Search Term: " Matrix "
New research on vitamin K suggests that it may promote eye health
May 13, 2019 04:19 PM
According to a recent Belgian study, vitamin K protects the arteries that supply the ocular organs with blood and acts as a shield against damaging calcification. The researchers found that vitamin K is beneficial for eye health in that it protects the optic nerves from possible optic damage due to glaucoma. The researchers were trying to determine if there was a link to vitamin K deficiency and poor eye health. This study points to a need for more research into the molecular pathways affected by vitamin and the benefits of vitamin K supplementation.
"Based on their findings, the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU Leuven) researchers observed that taking vitamin K supplements could help maintain the health of the eyes by protecting the optic nerves from injury caused by glaucoma."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-03-28-new-research-on-vitamin-k-eye-health.html
Vitamin K2 Steps Into the Spotlight for Bone and Heart Health
November 03, 2018 02:51 PM
There are a lot of different ways in which you can ensure that you stay whole and healthy. As a human, that should be your ultimate goal. If you are not healthy, or if you have major body parts that do not function as you wish, then you will see a massive issue. Vitamins are a good source of minerals for everyone. Now, the vitamin K2 is getting more limelight as people are saying it is very healthy.
"As agricultural practices have shifted animals away from grassy pastures toward grains, K2 levels have decreased."
Read more: https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2018/10/11/1803589/--Vitamin-K2-Steps-Into-the-Spotlight-for-Bone-and-Heart-Health
Lehigh Valley at center of new research into industrial hemp
March 23, 2017 11:44 AM
The hemp industry may be coming to Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania. Ironically, Pennsylvania was a hub of hemp cultivation until it became illegal in the 1950s. Now hemp is returning with about half of 16 upcoming research projects exploring industrial hemp slated to take place in this region. These research projects include using hemp in bio-manufacturing, erosion control, and using hemp to absorb toxins in soil. With all this new interest in hemp cultivation, it has the potential to become a big industry in Pennsylvania.
"Lehigh will evaluate the use of hemp for erosion control and phytoremediation."
Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/news/index.ssf/2017/03/lehigh_valley_at_center_of_new.html
Vitamin K2: 9 Uses and Benefits
January 13, 2017 12:59 PM
Vitamin K2 is often overlooked in the normal diet, yet K2 is is known to be essential to bone health and heart tissue health. When balanced with Vitamin D3 and magnesium, K2 helps bind those minerals to the bone Matrix. Vitamin K2 can be found in certain foods or through supplements for those interested in enhancing their uptake of this important vitamin.
"Vitamin K is a fat soluble vitamin that is important for blood clotting and that contributes to a healthy heart, bones and immune system."
Hair Loss Prevention Secrets
November 19, 2016 02:54 PM
If you are one of the millions of people worldwide who suffers from alopecia, there are some things you can do to try bringing back that beautiful head of hair. These things do not work for everyone, but are always worth a try. Smoking, some prescription medications, stress, and alcohol can all have adverse effects on the hair. These, along with frequent hair treatments and tight hairstyles, should be avoided as much as possible to keep the hair nice. Just like the rest of the body, hair needs the proper balance of nutrients to survive.
"Naturally, this includes vitamins and minerals. Many of them are essential to ensure the health of the follicle, the papilla and its Matrix, and the hair that grows from it."
What Are Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) And What Herbs Contain Them?
Glycosaminoglycans refers to a linear unbranched polysacharide chain molecule composed of disaccharides repeats with a high negative charge due to the presence of Uronic acid components and sulfate esters with some hydoxyl (OH) groups as part of its structural components. They have varying molecular size and sulfation depending on the tissue they are located on and their state. They function to attract cations and maintain the hydration of the extracellular membrane (E.C.M).
Glycoaminoglycans are classified into different groups based on different categories which include; glycosidic linkages in their structure, type of the sugar moiety, sulphate groups numbers and the location of the sulfate groups. Based on this various classification categories six major groups of GAGs exists, namely; heparin, hyaluronan, dermatan sulfate, heparin sulfate, chondroitin sulfate, and keratan sulfate.
GAGs have a high solvation degree and and are as well highly viscous. This is beneficial to the body in that it helps to cushion and lubricate various connective tissues and body joints respectively. It therefore protects an individual from joint pains due to poor lubrication of the joints causing the bone to slide over each other. They also form the building blocks of proteoglycans which are the major building blocks of the extracellular Matrix. Due to this property they are vital in determining the cellular activities such as cell division because the cell division machinery has to attach itself to the extracellular Matrix before the division process is initiated. Some body tissues such as the nerve cells and the muscle cells require continuous cell division to replace worn out cells for the normal functioning. This means that structural deformities in the extracellular Matrix will hinder the division process to occur and is most likely to lead to some neurodegenerative complexions.
Recent studies have linked GAGs to play a role in the cell biology of cancer.They have been established as the key macromolecules affecting cell properties and functions through interaction with key growth factors or by acting directly as receptor molecules. Through this it has been findings they play a vital role in the cell signaling process thus playing a role in the cancer disease progression.Heparin and heparin sulfate have been indicated through studies to have anti-tumor effects by preventing the process of angiogenesis which is the first step in cancer metastasis.Some have been associated with anti-coagulant properties.
Therefore GAGs are important molecules which play a vital role in protection against various forms of cancers. GAGs aremostly obtained from animal sources. The animal sources include shark fish and ray skeletons. Plants are also sources of GAGs, however their digestion by the human system is not possible. Seaweed is one herb that is rich in GAGs. However as earlier explain the digestion of the sea weed by the animal digestive system is quite a challenge. It is therefore recommended that we eat foods rich in proteins, and carbohydrates which can be used to synthesize GAGs in the body.
In summary, GAGs are heteropolymers which acts as the building blocks of the extracellular Matrix in animals. The body has the ability to synthesize GAGs naturally hence nutritional supplement is required for the body to obtain key components necessary for the synthesis.
How Does Phosphatidyl Serine Improve Your Health?
April 17, 2012 07:22 AM
Health Benefits Of Phosphatidyl Serine
Phosphatidyl serine is phospholipid that is vital to your brain functioning. The phospholipid are molecules containing both fatty acids and amino acids found in every cell in the body. Phodphatidyl Serine supplements are plant extracts that has been proven safe and effective therapeutic substance in remedying memory disorders as well as in enhancing higher brain functions. Clinical trials have shown that this vitamin supplement do strengthen your memory, increase mental acuity, increase concentration, boosts learning, enhances attention and vigilance. In addition, Phodphatidyl serine relieves depression while improving your mood and inhibits increases in cortisol induced by exercise and stress.
The supplement works by enabling your brain cells to metabolize glucose and releases it to bind with neurotransmitters which hence support learning, memory and other cognitive functions. Phodphatidyl serine enhances the cells communication in the brain through increasing the number of membrane receptor sites. It is also important to note that this natural supplement modulates the fluidity of the cell membranes which are essential in supporting the ability of brain cells to send and receive chemical communications.
Another health benefit associated with Phodphatidyl serine is its ability to restore the supply and output of acetylcholine in the brain. Acetylcholine is an essential transmitter to memory and is associated in reversing aging. Further, it increases the availability of endogenous chlorine used for de novo synthesis and production. Patients diagnosed with clinical depression that have ben put under the treatment of Phodphatidyl serine have registered a remarkable improvement with their symptoms. This follows from the fact that the supplement stimulates the production of dopamine by the brain. A deficit in dopamine in the brain has also been associated with attention deficit disorder and hence the natural supplement of Phodphatidyl serine has demonstrated to be an effective remedy for the disorder.
Research indicates that athletes involved in weight training, endurance running and cycling can reduce muscle soreness when they use Phodphatidyl serine. The athletes on this supplement have also been reported to undergo speed recovery during their rigorous training sessions. Other benefits of the supplement include; testicular function, formation of bone Matrix, heart beat coordination, cell repair and removal by the immune system and secretion of hormones by the adrenal glands.
It is vital to note that phodphatidyl serine is present in almost every cell in our body and the membrane proteins it activates are important in all these cells. However, our bodies cannot produce enough amounts of it when under stress, when there is a deficit in necessary enzymes and metabolic cofactors, and when aged. Stress increases the demands for phospatidylserine thus depleting the available levels in the cells. On the other hand, aging not only increases the brain's requirement for phosphatidylserine but also leads to inefficiency in the digestive and metabolic functions of the body. This makes it difficult for aged people to acquire enough of it from the diet and thus it is recommended that aged people should use phosphatidyl serine supplements.
Modern diets with low fat and low cholesterol levels have been shown to be lacking in phodphotidyl serine to levels of up to 150 mg per day. A vegetarian diet on the other hand may have a deficit of up to 250 mg per day. This deficit in supply of Phodphatidyl serine in the diet leads to impairment of your brain's ability to form, store, process and even remember. It is vital hence to consider taking vitamin supplements with phosphatidyl serine to cater for the deficit which may be detrimental to your health.
GLUCOSAMINE: Origin and Action of Mechanism
February 06, 2012 01:08 PM
Glucosamine is an amino sugar made from glucose and amino acid glutamine. It is a monosaccharide that is found naturally in healthy joints, cartilages, ligaments, muscles and tendons. It helps in the formation and repair of cartilage and other body tissues. Glucosamine is available in the form of dietary supplements, cosmetics and sports drinks. Let us find out about the history of glucosamine and its role in repair and treatment of joint disorders.
HISTORY of GLUCOSAMINE:
Glucosamine was first discovered in 1876 by Dr. Georg Ledderhose. It was prepared by hydrolysis of chitin with Hydrochloric acid. Later on it was developed in sulphate blend. Since then, it has been studied multiple times and in multiple ways to find out its potent health benefits. It has been used clinically in Europe since 1960s. In 1971, researcher K. Karzel glucosamine HCl stimulated the production of glycosaminoglycan layer, which helps in protecting cartilages, ligaments and tendons from normal wear and tear. It became popular in United States in the mid 1990s with the publication of popular bestsellers such as 'The Arthritis Cure' by Jason Theodosakis. Now it has become the most popular selling dietary supplement with sales of $200 million per year.
Glucosamine is naturally found in the body and can be synthetically made from the natural sources of chitin that is found in sea creatures such as shells of shell fish, bones and bone marrow.
How does Glucosamine Works in reducing Joint pain?
Our body's ability to produce glucosamine decreases as we age. Hence after any kind of injury cartilage, spinal discs and joints, the body may not be able to heal optimally. Aging and glucosamine depletion in the body leads to joint degradation. However, glucosamine supplementation can support cartilage and CT-integrity limiting degeneration.
Glucosamine supplements do not work like NSAIDS, which are known to have anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects on the body. The exact mechanism of significant analgesic effect of glucosamine supplements is unknown but according to various studies, glucosamine has no effect on cyclooxygenase system. Studies have shown that glucosamine stimulates synthesis of proteoglycan in a dose dependent manner. It helps in stimulating the production of cartilaginous Matrix, hence counteracting the degrading loss of cartilage in case of arthritis or injury.
Several important studies demonstrate the role of glucosamine in stabilizing cell membranes, inhibit lysosomal enzymes and reduce the generation of oxygen free radicals by macrophages. It may inhibit interleukin 1 induced nitric oxide activity that leads to chondriotic cell death. Hence it increases aggrecanase activity that helps in preservation of proteoglycan.
Glucosamine along with Chondroitin sulphate stimulates synthesis of cartilage precursors as well as synovial fluid. They also limit the degradation of existing cartilage in any loss of joint integrity.
This non rapid acting drug has many beneficial effects in reducing the symptoms of osteoarthritis. It is a powerful joint repairing supplement that rebuilds joint cartilage. Glucosamine supplements have been thoroughly evaluated to find out any potential side-effects. However, it has been proved that it does not have any of the side-effects of NSAIDS, surgery or opiods.
What Are The Symptoms Of Magnesium Deficiency?
August 15, 2011 06:25 PM
Magnesium is a chemical element and the seventh most abundant element in the crust of the Earth and is third most being dissolved in seawater. In the human body, it is the 11th most abundant by mass. Its ions are essential and play a major role in all living things through its ability to manipulate important biological polyphosphate compounds and most familiar of which is DNA. It is important in over 350 needed biochemical reactions in the body. Digestion, energy production, the function of muscle, formation of bone, creation of new cells, activation of B vitamins, relaxation of muscles, and also aids in the proper functioning of major parts of the body like heart, kidneys, brain and nervous system.
Magnesium deficiency is a state of the body where in dietary magnesium is below acceptable levels because of poor intake and can result to numerous symptoms and diseases. Magnesium deficiency is more common than most people think. However, these can usually be remedied by an uptake of magnesium in diet or through supplementation. In sever case though, intravenous remedies may be required. The initial symptoms of magnesium deficiency are more often than not subtle. Magnesium is stored by our body in its tissues, so pain in the muscles, cramps and some “twitches” are most commonly the first tell tale signs. Moving on down the list migraine, insomnia, or headaches are also most common of magnesium deficiency symptoms. Magnesium deficiency not only exists but is common.
Low Energy and Weakness
Magnesium has a key role in regulating how well our body processes the conversion of food into usable energy. Metabolism of carbohydrates and fats needs a number of magnesium-dependent chemical reactions. Some studies have found that during a low-magnesium phase of the body we use up more oxygen during physical activities. Our heart rates will increase by an additional 10 beats per minute. Inadequate magnesium has long been associated with a need for increased oxygen during strenuous activities and people who routinely complain of low energy should benefit from magnesium supplementation. Our muscles only can be pushed as far as its nutrition will allow, in other words if we lack magnesium to help lessen the need of oxygen all throughout our bodies then we should have an overall increase of energy and lessen the feeling of weakness since oxygen equals energy for our muscles, we need to help lessen our muscles need for oxygen to make it function more efficiently.
Weakening of the Bones
Some studies have found that Magnesium is perhaps, the most important single element to promote the health of our bones. For so long calcium was considered the foremost mineral in preventing Osteoporosis, however new research has proven that supplementing with magnesium is equally important. Magnesium comprises a percent of the human bones mineral make up. Bone mineral metabolism and Matrix are both influenced by magnesium and allows are body to assimilate calcium easier. In essence it helps calcium to be absorbed by the bones more easily.
Can Dietary Collagen Help the Skin and Joint Tissue?
June 30, 2011 10:45 AM
Collagen and Your Health
Collagen is the most common form of protein in humans and other mammals. It is a major constituent of the extracellular Matrix that provides structural support to animal cells from the outside. It displays great tensile properties, which is responsible for the strength and elasticity of the skin. Since it is a component of fibrous tissue, it is also found in ligaments and cartilages that make up joint tissue.
Dietary collagen has long been postulated to contribute to the biochemical composition of cells present in the skin and joints. Proponents of collagen supplements believe that dietary collagen is assimilated into the extracellular Matrix and fibrous tissue. The scientific community has been doubtful about the efficacy of topical applications of collagen, but oral supplements have been promising in clinical trials.
Molecular collagen is composed of polymers of amino acids linked by peptide bands, which are too big at the cellular level to get absorbed through skin. On the other hand, intestinal absorption of dietary collagen remains a matter of controversy. That being said, nutraceutical companies have developed formulations of supplements that facilitate the best possible absorption rates and better bioavailability.
Tough bundles of collagen fibers comprise several polypeptide chains of fibrous structural proteins. All fibrous tissues have cells and extracellular Matrix in between. High concentrations of collagen found in cartilages, ligaments, tendons, fascia, and even bones give these fibrous tissues tensile strength, the reason why the joints are capable of bearing a certain level of longitudinal stress without tearing apart.
Structural proteins make up the outer layer of the human skin and its appendages, such as the scalp, hair, and nails. The most important of these proteins are collagen, keratin, and elastin. Collagen fibers are responsible for the tensile properties of the skin. Keratin provides strength whereas elastin exerts an elastic effect. Collagen fibers affect the process of healing and its degradation leads to wrinkles.
Oral route of administration is believed to produce the health benefits linked to dietary collagen. While researchers have ruled out the health claims tied to collagen creams and lotions, they have reported encouraging results about dietary collagen. In fact, collagen supplements utilized in the management of rheumatoid arthritis and treatment of skin disorders have produced significantly positive outcomes.
One clinical trial that involved more than 200 participants diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis point to the medicinal potential of collagen as an adjunct treatment for rheumatism and osteoarthritis. There was a noticeable decrease in joint pain, morning stiffness, and restrained mobility, which were noted as statistically significant. For this reason, supplementation of collagen has attracted more research.
Dietary collagen is now becoming increasingly visible in the nutraceutical industry in that sales have increased in the past few years. It has become the subject of numerous studies well underway, and as such developments in collagen supplementation are expected to produce formulations specialized for higher bioavailability. The good news is dietary collagen has not been linked to any adverse effects.
Get some collagen today and feel the difference it can make in your diet!
What Makes a Good Joint Complex or Formula?
June 29, 2011 11:44 AM
Joint pain is a common medical condition that afflicts billions of people worldwide. It is brought on by many different factors, though most of the cases have been tied to arthritis. The joints are especially susceptible to inflammation in old age partly due to the fact that cartilage health becomes impaired as we age. The good news is that certain organic compounds replenish the cartilage content of joints.
Medications and remedies formulated to alleviate joint pain have been extensively studied in the past few decades. Analgesics remain the mainstay of treatment for arthritis to this day, but alternative medicine has also made advances. Proponents of nutritional supplements believe that a good joint formula does not only provide relief from pain but also supplies the proteins necessary for joint health.
Joint cartilage comprises a group of complex carbohydrates called polysaccharides or oligosaccharides that are attached to proteins. In a process called glycosylation, enzymes add long unbranched chains of carbohydrates to core proteins and form proteoglycans, which nourish the extracellular Matrix found in cartilages. In the case of osteoarthritis, the proteoglycan content of joints dwindle with age.
Glucosamine is a precursor to polysaccharides and oligosaccharides. In particular, it is utilized by enzymes to form glycosaminoglycans, which are in turn added to proteoglycans. As a treatment for joint pain, it comes in the form of glucosamine sulfate and glucosamine hydrochloride. It is one of the most promising of all complementary therapies for arthritis as studies have reported positive results.
Therapeutic remedies that contain glucosamine often come with chondroitin. The sulfated form of chondroitin is a major constituent of proteoglycans, and as such it is generally found in large amounts in joint cartilage in humans. For decades, chondroitin has been used as a therapeutic remedy for arthritis in conjunction with glucosamine as they are believed to enhance the efficacy of each other.
Proponents believe that chondroitin and glucosamine supply the body with healthy quantities of glycosaminoglycans for use by enzymes in the synthesis of proteoglycans. There is consensus in the scientific community that its long term use for the sole purpose of treating osteoarthritis is safe. In addition, recent studies and clinical trials in the past few years have been very encouraging.
