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The Amazing Heart Health Benefits of Soluble Fiber
November 10, 2022 11:53 AM
Most people know that fiber is important for maintaining a healthy digestive system. But did you know that soluble fiber can also have some pretty amazing benefits for your heart? Soluble fiber, which is found in abundance in psyllium seed husks, absorbs water in the intestines and forms a gel-like substance. This helps to reduce cholesterol levels and regulate blood sugar levels, both of which are important for maintaining a healthy heart. Let's take a closer look at how soluble fiber can benefit your heart health.
Reduces Cholesterol Levels
One of the main ways that soluble fiber benefits heart health is by reducing cholesterol levels. According to the American Heart Association, high cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease. When cholesterol builds up in the arteries, it can Narrow them and cause them to harden. This puts you at risk for heart attack and stroke. Psyllium husks are especially effective at reducing LDL (bad) cholesterol levels while also increasing HDL (good) cholesterol levels. This helps to keep your arteries clear and reduce your risk for heart disease.
Regulates Blood Sugar Levels
Another way that soluble fiber benefits heart health is by regulating blood sugar levels. High blood sugar levels can damage the nerves and kidneys, and it can also increase your risk for heart disease. By helping to regulate blood sugar levels, soluble fiber can help reduce your risk for developing these problems. Psyllium husks are especially effective at this because they slow down digestion and help food to be absorbed more slowly into the bloodstream. This helps to prevent spikes in blood sugar levels after meals.
If you're looking for a simple way to improve your heart health, then look no further than soluble fiber! Soluble fiber, which is found in psyllium husks, can help reduce cholesterol levels and regulate blood sugar levels. This helps to keep your arteries clear and reduce your risk for heart disease. So next time you're at the store, be sure to pick up some psyllium husks so you can start reaping the amazing benefits of soluble fiber!
The Kidneys and Your Health: Everything You Need to Know
April 29, 2022 03:10 PM
The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs that sit in the lower back, on either side of the spine. They play a vital role in your health, filtering toxins from the blood and regulating fluid balance in the body. We will discuss everything you need to know about the kidneys, including common kidney problems and how to keep them healthy!
What are the common kidney problems
The kidneys are a pair of organs that filter waste products from the blood and excrete them in urine. They are also responsible for regulating fluid and electrolyte balance in the body. Kidney problems can range from mild to severe, and can be acute or chronic. Common kidney problems include kidney stones, urinary tract infections, and Nephrotic Syndrome. Kidney stones are small, hard deposits that form in the kidney when there is an imbalance of minerals in the urine. Urinary tract infections occur when bacteria enter the urinary system and multiply. Nephrotic Syndrome is a kidney disorder that causes the body to excrete large amounts of protein in the urine.Kidney problems can often be treated with medication, but in some cases, surgery may be necessary. Early diagnosis and treatment is important to prevent serious complications.
Acute renal failure
Acute renal failure is a sudden onset of kidney failure that can be life-threatening. The kidneys are responsible for filtering waste from the blood and balancing fluids in the body. When they are not working properly, waste can build up in the blood and cause serious health problems. Acute renal failure can be caused by a number of factors, including dehydration, infection, and certain medications. Symptoms include decreased urine output, swelling, fatigue, and confusion. If left untreated, acute renal failure can lead to coma and death. Early diagnosis and treatment is essential for a successful outcome.
Chronic renal failure
Chronic renal failure, or CRF, is a serious medical condition that affects the kidneys. In this condition, the kidneys become damaged and unable to function properly. As a result, toxins can build up in the body, causing a variety of symptoms. Some of these symptoms may include fatigue, bloating and swelling, nausea, diarrhea or constipation, poor appetite, changes in urination frequency or color, and anemia. Diagnosing CRF involves examining several factors like blood test results and overall medical history. Treatment for the condition typically involves managing any associated symptoms with medication or dietary changes. In some cases, dialysis may also be necessary to support patients with severe CRF. Overall, chronic renal failure is a serious but manageable condition that requires careful monitoring and management by patients and their healthcare providers.
Renal artery stenosis
Renal artery stenosis refers to a condition in which one or more of the arteries that deliver blood to the kidneys becomes Narrowed or blocked. This can lead to a number of adverse health effects, including increased blood pressure, chronic kidney failure, and possibly even heart attack or stroke. While there are a number of possible causes for this condition, including genetic factors, certain lifestyle choices such as smoking can also increase the risk of developing renal artery stenosis. Fortunately, treatments are available for this condition, including medications and medical procedures like angioplasty. For those who are diagnosed with renal artery stenosis, early and effective treatment is essential for maintaining overall health and wellbeing.
Renal cancer begins in the kidneys, which are a pair of bean-shaped organs that filter waste from the blood and produce urine. The most common type of renal cancer is clear cell renal cell carcinoma (RCC), which accounts for about three-quarters of all cases. RCC typically affects middle-aged adults and is more common in men than women. Other types of renal cancer include papillary renal cell carcinoma, chromophobe renal cell carcinoma, and collecting duct carcinoma. Treatment for renal cancer may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, or immunotherapy. The type of treatment will depend on the stage of the cancer and the patient's overall health. Early diagnosis and treatment is essential for the best possible outcome.
Polycystic kidney disease
Polycystic kidney disease, or PKD, is a complex condition that affects the kidneys and other organs in the body. This disorder occurs when small cysts grow in the kidneys, gradually interfering with their ability to filter waste products from the blood. As these cysts start to expand, they can cause a number of severe symptoms such as high blood pressure, chronic pain, nausea and fatigue. In some cases, PKD also results in serious complications such as renal failure or a stroke. However, there are treatments available that can help people manage this disorder and slow its progression over time. By working closely with a medical team and making lifestyle changes to support kidney health, it is possible for people living with PKD to have long and healthy lives.
Urinary tract infection
A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection that can occur in any part of the urinary system, including the kidneys, ureters, bladder, or urethra. UTIs are most commonly caused by bacteria, but they can also be caused by fungi or viruses. Symptoms of a UTI may include pain or burning during urination, increased frequency or urgency of urination, cloudy or blood-tinged urine, and pelvic pain. If left untreated, a UTI can lead to serious complications, such as kidney damage or sepsis. Early diagnosis and treatment is essential for preventing serious health problems. UTIs are typically diagnosed through urinalysis, which can detect the presence of bacteria or other organisms in the urine. Treatment usually involves antibiotics to kill the infection-causing bacteria. In some cases, hospitalization may be necessary to treat a severe UTI. Additionally, drinking plenty of fluids and emptying the bladder frequently can help to flush out bacteria and prevent reinfection. Wiping from front to back after using the restroom can also help to reduce the risk of UTI development. Avoiding masturbation devices would good idea if you get frequent urinary tract infections because they can introduce new bacteria into the urethra.
UTI and D-Mannose
A urinary tract infection, or UTI, is a common medical condition that can cause symptoms such as painful urination, abdominal discomfort, and sometimes even fever. While conventional treatments typically involve antibiotics, these medications often come with unwanted side effects like nausea and diarrhea. Fortunately, there is another alternative in the form of D-Mannose, a naturally-occurring sugar that has been shown to help treat UTIs by eliminating bacterial biofilms and relieving symptoms. Unlike antibiotics, which can damage gut health by killing off beneficial bacteria along with the harmful ones, D-Mannose does not disrupt this critical ecosystem. As a result, D-Mannose is becoming an increasingly popular treatment for UTIs, offering an effective and safe alternative to antibiotics.
Kidney stones are one of the most painful medical conditions to experience. These small, hard deposits form when there is an imbalance in the levels of certain minerals in the body. As they grow larger, kidney stones can cause severe pain as they move through the urinary tract. Treatment typically involves drinking plenty of fluids and taking pain medication. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the kidney stone. Prevention is the best way to avoid kidney stones, and maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle is the best way to do this. Drinking plenty of fluids, especially water, and eating a diet high in fiber can help to prevent kidney stones from forming.
Glomerulonephritis is a serious kidney condition that occurs when the tiny filtration units in the kidneys, known as glomeruli, become inflamed and damaged. This can disrupt normal kidney function, causing a buildup of waste products in the bloodstream, resulting in numerous symptoms such as swelling and joint pain. While there is no cure for glomerulonephritis, treatment options can help to reduce inflammation and manage symptoms. These may include medications to control blood pressure or reduce harmful inflammatory chemicals, along with lifestyle changes to support overall kidney health. With proper medical care and close monitoring, many people with glomerulonephritis are able to live healthy lives despite this chronic condition.
Kidney disease is a serious condition that can lead to a variety of health problems. If you have kidney disease, it is important to monitor your symptoms and seek medical treatment as soon as possible. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to managing kidney disease, but by working with your healthcare team and following their recommendations, you can help improve your health and quality of life. Remember, knowledge is power, so be sure to educate yourself about kidney disease and its treatment options. With the right information and support, you can live a full and productive life despite this serious condition.
Vitamin K2 promotes healthy arteries and cardiovascular protection
May 07, 2019 04:13 PM
Vitamin K2 may help protect you against becoming one of the 17 million people estimated to die from heart disease this year. Vitamin K2 helps to moderate how much calcium builds up in the body and where. This is significant because the calcification of plaque-narrowed arteries plays a major role in heart disease. Vitamin K2 can help ensure that your body’s calcium supply stays in your bones and out of your arteries and other soft tissue, and can reduce your risk of heart disease by 50 percent or more.
"In one study, daily consumption of more than 32 micrograms of dietary vitamin K2 reduced the risk of arterial calcification and death from heart disease – by an incredible 50 percent."
Read more: https://www.naturalhealth365.com/vitamin-k2-nutrition-news-2650.html
Study shows lutein can boost heart health
March 27, 2019 02:24 PM
Many people consume lutein, either as a supplement in in vegetables containing lutein, because it can provide protection from diseases of the eye. A recent study has shown that lutein can protect the heart as well. Researchers found some correlation between higher levels of lutein in the bloodstream and a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, and metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a medical term for a group of conditions including abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, and high triglycerides. Lutein, a carotenoid, is found in dark, leafy green vegetables.
"Dr. Elizabeth Leermakers decided to look into “lutein’s positive effects against inflammation and oxidative stresses in the eyes,” and together with a team of researchers, she searched for links between the presence of lutein (or a lack of the carotenoid) and diseases caused by stressors like heart attack, metabolic syndrome, and stroke."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-01-27-lutein-can-boost-heart-health.html
Legal Pot States Expanding? Vermont House Approves Recreational Marijuana Bill
May 09, 2017 06:44 PM
By a narrow margin, Vermont voted to allow recreational cannibas use in a vote on Tuesday. It will be legal for adults over 21 to possess one ounce of marijuana as well as allowing a limited amount of plants that can be grown at home. Vermont has been varied it it's attitude towards marijuana, expanding medical marijuana use as well as pardoning prisoners convicted of crimes related to marijuana. The governor believes it is something the state should consider, but not at this time.
Read more: Legal Pot States Expanding? Vermont House Approves Recreational Marijuana Bill
Scientists discover new mechanism of how brain networks form
January 15, 2017 12:59 PM
As long as neurological disorders have been diagnosed, scientists have tried to determine how the brain works in order to better treat them. One thing we do know about the brain is that it creates maps of experiences that help us learn. As we learn, these maps are altered to adapt to our surroundings. Excitatory neurons in the brain have been found to Narrow their scope upon learning new information. Inhibitory neurons, conversely, have recently been found to get broader when learning. This new understanding of neurons will go far in efforts to repair brain tissue.
"Scientists have discovered that networks of inhibitory brain cells or neurons develop through a mechanism opposite to the one followed by excitatory networks."
C-reactive protein test
December 13, 2016 12:59 PM
Want to know why you have join pain? Maybe you are sore? Well when C-reactive protein levels are high in the body there is increased inflammation in the body, which can cause many problems. Your doctor can test the levels in your blood through a simple blood test, it's worth it.
"A high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) test, which is more sensitive than a standard test, also can be used to evaluate your risk of developing coronary artery disease, a condition in which the arteries of your heart are Narrowed. Coronary artery disease can eventually lead to a heart attack."
Calcium is essential
December 02, 2016 12:59 PM
You probably know that calcium is good for you. But in reality, you’re probably murky on the details as to why it’s so important, and like many people, you may not be getting enough calcium in your diet. Bones provide a mineral reservoir to buffer the blood levels of calcium, to keep it in a Narrow range, for optimal neural and muscular function. Muscle contraction is initiated by calcium binding to signal the action.
"Calcium is a hard, silvery metallic element with an atomic number of 20 and an atomic weight of 40.078. It is a mineral found in bones, teeth and other body tissues."
Is Your Blood Pressure Out Of Control? Eat beet roots!
November 15, 2015 08:38 PM
Today, one of the most serious conditions that people face is hypertension, or as it is commonly known, high blood pressure. This is grave condition, that if not checked, can result to fatalities. This condition is mostly found in people who are over 40 years. However, it is not unlikely to find a teenager with hypertension. This is a worrying trend which means that something must be done to prevent it. Luckily, there is a simple solution that people can apply to control this condition.
To start with, it is important to understand what causes the condition so that one may know how to combat it. High blood pressure is primarily caused by the constriction of the arteries which makes it hard to pump blood. The arteries are thinner than the veins and this means that the blood in them is at a higher pressure than in the veins. Due to the Narrowness, they are able to pump blood faster and for longer distances.
When a person feeds on unhealthy food that is rich in cholesterol and other harmful substances, this causes a deposition of the harmful substances on the endothelium (the interior surface of the arteries). When this happens, the arteries become more constricted thus increasing the pressure of blood that flows in them (hence the term high blood pressure).
When the pressure increases, there is insufficient supply of blood to vital organs of the body like the brain. When the brain is not supplied with enough nutrients in the blood, this could lead to brain damage or stroke that may cause paralysis. Again, to ensure enough blood gets to the brain, the heart is forced to pump blood faster. This overworks the heart which may lead to heart attacks. Heart attacks are usually fatal.
There is therefore a need to unblock the heart vessels to ensure that blood flows easily. Nitric oxide is one of the best known remedy to people suffering from high blood pressure. It helps lower the blood pressure by unblocking the arteries. It has numerous benefits to the body especially in lowering the blood pressure. Arteries are able to release nitric oxide but as one advances in age, their effectiveness diminishes with time.
Beet roots are a great source of nitric oxide. Eating lots of them will help supply your body with the nitric oxide it needs to unblock the arteries and thus lower the blood pressure. The whole beet root plant including the leave and the roots provides are rich source of nitric oxide. For those who don’t like eating it raw or cooked, they can juice it and still get the nutrients. Apart from lowering hypertension, beet roots are also known to fight against cancer. These are enough reason why anyone should increase their intake of beet roots whether or not they are suffering from high blood pressure.
Beet roots juice is available in stores which could act as a powerful supplement to combat hypertension.
Importance of Phospholipids and Peptides found in Fish oil
October 20, 2015 06:21 AM
The demand for fish in the world keeps on increasing as a result of health advantages associated with fish oil. Fish oil is the oil extracted from the tissues of the oily fish, and this oil is known to have some benefits and one of them being the reduction of inflammation in the body. Although fish oil doesn’t contain the omega-3 fatty acids, fish oil supplements contain these acids that are essential in the body.
Peptides found in fish oil are organic compounds that are groups of amino acids. The peptides have various medicinal benefits that include the following.
The fish peptides found in fish oil help reduce vasoconstriction that gets defined as the Narrowing of one’s blood vessels as a result of contraction of the muscular wall. These fish peptides also help to reduce the thickness of the inner walls of the blood vessels that will affect blood circulation. Lastly, fish peptides found in fish oil always inhibit the aggregation of blood.
Fish peptides work in various ways. In their circulatory pressure function, the peptides inhibit the angiotensin converting enzyme. When the formation of angiotensin II gets inhibited, fish peptides help relax arteries and reduce fluid volume hence improving circulation.
When one combines fish oil together with fish peptides, it provides higher cardio-protective advantages than using pure fish oil.
The advantages of the fish oil supplement like krill oil revolve around their natural composition. It’s bioavailable as it has omega-3 fatty acids always attached to phospholipids. It, therefore, makes the supplement more effective and enables the body in absorbing more omega-3. The krill oil that contain phospholipids has several advantages. It always promotes one’s cardiovascular health. The main omega-3 fats include EPA and DHA that help to combat inflammation mainly in the blood vessels. In a way, it also helps to lower blood pressure and to some extent prevent strokes and heart attacks.
When taken in large quantity during pregnancy, the omega-3 found in these supplements helps a lot in improving neurological development in the newborns. They will help in the child’s development of the eyes, central nervous system and the brain.
The phospholipids that contain omega-3 fatty acids are said to be water dispersible. As a result, this makes them gentler on one’s stomach, hence, the body absorbs them more easily. These phospholipids are also natural and important parts of the cells compared to other marine oil omega-3s.
They help in both the heart and brain health. As a result of proper blood circulation, it ensures that oxygen is also well supplied within the body. They also have the advantages of a healthy inflammation and play a major role in women’s health. Lastly, phospholipids are safe for taking into the body as they are natural supplements.
Phospholipids are absorbed into the body at a faster rate compared to triglycerides found in fish oil. They have a superior absorption rate, and they are more effective in the body. The other reason you should go for phospholipids is that they aren’t chemically altered and are therefore safe for consumption.
In conclusion, the benefits of peptides found in the fish oil and phospholipids include protection of one’s brain from oxidative damage, improve focus as well as mental agility and reduce any depression symptoms. They also strengthen the blood vessels and the arteries.
The Holiday Sugar Trap; All There is to Know
October 04, 2015 10:02 PM
The festive season can be a tempting affair to any healthy eater. Hopping from one party and family gathering to another might easily see you indulging in unhealthy dishes and drinks. It is quite difficult to hold back on the wide varieties of delicious treats unless your will is exceptional. Counting the calories in the food you eat when in the middle of a conversation with a long lost friend or family members isn't easy. What you regard as 'just a once off affair' might ruin the rest of the year for you. There is a lot of hidden sugar in holiday treats such as; syrup, cakes, flavored pop corn, cookies, soda, juices, lemonades and ice cream.
Reasons to Avoid Sugar During the Festive Season
Sugar plays a harmful role in tooth decay. Plaque, a harmful bacteria responsible for tooth decay, uses sugar as a form of energy. This way, the plaque multiplies and becomes thick hence making it difficult for it to be washed away by saliva. Sugar is also used as a form of glue for the bacteria to firmly stick to the teeth.
Added sugar for instance fructose corn syrup contains a lot of empty calories with zero nutrients.These calories do not contain any protein, minerals, vitamins nor any essential fats. It is purely energy which is converted into fats in the body hence weight gain.
Did you know that indulging in all that sweetness at the Christmas table might be the beginning of your sugar addiction? Sugar shuttles tryptophan in the brain which further converts to serotonin hence having a physiological addictive effect.
When the refined sugar intake is high, the body might be forced to produce more leptin and insulin. This is due to the high carbohydrate and processed food diet. When these two rise, blood pressure might go up leading to leptin and insulin resistance. Insulin is responsible for the storage of magnesium meant for the relaxation of muscles in the body. When the insulin is interfered with, the lack of magnesium in the cells may lead to the inability of your your hearts' vessels to fully relax hence Narrowing them. This overworks your heart hence increased blood pressure.
Refined sugar has been proven to cause diabetes, obesity as well as other conditions that put your heart at risk. New studies have linked sugar with unhealthy cholesterol and increased triglyceride levels. When you consume a lot of refined sugar, the excess is stored in the liver as tryglecirides (a form of fat that sticks to your arteries). This fat travels through the blood stream and may clog it up.
That extra can of soda might leave you struggling with life altering health conditions. It is important to consider healthy alternatives to refined sugars. A perfect example in this case would be unsweetened or stevia calorie free sweetners. Sweet leaf and Truvia are made of stevia which is a natural herbs that are commonly found in South and Central America. Stevia is 40 times sweeter than sugar yet contains no empty calories which makes it a suitable alternative. These sweeteners are easily available in local stores and can be used in almost anything; tea, coffee, cereal, yogurt and even fruit.
