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Need Digestive Relief?
April 28, 2021 11:36 AM
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Broccoli is a powerful anti-aging food that you should be eatingevery day
May 17, 2019 04:00 PM
Broccoli is loaded with anti-aging ingredients such as antioxidants and collagen. Broccoli is known for its nutrition as it is packed with vitamins A and C as well as calcium and iron. The body uses vitamin C to produce collagen, which affects the outward appearance of people. The plant's antioxidants can work as an anti-inflammatory for the body, and they also get rid of free radicals which helps lessen the risks of oxidation in your cells and tissues.
"A member of the cruciferous vegetable family, broccoli is completely edible from the crowded clusters of dark green florets at its top to the very tip of its stem. It provides a lot of nutrition, being filled with vitamin A and vitamin C, and containing large amounts of calcium and iron."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-04-15-broccoli-is-a-powerful-anti-aging-food-that-you-should-be-eating-every-day.html
7 benefits of glutamine
January 08, 2019 08:13 AM
Glutamine is just one of several free amino acids that are naturally present within the human body, but glutamine just happens to serve a plethora of benefits that most of us aren't even aware of. Glutamine has the ability to improve cognitive function through helping the production of gamma-aminobutyric acid within the brain. It can also boost our immune systems by building the gastrointestinal wall, which could be due to 70% of glutamine being found in the gut.
"Cancer treatments like radiation and chemotherapy are very intense processes that have repercussions on a person’s health. Studies have shown that taking glutamine effectively reduces the complications that therapy has on metabolism while still preventing tumor growth."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-01-04-7-benefits-of-glutamine.html
These vitamins can help improve eyesight
November 06, 2018 03:51 PM
Did you know that taking certain vitamins can help eyesight issues, sleep problems and nutrition levels? Vitamin A helps with maintaining vision. Vitamin E maintains your muscles flexibility and elasticity. Vitamin C can treat glaucoma and help to prevent cataracts. Meanwhile, vitamin B1 can lower your risk of getting glaucoma. Vitamin B2 offers relief with eye fatigue.Vitamin B3 helps blood flow to the eyes. Vitamin B5 is good for your eyesight in general. Finally, vitamin D helps combat night blindness, myopia, and optic nerve atrophy
"If you eat at least 200 g of carrot and a little vegetable oil, that can be good to maintain the vision."
Read more: http://micetimes.asia/these-vitamins-can-help-improve-eyesight/
Probiotics are the guts' best friends
May 31, 2018 09:16 AM
Probiotics are important not only for digestive health, but also a person's overall health as well. Benefits of probiotics include relief from symptoms of gastrointestinal problems, but can also extend to other parts of the body, such as helping the body better ingest vitamins and minerals. Maintaining a healthy diet can help make sure the body maintains the necessary probiotics; however, some foods are better for consuming probiotics than others. Foods such as yogurt and miso are some of the best sources of probiotics. As part of a healthy lifestyle, reduce stress, eat healthy, and use antibiotics only when necessary to keep the gut a healthy home for probiotics.
"Research has shown that either single-strain or multi-strain probiotic or prebiotic supplements can reduce palpitations, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, lactose intolerance and discomfort."
Read more: http://www.ejinsight.com/20180525-probiotics-are-the-guts-best-friends/
How can I protect my eyes from diabetes?
November 16, 2017 03:59 PM
With the rising in numbers of the disease diabetes, there are more people at risk for becoming blind. Diabetes causes a high risk for blindness, but there are preventative ways in which people can protect themselves from this risk. They need to maintain blood sugar levels, talk to their doctor about overall well-being such as diets, physical activity, and medications. They should not miss appointments with the doctor! A missed appointment could mean missed information. They should refrain from using any kinds of drugs, alcohol, or tobacco, as the chemicals can increase risk for damage to the eye. As long as the diabetic person lives a healthy lifestyle and maintains it, they can help prevent or reduce the risk of becoming blind in the future.
"When a person is diagnosed with diabetes, it becomes imperative that one has annual vision tests and eye fundus examination."
Read more: http://www.thehealthsite.com/diseases-conditions/diabetes/how-can-i-protect-my-eyes-from-diabetes-b1117/
Wheat Germ Oil and Fish Oil Combination Benefits In Hemodialysis Patients
September 08, 2017 09:14 AM
A recent study has shown that giving fish oil and wheat germ oil to hemodialysis patient maintains healthy blood calcium levels. The study used a placebo control group and it was a double blind study. This is a positive finding for those concerned about mineral bonus when they are on hemodialysis. The study however was also hoping to find that these omega fatty acid supplements would also affect other minerals as well as information in the system of these patients. They did not receive the results they were looking for and further research may be necessary.
"A recent randomized, placebo-controlled trial published in International Urology and Nephrology, examined the impact of combined supplementation of fish oil (FO) with wheat germ oil (WGO) on mineral-bone and inflammatory markers in HD patients."
Read more: https://www.medicalnewsbulletin.com/wheat-germ-oil-fish-oil-hemodialysis-patients/
10 Reasons You should Be Taking curamed daily!
September 05, 2017 12:21 PM
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Top 13 Benefits Of Vitamin A For Health And Skin
May 22, 2017 08:44 AM
Vitamin A, found in a variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and proteins, plays an important part in our everyday lives. Many people know of Vitamin A's existence, but are unaware of its host of benefits. These benefits include improving the immune system (raising lymphocytic responses, maintains moisture of mucus membranes, and improving white blood cell activity), maintaining eye health (through regulating light changes and moisture), keeping skin soft, strengthen teeth and bones (by forming dentin), prevent urinary stones (due to calcium phosphate formation), inhibit muscular dystrophy, may prevent acne and certain cancer, treat measles and cold sores, lower cholesterol, and protect from infection. And, as an added bonus, it's also an anti-aging agent, because of its wrinkle reducing properties! Just be careful that you don't take too much Vitamin A, and speak to a doctor before starting on supplementation.
"One of the most amazing benefits of vitamin A which ought to be mentioned first is improving your immune system"
Read more: http://vkool.com/benefits-of-vitamin-a/
Is Glutathione The Fountain Of Youth?
Glutathione has created huge excitement in the medical world. Many experts believe that finally they have found the secret to eternal youth. Although Glutathione is naturally produced in our liver, but it gradually depletes as we age. Hence, it should be taken from external sources. Glutathione can be taken via pills. It can also be injected into our body through our veins.
Glutathione, the Fountain of Youth
How Does Omega-7 Help Promote Healthy HDL and LDL Cholesterol Levels?
Omega 7 fatty acids are an important natural enzyme that help in the development of vital organs. They are also essential for bodily functions and are vital in improving the cardiovascular system. Another little known fact about Omega 7s is that this fatty acid is very useful in controlling cholesterol levels.
So how do Omega 7s help with cholesterol?
As you can see, Omega 7 helps the body in a variety of ways and is highly beneficial in fighting high cholesterol, blood sugar, stroke, heart disease, cancer and diabetes. So what component of Omega 7 is actually responsible for these far reaching healing properties? It is the simple acid known as palmitoleic acid.
What is Palmitoleic Acid?
Palmitoleic acid is a monosaturated Omega 7 fatty acid. It acts as a signaling enzyme that helps in communication between fat and muscle tissues. This function is quite unique and it ensures that the body maintains optimum energy levels. It also plays an important part in effective storage of fat and muscles. Hence palmitoleic acid has far reaching consequences that are highly beneficial to the human body.
Regular consumption of Omega 7 acids reap a number of benefits. They help the body in many ways. It is also one of the best options to fight high cholesterol and inflammation.
Importance of Magnesium in the body.
May 08, 2014 08:48 PM
Importance of magnesium
Magnesium is an important element that is essential for hundreds of biochemical reactions in the body. Its functions is to maintain normal nerve and muscle function, regulates blood glucose levels and aids the production of energy and protein, helps bones remain strong, supports a healthy immune system and lastly, keeps the heart beat steady.
Cause of lack in magnesium
Lack of magnesium causes many diseases. Substantial magnesium deficiencies have led to deaths caused by coronary diseases, diabetes, cancer and strokes. On the other hand mild magnesium deficiency causes nervousness, mental depression, increased sensitivity to noise, confusion, insomnia, twitching and trembling and apprehension.
Sources of magnesium are from foods we eat
Symptoms indicating lack of magnesium are: sleepiness, muscle weakness and hyperexcitablity.
Magnesium works in the brain miraculously as remarked by many scientists through researches. Magnesium L-Threonate has the capability to cross into the brain and boost magnesium levels. Magnesium L-Threonate boosts magnesium levels in the brain in that, it maintains a state of healthy sustained action. Through maintaining this healthy homeostasis, mental demands in the brain can respond well and perform cognitive responsibilities with less stress and fatigue.
The blood-brain barrier is a diffusion barrier, which impedes influx of most compounds from blood to brain. It is composed of high-density cells that prevent passage of substances from the blood stream, but in a more action than the endothelial cells in the capillaries do in other parts of the body. Due the reasons, why most magnesium supplements do not cross blood barrier magnesium Threonte was introduced. Threonate is a vitamin C metabolite that acts as a carrier to help magnesium to penetrate into the brain.
6 Types of Depression
April 15, 2014 10:36 PM
Types of depression
Major / Clinical Depression
Benefits associated with Argan Oil
March 11, 2014 05:35 PM
Argan oil has become quite popular in Morocco and across the world owing to the numerous argan oil benefits equally in the field of beautification and nutrition. Argan oil may be taken internally by incorporating it as an ingredient in cooking meals and dishes and likewise it can also be applied externally upon the skin and other areas of the body. This type of oil is important in the maintenance of a vibrant and well-nourished skin. It is regarded as a better moisturizer than commercially-made ones mainly because it's all-natural and safe for anyone, even for youngsters and pregnant women.
Argan oil as moisturizer
The reason why argan oil really is a good moisturizer is mainly because it is rich in fats. It's a nice addition to the beauty regimen of pregnant women mainly because it's safe and it is effective of reducing the possible appearance of stretch scars on the skin. It also presents protection for the skin because it maintains the pH level of the skin keeping it shielded from the harmful radiation of the sun, smoke, dust and pollutants amongst others. One of the most efficient uses of this oil is its potential to maintain healthy skin when it is used on a regular basis.
Some benefits of argan oil
Just one of the many argan oil benefits is its power to actually prevent the incidence of acne and its potential to slow down the aging of the skin. The oil inhibits acne by regulating an oil made by the body called sebum, which when produced on an increased quantity can cause acne breakout. The oil can promote faster renewal of the skin, keeping it hydrated, moisturized and well-nourished. It is present in the beauty regimen of many women simply because it keeps their skin free from wrinkles and young-looking.
The value of argan oil when it comes to excellent nutrition and overall health is also highly noteworthy. It pretty much keeps the body's immune defense strong giving the body great protection against diseases. Not only that, argan oil can be applied as a preventive agent to defend the body from particular types of cancers such as prostate cancer. It can also stabilize the sugar level in the body, hence, it can be used by those who are suffering from diabetes. It also keeps the the circulation of blood going preventing heart attacks, strokes and also other heart problems and keeping the body healthy. It could also actually lower down cholestrerol levels in the body.
There are still numerous argan oil benefits which makes it a popular commodity among the folks of Morocco and the rest of the world. Many are still not educated on the many benefits this oil can deliver to the body but it has been tested by the people of Morocco and by researchers who have conducted a study on the benefits of this miracle oil.
The Health Benefit Of Grapefruit Oil.
February 18, 2014 06:47 AM
Grapefruit oils are known to be very important in improving and maintaining body health. Herbalist and medical doctors have recommended regular use of grapefruit oil because of variety of benefits it has.
Some of the amazing health benefits of grapefruit oil includes
Helps in Losing Weight
Grapefruit oil is rich in enzymes that burns excess fat in the body, they contains low sodium which helps to fight body weight since there is no absorption of excess water in the body.
By eating grapes and taking small exercises that will no strain your body, you are assured of fast weight loss.
Prevents Arthritis and antiseptic properties
Grapefruit oil contains salicylic acid which is effective in breaking down inorganic calcium in the body. Accumulation of inorganic calcium would lead to arthritis as it builds up in cartilage joints. Regular intake of grape fruit oil will also lower arthritis severity.
Additionally, it has antiseptic properties, it helps to clean congested skin.
Helps in Cancer Prevention
Grapefruit oil contains a compound known as lycopene, lycopene is a carotenoid which makes grape fruits have a red color. It eliminates cancer causing radicals and cancerous tumors.
Grapefruit oil is also rich in compound called naringenin which has anti-oxidant properties, naringenin will also repair damaged DNA in prostate cancer cases, by repairing damaged cell, naringenin helps in cancer prevention by preventing production of cancer cells.
Grapefruits will help to prevent mood swings and ant-depression properties. They are also very energizing and with a refreshing property.
It is also very effective in maintaining the color of your hair, maintaining healthy hair follicles and treatment of dandruffs.
Grapefruit essential oil is rich in fiber, which encourages better digestion by creating a laxative effect for more consistent bowel movements. It stimulates secretion of gastric enzymes to help break down of food and maintains digestion.
Health Benefits of Vitex
December 20, 2013 09:04 AM
Health Benefits of Vitex
Taken from a mediterrenian tree, vitex has numerous health benefits in human life especially to women. Taken as alternative medicine, the herb can affect human body in various ways leading to diverse health benefits.
These benefits include;
What Are Indoles?
January 03, 2013 03:59 PM
Indoles? What are these?
These are natural substances found in cruciferous vegetables when crushed or during cooking. Also referred to as indole-3-carbinol. Cruciferous vegetables include kales, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower. These plants contain a high level of glucosinolate glucobrassicin when broken down which is the main source of this substance. Indole is becoming increasingly popular since it is a powerful antioxidant and has been proved to help in relieving a number of ailments.
Benefits Of Indoles:
Some of the benefits of indole-3-carbinol is that is supports the liver's detoxification process which in extension assist the colon work effectively. Liver detoxification help in filtering out the unwanted impurities from our bodies and also when used as a colon supplement, help colon work properly to eliminate waste material from our bodies. Studies have shown that this supplement (I3C) is successive in treating a prostate cancer tumor and also preventing them in the first place.
Estrogen enhanced cancerous cells in the breast, cervix and endometrial can also be prevented if used as a dietary supplement. It works by altering estrogen metabolism and cellular activities. Especially for women, indoles are beneficial since it aids in the treatment of endometriosis which is a condition where the endometrial tissue form outside the uterus. This condition causes problems such as irregular periods, lower fertility and pelvic pain.
As a powerful antioxidant, indoles help in preventing cellular damage due to free radicals and maintains the hormonal balance of the body in both men and women. Studies have also proved that it helps reduce incidences of muscle soreness due to overexertion and menopausal symptoms, breast tenderness and cramping. Indoles have been known to cause no side effects to most people when used the same amounts as found in the diet hence is safe. It however causes skin rashes and an increase in liver enzymes in some people when not used appropriately.
Papaya Enzymes and Food
December 05, 2012 03:42 PM
A healthy digestive system is a plus to everyone, and we would stop at nothing to feel at ease. The food we consume only works well with proper digestion. Anyone determined to get rid of heartburn, bloating and even constipation must think of the digestive system. Generally good digestion ensures toxic wastes are expelled and you remain light and active. Healthy nutrition and digestion go hand in hand, therefore choose what you ingest well. Papaya has been proven to enhance digestive health and purify your intestines.
