Search Term: " Nursing "
Your Health: Natural remedies to aid breastmilk production
August 22, 2017 04:14 PM
Breastfeeding has a variety of benefits to the development of babies. Emotionally, breastfeeding enhances the bond between mother and baby. Physically, there are numerous benefits of breastfeeding, such as protection against respiratory, urinary, and digestive infections. Breastfeeding also provides benefits against the development of allergies. If the mother experiences problems with breastfeeding, a supplement containing several herbs is recommended. These include fennel, aniseed, raspberry leaves, chamomile, and nettle, which each have unique benefits for breastfeeding.
"Most women are eager to heed the slogan "breast is best" but many find it is not as straightforward as they thought."
Read more: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=11907725
The Health Benefits of Matcha Tea
July 25, 2017 09:14 AM
A major tv network has come out with a story about matcha. This is a green tea that has been ground into powder. Matcha has become a favorite with models and is offered at Starbucks. The article explored whether the item is really healthy or just another "in" thing that will fade over time. The article cited a study which showed matcha resulted in higher levels of alertness. Another study found matcha reduced stress in mice. Several photos and links are included.
"Mind you, green tea is caffeinated and matcha is an even more caffeinated form of green tea, containing approximately 34mgs of caffeine where traditional green tea averages at about 30mgs and an espresso has around 60mgs, but the L-theanine in matcha prolongs its mood-boosting effects"
Read more: https://www.nbcnews.com/better/health/much-ado-about-matcha-it-really-healthy-ncna783886?cid=public-rss_20170720
6 Foods That Could Boost Your Breast Milk Supply
March 02, 2017 06:19 AM
As a Nursing mother, you probably have tons of questions running through your mind. You are concerned about your little one’s health and growth, and want to do nothing less than the best. One of the most important questions that Nursing moms have is what to eat during the feeding months that will ensure a good supply of milk.
"From oatmeal to sesame seed bagels, there are plenty of foods you could be snacking on to boost your milk supply."
6 Foods That Could Boost Your Breast Milk Supply
March 02, 2017 05:59 AM
As a Nursing mother, you probably have tons of questions running through your mind. You are concerned about your little one’s health and growth, and want to do nothing less than the best. One of the most important questions that Nursing moms have is what to eat during the feeding months that will ensure a good supply of milk.
"From oatmeal to sesame seed bagels, there are plenty of foods you could be snacking on to boost your milk supply."
Traditional Uses of Blessed Thistle
Can Ivy (Hedra helix) Support Healthy Airways And Lungs?
April 19, 2014 05:48 AM
The fact is that we cannot live without oxygen. Our respiratory tract acts as the link or rather the airway between the outside environment and our lungs. This explains why it is of much importance to ensure optimum health for our respiratory tract. The respiratory system being very sensitive, our lung health is largely enforced by the cilia, which keeps bacteria, dust particles and viruses at bay.
Benefits of ivy
Ivy (Hedra helix) is a plant that has been clinically proven an excellent cough medicine especially for those with asthma or bronchitis.
The Ivy leaf extract has various modes of action.
As an expectorant. This mode of action acts in that it helps bring mucus up from the lungs. This ensures that there are minimal problem ingredients entering the lungs.
As a mucolytic.This means it, helps dissolve mucus. Some types of coughs thicken mucus leading to blocked tracts.
As a bronchial dilator. This means that the medicine helps in opening up the air passageway for easier breathing.
The Ivy leaf extract has been termed as a solution to painful coughing though it does not really block out the action. Through the mucolytic action, it dissolves the mucus thus easing constriction. As opposed to other solutions, the Ivy is tolerable to children thus making it suitable for both adults and children. Most importantly, it works efficiently with all age groups.
Where it grows. The Ivy can be described as a climbing plant, evergreen and fast growing. It grows in woodland and hedgerows especially in winter gardens. It is not a threat to healthy trees and requires regular trimming to avoid it becoming too heavy. In a close up, lung health is paramount for easier and safe breathing. Ivy leaf extract is a medicine that we count can on for excellent results. If pregnant or Nursing, consult health care practitioner before use.
Effectiveness of echinacea tea
March 14, 2014 06:44 PM
What is echinecea tea
Echinacea tea is Associate in Nursing flavoring remedy that several realize to be quite effective in fighting off colds, cough and respiratory disease. Plenty of individuals take asterid dicot genus tea as they believe it helps stop and even stop these ailments. After all, the herb has long been called Associate in Nursing immunostimulant that helps strengthen the system and beat back infections.
But area unit there enough scientific bases for this belief?
The asterid dicot genus may be a genus of nonwoody flowering plants that belong to the flower family. The genus has 9 completely different species and these area unit ordinarily referred to as purple coneflowers. The plants area unit generally found in jap and central components of North America, wherever they're seen growing in rolling prairies and open scrubby areas. they need giant, showy heads of composite flowers, and area unit fully bloom throughout the summer.
Various components of the asterid dicot genus plant, most notably the roots, leaves, flowers and stems, area unit dried and so created into teas, juices, tonics, tinctures, extracts, tablets and capsules.
The early Americans swore by the ability and strength of asterid dicot genus tea in fighting off infections. They even used it within the treatment of toxic snake bites and bug bites. within the 1800s, asterid dicot genus was a crucial player in us collection wherever it had been thought-about a potent antibiotic. later, asterid dicot genus was additionally employed by the Germans for several medical functions. Its use then born off over the years as new antibiotics were discovered. However, it looks to own encountered a renaissance in recent years as interest in natural health grew by leaps and bounds.
There are variety of scientific studies on asterid dicot genus, most of them examining the active constituents of the plant and the way these act on the human system.
Myrrh oil health benefits
February 21, 2014 05:04 PM
Know what Myrrh essential oil is
As you have probably read somewhere else, Myrrh oil is an aromatic resin that comes from trees belonging to the genus commiphora. It has a unique sweet and smoky aroma. Myrrha, hirabol myrrh and bola are other alternative names that people use frequently when referring to myrrh oil. Known to contain cadinene, cuminaldehyde, a-pinene, acetic acid, m-cresol, eugenol and formic acid, this pale yellow oil has been the source of debate due to its many benefits which go back to the time of ancient Egyptians.
Why take myrrh oil?
Modern scientific research has found evidence suggesting that myrrh has a wide range of uses that are beneficial to boost the health condition of an individual. Myrrh is an amazing extract that can be used in aromatherapy to effectively treat colds, coughs, insomnia and sore throat. In the digestive system, the oil is widely used for indigestion and ulcers treatment. Women and young girls find it necessary to increase their menstrual flow using normal remedies but have failed. However, this sap-like oil does not only increase the menstrual flow but it also relieve painful periods and ease difficult labor in childbirth.
For all medical dental infections, the oil is included when mixing a mouthwash. On the skin, it has great success when wiping out bedsores, boils, cracked skin, skin ulcers, athlete's foot and eczema. As a matter of fact, it is sometimes used as an ingredient in many skincare products, creams and lotions.
Myrrh is also purported to treat certain cancers and tumors. The extract from Commiphora trees is highly effective against the gynecologic cancer cells. When used as an anti-oxidant, amazing results are achieved in protecting against lead induced hepatotoxicity.
When can you start taking myrrh resin?
It is recommended to take myrrh essential oil three times in a day or as needed. Pregnant and Nursing women should start using it after consulting a qualified practitioner. It can be used as a dietary supplement for children when they reach the age of six years.
C and Bioflavonoids
October 31, 2012 04:47 PM
A supplement of super bio C vitamin is essential to the body because of the unique properties it possesses. Taking this supplement will enable a person reap the full benefit of a normal vitamin C compound without experiencing side effects normally associated with common Vitamin C sources. Such side effects include excessive acidity in the stomach. Additionally, intake of C vitamin has been found to have immense benefit to the health of the human body. It performs some core functions such as detoxification of the body and boosting the immune system. Also people who are Nursing injuries will find this Vitamin helpful as it accelerates the healing process through its ability to repair tissues fast.
Bioflavonoids on the other hand, are plant compounds which occur naturally. They are popular for their antioxidant properties. Recent studies show that Bioflavonoids play an even greater role in preventing elimination of vitamin C from the body. Therefore they are helpful as they protect Vitamin C from complete oxidation. This means that the human body will benefit by having vitamin C retained longer.
A combination of these two compounds helps to promote better health of a person. Some benefits include improved eyesight, better cardiovascular health and an improvement in the structure of the connective tissues. They also help to improve the skin appearance through its replenishing and nourishing properties.
Further to this, combination of vitamin C and Bioflavonoids can go a long way to lower the effect of some common but serious diseases such as cancer and gastrointestinal disorders. More so, Arthritis and atherosclerosis are among the diseases that can be prevented by intake of the compounds mentioned.
Research shows that intake of both vitamin C and Bioflavonoids alleviates allergies and inflammation in the body. It can also help the body fight Colds and other respiratory infections.
have you had your bio C today?
How Chromium Picolinate lowers blood sugar
October 07, 2012 05:21 PM
Chromium Picolinate is an essential mineral/metal that is involved in the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates in the human body. It is often referred as a trace element since it is only required in small amounts in our bodies and is not produced by our bodies. However, pregnant or Nursing women may require a slightly higher level of chromium Picolinate.
Chromium Picolinate has been used for some time to control and improve body sugar in patients suffering from diabetes type two and prediabetes type one. It achieves this by improving how our body handles insulin. Deficiencies of chromium Picolinate results in impaired insulin activity and thus more glucose remain in your body and this will lead to uncontrolled weight gain.
Remember insulin binds to body cell to siphon sugar from our bloodstream. The sugar is then used to as a fuel by our body cells. We need to keep our blood sugar at manageable levels. If the blood sugar lever is high, we might suffer from laziness and fatigue among other dangerous effects to our health. Chromium Picolinate is one way of stabilizing our blood sugar levels.
What Can Turmeric Do For My Health?
April 02, 2012 10:21 PM
There are a lot of natural food items and spices which in addition to providing a nice flavour to the food also provide a lot of health benefits. One such famous spice is ‘turmeric'. It is of common use in Indian, Chinese and other Asian countries' cuisines. Many health benefits of turmeric are still being researched; however, here are listed its few known benefits.
# Turmeric's health benefits against cancer:
- Turmeric has powerful anti-oxidant properties and therefore is useful against cancer treatments of many kinds. - Researches have shown that turmeric can prevent breast cancer to spread in lungs. - Turmeric is useful to intensify the effects of the drug ‘paclitaxel' which is taken to cure breast cancer and to prevent the side effects of this drug. - In many cases, turmeric also prevents metastases to develop in many different types of cancer. - The combined effect of cauliflower and turmeric prevents prostate cancer. It also helps to inhibit the growth of existing prostate cancer cells. - Benefits of turmeric for pancreatic cancer are still being studied. - It has also been shown that turmeric is effective to stop the growth of blood vessels in tumours.
# Benefits for skin:
- Assists in healing wounds and repairing damaged skin conditions. - Helps to fight skin infections and inflammations. - It has good antibacterial properties and can be applied on wounds as a disinfectant. - It helps to fight skin inflammation conditions like psoriasis. - Turmeric mixed with honey is a good skin bleaching agent. - Turmeric paste is also good to reduce sun tan from the skin. - Mixing turmeric in face packs can help cure acne to some degree. - Turmeric mixed with curd if applied daily on the abdomen of pregnant ladies can help in preventing pregnancy stretch marks. - Application of turmeric paste for skin burns is a good remedy for it. - Regularly washing face with turmeric can help a person get rid of excessive facial hair.
# Benefits for the nervous system:
- It helps to slow down the effects of Alzheimer's disease. - It acts as a natural painkiller. - It is also used as an ingredient in medicines against depression. - It also has anti-platelet abilities, and therefore is promising for protection against heart attacks, blood arteries and vein clogs etc.
# Other health benefits of turmeric:
- Because of its inflammatory properties, turmeric is known to be useful in the treatment of arthritis, muscle pain, ligament pains etc. - Aids in fat management by increasing the metabolism rate in an individual. - Helps in detoxifying liver. It also helps protect the liver from the damaging effects of various toxins like that of alcohol. - Turmeric mixed in warm water when consumed can help in the conditions of diarrhoea. - It's consumption also helps to relieve menstrual pains.
# Dosage of turmeric:
Turmeric should form a part of one's daily diet and should ideally form part of various dishes which are consumed daily. An adult can safely consume one to three grams of turmeric powder daily. To be consumed as a supplement, it can be taken as pills available in health stores.
# Things to keep in mind before consuming turmeric:
- Consume turmeric in moderation as excess of anything is bad. - Consult your physician before beginning to consume any supplements. - Those who have congestive heart disease should refrain from consuming it. - Those having obstructive jaundice, extreme liver disorders, blood clotting issues, and painful gallstones should not take turmeric. In general, if you have any troubling health condition or if you are on medication, then you should consult your physician before consuming it. - Pregnant women, Nursing mothers and women with fertility issues should also consult their physician before consuming turmeric.
Turmeric is a wonder-food, to help you fight against many health conditions. It is easily available and is easy to consume. Make sure to give it due consideration to be included in your daily diet for a healthy life.
What Is The Effect Antibiotics Have On Babies And How Does Acidophilus Help?
October 11, 2011 12:21 PM
Normally, the human body has its own collection of microorganisms which help protect the body from harm microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, parasites and the like. The “friendly” or “good” bacteria in the body may be situated on the skin, mucous membranes, digestive tract, reproductive tract and other parts of the body which need a normal flora of good bacteria for protection and enzyme production.
However, these normal floras of microorganisms may become depleted under certain condition such as extreme exposure to stress, poor diet and antibiotic therapy. When babies are infected with harmful microorganisms, antibiotics may be of great help to destroy the invading microorganisms. However, when a person is under antibiotic therapy, it is not only the bad bacteria that are killed but also the good bacteria naturally inhabiting in the human body. The normal floras of the intestines, mouth, and vaginal tract and even on the skin are destroyed as well.
The intention of antibiotic therapy is good. However, it is inevitable that the good microorganisms which are normally residing in the body will be destroyed as well. Among babies, when antibiotics are given and the good bacteria of the body are destroyed, the body has an increased susceptibility to allow the overgrowth of yeast which can lead the baby to suffer from diarrhea and anal or oral thrushes.
Indeed, the normal flora of microorganism may be depleted due to antibiotic therapy. Good thing is that there are available supplements formulated to increase the population of these good bacteria inside the body. These are called probiotics. One most common and useful probiotic is Lactobacillus acidophilus. This is a good strain of bacteria which helps in improving intestinal health by enhancing the growth of intestinal flora. Babies are usually given with Lactobacillus acidophilus supplement to help the baby’s body repopulate the normal flora of good microorganisms, thus helping in the prevention of yeast overgrowth and infections.
Lactobacillus acidophilus can be acquired from fermented products such as milk, cheese, yogurt and kefir. And with its great benefit to human health, Lactobacillus acidophilus is now made available in the form of supplements. You can purchase Lactobacillus acidophilus supplements in powder form for infants. The powder may be applied on the nipples of breastfeeding mothers before every Nursing session. The baby will then consume the Lactobacillus acidophilus together with the breast milk. For working mothers who just leave breast milk at home or use formula milk for feeding, Lactobacillus acidophilus may be mixed with the expressed breast milk or formula milk making the probiotic available for the baby. Usually, one teaspoon of Lactobacillus acidophilus powder is mixed into an 8 ounce of milk. For babies who can already eat solid foods, they may consume unflavored and unsweetened yogurt which is rich in live and active Lactobacillus acidophilus.
Doctors and many health experts highly recommend that it is practical to administer antibiotic medications one to two hours before giving the baby probiotic food or supplements. This is to avoid killing of the probiotics given and allowing the body to get the maximum benefit of the probiotic.
Holding Back the Years with DHEA
September 20, 2011 01:58 PM
Once you reach an average of around 25 years of age your body begins to cut back on its production of the sex hormone precursor DHEA, responsible for the biosynthesis of testosterone, estrogen and other sex hormones. Your body reckons you are past it at 25, so hard luck - no more sex hormones. You must find a way to overcome that, or you might as well give up the ghost now - but luckily there is a solution: DHEA supplements.
Imagine of you were over the hill, with around 60 years still to go as a guy, but no hormones! In fact, the same is true of the girls, so that's another worry for you. You take DHEA but none of them do, and what then? Use your own imagination, but it won't be a whole heap of laughs, that's for sure!
There is an answer - simply take a DHEA supplement, and make sure your girl does too, then you will both be on the same wavelength and your lack of hormones will be solved. In reality what happens is that you will go to your doctor and ask for help, when all you need do is to take a DHEA supplement. Don't come crying if your doctor can't help you!
Seriously though, you should keep your doctor informed about what you are doing, although DHEA is relatively benign and unlikely to cause you serious problems. Nevertheless, never use it if you are pregnant or Nursing a baby, and never give it to your children unless cleared by your family physician.
What Is Fenugreek Seeds And How Does It Help Blood Sugar Control?
July 21, 2011 04:23 PM
Fenugreek And Your Health
Fenugreek is a plant which is considered to be both an herb and a spice. The plant can be found all over the world as a crop or spice and has become popular as an herbal medicine. This plant is a primary ingredient among many curry dishes. This herb is considered to be one of the oldest medicinal herbs.
The seeds of Fenugreek are abundant with the chemical called polysaccharide galactomannan. This is the reason why fenugreek herb is considered to be a galactagogue. Galactagogues are chemical compounds which intensifies lactation among humans and other mammals. Galactagogues may either be naturally derived from plants or synthetic. Fenugreek seeds are commonly employed by Nursing mothers to help increase the production of breast milk. Studies reveal that fenugreek extracts effectively stimulates the mammary glands to produce milk. In addition, because of its estrogen – like property, fenugreek herb is employed at home as supplement for breast enlargement. Commonly, consuming three grams of fenugreek seed daily is suggested by health experts.
Another important health benefit of fenugreek herb extracts is that it has a potent anti – diabetic property cause of its positive effect on the metabolic symptoms related with Diabetes Mellitus, both type 1 and type 2. Preliminary studies on animals reveal that it can significantly lower serum glucose level and enhance one’s tolerance to glucose. Further studies on human subjects are still ongoing.
Fenugreek also contains an important body nutrient called Choline. This chemical is a member of the water – soluble vitamin B complex which is involved in so many body activities. Together with its metabolic end – products, choline plays a significant role as a precursor of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. This neurotransmitter is required for a successful cholinergic neurotransmission of the nervous system. At the cellular level, choline is one of the components of the structure of the cell membranes. Choline also improves the signaling activities of cell membranes to other cells and its surrounding environment. Not to mention, choline is also a good source of methyl groups which is needed in many biological reactions.
Studies also reveal that fenugreek herb is effective in lowering cholesterol levels at about 15 %. To acquire this effect, experts often recommend that you take about 55 to 65 grams of fenugreek seed everyday. If cholesterol levels are maintained within normal limits, the risk for cardiovascular diseases most especially heat attack is lowered.
Fenugreek supplements may come in the form of capsules, powered seeds, tinctures or teas. The recommended dosing of fenugreek supplements is two to four 600 – milligram capsule three times daily. Experts state that the maximum dose per day is six grams. For the powdered fenugreek seeds, the recommended dose is about one – half to one teaspoon taken three times daily. You may combine the powder with little water or juice to add a little taste. For the tea preparation, consume one cup of tea two to three times a day while for tinctures, use one to two milliliters of fenugreek concentrate three times daily.