Benefits of Boswellic Acid To The Body
April 20, 2014 08:25 PM
Benefits of boswellia
Rarely do people bank on herbs for treatment. Chemically manufacture medicines have taken over. However, what makes Boswellia herb very important? This herb has been used for a very long time. It is extracted from the Boswellia serrate tree. This herb is popular among other pharmacological medicines because of its medicinal values of reducing the effect of inflammation and inflammation related diseases.
What is inflammation?
Our body goes through very complex biological processes to keep us healthy. Inflammation is one of them. Inflammation has been the response action that the body takes towards an intruder. The body does this by producing prostaglandins and leukotriene; they are otherwise called inflammation mediators. Most of the time, the intruder can be harmful stimuli or pathogens and damaged cells. The body responds by causing acute pain in places like toes and fingers. Besides the pain, heat, swelling, redness and loss of function are signs of inflammation. Note that inflammation is not an infection.
Examples of inflammatory disease
Examples of inflammatory diseases are bronchial asthma that leads to Narrowing of the respiratory tract and makes breathing difficult. Diabetes, type 1 is an inflammatory disease that is caused by the inflammatory mediators. They eat up the pancreas until it is exhausted. Production of insulin to counter diabetes will be affected largely.
How boswellia works
Boswellia releases boswellic acid. This is the main ingredient that is used to fight and heal inflammation. It does this by suppressing the release of prostaglandins and leukotriene. Bowellic acid comes in many forms. Acetyl-11-keto-B is one example that when released, inhibits the synthesis of enzymes that will produce leukotriene hence lead to inflammation. Constant use of this herb heals and prevents the body from inflammation diseases.
Besides healing inflammation diseases, boswellia reduces the effects of brain cells tumor and colon cancer. The herb can be used to activate tumor suppression genes, a genes that will control and eventually reduce the growth of cancer cells.
What Are Some Natural Cholesterol Lowering Supplements?
December 10, 2013 02:30 AM
What Are Some Natural Cholesterol Lowering Supplements?Cholesterol is a lipid, or a fat, which is produced by the liver. Though many know it not, cholesterol is essential for the normal function of the body. Amazingly, each and every cell of the body contains cholesterol in its outer layer. This lipid serves several critical functions. Most importantly, cholesterol aids in building and maintaining cell membranes. The compound also determines which elements can pass through a cell membrane and which cannot; put differently, it determines cell permeability. The compound is also essential in the production of sex hormones, including androgens and estrogens.
LDL and HDL
Like most other chemical elements found in the body, cholesterol is only helpful if it is available in the right proportions. Low or high levels of cholesterol are harmful. However, high cholesterol levels can cause the most devastating effects on health. It is of great importance, to control cholesterol levels in the body. Failure to do this, you are at risk of developing several health complications. Some of these include atherosclerosis, a condition where arteries become extremely Narrow to allow proper circulation; heart attack, caused by clogged arteries; stroke, caused by blood clots that prevent arteries or veins from transporting blood to the brain; and angina, a condition that develops when the heart muscles do not get enough blood.
About Cholesterol Levels
Cholesterol levels can always be brought to optimal levels by behavior and lifestyle change. This may include avoiding foods saturated in fats, quitting smoking and drinking, and exercising. There are also supplements that are quite effective in restoring cholesterol levels to the optimal levels. Some of the popular and effective supplements include red yeast rice, niacin, and guggul. Others are fish oil and green tea extracts. Though different from the outlook, all cholesterol supplements achieve their objective in a similar or closely related ways. Most importantly, the supplements are useful in raising HDL (high density lipo-protein also called good cholesterol) levels while at the same time lowering triglycerides (another class of fats found in the blood stream).
How vitamins help lower blood pressure naturally
December 08, 2013 11:20 PM
Blood pressure can be described as the force of blood as it goes through or pumps in your blood vessels while circulating throughout your body. Those who have Narrow arteries normally have a higher blood pressure, because the blood needs to be pumped much harder through their smaller passage-ways. Generally, high blood-pressure is usually caused by too much exercise or stress, but there are some people who may have chronic high blood-pressure. High blood-pressure symptoms can include; headaches, dizziness, and sometimes even nosebleeds. There are situations when there are no any symptoms and you won't know you've any problem until you get a stroke or have a heart attack, and this is why it's important for you to get your blood pressure checked regularly.
Below are some vitamins one can use to naturally lower their blood pressure:
Vitamin A is a fat soluble which works primarily in body fat tissues. It prevents the LDL cholesterol and also prevents the build up of any plaque on your body's arteries. It can at times be quite toxic if you take too much of it, the recommended amount is only up to 5,000-IUs a day.
How vitamins help lower blood pressure naturally
December 08, 2013 10:16 PM
Blood Pressure as Described
Blood pressure can be described as the force of blood as it goes through or pumps in your blood vessels while circulating throughout your body. Those who have Narrow arteries normally have a higher blood pressure, because the blood needs to be pumped much harder through their smaller passage-ways. Generally, high blood-pressure is usually caused by too much exercise or stress, but there are some people who may have chronic high blood-pressure. High blood-pressure symptoms can include; headaches, dizziness, and sometimes even nosebleeds. There are situations when there are no any symptoms and you won't know you've any problem until you get a stroke or have a heart attack, and this is why it's important for you to get your blood pressure checked regularly.
Below are some vitamins one can use to naturally lower their blood pressure:
Vitamin A is a fat soluble which works primarily in body fat tissues. It prevents the LDL cholesterol and also prevents the build up of any plaque on your body's arteries. It can at times be quite toxic if you take too much of it, the recommended amount is only up to 5,000-IUs a day.
Vitamin C will help in lowering and controlling your body's blood pressure in many ways. It will reduce the generation of all free radicals which can damage the artery walls. It will also help in fixing any damaged blood arteries, and will help elevate the levels of the HDL-cholesterol. If you happen to suffer from high blood-pressure, you should take a minimum of about 2,500-milligrams of vitamin-C every day. Vitamin C rich-foods can include; Oranges, red bell peppers, grape fruit,spinach, and tomatoes.
Vitamin E will reduce the risk of suffering from heart disease and will also lower your blood pressure. Vitamin E will help protect your arteries from all effects of the LDL cholesterol. It's the most active anti-oxidant in the body. It's recommended you take up to 800 international units (IUs) of all natural vitamin E every day if you have a high blood pressure and want to lower it.
How important is it to take a GLA supplement?
December 04, 2013 06:43 AM
How important is it to take a GLA supplement?
Majority of people consider evening primrose oil as one of the major miraculous discoveries within preventive care after Vitamin C. This oil consists a compound called phenylalanine that can assist with pain relief and has been applied increasingly with remedying headaches. Its therapeutic and preventive features are many hence making it a regular proposal from a big number of herbalists.
10 health benefits:1- GLA Deficiency
Evening primrose oil has a lot of fatty acid gamma linolenic acid (GLA) which is very crucial for general operation of the body.
2- Heart Health
Studies revealed that utilizing of evening primrose oil on daily basis can assist in lowering blood pressure, cholesterol and safeguard against the coronary artery disease thus minimizing the capability of heart attacks and diseases.
3- Menstrual Pain
The oil is normally used in relieving distress that is normally related with menstrual signs. Majority of women around the world get relief by applying evening primrose oil.
Diabetics occasionally get challenges in producing GLA hence evening primrose oil is an effective supplement to assist them. Studies revealed that this oil can also safeguard people from diabetic neuropathy which is a nerve condition that often affects diabetics.
5- Skin Health
Evening primrose oil is considered as an effective remedy for eczema and other skin disorders due to GLA and other essential fatty acids that are vital for skin health.
6- Anti-Inflammatory & Discomfort Reliever
Evening primrose oil is referred to contain anti-inflammatory features and can assist to ease symptoms of chest discomfort and rheumatoid.
7- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Studies revealed that kids suffering from ADHD got relieved after taking evening primrose oil.
8- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Utilizing evening primrose oil with quality fish oil is an effective therapy for chronic fatigue syndrome.
9- Helps to Counter Impotence & InfertilityEvening primrose oil can stimulate blood flow, thus it helps in solving one of the key causes of male impotence. When taken for some time, it assists in preventing blood vessels to become Narrow as a result of cholesterol.
10- Helping with Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
The GLA prompts the brain to make a specific type of prostaglandin called prostaglandin E that can operate to resist withdrawal symptoms.
Can Butcher's Broom Help Fight Varicose Veins?
January 11, 2013 12:36 PM
Varicose Veins are abnormally thick veins that are twisted and enlarged. This problem occurs mostly in the leg and thigh veins. The thickened and twisted veins are called varicose veins. They can occur anywhere, but they mostly form in the legs because the legs work against gravity. Standing all day can increase the pressure on leg veins and cause varicose veins.
The normal function of veins is to carry blood from the outer body parts to the heart and lungs. The veins are provided with one-way valves, which prevent the blood from flowing backward within the vein. Defective or damaged valves are the main reason for varicose veins, as they allow the blood to flow backward, when it should be actually flowing up towards the heart. As the muscles contract to empty the veins, pressure builds up and this causes in the flow of more blood in the wrong way. Thus the pressure on the veins is increased and this causes varicose veins.
Factors that Aggravate Varicose Veins
There are different types of treatments available to shrink varicose veins and to improve circulation, from simple home remedies to surgeries or medications for severe cases. Natural supplements like Butcher's broom are considered to be a very effective treatment for varicosities.
Butcher's broom is a small, clump-forming evergreen shrub with tiny green flowers. It is an aromatic, diuretic and mildly laxative herb that helps reduce inflammation, increase perspiration and constrict the veins. The whole plant, young shoots and roots are used medically. Young shoots can be eaten like asparagus. It grows commonly in woodlands and hedgerows, and also on coastal cliffs. It is widely grown from Iran to the Mediterranean and the United States.
Its scientific name is Ruscus aculeatus, but it is commonly known as butcher's broom because butcher's used the stiff twigs to clean their cutting boards. The herb has been used for nearly 2000 years, but its medicinal uses have become common only from the last century. Investigations conducted in the 1950s indicated that butcher's broom can induce vasoconstriction and thus might be useful in treating circulatory diseases.
How It Works?
The two primary chemicals in butcher's broom, ruscogenin and neoruscogenin, can cause the blood vessels to Narrow or constrict. Their anti-inflammatory properties help improve blood circulation in legs by preventing pooling of blood and reduce swelling.
Butcher's broom is used internally to treat venous problems that vary from varicose veins to hemorrhoids. It is also used to strengthen the veins and capillaries. Butcher's broom may be the best natural solution for varicose vein treatment, because it helps with blood flow and circulation.
The Numerous Health Benefits of Butcher's Broom
May 30, 2012 08:24 AM
Butcher's Broom is a herb that has many advantages, since it contains not only a variety of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium and various vitamins, but also many phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are antioxidants which are essential when fighting free radicals, which are known to have a negative impact on our health. In this article you will find the main health benefits of this herb. The plant can be used both locally (as suppositories for treating hemorrhoids) and orally, under the form of tablets.
First and foremost, Butcher's Broom is known to be very useful when treating a variety of circulatory diseases. This happens because of this plant's capacity to Narrow blood vessels. By doing so, it can significantly reduce the discomfort that is associated with various circulatory problems, such as varicose veins.
In addition, this herb can also reduce swelling of the legs, edema and inflammation, which makes it ideal for treating swollen lymph nodes. Even though it can have an anti-inflammatory effect, it is only a mild one, therefore it is recommended only for treating minor inflammation. In addition, the plant is also recommended for treating infections of the urinary tract and it has a fortifying effect on the muscles located around the blood vessel walls. This is why it is usually used for preventing blood clots as well as thrombosis that may appear after a surgery. Blood clots can be life-threatening, and this is why preventing them from appearing is essential.
Butcher's Broom also has laxative effects and it can be safely used to treat constipation due to the fact that it is entirely natural. Hemorrhoids can also be successfully treated with this herb, and this is why most suppositories that aim to relieve the upsetting discomfort associated with hemorrhoids (such as pain and swelling) contain this herb. Another important advantage of this herb is that no side effects have been reported so far.
This herb contains flavonoids as well, which are known for regulating the blood flow to hands, brain and legs. Due to the fact that blood circulation to the limbs is significantly improved, those who use this herb will no longer experience symptoms associated with bad circulation such as cold feet and legs.
Last but not least, when applied as a topical ointment, Butcher's Broom is very effective in relieving the pain and swelling that is associated with diseases such as rheumatism or arthritis.
Although it is entirely natural, you must consult your doctor before starting to use this plant. This is essential due to the fact that it may interact with other types of medication. In addition, this herb is contraindicated for individuals with hypertension. Nevertheless, your healthcare provider is the only person who can tell you if this herb is safe to use.
In conclusion, Butcher's Broom is a herb that can be used for treating a variety of circulatory diseases. Moreover, it can also relieve the pain associated with hemorrhoids and reduce swelling caused by arthritis due to its mild anti-inflammatory properties.
How to manage high blood pressure with herbs and vitamins
February 20, 2012 06:42 AM
What is high blood pressure?
High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is a very common health condition whereby one's blood is pumped through the arteries at a higher than normal pressure. High blood pressure may lead to serious health problems like heart disease and stroke.
The quantity of blood pumped by the heart and the level of resistance to the flow of blood in the arteries. The more one's heart pumps blood and the Narrower their arteries, the higher will be their blood pressure.
Many people have hypertension without even knowing it for years. This is because the condition does not usually show any symptoms. Having uncontrolled hypertension increases a person's risk of developing serious medical conditions, for example heart disease or stroke.
Typically, high blood pressure develops over a long period of time, usually for years and can affect almost everybody eventually. Thankfully, the condition can easily be detected. And once somebody knows they have it, they can get medical advice on how to control it from a doctor.
Causes of high blood pressure
There are two well known types of hypertension-primary/essential high blood pressure and secondary hypertension.
The first type of high blood pressure occurs in most adults and has no identifiable cause. It tends to develop slowly over a number of years. On the other hand, secondary hypertension is a condition that seems to appear suddenly and is usually caused by an underlying health condition. This type of blood pressure is higher in intensity compared to primary hypertension. Some medications and conditions can lead to secondary hypertension and they include:
Congenital blood vessel defects
Adrenal gland tumors
Certain medications, for example cold remedies, birth control pills, decongestants, pain relief tablets bought over the counter as well as prescription medicines Illegal drugs like amphetamines and cocaine
What are the symptoms of high blood pressure?
Most people who have hypertension do not have any signs or symptoms, no matter the seriousness of the condition.
Even though a small fraction of people with early-stage hypertension may get dizzy spells, dull headaches, or even heavy nose bleeding from time to time, these signs as well as symptoms normally do not appear until the condition has reached a critical and even life-threatening stage.
How high blood pressure can be controlled with vitamins and herbs Vitamins
Certain vitamins are said to lower high blood pressure as well as support one's cardiovascular system. One of the vitamins that can help is vitamin C. it is an important vitamin that can help to manage hypertension as it is rich in antioxidants, which help in prevention of stroke and heart attack. Other vitamins that can help to prevent or control high blood pressure include vitamins A, E, D and B6.
Whole grains, green leafy vegetables, fresh fruits, nuts, chicken, corn, salmon, just to mention a few, are good sources of essential vitamins that help in controlling hypertension.
Herbs such as Hawthorn, Rauwolfia Serpentina/Indian snakeroot, and Ginkgo Biloba etc can also be used in lowering blood pressure. All these herbs can also strengthen your cardiovascular system to help in lowering the blood pressure and allow for better circulation. However, make sure you consult an experienced herbalist or healthcare specialist before you use any of the above herbs to control your hypertension.
8 Major Benefits of Nattokinase
February 18, 2012 07:18 AM
The need to live and eat healthy has grown other years. However, every time you hear of a new health supplement or food type, you are never sure of its exact impact on your wellness. But for nattokinase, you can be sure that is benefits to your health are true. Here is how your body benefits from the use of nattokinase.
Background Information of Nattokinase
Before you learn about its advantages , here is a little background on this supplement. Nattokinase or natto is a wholesome and nutritious Japanese food that is derived from soybeans. In its native country,it is taken with rice. To make natto, boiled soya beans are mixed and fermented with a bacterium referred to as Bacillus Natto. After the fermentation process, the enzyme nattokinase - the main active ingredient in the supplement- is produced.
One of the best known effects of natto is that it reduces clotting in blood by dissolving fibrin. When fibrin escapes to blood, it binds platelets together resulting in a clot. In young people, production of plamin - an agent that reduces synthesis of fibrin - is at its maximum. However, as people get older and in some disease conditions, less plasmin is produced thus the risk of developing clots. Natto contains agents that work like plasmin and therefore is used in place of plasmin.
By countering the production of angiotensin converting hormone (ACE), natto lowers the pressure of blood. The hormone mentioned above reduces the elasticity of blood vessels; consequently, the vessels become Narrower. Narrow vessel lead high blood pressure. In addition, by making the blood vessels soft and supple , it increases the supply of blood to all parts of the body.
Body cells need proteins to grow and function optimally. However, as people age, the ability of the body to utilize and absorb proteins is reduced. As a result, skin cells grow don't rejuvenate quickly. Natto contains high levels of proteins and vitamin K2 - a well documented anti-aging factor.
Nattokinse and cholesterol
Nattokinase reduces the bad cholesterol in the body by transporting it from the blood vessel to the liver where it's eliminated. Moreover, natto prevents osteoporosis by lowering the rate at which calcium is removed from the body. By taking nattokinase, the risk of heart diseases especially those that plaque blood vessels is reduced.
Other Health Benefits of Nattokinase.Prevents loss of hair.Soothes the muscles and reduces pain joints.Lowers the risk of Alzheimer's disease.Prevents other diseases that are caused by clots in blood. What more! So far there are no serious health side effect are associated with the use of this product.In any case, the Japanese have been using this product for a long time.In fact, the generally low levels of heart diseases in its native society are associated to the use of nattokinase. However, lactating and pregnant women should only take this and other supplement after medical advice.In addition, if you are to undergo surgery, please be sure to consult your surgeon before use. Above all, you must read all the manufacturers instructions and recommendations before use.
Red Yeast Rice for Reducing Cholesterol
February 16, 2012 08:06 AM
How does Red Yeast Rice Reduce Cholesterol?
Maybe you have heard about it that some people said that red yeast rice is very effective for decreasing the cholesterol level on our body. Some people have tried putting it on their diet program to see how it works, while some others just stick to the medicines. But mostly, people does not even know what cholesterol is and why should they control the amount of it on their body.
Cholesterol is a fat substance produced by the liver and is important to allow your body to work properly. It helps the conversion process of vitamin D. It creates and controls cell membranes. It is also essential for many productions of hormones. And there are still much more benefits your body can get from cholesterol.
As long as the amount is perfect, cholesterol is a beneficial substance for your body. But having too much of it on your body is really not healthy. It can stick to your arteries and Narrow it down. Therefore, your blood could not flow smoothly. It can lead you to a heart attack, coronary heart, stroke and other life-endangering diseases. That is why it is important to control the amount of cholesterol inside your body.
Red yeast rice is a kind of rice that was fermented by red yeast. Since about a thousand years ago, red yeast has been commonly used in Chine as a natural food colorant and the main ingredients of rice wines. They also used it as a traditional medication for improving blood circulation and helping many kinds of digestion problems.
Red Yeast Rice
Even so, there are still many scientist and doctors who does not believe if red yeast rice is safe enough for human to consume. Therefore, they did some trials. Firstly, they tried it to animal. They fed it the several kinds of animal continuously. The result shows that no damage is shown on the lungs, livers, kidneys, or any other organs. After that, they tried it to human where some people are volunteering. He result shows almost the same. There were some side effect such as heartburn and indigestions, but the number is very negligible and level is low.
Some other researches had been done to measure how effective is it in reducing cholesterol level. The results show that red yeast rice contains Cholestin that is effective to remove bad cholesterol (LDL) but not affecting good cholesterol (HDL) at all. The results also show that people who consume 1.8 grams of it per day can lower their cholesterol for about 27% in twelve weeks only.
Although it is effective in lowering the cholesterol, pregnant or breastfeeding women are not recommended to consume it. It is also not recommended for people who have a severe heart disease or high cholesterol. Those people are usually consuming statin given by their doctor. Statin is a lot better in reducing cholesterol and it is not wise to replace it with any other supplement.