Reasons why papaya is good for digestion
It is enriched with powerful proteolytic enzymes
These are enzymes act as chemical reaction stimulant in the body. They help turn proteins into amino acids which in turn aid in digesting scar tissues on the dermis and epidermis. Papaya enzymes help destroy intestinal parasites The intestines are a key component of the digestive process, and when damaged digestion cannot be completed. Papaya helps kill parasites that invade the intense hence making the whole digestion procedure smooth. As such eating papaya guarantees that only friendly bacterium remains in the intestines.
Papaya is loaded with fiber
Fiber is essential for efficient digestion, whether soluble or insoluble its role in this process cannot be underestimated. First it keeps the digestive system healthy and helps in removing toxins from the body. Fiber in itself contains beneficial bacterial which softens waste products and bulky hence quick digestion. In addition the fiber in papaya prevents constipation; this makes it easy for stool to pass out hence preventing excess waste accumulation.
Papaya has vitamin C and Carotene's
These are also important components of these delicious succulent tropical fruit. Vitamin C and carotene are antioxidants; they help in the absorption of iron needed for digestion. Vitamin C maintains healthy gums and teeth necessary for digestion since the entire operation begins in the mouth. Carotene's on the other hand carotene's are easily absorbed by the intestines.
It's no doubt that papaya is not just tasty but has more to it. A cup of papaya juice or a few papaya enzymes pills a day will surely help keep your digestive system healthy. Therefore go for it and exude confidence all day long.
The Kelp Benefit
November 18, 2012 10:00 AM
Kelp is the common name given to many species. Kelp is often known as seaweed or sea kelp rich in vitamins, minerals and especially in iodine. It also contains potassium, iron and magnesium. The seaweed appears in brown color because of the presence of yellow-brown pigmentation and grows at a rapid speed beneath the ocean. Seaweed grows up to 1500 ft long which is the largest and longest among all the sea plants. Many people are using Kelp as natural iodine supplement to help thyroid functions.
The medicinal benefits of kelp are uncountable.
Such benefits include:
Kelp for thyroid
Kelp is a very rich source of iodine which is an essential element for the easy functioning of gland thyroid and regulates thyroid hormones. The kelp or iodine rich diet benefits in the treatment of thyroid glands. The iodine helps to speed up metabolism and maintains the immune system. Iodine is important for women during pregnancy and also useful for the growth and development of the human body.
Contains a good amount of iron
Deficiency of iron in the body causes many diseases to the people such as skin ailments, chronic fatigue and many more. Kelp contains a large amount of iron, which is an essential mineral that carries oxygen to the blood cells and protects your body with several diseases.
Kelp acts as Antioxidants
Like other sea vegetables kelp is also a great source of antioxidants. The natural substance protects your bodies and cells from free radicals and several other hazardous components. The intake of raw food or supplement in your diet helps to prevent from health problems and feels you more energetic.
Kelp as an immunity booster and great for weight loss
A balanced diet rich in nutrients and minerals helps to build a better immune system in your body. And kelp helps to improve immune system, because it contains a large amount of vitamins and minerals in accordance with iodine. Kelp supports to lose weight effectively as the iodine content boosts the metabolism process in your body which is very essential for weight loss. Kelp offers many health benefits and now it is available in many forms. Such as tablets , capsules, dried powder and noodles.
The Health benefits of L-Arginine
June 08, 2012 08:10 AM
What is L-Arginine?
L-Arginine, also referred to as Arginine, is a non-essential amino acid-it's produced naturally in the body-and it is vital for the normal functioning of pituitary gland. This substance comes from natural sources such as nuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, popcorn, chocolate, brown rice, raisins, carob, oatmeal, gelatin desserts, protein rich foods, and whole wheat bread. Men, whose seminal fluids consist of up to 80 percent of this amino acid, especially need L-Arginine as a deficiency could cause infertility. L-Arginine is not only obtained from food sources but through supplementation as well. As we age, the production of this amino acid decreases in the body and this is thought to cause many degenerative processes associated with aging. Thus, Arginine is vital for maintaining your overall health as well as sexual health.
Deficiency of L-Arginine can delay sexual maturity, impair insulin production, cause liver lipid metabolism and glucose tolerance.
Functions of L-Arginine
L-Arginine amino acid performs various functions in the body, including:
It is a component of collagen, enzymes, ejaculate, hormones, connective tissues, and skin. It plays an important role in the manufacture of protein molecules such as insulin and creatine. It's a precursor of nitric oxide as well as other metabolites.
Health benefits of L-Arginine
Although the benefits of Arginine supplements are debated, proponents state that Arginine converts into nitric oxide inside the body and enlarges or dilates the blood vessels. This helps better circulation and it's one of the reasons it is used to cure erectile dysfunction. This amino acid produces positive results as it enhances blood circulation, especially to the genitalia. Arginine is also a key component in sperm and seminal fluid production, so it's used to treat sterility in men. Other health benefits of L-Arginine include:
Aids in muscle-building
Helps maintain blood-sugar levels
Increases immune function
Increase fertility in females
Improves blood flow and decreases clogged arteries
Increases sperm count
Helps in liver detoxification
Maintains nitrogen balance
Promotes body fat burning
Promotes better bone density
Provides anti-oxidant properties
Reduces effects of alcohol toxicity
Reduces blood pressure
Reduces heart and vascular disease, cholesterol risk and stroke
Helps reduce body fat
Helps remove excess ammonia
Aids faster healing of wounds
L-Arginine anti-aging properties
One last benefit to note about L-Arginine is the fact that it simulates the production of human growth hormone (HGH), IGF, and testosterone. As your body ages, it produces less and less of these hormones which directly affects the aging process. These hormones are responsible for reducing body fat, keeping the skin elastic, and increasing sexual stamina. While your body won't turn into that of a teenager, taking L-Arginine supplements can make you feel and look younger.
Just as other forms of supplementation, you should take caution while using L-Arginine. This means that you have to get a doctor's approval before you take this drug. You should carefully follow the drug's instructions on dosage and frequency. As long as you take L-Arginine with care, you can greatly enhance your overall health and wellbeing.
What Is Glutathione Good For?
April 14, 2012 08:03 AM
What is Glutathione?
Glutathione (GSH)is a tripeptide derived from non-proteinaceous amino acids. Contains apeptide bond between the group unusual amino of the cysteine group and the carboxylside chain of glutamate. Glutathione, an antioxidant, helps protect cells from reactive species of oxygen such as free radicals and peroxides. Glutathione is nucleophilic at sulfuracceptors and conjugated electrophilic attack poisonous. Groups thiolare maintained in a reduced state to a concentration of about ~ 5 mM in animal cells. Indeed, glutathione reduces any link disulfideformed with in proteins cytoplasmic cysteines by acting as a donor of electrons.In the process, glutathione is converted to its oxidized form glutathione disulfide (GSSG). Glutathione is found almost exclusively in its reduced form, since the enzyme that turns its oxidized form, glutathione reductase,is constitutively active and inducible to oxidative stress.In fact, the ratio of reduced glutathione to oxidized glutathione in cells is often used scientifically as a measure of cellular toxicity. H2O2+ GSSG + 2 ------- 2GSH H2O.
Advantages of the Glutathione
Before discussing the benefits of L-Glutathione, let's first talk a little about the nutrient. Glutathione is an antioxidant enzyme dominant which is soluble in water.It is absorbed mainly in the liver.It helps fight against free radical damage.The free radical damage is harmful relatives. Glutathione is involved in a variety of other functions in the body.
The function of Glutathione - Benefits of Glutathione
Glutathione works in DNA synthesis and repair, protein and prostaglandin synthesis, and amino acid transport.It helps in the metabolism of carcinogens and toxins.Immune system is improved through the use of Glutathione, and contributes to the prevention of cellular oxidative damage, and activation of enzymes. Glutathione also helps and maintains the functions of other antioxidants.
There is the possibility of a deficiency of glutathione. It usually occurs during aging.For example, it is seen in macular degeneration related to age, diabetes, and lung and gastrointestinal diseases. It may be the cause of pre-eclampsia, Parkinson's, AIDS and other neurodegenerative diseases.
Where to get Glutathione
Some sources of glutathione include fruits such as tomatoes, watermelon, grapefruit, oranges, peaches and cantaloupe.It is found in vegetables such as avocados, potatoes, spinach, okra, acorn squash, and asparagus.It is found in most meats as well. Other sources of vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, parsley, and not only provide GSH - glutathione peroxidase, but it also stimulates the body to make more BA.Since cooking destroys much of glutathione, you will get more to eat raw or steamed vegetables for the best benefits of Glutathione.
Reduced glutathione is in a supplementation that we personally use a company called source naturals a Natural Product meeting the above requirements.The nutrient content in their signature product - Total Balance.
What Makes CoQ10 So Good For Your Health?
February 14, 2012 07:51 AM
BENEFITS OF TAKING C0Q10
C0Q10 is a coenzyme that is produced naturally by the body or supplied by the various foods consumed such as oily fish, whole grains and liver. One of the functions of this chemical compound is to produce adenosine-50- triphosphate in the body cells that contributes to production of energy for the various metabolic and physical purposes. CoQ10 is very important in the body because it helps to maintain and improve the health in the human body. One of the benefits of taking it that it helps to solve obesity, reduce fatigue as well as improve the ability of the body to fight diseases.
Research has proved that the chemical compound helps to prevent accumulation of toxins in the gums that leads to swollen gums. Doctors also indicate that it has the ability to increase fertility through enhanced sperm motility. In the Sport persons it helps to increase and improve their athletic performance through enhanced energy production. However it is important to exercise in moderation to avoid a decline in the levels of this compound due to excessive exercise.
C0Q10 helps to prevent the occurrence of heart diseases in persons. Research shows that the levels of this compound are low in person suffering from heart diseases while persons with high levels of the chemical are less susceptible to heart diseases. Hence taking this health chemical compound daily can help to reduce the chances of one suffering from heart complications. Doctors also use it to treat patients who suffer from congestive heart failure.
High blood pressure is one of the causes of heart problems in most people. C0Q10 helps to lower the blood pressure in the body hence preventing damage of the heart. Before a heart surgery, surgeons introduce the compound into the patient so as to prevent irregular heart beat as well as strengthen heart functioning during the recovery period after the surgery. This is achieved through reduction of damage that may be caused by free radicals and oxidative damage.
Recent research has also shown that CoQ10 in diabetic patients helps to prevent them from experiencing hypoglycaemic response. However patients should consult a doctor before taking the drug so as to get advice on how to take the drugs safely. CoQ10 supplements achieve this through reduction of cholesterol levels in the blood which in turn maintains the level of blood sugar at the recommended level.
Presence of free radicals in the body results in health complications such as fast aging and destruction of the cell membrane. CoQ10 has some antioxidants that eliminate these free radicals from the body. It also prevents the radicals from causing oxidative damage to the DNA in the cells. Accumulation of free radicals in the tissues is usually as a result of certain behaviours such as cigarette smoking, UV light, pollution and also as from the various metabolic processes that take place in the body.
Due to the positive results of CoQ10 in preventing heart problems and maintain the body systems in the body, researchers and scientists hope that the drug can be used to treat Alzheimer disease and breast cancer in women.
Preventive Measures for Metabolic Syndrome/ Diabetes
February 10, 2012 07:55 AM
Metabolic syndrome is a serious health problem associated with cluster of conditions like high cholesterol level, high blood pressure, high sugar level and excessive fats in the abdomen. It increases risks of diabetes, heart attack and stroke. Having one of these conditions doesn't mean that you have metabolic syndrome. However, frequent occurrence of any of these symptoms can increase risk.
Knowing your family's medical history can prevent metabolic syndrome that can lead to diabetes. If it runs in the family, consult your doctor to have your blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure checked.
Avoid high carb diet to prevent metabolic syndrome and diabetes. During digestion, carbohydrate rich foods are broken down into sugar or glucose. Glucose gives energy to the body while calorie is the measure of burned energy. When high amount of carbohydrate is digested, it increases sugar level in the blood. The brain prompts the pancreas release insulin to neutralize blood sugar level. Diabetes happens when the body becomes resistant to insulin or when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin.
Replace high carb diet with more nutritious foods like oats, whole wheat, rye, red rice, sweet potatoes and buckwheat. They are energy giving food rich in dietary fibers. Fibers keep a healthy digestive system by improving digestion and eliminating body wastes. It maintains sexy abs by flushing out excess belly fats.
Stay physically active by engaging into sports and exercises. Inactive body does not use much energy. Unused energy is stored in the body in form of fats. Fat cells are resistant to insulin thus, increase blood sugar and cholesterol level. Fat cells slow down metabolism and increase weight gain. While lean muscles hastens metabolism even when the body is at rest. Lean muscle protects the body against insulin resistance.
Maintain a well balanced diet to reverse diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Raw fruits like oranges, berries, pineapple, grapes and other citrus fruits are good alternative for desserts like cakes. They are rich in Vitamin C that lowers cholesterol and burns fats. It is also rich in antioxidants that shield the body against harmful toxins.
Add green leafy vegetables to your diet to increase immunity from sickness like diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Green leafy vegetables are rich in Vitamin E that repairs and regenerates damaged cells.
Develop a healthy sleeping pattern. Sleep disturbances and staying up late at night prompt the pancreas to continually release insulin. This creates stress on the pancreas that leads to insufficient production of insulin. A well rested mind and body keep metabolic syndrome and diabetes away.
Try natural remedies like cinnamon, pine bark, and blueberry leaf extract. Cinnamon prevents diabetes and metabolic syndrome by lowering cholesterol and blood sugar level. Pine bark, when extracted produces pycnogenol that absorbs glucose in the blood. It also protects the eyes from blindness and blurred vision caused by diabetes. Blueberry leaf extract regulates blood sugar level by increasing the body's sensitivity to insulin.
Health supplements like chromium and alpha lipoic acid have shown great results in preventing and managing diabetes. Chromium is a mineral that metabolizes carbohydrates to prevent weight gain. It stabilizes blood sugar and prevents hypertension.
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.
Is Cod Liver Oil Good for My Health?
July 30, 2011 01:19 PM
Cod liver oil is a dietary supplement obtained from the liver of a group of fishes collectively known as cod. It is an all natural remedy for a diverse variety of disorders, and as such remains one of the most popular supplements to this day. Recent studies have confirmed many of its age-old health claims. It is now common knowledge that it aids joint health, treats skin conditions, and improves brain function.
Deactivates Pain Chemicals
The nutrient profile of cod liver oil makes it an excellent source of eicosapentaenoic acid, or EPA, and docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA. These omega 3 fatty acids have long been identified by scientists as anti-inflammatory compounds. Numerous studies have documented that they exert an inhibitory effect on chemicals that sensitize tissues to pain, cause excessive inflammation, and bring on rheumatism.
Nourishes Joint Cartilage
Cod liver oil is a traditional treatment for joint pain characteristic of arthritis. In recent years, it has been noted as the leading therapeutic remedy for rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Research has shown that it is capable of switching off enzymatic processes responsible for the destruction of cartilage tissue in arthritis. Also, its fatty acid content nourishes the proteins found in joint cartilage.
Protects Nervous Tissue
The myelin sheaths that insulate the axons of nerve cells located in the brain and spinal cord require fatty acids to support their physiological functions. In particular, DHA is the principal fatty acid that nourishes nervous tissue. Cod liver oil has been utilized as an adjunct medication for multiple sclerosis in studies, and reports suggest its potential as a mainstay of treatment for other neurological disorders.
Enhances Brain Function
In addition to their known role in the upkeep of myelin sheaths, fatty acids are directly involved in the development of brain function. In fact, they are a major component of breast milk. For years, nutrition experts have suggested consumptions of cod liver oil to combat neurodegenerative disorders as well as enhance cognitive capacities as it contains high levels of compounds proven as effective nootropics.