Give fenugreek a try and feel the difference!
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.
Cascara sagrada can help with constipation
August 25, 2010 02:18 PM
Cascara sagrada and Constipation
Cascara Sagrada was introduced to the Spanish explorers by Native Americans when they complained of problems with constipation. The Spanish then gave this herb its name, cascara sagrada, which means sacred bark and used it as a natural laxative. The Spanish explorers brought the herb back with them to Spain when they returned. In 1877, this herb was admitted to the U.S. Pharmacopoeia and is still included as an official medicine to this day.
Cascara sagrada is believed to be one of the best herbs for treatment of chronic constipation. This is because it enhances the peristaltic action that takes place in the intestines and increases the secretions of the stomach, liver, and pancreas. This herb is also helpful in relieving hemorrhoids because of its nonirritating nature and softening action on the stool.
Cascara sagrada is found in many over-the-counter preparations that are used for the intention of relieving constipation. This is because it acts on the large intestine to increase the muscular activity of the colon. The anthraquinones that are found in cascara sagrada are believed to encourage intestinal contraction. This herb is used to restore natural bowel movement without griping and to restore tone to the bowel.
Additionally, an element in cascara sagrada is known as quinine emodin. This element is being studied for its usefulness in treating lymphocytic leukemia and Walker carcinosarcoma tumor system. More research is needed before it will be recommended for treatment, but so far, the findings have been promising.
Cascara sagrada can be used often, as it is not considered to be addictive. Preparations should be made from bark that has been aged for a least a year before use. This must be done because fresh bark is poisonous and can cause nausea and extreme griping on the intestinal system. Cascara sagrada can be found in various forms including capsules, liquid extracts, and dried bark. Although it tastes bitter, the dried bark can be made into a tea. A typical dosage of cascara is a 300 mg capsule which is taken in the early evening to stimulate a bowel movement in the morning. The laxative effect usually occurs 6 to 12 hours after cascara is taken. Products containing cascara sagrada should not be used for more than eight or ten days. Those women who are pregnant and Nursing should avoid this herb, as well as people with intestinal blockage, undiagnosed stomach pain, or symptoms that may indicate appendicitis. People with diarrhea, inflammatory bowel disease, or intestinal ulcers should not take this herb.
Additionally, children younger than twelve with constipation should not be treated with cascara sagrada.
The bark of cascara sagrada should be used to provide alterative, antineoplastic, antispasmodic, hepatic, lithotriptic, and purgative properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are calcium, chlorine, iron, magnesium, manganese, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, silicon, sodium, and vitamins A, B-complex, and C. Primarily, cascara sagrada is beneficial in dealing with colon problems, constipation, gallbladder problems, gallstones, gas, gastric disorders, hemorrhoids, intestinal problems, liver disorders, and worms. Additionally, this herb is extremely helpful in treating colitis, coughs, croup, dyspepsia, gout, indigestion, insomnia, jaundice, excessive mucus, pituitary problems, and spleen ailments.
For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by cascara sagrada, please contact a representative from your local health food store. Always choose name brands of this wonderful herbal laxative to ensure quality and purity and gentleness of its properties on the intestinal tract.
November 12, 2009 04:47 PM
Fennel is a plant species that is part of the genus Foeniculum. A member of the family Apiaceae, this plant is a hardy, perennial, umbelliferous herb. The plant has yellow flowers and feathery leaves. It is generally found growing on the shores of the Mediterranean, but it has become widely naturalized elsewhere. Now, the plant can be found growing wild in many parts of the world, especially on dry soils near the sea-coast and on river-banks. The plant is highly aromatic and flavorful. It is actually one of the primary ingredients of absinthe. Some species of fennel possess a swollen, bulb-like stem base, which is used as a vegetable. Fennel is used as food plant by some moth and bird species.
The fennel plant is native to the southern areas of Europe and Asia Minor. The herb is now cultivated in the United States and Great Britain. It was used anciently in many civilizations. Used in ancient Egypt, this herb aids in digestion and flatulence. In Italy, fennel was used to bring surgical patients out of anesthesia. Fennel was recommended by Hippocrates and Dioscorides to increase milk production in Nursing mothers. The ancient Greeks used this herb for weight reduction, while the seventeenth-century herbalist Nicholas Culpeper also recommended this herb for losing weight.
Fennel is extremely helpful in weight reduction, as it suppresses the appetite. This herb aids in stabilizing the nervous system and can be used as a sedative for small children. Fennel can be used to expel phlegm from the throat, eliminate toxins from the body, and purify the blood. This herb is known for its ability to fortify the immune system and be good for the eyes. Additionally, fennel aids in digestion, improves night vision, relieves gas, expels worms, improves the quality of milk in Nursing mothers, and cleans the bladder and liver. This herb has been used to stimulate menstruation and can help too soothe the smooth muscles of the digestive tract, as it aids in digestion and related problems.
Research on rats has found that the fennel seeds have estrogenic effects on the genital organs. The herb has been found to promote the production of milk in Nursing mothers. Fennel is good for digestion, colic, and other stomach complaints. This herb contains essential oils that have a composition similar to catnip and peppermint. The seeds of the fennel plant are used to provide anorectic, antacid, anti-inflaamtory, antimicrobial, antispasmodic, carminative, diuretic, estrogenic, expectorant, galactagogue, sedative, and stimulant properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are calcium, magnesium, niacin, potassium, sodium, sulfur, vitamins A, C, B1, and B2. Primarily, fennel is extremely beneficial in dealing with abdominal cramps, colic, gas, gastric disorders, indigestion, intestinal problems, and weight-related conditions.
Additionally, this herb can be very helpful in treating excessive appetite, asthma, constipation, convulsions, coughs, uterine cramps, gout, kidney ailments, absence of lactation, liver disorders, lung disorders, and nervous disorders. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by this herb, please feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store.
August 25, 2009 12:12 PM
The caraway plant, also known as Persian cumin, is a biennial plant that is found in the Apiaceae family. This plant is native to Europe and western Asia. The plant is very similar in appearance to a carrot plant, with finely divided, feathery leaves that have thread-like divisions that grow on twenty to thirty centimeter stems. The main flower stem is forty to sixty centimeters tall and has small white or pink flowers that are in the shape of umbels. The caraway fruits, which are erroneously called seeds, are crescent-shaped and about two millimeters in length and have five pale ridges. The caraway plant prefers warm, sunny locations and a well-drained soil as well.
The fruits of the caraway plant are usually used whole. They have a pungent, anise-like flavor and an aroma that is derived from the essential oils carvone and limonene. These oils are used as a spice in breads, especially rye bread, which is denser due to the yeast killing properties of the essential oil, limonene. Caraway is also used in liquors, casseroles, and other foods, especially in Central European and Northern European cuisine, like sauerkraut. This herb is also used to add flavor to cheeses. A substance made from the seeds is used as a remedy for colic, loss of appetite, digestive disorders, and to dispel worms.
Caraway herbs have been used as a flavoring in foods such as rye bread for thousands of years. It has also been used medicinally by the Romans, Germans, and the English. Generally, it was used to treat flatulence and indigestion. It was also used to relieve colic in babies.
Caraway is very similar to anise. Both of them are recommended for the same purposes. This herb is a powerful antiseptic. It is especially effective in relieving toothaches. When it is applied locally to the skin, it also acts as an anesthetic. This herb can be mixed with other herbs such as mandrake and culver’s root in order to help modify its purgative action. Caraway is also useful in treating stomach problems. Additionally, it helps prevent fermentation in the stomach. It can help to settle stomach after people have taken medication that causes nausea. Caraway also helps to relieve intestinal cramps and colic in babies.
This herb is known to encourage menstruation and the flow of milk in Nursing mothers. Caraway also helps to ease uterine cramps.
The root and seed of the caraway plant are used to provide anesthetic, antispasmodic, carminative, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, galactagogue, mild purgative, stimulant, and stomachic properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are calcium, cobalt, copper, iodine, iron, lead, magnesium, potassium, silicon, vitamin B-complex, and zinc. It is important to consult your local health care professional before taking this, or any supplement in order to obtain the best results. Priamrily, caraway is extremely beneficial in treating loss of appetite, colic, uterine and intestinal cramps, gastric disorders, indigestion, and spasms.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with colds, absent lactation, absent menstruation, upset stomach, and toothaches. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by caraway, feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
Milk Thistle And Silymarin
August 12, 2009 12:44 PM
In Europe, milk thistle was used as a well-known remedy for liver problems and also as a digestive aid. Pliny the Elder, the early Roman writer, explained how the juice of milk thistle mixed with honey was used for carrying off bile. Gerard, an herbalist, said in 1597 that milk thistle was one of the best remedies for liver-related diseases. Milk thistle was also given to Nursing mothers to improve milk production.
The liver is an extremely important organ that is found in the body. It is responsible for filtering toxic material from the body, which prevents accumulation that can lead to disease and death. Often, the vital functions of the liver are overlooked. Nevertheless, they are extremely important. It is essential to keep the liver working properly. Milk thistle has been proven to be very beneficial for liver function. Milk thistle extract has been shown in observations to help reverse both acute and chronic liver problems, including cirrhosis and viral hepatitis. The antioxidant properties may be due to the bioflavonoid content. Milk thistle has also been found to help heal the liver from damage that occurs from alcohol toxicity. It has been used to treat many different liver ailments. Among these are fatty liver disorders, chronic hepatitis, inflammation of the bile duct, hardening of the liver, and cirrhosis. Milk thistle is also thought to actually help liver regeneration when part of the liver is removed.
Milk thistle possesses a variety of compounds which are known as Silymarin. This includes silybin, silydianin, and silychristin. All of these substances are known to protect the liver against some toxins, which helps to increase the function of this important organ. Silybin is used as an antidote to the deathcape mushroom, which is known to destroy liver cells. The deathcap species is one of the most toxic of liver poisons and has a death rate of up to fifty percent. A study with sixty patients suffering from deathcap poisoning treated with silybin produced incredible results. None of the participants died. Silymarin is an effective remedy if it is administered within forty-eight hours of ingestion. This compound seems to occupy the receptor sites to protect the cell membranes. Not only does it work to treat serious liver conditions, but it also prevents damage from occurring. Silymarin contains amines which are known to help stimulate the production and flow of bile. This compound has been found in studies to work exclusively on the kidneys and liver. Milk thistle has also been shown to stimulate the synthesis of protein.
The seeds of the milk thistle plant are used to provide alterative, antioxidant, galactagogue, hepatic, and stimulant properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are bioflavonoids. Primarily, milk thistle is extremely beneficial in treating cirrhosis, hepatitis, jaundice, kidney problems, and liver disorders. Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with alcoholism, appetite loss, high blood pressure, boils, chemotherapy, depression, epilepsy, fatty deposits, gas, heartburn, heart problems, hemorrhages, hypoglycemia, indigestion, absent lactation, menstrual symptoms, effects of radiation, skin diseases, varicose veins, and the effects of toxins.
June 18, 2009 10:54 AM
After going through puberty, our bodies gradually decrease in the production of immune and growth factors that generally combat disease. After losing these vital components, we are much more susceptible to the aging process, which shortens our life expectancy. Colostrum and its other components have the ability to fight off bacterial and viral invaders as well as stimulate tissue repair, which is something that becomes increasingly vulnerable as we age by boosting the immune system. For all of these reasons, it is important for an adult to supplement with colostrum.
Colostrum should be collected during the first 24 hours after birth. Also, a colostrum supplement should be processed in a USDA licensed facility. This insures the consumer that USDA guidelines are being followed. Additionally, consumers should make sure that products labeled Colostrum are actually 100% colostrum, not colostrum or concentrates of milk whey. Lastly, colostrum that is mixed with other supplements or herbs and additives may have a diluted colostrum concentration, which means the benefits you could obtain from this supplement may be compromised.
Even though colostrum has no interactions with drugs, side effects may be experienced from a cleansing or healing crisis, which is a necessary but somewhat inconvenient and adverse result. Fortunately, once the healing crisis is complete, you will feel substantially better and in good terms of health. Mediations may need to be re-evaluated by your medical profession for dose and need.
Although colostrum is generally believed to be very safe for those mothers who are pregnant and Nursing, one should probably ask their medical professional prior to taking colostrum or its specific agents while they are pregnant. Just like any other supplement or drug, it is better to be overly safe and check with a healthcare provider before jeopardizing a pregnancy.
Colostrum is recommended specifically for children who have not already received the mother’s breast milk, as breast milk would have already provided the benefits that would be obtained through colostrum supplementation. Those children with flu, colds, bacterial or viral infections, or children who have been on long or short-term antibiotics or other drugs are good candidates for colostrum supplementation. Therefore, colostrum supplementation is safe and may be recommended for these types of children.
Many people wonder if colostrum products can pass on mad cow disease. At this time, no case of mad cow disease has been reported in the United States. With awareness of the disease being so high, it is extremely unlikely that one would contract mad cow disease from a colostrum product.
The overall supplementation of colostrum and other products that contain derivatives of colostrum has been shown to extremely safe. Additionally, it has been shown that colostrum is equally effective, whether it be taken by injection or by mouth. It has also been shown that the long-term administration of colostrum preparation is very safe to the human body. Because infants and the elderly are the two main groups that are especially at risk for infections, many people may wonder just how safe colostrum products are for these two groups of people. Not only is oral administration safe, it is also very effective and easily accepted by both of these groups.
Colostrum is available in capsule of tablet forms at your local or internet health food store. Look for name brands like Kal and Source Naturals to ensure quality and purity of the product you purchase.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Colostrum is 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.
April 08, 2009 04:40 PM
Alfalfa was considered to be a miracle herb in ancient times, as the Arabs called it the “Father of Herbs.” This herb has been cultivated for more than two thousand years. When the Medes and the Persians invaded Greece in 400 B.C., they began cultivating alfalfa in that region. This was primarily because of its ability to survive even the roughest of climates. The roots of the alfalfa plant can extend as long as sixty-six feet into the subsoil. The Romans later discovered that alfalfa was excellent for their horses. North America was introduced to alfalfa thanks to the Spanish. Here in North America, the herb was used to treat arthritis, boils, cancer, scurvy, urinary tract disorders, and bowel problems.
The health benefits of alfalfa have been document thanks to modern research. This herb has been shown to be one of the most nutritious foods available. Herbalists consider this herb to be beneficial for many problems, with some even recommending it for any sickness due to the way it helps the body absorb protein, calcium, and other essential nutrients. Additionally, alfalfa is helpful in removing poisons and their effects from the body. It is also thought to neutralize the acidity of the body and help to break down carbon dioxide. Alfalfa is actually used to treat recovery cases of narcotic and alcohol addiction. It has also been found to help in cases of anemia by building blood.
Alfalfa is great because it contains both antibacterial and antifungal properties. This makes the herb a great body cleanser, infection fighter, and natural deodorizer. Alfalfa has also been used to clean teeth that are stained. Specifically, the extracts of alfalfa produce antibacterial activity against gram-positive bacteria.
Alfalfa is great for helping with milk production in Nursing mothers. This herb can also stimulate appetite. This herb has also been researched and found to help lower cholesterol levels. Additionally, research has found that alfalfa can neutralize cancer. Alfalfa has been found to help in healing ulcers and treating arteriosclerosis, allergies, diabetes, and in strengthening the capillaries and blood vessels. Often, alfalfa is used to treat appendicitis, water retention, urinary and bowel problems, muscle spasms, cramps, and digestive problems.
The leaves and flowers of this herb are used in order to provide healing effects. The properties of alfalfa include: alterative, antibacterial, antifungal, antirheumatic, bitter, blood purifier, deodorant, diuretic, and nutritive. The primary nutrients that are provided by alfalfa include essential amino acids, chlorine, chlorophyll, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, silicon, sodium, and vitamins A, B1, B2, B12, E, E, and K.
Alfalfa is primarily used to help with cases of anemia, arthritis, diabetes, contaminated kidneys, and pituitary problems, loss of appetite, blood impurities, hemorrhages, nausea, and peptic ulcers. Additionally, alfalfa can be beneficial when dealing with alcoholism, chronic appendicitis, allergies, high blood pressure, body odor, bursitis, cancer, high cholesterol, muscle and stomach cramps, gastric disorders, gout, intestinal problems, jaundice, absence of lactation, weak muscles, nosebleeds, stained teeth, and urinary problems. For more information on the healing effects of alfalfa, please contact your local health food store.
December 19, 2008 12:35 PM
Inosine is a specific type of glycosylamine that consists of a base bound to a deoxyribose or ribose sugar. This type of glycosylamine is referred to as a nucleoside, others being adenosine, thymidine and cytidine.
It is available naturally in brewer’s yeast and major organ offal such as liver and kidney. It’s function in animal biochemistry is in the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), often known as the molecule of energy, that is essential for the generation of energy by the mitochondria in our body cells. It’s biochemistry is described below.
Inosine is synthesized as inosine monophosphate by means of a complex series of biochemical reactions. The inosine monophosphate is a precursor for adenine, a nucleotide and purine base that reacts with ribose to form adenosine. This is another nucleoside that can be phosphorylated to produce adenosine monophosphate (AMP), the diphosphate (ADP), the triphosphate (ATP) and cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP).
Each of these is involved in the metabolism of energy in the mitochondria. Glucose undergoes a number of enzyme-catalyzed reactions in the presence of oxygen that ultimately breaks it down to water and carbon dioxide, plus at least 36 molecules of ATP via glycolysis and then the Krebs cycle. The ATP reacts with water to release energy and form ADP. The ADP can then be phosphorylated to produce more ATP. The starting point of all of this is inosine, and it is little wonder this nucleoside is used by athletes to help boost their energy.
Not only that, however, but adenine is also the precursor of amino and nucleic acids responsible for the generation of RNA and DNA, and it is also responsible for the production of many coenzymes. These provide other opportunities for its use elsewhere in medicine, and it has also been found to possess other medical properties that will be discussed later.
It was in the 1970s that inosine was first used to boost athletic performance due to its part in the generation of the energy needed by every muscle in the body. Its use began in eastern countries, although evidence at the time did not support the theory. Nevertheless, this did not deter its advocates, and inosine continued to be used by athletes, a practice that has now spread world-wide.
It has been found to be a metabolic activator, in that it supports metabolism through the generation of energy. Inosine has been used by power lifters for heavy weight training to increase the capacity of the blood to carry oxygen, and strength athletes, particularly of the Eastern Bloc, used it from the mid 1970s onwards.
Inosine appears to increase the natural ability of the body to handle strenuous workouts, although there is no scientific proof of this. However, those that use it claim an increased ability to carry out intensive training workouts and an improvement in their competitive performance. The nucleotide can penetrate the cell walls and get to where it is needed to take part in the metabolism of energy through the production of ATP.
Now, however, inosine has an entirley different application in medicine. Studies have shown that it could support those suffering from MS (multiple sclerosis) and strokes through its pereceived neuroprotective properties. It appears to promote axonal rewiring, where undamaged neurons appear to grow new connections with damaged areas of the brain, and undamaged neurons seem to branch out to replace some of the damaged neurons.
Inosine is also an intermediate in the production of uric acid through purine and purine nucleoside degradation. Uric acid is a powerful antioxidant, particularly in respect of peroxynitrite, a nucleophile that causes the type of axonal degradation that is associated with multiple sclerosis. It thefore helps in two ways: through the production of uric acid, and in promoting axonal rewiring that can improve brain function in patients.
