Search Term: " Lignan "
Top Benefits of Flaxseed
April 23, 2019 01:56 PM
Flaxseed isn't just advantageous to your health through its main components of lignans, but it is also naturally contains several vitamins and nutrients that are essential for us to thrive. Consuming flaxseed on a consistent basis will also provide you with supplementation of magnesium, vitamin B, K, and C, as well as iron. With all of these attributes combined with its other naturally healing properties, flaxseed has the potential to help the human in body in several ways, including protecting against bone diseases such as osteoporosis.
"Animal research has demonstrated the addition of flaxseed to a high-fat diet protected mice against obesity,3 supporting previous research showing lignans in flaxseed were associated with a lower risk of Type 2 diabetes in women."
Read more: https://www.prohealth.com/library/top-benefits-flaxseed-90238
Three reasons why Flaxseeds are the new 'wonder food'
October 20, 2018 09:52 AM
The humble flaxseed could be called an "ancient grain", as it has been eaten in Babylon 3000 years before Christ. And while we don't know if they knew how healthy flaxseed can be for you, scientists now are learning a lot about it and feel that there are still more discovers to be uncovered. So far they know that flaxseed contain Omega 3, lignan and fibre, all of which can help improve heart and gut health.
"Flaxseeds are packed with antioxidants, healthy fat, and other essential nutrients that help lower the risk of various conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, cancer."
Read more: https://www.timesnownews.com/health/article/health-benefits-of-flaxseeds-the-new-wonder-food-cancer-diabetes-heart-disease-weight-loss/287693
Know Why Flaxseeds Are Among The Most Powerful Seeds On The Planet
February 06, 2018 03:59 PM
Flaxseeds, an ancient food and staple used for centuries, is hitting its stride as a health food. It has excellent properties for your body. One major is its high Omega-3 Fatty Acid content. This has been shown to help combat cancer by stopping malignant cells from sticking to each other and therefore spreading throughout the body. It can also help lower cholesterol and even help with hot flashes. Thanks to its antioxidants it may even help with skin health.
"Flaxseeds are one of the most powerful plant seeds on the planet."
Read more: http://www.newsworldindia.in/health-diet/flaxseeds-most-powerful-seeds-on-the-planet/287715/
This spice is able to neutralize cancer cells
August 06, 2017 12:14 PM
There is a spice that is able to neutralize cancer cells. Turmeric has very incredible properties. Nano particles, which contain turmeric can be a vital component that is able to cure the neuroblastoma. This is a type of cancer that generally attacks children. A rare tumor will develop in children under the age of 5 years old. Researchers think that if this treatment can work, then it will be an excellent alternative to the traditional chemotherapy.
"It turned out that turmeric neutralizes malignant neuroblastoma cells that had previously shown resistance to other medicines."
Read more: http://micetimes.asia/this-spice-is-able-to-neutralize-cancer-cells/
Can Cannabis Actually Kill Cancer Cells In The Brain?
July 26, 2017 04:14 PM
Medical Marijuana use is no longer new. Many of us are aware of a loved one that has benefited from the pain-relieving qualities of the drug, even in advanced and serious conditions, like cancer. What may be less well known, or so far understood, is that it appears that Marijuana may be a potent adversary even against aggressive brain cancers.
Recent pharmaceutical research suggests research participants using the drug experienced a significantly prolonged rate of survival over non-users. This intriguing and hopeful research ties in handily with earlier research on rodents that shows the drug as having significant anti-tumor effects, such as inhibiting the growth of the malignancies, besides blocking the growth of new cells and ancillary blood vessels needed by the tumor. Also positive was the discovery that cannabis appears to make the use of chemotherapy more effective for brain cancer patients.
"Earlier this year, in what was heralded as a breakthrough for cancer research, GW Pharmaceuticals announced positive results from a study using a combination of cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol to treat an aggressive form of brain cancer."
Read more: https://thefreshtoast.com/cannabis/can-cannabis-actually-kill-cancer-cells-in-the-brain/
10 Healthy reasons to add flax seed to your diet
May 03, 2017 12:29 PM
Flaxseed has been cultivated in the US since the earliest colonists used it to produce textiles. However, modern research has shown that the health benefits of adding flaxseed to your diet are significant and numerous. High nutrient content, including fiber, protein, and heart-healthy omega-3s, great control over blood sugar and satiety, and a good source of anti-cancer lignan compounds all make flaxseed an important part of a healthy diet. It isn't just a superfood: it also makes a great ingredient!
"Years of research have shown that flaxseed and its byproducts contain high levels of essential vitamins and minerals, making the crop a staple superfood in various diet schemes"
Read more: http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-04-28-10-healthy-reasons-to-add-flax-seed-to-your-diet.html
Lose Weight And 6 Other Reasons To Eat Bamboo Shoots
April 20, 2017 03:44 PM
Bamboo, a popular sustainable building material is also a nutrient food, packed with minerals, proteins and fiber while containing low amounts of fats and sugars. Fresh shoots need to be stored properly and boiled to remove possible toxins. Canned bamboo is safer but needs to be rinsed before eating. Bamboo shoots are full of lignans which support healthy weight and are low in sugars, calories and carbs, perfect for dieting. They are rich in potassium, as well as several vitamins and minerals. They can lower cholesterol,fight cancer and balance hormone levels. They are natural anti-inflammatories and best if all, can be eaten year round.
"While most people in the U.S. recognize bamboo’s industrial role, many are not aware that they are edible, a rich source of proteins, minerals, fiber, and are low in fat and sugars. In fact, Asians — particularly Chinese, Taiwanese and Japanese — have been eating bamboo for thousands of years because of the delicious crunchy texture and numerous health benefits."
Read more: http://www.thealternativedaily.com/reasons-to-eat-bamboo-shoots/
How antioxidants aid in healthy living: Vitamins C, E and beta carotene can help ward off a ...
March 02, 2017 12:59 PM
Antioxidants are substances that may protect your cells against the effects of free radicals — molecules produced when your body breaks down food or is exposed to tobacco smoke and radiation. Free radicals may play a role in heart disease, cancer and other diseases. Antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, and carotenoids, may help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. Other naturally occurring antioxidants include flavonoids, tannins, phenols and Lignans. Plant-based foods are the best sources. These include fruits, vegetables and their juices.
"Among the antioxidants that our bodies utilize to protect us are vitamin C, vitamin E, beta carotene, glutathione, selenium, lutein and various polyphenols. These are very necessary ingredients that ward off a multitude of diseases."
Health Benefits OPC Grapeseed extract.
The grape seed concentrate is prevalent and sought after worldwide for all the great reasons for health purpose. It strengthens and secures the body cells and the blood vessel and venous dividers, boosts muscle repair and prevent inflammations . It likewise can shield the cardiovascular framework from free radical harms, therefore encouraging the bringing down of terrible cholesterol. What is grape seed extricate, you may inquire? It is a characteristic plant segment that is extricated from sound entire grape seeds that are lavishly thought with OPC's and other effective cancer prevention agents.
These concentrates are promptly accessible as resveratrol supplements in the market today. They are sold in type of cases, pills, and the preferences and contain resveratrol in high focuses. The measurements for these supplements will vary contingent upon every person and the goal of utilizing them. Regardless of the type of these supplements, ingestion is the thing that matters most. They bear few to no reactions, few as in somebody susceptible to grapes may have an issue. Be that as it may, quality supplements should not to stress you since they've been "modified" for every individual.
Brain tumor vanishes in 'Miracle Baby' after family chooses cannabinoid oil
December 02, 2016 02:59 PM
The spontaneous disappearance of a tumor is referred to as a vanishing tumor. Most vanishing tumors in the brain are eventually diagnosed as maLignant tumors or multiple sclerosis. However, their long-term clinical course remains unclear. This study aims to elucidate the management of vanishing tumors in the brain. Patients with vanishing tumors should be followed up carefully by magnetic resonance imaging for at least 5 years, even after the disappearance of an enhancing lesion.
"At four months the tumor had completely disappeared, and after eight months of treatment, the brain architecture and tissues were completely normal, making the toddler a miracle baby in Courtney's words."
Should I Be Taking DHEA?
Formally known as the 5-Dehydroepiandrosterone, DHEA is actually a steroid hormone secreted by the human brain, gonads as well as the adrenal glands, the glands that sit just on top of any person's kidneys. Besides, being secreted by the gonads and also the human brain, DHEA is also beneficial in the formation of crucial reproductive hormones, like testosterone along with estrogen.
Should I Be Taking DHEA?
DHEA was found in the mid 1930's yet really grew up in the 1950's when it had been found that maturing patients experienced decreased levels in their circulatory system. It had been thought before that DHEA supplement projects may help battle the maturing process. There's a reasonable bit of level headed discussion on the point in the matter of regardless of whether DHEA is helpful. One point is sure on the other hand, DHEA is a denied substance in for all intents and purposes of all games associations. Associations from baseball to the Olympics have established that DHEA is unworthy for the members.
Fundamentally, DHEA supplements are thought to effectively lessen weight. They typically measure in putting away fats in the body and keep those extra calories away. As a general rule, majority of "work out" supplements comprise of DHEA in their components. Apart from this, DHEA also advances the glucose to parts where it is required, thus bringing about a fitter and healthier body.
DHEA supplement is truly a sort of steroidal hormone, it's got a huge part in the body's safety. Boosting the invulnerable framework is another prize that you can get from DHEA dietary supplements as these are known not the human body's capacity to shape significantly more antibodies that may battle off disease and tumor bringing about cells
The huge expansion of optional medications cannot be compared to the extraordinary properties of DHEA. While it is genuinely made in the whole body. The maturing process is inevitable to the human body, however, DHEA slows down the aging process. This also helps in conditions in the heart, kidneys, and pancreas.
Given that DHEA is a steroidal hormone, it plays an important role in the body's susceptibility to antibodies. This improves the body's energy to fight contamination and maLignancy in cells. Likewise, it has been watched how nutritional supplements containing a DHEA fixing could incredibly help people who may have high dangers of getting osteoporosis. This truly is as a consequence of straightforward reality that DHEA supplement could support the calcium levels inside of the bones.
What Are The Health Benefits Of PABA
May 10, 2014 04:30 AM
What is a PABA
Para-amino benzoic acid or PABA is generally not known, yet in any case it is a paramount supplement, however it is considered as one of the B-complex vitamins. The perplexity is maybe justifiable because PABA assumes a paramount part in the production in the collection of a standout amongst the most essential B-complex vitamins and folic acid.
Benefits of folic acid
The numerous vital benefits of folic acid have been generally recorded, the most critical likely being the avoidance of genuine conception deformities, especially spina bifida; and additionally insurance against stroke, cardiovascular malady and even certain maLignancies. In reality, sufficient supplies of folic acid are viewed as so significant to wellbeing that staple sustenance, for example, bread are routinely enhanced with it. In any case the regular Western eating regimen is accepted by numerous nutritionists to be seriously insufficient. PABA's part in empowering the union of the body's vitamin might subsequently be viewed as sufficient in itself to make it a vital supplement in its own particular right.
Nevertheless there is much more to para-aminobenzoic acid than this. The supplement has additionally been considered a general agains oxidant, help check the maturing and degenerative impacts of harming free radical action; and as a mitigating which may be gainful in the lightening of the indications of the menopause and osteoarthritis.
The calming properties of PABA likewise make it a specific most loved by dietary specialists in battling glitches of the resistant framework, for example, thyroiditis, and a possibly deadly condition known as scleroderma, in which stringy tissue develops through the skin.
Moderate supplements of PABA were an old yet now unfashionable, medication for skin conditions, vitiligo, in which the skin loses its common pigmentation, bringing about unattractive and humiliating blotches.
For most individuals, in any case, the great thing about PABA is that, it is not just promptly accessible from the nourishments, which embody a steadily adjusted eating regimen, yet can additionally be made by the body.
Therefore, in customary circumstances, and in case you're in sensibly great wellbeing, you presumably need not bother with a different day by day supplement of PABA. Anyhow like all the B complex vitamins, PABA regardless capacities best in the vicinity of a great supply of every last one of others, thus it’s habitually found in restrictive multi-vitamin arrangements. The better quality ones usually incorporate around 30-50mg; a little add up to make it certain, however worth having as a protection strategy when you're pointing for ideal comprehensive nourishment, and especially when you acknowledge the supplement's pivotal part in the combination of folic acid.
Is Beta Carotene The Safe Vitamin A?
March 21, 2014 02:29 AM
What is beta carotene
Beta Carotene is a capable pwerful antioxidant that is useful for the heart and circulatory. In the constitution, it is changed into Vitamin A for the support of solid skin, great vision, and a strong immune system. Vitamin An is fundamental for ordinary structure of epithelial cells that ensures the form from ecological defilement.
All about trace minerals.
March 18, 2014 10:26 AM
While much accentuation is put on the trace minerals that are discovered to be crucial to the human form, to be specific, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, and zinc, there are additionally follow minerals which help the figure to perform its normal schedules. Follow minerals are required by the constitution, yet just in little measurements. Moment measures of follow components can mean the distinction between poor and fitting health. A number of them perform distinctive, critical capacities which are needed by the constitution. In this article, we'll examine a portion of the diverse follow minerals that are of service to people.
Iodine is advantageous to the human figure because of the way that it serves to control advancement and usefulness in the thyroid organ. This is a capacity of most extreme criticalness, as the thyroid organ is answerable for to such an extent. The generation of vitality inside the human figure, fortified digestion system, discourse capability, and solid hair, skin, and teeth are all because of a legitimately working thyroid organ.
Copper is an alternate essential follow mineral. It has been discovered to be vital for legitimate assimilation of iron in the human form. It additionally works with the cell reinforcement Vitamin C to help structure elastin, which is a substance utilized within the muscles of the constitution. Fitting bone development, and also the best possible building of red platelets are likewise made conceivable because of copper.
Manganese, in itself, is capable cell reinforcement. Notwithstanding performing the capacities of a cancer prevention agent, manganese is answerable for fitting breakdown of amino acids and vitality generation. Vitamin B-1 and Vitamin E are likewise influenced by manganese, as it helps the form to metabolize them legitimately. Also, sex hormone creation is controlled by manganese.
While of service for all people, diabetics specifically profit from the best possible measurements of chromium. It helps insulin in the constitution to metabolize sugar, keeping glucose at a sensible level. Chromium is additionally answerable for serving to clean garbage out of our conduits, lessening cholesterol and triglycerides.
Potassium works in pair with sodium in regulation of the physique's waste procedures. It animates the kidneys to help free the assemblage of harmful waste. Heart rhythms might additionally be stabilized by getting the correct dose of potassium. It is likewise known to encourage send more oxygen to the mind, which can bring about clearer considering.
Selenium is an alternate follow mineral that has critical cancer prevention agent properties. Some therapeutic reviews have demonstrated that a fitting selenium admission may bring about a diminished shot of contracting bosom, lung, colon and prostate maLignancy.
The trace minerals recorded above are simply a portion of the more applicable follow minerals. There are numerous distinctive follow minerals that your constitution requirements and it might take truly a long rundown to depict every one of them. To get all the minerals you need, make sure to consume your everyday necessities of products of the soil. This sustenance’s hold probably the most vitamin and mineral-rich mixes accessible, and are beneficial to consume, to boot!
Essential Oils Is Flax Seed
January 30, 2014 05:58 PM
Flax Seed as an Essential Oil
A rich source of recuperating mixes, flax seed has been grown for more than 7000 years. Initially grown in Europe, the plant's tan seeds were customarily used to plan salves for aggravated skin and mending slurries for stoppage. Rich in essential oils, or Efas, flax seed oil is utilized to anticipate and treat coronary illness and to assuage a mixture of incendiary issue and hormone-related issues, incorporating fruitlessness.
Flax Seed History
A source of filament for cloth fabric since aged times, the slim flax plant likewise brags a long history as a mending herb. Initially grown in Europe, the plant's tan seeds were customarily used to plan salves for aroused skin and mending slurries for clogging. Today, flax seeds (additionally called linseeds) are best known for the helpful oil that is inferred by pressing them. Rich in essential greasy acids, or Efas, flax seed oil has earned a robust notoriety for treating a reach of afflictions, from coronary illness to lupus.
Benefits of Flax Seed Oil
The essential oils and greasy acids in flaxseed oil are one of its key mending parts. Efas are especially profitable in light of the fact that the form needs them to capacity fittingly, yet can't produce them on its own. Essential greasy acids work all around the form to secure cell layers, keeping them effective at conceding solid substances while excepting harming ones.
One of the Efas in flax seed oil, alpha-linolenic harsh corrosive, is reputed to be an omega-3 greasy harsh corrosive. Like the omega-3s found in fish, it seems to diminish the danger of coronary illness and various different illnesses.