Alleviates Skin Conditions
The nutrient profile of cod liver oil is particularly good for the skin. Apart from the fact that it counters inflammatory agents that cause hypersensitive skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis, it also promotes tensile strength and maintains skin elasticity. Cod liver oil is a good source of omega 3 fatty acids, essential fatty acids, vitamin A, vitamin, D, and vitamin E, all of which contribute to skin health.
Prevents Heart Disease
Cod liver oil maintains heart health and even reverses cardiovascular disorders. Medical professionals have supported this nutritional supplement as it has been clinically proven to cut the risk of heart disease. It alters the profile of lipids present in the blood and appears to reduce cholesterol. For decades, lower incidence of cardiovascular disorders has been tied to populations that consume high amounts of cod.
Potassium: Cardiovascular Health, Muscle Function, Cellular Activity, And Blood pH
May 11, 2011 12:58 PM
Potassium is a dietary mineral required in relatively large quantities in comparison with other minerals found in the human diet. It is the most abundant positively charged ion, or cation, in the cytosol, the liquid cytoplasmic matrix found inside all cells of the human body. It has a special relationship with sodium, the major cation outside animal cells. Together they facilitate cellular reformations and intercellular activities, greatly influencing the development of muscles, the brain, and the heart.
Electrolytes are solutions of bases or acids that help maintain a healthy pH inside the body. Potassium is an electrolyte absolutely necessary for the upkeep of cells. They enable organic compounds to move charges, which is central to neuronal activities, muscle contraction, and endocrine functions. The presence of potassium is also required to activate the catalytic functions of several enzymes. Some of these enzymes are indispensable in the metabolism of carbohydrates.
Powers Cellular Activities
A cellular phenomenon described as membrane potential affects several types of cells throughout the human body, such as neurons, muscle cells, and endocrine cells. Potassium is involved in this phenomenon, powering countless molecular devices found in the cell membrane much like a battery. It also participates in transmitting signals between cellular organelles, creating an electric current that flows between different parts of the cell.
Intercellular communication that induces the release of neurotransmitters, hormones, and other related organic compounds throughout the body rely on healthy levels of potassium. For example, it allows the beta cells of the pancreas to respond to levels of carbohydrates that get in and out of the systemic circulation, releasing insulin when needed. It fuels a chain of cellular events that lead to many bodily functions.
Promotes Muscle Function
It is not a coincidence that unhealthy levels of potassium lead to bouts of muscle cramps. While involuntary contractions of the skeletal muscles are often associated to older populations, they may afflict people of all ages at any time of the day. More often than not, the underlying cause is malnutrition, especially deficiency in dietary minerals like potassium.
Contractions produced by skeletal muscles are a classic example of physiological functions that necessitate the presence of potassium. When electrical impulses of cell membranes rise and fall at a very fast rate, it results in a cellular event called action potential, igniting a chain of events that lead to muscle contraction. This is the reason why potassium is important in the maintenance of healthy muscles.
Maintains Cardiovascular Health
Potassium is particularly good for the heart. The cardiac muscle is engaged in continuous coordinated contractions that propel blood out of the atria and ventricles to the rest of the cardiovascular system. A condition called hypokalemia, in which the level of potassium in the blood is low, has been linked to abnormal heart rhythms, high blood pressure, and congestive heart failure. Not surprisingly, potassium supplements are used as a therapeutic remedy in the treatment of these diseases.
Potassium has a pH of 14. Taking potassium daily can help you regulate your pH so you can maintain a pH of 7 throughout the day. By maintaining a pH of 7, you can improve your health and reduce the instance of illness.
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!
How Does Zinc Boost the Immune System and What Else Does this Mineral Do
May 02, 2011 01:58 PM
Zinc And Good Health!
Zinc is considered a transition metal in general, and as such one of the most abundant transition metals in living organisms, including human beings. It plays a central role in the molecular structure of proteins, which is indispensable in catalytic activities of over a hundred enzymes. These proteins belong to all enzyme classes and have far-reaching effects on the human body, notably in the immune system.
In the past few decades, the scientific community has unearthed countless chemical reactions that take place inside the human body. A number of these reactions necessitate the presence of zinc. While zinc is considered toxic in high amounts, it is classified as an essential trace mineral, which means it has a daily value. A deficiency in zinc has serious effects on growth and development as implicated in the life cycle of cells.
Stabilizes Cellular Structures
Zinc is a trace mineral that is quite pervasive at the cellular level as all cells have zinc demands. This dietary element keeps cells in prime condition and maintains the health of cell organelles. For one, zinc is required to stabilize ions that functions as interaction modules responsible for binding DNA, RNA, and other particles found within cells. The absence of zinc in cells will cripple these activities.
The complete absence of this trace mineral is improbable, but low levels of elemental zinc in the body have been observed to have serious effects on cellular health. The capacity of cells to contain radical damage depends on the availability of zinc. Depleting levels of zinc result in an impaired antioxidant defense and greater susceptibility to free radicals and other reactive oxygen species.
Induces Enzymatic Reactions
Enzymes are proteins that play functional roles in the metabolism of bioactive compounds. They are categorized into many classes, depending on their catalytic functions. These functions are vital as they are one of the mechanisms in the employ of the body to sustain homeostasis. Some classes are involved in immune responses in the prevention of disease and the alleviation of chronic disorders.
All classes of enzymes are affected by the metabolism of zinc one way or another, with over a hundred requiring the direct involvement of zinc to induce catalysis. Zinc is of special note in a chemical reaction called hydroxylation, a process that helps cleanse the body of toxins. With hydroxylation, zinc participates in the conversion of lipid-soluble substrates into water-soluble products ready for excretion.
Modulates Immune Responses
The human body utilizes zinc in many different metabolic pathways that influence the processes needed for prompt immune responses. In the case of common infections such as colds and flu, zinc curtails severity of symptoms and raises immune responses to optimum levels. More importantly, healthy levels of zinc enable the body to take on preventative measures against diseases.
Remember even though zinc is an important mineral, to much can cause problems as well. Do not exceed 150mgs daily for extended periods of time to maintain safe levels of zinc. I suggest 15mg to 75mg daily.
What is Dandelion Tea Good for?
March 08, 2011 02:38 PM
Dandelion tea must be best known as a detoxifying beverage that has been associated with improving liver and kidney functions. In the old days the plant is often considered a pesky weed, but today health organizations, such as the European Scientific Cooperative on Phytotherapy, have endorsed its efficacy in relieving liver problems among others. The tea produces a pronounced bitter taste and is often sweetened, but it also packs large quantities of micronutrients.
Peoples from the Old World are no stranger to dandelion tea, but the plant species are native to both Europe and North America. What we refer to as dandelion comprises a large group of flowering plants. The two most notable species are Taraxacum officinale and Taraxacum erythrospermum, both of which are used to make dandelion tea. The fact that it can be found right in your yard is the reason why health magazines regard this herb as one of the readily available nutritional powerhouses.
Maintains Intake of Nutrients during Weight Loss
Dandelion tea has been noted to contain significant levels of vitamins and minerals, the reason why it is popular among individuals who are following a weight-loss program. Many people seem to overlook the fact that depriving themselves of important food sources, such as whole grains, compromises their daily intake of dietary nutrients. Chronic dieting is particularly dangerous in the long run even for those who used to be physically healthy. Dandelion tea offers a solution to people on a diet by meeting the RDA for vitamin A and K and providing up to 30 per cent of vitamin C and vitamin B7. It is also rich in minerals like calcium, potassium, and iron.
Promotes Excretion of Toxins through Diuresis
Not surprisingly, dandelions have been used to aid a long list of symptoms and diseases, and it has been reputed as a natural diuretic for centuries. Due to its worldwide distribution, it is one of the few herbs that have earned visible presence in traditional medicine of the East and the West, and its use has always had something to do with the proper functioning of the liver and the kidneys. The bioflavonoids found in dandelion remove toxins from the liver, like ethanol metabolites, and facilitate their excretion through the urine.
Facilitates Absorption of Bioactive Compounds
Health professionals often point to the nutritional content of dandelion tea and other products from the herb. Most species of dandelions have been documented to be completely edible, and the quantities of bioactive compounds present in them have been compared with vegetables like spinach and broccoli. Consumptions of dandelions have even been considered tantamount to intake of dietary supplements as they are rich in phytochemicals that display the activities of many known polyphenolic substances found in black and green teas and other foods rich in antioxidants. While the plant contains high quantities of protein, carbohydrates, and fiber, the tea has been tied to more effective absorption of these bioactive compounds, making it an ideal beverage to match with any food source.
How does Acetyl-L-Carnitine Help With Heart Health?
February 21, 2011 02:37 PM
Acetyl L Carnitine And Heart Health
Acetyl-L-Carnitine is a form of the chemical compound carnitine, which is active in the human body as the amino acid L-carnitine. It is an organic substance that is naturally occurring in mammals and many other animals, and it is released from the liver and kidneys to every tissue in the body. While our body is capable of manufacturing this amino acid, there are factors involved in its depleting levels at certain times, and thus it is made available as a nutritional supplement. Today it is primarily used as a treatment for heart diseases and other cardiovascular problems.
Helps Break Down Fats
One of the many factors that influence heart tissues is high levels of free fatty acids in the blood. Popular health magazines and the mainstream press have labeled transports of fat-soluble bioactive compounds in the water-based bloodstream as bad cholesterol, but free fatty acids are also to blame for the buildup of fatty debris in the blood vessel linings, resulting in the thickening of walls characteristic of many cases of heart diseases.
The body has a mechanism to utilize these fats more effectively in the presence of Acetyl-L-Carnitine, which is quite active as soon as it enters the cells of any tissue, notably muscle and skeletal tissues. Free fatty acids are formed as a by-product of triglycerides that remained in the blood, but once they pass the cell membranes, they can be a source of energy far more powerful than that produced from glucose. Acetyl-L-Carnitine makes it possible for these fatty molecules to be converted into energy.
Maintains Heart Wellness
Every cell has its own form of storage fuel, and glucose and its metabolites are probably the best known. However, tissues of the heart and the muscles prefer fatty acids. As you might have surmised, tissues found in the heart and those that build the form of our physique, classified as cardiac and skeletal respectively, needs more energy than other tissues of our body. The skeletal muscles are directly involved in daily physical exertion whereas the heart is, of course, in constant movement.
Fatty acids yield adenosine triphosphate, or ATP, the form of energy at the cellular level, which is in general more than two times the energy produced from either carbohydrates or proteins. This is one of the reasons why fatty acids can keep up with the hard work associated with cardiac and skeletal muscle tissues. The absence of energy required for the healthy functioning of the heart leads to cell death and affects the heart’s ability to pump blood as described in cases of heart failure.
Promotes High Bioavailability
Acetyl-L-Carnitine has been touted to be more absorbable and ultimately incorporated in body tissues more effectively than other forms of carnitine. It is a known fact that acetylating organic molecules increases the effectiveness of administered doses, and this remains true with Acetyl-L-Carnitine, the reason why it is widely applied in serious medical conditions concerning the heart.
If you have heart problems, give Acetyl-L-Carnitine a try risk free.
What are the Health Benefits of Vitamin K?
February 19, 2011 11:42 AM
6 Ways Vitamin K Can Boost Your Health
Vitamin K is belongs to the group of vitamins that are soluble in fat. There are a lot of chemical compounds that display the activities of this essential nutrient inside the human body, but the best known form of this vitamin is phylloquinone, a naturally occurring substance in green leafy vegetables. Many different synthetic forms have also been proven to exhibit the same health benefits.
Helps against Blood Loss
Vitamin K was named so largely owing to the fact that it is directly involved in the coagulation of blood, which was the first of its benefits to be discovered. K stands for the first letter of its German name, Koagulationsvitamin. The process by which our body controls blood loss during bleeding, both external and internal, is called coagulation, which describes the ability of the blood to thicken and form a clot. Coagulation is central to the health of blood vessels as it stops bleeding and starts the healing process.
Promotes Vascular Health
Phylloquinone and other forms of Vitamin K have long been used as a treatment for cardiovascular diseases. One form of calcification outside the bones occurs in the arterial linings, which wears down the elastic properties of vascular tissues. Arterial calcification in itself is a very serious medical condition and usually takes place in end-stage cardiovascular diseases. However, the absence of vitamin K in the body also brings on this disease.
Facilitates Calcium Absorption
There is strong evidence that vitamin K helps build strong bones, and is in fact utilized as treatment for osteoporosis. Vitamin K modulates the production of osteocalcin, which induces bone formation and reduces bone resorption by attracting calcium minerals inside the body. Premature calcification of bones negatively affects bone density, but the presence of vitamin K has been observed to avoid this.
Regulates Blood Sugar
The bone-building protein osteocalcin also acts as a hormone that triggers the beta cells in the pancreas to release more insulin, which instruct cells in different tissues of the body to absorb glucose from the blood. Glucose is either converted into ATP, the primary source of energy that power cellular functions, or stored as glycogen inside the cells. Either way maintains healthy blood sugar.
Breaks down Body Fats
Osteocalcin is also involved in the burning of fats in adipose tissues, including the unwanted flab on the belly. By stimulating these fatty tissues to release a hormone called adiponectin, body fats are broken down into smaller particles and in the process release energy. In fact, the abundance of adiponectin in the bloodstream has been closely tied to low percentage of body fats in adults.
Scavenges Free Radicals
Vitamin K helps clear the body of ravaging free radicals that damage everything at the cellular level. It is particularly associated with protecting the nerve cells from premature death due to oxidative stress caused by free radicals, the reason why it is used in studies concerning Alzheimer’s disease and cancer. With all its health benefits, it is prudent to ensure consumption of Vitamin K.
Do you get enough Vitamin K Daily?
Why Do We Need Essential Fatty Acids (EFA's) And What Source Is Best?
February 15, 2011 05:03 PM
EFA's can boost Your Health
Essential fatty acids are organic compounds that the human body necessitates to support healthy functions of organs and tissues but lack the ability to synthesize. Two fatty acids make up this group: (1) alpha linolenic acid, or ALA, and (2) linoleic acid, LA. Also referred to as EFAs, they are ubiquitous at the cellular level, but known to play an active role in neuronal and vascular tissues as well as in inflammation.
Maintains Cellular Health
One of the most recent advancements in cellular science is the discovery of lipid rafts, which are a part of the bilipid layer of cell membranes specialized for trafficking of cellular molecules, such as proteins and receptors. Also, these lipid rafts have an effect on the viscosity of cell membranes, thereby influencing fluidity that governs membrane-dependent functions of cells such as cellular signaling and phagocytosis, the mechanism by which cells swallow extracellular debris including pathogenic stimuli. Due to its being less stiff and more fluid, essential fatty acids make up cell membranes.
Modulates Neuronal Activities
It has long been postulated that learning and memory is influenced by the availability of intracellular substances known as endocannabinoids in a process called retrograde signaling. Unlike other neurotransmitters, endocannabinoids act on presynaptic cells while produced in postsynaptic cells, and by so doing enhances the signal transmission between nerve cells. Essential fatty acids are converted into endocannabinoids, which are produced on demand, and thus daily intake of EFA is a must. In addition, EFA has for years been in use as a treatment for depression and in the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases.
Regulates Inflammatory Responses
The right amounts of essential fatty acids present inside the human body significantly contribute to the inflammatory responses of the immune system. There are chemical compounds that are produced by the body only in the presence of essential fatty acids, and a number of these compounds are essential to the process of healing and other processes implicated during inflammation. This is the reason why intake of EFA is highly regarded as a therapeutic remedy for reducing inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and autoimmune illnesses.
