Search Term: " Nutritionally "
Top Nutrient-Dense Foods & Their Benefits
August 12, 2017 07:14 AM
Nutrient dense foods provide high nutrients with a low calorie intake. Some nutritionists are pushing the idea that we need to eat foods that are nutritionally dense. They claim this is healthier than just fewer calories and making up for lost nutrition with supplements. They have gone as far as to give foods a density score, a scale with which they rank foods nutritional value by servings. Also mentioned is how modern farming techniques are making foods once thought to be "super foods" less nutritionally dense. Finally, some practical advice on what foods should be consumed is given.
Read more: Top Nutrient-Dense Foods & Their Benefits
Benefits of Coconut Oil Are Undeniable
March 15, 2017 01:59 PM
Coconut oil is now being viewed as a superfood. It's high in healthy saturated fat. Populations that have consumed coconut oil for generations have a low risk of vascular disease, stroke and heart disease as well as increase good cholesterol.Substances found in coconut oil have been proven to fight infections. It can also be used to clean or even repel insects.
"Nutritionally speaking, the fatty acids in coconut oil lend several health benefits, including improved brain function, stimulating your body’s metabolism, generating energy and helping you shed excess body fat, as has been shown among people from populations that regularly consume high amounts of coconut oil."
How nutritious are plant-based milks?
December 03, 2016 10:59 AM
When deciding what type of milk to consume, it is best to read labels. While cow’s milk is fairly standard in the amount of nutrients it contains, plant-based milks can vary greatly depending on which company manufactures it. Unless there is a medical reason to do otherwise, it is recommended that all people consume cow’s milk. Soy, almond, coconut, and other nut milks can be lacking in their nutrients. Soy and nut milks contain a fair amount of protein, but none of the alternatives naturally contain calcium. It can be added, but these usually are not digested as well.
"An eight-ounce glass of cow’s milk naturally contains about eight grams of protein and almost a third of the recommended percent daily value of calcium. Cow’s milk also naturally contains nutrients like potassium and vitamin B12, and is usually fortified with vitamins A and D."
Wheatgrass - A Superfood To Improve Your Energy Levels
The most nutritious of all cereal grasses is wheatgrass. It is richest in nutrients when it is grown in clean soil and just before the development of its stem. The most interesting factor is that it does not contain gluten. This article aims to list some of the health benefits of wheatgrass and how it can boost energy levels.)
Wheatgrass contains over 90 minerals including Mg, Ca, Na, etc. It has a rich concentration of alkaline minerals. It contains a number of enzymes such as Lipase (splits fat), Amylase (helps in digestion), Protease (helps to digest protein), and Transhydrogenase (strengthens the heart muscle,etc. , among others).
Wheatgrass contains high doses of vitamin C, almost twice the amount of Vitamin A as in carrots and a full complement of B vitamins. A teaspoon of wheatgrass powder is Nutritionally equivalent to 50 g of spinach salad and supplies an equivalent amount of energy. Wheatgrass contains 19 amino acids.
Benefits of Taking Wheatgrass
Containing a high number of enzymes vitamins and minerals, it boosts vitality and energy levels. It enhances detoxification and aids in maintaining the correct acid-alkaline base in the body. The high vitamin content helps to increase endurance and stamina levels in the body. Chlorophyll contained in the wheatgrass works to increase production of hemoglobin in the body. With increased blood circulation, the body’s metabolism is improved with increased energy levels. Chlorophyll also serves to alkalize the blood. This slows down aging, increases energy levels, and slow down/prevent degenerative diseases such as arthritis and gout.
The B vitamins and iron in wheatgrass reduce tiredness and fatigue and give way for a more energy in their place. The quick and easy absorption of wheatgrass also contributes to effective assimilation of the nutrients that it contains in the body.
Wrapping up, wheatgrass is one of nature’s most nourishing superfoods that you can lay your hands on.
What are the Health Benefits of Beta-Glucans
December 22, 2014 04:54 PM
What are Beta-glucans?
Benefits of beta-glucan
Beta-glucans are use for cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS and high cholesterol. Beta-glucans are also use for boosting the immune system in people whose body defenses have been weakens by emotional or physical stress, chronic fatigue syndrome or by treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation. Beta-glucans are also used for ulcerative colitis, hepatitis, multiple sclerosis, aging, H1N1 flu, Lyme disease, allergies, fibromyalgia, ear infections, rheumatoid, asthma and crohn's disease.
Benefits of Maca root
December 15, 2013 07:29 PM
Benefit of Maca root.
Maca root has always been used as a source of food in Peru for many years because of its medicinal functions. This root is normally packed with other Nutritionally rich components thus making it a good instrument for balanced diet contribution daily.
Maca powder strongest health advantages are based on how the root will work in relation to the endocrine system. Endocrine system which is in charge of transition is a system of glands which releases human hormones in the blood system. This powder will energize the body so that it can make hormones. Due to this stimulation of the maca root, very good hormones will be released in your blood stream which will subsequently assist in regulating issues within those hormones.
Maca root is also used for vitality tonic in addition to being used as sport nutrition in libido improvement. This root has exclusive sense of balance of antioxidants, minerals, proteins, vitamins, plant sterols, and carbs which interacts to maintain the whole body at optimum level. Maca root offers energy thus balancing the endocrine system such as pancreatic, adrenals, thyroid and pituitary gland. It usually helps people to retrieve their endurance in addition to assisting in mental balance.
Health Benefits of Maca to Women
In women, the health benefits of this powder will include enhancing the levels of energy, improving sexual libido, increasing capacity of holding up against stress as well as decreasing sweating at night and menopausal flashes. Maca root is an adaptogen which revitalizes the body as whole.
Benefits of Maca to Men
Maca powder has also its benefits on men in that it enhances testosterone or androgenic hormone levels in addition to improving sperm fertility. Some men also experience erection cells reactions increase, a leading known as an organic and natural substitution of Viagra. Finally, this increase in human body hormones can also result in virility which helps in fighting from getting older.
How Does B-12 Help Boost Energy?
August 24, 2011 01:11 PM
How Can Vitamin B12 help you?
Vitamin B12 is water-soluble and is naturally present in most meaty foods. Also called cobalamin, Vitamin B12 exists in several forms and contains the mineral cobalt, so compounds with vitamin B12 activity are collectively called "cobalamins". It also has a key role in the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system, and for blood formation. Vitamin B12 normally plays part in the metabolism of every cell of the human body, especially affecting DNA synthesis and regulation, but also fatty acid synthesis and energy production. Vitamin B12, bound to protein in food, is released by the activity of hydrochloric acid and gastric protease in the stomach. It owes its discovery to pernicious anemia which is an anemic disease, when the cure was discovered it was along with B12.
Our body depends on B12 for a lot of our bodily functions among them are: Helping to maintain normal energy levels, aiding in healthy neurological activity, better mental alertness, and support stronger cardiac function. When blood levels of vitamin B12 are low, these functions are interrupted and would result to changes in energy levels. Our body relies much on how efficient we convert carbohydrates to glucose to use as fuel, like a car needs to be able to use gas to run smoothly. Likewise, B12 also enables your body to convert fatty acids into energy as well. Overall, B12 is a Vitamin your body can’t do without for efficient, healthy metabolism of fats and carbohydrates in which I am left to conclude, that if our blood level has inadequate B12, symptoms related to low energy and overall fatigue will be experienced.
The number one symptom from a Vitamin B12 deficiency is feeling tired and lethargic. Without all of the proper components like B-Complex Vitamins this system can breakdown and cause a these symptoms. If left untreated, B12 deficiency can lead to a serious medical condition and most common is Pernicious Anemia. The symptoms of B12 deficiency ranges from shortness of breath, rapid heart rate, loss of appetite, fatigue and diarrhea which can all cause lower energy levels. This condition is easily fixed by adding B12 rich foods to your diet or for most of us that are too busy to worry about making sure we eat the right food with the right amount of certain vitamins, supplementation should be one of our options.
Put together time constraints and changing diets and the days of highly processed foods, there has been somewhat of a proliferation of Vitamin B12 deficiency. I know for some it’s easy to get your hands on some red meat, eggs, dairy and fish, however with those sources comes other substances that most of us need to avoid like fat, cholesterol and toxins depending on where and how the meat is processed. Modern diets have simply led to a decline in Nutritionally balanced diets. In terms of what adequate B12 will be able to do for your body and how it can boost energy, there should be more urgency in making sure we get the B12 dosage we need and supplementation is one of the keys.
You can protect your liver and more with Milk thistle Extract
December 23, 2010 09:48 PM
Milk Thistle Benefits
Milk thistle has been used to treat liver problems for centuries. Its Latin name is Silybum marianum which explains the name of its main flavanoid complex, silymarin, which is obtained from the seeds. Milk thistle offers both a regenerative and a boosting effect to the liver, improving its effect on toxins while enabling it to recover from damage caused by cirrhosis, hepatitis and the effect of toxins and drugs.
Milk thistle also helps to reduce the cholesterol content of the blood and to improve the generation of glutathione, the body's master-antioxidant. Many studies have shown that milk thistle enables patients to survive longer after life-threatening liver conditions such as cirrhosis, and also protects it from the effects of sustained use of common drugs such as acetaminophen (Tylenol and Paracetamol) that progressively damages liver cells, and also of many antipsychotics and antibiotics that have a similar effect.
There are no doubts that taking milk thistle does your liver a great deal of good and leaves it in a much healthier state than it found it.
Milk Thistle and Painkillers
Over the counter painkillers such as Tylenol and paracetamol are based upon a chemical known as acetominophen. Milk thistle can be used to reverse the damage that acetaminophen can cause to your liver if you catch it early enough. Here is how this form of painkiller can cause damage to your liver.
Acetaminophen undergoes processes known as sulfation and glucuronidation prior to being excreted from the body. This process is not harmful to the liver, and is a normal biochemical means of removing excess acetominophen from your body after it has done its work. However, if you have taken excess acetaminophen (>4g/day or 8x 500mg tablets) there is too much for the above process to handle, and a secondary biochemical route (the cytochrome p-450 system) is taken that generates an intermediate product known as NAPQI.
Normally, this NAPQI is safely metabolized by the antioxidant glutathione but if there is insufficient glutathione in your system then the NAPQI will destroy cells in your liver. That can occur if too much acetaminophen has been taken for the glutathione to handle, if alcohol is also involved or if the diet of the patient is Nutritionally deficient. If left untreated this condition can be resolved only by a liver transplant, without which it is usually fatal. Milk thistle can help to repair this damage and survival is more likely with patients who take milk thistle than those that do not.
So if you take acetaminophen or drink alcohol on a regular basis, or you just want to protect your liver, what is stopping you from taking milk thistle?
OralBiotic for Ear, Nose, and Throat Health
May 28, 2010 01:29 PM
OralBiotic™ For Ear, Nose & Throat Health
NEW IN JUNE 2010
Many people, even some of the most Nutritionally well-versed health enthusiasts, are unaware that the body’s immune system activity actually begins in the mouth. In addition to Amylase, saliva contains an important enzyme, called lysozyme, which functions as a first line of defense against potentially harmful constituents. This simple aspect of human health speaks volumes about what’s happening inside our mouths. The short version is that the mouth offers a near perfect environment for the growth and fortitude of various bacteria; some good, and some clearly not so good. No one is immune to this, including those who are meticulous in their oral care practices.
The food we eat, the environmental particles we inadvertently inhale, and a wide range of additional factors can all contribute to the residual presence of undesirable oral bacteria. For the most part, these particles are harmless and can be washed away by saliva or enzyme activity. Some bacterium, however, can lead to acute halitosis (bad breath) when left behind, as well as a potentially-increased affinity towards various infections resulting from bacterial imbalance. For individuals striving to support on a head-to-toe good health, it is important to take this into consideration when developing or augmenting one’s nutritional program. NOW® Foods new OralBiotic™ is a completely innovative natural supplement developed specifically to help promote healthy oral bacteria, and therefore, a desirable state of overall health and wellness.
OralBiotic™ contains the naturally-occurring probiotic organism Streptococcus salivarius BLIS K12®, which has been shown in clinical studies to support both oral and throat health. OralBiotic™ BLIS K12® is not an antibiotic, but it can successfully colonize the oral cavity at the expense of other bacteria, thereby encouraging oral health.1 For greater support, we’ve included Fructooligosaccharides (FOS), a prebiotic that provides nutritional support for the growth and preservation of S. salivarius. OralBiotic™ can also promote fresh breath when used in conjunction with proper oral hygiene, such as NOW® XyliWhite™ products. To help your customers get the most out of this exciting new formula, we recommend taking it in conjunction with one of
NOW® Foods’ various high-potency natural Probiotic supplements.*
BLIS K12® Advantages:
• The strength of the scientific and clinical data behind BLIS K12®
• A unique probiotic clinically-demonstrated to benefit the mouth and throat*
• Strong IP position (13 patents granted worldwide and 15 patent applications pending)
• Stability/shelf life (Two years shelf life at ambient temperatures)
• Demonstrated efficacy of various delivery formats
• An extensive safety record and comprehensive safety data
† Used with permission from the BLIS K12® website
April 08, 2010 04:31 PM
Comments by Craig Gerbore, CEO of Madhava:
Reading through the attack articles and blogs that have surfaced recently one could think that using agave is bad for one's health. These claims are utterly false and misleading. They are extreme views drawn from extreme examples and applied way out of context. They are propagandizing and clearly designed to frighten, not educate. All of the fears and concerns associated with the overconsumption of sugars and calories in general have been unfairly cast on agave.
What is a "healthy" sweetener? One that you use moderately and sensibly.
Health concerns related to fructose and caloric sweeteners are all dependant on the overconsumption of them. All foods have calories and it is the overall consumption of calories that lead to obesity and related issues, not any one food source.
Agave's caloric value is comparable to the other sweeteners in the category. Due to its greater sweetness though, less agave is used compared to the others, so agave actually can reduce caloric consumption per serving. This is due to a higher fructose content. The higher content does not mean higher consumption though, due to the smaller portion used. But, it is not the single serving that matters, it is the number of servings which lead to the overconsumption issues which may result in health concerns.