Methylsulfonylmethane, often abbreviated as MSM, is a compound listen as an ingredient in joint formulas. Nutraceutical experts believe that the best joint formula currently available contains all three: glucosamine, chondroitin, and methylsulfonylmethane. While glucosamine and chondroitin provides nutrition for cartilage tissue, MSM counteracts inflammatory mediators that cause joint pain.
Alternative remedies have been the subject of most studies on arthritis in recent years. While analgesics remain commonly used, dietary supplements are becoming increasingly popular among people suffering from joint pain. Glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM are the most studied of all supplements formulated for joint pain, the reason why health care providers recommend them first.
Grab yourself a joint formula complex and feel the difference!
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.
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.
Build Healthy Bones With A Good Bone Builder Supplement
May 22, 2010 12:17 PM
Since bones are living tissue, healthy bones need at least 24 bone-building materials in order to be at their best. These materials include both trace elements and protein. The most important minerals to bone health are calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. The balance between these minerals is just as important as well. Strong bones need a lot of calcium, but calcium supplementation must include the presence of magnesium, as it increases the retention of calcium within the bone. Phosphorus is another important component in bone formation, as it must be in proper balance with calcium. If you take too much of it, which can be gained through soft-drink consumption or high protein intake, it will suck the calcium out of the bone, therefore, weakening the bone’s integrity. Vitamins D and K are also essential for increased calcium deposition.
Silicon, boron, and zinc are also required in order to strengthen the bone’s mineral Matrix. Vitamin C stimulates the formation of the collagen Matrix, which is an extremely important protein component that creates a structure for calcium crystallization. Silicon increases the bone-mineral density. Additionally, it seems to have a role in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. Silicon deposition is found in areas of the body that experience active bone growth. Because of this, it is suggested that this mineral may be involved in the growth of bone crystals as well as the process of bone mineralization. Zinc is also important for the proper action of vitamin D, as its status plays a huge role in bone health. When an increase in zinc excretion takes place, accelerated depletion of bone-mineral content also results. This situation is very common among osteoporosis sufferers. Diets that are low in zinc have also been shown to slow adolescent bone growth as well.
Lastly, vitamins B6, B12, and folic acid are necessary for reducing mineral loss as they modulate blood homocysteine levels. Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin used in the metabolism of amino acids. Vitamin B12 is one of eight B vitamins which is crucial for the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system, as well as the formation of blood. It is normally involved in the metabolism of every cell of the body. It affects DNA synthesis and regulation as well as fatty acid synthesis and energy production. Folic acid is a form of the water-soluble vitamin B9. It occurs naturally in food and can also be taken as a supplement.
The scientific evidence that has been found has supported the need for long-term supplementation with several key nutrients in order to maintain bone health. This is especially true for those women who are in their peri- and post-menopause years. Supplementation with vitamins D, K, C, B6, B12, folic acid, as well as the minerals boron, calcium, magnesium, silicon, and zinc at levels that are declared to be suitable for optimal nutrition health by nutritional authorities is an important component of product-rating criteria. Researchers question whether each product contains vitamin D, vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, folic acid, boron, calcium, magnesium, silicon, and zinc at potencies that are up to 100% of the potencies for these nutrients that are stated in the Blended Standard.
Look to your local or internet vitamin store for bone building formulas that contain all these essential vitamins to help the body support a healthy bone structure. Remember to always choose name brands like Eithical nutrients and Solaray to ensure you buy a high quality complete bone building supplement.
Antioxidants and your health
May 17, 2010 10:44 AM
There is an impressive amount of scientific evidence supporting the health benefits of supplementing with a wide variety of antioxidants. Consequently, there are many health practitioners who have begun to recommend high dietary intakes of these crucial nutrients in order to prevent against oxidative stress. It was anticipated over two decades ago by leading researchers that high-dose supplementation with antioxidants is developing a significant role in the prevention and treatment of a lot of today’s common illnesses. It should be noted that antioxidants do not work in isolation. When an antioxidant neutralizes a free radical, it, itself, is oxidized and must be regenerated by another antioxidant before it can be used again. Because of this, it is crucial to supplement with a wide variety of antioxidants, in order to reflect what actually occurs in nature.
Vitamin C, an aqueous-phase antioxidant, is the main guard against oxidative attack in the extra-cellular Matrix, as well as within the cytoplasm of the cell. Vitamin C happens to be a substrate for eight different enzyme systems that are involved in various cellular functions. Among these functions are collagen synthesis, ATP synthesis in the mitochondria, and hormone biosynthesis. Its main antioxidant partners are vitamin E and beta carotene, both of which help to regenerate vitamin C.
Of all the antioxidants, it seems as if vitamin E offers the greatest protection against heart disease because of its ability to protect the cardiovascular system from oxidative damage. It is lipid-soluble, making it an important component of the cell membrane, where it works to protect the cell against lipid peroxidation and control oxidation-induced inflammatory events. Recently, the gamma tocopherol form of vitamin E has shown a great deal of promise in its ability to reduce the risk of several oxidative stress related disease.
Beta-carotene is a member of a diverse group of photosynthetic pigments. It plays a huge role in human nutrition. As an antioxidant, it possesses a double-bond structure that allows it to react effectively with single oxygen radicals, absorbing and diffusing their energy. Beta-carotene also acts as a precursor for vitamin A by supplying a portion of the body’s requirement for the vitamin. This act alone plays a central role in the chemistry of vision. Beta-carotene and vitamin A both prevent the oxidation of cholesterol, reduce oxidative damage to DNA, and disable oxygen free radicals that are produced by exposure to sunlight and air pollution. These antioxidants are also involved in the activation of gene expression and the control of cell differentiation.
When combined together, vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene produce and important antioxidant trio that plays a huge role in fighting oxidative and inflammatory events. There are several other antioxidants that should be noted due to their ability to work synergistically with the vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene trio. These include vitamin A, alpha-lipoic acid, lycopene, coenzyme Q10, and the antioxidant mineral, selenium. In order to determine whether a nutrient provides antioxidant support, scientists question whether the product contains vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin A, beta-carotene, alpha-lipoic acid, lycopene, coenzyme Q10, and selenium and to what strength these vitamins and minerals are per serving.
Fight Cold Sores And Build Collagen
April 29, 2009 10:18 AM
Lysine is an essential alpha-amino acid, in that it cannot be biosynthesized by the human body, and therefore must be taken in your diet or as a supplement. It is synthesized in plants from aspartic acid, and metabolized in the body to produce acetyl-Coenzyme A (acetyl-CoA).
Before discussing its action on herpes, we shall first have look at how Lysine helps with the formation of collagen. Collagen is a protein that is produced in the body from lysine and proline, another amino acid. In fact the primary role of amino acids in your diet is as building blocks to form the much larger protein molecules.
Collagen is fibrous, and forms the connective tissue such as cartilage, ligaments, tendons, blood vessels and skin. Even the external parts of the ears. It literally holds our skeletons together, and wraps the whole body up in skin, so if we had no collagen we would literally fall apart! Collagen is also used by body cells to form the Matrix that the body cells use to attach to each other and is one of the most important types of tissue in your body.
It is so ubiquitous that over 30% of the protein contained in your body is collagen, and it is designed for its structural strength as opposed to its ability to take part in chemical reactions as other proteins are. Lysine and Vitamin C are essential for the maintenance and formation of collagen.
There is not a lot of lysine in collagen - only about 4%, but it is very active in the cross-linking that forms the fibrils of collagen. Fibrils are the hair-like structures formed in a triple helix arrangement by three protein chains twisting round one another. The fibrils are bundled together in a straight line that has amazing tensile strength. The tensile strength of collagen is, weight for weight, stronger than steel!
In order for lysine to take part in this process effectively, some molecules have to be hydroxylated and others oxidized, forming aldehydes. Things can go wrong here, and deficiencies in the metabolic process can lead to some heritable conditions, or diseases of connective tissue. Among these are lathyrism, Cutis-Laxa and the Menkes kinky hair syndrome.
However, lysine is a very versatile amino acid, and not only is it necessary for the biosynthesis of all proteins, but is also heavily involved in the production of enzymes, hormones and antibodies. It is an important component of the calcium absorption process, and also, as previously stated, can be used in the treatment of herpes simplex.
This form of herpes is known commonly as 'cold sores', and is a result of the activity of the herpes virus. Viruses do not reproduce in order to ensure the 'continuation of the species', but replicate. In order to achieve this it requires the help of another amino acid, arginine. This is a common amino acid whose sources include grains, seeds, peanuts, raisins and chocolate.
Lysine and arginine competes for the absorption and entry of tissue cells, and reduces the strength of arginine, so preventing the growth of herpes. For this reason a supplement of lysine can be used to reduce the effects of the herpes simplex virus, and lessen the symptoms of the cold sore.
However, it is not only cold sores but other forms of herpes that lysine can help to relieve. Herpes zoster is a virus that causes shingles. This virus is generated by the reactivation of the dormant varicella-zoster virus left in the tissues after chickenpox. It is a recurrent condition, and lycine can help to reduce recurrences as well as its severity. Apart from being an effective defense against herpes, and forming collagen, the amino acid imparts several other benefits to the human body.
Among these is osteoporosis. L-lysine is involved in calcium absorption in the intestine, and also helps to reduce the loss of calcium in the urine. In osteoporosis we have to try to make every calcium molecule ingested in the diet to be incorporated in the bone structure. L-arginine can work with lysine to enhance the activity of the body cells that produce bone.
Canker sores are often mistaken for cold sores, but they are actually quite different. They are small sores inside the mouth, and appear in the form of very painful ulcers. The cause is unknown, but is believed to be a virus, and lysine appears to help the condition. Although there have been no proper clinical tests carried out on its use as a remedy for canker sores, lysine appears to help, and a supplement is recommended as a treatment by many doctors. It will do no harm, and anybody suffering from these tiny but painful sores will try anything.
Although lysine deficiency is rare, it can occur, particularly amongst those observing a vegetarian macrobiotic diet, and also in athletes who frequently undertake vigorous exercise, especially with too little recovery time. The effects of a deficiency are fatigue, nausea, appetite loss, anemia, slow growth and kidney stones. The latter is likely due to a failure to absorb calcium, that L-lysine promotes, and the formation of calcium oxalate and other insoluble salts in the kidney.
Dietary sources include beans and other legumes, and although it should be available in cereals, baked foods and doughnuts, for example, the carmelization of sugars binds the lysine to the sugar, and so reducing its bioavailability. However, you can also get it in cheese, eggs, tofu and red meats.
If you are taking an arginine supplement, you should consult your physician prior to taking lysine. The reason for this is that lysine and arginine share biochemical pathways, and arginine can reduce the effective concentration of lysine.
However, it has not been tested by the FDA, nor approved, and any use is at your own risk. This risk appears to be very small, although its manufacture is not regulated. However, do not let this bother you: the proof of the pudding is in the eating as they say.
Many have found lysine to be effective with collagen or herpes problems, and a supplement of between 3,000 and 9,000 mg per day is recommended for those with herpes viral infections. It is not recommended for children under two years old. Lysine is available at your local or internet health food store at discount prices. Look for name brands to ensure purity and quality of the product you purchase.
Another Great Cold Sore Remedy is Red Marine Algae!
Hyaluronic Acid can help Restore Joint Function
December 01, 2008 10:03 AM
Hyaluronic acid, also known as hyaluronan, is one of the main components of the extracellular Matrix of connective tissue and joints, and is one of the main chemicals contained in the synovial fluid that lubricates your joints. Before we discuss how it can be used to help restore the function of damaged joints, let's have a look at what causes joint pain, and why joints can break down long before their time.
You might have heard that arthritis is an inflammatory condition, or that it is due to the immune system. This is true to an extent, and rheumatoid arthritis is an immune system problem, although osteoarthritis is a different problem altogether. Arthritis is not the only cause of joint pain of course, but is by far the most common cause. As already inferred, there are two forms of arthritis, each with a different basic cause.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of joint disease, and is largely due to wear and tear, injury or can be hereditary. However it is usually initiated by damage, the joint surface becomes roughened and the bone around the damaged area gets thicker to compensate. A joint is where two bones meet, and not all joints move. You have the fixed joints in your skull, for example, and those between the ribs and the spine. However, arthritis generally affects the joints associated with movement, mainly the knees, hips, fingers, toes and elbows.
The ends of the bones are covered with a thin layer of cartilage, which can absorb shocks and both cushion the joint and allow the ends of the bones to move smoothly over each other. Round each joint is a membrane known as the synovium that is filled with the thick synovial fluid, which lubricates the cartilage. The bone ligaments hold them close to the joint, and prevent them moving too much and dislocating. Finally, the joint is completed by the tendons that attach the muscles to the bones they control.
Osteoarthritis causes a joint to deteriorate: the cartilage becomes rougher and wears, and the bone beneath the cartilage gets thicker. At the edge of the joint the bone tends to grow outwards, forming spurs and the synovium swells producing extra synovial fluid. This causes swelling and pain, and ultimately the joint can be damaged beyond repair. This process takes a number of years to reach a stage whereby pain and discomfort are felt.
Before that situation occurs, however, the joint tries to repair itself, and hyaluronic acid can take part in this process. It is mainly involved in the reparation of connective tissues such as cartilage, although there are other connective tissues which hyaluronan has been found to repair. These include skin, eyes and heart valves and hyaluronic acid can arguably be used to help repair all of them.
However, it is joint tissue with which we are concerned here, and hyaluronan is an important component of articular cartilage: the type of cartilage involved in movement (knees, hips, etc), as opposed the type that forms your nose or the external part of your ears. It is believed that injections of hyaluronic acid can help to repair damaged articular cartilage. However, osteoarthritis is only one of the two forms of arthritis. The other is rheumatoid arthritis, and this is much more sinister.
Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by the attack of your joints by your own immune system, although why this happens is unknown. The most likely theory is that certain infections trigger the immune system, and it then proceeds to attack the synovial joints. Cytokines are responsible for inflammation of the synovial fluid, which can also cause fever, loss of weight and appetite, and inflammation of the blood vessels.
The body tries to generate more synovial fluid which causes swelling round the whole joint, putting pressure on the damaged areas, and generating even more pain. The inflammatory response commences and the whole area becomes seriously painful.
The smaller joints are most commonly affected, such as the fingers and toes, but it can progress to the elbows, hips and the knees. The joints become red, swollen and finally too stiff to be used. The sinusitis eventually leads erosion of the joint and deformation.
Because hyaluronic acid behaves like the synovial fluid, it is believed that it can be used to treat both forms of arthritis. It is a glycosaminoglycan, an unbranched polysaccharide of the same type as chondroitin sulfate that is commonly used to treat arthritis. It can be used to increase the viscosity of the synovial fluid, and render a more effective lubricant.
However, it is in treatment of osteoarthritis that hyaluronan is most likely to find success. It is used to improve the viscosity of the synovial fluid, so providing increased lubrication to the joint and helping reduce the pain. In fact it not escaped notice that those who eat a diet rich in hyaluronic acid tend to live longer and look younger than those that do not do so.
Commercial preparations are currently in use or under evaluation for disorders such as glaucoma, fractures, and detached retinas, damage to cartilage, healing ligaments and osteoarthritis. These last three are particularly of interest to arthritis sufferers, and signs are that they are effective with many cases.
However, it has also been established that smoking cigarettes can negate the effect of hyaluronic acid, and excessive levels of Vitamin C can also degrade it. Estrogen treatment, however, can enhance its effect in repairing connective tissue. Zinc deficiencies have also been found to have negative results, so make sure that these factors are addressed if you are using hyaluronic acid to treat arthritis.
Something to keep in mind if you are taking hyaluronic acid orally is the size of the molecule. It is a very large molecule, and suffers from the same absorption problems as chondroitin sulfate. There are smaller hyaluronan molecule versions available if you can find them, that improve the absorption through the intestine, but if not then the dose will generally be greater than expected due to the low absorption levels due to the molecule being too large to be easily absorbed through the tissues into the bloodstream.
October 02, 2008 09:36 AM
Cartilage has several roles to play in your body, an example of which is to form curved body parts that would otherwise be unsupported, such as the external contours of your ears or a large part of your nose. Without cartilage you ears and nose would flop around a lot, and it is also contained in the spine, to prevent your discs from grinding against each other.
However, the part that we are interested in is as a shock absorber between the bones of your joints. It allows bones to slide over one another without damage, either through friction or shock, and is also nature’s shock absorber, helping to support your weight while you are active. Thus, your cartilage protects from impact damage when you are running or jumping down from a height. This type of cartilage, known as articular cartilage, is bathed in a lubricating fluid known as synovial fluid, which introduces its own problems when your cartilage becomes damaged.
This damage can occur in several ways: as the result of a fall, for example, or direct contact with the joint when playing a physical contact sport such as football or soccer. It can also become damaged through wear and tear over a period of time, such with long distance runners or soccer players (again), and is also associated with age. Many years of continual use, especially amongst those with active rather than sedentary occupations, eventually lead to wear and damage.
Problems with the joint structure itself, known as osteoarthritis, can also damage the cartilage, as can being overweight for a lengthy period. You can also experience cartilage damage if you are bedridden or other wise immobile for long periods, because the cartilage needs regular movement to function correctly. This is connected with the blood supply, which will be discussed shortly.
Cartilage is constructed of cells known as chondrocytes that generate a fibrous Matrix known as collagen, a mixture of amino acids known as elastin that allows the cartilage to return to its original shape after deformation, and non-collagenous Matrix tissue containing proteins, water and proteoglycans that contain sulfated glycosaminoglycan chains. That last mixture is often referred to as ‘ground substance.’
One of the problems with cartilage is its lack of a direct blood supply, and it relies on the compression and decompression of the articular cartilage, or on the flexing of elastic cartilage, to create a pumping action that drives blood to the chondrocytes. This is why inactivity can cause cartilage damage, due to a lack of blood supply, and why it is repaired more slowly than other body components.
Once an injury or wear and tear damages a joint, the body’s natural defense, the immune system, is activated, and the major part of that involved in cartilage damage is the inflammatory response. The joint becomes inflamed, the quantity of synovial fluid is increased to provide more protection and swells the joint, and enzymes (hyaluronidase) are produced which, although part of the natural defense system, actually degrade the synovial fluid and the cartilage.
This increases the amount of inflammation and the process becomes self-perpetuating, leading to the condition known as degenerative joint disease (DJD) because the body is unable to produce enough glucosamine to generate the proteoglycan needed for repair.