Controlling your cholesterol level is very important in order to live a healthy life for as long as possible. Besides putting red yeast rice on your diet program, you also need to have a healthy lifestyle by consuming nutritional foods, avoiding alcohols, and doing exercise regularly.
What Are The Health Benefits Of The Grain Quinoa?
February 13, 2012 01:57 AM
Quinoa is a gluten free seed rich in dietary fibers with creamy, fluffy and slightly crunchy texture. Its taste is somewhat nutty when cooked. It belongs to the family of spinach, beets, swiss chard and lamb's quarter.It is a complete protein grain with all the essential amino acids. There are nine essential amino acids known as the building blocks of protein. Amino acids help in building strong muscles and nourish the nerves.It is also rich in essential minerals such as manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, copper and iron.
Quinoa is technically a seed, not a grain of a goose foot plant. The name quinoa came from Greek words chen which means goose and pou which means foot. This is because the leaves of the plant of quinoa seeds resemble the webbed foot of a goose.
Quinoa has been cultivated as early as the 12th century by the Incans, the ancient people of South America. They referred to quinoa as the "mother seed",considered as a sacred grain and gold of the Incans.They believed that it is a gift from gods that possesses enhancing properties.The emperor ritually planted and sowed the first quinoa seed of the season using his golden taquiza, a shovel like planting stick. Quinoa gives energy and increases oxygen to the relay teams of bare footed running messengers who lived in the mountains with an altitude considered high enough where oxygen level is reduced.This is because they were holding ash from quinoa plant and cocoa leaves. This combination increases oxygen in their body to sustain the runners increasing need for oxygen. In can armies also used quinoa to energize their body from frequent marching for days. Quinoa is part of the native Indian diet to increase their resistance to prevail over harsh living condition in the high mountains.
Today quinoa is making its name popular in the industry of wonder foods.It is so high in protein that builds and nourishes muscle tissues. It is used to treat people with migraine, diabetes and atherosclerosis. It is a good source of magnesium that relaxes the blood vessels. Magnesium reduces attack of migraine by improving blood and oxygen distribution to the brain.
Magnesium combined with high dietary fiber found in quinoa helps in maintaining healthy blood pressure and prevents cardiovascular diseases. Fibers absorb and eliminate bad cholesterol.It prevents plaque that blocks the arteries and enhances blood circulation.This process prevents atherosclerosis, the hardening of the arteries due to fat deposits and plaque buildup that Narrows the arteries.
Quinoa is rich in anti oxidants that shields each cells from getting damaged caused by free radicals, pollution, alcohol and medication. It boosts the immunity and increases resistance from stress. Anti oxidants and fibers prevent risks of cancer and diabetes.Obesity and overweight are the most common risk factor of diabetes. Fibers remove toxins and excess fats, improve digestion and maintain healthy body weight to prevent diabetes.While antioxidants enhances cell regeneration and repair. This process lowers risks of cancer.
Quinoa is highin insoluble fiber thatprevents gallstones and helps in cleansing the liver. Whole grains like quinoa reduce asthma, allergic cough and wheezing in children. The protein in quinoa strengthens the muscle tissues of the air passage, thus prevents inflammation that Narrows the airways of asthma patients.
How Does Borage Oil Boost Your Health?
October 06, 2011 12:05 PM
Borage Seed Oil
Borage, also known as starflower, is a medicinal herb that is native in Syria. The plant could approximately grow up to two to three feet in height having a hairy appearance all over its leaves and stems. The leaves of the plant are about half feet in length. Its flowers resemble five Narrow and triangular petals that are blue in color. However, there are few instances that borage flowers are pink in color. One distinct characteristic of the borage plant is that it follows an indeterminate growth habit that could lead to a fruitful spreading. In places where climate is mild and good, the plant grows all year round.
In ancient years, the plant was used as a flavoring for wines which ancient Celtic warriors drink before engaging themselves into battle. It has been a tradition because they believe that the wine could boost both their strength, and courage. As time pass by, people discover new uses of borage leaves and flowers. During the middle ages, the people utilized the plant as a relief for melancholy. As a matter of fact, the renowned scholar named Pliny believed that the herb is very effectual in curing depression and boosting mood. During the 16th century, John Gerard was able to discover the herb’s potential in making the heart healthier.
To add, borage is also utilized as a cure for bronchitis because of its soothing effect and capacity to lessen inflammation. Aside from that, borage is also noted for its capability to protect the mucous membranes of the mouth and throat as well as ensuring that the kidneys and adrenal glands are well functioning.
Borage is helpful in rejuvenating the body during recuperation from a disease. This herb is also useful for curing and correcting problems of in the digestive tract. Research would also show that the herb is effectual in increasing the quantity and quality of mother’s milk.
The seed oil of borage contains liberal amounts of GLA which is highly beneficial for the human body. as a matter of fact, virgin borage oil contains vital components such as essential fatty acids, gamma-linolenic acid that will aid the body in times of stress.
There are a lot of preparations which will allow you to grasp the benefits of borage plant. And two of the most common is to use it as a vegetable or as a dried herb. People enjoy eating borage because it tastes like cucumber hence it is perfect for salads or as a garnish. Borage flower is also palatable. Its taste is similar to that of honey hence, it is also good to incorporate in desserts.
Among the many health benefits of borage leaves would include the following: purgative properties, blood purifier, diaphoretic, galactoagogue, and febrifuge. Vital nutrients such as potassium and calcium are also abundant in the herb. Because of these potent and vital components that the herb contains, various conditions can be corrected and prevented by borage just like inflammation of the eyes, excessive mucus, and a lot more.
You too should grab some borage oil to help improve your health and wellness.
Can Vitamin B12 Boost Mental Alertness?
July 18, 2011 12:01 PM
The body needs various nutrients in order to make vital biological reactions possible. These bodily reactions are necessary for energy production, immune system enhancement and health improvement. These nutrients are classified into two, macro and micronutrients. In addition, these micronutrients are further divided into vitamins and minerals. These vitamins are needed by individuals to help the body grow normally. Vitamins can be supplied by the food we eat. However, the body can make certain vitamins such as vitamin D and K. Individuals who are in strict vegetable diet usually need vitamin B12 supplement. In this article, we will be focusing on Vitamin B 12 or also known as cyanocobalamin.
Vitamin B 12 is also a water– soluble vitamin. It is considered as essential because it is not produced by the body. Excellent sources of this vitamin include fish, shellfish, meat, milk and milk products. Vitamin B 12 is also available in supplements in combination with other vitamin B complex. Like the other B vitamins, vitamin B 12 is also necessary in maintaining healthy brain cells and in the normal production of red blood cells. Riboflavin is also a component of DNA which is the cells’ genetic material. Vitamin B 12 in the stomach combines with a substance called intrinsic factor so that it can be absorbed into the blood stream.
Vitamin B 12 boosts mental alertness because it facilitates normal formation of body cells most especially the nerve cells. Vitamin B 12 is also an important component of the myelin sheath. Myelin sheath is necessary for the proper functioning of the nerves. Myelin sheath functions by increasing the speed of the movement of the impulse. With the presence of myelin sheath, the impulse hops from one sheath to another instead of just moving continuously along the nerve fiber. This is the reason why vitamin B 12 is commonly employed for boosting mental alertness and concentration. In fact, it is also commonly employed for treatment of memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease.
Vitamin B 12 can also help lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases by decreasing the concentration of homocysteine in the blood stream. Studies show that high levels of homocysteine can greatly lead to atherosclerosis which is the Narrowing of arterial walls. It can also increase the tendency of abnormal blood clotting thus increasing the risk of clotting – related disorders. These factors can precipitate heart attacks and cerebrovascular accidents or commonly known as stroke.
Another function of vitamin B 12 is its involvement with energy metabolism in every cell of the body. Therefore, vitamin B 12 is not only good for enhancing mental alertness but also increasing energy levels. It is also required by the body so that other nutrients from the diet can be absorbed and readily utilized by the cells.
Vitamin B 12 is relatively safe. It usually comes in combination with other B vitamins in the form of tablets, capsules, or liquid which can be bought over –the – counter.
What is the Difference between Echinacea angustifolia and Echinacea purpurea?
July 06, 2011 10:32 AM
Echinacea Health Benefits
Echinacea is a group of plant species that belongs to the same family as dandelion, sunflower, and daisy. These flowering shrubs are best known as ornamental plants in gardens. Also, they are widely recognized as medicinal herbs in alternative medicine. Modern herbalists have attributed a diverse variety of healing properties to this herb, drawing on its traditional uses among the Native Americans.
Elk root, black samson echinacea, or Narrow-leaved purple cornflower refers to Echinacea angustifolia. Its native range stretches from Manitoba in the north to Texas in the south. It is an herbaceous plant, as all species of echinacea are. It grows up to 28 inches in height, extending from a branched taproot. Its stems and leaves are hairy while other species are smooth. Its flowers resemble a cone in shape.
Echinacea angustifolia is so named in the vernacular due to the fact that elks knowingly consume the plant when sick or wounded. Elk root is an herb important to folk medicine practices of Plain Indians, such as the Cheyenne and Apache. It displays analgesic properties, and thus has been in use as a pain reliever for external wounds and internal inflammation, including allergies, rheumatism, and arthritis.
Research on elk root has been promising. It is one of the species of echinacea believed to enhance the immune system and improve immune responses. In particular, it is good for the respiratory system. It has been used in the treatment of the common cold, sore throat, and nasal congestion. In addition, it exhibits antimicrobial properties, which effectively wards off infections of the respiratory tract.
Eastern purple cornflower, or simply purple cornflower, refers to Echinacea purpurea. It enjoys a wide distribution in North America, though they thrive in large concentrations in the wild in regions close to the east coast. Unlike all other species of echinacea, it grows from a woody base with fibrous roots instead of a taproot. Its flowers are arranged in a cone, sitting atop a stem that grows up to 40 inches.
Echinacea purpurea is arguably the most extensively studied of all species of echinacea. Traditionally, it has been utilized by many different tribes in North America as a cure-all medicinal herb. Clinical trials have shown that juice extracts obtained from this plant species are useful for the short term treatment of cold infections, though contraindications in children and pregnant women were noted.
Echinacea purpurea displays chemopreventive potential. Laboratory studies have discovered that it contains alkamides, which bind to cannabinoid receptors and inhibit tumor growth and pain chemicals in the process. Also, it has been linked to immunotherapy largely owing to its properties that appear to increase the activity of immune cells. It shows promise as an adjunct treatment for cancer.
Either way, Echinacea can help boost the body so the body can fight back against disease. Make sure you have some in your medicine cabinet just in case you feel a cold coming on!
Policosanol and The Heart!
January 22, 2011 11:40 AM
What is Policosanol To The Heart
Policosanol is a mixture of the alcohols hexacosanol, octacosanol and tricontanol (mesityl alcohol) and a few others, although octacosanol is the major alcohol in the mixture. It is an extract of plant waxes from beeswax, yams, sugar cane and others, and is used a supplement to lower LDL cholesterol. In so doing it reduces your chances of contracting atherosclerosis, a condition associated with Narrowing of the arteries through deposition of cholesterol on their inside walls.
Two studies carried out using policosanol with 22 people over 8 weeks and 437 people over 12 weeks have indicated a 21% and 28% increase in HDL cholesterol respectively, and a 25% reduction in LDL cholesterol in each study. LDL cholesterol is the form that is carried by the arteries to where it is needed to biosynthesize hormones such as testosterone and to act as a band aid for damage to the blood vessels, and HDL cholesterol is the form that is being returned to the liver for disposal.
It is the LDL form that is oxidized by free radicals and deposited on the walls of the arteries, eventually blocking them (atherosclerosis) and causing strokes and heart attacks according to whether the arteries affected were in the brain or close to the heart. If you are pregnant or nursing, then do not use policosanol without seeking the advice of your doctor.
Statins or Policosanol?
Should you use statins or policosanol to reduce your cholesterol levels? High cholesterol levels can cause high blood pressure and heart attacks. Statins are used to reduce cholesterol levels, but have their problems: they can cause depression, memory problems, sexual dysfunction, joint pain, changes in your liver and more. Some people would rather suffer high cholesterol that take statins! Policosanol, a mixture of various plant long-chain alcohols extracted from beeswax, sugar cane and yams plus some others, is a viable option to statins.
Tests have indicated that policosanol can make a significant difference to your LDL cholesterol levels - LDL is commonly known as 'bad' cholesterol, and is what cause most of the heart disease and strokes associated with high cholesterol levels. A policosanol supplement is accepted by many doctors and medical practitioners as being a genuine alternative to statins, and if statins cause you problems, or if you are afraid of taking them, policosanol could be your answer. Pregnant women and nursing mothers should not take any supplement without referring to their doctor.
Turmeric, Curcumin, And Good Health
November 11, 2010 03:48 PM
Turmeric and its historyTurmeric is not just an ancient Asian spice but also an effective traditional alternative medicine used worldwide. Turmeric is a spice that originates in India and has been long used in both Ayurvedic and Chinese traditional medicine. This spice comes from the herb Curcuma longa L. which is a member of the Curcuma botanical group, a part of the ginger family of herbs called Zingiberaceae. The root and rhizome (underground stem) of this plant is crushed and powdered into ground Turmeric. Ground Turmeric is used worldwide as a seasoning and the main ingredient in curry powders. Ground Turmeric is also the source of Curcumin, an extracted potent substance also used as alternative medicine nowadays.
Turmeric, because of its Curcumin content, has many health benefits to humans. Firstly, Turmeric has an anti-inflammatory property. Its active ingredient, Curcumin, has been proven to help reduce inflammation. Decade to decade, Turmeric has been used as an anti-inflammatory agent to treat inflammations of the skin and muscles. Experiments done by researchers also revealed that this herb has been effective in decreasing post-surgical inflammation. This important health benefit of Turmeric is considered to be a result of the herb’s ability to slow down, if not to totally stop, Eicosanoid Biosynthesis, one of the processes the immune system undergoes during an inflammatory response.
Secondly, as a result of its anti-inflammatory characteristic, Turmeric also has an anti-arthritic property. It is widely used as an alternative medicine for rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune disorders. In addition, this herb also has a natural painkiller effect. Studies show that it has similar actions to the commonly used medications such as COX-2 inhibitor and Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs.
Thirdly, several studies have shown that Turmeric is also helpful in lowering the level of bad cholesterol in the blood known as the Low Density Lipoprotein or LDL and in increasing the body’s good cholesterol, High Density Lipoprotein or HDL. An increased level of LDL promotes cholesterol plaque deposits to the walls of blood vessels, most commonly in the arteries of heart. These plaques Narrow the arterial diameter hence resulting to high blood pressure and even circulation blockage. An arterial block may cause poor circulation and oxygenation to heart muscles leading to cardiac injury then infarction. This is oftentimes the cause of heart attacks. It has also been discovered that Turmeric can promote excretion of dietary fats. Thus, controlling the intestinal uptake of fats, especially cholesterol.
Turmeric - Powerful AntioxidantLastly, Turmeric is also widely used because of its anti-oxidant property. Studies demonstrate that Turmeric is effective in eliminating free radicals in the body. These free radicals are harmful. It may cause cell mutations which can lead to tumor formation and, worse, cancer.
This herbal plant can be prepared in the household by pounding and pressing its roots to be able to extract the juice out. It is then mixed with water and may be used topically or by nasal inhalation. The root can also be lightly cooked and eaten. Turmeric is also helpful in earaches and to clear clogged sinuses thus easing breathing. This herb can also be purchased in bulk powder or standardized forms to ensure its beneficial properties are intact.
Vitamin A, C, E as Antioxidants
September 12, 2010 06:20 PM
Vitamin A,C,E can boost health Vitamins A, C and E are known as the antioxidant vitamins, and as such they play a role in protecting your body from the effects of oxidative stress or damage by free radicals. They also play other functions, such as the supporting role Vitamin A has with respect to your immune system, but as a general class they are used very much for their antioxidant properties.
A consequence of this is that they should be included in your diet to protect you from damage to your arteries through the effects of atherosclerosis. This is a condition brought about by the free -radical oxidation of LDL cholesterol in your arteries leading to deposition of cholesterol plaques. These plaques progressively block up your arteries until they are so Narrow that a small blood clot will block an artery, potentially causing a stroke or even heart failure.
Vitamin A, C, E
In order to prevent this, it is advisable to take a vitamin supplement containing Vitamins A,C and E. This will help protect you from strokes and heart disease caused by Narrowing of the arteries by destroying the free radicals that cause it.
Atherosclerosis and Policosanol
July 31, 2010 02:18 PM
Policosanol has been proposed as a treatment for a condition known as atherosclerosis, and prior to discussing the supplement and how it works, we shall first discuss the condition and what causes it. Cholesterol has a bad name, yet without it you could not live. Among its uses are the formation and maintenance of cell membranes, the production of hormones such as testosterone, its use by the liver as a raw material for bile and the metabolism of the fat-soluble vitamins, A, D, E & K. It also helps protect the arteries from damage.
So cholesterol is necessary. However, it is only sparingly water soluble, and has to be transported by large fatty molecules that are also water soluble: low density and high density lipids (LDL and HDL cholesterol). LDL lipids generally carry cholesterol in the blood to the areas of the body where it is needed, while the HDL lipids carry it back to the liver for metabolizing. Free radical oxidation of LDL lipids causes them to deposit on arterial walls, and progressively block them leading to atherosclerosis. Even small blood clots can block the arteries leading to stoppage of the heart or strokes if the artery is in the brain.
Policosanol is a supplement, obtained in the USA from fatty alcohols extracted from beeswax and wheat germ, and in Cuba from other plant waxes, that is believed to reduce this problem and possibly even help to reduce the extent of atherosclerosis. HDL lipids can also reduce the extent of LDL arterial plaques. Studies are still under way, although the known side effects are only slight and many claim that Policosanol has improved their condition substantially.
Borage Seed Oil (GLA)
June 10, 2009 11:34 AM
Borage, often referred to as starflower, is an annual herb that originated in Syria. However, it was naturalized throughout the Mediterranean region and in Asia Minor, Europe, North Africa, and South America. The plant grows to a height of two to three feet, having a bristly hair all over the stems and leaves. The leaves are alternate, simple, and ranging from two to six inches in length, while the flower are complete with five Narrow, triangular-pointed petals. The borage flower is most often blue in color, but occasionally pink flowers are observed. White flowers can also be cultivated. The borage plant has an indeterminate growth habit, which may lead to prolific spreading. In milder climates, borage will bloom for most of the year continuously.
Borage was often used to flavor wine drank by ancient Celtic warriors before going into battle because it held the reputation of enhancing both courage and strength. During the middle Ages, the leaves and flowers of the borage plant were combined with wine to relieve melancholy. The Roman scholar Pliny believed that this herb was useful for treating depression and lifting the spirits. John Gerard, a sixteenth-century herbalist, thought of borage as an herb to comfort the heart and increase joy.
In addition to its mood-boosting properties, borage is often used to treat bronchitis. This is because of its soothing effect and its ability to reduce inflammation and detoxify the body. Borage is known to help heal the mucous membranes of the mouth and throat and to stimulate activity in the kidneys and adrenal glands to rid the body of catarrh.
Also, borage is useful for restoring vitality during recovery from an illness. This herb is helpful for treating problems of the digestive system and has been used to increase quantity and quality of mother’s milk. Borage was traditionally cultivated for culinary and medicinal uses, but today it is commercially cultivated as an oilseed. The seed oil provides a desired source of GLA, for which borage is the highest known plant-based source. Virgin borage oil contains essential fatty acids, especially when they are in concentrations with gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). This fatty acid can account for as much as 26 percent of the oil’s content. It is best known for its source of concentrated GLA. The borage plant is known to stimulate the adrenal glands to help the body during stressful times.
Borage includes use as either a fresh vegetable or a dried herb. As a fresh vegetable, borage has a cucumber-like taste and is often used in salads or as a garnish. The flower has a sweet honey-like taste and is one of the few truly blue-colored things that are edible, making it popular for the decoration of dessert.
