Search Term: " Meabolies "
Can aloe vera be used to treat sepsis?
May 10, 2019 10:42 AM
Aloe vera can be used for plenty of skin conditions, but new evidence suggests it could be used for blood infections, because of the metabolites in the plant. A Chinese and Japanese study looked at this using mice, and found that aloe metabolites suppressed inflammation, due to reduced nitric oxide level. This is important because sepsis harms the body's own tissues and organs, and can be fatal. Aloe also has other uses, such as skin care, warding off cancer, treating digestive issues, and lowering blood sugar levels.
"After using various tests to determine inflammation, the Chinese and Japanese research team found that aloe metabolites suppressed the expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs). Aloe metabolites also decreased the production of proinflammatory cytokines and nitric oxide."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-04-17-can-aloe-vera-be-used-to-treat-sepsis.html
Bee pollen proven to be a "treasure trove of active naturalmetabolites" that benefit human health
February 17, 2019 02:42 PM
The tiny balls of pollen that bees harvest from vegetation is known as bee pollen. Many people assume that allergies associated with bee pollen are fairly high, but research is showing this pollen can actually act as an antihistamine. Only two people in a six-year time period were shown to have genuine bee pollen allergies. On the other hand, the histamine reduction properties located within bee pollen have proven to be successful in reducing the risk of allergic reactions to other substances.
"The ancient Greeks, Egyptians and Chinese all recognized the value of honey and bee pollen in medicine."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-01-14-bee-pollen-treasure-trove-of-active-natural-metabolites.html
Bifidobacterium Lactis: The Bacterium That Could Help You LoseWeight & Fight Inflammation
October 10, 2018 03:26 PM
The probiotic Bifidobacterium lactis, or B. lactis, is a powerhouse for gut health. Why is this strain of bacteria so important? One study published in 2015 showed that B. lactis could improve unpleasant and painful symptoms associated with poor gut motility, dysbiosis, and GI hypersensitivity. B. lactis is definitely one of the “good guys” of the gut bacteria world because it contributes to a healthy and balanced microbiome, which positively affects balanced blood sugar and optimal weight maintenance.
"A particular strain of B. lactis, known as HN019, has been shown to have a significant impact on those with metabolic syndrome. This probiotic had beneficial effects on inflammation, nitric oxide metabolites, and antioxidant measurements, and the authors of the study stated that if their results are confirmed, supplementation with this probiotic should be considered further."
Read more: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/bifidobacterium-lactis-weight-loss-inflammation
Drug testing and CBD: Can a cannabidiol user test positive for marijuana?
March 23, 2017 01:44 PM
Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is known to have a myriad of health benefits and is becoming increasingly used to treat a variety of health conditions. It's even being used to treat pets for a growing number of conditions. It's also not intoxicating like many products with marijuana. For the many people who are wondering if CBD products will show up on a drug test, this article consults with a drug expert to find answers to this common question.
"Both experts agree: As long as there is no THC in the CBD products, then a urine test would not yield a positive result for THC metabolites."
Read more: http://www.thecannabist.co/2017/03/10/marijuana-drug-test-cbd-cannabidiol-positive/74014/
Caffeine Found to Reduce Age-Related Inflammation
January 24, 2017 12:59 PM
A study has published that caffeine could reduce cardiovascular disease risk factors. So caffeine may actually be more beneficial to you then you thought. In their studies researchers found that the metabolites boosted activity in one of the inflammatory gene clusters. That, in turn, caused the immune cells to produce more IL-1ß. When injected into mice, the substances triggered widespread inflammation and hypertension.
"Caffeine may help reduce the type of inflammation that's linked to cardiovascular disease risk factors, according to a study published online Jan. 16 in Nature Medicine."
September 17, 2014 05:25 PM
What is a Maca Root?
Maca Root is one of the roots and tuber harvests of higher protein content. Until late years, this nutritious base of the Andes was little or nothing known for the lion's share of the individuals thereof, Peru (aside from the tenants of the Andes) and obviously overlooked by whatever is left of the world.
Maca (otherwise called Peruvian Maca or Maca Andina) has an astonishing quality to develop to remarkable statures: from 3800 to 4800 meters high in the most cold Andes mountains, where temperatures are amazing, from exceptional hotness morning to ice on the night, frigid winds, snow and persevering high power of daylight. In this antagonistic region, where there is little oxygen, there is uncommon vegetation develop just potatoes and maca sharp. There are no trees, no plants, just a couple of centimeters tall.
This tuber, irrelevant part of the tuberous root size and state of a typical radish, is effectively dried under the sun and keeps up its nutritious qualities, with elevated amounts of iron, for a few years stockpiling. It is brilliant nourishment and Incas additionally utilized it for its richness improving activity and its impact on sexual conduct.
There have been various effective studies on the action manure Peruvian maca creatures and people. In 1980, researchers from Germany and North America who were doing investigations of the herbs in Peru, rekindled enthusiasm toward its momentum Maca, naming it "the lost products of the Incas."
A percentage of the elements that have been recognized: amino acids, proteins, vitamins, minerals, follow components and auxiliary metabolites.
Maca - History:
Anthropological confirmation has been found in the development of maca in Peru since 1600 BC. The Incas considered Maca as a blessing from the divine beings. They additionally develop maca as nourishment, Lamac - developed in the Andes utilized for religious services and custom moves. Spanish accounts report that amid the victory of Peru, creatures brought from Spain not play ordinarily as of right now, the locals cautioned the vanquishers who nourished their creatures with maca, with what they got the levels of typical generation.
Concerning the stretcher, Father Cobo, amid the pilgrim time, he said: "Maca develops in the most rough and frosty of the good countries where there are chances to develop any plant sustenance."
Maca - Morphology and plant science
Maca is a biennial plant statures conduct, being pollinated toward oneself, cleistogamous, with a five-month conceptive stage and with a blossom that keeps going two roots.
Maca Root: Roots have shades extending from light yellow to dark through the tan, purple, and so on with sizes of 3-6 cm. transverse measurement of 4-7 cm. longitudinal, in the same way as a radish (reversed cone). The root is first in the improvement of items. There is no true distinction in taste or substance organization as the color of the root.
Stem: Short, subtle, in the same way as a carrot or radish.
Leaves: rosette, made with flanges sheath, petiole length with the top leveled. Limbo compound, has a length of 6 to 9 cm; the basal and cauline pinnatifid are somewhat lessened.
Inflorescence: group compound and infrequently basic. The blooms structure bunches, are helper bisexual, actinomorphic, green light and little, white pre-flowering calyx and corolla with 4 free petals somewhat bent at the peak.
Soil grown foods: units somewhat amagrinado. With a solitary seed in each one cell, ovoid, yellowish-red, 1-2 mm. wide.
Maca – Cultivation
Cultivola Maca is developed fundamentally for its tuberous root is naturally known as hipocolito (eg radish, turnip). The maca plant has the astonishing quality to develop to unprecedented statures (from 3800 to 4800 meters) in the unfriendly Puna Peruvian where temperatures are great: the serious high temperature of the morning to the sub zero frost of the night.
The puna is a pleasant yet great condition in this environmental locale is uncommon vegetation, just potatoes become astringent and maca. The air contains little oxygen, the sun is amazingly exceptional and extremely solid winds, it is consequently that no trees and plants have just a couple of centimeters tall.Maca planting is carried out from September to December. The seeds are scattered in the fields to be reaped in 6 to 8 months. After Recolta the roots to dry in the sun for 2 months, amid which they lose 75% of its unique weight. This moderate drying methodology causes the maca change of taste: an intense hot taste with a caramel flavor. The dried root could be put away for 4 years without losing its properties.
Can Melatonin Be Used For Fibromyalgia?
December 28, 2012 04:19 PM
Fibromyalgia is a condition that may be very frustrating and has no known cure currently. Due to its complexity and also the number of symptoms that occur during an infection with fibromyalgia, one may be moody, anxious, depressed or irritable. Melatonin, a natural hormone which controls sleep patterns, can help relieve some symptoms of fibromyalgia and promote one's feelings of well-being.
Melatonin hormone is produced by the brain's pineal gland. It is majorly responsible for controlling the sleep-wake cycle; called the circadian rhythm. The secretion of melatonin is influenced by exposure to light. Whenever it gets dark, melatonin production rises. Conversely, during exposure to sunlight, the production of melatonin is lowered. Several people employ the use of melatonin supplements to promote symptoms of insomnia, since it can aid to reset one's body clock and even make it easier to fall and stay asleep.
How melanin treats Fibromyalgia
Disturbances of sleep and the frequent disruption of circadian rhythms occur during fibromyalgia. Melatonin has always been proven to synchronize the circadian rhythms and promote the quality of sleep. Excess damage by free-radicals is quite common in fibromyalgia patients. Melatonin as well as its metabolites have been discovered to be potent scavengers of free radicals and indirect antioxidants.
Elevated Nitric Oxide In Patients
Some studies have shown that synthesis of nitric oxide is elevated in fibromyalgia patients. Melatonin acts as a potent inhibitor of a rate-limiting enzyme in the production of nitric oxide. Depression is at times a symptom or maybe an overlapping fibromyalgia condition.
Melatonin As An Antidepressant:
Melatonin has also been proven to be an antidepressant. There is a component of melatonin that has been synthesized in the pharmaceutical industry and is now being enhanced as an antidepressant. Lyrica, antiepileptic drugs, have been proven to be effective in the treatment of fibromyalgia. Melatonin has been found to work as an antiepileptic too.
The Health benefits of L-Arginine
June 08, 2012 08:10 AM
What is L-Arginine?
L-Arginine, also referred to as Arginine, is a non-essential amino acid-it's produced naturally in the body-and it is vital for the normal functioning of pituitary gland. This substance comes from natural sources such as nuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, popcorn, chocolate, brown rice, raisins, carob, oatmeal, gelatin desserts, protein rich foods, and whole wheat bread. Men, whose seminal fluids consist of up to 80 percent of this amino acid, especially need L-Arginine as a deficiency could cause infertility. L-Arginine is not only obtained from food sources but through supplementation as well. As we age, the production of this amino acid decreases in the body and this is thought to cause many degenerative processes associated with aging. Thus, Arginine is vital for maintaining your overall health as well as sexual health.
Deficiency of L-Arginine can delay sexual maturity, impair insulin production, cause liver lipid metabolism and glucose tolerance.
Functions of L-Arginine
L-Arginine amino acid performs various functions in the body, including:
It is a component of collagen, enzymes, ejaculate, hormones, connective tissues, and skin. It plays an important role in the manufacture of protein molecules such as insulin and creatine. It's a precursor of nitric oxide as well as other metabolites.
Health benefits of L-Arginine
Although the benefits of Arginine supplements are debated, proponents state that Arginine converts into nitric oxide inside the body and enlarges or dilates the blood vessels. This helps better circulation and it's one of the reasons it is used to cure erectile dysfunction. This amino acid produces positive results as it enhances blood circulation, especially to the genitalia. Arginine is also a key component in sperm and seminal fluid production, so it's used to treat sterility in men. Other health benefits of L-Arginine include:
Aids in muscle-building
Helps maintain blood-sugar levels
Increases immune function
Increase fertility in females
Improves blood flow and decreases clogged arteries
Increases sperm count
Helps in liver detoxification
Maintains nitrogen balance
Promotes body fat burning
Promotes better bone density
Provides anti-oxidant properties
Reduces effects of alcohol toxicity
Reduces blood pressure
Reduces heart and vascular disease, cholesterol risk and stroke
Helps reduce body fat
Helps remove excess ammonia
Aids faster healing of wounds
L-Arginine anti-aging properties
One last benefit to note about L-Arginine is the fact that it simulates the production of human growth hormone (HGH), IGF, and testosterone. As your body ages, it produces less and less of these hormones which directly affects the aging process. These hormones are responsible for reducing body fat, keeping the skin elastic, and increasing sexual stamina. While your body won't turn into that of a teenager, taking L-Arginine supplements can make you feel and look younger.
Just as other forms of supplementation, you should take caution while using L-Arginine. This means that you have to get a doctor's approval before you take this drug. You should carefully follow the drug's instructions on dosage and frequency. As long as you take L-Arginine with care, you can greatly enhance your overall health and wellbeing.
What Does Celery Seed Extract Do for the Body?
July 26, 2011 01:29 PM
Celery seed extract is obtained from the fruits of celery. Powdered celery seeds are historically noted as a natural analgesic, and have been in use as a pain reliever throughout the ages. Modern science has found out that celery seeds are a good source of vitamins and minerals as well as phytochemicals that display pharmacological activity. In addition, it exhibits diuretic and hepatoprotective properties.
Suppresses Pain Chemicals
Traditionally, the seeds are picked from the flowers, powdered, and made into tinctures. Herbalists have long prescribed celery seed extract for the treatment of rheumatism. Several historical sources cited that its use provides relief to sufferers of joint pain and muscle spasms. Laboratory studies have shown that it naturally contains organic compounds capable of blocking the release of pain chemicals.
Alleviates Skin Disorders
Psoralen refers to a group of chemical compounds that increase ultraviolet absorbance. As such, it is a major component of PUVA, a form of therapeutic remedy in use today. This therapy has been reported to effectively cure medical conditions of the skin, such as psoriasis, eczema, and vitiligo. Celery seed extract is a source of bergapten, a type of psoralen that has been utilized to treat psoriasis in particular.
Normalizes Blood Pressure
People suffering from hypertension are likely to benefit from celery seed extract. As the subject of much research in recent years, celery seeds have been observed to lower high blood pressure and bring about normal blood flow. While its exact mechanisms of action remain under investigation, initial studies yielded very desirable results, spurring more researchers to look into its medicinal potential.
Promotes Liver Function
Many food and drug products are precursors to metabolites that inflict direct damage to liver cells. The liver as an organ becomes increasingly ineffective in containing the damage as we age. There is a growing body of scientific literature devoted to the hepatoprotective properties of celery seed extract, which raises the capacity of the liver to defend against harmful metabolites and promote liver function.
Reduces High Cholesterol
The phytochemical content of celery seed extract is especially good for the cardiovascular system. In addition to its effects on blood pressure, it appears to alter the quality of lipids in the blood. It is now posited that it interferes with the utilization of fatty acids in the synthesis of cholesterol, lipoproteins, and triglycerides. By so doing, it lowers cholesterol in the blood and prevents cardiovascular diseases.
Counters Oxidative Stress
Celery seed extract contains bioflavonoids, which are a class of polyphenolic phytochemicals. These compounds have been extensively studied in the past few decades due to their antioxidant activity. Regular consumptions of foods high in polyphenols have been documented to counter radical damage during oxidative stress, protect body tissues from disease activity, and promote cellular longevity.
Triphala - Boost digestion, Improve Liver Function, Blood Sugar, Cholesterol And More
May 27, 2011 11:42 AM
What is the Ayurvedic Herb Triphala and What Does it Do for the Body?
Triphala, or “three fruits”, is an herbal preparation that originated from India. As its name suggests, it is made up of fruits extracts from three different plant species, namely: amla, beliric, and haritaki. These plants are native to India, but enjoy a significant presence throughout the tropical and subtropical regions of Asia. Their historical uses are largely medicinal, with the exception of amla.
Allays Digestive Problems
The organic compounds that occur naturally in triphala have several properties that aid digestion and prevent gas. Triphala is often taken before meals as an appetizer because it increases digestive activities necessary for the perception of hunger. It is also widely used as a treatment for constipation for two reasons: it works as a mild laxative that induces the fast passage of foods and stimulates peristaltic movements in the colon.
Improves Liver Function
Triphala is especially good for the liver. For one, its addition to the diet speeds up the breakdown of bioactive compounds in the gastrointestinal tract. Regular intake of triphala has been observed to improve several liver functions, most notably the conversion of cholesterol to bile salts, which is crucial for the processing of lipids in the diet. More importantly, it raises the capacity of the liver to deal with harmful metabolites of foreign materials, such as drugs.
Regulates Blood Sugar
Practitioners of Ayurvedic medicine recommend larger consumptions of triphala to individuals suffering from glucose intolerance, diabetes mellitus, and metabolic syndrome. The fruits that constitute triphala are known for their ability to interfere with the releases of simple sugars, such as glucose, into the systemic circulation. They work on the principle of sustaining a gradual but steady distribution of glucose to individual cells for several hours.
Lowers Bad Cholesterol
It is common belief in parts of Asia that triphala is good for the circulatory system. Apart from its putative role in the regulation of blood sugar, it also impacts overall lipid levels in the blood. The phytochemical content of triphala enables it to have an effect on the productions of very-low-density lipoproteins, precursors of low-density lipoproteins, or bad cholesterol. This results in fewer free fatty acids that often get trapped in arterial walls.
Promotes Healthy Metabolism
Athletes are likely to benefit from triphala, for it influences the conversion of bioactive compounds to energy for use by cells. Triphala appears to increase metabolic rate and facilitate better utilization of glucose and fats, the reason why it is now commercially touted as an herbal supplement that aids weight loss. Also, triphala has been observed to regulate water retention, which has been linked to obesity.
Protects Eye Tissue
Triphala contains a host of antioxidants that protect eye tissues. The eyes are susceptible to oxidative stress brought on by free radicals and other reactive oxygen species. Oxidative stress interrupts functions of ocular cells and damages cellular organelles, leading to many known diseases of the eye. Triphala has been associated with the prevention and amelioration of conjunctivitis, cataracts, glaucoma, and myopia.
Triphala being a fiber has a wide range of health benefits, give triphala a try today and feel the difference!
How Does Tart Cherry Work To Fight gout and Inflammation?
May 25, 2011 12:46 PM
Health Benefits Of Tart Cherry
Tart cherry may be the newest addition to the growing list of superfruits. This species of sour cherries have been cultivated for centuries, but only recently has research started to uncover its medicinal potential. It is believed to contain a larger number of phenolics and anthocyanins than its sweet counterparts. Plus, it has been linked to more studies in the past few years.
Prunus cerasus are species of cherries native to Europe and parts of Asia. Tart cherries have less than 10 varieties cultivated around the world, but they have steadily grown in popularity. There are two major cultivars: the bright red amarelle and the darker morello. Among the popular cultivars are Montmorency, Balaton, and Griotte de Kleparow.
Counteracts Pain Chemicals
Anthocyanins have long been associated with the alleviation of joint pains and related symptoms, and tart cherry are among the best sources of these organic compounds. Anthocyanins are actually pigments that give fruits such as apples and cherries their red coloration. As a general rule, fullness of color is directly proportional to the anthocyanin content of fruits. Cancer research on anthocyanins is considered unrivaled due to the availability and reliability of documented data. The anthocyanins found in tart cherries counteract the inflammatory mediators that initiate tumorigenesis, which are the same chemicals responsible for sensitizing joints to pain.
Promotes Purine Metabolism
Gout ensues when purine metabolites in the form of uric acid crystallizes and in the process triggers local inflammatory responses. High levels of uric acid in the blood may form into urate crystals anywhere, but often precipitate in the joints of the lower extremities. The big toe is particularly vulnerable to gout, but it may also manifest in the form of joint pains and kidney stones. Unfortunately, human beings lack a functional enzyme that breaks down uric acid and re-balance uric acid levels. This is when tart cherries come to the rescue. They contain phytochemicals that regulate purine metabolites and promote the excretion of uric acid.
Accelerates Muscle Recovery
It is a common belief in the nutraceutical industry that tart cherries are one of the best sources of antioxidants. Free radicals are natural by-products of cellular respiration, and they become so abundant during workout that the muscles begin to feel sore. It takes a longer time to recover from radical damage when the antioxidant defense of cells is compromised. The antioxidant profile of tart cherries enables the skeletal muscles to recuperate fast after intense physical exertion.
Improves Sleep Disorders
Tart cherries have been commercially touted to cure insomnia. While this remains to be proven, tart cherries are in fact excellent sources of melatonin, the primary hormone responsible for inducing sleep in response to dark environments. Sleep disorders may result from a variety of factors, including stress, and sudden lifestyle changes may interfere with the chemical reactions that govern our biological clock. Tart cherries provide a ready source of melatonin, which normalizes circadian rhythm and enables the brain to relax.
Fight back against gout and inflammation pain with Tart Cherry.
Why is Xylitol So Good for You
May 23, 2011 01:01 PM
Xylitol and Its Health Benefits.