This is where glucosamine sulfate enters the scene. Glucosamine is a precursor for glycosaminoglycans (GAG), which as mentioned as above are components of proteoglycans in the cartilage Matrix ground tissue. It has been shown to stimulate the biosynthesis of proteoglycan, and analysis has shown its presence within articular cartilage after administering it orally to patients with cartilage disease. It therefore makes its way to the right place.
Glucosamine is administered in the form of glucosamine sulfate, the highly electrically charged sulfate groups believed to aid in the compression properties of cartilage. It is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream, although only about a quarter of the oral dose is eventually available to the body, and high concentrations accumulate in the liver, kidneys and in articular cartilage where it is used in the biosynthesis of GAG.
When in solution, glucosamine sulfate separates into ions: sulfate and glucosamine. Glucosamine ions are involved in the synthesis of GAG, that then combine with proteins to form proteoglycans, a component of the non-collagenous Matrix of the cartilage. Although glucosamine is the major active component, there is evidence that the sulfate group contributes the stability of the Matrix of the connective tissue since the uptake of sulfate ions increases with the amount of glucosamine sulfate used.
Another consideration here is that sulfate is an important part of proteoglycans, and glucosamine sulfate promotes not only the synthesis of glycosaminoglycans, but also of proteoglycans in general. Glucosamine is also active in regenerating the lubricating properties of the synovial fluid, and in hindering the activity of hyaluronidase, the enzyme that breaks down the hyaluronic acid in the synovial fluid.
Some people find that glucosamine, taken either alone or in conjunction with chondroitin sulfate and/or methyl sulfonyl methane (MSM), is more effective than the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) used to reduce inflammation (e.g. Aspirin and Ibuprofen) and without the side effects of these substances. MSM contains dietary sulfur, which is necessary for cell structure and healthy cell repair. Methyl sulfone methane is know to be beneficial for painful conditions such as arthritis, and also improves the blood circulation. It might also play a part in helping glucosamine sulfate get to the site of the cartilage damage.
Glucosamine is a large molecule, however, and finds it difficult to make its way to the area around the joint due to the lack of a direct blood supply. It is therefore taken in relatively large doses to ensure that sufficient amounts get to where it is needed. Many people insist that glucosamine sulfate is very effective in reducing, or even eliminating, their pain, and it is finding increasing popularity in the treatment of arthritis and other conditions involving cartilage damage.
Vitamin K2 - A critical Vitamin for optimal health!
April 02, 2008 03:28 PM
Positioning purpose: Vitamin K is best known for its role in normal blood clotting function. Recent research, however, has revealed its beneficial effects on bone and cardiovascular health. In bone tissue, Vitamin K is critical for the formation of healthy bone Matrix, and bone quality is dependent on the presence of adequate Vitamin K. Vitamin K's role in arterial health revolves around its ability to support proper calcium metabolism in vascular structures.*
Boost Skin And Joint Health With Natural Supplements
January 19, 2008 10:37 AM
A lot of health conscious adults are now attempting to keep a youthful appearance for as long as possible by exercising, taking growth hormone enhances, and using expensive cosmetics. However, studies have proven that the major signs of aging in the skin, joints, and eyes occur due to a progressive collagen and hyaluronic acid degradation in our tissues. Researchers believe that supplementation of these key nutrients can actually reverse sings of aging.
Normal functioning of the skin requires that there be normal physiological substances in and around the skin cells. Of the many substances that are required for normal functioning, collagen is one of the most important. Collagen provides structural support to skin, which helps to maintain skin tone, subtleness and elasticity. All of these give the skin its amazing beauty. Without enough collagen, our body would actually lose any connective properties and its ability to hold together, causing the sagging and wrinkles that are associated with age.
Hyaluronic acid is also a vital component of the skin's structure. HA is a big part of the space between living cells and is also present in both the dermis and epidermis, where it allows skin to retain moisture and acts as a lubricant between the collagen Matrix of the skin. Younger looking skin typically has higher levels of HA, but it has been observed that hyaluronic acid content declines as we age, most dramatically after the age of 50. Most people after the age of 40 have already lost a lot of HA and may require supplementation. High concentrations of hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulfate are able to reach the corium layers of the epidermis and provide cellar level nourishment to the skin. This then reveals a more vibrant and younger looking complexion.
Doctors believe that osteoarthritis affects more than 20 million Americans, with that number reaching 40 million by the year 2020. Some doctors believe we're headed for an epidemic of degenerative joint disease. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint condition marked by the erosion of the cartilage at the ends of the bones. Cartilage is the shock absorber of the joint, with regular wear and tear on the joints eventually softening, fraying, and thinning the substance. Other things that can cause cartilage degradation and osteoarthritis have recently been identified by scientists, including: weak quadriceps muscles, eroding cartilage, and changes in bone structure. Certain genes also play a role in predetermining cartilage status, and left untreated and unchecked, this can become extremely debilitating.
Since normal joint function requires healthy cartilage and bones, one of the most important substances required for the normal functioning of joints is collagen. As we age, it has been observed that there is a decrease in the production and concentration of collagen in the joints. The lack of this vital structure leads to joint pain and inflammation. Common treatments today include the prolonged use of painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs, steroids, NSAIDs and COX-2 inhibitors which temporarily relieve pain and cover up the symptoms while the disease moves further. More often, these treatments worsen the condition instead of helping it due to their harmful side effects. A natural supplement containing Collagen II can not only halt the progression of arthritis but can also improve the condition and provide relief to sufferers.
Hyaluronic Acid Double Strength 100mg – w/ Proline, Alpha Lipoic Acid & GrapeSeed extract.
April 04, 2007 09:38 AM
Hyaluronic Acid has emerged as one of the most significant anti-aging supplements in the natural products industry. As a mucopolysaccharide that occurs naturally within the human body, the highest concentrations of Hyaluronic Acid are found in the skin, eyes, and articular cartilage. Hyaluronic acid works by absorbing water within the body, which in turn supports the formation of effectiveness of the gel-like Matrix that protects healthy cell structures from dehydration and free radical damage. Ongoing studies continue to suggest that it may help support some of the body’s most vital functions.*
Strong, Healthy Joints
At birth and well into our youth, the human body produces ample amounts of Hyaluronic acid. These levels decline, however, based on our physical activity levels, dietary habits, and other hereditary and environmental factors. Hyaluronic acid is a key component of synovial fluid and cartilage, and serves as one of the body’s most vital natural lubricants. Joint structures lack blood vessels, and there for relay on Hyaluronic acid to transport fluids and nutrients. Many structural and articular challenges have been traced back to insufficient Hyaluronic levels.
Wrinkles and Fine Lines
Healthy, wrinkle-free skin requires a constant supply of water. Without enough, dermal cells located deep below the skin’s surface can becomes deprived of the compounds they need, thus leaving the skin dry and dehydrated. Hyaluronic acid attracts and binds large amounts of water at the cellular level to ensure that the skin has everything it needs to remain smooth, elastic, and youthful-looking.
Some published reports suggest that a child’s ability to produce abundant amounts of Hyaluronic acid may explain why they heal so quickly, often without permanent scarring. Because of the many roles it plays within the body’s connective and epidermal tissues, Hyaluronic acid is becoming more and more accepted as a way to help encourage the body’s natural wound-healing processes.
Vision and Eye Health
In addition to cartilage and synovial fluid, the eyes contain some of the body’s highest concentrations of Hyaluronic acid. In fact, the vitreous humor (the Eye’s Core) is made up almost entirely of Hyaluronic acid. This gel-like structure absorbs shock, supports vision, and protects the retina from being damaged. It is believed that many common vision and ocular problems may be a result of poor Hyaluronic acid production during adulthood.*
Each Vcap contains 100mg of Hyaluronic acid, along with Alpha Lipoic Acid, standardized Grape Seed Extract, and pharmaceutical grade L-Proline for support. Compare Now’s 100mg formula to some 50mg formulas that do not include supporting antioxidants for the same price, and the choice is clear!
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.
Which Calcium is Best?
October 17, 2006 03:52 PM
Customers walking into a health food store today are faced with a vast array of calcium supplements. They might ask: which one should I pick? Which one is best? Not easy questions to answer. All calcium forms will accomplish the same task: providing your body with a nutrient that it needs to build healthy bones and teeth; however, which form of calcium has the features that you want in a calcium supplement? Looking at shelves of calcium products is kind of like shopping for a car; there are many makes and many models—some are basic and others are more sophisticated.
Fortunately, there are many forms of calcium to satisfy your needs. Like the car lot, a health food store offers many options; therefore, you have to select a calcium product that consumers will feel confident in taking regularly and that will provide the most benefit.
Some consumers have done research and will come armed with information. They have already made choices based on advertising, word-of-mouth or an article they have read. They already know the form of calcium they want, be it a “Ferrari” or a “Ford.” If the client doesn’t have a specific preference: asking these basic questions will help in the selection process:
1. Do you prefer tablets, capsules, softgels, liquid or powder?
2. Do you have high or low stomach acid?
3. Do you have absorption issues?
What is calcium?
Calcium (Ca) is one of the most important minerals found in our bones and teeth—99 percent of body calcium is found there. But the calcium molecule does not like to travel alone and, in its more basic state, it comes bounded to carbon (C), Oxygen (O), and/or hydrogen (H) molecules or in more complex form, it is bonded to organic or amino acids that act as stabilizing carriers. On most labels, the amount of calcium listed actually indicates the pure or elemental calcium because it is that amount of the calcium that is deemed important to our daily supplementation, not the complex of the materials with which it is bonded.
Where does calcium come from?
Other than the calcium found in bone, the only natural form of calcium found in nature is calcium carbonate, a calcium molecule bonded to one molecule of carbon and three molecules of oxygen (CaCO3). One of the most common minerals on the face of the earth, calcium carbonate is called calcite, aragonite or vaterite by geologists. In its geological form, it constitutes approximately four percent, by weight, or the earth’s crust.
Commercial sources of calcium carbonate used to make supplements are: limestone, dolomite, oyster cell, egg shell, coral and sea water (have you ever seen that white deposit left by hard water? That’s mostly calcium carbonate). Calcium carbonate is the starting material for all other forms of calcium supplements. From this starting material, calcium can be reduced to more concentrated forms, such as oxide or hydroxide or it can be chelated (bonded) to organic acids and amino acids to help support enhanced absorption.
Lets look more closely at the different forms of calcium that are available as supplements.
Calcium Oxide (CaO): this form is 71 percent elemental calcium and is also called “lime” commercially. This is one of the oldest and most inexpensive forms of calcium used in a variety of commercial applications and it is occasionally used in supplements where space and price are a factor. It sometimes can be found in inexpensive mass market calcium/mineral combinations or multivitamin/mineral products and in a unique algal calcium from Japan. Unfortunately, CaO is a strong alkali that may cause stomach distress, which is why it isn’t often used in health food supplements.
Calcium Hydroxide (CaHO): at 54 percent elemental calcium, it is the next highest source of elemental calcium and is also known commercially as “slaked lime.” It is used where space is an issue. Although it is also a strong alkali, it is more stable than calcium oxide. It is most often used as a component of multi-mineral formulations or in addition to other forms of calcium (i.e., calcium citrate) to provide potency where space is an issue. It is not often used as a single ingredient in health food supplementation. This is for people who want a high dosage of calcium from a minimum amount of pills in multi-mineral formulas.
Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3): at 40 percent elemental calcium, it is the most widely used form of calcium in single ingredient calcium supplements as well as combination supplements. Inexpensive and an abundant source of elemental calcium, it is the only form of calcium found in nature outside of bone. It is the primary form of calcium used in the mass market and in antacid products. This is for people who have high stomach acid and who need a buffering type of calcium. Also for people who want a high dose of calcium in a minimum amount of pills.
Calcium Citrate: at 21 percent elemental calcium, it is one of the most popular forms of calcium supplements in the health food market as well as the mass market. This calcium salt does not lower stomach acid as much as calcium carbonate. This calcium salt is usually recommended for people who have low stomach acid, have had stomach surgery or who need a form of calcium that will not lower their stomach acid further.
Calcium Gluconate and Lactate: these two forms of calcium are high soluble. Since the amount of elemental calcium is much lower (9 percent and 13 percent respectively), they are used more often in powder form and mixed with liquids or food. When mixed in a beverage, the calcium is already dissolved and is ready to be absorbed. This is the best calcium salt for people who have overactive bowels, who have trouble swallowing pills or who don’t like the taste of pre-formed liquid calcium supplements. These calcium powders can be mixed in juices or smoothies or added to food as they are virtually tasteless.
Calcium Orotate and Asporotate: In the mid 20th century, Dr. Hans Nieper, a German scientist, advanced a theory that orotic and aspartic salt forms of calcium are transported directly to cell membranes for better absorption. The Solaray brand developed an asporotate formula, which combines three organic acids: aspartic acid (-Asp), orotic acid (-oro) and citric acid (-tate) into one product. The asporotate formula has become one of the most popular calcium formulas and is exclusive to the Solaray brand. This product is for customers who appreciate the idea of combining the enhanced absorbability of three organic acids into one. Aspartate and citrate are also part of the krebs (energy) cycle and are natural to the body’s metabolic systems and, according to Neiper, calcium Orotate and Aspartate are mineral transporters that enter into the cells to facilitate enzymatic actions rather than being extra-cellular. For people who believe that intracellular calcium is of importance, calcium Orotate and asporotate may be good choice.
Calcium Hydroxyapatite: this is another “natural form of calcium usually as a mineral ash form bovine source bone. Bone meal is also a form of calcium from bovine bone. These forms of animal derived calcium are for customers who want a source that is closest to their own bone Matrix. Not for vegetarians.
Calcium Amino Acid Chelates (*HVP): this form is calcium carbonate bonded (Chelated) to a form of amino acid complex such as whole rice concentrate or other grain source. This form is for customers who want the additional bioavailability of amino acids.
Calcium AEP: Another form of calcium endorsed by Dr. Hans Nieper who theorized that calcium would cross the cell membranes more readily when it was combined with phosphatidyl ethanolamine or Amino Ethanol Phosphate (AEP), a nutrient found in nerve sheaths. This highly specialized form is for very educated customers who are proponets of Hans Niepers theory.
So, which form is best?
Calcium, like cars, comes in a variety of forms. Isn’t it wonderful that we have so many choices? The point is, there is no best one, there are only individual choices. Although we have our favorites, taking a calcium supplement, regardless of which one it is, should:
Our primary concern when choosing a calcium supplement should be to provide our body with the right amount of calcium daily so that our skeleton and teeth can maintain proper mineralization and strength as the cells continuously break down and rebuild. The type of calcium complex we prefer is entirely up to us.
*HVP = Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein
Degenerative joint disease (osteoarthritis)
August 24, 2006 03:55 PM
Degenerative joint disease (osteoarthritis) damages or destroys cartilage and its supportive collagen structure. As many as 40 million Americans, including the majority of people over age fifty, are thought to suffer from some form of this disease. Primary osteoarthritis, the “wear and tear” form, is due to normal use and age-related causes. Secondary osteoarthritis results from repeated joint trauma, inherited predisposition, or previous inflammatory conditions. While non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) treat symptoms only, a natural, holistic approach strives to improve the environment of the cartilage and joint as a whole by providing protective and restorative nourishment, increased circulation, decreased inflammation and reduced free radical damage.
High levels of Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate
Widely regarded as the first defense in protecting joints, glucosamine and Chondroitin sulfate have been shown to effectively control joint pain and slow down or reverse the progression of cartilage deterioration. The integrity of joint gliding surfaces as well as the health of tendons, ligaments, joint fluids, skin, bones, heart valves and virtually all structural elements in the body is dependent upon the proper synthesis and availability of proteoglycans, integral components of joint cartilage.
Glucosamine provides two components critical to the synthesis of proteoglycans: hyaluronic acid and glycosaminoglycans (GAGs).
Chondroitin sulfate represents an important group of GAGs. It is not a single compound, but rather a class of compounds with different molecular weights that each have specialized functions within the body.
Numerous studies have shown that long-term safety, reduction in pain and protection of cartilage with body chondroitin and glucosamine are comparable or superior to results obtained with NSAIDs.
MSM. (Methylsulfonylmethane) MSM is a rich source of sulfur, a mineral required for GAG synthesis. A preliminary study suggests that MSM may help reduce pain in persons with degenerative arthritis.
Gota Kola. (Centella asiatica) known to support collagen synthesis and stimulate GAG’s, Gota Kola has been used for many years in Europe to promote wound healing and blood vessel integrity. It also has been shown to improve circulation in small vessels.
Turmeric. (Curcuma longa) this saffron-colored root offers a wide range of benefits. It naturally inhibits the inflammatory COX-2 enzyme, reduces pain and is a potent antioxidant that protects the liver and other cells. High antioxidant diets may inhibit joint deterioration.
Bromelain. Derived from pineapple cores, Bromelain is most commonly used for healing soft tissue injuries and inflammation. It contains potent selective proteases (protein-digesting enzymes) and other substances which serve to block destruction of GAGs.
Trace Minerals. Micronutrients play many distinct roles in support of healthy joint connective tissue and joint cartilage Matrix.
Black Pepper Extract. Bioperine is a highly concentrated extract (95% - 98% piperine) of black pepper. Used as a bioavailability enhancer, it has been shown to increase the absorption of vitamins, minerals and herbs.
Clinical Strength Eye Support FAQ's
January 11, 2006 10:34 AM
Clinical Strength Eye Support FAQ's
What makes Clinical Strength Eye Support an effective supplement?
Though there are many biologically active ingredients in the formula the pair that have the greatest body of research to support their inclusion in Clinical Strength Eye Support is Lutein and Zeaxanthin.
According to a study published in the April 2004 edition of Optometry: The Journal of the American Optometric Association, the lutein antioxidant supplementation trial (LAST) concluded that visual function of study participants with symptoms of age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) improved with the intake of lutein alone or lutein together with other nutrients, such as antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
Lutein and Zeaxanthin are fat soluble, yellow colored carotenoids found naturally in green leafy vegetables like spinach, egg yolks, corn, peaches and marigolds. Though these carotenoids are found in fatty tissues throughout the body, by far the highest concentration is found in the macula and retina of the eye. These fat-soluble antioxidants have been found to stop free radical reactions specifically the photo-reactive oxygen species that are particularly damaging to eye and skin tissues.