The leaves of the borage plant are used to provide blood purifier, diaphoretic, febrifuge, galactoagogue, and purgative properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb include calcium and potassium. Primarily, borage is most beneficial in dealing with bronchitis, congestion, inflammation of the eyes, fevers, heart problems, absence of lactation, excessive mucus, PMS and rashes. Additionally, this herb is extremely helpful in treating blood impurities, colds, gastric disorders, insomnia, jaundice, lung disorders, nervous disorders, pleurisy, ringworm, and urinary problems.
Borage oil is available in softgel or bulk liquid forms at your local or internet health food store. Always purchase name brands to ensure quality and purity of the product you purchase. For more information on the beneficial effects of borage, please contact a representative from your local health food store.
March 23, 2009 01:56 PM
Our memory is as natural to us as breathing. An ability we all have, but don’t often think of, it doesn’t seem to cross our mind until we perceive that we are losing the ability. Memory lapses are an annoyance in themselves, but the anxiety that often comes along with them seems to be even worse. We often wonder if our memory problems are a symptom of some other problem like midlife depression, arteriosclerosis, or even Alzheimer’s disease. Although Alzheimer’s disease is a fairly common disorder among older people, one must realize that most memory lapses have nothing to do with Alzheimer’s disease.
Generally, it is believed that increasing age brings about an increased likelihood of developing memory loss. The mildest form of this illness is called age-associated memory impairment. This is characterized by one’s perception of his or her own memory loss and it is estimated that it is experienced by 40 percent of Americans over the age of sixty-five. Not all memory loss is attributable to aging, as occasional memory lapses are a natural normal part of life at almost any age, and are not likely to precede serious memory loss. With a proper diet, nutrition, and memory use, the memory should remain sharp and active well into one’s nineties or beyond.
One big reason why people suffer from memory loss is an insufficient supply of necessary nutrients to the brain. The life of the body is in the blood, as it literally feeds and nourishes every cell within our bodies. Only certain substances are allowed to pass from the bloodstream into the brain, thanks to the protective envelope that is known as the blood-brain barrier. If the blood is thick with cholesterol and triglycerides, the amount of nutrient-rich blood that can pass through the blood-brain barrier decreases. This can result in the brain becoming malnourished over time.
The functioning of the brain also depends upon substances that are referred to as neurotransmitters, which are brain chemicals that act as electrical switches in the brain and are responsible for all the functions of the body. If the brain does not have an adequate supply of neurotransmitters, or the nutrients to make them, it starts to develop something similar to a power failure or a short circuit. If you are trying to recall as specific fact or piece of information and your mind goes blank, it is likely that the above “short circuit” has occurred.
There are many other factors that are involved in the deterioration of the memory. One of the most important is exposure to free radicals, which can cause huge amounts of damage if the memory is unchecked. Alcoholics and drug addicts often suffer a great deal of memory loss, with alcoholics being notorious for huge memory gaps that occur even though they are conscious. Allergies, candidiasis, stress, thyroid disorders, and poor circulation to the brain can also contribute to memory loss, while hypoglycemia can play a role in memory loss as well, as the brain requires that the level of glucose in the blood fall within a specific Narrow range. Wide swings in blood sugar levels affect brain function and memory.
The following nutrients are beneficial in dealing with and preventing memory loss: acetylcholine, boron, DMAE, garlic, huperzine A, lecithin granules, manganese, multivitamin and mineral complex, omega-3 fatty acid complex, phosphatidyl choline, phosphatidyl serine, SOD, vitamin A, vitamin B complex, vitamin B3, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, acetyl-l-carnitine, l-glutamine, l-tyrosine, coenzyme Q10, DHEA, DMG, melatonin, NADH, pregnenolone, RNA and DNA, Brahmi, ginkgo biloba, anise, blue cohosh, ginseng, gotu kola, and rosemary.
All of the above mentioned as well as formulas tailored to help improve memory can be found in capsule, table, or power forms. Remember, only look to name brands such as Solaray, Source Naturals and Natures Plus for quality products. Memory vitamins and herbs can be found at your local or internet health food store.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Vitamins and herbs are not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.
February 19, 2009 05:14 PM
Hay fever, which is an allergy to proteins in the pollen of trees, grasses, some plants, or mold, affects the mucous membranes of the nose, eyes, and air passages. Symptoms of hay fever include itchy, red eyes; watery discharge from the nose and eyes; sneezing; fatigue; and nervous irritability. Many of the symptoms of hay fever can be confused with those symptoms of the common cold. However, allergies cause a distinctive clear, thin nasal discharge, whereas secretions that come from colds are usually thick and yellow-greenish as the illness progresses. Colds are also associated with mild fever and are usually gone within a week. On the other hand, allergy sufferers often feel wiped out for many weeks.
At least 50 million Americans suffer from seasonal sneezes, runny nose, and itchy eyes that come with hay fever. There happen to be three seasons of hay fever which are distinguished by the different pollen present at these different times of the year. Tree pollen appears first, usually between February and May, depending on the climate. When trees, weeds, grass pollens, and people are out at the same time, the biggest problems arise. This usually occurs later in spring and in summer. The fall is the season for ragweed pollen. Depending on which pollen or pollens an individual is allergic to, hay fever may be present at any or all of these times.
In more detail, the following is a summary of the types of plants according to the times of year they are most likely to cause problems. Alder, hazelnut, and elm trees cause the most problems in February through May, while birch, maple, and oak trees are problematic in March through June. Beech and spruce trees bring about issues in April through June, while horse chestnut trees are responsible for causing problems in April through August. In April through September, Asters, pine trees, plantain, sorrel, stinging nettle, and various grasses are responsible for bringing about allergies. Buttercups are problematic in May through July and Goosefoot is an issue in June through September. In July through September, mugwort seems to pose a problem.
Those people who suffer from hay fever also often suffer from other atopic disorders like asthma and dermatitis. Those people who suffer from hay fever symptoms throughout the year are said to have perennial rhinitis, which can be caused by animal hair, dust, feathers, fungus spores, molds, and/or some other environmental agent. It should be noted that a susceptibility to hay fever tends to be an inherited condition. Those people who are most prone to allergies are often aware of the time of year and conditions under which they are most sensitive. A RAST test can easily be done and provide reliable results for a definitive diagnosis.
The following nutrients are beneficial for hay fever: bromelain, coenzyme Q10, Quercetin, raw thymus, vitamin A, vitamin B complex, vitamin C with bioflavonoids, proteolytic enzymes, zinc, calcium, magnesium, garlic, kelp, manganese, Pycnogenol, SOD, and vitamin E. Additionally, the following herbs have been noted to be helpful: alfalfa, chlorophyll, vitamin K, eucalyptus oil, eyebright, lady’s mantle, goldenseal extract, horehound, mullein leaf, stinging nettle, wild cherry bark, turmeric, nettle leaf, and noni juice.
In conclusion, discovering your allergic substance is the first step to recovery. When you can Narrow down what is the cause then you can combat the problem with vitamins, herbs, and dietary changes. Your local or internet health food store has a large selection of herbal and homeopathic remedies for hay fever symptoms.
Horny Goat Weed
December 06, 2008 10:05 AM
Horny Goat weed, correctly named Epimedium, or Yin Yang Huo in Chinese, is one of over 60 herbaceous plants of the Berberdaceae family. It grows naturally in Southern China, and also in Korea, Southeast Asia and some parts of Europe. Other names given to include Fairy Wings and Bishop's Hat.
Horny goat weed has been viewed as a natural alternative to Viagra, and many species of Epimedium are said to possess aphrodisiac properties, and is said to have got its name from a Chinese goat herder who notice that his goats became more 'frisky' with the lady goats after eating the plant. In fact studies have indicated to increase vitality, particularly the libido and male sexual vitality, although it also possesses some other health benefits in its effect on dementia and osteoporosis.
The term 'horny' is used in the colloquial sense, and has nothing to do with the shape of the plant, the flowers of which are star-shaped. In fact the Chinese name for it means 'licentious goat weed', making the English translation quite clear.
The main ingredient in horney goat weed is icariin, a flavonoid glycoside that acts as a PDE5 inhibitor. Others include the similarly named, but totally different chemical, icaritin, and also many other that will be discussed later. It is icariin on which we shall focus for the time being. Since this is central to its effect on erectile dysfunction, some time will be spent on explaining what PDE5 inhibitors do.
cGMP (Cyclic guanosine monophosphate) is a chemical that relaxes smooth muscle tissue, including the vascular smooth muscles in blood vessels. This can lead to the dilation, or increase in size, of blood vessels and increased blood flow. The corpus cavernosum of the penis is a spongy area that runs the full length of the penis, and contains many blood vessels that can be dilated through the action of cGMP and allow the increased blood flow to create an erection.
PDE5 (phosphodiesterase type 5) is an enzyme that can degrade cGMP and prevent the relaxation of these blood vessels, and so prevent them from dilating. A PDE5 inhibitor, such as icariin, prevents the PDE5 from degrading cGMP, and so allow a normal erection. Sidenafil, commonly known as Viagra, is a similar PDE5 inhibitor and works in the same way as icariin. Hence, the effect of Viagra is not to create an unnatural erection, but in fact to allow the cGMP to do its natural work by preventing the phosphodiesterase from stopping it doing so.
This is just one of the effects of horny goat weed: it is a more natural PDE5 inhibitor than Viagra is. It is also more specific than Sidenfil, and does not interfere with any of the other phosphodiesterases that are essential for other purposes. However, its effects do not stop there, because icariin possesses other properties, and is also only one of the many components of epimedium that can increase vitality.
Among these are a number of flavonoids in addition to icariin, sterols and the isoquinoline alkaloid magnaflorine, that possesses antioxidant properties and reduces LDL cholesterol. The exact mechanism by which horny goat weed works to increase sexual desire is unknown, but it is believed that it inhibits the enzyme acetylcholinetsrase (AChE). Cholinergic synapses are the spaces between brain cells that allow electrical impulses to be transmitted, and are an essential component of neuromuscular system response to stimulation.
AChE can stop these from working properly, and prevent neurotransmitters from effectively allowing sexual arousal. Horny goat weed can inhibit the activity of this enzyme and allow the neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine to do their proper job in allowing sexual arousal to occur. This, again, is a natural and not a chemical solution. It has also been found to reduce cortisol levels that cause stress which also reduces sexual desire.
The effect of Epimedium on smooth muscles can also aid those suffering from pulmonary hypertension, in which the small blood vessels in the lungs become too Narrow to be effective in allowing the transfer between oxygen and carbon dioxide. PDE5 inhibitors can help these blood vessels to relax and so be more easily dilated in the same way as those in the corpus cavernosum. Once dilated, they are able to carry more blood to and from the lungs and allow the reoxygenation process to continue smoothly.
Research has also discovered the possibility of horny goat weed possessing monoamine-oxidase inhibition properties. Monoamine oxidase enzymes can deaminate hormones such as dopamine, and can significantly reduce the production of testosterone. The inhibitor prevents this happening, and leads to elevated levels of dopamine, and also of serotonin and noradrenaline. Dopamine encourages the pituitary gland to release luteinizing hormone that in turn promotes the production of testosterone by the testes.
Another property of horny goat weed is that it can protect against the toxin beta-Amyloid, a protein that damages DNA in the brain, causing the death of brain cells and the accumulation of dead cells in your brain. This in turn leads to dementia and potentially Alzheimer's disease. The use of Horny goat weed is being studied closely in relation to this property. The active ingredient here is icaritin (not to be confused with icariin)
Epimedium also has implications in the treatment of the cartilage and bone damage that occurs with arthritis and osteoporosis. It is possible that this is connected with the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of magnaflorine, and icariin has been found to have bone-healing properties. It is known that damaged cartilage treated with horney goat weed displayed signs of growth and regeneration when compared to a placebo.
However, the most popular use of horny goat weed is in its effect on the libido and erectile dysfunction. The effect on the libido and sexual desire works equally well for men and women, and it is a preferred natural remedy to synthetic equivalents such as Viagra, Levitra and Cialis. The added benefits of the natural product render epimedium the preferred and safest solution for many people.
Green Coffee Bean Extract
October 22, 2008 04:59 PM
It is known that aging is largely a result of the effect of free radicals on our body cells, and that green coffee bean extract can be used to fight against these. While we intuitively understand what the term ‘aging’ means, very few people can actually describe it in words, although there are several theories of why it occurs.
The most viable of these include the Error Catastrophe Theory, related to faulty molecular transcription and errors in cellular function, the Crosslinkage Theory, in which progressively increasing cross-linking between proteins slows the body functions down, and the Neuroendocrine Theory, in which changes in homeostasis and hormone levels occur through time due to an increasing loss of sensitivity of receptors to feedback inhibition.
However, by far the most acceptable and best understood theory is the Free Radical Theory of Aging, which green coffee beans have been found to help fight, and it is on that which we shall focus here.
The Free Radical Theory of Aging
Free radicals are oxidants created by unpaired electrons. Electrons generally go around in pairs, but occasionally molecules lose one of these electrons, creating a situation where it possesses an unpaired electron. In this condition, that molecule has only one purpose in life and that is to oxidize other molecules by stealing an electron from them.
Oxidation can cause untold damage to cell membranes, and also to other molecules that are vital to life, such as DNA. The end result is aging, and the onset of many diseases and conditions connected with aging. Free radicals are believed to be behind inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and Crohn’s disease, strokes, cardiovascular disease, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer among many others. Each of these is associated with aging.
Free radicals are generated in the body in four different ways:
1. Energy is generated by the intercellular mitochondria by the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate). By-products of the mechanism by which this is done include hydrogen peroxide, the superoxide anion, and a hydroxyl radical. Over 20 billion molecules of antioxidant are produced in each individual cell daily, and every one of these has the capability to do damage to your body. The figure for inefficient cell metabolism is significantly higher.
2. Peroxisomes are eukaryotic cell components that contain oxidative enzymes, whose function is to produce hydrogen peroxide that is then used by another enzyme, catalase, to oxidize other toxic substances. It is used by the liver, for example, to oxidize about a quarter of all the alcohol we drink to acetaldehyde, and also to remove other toxins from the body. The down side is that the hydrogen peroxide can escape and degrade the cell membranes.
3. Chronic infections give rise to a high activity of white blood cells, which utilize oxidants of various kinds to destroy viruses, bacteria and parasites. These include hydrogen peroxide, superoxide and nitric oxide which can also destroy the cells they are protecting.
4. Cytochrome P450 is an enzyme used to clear the body of toxic chemicals in our food such as pesticides and drugs. They also give rise to oxidative by-products.
In addition to these, free radicals are also produced by air pollution consisting of smoking, factory emissions and traffic fumes. Trace metals such as lead, iron and copper, are rich free radical sources, as is the ultraviolet component of sunlight, and caffeine, from tea and coffee, can also contribute to the store of free radicals in your body.
So where does green coffee extract come into this, and how should it be used. Free radicals tend to react very rapidly to accelerate aging, and in order to counter them, and hold the effects of aging at bay, it is necessary to destroy them almost as quickly as they are produced. This is carried out by antioxidants, of which there must be a plentiful supply available in each body cell.
Antioxidants donate electrons to free radicals, and so effectively neutralize them before they can attack the membranes of the cells in your body, or any of the other tissues that they can degrade. Many of the vitamins have a powerful antioxidant effect, among them vitamins A, C and E. Other antioxidants available in our diet include beta carotene and other carotenoids, flavonoids and glutathione, and also cofactors such as lipoic acid. All of these can destroy free radicals by the donation of an electron.
Green coffee beans have also been found to possess a strong antioxidant effect, due largely to the plant phenols, such as caffeic acid that forms chlorogenic acid with quinic acid, both cholorgenic and caffeic acid being string antioxidants. Green coffee bean extract is standardized to 99% chlorogenic acid. This substances not only reacts rapidly with free oxygen radicals but also helps to prevent to formation of hydroxyl radicals.
It has been established that green coffee bean reacts twice as fast as green tea or grape seed extracts, and speed of reaction is critical in the destruction of free radicals that have to be destroyed before they do damage. Other antioxidants found in extracts of green coffee beans include heterocyclic compounds such as pyrroles, furans and maltol.
The extract is made from beans of Coffea Arabica, this containing higher concentrations of chlorogenic and caffeic acids than the Arabica plant. The extract is also produced to be naturally low in caffeine, thus avoiding the negative effects of drinking coffee for its stimulating properties. When the green coffee bean is roasted, the antioxidant effect is found to decrease, and after roasting and brewing both the Arabica and the Robusta beans have reduced in activity to much the same level.
Studies on some of the conditions exacerbated by free radicals have indicated the effectiveness of green coffee beans as an antioxidant. It is believed to help reduce atherosclerosis caused by the oxidation of low density lipids (LDL). Oxidized LDLs tend to be easily absorbed by phagocytes to form plaques and foam cells in artery walls, thus Narrowing and hardening the arteries, causing a deprivation of oxygen and nutrients to the heart and also increased blood pressure. Antioxidants from the green coffee bean prevent this from happening, and so help to reduce this serious effect of aging.
A good supply of antioxidants will also prevent the cell membranes from being destroyed, one effect of which is to age the skin. Antioxidants in the form of green coffee bean extract can help to maintain a youthful appearance while also aiding in the prevention of the more serious effects of free radicals that can shorten life.
There are no doubts that free radicals contribute significantly to accelerated aging, and that the antioxidants contained in green coffee beans can help hold back the physical signs of aging, while also helping to destroy those free radicals that threaten life by promoting cancer, atherosclerosis, and other similar conditions.
Grape Fruit Pectin Fiber
October 21, 2008 12:56 PM
Grapefruit pectin fiber is a source of soluble fiber that can bind to cholesterol and inhibit the formation of atherosclerosis. It is also effective in maintaining good blood sugar levels, and promoting a healthy colon. However, before discussing how grapefruit pectin fiber works in these ways, it is first necessary to explain how they occur in the first place.
First cholesterol. This is a steroid lipid, most of which is biosynthesized by your body rather than being present in your diet. Although it has a bad name health wise, cholesterol is actually essential to good health because it helps your digestive system break down fast, it strengthens cell walls and is a major ingredient in the manufacture of vitamin D by your liver. It is also essential for the formation of several hormones, including cortisone, cortisol and aldosterone by the adrenal glands, and also of estrogen and testosterone. A bloodstream without cholesterol is therefore not good for you.
Given that cholesterol is essential for good health, then why does it have such a bad press? The root cause of that is that cholesterol is not water soluble, and to be carried round the bloodstream to where it is needed it needs some transport. For that, it uses low density lipoproteins (LDLs). However, it’s not a return journey, and to get back they must use another form of lipid known as a high density lipoprotein (HDL). The protein part is water soluble, wile the lipid part can attach to the cholesterol and carry it around the bloodstream.
The problem arises with free radicals, which are oxygenated molecules that are generated by the body’s metabolism, and also created from pollutants, such as pesticides and cigarette smoke, and the UV portion of daylight. These can oxidize the low density lipoproteins so that they can be attacked by phagocytes (while blood cells) deposited as plaques in the artery walls. This hardens and thickens the arteries, reducing the heart’s blood supply which in turn can cause strokes and heart attacks.
This can be prevented in a number ways, the major of which are by consuming plenty antioxidants in your food, mostly contained in phytochemicals (plant chemicals), reducing your LDL cholesterol levels to the minimum needed by your body, and also by increasing the HDL levels in your bloodstream by as much as possible.
Grapefruit pectin fiber can bind to cholesterol, and prevent it from being deposited in the artery walls by the oxidized LDL. A sixteen week double blind study (neither the subjects nor those carrying out the test and analyzing the results knew who were given the placebo) found that grapefruit pectin successful reduced the low density cholesterol level of 27 subjects by 10.8% and overall plasma cholesterol by 7.6%. These volunteers were at a medium to high risk of atherosclerosis due to a high LDL cholesterol concentration in their blood.
Animal studies have also been carried out, whereby animals were fed a high cholesterol diet, and those fed a high fat diet were found to have an average of 45% Narrowing of their arteries, and those fed the same diet, but with added grapefruit pectin fiber, were found to have only 25% Narrowing, thus corresponding with the results of the human volunteers.