Xylitol is fruit sugar that occurs naturally in fiber-rich plan-based foods, such as berries, oats, and mushrooms. Its sweetness has been compared to table sugar, the disaccharide sucrose to be specific. Unlike simple sugars and most other carbohydrates, it contains much less calories, making it one of the best natural sweeteners. More importantly, it has been associated with numerous health benefits.
The medicinal properties of xylitol were first noted in the second half of the 19th century, when it was introduced as a sugar substitute primarily for individuals afflicted with insulin resistance and diabetes mellitus. It is in fact a hydrogenated form of carbohydrate, which is also referred to as sugar alcohol. That being said, it does not impact insulin levels but rather contributes to healthy blood sugar.
Prevents Dental Carries
One of the earliest documented health benefits of xylitol is its role in preventing the formation of dental carries. Also known as tooth decay, dental carries result from the breakdown of hard tooth structure in the presence of bacteria. It is believed that over 90 per\cent of the global population experience caries at least once in a lifetime, with children being more susceptible.
It should be noted that bacteria taking up residence in the mouth cavity rely on fermentable carbohydrates for nutrition. The products of fermentation are acids that are capable of denaturing the mineral content of teeth, leading to rampant dental carries over time. The use of xylitol has been advocated for over a century since it is not fermentable, unlike glucose, sucrose, and fructose, which are almost always found in the human diet.
Fights off Infections
Xylitol has been observed to display disease-fighting properties. In fact, it has been utilized in the treatment of several bacterial and fungal infections. This sugar alcohol has long been reported to produce metabolites upon exposure to saliva. These metabolites are organic compounds that interfere with the ability of bacteria to adhere to the tissues of the oral and nasal cavities.
More importantly, xylitol appears to enhance the effectiveness of mucus, antibacterial compounds, neutrophil granulocytes, and various enzymes that often get in contact with pathogens first. Regular intake of xylitol has been effective against oral infections of Candida yeast. It has also been cited in the treatment of ear infections, such as acute otitis media. Not surprisingly, it relieves sore throat.
Regulates Blood Sugar
Xylitol is one of the oldest recommended substitutes to sugar. It has a very low glycemic index, which makes that sugar levels in the blood rise gradually and steadily throughout the day. By so doing, it does not cause an insulin spike or impact blood sugar levels. Xylitol is an ideal source of energy for those who are suffering from metabolic syndrome and those who are following a low-carbohydrate diet.
If you haven’t started xylitol, isn’t it time too?
What is Schizandra Fruit Good for?
May 17, 2011 02:57 PM
Schizandra and your Health.
Schizandra fruit refers to the berries of schizandra. It is widely used in China and the plant is considered one of the 50 fundamental herbs in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is a highly prized ingredient to a health tonic historically prepared for Chinese royalty and nobility. In recent years it has become available to more people across the globe as cultivation increases to meet large-scale productions. Also, herbal supplements that contain extracts of schizandra fruit are becoming popular.
Schisandra chinensis is an indigenous plant species of, as the name suggests, China. However, its native range goes as far north as Asiatic Russia. It is cultivated for its leaves, bark, and berries. The name of the fruit in Chinese translates as “the berry that possesses all five basic flavors,” inasmuch as the Chinese believe it contains organic compounds responsible for its unique taste: salty, sweet, sour, bitter, and spicy. The berries are often dried and made into tea that can be served hot or cold.
Scavenges Reactive Oxygen Species
Reactive oxygen species, or ROS, are natural by-products of cellular respiration, the process of energy metabolism that takes place within each individual cell. These include peroxides, singlet oxygen, and free radicals. ROS can interrupt cellular activities and even damage DNA synthesis, the reason why each cell has its own antioxidant defense. That being said, cells are overwhelmed by ROS as we age.
The process of aging has been tied to the weakening antioxidant defense of cells. Free radicals are also believed to be responsible for the fast progression of many life-threatening diseases, such as cancer. Schizandra fruit is a natural remedy for oxidative stress, the cellular damage brought on by ROS. The berries are rich in antioxidants that help replenish the antioxidant stores of the body.
Displays Hepatoprotective Properties
Schizandra fruit is particularly good for the liver. Practitioners of Chinese herbal medicine believe that its berries rejuvenate the liver, the kidneys, and the circulatory system by washing away the toxins these tissues have amassed over the years. The cleansing properties of juices and tinctures that contain schizandra have been ascribed to the organic compounds naturally occurring in the fruit.
Lignans are a class of polyphenolic substances that occur naturally in nature. Schizandrin, deoxyschizandrin, gomisin, and pregomisin are lignans unique to the schizandra fruit. The antioxidant properties of lignans are well established, but those found in the berries of this plant species have an affinity toward hepatocytes, or liver cells. It protects liver cells from oxidative damage and raises the capacity of liver to deal with drugs and their harmful metabolites during first pass metabolism.
Increases Physical Working Capacity
Schizandra fruit is a symbol for youth in the East, and for good reason. For one, it is an adaptogen that increases tolerance to stress and raises the physical capacity of the human body. It is also an aphrodisiac believed to enhance libido and improve sexual performance. Modern herbalists believe its aphrodisiac effects are attributable to its stress-relieving properties.
You too can experience the health benefits of schizandra by picking up a bottle at your health food store.
Vitamin B2 Is Good for Nutrient Metabolism, Cellular Energy, And More
May 10, 2011 11:11 AM
Vitamin B2 is an essential nutrient. As its name suggests, it belongs to the B complex group of vitamins. The monosaccharide ribose is part of its chemical composition together with the ring moiety called flavin that gives its yellow coloration. Hence, it is also known by the name riboflavin. Inside the human body, it plays a central role in the synthesis of flavoproteins, which are involved in many chemical reactions, especially in the metabolism of other micronutrients and bioactive molecules.
Deficiency in riboflavin is quite common as it is routinely excreted through the urine. Common symptoms include sore throat, seborrheic dermatitis, lower blood count, all of which have been tied to higher incidence of esophageal cancer. Chronic ariboflavinosis, the medical condition caused by vitamin B2 deficiency, has been reported to contribute to carcinogenesis. The good news is that it can be easily reversed with regular intake of foods rich in riboflavin or supplementation.
Aids Nutrient Metabolism
It is not a coincidence that vitamin B2 deficiency is often accompanied by deficiencies in other vitamins and minerals. In some cases, deficiencies may be attributed to impaired liver function or intestinal absorption. That being said, low levels of riboflavin do impact the metabolism of other vitamins, such as vitamin A, vitamin B3, vitamin B6, and vitamin B9, among other water-soluble micronutrients.
Metabolites of riboflavin are required in the conversion of these vitamins to their active forms, for example, from vitamin A to retinoic acid, vitamin B6 to pyridoxic acid, vitamin B9 to folic acid. Furthermore, the metabolism of bioactive compounds, including fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, also necessitates the presence of this vitamin, the reason why it greatly impacts growth and development in children.
Increases Cellular Energy
In addition to its physiological potential in intermediary metabolism, vitamin B2 is also present in the generation of adenosine triphosphate, the primary transport of energy that powers intracellular activities. Adenosine triphosphate is synthesized in three different metabolic pathways, and one process called oxidative phosphorylation necessitates the involvement of flavin adenine dinucleotide, one of the active forms of riboflavin.
Vitamin B2 is an important cofactor in all chemical reactions that result in an increase or decrease of oxidation state. These reactions are collectively called oxidation-reduction, or simply redox. Metabolites of riboflavin are reliable oxidizing agents capable of carrying high-energy electrons needed for oxidative phosphorylation. They also participate in beta oxidation, another metabolic pathway that yields cellular energy.
Scavenges Free Radicals
A nucleic acid derivative of riboflavin is an important constituent of a special class of organic compounds called flavoproteins. These proteins are found in almost all cells of the human body, and one of their functions is to protect the cells from oxidative stress brought on by free radicals. Vitamin B2 is present in the production of cellular energy and the removal of harmful by-products of energy metabolism.
Insufficient intake of vitamin B2 is deleterious to human health, inasmuch as its biological roles are quite pervasive at the molecular level. Do you get enough Vitamin B-2?
How Does Glutathione Work in the Body to Detox
May 06, 2011 10:11 AM
Glutathione a Body Detox
Glutathione belongs to the category of antioxidants that the human body can synthesize. It is an organic compound that is quite pervasive in nature as it is found in many multicellular organisms, microscopic or not. Almost all plants and animals are capable of producing glutathione, and, like human beings, they utilize this substance to neutralize free radicals and detoxify heavy metals.
Scavenges Free Radicals
It is common knowledge that free radicals are harmful to our body. It damages tissues, proteins, and even DNA. Free radicals are highly reactive by-products of cellular respiration. Cells utilize oxygen to power their activities, but in the process produce a group of compounds called reactive oxygen species, which change into radicals, harming cell organelles when not disposed of and raising cellular toxicity.
Glutathione is in the employ of every cell, for it is a fundamental part of the antioxidant defense of cells. Throughout the body, it is usually found in its reduced form, which donates reducing equivalents to reactive oxygen species. Glutathione becomes reactive in the process, but easily reacts with other reactive glutathione to form glutathione disulfide. Antioxidant enzymes manufacture glutathione in the presence of glutathione disulfide. This process constitutes the antioxidant mechanism of all cells.
Detoxifies Liver Metabolites
Metabolism is a complex process. Bioactive compounds in the foods we eat produce metabolites and by-products that are not necessarily good for our health. In fact, most of the drugs and medications we take directly harm us. Fortunately, the liver comes to our defense. For example, alcohol is converted into large amounts of acetaldehyde in its first stage of metabolism, creating effects we usually refer to as hangover.
The presence of glutathione enables the liver to easily recuperate from the damages brought on by harmful metabolites. That being said, glutathione in its reduced form does get depleted. One good example is drug overdose. The analgesic paracetamol, or acetaminophen, is known for its toxic by-product that induces liver failure in the absence of glutathione. Drugs are immediately detoxified in the liver with the help of glutathione. Low levels of glutathione may even result in death as is the case with paracetamol overdose.
Expels Foreign Materials
A number of substances in our diet are considered xenobiotics, or foreign materials, by our body. Most of them passes the alimentary canal undigested and enters the colon together with waste materials. However, there are substances that readily undergo absorption in the small intestines, such as trace elements and heavy metals. They pose considerable threats to health when they enter the systemic circulation in large quantities.
Glutathione is one of the compounds that keep xenobiotics in check. It facilitates the excretion of heavy metals and many known toxins. Glutathione conjugation plays a major role in detoxification and quite common at the cellular level. It makes sure that foreign compounds do not undergo reabsorption once it reaches the kidneys, effectively washing them away through the urine.
What is the Amino Acid Taurine and How Does It Boost My Health
April 26, 2011 02:26 PM
Taurine is a nutrient that improves cellular processes by regulating mineral salts in the human body. Many people consider it as an amino acid as it is derived from seafood and meats. It is not an amino acid in the strictest sense, but a naturally occurring sulfonic acid. It is pivotal to removing the water in the bile. Bile acids are produced in the liver in the presence of taurine and stored in the gallbladder.
Enhances Physical Capacity
Many energy drinks describe taurine as an active ingredient. Several groups of researchers believe it affects athletic performance, drawing on its biological roles. For one, taurine is necessary for the upkeep of skeletal muscles, and in athletes appears to lengthen duration of physical exertion. Also, it is implicated in chemical reactions in the nervous system, boosting mental clarity.
There is evidence that taurine has an effect on blood flow. In the circulatory system, taurine is important to regulating the level of water and minerals. It is widely accepted that it modulates the movement of elements and their metabolites in the blood, such as calcium, potassium, and sodium. In fact, taurine has been observed to significantly decrease high blood pressure in hypertensive patients.
Promotes Liver Health
Taurine is especially good for the health. Numerous studies have noted the effects of high levels of taurine on liver cells. It has been proven effective in removing any adiposity in the organ. Clinical trials have published results that emphasize its benefits to people with liver diseases, such as hepatitis and cirrhosis. It has also been observed that high intake of taurine counters hangover.
Lowers Serum Lipid Levels
In the liver, taurine plays an important role in inhibiting the releases of apolipoproteins, a class of proteins that bind with lipids to form lipoproteins. Apolipoprotein B makes up very-low-density lipoproteins and low-density lipoproteins, or what we refer to as bad cholesterol. This is the reason why taurine has been suggested to help people afflicted with cardiovascular diseases.
Normalizes Blood Sugar
It has been postulated that taurine protects the beta cells of the pancreas, the organ responsible for the manufacture of the insulin. Patients diagnosed with type 1 diabetes mellitus have been reported to experience an improvement in insulin levels. Taurine is also helpful for type 2 diabetes as it also appears to enhance glucose sensitivity of cells, thereby decreasing glucose levels in the blood.
Scavenges Free Radicals
Taurine is an antioxidant known for its wide-ranging benefits. It is almost always associated with oxidative stress brought on by physical exertion as it protects the skeletal muscles from the damaging effects of free radicals. More importantly, it protects the liver, the pancreas, and the circulatory system from the toxic by-products of metabolism, notably during oxidation of chemical compounds.
Given the health benefits of Taurine, everybody should be taking some daily!
Can Royal Jelly Really Boost Energy?
April 18, 2011 02:25 PM
Royal Jelly as an Energy Boost
Royal jelly is an all-natural animal product entirely derived from the secretions of honey bees. It is commercially touted as an energy booster because of its unique combination of compounds that help produce energy in cells and promote mental clarity. It contains an abundance of monosaccharides, amino acids, fatty acids, trace minerals, and enzymes, all of which have bioactive properties.
Inside a honeycomb, royal jelly is obtained from queen cells. These secretions are actually fed to all larvae, but only queen larvae are fed with royal jelly in amounts that can be harvested. This is the reason why royal jelly is considered rare. That being said, recent innovations in the manufacture of honey and the overall beekeeping process have contributed to increasing productions of royal jelly.
Contains Vitamins and Minerals
Royal jelly is available as a dietary supplement noted for its high vitamin and mineral content. It is a natural source of vitamin B complex, notably pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) and pyridoxine (vitamin B6). It has relatively high amounts of simple sugars and fatty acids, both groups are biological precursors of cellular energy. In general, it contains up to 15 per cent carbohydrates and 5 per cent healthy fats.
In addition to vitamins, it is also rich in enzymes that are believed to aid the fast absorption of its bioactive compounds in the small intestine. In addition, it contains trace amounts of dietary minerals. Royal jelly is often marketed as a fast-acting energy booster because its components are believed to work synergistically in the prompt release of energy within cells right after absorption.
Improves Energy Metabolism
Coenzyme A is an organic compound produced in the human body to aid the metabolism of cellular energy. Its synthesis, however, requires the presence of pantothenic acid, a vitamin obtained largely from the diet. It is postulated that royal jelly helps increase the production of energy in that it contains pantothenic acid in amounts sufficient to affect the biosynthesis of coenzyme A.
Royal jelly is also noted for its pyridoxine content. Pyridoxal phosphate, or pyridoxine, is the active form of vitamin B5. It is necessary for the metabolism of protein, glucose, and lipids. It is of special significance in yielding energy from glycogen, which it converts to glucose. The combination of fatty acids, simple sugars, and B vitamin in royal jelly enables it to bring about a noticeable energy boost.
Creates Feelings of Well-being
Royal jelly has been linked to an increase in the release of major neurotransmitters, especially serotonin, dopamine, and glutamate. Serotonin is dubbed the happiness hormone. Dopamine is linked to rewards-seeking behavior and keeps interest in repetitive tasks. And glutamate is a major excitatory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. Together they sustain mental focus.
The roles of its components and their metabolites in the production of energy and release of brain chemicals are the reason why royal jelly creates feelings of physical and mental well-being.
Royal Jelly Use It
As you can see, royal jelly is rich in many nutrients to support a health brain and metabolism. If you are seeking more energy, give royal jelly a try!
Gooseberry Benefits Vision, Blood Sugar, Cholesterol And More
April 09, 2011 11:17 AM
Gooseberry And Your Health.
Gooseberry is a group of fruit-bearing plant species that belong to the same family as currants. They are easily recognizable by their round berries that are either bright green or deep purple in color. While most of the cultivars produce fruits that are bitter in taste, gooseberries are often added to desserts and preserved as jam or pickle. They are an excellent source of many nutrients, such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B complex, phosphorous, calcium, iron, potassium, and magnesium, among others. Herbalists believe that the vitamin and mineral content of gooseberries do not significantly change after washing, heating, and other cooking preparations.
Different varieties of gooseberries are widely distributed across the Old World, with species native to Europe, Africa, and Asia. The American species are also considered indigenous to North America although many dispute this claim. Each species have been linked to varying herbal remedies, but they all have similar genetic traits and nutrient contents. European and American cultivars are known for the following uses:
Counters Visual Decline
Gooseberry is often associated with the improvement of eyesight. There have been numerous articles about its medicinal potential in the treatment of cataracts, myopia or nearsightedness, and macular degeneration. The fruits are indeed a good source of biological precursors of vitamin A, and the juice extracted from the fruits are believed to contain phytochemicals that contribute to the upkeep of healthy cells found in the human eye.
Reduces Blood Sugar
Almost all varieties of gooseberry are believed to lower blood glucose levels. Proponents of its use as a therapeutic remedy for hyperglycemia point to the modulating effects of its organic compounds and metabolites on the hormone insulin. Gooseberry appears to increase production of insulin and improve glucose sensitivity of cells, the reason why it is also in use in conjunction with other common treatments for type 2 diabetes.
Promotes Cardiovascular Health
The organic compounds naturally occurring in gooseberry have been observed to show cardioprotective properties. First, they help lower serum cholesterol by interfering with the release of low-density lipoproteins, or bad cholesterol, from the liver. Second, they relax the smooth muscle cells within blood vessel walls, resulting in increased blood flow. Third, they strengthen heart muscles, promoting heart health.
Improves Hair Loss
The buzz around the ability of gooseberry products to control hair is supported by very encouraging results. It is believed that topical applications containing gooseberry extracts act on hair follicles, or hair roots, the part of the scalp that grow hair. Practitioners of folk medicine in Europe and Asia usually boil gooseberries, add the pulp to other ingredients to make paste, and apply the paste to the scalp.
Scavenges Free Radicals
Gooseberries are rich in polyphenols, with different species containing flavonoids, tannins, lignans, or their combination. Plant-based polyphenols are known for their antioxidant properties, which of course is important to neutralizing free radicals. Gooseberry is historically noted for its anti-aging effects, and modern research support this centuries-old with the discovery of its polyphenolic antioxidants.
Give Gooseberry A Try Today!
How Does the Herb Holy Basil Help with My Health?
March 10, 2011 02:04 PM
Holy Basil And Cholesterol, Inflammation, and more
Ocimum tenuiflorum, known as Holy Basil in the vernacular, is an herbal plant indigenous to South Asia, where it is called Tulsi. It is widely distributed across the subcontinent of India and surrounding countries and is primarily cultivated for its age-old medicinal benefits in addition to its religious significance to Vaishnavite practices of Hinduism. It has earned popularity as a health tonic over the centuries, and recent studies have supported its positive effects on human health. Today it is often associated with lowering cholesterol and glucose, acting as an antioxidant, and regulating inflammatory intermediaries.
Counteracts Stress Factors
The juice of holy basil has long been reputed to display adaptogenic properties. There have been countless accounts of its effectiveness in combating stress. In fact, the most compelling of all anecdotal evidence has something to do with its ability to create a feeling of wellness right after ingestion, the same tonic benefits attributed to ginseng. To date studies point to its homeostatic effects on the stress hormone cortisol, creating homeostatic effects on its metabolites and their interactions with compounds released in response to stress.
Neutralizes Free Radicals
Holy basil has been observed to show antioxidant activities, and this is one of its mechanisms in allaying symptoms brought on by fatigue. Free radicals are released by the body to dispose of pathogens, but are in turn disposed of by endogenous antioxidants. Oxidative stress ensues when there is an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the ability of the body to neutralize them. The polyphenols found in holy basil helps the body quench excesses of free radicals.
Lowers Bad Cholesterol
There has been a growing body of literature devoted to the lipid-lowering properties of holy basil. The phytochemicals found in holy basil have been cited to affect the metabolic pathway that produces very-low-density lipoproteins, which is a precursor to low-density lipoproteins, or bad cholesterol, and bring about an increase in high-density lipoproteins, dubbed good cholesterol. Also, it has been associated to the overall decrease of lipids present in the bloodstream, notably free fatty acids.