Flax Seed Oil is an Amazing Source of Omega 3:
Just 1 teaspoon holds around the range of 2.5 grams, identical to more than double the sum most individuals get past their eating methodologies. Flax seeds additionally hold omega-6 fattening acids as linoleic harsh corrosive; omega-6s are the same solid fats found in vegetable oils.
Flax seed oil just holds these alpha-linolenic harsh corrosive (Omega 3 oils), and not the strand or Lignan segments. Along these lines, flax seed oil gives the Omega 3 profits, for example, lipid-bringing down lands, not the purgative or against growth lands.
Entire flax seeds (not the concentrated oil) are a rich source of Lignans (phytoestrogens), substances that seem to emphatically influence hormone-related issues. Lignans might likewise be functional in anticipating certain growths and battling particular microscopic organisms, parasites, and infections, incorporating those that cause mouth blisters and shingles.
Is Flax Seed A Good Fiber Source?
January 30, 2014 05:47 PM
Flax Seed on Diet
Other than providing you with a great meal, essential fatty acid, and Lignans, flax seeds also provide you with content of fiber. So why should have plenty of fiber in your diet anyway? Well, what you need to know is that your diet is never completely balanced minus fiber. Just like proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals are essential to your body so if fiber. Consuming fiber brings so many health benefits to you more than you can imagine and here are some of the reasons why you must ensure that that you don’t miss fiber in your daily diet.
Benefits of Flax Seed
Fiber reduces risks of suffering from constipation and diverticular diseases. Fiber is effective when it comes to absorption of water in the gut. Therefore, when you eat enough flax seed, you boost the level of fiber content in your body, which in return increases the rate of water absorption in your gut. Also, enough water content in the gut eases movement of digestive materials along the gut and makes stooling easier than when the gut is dehydrated. Therefore, you must always endeavor to increase the amount of fiber in your day-to-day diet, otherwise, it will be very difficult is not impossible for you to part ways with constipation and diverticular diseases.
Fiber protects you from bowel cancer. Because of the presence of fiber contents in flax seed, it is able to protect you from constipation, it is able to reduce the period bowel contents move through the gut, which in turn prevents you from succumbing to any carcinogenic content. In addition, flax seed promotes the growth and development of friendly bacteria in the gut that prevents you from bowel.
Fiber is also integral in maintaining your body weight and regulating your blood glucose level. High fiber contents in flax seeds feel you up all the day. Meaning, you will eat less and less eating results in reduced levels of calories for the body to burn. In this way, fiber regulates the amount of sugars that you consume and helps in weight loss.
What Are The Benefits Of Taking Wheat Germ Oil?
December 31, 2013 04:39 AM
What is Wheat Germ Oil
Wheat germ oil is extracted from a wheat kernels’ germ in a technique known as cold processing. Its color is brown or amber and has a nutty flavor, and strong odor. The following is a look at its immense health benefits, the persons required to take it and the reasons for its intake.
Benefits of Wheat Germ
It is known to be one of nature’s greatest sources of vitamin E, which is very helpful for persons intending to prevent the risk of contracting cataracts, cancers and coronary heart diseases. Vitamin E has been found to interact with zinc and selenium to act as powerful antioxidants.
Persons with skin conditions that result from pollution, ageing, wrinkling, eczema, scaring, stretch marks, psoriasis, sun spots and dry skin have noticed tremendous improvement in their skin after topically applying wheat germ oil. The remarkably positive results have been identified to result from the vitamin E content in the oil, which causes the regeneration of the skin, improved circulation and prevention of further damage.
Cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy can benefit from the intake of the oil to prevent the recurrence of maLignant tumors.
Wheat germ oil is invaluable for persons with blood clot problems because it enhances the process, which prevents excessive bleeding.
Muscle fatigue, spasms, aches and lowered endurance are common in persons, who engage in strenuous activities. The oil is helpful in relieving these effects on the muscles, resulting to restored vitality.
Its omega 3-fatty acid content is helpful in preventing cholesterol and blood pressure levels in persons with high risks of developing diabetes and coronary heart diseases.
If a person is suffering from poor memory, dizziness or fatigue, regular intake of wheat germ oil is essential in relieving these problems. This is due to the oil’s lecithin content, which is effective in strengthening the blood vessels and improving circulation.
The Role of Glycine in Collagen and Its Remarkable Health Benefits
March 17, 2013 08:41 AM
Collagen is basically made up of several amino acids and one of which is glycine. This particular amino acid accounts 1/3 of the entire composition of collagen. It can be found in the third position in the sequence of the amino acids. One of the fundamental roles of this amino acid is that it reduces the water solubility of collagen by a hundred folds. Contrary to the fact that it's considered as a non-essential amino acid, glycine has many health benefits aside from being a part of the collagen synthesis. The details below present some of the most essential information that you ought to know about this collagen component. Here they are:
Glycine Synthesizes Normal DNA and RNA
DNA and RNA are genetic materials necessary for the proper cellular formation and function. Glycine prevents the breakdown of the muscle tissues by increasing the body's creatine levels which is a compound that builds muscle mass. High concentration of this amino acid can also be found in the skin and connective tissues in the body and it keeps them flexible and firm. Without glycine, the body won't be able to repair damaged tissues.
Glycine Keeps the Central Nervous System Healthy
Studies had shown that this amino acid is an inhibitor of the neurotransmitters that can cause seizures, hyperactivity and bipolar depression. As a matter of fact, it can be converted into serine which is a neurotransmitter beneficial in the treatment of schizophrenia. Researchers found out that schizophrenic patients exhibited significant improvements after adding glycine with their anti-psychotic medication. It was also found out that it improves memory. Glycine Promotes Proper Function of the
This amino acid is known to induce bile acid production which is used to digest fats. It is also often included in most over-the-counter gastric antacid agents to prevent and treat acid reflux. Glycine Provides Glucose Specifically, this non-essential amino acid is also considered as glucogenic amino acid. That simply means that it provides glucose in the body. One of its benefits includes regulation of blood sugar levels, so it can be helpful in treating symptoms manifested by low energy and fatigue.
Glycine May Help With Cancer
Preliminary studies considered this amino acid as another breakthrough in cancer treatment. Results suggested that it can prevent the development of cancerous cells as it acts as an inhibitor of angiogenesis which is a process in which tumors, benign or maLignant, develop their own blood supply.
Sources of Glycine
High-quality protein foods such as white meat from fish and chicken, beans, legumes, eggs and milk are known to be the main sources of this amino acid. Glycine supplements are also available in tablet or powder forms and can also be one of the components of many amino acid supplements. Except for some people complaining about having stomach upset and dizziness after taking glycine supplements, there are no other noted adversarial or severe side effects of glycine. If taken properly, such supplementation is extremely safe.
Who Should Not Take Glycine?
Those individuals suffering from kidney and liver diseases should never take glycine. Pregnant women should never take as well. People taking antispatic medication are not allowed also since there could be interference between the drugs and glycine. It's always best to consult a doctor first before taking such supplement.
Those are all the most notable benefits of glycine. The point here is that it is not just a mere part of a collagen but it also has a number of health benefits.
Where to buy Schizandra Fruit?
December 28, 2012 03:12 PM
The schizandra fruit health benefits
For those who heard about the schizandra fruit, they should know that this is actually a herb that is used in traditional Chinese medicine. The part of the fruit that is used is actually the berry and in what regards its taste, it has the 5 tastes of pungent, bitter, salty, sweet and sour. This is actually a tonic that promotes good health and at the same time it will also help people with alleviating certain health problems.
Health benefits: Addresses Liver Complaints
Many herbalists consider this fruit to be hepato-protective, which means that it will protect people from liver damage. This is one of the most important organs in the human body because it deals with filtering toxins from the blood, it stores nutrients and it also helps the digestive process. At the same time, the fruit will also help with stimulating the growth of liver cells and improve the overall function of the liver.
The fruit's seeds contain deoxyschizandrin, schizandrol, gamma-schizandrin and Lignans schizandrin which basically help out with stimulating the production of glutathione. For those who don't know that this is, they should know it's a vital anti-oxidant that's involved in many of the liver's detox processes. It seems the schizandra fruit is also really effective in treating fatty liver, chronic hepatitis and other types of liver diseases.
The schizandra fruit is also used as an adaptogen which increases the body's resistance to stress and it also balance the functions of the rest of the bodily organs. On top of that, it is very useful for forgetfulness, insomnia and anxiety.
Improves Respiratory Problems
Last but not least, the fruit is used very much in Chinese traditional medicine in order to strengthen the lungs and kidneys. Those suffering from influenza, cough and asthma will benefit greatly from this fruit.All available at VitaNet(R) LLC
The Benefits of White Tea!!
November 23, 2012 01:25 PM
White tea is a special variety of lightly oxidized tea which has undergone very little processing. It is originally native to China and in recent times it has been cultivated in Nepal, Thailand and Taiwan. White tea has been popular in China for over a thousand years and was the preferred drink of the rich elite of the nation. It came into prominence during the reign of the Soong dynasty. It was considered precious and was presented as tribute to the Emperor.
According to legend Emperor Hui Zong lost most of his kingdom in his pursuit for the perfect white tea. White tea is an integral part of Chinese history and was a part of many of their traditional ceremonies. The rest of the world has only recently adopted this exotic beverage.
How Is It Produced?
White tea is derived from the Cammelia senensis plant and takes lot of time and effort to produce properly. The leaves and buds of the plant are carefully steamed and subsequently dried. It is not processed or rolled extensively like black or green tea. This makes white tea lightly oxidized and this unprocessed quality may be the reason for its numerous health benefits. We look at some of the health benefits associated with white tea.
An Antioxidant And More!
White tea contains antioxidants which help in protecting the body from harmful free radicals. These free radicals accelerate aging and damage DNA. White tea has substances which are effective against maLignant cells and can help treat stomach, colon and prostate cancers. Flavonoids are a special variety of antioxidants which restrict the growth and development of cancerous cells. White tea has been shown to help in lowering blood pressure and promoting arterial functioning. It causes a reduction in the consistency of the blood and promotes smooth blood circulation. It protects against stroke by promoting a healthy circulatory system.
Active Ingredient Catechins:
Catechins are another group of antioxidants, which can help regulate cholesterol levels in the body. These antioxidants reduce bad cholesterol and prevent the arteries from hardening. White tea drinkers are reported to have greater strength and bone density. Also drinking white tea has shown positive effects for people suffering from bone related disorders like osteoporosis and arthritis.
This tea provides natural defensive against viruses and bacteria. It is conducive for the health of the immune system and provides protection against a variety of immune disorders. White tea contains small amounts of fluoride compounds which help keep your teeth healthy and clean. It eliminates the bacteria responsible for bad breath, tooth decay and plaque. It removes free radicals from the tissue and reverses the effects of weather, stress and poor dietary preferences to give you healthy glowing skin. White tea has many other health benefits to offer.
Its consumption is linked to increase in metabolism, weight loss and reduction in the symptoms associated with type-2 diabetes. White tea is a natural product free from excessive processing and harmful chemicals. It offers many health benefits and does not cause any harmful side effects. It is slowly gaining popularity as a health supplement among the global population.
Flaxseed Oil - A Essential Oil
November 06, 2012 12:16 PM
Flax seed oil
Flax seed oil is extracted from the flax seeds. According to the research, it is known that, flax seed contains enormous amount of Omega - 3 fatty acids which is considered to be very important for our health. It is also rich in fiber and other necessary proteins, Omega - 6 fatty acids, Vitamin B, copper, magnesium, zinc and potassium.
The following are the benefits of flax seed oil to our overall health which do not limit to the following:
Along with these benefits it is mainly used as a supplement to prevent cancer, particularly, breast cancer and colon cancer. Lignans in flax seed plays an important role to protect cancer. Antioxidant qualities present in Lignans help reduce female related ailments, reduces menopause problems, and many more. Lignans also step in to reduce the growth of tumors.
As we know, flax seed oil is rich in Omega - 3 fatty acids, which is also known as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), helps to fight cardiovascular ailments by lowering cholesterol levels. According to the research it is proved that with regular consumption of flax seed oil, lesser number of people suffer from heart attacks.
Flax seed oil naturally has numerous health benefits. Consumption of this healthy oil will add to our good health. Flax seed oil can be taken in the form of capsules or can be replaced with our daily cooking oil. Please consult a doctor before taking this supplement.
What Are the Health Benefits of Flax Seed Oil
October 27, 2012 06:30 PM
Flex seed oil is highly beneficial for our general well-being. It features a high-volume of omega-3 fatty acids and offers untold curative and preventive health benefits. Several of the contained nutrients consist of carotene, vitamin E and unsaturated alpha linolenic acid.
Flax oil is highly beneficial for several different systems and areas of the body, from the cardiovascular system, immune system, reproductive system to the nervous system and joints. Certain acids in the oil help with preventing the onset of artery clots and lowering the level of cholesterol. This oil is also appreciated for its ability to speed up the healing process from knocks or sprains, improves the metabolism, and helps with improving color perception and vision.
Here are some of the main benefits to taking a supplement of flax seed oil -
Lowers the Risk of Heart Disease
Flax oil offers the ability to cut the chance of suffering from heart disease, mainly due to its effectiveness at reducing the possibility of the blood platelets sticking together. Flax is also efficient at promoting the health of the blood vessels. Lower blood pressure is achieved due to the active ingredient of Omeg-3 fatty acid.
Can Reduce the Risks of Certain Cancers
It has been reported the taking flax seed oil has the potential to reduce the development of certain cancers, such as breast cancer. Action ingredients, such as Lignans (antioxidants) and omega-3 help with preventing cancer.
Helps to Prevent Dry Eyes
A supplement of flax seed is also highly effective at stopping itchy dry eyes. Dry eyes are often as a result of not having sufficient oil in the protective tear film. If a shortage of oil becomes noticeable, the chance of water evaporating from the eyes surface is greatly increased. Supplements containing omega-3 will help with reversing this effect, by ensuring the oil glands have sufficient oil to cover the eye.
Coq10 and its benefits
October 26, 2012 11:04 AM
We insist that vitamins and essential nutrients should be an essential part of our daily diet. But are we aware that some vitamins and chemical nutrients are also created naturally in our bodies? One such essential compound is known as Coq10. Found in most living organisms, Coq10 also known, as ubiquinone is a chemical that boosts the levels of energy produced in the body. It monitors the functioning of the mitochondria and cells that are useful for metabolizing the fat in the body. Without the presence of this essential compound, there could be some serious problems. Here are its respective virtues for people.
Heart And Muscle Repair
Scientific studies have proved that the enhanced production ofCoq10 has helped to solve some major health issues for people. The enhanced production of the compound was instrumental in strengthening the muscles and tissues of the heart. This meant that adequate levels of Coq10 help to reduce the congestion in the heart and veins. Also, the presence of this ubiquitous compound will also help in getting respite from muscular dystrophy. Also, those, who are vulnerable to breathing problems and arrhythmia, can also find a solution through such a compound in their bodies.
Immunity And Blood Pressure
Those, who have the problem of high blood pressure, would be advised to eat more of things like fish or meat as these contain Coq10 in good amounts. Adequate levels of this chemical will aid in reducing the levels of blood pressure and improving the circulation of blood in the body. Also, Coq10 is known for improving the person's immunity against the common degenerative diseases as well as cancers and maLignant tumors and so on. Thus, it can be safely said that Coq10 is a powerhouse of nutrients that help to keep disastrous afflictions at bay. You should have more of it.
Health Benefits of Alpha Lipoic Acid
July 02, 2012 07:53 AM
Alpha Lipoic Acid
Alpha Lipoic Acid, popularly abbreviated as ALA, can also be referred to as thioctic acid. It is an antioxidant as well as a fatty acid occurring naturally in the body. Every single cell in your body has this compound, which can also be sourced from food staff such as broccoli, spinach, organ meats, peas, brussel sprouts and rice bran. The following is a comprehensive list of the health benefits of ALA.
Health benefits of ALA on the aging process
ALA is known to delay the aging process. It does this through its antioxidant properties that help reduce cell damage, a condition that contributes to early aging of cells. This function also helps protect you from chronic illnesses that are attributed to old age.
Health benefits of ALA on brain cells
ALA also protects your brain from the damage caused by free radicals, thus protecting you from dementia and memory related problems. Studies conducted on animals have shown that this acid helps boost memory. Free radicals are also associated with brain cancer, and so this antioxidant helps protect you from developing maLignant tumors in your brain. It also protects you from diseases such as Alzheimer.
Health benefits of ALA on blood sugar
Lipoic acid has been found to help regulate blood sugar thus helping relieve the symptoms of diabetes. It helps relieve the numbness, tingling, pain and itchiness experienced by diabetes patients. This function makes ALA an effective remedy for diabetes-related conditions such as peripheral neuropathy, cardiac autonomic neuropathy and autonomic neuropathy.
