Search Term: " Mexican "
Agave and gut health: Research finds freeze dried stems are aneffective prebiotic
December 13, 2018 03:33 PM
Scientists are constantly looking at new ways in which they can measure people's health. It is not easy to be someone who never has a health issue in their life. However, making sure that your gut and agave is healthy should be a priority in many people's minds. Doctors are finding new things that are helpful for treating people with issues related to these two things. Freeze dried stems are actually an effective prebiotic for these things.
"The agave plant (Agave salmiana) has potential prebiotic benefits, according to a study published in the journal LWT – Food Science and Technology. The Mexican plant is found to contain fructooligosaccharides, a prebiotic sugar that can be food for the beneficial bacteria in our gut called probiotics, which in turn provide us with a plethora of health benefits."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-11-21-freeze-dried-agave-stems-are-an-effective-prebiotic.html
Scientific study reveals Mexican mint essential oil can treat antibiotic-resistant bacteria
August 23, 2018 09:53 AM
In a study published in an alternative medicine journal, researchers says that an essential oil known as Plectranthus amboinicus, which is commonly referred to as Mexican mint, can be used to treat bacteria strains that are antibiotic-resistant. The team of scientists based their findings on results taken from oil that was taken from the plant's stems and leaves. In particular, PAEO and carvacrol, its active ingredient, can be possibly to treat staphylococcal biofilm and planktonic forms,
"Researchers found that S. aureus strains that were resistant to oxacillin and vancomycin (OVRSA) were sensitive to both PAEO and carvacrol. Results yielded an inhibition zone from 16–38 mm for PAEO and 23–48 mm for carvacrol."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-08-02-mexican-mint-essential-oil-treat-antibiotics-resistant-bacteria.html
Fruit Often Mistaken as a Vegetable That Triggers Endorphin Rush and Targets Pain
May 03, 2017 08:44 AM
A self professed health nut writes in her blog about peppers, which she states are actually fruits that are mistakenly called vegetables. She describes the various types of peppers, such as bell, banana, and chili. Chili peppers are spicy, with the Mexican habaneros being the hottest. She states the hotness comes from capsaicin. She saids capsaicin can be helpful in reducing pain and even fighting breast cancer. The writer goes on to write how to grow both bell and chili peppers.
"There are many different types of peppers, from sweet to flaming hot, making more than one variety useful in a single dish, adding complexity to the flavors."
Read more: http://www.healthnutnews.com/fruit-often-mistaken-vegetable-triggers-endorphin-rush-targets-pain/
Why Is Capsicum Cayenne Good For The Heart?
December 27, 2011 07:48 AM
Cayenne and Heart Health
The heart is something that is vital to any one of us and that is a fact. Recent numbers have revealed that over a million Americans die each year of a heart attack. So all the more reason for us to be careful with our hearts, make sure we keep it in good health and make sure we do everything we can to keep it working like it should because I am pretty sure that you do not want to be part of that next million next year.
Our heart is one of those organs in the body that truly plays an integral role and the none functioning of it will cause your expiration in just a matter of minutes unlike other organs when damaged there is still a possibility for you to survive it, but no, not the heart, once you are done, you are done and that is why its health should be one of our main concerns. The heart’s main function is to supply blood to other parts of the body and it is literally our pumping station. It does not stop at any time in our entire life, I am sure no one will contend with that. So I feel that it is our obligation to find out how we can keep the heart healthy. Well, the usual will always be there like exercise and proper diet but if you want to look at other ways aside from that and aside from medication then the way to go is the natural way and what can be more natural than supplementing with something which is derived from an everyday vegetable like peppers.
This refers to the wide variety of tropical pepper plants and as such is also known by other names like cayenne pepper, chilli pepper, red pepper, paprika, Hungarian pepper and Mexican pepper. It is unclear as to what exactly is its geographical origin but it is commonly agreed upon that it is a native of tropical regions such as China, Philippines, Tonga, Samoa, Iraq, Haiti, Hawaii and Mexico. One of its benefits is its ability to regulate blood circulation and alter temperature regulation because of the substance found in it which is known as capsaicin. Its seed has been proven in various studies to have antibiotic properties and if applied topically can even desensitize nerves and can be used as an anesthetic. When used as a liniment it is able to help with the stimulation of circulation as well and aid in the removal of waste (detox) products therefore allowing an increase in nutrient flow to the different tissues in the body which is why it is effective in relieving muscle spasms, bursitis and shingles.
Good for the Heart
One of the reasons why it is good for the heart is because it has the ability to stimulate blood vessels dilation and help relieve chronic congestions which in turn will improve blood circulation. It also has the ability to lower blood cholesterol levels and increase metabolism which are both vital to maintaining heart health.
August 20, 2009 05:32 PM
Anise is a flowering plant that is part of the Apiaxeae family. It is native to the eastern Mediteranean region and southwest Asia. It is known for its flavor, which resembles licorice, fennel, and tarragon. The anise plant is an herbaceous annual plant that grows to three feet tall. The leaves are at the base of the plant and are very simple. They are about two to five centimeters long and shallowly lobed. The leave higher on the stems are feathery pinnate and divided into numerous leaves. The flowers of the anise plant are white and about three millimeters in diameter. They are produced in dense umbels. The anise fruit is an oblong dry schizocarp that is about three to five millimeters in length. The seedpods are referred to as aniseed. Anise is usually used as food by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species, such as butterflies and moths. Among these are the lime-speck pug and the wormwood pug.
The best growth for the anise plant can be found in light, fertile, well drained soil. The plants should be started from seeds as soon as the ground warms up in the spring. Because the anise plants have a taproot, they do not transplant well after they are established. For this reason, the plants should be started where they are to grow, or transplanted while the seedlings are still small.
Anise is sweet and very aromatic. It can be distinguished by its licorice-like flavor. It is widely used in a variety of regional and ethnic confectioneries, including British Aniseed balls, Austrailain Humbugs, New Zealand Aniseed wheels, Italian pizzelle, German pfeffernusse and springerle, Netherland Muisjes, Norwegian knots, and Peruvian Picarones. Anise is a key ingredient in Mexican “atole de anis” which is similar to hot chocolate. It is taken as a digestive after meals in India.
Anise was used in ancient Rome as flavoring. However, it contains nutrients like calcium and iron. This herb was added to foods to prevent indigestion when eating large quantities of food. Additionally, it was used to help with bad breath. Hippocrates recommended this herb to relieve both coughs and congestion.
Anise is used to help remove excess mucus from the alimentary canal and the mucus that is associated with coughs. It is used to stimulate the appetite, relieve digestive problems, and treat colic pain. Some herbalists recommend that anise be used for stimulating the glands and vital organs. Among these organs are the heart, liver, lungs, and brain. Additionally, it helps to normalize estrogen levels.
The oil and seeds of the anise plant are used to provide anodyne, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, aromatic, carminative, diaphoretic, digestive, diuretic, expectorant, galactagogue, stimulant, and stomachic properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are B vitamins, calcium, choline, iron, magnesium, and potassium. Primarily, anise provides extraordinary benefits in treating colds, colic, coughs, gas, indigestion, absent lactation, excessive mucus, and pneumonia.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with loss of appetite, breath odor, emphysema, epilepsy, nausea, and nervous disorders. It is important to speak with a health care professional before considering supplementing with any nutrient in order to obtain the best results while on medications. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by anise, please feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store.
Nopal Prickly Pear And Your Health
August 18, 2009 12:41 PM
Nopal is also referred to as the prickly pear cactus. The broad, thick, succulent leaves of the cactus are used for medicinal purposes. The nopal prickly pear herb is the most commonly found in the southwestern United States.
The nopal prickly pear is a vegetable that is made from the young cladophyll, pad-like, segments of the prickly pear plant. These are carefully peeled to remove the spines. The nopal prickly pear is extremely common in its native Mexico. Although the pads of almost all Opuntia species are edible, farmed nopales are most often of the species Opuntia ficus-indica. Generally, a nopal is sold fresh, bottled, or canned. Less often, it is sold dried. It is used to prepare nopalitos. The nopal has a light, slightly tart flavor, and a crisp, mucilaginous texture. This herb is commonly used in Mexican cuisine dishes include huevos con nopales, which is eggs with nopal; carne con nopales, also known as meat with nopal; or tacos de nopales. Nopales are also an important ingredient in New Mexican cuisine. Currently, the nopal is gaining popularity elsewhere in the United States.
De-thorned nopal stems are used as food in Mexico and among Native Americans. Early settlers used the stems in wound dressing after they had been peeled. The gel that comes from the cactus pads was used to soften the skin. This lessened tension against the wound and alleviated pain. Nopal juice is valued as an anti-inflammatory diuretic. Practitioners of folk medicine recommend this herb fore use against painful urination. The mashed pulp of the cactus was traditionally eaten by the West Coast Indians in order to ease childbirth. Additionally, the pulp was used as a lung remedy and as a cardiac aid.
The nopal prickly pear herb contains a variety of phytochemicals. Among these components are pectin, mucilage, and gums that assist the digestive system. This herb also contains nutrients which inhibit bowel absorption of dietary fat and excess sugars. Nopal is responsible for fortifying the liver and pancreas. This enhances insulin’s ability to move glucose from the blood into the cells, where it is able to produce energy. Research has determined that nopal prickly pear has hypoglycemic benefits as well. This could be extremely helpful for those people suffereing from diabetes. Other studies have determined that nopal lowers serum levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Additionally, it may inhibit cancer growth and prevent cancer development. Laboratory animals that were treated with cactus juice showed an increase immune response regarding tumor growth, Epstein-Barr virus, and suppressed immune function.
The leaves of the nopal plant are used to provide antiasthmatic, astringent, laxative, pectoral, and vemrifuge properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are mucilage, pectin, and phytochemicals. Primarily, nopal is extremely beneficial in dealing with cancer, diabetes, high cholesterol, and immune function. This herb also acts as a great digestive aid.
In order to obtain the best results when supplementing with this, or any herb, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen while on medications. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by nopal prickly pear, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
August 15, 2008 11:53 AM
In the recent past, DHEA has shown scientists its amazing abilities within the human body. Clinical tests have created a huge amount of interest for both scientists and consumers, with estimates of about 500 in-depth clinical studies on DHEA taking place. These tests, which have been conducted at some of the most prestigious medical research centers and universities in the country, have proven DHEA to be one of the most important anti-aging and anti-disease substances of the 21st century.
DHEA is a crucial and important hormone that is produced in the adrenal glands. It is often called the mother hormone, as it forms the base for the biochemical actions of hormones like testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, and corticosterone. These hormones control important body functions that determine metabolism, energy output, endocrine mechanisms, and reproductive capabilities. DHEA directs the entire endocrine systems through activating and inhibiting enzymes. In its many clinical studies, DHEA has shown an unusually wide variety of physiological benefits. Although it has been known for many years that DHEA is made by the adrenal glands, the function of DHEA in the body has only been recently studied.
DHEA is produced by the adrenal glands, but it can also be found in non-patented prescription drugs and other over-the-counter forms. A lot of these supplements contain a synthetic DHEA-S. A lot of people consider Dioscorea extract, which can be found in Mexican Wild Yam, to have a natural source of DHEA. There are a lot of naturally occurring compounds that can mimic the actions of DHEA and, at the time, do not require a prescription. Wild Yam and Mexican Yam can give a botanical precursor of DHEA, which is considered a substantial source by a lot of health advocates. A great number of studies on DHEA that is derived from Mexican Yam have been conducted, with results concluding that DHEA derived from Mexican Yam and Dioscorea extract is a great idea. However, some controversy surrounds the value of Wild Yam as a valuable source of DHEA.