As a reference point, 9-10 teaspoon servings of agave would be the approximate caloric equivalent of one 16 oz soft drink. With this perspective, is agave really being overconsumed as a choice of sweetener for home use?
Every single health issue which the attackers have tried to associate with agave is really the result of a caloric overconsumption issue. There are no documented issues with normal, moderate consumption of agave or sweeteners in general as part of our everyday diet. For reasons unknown, some have attempted to isolate agave from the real world and real world conditions with the goal of inhibiting agave's use. They play on people's fears, reference false information and fail to address health issues in any meaningful way.
The purpose of this article is to debunk the controversial misinformation surrounding agave. All information debunking the myths and misinformation is based on current science and facts. It is our goal to provide you with useful information so that you can make your personal nutritional choices in a well-informed, science-based manner.
The Agave Controversy: Exposing the fraudulent article by Rami Nagel
By Dr. Susan Kleiner, PhD, RD, FACN, CNS, FISSN
And Craig Gerbore, CEO Madhava
The controversy about agave syrup was manufactured by the publication of a single article on the internet, which has been reproduced and adapted for virtually every other article produced on the internet and other media venues. That article, written by Rami Nagel and published on Naturalnews.com, was highly biased and full of inaccuracies, half-truths and misinformation about agave. Since the Naturalnews.com article has been the sole source of nearly all other popular articles in public media, we want to set the record straight with science-based, reliable information to offer a more balanced resource to those interested in learning more about agave syrup. Who is the author, Rami Nagel?
According to the description on the Naturalnews.com website, Rami Nagel is a "citizen journalist". This means that Mr. Nagel is self-employed, and not employed as an in-house journalist by the website. He wrote and published the article without any editorial or content oversight, and the editor of the website, Mike Adams, makes it clear that the article was not checked for incorrect or inaccurate information or facts. The introduction to the article, written by Mr. Adams, states that readers had written to comment that Mr. Nagel's resources were biased with conflicts of interest due to their financial interests in competing sweeteners, such as brown rice syrup. So even the website editor himself states that the article is not fact-checked, and it is biased and unbalanced.
Who is Russ Bianchi?
The sole resource interviewed for the article is Russ Bianchi, identified by the author as Managing Director and CEO of Adept Solutions, Inc. Mr. Bianchi has clear conflict of interest ties to the sweetener industry. We have documentation of the fact that Mr Bianchi had plans to market a product named Replace. It was to be touted as a low calorie alternative sweetener composed of natural and artificial ingredients! Mr Bianchi was prevented from marketing this sweetener as the result of a lawsuit against him by the owner of the formula.
Mr Bianchi is quoted by Nagel extensively and exclusively. Many, if not all, of his statements are blatantly false or misrepresentations of fact. He is clearly propagandizing against agave nectar.
Was anyone else interviewed for this article?
Yes. Craig Gerbore, president and owner of Madhava Agave Syrup, was extensively interviewed by the author but no parts of that interview were included in the article.
It is important to note that neither Mr Nagel or Mr Bianchi have not made themselves available for questions on their statements since the articles appearance. They remain out of sight and have entirely avoided the controversy their statements created.
What is agave nectar?
The opening line of this paragraph in the article by Mr. Nagel states:
"The principal constituent of the agave is starch, such as what is found in corn or rice."
This is absolutely false. There is no starch in agave. The source of carbohydrate in agave syrup is inulin, a polysaccharide made up primarily of strings of fructose units. Starch is a polysaccharide made up of strings of glucose molecules. They are significantly different, and this difference is why agave syrup is naturally sweet.
The very basis of the argument presented by Mr. Nagel is false.
The agave plant is a succulent, similar to a cactus. The agave sweetener comes from both the Salmiana agave plant and the agave Tequilana (Blue Agave) which are both organically farmed in Mexico and certified organic by USDA approved certifiers. As the salmiana plant grows it produces a stalk called the "quiote" and when this is removed, a natural liquid called "aquamiel". The liquid is collected from the plant, while Blue agave pinons are harvested and shredded to remove the similar juice. Either can be naturally processed thermally or by enzymes into agave nectar.
The juice of the plant is not naturally sweet. The string of connected fructose units that makes up the major proportion of inulin does not have a sweet taste, but when the fructose units are separated (the process is called hydrolysis) by the addition of an enzyme, similar to digestion, or thermally for most blue agave, the syrup becomes quite sweet. That is the entire processing chain for agave nectar. There are no additives, other ingredients or chemicals in Madhava agave nectar. It is absolutely pure and organic and GMO free.
? Mr. Nagel claims that agave syrup is a "refined corn fructose" similar to high fructose corn syrup. This is absolutely false. There is no relationship between agave syrup and high fructose corn syrup in any way, including the source of the product, or the manufacturing process.
? Mr. Nagel refers to a "confidential FDA letter" from Mr. Martin Stutsman, claiming that agave is fraudulently labeled. We contacted Mr. Stutsman at the United States Food and Drug Administration, and his response made it clear that there was never a "confidential FDA letter". He did publish a public letter referenced in an FDA document as "FDA letter from Martin Stutsman to Dr. Eric
Wilhelmsen (Wilhelmsen Consulting), May 8, 2000", regarding evaporated cane juice, a topic wholly unrelated to agave syrup.
? He continued in his response to us that the paragraph in Mr. Nagel's article inaccurately reflected the substance of his comments in the document.
This link will take you to the original document in which the letter was referenced (reference #2):
In fact, Mr. Nagel fabricated the entire story of the letter. Mr. Stutsman is a lawyer, not a doctor. The quotes were completely taken out of context from the document, and the quotes never referred to agave syrup at any time. Nagel goes on to further misrepresent Mr. Stutsman's intent in the published document by weaving in other inaccurate information that is thoroughly unrelated to the original document. Mr Bianchi's subsequent statements on labeling issues are false and without merit.
Mr. Nagel is clearly caught red-handed. He has misrepresented the words of a government official, lied about the facts, and twisted the information to achieve his own agenda. This strategy is repeated throughout the article.
? Mr. Nagel continues his deceptive writing by referring to a quote by the late Dr. Varro Tyler in his book, The Honest Herbal. The first line of the paragraph is a direct quote from the book. Nothing else in that paragraph remotely resembles anything else found in Dr. Tyler's book. Mr. Nagel is trying to claim that agave syrup contains large quantities of saponins, and that they can be harmful to health. Here is the debunking of that paragraph:
1. Dr. Tyler does not include the variety of agave plant used for agave syrup.
2. The entire discussion is about the use of the sword-shaped leaves and the stem. Agave syrup is produced from the natural liquid in the plant. The saponins are isolated from the leaves of the plant.
3. There is no documented evidence to suggest agave syrup contains worrisome levels of saponins and the entire rest of the discussion about health dangers is fabricated and false.
People are going to continue to consume sweet food and drink. There are only three categories of choice to sweeten food. Those are artificial sweeteners, stevia, or caloric sweeteners from natural sources, sugars.
Most people will not choose artificial. Many will not choose stevia. That only leaves the category of sugars. In this group, agave is a good choice due to its organic quality, ease of
use, neutral flavor, low glycemic index and the fact that less is used to equal the sweetness of the others in the category.
The sweeteners in this category are composed of three primary sugars used to sweeten foods: glucose, fructose and sucrose. These sugars belong to a class of compounds known as carbohydrates. "Saccharide" is a term that denotes sugar, or substances derived from sugar. Monosaccharides are simple or single sugars; disaccharides are derived from two joined monosaccharides and when they are hydrolyzed, or separated, they yield two molecules of simple sugar. Strings of more than two sugar molecules are called polysaccharides. This category includes compounds such as starches, cellulose and inulin.
Glucose and fructose are monosaccharides. Glucose and fructose are found abundantly in nature in fruits and plants. Sucrose is the disaccharide formed by the joining of glucose and fructose, also known as table sugar. When comparing their relative sweetness, glucose is the least sweet tasting, sucrose is next, and fructose is the sweetest of the three sugars, measured as 1.4 times sweeter than table sugar. Because it is so sweet, people typically use less fructose when sweetening foods compared to sucrose.
? In the article by Mr. Nagel he states , "fructose is not what is found in fruit. Commonly, fructose is compared with its opposite and truly naturally occurring sweetener, known as ‘levulose' (made by nature)..."
Another fabrication. In fact, levulose is just another name for fructose. There are various nomenclatures used in the scientific naming of compounds. Fructose and levulose are exactly the same thing; the names are interchangeable. It is no different than if you called your father, "dad", and your sibling called your father, "father". He would still be the exact same person. Fructose and levulose are different names for the exact same thing: a sugar found in nature.
Mr. Bianchi also is quoted to say that the body does not recognize the fructose in agave. This is another false piece of propaganda which demonstrates just how far he is reaching. If this were true, it would have no impact on us. He immediately contradicts himself with the claims of detrimental effects caused by the overconsumption of fructose.
Sugars can be compared to each other in their ability to raise blood sugar levels by using the Glycemic Index. The scale is set from zero to 100, where low numbers do not have much impact on blood sugar levels, and high numbers raise blood sugar levels quickly. Fructose is very low on the scale. Because agave syrup is high in fructose, it has a rating of 32 or lower. Honey, which has a higher proportion of glucose to fructose, has a Glycemic Index of 58. Sucrose has a Glycemic Index of 68, and glucose, serving as the index standard, is 100.
All sugars, whether fructose, glucose, sucrose or others, contribute 4 calories per gram to our total diet. 1 teaspoon of sugar = 4 grams = 16 calories
In addition to calories, sugars sweeten our foods offering a desirable taste and adding enjoyment and pleasure to our dining. During cooking and baking, sugars allow for browning and the unique consistencies of syrups, candies, frostings and frozen desserts. The varieties of sugars, such as crystallized table sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, molasses, honey and agave nectar, among others, contribute different properties and flavors to foods.
When you add your own sugar to foods you are in control of how much sugar you use. Most people would never add as much sugar as do the food manufacturers. Moderate amounts of sugar can certainly be enjoyed as part of a healthy diet for an active individual. Natural sugars are easily metabolized and utilized by the body, offering a very efficient source of fuel for physical and mental activity.
Of course, sugars should be used in moderation in the diet. This can control calories and help create a diet that is dense in nutrients.
Impact of sugar on health and disease
? The remainder of Mr. Nagel's article works to link agave syrup with the increased incidence of obesity, diabetes, metabolic disease, and the general rise of morbidity and mortality in the population. This is an overconsumption issue involving far more than the occasional use of agave. Here are the facts:
• Rats that are fed a high fructose diet become obese and will develop the chronic diseases associated with obesity: insulin resistance, diabetes and metabolic disease.
• No one should eat a diet that reflects this type of experimental diet.
• Too much sugar in the diet, whether from fructose, glucose or sucrose, can be unhealthy. Diets high in sugar promote tooth decay and periodontal disease; create an overabundance of calories and a deficit of nutrients. This scenario typically leads to weight gain and the development of chronic disease.
• Active individuals can include a moderate amount of added sugar in their diet without negative health consequences. When calorie intake is balanced with physical activity, sugar serves as an efficient source of fuel for muscles, the brain and the central nervous system.
• According to the World Health Organization (2003), individuals can healthfully include 10% of their daily calories from added sugars. This translates into 200 calories for a 2000 calorie diet, or 12½ teaspoons of added sugar daily. Clearly, one can safely add a couple of teaspoons of sweetener to a cup of tea or coffee, or have a little sweetened food without worrying about their risk of developing disease.
• Agave syrup, which is sweeter than other sugars and low on the Glycemic Index scale, is a good choice to include as one of the added sugars in your diet because you will use less sugar (and therefore fewer calories) and minimally raise blood sugar levels.
Just a teaspoon of agave: the healthy use of sweeteners in your diet
We all want to live healthier and longer lives. Diet and nutrition plays a key role, impacting our health and our ability to perform physically and mentally now and into the future. Food offers us not only sustenance, but also pleasure and enjoyment. Food is present in so many parts of our lives: at celebrations, business events, family events, religious and spiritual occasions, sports outings, the focus of our family meals, intimate dinners, and sometimes just the excuse to socialize.
Sweet foods make us feel good. Sugar allows for the elevation of serotonin in our brains, the "feel good" neurotransmitter that elevates mood, helps us focus, and in the evening, helps us relax and sleep.
Sugar is a source of energy for our muscles, brain and central nervous system. Without sugar our bodies will not function at peak capacity.
Too much sugar, however, is not good. In small amounts sugar energizes us, but in large doses, repeated throughout the day, day in and day out, sugar puts stress on the body. The extra calories can lead to weight gain and obesity, which in time can lead to chronic disease. In the short term, high sugar intakes can lead to a Nutritionally deficient diet and a sense of being on an emotional roller coaster.
So be selective about your use of sugars and use them in moderation in your diet. Just like all foods, a variety will enhance the nutritional content of your diet and the flavor and tastes that you can enjoy. Since sugars come in different forms and have different flavors, they can be used most effectively in specific foods and beverages. For instance, agave syrup is liquid and less viscous than honey, making it easy to mix into cold liquids like iced tea and coffee, and is great to add to cold unsweetened cereals for a little sweet taste. Agave's mild flavor allows chefs and bakers to sweeten foods lightly, without overpowering the taste of the dish.
Pay attention to how much sugar is added to your diet every day. Read labels so that you know when sugar is added to manufactured foods. Keep the consumption of added sugars in your diet to no more than 10% of your total daily calorie intake so that you have plenty of room for nutrient dense foods like fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, protein-rich foods, nuts, seeds and healthy oils.
Remember that nutrition is a science based on facts. We are making great advances in our understanding of the science of foods and nutrition. Beware of people with hidden agendas using fear tactics to influence your choices. Don't take their opinion at face value. What are their credentials? What conflicts of interest do they have? If they do not disclose conflicts, then assume that they are manipulating the truth.
Most of all enjoy food. Think about what you need to eat to promote whole health. Don't overindulge, but don't deprive yourself of the bounty of wonderful tastes, either. Use celebrations as occasions to enjoy your favorite foods and try new ones. A teaspoon or two of sugar easily fits into the diet of an active, healthy person. Agave syrup offers an organic low-glycemic choice for those looking for that option.