Reduces Blood Glucose
One of the earliest observations on the health effects of holy basil is its properties that counter the progression of diabetes. It has been reported many times to have helped patients of type 2 diabetes mellitus, which results from the compromised ability of cells to respond to the hormone insulin. The use of holy basil extracts has yielded promising results on promoting the glucose uptake of cells, and, of course, the consequent decrease in glucose present in the blood.
Holy basil has been extensively studied for its anti-inflammatory benefits. The most recent research has pointed out that organic compounds found in holy basil may inhibit the enzyme called COX-2, which facilitates the synthesis of inflammatory mediators. Eicosanoids are endogenous substances produced by local tissues during inflammation, and a special group called prostanoids is responsible for the pain tied to inflammation. By targeting COX-2, holy basil greatly aids against inflammatory diseases such as arthritis.
What is stopping you from giving holy basil a try today?
What is Dandelion Tea Good for?
March 08, 2011 02:38 PM
Dandelion tea must be best known as a detoxifying beverage that has been associated with improving liver and kidney functions. In the old days the plant is often considered a pesky weed, but today health organizations, such as the European Scientific Cooperative on Phytotherapy, have endorsed its efficacy in relieving liver problems among others. The tea produces a pronounced bitter taste and is often sweetened, but it also packs large quantities of micronutrients.
Peoples from the Old World are no stranger to dandelion tea, but the plant species are native to both Europe and North America. What we refer to as dandelion comprises a large group of flowering plants. The two most notable species are Taraxacum officinale and Taraxacum erythrospermum, both of which are used to make dandelion tea. The fact that it can be found right in your yard is the reason why health magazines regard this herb as one of the readily available nutritional powerhouses.
Maintains Intake of Nutrients during Weight Loss
Dandelion tea has been noted to contain significant levels of vitamins and minerals, the reason why it is popular among individuals who are following a weight-loss program. Many people seem to overlook the fact that depriving themselves of important food sources, such as whole grains, compromises their daily intake of dietary nutrients. Chronic dieting is particularly dangerous in the long run even for those who used to be physically healthy. Dandelion tea offers a solution to people on a diet by meeting the RDA for vitamin A and K and providing up to 30 per cent of vitamin C and vitamin B7. It is also rich in minerals like calcium, potassium, and iron.
Promotes Excretion of Toxins through Diuresis
Not surprisingly, dandelions have been used to aid a long list of symptoms and diseases, and it has been reputed as a natural diuretic for centuries. Due to its worldwide distribution, it is one of the few herbs that have earned visible presence in traditional medicine of the East and the West, and its use has always had something to do with the proper functioning of the liver and the kidneys. The bioflavonoids found in dandelion remove toxins from the liver, like ethanol metabolites, and facilitate their excretion through the urine.
Facilitates Absorption of Bioactive Compounds
Health professionals often point to the nutritional content of dandelion tea and other products from the herb. Most species of dandelions have been documented to be completely edible, and the quantities of bioactive compounds present in them have been compared with vegetables like spinach and broccoli. Consumptions of dandelions have even been considered tantamount to intake of dietary supplements as they are rich in phytochemicals that display the activities of many known polyphenolic substances found in black and green teas and other foods rich in antioxidants. While the plant contains high quantities of protein, carbohydrates, and fiber, the tea has been tied to more effective absorption of these bioactive compounds, making it an ideal beverage to match with any food source.
How Does Cherry Fruit Extract Help with Gout?
March 07, 2011 04:39 PM
Cherry fruit extracts contain the micronutrients and phytochemicals found in cherries. They are available as supplements widely touted to display antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Cherries, the fruits, are in fact very high in anthocyanins, which have a long association with the prevention of inflammation, even including the type that results in most known cardiovascular diseases. Also, research on anthocyanins in connection with its chemopreventative potential has yielded the most reliable public data. Individuals suffering from gout will definitely benefit from cherry fruit extracts as supported by an abundance of reports and anecdotal evidence concerning its efficacy.
Stabilizes Metabolism of Purine Nucleotides
The development of gout is greatly attributable to an anomaly in the metabolism processes involving purine nucleotides. A class of organic compounds classified as purines is necessary for life and present in many chemical reactions. They are a major component of ATP, the primary energy of cells, and several nucleotide bases of DNA and RNA are purines. The problem lies in its final metabolic product, uric acid, which at high levels condense into urate crystals that are deposited in tendons and ligaments, as is the case with gout and tophus. Cherry fruit extracts bring about twofold effects. First, they stabilize purine metabolites, notably uric acid, and, second, they facilitate the effective excretion of uric acid. If you consume a lot of foods high in purines such as animal products, especially beef, pork, and seafood, taking cherry fruit extracts will make sure that the uric acid they produce gets out of your system.
Affects Releases of Inflammatory Mediators
While high levels of uric acid is the causation of gout attacks, the painful inflammation that ensues is triggered by an entirely different group of endogenous compounds in the employ of the immune system. Eicosanoids have long been identified to precipitate pain not only during gout attacks, but in all inflammatory responses of the human body. These compounds are released locally by the cells around the joints containing urate deposits in an attempt to fight off the degenerative effects of uric acid on the surrounding tissues. They deal with the joints the same way they get rid of pathogens during infections, bringing on the redness, swelling, and pain characteristic of gout. A group of bioflavonoids called anthocyanins that are known to interfere with the releases of eicosanoids are abundant in cherries, and intake of cherry fruit extracts deliver these flavonoids into the region of pain.
Normalizes Acidic Digestive Environments
Cherries belong to the group of foods that are alkaline forming. With gout thriving in an acidic setting, it is just prudent to carefully reassess your diet and cut down on foods high in purines. Not surprisingly, your doctor may tell you to minimize consumptions of meat products especially if you suffer from recurrent gout attacks. Cherry fruit extracts rebalances the pH level of your gastrointestinal tract, and supplementation will keep your body in an alkaline state in the long run, protecting you not only against gout but also against the aging process.
If you suffer from gout or other uric acid buildup disease, give cherry fruit extract a try today!
How does Acetyl-L-Carnitine Help With Heart Health?
February 21, 2011 02:37 PM
Acetyl L Carnitine And Heart Health
Acetyl-L-Carnitine is a form of the chemical compound carnitine, which is active in the human body as the amino acid L-carnitine. It is an organic substance that is naturally occurring in mammals and many other animals, and it is released from the liver and kidneys to every tissue in the body. While our body is capable of manufacturing this amino acid, there are factors involved in its depleting levels at certain times, and thus it is made available as a nutritional supplement. Today it is primarily used as a treatment for heart diseases and other cardiovascular problems.
Helps Break Down Fats
One of the many factors that influence heart tissues is high levels of free fatty acids in the blood. Popular health magazines and the mainstream press have labeled transports of fat-soluble bioactive compounds in the water-based bloodstream as bad cholesterol, but free fatty acids are also to blame for the buildup of fatty debris in the blood vessel linings, resulting in the thickening of walls characteristic of many cases of heart diseases.
The body has a mechanism to utilize these fats more effectively in the presence of Acetyl-L-Carnitine, which is quite active as soon as it enters the cells of any tissue, notably muscle and skeletal tissues. Free fatty acids are formed as a by-product of triglycerides that remained in the blood, but once they pass the cell membranes, they can be a source of energy far more powerful than that produced from glucose. Acetyl-L-Carnitine makes it possible for these fatty molecules to be converted into energy.
Maintains Heart Wellness
Every cell has its own form of storage fuel, and glucose and its metabolites are probably the best known. However, tissues of the heart and the muscles prefer fatty acids. As you might have surmised, tissues found in the heart and those that build the form of our physique, classified as cardiac and skeletal respectively, needs more energy than other tissues of our body. The skeletal muscles are directly involved in daily physical exertion whereas the heart is, of course, in constant movement.
Fatty acids yield adenosine triphosphate, or ATP, the form of energy at the cellular level, which is in general more than two times the energy produced from either carbohydrates or proteins. This is one of the reasons why fatty acids can keep up with the hard work associated with cardiac and skeletal muscle tissues. The absence of energy required for the healthy functioning of the heart leads to cell death and affects the heart’s ability to pump blood as described in cases of heart failure.
Promotes High Bioavailability
Acetyl-L-Carnitine has been touted to be more absorbable and ultimately incorporated in body tissues more effectively than other forms of carnitine. It is a known fact that acetylating organic molecules increases the effectiveness of administered doses, and this remains true with Acetyl-L-Carnitine, the reason why it is widely applied in serious medical conditions concerning the heart.
If you have heart problems, give Acetyl-L-Carnitine a try risk free.
Can N-Acetyl Cysteine Boost Liver Health And Function?
February 10, 2011 12:31 PM
N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) And The Liver
N-Acetyl Cysteine or NAC is an antidote for poisonous effects of paracetamol overdose. It targets the cells in the liver, raising their capacity to deal with harmful metabolites. There are a number of researches well underway that scrutinizes a variety of medical conditions for which this compound could be of use. It is a known precursor of antioxidants and in itself a scavenger of peroxides and free radicals.
Hepatocytes are the cells that take on most of the functions of the liver and account for more than 70 per cent of the liver’s total mass. These cells are responsible for the presystematic metabolism of drugs, also known as the first-pass effect, rendering most drugs innocuous before they are released into the bloodstream. The total amounts of bioactive substances that are distributed to the rest of the body are also largely regulated by hepatocytes, notably carbohydrates. In addition, they are involved in the biosynthesis of protein, cholesterol, phospholipids, and bile salts as well as the functional reserves for protein.
Hepatocytes and Toxins
Certain drugs produce toxins when broken down by hepatocytes. A classic example is the metabolism of ethanol into acetaldehyde, which is a toxic compound, a probable carcinogen, and an air pollutant emitted by combustion of cars and tobacco smoking. While hepatocytes are known for their detoxifying responses to toxic substances entering the body, the metabolism of toxins actually takes up a great deal of time, resulting in certain toxins getting released into the bloodstream prior to first-pass effect.
That being said, continued exposure to toxins wears down hepatocytes, and high concentrations of what we refer to as poisons is certain to bring damage to the liver. This is what happens during overdose of paracetamol, or acetaminophen. In an effort to metabolized excessive amounts of the drug, the liver cells produce by-products that are essentially poisons, which under normal circumstances can be contained well.
NAC and Glutathione Production
The major antioxidant synthesized by the human body called glutathione comes to the liver’s defense when toxic by-products are produced. Hepatocytes in particular are so dependent on glutathione in the quenching of toxins that it has been observed that any challenge to the manufacture of this endogenous antioxidant will ultimately result in liver failure.
Glutathione is released by hepatocytes in large amounts especially during the metabolism of alcohol and drugs, but during overdose the ravaging activities of ethanol or drug metabolites overwhelm the detoxifying effects of antioxidant reserves in the body. Simply put, the defense mechanisms in the employ of the body have limits. NAC resolves this problem.
The presence of NAC in the body augments the liver’s ability to produce the needed amounts of glutathione to effectively counter the harmful properties of invasive substances. In fact, the liver completely recuperates in a matter of weeks even after life-threatening conditions given that NAC is introduced in the human body in time to avoid subsequent damages to other vital organs. Indeed its application has proven to save lives in fatal cases of paracetamol poisoning.
N-Acetyl Cysteine is available at your local or internet vitamin store in capsule or tablet forms. Always choose name brands like Source Naturals to ensure quality and purity of the product you buy for better liver health.
Have you had your NAC today?
August 28, 2008 09:33 AM
Garcinia Cambogia is found naturally in India and parts of Asia, and also on the Pacific coast of South and Central America all the way from Peru up to Mexico, and likes a humid forested environment. Also known as Brindall berries, garcinia is believed to act as an appetite suppressant and allows you to lose weight by diminishing your desire for food.
The Malabar tamarind, as it is also known, is about the size of an orange resembling a small pumpkin, and an extract from the fruit and rind is used in several weight loss products. The health risks presented by synthetic diet pills render a natural product extremely attractive were it to be effective. So can Garcia curb your appetite? What is the scientific evidence for it, and what biochemical route would it take?
Although tests on animals have been very positive, human results have been inconsistent. In some double blind tests using a placebo, weight loss was up to three times that of the control, but in others there was no apparent difference between those taking garcinia, and those given a placebo. However, doubts have been raised of the validity of some of the negative tests, so what does science tell us?
The active ingredient in the cambogia extract is hydroxycitric acid (HCA), which is a powerful inhibitor of ATP citrate lyase, an enzyme that catalyzes the reaction between citrate and Coenzyme A to Acetyl CoA and oxaloacetate. Since the acetyl CoA is necessary in the synthesis of fatty acids and lipogenesis (the conversion of glucose to fatty acids), then anything that inhibits the biosynthesis of acetyl CoA must help to reduce the amount of fat stored in your body.
By inhibiting this reaction, that occurs outside the mitochondria so is not a direct part of the Citric Acid Cycle, HCA should theoretically suppress the formation of fats from carbohydrates, reduce food intake and thereby induce weight loss. But that is not the only mechanism.
A study at Georgetown University in Washington found that after 8 weeks of taking the garcinia extract, there was a 5.4% reduction in body weight and body mass index, and a significant reduction in low density lipoproteins (LDL) and triglycerides with an associated rise in high density lipoproteins (HDL). This is good news for those suffering from high cholesterol levels, since the LDL lipoproteins are those that carry cholesterol to the major blood vessels, and which when oxidized by free radicals deposit fatty plaques on the artery walls. These plaques constrict the arteries and the resultant atherosclerosis can lead to cardiac problems and strokes. HDL lipoproteins carry cholesterol back to the liver for destruction, and is known popularly as ‘good cholesterol’.
The studies also indicated modifications to certain indicators of the status of fat deposits in the body and of appetite modifiers in the brain. In this respect they found 38% decreases in serum leptin and increases in serotonin levels of 44%, and the excretion of fat metabolites in the urine increased from between 32% and 104%.
These are significant findings, and further research has indicated that HCA helps to suppress appetite. Serum leptin is an indicator of the level of fat stores in the body, and as the leptin levels in the blood reduces, the hypothalamus is given an instruction to increase the appetite so as to increase the fat levels again. However, it is believed that HCA possesses leptin-like properties, and this signal is either not generated or is modulated.
The increase in serotonin has the same effect. It is known that serotonin controls the appetite, although the exact mechanism has not yet been established. What is known is that serotonin activates certain neurons and melanocortin-4 receptors (MC4R) in the brain, that not only curb appetite but also block the effect of other neurons that would normally increase appetite by blocking the effect of MC4Rs.
This is how the banned anti-obesity and serotonin inciting drug Fen-Phen operated, and it appears that the hydroxycitric acid in garcinia cambogia extract acts in a similar, but safer, way. The problem with drugs such as Feb-Phen was that they created cardiac problems which could be dangerous to obese people whose hearts might have been weakened.
However, now that the biological pathway by which serotonin controls weight is believed to be known, if not fully understood, the way is becoming clearer as to how safer weight loss pills, acting through appetite suppression, might be developed. It also provides a valid scientific explanation for the effect of garcinia cambogia extract which might in itself prove to be that safer way.
The biochemistry supports the evidence of its effect on those wanting to lose weight, and also bolsters the claims that those tests and trials found to be negative were in some way flawed. Until the full chemical pathway is understood, the factors that can lead to flawed tests are unknown, although one could be the use of excessive fiber in some trials that could reduce the effect of the extract.
One of the effects of HCA is to limit the ability of your body to convert carbohydrates into fat (the Acetyl CoA inhibition mentioned above). That, combined with suppression of your appetite and a higher rate of thermogenesis, prevents the body from storing excess carbohydrates as fat. Instead you will have increased energy levels, so you should exercise to use this up while taking garcinia extract. For this reason it is popular with athletes and bodybuilders seeking an energy source that has not yet been banned from sport.
Although diet pills based on the same principle had side-effects and could make the user feel on edge, there are none known with garcinia. However, it is possible to reduce the absorption of some essential nutrients due to appetite suppression, so do not exceed the recommended dose. An excessive amount can also led to gastric discomfort, but none of these effects have been noted when the recommended doses have been adhered to.
However, if you are diabetic, pregnant or a nursing mother, you should consult with your physician or health professional before taking the extract. Garcinia Cambogia presents no specific risk to such people, and this warning should be given for all non-prescriptive treatments that your physician might be unaware of you taking.
August 06, 2008 11:21 AM
Traditionally, Cat's Claw has been used to treat arthritis, gastritis, tumors, dysentery, and female hormonal imbalances. Today, the plant has shown the ability to treat viral infections, minimize inflammation, and provide therapeutic action for stomach and bowel disorders including arthritis, Crohn’s Disease, ulcers, gastritis, parasites, diverticulitis, hemorrhoids, several types of cancer, irritable bowel syndrome, herpes, allergies, lupus, diabetes, PMS, yeast infections, hypoglycemia, prostatitis, bursitis, and rheumatism. European studies are currently looking at Cat's Claw for its ability to treat AIDS and cancer. Additionally, the herb has been used for Athlete’s Foot, Ear infections, back pain, TMJ syndrome, fibromyalgia, canker sores, sinus infections, and asthma.
Peruvians have trusted the anti-inflammatory abilities of Cat’s Claw for many generations, as it was traditionally used for any type of rheumatism or arthritic joint condition. Many studies on the plant metabolites found in Cat’s Claw have found that it does inhibit inflammatory response for a fact. The plant sterols that are found in Cat’s Claw have the ability to reduce artificially induced swelling. After extensive research, scientists have found that the strong anti-inflammatory activity is due to the presence of all the compounds together. These same compounds have an intrinsic anti-inflammatory effect as well.
These findings confirm what herbalists have advocated for many generations: the fact that plants are designed to be used in their whole form in order to be biochemically effective. Pharmaceutical synthetic versions of herbal medication shave so many bad side effects because they have been chemically extricated and isolated, which eliminates the very crucial role of other compounds that are vital to the function of the plant.
Natural botanical remedies, on the other hand, have been designed by nature to work together. Natural anti-inflammatories are extremely important for treating diseases such as allergies and arthritis because they have a lot less side effects than the prescription NSAIDs that are currently being used by thousands of individuals. Back pain, joint pain, inflammation caused by histamine release, and a whole lot of other maladies have resulted in millions of dollars worth of anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen to be purchased.
Diseases such as AIDS and flesh-eating viruses have received a good amount of press coverage over the last several years. Although a lot of us may not feel immediately threatened by these viruses, we may not be as strong as we could be immunologically. Most of us are battling a never-ending list of ailments such as colds, flu, sore throats, earaches, athlete’s foot, yeast infections, chronic fatigue syndrome, herpes, and colitis.
With heart disease, cancer, and diabetes being responsible for thousands of deaths each year, our country as a whole is in poor health. Our immune systems, which are our build-in defense mechanisms, need to be kept in optimal working condition as infectious microorganisms and carcinogens constantly surround us. A healthy immune system has a great ability to fight off disease or at least minimize its stay in our body. By fortifying our defenses with certain herbs, vitamins, and antioxidants, we can greatly promote wellness in our bodies.
DIM For Estrogen Balance
July 10, 2008 03:26 PM
Diindolylmethane from broccoli can help with estrogen balance: There is plenty of evidence to suggest that, but before discussing the whys and wherefores, let's first have a look at the substance, where it comes from and why it should have any effect on estrogen or its balance.
Diindolylmethane is an indole contained in brassicas such as broccoli, cabbage, kale, brussel sprouts and cauliflower. It is a dimer of indole-3-carbinol, which is itself formed by the autolytic degradation of glucosinolate glucobrassicin which is found in brassicas. Both this and the dimeric diindolylmethane are currently being tested for their antioxidant, anticancer and antiatherogenic properties, although this type of research has been mainly made on animals. When the cell walls of brassicas are ruptured, the enzyme myrosinase is released, that breaks down the glucobrassicin.
Because diindolylmethane is oil soluble it is more bioavailable to the body in the presence of vitamin E and other lipophilic substances, and these are normally included in oral supplements. However, back to estrogen and its effects upon human estrogen balance. Estrogen is the name for a group of steroids that function substantially as the female sex hormone. They have many effects on the body, including regulation of the menstrual cycle, breast development and promote the formation of secondary female characteristics such as reduced height and muscle mass.