DHEA is used in the body to make other hormone, as it is the most dominant of all the hormones present in the body. It contributes to the proper growth of brain cells, inhibits the conversion of carbohydrates to fats, decreases the formation of blood clots, regulates hormones, decreases the stickiness of platelets that can clump to cause heart attacks and strokes, increase estrogen in women and testosterone in men, lowers LDL cholesterol, enhances overall immunity, and decreases symptoms of an enlarged prostate.
DHEA helps to reduce menopausal symptoms, promotes thermo genesis, helps to increase muscle mass, stabilizes blood sugar, inhibits appetite and discourages eating, boosts endurance, inhibits diseases associated with aging, helps to restore collagen and skin integrity, fights fatigue and depression, helps to inhibit certain tumors, improves calcium absorption to discourage osteoporosis, acts as an anti-inflammatory, and helps to lower blood pressure.
DHEA levels dramatically vary in each individual and can drop as a result of stress or other conditions such as blood sugar, fever, hypertension, nicotine ingestion, alcohol consumption, drinking coffee, and the presence of various diseases. Taking birth control pills and other synthetic hormones can also deplete levels of DHEA. When any of these occur, supplementation is needed. Therapeutic doses range from 5 to 25 milligrams per day which can be found here at VitaNet, LLC.
Capsicum - Cayenne Red Pepper
July 28, 2008 03:06 PM
Capsicum also known as cayenne pepper has been known to the natives of the tropical Americas for thousands of years. It was first introduced to Europe by Christopher Columbus as Guinea Pepper and was originally used by Native Americans that were located south of the Mexican boarder as early as 700 B.C. The mixture of chocolate and red chilies was a taste treat that was reserved exclusively for Aztec royalty. Although the exact origin of the word Capsicum is somewhat a mystery, it is assumed to be derived from the Greek word kapto, which means to bite. Capsicum is a fruit found on a shrub-like tropical plant that is technically considered a berry. The designation of it as a pepper can be traced back to Columbus, who compared its hot taste sensation with that, a black pepper.
Gerard referred to Capsicum as extremely hot and dry in 1597 and prescribed it to those with skin and throat infections. The health practitioners of the 1800s used Capsicum to counteract rheumatism, arthritis, depression, and chills. Capsicum was used in the early 1800s as a potent and safe natural stimulant and was believed to be able to treat a large array of diseases. It was first used orally to treat tumors, toothaches, fevers, and respiratory conditions.
This cayenne red pepper was introduced to England by Dr. John Stevens in 1804 when it became the catalyst component in many herbal blends. Additionally, herbal and medical practitioners used Capsicum in order to fight infection and sustain the natural heat that the body produces. After, it became very well known in American dispensatories and pharmacopeia. In 1943, The Dispensary of the United States recorded Capsicum to be a powerful local stimulant that produces a sense of heat in the stomach and a general glow over the whole body when it is swallowed. It does all of this without having a narcotic effect.
Physicians in the twentieth-century recognized the medicinal value of Capsicum. This caused the herb to find its way to the American Illustrated Medical Dictionary, the Merck Manual and Materia Medica, where it is named a rubefacient, local stimulant, counter-irritant, gastric stimulant, and diaphoretic. Mexican Indians today use Capsicum as an intestinal disinfectant and protectant against contaminated food and, additionally, to treat fevers. In the world today, this cayenne pepper is no more appreciated and more widely used than in Mexico and a few other Latin American countries, which together are the original home of all the peppers. Practically every dish the Indians eat both in the morning and evening include Capsicum, just as it was 2,000 years ago. These peppers are a wonderful source of essential vitamins in a diet that is otherwise lacking of them.
Capsicum is a source of health and vitality in many countries which include the Bahamas and Costa Rica, in which it is used to treat colic and indigestion, in Africa for vascular disorders, and in North America as a tonic and natural stimulant. Currently undergoing a large variety of studies, Capsicum has emerged with an impressive list of actions. Scientists are currently taking notice and looking at Capsicum with a new respect and interest. Capsicum can be set apart from powerful pharmaceutical stimulants and pain killers because it possesses the potency without the delirious side effects.
Oregano oil hi in Carvacrol
April 25, 2008 02:27 PM
VitaNet ®, LLC is pleased to distribute Nature’s Answer Oil of Oregano—one of the finest quality oregano oils available today. Nature’s Answer offers you a concentrated oil of true oregano, Origanum Vulgare, steam-distilled in a base of extra virgin olive oil. There is a lot of confusion about oregano, because many plants throughout the world are called oregano. For example, marjoram (origanum marjorana) is a close cousin to true oregano, and Spanish and Mexican oregano are actually different plant species. It is important to be aware of these differences, because only Origanum Vulgare contains high amounts of the active ingredient, carvacrol. This is the exact species that Nature’s Answer uses in its products.
It takes approximately 200 pounds of oregano to produce two pounds of Nature’s Answer Oregano Oil. This highly concentrated form yields a quality plant product, retaining all the important volatile oils intact, true to Nature’s Answer’s philosophy of maintaining the plant’s Holistic Balance.
Holistic Balance guarantees that the natural constituents of our herb products are in the same synergistic ratio as those found in the plant; an herb of this type reflects the natural balance of the plant, and all of its many micronutrients.
Oregano is rich in nutrients including vitamin A and C, niacin, calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, potassium, copper, boron, and manganese. It also contains the active chemical constituents, thymol and carvacrol. These components have shown strong activity in protecting cells against foreign organisms.
The protective properties of oregano have been recognized by traditional herbalists throughout history as well as supported by modern scientific research. Oregano is also a powerful antioxidant, offsetting the adverse effects of free radicals on out bodies. Oregano oil has been shown in scientific studies to support intestinal, digestive and respiratory health and can also be used topically for minor skin irritations.
Each four-drop dose of Nature’s Answer Oil of Oregano provides 13mg of oregano oil, which is guaranteed to contain a minimum of 7mg of carvacrol. Nature’s Answer Oil of Oregano liquid and its high quality oregano oil in softgel form are always on deal at VitaNet ®, LLC Health Food Store.
Selecting the Right Probiotic is the Key to proper digestion
May 05, 2007 01:16 PM
Selecting the Right Probiotic is the Key
Do you ever think about what goes into your body each day? You should. One of the key to feeling good and being healthy s eating nutritious food and making sure our gastrointestinal (GI) tract has the tools it needs to optimally digest and absorb nutrients. The GI tract includes the stomach and intestines, which work to digest foods and eliminate waste.
A variety of “good” intestinal bacteria helps to keep the digestive system running. These “good” bacteria are called probiotic bacteria, or probiotics. Probiotics digest food, process waste, and keep the “bad” bacteria – which have the potential to cause disease and illness – in check.
This issue of Ask the Doctor will look at the probiotic bacteria that play an important role in maintaining our health and wellness: we need them, what they can do for us, and how to make sure we are getting enough. Also, we will talk about an exciting process that truly delivers probiotic bacteria taken in nutritional supplements. Encapsulated in a pearl-like sphere, they survive transport to the intestines, set up house, and exert their beneficial effects. As we will see, probiotic supplementation can help prevent and treat many different illnesses, unless the beneficial bacteria reach the intestines alive and active, the supplement is worthless.
Q. I thought bacteria were bad. How can bacteria be good for us?
A. Some kinds of bacteria do cause illnesses and disease in humans. “Strep” throat is an example of an illness caused by bacteria.
However, the majority of bacteria do not cause disease. In fact, there are types of bacteria that are actually beneficial. “Good” bacteria, known as probiotic bacteria, are used in the manufacturing of food and beverages. Some examples of foods that have probiotic food ingredients are buttermilk, yogurt, cheese, sausage, and acidophilus milk.
These same kinds of probiotic bacteria are present in our intestines and help to keep the digestive system running by digesting food and processing waste.
Q. What are probiotics?
A. Probiotics are live bacteria that are non-toxic and do not cause disease (non-pathogenic).
Some of the best-understood probiotic bacteria include members of the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium groups. Because of the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium’s ability to break down lactose, these probiotic bacteria are also known as lactic acid bacteria. Both of these types of probiotic bacteria are well studied and are available in both food and dietary supplements.
Q. Is there a difference between the probiotic bacteria that is found in yogurt, and in nutritional supplements?
A. Actually, the bacteria that are in yogurt, our intestine, and most natural supplements are the same types of probiotic bacteria, Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacteria longum. Because of this, these bacteria are referred in a generic sense as probiotics. So, the term probiotics may refer to the “good” bacteria that are present in food or that live in our intestine, or that are part of a natural supplement.
Q. Where do these probiotic bacteria come from?
A. As recently as the middle of the last century, bacteria found naturally in food ingredients were used to make a fermented food product. For example, the example, the lactic acid bacteria found naturally in milk were used to make cheese. This was known as wild fermentation.
Wild fermentations are no longer used. Today, the probiotic bacteria used in food and natural supplements are harvested via a highly controlled fermentation process. This process results in high numbers of bacteria and ensures quality and purity of the bacteria.
Q. Why are probiotic bacteria important for digestive health?
A. Normal microflora (the term commonly used for intestinal bacteria) is associated with good health. An imbalance in this natural microflora (when the beneficial probiotics are outnumbered by the harmful bacteria) is frequently associated with various disease states such as yeast infections and colon cancer.
Eating foods or taking a nutritional supplement containing probiotic bacteria can help support and modify the composition of the large intestine microflora. Microflora of the large intestine assist digestion through fermentation (by making the intestines more inhospitable to invading bacteria species), protection against disease-causing bacteria, and stimulation of the immune system.
The probiotics, Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria, occupy a central role in the intestinal and provide health benefits.
Q. How do probiotic bacteria help with digestion?
A. Lactose is an important sugar that is converted to lactic acid by lactic acid bacteria. Lactose intolerance results from an inability to digest lactose, due to the failure of small intestine mucosal cells to produce lactase, an enzyme needed to digest lactose. This often results because of genetics, gastrointestinal disease, or because of the decline in the amount of intestinal lactase levels associated with aging. Lactase deficient people accumulate non-absorbed lactose in the gastrointestinal tract, which draws water and electrolytes into the gut and speeds waste through the intestines, leading to bloating, cramping, and diarrhea.
Approximately 50 million people in the
Lactic acid bacteria have been shown to help the breakdown of lactose, specifically by enhancing the activity of lactase (beta galactosidase), which improves lactose digestion and tolerance. Furthermore, in a randomized, controlled clinical trial, Bifidobacteria longum was shown to assist in the breakdown of lactose and relieve the symptoms of lactose intolerance (flatulence) in people with lactose intolerance.
Q. What is the difference between digestive enzymes and probiotics? Can they be taken together?
A. Digestive enzymes, such as protease, amalyse, and lipase, act upon food, breaking it down into simpler components that can be used by the body for energy. Without enzymes, digestion could not take place. Therefore, the food that we eat could not be absorbed and utilized by our bodies.