Resources for this article:
Charley H. Food Science, 2nd Edition. John Wiley & Sons, New York, NY, 1982.
Figlewicz DP et al. Effect of moderate intake of sweeteners on metabolic health in the rat. Physiology and Behavior 98:618-624, 2009
Johnson RK et al. Dietary sugars intake and cardiovascular health: A scientific statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, 2009
Tyler VE. The Honest Herbal, Third Edition. Pharmaceutical Products Press, New York, NY, 1993.
April 05, 2009 01:40 PM
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the newest name that has been given to a group of disorders of the central nervous system. With the long list of names this disorder has been given over the years, it is often confusing as to which criteria are for a diagnosis of ADHD or ADD. It is estimated that between 3 and 5 percent of children in the United States have ADHD, meaning that at least one child in a classroom of twenty-five to thirty children will have ADHD. There are three times as many boys diagnosed with ADHD, but the condition is increasingly being diagnosed in girls as well.
Although ADHD was primarily thought of as a childhood disorder, it can be found in adults as well. Experts have estimated that as many as 8 million adults may be affected, but 80 percent of them do not realize it. Some studies show that there is significant decline in ADHD symptoms as a person ages, while others estimate that between 30 and 70 percent of children with ADHD will carry some symptoms into adulthood. ADHD is a more complex disorder in adults, but it manifests itself into a problem with self-regulation. Without this self-control, an adult’s ability to do tasks is impaired. This condition can lead to marital conflicts, substance abuse, and financial problems. Infidelity is common because ADHD adults easily become bored with things, including spouses.
Factors that have been linked to the development of ADHD include heredity, anxiety, allergies, smoking during pregnancy, hyperinsulinemia, oxygen deprivation at birth, environmental stress or pollutants, artificial food additives, injury, infection, lead poisoning, and prenatal trauma. More emphasis has been placed on the role of diet in ADHD in recent years. Many people with these conditions react to certain preservatives, dyes, and salicylates in foods. These problems can cause the balance of chemistry in the brain to be thrown off, which produces undesirable changes in behavior. A low-protein diet may also be a contributing factor. Although a hotly debated topic for decades, studies have definitely shown that food additives do play a major role in hyperactivity.
Many researchers feel that ADHD is being over-diagnosed nowadays. It is difficult to accurately diagnose this condition because many of the symptoms appear in the normal, healthy children at many times during childhood. In fact, more than 60 percent of parents suspect that their child has ADHD at some point in their upbringing. What may merely be creativity or a high energy level can be diagnosed as ADHD. A diagnosis of ADHD should be made by a team of specialists who are experts in the disorder and it is wise to get a second opinion.
One should considered nutritional deficiencies and dietary measures for treating ADHD. The following nutrients are recommended: calcium, magnesium, GABA, a multivitamin and mineral complex, Omega-3 fish oil, Pycnogenol, Quercetin, SAMe, acetylcholine, DMAE, l-cysteine, phosphatidyl serine, vitamin C with bioflavonoids, and zinc. Additionally, the following herbs may be beneficial: ginkgo biloba, ginseng, mullein oil, valerian root, catnip, chamomile, gotu kola, hops, kava kava, lemon balm, licorice, lobelia, oats, passionflower, skullcap, St. John’s wort, thyme, and wood betony.
Creating a Nutritionally sound diet for children and adults can go a long way to controlling ADHD and ADD in general. Reducing sugar intake and adding good quality food that hasn’t been over processed which removes the needed vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients we all need to live healthy lives. The above vitamins, minerals and herbs are suggested to be helpful for those suffering as well as those who aren’t, but always consult your health care provider before adding dietary supplements to ones diet while on prescription drugs. Quality vitamins can be found at your local or internet health food store.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Vitamins, minerals, and herbs are not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.
August 07, 2008 06:03 PM
Probiotics are dietary supplements containing potentially beneficial bacteria for the small and large intestines. Probiotics, which means "for life", have been used for centuries as natural components in health-promoting foods. This beneficial bacterium is important in recolonizing the intestinal tract with good bacteria during and after antibiotic use as well as supporting overall health and wellness.
Probiotics are not the same thing as prebiotics which are non-digestible food ingredients that selectively stimulate the growth and/or activity of beneficial microorganisms already in the human colon. Probiotics are live microorganisms (in most cases, bacteria) that are similar to beneficial microorganisms found in the human gut. The use of good probiotics is important in healing many chronic gastrointestinal problems that are so often associated in those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and IBS.
One study performed in a 4-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 60 individuals with IBS, probiotics treatment with lactobacilli showed markedly beneficial to slowing down the bowels and reversing IBS. Two Scientific studies over the last 50 years show that probiotic organisms can improve the nutritional quality of foods, produce antibiotics, anti-carcinogens, and substances that break down and recycle toxins for their human host.
Historically, people used fermented foods like yogurt and sauerkraut both as food preservatives to limit spoilage, and to support their intestinal and overall health. Fermented foods such as sauerkraut also contain probiotics. Today probiotic bacteria such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are added by food manufacturers to fermented foodstuffs to improve their nutritional value.
There are, however, other foods that may contain added probiotics, such as sour cream, fruit juices and buttermilk. Food ingredient suppliers are now making it easier to add probiotics and prebiotics to foods and beverages by offering blends of synbiotics with the right proportion of pro- and prebiotics to obtain the desired beneficial health effects, as well as improved survival of the live bacterium strains.
Beneficial bacteria thrive and work with your digestive tract and immune system, along with Essential Fatty Acids, to protect you against illness and disease. It is also important to have a healthy balance of beneficial microbes to avoid sickness and disease and to keep your body stay Nutritionally sound. Probiotic beneficial bacteria are involved in every aspect of your health. Along with beneficial bacteria, we show how supplements such as Essential Fatty Acids and Green foods provide the foundation for good health and provide a nutritional base for probiotics to grow and flourish in the body.
The most common form for probiotics are dairy products and fortified foods. Probiotics are products aimed at delivering living bacterial cells to the gut ecosystem of humans and other animals, whereas prebiotics are non-digestible carbohydrates delivered in food to the large bowel to provide fermentable substrates for the friendly bacteria to grow and thrive.
Probiotics are available to consumers mainly in the form of dietary supplements and foods. Because candida infection is very common due to overuse of antibiotics, several studies suggest that probiotics may be effective at preventing candida overgrowth as well as reversing it; candida is a good target pathogen for future probiotic research.
Although they are thought to be essential for health, because they can sustain themselves in the body under normal circumstances, there is no recommended daily intake of probiotics. By consuming foods with probiotics, you can increase the number of healthy bacteria, boost your immunity, and promote a healthy digestive system.
If you can not eat the foods that contain friendly bacteria, there are always probiotic supplements available from your local health food store. As always, it is best to check with your doctor or health care provider before starting any new supplements with medications. Probiotic formulas are a safe and effective means to deliver friendly bacteria to where it is needed, the colon.
June 11, 2008 04:51 PM
Multiple vitamins should be designed with one purpose in mind. They should provide you the ability to properly balance your regular diet with the additional vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants needed to make your diet Nutritionally complete.
It is rare that people follow the recommended daily allowances in their regular diets. For this reason, multi-vitamins were developed to provide the missing nutrients to your daily diet. Vitamins designed with this purpose will automatically provide you with the essential additional nutrition you need to boost your health and wellness.
The Correct Multi-vitamin Make-Up:
A good multivitamin supplement will contain all of the following ingredients. It is designed to balance an average diet and boost health and wellness.
* Major vitamins * Minerals * Amino acids * Carotenoids * Tocopherols * Tocotrienols * Antioxidants
Antioxidants are an important part of any diet because they attack and neutralize free radicals. These fragments of chemicals are caused by:
* Normal metabolism * Pollution * Ultraviolet radiation * Rancid oil * Other toxins
Scientists believe that free radicals are one of the elements responsible for aging and degenerative diseases like Alzheimer's, arthritis and cancer. It is because of the nutrient deficiencies in our regular diets that we have become more susceptible to degenerative diseases.
Mixed Tocopherols and Tocotrienols:
Vitamin E is a series of related compounds. The four main forms are alpha, beta, delta and gamma. Most multi-vitamin supplements only contain large amounts of alpha tocopherol. A healthy diet needs a mixture of them all.
When too much alpha tocopherol is induced, gamma tocopherol is depleted. This causes deficiencies because gamma tocopherol is crucial to good health as well. For this reason, it is important that your tocopherol intake is balanced. A mixed intake of all tocopherols is more effective in preventing cardiovascular disease.
Tocotrienols are potent antioxidants that complement the alpha tocopherol. The combined nutrients are much more effective at preventing oxidation. This is why you must have a balanced combination of tocopherols and tocotrienols to maintain a healthy diet and a healthy body. To accomplish this you must have a balance of all of the compounds that make up vitamin E.
These are the red, orange and yellow plant pigments that are found in all of our fruits and vegetables. All of these contain different amounts of carotenoids, but the colors are often hidden by the plant's chlorophyll content. Examples of foods containing large amounts of carotenoids include:
* Kale * Collard greens * Swiss chard * Broccoli
Tomatoes contain Lycopene, which is a red carotenoid found in tomatoes. It is a potent antioxidant that reduces the risk of prostate cancer. Unfortunately, carotenoids are better absorbed through the ingestion of supplements than from foods. Multi-vitamins usually only contain beta carotene. It is important to find one that contains beta carotene, alpha carotene, lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin.
The Bottom Line:
A complete multiple vitamin supplement is necessary as a part of a daily health and wellness regimen. The best multi-vitamin contains a healthy balance of everything listed above in the correct dosages. It is important to do your homework and be sure the multi-vitamin you choose will do its job correctly.
Learn as much as you can about your own body's individual nutritional needs. By giving your body proper nutrition, you help it to fight off illness and diseases much more efficiently. A complete multi-vitamin will:
* Strengthen your immune system * Decrease your risk of cancer, heart disease and osteoporosis * Increase your level of energy * Elevate your moods * Help you to enjoy a healthier, more productive life
Choose a multi-vitamin that has been developed based on the latest science and technology. You will be taking a well-rounded supplement that was designed to properly complement a typical daily diet.
Antioxidants For The Body
June 10, 2008 11:27 AM
Eating the fruits and vegetables that naturally contain antioxidants is the best way to get them into your system. Mixing them into a well-balanced and healthy diet is the best method of all. This way you reap the benefits of all of the antioxidants in a natural combination.
The benefit of dietary antioxidants is that they slow the chemical process of oxidation. This oxidation is what causes narrowing of the arteries and heart-related health problems due to cholesterol deposits. Eating a regular variety of herbs, vegetables and fruits that contain antioxidants is the best way to maintain good health. Some foods that contain antioxidants include:
Antioxidant supplements are available, lab testing have shown that they are just as effective as their natural counterparts. Natural foods contain ranges of antioxidants that work together synergistically. These combinations of antioxidants are much more effective.
Antioxidants and other nutrients are needed by the body to protect against cell damage. They also may reduce the risks of certain forms of cancer.
It has been discovered that the mitochondria (cell power plants) are a major source of oxidant production. They are also a target for the damaging effects of the very oxidants that they produce. This is a major cause in the advancement of cellular aging, called apoptosis.
It is believed that in apoptosis, each cell has a fixed number of cell divisions that it is capable of. After the cell has used its allotted number of divisions, it ceases to function. Oxidative damage is also a contributing factor of DNA mutation, which causes further malfunction of the cells.
Most Common Antioxidants:
The following is a list of the most common antioxidants, what benefits they offer and where to find them:
*Beta-carotene keeps the skin healthy and promotes growth and development of bones. It also helps to prevent night blindness and fight infection. Beta-carotene is found in vegetables and fruits: carrots, cantaloupe, apricots, broccoli, peppers, tomatoes, spinach, sweet potatoes and pumpkin.
* Vitamin C destroys free radicals inside and outside cells. It helps in the healing of wounds, preventing bruising, formation of connective tissue, iron absorption and keeping gums healthy. Vitamin C is being studied for its beneficial effects in reducing cataracts, cancer and heart disease. Foods high in vitamin C include tomatoes, citrus fruits and juices, berries, mango, papaya, peppers, cabbage, spinach, broccoli and potatoes.
* Vitamin E acts as the essential fat protector in cell membranes and red blood cells. It reduces the risk of heart disease, cancer and other diseases associated with age. Vitamin E is found in peanut butter, nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, margarine, whole grains, wheat germ, salad dressings and avocado.
* Selenium helps the body maintain healthy hair and nails. It also enhances immunity and, along with Vitamin E, prevents cell damage. Vitamin E reduces the risk of cancers, especially prostate, lung and colorectal. The best sources of Selenium include brazil nuts, garlic, meat, eggs, poultry, seeds, seafood and whole grains. The amount of selenium found in plants depends on the soil content in which they are grown.
Antioxidants benefit the body by providing a layer of protection for the tissues and cells. They are the front line of the body's protection against free radicals. Free radicals are unstable by-products of oxygen that cause premature aging and degenerative diseases. They also come from environmental sources, such as pollution, UV rays and other toxins. Foods rich in antioxidants help to clean free radicals from the body. They also help to prevent various age-related diseases, cancers and heart disease.
Maintaining a healthy, Nutritionally balanced body that has the ability to fight disease and infection is a prime way to live a long, disease free and happy life. Regular ingestion of antioxidant rich foods or supplements is the best method to achieve this.
Digestive Enzymes To Improve Wellness For Kids
November 04, 2007 03:19 PM
It is very safe to say that most people experience some type of digestive difficulty, as digestive disturbances are very common, especially for those who do not practice healthy eating. The numerous advertisements for antacids and acid blockers clearly identify the degree of this problem. But, what about our children? It has been proven that kids are suffering from digestive problems more than ever before due to unhealthy eating habits and Nutritionally deficient diets that are high in saturated fats and processed sugars and carbohydrates. The food that is served in school cafeterias often contains too much fried food and not enough fresh produce. Additionally, parents have to constantly fight a losing battle against advertisements for junk food. Many children follow in the footsteps of their parents, picking up the same bad eating habits, which frequently leads to poor digestion and health problems. Overeating, eating too fast, or not chewing food well hinders digestive capability leading to symptoms such as gas, heartburn, bloating, burping, bad breath, diarrhea, constipation, and general discomfort or fatigue after meals. Although these symptoms are common, they should not be considered normal as they are distress signals sent by our body telling us that the digestive process is not going smoothly and we are not receiving the full nutritional benefit of the food we eat. If digestion is not efficient or complete, inflammation may develop, which causes “leaky gut syndrome,” leading to various allergic reactions.