Health benefits of ALA on the skin
ALA has been used to manufacture a wide range of beauty creams because of its ability to improve the skin texture. This acid also protects the skin against sun damage, thus reducing chances of developing sunburns. It reduces the size of your skin pores thus helping correct specific types of acne. Finally, ALA helps improve the radiance of your skin thus giving you a beautiful and glowing skin.
Other health benefits of ALA
ALA plays almost all the roles of antioxidants, since it also helps boost your immunity. This function helps protect you from diseases such as:
• Multiple sclerosis
One of the advantages that ALA has over other antioxidants is that it is both water soluble and fat soluble, unlike the other antioxidants that are soluble in either water or fat only. Therefore, its health benefits can be felt all over your body. In addition, ALA is found in all cells within your body and so deficiencies are rare.
Even though ALA is synthesized naturally within your body cells, their production goes down as you age. This is why alpha lipoic acid supplements are available. They are often presented in the form of capsules. There is no recommended daily dose of this supplement, but you need the guidance of a health physician in order to determine the right dosage for you. These supplements may cause serious reactions with specific drugs, and so your doctor will determine whether they are appropriate for you. Children are not allowed to take alpha llipoic acid supplements because their bodies are still in a position to release enough for their needs.
The Benefits of Phytoestrogen for Hot Flashes
April 16, 2012 07:38 AM
How Does Phytoestrogen Help With Hot Flash?
Phytoestrogen is a natural compound found in several plants. It has many benefits. Therefore, it sometimes is made into a supplement by deriving it from those plants. The compound consists of three categories; Lignans, coumestans, and isoflavones.
Phytoestrogen can be used to prevent Alzheimer and breast cancer. A published journal called “Neurotoxicology and Teratology” found that a diet program with this compound can improve visual-spatial memory. And as for the breast cancer, it is because of the isoflavones and Lignans which are effective in protecting the breast against the cancer cell development in adult.
Phytoestrogen: Reproductive System
On the other side, phytoestrogen has the similar structure with estrogen, a hormone found in a female body that influences the function of reproductive system. Therefore, it can be used as a natural solution for female reproductive system such as menopause symptoms.
The most common disturbing symptom in menopause is hot flash. Hot flash is a warm feeling that spreads all over the body. It usually starts from the area around the head and neck. It is cause by drastic hormonal changes that cause the body temperature to drop. To stabilize the body temperature, the brain sends a signal to the entire body to warm it all up. And then, the warmth is sent to all over the body through the blood vessel. When your whole body has warmed up, the blood will return its temperature to its regular level.
As mentioned above, phytoestrogen can be a natural solution to mend hot flashes in menopause. This theory has been proved by a research done by Mayo Clinic where the fifteen menopausal women are given a phytoestrogen diet while the other fifteen women were not. The result shows that the first fifteen women with the diet suffer from hot flashes 57% less than the women with no diet.
Besides hot flashes, another problem may occur to menopausal women is the loss of bone mineral density. This problem can also be avoided with the benefits of phytoestrogen. The compound can also decrease the cholesterol level of menopausal women. Consume 30-60 milligrams of this compound per day can be effective to lower the cholesterol during the menopause.
For those benefits, it is recommended for menopausal women to consume foods that are rich in phytoestrogen, such as;
The bean that contains most of this compound is soy. Soy contains the most phytoestrogen than any other food. It mainly contains isoflavones. Consuming 100 g of soybeans per day is enough for a menopausal remedy. Other beans are lentil, yellow peas, navy, fava beans, etc.
The vegetable that contains most this compound is flaxseed, alfalfa sprout and red clover. Flaxseed also contains omega-3 and fiber which are beneficial for body. Other vegetables are broccoli, cabbage, asparagus, potatoes, carrots, and zucchini.
The fruit that contains most of this compound is dried prunes. Other fruits are peaches, strawberries, and raspberries.
Many kinds of grains are rich in phytoestrogen, such as brown rice, wheat, oats, and barleys.
Consuming fresh foods as your menopausal diet is very healthy and low in risk. However, if it is difficult for you to eat them in a structured schedule, you can simply get the phytoestrogen supplements from a drug store.
How Does Curcumin Reduce Inlammation In The Body?
March 15, 2012 07:53 AM
Curcumin Health Benefits
Curcumin is an active component in turmeric plant (Curcuma Longa) and it is the component that gives yellow color in turmeric plant. The concentration of this component in turmeric plant is around 2-5%. Turmeric plant is a rather tall plant and it is mainly grown in India and other Asian countries.
For centuries, Curcumin has been used for Ayurveda, Chinese herbal medicine, and other Asian traditional medicine due to its various healing properties and low side effects. Besides being used for traditional medicine, this natural component is also used to increase energy, aid digestion, and reduce inflammation in the body.
The modern medical research of curcumin started in 1910. Since then, this turmeric's component is researched extensively by scientists worldwide to find its various health benefits. The followings are some of the benefits of curcumin and an explanation on how this natural component can help to reduce inflammation in the body.
Benefits of Curcumin
Many medical studies have shown that Curcumin has many benefits for human health. The first benefit is to cure digestive disorders. This natural component improves digestion by stimulating bile production in the gallbladder. Naturally, an increase in bile production can worsen stomach ulcers symptoms but many studies show that when the curcumin increases the bile production, it also reduce so stomach ulcers symptoms.
The second benefit of Curcumin is to cure heart disease. Heart attack occurs because there is atherosclerosis, the buildup of plaque that can block arteries. Curcumin helps people with heart disease by preventing the development of atherosclerosis. Many studies also show that this natural component is also helpful to lower cholesterol level in the body.
Another important benefit of this natural component is to cure cancer. This natural component has anti-cancer properties and many studies have shown that it can cure various types of cancers such as colon, skin, breast, and prostate cancer. It is able to limit the number of blood flow to the maLignant tumors so the growth of cancer can be stopped.
How Curcumin reduces inflammation in the body
There are many ongoing studies that analyze the benefits of Curcumin to reduce inflammation. However in a 2006, a study has shown that this natural component is able to prevent joint inflammation in arthritis. The study shows that to reduce inflammation in the body, curcumin stops platelets from coagulating into blood clots and lowers the amount of two inflammatory enzymes, LOX and COX-2. Unfortunately, the study recommends consuming turmeric and not just the curcumin extract because turmeric has other properties that are helpful to reduce inflammation.
Curcumin can easily be found in market as a spice but today it is also available in dietary supplement. Although it is safe to be consumed, there are several side effects that might occur after consuming this natural component such as diarrhea, nausea, upset stomach and heartburn. People who have gallbladder problems are recommended to avoid it because this natural component can induce gallbladder contraction. Pregnant women are also not recommended to consume it because it is a mild uterine stimulant. curcumin can be found under names like curamin, or turmeric at your local vitamin store.
Guggul: An effective remedy to lower cholesterol levels in the body
February 22, 2012 11:34 PM
Guggul is a popular herb in Indian Ayurvedic medicine that is used to treat several ailments. Due to its miraculous healing properties, it has been used for centuries in India to treat a range of health conditions. Recently many clinical studies have been carried out to find out the potential health benefits of herb guggul. Research has shown that guggul helps in lowering total body cholesterol, especially the bad ones-LDL and triglycerides. Before we move on to find the positive effects of guggul on heart and cholesterol levels, let us find out the more about this wonder herb.
Botanically known as Commiphora mukul, guggul is a small shrub reaching up to a height of 4-6 ft. It is found in Central Asia, more common in India. It possess red colored flowers, thorns on branches and oval pulpy fruits. Guggul is prepared from the gum resin that is excreted by the bark of the plant. It contains phytosterols named guggusterones, aromatic acids, steroids, sterols, Lignans, fatty acids, organic acids and diterpenes. According to Indian traditional system of medicine, Ayurveda, guggul contains hot potency which helps in treating diseases caused by vata dosha prominence. It treats coating and obstruction of channels that helps in treating and preventing atherosclerosis and other medical conditions caused due to high levels of lipids in the body. Raw guggul exudate is not safe and it is always used after purification in milk.
How does the herb guggul help maintain good cholesterol levels?
The exact mechanism by which guggul lowers cholesterol levels is still not understood, but many theories have been proposed.
1. Guggul works by blocking the synthesis of cholesterol in the liver. Hence liver does not release excess LDL or bad cholesterol in the blood, thereby reducing the risk of many heart diseases.
2. According to studies, guggul has an impact on the functioning of throid gland and production of bile acids in the body, both of which play an important role in the metabolism of cholesterol.
3. Studies have indicated the role of guggul in preventing oxidation of cholesterol. Oxidation of LDL cholesterol leads to formation of plaques in blood vessels and causes Atherogenesis. The antioxidant action of guggul inhibits cholesterol oxidation and reduces the risk of Atherosclerosis.
The cholesterol lowering properties and antioxidant action make guggul a beneficial Anti-Atherogenesis agent. It can lower cholesterol levels by 14-17 percent and reduce triglycerides by 22-30 percent.
Guggul and heart benefits:
Guggul helps in promoting overall cardiovascular health. It reduces the adhesion of platelets and this reduces the rick of cardiovascular diseases. Studies have shown that Guggul when taken along with Inula racemosa helps in reducing chest pain and dyspnea associated with angina. It has potential cardi-protective benefits that keep your heart health. It helps in lowering blood sugar level and treating any inflammatory heart condition.
Health supplements are prepared from the extract of this highly beneficial plant. Consult your health provider before you start taking guggul supplements. When taken in recommended doses, guggul helps you keep your heart healthy and fit so that you can live a healthy life.
What does GABA Do in the Brain?
November 02, 2011 07:41 AM
GABA or Gamma Amino Butyric Acid is a neurotransmitter of the brain. It is considered to be the main inhibitory brain chemical among mammals. In ordinary terms, it significantly regulates the firing of impulses by the neurons. This chemical is naturally produced by the brain and generally acts as a balancer together with other neurotransmitters. This neurotransmitter has a key role in the regulation of nerve excitability all throughout the nervous system. It effectively maintains the equilibrium of the body and the brain in excitation status. Chemically speaking, GABA is classified as an amino acid. However, GABA is not a building block of protein like the other amino acids. This is the reason why in the medical field, GABA is rarely considered as an amino acid.
Moreover, GABA is the prime brain chemical responsible for the regulation of muscle tone among humans. In a disorder called Spastic Diplegia, the absorption of GABA into the muscles is weakened because of damage nervous tissues and cells. This would significantly lead to hypertonic muscles in which the muscles will experience spasms and can not anymore recognize and process the neurotransmitter GABA. On the other hand, GABA in insects acts as both inhibitory and excitatory neurotransmitter.
As mentioned above, GABA is an inhibitory neurochemical. It functions at the inhibitory synapses of the brain by attaching to receptor sites in the plasma membrane of both pre – and post – synaptic nerves. Once GABA has bind with the receptor sites, it will cause the ion channels to open and permit either the entry of chloride ion which has a negative charge or exit of potassium ion which has a positive charge. Potassium is the main electrolyte inside the cell. This opening of ion channels will then cause the cell to be either hyperpolarized or re – polarized.
During brain development, GABA also plays a significant role. It significantly controls the proliferation of brain progenitor cells and development of synapses as well as the differentiation and maturation of neurites. Furthermore, GABA is also responsible for the growth and development of embryonic and nerve stem cells. It also activates GABA receptors which lead to the halting of cell cycling in the S – phase. As a result, this will limit the growth of cell thus preventing abnormal growth and even maLignancies.
If GABA is in inadequate level, muscle tone is disturbed making it always tensed and the mind will keep on working and working because there is no brain chemical to stop it. Therefore, GABA must be importantly maintained within normal limits.
GABA is naturally produced by nerve cells. However, GABA supplement is now available so that adequate amount of such brain chemical will be administered to the body as needed. GABA supplements can enhance the sleep onset and quality. It can also provide a relaxing feeling and reduce stress and muscle over – activity. Other theories also state that it can regulate mood and behavior thus promoting the total well – being of the person. Ongoing studies are being conducted to show more evidence on GABA’s effect with Human Growth Hormones.
Free Radicals And Cancer, How Do I Combat Free Radicals?
October 12, 2011 01:09 PM
Free Radicals Overview
Free radicals, just the very sound of those words are so dreaded in so many consultation clinics around the country today, this substance has mainly been linked to cancer and its proliferation but what else is there to know about free radicals and cancer. This is what we will be looking at as we go along this article. These free radicals are organic molecules which are primarily the cause for aging, damaged tissues, and a variety of diseases. The main property that causes them to bind with other molecules in the body there by causing damage is because it is unstable. This is the non-stop process that these molecules will do, destroy cells, takes away its vigor and initiate this pro aging process. In a way it is the natural order of things, our world is filled with so many unstable molecules and just like us, there survival instincts kick in and they have to keep stable. Outside the body, that’s all good, no harm for us, but when the same process occurs inside that’s where our own survival instincts come in and helps us think of ways to stop this process of degeneration. With this degeneration process of cells being damaged, it is not far fetch to see these free radicals as the cause of some disease most especially Cancer.
Cancer has been a close second as the top killing disease in America for the past few years now, 2011 is not over yet so there is no ranking out but my guess is, the top 2 will most likely be the same with number one still being heart disease. Cancer is basically characterized by out of control cell growth. There are many classifications of cancer and one thing remains constant, it is characterized or named based on what type of cells it began to damage to cause the eventual cancer. For many of us out there what we do not want to here are maLignant tumors in the body and this can occur based on 2 things, when cancerous cells spreads around the body through the bloodstream which is often referred to as an invasion process and the second is when the cancerous cells divide and grow leaving tissues metastasized in a process called mestastasis. Tumors grow and uncontrollably which are lumps of masses that interfere with our normal bodily functions and causes systems to crash like our digestive and nervous systems just to name a few.
Antioxidants has been well known to be one of the best ways to fight cancer, present in many foods, these molecules does its handy work against cancer by going to the source. More research needs to be done in its healing effects but as an effective treatment it has been proven to be an integral part in minimizing further proliferation of damaged cells. Antioxidants have been shown to have an amazing characteristic against free radicals and that it plays an integral role in killing these cell damaging molecules in the body.
List of antioxidants:
This by far a complete list, but it will get you get started with an antioxidant program to help prevent disease caused by free radical damage.
What is Schizandra Fruit Good for?
May 17, 2011 02:57 PM
Schizandra and your Health.
Schizandra fruit refers to the berries of schizandra. It is widely used in China and the plant is considered one of the 50 fundamental herbs in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is a highly prized ingredient to a health tonic historically prepared for Chinese royalty and nobility. In recent years it has become available to more people across the globe as cultivation increases to meet large-scale productions. Also, herbal supplements that contain extracts of schizandra fruit are becoming popular.
Schisandra chinensis is an indigenous plant species of, as the name suggests, China. However, its native range goes as far north as Asiatic Russia. It is cultivated for its leaves, bark, and berries. The name of the fruit in Chinese translates as “the berry that possesses all five basic flavors,” inasmuch as the Chinese believe it contains organic compounds responsible for its unique taste: salty, sweet, sour, bitter, and spicy. The berries are often dried and made into tea that can be served hot or cold.
Scavenges Reactive Oxygen Species
Reactive oxygen species, or ROS, are natural by-products of cellular respiration, the process of energy metabolism that takes place within each individual cell. These include peroxides, singlet oxygen, and free radicals. ROS can interrupt cellular activities and even damage DNA synthesis, the reason why each cell has its own antioxidant defense. That being said, cells are overwhelmed by ROS as we age.
The process of aging has been tied to the weakening antioxidant defense of cells. Free radicals are also believed to be responsible for the fast progression of many life-threatening diseases, such as cancer. Schizandra fruit is a natural remedy for oxidative stress, the cellular damage brought on by ROS. The berries are rich in antioxidants that help replenish the antioxidant stores of the body.
Displays Hepatoprotective Properties
Schizandra fruit is particularly good for the liver. Practitioners of Chinese herbal medicine believe that its berries rejuvenate the liver, the kidneys, and the circulatory system by washing away the toxins these tissues have amassed over the years. The cleansing properties of juices and tinctures that contain schizandra have been ascribed to the organic compounds naturally occurring in the fruit.
Lignans are a class of polyphenolic substances that occur naturally in nature. Schizandrin, deoxyschizandrin, gomisin, and pregomisin are Lignans unique to the schizandra fruit. The antioxidant properties of Lignans are well established, but those found in the berries of this plant species have an affinity toward hepatocytes, or liver cells. It protects liver cells from oxidative damage and raises the capacity of liver to deal with drugs and their harmful metabolites during first pass metabolism.
Increases Physical Working Capacity
Schizandra fruit is a symbol for youth in the East, and for good reason. For one, it is an adaptogen that increases tolerance to stress and raises the physical capacity of the human body. It is also an aphrodisiac believed to enhance libido and improve sexual performance. Modern herbalists believe its aphrodisiac effects are attributable to its stress-relieving properties.
