probably a safe addition to anyone's routine. Taking these proactive steps dramatically reduces the chances that deficiencies will arise."
Ages 55 and Beyond
Entering the post-menopausal phase of life can present challenging opportunities for a new perspective on life and health. While some signs of aging are inevitable, experts who have looked at how the human body changes with age are now convinced that healthy lifestyle habits can improve how well you can think, move and enjoy life well past age 55.
As Dr. Williams notes, "In your fifties, the force of aging is undeniably present: Your body shape changes and organ function declines, both men and women have a tendency to gain weight....Heart disease becomes more common, energy and endurance are considerably reduced and your memory begins to slip."
But Dr. Williams also points out that you don't have to age as rapidly as other people do. He believes you should employ a "natural longevity program...[that starts] to reverse the course of aging as early as possible."
One key to staying vital as you age is your outlook on life, an aspect of life that's greatly enhanced by strong social ties.
Avoiding the Aging Slowdown The latest research shows that one of the most crucial ways to slow the effects of aging is to exercise and keep your weight down. It won't necessarily be easy, though. The change in hormonal balance at this age makes the body more prone to extra pounds (Society for Neuroscience Meeting, 11/12/03).
" In women, it has been demonstrated that major weight increases often occur during menopause, the time in a woman's life in which cyclic ovarian function ends and the ovarian hormones estrogen and progesterone decline," says Judy Cameron, PhD, a scientist in the divisions of reproductive sciences and neuroscience at the Oregon Health & Science University.
In Dr. Cameron's lab trials, she has found that the decrease in estrogen after menopause "resulted in a 67% jump in food intake and a 5% jump in weight in a matter of weeks."
In other words, the hormonal changes you undergo as enter your late fifties causes your appetite to grow as well as your waistline: Developments that increase your chances of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke and joint problems.
Vigilance against this weight gain is necessary to save your health: Start walking and exercising. Research on exercise in people aged 58 to 78 found that getting off the couch for a walk or other physical activity not only helps control weight but also helps sharpen your thinking and helps you become more decisive (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2/16-20/04, online edition). This recent study, done at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, found that performing aerobic exercise improved mental functioning by 11% (on a computer test).
" We continue to find a number of cognitive benefits in the aerobic group," says Arthur F. Kramer, PhD, a professor of psychology at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at Illinois. "The brain circuits that underlie our ability to think-in this case to attend selectively to information in the environment-can change in a way that is conducive to better performance on tasks as a result of fitness." In simple terms, that means that walking at least 45 minutes a day boosts brain power as well as protecting your heart.
An Herb for Menopause
The physical changes that accompan> y menopause can be uncomfortable. But traditional herbal help is available: Black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa), an herb used for eons by aging women, has been shown in recent studies to be both safe and effective (Menopause 6/15/03).
" This [research] should reassure health professionals that they can safely recommend black cohosh to their menopausal patients who cannot or choose not to take HRT [hormone replacement therapy]," says researcher Tieraona Low Dog, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of New Mexico Department of Family and Community Medicine.
While HRT has been used to help women cope with menopause, a flurry of studies in the past few years have shown that HRT increases the risk of heart disease and cancer. Instead, black cohosh, which alleviates such menopausal discomforts as hot flashes, has been shown to be much safer.
Keeping Track of Crucial Vitamins
While continuing to take multivitamins and minerals at this age is important, some experts believe that as we grow older, vitamin D supplementation, as well as taking antioxidant nutrients, is particularly vital. Arthritis is a common affliction of aging, and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is one particularly destructive form of this joint problem. But taking vitamin D can significantly lower your risk of this condition.
When scientists analyzed the diets of 30,000 middle-aged women in Iowa over 11 years, they found that women who consumed vitamin D supplements were 34% less likely to suffer RA (Arth Rheu 1/03).
Other vitamins are equally important to an older woman's well-being. For example, vitamins C and natural E have been found to lower the risk of stroke in those over the age of 55 (Neurology 11/11/03). In this study, smokers who consumed the most vitamin C and natural vitamin E were 70% were much less likely to suffer strokes than smokers whose diets were missing out on these vitamins.
Rich sources of vitamin C in food include oranges and other citrus fruits, strawberries, red and green peppers, broccoli and brussels sprouts. Sources of vitamin E include vegetable oils such as sunflower seed, cottonseed, safflower, palm and wheat germ oils, margarine and nuts.