What role do some of the other key ingredients play? Beta-Carotene is another antioxidant carotenoid found naturally in dark green and orange-yellow vegetables and fruit. Unlike Lutein however Beta-carotene can be converted to Vitamin A as needed by the body. Vitamin A is necessary for proper eye function and may reduce cataract formation. Bilberry, Green Tea, Ginkgo Biloba and Grapeseed extracts contribute compounds called Polyphenols and Anthocyanidins. These antioxidant compounds protect blood vessels that supply needed blood flow to the eyes and peripheral tissues. Rutin and the other Bioflavonoids stabilize the collagen Matrix and maintain the integrity of the vital blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients to the eyes. Vitamins C and E are antioxidants that inhibit free radical damage and are used by the body to prevent some of the degenerative patterns related to the aging process. Vitamin C may protect the eye from UV rays that can damage the lens and cause cataracts.
Taurine is a sulfur containing amino acid that is the most abundant amino acid in the retina of the eye and plays a role in healthy vision.
Selenium and Zinc are minerals that help the body to produce the important cellular antioxidants Glutathione and SOD that protect eye tissue from oxidative damage.
December 19, 2005 09:16 AM
Hyaluronic Acid - In just the past few years, hyaluronic acid (HA) has emerged as one of the most significant new anti-aging supplements. This mucopolysaccharide naturally occurs in every human body, and is primarily concentrated in the skin, eyes and articular cartilage. Physiologically, HA absorbs water within the body, thus supporting the gel-like Matrix that works to protects the cell structures most essential to healthy, wrinkle resistant skin.*
Triphala Fact Sheet
December 08, 2005 04:09 PM
Triphala Fact SheetNeil E. Levin, CCN, DANLA 6/30/05
LIKELY USES: Antioxidant Colon Cleansing, Detoxifying, Digestive, Liver and bile health
KEY INGREDIENTS: Triphala 500 mg, in a combination of fruit powders and extracts
MAIN PRODUCT FEATURES: Triphala is a combination of three fruits (Harada, Amla, and Behada) that has been used in Ayurvedic herbalism for thousands of years. Triphala's historical use as a digestive cleanser and tonifier has been backed up with numerous modern scientific studies demonstrating the positive effects of its component herbs on the gastrointestinal tract. In addition, Triphala has been shown to be a potent antioxidant, protecting cells against the damaging effects of free radicals. May help to dispel worms. Mild-acting internal cleansing; supports liver and gastrointestinal function
ADDITIONAL PRODUCT USE INFORMATION & QUALITY ISSUES: NOW offers the first - and only - Triphala supplement to combine the fruit powders (400 mg) with the extracts (100 mg) of the fruits (doses given per tablet, there are three tablets per serving). Authorities like Dr. Andrew Weil consider Triphala to be a superior bowel tonic, rather than a laxative, with its benefits increasing over time. Laxatives typically are habit-forming and do not enhance normal body elimination of wastes; this is not the case with (moderate doses of) Triphala. This formula is suitable for vegetarians and is offered in tablet form.
SERVING SIZE & HOW TO TAKE IT: As a dietary supplement, every three tablets provide 1,200 mg. (1.2 gram) Triphala powder and 300 mg. (0.30 gram) Triphala extract. Both the powder and the extract provide the three fruits in equal ratios, by weight. Take one to three servings per day, between meals.
COMPLEMENTARY PRODUCTS: Fiber sources (psyllium, pectin, etc.), Detox Support, Plant Enzymes, Virgin Coconut Oil, Dr. Verghese Liver Formula, Bentonite Powder, Probiotics (GR-8 Dophilus, 4x6 Acidophilus, etc.), Electrolytes (minerals) CAUTIONS: none
PRODUCT SPECIFIC: Contraindicated during pregnancy and lactation; avoid during menstruation; not appropriate for the very young or very old or the convalescent.
GENERAL: Pregnant and lactating women and people using prescription drugs should consult their physician before taking any dietary supplement. When taking any new supplement, use common sense and cautiously increase to the full dose over time to avoid any potential problems.
Packages may contain moisture or oxygen controlling packets or canisters that are not intended for consumption. In order to maintain maximum freshness, please do not remove these from your bottle (until the bottle is empty). Please recycle your container.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
REFERENCES: Abraham S, Kumar MS, Sehgal PK, Nitish S, Jayakumar ND. Evaluation of the inhibitory effect of triphala on PMN-type Matrix metalloproteinase (MMP-9). J Periodontol. 2005 Apr;76(4):497-502. PMID: 15857087 Al-Rehaily AJ, Al-Howiriny TA, Al-sohaiani MO, Rafatullah S. (2002) Gastroprotective effects of 'Amla" Emblica officinalis on in vivo test models in rats. Phytomedicine 9(6):515-522.
Arora S, Kaur K, Kaur S. Indian medicinal plants as a reservoir of protective phytochemicals. Teratog Carcinog Mutagen. 2003;Suppl 1:295-300. PMID: 12616620 Jagetia GC, Baliga MS, Malagi KJ, Sethukumar Kamath M. The evaluation of the radioprotective effect of Triphala (an ayurvedic rejuvenating drug) in the mice exposed to gamma-radiation. Phytomedicine. 2002 Mar;9(2):99-108. PMID: 11995956 Jagetia GC, Malagi KJ, Baliga MS, Venkatesh P, Veruva RR (2003) Triphala, an Ayurvedic Rasayana Drug, Protects Mice Against Radiation-Induced Lethality by Free-Radical Scavenging. J Alt Complement Med 10(6):971-978. Jagetia GC, Rao Sk,, Baliga MS, Babu K (2004) The evaluation of nitric oxide scavenging activity of certain herbal formulations in vitro: a preliminary study. Phytother Res 18(7):561-565.
Kaur S, Michael H, Arora S, Harkonen PL, Kumar S. The in vitro cytotoxic and apoptotic activity of Triphala--an Indian herbal drug. J Ethnopharmacol. 2005 Feb 10;97(1):15-20. Epub 2004 Dec 25. PMID: 15652269 Kaur S, Arora S, Kaur K, Kumar S. The in vitro antimutagenic activity of Triphala--an Indian herbal drug. Food Chem Toxicol. 2002 Apr;40(4):527-34. PMID: 11893411 Sabu MC, Kuttan R (2002) Anti-diabetic activity of medicinal plants and its relationship with their antioxidant property. J Ethnopharmacol 81:155-160. Sairam K, Rao CV, Dora M, Babu K, Kumar V, Agrawal VK, Goel RK (2002) Antiulcerogenic effect of methanolic extract of Emblica Officinals: an experimental study. J Ethnopharmacol 82:1-9. Sandhya T, Lathika KM, Pandey BN, Mishra KP. Potential of traditional ayurvedic formulation, Triphala, as a novel anticancer drug. Cancer Lett. 2005 May 14; [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 15899544 Tamhane MD, Thorat SP, Rege NN, Dahanukar SA (1997) Effect of oral administration of Terminalia chebula on gastric emptying: an Experimental study. J Postgrad Med 43(1):12-13. Vani T, Rajani M, Sarkar S, and Shishoo CJ. Antioxidant Properties of the Ayurvedic Formulation Triphala and its Constituents. International Journal of Pharmacognosy Vol 35, No. 5, 1997:313-3
Celadrin and MSM Fact Sheet
December 07, 2005 01:24 PM
Celadrin and MSM Fact SheetNeil E. Levin, CCN, DANLA Certified Clinical Nutritionist, Diplomate in Advanced Nutritional Laboratory Assessment Revised 11/10/05
LIKELY USERS: People lacking flexibility or mobility; People wanting temporary control of aches and pains; People wanting to reduce pro-inflammatory body chemicals. KEY INGREDIENT(S): Celadrin® powder 500 mg. Provides 350 mg. of actual EFAC (esterified fatty acid carbons). This is a proprietary blend of Esterified Fatty Acid Carbons of Myristate, Myristoleate, Laurate, Oleate, Palmitate and Palmitoleate in a base of tapioca and silica.
MSM 100 mg.
MAIN PRODUCT FEATURES: CELADRIN® is an all-natural proprietary Matrix of esterified (cetylated) fatty acid carbons (EFAC) derived from tallow of USA-raised cattle. This product is developed through a proprietary process of esterifying oil & has been clinically tested. Celadrin promotes joint health by improving flexibility, pain management and mobility. The myristoleic acids and the cetylated forms may alter the 5-LOX enzyme and change the leukotriene production, inhibiting inflammatory compounds.
Celadrin® may offer some noticeable benefits faster than other substances, like glucosamine and chondroitin. Though it is not a substitute for these important tissue-building nutrients. ADDITIONAL PRODUCT USE INFORMATION & QUALITY ISSUES: MSM has synergistic abilities to reduce certain substances in the body which may affect the inflammatory process.
Contains Cetyl Myristoleate (CM, CMO), but in a patented blend of other fatty acid carbons. This product (Celadrin ®) has its own clinical studies showing safety and efficacy.
Also will be available in a softgel of the same potency (350 mg. of EFAC) as of December 2005 (product 3017, 90 softgels)
SERVING SIZE & HOW TO TAKE IT: Three capsules a day, preferably with meals.
POSSIBLE SYNERGISTS: Glucosamine, Chondroitin, MSM, Joint Support Products, Manganese, Vitamin C, other Antioxidants
GENERAL: Pregnant and lactating women, and people using prescription drugs, should consult their physician before taking any dietary supplement.
This information is based on my own knowledge and references, and should not be used as diagnosis, prescription or as a specific product claim. This document has not been reviewed by the FDA or by the company posting it. Information given here may vary from what is shown on the product label because this represents my own professional experience and understanding of the science underlying the formula and ingredients.
When taking any new dietary supplement, use common sense and cautiously increase to the full-recommended dose over time, looking for possible side effects. Repeat this process for each new supplement that you start to use.
REFERENCES: 1. J Rheumatol. 2002 Aug;29(8):1708-12. Cetylated Fatty Acids Improve Knee Function in Patients with Osteoarthritis. Hesslink R Jr, Armstrong D 3rd, Nagendran MV, Sreevatsan S, Barathur R.
The “Power of Electrolyte Trace Minerals
October 13, 2005 01:08 PM
The “Power of Electrolyte Trace Minerals
The form of different minerals also play a key role in how well they are transported through the circulatory systemand the aqueous micro-environment of the cells. “whatever the nutritional potential of a food, its contribution is nonexistent if it does not pass the test of absorption”. Those minerals that your body is unable to break down to their ionic form are likely to pass completely from the body unassimilated, and for all nutritional intents and purposes, were never eaten. Authors Rosenberg and solomons offer the following insight:
“Insofar as minerals in the diet are often bound to protein, complexed with organic molecules in food, or otherwise imbedded in the Matrix of food-stuffs, the mechanical processes of mastication, dissolution, dispersion, and often digestion are important preparative steps to absorption. Moreover, at the conclusion of the aforementioned reductive process, minerals generally emerge in the intestinal lumen as charged ions, e.g. Fe, Zn, PO4, SeO3.”
“Minerals should be ionic to be readily absorbed through transfer in the small intestine.”
Minerals that are absorbed in their ionic form are true liquid solution and have either positive or negative charges. They also have properties that distinguish them from each other and allow them to freely take part in biochemical communication throughout the body. These communications help nutrients move to those areas of the body that are in most need of their help.
“Imbalances of any of these ions or certain trace ions in the body…can lead to dysfunction in the conduction of electrical messages. This dysfunction quickly leads to a general body disturbance and loss of ability to maintain somewhat stable internal conditions.
The Light bulb demonstration that Trace Minerals Research uses is a simple yet effective scientific experiment to show how well different minerals break down into ionic solutions in water and their concentration in that form. The experiment uses a broken circuit from the electrical cord that is connected to two probes which are then inserted into distilled water. When a mineral is placed in the water, it will connect the circuit and light the bulb in direct relation to how well it breaks down into ionic solutions and it’s concentration in ionic form. If a mineral does not break down in water, it will not light the light bulb.
Best Hyaluronic Acid w/Chondroitin Sulfate - Benefits of...
July 27, 2005 12:28 PM
• Supports Healthy Joint Structure and Function*
Components of BioCell Collagen II including collagen type II, chondroitin sulfate and hyaluronic acid (HA) can enhance proteoglycans in the joint Matrix, thereby providing support for healthy joint function and maintaining joint shock absorption and cushioning.
Chondroitin has been well studied for its effects on joint health. In a 1996 controlled, double-blind trial published in the Journal of Rheumatology, 146 volunteers consumed chondroitin sulfate daily for 6 months. Changes in joint function were measured according to several clinical parameters and carefully analyzed. After the first month, significant improvements were noted and maintained for three months after the subjects stopped taking the chondroitin sulfate.1 In an earlier double-blind study subjects taking chondroitin sulfate had improvements in joint function after three months of use, as determined by both objective and subjective measurements.2 In both studies, the benefits lasted for weeks after subjects stopped taking chondroitin sulfate.
In another controlled study, 192 subjects took chondroitin sulfate or a placebo daily for one year. At the end of the trial, chondroitin sulfate maintained healthy joint cartilage thickness, while those on placebo had decreased cartilage. Improvements in joint function also occurred. The researchers reported that chondroitin exerted a clear chondroprotective effect.3
COLLAGEN TYPE II
A number of studies have also been conducted on the administration of collagen type II to individuals that have various joint issues. Much of this research has been conducted on animal models of joint conditions while there are also studies showing the effectiveness of oral collagen type II preparations in humans for maintenance of healthy joints.
A randomized controlled trial conducted on 60 patients with joint health issues in 1993 found that oral administration of chicken collagen type II for 3 months led to a significant decrease in swollen and tender joints in this group, as compared to no measurable improvement in the placebo group. There were also no side effects seen with the treatment.4 A second multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in 274 individuals with joint issues was published in 1998. The participants were given collagen type II orally for 24 weeks. Positive effects of the treatment were noted while no adverse effects were seen.5
A paper published in 2000 reviewed the literature to assess the role of hydrolyzed collagen in joint and bone health. It was found that hydrolyzed collagen when administered orally was able to support joint health in most of the trials reviewed while the author concluded that, “Its high level of safety makes it attractive as an agent for long-term use.”6
HYALURONIC ACID (HA)
Most of the literature on hyaluronic acid and joint health deals with its intra-articular use, or injections of HA directly into the joints. In this realm, there is good evidence for the effects of HA on joint function.
A study was conducted with injectable HA in individuals with TMJ (temporomandibular joint) conditions. Participants received two injections, each one week apart, or placebo injections with saline. In the HA group, the researchers found decreased clicking sounds and increased function of the joint at 1 month (90% of patients showed improvement) and 6 months (63%) of follow-up, compared to about 26% of the placebo group showing improvement at 6 months.7
A pair of researchers also conducted a literature review of the trials using HA for improving joint health that was published in 2005. Their findings indicate a positive role for HA in modifying the structure of the joint and slowing progressive deterioration of joint function and mobility.8 Hyaluronic acid seems to have a natural affinity for joint tissue, and is therefore able to help support healthy joint structure and function.
• SuSupports Healthy Joint Structure and Function*
Hyaluronic Acid and Collagen are both vital components of skin tissue. Both compounds are known to decline with aging. Collagen is a vital structural component of the skin. It is also one of the most important substances required for proper skin barrier function and health. Collagen, as a major component of the connective tissue, provides structural support, increasing elasticity and tone of the skin.
In 1994, researchers performed comparative measurements of hyaluronic acid levels in the skin of young and elderly individuals. The researchers had hypothesized that a major reason for the aged appearance of skin in the elderly is a reduction of hyaluronic acid levels. What they found using their methods is that there is a progressive reduction in the number of hyaluronic acid granules in human skin with age, until a complete absence of these granules was seen in individuals 60 years or older. These variations in HA levels with age could, according to the researchers, account for the decreased turgidity, wrinkled appearance and altered elasticity of skin tissue.9 Further research was needed to determine the effect of exogenously administered HA on the suppleness of human skin.
In a laboratory study conducted in 1998, researchers analyzed the effects of HA given to live human skin cells. Whereas the cells on their own had a low rate of renewal, hyaluronic acid added to the cells resulted in increased proliferation of skin cells in the collagen Matrix. This showed that supplementing skin cells with HA caused a significant increase in the ability of cells to go through the cell cycle.10 One of the major benefits of this may be hyaluronic acid’s ability to continually renew skin tissue to help maintain a youthful appearance of the skin.
Suggested Adult Use: Take 2 capsules daily, or as directed by a health care practitioner. Take with 8-10 ounces of water, with or without food.
1. Morreale P, et al. Comparison of the antiinflammatory efficacy of chondroitin sulfate and diclofenac sodium in patients with knee osteoarthritis. J Rheumatol (1996) 23:1385-91.
2. Mazières B, et al. Chondroitin sulfate for the treatment of coxarthrosis and gonarthrosis. A prospective, multicenter, placebo-controlled, double blind trial with five months follow up. Rev. Rhum. Mal. Ostèoartic. 1992;59(7-8):466-472.
3. Pipitone V, et al. A multicenter, triple-blind study to evaluate galactosaminoglucuronoglycan sulfate versus placebo in patients with femorotibial gonarthritis. Current Therapeutic Research 1992 52(4):608-38.
4. Trentham DE, et al. Effects of oral administration of type II collagen on rheumatoid arthritis. Science. 1993 Sep 24; 261(5129) 1727-30.
5. Barnett ML, et al. Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis with oral type II collagen. Results of a multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Arthritis Rheum. 1998 Feb; 41(2): 290-7.
6. Moskowitz RW. Role of collagen hydrolysate in bone and joint disease. Semin Arthritis Rheum. 2000 Oct;30(2):87-99.
7. Hepguler S, et al. The efficacy of intra-articular sodium hyaluronate in patients with reducing displaced disc of the temporomandibular joint. J Oral Rehab. 2002; 29: 80-86.
8. Goldberg VM, Buckwalter JA. Hyaluronans in the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee: evidence for disease-modifying activity. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2005 Mar;13(3):216-24.
9. Ghersetich I, et al. Hyaluronic acid in cutaneous intrinsic aging. Int J Dermatol. 1994 Feb; 33(2): 119-22.
10. Greco RM, et al. Hyaluronic acid stimulates human fibroblast proliferation within a collagen Matrix. J Cell Physiol. 1998 Dec; 177(3): 465-73.