Promotes Cardiovascular Health
There is high risk of heart attack and related cardiovascular diseases in populations with low levels of essential fatty acids. Especially for individuals who are dependent on drugs that are known to cause oxidative stress in vascular tissues, susceptibility to damages of the blood vessel linings sets the stage for the buildup of macrophages and bad cholesterol in the form of arterial plaques. These plaques contribute to the thinning of the vascular passageways characteristic of atherosclerosis.
There is a reason why alpha linolenic acid and linoleic acid are considered essential fatty acids. They are a vital component of a healthy body with well-functioning organs and tissues. Good thing we have a wide list of food sources rich in EFA, which includes the oils of hemp, soya, canola, and wheat germ. EFA is also abundant in seeds of sunflower, chia, pumpkin, and flax.
EFA's should be an essential part of everyone's diet, have you had your EFA's today?
Hyaluronic acid and your cells, eyes, and skin
December 17, 2010 10:48 AM
Discovered in 1934, hyaluronic acid can be found anywhere there is the need for connective tissue in your body. Your joints, your eyes and your heart all contain hyaluronic acid, and a shortage can lead to a wide range of bodily defects, including the appearance of accelerated aging. It is a glycosaminoglycan, a form of polysaccharide that is not only found in connective tissue and epithelial and neural cells, but is also important in the growth and renewal of body cells.
We shall discuss here how hyaluronic acid affects specific areas of your body, and what the effect of a deficiency would mean, but also keeping in mind that an excess of this polysaccharide can also have a serious impact on your health although it offers few side effects worth noting.
Hyaluronic Acid and Your Joints
The highest concentrations of hyaluronic acid (HA) in your body is found in the synovial fluid, the fluid lubricating contained in your joints, and it is also plays an important role in maintaining the function of cartilage in keeping your joints flexible and well cushioned. It is chemically a glycosaminoglycan that is formed from glucosamine and glucuronic acid. Its production is boosted by chondroitin, which is why glucosamine and chondroitin are commonly used supplements for the treatment of arthritis.
Specifically, HA joins with collagen and elastin to produce cartilage, and also increases the supply of synovial fluid that maintains lubricity within the joints. Without the synovial fluid your cartilage would soon become worn away and your bones would grind together, eventually seizing up. By taking hyaluronic acid orally as a supplement, you can help to maintain healthy joints by maintaining the integrity of the cartilage and the quality of the synovial fluid.
Because the cartilage contains no blood vessels, it is reliant on the synovial fluid to keep it supplied with nutrients, and specifically with HA which is a large part of its structure. Without this important polysaccharide your body would not be able to function: no mobility, dry flaky skin and poor or no eyesight.
Hyaluronic Acid and Your Skin
Hyaluronic acid occurs in the lower layers of your skin where it helps to maintain a smooth and full appearance to your skin due to its hygroscopic nature in absorbing up to a thousand times its weight of water. For this reason HA is frequently used in skin moisturizing treatments and lotions.
HA is not found inside body cells, but appears to be restricted to the extracellular regions between cells where its moisturizing properties are critical in maintaining suppleness. Elastin requires copious quantities of water to remain elastic or it would otherwise become brittle: that is why our skin looks dry and wrinkled when we age. It is due to a lack of moisture: the moisture that hyaluronic acid can bring to the table. The problem is that HA reduces with age and in order to maintain our youthful looks we have to take a supplement.
Hyaluronic acid doesn't last long in your skin: it has to be renewed constantly and each day about 50% of the HA content of your skin is lost. It takes about two weeks for the same degree of loss to occur in the synovial fluid of your joints. The look of your skin depends to a very large extent on the extracellular matrix, or what is contained between your skin cells. The more moisture there then the smoother and plumper your skin will appear.
As you age, your hyaluronic acid production drops and so your skin becomes increasingly more depleted of moisture. This causes it to dry up and wrinkle. Were there one substance that I would choose as the elixir of life it would be HA, because by taking a regular supplement your natural daily loss is replenished and your skin is given a hand to maintain its soft, moist plumpish look that helps you to keep you looking young.
Hyaluronic Acid and Your Eyes
The vitreous humor is the liquid inside your eyeball, and it contains a large amount of hyaluronic acid. It helps absorb shock and to maintain the shape of the eyeball. The HA is so important that your body has developed a special set of cells known as the hyalocytes of Balazs that are believed to promote the renewal of hyaluronic acid, and also possibly its breakdown.
There is still a lot of research going on into this but the importance of HA in the vitreous humor and other aqueous area of your body is not in question. It helps to retain water and give structure to the liquid media within your body, whether that is between the bones of your joints, in the dermal and epidermal regions of your skin to keep it supple, or in your eyeball. In fact, it is believed to take up 70% - 80% of your eye, and helps to keep the retina in place exactly where it has to be for your eyesight to work.
Because Hyaluronic acid is:
a) present between the cells in every tissues in your body, and
b) a consumable, in that it gets used up rapidly, and
c) your biochemistry's ability to regenerate it reduces with age,
a supplement is the ideal way in which to maintain its levels in your extracellular system. In some instances injections are given, particularly in expensive anti-wrinkling treatment, but studies have shown that hyaluronic acid baxyl taken as an oral supplement shows an improvement after an average of 3 months treatment.
It should be understood that the average person has around 15 grams hyaluronic acid in their body, of which 5 grams is continually degraded and synthesized daily. When you reach an age that your ability to generate HA is impaired, then an oral supplement will be less expensive than injections, the hyaluronic acid of which will also be degraded with time. It won't be long before you need more treatment, and oral supplements are less expensive than private hypodermic injections.
A Hyaluronic acid supplement baxyl can be taken to improve the suppleness and appearance of youthful skin, help maintain the integrity of your eyesight and help to reduce the symptoms of arthritis and many other conditions brought on by a reduction in the synovial fluid and hydration of the skeletal and connective tissues of your body. In other words, it helps to keep you looking younger for longer and to keep your joints and your eyesight in good health.
Have you had your daily dose of hyaluronic acid today?
Baxyl is a liquid form of hyaluronic acid that is easy to take and easily assimilated into the body because its a liquid.
L-Arginine An Amino Acid Essential Or Not You Be The Judge?
January 06, 2009 04:01 PM
L-Arginine is an amino acid that is one of 20 needed by the body for its existence. To some, it is not what is known as an essential amino acid, since it can be biosynthesized by the body, but arginine is termed a conditionally essential amino acid in that we must include some in our diet because our biochemistry does not produce all that our body needs, particularly during the growing years.
Amino acids are the building blocks of life, and are the units from which proteins and ultimately our DNA are built. In fact DNA contains the blueprints for every protein used by our bodies, including all the enzymes without which our biochemistry could not occur. When a supply of a particular protein is needed, the DNA template provides the sequence of amino acids needed to produce it.
Of the 20 amino acids we need, only 10 can be produced by our body: the other 10 must be included in our diet and are termed 'essential' because they are an essential part of our diet, just as vitamins and minerals are. Without an adequate supply of essential components, we cannot survive, and if the essential amino acids are depleted in our diet then the body will break down muscle tissue to release them.
Although L-arginine is termed a 'conditionally' essential amino acid, it is included by many among the 10 regarded as being essential. Hence, depending upon who you read, it can be either essential or non-essential. That is because, as inferred earlier, arginine is needed for growth and development, and there is insufficient in the diet to meet these needs. Therefore, while it is essential in cases where growth is still taking place, it is not in those where normal growth is complete.
Proteins are essential for all animal life, forming not only the enzymes, or biochemical catalysts, but also muscles and DNA among other bodily tissues. Protein is also a necessary part of our diet, and it is from protein, animal or vegetable, that we get the amino acids in our diet. L-arginine is one of these, being available from all meats and seafood’s, and vegetables rich in protein such as soy, seeds, nuts and grains.
So what does arginine do for us, quite a lot in fact, many of its functions being related to our health? Arginine plays an important role in the healing of wounds, especially bone, assisting the immune function, decreasing blood pressure and speeding up the repair time of tissue. However, it possesses other properties such as increasing muscle mass, helping to increase male fertility and improving the circulation.
It also helps to remove ammonia from the body, and is a precursor for the biosynthesis of nitric oxide (NO2). It is in the way that L-arginine works with the nitrogen stores of the body that we will focus on here, prior to touching on its other properties.
L-Arginine transports, stores and excretes nitrogen, and used biochemically to manufacture nitric oxide. This oxide of nitrogen plays a very important role in your body, and is produced in every cell of your body. Nitric oxide helps in the dilation of your blood vessels, allowing a reduction in blood pressure, better circulation and helping to prevent a mans man-hood dysfunction, all of which are due to its relaxing effect on smooth muscle contraction and the promotion of the increased blood flow necessary for men and their functions. It is also important to your immune system and nervous system.
It works in a similar way to the effect of nitroglycerine on the heart: this is converted in the body to nitric oxide which relaxes the blood vessels and so reduces the amount of work needed by the heart. The way in which L-arginine forms nitric oxide is by the action of the enzyme nitric oxide synthase.
The amino acid is also an important component of the Citric Acid or Kreb's cycle, where it reacts with ammonia which is a toxic by-product in the generation of energy in the mitochondria. Ammonia is converted to urea by L-arginine and excreted from the body. This is another way in which L-arginine is involved in the storage and use of nitrogen-containing compounds in your biochemistry.
It was mentioned earlier that arginine is an essential amino acid for children. Studies have indicated that it supports the release of the human growth hormone from the pituitary gland although the amount released through supplementation of the amino acid varies widely between individuals. The growth hormone maintains the production of proteins and muscle tissue in the body cells. This reduces as we age, and arginine becomes non-essential, the smaller amounts needed in our biochemistry being manufactured by the body.
The anabolic effect of the supplement is believed to increase the effectiveness of exercise intended to increase muscle bulk and reduce the percentage of body fat, and many take L-arginine as a supplement while undergoing such anabolic fitness and exercise programs. It is normally best to start with low supplement levels and work up due the potential side effects (diarrhea and nausea).
Arginine is an important component in the body's healing mechanisms for both tissue and bone, and studies have confirmed accelerated healing of wounds and fractures with arginine supplementation. Although the mechanism by which this occurs is not yet understood, there is evidence that it may be connected with the nitric oxide pathway and increased blood flow, and also with its effect on the immune system in reducing inflammation at the healing site.
Diabetics, however, should be careful with substances that promote the release of growth hormone, and children with incomplete bone growth should also use such agents only under medical supervision. With diabetics, their condition could be either exacerbated or improved, and those with herpes and some psychotic conditions should also be careful.
Nitrogenous compounds are essential to life, and L-arginine plays a significant role in the storage, use and secretion of them. Without it life would not be possible, although it is its visible uses, such as the effect of nitrous oxide on blood flow and of proteins on muscle metabolism, for which it is best known to those that use it, either as a supplement or as a remedy. Pure supplement form is available at your local or internet health food store.
October 11, 2008 10:26 AM
The non-essential amino acid glycine is needed to generate muscle tissue and also for the conversion of blood glucose into energy. It is referred to as being ‘non-essential’ because the body can manufacture its own glycine, and is therefore not an essential component of your diet. Other uses to which glycine is put by the body includes the maintenance of a healthy nervous system, and is necessary for the proper functioning of the digestive system.
Amino acids play three essential roles in the human body:
1. They are the building blocks of proteins: proteins comprise about half of the dry weight of the majority of your body cells, and without them there would be no life. They are produced using monomers known as amino acids, and there are about 20 different amino acids used to make the vast variety of proteins that make up the human body. Proteins are needed to form enzymes, the catalysts that permit the majority of chemical reactions within our bodies, and also genes, the building blocks of DNA.
2. More relevant here, amino acids play an important role in the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) from ADP (adenosine diphosphate) by phosphorylation with creatine phosphate. The more creatine phosphate available, the more ATP can be produced. Since ATP is the molecule responsible for the generation of energy, then the more ATP available the more energy is generated. Although creatine is available from many food sources, it is destroyed by cooking, and over half of what you use is made from the three amino acids, glycine, arginine and methionine. The energy produced in this way is very short-lived, and last only a few seconds - more on that later.
3. Glycine is heavily involved in the production of collagen, which is the substance that maintains the flexibility of your skin and other connective tissues while still maintaining their strength and firmness. Without glycine your skin would become slack due to the degrading effect of sunlight, free radicals and oxidation.
The non essential amino acid, glycine, is believed to offer other benefits to the human body, but it is the second of those above, the production of ATP, which interests us here. ATP is an extremely important nanomolecule, second in importance to the body only to DNA, and possibly also RNA since the two are linked. RNA makes copies of your DNA structure for use in cell division and growth.
When a cell expends energy for whatever reason, such as when I am typing this, or when your heart beats, or even when your liver synthesizes a protein, one of the phosphate groups is removed from the adenosine triphosphate molecule, and converts it to adenosine diphosphate (ADP). The ATP is then said to be 'spent', just as your energy is spent when you are tired and can exercise no more.
The ADP is then immediately reconverted to ATP in the mitochondria, a part of every cell in your body. A cell can contain hundreds, or even thousands, of mitochondria, the number depending upon that particular cell's need for energy. Hence, cells in your muscles, or in your liver where most of the body's chemistry takes place, contain thousands of mitochondria whereas those in your scalp contain a lot less. Once changed to ATP, a phosphate is again lost when energy is expended, and so the cycle continues.
Glucose is needed allow the ADP to be converted to ATP, hence the need for sugars, or the carbohydrates from which they are manufactured in your body. Each cell can contain up to a billion molecules of ATP, although the couch potatoes among you probably have a lot less! Your store of ATP molecules last about 2 to 5 seconds before being changed to ADP although more rapidly for athletes that expend a lot of energy. Then the energy stored in the form of glycogen in the liver kicks in for another 4 - 6 seconds.
Additionally, you cannot expend more energy that the (eventual) sugars that you take in your diet, which can be in the form of ordinary 'sugar' (sucrose), fruit (fructose), glucose, carbohydrates that are metabolized into sugars, or any other member of the sugar family (e.g. lactose, maltose, etc.).
Glycine is one of what are called glucogenic amino acids, which refers to their ability to provide glucose to the blood. Because it helps to maintain proper blood glucose levels, it is often prescribed for conditions that are caused by low glucose levels, such as hypoglycemia that shows symptoms of fatigue and tiredness, and also anemia and what is known as CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome).
The one activity of the human body, in fact that of any mammal, for which ATP is essential, is the heartbeat. Without that no mammal could survive, or any other creature that relies on a circulation system for life. The only reason you heart has to beat is to pump your blood around your body, and it is your blood that contains the oxygen and nutrients needed to sustain life. Your cardiovascular health relies on lots of ATP being available to power each and every heartbeat.
Analysis of the heart during the final stages of heart failure has revealed that there is a general decrease in the myocardial arginine: glycine amidinotraferase (AGAT) gene expression, which is indicative of the necessity of this enzyme for proper heart function. The enzyme is responsible for the first stage in the biosynthesis of creatine from glycine.
Creatine is well known to athletes, and while it is available naturally from some food sources, it can be destroyed during cooking, and at least 50% of the creatine needed by the body is produced in the liver, pancreas and kidneys. It is creatine phosphate that is broken down into creatine and phosphate, the latter of which is used by the mitochondria to regenerate ATP from ADP.
The study carried out on the reduced AGAT levels found in heart failure patients indicates the importance of glycine to heart health. Without a good supply of glycine, there will insufficient creatine produced biochemically to generate the phosphate needed to for the ATP to produce the energy required to keep the heart pumping with the required strength. The energy provided by the mitochondria is used locally by the cells in which it is produced, and within a few seconds of that production. As explained earlier, ATP stores are used up within 2 - 5 seconds, and glycogen stores within another 4 - 6 seconds.