Saving Your Sight
After age 55, your eyes are particularly vulnerable. Eight million Americans of this age are at risk for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a condition that destroys structures in the back of the eye necessary for vision (Arch Ophthal 11/03). But you can drop your risk of AMD by taking supplements of antioxidant vitamins and zinc, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins' Wilmer Eye Institute.
Their research shows that a dietary supplement of vitamins C, natural vitamin E and beta carotene, along with zinc, lowers the chances of progressing to advanced AMD in certain at-risk people by about 25%. Daily supplements also reduced the risk of vision loss by about 19%.
The carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin also help protect aging eyes. When scientists compared healthy eyes with eyes suffering from AMD, they found that AMD eyes contained lower levels of these vital nutrients (Ophthalmology 2003; 109:1780). Furthermore, they found that levels of these chemicals generally decline as you grow older.
Healthy at All Ages
When it comes to designing a healthy lifestyle, general rules like these can be followed, but you should individualize your plan to fit your needs. No matter which type of exercises you pick out or what healthy foods you choose, look for a strategy and a plan you can stick to. If you think a selection of foods are good for you but you absolutely hate their taste, chances are you won't be able to stick to a diet that includes them.
The same goes for exercise: Pick out activities that you enjoy and that you can perform consistently. That increases your chance of sticking to an exercise program.
Staying healthy is enjoyable and it helps you get more out of life every day, no matter what stage of life you're in.
Immunity - The Big Picture
June 10, 2005 09:51 PM
Immunity: The Big Picture by Brian Amherst Energy Times, August 3, 1999
Your body wants to be well. Outfitted with a battalion of defenses for strategic deployment, your immune system explodes with resistant force at the first sign of infective invasion.
Think of the time a tiny splinter embedded itself in your thumb. By bedtime, the spot rose and reddened; by morning, white blood cells had launched their campaign, building a hot, throbbing fortification. By day's end, the bit of wood was propelled to the surface and ejected by the immune system warriors. Once again, a foreign assailant was summarily ousted.
The Protective Force
"Supporting the immune system is critical to good health. Conversely, good health is critical to supporting the immune system." So write naturopathic doctors Michael T. Murray and Joseph E. Pizzorno in their Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine (Prima).
Maintaining the immune system requires a comprehensive program of wholesome diet, resilient attitude, fitness enhancing activity and nutrients keyed to the clear and specific needs of this energetic machine.
The all-star lineup for immune sustenance: a high-potency multiple vitamin/mineral formula, vitamins C and A, bioflavonoids, isoflavones, zinc and selenium, antioxidants like ActiVin (grape seed extract) and pycnogenol (French maritime pine bark), as well as the botanicals echinacea and astragalus.
But optimal partnering with your immune system also benefits from understanding its worKings.
Lymph, a milky fluid consisting of water protein and immune cells, is the essence of the immune system. Powered by muscle movement (an important reason why exercise boosts immunity), the lymphatic system collects and transports lymph to the lymph nodes. These nodes contain certain immune cells and filter out invading antigens, as well as produce antibodies, before siphoning the lymph out into the bloodstream.
If you've ever had "swollen glands," that means your lymph nodes have been in overdrive.
Macrophages are the immune cells that filter lymph, consuming bacteria and cellular debris while protecting the lymph system from invasion and damage.
The White Blood Cell Album
In Monocytes collect cellular trash after infections and can trigger immune responses; eosinophils can eliminate foreign particles and, with basophils, are involved in immune response.
In Lymphocytes include varieties of T cells, which work with other white blood cells or attack and destroy foreign tissue, cancer cells or virus-infected cells; B cells that produce antibodies that bind to bacteria, viruses or tumors; and natural killer cells (NKCs) that destroy cancerous or virally-infected cells.
(Based on information in the Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine; The Road to Immunity: How to Survive and Thrive in a Toxic World (Pocket Books) by Kenneth Bock, MD, and Nellie Sabin; and the Johns Hopkins Family Health Book (Harper Resource).
Keep the System Sound
"But you must always be sure to maintain the mind-body-spirit link," he told Energy Times. "For the mind, it could be exercise, yoga or meditation. Evidence shows improved immune system responses from these therapies. And in any case, you never read in the headlines that somebody has been admitted to the emergency room overdosing on meditation.