Estrogen is also present in the male, where it regulates several factors pertaining to the reproductive system. It does not, however, take part in the process that determines sexual desire. If all of these properties are considered it would seem logical to believe that estrogen levels could be used to control weight increase, although claims that it can be use to enhance sexual performance seem ill founded: based more on hope than on science!
What science appears to have found, however, is that estrogen dominance, due to an imbalance between estrogen and progesterone levels in the body, can give rise to increased weight, and even obesity, in women. It can also lead to uterine, ovarian and breast cancers, and cervical dysplasia which, while not cancer, can give rise to cervical cancer if not treated. Estrogen imbalance, therefore, is not good news and something to be avoided if it possibly can. So what can be done to avoid it?
The answer is to find a hormonal balance, and this is where diindolylmethane (DIM) comes in. The substance has been found to have a positive effect on the balance between estrogen and progesterone, although eating broccoli will not be sufficient to do the job properly. Insufficient DIM is released by breaking the cell walls of broccoli through chewing to have much effect on the balance, about a kilo of broccoli a day being needed to have any noticeable effect. It is the diindolylmethane supplements that are able to have the desired effect in restoring the hormone balance and eliminating the undesirable effects of estrogen imbalance.
But why should estrogen imbalance occur? What are the factors that cause this dangerous condition, and if it is so common how did our ancestors manage without today's science? The answer to the second question lies in that to the first, but before we discuss that don't go thinking that your ancestors managed through thick and thin. Perhaps yours did, but your life expectancy is significantly greater than that of your parents when they were born. In fact, you don't have to go too far up your family tree to when you would be doing well if you hit forty! So the argument about your ancestors doesn't wash.
In fact, an estrogen imbalance can be caused by several factors: a slow estrogen metabolism that leads to an excess of estrogen because it is not broken down quickly enough is common, but far more common is the effect of pollutants such as pesticides, car exhaust fumes, emulsifiers, household cleaners and even some soaps. They contain chemicals known as xenoestrogens that our body believes to be real estrogens. They can stick to estrogen receptors on healthy cells, and can also prevent true estrogen from binding to the cell it should bind to. This results in an increase in free estrogen that cannot bind to the estrogen receptors that it should. Your ancestors did not have these problems with such 'estrogen mimics' and so managed just fine.
There is also the fact that estrogen can be broken down in the liver by means of two different routes: one leads to a form of estrogen that metabolizes to provide many benefits, such as strong bones and a reduction in heart disease, while the other has the opposite effect of causing cancers, depression, osteoporosis and problems with your immune system. That is by no means the full list: you don't want to see that, believe me!
You might think that if estrogen is dominant over progesterone, then taking progesterone would resolve the problem. It would seem to be a good cure. In fact, it is not a good idea since progesterone can be metabolized into yet more estrogen, making the problem even worse. The real answer is to take a supplement containing the substance that solves the problem by changing the estrogen metabolism pathways in the liver: diindolylmethane. More of the so-called "good" estrogen metabolites are formed, and less of the bad. The actual estrogen levels are not changed, but the way in which the excess estrogen causes harm is changed. That way, it doesn't matter what the imbalance is, the estrogen cannot do ham to your body.
DIM possesses many potential positive benefits when used as a supplement. It can reduce your chances of getting breast, cervical and ovarian cancers, and also acts as a strong antioxidant, and helps to strengthen your immune system. It might help you to lose weight, but more studies are needed before this can be claimed conclusively. However, there is evidence at the moment that it has a weight reducing effect.
Its effect on sexual health is largely unfounded, but the effect of a placebo in this area can be astounding: that indicates how much psychology has to do with sexual performance. Nevertheless, the known and projected benefits of diindolylmethane are so significant that taking a supplement would seem a reasonable thing to do, and although your mom was right about you eating your broccoli, brassicas alone are not a rich enough source for a significant effect.
May 09, 2008 11:09 AM
Colloidal trace minerals are just as important to our health and well being as vitamins. Practically since birth we have had it pounded into us that we must eat our vitamins if we are to be healthy. The fact is that vitamins are of little use to you without minerals which are as essential for your metabolism as any vitamin is.
The essential minerals are the inorganic equivalents of the essential organic vitamins. They work together to maintain the biochemistry that keeps you alive. Take calcium, for example. That is a mineral needed for healthy teeth and bones, among many other things, but it is no good without vitamin D. Magnesium and potassium are also needed for healthy bones. Take blood clotting: vitamin K is the blood clotting vitamin, but blood will not clot without calcium.
How is energy generated in your body from the carbohydrates and sugars that you eat? They are converted to glucose that is converted to energy in every cell in your body and used in-situ. Your heart gets the energy to beat from cells in the heart – energy does not float around the blood waiting to be used. It is generated by means of the production of a substance known as ATP – adenosine triphosphate of which phosphorus is an essential component. Without the mineral phosphate none of us would be alive – nor would any form of life for that matter. ATP is the universal molecule of life.
So far we have discussed some of the seven major minerals: calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, sulfur, sodium and chlorine. There are many more that your body needs, and estimates vary from 45 to 70 trace minerals, without which you would find it difficult to function properly. Although your body can make many of the organic substances needed for life from vitamins, amino acids, fatty acids and proteins, it cannot make minerals which have to be taken in as part of your diet. They must be taken in your regular diet or as a supplement.
In the USA a major mineral is one that is needed in amounts greater than 100 mg (0.1g) a day, and trace minerals are required at less than 100 mg a day. So one that is needed at 100.1 is major, and one at 99.9 mg is trace. Is there a difference in the source of trace minerals, or would any source be good enough? The answer lies in the construction of the human body, and the way in which it absorbs minerals.
Your body is not designed to absorb metallic minerals. The way that such minerals are available in your diet is as part of larger organic molecules, and this is the way they must be taken as a supplement. Thus, you can’t just drink a soluble metal salt because it will pass straight through you with only around 5% absorption, if it doesn’t poison you first. For supplement purpose, metallic minerals are chelated, or combined with larger organic molecules such as proteins and amino acids, and this increases absorption to as high as 50%.
The necessity of trace minerals in the human diet was not discovered, as much as the result of a number of studies on various societies and remedies that appeared to have no basis for their effects. The Hunzas and Azerbaijanis, for example, are known to live very long lives, and investigations into this showed their diet was very rich in colloidal trace minerals from glacial water and food grown in soil enriched by that water.
It was through studies such as this and also investigation into the metabolites obtained from liver extracts that indicated the importance of many trace minerals. Take arsenic, for example. A known poison in larger quantities, trace quantities have been found to be metabolized by the liver, and while no studies have been carried out on the use of arsenic as a trace element in human biochemistry, studies on rats and human liver extracts have indicated that it could have a part to play in normal growth and reproduction.
Trace minerals take part in many enzyme reactions, and physicians now agree that many health conditions could be enzymic in origin. It follows, then, that trace elements are important in maintaining good health. It is certainly true that we cannot live without any of the seven major minerals. And it is just as certain that many of the trace minerals are just as import to human biochemistry as the major ones. It is certainly true of vegetables, which are less complex biological entities than humans, and if tomatoes need at least eight known minerals for good growth then it is certain that we will need a lot more. No studies are needed to convince us of that.
Take zinc, for example. Zinc is essential for proper liver function, wound healing and reproduction: spermatogenesis, the proper development of the primary and secondary male sex organs, and all area of the female reproduction process. Zinc is classed as a trace element, as is selenium, a deficiency of which can lead to heart disease, mental retardation and impaired function of the thyroid. Selenium deficiency is not common in the West but is in China where many areas are depleted of selenium. However, if zinc and selenium are known to be essential, how many of the other seventy or so trace minerals are also essential to human health?
The trace minerals in general are believed to protect us from some degenerative conditions, the effects of environmental pollution and help to protect us from the effects of an excessive intake of toxic minerals. Although there have been insufficient studies carried out on most trace minerals, it is known that they should be taken in chelated form, metallic in nature or not.
It is also known that such minerals should be taken as a balanced mixture as found in nature. A bullet approach, using an individual mineral to treat a certain condition, could lead to an imbalance in the body, and severe side effects, some of which might not yet be known. What is known is that certain minerals are tolerated by each other in specific relative concentrations, but if this balance is upset then they can inter-react and produce unpleasant side effects on, for example, the delicate balance of minerals in the blood.
It is becoming increasingly clear that modern farming methods have resulted in mineral depletion of the soil, and that our normal diet now only contains a small number of the minerals that our forefathers were taking. Plants draw up minerals from the soil when they grow, and we take in these when we consume them or the animals that live on them. Saturation of the soil year in year out by chemical fertilizers low in or devoid of trace minerals has resulted in a sterile environment for our feedstock, and has made colloidal trace mineral supplements almost mandatory for good health.
Today’s plants can contain fewer than 20 minerals, compared to the 70 plus of our ancestors. Life expectancy is increasing in spite of our increasingly poor diet rather than because of it, and is due more to medical advances than to advances in agriculture. A mineral supplement does seem necessary, but when you take one it should be balanced so that no one mineral is in excess at the expense of another.
This helps to reduce the possibility of overdosing on an individual substance while maintaining a natural balance of minerals in your body to make sure that your normal biochemistry is not interrupted by some deficiency or excess that has yet to be discovered. While this might seem a spurious argument, you can be certain that those in the past that used cadmium and lead as cosmetics would rather have known the effects of these toxic substances that eventually killed them.
So use chelated trace mineral by all means, but make sure that they are balanced and tested so that nothing is present that can upset the normal balance of minerals in your body. If they work for tomatoes they should work for you!
May 01, 2008 02:45 PM
Bromelain consists of two enzymes that digest proteins, otherwise known as proteases or proteolytic enzymes. These enzymes are obtained from different parts of the plant, one from the stem and the other from the fruit. It also includes protease inhibitors, acid phosphatase, peroxidase and calcium.
First used as a supplement in 1959, bromelain is particularly popular in Germany, where a lot of the recent research has been carried out. Because the stem enzyme is in the greatest amount, eating pineapple will not give a great deal of bromelain, and you will have to take the supplement which is extracted from the stem in order to get the greatest benefits.
Bromelain has several therapeutic effects on the body, and is a good aid to digestion. The enzyme can boost the digestive processes and so reduce the incidence of problems such as heartburn, acid reflux and any other condition caused by the incomplete digestion of foods. It does this by breaking down proteins so they are more easily digested.
In fact its potency is sometimes measured in GDUs (Gelatin Digesting Units), gelatin being a common protein that is easily used for the measurement of bromelain activity. It is also measured in MCU (Milk Clotting Units), since bromelain can also be used to clot milk, and a standardized dose should contain 2 MCU per milligram. The dosage to use depends a great deal on the condition being treated, but a good general average for digestive problems is 500 mg three times daily.
Bromelain works best at an optimum pH of 4.5 – 5.5 and can therefore help to balance the pH in its environment. It is extremely important to the immune system that the pH of the body is balanced and controlled to within certain limits, and bromelain can help to achieve that. In helping to reduce the excessive acidity caused by poor digestion, a balanced pH of the stomach is also maintained, helping to reduce the feeling of nausea, common with some digestive defects. The overall result of bromelain supplement is to help to maintain a better digestive system and ease the discomfort of many people for whom a meal is frequently not the pleasure it should be.
Bromelain is also an anti-inflammatory, and used for temporary relief of the inflammation caused by surgical procedures, arthritis and various injuries and forms of disease It is commonly used for the treatment of sports injuries and also immediately after surgery to reduce the risk of inflammation. It appears to have an inhibiting effect of the production of pro-inflammatory metabolites in the body, although the mechanism by which it works is not yet fully understood.
In fact many of the therapeutic benefits of bromelain have been show to be only partially due to its proteolytic activity, and it is now believed that there are also as yet unidentified non-protein factors present in bromelain that contribute to these forms of health benefit. The biochemistry of bromelain has yet to be fully characterized.
Notwithstanding that, the substance has been recommended for the treatment of a wide range of connected conditions, such as gout, arthritis, hemorrhoids, ulcerative colitis, autoimmune disorders, hay fever and sinusitis. It is particularly useful where there is pain, where tissues have become swollen and when tissue repair is needed. It appears to inhibit pain-inducing prostaglandins and is also believed in some way to induce the biochemical production of other prostaglandins that have an anti-inflammatory effect.
All of this knowledge has come as a result of studies carried out on the biochemical activity of bromelain, but have not yet been proved and is indicative of the lack of biochemical knowledge on this substance and the chemicals it contains. What have been demonstrated, however, are its effects on platelets and blood clots in arteries.
It appears to do this by the inhibition of the formation of high levels of fibrinogen from which clots are made, and also inhibits the aggregation of blood platelets and their ability to stick to the endothelial cells of blood vessels, particularly the arteries. The fibrin that is produced from fibrinogen not only promotes blood clotting but is also associated wit the retention of fluid. It is a protein, and the proteolytic effect of bromelain also breaks this down.
Bromelain therefore works in a number ways to reduce fluid retention, prevent blood clotting and inhibit the aggregation of blood platelets on artery walls. The measurable effect of this is the thinning of the blood that such activity promotes. It is logical that if fibrin contributes to the viscosity of blood, then its destruction will result in thinner blood, and hence lower blood pressure.
It is also used in the treatment of burns, where it helps to remove the dead skin that can delay recovery after third degree burns. It also appears to promote the absorption of many antibiotics, which again helps in recovery.
Bromelain is relatively safe to use with few side effects, although, curiously, among the side effects are some conditions it is also used to treat. Among these are nausea and allergic reactions, along with diarrhea and excessive menstrual flow. One of its successes has been in the control of menstrual pain.
Bromelain has been proposed for cancer therapy, its potential use being recommended due to its effect of the adhesion of cells, its regulation of the immune function and its effect on the immunosuppressive cytokine TGF-beta that is involved in several types of cancer and their metastasis (spread to other parts of the body). However, a lot more work is needed on this for definite conclusions to be drawn.
On a more practical note, the effect of bromelain on proteins is put to use as a steak tenderizer. If the product is sprinkled in powdered form onto meat, and then forked into the tissue, the enzymes will break down the protein of the meat and make it tender when cooked. However, don’t overdo it or you will end up eating a meaty mush more akin to a soft meatloaf than a good steak!
All in all, bromelain is a useful supplement for many medical conditions, and does to food in your stomach what it does to steak on the plate. It is generally used in supplement form because the active enzyme is not in a high enough concentration in the fruit itself, but in the stem from which it is extracted after the fruit has been harvested. It is also easier to standardize a supplement than a fruit.
Biotin For Better Health!
April 14, 2008 12:42 PM
Biotin is one of the B vitamins, known as vitamin B7 and also, for some reason, vitamin H. If you have a deficiency of this vitamin you will know about it because it makes you bald. So keep up your vitamin B7 intake girls!
However, this should not be difficult since it is contained in cooked egg white (not raw), tomatoes, chard, onions, cabbage, strawberries, walnuts, halibut, carrots, liver, brewers yeast and cucumber to name but a few of the many sources. It makes sense that it has so many sources because biotin is essential for many of the biochemical reactions that take place continuously in your body.
It is contained in raw eggs, but is bound too tightly to the protein to be available to your body. It has to be cooked before the bond is broken sufficiently to render it bioavailable.
Included in these is the all-important Krebs cycle that releases energy from food. It is necessary for the growth of your body cells, for the metabolism of the fats you consume and for the biosynthesis of the fatty acids that are eventually converted to proteins and then the DNA that is essential for life. In other words, without biotin we would not be here.
However, do not get overly worried about the necessity of biotin in your diet, since the same applies to all of the other vitamins you consume. That is what vitamins are chemicals that have been identified ages ago as being essential to life. Without vitamins we could not survive which is why the vitamin supplement industry is so strong and healthy.
So, what does biotin do specifically, other than being necessary for some of the essential biochemical processes in your body? These tend to look after themselves, so what are the physical attributes that biotin provides for you? The name should give you a clue. In fact it should be familiar since it is one of the more commonly mentioned ingredients of hair care products: “Biotin for Healthy Hair” - ring a bell?
Although a deficiency of biotin is rare with a healthy balanced diet, it can happen, and when it does your first sign might be your skin drying out, your cholesterol levels will increase, you will feel continually tired and depressed with a poor appetite and you will be nauseous. You will also frequently vomit, which puts the icing on the cake of a set of very undesirable symptoms. It is important, then, that you do not suffer from a deficiency of biotin, vitamin B7 or vitamin H, whatever you want to call it, and is why many people take a supplement just to make sure.
This is normally taken as part of a general B complex supplement or even a general multivitamin supplement, since almost everybody has no idea what this vitamin is and why it is so necessary for your continued health. So let's have a look at why biotin is so important, with specific reference to your hair, skin and nails. However, we shall also examine its deeper biochemical uses and explain why it is such an essential vitamin.
With regard to biotin supplements in hair preparations, it benefit’s by helping one grow thicker hair, symptoms of a deficiency is brittle hair. If you are deficient, you will lose your eyelashes and eyebrows in addition to your hair, depending on the severity of your deficiency. As stated, however, that is particularly rare. The biotin content of shampoos is likely useless since it is not absorbed through the skin.
What it does in the diet, however, is to thicken the nails and also the hair fiber giving it a fuller appearance, so that you appear to have more hair than you actually have. It also increases the flexibility of the hair, skin and nails rendering them less brittle and less liable to breaking and scaling. However, as previously stated if you eat a good balanced diet you should avoid these problems, although a vitamin B complex supplement will do the job just as well.
So what else does vitamin B7 do for you? Lots in fact, so let's have a look at the more important of them starting with the function of your body cells in the production of energy. Biotin takes part in the Citric Acid Cycle, otherwise known as the Krebs Cycle, whereby energy is created by the conversion of carbohydrates, fats and proteins into carbon dioxide and water. It is one of the essential metabolic pathways of life, and biotin is needed to recharge the Krebs cycle with metabolites when mitochondria become deficient in these essential components.
Without them you would begin to feel tired and lack energy, and this would get increasingly worse without a biotin supplement. It is amazing that your energy is created in the mitochondria which are a part of the tiny cells that make up the tissue of your body, and equally amazing that it depends upon, among other substances, a vitamin of which very few people are even aware of.
In spite of any other effect biotin has on your body, including providing healthy hair, skin and nails, its primary role in your body is in the metabolism of proteins, fats and carbohydrates into a form that can be used by your body for the production of energy. Biochemically, it functions as a coenzyme, which is a molecule needed to help an enzyme do its work. In fact an alternative name give to biotin is Coenzyme R.
It helps in the biochemical conversion of sugars to energy, and is a component of enzymes such as pyruvate carboxylase. That enzyme is protein contained within the mitochondria that contains a biotin prosthetic group, without which it could not function to help the body to generate energy during exercise. Suffice it to say that without biotin you would find it difficult to generate energy, especially when the demand for it is at its highest.
Biotin's biochemical role is not restricted to energy production however, and it is involved in the biochemical synthesis of amino acids and also of glucose from other sugars. Glucose is the main blood sugar that is manufactured in the body from the other saccharides that you eat, such as fructose.
A reasonable level of supplementation to ensure that you do not suffer from a deficiency is around 100 micrograms daily, although up to 5 milligrams (5000 mcg) are safe for the treatment of brittle nails or hair loss. Much depends on age and it is best taken as a vitamin B complex supplement, since the B vitamins appear to give best results as a team!
So, while you can have healthy hair, skin and nails with biotin, without it you will have no energy and likely have no need for your hair, skin and nails!
7-Keto, The Next Dhea With No Side Effects
November 10, 2007 12:24 PM
7-Keto is a natural derivative of DHEA that is claimed to be free from many of the side-effects of regular DHEA supplements. DHEA is dehydroepiandosterone, which is the most abundantly produced of the adrenal hormones. After production in and release into the bloodstream by the adrenal glands that are situated just over the kidneys, DHEA undergoes metabolism to the male androgen hormones, and the female estrogens.
As you age, the production DHEA declines, starting at about 30, with a 50% decline by time you reach 40 and almost 85% at 70. This is true of the levels of many hormones in the body, though some, like the steroidal aldosterone, remain constant throughout life. The general rate of metabolism also reduces with age resulting in an even lower conversion rate of DHEA to the male and female hormones.