That is why sprinters cannot keep running at maximum speed for more than around 10 seconds or so, because the immediate availability of glycine, and hence creatine, are insufficient to last longer than that. That is one reason why they have to finish those 100 meters as fast as possible, because otherwise they would run out of energy. Other than trying to win, of course!
However, when it comes to the heart, ATP stores are essential, and the cells in your heart require a constant supply of ATP from creatine, which itself depends upon your intake or biosynthesis of glycine. Since dietary sources are insufficient to meet all your needs, and destroyed by cooking, a glycine supplement is the only way to ensure a sufficient intake. You cannot undernourish your heart and remain healthy.
ATP biosynthesis is essential if that of glycine theoretically is not, but the fact that 50% of your glycine requirement has to be produced by your body and the other 50% is sensitive to heat during cooking, a supplement of glycine could be essential to many people.
Lutein 20mg (FloraGlo)
September 26, 2008 03:49 PM
Maintains Healthy Visual Function*
It has been well established that lutein is present in high concentrations in the retinal tissue of the human eye. However, a study was conducted in human volunteers to determine whether taking lutein in supplement form actually increased the density of the carotenoid pigments present in the macula. In this study of eight individuals, researchers estimated the density of the macular pigments prior to having each individual take 10 mg of lutein daily in supplement form for 12 weeks. Plasma lutein concentrations were measured at 4-week intervals. During the first four weeks of the study, plasma levels increased five-fold from pre-supplement measures, and then remained at this level for the duration of the study. It was also shown that, due to increased deposition of lutein in optical tissues, macular pigment density increased by an average of 5.3% at the 4-week mark, and continued to increase until the duration of the study.1
A study was also conducted to investigate the possible role of specific nutrients in protecting the lens of the eye against aging, a risk factor for compromised visual function. The study was comprised of 376 individuals aged from 18 to 75. Of the nutrients measured, it was found that the lenses of individuals with higher concentrations of lutein and zeaxanthin showed less of an effect from the aging process. The investigators concluded that these carotenoids might play a protective role in supporting the maintenance of healthy vision.2
The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) was a landmark study of the effects of diet and antioxidant supplementation on eye health. The study enrolled over 3500 subjects aged 55 to 80 years who were followed for approximately 6 years. Among the data collected in this multi-faceted study was a self-administered Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ). The AREDS Report No. 22 examined the data from the FFQs and determined that, of the nutrients evaluated, only lutein and zeaxanthin were directly related to maintaining eye health with statistical significance3. These findings corroborated similar results of an earlier multi-center study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association that also found that those with a higher intake of lutein and zeaxanthin maintained healthier eye function.4 These promising results have spurred the design of a second major clinical trial (AREDS2), which is currently enrolling participants to study the impact of supplemental xanthophylls (FloraGLO® Lutein and zeaxanthin) and other nutrients on age-related eye health.5
In addition, a double-blind placebo controlled trial was performed in ninety individuals who had signs of compromised visual function. Individuals were divided into three groups and received either 10 mg FloraGLO® lutein, 10 mg FloraGLO® lutein plus a multivitamin/multimineral formulation, or placebo for 12 months. In both the FloraGLO® lutein and FloraGLO® lutein plus other nutrients groups, improvements were seen in mean eye macular pigment optical density, visual acuity and contrast sensitivity. No improvements were noted in the placebo group.6 These results demonstrate FloraGLO® lutein’s beneficial effect on maintaining healthy visual function.
Newly published research has demonstrated that lutein and zeaxanthin supplementation may enhance visual performance under glare conditions. Forty healthy subjects took daily doses of 10 mg FloraGLO® Lutein plus 2 mg zeaxanthin for six months. They were evaluated for changes in macular pigment, glare disability and photostress recovery at the onset of the study, and at 1, 2, 4 and six months. After six months, subjects experienced an average increase in macular pigment optical density (MPOD) of 39% compared to baseline, and all but two participants experienced some increase in MPOD. This increase in MPOD was also directly related to measured improvements in visual performance after exposure to bright light, as well as photostress recovery.7 This study suggests another way in which lutein and zeaxanthin can help support optimal visual function in healthy individuals.
Potent Antioxidant Protection*
Most of the beneficial effects of lutein are ascribed to its potent free radical scavenging abilities. It is well-known that lutein is a carotenoid related to beta-carotene and possesses antioxidant activity against a number of reactive oxygen species.8
More direct evidence for the free radical scavenging activity of lutein is found in studies of its effects on human lens epithelial cells. Cell cultures were exposed to ultraviolet light after pretreatment with lutein or alpha-tocopherol. Both nutrients were found to reduce ultraviolet-induced damage to lens epithelial cells. However, lutein was shown to have significantly higher photoprotective activity than alpha-tocopherol9 demonstrating its potential as a high-powered antioxidant.
A further review of the mechanisms of lutein in conferring a protective role reveals evidence for its antioxidant activity in various body tissues. Lutein has been shown to be an effective antioxidant in vitro as well as in experimental models of a number of body systems.10
Supports Healthy Skin*
A recent randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled study has demonstrated the positive effects of oral and topical administration of lutein on skin health parameters (surface lipids, hydration, photoprotective activity, skin elasticity and skin lipid peroxidation). Forty female subjects were divided into four treatment groups. Treatment options included oral administration of 5 mg of FloraGLO® Lutein twice daily or placebo and topical administration of 50 ppm FloraGLO® Lutein twice daily or placebo. Each treatment group received either an active oral treatment with a placebo topical treatment, a placebo oral treatment with an active topical treatment, both active treatments, or both placebo treatments. Statistically significant improvements were seen in all five parameters tested in all treatment groups compared to the group receiving only placebos. The greatest overall improvements were seen in the group receiving both active oral and topical treatments, while lesser but still significant improvement was seen in both the active oral only and the active topical only groups. Additionally, oral administration of lutein conferred superior photoprotective activity (as measured by skin surface redness after exposure to ultraviolet light) and prevention of lipid peroxidation (as indicated by levels of malondialdehyde in skin lipids after exposure to ultraviolet light) than either topical lutein or placebo.11
Diverse Cinical Benefits*
Evidence from various experimental trials suggests that lutein may play a protective role on the circulatory and cardiovascular systems. Its antioxidant activity may also extend to the heart, skin, lungs and blood vessels, making it a nutrient with diverse clinical benefits. Lutein possesses the ability to promote the health of many body tissues.12
Suggested Adult Use: One softgel daily with food, or as directed by a health care professional.
Does Not Contain: milk, egg, wheat, sugar, sweeteners, starch, salt, or preservatives.
1. Berendschot TT, et al. Influence of lutein supplementation on macular pigment, assessed with two objective techniques. Invest Opthalmol Vis Sci. 2000 Oct; 41(11): 3322-6.
2. Berendschot TT, et al. Lens aging in relation to nutritional determinants and possible risk factors for age-related cataract. Arch Opthalmol. 2002 Dec; 120(12): 1732-7.
3. Age-Related Eye Disease Study Research Group. The relationship of dietary carotenoid and vitamin A, E, and C intake with age-related macular degeneration in a case-control study: AREDS Report No. 22. Arch Ophthalmol. 2007 Sep; 125(9): 1225-32.
4. Seddon JM, et al. Dietary Carotenoids, Vitamins A, C, and E, and Advanced Age-Related Macular Degeneration. JAMA. 1994 Nov; 272(18):1413-1420.
5. www.nei.nih.gov/neitrials/viewStudyWeb.aspx?id=120. Clinical Studies Database. Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS2). Last Updated 2/28/2008. Viewed 5/15/2008.
6. Richer S, et al. Double-masked, placebo-controlled, randomized trial of lutein and antioxidant supplementation in the intervention of atrophic age-related macular degeneration: the Veterans LAST study (Lutein Antioxidant Supplementation Trial). Optometry. 2004 Apr; 75(4): 216-230.
7. Stringham JM and Hammond BR. Macular pigment and visual performance under glare conditions. Optom Vis Sci. 2008 Feb; 85(2):82-8.
8. “Lutein and Zeaxanthin”. PDR Health. www.gettingwell.com/drug_info/nmdrugprofiles/nutsupdrugs/lut_0164.shtml
9. Chitchumroonchokchai C, et al. Xanthophylls and alpha-tocopherol decrease UVB-induced lipid peroxidation and stress signaling in human lens epithelial cells. J Nutr. 2004 Dec; 134(12): 3225-32.
10. Krinsky NI. Possible biologic mechanisms for a protective role of xanthophylls. J Nutr. 2002; 132: 540S-542S.
11. Palombo P, et al. Beneficial Long-Term Effects of Combined Oral/Topical Antioxidant Treatment with the Carotenoids Lutein and Zeaxanthin on Human Skin: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study. Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2007; 20: 199-210.
12. Mares-Perlman JA, et al. The body of evidence to support a protective role for lutein and zeaxanthin in delaying chronic disease. Overview. J Nutr. 2002; 132: 518S-524S.
Fiber For Better Health
July 11, 2008 12:27 PM
We have been told that we must eat a certain amount of fiber with our meals because it is ‘good for us’. Most of us have been led to believe that this is because fiber promotes bowel motions and prevents us from suffering from constipation. It is also good for our digestive system. But how true is this, and just what are the real benefits of fiber in our diet?
First of what, what is fiber? Sure, we know there must be fiber in food such as cabbage, beans and celery because we can see it. But is all fiber actually fibrous? Of course not, so let’s first have a close look at what dietary fiber actually is.
Fiber is composed of these parts of a plant that are broken down by the action of enzymes in our digestive juices in the upper parts of our intestinal tract. Some fiber can be digested by the bacteria in our lower intestine, and some is not. So where does fiber come from? By that definition, fiber can be any part of your food, not only the stringy bits, and by definition are of vegetable origin.
Water insoluble fibers increase fecal bulk. That’s the stringy stuff in celery and string beans. It is also contained in cellulose materials, lignin, wheat bran, whole grains and most vegetables. These have the effect of increasing the efficiency of the peristaltic movement of the intestine on the passage of chyme (the creamy fluid that exits the stomach into the duodenum) through your system.
The liquid and nutrients are progressively removed, and the fiber maintains the bulk needed for peristalsis to work properly. Peristalsis is the rhythmic movement of the intestine that forces your food right from your stomach to your rectum. It is also the basis of some forms of industrial pump that operate on the same principle. Without fiber this pump would be inefficient.
Soluble fiber includes the gum and pectin that are obtained from plant cells. They swell up the chyme, and slow down its rate of travel through the gastrointestinal system, although they have no effect on fecal bulk. Specific examples are oat bran, fruit and most vegetables (all plants contain both). A peach, for example, consists of a skin which is insoluble fiber, and the juicy pulp beneath it which is predominantly soluble fiber.
Although a distinction is made between dietary and crude fiber, they both have their part to play. The term ‘fiber’ is a wide one and it cannot be said that fiber as a whole imparts a specific health benefit. The benefits of fiber are a combination of those imparted by the full range of types of fiber and their sources that are contained in the human diet, both crude and dietary, soluble and insoluble.
So what specifically are these benefits, other than just the generalization that they are ‘good for your intestinal health’? As you likely know, it is the fiber in your diet that binds your feces together into a solid, rather than leaving it as a mobile liquid. Although around 75% of feces are liquid, the bulk of the rest is fiber, bacteria and undigested food.
Since insoluble fiber makes feces bulkier and softer it can help treat constipation, where the stool has an excess of solid content. Any substance that absorbs water and swells can help with this condition. The same is true of hemorrhoids and a condition of the wall of the intestine known as diverticulosis. Once the inflammation has subsided, a high soluble fiber diet can help prevent a recurrence.
If you want to lose weight, a fiber diet can make you feel full without the calories, since fiber is calorie-free. There is also the fact that high fiber foods have to be chewed longer before they can be swallowed, and so you are liable to eat less in the same time. However, if you are determined, all that means is that you will have to lunch longer to get the same weight gain!
There is little doubt that a fiber-rich diet contributes significantly to intestinal health, and that if the correct amount of fiber is not taken then problems such as constipation, diarrhea, diverticulosis and a lack of absorption of nutrients will occur. The peristaltic pumping motion of the whole gastrointestinal tract, from the top of the throat to the anus, is dependent on solids rather than liquids. While a semi-liquid fecal consistency will pass through your body, it will take the bulk of the nutrition extracted from your food with it. It is fiber that is needed to bulk it up and to enable the liquid to be extracted through the intestinal wall and the fibrous solid to pass on through the colon to the anus.
There are other benefits of a diet high in fiber, though they generally depend on the type of fiber. Take cholesterol, for example. High LDL blood cholesterol levels are associated with atherosclerosis, and the consequent risk of heart disease and strokes, due to the oxidation of the LDL by free radicals. When the HDL lipids carry cholesterol back to the liver, it is destroyed by the action of bile acids. Since water soluble fiber binds bile acids, it figures that some types of fiber can promote the excretion of cholesterol from the body. The fiber most effective in achieving this comes from rolled oats and also pectin.
It has also been claimed that dietary fiber might be effective in preventing cancer of the colon. The theory is that bowel cancer is caused by toxins in the feces and if the fecal matter is expelled from the body quickly, the toxins will have less time to act. Fiber promotes the expulsion of the contents of the colon. This has not been confirmed, however.
What has been confirmed is that your bowel can collect mucoid plaque that sticks to mainly your colon, and is an ideal environment for parasites and yeast infections. The National Fiber Council has stated that most people do not eat enough fiber, and the average requirement is 38g a day for men and 25g a day for women.
So eat your fiber, because fiber can boost your intestinal health and wellness.
May 17, 2008 10:07 AM
Discovered by Phoebus Levene in 1905, D-ribose is a monosaccharide, and is a component of RNA that is needed for genetic transcription. It is a stereoisomer of ribose, and although not regarded as an essential nutrient since it is synthesized in the body, it is essential for life. It also takes part in human metabolism, helping to generate energy from food, and is a component of all living cells – animal or vegetable. It is contained in ATP and NADH and we could not live without it.
Because it is contained in all living organisms, D-ribose is a common component of the human diet, and required as a supplement only for specific needs. It for this reason that the human species developed and survived: the chemicals needed for life are either commonly found in nature or are manufactured by the body itself from other raw materials which themselves are common in our diet. The other stereoisomer is L-ribose, and this plays no part in human metabolism.
Energy is needed not only to enable us to walk and to run, but also to drive every part of human physiological activity, and all of the physical and chemical processes of life. Because of its nature energy cannot travel round the body in our bloodstream as if were a chemical entity, but must be released or generated where and when it is needed. For that reason every cell in our body contains an area called the mitochondria in which energy is generated. The molecule of energy, if there is such a thing, is called ATP, or adenosine triphosphate.
ATP controls the production of energy everywhere in the body, and allows muscles to contract and relax. This muscular activity is responsible for all movement, including the circulation of our blood through heart contractions, the diaphragm movement that creates the vacuum that allows us to breathe, and the operation of the digestive system by means of the peristaltic motion of the esophagus and the intestines. Each of the two ways in which ATP is generated involves D-ribose.
One is by means of D-ribose being used to produce new ATP, and the other is the recycling of used ATP. In the latter, D-ribose and ATP react to form ADP (adenosine diphosphate and D-ribose-5-phosphate with the release of energy. This diphosphate then reacts again with the ADP to produce new ATP and D-ribose. The reaction is catalyzed by an enzyme known as a ribokinase, a phosphotransferase that specifically catalyzes reactions involving phosphorus groups with an alcohol receptor group.