"Intentionality also is an important part of the mind link: believing you are going to fare well. For your spirit, you must ask yourself such questions as, Do I feel connected to others?
"For the body, a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement. Much depends on your community: I live on Long Island, where there is a high incidence of breast cancer, so I would recommend green tea and isoflavones from soy products for women."
Dr. Benjamin stresses moderation in the use of immune-intensifying supplements, among which he cites mixed carotenoids, zinc and vitamin E.
The Soy Solution
In a study conducted by the University of Southern California at Norris and published in the March 4, 1998 Journal of the National Cancer Institute, researchers reported that genistein, an active component of soy products, short-circuits the ability of tumor cells to elude destruction by the immune system due to an excess of defensive stress proteins.
Genistein seems to make cancer cells vulnerable to the immune response. Researchers at Wake Forest University told participants at the January 1999 meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science that dietary or supplemental soy fed to monkeys counteracted cell proliferation that is a cancer precursor.
That Championship C
Immune cells are known to accumulate and retain high levels of vitamin C. Researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York now understand how that happens: Proteins called growth factors (which control growth and production of immune cells) also increase those cells' ability to take up vitamin C.
These researchers, reporting in the April 1998 issue of the journal Blood, explain that the additional glucose that the growth factors pump into immune cells (for enhanced energy), plus extra vitamin C, intensify immune response.
And folks with higher levels of vitamin C in their blood serum experience less cell damage from free radicals that leads to cancer, heart and pulmonary disease and other chronic conditions.
Scientists at the University of Buffalo (addressing the June 13, 1997 meeting of the Society for Epidemiologic Research) deduced from studying population groups that high levels of vitamin C are associated with low oxidative stress and lower risk of cell damage.
From A to Zinc
In Colostrum, the pre-milk liquid produced by mammals during the first 24 to 48 hours after birth, took the spotlight recently as a supplement imbued with multiple immune factors and natural antibiotics that augment body's immune response. A 1992 study showed that bovine colostrum might be able to reduce and prevente infections in immune deficient folks, especially those with AIDS.
In University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute researchers found for the first time (on laboratory animals) that vitamin D appreciably inhibits widespread prostate cancer by binding to cancer cells and triggering cell death or their transformation to benign cells.
In Vitamin E exerts formidable immune-enhancing influence on both antibody and cell-mediated immunity. One fundamental study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (245, 1981: 53-58) established conclusively that vitamin E deficiency results in significant impairment of immune function. Later studies demonstrated that it reduces prostate cancer by up to one-third.
In Coenzyme A, described as a metabolic enzyme, takes part in starting numerous body processes that provide energy for the immune system. If you ever run short of this enzyme, fat processing within your body would grind to a halt.
in Researchers looking at a substance with the tongue twisting name 3-acetyl-7-oxo-Dehydroepiandro-sterone, believe it aids immunity by quelling stress hormones.
in Mushrooms contain natural substances called polysaccharides, believed to enhance immunity. In particular, maitake mushroom, which conveys the immune booster beta-D-glucans, is reputed to help fight infections and drop blood pressure.
in Men and women taking selenium supplements for 10 years had 41% less total cancer than those taking a dummy, according to a January 1997 study by Cornell University and the University of Arizona. Other studies have shown it to reduce the risk for colon cancer by about 60%. n Zinc may provide immediate protection against the all too common cold. Scientists at the University of Florida were the first to apply genetic fingerprinting methods like those used in criminal and paternity investigations to understand how nutrients directly affect human immune cells.
The study, in the April 1998 Journal of Nutrition, demonstrates that zinc signals cells to make the protein metallothionein, which protects against infections, toxins and other stressors.
Phytochemicals a la Carte
n Isoflavones from soy, fight angiogenesis, the process by which new blood vessels form to supply nutrients to cancerous growths. n Sulforaphane in broccoli, kale and cabbage activates anticancer enzymes.
n Omega-3 fatty acids in cold water fish block the synthesis of prostaglandins, natural compounds in the body that promote tumor growth.
n Ginger contains antioxidant compounds, each more potent than vitamin E. Recent studies on mice show ginger can prevent skin tumors. n Rosemary contains carnosol which deactivates carcinogens and helps limit the effects of prostaglandins.