Probiotics help the enzymes to digest food and process waste. In essence, probiotic bacteria and enzymes work together to ensure that the digestive tract is running smoothly. When taken together, enzymes assure greater levels of digestion absorption of your food, and probiotic bacteria aid the enzymes in digestion and keep problems in check.
Q. Is helping to ensure a healthy digestive system the only use for probiotics?
A. Absolutely not! Probiotic bacteria, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, have been found to help prevent vaginal yeast infections in women that suffer from these reoccurring infections.
Approximately 35% of vaginal infections are caused by the yeast. Candida albicans, Candida, is a fungus that is a component of the normal gastrointestinal microflora. However, Candida must not be allowed to increase in numbers. An overgrowth is associated with adverse health effects like vaginal infections, oral thrush, or even serious systematic yeast infections. Probiotics have been shown to keep levels of Candida in check.
Probiotic bacteria have also been demonstrated to have anti-cancer properties. In baa clinical study, colon cancer patients given Lactobacillus acidophilus fermented milk showed a significant increase in numbers of intestinal Lactobacilli and a decrease in risk factors associated with colon cancer.
Patients suffering from inflammatory bowel diseases, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease can benefit from probiotic bacteria supplementation. Studies have shown that probiotic bacteria assist in maintaining remission in ulcerative colitis and preventing reoccurrence of Crohn’s disease. Manipulating the intestinal flora may prove to be more effective and better tolerated than the drugs that are conventionally given to treat these diseases. I one study, Lactobacillus acidophilus was found to improve the intestinal barrier and clinical status in children suffering from Crohn’s disease.
Probiotics supplementation can also improve and prevent skin disease, such as eczema. Studies have shown that probiotic bacteria can actually control inflammation associated with skin conditions. In one study, infants with eczema who were given probiotic-supplemented formulas showed a significant improvement in skin condition.
The chart below summarizes some of the diseases and conditions that probiotic bacteria can help prevent and/or improve.
Q. How often should probiotics be taken to ensure optimal support of the digestion system?
A. Probiotic bacteria do not permanently colonize in the body. They need to be replenished by the consumption of foods containing probiotic bacteria or by taking a probiotic natural supplement. Whatever form you choose to replenish the intestinal probiotics, they need to be ingested daily for their health-promoting effects to continue.
Q. If I take a probiotic nutritional supplement, how many bacteria should a good quality supplement contain?
A. The critical factor is not how many bacteria that a supplement contains, but rather how many bacteria reach the intestines healthy, vigorous, and ready to work.
A good quality supplement will deliver at least 3 billion living, healthy probiotic bacteria per dose to your intestines. The bacteria in the probiotic natural supplement should be a mixture of both Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria.
Again, the critical key to a good quality probiotic supplement is that the bacteria must be alive to work. Only living probiotic bacteria can colonize in the intestines. A good quality probiotic nutritional supplement will have GUARANTEED levels of live bacteria at the point of consumption. Inferior brands will merely state levels of live bacteria at the point of manufacture.
Recently, a private laboratory tested various probiotic nutritional supplements in the marketplace, including one utilizing a new process that encapsulates the bacteria in a spherical, pearl-like coating. Each of these supplements were best-selling brands, two of them were enteric coated, and all had label guarantees about potency. The lab counted the levels claimed by each manufacturer.
Q. Then how do I know I am getting what I pay for?
A. First, look for a product that has a “use by” date or an “expiration” date clearly stated on the package.
It is also important to look for a probiotic supplement that does not require refrigeration. Probiotic supplements that require refrigeration often have been subjected to warm temperatures during shipment and storage that will inevitably kill off some or all of the bacteria.
It is also important that the product label guarantees live bacteria at the time of purchase, not at the time of shipment or manufacturing. However, from the laboratory test discussed, we see that sometimes these written guarantees are not worth the paper they are written on. There is one scientifically validated process that truly delivers live and vigorous bacteria to the intestine. This process suspends the probiotic bacteria in a moist paste and immediately seals the bacteria in a perfectly seamless, spherical, gelatin ball. This bacterial paste is completely protected from air and dryness so the bacteria are alive until the specialized gelatin dissolves – in the intestines.
Q. Why is it important to dissolve only in the intestine?
A. Lactic acid bacteria are not very resistant to the acids of the stomach. The harsh environment of the stomach destroys the majority of these bacteria.
This pearly-like coating technology protects bacteria from the stomach acid. The sphere is specially developed to only dissolve in the intestines. Enteric coating is not enough as it does nothing to protect the bacteria while they wait for purchase on the shelf.
Q. What does this proprietary coating technology mean to me?
A. This specialized process is an expensive processing step, but it has many advantages to you.
The pearl-shaped spheres actually “seal” the bacteria in the capsule, which protects them from air. Probiotic bacteria are anaerobic, meaning they do not require oxygen to live. In fact, the presence of oxygen can actually injure or kill probiotic bacteria. In addition, the special coating’s ability to seal the bacteria in the capsule stimulates the need for the nutritional supplement to be refrigerated – though they can be kept in the refrigerator, if desired.
By protecting the bacteria on the shelf and in the stomach, the probiotic bacteria successfully reach the intestine. As a result, there will be a greater number of healthy, intact bacteria that can colonize in the intestine.
Many health care practitioners believe all health issues are related in some way to the process of digestion. Probiotics play a crucial role in improving our digestive health, which, in turn, is interconnected to every single function in our bodies.
Taking a probiotic supplement is an excellent way to replenish the good bacteria in your intestinal microflora. A quality probiotic product contains two different types of bacteria from Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria species with at least one billion live bacteria per dose.
But how do you know the bacteria re still alive? Look at the package. If there is no fate stamp, put it down. If it says the company guarantees there was a certain number alive at the time of manufacture, put it down. Tat means that the company is not willing to claim the bacteria are alive when delivered to the target site, the intestine. If the product must be constantly refrigerated, put it down. How do you know it didn’t sit in a truck for two days, or was in a warehouse before it was shipped to the health food store?
Find a probiotic that says the bacteria are guaranteed to be alive in the numbers stated on the label until the printed on the package. Find a product using unique, cutting edge science to deliver the probiotic bacteria in a form that uses spherical, sealed, triple coating to protect the bacteria. That company has gone to extra time and expense to make sure you reap the benefits that probiotics can offer.
Growing Older, Feeling Better
March 28, 2007 02:15 PM
Growing Older, Feeling Better
Not long ago, when a man turned sixty-five, he became officially old – the best years of his life far behind him. The milestone meant his working days were done and if he was lucky, he might get four or five years to spend as he wished before illness and infirmity set in. It was simply expected and accepted that the older a man got, the sicker he got.
Well, not anymore. Today, a man age 65 is just as likely to be found hiking in the hills, running in a marathon, or even dancing in the streets than rocking in that proverbial front porch rocker. Because it’s becoming more and more evident that the older a man gets, the healthier that man has been.
Eating healthy, exercising, and kicking harmful habits (like smoking) can add years to a man’s life. Aging research is proving over and over again, that we can prevent and delay heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease – the major causes of disability and death in men over 50.
Now, it’s very true that good clean living from early on is preferable to sixty five years of bad habits and five years of good. But it’s also true that it’s never too late for men to make changes and vow to take better care of themselves. And one of the easiest and most effective ways men can improve their health is the addition of high quality nutritional supplements.
In this issue of Ask the Doctor, we’ll talk about specific dietary supplements that have been scientifically shown to improve the health of men over fifty, prevent the diseases that often strike at this crucial time in men’s lives, and actually slow the aging process.
Q. I just turned 50 and I’d like to begin taking nutritional supplements, but they seem so confusing. Where should I begin?
A. Many men feel the same way. There are literally hundreds and hundreds of nutritional supplements on health food store shelves. Figuring out which supplements provide the best health benefits for a 50+ man can be overwhelming.
The best foundation supplement is a high quality multivitamin. Research is repeatedly finding that even very healthy men who take daily multivitamins can significantly improve their health. In fact, an article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) recommends that all adult Americans take a vitamin supplement. Look for solid doses of vitamin supplement. Look for sol doses of vitamins and especially minerals. Multivitamins designed to be taken once a day are often woefully deficient in calcium, magnesium, and potassium. The only mineral a man should avoid is supplemental iron. Iron should only be in formulas for women prior to menopause. Men over 50 get all the iron they need from food and too much iron can cause health problems.
Look for men’s multivitamins that contain lycopene in the formula. Lycopene is the pigment that makes tomatoes red. The redder the tomato, the more lycopene is present. Numerous studies have shown that when men have high lycopene levels in their blood, they have a much lower risk of heart disease, age-related macular degeneration (a leading cause of vision loss) and prostate cancer.
Other important considerations are antioxidant blends, especially fruit- and tea-derived extracts; ginseng for energy and stamina; and digestive enzymes to aid in absorption and compensate for age-related decreased enzyme levels.
In fact, years of research has shown the foods a man chooses to eat (or not to eat) can have a profound impact on the health of his prostate gland. Because of this close nutritional link, prostate cancer may be the most preventable type of non-smoking related cancers.
Q. Aside from taking a quality multivitamin for general health, what nutritional supplements prevent and treat prostate cancer?
A. Six vital and all-natural nutrients can prevent prostate cancer from developing and even help fight the disease.
When men are exposed to excess levels of hormones, their risk of prostate cancer increases. A natural substance found in fruits and vegetables called calcium D-glucarate (or CDG), helps men’s built-in detoxification systems get rid of these harmful excess hormones.
This antioxidant has powerful effects on the prostate gland. In a recent study, researchers recruited 974 men to take part in a large clinical trial to determine if selenium could prevent cancer. The researchers found that selenium cut the rate of prostate cancer by 63%!
Green tea is the most widely consumed liquid in the world, after water. Men in
For many years, maitake mushrooms, or dancing mushrooms, have been linked to good health in those who eat them. That’s because maitakes contain an important compound called D-fraction. A recent study showed that maitake D-fraction destroyed 95% of human prostate cancer cells in lab experiments.
Promising preliminary reports demonstrate that lycopene can actually kill prostate cancer cells, so there has been an explosion of lycopene and prostate cancer research.
Q. What exactly happens to men’s hormones as they get older?
A. Just as women experience significant hormonal changes as they age, so do men. In fact, the term andropause has been used to describe men’s mid-life changes. Similar to menopause in women (where the decline of estrogen causes a myriad of symptoms), andropause in men signals the slow decline of testosterone, the chief sex hormone in men. While estrogen levels decline faster and more abruptly in women than testosterone levels do in men, testosterone decline can cause a number of unpleasant symptoms. These include abdominal weight gain, hair loss, reduced energy and sex drive, heart disease, and prostate enlargement. Whether a man labels these age-related changes as andropause or just the consequences of aging, most men will unfortunately experience some or all of them as their birthdays mount.
Q. So, is there a supplement that can give me the hormone level of a 20 year old?
A. Sadly, no, at least not yet! But there is a nutrient that can help the testosterone in a man over fifty “behave” more like a younger man’s testosterone.
A study that took place at the
The secret of DIM’s prostate cancer prevention is its ability to metabolize estrogen. While estrogen is generally thought of as a “female” hormone, a precise ratio of testosterone-to-estrogen is needed to maintain a man’s healthy sexual response, effective sexual function (erection of the penis and intercourse), strong bones and muscles, viable sperm, and a well-functioning prostate gland. As men enter their fifties, this ratio begins to change.