Another potential medical use for the substance is based upon the discovery that inosine and related compounds can act as powerful anti-inflammatories through their effect on inflammatory macrophage proteins. Certain conditions can cause the release of these macrohages, and where it is an undesirable side-effect, inosine can be administered to prevent it occuring.
Inosine appears to inhibit the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines without inhibiting anti-inflammatory cytokines. It appears to do so extracellularly, although the effect can be reversed by the blockading of adenosine receptors. However, it is a convenient way of avoiding this sometimes serious condition, which is a natural function of the immune system, without affecting any other part of that system’s essential work.
It is not an essential nutrient, since it is synthesized biochemically, but a supplement of inosine is certainly worth taking if you want to increase your ability to carry out athetic exercise requiring a high energy output and increased blood oxygen availability. It also helps to reduce recovery time, and proponents of its use claim that it enables you to exercise at a higher level for longer.
Although the medical evidence for this is scant, not a lot of work has been done in trying to establish it, and those that use inosine in this way swear that it is effective. The theory certainly indicates that it should be effective in helping to produce more energy, and also that it should be able to make more oxygen available, and some athletes have been taking it for decades with excellent results.
There are no known side effects of its use, although pregnant women and Nursing mothers are recommended not to use it, as with many other health supplements the pathology of which have not been closely studuied. As with any supplement, you are highly recommended to consult your own doctor or physician when taking any supplement, particular if you have a current medical condition or are taking prescriptive medicines.
If you are predisposed to gout, and some people are, the uric acid it produces can render inosine unsuitable. Uric acid reacts with calcium to produce the sodium urate that is deposited on the cartilage and tendons of the joints, particularly the big toe. It is a very painful condition, so those that have suffered gout in the past should not take inosine as a supplement.
Otherwise, its effect on your athletic performance might be academic!
Cat's Claw Bark
December 19, 2008 09:54 AM
We are currently living in a time when vital health issues that greatly affect our families are a huge concern. Cat's claw has been shown to offer a huge array of therapeutic actions, as it is currently drawing a huge amount of attention in health-care. Because cat's claw has anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, and anti-viral capabilities, it is currently being widely used in Europe for the treatment of cancer, aids, arthritis, and several other degenerative diseases.
Cat's claws emergence could not have been better timed, as many people feel that the war on cancer is being lost, with new potentially fatal viruses continuing to evolve and the over-prescription of antibiotics making us even more vulnerable to infection. Recently, taking supplements such as cat's claw is becoming more of the rule than the exception.
It is safe to say that almost all of us want to know how to reduce our risk of cancer, protect ourselves from toxins and pollutants, boost our immune system to fight off new viral strains and bacterial diseases, and prevent premature aging and degenerative diseases. Additionally, many of us have found that treating the disease after the fact is much less desirable than the protecting our immune systems, as a well-nourished and healthy immune system can keep us from developing diseases, including cancer. Cat's claw has the ability to fortify immunity, works to scavenge free radicals, and eases inflammation.
Cat's claw was traditionally used by Peruvian natives in a variety of applications. They apply its leaves for headaches, use teas for infections including influenza, and have placed plants in antipyretic baths for fevers. Additionally, gargles are used frequently and poultices of the boiled crushed bark have been applied to affected areas. Peruvian tribal medicine has also vigorously rubbed infusions of the raw bark on parts of the body, such as the limbs. The vines of cat's claw are often macerated with a pestle or stems are allowed to stand in water for several hours. In Peruvian culture, snuffing or smoking the dried leaves or bark occurs on occasion. Also, enemas are used in some regions of the tropical South America, but they are relatively rare in the Amazon.
Cat's claw can be taken in many forms including a dried, powdered form that is usually available in gelatin capsules; compressed tablets; a decoction or tea; or a liquid suspension that are in the form of gels or extracts, which can often be taken in soft gelatin form. Some experts seem to think that cat's claw extracts have not yet proven their potency and therefore, they recommend taking reliable sources of the plant which use the inner bark of the vine. The alkaloid content of some plants can vary significantly because of many different factors, so only reputable sources of cat's claw are recommended to be purchased.
Many studies that have taken place in Europe have shown that cat's claw has extremely low toxicity, even when it is taken in large doses. Anyone who has had a transplant or any pregnant or Nursing women should not take cat's claw. Taking cat's claw can potentially cause diarrhea or adjust bowel consistency in some people.
If one is looking for a immune boosting herb from the Amazon look no further, cat's claw can help the sick get well and keep the healthy person free from disease by boosting the immune system.
Inositol And Choline
December 11, 2008 12:19 PM
Inositol is a member of the vitamin B complex family, being referred to as vitamin B8, but is not strictly a vitamin because it is biosynthesized in your body. Vitamins are essential substances that are not manufactured by your natural biochemistry, and must be taken in your diet. However, to all intents and purposes it works like a member of the vitamin B family.
The main function of myo-inositol (the commonest isomer of inositol) is in the health of cell membranes, particularly those that comprise the marrow, eyes, intestines and the brain. Without proper regulation of the cell membrane, the cell cannot function effectively. Some of its effects include healthy hair and controlling estrogen levels. It is also believed to help to reduce cholesterol levels in the blood.
A deficiency will result in hair loss, eczema, increased blood cholesterol levels and eye abnormalities. You might also suffer constipation, although this is not as serious a condition as those preceding. It is present at highest levels in the heart and brain, which indicates where it is mostly used, although it also helps the liver to break down fats and enables the nerves and muscles to operate as they should.
Those that are depressed are frequently found to have low inositol levels in their spinal fluid, so it is believed to play a part in that condition. It is known that the substance takes part in the function of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which is known to play a part in depression, and initial signs are that its use in the treatment of depression could be effective. Neurotransmitters are responsible for passing messages across the gap (synapses) between nerve cells, their messages being decoded by the neuroreceptors. A healthy nervous system depends on healthy neurotransmitters.
For these reasons, inositol has also been tried on other conditions of the nervous system. These include bipolar disorder, bulimia, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and attention deficit disorder. So far, results have been inconclusive as to its effectiveness, but it is early days yet and field tests are continuing.
A test carried out in Beersheva, Israel, in 1997, found that treatment with inositol produced significant improvement in the depression of 28 patients after four weeks on the Hamilton Depression Scale1, and 21 patients tested with panic disorder (with and without agoraphobia) showed significant improvements in their condition, including agoraphobia. Results on 13 patients with obsessive compulsive disorder also showed significant improvement. These were all double-blind tests.
However, not all tests have been so conclusive, and a study on 42 people with sever depression who did not respond to conventional antidepressant, also failed to respond when inositol was added to their medication.2 Results are therefore not conclusive.
Four hundred people took part in a double-blind test that indicated a possible improvement in the symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome when treated with inositol 3,4 and another that inositol treatment on patients taking lithium could help reduce the symptoms of psoriasis, a skin condition believed to be caused by a reaction of the immune system and nerves.5
The supplement has also been found to be just as effective as Luvox (fluvoxamine – similar to Prozac) after four weeks treatment. Although these results are good, they are inconclusive, and more data is need before any indisputable conclusions can be drawn. However, treatment with inositol might be worth considering if conventional treatment for these conditions has been unsuccessful.
The most common natural form of inositol is myo-inositol, an isomer of cyclohehexanehexol, a carbocyclic polyol that form the structural basis for secondary messengers in the cells of eukaryotes.
A secondary messenger system is one whereby a signaling molecule is released in response to a signal from a primary messenger such as a neuroreceptor, which then activates certain intracellular proteins known as effector proteins that exert a response from the cell. An example is cAMP (cyclic adenosine monophosphate) that is a secondary messenger that activates protein kinases and allows them to phosphorylated proteins.
Eukaryotes are organisms that contain cells composed of complex components contained within a cellular membrane, and that also contain a nucleus. Examples are fungi, plants and all animals. Examples of non eukaryotes include the bacteria family.
It is frequently recommended that inositol is most effective when taken with an equal amount of choline, although this might be due to the fact that when inositol deficiency is detected, choline is also frequently deficient. Both are vitamin B family like, and both are lipotropic, in that they aid the breakdown of fats in the body. It is not clear whether this is true or not, but taking both would certainly not harm you, and might be of great benefit.
Inositol is not essential, because it can be obtained from beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains, cantaloupe, brewer’s yeast, liver and vegetables. Bacteria in the gut also act on the phytic acid (inositol hexaphosphate) contained in citrus fruits to form inositol.
However, be careful if you drink a lot of coffee. It destroys inositol, and if you are taking the supplement medicinally, steer clear of coffee during your period of treatment because it will lose its effect. Excessive coffee drinking can also result in a general depletion of inositol from your diet, and hence a deficiency. In such a case you are advised to take a supplement, preferably along with choline that might also be deficient.
Although there have been no adverse side effects reported, no specific longer term safety studies have been carried out on inositol. Because of the way it works, inositol should be avoided by people with liver or kidney disease, and also by expectant or Nursing women. It should be avoided by young children until safety tests have been carried out, and it is believed that it can cause manic effects in those suffering bipolar disorder.
Other than for these specific cases, trials with many times the average daily intake of the substance, it currently appears safe to take inositol as a long-term supplement. However, as with all such supplements intended for specific disorders, you should seek the advice of your physician.
References: 1. Levine J: Ministry of Health Mental Health Center, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben Gurion University of the Negev,Beersheva, Israel ur Neuropsychopharmacol, 1997 May, 7:2, 147-55
2. Nemets B, Mishory A, Levine J, et al. Inositol addition does not improve depression in SSRI treatment failures. J Neural Transm. 1999;106:795-798.
3. Gerli S, Mignosa M, Di Renzo GC. Effects of inositol on ovarian function and metabolic factors in women with PCOS: a randomized double blind placebo-controlled trial. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2003;7:151-9.
4. Gerli S, Papaleo E, Ferrari A, et al. Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial: effects of myo-inositol on ovarian function and metabolic factors in women with PCOS. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2007;11:347-354.
5. Allan SJ, Kavanagh GM, Herd RM, et al. The effect of inositol supplements on the psoriasis of patients taking lithium: arandomized, placebo-controlled trial. Br J Dermatol. 2004;150:966-969.
August 28, 2008 09:33 AM
Garcinia Cambogia is found naturally in India and parts of Asia, and also on the Pacific coast of South and Central America all the way from Peru up to Mexico, and likes a humid forested environment. Also known as Brindall berries, garcinia is believed to act as an appetite suppressant and allows you to lose weight by diminishing your desire for food.
The Malabar tamarind, as it is also known, is about the size of an orange resembling a small pumpkin, and an extract from the fruit and rind is used in several weight loss products. The health risks presented by synthetic diet pills render a natural product extremely attractive were it to be effective. So can Garcia curb your appetite? What is the scientific evidence for it, and what biochemical route would it take?
Although tests on animals have been very positive, human results have been inconsistent. In some double blind tests using a placebo, weight loss was up to three times that of the control, but in others there was no apparent difference between those taking garcinia, and those given a placebo. However, doubts have been raised of the validity of some of the negative tests, so what does science tell us?
The active ingredient in the cambogia extract is hydroxycitric acid (HCA), which is a powerful inhibitor of ATP citrate lyase, an enzyme that catalyzes the reaction between citrate and Coenzyme A to Acetyl CoA and oxaloacetate. Since the acetyl CoA is necessary in the synthesis of fatty acids and lipogenesis (the conversion of glucose to fatty acids), then anything that inhibits the biosynthesis of acetyl CoA must help to reduce the amount of fat stored in your body.
By inhibiting this reaction, that occurs outside the mitochondria so is not a direct part of the Citric Acid Cycle, HCA should theoretically suppress the formation of fats from carbohydrates, reduce food intake and thereby induce weight loss. But that is not the only mechanism.
A study at Georgetown University in Washington found that after 8 weeks of taking the garcinia extract, there was a 5.4% reduction in body weight and body mass index, and a significant reduction in low density lipoproteins (LDL) and triglycerides with an associated rise in high density lipoproteins (HDL). This is good news for those suffering from high cholesterol levels, since the LDL lipoproteins are those that carry cholesterol to the major blood vessels, and which when oxidized by free radicals deposit fatty plaques on the artery walls. These plaques constrict the arteries and the resultant atherosclerosis can lead to cardiac problems and strokes. HDL lipoproteins carry cholesterol back to the liver for destruction, and is known popularly as ‘good cholesterol’.
The studies also indicated modifications to certain indicators of the status of fat deposits in the body and of appetite modifiers in the brain. In this respect they found 38% decreases in serum leptin and increases in serotonin levels of 44%, and the excretion of fat metabolites in the urine increased from between 32% and 104%.
These are significant findings, and further research has indicated that HCA helps to suppress appetite. Serum leptin is an indicator of the level of fat stores in the body, and as the leptin levels in the blood reduces, the hypothalamus is given an instruction to increase the appetite so as to increase the fat levels again. However, it is believed that HCA possesses leptin-like properties, and this signal is either not generated or is modulated.
The increase in serotonin has the same effect. It is known that serotonin controls the appetite, although the exact mechanism has not yet been established. What is known is that serotonin activates certain neurons and melanocortin-4 receptors (MC4R) in the brain, that not only curb appetite but also block the effect of other neurons that would normally increase appetite by blocking the effect of MC4Rs.
This is how the banned anti-obesity and serotonin inciting drug Fen-Phen operated, and it appears that the hydroxycitric acid in garcinia cambogia extract acts in a similar, but safer, way. The problem with drugs such as Feb-Phen was that they created cardiac problems which could be dangerous to obese people whose hearts might have been weakened.
However, now that the biological pathway by which serotonin controls weight is believed to be known, if not fully understood, the way is becoming clearer as to how safer weight loss pills, acting through appetite suppression, might be developed. It also provides a valid scientific explanation for the effect of garcinia cambogia extract which might in itself prove to be that safer way.
The biochemistry supports the evidence of its effect on those wanting to lose weight, and also bolsters the claims that those tests and trials found to be negative were in some way flawed. Until the full chemical pathway is understood, the factors that can lead to flawed tests are unknown, although one could be the use of excessive fiber in some trials that could reduce the effect of the extract.
One of the effects of HCA is to limit the ability of your body to convert carbohydrates into fat (the Acetyl CoA inhibition mentioned above). That, combined with suppression of your appetite and a higher rate of thermogenesis, prevents the body from storing excess carbohydrates as fat. Instead you will have increased energy levels, so you should exercise to use this up while taking garcinia extract. For this reason it is popular with athletes and bodybuilders seeking an energy source that has not yet been banned from sport.
Although diet pills based on the same principle had side-effects and could make the user feel on edge, there are none known with garcinia. However, it is possible to reduce the absorption of some essential nutrients due to appetite suppression, so do not exceed the recommended dose. An excessive amount can also led to gastric discomfort, but none of these effects have been noted when the recommended doses have been adhered to.
However, if you are diabetic, pregnant or a Nursing mother, you should consult with your physician or health professional before taking the extract. Garcinia Cambogia presents no specific risk to such people, and this warning should be given for all non-prescriptive treatments that your physician might be unaware of you taking.
Vitamin D Supplements
July 29, 2008 02:55 PM
Scientists at the Children’s Hospital and Research Center in Oakland, California have recently begun studying whether there is substantial convincing biological or behavioral evidence that links vitamin D deficiency to brain dysfunction. The study found that there is biological evidence which proves that there is an important role for vitamin D in the development of the brain and its function. Supplementation for groups that are chronically low in vitamin D has been found to be extremely beneficial. Vitamin D is involved in brain function through its wide distribution of vitamin D receptors throughout the brain.
Vitamin D affects the proteins in the brain that are known to be involved directly with learning, memory, motor control, and possibly even maternal and social behavior. Research has shown that supplementation is beneficial to those groups whose vitamin D status is extremely low, especially Nursing infants, the elderly, and African Americans, but the need for further study has been established. The authors of the study argue that vitamin D supplementation is necessary for those groups that are at risk.
Increased vitamin D levels protect the body against osteoporosis, cancer, and multiple sclerosis. There is now evidence that suggests that vitamin D may help protect against a potentially dangerous rise in blood pressure which occurs in some people as they get older. A study that was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition had researchers finding that as many as 60 percent of whites and more than 90 percent of blacks who participated in the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey had insufficient blood levels of vitamin D.
Researchers also investigated the association between vitamin D, blood pressure, and age. This investigation found that people with lower blood levels of vitamin D had significantly higher increases in systolic blood pressure as they aged than did those people who had healthy levels. Actually, the age-related rise in blood pressure turned out to be 20 percent lower in those people who had healthy vitamin D levels, as oppose to those people who did not. This suggests that vitamin D deficiency may play a critical role in high blood pressure development.
Many other studies have suggested that there is a role for vitamin D in reducing blood pressure. According to Vin Tangpricha MD, PhD., an assistant professor of Medicine in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Lipids at Emory University School of Medicine, there is not enough evidence that vitamin D prevents hypertension available, however, because vitamin D insufficiency is highly prevalent throughout the United States, it may be a good idea to take a vitamin D supplement solely because of the strong evidence on vitamin D’s ability to prevent osteoporotic fractures. It has been noted that further studies are needed in order to determine vitamin D’s effect on blood pressure.
Additionally, it needs to be determined if giving all patients vitamin D will help lower blood pressure. Those people who have a family history of other risk factors that are associated with high blood pressure, such as being older than sixty-five, should have their blood pressure checked regularly. Be sure to look for more studies and information on the effects of supplemental vitamin D on both white and black habitants of the United States to help battle vitamin D deficiency. To learn more about supplemental vitamin D, contact your local health food provider.
Echinacea Purpurea Root
June 17, 2008 06:38 PM
There are nine known species of Echinacea native to the United States and southern Canada. The most commonly used and most potent of them is Echinacea purpurea.
Other common names for Echinacea are purple coneflower, American coneflower and coneflower. The plants contain large heads of flowers that bloom in early to late summer.
In North America, Native Americans used Echinacea more than any other herb for its healing properties. For Europeans and Americans, it was believed to aid in curing Anthrax and snakebites as well as contain antimicrobial properties.
Echinacea is well known for its abilities to boost the immune system and to help fight infections. It is also widely used to prevent infections, colds and the flu. In lesser known medicinal practices, it is used to treat wounds and such skin problems as acne and boils. Some studies have shown that Echinacea has been effective in treating upper respiratory infections.
The whole Echinacea plant is used for treating various indications. Fresh or dried, the plant and roots are used to make teas, extracts, juices or external salves, creams and ointments. As a general rule, the fresh-pressed juice of the Echinacea plant is most effective in treating colds in children. In adults, both the root and herb in combination are most effective.
When taken at the first signs of a cold, Echinacea has been found to reduce the length and severity of cold symptoms. Be aware that Echinacea is not a one-dose fix-it remedy. Begin taking recommended doses at the first signs of a cold. Subsequent doses should be taken regularly, according to the product label, until all symptoms have disappeared.