Sometimes the world can look like a dangerous place, especially when you're sick and tired much of the time. But in the search for immunity, menus of health help like this ensure that no matter what your immunity needs, a boost can be yours with the proper nutrient selection.
AMINO ACIDS AND PROTEIN
June 09, 2005 09:48 AM
AMINO ACIDS AND PROTEIN
Next to water, protein is the most abundant substance in the human body. Complex mega-molecules of protein are the structural building blocks of tissue. The thousands of different proteins in our bodies are composed of 20 molecules called amino acids. In the last 20 years, research has shown the benefits of amino acid supplementation to such diverse areas of human biochemistry as metabolism, enzyme and neurotransmitter production and antioxidant protection. Source Naturals utilizes the latest-breaking research to bring you a highly comprehensive line of amino acid supplements.
DNA provides the instruction manual for life, RNA reads the manual and the genetic information is expressed by proteins. Proteins are the most abundant macromolecules in living cells constituting 50% or more of their dry weight. They create the structure of our cells and tissues, and play an essential role in virtually all of the biochemical events that animate those tissues.
The term "protein" refers to a set of macromolecules that encompasses an extensive variety of structure and function&endash;from helical rods with the tensile strength of steel to elastic sheets to huge molecular machines with hinged jaws that snap closed to hold other molecules in place. Amazingly, all proteins, in their remarkable variety, are built out of a set of 20 simple molecules called amino acids.
Amino acids are one of the four types of small molecules out of which all life is constructed. The other three are: palmitic acid (see "Essential Fatty Acids," page #), adenine and glucose. All amino acids share a common chemical "backbone" which consists of an a -carbon atom to which four substituent groups are bonded: a nitrogen-containing amino group (H2N), a carboxyl group (COOH), a hydrogen atom and an "R" group. The "R" group or side chain (figure #) varies in electric charge, size, structure and solubility in water, giving each amino acid its distinct chemical properties. Since all amino acids (except glycine) contain at least one asymmetrical carbon atom, each one exists in at least two forms: the l form and its mirror image or stereoisomer, the d form. While both forms are found in biological systems, only the l form is present in proteins.
Amino acids are linked together like beads on a string to form proteins, sometimes called peptides because of the peptide bonds that link the amino acids together. They range in size from simple two-amino-acid dipeptides to polypeptides which contain more than 1800 connected amino acids. The chemical backbone of the amino acids and their sequence constitutes the primary structure of a protein. Polypeptide chains then fold into specific 2 and 3-dimensional configurations that are unique for each type of protein. The pattern of folds, along with the chemical nature of the amino acid side chains contained in it, give a protein its characteristic biological activity. For example, the connective tissue proteins collagen and elastin give structure to cellular organelles and tissues, while proteins called enzymes catalyze and facilitate metabolic chemical reactions.
Nine of the 20 amino acids involved in protein synthesis are considered "essential";they cannot be synthesized by the body and must be obtained from food sources. The term "non-essential" is sometimes used to classify the other eleven amino acids. However, this word is perhaps a misnomer; a better term might be synthesizable. These amino acids are just as vital to human metabolism as the "essential" amino acids; so vital that the body can synthesize them. They are, however, more available, more versatile, and more interchangeable.
When the presence or absence of a particular amino acid will determine whether a protein can be created or not, that amino acid is called a rate-limiting factor for that protein. For example, the tripeptide glutathione, a compound that forms an important part of the body's protective mechanisms, is made of the amino acids glutamic acid, glycine and cysteine. Glutamic acid and glycine tend to be plentiful in the diet, and can be easily interconverted. Cysteine is the rate-limiting factor for glutathione; the amount of cysteine in the diet will determine the amount of glutathione that can be manufactured by the body.
Amino acids have a special role to play in brain nutrition, because all neurotransmitters are derived from amino acids or related compounds such as choline. Brain neurotransmitters, specifically, are biochemical keys to the worKings of the mind. They are substances that perform chemical transmission of nerve impulses between neurons or between neurons and other cell types such as muscle. They work in the following way: an electric current (or action potential) travels down the length of a neuron, or nerve cell, until it reaches the synapse - a narrow gap between two cells. The incoming nerve impulse triggers the release of neurotransmitter (NT) molecules, which diffuse across the synaptic gap. The neurotransmitter molecules bind with receptor proteins embedded in the membrane of the post synaptic neuron and activate a physiological response. Excitatory neurotransmitters propagate a new action potential while inhibitory NT's inhibit the development of new action potentials.