You too can experience the health benefits of schizandra by picking up a bottle at your health food store.
Can Lycopene Help with Prostate Problems
May 09, 2011 11:14 AM
Lycopene and The Prostate.
Lycopene is an organic compound often associated with tomatoes. It is almost always touted to prevent prostate cancer, though the scientific community has not come to a conclusion yet. Scientists are nevertheless positive that it is good for the prostate, for it displays antiproliferative effects on prostate cells. Laboratory studies are very promising as it appears to inhibitory effect on tumor growth.
Prostate health has long been tied to consumptions of foods rich in lycopene. It is a carotenoid that is bright red in color, and as such can easily be obtained from brightly colored plant products, such as watermelon, papaya, pink guava, and apricots in addition to tomatoes. Like other carotenoids, it displays antioxidant properties. In fact, it is the most efficient scavenger of singlet oxygen of all antioxidants that are classified as carotenoids.
Reverses Oxidative Damage
There have been numerous studies on lycopene in the past few decades, and many of them have noted its antioxidant potential. It has become common knowledge that lycopene is good for the prostate, but not all people know that the prostate gland is its primary storage in the human body. Indeed lycopene interferes with the health of cells and tissues that make up the prostate gland.
One study that tracked down maLignant prostate tissues prior to scheduled surgical removal studied the effects of regular intake of lycopene. It was documented and published that lycopene concentrations in the prostate doubled and the oxidative damage to DNA in prostate tissues decreased, suggesting a dose-related efficiency in the prevention of cellular damage brought on by free radicals and other reactive oxygen species.
Induces Apoptotic Death
High consumptions of lycopene appear to directly counteract with cancer cells and tumor growth, not only in the prostate gland, but also in the lungs, breasts, ovaries, stomach, and cervix. It has also been tied to other disorders of the prostate, such as prostatitis and benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH. It has been noted to slow down cell proliferation that leads to the enlargement of the prostate.
More imporatantly, lycopene seems capable of inducing the cellular process called apoptosis, or programmed cell death, in prostate tissues, most notably in carcinoma regions. This is also evidenced by a significant decrease in prostate-specific antigen in the blood, the reason why lycopene has gained the attention of researchers for prostate health, spurring a number of studies in recent years.
Maintains Prostate Health
Lycopene levels in the human body are largely dependent on dietary intake. As a general rule, the higher the intake of lycopene is, the healthier the prostate becomes. First, it neutralizes reactive oxygen species such as singlet oxygen and free radicals. It also inhibits the multiplication of prostate cells, effectively preventing benign prostatic hyperplasia, which is believed to afflict up to 80 percent of the male population. For those suffering from prostate enlargement, it slows the progression of the disease.
If you are, 40 years old or more you should consider taking lycopene as a preventative daily!
Gooseberry Benefits Vision, Blood Sugar, Cholesterol And More
April 09, 2011 11:17 AM
Gooseberry And Your Health.
Gooseberry is a group of fruit-bearing plant species that belong to the same family as currants. They are easily recognizable by their round berries that are either bright green or deep purple in color. While most of the cultivars produce fruits that are bitter in taste, gooseberries are often added to desserts and preserved as jam or pickle. They are an excellent source of many nutrients, such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B complex, phosphorous, calcium, iron, potassium, and magnesium, among others. Herbalists believe that the vitamin and mineral content of gooseberries do not significantly change after washing, heating, and other cooking preparations.
Different varieties of gooseberries are widely distributed across the Old World, with species native to Europe, Africa, and Asia. The American species are also considered indigenous to North America although many dispute this claim. Each species have been linked to varying herbal remedies, but they all have similar genetic traits and nutrient contents. European and American cultivars are known for the following uses:
Counters Visual Decline
Gooseberry is often associated with the improvement of eyesight. There have been numerous articles about its medicinal potential in the treatment of cataracts, myopia or nearsightedness, and macular degeneration. The fruits are indeed a good source of biological precursors of vitamin A, and the juice extracted from the fruits are believed to contain phytochemicals that contribute to the upkeep of healthy cells found in the human eye.
Reduces Blood Sugar
Almost all varieties of gooseberry are believed to lower blood glucose levels. Proponents of its use as a therapeutic remedy for hyperglycemia point to the modulating effects of its organic compounds and metabolites on the hormone insulin. Gooseberry appears to increase production of insulin and improve glucose sensitivity of cells, the reason why it is also in use in conjunction with other common treatments for type 2 diabetes.
Promotes Cardiovascular Health
The organic compounds naturally occurring in gooseberry have been observed to show cardioprotective properties. First, they help lower serum cholesterol by interfering with the release of low-density lipoproteins, or bad cholesterol, from the liver. Second, they relax the smooth muscle cells within blood vessel walls, resulting in increased blood flow. Third, they strengthen heart muscles, promoting heart health.
Improves Hair Loss
The buzz around the ability of gooseberry products to control hair is supported by very encouraging results. It is believed that topical applications containing gooseberry extracts act on hair follicles, or hair roots, the part of the scalp that grow hair. Practitioners of folk medicine in Europe and Asia usually boil gooseberries, add the pulp to other ingredients to make paste, and apply the paste to the scalp.
Scavenges Free Radicals
Gooseberries are rich in polyphenols, with different species containing flavonoids, tannins, Lignans, or their combination. Plant-based polyphenols are known for their antioxidant properties, which of course is important to neutralizing free radicals. Gooseberry is historically noted for its anti-aging effects, and modern research support this centuries-old with the discovery of its polyphenolic antioxidants.
Give Gooseberry A Try Today!
Is AHCC Good for the Immune System? How So?
March 02, 2011 02:44 PM
AHCC And Immune Health
Active Hexose Correlated Compound, or AHCC, is one of the most commonly used food supplements in Japan largely owing to its effective immune-boosting properties when successfully absorbed by the human body. The earliest important study concerning its activities in the immune system was published in the early 1990’s at Tokyo University, triggering a sudden rise in popularity among consumers in Japan, where it is sold over the counter.
Activates White Blood Cells
It has been observed in the past few years that AHCC boosts the immune system in many different ways in that it participates not only in the innate immune system but also in the adaptive immune system. Of special note is the significant increase in certain types of white blood cells, including natural killer cells, or NK, and macrophages. NK cells are in the employ of the innate immune system and responsible for the disposal of cells infected by viruses. They are often the first line of defense against common viruses such as herpes, containing the damage that viral infection spreads while waiting for specified mechanisms of the adaptive immune system. This is when macrophages come into play along with a cohort of lymphocytes. Their relatively bigger size allows them to effectively engulf pathogenic cells and the enzymes they contain break these pathogens down.
Removes Antigens and Toxins
AHCC also influences the production of antigen presenting cells, or APC. In a double-blind, placebo controlled study involving healthy individuals there was a significant increase in the quantities of APC, notably dendritic cells, in comparison with the baseline, and proteins released by lymphocytes called interferon. Both APC and interferon facilitate the detection of antigens and toxins created by invasive foreign bodies and alert the rest of the immune system of their presence. Dendritic cells are considered the most important group of all APCs in that they present a wide range of antigen presentation by way of phagocytosis or endocytosis, two different ways of catching antigens. By so doing, they make it easier for white blood cells to eliminate antigens and other toxic substances.
Defends against Cancer Cells
Cancer patients are the group of individuals that have benefited the most from AHCC. Early studies yielded data that are now being used to enhance the quality of life of those diagnosed with cancer. Indeed boosting the immune system has proven to play a part in the battle against cancer, and AHCC stimulates the immune system to manufacture a class of white blood cells that actively defend the body against cancer cells by causing tumor cells to die and on the same principle delay the proliferation of maLignant cells.
There have been extensive clinical trials well underway in many countries, including China, South Korea, Thailand, Spain, and the US. These studies aim to that rigorously test its efficacy. In fact, AHCC belongs to the group of nutritional products tied to alternative medicine that has been supported by an abundance of data in connection with its safety and recommended dosages.
If you are battling disease, give AHCC a try.
Fight Free Radical Damage From Toxins With Vitamins And Herbs
July 28, 2010 11:34 AM
There are many things that destroy the immune system. Each day we are bombarded with them in many forms. The following are some of the most common ones that are encountered.
Agene, also known as Nitrogen Trichloride, is used to bleach flour and give it a white appearance. Unfortunately, it can cause epileptic-like fits along with failure of muscle coordination. Excessive use of alcohol also severely impairs the immune system. It increases susceptibility to infection and weakens the central nervous system. Alcohol promotes chronic lung disease, maLignancies of the neck and head, intestinal problems, hypoglycemia, diabetes, liver disease, and a whole variety of other problems. B vitamins, folic acid, niacin, vitamin E, magnesium, zinc, and protein are depleted by alcohol. All of these nutrients play a huge role in immune health. Aspartame breaks down in the digestive tract into a toxic material known as methanol. In order to prevent methanol from metabolizing into formaldehyde, a poison, a person needs to take another poison, ethanol.
Glutamic acid is a substance that is found in monosodium glutamate, a flavor enhancer. It affects the central nervous system and can trigger depression, gloomy fantasies, and rage for as long as two weeks following the ingestion of monosodium glutamate. High-diet fat intake increases the levels of bile acids in the colon. This breaks down into deoxycholic and lithocholic acids, both of which are cancer-causing elements. This can cause cancer of both the colon and the rectum. A diet that is high in animal protein and fat can cause cancer of the pancreas, breast, gallbladder, ovaries, uterus, prostate, and leukemia. Junk food such as sweets, white flour, and white sugar products, put a double amount of stress on the body. When too much junk food is eaten, the appetite for good, wholesome food is dulled.
Caffeine decreases immunity in the body, with fibrocystic breast disease being connected with the consumption of foods that contain caffeine. It is often caused by the chemicals methylxanthine, theophylline, and theobromine, which are found in coffee, black tea, cola drinks, chocolate, and other soft drinks. These elements act on hormones that cause breast tissue to develop fibrocystic lumps. Caffeine takes away the body’s own use of iron and inositol, and is often suspected of causing cancer in the pancreas.
Food dyes and flavorings are the culprits in behavioral problems that occur in children and adults, with some of these problems being learning disabilities and hyperactivity. Sodium nitrate is a preservative that is often found in cured meats like hot dogs, bologna, and ham. It has the potential to produce permanent epileptic changes in brain activity and damage the central nervous system.
High protein diets can deplete calcium in the body, especially when the source of protein is an animal product. There are concentrated doses of hormones and antibiotics that are found in beef which suppress the immune system and promote tumor growth. Poly-unsaturated fats undergo a process that produces rancidity in oils. This process releases dangerous free radicals, which eventually lead to cancer.
Heavy metals like lead and mercury can cause serious damage to the nervous system, with even small amounts being considered toxic. Lastly, the wide use of vaccinations and antibiotics is considered to be one of the main causes of immune system disorders.
Our bodies are under constant attack by our toxic environment. Fortunately, with regular vitamin and herb use, one can help the body restore its immune system to proper function so we can live a happier healthier life.
Phytoestrogen, fish oil, and other Supplements may help With estrogen related diseases
July 27, 2010 12:19 PM
Many women fear breast cancer, as it seems out of control. In actuality, a woman’s diet is something within her control and it can be the most powerful force in significantly deterring breast cancer. One out of every eight American women experience breast cancer. Foods, natural herbs, and exercise can significantly reduce your risk, with just one change cutting your risk in half. The more estrogen a woman is exposed to over her lifetime, the higher her risk of breast cancer. There are both good and bad estrogens. Daily, we are bombarded with bad estrogens through cosmetics, plastics, metals, and toxins in the air. Good estrogens come from foods, especially plants.
Choosing organic foods and starting young women on organic dairy in particular is a great way to make preventative dietary changes. A diet full of fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and plant compounds supports the detoxification pathways and protects cells. This alone is a giant step on the path of disease prevention. Following are ten foods that can inspire you to make small, tasty changes to your diet and help you to feel in control of your breast cancer prevention.
Flaxseeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids and plant Lignans and are the most powerful food you can eat to fight breast cancer. Try adding 2 to 3 tablespoons of ground flaxseeds to a blueberry-yogurt smoothie, or sprinkling on cereal, oatmeal, or wholesome muffins.
Turmeric, which is extremely popular in Indian cuisine, is an anti-inflammatory that’s 300 times more potent than vitamins E and C. This food can help to cut your risk of breast cancer in half. It also stimulates liver enzymes, which helps to clear the body of bad estrogen toxins. Adding ¼ teaspoon of turmeric to a curried chicken stir-fry or plain basmati rice is a great way to get more in your diet.
Women who eat diets high in fiber have a 54% lower risk of breast cancer. Insoluble fiber binds to estrogen in the colon, eliminating it from the body. Fiber also slows the absorption of carbohydrates and bad fats. Try starting your day with oatmeal that is topped with fresh blueberries and slivered almonds. A low-fat bran muffin and apple is also a great way to get more fiber in your diet.
Vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, and Brussels sprouts put up a good fight against breast cancer. Their indole-3-carbinols block estrogen receptors, which slows bad estrogen from causing breast cells to grow and divide faster, which increases the risk of breast cancer. Cruciferous veggies also contain a compound called DIM, which helps detoxify estrogen in the body. Women who eat the most cruciferous vegetables have a 40 percent lower risk of breast cancer than those who eat few if any. Try steaming veggies, sprinkling them with sea salt, and drizzling with olive oil.
Fish, which is known for its high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids, is also a great way to prevent breast cancer. However, vegetarians who prefer vegetable sources can stick with flaxseeds and occasionally eating wild salmon is recommended. To get more, bake a 4-ounce salmon fillet and serve it over a bed of quinoa and steamed broccoli drizzled with olive oil. If you’re not into the fishy taste, try purified fish oil supplements.
Other foods that can help to prevent breast cancer include green tea, soy, olive oil, mushrooms, and seaweeds. Green tea inhibits the growth of cancers and also help decrease the body’s estrogen production. An adequate amount of soy in your diet can reduce chances of breast cancer by 30 to 50 percent, as it contains genistein, a plant estrogen that has been proven to stop tumor growth, prevent metastasis, and shut off blood flow to growing tumors. Olive oil has the ability to suppress a gene in our DNA that is involved in tumor growth, while mushrooms boost the immune system. Seaweeds is rich in iodine, which is toxic to breast cancer cells.
Eating a healthy diet low in red meat and high in fruits and vegetables along with vitamin supplements can go a long way in the fight against cancer. Look to your local or internet vitamin store for additional information on vitamin supplements.
Prostate Health - Clinical Strength
May 28, 2010 01:50 PM
Clinical Strength Prostate Health
Medical professionals, health experts, and researchers now concur that approximately one in three men over thirty will face some form of prostate challenge during their lifetime. One of the most frequently encountered is BPH, or Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia. This common, non-cancerous condition occurs in aging males as a result of normalized shifts in hormonal production. While the exact cause of BPH continues to intrigue the research community, findings from ongoing studies have indicated that it may be linked to excess free testosterone reaching the prostate gland in high concentrations, or possibly excess production of DHT, or dihydrotestosterone, a natural testosterone metabolite. Current research is looking at possible estrogenic causes, as well. While the volume of men affected by BPH is indeed concerning, hope for supporting optimal prostate function, once only within view of the health horizon, is now a very real and accessible alternative option.
The constant evolution of nutraceutical science has explored many ways in which to support the physiology and function of a healthy prostate gland. Keeping in mind that natural products are not intended to treat or cure BPH, well-conducted studies have showcased the ability of several nutritionals in providing support for normal prostate health. The most recognized is Saw Palmetto; a popular, effective natural extract which needs no formal introduction to health enthusiasts or supplement-savvy retailers. Others, too, appear to help sustain normal prostate function. These include Pumpkin Seed Oil, Lycopene, Stinging Nettle, Quercetin, Phytosterols, and numerous others. The results of these findings, coupled with growing consumer interest in natural alternatives, have come together in our newest addition to NOW’s line of male support products.
Clinical Strength Prostate Health is a science-inspired formula developed to deliver the pinnacle of nutritional support for healthy prostate function.* Each 3 softgel serving supplies 320 mg of Saw Palmetto Berry extract (min. 85% fatty acids), along with Pumpkin Seed Oil, Zinc, Selenium, Natural trans-Resveratrol, Vitamin D-3 and other potent synergists. 850 mg of Phytosterols, including eta-Sitosterol, is represented, as well as standardized extracts from Nettle Root, Turmeric, Green Tea, Pomegranate, and Flax Seed Lignans. This novel arrangement of thoroughly researched compounds makes Clinical Strength Prostate Health the last natural prostate support formula* male enthusiasts will ever need. As with every NOW® product, we formulate using only the best raw materials, under the most exacting quality standards, offered at prices that yield high margins and even happier customers.