The brain is especially susceptible to protein fragments, which come from the incomplete digestion of grain gluten and dairy casein. Researchers believe that these fragments, which are called exorphins, are the main factors in the cognitive symptoms and abnormal behaviors of those kids with ADHD and autism. A recent study on thirty-six autistic children found that a majority of these children had digestive disorders including esophageal reflux and inflammation, gastritis, duodenitis and low carbohydrate digestive enzyme levels. Some doctors believe that seventy-five percent of the children that they treat have major deficiencies of pancreatic enzymes.
Enzymes are often called the spark of life or the missing link in nutrition because no plant or animal can exist without them. Digestive enzymes are protein catalysts which break down food so the body can absorb nutrients. Therefore, enzyme supplementation can be extremely helpful, especially when it is done in conjunction with dietary changes. And, yes, kids can take enzymes supplements, too. In children with digestive symptoms, enzyme supplements help to establish proper weight because better assimilation of nutrients helps growth and repair while still supporting a healthy metabolism. Digestive enzymes come in mild-potency enzyme formula which covers all of the food groups for children. Children should take a powder which is safest so there are no caps to swallow and chock on and powdered enzymes allow children to get their digestive enzymes through one scoop which can be added to your child’s favorite juice. Some formulas add potassium carbonate, this form of potassium adds a fun fizz to whatever beverage is used, but is not recommended in milk or water. Look for a powdered supplement that is sweetened with xylitol, a safe and natural sugar substitute which supports tooth and gum health. Since more children than ever suffer from the consequences of incomplete digestion, digestive enzymes are a safe and effective way to support digestion and assimilation of important nutrients into your child’s diet in an enjoyable way.
October 24, 2007 11:37 AM
Ubiquinol has powerful antioxidant actions in target cells *
Although ubiquinone (oxidized coenzyme Q10) and ubiquinol (reduced coenzyme Q10) are kept at a constant ratio within the body, the majority of the total coenzyme Q10 pool is made up of ubiquinol. In fact, when ubiquinone is taken orally, much of it appears to be rapidly converted into ubiquinol. 1,4 Ubiquinol functions as a potent antioxidant in humans, including in low-density lipoproteins (LDLs) where it protects them from oxidative damage.1,4,5 The coenzyme Q10 molecule can be found in all membranes throughout cells.6 It appears to works in conjunction with both vitamin E and vitamin C to provide antioxidant actions throughout the body.7
Coenzyme Q10 supports mitochondria to enhance cellular energy production*
Coenzyme Q10, with its widespread distribution throughout the body, plays a crucial role in mitochondrial physiology as a critical member of the electron transport chain. This transport chain, which is part of cellular respiration, leads to the formation of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), our body’s primary energy source. Levels of this key nutrient may decline as a healthy person ages.7,8 Animal studies have found that supplementation can restore normal levels in certain tissues 6, and human studies suggest that supplementing with this enzyme may have increased benefits when a person has depleted levels. 7
Coenzyme Q10 supports healthy heart functioning*
Concentrations of coenzyme Q10 are understandably high in the heart as these muscle cells require high levels of energy to constantly function optimally. A number of studies (both animal and human) strongly suggest that coenzyme Q10 supplementation is supportive for healthy heart functioning and for maintaining cardiovascular system health.7,9
Ubiquinol has been studied for safety and bioavailability in humans*
A recently published single-blind placebo-controlled study in healthy subjects found no safety concerns in people who took Kaneka’s QH ubiquinol supplement orally at doses of up to 300 milligrams daily for up to four weeks.4 Single oral doses of either 150 milligrams or 300 milligrams were given to fifteen healthy men and women, and standard laboratory testing (including hematology, blood chemistry, and urinalysis) as well as physical examination and electrocariography (EKG) results showed no clinically significant changes when tested two days after supplementation as compared to before the taking the supplement. In addition to the single dose study, 80 healthy volunteers were given either placebo, 90, 150 or 300 milligrams of ubiquinol each day for four weeks, and again no clinically significant differences were seen in any of the testing parameters after two and four weeks of supplementation, nor were there differences two weeks after discontinuation of the supplement. By monitoring levels in the blood, the authors found that ubiquinol was well absorbed.4
Studies in several animals also reveal no concern of toxicity in doses of ubiquinol up to 200 milligrams per kilogram of body weight for up to thirteen weeks.4 When compared to humans, this dose level is enormously higher than the recommended doses. Supplementation with ubiquinol appeared to be safe at even higher levels (up to 600 milligrams per kilogram body weight) in a study using a different animal. In vitro assays additionally found no safety concerns for the use of ubiquinol, as it was found to be non-mutagenic and did not cause damage to chromosomes in cells.
Suggested Adult Use: Take one softgel daily with food, or as directed by a Nutritionally informed physician.
1. Mohr, D., V.W. Bowry, and R. Stocker, Dietary supplementation with coenzyme Q10 results in increased levels of ubiquinol-10 within circulating lipoproteins and increased resistance of human low-density lipoprotein to the initiation of lipid peroxidation. Biochim Biophys Acta, 1992. 1126(3): p. 247-54.
2. Weber, C., et al., Effect of dietary coenzyme Q10 as an antioxidant in human plasma. Mol Aspects Med, 1994. 15 Suppl: p. s97-102.
3. Okamoto, T., et al., Human serum ubiquinol-10 levels and relationship to serum lipids. Int J Vitam Nutr Res, 1989. 59(3): p. 288-92.
4. Hosoe, K., et al., Study on safety and bioavailability of ubiquinol (Kaneka QH) after single and 4-week multiple oral administration to healthy volunteers. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol, 2007. 47(1): p. 19-28.
5. Stocker, R., V.W. Bowry, and B. Frei, Ubiquinol-10 protects human low density lipoprotein more efficiently against lipid peroxidation than does alpha-tocopherol. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 1991. 88(5): p. 1646-50.
6. Crane, F.L., Biochemical functions of Coenzyme Q10. Journal of the
7. Jones, K., et al., Coenzyme Q-10 and cardiovascular health. Alternative therapies, 2004. 10(1): p. 22-31.
8. Schulz, C., et al., Comparison of the relative bioavailability of different coenzyme Q10 formulations with a novel solubilizate (Solu Q10). Int J Food Sci Nutr, 2006. 57(7-8): p. 546-55.
9. Coenzyme Q10. Monograph. Altern Med Rev, 2007. 12(2): p. 159-68.
Buy Ubiquinol at VitaNet, LLC ®
Supplements for Children
June 26, 2007 09:51 PM
Supplements for Children
While most parents try hard to make nutritious meals for their family, most children find the appeal of refined, fast, and junk food simply overwhelming. And, sadly, increasingly easy to buy and consume, as well. From kindergarten through 12th grade, in both grade schools and high schools, vending machines offer calorie laden candy bars, sugar-filled soft drinks, and snack foods loaded with fat and salt. Many school cafeterias actually sell fast-food to children for lunch every day. In fact, it seems almost everywhere children go and gather, visually enticing but Nutritionally lacking snacks and soft drinks are sure to be available.
Determined to counteract this disturbing trend, parents everywhere are urgently seeking solutions to help their children get the nutrition they need. One answer is supplemental multivitamins. There are certainly plenty of multivitamins formulated for children currently on the market. However, these products vary considerably in quality and content. Some lack certain vital nutrients. Some taste terrible. Still others are loaded with sugar and artificial flavorings. The good news is that there are superior multivitamins and exceptional immune boosting products formulated specifically for children that actually taste great. In this issue of Ask the Doctor, we will discuss childhood nutrition and how to help ensure your children’s health with high quality, 100% natural flavored nutritional supplements.
Q. Do children really benefit from vitamin supplements? Can’t I make sure they get the vitamins and minerals they need from meals?
A. Even the most Nutritionally vigilant parent cannot be 100% certain what nutrients are in the food they serve their children. That’s because there’s so much variability in the food we prepare. For instance, fat-soluble vitamins can withstand normal cooking, but vitamins A and E are gradually destroyed by exposure to air. Water-soluble vitamins such as B1, B6, folic acid, and pantothenic acid are destroyed by heat. Vitamin B2 is destroyed by light and heat, while light and air destroy vitamin C. Certain food preservatives and preparation methods also destroy the vitamins in food. To further complicate matters, some fruit and vegetables are grown and harvested in such a way that does not promote nutrient content – so even raw foods may be lacking.
Then there are those crazy food phases all children seemingly go through. While these phases are generally harmless in the long run, a recent alarming exception was in the news. A five-year old boy ate nothing but cheese pizza, Pop-tarts, biscuits, and water, refusing fruits, vegetables, juices and vitamins. He slowly developed limp, swollen gums, and small purple spots appeared on his skin. After five months of this extremely deficient diet, he was unable to walk or get out of bed because the pain was so severe. Doctors diagnosed the boy as having a severe vitamin C deficiency after ruling out other ailments such as leukemia. Within a week of getting vitamin C supplements, the boy’s pain and other symptoms were completely resolved. Obviously, this little boy’s story is unusual. However, even mild food phases (such as “If It’s Green It Must Be Yucky” or “The Only Good Crust Is A Cut-Off Crust”) can result in awfully lop-sided nutrition.
Q. Can multivitamins help my child’s performance in school?
A. Most teachers firmly believe that nutrition and learning go hand in hand. They are convinced that children who are well nourished possess the mental stamina that’s needed to learn and retain even difficult concepts. But can multivitamins help children become better students?
Two independent research teams recently conducted randomized trials to find the answer. The researchers followed 245 school-children aged 6 to 12 years for three months. They gave half of the children multivitamin tablets every day, and half of the children placebos. When the children were tested, the children in the multivitamins group showed an increase in their nonverbal intelligence scores. Nonverbal intelligence is closely associated with academic performance.
Q. I can’t get my children to take 100% natural flavored multivitamins because they don’t taste very appealing. Isn’t there some way to make a 100% natural multivitamin taste good enough for my children to willingly take?
A. Yes, there is! Because most children need chewable multivitamins, manufacturers need to contend with the truly terrible taste of certain minerals. Magnesium, iodine, copper, and iron are probably the worst tasting. Some solve this dilemma by skimping on the amounts of these minerals in their children’s formulas. Others cover up the bad taste with either massive amounts of sugar or artificial flavors, or both.
However, a select few multivitamin makers have discovered how to offer a natural flavored, great tasting children’s multivitamin that contains these vital minerals. The best children’s vitamins are prepared in a base of natural fruit that provides both antioxidants and other healthy phytonutrients. Children’s multivitamins made in such a fruit base have very low sugar content, as well, providing as little as four calories a day. Fructose – fruit sugar – is the preferred sweetening agent, in addition to the fruit content.
Q. What vitamins should be in a multivitamin for children?
A. There are several vitamins and minerals that children need to take each and every day. They include biotin, folate, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamins B12, B1, A, B6, C, D, E, and K. Let’s review a few. We’ll start with folate, one of the B vitamins. This vital vitamin helps the body use protein, helps make DNA, helps cells grow and divide, and keeps the nervous system healthy. In fact, folate is so important to children that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mandated that folate must be added to many foods most children eat daily. Since 1998, cereal, enriched bread, flour corn meal, rice, and pasta have been folate-fortified with this B vitamin.
One of folate’s vital actions is the reduction of homocysteine levels in the blood. Homocysteine is an amino acid (the building block of protein) that is normally produced in the human body. Research has shown that high levels of homocysteine can irritate blood vessels, make blood clot more easily than it should, and cause blockages in arteries increasing the risk of heart attacks and strokes .
However, study after study has proven that taking folate reduces harmful homocysteine levels. While most of this research has been in adults, a recent study looked at children’s homocysteine levels. Researchers examined over 3500 children and discovered that high homocysteine levels increased the risk for heart disease in these children, especially as they grow. The researchers leading this study reinforced how critical folate is for all children.
Other critical vitamins for children are the vitamins C and E. The rates of childhood asthma have increased significantly here in the
Q. Which minerals do children need?
A. It is absolutely crucial that children get calcium, chromium, iron, magnesium, manganese, selenium, zinc, and phosphorus every day. Sadly, however, the majority of our children are not getting the recommended amounts of many of these vital minerals. Children in
According to statistics from the National Institutes of Health, only 13.5 percent of girls and 36.3 percent of boys age 12 to 19 in the
Lack of adequate calcium has immediate consequences for children, as well. The number of fractures among children and young adults has increased as a direct result of poor calcium intake. Pediatricians are also seeing children with rickets, a bone disease caused by low levels of vitamin D. Rickets became almost nonexistent after vitamin D was added to milk in the 1950s, but, due to lower milk consumption, is now appearing at greater rates around the country. And milk itself can be problematic for some children. Aside from alarming reports of hormones and herbicides in commercial dairy factory milk, even organic milk is not tolerated by all because of lactose intolerance and allergies.
Zinc is another mineral that’s vital for children. Because zinc is critical for normal growth and development, children need to take it every day. A study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, however, found more than half of US children ages two to 10 years fail to get the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for zinc. What’s even more troubling is that zinc is vitally connected to children’s ability to process information, pay attention, as well as remember and retain new information
Zinc does a lot to keep children healthy. More than 200 enzymes in our bodies rely on zinc. However, it’s zinc’s ability to connect with our immune systems to help fight infections that is crucial for children. While researchers are not certain how zinc precisely boosts a child’s immunity, they think that zinc might fight pneumonia and other infections by either enhancing the body’s immune status, preventing the infection from establishing itself, or improving the immune system’s ability to rid itself of the infecting organism. It’s possible that zinc does all three.