The amino acid precursors of neurotransmitters are able to cross the blood-brain barrier, a structural feature of brain anatomy that prevents many substances from contacting brain tissue. Thus, it is possible to influence brain metabolism (and therefore emotional states) through the mechanism of neurotransmitter synthesis. The enhancement of neurotransmitter production is one of the most exciting advancements to occur in the field of nutrition in modern times.
A major portion of the amino acid requirement in humans is derived from the proteins in food. Successive proteolytic enzymes attack the peptide bonds, cleaving one amino acid at a time from the polypeptide chain. Ultimately, free amino acids as well as small peptides (especially dipeptides) are absorbed through the mucosal cells of the small intestine. The small peptides are then further hydrolyzed so that only free amino acids enter the liver and portal vein. This sounds like a fairly straightforward process. However, the presence of a particular amino acid profile in a certain food does not guarantee the assimilation of those amino acids when the food is ingested. There are three types of amino acids: acidic, basic and neutral; each of these classes has a different transport mediator. Therefore, there is competition for the carrier between any two amino acids in a certain class, both in the digestive tract and at the blood-brain barrier. Thus, the isolation of "free-form" amino acids is an important aid to nutritional engineering. In many cases, the consumption of high potencies of a particular amino acid allows that nutrient to overwhelm the competition for absorption. The resulting increase in blood and tissue levels will yield the benefits conferred by that nutrient.
The isolation of free-form amino acids is an important advancement in the field of nutrition science. Amino acid supplements offer a broad range of choices to complement your nutritional program.
Higher Mind - Smart Nutrients for the Performance of a Lifetime...
June 02, 2005 12:18 PM
Our adult years are the time to reap the fruit of an active, meaningful life – appreciated by family and friends who value our experience and knowledge. For some, however, their later years are clouded by a mental decline that erodes their capacity to enjoy life. More of us are becoming apprehensive about the future health of our minds. Will we still be able to communicate our needs as well as our wisdom? As science focuses its investigative might on the worKings of the human brain, new findings suggest that it is possible to enjoy a vital, healthy brain and mind – well into old age. Based on compelling research, Source Naturals formulated HIGHER MIND. It contains the most important Neuroceuticals™ now recognized by nutrition scientists – including phosphatidyl serine, a natural nutrient that promotes cognitive function. The connection is clear: nourish your brain; enrich your life.
To have a healthy, well-functioning brain and nervous system, we need the correct nutrients. Our diets must provide the necessary raw materials for nerve cells to grow, for the synthesis of neurochemicals, and for the maintenance of nerve cell membranes. Nutritional deficiencies can alter the brain’s metabolism, which is expressed by changes in perception and thinking, behavior and mood.
Brain Cells – Issued at Birth
Before birth, neurons (nerve cells) are created at the amazing rate of 15 million per hour. As infants, we have over 100 billion neurons, but this is the most we will ever have because – unlike most other cells in our body – nerve cells do not reproduce. A different strategy is used to replace the neurons that are naturally lost throughout life: nerve cells repair themselves and grow by extending branches of nerve fibers called dendrites (from the Latin word for tree). These are the communication links with other neurons that form the circuitry of the brain. A single neuron may be in contact with up to a hundred thousand others! When the density of this fragile organic communication network decreases, we experience a corresponding decline in mental acuity.
Brain Cell Membranes
The membrane is the working surface of a cell. It needs to be strong yet flexible, so the cell can maintain its integrity and be able to move and change shape. The membrane regulates the flow of nutrients into the cell and the removal of waste, plus controls the passage of molecular messages from outside the cell to its interior. Membrane ion pumps use a third of the cell’s energy just to maintain the correct ratio of sodium to potassium. In neurons, a rapid exchange of sodium and potassium ions across the nerve membrane is responsible for their unique ability to generate the electrical impulses that are the basis of all communication in the nervous system. As cells age, their membranes become less fluid and more rigid. Key membrane molecules called phospholipids are crucial to the health of neuron membranes, allowing the brain to maintain its youthful quality. The phospholipids in HIGHER MIND – especially phosphatidyl serine and phosphatidyl choline – are essential nutritional supplements for the aging brain.