When men take DIM, however, their estrogen metabolism improves, testosterone metabolism accelerates, and the unwanted conversion of testosterone into estrogen is eliminated. This results in higher testosterone levels, similar to those seen in young men. As a result, DIM may speed weight loss, reduce prostate gland enlargement (benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH), and help men over 50 feel stronger and leaner.
Some supplements on the market today contain indole-3-carbinol (I3C), a precursor to DIM. However, I3C is unstable and requires activation in the stomach to be converted into DIM. This means I3C must be taken at a much higher amount and can undergo unpredictable and undesirable chemical reactions in your stomach and colon. DIM is by far the preferred supplement.
Q. What is saw palmetto? Does it reduce symptoms of Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH)?
A. Yes it does and very effectively too. Saw palmetto is a small palm tree native to
The prostate gland is about the size of a walnut and is located below the bladder and in front of the rectum. It wraps around the upper part of the urethra and its primary job is the production and storage of semen, the milky fluid that nourishes sperm. BPH is one of the most common health conditions in older men. Half of all men aged 40-60 and more than 90 percent in men over 80 have BPH. BPH causes the prostate gland to enlarge, putting pressure on the urethra.
Men have trouble starting or maintaining a stream of urine, find they can’t completely empty their bladders, and have to urinate frequently, even during the night. They may also have episodes of uncontrollable dribbling or complete loss of urine. BPH is caused by the conversion of estrogen to a very potent form of testosterone called, dihydrotestosterone (or DHT). When prostate cells are exposed to DHT, they multiply in number and get much larger.
BPH rarely improves. It most often remains the same for years or gets gradually worse. The need to continually urinate, interrupted sleep, dribbling, and loss of urine can significantly interfere with a man’s quality of life. Prescription medications that have been developed to treat BPH are only partially effective. And surgical removal of the prostate gland may result in even more persistent urinary incontinence and the inability to achieve an erection (ED).
However, saw palmetto berry extract relieves the symptoms of BPH by inhibiting the production of DHT. And, in study after study after study, saw palmetto caused none of the side effects that happen with prostate surgery or medications.
Q. There seem to be plenty of ads for supplements that claim they make men into Sexual Superheroes. Is there an “honest” nutritional supplement to help me sexually?
A. That’s a very good observation. And yes, there are honest nutritional supplements for men’s sexual health.
Sexual intimacy is an important, complex, and lifelong need. It makes us feel better physically and mentally and adds to our sense of security, belonging, and self-esteem. But just like other changes that happen to men as they get older, men’s sexual response most often changes, too. Declining testosterone levels, changes in blood flow to the penis, certain medications that older men are prescribed, and the presence of diabetes or heart disease can all affect men’s ability to engage in sexual activity.
When men have a chronic inability in obtaining and/or maintaining an erection, it’s called erectile dysfunction (ED). While ED is not an inevitable part of getting older, it does occur more frequently as men age. About 5% of 40-year-old men have ED, but more than 23% of 65-year-old men have difficulty maintaining erections.
The development of prescription medication Viagra (sildenafil citrate) has revolutionized ED treatment. When a man is sexually stimulated, Viagra helps the penis fill with enough blood to cause an erection.
Like all medicines, Viagra can cause some side effects, including headache, flushing of the face, and upset stomach. But because Viagra is a prescription medication, it requires a visit to a licensed healthcare practitioner. For many men, telling anyone (even a professional) that they are having trouble getting or keeping an erection is simply too embarrassing. Viagra is also fairly expensive and many older men do not have prescription drug health insurance.
These reasons may explain that while an estimated 30 million men in the United States – 10% of the male population – experience chronic ED, as few as 5% of men with chronic ED seek treatment.
Not every man can take Viagra, either. Men who use nitrate drugs, often used to control chest pain (also known as angina), must not take Viagra. This combination can cause their blood pressure to drop to an unsafe or life-threatening level. Men with serious liver and kidney problems who take Viagra must be monitored closely for possible serious side effects.
The good news is there is a nutritional supplement that’s formulated with vitamins, herbs, and glandular products that targets male sexual organs. The formula contains vitamin E, liver fractions, wheat germ, beta-sitosterol, and herbal extracts of muira puama, Mexican damiana, saw palmetto, cola nut, ginseng, and ginkgo biloba.
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant and men’s testicles, adrenal glands, and pituitary glands need high levels of this fat-soluble vitamin for proper functioning. Extracts of Muira puama, Mexican damiana, and cola nut have been studied for their beneficial effects on male hormones.
Study of ginkgo in sexual response came about when a patient in a nursing home who was taking the herb for memory enhancement noted that his erections were improved. Since then, study of ginkgo has shown it helps blood flow to the penis. Sexual response research in one ginkgo study showed that 76% of men taking ginkgo experienced improved sexual desire, erections, and orgasms.
While other nutritional supplements sold to improve sexual stamina often make outrageous claims, reputable manufacturers rely on science and results to sell their products.
An important note
Most often sexual problems are simply part of the aging process. They can also be signs of serious health problems. If the use of nutritional supplements for two months does not improve your erections, you do need to see your healthcare practitioner. Almost all practitioners understand how difficult this problem is for men to discuss and are experienced in getting the information as quickly and as painlessly as possible.
No man has the power to stop the passage of time. But every man has the power to make aging more healthy and less harmful. Research conducted on men who live to be 100 and beyond, has determined that those who reach extreme old age do so by avoiding ill health, rather than by enduring it. As I like to remind my patients, “Age is not determined by years, but by function.” And it’s never too late for men to detour around the major illnesses of getting older. With good nutrition, healthy habits, and high quality nutritional supplements, the best years of a man’s life can absolutely and positively be those he spends in his 70s, 80s and even his 90s.
Oil of Oregano – The Natural Antiseptic
March 08, 2007 02:39 PM
Oregano is an aromatic herb that grows in the Mediterranean region, and is cultivated in many areas of the world. It is a member of the Lamiaceae or mint family, a plant family recognized for square stems and opposing pairs of leaves. The ancient Greek’s original name for this plant, “oreganos”, translated to “Delight of the Mountains”. It earns this name because the fragrance that is exuded, which has been described as complex, warm and spicy. The Greeks believed that if their cows ate oregano, it gave the meat a better flavor. Today, Oregano is recognized internationally as a culinary spice. It is a popular herb with Americans, especially in the distinctive aroma of Italian style cooking. Aromatic spices have been used through out the world for centuries for both their distinctive flavor and aroma as well as for their medicinal qualities.
Oregano is rich in vitamins and minerals including vitamin A and C, niacin, calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, potassium, copper, boron and manganese. In addition, the herb contains many active chemical constituents that provide beneficial support to our bodies, such as thymol and carvacrol these components strongly discourage the growth of microorganisms, as action recognized by traditional herbalists throughout history as well as supported by modern scientific research. Oregano additionally provides antioxidant activities, useful to offset the effects of free radical damage.
There is a lot of confusion about oregano, because there are many plants throughout the world that are called oregano. Marjoram is often referred to as oregano, because it is a close cousin to the “true” oregano, and the genus and species name of marjoram is Origanum marjorana. To add to the confusion, the plant called oregano in Spain, Thymus nummularius, is different than Mexican oregano, Lippia graveolens. It is important to be aware of this because different species have different chemical constituents. The active ingredient, carvacrol, is found in high amounts only in “true” oregano, origanum vulare, the exact species that vitamin supplement manufacture use.
It takes approximately 200 pounds of oregano to produce 2 pounds of oregano oil. This highly concentrated form provides you with a quality plant remedy containing all the important volatile oils intact, thus remaining true to maintaining the plant in its holistically balanced state.
Oregano oil is exceptional in its ability to destroy many different kinds of pathogenic (disease-causing) microorganisms. It has a stronger effect than commercial preparations of phenol, a well-recognized medical antiseptic. Disease causing microorganisms including bacteria, fungus, virus and parasites are involved in illnesses ranging from colds and flues to gingivitis of the gums, athlete’s foot and candida. Oregano oil has been shown in scientific studies to actively inhibit and destroy E. Coli, candida albacans and the bacteria’s that cause strep and staff infection. It has been used for diarrhea, intestinal gas and digestive problems, as well as sore throats and minor breathing difficulties in traditional herbology. Oil of Oregano can act as an immediate first aid for insect bites and minor cuts and scrapes as well as dandruff, diaper rash and other skin disorders.
Unlike pharmaceutical drug antibiotics, Oregano oil does not cause the development of resistant strains of bacteria. Although it is always possible for an individual to have an allergic reaction to any substance, there are no known adverse effects to Oil of oregano.
Try Oil of Oregano on the skin for external conditions such as athlete’s foot. A few drops can be diluted in a teaspoon of water and used to brush the gums to help with gingivitis. Due to its high concentration, suggested internal use is just four drops (Start with one drop) in a full glass of water, three times per day. Each four drop dose of Nature’s Answer Oil of Oregano provides 13mgs of Oregano oil, which is guaranteed to contain a minimum of 7mg of Carvacrol. It is also available from Nature’s Answer in soft gel form.
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
Oregano Complete with Carvacrol
September 15, 2005 09:58 AM
Introducting Oregano Complete with Carvacrol
The answer to serious Self-Care
Solaray Provides a "Complete" Oregano - not just for pizza anymore ...
The Wild Oregano in the Oregano Complete formula is:
1: An aromatic Phenolic compound found in plants such as oregano and savory and used in flavorings.
2: Source of the antioxidant and immune function support in oregano.
Solaray guarantees that the Wild Oregano oil found in the Oregano Complete formula contains at least 70% Carvacrol - to ensure your customers gain the optimal health benefits from this powerful product.
**The Green Screened from the Wild logo represents Solaray's commitment to providing herbs of the utmost quality. The logo distinguished this product because it is wild sourced and as pure as Mother Nature intended.
WILD YAM: NATURE’S ANSWER TO HORMONAL IMBALANCES
July 25, 2005 09:52 PM
WILD YAM: NATURE’S ANSWER TO HORMONAL IMBALANCES
In 1985 Rudolf Weiss wrote, “Wild yams contain diosgenin, a precursor in the synthesis of progesterone, and are the only known available source.”3 Mexican wild yam is the richest phytoestrogen available and provides the human body with a natural and safe source of progesterone. It has an anti-spasmodic action which make is ideal for treating menstrual cramping and is an excellent contributor to achieving glandular balance. Native Americans have used wild yam for generations for the treatment of female disorders and as a supportive herbal for pregnancy. In 1936, Japanese scientists discovered the glycoside saponins found in several wild yam species from which steroid saponins (diosgenin) could be extracted.4 Diosgenin is remarkably similar to progesterone it its chemical configuration. Because of its steroidal saponins, wild yam has been used for hundreds of prescription drugs including some birth control pills; however, these forms of the plant have been chemically isolated and altered resulting in variations of the plant’s natural compounds. These artificially manipulated chemicals can initiate abnormal responses in the human body, a fact which accounts for their long list of risks and side effects. Synthetic forms of progesterone whether derived from wild yam or not are not the same as an extract of the whole wild yam. It’s useful to know that products listing wild yam as an ingredient may not included the saponin-rich portion of the yam root. Progesterone which is derived from wild yam is almost identical in its chemical structure to the natural progesterone synthesized by the human body. When wild yam is absorbed into the body it is easily converted into the same molecule, a process which does not occur with synthetic varieties.