Q. No matter what I do, my children seem to come down with bad colds each year. Besides giving them a multivitamin, are there other nutritional supplements that can keep my children healthy?
A. Absolutely! In fact, there are 100% natural flavored children’s immune formula nutritional supplements that contain their good buddy zinc, vitamins B6, C, and A (as beta carotene), plus elderberry extract. Elderberry extract has been used as a traditional medicine for hundreds of years to treat colds and flu. And as it so often happens, scientific research has validated this use. In fact, scientists have discovered that elderberry keeps viruses from invading other cells and replicating. It also spurs important immune cells into action to fight invading germs.
While we previously discussed vitamin C’s ability to help children with asthma breathe easier, it also provides powerful immune protection. It speeds up the healing of wounds, such as those knee and elbow scrapes so common in childhood. However, vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin and can’t be stored in the body. It must be replenished every day. When children are under increased stress (like when they get sick with a cold or flu), their vitamin C levels are more rapidly depleted.
Vitamin B6 is also water-soluble and can only work in children’s bodies for eight hours. Then more B6 must be obtained. Vitamin B6 strengthens the immune system by helping white blood cells make antibodies. Vitamin A helps make lysozymes, important anti-infectious agents found in tears, saliva, and sweat. It also stimulates the thymus gland, an important immune organ, especially in children, to work better.
Q. Should children take an immune formula every day or only when they are sick?
A. It can be taken several ways. Some parents may want to give the formula when school first starts or other times that their children are exposed to lots of germs. For a child who suffers from asthma or seasonal allergies or just seems to get sick frequently, parents could provide the immune formula every day, increasing the dose when needed. And still others might feel it’s best to give their children the immune formula only whey they do catch a cold or have the flu.
No matter how it is given, the 100% all natural flavored, immune boosting nutritional supplement can provide powerful protection against all those disease-causing germs your children are exposed to every day.
The nutritional choices we make for our children today will have a profound effect on their health tomorrow. Recent research has revealed that diabetes, heart disease, obesity, osteoporosis, and cancer in adults often result form nutritional deficiencies that occurred in childhood.
Thankfully, the reverse is just as true. This means that children who are well nourished with an optimal intake of minerals, vitamins, and helpful herbs can grow into healthy and happy adults. Providing high quality multivitamins and immune boosting nutritional supplements for our children can be an important part of that process.
Do It Yourself
June 26, 2007 02:06 PM
You, too, can take part in this vital movement, starting right in your own backyard. First, get some education on remineralizing and the kind of rock dust you need by visiting Remineralize the Earth’s website at www.remineralize.org. Then, discover how easy it really is—with the astounding results Nutritionally and otherwise—to remineralize your own area. You can also become a contributor to remineralize the Earth and assist in their upcoming campaigns and remineralizations project worldwide.
Breast Cancer and Natural Supplements
May 11, 2007 10:47 AM
Breast Cancer and Nutritional Supplements
There is probably nothing more frightening for a woman than the discovery of a lump in her breast. Cancer and all its consequences quickly come to mind. This quick association may materialize, in part, because no woman is immune. Most have a friend, a sister, a mother, or a coworker who has been diagnosed with the disease. And they know how difficult dealing with this disease can be. Fortunately, 80% of all breast lumps are not cancerous. Most are cysts or a benign clump of tissue.
Over her lifetime, a woman’s breasts undergo many, many changes. From before puberty and on, breast tissue is continually evolving. Breasts often feel different before menstrual cycle, returning to normal a few days after. Pregnancy certainly causes changes in a woman’s breasts, as does breastfeeding. And as women age, breast tissue becomes less dense.
Because of these continual changes, breast tissue especially requires adequate nutrition. While everyone benefits from a healthy diet, there are additional nutrients from which women can specifically benefit.
In this issue of Ask the Doctor, we will discuss breast cancer and the vast amount of research that has explored the role nutrition plays in this serious and still deadly disease. Specifically, we will discuss how two B vitamins, calcium D-glucarate, broccoli extract, green tea, maitake mushrooms, and iodine can all help prevent breast cancer.
Q. How can these nutrients prevent breast cancer?
A. Scientists learn a lot about disease from simply observing what is happening around them. One observation that has been recognized for many years is that certain cultures have very low incidence of breast cancer. Women n
Moms (and dads) have also learned a lot about diseases simply by observing what is happening in their families. They have notices that certain vegetables play a large role in the prevention of all types of diseases, including cancer. And, accordingly, they have been urging their offspring to eat their vegetables for several generations.
Building on these observations, scientists have designed and carried out many studies to determine what it is about these nutrients that can prevent breast cancer. What they have discovered, so far, follows. Let’s start with the B vitamins.
Deficiencies of this vitamin can result in a serious type of anemia. Nerve damage can also occur if B12 levels are too low. Researchers are now investigating whether breast cancer may, in part, be caused by a B12 deficiency as well.
Another study, this one taking place in a laboratory setting, discovered that vitamin B12, applied directly against experimental breast cancer cells, actually stopped the cancer cells from growing. The researchers conducting the experiment believe that giving vitamin B12 to women with breast cancer as part of a chemotherapy regime, might help keep the cancer in check.
Low folic acid intake is linked to the development of all cancers. This is because folic acid is crucial to the making and continual repair of DNA, the molecule that carries our genetic code. A recent study discovered that high intakes of folic acid might actually reduce the risk of breast cancer. The researchers looked at the diets of over 2600 women. During interviews with the researchers, the women reported what they usually ate. Once the data was collected, the results showed that women, who ate lots of foods that contained folic acid, had much lower rates of breast cancer.
There is no clear-cut, single cause of breast cancer. Many factors are required for the disease to appear. One such factor is estrogen. A recent study showed that women who developed breast cancer tended to have higher levels of estrogen circulating in their bodies than women without breast cancer. This means that women who got their periods before age eleven or entered menopause after age fifty-five have a higher risk of breast cancer. This also supports the theory that the number of menstrual cycles a woman has affects her risk for breast cancer.
Another factor is drinking alcohol. Because alcohol raises estrogen levels, if a woman consumes even moderate amounts of alcohol her risk of breast cancer also is increased. The link between alcohol and breast cancer may even be stronger than other dietary links. However, an important study has discovered that folic acid may uncouple this link.
A very large study of over 34,000 women recently studied the effect of folic acid on the risk of breast cancer. This project was part of the Nurses’ Health Study, an ongoing, long-term study that looks at nutrition’s role in the development of disease. The women in the folic acid and breast cancer study were followed for 12 years. The participants completed detailed food questionnaires that provided the researchers with important data.
The women were divided into four groups:
1. Women with low folic acid levels and drink alcohol
2. Women with high folic acid levels and rink alcohol
3. Women with low folic acid levels and don’t drink alcohol
4. Women with high folic acid levels and don’t drink alcohol
Within these four groups the women were further divided into subgroups according to the amount of alcohol they consumed each day and their specific folic acid intake.
The researchers found that women who consumed the lowest amounts of folic acid and drank at least one alcoholic beverage a day had the highest rate of breast cancer. In contrast, women who had high intakes of folic acid and also drank at least one alcoholic beverage a day, had the same rate of breast cancer as the women with high folic acid intakes who did not drink. In other words, women who had high levels of folic acid in their diet erased their alcohol-related increase in breast cancer risk.
It seems estrogen can be both friend and foe. While women need the hormone to soften skin, thicken hair, and fill out hips and breasts, estrogen can also nourish breast tumors, helping them grow bigger, stronger, and more deadly. Thanks, in part, to good nutrition, American women get their periods early and go through menopause alter in life. Women today also have fewer pregnancies; families with one or two children are quite common.
All of these factors increase the time women’s bodies are exposed to estrogen. As we discussed before, longer exposure means increased opportunities for estrogen to cause trouble. It is also a troubling fact of modern life that we are continuously exposed to cancer-causing chemicals and toxins. These toxins come in part from contaminants in the food we eat and pollutants in the air we breathe.
The body does have a system that eliminates some of the excess estrogen and toxic chemicals before they can cause harm. In the liver, they are bound or attached to a chemical called glucuronic acid. The bound toxin or estrogen is then excreted in bile and eventually eliminated as a waste product in the stool.
However, an enzyme called beta-glucuronidase can break this bond between estrogen and glucuronic acid. When this happens, the hormone or toxin is released from its bone, capable of causing harm once more. Increased beta-glucuronidase activity is associated with an increased risk for various cancers, particularly hormone-dependant cancers like breast cancer.
Fortunately, scientists have discovered that a natural substance found in foods calcium D-glucarate (CDG) can stop the activity of beta-glucuonidase. CDG keeps the harmful estrogen bound to glucuronidase. While CDG is found in fruits and vegetables, the amounts may not be sufficient to maintain effective levels to stop beta-glucuronidase.
CDG has been shown in experimental studies to significantly stop beast cancer growth. And several human trials are currently underway with CDG to determine its capability to decrease the breast cancer risk in women at high risk for the disease.
There are some very interesting connections between breast tissue and thyroid tissue. Iodine is an essential trace element present in a hormone of the thyroid gland and is involved in several metabolic functions. One iodine function is the protection of breast tissue from cancerous cells.
In a laboratory study, researchers exposed breast cancer cells and breast tissue without any cancer to a type of seaweed that contains high levels of iodine. The seaweed killed all of the cancerous cells, yet did not harm the normal breast cells. Japanese women frequently eat this type of seaweed and have very low rates of breast cancer. The study’s researchers believe one reason for this low incidence of breast cancer may be the iodine in the seaweed.
And, for some as yet unknown reasons, women who have thyroid cancer are at higher risk of developing breast cancer. While they are unsure why this happens, researchers are continuing to study this link, and support of healthy thyroid function remains an important consideration.
For quite some time, scientists have observed that cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower, significantly reduce the risk of disease, including cancer. It seems a phytochemical in broccoli sulforaphane, is one of the chemicals responsible for this beneficial activity. Sulforaphane increases certain enzymes in the body called phase 2 enzymes that deactivate cancer-causing chemicals.
Breast cancer cells exposed to sulforaphane in several lab experiments showed that the compound inhibited the growth of the cancer cells up to 80 percent. Researchers are in the process of setting up clinical trials to study sulforaphane’s effect in women who have breast cancer.
There is a tall amount of research, including finding from the Nurses’ Health Study, that suggest green tea beverage consumption is associated with a lower incidence of breast cancer. In fact, researchers have long noted the low rates of breast cancer in
The active compound in green tea responsible for breast cancer inhibition is epigallocatechin-3 gallate or EGCG. When breast cancer cells are exposed to EGCG in lab experiments, the cells stop growing, lose their ability to replicate, and die.
In a recent study, researchers discovered that drinking green tea prevented the recurrence of breast cancer in women who have previously been diagnosed and treated for the disease. This study involved over 1100 Japanese women. The women who drank green tea every day had very low rates of their breast cancer returning.
For thousands of years, maitake mushrooms have been linked to good health in those who eat them. Called “dancing mushrooms” (possibly due to their wavy, rippling appearance or possibly due to the little dance of joy mushroom hunters perform when they find them in the woods), maitakes contain an important compound called D-fraction.
Not only does the D-fraction in maitake mushrooms stop the growth of cancerous tumors, it also alerts and stimulates immune cells (including macrophages and natural killer cells) to fight the disease. Maitake also inhibits some of the mechanism that promotes metastasis, or spread, of cancer cells in the lymph and bloodstream.
Because of this success, maitake is now being used in clinical trials of women with breast cancer. One study reported significant improvement of symptoms, including reduction of the tumor. The maitake was given to breast cancer patients in addition to standard chemotherapy.
Q. Should these nutrients be used in place of traditional treatment for breast cancer?
A. Absolutely not. None of these nutrients can cure breast cancer. However, they can be a part of a validated plan of treatment. If you have breast cancer, talk to your health care practitioner about these nutrients. Remember, nutritional supplements are just that: supplements to food, medication, and treatment. They are intended to enhance and prevent, not replace.
Despite apprehension in performing self-breast exams, women are very proactive in their health. Yearly mammograms and pap tests have been an important part of their lives for many years, and newer and more accurate diagnoses are emerging. The prevention of health problems in themselves and their families has always been a high priority for women. And for women, nutrition has played an important part of health problem prevention.
Nutritionally speaking, what benefits your breasts benefit your whole body. However, as we have learned, there are specific links between nutrition and developing breast cancer that seem to be fairly strong.
Making a few changes may reduce the risk of developing the disease. The nutrients listed here, vitamin B12, folic acid, calcium d-glucarate, iodine, broccoli, green tea, and maitake mushrooms can be an important part of a woman’s preventative health regimen.
Lower Cholesterol Naturally!
October 06, 2006 09:41 AM
Because of organizations like the American Heart Association (AHA), we’ve learned a lot about cholesterol and how it affects our health. Thanks to these educational organizations, we know that high cholesterol levels can increase our risk for heart attacks and strokes and, by lowering these levels, we reduce these risks as well as keep our hearts and blood vessels healthy. We also know that our cholesterol levels can be improved through exercise, diet, and weight loss.
Although we’ve learned a lot through these educational organizations, there are still a few misconceptions about cholesterol. One of these being that not all cholesterol is harmful. There are both “good” and “bad” forms of cholesterol and a good balance between the two is what is needed for a healthy heart. Because so much emphasis is placed on lowering “bad” cholesterol levels, not enough attention is paid to the benefit of raising “good” cholesterol levels (HDL). Research states that raising HDL levels can provide even greater protection against cardiovascular disease than just simply lowering “bad” cholesterol levels. By raising HDL levels by simply 1%, the risk of heart disease can be lowered by 2% in men and 3% in women. Many studies have shown that low HDL cholesterol levels are an independent risk factor in heart disease. This is extremely important because we’ve learned that despite efforts to change a person’s diet and exercise habits, some people’s cholesterol levels are still unhealthy.