Phosphatidyl Serine – Key to Cognition
For the past decade, researchers have been investigating the role in brain health of a remarkable neuroceutical, phosphatidyl serine (PS). This key structural molecule is integral to the matrix of fats and proteins that compose cell membranes. Although PS is found in all the cells of the body, its highest concentration is in nerve cell membranes. PS is rarely found in the foods we eat, so the body has to synthesize it, but the process is energy- intensive and becomes less efficient with age. Consequently, our levels of PS tend to decline as we get older. PS taken as a dietary supplement is well-absorbed, readily reaching the brain, where it helps create more effective, well-structured nerve cell membranes. The positive effects of PS supplementation have been demonstrated by 23 clinical studies with over 1200 human subjects, ages 43 to 90. Consistent and statistically significant results have confirmed the value of PS in improving age-related cognitive decline, as well as in improving behavioral aspects such as apathy and withdrawal.1 A major study concluded that for one particular measurable parameter of higher mental functions, PS recipients achieved scores of persons roughly 12 years younger.2 Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) is one of the most important proteins the body makes. It enables neurons to extend dendrites out to other neurons, allowing the brain to maintain an effective communication network. In experiments, PS enhanced the production and reception of NGF, which tend to drop off radically with age.3 The effects of PS at the cellular level are manifest in the performance of the brain as a whole. Subjects taking PS showed increased levels of brain energy metabolism. This enhancement corresponded to higher performances on cognitive tests.4
The Chemistry of Thought
Science now understands the role of neurotransmitters in regulating the body’s complex network of behavior. Neurotransmitters are the chemicals used by neurons to communicate with each other. Activated by a neuron’s electrical impulse, neurotransmitters travel between nerve cells, where they excite or inhibit (in various degrees) the electrical impulse in neighboring cells. One of HIGHER MIND’S key strategies is to improve the brain’s ability to produce and use acetylcholine, a key excitatory neurotransmitter. Acetylcholine is essential for both the storage and recall of memory, and partly responsible for concentration and focus. It also plays a significant role in muscular coordination. Patients showing cognitive decline may exhibit reduced ability to synthesize and utilize acetylcholine.5 The chemical building blocks of acetylcholine and other neurotransmitters are called precursors. The most important one for acetylcholine is DMAE (dimethylaminoethanol). This natural substance is found in various fish, such as anchovies and sardines. Supplements of DMAE (and phosphatidyl choline) promote increased levels of choline in the brain. Acetylcholine is created when an acetyl group is attached to the choline molecule, with the help of choline acetyl transferase (CAT), a key brain enzyme. Acetyl L-carnitine is an amino acid that activates this enzyme. Acetyl L-carnitine may also help reduce lipofuscin deposits in the brain because of its involvement in the metabolism of fatty acids.6 Lipofuscin is composed of oxidized fats and proteins; the brown “age spots” on the back of an elderly person’s hand are made of lipofuscin. The amino acid L-pyroglutamic acid sensitizes the acetylcholine receptor sites on a neuron membrane. A given amount of acetylcholine will then have a larger, more powerful effect. Studies have shown that supplements of L-pyroglutamic acid seem to enhance the ability to focus, remember, and learn.
Total Nutrition for the Brain
The neurotransmitters dopamine and noradrenalin are critical to motor coordination, motivation, concentration, and alertness. Like acetylcholine, their production tends to decline with age. The precursors and activators of dopamine and noradrenalin included in HIGHER MIND are the amino acids N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine and DL-phenylalanine (DLPA), plus folic acid, vitamins B-3, B-6, and C. DLPA is also a precursor to PEA, a neuroamine that has a stimulating effect on the brain. Glutamine is an amino acid precursor to glutamic acid, a major excitatory neurotransmitter involved in mental activity and learning. Glutamine acts as an alternative fuel source for the brain when blood sugar levels are low. It also helps the brain dispose of waste ammonia, which is a natural result of protein breakdown but is irritating to neurons even at low levels. GABA is a dietary amino acid which is also an inhibitory neurotransmitter. GABA works to calm and balance the mind, enhancing mental focus. Along with taurine, these two relaxing neurotransmitters provide a balancing influence to the other, excitatory neurotransmitters. Taurine is found in brain tissue more than anywhere else in the body. It has antioxidant properties and serves as a nerve cell membrane stabilizer, preventing excessive or erratic electrical activity in the brain.