Unfortunately, many herbal preparations can vary in effectiveness due to a lack of systematic extraction and refining. It is best to research the manufacturers of herbal products to find out how they cultivate and store their herbs. Their methods will cause the chemical compositions to vary greatly. The different parts of the plant that are used vary widely in their chemical makeup as well. One part may be extremely useful as an antimicrobial, while another may stimulate stronger reactions from the immune system. Other factors that may affect the quality of the product you purchase are:
* Species * Plant part * Extraction method * Contamination * Adulteration
Side Effects and Warnings:
When taken orally (by mouth), Echinacea usually does not produce any side effects. In rare cases, some people have experienced allergic reactions and side effects that include:
* Rashes or dermatitis * Pruritus (itching) * An increase in asthma symptoms * Anaphylaxis (life threatening allergic reaction) * Hepatoxicity * Nausea * Dizziness * Dyspnea (difficulty breathing)
All of these symptoms tend to be mild and infrequent. If you suffer from asthma symptoms, you should probably avoid using echinacea. In most cases the most common side effects are gastrointestinal in nature, such as gas or mild cramping. People are much more likely to experience side effects if they are allergic to other plants in the daisy family. These plants include:
* Ragweed * Chrysanthemums * Marigolds * Daisies
Use of Echinacea in children younger than 12 years is not recommended due to lack of sufficient data to support safety. It is also not recommended for use in pregnant or Nursing women.
Echinacea should not be used if you have progressive systematic or auto-immune disorders, connective tissue disorders or other diseases that may be related to these. It should not be taken if you are taking immune-suppressants and heap-toxic drugs. It may also interfere with anesthesia.
It is important to communicate with your health care providers. Be sure they are aware of any alternative herbs or other substances you are using and what their purpose is in your daily diet.
June 13, 2008 12:18 PM
DL-Phenylalanine has been found to work in conjunction with the body’s natural ability to relieve pain. It helps to lengthen the lifespan of the chemicals in the brain that ease pain. It is especially effective in relieving pain from arthritis and aching muscles.
Some chronic pain can be treated with DL-phenylalanine through the stimulation of nerve pathways in the brain that control pain. Enhanced pain relief has been discovered when D-phenylalanine is used in conjunction with prescribed pain killers. This manufactured form of phenylalanine is used to block an enzyme in the nervous system that increases pain signals. The interruption of pain signals allows the healing mechanisms of the body to begin working faster.
DL-Phenylalanine is a chemical combination of half L-phenylalanine and half D-phenylalanine. L-Phenylalanine is the natural form of phenylalanine found in proteins all over the body. It is found in foods like beef, poultry, pork, fish, eggs, milk, yogurt, cheese, nuts, seeds and certain soy products. D-Phenylalanine is a synthesized form of the chemical, which means it is produced in a laboratory.
Phenylalanine as an Amino Acid:
Amino acids perform various major functions in the body. They assist in fulfilling the body’s basic needs from minerals and vitamins. They can act as neurotransmitters, which carry signals to and from the brain. They also aid in other parts of the body for communication between nerve cells.
Phenylalanine is one of the essential amino acids found in protein. This means it is required for human health, but cannot be manufactured by the human body. Therefore it has to be supplied through food consumption. It can also be found and taken in the form of powder, capsule, tablet or a topical cream. In the body, phenylalanine is converted into tyrosine, which is another amino acid needed to make protein. It is also needed to make certain brain chemicals and thyroid hormones. Phenylalanine deficiency signs include:
A rare disorder called phenylketonuria (PKU) happens in humans who are missing the enzyme required to metabolize phenylalanine. Symptoms of this disorder tend to appear between the ages of 3-6 months. These include:
If PKU is not treated within the first three weeks of life, it can cause severe and irreversible mental retardation. Women who are pregnant or Nursing should avoid taking phenylalanine as a supplement in any form. DL-Phenylalanine may cause hyperactivity, jitteriness and anxiety in children.
Phenylalanine is the major ingredient in the artificial sweetener known as aspartame. Products containing this sweetener are required by law to carry warnings on their labels for phenylketonurics. People who have PKU can be severely injured by ingesting the sweetener. Products containing this artificial sweetener include diet sodas, sugarless gums and some sugar substitutes. Some sugar-free versions of Jello, puddings, ice creams, candies and various other items also contain aspartame.
Other Phenylalanine Uses:
Some individuals have reported that taking DL-phenylalanine has improved their mood and aided in treating depression. This is the result of a higher rate of production of the brain chemicals dopamine and norepinephrine. These chemicals, when out of balance, cause depression, stress and frustration. Elevation of the levels of these chemicals have an anti-depressant effect in the body.
One study suggests that D-phenylalanine has been shown to improve some symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease. These include: depression, rigidity, walking problems and speech problems.
The combination of L-phenylalanine and UVA radiation may be used to treat the symptoms of vitiligo. This condition involves de-pigmentation (white patches) of skin. The use of L-phenylalanine may help to re-pigment these patches, but further study is necessary.
DL-Phenylalanine has many uses and benefits if taken correctly. As with any new dietary supplement, consult your physician before beginning a new routine.
June 04, 2008 02:39 PM
Every year people get bogged down with stuffy noses, watery eyes, congestion, sore throats, headaches and sneezing. The common cold rears its ugly head when the snow finally melts away and the trees get their tiny buds. Spring is normally a time when a lot of colds and viruses are passed around. It is inconvenient not only because of the annoying symptoms; it also makes us miss days of work or school. It interrupts our lives for days at a time. Few people can afford the luxury of taking off from everything they are expected to do for that period of time.
The springtime cold season doesn’t have to be a problem for you, though. You can boost your immunity to cold and flu symptoms with echinacea. This herb can reduce the time you spend Nursing a cold and get you back on your feet much faster than waiting it out or taking prescription drugs.
What is Echinacea?
Echinacea is a flowering plant, also known as the purple coneflower, found in the North American plains. This powerful plant has long been used as a medical alternative to stimulate the immune system and protect the body from infection and disease. Echinacea is most commonly found in herbal teas and in extract form and is used as a home remedy for the spring time cold season.
How Echinacea Boosts Immunity
Echinacea works like a natural antibiotic. It attacks toxins in the blood to fight off disease and strengthen the immune system. It also reduces inflammation in the body. Typically, it is more effective if you start taking it at the first sign of a cold. The most popular use for echinacea is to reduce the duration and severity of colds, respiratory infections and sinus problems.
Inconclusive Data and Controversy about Echinacea
There are a large number of studies that have been done of the echinacea herb to determine if it is actually helpful in reducing the common cold. The problem is the results are not consistent. Part of this is because different parts of the flower have been used in different studies. Some report that echinacea is effective at boosting immunity and speeding up recovery from the springtime cold. Others say there is not a significant difference in the duration of a cold when using Echinacea.
One thing to consider about the herb is the possible side effects. No major side effects have been cited regarding the use of echinacea; however, it could cause an allergic reaction. It is also possible to develop rash or asthma from taking echinacea.
Recently, researchers have started to look at the collective data on echinacea to determine if it is truly effective at treating colds and preventing diseases. According to a review in The Lancet Infection Diseases, "published evidence supports echinacea’s benefit in decreasing the incidence and duration of the common cold." The review went on to state: "Echinacea decreased the odds of developing the common cold by 58 percent and the duration of a cold by 1.4 days."
This is promising news, which confirms the use of Echinacea can reduce the severity of a cold and speed the recovery process along so you can get back to your regular routine that much faster.
Is it safe?
May 29, 2008 12:35 PM
Aside from the occasional allergic reaction, deer antler velvet does not seem to cause many obvious or immediate side effects. The biggest concern stems from the use of tranquilizers and anesthetics during the removal of the antlers from the deer. One substance used is xylazine, a known carcinogenic. Safety has also not been established for use by children, pregnant and Nursing women, and people with severe kidney or liver disease.
Deer antler velvet is being tested for many uses in promoting vitality and energy. It is also being researched as a key nutritional and pharmaceutical product for building, strengthening and maintaining the immune system. As a natural product, deer antler velvet promises many potential benefits with a low level of risk and complication for the user.
May 22, 2008 11:45 AM
Damiana can be used by both men and women. It is known to have restorative effects on reproductive organs in both sexes.
For men, Damiana is known to raise levels of testosterone. It is also helpful in treating premature ejaculation and impotence. For women, it helps to induce delayed menstrual periods and ease the symptoms of painful menstruation. It also treats the headaches women sometimes get due to menstruation.
This herb has been widely advertised and used in Mexico as an aphrodisiac. The ancient Mayans used it as a sexual stimulant and people in Central America still use it in this way today. This use is controversial due to lack of scientific evidence to support the claim.
One study found some of the plant's compounds to be similar to those found in progesterone. More than 150 herbs have been tested for their ability to bind with the progesterone and estrogen receptors found in breast cancer cells. Damiana was one of the highest progesterone-binding herbs tested.
The herbal properties of Damiana have a life enhancing and stimulating effect on the body and mind. The herb works well on nervous exhaustion and to restore the body after periods of high stress.
Damiana's stimulating action is considered very valuable to people who suffer from mild depression. Herbalists will typically recommend remedies that contain this herb. Damiana is very strong and aromatic, and has a slightly bitter taste. It can be found in different forms such as capsule, liquid extract and tea. Its leaves are used as a substitute for tea leaves in some countries. In other countries, it is used as flavoring in a variety of liqueurs.
Damiana acts as an antiseptic and tonic for the body. It is also a restorative agent for nervous system functions. Damiana is used for other conditions as well, although no scientific proof of its effectiveness exists. These conditions include:
* Asthma * Anxiety * Depression * Headache * Menstrual disorders
Damiana has been known to cause mild indigestion for some users. It also contains a compound called arbutin, which, in the urinary tract, converts into the chemical hydroquinone. Larger amounts can cause serious side effects such as:
* Convulsions * Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) * Nausea * Vomiting * Possible collapse and death
A maximum safe dosage of Damiana has not yet been determined. Also, the safety of using this herb has not been established in children or pregnant and Nursing women. People with liver or kidney disease should use extra caution because their ability to safely use this herb is unknown as well.
In people using higher doses of Damiana, it is believed that they experience a mild euphoric sensation. In some cases, consumption of Damiana leaves has been known to act as a mild laxative. The more leaves consumed, the more prominent the laxative effect.
Damiana is native to parts of southern California and the Gulf of Mexico. It can also be found growing wild in some areas of the northern Caribbean Islands and Namibia. It is widely cultivated in these areas. Its preferred habitat has a hot and humid climate. It flowers in the summer and this is when the leaves are harvested. The leaves of the Damiana plant are the only part used for cultivation.
The herb can be taken in the form of a tea. Some people even smoke it like tobacco. The herb will bring about a relaxed state of mind for the user. It is said to induce a subtle high if smoked.
Damiana possesses many properties that are useful to both men and women. Research continues in an attempt to either prove or disprove claims of its benefits to humans.
May 19, 2008 03:37 PM
Codonopsis, "the poor man's ginseng," is the dried or fresh root cultivated from the plant Codonopsis pilosula. It is a perennial native to Asia and is found most abundantly in parts of China. It thrives in moist soil and at the edges of thick, wooded areas and grows to approximately five feet tall.
It is now cultivated in many other areas of the world including the United States. Its bell-shaped greenish-purple flowers have helped it gain its two other names in the English language: bastard ginseng and bonnet bellflower.
Codonopsis is best known in Chinese herbalism where it is referred to as tang shen. It has been used there for more than 2,000 years and is one of the most widely used herbs in Chinese alternative medicine.
In Chinese health, the yin and yang aspects of nature must remain balanced in order to maintain overall health of mind and body. Here are the properties of each.
* Yin: cold, dark, moisture, passivity * Yang: heat, light, dryness, activity
When the body suffers from inner disharmony, the elements and energies must be rebalanced. Herbs and treatments are taken to restore harmonious balance, and therefore bring yin and yang back to equal counterparts of each other.
Codonopsis has a sweet taste and a neutral nature. According to traditional Chinese medicine, it is taken as a tonic to nourish and strengthen the blood and to balance metabolic function. It also helps to keep the lungs and spleen healthy.
Codonopsis is an adaptogen. This means that it helps to regulate the body and enhance its ability to tolerate stress. It helps to increase the overall performance of the body to aid it in combating disease and maintaining a healthy immune system.
This herb stimulates the body's nervous system. It also increases resistance to colds, flu and other infections. It has been shown that Codonopsis increases the number of red blood cells and hemoglobin content.
Codonopsis benefits the entire body by:
* Increasing stamina * Building strength * Increasing mental alertness * Rejuvenating the system * Strengthening the immune system * Speeding recovery from illness * Stimulating the appetite * Reducing stress * Improving digestive functions
Taken in the form of a tonic, Codonopsis is a nourishing herb. It is used to promote digestion, absorption and metabolism. It is also said to strengthen and tone the stomach and spleen.
It has been found to reduce blood pressure, as well, by inhibiting adrenal cortex activity and dilating peripheral blood vessels. For the lungs, it helps to treat shortness of breath and chronic coughing.
Codonopsis can also be taken to address specific conditions beyond whole body health. Some of these are anemia, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, asthma, hemorrhoids, headaches, tension and prolapsed uterus. Nursing mothers can take Codonopsis in order to increase their supply of breast milk.
Codonopsis has even been discovered to aid in fighting cancer when used in conjunction with other conventional medical therapy. It has been found to have properties that assist in helping to protect patients from the harmful side effects of radiation therapy. This seems to happen without diminishing the effectiveness of the therapy.
Overall, Codonopsis has many uses and benefits to the body. It is an immune system booster and all around promoter of bodily health. It works to stabilize and strengthen many different areas of the body together, as well as separately.
Codonopsis seems to be one of the best herbs of its kind for use in maintaining a healthy and balanced body. As more studies are performed on this beneficial herb, new discoveries will be made as to its other healing properties and benefits to the human body.
Butcher's Broom Extract
May 02, 2008 11:04 AM
Butcher’s broom (Ruscus aculeatus) is a member of the lily family, and looks a bit like a holly bush with barbed evergreen leaves and bright red berries in the fall. At one time they were collected, tied together and sold to butchers as brooms to sweep out their shops.
The stiff leaves were particularly suitable for cleaning out offal and other waste products from butchered animals and also for scrubbing butcher’s blocks. It was also used as a deterrent to rodents with their eyes on the meat! Alternative names are sweet broom, kneeholy and Jew’s myrtle, so named because it was used during the Feast of the Tabernacles as one of the ‘four species’ used in the lulav.
The herb was commonly used in Ancient Greece and Rome, the Greeks using it to reduce swellings of various kinds and the Romans using it to treat varicose veins. It has the same uses today, only the mechanisms are understood better. It has been used for centuries in the Mediterranean area for the treatment of inflammations and problems with the circulation, and the Romans used to mash up the leaves and berries to add to wine, and they also used the roots and rhizome as a medicine by soaking them in wine. Today, it is illegal to use holly as a decoration in Italy, so butcher’s broom is used instead.
All parts of the plant are used, including the rhizome, and although it is used as a diuretic, and to control a loss of blood pressure experience by some people on standing up, it is its effect on blood vessels where its main medical benefits lie. Butcher’s Broom can strengthen certain portions of blood vessels, and change the flexibility properties of the cell walls.
The result of this is that the vessels are tightened up, which helps to maintain the flow of blood throughout the body, but also renders the cell walls less likely to leak or crack under stress. The result is a reduction in blood leakage from stretched and weakened blood vessels such as those that result in hemorrhoids, and also of conditions caused by weakened valves in the veins such as varicose veins and spider veins.
The blood pressure in the veins is very weak since they are so far away from the heart, the blood having passed through the arteries, through the capillaries and into the veins on its way back to the heart before being pumped to the lungs. When the valves become weakened, particularly in the large veins in the leg, there is little to prevent the blood from coming under the influence of gravity and pooling back down the vein, causing distention and occasional ruptures.
A ruptured varicose vein can be very serious and cause significant blood loss. Weakened valves can also lead to the formation of blood clots, which is itself a very serious condition that eventually blocks the heart or causes a stroke. Not only can butcher’s broom strengthen the vein walls and prevent leakage, and also enable them to more easily resist the pressure that can cause them to rupture, but it can also be used to break down blood clots. In fact the herb is used in many European hospitals to prevent the formation of blood clots after surgery.
The active ingredients in the rhizome are saponins that contain the aglycones ruscogenin and neuroscogenin and the associated spirostanol and furostanol glycosides. The receptors that cause vasocontraction are known as adrenoreceptors, these receptors can be selectively stimulated by butcher’s broom extract to tighten the veins and improve the return of blood. When introduced intravenously, butcher’s broom was noted to constrict venules (small veins that feed the main veins but not arterioles (the small arteries than feed the capillaries). Hence blood vessels can be selectively treated, and the effect on isolated blood vessels was enhanced by heating. Many supplements include calcium that helps to strengthen the blood vessel walls.
It is possible, therefore, to target the blood vessels that require constrictive treatment in order that they are strong enough to return blood to the heart rather than leak or distend. However, that is not the only health benefit that butcher’s broom provides. It can also be used as a diuretic. It is not a strong diuretic, but is used to relief the swelling of bruises and PMS, the reason given being that since leakage from the blood vessels is lessened, then more fluid is available to pass through the kidneys. There might be other reasons.
It is also use for the treatment of ortho static hypotension, the reduction in blood pressure that some people experience. It is believed that butcher’s broom can control this condition without increasing blood pressure, as most other remedies do, and which is almost as undesirable as the condition they are treating.
There are few problems associated with the herb, although few studies have been carried out its use by pregnant women. Although the one test that was carried indicated no effect, it would be wise for pregnant or Nursing women not to use it until further studies have been carried out. Due to its effect in tightening blood vessels, its use is not recommended by anybody suffering from high blood pressure (hypertension). Many hypertension treatments are designed to render the blood vessels more elastic rather than constrict them.
In one very small study of pregnant women who used a topical cream containing butcher's broom, no side effects were seen for either the mother or the baby. However, very little information is available on how oral butcher's broom might affect a developing fetus, an infant, or a small child. Therefore, its use is not recommended during pregnancy, while breast-feeding, or during early childhood.
Because it tightens blood vessels, butcher's broom may worsen high blood pressure or benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH). Individuals with either of these conditions should not use any form of butcher's broom without first consulting a doctor. The known side effects have already been stated, and they are fairly mild, but few studies have been made on the herb other than in Europe, and the side effects have not been fully explored. It is unlikely; however, that there are any as yet unknown serious side effects since butcher’s broom has been used now for a long time, particularly in Europe.
The term ‘ruscogenin’ is used for the collective mixture of active saponins in butcher’s broom, and many of the supplements are formulated to include from 5 to 15 mg of these. However, check the label, since standardization is not yet required in the USA, and in theory a preparation can include much more or much less ruscogenin. It is frequently supplied with other active ingredients, such as vitamin C or calcium, and perhaps even horse chestnut that affect blood vessels in a similar way. Always follow the instructions on the package, since these are designed for the specific strength of supplement you are using.
Frequently asked Questions (FAQ)
April 21, 2007 02:48 PM
Q. What are the benefits from drinking George’s Aloe Vera liquid?
A. Aloe has been used for centuries to help promote a healthy digestion and bowel movements. Soothes digestive tract. Evidence through different studies seem to indicate that beneficial properties in the Aloe help in allowing the body to rebuild mucous membranes and promotes over-all good health.
Q. How often should I drink George’s Aloe Vera liquid?
A. For optimum results, we recommend drinking 2 ounces in the morning before breakfast and 2 ounces in the evening before bedtime.