Strontium Bone Maker 60 VC - Strengthen Bones
July 27, 2005 12:06 PM
Helps maintain strong, healthy bones.*
In Vitro and Animal Studies
Strontium is a bone-seeking mineral incorporated by ionic substitution for calcium onto the crystal surface of bone.2 In the test-tube (in vitro), strontium inhibits the activity of osteoclasts, bone cells that break down bone, or “resorb” bone as part of the normal bone remodeling process.3 The effect of strontium, in the form of strontium ranelate (a salt of strontium and ranelic acid), was studied in monkeys over a six-month period. Strontium altered the remodeling of bone in the monkeys, resulting in decreased bone resorption with a concomitant maintenance of bone formation. A trend toward increased volume of osteoid, the organic Matrix of bone, was observed, although this was not associated with defects in bone mineralization.4 In another animal study, monkeys fed strontium at high doses for six weeks showed a marked increase in bone strontium content. No harmful effects on bone mineral chemistry or structure occurred.5 At low doses, strontium has been shown to increase the number of bone forming sites in thighbones of adult rats, without adverse effects on the mineral content of bone or mineralization of the organic bone Matrix.6 Strontium was shown to reverse bone loss induced by estrogen deficiency in rats.7
Human clinical trials have examined the effect of strontium on bone in postmenopausal women. In the dose-ranging (Phase 2) PREVOS trial, women in early menopause were administered strontium ranelate or a placebo for two years. Strontium ranelate was given at daily doses of 125 mg, 500 mg or 1 gram. (Total weight of compound; strontium plus ranelic acid). Compared to women in the placebo group, who lost bone, women on strontium at the 1 gram dose showed statistically significant increases in bone mineral density (BMD) of the hip, thigh and lumbar spine. Biochemical markers of bone formation, such as serum alkaline phosphatase, increased. No effect on markers of bone resorption was observed, leading to the conclusion that strontium ranelate, at the 1 gram daily dose, increased bone formation without decreasing bone resorption proportionally. It was concluded that 1 gram per day is the minimum effective daily dose of strontium ranelate in these women.8
In another Phase 2 trial (STRATOS trial), 353 postmenopausal women with osteoporosis, who had experienced at least one spinal fracture, took strontium ranelate for two years at daily doses of 500 mg, 1 gram or 2 grams. Women on the 2-gram dose showed a significantly greater increase in lumbar spine BMD than those on placebo. The number of subjects who had new spinal deformities was significantly reduced.9 As in the PREVOS trial, serum levels of alkaline phosphatase, a marker of bone formation, increased, while markers of bone resorption (breakdown) decreased. The overall conclusion is that the minimum effective daily dose of strontium ranelate (whole compound) is 1 gram in early postmenopausal non-osteoporotic women and 2 grams in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis.10
Phase 3 efficacy studies on strontium ranelate have been conducted on 1649 subjects in 12 countries. These studies began with an open-run (non-controlled study period in which subjects took calcium and vitamin D supplements to normalize their blood levels of these nutrients.11 Following this, two parallel groups were administered 2 grams daily of strontium ranelate or placebo for 3-years. The subjects continued to take calcium and vitamin D during the study. In subjects on strontium ranelate, BMD increased in the lumbar vertebrae by 14.4 percent and in the thighbone by 8.3 percent. The number and risk of vertebral fractures decreased.12
Suggested Use: Take two capsules daily. Calcium intake must also be adequate. Do not take this product with calcium supplements.
Strontium ranelate was well-tolerated in the trials discussed above. The incidence of adverse events in subjects on strontium ranelate was statistically equivalent to the placebo groups, and no negative effects on hematology and other biochemical parameters have been observed.
In view of the fact that subjects on the strontium trials also took calcium, and in some cases vitamin D, to maintain normal blood levels of these nutrients, it is important to ensure calcium and vitamin D intakes are adequate when supplementing with strontium. This is underscored by earlier research on animals suggesting that increasing the intake of strontium via diet may demineralize bone when calcium is deficient.13 In rats with chronic kidney failure, strontium has been shown to cause osteomalacia, a condition in which bone is softened due to lack of mineral content. For this reason, people on kidney dialysis should not use strontium supplements.14
1. Shorr E, Carter AC. The usefulness of strontium as an adjuvant to calcium in the remineralization of the skeleton in man. Bull Hosp Joint Dis 1952; 13:59 -66.
2. Dahl SG, Allain P, Marie PJ, et al. Incorporation and distribution of strontium in bone. Bone 2001;28(4):446-53.
3. Baron R, Tsouderos Y. In vitro effects of S12911-2 on osteoclast function and bone marrow macrophage differentiation. Eur J Pharmacol 2002; 450:11-17.
4. Buehler J, Chappuis P, Saffar JL, et al. Strontium ranelate inhibits bone resorption while maintaining bone formation in alveolar bone in monkeys (Macaca fascicularis) Bone 2001;29(2):176-79.
5. Boivin G, Deloffre P, Perrat B, et al. Strontium distribution and interactions with bone mineral in monkey iliac bone after strontium salt (S 12911) administration. J Bone Miner Res. 1996 Sep;11(9):1302-11.
6. Grynpas MD, Hamilton E, Cheung R, et al. Strontium increases vertebral bone volume in rats at a low dose that does not induce detectable mineralization defect. Bone 1996;18(3):253-9.
7. Marie PJ, Hott M, Modrowski D, et al. An uncoupling agent containing strontium prevents bone loss by depressing bone resorption and maintaining bone formation in estrogen-deficient rats. J Bone Miner Res 1993;8(5):607-15.
8. Reginster JY, Deroisy R, Dougados M, et al. Prevention of early postmenopausal bone loss by strontium ranelate: the randomized, two-year, double-masked, dose ranging, placebo-controlled PREVOS trial. Osteoporosis Int 2002; 13:925-31.
9. Meunier PJ, Slosman DO, Delmas PD, et al. Strontium ranelate: dose-dependent effects in established postmenopausal vertebral osteoporosis––a 2-year randomized placebo controlled trial. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2002;87(5):2060-66.
10. Reginster JY, Meunier PJ. Strontium ranelate phase 2 dose-ranging studies: PREVOS and STRATOS studies. Osteoporosis Int 2003; 14(Suppl 3):S56-S65.
11. Meunier PJ, Reginster JY. Design and methodology of the phase 3 trials for the clinical development of strontium ranelate in the treatment of women with postmenopausal osteoporosis. Osteoporosis Int 2003;14(Suppl 3):S66-76.
12. Meunier PJ, Roux C, Seeman E, et al. The effects of strontium ranelate on the risk of vertebral fracture in women with postmenopausal osteoporosis. N Engl J Med 2004;350(5):459-68. 13. Grynpas MD, Marie PJ. Effects of strontium on bone quality and quantity in rats. Bone 1990;11:313-19.
14. Schrooten, I, Cabrera W, Goodman WG, et al. Strontium causes osteomalacia in chronic renal failure in rats. Kidney Int 1998;54:448-56.
June 25, 2005 07:28 PM
The lifestyles of western cultures have been determined to be major contributing factors in diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer. The most commonly cited factors are inadequate fiber intake, excessive consumption of fats, and a lack of exercise. Educational efforts have resulted in an increase in involvement in various exercise regimines. The consumption of fats, however, continues to increase in spite of the dire warnings that have been publicized. A reduction of fat intake, from an average of 40 percent of the diet to less than 25 percent could have dramatic effects on the health and well-being of the population as a whole. Intake of fiberous foods reduces fat consumption generally through the bulking action of the fibers which leads to a feelings of fullness. Some fibers have an ability to entrap fats in their gelatinous Matrix and prevent their absorption. The most effective fiber for preventing fat absorption is chitosan. Chitosan’s fat entrapment properties can be enhanced by combination with ascorbic acid and other dietary ingredients. Fat entrapment by chitosan has been shown in animals and can be readily demonstrated. The use of chitosan in nummerous environmental, agricultual, biomedical, and health-related areas is well documented. Chitosan has been found to be safe for oral consumption.
June 11, 2005 05:04 PM
Power Protein by Joanne Gallo Energy Times, August 4, 1999
Chances are, if you've been trying to lose weight, build muscle, or increase your energy levels, then you've been hearing about protein. This essential nutrient has stolen the spotlight of the health industry as the alleged key to vitality and a solid physique.
With books like Protein Power (Bantam) and Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution (Avon) firmly implanted on The New York Times bestseller list, and protein bars and shakes growing in popularity, more people than ever are seeking to tap into the power of protein.
But before you go on an all-out protein-blitz, how can you decide what's best for you?
The Purpose of Protein
No doubt about it, protein performs a variety of roles. First and foremost, it is used to manufacture and repair all of the body's cells and tissues, and forms muscles, skin, bones and hair. Protein makes up the connective tissue that forms the Matrix of bones; keratin is a type of protein used to make hair and nails.
It is essential to all metabolic processes; digestive enzymes and metabolism-regulating hormones (such as insulin, which influences blood sugar levels) are all made of protein. This nutrient also intricately takes part in transport functions: Without sufficient protein the body cannot produce adequate hemoglobin, which carries nutrients through the blood. Lipo-proteins are fat-carrying proteins which transport cholesterol through the bloodstream.
Protein helps regulate fluid and electrolyte balance, maintaining proper blood volume. Immunoglobulins and antibodies that ward off diseases are also comprised of protein.
Any protein that you eat that is not utilized for these purposes is stored as fat, although some may be broken down, converted to glucose and burned for energy. This can occur during intensive workouts, or when the body runs out of carbohydrates from the diet or glycogen from its muscle and liver stores.
"Even though the body can depend on the fat it has stored, it still uses muscle protein, unless it is fed protein as food," explain Daniel Gastelu, MS, MFS, and Fred Hatfield, PhD, in their book Dynamic Nutrition for Maximum Performance (Avery). "When dietary circumstances cause the body to use amino acids as a source of energy, it cannot also use these amino acids for building muscle tissue or for performing their other metabolic functions."
One can see why it is so important to eat a sufficient amount of protein daily in food, shakes or bars. Without it, bone tends to break down, the immune system can become impaired, and muscle strength drops as the body uses up muscle protein for energy.
Proteins are built of chains of amino acids, and 20 different kinds of these building blocks are necessary for protein synthesis within the body. Eleven of them can be manufactured by the body through a process called de novo synthesis; these are referred to as non-essential amino acids. The other nine, which must be obtained from the diet, are known as essential amino acids. (Although some amino acids are called "non-essential," in actuality they are vital: The body needs all 20 amino acids to function properly.)
Some of the more familiar non-essential amino acids include: n Carnitine helps remove fat from the bloodstream n Arginine helps burn sugar Essential amino acids include: n L-tryptophan, a precursor of the neurotransmitter serotonin, helps create calm moods and sleep patterns n L-lysine, required for the metabolism of fats n L-methionine a component of SAM-e (a supplement intended to relieve depression and arthritis, see p. 45)
The body forms and destroys protein from amino acids in a constant cycle of synthesis and degradation. You must consume protein regularly to replace the lost amino acids that are oxidized when protein is broken down and used for fuel. The amount of amino acids lost each day depends on what you eat and how much exercise you do.
Athletes vs. Weekend Warriors
Protein intake in the general population is still adequate, notes Gail Butterfield, PhD, RD, director of Sports Nutrition at Stanford University Medical School. "But we're learning that what is true for the general population may not be true for the athletic population," she says. "With heavy training there is greater protein degradation and you need to increase your intake. Thus, protein requirements are higher for athletes than regular people."
Also, if you diet or restrict your eating in any way, you may also not be getting enough protein.
Certainly, if you work out, eating protein is important. Providing four calories of energy per gram, protein keeps blood sugar steady during exercise. After exercise, it helps replenish and maintain stores of glycogen (stored muscle fuel) and decreases the loss of amino acids, as recent research has shown (J Appl Physiol 81 (5), Nov. 1996: 2095-2104). Lab studies in animals show that protein consumed after you run, lift weights, bike, etc..., helps stimulate muscle growth (Jrnl of Nut 127 , June 1997: 1156-1159)
High-protein diets are frequently touted to promote weight loss and increased energy. One of the most influential: the so-called 40-30-30 formula, developed by Barry Sears in his book The Zone: A Dietary Roadmap (HarperCollins), which describes a diet whose calories are 40% carbohydrates, 30% protein and 30% fat. The rationale: when you eat too many carbohydrates, your body uses these starches for energy instead of burning body fat. A high protein diet is supposed to keep your blood sugar balanced and stimulate hormones that burn body fat instead of carbohydrates for energy.
Other fitness experts such as Sherri Kwasnicki, IDEA International Personal Trainer of the Year of 1998, say that while protein is a necessary component of any diet, extreme high-protein plans aren't necessary for recreational fitness buffs. However, she notes that maintaining muscle mass is the key to aging gracefully, and getting enough protein is critical for that.
Many people today won't eat meat and dairy for ethical reasons, or to avoid the antibiotics and other chemicals in the raising of poultry and cattle. But that doesn't have to prohibit adequate protein intake. All soybean products, including tofu and soymilk, provide complete proteins, which supply ample quantities of all the essential amino acids.
In the past vegetarians were told to combine particular foods to make sure they consumed all the essential amino acids at each meal. (For example, beans with either brown rice, corn, nuts, seeds or wheat forms "complete" protein.) Today, diet experts aren't so picky. Eating a variety of plant-based foods throughout the day is just as effective as combining them at one meal.
Vegans who avoid all animal products should eat two servings at sometime during the day of plant-based protein sources, such as tofu, soy products, legumes, seeds and nuts.
The newest sources of protein are bars and shakes, which are growing steadily in popularity. Protein bars now constitute about 12% of the so-called energy bar market, with sales increasing about 38% per year. These bars generally provide at least 20 grams of protein, including soy and whey protein and calcium caseinate (milk protein). The benefits: bars supply protein along with carbohydrates for energy; protein powders, on the other hand, provide quickly digested, easily absorbed amino acids.
Edmund Burke, PhD, author of Optimal Muscle Recovery (Avery), suggests "If you need extra protein, you may benefit from the convenience of a mixed carbohydrate-protein supplement... choose a supplement that's healthy and low in fat."
Amino acid supplements are also growing in popularity, reported to build muscle and burn fat, or improve mood by boosting brain neurotransmitters. The amino acids glutamine, phenylalanine, tyrosine and 5-HTP (a form of tryptophan) are all used to boost spirits and enhance brain function.
And if you still ponder the merits of those high protein diets, do keep in mind that protein may be better at controlling hunger than carbohydrates or fat since it steadies blood sugar, so it may help you stick to a reduced-calorie plan. But excess protein can't be stored as protein in the body: It is either burned for energy or converted to fat. And carbs are still the body's top energy source, so forgoing too many can leave you tired and sluggish.
Still, with so many vital functions-and a variety of sources to choose from-you can't afford to not explore the benefits of protein.
The Joints Are Jumping
June 11, 2005 04:56 PM
The Joints Are Jumping by Rachel Alexander Energy Times, October 8, 2003
It usually starts with a twinge in your back or an ache in your knees: Knee stiffness, back pain and joint inflammation can signal the beginning of arthritis.
According to the US Food and Drug Administration, arthritis affects over 42 million Americans-that's 1 in every 3 adults-and costs the economy nearly $65 billion annually. But as common as arthritis is, it doesn't have to extract a high cost from your joints.
Who's At Risk?
Arthritis literally means an "inflammation of the joints" and can affect anyone-from small children to 80-year-olds. Some groups are more prone to certain types of arthritis; for instance, those over 40 are at greater risk for developing osteoarthritis, a degenerative condition of the joints.
According to Johns Hopkins Medical Institute, more than 50% of all individuals over the age of 40 have x-ray signs of osteoarthritis in weight-bearing joints (such as those in the knees and hips), and nearly half of those over 65 have measurable symptoms of arthritis. Osteoarthritis is often caused by overuse, age, excess weight or genetics, or by a combination of these factors.
Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, is a disease of the immune system that affects the joints, which can make it harder to diagnose because early symptoms-fatigue, weakness, loss of appetite and low-grade fever-can mimic other chronic conditions.
Stiffness and pain may or may not accompany the initial symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. However, joints eventually become inflamed and swollen. Although less common that osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis affects more than 2 million Americans.
Covering Up the Signs
Treating arthritis can involve the use of both conventional and non-conventional therapies.
"In osteoarthritis specifically, conventional medicine has just been focused on covering up the symptoms," says Jason Theodosakis, MD, author of The Arthritis Cure (St. Martin's Press). "In the history of medicine, this approach has been considered primitive."
But Dr. Theodosakis points out that treatment often depends on the type of arthritis involved: "Rheumatoid arthritis patients should be taking prescription drugs that are known to prevent the disease from progressing. [Use] alternative medicine as an adjunct..."
Conventional therapies often involve the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medicines, such as ibuprofen and naproxen. The chief drawback of NSAIDs is the toll these treatments extort from the gastrointestinal system.
In fact, a 2002 study conducted by researchers at the University of South Florida, Tampa, found that more than 15% of patients developed digestive problems after a five-week course of ibuprofen. In addition, ibuprofen may increase blood pressure.
Newer prescription NSAIDs called COX-2 inhibitors, which work by suppressing the body's inflammatory response, also carry risks of side effects ranging from diarrhea and fluid retention to liver damage and kidney problems. In addition, people with asthma or chronic allergies (including to aspirin) should not take these medicines.
Corticosteroids-another treatment option that has been used to lessen inflammation-can cause side effects such as increased appetite, mood changes and even immune system breakdown.
A growing body of evidence shows that nutrients such as glucosamine and MSM, coupled with lifestyle changes, can help decrease or eliminate some of the aches and pains of arthritis. Glucosamine is a natural chemical that helps build joints. When the cartilage in joints deteriorates due to age or other factors, studies indicate that glucosamine provides the necessary building blocks for rebuilding and repairing this tissue.
In one investigation (Archives of Internal Medicine 2002; 162:2113-23), scientists discovered that glucosamine slowed the progression of osteoarthritis and improved symptoms for over 200 patients. Another study, conducted by researchers in the Netherlands, demonstrated that a combination of glucosamine and chondroitin holds promise for conditions such as spinal disc degeneration.
To date, several studies have confirmed glucosamine's ability to help the symptoms of arthritis, and the National Institutes of Health is currently supporting research to further study the benefits of glucosamine.
Other Joint Aids
MSM is often an adjunct therapy as it does not work directly on joints, but provides the raw materials, in this case sulfur, to help rebuild cartilage in the joint Matrix. Studies indicate that sulfur has a protective effect and may interact with magnesium, an essential bone nutrient.
Traditionally, the herb horsetail (Equisetum arvense) has been used to supply silica, a mineral component of nails, bones and joints. Its support of these structures can help in the fight against arthritis.
As the body ages, it may lose much of its silica reserves. Resupplying much of this mineral may help support joints. In addition, experts believe, silica can help the body use calcium more effectively and support bone health.
Since rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic affliction, you should work with a trained health professional in treating it. Complementary care practitioners often use antioxidant nutrients, such as vitamins C and E, to reduce free radical damage, along with pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) to lessen morning stiffness.