The Importance of Magnesium
Magnesium must be present in adequate amounts in the synaptic gaps between neurons or the neurons become hyper-reactive: causing noises to sound excessively loud and emotional reactions to be extreme. Magnesium also activates a key enzyme responsible for maintaining cellular sodium- potassium balance, which is absolutely essential to the electrical activity of nerve cells, as well as to the existence of the cell itself. (Cells would burst if the sodium-potassium ratio were wrong.) Magnesium also helps relax cerebral blood vessels and is important to the manufacture of ATP, the chief energy molecule of the brain. A buildup of aluminum has been found in the brains of some elderly. In 1989, the British medical journal Lancet published a study showing that drinking water with aluminum can increase the risk of damage by up to 50%. An abundant natural element, aluminum is now a common feature in our culture. It’s found in tap water, cookware, deodorants, beverage containers, baked goods, and of course as aluminum foil. In the brain, aluminum breaks down the structure of neurons – causing them to starve – by displacing magnesium from tubulin, a glycoprotein responsible for making microtubules. These tiny pipe-like structures within a neuron provide needed rigidity, as well as transport nutrients from the nucleus down the dendrites to the ends of the nerve cell. Magnesium malate is an excellent form of magnesium that ensures neurons receive this vital mineral.
B is for Brain Vitamins
HIGHER MIND also contains a high profile of B vitamins and other key nutrients that are often N A T U R A L S S O U R C E Strategies for Wellness SM ¤ lacking in older individuals. A deficiency in any of the B vitamins can alter nerve function and psychological well-being. Thiamine (B-1), known as the “nerve vitamin,” was first recognized because its deficiency caused beriberi, a degenerative nerve disease. Thiamine is part of the structure of nerve cell membranes and is important to the reparative process that neurons need to offset the stress of continual firing of the electrical impulse. Low amounts of thiamine can cause cell malnutrition in the hypothalamus, the brain’s memory center. 7 NAD and NADH, two coenzyme forms of Niacin (B-3), are the most plentiful coenzymes in the brain. They are essential to hundreds of enzymatic reactions, including ones that produce energy. NADH can stimulate the synthesis of key mood-elevating neurotransmitters. It is also one of the body’s most potent antioxidants. Pantothenic acid (B-5), cyanocobalamin (B-12), and folic acid are required to form the myelin sheath – the insulating covering of nerve fibers. A diet low in pantothenic acid has been shown to make test subjects emotionally upset, irritable, and depressed.7 A lack of B-12 can result in poor concentration and, in severe deficiencies, hallucinations. Pyridoxine (B-6) is precursor to over 60 enzymatic reactions and is involved in the synthesis of several neurotransmitters.
Brain cells almost exclusively burn glucose for their energy (other cells can also burn fat), and typically require 50% of all the glucose in the blood. Two B-like vitamins help in the utilization of glucose: PAK (pyridoxine alpha-ketoglutarate) may potentiate the effects of insulin and improve glucose utilization to the cells;8 Biotin is important for the transformation of glucose into energy in the brain. Lipoic acid and coenzyme Q10 are metabolic energizers that help produce ATP, the primary energy molecule in the body. Since the brain uses 20% of the body’s total energy supply, efficient ATP production is vital. Lipoic acid and CoQ10 are also powerful antioxidants that help regenerate other antioxidants in the body. The blood vessels feeding the brain become less efficient as we pass middle age. Since the brain depends on the bloodstream to deliver nutrients and oxygen and to remove waste, the quality of this blood flow is paramount to proper brain nutrition. Ginkgo biloba leaf extract has been shown in scientific studies to increase blood flow to the brain by helping vessels to dilate. It also promotes the smoothness and healthy integrity of blood vessel linings.
For the Life of Your Mind Without proper nutrition, the brain will deteriorate; therefore strategies are needed to both enhance current brain function and protect it throughout life. Based on the latest scientific findings, Source Naturals HIGHER MIND is formulated with neuroceuticals that support the mental functions that tend to decline with age. They give your brain the nourishment it needs to integrate perception, memory, and learning into a more comprehensive awareness – so you can excel for a lifetime.