At the same time as this occurs, there also occurs a significant reduction in the biosynthesis of protein in the body, which results in a loss of muscle mass as you age, and also in the regeneration of bone tissue that results in what is commonly termed age-related osteoporosis. Brain cells die at an increasing rate leading to many neurological conditions and the immune system is also affected negatively.
Due to the concurrence of these aging effects, many scientists have related the general hormonal decline with the other effects of aging. The have asserted that if these hormones were restored, than many of the effects of aging could be delayed. Osteoporosis would be delayed due to the body’ s increased ability to restore lost bone mass, the metabolic rate would improve and fat would be burned at a faster rate and continue to build muscle, the brain would lose its functionality at a significantly lower rate and the immune system would continue to protect the body against disease.
In other words we might be able to live longer, but if not that then at least the quality of life would be maintained longer as we aged. This is a very welcome and desirable situation, but the taking of hormones as supplements has long been regarded as fraught with danger due to the possibility of undesirable side effects, some of them potentially very serious. DHEA was considered as one of these hormones that could be used as a supplement to achieve positive results in reducing these age-related changes because it exhibited these effects in tests on animals.
However, in order that a specific substance can be declared responsible for any metabolic improvement that involves liver biochemistry, some form of receptor has to be identified, and this failed to materialize in DHEA. There appears to be no such DHEA receptor, although that does not necessarily imply that DHEA is not responsible in some way. It might very well be a DHEA metabolite that is responsible, and that has still to be identified. It is certainly true that DHEA administered to both animal and human subjects has resulted in an increase in the testosterone and estrogen levels of the subjects. Such an increase is not desirable due to a number of potential side effects as previously inferred.
These are particularly liable to occur with people who already have an adequate level of natural DHEA production within their body. The side effects include acne, irregularity in the menstrual cycle, itchy scalp, increased body odor and an excess of androgenic hormones can lead to hair loss, or male pattern baldness. Interruptions in the heart rhythm, or palpitations, are another very serious side effect of DHEA supplementation, and high doses over a long period introduce a theoretical risk of certain cancers.
However, the discovery of 7-Keto, a natural derivative of DHEA claimed to be free from many of these side effects, has altered the situation. 7-Keto is a powerful antioxidant that speeds up the metabolism of fat and helps to reduce body weight. It also helps to replace lost fat with muscle mass, though it must be stated that this effect is only valid after the natural production of DHEA has slowed down. It is not a body-building supplement.
It was Professor Henry Lardy, of the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin, who tested over 150 DHEA metabolites over 10 years and identified 7-oxo-dehydroepiandrosterone as having the greatest biochemical effect without having any detectable side effects. This material was trademarked 7-KETO by the Humanetics Corporation, and one of its known effects is to burn fat quicker by stimulating thermogenesis. It had also been shown to strengthen the immune system and to improve the memory. All of this without any measurable increase in any of the sex hormones. It was released after a careful and intensive series of safety tests on both humans and animals found it safe for human consumption.
It should be stressed that 7-Keto is not a hormone, and is not chemically the same as DHEA: it is a different chemical altogether that is produce when DHEA degrades in the body. Because of this it can be promoted as a non-androgenic or estrogenic form of DHEA. It is thought that all of the conditions that decline as we age that can benefit from a supplement of DHEA, will also benefit from a supplement of 7-Keto. However supplementation is only required from the ages of 25 – 30, when the natural amount of DHEA and 7-Keto in the body start to decline.
It causes neither high blood pressure nor any form of cancer, and was submitted to the FDA prior to being made publicly available. It is important to stress that the substance is neither a steroid nor does it metabolize to steroidal hormones, and is also not a sex hormone. It also has no effect on the body’s sex hormones. The whole point of 7-Keto is that it has the effect of DHEA without having any connection whatsoever with steroidal hormones or any hormonal substances. It is totally innocuous and safe to use, without the risk of heart palpitations, lost hair or any of the other side effects of DHEA.
Without a doubt, 7-Keto is a DHEA substitute that has none of the side effects of its precursor. So if you are over the age of 30 and feel the need for an energy boost, give 7-keto a try.
Take Charge Of Your Health With Herbal Bio-Identical hormones
November 04, 2007 03:17 PM
Bioidentical hormones assist women in overcoming acute menopausal symptoms, while improving skin. They help by strengthening bones, keeping the mind sharp, promoting energy and well-being, and helping to preserve vaginal tone and resist vaginal dryness. In men, these hormones add energy and vitality, while improving muscle tones and mental sharpness. Bioidentical hormones (BHRT) are exact duplicates of the hormones that are produced by the body. However, they are much more easily metabolized by the body into safe forms of estrogen than their counterparts, which stimulate toxic metabolites. When they are used in physiologic amounts, bioidenticals carry much fewer risks than synthetic hormones. However, despite the fact that research supports their use and proves them safe alternatives to prescription drugs, few physicians are actually using these hormones in their practices.
Those patients, who wish to address menopausal and andropause symptoms, or to achieve lifelong hormonal balance in order to prevent illness, often do not know where to go to find a comprehensive bioidentical hormone replacement program. Instead, they read whatever they can to formulate a plan and purchase various products that are available over the counter, often spending precious time and money on programs and products that don’t do what they’re expected to do. One of the most common errors among people is putting together a program based solely on symptoms instead of first checking hormone levels. Symptoms may overlap from one hormone pattern to another. If you try to replace or augment specific hormones without having an accurate test of the levels first, your results will seldom be good.
If your doctor is prescribing transdermal hormones, make sure to do a saliva self-test to measure your hormones levels as it is much more accurate and revealing than other types of tests. You can submit your samples to Mead Labs, where you will actually receive a telephone consultation from a health professional to interpret your results followed by a program of products prescribed especially for you from one of their medical professionals. With your own results, you can learn a lot about the exact state of your hormones instead of blindly guessing from symptoms which may be similar. For example, men may not need testosterone shots or transdermal patches, as the results may show estrogen dominance. The answer for this is not adding more testosterone, because the man could be converting testosterone into estrogen, but instead a program including special herbs and nutrients may be much more beneficial. No matter your gender, your health professional at Mead Labs will design a safe and effective program based solely on bioidentical hormones, herbs, and nutrients first. In the past years, when prescription, non-bioidentical HRT was used by any women with menopausal symptoms, there was no testing to find out what kind of imbalance was actually occurring. Proponents of BHRT are trying to ensure that this method of prescribing the same combination and amounts of medications to everyone is not used with natural hormones. Because hormone profiles and levels can vary significantly from person to person, even those people in the same gender, testing hormones levels and obtaining recommendations from a medical professional who is experienced in BHRT are the key points to ensure you benefit from this therapy.
April 09, 2007 05:02 PM
EpiCor® is a unique and novel dietary supplement used for support of immune health, with a fascinating history of discovery. In 1943, a company in
Interestingly, when the company became self-insured, they became aware of unusually low rates of illness in employees that worked in the manufacturing plant for this animal product. This led to very low increases in their insurance premiums over the years compared to other companies, saving them quite a lot of money. Hence they began to investigate what might be the cause of the “healthfulness” of the employees at the fermentation plant. This investigation and subsequent research studies led to the formation of a new company called Embria Health Sciences, which now produces EpiCor® as a supplement for humans to support immune system health.1 Doctor’s Best® is proud to now offer the benefits of EpiCor® to its customers.
Beneficial Support of the Immune System and Activation of Natural Killer (NK) Cells in vitro*
A comparison study was performed on blood from 10 fermentation plant workers compared to that from 10 age and gender matched controls. The fermentation plant workers had several immune cell parameters that appeared superior to the control group. These included decreased levels of CD8 cells resulting in significantly increased CD4 to CD8 ratios, significantly improved cytotoxic natural killer (NK) cell activity even though total NK cells were decreased in number, higher killing efficiency of NK cells, significantly increased levels of secretory IgA, increased numbers of EpiCor™ specific antibodies, higher levels of red blood cell intracellular glutathione, and significantly lower levels of immune complexes. These results represent benefits on various cellular players of both the specific and innate parts of the immune system.1,3,4
NK cells are one of the first lines of defense used by the immune system. An in vitro study performed on human cells showed that NK cells were activated after incubation with EpiCor®, as evaluated by expression of the CD69 activation marker. The CD25 marker (IL-2 receptor) was also induced in the NK cells, although to a lesser degree.1,2 B cell activation was also noted through increased expression of CD80 and CD86 markers.2 Immediate increases in calcium levels were evident in peripheral blood mononuclear cells after exposure to EpiCor®, suggesting increased activation through calcium regulation.2
High Metabolite Immunogen*: Nutrient Make-up
Production of EpiCor® utilizes the common and harmless bakers or brewers yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae in a patented process called MetaGen4™, a multi-stage fermentation and drying process. It differs from other yeast products in that it contains both the yeast itself as well as the metabolites or “nutrilites” formed by the fermentation process, which are present in the media.1 Together the media containing the metabolites and the yeast are dried to form EpiCor®. Analysis of EpiCor® reveals that it contains a mixture of natural polyphenols, phytosterols, beta-glucans, mannan oligosaccharides, fiber, trace amounts of B vitamins and minerals, as well as a host of other nutritional compounds.1,2
Beneficial Antioxidant Activity*
EpiCor® was tested for antioxidant activity in an in vitro assay called the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity assay (ORAC). In this assay, EpiCor® was shown to have a total ORAC antioxidant level of 610 micromol TE (tocopherol (vitamin E) equivalents) units (ORAC units) per gram dry weight, which soared above other high antioxidant level foods such as cranberries (93 ORAC units per gram dry weight) and blueberries (62 ORAC units per gram dry weight).1,3,5
In another study, freshly isolated human neutrophils were treated with EpiCor® followed by the free radical generator hydrogen peroxide. Cells were treated with a dye that fluoresces when attacked by free radicals. Those cells treated with EpiCor® showed decreased fluorescence intensity compared to control cells not treated with EpiCor®, verifying antioxidant activity in vitro.2
Numerous safety tests have been conducted on EpiCor®, revealing an extremely safe profile. Animal studies performed by a leading toxicology laboratory showed no indication of any toxic effects of EpiCor®. An acute oral toxicity study on 20 rats showed that the product was safe when given to rats at a single oral dose of 2000 milligrams per kilogram of body weight (equivalent to a human ingesting 280 capsules at once). After 2 weeks the rats showed no clinical symptoms, no deaths, no abnormalities in body weight, and no gross pathological changes. The same safety results were found in a subchronic toxicity study where rats were given up to 1500 milligrams daily for 90 days (equivalent to a human ingesting up to 210 capsules daily for 1.5 years). Again, absolutely no signs or symptoms of toxicity were noted in these animals.1,3
In addition, a standard bacterial reverse mutagenicity test (AMES test) as well as a mammalian cell mutation assay using mouse lymphoma cells revealed no evidence of any increase in mutation rates after exposure to EpiCor®. EpiCor® also showed no evidence of mitogenicity (inducing increased cell division) in a human lymphocyte proliferation assay. This suggests that EpiCor® does not cause over-reactivity of cells1,3.
The effect of EpiCor® on specific liver enzymes CYP1A2 and CYP3A4 (enzymes involved in metabolizing certain drugs and other compounds) was assessed. Immortalized hepatocytes (liver cells) were treated with various concentrations of EpiCor® and compared to both positive and negative controls. EpiCor® did not increase the expression or activity of the liver enzymes, suggesting that it may not affect the metabolism of other substances or medications metabolized by these enzymes if they are taken simultaneously. It also did not appear to be toxic to the cells as measured by lactate dehydrogenase assays and microscopic analysis.1
Lastly, EpiCor® was tested for safety in humans in an open label study on 15 adult men and women given a single 500 milligram dose for 30 days. On various days throughout the study vital signs were monitored, and blood and urine samples were analyzed. No clinically relevant abnormal effects on the participants were found1.
EpiCor® also currently has received self-affirmed Generally Regarded as Safe (GRAS) status by an expert panel that included eminent toxicologists1.
EpiCor® is a novel compound with an incredibly unique composition that has been shown to enhance immune system function.*
Suggested Adult Use: Take one capsule daily with or without food.
*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
1. Embria Health Sciences
2. Hart et al. A new Saccharomyces cerevisiae based product has anti-inflammatory effects while specifically activating human NK and B lymphocyte subsets. Unpublished study, personal communication.
3. Schauss AG, Jensen G, Vojdani A, Financsek I. After decades of ingestion by farm animals, the discovery of a yeast fermentate with unexpected significant immune modulatory activity when consumed by humans. [abstract] Journal of the
4. Schauss AG, Vodjani A. Discovery of an edible fermentation product with unusual immune enhancing properties in humans. [abstract] FASEB J, 2006; 20(4):A143.
5. Wu X, Beecher GR, Holden JM, Haytowitz DB, Gebhardt SE, Prior RL. Lipophilic and hydrophilic antioxidant capacities of common foods in the
Vitamin C FAQ's
December 27, 2005 05:11 PM
Vitamin C FAQ's
What is Calcium Ascorbate?
Calcium Ascorbate is a buffered salt (mineral) form of the water-soluble antioxidant Vitamin C (ascorbic acid). Calcium is reacted with ascorbic acid to buffer the acidic nature of this vitamin, making it more gentle for the special needs of those who may have a sensitive gastrointestinal tract. The pH of this buffered mineral Ascorbate is approximately 6.8—7.4 as compared to ascorbic acid that is about a pH of 2.5. Calcium Ascorbate provides approximately 10% elemental calcium.
What does Calcium Ascorbate do?
Ascorbate (vitamin C) is a reducing sugar (has a reactive ene-diol structure) that is involved in biochemical processes such as hydroxylation of proline and lysine utilized in the formation of collagen and healthy connective tissue. A deficiency in Ascorbate results in a disease called scurvy which manifests as weakened collagen fibers, rotting teeth, delayed healing and open sores on the skin. Ascorbate is involved in many other vital functions such as the mobilization of iron, stimulation of immune system and as an anti-oxidant for scavenging of reactive free radicals.
Is this a necessary vitamin or can our bodies make enough to satisfy our needs?
Many plants and animals do not need to consume foods high in ascorbic acid to meet their need for Vitamin C because they are genetically programmed to produce enzymes that convert glucose into ascorbic acid. Unfortunately humans have only 3 of the 4 enzymes necessary for internal production of ascorbic acid, therefore we must satisfy our physical needs for this important vitamin through our intake of foods rich in vitamin C and/or take a good supplement.
What is the function of the Citrus Bioflavonoids?
Bioflavonoids are biologically active Flavonoid compounds found throughout the entire plant kingdom. Since the discovery of Flavonoids in 1936 when they were first isolated from lemons and called citrin and Vitamin P over 4,000 different types have been characterized. Though there are several forms of Bioflavonoids in the complex the predominant form is Hesperidin. These Flavonoids exhibit beneficial effects on capillary permeability and therefore support blood flow. They are antioxidants that work synergistically with Vitamin C as well as exhibiting anti-inflammatory activity.
Why are there color variations in your different Vitamin C products, and are they safe to take?
Most natural Vitamin C products vary in color from batch to batch and bottle to bottle. There are normally variations in the color of the raw material used during manufacturing, which is a normal occurrence. This is due to natural color variations in the source of the Vitamin C – generally, you will find C supplements to range in color from a light tan color to a light gray color.
Over the course of the shelf-life of a Vitamin C supplement, oxidation can cause a slight change in color, so you may find the light tan C-1000 you bought has changed to a darker tan six months later. This is a normal occurrence, and the product is safe to use up until the expiration date, and even beyond. NOW® is generally conservative with expiration dates, so a Vitamin C product is still safe after the date, it just may not be as effective due to oxidation.
Why does your Ester-C Complex say 625mg on the front of the label but list 500mg on the Supplement Facts panel? The key word is “complex”. Ester-C Complex is a combination of ascorbic acid (natural Vitamin C) and Calcium Ascorbate, which ultimately yields 500 total mg of Vitamin C. It is complexed with Calcium Ascorbate and other metabolites for greater absorption and faster utilization by your body. So the total complex is 625mg of Ester-C Complex, which yields 500mg of natural Vitamin C as ascorbic acid.
NOW Ester-C Pure Powder states the serving size is ½ teaspoon. How much Vitamin C am I getting with this serving size? ½ teaspoon of Ester-C Pure Powder is equivalent to 2000mg of natural Vitamin C and 250mg of Calcium.
Can I pour the powder in NOW® Vitamin C capsules into a liquid instead of swallowing the capsule? Many people do not want to or cannot swallow capsules, tablets or softgels, for various reasons. Encapsulated Vitamin C products from NOW® can be opened and dumped into a liquid for consumption. Juice or water is recommended if you choose this method. However, taking Vitamin C with water on an empty stomach is the recommended method of ingestion. We do not recommend trying this method with Vitamin C in tablet form, although you can grind or smash a tablet into powder form and add to water or juice. If you choose to do this, use a mortar and pestle for best results and minimal loss of product. Why go through the trouble when NOW® carries Vitamin C in a powdered form already. Save yourself time and trouble by ordering this form instead. Disclaimer: This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Phosphatidyl Serine - HEALTHY COGNITION BRAIN FUNCTION
December 21, 2005 11:04 AM
“To the dull mind, nature is leaden. To the illumined mind, the whole world burns and sparkles with light.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
From the moment we rise to the moment we rest, our brain is in a decision-making frenzy. When we’re thirsty, our brain tells us that we need water. When we’re hungry, it reminds us that we have a refrigerator full of food. When we’re tired, it lets us know that we need to sleep, and so on. But despite the thousands of decisions we make everyday, our brain still hasn’t figured out a way to let us know what it needs to func¬tion.
Though ironic, this raises a very serious issue. The human brain, like every other organ in the body, demands nutrition - period. Unfortunately, it leaves that up to us to figure out. Thanks to notable advance¬ments in research, we’re finally learning which nutri¬ents are most important for optimal brain function. Phosphatidyl Serine (PS) is a perfect example. This naturally occurring phospholipid has been the subject of numerous studies regarding its ability to boost cognitive function and delay (or potentially reverse) memory deterioration, and suggests that PS may be able to increase the effectiveness of neural transmissions. Interestingly, PS accounts for roughly 15% of the brain’s phospholipid supply. This is enor¬mous because phospholipids play a significant role in the billions of neurotransmissions that take place every second. Yes, billions.
Brain cells are constantly communicating with one another, and send astonishing amounts of impulses throughout the nervous system. This is accomplished via neurotransmitters - chemical messengers that send and receive impulses over the synapses of the brain and throughout the body. Mentally, we’re function¬ing at our best when these cells are well nourished. We can think more clearly, recall memories with ease and operate with greater efficiency. However, a de¬ficiency in neural-nutrients can prevent these mind messengers from functioning as they should. For¬tunately, PS has the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier to deliver critical nutrients and remove mind-slowing waste.
Consider this. The brain functions in the same man¬ner that a major airport does around the holidays. There are millions of actions taking place. Impulses departing, nutrients arriving, endless communication, the occasional problem and more reactions than any¬one could possibly count. There’s confusion, delay and emotion, not to mention the endless series of transmissions that take place every second. Imagine PS as that ultra-motivated employee who shows up to work everyday anxious to expedite everything in sight. It helps neural travelers get to and from their respec¬tive gates, ensures that they have everything they need, simplifies processes that could result in breakdown, and clears isles that are cluttered with junk. Simply stated, PS is the brain’s overachieving go-getter.
PS can help us think more clearly.
It’s 3:06 in the afternoon and you’re scrambling to get to a meeting that you’re already late for. That fluster could be the result of poor neurotransmission caused by a deficiency in essential nutrients like PS. Moreover, these innocent brain-bursts can exhaust our PS reserves, leaving us somewhere hovering be¬tween frantic and sluggish. Every impulse, thought, action, reaction, movement, emotion and desire is the end result of neurotransmitters in action. PS is a major supporter of these actions. Therefore, as we increase the amount of PS in our system, we gain the ability to think and act with greater ease.
PS can reduce the adverse impacts of stress on our body and mind.