Q. Why do you remove the polysaccharides?
A. The Aloe Vera Barbadensis Miller plant has over 200 beneficial components. Although it is believed mucopolysaccharides have beneficial elements, this molecular chain is very large making it difficult for the body to utilize. The complete mucopolysaccharide chain is also the cause of rapid spoilage and breakdown of the product, which is why most other brands contain unhealthy preservatives. We breakdown the mucopolysaccharide chain extracting the sugars in order to eliminate adding any preservatives and increasing shelf life. We also theorize, through our testing, that the mucopolysaccharides in their full form are not the only “silver bullet” in helping the body heal. Our distillate contains the naturally occurring elements found in mucopolysaccharides in a low molecular weight more easily absorbed by the body.
A. A distillate is a liquid that consists of pure components of a plant in its more basic form. It is unique in that a distillate is comprised of a low molecular weight thereby enabling the body to assimilate its components in the purest form at the cellular level. This occurs both internally, and through the skin’s dermal layers, at a much higher rate than would occur if the plant’s components were introduced in any other manner.
Q. How long should I be drinking George’s Always Active Aloe Vera before seeing any results?
A. Most people begin to see results anywhere from two weeks to one month. Remember, out bodies are continually shedding cells. It is very important to continue using even after you attain the results you are looking for.
Q. Why doesn’t Georges Aloe taste bad?
A. Most Aloe Vera products are slimy and have a very bitter taste. We remove the chemical antagonists such as the aloins and Anthraquinone that are mildly toxic. These antagonists can cause stomach cramping, diarrhea and in some cases vomiting. As a result, our product has no adverse flavor. Unlike other brands, our product is safe for pregnant women, Nursing mothers and people at all ages.
Q. Is George’s Aloe Organically grown?
A. Yes! Although we do not seek the organic certification, George’s aloe is continually tested for over 50 different chemicals that may contaminate the plants. To date tests have come back negative for any contamination.
Q. Does distillation just turn it to water?
A. George’s is fractionally distilled, meaning it is broken down into various parts, with the undesirable elements removed. It is then re-assembled. Products such as Jack Daniels & Petroleum are distilled products and would never be confused with water.
Q. Is your product diluted?
A. No. It takes 23 lbs of plant to make one gallon of George’s liquid Aloe. There is no dilution, preservatives or additives.
Q. Can I take to much of George’s Aloe?
A. We have had no ill affects reported from people who have consumed more than the suggested “2 ounces twice daily.”
Complete Liver Cleanse
April 19, 2007 04:17 PM
Complete Liver Cleanse
Technical Data Sheet
The liver performs over 500 functions, including metabolizing carbohydrates and proteins, synthesizing and storing vitamins, and regulating hormones – naming just a few. To do this job, the liver is also required to be exposed to potentially harmful toxins and chemicals, every day.
One way to support the liver is through periodic supplementation with the proper balance of herbal ingredients, phytosterols, and fiber. Complete Liver Cleanse is a convenient, multi-ingredient formula that supports overall liver health and detoxification.
Complete Liver Cleanse:
Includes ingredients for various aspects of liver and gallbladder support:
-Herbal ingredients that support liver and gallbladder health
-Detoxifying ingredients that keep bound toxins from being reabsorbed
-Phytosterols to block cholesterol absorption in the intestines
-Fiber that moves cholesterol and toxins out of the body
-Oat beta-glucan fiber with up to 4 times higher viscosity than other beta-glucan
-Simple, two week liver cleanse program
Each 3 capsules contain:
Calcium (as calcium D-glucarate) 13 mg
Proprietary PuraFiber Blend: 1 mg
Viscofiber Oat B-Gucan Concentrate, phytosterols
(beta sitosterol, campesterol, stigmasterol, brassicasterol,
and other plant sterols), and glucomannan
Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum) Fruit Phytosome 220 mg
One part Milk Thistle Extract, standardized to contain 80%
Silymarin bound to two parts phosphatidylcholine (soy) using
a patented process
Burdock (Arctium lappa) Root Extract 4:1 100 mg
Calcium D-Glucarate 100 mg
Boldo (Peumus boldus) Leaf Extract 2:1 75 mg
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) Rhizome Extract 50 mg
Standardized to contain 90% curcuminoids
Dandelion (Taraxacum offinale) Root Extract 4:1 50 mg
Artichoke (Cynara scolymus) Leaf Extract 30 mg
Standardized to contain 13-18% caffeylquinic
Acids calculated as chlorogenic acid
Contains no: sugar, salt, yeast, wheat, dairy products, artificial coloring, artificial flavoring, ingredients of animal origin, or preservatives. This product contains natural ingredients; color variations are normal.
Other ingredients: See label for most current information
Viscofiber is a registered trademark of Cebena Bioproducts, Inc. The use and composition of the Viscofiber proprietary formula is protected by patients and patent applications filed in the
This product contains calcium D-glucarate, the use of which is licensed from Applied Food Sciences, LLC, and protected by
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Every day, the liver must process an almost unbelievable amount of blood – at a rate of three pints every minute. All the while, the liver performs over 500 physiologic functions, including protein and glucose synthesis, carbohydrate metabolism, vitamin and mineral storage, synthesis of clotting factors, urea formation, metabolism of medications, and the production of bile. The liver also assists in hormonal regulation, blood glucose control, and other regulatory functions.
Harmful substances that have been neutralized by the liver are carried to the intestines and kidneys for excretion. They are transported by bile, a greenish, watery solution that is synthesized, and continuously being excreted, by the liver. Stored in the gallbladder, a small sac cupped in the under surface of the liver, bile is also required for the digestion of dietary fats. However, in the case of toxins, bile is primarily an early transporter of the toxic compounds to the intestines, where they can be bound to fiber that helps transport them out of the body. Environmental toxins, including lipid (fat) soluble toxins, are broken into water-soluble components by bile to be excreted through the kidneys or colon.
Detoxification refers to the process of excreting potentially harmful compounds that are both generated by the body and acquired through exposure to the environment. In the body, toxins are generated as by-products of cellular metabolic processes. Examples include dead and digested bacteria, hydrogen peroxide, cellular debris, and carbon dioxide.
The Environmental Protection Agency has determined that the amount of environmental toxins in the air, groundwater, and soil has increased significantly in the last 40 years. In fact, the use of pesticides has doubled every ten years since 1945. Americans are increasingly exposed to heavy metals, pesticides, fossil fuel emissions, sulfur oxides, hydrocarbons, and other harmful chemicals. The Environmental Protection Agency reports that traces of toxic chemicals can now be found in nearly every American.
Herbal Liver Support
One of the major components in Complete Liver Cleanse is its milk thistle extract, standardized to contain 80% silymarin, the plant’s most bioactive compound. Milk Thistle provides support, at a cellular level, for healthy liver function. A patented delivery system, known as the Phytosome process, provides superior absorption of the milk thistle extract.
Silymarin, a key compound found in milk thistle, is a mixture of flavonoids with a long history of liver support. Silymarin supports the health of Kupffer cells, specialized liver cells responsible for removing bacteria, old blood cells, and other foreign matter from the liver’s blood supply. Silymarin scavenges free radicals (superoxide anion radical and nitric oxide) produced by activated Kupffer cells, supports healthy leukotriene levels, and supports glutathione production that is used in detoxification.
Silymarin also supports the health of hepatocytes, highly versatile liver cells with unique physiologic functions. Studies of silymarin have demonstrated that it supports the health of the hepatocyte outer membrane, which is crucial to the liver’s detoxification processes. Silymarin also supports the healthy regenerative ability of the liver through support of protein synthesis in the hepatocytes.
A special, patented proves known as Phytosome enhances the absorption of milk thistle in Complete Liver Cleanse. The Phytosome process pairs herbal ingredients with phosphatidylcholine molecules. Phosphatidylcholine is a naturally occurring substance found in soybeans, egg yolks, and some vegetables. In the body, phosphatidylcholine is an important building block of cell membranes.
When milk thistle (or other herbs) are bound with phosphatidylcholine, the phosphatidylcholine molecule facilitates absorption through the intestines into the bloodstream. Research has shown increased blood and serum levels for phytosome herbs in comparison to the individual herb alone.
To test whether binding an herb with phosphatidylcholine increased its bioavailability, researchers gave volunteers identical amounts of either milk thistle alone, or milk thistle phytosome. The researchers then took blood sample from the participants and measured the level of silybin (a key compound in milk thistle). The measurements showed that silybin levels in participants taking the phytosome form of milk thistle were higher, and that silybin was detected for a longer time, than those who took milk thistle without the phytosome delivery system.
Other Herbal Liver Supportive Ingredients
Herbal extracts are often at their best when they are working synergistically – that is, when different constituents of each plant work together and support each other. Complete Liver Cleanse contains a variety of herbal extracts that have noted benefits for supporting the body’s healthy bile flow and free-radical scavenging effects. These ingredients provide a wide spectrum of liver supportive benefits.
For instance, dandelion root extract supports healthy bile flow from the gallbladder.
Burdock is originally native to Europe and Asia, but was introduced to
Burdock root (Arctium lappa) supports the natural physiologic processes of organs involved in detoxification and elimination: notably, the liver, kidneys, and intestines.
Bolodo (pemus boldus) is a small evergreen native to South America, but naturalized to southern
In scientific studies, boldo appears to have strong free-radical scavenging ability, mostly attributed to the catechin and flavonoids content of its leaves. In a clinical study, boldo also appears to relax smooth muscle and support intestinal transit time.
Artichoke Leaf extract specifically supports healthy bile production in the liver and healthy gastrointestinal function in general. Research into artichoke’s gastrointestinal supportive properties has included at least three clinical trials. Artichoke’s role in supporting healthy cholesterol levels within normal limits has also been investigated.
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a perennial shrub native to southern
More recently, turmeric has been investigated for its support of healthy bile secretion, and pancreatic and gastric function.
In a scientific study, dietary curcuminoids derived from turmeric supported healthy lipid metabolism and cholesterol levels already within normal limits.
Curcumin has also been shown in scientific studies to enhance the activity of glutathione S-transferase - an enzyme responsible for linking glutathione (one of the body’s natural antioxidants) with toxins to help remove them from the body. In this way, it provides additional support for healthy liver function.
The process of detoxification is the breakdown and excretion of substances that are no longer needed or may be harmful to the body. One of the ways in which the body excretes hormones and toxins is by binding them to glucuronic acid in the liver, and then excreting this compound in the bile.
However, this process can be disrupted by B-glucuronidase, an enzyme that is produced by intestinal bacteria. This enzyme has the ability to break (uncouple) the chemical bond established by glucuronic acid. This action releases the bound toxins, which are then reabsorbed into the body instead of being excreted.
Calcium D-Glucarate is the calcium salt of d-glucaric acid. It is found in both the human body, and in some plant sources, including broccoli and oranges.
Calcium d0glucarate enhances the body’s detoxification systems by inhibiting the actions of beta-glucuronidase. This helps decrease the portion of active compounds that could be hazardous to the body.
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that is vital to fat digestion, cell structure, nerve insulation and hormone production. Cholesterol comes from two sources: dietary or “exogenous” cholesterol absorbed in the intestine, and “endogenous” cholesterol formed mostly by the liver and stored in the gallbladder.
Cholesterol occurs in two forms known as lipoproteins. Lipoproteins act as transports that carry fat s to and from the cells.
High-density lipoprotein (HDL) carries low lipid density cholesterol (LDL) away from arterial walls and returns it to the bloodstream. LDL then travels back to the liver, which processes and eliminates it. While high levels of HDL cholesterol is desirable, high amounts of LDL cholesterol is not supportive of optimal health.
LDL-cholesterol is both synthesized in the body, or absorbed into the bloodstream through receptor sites in the intestines. Think of these receptors as “parking spaces” for cholesterol. As it happens, the liver can receive up to 500 mg per day of cholesterol from intestinal absorption. (It can also produce as much as 1000 mg per day).
One way to help reduce the absorption of LDL cholesterol molecules it to occupy their “parking places” in the intestines. Phytosterols in Liver Cleanse are essentially the “fat” of plants. They’re found in nuts, corn and rice and are some of the “good” fats associated with the benefits of olive oil, flaxseed oil and other healthy oils.
The structure of phytosterols is so similar to cholesterol that they fit perfectly in the specially-shaped intestinal parking spaces that LDL-cholesterol would normally occupy.
Taken with, or just before meals, phytosterols block the cholesterol receptor sites so that cholesterol is excreted from the body rather than absorbed. Phytosterols also have the additional role of helping promote healthy bile salt excretion in the intestines.
The phytosterol blend in Complete Liver Cleanse can help minimize the absorption of cholesterol from high-protein food sources, help retain healthy cholesterol levels that are within normal limits, and move bile sat through the digestive system.
Fiber and detoxification
Fiber plays a key role in the removal and excretion of intestinal toxins in detoxification. Only fibers that can effectively bind toxins will be successful in eliminating these harmful substances. Due to the unique benefits of individual fibers, the best binding, removal, and elimination effects are noted when combining different fiber types. Complete Liver Cleanse contains a combination of oat beta-glucan and konjac fiber that has been shown in scientific studies to bind to bile salts.
Dietary fibers are complex mixtures of cellulose, hemicellulose, pectin, mucilage, and gums, which are resistant to digestive fluids or enzymes – that is, they aren’t absorbed into the bloodstream. So, while fiber itself doesn’t necessarily provide nutrients, it does promote laxation and modulate gastric and intestinal physiology. Intestinal flora that normally reside within the colon utilize fiber as a medium for microbial fermentation, resulting in the synthesis of the vitamins, vitamin K and biotin, and the formation of short chain fatty acids, or SCFA.
SCFA have a simple, but important job: to be absorbed by the colon mucosa, increasing fecal matter bulk and providing energy. Fiber has been demonstrated in numerous clinical studies to provide support of gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, immune, and endocrine function health.
Complete Liver Cleanse also features two unique fibers to promote detoxification – konjac and oat beta-glucan.
Konjac, (Amorphophallus Konjac) is a tuber native to
As a fiber, konjac has shown positive results maintaining healthy cholesterol levels within normal limits in clinical studies. This beneficial effect is due to konjac’s ability to boost excretion of bile acid.
Oat beta-glucan has been a widely studied fiber source for supporting healthy cholesterol levels within normal limits.
In a randomized clinical study, oat beta-glucan showed support of healthy HDL/LDL ratios already within normal limits in individuals over a three week trial.
Closely linked to cholesterol, oat beta-glucan has also been studied for its support of healthy bile excretion.
Fiber has benefits beyond maintaining healthy cholesterol levels already within normal limits. It also contributes to healthy blood sugar levels already within normal limits. In a double-blind, clinical study, the oat beta-glucan fiber used in Liver Cleanse was shown to have 4 times higher viscosity than another high concentrate beta-glucan fiber.
Viscosity – the resistance to flow – is an important factor in beta-glucan, and all fiber. Water, for instance, would have a low viscosity, because it provides very little resistance to movement. Fiber, on the other hand, should have a higher viscosity in order to maximize its transit time through the GI tract, providing a gentle “scrubbing” on the intestinal walls. Therefore, the higher the viscosity, the greater the potential benefit.
Three capsules in the morning and three capsules at bedtime for 14 days.
Warnings: Do not use if you know or suspect you have an obstructed bile duct or problematic gallstones. If pregnant, Nursing or taking prescription drugs, consult your healthcare practitioner prior to use. Keep out of reach of children.
Supplements for Sexual health!
April 17, 2007 02:35 PM
Improving Sexual Performance Naturally
Sex. It’s everywhere. It’s on TV (a lot!). It’s in the books we read and the movies we watch. Even the radio seems a veritable hot bed of sex. (what would hard rock, soft jazz, or Motown classics be without songs about sex?) Magazines are full of sex and it’s not just the “naughty” ones with glossy centerfolds. From Sports Illustrated to Good Housekeeping, sex makes for titillating headlines and cover stories. In fact, 21st Century
No one really knows for sure how many of the 113 million married Americans are living as couples with DINS (dual income, no sex). Estimates range from 15 to 50 percent. Even couples who have sex fairly often feel like they’re not having enough sex or that it’s not as enjoyable as it was in the past, or both. And while women are stereotyped as the sex refusers and avoiders, surveys show that both women and men decline spousal advances fairly equally.
What’s really interesting about this lack of sexual activity in
As a medicine hunter, I have discovered effective plants and herbs al over the planet that really do improve orgasms in women and erections in men. Now it’s your turn. I’m going to teach you how to enhance your sexuality and introduce you to an entire arsenal of libido lifting plants to help make sex fun, vibrant, and satisfying for both you and your partner.
Q. These plants sound too good to be true. Do they really work?
A. Yes, they do. Part of their success is their ability to work with your body’s innate mechanisms for healthy sex. Good sex is much more than just stimulated body parts. But it’s a good place to start!
A man needs an erect penis that remains firm past foreplay and on into intercourse. He also needs to sustain that erection and experience forceful and pleasurable ejaculation when he and his partner are both ready for his orgasm. A woman needs to feel desire and feel desired for her nipples to be aroused, her clitoris stimulated, and her vagina lubricated – the basics leading to her orgasm.
Plants that enhance sex can help men and women obtain these bare necessities of sex. And unlike other supplements, you’ll know if the medicinal plant you’ve purchased is actually doing what it promised to do. You can’t really tell if the calcium supplement you take each day is making your bones stronger. But you will be able to tell pretty soon if Catuaba, for example, is increasing your sexual desire.
Q. Night after night, my husband falls asleep on the sofa. And the honest to goodness truth is that I’m too tired for sex, too. I love my husband and once upon a time I loved sex. But my job, the kids, those never-ending errands, and trying to keep up with the laundry are too exhausting. Is there a plant that can rev us up?
A. Many women are in the same sexless boat you’re sailing around in and they don’t like it any more than you do. In fact, women all over the world put their family’s needs before their own, leading to some very tired moms and wives.
Life’s demands can also impair sexual performance in men. Work stressors, family demands, and home maintenance result in fatigue and lack of energy. Men find that they have no energy left to devote to to sex at the end of the day.
But, over 80 percent of married couples in the world have at their disposal a health care system that integrates sex into their personal health and well being. For centuries, millennia actually, practitioners of traditional medicine have prescribed Maca and Rhodiola to reduce “sexual fatigue” in women and men who are just too tired to make love.
Q. Since I had a baby four months ago, I have no desire for sex. This is making my husband pretty frustrated and me too, actually. I’d love to want sex again.
A. A married woman with a baby and a toddler or two can feel that her body isn’t really hers. So much for feeling sexy! While this fact can be a source of great pride and joy, it can also drain desire.
As women enter perimenopause – those years when they are still menstruating despite fluctuating estrogen levels – they often have no desire for sex. Since estrogen is the engine that drives women’s reproductive function, when it starts to go, sex goes too. Women who have reached menopause may find their minds wandering during sex. Pondering the car’s need for an oil change or if the milk in the refrigerator has reached its expiration date makes for pretty blah sex. It also makes it nearly impossible to achieve orgasm.
Once more, traditional medicine has some answers:
Q. My husband has a desire for sex, but sometimes it’s not enough. Even if we’re both in the mood, he can’t maintain his erection very long. It’s very frustrating for us both.
A. For men it’s often their equipment that lets them down. As men age, they find they can’t get an erection hard enough or keep an erection long enough to satisfy their partners and themselves.
While women can fake an orgasm if they’re tired, men have to perform every single time they have sex. Luckily, Mother Nature can help:
Q. There are hundreds of supplements that claim to make men hard and women weak with desire. I’ve tried some of these, and they don’t do anything. When should I believe that the herbs and plan medicines you have discovered are nay better?