Prescription drugs to lower cholesterol are now available and have been proven by multiple studies to be very successful. The statins’ effectiveness in reducing LDL (“bad”) cholesterol has produced highly significant reductions in heart attacks and strokes. Although these medications do lower cholesterol levels, their side effects must be considered. Statin drugs can cause liver irritation, reduce CoQ10 levels in the body, are associated with myopathy, and are even linked to a rare and sometimes fatal condition called rhabdomyolysis. These drugs also have a relatively small effect on good (HDL) cholesterol levels. Thankfully, there are safe and effective solutions available that can help you manage your cholesterol levels naturally. However, first we must review what we know about cholesterol and heart disease.
Cholesterol is a fat-like substance needed to help digest fats, strengthen cell membranes, make hormones and insulate nerves. Although it is found in every cell of the body, cholesterol is mainly made in the liver, as well as cells lining the small intestine. Even though our bodies make all the cholesterol we need, we also get cholesterol from the foods we eat, such as egg yolks and organ meats. All foods from animal sources contain cholesterol, while plant derived food, including peanut butter and avocado, contains no cholesterol at all.
Cholesterol is important to many functions of the body. However, too much cholesterol in the bloodstream is extremely dangerous. After blood cholesterol reaches high levels, it builds up on the artery walls, and thus increasing the risk for blood clots, heart attack, and stroke. If the cholesterol clogs any of the coronary arteries, the heart’s supply of oxygen and nutrients will diminish, resulting in coronary heart disease, angina, or even heart attack.
Because cholesterol and other fats can’t dissolve in the blood and thereby can’t travel on their own, they have to be transported to and from the cells by lipoproteins. The two major lipoproteins are low density lipoproteins (LDL or “bad cholesterol) and high density lipoproteins (HDL or “good cholesterol”) LDLs carry cholesterol throughout the body to the cells and cause artherosclerosis by clogging up our arteries with fat. On the other hand, HDL prevents the fat buildup by carrying it away from the arteries and to the liver where it can be eliminated. Although high levels of LDL are associated with cardiovascular disease, high HDL can drastically reduce your risk of heart disease. As a result, the AHA has established three guidelines to keep your heart healthy: HDL levels about 40 for men and above 50 for women, LDL levels between 100 and 159, and a total cholesterol (HDL and LDL) of under 200.
Triglycerides are fats used as fuel by the body and a source for metabolism. These levels can fluctuate easily but increased levels are almost always a sign of too much carbohydrate and sugar intake. High amounts of triglycerides make the blood less capable of transporting oxygen and are another factor for cardiovascular disease. Thankfully, the HDL and LDL blend mentioned earlier can safely and effectively lower triglyceride levels.
It has been shown that high levels of HDL cholesterol are inversely related to coronary artery disease risk. However, what people do not know is that there are different subtypes of HDl, including HDL-2 and HDL-3. HDL-3 is produced by the liver and intestines and is responsible for scooping up free cholesterol from the blood vessel walls. The cholesterol carried by HDL-3 is chemically modified, forming a larger-sized subtype, known as HDL-2, or “mature HDL.” HDL-2 transports cholesterol to the liver for processing and elimination, and its molecules are then recirculated in the blood stream. Research has shown that HDL-2 provides more heart-protection because it moves the cholesterol away from arterial walls, and holds a greater number of receptor sites which allows it to carry a larger amount of cholesterol to the liver.
Although many prescription medications have been developed to lower bad cholesterol, there are very few medications that target good cholesterol. Therefore, patients with naturally low HDL cholesterol, who can not alter these levels through diet and exercise, have limited medical options to reduce their risk of heart disease. Multiple nutrients have been clinically shown to favorably alter good cholesterol levels including: vitamins C, E, B6, B12, niacin, folic acid, magnesium and selenium, with protein-building amino acids, powerful antioxidants such as coenzyme Q10, alpha lipoic acid, N-acetyle cysteine, and policosanol, and extracts of hawthorn, garlic, grape seed, and soy isoflavones. Although this HDL-boosting combination does not result in a significant reduction in LDL, antioxidants found in this formulation can help stabilize LDL and prevent build up in the arterial wall.
This formula combines essential vitamins and minerals, at levels recommended by the American Heart Association. It contains amino acids, antioxidants, and botanicals that have all been used safely for years. No serious adverse effects have been found following supplementation and the combination is safe to use with statin drugs.
Plant sterols, found in nuts, vegetable oils, corn, and rice are structurally similar to cholesterol and are able to block its absorption. Each day the liver receives about 800 mg of cholesterol from intestinal absorption through receptor sites. After entering these channels, the cholesterol is absorbed into the bloodstream. Since plant sterols look similar to cholesterol, they fit perfectly into these receptor sites and block the absorption, which allows the cholesterol to remain in our intestines where it can eventually be excreted. A large amount of plant sterols reduces the amount of cholesterol transported from the intestinal tract to the liver. This cholesterol reduction causes a decrease in LDL levels.
Even if a person does not have high cholesterol levels, reducing bad and raising good cholesterol greatly reduces their risk for ever developing chronic heart disease. Due to side effects, physicians do not normally prescribe statin drugs to people without actual heart disease of high LDL cholesterol levels. Instead, they recommend dietary changes. The HDL-boosting combination and LDL-lowering pantethine and plant sterols blend can effectively help people with heart disease, uncontrolled cholesterol levels, high triglyceride levels, or people who just want to improve their heart health.
Protein for optimal performance
December 30, 2005 08:54 AM
Protein for optimal performance
Sending a frail, malnourished warrior into battle is the biological equivalent of trying to win the Daytona 500 on a set of roller-skates. Under no circumstances should this be attempted. Though popularized by bodybuilders, protein supplementation is imperative for athletes at every stage and skill set. Its role in muscular development still accounts for its unceasing popularity, though many users don’t realize that protein has many other responsibilities.
As one of the body’s key structural building-blocks, the amino acids in protein are actively involved in the repair and development of muscle fi bers, hormone, antibodies and enzymes – each one vital to the success of any hard working athlete. Over the past 10 years or so, the science of isolating and manufacturing protein supplements has advanced far beyond what anyone could have possibly predicted. Today’s products are very pleasant tasting, highly bioavailable (easy to absorb), Nutritionally optimized and available in a number of different flavors.
December 17, 2005 10:40 AM
Date Sugar - Of the many alternatives to table sugar, the pleasant tasting extract of dehydrated dates may be one of the most natural and nutrient dense. While it can be used for a plethora of applications, the most common are in cereals, oatmeal, baked goods, beverages and puddings. In fact, date sugar bares a closer resemblance to food than it does to a sweetener. Nutritionally, it’s loaded with vitamins and minerals, especially potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron and phosphorus. Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of this natural sweetener is that it contain significant amounts of fiber. Best of all, date sugar is the closest in sweetness to the table sugar many have grown accustomed to.
OsteoBoron™ Fact Sheet
December 08, 2005 05:09 PM
OsteoBoron™ Fact SheetNeil E. Levin, CCN, DANLA 8/8/05
LIKELY USERS: People looking for joint support; People looking for bone density support; People who want to normalize Vitamin D levels
KEY INGREDIENTS: FruiteX-B™
STRUCTURE/FUNCTION CLAIMS: Boron is an important trace mineral for bone and joint health throughout life, as well as for the development and maintenance of healthy bone density. 1,2,4,6,8,9 NOW® OsteoBoron™ is a patented (US Patent # 5,962,049) complex of Boron and Fructose that is safe and more bioavailable than other forms of Boron. 3,7 NOW® OsteoBoron™ is a superior form of Boron that has been the subject of clinical studies demonstrating its efficacy in the support of healthy joints. 7,10 NOW® OsteoBoron™ has also been shown to be safer than other Boron supplements. 3,7
ADDITIONAL PRODUCT USE INFORMATION & QUALITY ISSUES:
FruiteX-B™ is a patented ingredient that contains boron in a form that is chemically identical to the natural plant forms of boron found in food (Calcium Fructoborate). In human and animal studies this patented form of boron, taken at an amount equal or equivalent to 6 mg. per day, improved bone ash (bone minerals) and Vitamin D status in Vitamin D deficient subjects. In human studies, measurements of joint discomfort were dramatically reduced when taking this dosage for about 2 months. The dose used in most of these studies was equivalent to 2 capsules a day of NOW® OsteoBoron™, a form that has been shown to be biologically more beneficial than other forms of boron.11
SERVING SIZE & HOW TO TAKE IT: One vegetarian capsule twice a day, preferably at separate meals. This dose can be doubled for people with more severe deficiencies, though a physician should normally be consulted in such cases.
COMPLEMENTARY PRODUCTS: Vitamin D, Calcium, Magnesium, copper, Silica/silicon, natural sources of phytoestrogens (plant sourced), Ipriflavone, Bone Strength or Bone Calcium formulas
SPECIFIC: Please note any supplements currently consumed which may also contain boron, such as multiple mineral or multiple vitamin formulas, and cut your serving size of NOW® OsteoBoron™ to compensate. People who eat a lot of produce, fruit and nuts may also get a substantial amount from their food and may want to reduce their servings of NOW® OsteoBoron™ accordingly. NOW® OsteoBoron™ is safer (has less toxicity) than boron citrate. Boron may buffer body levels of estrogen, so women at risk from high estrogen should consult a physician before using NOW® OsteoBoron™, even though this problem has not been noted for food source borons.
GENERAL: Pregnant and lactating women and people using prescription drugs should consult their physician before taking any dietary supplement. This information is based on my own knowledge and references, and should not be used as diagnosis, prescription or as a specific product claim. This document has not been reviewed by the FDA or by the company posting it. Information given here may vary from what is shown on the product label because this represents my own professional experience and understanding of the science underlying the formula and ingredients. When taking any new formula, use common sense and cautiously increase to the full dose over time.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
1. Shils ME, Olson JA, Shike M (eds.) (1994) Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, Eighth Edition. Chapters 20-26, 28, 30. Lea & Febiger Philadelphia.
Trace Minerals and Migraines
November 16, 2005 12:02 PM
Trace Minerals and Migraines
An increasingly large amount of disease today may be attributable to deficiencies in the supply of trace minerals in our diets.1 How can this be the case when the availability of food in our country is unprecedented, with a supermarket on every corner? These deficiencies do not stem from a lack of quantity of food, rather they stem from the quality of food. Trace minerals can be found mainly in whole, unprocessed foods such as vegetables and fruits. Unfortunately, the large majority of fruits and vegetables found in supermarkets today are Nutritionally devoid of these minerals, largely in part to the high-yield farming practices in this and other countries.
The mineral content of food is mainly dependent on the amount of minerals found in the soil in which it is grown. Current farming practices leave soils with less than optimal amounts of these minerals, especially the less common trace minerals. As a result of this, our food supplies leave us at risk for deficiencies of these very important substances. Because of this situation, it is essential that every person now supplement their diet with trace minerals in order to avoid the many diseases that are attributable to this scarcity. A lack of vital nutrients leaves the body unable to function fully, leaving it vulnerable to disease.
Trace minerals have numerous roles. Oftentimes, because these minerals are found in such small quantities in the body, scientists and physicians have paid little attention to their importance in health and disease prevention. However, with the advent of improved science and the recognition of the efficacy of natural medicine, we are beginning to understand how vital these elements are to our health. Trace minerals, in a sense, are akin to the numerous tiny nails, nuts, and bolts that hold a house together. At first glance, a home is made of much more than these items. However, if they are slowly removed and never replaced, the house will continue to sag and finally fall apart. So it is the same with the smallest building blocks of our bodies. Trace minerals are important in the proper functioning of enzyme systems, nerve conduction and muscle function, assisting with transfer of nourishment into cells, providing the framework for tissues, and regulation of organ functions. These ‘behind the scenes’ functions are not possible without a constant, adequate supply of minerals. Even with the many multivitamin and mineral supplements available, most of these products fall short because they do not contain large enough amounts of the trace minerals that are so important to health.
Physicians that specialize in natural medicine are some of the biggest proponents of trace mineral supplementation. This type of physician is attuned to the many subtleties of the functions of the human body, and oftentimes addresses health issues with nutritional therapeutics in an attempt to bring the body’s health back into balance. This process of balance, also known as homeostasis, occurs quite wonderfully all by itself, as long as the body has the proper fuel and building materials. Unfortunately, physicians are seeing more and more diseases, which can be attributed to the body’s inability to achieve this balance. This trend towards ill health is directly related to the dearth of nutritional value in our diets today.
However, practitioners of natural medicine are very excited with the many dramatic turn-arounds toward health that many of their patients have experienced with the use of mineral supplementation. A common example of this is the treatment of migraine headaches with magnesium. Recent statistics suggest that 18 percent of women and six percent of men suffer from migraine and those numbers are increasing.2 The Centers for Disease Control reported a 60-percent increase in the disease from 1980 to 1989.3 Migraine headaches occur when the blood vessels in the brain spasm and constrict. Soon after this constriction occurs, the blood vessels then reflexively open, or dilate. When the vessels become dilated, they occupy more space in the brain, activating nearby pain receptors. It is speculated that an imbalance of mineral stores in the body can lead to this spasm of the blood vessels. Many researchers have suggested magnesium plays an important role in migraine attacks. The activities of magnesium in the body include preventing blood vessel spasm, inhibiting blood clotting, and stabilizing cell membranes, all of which are involved in migraine develoment4. Magnesium concentration exerts an effect on neurotransmitter production and receptors, pro-inflammatory molecules, and other migraine-related chemicals in the brain.5 Recent evidence suggests up to 50 percent of migraine patients have lowered levels of tissue magnesium during an acute migraine attack.6 Another study discovered brain magnesium concentrations were 19 percent lower in patients during migraine attack compared to healthy controls.7 Because recent research strongly indicates a magnesium deficiency in migraine headaches, natural medicine practitioners prescribe magnesium along with other trace minerals as a primary treatment for this condition with great success.
Because of their widespread distribution throughout the metabolic workings of the human body, trace minerals are integral to the functioning of one of the body’s largest organ systems, the muscles. Mainly, magnesium plays a large role in the relaxation of muscles following their contraction. Without this vital nutrient, it would be impossible for the muscles of the human body to function. Muscle cramps are prevalent in western society due to lack of intake of an appropriate amount of minerals. One easy, straightforward cure for muscle cramping is supplementation with magnesium and other trace minerals, as they allow the muscles to function smoothly and correctly. The role of magnesium in relieving cramped muscles also makes it a highly appropriate therapy for the muscle pain associated with fibromyalgia, a condition that is often treated successfully by practitioners of natural medicine. These practitioners often use high doses of magnesium and other trace mineral combinations to reduce the painful and tender muscles that are so common in fibromyalgia patients.