October 23, 2009 11:10 AM
Since the beginning of civilization, flax has been around. The early Swiss used the fibers for weaving, while Egyptians decorated their tombs with carvings of the flax plant and wrapped mummies in linen due to the high esteem they had for this plant. The fibers of the flax plant were a main source of clothing in biblical times, with even Christ being believed to have been buried in linen. The use of flaxseed oil was recommended by Hippocrates for inflammations of the mucous membranes. Charlemagne required his subjects to eat the seeds to remain healthy during the early eighth century in France.
Flaxseed has many medicinal properties, as the oil has been used as a remedy for colds, coughs, sore throats, mucus, congestion, lung conditions, and as an expectorant. The herb is soothing to the mucous membranes and has been used to treat asthmatic conditions.
Additionally, this herb is a mild, natural laxative, providing roughage to aid the body when constipation is a problem. It is also healing on the stomach and intestines. Flaxseed oil can be very beneficial for gastritis, ulcers, and heartburn, while the tea can be used to help detoxify the liver and purify the blood. This herb is also believed to aid in reducing the clotting tendency of blood, potentially lowering the risk of heart attacks and reducing cholesterol levels in blood. It is also used for reducing inflammation and for urinary tract irritations. Crushed flaxseed, made into a poultice, is often used to treat sprains or bruises.
Unrefined, cold-pressed flax oil is considered to be the richest vegetable source of omega-3 and 6 oils, which are essential fatty acids. These oils are useful for balancing the hormones in the body and helping in the weight-loss process. Essential fatty acids help to improve the function of the glands, which in turn helps weight loss. Those individuals on low or no-fat diets often experience symptoms of fatigue and no weight loss which is partly due to the absence of essential fatty acids in the diet. A small amount of essential fatty acids actually helps one to lose weight. This herb also contains Lignans, which are a type of fiber that has anti-estrogenic activity. A study done at the National Cancer Institute followed vegetarian women. The study indicated a correlation between a high amount of Lignans in the blood and a lower risk for breast cancer. It has also been discovered that people living in countries where flaxseed is consumed in high amounts have a lower risk for developing both breast and colon cancer. It should be noted that stabilized flaxseed has a higher content of Lignans than any other food.
Flaxseed can also be helpful in preventing heart disease and lowering cholesterol. One study found that ground flaxseed, when added to the diet, can reduce the incidence of heart disease.
The seeds of the flaxseed plant are used to provide anti-neoplastic, demulcent, emollient, expectorant, mucilant, mild purgative, and vulnerary properties. Primarily, flaxseed is extremely beneficial in dealing with arthritis, cardiovascular health, high cholesterol, constipation, immune disorders, multiple sclerosis, and skin disorders.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in treating bronchitis, cancer, colds, gallstones, weak heart, jaundice, liver, lung disorders, muscular rheumatism, and tumors. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by flaxseed, please contact a representative from your local health food store.
Vitamins and Herbs
April 03, 2009 02:52 PM
The whole human body is made up of cells that contain their own genetic material. In a healthy body, these cells divide at a controlled rate, growing and repairing damaged tissues and replacing dying cells. This predetermined rate of cell division is what keeps our bodies healthy. If cells keep multiplying when new ones are not necessary, a mass of tissue, often known as a tumor, is formed. This tumor can be either benign or maLignant.
Benign tumors are not cancerous and can occur anywhere in the body. Benign tumors do not cause a threat to health, do not metastasize, and do not grow back if removed. MaLignant tumors are cancerous and are usually serious. Often times, they can be life-threatening. MaLignant tumors grow uncontrollably, interfere with normal metabolic and organ functioning, and have the ability to metastasize and invade other tissues. If a portion of a cell’s DNA is damaged, the cell can become abnormal. When an abnormal cell divides, it forms new cells that are a photocopy of the damaged genetic material. This ongoing process occurs constantly within our bodies. The majority of the time our bodies have the ability to destroy these abnormal cells and maintain a sort of cellular equilibrium. If a crucial part of the DNA is destroyed and the abnormal cells cannot be controlled any longer, cancer forms. All cancer cells have two things in common: growing uncontrollably and having the ability to metastasize. The immune system does not recognize cancer cells as dangerous or foreign.
Although the exact cause for the cell damage that initiates the cancer process is unknown (theoretically free radical damage causes DNA damage), the chain of events that leads to cancer is very complex, and each individual body reacts differently. It is a combination of genetic, behavioral, environmental, and lifestyle factors that are thought to be involved in turning normal cells into abnormal cells, and abnormal cells into cancer.
There are also factors that are believed to slow the process, while other factors can speed up the process. Possible contributors to the development and growth of cancer can be divided into three categories: external, internal, and lifestyle. External factors include unhealthy workplace environments and exposure to air and water pollution, chemicals, pesticides, and herbicides. Included in the internal factors include both genetics and infections. Lifestyle factors are those we personally can most readily control, such as diet, smoking, drinking, and sun exposure. External and lifestyle factors account for 80 percent of cancer deaths in the United States.
Just as each of us looks different, each of our bodies has its own unique composition. Some of us may react adversely to what some of us react well to. This is why some treatments prove to be successful for some, but not for others. This is why dietary wellness and prevention is so important. If we can keep our bodies healthy and avoid known cancer-causing agents, we have a good defense against cancer in the first place.
The following nutrients and supplements are designed for persons who have been diagnosed with cancer, as well as for those who wish to enhance their chances of avoiding the disease: coenzyme Q10, colostrum, DMG, garlic, IP6, melatonin, MSM, proteolytic enzymes, selenium, 7-keto DHEA, shark cartilage, SOD, vitamin A, shiitake extract, acidophilus, chromium picolinate, flaxseed oil, grape seed extract, kelp, l-carnitine, multienzyme complex, a multi-mineral complex, multivitamin complex, NAC, raw glandular complex, taurine, and vitamin B complex. Additionally, the following herbs may be beneficial: astragalus, birch, burdock root, cat’s claw, chaparral, chuchuhuasi, cranberry, dandelion, Echinacea, fennel, green tea, licorice root, macela, milk thistle, parsley, pau d’arco, red clover, suma, cardamom, cayenne, ginger, rosemary, sage, thyme, turmeric, ragwort, wood sage, curcumin, essiac, noni, olive leaf extract, rosemary, and boswellia.
All of the above listed herbs and vitamins can help restore the body to good nutrition and help boost the immune system so the body can find and fight back against cancer. Natural vitamins and herbs are available at your local or internet health food store. When purchasing supplements, look for name brand vitamins like Solaray and Source Naturals to ensure you receive quality and you get what you pay for.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Natural vitamins and herbs are not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.
December 23, 2008 11:44 AM
Although it is important to stress that the fatty acids found in flax are essential, flax also contains substances called Lignans. Lignans are special compounds that demonstrate impressive health benefits, as they seem to be responsible for assisting the immune system in many ways, along with helping to prevent some types of cancers.
Because flax contains Lignans, it is an even more beneficial to the body when consumed in this form. Flax is one of the most abundant sources of Lignans, a type of phytoestrogen that interferes with estrogen metabolism in animals and humans. This property gives Lignans the ability to help in the prevention of both fat and hormone-sensitive types of cancer. Lignans also benefit the body by providing antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral activity that helps the immune system to function optimally.
All of the benefits of flax are still yet to be known, but it has been established that flax is also a good source of fiber. There have been several studies which confirm that flaxseed can be a cholesterol-lowering agent similar to oat bran, fruit pectin, and other food ingredients that contain fiber. Because flax packages both omega-3 fatty acids and soluble fiber together, it presents two ingredients which provide healthy blood lipid patterns. Flaxseed contains beneficial amounts of both soluble and insoluble fiber, giving it potential cancer-fighting ability especially in colon cancer.
When selecting a healthy diet, it is important to consider your sources of essential fatty acids. Essential fatty acids are fragile and easily damaged by air, high temperatures, and food processing, so you are unlikely to get all of the EFAs that you need, even if you are careful to use vegetable oils for cooking. Most of the oil that we consume today has been heavily processed, which damages essential fatty acids. When choosing flax oil, you’ll want to take into account the same considerations, looking for oil that has not been damaged by processing and is packaged to block all light from contact with the oil.
Not all flax oils are the same, with there being a great deal of variation in quality and purity as a result in differences of how the oil is expressed. Most flaxseed oils are mechanically pressed out through an expeller, in which great amounts of heat and pressure can be generated. The higher the temperature, the better the yield of oil, but the lower the quality of oil. Many manufactures willingly sacrifice quality for quantity. The best way to measure the quality of oil is by taste, with the degree of bitterness being a close approximation of the level of lipid peroxides. The best source of high quality flaxseed oil can be found in health food stores where inventory turnover is highest.
Some good guidelines to go by in selecting a good flaxseed oil include: making sure the flaxseed oil is derived from 100% certified organic flaxseed; making sure the oil is as fresh as possible and not past the expiration date; making sure that the oil is expeller-pressed or cold pressed; using flaxseed oil that is high in Lignans to gain the most benefit.
Noni Fruit Extract
November 22, 2008 09:34 AM
Tahitian Noni juice can promote a healthy body in many ways. These Noni benefits are conferred by the phytochemicals contained within the fruit pulp, but before discussing the benefits of Noni let's first have a look at what it actually is.
Morinda citrifolia is also known as the Indian or beach mulberry tree, and is a member of Rubiaceae family. Although it originated in Southeast Asia, it has spread all the way to French Polynesia and the Dominican Republic. It is mainly cultivated in Tahiti for its fruit, known as cheese fruit or Noni fruit.
Although it is a staple food in some areas of the Pacific, it has a pungent smell and a bitter taste, and often eaten either raw or cooked only in times of famine. However, the fruit is particularly rich in phytonutrients, and many people swear by the Noni benefits it to maintain a glowing healthy body, free from disease and many of the health problems from which most people suffer.
The strange thing about it is the taste: you would not drink Tahitian Noni juice by choice, nor eat the fruit, so how were these Noni health benefits discovered? Hunger likely explains it: those forced to eat it through hunger were likely the lucky ones, who actually ate a nutritional diet even though they were eating a fruit normally eaten only in times of famine.
Among the conditions that Noni fruit is believed to protect you from are cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol levels, asthma, cholesterol, strokes, migraines, a weak immune system, arthritis and some cancers. Many of these conditions should give you a clue as to the nature of the phytochemicals contained within the fruit, since most of them involve free radical attack and immune system response.
Prior to examining thee diseases and conditions in detail, let's have a look at the chemicals the fruit has been established to contain. It is rich in dietary fiber, offering 100% of the Dietary Reference Intakes of the Institute of Medicine for each 100g serving, and also contains enough carbohydrate to meet 55% of you DTI needs. However, that is just the start.
The Noni pulp powder contains ten times the DRI of Vitamin C, and large quantities of Vitamin B3 niacin), potassium and iron. The Tahitian Noni juice itself contains few nutrients, and only the Vitamin C is retained to any useful level. It is therefore the pulp powder that offers the major nutritional benefit. In fact, because it has to be pasteurized at high temperature to meet regulations the for liquid product, Noni juice loses most of its nutritional content, and even the 31% Vitamin C content is surprising since that too is destroyed at high temperatures.
It is the high phytochemical content of Noni powder that renders it such an important supplement, and a scan down the following components will give you an idea of how the fruit got its reputation. The known Noni benefits are obtained from:
Lignans: these are phytoestrogens that have been reported to offer a reduced risk of ovarian and breast cancers, osteoporosis and also cardiovascular disease. They possess antioxidant properties and although reports as to their effectiveness are varied, they appear to have beneficial health effects.
Flavanoids: These are phenolics, including asperulodisic acid and rutin. The former is believed to be effective against certain cancers, while rutin, also contained in buckwheat, is a strong antioxidant that strengthens capillaries, and also helps to prevent atherosclerosis and heart disease.
Catechin and epicatechin: strong antioxidants that help prevent heart disease, strokes, diabetes and cancers. It also protects your skin against the harmful effects of the ultra-violet component of the sun's rays. Catechin is a form of flavanoid, and one of the more powerful of the antioxidants needed to destroy the free radicals that would otherwise ravage your body through the destruction of your body cells.
B-Sitosterol: a plant sterol that is believed to reduce the cholesterol in your blood, but still requires scientific proof, even though there is plenty of evidence to support its effect. Plant sterols are the basis of the cholesterol-lowering yoghurt drinks that you can but in your local supermarket.
This list is not exclusive, and there are several other phytochemicals found in Noni pulp powder that are believed to confer significant health benefits, but that are still seeking scientific support. The fact that such support has yet to be provided is not a reason to doubt their effectiveness, although the above benefits are sufficient to justify the reputation of this nutritional supplement that few have heard about.
There have been only around 110 reports on Noni research since the 1950s, so it is not surprising that the scientific proof is weak, although of these around 100 have appeared since the year 2000. Don't forget that there was no proof for the effectiveness of penicillin until it was discovered!
Even the biochemistry of the components of Tahitian Noni juice, such as the polysaccharides not mentioned in the above list, is in the early stages of research, and an increasing number of traditional remedies are being found to have a valid scientific and medical basis. These polysaccharides are a form of dietary fiber with probiotic properties that can be fermented by bacteria in the gut to form short chain fatty acids that possess many beneficial health properties.
Take the heterocyclic iridoids, for example. These are unknown to most people, yet they are found in many plants that have extensive medicinal properties, and might be responsible for many of them. They appear to possess anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antispasmodic properties, and support the cardiovascular system, the immune system and help to maintain a healthy blood sugar level. These are also contained in Noni pulp powder.
Another component of Noni fruit that most people have not heard of is damnacanthal. This inhibits certain tyrosine kinesis that basically have a controlling effect on the division of body cells. They particularly inhibit the Ras genes, responsible for some cancers due to uncontrolled cell division. Damnacanthal can prevent Ras genes from causing these cancers.
There are many more benefits that Tahitian Noni juice, or particularly the powdered Noni pulp, can confer, and it is recommended that it be taken as a supplement by anybody needing a general health tonic since it possesses such a wide variety of beneficial properties. The Noni benefits which those that use it enjoy area available to everyone, even though it is one of the lesser known of the beneficial health supplements.
Phytoestrogen - Plant Estrogen
September 25, 2008 05:57 PM
Phytoestrogens mainly belong to a group of phenolic compounds known as flavonoids: the coumestans, prenylated and isoflavones are three of the most active in estrogenic effects. Phytoestrogens are not considered as nutrients because the lack of in the diet will not produce any characteristic deficiency syndromes nor do they participate in any essential biological function. Phytoestrogens are considered archi-estrogens (naturally occurring) and as dietary phytochemicals they are considered as safe and effective in its estrogenic activity.
Phytoestrogen content varies in different foods, and may vary significantly within the same group of foods due to the way these foods are grown such as soil content. Phytoestrogen when consumed as a treatment for menopause was well tolerated and caused no changes in liver enzymes, creatinine levels, body mass index, or blood pressure. Phytoestrogen is found in a wide variety of edible plants and generally display both estrogenic and anti-estrogenic properties.
Canadian researchers examined the content of nine common phytoestrogens foods in a Western diet, foods with the highest relative phytoestrogen content were nuts and oilseeds, followed by soy products, cereals and breads, legumes, meat products, and processed foods that may contain soy, vegetables, fruits, alcoholic, and nonalcoholic beverages. Researchers are also studying if phytoestrogens can prevent prostate cancer, preliminary results are promising. Researchers focused primarily on the compound isoflavones because of its greater abundance in soy plus it exhibit estrogenic properties in the same strength as the other phytoestrogens compounds..
Isoflavones are structurally similar to the estrogen in human body’s, and thus have been shown to possess both estrogenic and anti-estrogenic activity. Isoflavones may directly inhibit bone re-sorption and prevent the onset of osteoporosis. The weak estrogenic effects of isoflavones have been postulated as being protective against various forms of cancer as well. Being that isoflavones are chemically similar to estrogen, one can take isoflavones as an estrogenic replacement with little to no side effects.
Two other clinical trials suggest that over the short term, soy isoflavones may reduce lumbar spine bone loss in peri- and postmenopausal women. Red Clover contains all four estrogenic isoflavones: biochanin formonoetin daidzein Genistein. Much research has been performed on soy and red clover based phytoestrogens sources. We do not eat much red clover and so we will focus more on soy sources.
Soybeans contain large amounts of isoflavones or phytoestrogens such as genistein, daidzein, glycitein, and isoflavones. Soybeans display a biological effect when ingested by humans and animals. Soybean oil is the most commonly used vegetable oil in the United States and Europe. Soybean oil contains approximately 61 percent polyunsaturated fatty acids making it a healthy alternative to other oils currently available on the market for cooking.