It is essential that you maintain a stable level of sugar in your blood since the body reacts to low blood glucose by making you feel hungry, and thereby forcing you eat. If you are trying to lose weight you will find it very difficult if your blood sugar levels fluctuate. Grapefruit pectin can reduce the rate at which carbohydrates enter your bloodstream, and therefore the rate at which sugars are absorbed.
Studies have also indicated that pectin can even out your blood sugar concentration, so that you experience fewer fluctuations or sudden spikes that can make you feel either very hungry, and so binge on carbohydrates, or very satisfied so that you eat nothing at all. The maintenance of a stable level of glucose in the blood is necessary for a normal life since it is that that determine your need to eat food. If your blood sugar is low, the desire to eat high calorie carbohydrate food is uncontrollable.
This is the theory behind the so-called ‘grapefruit diet’. You eat a grapefruit prior to a meal, and allow it to be digested. The grapefruit pectin will make you feel full and so eat less, so that you can eat normal foods, but still lose weight. Many people take the grapefruit pectin in supplement form for its ease and economy of use. It is also more convenient since you don’t have to carry grapefruit around with you everywhere you go.
A Healthy Colon
Like any other soluble fiber, grapefruit pectin fiber is a dietary fiber that can help to maintain the health of your colon. In fact it is the only one of the basic four fibers of lignin, cellulose, hemicelluloses and pectin that is soluble. Although referred to as soluble, pectin softens and expands and provides substance and added weight to faeces in order to allow it to pass easier through your colon.
Other than ensuring the easy passage of your stool through your colon, and avoiding constipation, grapefruit pectin fiber can help to prevent excessive growth of bad bacteria in the intestine, and because it accelerates the passage of substances through the colon, there is less time for toxic or cancerous substances to be in contact with your bowel lining. It is that which causes bowel cancer, and grapefruit pectin fiber can help to prevent it.
Fiber can also help to prevent diverticulosis, where the intestinal wall develops small sacs and becomes weakened. It also prevents hemorrhoids, eases the symptoms of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). In short, it offers many benefits for the health of your colon, and can help to cure many bowel conditions.
However, it is important that you don't just rush into using any form of dietary fiber, but take it gradually. You start with a small intake, and then increase it slowly; since it is not absorbed through the intestine too much can lie in your colon and ferment, causing any number of intestinal problems. When used properly it can ease the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, but if used to excess, or too quickly, can actually cause the same symptoms, in addition to blocking the absorption of essential minerals such as iron, zinc and calcium.
Grapefruit pectin fiber can do a great deal for health, including maintaining good blood sugar and cholesterol levels, and helping to keep your colon healthy. It is available in convenient supplement form, but make sure that you drink sufficient liquid each day in order to prevent the fiber blocking your intestine rather than allowing free passage of waste product into, through, and out of your colon.
Gac Fruit Oil
August 25, 2008 07:04 PM
Most people have never heard of gac fruit, yet it is very popular in South East Asia, particularly in China and Vietnam. The fruit is grown on vines that reach the size of a cantaloupe and from North East Australia across to China and Vietnam it is used as both a food and a medicine. It is only fairly recently that it has found use in the West as a health food
So what’s so special about this fruit, known also as baby jackfruit and sweet gourd? Its bright red color should provide a clue, since it is jam packed full of beta carotene, lycopene and other strong antioxidants that not only helps to support the immune system, but also helps to retard the effects of aging. It has been used in Vietnam in particular to overcome the effects of an endemic deficiency in vitamin A, and is rich in provitamin A carotenoids. It is also widely used in Chinese medicine to treat a variety of complaints.
Antioxidants and Free Radicals
Antioxidants can boost health in a number of ways, and it might help you understand better the benefits that gac fruit can provide to explain what antioxidants do and why they are such an essential part of our diets. Every millisecond of every day of our lives, our natural metabolism of the conversion of blood glucose to energy generates small oxygenated molecules known as free radicals.
Free radicals are molecules that possess an unpaired electron and are highly unstable. Electrons generally travel in pairs, and when one of that pair is lost through a chemical reaction, the other electron has only one purpose in its short life: to pair up with another electron and it will do whatever it has to in order to achieve that. It is called a free radical, and its life is short. Free radicals destroy body cells, and this can have a dramatic effect, both visually on your skin, and internally on your general health.
Apart from those generated by your body’s own biochmemistry, free radicals are present in car emissions and other pollutants such as pesticides, smog and fried and barbecued foods. They are also formed in your skin by excessive exposure to the UV component of the sun’s radiation. That is why the skin of those living in hot climates tends to age earlier.
Free radicals are what make you look older as you grow older: they destroy skin cells as they are formed, but that is one of the least of their effects. They can also oxidize low density lipids (LDL) that carry cholesterol around your body, causing it to deposit fatty plaques on the walls of your arteries, which is a serious cardiovascular condition known as atherosclerosis.
Antioxidants can donate an electron to free radicals without then becoming free radicals themselves, and so destroy them as they are formed. However, the antioxidant can then lose its reducing power. Free radicals do not roam the blood seeking victims as many imagine them to, but react almost instantly, as soon as they are formed. It is important, therefore, that antioxidants are present in or close to every cell of your body. To achieve this, they must be bound to a fatty molecule, and the problem with many phytonutrients is that they have no associated fats or oils to carry them into the fatty tissues of the body.
Nutritional Constituents of Gac Fruit
Not so with gac fruit, because in addition to the beta carotene and lycopene content, it is also rich in long-chain fatty acids, particularly linoleic and alpha linoleic acids. Not only that, but its beta carotene content is around ten times that of carrots, and it contains 70 times the lycopene of tomatoes! Vitamin C is another very powerful antioxidant, and gac contains 60 times the Vitamin C of oranges. It is also rich in other free radical busters, such as xeoxanthins and alpha-tocopherol, a form of vitamin E.
Altogether, gac fruit contains a free radical killing arsenal that should be enough to scare even the most courageous free radical back to where it came from. Other constituents of gac are numerous minerals, particularly zinc and iron.
That is why the sweet gourd is such a prized fruit, and why Southeast Asian women have skins that western women of the same age would die for! Antioxidants help to prevent the disruption and destruction of skin cells that are the major reason for aging looks, and why skin creams are packed with vitamins A and E, both strong antioxidants.
Health Benefits of Gac
Most of the health benefits of gac are provided by its antioxidant properties. Thus, if you have a high cholesterol level, gac can help you to avoid atherosclerosis by preventing the oxidation of the LDL cholesterol, which is the precursor to it depositing on your artery walls. The body needs cholesterol, but levels should be kept to within certain limits or the resultant atherosclerosis can Narrow your arteries leading to cardiac problems and strokes, particularly in the very Narrow arteries of the brain.
Gac also supports the immune system and helps to maintain prostate health, largely through its alpha tocopherol, or vitamin E content. Vitamin E is easily destroyed by free radicals, which is where the beta carotene is of benefit. This is the body’s first line of defense against free radicals, and each molecule can neutralize up to 20 free radical molecules before it is destroyed. This helps to save other antioxidants such as vitamin E.
Lycopene is particularly beneficial to the prostate and current research indicates that it can help to prevent prostate cancer and cardiovascular disease, plus some other diseases such as macular degeneration that affects your sight. Perhaps this is one reason why the gac fruit membranes are used in Vietnam to promote healthy vision, and they also help to cure dry eyes. Lycopene remains in your body fat longer than normal beta carotene, and recent studies have found that men with high amounts of lycopene in their body fat are up to 50% less likely to suffer heart attacks as those with low amounts.
Gac fruit is jam-packed full of nutrients and antioxidants, and has no known side effects. It is used in Asia for weddings and other special occasions, and is grown on lattices in many gardens, although it has a short season. However, gac fruit is not known as the “Fruit from Heaven” for no reason, and if you were allowed the choice of only one fruit in your life, then this would be the one.
August 15, 2008 03:51 PM
DHA is the most abundant essential fatty acid (polyunsaturated fatty acids) found in the brain and retina. DHA is essential for the proper functioning of our brains as adults, and for the development of our nervous system and visual abilities during the first 6 months of life. DHA is found in cold water fatty fish, including salmon, tuna (blue fin tuna have up to five times more DHA than other types of tuna), mackerel, sardines, shellfish, and herring. Lets take a look at what DHA can do for you.
DHA makes infant formulas more like human milk than "conventional" formula containing Alpha-linolenic acid and linoleic acid, which are precursors to DHA. It has been an ingredient in several brands of premium infant formula sold in North America since 2001. Mead Johnson was the first infant formula manufacturer to add DHA and ARA (arachidonic acid) to its Enfamil Lipil product, several other manufacturers have followed. DHA levels in breast milk are higher if a mother's diet is high in fish.
DHA is also present normally in very high concentrations in the retina. DHA supplementation would be particularly important for mothers who have consumed excessive alcohol, because alcohol inhibits the desaturase enzymes necessary for DHA synthesis. Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) is a type of Omega-3 fatty acid, a nutrient that has been studied for its role in heart, brain and eye health. An experiment that studied the individual effects of EPA and DHA found that EPA reduced natural killer (NK) cell activity and cell-mediated immune response, but that DHA does not so this study concluded that the immune-suppressing effects of fish oil are mainly due to EPA, not DHA.
Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil help lower triglycerides (fats in the blood), lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of blood clots, improve the health of arteries and reduce the amount of arterial plaque (which Narrows arteries and causes heart disease). Many people believe that excessively high omega-6 rather than omega-3 in the modern diet is responsible for an increase in allergies and the need to take aspirin to reduce the risk of heart attack (myocardial infarction).
Sunflower, safflower and corn oil are particularly rich sources of linoleic acid, which is at the root of the omega-6 fatty-acid family. The ability of enzymes to produce the omega-6 and omega-3 family of products of linoleic and alpha-linolenic acid declines with age this is why we need more omega 3 DHA in our diets. In fact, a high omega-3 fatty acid diet increases the alpha-tocopherol content of heart muscle membranes by five times, and this effect is most prominently associated with DHA because the heart muscle prefers DHA as its raw materials to manufacture and strengthen its membranes.
Dietary DHA may reduce the risk of heart disease by reducing the level of blood triglycerides in humans. Low levels of DHA result in reduction of brain serotonin levels and have been associated with ADHD, Alzheimer's disease, and depression, among other diseases, and there is mounting evidence that DHA supplementation may be effective in combating inflammatory bowel disease as well.
Dietary changes in the past century have lowered the consumption of omega-3 to a state of subclinical deficiency that is epidemiologically related to cardiovascular disease, inflammatory disorders, mental and psychiatric diseases and suboptimal neurodevelopment. Decreases in DHA in the brain are associated with cognitive decline during aging and with onset of sporadic Alzheimer disease. DHA has a positive effect on diseases such as hypertension, arthritis, atherosclerosis,, adult-onset diabetes, mellitus, thrombosis, and some cancers.
In conclusion, if consuming DHA through your diet is impossible, you can purchase DHA as a supplement in two common forms: Fish oil capsules or DHA extracted from algae. Consuming DHA may help support body tissues in which DHA is prevalent — especially the brain, nervous system, heart, retinas, and colon. Staying healthy is important, have you had your DHA today?
August 12, 2008 01:37 PM
Vitamin C is the most widely taken nutritional supplement on the market and is available in a variety of forms, including tablets, drink mixes, crystals in capsules or bulk powdered crystals. Vitamin C is present in mother's milk and, in lower amounts, in raw cow's milk, with pasteurized milk containing only trace amounts. This vitamin is most present in the liver and least present in the muscle but needed through out the body.
Vitamin C is required for the synthesis of collagen, an important structural component of blood vessels, tendons, ligaments, skin, and bone. Vitamin C can regenerate other antioxidants such as vitamin E; in the body vitamin E can regenerate C as well. This vitamin is required for the growth and repair of tissues in all parts of your body. Relatively large doses of vitamin C may cause indigestion, particularly when taken on an empty stomach.
It has been shown that smokers who have diets poor in vitamin C are at a higher risk of lung-borne diseases than those smokers who have higher concentrations of Vitamin C in the blood. Biological tissues that accumulate over 100 times the level in blood plasma of vitamin C are the adrenal glands, pituitary, thymus, corpus luteum, and retina.
Studies suggest the presence of large quantities of sugar either in the intestines or in the blood can slow absorption of this vitamin. Several studies have demonstrated a blood pressure lowering effect of vitamin C supplementation. Also, when consumed in high doses it appears to interfere with the blood thinning effects of warfarin by lowering prothrombin time, as noted in case reports in the 1970s so consult your doctor if on medications..
In one Study, researchers instructed patients with documented coronary artery disease to take a single oral dose of either 2 g vitamin C or a placebo. Results, the researchers discovered that high doses of vitamin C can help prevent blood platelet sticking and fight cholesterol oxidation. Also, researchers discovered this vitamin can reduce the formation of potentially carcinogenic nitrogen-containing compounds in the stomach, offering protection from stomach cancer, researchers have reported.
French and German researchers found that vitamin C appeared to keep cells in the blood vessel wall from dying. The researchers, who studied immune indicators, such as serum immunoglobulin and neutrophil phagocytosis (how well your white blood cells can engulf and digest foreign bodies), concluded that vitamin C exerts a remarkable immuno-modulating action, in other words, improved immune function in all those who consumed vitamin C on a regular basis.
What are deficiency symptoms for vitamin C?
Scurvy is a disease resulting from lack of vitamin C, since without this vitamin, the synthesized collagen is too unstable to perform its function. Scurvy was common among those with poor access to fresh fruit and vegetables, such as remote, isolated sailors and soldiers. The amount of vitamin C required to prevent “chronic disease” appears to be more than that required for prevention of scurvy which is 30 – 60 milligrams per day. Based on scientific research, vitamin C also appears to improve oral absorption of iron, which is good news for those that are anemic.
Half of us in the United States will die from heart disease. The foundation of heart disease is atherosclerosis, the Narrowing of our arteries with plaque. Treatment with vitamin C has consistently resulted in improved dilation of blood vessels in individuals with atherosclerosis as well as those with angina pectoris, congestive heart failure, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. Researchers believe this protection from cell death could explain previous study findings which suggest that vitamin C benefits blood vessel function in people with congestive heart failure.
Vitamin C supplements are also generally regarded as safe in most individuals in recommended amounts, although there are rarely reported side effects including nausea, vomiting, heartburn, abdominal cramps, and headache. In addition, this vitamin is required for the synthesis of l-Carnitine, a small amino acid that is essential for the transport of fat to cellular organelles called mitochondria, for conversion to energy. If you have chronic fatigue syndrome, vitamin C may help by boosting energy production through the mitochondria.
Therefore, as in many studies of vitamin C intake and cardiovascular disease risk, it is difficult to separate the effects of vitamin C on stroke risk from the effects of other components such as diet and the consumption of fruits and vegetables. As with all dietitians an emphasis on the benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is important to maintain a healthy cardiovascular system. If one can not consume fruits and vegetables on a daily basis then supplementation of vitamin C is need in either capsule of tablet to fight the risk of disease.
Red Yeast Rice
August 04, 2008 04:07 PM
Many natural substances that are capable of lowering blood fats and cholesterol levels that are potentially harmful have emerged. No one is suggesting that there is a magic pill that will promote healthy cholesterol levels, but nature has provided us with some specific compounds that are capable of enhancing both dietary and lifestyle changes in order to improve cardiovascular health. One of the most impressive of these compounds is that of red yeast rice, which is a fermented food substance that has been traditionally used for its red-coloring abilities in meats and other foods. Additionally, red yeast rice offers some extremely beneficial therapeutic effects, as it is the source of certain compounds that can successfully reduce cholesterol.
Pharmaceutical companies have been making cholesterol lowering drugs for many years, but natural supplements are now available which offer the consumer a way to lower cholesterol in natural way. This is extremely good news for those people who are suffering from moderately elevated cholesterol levels and is looking to avoid synthetic drug preparations and the side effects that follow.
Most of us are now aware that high serum cholesterol level is what predisposes us to cardiovascular disease along with other degenerative conditions. Learning how to control our cholesterol levels, especially the LDL and blood triglyceride levels, while keeping HDL cholesterol at desirable levels can be an extremely frustrating task. By decreasing our consumption of animal fats and certain types of oils, eating more fiber and taking prescription drugs or natural alternatives, we can easily accomplish our goal.
Dietary changes should be targeted first, but turning to cholesterol-lowering prescription drugs has both its pros and cons. Pharmaceutical preparations come with considerable side effects. Some of the drugs that are most effective contain enzymatic inhibitors that prevent the synthesis of cholesterol. Red yeast rice accomplishes the same enzyme inhibition but is considered a natural alternative that safely promotes healthy serum cholesterol levels.
Coronary heart disease refers to the damage that is done to the heart when the coronary arteries become blocked or Narrowed because of a buildup of plaque or oxidized cholesterol. When cholesterol buildup breaks off and lodges in the heart or brain, this causes a heart attack or stroke. An extremely common disorder of developed nations, coronary heart disease causes more deaths in the US than any other disease. Many people who die from heart disease are ironically in otherwise good health.
High blood pressure, which is a related disorder, is similar in the fact that both can be a silent killer. The symptoms of coronary heart disease include impotence, heart attack, or stroke. Although the mortality rates from coronary heart disease have declined over the last twenty years, the reason for this decline is shown to be the better medical technology that is available. Claiming more than one million deaths every year, coronary heart disease is still a major issue facing the American society.
In order to help us prevent heart disease, we have been given many dietary guidelines. However, many of us are not motivated enough to make the dietary changes that could literally save our lives. The major causes of coronary heart disease include obesity, smoking, alcohol, high protein and high saturated fat diet, lack of exercise, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, and a genetic predisposition.
Antioxidants For The Body
June 10, 2008 11:27 AM
Eating the fruits and vegetables that naturally contain antioxidants is the best way to get them into your system. Mixing them into a well-balanced and healthy diet is the best method of all. This way you reap the benefits of all of the antioxidants in a natural combination.
The benefit of dietary antioxidants is that they slow the chemical process of oxidation. This oxidation is what causes Narrowing of the arteries and heart-related health problems due to cholesterol deposits. Eating a regular variety of herbs, vegetables and fruits that contain antioxidants is the best way to maintain good health. Some foods that contain antioxidants include:
Antioxidant supplements are available, lab testing have shown that they are just as effective as their natural counterparts. Natural foods contain ranges of antioxidants that work together synergistically. These combinations of antioxidants are much more effective.
Antioxidants and other nutrients are needed by the body to protect against cell damage. They also may reduce the risks of certain forms of cancer.
It has been discovered that the mitochondria (cell power plants) are a major source of oxidant production. They are also a target for the damaging effects of the very oxidants that they produce. This is a major cause in the advancement of cellular aging, called apoptosis.
It is believed that in apoptosis, each cell has a fixed number of cell divisions that it is capable of. After the cell has used its allotted number of divisions, it ceases to function. Oxidative damage is also a contributing factor of DNA mutation, which causes further malfunction of the cells.
Most Common Antioxidants:
The following is a list of the most common antioxidants, what benefits they offer and where to find them:
*Beta-carotene keeps the skin healthy and promotes growth and development of bones. It also helps to prevent night blindness and fight infection. Beta-carotene is found in vegetables and fruits: carrots, cantaloupe, apricots, broccoli, peppers, tomatoes, spinach, sweet potatoes and pumpkin.
* Vitamin C destroys free radicals inside and outside cells. It helps in the healing of wounds, preventing bruising, formation of connective tissue, iron absorption and keeping gums healthy. Vitamin C is being studied for its beneficial effects in reducing cataracts, cancer and heart disease. Foods high in vitamin C include tomatoes, citrus fruits and juices, berries, mango, papaya, peppers, cabbage, spinach, broccoli and potatoes.
* Vitamin E acts as the essential fat protector in cell membranes and red blood cells. It reduces the risk of heart disease, cancer and other diseases associated with age. Vitamin E is found in peanut butter, nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, margarine, whole grains, wheat germ, salad dressings and avocado.
* Selenium helps the body maintain healthy hair and nails. It also enhances immunity and, along with Vitamin E, prevents cell damage. Vitamin E reduces the risk of cancers, especially prostate, lung and colorectal. The best sources of Selenium include brazil nuts, garlic, meat, eggs, poultry, seeds, seafood and whole grains. The amount of selenium found in plants depends on the soil content in which they are grown.