What do we do when we’re down in the dumps? While plopping down on the sofa with a snack might be an easy solution, it comes with a price. Not only does stress interfere with mood, but it can also inspire inactivity, over-eating and sluggishness. This is due largely in part to cortisol - a catabolic hormone released by the adrenal glands in response to emotional stress. Studies done to determine the effectiveness of PS on cortisol suppression have shown that it works by suppressing the hormones that produce cortisol. As a result, supplementing with PS may be able to help reduce the amount of stress related hormones that ultimately leave us singing the blues.
PS can expedite post workout recovery time.
Endurance athletes who carefully monitor their body’s response levels are increasingly turning to PS. Immediately following strenuous activity, the body responds by releasing adrenocorticotropin (ACTH) – a hormone that discourages testosterone and encourages cortisol. By limiting ACTH pro¬duction, PS reduces the amount of muscle tissue breakdown that occurs during exercise. A common misconception is that muscles grow during exercise - wrong. In fact, muscles are torn down during ex¬ercise and grow in-between workouts – hence the term recovery. During recovery, PS helps prevent the activity of growth-inhibiting hormones. This helps athletes recover faster so their gains are realized more quickly.
In short, Phosphatidyl Serine appears to be a completely safe and beneficial dietary supple¬ment that can offer a wide range of physical and mental health benefits. NOW® Phosphatidyl Serine is derived from soy leci¬thin, and includes Choline and Inositol – two metabolites that work synergistically to help in¬crease circulation and cognitive response.
7-Keto - Anti-Aging and Antioxidant Protection
December 18, 2005 09:44 PM
“Anti-Aging and Antioxidant Protection”
The Fountain of Youth Discovered in Wisconsin
It turns out that Ponce de Leon was looking in the wrong place for the fabled Fountain of Youth. It was recently discovered – in Wisconsin! And it turns out that the Fountain of Youth isn’t really a fountain – it’s a biological compound produced in our own bodies. This compound is extremely important for the growth and development of the human body, and, as the body’s production of this substance decreases with age, the signs of aging begin to appear – weight gain, wrinkled skin, loss of muscle, loss of cognitive function, and loss of libido.
This biological Fountain of Youth was discovered by Dr. Henry Lardy and associates at the Institute for Enzyme Research at the University of Wisconsin. It’s called 7-Keto™, a metabolite of a hormone produced by the adrenal glands called DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone). Research on 7-Keto™ indicates that it may work through a number of pathways to combat the signs of aging. Helping the body maintain a healthy weight as we age greatly improves overall health and longevity and is one of the strongest benefits discovered for 7-Keto™ to date.
Unfortunately, because 7-Keto™ is a metabolite of DHEA, whose levels decline as we age, so to does this wonderful, natural bio-nutrient. Scientists originally looked to DHEA for improved cardiovascular vitality, and strengthened immune and brain function3. Researchers believed that declining DHEA so profoundly impacted our bodies that it could be partly responsible for the effects of aging. They hypothesized that supplementation with DHEA could sustain hormone levels and stave off many of the degenerative changes we collectively call aging. But there was a catch. Because DHEA is converted into sex hormones, people taking supplemental DHEA would sometimes experience the frightening, unwanted side effects associated with hormone supplementation.
In 1989, Dr. Lardy and his colleagues set out to solve the mystery of eliminating DHEA’s side effects by examining all of the constituents that make up DHEA. Ten long years of research unearthed hundreds of DHEA derivatives, which were developed and tested continuously, until one derivative rose above all the others – a metabolite that was incredibly bio-active and far more promising than any other substance they’d tested. That metabolite is 7-Keto™. 7-Keto™ outperformed DHEA and other metabolites in immune modulation, memory enhancement and thermogenesis and, more importantly, without any adverse side effects3.
The most significant benefit of 7-Keto™ supplementation is its ability to support healthy body weight. Obesity is a major contributing factor in a number of serious medical conditions. A recent study assessed the effectiveness of 7-Keto™ on weight loss and body fat loss. Participants were divided into two groups; one group received 100mg of 7-Keto™ twice daily and the other a placebo. Both groups exercised three times per week. At the end of the study, researchers noted a statistically significant reduction in body weight and body fat only in the 7-Keto™ group. Researchers concluded that 7-Keto™ was three times more effective than diet and exercise alone in promoting weight and fat loss1,2,7. Preliminary research also indicates that 7-Keto™ may support healthy immune and nervous systems. One study measured the effects of 7-Keto™ on memory function. Subjects were given a single dose of a substance that inhibits nerve cell communication and causes shortterm memory loss. Afterwards subjects were given a single dose of 7-Keto™. Results showed that 7-Keto completely reversed the memory impairment, suggesting that 7-Keto™ supports memory retention6.
Another study gauged 7-Keto™’s ability to support immune system function. Interleukin 2 (IL2) is a substance produced by T lymphocytes that causes an increase of disease fighting white blood cells. White blood cells were taken from healthy volunteers and introduced into a solution that contained 7-Keto™ for 24 hours. When the cultures were tested for heightened IL2 production. 7-Keto™ was shown to augment IL2 production by a statistically significant 68%4.
NOW® 7-Keto™ is a well-researched and patented form of this amazing product that’s supplied by the Humanetics Corporation. Humanetics 7-Keto™ has been proven safe and well-tolerated in doses up to 200mg5. Research is clear, the rate at which we age can be influenced by the diet and lifestyle choices we make. One very smart choice would clearly be adding NOW 7-Keto™ to your diet.
1) 7-Keto™: The Key to Healthy Aging – Scientific Support; Humanetics Corporation, 1999
Organic Diet protects Children's Brains...
October 05, 2005 10:24 AM
Children who eat an organic diet are protected from exposure to as least two agricultural pesticides, according to the national institutes of health’s environmental health Perspectives.
In the study, 23 children ages 3 to 11 ate their normal diests for the first three days. For the next five days, they ate organic replacements of many foods in their usual diet. In the final week, the children resumed their conventional diets. Researchs found that all 23 had metabolites of malathion and chlorpyrifos in their urine when they enrolled in the study. However, as soon as they switched to organic diets, these metabolites remained at zero levels until conventional foods are reintroduced.
“We were able to demonstrate that an organic diet provides a dramatic and immediate protective effects against exposures to organophosphorus pesticides that are commonly used in agricultural production,” the author wrote.
Pesticide Report Shows Widespread Body Burden.
September 16, 2005 10:50 AM
Women and Children Especially Vulnerable
Most Americans carry toxic pesticides in their bodies, according to a recent report. Often, the so called “body Burden” of these chemicals is well above government-defined safety levels. Included are pesticides linked to cancer, birth defects, low birth weight, declining sperm counts, and infertility.
Chemical Trespass, by the Pesticide Action Network, analyzes data collected by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) from blood and urine analyses of 9,282 people. Among the findings:
Pesticides residues and metabolites were found in every subject. The average person had 13 pesticides in his or her body. The Average 6 to 11 year old was exposed to certain organophosphorus (OP) pesticides at four times the levels deemed acceptable by the environmental protection agency. Children are especially susceptible to dietary pesticides since they eat more food on a body weight basis than adults.
Organochlorine (OC) pesticides were found as significantly higher levels in women. This probably reflects women’s higher body fat content; OC pesticides are stored in fatty tissue.
Mexican-Americans showed the highest pesticides exposure, probably due to their disproportionate employment in agriculture. However, the statistics did not include occupational information.
Many pesticides used widely in the past, such as DDT and chlordane, are still found in our bodies, even in children born years after they were banned.
Cause for Alarm?
The CDC, which tested for 116 environmental chemicals, stressed that presence of these chemicals in the body does not necessarily indicate disease and called for more study of the dosages that should cause concern. The Pesticide Action Network sharply criticized this approach as a “Failure to protect public health.” Much evidence links long-term, low-level exposure to chronic illnesses, the group said, and the problem is more acute when one considers the additive effects of combining chemicals.
Pesticides and the wellness Revolution
This study shows the need for a system that relies on organic agriculture and alternative pest controls. Meanwhile, individuals should take advantage of the organic products available in health food stores, and the herbs and nutrients that support detoxification and immunity—for example, silymarin, N-acetyl cysteine, Reishi and shiitake mushroom, turmeric, and much more.
Sources: Second National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals, Center for Disease Control, available online at www.cdc.gov.exposurereport Chemical Trespass, Pesticide action network, available online at www.panna.org
Curcumin - Turmeric Extract
August 19, 2005 12:47 PM
Turmeric- History and Traditional Usage
Native to Southeast Asia, Curcuma longa is a tall
In addition to its
Turmeric is named in
Protects cells and tissues by fighting free radicals.*
Supports joint function*
The numerous beneficial
Animal studies- In vivo protective effects
Through its free radical scavenging
Curcumin exhibits free-radical scavenging ability when
Bioperine-Nature’s Absorption Enhancer
Traditional Ayurvedic herbal
Curcumin is poorly absorbed in the intestinal
*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Benfotiamine raises the blood level of thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP)
August 02, 2005 03:52 PM
Benfotiamine raises the blood level of thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP), the biologically active co-enzyme of thiamine.4
Thiamine and its Co-enzyme, TPP
Thiamine (vitamin B1) plays an essential part in the metabolism of glucose, through actions of it co-enzyme TPP (thiamine pyrophosphate). TPP is formed by the enzymatically-catalyzed addition of two phosphate groups donated by ATP to thiamine. TPP also goes by the name "thiamine diphosphate." In the cytoplasm of the cell, glucose, a 6-carbon sugar, is metabolized to pyruvic acid, which is converted into acetyl-CoA, otherwise known as "active acetate." Acetyl CoA enters the mitochondrion, where it serves as the starting substrate in the Kreb’s cycle (citric acid cycle). The Krebs cycle is the primary source of cellular metabolic energy. TPP, along with other co-enzymes, is essential for the removal of CO2 from pyruvic acid, which in turn is a key step in the conversion of pyruvic acid to acetyl CoA. CO2 removal from pyruvic acid is called "oxidative decarboxylation," and for this reason, TPP was originally referred to as "cocarboxylase." TPP is thus vital to the cell’s energy supply. Benfotiamine helps maintain healthy cells in the presence of blood glucose. Acting as a biochemical "super-thiamin," it does this through several different cellular mechanisms, as discussed below.
Benfotiamine and Glucose Metabolism Benfotiamine normalizes cellular processes fueled by glucose metabolites.
As long as glucose remains at normal levels, excess glucose metabolites do not accumulate within the cell. The bulk of the cell’s glucose supply is converted to pyruvic acid, which serves as substrate for production of acetyl CoA, the primary fuel for the Krebs cycle. Of the total amount of metabolic energy (in the form of ATP) released from food, the Krebs cycle generates about 90 percent.5 In the presence of elevated glucose levels, the electron transport chain, the final ATP-generating system in the mitochondrion, produces larger than normal amounts of the oxygen free radical "superoxide." This excess superoxide inhibits glyceraldehyde phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), as key enzyme in the conversion of glucose to pyruvic acid, resulting in an excess of intermediate metabolites known as "triosephosphates." Increase triosephophate levels trigger several cellular mechanisms that result in potential damage to vascular tissue. Cells particularly vulnerable to this biochemical dysfunction are found in the retina, kidneys and nerves.
Benfotiamine has been shown to block three of these mechanisms: the hexosamine pathway, the diaglycerol-protein kinease C pathway and the formation of Advanced Glycation End-poducts. As discussed below, benfotiamine does this by activating transketolase, a key thiamin-dependent enzyme.6 Benfotiamine stimulates tranketolase, a cellular enzyme essential for maintenance of normal glucose metabolic pathways.* Transketolase diverts the excess fructose-6-phosphate and glyceraldehydes-3-phosphate, (formed by the inhibition of GAPDH, as mentioned above), into production of pentose-5-phosphates and erythrose-4-phosphate and away from the damaging pathways. Benfotiamine activates transketolase activity in bovine aortic endothelial cells incubated in glucose.6 To test benfotiamine’s ability to counteract these metabolic abnormalities caused by elevated blood glucose, studies have been done in diabetic rats. Benfotiamine increases transketolase activity in the retinas of diabetic rats, while concomitantly decreasing hexosamine pathway activity, protein kinase C activity and AGE formation.6
Benfotiamine and Protein glycation Benfotiamine controls formation of Advanced Glycation End-products (AGEs).
AGEs have an affinity for proteins such as collagen, the major structural protein in connective tissue. AGEs are formed through abnormal linkages between proteins and glucose. This occurs via a non-enzymatic glycosylation reaction similar to the "browning reaction" that takes place in stored food.7 At high glucose concentrations, glucose attaches to lysine, forming a Schiff base, which in turn forms "early glycosylation products." Once blood glucose levels return to normal levels, the amount of these early glycosylation products decreases, and they are not particularly harmful to most tissue proteins. On long-lived proteins such as collagen, however, early glycosylation products are chemically rearranged into the damaging Advanced Glycation End-products. AGE formation on the collagen in coronary arteries causes increased vascular permeability. This vessel "leakiness" allows for abnormal cross-linking between plasma proteins and other proteins in the vessel wall, comprising vascular function and potentially occluding the vessel lumen. A number of other potentially harmful events may also occur, including production of cytokines that further increase vascular permeability. Endothelin-1, a strong vasoconstrictor, is over produced, increasing the possibility of thrombosis and generation of oxygen free radicals is stimulated.8 It is vitally important to support normal glucose metabolic pathways so that formation of AGEs is minimized. Benfotiamine, in the test tube (in vitro) prevents AGE formation in endothelial cells cultured in high glucose by decreasing the glucose metabolites that produce AGEs.9 Endothelial cells make up the membranes that line the inner walls of organs and blood vessels. In a rat study comparing the effects of Benfotiamine with water-soluble thiamin, Benfotiamine inhibited AGE formation in diabetic rats while completely preventing formation of "glycooxidation products," which are toxic by products of chronic elevated blood glucose. AGE levels were not significantly altered by thiamin.10 Benfotiamine also normalized nerve function in the animals. After three months of administration, "nerve conduction velocity (NCV)," a measure of nerve function, was increased by both benfotiamine and thiamin; at six months, NCV was normalized by benfotiamine, whereas thiamin produced no further increases in this parameter.
Dysfunctional glucose metabolic pathways leading to AGE formation occurs in endothelial cells of the kidneys. In a recent animal study, benfotiamine was administered to rats with elevated glucose levels. Benfotiamine increased transketolase activity in the kidney filtration system of these rats, while at the same time shifting triosephophates into the pentose pathway and preventing protein leakage.11
Benfotiamine has an excellent tolerability profile and can be taken for long periods without adverse effects.3,12 The statements in this fact sheet have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
1. Bitsch R, Wolf M, Möller J. Bioavailability assessment of the lipophilic benfotiamine as compared to a water-soluble thiamin derivative. Ann Nutr Metab 1991;35(2):292-6.
2. Schreeb KH, Freudenthaler S, Vormfelde SV, et al. Comparative bioavailability of two vitamin B1 preparations: benfotiamine and thiamine mononitrate. Eur J Clin Pharmacol 1997; 52(4):319-20.
3. Loew D. Pharmacokinetics of thiamine derivatives especially of benfotiamine. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther 1996;34(2):47-50.
4. Frank T, Bitsch R, Maiwald J, Stein G. High thiamine diphosphate concentrations in erythrocytes can be achieved in dialysis patients by oral administration of benfontiamine. Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 2000;56(3):251-7.
5. Pike RL, Brown ML. Nutrition, An Integrated Approach, 3rd Ed. New York:MacMillan; 1986:467.
6. Hammes H-P, Du X, Edlestein D, et al. Benfotiamine blocks three major pathways of hyperglycemic damage and prevents experimental diabetic neuropathy. Nat Med 2003;9(3):294-99.
7. Monnier VM, Kohn RR, Cerami A. Accelerated age-related browning of human collagen in diabetes mellitus. Proc Natl Acad Sci 1984;81(2):583-7.
8. Brownlee M. The pathological implications of protein glycation. Clin Invest Med 1995;18(4):275-81.
9. Pomero F, Molinar Min A, La Selva M, et al. Benfotiamine is similar to thiamine in correcting endothelial cell defects induced by high glucose. Acta Diabetol 2001;38(3):135-8.
10. Stracke H, Hammes HP, Werkman D, et al. Efficacy of benfotiamine versus thiamine on function and glycation products of peripheral nerves in diabetic rats. Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes 2001;109(6):300-6.
11. Babaei-Jadidi R, Karachalias N, Ahmed N, et al. Prevention of incipient diabetic nephropathy by high-dose thiamine and benfotiamine. Diabetes 2003;52(8):2110-20.
12. Bergfeld R, MatsumaraT, Du X, Brownlee M. Benfotiamin prevents the consequences of hyperglycemia induced mitochondrial overproduction of reactive oxygen specifies and experimental diabetic neuropathy (Abstract) Diabetologia 2001; 44(Suppl1):A39.
Quercetin and Bromelain - for better health.
July 04, 2005 10:28 AM
Down-regulates the Body’s Response to Environmental Challenges Quercetin is a member of the flavonoid family, a diverse group of low molecular-weight compounds found throughout the plant kingdom. Flavonoids exhibit numerous biological activities, many of which are directly beneficial to human health. Quercetin, which belongs to the “flavonol” subgroup, is one of the most versatile and important flavonoids. Quercetin has a broad range of activity, much of which stems from its interaction with calmodulin, a calcium-regulatory protein.1 Calmodulin transports calcium ions across cellular membranes, initiating numerous cellular processes. Quercetin appears to act as a calmodulin antagonist.1 Through this mechanism, quercetin functions at the cell-membrane level with a membrane-stabilizing action.2 Quercetin inhibits calmodulin-dependent enzymes present at cell membranes such as ATPases and phospholipase, thereby influencing membrane permeability.3 Quercetin affects other calmodulin-dependent enzymes that control various cellular functions, including the secretion of histamine from mast cells.4 A number of investigations have corroborated quercetin’s ability to reduce histamine secretion from mast cells in various tissues, and also from basophils.5,6,7,8,9,10
Quercetin modifies the body’s response to antigenic substances.* Suppression of histamine secretion from mast cells is one of quercetin’s most clinically important effects. Quercetin acts on ATPase at the membranes of histamine-containing granules in mast cells.3 Mast-cell degranulation and subsequent release of histamine into the bloodstream is an integral part of the body’s response to environmental challenges.
Quercetin’s enzyme-inhibiting action extends to enzymes such as phospholipase, which catalyzes the release of arachidonic acid from phospholipids stored in cell membranes.4,10 Arachidonic acid serves as the key substrate for substances such as thromboxanes, inflammatory prostaglandins and leukotrienes. In addition, quercetin inhibits the enzymes cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase, which catalyze the conversion of arachidonic acid into its metabolites.4,10,11,12 Reducing levels of these metabolites, as well as histamine levels, is beneficial in maintaining the normal comfort level of body tissues and structures.
Quercetin has also been shown to limit the function of adhesion molecules on endothelial cells.13 Adhesion molecules are involved in physiologic processes that influence tissue comfort.13
Bromelain is a complex substance derived from the pineapple stem largely composed of proteolytic (protein-digesting) enzymes. Bromelain acts by a variety of mechanisms to help maintain tissues in a normal state of comfort.14,15 Several investigators, including Taussig16 and Ako, et. al.,17 have presented evidence that bromelain is a fibrinolytic agent, i.e., it induces the breakdown of fibrin, a plasma protein that blocks tissue drainage. The generally accepted mechanisms involve direct proteolysis of fibrin by bromelain and activation of plasmin, a serum protease.16 Plasmin acts on fibrinogen (the precursor to fibrin), forming peptides which stimulate PGE1, a prostaglandin that helps maintain tissue comfort.16
Helps Maintain Health of Blood Vessels by Modifying Oxidation of LDL Cholesterol* — Quercetin’s Antioxidant Action Quercetin is a versatile and effective antioxidant that scavenges a variety of free-radicals such as hydroxyl and lipid peroxy radicals.18 Quercetin also chelates ions of transition metals such as iron, which can initiate formation of oxygen free radicals.18 LDL cholesterol is vulnerable to oxidation by lipid peroxides. Oxidized LDL is absorbed by macrophages and arterial endothelial cells, leading to the formation of “foam cells,” and eventually plaque deposits, in arterial walls. Quercetin has been shown to protect LDL from oxidation, both by lipid peroxides and transition metal ions.19
Quercetin inhibits blood platelet aggregation (clumping), by potentiating PGI2, an anti-aggregatory prostaglandin, and by raising platelet cyclic AMP levels.20 Human studies have revealed that bromelain also reduces platelet aggregation.21 These properties qualify both quercetin and bromelain as valuable dietary ingredients for maintaining cardiovascular health.*
In addition to the actions described above that support the effects of quercetin, bromelain may also assist the absorption of quercetin in the G.I. tract. (Quercetin is generally believed to be poorly absorbed, although a recent study by Hollman et. al.,22 which concluded that humans do in fact absorb appreciable amounts of quercetin, contradicts this assumption.) Studies have shown that bromelain enhances absorption of antibiotics, presumably by increasing permeability of the gut wall.23, 24 Given that quercetin is a low molecular-weight compound, it is plausible that simultaneously ingested bromelain likewise enhances quercetin absorption.