A. There are a lot of “snake oil” companies out there pitching products that promise to improve our sex lives but do absolutely nothing. One reason for this glut of useless supplements is simple demand. Men and women trying to make their sex lives better, are willing to give most products the benefit of the doubt and buy one or two. Sex sells – and even products that are purchased one time only will make big profits.
To get the most for your money, make sure the sexual supplement you are considering is from a well-respected manufacturer. Ask store staff, surf the Internet, and do some searching for the best nutraceutical companies. Make sure the herbs are standardized and that the extracts are concentrated fro optimal benefit.
Q. Are these sex-enhancing plants safe?
A. Despite years of use by practitioners of traditional medicine, significant adverse effects have not been reported for most sex-enhancing plants. However, men who have already been diagnosed with certain health conditions such as high blood pressure, thyroid disease, prostate problems, or other illnesses should use caution when selecting any health supplement. The same advice applies to women, especially women who are pregnant or Nursing. And always remember to keep your doctor informed about the supplements you are using, especially if you are also taking prescription drugs. But the sex-enhancing plants have been traveling on planet Earth for a long, long time. And hopefully they’ll be here for lot longer, continuing to work effectively and go about their business of safely improving orgasms and erections and making sex great for men and women all over the world.
Q. OK, exactly how did early native healers figure out which plants improve sex? Was it just simple trial and error?
A. It does seem pretty remarkable that tribal peoples have discovered the right plants to treat diseases and improve health without modern day scientific advances.
From my many years as a “medicine hunter” in rainforests and grasslands and marshes and mountains, I’ve learned that healing plants exist for virtually every health need. It’s up to the medicine man or women to put the plant into practice. These healers have been able to do this successfully for thousands of people, by intensively studying and working with the plants. By putting themselves into the plant’s world, becoming part of the world around them, native healers have intuitively discovered which plant helps which disease. It wasn’t mere luck that brought all those plants and all those healers together. It was the natural and spiritual connection existing between the two.
Q. Are there other “natural” remedies we can use to improve our sex lives?
A. The easiest way to naturally enhance your sex life is to practice, practice, practice! Because if you don’t use it, you might lose it. Studies have shown that couples in the Amazon rainforest as well as couples in the concrete jungle of New York City have better sex lives if thy make sex a priority. All the sex-enhancing plants in the world are useless if the men and women taking them don’t put them to the test.
Men who smoke need to quit. Research has shown that cigarettes send men’s sex lives up in smoke. Men who smoke more than 20 cigarettes daily have a 60 percent higher risk of erectile dysfunction compared to men who never smoked. That’s because smoking decreases blood flow making it difficult for men to obtain an erection.
And finally, since sex is a visual and tactile endeavor, there are quite natural and creative ways to give it a boost. Visually stimulating images can arouse even the tiredest of the tired. Premiere Magazine recently compiled a list of the most erotic movie sex scenes ever. You don’t have to feel embarrassed when renting these movies (as you might with pornography) at the video store and they are guaranteed to light up your life:
2. Hilary Swank pleasuring Chloe Sevigny in BOYS DON’T CRY (1999)
3. Brad Pitt and Claire Forlani making love in MEET JOE BLACK (1998)
4. Leonardo DiCaprio drawing Kate Winslet in the nude in TITANIC (1997)
5. Sharon Stone uncrossing her legs while she is being interrogated in a room full of en in BASIC INSTINCT (1992)
6. Patrick Swazye and Demi Moore in the pottery secene early on in GHOST (1990)
7. Michael Douglas and Glenn Close having sex in an elevator in FATAL A TTRACTION (1987)
8. Mickey Rourke caressing Kim Basinger’s body with an ice cube in 9 1.2 WEEKS (1986)
9. William Hurt and Kathleen Turner having sex in BODY HET (1981)
10. Julie Christine and Donald Sutherland making love in DON’T LOOK NOW (1973)
11. Rita Hayworth flipping back her hair and singing “Put The Blame on Mame” in FILDA (1946)
One Important Last Point
Sex always has consequences. And improving your sex life does not eliminate the requirement to practice it responsibly. Sexually transmitted diseases, hepatitis, and HIV/AIDS must be prevented, pregnancy must be considered and consent between partners must exist.
Sexual activity keeps us connected – both tangibly and spiritually to our heart’s desire. It helps us feel secure and well loved and adds to our self esteem. In other words, good sex is important to good life.
But all of us need a little help now and then. Sex-enhancing plants that have been used for thousands of years by millions of people provide that help. You can have actual sexual healing with effective sexual supplements and maybe find out what you’ve been missing.
After all, 80 percent of the world’s married couples can’t be wrong!
NHA/Washington Update - Statistics Lie
April 06, 2007 04:57 PM
The mass media targets antioxidants with misleading stats.
The smear campaign against nutritional supplements continues in 2007, with headlines such as the following: “Antioxidants Don’t help You Live Longer,” “Antioxidants Might be Dangerous,” “Antioxidants Do Not Prevent Disease and May Increase Mortality.” Do you notice a theme? Antioxidants are the latest target for media manipulators seeking to steer the public away from life-enhancing nutrition.
The study that spawned these alarmist headlines, first published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, is a “meta-analysis”; this means it draws its conclusions from a number of different studies. In this case, 68 studies involving 232,606 people were analyzed. Meta-analyses are an example of how easily statistics can lie.
Like 2004’s infamous vitamin E-bashing meta-analysis (which proclaimed vitamin E to be deadly, even though it focused on elderly patients who were already stricken with disease), the recent meta-analysis of antioxidants has a preordained outcome—results are determined by which studies are chosen for analysis. Experts have pointed out significant flaws in the execution of this meta-analysis; for example, it includes studies that administered many different combinations of antioxidants, and in varying doses. In addition, these Hitler-skelter antioxidants and dosages are scattered across a wide range of people, everyone from male doctors to elderly Nursing home patients. Finally, this meta-analysis neglected to include the most significant antioxidant study ever conducted in its findings. The china study, which in surveying 800 million people was one of the most comprehensive studies of its kind, verified antioxidants effectiveness in fighting cancer, heart disease and stroke. Why was it not included in the meta-analysis?
Even a junior high school science student would question this meta-analysis’s statistical significance. So how can mass media transform this flawed study into headlines that proclaim antioxidants will kill you?
The answer is because the media gets away with it. In our fast paced world, where celebrity rehab stints are front page news, fact-driven journalism is fading—and distracted news readers are enabling its demise. The solution? Consider media reports with awareness and intelligence, and never assume that headlines speak truthfully.
The recent antioxidant bashing study crumbles when subjected to awareness and intelligence. In addition to the obvious study flaws, and even more telling: stories coving the study with headlines proclaiming “antioxidants may increase mortality” are grievously misleading; as it turns out, the study did not identify any causes of death—which were surely diverse given that the study tracked over 200,000 diverse people. Believe the headlines, however, an antioxidants causing all the deaths when in fact they probably caused none—an example of the absurd “association with out causation” logic that may destroy our right to take safe, natural supplements.
Continue investigating and you will find that Denham Harman, MD, PhD, the “father of the free radical theory of aging,” antioxidants pioneer and professor emeritus at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, is able-bodied and active at age 91. Harman takes antioxidants vitamin C, vitamin E and selenium daily—a revelation with more credibility than any antioxidant bashing hatchet-job study.
Educate yourself about antioxidants and other supplements that Congress is trying to take away from you. Fight to keep your health under your own control, always. Patronize the natural health food store that are committed to providing you with quality products and reliable knowledge. For more information, visit www.nha2007.com
Growing Older, Feeling Better
March 28, 2007 02:15 PM
Growing Older, Feeling Better
Not long ago, when a man turned sixty-five, he became officially old – the best years of his life far behind him. The milestone meant his working days were done and if he was lucky, he might get four or five years to spend as he wished before illness and infirmity set in. It was simply expected and accepted that the older a man got, the sicker he got.
Well, not anymore. Today, a man age 65 is just as likely to be found hiking in the hills, running in a marathon, or even dancing in the streets than rocking in that proverbial front porch rocker. Because it’s becoming more and more evident that the older a man gets, the healthier that man has been.
Eating healthy, exercising, and kicking harmful habits (like smoking) can add years to a man’s life. Aging research is proving over and over again, that we can prevent and delay heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease – the major causes of disability and death in men over 50.
Now, it’s very true that good clean living from early on is preferable to sixty five years of bad habits and five years of good. But it’s also true that it’s never too late for men to make changes and vow to take better care of themselves. And one of the easiest and most effective ways men can improve their health is the addition of high quality nutritional supplements.
In this issue of Ask the Doctor, we’ll talk about specific dietary supplements that have been scientifically shown to improve the health of men over fifty, prevent the diseases that often strike at this crucial time in men’s lives, and actually slow the aging process.
Q. I just turned 50 and I’d like to begin taking nutritional supplements, but they seem so confusing. Where should I begin?
A. Many men feel the same way. There are literally hundreds and hundreds of nutritional supplements on health food store shelves. Figuring out which supplements provide the best health benefits for a 50+ man can be overwhelming.
The best foundation supplement is a high quality multivitamin. Research is repeatedly finding that even very healthy men who take daily multivitamins can significantly improve their health. In fact, an article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) recommends that all adult Americans take a vitamin supplement. Look for solid doses of vitamin supplement. Look for sol doses of vitamins and especially minerals. Multivitamins designed to be taken once a day are often woefully deficient in calcium, magnesium, and potassium. The only mineral a man should avoid is supplemental iron. Iron should only be in formulas for women prior to menopause. Men over 50 get all the iron they need from food and too much iron can cause health problems.
Look for men’s multivitamins that contain lycopene in the formula. Lycopene is the pigment that makes tomatoes red. The redder the tomato, the more lycopene is present. Numerous studies have shown that when men have high lycopene levels in their blood, they have a much lower risk of heart disease, age-related macular degeneration (a leading cause of vision loss) and prostate cancer.
Other important considerations are antioxidant blends, especially fruit- and tea-derived extracts; ginseng for energy and stamina; and digestive enzymes to aid in absorption and compensate for age-related decreased enzyme levels.
In fact, years of research has shown the foods a man chooses to eat (or not to eat) can have a profound impact on the health of his prostate gland. Because of this close nutritional link, prostate cancer may be the most preventable type of non-smoking related cancers.
Q. Aside from taking a quality multivitamin for general health, what nutritional supplements prevent and treat prostate cancer?
A. Six vital and all-natural nutrients can prevent prostate cancer from developing and even help fight the disease.
When men are exposed to excess levels of hormones, their risk of prostate cancer increases. A natural substance found in fruits and vegetables called calcium D-glucarate (or CDG), helps men’s built-in detoxification systems get rid of these harmful excess hormones.
This antioxidant has powerful effects on the prostate gland. In a recent study, researchers recruited 974 men to take part in a large clinical trial to determine if selenium could prevent cancer. The researchers found that selenium cut the rate of prostate cancer by 63%!
Green tea is the most widely consumed liquid in the world, after water. Men in
For many years, maitake mushrooms, or dancing mushrooms, have been linked to good health in those who eat them. That’s because maitakes contain an important compound called D-fraction. A recent study showed that maitake D-fraction destroyed 95% of human prostate cancer cells in lab experiments.
Promising preliminary reports demonstrate that lycopene can actually kill prostate cancer cells, so there has been an explosion of lycopene and prostate cancer research.
Q. What exactly happens to men’s hormones as they get older?
A. Just as women experience significant hormonal changes as they age, so do men. In fact, the term andropause has been used to describe men’s mid-life changes. Similar to menopause in women (where the decline of estrogen causes a myriad of symptoms), andropause in men signals the slow decline of testosterone, the chief sex hormone in men. While estrogen levels decline faster and more abruptly in women than testosterone levels do in men, testosterone decline can cause a number of unpleasant symptoms. These include abdominal weight gain, hair loss, reduced energy and sex drive, heart disease, and prostate enlargement. Whether a man labels these age-related changes as andropause or just the consequences of aging, most men will unfortunately experience some or all of them as their birthdays mount.
Q. So, is there a supplement that can give me the hormone level of a 20 year old?
A. Sadly, no, at least not yet! But there is a nutrient that can help the testosterone in a man over fifty “behave” more like a younger man’s testosterone.
A study that took place at the
The secret of DIM’s prostate cancer prevention is its ability to metabolize estrogen. While estrogen is generally thought of as a “female” hormone, a precise ratio of testosterone-to-estrogen is needed to maintain a man’s healthy sexual response, effective sexual function (erection of the penis and intercourse), strong bones and muscles, viable sperm, and a well-functioning prostate gland. As men enter their fifties, this ratio begins to change.
When men take DIM, however, their estrogen metabolism improves, testosterone metabolism accelerates, and the unwanted conversion of testosterone into estrogen is eliminated. This results in higher testosterone levels, similar to those seen in young men. As a result, DIM may speed weight loss, reduce prostate gland enlargement (benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH), and help men over 50 feel stronger and leaner.
Some supplements on the market today contain indole-3-carbinol (I3C), a precursor to DIM. However, I3C is unstable and requires activation in the stomach to be converted into DIM. This means I3C must be taken at a much higher amount and can undergo unpredictable and undesirable chemical reactions in your stomach and colon. DIM is by far the preferred supplement.
Q. What is saw palmetto? Does it reduce symptoms of Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH)?
A. Yes it does and very effectively too. Saw palmetto is a small palm tree native to
The prostate gland is about the size of a walnut and is located below the bladder and in front of the rectum. It wraps around the upper part of the urethra and its primary job is the production and storage of semen, the milky fluid that nourishes sperm. BPH is one of the most common health conditions in older men. Half of all men aged 40-60 and more than 90 percent in men over 80 have BPH. BPH causes the prostate gland to enlarge, putting pressure on the urethra.
Men have trouble starting or maintaining a stream of urine, find they can’t completely empty their bladders, and have to urinate frequently, even during the night. They may also have episodes of uncontrollable dribbling or complete loss of urine. BPH is caused by the conversion of estrogen to a very potent form of testosterone called, dihydrotestosterone (or DHT). When prostate cells are exposed to DHT, they multiply in number and get much larger.
BPH rarely improves. It most often remains the same for years or gets gradually worse. The need to continually urinate, interrupted sleep, dribbling, and loss of urine can significantly interfere with a man’s quality of life. Prescription medications that have been developed to treat BPH are only partially effective. And surgical removal of the prostate gland may result in even more persistent urinary incontinence and the inability to achieve an erection (ED).
However, saw palmetto berry extract relieves the symptoms of BPH by inhibiting the production of DHT. And, in study after study after study, saw palmetto caused none of the side effects that happen with prostate surgery or medications.
Q. There seem to be plenty of ads for supplements that claim they make men into Sexual Superheroes. Is there an “honest” nutritional supplement to help me sexually?
A. That’s a very good observation. And yes, there are honest nutritional supplements for men’s sexual health.
Sexual intimacy is an important, complex, and lifelong need. It makes us feel better physically and mentally and adds to our sense of security, belonging, and self-esteem. But just like other changes that happen to men as they get older, men’s sexual response most often changes, too. Declining testosterone levels, changes in blood flow to the penis, certain medications that older men are prescribed, and the presence of diabetes or heart disease can all affect men’s ability to engage in sexual activity.
When men have a chronic inability in obtaining and/or maintaining an erection, it’s called erectile dysfunction (ED). While ED is not an inevitable part of getting older, it does occur more frequently as men age. About 5% of 40-year-old men have ED, but more than 23% of 65-year-old men have difficulty maintaining erections.
The development of prescription medication Viagra (sildenafil citrate) has revolutionized ED treatment. When a man is sexually stimulated, Viagra helps the penis fill with enough blood to cause an erection.
Like all medicines, Viagra can cause some side effects, including headache, flushing of the face, and upset stomach. But because Viagra is a prescription medication, it requires a visit to a licensed healthcare practitioner. For many men, telling anyone (even a professional) that they are having trouble getting or keeping an erection is simply too embarrassing. Viagra is also fairly expensive and many older men do not have prescription drug health insurance.
These reasons may explain that while an estimated 30 million men in the United States – 10% of the male population – experience chronic ED, as few as 5% of men with chronic ED seek treatment.
Not every man can take Viagra, either. Men who use nitrate drugs, often used to control chest pain (also known as angina), must not take Viagra. This combination can cause their blood pressure to drop to an unsafe or life-threatening level. Men with serious liver and kidney problems who take Viagra must be monitored closely for possible serious side effects.
The good news is there is a nutritional supplement that’s formulated with vitamins, herbs, and glandular products that targets male sexual organs. The formula contains vitamin E, liver fractions, wheat germ, beta-sitosterol, and herbal extracts of muira puama, Mexican damiana, saw palmetto, cola nut, ginseng, and ginkgo biloba.
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant and men’s testicles, adrenal glands, and pituitary glands need high levels of this fat-soluble vitamin for proper functioning. Extracts of Muira puama, Mexican damiana, and cola nut have been studied for their beneficial effects on male hormones.
Study of ginkgo in sexual response came about when a patient in a Nursing home who was taking the herb for memory enhancement noted that his erections were improved. Since then, study of ginkgo has shown it helps blood flow to the penis. Sexual response research in one ginkgo study showed that 76% of men taking ginkgo experienced improved sexual desire, erections, and orgasms.
While other nutritional supplements sold to improve sexual stamina often make outrageous claims, reputable manufacturers rely on science and results to sell their products.
An important note
Most often sexual problems are simply part of the aging process. They can also be signs of serious health problems. If the use of nutritional supplements for two months does not improve your erections, you do need to see your healthcare practitioner. Almost all practitioners understand how difficult this problem is for men to discuss and are experienced in getting the information as quickly and as painlessly as possible.
No man has the power to stop the passage of time. But every man has the power to make aging more healthy and less harmful. Research conducted on men who live to be 100 and beyond, has determined that those who reach extreme old age do so by avoiding ill health, rather than by enduring it. As I like to remind my patients, “Age is not determined by years, but by function.” And it’s never too late for men to detour around the major illnesses of getting older. With good nutrition, healthy habits, and high quality nutritional supplements, the best years of a man’s life can absolutely and positively be those he spends in his 70s, 80s and even his 90s.
Smooth Move Tea - effective in Treatment of chronic constipation for Elderly Adults
March 12, 2007 12:12 PM
In a randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled clinical study, smooth move tea, a traditional formula for relief of occasional constipation, caused a statistically significant increase in the number of bowel movements.
The study was carried out with Nursing home residents with chronic constipation at a 483-bed Nursing home in Allentown, Pennsylvania. The lead investigator was Dr. Sam Bub, Medical Director of Cedarbrook Nursing Home, a Nursing facility for Lehigh county residents in need of short or long-term Nursing care.
Profile: Dr. Sam Bub, MD
Lead Investigator in Smooth Move Clinical Trial
Dr. Bub first learned about Smooth Move tea from a patient who had used the tea and found it effective. From this experience he suggested the tea as a treatment to other patients who had similar complaints of constipation and to his pleasant surprise his patients continued to have positive responses. As a result of this Dr. Bub contacted Traditional Medicinals to suggest conducting a clinical trial of smooth move tea in a Nursing home to see if the product would work under those circumstances. At the end of the study they found that there was a statistically significant improvement in the number of bowel movements for those taking the herbal tea versus the placebo. Even more important the research concluded that there had been absolutely no adverse effects from the use of the herbal product.