The heart muscle is operated by means of the calcium pump that depends upon both calcium and ATP for its operation. When ADP and phosphate are created by the effect of calcium and ATP coming together, then energy is provided to the muscle fibers of the heart. ADP then reacts with the phosphate and D-ribose in the presence of magnesium to reform the ATP. ATP is therefore essential for the continuation of the pumping action of the heart that maintains life in all mammals.
D-ribose is also part of the base of RNA and DNA, without which there could be no life. Because the cardiac muscle is easily depleted of ATP, the presence of D-ribose is of extreme importance and it has been proved that cardiac failure begins with the reduction in energy levels of the heart muscle that can be brought about by a lack of ATP in the muscle cells.
An important property of D-ribose is that it is unchanged by the liver, which is the chemical plant of your body in which a large part of the biochemistry needed for life takes place. This means that D-ribose can be taken in the diet and pass through the liver virtually unchanged, and then be transported in the bloodstream to where it is needed for the maintenance of ATP levels. That is why D-ribose is frequently given to treat heart attacks: because it can rapidly replace lost ATP and enable the calcium pump to get to work and keep the heart beating at its normal strength. Maintenance levels of this important sugar would not go amiss.
However, there are other uses to which the body can put this marvelous substance. Among these is the body’s ability to form Coenzyme A from it. This coenzyme is needed in the body for the breakdown of fatty acids, and many other chemical reactions, and also provides the raw material for many other necessary substances in human biochemistry.
Patients with low energy levels can frequently fail to be able to recover from illness. This is because that when illness stresses your body, your mitochondria become overwhelmed with work and begin to fail to produce sufficient ATP to keep the body going. Naturally, as your energy level drops, and your body cells are unable to respond to this, then the condition you are suffering from gets worse, and become stronger leading ultimately to possible death. Your immune system is put under a great deal of stress that uses up what little ATP you have left.
That is why when people start to get really ill, they tend to fade very rapidly: not because of the spread of the disease, but through a reduction in the ATP needed to provide the energy required for the body to fight the disease. Without an adequate supply of energy, your body would rapidly fade.
By taking a D-ribose supplement that passes unchanged right into your bloodstream and taken to where it is needed most, you body can rapidly generate sufficient ATP to keep up the fight against the agent that is making you ill. Your immune system is given a massive energy boost, and more importantly, your heart is kept beating. D-ribose is the answer to the prayer of many sick people, and also to athletes and bodybuilders needing quick bursts of energy. But what did they use before D-ribose was discovered to have the properties that it has?
At one time, it was adenosine monophosphate (that’s right, not ATP or ADP, but AMP) that was administered intravenously to those suffering from chronic fatigue, this substance being synthesized to ATP in the body over a period of time. However, it take a lot of time to be effective, and the injections had to be made daily into the muscle tissue, so it fell out of favor.
Then came an ATP supplement that could be taken orally, but the side effects were unpleasant, and that too went out of favor. However, towards the end of the 1990’s D-ribose was found to overcome all of these disadvantages, and not only be able to be taken orally, but also to work almost immediately by providing the mitochondria with a direct source of the sugar they need to generate energy.
It is now one of the most popular energy providing supplements on the market, and also a remedy for chronic fatigue that helps the patient to overcome energy-sapping medical conditions both directly and by providing the immune system with the energy needed to keep it operating effectively against masses of invading bacteria and viruses. There is nothing better than D-ribose for providing you with the energy boost that you need, whenever you require it, either to provide energy for your sport or to help you overcome illness.
Health And Applications Of Coenzyme Q10
April 17, 2008 02:57 PM
Coenzyme Q10 is a critical cofactor in the biological energy process. It is a powerful antioxidant and plays a vital role in our health and wellness. Coenzyme Q10 is involved in many disease states, consuming adequate coenzyme Q10 can ensure that one maintains good health which can reduce the risk of chronic disease such as the ones listed below:
Many prescription drugs can cause Coenzyme Q10 to deplete especially statin drugs (cholesterol meds). Beta blocking drugs and anti-diabetic drugs can also leach the body of vital Coenzyme Q10 which could lead to the above diseases if left un-checked over time.
Blue Green Algae a Super Food that is Foods Packed With Nutrients. Vegetarian Friendly
April 11, 2008 11:24 AM
In the USA it is harvested in Oregon, in the upper regions of the Upper Klamath Lake, although it is also available in many other parts of the world. Blue green algae are about the best source of vegetable protein and amino acids available to the human diet, although are now generally used as a supplement rather than as a primary food source.
However, in spite of its name, it is not an alga at all: it is a bacterium: Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA), known as cyanobacteria, after the Greek for blue. Nevertheless, bacteria or not, blue green algae offer exceptional nutritional benefits and also health benefits to people suffering from certain conditions. Here are the best of its benefits:
1. It is natural and therefore easily assimilated and digested. You get a very high useful yield from its nutrient content, unlike other foods where a large proportion can be passed through the gut unchanged. In fact a large proportion of the food you eat passes through your body unchanged, although that is mainly due to a lack of chewing!
2. It is very high in protein, and helps to maintain healthy hair, nails and skin. If you are on a vegetation diet this is an ideal source of non-animal protein (unless you class bacteria as animals!). If you want numbers, at least 60% of the solid content of this material is vegetable protein human-ready for use.
3. It is packed full of enzymes that aid digestion, and so ensures that not only is it itself fully digested, but also that you get the most nutritional benefit from any other foods you eat. A lack of enzymes is very common in the western diet, especially the North American diet, and if you take a regular supply of blue green algae, then you need not also take enzyme capsules.
4. It possesses cleansing and detoxifying properties, and so helps to reduce the incidence of headaches and allow you better and more restful sleep. Toxins can act on your body to cause pain, and is associated with the free radicals discussed below.
5. It is very high in antioxidants that destroy the free radicals in your blood and tissues. Free radicals destroy body cells and can seriously damage your health. Among the health benefits that blue green algae provide due to its antioxidant properties are:
a) It supports the immune system and helps to prevent inflammation in your joints. It also enables you to fight off bacterial and viral infections quicker. b) It maintains the integrity of your body and skin cells, and reduces cell damage by free radicals. This has an anti-aging effect and preserves the youthful appearance of your skin, resisting wrinkling and maintaining its firmness. c) Blue green algae help to prevent the free radical oxidation of the LDL lipids that transport cholesterol that cause the atherosclerosis that can lead to heart attacks and strokes.
6. It provides you with energy through its effect on your body’s metabolic conversion of blood glucose to energy within the mitochondria. This is partially due to its antioxidant effect and partially to the nutritional content of the bacteria. The bacteria are also a rich source of glycogen that is your body’s store of emergency energy. Your liver can use the bacteria to biosynthesize its own store of glycogen that your body can use if called upon for a sudden burst of energy.
7. The amino acids it contains are of low molecular size, and can cross the blood-brain barrier. It provides nutrition to the brain, and its high chlorophyll content helps to purify the blood. Its high content of trace minerals and naturally chelated minerals renders them extremely bioavailable, and able to provide a high degree of nutrition to the brain and other organs of the body. Blue green algae contain rhamnose that helps nutrients to cross from the blood to the brain, and then to the brain cells that need it.
8. Blue green algae have been shown to help memory and mood. This is likely due at least in part to its fatty acid content, and its effect on serotonin levels.
These eight benefits are more than any other individual food source can provide, and in themselves justify the claim that blue green algae is the best individual food source there is. However, when we have a look at the active ingredients, and nutritional content of the bacteria, then it seems even more impressive. There is more to blue green algae than just a few vitamins and minerals. You can get these in any multivitamin supplement: this stuff is completely natural and all of its ingredients are completely compatible with the human digestive system.
Many of the synthetic vitamins you find in boxes and tubs are only partially absorbed due to the form they are in. Either that or they need the presence of other substances before they can be assimilated. An example is calcium, which is next to useless without magnesium and vitamin C also being present to allow it to be incorporated in the structure of the bones and teeth. With blue green algae, every combination of substances that nature needs for them to work properly is there. Everything gets used and everything has a role to play.
The amino acids and proteins have already been mentioned, and these unusual bacteria contain all of the trace minerals that are necessary for the amino acids and proteins to be properly used. It also contains a large quantity of beta-carotene (a natural Vitamin A precursor and strong anti-oxidant), and is also rich in Vitamin B-12 that most vegetarians are deficient in. It is therefore the perfect food for vegetarians and vegans.
If you understand the health benefits of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, which blue green algae are also rich in, then you will understand how a foodstuff containing these fatty acids and all of the other nutritional substances listed above could be regarded as a ‘Superfood’.
Blue green algae is probably the richest food available commercially to humans, but before you use it you should ensure that the content of blue algae in the supplement you purchase is clear and that you are purchasing a standardized amount in what you are purchasing.
Otherwise, it is difficult to see how anybody could go wrong with blue green algae, since it is indisputably an excellent source of protein, amino acids, vitamins and much, much more.
The Benefits of Ascorbyl Palmitate A Fat-Soluble Form of Ascorbic Acid
February 09, 2008 10:43 AM
The benefits of ascorbyl palmitate are due to the substance being a fat-soluble form of ascorbic acid which is otherwise known as vitamin C. Before discussing why being fat-soluble should be of benefit, let us first have a look at what vitamin C does for us and what its limitations are.
Most people know vitamin C as the vitamin that prevents us from getting scurvy, and that limes and other citrus fruits were given to sailors to prevent them from contracting this often fatal disease on long journeys. However, important though the protection it provides against scurvy is, there are many more important uses for this important vitamin. In fact some of them are closely connected to the symptoms of scurvy.
Among these are pains and swelling in the joints, and the loosening of teeth and hair loss. Scurvy is also associated with easy bruising and bleeding. All of these can be associated with loss of collagen, which is contained in connective tissues, bone and blood vessels. Collagen repairs and maintains cartilage, heals wounds and is essential for proper skin formation and the structure of ligaments, tendons, blood vessels, bones, hair and teeth. When we consider that one of the most important properties of vitamin C is the part it plays in the production of collagen in the body, then its effectiveness in alleviating the symptoms of scurvy is not difficult to understand.
Vitamin C is also a strong antioxidant that destroys free radicals that kill and severely damage body cells, and cause a large variety of undesirable conditions such as atherosclerosis and cancers, and also debilitating and painful inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. Many free radicals are formed in the body as by-products of our metabolism: the generation of energy from fats and blood glucose. Others are ingested in the form of cigarette smoke and other toxins, while yet other free radicals are caused by the effect of sunlight on our skins. Natural antioxidants such as vitamins A, C and E help to keep these free radicals under control and minimize their effect.
Another interesting property of vitamin C is in the synthesis of carnetine, a deficiency of which is also thought to contribute to scurvy. Carnetine is needed by the body to transport fat to the cellular mitochondria so that it can be converted to energy. Vitamin C is also believed to take part in the biochemistry that converts cholesterol to bile acids and so helps to maintain a healthy level of cholesterol in the blood.
The vitamin is therefore a very useful one for the body, but it has one fault. It is water soluble, and hence cannot be stored in the body but is expelled in the urine. Had it been fat soluble it could have been able to be stored in the body fats, in the same way that vitamins A and E are, and be available for use when required. Instead any excess that is not immediately used is lost, and a fresh intake of ascorbic acid necessary on a continuous basis.
Not only that, but it is only of use in areas of the body that the blood can reach. Fatty tissue is practically devoid of vitamin C, and many areas of the brain cannot be reached by substances that are insoluble in oils and fats. It also finds it difficult to penetrate the skin and the walls of body cells. This is where the benefits of ascorbyl palmitate are useful.
Ascorbyl palmitate is a fat-soluble form of vitamin C and possesses all of the attributes of ascorbic acid. It is more easily absorbed by the body and can be stored in the membranes of the cells until needed. It is also a powerful antioxidant, the same as vitamin C, and is frequently used to prevent the oxidation of vegetables oils, such as on potato chips and other oily snacks. It also takes part in the biochemistry of the production of collagen and connective tissues.
The usefulness of this substance comes from not only from its amphoteric nature, whereby it has one end that is water soluble and another that is fat soluble, but also by the fact that it is also amphipathic, meaning that it prefers neither one medium nor the other, and tends to collect at phase boundaries, between oil and water phases. It is particularly effective in topical uses on the skin, because it is easily absorbed into the skin tissue, and more stable than some of the other forms of vitamin C. It is also believed to protect other fat soluble antioxidants such as vitamin E from oxidation, and also to help to protect blood cell membranes from free radical attack.
Although vitamin C is a very powerful vitamin, carrying out a multitude of tasks, ascorbyl palmitate has some advantages over it apart from the solubility difference. Its antioxidant properties are stronger than those of regular ascorbic acid and in fact rival those even of vitamin E, which it also helps to regenerate after its reaction with free radicals, and help to maintain a continuous supply of this powerful antioxidant.
It is also a chemically neutral form of the vitamin, and unlike regular ascorbic acid, does not cause inflammation of the tissues it comes into contact with. It can also reduce sunburn due to excessive exposure to UVB when applied to the skin, and is a very stable form of the vitamin. Ascorbyl palmitate also acts as an anti-inflammatory with certain conditions, such as psoriasis where topical application helped to reduce the extent of the lesions. In fact it appears to do most of what vitamin C does, but faster and with smaller doses.
So why is ascorbyl palmitate not used as the main form of vitamin C in supplements? The answer is money. Ascorbyl palmitate is considerably more expensive than regular vitamin C, and also normal ascorbic acid has some properties that the fat-soluble form does not have, such as its ability to rapidly pass through the body in the bloodstream.
However, it would make sense to take a supplement consisting of both forms of vitamin C, and so combine the best properties of each. Any vitamin C supplement that is designed for maximum effect on the body should contain at least 25% of ascorbyl palmitate, the balance being ascorbic acid. That is what to look for if you are to receive the combined benefits of both water and fat soluble vitamin C.
Artichoke Promotes Healthy Fat Digestion and Metabolism
January 30, 2008 10:37 PM
In discussing the health benefits of the artichoke, and the way it promotes healthy fat digestion and metabolism, we are talking here about the true artichoke: the globe artichoke. The alternative Jerusalem artichoke is not an artichoke at all, but a member of the sunflower family. The globe artichoke is a type of thistle.
It is in fact a perennial thistle that originated in the Mediterranean area and is now cultivated world wide. The edible portions are the lower parts of the bracts and the base of the buds, known as the heart while the inedible portion in the center of the bud is known as the ‘choke’. Globe artichokes were introduced to the USA in the 19th century by French and Spanish immigrants who settled in Louisiana and California respectively. Contrary to popular opinion its name did not come from the ‘heart’ and the ‘choke’, but from the Arabic for ground thorn: ‘ardi shauki’.
In today’s world of fast foods, a high consumption of fats and red meat and excessive alcohol consumption, your liver is put under a great strain. Its main function is as a chemical factory, to produce the chemicals, such as enzymes and other proteins, needed to maintain life and also to metabolise the nutrients we need from the food we eat. If you overtax your liver it will not work as it should, which results in poor digestion and assimilation of the nutrients in your food and an increase in the toxins in your blood.
You will feel tired and run down, with digestion problems and many other health complaints. Liver abuse can result in malnutrition, which also results in cirrhosis which is not curable. You should seriously appraise your diet, and identify the eating and drinking habits that are causing the problem, and give your liver a rest. Artichoke extract is a great liver tonic, and your liver will respond well to a break from alcohol and fatty foods, and a course of artichoke leaves and extract.