A Joint Project
According to Dr. Theodosakis, exercise is the key to dealing with arthritis: "[Start with] an individualized exercise program that strengthens the joints without causing more damage...and an eating program to control your weight if you are currently overweight." To limit the effects of arthritis, you should quit smoking, since smoking generates free radicals that can harm the tissues which make up joints. In addition, a strict vegan diet may help alleviate some of the pains of rheumatoid arthritis.
Dr. Theodosakis also recommends looking for hidden causes of symptoms, such as food allergies, that may contribute to arthritis.
Heat helps ease arthritis pain and encourages both blood flow and tissue repair. A plain, old-fashioned hot water bottle works quite well. Or you can use one of the newer heat-generating wraps, which are thin enough to be worn under clothing and don't have to be constantly reheated.
You can't always avoid arthritis, especially as you get older. But you don't have to let it get the better of you.
Essential Fatty Acids - Lipids, Cell Memgranes & Eicosanoids
June 09, 2005 09:35 AM
Essential Fatty Acids and Phospholipids
Essential fatty acids & phospholipids are primary constituents of cell membranes, and as such they are vital to the makeup of the human body. Essential fatty acids are used to generate certain intra-cellular hormone-like substances, including prostaglandins and leukotrienes, which are responsible for regulating key bodily processes. Source Naturals essential fatty acid supplements are potent, effective and chemical-free.
LIPIDS, CELL MEMBRANES & EICOSANOIDS
Almost by definition, life is composed of cells, and cells are defined by membranes. One theory suggests that, around four billion years ago, self-replicating molecules, similar to the ribonucleic acid or RNA in our own cells, were synthesized from organic molecules. These self-replicating molecules adapted to changes in their environment to increase their potential for survival. Thus began the process of evolution that has led, over the eons, to us. One turning point was when these molecules developed membranes - envelopes which could help concentrate chemicals needed for the cell's survival. There existed in the "primordial soup" substances uniquely suited to this purpose: a class of organic compounds we call lipids . Lipids are more commonly called fats, and in this health and image-conscious age people often think of them as something to be avoided. However, the word fat refers to a variety of substances with a diverse range of chemical properties, which are essential for survival and well-being . The simplest lipids, fatty acids such as palmitic acid, consist of a hydrocarbon "tail" connected to a carboxyl group (COOH). The majority of lipids in food and in the human body occur in the form of triglycerides - a molecular configuration in which three fatty acid chains are attached to a 'backbone' of glycerol (an organic alcohol composed of a 3-carbon chain with an alcohol group attached to each carbon). The major roles of lipids can be described as energy and storage, structural, and metabolic.
Energy and Storage
Molecules can contain more or less chemical energy. In living systems most of the energy needed to drive chemical reactions is derived from oxidation. Oxygen, the ultimate electron acceptor, is a strong oxidant: it has a marked tendency to attract electrons, becoming reduced in the process. When a molecule undergoes a chemical reaction from a high-energy reduced state to a low-energy oxidized state, energy is released. This is what happens in a fire: the high-energy carbohydrates in wood, such as glucose, react with oxygen, releasing heat and the low-energy molecules of carbon dioxide and water. This is similar to what happens in metabolism.
Most of the carbon in a fatty acid chain is highly reduced, which makes fats more energy-rich than the other organic molecules that can be burned as food. This is what we mean when we say fats are high in calories - a measure of the amount of energy released when a substance is oxidized. Fats contain more than twice as many calories as carbohydrates. This makes fats an important storage fuel for most of the body.
Another important class of lipids in the human body consists of the phospholipids. Like triglycerides, phospholipids contain fatty acid chains- in this case two, one saturated and one unsaturated, attached to a glycerol backbone. Unlike triglycerides, in phospholipids the third carbon of the glycerol molecule is attached to a phosphate (a molecular group that contains phosphorus and oxygen), which is in turn attached to either an amino acid or, in the case of phosphatidyl choline, a molecule of the B-vitamin - like substance, choline.
Their unique molecular structure makes phospholipids amphipathic, which means 'likes both':
Fats, being hydrophobic, tend to separate out from water. When fat is mixed with phospholipids in the presence of water, the phospholipid molecules attach themselves to the molecules of fat and bring them into the water solution, enabling the fats to dissolve in water.
Phospholipids form a structure called a lipid bilayer, a two-ply sheet of phospholipid molecules in which the hydrophilic head groups face outward and are in contact with the water, and the hydrophobic tails face each other on the inside of the bilayer. This structure is one of the key constituents of the cell membranes that surround every living cell.
The lipid bilayer of cell membranes is a fluid in which membrane-embedded proteins "float." These proteins serve a wide variety of different functions. Some are enzymes, serving to carry out chemical reactions in the adjacent solution. Some are involved in signaling, in which a biochemical action in a cell is 'commanded' by means of a hormone or some such other signaling molecule. Still others are involved in transporting substances across the membrane, into or out of the cell.
The functions of membrane-embedded proteins are dependent on a very precise balance of phospholipids for their function. Phosphatidyl serine, for instance, has a negatively-charged head group that associates preferentially with a class of membrane-bound proteins called ATPases. ATPases regulate, among other things, the balance of sodium and potassium in intra- and extracellular fluids, a balance that is necessary for the integrity of our cells and also for the electrochemical impulses that make up our thoughts and feelings. Without phosphatidyl serine, these vitally important membrane-embedded proteins could not function.
Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is essential to the structure of cell membranes, which depend for their function on a delicate balance between fluidity and solidity. Cholesterol provides a semifluid Matrix, as well as enhancing membrane fluidity. About 80% of the cholesterol the body uses is manufactured by the liver; the other 20% is consumed in food. Elevated blood cholesterol levels are associated with heart disease. Saturated fats are converted into cholesterol more readily than unsaturated fats, and polyunsaturated fats usually depress blood cholesterol concentration to some degree. Researchers have thus recommended that people lower their consumption of saturated fats and increase their consumption of polyunsaturated fats. A process called hydrogenation , in which hydrogen molecules are added, is used to harden these unsaturated fats to create solid spreads, such as margarine. This process causes formation of altered fats called trans fatty acids. Although the results are not conclusive, human and animal studies have pointed to possible deleterious effects from consumption of trans - fatty acids, which are estimated to account for 5.5% of all fats consumed by Americans. These studies include one in men and women that showed harmful effects of trans - fatty acids on blood cholesterol ratios.
When each link of a fatty acid chain contains an atom of hydrogen, as in palmitic acid, that fatty acid is said to be saturated . If two carbon links are double bonded to each other, each has one less hydrogen atom, and the fatty acid chain is said to be unsaturated. If a fatty acid contains one double bond, it is said to be monounsaturated, and if it has two or more double bonds it is said to be polyunsaturated . Certain polyunsaturated fatty acids cannot be manufactured by the body and must be obtained from the diet. These nutrients are called essential fatty acids and are necessary for the normal function of all tissues. The essential fatty acids fall into two categories:
In addition to being phospholipid precursors, essential fatty acids can be converted to a class of hormone like intracellular messengers called eicosanoids. The physiologic effects of eicosanoids are potent in minute quantities. Their effects are so powerful that they need to be produced near the site of their action and are quickly inactivated. The important eicosanoids include the thromboxanes, leukotrienes and prostaglandins (PGs ). Prostaglandin molecules consist of a five-carbon ring with two side chains. They can be distinguished from each other by numbers that refer to the number of double bonds in their molecular side chains: 1-series PGs have one double bond, 2-series have two double bonds, and so on. Prostaglandins mediate a variety of bodily processes, including inflammatory reactions, blood vessel contraction and dilation, and platelet aggregation. The different PGs have different effects on the body, and different essential fatty acids act as precursors for different PGs.
Important essential fatty acids in humans are the omega-6 fatty acids, which include linoleic acid (LA), gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), and arachidonic acid (AA). 1-series PGs are derived from GLA and tend to cause blood vessels to dilate and reduce the stickiness of platelets (cell fragments in the blood that help initiate blood clotting). 2-series PGs are derived from arachidonic acid and tend to increase platelet stickiness and cause blood vessels to constrict. Meat and dairy products are dietary sources of the PG2 precursor, arachidonic acid; American diets tend to be rich in these foods. The rate-limiting step for production of GLA in the human body is an enzyme called delta-6-desaturase (D6D). The action of this important enzyme can be blocked by a number of different lifestyle factors, including a diet high in saturated or trans- fatty acids and chronic alcohol consumption. A modest increase in consumption of GLA will significantly increase the ratio of GLA to AA in the tissues, which may have a beneficial effect on the homeostasis of the cardiovascular system. Supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids, such as flaxseed oil or fish oil, is beneficial for similar reasons. Omega-3 fatty acids are precursors for 3-series PGs, which reduce platelet stickiness. Series-3 PGs also tend to inhibit conversion of AA into its metabolites, the 2-series PGs.
The lipid composition of our diets has changed radically in the 20th century. Our intake of saturated fats has increased dramatically, and trans fatty acids, which did not exist before the advent of modern food processing technology, now form a major part of our diets. We eat less fish and green leafy vegetables, important sources of omega-3 fatty acids, than our ancestors did. Far from being an inert, homogeneous substance, fat is dynamic and varied - a subtle and interactive Matrix for many of the biological processes taking place in our bodies, minute by minute.
SAMe - Supports Joint Comfort, Function and Mobility ...
June 06, 2005 08:30 AM
You’ve read about it in the media. Europeans have experienced its health benefits for two decades. Now consumers in the United States have access to a nutrient with groundbreaking potential. SAMe, a natural compound formed in our bodies from the amino acid methionine, is stirring excitement due to its wide-ranging health effects. SAMe plays a critical role in cartilage formation. Dozens of clinical studies have demonstrated that SAMe supports joint comfort, function and mobility in the spine, hips and knees. SAMe has also been found to support a positive outlook. It affects the synthesis and activation of proteins such as mood-boosting neurotransmitters.
Technological advances have made possible the production of stable, bioavailable forms of a natural nutrient with broad-range potential. Source Naturals now offers you the fruits of that technology.
A Multipurpose Nutrient
SAMe, or S-adenosyl L-methionine, is formed when our bodies combine the amino acid L-methionine with ATP, the primary energy-carrying molecule in our cells. SAMe is a multipurpose nutrient, which is present in every living cell. Because SAMe is involved in so many vital processes, it is important that our bodies produce sufficient SAMe. However, SAMe levels tend to decline with age, and also can be affected by dietary imbalances. To produce adequate amounts, we need to consume not only methionine-containing protein foods, but also foods rich in vitamins B-6, B-12 and folic acid, which are needed to ensure the synthesis of SAMe. SAMe also is a highly unstable molecule. A lot of scientific research was needed to make it available as a supplement. Source Naturals has studied the research and offers this vital nutrient in a form your body can use.
Methylation is the Key
SAMe is known as a “methyl donor.” This means that it works by giving up a piece of itself (a methyl group consisting of one carbon and three hydrogen atoms) to other molecules. This methylation process affects the synthesis, activation and metabolism of various hormones, neurotransmitters, phospholipids, nucleic acids, proteins and other biological molecules. Methylation plays a part in many critical functions, including the maintenance of cell membranes, the removal of toxic substances from the body and the production of mood-boosting neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin.
Effective Joint Support
SAMe has been used in Europe for two decades for joint support. Dozens of clinical studies have demonstrated that SAMe supports joint comfort, function and mobility in the spine, hips and knees. SAMe is important in a process called transsulfuration. The breakdown of SAMe generates sulfate groups that help maintain joint cartilage. SAMe helps to form proteoglycans, which are used to renew the Matrix of cartilage.
Promotes Mental Well-Being
Studies also show that SAMe helps support a positive outlook. Although the mechanism by which SAMe promotes mental well-being is not known, we do know it is able to cross the blood-brain barrier, where it affects the production of mood-boosting neurotransmitters.
Clinically Researched Potency
Source Naturals SAME is offered in the clinically researched potency of 400 mg per suggested daily use (two tablets). The tablets are enteric coated and blister packed to prevent breakdown and inactivation of ingredients. Source Naturals SAME is available in 20-tablet boxes.
MSM - Methylsulfonylmethane: Nature’s Source for Dietary Sulfur
June 04, 2005 09:42 AM
Sulfur is an important component of our body’s proteins. It is present in our hair, skin, nails and tendons, and plays a critical role in maintaining the integrity and elasticity of connective tissue. And now this vital nutrient can be obtained from a natural, bioavailable source. MSM, or methylsulfonylmethane, is a naturally occurring form of organic sulfur. Though present in dietary sources such as milk, eggs, fish, fruits, vegetables, grains and lean meat, MSM may be lost as a result of over-processing and heating – a particular problem in the modern diet. That’s why Source Naturals created MSM. Taking MSM throughout the day helps to replenish the body’s supply of assimilable sulfur.
Sulfur Helps Maintain the Integrity of Connective Tissue
Sulfur is found in proteins throughout our bodies and is vital to our connective tissues. It must be present in the body in correct balance to keep our tissues elastic and free. Sulfur in our bodies is a major constituent of the glycosaminoglycans, or GAGs. These large, spongy, waterholding molecules are long chains of amino sugars, including chondroitin sulfate. They form the gel-like Matrix of the ground substance of our tissues, especially in connective tissue, such as tendons, cartilage, skin and bones. These “gels” are the glue that holds us together. Glycosaminoglycan chains fill most of the space between our cells, providing mechanical support to tissues while still allowing the diffusion of nutrients, metabolites and hormones between the blood and tissue cells. The gel-like Matrix, together with its GAGs and structural and adhesive components (collagen and elastin), forms the architectural framework of the body. Dietary sulfur is related to the production of GAGs. This is especially important during growth and development, and when connective tissue metabolism becomes active for support of healthy tissues. Sulfur also is needed for amino acid metabolism and hormone synthesis, and is a key factor in the body’s natural defenses. It is a component of important sulfur amino acids, including methionine, cysteine and glutathione.
Vitamin C for Additional Joint Support
Source Naturals has added vitamin C to its MSM tablets because C also is crucial to connective tissue. Vitamin C was first identified as essential because of its role in preventing the classic deficiency disease, scurvy. Scurvy is the total breakdown of collagen, the connective protein that binds tissue together. Although scurvy is rare today, vitamin C still is associated with support for joint function.
Over-Processing & the Modern Diet We should be able to get sufficient MSM from our diets. It is a naturally occurring form of organic sulfur found mainly in protein-rich foods, such as eggs, fish and lean meat. However, today’s over-processed American diet may provide low amounts of sulfur. In this situation, supplementation may be advisable.
MSM: A Versatile Nutrient
Because sulfur is vital to all our body tissues, MSM is a versatile nutrient with a wide range of uses. Source Naturals offers MSM in a 750 mg potency with 125 mg of vitamin C added per tablet. It is sold in 60, 120 and 240-tablet bottles. MSM also is available in a high-potency powder, in 4 oz and 8 oz containers.
Mega H- Hydrogen (H-)The Fuel of Life
June 03, 2005 05:00 PM
Our universe is composed of millions of compounds, all derived from just 106 atoms. Of these elements, hydrogen is the first and most fundamental.
Hydrogen is also the most abundant element, comprising 90% of all atoms in the cosmos. In our sun and stars, hydrogen nuclei fuse to produce helium, the second element. This generates the enormous energy that powers life on earth. And just as hydrogen fuels the sun, so, in the human body, it is the essential factor in the electrochemical process that produces ATP, the energy molecule. Virtually all the millions of biochemical processes that occur every second of our lives are powered by ATP. These facts are well established. But they are so basic that, until now, they have been overlooked in the world of nutritional science. It took the dedicated research of Dr. Patrick Flanagan to harness the power of active hydrogen for health and human development.
Introducing a revolutionary breakthrough in the field of nutritional science: MEGA H-™ Active Hydrogen (H-), the Fuel of Life.
The Creation of Mega H-
For 30 years Dr. Patrick Flanagan’s life work has been to discover the health and longevity secrets of the Hunza people of the Himalayas. It is believed a much greater percentage of people there live past the age of 100, with far less of the diseases that ravage the West. The locals claimed that their secret was the cloudy, mineral-rich water that rushes down from the Himalayan glaciers. In studying the properties of this Hunza water, Dr. Flanagan found that silica crystals dissolved in the water were able to hold negatively charged hydrogen ions (H-). These compounds are technically called silica hydrides. This makes Hunza water a power source, filled with the same active H- that powers the human body.
Typically hydrogen has one positively charged proton in the nucleus and one negatively charged electron orbiting the nucleus. The two opposite charges balance each other, resulting in no charge. Active hydrogen, on the other hand, contains two electrons orbiting the nucleus, creating a negative charge. It is this active hydrogen in its charged form that the body needs to carry out its crucial functions. Dr. Flanagan has recreated this silica hydride compound as MEGA H-™.
Cellular Energy: ATP, Hydrogen and Mega H-™
ATP, adenosine triphosphate, is composed of three phosphates. The breaking of the bond between the second and third phosphates releases the energy to power virtually all cellular processes. Amazingly, we all generate enough metabolic energy to produce our own body weight in ATP every day just to function! Every second, each of our approximately 50 trillion cells consumes and regenerates 10 million molecules of ATP.
This massive energy generation (ATP production) is the fundamental core function of every human cell. Without it, basic activities such as cellular repair, and protein, enzyme, hormone and neurotransmitter synthesis would not occur. DNA repair and cell reproduction would cease. Thoughts, feelings, communication, and our ability to experience the world through our senses and change it through our actions would stop. The negative implication of poor energy generation for our health and vitality levels is significant. Many factors such as aging, poor nutrition and pollution can impede this critical energy generation. Negatively charged electrons from hydrogen are the source of the energy needed to generate this staggering amount of ATP. This energy production takes place in the mitochondria of the cells at the final stage of the Krebs Cycle, called the electron transport chain. Typically, the hydrogen comes from the breakdown of carbohydrates from food, which yields hydrogen as well as carbon and oxygen. But MEGA H-™ is an alternative, electron- rich source of hydrogen to power energy generation. In fact, MEGA H-™ has been shown to double the production of ATP and NADH, according to in vitro studies. (NADH is the coenzyme form of vitamin B-3, niacin, that carries hydrogen to the production site of ATP.) If this alone was all that MEGA H-™ could accomplish, it would be the most significant nutritional compound yet discovered. But its properties go far beyond energy generation. It is the body’s most efficient and effective antioxidant. MEGA H-™ also increases cellular hydration and the uptake of nutrients into each cell by lowering the surface tension of water (making water “wetter”). And it can improve athletic performance by lowering lactic acid levels after strenuous workouts.