The transition is easy and natural. Wild yam in and of itself does not contain simple progesterone or other steroids, but serves as a precursor to these compounds. The phytoestrogen character of wild yam explains its traditional usage for menstrual cramping, dysmenorrhea, and afterbirth pains.
June 25, 2005 08:13 PM
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Academic Press, Inc. 1984. 76 Abelin J and Lassus A. Fat binder as a weight reducer in patients with moderate obesity. ARS Medicina, Helsinki, Aug- October, 1994. 77 Kanauchi O, Deuchi K, Imasato Y, Shizukuishi M, Kobayashi E. Increasing effect of a Chitosan and ascorbic acid mixture on fecal dietary fat excretion. Biosci Biotech Biochem 1994;58(9):1617-20. 78 Maezaki Y, Tsuji K, Nakagawa Y, et al. Hypocholesterolemic effect of Chitosan in adult males. Biosci Biotchnol Biochem1993;57(9):1439-44. 79 Kobayashi T, Otsuka S, Yugari Y. Effect of Chitosan on serum and liver cholesterol levels in cholesterol-fed rats. Nutritional Rep. Int., 1979;19(3):327-34. 80 Sugano M, Fujikawa T, Hiratsuji Y, Hasegawa Y. Hypocholesterolemic effects of Chitosan in cholesterol-fed rats. Nutr Rep. Int. 1978;18(5):531-7. 81 Vahouny G, Satchanandam S, Cassidy M, Lightfoot F, Furda I. Comparative effects of Chitosan and cholestryramine on lymphatic absorption of lipids in the rat. Am J Clin Nutr, 1983;38(2):278-84 82 Suzuki S, Suzuki M, Katayama H. Chitin and Chitosan oligomers as hypolipemics and formulations containing them. Jpn. Kokai Tokkyo Koho JP 63 41,422 [88,422] 22 Feb1988. 83 Ikeda I, Tomari Y, Sugano M. Interrelated effects of dietary fiber on lymphatic cholesterol and triglyceride absorption in rats. J Nutr 1989;119(10):1383- 7. 84 LeHoux JG and Grondin F. Some effects of Chitosan on liver function in the rat. Endocrinology. 1993;132(3):1078-84. 85 Fradet G, Brister S, Mulder D, Lough J, Averbach BL. “Evaluation of Chitosan as a New Hemostatic Agent: In Vitro and In Vivo Experiments In Chitin in Nature and Technology. Eds: R Muzzarelli, C Jeuniaux, GW Gooday. Plenum Press, New York. 1986. 86 Malette W, Quigley H, Gaines R, Johnson N, Rainer WG. Chitosan A New Hemostatic. Annals of Thorasic Surgery. 1983;36:55. 87 Malette W, Quigley H, Adickes ED. Chitosan effect in Vascular Surgery, Tissue Culture and Tissue Regeneration. In R Muzzarelli, C Jeuniaux, GW Gooday, Eds: Chitin in Nature and Technology. Plenum Press, New York. 1986. 88 Okamoto Y, Tomita T, Minami S, et al. Effects of Chitosan on experimental abscess with Staphylococcus aureus in dogs. J. Vet. Med., 1995;57(4):765-7. 89 Klokkevold PR, Lew DS, Ellis DG, Bertolami CN. Effect of Chitosan on lingual hemostasis in rabbits. Journal of Oral-Maxillofac-Surg, 1991;Aug. 49(8):858-63. 89 Surgery, Tissue Culture and Tissue Regeneration. In Chitin in Nature and Technology. Eds: R Muzzarelli, C Jeuniaux, GW Gooday. Plenum Press, New York. 1986. 90 Hiroshi S, Makoto K, Shoji A, Yoshikazu S. Antibacterial fiber blended with Chitosan. Sixth International Conference on Chitin and Chitosan. Sea Fisheries Institute, Gdynia, Poland. August 1994;16-19. 91 Shimai Y, Tsukuda K, Seino H. Antiacne preparations containing chitin, Chitosan or their partial degradation products. Jpn. Kikai Tokkyo Koho JP 04,288,017 [92,288,017] 13 Oct 1992. 92 Suzuki K, Okawa Y, Suzuki S, Suzuki M. Candidacidal effect of peritoneal exudate cells in mice administered with chitin or Chitosan: the role of serine protease in the mechanism of oxygen-independent candidacidal effect. Microbiol Immunol. 1987;31(4):375-9. 93 Sawada G, Akaha Y, Naito H, Fujita M. Synergistic food preservatives containing organic acids, Chitosan and citrus seed extracts. Jpn, Kokai Kokkyo Koho JP 04 27,373 [92 27,373] 30 Jan 1992. 94 Min H-K, Hatai K, Bai S. Some inhibitory effects of Chitosan on fishpathogenic oomycete, Saprolegnia parasitic. Gyobyo Kenkyu, 1994;29(2):73-4. 95 Nelson JL, Alexander JW, Gianotti L, Chalk CL, Pyles T. The influence of dietary fiber on microbial growth in vitro and bacterial translocation after burn injury in mice. Nutr 1994;10(1):32-6. 96 Ochiai Y, Kanazawa Y. Chitosan as virucide. Jpn Kokai Tokkyo Koho 79 41,326. 97 Hillyard IW, Doczi J, Kiernan. Antacid and antiulcer properties of the polysaccharide Chitosan in the rat. Proc Soc Expl Biol Med 1964; 115:1108-1112. 98 Shibasaki K, Sano H, MatsukuboT, Takaesu Y. pH response of human dental plaque to chewing gum supplemented with low molecular Chitosan. Bull- Tokyo-Dent-Coll, 1994:35(2): 61-6. 99 Kato H, Okuda H. Chitosan as antihypertensive. Jpn. Kikoi Tokyo Koho JP 06 56,674 [94 56,674] 100 Kato H, Taguchi T. Mechanism of the rise in blood pressure by sodium chloride and decrease effect of Chitosan on blood pressure. Baiosaiensu to Indasutori 1993;51(12):987-8. 101 Muzzarelli R, Biagini G, Pugnaoni A, Filippini O, Baldassarre V, Castaldini C, and Rizzoli C. Reconstruction of Periodontal Tissue with Chitosan. Biomaterials. 1989;10:598-603. 102 Sapelli P, Baldassarre V, Muzzarelli R, Emanuelli M. Chitosan in Dentistry. In Chitin in Nature and Technology. Eds: R Muzzarelli, C Jeuniaux, GW Gooday. Plenum Press, New York. 1986. 103 Borah G, Scott G, Wortham K. Bone induction by Chitosan in endochrondral bones of the extremities. In Advances in Chitin and Chitosan. Eds: CJ Brine, PA Sandford, JP Zikakis. Elsevier Applied Science. London. 1992. 104 Ito F. Role of Chitosan as a supplementary food for osteoporosis. Gekkan Fudo Kemikaru, 1995;11(2):39-44. 105 Nakamura S, Yoshioka T, hamada S, Kimura I. Chitosan for enhancement of bioavailability of calcium. Jpn. Kokai Tokkyo Koho JP 07 194,316 [95 194,316] 01 Aug 1995. 106 Maekawa A, Wada M. Food Containing chitin or its derivatives for reduction of blood and urine uric acid. Jpn. Kokai Tokkyo Koho JP 03 280,852 [91 280,852], 11 Dec 1991. 107 Weisberg M, Gubner R. Compositions for oral administration comprising Chitosan and a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier. Antacid preparations for alleviating gastric hyperacidity. U.S. patent 3257275 108 Kanauchi O, Deuchi K, Imasato Y, Shizukuishi M, Kobayashi E. Mechanism for the inhibition of fat digestion by Chitosan and for the synergistic effect of ascorbate. Biosci Biotech Biochem1995;59(5):786-90. 109 McCausland CW. Fat Binding Properties of Chitosan as Compared to Other Dietary Fibers. Private communication. 24 Jan1995. 110 Deuchi K, Kanauchi O, Imasato Y, Kobayashi E. Biosci Biotech Biochem. 1994:58,1613-6. 111 Ebihara K, Schneeman BO. Interaction of bile acids, phospholipids, cholesterol and triglyceride with dietary fibers in the small intestine of rats. J Nutr 1989;119(8):1100-6. 112 Weil A, M.D. Natural Health Natural Medicine: Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1990:182. 113 Chen Y-H, Riby Y, Srivastava P, Bartholomew J, Denison M, Bjeldanes L. Regualtion of CYP1A1 by indolo[3,2-b]carbazole in murine hepatoma cells. J Biol Chem 1995;270(38):22548-55. 114 Intestinal Absorption of metal ions and chelates. Ashmead HD, Graff DJ, Ashmead HH. Charles C Thomas, Springfield, IL 1985. 115 Nutrient Interactions. Bodwell CE, Erdman JW Jr. Marcel Dekker New York 1988. 116 Heleniak EP, Aston B. Prostaglandins, Brown Fat and Weight Loss. Medical Hypotheses 1989;28:13-33. 117 Connor WE, DeFrancesco CA, Connor SL. N-3 fatty acids from fish oil. Effects on plasma lipoproteins and hypertriglyceridemic patients. Ann NY Acad Sci 1993;683:16-34. 118 Conte AA. A non-prescription alternative in weight reduction therapy. The Bariatrician Summer 1993:17-19. 119 McCarty MF. Inhibition of citrate lyase may aid aerobic endurance. Unpublished manuscript. 120 Bray GA. Weight homeostasis. Annual Rev Med 1991;42:205-216. 121 Dulloo AG, Miller DS. The thermogenic properties of Ephedrin/Methylxanthine mixtures: Human studies. Intl J Obesity 986;10:467-481. 122 Arai K, Kinumaki T, Fujita, T. Bulletin Tokai Regional Fisheries Res Lab. 1968;No. 56. 123 Bough WA. Private communication. 124 Freidrich EJ, Gehan, EA, Rall DP, Schmidt LH, Skipper HE. Cancer Chemotherapy Reports 1966;50(4):219-244. 125 A Drovanti, AA Bignamini, AL Rovati. Therapeutic activity of oral glucosamine sulfate in osteoarthritis: A placebo-controlled double-blind investigation. Clinical Therapeutics 1980;3(4):260-272. 126 K Deuchi, O Kanauchi, M Shizukuishi, E Kobayashi. Continuous and massive intake of Chitosan affects mineral and fat-soluble vitamin status in rats fed on a high-fat diet. Biosci. Biotech. Biochemistry. 1995;59(7):1211-6. 127 . BesChitin W in Chitin Wound Healing (video), Unitika Corporation, April 1992.
June 23, 2005 11:45 AM
The fiery hot red chile pepper arrived in our hemisphere in the 16th century. It has only been recently, since science has begun to validate Capsicum’s medicinal use, that the herb has gained the p restige it deserves. Capsicum is one of the most potent wholebody stimulants with a whole array of therapeutic actions. Ironically, while many of us are turning to antacids, antibiotics and over-the-counter pain relievers, Capsicum may offer us the most curative benefits with the least side effects. You can be certain that when it comes to using Capsicum for health related conditions, we have only seen the tip of the iceberg. Clearly, Capsicum should be utilized more fully as a medicinal staple. It should be considered nothing less than a wonder herb that has scientifically proven its worth. What Mexican and African natives have known for centuries could most definitely enhance our health and well-being.