Soybeans contain high levels of phytoestrogens and are the most widely used oil in the United States, and is sold as either pure soybean oil or as a main ingredient in vegetable oil. Most of the supplements on the natural foods market contain isoflavones derived from soybeans or red clover and some contain botanicals such as black cohosh.
Phytoestrogen flavonoids and Lignan exhibit significant antioxidant activity which is great for those anti-aging minded individuals. The antioxidant activity in flavonoid and Lignan helps support breast, heart and bone health. Antioxidants can reduce free radical damage in the body as well as reduce oxidative stress which causes aging. We all know that over time we age, phytoestrogens might help one age more gracefully.
Finally, phytoestrogens, sometimes called "natural estrogens", are a diverse group of naturally occurring non steroidal plant compounds that, because of their structural similarity with estradiol (estrogen), have the ability to cause estrogenic or/and anti-estrogenic effects in the body. Isoflavones are found in high concentration in soy bean and soy bean products changing ones diet to more soy based foods or taking a phytoestrogens supplement can help reduce estrogen related cancers and maybe even prostate cancer.
September 22, 2008 09:48 AM
Panax is a type of perennial plant with fleshy roots, and grows in Eastern Asia. Ginsengs contain ginsenosides that are triterpene saponins, steroidal compounds that are found only in Panax ginseng. The effects of these saponins are difficult to establish, but they are believed to be behind the properties of ginseng.
Panax ginseng is found predominantly in Korea, China and Siberia, although a genus has also been found in Vietnam. Panax are adaptogenic herbs that help promote resistance to anxiety, fatigue and stress, and are said to adapt the body to resist a number of different stressors. It has been proposed that adaptogenic herbs can balance the endocrine hormones of the hypothalamus, pituitary and adrenal axis.
They also normalize the immune system, and increase the activity of phagocytes, the killer cells. Additionally, they not only help to maintain homeostasis, but are believed to go further and act as allostatic agents, adapting response to maintain system stability in a more dynamic fashion, by changing interactive functions as opposed to the individual adaption’s made in homeostasis.
Not all ginsengs are the same, and although Siberian ginseng is an adaptogen, it is not a true ginseng. Its roots are woody rather than fleshy, and it contains eleutherosides as opposed to ginsenosides. These also are triterpenoid saponins, but of a different adaptogen. The herb is actually Eleutherococcus senticosus as opposed to Panax ginseng and P. quinquefolius, both true ginsengs. Siberian ginseng was misnamed as a marketing ploy.
American ginseng is Panax quinquefolius, sometimes referred to by the Chinese as Huaqishen. It, too, is an adaptogen and a true ginseng, containing ginsenosides. However, it contains much less ginsenonide Rg1 than panax. This ginsenonide appears to possess estrogen-like activity and improves spatial learning. The other forms of ginesonide found in panax ginseng are:
Ginsenoside Rb1: This appears in greatest concentration in American ginseng, and appears to have an effect on the reproductive system. It not only has an effect on the testicles, but is believed to increase testosterone production through its stimulating effect on luteinizing hormone. It also helps to rdeduce the incidence of angiogenesis, which is the formation of new blood vessels from old, and also a stage in the development of maLignant tumors from dormant ones.
Ginsenoside Rc: this possesses sedative properties, and in a study on breast cancer was found to have an effect in inhibiting the growth of these particular cancer cells. Ginsenoside Rc might therefore have use in the treatment or prevention of breast cancer. Studies have also suggested that this ginsenoside could increase the motility of sperm: the motiliy of sperm was found to increase significantly in a solution of ginsenoside Rc.
Ginsenoside Rf: this is present only in panax ginseng, and studies have indicate that it has an inhibitory effect on the Ca2+ neural channels in the brain, and so cokld have an analgesic effect. Studies have as yet failed to explain this effect that is seen in animal tests, but are continuing on this ginsenoside.
Ginsenoside Re: this ginsenoside has strong antioxidant effects and has a significant antidiabetic effect in that is reduces insulin resistance, which is likely why ginseng is taken to treat Type 2 diabetes. Studies are ongoing into the properties of this ginsenoside, and also on the other 10 or more that are known to be present in Panax ginseng. The effects of ginseng are difficult to establish with certainity because they work through so many different pathways and it is difficult to isolate one. More than one ginsenoside, for example, affects the calcium channels in the brain, and it is difficult to determine which does what.
There are fewer ginsenosides in Panax quinquefoilius, and in the USA it is only the panax version that can be traded as simply ‘ginseng’. One of the main problems with all ginsengs is that although it is one of the most studied plants, the majority of the studies have been on animals, and due to this, and the difficulties caused by the multiple pathways described earlier, many of the postulations have not been proved in humans.
However, if the theory as it is know today is taken into consideration along with the traditional uses of ginseng in traditional Indian (ayurvedic), Chinese and Native American medicine, it would be fairly accurate to say that ginseng is useful in helping your body to recover after illness or surgery, and to help you to deal with stress. It has also been proved to lower your blood glucose (sugar) levels, and help in the treatment of Type II diabetes, as already mentioned. There is evidence that it helps to boost your mental performance, memory and might help to slow down the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
Ginseng can also give a boost to your energy levels, and it is genarally accepted that panax ginseng is more effective than the American version. In traditional medicine, Asian ginseng is said to be warming, and the American variery cooling. Thus Panax ginseng is useful for people recovering from illness and trying to recover their strength, acts as a tonic, stimulant and supports the immune system. In other words it helps the body to get whole again after being depleted.
It should not be used if you get very hot and red, such as with heat stroke, unless you use it in combination with the American version, because these are conditions of high yang and this type of ginseng will increase the yang even further.
American ginseng, on the other hand, is good for those with fevers, hypertension (high blood pressure), and suffereing the effcts of heat. It helps build the yin and reduce the yang, so if you always feel flushed and hot or are hyperactive then go for the American, and if you easily get chilled or find your hands and feet get cold very easily, reach for the Asian ginseng to increase your yang.
You often find ginseng as an ingredient in soft drinks, but the concentration is so low that it has no metabolic or pharmacological effect. The dose to be taken should be as stated on the pack, since there is no specific standardization. It has been noted that the effects can be lost if an excess of ginseng is taken, but generally the herb is safe and if you feel a bit down or lacking in energy, ginseng can work wonders for you.
Flax Seed Oil
August 07, 2008 01:53 PM
Flax seed naturally contains a variety of different categories of essential fatty acids, which includes alpha linoleic acid, linoleic acid, and omega-9 oleic acid. A lot of flax seed’s benefits are a function of its content of alpha linoleic acid, which is converted in the body to a longer chain of omega-3 EPA. Research has proven that supplementation with flax seed oil can help to increase the EPA concentrations in many tissues of the body. One of the main areas of research has been inflammation.
Many factors contribute to inflammatory reactions, including omega-6 linoleic acid, which can be converted into pro-inflammatory substances. Flax alpha linoleic acid can convert into EPA, which has the ability to convert into a prostaglandin that has anti-inflammatory properties. In inflammatory states, alpha linoleic acid and EPA compete with linoleic acid for enzymatic metabolism, resulting in a decreased production of pro-inflammatory substances. Many studies have found that the use of flax seed oil in domestic food preparation can reduce the production of inflammatory cytokines.
These studies have also shown the ability of omega-3 rich fish oils to inhibit inflammatory mechanisms in the autoimmune disease lupus nephritis, which lead to the investigation into flax having any abilities in this area. One trial found that 30g/d of flax seed was optimal for improving kidney function, decreasing inflammation, and reducing atherosclerotic development. Flax also contains antioxidants, which may be helpful to those who have SLE.
Research has also been conducted to investigate the hormonal modulating effects of ingesting Lignans, which are antioxidant and phyto-estrogenic compounds that are found in flax seed. Clinical evidence indicates that phytoestrogens have an anti-cancer effect on the breast. Experimental studies in animals and humans have also demonstrated flax’s anti-cancer effects, with a 1998 review indicating that the consumption of flax may be used as a secondary prevention method against breast cancer. Flax seed has also been shown to promote prostate health, as it plays a key role in the treatment of an enlarged prostate.
The cardiovascular system is also another area of research focus for flax seed. One study showed that three months of flax seed supplementation resulted in LDL cholesterol levels dropping significantly, while HDL cholesterol did not change. Other research has shown serum lipid level reduction, but a large amount of flax seed was required to be consumed to get the same lipid-lowering effects as fish oils. Flax Lignans also possess anti-platelet activating factor activity and antioxidant activity. Animal research has shown that flax seed reduced the development of aortic atherosclerosis’ by 46 percent and suppressed oxygen-free radicals.
The research concluded that dietary flax seed supplementation could prevent hypercholesterolemia-related heart attack and strokes. Lastly, the elasticity of arteries is an important factor of circulatory function, which decreases as the cardiovascular risk increases. Research has proven that obese people consuming a diet high in ALA from flax seed oil experience a marked rise in arterial elasticity, which reflects a rapid improvement in the arterial circulation.
Although flax seed offers many potential benefits, ingesting the right form of supplemental flax is crucial to gaining these benefits. Flax oil supplements are a good source of EFAs, but they do not provide great amounts of Lignans. On the other hand, whole or ground flax seed is effective, but is not especially palatable. The best option of flax seed is the liquid in capsule form, as it delivers both EFAs and Lignans. The nutritional value and certain beneficial results can be gained by consuming about 3,000 mg daily.
Can the Fatty Acid CLA Help me Lose Weight ?
July 14, 2008 03:28 PM
CLA is conjugated linoleic acid, a compound known as a trans fatty acid due to its stereochemistry, and while trans fatty acids are generally regarded as harmful, CLA is not because it is conjugated. This means that it has alternate single and double bonds in the backbone carbon chain, and the overall energy of the molecule is therefore reduced.
Linoleic acid itself is one of the omega-6 fatty acids, the 6 referring to the double bond at the sixth carbon from the omega and of the carbon backbone chain. It is believed to be the cause of heart disease and obesity due to its increasing use in the diet at the expense of omega-3 fatty acids. When the molecule is conjugated, however, the fatty acid has different chemical properties to the standard isomer, and natural CLA is mainly found in cattle products, such as beef and dairy products.
Conjugated linoleic acid is present in cattle because it is formed when linoleic acid is converted to oleic acid by rumen bacteria, that are responsible for the microbial fermentation of the feed of ruminant animals such as sheep and cattle. When oleic acid is formed, so too is CLA. However, the form used in supplements is manufactured from vegetable oils, and therefore suitable for use by vegetarians. The usual vegetable oils used are safflower oil and sunflower oil.
It is believed to possess several beneficial properties, including antioxidant and anti-cancer properties, but it is for its ability to reduce body fat that it is best known to most people. A growing amount of information is being collected on the use of CLA as a supplement in the weight loss industry, although there are as yet no definitive mechanisms that explain its action. However, recent studies have indicated it possess properties that can help to reduce the levels of low density lipoproteins in the blood, and reduce the possibility of atherosclerosis due to LDL oxidation by free radicals.
It is also theorized that CLA in some way regulates the prostaglandin biosynthesis that controls the level of hormones in the body that can regulate growth. An increase in growth hormones is one way in which athletes promote an increase in muscle bulk, while reducing their fatty tissue mass. CLA is also purported to increase thermogenesis, and so promote the loss of body fat and overall weight.
Although most studies on the effect of conjugated linoleic acid in reducing body weight have been carried out on animals, recent animal studies have indicated that might not so much reduce weight, as to increase muscle bulk while reducing that of body fat. The end result, therefore, is not a loss of weight, but a leaner body that has more muscle and less fat. All it needs is the results on animals to be transferred to humans, and this, of course, is frequently the case. However, initial studies on the use of CLA in the human diet have been very positive, so the signs are good.
Most scientific progress in human biochemistry has been obtained by virtue of prior studies on animals. These studies, of course, have been beneficial to the animals, making them leaner and much fitter than they otherwise would have been. It is believed that the same will be true of humans taking CLA as a supplement. In fact, recent studies are split about 50/50 with regard to the effects on humans.
While some studies have shown no benefit, about an equal number have shown a positive benefit in the reduction in the mass of fat in the body. Some of the negative studies may have been flawed in measuring total body weight, and not the relative amounts of muscle and fat, and also basing their results on people already with a low level of fat in their body. In that respect, then, the results look very favorable, and taking CLA as a supplement is likely to help you to reduce fat and increase muscle, if not altogether lose total body weight. However, is that not the end result that most people want? They might not want to be lighter in weight, just to have more muscle mass and less fat tissue.
In a study shown at a 2002 Experimental Biology meeting, it was shown that is was possible to substantially reduce body fat mass by taking CLA alone, and when it was taken in association with guarana, both the size and the number of fats cells in the body were reduced by 50%. However it has also been shown that CLA can be oxidized by free radicals shortly after ingestion, and that sesame Lignans help to prevent this. Since sesame Lignans can also be used in conjunction with CLA to reduce fat by increasing the level of fatty acid oxidation in the liver, than the benefit of CLA seems obvious.
The antioxidant effect of CLA is one possible explanation for its anti-cancer properties, though there are others. Its antioxidant properties also have an anti-catabolic effect, in that it can help to prevent the wastage of muscle tissue. The FDA has published studies that attest to these anti-cancer properties. Diabetics, however, should consult with their physician before taking CLA as a supplement, since there is a body of thought that it reduces sensitivity to insulin. Others believe the opposite, so more studies might be needed in this aspect of the substance before it can be said to be safe for use by diabetics.
Over recent years, the American diet has increased significantly in its content of the undesirable linoleic acid, due to its ubiquitous presence in margarines, and has reduced in CLA due to modern farming methods. Cattle feeding techniques have resulting in a reduction of CLA in meat products and milk, although eggs are still a rich source, and the CLA in eggs can resist temperatures used in normal cooking methods such as frying, boiling, etc.
It is this CLA deficiency in the diet that has been proposed as one of the reasons for the current obesity problem in the USA. The European diet contains more beneficial fatty acids in general than the American diet.
However, there is an increasing body of evidence being accumulated that collectively that suggests almost unequivocally that CLA can help you lose body fat. Unless you are diabetic, there are few if any contra-indications and an increasing number of people are finding it effective not only to lose body fat, but to replace it with hard lean muscle.
Give Your Health A Boost With Beta Glucan
February 19, 2008 04:54 PM
Beta Glucan is a little-known component of many common foods we eat on a daily basis. Cereal, mushrooms, and even baker's yeast contain beta glucan. The substance is most common found in such grains as barely and oats. Beta glucan is often used in soluble fiber supplements. The FDA has given baker's yeast the rating for being generally safe (G.R.A.S.).
Beta Glucan has been studied in Japan for its anti-tumor and anti-maLignancy properties. It is commonly known worldwide to have a significant impact on improving the human immune system. The clinical applications have been many for this substance. Beta glucan has been studied for preventing infection in post-operative patients. Likewise, it has been attributed with slightly faster, more efficient healing of wounds. Beta glucan has helped patients with septic shock.
This substance has also been studied for its effects on individuals suffering from arthritis. Beta glucan has been attributed with slowing the disease's progress and preventing further damage to tissues. Beta glucan has been studied for decades, however was too expensive for the general public until recent times. It has no known reactions with prescription medications and beta glucan supplements derived from baker's yeast isn't know to contain enough to cause a reaction in those with yeast allergies.
There are also on-going studies regarding beta glucan and it's usefulness with radiation and radiation exposure. There is a great deal of interest that this can perhaps lessen the severity of symptoms from radiation in chemotherapy and help those experiencing nuclear therapy or who are involved in a nuclear emergency.
Beta glucan is one of the few nutrients that are recommended for both humans and animals. It is also advised for those who have poor daily nutrition, athletes, those regularly exposed to radiation, individuals under stress, or anyone who wants to stay healthy. In truth, studies indicate that consumption of oats, cereal grains, and other beta glucan containing products can lower cholesterol, can aid in overcoming intestinal problems, and can benefit those diagnosed with AIDS and multiple sclerosis.
Beta glucan strengthens the cells responsible for fighting foreign invaders in the body such as viruses, bacteria and even parasites. It helps these cells be more responsive and stronger when free radials enter the body. One study in Canada evaluated the response of beta glucan to Anthrax. As a result, the beta glucan proved to be a very effective supplement to the antibiotics used in treating this disease.
Higher dosages do not equal effectiveness. Beta glucan is not measured by the size or milligram of the supplement. The determining factors for the effectiveness of beta glucan involve how the substance is processed and if the particular pill re-aggregates during the digestive process. If your supplement re-aggregates, it will not have the same effective nature as those that do not.
Be sure to evaluate the labels and inspect the image the company is portraying. If a product is "too good to be true," it is. As always, consult with your physician before starting this or any other long-term supplement.