The main active ingredient of the artichoke is cynarine (1,5-dicaffeylquinic acid), a substance that stimulates the production of bile, and hence renders the artichoke an excellent starter for any meal. This is yet another example of science finding a logical reason for people eating artichokes for centuries in order to promote the health of their liver and digestive system. It is not only for its cynarine content that the globe artichoke is useful, however, but also the luteolin and chlorogenic acids that it contains.
The stimulation of bile production by the cynarine is one the more important of the effects of artichoke on your well being. Bile emulsifies fats and renders them into an easily digested form. Most of the digestive chemicals are water soluble, and without this emulsification of the fat with water then most of the fats we consume would pass through the body unchanged. We would the vats majority of the fat soluble nutrients in our food, including vitamins A, D, E and K.
Bile enables us to digest fats and to absorb vitamins from our food, and also promotes the general health of our digestive system. It is biosynthesized in the liver from various enzymes and triglycerides and then stored in the gall bladder until needed. Its use is prompted by the presence of fats in the system, and this is stimulated by the cynarine in the artichoke leaves.
Its ability to improve bile flow has been recognized by scientist’s world wide, and artichoke juice has been used by the French for many years as a liver tonic. However, it is not just for the liver and the digestive system that artichokes are useful in maintaining good health. They also have an effect on the cholesterol levels in your blood. This is believed to be due to the inhibition of the activity of enzyme HMG CoA Reductase that helps the liver to generate cholesterol. Inhibiting the activity of this enzyme reduces the amount of cholesterol produced.
This can have the effect of reduced the possibility of you developing atherosclerosis, a condition caused by deposition of low density lipid (LDL) cholesterol through the effect of free radical oxidation of the lipid. The less cholesterol to be transported by your blood, then the lower levels of the low density lipid needed to do this. This effect is also possibly due to the fact that bile is formed from cholesterol and triglycerides, and so stimulated bile production would possibly leave less cholesterol in the bloodstream.
Artichoke also possesses antioxidant properties that would contribute even further to this effect by preventing the oxidation of the LDL by free radicals. These free radicals, formed in the body both naturally and by the effects of pollutants such as pesticides, cigarette smoke and traffic fumes, are destroyed by antioxidants. In atherosclerosis the LDL lipids are oxidised and deposited under the surface cells of the blood vessels, and are then digested by certain blood cells forming a hard fatty deposit that can eventually block the arteries affected.
The result can be a heart attack or a stroke, depending on where in the body the blood vessels are affected, and if the cholesterol levels in the body are decreased through it being used to produce bile, then the concentration of LDL lipids used to transport it will also be reduced and the condition will be less likely to occur..
Apart from the liver, the gall bladder is also given a boost by artichoke because that is where bile is stored, and a regular flow to and from the gall bladder maintains its health. The only thing you should be aware of if is that if you are prone to gallstones then the increase in bile flow could cause the stones to be stuck in the bile duct. You should therefore refer to your physician before embarking on a course of artichoke extract if you have a propensity to develop gallstones.
Apart from the phytonutrients already discussed, the globe artichoke also contains a good supply of fiber and minerals such as potassium, iron, calcium and phosphorus, and also some trace elements that your body needs. It is therefore more than just a bile stimulant, but provides a wide range off essential nutrition to your body. It is know to aid conditions such as gout, high blood sugar, and digestive complaints such as flatulence, bloating and abdominal cramps.
Apart from cooking and eating the tender parts of the leaves, or bracts, you can make an infusion of the parts that you don’t eat. Chop up the tougher leaves and pour boiling water over them as if making tea. Leave it to infuse for a few minutes and then drink. Honey can be used to take away the bitter taste; honey rather than sugar due to its greater nutritional content.
Build Healthier Skin With Antioxidant Rich Skin Moisturizing Lotions
November 02, 2007 04:32 PM
Antioxidant rich skin moisturizing lotions can help you to build healthier skin, since they can help to allow the appearance of the fine lines that eventually develop into the wrinkles that you dread.
Most people think about caring for their skin more in the summer when the sun is hot than in the colder winter months, but cold can also dry out your skin since you tend to sweat less. However, the summer brings with it the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun to a greater or lesser degree depending on your climate. Tough leathery skin is generally associated with skin neglect by white skinned people in the hotter areas of the world such as Australia and the southern parts of Florida and California.
You should look after your skin since it is important to you. It not only keeps everything inside that should be kept inside, but also generates vitamin D and contains the temperature control system that your body relies upon. Elephants flap their ears, dogs pant and humans sweat! Without your skin you would be in a bad way, so you should look after it. If you don’t keep it supple it gets dry and hard, wrinkled, itchy and can crack, into which the bugs and viruses needed to make you ill can enter.
All of this occurs when your skin loses its moisture. In order to keep it in tip top condition, and keep yourself looking young and attractive, you should keep it moist through the use of artificial moisturizers if necessary. So why does your skin dry out and how do moisturizers work to help overcome the effects of drying?
In fact the major problems that occur with your skin due to exposure to sun in the summer have nothing to do with drying out. Your skin actually does, as suggested above, become more affected by dryness in the winter when the relative humidity is low. It is in winter that you have to use lip moisturizer because of dry and cracked lips, not summer. However, summer has its dangers, even more than winter.
It is the UV radiation from the sun that damages your skin and can ultimately lead to skin cancer. The UVA and UVB radiation are at different wavelengths and have different effects. The combination, however, causes wrinkles, skin disorders when aging, premature aging, and dry leathery skin. Part of this is believed to be due to the breakdown of the collagen in the skin that maintains its elasticity, free radical damage and inhibition of the immune system.
When UV radiation breaks down collagen it causes the accumulation of abnormal tissue. When this builds up, enzymes are produced that are intended to repair the collagen, but sometimes it does not work properly and produces a disorganized and random accumulation of collagen fibers that eventually result in wrinkles.
Free radicals are chemicals that have a free electron available, rather than having all electrons in pairs as in stable compounds. It is therefore unstable and will steal an electron from healthy tissue and so damage the cell that it takes it from. Eventually, the cells die and genetic material within the cells can be altered. This can cause wrinkling of the skin and underlying tissues or even cancer by changing the DNA and RNA contained within the cell.
The final defense of the body against cell damage is paradoxically apoptosis, which is suicide by the damaged cells to prevent them becoming cancerous. This is what you see when your skin peels after sunburn – it is deliberate action on behalf of the cells of your skin sacrificing themselves to save the body as a whole. UV exposure can prevent this from occurring which is why it can lead to some forms of skin cancer.
However, it is the action of oxidants on the skin that cause most damage. The so-called drying out of skin is largely due to oxidant damage more so than to loss of moisture. The sweat glands in your skin can produce lots of moisture, but nothing can be done about free radicals other than provide the help of antioxidants to kill them off. Antioxidants destroy free radicals with glee, and hunt them down wherever they are. The common antioxidants in your body are vitamins A, C and especially the powerful vitamin E. That is why so many skin creams contain vitamin E, and sometimes also vitamin A.
However, there are many more antioxidants than these. Astaxanthin is one. ‘Asta what?’ I can hear you say, and I am not surprised. It is not very common in health stores, but has been approved by the FDA and in Europe as a food colorant. It is a terpene carotenoid, though does not break down to vitamin A in the human metabolism as other carotenes do. It is claimed to be fifty times more powerful as an antioxidant than vitamin E and acts as an internal sunscreen in the skin by blocking the harmful effects of UV radiation at cellular level.
It is available naturally in krill, salmon, trout, crustaceans and some bird feathers, and is extracted from microalgae. Not all sources are palatable and it is best taken as a supplement, or to protect the skin, in a cream. Another super-antioxidant is pycnogenol. However, be aware of purchasing it under this trade name in the USA, since the term has been hijacked by others who are selling a different product under that name. The true chemical pycnogenol as named by Frenchman Dr. Masquelier is a very strong antioxidant: any others are mere imitations that are not the same product.
Chemically, pycnogenol is a proanthocyanidin, a flavanol extractable from grape seed or pine bark. Any product that comes from a different source cannot be pycnogenol. That said, the product is able to strengthen the skin and prevent wrinkles through its effect in scavenging free radicals. It stops the free radicals from destroying the cells of the skin and causing premature aging. Whether the chemical is extracted from pine bark or grape seed appears to make no difference. The chemicals are virtually identical, or should be if they are from the right form of pine bark.
The polyphenols in green tea also eradicate free radicals. They too are very strong antioxidants, just one of the remarkable properties of this plant. However, none of these will be of much help unless specifically applied to the skin. If taken internally, they will do a great job of mopping up free radicals in the blood, but very little will actually reach the skin.
In order to build healthier skin, you will have to use antioxidant rich skin moisturizing lotions that apply moisture to your skin, but more importantly also apply these powerful antioxidants. If you really want to maintain good looking wrinkle-free supple skin in sunny climates, then look for one or more of the above substances as an ingredient in your moisturizing lotion.
November 01, 2007 01:44 PM
Triphala is a traditional Indian ayurvedic remedy, that, as the name suggests, is actually composed of three different herbs or fruits. However, before describing the constituents, first an explanation of what ayurveda is and what it does.
Ayurveda is a science that is centuries old, and has been in use for at least five thousand years. Originating in prehistoric India, it is based upon the approach it takes in that all ills are caused by anomalies of the digestive system. All that exists on earth is believed to be composed of five elements (the pancha mahabhooota): earth (prithyi), fire (agni), water (jal), air (yayu) and ether (akash). The latter can be approximately described as space
Ayurveda combines these into three main doshas: Vata, a combination of the ether are air elements, Pitta, which is the same as the fire element, and Kapha that is a combination of the earth and water elements). Each of these has specific effects on the body, and when in equilibrium then the body is also in equilibrium.
Vata governs what is loosely described as movement in both the mind and body. An excess of vata leads to worries, anxiety, constipation and cramps of the stomach. It is responsible for waste elimination, flow of the blood, breathing and even movement of thought. Everything connected with movement in the body. It is believed to be expressed visibly and audibly as creativity and art and is believed also to be the initial cause of all disease and illness.
Pitta, the fire dosha, governs the metabolism and body heat. It is responsible for the way we digest our food and how we know right from wrong. An excess of pitta causes anger, ulcers, dyspepsia and criticism. If your pitta is balanced you are a good friend and warm personality.
Kapha provides and maintains the physical elements of the body, such as good joints, healing of wounds and strength. It maintains a strong heart and lungs, and everything physical. It promotes love and forgiveness, but also envy and greed. Too much in an individual causes lethargy, allergies, congestion and weight gain. It is also called the mucus humor.
The three fruits of triphala are amalaki, bhibitaki and haritaki, and together maintain these three doshas in balance. Amalaki, or amla, is used to treat an imbalance in the pitta, or fire humor. It is sour and is exceptionally rich in vitamin C and is therefore a strong anti-oxidant. It is the highest natural source of this vitamin. It is used as a tonic, for boosting the immune system and for its anti-aging properties. It is also a good adaptogen and has strong stomach acid neutralizing effects. It is therefore effective in reducing dyspepsia and in the treatment of gastric ulcers, and also possesses cholesterol-reducing properties. Amalaki provides the body with strength and is used in the treatment of disorders of the respiratory tract and any illness that creates burning sensations.
Bhibitaki, or bihara, is also useful in the treatment of respiratory disorders, and has a number of effects that are useful in treating digestive disorder. It deals with problems associated with the kapha or mucus humor. Thus, it possesses anti-mucal, laxative, astringent, digestive and anti-spasmodic properties, and is also a tonic and an expectorant and helps deal with allergies.
Haritaki, or haradaha, deals with diseases of the vata humor. It is very bitter with a strong antimicrobial and laxative effect on the digestive system, and is a rejuvenator that promotes long life and boosts the immune system of the body (though the scientific effect was unknown to the ancient exponents of ayurveda). It also possesses an astringent and lubricant effect and used to treat constipation, anxiety and stress.
When combined into triphala, the products are a popular treatment for all digestive disorders and is popularly used to cleanse the colon. It aids digestion, improves the metabolic processes involved and also aids abdominal pains, flatulence and eases conditions of the liver. It is useful in the treatment of what today are termed ulcerative colitis and irritable bowel syndrome. The ancient Indians were able to treat these conditions of the digestive systems without understanding what they were and what caused them.
Triphala is also widely used in the treatment of conjunctivitis and prevention of atherosclerosis. This is likely due to its antioxidant effect and the high level of ascorbic acid it contains. Its anti-inflammatory properties are also likely derived from the same source. These properties, and its effects as a tonic and cleanser, render it a popular treatment for many skin conditions. It is a multi-purpose treatment for a multitude of illnesses and conditions and has been used effectively for thousands of years.
Modern science has provided an explanation for most of these effects. Many of the conditions that triphala is effective in treating have been shown to be caused by excessive blood cholesterol and lipid levels. Many can be attributed to circulatory disorders caused by cholesterol build up in the arteries, or atherosclerosis. Some of the benefits of the three fruits are associated with the lowering of cholesterol and of blood pressure that benefits circulation.
Cholesterol build up and internal stress is associated with the consumption of hot spicy foods, the use of excessive stimulants and repression of the natural emotions. The way the body handles these is to produce corticosteroids that can contribute to cholesterol build up in the blood. Triphala can be used to reduce blood LDL cholesterol and increase the HDL lipoprotein that eliminates cholesterol from the body. Amla fruit has been shown to reduce serum and aortic cholesterol, and also increase cardiac glycogen that provides an energy source for the heart that can help prevent cardiac disease.
Bihara contains 35% oil of which 31% is linoleic that increases the good HDL cholesterol and reduces the bad LDL cholesterol. Harada has been found to reduce blood pressure and intestinal spasms, thus backing up its use for treating heart and intestinal conditions.
Triphala is a traditional ayurvedic herb that has many uses in cleansing the body that have been investigated and backed up by modern medical science. The mixture of the three fruits have strong anti-oxidant, anti-spasmodic and cholesterol reducing effects, and also possess laxative properties that can ease a large number of different physical and psychological health problems.
Liquid Calcium Magnesium – Proactive Support – Supports Optimal Bone Health*
July 06, 2007 02:14 PM
Liquid Calcium Magnesium – Proactive Support – Supports Optimal Bone Health*
Great taste, great compliance
Reduce the risk of osteoporosis with calcium*
1 Source: Paired Taste Preference Test, conducted 5/2/07. Leading Brand is identified as the top-selling liquid calcium magnesium supplement as identified by SPINS Calcium and Calcium Formula Subcategory report for 52 weeks ending 12-30-06; ttl US; Nat Prod Sprmkt Channel
Osteoporosis affects middle-aged and older persons. A lifetime of regular exercise and a healthy diet that concludes calcium builds and maintains good bone health and may reduce the risk of osteoporosis later in life. Daily intakes above 2,000 mg are not likely to provide any additional benefit to bone health.
Do you experience muscle pain and inflammation?
April 25, 2007 03:30 PM
Everyone experiences muscle pain and inflammation due to overuse and exertion. We’ve all had those softball games, weekend camping trips or chore-intensive days when our body lets us know we’ve overdone it.
So, what can you do about it? Well, fortunately, there is a proprietary formula with clinically studied ingredients that provides a natural solution: FlexAgility MAX.
FlexAgility MAX is designed to reduce pain and inflammation due to overuse. Its clinically studied ingredients have been shown to help balance the body’s own inflammatory response. Let’s take a look at FlexAgility MAX and answer a few questions you may have about it.