ALPHA GPC - Improves Mental Performance
June 28, 2005 06:21 PM
The quality of our life experience—and our ability to live life to the fullest—is a direct result of optimal brain function. Only a few years ago, nothing could be done to stem the tide of poor circulation, forgetfulness and “mental fog.” But neurological science exploration has identified a fundamental brain compound critical to attention, learning, memory, and even the higher cognitive functions of reasoning and intuition. Research confirms that L-alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine (called Alpha-GPC for convenience) is crucial to neuronal function and structure. Derived from purified soy lecithin, Source Naturals ALPHA-GPC readily converts to acetylcholine in the brain, helping to maintain neuronal structure integrity. Source Naturals provides an easy and convenient means to profoundly impact the very nexus of our body and mind.
GPC Is Unique
No other nutritional compound comes close to GPC in its ability to boost critically important acetylcholine levels. Found in both the brain and the peripheral nervous system (including the nerve-muscle junctions), acetylcholine is a key nerve messenger molecule, or neurotransmitter. Aging brains are characterized by functional deficiencies in both acetylcholine and its cholinergic receptors. GPC is a highly bioavailable supplement that boosts acetylcholine levels to improve cognitive function. It is also a major choline reservoir, helping to protect the brain against damage from poor circulation and potentially toxic metabolites.
Deficiencies in acetylcholine can cause the body to break down phosphatidylcholine for its choline content, leading to the death of brain cells. Yet in controlled clinical trials of middle-aged subjects taking GPC, reaction time was enhanced and there was improved energy generation and electrical coordination in the brain. For older subjects, double-blind trials demonstrated that GPC had superior benefits over certain other brain nutrients for mental focus, recall, verbal fluency—a unique, marked overall enhancement of mental performance. GPC is an example of what the great Linus Pauling referred to as “orthomolecules,” that is, molecules that are “orthodox” or “correct” for the body. GPC excels as a protective nutraceutical for memory loss and mood enhancement. It protects cells of the brain (and other organs) from damage, shielding a range of important biomolecules against toxin build-up.
Extensive Clinical Testing
In clinical trials that involved more than 5,000 patients, GPC showed marked improvement in overall brain performance. Depending on the particular trial, 50-70 percent of the patients who received GPC had their mental functions improved to a degree “meaningful to life quality.” GPC has shown revitalizing effects on the declining brain, and preliminary evidence suggests GPC may act on the pituitary gland to partially restore its capacity to make vital for cell maintenance and longevity. Other unique brain features of GPC are its benefits for attention and recall in young healthy adults, and its superior bioavailability. GPC readily crosses the bloodbrain barrier to raise brain choline levels within a few hours following oral intake. GPC helps with body-mind integration by being a ready reservoir for acetylcholine. This neurotransmitter is ubiquitous in brain circuit maturation, expansion, renewal and repair, as well as in the “agility” or adjustments of the circuitry that occur during adult life. In addition, an animal study has shown that GPC increases the release of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), the most important and abundant inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain. It acts as a “balancer” for the brain and helps induce relaxation and sleep. Without sufficient GABA, neurons fire at random, unable to make sense of incoming signals. GABA helps minimize “neural noise,” making it easier to focus and concentrate.
Why you should take GPC:
MECHANISMS OF CHITOSAN FAT- BINDING
June 25, 2005 08:02 PM
MECHANISMS OF CHITOSAN FAT- BINDING
The exact way(s) that Chitosan prevents fat absorbtion is not fully understood but a number of experimental observations support two basic mechanisms. The first mechanism involves the attraction of opposite charges which can be compared to the attraction of opposite magnetic poles. The second entrapment mechanism can be compared to the effect of a net. In the first mechanism the positive charges on chitosan attract the negatively charged fatty acids and bile acids binding them to the indigestible chitosan fiber. This mechanism can explain why chitosan reduces LDL cholesterol levels.
Our bodies make bile acids in the liver using the cholesterol from LDL. When chitosan binds bile acids it increases the rate of LDL loss thus improving the LDL to HDL ratio. If enough bile acids are bound, the fats are not solublized, which prevents their digestion and absorption. The second mechanism (figure 2) describes a netting effect of chitosan fiber.
In this model the Chitosan wraps around fat droplets and prevents their being attacked and digested by lipid enzymes. Fats unprotected by Chitosan are digested and absorbed. The “netting” mechanism has been seen to operate in vivo. 108
Substances that Enhance the Action of Chitosan
Fibers can be likened to a tangled-up chain. Fibers must “unravel” in order for them to be of maximum benefit to us. “Unraveling” is especially critical for chitosan because each link has a hook on which to attach lipids. Chitosan can absorb an average of 4 to 5 times its weight in lipids. Reports of numbers above and below this range have also been reported and may well reflect the rate or extent of unraveling that had taken place. Fiber formulations can be prepared that unravel rapidly and swell quickly. These highly effective formulations are called superabsorbants. When certain substances are added to chitosan, its remarkable fat-binding ability can be significantly enhanced.
D-Ascorbic acid (erythorbic acid) and L-ascorbic acid are C-vitamins which enhance chitosan’s ability to bind lipids. Combining chitosan with ascorbic acid results in even less fat absorption and greater fecal fat losses.77,108 In one study the addition of ascorbic acid to a chitosan enriched diet increased fecal fat losses by 87 percent and decreased fat absorption by over 50 percent.77
Cholesterol oxides cause lesions in artery walls which predispose blood vessels to collect plaque. These dietary cholesterol oxides profoundly influence the initiation of heart disease.Free radicals can also contribute to the formation of cholesterol oxides which are even more likely to damage the heart. Cholesterol oxides have been found in deep-fried foods, powdered eggs, processed meats and in human blood itself. Consequently, taking antioxidants like ascorbic acid is vital to protect against the cellular damage this type of free radical causes.112
In feeding experiments with animals, adding citric acid to a chitosan enriched diet resulted in a decreased feed consumption.77 The most likely explanation for this effect is that the citric acid may be enhancing the swelling action of chitosan leading to a sense of fullness, producing satiety and appetite suppression.
Indoles are remarkable phytochemicals which have the ability to selectively activate certain Mixed Function Oxidases (MFOs).113 These MFO’s help balance estrogen metabolism and prepare dietary toxins for elimination before they are absorbed. The presence of fiber in the intestines provides a bulk agent to carry the metabolized toxins out of the body. Chelat ed Minerals The very best approach to weight loss is to nutritionally augment food choices with nutrient supplementation. Certain biochemical compounds are essential to promoting vigor during the process of thermogenesis. Chelated minerals act to bolster, support and protect the organ systems of the body.114,115
For example, when fat is burned, heat and energy are released. If a lack of certain minerals exists, energy levels will drop. Minerals help to transport needed nutrients to depleted areas of the body, thereby stemming off the fatigue we so often experience after eating a fatty meal. Even more importantly, free radicals are released whenever fat is consumed and burned and the presence of chelated minerals helps to expedite the removal of these metabolites and facilitate the availability of fuel for energy.
Essential Fatty Acids
Prostaglandins control and balance many body functions. The dietary building blocks for making prostaglandins are the essential fatty acids (EFAs). The role of prostaglandins in weight loss has been extensively discussed in a recent review.116 EFAs exert profound lipid-lowering effects.They reduce the synthesis of triglycerides and very low density lipoproteins (bad cholesterol) in the liver. EFA supplementation coupled with a low-cholesterol, low-saturated fat in diet produces a complementary effect in lowering serum lipid levels.117 Garcinia Cambogia ( Hydroxy Cit ric Acid) Garcinia Cambogia contains hydroxycitric acid (HCA). This form of citric acid inhibits the liver’s ability to make fats out of carbohydrates.118
Carbohydrates are converted to glycogen stores, not fat stores, giving the body a better energy reserve and an increase in stamina.119 Ephedra And Thermogenisis Thermogenesis means “creating heat.” This is one of the ways our bodies have of burning off excess calories and maintaining a constant weight.120 This is an area of weight management research that is being intensely studied. When we repeatedly yo-yo diet or abuse ourselves by eating too much, our thermogenic ability may be reduced. Numerous animal and human studies have confirmed the benefits of ephedra and methylxanthines in inducing weight loss and restoring thermogenic responsiveness.43,44,121
Circulatory System Enhancer
June 25, 2005 11:52 AM
Circulatory System Enhancer
An article by Frank Murray in the April 1989 issue of Better Nutrition says, “Dr. Huber and Kidd concur with other researchers that ginkgo biloba dilates the blood vessels, allowing greater blood flow to the tissues. It also provides better drainage of waste products, especially through arteries that have been partially blocked because of atherosclerosis.”
The article goes on to discuss the fact that ginkgo also inhibits the clumping of blood platelets, which can contribute to heart and artery problems. When circulating platelets stick together on worn are as found on the walls of aging vessels, clots and blockages can form. Anytime this happens, heart attack and stroke are possibilities. Ginkgolides are unique twenty-carbon terpenes which inhibit PA F (platelet activating factor), which controls the formation of clots. PAF also plays an important role in other disorders such as asthma, shock, anaphylaxis, renal disease, graft rejection, CNS disorders and a number of inflammatory conditions.
A Natural Vasodilator
Ginkgo affects the lining of the blood vessels and acts to dilate them through a chemical constituent which stimulates the release of a certain factor. Tests have shown that ginkgo extract promotes better venous tone, which helps to clear the blood of toxic metabolites that collect when blood flow is diminished.
Apparently Oriental herbalists used the ginkgo leaf for arterial circulatory problems. Blood vessels can constrict in cases of diabetes, Raynaud’s disease, gangrene, angina, and intermittent claudication. Ginkgo can help to relieve leg cramping by facilitating better circulation to the limbs. In addition, it increases the circulation of blood to the retina and can help to prevent macular degeneration. Concerning heart function, some studies suggest that ginkgo can help normalize heartbeat. Research has shown that ginkolide contained in ginkgo can be as effective as some pharmaceutical drugs in treating severely irregular heartbeats.8
Because ginkgo can effectively reduce blood cell clumping, it can help prevent some heart - related disorders such as congestive heart disease. Circulatory impairment is at “the heart” of cardiovascular disease and ginkgo specifically acts to enhance circulation. Se veral laboratory tests have found that ginkgo helps the heart contract more effectively after times of stress by reducing the formation of oxygen free radicals. This protective effect can help prevent damage to heart muscle which may become oxygen deprived.
CLINICAL APPLICATIONS OF CAPSICUM
June 23, 2005 11:20 AM
CLINICAL APPLICATIONS OF CAPSICUM
Capsicum is a remarkable whole body stimulant that can boost blood flow, tone the nervous system, relieve indigestion, promote sweating, help to cauterize and heal ulcers, ease persistent pain and fight off infection. One very authoritative work on African plants suggests that Capsicum’s “regular ingestion is highly beneficial in hemorrhoids, varicose veins, anorexia, liver congestion and vascular conditions . . .the indigenous inhabitants of Africa and of the Antilles are remarkably free form all of these conditions as they use Capsicum fruit in their diet.”10 Most of the therapeutic actions of Capsicum are attributed to the alkaloid or glucoside content of the herb.11 The latest scientific studies conducted with Capsicum will be discussed in subsequent sections.
Because Capsicum boosts peripheral circulation and stimulates organ secretion, it expedites the therapeutic delivery and action of other herbs. In other words, the medicinal benefits of these herbs reach infected or inflamed tissue more rapidly due to enhanced blood flow.12 Consider the following statement: “Cayenne will insure the rapid and even distribution of the active principles of the rest of the herbs to critical function - al centers of the body, including those involved in cellular respiration, metabolism, data transmission, and neural-hormonal activation. Cayenne is included in several other blends for this reason. In extremely small quantities it can dramatically increase the efficiency of most other herbs.”13 Many health practitioners believe that the key to healing is CAPSICUM stimulation. Capsicum stimulates eve rything from blood flow to peristaltic action in the stomach, to intestinal transit time. The re m a rkable ability of Capsicum to stimulate organ secretion and even heart action makes it one of the strongest natural stimulants known. Se veral different kinds of herbal blends targeting various body systems will utilize Capsicum to boost the formula’s efficacy.
Capsicum is said to be unequaled for its ability to boost circulation and increase heart action. Interestingly, cultures who consume significant amounts of cayenne pepper in their diet have much lower rates of cardiovascular disease.14 Capsicum exerts a variety of desirable actions on the entire card i ovascular system. It has the extraordinary ability to enhance cardiovascular performance while actually lowering blood pressure.15 A quote taken from a card i ovascular publication re a d s , “Capsaicin has also been shown to prolong cardiac action potential in atrial muscle . . .”16 Michael T. Murray, N.D., has stated, “ Cayenne pepper [Capsicum] should be recommended as a food for its beneficial antioxidant and cardiovascular effects.”17 Herbalists have considered Capsicum as a superior “f o o d” for the heart. In fact, in cases where a heart attack is suspected administering capsicum in hot water has been thought to help lessen the severity of the attack. Capsicum can also be placed on or under the tongue in emergencies involving heart attack, stroke or hemorrhaging. 18 Note: Using Capsicum for any heart-related problem, especially a suspected heart attack should never take the place of medical attention or a physician’s care.
CAPSICUM Blood Cholesterol Reducer
Various studies have conclusively demonstrated that Capsicum reduces the risk of developing atherosclerosis (hardening of the a rteries) by reducing blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels .19 Additional clinical studies conducted in India found that when cayenne was ingested along with dietary cholesterol, the typical rise in liver and blood serum cholesterol levels was significantly inhibited. In addition, bile acids and free cholesterol were subsequently eliminated from the body through the stool.20 Interestingly, these tests revealed that using Capsicum was actually more effective in reducing cholesterol that capsaicin alone.2 1 Daniel Mowrey, Ph.D., emphatically points out that this is just one of many examples of the superiority of whole botanicals as opposed to their isolated components.22 Note: Using Capsicum in combination with Hawthorn is a particularly good cardiovascular tonic.
Blood Pressure Equalizer
While an added bonus of Capsicum’s capability to lower blood serum cholesterol is a decrease in blood pressure, additional evidence strongly suggests that the herb initiates other mechanisms that fight hypertension .23 “Cayenne, according to another study, also reduces the blood pressure in an even more direct manner: a number of years ago, a team of researchers discove red that capsaicin acts in a reflexive manner to reduce systemic blood pressure, a kind of coronary chemoreflex.”24 Adding Garlic to Capsicum creates an even better therapeutic blend for treating hypertension.
Blood Detoxification CAPSICUM
“Cayenne is a kind of catalyst in the blood purification process . . . it acts as a diaphoretic, stimulating the excretion of wastes in the swe a t . ”25 Because Capsicum stimulates organ secretion and boosts peripheral blood flow, it would only stand to reason that it would also facilitate the faster removal of toxins from the bloodstream and lymphatic system. You may have already noticed that Capsicum is frequently added to blood-purifying herbal combinations. Circulatory Booster Researchers have found that the simulating action of Capsicum on surface capillaries can help to pre vent cold hands and feet.2 6 For this reason, it may be helpful for Reynaud’s Syndrome. Old remedies using Capsicum have even recommended placing it in socks to warm the feet and to help prevent frostbite. An old folk cure for a chilled body was a steaming hot cup of Capsicum tea. Free Radical Scavenger The rich flavonoid content of Capsicum gives it significant antioxidant capabilities. A recent study conducted in 1995 showed that Capsicum has a higher ascorbic acid content than chiles from the jalapeno or serrano varieties .27 Vitamin C and bioflavonoids can scavenge for dangerous free radicals which cause tissue damage and can predispose organs to degenerative diseases. Free radicals are found everywhere and are created as by-products of metabolic p rocesses including the act of breathing itself. Pollutants can expose the body to free radicals. An interesting study done in Mexico City and published in 1993 found that Capsicum extract was able to modulate the mutagenic activity of urban air samples.28 In other words, these potentially dangerous nitro - a romatic compounds found in polluted air were kept from mutating by red chile extract.29 Chemical breakdowns of Capsicum have also found that CAPSICUM the pepper is high in Provitamin A, which significantly contributes to its healing ability and immune fortification.30 Anti-Carcinogenic Compound Anti-cancer research recently tested Capsicum on laboratory rats and found that it does indeed demonstrate anti-cancer properties by inhibiting certain enzymes which can initiate the mutation of cells.31 What this implies is that taking Capsicum can afford the body some protection against the cellular mutation which occurs in malignant growths. Capsicum actually inhibited the formation of dangerous metabolites under laboratory conditions where they should have normally been activa t e d .3 2 This study implies that Capsicum may have many more sophisticated bio-chemical actions than previously thought.
An Impressive Pain Killer
Capsaicin has recently emerged as a remarkably effective pain reliever and has become the subject of recent clinical research . Applying capsaicin in cream or ointment form to painful joints, scar tissue or other painful conditions involving peripheral nerves confuses pain transmitters. In other worlds, capsaicin temporarily disrupts sensory nerve cell biochemistry there by impeding the relay of pain sensations from the skin surface. It does this by inhibiting a neurotransmitter called substance P. This specific compound is thought to be the main mediator of pain impulses from peripheral nerve endings.33 Substance P has also demonstrated its ability to inhibit inflammatory pain generated in arthritic joints in much the same way.34 Today, several over-the-counter topical preparations utilize capsaicin for the pain of arthritic joints. The ability of Capsicum to control severe and unresponsive pain is significant, to say the least. Modern clinical utilization of topical capsaicin may offer signifi-cant relief for a number of painful conditions including: diabetic neuropathy, cluster headaches, post-amputation pain, post-mastectomy pain, shingles and painful scar tissue.35
In the early spring of 1996, prime time national news show s reported that scientists had found that individuals who had suffered from chronic pain in post-surgical scars (heart bypass, arterial grafts, etc.) were successfully treated with topical preparations containing capsaicin. While this may have been news to many of us, clinical studies had been already published for several years that capsaicin held profound value for various kinds of pain which did not respond to established medical treatments. Typically surgical scars and regions around them can produce persistent pain or can be very sensitive to the touch even when completely healed. This type of pain phenomenon seems to respond well to capsaicin ointments and creams.
When capsaicin preparations were applied following mastectomy or breast reconstruction, pain was significantly relieved. Se veral double blind studies found that using capsaicin creams four times daily for 4 to 6 weeks resulted in much less frequent occurrence of sharp, jabbing pain.3 6 All thirteen patients studied had a 50 percent or greater improve m e n t .3 7 Various unpleasant sensations other than pain also improved with topical applications of capsaicin creams.38
MOUTH SORES FROM RADIATION OR CHEMOTHERAPY
A fascinating study conducted at the Yale Pain Management Center discove red that capsaicin could ve ry significantly lessen pain caused by mouth sores which frequently develop after chemotherapy or radiation.39 Apparently delivering the capsaicin in the form of soft candy (taffy) enabled the substance to be retained in the mouth long enough to desensitize the nerve endings causing the pain. Each one of the eleven case studies re p o rted that their pain had decreased and in two patients, it stopped entirely.40
Diabetic neuropathy is a painful nerve condition which can develop in cases of prolonged diabetes. Several double-blind studies have supported the considerable value of capsaicin creams for relieving the pain associated with this disorder.41 The results of a controlled study using Capsicum for seve re cases of diabetic neuropathy which did not respond to conventional therapy were published in 1992. A cream containing Capsicum was applied to painful areas four time a day and pain was carefully e valuated for 8 weeks at two-week intervals. The results we re impressive, to say the least. In the 22 patients who used the Capsicum the following results we re re c o rded: “Capsaicin tre a tment was more beneficial than vehicle treatment in the overall clinical improvement of pain status, as measured by physician’s global evaluation and by a categorical pain severity scale . . . In a follow-up study, approximately 50 percent of the subjects reported improved pain control or were cured . . .”42 No t e : While there was a burning sensation when the Capsicum c ream was first applied, some subjects found that its magnitude and duration lessened with continued application.43
The FDA has approved capsaicin-based ointments for the treatment of pain that results from diseases like shingles. Again, numerous studies have documented the value of capsaicin for decreasing the miserable nerve-related pain associated with shingles. The general consensus derived from these tests were that approximately 50 p e rcent of people suffering from shingles responded well to capsaicin creams, some even after 10 to 12 months.44
Note: If blisters accompany a shingles outbreak, it is better to wait until they have healed before using any capsaicin-based ointments or creams.