Aging and Antioxidant Defense
Energy Decline: As we age, there is a decrease in our bodies’ ability to generate cellular energy—and oxidative damage may be a primary factor. Many scientists now accept the theory of aging first proposed by noted scientist Denham Harman, M.D., Ph.D., who argued that “aging changes are induced by free radical reactions, largely initiated by the mitochondria … the rate of damage to the mitochondria determines our life span.” Why is this? While oxygen is necessary for human life, the very act of breathing generates free radicals. Our mitochondria— tiny energy production plants—are the chief source of oxidants produced in our bodies. It is believed these oxidants damage the mitochondria in which they are produced, including the inner mitochondrial membrane, which is the site of ATP production. This would seriously impair the ability of mitochondria to meet cellular energy demands. The result: signs of normal aging such as impaired memory, hearing, vision and stamina.
DNA Damage: Oxidants also can damage the cell’s DNA. Hydroxyl radicals cause DNA strands to break; if breaks occur in both strands of DNA, the cell cannot repair the damage and will die. Normally, the body has mechanisms to correct or remove damaged cells. However, as we age and cellular energy production declines, the ability to correct these errors is significantly reduced. Left unrepaired, DNA errors may be passed on when cells divide. Over time, these errors can silently accumulate, leading to cellular changes that go unnoticed until body system imbalances become evident.
World’s Most Elemental Antioxidant
MEGA H-™ may be the world’s most powerful antioxidant. It is possible to measure the Oxidation Reduction Potential (ORP) of any compound. This rating, which measures the number of electrons present in relation to protons, ranges from (plus) +1,200 to (minus) -800 millivolts; the stronger an antioxidant is, the closer its ORP would be to -800. The more positive the ORP reading, the fewer the number of available electrons from active hydrogen. In chemistry, active hydrogen is defined as hydrogen with an extra electron, also known as the hydrogen anion, negative hydrogen or H-. The strongest natural antioxidants up until now, such as grape seed and green tea, have ORP’s of -100. But Mega H-™ has an ORP of -778 millivolts, as compared to distilled water, making it the most potent natural antioxidant available today. What’s more, MEGA H-™ is in a class by itself, compared to other antioxidants, due to its electrochemical structure. Free radi-cals—unstable molecules that are missing one or more electrons—damage cells by taking electrons from healthy molecules to balance themselves. When other antioxidants donate electrons to quench free radicals, they in turn become reactive free radicals and require electrons from other antioxidants to become stable. The new antioxidant also requires an electron to return to stability. This process continues, resulting in an inefficient and energy-consuming free radical cascade. But MEGA H-™’s negatively charged hydrogen molecule possesses two electrons instead of the typical one. This extra electron can be donated without generating the inefficient free radical cascade. Dr. Flanagan’s profound contribution was his discovery of a method for stabilizing and delivering negatively charged hydrogen (H-). Unlike taking other antioxidants, supplementing with MEGA H-™ provides a net gain of free radical-quenching electrons into the system.
Additional Health Benefits
MEGA H-™ has been the subject of additional positive research: Increases Cellular Hydration: Water is important to cells, interstitial fluids (surrounding joints, muscles and organs), and the Matrix of blood. As the body’s primary fluid, water serves as a solvent for nutrients. Since water is used to carry nutrients into the cell, it is theorized that increased cellular hydration also increases the bioavailability of nutrients. Water also eliminates toxins and waste products from the body. From energy production to joint lubrication, all our systems depend on water. It has been theorized that aging results in cell dehydration. A study done by Gary Osborn and H. Salinas, M.D. of the Texas Institute of Functional Medicines suggests that silica hydride supplements like MEGA H-™ increase intracellular, extracellular and total body water levels. It is theorized they work by decreasing water’s surface tension, which allows water and nutrients to more easily enter cells and become available for use by the body. Assists In Exercise Recovery: During strenuous exercise, the oxygen supply to muscle cells is insufficient to meet energy demands. Muscle cells then turn to anaerobic respiration to continue to generate energy. This creates lactic acid, which diffuses into the blood, causing muscle fatigue, soreness and loss of endurance. A placebo-controlled study on six healthy males showed that blood lactate levels significantly decreased after exercise when silica hydride supplements were taken for one week before an exercise trial.
The Scientist Behind Mega H-™
This revolutionary approach to nutrition and health is the brain child of Dr. Patrick Flanagan. Dr. Flanagan was a child prodigy with an intense interest in electronics, biochemistry and physics. At the age of 12, he invented a guided missile and atom bomb detector. This technology was subsequently adopted for use by the U.S. government. At 14 he developed the Neurophone®. This device transmits acoustic information to the brain by means of radio waves into the skin, bypassing the eighth cranial nerve, and may allow some deaf people to hear. By the age of 18, he was named one of the Top Ten most promising young scientists in America by Life Magazine. Dr. Flanagan’s work with MEGA H-™ has its roots in his collaboration with Dr. Henri Coanda, a respected scientist who died in 1972. Dr. Coanda passed along his investigation into Hunza water to Dr. Flanagan. MEGA H- is the culmination of decades of research to bring the energizing and anti-aging benefits of active hydrogen (H-) to the world.
Hydrogen (H-)The Fuel of Life
MEGA H-™ is the first supplement available in the natural foods industry to provide a large reservoir of freely available electrons to power the body’s diverse energy functions.
Higher Mind - Smart Nutrients for the Performance of a Lifetime...
June 02, 2005 12:18 PM
Our adult years are the time to reap the fruit of an active, meaningful life – appreciated by family and friends who value our experience and knowledge. For some, however, their later years are clouded by a mental decline that erodes their capacity to enjoy life. More of us are becoming apprehensive about the future health of our minds. Will we still be able to communicate our needs as well as our wisdom? As science focuses its investigative might on the workings of the human brain, new findings suggest that it is possible to enjoy a vital, healthy brain and mind – well into old age. Based on compelling research, Source Naturals formulated HIGHER MIND. It contains the most important Neuroceuticals™ now recognized by nutrition scientists – including phosphatidyl serine, a natural nutrient that promotes cognitive function. The connection is clear: nourish your brain; enrich your life.
To have a healthy, well-functioning brain and nervous system, we need the correct nutrients. Our diets must provide the necessary raw materials for nerve cells to grow, for the synthesis of neurochemicals, and for the maintenance of nerve cell membranes. Nutritional deficiencies can alter the brain’s metabolism, which is expressed by changes in perception and thinking, behavior and mood.
Brain Cells – Issued at Birth
Before birth, neurons (nerve cells) are created at the amazing rate of 15 million per hour. As infants, we have over 100 billion neurons, but this is the most we will ever have because – unlike most other cells in our body – nerve cells do not reproduce. A different strategy is used to replace the neurons that are naturally lost throughout life: nerve cells repair themselves and grow by extending branches of nerve fibers called dendrites (from the Latin word for tree). These are the communication links with other neurons that form the circuitry of the brain. A single neuron may be in contact with up to a hundred thousand others! When the density of this fragile organic communication network decreases, we experience a corresponding decline in mental acuity.
Brain Cell Membranes
The membrane is the working surface of a cell. It needs to be strong yet flexible, so the cell can maintain its integrity and be able to move and change shape. The membrane regulates the flow of nutrients into the cell and the removal of waste, plus controls the passage of molecular messages from outside the cell to its interior. Membrane ion pumps use a third of the cell’s energy just to maintain the correct ratio of sodium to potassium. In neurons, a rapid exchange of sodium and potassium ions across the nerve membrane is responsible for their unique ability to generate the electrical impulses that are the basis of all communication in the nervous system. As cells age, their membranes become less fluid and more rigid. Key membrane molecules called phospholipids are crucial to the health of neuron membranes, allowing the brain to maintain its youthful quality. The phospholipids in HIGHER MIND – especially phosphatidyl serine and phosphatidyl choline – are essential nutritional supplements for the aging brain.
Phosphatidyl Serine – Key to Cognition
For the past decade, researchers have been investigating the role in brain health of a remarkable neuroceutical, phosphatidyl serine (PS). This key structural molecule is integral to the Matrix of fats and proteins that compose cell membranes. Although PS is found in all the cells of the body, its highest concentration is in nerve cell membranes. PS is rarely found in the foods we eat, so the body has to synthesize it, but the process is energy- intensive and becomes less efficient with age. Consequently, our levels of PS tend to decline as we get older. PS taken as a dietary supplement is well-absorbed, readily reaching the brain, where it helps create more effective, well-structured nerve cell membranes. The positive effects of PS supplementation have been demonstrated by 23 clinical studies with over 1200 human subjects, ages 43 to 90. Consistent and statistically significant results have confirmed the value of PS in improving age-related cognitive decline, as well as in improving behavioral aspects such as apathy and withdrawal.1 A major study concluded that for one particular measurable parameter of higher mental functions, PS recipients achieved scores of persons roughly 12 years younger.2 Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) is one of the most important proteins the body makes. It enables neurons to extend dendrites out to other neurons, allowing the brain to maintain an effective communication network. In experiments, PS enhanced the production and reception of NGF, which tend to drop off radically with age.3 The effects of PS at the cellular level are manifest in the performance of the brain as a whole. Subjects taking PS showed increased levels of brain energy metabolism. This enhancement corresponded to higher performances on cognitive tests.4
The Chemistry of Thought
Science now understands the role of neurotransmitters in regulating the body’s complex network of behavior. Neurotransmitters are the chemicals used by neurons to communicate with each other. Activated by a neuron’s electrical impulse, neurotransmitters travel between nerve cells, where they excite or inhibit (in various degrees) the electrical impulse in neighboring cells. One of HIGHER MIND’S key strategies is to improve the brain’s ability to produce and use acetylcholine, a key excitatory neurotransmitter. Acetylcholine is essential for both the storage and recall of memory, and partly responsible for concentration and focus. It also plays a significant role in muscular coordination. Patients showing cognitive decline may exhibit reduced ability to synthesize and utilize acetylcholine.5 The chemical building blocks of acetylcholine and other neurotransmitters are called precursors. The most important one for acetylcholine is DMAE (dimethylaminoethanol). This natural substance is found in various fish, such as anchovies and sardines. Supplements of DMAE (and phosphatidyl choline) promote increased levels of choline in the brain. Acetylcholine is created when an acetyl group is attached to the choline molecule, with the help of choline acetyl transferase (CAT), a key brain enzyme. Acetyl L-carnitine is an amino acid that activates this enzyme. Acetyl L-carnitine may also help reduce lipofuscin deposits in the brain because of its involvement in the metabolism of fatty acids.6 Lipofuscin is composed of oxidized fats and proteins; the brown “age spots” on the back of an elderly person’s hand are made of lipofuscin. The amino acid L-pyroglutamic acid sensitizes the acetylcholine receptor sites on a neuron membrane. A given amount of acetylcholine will then have a larger, more powerful effect. Studies have shown that supplements of L-pyroglutamic acid seem to enhance the ability to focus, remember, and learn.
Total Nutrition for the Brain
The neurotransmitters dopamine and noradrenalin are critical to motor coordination, motivation, concentration, and alertness. Like acetylcholine, their production tends to decline with age. The precursors and activators of dopamine and noradrenalin included in HIGHER MIND are the amino acids N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine and DL-phenylalanine (DLPA), plus folic acid, vitamins B-3, B-6, and C. DLPA is also a precursor to PEA, a neuroamine that has a stimulating effect on the brain. Glutamine is an amino acid precursor to glutamic acid, a major excitatory neurotransmitter involved in mental activity and learning. Glutamine acts as an alternative fuel source for the brain when blood sugar levels are low. It also helps the brain dispose of waste ammonia, which is a natural result of protein breakdown but is irritating to neurons even at low levels. GABA is a dietary amino acid which is also an inhibitory neurotransmitter. GABA works to calm and balance the mind, enhancing mental focus. Along with taurine, these two relaxing neurotransmitters provide a balancing influence to the other, excitatory neurotransmitters. Taurine is found in brain tissue more than anywhere else in the body. It has antioxidant properties and serves as a nerve cell membrane stabilizer, preventing excessive or erratic electrical activity in the brain.
The Importance of Magnesium
Magnesium must be present in adequate amounts in the synaptic gaps between neurons or the neurons become hyper-reactive: causing noises to sound excessively loud and emotional reactions to be extreme. Magnesium also activates a key enzyme responsible for maintaining cellular sodium- potassium balance, which is absolutely essential to the electrical activity of nerve cells, as well as to the existence of the cell itself. (Cells would burst if the sodium-potassium ratio were wrong.) Magnesium also helps relax cerebral blood vessels and is important to the manufacture of ATP, the chief energy molecule of the brain. A buildup of aluminum has been found in the brains of some elderly. In 1989, the British medical journal Lancet published a study showing that drinking water with aluminum can increase the risk of damage by up to 50%. An abundant natural element, aluminum is now a common feature in our culture. It’s found in tap water, cookware, deodorants, beverage containers, baked goods, and of course as aluminum foil. In the brain, aluminum breaks down the structure of neurons – causing them to starve – by displacing magnesium from tubulin, a glycoprotein responsible for making microtubules. These tiny pipe-like structures within a neuron provide needed rigidity, as well as transport nutrients from the nucleus down the dendrites to the ends of the nerve cell. Magnesium malate is an excellent form of magnesium that ensures neurons receive this vital mineral.
B is for Brain Vitamins
HIGHER MIND also contains a high profile of B vitamins and other key nutrients that are often N A T U R A L S S O U R C E Strategies for Wellness SM ¤ lacking in older individuals. A deficiency in any of the B vitamins can alter nerve function and psychological well-being. Thiamine (B-1), known as the “nerve vitamin,” was first recognized because its deficiency caused beriberi, a degenerative nerve disease. Thiamine is part of the structure of nerve cell membranes and is important to the reparative process that neurons need to offset the stress of continual firing of the electrical impulse. Low amounts of thiamine can cause cell malnutrition in the hypothalamus, the brain’s memory center. 7 NAD and NADH, two coenzyme forms of Niacin (B-3), are the most plentiful coenzymes in the brain. They are essential to hundreds of enzymatic reactions, including ones that produce energy. NADH can stimulate the synthesis of key mood-elevating neurotransmitters. It is also one of the body’s most potent antioxidants. Pantothenic acid (B-5), cyanocobalamin (B-12), and folic acid are required to form the myelin sheath – the insulating covering of nerve fibers. A diet low in pantothenic acid has been shown to make test subjects emotionally upset, irritable, and depressed.7 A lack of B-12 can result in poor concentration and, in severe deficiencies, hallucinations. Pyridoxine (B-6) is precursor to over 60 enzymatic reactions and is involved in the synthesis of several neurotransmitters.
Brain cells almost exclusively burn glucose for their energy (other cells can also burn fat), and typically require 50% of all the glucose in the blood. Two B-like vitamins help in the utilization of glucose: PAK (pyridoxine alpha-ketoglutarate) may potentiate the effects of insulin and improve glucose utilization to the cells;8 Biotin is important for the transformation of glucose into energy in the brain. Lipoic acid and coenzyme Q10 are metabolic energizers that help produce ATP, the primary energy molecule in the body. Since the brain uses 20% of the body’s total energy supply, efficient ATP production is vital. Lipoic acid and CoQ10 are also powerful antioxidants that help regenerate other antioxidants in the body. The blood vessels feeding the brain become less efficient as we pass middle age. Since the brain depends on the bloodstream to deliver nutrients and oxygen and to remove waste, the quality of this blood flow is paramount to proper brain nutrition. Ginkgo biloba leaf extract has been shown in scientific studies to increase blood flow to the brain by helping vessels to dilate. It also promotes the smoothness and healthy integrity of blood vessel linings.
For the Life of Your Mind Without proper nutrition, the brain will deteriorate; therefore strategies are needed to both enhance current brain function and protect it throughout life. Based on the latest scientific findings, Source Naturals HIGHER MIND is formulated with neuroceuticals that support the mental functions that tend to decline with age. They give your brain the nourishment it needs to integrate perception, memory, and learning into a more comprehensive awareness – so you can excel for a lifetime.
Heart Science - A Five-Tiered Approach to Heart Health ...
June 02, 2005 12:07 PM
Your heart is crucial to every function of your body. It is the sole organ which pumps oxygen-rich blood through the entire circulatory system, feeding your cells and making life possible. Only recently are Americans realizing the importance of a proper low-fat diet, regular exercise, giving up cigarette smoking, and cutting down alcohol consumption to maintaining a healthy heart. Unfortunately, there has been a huge gap in the number of nutritional supplements which provide nutrients and herbs to support normal heart function. That’s where Source Naturals HEART SCIENCE comes in. Two years in the making, and backed by numerous scientific studies, the nutrients in HEART SCIENCE are some of the most soundly researched of all. Combining high potencies of these super-nutrients, HEART SCIENCE is the most comprehensive, cutting edge nutritional approach to proper heart care available.
Source Naturals HEART SCIENCE— The Five Tiered Approach to Heart Health
Your heart never rests. Even while you sleep, your heart must keep working, relying on the constant generation of energy by the body for its very survival. If this vital organ stops beating for even a short amount of time, all bodily functions cease and life ends. Source Naturals HEART SCIENCE helps support heart function on the chemical, cellular, structural, and energetic levels. This broad spectrum formula includes ingredients specifically geared for
Energy Generators for An Energetic Organ
Every day, the human heart beats about 104,000 times, pumping over 8,000 liters of blood through the body! Because it requires so much energy to perform efficiently, the experts at Source Naturals included specialty nutrients in HEART SCIENCE such as Coenzyme Q10 and L-Carnitine — integral factors in the body’s energy production cycles — to enhance the body’s energy supply.
There are three main interconnected energy generating cycles in our cells — the Glycolytic (sugar-burning) cycle, the Krebs’ (citric acid) cycle, and the Electron Transport Chain. Together they supply about 90 to 95% of our body’s entire energy supply, using fats, sugars, and amino acids as fuel. Coenzyme Q10 is one of the non-vitamin nutrients needed to maximally convert food into ATP (the energy producing molecule). It is the vital connecting link for three of the four main enzyme complexes in the Electron Transport Chain, the next step in energy generation after the Krebs’ cycle. Using the raw materials generated by the Krebs’ cycle, the Electron Transport Chain produces most of the body’s total energy! The heart is one of the bodily organs which contains the highest levels of CoQ10, precisely because it needs so much energy to function efficiently.