Q. What is inflammation? Why does it happen?
A. Inflammation is actually an essential part of your body’s natural healing process. When some form of physical stress affects the body, the immune system responds by supplying defensive compounds to the stressed site. This is what causes the fluid build-up, pain and redness we typically associate with inflammation. And until the situation is resolved those symptoms will stick around. So, why is that good? Because without these signals – pain and inflammation – we’d probably do even more damage. In a sense, pain and inflammation are very effective stop signs.
The problem is, if our bodies are continuously bombarded by factors that trigger inflammation, these defenders (and their symptoms) are always around. This can mean unnecessary pain and inflammation following overuse and exertion.
Q. What does FlexAgility MAX have to do with inflammation?
A. FlexAgility MAX provides triple-action activity against occasional pain and inflammation, with powerful antioxidant free-radical scavengers, the enzyme bromelain, and a natural COX-2 inhibitor.
Q. So what is COX-2 and why should I inhibit it?
A. We’ve all been hearing a lot in the news about COX-2 inhibition and may have wondered about its connection to pain and inflammation. Let’s take a look:
Cyclooxygenase is an enzyme that comes in two main types, abbreviated for convenience: COX-1 and COX-2. The COX enzymes regulate compounds involved with inflammation, including prostaglandins. COX-1 is found throughout the body, and maintains the integrity of the stomach lining, circulation and kidneys.
COX-2 on the other hand, cruises along the central nervous system – it’s much more attuned to our brain’s sense of “what hurts.” Primarily activated by inflammatory stress, COX-2 generates prostaglandins – the hormone-like defensive compounds that cause the responses we associate with pain and inflammation due to overuse.
You can understand why so much research has focused on COX-2 inhibition. Decreasing its activity means short-circuiting the “inflammation cascade” that follows occasional overuse.
Because COX-1 is associated with a healthy stomach lining, it is not an enzyme you want to inhibit. Unfortunately, many products don’t know the difference between COX-1 and COX-2 – filing both with one blast.
Fortunately, there are ingredients in FlexAgility MAX that can tell them apart. One of them is IsoOxygene.
IsoOxygene is a patented hops extract shown in scientific studies to significantly inhibit COX-2, while leaving COX-1 alone. And, it is a 20 times more potent COX-2 inhibitor than other tested popular botanic products, including curcumin and grape seed.
Q. How do antioxidants support the body during times of inflammation due to overuse?
A. Overall, the body ahs a pretty darn good repair system. However, oxidative stress due to free radical damage can take its toll, especially during times of occasional physical stress. Free radicals and reactive oxygen species can damage cells, because they are hungry, unstable molecules in search of electrons. To find them, they attack other cells. These pillaged cells then become free radicals themselves, setting off a chain reaction of oxidative stress.
Free radicals are formed during the body’s normal functions, and can have benefits, such as neutralizing viruses and bacteria. However, in doing do, they erode the body’s own antioxidant defenses, too. And, free radicals typically become very active during times of inflammation due to overuse or other stressors.
The good news is that the herbal and antioxidant elements in FlexAgility MAX help support the body’s own natural anti-inflammatory defenses.
Take vitamin C, for instance. This extremely well-known antioxidant has been scientifically studied for its beneficial effects on muscle, collagen and connective tissue health. Collagen and connective tissue is what helps hold us together – literally.
And famous antioxidant, green tea, has been well-studied for the benefits of a polyphenol called epigallocatechin-3-gallate, or simply EGCG. In scientific and clinical studies, EGCG from green tea works as an overall antioxidant, scavenging free radicals, and supporting healthy collagen. In fact, one study showed that green tea polyphenols supported collagen health by 50% versus only 16% in controls.
The green tea extract in FlexAgility MAX is especially focused on these beneficial polyphenols. It’s standardized to contain 70% polyphenols – half from EGCG. The green tea acts in concert with elderberry and ginger in the formula to help prevent oxidative stress to the body due to occasional overuse.
Anthocyanins are natural antioxidants found in berries and vegetables. Black elderberry extract, one of the herbal ingredients in FlexAgility MAX, was shown in scientific studies to be more bioavailable – that is, more readily used by the body – than the natural bioflavonoids of other plants. Again, antioxidants help keep the body in optimum health- especially during times of physical stress.
Ginger, used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine, provides strong, natural antioxidant activity. In fact, a recent scientific study found more than 50 separate antioxidants in ginger root.
Of course, there are many components of plants that show strong antioxidant properties. A scientific study comparing flavonoid antioxidant activity and inflammation have shown that rutin was the most effective in reducing the inflammation cascade.
Boswellia serrata is a tree found growing in the dry, hilly regions of
Another antioxidant ingredient in FlexAgility MAX, N-acetylcysteine (NAC), even helps the body produce more of its own antioxidants, cysteine and glutathione. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study, N-acetylcysteine inhibited occasional pain and inflammation due to overuse and attenuated fatigue by 26% compared to controls!
N-acetylcysteine has also been shown in scientific tests to act as an antioxidant, supporting healthy collagen and synovial fluid.
The last ingredient, bromelain, provides the enzymatic pathway used by FlexAgility MAX. Bromelain is a proteolytic enzyme derived from pineapple. Clinical and scientific studies showed benefits from bromelain in reducing pain and inflammation from occasional overuse.
So, there you have it- the triple action of FlexAgility MAX: COX-2 inhibition (and COX-1 sparing), antioxidant benefits, and enzyme support.
Q. Is there another product you’d recommend that I use with FlexAgility MAX?
A. One other product I recommend without hesitation is GS-500, a glucosamine sulfate supplement that has been shown to help build and support cartilage. The body’s connective tissue and cartilage include a natural compound called glucosamine. Supplemental glucosamine sulfate is up to 98% absorbable, so more glucosamine reaches the target structures. It has been clinically studied on its effect in building cartilage.
About Enzymatic Therapy:
Like Chris, Enzymatic Therapy is a trailblazer. Since our founding in 1981, we’ve been leading the industry with innovative natural products. After all, in 1993, Enzymatic Therapy introduced glucosamine sulfate, shown to help build and support cartilage, to the
In the intervening years, Enzymatic Therapy has been at the frontline of innovation and invention. Many revolutionary precuts, including Saventaro, Cell Forte, Heartburn Free, Petadolex Patented Brain Support, Whole Body Cleanse, Earth’s Promise, Hot Plants for Him and Hot Plants for Her have been introduced by Enzymatic Therapy.
One of the newest products, (and the reason you’re reading this) is FlexAgility MAX. FlexAgility MAX works with the body’s own natural anti-inflammatory pathways to relieve pain and reduce inflammation due to occasional overuse. Our proprietary FlexBend of ingredients, combined with antioxidants and the proteolytic enzyme, bromelain, is unique among natural products.
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.
Betaine HCI and Pepsin
January 28, 2007 08:41 PM
Betaine HCI and Pepsin
Betaine HCl is a form of HCl used as a nutrient to supplement the stomach’s own production of HCl, or stomach acid. While occasional indigestion may be a result of acid irritating tissue in the structure above the stomach known as the esophagus, a line of research suggests that the cause of this irritation may actually be less than optimal stomach acid production. Stomach acid is normally produced by the parietal cells of the stomach and the function of stomach acid is to break down food that enters the stomach into smaller fragments and nutrient components. These components move through the stomach into the small intestine where they are further broken down by digestive enzymes in the upper part of the small intestine. The individual nutrients that result from the digestion of proteins, fats and carbohydrates can then be absorbed and assimilated by the body and used for metabolism and growth. However, optimal stomach acid production is certainly a major step for the efficiency of the digestive process. Less than ideal stomach acid production prevents foods from being broken down properly and places an added burden on the remainder of the digestive process, including enzyme production from the pancreas.
As mentioned earlier, the presence of optimal stomach acid is necessary for the digestion and absorption of critical nutrients. Amino acids and other peptides from proteins, minerals, vitamin B12 and folic acid are examples of nutrients that require proper levels of stomach acid for their absorption and usage. The presence of adequate acid in the stomach is also required for the conversion of the digestive enzyme pepsin. Pepsin is produced in the stomach from its precursor pepsinogen, which is secreted by cells known as chief cells, and functions to help with the digestion of proteins. Pepsin breaks proteins down into their amino acid components. Since stomach acid is essential to the process of absorbing our nutrients from food, lack of sufficient acid production may lead to decreased health and general well-being.
Ideal stomach acid production is also essential for maintaining a healthy bacterial balance in the intestines. Firstly, acid production in the stomach itself provides a protective barrier that keeps the stomach environment safe. Secondarily, low levels of stomach acid can lead to improperly, incompletely, or poorly-digested food fragments that may cause an imbalance in the growth of normal bacterial flora in the intestines. Achieving the correct balance of flora is a key to maintaining proper digestive function and overall health.
Research also suggests that the body’s capacity to produce stomach acid normally declines as we age. Moreover, stress and other factors may impact proper stomach acid production. Occasional heartburn, bloating, belching, discomfort, and a "sour stomach" may often result from this. Food that we eat enters the stomach through the esophagus, or food pipe. At the junction of the esophagus with the stomach is a muscular structure known as the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). When food enters the stomach for digestion, the LES normally contracts, narrowing the passageway between the esophagus and the stomach and preventing the backflow of stomach contents into the esophagus. A major trigger for the process of tightening the sphincter is the presence of sufficient stomach acid.
When sufficient stomach acid is sensed, the LES will close. However, in conditions where there is a lack of stomach acid, the sphincter remains open, allowing stomach contents, including acid, to flow back through the opening, potentially creating a sense of irritation and discomfort. Adequate stomach acid production is an essential criterion for the sphincter to function properly and prevent the backflow of stomach contents.1
A recent study assessed the incidence and causes of low vitamin B12 levels in elderly patients. The researchers suggest that the incidence of decreased vitamin B12 in the elderly, based on results of some epidemiological studies, is as high as 30-40%. When they looked at the possible causes of low B12 levels in 200 individuals that they followed, they found that food-B12 malabsorption accounted for 60-70% of the cases.2 In other words dietary B12 is bound to foods, generally animal proteins. The protein is normally broken down in conjunction with acid and pepsin in the stomach. However, low production of stomach acid may decrease the efficiency of this process and vitamin B12 remains bound to the protein source, leaving it unavailable to be absorbed. The absorption of countless other nutrients may also be impacted by low stomach acid and pepsin levels.
Gentian is an herb that is native to parts of Europe and Asia. The root has been used extensively by traditional herbalists to support digestive function due in large part to its bitter constituents. Its present day use as a therapeutic herb dates back to the Romans and Greeks, and related species have even been used in the Indian Ayurvedic system. Various traditional texts classify gentian as a bitter tonic and digestive stimulant, due to its ability to promote the secretion of digestive enzymes. The German Commission E has approved the use of gentian for digestive support, which leads to an increased secretion of saliva and digestive juices.3
Supplementation with the combination of nutrients and cofactors present in Betaine HCl Pepsin & Gentian supports the normal digestive function of the stomach and helps to ensure that the body maintains the efficiency of nutrient absorption from the foods that we eat. Gentian serves to stimulate digestive secretions in the stomach, priming it to digest the food that we eat, while supplemental Betaine HCl and pepsin provide support to the body’s innate production of these digestive factors.
Take 1 capsule with each meal, or as recommended by a healthcare professional.
1. Wright, Jonathan V., MD and Lane Lenard, PhD. Why Stomach Acid is Good For You. New York: Evans, 2001. 2. Andres E, et al. Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) deficiency in elderly patients. CMAJ 2004; 171(3): 251-259. 3. Blumenthal M, Goldberg A and J Brinckmann, eds. Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs. Newton, MA: Integrative Medicine Communications, 2000.
Why you need a Multinutrient Vitamin-Mineral Supplement?
October 17, 2006 02:00 PM
Accidental, illness and chronic disease
Burns, surgery, wounds, infection and broken bones increase the need for amino acids. Vitamin E, B6, and C, as well as minerals zinc, calcium and magnesium are all essential for cellular repair.
Alcohol damages the lining of the intestinal tract, liver and pancreas, all vital to digestion, absorption and metabolism of nutrients. Regular use of alcohol increases the body’s need for vitamins A, B complex, and C as well as minerals zinc, calcium and magnesium.
Some antibiotics kill healthy bacteria and create deficiencies in B complex vitamins which can result in nervous disorders.
Athletes consume large amounts of foods and undergo extreme physical stress which creates a wide range of needs for amino acids, B complex, vitamin C, iron and potassium.
Individuals, especially those with high physical demands such as athletes and laborers, may have nutritional requirements that exceed official amino acid, vitamin, and mineral recommendations.
While the body is able to store vitamins such as A and E, autopsy data has shown that up to 30% of the population have “at risk” deficiencies of vitamin A.
Coffee, Tea, and Spices
May irritate and inflame digestive linings, reducing digestive fluids and the absorption of vitamins and minerals from foods.
Diets with a high percentage of highly refined carbohydrates such as sugar, white flour and white rice require greater demand for additional sources of B complex vitamins to process these carbohydrates.
Crop Nutrient Losses
Research has shown that intensive agriculture has overworked and depleted our soil of trace elements resulting in decreased vitamins and minerals available in food crops.
Unsupervised, abnormal diets which exclude entire food groups or even low fat diets can be deficient in vitamins and minerals. Vegetarian diets, which exclude meats and animal sources, must be careful to balance amino acids and include vitamin B12.
Highly processed breads and oils, as well as frozen foods, may incrase shelf life of products but can lower nutrient levels, especially the important anti-oxidant vitamin A and E which defend against oxidation damage to all tissues.
Individuals who eat sparingly, including the average woman who maintains her weight at 1800 calories per day, have been shown to be low in thiamine, calcium and iron.
Oral contraceptives, taken by a significant percentage of women increase the need for folic acid, B6, C, riboflavin and zinc.
Up to 60% of women may suffer from premenstrual tension such as headaches, irritability, bloatedness, breast tenderness, lethargy and depression, and have an increased need for amino acids and B complex vitamins.
A smoker has greatly increased metabolic requirements for the important anti-oxidant and immune function provided by vitamin C.
Chemical, physical and emotional stress increase the need for amino acids, the B complex vitamins, and vitamin C and E.
Promise of Evening Primrose Oil
June 03, 2006 01:11 PM
Today, we know that the oil from the seeds of evening primrose contains a high amount of the active ingredient, gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an oil quite similar to other essential fatty acids (EFA) of the omega-6 variety. In fact, evening primrose oil is one of the few substances found in nature that contains significant amounts of GLA. It was only as recently as the 1970’s that researchers discovered among its potential therapeutic benefits, GLA aids the body’s formation of important prostaglandins (known as PGE1) that moderates inflammatory processes. (Prostaglandins are molecules that act as vital cell regulators.)
While the body manufactures gamma-linolenic acid from linoleic acid, one of the essential fatty acids, optimal production is often inhibited by dietary deficiencies, age related enzymatic deficiencies and intake of excess amounts of saturated fat. Indeed, it is interesting to note linoleic acid has little to no biological activity in and of itself. It’s true value is in its conversion to GLA. When we take additional GLA, we encourage increased formation of PGE1, which produces a variety of health benefits.
Health experts say that prostaglandin E1 series aids the body by inhibiting or reducing inflammation, blood clumping, blood clots, abnormal cholesterol production and formation of malignant cells. (In particular, GLA reduces risk of arterial spasm and abnormal clots, important factors in heart attacks and strokes. Another beneifit is lowering blood pressure.) The PGE1 series also maintains important electrolyte balances and normalizes insulin secretions.
Other health conditions that can benefit from GLA include arthritis; skin disorders such as eczema, acne, dermatitis; allergies and asthma; premenstrual syndrome; multiple sclerosis; fibrocystic breast disease; and depression.