Another condition that is successfully treated with magnesium and trace minerals is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. People with this condition often experience profound muscle aches and weakness. It has been shown that in order for proper muscle contraction and relaxation to occur, magnesium and calcium need to be present in proper amounts in the body, which can be difficult to achieve even on a standard healthy diet. Additionally, magnesium and mineral supplementation may decrease the pain involved with sports-related injuries and excessive physical activity. As we use our muscular system, it is slowly depleted of these minerals, making replacement a top priority. Others signs of magnesium deficiency include disorientation, depression, tingling, numbness, seizures, abnormal heart rhythms in addition to muscle spasms and cramps.8,9
A minimum of at least 60 trace minerals has been demonstrated to be vital to health and well-being.10 This article has covered only a small fraction of the multitudes of health benefits of trace minerals. As science and natural medicine continues to uncover the many roles for all of these trace minerals, doctors are finding exciting solutions to several maladies that may be successfully treated by replacing these nutrients in the body. Unless we begin replacing these minerals early on in life, we put ourselves at risk for the many diseases of mineral deficiency that are becoming more and more prevalent in society today.
1 Medical Nutrition from Marz, 2nd Edition. Omni-Press, 1997. Pps. 103-107
2 Stewart WF, Lipton RB, Celentano DD, et al. Prevalence of migraine headache in the United States: relation to age, income, race, and other sociodemographic factors. JAMA 1992;267:64-69.
3 Rappaport AM, Scheftell FD. Headache Disorders: A Management Guide for Practitioners. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Co.;1996:4.
4 McCarty MF. Magnesium taurate and fish oil for prevention of migraine. Med Hypotheses 1996;47:461-466.
5Sinclair, S. Migraine Headaches: Nutritional, Botanical And Other Alternative Approaches. Alternative Medicine Review - Volume 4, Number 2, April 1999.
6 Mauskop A, Altura BM. Role of magnesium in the pathogenesis and treatment of migraine. Clin Neurosci 1998;5:24-27.
7 Ramadan NM, Halvorson H, Vande-Linde A, et al. Low brain magnesium in migraine. Headache 1989;29:590-593. 8 Rude RK. Magnesium deficiency: A cause of heterogeneous disease in humans. J Bone Miner Res 1998;13:749-58.
9 Institute of Medicine. Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary Reference Intakes: Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Vitamin D and Fluoride. National Academy Press. Washington, DC, 1999.
10 Kelly, GS. Sports Nutrition: A Review of Selected Nutritional Supplements For Bodybuilders and Strength Athletes-Alternative Medicine Review - Volume 2, Number 3, May 1997
Doing Multis the Right Way
October 24, 2005 08:22 AM
Doing Multis the Right Way
The modern multivitamin not only comes in a variety of formulations, it is also available in several formats. While many folks are familiar with single all-in-one tablet, more sophisticated multis often come in two- or three-tablet form to accommodate optimal ingredient amounts. The newest way to take your vitamins is to drink them. Liquid multis feature great taste and enhanced absorption, and are a godsend for people who can’t swallow tablets.
Whole –food concentrates are an intriguing multi option. Based on fruits and vegetables, such supplements contain the kind of synergistic cofactors that help vitamins and minerals do their nutritional thing.
To enhance absorption of fat soluble vitamins, try to take your mutlis with a meal containing healthy fats. Any time of the day is fine, although most people find it easy to incorporate supplements into a morning routine. Day or night, in this Nutritionally uncertain world, the multifaceted multivitamin is an absolute must.
Women and vegetarian diets: care needed
July 27, 2005 09:54 AM
Nutritional trends have dictated especially to women to eat less meat and more vegetables and fruits. While only about one percent of North American men are vegetarians, it is estimated that four times this number of women do not eat meat. In addition, it is evident that even more women try to avoid dairy products (though in what proportion is not clear). While at first glance, this may seem good, nutrition surveys of vegetarian women have shown that they are deficient in some very essential nutrients. In fact, vegetarian women tend to have lower levels of calcium, iron, zinc, and vitamins D and B12. For women who eat some animal products, the levels of each of these nutrients increases. Of course, the highest levels of these nutrients are seen in women who do not restrict their diets to nonanimal foods. Calcium and iron are two of the nutrients most lacking in diets of both vegetarians and omnivores.
These results do not mean a vegetarian diet is unhealthy but that it needs better planning than most people give it. It also indicates that women at risk for deficiencies of the nutrients listed above are not getting them from diet or supplements. In fact, most women (and men, for that matter) have individual dietary needs that can only be determined by that individual.
If you follow a special diet, keeping a diet diary for a week and then analyzing it for the nutrients listed above will give an indication about its nutritional adequacy. (But only an indication since all nutrients should be supplied by the diet.) This type of service is usually available from a Registered Dietitian, but you can do it yourself with a good reference book that contains tables of nutrient content of foods. Once excellent source is an upcoming title by Dr. Allan Spreen, to be published in May. The name of the book is Nutritionally Incorrect: Why the American Diet is Dangerous and How to Defend Yourself From It. TH
WHAT EXACTLY IS PYCNOGENOL?
July 13, 2005 09:42 AM
WHAT EXACTLY IS PYCNOGENOL?
Pycnogenol is a super antioxidant which consists of a highly bioavailable flavonoid called proanthocyanidin. This compound can be extracted from either pine bark or grape seed, and both sources are virtually identical. Biochemists will confirm that as a class, the proanthocyanidin bioflavonoids, regardless of their source, possess the same biochemical activity with very slight exceptions.
The differences lie in the varying concentrations of the flavonoid and its purity. Extraction processes for each source d i ffer and may contribute to the cost of the type of Pycnogenol in question. Regardless of its source, Pycnogenol has demonstrated extraordinary antioxidant capabilities.
NATURE’S BEST DEFENSE AGAINST FREE RADICALS: ANTIOXIDANTS
Potent substances called antioxidants, which scavenge for dangerous free radicals, afford us the best prospect for disease prevention, toxin protection and sustained longevity and vigor. According to many experts, making sure we arm our cellular systems with adequate supplies of antioxidants should be our first health priority. “It has now been established that more than 60 human diseases involve free-radical damage, including cancer, heart disease and the acceleration of the aging process. All that you really need to know is that your body is under constant free - radical atta ck, and that you need to keep your antioxidant defenses strong.”1 The role of Pycnogenol as an exc e ptional free radical scavenger is just beginning to emerge, and the protective potential of Pycnogenol is impressive, to say the least. It’s only a matter of time before scientific data supports the fact that this family of nutrients is far more effective in its antioxidant capacity than previously assumed.
Some of the most common of free radical scavengers or antioxidants include:
While all of these are excellent cellular protectants, the compound missing from the above list may be the most remarkable of all.
PYCNOGENOL: THE HERCULES OF ANTIOXIDANTS
Pycnogenol provides some of the most potent compounds known to Nutritionally support and potentiate the body’s defense system against oxidants. Continually emerging research supports the fact that Pycnogenol may be the best antioxidant nature has to offer. In this regard, it is 50 times more potent than vitamin E and 20 times more so than vitamin C.2 Pycnogenol is considered by some health experts to be the greatest nutritional breakthrough of our century.
Supplement Efforts - to increase weight loss...
July 07, 2005 11:41 AM
If you're searching for a pill that magically melts away the pounds safely and quickly, allowing you to pig out on cookies and chips every night without having to walk a step or lift a weight, keep looking-- it doesn't exist. (If anyone tells you it does, lace up those high-tech sneakers and run in the opposite direction.) That being said, there are supplements that some folks find helpful in addition to (not instead of) a healthy diet and adequate exercise:
Don't forget a good, all-purpose multivitamin/mineral to make sure you're not missing anything Nutritionally. (For in-depth information on another weight-loss option, Coleus Forskolii.) It's always a good idea to get a knowledgeable health practitioner's assistance in designing a supplementation program, especially if you are looking to lose weight because of a pre-existing health condition.
MECHANISMS OF CHITOSAN FAT- BINDING
June 25, 2005 08:02 PM
MECHANISMS OF CHITOSAN FAT- BINDING
The exact way(s) that Chitosan prevents fat absorbtion is not fully understood but a number of experimental observations support two basic mechanisms. The first mechanism involves the attraction of opposite charges which can be compared to the attraction of opposite magnetic poles. The second entrapment mechanism can be compared to the effect of a net. In the first mechanism the positive charges on chitosan attract the negatively charged fatty acids and bile acids binding them to the indigestible chitosan fiber. This mechanism can explain why chitosan reduces LDL cholesterol levels.
Our bodies make bile acids in the liver using the cholesterol from LDL. When chitosan binds bile acids it increases the rate of LDL loss thus improving the LDL to HDL ratio. If enough bile acids are bound, the fats are not solublized, which prevents their digestion and absorption. The second mechanism (figure 2) describes a netting effect of chitosan fiber.
In this model the Chitosan wraps around fat droplets and prevents their being attacked and digested by lipid enzymes. Fats unprotected by Chitosan are digested and absorbed. The “netting” mechanism has been seen to operate in vivo. 108
Substances that Enhance the Action of Chitosan
Fibers can be likened to a tangled-up chain. Fibers must “unravel” in order for them to be of maximum benefit to us. “Unraveling” is especially critical for chitosan because each link has a hook on which to attach lipids. Chitosan can absorb an average of 4 to 5 times its weight in lipids. Reports of numbers above and below this range have also been reported and may well reflect the rate or extent of unraveling that had taken place. Fiber formulations can be prepared that unravel rapidly and swell quickly. These highly effective formulations are called superabsorbants. When certain substances are added to chitosan, its remarkable fat-binding ability can be significantly enhanced.
D-Ascorbic acid (erythorbic acid) and L-ascorbic acid are C-vitamins which enhance chitosan’s ability to bind lipids. Combining chitosan with ascorbic acid results in even less fat absorption and greater fecal fat losses.77,108 In one study the addition of ascorbic acid to a chitosan enriched diet increased fecal fat losses by 87 percent and decreased fat absorption by over 50 percent.77
Cholesterol oxides cause lesions in artery walls which predispose blood vessels to collect plaque. These dietary cholesterol oxides profoundly influence the initiation of heart disease.Free radicals can also contribute to the formation of cholesterol oxides which are even more likely to damage the heart. Cholesterol oxides have been found in deep-fried foods, powdered eggs, processed meats and in human blood itself. Consequently, taking antioxidants like ascorbic acid is vital to protect against the cellular damage this type of free radical causes.112
In feeding experiments with animals, adding citric acid to a chitosan enriched diet resulted in a decreased feed consumption.77 The most likely explanation for this effect is that the citric acid may be enhancing the swelling action of chitosan leading to a sense of fullness, producing satiety and appetite suppression.
Indoles are remarkable phytochemicals which have the ability to selectively activate certain Mixed Function Oxidases (MFOs).113 These MFO’s help balance estrogen metabolism and prepare dietary toxins for elimination before they are absorbed. The presence of fiber in the intestines provides a bulk agent to carry the metabolized toxins out of the body. Chelat ed Minerals The very best approach to weight loss is to Nutritionally augment food choices with nutrient supplementation. Certain biochemical compounds are essential to promoting vigor during the process of thermogenesis. Chelated minerals act to bolster, support and protect the organ systems of the body.114,115
For example, when fat is burned, heat and energy are released. If a lack of certain minerals exists, energy levels will drop. Minerals help to transport needed nutrients to depleted areas of the body, thereby stemming off the fatigue we so often experience after eating a fatty meal. Even more importantly, free radicals are released whenever fat is consumed and burned and the presence of chelated minerals helps to expedite the removal of these metabolites and facilitate the availability of fuel for energy.
Essential Fatty Acids
Prostaglandins control and balance many body functions. The dietary building blocks for making prostaglandins are the essential fatty acids (EFAs). The role of prostaglandins in weight loss has been extensively discussed in a recent review.116 EFAs exert profound lipid-lowering effects.They reduce the synthesis of triglycerides and very low density lipoproteins (bad cholesterol) in the liver. EFA supplementation coupled with a low-cholesterol, low-saturated fat in diet produces a complementary effect in lowering serum lipid levels.117 Garcinia Cambogia ( Hydroxy Cit ric Acid) Garcinia Cambogia contains hydroxycitric acid (HCA). This form of citric acid inhibits the liver’s ability to make fats out of carbohydrates.118
Carbohydrates are converted to glycogen stores, not fat stores, giving the body a better energy reserve and an increase in stamina.119 Ephedra And Thermogenisis Thermogenesis means “creating heat.” This is one of the ways our bodies have of burning off excess calories and maintaining a constant weight.120 This is an area of weight management research that is being intensely studied. When we repeatedly yo-yo diet or abuse ourselves by eating too much, our thermogenic ability may be reduced. Numerous animal and human studies have confirmed the benefits of ephedra and methylxanthines in inducing weight loss and restoring thermogenic responsiveness.43,44,121
Cleanse That Body!
June 14, 2005 11:59 AM
Cleanse That Body! by Lisa James Energy Times, January 6, 2005
When toxins accumulate in your tissues, you can become fuzzy and sluggish. Here's how a New Year's internal cleansing can make you feel fresh and energized.
What's your New Year's resolution? Losing weight? Getting fit? Kicking the [fill-in-the-blank] habit? Whatever the shape of your dreams for 2005, it won't be easy launching a self-improvement program unless you give your body a fresh start. Where to begin? Detoxification-an internal cleansing that can supply the energy you need to succeed in achieving your goals.
No one can avoid toxins in our contaminated world, so many of us suffer from toxic overload, which can lead to fatigue, digestive problems and reduced immune function. " When we get out of balance, we get congested and toxic," says Elson Haas, MD, founder of the Preventive Medical Center of Marin in San Rafael, California (www.elsonhaas.com), and author of The New Detox Diet (Celestial Arts), "and our bodies' regular elimination systems cannot keep up with it. We have problems with our skin, our intestines, our sinuses. We also become deficient in vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids. Most people have both congestion and deficiency, and they would benefit greatly from detoxification."