Gently Narrow Your "Estrogen Window" With Lignan's
January 25, 2008 12:23 PM
Although many people think that breast cancer is a genetically transferred disease, the truth is that it is rarely genetically transferred, as only one in every ten cases are linked to genes for this cancer. Strong evidence points to environmental causes being the main reason for breast cancer. By avoiding synthetic chemicals that mimic estrogens, a substantial fraction of these cancers can be prevented. These synthetic chemicals are called xenoestrogens. These xenoestrogens are manmade chemicals that either imitate or enhance the effects of estrogens in the body's cells and tell these cells to grow.
During puberty, this growth message is important to a woman's body and during pregnancy and the preparation for that. At this time period, estrogens are in full force, but if estrogen stimulation is increased by chemicals, cell growth is increased even more. Uncontrolled cell growth provides the foundation for cancer. As cells rapidly multiply, which is what happens when exposed to estrogens, the chance of DNA mutation is enhanced, which causes the creation of cancerous cells. A lot of women today also deal with increased estrogen stimulation over their lifetimes due to an early onset of menstruation, late menopause, and less time spent breastfeeding. The use of estrogen-containing oral contraceptives and post-menopausal hormone replacement also add to the estrogen burden, along with obesity and being overweight.
Estrogens affect cells by binding to receptor sites. However, there are tools that help to reduce the impact of areas that have a lot of receptor sites, such as the breasts. One of the main tools is Lignans, which are a group or naturally occurring plant chemicals that are found in flaxseeds. Interest in Lignans began with observational studies, which found a link between high intake and reduced risk of breast and colon cancers. Studies have reinforced those results, finding that Lignans inhibit the growth of breast and colon cancer and also reduce the spread of skin cancer. The real benefit of Lignans starts when they reach your intestines, where friendly bacteria convert them into phytoestrogens.
Phytoestrogens are a gentler estrogen, which bind to the same receptors that other estrogens bind, but don't have the growth-accelerating effects. While they are occupying these receptors, the less kind and gentle estrogens are unable to bind to them, resulting in both an estrogenic and estrogen-blocking effect. This explains why Lignans are effective both for fighting against breast cancer and reducing the effect of hot flashes other symptoms during menopause. When estrogens are low, Lignans act as weak estrogens, but when they are high, Lignans act as estrogen blockers.
The risk for breast cancer is strongly affected by a woman's "estrogen window", or overall estrogen exposure that has been experienced over her reproductive years. The early onset of menstruation, no pregnancies, being pregnant after age 30, limited or no breastfeeding, short menstrual cycles, and late menopause all expand the estrogen window, increasing lifetime estrogen exposure along with the risk for breast cancer. By adding Lignans to the diet, women can reduce the size of the estrogen window, and therefore, block the excess estrogen stimulation in estrogen-sensitive tissues like the breasts. Additionally, Lignans are also believed to reduce the risk of colon and prostate cancers. When they are delivered along with omega-3-rich flaxseed oil, they promote better cholesterol balance, heart health, joint health, better bone density, greater endurance, better blood sugar balance, and healthy skin, hair, and nails.
Natural Hormone Balance for Women
December 25, 2007 11:18 AM
The majority of women are affected by moderate-to-severe menopausal symptoms and premenstrual syndrome (PMS) at some point in their life. PMS that is clinically diagnosed consists of symptoms that are so severe and pervasive that careers, social interactions, and family lives are negatively affected. This occurs in eight to twenty percent of women in the Western world. Menopause and PMS are both characterized by a severe fluctuation or major falling of the female hormones estrogen, progesterone, and prolactin. Since many examples of women who are barely affected by natural changes exist, it can be logically inferred that female hormones are capable of remaining close to balanced, while others experience hormones that swing abruptly from one extreme to the next, causing severe mood swings. Although changes in hormone levels are the reason menopause and PMS occur, women do have some control over the severity of their symptoms.
There are many natural approaches to hormone balance along with other medical interventions that can be used either separate or together. However, one must remember that women are biologically programmed to have multiple children, which therefore, would limit the number of menstrual cycles in a lifetime. Additionally, women are now living thirty years past menopause, an experience that is relatively new. Also, a lot of the pain and anguish that is associated with menopause and PMS is actually related to obesity, high-calorie eating habits, and inactivity. Normal body weight and regular exercise often leads to mild or inconsequential PMS.
In 2002, estrogen and progesterone hormone replacement therapy, which is the standard treatment for menopausal symptoms, came under scrutiny after the publication of research that found that supplementation of estrogen significantly increases the risk for breast and ovarian cancer. Supplementing estrogen also does not protect against cardiovascular disease. As a result, US-dispensed prescriptions for estrogen declined from ninety-one million in 2001 to fifty-seven million in 2003. It has been found that a lot of the excess risk for breast and ovarian cancer was due to prescriptions being refilled indefinitely instead of hormone replacement therapy only being used at the onset of menopause. Additionally, supplemental estrogen was not paired and balanced with progesterone, causing a greater risk. Either way, the door to natural alternatives was opened wide, especially for those patients who have a family history of reproductive cancer. Natural therapy for menopause and PMS is based upon phytoestrogens.
Phytoestrogens are plant compounds that contain chemical structures which resemble estrogen. These plant compounds can exert weak estrogenic or antiestrogenic effects. Isoflavones from legumes such as soybean, red clover, licorice, as well as Lignans like flaxseed and milk thistle are the most common and familiar phytoestrogens. Black cohosh has been shown to have antiestrogenic effects only. Phytoestrogens have been proven to reduce the risk for estrogen-dependent breast, uterine, and ovarian cancers as well as hot flashes, night sweats, and sleep disturbances. Although phytoestrogens do a good job at protecting women from symptoms of excess estrogen, phytoestrogens cannot replace estrogen when there isn’t enough. They don’t help with vaginal wall atrophy and dryness, thinning hair, lack of sexual desire, menopause-related urogenital itching, or infertility. For the best results, supplements of soy and red clover isoflavone should be taken 2-3 times daily. Although there are no herbal alternatives that actually raise levels of estrogen, natural medicine such as dong quai, licorice, milk thistle, ginseng, pycnogenol, and pollen for menopause and calcium, magnesium, B6, chastre tree, dong quai, and ginseng for PMS can balance existing female hormones and provide relief from symptoms.
Beyond Bran Fiber
December 25, 2007 08:35 AM
At one point in time, when you went to the health food store you usually only had choice of wheat bran, which is a good source of the insoluble fiber that helps your digestive system stay on track, or oat bran, which contains the soluble fiber that helps lower cholesterol. Although both of these bran’s are still popular, as they have good reason to be, remaining excellent sources of dietary fiber, these days store shelves are gathering more and more fiber supplements ranging from encapsulated forms to powders and specialized to deal with a variety of health concerns.
Insoluble fiber has the ability to draw water into the intestines, preventing constipation and keeping waste matter from decaying within the body. However, it is the many types of soluble fiber that science has recently started investigating for health benefits. Part of soluble fiber’s value is closely related to its mechanical action, as it forms a thick gel within the digestive track that moves slowly to stop sugar from entering the body too quickly, therefore, helping to keep glucose levels down and carrying some fat and sugar out of the body completely. Additionally, when soluble fibers gel up it helps to reduce blood level cholesterol by trapping bile preventing the bile from doing its action (breaking down fats in the digestive tract so the body can absorb it). Unlike insoluble fiber, soluble fiber undergoes fermentation inside the colon to produce fatty acids that do a little bit of everything, including: helping the body digest food, protecting against polyps, stimulating immunity, increasing mineral absorption, and helping to keep cholesterol and glucose levels in check.
Soluble fiber is getting large amounts of research reviews. One study concluded that people who ate the least fiber are 63% more likely to have high levels of CRP (C-reactive protein). CRP is an inflammation marker that is associated with cardiovascular risk. Another study proved that flax seed improved glucose control. Another fiber source, psyllium, has been shown to bring relief to people with Chron’s disease, an inflammatory intestinal disorder.
Flax seed and psyllium are two of the best known types of soluble fiber available, but there are other types that aren’t as well known. Others including arabinogalactan (AG) have been shown to have a special affinity for natural killer cells. Beta-glucans are another form of fiber that can help boost immunity. Lignans, which are found in flax, have been shown to cause lower breast-cancer rates. Fenugreek is a spice that is rich in galactomannan, a heart-healthy fiber. Some fiber formulations pair up different kinds of fiber with complementary herbs. An example of this is Garcinia cambogia and Gymnema sylvestre, which can be used for glucose control; or astragalus, Echinacea, olive leaf, and shiitake to assist the immune system. Some supplements even provide natural enzymes which help prevent bloating.
It is, of course, important to eat a healthy and well-balanced diet. However, thanks to supplementation that is designed specifically for certain health concerns, it has become much easier to find the additional fiber that is needed by your body, no matter what kind of fiber that is. A large selection of fiber bran supplements can be found at your local or internet health food store.
Safe Solutions for Chronic Pain
March 30, 2007 12:09 PM
Safe Solutions for Chronic Pain
One of the biggest challenged in healthcare today is the problem of pain. There are simply too many people living each and every day with ongoing, unremitting chronic pain. And there are far too many healthcare providers who – for a variety of reasons – are failing to adequately address this serious problem.
Recently, 368 doctors who routinely care for patients with chronic pain agreed to take part in a unique study. The doctors were surveyed about the pain medicines hey prescribe, what kind of treatment goals they hope to achieve, and how they felt about their ability to help their patients. They were also presented with four chronic pain vignettes or mock case studies and asked to select the best treatment for each scenario from multiple choice answers.
Sadly, many doctors chose the worst treatment options in the case studies. The medications they reported using in their practices did not reflect current pain treatment standards. They tended to set low treatment goals 0 instead of aiming for a least a 75% reduction of pain for their patients, they settled for 10% to 20% reductions. And many of the doctors admitted they lacked confidence in their ability to relieve their patients’ pain and suffering.
Adding to the challenge are the almost daily news announcements about dangerous side effects in certain pain medications. Synthetic prescription COX-2 inhibitors, once hailed as the safest of drugs, have been linked to heart attacks, strokes, blood clots, and intestinal bleeding. The over-the counter (OTC) drugs aspirin and ibuprofen kill over 16,000 people each year. And acetaminophen, the most widely used pain reducer in the
As a doctor specializing in chronic pain disorders, I know that optimal pain management can be a real challenge. However, I also know:
-You do not have to live in chronic pain.
-Your chronic pain, no matter what the cause, can be reduced, and usually
-Chronic pain can be relived both effectively and safely with powerful all-natural
Q. What is chronic pain?
A. Sudden, or acute, pain occurs when pain signals immediately fire in your nervous system alerting you to an injury, like a broken ankle, or an illness, such as appendicitis. Once the injury heals or the illness is cured, the transmission of pain signals stop.
Ongoing – or chronic pain – is much different. Chronic pain persists. Pain signals keep firing in the nervous system for weeks, months, even years. There may have been an initial injury, such as sprained back muscles, or an initial illness, such as a serious infection. There might be an ongoing cause of pain, such as arthritis, cancer, or fibromyalgia. Chronic pain also occurs without any past injury or evidence of body damage.
The most common kinds of chronic pain are headache, low back pain, cancer pain, arthritis pain, and neurogenic pain (pain resulting from damage to nerves or to the nervous system itself). While chronic pain differs in its origin and where it occurs, it is generally your body’s way of saying that something urgently needs attention, and will not o away unless its underlying causes are addressed.
These causes can usually be determined if you remember the acronym “SHIN”. This stands for Sleep, Hormonal deficiencies, Infections/Inflammation/Impingement, and Nutritional deficiencies. When these are treated, pain often resolves.
Q. Why is it so hard to effectively reduce chronic pain?
A. Unfortunately, many physicians’ entire education in pain management consists of “giving nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs (pronounced en-sayds), COX-2 inhibitors, or acetaminophen and considering narcotics if the patient has cancer.
Some NSAIDs, like aspirin and ibuprofen, are available over-the-counter, while others, like the synthetic COX-2 inhibitors are only available with a doctor’s prescription. These mediations are usually inadequate and often toxic when used for chronic pain. And they do not address the problem(s) that the pain is trying to alert you to.
Q. What exactly are COX-2 inhibitors?
A. COX-2 inhibitors do pretty much what their name implies – they inhibit a natural enzyme in our body called the clclooxygenase-2, or COX-2, enzyme. There are two COX enzymes – COX-1 and COX-2 and both complete several actions in our bodies. One very important action that both COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes share is the speeding up of our body’s production of prostaglandins. These hormone-like substances are made by the cells of the body and have several important functions.
Some of the most powerful prostaglandins cause inflammation, pain, and fever when we are sick or injured. Prostaglandins also protect the lining of the stomach from the damaging effects of acid. Other prostaglandins make sure our platelets (important blood cells) make blood clots when needed. Still others help our kidneys get rid of unwanted salt and water. And researchers have just recently recognized the importance of still another prostaglandin that protects our heart and blood vessels.
The NSAIDs reduce pain by reducing prostaglandin production by blocking or inhibiting the COX enzymes. In theory – less prostaglandins, less pain and welling seems reasonable. But if you really stop and think about it, it’s pretty easy to understand why this method of pain relief might result in significant consequences.
Pain and inflammation are often needed for healing. And just as needed is the protection of our stomach lining, blood clotting ability, assisting kidney function, and keeping our blood vessels healthy. And scientists are beginning to understand if you interfere with one natural response, you may be disrupting the body’s ability to prevent extremes and imbalances.
That’s why using aspirin and ibuprofen can result in stomach ulcers, kidney problems, and internal bleeding. And that’s why using synthetic COX-2 inhibitors can result in high blood pressure, blood clots, heart attacks, and strokes.
Q. Why are we just now learning about the dangers of COX-2 inhibitors and other NSAIDs?
A. That’s a good question!
Many people over the age of 65 have chronic pain conditions and are frequent users of OTC and prescription NSAIDs. This age group also experiences heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease in greater numbers. So, if a 70 year old woman who’s been using Celebrex for the past two years for arthritis in her knees suddenly has a heart attack one morning, it would not be entirely unexpected.
For the past five or six years, researchers have been studying the possibility that NSAIDs may prevent certain cancers, Alzheimer’s disease, and other health problems. The ongoing, close scrutiny of large group of people taking these medications by scientists who were conducting these studies has resulted in the discovery of these dangers.
Q. What kind of natural compounds relieve chronic pain?
A. There are many – glucosamine, Omega-3 fatty acids, the B vitamins – the list goes on and on. Instead of disrupting normal bodily responses, these natural compounds work in harmony with our body to eliminate chronic pain. Three very powerful and very effective all natural plant compound pain and inflammation relievers are Sweet Cherry, Boswellia serrata, and White Willow Bark.
For many years there have been anecdotal or personal reports that claimed eating Sweet Cherries, specifically Prunus avium, wipes out back pain, arthritis, and gout. While anecdotal reports generally don’t account for much in the world of science, he sheer numbers of testimonials proclaiming the Sweet Cherry’s amazing ability to reduce pain made researchers sit up and take notice.
When Sweet Cherries were examined in the lab, it was easy for scientists to understand how this natural fruit is able to relieve pain. It seems Sweet Cherry’s bright red color is the key. Like many deeply colored fruits, Sweet Cherries are full of flavonoids called anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins.
These powerful plant compounds scavenge and destroy altered oxygen compounds called free radicals. Many degenerative, chronic diseases have been associated with the tissue damage caused by free radicals, including arthritis, heart disease, peripheral artery disease, and cancer. Cherry fruit extract is a natural anti-inflammatory compound, making it an excellent treatment for arthritis, fibromyalgia, and other chronic pain and inflammation diseases.
A pain relieving plant compound that comes from the bark of a tree, Boswellia serrata has been used by Indian healers for hundreds of years to reduce painful inflammation. When 20th century researchers looked at extracts of Boswellia Gum Resin in the laboratory they discovered the presence of powerful plant compounds, called boswellic acids.
Researchers found Boswellic Acids reduce inflammation in several ways. They open constricted blood vessels, improving blood flow to joints. They balance levels of leukotrienes – specific chemicals in the body that cause inflammation. And Boswellic Acids block two inflammatory chemicals that increase in asthma and inflammation of the colon. In addition to being helpful in treating these 2 illnesses, Boswellia has also been clinically studied and found to be quite effective in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis without any evidence of ulcers or stomach irritation.
Another bark extract, White Willow Bark is one of the oldest and most effective pain relievers. For over 2,000 years extracts from the bark of the White Willow tree have been used to ease aches and pains and reduce fevers. It is the original source of aspirin, but when used as the entire plant medicine, White Willow Bark is much safer than aspirin and quite effective.
White Willow Bark’s active ingredient is salicin and the combination of other compounds in the bark significantly enhances its pain killing power. In two large clinical trials of patients with chronic low back pain. White Willow Bark was found to be not only safer and much more effective than standard prescription therapies, it was also 40 percent more cost effective.