RELIEF FOR BURNING FEET
Frequently an uncomfortable “burning” sensation in the feet will occur in many people, particularly in diabetics. As ironic as it may seem, using capsaicin creams may actually alleviate this burning. “In various studies, diabetics who treated their burning feet with capsaicin got greater improvement and we re able to walk more easily than those not using the cream.”45 In addition, using topical applications of capsaicin as opposed to strong, oral drugs is much more preferable.
Clinical tests have confirmed that topical capsaicin ointments substantially alleviate the miserable pain that characterizes osteoand rheumatoid arthritis.46 These studies revealed that using 0.075 capsaicin cream reduced tenderness and pain.47 Dr. Michael T. Murray writes: “ . . . seventy patients with osteoarthritis and thirty - one with rheumatoid arthritis received capsaicin or placebo for 4 weeks. The patients were instructed to apply 0.025 percent capsaicin cream or its placebo to painful knees four times daily. Significantly more relief of pain was reported by the capsaicin-treated patients than by the placebo patients throughout the study . . .”48 Anyone suffering from osteo or rheumatoid arthritis should evaluate the effectiveness of capsaicin ointments for joint pain. Ester Lipstein-Kresch, M.D., has studied the effectiveness of capsaicin creams for arthritis and has stated: “You need to apply it three or four times a day on the affected area for at least two weeks before you’ll see any improvement. An initial burning sensation at the site is not unusual for the first few days, but this goes away with continued application.”49 Note: Capsaicin is also useful for tennis elbow due to its ability to block the transmission of pain.
MIGRAINE HEADACHES (CLUSTER TYPE)
Topical applications of capsaicin ointments intranasally may also help to relieve the pain of a specific kind of migraine headache called cluster headaches. Cluster headaches are characterized by s e ve re pain which typically radiates around one eye. The term “cluster” refers to the fact that these headaches tend to occur in clusters of one to three per day and can recur at intervals. Headache pain and severity we re reducing in groups using intranasal capsaicin.5 0 This type of capsaicin treatment should be done under a physician’s care. There is some speculation that capsaicin may be more effective in pre venting migraines before they develop into a full blown attack.51
Sytrinol - A Natural Solution for Addressing Cholesterol
June 21, 2005 05:16 PM
By Richard F. Staack, Ph.D., M.B.A.
Sytrinol™, a patented proprietary formula derived from natural citrus and palm fruit extracts, combines citrus polymethoxylated flavones (PMFs), palm tocotrienols and other proprietary constituents. This combination results in a synergistic effect for maintaining cholesterol levels in the normal range, including total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels, as demonstrated by a long-term, three-phase clinical trial. This trial is extremely significant because it is a randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover design, one of only a few in the dietary supplement industry. Sytrinol has also been shown to maintain normal levels of high-density lipoproteins (HDL), the beneficial cholesterol. Additionally, Sytrinol is a powerful antioxidant with numerous heart health benefits and also plays a significant role in reducing cellular irritation.
What are polymethoxylated flavones?
Polymethoxylated flavones are a highly methoxylated sub-classification of citrus flavonoids. This process occurs naturally and results in a more biologically active molecule. This is especially true for tangeretin and nobiletin, two of the primary polymethoxylated flavones in Sytrinol. Tocotrienols, naturally occurring analogues of tocopherol (natural vitamin E), are the other proprietary ingredient in Sytrinol and are a group of minor dietary constituents that have been studied for their effect on heart health.
Sytrinol's Proven Benefits
Sytrinol is the result of over 12 years of research focusing on the relationship between polymethoxylated flavonoids, tocotrienols, and cardiovascular health. Sytrinol?s benefits have been shown in vitro, in vivo, and in multiple clinical studies. In these studies, subjects consumed 150 mg of Sytrinol twice per day (300 mg/day) and were instructed to keep the same dietary habits and maintain their caloric intake. Fasting blood samples were drawn at study onset, and at 4-weeks, 8-weeks, and 12-weeks. The results of the clinical studies were all similar in their effect, with a reduction of total cholesterol up to 30 percent, LDL cholesterol up to 27 percent, and total triglycerides up to 34 percent in twelve weeks compared to the placebo group. Additionally, the LDL/HDL ratio was significantly reduced in all clinical studies up to 30 percent. Another very important benefit of Sytrinol that cannot be claimed by other cholesterol-addressing supplements is its effect on C-reactive protein (CRP), which plays a role in cardiovascular challenges. Recent research has established that inflammation may cause C-reactive protein to be produced in the body. Specific PMFs, including nobiletin and tangeretin, have been studied for their anti-inflammatory properties, suggesting that Sytrinol may have a positive effect on CRP Sytrinol has also been shown to be a powerful antioxidant. The polymethoxylated flavones have been researched for over 25 years demonstrating their antioxidant effects for heart health. Studies have shown that polymethoxylated flavonoids and their metabolites are excellent sources of dietary antioxidants that are able to suppress many of the events of free radical damage, including cellular irritation. The tocotrienols in Sytrinol have a higher antioxidant activity than tocopherols. Alpha-tocotrienol has been shown to be up to 60 times more potent than alpha-tocopherol in the prevention of lipid peroxidation. Other research has demonstrated that the delta and gamma isomers of tocotrienols also have potent antioxidant activity.
Sytrinol has three complementary mechanisms of action in the body that delivers cardiovascular benefits. *Polymethoxylated flavones decrease apolipoprotein B, the structural protein needed for endogenous synthesis of LDL cholesterol. *Polymethoxylated flavones (tangeretin & nobiletin) decrease diacylglycerol acetyl transferase, a liver enzyme needed for endogenous synthesis of triglycerides. *Tocotrienols inhibit HMG CoA reductase, the liver enzyme responsible for endogenous synthesis of cholesterol. These mechanisms work synergistically to support normal total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels, more significantly than other natural supplements on the market today. Sytrinol can also be combined with other ingredients such as phytosterols. Phytosterols help block cholesterol in the gastrointestinal tract while Sytrinol helps block cholesterol synthesis in the body. This suggests that, when combined, a more pronounced effect on maintaining normal cholesterol levels would result.
The ease of compliance for consumers is a major consideration for a successful natural heart health product. Consumers do not have to take Sytrinol prior to, immediately following, or directly with their meals and, as a result, are more likely to take the correct dosage and continue using the product. Sytrinol can be taken in tablets, or softgels, which are easy to swallow because of the low dosage. Sytrinol will also be available in functional foods.
Dr. Richard Staack is the Vice President of Business Development, Technology, and Science at SourceOne™ Global Partners. He received his Master of Science and Doctorate in Nutritional and Biochemical Toxicology from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He received his Master of Business Administration with Distinction from DeVry University. Dr. Staack has received several awards and honors in the field of nutrition, is associated with numerous professional affiliations, and has published several articles on nutrition and toxicology in peer-reviewed journals.
Disclaimer: the above article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat a particular illness. The reader is encouraged to seek the advice of a holistically competent licensed professional health care provider.
June 12, 2005 01:59 PM
Certified Foods by Glenda Olsen Energy Times, July 13, 2003
What's in your food, and where does it come from? To most American consumers, that question may seem unimportant. But the answers might surprise you. Your food's origin and processing can make a big difference in its nutritional value, for better and for worse. Increasingly, concern over the quality of food and its influence on health are persuading shoppers to take a greater interest in their food. The result: More visits to natural food stores and more sales of organic food.
Once upon a time, food used to be just food. Crops were grown on family farms, and animals were raised in barnyards. But today, corporations have conquered food production in a big way. Agribusiness is just that-a big business in which animals and plants are treated like assembly-line items and raised on factory farms.
While the term "organic" gets tossed around endlessly in the media, the term is often misconstrued. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), "Organic food is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations. Organic meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones."
In addition, organic farmers generally do not use pesticides, sewage sludge or synthetic fertilizers. This type of food is also produced without genetically modified organisms and is not subject to radiation used to zap the bugs on food. Today, USDA-approved certifying agents inspect the farms where organic food is raised to ensure organic standards are followed. In addition, the companies that process food and handle organic food have to be USDA-certified. Meeting these standards allows companies to use the USDA's organic label on foods that are at least 95% organic in origin. Labels for foods that contain between 70% and 95% organic content can use the words "Made With Organic Ingredients," but cannot use the seal.
While the debate over the nutritional benefits of organic food has raged for decades, recent research is beginning to turn up evidence that organically grown fruits and vegetables may contain extra helpings of vitamins and other nutrients. A study at Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri, found that organically grown oranges contain more vitamin C than conventional supermarket oranges (Great Lakes Regional Meeting, Amer Chem Soc, 6/02).
Theo Clark, PhD, the Truman State professor who investigated the organic oranges, says that when he and his students began their research, "We were expecting twice as much vitamin C in the conventional oranges" because they are larger than organic oranges. To his surprise, chemical isolation combined with nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy revealed that the organically grown oranges contained up to 30% more vitamin C than the conventionally grown fruits-even though they were only about half the size. "We speculate that with conventional oranges, (farmers) use nitrogen fertilizers that cause an uptake of more water, so it sort of dilutes the orange. You get a great big orange but it is full of water and doesn't have as much nutritional value," Dr. Clark says. "However, we can only speculate. Other factors such as maturity, climate, processing factors, packaging and storage conditions require consideration."
If you want to avoid pesticide residues in your food, research shows that going organic can make it much less likely that you or your family consumes these unwanted chemicals. Research, for instance, into the diets of children (Enviro Hlth Persp 3/03) shows that dining on organic fruits and vegetables, and organic juice, can lower kids' intake of pesticides.
These scientists took a look at the organophosphorus (OP) pesticide breakdown products in the blood of kids ages two to five who ate conventional supermarket produce and compared it with the OP found in organic kids.
The children on the organic diet had less OP in their blood than the other kids. As a matter of fact, the children on the conventional diet had six times the dimethyl metabolites, dimethyl being a pesticide suspected of affecting nerve function and growth. "Consumption of organic produce appears to provide a relatively simple way for parents to reduce their children's exposure to OP pesticides," note the researchers. "Organic foods have been growing in popularity over the last several years," says Jim Burkhart, PhD, science editor for the journal that published the study. "These scientists studied one potential area of difference from the use of organic foods, and the findings are compelling."
On the way to tonight's dinner, researchers have created genetically modified organisms (GMO), plants and animals that have been transgenically engineered. In the food world, that means organisms containing genes inserted from another species. Chances are if you eat food purchased at the typical supermarket, those comestibles contain GMO ingredients. In the United States, food companies are not required to label for GMO content.
A growing number of American consumers are upset about not being told about the GMO products in their food. But industry scientists, worried that informed consumers may someday turn their back on GMO foods, consider consumer ignorance to be an acceptable state of affairs.
For instance, the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) is fighting regulations that would require GMO labeling. According to ASPB President Daniel Bush, PhD, of the University of Illinois at Urbana, "The language...(in these types of regulations) is based on a system of beliefs of what is 'natural,' rather than a scientifically defined set of criteria focused on content and nutritional value. This is a radical departure from food labeling up to now, which is designed to maximize useful information for consumers concerning what is in the food they are buying."
Dr. Bush continues, "There are, of course, examples of voluntary labeling standards in the food industry that reflect how foods are processed, such as organic foods. The voluntary organic labeling standards were sought by the organic food industry. Kosher foods are also labeled as having been produced in accordance with specific beliefs. However, mandatory labeling of targeted production methods has never before been required and we believe would obscure rather than clarify important issues of food safety."
In other words, Dr. Bush opposes GMO labeling because he feels it would unnecessarily stigmatize GMO food items. Others are not so sanguine about the safety of GMO foods.
The arguments against GMO foods include:
These types of risks have motivated industry groups to urge more regulation of GMO crops. The Food Marketing Institute, the Grocery Manufacturers of America (GMA) and the National Restaurant Association, plus seven other food groups, are worried that GMO plants grown to produce pharmaceutical drugs could contaminate the food supply and destroy consumer trust in food.
Mary Sophos, a vice president of GMA, warns, "To minimize the possible risks, a clear system of regulatory enforcement and liability needs to be in place. Until then, no permits for new field trials or for commercialization should be issued because there is no room for trial and error."
These food industry groups have voiced their concerns to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the USDA. Last year, the USDA forced ProdiGene Inc., a biotech firm, to dispose of 500,000 bushels of soybeans contaminated with a drug meant to treat diabetes. What are the chances of more GMO accidents? No one knows. But if you buy and eat organic, you minimize your risk and maximize your chances of dining on safer food.
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.
Minerals - Why take them?
June 09, 2005 09:04 AM
Minerals, along with vitamins, amino acids and essential fatty acids, are one of the fundamental tiers of nutritional supplementation. Many essential minerals have been depleted from our soils due to modern farming practices, making mineral supplementation more critical than ever in today's world. Minerals are perhaps more susceptible to issues of bioavailability and absorption than any other class of nutrients. For this reason, Source Naturals has devoted a great deal of research to providing more bioavailable, absorbable forms of key nutritive minerals.
MINERALS: A MULTITUDE OF FUNCTIONS
Life on Earth began in the sea. Most scientists now believe that the ancient ocean was a 'primordial soup' of organic chemicals which contained all the necessary ingredients - amino acids, sugars, and nucleotide components, floating in a solution of water and minerals; for life to get started. Millions of years later, when the first creature crawled up on dry land, evolution had contrived a way for it to carry the ancient ocean along with it.
The composition of the fluid that bathes your cells and tissues is believed to be substantially the same as the ocean some 2 billion years ago. The body is extremely particular about the balance of dissolved minerals in this fluid&endash;so particular that it will sometimes sacrifice its own structure to maintain proper mineral balance in the fluids. For example, one mechanism for the homeostatic control of plasma calcium concentration is the flux of calcium into and out of the bones. If plasma calcium remains too low for extended periods the calcium reserve of the bones could be depleted. What functions do minerals serve, and why are they so important?
Aside from providing structure through the bones and teeth, one of the most important roles of minerals is that of electrolytes. The membranes of our cells are flexible and freely permeable to water. The interior of a cell contains an abundance of large and small organic molecules, most of which have an electric charge. These charged molecules will attract inorganic charged molecules called electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium, crowding water out of the cell interior. If the cell did nothing to counteract this phenomenon, the difference in water concentration across the cell membrane would cause more and more water to move into the cell by osmosis, eventually causing the cell to swell up and burst.
Minerals act as cofactors in over a thousand different reactions in the human body; magnesium alone is necessary for the functioning of over 300 enzymes.
A proper balance of minerals is essential to optimal health and vitality. Not only are they a crucial component of the internal environment and structure of the body, they are crucial to the enzymatic reactions that create energy, build tissues and protect the body. Minerals, unfortunately, are also one of the first casualties of the processed food revolution. Thanks to decades of "progress" in industrial farming methods, super-fertilizers and other methods have been developed for growing vegetables and grains that travel well and look healthy and pretty, but are depleted of much of the nutrient complexity required to optimally support human life. Many of the minerals that are left are stripped out when these grains and vegetables are processed to make packaged foods. These 'foods' are often preserved with chemical additives and fillers that can make the minerals they still contain impossible to digest.
What all this adds up to is the fact that mineral supplementation is extremely important. It is also important to ensure that the supplements you take are in forms that are absorbable and bioavailable. Unfortunately, there is no simple formula to follow in this regard, for the process of mineral absorption is complex and can be enhanced or hindered by a variety of factors. There is a great deal yet to be discovered about this aspect of human digestion and nutrition.
Because of the complexity of mineral metabolism Source Naturals offers a full series of major minerals and trace minerals in a variety of high quality, bioavailable forms to meet individual needs. In some cases we have gone further, basing our formulations on a knowledge of biochemical principles. For example, the absorption of many minerals seems to be enhanced by the presence of amino acids. Therefore, we offer amino acid chelates, minerals which are specially chelated (bound) with amino acids from hydrolyzed vegetable protein. In addition, we provide Krebs cycle chelates, minerals which are organically bound to metabolites of the body's cellular energy generation cycle.
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.
LYCOPENE - Tomatoes Like You’ve Never Seen Them Before ...
June 03, 2005 10:51 AM
It’s hard to imagine that the ancestor of the beefsteak tomato was a tiny yellow fruit first harvested by the Incas. Tomatoes have come a long way since their origin in the Andes, becoming more popular than any other fruit or vegetable in America. (Botanically, the tomato is really a fruit, despite the Supreme Court’s 1893 ruling that it’s a vegetable.) Today, our appreciation of this dietary staple is entering a new chapter. Modern nutrition science has delved into the biochemistry of the tomato and discovered unique phytonutrients with powerful influences on the human body. Utilizing this research, Source Naturals has introduced a concentrated form of the tomato’s most vital nutritional compound: Lycopene.
Tomatoes and their Healthy Red Color
Lycopene is the pigment that gives tomatoes, watermelons and some grapefruits their healthy red color. Found most abundantly in tomatoes (Lycopersicon esulentum), lycopene is a member of the carotenoid family. This group of phytonutrients are major contributors to the health of the human race. (Phyto is derived from the Greek word for plant.)
Over 500 different carotenoids have been identified by science, and almost 10% of them are found in human blood and tissue. Best known is beta-carotene, whose important benefits have been well-documented. Other familiar phytonutrients include allicin from garlic, and capsaicin from chili peppers. Lycopene, lutein, alpha-carotene and betacarotene are the most abundant of the carotenoids present in human blood and tissues. Human breast milk has been found to contain 19 carotenoids, including lycopene. Like many carotenoids, lycopene has evolved as an integral part of human biochemistry, with many benefits to our well-being. Since mammals cannot synthesize it, lycopene must be obtained from the diet.
One of the most interesting aspects of the way phytonutrients interact with the human body – beyond their broad spectrum antioxidant activity – is their tendency to be “organ specific.” Different carotenoids have an affinity for different organs in the body! In the case of lycopene, it’s the most plentiful carotenoid in the prostate gland. Studies have explored the link between diets high in lycopene and proper prostate function.
Lycopene Protects Cells
Research has shown that lycopene may protect DNA by its powerful antioxidant activity against singlet oxygen free radicals, dangerous forerunners to cellular damage. Lycopene was found to be the most efficient biological carotenoid to neutralize singlet oxygen – almost 3 times more powerful than beta-carotene. Also, lycopene has a “sparing effect” for beta-carotene: lycopene sacrifices itself to free radicals so that beta-carotene can be reserved for conversion to vitamin A. Lycopene has another ability that has excited further investigation. It increases gap junctional intercellular communication, which is the chemical and electrical coupling between neighboring cells. This enables a healthy exchange of the signals that regulate normal growth – thereby offering a protective influence on cellular reproduction.
Getting the Most From Tomatoes
Until recently, lycopene was not commercially available, and hasn’t been studied as extensively as has beta-carotene. But now, thanks to a unique (non-chemical) proprietary process, lycopene can be obtained from specially bred and cultivated tomato varieties that are rich in lycopene, and very red. Source Naturals LYCOPENE is standardized to 5% lycopene in a base of vegetable oil. It also contains small amounts of other carotenoids, naturally present in tomatoes. While it’s important to continue eating fruits and vegetables, we can also benefit from the fruits of nutritional research. This is especially important since so much of our food supply has become denatured, lacking the traditional nutrition our bodies require. Source Naturals LYCOPENE is a significant step toward reclaiming the nutrients we need to help create a life of health and vitality. Get a taste of the 21st Century – Source Naturals LYCOPENE.