Antioxidants benefit the body by providing a layer of protection for the tissues and cells. They are the front line of the body's protection against free radicals. Free radicals are unstable by-products of oxygen that cause premature aging and degenerative diseases. They also come from environmental sources, such as pollution, UV rays and other toxins. Foods rich in antioxidants help to clean free radicals from the body. They also help to prevent various age-related diseases, cancers and heart disease.
Maintaining a healthy, nutritionally balanced body that has the ability to fight disease and infection is a prime way to live a long, disease free and happy life. Regular ingestion of antioxidant rich foods or supplements is the best method to achieve this.
May 16, 2008 02:12 PM
The health benefits of coral calcium were discovered in 1979, when a British journalist representing the Guinness Book of records traveled to Okinawa to talk to Shigechiyo Izumi, who at 115 years old was at the time the world’s oldest documented living human being. Not only was the journalist impressed and surprised at how healthy such an old man was, but he also found that good health to be shared by the majority of Okinawa’s aged residents.
After his report was filed on his return to England, a team of researchers were sent to the island to make further investigations in the phenomenon. They found that the key to their longevity was the water they were drinking. The water of Okinawa appeared unique, and coral calcium was discovered.
It was not only the calcium, of course, that made such as difference but the whole mineral balance of the water. Okinawa is formed of coral reefs built up over millennia, and rainwater filters down through the coral collecting minerals and other nutrients on its way. This water is both alkaline, with a pH of 8.6, and closely resembles the natural mineral composition, not only of the human skeleton but also of body fluids such as blood plasma and amniotic fluid. It seemed the ideal stuff to bottle, and there are now over 4 million users of coral calcium in Japan alone.
The commercial use of Sango coral, as it is called, is controlled by the Japanese government, and living coral is left untouched: only the dead coral sand lying on the ocean bed is used. The sand is collected and cleaned, and then pulverized and the calcium and all the rest of the minerals it contains are easily absorbed by the body.
It is this ease of absorption that renders coral calcium so useful. Most minerals find it difficult to pass from the intestine to the bloodstream, but this is not a problem for the minerals in Sango coral. Because they do not come from inorganic mined minerals, but from natural organic sources, they are present in a very bio-available form and are readily absorbed into the bloodstream. It not only contains the common minerals calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, and so on, but also many trace elements that are essential for life. Not only that, however, but they also contain antioxidants to help prevent the oxidative stress caused by free radicals, and also at a pH that allows the minerals to become naturally ionic very readily.
It is this ionic form of each mineral that permits it to be so readily available to your system. This was a major discovery at the time, since the form that inorganic minerals generally come in had been a problem prior to this to the extent that only 10% was absorbed by the body. In comparison, 95% of the coral calcium and other minerals are able to be easily absorbed since they are in an ionized form – an even higher absorbency than colloidal minerals allow.
Why are minerals so important and how can they possible lead to such an effect on the elderly of Okinawa? In fact minerals are very important components of human metabolism and biochemistry. Most believe vitamins to be significantly more important to human health than minerals, but this is not the case. Many vitamins are useless without the synergistic effect of minerals, and the reverse is also the same.
For example, calcium needs vitamin D to be present before it can be used by the body to strengthen bone structure. There are many other such interactions involving vitamins and minerals, and without chelation (the rendering of large organic molecules to a soluble form by combining them with metal ions) many of the essential biochemical processes of life would be impossible. Coral calcium contains all the minerals found in your body, and in very similar proportions, so that you are able to use it to maintain that all important synergism and not throw the mineral balance of your body out of balance. This is very easy to do if you take individual mineral supplements.
However, there is still more to come from this remarkable substance. It is also rich in antioxidants that spell death for free radicals. Free radicals can’t really die, because they are not living entities but molecules that have a free electron, and free electrons like to pair up with other electrons. Free radicals are therefore very aggressive when near any body cell from which they can rob an electron, and that, unfortunately, destroys the cell.
Not only that but they also oxidize molecules from which they take the electron, and if that is a low density lipoprotein, or LDL, that happens to be carrying some cholesterol to one of your arteries that needs a bit of repair work, then it will cause the LDL to deposit the cholesterol immediately and form plaques that constrict and Narrow your arteries. That is called atherosclerosis and it can kill you or give you a stroke. Cholesterol is essential for good health, but once the free radicals get to work you are better without it.
However, Sango coral contains substances that prevent the free radicals from oxidizing other substances, and in so doing destroy them. That’s what antioxidants do. They prevent free radicals from oxidizing other molecules and creating all sorts of havoc with your health. Excessive amounts of free radicals have been associated with over 80 different conditions, and one of the benefits of coral calcium is that it is one of the most powerful antioxidants known.
It is not only the mineral content and antioxidant properties of coral calcium that are of benefit to the human body, but also its pH. The various fluids of your body are maintained at a specific pH, which is a measurement of the acidity or alkalinity of a fluid. This should be slightly alkaline without being caustic. If your body fluids are too acidic it becomes difficult for you to absorb minerals and vitamins, and it is essential for you maintain a balance of from around 6.4 to 7.0 Any lower than that and you will find it difficult to sleep and you will feel listless with no energy.
You can measure the pH of your body by testing your urine with pH strips available at any pharmacy. Coral calcium can be used to maintain a good pH level that allows your body to absorb the nutrients it needs, and keep you feeling not only well, but young and sprightly just like Shigechiyo Izumi did at 115 years old.
Increase Absorption Of Your Discount Vitamins With Bioperine
November 02, 2007 04:54 PM
In order to understand how you increase absorption of your discount vitamins with Bioperine, it is necessary to understand the metabolic process of thermogenesis. First, however, let’s have a look at what Bioperine is and where it comes from.
Bioperine is obtained from the fruit of Piper nigrum L (black pepper) or Piper longum L (long pepper) of which it is a patented standardized extract. These peppers contain the alkaloid piperine, and the extract contains 95% piperine. The plants are grown in the ideal damp soil in regions of Southern India where the earth is rich in nutrients. The barriers are harvested just before ripening, and then dried in the hot sun before the extraction process is started. Piperine has many uses from flavoring to fly killer, but people have been using it for centuries to heal wounds though this is apparently unconnected with the use to which the extract is put.
It has recently been found to help increase the absorption of a number of discount vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin B, beta-carotene, and selenium, by increasing the thermogenic activity of the body. Thermogenesis is one of the metabolic processes of the body that takes place within our cells whereby glucose is converted to energy, but at an accelerated metabolic rate. It is the rise in the metabolic rate that is referred to as thermogenesis.
When you eat food, or take supplements, the metabolism increases above the normal rate, the amount of increase depending upon the type on nutrient taken. Fats will increase your metabolism at a lower rate than proteins will, for example, since more energy is needed to break down proteins than for fats. Another substance that stimulates thermogenesis is piperine. It does so by utilizing the biochemistry of the body so that the chemicals needed for thermogenesis are made available.
Piperine triggers the release of compounds known as catecholamines, hormones that in turn stimulate the thermogenetic process. However, this occurs over a short period of time, so the nutrients that are needed should be present in the gut as well since the window of absorption is very Narrow. The substance also modifies the epithelial cell wall of the intestine to make it easier for the nutrients to be absorbed into the bloodstream, and it also gives amino acids a kick to get moving to the cells in which they are required.
Bioperine, then, not only sets off the metabolic changes that demand vitamins and other nutrients and enzymes, but also improves the conditions in your intestines so that these nutrients can more easily get to where they are needed. Basically, what Bioperine does is to cause the intestinal wall to become more permeable to nutrients, so that vitamins and drugs are not degraded when passing through the intestinal wall to the bloodstream. This improves digestion and absorption of minerals and vitamins, in addition to protein supplements frequently used in weight loss diets.
Bioperine starts by generating a need for nutrition and then increase the bioavailability of the nutrients provided to meet that need. However, due to the short window of absorption that piperine generates, the vitamins and minerals you want absorbed should be co-administered with the Bioperine so that they are in place ready to be absorbed at exactly the right time.
There have been several studies carried on the efficiency with which piperine achieves this. The absorption of three different types of nutrients has been measured with and without Bioperine. These were beta-carotene, a fat soluble vitamin, vitamin B-6, a water soluble vitamin, and also a mineral, selenium which was provided as selenomethionine. The absorption of these by the digestive system was measured by detecting them before and after in the blood, and were found to increase considerably when taken along with Bioperine, but not so with the control group without it.
Measured increases were a 60% increase in beta-carotene, similar to that of vitamin B-6, and was 30% in selenium. The tests used a 5 mg dose of the Bioperine. Other studies have indicated an increase in the absorption of Coenzyme Q-10 of between 30% - 200%. This is the only piperine based product that has been patented for its effect in increasing the absorption of nutrients into the body, and also the only piperine based product to undergo such tests in the U.S. to substantiate its claims and prove its safety for use.
The black pepper itself is a common household spice, and has been used in India for its medicinal properties for centuries. It is mentioned in the practice of Ayurveda and its concentration on the function of the digestive tract in human health. Many of its formulas contain black pepper amongst their ingredients. The bioavailability of nutrients is a significant factor in the health of any specific population, and the exponents of Ayurveda overcame this problem, by chance or design, six millennia ago. It has been demonstrated time and time again that diet is not the factor of importance in nutrition, but how much of that diet is absorbed through the intestines.
This is yet another example of the medicines of our ancestors being shown to have a solid scientific basis, and perhaps we should pay more attention to those others that are disregarded by modern science. It could be that we have only scratched the surface of understanding human metabolism and biochemistry, and that there is much left to learn. Ancient wisdom should never be disregarded.
Bioperine is also available in many supplement mixtures so that it is taken at the same time as the relevant vitamins and minerals. The recommended dosage is from 1 mg – 5 mg from 2 – 3 times daily. It takes around 2 – 5 mg of Bioperine to provide sufficient enhancement of absorption of the nutrients that are taken with it. Keep in mind that the nutrients are best taken at the same time, and that taking the extract itself will simple increase the absorption of any nutrients that are in the intestine at that time. Bioperine can be purchased at your local or internet vitamin store.
Lutein: A Plant Pigment That Provides Protection From The Sun
October 23, 2007 10:00 AM
Lutein is a plant pigment, and protects protection from the sun needed to prevent damage to the skin and eyes from its strong ultra violet (UVB) radiation. Lutein is a carotenoid and strong antioxidant that is found in red, yellow, orange and dark green fruit and vegetables such as broccoli, curly and sea kale, spinach, carrots peppers and squashes. It is also available from egg yolks, corn and some fruits such as pomegranates. It is the colored pigments, especially the reds, yellows and oranges, in which lutein is most found.
Lutein can also prevent cataracts and provide benefits for age related macular degeneration. However, before discussing the benefits, it is necessary to discuss exactly what these conditions are and what causes them. Let’s have a heads up on cataracts first.
A cataract takes the form of a clouding of the lens of the eye that leads to blurred vision and eventual virtual blindness when the cloudiness is extreme. It is not blindness due to problems with the nerves of the eye, but due to the lens become cloudy, and scattering light entering the eye. It is not a film over the eye as many people believe, but a cloudiness of the lens, and cataracts can normally be treated by removing the whole lens and replacing it with a lens implant – or a synthetic lens.
It is not fully understood how lutein can help cataracts, but studies have shown that those take a large quantity of lutein in there diet have up to 50% less chance of getting cataracts that those that do not. It has also been demonstrated that men who ate broccoli and spinach regularly had a 25% less chance of getting cataracts. The same is true of those that include a lutein supplement of around 6 mg daily, although up to 20 mg is considered an effective dose.
However, it not only through its properties in protecting against cataracts that lutein can help to preserve the health of your eyes. It is also through its effect on macular degeneration. The macula is small part in the center of the retina that allows you to see central vision in high detail, especially close up when you use the center of your eye. Age-related macular degeneration, known as MD, affects your macula so that you can see fine round the edges, but your central vision is blurred. It is therefore difficult to drive, read or carry out tasks that need good central focus. You will find it next to impossible to thread a needle for example. It can come on very slowly, in fact so slowly that you never notice it because the change from day to day, or even week to week, is so small.
It is not coincidence that lutein is concentrated in the macula, and that a lutein supplement can help to prevent macular degeneration. Lutein is believed to filter out some of the blue wavelengths of light, and it is the blue wavelengths that are though to cause free radical damage and oxidative stress to various organs of the body exposed to light, but specifically the eyes. That is why it is believed that lutein helps to prevent macular degeneration, and studies have indicated a good supplement to consist of up to 30 mg each day.
It can also protect the skin from damage by UV radiation, and also prevents free radical damage to skin cells causing premature aging of the skin. The latter occurs through its antioxidant properties, while the former is because if its light filtering properties. It can not only filter out the blue light that can cause macular degeneration but also ultra-violet radiation that affects the skin and can cause skin cancer. There is a fine line between the blue and ultra violet wavelengths from sunlight, and both can contribute to certain medical conditions. However, the absorptive properties of lutein are such that it can absorb the more harmful of these.
The antioxidant properties of lutein are important in their own right, and can help to reduce cholesterol deposition in arties and help to maintain a healthy arterial wall thickness. The same is true of any carotenoids that reduce heart problems, some cancers, especially of the cervix, stomach and lungs, and others that can be caused by free radical action and Narrowed arteries such as strokes and brain hemorrhages.
Although it is not one of those supplements considered essential, lutein is biologically essential in that it cannot be produced by the body. It has to be taken through the diet. There is no specific recommended daily allowance (RDA) because life can go on without it, but it does play a role in your everyday health.
However, the average person has a lutein intake less than that needed to take advantage of its UV protection or antioxidant effect. As previously stated, the effective dose is considered to be 30 mg daily, and the average American intake is about 2 mg. That’s an awful lot of egg yolks or tomatoes you are going to have to eat! If you do intend to take your lutein from the natural source, then it much more easily assimilated into your body if not overcooked. Lightly steaming is the best way to prepare your vegetables for maximum nutritional effect.
You can also take lutein as a supplement in the form of tablets, creams and drinks, and can also be found in other supplements that contain carotenoids such as lycopene and beta-carotene. Although not consider essential to life, do not underestimate the health benefits to be gained from a diet high in lutein, especially if you value the health of your eyes.
All strong antioxidants provide you with health benefits due to their ability to destroy the free radicals that in turn destroy the DNA in your body cells, and disrupt the cells themselves. Combine that with their action as filters to the damaging rays of the sun and you have in lutein a plant product that is far reaching in the health benefits that it can provide you with. If you are looking for a lutein supplement, stop into your local or internet health food store for lutein is an over the counter supplement.
Reduce Your Cholesterol With Natural Vitamins
July 12, 2007 08:58 AM
Thanks to the excellent efforts of health education organizations like the American Heart Association, we’ve learned a lot about cholesterol and how it affects our health.
We know: high cholesterol levels increase our risk for heart attacks and strokes: lowering our cholesterol levels will reduce this risk and keep our hearts and blood vessels healthy; and that diet, weight loss, and exercise will all help us in our quest to lower our cholesterol levels. We also know at times, despite these good efforts, some people’s cholesterol levels are still too high.
Prescription drugs to lower cholesterol are now available and they are heavily advertised by the pharmaceutical companies that make them. What the commercials neglect to say is these medications, collectively called statin drugs, have some serious side effects. Statin drugs can cause elevations in liver enzymes, an indication of liver irritation. They are associated with myopathy, a painful disorder of muscle inflammation and muscle degeneration. Ironically, statin drugs significantly reduce CoQ10 levels in the body, a deficit that can lead to heart disease.
Statin drugs have also been linked to a rare and at times, fatal condition called rhabdomyolysis. Because of this alarming link, the makers of cerivistatin, a popular stain drug, recalled this medication from the market on August 8, 2001. The Food and Drug Administration a greed with the recall and supported the decision.
Thankfully, there is a safe solution to the dangers of high cholesterol levels. A natural dietary supplement is now available that can lower cholesterol very effectively without any harmful side effects. Backed by many years of scientific research and clinical study, pantethine and plant sterols, also known as phytosterols, are nature’s answer to dangerous prescription cholesterol lowering medications.
To understand how pantethine and plant sterols work to lower cholesterol levels, we need to first review what we know about cholesterol and heart disease.
Q. What exactly is cholesterol?
A. Cholesterol is a soft, waxy, fat-like substance found in every cell of the body. We need cholesterol to help digest fats, strengthen cell membranes, insulate nerves, and make hormones. Cholesterol is made primarily in the liver but also by cells lining the small intestine and by individual cells in the body. While our body makes all of the cholesterol we actually need (about 1,000 milligrams a day), we also get additional cholesterol from foods we eat.
The highest source of cholesterol are egg yolks and organ meats such a liver and kidney. No plant-derived food contains cholesterol, not even peanut butter or avocado, even though these foods are high in fat. However, all foods from animal sources such as meats, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products contain cholesterol.
Q. How does cholesterol cause heart disease?
A. Although cholesterol serves many important functions in the body, too much cholesterol in the bloodstream can be dangerous. When blood cholesterol reaches high levels, it builds up on artery walls, increasing the risk of blood clots, heart attack, and stroke.
The heart is a muscle, and like all muscles, needs a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients. The bloodstream transports these nutrients to the heart through the coronary arteries. If the coronary arteries became Narrowed or clogged by cholesterol and fat deposits (artherosclerosis) and cannot supply enough blood to the heart, the result is coronary heart disease (CHD). IF not enough oxygen-carrying blood reaches the heart muscle, a sharp, sudden chest pain (angina) may occur. If the blood supply to a portion of the heart is completely cut off by total blockage of a coronary artery, the result is a heart attack. This is most often caused from a blood clot forming on top of an already Narrowed artery.
Q. What is LDL and HDL cholesterol?
A. Cholesterol and other fats can’t dissolve in the blood and, therefore, can’t travel on their own. They have to be transported to and from the cells by special carriers called lipoproteins. The two major lipoproteins are low density lipoproteins (LDL) and high density lipoproteins (HDL). LDL is most often referred to as the “bad” cholesterol whereas HDL is known as the “good” cholesterol.
LDLs carry cholesterol throughout the body to the cells. LDLs cause artherosclerosis by clogging up our arteries with the continual buildup of fat. HDL, on the other hand, prevents this fat buildup within arterial walls, by carrying it away from the arteries, to the liver where it is eventually processed and eliminated.
Q. What are triglycerides?
A. Triglycerides are fats used as fuel by the body and as an energy source for metabolism. Triglyceride levels fluctuate easily, changing after every meal. Increased levels are almost always a sign of too much carbohydrate and sugar intake. Triglycerides in high amounts make the blood more sluggish and less capable of transporting oxygen, particularly through the small blood vessels. High triglycerides, along with high LDL “bad” cholesterol, are considered strong and independent risk factors for cardiovascular disease, leading to a heart attack or stroke.
There are several medications physicians can prescribe for people with elevated triglyceride levels. Some of the most effective (as well as the most harmful) are the statins. The powerful, all-natural combination of pantethine and plant sterols can safely and, just as effectively, lower both triglycerides and LDL “bad” cholesterol and increase HDL “good” cholesterol.
Q. What is pantethine and how does it lower cholesterol?
A. Pantethine, a form of pantothenic acid (also known as vitamin B5) is found in foods such as liver, salmon, and yeast. Pantethine lowers cholesterol by blocking its production.
Cholesterol synthesis, or the production of cholesterol in the human body, is an incredibly complex process. It involves many biochemical reactions and enzymes activity requiring several steps.
Studies have shown that pantethine inhibits several of these enzymes and coenzymes. It blocks the activity of one coenzyme involved in cholesterol synthesis, HMG-CoA, by about 50%. This results in significantly lower cholesterol production. But, that’s not all. To compensate for the lowered cholesterol production, the liver pulls LDL out of the bloodstream. The end results? Studies have shown that on average, pantethine can lower total cholesterol levels by 16%, LDL cholesterol levels by 14%, serum triglycerides by 38%, and can raise HDL cholesterol by 10%.