Salicylic acid from White Willow Bark lowers the body’s levels of prostaglandins, easing both acute and chronic pain. White Willow Bark reduces the pain and swelling of arthritis, headache, back and neck pain, muscle aches, and menstrual cramps. But, unlike aspirin, it doesn’t cause stomach bleeding or other known adverse effects.
Q. Do Sweet Cherry, Boswellic Acids, and White
A. They do indeed. Because they reduce both pain and inflammation by a broad combination of actions, these natural extracts have been proven to be excellent against arthritis, back pain, and pain from inflammatory intestinal diseases (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis), and would be expected to be helpful in most kinds of pain.
Sweet Cherry, Boswellic Acids, and White Willow Bark relieve inflammation without causing stomach irritation, stomach ulcers, high blood pressure, blood clots, heart attacks, or strokes. That’s because these natural pain killers don’t disrupt the balance of enzymes or interfere with the body’s ability to prevent extremes and imbalances.
However, as with any pain therapy, Sweet Cherry, Boswellic Acids, and White Willow Bark work best when they are used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan to relieve the most common underlying causes of chronic pain or SHIN.
In addition, although these excellent natural remedies can often offer quick pain relief, natural remedies for severe chronic pains work best when they are given at maximum allowed doses and given 6 weeks to show their full effectiveness in combination with treating the pain’s underlying causes. The best chronic pain relief results when doctors and patients work together to meet the goals of treatment.
Some important last notes: Many causes of chronic pain are serious and life threatening. Everyone who is living with chronic pain must consult their doctor or other healthcare practitioner to determine the reason for their ongoing discomfort. In other words – make sure you know why you are having chronic pain and what’s causing the pain you want to relieve.
There are some types of chronic pain that only respond to opioids, or narcotic pain relievers. Morphine sulfate is an excellent pain medication and is used to relieve surgical pain, the pain of heart attacks, and pain from serious injuries. Morphine is also the very best drug for chronic cancer pain and non-maLignant chronic pain. While many people fear opioids, these powerful pain killers can dramatically improve quality of life. If you are suffering with chronic cancer pain and you are hesitant to use morphine or another opioid, I urge you to discuss your concerns with your doctor other healthcare provider. No one with cancer should live with untreated or under-treated pain.
Even chronic pain can often be eliminated when SHIN is in combination with powerfully effective natural pain relievers. But, because some people may need to take pain relievers the rest of their lives, the medications they use must be safe as well as effective. The very safest come from natural plant compounds that have been studied for their ability to relieve chronic pain. You can become pain free and Sweet Cherries, Boswellic Acids, and White Willow Bark can help.
Fruit and Vegetable Lightning drink mixes from Natures Plus
February 06, 2007 02:41 PM
Enjoy the Rainbow – the Color Wheel of Fruits and Vegetables
We’ve all heard the statistics, and have probably seen the signs in the produce section of our favorite grocery store: eating 5 servings of fruits and veggies a day is important,
Chances are also pretty good that we’ve also seen the newest food pyramid, encouraging Americans to “eat a rainbow of frits and vegetables.” That is, choose from the rich variety of colors for the best all-around health benefits.
In this Ask the Doctor, we’re going to look at the unique health components of different colored fruits and vegetables, and why they’re so important. Plus, we’ll learn about supplemental options, like fruit and vegetable drink mixes, for those days when our diets just aren’t that great.
Q. What’s the big deal about fruits and vegetables?
A. Well, for the main reason that they are whole foods – created by nature (or at least generations of farming) and are rich in a variety of nutrients. Processed foods can’t match the health benefits of strawberries or broccoli – items that have fiber, vitamins, and enzymes built right in.
Q. What does “eating a rainbow” of fruits and vegetables really mean?
A. This is simply an easy way of remembering to get as much color variety in your diet as possible to maximize your intake of a broad range of nutrients. The colors of fruits and vegetables are often a tangible clue to the unique vitamins and other healthy substances they contain. Getting a variety of colors, therefore, means getting a variety of the essential nutrients your body needs to stay healthy and strong.
Enjoying the Rainbow: Fruit and Vegetable Benefits:
Q. Can you tell me a little more about the healthy components of fruits and vegetables?
Let’s take a look at some of the most well-studied and important nutrients:
Quercetin is found in apples, onions and citrus fruits (also is hawthorn and other berries and apple-related fruits usually used in traditional herbal remedies and modern supplements). It prevents LSL cholesterol oxidation and helps the body cope with allergens and other lung and breathing problems.
Clinical studies show that quercetin’s main points of absorption in the body appear to be in the small intestine – about 50%. The rest – at least 47% is metabolized by the colonic micro flora – the beneficial bacteria such as Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium longum. You may consider adding these beneficial bacteria (found in yogurt) either through the diet or a supplemental form.
Ellagic Acid is a component of ellagitannins – dietary polyphenols with antioxidant (and possibly anticancer) properties. Polyphenols are the basic building blocks of many plant-based antioxidants. More complex phenolic compounds, such as flavonoids are created from these molecules.
Ellagic acid is found in many fruits and foods, namely raspberries, strawberries, pomegranates, and walnuts. Clinical studies suggest that ellagitannins and ellagic acid act as antioxidants and anticarcinogens in the gastrointestinal tract.
Ellagitannins are durable antioxidants, and happily, they do not appear to be diminished by processing, like freezing. This means the benefits are still strong, even in frozen packs of raspberries or strawberries, or some of the better multi-ingredient supplement drink mixes.
In scientific studies, ellagic acid also showed an anti-proliferative effect on cancer cells, decreasing their ATP (adenosine triphosphate) production. ATP is the molecule that provides the primary energy source for the cells in our bodies. In a sense, ellagic acid seems to deprive cancer cells of their fuel.
Beta-Carotene: Probably the best-known of the carotenoids, beta-carotene is converted by the body into vitamin A. Many vegetables, especially orange and yellow varieties, are rich in this nutrient. Think summer squash, yams and of course, carrots.
Beta-carotene has long been associated with better eyesight, but it has other benefits, too. In a scientific study, beta-carotene decreased cholesterol levels in the liver by 44% and reduces liver triglycerides by 40%.
Lycopene is a carotenoid mostly found in tomatoes, but also in smaller amounts in watermelon and other fruits. Clinical studies have shown that lycopene consumption may decrease the risk of prostate cancer. In fact, high intakes of lycopene are associated with a 30% to 40% reduced risk. And, as good as beta-carotene is, its cousin, lycopene, seems to be an even stronger nutrient, protecting not just against prostate cancer, but heart disease as well.
Lutein is found in many fruits and vegetables, including blueberries and members of the squash family. Lutein is important for healthy eyes, and in fact it is found in high concentrations naturally in the macular region of the retina – where we see fine detail. It is one of the only carotenoids, along with its close sibling zeaxanthin, that is found in the macula and lens of the eye.
Lutein also supports your heart, too. In a scientific study, lutein reduced atherosclerotic lesion size by 43%. In other words, high intakes of lutein may actually help prevent coronary artery disease!
Interestingly, as is the case with lycopene, cooking or processing foods with lutein may actually make it more easily absorbed.
In clinical studies, men with high intakes of lutein (and its close cousin, zeaxanthin, found in broccoli and spinach) had a 19% lower risk of cataract, and women had a 22% decreased risk, compared to those whose lutein intakes were much lower.
Vitamin C: One of the best-known nutrients out there, vitamin C keeps our immune system strong; speeds wound healing, and promote strong muscles and joints. A free-radical fighter, vitamin C prevents oxidative damage to tissues, builds strength in collagen and connective tissue, and even reduces joint pain.
Sources of vitamin C are scattered throughout the spectrum of fruits and vegetables.
Potassium: Most Americans are deficient in potassium. For the most part, it’s hard to get too much of this valuable mineral. Potassium does great things for our hearts. Higher intakes of dietary potassium from fruits and vegetables have been found in clinical research to lower blood pressure in only 4 weeks.
Many researchers believe that the typical American diet has led to a state of chronic, low-grade acidosis – too much acid in the body. Potassium helps change pH balance to a more alkaline environment in the body and increases bone density.
This was proven in the long-running Framingham Heart Study which showed that dietary potassium, (along with magnesium and fruit and vegetable intake) provided greater bone density in older individuals.
Fiber is another food component many just don’t get enough of – especially if they’re eating a “typical American diet.” Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are excellent sources of fiber. However, fiber from a good fruits and vegetable drink mix should be derived from inulin and chicory root. This soluble fiber source not only adds to the overall amount of fiber you need (25 to 38 grams a day), but also provides a nice “nesting ground” for the beneficial bacteria that populate the intestines. And, even though some fiber has a bad rap for inhibiting mineral absorption, inulin and chicory root are “bone building” fibers – they actually help the body absorb calcium.
Flavonoids are an overarching term that encompasses flavonols, anthocyanidins, and flavones, isoflavones, proanthocyanidins, Quercetin and more. They are almost everywhere: in fruits, vegetables, grains, herbs, nuts and seeds – even in the coffee, wine and tea we drink. Flavonoids are responsible for the colors in the skins of fruits and the leaves of trees and other plants.
Flavonoids have many health benefits. They can help stop the growth of tumor cells and are potent antioxidants. Additionally, flavonoids have also been studied for their ability to reduce inflammation.
Anthocyanins: High on the list of important “visible” nutrients are anthocyanins. They color fruits and vegetables blue and red.
Anthocyanins are members of this extended family of nutmeats, the flavonoids. Typically found in high amounts in berries, anthocyanins are readily absorbed in the stomach and small intestine.
As antioxidants, anthocyanins dive deep into cell membranes, protecting them from damage. IT may be one reason why the anthocyanins from blueberries are considered such an important component in battling neuronal decline, like Alzheimer’s. Blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries are also excellent sources of this flavonoids group.
SDG Lignans, (short for secoisolariciresinol diglucoside) are polyphenolic components of flaxseed, pumpkin and other herbal sources. Much of the recent research surrounding Lignans has focused on flaxseed. In scientific and clinical studies, Lignans from flaxseed support hormonal balance and may have cancer-preventing abilities. In fact, in one study, flaxseed Lignans reduced metastatic lung tumor by 82% compared to controls.
The Lignans in pumpkin seed, also considered a major source, target 5-alpha reductase activity.
This enzyme catalyzes the conversion of testosterone into the more potent dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT, like testosterone, is a steroid hormone or androgen. Androgens are responsible for the development and maintenance of masculine sex characteristics in both men and women. Excess levels of DHT can cause serious problems with prostate or bladder health. That’s why modulation of the 5-alpha reductase enzyme is so important – it helps maintain healthy testosterone and DHT levels. By balancing the levels of these key hormones, pumpkin seed Lignans provide protection for prostate and bladder cells.
In addition, pumpkin seed has been shown to modulate the enzyme aromatase. Aromatase is present in the estrogen-producing cells of the adrenal glands, ovaries, testicles, adipose tissue, and brain. Aromatase converts testosterone, an androgen, into estradiol, and estrogen.
Inhibition of the aromatase conversion can help maintain a balance of healthy testosterone levels in women, which has been shown to strengthen pelvic muscles and reduce incidence of incontinence.
In fact, a clinical study, involving a pumpkin extract in conjunction with soy, resulted in significant support for bladder health. After two weeks of supplementation, 23 of the 39 postmenopausal women enrolled in the study showed great improvement in urinary frequency and sleep. By the end of the six week study, 74.4 percent of participants found pumpkin extract safely and significantly improved “nocturnia,” that is, the need to urinate frequently at night. For individuals with 2 to 4 episodes of nocturnia prior to the stud, and 81.8% improvement was seen – also showing great improvement in sleep quality. After all, if you don’t have to wake up every couple of hours to go to the bathroom you’re bound to get better sleep.
Beta glucan: Mushrooms are intense immune-boosting powerhouses due to their beta-glucan content. Three well-studied power-house mushrooms that contribute beta glucan to the diet include maitake, reishi and shiitake.
The most significant constituents of mushrooms are long chain polysaccharides (molecules formed from many sugar units) known as beta-glucan. These huge molecules act as immunoregualtors in the human body, helping to stabilize and balance the immune system.
This includes specific support of white blood cells, or lymphocytes, the primary cells of the immune system. Lymphocytes fall broadly into three categories: T cells, B cells, and natural killer (NK) cells.
In one clinical study, 165 patients with various types of advanced cancer were given maitake mushroom compounds alone or with chemotherapy. Cancer regression or significant symptom improvement was observed in 58% of liver cancer patients, and 62% of lung cancer patients. Plus, when maitake was taken in addition to chemotherapy, the immune cell activities were enhanced 1.2 to 1.4 times, compared with chemotherapy alone.
In another clinical study, researchers determined that Reishi increased the number of cancer killing white blood cells and made them more deadly to cancer cells.
And, in a scientific study of human breast cancer and myeloma cancer and myeloma cancer cell lines, shiitake compounds provided a 51% antiproliferative effect on the cells – inducing “apoptosis’ – the programmed cell death that should occur naturally.
While beta-glucan are distributed throughout the mushroom body, the beta-glucan concentrations are significantly higher in the mycelium – the interwoven fibers or filaments that make up the “feeding structure” of the mushroom.
Bioflavonoids are commonly found in bright yellow citrus fruits, including lemons, limes and oranges. They are responsible for the bright pigment found in the skin of the fruit, and are considered a “companion” to vitamin C, seeming to extend the value of the nutrient within the body.
Hesperidin is just one of the valuable bioflavonoids found in citrus. Hesperidin appears to lower cholesterol levels, as well as support joint collagen in examples of rheumatoid arthritis.
Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG):
Polyphenols, most notably EGCG, or epigallocatechin gallate, are well-studied and powerful components of tea. EGCG has been shown to reduce colon and breast cancer risk. Green tea also boosts the immune system and encourages T-cell formation – part of the front-line defense of our bodies against sickness and disease.
Q. I’ve been seeing articles about fruits, vegetables and supplements touting “high ORAC value.” What does this mean?
ORAC is an acronym for Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity, and is simply a measurement of antioxidant activity of nutrients. Oxygen radicals, or free radicals, are unstable molecules. They grab electrons from other cells to use for themselves, and in the process can damage them. It is believed that free radical activity plays a role in the development of many diseases such as heart disease and cancer, and also plays a role in aging.
Antioxidants help prevent this damage by “loaning out” extra electrons to stabilize free radicals/ Consider any fruit or vegetable with a high ORAC rating as having a lot of “antioxidant power.”
I know I should eat more fruits and vegetables, but it just seems so hard to get five servings a day.
The number one excuse I hear for not buying frits and veggies is that “fruits and vegetables are too expensive.” But are they really? Certainly, fresh foods that aren’t in season and have to be shipped a distance can be a bit pricey. If anyone added up how much spend on fast food, or prepackaged or processed snacks, it would probably be shocking.
Luckily, there are many ways to get your “Daily 5”. For instance, frozen fruits and veggies retain much of their nutrient profile. They can be an excellent alternative when certain foods are out of season. So too, are fruit and vegetable drink mixes – excellent supplemental sources of some of the nutrients our bodies need most.
More recently, the American
Of course, for people not accustomed to the fiber in fruits and veggies, there is some reason to think it’ll increase gas. When cell walls break down, and fiber passes through the system, it can create flatulence. Folks who eat fruits and vegetables every day generally don’t have this problem. Their systems are already accustomed to it.
For those just starting out on a better diet, however, start slowly – it helps your body adapt. Cooking vegetables can help, too, because it begins breaking down the cell walls early on.
One thing is certain, however. The “Typical American Diet” and good health are mutually exclusive. The increase in type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, and hypertension all point to the abuse our bodies suffer by eating diets high in fatty meats, processed sugars, and refined grains.
Q. Can I just drink fruit and vegetables drinks in place of 5 servings of fruits and vegetables?
Green drinks and fruit and vegetable drink mixes aren’t meant to replace whole foods, but they can be an excellent substitute when you’re rushed or traveling or just trying to fill everyday nutritional gaps. Their whole food ingredients absorb very easily and gently in the gut, and many of these drink mixes contain healthy doses of fiber, too.
Green drink mixes and food-based drink mixes combine many colorful fruits and vegetables and sometimes grasses in a healthy, mixable supplement assortment. While there have been many advancements in the field of green drinks, there are only a few that take the primary reason we eat into consideration: taste!
Happily, there are some companies out there with great-tasting drink mixes that also formulate based on the color concept, ensuring you get the broadest assortment of nutrients from a full range of fruit and vegetable colors to promote optimal health.
High-quality fruit and vegetable drink mixes offer the best from nature’s color wheel in a convenient and great-tasting supplement. So, the next tie you feel like taking a coffee break – try a fruit and veggie break instead. Your body and spirit will thank you.