June 23, 2005 10:53 AM
Known to the natives of the tropical Americas for millennia, Capsicum, or Cayenne Pepper, was introduced to Europe by Christopher Columbus and became known as “Guinea Pepper. ” Originally used by Native Americans located south of the Mexican border, archeological evidence supports its cultivation from 7000 B.C. Apparently, mixing chocolate and red chiles was a taste treat exclusively reserved for Aztec royalty.5 The exact origin of the word Capsicum remains somewhat of a mystery. However, it is assumed to be a derivative of the Greek word kapto, meaning “to bite,” an appropriate reference to its fiery pods. Capsicum is the fruit of a shrub-like tropical plant and is technically considered a berry. Its designation as a “pepper” can be traced back to Columbus, who equated its hot taste sensation with that of black pepper.
In 1597, Gerard referred to Capsicum as extremely hot and dry and prescribed it for throat and skin infections. Health practitioners of the nineteenth century called phsysiomedicalists used Capsicum to counteract rheumatism, arthritis, depression and chills. In the early 1800s, Dr. Samuel Thompson utilize d Capsicum as a potent and safe natural stimulant. His followe r s , who would become known as Thomsonians, believed that Capsicum should be used to treat a wide variety of diseases. It was used orally and as a poultice to treat tumors, toothaches, feve r s , and respiratory ailments.
In 1804, Dr. John St e vens introduced the red pepper to England where it became the catalyst component in a variety of herbal blends. Subsequently, herbal and medical practitioners used Capsicum to fight infection and sustain the natural heat of the body. It became well known in American dispensatories and pharmacopeia. In 1943, The Dispensary of the United States recorded that, “Capsicum is a powe rful local stimulant, producing when CAPSICUM swallowed, a sense of heat in the stomach and a general glow over the body without narcotic effect.”6 Twentieth-century physicians recognized the medicinal value of Capsicum which eventually found its way to the American Illust rated Medical Dictionary, the Merck Manual and Materia Medica, where it was referred to as a rubefacient, local stimulant, counter-irritant, gastric stimulant, and diaphoretic.7
Today Mexican Indians continue to use Capsicum as an internal disinfectant and protectant against contaminated food and also to treat fevers.8 “Today the pepper is nowhere in the world more appreciated and more widely used than in Mexico and certain other Latin American countries, which together form the original home of all the peppers. Both at morning and at evening, practically eve ry dish the Indians eat included Capsicum, just as their food did 2,000 years ago. The diet of the Indians was, and still is, rather bland . . . maize, beans, squash, pumpkin, yucca, potatoes . . . little wonder that the pepper was so highly regarded. And of course . . . the peppers were a wonderful source of essential vitamins in a diet otherwise lacking in them.”9 Capsicum continues to be a source of vitality and health in numerous countries including the Bahamas and Costa Rica, where it is used to overcome colic or indigestion, in Africa for vascular disorders and by North Americans who use it as a tonic and natural stimulant.
Capsicum is currently experiencing a renaissance in that a number of recent studies have emerged adding to its already impressive list of actions. Scientists are taking notice and looking at Capsicum with new respect and interest. Perhaps what sets Capsicum apart is that unlike powe rful pharmaceutical stimulants and pain killers, Capsicum possess potency without deleterious side effects.
June 23, 2005 10:49 AM
How many of us give the red hot chile pepper the respect it d e s e rves? Mo re often than not, most of us re g a rd red pepper or Capsicum as nothing more than the spice added to give Cajun and Mexican cuisine its piquant kick. Technically speaking, caye n n e pepper is the strongest red pepper variety of the Capsicum family, with paprika being the mildest.
Throughout this discussion, the terms capsicum and cayenne pepper will be used interchangeably. For our purposes, it’s important to know that herbalists have designated both of these terms for the same botanical agent. Health practitioners have known for centuries that Capsicum is much more than a culinary spice. Because they considered it a “ h o t” plant, Chinese physicians utilized it for physiologic conditions that needed stimulation. Capsicum or Cayenne Pepper is one of the few herbs that can be measured by its BTU or thermal units. In other words, it is a hot and stimulating pepper plant that can generate heat.
Recently, new and very valuable medicinal uses for Capsicum h a ve emerged through scientific inquiry. The red chile pepper is experiencing a rediscovery among health care practitioners, who have only just begun to uncover its marvelous therapeutic actions. It has been referred to as the purest and most effective natural stimulating botanical in the herbal medicine chest. The most recent clinical findings re g a rding Capsicum will be explored in our discussion with special emphasis on Capsicum’s ability to heal ulcers, protect stomach mucosa and alleviate peripheral pain. Unquestionably, Capsicum exe rts potent physiological and pharmacological effects without the side-effects commonly associated with powerful medicinal drugs. Ironically, in the past, Capsicum’s classification as a hot and spicy substance has done it a disservice. Because Capsicum is fiery and pungent, it is frequently regarded as dangerous and unpalatable. To the contrary, if it is used properly, Capsicum can be perfectly safe and impressively effective against a wide variety of physical disorders ranging from indigestion to ulcers to migraines. It s ability to lower blood cholesterol, boost circulation and even step up metabolism are worth serious consideration. In addition, its value for mental afflictions like depression must also be assessed. In a time when the notion of treating disease after the fact is more the rule than the exception, Capsicum offers protection from infectious invaders by boosting the effectiveness of the immune system. Today, amidst the over prescription of antibiotic drugs, Capsicum emerges as a potent immune fortifier, antioxidant and infection fighter.
A powerful compound called capsaicin is what gives Capsicum its bite and is also responsible for most of its beneficial effects on human physiology.1 The hotter the pepper, the higher its content of capsaicin.2 The re m a rkable pro p e rties of capsaicin will be discussed and documented clinical evidence supporting the use of capsaicin will be delineated. It is important to realize in evaluating this herb that while it can be used alone, Capsicum is frequently added to herbal combinations to potentiate their overall action. This fact alone attests to the powerful but safe stimulant action of Capsicum. Stimulation is thought to be one of the keys to swift and complete healing. Capsicum is ascending in prestige and is regarded as a modernday botanical which is accruing new and impressive credentials. The fruit of this particular pepper plant is a valuable herbal treasure. It is vital to our health that we inform ourselves about its many medicinal uses.
CAPSICUM (CAPSICUM ANNUUM)
Common Names: Cayenne Pepper, Red Pepper, African Bird Pepper, Bird Pepper, Spanish Pepper, American Red Pepper Plant Parts: Fruit Active Compounds: alkaloids (capsaicin), fatty acids, flavonoids, volatile oil, carotene pigment Nutritional Components: Capsicum is rich in Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and Zinc, two nutrients which are vital for a strong and healthy immune system. It is also high in vitamins, A, C, rutin (a bioflavonoid), beta carotene, iron, calcium and potassium. Capsicum also contains magnesium, phosphorus, sulphur, B-complex vitamins, sodium and selenium. The nutritional breakdown of Capsicum is as follows:
Pharmacology : Capsaicin (active component) contains over 100 distinct volatile compounds.3 It also contains capsacutin, capsaicin, capsantine, and capsico. Character: analgesic, antibacterial, antioxidant, antipyretic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, aromatic, astringent, blood thinner, cardiovascular tonic, carminative, circulatory stimulant, diaphoretic, hemostatic, herbal accentuator, nerve stimulant, stomachic and tonic (general) Body Systems Targeted : cardiovascular, circulatory, gastrointestinal, nervous, integumentary, skeletal, metabolic Herbal Forms: loose dried powder, capsulized, tincture, infused oil, ointment or cream Usage : Capsicum can be used liberally in a variety of forms. Capsulized dried Capsicum is probably the easiest and most practical way to take the herb. Commercial ointments can be purchased which contain from 0.025 to 0.075 percent capsaicin for the treatment of pain and psoriasis. Dried Capsicum can be mixed in hot water or can be used in tincture form, which can be added to water or juice. Safety: Capsicum is generally recognized as safe in the United Sates and has been approved as an over-the-counter drug. A four week feeding study of Capsicum concluded, “It appears that red chile is relatively non-toxic at the doses tested in male mice.”4 The seeds of the fresh Capsicum plant should not be ingested. Doses of Capsicum should be followed precisely as prescribed to avoid gast rointestinal upset. Pregnant women or breast feeding mothers should avoid using Capsicum. Initial use of topical Capsicum can result in some skin irritation or burning; howe ve r, clinical tests have found that this diminishes with continued application. Avoid direct contact with eyes or other mucous membranes in general.
Menopause: Disease or Condition?
June 13, 2005 03:44 PM
Menopause: Disease or Condition?
by Mary Ann Mayo & Joseph L. Mayo, MD Energy Times, September 4, 1999
It's front-page news. It's politically correct and socially acceptable. Talking about menopause is in. Suddenly it's cool to have hot flashes. Millions of women turning 50 in the next few years have catapulted the subject of menopause into high-definition prominence.
It's about time. Rarely discussed openly by women (what did your mother ever advise you?), meno-pause until recently was dismissed as "a shutting down experience characterized by hot flashes and the end of periods." Disparaging and depressing words like shrivel, atrophy, mood swings and melancholia peppered the scant scientific menopausal literature.
What a difference a few years and a very vocal, informed and assertive group of Baby Boomers make. Staggered by the burgeoning numbers of newly confrontational women who will not accept a scribbled prescription and a pat on the head as adequate treatment, health practitioners and researchers have been challenged to unravel, explain and deal with the challenges of menopause.
Not An Overnight Sensation
Menopause, researchers have discovered, is no simple, clear cut event in a woman's life. The "change of life" does not occur overnight. A woman's body may begin the transition toward menopause in her early 40s, even though her last period typically occurs around age 51. This evolutionary time before the final egg is released is called the perimenopause. Erratic monthly hormone levels produce unexpected and sometimes annoying sensations.
Even as their bodies adjust to lower levels of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone, some women don't experience typical signs of menopause until after the final period. A fortunate one-third have few or no discomforts.
According to What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Premenopause (Warner Books) by John R. Lee, MD, Jesse Hanley, MD, and Virginia Hopkins, "The steroid hormones are intimately related to each other, each one being made from another or turned back into another depending on the needs of the body...But the hormones themselves are just part of the picture. It takes very specific combinations of vitamins, minerals and enzymes to cause the transformation of one hormone into another and then help the cell carry out the hormone's message. If you are deficient in one of the important hormone-transforming substances such as vitamin B6 or magnesium, for example, that too can throw your hormones out of balance. Thyroid and insulin problems, toxins, bad food and environmental factors, medication and liver function affect nutrient and hormone balance."
The most important reproductive hormones include:
Estrogen: the female hormone produced by the ovaries from puberty through menopause to regulate the menstrual cycle and prepare the uterus for pregnancy. Manufacture drops significantly during menopause. Estradiol is a chemically active and efficient form of estrogen that binds to many tissues including the uterus, breasts, ovaries, brain and heart through specific estrogen receptors that allow it to enter those cells, stimulating many chemical reactions. Estriol and estrone are additional forms of estrogen.
Progesterone: also produced by the ovaries, it causes tissues to grow and thicken, particularly during pregnancy, when it protects and nurtures the fetus. Secretion ceases during menopause.
Testosterone: Women produce about one-twentieth of what men do, but require it to support sex drive. About half of all women quit secreting testosterone during menopause.