CoQ10 is one of the most promising nutrients for the heart under investigation today. It has been postulated that as a result of its participation in energy production, CoQ10 improves heart muscle metabolism and the electrical functioning of the heart by enhancing its pumping capacity.8 Many factors such as a high fat diet, lack of exercise, and cigarette smoking can lead to suboptimal functioning of the heart, and therefore failure of the heart to maintain adequate circulation of blood. Interestingly, people whose lifestyles reflect the above factors also tend to have depleted levels of CoQ10 in the heart muscle.10
Researchers suggest taking between 10-100 mg per day of CoQ10;18,29 HEART SCIENCE provides an impressive 60 mg of CoQ10 per 6 tablets. Similar to CoQ10, L-Carnitine is important for energy production in heart cells. It is a natural amino acid-like substance which plays a key role in transporting fatty acids, the heart’s main source of energy, to the mitochondria, the “power plants” of each cell, where they are utilized for the production of ATP. Heart and skeletal muscles are particularly vulnerable to L-Carnitine deficiency. Studies have shown that supplementation with LCarnitine improves exercise tolerance in individuals with suboptimal heart and circulatory function, and seems to lower blood lipid status and increase HDL (good) cholesterol.16, 22 Each daily dose of HEART SCIENCE contains 500 mg of this extremely important compound.
Like CoQ10 and L-Carnitine, B Vitamins help improve the ability of the heart muscle to function optimally. Each B Vitamin, after being converted to its active coenzyme form, acts as a catalytic “spark plug” for the body’s production of energy. Vitamin B-1, for example, is converted to Cocarboxylase, which serves as a critical link between the Glycolytic and Krebs’ Cycles, and also participates in the conversion of amino acids into energy. A deficiency of B coenzymes within contracting muscle cells can lead to a weakened pumping of the heart.21
HEART SCIENCE is formulated with high quantities of the most absorbable forms of B Vitamins providing maximum nutrition for the high energy demands of heart cells.
B Vitamins also play a crucial role in the conversion of homocysteine, a group of potentially harmful amino acids produced by the body, to methionine, another more beneficial amino acid. While it is normal for the body to produce some homocysteine, even a small elevation in homocysteine levels can have negative implications. It is well documented that individuals who are genetically predisposed to having elevated homocysteine levels (homocysteinemics) tend to have excessive plaque accumulation in the arteries and premature damage to endothelial cells (cells lining the blood vessels and heart).26 Researchers have found that even those without this genetic abnormality, whose homocysteine levels are much lower than those of homocysteinemics, still have an increased risk for premature endothelial damage and the development of plaque in the arteries.24, 26 One study conducted among normal men and women found that those with the highest levels of homocysteine were twice as likely to have clogged arteries as were those with the lowest levels.24 Furthermore, it was found that the lower the research subjects’ blood levels of folate and B-6, the higher their homocysteine levels.24 Another study found that Folic Acid administered to normal men and women who were not even deficient in folate caused a significant reduction in plasma concentrations of homocysteine!3 In order to regulate homocysteine levels, it is critical to provide the body with sufficient amounts of B-6, B-12, and Folate, whether through the diet or through supplementation. HEART SCIENCE includes high levels of these three nutrients, providing B-6 in the regular and coenzyme form for maximum utilization.
The Dangers of Oxidized LDL Cholesterol
While many people have heard that high cholesterol levels may negatively affect normal heart function, few people understand exactly what cholesterol is, or how it can become harmful. Cholesterol is a white, waxy substance produced in the liver by all animals, and used for a variety of necessary activities in the body. Your liver also manufactures two main kinds of carrier molecules which transport cholesterol throughout the system: Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) and High Density Lipoprotein (HDL). Cholesterol is either carried out by LDL from the liver to all tissues in the body where it is deposited, or carried back by HDLs which remove cholesterol deposits from the arteries and carry them to the liver for disposal. Because of this, LDL cholesterol is considered damaging, while HDL is considered protective. Problems occur when there is too much LDL cholesterol in the body and not enough HDL.
When the body becomes overloaded with fat, an over-abundance of LDL particles are manufactured to process it, and they in turn become elevated in the body to a degree that the liver cannot handle. Rich in fatty acids and cholesterol, these particles are highly susceptible to free radical attack (oxidation). Once oxidized, LDL particles are no longer recognized by the body, which attacks them with immune cells. Immune cells which are bloated by oxidized lipids (called foam cells) are a key factor in the development of “fatty streaks” — the first sign of excess arterial fat accumulation. The bloated immune cells accumulate in artery lesions and create plaque in blood vessels, leading to obstruction and constriction of the vessels. Plus, these lodged foam cells continue to secrete free radicals into the bloodstream, making the problem worse.
The development of lesions in the arteries is not an uncommon problem. Arterial (and all blood vessel) walls are composed of a chemical Matrix which holds the endothelial cells in place. That endothelial layer is the first and most important line of defense in preventing large molecules, such as cholesterol and fat, from entering the vessel wall. This Matrix is composed of proteins, collagen, elastin, and glycosaminoglycans (amino sugars). Arterial lesions can be caused by suboptimal collagen and elastin synthesis due to three factors: 1. Vitamin C deficiency (since Vitamin C is a key building block for collagen and elastin); 2. excessive consumption of rancid fats, or heavy usage of alcohol or cigarettes; and 3. free radical damage. Once these lesions are created, the body attempts to repair them by depositing LDL cholesterol — similar to the way one would patch a tire. If that cholesterol is not oxidized, i.e. chemically changed to a harmful, unstable molecule, then this process does not create a problem. But when arterial lesions are “patched” with foam cells, arterial walls suffer page 3 page 4 even more damage, because those foam cells release free radicals which can further damage cell membranes.
Unfortunately, most people have a lot of oxidized cholesterol floating through the bloodstream. The typical American diet, with its low antioxidant intake and overconsumption of fried and overcooked foods, contributes to the overall levels of harmful oxidized cholesterol. In fact, the average American intake of antioxidants is low even by USRDA standards, making Americans particularly prone to having high levels of oxidized cholesterol.
Fortunately, there are concrete steps you can take to prevent the oxidation of cholesterol, and its subsequent ill effects on health. In addition to cutting out high-cholesterol and fatty foods, supplementation can protect existing cholesterol and all tissue cells — from oxidation. Antioxidants, substances which scavenge and neutralize free radicals, protect the cardiovascular system by halting the oxidation of cholesterol, and helping to prevent plaque accumulation in the arteries and the continual secretion of free radicals by foam cells. Supplementing the diet with high amounts of Vitamin C, a key antioxidant, also encourages a more healthy “patching” of existing lesions by using collagen (made from Vitamin C) instead of cholesterol. HEART SCIENCE contains generous amounts of the following antioxidants for their protective benefits:
The Regulating Trio
Three nutrients — Magnesium, Potassium, and Taurine — work closely together in the body to help maintain the normal electrical rhythm of the heart, promote proper fluid balance, and prevent excessive Calcium levels from building up in the heart and artery linings.
Artery Lining Protectors
Your arteries form an integral part of your cardiovascular system, carrying blood away from the heart to nourish other parts of the body. In a healthy heart, blood surges through the arteries with every beat of the heart. The arteries expand with each pulse to accommodate the flow of blood. When arteries become hardened and narrowed by the build-up of plaque, they can’t expand and are not able to transport blood efficiently throughout the body. This inability to open up increases blood pressure, putting a strain on the heart as well as the arteries. HEART SCIENCE includes ingredients specifically geared to protect against plaque formation within arteries and maintain the flexibility of these vital blood vessels. N-Acetyl Glucosamine (NAG) is a key amino sugar which forms the building blocks of mucopolysaccharides. Mucopolysaccharides, which are long chain sugars, are an integral component of connective tissue. They combine to form gel-like Matrixes which are present throughout tissues in the body, helping to maintain the elasticity of blood vessels which must continually adapt to the changing pressures of blood flow. Each daily dose of HEART SCIENCE provides 500 mg — a substantial amount — of this vital tissue building block. There is evidence indicating that Silicon, a natural mineral, may protect against plaque formation in the arteries. Silicon is found mainly in connective tissues, where it helps bind the body’s chemical Matrix. Bound Silicon is found in high amounts in arterial walls. Researchers have found that there is a steady decline in the Silicon content of the aorta and other arteries as we age. This may be due to the low fiber content of the typical American diet, since fiber is a key dietary source of Silicon.23 HEART SCIENCE includes 400 mg of Horsetail herb extract, a natural source of Silicon. Hawthorn Berry is without question the herb most widely used to encourage normal heart function. The beneficial actions of Hawthorn Berry on cardiac function have been repeatedly demonstrated in experimental studies. Supplementation with Hawthorn Berry has been shown to improve both the blood supply to the heart by dilating coronary vessels, and the metabolic processes in the heart, resulting in normal, strong contractions of the heart muscle.34 Also, Hawthorn may inhibit the angiotensen converting enzyme, which is responsible for converting angiotensen I to angiotensen II, a powerful constrictor of blood vessels.34 Bromelain, a natural enzyme derived from pineapples, has become well-known for its neuromuscular relaxing properties. Researchers have reported favorable results when using Bromelain for soothing vascular linings. Initial research also indicates that Bromelain may break down fibrin, the glue which holds platelets together to form blood clots.6
Capillaries are the smallest, yet some of the most important, blood vessels. If you think of your cardiovascular system as a series of roads which transport blood and oxygen, then your arteries are akin to interstate highways, your arterioles are the main city boulevards, and your capillaries are local residential streets. Capillaries are so small, in fact, that single red blood cells actually have to fold up to fit through them. Because of their tiny size and the intricate nature of their network throughout the body, capillaries are responsible for actually nourishing each individual tissue cell! Along the length of the capillaries are small openings called slit pores through which oxygen, glucose, and nutrients leave the capillaries and enter the surrounding interstitial fluid. From there, they cross cell membranes and nourish the cells. Similarly, the waste products of cells enter the fluid and cross over into the capillaries, where they are then transported to the liver and kidneys for disposal. If the capillary slit pores are torn or have lesions, then blood proteins and Sodium will leak out and cause the interstitial fluid to take on a more gel-like nature. This makes the transfer of oxygen and nutrients to the cells more difficult, as well as the disposal of cell waste products, turning the fluid into a stagnant swamp instead of a flowing river. In addition to its powerful antioxidant actions, Proanthodyn also helps protect collagen and elastin, the main constituents of tissue in the capillaries, and throughout the body. It is absolutely essential for capillary walls — which are only one cell thick — to be strong and stable, so that they do not allow blood proteins to leak into the interstitial fluid. Once the interstitial fluid takes on a gel-like consistency, the surrounding cells literally become starved from lack of nutrition. The exciting news is that the proanthocyanidins contained in Proanthodyn are among the few substances yet discovered which can help strengthen capillary walls, ensuring the liquid nature of the interstitial fluid.2 Plus, proanthocyanidins help keep capillary and artery walls flexible, allowing for proper blood flow to the heart.
The 1990’s mark a decade of increased awareness among Americans of important health issues. Much of the discussion has revolved around protecting that precious center of life we call the heart. Simple lifestyle change is one of the most effective ways to maintain and protect the functioning of the cardiovascular system. In order to take a holistic approach to heart care, make sure you include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables (organic, if possible) in your diet, and cut down on fatty and cholesterol-forming foods. Reduce your salt and alcohol intake to a minimum. Try to get regular, sustained aerobic exercise for at least 30 minutes three times a week. Don’t smoke – or if you do smoke, try to eat even more fresh fruits and antioxidant-rich vegetables to counter the amount of free radicals being produced in your body. Lastly, consider adding Source Naturals HEART SCIENCE to your health regimen. HEART SCIENCE, the most comprehensive formula of its kind, provides targeted protection to the entire cardiovascular system. By approaching the promotion of normal heart function on five different levels — through the inclusion of ingredients which supply energy, decrease harmful homocysteine levels, fight cholesterol build-up, help regulate electrical rhythm, and protect artery and capillary linings — HEART SCIENCE is the perfect addition to a holistic approach to heart care.
Source Naturals HEART SCIENCE™
Cholestrex - Lower Cholesterol with Source Naturals Supplements
June 01, 2005 10:41 AM
Our lives depend on an uninterrupted flow of blood throughout the 60,000 miles of arteries, veins, and capillaries that bring vital nourishment to our cells. Our bodies have complex chemical strategies to maintain and repair blood vessel walls. Cholesterol is an important part of the process. However, too much cholesterol in the bloodstream can have serious consequences for our well-being. By understanding how nutrition affects blood cholesterol, we can gain valuable control of our health. Source Naturals CHOLESTREX has been formulated to provide the nutritional support that we need to maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
SINCE DOCTORS FIRST DISCOVERED that cholesterol was the primary ingredient in the sticky deposits that clogged their patients’ arteries, scientists have gained a thorough understanding of cholesterol’s role in our health. Essential to human and animal life, cholesterol is part of every cell in the body. Because cholesterol is so important, the liver synthesizes from 1 to 2 grams of it each day. In addition, we get about another 500 mg from the foods we eat. Problems occur when too much cholesterol gets into the bloodstream. Today, it’s estimated that over 50 million adults in the United States have cholesterol levels that are too high. The body’s processes to manage excess cholesterol depend upon a lifestyle that includes exercise, stress reduction and proper nutrition. Source Naturals Cholestrex is designed to deliver a comprehensive combination of nutrients known to support a healthy blood vessel system – and keep the life stream flowing.
The nutrients in CHOLESTREX are known to support a healthy blood vessel system
Cholesterol: What It Is Cholesterol is a solid waxy substance, technically classed as a “sterol.” Cholesterol enables our cell membranes to maintain their integrity. It is the basic raw material from which the body makes steroid hormones, which include the sex hormones. Cholesterol is the primary component of bile salts that the liver creates to help us assimilate fats, fat-soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids. The liver also uses bile to rid itself of stored toxins. Our skin contains large amounts of cholesterol, making it resistant to the absorption of water-soluble toxins. Even the brain is 7% cholesterol (dry weight).
Blood vessel walls cover a surface area of half an acre and are under constant pressure
Cholesterol in the Blood
Because it’s not water-soluble, cholesterol must be attached to a carrier molecule in order to be transported in the bloodstream. The liver manufactures two types of carrier molecules for cholesterol, LDL and HDL. LDL (low density lipoprotein) molecules carry cholesterol from the liver out to cells of the body. One of its functions is to repair damaged cells, including those of the artery walls. LDL is primarily made up of saturated fats, (meat fats, butter, etc.). HDL (high density lipoprotein) molecules transport cholesterol and fatty acids from body tissues back to the liver for disposal. HDL helps remove excess fat and cholesterol from the bloodstream. HDL is composed of liquid fats (most vegetable oils). It’s crucial to have a proper balance between LDL and HDL cholesterol. High LDL – a sign that the body has too much fat – is a threat to the health of blood vessels, because excess LDL cholesterol may accumulate in damaged areas of vessel walls. These “fatty streaks” are the beginning stage of artery blockage.
The oxidation of LDL cholestrol is at the heart of the problem
Cholesterol and Artery Damage
The walls of the blood vessels cover a surface area of half an acre and are under constant pressure. Of all the blood vessels in the body, the coronary arteries are under the greatest stress. Named for the Latin word for crown (corona), they sit directly on the heart muscle and must continually expand and contract with every heartbeat. That’s 100,000 times each day. This constant squeezing can cause small lesions in the artery wall. This triggers a repair process where LDL cholesterol comes in to patch up the damage. Recent research has found that the crux of the problem is the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. Rich in fatty acids, the LDL molecule becomes permanently altered when oxidized by free radicals (overreactive molecules that steal electrons from other molecules). These rancid, oxidized LDL molecules are no longer recognized by the body, so they’re attacked by immune system cells. These immune cells become bloated with the oxidized lipids, accumulate in artery lesions and create plaque in blood vessels. Why is LDL cholesterol being oxidized? First of all, there’s too much of it in the blood, while not enough HDL. Secondly, the blood doesn’t have enough antioxidants to neutralize free radicals. The ingredients in Source Naturals Cholestrex address these specific problems in several ways. Cholestrex also provides nutrients that protect and strengthen blood vessel walls.
In the typical American diet, 95% of the cholesterol meant for removal is reabsorbed
Cholestrex Has It All
Vitamin C helps maintain the health of artery walls because it’s the key building block for collagen and elastin, the primary constituents of blood vessels. Copper is required by the enzyme that weaves together the fibers of collagen and elastin into the Matrix that makes vessel walls both tough and flexible. As an antioxidant, vitamin C scavenges free radicals in the blood plasma and also regenerates vitamin E within the LDL molecule. Vitamin E has a critical role as the primary protector of LDL, preventing its oxidation. One molecule of vitamin E can protect 200 molecules of polyunsaturated fatty acids from free radical damage. GTF Chromium is involved in insulin activity and the normalization of blood sugar. Excess simple sugars are converted to triglycerides, the blood fats which can accumulate in artery walls. Lecithin is a component of HDL that emulsifies excess blood fat so it can be more readily transported in the bloodstream to the liver, where it’s metabolized. Vitamin B3 (niacin) assists in the metabolism of fats, and puts an electric charge on red blood cells so they repel each other, which prevents blood clumping. The amino acid, L-Arginine, works to lower serum cholesterol and triglycerides by inhibiting fat absorption.
Beta sitosterol neutralizes incoming dietary cholesterol
The Body’s Cholesterol Removal System
HDL molecules carry cholesterol from tissues throughout the body back to the liver, where it is incorporated into bile salts. These bile salts are sent to the intestines, where they combine with fiber for excretion. One problem with the typical American low fiber diet is that 95% of the bile-bound cholesterol is reabsorbed. Since this is the body’s primary pathway for ridding itself of excess cholesterol, another strategy incorporated into Cholestrex is to maximize the production of bile salts and minimize their reabsorption by increasing levels of fiber. Fiber is a key element of Cholestrex. Its four types of soluble fiber bind with bile salts that are laden with cholesterol to ensure their excretion from the body. Oat Bran & Fiber, Grapefruit Pectin, Psyllium Seed Husks and Alfalfa Seeds also absorb cholesterol from our food, thereby lowering total blood cholesterol. Alfalfa seeds are considered a blood purifier. Beta sitosterol, a plant equivalent of cholesterol, binds to sites in the intestines that would otherwise absorb cholesterol. Cholestrex provides a daily total of 300 mg of beta sitosterol which may, by itself, neutralize 200 to 300 mg of incoming dietary cholesterol by preventing its absorption. Vitamin C, among its many other vital roles, is the key factor in activating an enzyme that will increase the liver’s conversion of cholesterol into bile salts. CHOLESTREX uses bioactive mineral ascorbate forms of vitamin C that will not irritate the digestive system. Working in conjunction with the fiber in CHOLESTREX, Calcium increases HDL, while lowering total serum cholesterol.
Cholestrex–Intelligent Nutritional Support
Our generation is fortunate to witness the remarkable progress made by modern science in understanding the body’s complex biochemical processes. As we realize the vital connection between nutrition and cholesterol levels, we are empowered to improve our health and vitality beyond previous standards of wellness. Source Naturals CHOLESTREX. For you and the ones you love.