Toxins Within, Toxins Without
Life's fundamental activities-breathing, eating, walking around-generate waste in the form of free radicals, the unstable molecules that can ravage cells and tissues. What's more, Dr. Haas says that just "being under stress, being afraid, being anxious all produce more free radicals in the body" (like when a work deadline hits on the same day your car dies). When you add to your internal toxins all the noxious items coming from the outside, including the dietary ones, the recipe is very unhealthy.
" People are making poor choices in what they're putting in their mouths," says Dr. Haas. "They're taking in too much refined flour and sugar. There's a common problem in our country I call 'obese malnutrition'-people eating too many calories and not getting enough nutrition. People do a lot of junky fats and have a deficiency in the essential fatty acids that help protect cells."
Our bodies are also awash in manmade poisons such as food preservatives and additives, and residues from pesticides and herbicides. "The amount of toxic chemicals we are exposed to in our environment is staggering," says Susan Lark, MD, clinical nutrition expert and author of The Chemistry of Success (Bay Books). She notes that the average American is exposed to 14 pounds of such assorted chemical junk each year.
The body, however, does do its own housekeeping-and all of our cells detoxify every second of every day. "It's always a balance of garbage in, garbage out," says Dr. Haas, who has 30 years of experience in helping people detoxify. "Some of the toxins we break down into smaller components, some we just dump into the intestines for elimination."
Problems arise when there's more dirt than the internal maid service can sweep away. Dr. Lark notes that toxins wind up being stored in cells, especially fat cells, where they can hang out for years. When they are finally released "during times of low food intake, exercise or stress" complaints can range from tiredness to dizziness (sound familiar?).
That's where detoxification comes in, says Dr. Haas: "I think detoxification is a vital health care tool, particularly in this day and age when people are exposed to too many chemicals."
The process of detoxification starts with cleansing the intestinal system. Alternative health practitioners observe that discombobulated bowels can become overly permeable (a condition called leaky gut syndrome) and allow in all sorts of things that they shouldn't, such as semi-digested food particles, leading to inflammation and complaints that include rashes and joint pain.
Cleansing can be as simple as cutting down on what Dr. Haas calls the SNACCs-Sugar, Nicotine, Alcohol, Caffeine and Chemicals-or as thorough as a complete diet-and-supplement program with colonic irrigation (a sort of super-enema, professionally administered; if you're interested, contact the International Association of Colon Hydrotherapy at 210-366-2888 or www.i-act.org). The more powerful the program, though, the more likely you are to experience toxicity reactions such as nausea and headaches because of the volume of material being released. As Dr. Haas puts it:
" If you did water and green salads for a week, you'd detoxify more intensely than if you just gave up sugar and white flour." If you're feeling extremely rundown, take a gentle approach at first or consult a Nutritionally aware practitioner, especially if you have a preexisting medical condition.
Getting more fiber is essential. Laurel Vukovic, a natural health teacher and author of 14-Day Herbal Cleansing (Prentice Hall), suggests following this daily regimen for two weeks: a teaspoon of psyllium (a fiber supplement); at least seven daily servings of fruits and vegetables, especially fiber-rich ones like apples, cabbage and carrots; and six glasses of water, along with daily exercise. Extra fiber "supports the intestines in eliminating the larger amounts of toxins that are released," says Vukovic, "prevent[ing] their reabsorption into the bloodstream." Some people find premixed cleansing formulas convenient; check your health food store shelves.
Fasting is a more intense detox approach that, according to Dr. Haas, "promotes relaxation and energization of the body, mind and emotions, and supports a greater spiritual awareness." He especially recommends fasting in the spring and autumn, which are times of transition. Some people do water-only fasts, but fresh vegetable juices are probably a better option, particularly if you haven't fasted before. Juices and plenty of fresh water also help cleanse the kidneys, another vital detox route.
Instead of juices you can use a special cleansing formula, such as the Spring Master Cleanser: 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup and 1/10 teaspoon cayenne pepper in 8 ounces of spring water. Dr. Haas recommends drinking eight to 12 glasses daily (and rinsing your mouth after each glass to protect your teeth from lemon's acids), augmented by water, laxative herb tea, and peppermint or chamomile tea.
Try fasting for a day to see how you feel. Dr. Haas suggests starting out by fasting from early evening through the night, and eating a light breakfast the following day. Subsequent fasts can gradually increase in length-experienced fasters may go up to two weeks without food.
Break your fast properly; for juice or cleansing formula fasts, eat a raw or cooked low-starch vegetable, such as spinach or other greens. "Go slowly, chew well and do not overeat or mix too many foods at any meal," says Dr. Haas.
Don't forget your liver, the organ that transforms noxious chemicals into substances your body can eliminate. The herb milk thistle, used since ancient times as a liver tonic, contains silymarin, which protects the liver from pollutants and helps it renew itself after toxic damage. Dandelion not only promotes the flow of bile from the liver, which helps clean out the junk, but also acts as a diuretic, helping the kidneys do their job. Green-food supplements, such as spirulina and cereal grasses, help neutralize toxins.
To maintain your cleansing gains, eat a healthy diet after detoxing. Focus on fresh organic foods, especially produce, beans and peas, whole grains and seeds (add organic poultry if you eat meat). Organic yogurt provides healthful probiotics, while fresh fish and ground flaxseeds provide omega-3 fats.
Clean Living Pays
The body's largest organ-the skin-provides a valuable contaminant exit path. Sitting in a hot tub or sauna "benefits the internal organs of detoxification," according to Dr. Lark, "by lessening the amount of toxins they must process." When sweatin' out the bad stuff, drink plenty of water and replace the calcium, magnesium and potassium lost through perspiration.
Another way to stimulate skin circulation is dry brushing, which also removes dead skin cells for a healthy glow (and is easier to fit into a daily routine). Using "a moderately soft, natural vegetable-fiber bristle brush" (Dr. Lark's suggestion), work in from the hands and up from the feet with light, short strokes that always move towards the heart. Vukovic says that a hot towel scrub is another option; put three drops of lavender essential oil in a basin of very hot water, dip in a rough terry washcloth and wring out, and then rub the skin briskly, starting with your feet and working your way up.
Once you've detoxified your body, you can start in on your immediate surroundings. Dr. Haas warns against using plastic food storage containers: "When food is heated in plastics some of the plastic material ends up in the food, especially if the food contains acids." Use glass containers instead. He also recommends avoiding aluminum pots and pans, and using stainless steel as an alternative.
Dr. Haas has seen what a good detox program can do: "It's amazing the kind of results people get-looking and feeling younger, more vital and healthy. They say, 'I'm sleeping like a baby,' they have fewer aches and pains. They have more peace in their bodies. I think detoxification is one of the keys to preventive medicine." So cleanse that body and let detoxification bring balance and renewal to your life.
Power Meals - Shakes, smoothies and bars help make getting good nutrition easy.
June 14, 2005 08:28 AM
by Phyllis D. Light, RH Energy Times, March 12, 2004
Choices, choices, choices: For convenience, nutrition and either low-calorie or low-carb dieting, you now have an enviable range of choices. Shakes, smoothies and bars help make getting good nutrition easy.
Whatever your inclination, drinks and bars offer a shortcut to daily nutrition without cooking. And whether you use them as meal replacements, diet aids or healthy snacks, these power meals fill you up without filling you out.
That's the main reason these items have grown in popularity in natural food stores among the Nutritionally knowledgeable searching for healthier alternatives to fast food.
No matter how hectic your day, you have no excuses anymore for missing your daily required antioxidants and minerals. Either select a bar suited to your taste, or put your blender or food processor to work in creating drinks that use fresh fruits and veggies, yogurt, low-fat milk or ice and protein powders for maximum nutritional output.
Quality note: always be sure to use organic foods for the best nutritional content, flavor and taste.
Prepared protein shake mixes and bars are ideal for losing weight, expanding personal energy or building muscle. Protein mixes are available in an assortment of flavors that are generally high in amino acids (protein building blocks) and low in carbohydrates. Of course if you are on a low-carb diet, forsake putting fruits and vegetables in your shakes; these items are too high in carbohydrates.
What's more, bars not only provide a wealth of different tastes, but different bars are also tailored to different needs-whether you're seeking to lose weight, gain muscle or replace a meal, there's a bar out there just for you.
If you use power shakes as meal replacements and you are on a low-carbohydrate diet, make sure the drink supplies plenty of protein and few carbohydrates. If you use either shakes or bars to replace one or more meals during the day, take a fiber supplement in addition. Fiber, which contains no calories, helps speed food through your digestive tract and may lower your risk of heart disease and cancer (Lancet 5/2/03).
And remember: powders and bars should also be low in sugars and saturated fats. The weight-loss benefit: If you drink high-protein shakes or eat bars that taste good and leave you feeling satisfied, you'll have a better chance of sticking to your diet long enough to lose a significant amount of weight.
Drink to Lose
Research into weight loss has established protein shakes and bars as reliable diet aids. A study of 100 dieters between the age of 35 and 65 found that people who drank a daily soy protein shake lost more than 14 pounds each in three months (Eur J Clin Nutr 2003; 57:514). And in a study reported in the Journal of American Dietetic Association (3/01), folks who had a protein shake in place of one daily meal lost almost twice as much weight over 12 weeks than those who ate their regular food with the same amount of calories.
Drinking your breakfast in the form of a protein shake can both increase your metabolism and help curb your appetite for the rest of the day.
Researchers at Harvard University found that metabolism rose faster after eating a high-protein breakfast and that blood-sugar levels stayed high for about six hours after the meal (AHA Annual Conference on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and and Prevention, 3/6/03). In comparison, when a sugary breakfast is consumed, blood-sugar levels rise quickly but fall rapidly, causing fatigue, tiredness and sleepiness.
Protein shakes are especially effective when you are on a weight-loss plateau, trying to lose those last few tenacious pounds. (But shakes, smoothies and bars should not be your only meals of the day. Eat at least one low-calorie meal daily to supply nutrients that may not be in your shakes or bars.)
Made with fruits and vegetables, smoothies are a tasty way of getting extra amounts of nutrients and soluble fiber. Using low-fat milk, yogurt, buttermilk or kefir, plus ice, creates a tempting and wholesome blend that lights up the taste buds. Powdered mixes can be used for added protein.
Fruits and vegetables in your smoothies not only fill you up on relatively few calories, but they boost your energy and supply plenty of bioflavonoids (healthy, natural chemicals from plants), antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
The fiber in smoothies can help reduce cholesterol, relieve constipation and aid in the prevention of high blood pressure. For reduced calories and added heart health benefits, low-fat or no-fat milk products can be used in place of cream or regular milk in most recipes. For the best taste sensation, combine sour and sweet fruits together.
Adding raw fruits and vegetables to smoothies provides natural enzymes that help with digestion and act as catalysts in hundreds of chemical reactions throughout the body. (You can also take enzymes in supplemental form.) Enzymes are not present in cooked foods since the heat of cooking destroys them.
Nutrition for Kids
If you have trouble getting your children to eat their fruits and vegetables, try giving them smoothies. Children can't resist these naturally sweet and healthy creations.
According to Sally Fallon, author of Nourishing Traditions (New Trends Publishing), smoothies should be "high in quality, contain healthy fats, be naturally sweet, and contain fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables."
Fallon also believes children should consume what are called lacto-fermented foods, including yogurt and kefir, which are aged to contain the kinds of friendly bacteria that normally live within our digestive tracts. For kids, Fallon also encourages the use of cream or cultured milk to ensure adequate fat and calcium, so important for the development of growing bodies.
Smoothies are an interactive drink as far as children are concerned, since they love to help blend them. For extra nutrition power, add nutritional yeast, nut butters or ground flaxseeds. These supply additional vitamins and minerals, along with healthy fats. You can also add silken tofu to bump up the protein content. If your child is lactose intolerant, try mixing smoothies with rice milk, soy milk or juice.
Bars Designed With A Woman's Needs in Mind
The modern woman is a multitasking wonder, constantly juggling work and home responsibilities. So it's no wonder that bars aimed at women are among the most popular bars there are. Many women, in eyeing the bathroom scale, shortchange themselves of the nutrients they need. That's why a woman's bar needs to provide minerals like calcium, a bone-building necessity.
Women also need to ensure that a bar contains enough of the B vitamins, particularly folate. This is especially true if a woman is pregnant, or wants to be: Folate is crucial in helping to prevent neural tube birth defects.
Folate also teams up with two other B vitamins, B6 and B12, to control homocysteine. This protein metabolism byproduct, when present in excessive amounts, is associated with heart disease.
Another popular ingredient in women's bars is soy, which has been duly recognized for its heart benefits. Studies also indicate that soy may help keep bones strong. (Not to mention the fact that the moisture soy holds helps make a bar's texture that much more appealing!)
The Protein Game
If you are unsure about how much protein you need each day, you are not alone. Are you getting too much, not enough, or just enough? Most people need between 45 and 60 grams of protein daily, and most protein shakes contain about 14 and 20 grams of protein per serving (check your labels). No matter what your nutritional needs are, you may find an answer in a smoothie, shake or bar. When it comes to power nutrition, tasting is believing!
Muscle Mass - Reach Your Maximum Muscle Potential
June 04, 2005 09:49 AM
The serious athletes of today know how much it takes to fulfill their competitive goals: careful training, a strong will, and also the right kind of nutrition. Sports science now makes available key nutrients which help assure that strenuous workout regimes will show results. Results that are both Nutritionally sound and dramatically visible, without the need for dangerous steroids or chemicals. MUSCLE MASS™ is such a state-of-the-art sports science formula.
THE PURPOSE OF MUSCLE MASS ™ is to help translate distant goals for greater strength and power into quicker, awesome reality. It is the premier formula combining all essential nutrients known to maximize muscle development and optimize strength.
In sum, all these balanced, cutting-edge factors combine to assist you in meeting the challenges you’ve set for your body. Power, endurance, strength, tone, and the winner’s circle are now closer.