Estrogen's Wide Reach
Since estrogen alone influences more than 400 actions on the body, chiefly stimulating cell growth, the effects of its fluctuations can be far-reaching and extremely varied: hot (and cold) flashes, erratic periods, dry skin (including the vaginal area), unpredictable moods, fuzzy thinking, forgetfulness, fatigue, low libido, insomnia and joint and muscle pain.
Young women may experience premature menopause, which can occur gradually, as a matter of course, or abruptly with hysterectomy (even when the ovaries remain) or as a result of chemotherapy. Under such conditions symptoms can be severe.
In the 1940s doctors reasoned that if most discomforts were caused by diminishing estrogen (its interactive role with progesterone and testosterone were underestimated), replacing it would provide relief. When unchecked estrogen use resulted in high rates of uterine cancer, physicians quickly began adding progesterone to their estrogen regimens and the problem appeared solved.
For the average woman, however, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) became suspect and controversial, especially when a link appeared between extended use of HRT (from five to 10 years) and an increase in breast and endometrial cancers (Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 37, 1997). The result: Women have drawn a line in the sand between themselves and their doctors.
Resolving The Impasse
Since hormone replacement reduces the risk of major maladies like heart disease, osteoporosis, Alzheimer's, colon cancer and diabetes that would otherwise significantly rise as reproductive hormone levels decrease, most doctors recommend hormone replacement shortly before or as soon as periods stop. Hormone replacement also alleviates the discomforts of menopause.
But only half of all women fill their HRT prescriptions and, of those who do, half quit within a year. Some are simply indifferent to their heightened medical risks. Some are indeed aware but remain unconvinced of the safety of HRT. Others complain of side effects such as bloating, headaches or drowsiness.
Women's resistance to wholesale HRT has challenged researchers to provide more secure protection from the diseases to which they become vulnerable during menopause, as well as its discomforts. If the conventional medical practitioners do not hear exactly what modern women want, the complementary medicine community does. Turning to centuries-old botanicals, they have validated and compounded them with new technology. Their effectiveness depends on various factors including the synergistic interaction of several herbs, specific preparation, the correct plant part and dosage, harvesting and manufacturing techniques.
Research demonstrates that plant hormones (phytoestrogens) protect against stronger potentially carcinogenic forms of estrogen while safely providing a hormone effect. Other herbs act more like tonics, zipping up the body's overall function.
Help From Herbs
Clinical trials and scientific processing techniques have resulted in plant-based supplements like soy and other botanicals that replicate the form and function of a woman's own estrogen.
The complementary community also can take credit for pushing the conventional medical community to look beyond estrogen to progesterone in postmenopausal health.
Natural soy or Mexican yam derived progesterone is formulated by pharmacologists in creams or gels that prevent estrogen-induced overgrowth of the uterine lining (a factor in uterine cancer), protect against heart disease and osteoporosis and reduce hot flashes (Fertility and Sterility 69, 1998: 96-101).
A quarter of the women who take the popularly prescribed synthetic progesterone report increased tension, fatigue and anxiety; natural versions have fewer side effects.
These "quasi-medicines," as Tori Hudson, a leading naturopathic doctor and professor at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine, Portland, Oregon, calls them, are considered "stronger than a botanical but weaker than a medicine." (Hudson is author of Gynecology and Naturopathic Medicine: A Treatment Manual.)
According to Hudson, the amount of estrogen and progesterone in these supplements is much less than medical hormone replacement but equally efficacious in relieving menopausal problems and protecting the heart and bones.
According to a study led by Harry K. Genant, PhD, of the University of California, San Francisco, "low-dose" plant estrogen derived from soy and yam, supplemented with calcium, prevents bone loss without such side effects as increased vaginal bleeding and endometrial hypoplasia, abnormal uterine cell growth that could be a precursor to endometrial cancer (Archives of Internal Medicine 157, 1997: 2609-2615).
These herbal products, including natural progesterone and estrogen in the form of the weaker estriol or estrone, may block the effect of the stronger and potentially DNA-damaging estradiol.
Soy in its myriad dietary and supplemental forms provides a rich source of isoflavones and phytosterols, both known to supply a mild estrogenic effect that can stimulate repair of the vaginal walls (Journal of the National Cancer Institute 83, 1991: 541-46).
To enhance vaginal moisture, try the herb cimicifuga racemosa, the extract of black cohosh that, in capsule form, builds up vaginal mucosa (Therapeuticum 1, 1987: 23-31). Traditional Chinese herbal formulas containing roots of rehmannia and dong quai have long been reputed to promote vaginal moisture.
Clinical research in Germany also confirms the usefulness of black cohosh in preventing hot flashes and sweating, as well as relieving nervousness, achiness and depressed moods caused by suppressed hormone levels. It works on the hypothalamus (the body's thermostat, appetite and blood pressure monitor), pituitary gland and estrogen receptors. Green tea is steeped with polyphenols, mainly flavonoids, that exert a massive antioxidant influence against allergens, viruses and carcinogens. The risks of estrogen-related cancers such as breast cancer are particularly lowered by these flavonoids, as these substances head directly to the breast's estrogen receptors. About three cups a day exert an impressive anti-inflammatory, antiallergenic, antiviral and anticarcinogenic effect.
Other phytoestrogen-rich botanicals, according to Susun Weed's Menopausal Years: The Wise Woman Way (Ash Tree Publishing), include motherwort and lactobacillus acidophilus to combat vaginal dryness; hops and nettles for sleep disturbances; witch hazel and shepherd's purse for heavy bleeding; motherwort and chasteberry for mood swings; dandelion and red clover for hot flashes.
Our Need For Supplements
Adding micronutrients at midlife to correct and counter a lifetime of poor diet and other habits is a step toward preventing the further development of the degenerative diseases to which we become vulnerable. At the very minimum, you should take:
a multivitamin/mineral supplement vitamin E calcium
Your multivitamin/mineral should contain vitamins A, B complex, C, D, E, calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper and zinc. Look for a wide variety of antioxidants that safeguard you from free radical damage, believed to promote heart disease and cancer, as well as contribute to the aging process.
Also on the list: mixed carotenoids such as lycopene, alpha carotene and vitamin C; and folic acid to help regulate cell division and support the health of gums, red blood cells, the gastrointestinal tract and the immune system.
Studies indicate a deficiency of folic acid (folate) in 30% of coronary heart disease, blood vessel disease and strokes; lack of folate is thought to be a serious risk factor for heart disease (OB.GYN News, July 15, 1997, page 28).
Extra vitamin E is believed to protect against breast cancer and bolster immune strength in people 65 and older (Journal of the American Medical Association 277, 1997: 1380-86). It helps relieve vaginal dryness, breast cysts and thyroid problems and, more recently, hit the headlines as an aid in reducing the effects of Alzheimer's and heart disease. It is suspected to reduce the thickening of the carotid arterial walls and may prevent the oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol, which contributes to the formation of plaque in arteries.
Selenium also has been identified as an assistant in halting cancer (JAMA 276, 1996: 1957-63).
The Omegas To The Rescue
Essential fatty acids found in cold water fish, flaxseed, primrose and borage oils and many nuts and seeds are essential for the body's production of prostaglandin, biochemicals which regulate hormone synthesis, and numerous physiological responses including muscle contraction, vascular dilation and the shedding of the uterine lining. They influence hormonal balance, reduce dryness and relieve hot flashes.
In addition, the lignans in whole flaxseed behave like estrogen and act aggressively against breast cancer, according to rat and human studies at the University of Toronto (Nutr Cancer 26, 1996: 159-65).
Research has demonstrated that these omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids can reverse the cancer-causing effects of radiation and other carcinogens (Journal of the National Cancer Institute 74, 1985: 1145-50). Deficiencies may cause swelling, increased blood clotting, breast pain, hot flashes, uterine and menstrual cramps and constipation. Fatigue, lack of endurance dry skin and hair and frequent colds may signal EFA shortage. Plus, fatty fish oils, along with vitamin D and lactose, help absorption of calcium, so vital for maintaining bone mass.
In addition, studies show that the natural substance Coenzyme A may help menopausal women reduce cholesterol and increase fat utilization (Med Hyp 1995; 44, 403, 405). Some researchers belive Coenzyme A plays a major role in helping women deal with stress while strengthening immunity.
Can't shake those menopausal woes? Menopause imposters may be imposing on you: The risk of thyroid disease, unrelenting stress, PMS, adrenal burnout, poor gastrointestinal health and hypoglycemia all increase at midlife. Menopause is a handy hook on which to hang every misery, ache and pain but it may only mimic the distress of other ailments. For this reason every midlife woman should have a good medical exam with appropriate tests to determine her baseline state of health. Only with proper analysis can you and your health practitioner hit on an accurate diagnosis and satisfying course of therapy.
And if menopause is truly the issue, you have plenty of company. No woman escapes it. No woman dies from it. It is not a disease but a reminder that one-third of life remains to be lived. Menopausal Baby Boomers can anticipate tapping into creative energy apart from procreation. If not new careers, new interests await. An altered internal balance empowers a menopausal woman to direct, perhaps for the first time, her experience of life. She has come of age-yet again. Gone is the confusion, uncertainty, or dictates of a hormone driven life: This time wisdom and experience direct her. There is no need to yearn for youth or cower at the conventional covenant of old age. Menopause is the clarion call to reframe, reevaluate and reclaim.
Mary Ann Mayo and Joseph L. Mayo, MD, are authors of The Menopause Manager (Revell) and executive editors of Health Opportunities for Women (HOW). Telephone number 877-547-5499 for more information.
You Are What You Digest
June 10, 2005 04:50 PM
You Are What You Digest
by Anthony J. Cichoke, DC Energy Times, September 2, 1999
Does your dinner creep back to haunt you in the ghostly morning hours? Does a mere glance in the direction of the local Mexican cafe or barbecue palace fill you with dread (to say nothing of internal discomfort)?
We tend to ignore our digestive systems-the ever-ready, always reliable iron-clad stomachs of our youth, into which we stuffed pizza, peppers and beer-until diarrhea, gas, heartburn, bloating, constipation, stomach pain or other, much more serious, problems develop.
According to the National Institutes of Health, more than 62 million Americans experience some type of digestive distress. More than 10 million people suffer from hemorrhoids, nearly 3 million from gastritis and duodenitis, 2.3 million from inflammatory bowel disease, almost 4.5 million from constipation and 1.4 million from irritable colon. (Statistics from Digestive Diseases in the United States: Epidemiology and Impact, edited by James E. Everhart and published in 1994 in Washington, DC, by the US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.)
Many conditions such as hemorrhoids or constipation are relatively benign, while others, notably chronic liver disease, malignancies and ulcers, can be life-threatening.
In my long career as a chiropractor with an intense interest in nutrition, I have studied and written about the powers of enzyme therapy to prevent and treat the common and related problems of indigestion, heartburn, gas, lactose intolerance and constipation.
Poor Digestion: The Costs
Impaired digestion takes a dangerously high toll in causing nutrient deficiencies. For example, the stomach needs sufficient hydrochloric acid to activate the digestive enzyme pepsin, a substance which helps break down the proteins you eat into the short chains of amino acids (protein building blocks) that go into strong muscles, fight disease and produce a healthy supply of blood.