Dr. Bub things “the future of herbal medicine is bright provided companies do research to see that their product really works.” Smooth Move tea has been “available now for many, many years and it has stood the test of time.”
Dr. Bub is a board certified in Family Practice and Geriatrics. He is also the Medical Director for Cedarbrook County Home in Pennsylvania.
Why doesn’t My Doctor Tell Me?
September 19, 2006 05:43 PM
If your doctor knew about this new discovery he would tell you! They’re too busy with patients and paperwork to read the numerous scientific papers on these amazing nutrients. Doctors get most of their new information from drug firms, so don’t expect them to recommend a natural product they don’t understand. The Physicians Deks Reference for non prescription drugs and dietary supplements lists these sugars.
I trust my last days will not be in sickness, but in health. Too many residents in our Nursing homes are over medicated when they could be enjoying their last days in their own homes. Too many people take off work and school because of something that could be avoided if they had a healthy immune system. And, too many Americans are taking drugs that destroy their ability to be healthy.
The Childhood Obesity Epidemic
August 09, 2006 04:57 PM
The Zimmerman File: Marcia Zimmerman, CN, is a respected author and educator in the field of health and nutrition.
Fighting Obesity – What do I put in my child’s Lunch?
We begin the 21st century with a startling setback in life expectancy for our youth. Some experts even fear that today’s kids may not live as long as their parents. That’s despite the recent advances in medicine that have been credited with extending life span.
The Childhood Obesity Epidemic
The obesity epidemic is occurring in boys and girls in all 50 states. It’s happening in younger children as well as adolescents, across all socioeconomic strata, and among all ethnic groups. At a time when we have learned that excess weight has significant and troublesome health consequences, we see our children gaining weight to a dangerous degree and at an alarming rate. According to a 2004 report from the Centers for Disease Control, the number of over weight 6 to 11 year olds more than doubled in the past 20 years—going from 7 percent in 1980, to 18.8 percent in 2004. the rate among adolescents between 12 to 19 more than tripled, increasing from 5% to 17.1%.
An estimated 61% of overweight young people have at least one additional risk factor associated with becoming overweight. These include heart disease, high cholesterol or high blood pressure—factors that have been traditionally associated with much older adults. In addition, children who are overweight are at greater risk for bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, and social and psychological problems such as stigmatization and poor self-esteem. Overweight young people are more likely than their normal weight peers to become over weight of obese adults, adding additional risk factors such as stroke, several types of cancer, and osteoarthritis.
The consensus among pediatricians, school administrators, parents, and government officials is that healthy lifestyle habits, including healthy eating and physical activity, can lower the risk of becoming overweight and developing related diseases. Associated problems with a growing overweight population are reduced productivity, increased disability, and a greater number of overweight individuals requiring Nursing home care as they move into retirement. Clearly the centerpiece of reducing childhood obesity is to reduce its health related and economic costs.
Clearly, we must tackle this problem head-on in order to save our youth. It is beginning as a grass roots movement in the classroom and will involve nutritionists, enlightened teachers, pediatricians, natural food retailers, manufacturers and suppliers of healthy foods. Beginning in the opening weeks of school 2006-2007, a pilot program to teach 6th graders how to eat for better health will be instituted in Chico, California. As the program is perfected, it will be offered nationwide. This is how the plan unfolds.
Show kids how
Breakfast: Cereals, Whey Protein Powders, with Glutamine added, add Malted Milk Powder to any shake, for a change.
Lunchbox: Dried fruits (non-sulfite), Nuts, Seeds, and Organic Popcorn.
Health Snack Bars Nuts & Seeds, Organic Fruit Bars, Organic Virta Raw Sprouted Bars.
Dinner: Grains, Textured Soy Protein, Oils.
Vitamins: (very important to keep kids healthy and at the top of their game) Daily Multiple: Kid Vits berry Blast or Orange Splash, daily vits easy-to-swallow tabs for older kids, Effer-C Packets, Omega-3 Fish Oil; (for brain nutrition)
Oral Hygiene: (don’t forget the anti-caries power of xylitol)
XyliWhite Fluoride-Free Refreshmint Toothpaste XyliWhite Fluoride-Free Cinnafresh Toothpaste XyliWhite Fluoride-Free Refreshmint Mouthwash XyliWhite Fluoride-Free Cinnafresh Mouthwash
Mary Travis at Now Foods has been collecting amazing recipes that use Now Foods ingredients. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Doctor’s Corner - Relora: Minimizes Stress-Induced Eating
August 09, 2006 01:56 PM
Relora is a proprietary all-natural botanical product developed by Next Pharmaceuticals, Inc. it contains ingredients extracted from two plant species that have been used in traditional Chinese herbalism for over 1500 years. These are patented extract from Magnolia officinalis (US Patent No: US 6,582,735) and a patent-pending extract from Phellodendron amurense.
Relora helps relieve stress, anxiety and minimize stress-induced eating, which in turn may help to produce weight loss when used as part of a healthy diet and exercise plan. The research and development of Relora involved sophisticated testing and screening for ingredients that have anti-anxiety properties, but no daytime sedative effects. Initially, investigators tested the Magnoliaceae plant family as a lead source of new anti-anxiety products. Scientists first focused on two phytochemicals on constituents in the plant that have “bio-activity” (work positively on the body)—magnolol and honokiol. Through a series of studies, it became clear that Relora was a safe and effective formulation.
Relora works with the body’s natural chemistry to maintain normal levels of stress hormones. These hormones not only affect emotional well-being, but can also have a major impact on appetite and how the body stores and metabolizes fat. By working to re-establish a stable balance of these hormones, relora can help break the stress/weight cycle and restore optimum health to the mind and body.
In addition to normalizing stress hormones, Relora has been shown to control anxiety and the symptoms associated with it: irritability, emotional ups and downs, restlessness, tense muscles, poor sleep, fatigue and difficulty concentrating. Daytime sedation often occurs with products that induce relaxation. Not with Relora! This breakthrough botanical provides all the anti-anxiety benefits without inducing daytime sedation. In central nervous system receptor binding assays, the plant extracts in Relora bind to several important targets associated with anxiety. Also if interested, the bark of magnolia officinalis has been used in traditional Chinese herbalism for centuries for stress induced muscular tension.
Relora, Stress and Weight Loss
Stress is reported to play a significant role in a wide variety of health conditions. Recent work with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other major research centers has demonstrated that stress is a significant contributor to immune dysfunction, cardiovascular challenges, other age-related imbalances, and excess body fat. This type of fat is related to stress-induced hormone imbalances, especially imbalances of the hormones cortisol and DHEA. Until now, the only course of action for losing this fat has been stress reduction with exercise and diet, and anyone who has attempted diet and exercise alone often encounters a long, troublesome road. Relora may help the body normalize cortisol and DHEA levels in stressed individuals while inducing relaxation, and act as an aid in controlling weight and stress-related eating.
The increase in cortisol levels signals the brain that the body is in stress, causing food cravings, especially for high-fat, high-sugar foods. These foods, in turn, cause additional stress, thereby fueling the stress-cortisol cycle. Eventually, more fat is stored than the body needs unless sufficient exercise is in place to compensate, or the stress is reduced.
The ingredients in Relora are key supplements that help the adrenal glands to “come back to life” by reducing the excessive stress hormone response in the body and reducing carbohydrate craving behavior.
Results from Human Trials with Relora
Relora was tested at the Living Longer Institute in Cincinnati, OH and found to be safe, effective, rapid acting, non-sedating dietary supplement that helps control occasional mild anxiety. Three hundred forty five female subjects were administered Relora for 2 weeks. The dosage was 200mg of Relora three times daily. Eighty nine percent of the subjects reported that Relora helped them relax, while 78% found Relora to help prevent stress-related eating.
A second trial was undertaken at the Living Longer Institute to measure cortisol and DHEA levels in patients with mild to moderate stress. Elevated cortisol levels and depressed DHEA levels are associated with chronic stress. A two week regimen of Relora produced a significant increase in salivary DHEA (227%) and a significant decrease in morning salivary cortisol levels (37%). These findings support Relora’s ability to relieve stress and its potential role in weight control and stress-related eating behavior.
A third study was completed in late 2002 that evaluated Relora on its ability to improve snacking habits in people who snack on sweets or eat salty snacks when they are under excessive stress. Forty nine subjects were evaluated and it was found that Relora cur sweet snacking in the sweet cravers by 75%! It cut snacking on salty snacks by 50%. Seventy three percent of all individuals in the study reported feeling less stressed while taking Relora.
A double-blind placebo-controlled study was completed in January, 2004. forty premenopausal women were evaluated for stress, anxiety, food intake and weight management. Relora significantly reduced anxiety and prevented weight gain. A significant weight gain occurred in the placebo group while either now weight gain or weight loss occurred in the Relora group.
Suggested Use and Safety
Relora is designed for adults. The suggested daily dose is 1 capsule (250mg) 2 – 3 times per day. Relora is not recommended for persons under the age of 18. if you are pregnant, Nursing or taking a prescription drug, consult a health practitioner prior to use.
Dr. James B. LaValle, R.Ph., N.M.D., C.C.N. is a licensed pharmacist (University of Cincinnati College of Pharmacy), certified clinical nutritionist (International & American Associations of Clinical Nutritionists), and doctor of naturopathic medicine (Central States College of Health Sciences, IAACN), with more than 18 years clinical practice experience in the field of natural therapeutics and functional medicine. Dr. LaValle is in clinical practice at the Living Longer Institute, a comprehensive wellness, prevention, and early detection program he co-founded. He sits on various scientific advisory boards within the dietary supplement industry. LaValle is also an adjunct professor in the college of pharmacy at The University of Cincinnati and serves as a preceptor in the Department of family Medicine, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.
Product Resurfaces under a new name - from HSI - Health Sciences Institute
July 08, 2006 01:55 PM
You may remember the outrageous ruling resulting scandal surrounding Lane Labs MGN3 product back in july 2004. essentially, the FDA forced the company to stop selling the product—not because it was dangerous or ineffective but because the FDA felt that Lane Labs marketing language made disease clams allowed only for FDA-approved drugs.
When that happened, everyone who had experienced great results with this immune system booster (including many HSI members) suddenly found themselves without a safe and effective product they could rely on. So we promised that we would keep a lookout for a natural and effective therapy that would provide similar benefits to the outlawed MGN3 formula.
But we’re officially calling off the search. A new product called PeakImmune4 was introduced in july 2005. but as it turned out, Peakimmune4 really isn’t new at all. It actually contains the same active ingredients as MGN3—it’s just being sold by a different company under a different name.
When products change names and hands, it can be co concerting. And I have to admit that at first, this seemed kind of fishy to me. so I did some digging to find out if Peakimmune4 was really all it was cracked up to be. What I realized at the end of this winding trail was that to best understood the story, you need to start at the beginning.
Connecting the dots
In 1992, Daiwa Pharmaceutical began developing Rice Bran Arabinoxylan Compound (RBAC). RBAC does right to the source of ultimate health: your immune system. Human clinical studies have proven that RBAC can more than triple the activity of Natural Killer cells, the body’s first line of defense against disease like cancer, HIV, and hepatitis. Studies also show that RBAC increases two other vital immune system cells: T cells and B cells.
Daiwa, which is based in Tokyo, Japan, licensed this patented formula to Lanes Labs, which sold it in the U.S. under the trademark MGN3. (We first told you about it back in 1999 in the June Issue of your Members Alert). But then in July 204, the government stepped in and barred Lane Labs from selling MGN3 (in addition to two other products). The FDA did not, however outlaw RBAC, the compound from which the product was make.
Daiwa, was left with a great product but no way to market it in the U.S. that’s when they decided to branch out and open their own company in the states, Daiwa Health Development, so they could continue to offer RBAC and introduce other Daiwa supplements to the market.
In July 2005, Daiwa launched Peakimmune4. it may be hard to find a connection between these two products because you wont find MGN3 mentioned in any of Peakimmune4’s promotional materials. That’s because the court did more than just forbid Lane Labs from selling MGN3. it also stipulated that the MGN3 brand name could not be used in marketing and promotion of supplements made from the same active ingredient, and that products could not be promoted as a replacement or substitutes for MGN3.
However, you can rest easy knowing that this product uses the same active as MGN3, which means the same solid research backs it up.
Recommendations for healthy immune system
Many immune system products require you to cycle on and off. But since Peakimmune4 does not lose effectiveness over time and doesn’t cause the immune system to attack itself, you can take it regularly without worrying about side effects.
Dr, Martin Milner, medical adviser to HIS, has used the RBAC compound for years. He has monitored its effectiveness in his own patients by testing their NK cell response. Milner confirmed clinically that his patients have retained increased levels of NK cell activity even when they used the product for prolonged periods of time.
For the best results, you should follow two simple steps: first, take four capsules three times a day for four weeks (before or after a meal). Then, after four weeks reduce dosage to the maintenance level of four capsules daily. You can find Peakimmune4 at most health food and vitamin stores. And don’t be surprised when it pops up in your doctor’s office under the name BRM4.
If you decide to try Peakimmune4 to support your immune system health, you should work with your health care professional, especially if you are pregnant, are Nursing, are being treated for any medical condition, are currently taking medications, or have been diagnosed with a health disorder. And if you are taking immunosuppressant drugs for an organ transplant, you should NOT take a product with RBAC in it, each capsule contains 250mgs of Rice Bran Arabinoxylan Compound (RBAC). HSI www.HSIBaltimore.com
Molecularly Distilled Omega-3 fish Oil Fact Sheet
January 12, 2006 03:28 PM
Molecularly Distilled Omega-3 fish Oil Fact SheetNeil E. Levin, CCN, DANLA 10/26/04
LIKELY USERS: Everyone consuming fast foods or diets high in vegetable oils; People with family history of heart disease or diabetes; People with inflammatory conditions
KEY INGREDIENT(S): Molecularly distilled fish oil concentrate
MAIN PRODUCT FEATURES:
OTHER IMPORTANT ISSUES:
Molecular distillation removes impurities such as pesticides (PCBs, PCDFs, PCDDs, Dioxin) and heavy metals (mercury, lead)
AMOUNT TO USE: One teaspoon a day provides 740 mg. of EPA and 475 mg. of DHA. Use one or more teaspoons per day.
SYNERGISTS: Other supplements used as cardiotonics include Vitamin E, CoQ10, magnesium, antioxidants, garlic, ginger, cayenne pepper, L-carnitine and hawthorn leaf and flower extract.
CAUTIONS: Pregnant and lactating women and people using prescription drugs should consult their physician before taking any dietary supplement. But no cautions have been noted to date for pregnant or Nursing women using fish oils, which are often recommended for pregnant and Nursing women.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Nutritional Supplements Could Save U.S. $6.5 Billion.
January 07, 2006 12:26 PM
Health Care Crisis Bankrupting U.S. Budget
Nutritional Supplements Could Save U.S. $6.5 Billion.
You probably never heard about it on the radio, nor saw its actions reported on CNN. Others can’t guess what its acronym stands for. The United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an investigative arm of Congress examining the receipt and payment of public funds. This government office exists for the sole purpose of communicating to Congress those facts and figures which we, as a society, can’t afford to overlook.
And they are saying that the healthcare system is going to bankrupt us. The agency recently issued a special report called 21st Century Challenges, which concludes that current U.S. fiscal policies are unsustainable and, unless radical changes are initiated relatively soon, will “result in large, escalating, and persistent deficits.
The Money Pit
According to the GAO report, the United States spends more than 15% of our gross domestic product on health care, and that figures growing fast. We spend a larger percentage than is spent by any other industrialized country. What’s even more suprising is how little we get for the money. An estimated 45million Americans are uninsured. The United States continues to compare abysmally to the other industrialized nations in critical areas like infant mortality, life expectancy, and premature and preventable deaths.
Medicare and Medicaid together devour 20% of the federal budget. With the baby boomers—individuals born between the end of WWII 1960—hitting retirement age this year, those figures will only grow larger with each passing year. Unless, as the GAO report says, something is done quickly.
A report released just weeks ago by the Dietary Supplement Education Alliance (DSEA) demonstrates that the government can save at least 6.5 billion in health care cost reductions if nutritional supplements are integerated into the healthcare system.
The Lewin Group, a market research firm, developed a report, entitled: Increasing Quality of Life While Minimizing Costs. It focused in on just two supplements, both of which concern reduction in disease prevention for people over age 65. Omega-3 oil, popular for its reduction in coronary heart disease, is projected to save 3.1 billion dollars. Lutein and Zeaxanthin, which supports healthy vision, will save 2.5 billion dollars if this supplement is added to health care plans, according to the study. Savings would come from reduced hospitalizations and doctor’s fees, as well as reduced Nursing home use for those who in good health, could remain independent rather than needing to transfer to live-in care facilities.
Early last month, a bipartisan caucus on dietary supplements kicked off. It will be co-chaired by Rep. Chris Cannon (R-Utah), and Rep. Fran Pallone (D-N.J.), and its goal will be to examine the manner in which nutritional supplements may become a component of healthcare reform, such as part of an individual flexible Spending Account or health Saving account. As the GAO report indicates, the government interest is reaching critical mass and nutritional supplements are on the verge of entering a new era. As Congressman Cannon said during a November 2nd press conference, government needs to develop a sound policy supporting nutritional supplements “As more and more Americans start taking responsibility for their own health.”
Sources/Links for Further Reading:
Visit the website of the United States Government Accountability Office. //www.gao.gov/
House Government Reform Subcommittee on Human Rights Wellness. //reform.house.gov/
For more information about the Lewin Group’s Health Impact Study, please visit: //www.supplementinfo.org/
Dr. Verghese, M.D. Liver Detoxifier & Regenerator Fact Sheet
December 07, 2005 12:16 PM
Dr. Verghese, M.D. Liver Detoxifier & Regenerator Fact Sheet Neil E. Levin, CCN, DANLA 02/10/05
LIKELY USERS: People with exposure to toxins that stimulate liver activity; People with exposure to infections that may have damaged liver tissue
KEY INGREDIENT (S): Milk Thistle extract (Silymarin), Glutathione, NAC, Bupleurum extract, Grape Seed Extract, Dandelion Root extract, Artichoke Leaf, Schisandra and about a dozen additional herbs, along with synergistic ingredients
MAIN PRODUCT FEATURES: This formula was developed by a physician based on his clinical experience.
Artichoke leaf has antioxidant properties and restores healthy growth to liver cells.
Bupleurum may promote normal cell growth, immune function and is a staple of Chinese liver formulas. Dandelion Root may serve as a natural down-regulator of inflammatory chemicals in the body. NAC supports liver Glutathionestores (antioxidant, detoxifier, heavy metal chelator). Schisandra protects liver cells from toxins and may help to regenerate damaged cells. Milk thistle’s antioxidant Silymarin improves liver function tests and protects liver cells against oxidative damage. It also protects liver cells by blocking and removing toxins from the liver. Silymarin aids in regenerating injured liver cells and blocks fibrosis.
OTHER IMPORTANT ISSUES: Samuel Verghese, M.D. (AM), Ph.D., BCIA-EEG, DAAPM, holds a degree in Alternative Medicine and specializes in Nutritional, Ayurvedic and other Alternative Health Solutions. He is certified as a BCIA-EEG Associate Fellow.
AMOUNT TO USE: Three or more capsules a day, preferably with meals.