Q. What are plant sterols and how do they lower cholesterol levels?
A. Plant sterols are the fats of plants. They are found in nuts, vegetable oils, corn, and rice. Plant sterols are structurally similar to cholesterol and are able to act as a stand-in for cholesterol and block its absorption.
The liver receives about 800 mg of cholesterol every day from intestinal absorption. Cholesterol is absorbed from the intestines through receptor sites – special channels that are shaped exactly like cholesterol molecules. The cholesterol enters these channels and is then absorbed into the bloodstream. Because plant sterols look like cholesterol, they fit perfectly into these channels. The cholesterol, being blocked from absorption, remains in our intestines where it is eventually excreted.
If we eat enough plant sterols, the amount of cholesterol transported from the intestinal tract to the liver is greatly reduced. And, just like pantethine’s effect on the liver, this cholesterol reduction causes the liver to pull LDL cholesterol out of the blood, reducing both total and LDL cholesterol levels.
Q. Can’t we get the benefit of plant sterols and pantethine just by eating those foods that contain them?
A. These amounts of plant sterol and pantethine found in food just aren’t enough to have much of an effect on our health. In order to lower cholesterol levels, we need to take a concentrated combination of pantethine and plant sterols in just the right ratio.
Plant sterols are bound in fibers in the plants. Even if we ate lots of raw fruits and vegetables, we wouldn’t be getting many of these beneficial plant fats. There are also several forms of plant sterols. Some ratios of these plant sterols are more beneficial than others. On the average, we eat 160 to 360 mg of plant sterols a day.
While pantethine is found in several food sources, it is difficult to get beneficial amounts from our food. There are about 12 mg of pantethine in 3 ounces of brewer’s yeast and 8 mg in an average serving of liver.
Q. How much pantethine and plant sterol combination should I take?
A. Many studies have examined the effects of pantethine and plant sterols on cholesterol levels resulting in the determination of the most effective amounts to take of these heart healthy nutrients.
Manufacturers of high quality nutritional supplements offer pantethine combined with plant sterols in the most beneficial ratio as determined by the research. The best results are obtained by taking a combination of 400 mg of plant sterols and 200 mg of pantethine three times a day.
Q. Should only people with actual heart disease or those with high cholesterol levels be concerned about cholesterol?
A. No, recent studies have shown that cholesterol lowering in people without heart disease greatly reduces their risk for ever developing CHD, including heart attacks and artherosclerosis. This is true for those with high cholesterol levels and for those with average cholesterol levels.
Most physicians would never consider prescribing statin drugs to people without actual heart disease or high cholesterol levels because of the many health risks of the drugs. But the combination of pantethine and plant sterols can naturally and very effectively help those people with heart disease, high cholesterol levels, high triglyceride levels (or all three!) as well as those of us just wanting added “health insurance” for our hearts.
Q. Are pantethine and plant sterols safe?
A. Yes, both pantethine and plant sterols are very safe. Some people may experience some mild stomach upset when they first take pantethine. Taking the combination of pantethine and plant sterols with meals generally solves this problem.
Americans have listened, learned, and most importantly, taken to heart the vast and vital information on the need to keep our cholesterol levels under control. The result? More and more Americans are lucky enough to die of old age. The Centers for Disease Control recently released a report stating that the average American life expectancy has reached a new high of 76.9 years, thanks in no small measure to fewer people who are dying from heart disease,
The authors of this report stated that we could push our life expectancy even higher. We can attain healthy, old age by eating right, exercising regularly, and taking other simple steps to promote good health and prevent serious illness and heart disease. Taking the all-natural combination of pantethine and plant sterols is one simple, yet powerful step, to keep our hearts and blood vessels healthy for a long, long time.
Regulating Blood Pressure Naturally
March 28, 2007 10:29 AM
Regulating Blood Pressure Naturally
High blood pressure (also known as hypertension) affects about 65 million Americans, or about 1 in 3 adults. There are many potential causes of hypertension, but not necessarily any symptoms. In fact, 30% of the people who have high blood pressure don’t even realize it.
In other words, just because you don’t have symptoms doesn’t mean you don’t have high blood pressure. That’s why it’s called “The Silent Killer.” And, make no mistake about it: high blood pressure is dangerous. It is the number one modifiable cause of stroke. Just lowering blood pressure reduces the chance of stroke by 35 to 40 percent. Other conditions, including heart attack and heart failure can be reduced from 25 to 50 percent, respectively.
In this issue of Ask the Doctor, we’re going to talk about high blood pressure and an exciting natural treatment for lowering blood pressure safely and effectively.
Of course, changing blood pressure numbers depends, in a large part, on the choices we make every day – how much we exercise, the foods we eat, and our lifestyle overall. But, for those times we need extra help, there is a new, scientifically-studied supplement to help us along our path to better health and lower blood pressure.
Blood pressure guidelines from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
Q. What exactly is blood pressure?
A. Blood pressure is divided into two parts, systolic and diastolic. Systolic is the pressure of the heart beating. Diastolic is the pressure of the heart and vessels filling. When blood pressure numbers are written out, like “120/80,” 120 is the systolic pressure and 80 is the diastolic pressure. The unit of measurement for blood pressure is millimeters of mercury, written as “mm/Hg.”
Q. What is considered high blood pressure?
A. A person’s blood pressure can naturally vary throughout the day – even between heartbeats.
However, if the numbers are consistently high (over 120 systolic and 80 diastolic), after multiple visits to your healthcare practitioner, you may have either pre-hypertension or high blood pressure.
Young arteries and arteries that are kept young through healthy diet and exercise are typically more elastic and unclogged. Blood flows through them easily and without much effort. However, as we age, our arteries become more prone to plaque buildup (due to diets high in saturated fat and sedentary lifestyles) and don’t “flex” as well under pressure. The result is faster blood flow, all the time. Over the long term, it damages heart tissue, arteries, kidney and other major organs.
To get a better idea of high blood pressure, compare your arteries to a garden hose. When unblocked, a garden hose allows water to flow through it quickly and easily – without any real rush or stress. However, if you block the end of the hose with your thumb, closing it off even a little, water rushes out much more quickly.
For many years, high diastolic pressure was considered even more of a threat than high systolic pressure. That thinking has changed somewhat but high diastolic numbers could still mean organ damage in your body – especially for individuals under 50.
Q. What courses high blood pressure?
A. The reasons for hypertension aren’t always clear. However, there are lifestyle factors that contribute to high blood pressure that you can change:
Body type: Weight isn’t always a reliable indicator of whether or not you’ll have high blood pressure – but the type of weight is. Lean body mass – muscle – doesn’t increase blood pressure levels the way that fat can. However, fat body mass, especially fat around your middle, can contribute to high blood pressure.
Sedentary lifestyle: Too often, many of us sit down all day at work, and then sit down all night at home. Over time, this inactivity usually leads to weight gain, making the heart work harder to pump blood through the body. In a way, it almost seems contradictory, but inactivity usually leads to higher heart rates.
Sodium intake: Sometimes it’s hard to believe how much salt there is in processed foods. However, salt intake in itself is not necessarily bad. For people with a history of congestive heart failure, ischemia, and high blood pressure, sodium is definitely out. For those individuals, it leads to more water retention, which increases blood pressure. (Salt’s effect on water retention is one reason that so many sports drinks have fairly high sodium content – the sodium in the drink prevents your body from sweating out too much water.) But, for healthy individuals, moderate salt intake, especially a mixed mineral salt like sea salt or Celtic salt (good salt should never be white) is fine.
Low potassium intake: Unlike sodium, potassium is a mineral which most Americans get too little of. Potassium helps regulate the amount of sodium in our cells, expelling excess amounts through the kidneys. Low levels of this mineral can allow too much sodium to build up in the body.
Heavy alcohol intake: Having three or more alcoholic drinks a day (two or more for women) nearly doubles an individual’s chance of developing high blood pressure. Over time, heavy drinking puts a lot of stress on the organs, including the heart, liver, pancreas and brain.
Unhealthy eating: Eating a lot of processed or fatty foods contributes to high blood pressure. Adapting a diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grain products, fish, nuts and magnesium and potassium (like the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, known as the “DASH” diet) can bring it back down.
Smoking: If you smoke, stop. Smoking damages the heart and arteries – period. Nicotine constricts blood vessels, increases heart rate, and raises blood pressure. This in turn, increases hormone production and adrenaline levels, further stressing the body.
As if that weren’t bad enough, the carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke replaces the oxygen in the blood, making the heart work even harder to make up the difference. Since the effect of a single cigarette can last for an hour, smoking throughout the day leads to continuously revved-up blood pressure.
Some of these factors might sound like a lot to overcome. The important thing to remember is that all of these behaviors are changeable. If you have high blood pressure, modifying any of these can significantly lower blood pressure as part of an overall plan.
Q. What are the blood pressure numbers I should see?
A. Experts consider healthy blood pressure numbers to be 115/75 mm/Hg. The reason? They found that the risk of cardiovascular disease doubles at each increment of 20/10 mmHg over 115/75 mm/Hg. Even small jumps in blood pressure numbers increase the risk of stroke and heart attack.
Q. Okay, so other than diet, exercise and lifestyle changes are there other natural ways or supplements I can use to lower my blood pressure?
A. Yes, in fact, you hear about some of them in the news all the time – fish oil, CoQ10, and garlic. As effective as these symptoms are, they typically lower systolic pressure much more than diastolic pressure.
However, there is a blend of scientifically and clinically studied natural ingredients that lower high blood pressure separately, and work even better when they’re combined. This combination blend contains: dandelion leaf extract, lycopene, stevia extract, olive leaf extract and hawthorn extract.
Every one of these ingredients has been studied and recommended for years. But now, a scientific study on a supplement that combines them in one synergistic formula shows encouraging results for lowering systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Let’s take a look at each:
Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) originated in
The leaf of stevia is considered the medicinal part of the plant. Research shows that extracts of the leaf relax arteries and help prevent the buildup of calcium on artery walls – keeping them healthy and reducing blood pressure.
In a long-term, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical study, stevia reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure. On average, participants’ blood pressure reduced from baseline 150 mm/Hg to 140 mm/Hg systolic and 95 mm/Hg to 89 mm/Hg diastolic.
And, in another double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study, stevia lowered blood pressure quite significantly – by an average of 14 millimeters of mercury in both systolic and diastolic readings. Those are impressive numbers!
Despite its role as a sweetener, stevia may have a side benefit to for those with hypertension – blood sugar regulation. Scientific studies show that extracts of stevia regulated blood sugar and reduced blood pressure.
A clinical study showed that stevia extract actually improved glucose tolerance by decreasing plasma glucose levels during the test and after overnight fasting in all participants. Regulating blood sugar is very important for those with high blood pressure. When blood sugar levels are high, blood vessels are inflamed. Many people with diabetes have high blood pressure as well. In a paired, cross-over clinical study, stevioside (one of the compounds in stevia) reduced glucose levels in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Further scientific studies show that stevia works to control blood sugar levels by stimulating insulin secretion by the pancreatic beta cells. It shows great potential in treating type 2 diabetes. Further scientific studies show that stevia works to control blood sugar levels by stimulating insulin secretion by the pancreatic beta cells. Its shows great potential in treating type 2 diabetes as well as hypertension.
Hawthorn (Crataegus spp. Oxycantha) has been used since ancient ties as a medicinal herb – even being mentioned by the Greek herbalist Dioscorides, in the first century AD. Traditionally, it has generally been used for support of the heart. Modern research points to bioflavonoid-like complexes in hawthorn leaf and flower that seem to be most responsible for its benefits on cardiac health, like blood vessel elasticity.
The bioflavonoids found in hawthorn include oligomeric procyanidins, vitexin, quercetin, and hyperoside. They have numerous benefits on the cardiovascular system. Hawthorn can improve coronary artery blood flow and the contractions of the heart muscle. Scientific studies show that the procyanidins in hawthorn are responsible for its ability to make the aorta and other blood vessels more flexible and relaxed, so that blood pumps more slowly and with less effort – sparing the cardiovascular system such a hard workout.
The procyanidins in hawthorn also have antioxidant properties – protecting against free radical cellular damage.
And, hawthorn may also inhibit angiotensin-converting enzyme. Angiotensin-converting enzyme is responsible for retaining sodium and water, and may have roots in our evolutionary development. It influences blood vessel contraction and dilation, sodium and water balance and heart cell development – just about everything that has to do with blood pressure. This may have developed as a way of dealing with periods of drought and stress. By Narrowing the blood vessels, the body could guarantee an adequate supply of blood and focus on repairing tissue.
Unfortunately, that can lead to real problems these days. Since many of us live in an industrialized society, and frequently have pretty sedentary lifestyles, conserving sodium just makes the conditions for high blood pressure that much worse.
Like the other ingredients in this combination, hawthorn showed benefits on other body systems, too. In clinical and scientific studies, it not only lowered blood pressure, but also showed anti-anxiety properties and regulated blood sugar.
Olive leaf extract:
Olive leaf (Olea europaea) comes up again and again in scientific and clinical studies as having beneficial effects on hypertension. One of olive leaf’s most beneficial compounds is oleuropein – the same compound that makes olive oil so helpful in reducing blood pressure. Here again, we have to look at the traditional Mediterranean diet, which features voluminous use of olives and olive oil. Not surprisingly, blood pressure is generally much lower in Greek and Italian populations.
But it’s not just the diet – scientific studies showed that oleuropein lowered blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels and prevented buildup of plaque in arteries. Plus, whether in olive leaf extract or in olive oil, oleuropein works as an antioxidant, too.
Dandelion leaf extract:
Dandelion (Taraxacum offinale) leaves provide a healthy supply of vitamins, much like spinach. In fact, although it has become the bane of North American gardeners and lawn owners, dandelion greens are a component of many gourmet salads.
Medicinally, dandelion has been used for centuries, dating back to ancient
They are a very rich source of vitamin A, and contain vitamin D, vitamin C, carious B vitamins, iron, silicon, magnesium, zinc and manganese, too. Dandelion leaves produce a diuretic effect in the body, similar to a prescription drug. Since one of dandelion leaf’s traditional uses was the treatment of water retention, it’s really not too surprising. Dandelion leaf is also rich in potassium – one of the vital minerals many Americans lack in their diet. So, even though it may act as a diuretic, it replaces more potassium than the body expels.
The diuretic effect of dandelion can relieve hypertension by drawing excess water and sodium from the body and releasing it through the kidneys as urine. Getting rid of extra water and sodium allows the blood vessels to relax – lowering blood pressure.
If a nutrient can be called exciting, lycopene is it. Lycopene is found mostly in tomatoes and processed tomato products, like pasta and pizza sauce. Related to beta-carotene lycopene shows great antioxidant abilities among its many talents. In fact, it shows even greater free-radical scavenging properties than beta-carotene, its more famous cousin. Healthy intakes of lycopene can guard against a variety of chronic conditions, including lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol, lowering homocysteine levels and reducing blood platelet stickiness that can lead to clogged arteries. It’s even being studied for its protective effect against prostate cancer.
And, for proof, you don’t have to look too far to see the amazing effect lycopene intake can have on health. The Mediterranean diet provides an excellent example. Its high intakes of vegetables, (tomatoes, of course, playing a central role) fish, and whole grains improve cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure. The research on lycopene as a stand-alone nutrient has been compelling. A randomized clinical trial found that not having enough lycopene was associated with early thickening of the arteries.
So, it makes sense that other clinical trials, showed that higher intakes of lycopene frequently meant less thickening of arteries, and a reduced risk of heart attack. In one study, the risk of heart attack was 60% lower in individuals with the highest levels of lycopene. In a multicenter study, similar results were found – men with the highest levels of lycopene had a 48% lower risk of heart attack.
Q. What can I expect taking this herbal combination?
A. You should notice both systolic and diastolic numbers lowering in about two weeks. The scientific study showed that for pre-hypertensive and stage I, (early hypertensive individuals) this combination for ingredients lowers both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
When you’re taking herbs to support your blood pressure, it’s important to keep it monitored so you have an accurate reading (and record) of your numbers. If you need to, you can pick up a home blood pressure monitoring device. These can retail for anywhere from $30 all the way up to $200, but buying one in the $30 to $50 range is a good idea and money well spent. Consider taking the machine to your local doctor’s office or fire department to have it tested for accuracy against a professional blood pressure monitor. See the chart below for tips on getting an accurate reading from a home monitor.
Tips for Accurate Blood Pressure Monitoring:
-Relax for about 5 to 10 minutes before measurement.
-If you have just come inside from cold outdoors allow yourself to warm up.
-Remove tight-fitting clothing and jewelry.
-Unless your physician recommends otherwise, use left arm to measure pressure.
-Sit, don’t stand.
-Remain still and do not talk while using the monitor.
Q. Are there any side effects?
A. There were no side effects noted in the study. However, because of the mild diuretic effect of dandelion leaf extract, you may notice an increase in trips to the bathroom. It’s always important to make sure you don’t get dehydrated, so you may want to drink more water during the day.
High blood pressure doesn’t happen overnight. As we get older, the likelihood of developing hypertension increases. And, stressful, fast-forward lifestyles, bad diets and no exercise conspire to raise our blood pressure.
In my own practice I have helped patients move toward a healthier lifestyle, including diet, exercise, and blood-pressure reducing supplements. They live better, more vibrant lives as a result, and their blood pressure normalizes. It really can happen – you can bring your blood pressure back to normal, and this combination of scientifically and clinically validated ingredients can help.
Betaine HCI and Pepsin
January 28, 2007 08:41 PM
Betaine HCI and Pepsin
Betaine HCl is a form of HCl used as a nutrient to supplement the stomach’s own production of HCl, or stomach acid. While occasional indigestion may be a result of acid irritating tissue in the structure above the stomach known as the esophagus, a line of research suggests that the cause of this irritation may actually be less than optimal stomach acid production. Stomach acid is normally produced by the parietal cells of the stomach and the function of stomach acid is to break down food that enters the stomach into smaller fragments and nutrient components. These components move through the stomach into the small intestine where they are further broken down by digestive enzymes in the upper part of the small intestine. The individual nutrients that result from the digestion of proteins, fats and carbohydrates can then be absorbed and assimilated by the body and used for metabolism and growth. However, optimal stomach acid production is certainly a major step for the efficiency of the digestive process. Less than ideal stomach acid production prevents foods from being broken down properly and places an added burden on the remainder of the digestive process, including enzyme production from the pancreas.
As mentioned earlier, the presence of optimal stomach acid is necessary for the digestion and absorption of critical nutrients. Amino acids and other peptides from proteins, minerals, vitamin B12 and folic acid are examples of nutrients that require proper levels of stomach acid for their absorption and usage. The presence of adequate acid in the stomach is also required for the conversion of the digestive enzyme pepsin. Pepsin is produced in the stomach from its precursor pepsinogen, which is secreted by cells known as chief cells, and functions to help with the digestion of proteins. Pepsin breaks proteins down into their amino acid components. Since stomach acid is essential to the process of absorbing our nutrients from food, lack of sufficient acid production may lead to decreased health and general well-being.
Ideal stomach acid production is also essential for maintaining a healthy bacterial balance in the intestines. Firstly, acid production in the stomach itself provides a protective barrier that keeps the stomach environment safe. Secondarily, low levels of stomach acid can lead to improperly, incompletely, or poorly-digested food fragments that may cause an imbalance in the growth of normal bacterial flora in the intestines. Achieving the correct balance of flora is a key to maintaining proper digestive function and overall health.
Research also suggests that the body’s capacity to produce stomach acid normally declines as we age. Moreover, stress and other factors may impact proper stomach acid production. Occasional heartburn, bloating, belching, discomfort, and a "sour stomach" may often result from this. Food that we eat enters the stomach through the esophagus, or food pipe. At the junction of the esophagus with the stomach is a muscular structure known as the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). When food enters the stomach for digestion, the LES normally contracts, Narrowing the passageway between the esophagus and the stomach and preventing the backflow of stomach contents into the esophagus. A major trigger for the process of tightening the sphincter is the presence of sufficient stomach acid.