Poor digestion can also impair your absorption of carbohydrates and fats as well as many vitamins and minerals. Vitamin E, for example, is fat soluble, that is, stored for long periods in the body's fat cells, rather than rapidly excreted like the water soluble vitamin C.
Impaired pancreatic function, or insufficient lipase or bile production, will inhibit fat digestion, possibly causing insufficient absorption of vitamin E, according to the book Present Knowledge in Nutrition (International Life Sciences Institute, Nutrition Foundation, Washington, DC), which is edited by Myrtle L. Brown.
Thus, any difficulty in digesting and absorbing dietary fat can appreciably decrease vitamin E digestion and absorption. In fact, insufficient fat intake coupled with troubled digestion and absorption can affect the body's use of all the fat soluble vitamins-A, D, E and K.
The Enzyme-Digestion Team
Enzymes are molecules naturally produced by the body. These dynamos are involved in all physiological functions but are probably best known for the many jobs they perform during the process of digestion.
Digestive enzymes break the food you eat down into smaller particles so the body can better absorb vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Unfortunately, in many cases, we may become deficient in digestive enzymes. Or, on the other hand, the enzymes we do produce may be inadequate for proper digestion. Luckily, supplemental enzymes can compensate for nature's shortfalls.
Supplemental enzymes, available in tablets, capsules, powders and pills, can help enhance the digestive process. The most popular enzymes for this use include:
Proteases help the body digest proteins by breaking them down into their component amino acids.
Lipases break down fat molecules into smaller pieces for better digestion.
Amylases break down carbohydrates.
Digestive enzymes also function in a wide variety of ways:
They detoxify and cleanse the colon and stimulate the beneficial bacteria in the gut, thereby helping relieve a number of digestion-related disorders.
They help mobilize and remove toxic products from the body.
Supplemental enzymes can be used in basically three ways: as digestive aids, taken with or just prior to meals to help break down foods, freeing their nutrients for absorption and use by the body; as systemic enzyme therapy taken between meals and intended to be absorbed into the bloodstream and carried throughout the body to work intensively and thoroughly at the cellular level. They are consumed between meals to avoid mixing them with food as it is consumed.
Enzymes used systemically can energize the digestive, immune, cardiovascular and nervous systems. In addition, they can also help fight viruses, bacteria, toxins and inflammation, a common symptom with many digestive disorders including diverticulitis and gastritis.
The third way to take supplemental enzymes is in a form I call Enzyme Absorption System Enhancers (EASE), commercially produced enzymes combined with herbs, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients designed to improve their activity, absorption and bioavailability (readiness and ease with which the body can take them up).
Enzymes for Common Conditions From my extensive research and experience, enzymes as digestive aids, in systemic enzyme therapy as as EASE, can treat more than 150 common health conditions.
Choose your enzyme supplements carefully, scrutinizing the label thoroughly for:
directions for use formulation (coated or uncoated) the enzymes in the formulation and their sources; a vegetarian would want to avoid enzymes from animal sources and those with allergies should ensure that the formulation is free of potential allergens. However pervasive digestive problems are, there's no reason why they have to get you down, ruin your digestion or inflate you. These are very useful substances: Enzymes can set your digestive system - and most of your body's functions - back on track.
Remember, enzymes are essential keys to the smooth, efficient function of that wonderful machine, the human body. Because enzyme production and activity decrease with age, trauma and illness, make a firm commitment to daily enzyme supplementation for a healthier, happier, longer life.
Natural Progesterone Cream - For Woman of All ages
June 04, 2005 01:45 PM
Source Naturals® Eternal Woman™ PROGESTERONE CREAM is the first progesterone cream to utilize unique liposomal delivery of key ingredients. Liposomes are micro-penetrating lipid spheres made from lecithin, which pass through skin layers more easily than non-liposomal creams. Source Naturals PROGESTERONE CREAM features natural progesterone from healthful soy. Unlike creams which don’t divulge their progesterone content, Source Naturals PROGESTERONE CREAM is guaranteed to contain 500 mg of progesterone per ounce! This pure white cream softens and smoothes the skin. Along with natural progesterone, it features aloe vera, Mexican wild yam extract, natural vitamin E, lecithin phospholipid, jojoba oil, and extracts of sage, black cohosh root, ginseng, marigold and grapefruit seed. Rosemary oil is added as a fragrance. Source Naturals PROGESTERONE CREAM is available in 2 and 4 oz jars. It is part of the Eternal Woman line of products and is suitable for women of all ages.
Source Naturals® Eternal Woman™ PHYTO-ESTROGEN CREAM offers some of the finest phytoestrogens in the botanical world, including 60 mg of soy isoflavones per ounce. For the first time ever, soy phytoestrogens are included in a liposomal delivery system. Liposome delivery is ideal for this product because the soy actually becomes part of the liposome membrane—for highest possible penetration of skin cells. Source Naturals PHYTO-ESTROGEN CREAM is an almond-colored cream which can be massaged into smooth skin areas to add oil-rich, moisture-binding protection. In addition to soy isoflavones, every ounce of Source Naturals PHYTO-ESTROGEN CREAM contains 150 mg of pomegranate seed juice (a natural source of estrone), 100 mg of red clover tops extract, 80 mg of black cohosh root extract, and 25 mg of dong quai root extract, along with aloe vera gel, natural vitamin E, grapefruit seed extract, rosemary oil and a natural cherry almond fragrance. Source Naturals PHYTO-ESTROGEN CREAM is available in 2 and 4 oz jars. It is part of the Eternal Woman line of products: for the Freedom to Change ™ naturally.
Oil of Oregano - Botanical Immune Protector ...
June 04, 2005 10:33 AM
Traditional cultures, without the benefits of modern research, somehow understood that culinary spices and herbs added more to food than flavor. They knew certain spices and herbs were important for health and longevity. Today, science has identified the unique compounds responsible for these benefits. One culinary herb with profound healthpromoting properties is oregano. This botanical treasure was used internally and externally by the ancient Greeks to restore balance to the body, especially the respiratory system. Now research is verifying oregano’s potent immune-supporting activity against foreign organisms. This is crucial today, when international travel and globalized food supplies increase our exposure to unsanitary conditions. Unlike some products, Source Naturals OIL OF OREGANO is prepared from true oregano, Origanum vulgare, standardized to 70% carvacrol. This is the highest concentration available of the active biochemical that gives oregano its broad spectrum immune support.
Oregano: Aromatic Mediterranean Herb Many culinary spices and herbs have long been recognized for their health-promoting properties. For example, turmeric (a source of curcumin) is important for a healthy liver, ginger (with gingeroles) supports digestion, cayenne offers cardiovascular support, and rosemary is a potent cleansing herb. Origanum vulgare, an aromatic Mediterranean herb, has historically been used as a natural protective compound. The Greeks named this hardy perennial oregano (joy-of-the-mountains). Their health practitioners relied on it for lung support and tissue repair. Over the centuries, oregano gained widespread use for respiratory health.
It’s the Carvacrol that Counts
Source Naturals OIL OF OREGANO is made from the original wild species of oregano, grown without pesticides and extracted without harmful chemicals. It is standardized to 70% carvacrol, the highest amount available. Carvacrol, one of oregano’s most active constituents, is a strong phenol (an acidic compound with cleansing properties), and is the subject of much research into its immune-supporting activity. Other oregano species on the market, for example, Thymus capitus or Mexican sage, are not active because they contain insufficient or no carvacrol. Many products are not standardized or fail to specify the percentage of carvacrol they contain.
Broad Spectrum Production
Oil of oregano has been extensively researched with extremely positive results. Daily supplementation was found in one human study to support intestinal health by protecting against foreign organisms. Oregano also has antioxidant properties, according to in vitro studies. Its phenols inhibited lipid peroxidation of LDL cholesterol in human plasma. Oregano oil has greater activity than a wide variety of other essential oils in protecting food from contamination, according to in vitro studies. Its principle components were found to damage the cell membranes of invading organisms. Studies show oregano oil protects against many different organisms. This is significant, not only for its immediate health benefits, but also because current research shows foreign organisms can cause longterm irritation and stress to organs such as the heart and brain.
Natural Defense in a Changing World
Source Naturals OIL OF OREGANO is available in liquid form and in hard-shell vegetarian capsules, with cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil as a carrier. At a time of increased international trade and travel, this natural health superstar is one of Source Naturals’ most important strategies for wellness.
Ester E - Natural E for Cardiovascular and Antioxidant Support
June 02, 2005 09:38 AM
We’ve all heard of vitamin E but did you know there are many different forms of this essential nutrient? Ester-E® is a unique form of vitamin E that occurs when natural d-alpha tocopherol combines with a phosphate molecule. Vitamin E is one of the body’s chief antioxidants and the phosphate form, Ester-E®, offers advanced antioxidant protection to body cells. Vitamin E also helps maintain cardiovascular health, protects the liver from toxins, enhances circulation and supports healthy immune system function. Source Naturals ESTER-E® is a patent-protected, body-ready form of vitamin E. Make Ester-E® part of your health plan for more complete nutrition.
Vitamin E was named tocopherol, from Greek tocos meaning “offspring” and phero meaning “to bring forth,” because it was originally discovered as a nutrient essential for reproduction. Vitamin E became the name given to a group of eight fat-soluble compounds–four tocopherols (alpha, beta, gamma, and delta) and four tocotrienols (alpha, beta, gamma, and delta). It is an essential fat-soluble vitamin that naturally occurs in many foods–especially vegetable oils. In 2003, the first report of naturally occurring vitamin E phosphate was published. ESTER-E® (vitamin E phosphate) occurs when a phosphate molecule combines with a natural tocopherol resulting in a unique form of vitamin E.
Vitamin E Deficiency
Researchers previously thought that deficiencies of vitamin E were rare but a large population- based study showed that sub-optimal levels might be quite common. According to this study, African-Americans feel most of the impact, with 41% having sub-optimal levels of vitamin E in their blood, compared with 28% of Mexican Americans and 26% of whites. Optimal level refers to levels in research studies associated with cardiovascular benefits. Many people, especially African- Americans, may benefit from the extra cardiovascular support offered by vitamin E.
Antioxidant and Cardiovascular Support
Vitamin E is referred to as an antioxidant even though some forms can change into celldamaging free radicals, creating a “pro-oxidant.” Free radicals are unpaired electrons that can damage living cells and compromise the proper function of tissues and organs. Vitamin E phosphate may be the previously unrecognized form of vitamin E that allows alpha-tocopherol to be stored and transported without generating free radicals. The phosphate form of vitamin E appears to have a detergent action within the cell membrane, which creates a barrier that may keep free radicals from transferring from one polyunsaturated fatty acid to another. Until its discovery, researchers wondered how vitamin E could be both an antioxidant and an oxidizer. Antioxidants neutralize destructive free radicals and support cardiovascular health by preventing the oxidation of cholesterol. Oxidized cholesterol is an unstable molecule that damages the integrity of arteries. Preliminary studies show that vitamin E phosphate may inhibit foam cell formation in in-vitro cell cultures. Foam cells are macrophages that pick up oxidized lipids and form fatty streaks in the artery walls, contributing to plaque formation.
Nutrition for Wellness
Taking personal responsibility for your health is at the heart of the wellness revolution. At Source Naturals we are committed to bringing you the finest nutrients modern research has to offer. ESTER-E® is the newest addition to our superior line of vitamin E products designed to help you live a longer, healthier life.