COMPLEMENTARY PRODUCTS: Antioxidants (supports liver detoxification), Alpha Lipoic Acid, EGCg Green Tea Extract, Astragalus, medicinal mushrooms (shiitake, reishi), SAM-e (may improve bile flow and promotes methylation to detoxify chemicals), TMG, lecithin, thymus glandular extract, Cordyceps.
AVOID: acetaminophen, alcohol, iron supplements (also red meat, fortified flour)
CAUTIONS: This formula should not be used by pregnant women, Nursing mothers children or those with liver problems unless recommended under the supervision of a healthcare professional. Please notify your physician about your supplement use if you are using any drugs! Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
1. Salmi HA, Sarna S. Effect of silymarin on chemical, functional and morphological alterations of the liver. A double-blind controlled study. Scand J Gastroenterol 1982;17:517–21.
July 15, 2005 09:52 AM
July 15, 2005 09:16 AM
A recent study (August, 1996) exploring the effect of Hypericum perforatum on depression re vealed some fairly stunning results. The British Medical Jo u rn a l published the results of one major studies, which consisted of twenty - three randomized trials, including a total of 1757 outpatients with mainly mild or moderately seve re depressive disorders. Testing was conducted with single preparations and combinations of extracts of the plant, and with placebo and anther drug treatment. As just mentioned, the results were very promising. In all aspects of the study, Hypericum extracts were shown to be “significantly superior” to placebo and similarly effective as standard antidepressants. There were nearly twice the number, percentage-wise, of dropouts due to side effects from the standard drugs than those taking the Hypericum extracts. Side effects occurred in eighty-four patients using standard antidepressants, while only fifty patients taking the Hypericum extracts experienced side effects. And the scores on the Hamilton depression scale, which measures severity of one’s depression, showed those taking Hypericum treatments scored slightly higher than those taking the standard antidepressant and significantly higher than those taking the placebo. 9 This study provides some firm ground for St. John’s wort to stand on in the treatment of depression, both in sheer numbers and its quality of treatment.
Another contemporary study, carried out in 1995 by Witte, et. al, showed the Linde study to be accurate in its findings. This particular study, carried out as a multicenter, placebo-controlled double-blind trial, used a highly concentrated Hypericum preparation to treat ninety-seven outpatients. The course of the illness was assessed with the Hamilton Depression Scale, the von Zerssen Depressivity Scale and the Clinical Global Impression Scale. The authors of the study noted this in their abstract:
Treatment resulted in an appreciable improvement in the symptoms of depression, and the seventy percent response rate (n=43) corresponded to that of chemical antidepressants. The preparation also showed an anxiolytic effect. The substance [hypericum] was extremely well tolerated, and no side effects were reported by any of the patients.10 Again, this study’s findings correlate that of the Linde and other studies in that treatment with Hypericum is at least as effective as standard synthetic antidepressants without producing near the number of side effects.
The Nursing Times also reported on recent findings dealing with Hypericum’s effect on depression. Stating that psychiatric medications are notorious for their undesirable side effects, and that the need for safer antidepressants is widely acknowledged, the blurb refers to a double-blind study, done by G. Harrer and H. Sommer (published in Phytomedicine, 1994 (1): 3-8), using St. John’s wort on 105 patients experiencing mild to moderate depression. They were aged twenty to sixty-four and had diagnoses of “neurotic depression or temporary depressive mood.” Patients were divided into two groups and monitored over four weeks, with one group receiving 300 mg of Hypericum extract three times daily and the other group receiving a placebo. All patients received psychiatric evaluations before the start of the study and after two and four weeks of treatment.11
The results of the study support the findings of other recent studies dealing with Hypericum and depression: 67 percent of the Hypericum group had responded positively to the treatment without any adverse side effects, whereas only 28 percent of the placebo group displayed any improvement. Harrer and Sommer state that the patients treated were experiencing strictly mild forms of depression; combining this with the study’s results and the results of other studies suggest that Hypericum treatment can be a very effective treatment for mild to moderate depression without severe side effects. The authors themselves even recommended that Hypericum should be considered as a remedy of choice. 12
These and other studies point to the strong possibility of using St. John’s wort, and specifically hypericin, on a wide scale to treat various forms of depression. Linde’s study suggests that St. John’s wort may have its most valuable asset in that of few or no side effects, something many sufferers of depression are very concerned about. The authors do note, however, that more research is necessary, especially in determining the severity and nature of depression, length of treatment, treatment dosage, preparation of Hypericum extracts, and occurrence of long-term side effects. Nevertheless, the results of this study and others are extremely promising for the millions of those who suffer from depression.
Pain - Post Op and Relaxation
July 13, 2005 09:24 AM
Relaxation, Music Reduce Post-Op Pain. New research has found that relaxation and music, separately or together, significantly reduce patients' pain following major abdominal surgery. The study, published in the May issue of the journal Pain, found that these methods reduce pain more than pain medication alone. Led by Marion Good, PhD, RN, of Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, the study is supported by the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR), at the National Institutes of Health. "This is important news for the millions of Americans who undergo surgery and experience postoperative pain each year," said Dr. Patricia A. Grady, director of the NINR.
"Better pain management can reduce hospital stays and speed recovery, ultimately improving patients' quality of life." Dr. Good and her research team studied three groups of patients undergoing abdominal surgery. In addition to the usual pain medication, one group used a jaw relaxation technique, another group listened to music, and a third group received a combination of relaxation and music.
Findings revealed that, after surgery, the three treatment groups had significantly less pain than the control group, which received only pain medication. "Both medication and self-care methods which involve patient participation are needed for relief," said Dr. Good.
"These relaxation and music self-care methods provide more complete relief without the undesired side effects of some pain medications." The findings have important implications for the 23 million people who undergo surgery and experience postoperative pain annually in the United States. Pain can hamper recovery by heightening the body's response to the stress of surgery and increasing tissue breakdown, coagulation and fluid retention. Pain also interferes with appetite and sleep and can lead to complications that prolong hospitalization.
Dr. Good and her research staff worked with 500 patients aged 18-70, who were undergoing gynecological, gastrointestinal, exploratory or urinary surgery. Prior to surgery, those in the music, relaxation or combination groups practiced the techniques. The relaxation technique consisted of letting the lower jaw drop slightly, softening the lips, resting the tongue in the bottom of the mouth, and breathing slowly and rhythmically with a three-rhythm pattern of inhale, exhale and rest. Patients in the music group chose one of five kinds of soothing music--harp, piano, synthesizer, orchestral or slow jazz.
On the first and second days after surgery, all patients received morphine or Demerol for pain relief by pressing a button connected to their intravenous patient controlled analgesia pumps. The groups receiving the additional intervention used earphones to listen to music and relaxation tapes during walking and rest, while the control group did not. The research team measured the patients' pain before and after 15 minutes of bed rest and four times during walking to see if the sensation and distress of pain changed.
Dr. Good found that during these two days postsurgery the three treatment groups had significantly less pain than the control group during both walking and rest. "Patients can take more control of their postoperative pain using these self-care methods," says Dr. Good. "Nurses and physicians preparing patients for surgery and caring for them afterwards should encourage patients to use relaxation and music to enhance the effectiveness of pain medication and hasten recovery."
Dr. Good's findings have implications for future research into the effectiveness of self-care methods on other types of pain, including chronic pain, cancer pain, and pain of the critically ill.
Vitamin D Lack Linked to Hip Fracture. Vitamin D deficiency in post-menopausal women is associated with increased risk of hip fracture, according to investigators at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Mass. In a group of women with osteoporosis hospitalized for hip fracture, 50 percent were found to have a previously undetected vitamin D deficiency. In the control group, women who had not suffered a hip fracture but who were hospitalized for an elective hip replacement, only a very small percentage had vitamin D deficiency, although one-fourth of those women also had osteoporosis. These findings were reported in the April 28, 1999, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The study, conducted by Meryl S. LeBoff, MD; Lynn Kohlmeier, MD; Shelley Hurwitz, PhD; Jennifer Franklin, BA; John Wright, MD; and Julie Glowacki, PhD; of the Endocrine Hypertension Division, Department of Internal Medicine, and Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, was supported by grants from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR. These investigators studied women admitted to either Brigham and Women's Hospital or the New England Baptist Hospital, both in Boston, between January 1995 and June 1998.
A group of 98 postmenopausal women who normally reside in their own homes were chosen for the study. Women with bone deterioration from other causes were excluded from the study.
There were 30 women with hip fractures caused by osteoporosis and 68 hospitalized for elective joint replacement. Of these 68, 17 women also had osteoporosis as determined by the World Health Organization bone density criteria. All the participants answered questions regarding their lifestyle, reproductive history, calcium in their diet, and physical activity.
Bone mineral density of the spine, hip, and total body were measured by dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) technique, as was body composition. Blood chemistry and urinary calcium levels were analyzed. The two groups of women with osteoporosis did not differ significantly in either time since menopause or bone density in the spine or hip. They did, however, differ in total bone density.
The women admitted for a hip fracture had fewer hours of exercise than the control group. Fifty percent of the women with hip fractures were deficient in vitamin D, 36.7 percent had elevated parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels (a hormone which can stimulate loss of calcium from bone), and 81.8 percent had calcium in their urine, suggesting inappropriate calcium loss. Blood levels of calcium were lower in the women with hip fractures than in either elective group.
These researchers propose that vitamin D supplementation at the time of fracture may speed up recovery and reduce risk of fracture in the future. Current Dietary Reference Intake Guidelines contain a daily recommendation of 400 IU of vitamin D for people aged 51 through 70 and 600 IU for those over age 70.
"We know that a calcium-rich diet and regular weight-bearing exercise can help prevent osteoporosis. This new research suggests that an adequate intake of vitamin D, which the body uses to help absorb calcium, may help women to reduce their risk of hip fracture, even when osteoporosis is present," observed Dr. Evan C. Hadley, NIA Associate Director for geriatrics research.
"Osteoporosis leads to more than 300,000 hip fractures each year, causing pain, frequent disability, and costly hospitalizations or long-term care. "Prevention of such fractures would greatly improve the quality of life for many older women and men, as well as significantly reduce medical costs." The bones in the body often undergo rebuilding. Some cells, osteoclasts, dissolve older parts of the bones. Then, bone-building cells known as osteoblasts create new bone using calcium and phosphorus.
As people age, if osteoporosis develops, more bone is dissolved than is rebuilt, and the bones weaken and become prone to fracture. Also in many older persons, levels of vitamin D in the blood are low because they eat less or spend less time in the sun, which stimulates the body's own production of vitamin D.
Experts do not understand fully the causes of osteoporosis. However, they do know that lack of estrogen which accompanies menopause, diets low in calcium, and lack of exercise contribute to the problem. Eighty percent of older Americans who face the possibility of pain and debilitation from an osteoporosis-related fracture are women. One out of every two women and one in eight men over the age of 50 will have such a fracture sometime in the future. These fractures usually occur in the hip, wrist, and spine.
Sleep Apnea, Diabetes Link Found. Adults who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea are three times more likely to also have diabetes and more likely to suffer a stroke in the future, according to a new UCLA School of Dentistry/Department of Veterans Affairs study published today in the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. Sleep apnea, a serious condition marked by loud snoring, irregular breathing and interrupted oxygen intake, affects an estimated nine million Americans. The culprit? Carrying too many extra pounds.
"The blame falls squarely on excess weight gain," said Dr. Arthur H. Friedlander, associate professor of oral and maxillofacial surgery at the UCLA School of Dentistry and associate chief of staff at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Los Angeles. Surplus weight interferes with insulin's ability to propel sugars from digested food across the cell membrane, robbing the cells of needed carbohydrates. Diabetes results when glucose builds up in the bloodstream and can't be utilized by the body. Being overweight can also lead to obstructive sleep apnea, according to Friedlander.
"When people gain too much weight, fatty deposits build up along the throat and line the breathing passages," he explained. "The muscles in this region slacken during sleep, forcing the airway to narrow and often close altogether." Reclining on one's back magnifies the situation. "When an overweight person lies down and goes to sleep," Friedlander said, "gravity shoves the fat in the neck backwards. This blocks the airway and can bring breathing to a halt."
Friedlander tested the blood sugar of 54 randomly selected male veterans whom doctors had previously diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea. He discovered that 17 of the 54 patients, or 31 percent, unknowingly suffered from adult-onset diabetes. Using the same sample, Friedlander also took panoramic X-rays of the men's necks and jaws. The X-rays indicated that 12 of the 54 patients, or 22 percent, revealed calcified plaques in the carotid artery leading to the brain.
These plaques block blood flow, significantly increasing patients' risk for stroke. Seven of the 12, or 58 percent, were also diagnosed with diabetes. In dramatic comparison, the 17 patients diagnosed with diabetes showed nearly twice the incidence of blockage. Seven of the 17 men, or 41 percent, had carotid plaques. Only five of the 54 patients who displayed plaques did not have also diabetes. If he conducted this study today, Friedlander notes, he would likely find a higher number of diabetic patients. After he completed the study in 1997, the American Diabetes Association lowered its definition for diabetes from 140 to 126 milligrams of sugar per deciliter of blood.
"This is the first time that science has uncovered a link between sleep apnea and diabetes," said Friedlander. "The data suggest that someone afflicted with both diabetes and sleep apnea is more likely to suffer a stroke in the future." "Persons going to the doctor for a sleep-apnea exam should request that their blood be screened for diabetes, especially if they are overweight," he cautioned. More than half of the individuals who develop diabetes as adults will need to modify their diet and take daily insulin in order to control the disease, he added.
Stress, Surgery May Increase CA Tumors. Stress and surgery may increase the growth of cancerous tumors by suppressing natural killer cell activity, says a Johns Hopkins researcher.
Malignancies and viral infections are in part controlled by the immune system's natural killer (NK) cells, a sub-population of white blood cells that seek out and kill certain tumor and virally infected cells. In a study using animal models, natural killer cell activity was suppressed by physical stress or surgery, resulting in a significant increase in tumor development.
These findings suggest that protective measures should be considered to prevent metastasis for patients undergoing surgery to remove a cancerous tumor, according to Gayle Page, D.N.Sc., R.N., associate professor and Independence Foundation chair at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. "Human studies have already found a connection between the level of NK activity and susceptibility to several different types of cancer," says Page, an author of the study.
"We sought to determine the importance of stress-induced suppression of NK activity and thus learn the effects of stress and surgery on tumor development. "Many patients undergo surgery to remove cancerous tumors that have the potential to spread. If our findings in rats can be generalized to such clinical settings, then these circumstances could increase tumor growth during or shortly after surgery." The research was conducted at Ohio State University College of Nursing and the Department of Psychology at UCLA, where Page held previous positions, and at Tel Aviv University.
Results of the study are published in the March issue of the International Journal of Cancer. In laboratory studies, Page and her colleagues subjected rats to either abdominal surgery or physical stress, and then inoculated them with cancer cells. In the rats that had undergone surgery, the researchers observed a 200 to 500 percent increase in the incidence of lung tumor cells, an early indicator of metastasis, compared with rats that had not received surgery.
The experiment also showed that stress increased lung tumor incidence and significantly increased the mortality in the animals inoculated with cancer cells. "Our results show that, under specific circumstances, resistance to tumor development is compromised by physical stress and surgical intervention," says Page.
"Because surgical procedures are life-saving and cannot be withheld, protective measures should be considered that will prevent suppression of the natural killer cell activity and additional tumor development. "Researchers do not yet know how to prevent surgery-induced immune suppression, but early animal studies have shown increased use of analgesia reduces the risk."
The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health, and the Chief Scientist of the Israeli Ministry of Health. Lead author was Shamgar Ben-Eliyahu, Ph.D., and other authors were Raz Yirmiya, Ph.D., and Guy Shakhar.
July 12, 2005 09:52 AM
HISTORY or Milk Thistle
Natural substances which afford us protection from toxins and potential carcinogens have recently come to the fore front of scientific attention. Compounds known as antioxidants, which can help minimize the damaging effects of chemical stru c t u res called free radicals, are extensively used today. One of these protectant substances is not as familiar to most people as vitamin C or beta-carotene. It is an herb called Milk Thistle and it has some extraordinary protective properties. Milk Thistle, also known as Silymarin has enjoyed a long history of use in European folk medicine. Centuries ago, Romans recognized the value of this herb for liver impairments. They routinely used the seeds and roots of the plant to restore and rejuvenate a diseased liver. Pliny the Elder, an ancient Roman, re c o rded how the juice of Milk Thistle, when mixed with honey was used for carrying off bile. Dioscorides extolled the virtues of Milk Thistle as an effective protectant against snake bites. The genus silybum is a member of the thistle tribe of the daisy family. Two species of the plant exist and both are native to southern Europe and Eurasia. Plants which grow in the Southern United States actually have more potent seeds than their European and Asian counterparts. Milk Thistle is a stout and sturdy looking plant, which can grow up to 12 feet tall. The flower heads can expand to six inches in diameter and are a vivid purple color. They usually bloom from June to August. Very sharp spines cover the heads. The leaves are comprised of hairless, milky bands, and when young, are quite tender. Historically, the seed of Milk Thistle was used as a cholagogue which stimulated the flow of bile. The seed was also used to treat jaundice, dyspepsia, lack of appetite and other stomach disorders. Homeopathic uses included:
peritonitis, coughs, varicose veins and uterine congestion. While tonics were sometimes made from the leaves of Milk Thistle, the most valuable part of the plant was contained in its seeds.
Milk Thistle is also known as Marian Thistle, Wild Artichoke, Variegated Thistle or St. Mary’s Thistle. Reference to Milk Thistle as “Vi rgin Mary” stems from its white milky veins. Legends explained that these veins were created when Mary’s milk fell on the thistle. Subsequently, a connection between the herb and lactation arose, which has no scientific basis for its claims. Milk Thistle is frequently confused with Blessed Thistle, which does act to stimulate the production of mother’s milk. Gerarde, a practicing herbalist in 1597, said that Milk Thistle was one of the best remedies for melancholy (liver related) diseases. In 1650, Culpeper wrote of its ability to remove obstructions in the liver and spleen. In 1755, Von Haller recorded that he used Milk Thistle for a variety of liver disorders. Subsequently, Milk Thistle became a staple agent for the treatment of any kind of liver aliment. European physicians included it in their written materia medica. Unfortunately, for an extended period during the 18th century, the herb was not stressed, however in 1848, Johannes Gottfried Rademacher rediscovered its medicinal merits. He recorded in great detail how Milk Thistle treated a number of liver ailments and spleen disorders. His research was later confirmed in medical literature. In the early 20th century, Milk Thistle was recommended for female problems, colon disorders, liver complaints and gallstones. Almost every significant European pharmaceutical establishment listed Milk Thistle as a valuable treatment. In recent decades, Milk Thistle has been primarily used as a liver tonic and digestive aid. Nursing women who wanted to stimulate the production of their milk used Milk thistle as a traditional tonic. As mentioned earlier, modern day medical science now refutes this particular action of Milk Thistle, however, its benefit to the liver has been confirmed.
German herbalists have routinely used Milk Thistle for treating jaundice, mushroom poisoning and other liver disorders. This therapeutic tradition contributed to modern German research into Milk Thistle, resulting in its use as a widely prescribed phytomedicine for liver disease. Silymarin or Thisilyn, as it is also known, is a relatively new nutrient in the United States. Since 1954, scientists have known the Milk Thistle contained flavonoids, however, it wasn’t until the 1960’s that they discovered the just how unique silymarin is. Silymarin was considered an entirely new class of chemical compound, and its therapeutic properties continue to impress the scientific community.