When sufficient stomach acid is sensed, the LES will close. However, in conditions where there is a lack of stomach acid, the sphincter remains open, allowing stomach contents, including acid, to flow back through the opening, potentially creating a sense of irritation and discomfort. Adequate stomach acid production is an essential criterion for the sphincter to function properly and prevent the backflow of stomach contents.1
A recent study assessed the incidence and causes of low vitamin B12 levels in elderly patients. The researchers suggest that the incidence of decreased vitamin B12 in the elderly, based on results of some epidemiological studies, is as high as 30-40%. When they looked at the possible causes of low B12 levels in 200 individuals that they followed, they found that food-B12 malabsorption accounted for 60-70% of the cases.2 In other words dietary B12 is bound to foods, generally animal proteins. The protein is normally broken down in conjunction with acid and pepsin in the stomach. However, low production of stomach acid may decrease the efficiency of this process and vitamin B12 remains bound to the protein source, leaving it unavailable to be absorbed. The absorption of countless other nutrients may also be impacted by low stomach acid and pepsin levels.
Gentian is an herb that is native to parts of Europe and Asia. The root has been used extensively by traditional herbalists to support digestive function due in large part to its bitter constituents. Its present day use as a therapeutic herb dates back to the Romans and Greeks, and related species have even been used in the Indian Ayurvedic system. Various traditional texts classify gentian as a bitter tonic and digestive stimulant, due to its ability to promote the secretion of digestive enzymes. The German Commission E has approved the use of gentian for digestive support, which leads to an increased secretion of saliva and digestive juices.3
Supplementation with the combination of nutrients and cofactors present in Betaine HCl Pepsin & Gentian supports the normal digestive function of the stomach and helps to ensure that the body maintains the efficiency of nutrient absorption from the foods that we eat. Gentian serves to stimulate digestive secretions in the stomach, priming it to digest the food that we eat, while supplemental Betaine HCl and pepsin provide support to the body’s innate production of these digestive factors.
Take 1 capsule with each meal, or as recommended by a healthcare professional.
1. Wright, Jonathan V., MD and Lane Lenard, PhD. Why Stomach Acid is Good For You. New York: Evans, 2001. 2. Andres E, et al. Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) deficiency in elderly patients. CMAJ 2004; 171(3): 251-259. 3. Blumenthal M, Goldberg A and J Brinckmann, eds. Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs. Newton, MA: Integrative Medicine Communications, 2000.
Controlling Diabetes with Nutritional Supplements
December 15, 2006 04:07 PM
Controlling Diabetes with Nutritional Supplements
Perhaps no other disease is as closely linked to nutrition as diabetes. Not only doe nutrition play a role in its development, nutrition is also one of the disease’s most powerful treatments.
Because of this strong and critical connection to nutrition, researchers have carefully studied the use of nutritional supplements in the treatment of the disease. They found that many vitamins, such as vitamin C and the B vitamins, minerals such as chromium, as well as herbs like Gymnema sylvestre, can safely, effectively, and naturally lower blood sugars and help prevent diabetic complications.
What is even more important, however, is that these vitamins, minerals, and herbs can be combined together in a scientifically validated diabetic formula to work synergistically. That means their combined effectiveness is even more powerful. Like a group of good friends, these vitamins, minerals, and herbs do their best work when they are all together.
In this issue of Ask the Doctor, we will talk about powerful vitamins, minerals, and herbs combined in a scientifically validated formula that people with diabetes can use every day.
But before we get into the specific formula, we need to first talk about diabetes.
Q. What exactly is diabetes?
A. When we eat, the process of digestion breaks down our food into nutrients. Most of the food we eat is broken down into sugar (also called glucose). The sugar enters the bloodstream for delivery throughout the body and is then called blood sugar.
Insulin, a hormone that helps metabolize blood sugar, is made in the pancreas-a long, skinny gland located behind the stomach. Insulin takes blood sugar from the bloodstream and delivers it into the cells that make up the various organs in our body, such as our heart, lungs, and kidneys. The sugar provides energy to the cells to keep our hearts beating, our lungs breathing, and our kidneys excreting.
Type 1 diabetes, sometimes called insulin-dependent or juvenile diabetes, most often starts in childhood. In this type of diabetes, the pancreas no longer makes insulin. The sugar stays in the blood instead of going into the cells where it is needed. Because of this, all people with Type 1 diabetes have to take at least one shot of insulin every day just to stay alive.
Type 2 diabetes most often starts in adults and is also the most common kind. About 90 to 95 percent of all people with diabetes have Type 2. In Type 2 diabetes, the pancreas is usually producing enough insulin. However, the body does not use it effectively. The condition known as “insulin resistance” occurs when the cells do not respond to (resist) insulin’s attempt to enter with glucose. The pancreas responds by producing more and more insulin. When the cells do not respond, high levels of glucose build up in the blood, leading to Type 2 diabetes. Almost everyone with Type 2 diabetes also is insulin resistant. Because the insulin is left unused, the pancreas thinks it isn’t needed and may eventually stop making it. People with Type 2 diabetes often need to take prescription drugs to lower blood sugar levels if dietary and lifestyle changes are not enough to control the problem.
In both types of diabetes, the sugar stays in the bloodstream instead of going into the cells where it is needed and belongs. When blood sugar builds up in the blood, it causes two problems. First, the cells become starved for energy. And, over a period of time, high blood sugar levels can damage the blood vessels, nerves, eyes, and kidneys.
Q. What causes diabetes?
A. While scientists aren’t exactly sure why Type 1 diabetes happens, they do know the immune system is involved. A healthy immune system protects us from diseases caused by infections, such as colds or the flu, as well as diseases that start in our own cells, such as cancer. For some reasons, in certain people, the immune system becomes confused and begins attacking and destroying the cells in the pancreas that makes insulin.
Scientists aren’t exactly sure why Type 2 diabetes happens either; however, they have identified that it occurs most often in certain individuals. About 80 percent of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight, have high blood pressure, and have high cholesterol levels in their blood.
Q. What are the symptoms of diabetes?
A. Type 1 diabetes develops very quickly. The classic signs of diabetes include:
-Frequent urination, because the body is trying to get rid of the excess sugar in the blood
-Intense thirst, because the body needs to replace the fluid lost through the urine
-Increased hunger, because the cells need nutrients
-Weight loss, because without insulin, the body begins to starve
The onset of Type 2 diabetes is often very gradual and may develop without any symptoms at all. Sadly, the diagnosis most often is made only after a complication of the disease happens.
Q. What are the complications of diabetes?
A. The complications of diabetes happen in both types of the disease. All diabetic complications are caused by chronically high blood sugars. The longer your blood sugar levels are elevated, the greater your chances are of having complications.
High blood sugar damages blood vessels. When high levels of sugar are continuously in the blood, the blood vessels become thicker and less flexible, causing poor circulation. Poor circulation can impair healing, especially on the feet and lower legs. High blood sugar also causes higher levels of fat in the bloodstream. The fat clogs and Narrows the blood vessels. Partial blockages deprive the heart of some necessary nutrients. A complete blockage can result in a heart attack, heart pain (called angina), or stroke.
Nerve damage makes it hard for your nerves to send messages to the brain and other parts of the body. It may cause you to lose feeling in parts of your body or have a painful pins-and-needles-like feeling. While nerve damage most often affects the feet and legs, it can also affect other parts of the body.
Diabetes can damage and weaken the small blood vessels in the retina, the part of the eye that is sensitive to light and helps you see. When the blood vessels are weak, they can leak fluid, which causes swelling in the eye. The swelling blurs your vision. If the eye damage gets worse, your eye attempts to fix this damage by making new blood vessels over the retina. But because these blood vessels are fragile, they can break open easily and bleed into the eye. Scar tissue can then form. This may cause the retina to break away from the back of the eye, which can lead to visual impairment-even blindness.
Diabetes can also damage the blood vessels in the kidney so it can’t filter out the body’s waste. High blood pressure is also associated with kidney damage. If you have diabetes and high blood pressure, it is important to keep them both under control as much as possible. The longer blood sugar levels are left uncontrolled, the greater the amount of kidney damage that can occur. If the kidney damage isn’t stopped, some individuals may progress to needing kidney transplants or dialysis machines.
All of these complications, however, can almost always be prevented.
Q. How can the complications of diabetes be prevented?
A. Vitamins, minerals, and herbal supplements can provide powerful tools for preventing serious complications and keeping people with diabetes healthy. The best nutritional supplement contains powerful vitamins, minerals, and herbs in a synergistic formula that can effectively lower blood sugars and provide the specialized nutrients people with diabetes need.
Q. Which vitamins, minerals, and herbs should be included in a nutritional supplement for people with diabetes?
A. The vitamins, minerals, and herbs in a diabetic formula should work synergistically and be clinically demonstrated to help prevent the known complications of diabetes. To get the best results, it is very important that the right ingredients are in the diabetic formula you buy.
Q. How often should I take a diabetic formula supplement?
A. Read the label of the diabetic formula you are considering buying. Most quality products need to be taken twice a day. Keep in mind that you will still need to take a high quality multivitamin in addition to the diabetic formula supplement. A diabetic formula is complementary. That means that it is designed to be and addition to your multivitamin routine, not a replacement.
Q. Could the diabetic formula lower my blood sugar level too much?
A. In general, too low blood sugar levels should not be a problem. A high quality diabetic formula containing synergistic vitamins, minerals and herbs, most often lowers blood sugars to normal levels. However, these vitamins, minerals, and herbs will not excessively lower blood sugar levels that are already normal.
Q. Do I need to continue monitoring my blood sugar when taking a diabetic formula supplement?
A. Diabetes is a disease that requires active participation from you. You need to be aware of your problem and be in control of it as much as possible. If you use a home glucose monitor to check your blood sugars, you may feel more comfortable by checking your levels more frequently when you first take a diabetic formula supplement. You should always follow the recommendation of your doctor or a licensed health care practitioner regarding how often you should check your blood sugar levels.
According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) (as well as most licensed health care practitioners), a good blood sugar range for most people with diabetes (before a meal) is from about 70 to 150. An ideal range is 70-120.
Taking a nutritional supplement formulated especially for diabetics that contain vitamins, minerals, and herbs that work synergistically in a scientifically valid formula will help you keep your blood sugars right where the
Q. Can’t I just take the diabetic formula supplement and not worry about my diet?
A. Unfortunately, you cannot. Successful diabetes management means doing lost of positive things. First, you need to see your licensed health care practitioner often. You need to choose foods wisely and stay active to have a positive influence on your blood sugar levels and your health. And, taking a diabetic formula supplement every day can really help. However, the diabetic formula supplement is meant to be an addition to your healthy diet, not a substitute.
Having diabetes might make you feel overwhelmed. Restrictions on what you may and may not eat might make you feel deprived and unfairly burdened. The possibility of disease complications may make you feel anxious and scared-even angry. It is only natural to ask “Why me?” Taking control of your diabetes, instead of letting it control you, can help with these feelings. Eating wisely and exercising every day are two important ways to improve your health. And, taking a nutritional supplement formulated specifically for people with diabetes every day can give you the critical control you need to direct your health for years to come. Many healthy years to come.
Ban against ephedra supplements at any does upheld.
August 22, 2006 11:48 AM
A three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver late last week overturned a 2005 ruling by a Utah district court that had allowed the sale of low-dosage ephedra dietary supplements containing 10 milligrams or less of ephedrine alkaloids.
The appellate decision, which is effective immediately, supports FDA’s original determination that no dosage of ephedra is safe for consumption and means that it is unlawful to manufacture and sell any supplements containing ephedra, even products containing low doses of the herb.
The original ban was challenged in a May 2004 lawsuit by Nutraceutical Corp, and its subsidiary Solaray Inc., which said dried whole-herb ephedra sinica - the type of supplement in their products – had been safely used for thousands of years.
The U.S. district judge in Utah blocked any enforcement action against Nutraceutical for selling supplements containing 10 milligrams or less of ephedra per daily dose. The Utah District Judge said FDA’s process in banning ephedra improperly shifted the burden of proving product safety from the government to supplement manufacturers.
While noting that the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA) categorized dietary supplements as foods and are not, therefore, subject to premarket approval by FDA, the appellate panel found that the Utah district court had interpreted this basic provision to Narrowly.
The panel said that the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA), of which DSHEA is a part, should not be interpreted “too restrictively” but should instead be read in a manner “consistent with the statute’s overwhelming purpose to protect public health.”
Nutraceutical’s attorney has indicated that the company would appeal the ruling to the full appeals court.
Interview on symptoms of Fibromyalgia and one mans story
August 09, 2006 03:25 PM
Interview with Todd Williams from Source Naturals
Todd: Michael, many of us know someone with fibromyalgia, but many of us don’t know what FM is. Can you help explain the disease?
Michael: Yes. Fibromyalgia (pronounced Fie-bro-my-AL-ja) is a complex chronic pain illness that challenges patients and health care professionals alike. It is estimated that fibromyalgia affects 8 – 10 million women, men, and children in the U.S. alone. Symptoms include: extreme fatigue, sleep abnormalities, cognitive problems, difficulty speaking clearly, memory loss, brain fog, and so on. There’s also irritable bowel syndrome, restless legs, migraine headaches, neurological symptoms, anxiety and environmental sensitivities. Ninety percent of those afflicted with fibromyalgia are women. Ten percent are men. What activates fibromyalgia within a person can be anything from a thyroid condition to an auto accident, or some type of trauma or emotional stress. There is often a compromised immune system, hormonal imbalance, and even a possible enzyme deficiency. Because the stomach and intestines are made up of muscles, fibromyalgia affects the entire digestive tract. The members in my fibromyalgia support group in Santa Monica all have stomach problems. One of the doctors believes that the fibromyalgia I have to battle with daily is a result of a thyroid problem. Thyroid problems run in my family and, not surprisingly, my brother, who lives on the other side of the country has fibromyalgia as well. We correspond and share with each other what does and doesn’t work. My ten-year career as a schoolteacher came to an end due to having fibromyalgia. I lost the energy I needed to work non-stop ten-hour days. I was forced by necessity to go into early retirement. As a result, I had to find a new manageable way to live. So I then went to Los Angeles to pursue a part time acting career. Now, regardless of whether a task is big or small, I just try to do my best, one day at a time.
Todd: Michael, how did you experience the onset of Fibromyalgia?
Michael: although I’ve really had fibromyalgia for fifteen years, I wasn’t actually diagnosed by my doctor until 1996. I was very energetic and athletic while growing up. During my twenties, I first went to University of Arizona in Tucson, and then to Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and later to Point Loma University in San Diego, where I received a Master’s Degree in education. I followed that by moving to Florida to teach and to spend some time with my family. During summer breaks from teaching, I would go down to Florida Keys and visit Miami for fun. I had plenty of energy up until I was 28-30 years old, when I noticed a drastic drop in my energy level. At that time, when I would exercise, it was very difficult for my muscles to recover after a workout, even if it was a light workout. By the time I was thirty, the muscles in my feet became unbearably tight. It became very difficult to stand or even walk very far. I had my feet X-rayed, and the reports would say that nothing was wrong. When I was thiry-five, I took some antibiotics to get rid of a cold and I ended up with severe reaction to the antibiotic, erythromycin. My stomach swelled up like a balloon and felt unbearably tight. This was my first experience with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). I could no longer digest my food. I developed severe food and chemical sensitivities. I could no longer digest vitamin B properly. I would be in excruciating pain for several hours after eating almost anything. I had to leave my teaching position and I ended up being mostly bedridden for two years due to exhaustion and the inability to digest food. During this time I went to twenty doctors. I had colonoscopys, endoscopies, barium x-rays and thyroid tests, but the results were always indicating a normal range. I knew that I was horribly sick but the doctors and the tests repeatedly said that nothing was wrong with me. nevertheless, the doctors did provide more prescription medicines, especially antibiotics. It’s strange that not one of these doctors mentioned or prescribed probiotics in any form for rebuilding the flora in my intestines that was destroyed by the long antibiotic regimen. Eventually I would end up spending a large sum of money and going to 40 more doctors, with each helping just a little. It was a relief when I was finally diagnosed with fibromyalgia, because it helped me Narrow in on what was really going on. Which everything falling apart, it was a relief to know it wasn’t a rare foot disease, or a stomach parasite, or AIDS. I wanted to encourage men and women who are finally diagnosed with fibromyalgia to not see it as a death notice, but rather a step in recovery. In 2002, I tried something new. I went online and submitted my medical history to Dr. Teitelbaum’s Diagnosis Program, which you can find at www.vitality101.com. His incredible program spat out about 200 pages of very insightful information on what my body was deficient in. I began taking some of his recommended supplements and began to see some definite results. In spite of my poor track record with medical tests, he also recommended thyroid testing for fibromyalgia suffers, even though it is well known that thyroid tests are frequently wrong. Dr. Teitelbaum believes that many people who have fibromyalgia were actually having a thyroid problem, even though their thyroid tests come out in the normal range. I’ve had numerous thyroid tests over the years, and they’ve all been normal. I trekked back to my doctor and pleaded with him, even mentioning that there was a history of thyroid problems in my family. At first, he refused, simply because the tests said normal. I think doctors, fearing litigation, are reluctant to try a treatment path unsupported by test results. When you think about it, test ranges are really averages. What happens if your physiology falls outside the normal average? The tragic answer is: you can fall through the cracks! Finally, after much debate and arguing, I was able to get my doctor to provide a prescription for a small dosage of thyroid medicine. I began taking it immediately after two days I began to notice that the tight muscles in my stomach and legs began to loosen up. This seemed miraculous. Unfortunately, I also had some negative side effects from the medicine, so I stopped taking it. Nevertheless, I was amazed at how my body responded to such a small does of thyroid medicine. I think Dr. Teitelbaum is onto something. If you are fortunate enough to have an open minded doctor, perhaps that avenue is worth exploring. In Dr. Teitelbaum’s book, From Fatigue to Fantastic, he also advocates supplements for helping people with Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. I can verify that supplements have absolutely becomes part of my program and helped with restoring my systems to their natural balance. Some supplements that really helped me are: NADH, Glutathione, L-Carnitine, Acetyl L-Carnitine, revitalizing sleep formula, daily infusion powder and calcium D-Glucarate. Please feel free to check out the full list of supplements on my website. If you are fatigued, you should really read Dr. Teitelbaum’s book. To fibromyalgia sufferers, I highly recommend checking this list, visiting these doctors’ web pages, and trying their protocols. Thanks to these doctors and various regimens, including supplements, my health is much, much better. Most people would have never guessed I went through such an ordeal. I still have to pace myself, and not push the limits. Staying healthy and maintaining my energy is a priority, so I’ve learned not to over-extend myself. I’ve learned to say no to some projects and activities and not feel guilty about it.
Todd: Wow! That’s a lot to go through. Facing such huge obstacles, how did you keep your ship facing forward?
Michael: Well, living and healing are spiritual events. I am fortunate to have a degree in theology and I have a strong daily spiritual practice, which has helped me to survive and thrive with complications of fibromyalgia. That’s not to say there haven’t been some very dark days, but faith in God and the support of my spiritual network, including my wonderful family and friends have made all the difference. After arriving at LA, I had moved into a little apartment across the street from Warner brothers. My roommate and I had decided to start a little bible study. We invited our neighbors and we prayed for many things including for my health to improve. One of our requests was for a door to open at Warner Brothers. Within a short time, our Bible Study group grew and our home couldn’t contain all the people. A year later, the doors opened for me at Warner Brothers, and I was working on the West Wing.
Todd: that’s Great! Can we tell the folks about your new show?
Michael: My web page has a new category called, “Nutrition Show”, which will provide all the details.
Todd: Thanks Mike! For more about Mike and fibromyalgia, please visit his website at: www.captainhastings.com
June 14, 2006 09:40 AM
Advil – rash; ringing in the ears; headaches; dizziness; drowsiness; abdominal pain; nausea; diarrhea; constipation; heartburn; ulceration of the stomach and intestine; bleeding ulcers; black, tarry stools; weakness; orthostatic hypertension; reduced flow of blood to the kidneys; impaired function of the kidneys; congestive heart failure; asthma; disturbances of the gut; nausea; vomiting; diarrhea; indigestion; abdominal pain; bleeding of the stomach and intestine; perforation of the stomach and intestine; swelling of the lips, tongue and throat (angioedema); Narrowing of the airways (bronchospasm); fluid retention; hearing disturbances; decreased number of platelets in the blood (thrombocytopenia).